Friday, October 30, 2015

Tree tribulations

Not a lot to report this week, although I have made a few trees from thistle heads to while away the time as I wait for my Pendraken ECW order to arrive. One experiment involved dipping the things in household latex paint, draining off the excess then rolling them in home-made flock created from dried tealeaves. It was not a success. The paint took too long to dry and didn't cover the outer part of the thistle head where I wanted the flock to stick.

The next attempt involved spraying the heads with adhesive and rolling them in dried chamomile tealeaves (there's a theme developing here...) allowing them to dry before giving them a blast with green spray paint. Success! - Except now I've run out of paint and my camera batteries have died, so I can't even take photos of the results...

Thursday, October 22, 2015

ECW project

There seems to be a trend toward gaming the ECW afoot here in the cyberworld of wargaming. Tradgardmaster is dipping his toes in the water, and Jeff at the Saxe-Bearstein blog has an ongoing ECW project. I did game the period in 1/300th scale years ago, but it fell by the wayside. The occasional game at the New Buckenham club kept a small flame of interest flickering. I decided to fan it to life yesterday by ordering some of the excellent Pendraken Miniatures ECW figures, enough to give me three regiments of foot, a regiment of cavalry and a light artillery piece each. I'll add more foot, cavalry and dragoons by and by.

Rules-wise, I intend to use Victory Without Quarter by Clarence Harrison. Jeff kindly brought these to my attention as they have the facility for solo play. I did consider The Perfect Captain's Very Civile Actions: In the end they didn't appeal to me, but their campaign rules, Tinker Fox, look promising.

I'm quite looking forward to getting my new project going!

Monday, October 12, 2015

'The Smoke of Her Burning' & ECW Doodling

My good friend M J Logue's new English Civil War novel The Smoke of Her Burning is released today! She's holding a Facebook party this evening at:- The Review present: The Smoke of Her Burning by MJ Logue

...for those on the social media site; type the above in to take you there. There's fun and prizes, so head on over for a look.
Meanwhile, I'm noodling with various basing and formation options for an ECW army. I'm going to collect forces in 10mm to suit my current terrain, and I'm thinking in terms of early war, which is to say pre-New Model Army. The rules will probably be Victory without Quarter by Clarence Harrison.

With a few one inch square sections of card and a Sharpie pen I made up a profile of two regiments of foote, one Royalist (top) and one Parliamentarian (bottom). 'M' represents musketeers, 'P' pike, 'D' drummer, 'F' flag, 'O' officer. The early war Royalist foote regiments lacked equipment and had a preponderance of pikes to muskets. Parliament didn't have such trouble so typically had a 2:1 musket-pike ratio. I'll probably have a sergeant figure with halberd on two of the musketeer stands. It might work better to have the command figures on a separate base; I'll see.

I'm working to avoid any suggestion of 'sporty little battalions zipping all over the table,' as one rules critic said of a set of Napoleonic rules. The overall length of the regiment is six inches, plenty big enough for a modest sized table. At the moment this gives me an idea of what's possible.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

ECW, Redux

We're back from a great time at the Archon St. Louis SF/Fantasy convention. As usual I wasn't able to take part in any gaming - I'm on too many panels during the course of the day for that, but all in all a terrific experience, and I'm looking forward to next year.

In the meantime I find my interest in the English Civil War(s) has been rekindled. 
I blame my friend, fellow author M J Logue for this! Reading her excellent Red Horse (An Uncivil War, Book 1) has put me in the mood for researching and collecting in this period again. Check out Red Horse, by the way - it's in paperback and on Kindle - for a great read with plenty of period detail and atmosphere. 
Not Hollie Babbitt, that sweary man - but close!

My original collection was in 6mm. This time around I'll probably get a couple of small armies in 10mm to suit my taste and pocket. Pendraken Miniatures has a nice comprehensive range, as does Old Glory. I'll need to locate some info on uniforms and so on - I sold or gave away most of my reference books when I emigrated - but given the pool of information online these days it shouldn't be too much of a hassle. Rules-wise, I read good things about Very Civile Actions from The Perfect Captain. These are tailored for small forces, and have a campaign system, Tinker Fox, catering for sieges and raids. They're free to download, although the authors do request a contribution to charity by way of thanks. 

The First Muster.  

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