Saturday, June 18, 2011

Wins (football) and Wins (OOP Ospreys)

I was downtown in Toronto today for a football (Canadian) game (we won) and afterwards hit the World's Biggest Bookstore ("it's just a name") and discovered they may have the World's Biggest Osprey collection. At least it left me in awe, and I've seen a couple pretty nice ones elsewhere.

However, as the WBB is now part of our national bookstore empire, the bricks and mortar prices are about 25% higher than what I can get online.


I've been trying for six months to get the Campaigns: Assaye book. Our national bookstore empire (online edition) tried and gave up after a month, Amazon tried for 5 months, and then I gave up on them, because I found Osprey direct had it listed. Until I told Osprey's website that I lived in Canada, when it mysteriously became unavailable in North America ("but we're still part of the Commonweath - the Queen's on my money (well, most of the big bills, anyway)").

So my first walk through of Osprey heaven didn't turn it up. I wandered away, Osprey-less, and checked at a computer linked to their online store - still listed as unavailable. I went back to the Osprey aisles, mainly because of consternation around an issue I'll bring up below...when I saw Campaigns: Assaye!

So I am now stupidly proud of owning a copy. After my SYW in India project, I plan to roll along into Wellington in India, re-using what I can. Some of the units will get later period paint jobs, the only real new units will be EIC/British cavalry, although I'll probably eventually do two rank EIC infantry.

So why else was I consternated in the store? I found both volumes of Fighting Ships of the Far East, which I've long wanted. Problem: I've long had one of them...but couldn't remember which one! I spent 15 minutes walking around trying to remember which one I had...couldn't do it, and since I didn't want to make a return trip downtown (two hours or so) to return one, I skipped on them. But I now have an order in to the online empire, as they say they can get one, and cheaper.

I also got some VSF/steampunk inspiration: the Steampunk I anthology (I picked up Steampunk II a while ago, couldn't find #1 locally). I also completed Edgar Rice Burroughs' Venus series by finding Pirates of Venus. Now to find suitable miniatures...

I also picked up Russian Amerika, the first book in a series, of which I picked up the second last weekend (Alaskan Republik). It looks like a Crimson Skies sort of thing, with the Russians still owning Alaska, an independent California an Texas, USA and CSA. Mainly though it was the wicked paint jobs of Mustangs on the covers.

So now pictures again...but I'm doing a lot of gluing, basing, and gessoing (or is it gesso-ing?), so nothing sexy to look at. I did pick up some VSF figures from RAFM during their recent sale, once the stupid postal labour dispute is over, I should have them here.

I'm also being distracted thinking about Cold War Commander and Pulp Figures. Um, not at the same time, separate projects!

Monday, June 13, 2011


I'm entertaining myself with the cleverness of this post's title yet have the sneaking suspicion there was probably a better way to use it, as this post doesn't really have any tie-in with Imagi-nations. But since I'm up late unable to sleep after an unintentional 4 hour nap this evening, I thought I'd ruminate about a project idea I have had for a while that does at least cover many nations.

And for a change I don't have to buy anything or spend 100 years painting new stuff to undertake this project - I'll be able to do it as I finish my existing 100-year projects.

What my idea is, is to take an existing "most famous" battle and then refight it using its basic principles across multiple periods and genres. So an obvious couple are Waterloo and Gettysburg, but instead of Britain+Prussia vs. France, or North vs. South, it would be:

  • Seven Years War - France and Indian allies vs. the East India Company (2mm)

  • Seven Years War - Prussia vs. Austria and Russia (2mm)

  • Seven Years War - France vs. Hanover/Britain (2mm)

  • Victorian Science Fiction - say Germany vs. Britain (2mm)

  • Union vs. Confederates - but at Waterloo! (2 or 6mm)

  • Napoleonic France vs. Britain - but at Gettysburg! (6mm if the club goes for it)

  • Any variety of ancients - Alexander vs. India, Mongols vs. Poles (6mm)

  • English Civil War (2mm)

  • WWII - company vs. company (6mm)

  • WWII - division vs. division (3mm)

  • Cold War - division vs. division (3mm)

  • Vietnam (3mm)

  • Star Wars! (2mm)

  • Fantasy - Acheron vs. Valusia (2mm)

  • Fantasy - Naama vs. Cush (2mm)

  • Fantasy - traditional orcs vs. dwarves (6mm)

I've put the potential attackers (French, Confederates) first in the above list, where obvious. For some, it could go either way...e.g. the NVA assaulting a US ridgeline, or an American push to drive out the VC.

The "basic princples" would be the terrain layout, situation (attacker, defender), objectives, relative force strengths and proportion of arms (as best as can be done when translated over time), reinforcements, random events.

Anyone with forces ready to go should feel to steal this idea and let me know how it goes. Any other interesting battles to try this with?

Sunday, June 5, 2011

With Clive in India in 2mm

As mentioned in my "Hmmm" post, I've been working on a 2mm SYW in India project. Actually I think I've been mentioning it for a while! I have been processing my first batch of figures recently, and have most of them mounted. It's amazing how I'm managing to not order enough of so many things - battalion guns, organ guns, brigade and wing commanders, etc. but I'm happy with the progress so far:

Some of the native units - mobs of paiks (melee-only levies) in the front, Afghan mercenaries (mounted and foot) in the middle, and Arab camelry (dismounted and mounted) in the rear.

Native artillery in various varieties - platform guns (heavies) in the front left (see below), the princes' super-heavy guns ("Moghul Monsters") in the left-rear, backed up a heavy gun in a redoubt. In the front right, with two elephants for their limbers, are everyday heavy guns, and back-right are field guns, with a variety of limber combinations - elephants, elephant+caissons, elephant+2 caissons, elephant+field of rock

A close-up of the platform guns (heavies). The "horses" will be painted as oxen (as I will for most limbers), and the gun's base will be painted as a wooden platform. I imagine the guys at the back of one base are the official elephant pooper-scoopers... To make this, I put a standard artillery base on two uncovered wagons. Here's the inspiration, from a relatively local 25/28mm collection. I played in their Pondicherry game last March and my fellow commanders had to face this in the centre of our line.

Native organ guns are the three bases in the middle-ish, otherwise at the top/back of the photo are some caisson/supply trains, with English (with caisson) and French (limber only) guns in the foreground. The French artillery often had supply problems, so I've depicted that by not showing their ammo caissons on the limber's base.

A whole slew of bases, at front centre is my standard infantry battalion, with officers to the front and battalion gun on the line's left. The unit beside that is a specific one without a battalion gun (others to the rear are just missing theirs). Front right is the French (Compagnie des Indes) volunteer battalion. The square-ish bases with three-horse figures are wing, division, etc. commanders. Behind them are three units of hathnals - elephants with big guns - that may or may not have been at Plassey, but are too cool to ignore. Towards the far back, behind the infantry, is a unit of Rajput cavalry.

More stuff. CdI and EIC dragoons/mounted infantry are front left and centre, with more of the regular, company, and sepoy battalions behind them. Further back-centre are command stands, the native ones with elephants. A unit of native bodyguard cavalry are back-right.

As always, you can click on the pictures for a bigger version.

I have a few more to mount (mainly cavalry) with what I have on hand, then another big order goes in to Irregular. I figure this is about 1/3 of what I'll need in total for the project, which will include an Afghan army, variations of a native prince's army (Moghul, Mahratta, Mysore), and the French and British. I plan on later extending it into the "Wellington in India" and Sikh War eras.