Monday, February 23, 2009

On we go

More activity, but all a bit lacking in focus - perhaps the result of now not having any workable SYW armies to put on a tabletop! Still, the 'To Do' pile continues to get nibbled away at. I finally managed to collect my delivery of MDF bases from the post office. It seems my idea of the postal service bringing stuff to me now seems quaint and backward in their eyes, and it would be far more convenient for them if I came to their depot to get stuff rather than the other way round. I tried to explain to the man there that they might like to hire some sort of delivery, or

'post-man' to go round peoples' houses, but he seemed unenthusiastic. Even when I explained that most people tended to have a slot in their front door to allow things to be placed inside without them being there, he seemed unimpressed. >:-(

Anyway, the long and short of it is that I've finally got my bases! They're getting painted up now with a green undercoat, which gives me the literal base' for the two reformed armies - and it's a lot! It's certainly brought home to me the sheer scale of the proposed expansion. There's some busy months ahead. Having bases gave me a few more easy hits for rebasing existing painted figures. I concentrated on bringing Aschenbach up to a better nominal strength, so I've now added:
2 bases of Aschenbach Cuirassiers
2 bases of Aschenbach Dragoons
1 base of Aschenbach Dragoon HQ
1 base of Aschenbach Hussar HQ
1 base of Aschenbach Infantry HQ
Overall, the Aschenbach force is small and very lopsided in favour of cavalry (the infantry have been too scarce on numbers to rebase, and I also lack all mounted officers required for more HQ bases!)
Still, it's got me thinking. The campaign, as you'll recall (possibly - I had to go look it up anyway) is currently hanging at the aftermath of Aschenbach's victory just south of Spitzburg. Luftberg's General Von Hentsch now has to withdraw from the enemy's presence and the gutted city of Spitzburg, but his flight eastwards will be a fraught one. By necessity, he will have to flee eastwards along the course of the Rotenwasser river, but this will lie to his immediate north (his left flank as he marches.) If Aschenbach pursue and try to cut him off, then they will be attacking on his south (right flank) trying to cut through the road and pin him to the river. This sort of thing would give us a chance to stage a small encounter battle, between a mixed Luftberg rearguard trying to keep the road open and an Aschenbach detatchment, mixed but favouring cavalry, trying to cut off the escape route. I sense a fight coming up...

Bluebear & Adik pointed out in their blogs about the cyclical nature of wargame interests, and I believe the necessary pause to rework the armies may lead to one of my own. I point the finger of blame squarely at Wargaming Miscellany, which wantonly led me on to buy a copy of Table Top Wargames, which I am planning to use for a fictional 1914/Balkan-style war between other ImagiNations (which may include the future incarnation of Luftberg as one participants in the war to end all wars.) I've not decided if I'll post it as a blog, or if running two would be a distraction and I should just keep it to myself. Plenty of time to ponder however, as I'm still only considering the rough background as yet.

Oh, and terrain has finally been resolved in my own mind - green cloth mats, completely blank, no modular terrain. It seems so simple and easy now, after a week of agonising!

Friday, February 13, 2009


Hmf. Something of a quiet week in general terms, with a grand total of three (yes, three) horses painted. I blame the Royal Mail, somewhat at random, as my order of MDF bases hasn't arrived yet. :-(

Mind you, I've stayed reasonably active on the internet front. Il Desto Fante (there's a link on the sidebar, if you need it) had a good post about an early wargamer, which outlined an idea for 2D terrain - ie, all rivers, woods, etc. painted onto a flat surface. Bluebear Jeff suggested a cheap cloth like muslin in a comment, which just added to my feeling this could be a good way of getting easy and varied landscapes.

So, my thoughts have been on terrain quite a bit - the armies are growing after all, going from a typical unit frontage of 8cm to 12cm, so a decent set of terrain over a large area will need to follow. Still, these things have a way of snowballing in complexity. After all, to increase variety it'd be best to have several interlocking mats for modular terrain, wouldn't it? Thinking about all the possible iterations just led to headache.

Then, a trip out during the week to a nearby hobby store led to me finding that they sell green cloth in 3ft by 3ft squares, which got me thinking that another option is to buy three or four, connect them together (either by heavy tape along the edges, or just overlapping them) to get the necessary large area (potentially 6ft by 6ft!) Books etc. piled up underneath could also provide ready-made hills, I thought, so home-made buildings and woodland would be all I needed. Although possibly I'd need to at least draw streams on the surface, or on removable tiles, or some other method. In other words, the whole thing has become a murk of conflicting options - and the initial idea was so simple!

Thankfully, Il Desto also mentioned the site 'Wargaming Miscellany', which I'd missed before now. So, I've calmed myself down by reading it's enjoyable posts and admiring his terrain - plain green-coloured boards with no decoration, and a simple grid drawn on. Ahh, simpler really can mean better :-)

Monday, February 9, 2009

More troops

More men are now available for the new basing system, as my existing stocks get plundered and converted. At this rate, I'll no longer be able to pull units out of nowhere and I'll have to actually paint again!
Finally, I have based the two 'comparison' regiments, which are on show above. Foreground is the regiment which was painted entirely with the speedier 'dip' method, and as you can see it looks fine - just like the existing regiments, until you squint in extreme close-up. Behind it is the Hungarian regiment (IR9 Bartok) whose models carry their muskets vertically - as my Aschenbach figures do. As a result of this, they look ever so slightly spread out compared to my Luftberg troops who present their muskets forward.
Some more cavalry, this time featuring some command stands for Cuirassiers and Dragoons. I've tried to avoid basing any more Luftberg infantry, as it dawned on me I'd forgotten to repaint their legs. My existing models all had white gaiters, and I recently noticed that black was more common (and also looked better!) All regimental recruitment is on hold for want of mounted officers and black legs!
Finally though, here's the first of the rival faction - the first Aschenbach units. One base of Cuirassiers (which includes one trooper who inexplicably doesn't have white edging on his tricorne;) one base of the fearsome grenadiers, and two of infantry. From lessons learned on the Hungarian infantry above, I based the two ranks of Aschenbachers slightly tighter together on the base, so they still look properly 'formed up' in the desired shoulder-to-shoulder mass.
And that, basically, is it. I have sent away a tiny order for the remaining batch of required MDF bases, which should arrive in the week ahead (snow permitting.) After this heady rush of progress, I'm going to have to start painting once again. Mind you, in the early days it won't be 12 figures required for a base, as small-change leftovers from the existing bases will fill some/most of the slots and make it a bit easier.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Photos of the New Model Army

Hello everyone, and here are the promised photos! I took them last night, but pesky requirements delayed my posting them. Why does real life always get in the way? Anyway, here's the result of rebasing my existing figures.

Here's a first - new basing system cavalry! Some dragoons on the left, while the right shows some Hussars. The Dragoon base of 5-figures in a line is the regular cavalry standard, but the Hussars are only 4 irregularly spaced figures, to reflect their more free-and-easy style.

Here's the big boys - Cuirassiers. This is how a regular unit will look in Might & Reason, 2 bases or 10 figures. The final article will feature a command group though, with an officer, guidon, & musician.

Irregular infantry! I'm pondering repainting these, but I've rebased them anyway due to the dispersed way they sit on the base (it still allows brush-sized access.) Only one new base is possible from existing figures, as I'm going for 6 figures a base and that uses all the existing ones.

Artillery! I've not totally refinished flocking the base, as the cut edge of the old card base is still visible. The artillery base is 60mm x 40mm rather than the typical 60mm x 30mm, as this proved too much of a squeeze for the crews. I made the base myself by cutting a section of modelling (non-balsa) wood. It surled up alarmingly when I put the glue on, but thankfully it seems to be settling down to a flat base once again! In the background, you can also see some infantry rebased in the new order - no HQ stands yet though, as I need to paint up mounted officers.

Here's a view of what my rebased old figures have so far yielded. By the time I base my two new regiments as well (they're currently on the workbench) that'll give me 5 Infantry regiments. Certainly it's the nucleus of a reborn Luftberg army, and a nice little fighting force in it's own right. The good new is that with many more painted figures still to rebase, prospects for rapid growth look good!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Rebasing Bases (Photos tbc...)

Hm, it seems from comments on the last post that some photos are being hotly anticipated! Well, before a howling mob appears outside my home lobbing bricks through the windows, I'd best put some on. Sadly, it'll need to wait until the afternoon today for an update. You see, my usual blogging routine is to stumble out of bed in the morning and read/write while slumped in my dressing gown. Taking photos requires a trip into the loft, and with snow on the ground outside and no insulation, it'd be madness! I'll go later though, once I'm back from the office and more heavily-clad.

Snickering Corpses managed to hit the nail right on the head with his comment, where he suggested building up each army simultaneously & fighting smaller actions as I work back to full strength. He is of course quite right, and I've been spending many of my evenings with a spreadsheet calculating how to bring the greatest number of units up to 'mobilisation' standard for the most economic outlay of cash. I could just buy the stuff, but I sadly find the endless regimental planning to be entertaining in itself.

I've managed to break up some of my existing DBA bases, and it was traumatic stuff in some strange way. All the nostalgic memories! Here were some dragoons that once wrecked an enemy flank - snap! These were the grenadiers that stormed an enemy strongpoint - rip! Has anyone else built up a strange emotional link to some of their figures? Oh well, at least they're re-appearing soon into my new units. So far I have rebased from existing:

Infantry base (x2)
Cuirassier base (x2)
Dragoon base
Hussar base
Croats base
Artillery base

Combined with the 2 originally based regiments of infantry (4xbases) plus the two now painted and needing mounted (4x bases) that means a total of 11 Infantry, 4 cavalry & 1 Artillery bases done. Perfect for a small Luftberg nucleus! There's more to come, but that's how things stand at present.

The general to-do list, in no particular order is:
a) Get more 60x30mm MDF bases (or make them, if feeling brave)
b) Optimise Aschenbach purchases to produce similar force & place order
c) Update blog links list - there are lots of regular commenters and blogs I frequently read, which deserve representing!)
d) Modernise terrain for tabletop, and increase amount of scenery (again, or make them if feeling brave.)
e) Paint some mounted officers, which will allow me to create HQ-stands of infantry.
f) Post photographs asap!!!

Ah well, back to my lair to plot...