Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Solo wargaming - Joy or curse

In my decent into solo war gaming it has opened up a large array of periods that I can now game in whereas previously I only had figures for games where I had an opponent (ACW, Napoleonic, WW2, WSS). Solo war-gaming has however open up a very broad selection of my war-gaming interests, which have to some degree made me think about what I actually want to game with and what current figures are surplus to my requirements.

As a result of Solo I now have small forces for the following periods:
  • SciFi (15mm).
  • Fantasy (15mm/6mm).
  • 10mm Pony Wars.
  • 10mm Vietnam
  • 6mm/15mm Colonial
  • 6mm WW2 (Early war\ Pacific) 
  • 6mm Napoloenic
  • 15mm WW2 Skirmish.

All small scale items I can chuck on the kitchen table (or floor) for some small games when the mood (suits me). I still have the bigger forces (28mm etc) for actual games if time arises  and even though some armies I have not played with in 3 years I still cannot bring myself to get rid of them (28mm Napoloenics is my pride and joy).

There is the issue of terrain. In the world of Glossy magazines and such I always have this view that my table needs to look like masterpiece theatre. However I find now any terrain will do as long as it looks slightly appropriate, does not fall apart when I touch it or stick to anything that moves.

Of course this new plethora of periods has lead to the usual Rule rush trying to find some decent rules. For the above periods I have looked at a large variety of rules and I think I have settled on some already.

  • Colonial - Science Versus Pluck and TSAF (The Sword and the Flame) 
  • Sci\Fi - 2150 (Twho Hour Wargames) andd Patrol Aglis (Once its released - HINT Gavin :) )
  • Fantasy - Rally Round the King, Song of Blades and Heroes..
  • WW2\Vietnam\Napoleonic unit scale - Piquet rules (Great for solo)
  • WW2\Vietnam Skirmish - Nuts\FNG
  • Pony Wars - Yellow Ribbon (Indians are controlled by rules)
The above rule-sets have good mechanics, variety,  swings of impetus that a solo wargame needs (With a few tweaks).  They do have their faults (as all rules do) but I can live with that.

As we all know finding rules can be a enjoyable yet tiresome process, forums are rife with strong opinions and its hard to guess a rule-set without trying it. I had an interesting conversation with someone recently where they stated Solo war-gaming was stupid, Piquet was crap etc etc and basically everything I was doing was nonsense.

I don't think so, the person in question is a ardent follower of trend. First it was , Rules of Engagement, blackpowder, then Lasalle, then Saga, then Bolt Action. Every year he seems to be re-basings entire armies for a new ruleset that goes out of fashion as quickly as it comes in and then he sells his army. I'm happy just to find what I like and stick with it, its not a competition after all.

Archduke Piccolo wrote a series of Napoleonic and ACW rules a very long time ago that I still think rate as some of the most enjoyable rules I have every used, considering we have played them on and off for over 25 years - simple, to the point and enjoyable and my figures are based the same now as there were back in 1993 when I purchased my first front rank infantry. It is finding a set of the ACW rules in my University papers that I then started to do this ...........

I am slowly (turtle break neck speed) getting my 1/72 armies into gear so I based all my remaining figures ready to paint.


Sunday, June 29, 2014

10mm isnt too bad.


I had the pleasure if taking part in a 10mm ww2 game recently and as per usual I now find myself painting 10mm figures (I already had some stored away for a rainy day). My small forces will be based on the 4th Infantry Division at Utah beach alongside some elements of 82nd Airborne. I have 6mm ww2 for solo actions on the kitchen table, as well as incomplete 20mm WW2 (North Africa) so I made sure I didn't get too much.

My initial outing has been to paint a 105mm Howitzer Battery  (That I had for Vietnam) and the below is the result. As I have a load of FlamesofWar bases I am using them for vehicles and Im pretty happy with the results.

On top of that I have also assembled my Chinook ( A ready made one from Tomyc) for my Modern skirmish games (And the occasional Vietnam game)
The rest of my job list for this week is:

Take pics of the:
28mm WW2 Russians  and Germans to sell
28mm French Indian War to sell
28mm Victrix Napoloenic  British

Assemble 16 WSS Figures per night
Finish of 6mm ww2 forces for a small solo game


Monday, June 2, 2014


A week into the new house and I finally gotten a lot of the garage sorted. This also involved putting together some $20 steel shelves that will home a lot of my figures and bring some organisation to the madness.

All the boxes from the white shelves to the right of the picture are war gaming filled. The white shelf will house rules and books and another shelve unit will have other figures in.

So I intend to have small clear out - it's just the tedium of organising sales doesn't motivate me that well, and getting to the post office is a pain in the backside. However some things need to go (28mm French Indian wars and 28mm ww2 top of the list).

Next on my list will be some form of table (Some heating would also help as the garage was 5C this morning.) or some 3x2 boards that I can use indoor and of  course painting will need to resume too.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Off to Fiji


I'm being sent to Fiji for a weeks work - sounds great doesn't it.

Now you'll be thinking is going to be all about

But it really going to be all about, 5 days of it in Nadi (Right next to the airport)

Now from my trip to Brisbane I know its going to be too hot to paint anything so I'm looking into some things to take with me. I suspect it might be some cardboard units, dice and rules to playtest or otherwise get some solo campaign background going while sitting on my balcony having a Fiji beer in Nadi.

I managed to sneak away on Saturday and play a small part in a Napoleonic action San Antonio  at short notice. an entertaining game, I managed to play my part of a confused junior officer quite well as at times I had no idea what our CinC had planned. I was in charge of the British cavalry and we marched around quite a lot in some bad terrain and that was pretty much it. A long range cannon ball killed my general in the first turn and from there it got a little hard. But it was extremely entertaining game and we were well looked after by the host Colin.


Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Not a lot happening.

So an offer on a house has been accepted so the days of living in someone else's space will hopefully be coming to an end. I have not done much in the way of painting\gaming recently as I have been away a lot.

Now I have injured myself during sports ( a rather silly obsession I have at my age) I will have some free time to get things back on track. On my various lunchtime trips to shops in different parts of Australia and Auckland I found some very tempting things. I managed to get into the Victorian Hobby Centre in Melbourne and they had a lot of plastic kits that are hard to find in NZ (Well without paying an arm and a leg). but I didn't buy anything as I also purchased a new pair of shoes and work trousers so my spending had reached its limit. It was also about 34C and I had had enough of walking around the city in a suit so I left for the airport.

(Another interesting act is that it seems extremely hard to find children's woollen socks in Melbourne)

Some cardboard Railway buildings !

 A Wild West Fort (Perfect for my Pony Wars stuff (unpainted somewhere)
 And I also managed to pick up some small scale cardboard buildings of a Vauban Fort
 And an Italian Village (Soon to Spanish)

I will not start these until the house move is all settled as I have no idea where I would store the completed models in the new digs.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Modern 1:72

I have been painting some more 1:72 Modern figures for my Modern-ish campaign (It all started from the Coup de Etat scenario in Charles Grants "Programmed War Games Scenarios".

Some time ago I created an area with the local State, the Russians and Nato\USA and the general plan for the campaign. Unfortunately my plan I hatched last year has resulted in real life dealings in the Ukraine - I should sue Overlord Putin for copyright. (Jokes aside I hope its all peacefully resolved) .

Anyways I've used a match of Italeri WW2 Soviets for my local State.

The local Police force - They remind me of the ever....so friendly Russian Border guards I met back in 2002 - Stern as ice but happy once bribed.

The Local Militia\Army forces

The Russian Special Forces who arrive to "help".

 Nato forces (Italeri US infantry) who arrive to "help" aswell.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

More plastic fantastics.

I had hoped to achieve a lot this week but I have managed to pick up a cold which has curtailed things a great deal. I am off to Melbourne on Friday night for most of next week so hopefully I'll get to visit the great Victorian Hobby Centre and pick up some figures unavailable in NZ or simply have a good nose around in a fully stocked hobby store.

In the meantime when I was bored I painted some 1:72 Napoleonic to use for the odd Skirmish games.

Italeri British.

Quite a nice pack this one, the figures are a lot skinnier than the French counterparts.

 Italeri French

Another nice set , the figures are chunkier than the old Esci ones I used to have. They paint up well and really look the part.

 And the first repainted figure of my Hinchcliffe Saxon Jaeger as  testor. I haven't had the motivation to start the other 99 figures.

I've also been sorting out some other little piles of lead. Basing 6mm figures for solo wargames and then a white spray undercoat.