Sunday, February 5, 2017

"Wargaming: An Introduction" - Skirmishes occuring on a New Front!

"This looks like tough country, Sah! And a fierce foe!"

As most of Star Wars ground combat - as seen on the screen - isn't much more complicated than modern warfare [albeit the gadgets are often cooler, or at least more eccentric looking] I've been playing that out here. Ergo, altho I've a series of posts on the W:AI skirmish rules by Neil Thomas in my Dark Ages blog HERE and even stuck in one American Revolution battle there, it's time to start spreading out the NT Skirmish rules playtests and rules work a bit by period. Granted, this will force some of you to skip from blog to blog, but I plan to reward your efforts by having specialized sets of rules for each general period: Dark Ages / Fantasy, Horse & Musket, and Modern Era.

All this to say, that a new project is in the works here.

After much deliberation, and quite a bit of checking around, the adventurous souls that frequent the games of this blog decided that we needed to go big - even bigger than 40mm! And we needed to do it on the cheap [ok, that was mainly the adventurous souls that frequent the games of this blog who are of Scottish descent...but we'll have our Scots in this adventure, also!] - that meant plastics.

To make a long story short, this is what's up:
  1. More Skirmish Gaming. We like the character-driven narrative that it easily supports, that few troops are _required_ to get started, and that it is easy for anyone to get their heads wrapped around what the soldiers are doing, ergo easy for newbies.
  2. Going BIG. Yep, bigger than 40mm - 54mm to be exact. It's eye-catching, it's easy to paint, it's nostalgic, it reminds us we're playing with toy soldiers [even if most of the games aren't for children] and that we should be having fun.
  3. Going plastic. It's light, it's cheap, it's durable, and it is definitely a new adventure. None of us have ever worked with soft plastics, and I haven't even owned any since I sold off my childhood airfix ACW 1/72 figs on eBay. So there's some opportunity to grown in the crafty side of things. I'm hoping we'll all relax about the super-fine detailed paint jobs, and go for more of a classic "toy soldier" look.
  4. Going with "Armies in Plastic". With no regrets. You can see them HERE and there are great pics for nearly everything. They pics even do them justice, generally, altho I think they are much nicer live and in person. Thanks to Queen Catherine for diligent and enthusiastic work at TMP to gather info from those who know better than we. With many discounts, the figs are about 40 CENTS a figure for foot! Cavalry are HUGE and still only $1.60 each. Camels are on sale and mounted camel figs are about $1 a piece. Amazing prices - how can all this go wrong??
  5. Going to play "The Great Game". No, not just another set of NT rules - well we ARE going to do that - but I mean the Northwest Frontier. I was pretty interested in the Sudan at first, but my main club has a bunch of those in 25mm. No one has much Northwest Frontier. 

The Afghan - Pakistan - India frontier has been a wild place for a long, long time, and there's exotic beasts like camels and elephants, and crazy weapons from swords and shields to lances, pith helmets and gatling guns. Some of our favorite stories and poems are from there, like Gunga Din and well, lots of Kipling! Also, Victorian Colonials are just plain funny, a genre where the eccentricity never ends. I will admit to some final influence by Alte Fritz, HERE to convince me of this, but now that I am I'm looking forward to it all!

In any event, with some trepidation, an initial order was placed of the figs. Due to a desire to obtain Fort Kandahar, I ended up using a vendor, but generally speaking AIP actually has the best deals themselves. I strongly advise you to spend $72, buy 6 boxes and get three free with free shipping - the $15 shipping is basically another free box.

Up next: The Great BIG Box arrives!


  1. Are you interested in any 54mm ACW? I have lots of IMEX 54mm still in the box. Also plenty of BMC. Let me know.

  2. I've also some AiP British and Pathans. It's my first dabbling with the larger scale but so far I'm very impressed...just need to get on with painting them!

  3. Hope the posts here help, Alastair. And if you learn anything interesting about painting them, do give us a link. I'll try to investigate and perhaps gather your learning lessons, too.

    I think one of the cool things is being able to play with them out of the box! I'd never do this with metal figs for some reason. Plus my 7yo son loves them, and I don't have to worry about them getting destroyed...or not worry much about them getting destroyed, anyway!