Wednesday, December 22, 2010


Giant Space Crusade at Gaelcon 2002 -
the foreshortening in this photograph does no justice to the size of this board

I was once told that in life plans are useless, but planning indispensable. It's seems silly to write this on the eve on purchasing a house, which will undoubtedly be one of the largest projects I'll ever embark upon and which will devour my time and money in a manner I can probably not really understand at present.

However, it's four in the morning; I'm ghastly ill and it would be inconsiderate to return to bed while I'm still coughing and spluttering. Mrs. Kinch gets few enough nights uninterrupted sleep, frequently broken as it is by my comings and goings and the necessity of looking after her elderly grandparents.

I'll hope you'll forebear.

Project List

Command & Colours: Napoleonic - The Peninsular War

This is my main project and will be for quite some time. I'm still waiting for the actual game to arrive, but in the meantime I have my hex mat ready and I've been mustering forces. My goal for this project will be to be able to field the forces required to play all the Peninsular battles in the basic game.

I have pre-ordered a copy of the Spanish supplement, which will expand the projects goals, but that won't be arriving for quite some time.

Sub-project - The War of Ruritanian Succession

This is a whenever project, something that I may get around to or not. I have approximately 400 Hat Saxons waiting to be transformed into a Ruritanian force. The basic idea was to use these figures to create an army that could fight out the Grant & Olley Chiraz campaign. I'm still in two minds on whether to paint these up as actual Saxons* or to go the full 18th century Imagi-nation hog.

The other arms would be made up of Zvesda Swedes with Cossack light cavalry and Russian guns. Additional regiments could be supplied by "left-overs" from my Napoleonic armies.

Sub-project - The Rajah of Kaala-Akaata

This is a late 18th century project, based around a desire for some Eastern colour, reading too much Allan Mallinson and Kipling and that has been gaining ground slowly.

I also convinced myself that it would be simple, I could just use my Napoleonic British forces as opposition and all would be well. At present, the state of play is not too bad, I have a sufficiency (approximately 100 figures) of native cavalry, one battalion of European trained regulars and a mob of about 80 irregulars, all made up from several boxes of ESCI Muslim warriors I received in a trade.

I also have a battalion of John Cunningham's sepoys in preparation. These are merely based, but I hope to expand to a second battalion. There are also Mysore warriors in preparation.

On a related note, there are also Sikhs in the pipeline. I am very fond of Sikhs.

Sub-project - War of 1812

This is definately a whenever project and one mainly prompted by fact that I have a good hex game of the conflict and more Hat Peninsular British Infantry than I know what to do with.

Memoir '44 - 20mm

I'm a big fan of Memoir '44 and I've played a lot of it with Donogh in 6mm. My new large mats should mean that I can also use my 20mm forces to play games. I have large painted German (boo! hiss!) forces which were recruited between 2001-2006 as part of my Razvedchiki GURPS WWII roleplaying game**. I have American figures that could do with a lick of paint and some Russians, but I can't imagine doing a huge amount of recruitment for this project beyond mustering some Crown forces.

Sub-project - Memoir '36- 20mm

As a result of the previously mentioned GURPS game I have quite a few 20mm partisans and other early 20th century armed civilian types. I got a copy of Solways Crafts and Miniatures Very British Civil War sourcebook last year and Donogh very kindly gave me the second volume this morning as a Christmas gift. I think there is every possibility that any Crown forces I raise for my main Memoir '44 project will be early war BEF, who could very easily do service in a Very British Civil War.

Giant Space Crusade

Nine years ago, three gamers had a pint and fell to reminicing.

They discussed Heroquest and Space Crusade, two games which devoured many after school summer afternoons. They also fell to talking about large games at conventions.

Things were said, bets were made and two of the gamers were challenged by the third to run the biggest board game at an Irish convention. The result was Giant Space Crusade, which was lunacy. The game is normally played on a board two feet by two feet, we build one that was twelve feet by four for twice the number of players, two dedicated umpires and many many figures.

Heroic efforts were made to finish the game in time. This man turned up at the convention covered in blood to ensure that everything went according to plan.

It took nine hours to play, but it was fantastic fun.

A couple of months ago, the gauntlet was thrown down again by some gentlemen who'd heard of the original and wanted to give it a try. To be fair, I didn't take much cajoling to commit to the project especially after we sat down and worked out what mistakes we'd made with the first one. I cleared out most of my 40K figures in 2005, but I still have some lying around and we've managed to work out a way of doing this in a manner that doesn't cause us the same emotional distress or bloodloss.

I'm hoping we'll be able to accomplish this mostly with loaned figures, but it remains to be seen.

It's also going to be bigger, have coloured lights and possibly some sort of zero-g fighting section using magnets.

What could possibly go wrong?


Looking over this list, I'm filled with a sense of mixed hope and anxiety. There are a lot of projects here. On the other hand, I have made a great deal of progress in the ones I'm particularly concerned about. There's no urgency in the others with the exception of Giant Space Crusade, no one is going to break down my door and ask why I haven't refought the Niagra Campaign yet.

This year has been quite productive in terms of building regiments if not actually playing games. With the drop in available cash that is likely to occurr in 2011, I'm hoping that I will be able to play more games as it's a damn sight cheaper than mustering troops.

The other point that comes across very clearly is that Command & Colours in its various incarnatations is the game for me. This is probably no great surprise. I really enjoyed reading Black Powder and I don't regret buying it for a second, but it's unlikely that its going to see much play. I have a very similar attitude to the TooFatLardies products, they're fantastic read and I often steal ideas from them, but not games that I get to play very often or in fact, at all. I suspect a lot of their attraction is the no-nonsense writing, the low price point and the fact that I can read them on my phone. This is not to be sniffed at when one can be stuck places without a book for prolonged periods of time.

This isn't a bad thing, no less of a wargaming authority as The Brigadier has been using much the same rules for nigh on thirty years. I've played Command & Colours with children as young as seven and men in their eighties; veterans, college students, teachers, policemen, young offenders, computer scientists, artists, construction workers, writers and librarians have all taken part over the years and very few of them have not enjoyed the experience.

This is probably an idea I should develop further, but it's cold and I've stopped coughing and throwing up, so I think I best head back to bed.

And to all a good night.

*Odd continental chaps in whom I have no real interest. I couldn't honestly tell you where or what they were up to during the Napoleonic wars. Shameful I know.

**One of the occupational hazards of being a roleplaying GM is that you always end up with a large collection of baddies.


  1. Take care of yourself and thanks for sharing your interesting projects.
    best wishes

  2. Of course, the only point mattering in YOUR order of priorities is YOUR OWN relative interest in all thse (all appealing and exciting) projects.

    If I may advance my unsollicited opinion, as a matter of originality of setting and potentially (flamboyant, glamorous?) *unique* uniforms and flags -your own 'brainchilds', your purely personal creations- the (long delayed) War of Ruritanian Succession and the Rajah of Kaala-Akaata offer far more possibilities of 'creative personal involvement' than any historical refight...

    Merry XMas and Best wishesfor the new year

  3. Get well soon - whilst I was convinced that I was actually dying over the weekend, the current Mrs Steve the Wargamer (a nurse forsooth!) advised me that I had the flu - it was horrible... there seems to be a wave of lurgies going around at the moment...

    PS. In diplomatic circles, I've heard the sikh's quite like you as well.. :o))

  4. A promising list! I particularly like the Ruritanians and Rajah. More C&C I presume? As an aside on the Rajah, ignoring the recent release of suitable sepoys by GerMan, if you slide the time forward a bit to the 1820's, when the Sepoys were put into trousers, you can easily convert Nappy Brits to sepoys by merely trimming peaks and lopping their shakos to make pill box saps.

    In the mean time may you enjoy a Merry Yule and a great new year in the new house.