Proud son of the glens, Mel Gibson, photographed singing "Scotland the Brave"
Lord Kelvin asked "Jus' how culd is that anae wae?"
Adam Smith asked "What sort of price is tha'? Ar' you fer real mate?"
Thomas Carlyle asked "So you ken yer a big mawn, de ye?"
But none of these no doubt very important questions, concern us today.
Nor does the eternal Scottish question, posed by the warrior-philosopher "Franco" Begbie
"Ar' yo' lookin' a' me pal?"
Some frankly gratuitous eye candy from Phil's War Cabinet
Head over there for more.
The question that concerns us today was posed by that august son of Scotland, my esteemed colleague, friend and former editor, Mr. Phil Olley of Phil's War Cabinet* posed the question.
"Do other wargamers and collectors set out a planned order of battle [...] to follow, or is it a case of simply picking whichever unit you fancy painting next?"
I was thinking about Phil's question and pondering how I go about collecting an army. I think in some ways, I start backwards. I think about the game or games I want to play and what troops I would need to complete those. I count up the troops needed to play all of those games and make a master list.
That's assuming that I haven't either somehow come into part of a collection or bought a box of plastic soldiers on a whim or because they were cheap. Actually now that I think of it, a number of these incidents have involved OldJohn and a small pile of used readies.
My good pal General Du Gourmand always maintained that the most dangerous box of figures was the first box of a new period. Collect one box of 1879 British infantry and suddenly you're committed to another 300 Zulus. Buy one squadron of 17th lancers because they look nice and before too long you'll be adding your ninth battalion of Russian infantry and worrying about the uniforms of Caucasian Riflemen.
But in a perfect world, where I'm starting from scratch, I tend to make a list based on the scenarios I want to play.
Once that's done, I pick the smallest scenario and aim to collect for that, the idea being to get troops onto the table in as few steps as possible.
Some of Michael's work
(which you can find here)
I don't have enough projects on the go at present and between maintaining my marriage, work and studying at night, my copious free time is a burden to me.
I've been fighting a losing battle with Michael Dippel's Second Afghan War scenarios on the Battlecry website for a little while now and I think Phil has provided the last shove I needed to finally crack. I've been collecting colonials for The Sword and the Flame for a while now and this would appear to be a good opportunity to use those figures in a larger engagement. Of course, TSATF is a skirmish game and the larger battles portrayed in Battlecry will require more troops, most notably cavalry, but I should be able to get a workable force relatively quickly. It's just a matter of working out which of the six scenarios requires the smallest number of new troops.
Looking at the scenarios written so far, the troops required are as follows.
Melee (swords) 12
British Infantry 7
Indian Infantry 9
Royal Artillery 3
Royal Horse Artillery 2
British Cavalry 1
Indian Cavalry 3
I'll have to post a progress report in the New Year.
*Who I profoundly hope is actually Scottish, rather than just living there, otherwise this joke will have well and truly gone for it's tea.