Wednesday, May 20, 2009

A mule by Frederic Remington.

In the run up to the exams, even the tiny amount of wargaming related stuff that I have been doing of late has had to go by the board. But I took delivery yesterday of a small package from Irregular miniatures yesterday that cheered me up in immensely. According to Charge! an infantry battalion should be accompanied by at least two baggage animals and a vivandiere. I have gathered together quite a collection of camp followers, but I needed some more baggage animals and Ian Kay of Irregular Miniatures was able to provide.

I have no camera with me, otherwise I'd post a proper picture, but the figures themselves are very nice, well proportioned, relatively clean of flash and a varied enough to be interesting without being so differant as to be difficult to paint. I've always used Irregular 6mm and 2mm figures before and found them very good and this standard has been maintained in their 20mm range. I also picked up from dead/wounded British soldiers for use with En Avant! and while such figures are never going to inspire fondness, they look well for what they are and will do the job.

Baggage for the artillery will obviously consist of caissons and such, though I'm a little lost as to what cavalry baggage would consist of.

More to follow exams permitting.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

"There's obviously no piss for the wicked"

Officer Crabtree* (played by the magnificent Arthur Bostrum), that I might someday aspire to such heights of professionalism and linguistic ability.

The last few months have been overwhelming and as the end of my phase one training comes into sight, I can look back on the first period of nearly four months where I have done absolutely no gaming whatsoever. My painting output has been diabolical; exactly three Riflemen since I joined the service. This is not for any lack of interest or desire on my part, but because of a simple lack of time. My new home is one that takes the idea of continuous assessment very seriously and my weekends pretty much belong to Mrs. Kinch, so there has been precious little spare time for other pursuits.

That said I've found the training a very positive experience, I hope (fingers crossed) to pass out of phase one and onto phase two soon, without having to repeat any exams or any such nonsense. Mrs. Kinch and I will be visiting Hanover towards the end of June during my two weeks leave.

That's not to say that there hasn't been any advances made on the wargaming front. I have started using a painting service and as a result I am on the way to completing my medium term wargaming goal for this year. I had hoped to assemble two small armies for Charge! It looks like this shouldn't be a problem as despite my (very) limited at funds at present, channeling the money I usually spend on figures into painting means that I should have both armies finished within a month or two.

Of course, the plan has changed slightly since I wrote it.

The original plan was to assemble a reinforced brigade force, consisting of....

General & Two Aide De Camp

Two Battalions of Foot

One Battalion of Light Foot

One Regiment of Horse

Two guns.

One caisson

The idea was that this force could be used for Charge!, broken down to its component companies to be used with Richard Borg's forthcoming Command & Colours Napoleonics and for my own Peninsula roleplaying game, "The Halberdiers".

The new plan is for a slightly adapted order of battle, so that the troops mustered can also be used with Jim Wallman's "En Avant" ruleset, a very simple set of rules designed to teach Napoleonic tactics to the general public at the National Army Museum. I've played "En Avant" several times and enjoyed it greatly, which means in classical wargamer style, I want to destroy it and remake it in my own image.

The new order of battle is as follows.

General & Two Aides De Camp

Three Battalions of Foot (one of which may be light, but will be of the same strength as a regular battalion)
One Regiment of Horse
Two guns & Teams to draw them.

Baggage to the scale of two baggage animals and two camp followers or one wagon per regiment.

The current rate of progress is as follows.

General & Two Aides De Camp - French complete, British two thirds complete.

One Regiment of Horse - French complete (barring basing), British a work in progress.

Three Battalions of Foot - One French battalion complete, two others two third finished.

British, one battalion complete, two others works in progress.

Two guns & Teams to draw them. - British complete barring one team, French guns complete, but no caisson or teams.

Baggage - Two wagons and four baggage animals done. Camp followers a work in progress. I've been looking at some very pretty Fine Scale Factory Vivandieres for these, though I think it would be best to paint what I have first before investing further.

Beyond writing a review of Paddy Griffith's "Napoleonic Wargaming for Fun" which I haven't managed to finish yet** (sorry John!), that's been it for the present.

My serious exams (legal & policing, etc) are coming up over the next ten days, so I don't expect to be able to post much for a while. But I thought a short post might be in order, just to fly the flag.

Your obedient servant, etc.

Conrad Kinch

*For those of you not familiar with this paragon of the policeman's art, I would suggest hunting up a copy of "'Allo 'Allo: The War Diaries of Renee Artois".

**I'll sav you the trouble of reading it; buy this book, it's superb.