192 Hexes of Joy Affronted by Re-Basing and Ground Scales

 

 

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Part 2 of 192 Hexes of Joy 

In the first part of 192 Hexes of Joy, I looked at creating a new larger Heroscape 192 hex game board.

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2017/08/01/192-hexes-of-joy-a-larger-hex-game-board/

In this second part of 192 Hexes of Joy, I shall look at the (not very) important overhang issue of base sizes – Are they  too big for 4cm Heroscape Hexes? Do they need rebasing?

It is also an excuse for some Peter Laing eye candy, if you like slender 15mm.

There  also creeps in a comment or two on basing, related to “one man equals how many?” sort of maths, ground scale, unit frontages and stuff that makes my brain hurt at times.

Overhang, Rebase  or Disregard?

To start with, I laid out part of my 15mm Peter Laing colonial flying column of British Redcoats and their artillery to see how they would fit onto the Heroscape hexes.

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The Peter Laing British colonial artillery pieces in this colonial flying column do fit onto one hex, but the limbers do not quite fit one hex. Limbers are definitely a two hex piece even with base trimming. Two cavalry or four Redcoats fit one hex comfortably.

The geeky Peter Laing figure ID bit: British Colonial figures 600 range

F603 British infantry advancing with F609 British officer standing

M602 British cavalry walking and A623 British Muleteer with A625 Pack Mule

A606 Gatling Gun with standing Gatling gunner A608 & seated Gatling gunner A607

Not too good on my guns but probably A609 15 pdr field gun, A610 Limber and A611 seated gunner for limber, A607 again and for limber M606 Artillery horse with rider and without rider M607

Gun crew A613  Gunner with shell, A603 British Gunner kneeling and A604 British gunner, field glasses (A602 Britsih gunner kneeling with ram not shown)

Hopefully these are correct, I will amend if told otherwise!

My Peter Laing ECW cavalry are still mostly based and ballasted as they were done in c. 1983 / mid 1980s.  I thought that these ‘lobsterpots’ were the finest of  15mm figures, apart from his ECW Dragoons, except I was unsure if they had very fragile short swords or pistols.

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My 15mm Peter Laing English Civil War cavalry shown here fit two by two, side by side comfortably on one Heroscape hex.

I may rebase these double cavalry figure  bases eventually and add some flock variety to the bases. They were based on scrounged spare railway ballast, which could do with some partial flocking for a bit of variety. Painted in my Matt Grunge Airfix / Humbrol enamel phase, I think a recoat in gloss varnish should bring the figures out more.

More Geeky Peter Laing figure ID – skip if you wish! ECW Cavalry 500 series

Left to right  – M511 Mounted Officer in Helmet (definitely Cromwell!)

M510 Mounted Officer in Hat. This could be used for Cavalier officers or Royalist generals – I used a Merit OO/HO railway small dog and on occasion a Peter Laing sheep with painted ears to represent Boy, Prince Rupert’s dog.

M506 – Mounted standard bearer in hat alongside M505 Mounted trumpeter in helmet.

and the bulk of my Roundhead Cavalry – M501 Mounted Trooper in Helmet (with sword or pistol?) Lovely figures.

 

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Three cavalry to a base, bit of overhang –  bought bashed and  second-hand, not entirely sure what 19th or 20th century period these French and German 15mm Peter Laing cavalry are. Any ideas? Surely a case for single rebasing though.

Other 19 Century / WW1 cavalry shown above were bought second-hand,  mounted three to a base. With the more obvious overhang, I think these will need rebasing at least onto two horses per base, but probably singly.

Bob Cordery pointed me in his comments  on my last blogpost (Part 1 of 192 Hexes of Joy) that the overhang issue is often a “perceptual problem rather than a real one”, depending on the exactness of your gaming style. Bob also pointed me  towards a interesting post by Archduke Piccolo on grid wargames, columns into line and such manoeuvres.

http://archdukepiccolo.blogspot.co.uk/2017/08/grid-wargames-some-thoughts-thereon.html

To be fair, my ‘Close Wars’ type Featherstone skirmish level games hardly use many cavalry or artillery in the cluttered skirmish terrain that disrupts and  defies column, line and square manoeuvres, let alone easy artillery moves. But with a bigger 192 Hexes of Joy game board, who knows what changes of game style might result?

Will I need to rebase? 

My Peter  Laing ECW cavalry and ECW artillery are set out on bases in about 1983 to use them with the very affordable John Mitchell ECW rules sold by Peter Laing.

 

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First page with suggested unit and gun crew sizes of John Mitchell’s 15mm English Civil war rules for Peter Laing figures, c. 1983. A few childish pencilled amendments, evidence of tinkering at a young age! https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2016/08/19/simple-ecw-starter-rules-a-john-mitchell-tribute/

 

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Multiple bases of ECW pikemen (left, helmet marching F509) and musketeers (helmet, F517 in front) which I am slowly rebasing on part flocked single bases, recycling some of the scrounged railway ballast.

 

Looking up close at my John Mitchell rules, 1983 based English Civil War artillery, I think these are probably influenced by reading Terry Wise. He has much the same vignette triangular layout for artillery in his Airfix Guide to American Civil War Gaming, all to do with measuring firing angles and whether the guns need to be manhandled and relaid to fire at a different target.

 

 

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Peter Laing with overhang! ECW Artillery including the A505 Gunner with Bucket figure. I think the cannon / gun might not be Peter Laing. It was a random gift.

 

There is a clear overhang of one hex from such vignette artillery basing.  In fact seen overhead, this gun base  spreads over 3 to 4 hexes, plus limber another one to two hexes.

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Peter Laing ECW artillery and Limber A108 crewed with Dragoon Horse Holder F516
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Peter Laing 15mm English Civil War Artillery, painted and based by me c. 1983. A serious case of overhanging one hex! Gabion A124, crewed by A503 Gunner with handspike, A504 Gunner holding sponge and A506 Gunner with portfire. Pile of cannon balls A125/6 and Gabion A124. As for the artillery piece,  A501 Culverin or more likely the slender longer A502 Saker.

 

To be honest, I am not that finicky now about rules for relaying guns, angles or lines of sight basing.

Looking at the photographs however I think that I may need to more compactly base or rebase my Peter Laing artillery onto a smaller near one hex affair.

Limbers, however, are as long as they are, even if bases are trimmed a bit at either end.

In real historical battle situations,  the artillery train of limbers, horses and supply waggins were a bit of a nuisance or an encumbrance to the manoeuvrability of troops from one attacking or defensive position to another. Maybe they should occupy two hexes and also be classed as impassable or not allow troops to pass through them. This should add some clutter to the battlefield, much as terrain features do.

Defending such slow-moving vehicles such as baggage or supply wagons, limbers or ammunition caissons,  along with their attendant civilians and family members proves for  an interesting scenario.

Ground Scale, Bases and Unit Frontages

At this point I usually get a little frustrated with rule sets that start to fret about one man equals so many others on a set ground frontage of such and such. Buildings on this ground scale etc, frontages etc. My brain doesn’t do such maths on its hobby days off and as I am not playing set rules in competition at big brigade, division or Battle level, there is no need.

That is what I play 1 figure: 1 man small skirmishes with ground as it is, buildings as they are, often from another scale too – 15mm games with OO/HO railway huts or buildings etc., from whatever I have in stock.

A typical example from my childhood branch library is David Nash’s interesting little 1974 Hamlyn All-Colour Paperback book Wargames, pages 27 to 30:

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Pages like this  from David Nash’s book  Wargames (Hamlyn) puzzled me as a young gamer.

Some of David Nash’s rule ideas I found completely bizarre, such as the “I can’t see you” correct or incorrect line of vision over a hill, where  “line of vision must relate to the ground scale”. Of course those two figures could see and shoot at each other! A Lionel Tar reversed periscope could have told you that.

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Incorrect line of vision? Shoot him along the blue line before he shoots you!

Otherwise I found David Nash’s curious little Wargames book a thought-provoking and well illustrated read from the local library, especially when thinking through rules. I now own that exact same well thumbed library copy (with the beautiful Dewey Decimal System number 793.9) Certainly a book worth revisiting in a future “on my bookshelf” style  blogpost.

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Here are more puzzling pages from books that I had or borrowed as a young gamer, including the affordable but strange little Know the Game – Wargaming  booklet by Phil Barker / Wargames Research Group that I (was) bought as a youngster (EP Publishing, 1976/8).

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Time Scales, Troop Scales and Ground Scales were earnestly explained. I stuck to 1 man equals 1 man until the John Mitchell ECW rules set out unit sizes.

Elsewhere in time I have stuck to 1 man equals 1 man, which David Nash concludes:

“For modern warfare, it is usually accepted that one piece represents just one piece … This is because there has been a change in the form of warfare. Up to about 1860, unit cohesion was of a paramount importance, but thereafter improved weapon technology increasingly demanded a much looser type of warfare.”  (David Nash, Wargames, p. 30, Hamlyn, 1974)

Phil Barker’s Know the Game: Wargaming book was part of a series of 1970s illustrated individual booklets that were advertised as covering “every major sport and pastime … from archery to yoga.” This somehow put me playing with Airfix figures  on the same level playing field (!) as Rugby, Football and every other major sport.

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Phil Barker, Know The Game – Wargaming p. 6

“A figure representing a Roman legionary … [herein a bit of maths] …represents 20 men in 4 ranks of 5.” Help, my brain is beginning to  hurt here.

However some passages in this odd little booklet made instant sense, such as staggered figure basing for Ancients, admittedly using Airfix Ancient Britons rather than grown-up metals on my childhood budget.

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Useful staggered figure basing advice Phil Barker, Know The Game – Wargaming p. 22

At the end of all this careful explanation in books, I still think what suits me and my style of gaming best is 1 man equals 1 man, 1 gun equals 1  gun etc. at any scale above my handful of 1/300  figures (Imagine individual skirmish figure games at that tiny scale!)  So I will slowly base or rebase on these lines.

Note to self at any point during reading the above books:

Remember Mark, relax, it’s just a game, just a board game, an elaborate game of “chess with a thousand pieces” as Donald Featherstone and others described it, each piece with its own movement and attack rules as you / each gamer decides, tinkering with other’s  rule sets as we all do.

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The Egyptians pull ahead a clear hex or two from the British Chariot Crew. The Assyrians have obviously crashed racing around my big new 192 Hexes of Joy game board … “Peter Laing … Horses sometimes a little strange” as Phil Barker comments in his booklet Know The Game – Wargaming.

After considering such (not very) important issues as basing and frontages, ground scales, troop scales and time scales, it must be time for some reckless time-distorting  chariot racing around a hex board circuit.

Rules to follow, but a good bit of  fun … Ancient Britons versus Ancient Egyptians versus Assyrian chariots anyone?

I hope you have enjoyed the Peter Laing eye candy, and enjoy the comment by Phil Barker in Know The Game – Wargaming on suppliers under Obtaining Metal Figures c. 1976/8 on Peter Laing’s expanding range:

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If ever a definitive guide to Peter Laing Figures was published, it could well be titled “Peter Laing – Horses A Little Strange”.

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN, 3 August 2017.

Meanwhile over on Sidetracked, literally my Man of TIN gets Sidetracked blog for anything to do with  trains, https://sidetracked2017blog.wordpress.com, my 15mm Peter Laing figures try not to blow up trains too much in the big desert wastes of 192 Hexes of Joy.

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My Train in a TIN is halted crossing the bridge over 192 Hexes of  desert, rock  and marsh. Aerial view of 15mm Peter Laing figures over on my Sidetracked blog.

 

If you have enjoyed this blogpost, please ‘like’ my post or leave any comments, disagreements etc via the comments page. Thanks, Mark, Man of TIN.

 

 

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All About the Base, About the Base …

A busy rainy day rebasing Peter Laing 15mm figures.

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A few of my Peter Laing 15mm as based and roughly painted in 1983 …
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My original 1980s Plastic Card bases for Peter Laing musketeers and highlanders. 

A rainy day today, so after a short while rebasing some recently acquired Peter Laing Ancient Greeks, I had the bulk of my time well spent rebasing and flocking some of my 1980s Peter Laing English Civil War and 17th/18th Century Scots. These were the first Peter Laing figures I ever bought, so greatly treasured.

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Plastic Card had a slight tendency to warp a bit  on my original larger bases. Peter Laing F517 Musketeers in helmet firing, F505 Standing Drummer in Hat, F504 Standard Bearer with original flock or ballast bases. 

For the last thirty odd years they have waded through knee-high thick dark green flock grass or over gravel ballast, scrounged from the family model railway scrap box when my pocket money ran out.

To suit the Peter Laing / John Mitchell ECW rules they were originally based in groups of 6, 4, 3, 2 0r 1 to make up small regiments of 20 or 30 infantry, which could have casualties removed in various combinations.

Whilst these strips of figures looked good to my childish eye, for my current skirmish Close Little Wars games, I need figures on individual bases.

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Just a few of my Peter Laing F503 Musketeer in hat marching, now individually rebased. Lots more to rebase this winter. 

I have rebased the figures in my own ‘blend’, a mix of different coloured Woodland Scenics flocks, play pit fine sand, very fine local beach pebbles and some of the original 1980s ballast recycled.  A little shadow of the original gravel or dark green flock remains around the figure bases, for old time’s sake to remember my childhood efforts.

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My favourites F515 Dismounted dragoon firing, now individually based for skirmishes. 

In most cases I had based my strips of figures on bases roughly similar in size to the individual bases I use today, roughly 15mm by 15mm.

In some cases I could easily score and cut the original plastic card  then simply remove old flock or ballast then reflock. The occasional figure that needed a new base has one made from scrap art mounting board card.

The Scots Highland troops from Peter Laing’s “suitable items from other ranges for use with the ECW (500) range” remain great great favourites.

They were designed not only to oppose Peter Laing’s original Marlburian range “to extend the range to cover the ’15 and ’45 risings “ but also “to provide suitable Scots figures for Montrose’s army.”

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Peter Laing F1001 Highlanders with lochaber axes, F1005 Highland standard bearer and F1004 Highland drummer with M1001 Mounted Highland officer, now individually rebased. My 1983 matt enamel paint job. 
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Peter Laing F1008 Highlanders advancing along with Highland command group, now individually rebased. My 1983 paint job needs updating and detailing. 
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Peter Laing F1006 Highland clansmen with claymores. Chaaarge!

 

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Sometimes there is quite a lot of facial detail on Peter Laing figures, something  to look at when I repaint these again from their 1983 original painting. 

I still have lots of Peter Laing musketeers, pikemen and cavalry to rebase this winter as well as finding the Highland Piper and Officer.

Recently I have been painting or repainting my Peter Laing figures as needed using gloss acrylic rather than the original matt enamel Humbrol / Airfix paints easily available or scrounged in the 1980s. I really enjoyed as a child painting the bright colours of English Civil War regiments and banners, so the colourful gloss acrylics should add to this when repainting is due.

I did get around to painting my Peter Laing Lowland Regiments in the mid 1980s but never finished them off with flock or basing, as I probably ran out of expensive Plastic Card. The pocket money ‘war budget’ kept running out,  as I usually (over)spent it on figures rather than basing materials.

I have recently acquired on EBay a few more bashed Peter Laing Highlanders and Lowlanders that need repainting, along with a few more Marlburian infantry to paint and base. These were recently obtained from Alec Green, swapped for an strange excess of Marlburian drummers and gunners.

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Hopefully soon my recent Peter Laing Marlburian swaps  will look as splendid Alec Green’s neatly painted and based Marlburian infantry. Photo: Alec Green. 

I think that there will be a few Close Little Wars skirmishes and ambushes in the suitably “cluttered terrain” of the Glens this coming spring, once the Highland snow has melted of course!

 

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Send no money or stamps, Peter Laing has retired and moved. Sadly the whereabouts of the moulds is currently (October 2016) not known. Military Modelling advert c.1982/83,  7p a foot figure! 

You can read more about John Mitchell’s English Civil War starter rules and the Peter Laing ECW range here:

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2016/08/19/simple-ecw-starter-rules-a-john-mitchell-tribute/

The Close Little Wars skirmish rules I use  (based on Donald Featherstone’s appendix to his 1962 book War Games) are featured here:

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2016/06/09/close-little-wars-featherstones-simplest-rules/

The blog title? Borrowed from Meghan Trainor’s song All about the Bass – watch the retro version by the talented Kate Davies and Postmodern Jukebox and other ensemble / tour versions on the Postmodern Jukebox channel on YouTube and ITunes.

Hope you enjoyed some of the fruits of my rainy day at the kitchen table spent “flocking“, as it’s known in my household.

Blog posted by Mark, Mr MIN Man of TIN blog, October 2016. All photos unless stated by Man of TIN blog.