My local history research project talk on WW2 in my local area (as a fundraiser) was postponed by COVID from autumn 2021 to late May 2022.
I think the NGY Irresolutions 2020 will still stand after a year or two interrupted but who knows what might happen in 2022?
New Gaming Year’s Irresolutions 2022
In no particular order
1. Cataloguing Peter Laing 15mm figures as part of celebrating the 50th anniversary of the now out-of-production Peter Laing figures, possibly the first 15mm figures when they launched in October 1972.
As well as cataloguing what I have over the next ten months, fellow members of the Peter Laing collectors circle on MeWe have been helping me identify figures and supplying photos of figures I don’t have. Then there’s painting and basing more of my unpainted Laing figure stash and getting in some more 15mm skirmish games?
Peter Laing 15mm Chasseurs d’Alpins (WW1 Range) complete with walking sticks!
2. England or Cornwall invaded – Variations on Operation Sealion / Leon Marino
Still playing around with skirmish ideas as part of my Look Duck and Varnish Blog ongoing Operation Sealion Home Guard games, but also found out more about the WW1 ‘Gorgeous Wrecks’ or Volunteer Training Corps, good for futureVTC Wide Gamesand Victorian / Edwardian / WW1 era ‘what if’ games.
Arma-Dads Army! 1590s Home Guard Elizabethan Muster of conversions and ECW figures against the Spanish Fury, Chintoys Conquistadors and pound store Pirates …
Two Britain’s Ltd. broken Scots charging – a favourite pose – with part repaired rifles, two more figures from the Waifs and Strays group of figures 2021 – “Waifs and Strays” sounds like it should be a Victorian Regimental nickname.
4. I look forward to some more enjoyable tinkering with 54mm repairs of broken lead figures to add to various units. Over the years I have been stashing away battered and broken figures from various donations – cowboys, Indians, redcoats, Scots and Khaki figures – along with the odd intriguing figure bought online.
Arrived last year and put away for Christmas – some very heavy, solid lead and fairly paint distressed Terraton 54mm-ish German semiflats to repair and rebase. Indians, redcoats, trees and farm animals …
5. What else might happen?
Weather permitting maybe will even get some more home casting done outdoors?
Pound Store Plastic figures, Early War Miniatures 1940 Range (for Svenmarck invaded!) and vintage Airfix OOHO figures to restore or rebase for some skirmish games.
Heading off a few weeks ago from the West Country to Woking, trek cart and all, to take part in the 54mm Games Day …
Recalled to Base: Heading back to the West Country without reaching Woking, due to the changing national situation
Daisy Patrol and the other tiny patrols of early Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts were travelling across and down from Tradgardland, Scotland and up from the West Country to meet at a tiny “lead Jamboree” in Woking and demonstrate Scouting Wide Games for the Tabletop. They have now turned homewards.
Sadly our tiny #MARCHing band of scouts who set off in #FEMbruary didn’t quite get to Woking. Maybe next year!
IWD March 8th is also the end of #FEMbruary, the gaming, modelling and painting challenge by Alex at Lead Balloony to include more believable female miniatures in gaming and encourage more female gamers and modellers. My completed Girl Scout Patrol above is my contribution:
So today is a good chance to celebrate the achievements of remarkable women like Agnes Baden-Powell and Juliette ‘Daisy’ Gordon Low, founders of the Girl Guides and the Girl Scouts of America.
Archery was one of the skills Daisy Gordon Low encouraged her Girl Scouts to practice.
Boy Scouting or Scouting for Boys offered so much to Edwardian girls that many embraced the opportunities offered to boys. Baden Powell did not discourage this but aware of public opinion on boys and girls mixing unchaperoned, eventually asked his sister Agnes to create a specific movement for the thousands of Girl Scouts – and that is how Girl Guides was born.
Alan Gruber and I have been tracking down more about early scouting, both boys and girls, to add strong period flavour to our future Wide Games. Very few Girl Scout or Girl Guide gaming figures exist.
When no one makes cheap 54mm plastic scouts, what can you do but convert some of the cheapest rackety cloned and distorted toy soldiers into Boy and Girl Scouts? Some of this worked well. Read more at:
Quick making and PVA gluing of polystyrene Snow Forts
The Snow Forts game in progress …
This was a ‘jolly good fun’ short game, featuring a small force of Gladys and four other Girl Scouts of Daisy Patrol, defending their snow fort with snowballs against an attacking force of eight Boy Scouts of Red scarved ‘Bull’ Patrol.
I will post a full game write up in the next few days, my first playtesting of some simple Scouting Wide Games rules.
It takes three Snowball hits on a defender in the Snow Fort for them to lose their ‘life’ (restored once journeyed back to HQ tent camp), but only one hit to take the ‘life’ of an attacker.
Snowball ammunition is unlimited. One scout equals one figure.
Ranges were set out or measured using lolly sticks, for close range (one lollystick – 4,5,6 is a hit on a d6), medium range (two lollystick distance, 5 or 6 to hit) and long range (three lollysticks – 6 only to hit).
Movement on snow and ice was half normal pace, (so using half a lollystick marker to measure) and no fast Scouts Pace (a strange mix of periods of running and walking) was allowed due to weather and terrain
Alan Gruber, Tradgardmastre of the Duchy of Tradgardland blog is also going to be working on the Scouting Wide Games rules and borrowed RPG elements like individual character cards.
I added some simple RPG style elements like names, age or scout ranking from Tenderfoot to First Class Scout or Patrol Leader, and badge or character achievements.
For example, Gladys the Patrol Leader of Daisy Patrol of the Girl Scouts and young Ernest, Second Class scout of Bull Patrol (Red Scarves) both have Marksman scout badges, adding +1 to their chance of hitting a scout of the other patrol with a range weapon like a snowball.
Jolly Good Fun! The game ended sportingly with three cheers for the winners and three cheers for the losers. Afterwards Agnes and Ginger of the Daisy Patrol of Girl Scouts built a “Snow Scout”.
Having completed the second part of a local history project talk on how my local area of the southwest U.K. changed during and after WW1, I can return back to my 2019 project putting Scouting Wide Games onto the tabletop and in future on the floor out into the garden.
Talking of garden games,it is well worth checking out the extraordinary blog of Mannie Gentile Toy Soldiers Forever reacreating an American Civil War battle with unpainted plastic figures. Look up the 17 September 2019 blogpost on the Sunken Lane http://toysoldiersforever.blogspot.com
I am lucky to be sharing this Scouting Wide Games ‘journey’ of rule writing and puzzling out game mechanics with Alan Gruber of the Duchy Of Tradgardland blog. After meeting up with him a few weeks ago, he has taken away a set of our draft scratch outline rules to work out some possible rules and workable scenarios. Many of them can be found here:
One possibility, with only eight figures in each Patrol, is to use a Role Play Game approach of a character card for each figure with different scout badges of skills and achievements amongst your Patrol.
Lots of work to do to get this playable …
Pinterest is a great research tool and source of images for gaming projects. As part of the Wide Games project, I have been looking at ‘Early Boy Scout and Girl Scout’ images on cigarette cards.
I came across this Northern Bush web page on camping and scouting reading resources:
I never made the link between scout trek carts and the Wild West type pioneer trek carts featured in this episode of Mormon and American West history.
This is a pioneer story as gripping and tragic as that of the Oregon Trail.
“To cut down on expensive wagons and oxen, some 3,000 of the [Mormon] pioneers subsequently used low-cost wooden handcarts that were light enough to be pulled across the Great Plains. One family or five individuals were assigned to a handcart, with 18 to 20 people sharing a tent. A cart hauled no more than 200 pounds — about 17 pounds of baggage per person. Each highly organized company was led by an experienced guide and was accompanied by at least four oxen-drawn supply wagons.
The first party of handcarts set out from Iowa City, Iowa, on 9 June 1856 with a company of 266 people from England, followed two days later by a second company of just over 200. These early handcart brigades successfully arrived in the Salt Lake Valley, but the trips were not easy. Pioneer journals recorded harsh weather, the threat of hostile Indians, the death of fellow travelers and the ongoing hardships of hunger and fatigue.”
A quick trip into town on dull family business was enlivened by popping into several charity shops (sadly no plastic tat, but a mass of obscure WW2 aircraft, mostly foreign 1/72 kits in one – resisted) and The Works.
The Works had a tiny selection of a few Nano Metal Figures, mostly Harry Potter / Fantastic Beasts and Halo SciFi, but at good prices – 2 for £3.00.
As a result they should roughly fit with my 40mm figures to 42mm figures. They do slightly tower over my Pound Store Plastic Warriors penny dreadful conversions, which are roughly 32mm. There is only a slight size and build difference between the adults and child / pupil figures in the Harry Potter series.
The shiny colours are not a problem as I like old toy soldier Gloss paint styles. It was the choice of colours that needed work on them to blend them in better as multipurpose civilians. Blue and silver trench coats were quickly repainted in dull khaki, a little more ordinary civilian or secret agent. A green Toy Soldier style base quickly altered the feel of the figures.
The original Nano figures can be seen here with their packaging, colours and a range of other figures for size comparison. I flagrantly ignored the instruction on the reverse “Caution: Heavy metal collectible figure – not meant to be played with as action figure”
These figures are diecast metal. Whilst I found that I could drill a hole without difficulty through Ron Weasley’s hand to take a Scout stave, I could not easily clip or cut the generously sized bases any smaller.
I thought that ‘Ron’ might somehow make a useful Scout Wide Games figure, alongside the two civilians. With the “Cloak of Romance” mentioned in the 1930s Wide Games scouting scenarios book , Alan ‘Tradgardland’ Gruber suggested that we could adopt or re-use any available figures that the Boy Scouts are imagining themselves into being – pirates, smugglers, natives, cowboys, Indians, settlers etc.
As well as as cheaper books, The Works also has a craft section of paints and crafting materials, small wooden boxes etc. I found this set of Scrabble style thin wooden tiles designed for crafting and scrapbooking. With the sticky backing dot removed, they could make quick and easy figure bases for 15 mm figures. 4 pence each a base. This would make an alternative to penny bases for 20 – 40mm figures or an alternative to cutting out squares of scrap mounting board, which is how I usually mount my Peter Laings.
Alongside the 32mm pound store plastic figure conversions of space figures, the Halo female figure of ‘Cortana’ is slightly taller at 41mm. But in space and sci-fi, different races and cyborgs etc will vary in size. Just watch Star Wars cantina scenes.
Meanwhile back in the post Edwardian years before WW1 …
Travelling back to a different time and different world, I have finished reading through ‘How Girls can Help to Build Up The Empire – The Handbook for Girl Guides’, c. 1912, the second of my original Scouting texts that I have read as part of the scouting Wide Games Project. The paperback reprint American adapatations or versions of both books are on order.
Whilst H.G. Wells was working on Floor Games and Little Wars, Robert Baden Powell’s sister Agnes was busily adapting his bestselling Scouting for Boys for an eager new audience.
This book is a fascinating period piece, along with Baden Powell’s 1908 Scouting For Boys, with lots of useful details to include early BP Girl Scouts and then the BP Girl Guides in the scouting Wide Games tabletop simulations. However from 1912 the new BP Girl Guides were discouraged from or not officially allowed to ‘romp’ or train alongside the Boy Scouts.
No fraternisation? This might have to be ignored in many circumstances on my table top simulation / gaming version. I will have to trust them to behave. Scout’s or Guide’s “Honour” is an important concept to bring into the gaming set up.
More on these fascinating books in future blog posts. The Phoenix 43 Scout Trek Cart group is almost finished too.
Once Alan’s two patrols were cast and complete, I knocked out a spare patrol for future use of these strange crude blocky 60mm home cast figures. It’s taken a while to get them painted in my usual gloss toy soldier style. They now need varnishing for garden or tabletop use.
Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN, 1970s Cub Scout (Bronze Arrow, Retired) June 2019.