You hopefully will not have noticed it, but there has been rather a dearth of posts hereabouts recently. I tend to write in advance, and my backlog, so to speak, has diminished to the point of practically vanishing. So, what has been happening?
Looking around the wargame blogosphere, I detect that this state of affairs is not uncommon. Referred to in different ways the wargaming mojo comes and goes, it seems, for reasons that the wargamers themselves are not really aware of. Usually, for me, the answer comes from my nearest and dearest who point to stress, anxiety, and tiredness as being the major culprits, followed by focusing too much on one aspect of the hobby, usually painting, which I do not like that much.
This has been somewhat the case for your correspondent. Not the painting, actually, as I have not been doing very much of that, but the anxiety and so on. Not that this is clinical or anything, so please save your sympathy for those who do suffer in this way, but just that state of uncertainty about what to do and how to do it, combined with external factors which make, to misquote St Thomas Aquinas, ones wargaming taste like straw.
Still, not to worry. Usually the answer to this is to get some toys out and play a game which, as evidence shows, has been being done. I prefer, these days, campaign-related games, even if these campaigns are vague ideas of narratives rather than anything else. These take a bit more setting up and effort. We might also see my latest project, Sienna, being conquered before I really get going, but that is, of course, my fault.
Another thing that has sidetracked me is my efforts to create a village for my 28 mm plus ECW-era figures. Those with a long memory might recall a campaign focussed on getting the English Ambassador to Calais in 1635, along the lines of the Three Musketeers. This then requires a village for them to pass through and be ambushed from, as well as some buildings to give a representation of Calais itself. Card buildings are being assembled in copious numbers, alongside many paper cuts. Never let it be said that I am not willing to shed blood for the hobby.
The card buildings were bought many years ago (they are now out of print) for a different project, of 20 mm medieval forces. In the remaining box of shame (or at least, the only other B. o. S. that I am willing to admit to my consciousness) there are about 6 or 8 boxes of medieval figures from various manufacturers, which were also bought over 20 years ago. I also rooted out the figures that I had painted (not many of them) and tried to work out what my younger self had been planning.
I also noted that this was clearly a project that had not fared well. I pulled out of the box a number of figures which had been partially painted but not finished. As you do, to go along with the buildings, I decided to finish what I had and then decide what they were. Eight archers down the line I could deploy the following:
This is, of course, a non-DBA twelve-base medieval army. Some head-scratching ensued, but eventually, I decided that they were based for a War of the Roses English army. You can see, incidentally, a variety of Revell, HaT, and Italeri figures (I think). If you were looking really closely, or at the figures in real life, you would find that some were rather dull. I think this is because of the way I was experimenting at the time with painting, basing, and final coating – I think about 2/3 of these bases were overpainted with undiluted PVA glue.
Now I have realised why the project ground to a halt at this stage: I do not have sufficient archers in stock, in spite of all the boxes of troops, to create another 6 bases of them for the other side. This is a little disappointing but is explanatory not only of the incomplete state of the armies but also the reason why I have a sample pack of 20 mm metal figures in the same box. I was evidently trying to fix the problem but then got sidelined into something else.
That something else probably has to do with the equivalent army I deployed at the same time, just for fun:
This is, of course, a 6 mm army of the Wars of the Roses. Here, there is a mix of Irregular, Baccus, and Heroics and Ros figures and, by comparison with the above, a lot more figures (128 against 24) and a host more flags.
I am not about to launch into the aesthetics of 20 mm against 6 mm figures and armies, or anything, so you can put those cudgels down. Both are scales that land up being looked down upon a little by some ‘proper’ wargamers. Nevertheless, there are some observations I can make.
Firstly, painting the little chaps is a lot easier than the bigger figures. I find this with the 28+ mm figures as well – there is a lot of surface area to cover with the big figures. Progress is, or feels slow. Plus you do have to think differently. In 6 mm I think by the strip of figures. In the bigger figures, I think by the figure, or even by part of a figure.
This may, of course, just be me. After all, in the last few years, I have painted 3000 or so 6 mm figures and about 30 big ones, and so the former have had a lot more practice. However, the experience of finishing these 20 mm figures has not really endeared me to the scale, and the difficulty of completing the armies is a bit of a turn-off. I might have to revert to buying metal archers just so I can justify the effort and investment of time, and then consider a small battle with big figures.