Saturday 29 June 2019

There… And Back Again

My loyal reader (for there may be one) might recall that my world wargaming rebasing project seems to have stalled with the Manchu. In fact, this is not the case, and rebasing of my old, old figures has been proceeding apace. Well, not quite apace, but with reasonable alacrity, for me, anyway.

So to start off with, I have done the Koreans, and already written a blog post about them, so here they are:

You might object that they need some more firearms, and you would be correct. However, given that the musket armed unit are pinched from the Chinese anyway, they can gain reinforcements from either there or the South East Asian, of whom more anon. The figures are Irregular, the army composition DBR. The infantry formation seems to be correct from the paper I read and reported on a while ago.

Next up, we reach the furthest east, and more familiar wargame territory, Japan. The Samurai are the sorts of wargamer’s army that everyone seems to like. Whether it is the different but similar warrior code, assorted films or who knows what else I have no idea. But popular they are.

Again the figures here are irregular; I seem to need some more cavalry. There are enough troops here for three Samurai DBR armies at 100 AP, and I have fond memories of leading them to an epic defeat against a mix of Korean, Ming and Manchu foes, where the main problem was that after the first battle the Samurai had lost their cavalry, which meant their scouting was negligible and that they had no real answer to the Korean and Ming cavalry. I didn’t even know the Manchu were on their way until they appeared on the table of the last battle, where the remnants of the invaders were already holding out against the odds.

Heading back towards the Occident, the next encounter is in South East Asia, a surprisingly under-represented era of wargaming. Full on warfare with colourful armies and elephants. What more could a wargamer want? All right, there is a bit of a dearth of information about what actually happened, but when has that stopped any wargame? The only thing I can say is that, as with India, the use of the elephant was being reduced as they do not like firearms (sensible creature, your elephant, really) and it was difficult to train them to tolerate them. Anyway, Irregular Miniatures again, cobbled together from various ranges.

I have to say I do wonder about the Burmese elephants (at the back of the elephant column in the picture). Somehow Irregular has crammed 12 troops onto one platform. I know Burmese nellies are reported as having up to sixteen crew, but if I were an elephant with that many people on board, I think I would at least go on strike for more pay, if not suck up a mix of water and mud (and, possibly, other things, it would depend on annoyance levels) and spray the humans until they got off.

Next across are the Indians, but I have already covered them, so moving swiftly on we have an assortment of Arabians and North Africans. I think this lot should represent more or less any army from Oman to Morocco, but I do have my doubts. I am also hoping they might double up as Grenadines for the last stages of the Reconquista but again, I would have to think about it.

The Taureg are the scary heavy camels to the left of the picture. The North Africans also have a few Janissaries as they got garrisons from the Ottomans when they assumed suzerainty. Again, these are Irregular figures, cobbled together from assorted medieval and colonial ranges, Fuzzy-Wuzzies in particular, I think.

Being nearly back to the west, we have to divide into various time streams. It has to be admitted that Western armies, in wargame terms (if not in overall historiography, although I suspect it is similar) are allowed to evolve, while non-Western armies are pretty well static. The truth is, of course, Western armies and societies have been studied in detail, while the rest have been lumped into one era or another. So, first up are the Italian Wars, Irregular figures plus some Heroics and Ros.

Here we have extensive numbers of gendarmes, Swiss pike and crossbowmen, alongside a few other things such as jinites, stradoit and the odd arquebusier. Some of these had been rebased before for the Armada campaign, I admit. But who is quibbling?

Hanging around in the Sixteenth Century still, I have some English (bill and bow style units, with Border Horse), some longbows and dismounted knights (H&R figures), demi-lancers and mid-century foot. These tend to be used rather ad-hoc (as the originals were, in fact), and those of you who were interested might have seen some of them in action in the Armada campaign games.

Shifting into the Seventeenth Century, we reach what are probably my oldest 6 mm figures, which are Irregular Miniatures from the mid-1990s, for the English Civil War. The ECW was my first main focus of wargaming when I was a lad, so when I returned it seemed like the obvious thing to do.

As the picture shows there are quite a lot of these. I think I just kept on buying and painting before I moved out into other parts of the ‘Renaissance’ wargame world. The three rows at the back on each wing, incidentally, are dragoons, and the rearmost infantry regiment is from the Irregular ‘restoration’ range, so a tiny bit later. But I’m all for variety.

For those of you falling asleep in the parade, I’m nearly done. Next up is the artillery park. I like guns, and I still have a few more to re-base.

This lot are all Irregular, except for some Baccus stunt crew members, and stand in for artillery of all nations and periods. I have some mortars and battalion guns to paint as well, and a few Heroics and Ros artillery pieces to base up. I doubt if I could ever deploy this lot all at once, however, and artillery were not the most useful part of a field army.

Finally, we have the Scots, so we are now at another extremity of the world. These are a bit more of a work in progress, having been painted and rebased for the Armada campaign. I am aware of the lack of musketeers for the ECW period, and also that not all Scottish cavalry were lancers. The highlanders are a mix of Baccus and Irregular, the rest are Baccus, but not the latest style releases. You can’t have (or paint) everything.

Now, in case you were thinking that that was everything, my former self was more industrious that you might believe (or I can, either). There are still hordes of Aztecs and their foes and Inca in my drawers (ooh, er, missus), and War of Spanish Succession and Great Northern Wars in a box. The latter are a bit muddled up, so will require some sorting. I also have some more ships and a load of Renaissance galleys which will need sorting, rebasing and repairing.

A wargamer’s work is never done, but now I think I would like to manage some actual wargames. Is it too much to ask?


  1. That's a lot of armies! Or am I just the exception (5 armies spanning 3 conflicts)?

    How do you find the Baccus and Irregular in terms of size compatibility? Later Baccus are quite chunky compared to H&R and irregular.

    1. It is rather a large number. I must have spent my formative years painting; no wonder I don't like it....

      Anyway, yes. H&R are quite spindly compared to Baccus and Irregular. Baccus and Irregular are compatible if they are in different units, I find. The main problem with Irregular is that they tend to come with large quantities of flash from time to time. The main problem with Baccus is that I never managed to persuade Mr Berry to do Aztecs :)