Saturday 27 April 2024

Moving Further On…

You never know, something coherent might emerge. Another update on my painting activities and the next wargame thinking are nigh. Incidentally, if you want to keep up with the slow drip of things moving chez Polemarch, you can check Facebook. It even comes with occasional pictures. It is a page rather than a profile, which seems to mean there is less gunk on the feed. Maybe.

Still, with a minimum of delay, the first round of painting recently has been these:

The creation of a Korean navy has inched forward, with these five turtle ships. During the Japanese invasion, the Koreans deployed a maximum of seven of these in any given battle. While iconic and famous as the craft that saved Korea, there were not that many of them. Apparently, and understandably, after the war, the Korean navy went a bit turtle ship mad and had dozens of them The black flags are authentic, the glyph is supposed to read ‘turtle’ in Korean. Like that is going to happen in 1:2400 scale.

Next up, and slightly overexposed, are a bunch of dismounted cavalrymen and such like:

So far as I can tell, these are all Redoubt Enterprises dismounted cavalrymen, multi-part figures, except for the Musketeer second from the right, who is a Redoubt figure as well, in even more parts. I had some difficulty with him of persuading his scabbard to stay fixed to the figure. Perseverance paid off, sort of.

These were not the only batch of big figures completed, remarkably for me. There are some more dismounted cavalrymen:

The two figures at the left are, I think, Wargames Foundry of some vintage. These were multipart figures when ‘multipart’ meant coming with a separate arm which you could position as you wished. The others are dismounted cavalry as previously. A slight problem with some of these figures is the positions of the legs and torso can make them a bit unstable, the two figures third and fifth from left being being cases in point because the the backhand slash posture they are in (there may be a more technical term in fencing for that).

Finally in this romp through the last of my unpainted 25+ mm figures are these Parisienne folk from Warbases, acquired at the Stockton show last autumn. Yes, you did read that correctly, these were purchased last autumn and are now finished and based. The others have been in stock, I would say, for well over 20 years.

I quite like these figures, I confess, although as is common with civilian figures I would not want any more. There are only so many uses for plague doctors and people who follow horses with a shovel that you can find. On the other hand, I do wish some manufacturers would make more civilians, just straightforward merchants, market traders, customers, and people drinking a pint at their local, for example. Most of the world, at least in my RPG or skirmish game universe, is a civilian. For that matter, some soldiers who are not brandishing weapons would be nice too. Still, mustn’t grumble, as they say. I couldn’t do any better.

You might be wondering where all this is leading. So am I. I suppose that the Korean fleet is fairly obvious, at least when, in the dim and distant future they have a Japanese fleet to engage with. But these big figures? Well, I do have an idea, and the kernal of it is to be found in the picture below.

Here you see a nice, peaceful, street scene. The date is 1635, and the location is Paris, somewhere in the Latin Quarter, near the University. The buildings are Usborne 20 mm card, from their old Medieval Town set, and I think they are rather nice. I might be about to be told off for not having ‘proper’ 28 mm buildings, of course. On the other hand, most people opt for smaller footprint buildings these days, because it saves space on the table.

The wagons and market cross at the far end are from the same source. They are, perhaps, a little undersized, but the point is that these sorts of things are there to get in the way, rather than anything else. Along these lines I am considering making up the Usborne beehives. Nothing gets someone’s attention more than throwing a beehive at them, I suspect.

Along those lines, many years ago, when I was a RPG umpire running Flashing Blades, the player characters encountered a harpsichord at the top of the stairs. ‘Why is there a harpsichord there?’ I was asked. ‘So you can push it down the stairs at people, of course.’ Sadly, they never got the chance, but the idea was good. In role playing games these things matter.

The picture shows the opening scene in my new Flashing Blades based skirmish game. My character, as yet unnamed, is nearest the camera. His aim is to arrive at the tavern in the marketplace unscathed, where he will rendezvous with a certain M. White (whom you can see standing outside the pub in the distance, to the right).

Unbeknownst to me, of course, there are a fair number of interested parties. M. White is an English agent, sent to negotiate a treaty between Charles I and Louis XIII (and Cardinal Richelieu, of course) against Spain. The Spanish, of course, have an interest in stopping the treaty, as do the ultra-Catholics in the French government opposed to Richelieu’s policies. There are also pro- and anti-treaty English factions, as well as other French parties with interests in stopping or facilitating the treaty. At the moment, I am blissfully ignorant of all this.

The plan is that I will proceed from my edge of the table to the tavern in the marketplace. At 6 or so locations along the way, a random encounter will occur. The encounter can be anything from sober students (and drunk ones) to ruffians and thugs, street players, or agents of any of the parties interested in the treaty. Any combat will be resolved using my own solo swordplay rules and Flashing Blade. These rules are actually described in the Solo Wargaming book, so I won’t repeat them here.

So, a nice easy scenario to start with. What could possibly go wrong?


  1. "Nothing gets someone’s attention more than throwing a beehive at them, I suspect." I think Aethelflaed's Mercians did that to a Northern army besieging Chester in days long gone. It was, perhaps, only in a Bernard Cornwall book.

    1. I suppose no-one asked the bees for comment? These things often start with a chronicle, of course, but that does not historical veracity. Mind you, one of those basket beehives (as skelp?) look eminently throwable...