Tuesday, January 17, 2017

GNW Swedish units.. the long road since 1996

Foundry+ conversions + Dixons and Redoubt components - The Dal 1996.. sadly gone

I have a nice archive of my GNW efforts form the time when there was pretty much nothing available, through various iterations to now when I am pretty much writing my own ticket with GNW releases.. a kind of fantasy come true.

Plenty of conversion work Ducker's Dragoons 1997 - the cape is milliput - still have these

I thought it would be nice to share some of these units and figures which have taken between 30 minutes and six hours to complete including conversion time and scratch building.

SYW Russians dressed up as Swedes.. I am very proud of this unit. LivGard 1996

I have painted pretty much everybody's stuff sine the first Foundry models were available. Musketeer, Reiver, conversions, doing Dixon's stuff as substitutes, using First Corps sculpts and Stratagem Marlburians.

Uniforms now proven inaccurate but a nice unit of Life Guard Grenadiers from about 1996

Seven Years War Russian Corps of Observation models in waistcoats 'depping' as Swedes sans surtouts.. I was desperate.. you know!

Vignette basing OD - Ostgota with plenty of conversion work and SYW Russian officer

I have had endless fun with the period and been pretty pleased with various attempts even the slap and dip units I rustled together for Fraustadt a couple of years back.

Height of the base  - the groundwork was a lot of work

part of the same unit Ducker's Dragoons with conversions - buttons on sleeves, I know

I have experimented with base sizes, deep bases, shallow bases, wide cavalry bases, close order cavalry bases, skirmish bases, bases with height up to about 40mm from the surface and  even hexes.

Warfare Skane War/Grand Alliance period Swedes

Maybe there are some ideas in here for blog followers. I still have much of this stuff but a few units precious units were sold off over the years in moments of poor judgment.

Slap n' dunk mix of Warfare and Footsore - about 2 hours from start to finish

As a comparison about 25 hours work including hand painted cotton flags

How about these Laddies! Unreleased sculpts from Rob Baker

Slap n' dunk but the results are nice - Warfare meets Footsore

More rarities and mixing Baker with Thornhill

And another Warfare meets Footsore

Chevron effect exactly as I wanted it - Warfare Miniatures

Saturday, January 14, 2017

More new GNW Russians

Brief post to update you on the latest available GNW Russian codes.

The long awaited Russian Musketeers with bayonets in the defending position are now available and here they are:

Also, as a result of several requests we are making a slightly unusual pack available - Streltsi/Early Musketeers  x4 with an additional officer in traditional dress. pack R12

Here they are:

All packs in the GNW Russian infantry section of the shop.

Monday, January 9, 2017

BLB - The War of Three Kings

Clarence Harrison - Happy New Year! A little late, but I haven't been on the LoA blog to share the sentiment yet so there you go. Last weekend the east coast was hit with blizzard like conditions - novel for those of you who live in colder climes, but here in Chesapeake, VA such weather is rare and it shuts down the city.

So I took an extra day off for a three day weekend, laid in provisions, and buttoned up in Quinda Manor to spend the days at my computer working on Beneath the Lily Banners - The War of Three Kings.

We've talked about this project a couple of times, reporting on playtests and the like, but I thought I'd take the opportunity to give you a glimpse of the direction we're heading.

So then, this is BLB3? Well, sort of - let me explain. At Historicon last year, we had the chance to run seven games back to back and really got a handle on things we might to to improve the game. Playtesting started in the hotel!

I think Barry had the entire thing rewritten by the end of plane ride home. Gaming with the revised rules over the next few months revealed a few things that needed tweaking, but overall that initial work was solid. This isn't simply a rehash of the earlier editions - the core rules are completely different, but every effort was made to make sure the outcome had a similar feel to early editions (unless we felt an outcome needed updating). The mechanics owe a lot to Donnybrook, using different polyhedral dice to represent different troop levels - d6 for recruits, d8 for drilled, and d10 for veterans.

The second thing we've done is make Beneath the Lily Banner - The War of Three Kings targeted narrowly on 1689-1692 and the war in Ireland. This again allowed us to streamline the rules. For instance, there is only one unit in the Irish campaign worthy of the title of Guards - the Garde te Voet!

There was no reason to have Guard modifiers muddying up the charts when they only apply to one unit. The rules for Guards are there, but they are in the appendix where they are easy to find when you need them. There are no rules for lancers or Swedish charges. There are no photos of the Maison du Roi (shame that). There ARE amendments to allow for different pike to shot ratios, variable sized units, and a simple 'point' system (gasp).

Now, you will still be able to use these rules for 1660-1720 for most engagements. If your battle includes Cossacks or something similar, you may need to tweak a few things for house rules (but I usually do this with ANY rule set so that wouldn't deter me). The plan is to produce two more core books, one for Flanders and one for the GNW. These will include the core rules, but focus on what makes these theaters unique. Smaller supplements, maybe PDF only, will expand on these core sets to cover things like the Jacobite War in Scotland, King William's War, etc.

Enough blathering, Harrison - Show us something!

Ok, just one spread...

When I started this post, I intended to show three or four sections, but I realized the photos are all place holders. I'll add a couple more previews once the final pics are in. I am making a serious effort to include much more artwork in this book. I'm also looking forward to contributing to the photography since 1689-92 is the focus of my collection! Most of the design parameters are set down now and it will be relatively quick to block in the rest of the chapters (three finished so far). I am hopeful we have this ready by Spring 2017...

Ok, back to work to make that happen...

The Warp Factor

A knee jerk response? I do hope not!

This piece picks around in the delicate minefield of borderline xenophobia. It has fermented through a series of conversations and exchanges which have on occasion provoked me to address the keyboard in an earnest fashion. Ironically the most recent was a conversation about the great British victory of Waterloo (not this Blog's core period but the straw which sounded 'General Quarters!' and 'man the laptop!').

Having completed all my nerdy research last year to be a guide at Waterloo 200 I felt comfortable in articulating the contra-point: of the 160,000 (approx.) men present on the field on June 18th, 1815, between 5 and 7% were English, about the same percentage were Irish ( ironically most probably in the majority, Catholic Irish) and around 4% were Scots. So, maybe 13% maximum of the total combatants or about 22% of the combined Allied armies (engaged) could loosely be termed 'of the Islands'. Hardly a British victory then. Britain has however 'appropriated' Waterloo and shamelessly used it to make us Brits feel good and at the same time tell foreigners a thing or two about them and about us.

Achtung! Sind sie männer Briten?

Notwithstanding the long running joke on this blog that all rivers of bile lead back to Blenheim Palace, it prompted me to roll back the years by about 100 and recognize that rather than being the puppet master, in this case Corporal John has been an unwitting posthumous puppet! In his name the period of British military awakening 1685-1713 has been used to 'do a Waterloo' 100 years before the big event.

English Fuzileers  - Anyone whistling a patriotic ditty yet?

My instinctive reaction throughout my 26 year continuous interest in the period 1660 -1720 has been to resist the English speaking world's desire to paint the 'British' as in all ways martial, superior to their enemies. Braver, better tacticians, battle winners, inspirational leaders etc .. it is a hugely obvious and to my mind xenophobic trend which unfortunately uses Marlborough as its lance tip and has much traction with a significant body of people.

Scots subsidy troops - a long standing agreement with Holland. 

The English/Scots/Irish/Welsh forces were relatively speaking new entrants into the European competition although many had served in mercenary or subsidy units for the Dutch, Swedes, French and Imperialists since the Thirty Years war and even before.

That suddenly, all military excellence and innovation was emanating from these shores is surely something to be proud of but is it really true? If the platoon firing English-Dutch method was so effective why did the Grand Alliance army lose so badly at Neerwinden and Steinkirk? If the cavalry were so wonderful why were they beaten by Jacobite and French Horse? If the generals were so fantastic why was Luxembourg so successful?

The utilitarian white cuffs a feature of many Scots regiments in home and foreign service

Wargaming has both its roots and core in the UK and consequently self aggrandising propaganda has become part of the tale. Like many countries we don't look further than the end of our coastline for answers and articulate writers peddling their form of the truth have contributed. A point of view, if repeated frequently can become accepted fact against which all challenges are robustly and often illogically rebuffed.. The truth is surely far less well defined than: We are the best at everything and all foreigners are a poor second.

I suspect that remark will be interpreted by many as lack of patriotism, not at all. I just see it as objective and logical. I am patriotic despite the rhetoric not because of it. Since the advent of mass media and cinema Hollywood and the British film industry together with our appalling collective foreign language skills have combined to cut most native English speakers off from valuable non English language sources of information. In an increasingly impatient and superficial world where no one want to put in any effort,  who is going to be bothered challenging what we are fed in 'serious' books?

Whose Guards? King James's? King William's?

Compound this trend with the strong desire in many wargamers to win. It is a game after all like cards or Monopoly or Connect 4. Anything that can give your team the edge is welcome. platoon fire, combat bonuses, Guards rating etc. I have witnessed that starkly with BLB2 and the now infamous (to me at least) All or Nothing charge. I wrote this mechanic as an exception only to be deployed in extremis. It has become the standard operating methodology for cavalry use in the rules much to my frustration.

The glory days of 1704-1709

Why? It gives an edge in combat! Again, about winning! Its transfer to the Optional rules section of BLB War of Three Kings is a deliberate circle of influence' reaction to the high jacking of the rule. Players must now actively discuss and agree its use before invoking it in a game. OK so this is not a BLB 'British' rule but I have been asked before about the dreaded.. 'national characteristics' option which is a perilous path to perambulate.

Laying the foundations for 300 years of campaigning around the globe

The new buzz phrase to describe the dismissal of all other points of view in favour of your own is Post Factual or Post Truth.

I sincerely hope that wargaming does not begin to suffer from this alarming epidemic any further than it has  to date. Much evidence of the trend can actually be found in revisionist American histories of WWII. Folks out there are believing it too!

OK, having pulled the pin on the grenade, I await the bang, smoke, shrapnel and dust!

Saturday, January 7, 2017

More Swedish products for the GNW

By popular request I am making the tumbril cart set available.

It contains three artillerymen/soldiers pushing or assisting.
The tumbril cart and horse.
WLOA918 Barrels and load.

the 'lead rope'  in the hand of the front model is a small length of thick thread.

Reaction from seeing this vignette at recent shows has resulted in its availability.

Also here are some pictures of S01 The standing code of Swedish musketeers which previously has not been seen painted

S01 Swedish Musketeers standing in tricorne

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