Wednesday, 6 November 2019

My new Pocket Armies project

After some pondering, well in a fact a few years worth of pondering if truth be told and a recent discovery of some old simple Wars of the Roses rules that I wrote years ago, I am going to start a succession of smaller projects that will sit under an over-arching ambition of getting several army pairings together, from different periods, for some fun games that aesthetically appeal and won’t take up too much gaming time or space (he says, foolishly ever hopeful!).
SU 122 from a Pegasus 1/72 kit


I will be building some ‘Pocket Armies’ in the larger scales, while using the smaller setting of the kitchen / dining table and trying to create a sense of something a bit grander than skirmishing.

This first post is just an introductory article that gives some thoughts, observations and ideas on getting the project up and running. So if you fancy joining me on a gentle ramble of plans, intentions, dreams and wish lists, then please use the ‘read more’ tab.





The project will be looking at several pairings of 1/72 and 28mm armies, covering a wide range of interests, keeping each deployable army to perhaps around 8 - 10 units that can be selected from a base collection of say 12 units or so for each army, with a view to gaming with them in a 4’ x 3½’ or at most 6’ x 3½’ space. Rules will be at the lower end of the complexity spectrum and there will be an emphasis on play, fun and aesthetics.


If things go as imagined, then it is hoped that a series of blogged articles will fall out of this project as each army build is approached, together with some AAR’s and rule discussions.

In his book, One Hour Wargames, Neil Thomas uses the sub-title to the highlight the important elements of ‘practical’, ‘time’ and ‘space’, factors that probably touch most of us. His book is all about getting a game to the table, with minimal obstruction, perhaps even having that illusive midweek evening game up and running. There is something honest and refreshing in his ambition. 


He helpfully suggests a 3’ x 3’ table for space restricted gamers. His scenarios just use  4 - 6 units per side, helping gamers who dislike painting or have budget / time / space restrictions and that favour smaller collections. His unit frontage is around 6” (150mm), the infantry movement rate is typically 6”, so units are able to get to the other side of the table in 6 uninterrupted turns and he does all of this with short and simple rules that cover 9 different periods, together with an offering of 30 generic scenarios that cleverly service those periods. 
Perry plastic ACW figures and their wood clad church


Though I find his rule systems in that book a bit too ‘trimmed down’, the scenarios rather remind me of the ‘Teaser’ type of games associated with the influential Charles Grant. They conveniently sit on that cusp of elevating what is essentially a skirmish game, to feeling something a bit more army based if that makes sense!


His earlier books (Ancient & Medieval Wargaming and Napoleonic Wargaming), sit in a place that I find a bit more inviting, with armies that are based around eight units and which abstractly reflect ‘full’ armies, a sort of bath-tubbing of force. 


For example, in his After Action Report in the napoleonic book, dealing with his Battle of Leibnitz, he has an eight unit French force consisting of 4 Line Infantry units (one of course being The Guard!), 1 Light infantry, 1 Cuirassier heavy cavalry, 1 light cavalry and an artillery unit. This style of representative play and that type of unit mix with The Guard ‘always’ being in there as well, makes me smile as it just delivers a strong whiff of my 1970’s gaming memories in that world of Featherstone, Grant and Quarrie - and perhaps it is this more than anything else that appeals to me about doing all of this.


The Captain Sensible part of me understands that for my situation at home, with limited storage and gaming space, that the smaller scales are ideal and should be getting full attention. However, the Captain Emotional part of me has an affection for the aesthetic of the bigger scale and so rather than just perpetuating the growing mountain of the 28mm stash, that perversely also lives under the constant threat of sale, it is probably better to do something that formalises their use, properly bringing them into my hobby time. So here we are! Perhaps I am making peace with the scale thing ..... well for this week anyway :-)


If I look at doing armies of around 12 units, then an army should conveniently fit into one of those plastic 4 Litre ‘Really Useful’ boxes, hugely helpful for storing and stacking while keeping a small footprint. Another reason for me wanting to stick with the Pocket Armies idea is that I am just a nightmare when it comes to topic interests, I am all over the place, so collecting several ‘small’ armies means goals, ambitions and games are more likely to be achieved and helping the project to stay viable over the longer term.


I wish I could say that individual armies will likely only need around 100 figures or so, but I think the reality is that this would be fine to give ‘starter’ games and that they will probably need to grow to a core of around 150 figures to get the diversity of force that I will want and so with two armies putting down a total of around 250 - 300 figures on the table, we do at least get something that seems to sit somewhere between skirmish and battle, while still working on a kitchen table type of space and this really intrigues me


Some readers will already be thinking that this will be too cramped and what about flanks etc? but in my nostalgic time travel, back to days when such things mattered less and fun seemed a more natural consequence of hobby time, I have already jumped such hurdles.


The project is going to use a terrain scale of mostly 1/72. I already have some of that terrain and the footprint is smaller than typical 28mm buildings, which helps with the smaller table thing. All armies will be 28mm except WWII, which will be 1/72, so the terrain size will also look right for the tactical nature of WWII actions, being a bit more convincing visually. Plus I get a chance to do a bit of modelling - another blast from the past that I have actually started to enjoy again.
Warlord Games Gallic foot warriors on an 80mm base


I can see Horse and Musket units typically having a frontage of 150mm (6”) for infantry, 100mm (4”) for two guns and perhaps 120mm (just under 5”) for cavalry that could be on two 60mm bases. Pre-Gunpowder might adopt 80mm or 100mm bases. I am still working on that. Pike and Shotte - well that would likely be a mix, just to emphasise the pike block.


I keenly follow Peter’s Blog ‘Grid based wargaming - but not always’ (see link in Resource Section Below) and he puts on a lot of games that have the kind of look / size / scope that I am thinking about and the variety and entertainment levels of those games are really good.


As an opening to this project, my first two army pairings will be the Union and Confederate forces of the American Civil War, for no other reason than I am already part way through painting both armies in 28mm and also I have enough plastic and metal in the pile to get me to where I want them to be. I will say no more on this subject, as it will disrupt the introductory nature of this post. A separate post about the ACW armies will follow in due course - though these figures have been in the ‘in progress’ stage for some three years or so now, something needs to be done about that :-)


The photographs here suggest I have collections of forces in the larger scale already, but that is not true, these pictures are just showing odd bases that I dabbled with for fun.
Perry Wars of the Roses in plastic

I do however have quite a lot of part armies in plastic, still on the sprue that patiently wait their turn to see the painting tray, these being Napoleonics (French / Austrian), Wars of the Roses, some Sci-Fi and plenty of WWII, both east and west front. 


Except for not wanting to get into the ridiculous situation of growing a plastic mountain that has in any case effectively been under a ‘for sale’ status for a few years, packed, unpacked, packed .... repeat! I would likely have also added  AWI, 1066, English Civil War, Republican Roman, and something with chariots to that list by now - it’s all very silly of course! 


Anyway, part of the attractiveness of this project is that I have quite a bit of kit already and rather than reluctantly selling it all off for the usual loss, I may as well get it up and running, which at the very least may get all of this out of my system, but hopefully will do so much more than just that!

Part of the reason for me posting this article today, which has been in a loose draft form for a few weeks, was that I came home today with four Zvezda mini kits and an Armourfast box of 2 x Sherman 76's fast build sprues and so have jumped off the fence!


I am most likely visualising all of this with a certain naivety. Something that seems to only have positives to me at the moment, but that the actual practical application may fall short of any such perceived panacea of gaming, we can only test the water and see how things go. 


Either way, the entirety of this project that will eventually cover several periods is quite significant in terms of impact on my available hobby time and so to get this moving ever forward, I am giving myself some rules / structure that I know will work with my character traits. So I will;


  1. Try and paint something every day, even if it is just boots today and hats tomorrow.


  1. Always have something already primed and on painting sticks. Painting regularly is not too much of a problem for me, the disruption to that discipline happens at the point of a unit being completed and then I pause until the next unit is prepped and primed - that pause can last for weeks and then months and this project cannot survive that sort of indiscipline.


  1. Stick with the mini-project in hand. There are a lot of things I want to do, even as I type this, I want to do some Wars of the Roses bases and some WWII bases and I have just been admiring a box of Victrix Napoleonic Austrians, still on their sprues, but that just dilutes effort (as it always has done), so I will stay with ACW until it is significantly complete.


  1. Speed painting. I have never really liked painting - period, but must admit there has been some pleasure in painting the bigger stuff and there is a satisfaction in seeing the number of my regiments grow, which in turn makes it harder for me to part with them. I want to try to strike that balance between getting figures knocked out, but have them being able to stand up to the sometimes cruel scrutiny of digital photography for blog shots. I will go for a block paint, wash and highlight and hope that this gets things to an acceptable wargaming standard and that it keeps the projects moving forwards.


  1. Gaming with unpainted figures while the army grows. Yes I know, some of you are already weeping, but for me, gaming in the privacy of my home, this allows me to get organisations and basing right, settling on a rule set and maintaining motivation while an army goes through the rotation of getting onto painting sticks and proper basing.


For rules I will initially go for a mix of titles that sit at the easier end of play, which will probably bring some interesting blogging opportunities and over time, I will no doubt shake down to a few sets that nicely do the job at the scale I will be working at. I don’t want to become over anxious about rules or indeed any part of this project, it should never feel like work and there should be a strong bias towards play, a mindset dare I say that was likely taken for granted in my earlier days of gaming and that has partly lost some ground over time as the hobby becomes more ‘serious’ and more sophisticated - perhaps we have become too serious! Many of my boardgame rules carry complexity, I want this project to be a bit more joyous!
SU 152 fast build 1/72 kit from Pegasus


The lengthy writing and re-writing of articles that I do here, the study of rules from what seems like a continual stream of new boardgame titles, the writing and testing of my own rules, the thinking, planning, thinking, painting, too much screen time and thinking and more thinking that circulate around and seemingly dominate the important bit - ‘getting to actual play’, demands that a re-balance of bringing ‘play’ back into sharper focus is needed and I am going to be placing a strong emphasis on gaming in this project.


This taken together with my recent work on streamlining my boardgame collection to be based around series games that have common rules, making it easier and quicker to bring games down off the shelf, with the rules already familiar, will hopefully enhance my hobby time overall. 


Anyway, enough. If any of this interests you, please keep an eye out for future ‘Pocket Armies’ posts and as ever, your views and insights are always appreciated. The project has the potential to grow legs and be something significant within my own gaming world, or of course, like so many other enthusiastic ideas and good intentions, it may whither and sit in that perpetual queue, we will just need to wait and see.


Thanks to everyone who follows this blog, your continued support is appreciated in so many ways and a strong and viable blogosphere gives us all some friendly space to inhabit in our spare moments to share ideas and enjoy what others are doing.


Resources
My COMMANDERS site is more snippet based than here and painting / collecting update for the project will no doubt make more frequent appearances there. LINK


Peter’s Blog, Grid Based Wargaming - but not always, LINK


38 comments:

  1. Super plans, Norm! I find that a dozen units per side is really quite an ideal number for interesting games and optimized play.

    As for painting, paint a little frequently is my mantra. I ALWAYS have plenty of figures primered and ready to push into the painting queue whenever ione unit is completed.

    Your mention of all the pulls on your hobby time ("the study of rules from what seems like a continual stream of new boardgame titles, the writing and testing of my own rules, the thinking, planning, thinking, painting, too much screen time and thinking and more thinking") is a major part of the hobby for me too and I quite enjoy it.

    I look forward to these "Pocket Army" projects very much. I hope your insightful and thought-provoking reviews do not succumb to this new focus.

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    1. Thanks Jonathan, there is certainly plenty of scope for interest. Keeping it fun will be key for me and my secret weapon of priming should keep me true :-)

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  2. I look forward to developments, and especially the 1/72 wwii - in God's own true scale :)

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    1. Thank you, I have enjoyed your recent tables, there does seem to be a growing appreciation of the scale. A trader once told me that the explosion of 28mm complimented the 15mm scale and that the casualty was 20mm getting squeezed. The same place is now pulling back on their 15mm, so perhaps we are seeing 20mm getting space to breathe again.

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  3. A solid plan. I've found that having a set number of figures needed makes staying on course easier.

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  4. Thanks Dan, there is something very DBA in the 90's about trays of several armies :-)

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  5. Norm, really enjoyed this. You encapsulate many of my own sentiments from the 'emotional' attachment to the aesthetics of large scale engagements, to the need to discipline myself to do a little work on my miniatures each day and over it all my fundamental dislike of painting! I'm looking forward to seeing how this goes forward.

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    1. Thanks Kevin, I awoke this morning to find a list of thoughtful replies to this post and I think the subject does tap into something that is deeper within our gaming souls.

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  6. Good news, wonderful projects, nicely illustrated...promising!

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    1. Thanks Phil ... all I need to do now is to do it! Not just talk about it :-)

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  7. We started playing OHW’s at our club. I now have several pocket armies in 10mm mainly in 4L Really Useful boxes. Actually OHW’s is a fantastic set of rules and work well with the scenarios in the book. Have you looked at One Hour Skirmish Wargames?
    I have used 10mm figures to build Pikeman's Lament forces, although my usual skirmish scale is 28mm. The true scale for WW2 is 20mm, none of this 15mm nonsense that has taken hold because FOW became popular for a while.
    I cannot now seem to read or play complicated rules sets, bound in volumes of what seems hundreds of pages.
    I do not ‘do’ plastic multi part figures. What is the appeal of spending time building kit armies that appear to get damaged easily? I think the days of huge armies has ended. Time, space, cost etc seems to have put paid to them. Unless you game at home, how do you transport them to play if they are in a large scale?
    I think your direction seems correct with what you are trying to achieve. I have actually culled quite a lot of my ‘stuff’ over the past two years, it’s quite cathartic.
    Cheers
    Simon

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    1. Thanks Simon, your thoughts chime with much of my own sentiment. I don’t mind a fully encompassing ruleset for its own sake, but it is the number of differing sets that I end up juggling with that cause me to seek simpler ground.

      I have not read One Hour Skirmishing Wargames, but I have a respect for Thomas’s OHW and what he set out to achieve and the iron discipline that he applied to that, the rest of us want to amend and bolt on to what he did, but he resisted any such fabrication to core intent.

      I am with you on multi-part plastics, especially as I am typically affected by the plastic glue, but they do and will. Need to form a core of what I am doing. I have a fume mask thing, but it takes the pleasure out of the crafting, a bit like chewing toffee wit hthe wrapper on. Ii have actually been looking at some 1/72 and 20mm’s from Newline, who is present;y doing a 25% sale.

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  8. I enjoyed this posting, Norm. The problem of sticking to one project until it reaches some form of completion is one I've never fully solved. Probably because I find it hard to resolve the imperatives (a) of placing a limit upon one's inventory, and (b) filling perceived gaps.

    Until latching on to grid war games and, like you, reconciling myself to limited space (For decades my aim was to obtain an 8' x 6' table with room for it to be permanently placed. My 6' x 4' thing was meant to be half of it!), and my interests far from the main stream in this part of the world, I wasn't getting in much in the way of gaming, despite having lots of armies and plenty of kit.

    Having made my decisions, I am enjoying war gaming a whole deal more!
    Cheers,
    Ion

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    1. Thanks Ion, this is a significant diversion in my usual gaming stuff, so I am somewhat enthused and need to seize the moment. there does seem a current increasing interest in looking back to what may be perceived as simpler times, though I think that falls out of many things.

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  9. Well where to start Norm, as your post strikes so many chords with me?!

    When I really got into 10mm gaming and BKC, I though that I would need 2-3 Battalions per side and all games would be played on a 6' x 4' table. What folly on my part. It took me several years and many lead mountain purchase to realise that a Battalion per side plus some support was more than adequate for a game and could be played on a 4' x 4' table. Long gone are the all day games with friends, as we no longer have the time nor appetite for these.

    So for some time I've been looking to downsize to games that have that 12 unit (or thereabouts) size that fit nicely into mid-week games. Our recent Honours of War games fit nicely into this slot. Lion Rampant et al also tick all the boxes for this, but somehow I've yet to really get going with these rules on the games table, despite many attempts to do so. Somehow the lure of the internet or real life seem to get in the way.

    My reading of late has been a lot of Featherstone and I've been struck by how simple the rules are and with the emphasis on fun with friends. I think this is something that we have gamers have tended to forget, thinking that complexity etc gives a better game. As I've got older I've gravitated towards Neil Thomas' rules and others that are elegantly simple and can be tweaked should you want to. Afterall with time ever precious I want to enjoy my gaming and have fun, with winning being a bonus, not the be all and end all.

    So I shall look forward to seeing progress on this as it may spur me on to get some games on the table.

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    1. Thanks Steve, agree whole heartedly, all of that could have easily fallen from my pen! I have recently enjoyed a dip back into the ramblings of the ‘old wargamers’ and it brings into focus that ‘the game is the thing’. Somehow, we have managed to put too many things in the way of that.

      My greatest weakness is the butterfly syndrome. There is a lot of product goodness around today. Harnessing that and returning to the table to get a certain beat, style, method, enjoyment or whatever it is we can’t seem to describe properly, Is my challenge for 2020.

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  10. Good morning Norm,

    I can only echo the sentiments of many others about this post! Back in the day I took part in some truly epic large scale battles with thousands of figures a side and it was all great fun BUT, the cost, time and space required to raise these kind of armies (I am talking about 25/28mm here) is a very significant investment and is one that I have come to the conclusion I no longer need to worry about. I cannot see me raising any armies in 25 to 30mm larger than around 80 or so figures a side. Using such systems as Command and Colours or Bob Cordery's Portable Wargame, DBA and its derivatives or any of the popular large skirmish sets (the rampant series for example) seems to be very much en vogue at present and it is easy to see why.

    I will certainly be following this project with a great deal of interest and I also think (and you, amongst others, have demonstrated the concept) that by tapping into the board game world it feels better using smaller and more representational armies.

    A very thought provoking post Norm and I am looking forward to moreof the same!

    All the best,

    DC

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    1. Good Morning David, thank you, having done this blog thing for a while, I have come to know that there is a core of us who can tap into the sentiments of this type of post and despite what I say about screen time, a meeting of minds in the blogosphere is one of the enjoyable ways of us sharing our hobby time.

      I do hope that the Pocket Army posts that follow do something for all of us that have to grab some table time from the demands of normal domestic arrangements.

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  11. That was a most enjoyable morning coffee read Norm. I really like the concept of several small pairs of armies for games played to 'simpler' type rules on a 4 x 3 board, it just seems so eminently sensible and achievable to me. It's very much playing into my own thoughts about future direction as once back in the Uk I will have far less space and the reality is that my 40mm collection may be just that, a collection of figures that live on display shelves where I can admire them! I'm searching and searching for something that will allow me to do just what you are doing, but maybe just one period.

    You mention the fact that so much stuff is sold off at a loss and this has certainly been the case for me, possibly because I have been far too ambitious. I ordered the Warlord Russians because I was struggling with 1/72nd plastics but those in turn have proven to be another waste of cash as I simply don't have the patience or enthusiasm to put the damn things together any longer. So I have been casting around different scales, periods and manufacturers trying to find something that excites me in metal in 15mm scale that won't cost an arm and a leg. I just need to be painting something!

    Current favourite is indeed the ACW using the fine Peter Pig range, I have long had a yearning to return to the original Fire and Fury (Brigade) rules if I could lay my hands on a copy again. Everyday on the FB napoleonic page I see huge tables, beautifully crafted scenery and thousands of miniatures beautifully Painted, but it's a case of been there and done that decades ago and these days I'm searching for something far more modest.

    Sorry to ramble on about my own hobby direction Norm, it's just that you and I are so clearly thinking along parallel lines and I will take great pleasure in following your blog as you develop your ideas.

    All the best,

    Lee.

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    1. Hi Lee. You came to mind several times while composing this post and photographing scenes. We are both on the same page with regards to what we would like to achieve and I have been following your endeavours since the days of translating Command and colours over to 6mm on hexes and then your significant 15mm WWII armies.

      it is not just a case of the financial cost of selling such big projects off, but equally the emotional and physical investment in trying out these big ideas in the first place, only for them to fall short of expectation and for them to have felt like a distraction from true purpose.

      You will no doubt have your hands full for the next couple of months because of the move, but I think once at the other end, you will be closer to determining the kind of game that you want, which I think will likely be pretty close to where I end up as we tread a similar path. In the meantime, I hope posts here continue to interest you as your wargaming world goes into storage boxes!

      Cheers Norm.

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  12. Looking forward to reading about your Pocket Armies project progress. Particularly the analysis you bring to your posts. And thanks for the shout out.

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  13. Thanks Peter and in particular for the hard work that you put into your blog to keep it interesting and inspiring. Keep posting, the success of my project is depending upon it :-)

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  14. For a minute I had the odd feeling of reading one of my blog posts from a few years ago.... Good concept and plan as far as I can see.

    One of my now dropped plans was for a series of small games to cover a wide variety of wars (and/or "periods") with a similar size style and similar rules style to allow to focus on the periods and paint a variety of uniforms. I have met people who can do this sort of thing successfully but alas it wasn't me.

    After experience and thought I shifted my goal slightly to having each "period" provide a slightly different style of game as well as a different period but with each being able to provide a game on my table. Originally I aimed for a 4'x4' table and it served for 75% of games but with one and another unrelated things I found space for 4'x6'. Sometime I use it all, sometimes I mark off the excess and play on the 4x4.

    So far, I haven't completely managed to have each period provide a different type of game but I've gotten closer with the 1/72nd ACW being aimed at bigger armies, the "Dark Ages" 40's being aimed at skirmishes etc

    I have made good use of the OHW scenarios but not the rules. hey aren't bad but have one fatal flaw for my tastes, they give each unit type 1 and only 1 tactical option. For example there is is plenty of evidence that ACW cavalry usually fought dismounted but also sometimes delivered mounted charges and similarly infantry throughout the "horse and musket" era did occasionally attempt to assault a position or at least close to point blank range or sometimes hang back for a long range fight. He does not allow the player the luxury of choosing tactics and once in long range there is no benefit to pressing closer so all attacks stall into a die rolling contest. A small tweak would resolve that but I prefer not to tweak other peoples carefully thought out rules and steal ideas from them instead!

    Anyway, long comment but an exciting plan. Enjoy the journey wherever it goes.

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  15. Thanks Ross, your 4’ x 4’ to 6’ x 4’ puts you pretty much in the ball park that I am looking at and I like the idea that your different armies are doing different things and I liked the look of your recent 1/72 ACW game that had a certain mass look to it.

    The OHW rules are something that fascinate me as a concept and discipline, but as you state, they do straight jacket you in certain ways and don’t allow you the full range of troops for the period. I think they work better for a period that is of secondary interest to you, as a prime interest makes one a little more precious.

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  16. I have been attracted to smaller complete collections in recent years and have always found the 12 units a side size a good one since starting with Picquet in the 1990s.

    The portable wargame and Neil Thomas's rules let you build small collections that you can play a satisfying game with and let then build them if you want to.

    I have had a lot of very fun games with my 54mm 19th Century collection using various rules and is less then 60 infantry a side, 12 cavalry and a couple of gun crew. Most of those games have been with Portable Wargames rules on a 4' x 3' gridded table.

    I have a long term project of producing armies for Hyboria in 25mm using HOTT basing (undecided whether to use HOTT or OHW or something else) which lets me buy odds and ends to build armies from Egyptians or Romans or Knights without having to expand them into a full army.

    Of course, some collections grow - my 20mm ACW I bought recently was originally going to be just enough for Battlecry but I ended up with the whole collection and am playing Pickett's Charge next Monday with it...

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  17. Hi Mike, it seems I am in good company with armies of 12 units per side or less. While in a hobby shop yesterday, I opened a box of plastic 1/32 Carthaginian infantry and was both impressed and surprised by their impact.

    I am increasingly pleased to be treading this path and am just doing an inventory of what I have been holding in the darker corners of the garage ... unfortunately, I have also uncovered a leaking roof!

    Enjoy your Pickett's Charge game, it sounds like a treat.

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  18. Hi Norm,

    That sounds like a good plan to me. I'm back on the trail of some OHW style rules for modern WW3 scenarios. I'll be interested to see how your WW2 armies turn out.

    Cheers

    Jay

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  19. Hi Jay, Seven Days to the River Rhine from Escape Games may interest you. It is the sister game to their Iron Cross rules.

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  20. Sounds like you’re going through the same thing I am, Norm! I will follow this with interest...

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  21. Thanks, I enjoyed your plotting and planning posts, I think there are a few of us on the same bus! hope something good comes from this.

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  22. Hello Norm,

    An great introduction to something that I will enjoy following. My problem is I already have loads of stuff and not the time currently to get it on the small table. It will also be interesting to see your rules choices across periods - similar (as per One Hour Wargames) or different (as you currently have) or a combination!

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  23. Hi Shaun, I think the WWII in 1/72 will please you. Whatever people think about the Thomas rules, his sub-title shows that 'Time' was an ever present influence in his design. If one was to put time and playing space as two critical factors (as Thomas does), I am guessing that one would be reaching out to the majority of gamers, especially if one includes the invisible group who don't / can't game at all because of either of those two factors.

    Where I end up with rules is an interesting and as yet an uncertain outcome. I actually started all of this because of finding some old Wars of the Roses rules and I would like to do something with them.

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    1. I whinge about lack of time, but motivation is king. I believe I will be able to play all 10 of my Punic War games in November and yet have been lucky to spend more than a few hours on tabletop games in the last 6 months. Motivation to do so has made me find the time, and not too hard it was either. But then I have been busy the last few months pouring many many hours into spreadsheets for solo SFRPGs (where my motivation seems to be currently!)

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    2. As a wise member of the family once said to me, 'time is like money .... you can only spend it once'.

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  24. As ever an interesting post and I wish you luck sticking to just ACW in 28mm for some time. I find it difficult to stick and sometimes to start a period and end up falling back on what is I guess comfortable ( in my case the Italian wars which I have frankly got enough of but keep on painting more!) A little and often is my motto also as far as painting is concerned and it is surprising how swiftly it can mount up!
    Best Iain

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  25. Thanks Iain, you have thrown the runes and seen the Viking warrior on my painting table :-)

    Yes, I think the important thing is to keep this something of a 'happy' project and by that I mean I don't want any of it to feel by work and by that I mostly mean painting schedules, so I think your style of little and often and having a fall back period, for a break, is a good guide for me to follow.

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  26. Pocket armies is a great concept and it will be very rewarding to have completed pairs of forces that are tabletop ready. I also don’t really enjoy painting all that much so I know how you feel on that subject, I paint bc I like painted armies.
    however to achieve your goals you gonna need some paint discipline. Many people find it hard to paint the same genre continually but it’s the best way to see it to completion. That’s why I have my rule of Two.
    Best of luck. I’ll be following along. 😀

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  27. Thanks Stew, absolutely agree ....... so yesterday I painted a 1066 Warrior :-)

    but I will be back on the ACW track now :-)

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