Sunday, 29 August 2010

Back from Elba...

I haven't been active on my Napoleonic miniatures lately, and unlike the situation that le petit caporal found himself in well-nigh 200 years ago, in this case the exile has been self-imposed.   

I have always tended to drift from project to project like a drunken moth with Alzheimers, and with time these days being short both for gaming and for painting, it was high time to develop some project discipline for a change.  

So for the past three months I have been making a conscious effort to devote my wargaming attention exclusively to my other favourite period; the Second World War, in particular the Eastern Front and my collection of 1943-44 Soviets.
This is a period that a number of us are gaming here at the club, and it made sense to focus my energies on it.

And I have done so, quite successfully so far.  As a result, we have been getting in some great games over the last few months.  My collection has been growing steadily, with the pile of unmade model kits getting smaller and smaller- despite having constantly added to it!

All the time, though, I found myself looking behind my back at my Napoleonic figures, but as we were not gaming the period, there did not seem much point in getting myself distracted from the khaki horde.

Well, all that is about to change, and it appears that we actually have a Napoleonic game scheduled for September!  If all goes to plan,  three of us will be having a small game to try out the Black Powder rules to see how they go.  Nothing is carved in stone, and we may try other systems as time goes on. 

But the important thing is that Napoleonics are finally on the table!   I need the discipline of meaningful deadlines, and I know now that what keeps me at work on a project is to actually be gaming the period I'm painting.  Nothing pushes me get my miniatures past the finish line like knowing that others are depending on a contribution  of troops for the next gaming session.  So it bodes well for my commitment to the Napoleonic Wars. 

I'll still be working on my Soviets of course, and we do have a big game scheduled for October.  But now I've the motivation to get on with the units of French I've already got so tantalizingly near to completion.  And if interest in the period can be maintained amongst other club members, the potential of sizable Napoleonic games becoming a regular feature may be realized. 

In the meantime, there have been a number of notable developments in the hobby recently, what with a number of companies entering the arena with ranges from the Russian army of Suvorov and of Austerlitz, and very recently Perry Miniatures and Warlord  coming up with plans for plastic 1813 Prussians.

The plastic "revolution" is an interesting one, and given my recent return to plastic modelling, I find myself looking more and more favourably on the development.  The quality gap is closing- has closed in many instances-, the price is right, and as anyone who has had to transport large numbers of miniatures to a club game might know, the weight saving is not one to be ignored.

In fact, the plastics are what is making the appearance of Napoleonics here possible, but more of that in my next post.