Thursday, 31 October 2013

Crossing the River

I've always been interested in battles and campaigns that involved the use of pontoon bridges. The ability to identify a crossing location, devise a plan and put the necessary bridging resources in the right place, at the right time - often under the noses of the enemy, was a skill demonstrated by the best generals and staffs.

So, wherever there's a river on a tabletop battlefield, there's the potential to throw a bridge of boats across it. Even if it plays no part in the game itself it still presents an attractive point of scenery interest. Although I admire other gamers' pontoon efforts in the larger scales (Charles S Grant's for example), my aspirations definitely lie at the smaller end of the spectrum! I have a number of 6mm armies and the potential scope of games in this size allows for grand tactical activities, including the crossing of major rivers.

Rather than have to create miniature pontoon units for each period and each side, what I wanted to do was have a single bridging force that could serve as required. This is something that 6mm is well suited to due to the size of the models but even so some nice generic (ie. drab!) colours were required. I'd had a few suitable models from both Heroics & Ros and Irregular Miniatures for some time and finally decided to get them together and finished off.

Here are some pictures of the results, on the march and bridging both small and large rivers, in a couple of period settings (Medetian mid-17th century and Frederick's Prussians 100 years later). The bridge elements are scratch-built from card. I've actually got plans for completely new rivers, which will be the subject of future posts when I get started on them, but these little guys will still be able to bridge them.


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
So here goes, my first post..

I realise that there's not exactly a shortage of wargaming blogs, many of which I frequent and enjoy, but it's something I've wanted to do for some time and I hope it will offer something of interest to others - and a point of focus for me.

Like many 40-somethings, I made my first foray into gaming with miniatures at a young age with Airfix plastic figures, in both 1/72 and 1/48 scales, enjoying swirling battles across carpet and tabletop. From there it became more intriguing, as well as more complicated, with metal figures and commercial rules, although even at a youg age I always enjoyed the challenge of writing my own. Lots of different periods have been tried since then, with figures from 6mm to 25/28mm, and after plenty of dead ends, U-turns and re-basing campaigns, I'm probably happier now with my gaming choices than at any time previously.

That doesn't mean I've got it all sorted, or am crystal clear in my thinking and focus - I wouldn't be a true wargamer if that was the case now would I? I do, however, try to limit reckless changes of direction when something new and appealing appears, although I'm not always successful in this! The last couple of years has seen some projects leading me into new areas of interest and I'll be posting about these as I continue to collect and paint for them. I tend to work on more than one thing at a time which keeps my interest levels up, although my painting output is by no means huge.

One of my key interests is imagi-nations, as the name of this blog suggests, for which I have or am working on 17th Century forces in 6mm and 28mm, and 18th and 19th Centuries in 28mm. Madness perhaps, but the options for creativity this offers makes it worth it. I also have 6mm Franco-Prussian War and Seven Years War collections, and a couple of others in that scale that need a lot of work to get them on the table. In 15mm it's Ancients, Dark Ages and Fantasy, and then there are some naval periods and other odds and ends. I guess one of the benefits of eclectic interests is that there's always something different to move on to when you hit a block with what you're currently doing..

These days I also try to play games, whether with a friend, forum group or solo, as often as possible - something I've allowed to slip a bit too much in the past. For a hobby called war'gaming' I suspect that a lot of people play very little or not at all - a poor reward for all the effort and money they expend. My personal mission is to make more time for playing, as I find it's the best motivator for everything else hobby-wise, and always enjoyable too. That said, I'm sure the majority of posts will be about painting and modelling, but I'll put up as many as possible about the games I play too.