I have been wargaming for 10 years in which time I have finally settled on two eras, Napoleonic and WWII, both in 15mm (1:100). Most of my ramblings will be about gaming in these two eras. An attempt will be made to record my wargaming interests, building of armies, ideas, interests and hopefully some games played.

Wednesday, 18 March 2009

The start of it all (a little background info)

After a little reminiscing I thought I'd put some background info on the blog to how I started wargaming.

It all started some 10-12 years ago. Life had taken a drastic turn and I seemed to have time on my hands in the evenings. A couple of lads at work were into wargaming and met with one other to be the gang of three. They kept asking me to join them for an evening. After a few put offs (too busy washing my hair etc.) I eventually turned up to a gaming night, armed with a few cans, to be impressed by a large section of Waterloo terrain. One of the guys own the complete Waterloo battlefield in Hex terrain. (More of this later in another blog). They were creating forces to campaign "what ifs" during the years after 1815. Nations fighting over the scraps of German states after the defeat of Napoleon at Waterloo. With French, Dutch Belgium and Bavarian being the main armies and ideas to collect others. Their idea being to build armies for all the German states and surrounding nations. I was impressed the the game enough to ask what I could collect and paint. The first suggestion was an Austrian force "...dead easy their uniforms are all white...." was something like the comment made. I think that that was what put me off, the thought of painting a major nation in all white. (With hindsight I now know better). The 1815 Brunswick force was another suggestion for variation I could add British and other minor nations later. The black uniform also seemed to me to be an easy uniform as an introduction. So I stared to build a force based on the Brunswick 1815 contingent.

At this point can I say that railway modelling has always been a hobby that has a great pull for me. Why I didn't rekindle my interest at this point I don't fully know. The only reason I can think of is that I had found three guys with a passion. With railway modelling I would have been a lonesome modeller. So it was probably as much social aspect to get me out of the house as much as the historical and modelling aspect that interested me with wargaming.

After a few years of, once every 2 - 4 weeks, gaming and campaigning with many different rules, re-basing figures, painting new units etc. The gang of four became three then quickly two. At this point the two of us decided that we had had enough of using different rule sets each week, and never really understanding any rule set fully. We decided on Shako as our preferred Napoleonic set of rules. Not sure why apart from they were a set that my opponent had a preference for or at least owned a full copy. Another round of re-basing but this time down from 24+ figure battalions to 12. I also decided that I would continue to occasionally use the computer rules "Hard Pounding" so based figures to suit both rule sets.

We found that by sticking to one set of rules allowed us to get to grips with them. Once learnt Shako rules can give us a game we can complete within a short weekday evening. Even though some gripping games finish in the early hours. (Or is it due too much merry banter across the table). As yet we have not purchased the new rules Shako v.2 but this no doubt will happen soon.

After a time we both discovered that our interests in WWII was mutual. We thought that it would be a small distraction to Napoleonics. Before I joined them the gang of three had briefly used the Rapid Fire rules with a small collection of 15mm figures. At that time they had decided that a 6 x 4 table was too small for WWII and dropped the rules and era. This briefly put us both off for a while but thought that this could not be correct as there seemed to be many WWII games played on a 6 x 4 table. With thoughts that this could have been another case of the rules being quickly read and some critical elements being misinterpreted. We promptly dug out these rules and figures and had a couple of very satisfying games. One thing lead to another and we now have a good selection of British, German and American forces between us, which are still expanding.

What I enjoy about this hobby is the research, the history, the collecting and painting of units as much if not more than the gaming. Without the gaming there would be no incentive to do either the research or collecting and painting. Some times I do spend too much time researching when time would be better spent painting but any hobby should be enjoyed in what ever fashion and pace any individual wishes.

My gaming partner has the skill and patience to paint units up to an excellent standard in a short space of time. Where as I paint in short stints and take long to finish units. After a while I personally found that painting two periods and interleaving games in both was having a negative effect on my painting and moral. Units were not being finished before having to change era's and try to finish another unit for the next game. So a decision was made that we would focus on one period for 12 months. A dice was thrown and WWII became the chosen period.

WWII projects on the go at the moment include:
1) A German Infantry Division.
2) A small German Fallshirmjager Regiment/Kampfgruppe.
3) Building a Panzer Kampfgruppe based on the 21st Panzer Division in Normandy.

Not sure that all the above will be completed within the year but I'm making good progress.

My current Napoleonic projects that are on hold:
1) Completing an Austrian Army of 5 divisions.
2) Finishing KGL Division.

So that's how it started and were I am at the moment. The German Infantry Regiment is very near to completion along with some of its supporting units. Photos will follow.

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