Thursday, 7 March 2013

Planning ahead.

I can confidently now say that I have achieved the 'first phase' of my project, with the rebasing of the figures to sit in the 55mm hexes of the Command & Colours game board. I can now set up a game quickly and easily any time I feel that I want to play. It's taken much experimentation to reach this stage, from dotting out hex grids on Citadel Battlemats, to attempting some kind of texturing on the grid and finally to playing on the actual game board itself. Along the way I have created quite a bit of scenery and terrain items that now sit upon the shelf unused, and my thoughts have been slowly turning back to the possibility of building some proper scenic boards again. This would most likely mean finding a second set of rules that play on a conventional non hex table. Trouble is that I still find the C&C system such a pleasure to use and having tried so many sets in the past it is clearly going to be a challenge to find any other set that gives me such a playable game, so what to do? I have jotted down a few notes/rough ideas etc that I am considering.


  • Steve Jones' 'Napoleonic Squares' rules are a possibility. I have read through them several times and I like them. No physical marked grid is required and they are specific 6mm rules. By using 4 of my small 'battalion' bases together to represent the larger formations I could make this work. 
  • I could return to experimenting with playing C&C games on a conventional table using Distance Units instead of hexes. It does work, but it's not true C&C of course and you have to get the hex grid somehow to the back of the mind when playing that way. There were issues with things like leader retreats and movement paths etc, but the basic mechanics of the rules can still work well in a more conventional manner. The upside is of course being able to play on a fully textured table with each of my little bases representing one block. This is very much on my mind right now!
  • I could try more rule sets. I have looked at Polemos, I own a set of the rules and they seem very popular, but I'm just not sure about them. There are of course many others out there and I have been following Steve as he seeks to find a set that will give him the type of game he's looking for, I fully identify with his frustrations because that's exactly where I was before being introduced to C&C Napoleonics and I'd rather not go back there again.
This weekend I'm going to set up and play another experimental non hex C&C game in order to test a few more theories. It will be a small affair using larger units (3 to 5 'blocks' as required) on a simple terrain board with just 3 small hills (non hex), a village, woods and a river. I'll be using my trusty old DU stick which is marked out in 80mm sections. As previously each DU represents a hex, so for example line infantry move 1 DU, lights 2 DU's or 1 and battle, musket range is 2 DU's, rifles 3 DU's etc. When units move within 1 DU of each other they melee etc, and flags cause retreats of 1 to 3 DU's back towards the players own table edge etc. Units and leaders count as support when within 1 DU etc. By keeping in mind that 80mm DU as a sort of virtual grid the game plays pretty well as I hope to demonstrate to myself this weekend. 

Why would I bother some might well ask, why not just play C&C on the game board or the old hex table? The answer is probably that I'm now so familiar with the mechanics of the game, which I think are simply excellent, that I want to stick with them if I can. I also want to be able to play using much larger units, as I feel this is the whole point of 6mm armies, and a solid block of 80 infantry figures (4 of my battalion bases) looks so much more convincing as representing higher formations. I placed a '4 block' unit of French light cavalry on a non hex hill for a quick photo, 56 figures, and as you can see it's pretty impressive!

Meantime I'm still happy playing out quick set up solo games on the supplied board, which I love, and have no intention of giving this up, but there is no doubting the visual impact of the larger formations.

I'll report back on the experimental game after the weekend, I intend to run through all of the features of conventional C&C including squares, combined arms, leader casualty checks, retreats etc to see how they work.

Beyond this I plan to update both the gallery page and the 'guide' page with the new basing style using the Baccus kit, which I feel is a big improvement, and a new painting guide reflecting my latest methods which includes improved face painting technique for these tiny figures, the detail is there to be picked out and a simple flesh 'blob' is no longer adequate! I'll also discuss brushes and illustrate my method for 'steadying' tiny fine strokes and some ideas on how best to work with paint that skins over fast such as whites and blacks, some of which hopefully might prove useful to other 6mm painters.

First Russians will also follow shortly.









10 comments:

  1. One of the things I've found with adapting rules to or from a grid is that it doesn't do to get too hung up on something being different. It can be tricky sometimes though, distinguishing between different and OK and different and not OK because it has a bad knock on effect on the over all game which isn't immediately obvious but hey the journey itself can be interesting.

    Have fun.

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    1. Hi Ross, I take your point, I'm going to give a try with an open mind and see how things go.

      Cheers,
      Lee.

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  2. For your new 're-based' system, you may want to check out Fast Play Grand Armee:

    http://www.deepfriedhappymice.com/html/gw_ga_fastplay.html

    Since all your troops will have the same basing, it will not matter what the 'rules system' calls for your forces will all match up.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks MurdocK, I'll have a look at that link.

      Lee.

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  3. Hi Lee - I still think you could carry off an excellent sculpted terrain for a more traditional type of game. I'd love to see your version of a Waterloo battlefield!

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    1. Hi Ian - I think you are right, Waterloo would make the perfect project for a scratch built fully scenic terrain. And after all it was the battle that got me started in this hobby all those years ago.

      Cheers,
      Lee.

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  4. I was wondering if you had considered using hex based terrain such as that sold by Kallistra http://www.kallistra.co.uk. The hexes are 100mm, which is about twice the size of the standard board but should fit your multiple units quite well, and if you count one of your newly based units as the equivalent of a block in the base game you could probably play with the rules pretty much unchanged. I am fairly restricted by my available space so it wouldn't work for me, so I am still pursuing my own solution (although I have been distracting myself by getting into Memoir '44) of self made mdf tiles. Of course it isn't a particularly cheap option, particularly if you already have a lot of existing terrain, which you want to utilise.

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    1. Hello Keith - funny enough I had been looking at the Kallistra tiles myself recently as they are such a good quality product, but I worked out that I would have to spend a fair bit to get the flexibility I would want. The size would work though, I could fit 4 bases in each hex, probably 5 for those few units who require 5 blocks. I just can't make up my mind what to do, but I have few ideas floating a round in my head.

      I'm told Memoir 44 is a very good game?

      All the best,
      Lee.

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    2. Just getting into the game and have only played a couple of scenarios solo but have enjoyed them so far. It is from the same family as C&CN although played with plastic miniatures and the infantry and tanks are of very different scales so might not appeal if you like a consistent appearance. The the rules in the base game are quite similar , although a bit simpler as there are fewer troop types, and units have the same fire power despite losses. However, there are umpteen expansions which add extra levels of complexity, cards and terrain types.

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