Thursday, 19 November 2015
Expansion #5, and a Question of Tubes
Well, I've paid my ransom money of £17.76 to Royal Mail (that's £9.76 for UK Value Added Tax on an item imported from outside the EU, plus an £8 "handling charge", for the privilege of having my parcel delayed for 2 days at a detention camp in Berkshire), and have now received the promised Expansion #5 for Commands & Colors: Napoleonics - "Generals, Marshals & Tacticians" from GMT Games.
I haven't had a proper chance to check it all out yet. There is a reissue of the C&CN Command Cards pack (green backs instead of blue - some tidying up, plus a logical dovetailing with the new Tactician pack), plus the new, additional pack of Tactician Cards, the initial allocation of which at game start-up is based on the ability of the General. There is also a bunch of new scenarios, there are some new unit and terrain types, and there are sheets giving General Tactician ratings for all the past scenarios.
I have steered clear of the C&CN expansions prior to this point. Expansion #1 covered the Spanish Army, but by the time it appeared I had developed my own additional rules for the Spaniards, and I have stuck with them (they are very similar to GMT's, in fact). I have no miniatures for, or particular gaming interest in, Russia, Austria and Prussia, which were the subject matter of Expansions #2 through #4, but I have always thought the role of Leaders in the core game was a bit underwhelming, so I was keen to purchase this latest instalment.
Once again, the production standards are very high and GMT themselves are nice, organised people to deal with - the pre-publication (P500) price represents a good deal, even with the international shipping and RM's ransom demand, and I hope to get some decent value out of the extended rules - what GMT describe as "enhanced fun"!
I'll get the old reading specs on this evening, make some coffee and have a good study - with luck this should encourage me to get the table out for a game next week. Interesting now that I see the scope of what this expansion comprises - prior to this I had very little idea what it would be, so the reality is bound to be more restrictive than the unlimited scope of what it might have been (including all the things I never imagined, of course!).
Looks very good - I hope to say more about this sometime soon. I'm confident you'll find proper, informed reviews of the product all over the place, so I won't attempt anything of the sort, but the mere fact that I, who have scorned all the previous expansions, should have invested in this one is evidence of my devotion!
My paint collection must have reached a certain age - many of my pots are now turning into chewing gum, and there is a limit to how much reactivation you can do (not to mention the time and the hassle). A big blow during my recent Spanish Grenadiers effort was the demise of my beloved Revell Stahl silver (in a square pot) - it is now metallic chewing gum - visually spectacular but useless.
The time is coming when I'm going to have to replace quite a few of my paints. There is a local problem in that there is no shop selling Citadel or Foundry paints within 40 miles of here, and I don't like buying unfamiliar shades or makes online. There is a Hobbycraft store about 25 miles away, and they sell the DecoArt pots, including the rather excellent Americana series, but the stock is uncertain and there are often gaps on the shelves. None of this is insurmountable, but since I am in any case forced to review my paint preferences, I thought it was probably worth revisiting the topic of artists' acrylics. Again, a friend suggested that was the way to go, though he is not near enough (or supportive enough!) to talk me through this in detail.
So - the point of mentioning the subject - there are certainly a few art suppliers fairly close to here, so availability would be OK. Does anyone reading this have experience or opinions of (tubed) acrylic artists' colours for modelling? I hasten to add that I am not really interested in mixing my own colours, so would tend to use them straight from the tube. I feel it would be silly to overlook these if they would be useful, but even more silly if they were not going to be suitable for my rather childish painting style!
As is always the case with this humble blog, all advice and clues will be gratefully received!