Time to have my yearly Sensible Look at what is on my list of projects - things that have been going on for a while, things which have crept in through a side entrance or otherwise jumped the queue (including Creeping Elegance items), and things that I want to start on, and which need a proper plan - or at least a better idea of what's involved.
A sanity check, in fact (or charity snack, as Cousin Dave would have put it) - always worthwhile, always throws up a few surprises and decision points, and sometimes gives an opportunity to start something fresh.
This morning's head-scratching produced the following:
Gaming (generally, like) -
Must make time to do some more ECW stuff, must set about organising another campaign (probably boardgame-based in the strategic department), and must do some more work on developing my in-house tweaked variants on C&CN, to allow for extreme ends of the action scale - i.e. smaller and larger than normal. For small actions, I'd like to develop my tactically-enhanced C&C package, in which units have a front and a formation, skirmishing appears in a more explicit form and there is even (perish the thought) a simple unit "quality" test to permit reactive changes of formation. For very large actions, I must have a proper look at C&CN Expansion #6, which deals with EPIC and similar multi-player games (all the more pressing because of the very welcome increase in the social side of my wargaming, in collaboration with Stryker and Goya); I must also do some more work on my Grand Tactical variant of C&CN, in which units are brigades, and weapon ranges and implied groundscale are halved (roughly).
One hefty byproduct of this is that I should also give serious thought to replacing my current battleboards with posh new ones in 18mm MDF - probably in a slightly larger size, and with the number of panels increased to allow games up to full EPIC or La Grande size C&CN. Daunting but probably worthwhile - however much work may have gone into repainting them, my present boards date back to 1972 or so, they are horrible (fragile) ½-inch chipboard, and life has not always been kind to them.
Organising and Painting Armies -
ECW - my armies are probably big enough, but because I bought in and retouched a load of pre-owned figures for Montrose's campaigns there is a proportion which is pretty scruffy - I mean scruffy enough for me to want to do something about it. This means getting in specific replacements for some dubious looking Scottish pikemen, and it probably means that I should get rid of a pile of spare lead which is not going to get painted. Hmmm. OK.
Peninsular War -
All Armies - I'd like to continue to progress my plan to change grouping and basing of generals and staff figures. Nice to do, but no rush.
French Army - I have enough figures for another Division for the Armée de Portugal - probably Bonet's - which will need to be painted and based. I'd like to get on with this, but it's not critical - nothing else depends on it. This is a conscious addition to the Grand Plan. There are some sappers and engineers to paint for siege activities.
|This is the makings of the HLI - some fettling and puttying needed...|
Anglo-Portuguese - I have the 71st Foot (HLI) on the bottletops to be painted. This may require me to add some more infantry units to make up a brigade to go with them. I'm thinking about this - I have stove-pipe figures which could become (for example) 50th Foot, and I'm sort of thinking about adding the 92nd Gordon Highlanders (don't have figures for these yet). I have a brigade of nice Portuguese infantry figures (4 line battalions and 1 of caçadores) from Hagen which need to be assembled (a bit) and painted, to fill a long overdue vacancy in the Seventh Divn. I also have some new Portuguese staff figures, which are interesting, and Hagen have also produced some splendid Portuguese cavalry - they haven't produced the command figures for these yet, but when they do I will be forced to replace my existing Portuguese cavalry (which are paint conversions based on Dutch-Belgian cuirassiers, as I recall).
1812 Spaniards - a couple more infantry battalions to paint up - nothing urgent.
1809 Spaniards - well now - I worked so hard to collect suitable castings that I now have far too many. This is tricky - it is very easy just to keep adding units to the OOB, but I need to stop this, and probably unload excess figures. I have two big Really Useful Boxes full of unpainted Spaniards, and they weigh a ton - probably a bit silly.
|Form an orderly queue - Spanish grenadiers, and odd staff|
I still have to finish off a battalion of grenadiers, and I'm also in conversation with Peter Bateman about replacing one of my hussar regts with a unit of converted Hinton-Hunts, which will be nearer the heart's desire.
Apart from that, from the existing lead heap, I have to paint up
- 1 further bn of converged grenadiers (Falcata)
- 2 bns of light infantry (mostly Falcata)
- 2 bns of Foot Guards (specially converted castings)
- 3 regts of Line Cavalry (Hagen)
- 1 regt of dragoons (Hagen)
- a group of infantry pioneers (Falcata)
- some more staff (NapoleoN, Falcata, home conversions)
- 1 more foot battery (mostly Hagen)
...and that's about it. Then I can get rid of the surplus figures, but this is going to hurt!
Something New - a Napoleonic Bavarian Army!
I've been looking at figure samples and swotting up on uniforms and OOBs. My intention is to aim at (as a first stage, anyway) a division of Lefebvre's VII Corps of 1809 - they can fight on the Danube and also against Andreas Hofer in the Tyrol (eventually, pending suitable figures - a campaign for which I have a strange fondness).
Thus my first effort will involve 8 line bns, 2 of jaegers, 2 or 3 regts of cavalry, 2 batteries and a few generals. I already have some figures - Ian very, very kindly sent me some surplus Hinton Hunts, with which I am delighted, and I'm working on building up a suitable stockpile. SHQ are suitable, there are some Hagen figures which look good (haven't got physical samples yet - as ever, size is everything). The Hintons are very nice - I like them - only slight problem with Hintons is that Uncle Marcus made all the Bavarian infantry with plumed helmets, which is only correct for grenadiers, so I would feel obliged to convert (and clone) deplumed fusiliers in goodish numbers. Art Miniaturen are a good source as well, but they are pricey and sometimes their figures are a little delicate for wargaming.
Anyway - early days, but I'm quite excited about this.
So much for sanity - have I decided what priority order these projects will jostle each other into? Well - nearly...
Better have a good rest, to gather my strength.