Marston Moor game coming up next weekend. I've had a lot of very enjoyable sorting out to do - some figure painting (to make/balance up the numbers), some scenario tweaking for the rules, and - over the last few days - an extended wrangle to get a "best fit" of my available toy units for the regiments that were really present. Thus (for example), since I have a fair collection for the First ECW in Lancashire and Cheshire, the regiments of Assheton and Rigby and Tyldesley can simply play as themselves, and I have a fair representation of the Covenanters of 1644, so that also drops into place nicely, but the Eastern Association (for example) is outside my normal area of activity, so some role-playing will be needed. Robert Ellice's Welsh Royalists will be pressed into service as someone else, and much more of the same, so there will be plenty of scope for identifying wrong flags when the photos appear!
This "best fit" exercise involved more note-scribbling and fiddling about than I expected, so I decided to BlueTak some simple little labels onto the unit bases, to keep us right on the day and to preserve my studies so far. Thus I spent an excellent evening messing around on the dining table, cutting out laminated labels, attempting to get BlueTak to stick to something other than my fingertips, and so on. This required a lot of coffee and a few hours of Debussy.
Because Marston Moor will be the biggest pike and shot game I've ever attempted, I had to label up almost my entire collection of ECW figures, and then tidy everything away in the A4 box-files, ready for next week. Anyone with experience of Medieval and Renaissance wargaming will be aware of the scope for accidents and collateral damage when working with miniature pike-blocks.
I accept it as a necessary precaution to have a tube of superglue handy on the battlefield. My pikes are deliberately made of florist's wire, so they will bend before they damage the figures, and they will not injure any of the players (depending, I suppose, on how hard they are thrown), but they have certainly been known to detach themselves in the heat of battle. Hence the glue and the running repairs. If you leave it until later, the pike will be lost, or you won't get around to it, or whatever.
Well, I completed my labelling exercise carefully, managed to get everything tidied away, got the box-files back on their shelves without dropping the whole lot at once (one of the little-discussed advantages of box-files) and then, when I was sorting out the paperwork, I found a stray pike on the table.
|Uh-oh! [arrows supplied by editorial staff so you can see the problem]|
I've got pretty good at this stuff now - it took me only about 20 minutes to schlepp the boxes back through into the dining room (without dropping them), check each box of soldiers for missing pikes (all OK, in fact) and store them away again (without dropping them). Nothing missing, though of course there's that little thrill of tension right until the last box. The rogue pike must be from the spares department - looking at the type of wire, I guess it is from either the Mike & Whiskers collection I got from eBay or else some leftovers I have from a shipment of old figures I bought from Harry Pearson. Whatever it is, the important point is that it is not from my proposed field armies, so that is all right.
|Pink = ECW|
|That's 16 of these beggars to check through|