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By Rob Dean
TL;DR: I don't understand tightly linked figure and rules ranges.
I was writing my Huzzah report for my blog this morning, and one thing led to another. My collaborator and I agreed at the convention that next year's game(s) was(were) going to be something using the combined resources of our 16th century home cast 40mm projects. So, yesterday I dug out my bags of castings to see what I should start working on, and, after blogging this morning I decided that the proper thing to do was to muster the troops on the table and see what I really had. (My last inventory is both hidden somewhere and probably suspect anyway.)
So, there they are: 4 artillery pieces, 18 assorted cavalry stands, 10 stands of pikes and pike command, 5 stands of swordsmen, 4 stands of improvised converted crossbowmen, and 8 stands of musketeers. (Three need repairs, which I can do today now that I've had them laid out.)
The story that goes with these figures is this:
I have been interested in the 16th century, and the warfare of the 16th century, for longer than I can remember. It's probably a combination of being an early music enthusiast and being exposed to Sir Charles Oman's History of the Art of War in the Sixteenth Century at an impressionable age. In the early years of the current phase of my interest in the miniatures hobby (starting around 1987, say) I would play 16th century games at the conventions when I could, but never started my own project, being intimidate by painting all those Landsknechts.
By the time our club, the HAWKs, had started in 1994, I was already casting some of my own figures from commercial molds. Chris Palmer, also a member of this board, and I both had fairly extensive mold collections, including two non-compatible 40mm 18th century sets. Mine were Prince August, and his Nuernberger Meisterzinn. He also had a Meisterzinn catalog. I don't know much about Meisterzinn, but they were already a zombie company (things kept in production but no new products) by 1994. They had a small range of 16th century molds, and I thought that it would be an interesting challenge to collect them, cast up some figures, and put a game together. A set of rules called Armati had just come out, with a Renaissance section and provision for playing with a single stand as a unit, so I used that as the basis for my casting.
It took, as these things do, a couple of years to get things done to the point of playing games with them. Not long after that, Chris decided to build some 40mm Leonardo da Vinci machines to go with them, inspired by a number of games of Leonardo Plus which were run at the cons for a few years. Those rules didn't suit our collections, though, so we ended up staging a game using home rules at Cold Wars in 1999.
After that, the figures got put away for a while, until Ross and I ended up in discussions about how difficult it would be to convert enough of the figures to form the basis of a 16th century English army (still using the longbow). From there, we ended up deciding to put on a game in 2004 using a scenario from the Anglo-Scots Wars of the 1540s. The siege of Haddington in 1548 was nearly a perfect match for our hodgepodge collections, with mercenaries from all over Europe participating on one side or the other. Once again, we had to write rules to suit our collection of miniatures. My pictures of that game are unfortunately pre-digital, and buried somewhere. We even got an award from the convention for that one, because it was unusual and eye-catching.
Since then, we dust them off every few years, revise the rules again to taste, and set to. If I'm at home, I'm somewhat limited by my collection, but I can still put on a decent two player game:
I still haven't managed to get to the Siege of Malta in 1565, but Ross wants to do Turks this next year, so we'll see what happens.
Anyway, after all of that, my point and question is this:
With my DIY background, I have a hard time understanding what seems to me to be the ever increasing trend of players buying into tightly linked figure and rules lines. I see posts/listen to podcasts/conversations/etc. in which people grouse about the speed with which games come out and die, and how that renders their miniatures useless. I may be a little odd, but it's not that unusual in the historical community to accept that the figures you buy are going to end up being used with many sets of rules, that you may need to write a set to match the size of your collection, and that you might want to work on something that you like the look of, because the figures are forever, but the rules are ephemeral.
Thoughts? Are you a new person? Another grognard like me?
This year is the year of giving miniatures as birthday gifts to the friends I game with. One of these fine fellows--my oldest and dearest friend--has a birthday in a couple weeks. He loves magic-users and is obsessed with Harry Potter, so I painted up a 25th anniversary Domur as a classic "Gandalf the Grey" style wizard for his present:
Tried to layer the flames to give some interesting and pleasing texture. Let me know how I did.
Also, given his love for all things Potter, I did my best to modify Domur's spellbook to a more familiar book cover...
I'm actually surprised I could keep the brush steady enough for it to come across at all similar, to be honest.
By Chris Palmer
The first teaser trailer is out for Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. I know there's a lot of controversy surrounding Johnny Depp's casting as Grindewald, and the original movie had a luke warm reception (I liked it); but Jude Law sure does make a cool young Dumbledore and I'm interested to see what he does with the character.
By Chris Palmer
So we've seen a computer name paint colors; now they have set one to writing its own Harry Potter Fan Fiction titles and summaries:
The results, though grammatically awkward, often end up being funny or just plain surreal.
Mirror by orphan_account
Severus Snape tries to get a lot of dragons and that was to be more than he didn’t expect to continue. He has always been a bit of an old and a baby to stay the way he’d been the brother at Hogwarts and he keeps the chance of meeting…
Birds of a Saturday by SasuNarufan13
Harry Potter is drunk and discovers he is an alternate universe.
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