Sunday, 4 January 2015

Carpe Diem

Today was all mapped out when I got up this morning at around 0830.

Teenage daughter was off to the county hockey trials. Youngest daughter was off to the Snowdome in Tamworth for a belated Christmas outing with her football team pals. I was taxi driver supreme...

Then, youngest daughter was offered a lift so that took care of that. The car had been playing up yesterday, so I was glad of the offer for two reasons.

To cap it all, hockey was called off due to the frost, so there I was with nowhere to go at 0930 this morning, so what to do?

Go to the Penkridge Wargames Tabletop Sale of course!!!

With Penkridge only five miles or so from home, it was a quick jaunt over to the Memorial Hall (typical village hall little bigger than a large shed...). On entry (which was FREE!!!), I was greeted with a plethora of tables and punters, all crammed into the space, with a cursory first glance showing books, painted and unpainted miniatures, board games and various bits and pieces dotted around the hall. Not having been to this event before, or to any other like it, I had been uncertain as to what I should expect, but I loved the whole thing!!!

I usually dislike being buffeted, barged, bumped and biffed, but it seemed somehow appropriate in the confines of the hall. I managed to avoid the Kryomek stuff I saw (could always use some more of the penal troops they did...), dallied too long at one stall over a vgc copy of WRG's "Armies and Enemies of Imperial Rome" for £10 (BARGAIN!!!!!) and lost it to another guy, and decided against a couple of massive, scratchbuilt Squiggoths for 40K for just £20 each (and I do not even play Orks!).

I had gone to the show looking for SAGA (especially dice) and GW Lord of the Rings stuff, but came away with....

.....some COMMISSION FIGURINES "6mm" Napoleonic semi-flats! I know Walter Anstiss through frequenting Stafford Games and was aware of this range via Neil Shuck's column in "Miniature Wargames (with Battlegames)" magazine, as they were mentioned in issue 380 for December 2014. Walter had some painted samples on show and they looked brilliant! I bought two packs of Austrian line in shako, a pack of Grenadiers and one of Dragoons/ Cuirassiers, though they would also cover Chevaulegers with a simple painting of their tunics in green. There are 96 figures in the infantry packs, 36 in the cavalry pack and they ARE JUST £2 per pack!

6mm is not to everyone's taste but I love Horse & Musket games in this scale. I have not painted any since I did a commission for a Spanish Succession Dutch army many years ago, but I do own a large (-ish) French army for the same period, so have some experience of painting sixes. Look out for the Austrians on the blog sometime soon. I might even decide what rules I want to use them for, but Black Powder or Polemos seem likely.

Walter also sold me some more order tokens for my "By Fire & sword" Turks - you can never have enough order tokens for the "quantity over quality" 17th Century Turkish army!

I also encountered a small company called "WARGAMES TOURNAMENTS" (I think - I have lost his business card...) He was selling bags of 2mm or 3mm thick bases in various sizes. Each bag was £2, but I had three for £5. Well, actually, I had six for £10, but you get the picture. 50 25mm round bases in MDF in a bag for £2. 15 50mm square bases in a bag for £2. Etc. What really impressed me, however, was the sci-fi walkway set up he had. This was £50 but the thing was three storeys high, fitted together well, took paint well and covered about 2 feet by 3 feet. To top it all, it fitted in a box about the size of a box of biscuits and how many of us do not have a couple of those lying around with Christmas such a recent memory? Necromunda, Judge Dredd, Aliens, 7TV, generic sci-fi - the number of possibilities got my juices going, but I had already spent so did not have enough money left. He assures me he will be at Derby and may try and make WMMS in March, but I can always order a set if the postage is not too excessive for what is effectively a lump of wood...

If you can make the depths of South Staffordshire in early January, make the journey to the next Penkridge Wargames Tabletop Sale. (Especially if you want cheap GW stuff - there was hoards of the stuff of all persuasions, painted and unpainted).


The cavalry (obviously). You can see the grooves which delineate different parts of the figures which should be a great aid to painting. You can also see hwo a simple paintjob can give either Cuirassiers, Dragoons or Chevaulegers for the Austrians. (That last bit might be clearer for those of us who know anything about the Austrians in Napoleonic times...)

Front (top) and back (lower) of the Austrian line infantry in shako. When I did my 15mm 1809 campaign Austrians aeons ago, I went for Hiller's 6th Corps from Aspern-Essling, so these will become IR14 Klebek or IR59 Jordis if I go that route again. These two regiments, of two battalions each, formed the first brigade of Hiller's corps if memory serves me correctly.

The order tokens. With "Charge", "Disordered", "Move" etc in the pack, there must surely be more uses for these than just "By Fire & Sword".

The numerical tokens could be used for casualty markers, quality markers, etc.

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