Tuesday, 17 January 2012

That Old Block Magic....

Yesterday evening was a useful one of the pottering variety. I had a number of minor tasks to attend to including clearing the Belgium game away from Sunday and so whilst doing this I took the opportunity  to review the Block collection. You may recall that I produced sets of labelled blocks in six colours - red, blue, green, grey, brown and olive. The first three are in sets of 48 whilst the remaining three - grey, brown and olive - have an additional 36 blocks apiece to cover the modern era. This means machine guns, mortars, anti tank guns, tanks, SPs, tank destroyers, armoured cars and half tracks. I didn't bother with lorries as I see these as being more pre and post battle transports rather than 'battle taxis'.

Whilst these are complete in respect of having the labels applied the one thing I have yet to finish is applying the ID labels. These are basically numbered stickers applied to one of the long edges of the block and they serve a dual purpose. Firstly, the convention I have adopted is that the number is always facing the owning player and so is the rear of the unit and is therefore handy for determining facing and secondly, the number also serves as a unit identifier when used in conjunction with the roster sheet. For my recent games the units titles have been largely anonymous and have nothing more elaborate than, for example, 11 Infantry, 45 Cavalry or 63 artillery (the number being from the block and the type being what the unit is). This is functional but hardly inspiring! I plan to make the unit roster sheets more personalised with specific units as I research particular historical campaigns or even the hypothetical ones I plan to undertake. As an aside this will be great fun to do for Fezia and Rusland and that is a task I shall look forward to in due course.

I added the number labels to the grey set last night - at least the base 48 blocks and this means that I have blocks of four colours suitable for the period 1700 to around 1870 - red, blue, green and grey - thereby increasing the army options and gaming potential. The one thing I did not do though was to add machine gun units to the original three colours which will require rectification although not to the scale of the 'modern' types.

After much consideration of how I want the block armies to develop I am looking to greatly increase my Hexon terrain collection by the addition of their road, river and hill pieces as using the blocks on the larger hexes looks really good and with the very attractive terrain pieces available will add enormously to the 3D military map effect I am trying to achieve.

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