With many grateful thanks to Nick Atkinson (the return envelope is on its way!) I can now start my plan for hex based global domination with the conversion of Volley and Bayonet into a hex based system for use with the block armies. Not only did Nick supply me with the rules he also had a spare copy of the ACW supplement which is really useful for my ideas in that direction, that is along the rivers. Of course it will mean in the short term a reread of the rules - never a bad thing in my opinion - and then I can see about how I shall be converting the system into a hex based version. It also means that my idea for 1815 is now even closer so I ought to think about finding some, ahem, volunteers for the various commands - as well as seeing about Columbia Games: Napoleon will work as a campaign driver. Luckily all of this is very much an exercise in writing and thinking and so can be fitted in and around work thereby not impacting on my rather busy domestic schedule at present. Painting and gaming are a different story though as I am only able to tackle this at home and in the evenings or weekends - like most of us I expect. The only problem I have at the moment though is that work is really knocking the stuffing out of me and so picking up any form of painting is going to be a struggle.
The painting side of the ACW is of course the ships and the only other task I have with a paintbrush is my collection of WW2 1/100th aircraft for Axis and Allies: Angels 20. I have the list drawn up of the last 54mm figures I will need for the NW Frontier and I plan to get them in the next few weeks. Ideally I want to start painting them once the ships and the aircraft are completed which will probably not be until the end of the summer but we shall see.
The other piece of news concerns the small and unassuming looking title in the photo above - The Battle of Salamis by Richard B Nelson. Over the years I have dabbled in many periods of naval warfare but the two galley eras (ancient and renaissance) have thus far eluded me. I have a modest library devoted to both of these periods and fully intend gaming them at some point (although Lord alone knows when!). I picked up the above title at Broadside for a measly £3 and after having read it cover to cover during the course of the week I can honestly say that I have been really inspired to tackle ancient galleys in some form. The book covers the campaign leading up to the battle (not forgetting the all important land element - more of which later), a brief overview of the ships and tactics of naval warfare at the time, a suggested set of tactical rules for refighting the battle and also set of simple strategic rules for running the entire campaign, land battles and all, using counters and a simplified map of the theatre. I should point out that the rules are hex based (which was pretty radical way back in 1975) and are a simplified version of the authors own set that were available from WRG - a copy of which I managed to acquire a couple of months back. there are three refights of the battle reviewed - the historical version and a couple of feasible 'what ifs?' Finally, there is even mention of what models to use, from scratch builds to commercially available kit - including some Minifigs galleys would you believe! I checked with Dave Ryan at Caliver Books about these a while back and sadly they are long gone.
I have to say that for me this book is an object lesson on how to write a campaign specific war games title and although it was published way back in the 1970s it is a peach of a title. I have absolutely no idea where this will go in terms of models etc but in the short term I could once again consider making use of the Junior General as I am almost certain Salamis features as one of their battles.
Much to ponder with this BUT, I have a number of other priorities to contend with first!