Thursday 3 December 2009

Decision, Decisions, Decisions...............

I must apologise for the paucity of my posts this week – the new job and several acres of rain forest being used in my final college assignments have taken their toll of what remains of my grey matter! I have a very busy few days coming up so will probably not be in a position to post anything further until next week when hopefully the dust will have settled somewhat. In the meantime I will offer up one of my occasional rambles for your perusal and comment.
By way of a diversion from the aforementioned college and work related ‘stuff’, I have been following with much interest Bob Cordery’s work contained within his inspirational blog in connection with the Modern Morschauser rules and am very excited by the possibilities they offer. They are a simple grid based set of rules designed by Jo Morschauser for the modern period (for modern read WW2 and earlier – basically the first half of the 20th century) and are ideal for fast play, solo or club night games. The original rules are very old – early 60’s vintage in fact – and Bob has been bringing these back to life and updating the core ideas in a more usable format suitable for today’s audience. They are very simple but challenging and make use of a square grid for ranges and movement. They suit my own ideas as to how rules should be written and games played and so I am eagerly looking forward to Bob’s final version of this set and fully intend using them for my own projects – in whatever form they eventually take! I remember reading somewhere that “anybody can write a complex set of wargames rules; writing a simple set is much more difficult”. How true this is and so, in my opinion, simpler sets covering a couple of sides of A4 should be more than sufficient for an evening’s entertainment. Simple does not have to mean simplistic and I could use the old standby of chess being a simple to game to play but rich in mental challenge.

I am hoping that my as yet unfulfilled interest in the Spanish Civil War may become a reality using these rules and so I have been dragging out the Peter Pig catalogue to see what is available for this conflict. My other two 20th century periods of choice – the Balkan Wars and the Arab Revolt – will be fought using another set of Bob’s rules - When Empires Clash - which are also available in a Colonial version for the small wars of the 19th century. As I mentioned earlier, take a look at Bob’s blog for some really informative and inspirational stuff, it is well worth a visit!
It has been quite liberating to take a step back from my ongoing naval considerations as they have taken up much of my gaming and modelling time this year and so a change of direction is most welcome. I was undecided as to whether to use 20mm plastic or 15mm metal but my current thinking is that 15mm will have the advantage of ensuring that I only need one scale of scenery. The associated considerations of cost and space are also significant so I am therefore thinking that from a practical perspective 15mm should be the preferred scale. Initially I was a little disappointed by this as I have always enjoyed 20mm plastics and the associated kit bashing but given that I will not actually need very much in the way of vehicles it will be a sacrifice I can live with. The Ottoman Turkish 18th century/Napoleonic army I have is in 15mm and also this is the preferred size at the club for DBA games so it makes even more sense for me to work in this scale.

As you may have gathered the three 20th century projects I have in mind (i.e. I would like to tackle each of them but will limit myself to just one to start with) are the Balkan Wars (Irregular Miniatures), Spanish Civil War (Peter Pig) and the Arab Revolt (Minifigs). I am really unsure as to which to tackle first although I suspect that either the Balkans or the Arabs will feature in the final showdown!

I intend to post an argument for and against for each of these periods and am unashamedly using the blog as a sounding board for the ideas around each of these periods/projects.
So there you have it - I know what rules I shall be using and what figure scale I will employ. I have the three periods mapped in my mind for consideration and have already identified the figure manufacturers I shall be using. All that remains for me to do is to decide which period will come first and that will be the next challenge!


Paul O'G said...

Looking forward to seeing which way you jump mate. Good luck with the end of year college submissions!

David Crook said...

The great thing about being back at work is that I will be able to complete whichever project I decide on in respect of all the 'kit'. That said, we are not talking 1,000s of figures but a usable selection - not unlike a DBA army but with all the options. Much to ponder as to selection and I will not be deciding in a hurry! Thanks for the good wishes re the college - oddly enough I am really looking forward to getting them underway as this week has been hugely busy thus far.