Tuesday, 16 February 2010

A Magnificent Piece of News

After a lengthy negotiation process (simply down to my own dithering) with the redoubtable Mr Fox I have managed to acquire a complete early WW1 15mm Peter Laing painted and based collection comprising British, French and Germans. The collection is complete and features infantry, cavalry, artillery and staff in the quantities listed below. I am really pleased to have this lot for a number of reasons.

To begin with, the early months of WW1 in the West were marked by a period of frenzied activity as the Germans attempted to apply the Schlieffen Plan (or a diluted version thereof) against a largely unwilling France with Great Britain as one of the supporting cast in the shape of the B.E.F – the legendary ‘Old Contemptibles’. The initial German advance makes the campaign really playable as the sheer variety of historical actions arising serves to provide much in the way of scenario ideas. Fighting retreats, local holding actions, last stands and desperate counter attacks all feature at some point so gaming potential is very well served. The period in question has also been exhaustively written about so acquiring a modest collection of reading material for the library will be fairly straightforward. At the very least there is a number of Ospreys that could be relied on for basic background detail.

In respect of rules to use again there is a plethora of choice. A number of years ago Mr Fox and I played several very good games using this collection and Dave Manley’s adaptation of DBA called DBH – De Bellis Horribilus; a variant covering the Great War. These were great fun to use (and I think are still available from his website) These are an option but I am thinking that Morschauser or When Empires Clash (both of these are by Bob Cordery) may provide the answer to the rules question. At the moment I am leaning more towards Morschauser simply because they will work really nicely in a mini campaign format and the early moves of WW1 are crying out for such treatment. Thoughtful basing will serve for a variety of sets in any event.

The collection is made up of the following and note that all infantry battalions are 16 figures and cavalry regiments are 12.
British - 12 Cavalry (1 regiment), 5 marching/firing bns, 2 entrenched bns, 1 prone firing bn, 2 Hmgs, 2 field guns and a Staff group.
Allies - 5 French infantry bns, 2 Hmgs, 3 field guns, 3 cavalry regts and a Staff group.
Germans - 9 infantry bns, 2 jager bns, 7 Hmgs, 7 field guns, 2 heavy howitzers, 2 cavalry regts and a Staff group.

There is also a pile of Peter Pig figures intended to reinforce the British which are unpainted and will probably be offloaded at some point.

As you can see, this is a phenomenal amount of kit and all it needs is to be sympathetically rebased. They are painted in an ‘old school flat coloured enamel’ style and due to the age there may be some touching up on the paint front required. I would certainly consider perhaps a new coat of varnish as well but other than that it is good to go. New varnish on old figures really brings then to life again and so this will probably be an essential part of the renovation process. I have yet to decide but am leaning towards multiple figures bases for the collection – probably with 40mm frontages.

Now I realise that this has completely wrecked my carefully considered to do list for the year but I will certainly not be abandoning my Balkan Wars project. The above collection will not see action until the rebase has been completed and that will take some time so the Greeks and Turks are safe in the batting order at present. I will try and get some pictures for the blog in due course; after I have taken delivery of the collection.

In the meantime, the Greeks and Turks will be getting their first coat of paint at the weekend and I will need to source a copy of Richard Holmes’s superb book: ‘Riding the Retreat’. I would also like to thank Mr Fox for making this collection available to me - many thanks and I am sure that Thatch, the horse that ate Europe, will be pleased to know that the supporters of his master have stayed true to his bacchanalian ways!! Vive du pain, du vin, du Boursin!!


SteelonSand said...

Alright, alright, just trying to make us all jealous now, I see!
Certainly a lucky score - too tempting to resist, but let's not see it detract from the Balkan Wars project - my vote is to use them with Morschauer and keep it all under one roof as it were....

David Crook said...

Thanks SoS - Have no fear, the Balkans are first on the priorities list! morschauser will probably be the rules of choice for both methinks.


Paul O'G said...

Great news indeed old Boy! Great transaction. I was keen to get into some 15mm WW1 a year or so ago but it fell though due to cost. Check out Peter Pig's Square bashing for some interesting griddd WW1 rules.

David Crook said...

Cheers Tas, I will post some pics when I have the collection in the Factorium. As mentioned, Morschauser will probably be the rules of choice for these (and the Balkans)and I shall be basing them on multiples rather than individuals. They will not see action for a while though as I want to get the Balkans tackled and then the WW1 stuff will need rebasing.