Monday 5 March 2012

Block and Tackled

There's one, there's another one....

One of my ongoing projects involves the use of wooden blocks to represent generic units in a variety of armies across the period of, well, the gun. Using my existing collection I have so far managed to fight a dedicated Napoleonic action and an 1890's based battle between Fezia and Rusland. Future pland include supporting my ACW riverine set up, the Balkan Wars, WW2 and indeed, pretty much anything else I fancy from 1700 upwards. The Blocks I am using are absolutely fine as they are but would benefit from having an additional smaller size for use as detachments etc. I have managed to get around this problem by an almost 'smoke and mirrors' approach. The best example of this is the light infantry block - this has two standard infantry symbols, much reduced in size, on a green background. It works but was only ever going to be a temporary expedient.

I have been in contact with a local joiner/carpenter and have managed to get three and a half boxes of the blocks I am using cut in half on a power saw (I have no idea what it is called but it looked like a small scale band saw!). This is a big step forward for the project as the smaller blocks will be far better representations of small detachments, batteries, or even as step markers for gradual unit reduction - something like the way blocks are used in Command and Colours Napoleonics.

I also have in mind plans to use these smaller blocks for large scale naval games in due course with some simple aerial outlines for the ships prepared using MS Paint and printed on sticky labels. One for later perhaps but certainly doable.

On another point, my joiner, who is a very accommodating and helpful chap, is also able to get some  'Monopoly' style ship hulls cut from off cuts for the price of a beer! Bob Cordery is currently pioneering some ideas around cartoon sized warships - designed for use with 15mm figures - which would certainly make for some visually impressive games and so have a source of cheap, pre cut hulls would save a lot of time during the construction process.

Much to ponder here methinks....;-)


Robert (Bob) Cordery said...


This is really developing into an excellent alternative to traditional figures. The blocks are larger than the kriegsspiel blocks ... which makes them easier to handle ... but has a similar aesthetic appeal to them.

I look forward to future developments.

All the best,


David Crook said...

Hi Bob,

As it stands using the smaller blocks in a 'C and C' system fashion will be really good in conjunction with Hexon terrain. MoBaS would also benefit - especially for larger actions and needless to say I have a number of ideas around this!

The boxes of blocks you have for me will certainly be put to very good use!

All the best,


Mike Strefford said...

Drill into each of the smaller blocks on the side and put RE magnets in. Then the larger formations will hold together :)

David Crook said...

Hi Mike,

That is not something I would have thought of but it certainly would solve a few problems.

Many thanks for the heads up.

All the best,