Friday 12 October 2012

In Blocks we Trust....

The blocks in their final form. From left to right - top row: command, infantry, cavalry an artillery, middle row: machine gun, mortar and anti tank gun and bottom row: armour and wheeled vehicles.

Last night I labelled the 180 blocks I needed to complete the six colour selection of generic armies I have constructed. That is it. They are done. Finished. Ended.

The only additions I can foresee with the collection would be scenario specific specials or possibly - and I am giving this some serious thought - some unit order/status/designation type labels. A good example of this might be a paratrooper symbol on a block to add to an infantry unit - rather like special units in Command and Colours Ancients. I am also toying with producing named commander blocks and also named terrain features as well - purely for ease of identification and to add a little specific 'feel'. That is all for further consideration though in due course.

Of the blocks I have prepared there are nine separate types illustrated in the picture above and for my purposes I have the following quantities:

Command - 6
Infantry - 48
Cavalry - 24
Artillery - 12
Machine Gun, Mortar and Anti tank Gun - 6 of each
Armour - 18
Wheeled - 12

That is 138 blocks per colour (red, blue, green, grey, brown and olive) or 828 in total. I still have around 400 blocks of this size remaining although half of these will need stripping before I can use them. Actually only the artillery need the labels removed so the core units above could readily be expanded for the occasional epic action if needed. The designs are pretty much NATO standard except for the command block which uses the symbol from David Chandler's Campaigns of Napoleon. The machine gun and mortar should really have an additional chevron but when I tried this it looked a little busy so I went for the single arrowhead. The anti tank gun symbol merely needs a line (rather like a capital A) to become an anti aircraft gun although I suspect I will use a designation block for this should the need arise.

Now that the tools are ready and in place the next order of business will be to make use of them!

A blast from the past and a challenge to the ironing skills of the average wargamer!

Whilst organising the block storage for the finished collection I had occasion to have a rummage through my filing system where I rediscovered the packet you see above - from circa the late 1980s. I seem to remember buying several packs of this and also very successfully hex gridded a 6 x 4ft green cloth and a sand coloured version as well. The original cloths have long gone but I have more than sufficient to cover a couple of new 6 x 4ft cloths should the need arise. The hexes are 3" across the flat sides and the blue cloth used as the backdrop in the photo may well be the first recipient of some transfers when the ironing board is next out.

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