This was definitely not the post I thought I would be writing but in a way it is relevant to it! Aside from sealing the sole Confederate casemate ironclad I had built today has been taken up with work and some time with a new arrival to the collection. This particular new arrival is something of profound significance for me - mainly due to its relevance with the content of the as yet to published other blog post!
Today I took delivery of a 28mm scale WoFun English Civil war starter set - the entire contents of the box you see in the rather glorious series of pictures at the head of this post.
It probably took me around an hour to get this lot assembled and posed for the pictures. That is from the box to the table. Let that sink in for a moment.
The figures are die cut so all one has to do is to pop them out and place them in a base - it really is that simple. The artillery needs a little work and needs to be glued together really as they are a little on the flimsy side. A couple of the figures had cracked but Lucian at Wofun (actually Mr WoFun himself) will happily replace then as well as the incorrect cavalry I received. I learned early on that it is possible to break the sprue around the figure which makes it even easier to get them out (not that it is had in any event) and when placing the figure in a base to lightly sand the locating lug at the figure base for an easier fit and apply the pressure only on the figure where the jug is. It is really easy though.
A really important consideration with these is that the table footprint is very small. The 28mm range uses a base of 40mm by 30mm and typically has two rows of figures - 8 foot and 6 mounted. You really get a good mass effect using this system and for me it means that you can fit four bases of figures in a 4” hex.
For rules I have a number of options and I know that there are a couple of good Portable Wargame variants, Neil Thomas and his One Hour Wargames, Andy Callan’s rules that come with the set or indeed, many others that I will need to explore - which will be fun.
The first time I saw the paper soldier range by Peter Dennis at Salute a few years ago (Andy Callan was in the chair running a very nice looking WSS game using them) - which are the descendants and contemporaries of the WoFun range I was really intrigued but never really fancied cutting them out and, to be honest, was concerned about the longevity of them. When WoFun starting producing essentially the same thing except on acrylic I was even more intrigued.
Andy Callan very kindly sent me a few Jacobite samples that have appeared previously on the blog and this served to raise my interest to infinity and beyond! I will not bore you with how this acquisition came about but suffice it to say I am extremely pleased with this entry level set up.
This concept is an absolute game changer for me. I do not have to think about painting figures and all of the associated mental baggage I seem to have with that particular facet of our hobby. Now I can plan, research and game in a visually impressive way - with Peter Dennis artwork as well!
Why the ECW? Well, this is a period of history that is one of those I have always liked the look of but had no inclination to raise any armies for it - the painting issue once again. I have kept a small selection of books about the period for many years and of course, Nick Lipscombe’s latest atlas has served to bring the whole thing to a head of steam. To be honest, it is the difference that attracted me - the difference from anything else I have been gaming over recent years.
Will I expand the collection? Absolutely! Will I look at other periods from the same manufacturer (the Spanish Armada is coming as well as the War of the Roses)? Hell yes! Will I ever buy anymore figures to torment myself and bore the life out of you when I go on about hating painting? Nope, not anymore!
Block armies, board games and Wofun are the way forward for me now - that and scratch built warships, which I shall be back with tomorrow.
All in all then, it has been a very good day!
My grateful thanks to Andy Callan for ‘showing me the way’.