Wednesday 13 July 2022

A Head Full of Good Intentions

One of my top ten military books and a constant companion since the early 1970s

A charity shop find for a mere £2 - I have not played it as yet but it is fully complete and is likely to be games at some point

Set up and ready to go. Seeing this map still giver me the same thrill as it did way back in the 1970s!

I am not sure why but for some reason I am feeling unusually optimistic about the various projects I have either on the go or at the planning stage - or even those I am ‘just thinking about’!

I think resuming work on the ACW ships and the rules has kind of acted as a form of ‘motivational reset’ and so many of the others bits and pieces I am looking at suddenly seem to be more achievable. Am I kidding myself? Possibly, but one should make hay whilst the sun shines (it has certainly been doing that over the past few days!) and so I have organised my plans into some kind of order which I have listed below. When I say order I mean what I am going to do with the idea - not necessarily when it is going to happen!

ACW - Ships, rules and assorted battles

As mentioned work has resumed on the ship models and I have in mind some additional work in respect of certain refurbishments. Some earlier models will be retired and newer models built to replace them - there are more retiring than will be replaced - along with some terrain pieces. The rules need some combat examples and then they will be off to the play testing team for what I hope will be the last time. I also want to look at getting some land actions in - Portable Wargame style and other sets.

War in the Pacific

I rather fancy building the ships for this as it would be a quite self contained mini project. I reckon a dozen  or so models would suffice and naturally I would use my ironclad rules as a starting point. I may try some of the land battles using ‘It’s Getting a Bit Chile’ by Trebian (currently in the Wargames Vault sale) and my block armies.

Russo - Turkish War

I am thinking that the naval side of this may not happen as planned despite having started on the models. No matter as the Turkish ships will certainly feature as part of the Madasahatta: the Prequel project. For sure there is plenty of scope in the Russo Turkish War - probably more so from a gaming perspective than occurred historically - but I am thinking my efforts would be better employed a little later than 1877/78. I have fought a few land actions from the period which have been great fun and may dabble again with the block armies at some point but for now I think it is safe to say that the period is parked.


You may recall me mentioning my acquisition of a copy of Command and Colours: Samurai Battles. The latter half of the 16th century in Japan is a perennial favourite of mine - I blame Akira Kurosawa and James Clavell - and so I am quite keen to get some games in with this. I am also looking to get hold of a copy of the old Milton Bradley game Shogun that has over 400 assorted Samurai era foot figures (sadly no mounted but the figures fit perfectly with Zvezda 1:72nd scale figures) with a view to painting up some representative forces. That in itself is a mighty bold statement from someone that is ordinarily a reluctant figure painter at best! Seriously though, a brace of Portable Wargame sized forces or even tailoring something to suit the Command and Colours version is not beyond the realms of possibility. Detail wise the figures in the board game are probably the only one I would consider painting in any event.

If anyone has a copy of this game or would be happily to sell some of the figures please let me know!


I still rather fancy trying this using the block armies but there would be some work to do beforehand in respect of terrain. I will get to it at some point but have no idea when!


There is an air on inevitably that I will revisit this campaign at some point. At the present time I am thinking about the blocks and a large scale map - large enough for me to use my 6ft by 4ft table, thereby satisfying my inner Napoleon… Of course the map would need to be prepared but one get a little detail like that get in the way of such a grand design. 


This is going to be the big one. Aside from the naval dimension I am looking at the armies using the War in the Age of Imperialism figures supplemented by other ranges of 1:72nd plastics. Very much in the planning stages (and yes, I am already having problems with this, mainly around ships) and I am looking forward to this. It will be a slow burner and a long runner.


You know I mentioned that the standard infantry figure from the WITAOI board game looked very much like a Zulu War period figure? Well, as a little side hustle I am seriously concerning a Portable Colonial Wargame Zulu War set up. The VSF part is a ‘side hustle of a side hustle’ in that I rather fancy using the Hat Biblical era Sea Peoples as Red Martians for some Space 1889 style gaming and yes, Sky Galleons and Cloudships will feature.


I have an awful lot of plastic Risk: Medieval figures (loosely based on Viking, Byzantine, Frankish and Saracen types) that are crying out for something to be done with them - the only problem is that they are quite small so may look out pf place with certain 1:72nd scale plastics. I will look at his more closely in due course but for now my thinking is very much along the imagi-nation route.

WW1 and 2

For WW1 East Africa and the Arab Revolt continue to inspire and will feature in one capacity or another - for the former the Lake Tanganyika campaign and possibly something involving S.M.S. Konigsberg. I raher like the idea of something aerial but that would be some way away.

WW2 presents a whole world of challenges - mainly due to the fact that I am interested in many facets of the conflict. I am unsure what I would tackle although Wing Leader: Victories certainly has some potential. 

I fancy some special forces style games - SAS, SBS, SOE etc which will mean very much skirmish level. If I am honest I am thinking that board games will satisfy the bulk of my aspirations in respect of WW2.

Sci Fi

A few ideas are currently being considered. Mechs - gotta love a large stompy fighting machine - are certainly on the agenda as well as some kind of skirmish set up. I am aware that Dan Mersey has a Sci Fi skirmish set from the ‘Rampant’ stable which should be fun. I also have the small matter of starships to consider - I have some models but am planning on building some for something rather unusual - I will say no more for now.

Age of Sail

I am confident that my building technique would work just as well for the age of sail as it does for the steam and sail period. I have a couple of ideas in mind for something Napoleonic related in a modest way - no Trafalgar sized slugfests - involving Frigates and smaller, possibly with the odd ship of the line for good measure. There may even be some shore raids in evidence using 1:72nd plastics but this will be for another day. The challenge I have at present is designing a hull template although I have a stack of Warlord Black Seas models I could play around with.

So what is missing?

The obvious omission is the whole pre dreadnought thing. Madasahatta will be a late ironclad/early pre dreadnought set up (currently I am looking at the period 1885 to 1895 for the ships) and for sure there will be a few historical liberties taken with what is available to the combatants. Naval combat in the Madasahatta world will be relatively low level in turns of the amount of material - remember that this is essentially a Colonial style set up - and will feature ships that are for the most part ‘second division’ types with the odd smattering of more modern vessels, typically ‘showing the flag’.

In closing

The above is very much a work in progress and by no stretch of the imagination is carved in stone. It is merely a snapshot of where I am at in terms of the current crop of projects and ideas. I have to say that I find it very therapeutic to sit and plan these kind of things and to be honest it is the first time I have really felt like doing so this year. I am sure that these ideas will wax and wane in terms of feasibility over time but it does not hurt to indulge one’s imagination from time to time. Some of these will be tackled, some will be discarded and no doubt newer ‘Ooh shiny!’ Things will appear but that is half the fun!


Jonathan Freitag said...

Hi David, you certainly have many projects under consideration and much on your plate. How do you prioritize this vast range of interests?

David Crook said...

Hello there Jonathan,

I would love to say that there was an overall grand scheme of things but that would be less than truthful! I tend to drift between things in the short term but there are many long term items that regularly surface. As Mr White said in Spectre ‘You’re kite dancing in a hurricane!”

My wargaming conscience reminds me constantly of that which I am predominantly interested in and occasionally I listen to it!

To be honest I am surprised that I have stuck with the ACW naval project for over two years now so there is hope for me yet!

All the best,


Mark Cordone said...

A lifetimes list of projects. I've done somethings with the risk pieces, they are closer to 15mm and really don't mix well with anything else. Imagi-nations is the way to go with them, A little mixing and matching will get you at least ten different armies. The Shogun game is hard to come by, but for slightly less detailed figures try Red Box, they paint up fairly well. Good luck and I'm looking forward to future progress reports.

Archduke Piccolo said...

David -
That is one ambitious aim, and no mistake! I thought I was spreading myself a bit thin. But then, you seem to be more dedicated to your goals.

But, form the point of view of a regular reader of your blog spot, there is plenty to look forward to and to entertain.

David Crook said...

Hello there Mark,

I suspect that I will not be getting bored anytime soon! Seriously though looks are rather deceptive as in my mind’s eye a number of these are relatively straightforward in respect of organising. For example, Waterloo merely needs a map, the War in the Pacific needs around 12 to 15 models (as does the WW1 East African Naval set up) and board games are self contained in any event. The biggest projects are these involving figures and for sure, even using the Portable Wargame will need some time spent on them, along with amassing the appropriate terrain.

If I can get a hold of a copy of Shogun I reckon that adding a couple of boxes of cavalry and the command set from Zvezda will be all that I need.

I need to look more closely at the Risk: Medieval figures in due course.

Plenty to keep me occupied then - now it is just getting the time to realise some of them!

All the best,


David Crook said...

Hello there Archduke,

There is a cunning plan behind a lot of this in that some of the projects actually do not need a lot of work to be viable. By far the largest of these projects involve figures so Colonial/Madasahatta, Samurai and the Medievals will take the longest to realise - especially when you factor in terrain etc.

I have surprised myself in respect of the ACW project in that I have persevered with it (the odd blip notwithstanding) for over two years now - for me this is little short of miraculous!

Thank you for reading the blog and I hope that when any of these are finished with that you will enjoy the output!

All the best,


Millsy said...

Wow, Victory at Waterloo is a blast from the past. No idea what happened to my copy but I do remember having some entertaining games.

David Crook said...

Hello there Millsy,

I was quite surprised to see it in the charity shop and for £2 it was well worth it. All the counters had been punched and were loose in the box but are all present. I will give it a run out at some point.

This was one a series of games published by the same company including WW2 in the desert and Operationa Market garden as well as the Battle of Britain. I seem to recall a Sci Fi galactic empire style of game as well and there may have been others.

All the best,


Paul O'G said...

Fun post, thanks DC - as ever, lots of interesting things on your agenda! Good luck with them :-)

David Crook said...

Hello there Paul,

Good to hear from you old chap and I hope all is well with you and the family!

The list is large but deceptively so in terms of the amount of work involved. For sure the figure painting stuff will required the largest amount of effort but they are offset by some smaller quick wins to help dilute the overall master plan.

I am sure that things will be added and a few will either change or drop off the radar but that is half the fun really! Setting the list down on the blog was as much as a reminder for me as anything else and for sure there are some interesting schemes to keep me busy - when time permits that is.

All I can say is roll on retirement (5 years and counting…)!

All the best old chap,


Aly Morrison said...

You certainly have some interesting projects to work on…
I think we all know what happens to plans but laying everything out definitely help make sense of things and highlights priorities.

I look forward to seeing how things develop.

All the best. Aly

David Crook said...

Hi Aly,

In a way I wanted to ‘formalise the wish list’ but to be honest these things usually remain in a state of flux! Fortunately a number of these are quite modest in scope and so easily doable in a ‘low hanging fruit’ kind of way.

The figure based projects are by far and away the most labour intensive though.

Watch this space as they say!

All the best,