Monday, February 28, 2022

French Regiments Provence and Cosse'-Brissac

Despite a flurry of games, activity at the workbench continues albeit more slowly.

A large box of hexes arrived on my doorstep this week.  Contained therein were stacks of five-inch hexes.  Do I not already have enough flocked hexes to fill a table for battle?  Yes but those were four-inch hexes for use with 15mm figures.  To adapt my 120mm frontage, 25mm armies to hex-based Basic Impetvs battles, larger hexes were needed.  Once weather improves, I will be outside preparing a second set of hex tiles to accommodate the larger 120mm bases.      

Two more French infantry regiments muster out from the painting desk today.  The two latest, 23-figure regiments are both faced red with yellow trim.  Figures are 18mm Blue Moon with a Eureka mounted officer.  Flags by Not by Appointment.

Cosse' Brissac saw action at Rossbach.

Provence saw action at Hastenbeck, Rossbach, and Krefeld.

Cosse' Brissac
Several more French infantry regiments are making their way through the painting queue.  Perhaps there will be detours to field more Sumerians along the way?

Kevin and I set down on Friday for a F2F session of Commands & Colors Ancients with my 6mm Punic Wars collection.

For this action, I picked a battle unfought by us.  On the docket was the Battle of Caralis in 215BC.  At first glance, Caralis appeared to offer an interesting battle featuring large armies.  On paper, the armies looked well-matched.  On the table, the armies were very well matched. 

We had time to play the battle twice.  Kevin chose to play the Romans in both contests.  In Game 1, Carthage took the victory 8 banners to 7 banners while in Game 2, Rome took the victory 8 banners to 6 banners.  Two very close games that went down to the wire.  Excellent stuff!  Caralis may be my new favorite battle.

Matt and I faced off on Sunday for another in our long-running Rebels & Patriots AWI campaign games.  On tap was a recreation of the running battle of Millstone in 1777.  I save details on this excellent action for another time.  

On the gaming table today, I face off in a remote game recreating the SYW Battle of Moys.  This will be David's introduction into both remote wargaming and Honours of War

Off to prepare for today's game.

Thursday, February 24, 2022

French Regiment Poitou and Moys Update

There have been rumblings since the start of the New Year that I planned to expand my fledgling SYW French army.  Nothing to show of any progress until today. 

In the first of (hopefully) a steady stream of French units marching off the painting desk is Regiment Poitou.  Figures are 18mm Blue Moon.  Flag is by David from Not By Appointment.  At least four more infantry battalions await their turn in the photo booth.  Actually, that would be regiments since I am fielding one battalion regiments to start.  A follow-up pair of infantry regiments are on the workbench now.  After those two battalions muster out, expect a half-dozen artillery pieces. 
On the unnamed SYW battle shown in earlier posts. Matt was the first to correctly identify the battle as the Combat of Moys.  Now, a "combat' to me suggests a smaller action but once the troops were deployed upon the table, Moys looks anything but small.  Below is the Moys battle map with details filled in.

Combat of Moys
Moys is the battle David (from Not By Appointment) selected as his introduction to both remote gaming and Honours of War (HoW).  Once we get our schedules aligned, we plan to give this a try.  Have we bit off more than two players can chew?  Perhaps not in multiple sessions.  By the time we are finished, David will be very familiar with both remote gaming and HoW!  

Wish us luck.

Since I expect to have Moys out on the table for an extended time, if anyone is interested in joining for a replay, drop me an email.  Moys presents an interesting solo puzzle.  I plan to give solitaire a try too.  Scenario details will be presented when work is completed.

Monday, February 21, 2022

On The Table Today is...

still an unnamed battle.

In the previous post, I offered up a map with little information on the battle beyond a view of the general topography.

Today, the troops are placed onto the table in their initial deployments.  The period should be obvious by the armies and uniforms.  But the battle?

A few more pictorial hints follow:

Any guesses?

With near blizzard conditions outside today, this Presidents’ Holiday looks like a good opportunity for a meaningful painting session and to work on the scenario for this battle.  I hope not to get sidetracked from plan.  Of course, there is snow shoveling in my future.

Friday, February 18, 2022

Sumerian Reinforcements Two Ways

With another three-game week in the books (two remote and one F2F), concentrated painting sessions were hard to come by.  I did manage to push out a twelve-figure unit of Sumerian spear.  These figures are Wargames Foundry.  I think there are enough of these figures in The Lead Pile to make two more spear units.

The front rank of spearmen carry the large shield with little else for protection.  the second rank don the heavy cloak.  Great figures.  Sticking with this project, three battle carts and support are in work.  Yes, I know I ought to be working on SYW French to stick to plan but progress is being made on that front too.

In the mailbox this week appeared a package from Newline Designs.  Of course, I could not pass up the annual sale.  Perhaps a second order may be in the works before the offer expires?  Perhaps.  I could use more Sumerian battle carts, I think.  Time is running out.  

The contents of this order were a mix of Hittite and Sumerian foot.  Many of the figures were archers to boost the missile arm of these two armies.  With an arrival of new figures, the temptation to push some figures into the painting queue straight away was too great.  Cleaning up the first batch of Sumerian archers in preparation for primering, I noticed a bit more flash on these figures than in previous orders.  A curiosity to note and something to keep an eye on. 
On the gaming front, it is time to move on from the recent run of Feudal Japan battles.  Finally, the table has been cleared of hex terrain and Feudal Japanese.  In their place is the makings for a new battle.

Any guesses?

Tuesday, February 15, 2022

1st Azukizaka Triple Play

Recently, I hosted the First Battle of Azukizaka three times in five days via Zoom.  Game #1 was against Matt.  Today we take a closer look at that contest.  

The table arrayed with the two armies deployed.  Matt chose to take command of the Oda Clan.  I would command the Imagawa.

Armies arrayed for battle
Imagawa Battle Line
Oda Battle Line
Initial Deployments
Each army had a command tent on the battlefield with an intrinsic garrison.  If the tent is lost, two points will be deducted from Army Morale.
Imagawa Command Tent
Oda Command Tent
Oda advances but then is counterattacked on the right.
Oda archers are driven back with great loss.
Imagawa Samurai pursue.
Oda archers are destroyed on the right
while the Oda left erupts in fighting.
Heavy fighting on the Oda left.
Imagawa driven back on the left
and driven back in center and right.
Imagawa pushed back all across the front!
More heavy fighting on the Oda left.
Imagawa left has been breached!
Imagawa left collapses
In a series of attacks, the Oda commander, Nobuhide, turns the table on Yoshimoto.  Successful Odan attacks and failed Imagawan counterattacks force the Imagawan morale clock lower in big chunks.  Having driven in both Imagawan flanks, the Oda Army claims victory.  The battle was hard-fought but Yoshimoto saw his army pushed back all across the battlefield and he concedes the field.  

Excellent game!

For the second, First Battle of Azukizaka, please sees Graham's account at, Samurai Time-Slip.

The third, First Battle of Azukizaka, I leave for another time.

Friday, February 11, 2022

On the Table Today is...

the Battle of Koriyama Castle in 1540.

The combination of Samurai Battles' scenarios and Basic Impetvs (BI2.0) continues seeing regular action on the gaming table.  Today is no exception.  With a start time of 0700 PST to fit in with my UK-based opponent's schedule, the gaming day begins early.  Rather than umpiring the game only, I face off against my opponent in a remote, two-player contest.  While my opponent has two games under his belt with my adaptations to BI2.0, today's contest is a chance to reinforce some of the game elements without a virtual room full of players and competing demands.

Koriyama Castle introduces (to me and my collection) a new unit type in Samurai foot archers.  Without any such units in the collection, I needed to make quick work in fielding the two required BMUs for this battle.  Luckily, the recent Museum Miniatures' order had enough figures to field two such units.  Oh, I also managed to slip one more order under the wire during the January sale.  A month ago, I thought this project finished.

Off the painting desk today and just in the nick of time to see action in today's game are two Samurai foot archer units.  Each unit has 14 figures.  As with the Samurai horse archers fielded earlier, these foot archers are superb looking sculpts.

Anyway, with an early start time, I better get some rest.

Tuesday, February 8, 2022

Another Batch of Sumerians

Work continues on painting down the Sumerian pile of lead.  Just when I see some headway gained, I place an order to restock.  When the latest restock arrives, the new additions ought to allow me to field two equally balanced armies.  One I work my way through a few of these units, it may be time for a parade followed by their initial test of battle.  Perhaps this phase of the project will be ready by time I see the first green shoots of Spring?

Anyway, off the painting table today are two, twelve figure stands of Sumerian spearmen.  All of these figures are wearing the heavy cloak without shield.  Another unit of spearmen with large shield are nearing completion.  Figures are Wargames Foundry.  

After these spearmen depart the painting desk, work shifts to SYW French in 18mm.  My work on SYW French keeps running afoul of plans.  First, I was diverted by fielding four BMUs of Samurai horse archers of fine Museum Miniatures figures for the First Azukizaka battle.  A second diversion sees two BMUs of Samurai foot archers jumping ahead in the production line.  Again, Museum Miniatures figures.  The foot archers should be mustering out later this week just in time for a Friday game.  To further muddy the waters, a second package from Museum Miniatures arrived in yesterday's post.  More Samurai figures thrown onto the Lead Pile, of course, and another unit of Samurai foot archers pushed into the painting queue.

Last week saw three remote games of Basic Impetvs refighting the First Battle of Azukizaka.  I still plan to put together at least a brief compilation summary of the three battles before I forget all of the details.  I do recall that I lost both of the battles in which I took an active command.  Decisively too.  Sigh.  Today, I take command of the French Expeditionary Force in China.  Hopefully, I can turn it around and taste victory for a change.  

Friday, February 4, 2022

Spending on the Hobby

Hobby spending.  For some, the amount spent on the hobby is a delicate subject.  Accountability on the amount spent ranges from "I have no idea" to "I am an accountant, I track everything" and all stops in between.

Provided that survey respondents actually have a reasonable grasp on spending tendencies, what do the survey results suggest?

Spending Bins
The survey lists a series of upper and lower bounds for a number of spending ranges. Each spending range has conversion equivalents for a number of currencies. To make these various currency ranges more manageable for reporting purposes, these ranges are converted into Spending Bins denoting relative expenditures.  The '$' system will be used to denote these bins.  The conversions are:

  • $ -- 0 to £200 / €250 / $350 
  • $$ -- £201 / €251 / $351   to   £400 / €440 / $500 
  • $$$ -- £401 / €441 / $501   to   £800 / €880 / $1000 
  • $$$$ -- £801 / €881/ $1001   to   £1600 / €2000 / $2800
  • $$$$$ -- More than £1600 / €2000 / $2800
A quick histogram of responses shows a somewhat normal distribution with counts skewed to the lower spending bins.
Counts spending by bin
Expected Spending
Given that respondents specify level of spending, a follow-up question asks about expected spending for the next year.  What does the survey show?  
Percent of expected spending by category 
One interesting generalization pops out from the graphic above.  Wargamers who tend to spend less expect to spend the same or even less while those wargamers tending to spend more expect to spend the same or more.

Points of Sale
One question asks respondents for their top 3 choices for points of sale. From the table below, online sales lead the way with purchases direct from manufacturer and independent retailers making up over 50% of responses.  Add in purchases from ebay or similar and online purchases make up almost 70% of total sales.   

Breaking the Numbers Down
Three of the attributes I enjoy exploring further in any analysis are Primary Interest, Age Group, and Wargaming Period.  Does breaking down spending by these three attributes provide any insight? 

For spending by primary interest, all three categories show similar spending profiles.  Note that Fantasy/Sci-Fi gamers tend to spend more in the mid-range bin ($$$) while Historical and Mixed wargamers tend to spend a little more than their Fantasy/Sci-Fi group.
Spending by Primary Interest
For spending by age group, no surprises here.  Annual spending tends to increase with age.  The exception is in the 61+ age group.  Here, the trend of expenditures increasing with age reverses direction.  With increased life expectancies, perhaps it is time to break up the 61+ age group into more age cohorts?  Maybe more age cohorts at the upper end would expose a more lifecycle approach to spending?  
Spending by Age Group
Finally, consider wargaming periods by spending bin.

Recall that the survey asks for a respondent's Top 3 wargaming periods with no specification of ranking.  Therefore, each respondent's Top 3 (or less) choices are aggregated to produce the graphic below.

What we see is that the Top 10 wargaming periods (in rank order of total counts) exhibit similar spending patterns. Variation exists across periods but generally spending is similar.
Spending by Top wargaming period
There is something of interest in the Spending by Top Wargaming Period graphic and it is not about spending.  Although the favorite wargaming period question changed from rank ordering of wargaming periods in the 2020 survey to choosing at most Top 3 without rank order in 2021, the same wargaming periods rise to the top in both.

World War 2 comes out on top as seen year after year with Science Fiction and Warhammer 40K rounding out the top 3.  What interests me is that Ancients, Dark Ages, and Medievals make the Top 10 wargaming periods when aggregated into Top 3 choices.  Does this suggest a potential cross-over between Fantasy/Sci-Fi to Historicals?  Do 'Mixed' fantasy/sci-fi wargamers migrate into historicals by way of these pre-1500 historical periods?  I suppose time will tell. 

Back to the question of spending.  Do you track your hobby spending and into which Spending Bin do you find yourself?  Are spending expectations the same from year to year or did spending expectations change in 2021.  If so, how?