Thursday, 9 June 2016

Thirty Years War in 2mm - Update


One of the things about taking on board a new hobby project is that it takes on a life it its own. Especially if you have a deadline. And things (like this blog for example) get forgotten - at least for a short while. Can it really be late March since I last posted here?

Although I promised to keep you all updated on the progress of my 2mm Thirty Years War project, actually undertaking the project has taken a great deal of my available hobby time over the last couple of months. The weeks since the end of March have been a whirlwind of figure and block basing, painting, terrain making and rule designing. Oh, and of course actually putting on the game and playing it.

But, I’m pleased to report that I got there. I took the Lützen 1632 game over to Evesham for the Operation Marker Larden get-together last Saturday (4th June). Now that the dust has settled, it's time to blog more about where the 2mm project has headed to, and where it might be going in the future.

Before I start, I want to say a huge thank you to everyone who's helped so far. You know who you are, but particularly to Curt, Mark, Simon, Paul, Ed, Kieran, Nick and Rich. Thanks guys!



***

Where I left things in March was the bare-bones of an idea of staging one of the iconic battles of the Thirty Years War in 2mm scale. I blogged about the idea HERE, but as a reminder I had the focus of trying to recreate the “look” of a Thirty Years War battlefield as contemporaries had painted, or engraved, it. Over the past two months, filled with painting, modelling and terrain-building, I have tried to keep that aim in mind in creating the Lützen 1632 game.


Alongside this aim has been the intention to try and create a wargame which was focused on re-creating iconic battles in a modern (2016), manageable, compressed time period. I remember the 1980s, when every game took about four or five hours to fight to a conclusion. I want to try and avoid that, fitting in the 2mm battles in a period of at most three hours, from deployment to conclusion. This is going to take some play-testing and experimenting – the Lützen 1632 game we played last weekend was a little way off that timing aim, but its early days yet.

Although the figures and terrain are finished, at least for the Lützen 1632 game, the next challenge is the rules themselves. Curt Campbell (from Analogue Hobbies) and myself have been working on a 2mm set of rules for the Thirty Years War (which should be eminently suitable for extension to the English Civil War), of which more in a later blog post. There is a lot of work to be done, although I hope we’re heading in the right direction. The intention is to make the rules emphasise the themes we’re looking for: grand tactical iconic battles, famous commanders, and a definite 17th Century “feel”. As far as possible, we’re hoping that the rule mechanics support and reinforce these themes.



In the next blog posts, I'll be looking at the things I've learned from creating and delivering the Thirty Years War 2mm project from scratch. I’ll be blogging about basing and painting 2mm armies, and the colour schemes I’ve used. I’ll cover terrain making for 2mm battles. I’m also hoping to blog about the rules we are writing, and how play-testing is going, including a look at the Lützen 1632 game we played last weekend. 


 
Its been a busy couple of months, but it’s going to be fun coming back to blog about what’s been happening. I hope you all can forgive my absence, and join me for what’s coming soon.


40 comments:

  1. Absence from the blogosphere is forgiven if the pics of what you've achieved so far are anything to go by :)

    I'm looking forward to reading more about this project :)

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    1. Thanks Tamsin!! Much appreciated, and yes - very much looking forward to getting back to blogging on this project!

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  2. very interesting look. Is that 2 part epoxy you are painting on the rivers to give it a wet look.

    john

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    1. Hi John, yes indeed - it is a two-part epoxy resin called "Solid Water". It's slightly tricky to use, but gives a good effect, giving some "depth" to the water in the river, stream, ditch or whatever. You can get a similar effect with lots of coats of gloss varnish, but with the resin, you just need a single application.

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  3. Exellent looking game !

    Did the Swedish King Survive the battle?

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    1. Thanks Michael! Gustavus did indeed survive on this occasion, charging at the head of the Swedish Ryttare against Pappenheim's cuirassiers. It was suitably dramatic!

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  4. No apology needed my good chap, particularly as you have promised us a veritable feast for the eyes in the coming months - blog on Sir.

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    1. Thanks Michael. I very much appreciate your understanding!

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  5. Really inspiring your Lützen battle. I already bought two 2mm armies and it is incredible small :) That is not to be seen on your pictures. What are your base sizes?

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    1. Hi Tankred. The 2mm figures and blocks are indeed small. To my mind, they really start to make sense as wargaming figures when they're arranged on bases as part of a larger army.

      Please don't worry, as I am hoping the following posts will stir up your enthusiasm for your 2mm project!

      All my forces are based on 2mm thick MDF (supplied by Warbases), in sizes of 60mmx30mm (for Foot, Light Horse and Field Artillery), 30mmx30mm (for Cavalry and Commanded Shot) and 60mmx60mm (for baggage trains and Tercio foot). More of the figures, how to base them, and base sizes in following posts!

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  6. Really, REALLY looking forward to this. The models and scenery are breathtaking, a truly inspirational project! I'm glad I could have been any help at all in a small way. Very keen to see what you come up with for the rules!

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    1. Ed, that's very kind to drop by and comment. Without you and Kieran, I would never have embarked on this project! So thanks to you both!

      The plan is to spend a few blog posts talking through the rules and their historical context and justification - I know you'll find that fun and interesting, so stay tuned!

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  7. Christmas has come early, Sydney's posting again!

    All the best

    Airhead

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  8. Looks a terrific game but you've gone to the far end of the typical Lardy game!!
    neitrher skirmish, nor large scales... curious to see the final results

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    1. Hi Benito - thanks for dropping by! You're correct in that 2mm scale is not the usual scale for "Lard" rules. However, I've felt for a while that some of the very best Lardy games we've played (such as the Boer war games) have been in the smaller scales.

      The smaller-scaled, grand tactical games have a different theme, "feel" and scope. My thought here, with the Thirty Years War, was to put the players into the shoes (or riding boots) of the Great Captains of the 1630s just as evocatively as Rich places you in the boots of a Canadian infantry lieutenant in Normandy in Chain of Command. In both situations, the choices, decisions, challenges will be different - but hopefully the tension, excitement and experience of the wargame will be similar!

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  9. Looks amazing. Farms and forests are particularly cool. Great to see some pics with your hands in there to give a sense of the scale.

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    1. Thanks Adam! Glad you like the terrain. One of the really great things about the 2mm scale is the way that you can create a viable wargaming landscape at a fraction of the expense and time of doing so in the larger scales. I'll be covering 2mm terrain making in a later blog post.

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  10. I always prefer quality over quantity and you definitely hit the ball out of the park with every single post. So no complains here. Awsome looking table by the way! I think you definitely managed to capture the feeling you were aiming for. Looking forward to more of that stuff.

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    1. Thanks Nick! There's quite a few more tweaks I want to make to the "look", and some close-up photography might help in that regard. It's still a little bit experimental at this stage, but thanks for the encouragement!

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  11. This is an exciting project, I look forward to hearing more!

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  12. Got to be honest: at first I thought you were crackers. "Cor, 2mm? You might as well get a board game and save the effort." BUT, the overall effect of your project is really first class and, despite the scale, it has bags of atmosphere. It's a corker of a job!

    Second thoughts though. That 2mm scale might be the answer for me. I might actually complete a project before I snuff it!

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    1. Aha .. I know understand that look in your eyes when we spoke at Partizan. "This blokes a nutter!!!!", you were thinking :)) You may well yet be right, Gary!

      I do very much understand the "you could as well do a board game" thoughts/ argument. At the risk of dodging the question, I'm going to save my comments on that for a later blog because I think it's a very interesting discussion.

      You do, however, touch on one key point of the 2mm scale. If you take the plunge, it is a scale which is both discreet and manageable. It will not cost a fortune. You can finish a project quickly. And it's eminently portable. More on each of those thoughts in the next post on painting 2mm armies!

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  13. I really like the way they look like the period etchings and woodcuts, interesting strategic gaming, I'll be sticking to 28mm, it gives me some chance of seeing what I'm doing!
    Best Iain

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    1. Thanks Iain! (Completely understand about the 28mm figures and visibility!)

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  14. And I was very lucky to get to play on the day! Been musing on a couple of the points we discussed and will try to get some suggestions over to you this weekend, now that we've recovered from the excesses of Evesham.

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    1. Simon, you were very welcome indeed. The contribution that you and Paul made to the game was immense - well and truly over and above the call of duty! Thanks so much. Looking forward to your further thoughts!

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  15. Fantastic work Sidney! The desaturated terrain really makes the miniatures pop - Lutzen and the river are brilliant.

    Now, back to the rules... :)

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    1. Thanks Curt! Don't worry, the rules are well in hand!

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  16. Delighted you're posting again Mr Roundwood. :o)
    But 2mm !?!?! You must have eyes like a hawk!
    Please don't leave it so long until your next post.
    Cheerio
    Matt

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    1. Thanks Matt! My eyesight's not perfect, but a big magnifying glass helped, with lots of light. Also having a painting plan was useful - see next blog post!

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  17. It does look really really cool Sidney, looking gorwsrd to more of the same and hearing what you and Curt come up with rule wise?

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    1. Thanks Ray - watch this space, hopefully later this week for more posts.

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  18. TYW has long been an interest of mine. Never really gamed it though. Have gamed FPW in 2mm.

    Very interested in your rules and organizing-painting your TYW forces. What you've done looks very good.

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    1. Hi Charles!!! Great to hear from you - thanks very much for dropping by. Hope yuo like what we are planning with the rules.

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  19. No apologies necessary, mate!
    And this entry is an excellent comeback. Truly a splendid project!

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