Saturday, 7 January 2023

It's all about the base...

 While most bloggers are using the first post of 2023 to display their early year paint jobs, I instead rebased my 15mm Seven Years War stuff for Volley and Bayonet.

Now, I don't have a lot of 15mm, but I remember buying the earliest figures here (Matchlock Miniatures) in the 1990s when 'Last of the Mohicans' came out, with a view to French & Indian War action.

Matchlock miniatures from the 90s (Green Howards of course)
More Matchlock French

To that end, they were only ever used for a Quebec 1763 game with WRG rules in mind but Canadian Wargames Group rules played.

There are also some Lancashire Games and Frei Korps figures in there for good measure, but here's the rub...

These figures were originally based in the nineties - on single and collective 3/8" per figure cardboard;

  • then rebased for Volley & Bayonet around 2010
  • then rebased on 30x30s to fit the groups' scheme around 2017
  • now rebased once more for Volley and Bayonet...(on 3"x1.5" and 3"x3")

What the hell am I doing? ...

Well, as the kidz say this days, 'I like the aesthetic' of the chunky V&B base for one, and I'm trying to get back into it as a multi-player, multi-period standard when Field of Battle will not do. Granted, having a lot of 3mm MDF which I got cut to various sizes many years ago, most certainly helps too.

And dammit...I have to say, aside from task of leveraging PVA stuck figures off their old bases, without a risk assessment, and the chance of slicing a finger off or losing an eye - I actually enjoy rebasing?!?! The new flock always looks good, for a while...

The problem of course remains now, with regard to differentiating between attack column and line for cavalry...but I don't care, if a marker will suffice. Previously, with 3 bases, the frontage only differed by 30mm, or a third of base width, if using three bases, so mehh.

In other news, I recently sold this 1989 boardgame on boardgamegeek:


I bought this in 1989, and despite still being a fan of WW3 wargaming, I have never even punched the counters out (and the scenarios are a bit crap anyway). Then of course, complex rules seemed to be the best way to (1) simulate modern combat, (2) impress your friends. Of course, now that I can't be bothered, there are invariably better ways to (1) simulate both the quasi-realities AND required 'gamey' elements of modern warfare, as we're all a lot smarter now and (2) I scarcely read rules which require heavy investment, and have little interest in them.

Hence a renewed interest in systems like GDW's 'First Battle', which does the same thing as MBT in my view, and even more renewed interest in attributing operation points to systems like this (which Steve is doing with PanzerBlitzHack).

My youngest daughter has been playing this video game (Valkyria Chronicles below) over Christmas (it was about 4 quid on Steam), which incredibly uses a similar operational system - the video game element involves moving characters and/or tanks under restricted action points - but the map element reminds you of 'ops points' for unit actions and 'action points' for individuals as they move and how they might be used. You can move an element 2 or 3 points, but your command/ops points thereby dwindle for doing other things.

Yes, it's an Anime ww2 crossover (fictional Europa vs the Russian Empire; based on the Russo Finnish war I think - with mad manga) but even video game designers have been 'thinking outside the turn sequence'. Don't laugh, but this game has every single modern wargaming turn sequence mutation, that we have felt so proud about in recent years, and it came out in 2008. Granted, most of these companies have designers who are wargamers on staff, so it all works.

(There was now to follow the video for 'it's all about the Bass' (see what I did there?) This 'pastiche' version of the original song has been chosen as it is more 'aesthetically pleasing' (trust me...no really, trust me). I hope I'm proud of myself)...




32 comments:

  1. Looking good Darren. Rebasing is a necessary evil. I like to think, as a "dreaded papist" that purgatory is probably a massive hall where you rebase people's miniatures all day to atone for a lifetime of sin.

    Can't wait to see the lads in action.

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    1. HAHA dreaded papists not only make the best whiskey sir, but I imagine Papist hell is having to rebase V&B cavalry on linear bases since the 1st ed 3x3 moving to 2nd ed 3x1.5 for early cavalry is dangerously unclear in the rules.
      I'm setting up hexes permanently on the larger table to facilitate game changes across the next few months, and hopefully get a few group games of V&B in.

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    2. ugh....and linear cavalry skirmishers NOOOOO. Papist hell = BAD!!

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    3. HAHAH - at least V&B is easy to hack without mucking rules up. I also referred to PanzerBlitzHack above - keep us posted on that one, as I want to use operational points for all things modern this year.

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    4. Stay tuned, Darren. I'm play-testing a historical WW2 FoW convention scenario now. The con is in early February -so as soon as that is over we can start up the Fulda / V Corps campaign!

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    5. Hehehe I'd certainly plan on using the same straightforward ops rules throughout the games - everything from SAS/Spetsnaz missions through to Brigade level actions - and of course 'First Battle' covers all of these eventualities with odds - the icing on the cake will be the ops points.
      Great stuff sir - very much looking forward to it.

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  2. Rebasing can be a useful exercise. Doing so, can breathe new life into an old collection and reinvigorate interest. You did the right thing.

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    1. Ahhh...thank you Jon. I rather luckily avoided slicing my finger open this time, so clearly it was the right time :)

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  3. I conflated All About the Bass and Ace of Bass, ‘All that she wants’ in my head, so I was a bit surprised by the video!

    I’ve only rebased a collection once. It really lifted the figures - to be fair for the new basing I was following a technique that was much better than my old one.
    Chris/Nundanket

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    1. An easy mistake to make sir, though I would thoroughly and honestly recommend, NOT watching the original version of 'it's all about the bass' - stick to the quasi-amateur original remake above, with the hotter chicks...
      As for re-basing, it may be an entire enjoyable endeavour all on its own, but that way madness lies...

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  4. I'm not sure I'm such a fan of rebasing as you are! ☺
    They look lovely on their new (redux?) VnB bases (although I'm biased!).
    Look forward to some VnB battle reports in the coming year.
    Neil

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    1. Thanks Neil.
      Much as I enjoyed the process, this will be the last time (HAHA who am I kidding?)
      Not redux though - actual 3" frontage. I've opted to keep the 3"x3" for all cav, though there are some variants (and RTG itself) which cite older period/linear cav as 3"x1.5".

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  5. You ENJOY re-basing, Darren?! You are a sicko, my freind! :-)
    In my humble opinion, it is the Devil's own work. Until recently, I had done it only back circa 1976. Then I had to rebase a bunch of figures from Bill McHugh's collection. I have rebased part of my ECW collection (Minifigs, also painted back in the 1970's), chiefly to accommodate magnetic base bottoms for transport (especially for the alloy equipped Pikemen). I have all the supplies to finish that job, but have made zero progress since the first lot was done!
    Your end result does look good, though!

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    1. I know right?
      *sighs*
      There is something about putting the PVA on the at the end, shaking the grass in the middle, the quarry sand on the corners, shaking it all loose huhuhuhuhuhhhhuhuhhh...
      (oohhhh I love Minifigs ECW by the way - I wish I had a full collection)

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    2. Along with their "new" Assyrians, the "new Miniifigs of the mid 1970's were some of their very best figures. Aside from the Scots, I have a pretty complete collection of them, now augmented by Old Glory.

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    3. Excellent. I did pick up a lot of the original 25mm Marlburian British - and they are absolutely wonderful figures; actually these too are complimented by Old Glory French in my collection. A really epic 'toy soldier' feel to Minifigs, and yet they still look great on the wargaming table.

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  6. The good thing about rebasing is the feeling that you are making a lot of progress for no painting pain!

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    1. Yes...I felt like I had done a whole lot of work ...right up until you said that Norm LOL ;)

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  7. The rebasing looks to have been a success sir, I must admit I have to remind myself how long it would take to paint a whole new army over and over through gritted teeth whenever I have to do it. The new bases do look good.

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    1. Thanks mate. I don't think I'll do another army now; I have plenty of stuff - and better to just add here and there. I do still want to do the fictional C17th thing on Schrivenshire (your world in late C17th) and of course, the podcast :)

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  8. Oh my! Not really my period, but I must say those troops are quite smart looking!

    V/R,
    Jack

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    1. Thanks Jack. The single base with a glut of troops works better (in my head at least) than many fiddly bases, and Volley and Bayonet works really well.

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  9. I am with Peter (Gonsakvo) although thinking about it, I actually have rebased a couple of times, ironically the first one was some very old Minifigs SYW that I originally (circa 1978) painted to fight Jacobites, but were repurposed in the mid nineties on the other side of the world for the very ruleset you mention, Canadian Wargames Group Habitants and Highlanders....yes, we did the whole FIW campaign.
    Those figures still remain, along with some extra Front Rank I got to augment their numbers, on the inch ch wide, three inch long bases of three figures, with the fourth base being split into a one and two figure base, to facilitate casualty removal.

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    1. Thanks Ross. I do remember that book with fondness, and have often considered doing the campaign with V&B. It, the AWI book and the WW2 books were very under-rated (oh and the Flower of Chivalry and 1812 books too of course).

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  10. Those 15mm look great and will perfectly well with FOB in addition to V&B and indeed others. Did Cav actually use 'attack column' in period ?

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    1. Thanks - yeah I think it should be fine - but we have played a few 7yw games at yours, where we allow the cav (on 3 bases) to slim down into column by placing a base behind - so that was my only concern for FoB. I suppose if it becomes an issue, then a marker could be pertinent. New set would fit 7yw very well I think.

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    2. Only Prussian Cav could do this and to be honest not sure its warranted and in new Bat Cmd they do not now get this ability. But indeed marker would suffice for maybe infrequent use of for march column or bridge assaults.

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    3. Yes - excellent. The new version looks v good to me. You know, this would make the ww2 version a lot better too, as command is less rigid and inflexible, which was the only drawback.

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  11. Huh, I rebase all my figures every 5 years to keep up appearances. I also cut my paints only with thrice distilled vodka while drinking 17 year old single malt and listening to Illean pipes playing "the Gael." The next great rebasing is scheduled for 2026, at which point world supplies of pva and mdf will cease to exist. :-)

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    1. HAHA awesome. The Gael would be a good choice actually - as would the single malt.
      Not sure I need the vodka, but will research this.
      As for the world shortage of pva and mdf. I nicked so much from a woodshop once, that I can't get into my garage. wait...no not true, not true (before I attract the attentions of rabid gamers across the world when supplies run out )

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    2. Having said that - at current rate, I would reckon vodka shortages might hit before the pva and mdf :)

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