Saturday, 15 October 2016
Napoleon's Berlin Carriage & Fort Hilary
Two short articles this week. As I am still in the middle of my new campaign`s first ever table top battle, and want to wait a tiny wee bit longer before writing it up as an after action report: so bear with me a little while, and that will soon be revealed.
Meanwhile I thought I`d just do a quick review on a miniatures set I have wanted for a very long time now; then another short `special` on the wonderful homemade model fort Hils has made for me.
Ah yes, and a small announcement from me as well. Will probably mean little if anything at all to most of you (you have to reach a certain age I think hehe): yet to me it is a flippin` great big mile stone in my hobby life. I was told it would happen by a couple of older... elderly gentlemen gamers I knew long ago in my younger days. One was G.W. Jeffreys: a wargame extraordinaire, historical author, and wargame rules writer from Edinburgh (all on the Napoleonic era). The other was the now late Donald Featherstone, who I had the pleasure to have known personally, and played a few very memorable wargames with in my time. Both of these `great men` separately told me (as neither of them knew each other in any way) “son, the day will come, one day, when your collection is complete. You won’t plan it, you won’t even be aware of the day approaching, but it will happen, sure as cakes is cakes. You will just wake up one day and realise you don’t need anything else. Your collection is complete as it is, and you can just `get on` without any kaffuffle, and game happily with it ever more.”
You know what, they were both right! Happened to me last week. The sun rose to a brisk, breezy fresh dawn, and along with it came a blinding realisation; yep, my hobby collection was complete. Okay sure, there are last minute things... people will be bound to buy me Christmas presents, I have half a mind still to buy myself the whopping HUGE Warlord Games deluxe set of La Haye Sainte... one day. When Richard Borg brings out another expansion for his Great War series, I`m bound to buy it. And if I ever get lucky enough to see a copy of Timber Peaks, that too is coming home with me in a bag... and let us not forget I still have two paid for kickstarters (Super Dungeon Explore Legends and Rail Raiders Infinite) coming to me in the post, one day next year.. soon as they release them to us no doubt. But yeah, IN GENERAL, I can honestly say, the day the old fella`s predicted, has come. Geee, does that mean I will now become one of these old guys who will faithfully predict the same thing to some poor unsuspecting youth I meet one day at the club or at a games convention? In fact, the two old timers who told me the same thing, so many many years ago now, were they too once privy to ``the secret`` from that aged league of grumpy old men and this enduring... eternal, fated hobby knowledge?
Anyway, the point of all this is, I just bought a rather large, and very nice miniatures kit the other day. Things are tight rght now: the usual bills (which always seem to hit around October) before the onslaught of Christmas. And so, as a kind of last hurrah! And incidentally the last purchased `toy` in my collection... I bought myself a 28mm carriage. Oh how I have yearned for one over the years. How often do you watch the most memorable scenes from your favourite movies, conducted from moving carriages (with the background scenery moving incredibly fast on a wind spool, while prop extras rock the coach back and forth to create the illusion of motion). The Son of Monte Cristo has that wonderful cameo at the beginning where the Grand Duchess Zona is fleeing in a four horse carriage from the evil general Gurko Lanen. Or those wonderful scenes of highway men stopping the coach calling “Stand and deliver.” Oh and so many iconic set pieces where coaches feature strongly. Yet how many of us wargamers ever actually bother to add one to our collection? I know I never did. But, well... now I gone and did it woohooo!!! I`m soooo glad I did. It will fit in so many games I intend to play. From Fantasy and Imagi-Nation, all the way through to 18th and 19th century (Ending at Waterloo itself if I do one day get that elusive - last purchase - La Haye Saint set).
Napoleon's Berlin Carriage - Black Powder
The whole set costs £32:00 from Warlord Games.
The real life carriage was built for Napoleon's Russian campaign but was captured by the Prussians at the Battle of Waterloo while the Emperor departed on horseback. However, the style is somewhat generically reminiscent of the era, and will be used, diversely, in many of my future games. Tarot even tells me with surety; it could even be used in a certain episode of Blake 7 haha.
I wanted to buy a fort for my Liberty or Death.. forth coming Colonial Gothic Imagi-nation style adventures. And I poured over many on-line companies who make them, fine tuning plans and deciding which one I would eventually purchase. Price wise they were all much of a muchness: let’s say about £144 pounds (average) plus postage. All of them (bar one, from Warlord Games, which is sold fully finished and ready to go) came unpainted and unassembled. Hils said to me: “let me do it.” What!” I replied. “Let me make you the fort, just tell me what you need, give me some ideas of what you want it to end up looking like, and I`ll try and make it for you.”
Okay well, I was a little dubious. Like okay, I knew she was good, but hell, a fort???? Images of Lego Bricks and Camberwich Green started to fill my head, and I replied something like: “Well, ooooo----k then, if you really want to give this a go.” Sufice to say, I was not impressed, and imagined I would still have to end up BUYING my fort... and if anything I was secretly a little agitated that I would have to delay getting a `proper` fort while she dabbled away at her attempt. So I gave her some images to puddle about with, mostly of the real life colonial fort Ticondaroga, and then I left her to it.
Oh WOW, how wrong I was. Second she got back from England visiting her parents, she got to work making my fort. On and off, an hour here and an hour there, for about a week, until it was finished. I wish now, I`d done WIPS along to way, as I only have the finished version to show you. But yeah... wooohoooo!!!! I`m very happy with her efforts. Its nicer than any fort I could have bought (and she even painted it and the base for me herself).
Of course, she`s totally shot herself in the foot now, as I will be getting her to make ALL my terrain pieces from this moment on ^^
The fort will feature in the beginning portion of my latest battle report (article for it coming next week), and then you will get to see it being used in all its glory.