Sunday, May 13, 2018

18 Pounds

      That's the weight of the toy soldiers that I sent to several people since I started thinning out my plastic soldier collection. While it doesn't sound like much, you would be surprised how many toy soldiers there are in 6 pounds of toy soldiers.  I thought I would regret giving these figures away. However, I am keeping my earliest Airfix and Atlantic figures, my "Old Guard". I 'm also keeping select figures, such as the Revell TYW figures I have and the few Revell SYW figures I have.
IThis picture was taken before giving away many of the toy soldiers in the bin. There are still many figures still on the spruces. I am thinking of trimming the spruces so I can fit more into boxes.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Patriot's Day Wargame

     Patriot's Day is a Massachusetts state holiday commemorating the battle of Lexington and Concord. Being a town employee, I had the day off. My wife, who is still recuperating from surgery, decided to take a nap, which gave me time for a quick wargame. I decide to use Chris Salander's H&M 2.0. As mentioned in an earlier post, I wanted to try to use mixed units instead of the usual infantry, cavalry and artillery.  I started with the basic rules figure allotment of 16 infantry, 6 cavalry and 4 artillery. The red army would use the conservative infantry, cavalry, and artillery units. The blue army did something different. Their army had mixed units deployed from left to right: 3 infantry; 2 cavalry & 2 infantry; 2 artillery& 2 infantry; 2 cavalry & 2 infantry; 2 artillery & 2 infantry; 2 cavalry & 2 infantry; 3 infantry.  Each army could move 4 squares of figures per turn, although anyone within  range could battle. I wasn't going to do a battle report so I didn't take any pictures until the game was half over.
At the half way point in the game, the Red Army was turning Blue's right flank.

Blue tries to stabilize their right flank.

Blue wipes out the Red cavalry on their left flank and their artillery fire drives back an infantry unit.

Red's right flank has crumbled.  However, their cavalry on the left has eliminated  the Blue cavalry  on the Blue's right flank. Red starts consolidating his right flank units.

Blue cavalry hits the Red's right flank...

...and kills two infantrymen, eliminates one artillery piece, and forces the other gun to retreat.

The Blue army starts moving their infantry on the left to shore up the right.

The Red army manages to get all their troops into combat.

The Red army starts breaking through the Blue's line.

The Red army  has the Blue army on the run.

The blue army's morale breaks and the withdraw off the field. After the fact, based on the holiday, I should have used my 1st generation Minifigs American Revolution figures.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

The Point of Diminishing Returns

        I wasn't the best student in school. Which makes it surprising that about the only thing I remember is from an Economics class; the point of diminishing returns.  I won't try to explain it, but below is an illustration from a website that I came across when I Googled "the point of diminishing returns". This illustration will explain my thinking as it pertains to this post.

      I passed the point of diminishing returns many years ago. I have more toy soldiers than I will ever get to use. I find myself getting bored with all that I have. Figures bought for  one off project, which  never get completed.  With my lack of gaming in the last couple of months, it has given me time to reflect on my collection. I have decided to thin out my plastics collection, although what to do with the culled figures I know not. I don't want to sell them on Ebay. I would like to find a good home for them to go to, preferably to someone who could collect them in person. Last resort would be to trash them, which is something I don't want to do.

From  This shows how I feel about my toy soldier collection.  I passed the "Happy & Grateful"  point 20 years ago! My goal is to cull my plastic collection until I'm back to the Happy & Grateful stage.

Bins full of plastics; just part of the collection.

This dresser is full of mainly plastic toy soldiers.

Still more of boxes and storage drawers full of plastic toy soldiers.

For comparison, most of my metals collection are in these storage drawers. 


Friday, April 6, 2018

"New" Peter Laing Victorian Figures

    I have been trying to stay away from Ebay with my current shortage of cash. However, I just happened to look one day, only to notice a lot of Peter Laing Victorian Parade mounted band figures. I must admit, I wanted to bid right away on them. I looked at the seller's other items and saw another lot. This particular lot had a large number of Napoleonic 1st generation Minifigs, with Peter Laing figures mixed in. There was also a Peter Laing carriage with a general figure and female figure in a yellow dress. I assumed that this was the carriage that went with the Victorian Parade line. It seemed that it was missing the Queen Victoria figure. On closer examination, I noticed some Peter Laing musicians in the mix.
   I found myself in a difficult situation; the auction was almost over and had to decide wither to bid on the lots. I realized that I couldn't bid on both; the foot figures would be more useful to me.  I decided to bid on the foot figures. I bidded on them, only to be outbid. I was going to give up as the price was more than I could afford. At the last minute, I did rise my bid, and to my surprise won. One problem with collecting out of production figures is you can wait years to find figures you want, and if you don't buy them when you get the chance, you can find yourself waiting more years for another opportunity.

The Royal Coach with Queen Victoria. It is missing one wheel, but I do have extra wheels that should fit.

The lot of foot figures.

There were enough regular infantry for 4 units  in my Little Wars Army, along with two Guards flag bearers. The regulars will now bring my Brigade of regulars up to 6 infantry units.

Close up of the Regular infantry figures.
The Highland band.

The Regulars band.
Close up of the Regular band.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Toy Soldiers Lost & Found

       With my wife out of work waiting for surgery, I haven't had time to work on gaming. I have spent more time on the computer looking at wargaming sites. One that peaked my interest was Toy Soldiers and Dining Room Battles .  On it he has a series of battles using Neil Thomas' One Hour Wargames played between two teams of children. What's more, the game is being played as a narrative campaign. Also, the armies used were made up of Zvedza Great Northern War figures, which at one time I was going to use for wargames, being excellent figures.
     I found myself excited at the thought of using OHW rules and 18th century figures. Unfortunately, I gave away my large Revell SYW collection years ago and sent the Zvezda figures I had with them; I
and traded my plastic Spencer Smiths SYW for some Peter Laing AWI figures. I started thinking of buying some Hat SYW Prussians to make two armies, if I could find them. However, with my wife not working, money is tight so I decided not to buy figures at this time.
    I then thought of my large collection of Editions Brokaw SYW figures. As I haven't used them in years, I could easily base them and used them in a one off game.

    I started looking for them in my new "gaming room". While I still haven't found them, I did find several different figures which will come in handy in other games. I found among an odd lot of Airfix figures I bought last year some Infantry Combat Group figures, and looking through some food containers of Airfix figures, I found some more 1st generation WW2 German infantry. These should give me enough figures to use with Memoir 44 as I had thought of using before.

  I also came across some Zvedza GNW figures and Revell SYW figures in another tub; possibly enough  to copy the armies on the TSaDRB blog.

   What's more, I found another tub with more Spencer Smith  SYW plastic figures. I was thinking of holding on to them; however, now I think I will try to reach the person who got the rest of the collection and send them to him.

    Still, the search goes on for my Edition Brokaw figures.
Airfix Infantry Combat Group figures. The unpainted figures are the figures I didn't even realized I had. I plan to use them with Memoir 44 instead of the infantry figures that come with the game.

Airfix 1st generation Germans. These with be used with Memoir 44. 

The newly found Spencer Smith SYW figures.

Some of the Zvezda and Revell 18th century figures that I might use with Neil Thomas wargame rules.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

2mm and Chessboard Battles.

   With my wife out of work again from an injury, and me recovering from a cold, I haven't had much time or entusiasum for gaming. As I started feeling better, I wanted to get a game in, but didn't want to spend a couple of hours in the cold basement after getting over being ill. I brought some of my 2mm figures up to the new den and fought a game. That game ended quicker than expected and I found time for another game. For this I brought up my Peter Laing recasts and used the chessboard and  Chris Salander's H & M 2.0 rules.

2mm game. The Red Army has seized the ridge line and the Blue Army brings up two batteries to shell the ridge.

The Red Army fire drives back both Blue batteries  and the Blue infantry suffers heavy losses. At this point the Red Army launches a general assault along the entire line.

The Red Army splits the Blue Army in half, and wins the battle.

Chessboard battlefield. The game is set up to use H&M 2.0 rules.

The red cavalry pushes through the center of the blue army.

Between the red cavalry and red infantry, one blue unit loses one killed and two retreat.

The cavalry overruns the blue artillery. He now has blue's headquarters within striking distance.

Blue manages to push the cavalry back.

The red cavalry captures blue's headquarters. After checking the rules, only infantry can capture the opponents headquarters. A red infantry unit is 3 moves away from the headquarters.

The blue cavalry drives off the red cavalry.

The blue army launches a counterattack.

The red army is on the run.

The red army's left flank is gone; the red army concedes the battle.
While playing the game, I forgot some of the rules which makes this game interesting. With the original rules, each side can move 4 squares worth of figures. Usually I will roll an average dice to add some degree of  uncertainty to the game. In this game I stuck to the original 4 squares movement. I did roll for initiative for which side moved first. For the first half of the game I played using Command & Colors style rules, where only the 4 squares worth of figures could engage in combat. However, after looking at the rules, I remembered the rule that ANY unit was in range could engage in combat, which during a wargame, does make sense.
After playing this game, it has me rethinking of using these rules more.  In the rules, four figures are allowed in a square; you can mix and match the pieces. Over the years, I usually just make units of infantry, artillery, and cavalry.  This game I moved different infantrymen to join other units. It has me thinking of using combined arms units instead of the same old infantry, artillery, and cavalry units.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

New Russians for Memoir 44

     While playing Memoir 44, I realized what great models the tanks were. While the turret of the Sherman tank seems a little flat,  the German Mark IV tank is an excellent model. I started looking at the expansion sets, especially the Eastern Front set. However, they are out of production and the asking prices of the Eastern Front sets are more than I am willing to pay. However, while on break at work, I went to Ebay, and there, someone was selling Eastern Front parts. It was missing the board, hexes, and tokens. However, it had extra tanks, guns and infantry figures, along with the rulebook and scenarios. What's more, it was a reasonable price and was a "Buy it now" item. I was hoping it would still be available when I got home from work. My luck held, and I won the lot. Included were 63 tanks and 14 guns. I didn't count the infantry figures, as I don't plan to use them. It seems the owner must have had three sets at one point.
     The tanks lived up to my hopes, and the guns are also great models. I wish there were more of artillery; I could have painted them olive drab and used them as 105mm American artillery.
The Russian tank corps. Enough for 21 tank units.

Close up of these excellent models.

7 units of Russian artillery.

The guns close up.