Saturday, 10 April 2010

Wine, Women, Sakura- and a Poll!

Cherry blossom season is upon us here in Tokyo, and is at it's peak.
Chez Stavka as seen through the cherry blossoms
Anyone out there who has had even a passing acquaintance with Japan knows that Spring here is heralded by the coming of cherry blossoms.  This is a major event, and makes the home celebrations for SuperBowl look like those for the the Annual Snakebite County Tax Collector's Appreciation Day in comparison.  

The spread of the cherry blossoms across the country are reported eagerly by the media, and everyone looks forward to the annual Hanamikai, or cherry blossom viewing party.  

It is the occasion, not so much for quiet contemplation of the brevity and fragility of life, than it is for wild and unrestrained drinking, partying, and general merry-making.

Over the years I have come to "get with the program", and confess I look forward to it myself.  Many parks here have had cherry trees planted just for this express purpose, and despite the urban growth, there are many very attractive parks and temples in Tokyo that offer a refreshing break from the daily grind.  

So, and seeing as (unlike in Vancouver) there are no statutes against drinking in public, my wife and I made a good day of it at Seiseki-Sakuragaoka Park, a large park on a hill not far from where I live.

Formerly the Meiji Emperor's hunting grounds (hares and pheasants) and located on top of the local heights, the park is now a large and very well maintained natural attraction in the area.  It also has a great view of Fuji-san when the weather decides to cooperate.
What has this to do with Napoleonics?  Not a heckuva lot!  Except that the long (and very pleasant) walk up to the park and back, along with the beer and fine Tuscan wine we imbibed while we were there, pretty much guaranteed that there wasn't much hope of getting any painting time in today! 

Back to the painting desk tomorrow, though.

This week I learned that our club seems to have attracted another Nappy enthusiast- who is also collecting French, in 28mm, and at a 1:20 ratio for General de Brigade or Black Powder!  So things are looking bright for Napoleonic gaming at our club. 

And here is a question to anyone who has experience with any of the many new rule sets now out there:

What rules would seem to do well for, say, no more than a brigade of four battalions a side?  The trick is to find a game that would be challenging- and most of all fun- and yet could handle additional units as newly-painted regiments came "on line". 

I used to play the Compete Brigadier back in the '80's, which while were fun with a brigade of five or so a side,  (as its name would suggest!) got unwieldy big time when one had seven or eight units each.  

I've added a poll to the sidebar on the right.  If you do choose to vote, it would be much appreciated.  But it would also be useful if you were to make a quick comment as to why you chose the way you did.

This is not a question of which rule set is better overall, just which rule set people think may best handle smaller engagements (not just skirmishes).

The only ones I have currently are GdB and Black Powder, but I haven't yet tried them out.  I'd be interested in hearing about R2E and Lasalle, but other suggestions are welcome.

Oh, just don't even mention Empire.  Not goin' there in any way.


Docsmith said...

Hi Robert - sounds like you had a great Cherry Blossom day! Down here in the southern hemisphere its the most beautiful (Autumn) weather too. Almost too nice to be indoors painting too much - almost!

I've voted on your poll but should explain that Lasalle seems specifically made to cater for smaller games - which although I have not played it - it still gets my vote. RTE sounds great but I haven't tried it so can't say if it'd appeal. GdB I am familiar with and enjoy - both small and large games. BP is really best for large - and sometimes very large - battles so I didn't vote for it.

I didn't press the 'Other' button as there are literally dozens of rule sets out there. Some I could mention are 'Napoleon' which is the new Warhammer historical (like the previous GW Warhammer ECW) - great mechanism and easy to play for most size encounters. Others include 'Elan' and 'WRG' but the latter annoys the hell out of me and the former may be free (off the website) but a bit too obscure? Nonetheless it IS good for both big and small games.

Sharpe's Practise is also a good skirmish game (see the reports on Dean's blog). Really, there are just so many I don't envy you trying to pick one for the club - if that's the intention. But hey, its fun to go through the experience after all you're wargaming and how hard can that be? ;-)


JAM said...

Hi Robert,

As you know I am a pretty new wargamer, but have at least played both Lasalle and RtoE(unlike many who comment away on TMP). The RtoE gave a lot of play in my recent test with 3-6 units per side, as the rules are quite detailed, and I did not even use the skirmish rules. I do not believe the Lasalle rules would be as exciting with so few units. I am still using Lasalle as the basic background for building armies and it does give an excellent game with 8-16 units per side.


Iannick said...

I can't believe you're allowed to drink in public spaces!

We're a nation of alcoolics and we're not even allowed to do this!