Thursday, 14 July 2011

Across the Pacific and Back

Back from the land of moose and Mounties, where I had three weeks to relax (more or less).  It was good to meet relatives and friends both old and new, to do some shopping, and even to get in some gaming!  
I was able to take part in three games with my old club (now the North Shore Gamers).  These included two games using Black Powder; an Austrians vs. French Napoleonic scenario and a scaled-down refight of the Battle of Rossbach in 1757.  There was also a Samurai vs. Korean game using our old Daimyo set of rules written by Dave Smith.  Lots of fun all round.
Foundry Napoleonic French about to be snotted by the Austrians.  The shame...
A mouth-watering unit of Samurai- Kingsford Miniatures.
1757, and the Prussians and French go toe-to-toe without any pesky skirmishers in the way.
The Vancouver area has always had a strong gaming community, and even has a very well-stocked source of models, miniatures, rules and accessories in the shape of Imperial Hobbies in Richmond.  Richmond is right next to Vancouver airport, and also happens to be where my family now lives.  So of course I dropped by the store a number of times to browse and to pick up a few items that caught my fancy.  

Francis Munroe, the owner, is into Napoleonics himself, as part of the White Rock Gamers (which includes Chris Leach who was closely involved in the development of the Shako rules).  So unsurprisingly, there were lots of things Napoleonic on the shelves.

I  snapped up a few boxes of the HäT 28mm hard plastic Napoleonic Bavarians.  Now these are not Perry quality, and are at the smaller/ more slender end of the scale, but they were inexpensively priced.  With a bit of care, they should make decent enough battalions which could see service with or against the French as numbers and gaming scenarios dictate.  Among some wargames magazines I bought was an issue of Wargames, Soldiers & Strategy, which fortuitously included some very nice Napoleonic Bavarian and Russian flags in 28mm.  

Other items I ended up with included a pair of 20mm Rafm M5 light tanks to complete my WW2 US tank battalion, and a copy of Mongoose Publishing's Age of Dreadnoughts.   I wanted a quick set of rules for use with my collection of 1/2400 WW1 Austrian, French and Italian fleets, and this set looks likely to fit the bill.  While I was at it I picked up a blue Hotz felt mat to replace my rather tatty piece of mauvish-blue cloth which I currently use for our naval games.

Aside from new purchases, I went through my own collection of books and figures which has been languishing in a storage cupboard since I left Canada for Japan some twenty years ago, and took the opportunity to sort through the lot.  This meant trading off or discarding unwanted items and sending others back to Japan. Among those about to get a new lease of life on my side of the pond is a sizable Indian Mutiny collection, some more 20mm WW2 models, some old Citadel Vikings, and a number of resin and plastic buildings.

One surprising find was a battalion of 25mm Connoisseur late Napoleonic Saxons, which I can't even remember buying!  I'd even painted them, although they need some touching up and proper basing.  Although very "long in the tooth", these look a lot better than I would have expected for such old models.  They have a undeniable charm, and while an individual figure can in itself look rather "gawky", I find that they actually look very effective as a unit- a case of the whole being greater than the sum of its parts.  Certainly not "State of the Art" miniatures but I will have no hesitation in placing them on the gaming table.  

At present they are buried deep inside one of three big boxes that are on the long voyage to the Far East, and when they get here I'll post a few photos.  Back then we were gaming with units of 16 to 20, so I need to order some more in order to have a full battalion for Black Powder.  They will be a nice little addition to our games, and maybe I'll later get myself a few battalions of the Calpe Saxons in order to make up a full brigade.

Next up I'll post more about the games we played, including some neat ideas that were floated about and tried out for Black Powder.  But first I need to get over some vicious jet-lag.


Achilles said...

welcome back to Tokyo Robert!
Looking forward to hearing more about your games in Canada!

See you in September!

paulalba said...

Wow Robert,
You certainly fitted in a lot of gaming related activity in your 3 weeks.

Vancouver sounds like a great place for the hobby.

Iannick said...

- Vancouver sounds like a great place for the hobby. -

Not so good for Hockey, though ;-)

Glad to see you back Robert.

Robert said...

Vancouver was fun, but it's good to be back! Looking forward to seeing you across the gaming table again, Achilleas!

Vancouver has a long wargaming tradition, Paul. There are a number of very active groups around the city.

"Not so good for Hockey, though ;-)"

May Leto cough up some slimy furballs all over your next freshly-varnished unit of French Guard lancers, Iannick!