Heretical Gaming is my blog about my gaming life, featuring small skirmishes and big battles from many historical periods (and some in the mythic past or the far future too). The focus is on battle reports using a wide variety of rules, with the occasional rules review, book review and odd musing about the gaming and history. Most of the battles use 6mm-sized figures and vehicles, but occasionally 15mm and 28mm figures appear too.

Thursday 29 September 2022

Hobby Update 29 Sep 02

It has been a while since I checked in here.  It has been a strange and slightly frustrating time: gaming has never been far from my thoughts, but it hasn't necessarily felt that close to the gaming table, either.  Essentially, I thought that this year was going to be much more relaxed than it actually has been, instead a new job and some outside commitments have proved to be much more time and energy intensive than I had imagined.  I also had my Reserve commitment to fulfill, so with one thing and another I have been too busy and too tired for much gaming. And it was all going so well at the start of the year!

So, what have I managed to get done?  I have painted up some early war WW2 German vehicles from Heroics and Ros and rather nice they are too (the models, not the paint job).  A more purist gamer and modeller than myself might have done some early war infantry to accompany them but frankly I am more than happy to re-purpose 6mm infantry sculpted and painted for Normandy 1944 to Arras in 1940.  What is missing is some early war anti-tank guns but I haven't decided whether they should be 'big' 6mm to match the Baccus infantry or 'small' 6mm to match the Heroics and Ros tanks.  Decision, decisions!  Slightly leaning to the former, I think.

I think the only models I am not quite so keen on are the PanzerIs and IIs. They mostly look fine, but I can't help thinking the turret guns just look a little big.

The other painting project I have been undertaking is to paint up some Warlord 28mm WW2 figures that my youngest asked for for his birthday.  He picked British Paratroopers and German Waffen SS Grenadiers.  He seemed pleased with this first batch!

Gaming-wise, there has been very little.  I continued my fruitless quest to get the Battle of White Mountain to 'work' for me:

Another set-up shot. Notice I have brought White Mountain 'forward' a little towards the centre of the table to give the Protestant Army a tiny bit more deployment room.

The Protestant Left

and Centre

and Right

The left flank of the Imperials

and the Right

Another shot of the whole.

After these (repeated!) plays, I am coming to the conclusion that for this battle, but not for most of the others, the over-sized base depths of my figures relative to the frontage is causing the issue, since it is causing a very squashed bunching effect.  This is exacerbated by the design of the earthworks, which occupy too much room.  Neither of these things usually matter, but they do matter for this battle.  The earthworks are a relatively simple problem, I can just make them in a deliberately 'small' size to fit the ground scale better.  The overall depth is more of an issue, but with sufficient extra depth on the table perhaps it can be made to work.

And a few more White Mountain photos from an earlier game, just because...

Set-Up Shots:

Battle Shots:

The Imperial Right attacks first, up the hill

The weaker Imperial Centre, tries to tempt the Protestants out of their position

The Imperial Cavalry gets stuck into the Protestant Right just outside the grounds of the palace.

Fighting over the earthworks

The Protestant Centre takes the bait and charges forward!

The fighting becomes general over the Protestant Left and Centre

As it does over on the Right

Apart from some role-playing games, the only other thing I have managed to get to the table was a quick game of Prestonpans, using the "simple Rules for the '45" from an old Wargames Illustrated I have reported on previously.

I won't go through the game in detail, although it was quite interesting: the Hanoverian line actually held quite well initially, which led eventually to some quite dispersed and bloody fighting.  The Jacobites did eventually 'win' but with so few units left, one had the sense that if reality had gone that way, the rebellion would have been over.

So, what next?  Well, I have just received some news which likely indicates that I will be working even harder for the next few years rather than the less hard which I was expecting.  So over the next month my aim is to finish off any relatively slight painting projects and mothball anything that is left over, since I imagine that leisurely painting time will be at a real premium over the next few years.  What I will then do is create some 'packs' so that I can easily set-up and take-down a few specific games which I don't have to think about too much.  It will feel a little limiting, no doubt, but what would be even more frustrating is to continue on my present direction, which has been all-too-much to do with thinking about playing games, rather than playing games!  I am not entirely settled on which packs to create, but the watchword has to be less is more!


  1. As external forces get more demanding, I think core aspects of a hobby become all the more sweeter and precious - a small space to escape to. Your plans to concentrate on play over prep and to have some ready made throw downs seem perfect for the near future.

    I do wonder whether most of us, regardless of circumstance have some imbalance between prep and play that we could address, anything that reduces the ‘task’ of getting a game to the table has to be good.

    I like your early panzer force and I share your view of the practical …. Late war infantry can serve for early war with distinction. If we remember yesteryear before there was so much choice and when funds were limited (though we seem to be travelling the tight money path again), we used to proxy all of the time, it all felt very natural.

    1. Thanks Norm, some good bits of wisdom there. I think that there is a tension between our grandest dreams - big battles, huge campaigns, masterpiece demo games - and the simple pleasures of an interesting wargame, fought to the finish. In my own case, it isn't so much lack of figures and terrain which is a limiting factor on the former, but the time and effort it takes to get the whole game, especially the rules, scenario and terrain, just so. On the other hand, it is too limiting to play endless "1000points, encounter battle;4'x3' table" or whatever one's personal equivalent is. The key questions for doing these packs will be how many? - too many brings extra overhead, too few will bring stagnation; and how big? - what is the biggest size of battle (in terms of figures and terrain) to be optimal. And storage method and space will partly dictate those things too.

  2. I echo both Norm's comment and your reply. One thing that helps me get simple games to the table are the scenarios from Neil Thomas' One Hour Wargames rules. Not too many units per side (which can be tweaked to suit your preferred ruleset) and basic info on the tabel layout, which again be tweaked to suit the period played etc. Fingers crossed you can get some games in as my gaming output this year has been somewhat lower than in previous ones.

    1. 100%. Doing the second half of the Neil Thomas' OHW scenarios is a high gaming priority for the next few months!