Friday, December 14, 2007

'The Guns of August'

Sometimes I have good ideas ... only sometimes, mind you. 'The Guns of August' is, I hope, one of the better ones, and it has resulted in the next big project - painting two 6mm divisions for Great War Spearhead (only two? I hear you ask.. well, look, honestly, I know when to stop.. two will do....."me thinks he doth protest too much").

I am no stranger to painting 6mm of course: my WW2 and Moderns armies are both 6mm. These Chieftains have done good service on the battlefields of cold war Europe (the photo comes from Keith McNelly's site 'The Wargames Room').

However I am more used to painting figures like these (HaT 20mm 1914 Russians):

The New Zealand national war games convention for 2008 is to be held here in Christchurch at Easter 2008. The idea: invite a group of players from around the world to attend the convention and play a series of WW1 games using the scenario generation system that we had published earlier in 2007. 

I figured that this was  a bit of a long shot: travelling half way around the world to play war games might just possibly seem like a bit of an extravagance to some. But.. I was flabbergasted, and ecstatic when the two top GWSH minds agreed to come over and play: Shawn Taylor, and Robert Dunlop... wow!!!!

The idea has evolved since then. The three days of gaming will be themed around the August 1914 invasion of France. The format is: on day one we will play a series of scenarios generated using the scenario generation system. The results of these games (probably 6 games) will then feed into a large game, covering (we think) an 18 foot long table, representing the first battle of the Marne. There will be 6 or 7 players, and the game will take place on the second and third days of the convention. 

My initial idea had been to have the scenario game splayed using three scales: 6mm, 15mm and 20mm, since the rules are currently played in all three scales (Robert also has 2mm, but I'm not sure how many players are using that scale at the moment). However logistically it would have proved too difficult to generate enough terrain for all three scales, so we have settled on 6mm for all of the battles.

And that's how my drive into 6mm Great War Spearhead armies began. It's not an abandonment of my favourite 20mm, but a chance to branch out, using one of my all time favourite rules sets, covering a much under-rated war games period. Watch out for some photos of my 6mm troops as they roll off the production line.

Sometimes I have good ideas ... only sometimes, mind you.

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