Thursday, 30 December 2010

New Year, Old Minifigs

That is a misleading title really. About 35 years ago I received a small package from Minifigs of Southampton; I had bought about 12 assorted spanish, swiss, landsknechts from their 25mm renaissance range and then decided, with the simple optimism of a 12 year old that another 12 ECW figures and a copy of Gush's renaissance rules, I was set to go. Needless to say, I wasnt but still spent hours drooling over the cannon, the ECW cavalry, all stuff I wanted but simply couldnt afford. I then found D&D and discovered that you needed much less figures - which meant that the ones you had went further....

Anyway, this year, I had a suprise present - a pack of Warlord 28mm TYW Imperialists, bought (at Jet Models, Caerphilly) because my wife knew I liked the period and because she thought it was best value in terms of figs / £. This ignited all kinds of ideas....

Like many 40 something gamers, I have fond memories of "The Flashing Blade" which seemed to run on a loop over the summer holidays, I dont think I managed ever to watch the entire series but bought it on DVD a year or so ago; M de Rechy, Don Alonso and the assorted morion wearing heavies were, for me anyway, the 17th century. Apparently there was a siege of Casale in the Mantuan War and Thoiras earned a marshall's baton there. Thats what Defoe wrote in "Memoirs of a cavalier", so it must be true. Add in "The Last Valley" and it is safe to say that the whole 1620-1640's period has always been lurking in my mental wargaming outfield.

So, with 47 plastic/metal Imperialst / Spanish / French in the bag, the question was - what to do with them. As in most wargamers minds, my answer was simple. Buy more - a box of swedish foot and a box of royalist (nominally) horse - giving me dutch / swede options plus - for the spanish, another 6 morions, a vital element of that "Flashing Blade" look. Ospreys are out of the window at this stage, obviously.

At this point, reality implodes upom the scene. What am I really going to do with it all? There are a few options:

1 Dive in and build large FOGR or similar armies. This is not an option as I really dont want to paint that many! My gaming space is also limited.
2 Mordheim! Casale! Small bands of figures hacking it out over the schnapps wagon. Maybe.
3 What I really want to do is revert back, to create the army I wanted as a 12 year old. It may not be authentic but it should be fun - especially if I can use some kind of Featherstone, D6 based, basic set of rules. Units of 6-8 figs (ie all I could afford then and al I can be bothered to paint now) each led by a heroic looking figure. And of course, a hulking great cannon!

For the record, "File Leader" and "Once Upon a Time in The West Country" could be useful here....

So far I have glued up:

2 spanish musketeers, a spanish sgt and a spanish officer (all in morions, as Don Alonso as possible), a french officer, musket and pike, (floppy hats and a cabaset) and a rather serious looking ex drummer (drum hacked off) with pistol - probably a german merc like Kleist - and a tough swedish drummer, also pistol armed. Most of the plastic command are used and I dont yet have any ensigns - but how many do I need? And that metal swedish ensign is in a tabard which looks far too Three Musketeers for him to be used as a swede.

And for now, that's as far as I have got


  1. Fantastic stuff Maff! Very atmospheric. Aaah! Flashing Blade..."It's right to fight for what you want....."

    Can I recommend Baroque Impetus the Renaissance variant of Basic Impetus - you don't need a lot of figures and should be well within your scope:


  2. Just looking at Renegade's website - you could get 8 cavalry for £12.95. Doubt if plastic would be much cheaper.


  3. Thanks Mark, thing is warlord cav will take the morion helmet from the foot sprues for that "flashing blade" look and i can make others in floppy hat as french or in dutch pots as swedes....