Like every gamer that has ever lived, I have become fascinated with periods, researched them, bought the figures – usually in more than one scale – experimented with several rule sets, and then moved on to a new interest. My shelves are stocked with rule and reference material for many periods. My storage drawers are overflowing with unpainted and only half based figures, and graveyards of terrain in a multitude of scales.
The most recent frenzy of activity concerned WWII, a period I’ve always considered to be in bad taste because of my personal experience of the direct cost in my own father. But with his passing the idea has become more palatable. My friend Simon was the driver for this. He decied to do this period and dragged me along. For some reason I found myself with a German company, and I could not help looking at the 15mm figures and wondering which of these little voodoo men had taken pot shots at my father and uncle – particularly since I had constructed a Fallschirmjager company of the sort that bitterly contested Italy.
But anyway, to cut a long story short: after this flush of enthusiasm in which I built the requisite force and decied that Poor Bloody Infantry was by far the best rules to play with the usual shift of interest occured. For a start, Simon has never suggested that we play in this period, so my assumption is that he has moved on leaving us both with a pile of untried lead. I decided that what I’d really like to play is French. Primarily because I am disgusted with the way these all-too-human people have been maligned for being steamrolled.
Then I looked over my colonial 15mm figures, where I had built a respectable force of French colonial and their desert opponents – Foreign Legion romance, I admit it. These had been based in perparation for Piquet and I did play a few games with those rules. But Poor Bloody Infantry now seems so much better. So I began rebasing to play colonial with those rules.
But all of this had become forgotten as I decied to create a new incarnation of Escarmouche for my 30YW gaming. 28mm pike and shot skirmish forms the cornerstone of my interests. Escarmouche was for five or six figures a side and was one small step away from role playing. Now what I wanted was ‘squad level’ action, even though the term is anachronistic.
Another friend, Greg, recently introduced me to Up Front, that classic from Avalon Hill. And so the circle was closed. Squad level WWII action. Now I have many clues on how to create the rules I want for More Escarmouche, squad level pike & shot wargaming. But it has also sent me back to 15mm WWII and then to colonial gaming as well. Just when I thought I had come to the point where I could sell some of that stuff off as I would never play it again…