Monday, January 4, 2010

Dilemma du Jour - Muskets, but which?

As far as my miniatures collections go, I have been painting (and having painted for me) almost exclusively medievals, with some renaissance, for the better part of the last year or more. I have committed to completing my Hundred Years War and Wars of the Roses armies over the next several months, neither of which are large tasks at this point, as my Sri Lankan friends will be doing the heavy lifting for me. After that, I have been leaning towards doing Ottomans circa Nicopolis (1396), but I am having second thoughts. I think I am beginning to suffer from hack and slash burnout. I find my thoughts drifting with increasing frequency to various musket era periods. Napoleonics. Seven Years War. American Revolution. French and Indian War. American Civil War. Fascinating periods, all of which are of interest to me, and all of which I already have some figures for (in some cases a great many).

Which brings me to quite a dilemma. I am at my most conflicted when trying to decide what to do in these periods.
  • I have ACW in 15mm in decent quantity but could use more Federals to replace some older less well-painted ones that I dislike using (snob!).
  • I have modest SYW armies of Prussians and Austrians in tiny 5mm based for Koenig Krieg.
  • I have modest Napoleonic 15mm forces for French, Peninsula Brits and some Austrians.
  • I have a HUGE collection of 5mm Napoleonics based for From Valmy to Waterloo that we never use. I have the entire French Armee du Nord, the entire Anglo-Allied army, and a corps and a half out of the four Prussian corps. That's something like 175,000 men at 1:60 scale.
  • I have a decent collection of 25mm AWI based for a regimental Fire and Fury adaption (not the real one they are working on). These figs are all for the Brandywine armies since I live about 5 minutes from that battlefield.
  • I have a few odds and ends of French and Indian War figs based for skirmish gaming, but not enough to run a game.

The reasons for my indecision generally fall into a couple of categories, and tend to be fairly consistent across all of them. Inability to settle on a rules set that I really like for the period. Because of this, a resulting inability to settle on figure scale and basing scheme. As a general rule, my scale of choice would be 25mm, as I like the visual impact of the larger scales, and I really don't enjoy painting anything smaller. However, I do recognize that smaller scales have the benefit of enabling much larger games on my 6 foot by 8 foot table. I have a difficult time mentally committing to 25mm in SYW or Napoleonics because of the predominance of cavalry, and the greater table space I believe these periods deserve to be done "right". Whatever that means. That being said, 25mm Seven Years War and Napoleonic figures are a sight to behold.

I don't know what to do...


  1. I think 28mm FIW works quite well given that it is largely a skirmish based war with a few very large battle exceptions between forces but if you keep the Indians in the mix it should play nicely in 28mm. I highly recommend The Sword in the Forest (alternatively you can then do 28mm in British Colonial and use The Sword and the Flame)

  2. I don't have the Sword in the Forest, but have played TSATF with some regularity and like it. For a skirmish period to settle on, the French and Indian War would be a top candidate. I like the way you think!