Monday, October 6, 2008

Additional Thoughts on Painted Figures

Yes of course somebody wound me up this afternoon. So forgive my crankyness. I realize I am speaking of a perfect world that no longer exists in gaming, hell I am not sure the utopia which some people speak of ever existed. But someone dropped a quarter in me and now it is time to for me to rant.

The Seven Years War (Or the four wars that make up the SYW Period) is a great period for miniature gamers almost a wargamers wet dream so to speak. With ten major powers (Austria, France, Great Britian, Hanover*, Portugal, Prussia, Russian, Saxony*, Spain* and Sweden*) and more minor powers than you can shake a stick at it is almost a perfect period to game. (I say the same thing about the Thirty Years War by the way)
*I’m not the one who labels these as major powers by the way.

The game of Koenig Krieg really moves full well into the ease of entry for players. First your average brigade is four battalions of troops, an artillery stand and a mounted commander. This is typical organization covers a good 75% of all forces engaged. The reason this organization plays so easily into gaming is that a bag of Old Glory 15’s for the period includes four battalions of troops and a mounted commander. Your cost of entry into the period this period is $15 and with a little help on the Artillery you are done if you want to be.

I suggest that players who consider themselves to be minor participants in this project, or any project, to paint Minor Allies, lesser Major Powers or even sub-groups of the major powers (France’s Swiss Contingent for example). This puts very little pressure on you a minor participant and makes the group as a whole less dependent on you.

I have listened to the cost argument for years and I do appreciate the fact that not everyone is going to paint figures for every project but there are certain projects where the cost and time is so little I just can’t take listening to the argument. We are not demanding that you spend $500 on a Warhammer Army, just a couple of bucks.

I have listened to the time argument on painting figures for years. Again it falls of deaf ears. I still paint over half my figures in two and three hour increments twice a week. Budget yourself a couple hours and you’ll be surprised how fast it goes.
If time is that much of an issue you can always commission to get your project done, Tom Zwirn, Jack L, or other members of SPI will paint figures for a nominal price or you can use a painting service like “Fernando Enterprises” in Sri Lanka.

My other favorite argument is “how poorly I paint”. I have horrid painting skills, I am a god awful painter, I think every one of my paint jobs is complete crap… Accept I seem to win a few awards along the way for painted figures. Considering how poorly I paint I am always shocked when I win. 15mm figures are easy to paint. My Swede’s take almost an hour per battalion to prepare and than two hours top to paint. The paint job is nothing special and under the magnifying glass looks crappy, but at 3 feet you couldn’t tell my figures from one taking five or six hours longer to paint to do highlights shading and all the rest.

And finally the last argument I need more figures than I can paint. This reason I really like to heckle as complete baloney. There is no reason other than visions of grandeur to need to push multiple brigades. Yes it nice to have something else to push but one brigade or two in Koenig Krieg and your are an active participant unlike other games. Yes in several periods I am a horrid person pushing the limits of reason in what I paint, but that is only in periods that I don’t expect people to paint figures. I like the AWI in 25mm so I don’t expect you to paint figures and because I have been collecting and painting figures for 20 years there is no reason for you to paint figures unless you want to. Yet in other periods like the SYW in 15mm, ACW in 15mm, or even Napoleonics there is no reason for you not to provide a few painted figures other than I am providing figures for another period.

Beyond the Seven Years War we have a number of periods and games where one “mover and shaker” moved away, left the hobby or became a ghost that now I have one side or an unplayable force. The scary part is we are talking about some big periods like the American Civil War. Another period where your cost of entry is like $20 so there is no reason that should ever happen.

No comments: