28 December 2007

And now, the technical bits. . .

Like any good film or stage production, there is a a fair amount of thought, planning, and work behind the scenes. With that in mind, I thought you might like to know a bit more about the Action at Zollamtstadt. . .

As many of you know already, the figures used were mostly Revell 1/72 SYW plastics along with a few RSM Prussian grenadiers and generals, some Spencer Smith and Holger Eriksson cavalry, plus a couple of MiniFigs and four MiniFig SYW cannon.

The painting is the result of fairly leisurely (ok, sometimes fevered) work since July 2006. Next in the painting queue are the rest of the Spencer Smiths and a battalion of RSM French musketeers in the firing position, which are courtesy of my in-laws -- one of the nicest Christmas gifts a son-in-law could receive I think!

As for the terrain -- The buildings were all scratch built (card, glue, acrylic paint, and a black marker) around the 2006 Christmas holidays and featured right here a year ago. The bridge is a simplified version of a similar structure built by the late Ian Weekley in the 80s and featured in the pages of Miniature Wargames. I think he had some 25mm Prussian Napoleonic cavalry charging across his bridge.

The hill was, perhaps a bit obviously, a couple of pieces of scavanged Styrofoam packaging material, glued together and painted "Meadow Green" (Olympic Latex Paint). Once I have the space for a permanent table, I'll use this color to paint two or three coats on the table surface along with future hills. Oh, and the river sections were very cheap craft foam purchased at Michael's (an American arts and crafts retail chain). Not as pretty as Henry Hyde's in the current Battlegames, but they did the trick yesterday.

The "ground" was a light green top sheet folded carefully and smoothed out on the floor in one corner of our living room. It occurs to me now that this particular feature of the Action at Zollamtstadt was terribly like H.G. Wells and his book Little Wars. I should have had my pocket watch close at hand! Finally, the stands of trees were insanely cheap cake decorations (something like US $8.95 for 100 of them) placed on two pieces of green construction paper to delineate the woods.

For rules, I used the basic set outlined early in Charge! and featured in Young and Lawford's chapter on the Battle of Blasthof Bridge. They were easy to use although I had to keep referring to the book. I suspect this was only because it was my first time actually playing a game using these guidelines. I'm better versed in WRG 1685-1845 and Paddy Griffith's Napoleonic rules, but I digress. The basic scenario layout was indeed a variation on the Blasthof scenario with a few additions/twists to make it a more interesting visually.

Since my game was solo, I decided to limit the Stollenian force to a purely defensive role -- keeping the enemy from capturing the bridge and town. No offensive action was taken except for when the Stollenian cavalry counter charged the Zichenauer cavalry. The Zichenauer force was then charged with crossing the river and/or capturing the town/bridge -- a more interesting tactical task.

The whole game was great fun and took just over two hours with maybe an hour for set-up and another for taking everything down and stowing it. It was a real blast to finally see things all set up and in action after planning/working on this project for about two years in one form or another. Phil Olley was indeed correct when, in an early Battlegames article, he mentioned something to the effect that an early battle will rekindle one's inspiration and enthusiasm for a project. That's certainly how I feel this morning -- Charge!


Der Alte Fritz said...

It is all very inspiring. I'd love to play in a game with such figures one of these days. Maybe I should forget all of this 1806 nonsense and get back to my SW projects.

Bluebear Jeff said...


Yes, forget the 1806 nonsense and get back to your SYW projects.

I mean, just LOOK AT Stokes lovely pictures . . . the clean colors of the units, the "toy soldierness" of everything.

Stokes, your photos are great. The game looks fabulous.

-- Jeff

MurdocK said...

The sense of energy is exactly why I kept pushing you to 'roll some dice and push some lead!'

I am glad to read that you did get something from the action (more than some time used).

Now we need to work on getting you a real-live opponent!

This is not so hard really, since you have BOTH SIDES for a simple battle.


tradgardmastare said...

thanks for all the info. I hope to do something similsr before i return to work on the 7th. I do agree that getting figures on the table does indeed rekindle ones enthusiasm.
the problem I have is a desire to go off in all directions wargamming wise - it is hard to be focusssed. If i had concentrated over the years on one or two areas then I would have some good sized armies by now!

Bluebear Jeff said...


Another note . . . for my rivers I've been using the blue "painter's tape". It allows me to vary river sizes and directions as I add strips here and there . . . and it comes up quite easily.

-- Jeff

abdul666 said...

"The painting is the result of fairly leisurely work since July 2006."

Not so! While you were entertaining us with convolvuted -yet extremely enjoyable- stories of lobster claws, you were as busy as a whole anthill!

Abd the result is worth the effort!


Stokes Schwartz said...

Happy Saturday, Men!

Thanks so much for your continued enthusiasm and nice comments about the Grand Duchy of Stollen project. It's almost as much fun as painting, collecting, and gaming with the figures!

Beast Regards,


Stokes Schwartz said...

Yes, Jim, I agree with Jeff's suggestion. How about going ahistorical for a while and painting up that BIG unit of langkerls in red breeches and vests? ;-)

Best Regards,


Eamon said...

A lovely piece of work. Do you cast your own HE miniatures?

I notice that you've used Paddy Griffith's napoleonic rules. Are they from Napoleonic Wargaming for Fun?


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