28 November 2010

What's Next?

Well, I just finished Factotum, and I find myself energised once again to procede with my gaming plans. Unfortunately, the workbench has been almost completely packed up for the move! So, I am going to vent a bit onto this medium.

The plan is morphing a bit - a problem of which I am particularly susceptible. Despite a desire to pick up the collection of 15mm minis again, I am going to try and stick with 28mm. The budget might make it a slower path but in the end it will look much more the part. It should be easier to come up with figures for the various bogles, although any that are particularly large, like The Misbegotten Shrewd, will require some work. Maybe action figures? Smaller monsters, like the grinnlings, could need special attention also, as they are reputed to fancy human clothing.

I am hoping to start up a series of blog posts on the figures that I think will make good, or even reasonable, proxies for the monsters of the Half Continent. But, for now I am off to continue packing...

25 November 2010

Ships, part 2

The first ram begins to take shape:


Step One: two pieces of 0.080" plastic sheet, cut into the rough dimensions of the two decks of VN Coryphaeus. The deck plans are just cleaned-up copies of the original artwork, as shown here.




Step Two: the hull takes shape, after a fair amount of cutting and sanding. I was doubting my choice of plastic sheet for the main components, just a little, as it is more difficult to work with than I previously thought. Once I get the technique down it should not be a problem though. I also trimmed off the rostrum from the bow; I will add this to the model later on.


I am not certain when I will be able to return to working on this ship as we are preparing to move and the workbench will be packed up soon.

Work-in-progress


Just a brief mention of the slow progress being made - three Ever Present Glory troops almost finished (near the center), just need the bases and overcoat; Eight Legion of Sérqu troops assembled and awaiting primer; Six Old Glory orc bowmen, with primer applied.

And, the full table pic:


These two pics might be the last ones from this workbench - we are preparing to move and the issue of space for this table is in doubt. We have a smaller table that I can use but it just would not be the same...


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13 November 2010

The Qol and Hlutrgu have arrived

The first minis from the Tékumel Club have arrived - Qol and Hlutrgu!

Many thanks for Howard - he packs a nice parcel. Here is what was inside the box:


A nifty inner container, with Tékumel-style artwork! That picture is a stylised depiction of the history of Tékumel, from colonization to the current situation - roughly 60,000 years...

Inside that box were two plastic bags carefully wrapped in bubblewrap:


I ordered 1 Hlutrgu warband and 1 Qol horde. The labels explain the contents, and the art is a nice touch.


Here is the first group - Hlutrgu:


Fourteen minis in total. Please note that these minis are straight out of the bag, no cleaning or inking - these pics might not show all of the details. There is very little flash and the mold lines are limited.


Here is the 'command' group. From the left: drummer, champion, shaman/leader. The shaman has a staff (visible in the group pic above). The hands will need to be drilled out to accept javelins, which are not included - you must supply your own weapons.


More Hlutrgu. From the left: warrior, champion with hostage, warrior. You get five of each warrior pose with the warband. As with the command figures, hands need to be drilled out to accept your self-supplied weapon. I did notice that the metal used is bendy, and the ankles are a bit flexible. These are nice minis - I do need to find the proper colors for their skin!


Now, the Qol:


Eight (ahem - TEN) minis in this horde. One bonus - you get halberds with this pack. The 'hands' (their arms actually end in tentacles) do need to be drilled out to accept the halberds.


These are the halberdiers. There are four in each horde - two poses, two each. They are a little bigger than the Hlutrgu.


Qol swordsmen and bows.


Here is a comparison pic, 1 each Hlutrgu, Qol, and Tsolyani officer:


The Hlutrgu are a bit smaller than humans, which is exactly how they should be. These minis scale to each other very well. Can't wait to get some paint on them!


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10 November 2010

Factotum

It has finally arrived!


The third book of the trilogy, fresh out of the box!

06 November 2010

25mm minis, part 2

I ordered a pair of test packs of 25mm Old Glory 'Age of Reason' minis from Grandiosity recently, and here are some examples:


MW-2 Marching, collarless coat




MW-3 Advancing, collarless coat


The Marlburian Wars packs are packaged a bit differently - 10 minis per pack for $14.50, not 30 per pack for $32. Grandiosity has them for a bit less, and purchase of the Old Glory Army card brings a big savings. Each pic shows the variations that were included in my packs.

However, I am the type of hobbyist that needs to be inspired by both the subject and the minis. Although these are good figures, and would look magnificent en masse, I will be starting out with skirmish size encounters and working up from there. These minis are just not inspiring me to paint them. Also, there is not much variety in the packs, and I think that I would like a bit more. This implies no fault to OG; it is just my view. Plus, I will note that the pics are not the best. I might take a look at their artillery when the time comes.


There won't be any more purchases for the rest of the year - I have spent far more this year on all of my gaming projects that the past two combined - so my planned purchase of the next set of samples, probably Front Rank, will need to wait until January or February 2011. So, until then I plan on working on the ship minis and searching through (and hopefully posting links and pics) other manufacturer's minis that will work with the Half Continent setting.

31 October 2010

Ships, part 1

Finally made it down to the hobby shop today and grabbed some materials for making some ships:



The thicker material - 0.060" and 0.080" - will be used as the base for the decks. The v-groove material will be the planking of the decks, and the assorted pieces are there Just-In-Case. I have plastic rod for the masts from other projects.

For the first build, I am going to try 1/1200 scale - an iron dought such as Coryphaeus would be approximately 8 cm in length, which is large enough for details and small enough to get several ships on the table for a game...

29 October 2010

Developments

There have been some exciting developments in the world of Half Continent gaming...

1. DM Cornish posted an excellent drawing of a H-C ship, and color plates on uniforms at this page on his blog. I was fortunate enough to get a sneak peak at these some time ago, and I am glad that they can be shared with everybody!

2. Tradgardmastare has started his own H-C gaming blog here. I look forward to sincerely imitating his progress!

3. The third book of the series, Factotum, has been released in Australia/New Zealand. It is set for US release on Nov 11 - I have already ordered it.

4. My second test order of 25mm minis - Old Glory - has shipped and will be here next week.

24 October 2010

25mm minis, part 1

The first order of 25mm minis, from Imperialist Enterprises, arrived a while ago but I am only now getting to take a close look at them. I ordered a wide variety of minis as a sampler in this small order, as I have never seen them up close before.


Left: MO-1 English officer, button hole lace Right: MO-3 English musketeer, on guard

The spontoon on the officer is a separate piece. I like the drawn sword, although it is a bit thin for a sword, more like a rapier.




Left: MO-5a English musketeer advancing, plain coat Right: M-12b English grenadier, marching




Left: M-18 Austrian musketeer, advancing Right: PO-1 Palatinate Musketeer, marching




Left: FO-1 French musketeer, advancing Right: FO-4 French flag officer

The French musketeer was a freebie thrown in by Mr Hagerty - thanks!




F-15a French dismounted dragoon




H2 - Heavy horse, running

Imperialist offers five different horses: 3 heavy and 2 medium. When one orders mounted figures, the choice of mount is yours.




M23b Austrian cuirassier, drawn pistol, tricorn




The saddle is cast with the rider as one piece.



So far I like the selections from Imperialist. All of the minis in this order measure 25mm from sole of foot to the forehead. There are some differences in sculpting, with some being smoother and some being more detailed. My favorite is the Palatinate musketeer, although all of them will be used in one fashion or another.

17 October 2010

Sérqu, Sword of The Empire part 2

Didn't feel like painting much today, so I got out the next unit of my Tsolyanu forces - Legion of Sérqu, Sword of the Empire, 14th Imperial Heavy Infantry.

Here is the start:


The first four minis. The spear shafts are plastic; the spear tips come with the mini. The demon-faced shield is not shown as I prefer to keep the shields separate until after the painting is done. I have slightly modified the trooper on the right to have his mace equipped instead of a spear. A few more of the Sérqu troops will have either a mace or a sword drawn.


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13 October 2010

200 and 5

Not certain if this really calls for a celebration, but this post is number 200. It is also the fifth anniversary of the start of this blog... 200 posts in 5 years is not much - some bloggers get that many in a year or less, but I guess it is a mark of doggedness that I continue to slog along.

Projects have come and gone over that time: Tau, Empire, renaissance, Punic wars. Mini sizes also, with dabblings in 6mm, 10mm, 15mm, and 25mm.

At least the size is sorted at 25mm now; I just need to focus on getting things done and play some games!



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12 October 2010

Shifting gears once again

Once again there is a change in the plan here. If you take a look at this post on Threwdish Ways, I write about switching sizes for the Half Continent project. That decision makes Battles in Fifteen redundant - it will not be deleted anytime soon but it will go stagnant.

For the project list, Tékumel is going well, with some new minis about to hit the market. My old fantasy mini lead pile is getting smaller, slowly, with the painting of the orcs and Reptus close behind. Two things will change in the coming year, though: I need to get serious with selling off minis and games that are just taking up space; and I am considering a new historical project (ha ha ha). But, the fantasy and Half Continent stuff need attention first.


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10 October 2010

Old Glory orcs, part 2

I have spent a little brush-time with some of my older minis, and here are the pics to prove it:


They are still a work-in-progress but not much needs to be done, bases mostly and some details.



I have tried to keep the color scheme simple, with only the few repeat poses having much variation.



I am pleasantly surprised with the skin color - Reaper Pro Paints Ruddy Flesh with a wash of GW Ogryn Flesh, and the non-green orc look suits me just fine!

I have 2 more sword-armed orcs and 6 with axes, with the final set - 6 bows - on order, and these will be done...


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09 October 2010

A ship sketch

Here is a pic of a page of my gaming notebook, with the first doodles of a plan for a Half Continent naval vessel:


It is a 24 guns-broad frigate, and the sketch is the approximate size of the model in 1/600, although it is probably distorted a bit by the pic. The measurements at the top of the page do indicate the actual length and beam of the model.

The drawing is rough. It lacks a lot of deck detail, and the ship's boats are definitely way off in scale, but this is close to what I think the frigate might look like in model form. This page on DM Cornish's art site has some much better (by the originator of course!) of the ships I hope to imitate.

I will need to make a trip to the local hobby shop for some balsa and sheet plastic so I can start to put one together!

02 October 2010

Table


Nothing new yet, just a pic of the painting table. I cleared it off, putting away stuff that I'm not really working on and making room for something new. Some old projects are still on the table: Tékumel, orcs, WW1 naval, and 1866 naval.


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27 September 2010

The plan, altered

I am finding lately that no gaming plan goes unaltered after I start it... and this one is no exception.

I have found that I really do not like to paint 15mm minis. I had not painted any for many (10+) years but I thought to give it a go but it is a struggle. My wife pointed out to me that I was 'avoiding' the 15mm's, and mentioned that I had tried to paint 6mm and 10mm minis in the past - at least I tried, but 25mm seems to be the winner. And it has the approval of the missus which actually is a big benefit! There are some pros and cons in the switch however:

PRO:

1. No duplication of effort in the minis for the skirmish and mass battle ranges - I intend to use these minis for both.

2. No duplication of effort for terrain of different scales.

3. Hopefully 1 and 2 will mean a bit less in monetary outlay!

CON:

1. Mini selection will be more important - the 15mm minis were more forgiving in their appearance for specific HC details.

2. Bigger surface needed for mass battles.

So, more info later as I continue to peruse mini selections...


On a brighter note, I have doodled up some preliminary drawings of a HC naval vessel...

11 September 2010

The project

I have always been a bit of a butterfly when it comes to projects. Most all periods of history fascinate me, and unfortunately that makes it hard to narrow down a project and keep focused. Take this post from Jet at Geektactica - lovely stuff there. Makes it hard for me to keep to the Greek/Persian project. So, I am also thinking about a 13th century set! The pertinent army lists would be Feudal French, Imperial German, and Communal Italian.

The big deciding factor will be the availability of good minis, although the feudal armies might mesh better with the eventual fantasy armies project...


In the good news department, the bases order from Litko has shipped, so I need to get going with getting some paint on my minis.

09 September 2010

Pinning

If you remember back a bit on this blog, I had a problem with this:



The bows on the Ever Present Glory archers are fragile. That is now fixed, and below are the steps I took to repair it.


You will need a couple of tools to pin your mini:

1. A suitably thin piece of wire - I typically use brass, but steel is fine; even a paper clip will work.

2. Wire cutters, to trim your piece of wire to size.

3. A drill bit, just larger than the thickness of the wire.


Here is everything laid out (except the cutters, hmmm):



My secret weapon is there on the right. That is no ordinary drill bit - that is a high-speed bit salvaged from the recycle pile at one of the circuit board shops that I once worked at. They are sharper that the typical bit, and the 1/8" shank makes them easier to handle - I do not use a pin vise to use these bits; the shank is big enough to use by itself. The number on the collet - 74 - refers to the diameter, which in this case is 0.0225". I have seen these bits on sale at various hardware stores, so keep an eye out for them!




The drilling process underway - slow and steady is all you need with these sharp bits. The metal
Eureka uses is soft, which helps the process. You should stop every couple of turns to clean out the bit. You do not need to go far, a millimeter or so is enough - make sure to drill both pieces!




Once you have the holes drilled, then you need to cut your wire to size. I found out the hard way that small pieces of wire can go flying, so I cut the wire over a small cup or container, to make sure that I do not lose the pieces.




And the completed mini. I use super glue on both ends of the break to secure the wire and broken part in place.

Now, I can get back to paint... um, no - just broke another one!


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06 September 2010

New download site for Impetus Fantasy

Previously, the rules for Impetus Fantasy were only on eSnips. They are now (as per this post on the Impetus forum) available through Hotfile - see this link


UPDATE (10-2011) - Basic Impetus Fantasy is now here as per this post on the Impetus forum.

UPDATE (10-2013) - Basic Impetus Fantasy is now on the main Impetus site - download it here.

UPDATE (07-2015) - Basic Impetus Fantasy is now available at Wargames Vault - get it here.


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01 September 2010

Slow progress

Small steps toward getting the first battalion done!

1. The minis are about half-way done with painting. I am finding that, for the mainly darkly-colored units, white primer is not such a good choice. The second battalion will be using black gesso for primer.

2. Bases - I forgot about the bases when I placed the order for the minis. So, I sent off an order with Litko - hopefully they will arrive later this month.

3. Rules - The delay in ordering bases corresponds with my indecision on a rules choice. In the end, I am going to try a modified Impetus set. Miniatures Wargames #322 has an interesting article on a conversion of Impetus to the AWI, which I am using as a starting point.


I'll post pics when I get something done!

22 August 2010

Basics

Although it is more to support my Half Continent project at Threwdish Ways, I have ordered a small quantity of bases for Impetus from Litko. These are a mix of 3mm thickness plywood: 80mm x 20mm, 80mm x 30mm, 80mm x 40mm, and 80mm x 60mm. I did order enough to have just a little something to start my project here!

But, what is my project for this blog? I am going to start with Classical Greek topics, both the wars versus the Persians and the struggles between the Greeks themselves. This is going to be a slow-burning project, as I am still amassing research materials. I have a few books, and some other rules - mostly for inspiration. Obviously, the minis will be 15mm but what manufacturers? That remains to be seen...

19 August 2010

First unit, part 2

Here is a pic of the basic color scheme I intend to use for the Boschenberg units:


The belts, sash, vest, baldric, and musket are not done yet, but this is the general theme. I have discovered one useful piece of info - sometimes it is better to prime in black (these were primed with a light grey primer - Reaper Master Series Brush-on Primer) !

I also need to order bases...

14 August 2010

First unit started

I have decided that the first battalion to be painted up will be from Boschenberg, capital city of the realm Hergoatenbosch. Not surprisingly, this is the home of the main character in the Monster Blood Tattoo series, Rossamünd. Rossamünd is not in the employ of Boschenberg, so he will not be appearing in this unit. Will he be on the battlefield someday - hmmm, probably, when I can find an appropriate mini in 15mm!

The mottle of Boschenberg is brown and black - (mostly) brown platoon coat with black sash, cuffs, and vest.

I will have pics once I have at least three colors on the minis!

10 August 2010

Links

On the left I have added a series of links for Impetus-related information, including free downloads.

16000

Just noticed that the visit count passed 16000 today... I would say Wow but this blog has been around since 2005 and that is not such an impressive number, even when you consider that I did not load up a counter until May 2007.

A sincere Thank You to all of the people (except those few spammers!) that stop by one of my corners of the 'Net!


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08 August 2010

15mm minis, part 2

After quite a delay, I have taken another small step towards getting my first unit done.

One of the important parts of a soldier's harness (uniform) in the Half Continent is the baldric, as this is an important means of identification for the soldier. The baldric is tinted in the colors of his realm's mottle - a specific combination of colors and patterns unique to each realm. The baldric on most Half Continent troops runs from the right shoulder down to the left side of the waist. In my limited searches, I did not find any 15mm (or even 28mm) minis with such a baldric. So, I need to make my own.


Here the troops, the first battalion on the left and parts of the second battalion on the right, with their new baldrics. I made them with blue/green two-part epoxy - the same material that is used to sculpt most minis. I had never used the material before but it is not hard to use at all. It is a bit sticky but I found that if I left it cure somewhat it is much easier to use. Using just a pea-sized bit of epoxy, I rolled it out between a small piece of waxed paper to flatten it, then waited a few minutes for it to start to cure. Then, I sliced strips off the 'pancake' of green stuff and stuck it to the mini. Easy!


If you look closely, you will see that over time the baldric is more defined. The minis on the left of the pic were first, and are not as good as the later troops.


The drummer did not need a new baldric, as the strap for his drum is just perfect. Now, I need to let the epoxy cure for a day or so, then the real fun begins - painting! But, I will need to decide what realm will have the honor of the first unit...

07 August 2010

Blogs & stuff

What is going on here at the El Grego table? Well, I am trying to both narrow my focus and expand my coverage, if that makes any sense. By narrowing my focus, I am trying to only work on a limited set of projects (yeah right) and get something done. To help with that, I have narrowed down my project list a bit, I think, and mostly by scale:

28mm - only for skirmishes and sticking with fantasy. Right now focusing on Tékumel minis, but if I ever find those shields I will finish off that group of orcs...

15mm - mass battles, both historical and fantasy with Imagi-nation-style stuff also.

1/2400+1/3000 - naval, historical.


Makes sense, right?

So, here is the 'expand my coverage' bit:

Blog #1 - the one you are reading right now, The Pewter-Pixel Wars. This blog will be focused on 28mm skirmish games and minis.

Blog #2 - my naval gaming blog, Mini Ship Gaming. Historical naval gaming using 1/2400 and 1/3000 scale minis.

Blog #3 - the oddball blog, Threwdish Ways. This one is focused on the Half Continent, created by DM Cornish as set out in the Monster Blood Tattoo book series. There will be a mix of everything here, from skirmishes in 28mm to 15mm mass battles to naval games. This is my Imagi-nations blog!

Blog #4 - my mass battles blog, Battles in 15mm. The newest blog in the line-up, featuring the rules set Impetus. Eventually, this will have historical and fantasy armies and battles. If you are looking for more Impetus information, please visit/bookmark/follow this blog.


There you go. Hopefully you will find something interesting on one of them. It might not make much sense, but they do say - 'Dilution is the solution...'


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Previous Impetus work

Just to start off, here is a link to one of my other blogs with posts about Impetus - hopefully I will remember to expand upon it here. I did not get very far with using 28mm minis for this project; 15mm will be a better fit for mass battles I think.

Starting off...

The first post!

This blog is going to be my repository of information and pics on my miniatures gaming activities in 15mm. It is intended that the main focus will be mass-battle games, not skirmishes which are covered more thoroughly on my main blog - Pewter-Pixel Wars. Historical and fantasy genres will be included.

The rules set that is leading the pack right now is Impetus, authored by Lorenzo Sartori and modified by others along the way.

01 August 2010

Legion of Ever Present Glory, part 11

Just a brief bit of frustration to share this time:


The bows on Eureka's Ever Present Glory miniatures are a little bit fragile, as shown on the archer on the right. That is not the first bow I have broken in this group, but usually I catch the fracture before the bow comes off completely and fix it with super-glue. This one will need to be pinned for a more permanent fix...


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24 July 2010

Legion of Ever Present Glory, part 10

The inexorable push of progress (i.e. slow) on the First Legion of Ever Present Glory continues... 4 more minis completed:


A poor, poor pic - my apologies. These bring up the total of completed minis to 16 - 14 more to go, then on to Sérqu! Here is the WIP pile:


Still a lot of detail yet, although the 3 spears on the left are reasonably close to completion.


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Thoughts on rules, part 4

The following is what I had previously posted about rules...

I think that I have finally made a decision on the rules to use for mass battles. After some thought and a few practice games - using just some old metal bases as units - I have decided to use Fantasy Rules! by Chipco. I think the benefits of the quick play and unique army control system, the Morale Clock, outweigh the non-linear basing. I will do some tinkering to FR!, as I think the missile ranges are too long and some of the bases, for ambuscadiers (skirmishers) especially, will be rectangles instead of squares just for appearance's sake.

I will post my rules mods here as I go.

I still have not really made a decision as I am now plowing through a series of AWI (American War of Independence) sets to see if they are compatible. The lack of cavalry in both the AWI (and even War of 1812) and the Half-Continent is a surprising commonality, as is the variety of units possible. So, I continue searching - it will end soon as I am almost ready to base up troops!

Many thanks for The Baron for his suggestions!

18 July 2010

15mm minis!

The first package of 15mm miniatures has arrived for the H-C project!

This first order, from Minifigs, was really just a sampler to figure out which minis would work for the plan. I ordered one pack of 24 minis each of French, Dutch, and Russian troops.

Here are the pics:


The Dutch unit is in groups on the right, with the Russians en masse on the left. I was very surprised to find that the miniatures for the Dutch and Russian units are exactly the same - I do hope that it is intentional and the uniforms of the time for each nation were similar. But, since they are the same I now have two usable units for the collection. The French are a bit different which I will explain a bit later.

And, the first unit glued up to some nails and ready for painting - almost:


18 musketeers, 2 drummers, 2 standard bearers, and two officers.


A close-up. I did not realize until I was nearly finished with cleaning and gluing that the troops will need a slight modification. If you look closely, there is a strap for the ammunition pouch running across the mini from the left shoulder. But, there is no baldric running across from the right shoulder. So, I am going to try and add a baldric to each mini using Green Stuff epoxy... should be exciting!


Here is a close-up of the two officers. Originally, each mini was the same as the one on the right. But, I took a little time to change that. I clipped off the tip of the spontoon and flattened the shaft. With some carving and filing I think I have a reasonable sword for the commander.






This is a pic of some of the French troops. There minis are different from the other two, with the troops carrying their musket on the right, instead of the left. Not a huge difference but I really want to have the units appear similar, at least for now. Meanwhile, the French unit will be pressed into service as the test models for my attempts with green stuff, to make the baldrics.



Now, this is some actual progress! I still need several different pieces of the puzzle - Green stuff and some more paints (on order); bases; and of course many more minis!

09 July 2010

Thoughts on rules, part 3

Settling in on a set of rules for this project seems to be a real problem for me. Just when I thought I had it sorted out with Fantasy Rules!, little pieces of the puzzle appear to not fit as well as I had hoped. As I continue to search, I am realizing that there is an important underlying factor. Units in the Half-Continent seem to be based primarily on our own 18th century history, which was a time of linear formations in combat. Thus, the main appearance of units in my version of H-C battles should be linear. Now, scale limitations preclude an accurate depiction of units - they are much much more wide than deep - one should have a semblance of a linear formation.

Fantasy Rules! is primarily a 'fantasy' game, partially based on early medieval formations in my estimation, where units were deeper than the lines of the 18th century. Bases for the units in Fantasy Rules! are squares, 1 base for each unit. Here are some close approximations:



These are some Ottoman Turk Janissaries - my first completed 15mm unit (more pics here) - waiting patiently on my desk. The width shown, 60mm, is what I had been planning to use for my FR! units, although I would have only used 3 ranks instead of the 4 shown. The unit is not very linear in appearance.

Now, compare the above to this:



Twice as wide and half as deep - much more linear in appearance. I think that this would be more appealing on the tabletop than the squares of FR!. Please do not get me wrong - FR! is a fine set of rules, very flexible in their composition and easy to use, but a bit too deep for this project. I do intend to imitate many ideas from them to supply the next rules set with special rules, especially for the characters that might appear in a Half-Continent battle