Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Final Painting Challenge Submission - The Guns of August

12mm early WW1 Germans - figures from Great Escape Games.

My final post to the 11th edition of Curt's Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge shared a new project - after all, don't we all need a new wargraming project? Yes, of course we do! Thus I present my first brush-bending efforts toward gaming "The Guns Of August", the early days of WW1. All of these figures are 12mm castings from Great Escape Games, released as part of their "1914" rules. 

Example of some of the infantry castings.

This base includes a commander (pointing, you know, as all good miniature toy soldier officers do).

A view showing the kit being hauled by the infantry.

For many years I was indifferent to gaming WW1...the need for bespoke trench terrain was a particular deterrent, and even if that might be sourced, well, the lads go over the top, and get drilled by machineguns and artillery...not much of a "game". But the Fawcett Avenue group in Winnipeg are resourceful folks - Dallas obtained a set of fantastically amazing WW1 trench-board terrain, and hosted many excellent games playing the adapted Warhammer rules for the period available from Warhammer Historicals. And Byron dove in as well - you can find his painting efforts here on the blog, and he hosted many excellent games of "Through The Mud And The Blood." And of course Curt has his very complex and unique WW1 greyscale project that we have been able to enjoy on the table on several occasions - and he even has a Lovecraftian twist to it!

Close up of some Uhlans. Very stately poses...

Another view of the Uhlans.

You can dismount the cavalry, of course! Here is a base of dismounted Uhlans. Was there ever a more awkward uniform for skirmishing on foot?

So in the end I have been able play a fair number of WW1 games, and enjoyed them immensely, without ever stepping into the period myself. But, at Curt's suggestion, I did read Barbara Tuchman's remarkable book "The Guns Of August" about the opening weeks of WW1. What fantastic book, and a rip-roaring read!! While I had been dimly aware that between the declaration of war and the stalemate that developed in the Western Front trenches there had been...well...something...I was stunned to see just how much happened, and just how incredible it all was!! The Battle of the Frontiers, the hectic holding actions, the desperate race to save Paris, the absolutely f*cking bonkers Schlieffen Plan, the tragedy of "cran"...on and on. Wow! From the moment I tore into that book, about three years ago now, the idea of doing something myself set in WW1's early days started to bubble in my head...

An MG08 base. I wish they had included some crew for these weapons, but the "1914" rules call for a 25mm square base, and I suppose there would have been no room...

Fast forward, and the fine people at Great Escape Games released "1914". It is a rules system with many similarities to their excellent "Iron Cross" (WW2) and "Seven Days To The River Rhine" (Cold War goes Hot) systems.  I resisted for a while, but finally caved in an ordered some figures. They are 12mm castings...thus a slight departure from my recent 10mm mania...but I have enjoyed painting them very much so far, and the range is pretty complete for the purposes of their rules, if a bit short otherwise (for example, I wish there were more crew on the MGs and field guns, but anyway...)

The 77mm gun visible at the corner...

The figures in these photos represent about half of one of the "brigade" boxes for their "1914" range.  The level of abstraction in this game shares many similarities to "Great War Spearhead", in that each base represents a company of infantry, a squadron of cavalry or 1/2 battery of guns. Thus an infantry battalion would be between three and four bases (or maybe just two, depending on where things are at!). The box comes with enough infantry for four different four-base "battalions" and a four-base "regiment" of cavalry - mounted AND dismounted - along with MGs to accompany all of those units. There are also two 77mm guns (all together, one battery) and figures for a command base.  You get the figures and bases all together...it's a great way for a geek like me to dip my toe into the water!

77mm gun. Again, I wish they had included more crew...I've still a lot to learn about WW1 guns, but I'm pretty sure there were more than two chaps slinging shells to keep these things in action.

Another view of 77mm gun and team.

This is my first attempt at painting WW1 stuff, but I am really enjoying it so far. As with all Painting Challenge stuff, I was so sure I would get more of this done before the deadline for the end of AHPC XI, but as things worked out I only managed to get started on these two weeks ago.  All the same, I was able to make a decent start and post this as my final entry to AHPC XI.

Regiment of Uhlans - note the one fellow on the very right of the photo - his lance broke off in the bag, so I had to drill out the hand and replace it with a steel spear.

Good animation on the commander. "Get moving! Have you seen the stupid schedule we need to keep?"

The final submission for AHPC XI. Cheers everyone.

Thanks for reading everyone - I hope to share more photos of this project as it progresses over the spring and summer. And I do hope to put on a game of "1914" for the guys when I visit Winnipeg - after all of the great WW1 games they provided for me, I would like to return the favour. Stay safe, and stay sane!

1 comment:

Dallas said...

Those li'l fellas look great! Nice work dude!