Saturday, July 10, 2021

Considering the NQSYW …

 Ross Macfarlane recently noted, regarding last week’s “Encounter at Steinbruecke”, that small games with big figures had become his preferred gaming style somewhere along the way.  While I don’t want to lose the ability to occasionally maneuver with 60-man Charge! regiments, it is a fact that home games going forward are either going to be on my 3x5 gaming table, as last week, or on a 4x6 temporary table in the library, as with the “Pass at Gelbehuegul” last summer:

In either case, the games will be more fluid and interesting if the unit sizes are smaller (e.g. the twelve man infantry units and six man cavalry units used in A Gentleman’s War), which gives the opportunity to deploy five or six units across the wide side of the table and still have some open space to either flank.

My Charge! infantry units are generally built from a single pose of Prince August castings (or two poses for the “firing line” units) plus command figures. A full foot regiment includes 48 musketeers, and three each of the various command figures.  So, I am considering, among other things, whether it would make sense to paint a few extra officers so that I could get a nice uniform look among the four derivative units each regiment could form.  On the other hand, I had long considered using a different pose for each of the companies in future Charge! regiments to make it easier to track companies on the table where desirable, and that would limit “pleasantly visual” deployment to three derivative units per regiment rather than four.  It’s been a few years since I painted a new infantry unit (hmmm….2012), perhaps because there are already enough units to more than fill the table.  So I am also considering whether it would be more fun and interesting to paint a few units designed to be twelve figures from the start, since motivation to paint 12 rather than 19 might be easier to find, and it’s likely that is how they are going to be deployed anyway.

To assist in considering this, I dug out the actual partially painted stock yesterday, as well as the box of partially unit-organized castings.  I have notes from last year, after a couple of games of A Gentleman’s War, which show that I was considering adding a couple of additional generals, and it looks like I got as far as priming some extra command figures on at least one occasion. Since primed figures on sticks have a  sad tendency to be set aside for years at a time, I should really get in the habit of writing some notes about my intentions on the bottoms of the sticks, so that I can figure out later what I was thinking … 

The other thing I noticed about the NQSYW, as I was looking through old blog posts for inspiration, is that the first game we ever played with the figures was some time in August 1996, which will be 25 years ago next month.  Here’s a copy of the notebook entry on the game:

We even have a photograph, a happy chance for the film era:

So, somehow, I think that we will mark 25 years of this next month …


  1. I'm slowly learning the same lesson - that at the end of the day, the games I'm most likely to have are at home, in the space available to me in which to play, and that playing those games is much more fun than thinking about all the bigger games I might play, but never do ;) May I be nosy, and ask about what looks like a stack of ECW boxes in the second photo? A new project?

  2. Yes, somewhat insanely I picked up enough figures to populate a small battle game. I sold my 28s some years ago…

  3. Now that I live in Maryland, I would really like to get to see one of your NQSYW games. Any chance of one at Barrage this year?

    1. Yes, it seems fairly likely! We haven’t put together the games list for Barrage yet, but I am anticipating NQSYW as my game of choice this year.

    2. Excellent! I hope to be there.