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London, United Kingdom
A mythical beast - a female wargamer! I got back into wargaming in the summer of 2011 after a very, very long break. My current interests are Ancients, ACW, 30YW and SciFi gaming.

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Surveying an Old School for Updates of Norman Knights?

Phew, that's a rather long and possibly confusing post title for you! To explain, it's because there are 4 topics to today's post.

Wargaming Survey

Mike Whitaker of Trouble At T'Mill posted this the other day. A student at Kings College London has put a survey about wargaming up on the web for part of his thesis. If you can spare 20-30 minutes to fill out the survey, that would be great.

Old School

An interesting post on Steve's Random Musings about what defines "Old School" wargamers. This follows some of the comments and speculation surrounding the news that Miniature Wargames and Battlegames are to merge with Henry Hyde as editor.

I subscribe to both magazines for different reasons. MW is great for colour pics and eye candy; BG is good for the more practical side of gaming - articles on painting and terrain making, tabletop tactics and suchlike. Combining the best of both into one magazine makes a great deal of sense.

There have been numerous comments about BG being all about "old school" wargaming. Taking a flick through the last 7 issues, there are only 2 or 3 articles (out of about 70) where there is anything specifically old school, but even there it is only that they happened to have used old school type rules - the games in question could just have easily been conducted under "new school" rules.

So, what is "old school" and is it something we should tolerate politely like an embarrassing relative or something we should embrace?

I think of old school as being the willingness to research the period and armies, write (or adapt) rules that reflect the warfare of the period without being overly complex and which result in good fun social games. There's nothing at all wrong with that. If anything it is something we should all try to live up to. Does it preclude enjoying the fancy new rules with the latest gimmick for simulating a particular aspect of warfare? Absolutely not.

There are others worried about what will happen to SciFi and Fantasy coverage in MW under Henry. Looking at the last 7 issues of BG again (and knowing Henry's own eclectic tastes in gaming) there are two quite long scenarios in the Sci/Fant sphere. I'd say that if anything, Sci/Fant will be even better served in the merged mag.

Painting Update

The reiters/harquebusiers and Hakkapeliita are finished and the pics have been sent off to Curt. I'm hoping that they'll go up tonight so that I can swap places with Ray and be in 7th place on the table. Of ciurse, that assumes that he hasn't sent something in as well!

I've started work on the Norman infantry. Yesterday I got common colours done across all the figures:
Basecoats - clothing and shield faces in yellow ochre; spear shafts in cork brown; flesh and shield backs in light brown; gambesons (8 figures) in tan earth.
All the above areas apart from yellow ochre received a brown ink wash.

I then got on with the mailed "hearthguard" and command figures as they would have the bright colours for clothing. I got pretty much everything done above the knee, including the shield designs. Tonight I'll be doing dark washes on the cloth for these, then working from the knees down to (hopefully) finish them. Tomorrow I'll be able to get going on the other 32 figures.

Challenge Entry #10 - 28mm Norman Knights

You can see the pics and blurb here on Curt's blog, but I'll show the pics here. These earned me 187 points which would have been enough to jump past Ray and Fran on the table. However, they'd also sent stuff in so I'm still behind them - not far behind Ray, but Fran's submission scored him a whopping 444 points so I don't think I've got any chance of catching him.

Anyway, that's more than enough of me wittering away, here are some pretty pixels for you:


  1. Great looking Norms Tamsin! Keep plugging away, you never know you may catch me???????

  2. Nice work Tamsin the themed shields is a good idea

  3. Nice Normans Tamsin ;-)

    To say the truth it' s a long time that I' m tempted by Normans miniatures...I' ll have to buy and paint some "Normies"...


  4. Like the Normans, must resist call of First Crusade...

  5. They look great! The tone on the horses is particularly good.

  6. Now that's what I call industry; great results too- dammit, I'm rubbish... ;)

  7. Thanks for the link to the survey - very interesting (despite the binary Gender option :) )

  8. Very nice painting ! Congratulations

  9. Thanks guys! Glad you like them.

    @ Ray - I'm only 2 points behind you and have 44 x 28mm miniatures on the painting table right now so I might be able to get well ahead of you if you aren't careful!

    @ Fran - I hope you're nobbling his painting ;)

    @ Andrew - if you look back through my other Dark Ages entries for the Challenge, you'll see it's something I've done throughout. It makes things easier in games.

    @ Marzio and Steve - do not resist the temptation! :)

    @ Smillie - I'm pleased with how they came out. Normally I do the horse-flesh by buying beef-based meals from Tesco, errmm, by painting over a white basecoat but for these I went straight over black primer that had been dry-brushed with Sky Grey. Most of them needed a second thin coat to get the base colouring I wanted.

    @ Monty - I've been surprised by how much I've painted in this short space of time. I guess the Challenge is an ideal way of focusing efforts to get stuff painted.

    @ Kaptain Kobold - thinking back, you're right. I guess that non-binary gender isn't something that students who haven't encountered it would think about when designing surveys though. There were a number of questions where straight A or B answers weren't appropriate and I did comment on those, but missed the gender one. That being said, the fact that they did include a gender question is a good start!

    @ El Frances - thanks! :)