Monday, July 11, 2011

What Miniatures to Use?

The troops of Alcovia are going to look different than most troops of the 1700s. I plan for them to look rather wild and irregular for the most part, being pulled from various tribal factions. To this end I plan to draw from various lines of Cossacks and Poles used as allied or auxiliary troops by the more "civilized" nations of the world.

As I plan to use 15mm, I can also draw from figures from the Eastern Renaissance period. At this scale, the discrepancies in firearms won't be quite as obvious and in many cases older style firearms might be better suited. There are several sources for 15mm figures that would work for Alcovia and I plan to draw from most of them to one extent or another. I may not be able to mix all of them in the same unit, but I see no reason that I cannot place them in units of their own.

There are a few basic rules that define my concept for Alcovia's armies. Some may seem a bit antithetic in regard to 18th century gaming, but it's my imagi-nation and I have a visions that includes -
  1. No tricorns, mitre or other "civilized" hats.
  2. Uniforms should remain simple and rustic whenever possible.
Old Glory
Old Glory has an excellent range of Eastern Renaissance minis in 15mm. This range includes a wide variety of Cossacks and Polish Commonwealth troops that would easily make good figures for the King's own army.

Old Glory also does SYW Cossacks as well. These figures, though from a later period are not that far removed from their Renaissance antecedents. Other SYW figures that might be useful would be Pandurs who might well make for good royal troops in the kings army. SYW hussars might do for some more elite royal cavalry, though the fancy jackets may have to be converted into bear or wolf skins.

Though I am not a fan of Essex's style, they do have a nice range of SYW and Eastern Ren. Minis that might be recruited. My main concern is that Essex tend to be on the smaller size of the 15mm scale.

There are some nice Cossacks in this line. A couple of variations including infantry.

This Polish figure line has some amazing stuff for the Eastern Ren.. Everything from Cossacks, to Tartars, to Poles are included in wonderful detail and some very interesting character. They might cost me a pretty penny but I really do want to order at least a few.

Blue Moon Manufacturing
Though there are not a lot of furry hats in Blue Moon's line yet, they are a rapidly expanding line and I have no doubt they will have more. Right now they have some Cossacks in their Great Northern War and SYW lines.

Battle Honours
Battle Honours has very little to offer this period, though there are some Cossacks in their French Revolution line.

Though there range is extensive, they really don't have too much that will fit this project, though there are a few minis in their SYW line and possibly in others that might be pressed into service.

With a range too huge to not have something useful, I think that I'll mine Irregular's lines for suitable figs. Their quality concerns me, but my experience with their product has been mostly good.

Keep in mind this is just an initial recon of the various lines out there. As I sample and purchase, I'll post more specifics, but for now I have a direction to look in.

Take care,


Sunday, July 10, 2011

Welcome to Alcovia, C. 1750s

Any of you who may have been following my exploits in blogging will already be familiar with the name, Alcovia. Alcovia is an imagi-nation, like many others, but it is one that is dear to me enough to have been carried throughout the history of the world as we know or, more accurately, might have known it.

Alcovia began as a country to be used in the 19th century for various sorts of colonial and Victorian science fiction games. It then took on a new role as a nation to be used during the Interbellum where it became a nation with enemies and its own eye on expansion. More recently it has been the scene for my ventures into modern warfare with the 21st century version of Alcovia broken by a civil war. Naturally when I got to thinking about 18th century gaming, Alcovia seemed a place to look once more.

For my 18th century endeavors, I decided that I would go back into Alcovia's past to where to kingdom was born. This will allow me to collect and use a variety of different figures from various Balkan, Eastern European, and Near Eastern sources. Battles will likely start small, limited to tribe on tribe conflict as Alcovia's new, self-made king seeks to unify the various peoples into a nation state. Later on, once the collection has grown, and with it the size of the nation's army, I can look at having Alcovia face off against outside enemies such as Iqenistan (another imagi-nation).

One last note, I am brand new to 18th century wargaming and have not spent much time on this period. I am not an expert or even a buff, but I thought it would be fun. I'm sure I'll make some mistakes along the way, but ultimately it's about the fun and I hope you will forgive any blatant trespasses against the period.

Thanks and enjoy,