Steve's post on using plastic game pieces for his Sailing ship games lead to the discovery of the corresponding sets of risk pieces. A set of six colors of Cavalry, Infantry, and artillery costs about $25 on Amazon. I bought 3 such sets. Free shipping, too!.
Each set has six sets of identical figures in different colors. If you are so inclined, you can get bags of the same in purple and orange as well. They are roughly 12 mm in size, measuring from the bottom of the feet to the top of the head on the infantry figures - similar to Warlord Games Epic figures.
Each color has 36 infantry figures, 12 Cavalry and 12 guns... with 2 sets, that's 72 infantry, 24 cavalry, and 24 guns. multiply that by 6, and, well... it's a lot. :-)
I have way more 40 x 60 mm bases than I am, ever likely to use (poor memory and an excess of enthusiasm during the last Litko discount sale), so it seemed like they would be a good choice for basing these figures. 5 infantry figures per base looks pretty good, while 3 figures per base could be used for Light Infantry. That means each pack would yield 3 regular infantry and 2 Light Infantry units of 2 stands each.
Similarly, 3 cavalry per base for heavy cavalry and 2 figures per base for light cavalry looks good and is easy to distinguish visually. Doing the same with the guns (there are no crew figures), 3 figures for a heavy (or foot battery), and 2 for a light (or horse battery) is easily visually distinguished. As I think about it, might add a simple 2 color flag on a floral wire pole to the middle of the bases, much as Jack Scruby did as illustrated in his "Fire and Charge!" rules. This woukld be a simple bold design, with the number of the unit in the center. Thus the "3rd Bluvian Regulars" might be their designation.
This basing would yield 6 regular infantry, 2 Light infantry, 2 heavy cavalry, 3 light cavalry, 2 heavy and 3 light batteries per color. Taking an idea for the old NEWA Courier from 50 years ago, the colors could represent unit quality - for one side grey = raw, black -= veteran, blue = elite, and for the other yellow = raw, green = veteran, red = elite. The figures could be used to proxy other eras aside from the Horse and Musket era with a little imagination and forbearance.
OK, so Peter has many thousands of troops already, with plenty of metal in the lead pile to paint. To date, he doesn't do plastic. So, what gives? Is the old boy doddering to senility? Having a personality change?
Fortunately, none of the above seem to apply. What I do have is 2 grandsons, now ages 5 and 7, Owen and Oliver. Owen now likes games, and has started to express an interest in Poppy's troops. So the idea is to create two very generic wargames armies; I'll probably just start with blue and grey, and Neil Thomas's one hour wargames rules . There are more than enough troops with this scheme to run any of the many scenarios therein. If that goes well, the rules can always get a little more complex over time as he is ready for same... or not! Owen has also expressed an interest in painting some figures, too. These figures are way too small for a 7 year old, and we know what they are likely to come out like (no matter, they would be his and he painted them!) I am thinking that the plastic figures from my Wrath of Ashalon boardgame would be a better start, with a variety of subjects there; if he maintains interest suitable figures can be acquired for the future.
Speaking of Fantasy games, I have already introduced Owen to my favorite computer game(s) of all time, Heroes of Might and Magic. For where he's at now, the original version, with big bold graphics works just fine. The series is up to a 5th version, but most, myself included, agree that the series reached its apogee with Heroes of Might and Magic II!, released by the 3DO company in 1999. If you missed this one years ago, it can be downloaded, with the two add on packages, from Gog,com for $9,99; if you sign up for their newsletter, it regularly goes on sale, often with the 1st and second versions, for even less than that. The Gog version is fully compatible with Windows 10.
There is now a Kickstarter for a boardgame version of HoMM3, as it is usually abbreviated. Having spent innumerable hours over the past 20_years playing the computer version, I had to sign up for this KS. Budget? What budget? :-)
Speaking of Kickstarters, the next Kickstarter for Piano Games in Germany is about to start on 1/25/2022, The Alps Aflame".
dealing with the Tyrolean revolt of 1809. It will include Tyroleans, Bavarians, and Austrians, From what I have seen so far, it looks to be limited to infantry, but who knows? You can sign up in advance to be notified when it goes live later this week. Bavarians, and Austrians. Lucas has posted painted examples of many of the sets to his Facenook site:
Bavarian Light Infantry Command
Bavarian Infantry, skirmishing
More skirmishing troops from Bayern!
Bavarian Infantry, marching
More Bavarians marching; I am planning on adding to my Bavarian force. Budget, what budget? They may have to go on the ledger for 2023!
Tyrolian Landsturm. Schutzen (musket/rifle armed troops) haven't been shown... yet.
More Landsturm/ I need more Tyroleans like a hole in had, but how am I going to resist at least afew of these lovelies?
Sigh! What budget?!
Inspired stuff, really! I especially like the rock throwers; the "Avalanche" events in my Tyrolean games a few years back were especially fun!
If there is anything I need less than Tyroleans, surely it is more Austrians.
I do especially like these guys firing, though...
Budgets are merely aspirational...