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Author Topic: Aces and Eights and other Old West Stuff  (Read 674 times)

Online FifteensAway

  • scatterbrained genius
  • Posts: 2478
Re: Aces and Eights and other Old West Stuff
« Reply #15 on: August 25, 2019, 03:20:09 PM »
Peter Pig versus Bluemoon.  Very big size difference.  I would not mix them in the same 'unit' generally (see more below on 'units').  Bluemoon and Irregular can mix okay though Bluemoon are nicer sculpts but painted Irregular work just fine.  Peter Pig are closer to the Hovels figures which are probably the smallest by just a hair and the Minifigs are a bit in the middle.  When I started collecting these figures, choice was not as good as it is now - and the Bluemoon range wasn't even a twinkle in my imagination (though a range like it sure was!).  You've started with Bluemoon, I believe, and if that is correct, just stay with them and you'll have pretty much everything you need.  But Peter Pig has that wonderful range of character packs that I could not resist and far more casualty figures as well - and the trains (QRF/Freikorps has the best track I've been able to find for 15 mm - not a perfect match but good enough).  There was a long gone range from Frontier that included mounted cowboys with lariats for herding cattle, I have four of them (and, nope, you can't have none!  ;)).  Hovels has natives including a travois set and small bits for decorating native villages.  Minifigs has a set of 6 matched mounted and dismounted cowboys (without the casualties of the Peter Pig character sets), or did. 

Like I said, I love the great variety and for what I'm building it is necessary.  Somehow my civilians for populating my towns - I have three planned, the jumping off county seat of Anachronism, the southwest town of Alkali Wells, and the plains settlement that may be called Cedar Creek but maybe I'll change that, perhaps Lodgepole Creek - has ballooned well over 700 figures.  Yes, there is a bit of duplication but that's okay, just need to make sure they get painted a bit different.  In such a large crowd, not too many will notice anyway.

Speaking of cattle, the new Peter Pig longhorns are actually quite large within the range and will work fine with Bluemoon figures.  The Peter Pig longhorns come with separate heads so you can glue them on with slightly different angles to add a modest amount of variety.  You can also buy Minifigs longhorns which have separate horns as a single span to glue on to the heads.  There are also Irregular's cattle and Stone Mountain Miniatures cattle for the Zulu war can be pressed into service.  For more mundane bovines, Baueda has a very nice pack with each figure different including calves and an old bull.

Now, switching over to 'unit's for the Old West:  Outside of cavalry, there weren't organized units in the traditional military sense but I've created units for ease of play and to give some identity to the figures.  My basic unit is 12 figures (with a few specialized small groupings of more some other time).  Thus my outlaw/lawmen groups each have 12 mounted, 12 foot, and 12 dead - and I think I managed to get 12 unique sculpts in each unit - though with some duplication across units, but nor overmuch so.  And even if there is a duplicate, again, painted different works.  It is the Old West and variety is sort of required.  I have 18 such units thus the 216 mentioned earlier in the thread, maybe one third in white hats (the good guys), one third in brown hats (on the fence), one third in black hats (the bad men).

For that mass of civilians, most of whom are unarmed, I have groups of 12 like the Town Fathers, or the Town Drunks (Minifigs civilian pack has a great drunk), or the WTU (Women's Temperance Union), or a group focused on a photographer, or a group focused on the hanging scaffold including the undertaker, or a group of shopping ladies, or kids at play.  You get the idea.  Some groups are for in town, others for out of town like ranchers, farmers, a stage station, miners and prospectors, or a trading station. 

While I have that penultimate game in mind, smaller scenarios are planned as well.  A couple of fun ones, one mentioned in an earlier post of this thread: two factions each have a member to bury and somehow the funerals got scheduled on the same day, at the same time, in the same cemetery - something bad will result.  Another one will pit the Methodists against the Baptists sort of thing, some terrible falling out over a point of doctrine.  And since 'a smile on my face' matters, I take huge inspiration from two movies: Paint Your Wagon and Hallelujah Trail.  "Protect both your rears simulataneously!"  lol lol lol

While the Old West is historical it is also, sort of like Pirate gaming, for most gamers more inspired by movies than the actual history.  I sort of tread a middle ground - study the history, enjoy the movies - and build a game with inspiration from the latter but closer to the former.  A challenge with movies is they usually focus on a one-on-one rivalry with various sidekicks for the hero and his principle adversary.  But then we want to get a lot more figures into our games, well, most of us do.  And that is why so many Old West games descend into a multi-dimensional fracas that just never happened like that.  Cavalry, marshals, and deputies shooting at each other over an escaped prisoner while his gang, some Indians, some Mexicans, and maybe some improbably well-armed and bizarrely dressed (Hollywood lingerie) soiled doves all fighting against each other.  Sure, the games can be fun but just not the flavor I'm after.  Unforgiven probably got the prostitutes of the Old West the best (no offense to the actresses in that fine film but the Old West 'ladies' of the evening were not generally the most comely lot!)

As to photos, like I said not nearly enough painted but here is a link for you to explore where you can get a proper sense of my deranged approach to the period (and it is not unique, a deranged period - no, no, not that kind of derangement - I mean so many figures for a period  o_o): https://whiskeyhills.blogspot.com

And here for some photos of a few buildings - unpainted yet - http://steeplechasingzebras.blogspot.com/p/the-wild-west.html
Explore that one for why not enough gets painted - too many periods with too many figures, though progress gets made on a regular basis just not enough.

And here you can scroll down to see some of my trains with the aforementioned track (in an ACW game but intended for Old West), painting unfinished for sure: https://tablesofadventure.blogspot.com

For unknown reasons, for awhile I lost access to some of my blogs but still had access to that last one.  Now I seem to have full access to all - hope it stays that way.  Gets a bit confusing going back and forth sometimes.  Have fun exploring.

Oh, one final thought regarding Bluemoon buildings - they are very nice.  They are also very large scalewise.  They'd work fine for 20 mm gaming.  And if you are in to one-to-one skirmish gaming (which is the more normal Old West thing for most gamers), they'll work fine.  But they are a challenge for mixing with other, non-Bluemoon buildings (which generally all run a bit big).  However, there are enough options in the range to build a nice table top Old West town.  The Peter Pig and Stone Mountain buildings will mix better.  I have all three ranges plus I'm scratch building others.  Just need more time to paint, lots and lots of more time to paint.

Have fun!
« Last Edit: August 25, 2019, 03:31:07 PM by FifteensAway »