Sunday, 4 November 2018

Flags of Ruritania

Well, playing around with Scrontch of course...

Variations on a general theme of red and white, with a gold eagle. It should probably be two-headed but Scrontch doesn't support that. Obviously, I could go back and do most of these with a diamond not a roundel and other variations. I may do that another time. The last one is the problem for that as I haven't used a roundel anyway - I've actually used a white cross on a vertical-striped red-and-white background. This produces a flag divided into three, with a central white bar and two side-panels of white crosses on red. It actually looks a bit Danish to me. I've used the same technique (but reversed) to produce a VBCW flag with St George's crosses, that I've thrown in at the end as a bonus.

There are two with thin horizontal red and white stripes. One goes red-white-red... the other white-red-white... but they're so similar that they would be indistinguishable on the tabletop. They could only be used as variants I think, so I've listed them as 2a and 2b. When I get around to it, variations of these will be accompanying my Ruritanian troopers, who will see the light of day at some point I'm sure.

Ruritanian unit 1
Ruritanian unit 2a
Ruritanian unit 2b
Ruritanian unit 3
Ruritanian unit 4
Ruritanian unit 5
Ruritanian unit 6
Ruritanian unit 7

And, for a VBCW unit or something similar, perhaps Anglicans from Exeter given the tower motif and the St George's crosses...

South Devon Anglican Defence Force

Sunday, 19 August 2018

Flags of Turkestan

I did a version of the flag of Turkestan, using Scrontch's Flag Designer and a little creative jiggery-pokery in Illustrator.

This is the 'real' flag:

And then I did a bunch of other versions for use by units of Turkmen cavalry. Not sure if all of these will be sufficiently different on the tabletop to be of use but they are offered anyway. If you can use them, as with all the flags I design, please feel free. If you use flags by other people that I put up for information purposes, then you're very naughty.

I'm going to try different versions of these with other backgrounds - keeping the red stripes but with pale blue, green etc backgrounds for the crescent-and-star, maybe putting those in yellow, and just generally faffing about to produce similar-but-different flags that could be used for Turkmen units. The problem is that the donkey-work actually takes a bit of time... so don't hold your breath!

Saturday, 18 August 2018

Meh, more flags of Khemed

I had forgotten about these 'Khemedistan' flags until I was on the BoB facebook page today.

I realised that there were other combinations of crescent-and-star on green, with added red, that I hadn't tried so I did a few more. Theoretically there are loads more but some don't look very good, and some would only be very slight variations on what has already gone before, making it impossible to see the difference. These at least are sufficiently different I hope to be distinguishable on the table. Maybe the last two won't be. But, anyway, alternative flags with Khemed-inspired imagery.

Friday, 22 June 2018

British Army organisation

50 Brigades
150 Regiments (= 3 Regiments in a Brigade)
450 Battalions  (= 3 Battalions in a Regiment)
1800 Companies (= 4 Companies in a Battalion)

According to Journey's End that the Younger Orc is watching (he's been studying it as an English set-text), that's a guess at the strength of the British Army in France.

A company I think is conventionally made up of 4 platoons, and I believe that a platoon is generally around 30 men. So, a company would be around 120 men (loosely).

However, this is the post-1913 organisation. This is the organisation that would for example be in use in Transcaspia.

In the later Victorian period, mostly infantry regiments apparently had four battalions, two regular, one reserve and one volunteer, though this could vary quite dramatically.

At present, I have around 90 minis that are vaguely 'Zulu War British', I think. This includes about 12 in Rife Green uniforms with khaki Glengarries (UNIT/Northdale Rifles), about 36 painted up as redcoats (11 are Brigade minis with rebreathers from their GASLIGHT/Steampunk range), and perhaps 10 in khaki jackets. 11 are Dwarves in pith helmets (10 from Old Glory and 1 GW example, that presently are serving as the 'Combined Atlantean Rifle Brigade'). The rest (probably about 20) are currently unpainted. The plan currently involves painting them all as redcoats. I really don't care about the Royal Wessex Regiment and as soon as I get around to it the khaki-jacketed ones will be redcoats too, and they can all be A Company of the 1st Battalion of the Royal North Surreys (except the Dwarves, difficult to see where they fit into that to be honest). The guys in re-breathers can just be regular North Surreys in Martian Expeditionary Force gear. There's no way I'm going at this stage to start faffing about with new units. Sod it. They can all be redcoated soldiers of the Queen and that will be much easier, no matter that some of the officers have newer designs of jacket (more suited to the Boer Wars than the Zulu Wars or Sudan). So, basically (as I think there's about 65-ish) that's half a company.

Sunday, 20 May 2018

Flags of Khemed

I've been playing with Scrontch's flag-designer and inkscape again.

And Imagi-nations.

And thinking about Central Asia.

I'm being tempted by another Interwar adventure, this time the 'Back of Beyond' setting. I picked up 'Setting the East Ablaze' a couple of years ago but have never done anything with it. Still looking for inspiration I suppose, and also, I have a bazillion minis for games I don't play, I might not get more minis for games I don't play...

But anyway... messing about with the flag of Khemed, from Tintin.

You can see the original here:

... or on on the Flags of the World website:

These are my versions, which are intended to represent 'pan-Khemedian' forces in Central Asia, on the somewhat tenuous analogy that Khemed is something like Turkey, and therefore there might be a 'Khemedistan' where Turkmenistan is now.

Here's the results - variations on a theme of green and red, with a white crescent-and-star motif. Someday they might get themselves on a battlefield, but we'll see...

Monday, 14 May 2018

More of why photobucket is shite

So it turns out I'm really bad at getting round to things. Who knew?

I haven't set up a new account at flickr or wherever, and I need some photo-hosting. So, save me trusty blog!

I'm after building some sci-fi or VSF or Pulpy terrain by re-purposing some old printer cartridges. I have 6 from my new printer and two from my old printer. The new printer ones will be a bit more tricky as they obviously have the word 'EPSON' engraved into the side so I'll have to find a way of using them that means only the other side is visible, either by positioning (eg I line them up along a wall) or through judicious use of some other covering like plastic mesh.

The old ones look like this (minor detailing is very slightly different):

Hope they're clear enough, it's quite eveningy here now so no time for decent photos.

So yeah, how to repurpose these thingies is the question.

Wednesday, 9 May 2018

New Old Things

I've been helping my parents clear out their loft as they're moving house. Little by way of my gaming stuff left at their house, but I did find one of the old Matchbox Models of Yesteryear.

This is what it looks like (though the pic was ripped from the web):

Jaguar SS-100 from Matchbox Models of Yesteryear
It will possibly see service in VBCW gaming - that's the plan anyway. Maybe as the personal transport of the leader of any Fascist forces. I can just imagine it with a couple of pennants flying from the radiator grille.

Another find at my parents' house was a very old game called Scoop!. It's a newspaper game: the basic idea is that the players are the editors of daily newspapers (The Times, The Daily Telegraph, The Daily Express and the News Chronicle, which ceased publication in 1960 and kinda dates the game). The editors spend resources to get stories that they use to fill in blocks on a mock-up of a front page; the winner (as far as I remember, I haven't played it in more than 30 years I don't think) is the first to complete the page.

The reason I bring it up is that there's a certain amount of Imagi-Nations goodness going on. One of the stories that editors can ... bid for? ... is about a war between the Stentorians and the Ugonians. I haven't examined the game in detail yet but there may be other stories which mention imaginary countries or other significant events. At the very least, there is a war between two Imagi-Nations that needs to be taken into account sometime in the 1950s (at a reasonable guess). The likely explanation is a Cold War conflict but like tension between Greece and Turkey or Chile and Argentina, it could be two Western allies that were in conflict. Or, like the USSR/Vietnam v China/Khmer Republic conflicts it could represent strife between different 'communist' countries. I shall do more research and think on.

I was reminded of another game from my childhood that features an Imagi-Nation, possibly the most famous of them all. As a kid I played a game called Contraband, which belonged to one of the friends of my parents. The game was a kind of card game that involved smuggling. Different cards involved different things that needed to be smuggled. I seem to remember these included some diamonds, a gun and the Ruritanian Crown Jewels. The game seems to have started production in the 1950s. I definitely played it around 1979, which suggests that between those times, the Ruritanian Crown Jewels were missing. I guess the reason is, Ruritania was an Eastern Bloc country between the 1950s and 1970s (probably something like 1948-1990) and the Royal Family (if it even survived) was in exile. We don't know exactly what the history of Ruritania is but that seems a reasonable supposition. If the 'ex-King' (or possibly ex-Kings) that feature in the works of Evelyn Waugh and PG Wodehouse are anything to go by, Ruritania had suffered at least one deposed monarch by the late '20s, though whether deposed by Communist uprising, a liberal democratic republic, or Fascist takeover is entirely unclear. But whatever happened between the wars, after WWII Ruritania was likely in the Eastern Bloc. The definitive history of Ruritania is yet to be written, but there are hints at least. Sadly I don't have a copy of Contraband but I'm thinking I might try and get one. Probably should get hold of Vile Bodies too.