Monday, July 9, 2012
French Napoleonics...a trade
This is kinda long winded and rambling on a hot KC monday morning before the MLB All-Star game. Its kind life and gaming stuff with no pics. So read at your own risk.
So I have been blessed with an amazing gaming group, a best friend who really is to blame for all this mini madness some 25 years ago, and a brother in law who is an incredible painter and all around obsessor of toy soldiers in a way I could never attain, try as I might.
I have spoken many times about how many of the Baron's and mine own experiences are shared ones, both in gaming and in life. But I never speak much about my brother in law, who was my friend first and then bro in law, and how over the years my bro in law has opened up many new horizons for me on the gaming front, as well as show me, by his own actions, how to be a decent, selfless person.
It was he who really amped up the GW obsession at a time when GW was putting out things like Man O War, and Blood Bowl, and Necromunda, as well as 2nd and 3rd edition WHFB and 40k. He had a small but respectable shop he opened on the weekends cause it wasn't his first job, and he had a loyal following. He would be the classic Old West barkeep. Talking to everyone and friends with everyone. Generous to a fault.
He was the one who introduced me to real historicals. The BAron and I dabbled in DBA, but found it lacking. And as the Baron was devouring history and his own personal obssession with gunpowder and pointy sticks, I was being introduced to wars and battles on an (at the time to me) unfathomable scale. 10's of thousands of men and horses with horribly inaccurate guns and gruesome conditions, fighting in full dress uniforms with giant hats and plumes and lace. It was all so...dignified and horrifying at the same time. And so my first case of Nappy Fever was born.
Since those first days of gaming with my bro in law, he had a tradition in his gaming circle of horse trading. This has gone on since the day I met him. Its a special thing to watch as traders try to eek out every last piece of value for their painted/unpainted figs and terrain and books and magazines for the at thing they just had to have. In the years I have witnessed it, I have seen amazing trades, and amzingly bad trades. Most are in the middle, but you can't stop a man from his own obsession, and many times I have seen that ruin a person's collection. But for those of us who have been doing it for so long, it all has a way to even out in the end.
And I tend to not mention trades and trading on the blog. But the fact is, as much as I love to paint, I am terribly slow, and I have way to many periods that I will never get to. So I do actively purchase and trade for figs, mostly painted, some unpainted. I have gotten over the last few years, through purchase or trade: a huge amazingly painted viking army, three large gangs of Necromunda guys, with more lead to paint myself, a hundred or so ancient GW/Marauder rougue trader era painted figs, 2 small 15mm ECW armies, a large 28mm ECW army, a small 15mm sci fi army, and small collection of 28mm WWII. Several years ago I traded for my bro-in-law for an entire collection of 15mm Nappies and 15mm Civil War. Pretty varied stuff. All of it very good wargamming quality or better(some much better).
But you will notice there is no 28mm Nappy in there. That has always been the holy grail. That has always been the one period I would be painting myself, or I would have figs from a very limited palette of people: my bro-in-law, his best friend Mike, or the Baron. And It was a project I never assumed I would fully finish in my lifetime. And I was OK with that.
Well a couple of things changed that for me. One, Black Powder. Finally a ruleset that allows a gentlemanly game that's fun and could be finished in 3-4 hours. Two, the painting I did on the Pennisular British this winter/spring. I could finish this to a scale and degree I would be happy with. And I don't need to get huge masses of troops on the table. So as I have written in this blog, the Nappy project is in full swing. I reached out to some of the guys in the BG's who would have interest in doing a unit or two of French so we could get to the table quicker. The Baron is even gonna paint a unit of French. we may get there yet. I was predicting at least 5 years to have the British, Spanish, French, and Portugese.
Well, as horse trading always is, you never know when it will come up or why. On a fluke Sunday afternoon, as I was painting some 15mm fantasy(this was only 2 weeks ago), my bro in law came over. we were talking and he was looking at all of the boxes of unpainted lead on my shelves. I never have anything he is interested in. But he saw some old GW stuff I had amassed over the years. A bunch of it. He decided he would like to trade for it. and I couldn't blame him. It was great stuff. It was still in the blister. And it was all right there. I let him know that I would only really trade for a couple of things. Painted Nappy French, and an old Spanish Village I wanted back I had traded to him a while ago. He tried some other things, but he knew I only wanted painted stuff in exchange.
Well, 2 weeks to the day later, and many late nights, he painted 3 units of french line in campaign dress, and a couple of cannon to throw in the deal. He knew I wanted 4 four units so he threw in a legere unit he had already painted. and the Spanish Village. In return he got 6 stuffed shoeboxes of in the blister GW figs. We both placed great value on what we had to offer the other. In the end we both were very happy with the trade. I must say that over the years, this is the most even trade we have ever made. It hurt to lose those figs, but I may actually have a painted French Army in a year. That's inconceiveable.
Oh by the way, did I tell you the figs are beautifully painted. No. Well they are. I'll post them when I get them based up.
So completing a French Army is possible now. Sometimes it just takes a little push and a start. Well a full Division is a good start. And if the BG's paint a little we'll have a second one. I guess I need to get started on the other Division. The Spanish may need to wait. I still have a couple of Highland units to do for the British. But I am excited about the next year of Nappy Fever.