Sure, I could just use what I already have and play skirmish level games, but I want to do something a bit grander than that. Something with a little more panache and style: battles like Edgehill, Marston Moor, and Nasby springs to mind; each of these being complete mini campaigns in their own right. And so I am back staring at the same problem... facing looking at collecting lots upon lots more figures and then having to paint lots and lots of figures: and all that, is something I simply don`t want to do.
Why two copies you may ask? Well I think you are really meant to buy one book, take the staples out the spine, keep the pages neatly in a folder and just print them off on colour as and when you need more figures (and some of the paper minis are thus printed on both sides of the page within the book itself). Now, I live in Ireland. Everything in Ireland is expensive. That’s why I don’t even have my own printer, because the ink is ruinously expensive. Which leaves me having to pay a euro (about a pound) per page for a coloured sheet. Now times that by 48 pages.. and you start to see my problem! I wanted one copy to keep in prime condition, and another to cut apart for assembling my minis: although I may well bite the bullet (painful as it will be) and cut up both my books so I don’t have to pay a single penny to make five complete armies up. English Parliamentarians and Royalists, Irish, Scottish, and Jacobites. When you consider that these books sell for about £12 each (I got mine for £6 each) it’s really not a big deal and won’t break the bank, however you do it yourself. Anyway, these books really do give you a lot of figures... hundreds in fact.
So here I am with paper soldiers. Have I lost the plot!!!??? You may be asking yourselves at this stage. Well, take a look at the pictures below, and then judge.
As Wargames Illustrated points out: First off, Peter Dennis is a well known historical illustrator, and had a number of books under his belt. The images are simply superb.
Ok, I was not really sure what to expect when I opened and started to read the book. But by page two, I was obsessed... hook line and sinker.
I know it sounds crazy but the more I looked at the illustrations and read the two sets of easy rules written by Andy Callan (also included in the book), the more I found myself wanting to give this concept a try.
The instructions for making up the paper soldiers are clear and simple, and the end results really does have a charm and realism that is infectious.
CONS: I can`t find anything bad to say: except perhaps, if I absolutely had to find something, it might be that the on line forum for this company is abysmally unfriendly, unhelpful.... and you are as likely to be ignored in comments as you are having your question(s) totally removed altogether (or not even put up for anyone to see at all). Worst forum I have ever seen on line in all my life. Though, in fairness, the things discussed there ARE useful and interesting.
SCOPE: Obviously you can combine the paper soldiers with anything else why not use them as a `fill in` while you purchase and paint up your real miniatures army... allowing you to get playing games right away without having to wait a couple of years while you get` the real thing` ready for the table – games would not look shabby or too out of place using paper figures alongside your normal ones: I do it all the time with my fantasy games, and often use Pathfinder paper pawns alongside my normal miniatures... looks great, but within the philosophy and concept behind the book, the scope, in terms of creating your forces, is, literally unlimited.
Incidentally, Andy Callan’s ECW rules look like they should work great on the table. Comprising just four pages, plus a two-page playsheet... also three scenarios.; and they look ideal for the total beginner, or the gamer (like me) who likes the simple `old school` approach to wargaming. So yeah, a veritable heap of figures AND a free set of rules to boot, pretty good for the cost don`t you think. And what`s more, wow what a unique and utterly snazzy idea.
I know that paper soldiers won’t be to everyone’s taste, but I for one just found the entire concept really fun and the forces were easy and quick to build. In conclusion, I can only say… “Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it”.
Article by Stephen Gilbert.