I’ve decided to try something different – paper armies! For the last couple of years I’ve been keeping my eye on the rapidly growing range of books that Peter Dennis has been pumping out, each one covering a different campaign using 2D paper soldiers and scenery.
After having enjoyed so much making some Dutch houses out of cardboard, I finally decided to give these paper figures a go. So I ordered two books to try out, covering a couple of periods I’ve always fancied, but couldn’t face starting to collect and paint from scratch: the Jacobite ’45 Rebellion, and the American Revolution.
Actually, this isn’t the first time I’ve played with paper soldiers. Many, many years ago (er, many decades ago), my then-flatmate Alan Hollows drew and cut out two Seven Years War paper armies, using a whimsical style reminiscent of Asterix the Gaul. I wonder if any New Zealand readers still have photos of these wonderful home-made figures?
Anyway, back to the Peter Dennis books. On receiving my package in the post today, I was very pleasantly surprised to see the books were choc-a-bloc with not only every type of figure you would need for both sides, but also flags, artillery, carts, casualties, markers, appropriate buildings and trees, and even two sets of wargames rules (beginner and advanced versions). Wow!
You can see the quality of the artwork from the illustrations I’ve reproduced here. The fronts and backs are carefully designed to line up.
Peter has developed an innovative concertina folding system that enables you to produce stands with multiple ranks of figures. Have a look at this video of how to assemble these figures:
But please don’t try assembling the sample images from my blog – my camerawork will have put them out of alignment … and, anyway, you should buy the book!
I’m told the finished figures are very sturdy, despite being made out of paper. You can literally throw them into a box after a game, give it a good shake, and they’ll still come out good as new next time you play!
Apparently the 2D effect works well in wargames, as the players generally stand on each side of the table anyway. I’ll be intrigued to see how this works in real-life – but the photos in the book are very promising.
Anyway, I’m going to enjoy trying to build my first army over the next few days. But even if I were never to cut the figures out, these books are simply beautiful to look at in themselves!
I’m also really excited that later this year Peter will be publishing a book for the War of the Spanish Succession – another colourful period I’ve always fancied, but couldn’t face starting.
He’s also coming out with a book of (3D) buildings for eighteenth-century Europe. I’ve pre-ordered both books already!