Climbing out of the pit...

Being just one of millions hit by the blight makes me nothing special. Some of my friends have had it three times. All I can say is that my usual drive to get things done disappeared for over two weeks and a couple of sobering visits to the local hospital led me to even more admiration for health care professionals and calibrated my expectations about going to bed early and having less energy than before. 

Happily, the mojo is returning and although I lost some project time, I am back in the saddle and getting things done again. Having not looked at a paint brush for four weeks I was surprised at what I managed to pump out in the last week. I started with a game to perk up my spirits and enjoyed that very much - a Portuguese v Dutch affair from the 80 Years War period. That was a blue water game set in East Africa.

I have had a back burner idea to play 'brown water navy' games for some time even creating a 3 x 4 board for the purpose. The arrival of the 16th/17th century galleys for Ark Royal Miniatures pushed me into deeper reading around bergantines, fustas, galleys, bastardas, capitanas, lanternas and galleases. The scope is broad - North , South America, Caribbean rivers, Africa, SE Asia, India and of course the silty waters of La Manche, the Dutch coast and estuaries. 

The Sea Beggars and the creation of the Dutch Republic offer a nice bridge between Armada/Lepanto and the TYW/80 Year War/Anglo Dutch Wars. I decided to start with small craft ( both the Spanish and Dutch used a lot of these) and branch out. I had an eye on creating multi use assets for Portuguese and Spanish in their colonies and for the Dutch in early activities in their colonial possessions.

And so, to a project which has so far had only a week's evening energy but has produced two substantial forces...

I have written and incorporated rules for the use of these ships into Mad for War (another reason for the delayed publication of said). I did not want to have to bring out a supplement or issue amendments and wanted to cram it all into a single volume. 

These two forces are yet to receive their square, spritsail, gaff and lateen rigged elements but will do as a starter for 10. They are built around little flotillas of 6 vessels apiece - three fusta and three bergantine sized. Each took less than an hour to paint. I even cast them all up as I went so I feel very pleased to have hand my hands involved at every step of the process from lump of unformed metal to rigged model.

More on this soon but this is my Covid bounce-back medicine. I look at it and feel better every time I do!