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    Avatar photoTony S

    With this Covid lockdown, and obviously the complete lack of any face to face gaming (Jenga with the wife aside) I have come up against the fact that my collection is mostly useless for any solo wargaming.  My usual method of raising a new force is that someone or someones at the club get all excited about a new project, and after a bit of a discussion myself and possibly others join in.  Not that it is difficult in any way to get me to jump into something new; I am horrible in that respect.

    What this boils down to is that we all paint up a different army, which is fantastic in that it gets a bunch of friends all involved and interested.  It also means that it is guaranteed that there will be at least one opponent that is also interested in playing at least a few games.

    What is doesn’t mean is that my collection of armies are all one side of a war!  We did a Crusades campaign last year, so I have a Cilician Armenian army…and no one to face them.  Crusaders, Byzantines, Seljuks, Syrians – they’re all at someone else’s house!  I have Napoleonic French and a lone regiment of Austrians in 15mm.  28mm Napoleonic Prussians…all alone.  I come close with WW2.  I have Germans with mid to late armour…and Early War French.  WW1 Russians.  Marburlian French.  Carthaginians.  Medieval Vietnamese.  GNW Russians.

    The one exception are my Hellenistics.  I have a large Seleucid force, and I can divide them in two, and use the more generic troops to create an opposing Macedonian or Ptolemaic army.  (But not the immediate diadochi era, as I only have theurophoroi).

    Am I the only one who raises their armies like this?  I see so many of you that raise both sides of a war or era.   I often mean to, but just sometimes never get around to it, and content myself with the one army, knowing that I can always use it to face someone else using their miniatures.



    Avatar photoMr. Average

    My interests wander so much it’s hard for me to lock down anyone at the club who will follow along. So I usually count on painting both sides of any conflict I do. I’m also very particular about some things – I do skirmish at 6mm scale, for example, and I base to an Imperial standard (I’m a builder and I don’t truck with that Godless metric system.) So yeah I basically count on doing at least two to three forces for any project, which helps me game solo while we all Remain Indoors.

    Avatar photoJason Smith

    I’m a lone weirdo who plays weird games. I pretty much assume that I’ll be playing solo or providing both sides of the fight.

    I’d like to be able to concentrate on one side, though. It’d be less work. 🙂

    Avatar photoTony S

    I admit I have been extremely lucky in that my more-often-than-not opponent (an absolutely tremendous fellow; actually was my best man at my wedding) is quite like me, in that he gets all excited about the latest set of rules and we both jump into it headlong.

    In fact, awhile ago when “Longstreet” appeared, he raised a Union force and of course I raised the Rebels, because we both really like Mustafa’s rules. He did this despite the fact that he really doesn’t like gaming the ACW but in all the excitement he forgot this. After a few games he remembered this little detail, and now leaves that army at the club for anyone to use.

    He did remember that he didn’t like anything with a Minie round, so he did avoid raising 10mm Austrians for 1859 to face my French. But I found another victim, so once again I was able to paint up only one side!

    I do admit it does save a lot of work!

    And somewhere on a boat in the Atlantic is my Victrix order, which contains hoplites. I’m actually going to paint them up for opponents for my Carthaginians! (As well as facing themselves. Have to love the constant Greek city state bickering)!

    Perhaps I’m learning!

    Avatar photoTerrainShed

    Longtime solo player here with both sides of the France 1940 conflict but I think I’m the exception, most gamer teams sharing the uying/painting workload.

    Enjoy your gardening

    Les & Alison

    Avatar photoirishserb

    I’ve almost always built opposing sides.  I can only think of two occasions, where I did not, and in both instances, my opponent moved out of state not too long after building the army.  The result was old GW Imperian Guard that went 17 years without seeing a tabletop (eventually re-purposed for other sci-fi and post-apoc), and 28mm Celts who are nearing the same.

    For most of my first 20 years in miniatures gaming, I usually had an opponent, but I still expected to play solo games, so bought both sides.  Over the last 20 years, I’ve moved to predominately solo gaming, so building both is a must.


    Avatar photoTony Hughes

    I do normally do both sides or at least two armies that could fight each other. Recently we’ve been working with rules that cover a wider range so my main opponent can do the same – but different.

    For WW1 I have a large German 1914 army plus British & Belgians. He has a smaller German army plus a large French 1914 army. He then did Russians to face his Germans but, as I didn’t fancy Austrians I moved on to RCW (where his Russians work too).

    For RCW I did the core red & white forces (with other bits still to complete) & he did Poles

    Now we’ve got into Irregular Wars (our own modified version for later dates) and we have bits of all sorts between us from late 17C to FIW.

    All those are 10mm so, if I want an opposing force, I had to do both sides as the local group I game with only do WW2 in 10mm (as well as almost every other scale you can think of) – at least until Jeff got the 10mm bug.

    Smaller than that and everything I have is both sides.


    Tony of TTT


    Avatar photokyoteblue

    I build and paint both sides now. Not that I’m doing any gaming right now.

    Avatar photojeffers

    Every time I’ve ‘joined in’ with a group project I have either had to move with the job, had opponents move with their jobs or others don’t produce the goods. Then there is the inevitable whinging over rules, basing, organisation etc.

    In my experience any group effort is a waste of my time. My advice is collect both sides, base and organise how you want to rules you like. If others like it, let them join in but don’t get stuck with somebody else’s pet project.

    More nonsense on my blog: http://battle77.blogspot.com/

    Avatar photoSteve Johnson

    I build both sides so that I can game solo, as I don’t belong to a club and friends availability is not always gauranteed.

    Avatar photoShaun Travers

    In my early days, I collected and painted one side.  But I was only into WW2 (British) and Ancients.  Then a close friend moved interstate and gave me his German WW2 forces, and I acquired some more Ancient armies that happened to also be enemies.  As I played rarely and against friends that did not have collections, it was handy to have opposing forces.  Since getting back into gaming in the last 10 years solo I have ensured anything I get into I have opposing forces.

    Avatar photoJim Jackaman

    <p style=”text-align: left;”>I used to do a lot of jumping on bandwagon projects that guys at the club started, including a few of my own like the Back of Beyond and Aeronef, but found that I could never keep up. As a result my leadpile got bigger and I got fed up.</p>
    A couple of years ago I wasn’t able to attend for a long period of time due to other commitments, so started doing projects for me based on what I was interested in regardless of anyone else. This was aimed at solo gaming but also to bring things along to the club to introduce to other players.

    This meant I was inevitability doing both sides. It’s worked out really well, as there’s no pressure to try to keep up and I’m doing things that I’m interested in, which means that they tend not too fizzle out e.g. Victorian naval.

    Avatar photoMartinR

    When I was a kid, my regular gaming opponent and I used to paint the opposing forces. Guess what what, he moved away and I was stuck (not every period, but enough to be annoying).

    Since then I provide both sides, and all the terrain etc.

    "Mistakes in the initial deployment cannot be rectified" - Helmuth von Moltke

    Avatar photoGeof Downton

    I normally only build one side. Civil war is always a possibility…

    One who puts on his armour should not boast like one who takes it off.
    Ahab, King of Israel; 1 Kings 20:11

    Avatar photoAndrew Rolph

    Until the current situation came about, 95%+ of my miniatures gaming was ftf at the club. No one there does anything other than provide both sides and all the terrain for a game. We have never given any group project more than a moment’s consideration. I think its to do with maintaining a consistent style. Perhaps 1% of the painting for any/all of our convention display games over 40 years has been done by someone other than the main contributor for that year. None of us has ever managed to enthuse anyone else to share a project. In fact, frequently, we make new projects known by presenting them complete and unannounced (having never previously mentioned them over the months of their preparation) for their first run out on games night.

    In fact, have I unknowingly joined some sort of secret society?

    Curiously the percentages of ftf/solo board wargaming are probably exactly reversed – 95% solo.



    Avatar photoRuarigh

    I’m so used to moving around and not having opponents that I always build at least two opponents for anything I do. On the occasions that I have built only one because of having an opponent, I almost invariably wind up moving away shortly thereafter and have to build the other side or abandon the project anyway.

    Never argue with an idiot. They'll only drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.



    Back in the late 70s and early 80s, some friends and I started into Napoleonics in 15mm.  Almost the entire collection was 2nd gen Minifigs.  Another buddy and I had the French while 3 of my other friends had English, Russian and Austrian.  Some rather great times.  we  had playing Fire and Steel (aka  System 7).  I acquired most of the English and some of the Russians.  I’ve since touched up/repainted most of the forces as my paint skills are considerably better than they were in 1978.

    I’ve got WW2 both sides for Early N Africa and plenty of Micro Armor for Western Europe.   Also lots of 15mm armies for  fantasy, medieval, dark age and ancients back to the Punic wars.  I have always painted both sides ever since my college  days.  These days, my friends are more into Dungeons and Dragons.  I can get them to occasionally play a miniatures game.



    "Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power."

    --Abraham Lincoln

    Avatar photobobm

    If I was in your shoes those Marlburian French would be advancing boldly against the GNW Russians…close enough for rock ‘n’ roll.

    There's 10 types of people in the world. Those who understand binary and those who don't.....

    Avatar photoSane Max

    I don’t often deliberately build armies that can face each other – But I do tend to go ‘oww these Sassanids are Rubbish, I am getting some Late Romans’

    so I can only think of a couple of armies I have with no potential opposition of my own, and usually because they are in scales I don’t use much – 6mm Covenanters… 10mm Britons. Nope, that’s about it really.

    Edit, I just remembered I have a 28mm Norman Army that was originally a rather careless purchase for Saga, buying far too many boxes of Placky Conquest Games Figures, and no longer have a matching Saxon force.


    I just remembered I have a 28mm Norman Army that was originally a rather careless purchase for Saga, buying far too many boxes of Placky Conquest Games Figures, and no longer have a matching Saxon force.

    You don’t really need Saxons to fight.  Norman on Norman action works  fine.   In fact they could stand in for a good  many armies  of the time so long as they  have a cavalry base.  Normans  vs Franks?  Normans vs Holy Roman Army?   Normans vs Lombards?


    "Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power."

    --Abraham Lincoln

    Avatar photoSane Max

    sadly, it’s about big enough for a single Norman army, for say WAB or Hail Caesar, but not big enough for both sides….. except perhaps Lion Rampant, but then the two sides looking identical would make for a lot of confusion…,..

    Avatar photoTony S

    @bobm – how the heck did I miss that?  Especially since I can remove the flags for the French, and suddenly they become Danes so I don’t even have to pretend the French decided to march across all of Europe a century early.  Thanks!  Now I’ve just got to find a suitable set of rules, as my preferred set is not at all solo friendly.  (Maurice, for those that must know).

    I am a little surprised to see how many of you paint everything.  I figured it would be the majority, but it seems rather overwhelming.  I guess I’ve been rather lucky in that I found a very good friend, who is a kindred spirit and thinks the same as I, and neither of us have moved away in the last 25 years.

    I certainly appreciate all the answers!  Very interesting indeed.  Thanks Gents!

    And I did remember that I have some fleets of painted pre-dreadnaughts.  As they are 1:6000, I think I can safely substitute most of them for various navies, especially since my ignorance of what the ships actually looked like is only matched by my tactical genius for all things naval.   And also discovered a large trove of Ottomans that I had forgotten about, intending to raise them as an opponent for my GNW Russians!

    Avatar phototelzy amber

    ah back in the day. Duke Seigfried, Jim Getz and… and… someone else Der Kriegspielers Napoleonique 1/30 and Frappe 1/10. Fire & Steel/System 7 was pirated from these. So many many people mushed them together to 1/20. Way way back in the late ’90s I attended an Origins in Fort Worth. GDW was there flogging their new, soon to be published, Command Decision. I asked Chadwick why they didn’t mention Der Kriegspieler’s rules since that was all system 7/Fire & Steel was. Same morale tables, same morale checks, Fear of Impact… Terror of… something… there were a bunch of specific morale checks all with names which I can’t recall.

    Of course Duke pirated Hinton Hunt Napoleonic  figures in the USA back in the …70s? late 60s? So what goes around come around. We played the heck out of them. Somewhere I have Frappe and Napoleonique plus Fire & Steel. Or maybe they have gone missing somewhere along the way…

    Avatar photoAlan Hamilton

    Almost always I have raised forces that fight each other starting way back in the 1960s with Airfix British and Germans and since then many other periods and campaigns.  Since I started with these they have remained my main interest even though they seldom take to the table now.  I start a “new” collection when I become particularly interested the history of a campaign and I always built opposing forces.  Only once did I raise a one sided collection – Belisarian Byzantines, I was studying the campaign and on impulse bought a small army.  When we had kids they played GW fantasy and I bought and painted armies for them – I have just sold them off as I needed the space.  Now we have grandchildren and I am building “armies” that they are interested in – zombies v survivors, Bolt Action British v Germans and Russians v Germans in 28mm.  My collecting is focussed on the Dark Ages Britain and refurbishing my old school fantasy figures.

    This has been useful in the current situation as I have everything I need to play solo.  And these solo games are the motivation to keep my current project of Dark Ages Britain going.  Though I am playing zombie games as they are easy to set up and play and because the zombies are “programmed” and governed by random cards every game is a different challenge.


    Avatar photoOotKust

    Resurrection Time !

    Yes Tony, after a laugh or two here I thought things have changed enough in last two years that it would be worth another bash on the topic.

    I recognised this, having ‘changed strategy’ back in the 80’s to concentrate on one army- my French Nap 1805 all time big hitters; so stopped ‘collecting’ random sidebars;  but a few years later after ceasing club and competition gaming, I occassionally to have odd guests for games, and therefore needed, the opposition.

    The thought of doing ‘an Allied army’ with complications wasn’t appealing, so I chose, based on the most excellent Warg.Foundry figures available- just the Austrians. Complete, thorough and efficiently animated.

    20 years in the making, renewing my interests AND revitalising 1980’s figures and paint jobs, with an Austrian Division in hand, it seemed that some ‘colour’ could be added; the more I read (ie availability of modern research) the more those ‘Allied’ forces actually did appear of value.

    So two years ago (when you were writing this) I decided another mission- to augment the Austrians with ‘adjunct’ Russian forces- just those that were within the same Divisions @Austerlitz/ 1805-’07 campaigns.

    And hence grew the need and desire to understand, beyond the blahblah rhetoric of ‘old school’ repetition, of who and what they actually were. Eureka Miniatures from Oz being closer, and finely animated models they are, for 1799 campaign figures, that cover a significant amount of those required, with minor modifications, entirely suitable for 1805 at least.

    Some people get married/partners and divorced multiple times in a similar period; all I did was reverse my thoughts and needs to achieve balance and maintain interests accordingly. Given that some of my club gaming mates are still around and meeting regularly, and our local ‘public’ club turns 50 next year (1973 AFAIK), seems a fitting final design consideration.

    Regards, dave

    Avatar photoTony S

    Resurrection indeed!  I’d forgotten about this thread.

    I admire your focus and dedication Dave.  My little butterfly mind can’t even begin to comprehend such a magnificent project.

    My tentative plans to paint up some Ottomans as opponents for Peter the Great didn’t get very far.   However, I did manage to paint up enough hoplites and assorted other Magna Graecia troops to not only face Carthaginians, but of course each other.   I’m actually planning on using them tomorrow at the club, using Clash of Spears, against Romans.

    And, out of the blue, I bought and have almost finished a WW1 Austrian army for use against my WW1 Russians.  I actually had enough to play a small game last week.  For me, it felt a bit odd that I was supplying figures – and terrain -for both sides!  Quite satisfying.

    Near future, I’ve been drawing up a shopping list for Crusaders to face my existing Armenians…but I admit there has been a recent, very strong temptation towards the  Indian Mutiny/Anglo Persian era.   That said, I think I’ll have the mental fortitude to forgo both, as I do have a mostly unpainted RCW collection that I should really finish off before haring off after another project.

    All in all though, I’m pleased with myself in that I’ve actually completed some opponents for my existing forces.

    Avatar photoOotKust


    Avatar photoMike

    I kind of have the opposite.
    I collect and paint both sides and having to do that is a bit of a chore.

    Back in the day it was fun to paint your army and there was the excitement of bringing a new unit to the table that the other player did not know you had.
    Plonk your new unit of handgunner skirmishers on the table and watch their face!

    Doing both sides takes away that element of surprise and also saps my will to paint as I am painting twice as many troops and all the scenery.

    Avatar photoian pillay

    I solo, so I get both sides. One of the reasons I like OHW is the small element of random force selection. Keeps my opponent wondering what my army composition might be for that game 😉

    Tally-Ho! Check out my blog at…..

    Avatar photoPatrice

    Many years ago when I sometimes played Les Aigles, and more rarely DBA and Hordes of the Things, I made only one side, or very few opponents for them. I still have lots of 1/72 plastic Napoleonic French; and 15mm 9th century Bretons, and 15mm Orcs, somewhere.

    Since I’ve focused on smaller skirmish in the 1990s I’ve made both sides of many periods or contexts, not necessarily in great numbers. Then I found that for nearly all contexts they attracted other similar troops that other players already had …or decided to have. One example the late 16th C. Wars of Religion for which I painted about twenty figures some years ago, intending to run only very small games with them; and when I began to display them other players suddenly unearthed from their hidden and almost forgotten reserves, or bought and painted, much more.


    Avatar photoOotKust

    Many years ago …  Since I’ve focused on smaller skirmish in the 1990s…  Then I found that for nearly all contexts they attracted other similar troops that other players already had …or decided to have. One example the late 16th C. Wars of Religion for which I painted about twenty figures some years ago, intending to run only very small games with them; and when I began to display them other players suddenly unearthed from their hidden and almost forgotten reserves, or bought and painted, much more.


    I’d painted 17 figures, a dozen mounted knights and some dismounted, expecting to make an ‘alternate’ time travel Medieval force- however after 20 years in the shadows I gave them to a friend who also, was going to create a force.

    Then last year I asked him- what are you doing with those knights? Nothing he said- he already had so many projects he couldn’t get completed, so he gave them back to me!

    And to boot, he dredged out another 200 figures of the same brand, partly painted second hand from yet another old local friend. So I quickly catalogued these and began a slow path toward DBMM.

    While these remain in the background to my Napoleonics, I have purchased a modest amount of ancilliary figures and types to complete a somewhat hypothetical, almost irreverent, ‘historical force’ according to rule lists (which I despise as much as pumpkin!):

    cheers ~d

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