Home Forums General General Lack of an Opposing Force

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    Tony 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.



    Mr. 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.

    Jason 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. 🙂

    Tony 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!


    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


    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.


    Tony 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



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


    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/

    Steve 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.

    Shaun 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.

    Jim 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.


    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

    Geof 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

    Andrew 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.




    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


    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.....

    Sane 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

    Sane 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…,..

    Tony 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!

    telzy 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…

    Alan 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.


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