By Peter Dennis
The ‘Battle for Britain’ series is about to come to an end with ‘The Jacobite ‘45’ and ‘Castle Assault’ in spring ’18. I wanted to make a start on an American series of Paper soldier subjects that I’ve had in mind for some time, to appeal to an existing American Paper figure market, but also to break out into a non-wargaming market through the wonderful visitor centres at US battlefield parks. So far they seem to be much more open to the Paperboys than the English Heritage, and most other UK venue shops, which have given the British subjects a rather cold shoulder.
‘American Civil War’- my first serious military history crush at the age of about 10 – and ‘American Revolutionary War’ are just out. Both have great rules sets by Andy Callan, and follow the format of the British books, with a full range of troop types, or as many as I could fit in, in the case of the Revolutionary war, which was extremely diverse and must have exhausted the tailors of the continent with the huge variety of uniforms and headgear worn by the American troops.
Terrain items, buildings, trees, and particularly various types of fencing, very characteristic of the battlefields of both wars, feature as you would expect. There is a basic introduction to the armies of the period and the tactics and weapons used, to make the books suitable for readers who might have little prior knowledge of the conflicts. I suppose as an ex-teacher, the urge to draw people into a study which has fascinated me for a lifetime is irresistible.
I posted all my American Civil War paperboys to the US where Andrew Frantz, an early adopter of the Paperboys, will be doing some demonstration games at wargame shows in the East. It turns out the best way to post them en masse is just to tumble them into a strong cardboard box and shake it until they find their level, then throw some more in to fill it up. They arrived safe and sound and ready to be sorted into their brigades.
Should the new American series prove to be a success, various other exciting subjects spring to mind to expand the list, from the French Indian Wars to the Alamo campaign, so let’s see what happens.
Spring ’18 will see the publication of Florian Richter’s book of profile models of the Trafalgar fleets. This is a natural spin-off of the ‘Armada’ book which stimulated lots of ideas from readers, with Napoleonic heading the list. Andy Callan will be putting a simple set of fleet rules on the site as a free download. There are dozens of rules sets for this period available, but none, we think, can cope with the large fleets which will be easy to make with Florian’s book.
The Paperboys will march on into a new series called ‘Paperboys on Campaign’ which is, frankly, a catch-all title to allow me to indulge myself in my favourite periods, starting with Marlborough’s wars against the Sun King’s magnificent army, part of the War of Spanish Succession. That will be ready for publication in autumn ’18. This series will concentrate on the figures, with no educational content as such, and Andy can’t see any point in doing rules for popular subjects which have many sets in publication already, so you can expect to see over 40 pages of soldiers raring to be freed from their sheets and to get into action.
I have just designed the first 3D artillery models for this period which will be offered alongside the simpler ‘from the front’ artillery that we have seen in earlier books. I propose to do 3D artillery for all the previous books that need it and offer the sheets as a free download on this site, when I get the time to do it.
Where the Paperboys will be campaigning after that is still to be decided. The Peninsular War will be an early subject, and the image of thousands of Zulus racing to outflank a square of sweating redcoats keeps springing into my mind. The ancient world can’t be neglected either or those glittering masses of Landsknechts… I’ll go and have a lie down, I think.
Both books are available to purchase on our website now.