Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Minairons miniatures Blog

Just a short note on Minairons miniatures: while the company website (www.minairons.eu) keeps being under construction, news can already be followed through the following blog: minairons-news.blogspot.com.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Nothing to do with all this, but...

...I'd like to make an announcement, eleven months after being fired from the job I held for nearly 25 years. I'm proud, glad and excited to acknowledge to you all that my projected miniatures company is finally born and close to publish its first releasing.

The company has been christianized as Minairons miniatures --a name in behalf of the so-called mythical beings presumed to live in the Catalonian Pyrenees (mainly Andorra, Alt Urgell and Pallars), whose main morpohological feature is their tiny size: they're said to fit by thousands in a needles box.

What is this new company going to produce? Please read this TMP thread to know.

A web space has been already provided under the domain name of www.minairons.eu and is going to be built soon --as well as a weblog of its own, yet to be developed, under the name of minairons-news.blogspot.com. A first generic e-mail address has also been created: info {at} minairons {dot} eu. Everything is already then for a new, risky --and therefore exciting-- adventure!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Volume 3: Defiant Principality

A War of the Spanish Succession miniatures campaign

As announced some days ago before Christmas, the revised 1st edition of our Desperta Ferro! Series third booklet is already available for free download. This has been christianized as Defiant Principality - War of the Spanish Succession miniatures campaign and can already be downloaded from this particular page.

As noted in a just published announcement on TMP, this campaign ruleset has been built on the experience at our own Defiant Principality 18th Century Imagi-Nation setting, which is actually run under these rules. Of course, running this game as we are doing, inside a larger community such as Emperor vs Elector, furnishes to us a much wider range of gaming possibilities than those strictly derived from a 2-players wargaming campaign --such as diplomacy, unexpected events, proxy gaming and parallel RPG experiences, none of which can be adequately reflected on the ruleset. Nevertheless, the actual gaming experience itself allows us some confidence on this WSS campaign usefulness as a rules hard core for building anyone's own campaigning settings, depending on his/her own purposes.

We authors wish you have the most fun at reading and using it --not less than ourselves!

Friday, December 23, 2011

El Caganer

Most likely few among you have ever heard about the caganer, a beloved figure present in every Catalan home at this Christmas time --albeit discreetly hidden behind a bush, in a corner of the Nativity scene.

The origin of such tradition went lost long ago, but it seems to have existed since at least 18th or late 17th century, during the Baroque period. About its real meaning, only guessings can be made, although some folklorists have ventured to linmk it to ancient Pagan fertility believings. For those unaware of such eschatological tradition, here you are this funny sketch from BBC: TV sketch.

If ever happening to visit Barcelona by Christmas time, do not forget to visit the traditional Saint Lucia Fair (Fira de Santa Llúcia), an improvised market plentiful with hundreds of stands selling all sorts of figures, diorama and dollhouse pieces for your Nativity scene (=pessebre), Christmas trees and wreaths, artcrafts and... thousands of caganers!!

And believe me, you are by no means famous enough, if you haven't yet a caganer sculpted after your own. Here you are a few examples:

Pope Benedict XVIQueen Elizabeth & Prince of Wales
Shakira & PiquéDarth Vader

...and Merry Christmas to you all!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Volume 3 available as preview

As promised some weeks ago, I have already available for download a new volume of my Desperta Ferro! wargaming guides series. The new release consists of a complete campaign ruleset for a specific episode of the War of the Spanish Succession --the most emotive one to us Catalans, the 1713-1714 campaign for the definite subjugation of Catalonia.

Closely following a style inherited from our volume no. 1, Catalonia Stands Alone, this new release has been assigned the no. 3 in our series, and given the name of Defiant Principality: War of the Spanish Succession miniatures campaign. Just as its name suggests, the booklet consists of a complete set of rules comprehensive of scouting, movement, battle settings and siege rules, as well as civilian population inter-actions, complete ORBATs for all sides involved (Spanish, French, Catalans and Imperials), weather, diplomatical random events, scouting, supply lines and attrition --all this, in a couple dozens of pages. The game is carried on a hexed map representing the Principality of Catalonia --plus the County of Roussillon, held by France since 1659.

Although heavily masked by literary narration and proxy-gamed RPGs, this ruleset is the real engine behind the 18th Century Imagi-Nation story carried by Jordi Prado and myself at what-if-catalonia.blogspot.com since over a year ago, so it has enjoyed a reasonably long testing time! For sure, there are still lots of features to be fully developed, or intentionally left open by us, in order not to hamper too much our own gaming experience with too rigid or extensive regulations. And we believe that many other gamers will also thank those open gaps, allowing each one his/her own development on the matter.

Please note this releasing of today isn't the ultimate one yet. We'd love this booklet to be considered by you readers as a draft, and be used just as it. That is, downloading it just for a first inspection and feedback --i.e. eventual amendments, contributions and/or criticisms. After all the comments are collected, discussed and put together, we would re-release the booklet --this time as a definite, "closed" version. Hopefully, on the first week of 2012.

Please accept my most sincere apologies for eventual errors at writing the booklet, and wish you at least enjoy it at reading! Click here to download it.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

A cancelled item and new releases

Some of you might notice that one of my three already published booklets is no longer available from this website. As I commented some time before, I felt quite insatisfied with no. 3 booklet, Urn of Honour / Urna de l'Honor, a combination of scenario and uniformology volume with a prioritary focus on Two Crowns' units involved in the September 11th, 1714 final assault on Barcelona. So insatisfied I got with it that have finally decided to cancel it officially as a downloadable resource, after some undecision time.

The dropped volume contents will be split into several booklets instead. The first one will be devoted to the 1713-1714 campaign Infantry of Philip V, and will be assigned no. 4 of my series, as already explained a few days ago. I'm working hard on it right now, so that I expect to be able to offer a downloadable sample/draft to you very soon, with the aim to let you evaluate it and make suggestions and/or criticisms before it is completed. Eventual future releases in this splitting plan would consist of 2 further booklets, one on WSS Spanish Horse and the other on Catalan Coronela Militiae, the bright and colourful uniforms of which are for sure worth a booklet on its own. However, such are not to be worked at a short-short term. I'd like better to release no. 4 before, and receive convenient feedbacks on it.

And meanwhile, what am I going to do with the dropped no. 3? Well... er... I've decided to re-assign that series number to a further new booklet I have nearly finished. I know that re-using a dropped reference number is quite an odd, non-recommendable decision for a publishing company, but... what the h..k! I'm not any serious publisher, so that... In the end, the new no. 3 booklet will consist of a complete set of WSS campaign rules, focusing on the 1713-1714 campaign for the subjugation of Catalonia. Besides of the ruleset itself, it will comprehend appropriate army lists, events and weather tables, even a humble table of naval encounters too. There is a trick behind such a fast upcoming release, of course: those are the rules currently used for the 18th century Imagi-Nation I'm running right now. After one year and a half of playing, I believe they're tested enough to make them publicly accessable. Nevertheless, it will be first released as a draft too, so that anyone can make suggestions or criticisms of his/her own.

Both booklets will be released in English language --or something willingly similar :S

Saturday, November 26, 2011

What I am working on

After some time of indecision, I've finally started working out a new booklet on the War of the Spanish Succession Peninsular armies, following the general lines drawn at Catalonia Stands Alone: 1713-1714 the Catalans' War.

This time, my new booklet is going to deal with the opposite side Army: that one of Philip d'Anjou during the final 1713-1714 campaign for the subjugation of Catalonia. This is not to be any kind of work on the matter for, in that campaign, Spain massed up to 62 Infantry regiments into a territory with a population of about 500,000-750,000 inhabitants depending on sources --that is, nearly 50% the total force of the Spanish Army in Europe is to be portrayed in this booklet... Quite a reliable statistical sample, I'd say!

As in previous works, the booklet itself will consist of a number of individual plates, each one devoted to one of those 62 regiments, including information about uniforms and flags prior to the outbreak of war (where appliable), as well as after 1707 and 1728 reforms --this last performed after the definite peace with the Empire is signed. As usual, each plate will contain a painting guide related to the uniforms worn during the 1713-1714 campaign, as well as any supplementary piece of information I'm capable to gather about each individual unit.

A bibliographical chapter is to be included too, of course --which is to my opinion far more valuable than my own work, for these are in fact my primary sources, and can also be yours own. Contrary to what some of you might have believed about me, I am by no means a History researcher, or even anything remotely similar --just a wargaming aficionado with some drawing skills and patience at compiling data. For this very same reason, my work does not pretend to replace any of the excellent, professional booklets already existing on this subject, such as those of J. Hinds and C. A. Sapherson for instance. My only aim is to match all these works by gathering their data altogether, and filling eventual gaps and/or contradictions among those.

In the end, I'm pretty sure some of you readers are true experts in Philip V's Spanish Army, far more experienced in this subject than I really am. I'd love to share the pieces of information you've been able to gather by your own, and set them in this new booklet with appropriate credits.

I cannot ensure you when I'll have this new free booklet ready for releasing. Some of you are already aware of my current unemployment situation, so please be patient with me, because there will certainly be other issues worrying me in a next future, and not everyday I'm going to feel energetic enough to keep on with this job... My wish would be having it ready in some months' time. How many? I couldn't say. Let's pray my country does not fall into a long lasting depression in the next future.