Well, I'm feeling a little like I've been fighting the Seven Years War rather than painting figures for it. Although I still have seven units left to paint up for the Prussians and Russians, not to mention a couple of dozen Austrian units to bolster up to 'full strength' (increase from 16 to 24 man units), I'm going to take a break from the 18C for a while. That little pile of metal can wait. I think the guys want a break from playing it too.
Gaming wise the decision is easy. Next week, Peter, Graham and I will take our swords in hand and rub our scutums to a high gloss, and dig into the remainder of our Punic Wars Campaign. It still has five full campaign turns to run (using Hannibal: Rome Vs Carthage). Carthage is in the ascendant following the total defeat of the Romans in Africa, and Hannibal might well be able to bring things to a head in Italy where only one consular army remains. It might not even go the distance.
The campaign might even inspire me to base up the last unit - a unit of Roman trained Numidian infantry - that was painted back in March 2012 and somehow got missed out of the last basing run. I see them from time to time, beseeching me to finish what I've started. That will teach me to put things at the back of the cupboard.
But what to paint? With no deadlines to make I could mix and match and potter around for a bit. But, I'm rather drawn to trying to get some of the renaissance lead pile in order. Except for the WW2 stuff it is the last of the big shiny piles I have to tackle. I would have no uniforms to paint. I could let my imagination run riot. I could use up lots of half pots of Humbrol before they dry out! It does look splendid and I should do more of it.
Next year it is the 500th anniversary of the Battle of Marignano. I have a copy of this little booklet by the Lance and Lonbow Society which along with Oman would provide the historical details. The deployment map in the booklet is excellent - worth the cover price on its own. The terrain it shows will offer some interesting challenges to both sides and make the table look very pretty to boot. Using this booklet the battle is a frontal assault by outnumbered elite troops on a well set enemy of dubious quality with better reserves held in depth. The battle would be played up the table not across it.
I've checked out the goodie cupboard, and would you believe it, I have enough stuff to do it providing I scale everything to the Swiss: I have 350 Swiss pike. It might also serve as the impetus to do the bags of Italian pike by TAG, though they will be used to represent the French pike in this battle.
But, I'm forgetting, there is no rush. I undercoated a few crossbowmen last year with another battle in mind (Battle of the Garigliano?, possibly). I will do the black stuff first.
So, decisions made. No purchases required - I even have 40 metres of 0.047 piano wire kicking about the place to do the pikes. I can kick back, relax, and paint at a lazy pace (maybe 50 figs a month); but I'll start that next month. For the moment I'm going to watch the goggle box, play Rome 2 Total War, and read a couple of books.
I'll report on the campaign next week.