Monday, February 28, 2011

The strength of my cavalry squadrons, and the sad state of the miniatures business

I spend most of my 2010 working on my Seven Year War project: shopping for miniatures in the spring, painting and getting miniatures painted by Fernando in the summer, and basing my armies in the fall. So, it was with a certain disappointment that later in the year I realized I made a mistake.
I built my cavalry squadrons at a strength of twelve miniatures (on six bases of two miniatures each), under the assumption that a six-base squadron will look good next to six-base infantry units (each with four miniatures per base, for a total of twenty-four miniatures per infantry unit.) Wrong! Once I deployed my squadrons on the field, it became apparent that they could look even better if they were sixteen miniatures strong. You can judge by yourself by looking at my Austrian cuirassuers.

A linear formation of eight miniatures wide and two deep looks good, and for larger games I can split it in two, and deploy two squadrons of eight miniatures each. It sounds like a win-win arrangement. And also in plain march line the impact would probably be better than the current six bases strength, although the impact in this case is already pretty good.

So, no big deal, you'd think. Go out, but four more miniatures for squadron, get them painted, and voila’, all my squadrons upgrade in strength. Instead… wrong again! I made the big mistake of ordering my missing miniatures to GFI/Minifigs in November, and I found myself entangled in the sad story of the near collapse of their business. After nearly two months of wait, I ended up cancelling my order – fortunately, I didn’t suffer a financial loss thanks to the reimbursement by the excellent Paypal: nonetheless, what a waste of time! Not good. But then I proceed with my next best alternative, i.e. ordering from the US stockist of Essex Miniatures... and I ended up stuck in the back-log of their inventory restocking, which apparently takes biblical times these days because of security delays at the U.S. Customs! Definitely, not my luckiest streak. Bottom line: I have been waiting thirty-six miniatures to complete nine squadrons since mid-November 2010, and tomorrow is March 1st 2011. Ordering miniatures should not feel like root canal.


Steve-the-Wargamer said...

Buy your Minifigs from the UK - if there is no official US stockist any more that should be OK?? Also, that way the figures in your cavalry squadrons will match.... :o)

Steve-the-Wargamer said...