Make and Mend

The header image is of two early c. 19th sailors enjoying their free time found at Pinterest.

Make and Mend is an idiom used principally in the navies of the age of sail for a period of time, a half day usually, that could be set aside for the sailors to have some free time to work on various personal items. I encountered the term when reading various of Robert Heinlein’s space novels (the juveniles mainly) back in the 1950’s and 60’s. He drew upon his own days at Annapolis and brief career as a naval officer to imagine the operational life aboard spaceships.

Before replaying Tippermuir I fell into a make and mend period of doing several blog and wargaming tasks that I have been putting off.

First, I changed out the magnetic sheeting on my move stands. I have blogged about this before and have kept searching for better ways of doing them. I use sabots so that the pieces can be asssembled in different ways and these sabots have taken many forms, the best, however, is to use magnetic bottoms on the component pieces so they can be easily a fixed to the sabot.  In the last interation I was using magnetic vinyl for both pieces and the sabot. This works pretty well but they must be oriented on the same axis and there are magnetic “furrows” that often make perfect alignment problematic.

I recently found magnetic receptive sheeting (in a dark brown color) that works wondrously well as the surface on the sabot. The axis bias and “furrowing” are now a thing of the past. The material is also as easy to work with as the magnetic vinyl itself. Unlike the magnetic vinyl the receptive sheeting is not self adhesive but Elmer’s perminant gluesticks provided an easy and sufficient binding to my MDF sabots.

I have since converted all fifty of my sabots with the receptive sheeting including the twenty or so currently in use at Tippermuir:

New move stands 4-22-2018

The new sabots with magnetic receptive sheets in use at Tippermuir

I will grant that they look very similar to the old way but a careful look will show that the component pieces of each unit are much more tightly packed (no gaps). Even more noticeable (for me at least) is they are more robust when being picked up or moved. Previously a piece might get push forward or back, run afoul of the magnetic “furrow” and explode off the sabot, occasionally taking a few of its fellows with it! This no longer seems to happen.

Second, I spent a good deal of time translating the FK&P rules into an interaction matrix to have everything in front of me at a glance. I am a longtime fan of Edward Tufte’s Envisioning Information and for games (Boardgame or tabletop) that I play regulary I usually put the rules into some sort of graphical form as a play aide. Doing such is not only a great way to internalize them but forces a detailed analysis which is also quite helpful.

FK&P rules matrix

The FK&P rules matrix placed between the opposing armies at Tippermuir. The matrix is intentionally blurred since publishing it intact might violate the copyright on the rules.

Third, In my continuing endeavor to clean up the reference pages on the blog sidebar I am starting to add pages specifically for FK&P. When I first started the blog I did not fully appreciate how pages could be used and now see them more completely as reference collection buckets.

I have added one for all the local rules I use for FK&P and another for unit configurations.

Fourth, and final, the page I call Source Library is drastically overdue for an update. I have begun by first reorganizing my physical library and then moving on to my electronic library. I am guessing there may be around a hundred new titles to be added. The work is rather tedious and feels a lot like graduate school (which probably means progress will continue to be slow).

OK, NOW I can get back to Tippermuir.