Tuesday, 20 December 2011
Looking forward to time with family and friends. A tough year and make no mistake with losing my mum in May and coping with the trials and tribulations that come with fatherhood at 40.
Hobby time has been at an all time low with no real content on the blog. So much so I have given real thought to abandoning the blog altogether with the possibility of restarting when inspiration strikes. But I am now thinking that this has been a diary of my hobby life for a few years now and it would be a shame to lose that history.
So I am now looking at a tidy up of links and things to better reflect my interests at this time. Also I intend that come 2012 I will restart my painting log to motivate me to get things done again. We also purchased a new camera last month and so I really do mean to get some photos up of things I'm working on.
Peter Pig remain my main focus with Square Bashing 2 well underway in the playtesting and consuming all my painting and reading time at the moment. 1914 British and German done. French 1914 built and awaiting the brush. Late War British and Germans next.
With World War 1 grabbing me so much I have also branched out with purchases of the Wings of War game with a total of 8 planes so far and also now Victory at Sea: Age of Dreadnoughts for some naval action. I am also determined to get in some Fields of Glory action with Keith and Ade at the club next year with my Peter Pig Romans and Germans. Ontop of that is a side project with Ade to play some Mexican American Wars using Friekorps figures. Not a big project but one I am looking forward to quite a bit.
I have recentley had a huge change in attitude towards basing. Previousley all my armies are based with speed in mind. Consequently I have used various flocks and static grasses to obtain an adequate finish. However I have made the move over to more attractive basing using 'Basetex' from Colour Party and purchased from Irregular Miniatures. All of my World War 1 is based using the dried earth colour, dry brushed with a near white cream and then patches of static grass to finish. Much more pleasing to my eye and better setting off the figures. As some hobby luminary once said figure painting and army presentation is all about 'faces and bases'. Well in 15mm, faces dont have the same impact as in larger scales but bases definately do.
After long contemplation I have finally succumbed to the trees from Tablescape as used by several members of the Weymouth club. They are essentially resin cast trees that come ready painted. They look good and come in various shades. No more worrying about my flocked trees losing their foliage or getting crushed in the box. Pictures to come but I will put the link up for those interested.
So to end, I would say that I am as enthusiastic as ever about my hobby and hoping to squeeze more time for it come the new year. This year was to be the year of mid week gaming at each others houses to compensate for my lack of attendance at the club. Well that didn't work out. So, a public pledge to get more games in for 2012. What do you think Ade, Keith, John?!?
Merry Xmas and Happy New Year to all
Monday, 21 November 2011
Sunday, 19 June 2011
Sunday, 29 May 2011
Friday, 6 May 2011
As usaul it was held at Excell in Docklands and is a wargame show on a different scale to any other. I suspect Games Day has more attendees and has a larger floor space, but that is for dedicated Gw fans and not really a wargames show as such. I am told by those in the know that Salute is the largest historical wargames event in the world. I can believe it. This is my third time at Excel and again I have come away thinking I wont bother again. It was really only due to the fact I got my hands on a badge for early (and free) entry combined with seeing my sister in law that swung it for me this time.
The above photo doesn't really do justice to the size of this event, but safe to say no other shoe comes anywhere near. But thar doesn't mean it is any better. Several traders had stands that covered a large floor area. One in fact, Wayland Games if I remember correctly was virtually a wargames shop transported and dumped in the middle of the venue.
Martin is shown here explaining the finer details (and possibly encouraging somebody into a suicidal attack!!). The rules work brilliantly and improve on the original by bringing more structure to the game. All the ships have been reworked and there are now no invincible ships. Forts work really well and opportunity fire has been introduced. With the rules comes a playsheet and a couple of sheets of very nicley laminated order cards. I really think this is a winner for fans of Hammerin Iron.
Tuesday, 22 March 2011
Currently I use a Games Workshop grass mat with Terra Firma Studios roads, felt templates for towns woods and fields and trees from various sources. The grass mat is nice but is to my eye just too 'green', if you know what I mean. The uniformity of the green isn't very realistic, but short of a custom made set up, you have to put up with it.
Differnent people have different needs from scenary. With the resurgence in 'Old School' wargaming this set up from Phil Olley reflects a bygone era with boards painted green and not much more effort.
And then there is the other extreme, with this custom built set up for a 'Tet Offensive' Vietnam game. Beautiful but beyond most people for a club night game and not much use for fighting Napoleonics on.
So I have set out to tart up my scenary whilst keeping it functional. Now Peter Pig rules use a template system to represent dense terrain that causes problems for troops entering. Woods, buildings, marsh and the like are represented by either felt or wooden shapes around 8"x5" onto which trees and houses are placed which can be moved aside when troops enter them. Felt and the like are ok but thrown onto the table as they are they can be a tad plain. My templates are a combination of felt and pieces of the GW grass mat left over from cutting it down to 6'x3' which is the table size for most RFCM games. This afternoon I tried out a test piece by adding dabs of brown and green paint, sand and various flocks and foliage. This example is a bit over done as I was experimenting with various techniques but I think it looks rather good. The reds and yellows are from a pack I bought from Timecast scenary and are intended to represent wild flowers. I hope to use it to brighten up my Samurai army bases. This could be a wood template or an area of rough ground.
Encouraged I moved onto the mat itself. Although not the best angle, I have added areas of darker static grass, brown paint and flock and sand in places to break up the uniform look to the mat. I am really pleased with how it has turned out and intend to do some hills in a similar style, along with a load more templates.
I also have a GW mat cut down to 4'x4' for PBI which will be tarted up in due course. At some point I intend to build a custom board for a Marston Moor game, but for now for club night games these fit the bill nicely!
Monday, 21 March 2011
Feeling somewhat rejuvenated on the blog front, I shall look to improve the post and photo count. But then again I've said that before!
I now have nearly enough figures for a proper game of Washingtons Army so watch out for a report soon.
Sunday, 20 March 2011
They are really great buildings for a very reasonable price. They also provide a painting service which I may get around to using sometime. Anyway check out their stuff in the link section, you wont be disappointed!
I doubt we'll see him down the club again, that era seems to have passed now and a new generations of gamers are leading the club forward. For me he was a member from the halcyon days, fighting the great battles of the Civil War. I've spoken about this before, but occasionally nostalgia strikes me and I yearn for those days with Jeff, George, Geoff, Mark, Tim, Tom, Barry, Colin, John and of course Martyn who died last year.
Life back then seemed less complicated. I was a student and had little money but managed to buy my first few figures and start painting. I bought and read every book on the ACW I could get my hands on. Wargames magazines were read cover to cover within hours of purchase. This was of course pre-internet days when you only found out about new releases once a month in the mags and at shows you got to.
Anyway, a bit of Kipling in honour of George...
We've fought with many men acrost the seas,
An' some of 'em was brave an' some was not:
The Paythan an' the Zulu an' Burmese;
But the Fuzzy was the finest o' the lot.
We never got a ha'porth's change of 'im:
'E squatted in the scrub an' 'ocked our 'orses,
'E cut our sentries up at Sua~kim~,
An' 'e played the cat an' banjo with our forces.
So 'ere's ~to~ you, Fuzzy-Wuzzy, at your 'ome in the Soudan;
You're a pore benighted 'eathen but a first-class fightin' man;
We gives you your certificate, an' if you want it signed
We'll come an' 'ave a romp with you whenever you're inclined.
We took our chanst among the Khyber 'ills,
The Boers knocked us silly at a mile,
The Burman give us Irriwaddy chills,
An' a Zulu ~impi~ dished us up in style:
But all we ever got from such as they
Was pop to what the Fuzzy made us swaller;
We 'eld our bloomin' own, the papers say,
But man for man the Fuzzy knocked us 'oller.
Then 'ere's ~to~ you, Fuzzy-Wuzzy, an' the missis and the kid;
Our orders was to break you, an' of course we went an' did.
We sloshed you with Martinis, an' it wasn't 'ardly fair;
But for all the odds agin' you, Fuzzy-Wuz, you broke the square.
'E 'asn't got no papers of 'is own,
'E 'asn't got no medals nor rewards,
So we must certify the skill 'e's shown
In usin' of 'is long two-'anded swords:
When 'e's 'oppin' in an' out among the bush
With 'is coffin-'eaded shield an' shovel-spear,
An 'appy day with Fuzzy on the rush
Will last an 'ealthy Tommy for a year.
So 'ere's ~to~ you, Fuzzy-Wuzzy, an' your friends which are no more,
If we 'adn't lost some messmates we would 'elp you to deplore;
But give an' take's the gospel, an' we'll call the bargain fair,
For if you 'ave lost more than us, you crumpled up the square!
'E rushes at the smoke when we let drive,
An', before we know, 'e's 'ackin' at our 'ead;
'E's all 'ot sand an' ginger when alive,
An' 'e's generally shammin' when 'e's dead.
'E's a daisy, 'e's a ducky, 'e's a lamb!
'E's a injia-rubber idiot on the spree,
'E's the on'y thing that doesn't give a damn
For a Regiment o' British Infantree!
So 'ere's to you, Fuzzy-Wuzzy, at your 'ome in the Soudan;
You're a pore benighted 'eathen but a first-class fightin' man;
An' 'ere's to you, Fuzzy-Wuzzy, with your 'ayrick 'ead of 'air --
You big black boundin' beggar -- for you broke a British square!
Saturday, 19 March 2011
I drove down to sunny Yeovil today as Lisa had taken Ava out with her mum leaving me at a lose end. 3 1/2 hours later I arrived and found the hall buzzing with activity.
Although there were only 4 traders (including Peter Pig), their was a couple of decent demo games plus a Flames of War competition.
This is Gustaphus Adolfus (sp?) himself. Very nicely painted. He was part of a large Thirty Years War game using Fields of Glory Renaissance.
Here is a 'Very British Civil War' game. The premise if you dont know is base on Edward not abdicating in the 30's and a rise in support for the fascist movement throughout the country who are the opposed by various socialist factions.
Friday, 18 March 2011
A handful of traders, but to be honest I will go just to socialise with some of the guys down there. Better than working I suppose. I will probably purchase a couple of bits. Possibly a 3rd platoon for my late war US PBI army as recommended by Kevan Gunn some time ago.
Getting quite fired up by thoughts of future projects and continuation of some old ones. I am really looking forward to getting Square Bashing going in readiness for the new rules. The early war French were redone a short time ago and look lovely...
Full squarebashing range can be found here: http://www.peterpig.co.uk/range16.htm
I will endeavour to remember my camera tomorrow and will try to post a proper show report. Being a small one it will be a good place to start! Salute is next and I will hopsefully be helping out on the Peter Pig game so some good pictures coming from that.
Currently I am involved in a North Africa 1942 game at the club, somewhere near Gazzala. I am playing the Hun with some light armour. There are 7 or 8 players involved and has lasted for two weeks. All 15mm stuff played using the Battlefront rules which are based on the old Fire and Fury system. Enjoying it alot but due to shifts will be missing tonight. This is a good example of why I prefer RFCM games which are over in an evening, leaving plenty of time for hobby chat.
If its still on next week I shall resume my command but who knows what situation my stuff will be in for me to extricate them from!
Finally another picture of the AK47 Reloaded participation game at Salute a couple of years ago. Nice stuff!
Tuesday, 15 March 2011
Wednesday, 9 March 2011
Saturday, 5 February 2011
Quite often an idea for a project can come and go within a day. One day I want to do French Indian Wars as seen in Wargames Illustrated years ago using the old WRG rules. The next I dont.
But an idea can grow some impetus as I think of suitable figure ranges and peruse websites for suitable candidates. As a pretty much confirmed 15mm gamer, there are the staple manufacturers - Peter Pig of course, but also Essex, Friekorps, Lancashire, Minifigs and Old Glory. The project can die a death here if no figure ranges take my fancy. Or, I may go as far as getting a few samples to look at.
Then of course one has to consider rules. If no commercial rules are available or else free on the web, again a project idea can fade away. I am no rules writer so with no commercial set to my liking there is no hope.
However even if I find figures and rules, a project can be many months from hitting the wargames table. This can be a dangerous time for any wargames project as the 'ooh shiny' complex can kick in distracting you away to begin the process all over again.
Over the last few years I have concentrated on Peter Pig rules and figures and this wont change any time soon. But it does not protect me from a wandering eye every now and then when inspiration hits in a period not covered by Peter Pig. I was chatting to Ade at the club last night and he mentione about allowing himself one historical period to collect in 28mm (he has lots of GW fantasy and 15mm historicals). It got me wandering what periods I would like to collect or game in 28mm. Now with unlimited resources, I would opt for ACW using Dixon figures, painted by Bob Kiff on bespoke terrain. Probably the OOB for Gettysburg at brigade level. But that aint ever going to happen. And to be honest I am quite content playing with and painting my Peter Pig figures. Of course if Martin ever produced a Crimean or Malburian range I could be sorely tempted!
Thursday, 13 January 2011
My AWI project grinds on. Although I have played it using counters, the figures have yet to hit the table. I just keep finding more figures to paint and I am currentley dreaming up an order for either the York or Alumwell shows which are creeping up fast. I am also thinknig of finally adding limbers to my ACW armies along with a couple of new units now I have completed the count of just what stuff I have got.
I am staging a Bloody Barons game at the club tomorrow for 3-4 members who have never played before. On sorting through the figures I have one or two gaps there two, mainly cavalry but also some European types with handgunners, crossbowmen and pike needed in small quantities. By the same token, my Sudan collection has some obvious gaps such as Ansar and Naval troops. I do intend getting the Paddle boat, which I may treat myself to later in the year.
WW1 for the Squarebashing also sits waiting for serious attention rather than the odd bit here or there. This would be a 'quick' paint, the uniforms being pretty straight forward and screaming for dip. Two projects I would love to crack this year are Wild West using 'Hey You in the Jail' and Pirates in the form of 'Pieces of Eight'. I have bits of these but nothing to speak of.
I do intend to post more pictures but for some reason its like pulling teeth adding pictures ot the blog. And I just cant seem to get the format right. I shall perserve.
I 'think' I have staved off the temptation of TSS scenary boards. I was happy with how my table looked using the GW battle mat and S&A scenary bits. The only issue is the hills I have from them are sloped which look good, but troops do slide about on them and you cant have a house on a hill for instance. So I may look at more traditional 'flat' hills.
I'll take some pictures of tomorrows game and post them.
Thursday, 6 January 2011
The Rebs massed for assault on Bloody Hill. Only the right hand unit survived the game and they retired into woodland to their rear. In fact the rebs lost 5 of their 6 brigades with the Union not losing any.
Here the Union charged the rear of a Reb brigade who showed great elan and saw them off. Weight of numbers told in the end though and things ended badly for the rebs.
The battlefield. Union positions are a brigade in the farm halfway up on the left and 3 birgades on the hilss halfway up onthe right. These two features are the objectives. The Rebs are in the middle of the two in the teddy bear fur (no in game significance just for show.) The Rebs also have two brigades below the river which is unfordable so can only be crossed by the road ford.