Monday 14 December 2009

New Peter Pig ACW cavalry

Linky to the new ACW cavalry which are jolly nice. Single piece sculpts with real dash and elan! Now should I be Buford or Forrest?

Sunday 13 December 2009


Not sure why the layout is so bad on the Rome post but despite editing it several times it still comes out looking crap. Sorry about that.

Today I went down to the 'Wargamer' show in Great Barr. This use to be held in Aston a few years ago, in September if I recall. Back then it rivalled Alumwell for number of traders and demo games. Now though it is showing its age. The number of traders is reduced with no big figure manufacturers there. The games ranged from quite nice to pretty poor efforts.

Nicest game was by the 'Cobridge Old Contemptibles', playing out a Penninsular encounter in 28mm using 'Carnage and Glory' computer moderated rules. A handful of units a side with lots of character and Spanish.

Really nice to catch up with Jon Murphy and Jeff Davies. Jeff was playing for a change as he normally organises and umpires ACW games. I hadn't seen Jeff for some time and it was nice to see him. He continues his enthusiasm for the hobby and he is probably the major reason I am a wargamer and ACW nut to this day. We had a good chat about all things wargaming and beyond.

I also spoke to Jon Murphy about

which is a small event run in Stoke on Trent every year involving numerous wargames competitions. Along with Keith, we may look at expandingay into the an 'open day' with some participation games and demos. I also discussed the possibility of putting on a Peter Pig competition, probably PBI but maybe AK47 as well, with upto 16 or so players. I'll keep you posted.

Keith was there wih Ade and Martin. Especially good to see Martyn for reasons I wont go into, but if by any chance your reading this mate, Lisa and me are thinking of you. Keep rolling those 6's old lad.


Pictures from Rome. My prediciton of good food, wine, ruins and churches came good. We walked our legs off for four days making sure we saw all we wanted to see. The crowds were somewhat off putting as were the prices but all in all a good time.

St Peters Bascillica and St Peters Square. No Pope though.

Service inside St Peters. Felt like you were on the set of 'Angels and Demons'.
The obligatory photo of the Popes body guard.

I'm fairly sure the Pope isn't a wargamer, but this table in the Vatican Museum struck me as a great example of what a wargames table ought to be.

Leonardo de Vinci's 'Last Supper'. (Vatican Museum).

A sneeky photo in the Sisitine Chapel (cameras weren't allowed).

The Colloseum.

Inside the Colloseum showing the reconstructed arena (arena being the latin for sand) floor which was wooden which was covered in sand to soak up the blood. You can also see the below ground structures. A tunnel led away from the Colloseum to the Gladiatorial training camp down which the Galdiators were taken to access the arena.

Myself with Linda and Adrian (parents in law) on the road down to the Colloseum

The Forum. A pile of rubble to Lisa, a piece of magical ancient history for me!

Piazza Campidiglio

Trevi Fountain

The Pantheon. The most intact building from Ancient Rome.

All in all a great trip with some nice memories. Plus we saw some great paintings by Caravaggio and sculptures by Bennini.

Sunday 6 December 2009


Well Christmas is a comin and I'm sure everyone is looking forward to a nice couple of days off with family and friends in front of the box with turkey and mince pies a plenty. Unfortunately, not for me as I am working nights Christmas Eve and Christmas night, which for anyone who has ever had to work Christmas is about the worst shift you can pull.

I have worked in 'public service' for 18 odd years now and worked on Christmas day probably for half of those(*). I didn't used to mind much. Its usually not too busy and the money is nice. However as I have grown older and climbed the ranks, I like the idea less and less. So this will be my last I think, requests for alternative duties next year!

Off to Rome for a few days tomorrow. I have never been to Italy so really looking forward to it. Lots of good food, churches and ruins. Pictures WILL follow!

A pertinent comment by Bob Cordery on his blog 'Wargming Miscellany' (link to the right)about the theraputic nature of blogging made me think about blogging in general. This blog has only ever been intended as a public method of motivating me to paint figures and game more. Whether or not my ramblings are of interest is a side issue. In fact I am now looking on this as a diary, much like people used to right pre microchip. Back then someone might make an entry in a journal and put it way in a drawer somewhere, never to be seen by anyone, until maybe they died and their children find it on clearing out their things. Blogging is really a public diary and if anyone finds something of interest all the better.

More soon..........

Saturday 5 December 2009

'Off to War'

Portbury Knights held their annual PBI competition at Portbury Village Hall today. A couple of hours drive found me playing three games over the day. Great amosphere with a group of people of a similar bent. Unfortunately I only realisec I had forgotten my camera once past Birmingham so again no pictures. My New Years resolution will be to put far more pictures up as pages of just text is a bit dry.

It was great to meet up with Kevan Gunn again. A gentleman and a scholar if ever there was one. He must surely be the most travelled PBI player out there, hailing from north of the border as he does. He really taught me the game at Bournemouth earlier in the year despite him being somewhat under the weather. So he is the one to blame from me now having a PBI competitive record of 0-6! Still, winnings not everything.

And so it proved as I lost all three games today using my late war US troops. First game against Mark Robinson who was a real gent throughout whilst still kicking me all over the place. Final score 135 -3 to Mark.

Next up was David Ley who attacked and my troops held onto two objectives despite heavy losses, although he did take the primary objective. A big win to David, but I did manage 30 odd points.

Finally Peter Sides with his late war Germans. I was attacking again and the dice deserted me towards the end, leaving me with 3 bases on the table, the rest having buggered off on break tests. Over 100 points to Peter, -6 to me. Mmmmm. maybe Kevan is right about a third platoon!

Now I have played in several Brixcon AK47 events, two PBI competitions as well as numerous Warhammer Fantasy tournaments. My win ratio is pretty embarassing. Not that I mind, winning has never been the be all and end all to me on the wargames table. Consequently the only prize I have ever won was at Brixcon when I took the prize for 'the Greatest Hurt' (ie I came last). Which was ok in my eyes as Peter Pig awarded a £20 voucher for doing so.

So, much to my suprise, today I won the Best Painted Army award for my US troops. Not bad for an army painted with a base colour and Army painter dip! I was dead chuffed, especially when Martin Goddard handed to me my prize which was the Farm house and barn from the Peter Pig scenary range which I had been eyeing up as a Christmas present to me from Lisa!. Not only that but there was also some high walls and other odds and ends in the box which will be put to good use for my PBI set up.

I was also really pleased when Kevan took Most Sporting opponent which in my eyes is a real compliment to any gamer, win lose or draw. Well done Kev!

Had a nice chat with Kevan and Martin about the upcoming American War of Independance rules too which we are playtesting at the moment. Although we communicate via the YahooGroup with thoughts and ideas, it was good to talk face to face about a few things. Really liking how these are shaping up and Martin is clearly brimming with ideas.

More soon, a bit tired now after 5 hours of driving,...

Deleted scenes from 'Gettysburg'

As somewhat of an American Civil War nut, the film 'Gettysburg' is pure wargaming nirvana. So on hearing YouTube had some deleted scenes, I thought I would post them here. Hope you don't mind!

Thursday 3 December 2009


I have been painting more Wars of the Roses this afternoon. I have now painted over 1,500 15mm Peter Pig figures this year. Not sure I'll ever paint so much again as I did have a large back log. I have now virtually completed two projects, with them both stretching their neck for finishing line. The Samurai have the generals, 2 maku and some casualties left to do (all basecoated). The WotR have three units of retinue and 1 unit of horse to do, of which I have still to buy the last two retinue units. These are part of Norfolks command on the Yorkist right at Towton. In the scenario from Bloody Barons Norfolk comes on as reinforcements and in fact is not guaranteed to come on at all. I just now the first time I run the scenario Norfolk will be no where to be seen but it wont do to NOT have the figures just in case.

My painting was accompanied by the 'View from the Veranda' podcast which is part of Meeples and Miniatures. With the host Neil Schuck and Battlegames editor Henry Hyde discussing a hobby centric topic, I can highly recommend it to pass the time between coats of paint. This afternoon it was episode 2 discussing the morality of wargaming. Not something I have ever struggled with personally but an interesting debate all the same. There is a link in the sidebar to Neils podcasts which are informative and an excellent break from Radio 5 Live, particularly if Victoria Derbyshire is on!

So, Zombies. It seems you cant move on the Miniature Page for a new company releasing a range of Zombies. Now, I have played my fair share of Warhammer fantasy, owned a large Vampire Counts army and played Zombies!! which IS a great game. But, similar to the Cowboy fad, the Darkest Africa fad and the Pirate fad, zombies seem to be big at the minute, mixed in with the Pulp genre and Wierd War 2 type games. Never say never. Wargames Factory have some very nice zombies but they are not in my scale. I imagine in 15mm any civilian type figure could be painted as a zombie. a 'Shaun of the Dead' style game would be fun, maybe with old AK47 style mechanics or using some of Matthew Hartleys 'Riot' rules. With a wait between now and Peter Pig releasing their AWI rules and figures, maybe I could make my first foray into rules writing. Others seem to enjoy it, but most of them seem to be

a) More intelligent than me


b) More knowledgable on militairy matters than me

However, who can say they know more about fighting zombies than I do? mmmmmm........

Wednesday 2 December 2009


What is it with zombie games?

Tuesday 1 December 2009

The end is nigh

End of the year that is. Time soon to take stock of my year in wargaming, and look to the future to make plans for the coming year.

In the last month or so I have really kicked on helped by my 'Big Push'. I have nearly hit 2000 painting points, of interest to no one but me I know but it has been a very useful exercise to see how much I could paint when I put my mind to it. The target of 2000 points is just over 5 foot figures per day. With my painting style I can the paint 20 in an hour, excluding basing. But when embroiled in the day to day hassle of real life finding an hour can be tricky. Then of course you need the discipline and motivation to actually sit down and crack out the paint. So its not as easy as it sounds. But this year, despite a long hiatus over the summer months, I will hit my target easily.

I have now completed two 800 point Samurai armies, less 4 generals, 2 makus and some casualties. They will be done in the next few days after which I plan a grand review which I will photograph. The Samurai has somewhat taken over the Wars of the Roses project for which I have 5 units of Retinue troops undercoated and sitting patiently waiting for their time in the spot light. They SHOULD be done before years end, but I am in no rush.

I have a table booked for the WMMMS show in March to play Towton. I am still undecided on what to do for the scenary. I am currently leaning towards mdf/chipboard with sculpted hills all covered in snow. The other, cheaper and more practical option is a white sheet which I think I could get to look very nice with some work. I will blog my decision and run a short tutorial on which ever route I go.

I am off now to make a start on my Makus.

More soon...