Saturday 27 November 2010


Well with one thing and another, wargaming has taken a back seat. Ava is now 11 weeks old and doing well, though full of cold at the moment. Sleep deprivation hit a few weeks ago now and myself and Lisa seem to run on one notch above exhausted most of the time.

With the news of Martyns death on Monday, coming on top of other bad news in the family and work being more hectic than ever I have struggled to find the time or motivation for anything other than the occasional browse on the internet. I did get down to Warfare last weekend and had a short chat with Nigel and Julie on the Peter Pig stand. I picked up a couple of packs of the Tatty Continentals and some of the Rebs in Civilian hats. Not sure when they'll see a paint brush though. It was a very enjoyable day, with John B drinving us down giving us chance to catch up on each others news and discuss wargaming ad infinitum. Once there we met up with Keith and Ade. It was great being with good friends for a few hours sharing each others company.

I was VERY close to cracking and investing in TSS terrain tiles for my home set up. I resisted mainly due to the fact in 5 months at the new house I have played 1 game (**cough** warhammer **cough**). But I am still considering it. Storage is an issue but with a dedicated room it is less of a problem.

Some light at the end of the tunnel though. We are getting into the semblance of a routine with Ava in bed from 8pm and typically waking around midnight. Lisa is usually too pooped to stay awake past 9pm. So I am looking at 9pm-11pm as a window of opportunity for some 'hobby' time.

I did manage half an hour or so this afternoon but I am just not organised in my new painting space. I am in the middle of painting markers for Washingtons Army and was looking at adding white straps/ haversacks to the figures. Unfortunatley it took 10 minutes to find my white paint and then a few more to find a decent brush which dampened my enthusiasm some what!

I was due down in Weymouth this weekend but with Martyns death and other matters on my mind I couldn't face the 4 hour drive. A real shame as I love the battle days Stewart Meecham puts on and Martin is always happy to accomadate me for the night. Hopefully come the first one next year I will be raring to go and in a better frame of mind.

The Stoke Wargames group held its AGM a couple of weeks ago. To be honest with the policy of paying a yearly sub of £150 with no weekly payment option I was seriousley considering leaving. The amount was really the issue (though it is a lot of money). It is the fact that with my shifts and now Ava in our lives, 1 or 2 visits a month would be the norm. With an absolute maximum of 24 visits costing me £150.00, I feel the money could be better spent elsewhere.

So, when it was agreed to up the cost to £160.00 due to falling membership I was even more doubtful I would be renewing. Then the option of £5.00 a week was mooted for occasional visitors, which i would class myself as. John B later suggested £40 up front for 12 visits which appeals even more. So I will remian a member of the club and feel I am getting some value for my money.

Hopefully I may be able to post up some more content on here over the coming months now I feel some of my mojo returning. Fingers crossed.

More soon...

Tuesday 23 November 2010

Martyn Smith RIP

A really difficult post for me to type. Martyn Smith shown above on the right shaking hnads with Keith, passed away last night after a long battle with cancer.

I know that all Stoke Wargames Club members both past and present are tonight thinking of Martyn and the good times they shared with him. I have mentioned him before in this blog. Martyn was a constant friend and wargaming companion over the last 20 years. We travelled the length and breadth of the country with him visiting shows (often getting lost along the way). The games at his house either in his garage or dining room were legendary. He had a propensity for buying and painting armies and then selling them to fund a new period. His knowledge of militairy history was vast and you could always rely on him having the answer for some obscure fact whether it be on Ancient campaigns or German tanks. And everything inbetween.

To my knoweldge he never spoke badly of anyone and I know for a fact everyone who met him found him to be a genuine, friendly, funny character and a pleasure to be around. Countless are the times when standing around a table we have been doubled up with laughter, unable to speak with tears running down our faces. He was a genuinely nice bloke.

He wasn't bad at wargaming either. He earned the nickname 'Six Smith' for his uncanny ability with a D6. He won the inaugural club Warhammer tournament in splendid style using a Vampire Counts army to thrash the previousley all conquering Lizardmen army in the final. We always knew things were going well when he would gaze at the table, rubbing his his hands together so fast he could make fire. Personally I lost far more games against him than I won, but each one was memorable and I shall always cherish my memories of each encounter.

We last gamed together at Mark Whites house on 4th August 2010, playing on the same side in a 15mm Napoleonic thrash (Martyns favourite word for a good game) up against Tim and Baz. It was like rolling back the years to my first time at the club.

Martyn can be seen below in the middle, on form as usual.

Well, I've so much to say, but I am unable to do justice to it at the moment.
Rest in peace old lad.