Tuesday 20 December 2011


.....is nearly here.

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


So, here I am again 5 months later and with not alot to report.
Life continues of course with work and family. But wargaming has become a hobby I follow rather than do. Up until a couple of weeks ago I had done very little painting or gaming over the intervening time. I missed a couple of Peter Pig events due to breakdown of car and babysitting duties at various points. Club attendance has been sporadic with more visits for social purposes than gaming. And show attendance has been non existant.
However a couple of weeks ago I did get fired up again, by what I'm not sure. But my WW1 Squarebashing project is coming on great leaps all of a sudden. I have scenary started for the game. I have purchased the excellent Wings of War game and a few of the ready painted planes to go with it. I am reading Richard Holmes' "Tommy". and at the weekend I am in Weymouth for some Squarebashing playtesting.
So, who knows, maybe i'll start to post a few pictures and get blogging a bit more again.
More soon...

Sunday 19 June 2011


Life is returning to normal around here and I am just back from Weymouth where I played in the Peter Pig Battle day playing Washingtons Army.
As usual Martin Goddard put me up for the night and took me along to the Levellers club night for a warm up game. Myself and Michael took on Stewart and Alex. We suffered a heavy defeat which set the tone for the weekend.
There was 10 of us on the day and everyone had a great time with lots of banter and a nice fish and chip dinner. We played two games, morning and afternoon. I suspect if the location was more central then more players would turn up but to be honest it doesnt really matter as everyone knows each other and the games are played in a relaxed atmosphere.
I took late war Americans with the plan to be the atatcker in both games. Unfortunately I ended up defending. First game was against Paul Coker. This turned into a real blood bath and although Paul desptroyed more of my units and did eventually get his flank march onto the table in the last turn, I managed to claw alot of points back just by virtue of the amount of bases I managed to kill. Paul came out with a small win 68pts to 62. A great game that saw lots of action.
The afternoon game was against Ralph Ashdown. We have played before at the AK day last year where he beat me soundly. Same result I'm afraid. Again I ended up defending but in a postion where I had opportunity to attack in places. An early clash between one of my continentals and one of Ralphs line should have gone my way but the dice deserted me and my troops were sent packing. I never recovered from that point. Ralphs army was quite small with only six units, three of which were in his flank attack. Although only starting with three units on table seemed like a bad idea, Ralph won the flank march in the second turn and with lots of veterans and light troops my poor Americans were simply out classed and out played.
Attention is now turning to the revision of Squarebashing covering from around 1900 to 1925 or so. I have now dug out my old western front British and Germans for both the early and late war. I'm really looking forward to getting stuck into this project especially after the game we had at Martins the night before Fisticuffs.
I've now done a boat load of mdf templates for my Peter Pig games. I've been experimenting with adding texture to felt and the like without much success. I nearly cracked at Partizan and bought some from S&A scenics. For the price of two templates I bought a 4'x2' piece of mdf and have made 24 templates. Basically cut out an oval shape roughly 8"x5" and texutre with texutred paint mixed from borwn paint and sand with a little pva. drybrush, add static grass and done.
As usual no pictures as Lisa dropped the camera last week and we will have to shop around for a new one. Whichever camera we get wil definately have a good macro setting.

Sunday 29 May 2011

Life, the Universe.

Sad news to report that after a 9 month battle with cancer my mum died on Wednesday. Difficult to describe how much this has affected me but true to say life just doesn't seem the same once your mum has gone.
Last weekend saw me spend a couple of hours at Triples. I did take some picture s of the excellent Englsih Civil War game put on by the Mosborough boys, Mick, Danny and Trevor. They were using the excellent Regiment of Foote by Peter Pig and playing out a game from their campaign that has been going for 12 months. Find details of the Regiment of Foote range at
For some reason I cant upload the photos I took to blogger so have put them into my Flickr account at http://www.flickr.com/photos/8447622@N02/
A lovely game and a group of very friendly blokes who clearly know one end of a paint brush from the other. I hope to catch up with them at 2nd Partizan in September.
Speaking of which I went to 1st Partizan today at Kelham Hall. I have been going to this show for more years than I care to remember and I can never recall it seeming so quiet. Possibly a result of Triples moving to the weekend before, but also several traders spots were empty and at least two games were missing. Odd really as Partizan has always been a 'showcase' event, with some of the finest demos from the circuit on display. One trader made mention that mid morning felt more like 3pm when they would normally be looking to pack up. Another large trader looked around and commented that there wasn't a single customer in the room (although I was there hiding behind a rack of figures!).
Hopefully this will be a blip and come September normal service will be resumed. I spent a pleasant day forgetting the outside world and enjoying not being bumped by backpacks and struggling to get to the stands to see what I wanted. I played in Graham Evans' "The Elephant in the Room" , the development of which can be seen on his blog Wargaming for Grown-ups (link off to the side). Basically you play a group of Roman Velites trying to bring down an elephant before it hits the Roman battle line. A clever game using dominos which has made me think about how to use dominos as a random number generator in future games.
I enjoyed it so much I took advantage of my new Society of Ancients membership and bought it for £5.00 from the SoA stand. Included is Phil Steeles 'Greyhound in the Slips' game recreating the Shakespearian account of Henry V's assault on the walls of Harfluer. Really looking forward to giving these a go.
A book on the Balkan Wars, a book on the War of 1812, plus some markers for Hammerin Iron, a few trees from S&A and one pot of paint was the sum of my spending.
So a nice day getting away from it all. Mums funeral is next Friday and lots to sort out in the mean time.
More whenever....

Friday 6 May 2011

Salute and Fisticuffs

Two shows to report on. I was due to go on my good mate John B's stag do to Ypres but due to being unable to get leave and family issues I was unable to get four days free. I did manage two though and myself Lisa and Ava drove down to my sister in laws place in Balham on the Friday prior to Salute.

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.

Some very nice games and some not so nice. It was at times difficult to find a trader or game due to the layout and the crowds but on the whole most games seemed to have plenty of space for bystanders to hang around and chat. The one above was interesting. English Civil War with nice 28mm figures on an oval table. Not seen this before but makes sense in a way as the far corners of most wargames is wasted space used for casualties or cups of tea.

This was my favourite display game. Again English Civil War in 28mm with lovely figures but it was the terrain that blew me away. All purpose built by Dave Marshall from TM Terrain. Including the buildings some of which had small lights in them! He told me that if I wanted to comission him to do one for me it would be around £2,000. Alot of money to be sure but somehow I thought not a bad price for all the work. There were rolling hills, streams, delicate fences and beautiful hedges, all integral to the boards. The guy who it belonged to had bespoke boxes made ot cart it all around in.

Just the one photo of a Towton game. You may know I have a thing about this battle. Well this is a demo of the battle on a scale unlikely to be repeated. 6mm Baccus figures. Around 17,000 of them! Incredible effort by the guys who did this. The table was around 14-16 feet long and was an impressive sight. Not only that but they played a few moves too! I think Poleaxed from the Lance and Longbow society is their chosen ruleset.

One of the draws to the show for me was the launch of the reworked Hammerin Iron from Peter Pig. I have been involved in the playtest group and again get a name check, but in truth due to real life concerns I had minimal input. I was somewhat sceptic when the idea of playing on a printed hex sheet was first discussed. I enjoyed the original game with ships moving on the table by laying hexes down to represent movement. However I was converted with some playtesting and now own one of the Peter Pig produced hex sheets which can be seen in the above picture. The yellow hexes are sandpaper cutout to represent sandbars. There are a couple of islands too, one with a fort on it.

Here is a closer picture of the new mat with a game in progress. Leslie Beilby Tipping and Rob Roriston are taking some newcomers through a game. For the demo purposes, several pre planned scenarios were used so players could play one game and return later in the day to have another go with a different scenario.

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.

Minimal purchases on the day as I was travelling light. I picked up my shanty town from Wilson Miniatures but left them with Martin to pick up from him down in Weymouth. A nice day then but again left with the feeling I may not return.

Two weeks later saw me travel down to Weymouth for Fisticuffs, the local show hosted by the Levellers Wargames club.

There aren't too many shows with this view outside of the front door! I again travelled down on the Friday and stayed over at Martins. Got to see the new PP HQ building. Very impressive indeed. We played a game of the new Squarebashing currently in playtest. I won using late war Germans which was nice. I'll discuss this more once playtesting is a bit further on, but suffice to say that the Peter Pig classic is having a radical makeover. Still using squares though!

Here we have Les B-T again demonstrating Hammerin Iron. I think i played in 4 games and had a great time.

I have been down to Fisticuffs before but a long time ago back when it was a two day show at a local college. This year it was held in Weymouth Pavilion right on the sea front. A good venue with plenty of space. There was a good mix of traders and some really nice demo games on display. A very friendly atmosphere and it was nice to catch up with Miles Milton from the STaB club as well as Stewart Meecham and Chris Cunningham of the Levellers.

This was a large Indian Mutiny game in 28mm. Some really nice figures and the guys seemed to be enjoying themselves.

This was a 28mm Samurai game using Killer Katanas on some lovely terrain. The figures were very nice and the action was bloody!

This was 30 Years War as previousley seen at the Yeovil bash. This time loosley based on Lutzen using Fields of Glory Rennaisance. Very friendly chap running it but again I forgot to get his name! next time maybe. I did take more pictures of this one but for some reason they came out blurred.

Finally a couple of pictures of Stewart and Chris's excellent Square Bashing game using the playtest version. Over a 1000pts aside on a 6'x4'. Lots of nicely painted Peter Pig figures with a smattering of Minifigs.. Terrain was well done with trenches from Ironclad Miniatures and most of the template type scenary from S&A scenics. I think Chris as the attacker with Germans won this one.

A few bits from Hammerin Iron purchased on the day along with a couple of books. I am in no doubt that I will reutrn to this show!

Back home I have started to tart up my Hammerin Iron ships and have a few other bits and bobs ready to paint. I have also at last finished a unit of Loyalists for Washingtons Army which I have been struggling with for a few weeks. Not sure why but I just couldn't get the motivatiob to get them done. Now they are done i am pleased with them and feel rejuvenated to paint a bit more now. Typically though we are way in the morning for a few days so no painting until I return. If i can get a signal I may post a blog entry or two with some thoughts I have been having regarding my hobby.

Despite one or two temptations leading me astray I am now more than ever committed to my Peter Pig style of gaming. This year is promising to be a good one for events with the STaB PBI day coming up followed by a Washingtons Army day in June, AK47 competition day in September and a RFCM weekender in Novemebr. And who knows what else?

Finally I collected 'Traitors Blood' by Michael Arnold from the library for some holiday reading. Described as Sharpe during the English Civil War I have heard some suprisingly good things about this. I shall report back.

More soon...

Tuesday 22 March 2011

On that note...

Havoing played on this set up, this is my idea of how a good fun club night can look!


I think I worry too much about how my games look. On the one hand I want simple functional terrain. On the other I want a master piece that looks like those in the magazines and at the top shows. I think I will always end up tinkering and seeking the ideal, yet always falling short of what I am aiming for.

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!

More soon....

Monday 21 March 2011

Cleaning Up

Just going through old posts and adding labels and improving the spelling here and there. I can spell, honest, its just my typing isn't great!

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

Wilson Miniatures

Just to highlight the new link to Wilson Miniatures. I have seen there stuff before but at the Alumwell show I ordered some shanty buildings for my AK47 collection.

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!

A bit of Kipling.....

George Hughes, an ex member of Stoke Wargames Club used to liven up the evening with a bit of Kipling. He was a great raconteur and could have the group in stitches. On numerous trips to Ypres he would set the scene standing in a wet field bringing history alive with his descriptions.

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...

'Fuzzy Wuzzy'

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

Spring Skirmish Report

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.
This was the table. I'm sorry to say I didn't get the chaps name who spoke to me so enthusiastically about it, but hopefully I will catch up with him at Fisticuffs. I did recognise Paul from the Weymouth club. The battle was a ficitonal encounter with lots of action on the flanks between the cavalry.
Nice scenary too.

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.
Again lovely figures, vehicles and nice terrain, including a senotaph with poppy wreaths and a messenger on roller skates.

Washingtons Army being played out with me and Stewart taking on Martin and Nigel. We played three games over the day. This was the last one and Nigel aand Martin had no luck at all in forcing away the American defenders.
This gamette is a great introduction to the rules. With experienced players this small action can be played out in less than half an hour with frantic action and spur of the moment decisions.

This was an earlier game where Martin teamed up with Ralph Ashdown, ome of the organisers of the day. I think Stewart and myself won this one too!

So a nice day. I picked up a couple of ships for Hammerin Iron plus some more green dice from Peter Pig as I am told there aren't many left and as soon as they are gone Julie will get some red ones in! Lee from STaB was there too with his trade stand so I picked up an Army Painter spray in Greenskin Green, hopefully to be used for a revitalised AK47 Reloaded army using the spray, detail, dip method.
I headed off at around 2.30pm having had a look at the competition tables. Flames of War clearly has its fans but wall to wall tanks on a 6'x4' just isn't my thing. Still some nice models on display and everyone seemed to be enjoying the cut and thrust of battle.
Got home at around 6.15pm after a quick stop at Bristol. Thoroughly enjoyed myself, but possibly a bit too far to travel in one day when driving myself there and back. With a passenger or two it wouldn't be so bad, or else arranging a stop over for the night.
Roll on Salute!

Friday 18 March 2011

Spring Skirmish

All being well I will head down to Yeovil for the day to Spring Skirmish held in Yeovil, details at


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!

More soon.....

Tuesday 15 March 2011

WMMMS 2011

Had a great day down at Alumwell. Lots of Stoke Wargames Group there to chat with and share the day. Of course Peter Pig were there with Martin, Nigel and Stewart in attendance. I took part in two Washingtons Army games winning both. Possibly a record!

At last years show I put on Towton but was somewhat put down by a couple of guys telling me how great their version of Towton would be this year. Well there are several pictures around the web and as you can see it is impressive indeed. Very nice scenary, lots of 28mm figures and a good depiction of snow (although my picture is before the snow was added!).
Now this indeed was a lovely display to look at and drew a large crowd all day. But, similar to the Blenhiem game at Warfare a couple of years ago, it wasn't a wargame. Troops were only moved occasionaly throughout the day to show the course of the battle. No dice were rolled and everyone looked very serious. Compared to my version the visual impact of the 28mm game left my efforts in the shade. But at least people watching last year saw dice being rolled figures being moved and the players enjoying themselves. Far more representative of my idea of what can be achieved at a club level.
It was suggested I say to the members of the club presenting their display that it needed more snow and would look even better in 15mm but I resisted the temptation!
My purchases were Hessians for AWI, cowboys for Hey You in the Jail plus a couple of books - The Road to Marston Moor, Birdsong and the 13th Valley, a Vietnam novel.
In other news, I am gutted to be missing John B's stag do in Ypres in April due to being unable to get the leave. I will console myself with a visit to Salute. After that is Fisticuffs followed by the annual PBI bash in Bournemouth on 21st May and a possible Battle Day in June down in Weymouth. So a busy few months.
More soon....

Wednesday 9 March 2011


Well I am painting. Halfway through some AWI Indians, militia and also a limber for my CWB Rebs.
I am at Alumwell on Sunday and have an order for Hessians and cowboys placed and have vowed I must paint some figures by the end of the week to at least make a dent in the pile beofre I collect my new order.
Excited that there is an AK47 Reloaded event planned for September as well as STaB's annual PBI and CWB days listed for May and September respectfully. Hope to get to at least two of these.
I've added the picture of Martin demoing Washingtons Army just for the sake of adding a picture as I cant seem to get into gear to take pictures of my own stuff.
I am seriousley thinking of doing some ebaying in the next few weeks, mainly my Games Workshop stuff for which any sort of passion has drained away altogether. It will add some serious funds for hobby purchases, but not sure what I want to spend it on. The next two releases from Peter Pig are Hammerin Iron and Squarebashing. They are two classic games from the RFCM stable, both of which I have figures for. There maybe the odd purchase here and there to fill gaps, but nothing too onerous on the finances. Cowboys is a small expenditure project as will be pirates when I eventually get around to them.
So what period will be on the cards for next year? I suspect Peter Pig will have a complete new range on the cards for 2012, but I have no idea what. If I was asked to speculate how about the following half dozen periods:
1. US Mexican War
2. Further Colonial (maybe big battle Sudan)
3. Ancients (doubtful)
4. Crimean (also doubtful)
5. Maximillian Adventure
6. Sci Fi (possibility as Martin said he wanted to have another go at this following the sale of the old range)
7. Revisit of Hey you in the Jail?
Ok thats seven. I'll check back in 12 months time on this post to see if my powers of foresight are anywhere near the mark!
more soon...

Saturday 5 February 2011


Isn't it funny how ideas for projects creep up and grab you when your not looking. For some reason I cant get the thought of Crimean and Malburian projects out of my head. No idea why, other than a bit of reading here and there.

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!

More soon!

Thursday 13 January 2011


Well, I've decided not to plan much of my gaming this year. No point as lifde is too hectic and in fact I am enjoying sitting in my room and thinking 'Right, what next' rather than thinking 'I must get those done.'

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.

more soon....

Thursday 6 January 2011

YouTube Video

Short video experiment summarising the Wilsons Creek game.


More soon.....

Wilsons Creek

As I was home alone for a few hours, I did something I haven't done before and had a solo game. As its the 150th anniversary of the start of the American Civil War, I played the Wilsons Creek battle from the Civil War Battles rule book. Of course all figures, buildings, dice and most of the fence from Peter Pig.
For those interested here is the WkikLink
The battlefield. The Union have one brigade in the farm halfway up on the left and 3 brigades on 'Bloody Hill' halfway up on the right. The Rebs have 4 brigades inbetween the two (in the teddy bear fur in the centre), and 2 brigades below the stream (Wilsons Creek). The objectives are the farm and the hill. The rebs are hampered as the stream is not fordable and the only crossing is via the road. Its a tough scenario for the rebs who although have superiority in numbers are under fire from front and rear.

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.

Game end with the rebs massacred!
Scenary is S&A, Terrafirma and GW plus some teddy fur and other bits of felt template.
My conclusion of solo play is its better than not playing and a break from painting. I may do it again with another period next week. At the club tomorrow night. No game planned, but I may take something down in case anyones up for it.

Wilsons Creek

Something different now. A solo game, if for now other reason than to get some toys out. I had a free afternoon with an empty house and so seen as its the year of the 150th anniversary of the start of the American Civil War i chose the first scenario from Civil War Battles, Wilson Creek whihc took place during August 1861. Rather than bore you with an account for those interested heres the WikiLink

As per usual the game was played using Peter Pig figures. I have never played solo, and wouldn't like to make a habit of it, but for an occasional one of it was alright. It was suprising how rules slip your mind despite being very familiar with the rules. Anyway some pictures are in order.

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.

Mid game action with the Rebs being attacked from fromt and rear. It is a tough game for the Rebs and I tohught it was over after the first turn when they lost two brigades trying to take the hills.

This shows the Reb brigades. They were unable to make any headway on the attack for the hills. The right hand brigade is the only one that survived.

This is at game end with a Reb brigade massacred from all sides.