Sunday 29 September 2013

Civil War Battle Day

I travelled down to Weymouth on Friday to play in the Civil War Battles Day in Bournemouth on the Saturday. As ever Martin was a genial host and after a quick Chicken Jalfrezi, we settled down to a playtest of PBI 3. This is the re-write of Peter Pigs company level WW2 rules. I wont say too much other than it was interesting.

We got up bright and early on Saturday morning and along with Nigel H, Stewart M, Chris C and Martin G I headed over to Bournemouth. I think there was 12 of us in all, with Ralph leaving at lunch time to be replaced by Rob Roriston. 

 We played doubles for both games, with around a corps per side. Martin is wearing the rather fetching forage cap. Here he is playing alongside John, with Mike and Mark the Rebel opponents.
 Stewart Meecham and Peter Sides are in the process of stuffing Chris Cunningham and Nigel Heals. Peter is clearly thinking up a master plan.
 Things hot up as Peter stands up for a better look.
 I teamed up with Colin Eaton for both games. We played Rebs on the defensive. This is the morning game where we played against Miles Milton and Ralph Ashdown. It was slow going as we stuggled to remember some rules but we enjoyed the game.
 Above you can see Miles' Iron Brigade which took a hell of a drubbing trying to cross the fence and attack the Rebs in the wood.
 I think this is back to Martin and John v Mark and Mike.
 Union troops take the hill! Give hell Billy Yank!
 Colin got into the spirit of the day wearing this officers kepi. Chris makes a grand sweeping gesture stating "We'll be in Richmond before Christmas!"
 Tough boys from the Tallahasee Thrashers hold the fence line. Union guns caused mayhem on them.
 Jonny Reb musters behind the ridge line, preparing to sell their lives to protect States Rights. In true rebel yell style, instead of waiting for the blue bellies to attack, the Rebs got their dander up and charged forward. Many sons of the south fell. Who knew that charging a Union battery across open ground would end in such carnage?
 An endless tide of Union streams forth, taking the fight to the Confederacy. Looks like Marks shirt in the background, commanding with dash and elan.
 Here we see a little documented event during the Civil War. Lt Gen Goddards Vriginia brigade assaulted a Union camp somewhere in the Valley, catching their commanding officer taking his morning ablutions. The sight was enough to stall the attack as the troops didn't know where to aim.
 Some dashing Southern cavalry galloping to glory.
 That endless tide of blue. The south appears doomed.
 Lt Gen Goddard hangs his head in shame as another falter test fails. Rob tries to look nonchalant, but inside he is a whooping and a hollering!!
 Peter v Mark. They normally face each other using tanks and machine guns playing PBI, but turned their hand to a more gentlemanly form of war. Things look tense here!
 The winners, Stewart and Peter. Well done men!
The team, minus Ralph and Mike. Chris Cunningham gets the prize for looking smartest and Nigel the tallest.

Personally I had a great time. Lunch at the nearby Harvester was good.. My two games ended in a win (albeit we only managed 3 turns with the countdown still in double figures so that game could have turned very easily) and a losing draw in a blood bath of a game in the afternoon. As ever with these games it wasn't about winning but about having a good laugh and enjoying each others company.

Hopefully more to come soon.

Saturday 3 August 2013

Musings from Mons

After a pretty disasterous stop over in Oostende we are now in Mons for a few days. The plan is to have a look around the obvious sites in and around the town before a trip out ot Waterloo. If those two combined dont get the hobby juices flowing I dont know what will.

It is funny how Napoleonics hasn't attracted me for a long time. Around 13 years ago I did amass armies to refight Waterloo using Principles of War, including a whole Prussian army that never made the field. I put the game on at the Crewe show with around 8 players and we had a great time. I seem to remember we then played the game at the club the following week before I promptly sold the collection to John B. I still have quite a few unpainted figures from that time which I havent looked at since then. Although I am happy to play a Napoleonic game I havent had the urge to collect any figures for myself. Having said that, one of the best hobby blogs I have seen in a long time is this , detailing one mans obsession with 1809 and collecting the armies in 10mm including conversions and some really nice painting.

For now my urges remain with Peter Pig games and figures which scratch my particular itch. I will admit to contemplating some 10mm figures for certain 'side' projects, inspired in part by the '1809' blog. However for the short term I have plans to rebuild my ACW and AWI collections with a slightly brighter painting style. I hope by using my tried and tested method of basecoat and dip and then one highlight, particulalry the AWI will look more eye catching. Aong with the improved basing using the basetex i have utilised on my World War 1 stuff, they should look the business.

Okay, off to navigate our way around Mons.

The above photo is just to show that I do actually get to game occasionaly albeit this was from around March time. It shows Ade D and Keith K slogging it out at Bosworth using Bloody Barons.

More soon....

Musings on muse

So, its been a long time of doing nothing hobby related at all. To be honest the last two years have seen a real decline in my activity, other than web browsing and the odd magazine purchase. Thats not to say i have done nothing, but hobby has consisted of very intermitent bursts of activity with long periods of nothing.

Tis year started off ok but soon tailed off to nothing. My hobby room has become a bit of a dumping ground for alot of stuff other than hobby items. Paints, brushes etc are scattered all over the place with no order whatsoever. The very thought of getting in there and trying to sort it out fills me ith dread. Hence I do nothing and the less I do the less I want to do.

Visits to the club have also dried up. I dont think I have been since Alumwell back in March. Again, the less I go, the less I want to go. These hobby related fugs have visited me before, but not often for such a long period. I have even contemplated selling up and moving onto other things in life. Which is daft talk I know. Once a wargamer, always a wargamer. I know this is a temporay state of affairs and even as I type this, aboard a ferry enroute to Mons, via Dunkirk the juices are flowing yet again.

Whilst I should have been packing last night, I bit the bullet and sorted the hobby room out so I can at least see the table. I have found my nice brushes and organised my paints. I have dug out some prepped figures with a view to throwing paint at them on my return home in a couple of weeks time. I have downloaded the Peter Pig catalogue to the IPad as well as the last playtest copy of 'Longships'. An order will be worked out ready to send off in August for my birthday.

So, Mons awaits before heading down to Landau in Germany. Lots of historical sites to see and motivate. I have a couple of Viking type books on the Kindle (The Burning Land from Cornwell and a Tim Severin one). Ideas around a Messines Ridge/Passchendale game remain a possibility.

Whilst away I plan on getting a couple more blog posts archived ready to publish on my return. Lets hope so any way.

Mre soon....

Tuesday 19 February 2013


I have just returned from watching Lincoln and have to say I really enjoyed it. I have heard the criticisms of 'boring' and 'wordy' but I disagree. Yes it is really just a load of hirsute men talking but i was gripped by the portrayal of Lincoln himself and the facts at hand.

I do question Lincolns motives for pushing hard for the 13th amendment. Were they from a morale or political standpoint? I have read the quote previousley that Lincoln would have freed all, some or none of the slaves if it meant preserving the Union. The film certainly takes the view that Lincolns over riding concern was emancipation at the risk of extending the war.

All the same the film was atmospheric, full of character and emotive. I was pleased with the ending and although close on three hours it didnt feel overly long. Some might quibble with the sentimentality or the portrayal of certain characters but i have no such reservations and will be adding it to my library when released on DVD for repeat viewings.

Monday 11 February 2013

Playtesting Longships in Yeovil

View of the hall with 4 tables in action.

Mid game action. Looks like the trees have been chopped down in the woods!

Some of the new figures painted by Dave Marcroft.

Friday night action at PPHQ
I spent Friday and Saturday in Weymouth and Yeovil as part of a team playtesting 'Longships - Wrath of the Vikings'. Martin kindly agreed to put me up for the night along with Les Beilby Tipping who was over from France. After a welcome cup of tea and a lovely meal we settled down to a game at PPHQ, playing out a battle. The rules are really two sets, with the option to play battles or raids. I defended and had to hold the central two hills with 4 units. Les had 5 units with which to attack and knock me off them.
We had a great set to with Les attacking my left flank and there was a clash of shield walls which led to the battle lines pivotting 90 degrees and the 180 degrees as Les took the hills and my units had to try and push him off. We had Martin to clarify rules points and listen to suggestions. At the conclusion I had actually killed more bases than Les though he had forced me from the hills. It felt like I had lost, but the points showed the result as a winning draw to me. A slight amendments to victory points was discussed and immediately added to the rules packs for trying out the following day.
After a cup of tea it was to bed for an early start the next morning which saw Stewart and Frank arrive for the journey upto Yeovil where we the others including Chris Cunningham, Colin Eaton, Miles Milton, Ralph Ashdown, Nigel Heals and Rob Roriston. 4 tables were set up and we split up to play a variety of battles and raids. Martin provided lunch and there was plenty of coffee and biscuits to keep us going.
The usual mix of laughs, leg pulling, scratching of heads and general enjoyment saw us through to 5pm. As usual a good trip down south to look at the new rules and I think Martin has gone away with lots of suggestions for tweaks. I think the basic rules of movement fighting and morale are pretty much sorted with just the usual addons needing some adjustment here and there.
On the painting front late WW1 Germans for Square bashing are under the brush with 8 units of infantry done and the next batch ready to start. I am still in the 'contemplation' stage of building some trench boards to represent Passchendale. Really not uch further forward though. On the spending front I have yet to spend a single penny on the hobby. Alumwell is a month away so I would anticipate some funds being required for then.
More soon. 

Wednesday 9 January 2013

Vikings 3

My Lancashire Games Saxon army for playtesting Peter pigs new Viking rules 'Longships'. 8 bases of 3 figures in 5 units. Number of figures per base may change to denote armoured, unarmoured and levy troops.

The Vikings to oppose the Saxons. From prep tp finished article took around 5 hours per army. Basing is just a flock mix on Warbase mdf bases. All done for speed.

The first Peter Pig sculpts are up on the website and they look rather nice. You will find them hidden under 'Test' just below Gift Cards on the front page.

Picture of a playtest game in progress. Please excuse the 17th century buildings masquerading as Dark Age settlements and felt templates. The Saxons have just jumped from their boats and are making their way down table seeking plunder and religious artifacts. The alarm has yet to be raised with a sole Viking unit resting in two settlements on their base edge.

I think people will enjoy this game. There are some very nice mechanisms along with the usual pregame sequence. Not sure of a release date yet.

More soon...