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.