Sunday 14 September 2014

Last Friday saw a game of Battles in the Age of War - in other words, Sengoku era Japan. Dave was new to the game, Keith had played several times before. It was an odd game. During the pre game events section, Keith fared poorly with both of his flank clan generals being degraded in quality, one permanently, one temporarily depending on getting a messenger to him and then rolling a 6 on determination dice.

From there once the game started, things went from bad to worse for Keith. He couldn't hit a thing with shooting, kill anything in combat, make a 3+ saving roll or pass a morale test and after 4 turns he had lost over half of his army with Dave's army practically untouched. Dice can go like that sometimes and you just have to grim and bear it. But it made the game a painful experience for Keith.

Still it looked nice!

A couple of weeks ago, myself Keith and John B along with others attended Jeff Davis' house to play out part of Gettysburg Day 1 using Rally Once More, a set of computer moderated rules. I thoroughly enjoyed the game and thought the rules worked really well. Jeff is a consumate host providing ample refreshments and plenty of banter around the table. Coupled with his most excellent collection of 10mm armies and mostly hand made scenery it was a great day as usual.

 Keith on the left, John B on the right were both Rebs and at the game end I think the rebs just about took the day, though the Union line was still mostly intact, though heavily battered.

On the painting front I have been busy prepping and basecoating lots of bits. My 5 Viking longboats are well underway and should be done sometime in the week. Not sure what the next game will be. 

More soon...

Tuesday 9 September 2014


An interesting point arose whilst listening to the latest Meeples and Miniatures Podcast. I am a fan of Neil Schuck's show. It's the one voice of British historical miniature wargaming in podcast land and covers a wide variety of topics. The two co-hosts, Mike Hobbs and Mike Whittaker add to the enjoyment with their varied perspectives. There is a hint of bias towards Saga and Too Fat Lardies games. Not a suprise as both Mikes are involved to greater or lesser extents with the companies that produce the rules.

The latest episode has an interview with Paul Brook, author of 'Valhalla', a set of Dark Age skirmish rules with a unique online support system that is integral to the game. To me, Paul was on the back foot throughout the interview as Neil quizzed him on aspects of the rules. That is fine - a bit like Paxman grilling a hapless politician; some interesting points were covered with Paul talking about his influences and thinking behind his ideas.

Following the interview Neil gave his review of the rules, which was less than complimentary. Someone perhaps considering buying the rules would I am pretty sure would be put off by what was said. Nothing wrong with a negative review. Most people are able to make their own minds up from various sources on whether a particular product is for them. Reviews will at times be one of those resources we use. For me they are rarely the deciding factor but can be useful, especially if you have a handle on the tastes of the reviewer beforehand. One mans meat is another mans poison and all that.

The point is, I found it rather uncomfortable listening. Paul has clearly put his heart and soul into the project and exposure on Neil's podcast has the potential to spread the word of the rules and maybe generate interest in people enough for them to pick them up and give them a try. Now, having communicated with Neil over this issue, I am now aware that Paul approached Neil for the review and to appear on the podcast. This sits more easily with me now as Paul has offered up his product for scrutiny. But without that knowledge, it seemed to me to be bad form to slate the product of a guest at the point of what is likely to be its biggest exposure to the paying public.

Reviews need to be honest and hopefully objective. Criticism needs to be constructive to be worthwhile. I feel Neil was close to being neither and if i was Paul, I would be a little disappointed in the tone of the review. Form your own opinion by listening here.

More soon...
Club night saw myself, Keith, Ade, Ethan and Dave finish the Zombicide game from last week. I say finish. What I mean is we all got eaten by rampaging walkers, runners, fatties and the Abom. Keith then revealed that for a begining scenario we had chosen the hardest out of the book.

So, we reset and chose an easier one which we got through with everyone intact. I can heartily recommend Zombicide for mindless fun at the end of a game session, or as a session in itself seeing as some of the scenarios are intended to last 3 hours!

Read all about it at Boardgamegeek

I have been painting like a demon for a few weeks now. Under the brush recently have been WW2 Russians for PBI, more bits for Vikings - mainly captured civilians, AWI Continentals and British, ACW Rebs and Union. I really enjoying painting again and intend to get some more Warmachine done soon.

I have a game of 'Battles in the Age of War' - Sengoku era Japan, planned for Friday night. I'll most likely umpire for 3 or 4 others. I'll let you know how I get on.