And that one too? Where did it go?

I need to get a grip on ensuring I update this. Several times I almost clicked the tab to enter text here, but I’ve been all too easily distracted. By a lot of things.

Firstly, had another successful games weekend hosted up here on the Wall. Most importantly I got Dragon Rampant back to the table, in a Lord of the Rings setting.

The Angmar War – Ravaging of Nenuial

And with a simple map campaign too. Three games played, some new players introduced to it, and all-in-all, a good success. And the campaign remains sound, still plenty more to play for and a few lessons learnt to enhance it further, so ready to be added too again at another time.


Boardgame-wise, it was good to break out Pandemic – Reign of Cthulhu. I’m tempted to say I actually prefer it to the straight basic Pandemic. If it gets some expansions (there are rumours) then it will become supreme favourite version. But it’s a good variant, and with the different characters, there’s some considerable re-playing potential there.

And alas, Fury of Dracula (3rd edition) was not so successful, but we started it too late, it took too long to set-up, and at least one player present finds vampires a bit of a ‘yawn’ subject. So that didn’t end up as popular as I thought it could be. However, I still rate it superior over the earlier GW version.

Myself and one other started up with examining the WW2 miniatures rules Chain of Command from Lard Island itself. Again, there was a degree of fatigue creeping in at that point, so we examined the (rather good) pre-game Patrol Phase and discussed the Lists that provide you options for force-creation. There are some clever aspects in these rules, and there’s a deliberate attempt to reflect different national army doctrine. I will trial a few elements of the rules in solo play, to get a better grasp. Not yet convinced that these are ‘THE’ rules I/we want for our WW2 yet.


Secondly, I have continued to offload my latest purges from my collections, either by trade or sales. But I’ve not turned a ‘profit’ yet – far from it, much of that has then been used to acquire items I’ve happened upon by chance. Still a lot cheaper and quicker than buying new however. I’m still left with the Supremacy stuff, and I’m beginning to wonder, is there anyone out there who still has a hankering for this? It seems not so far.

Thirdly, I am signed up for another year with the medieval household, and there’s a nifty little event at the end of March, back in Leominster. I’m looking forward to that, as I enjoyed it a lot last year, and this time it’s combined with a long weekend in the great little Town of Books. It will be good to see our friends, browse bookshops, spend money and to generally relax. With the odd sword or spear fighting thrown in for good measure.

And I now have two longbows – the new one is a secondhand acquisition with a lot more pull – about 50% more required from my original longbow. I also have a straw boss and targets, and a hefty load of points (arrows). Hoping the weather changes a bit and I can convince one of the land-owning neighbours I need space to twang, then I can assess whether either or both bows need further attention – and how much practice I need too.

So to return to the wargaming, I still have some projects to get on with as well. And I’m savouring that, as I need some quiet weeks and weekends after sorting a lot of things out over the last two months. It will be good to get back into a painting and crafting regime, to end up with some productivity. Something to add to the collections for future gaming. I still favour the Space 1889 Martian forces and human contingents first, as the need for historical accuracy there is not so important. It also permits me to re-discover my preferred painting techniques, maybe try a few new ideas. Using that as a practice run, I can then divert myself to other themes too. Anyway, getting the Martians sorted into some sort of army force provides me the opportunity to finally explore TMWWBK (The Men Who Would Be Kings) rules.

Finally, as if getting my pension on a monthly basis wasn’t a sure fire sign of ancientness, I’ve just been summoned for the ‘old-git‘ medical. Guess it would be rude not too – while the NHS still exists? But it would make sense, despite knowing what most of the answers and commandments will be.

More input soon, I promise. There’s the prospects of a new RPG session coming up with the crew, where a good friend has volunteered to take over GM duties so that I can relax and play. That’s very welcomed, as I need a re-balance to regain some creativity for my own ideas.

And not forgetting the Writing. Dear Reader, you may see more of that sometime soon.






Where did that month go?

I had intended to add more content. Then December happened. It was certainly a busy month, with a lot going on. Makes me wonder how did I ever fit in hobbies and interests, stuff to do at home and keeping in touch with various people, and contend with the work life too.

In truth, there’s been a few things achieved to set us up so we’re better prepared for 2018. And I’ve put down some foundations for future plans for private work interests too. Still got some more on that to do, and some decisions to make on where to direct all that effort, but it should now come together. Hopefully.

And I’ve been making more notes for my writing projects as well. Considering I’m a bit out of practice in that, it’s actually been refreshing to get back into the right frame of mind to structure all of that. There’s a few new ideas I want to trial, that may provide me a better regime to coordinate what I create. Again, I need to consider whether I put any of that up here. We shall see on that.

Glad to say that those cheapskates in the government finally started to pay up the missing redundancy I was owed. And it’s been interesting to see my pension arrive in my account too. Aye, I’m a pensioner. No matter how often I say that, I still chuckle.

The one thing I do need to sort out however is the gaming priorities. I’ve become a gaming butterfly, flitting from one aspect to another, unable to settle and concentrate on just one item to get it finished. I really need to get a grip and prioritise – and especially as another Brew-Up On The Wall is imminent, in three weeks time.

Here’s the current list of varied wargaming interests:

  • 28mm Elves as my Canal Martian force for TMWWBK for Space 1889
  • Plus some of the other unpainted 28mm I have for Gothic-TMWWBK too
  • Gaslands‘ – the new Osprey rules for near-future battling in cars and vehicles
  • DR is still a major interest, especially as I’ve increased my fantasy collection
  • 28mm WW2 has returned again, more so now I have ‘Chain Of Command‘ in PDF
  • 15mm Great Northern War, with the ‘Twilight of the Sun King’ 2nd edition rules
  • Ogre Miniatures, seeing that I’ve acquired a whole load more stuff for it
  • Full Thrust spaceships that I seem to have obtained at some point
  • 28mm sci-fi figures and terrain for improving what I have for playing FUBAR
  • And the 28mm Renaissance stuff I have that I still need to sort out

And then there’s just as much boardgaming stuff to contend with, especially after the BGG Secret Santa and Wargame Secret Santa have both delivered excellent gifts for me. The Ogre boardgame has also been taking up some more time too – there’s a sort of double-overlap, after having a few more sales of our S&TO Countersheet, along with the Ogre plastic miniatures finally getting sent out to the KS backers. Yet again, it seems US creators just cannot contend with International support and shipment. They have some quite peculiar ideas on how to go about importation, distribution and trans-shipment. Even fulfilling orders to Canada causes headaches. Imagine that, if we here in the UK couldn’t get goods into Ireland? It does baffle me at times.

Anyway, I have new boardgames sitting on the table, still in shrinkwrap, still to be opened and explored. Hence why I then decided upon another purge of the existing collection and have put unused and no longer wanted stuff up for trade or sale.

So I need to focus. And I need to sort out figure-painting – both with those I know who can paint stuff up for me, and to get back to doing some of the basic stuff myself.

Must get something finished and ready for three weeks time. That’s the new deadline!




Another return to here

It has been a while since I last set fingertips to keyboard and posted anything up here.

For the main part it was because I hadn’t yet transitioned this site for easier access to the new IT kit. It was also due to being a bit busy with other home and life-in-general stuff.

And I’ve also been enjoying the wind-down. Over fine months have passed now without the need to travel anywhere for work. Three months since I last went ‘Medieval‘ on someone. Two months ago I actually became a ‘pensioner‘ – well, I achieved early access to my Civil Circus pension but there’s something funny telling people that and they look at me, probably wondering how old I really am! So little step changes have occurred since I last updated this. But still – there’s been a-plenty to keep me occupied elsewhere.

We’re under a month away from Christmas and the New Year, and looking forward to it. For once, there’s no potential for work to get in the way for either of us. We’ve also visited and sorted the family already as well, so no need for long treks down south and back again. Plans are all in place, preparations are underway, and a few DVD box-sets are being held in reserve. We may call ‘Open-House‘ at some point and invite friends to come visit, if they have the time and inclination. Or we may just shut ourselves away. We shall see.

And my altruism for this time of year needs satiating. I shall research that, see what can be achieved by the simple and easy expedient of donating some funds, as directly as possible to those who need it most so that they too can appreciate the festive season.



End of Month, Start Anew

Last week, I had the fun of my first consultancy moment. Just me and a client wanting to know a bit about likely trade issues in a non-EU domain. I considered it went well, but I’ll only know more if I get any feedback with the payment. But it was certainly a pleasant alternative to the way I used to do my old workstuff.

I also now have new IT in the homestead, and it’s great using new powerful kit properly set up to how I had it back in my old office. And there’s a new A3 printer/copier sitting alongside the desk, ready to use for all the gaming and mapping ideas I’ve had.

And so hopefully, with all that set-up sorted, plus some building work completed on the house, and other issues resolved, I now have the clear-path ahead to do more of what I want. The re-enactment season is closed too, after a great year with a handful of events we really enjoyed, so it will be great to pack all that stuff away until spring.

First up, I want to get back to the Martians I plan to complete for the Space 1889 project with TMWWBK rules. As I said before, there’s plenty of Elves of various designs awaiting some conversion work.  It will be good practice for getting back into figure-painting. I have a few other units I want completed, but those I intend to entrust to one of the best painters I know. And then there’s that table-cloth idea for a pseudo-Martian surface, and some various terrain items to go on it.

Once that project gets back underway, I need to finish reading some recent book acquisitions that are all about the Italian Wars, Renaissance military aspects, and other era-related material. Hopefully then I’d have re-discovered my own painting techniques and abilities in order to do a decent job on some of the Renaissance 28mm I have also amassed from various purchases.

Meantime, to satiate actual gaming fixes, I now have plenty of fantasy 28mm to be able to put on a variety of encounters using the Dragon Rampant rules. DR remains for my personal choice as the best and quickest ‘go-to‘ set in order to have a game laid out and underway with the minimum amount of fuss and time spent. It might all have a pseudo-LotR flavour to it, but that just saves me time from generating background content and context.

So a new phase to move towards. Looking forward to it too.

Away to Pinkie

Having spent most of this year planning to attend the first ever Pinkie 1547 battle, the time has finally come to pack the supplies in the hired transport and head off.

Anniversary events of historical occasions are something I like to support. Getting into close proximity in both date and location has a degree of resonance with me. It provides a continuity between that event and today, and permits a moment of invaluable retrospection. What if events had not turned out as they did? Where would that alternate timeline deliver us? What crowns and nations would have fallen, who would have the commanding presence today?

Hopefully all will go to plan, as there has been much work done by several hard-working individuals in the run-up to this weekend, and I want to see this event succeed for the future.


New approaches for new work ideas

I’ve spent a few weeks defusing or debriefing myself from the old work ethics admittedly, but in that time, I’ve also set down some ideas on what I want to pick up on in the future.

I have an appreciation that I’m in a potentially interesting and even exciting situation at this moment in time. I have the opportunity to go it alone in setting up a company to cover any consultation work, especially in relation to international trade. And this is very timely when you consider the ‘Brexit‘ negotiations. No – I’m still adhering to my cardinal rule of ‘no politics‘, so the objective stance remains. What is important is that some UK entities will sink or fold without some assistance come the UK’s departure from the EU, and I may be in a good position to provide some help to them.

So it’s worthwhile sorting out what I would need to do to cater for this. Company name, company set-up and registration, tax obligations and proper accounting, using social media platforms to make a footprint, and whatever else is out there for a new singleton business start-up. I was always told my work was ‘pretty niche‘. So then, perhaps that permits me to know my limitations and boundaries early on, and will help target my attention properly to particular sectors. I know it’s unlikely that many others would know as much as I do, or have an appreciation of the impact Brexit will have, on those entities I know so that is an advantage in my favour.

And there’s no harm lost in trying this approach. I’m in a new situation (to me anyway) that I no longer have to have the singular career, the one profession I must follow as it’s my sole source of income. It’s quite a dynamic change to know that instead of that, I have simultaneous potential earning opportunities as a landlord, a games designer and publisher, a writer, an historical reenactor, and now potentially as a consultant too.

Scroll back to four years ago and I never thought I’d be in this situation. Interesting prospects indeed.


Walking out with old mates

We’ve happily played host to an old friend these past few days, who we’ve re-connected with after a break of several years. All the more important in that he tragically lost his daughter – a lovely girl – just before the New Year. It has been a fine few days of talking, drinking, eating and walking, and in laughing together at memories of shared experiences. It’s been cathartic for me personally, as it’s rekindled that aspect of camaraderie you develop when you do reenactment. You make good solid friendships that usually endure despite time rolling on, so that after several years apart you can simply and easily pick up on conversations as if you had seen them the day before. It can be squandered like other things within relationships, so an enjoyable reminder serves a useful purpose to tell yourself that some retrospection and applying some effort into re-establishing links can be worthwhile.

On top of that, we took a stride around the village, just to point out the quaint bits and the historical stuff, sit for a bit with a coffee and a bacon roll, before resuming a tour of the very local Roman remains. And once the workmen finished up with attending to the stone surfaces of the house, we were free then to explore further. So we trogged off along the Wall, via the neighbour’s farm, down the steps to the bridge, then onwards and upwards to ‘Banna‘.  We didn’t quite venture inside, so instead retraced our steps back down to the Irthing to listen to it bubbling along, topped up by some recent rainfall up here, then homewards to plan evening meals. That involved a delicious re-visit to the Howard Arms in Brampton for some excellent mixed grills which I will admit, after the time spent tramping grass and path that day, was consumed very promptly.

Even the weather today has improved. It has been a long, sometimes strange, and dreary summer – not just because of the wet weather – as many changes have been going on for us in 2017. But bit-by-bit, some aspects are settling nicely into place, some are certainly improving the outlook for our future. We hopefully have other friends coming to stay this next weekend too, who we’ve not seen for several years, so looking forward to more opportunities for catching up with some laughter thrown in.

Good times with good friends. Here’s hoping it leads to more good memories.