Castle actions in Wales

So the weekend was spent at Chirk Castle, with some other Woodvilles as guests of the Marcher Freemen. A really enjoyable weekend, despite the very un-summery weather.

It’s been a while since we’ve done serious LH work but it was a good reminder of what we can do, remembering past events and re-applying knowledge and experiences. And we’re steadily rebuilding the kit to do more of the same again.

It was also especially useful to get friends back into this again as well. I’d long been recommending that they would appreciate and enjoy the medieval environment as a new venture. I think I’ve had some success, as they all enjoyed their time spent at Chirk and are now looking forward to Bosworth.

I just need to improve my current levels of fitness and agility. Nothing new there then!

 

More Martian Miniatures

So not only have I re-discovered nearly all the items I spent the last fifteen years squirreling away for the Space 1889 project, I’ve now obtained yet more stuff.

Last year, at one of the wargame shows in Northern England, I acquired 3 of Ainsty’s naval gun carriages. I decided then these would be perfect for Heavy Guns taken off some Canal Martian Screw Galley or War Kite for land service – just in mimicry of the Royal Naval practice to put naval ordnance on to field carriages for Bluejackets to contribute to the British land campaigns.

I’ve also picked up more Grenadier UK Wood Elves and High Elves thanks to Forlorn Hope Games. I’ve always thought these would make useful Hill Martians and Canal Martians. Next phase here is to get some practice in converting some to be armed with muskets. That’s some modelling and scratch-building work I’ve not done for a long time.

And I also took advantage of one of Black Tree Designs periodic sales and picked up some Anglo-Zulu War bits for the British but more elves from their fantasy range to also convert into armed Canal Martians.

Finally, the older stuff I had is now based up and awaits a decent coat of varnish. And I’ll brush it on – using some Winsor & Newton matt acrylic varnish. Still not quite ready to pray-and-spray just yet.

So the project gathers momentum. More info and pix soon.

 

A long week

But a good week. Some items sold, including (provisionally) the entire LnL World At War stuff I had. I’m glad the range is getting a reworking, but I’m disappointed I won’t be able to use what I already have with the new stuff. So off it goes, and I won’t bother with that game series again.

I’ve also sold the faux-leather edition of the Ubiquity Space 1889 Core Rules reprint, and I’m glad it’s going to an artist in the hobby I very much admire and already support.

Succession Wars Battletech Campaign game has gone as well, after I kept hold of this for years. And it’s possible that a few more items will be away to new owners too. All of which has raised some considerable money I’m glad to say, which is destined to be ploughed back into the hobby again, this time for wargaming stuff.

So a long week, but a successful one.

Wargaming priorities

So decided my quickest and easiest ‘win’ to get something achieved and onto the tabletop will be my Elven-Martians for Space 1889. I have about 50 figures almost completed, just needing some basing detail and some protective varnish. Plus, there’s some odds here and there that shouldn’t be too hard to get painted up to augment those items.

And, the bonus here is that re-staring painting again, I can do so with something pseudo-historical so it’s not ultra important if my painting takes a while to get back up to a reasonable standard, and in itself will be good practice for painting techniques when I do get the historical projects back out.

 

Quills indeed

After a bit of thought on the matter, I’ve considered that now that the home-front is more settled and quiet, I should get back into my writing.

There’s a lot in notes and in my head that I should start to work on. Some of it is relatively easy – like drafting some professional stuff in relation to international trade to drop onto my LinkedIn profile. In addition to the old work items, I could also easily do at least two items on re-enactment from my own observations from 35+ years of being involved in it. There are also ideas on other matters, such as some of the gaming themes I’ve been exploring. This ties in nicely with the fact that I can now get on with games company stuff without fear of my previous employers creating intellectual copyright ownership problems. And finally, there’s some short story/fiction ideas rolling around in my head that I have already started notes on too.

I now have the hours, and the peace and quiet, to churn some stuff out. And when I feel lethargic for doing this, I can easily flip to the gaming stuff I’ve mentioned, like the various projects I have in mind. But the writing will be good for me – and should stretch the mind a little to ensure I don’t become too stagnant or complacent.

All of this needs to be tempered with the realisation that it is early days too. That other career has only just ended. I don’t necessarily need to leap in and make things too busy for myself. As I have been told, by My Beloved and others, I should take time for myself, and relax and unwind. Maybe a DVD marathon – maybe start reading a few books I promised to immerse myself in.

We shall see. But writing will be involved at some point.

 

Space 1889: Martian Forces

As I’ve been passing the last few days mainly on my laptop, as work on the house revolves around me, with the sorting out of household, pension and employment affairs, I’ve been browsing and re-visiting a few blogs that inspire me. Amongst those are fellow fans of GW’s Space 1889 – especially those who have taken that old genre into wargaming.

Many moons ago – well over a decade ago now – I hit upon the idea of using old Grenadier UK Elves (28mm) as proxies for Martians, as acquiring RAFM figures was expensive and time-consuming. I had also dabbled with another make – I forget the name now – but I always came back to the old Grenadier UK stuff. I purchased odd bits found at bring-&-buys at wargame shows, blister packs scoured from bargain boxes and buckets, and the occasional win on EBay. The intention was always to have enough to tabletop combat encounters within RPG sessions and end up with enough for battles using ‘Soldier’s Companion‘ rules.

It seems I wasn’t the only one to appreciate Grenadier UK’s work. Hence, I find myself now getting more and more inspired by others, who’ve sourced ‘alternates’ to provide additional forces for the Martians. Some orders have been placed, the existing stuff that’s been painted has been found and basing touch-ups are planned, and I even have some ideas on sorting out some conversion work – e.g., Dark Elf crossbowmen will be re-armed with muskets and muzzle-loading rifles.

The ambition is to ensure I have enough to start trialing some British/Human vs. Martian City States tabletop encounters using the ‘MWWBK‘ rules too. Don’t get me wrong, the ‘Soldier’s Companion‘ book is a great resource, but I find the rules are too slow and slightly cumbersome for what I want. The fact that I have so much finished or on the point of almost complete provides me the nudge to get this project rolled forward to a new milestone as well.

In addition to that, after the success in making a green base cloth from the fleece fabric I acquired in Carlisle Market, I intend to do the same with a brown lump of fleece I got for working up a Martian surface. This will involve spray painting with lighter ochre and yellow hues, and adding some scatter and flock, and I’m hoping I’ll create something suitable with the ideas I have. This should then be adequate to use for one-off games, simpler to set-up and easier to design a wide variety of terrain layouts.

And then there’s the attraction of adding aerial assets – gunboats and sky galleons and skiffs – something I’ve not been involved with before, but keen to explore further.

This might just get expensive.

 

So – when do I get to relax from work then?

Put simply – while I no longer have to worry about heading back into the office on Monday mornings, since I left the job, it’s been a bit hectic this past week.

The chance of  a ‘lie-in’ would be nice. But no chance of that just yet. I’ve genuinely had so much to sort out with a few issues for the house and some other aspects, that I at least have kept myself quite busy.

And it seems related to this, my usual sleep patterns have gone up the wall too. Strange days.