Lazy day with no particular plans

The last four days have been taken up with work and family stuff, and the requisite travel southwards and northwards to engage with all of that. Work was fine, a bout of ‘knowledge transfer‘ to three new candidates who aren’t necessarily guaranteed a final spot in the work area I am/was involved in. I know – makes no sense to me either. But I delivered what I could for a quick introduction of eight or nine years condensed into five hours. Went remarkably well, all things considering.

Family stuff principally revolved around the Matriarch and her new hip. From an immediate post-op slump of lethargy she has improved (almost) in leaps and bounds. After doing the right physio as instructed, she has impressed the quacks enough to not need any further out-patient trips for a few months at least. That success is also a good tonic to motivate recovery efforts further, and to see that it was all worthwhile after all.

And while down south, it was great to meet up with some of the chaps and get a quick Thursday evening game of ‘Dragon Rampant‘ in as well. It was a simple 24 point affair, but with some deviously placed terrain that prevented the more usual ‘line-up-&-grind’ encounter. I was using someone else’s army of Goblins – spears as heavy foot, odds & sods as heavy missiles, with a lumbering giant as an elite ranger type and a wizardling rider as the main man in charge. One interesting tweak was that both the heavy missile units were marked ‘Fearful‘, giving them a vulnerability. The game went well, remembered the right turn sequence, and the right stats and dice to use, and found that we ended up with a battle that see-sawed a lot, with both sides losing a lot of figures. As both Leaders were spellcasters, they actually dealt each other a lot of damage, to the point that I retreated mine to support the troops for a while, before putting him back into the fray as I lost units while I was taking ground. It was inevitable that the ‘Fearful‘ trait would see one unit flee the field, and then the other soon after, but I still liked that expectation. After all, it gave it the sort of flavour I would have anticipated for a Goblin army. It was good fun,and again, motivational to get more done back at home for ‘DR‘. Good job done on hosting the gaming by the ‘Box‘ too.

The journey home took a while longer than usual, possibly due to weather and traffic. But we both reached a point where we were glad to escape the highways of the south-east, and get back up north. Driving conditions and habits were appalling. And I even include a fast-pursuit police car in that. (Guys, if you slalom onto a roundabout at high speed without having your blue lights flashing, and you nearly get rammed by a lorry and various other vehicles, you really have no-one else to blame but yourselves, no matter how much finger-pointing you do out your window, and regardless of switching on your blue lights after you slid to a halt. That was epic stoopid.)

Time to relax and be lazy. And anyway, it’s tipping down with rain!


Dry weekend – wet Monday

So the gaming plans didn’t quite work out. Plus side, we did get to an antiques shop for a good peruse, acquiring a not-very-old backgammon game still in shrinkwrap, and then to Barter Books in Alnwick (pronounced “An-Ick”) and there purchased some books on Renaissance Italy and Napoleonic-era Naval stuff.

That last acquisition (well, three books acquired actually) made me re-think again on rolling out ‘Fighting Sail‘ rules from Osprey. Aye – more Osprey rules. What can I say – they happen to be pitching rules at me that I want to play, with the minimum amount of fuss and angst. (I earned this ‘free-time’ with DB? and learning Barkernese!)


Thing is, I have a lot of ‘SoG (Sails of Glory)‘ stuff, probably too much if truth be told. While I like that game for a ragwagon duel, I’m still not convinced SoG delivers for squadron and fleet actions. It just doesn’t flow in the game-play as well as it could, so it stays on the shelf for a repeat unboxing, usually just after I’ve watched ‘Master & Commander’ for the umpteenth time. ‘FS‘ is almost the opposite, perhaps too light on the detail and the subtle nuances of wind-&-sail combat. But – with a few house rule fixes, it does bring about a nice little example of what you can do with a bundle of SoG model ships.


Therefore, with quite minimal set-up time, I may well indulge at some point in the weeks and months ahead, in some sport on the high seas, playing the part of Howe or Jervis, running down some Frenchie-Begone Privateer. I may need to re-stock the rum ration too.

Anyway – have a look here for yourself on BGG to see what I’m on about: Fighting Sail

Aah and it was also the Wedding Anniversary with My Beloved too. And of course I didn’t forget. I just momentarily placed Ogre stuff at a higher point on the weekend priority listing. Easily sorted and rectified.


Plans for this weekend

So a weekend at home, and potentially a Saturday at home, but what gaming to do with it? I want to really set-up some ‘Ogre’ stuff, in order to showcase some of the counters from the S&TO countersheet. Select some of the Facilities counters, put them in a mini-scenario, add some attacking and defending units around them, and then show how those Facilities interact with the game.

The POL Stores are a must. Rigged to detonate these act as super landmines. So it will be important to show how they disrupt or even destroy units caught up in the radius of the blast. I have a plan on how to demonstrate that, using the units, coloured sticks and the dice on the mapboard. It should be able to show at a glance how players resolve those explosion attacks.

POL Stores 01 & 02

And I think I’ll also lay out some of the special admin facilities too, so folks can see that the domes, bases and even the ancient castle can serve as alternate Command Points.

Castle on the riverside

Then at some point it would be good to show the GEV-MCPs in action too.

Mercenary GEV-MCPs 'Uriel' and 'Gabriel'

There’s a growing surge of interest on what our S&TO sheet can provide, and a few have been sold lately to new customers, fans of the Ogre game. I need to support that, encourage others to order a sheet for themselves, and so these staged expositions of the Facilities and Vehicle counters should help on that.

Plus it’s always fun to just play thru some Ogre combats and turns anyway.

One good development is that SJGames also want to sort the format of the Info Sheet so that it matches the other products that they have produced. And inline with the ambition all along – that the Info Sheet for the S&TO countersheet is freely available for downloads and sharing – they are happy to host it on SJGames website as an Ogre resource too.

It’s the nudge that’s needed to increase the distribution of our sheets. And it will be good to raise the awareness and increase the footprint of Tiffin Games.

Port-Attack 01

A late return to here

Most remiss. I should have posted up a follow-up sooner.

The medieval weekend was most satisfactory. As well as stomping about in part-armour, getting clunked and doing some clunking myself, I actually got the time to target-shoot with my longbow. I think I’m getting slightly hooked to be honest.

My longbow could be considered a ‘starter’ model, and I’ve not had it long. It’s well made and has a pull of under 40lbs, so it’s actually quite lightweight compared to some others bows my friends have. But I’m happy with it regardless.

One thing I do now need is a target-bag – something to shoot ‘points’ into so that they can be easily retrieved. I’ve seen some for sale, but I’ve also seen a few ideas for making my own. We shall see over the coming weekend whether I can start on the latter.


5-day working week, 4-day weekend

That’s an arrangement I like. And it’s a weekend to go a-trundling to do battle (well, perhaps the odd skirmish or tussle).

The dining table is currently festooned with sallet, bevor, gauntlets, dagger, bastard sword, axe, gloves, longbow, arrows and other varied items of the panopoly-of-war. Aye – it’s a big dining table.

It may be only the second such weekend this year, and it’s apparently a small cosy event at a castle close to the old Marches, but it’s one I’ve been looking forward too. And My Beloved is venturing forth with me, which I’m really happy about. Medieval may be my favoured period, but I’m glad she’s coming along to see what it’s all about.

And as there’s destined to be time a-plenty between demonstrations, bouts and clashes, I thought to take a few period games as well. So packed away are my bags of bone and wooden counters, wooden dice and my crude leather mat for ‘Tables‘ (the medieval version of Backgammon) – similar, except you use 3 dice not 2, there’s no American Doubling Die from the 1920’s, and it’s generally a race game. And then there’s another smaller leather piece marked up for ‘Alquerque‘ – it has a similarity to Draughts, but it’s more complex. Have a peruse with the links below.

So hopes for easy travelling and fair weather, and a comfy relaxation, and ales by the fire while we catch up with what we’ve all been up to over the Winter. And I will get to twang off some arrows at some point – I need to invest the time in the longbow, as well as battle and clank away with the polearms. Above all else, I need to exercise this carcass of mine, so thankfully the Tuesday is already scheduled to be an extra day for the weekend.

I’m old, but I’m not daft.



Old dog, new tricks, some surprises

So today in work, it was pre-building closure staff support stuff – this time ‘Job Interview Skills‘. It’s fair to say that some of my office colleagues do need this insight. Many have only ever known ‘civil-circus’ stuff, and it’s been their job for life. Or at least it was meant to be.

I know a few have been really worried. That’s bound to be the case – they even joke themselves that they have been ‘institutionalized’! It’s a daunting change, an uncomfortable challenge. I’ve tried where I can to encourage, to tell them that much of what they do is ‘transferable’. They would be assets to anyone seeking good, solid, stable achievers who can govern the detail, keep things on even keels. Therefore, it was worthwhile to support this, and to even put myself forward to join in, make up participant numbers perhaps, but more importantly to show that I would be prepared to join in too after all the prompting and cajoling I’ve done.

And it was – I believe – well worth the time and effort. It’s good to see someone’s eyes light up when they connect with an idea that they can see they can apply to their own circumstances. Hints and tips I called it, when I was asked in the usual ‘Creeping Death Intro Phase‘ on what I was looking to get from the course – and I can honestly say I did come away with a few ideas on some things I need to do. That makes it all the more important – provides a prod to focus myself on finalising a few outstanding items.

And that includes getting my pension money out of the coffers of those who would piss it up the wall. Good reminder – email sent – forms completed – date requested.

I’ve run the calculations in the spreadsheets, and I know what I will sacrifice long-term in order to gain more money in the short-term. But put really simply – I want those funds now, so I can use them now, while I’m still able too. That’s my call, I’m happy with it, as is My Beloved. So here’s hoping the pension providers understand.

I’ve also amended my LinkedIn profile to outline where I’m at – now ‘available for future options’. And I’ve already had several interesting emails and messages with 48 hours of making that change. Surprising really. Some folks out there generally interested and recognise I might be able to bring them something useful.

What a refreshing change from the usual ‘being ignored‘ you always get, if you’re not prepared to play the sucking-up sycophancy stuff. Actual real appreciation. How refreshingly nice. We shall see what that can potentially deliver in due course.

Down south

This weekend will be spent mainly in the car, first heading south, so that we can check up on my mother, post-hip replacement op, to ensure all is healing/recovering to plan. It’s only fair, one of my sisters has been carrying most of the care work, so although we can only do a single over-nighter, hopefully that gets her a break so she can relax.

So then once we’ve provided a turn looking after the old dear, listened to her stories, and persuaded her to eat, it’s a trundle back north and home. Just in time for the start of a new working week. But, as I said, it maybe a lot of miles and plenty of hours travelling but the cause is worth it.

Ironic timing. Two months further on into 2017, and I would have had all the spare time I’d need to head down and stay longer.