Again – most remiss of me to miss this again

In truth, there’s been lots to distract me. I won’t list all that now, indeed it’s hardly worth the time spent to recall all that has been going on. And it’s also retrospective. I need to get back into a frame of mind that moves me forward.

So – let’s look at plans and ambitions. Not the far-fetched stuff of wants and likes.

Let’s do a quick list on what I’m dabbling with or working actively on right now:

TMWWBK/Space 1889 – I have a horde of Elves of various makes and types set to become my Martians currently cleaned up and based, and destined for undercoating with primer this week. Contingents of Canal or City-State Martians and Hill/Steppe Martians, all destined to fight with or against the Red Men from Earth. Plus there’s artillery and even aerial stuff to sort out too.

And – in the meantime, while all that work is underway, TMWWBK is also lending itself very well to more ‘Gothic‘ ideas. Remember I posted before about Graustark, Axphain and Ruritania? Expect an imminent return by first-class ticket on the Trans-Balkan Express to that same theatre of dark intrigue sometime soon.

Sergeant 01

DR – Still a strong interest in keeping up the fantasy gaming, especially after using Dragon Rampant in a ‘Lord of the Rings‘ setting back in January. What an excellent toolkit those rules are. Well done that man Mr Mersey.

28mm Condotta/Italian Wars – Well, that grew into quite a trove very fast. I acquired some painted stuff, a whole load of unpainted lead and plastic (and yet more on it’s way) along with the ever-so-tempting discount deals from certain manufacturers for even more unpainted lead. So much so that I’ve sent some out to be painted up.

Bayard_Battle-of-Garigliano-1503-Philippoteaux

Ogre – I continue to push the S&TO Countersheet to old and new fans alike. And it’s getting a good reception from all those who start using those counters in their games. The new plastic miniatures – oh dear – well, apparently there in the distro-chain somewhere in Europe. Cannot really explain it, as it’s not my error and I’ve had no hand in trying to resolve it. Despite me offering several times to assist somehow with my past expertise. Never ever had a reply back to my offers either. Maddening and saddening. So this soon gets parked up to free time for other projects if there’s going to be no reasonable delivery date in sight. And that means no articles sent in to them either, until it’s all fixed. I will just maintain the effort for my own trading purposes.

15mm Great Northern War/Marlburian – just can’t keep away from it, it keeps drawing me back in. Probably fond nostalgic reminders of my old Featherstone-like D100 rules, or the urge to link it properly to a new untried set of rules to then play on my Hexon tiles perhaps? Either way, there’s some work to be done on Eastern Europe/Russian terrain, suitable flags and banners, Cossack forces and those lovely Dixon Miniatures I have.

northwar1721en

Age-of-Sail – I’ll admit, a generic title, as it involves the ship-models from ‘Sails of Glory’ with any useful rules that can cope with squadron and fleet actions. And while I like and enjoy SoG. they don’t work well for multiple ships per player. Sorry, I just find them too slow for what I want. So it’s either another Osprey ‘blue-book’ – ‘Fighting Sail: Fleet Actions’, or it’s the Pen & Sword Books title ‘Blood, Bilge and (Iron) Balls‘ to try out. And the interest over wooden walls and canvas and ropes has also served as a good prompter to get more Sea Mats made up too by the local printer. Here’s hoping he can deliver.

Take a note on that list above – not much boardgaming.

“Looks like wargaming’s back on the menu, boys.” 

 

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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.

Nenuial-Workmap04

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.

Cover-Final-3

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!

 

 

 

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.

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!

 

Dragon Rampant. Straightforward goodness. And fun.

Dabbling with DR gets better and better. Things have been speedier with a useful spreadsheet, that helps crash out some Warbands with various options. That spreadsheet needs refining and amending, but it’s quite handy just as it is.

The to-and-fro game-play works nicely as well. First time we played this, we did get it wrong. It’s useful to remember that unlike other games with an interruption with lost initiative, when you regain it again, you can start all over again – there’s no need to remember what was activated last turn. That provides some interesting options and some clever ‘forced’ play as well. A good unit progresses well across the battlefield going at the enemy? It is likely that you will keep favouring them to get activated and get stuck in, and meanwhile other less enthusiastic units just sit and watch and sulk. I like it, I like what that provides in a random unprofessional manner where an army full of ‘cheap’ units can easily stutter and stall with a lot of misbehaving.

I like these rules.

Standby – 4-day weekend ahead

Excellent. Plenty of time for getting back into various ideas. And no travel required to any campsites or castles.

Ogre – both the boardgame and the miniature version, the former first for sorting out storage and counter trays, setting up some trial combat games with the S&TO counters, taking some pix, writing up notes, etc., and then the latter to recover the stored WIP trays of unpainted and primed armoured hardware collected from years back, to increase the current collection of suitable Ogre Miniatures bits & bobs. It’s also why I’ve been visiting Kallistra to check out any new developments of the Hexon range. They are my hex-tiles of choice for playing the in-betweeny hybrid version of Ogre/Ogre Miniatures.

Therefore DR (Dragon Rampant) squidges nicely between these two. I have the figures set to one side for some attention, so that I can increase the available forces to make Warbands from. I also know I have a lot of stashed 28mm plastic sprues, from Mongols & Arabs to Fantasy stuff. In amongst all that are some Vikings – maybe it’s because I’ve been watching them on the tellybox, either ‘Vikings‘ or ‘Last Kingdom‘, but I find both suitably inspiring to look at them as a first make-&-paint project for ‘DR‘ too.

And besides which, the game table in the DoMA remains set-up for DR from the Brew-Up weekend and it seems a shame to waste all that effort. So my idea is to set up some contests to play thru some of the rules aspects, and included in that are the Spells too.

Reminder to self: take some pix, use them for write-ups.

Additional reminder to self: charge up the battery pack on the DMC-G10.

Finally, at some point I also need to configure my own medieval armour protection. That will involve donning the padded jacks/arming coats, fitting on the plate metal fancies, and configuring where the tie-points need to be made. It’s an interesting exercise actually: as it then allows you to appreciate how different the seventeenth century armour was. More mass-produced, but manufactured in such a way, that there’s a lot less time required for pre-combat preparation, and a lot less assistance required in donning it. Not so the medieval stuff. To have it work to best possible performance, you need to take that time setting it up ‘just-so’ – and you need another pair of hands to help you do it.

So here’s to a more productive weekend than the last one.