Thursday, 29 December 2016

Santa's been!!!

Hello again.

As 2016 wends its way towards conclusion, I thought it time to recap on what this month of gifts and goodies has brought me, starting with my purchases at "Wargamer" back on 4th and working my way through to the destruction of various sheets of coloured paper as I eagerly unveiled my presents on 25th!

For a small show, I managed to spend WAAAAAYYYY too much at "Wargamer". I bought myself a copy of "Escape from Colditz", now published by Osprey, and backed that up on the gaming front with a Fantasy Flight Games offering called "Age of War", which is a dice game and a sort of cross between Yahtzee, Risk and Happy Families. It is set in the classic age of the samurai and the object is to win control of various cards, representing castles, by rolling appropriate combinations of dice, each of which has various icons which may or may not be of use. The castles can form a set, which grants more points to their holder and the person with the most points wins. That person has so far mainly been daughter Eleanor...

I bought some stuff from Ainsty, who are carrying the SAGA ranges from Gripping Beast nowadays, so my fledgling Anglo-Saxons/ Anglo-Danes acquired Harold, Gyrth and Leofwine Godwinson, some huscarls, Hereward the Wake, some "Sons of Death" to add to my Irish excursion and William the (insert your epithet of choice) to add to my Normans, who are eagerly awaiting their turn on the painting table, along with Saracen and Military Orders forces for "The Crescent and The Cross". I also bought some Highlander reinforcements and a starter set of Compagnies Franches de la Marine for my "Sharp Practice 2/ Muskets & Tomahawks" foray into the French and Indian Wars.

Dave Lanchester furnished me with a copy of Neil Thomas' "Wargaming 19th Century Europe, 1815 to 1878", which I have read with gusto, and, last but not least, Tiger Miniatures very kindly sold me some of their Renaissance figures, including artillery, some arquebusiers and some cavalry, who have joined the ranks of my proposed French Wars of Religion project. Daughter Eleanor conned me into buying her her own set of dice (soft touch that I am) and I think that is about it.

Just before Christmas, I took delivery of some basing sheets from the ever-helpful Coritani/ Magnetic Displays (fantastic service as usual and highly recommended to all who would buy from them - Trevor even sent me a nice Christmas good wishes message, which only goes to show how good their service is!). To that I added a package from Pendraken consisting of some reinforcements/ alternatives for both my proposed 10mm American Civil War project and my "Warband" fantasy project that I spent most of last spring working on. They too deserve a lot of credit for their service quality, as I missed the posting deadline for Christmas quoted on the website but still got my order well before Christmas. Many thanks!

Christmas itself saw the opening of a parcel from Caliver Books containing a copy of "The Italian Campaign of 1859", edited by Dr. Stephen Summerfield, which I have again eagerly devoured. I also got a turntable, so I can play my old, vinyl records, many of which I do not have on CD, which has nothing to do with wargaming or the blog as a whole but just shows how much my lady wife loves me!!! I still wait with anticipation for the latest "Wargaming in History" offering on Koniggraetz, but Dave Ryan has my order and warned me it was unlikely to arrive pre-Christmas as it has not been published yet!

After all that, it is again time to decide on where my focus lies for 2017.
  1. I still have a passion for anything involving the Austrians, so 1859 and 1866 feature a lot in my thoughts.
  2. I want to get some ACW actions going to take advantage of all those readily-available battle reports and orbats, in my chosen 10mm scale.
  3. I want to fill out my Dark Ages pretensions and have now built an entire Anglo-Saxon/ Anglo-Danish force for SAGA which I need to paint.
  4. I want to add the extras to my 10mm "Warband" fantasy forces.
  5. I want to thresh out my FIW stuff and get some games of "Sharp Practice 2" and "Muskets & Tomahawks" in.
  6. I eagerly await Nephew Nick's commitment to the Marlburian Wars so I can kick-start my 1690 project and take him on! It will be just the excuse I need to add some more French and Irish units to my existing stock...
  7. I am torn between Germans vs Hottentots in what is now Namibia, Maori Wars or Sudan Wars for "The Men Who Would Be Kings", but seriously want to get something up and running soon for that era and rules set.

And then there is the large scale WW2 skirmish figures I bought last year, the Arthurians that have been lying around for ages, a large Macedonian army I have had for upwards of ten years that I still have stowed away, the Peninsular War stuff I bought back in July for "SP2", 15mm WW2 Ostfront c. Kursk, Bolsheviks to take on my WW1 Russians/ "Whites" and, of course, the French Wars of Religion project I want to get off the ground, ideally for 2019 and the 450th anniversary of the likes of Moncontour and Jarnac. I suppose I could stretch out that last option to 2022 and the 450th anniversary of the St Bartholomew's Day Massacre, but I prefer battles to massacres...

The good news is that my interest in this massively absorbing hobby has not waned one iota and I do not have a project to focus on specifically for 2017, as 2018's show game is decided upon already and I have the armies already too! (I could always rustle up an extra unit or two though, or perhaps a terrain piece or feature piece or...)

I love this hobby of ours!


Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Storri's Trek 2: The Rath of Cahan

Hello again.

"Wargamer" saw the "Wyrley Retinue" take to the road with our latest demo game offering, "The Rath of Cahan". The game is an Dark Ages affair set in Ireland, with Viking forces trying to defeat a force of Irish and their Norse-Gael mercenaries, who have the aforementioned rath to assist their defence. The rules are "Lion Rampant", written by Daniel Mersey and published by Osprey, and they give a quick and decisive action, so expect to remove figures quickly! You can also expect a truly frustrating time moving around if you suffer bad command rolls too! This is the only reason I took so long to get into combat on the day and there should be no suggestion that I was letting everyone else kill themselves so I could run away with the loot and keep it all to myself...

Nick built the boards and trees, I did the ship and buildings, Nick painted a third of the Vikings and I did the rest of the Vikings, the Irish, villagers, looters, livestock and the Norse-Gael.

Here are a few photos to hopefully whet the appetite ready for our next outing, which will probably be WMMS in Wolverhampton in March, but could be the new ROBIN show in Nottingham in February. We shall see.

For this outing, Nick and Kev took on Paul, Eleanor and me. As we always try and provide something different for each outing of any game we put on, you can expect more troops, sub-plots, perhaps a bigger table and other things next time we show up somewhere. We hope you enjoyed our little offering and, if you did not make the show, we hope to see you sometime soon at a show near you!


Four-fifths of the line up. From left of screen to right we have Nephew Nick, Santa Claus' understudy Occasional Wargamer Brother Kev, Nephew Paul with yet another dodgy homage to his favourite football team and Youngest Daughter Eleanor.

I bought two second-hand longships ready for the game but only had to paint one f them (the other does not fit!) The sail is a roll of paint-dyed calico secured with cotton ropes.

One of the prizes on offer was the Irish village, complete with sundry village types

The rath in all its glory, neatly blended into the board by Nephew Nick after I built it. I am sure that dice tower was not there when I took the photo...

My troops, which uniquely of all the figures on the table, belong to Nephew Nick and were painted by him. I do not know what the Norse for "they who will not move" is, but these are they! I blame Nephew Nick for infecting them with tardiness.

Some of my Viking figures advance through the sparse woodland, commanded by Eleanor. She is truly a reincarnation of Boudicca, Gwenllian, Zenobia or some other famous warrior type given her predilection for combat! She kept going right to the end despite enormous casualties!

A few more of my Viking figures, mainly composed of recent purchases courtesy of North Star.

These Vikings have obviously had some success up river. They are mainly Dixon Miniatures with a few odds from my spares box thrown in for good measure.

Some of Nephew Paul's command, headed by some berserking types.

Nephew Paul faced off against Occasional Wargamer Brother Kev with the mixed Irish/ Norse-Gael command. OWBK's command of his cavalry earned him the nickname "General Gung-ho". Lord Cardigan would have been proud! He did at least temporarily halt the Viking advance on this flank.

Some of Eleanor's Bondi prepare to test their strength against Nephew Nick's Bonnachts.

And I try and get moving off the riverbank...

A view from above and behind the rath.

Monday, 12 December 2016

WARGAMER, 4th December, 2016

Hello again.

Not much to say this time as I want to let the photos tell the story of the show that was "Wargamer", 2016. I will post pictures of our little offering over the next day or so but, for now, here are various photos of some of the other games.

I have absolutely no idea who did most of them, as most of the teams seemed to be publicity-shy and I don't automatically get a programme being a demonstrator, but I enjoyed the show and spent too much!!!


La Haye Sainte

Homage to Hyboria and the late Terry Wise

1914 action

A game about dinosaurs and Nazis. What's not to like?

Somewhere in South Africa in 1879 (with or without Stanley Baker and Michael Caine)

Some Dark Age action

The "Twenty-minuters" (if "Blackadder is to be believed, which it most definitely is not!)

Napoleonics...that's about all I can remember of this one

More Napoleonics, with French and Bavarians setting to against Prussians and Russians

The Alumwell club put on this figure-heavy Peninsular War game with masses of lovely buildings

...and a British battery

Something amphibious...

a "SAGA" participation game, the rules that started my own, personal Dark Age adventure


And M3's. The half track M3 as opposed to the M3 Lee, etc.

A participation game of some sort

And Russians!