Sunday, 8 January 2017

"To Infinity.....and Beyond!"

First of all a belated happy new year to one and all!

Well that did not work out quite as I had imagined! I have just gotten over the worst bout of throat and chest illness I can recall having - and it started more or less around the middle of December. It was so bad that at one point I spent five nights sleeping upright on the sofa as I was unable to lie down without having a long and spectacular coughing fit. Needless to say I did not sleep very well as a result but on the plus side I was able to watch the three extended editions of the Lord of the Rings trilogy as well as all seven Star Wars films...

I rather like watching films during the wee small hours although I will not be making a habit of it!

Last year was a bit of a write off for me from the gaming perspective - a combination of work pressures and rather more illness than I would have liked - so I have decided that this year there are no more excuses - I need to get some games and gaming in.

I have NO excuses for not getting anything done as the only positive from last year was that I was able to acquire all the material I needed for several projects. Time is the killer for me so I need to be quite ruthless about what  can do and how.

The project list includes the Crusades, ACW/19th century, Zulu war and WW2 in the Mediterranean - all in 28mm and plastic (except for the Zulu wars). These will be for fairly small set ups - think Lion/Dragon rampant and The Men Who Would Be Kings and that will give you an idea.

I have a couple of Sci-Fi ideas to play around with - spaceships and ground combat.

I also have a couple of 1/3000th naval ideas in mind - not to mention some 3mm Bloody Big Battles type actions.

To focus on any of this lot I need to very single minded which is usually a challenge for me however, I am looking to offload a whole pile of material which should help to focus my efforts somewhat.

Salamis and Jutland are still in the mix and if I am hones the latter would not need much work at all to be viable. My problem of course is that at the present time my attention is focussed elsewhere....

The time for moping about is ended - if I want to make things happen then I need to make them happen and so I intend tackling something small and readily 'doable' asap - I am looking to use this as the springboard to bigger and better things.

"To infinity and beyond!" may be a little cliched but I hope that the new year will give me the impetus to make things happen.

Have a great 2017.

Saturday, 24 December 2016

Have a Cool Yule!

First of all the complements of the season to one and all! As I write this I am suffering from a very heavy cold which means that currently I am unable to taste anything (that is a bit of handicap at this time of years for sure!) and so I am feeling somewhat below par. This coincides with having no phone line (although the broadband is Ok) until 28/12 when the BT engineer will turn up.

On the plus side though I am off work until 03/01, Holly is back from University - and her 21st birthday celebrations earlier in December, and my grandson will be here tomorrow. There is also the small matter of Rogue One next week as well.

The picture above is something I am messing about with alongside the Men Who Would be Kings. In truth I have everything I need for a number of projects but it is, as ever, finding the time.

Have a great holiday, however you choose to celebrate it, and I will back in the new year.

Sunday, 20 November 2016

There and Back Again....

Hello again! After a shade over three months of 'radio silence' I am now back in the blog groove once again. Well, sort of anyhow....

If I am honest little has changed since August (my last blog entry) on the hobby front but time has proven to be a great healer. I am now much clearer in my mind as to what I want to do and so have been quietly stockpiling the necessary materials to realise my ideas. Of course translating these ideas into a physical reality is quite another thing but I have learned that it is pointless stressing over such things.

I have a couple of small scale ideas to mess around with and so the plan is to tackle one of these over the course of the Christmas holiday. For the record it is a naval project and given the size of the undertaking I am confident of completing this.

The large scale projects are slow burners for sure with the Crusades and a 19th century featuring. Both of these are 28mm and are using plastics for the figures. I am mulling over something 20th century related and have a few ideas in mind. No details as yet but you can be sure that whatever rocks up will be something a little different.

On a personal note the big news is that after a 36 year engagement Laurel and I are at last getting around to getting married next February on her birthday. This is proof positive than I can actually get around to making a decision about something - even if it does take me a while.

A bit like my projects really!

Sunday, 14 August 2016

Blogging Off,,,,For now!

It has been a real struggle for me to maintain the enthusiasm to write on my blog for some time now. Work is really putting the squeeze on my spare time so the great battle reports of days gone by are sadly confined to the past. Careful readers will note that the number of entries has dwindled away to a mere trickle compared to a few years ago. It is not that I don't enjoy it - it is more a case of me feeling guilty about not having anything exciting to pass on. I have a number of things on the go but my spare time is so limited these days that something has got to give if I am to get anything done at all.

It is with this in mind that I have taken the decision to suspend my own blogging for a while - or at least until I have something worth sharing to write about. From a practical perspective it means that perhaps once a month I may put finger to keyboard - and only then if it is something really exciting.

I'll be back - I'm just not sure when....;-)

Sunday, 17 July 2016

A Boot Sale Dilemma


....And the cost for little lot? 50p the book, £2 for the Blu Ray and £6 for the figures. 
        The box is a little tatty but the contents are complete and on the sprues.

Another Sunday, another boot sale. The pickings for me have been a little on the light side in recent weeks (excepting last week of course) at our local 'lazybones' boot sale but today I acquired some useful bits and pieces - one of which has given me a delicious dilemma.

I am on a bit of a mission at the moment in that I replacing a number of my DVD/Blu Ray collection with the digital version. Many films now have a download code which you can use and either add the film to ITunes or Ultarviolet. This means that I can a film cheap at a boot sale and assuming the code has not been redeemed I can then download the digital version to watch at my leisure - and this is very handy for the IPad. Ultimately I will be able to stream the download onto our main TV - I can certainly do so at present via the Mac. Thus far I have some forty plus films stored in this fashion - which saves a lot of shelf space. One can actually buy the download code in some cases from EBay and I was able to get Spartacus (with Kirk Douglas), The Battle of the Five Armies and the entire James Bond collection for a fraction of the disc price.

Battleship will be very much a popcorn film but it will certainly pass some time and any film that features a battleship and Liam Neeson must have something good going for it!

The book is not my normal ancient period but I am aware that the author has written a number of acclaimed titles around the Greco Persian war so I picked this up from curiosity as much as anything. Alexander's contribution to the pages of world history is well known but this account will certainly fill a gap on the bookshelf. It may well inspire some Command and Colours Ancients games in any event!

Finally we come to the piece de resistance - a box of 28mm hard plastic Teutonic Knights produced by FireForge Games. These are unassenbled and are still on the sprues with the only damage being one of the lances having a minor bend in it. As there are plenty of options of hand weapons this would not be a major problem. I have no intention of using these as they are intended but Lion/Dragon Rampant and Saga are certainly likely candidates. The figures are beautiful and whilst this is not something I would have considered ordinarily they are crying out to be used for something. Of course it means that I will have to add the collection but luckily FireForge produce other figures that would be suitable.

Now all I need to do is to paint them....:-)

Sunday, 10 July 2016

Boot Sales and Blocks


                                              From tiny acorns do mighty blocks grow....

As it is a Sunday SMWBO and I headed to our local boot sale for some retail therapy - or, to be more accurate, occasional therapy because it is only occasionally you find some retail to therapise over.....

Today was an interesting day for me as I added a copy of the above book to my collection. I did not see the TV series upon which the book is based but I confess to having a weakness for BBC 'book of the series' publications. As a rule they are good primers for the subject covered so I shall look forward to reading this in due course.

The next acquisition was rather more practical. In the picture above you can see two Jenga type blocks. That on the left formed the basis of my entire block army collection which has featured in countless games over the last couple of years (see the games folder to see what I mean). The two cavalry blocks should remind you of what I mean. If you recall I took the aforementioned blocks and had them sawn in half to form the units I needed. The block on the right comes from the two sets I picked up today and I am really pleased to get these as the size of the block will be ideal for use with Bloody Big Battles. The block measures 3" x 1" and so is an exact multiple of the suggested base size used by the rules. All I will need to do will be to get them cut - I am planning on getting a 1" square block cut off of each - and to tweak the existing labels to fit.

I should point out that the entire expenditure for this lot (and the book) was a mere £1.50.

So, block armies on a non-hexed playing area - for me that is hugely radical and no mistake!

Saturday, 9 July 2016

Bloody Big Battles and Bloody Bigger Ideas

Oooohh, shiny! Something to appeal to the commander in chief in every war gamer methinks!

Following on from a conversation with my old friend Chris Hardman I decided to take the plunge and acquire a copy of Bloody Big Battles by Chris Pringle. I also ordered a copy of the scenario book for good measure. the rules are also well supported by a Yahoo group and a couple of blogs as well - Bloody Big Battles is the one that springs to mind. This rules are designed with the larger size of action in mind so should appeal to most of the megalomaniacs I know!

The rules features nine of the larger actions of the Franco Prussian War whilst the scenario book includes the Crimean War, "Austrian Decline 1859 to 1866, the Russo Turkish War as well as the Serbo Bulgarian War of 1885 and the Greco Turkish War of 1897. No surprises for guessing which of those have caught my eye....

The rules work on a scale of 1,000 men or 24 guns per square base upon which you can place as many or as few models as you like. Given the scale of the actions typically represented my first thought was to drag out the block armies and use maps drawn on paper - this would be a very cheap way to tackle it. Or I could use the blocks with 3D terrain - something that Doctor Phalanx on his blog has done - and very nice it looks to.

The rules could (and indeed have) be used up to around 1914 and I have seen a couple of battles from the Balkan War refought using them.

I have always felt that there is something rather special using a map to fight a battle with - I suppose it is the nearest one would get to being an actual commander in the field - which is probably why I enjoy board games so much. 

This set has a huge amount of potential for me especially when taken in conjunction with an idea I am currently flirting with. More of this to follow once I have digested the contents.