Wednesday, 17 May 2017

The Next few weeks ......

After a pretty successful Carronade in Falkirk last weekend (I do like that show) you might think I'd be due a bit of time off. No chance We are at Partizan in Newark- that's Notts in the UK  in case Transatlantic readers were wondering if they had missed something in New Jersey !
After that, a bare 2 weeks later comes the Durham Wargames Group Open Day on June 10th.
 I'm not really trading there -though anyone who wants stuff bringing can email me on - save yourself a bit of postage and possibly take advantage of the "6 for5" deal.
Troops from the retinue of John Mowbray Duke of Norfolk. Mostly a Yorkist.

 The main thrust of the day for me will however, be the 40mm Wars of the Roses game Jim the Builder and I are putting together  It will be in the smaller of the 2 min rooms at the show and is growing nicely. The photos show the latest figures I've painted and Jim reckons to have around 40 figures finished by the time of the show which should bring the forces (they are not large enough to be "armies")  to a little under a hundred a side ... maybe.
A couple of individual armigerious gentlemen wearing their coats of arms. Just because I fancied painting them.

Of course one of the madder asides with the Wars of the Roses in that splendid baordgame Kingmaker which manages to capture the feel of the period without being too pedantic. It is the only boardgame I own and is a speldid basis for a campaign. However you can bet that during a wargame of the WOTR someone will begin to utter phrases such as "Mowbray to Framlingham" or Percy to Alnwick" in the same way that some chaps utter lines from Zulu during a Zulu war game.... sad isn't it?

So the plan is for a colourful game at the show- come along it is a small show but worth a look. Details in the picture above.

Why waste time and money on this dross?

Now on to an entirely different matter. I have read the various reviews of the Perry's Travel Battle on TMP and on a couple of the blogs I follow and I still can't see the point other than to make God's Anointed Perry's  some more shekels.  The whole thing is so insipid and brain free. It might be great if you are eight- I recall having a game  called Battle of the Little Big Horn or something that was on a squared board with roughly 40mm plastic US cavalry and Indians. As I recall the figures were even coloured in so already it looked better than this latest effort. I doubt the box it came in was much bigger either but I might be wrong there. The Perry thing look a dammed sight more unattractive with it little Monopoly houses and 2 legged horses.  If you want easy to move about and ready to play there are shedloads of more attractive boardgames out there- and I speak as a non- boardgamer, I've seen interesting looking games with very very pretty counters and maps that beat the shyte out of a couple of gridded plastic squares with a few monopoly houses on - sometimes for  far less money and with more options too.
 If you like  model soldiers in your wargames then TB is pretty much the antithesis of what you are about. for rules dudes the rules seem simplistic to the point of childishness- again great if your are eight(or perhaps if you are 38 and missing being 8) but not really for grown ups.
All this nonsense about  being able to travel with it- see the raised eyebrows of those pert and efficient   girls behind reception in hotels I use as you grasp your Travel Battle box with your luggage (Too mean to watch the porn channel like everyone else is what she is thinking !!!!)  Nah leave me with some shreds of credibility......

But joking apart I really can't see the point. There are far better ways of  having a travelling wargame-though why you need to I still can't fathom-  than this collection of plastikrap.. I wonder which bunch of fanboys will be the first to try to pass it off as a demo at a show- that will be yet another nadir

Friday, 12 May 2017

Drabant Does It Again.

I've just had some more news from  those fine chaps in Russia, Drabant miniatures.  My next shipment will include some new releases.
 The  E range- Nomadic Horse People will have Pechengs added
The Pechengs 

 Tallifer will be added to the Normans

Tallifer- another Norman personality.

and a new pack of Saxons will replace the old A2801 pack with some really smart active figures.
 Anyhow judge for yourselves as here are the pictures.
The new Saxons

As you can see they are well up to the Drabant standard.
 The new Saxons will mix with A2807 the shieldwall to make a pretty impressive unit . I may be even tempted back into the Dark Ages myself.
 I'm actually tempted to  sell my 40mm Viking and Normans and replace them with these fantastic models or maybe I'll just add some to the collection

Monday, 8 May 2017

Villainous Saltpetre

So the 40mm Wars of the Roses project marches on.  Figures are actually coming off the painting table at a pace slightly faster than glacial. Not only that but a second "comedy bombard"  and crew are now finished so there will be one for each side and perhaps, if time permits, more than one as I have parts for 2 more including a double barrelled "cart of war" which should be amusing ...assuming I get it finished.

The first "comedy bombard"  made from an Old Glory OXTG1  Super-heavy gun- with scratch built  carriage and mantlet.

 2 of the guns are identical- being the Hincliffe 25mm  Landsknecht Siege gun- in the foremost range. Now frankly nice model though it is it is not what it says on the tin- being on a 15th century "burgundian" type carriage which had largely been superseded  by guns with trunnions by the 1520's  or so . Nevertheless it makes a cracking 15th century "medium" gun for 40mm,
 The crew- like the Bombard are all minor conversions from  my 40mm Wars of the Roses range- the ex- Brooks Miniatures range which I now own and have added to. There are now roughly 30 different figures in the range.

The other completed gun. That Hinchliffe piece looks just right for 40mm
Now if I'd been a boring "samey-gamey" type I could have done Wars of the Roses in 25/28mm just the same old same old, after all it is easy there are plenty of good ranges about including the Old
Glory one and I used to have some 15mm Essex WOTR  but then doing things the expected way has never had any appeal for me - at least not since I packed in competitive gaming in the early 80s.
 No the point here is to present something a little differently. After all boredom is an ever present threat when all you do is play  pillock Rampant or whatever skirmish game is flavour ofthe week this week.

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

More Roses- More Thorns.

Since the last post in the "Battles" department I've been  bashing out more 40mm Wars of the Roses gear and will be doing so for at least another month.
 So it seemed appropriate that our April game should be another go at this period to get our heads round it for the Durham Show at the beginning of June.
 Thus it was that 4 T.W.A.T.S. gathered at our usual pub  for the game last Saturday..
 We toyed with the idea of Lion Rampant- but you know my views on that and after looking through the book Andrew the Tekkiie joined in my disdain as did Shaun and Jeff - the others present.
 So it was back to Tony Clipsom's set Foray which we had used last time and quite liked- though it had the odd problem- this time we'd test a little more deeply.
I thought I'd do an atmospheric black and white shot of the table laid out before the action began. Very featherstone . Actually the only shaft of sunlight that day caught me at the wrong moment. Yorkists at the far end. 

So , after a bit of dice rolling Floating Jeff and Mechanical Shaun took the Yorkist forces and decided to defend. They were outnumbered but did have the advantage of villainous saltpetre in the form of my almost scratch built  comedy bombard and converted crew. Andrew the Tekkie took the more numerous  Lancastrians.
 He had to attack  over the town ditch which would impede progress and was declared to be "verie muche filled with  the noisome shytte and rubbishe of ye towne" . Or he could take the bridge and keep out of the poo!.
 Longbowmen immediately searched for targets- at a range of a meter in these rules and arrows flew tick and fast.
The Yorkist position showing the come dy bombard and rubber rivers that don't lie down! 

 The "comedy Bombard" ended up being pretty effective - despite all the obstacles I could put in its way. Shaun deftly avoided throwing any doubles so did not explode and managed to actually fire two rather effective shots removing a total of 4 casualties from the Earl of Oxfords retinue which halted their advance for some time. In the Lancastrian centre Lord Clifford company continued its advance and on the left The earl of Northumberland showered Warwick with arrows and caused him to retire into the town- the way was clear to cross. Would Northumerland's men deliberately put feet into the  unwholesome semi- solids of the town ditch?
Yorkist archers on the brigde- not getting their boots covered in poo!
Warwick's company on the far side.

 As it happened they never got the chance Warwick rallied his men with much shouting began to return to the ditch. However that was not the worst for the House of Lancaster. Clifford's company in the centre came under fire again and this time it was too much after a truly bum die roll-  yes a 1- they broke and with his centre gone Andrew conceded.
Warwick.s men rallying in the town.

Archery  became the dominant feature of the game very quickly. Longbows are deadly . Too deadly we felt, so after a bit of discussion we changed firing from D6 base to D10 and Longbows immediately became useless ! . On a D6 base shooting was, or at least seemed, for more effective than in the previous game- even at long range with only a 6 needed for a hit- and plate armoured men needing 2 hits.
 After more discussion we decided to put armour based saving throws into the next game- though not for hits caused by gunpowder weapons. Ranges seem about right though somehow the metric distances don't "feel" right. This is daft I know but a medieval game should have medieval measurement so I'm going to convert the rules to inches. I'll also make a few other modifications but I don't want to change the basic simplicity of the system.. In many ways I'd rather roll more D6 so it should average out rather than fewer but different dice at the behest  of a more complex set of mechanisms..
 Any how that is the theory.......
Clifford's company moves up with Northumberland in support.
The same place in the following turn - BUMMER shouts Andrew as Cliffords men break and  he has nothing left but empty space.

The next outing for these lads will be the Durham Wargames Group open day on June 10th. The game will be bigger with roughly half as many troops again as were on this table and also more villainous saltpetre- yes I have more  comedy bombards .
 Old Glory don't have a trade stand there but as always anybody who wants to avoid paying postage - and collect gear at the show should contact me  at
 Mind you I've gt 2 shows I'm trading at in the coming month Carronade -Falkirk on May 13th and Partizan on May 21st - so a crowded month with no time for any games .
C'est la guerre!

Monday, 24 April 2017

Salute 2017- from the Trader's perspective

Now there is no getting away from it Salute is one of the most important single days in a Trader's year. I'm not saying that a bad 'un can stuff your year  no it is not THAT important but a good 'un can mean you can have some "Jam today" with your  usual bread and water. Mind you last year we had extra Jam so there was no way this year was going to match those dizzy heights.
 I knew this before hand- plenty of chaps had told me they were not going this year - reasons many and varied including "It is mostly fantasy now" and - often this- it's too bloody expensive what with parking and entrance you've dropped £30 plus before you are in -then the prices for cha and wads are ruinous .... so some chaps did not go.- they bought their gear by mail instead.
 Nevertheless we were still knackered by the end of the day and could afford to eat that night and even have a half of shandy to wash it down!
 Overall though I did get the impression that the show was having a slightly "off" year. No big deal, it happens.  No real surprise after the  very high point of last year. I don't think any of this was down to the organiser just chaps taking a breather. There certainly were far fewer European chaps about. I never had to do the "4 customers in 3 different languages at the same time" thing that has been a feature of more than one past Salute. Possibly because of their election, there seemed to be a lack of Frenchmen. I don't recall any Italians though there were several Spanish and some Germans.
 However  the Brexit nonsense makes you wonder if perhaps some chaps just don't feel as welcome here as they used to. It does make you wonder.
 I still didn't get a look round and saw no historical games that took my fancy on my couple of trips to the kharsi.. Indeed only at 1 Participation game did I linger. This being the Tring Club's 40mm Wars of the Roses game. A deliberately simple entry level  game  using my Romanoff Miniatures Warriors for the Working Day range. Now running a PP game is a skill I don't really have but this seemed popular and was well presented. Nice one Boys.
 Don't get me wrong here it is still the best gig in town but not this year quite topping their own hight standards.

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Roses with Thorns.

Well that is  the hundred up. One hundred finished 40mm Wars of the Roses figure  finished and based. I've organised these in 6 "retinues" to wit Edward IV Warwick the Kingmaker, The Earl of Suffolk for the Yorkists and The Earl of Northumberland, Lord Clifford and the Earl of Oxford for the Lancastrians. Each retinue has a core of men in livery coats to which armoured men -at -arms and unliveried billmen and archers can be added as the scenario dictates.
 More are of course on the painting table- including conversion for a couple of gun crews.
 I'm enjoying this little aside- which by June and the Durham show will be a good bit larger. I quite like producing unique models- even though I'm no sculptor.

The Earl of Oxford's "Star with Streams"- though the precise appearance is somewhat conjectural.
There are now a fair number of conversions and chop jobs within the collection..

The first few of Suffolk's liveried men. Archer on the painting table.

Being in metal the parts are a good bit less fragile that plastic- larger too being 40mm . Makes life easier- very little hunting about on the floor for bits you have pinged off when cutting them from the sprue.

A small skirmish over a palisade with a mantlet. I built the latter for a still under construction gun. The palisades are by Irregular-supposedly for 40mm but a bit small. I may have to make some taller ones. 
So the project marches on. I've a 40mm waggon to build. That promises to be a challenge.

Sunday, 9 April 2017

Catching up on my reading.

Now as a general rules I'm not a massive fan of "amateur" magazines either paper of e-zines. I'm never quite sure what they are about.
 I've read a few and have always ended up just a tab bemused as to why....
 So when I decidec to subscribe to a new e-zine I did wonder why I'd bothered.

Wargamers Notes Quarterly, once I actually got around to reading is does not come across like other publications of its "type". It is far far better than that.
 Now I'm not one of those chaps who expect  a whole magazine to be to their taste every time - and it isn't but that does not make it any worse. Indeed the variety of styles makes it rather the better.
 Point One.
 IT TREATS ME LIKE AN ADULT. Yipee no  childish patronising drivel here. There is an assumption that I can read long words without the use of my fingers and that I won't find any article of more than 1000 wordS too long for my brain.
Point Two
The first two issues (told you I was behind with my reading) are now on my reader and likely to stay there  

 The mix of articles gives you plenty to read  so far shows us that not all wargames are brain  dead one- hour 2 foot  square table skirmishes with 10 men a side. The chaps here have a terrible tendency to use their brains. My personal favourite articles include a re-fight of the Ruso-Japanese Naval battles of 1904-5  . I have small squadrons for this period in 1/600th and this series shows another way to do it. Never a bad idea to see alternatives.
 There is quite a lot of stuff on solo play- never one of my things but again  that does not stop the articles being readable though for myself the idea of taking control of the forces almost entirely out of the players hands is anathema- though in solo play I can see the point- assuming I could see the point of solo play which I never really have but then different strokes etc.
 Anice Sci- Fi "Narrative Campaign  article again gave me the odd idea or two - just get the silly sci-fi stuff out again it is time Denzil Washington Snipes tries to wrest power from Fidel Ernesto Guevara Smith- AGAIN !

Also it has to be said I like the look of this ezine- some care and thought has gone into the presentation.
 Nice one(well two) boys- I await the next issue with interest.
 for info on the mag contact

worth a punt I'd say .