Sunday, 23 July 2017

1/600th Thoughts and the Portable Wargame


Tumbling Dice 1/600th infantry and cavalry with Perry Travel Battle buildings and Renendra plastic bases

As well the plans afoot for the Risk figures mentioned in my previous two posts I have also been looking at something a little smaller - namely 1/600th scale or 3mm to be precise. The only issue is that these figures from Tumbling Dice are in fact closer to 5mm than 3mm but are fairly basic in terms of details compared to other 3mm models available or the more extensive 6mm offerings on the market. These are actually rather nice models in a generic kind of way which suits me ideally. You can see that the figures fit rather nicely with the Perry Travel Battle buildings which is a different project altogether although I may be doing something with these in a Command and Colours or Portable Wargame kind of way. If I mentioned that I have some assorted WW1 aircraft and vehicles on the way you may see exactly where this may be headed....


The Portable Wargame - Volumes one and two - with the front cover....


....and the back which also reveals the contents (and saves me having to type them!).

My old friend Bob Cordery has been a busy fellow indeed. Developing the Portable Wargame is the second book about the concept of the Portable Wargame and what an inspirational read it is. Taking the two titles together is a must in my opinion as the second volume expands upon the first and adds a greater degree of sophistication and variety. If you want a well thought out, extensively tested and extremely well written book(s) about how to fight a wargame then look no further.

Both titles are available in paperback, hardback and ebook formats from Lulu and Amazon and are quite simply outstanding.

I know Bob has some further 'Portable' ideas in the pipeline so check out his excellent blog Wargaming Miscellany for updates as to what is happening and when.

Highly recommended!



















Thursday, 13 July 2017

On the Bounding Main....


From the collection of Chris Hardman. The models are 1/600th scale and were first used for an Armada based game back in 1988. There is rather a lot of it as well....


Well this is a first. I finally got around to not only having a game on a club night but also to play test a set of rules with my old friend Chris Hardman. The rules in question are 'Galleys and Galleons' by Ganesha Games and whilst they have been around for a while getting them to the tabletop has been a challenge for me due to time.

Kaptain Kobold has used these a lot and if check out his blog The Stronghold Rebuilt you will some of the games he has taken part in as well as some rather nifty scratch built models he has Kobold together for the period.

The scenario was the entry level Pursuit contained in the rules book which pitched a very nimble 'Jacht' against a merchant Galleon. The scenario is designed to get the player used to the game mechanics. Now Chris and I (Chris especially) have played numerous wind and water naval games over the years so you would think we would have a reasonable handle on such things as the weather gauge etc.

Hmmm.

After much blundering about and frantic manoeuvring to avoid the islands dotted about the Jacht was able to get a few shots aways but with no effect. It was great fun though and the potential is there for for further entertainment.

The picture above was taken on my phone so apologies for the mediocre quality.

The tool box containing the models was revelation although a couple of models would need a little TLC to get them into fighting trim as the years and much travelling had taken its toll. One model in particular was quite badly damaged. The ship in question was called the San Andreas.

Needless to say I pointed out that it had a fault with it....

Many thanks to Chris for his patience - this play test has been months in the making - and for the game and use of his magnificent collection.

Monday, 10 July 2017

Even Riskier Business....

Following on from my post of yesterday I thought it would be a good idea just to see how the generic 18th century Risk figures could look and also to show the variation if styles from notionally the same edition of the game.


The planned basing convention - note the frontage is 40mm in each case.

I am planning units of four bases for infantry, three for cavalry and two for artillery. the base depths are 20mm, 30mm and 40mm respectively. I am toying with militia types being three figures to a base and dedicated light infantry (rifles and jager types) perhaps having two figures although I have yet to decide on this. 


The two infantry types. I have two complete sets of the left hand type and just the one of the right hand figure - which is a more delicately sculpted and scaled figure.


You just about make out the differences between the two types and you can see that the yellow figures have a much thicker base.


The cavalry figure looking suitably dashing.


Finally the artillery. The gun is not great but usable although why the gunner has a flag is beyond me...The gun looks more early 18th century than later but it will suffice.

The figures come out at anything between 12 and 14mm so I am hoping that Kallistra will be close enough to be able to fill in any gaps. I want to keep the project as self contained as possible and reckon that there are a couple of conversion possibilities - I certainly have enough figures available to experiment with!












Sunday, 9 July 2017

Risky Business or Needs must and all that....


Slingshot arrived on Saturday but the book came from our local boot sale.

It is Sunday which can mean only one thing in our house - boot sale! Sure enough SWMBO and I headed out to our local boot sale on a day that was extremely hot. We were struggling in the oppressive heat before we had even gotten halfway around but we persevered and were able to pick up a few bargains. Whilst Laurel scored a number of bargains (she has a real 'eye' for a good deal) for my part my acquisitions were rather more modest although I was able to pick up the book you see above and a copy of the boardgame Risk.

By virtue of my postponed (and probably cancelled if truth be told) Salamis project my interest in Ancient Wargames has experienced a little bit of a renaissance recently - hence rejoining the Society of Ancients - and the Later Roman Empire is a period I am keen to learn more about. Where this will go I know not but one thing is for sure - it will not be any time soon!



This particular version of Risk contains some rather useful late 18th century plastic figures - infantry, cavalry and artillery at around 12mm scale

I am sure I am not alone in always looking at a board game and seeing what the pieces can be used for. The above set caught my eye when it first appeared as the figures seemed very useful in a generic 18th century kind of way. The infantry look very much like British troops for the AWI but are suitably generic to be useful for pretty much any nation for the period (echoes of Charge! spring to mind....). Some time ago that renowned fashionista, wit and raconteur Kaptain Kobold cobbled together (or should that be Kobold together) a couple of armies for the Great Northern War using these figures - and mightily impressive they looked as well. The idea was such a good one I am sure he won't mind me stealing it....

I have a hankering to cobble together (actually I am thinking that Kobble would be a more appropriate word in this case) a pair of generic 18th century forces on an image-nation basis for use with, well, a number of things really. I already owned a couple of sets worth of the figures so have plenty of raw material to work with. Something to consider although with the imminent release of Richard Borg's Tricorne AWI Command and Colours game perhaps they may even be turned into Redcoats and Continentals.



The core Lord of the Rings set....


....and the figure selection contained therein.


The Mordor expansion to the base game....



....and the figures contained therein.


 For similar reasons I have also been acquiring a number of sets of the Lord of the Rings Risk set. Again the figures are quite useful and between the two sets you have Elvish Archers, Giant Eagles, Riders of Rohan, Moria Goblins, Trolls, Nazgul, Ents, Mumakils, Men and Knights of Gondor, Warg Riders and Uruk Hai. There is more than enough for HOTTs or pretty much any other massed fantasy system.

For both of the above I am keen to compare the figures with the 12mm models produced by Kallistra as there may be some bits and pieces that are usable with the plastics.

I also have some assorted 1/2400th WW1 ships to finish (leftovers from the Jutland project) which will give me a modest set up - a swift order to Panzerschiffe will provide the missing links - and finishing them is first on the list.

That leaves Travel Battle and a pile of 1/600th Tumbling Dice figures and WW1 aircraft as well as the ships for Lake Tanganyika as also being on the 'to do' list.

As you are aware I am currently out of work so any expenditure has to be very carefully considered - luckily I seem to have a good selection of things I can turn my hand to!


Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Back from Foreign Parts....


Gotta love a peaceful, empty sandy beach with just the waves and a blue sky for company....

My good lady wife and I have just got back from our two week sojourn to the Cape Verde Islands (actually it was a week ago but I have been rather tied up with a few things) and so now it is back into the domestic round and the inevitable job search. I have a number of 'irons in the fire' so to speak and so am confident that I will be gainfully (or should that be gratefully....) employed in fairly short order.

The island in Cape Verde we visited was Sal and it has been described as a large sand dune in the Atlantic - which is pretty accurate as there is little there for the tourist to explore. We managed a jeep safari which was great fun and swam in the salt lake at the bottom of an extinct volcano - the the Dead Sea experience - so our time was not completely given over to relaxing on the beach. The food and drink were plentiful and the quiet vibe of the place was just what we needed. The motto of the island is 'No Stress' and that is exactly how it felt.

I managed to read two books whilst we were away - The River War and The Malakand Field Force by Winston Churchill - but constantly referred to Bob Cordery's The Portable Wargame for a number of ideas so I suspect you can guess where this may be heading....


Back in the boot sale groove

Sunday just gone saw our first visit to a boot sale for about a month and I was fortunate enough to score the above goodies. The Blandford title needs no introduction and was not only in tip top condition it also only cost me 50p. The Fort by Bernard Cornwall is on my to read list and I am rather embarrassed to point out that I have still not read the paperback version I also acquired from a boot sale ages ago. Still, a hardback edition is very nice to have and yes, there is a plan of sorts behind this.

The final title is a great doorstop of a tome and is one of books that answers pretty much everything you wanted to know about a very specific piece of a war, in this case the fighting in Tunisia as experienced by the second battalion of the Coldstream Guards. Maps, orders of battle, photographs, after action reports, patrol reports it is all there and as a source of gaming ideas and scenarios from Bolt Action/Chain of Command upwards to Memoir 44 you would struggle to find better.

I have absolutely no idea what I shall do with this but for £1 it was crying out to be purchased!

I managed to get a few ideas organised whilst we were away and am currently awaiting a modest delivery to start on the first of these so watch this space as something will be happening - at long last!



Saturday, 3 June 2017

The End of an Era and The Start of a New One


Gosh that was a long time ago! Block armies with an early version of Bob Cordery's Portable Wargame

It has finally come to pass. As of the close of play 31/05 I am once again among the ranks of the unemployed. I had been with my company for a shade over four years and so whilst the pay off was hardly retirement money it will suffice to keep us going for a few months. It is no secret that the job was demanding - I was working for a recruitment company - and that it took a lot out of me and many aspects of my life suffered as a result. I will not miss the commute and given that the job was largely sales based in an extremely competitive market with a very modest base salary the money will not be a major miss either! I am exploring a few options a little nearer to home so am confident my absence from gainful employment will not be a long one.

In the meantime though I am looking forward to getting some quality life time back - or should I say hobby time - so I fully expect to posting on the blog more regularly than I have been of late. This will also mean more time for gaming, painting and modelling so in a way I rather glad of the opportunity to tackle a few things.

SWMBO and I are off on a belated honeymoon on the 12th of June for a couple of weeks so I am looking forward to relaxing in the sun with my good lady wife, a fully loaded Kindle, a notebook or two and my IPad. I have a few ideas (I always have a few ideas....) I need to add some weight to and also I need to order the project list into something that is viable. Needless to say I will report all in due course.

It is good to be back.....




Sunday, 21 May 2017

Of Charity Shops, Boot Sales and Holidays

Once again life has gotten in the way of anything gaming related so the posts have been pretty sparse. For a pretty significant event (which for legal reasons I am unable to elaborate on....) this state of affairs may well be changing soon and all will be revealed at he appropriate time.


There is a certain style about reading a book by an author with a double barrelled surname....

Last weekend (14/05) SWMBO and I did our annual boot sale in which we attempt to fit a lorry load of surplus clothes, household items, CDs, DVDs and other bits and pieces into the back of our trusty 2003 Honda Civic - and usually manage to do so, albeit with much cursing and shoving. We had a very successful day and as is our usual routine some of the items that had not been sold are then donated to one of the local charity shops - in this case for a local hospice. I duly carted four boxes of stuff to them and whilst they were sorting the items out I happened to notice the book you see above. The very nice lady noted my interest and told me to take it.  A free book from a charity shop? Well she took the view that as I had just donated a whole pile of stuff they could afford to forego the GBP 1.25 it would have cost me.

I have read 'A Good Dusting' before and it is a quite tidy history of the campaigns in the Sudan so I was pleased to add this to my modest collection of books on the subject. It is a book club edition rather than the originally published version but that matters very little unless you are a purist over such things. Just the inspiration one would need for some mini campaigns Portable Wargames style.


A great doorstop of a tome and a steal at £2.00 - pity about the dust jacket though

The second title is rather more imposing and is a copy - sans the dust jacket - of Lachouque and Browns seminal history of Napoleon's Imperial Guard: The Anatomy of Glory. This was acquired this morning from a boot sale for the princely sun of GBP 2.00 so I am feeling rather smug at the moment. The book has a small dent on the cover and some 'foxing' of the pages but all the maps and plates are intact - and very nice they are as well.

At the time of writing we are still no nearer getting the kitchen sorted out - we have now been some thirteen weeks without a kitchen floor and having to go back and forth to the garden shed for certain essentials is fast becoming a chore. At least it is not the winter though!

We are also some three weeks away from our belted honeymoon to the Cap Verde Islands so I have been quietly adding titles to the Kindle for my holiday reading. I shall also be taking the IPad and a couple of notebooks to get some ideas together but the most important thing is that my wife and I will be able to R-E-L-A-X for a couple of weeks - and after the year we have had that in itself will be most welcome!