Saturday, 18 February 2017

Enemy on the Euphrates

Fancy that, ANOTHER Arab Revolt - this time with Lawrence on the periphery.

Mention the Arab Revolt and one usually conjures up visions of Peter O'Toole and the haunting strains of Maurice Jarre's sweeping soundtrack - complete with camels. As much as I am interested in that particular affair there was a much bigger turn of events it what became Iraq after the end of the Great War.

At one point the Imperial garrisons faced an uprising of around 130,000 tribesman of assorted types, all hellbent on securing independence - or, to be more accurate, going back to how things were before the British got involved. The whole of Middle East was in turmoil after the defeat of the Turks and the British and French managed to make a pig's breakfast of handling the area.

From the gaming perspective this is a very rich seam to tap. For example we have armoured trains, river gunboats, relief columns, marauding tribesman, religious fanatics, aircraft and armoured cars. The British fought the Arabs and the Arabs fought amongst themselves so the potential from a gaming perspective is pretty darned impressive.

I would recommend this book to anyone looking for something a little different at the end of WW1 - it is certainly a seam I shall be tapping into.

13th February 2017

My son, my daughter and now my wife with yours truly grinning like a cheshire cat on catnip

Finally, after a 36 year engagement and several 'life events' along the way, Laurel and I have finally tied the knot. It was a fantastic day and I should also mention that it was also Laurel's birthday so we made sure there were two cakes to be eaten....

I could not be happier right now.

Sunday, 29 January 2017

The Portable Wargame

One to savour - "An elegant weapon book from a more civilised age".....(with apologies to Obi Wan Kenobi)

First of all apologies for the delay between posts. The bout of Bronchitis I thought I was over has flared up again in spectacular fashion and has coupled itself with a horrible reaction to the medication I was taking - I wont go into details but suffice it to say that for all of yesterday and most of the wee small hours of this morning moving more than 12ft from the smallest room was an undertaking fraught with peril....

I am blessed in respect of my digestive system as it can usually handle pretty much anything that it thrown at it with no noticeable effect and indeed, has often eaten things that would make a self respecting goat blanch but on this occasion the drugs did it for me in a BIG way...

On a brighter note though I received through the letterbox on Monday just gone a copy of Bob Cordery's new book - the Portable Wargame.

Readers of Bob blog - Wargaming Miscellany will no doubt have followed his thoughts and adventures with the concept of the portable war game and how much of the work of Joe Morschauser served to start the ball rolling to where we are today - with the book you see above.

This not a detailed review of the book but I will say what it is not. It is not a glossy large format chock full of artistically painted figures in use by the hundreds type of publication that seems to be the way of things these days (I know as I have plenty of these in my collection!). It does not invite you to become part of the 'Portable Wargame Hobby' and to meet up with like-minded individuals to worship at the shrine of Cordery in some retail outlet and to be badgered by acne-ridden sales people yapping about your heels like so many Jawas.

It is also grid based so if you are allergic to them it may not be your bag but having said that it would be worth adding to any gamers collection for the inspiration value alone.

This is a book that, to quote C3 PO, "Thank the maker" is refreshingly old school in its layout, tone and style. Actually I am thinking that perhaps new old school may be a more apt description.

The book outlines a brief overview of how gridded wargames have featured in the history of our hobby and also a very useful guide to the use of three styles of grid currently used - hexed, squared and offset squared. There are two sets of rules included therein - one for the 19th century Colonial scene and one for the early to mid 20th century. There are sections on representing units and a couple of rather nice and detailed battle reports - one for each set of rules. These are supported by some lovely black and white pictures that put me in mind of Battle by Charles Grant for the WW2 game.

For me though the best thing about this book is quite simple the fact that NONE of it is carved in stone. The core mechanisms are robust enough to stand any amount of tinkering and the appendix on thoughts about wargames design is a useful reminder when 'tweaking'. I would also suggest that page 12 - Some Basic Rules - should be made obligatory for ANY set of rules!

There is little for me to add to what has already been said across the blogosphere about this book so I will aid my own personal thoughts. Bob has produced an outstanding piece of work and I am delighted and privileged to have been in a small way a part of the story.

The book is available from  and the ID for the hardback version is 20317595. There is a paperback and also an ebook version as well.

I for one am eagerly looking forward to trying these out - I have done so with earlier versions - and needless to say have a number of ideas to experiment with - I even have a boot sale acquired chess board just waiting for some TLC!

I know Bob has some ideas already for a follow up volume and I for one will be delighted to see that when ready.

Many congratulations Bob on a job very well done.

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....;-)