I have spent most of the weekend involved in a variety of domestic tasks of the kind usually associated with the festive season i.e. Christmas shopping and decorations.Of the latter the one thing that struck me was how quiet the shops appeared to be, given that is less than four weeks to Christmas - a sad reflection on the current economic woes that most people are experiencing perhaps? Either that or it is a wait until the last minute or caning the internet for presents - either way Basildon seemed eerily subdued over the weekend (no bad thing many may say!).
Due to the fact that Christmas falls on a Sunday this year and because we also have a number of prior engagements over the coming weekends, SWMBO decided that this weekend the decorations would go up and so out came the tinsel, tree, baubles galore and all the associated festive paraphernalia so that the house now looks like a diluted version of Santa's grotto. I am a sucker for anything Christmas related and so always enjoy doing this and our opinion is that if you are going to bother with decorations at all then you may as well have them up for a reasonable amount of time in order to enjoy the experience and to get into the spirit of things. Besides, it is good fun - especially the annual Christmas game of 'finding the blown bulb from a 40ft length of tree lights'!
I popped into the local Toy and Train fair on Sunday although did not buy anything. There was plenty of military kit on display that would have any 54mm wargamer (especially anybody contemplating a Funny Little Wars set up) reaching for his wallet. There were lots of firing artillery pieces of the WW1 style 18 and WW2 25 pounder variety - as well as some very nice coastal style guns. Prices varied but £3 to £8 seemed to be the average range. There was also a lot of odd Britains figures around as well including a very impressive looking unit of Bengal Lancers that had me both wincing and staring in rapt (mainly at the price but they did look really striking) awe at them.
I also spent a lot of time tackling the fleet lists for the rules and this has given me much food for thought. I think I have allowed myself to fall back into the trap of over egging the pudding. The Royal Navy for example has a list of ships that is now covering three sides of A4. This is an impressive piece of work (if I say so myself) but I was struck by the number of ships that come up with identical factors. This has made me wonder if perhaps I should have stuck to a more generic approach rather than to 'drill down' into such levels of detail. Certainly this approach is probably at odds with the spirit of the Portable War Game.
I am more than happy with the rules as they are but am less convinced about the level of detail I am going to with the ship specifications and so will need to give this some additional consideration.
If anything, if I decide to go down the generic route it will mean that the rules will be complete far sooner than originally planned so that will probably be no bad thing.