Thursday, 4 January 2018

The Shape of Things to Come

Not a full set of rules but a supplement including scenarios and ship and aircraft specifications etc.

First of all a very happy new year to all! I hope the festive period was kind to you and that you managed to do everything you set out to - unlike me that is....

I seemed to spend a lot of time making assorted Lego Star Wars models with my grandson as well as watching the Last Jedi and visiting Norfolk for the new year. I cannot say it was relaxing but what it lacked in repose it more than made up for in family fun.

Holly, my daughter, Ryley, my grandson and that well known bon vivant, wit and raconteur, the illustrious Mr Fox went to see the Last Jedi and all enjoyed it. Having said that I can understand why some people may be less than enthusiastic about it. Suffice it to say that certain elements will be incorporated in the traditional bantorial armoury routinely used by the discerning Wargaming film goer....

On the prezzie front I did rather well and so an ITunes gift card, an Amazon gift card and a copy of the Osprey hardback Hitler's Armies all featured - I am sure you are not interested in the socks, aftershaves or assorted toiletries I received as well. I have downloaded The soundtrack to Last Jedi and the film Barry Lyndon courtesy of ITunes and picked up a copy of '45 - a military history of the last Jacobite rebellion by Stuart Reid and also ordered a copy of La Ultima Cruzada by Bob Cordery.

There are a couple of themes surfacing here which I shall expand on.

The recent passing of Eric Knowles has affected me rather more than I would have expected. To be honest I have not seen him for some 30 years but he, and his wife Ivy were instrumental in getting me to join the Newham Wargames club and pretty much most of my life after leaving the Isle of Sheppey at the age of 17 when I moved to London started from that point. Lifelong friends and indirectly my wife all stemmed from that place and time. I know that all sounds very melodramatic but that is the truth of it. My enduring interest in naval wargames, the 18th century (admittedly on a ‘low light’ so to speak – mainly due to the painting required and my well known aversion to it….), WW1 ‘sideshows’ via Madasahatta and of course, the Ottoman Turks are all testimony to Eric’s enthusiasm, knowledge and encouragement tempered with a delivery that only an ex NCO can achieve…. 

That is some legacy. 

So, along with Barry Lyndon (and I can still remember Eric talking us through the battle scenes) I had previously acquired Rob Roy, The Last of the Mohicans and The Patriot. I think my IPad is going to be busy again. The 18th century games we used to fight used a cut down version of Charge! or more latterly a set called Frederick the Great. The cut down version of Charge! used half size units and Frederick the Great halved them again so infantry battalions ended up around 14 figures. Our 18th century games based on the Seven Years War in Europe so my interest in the wars in America and India really followed on from the Eric years but for sure the seed was definitely planted on the table top clashes of Rossbach, Minden and others. I have no idea as to how I would game these wars - the blocks offer a good alternative to figures - but suspect that my collection of fairly generic 18th century plastic Risk figures may yet see the light of day a la Kaptain Kobold and his Great Northern War armies.

Mention of La Ultima Cruzada leads me quite nicely into the acquisition you see above. I have long had an interest in the Spanish Civil War and rather fancied the naval side if only because of the vast difference in the two sides from a technical and competence perspective. Uneven sides make for better games in my experience so this should be a fun exercise. The number of models needed will not be many and 1/3000th will be the scale of choice with 1/600th scale aircraft where needed. Navwar produce all the ships I would need and let us not forget we can also include some Germans, Italians, the Royal Navy and France as well. Tumbling Dice produce aircraft for the period so it can be quite a tidy and self contained project.
The one thing I should have taken from Eric - and I am very conscious of my failings in this regard - is the old concept of focus. I am not in the habit of making new year resolutions but reckon that perhaps I should. How about 'sticking to the plan' for one?
Have a great 2018.


Geordie an Exiled FoG said...

I shall watch the SCW naval with interest
I am sure HMS Hood will show up!

Simon Quinton said...

Building Star Wars lego sounds grand to me. Happy New Year!

Corporal_Trim said...

From one unfocused blogger to another, all the best to you in 2018, David !


david in suffolk said...

The Isle of Sheppey indeed! As one who grew up in Sittingbourne, I salute you. From your other postings I reckon you were 2 years ahead. Did you hop on the train to 'the mainland' at all? I wonder if we may have acquired early armies in the same model shops..☺
Great blog too, thanks!

Paul O'G said...

Happy New Year mate

David Crook said...

Hi Geordie,

Funny you should mention HMS Hood....

All the best,


David Crook said...

Hi Simon,

I keep trying to persuade my son that he needs to be his son (aka my grandson) the Lego Death Star.

Sadly I am not making much progress....

All the best,


David Crook said...

Hi Steve,

And to you sir! I hope all is well with you and yours.

All the best,


David Crook said...

Hi David in Suffolk,

I am of the 1960 vintage and my first job after leaving school was in Sittingbourne. It was in a shop called The Camera and HiFi Centre and the address was (I think) 4 West Street. The guy that owned it was called Pat Gower.

I used to spend a lot of time (and money) in Man and Boy and there was another models shop at the other end of the high street but sadly I cannot remember the name. I also used to use the library a lot and my father went to Borden Grammer.

Small world eh?

All the best,


David Crook said...

Hi Paul,

Happy new year to you and yours old chap and congratulations on the new position. Drop me an email when you can for a proper catch up.

All the best,