Thursday, 28 July 2016


Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water . . . . .

Only a couple of months since my last blog entry, so quite regular really. Although nothing has happened on the wargaming front since my last raid, it doesn’t mean it hasn’t been on my mind. To be honest, between hospitals and house stuff, it’s about the only thing that’s kept me relatively sane. 

Did I say I’d acquired a copy of the new(ish) ‘Baroque’ rules from Dadi & Piombo? 

They’re a nice set of rules and have easy mechanics and I think they’ll give a pretty good game, but, as they cover a one hundred and fifty year time span, they’re not that strong on giving the ‘period flavour’ of specific conflicts, or at least the features of a particular conflict that make a wargamer prefer, say the Thirty Years’ War to the English Civil War., but that’s not their aim. If you want to go the whole hog, it’s possible to base everything on 6cm square bases (three per unit for foot, dragoons and horse and one for guns) which makes basing simple. They do have specific army lists (ugh!) which go a fair way to reproducing various armies, but if you’re looking for something to reproduce your particular take on the Nine Years’ War or the atmosphere of The Last Valley, then you need to get something more specific. That’s not to say you can’t make a reasonable go of reproducing a particular conflict and there’s no such thing as a set of rules you can’t tweak, but it all depends on how much effort you want to put in and how historically accurate your interpretation of that period actually is compared with what D&P have produced. Back to my thoughts on the accuracy or otherwise of a wargamer’s view of an historical period is. We also have a nasty habit of strict ‘periodisation’ so history is often thought of as being made up of distinct chunks of time without any consideration given to the process of military and/or technological evolution (cue debate about mid to late nineteenth century warfare in Europe and America).

In a way, they remind me of the old WRG 1685 – 1845 rules which appeared in ‘77.

They were a bit of a game changer in their day, but gave the gamer the facility to build up characteristics of units which gave a reasonable reproduction of the real thing. They did cause a few headaches with their mechanics at first and their terminology was a bit idiosyncratic (‘Irregular soldier skirmishing infantry with jezzail’ and such), but they did give a good game – and still do for some gamers. By the way there are some derivatives, ‘Elan’ for Napoleonics and ‘Pro Gloria’ for the Seven Years’ War, for example – other rule sets are available . . . .

Despite my oath not to buy more lead until the current ballast is painted and based or has found its way to other venues, I succumbed to a few boxes of the new Perry ACW releases. The temptation just got too much for me, but regrets have I none. They’re much better cast than has become the norm of late and they contain some nice characters. Although I got a mixed bunch, they are all destined for the Confederacy with on ly a few exceptions. The object of the exercise is to produce some ‘firing line’ regiments composed of a mix of Perry, Foundry and maybe Redoubt figures with some adapted Empress Miniatures’ Maori War castings thrown in for good measure. Only a few mind as they’re eye wateringly expensive – seven quid plus postage for four figures! I’m no skinflint, but I’m unenthusiastic about trying single handedly to improve their liquidity ratio.  However a few of my favourites swiped from the Perry site:

Sunday, 29 May 2016

I dunno, call it what you want.

An Englishman, Irishman, Scotsman and a Rabbi walk into a bar and the Rabbi says “Damn, I’m in the wrong joke!” I was going to type “shit”, but I didn’t want to lower the tone.

Anyway, hands are on the up, which is a near miracle, given the amount of plaster dust and God knows what they’ve been subjected to. All good then. About time to squeeze in a bit of lead painting when things go quiet – maybe even today if I’m not seduced by the sun and the birdsong. Out back (as we refer to the back garden) we have had something of a war between a gang of wood pigeons and a trio of ‘nice' birds: a blackbird and two robins. The crunch came last week when the cat from next door but one left one of said wood pigoens in kit form across the road. They’ve not been close since then, but they do gather on the roof of the house opposite trying to intimidate that cat. Consequently, we’re treated to longish periods of birdsong from the blackbird and his great tit and blue tit support band from around five o’clock. The only negative part of this is that I wish they’d learn some new numbers as the same song all day, for days on end gets a bit like the muzac at Tesco’s. If I’m still round in a couple of million years, maybe they will have.

From the odd comment dotted here and there around the blog, some of you may have gleaned that Cloud Base is undergoing some ‘alterations’ as they used to say. Nothing too dramatic, but it’s about time and all that. The upshot has been (and still is) the need to ditch some of the gash we’ve accumulated over the years from a variety of sources. The tally of bin bags transferred to the tip (not including the skip!) is too depressing to admit here, but it wasn’t all our stuff guv. A fair percentage of the tally was stuff that belonged to relatives who’ve since gone west (we’ve got a whole library full of long stories).

A couple of weeks ago, son and daughter were summoned to see if there was anything they wanted to keep – at their house(es) - including things I’ve brought back from abroad and other bits of my junk which might be of use (no, I’m not sentimental). Unsurprisingly, daughter arrived on cue, ready to muck in, but her brother was somewhere in the Dark Peak – the acorn never falls far from the tree. In no time at all, Young Henry had discovered a modest accumulation of boxes, which contained wargaming stuff and, despite threats from his mother, turned up a few bits for himself (mostly junk) and, surprise, surprise, some AB French Napoleonic light infantry that I don’t remember at all. I know where they ought to have been, had they existed, but I didn’t know they actually did exist! No big deal really and not particularly well painted (must’ve been a rush job or just a ‘filler’, I think), but I think they may become one of those fabled ‘magic’ units that can do no wrong on the wargame table and lead charmed lives. So, fair enough, here they are:

Now then, Partizan. Great venue with plenty of light and free parking. Catering good, but probably taken by surprise by the numbers who actually turned up – around 900, I understand, but I might be wrong there. I had a good time of it and was much relieved that it was such a success. I have a soft spot for Partizan as it saw the birth of the old Wargames Mongrels (many of whom you do know as they’ve grown to better things and some fame within the hobby) so I was a little nervous about the effect of the migration to a new venue. I didn’t intend to do any shopping as such (and didn’t – two bags of bases from Warbases!) and thought I’d have plenty of time to browse round the games. It didn’t turn out that way because I seemed to spend all day talking to people I hadn’t seen for ages and those who I met again at the Bloggers’ Meet - up arranged by Pete Barfield (Panzer Kaput). To paraphrase Mr Baggins Snr, I didn’t speak to half of them half as well as I should’ve liked; and I give credit to more than half of them half as much as they deserve.

The games were generally excellent and the ‘best game’ winner was inspired (James Morris’ ‘Verdun’ game). My own favourite was the Humberside club’s 1666 naval action and I don’t particularly like tabletop naval games! That’s it from me on the show as there’ve been some good reviews and reports and, even better, some excellent photographs posted around the ‘net already.

O.K., time for a sudden exit and get the painting table fired up.

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Better show willing . . . .

Aside from domestic and building related things, I haven’t done much since the last post. Hands haven’t been behaving. So painting or anything more delicate than shifting stuff around and little patching jobs have had to be side lined. Still, onward and upward eh? Thought I’d better produce some actual evidence of the cause of my grumbling, so here’s a piccie of my right hand – being right handed, it seemed the obvious choice:

Sympathy cards and cash can be sent via HM the Queen.

Anyway, I have actually been able to pick off bits of painting in short, irregular bursts (no change there then) so I’ve added a few pictures of WIP stuff. No apparent sign of consistency of theme so, on that front, all things are quite normal. There are a couple of chips here and there, caused by gravity, which need touching up. The first is the Warlord Games Gustavus Adolfus figure (now demoted to an ECW Royalist cavalry field officer) waiting for his horse and some glue and the rest are from the Walsh WSS Irish (French) regiment; all Ebore figures:

Going to Partizan this Sunday, if only to see Pete’s new banner for his VBCW game. I’m not sure it’s entirely his game, but he’s been fingered for it. Have a look too at the post below about the bloggers’ get together. Further news is that it’ll form up at the VBCW stand located at DG19 at 13:00, or when the big hand is at 12 and the little hand is at 1, if you’re from Norfolk. For those who are relying on satellite imagery, here’s a shot of the game banner, shamelessly nicked from Pete: