Monday, 25 April 2016

Rules, painting and moaning.



I got a small amount of painting done last week, which was something of an achievement, but not the only positive aspect of the past seven days. I also won a book in Max Foy’s photo quiz and took delivery of the new Black Powder ACW supplement “Glory Hallelujah!”. So, if you ignore the quote for the rewiring work, the news of Prince’s death and then the demise of Victoria Wood, it wasn’t a bad week at all. Actually, it was a pretty shitty week.


However, “Glory Halleluja!” is something I’ve been waiting for for what now seems like ages. I got mine from the Perry Twins because the free figure (vignette) is better. To be honest, you’d have to know nothing about the ACW or be a real klutz not to be able to produce your own ACW Black Powder variant, but I’d always intended to take the BP approach with my 28mm ACW types because of its flexibility and I’d been impressed with Steve Jones’ “Rebellioin” AWI variant which is a bit of a scoop, so I decided to let nature take its course and hold off until the supplement was produced.
  


It’s written by Dr. David James, runs to 180 mostly useful and very easy to read pages and is filled with photographs for those who struggle with words and put off actually reading things like this until the very last moment. It breaks down into unevenly sized sections: introduction and background information, organisation, weapons and tactics and uniforms summary, standardised tables of troop types broken down by phases of the war, specialised rules and a batch of ten scenarios (of which Gettysburg accounts for three). It’s also peppered with anecdotes and tit bits of information to help with the flavour of the period.


The uniform information is a bit sketchy, but then this isn’t a uniform book. However, the ”Rebellion” book did have decent uniform information, so, what’s good for the goose etc. Fair to say though, that the relative rarity of unit specific uniforms as the war dragged on lessens the importance of this section and there’s plenty of information available online.


So, is it worth twenty quid? Given the current price range of rules and supplements these days and the apparent inability of wargamers to manage to digest anything without any pictures in it, yes, it’s money well spent even if you’re not a Black Powder fan. The information can be easily translated to other rulesets, the only reservation being that no units are actually identified in the OOB’s and the maps aren’t scaled so you need to have a look at a more accurate map of the actual battlefield for which the scenario is set. However, there’s a half decent bibliography (you’re not doing a BA thankfully) and the internet simply oozes with the necessary information.  


While we’re navigating dangerously close to wargaming for once, I thought I ought to catch up with the rest of the squadron and post a photo of my painting desk. Well, I say desk but I actually mean a modest painting station, which is really one of those overbed tables they use in hospitals on which the nurse puts your watery food when you’re (usually) too infirm to give a bugger what they feed you or you’re dying. Oddly enough, it was liberated from a store of redundant hospital equipment, though I should point out that it had been clinically cleansed of all bodily fluids. Can’t say the same for it now though. So, here she is in all her glory:




Oh yes, a couple of weeks ago we took Young Henry to the Royal Armouries in Leeds. He was only still long enough for one photo, so here he is doing what he seems to like best. Naturally, I got the labouring job . . . .






Circumlocution


Now, while lying awake earlier this morning at stupid o’clock, with my mind ticking over and drifting along seemingly unrelated paths, I wondered when or why other people get the urge to post a blog entry. In my case, it seems to be at times like that, when sleep is evasive, but the mind must have something to do. Not a conscious drive, but more a consequence of the mind wandering around the cerebral equivalent of a demilitarized zone. I know many to whom blogging is as natural as breathing and others who’re dedicated to providing hobby news or updates on projects or games but there appear to be quite a few who are less regular in their posting, even though they keep to an overall theme. Then there’s me who’s been described as being “all over the place”. Well, my blog and all that . . . .


The cause of my wakefulness is a consequence of being polite and letting myself be talked into something I didn’t want to do. A week last Saturday night, Chris and I went to an 80th birthday party for a person we barely know, but whose daughter we do know well. To my mind, this is a pretty flimsy excuse for subjecting myself to a period of enforced jollity among people I generally don’t know in a social club which is anything but social and of which I’m not a member. The thought of sitting for hours nursing a fruit juice of some description, making polite conversation with strangers while Chris chatted with her cronies was beyond the pale, so we did the taxi thing so I could imbibe. As such occasions have a habit of doing, the evening turned out to be better than expected, helped along by several pints of Guinness and fortified by rum. The only disappointment was being saddled for a while with the new vicar of – I’d better not say where – who freeloaded several pints of Guinness from is flock and consumed a bin lid full of food from the buffet. There was a lot of Guinness: it was a Catholic club.


I can sense that, by now, you’re wondering where this is going, so I’ll cut to the chase. Later that evening, when I went outside to phone for a taxi home, it transpired that my good old beer overcoat is not nearly as effective as it used to be and I returned to our table with a mild case of hypothermia. By Tuesday this had developed into a gruff voice and mild cough and has now achieved the status of a genuine cold – NOT Manflu. When I can be bothered to speak I do so in a dull baritone accompanied by a hacking cough and the snot factory is on overtime. This makes sleep difficult at best, which, in turn, leads to task-unrelated thought and thence to this. So, being antisocial shouldn’t be viewed as a negative trait.