Thursday, 11 February 2016

I wonder if anybody has noticed yet.....

Regular reader will have noticed that I'm just a tad cynical- it comes of being in the trenches so to speak. But I was having a look at the MWBG website a few minutes ago and of course its moving- to be subsumes into the Tabletop Gaming website of its "sister" magazine of the same name by the same publisher to wit - Warners.
 Now a CB like me is forced to wonder  how long MWBG will last as an "independent" publication. Two Years a Year, less?
Check out the website

I really do hope I'm wrong here but I wonder if we are to be further subsumed into more childish crap

The Following day.

I finally - after far too much faffing about- found the appropriate podcast and after I'd wondered why anyone would subject their lugholes to  such strange noises  on a regular basis found the appropriate part of the Shuck- Hyde conversation . Frankly I'm not convinced though my timespan laid out above was too short - so maybe 3 years then. 3 years is a long time in publishing.

Bizarre or what ?

What I found truly odd about the podcast experience was that people would actually listen to it in the first place. It took 20 plus minutes to get to the bit I was interested in  through what I can only describe as fluff and meandering fluff at that. Now I'm being harsh here as it was my first listen and I will in all probability have another bash but  the whole podcast looked interminable on my slider. The thing had barely moved after 28 minutes so I'd lose the will to live after twice that.
 Not that there weren't interesting bits. There was even mention of the Essen Spieltage- an event I attended for much of the 1990s with the Old Glory Trade stand so I KNOW  how big the boardgames market is in Germany- even the Bundespost  had a stand with a game- everybody is doing it Mein Herr .

 Looking on the bright side maybe Henry will get a chance to put a bit of blue water between MW and TTG in terms of style and content. I'm not hopeful but you never know...

Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Thought Provoking ....

 As you'd expect there is plenty of stuff about Vapnartak out there on the various blogs- most exactly as you'd expect for such a fine show so I won't repeat them. Except to say that I and my team had a fine day.
 I sold many thousand of little men- mostly Blue Moon 15mm  but with an admixture of OG 28 mm and Drabant.
 The van was a good bit lighter than when we went so no worries there  other than ordering all the replacement stock which I'm currently in the middle of.
 However the main reason for this short post is to get you to read Tantobie Internet tattler - especially this post

Now Andrew is a mate so maybe I'm a tad biased but  I found this a very thought provoking post indeed coming as it does from a somewhat different angle than the usual wargamers blog post...
 Right Back to work in the Soldier land that never sleeps .....

Friday, 5 February 2016

Vapnartak- York- Feb7th

Well here we are getting ready for the gig at the Knavesmire in York this coming Sunday. As ever we'll be taking a  big van full of gear. Lots of stuff that has not been to a show yet- all those superb Blue Moon Swedish Danish and Bavarian Napoleonic cavalry for a start. So we'll be bringing all the Blue Moon stuff we have plus of course 15mm Command Decision WW2 and Moderns- don't have the very newest yet but hope to have them for Triples next month .
 Now off to the Post Office with a batch of parcels  for chaps who are not going to York- well its a bit far if you live in Finland !

Friday, 29 January 2016

It all started with a shortage of latex.....and went downhill from there.

 Last Saturday saw the first meeting of the T.W.A.T.S   for 2016 and I was in the chair. After a lot of umming and awing I decided on the AWI as the period for this game. Now my collection for this period is not exactly extensive but will suffice for a small to medium sized game- in 25mm of course or 28mm if you are under 40 or have 3 millimetre angst- Its all the same Dudes.
 Any how the weather was  pretty 'orrible so I decided on a re-fight of the Battle of Princeton,
 This was a smallish action in the AWII - large enough for my smallish collection to handle- with a few spare units left over..
 There were 3 battalions of British regulars against 2 brigades of Americans-  over half of the Americans being Militia of one sort or another- a good number of them rifle armed- which meant they could shoot - but being without bayonets at a disadvantage in a fight so the British plan was obvious- take the bayonet to 'em-
They do not like it up them ! (No neither would I).
 Present were your gentle Author Andrew the Tekkie , Floating Jeff(some of the time) Mechanical Shaun and new boy Brummie Paul  so a respectable turnout. Rules used were British Grenadier- the only local amendment being to lengthen rifle ranges a tad  so that they were one third longer than musket range which to me seemed a better proportion.
 So let .. er battle ... commence.
Right away it was obvious that the British had forsworn the direct approach- in other words the British fannied about. They did not even try to win the race for the farmhouse hill but allowed 1 American Brigade to take this position unfought whilst the second American Brigade made for Princeton. The 2 British Battalions covering that town skipped out of the way "in order to manoeuvre" and abandoned the Ravine, though to be fair  the second American Brigade was some distance off.
The British never really got going- perhaps the reason is obvious. 

 Mean while around the Farmhouse hill the Yankees were having fun picking off the British more or less at leisure only slightly daunted by the British Light infantry. The Large British battalion  bimbled about at the bottom of the hill and eventually decided to pick on the Militia battalion that was the American reserve. However to do this they took an enfilading volley from the much smaller American Continental unit on the farm house hill . This together with a volley from the Militia meant that- although they saw the militia off they were in no state to continue without some reforming as they had taken both casualties and disorder points.
The Brits could have reached the hill but didn't try.

Bimleing and more bimbleing 
 On the other side of Farmhouse hill... more bimbling- again the British taking enfilading fire this time from the Rifle armed troops on the hill - nothing serious really but the Brits simply did not get on with job .  Had they gone at the Yankees there would not have been enough survivors to take the news home but no... more Bimbling.
the inevitable result.
 the second American Brigade meantime sent its rifle armed companies into princeton to burn the supplies while the rest held the fencline for the inevitable British assault which never happened.. After Jeff left  to some personal stuff Andrew more or less packed it in.
As always Lunch provided by our hostess Jean was splendid and included Cake !
 Teachers report- Must Do Better.
 Next game- probably Moderns- more Andre the Tekkies thing...

Thursday, 21 January 2016

Another Year another nadir?

Where does wargaming stop... and merely Gaming begin?

Iwas reading the latest issue of WSS the other day- not a bad issue but not one of the standout issues either- Main Topic - the Western desert- nice!
 Other bits not bad but the "game reviews"
 Oh dearie me- almost all the "games"( note the use of the term instead of rules)  were for limited fantasy or sci - Fi games.  The new Not 40k at all in any form A,N, Other sci-fi skirmish game  Antares got a sycophantic review- no surprise there but I worry about any adult who starts an article "I love 40k"  makes you wonder if he's past puberty yet?.
 However that was not the worst even if I include more bloody Zombies- which I wouldn't if I had a choice. No this months nadir was wait for it Tail Feathers-and aerial game with sparrow Raven Mice and rats. Give me strength! Now this game had a "suitable for 9 years upward" tag so its a kiddies game . Nothing wrong with that but should it be reviewed in a Wargames mag- rather than a general games mag such as Tabletop Gaming- which is surely where this game belongs. Or are the WSS going along with the current trend for infantilisation ?

Mafia magazine?

Unusually I received a copy of Wargames Illustrated in the post the other day. Now I don't advertise in this and hadn't seen a copy for over a year. Now its no longer the FOW hose magazine  but its still in thrall to a certain extent to the Warlord- Perry axis and the rest of the Nottingham Mafia. Now this does not automatically make it a bad magazine- you just have to be aware that it has an axe to grind. Indeed as far as articles went it wasn't bad at all once you filtered out the subliminal advertising so ignoring the review of Warlords big AWI  plastikrap boxed set- glowing as you'd expect and the article on tank modelling- using a Warlord model naturally  then there was actually quite a bit of reading though personally I still find the shazam - kapow design style of the mag a bit  too "in yer face pal !" for my taste . The pages sometimes just too busy and the concentration on the one true size(28mm of course)  But on the whole I've seen a lot worse and again overall the mag was a bit better than the last time I looked....

Flawed- perhaps but interesting.

By Gum it's been a week for magazines. This morning MW dropped on the mat so  to complete the trilogy here we go.
  Don't be put off by the front cover which is pretty nauseating orcs and thingies equally  don't be put off by the 7 pages of club directory- I find that according to this document there is only 1 club in County Durham whereas I know of at least 2 others not including the T.W,A,T,S.a and had never heard of the one that IS listed- C'est la Guerre!
The main article is a discussion about Airfix- specifically their new WW2 skirmish game which actually looks as if it has some nice ideas in it. It is card driven and comes out in May- and should be a good introduction to WW2 if that is your thing. The tone of the discussion was a bit childish in parts - all about the games you played as a kid- and trying to re-create them for your kids - why ? Kids do their own thing man. What is this obsession with children.....
However moving swiftly on Dan Mersy  gave us the benefit of his thought on Dragon Rampant- his low level fantasy version of Lion Rmapant- now funnily enough if I was going to do Fantasy this is the way I'd go  free-form not tied to any  silly "universe" and with jokes in. Indeed I'm almost tempted to re-start my Dwarfs- in 7 man units of course....
An article on the Alamo siege  I'll not pass comment upon - mostly because I'd have to check up my Alamo references of which I've more than a few- Back in the day Peter Panzeri fought the Alamo assualt at 1 to 1 using our Alamo range in 28mm- at the Derby Worlds and we do ranges for the Texas War of independence in 10mm 15mm 28mm and 40mm.
There are also a couple of Dark Ages scenarios for the hard of thinking- not bad of themselves  but a bit light on actual info- but being the Dark ages there may not be any ....

So Dudes you pays your money and takes your pick. I just wish more of the offerings were not aimed at 10 year olds is all.

Friday, 8 January 2016

16 tons and whaddya get- another year Older ...

I suppose nobody remembers Tennessee Earnie Ford these days .........
 Unfortunately I did.. now I can't get the bloody tune out of my head ....

So 2015 is gone - done and dusted over, finito benito !
 What next?
 2016  of course
 So what's appearing ?
 Speaking from an OGUK perspective first  I'll be adding 2 new aircraft to the range in the next few days- an F-86 Sabre  Flown by lots of different air-forces from the 50s to the early 70s with combat service in Korea and Pakistan. Also I'll have the Mig 15  which also saw extensive service in Korea and yes a Mig-17 is on the cards for later in the year.
 In terms of  figure models I have a few more 40mm Wars of the Roses to add to the range- these have been a while coming  but should appear by the end of this month. There are 4 more armoured Men-at -Arms and 2 more Longbowmen. These will be available in packs of 2 for a fiver a pack. So no more expensive than the more outrageous 28mm these days and cheaper than a good few.
 I'll also be re-releasing the currently unavailable ex-Jacdaw 40mm Thirty Year War  miniatures. These will be added to the Romanoff listing for the same period. This will mean that the whole range - Foot, Cuirassiers  Horse and gun and crew  will be available again.

 ...and from across the Pond??
I know Blue Moon have bundles of new 15mm planned- pictures of the Dacians have appeared on the Old Glory News Desk Imperial Romans and possibly Sarmations are about the place as well. Can't be more specific than that currently as Blue Moon tend to time new releases to coincide with the 3 big US shows Cold Wars, Historicon and Fall- in - which appear in that order through the year. There are some new Napoleonics due- Hopefully I'll get them with my next shipment- due before York show  Swedish Hussars , Bavarian Chevau- leger and the first of the Duchy of Warsaw range- check out the Old Glory Newsdesk for more info .

...As for Myself

Well no NEW  projects but continuations of those I'm already doing as the fancy takes me. More "Shinyloo" obviously, lots more ECW- the target is to get representative units for all the main combatant armies as well as having larger forces  in general. So maybe I'll reach 300 finished  royalist cav this year plus all the rest and possibly actually get the scots onto the table
Some of my 60 or so finished Covenanter- just need to get the flags on them..
Some more Moderns in 15mm definitely. Yet currently I'm painting some Stadden AWI for our next game. We'll be using "British Grenadier" so I suppose I should read them
 Gawd I hate reading rules .......

I may also get a few more NW Frontier items finished.
No the main thrust will be ECW - but as ever there will be diversions into other areas.
 Blog posts- well the idea will be to continue to think about what we do and why  rather than becoming simply drones for the GDD's
 the Resistance will live on!

Friday, 18 December 2015

Lifes Rich Tapestry ....

So let's get a few things straight. 

 Someone once said "Life is a minestrone" (Actually it was 10cc- the rock band- a couple of whom went to my Grammar school - but several years ahead of me. Fallible memery says one of them was a prefect who gave me a clip round the ear and a detention for doing something nefarious- which I've forgotten but there you go. Part of the minestrone or indeed lifes rich tapestry).
 Which early digression doesn't prove much one way or the other but may point towards diversity, a nod to that famed rich tapestry and perhaps a way of life that back then was normal, now would be seen as positively primitive with anguished calls to Social Workers and threats of legal action.
 So what is my point- Life was better in the 70s?.
 Not a chance! Neither real life nor Wargaming life. In some ways it was freer certainly- Free Speech actually existed in the real world rather than being merely a concept you pay lip service to until you hear something you don't like. (Such as the calls to Ban Trump and Fury  because of their very unpalatable remarks (Doesn't Trump and Fury remind you of a bad Music Hall act of the Le Petomaine type!!). Personally I'm with Ian Hislop here- let 'em spout and then rip the piss- though he put it more carefully than that- but of course he meant present another view, argue your point. Discuss ,reason debate think, present a new argument. Something else that was actually encouraged back then- at least it was at my University. Though it has to be said that the first seeds of "Ban everything I disagree with"  was showing its ugly head by the early 80s if not before.. So paradoxically it seems that we now have many more ways of saying things - but far less to actually say. Hmm  Still trying to work that one out ....
 In our hobby as in life the idea of debate has become somewhat unfashionable. For me this is deeply unfortunate- now I'm aware that there are various forums out there but they all seem to consist of pissing contests between egos of varying sizes or collections of snide remarks by tossers who wouldn't dare say the same face to face rather than reasoned debate.
 I actually recall being ejected from one Yahoo group for NOT calling the "Lord Moderator" a Nazi- (but daring with others to discuss thing he didn't approve of- I was told "this isn't a Democracy" - "Well B******s to you" thinks I(exit Villain sneering!)
 Which once my ire had passed made me giggle rather more than somewhat. simply because of its sheer bloody arrogance.
Now here I adopt a different attitude and style- chaps can say mostly anything they want- as long as it doesn't break the law or frighten the horses!. There are comments on this blog that I disagree with and have angered me a tad(being accused of misogyny for one) but rather than delete them I of course let them stand- Free Speech is too precious for fits of pique- especially as it is becoming so unfashionable.. Of course you have to be prepared to put up with small- minded spite but Jeez! if you are in the Trenches you get shot at- Shoot back Dude/ Or as my Ethics teacher put it- Question everything!.
 Now for me that holds in our hobby as in life- think about it- Why are todays rulebooks so pretty- it is BECAUSE they have fewer actual rules in them?
 Why are identikit skirmish games so popular- when soldiers are cheaper than ever- I can think of several answers some all or none of which may be correct
 Why is the Sci-fant genre so popular perhaps 3 or 4 times as popular as "traditional wargaming"  especially when many of the games  seem to be far far more limited in scope than the open ended possibilities of the Historical genre?

Where did all the thinking go??