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Welcome to Big Andy's Blog.

Hello this is my first attempt at a Blog. Hope you enjoy my ramblings. Andy

Monday, 14 April 2014

Salute 2014 - After the War is Over .......

 Well I'm Back - more or less in one piece. The splend lunacy that is Salute over for another year. I've read Robbie Roddis blog on the subject and- barring the difficulty getting in- we might have been at a different show. I saw none of the games he mentions- none of the painting competitions  Nowt, Nix ,Nada, Zip - but I don't care  DID see a lot of blokes from most countries of the EU buying shedloads of soldiers at my stand . therefore I am content.
 Once again the only tiny speck in the ointment was the insalubriousness of the Kharsis- this rather from over use with 87 zillion blokes trying to use 'em all at once it did get a tad pungent down there- but I only had time to sufferthe once and tied a knot in it for the rest of the day- probably as well since dehyration might have set in otherwise.
 Two shots of Drabant Norman Cavalry painted by Nick Bokarev  Sold a good few Drabant at Salute
Absolutely knackered  by close of show  got loaded and away back to our hotel by  just after 6 in the evening. No intention what soever of Driving back until Suinday- could not ask that of my chaps. None of us coulod be arsed to walk the 800 Yards or so to the next pub so we ate and had a few quiet pints where we were  and a good long PHHEEEWWW  another one done
 Until Nest Year.

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Salute 2014- THE FINAL COUNTDOWN...

What WAS the name of that Godwaful band who sang that ....
 Anyway here I sit  having a little blog before I start all those fiddly little jobs that need doing before you set out for a show
 New Units for the display case- check
 Pre-orders all listed and put in the correct boxes- check
Credit card machine charged- and AFTD  packed  check
(for those  unaware of the acronym AFTD  it stands for Anti Fat Tart Device and is a  short length of cable with  loose connectors at either end- as a few years back  a FT knocked the shi ...   smashed the  credit card machine by  showing her  baby - buggy (complete with maloderous offspring ) and her FA into a gap in which it was never meant to go - not with THAT arse) Nary an apology
so we now take Extra care check !!)
Cables and  leads for lights  all PAT tested - check
Green Bag- this is what we use to carry our "ancillery stuff" in - tablecloths , cables etc- check
Brown Box- carry the display case figure- check 
 Red box- the rest of the display case stuff- check
 Hotel reservations- check
 Assorted stationary- order book etc- check
 Paper listings and carrier bags- check
More display case units- this time from the Wars of The Roses range in 28mm
Frecnh Gensdarmes and Ottoman turkish Generals-  Yes the Turks will be going to Salute. 

Pack the last few newly cast aircraft models- check
Brook Miniatures 28mm Modern British- taking these to Salute.
15mm 1/100th B-17 - Our largest Aircraft model .                                                                                                   

Friday, 4 April 2014

Another Salute 2014 update

Arrivals 

 This post will change and be edited as I pull stuff out of the shipping crates- there are 12 of them ....
Finally - after a bit of argy- bargy with UPS my 12 crate shipment has arrived- 2 days late thanks to them "accidentally deletyeing" my contact info and me having to spend a couple of hours over 2 days being shunted from call- centre to call centre- mostly by Miss Bombay -  ubntil they managed to find the right department  where it was all sorted in fairly short order
 So far I've unearther some new Blu Moon Seven Years War as well as re-supplies of Italanwars Landsknect, Swiss Spanish and Italian troops. Lots of lovely Indian Mutiny figure- I'd forgotten how nice these chaps were - as well as Colonila Pathans- again well tasty  Gotta paint some !  and some Zulu War- all of which ranges will be coming to the show

 As for new stuff I wasn't expecting I have just discovered  more Blue Moon Napoleonic Cavalry  - this time for the early Russians and the 1806 Prussian Armies

30 Minutes Later 

The Post Office Van has just brought in my Drabant order- I've had a quick look at the new Norman Cavalry and they are every bit as good in the Bare Metal as they were in the photos- if not better  Norman Archers too  Lovely stuff.
Blue Moon 15mm Zombies- we'll be taking the Blue Moon Horror range to Salute.

Later still... much later..

Yes I have lots of the New Blue Moon Seven Years War range - including Cavalry. More after I've finished sorting them But I've seen Prussian Huussars, Dragoons and Curassiers as well as Austrian Horse of various types

The Following Day. 

 10 new Packs of Russian and Prussian Napoleonic Cavalry . The Prussians for the 1806 campaiogn and the Russians in pre- 1812 uniform- Hussars in shako rather than kiwer Curassier and Dragoons in Caterpillar crested helmets  rather than the upright horsehair of 1812
 There are also new Colonials- Highlanders for the 2nd Afghan War period - with blanket rolls  and Naval Brigadeskirmishing  for the Sudan

Indian Mutineers form the Old Glory 28mm Range- I love this range lots of variety - plenty of scruffy mutineers in lost of poses and the British are pretty nice too. 
More pics of ranges we'll take to Salute I knew I had a few Muting pics in the files. This is a period I'm starting to look at again after a very long lay off. At least they don't have  tricorn hats
William Stephen Raikes Hodson of Hodsons Horse Rugby school Old Boy and dashi9ng Cavlalry leader during the Mutiny. Also an all round bad Egg-  Notorious for  theiving public monies. Had his fingers in the  Guides Mess funds allegedly .

 Sunday Morning.

No rest for the wicked. Trying to sort out chaps back orders now as well as Salute pre-orders.  also got a load of new Drabant to put away.... Ah well best get on with it...

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

More Salute 2014 stuff!!

 Here are some more pictures of Ranges we will DEFINITELY be taking to Salute 2014 in 10 days time- we are leaving on the morning of the 11th April.
15mm British Coloial Heliogrph  group.
First today - Colonials- we'll be taking all we have in both 15mm and 28mm . So the Sudan the 2 nd Afghan War and the NW Frontier in 15mm from Bluemoon  and in 28mm all of the HUGE Old Glory Colonial range - Sudan,, NW Frontier Zulu War ,Boxer Rising, Boer War ,Indian Mutiny , Maori Wars  and Sikh Wars .

Sikh Infantry  of the 1845-6 war.
20th Punjab Infantry for the 1897 Pathan Revolt. These from the OG 28mm Colonial range- finally finished them after about5 years half painted.
British Infantry from the 28mm Boer War range. Equally at home on the NW Frontier or in the later Sudan campaigns. .

 We'll also be taking the Sash and Saber Ranges- including the 28mm Napoleonics which are rather tasty - I'd forgotten theese - left languishing in a box.
These were painted By Steve Skinner in the 90s and despite being at least 17 years old still look the business. The unpainted chaps hold their own and more with  todays more exspensive offerings. 

 I'll post more pics from ranges I know we are taking over the next few days. I'm expecting to take delivery of a large shipment  tomorrow- all being well- which hopefully will have new stuff in it. Rest assured I'll let you know.

Thursday, 27 March 2014

Salute- Countdown is on...

So Salute is now just  over a fortnight away so we are into the final straight as it were.
 In my previous post I origonally  neglected to tell you that we WOULD be taking the 25mm Sash and Saber range. The ACW range is still growing and VMI cadets have been added as well as Union "Lightning Brigade"
Rebel Firing Line- These are Sash and Saber 25mm figures
So as a taster here is a pic of my few 25mm rebs- I tend to  play ACW in 40mm  but these are dispklay case units  often seen on our show stand.
 Landsknechts from the Old Glory  Italian Wars range.
 We'll also be taking the Italian Wars range- Landsknechts, Swiss, Italians, Spanish , as well as the Ottoman Turks and the Wars of Religion

Turkish Janissaries assault the Wall of Fort St Elmo. Old Glory figs - the Knights being represented by figures from the Wars of Religion range.
 As I looke at the picture of the assualt I'm reminded of past Salutes with customers threatening to overwhelm us threatening us mercilessly with bits of plastic and portraits of Her Maj!
 Long may it continue !!!

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Fantasy and Sci- Fi are "Just another period" and more Salute info...

 I've just , in the last hour received my copy of MW no 372- The one with the Salute show guide in it. Henry opines that Salute is the most intensive shopping experience  at a European show- and he's probably right- I've been on the receiving end for over 20 years and the aching joints at the end of the show ......
  He's also touting the Perry's new  rich boys showing off book - can't blame him its his job to shift 'em  but that is one product that won't see any of my brass as I simply can't see the point of it except as a wallet- catcher.
 According to the show guide there will be 102 games at Salute of which 50 will be Historical the rest some form of Fantasy or sci-fi  so just over half  of which 29 are put on by commercial outfits compared to a bare half- dozen historical games likewise staged by commercial outfits.
 I'm not sure what that says about the Fantasy/sci-fi genre outside workshop- especially as only one game appears to be Workshop based. Yet for all this activity these 29 outfits - and doubtless others not attending can't support a non- workshop Fantasy /sci-fi Gaming magazine. Pathetic isn't it.. However there is another side to the coin-  where do they advertise- some use the mags for sure but not all by any means there are for example only 5 adverts which highlight non historical stuff in MW372- though these are all full page jobs - 2 by the same outfit.
 However what this state of affairs  does say is that historically based gaming is alive and well at the club level and is still willing to put itself about a bit and at grass roots level is not altogether in hock to the Corporate Dudes as it might appear.
 This has to be good news.
15mm Argentinian troops for the Falklands War . Available at Salute.
 As for this  not so Corporate Dude our stand is  TK21  which is at the end of a block(like last year) near the Wigmore Warriors WW1 game.
Some of the newly painte 15mm 1980/ Falklands British (Painted by Shakespear Studio . This new range will be on sale at Salute.
The plan is to take as much gear as we can fit into the van- legally-  so we are definitely taking  all the 15mm Blue moon that we have- hopefully including the NEW Seven Years War range- which should arrive here around the end of this month or a little after.. All the 15mm Command Decision both WW2 and Modern and all the Fireforce15mm Miniatures and Terrain pieces, Technicals  Irregulars weapons the lot- and of course the new Falklands range. Plus of course the Lil'Flyin' Fokkers Aircraft range.
 From Drabant we'll take everything we have both 28mm and 40mm- the new Normans are on their way to me so should land in plenty of time.
 In 10mm we'll bring most of the Gunpowder ranges but if you want Ancients or Medieval please-pre-order..
28m Sash and Saber ACW and Napoleonic
 Old Glory 28mm Definitely taking Hundred Years War, Italian Wars  Wars of Religion,  Colonials, Wars of the Roses.
We'll add other 28mm ranges if we have room I'd like to take the Crusades , AWI , Samurai, Ottoman Turks (these will almost certainly be going in the van )
Old Glory 2 nd Edition  28mm - All we have. ACW, AWI and Napoleonic..
 Sash and Saber 40mm  ACW, Dark Ages , FIW ECW 7YW.
Sash and Saber 25mm- Definitely taking  ACW - including some new items VMI  cadets and "Lightning Brigade"  as well as all the rest that we have.. Napoleonic and 7YW if we can fit them in 
 Blue moon 28mm Boxed sets- all we have Horror Gangsters, Swashbucklers (this last being the nearest to non- historicals that we do..
British Colonial Heliograph Party- Blue moon 15mm Painted by Shakespeare Studios- we'll have the whole ranges for the Sudan and the NW frontier at Salute.

Other stuff such as resin ships and buildings will depend upon how much space he have left after we have loaded this lot but there will be some at least- most notably  our 1/600th Russo- Japanese War and Pre-Dreadnought range. .

 More news as I have it chaps- see you at ExCel  on the 12th

STOP PRESS ...... 
 My last addition to my order to the USA goes off on Monday so I can take delivery in time for Salute- the order will leave that week- probably Thursday and therefore arrive the following Wednesday 2 April or thereabouts . After this weekend therefore pre-orders will be from stock in hand.

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Short Romans in first proper punch-up!

 Saturday the 15th March saw  a gathering of the Tantobie Wargames and Tactical Society at our local pub to play a game

- SHOCK !!! HORROR. 

 March and this one is the first game of the new year, Nevertheless there wwre 5 of us in evidence to play a 15mm Ancients clash using the Tactica system.

The two somewhat scratch armies laid out Romans at the top of the picture.
Armies were Marian Romans and  Early Pontic with figures coming from several collections to make up the numbers as currently I only have a bare 100 Roman legionaries painted (By John Reidy ) Players were- Romans- Dave Huntley- sheepman and Northumbrian Wargamer and Tom Nutt-  both semi- regular TWATS(otherwise from the Border Reivers club) Pontics Floating Jeff and Andrew the Tekkie- who are of course regular TWATS.


 The idea for this game came from WSS no 70 but I had no idea what troops we had available beforehand so had to "wing it" rather more than somewhat. In the end we managed to scrape up two respectably sized forces - though I supected (rightly as it transpired) that I didn't give the Pontic forces sufficent cavalry or light troops
another view- with the distraction of the final day of the 6 nations on myTablet .
  Tactica is a set of rules where deployment is vital to success-  which seems to be very true of Ancient battles  even more than others.  The  mechanisms are simple so don't tax the brain and the core of the rules is "The BattlelineRule" - wherein designated battleline units may not move more than 4inches from each other- this stops units flying about the battlefield and forces you to actually think about deployment- once its deployed changing is difficult if not impossible for most close order infantry.
 The basic problem here was simple- could  the Pontics cave in the Roman flanks before the Legions cut their centre to bits.
Roman Left- Pontic Right as both sides begin to move together.

 Well  both sides advanced with comparatively little preliminary skirmishing- and what there was the Pontic forces had slightly the better of but not really enough- their Sythian Horse Archers didn't get their act together and were charged by the Roman Cavalry who had massed on their  own left Flank. Indeed the Roman Flanks always looked very vulnerable.

Pontic Right- Roman left. Pontic Chariots- wasted on skirmishers and sythian Horse archers  advancing.
 It soon became clear that the Pontic forces has let fear of the Legions colour their judgement- niether of their Flanks was strong enough to deliver a killer blow. Their best cavalry were wasted by a frontal charge on the legions- they died horribly
Pontic Cavlary dieing.. The  Pontic skirmishers did more damage...

 The Roman cavalry were eventually able to destroy much of the Pontic right  the Pontic secret weapon- Scythed chariots- were wasted on some agile skirmishers who eventually forced themm into rout with missile fire.  on the Roman Right a bit of mutual anhilation took place as a Pontic light cavalry unit destroyed a Roman allied unit of theurophoroi but  recievev  such casualties that they  routed in the process. The scene was set for the Battleline Bloodbath .

Hack slash Poke mangle ...  carnage in the Ancient style ...
 It was tough and go for a while - largely due to a couple of very inappropriate snake eye from Dave Huntley which caused two Roman Chorts to decamp untimely  amid Pontic cries of glee. but Hellenic joy was short lived Roman Pila did the damage- effectivly giving the legionaries twice as much melee power as the Pontic foot-  especially the Galations for, whilst the phalanx could hold its own the Galations were not so lucky  and both units broke followed by 2 of the plananx units
 With 4 out of 5 Battleline units gone  as against only 2 of 9 Roman the day was lost to the Greeks and Rome emerged Triumphant.

It was useful to renew aquaintance with Tactica as despite its drawbacks I still like the basic ideas. I need to fiddle a bit with the  set armies idea - for a bit more flexibility but the basic concept is simple and straightforward yet still subtle enough to interest.
 Also I seem to have re-kindled a minor interest for Ancients.
 Thanks to Andrew Oyston- Andrew the Tekkie who took the photos and as always to Jean the Landlady for excellent hot  Beef Butties.

 No Doubt we'll be back there anomn with another game....