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Wednesday 28 May 2014

Partizan in the Park- or Big Tent.

Sundays sees  my crew and  me travelling to Partizan which this year is apparently being held in a Marquee- read Big Tent- so its likely to be a right bloody circus one way or another.
In theory nothing should really change ... in theory... of course it will all depend upon what actually happens rather than what the very put upon Organiser hope will happen.
 I say piut upon because the venue owners have stiched them right up- double booked the place and then told the Irregulars to stump up a bundle of extra mazuma for the circus tent .... and flooring .... and power connection ...
 So currently  we are sp to speak in a position of flux -  and possibly in danger of a proper flux- up.
 Still  I'm certainly NOT blaming the organiser but rather the venue owners- a private company who can earn more from staging the  wedding of Tarquin and Arbuthnot than they can a mere wargames show booked  for some time.
 Now for us  it may mean no change but until we get there we can't tell - if the  place is a foot deep in mud well- life could get intresting to say the least. A bundle of transit vans filled with lead is not going to do the lawn any good at all my dear !
 So possibilities- we will be bringing all our normal show stock but - depending upon weather and access may only actually unload the 15mm and 10mm leaving the rest in the van to be accessed at need. pre-orders will of course be unloaded whatever size they are.
 We honestly can't be sure until we get there
 still If you can't take a joke ......

Saturday afternoon...
 An addition
 OK so we've loaded the van - somewhat differently than usual - lightest stuff out first then if  the world is made of S**T we can leave the hevey kit in the van. Decided not to bring the 40mm bin stack as it weights twice as much as any towo other bins together and since we don't know the ground or the distance or even how dry it may or may not. We are told that the organisers are "not expecting any issues" . Well I'm not so sanguine myself but we'll see I hope I'm wrong.

Tuesday 13 May 2014

Are Wargames shows a dying breed. ?

Further to a recent post by Robbie Roddis on his "Independant Wargames Group" blog I thought I'd stick my oar in regarding Wargames shows.
 Now as someone who earn his living in this "industry" my views will not always concur with Robbie's but neither will they concur with some of the mean minded Tight -arsed traders I've come across over the years- and no I won't name names but some of these pillocks need to GROW UP .
Show do not exist merely for their convenience.
 Show do not exist merely for the convenience of the Punters either .
 Shows exist so that Wargames Clubs and  the like can make a profit.
 Now what these clubs do with that profit is another matter- I know of at least one club that gives its profits to service charities.
 I've heard of more than one that use the profits to keep down Club subscription for their members all of which is fair enough but there is the point that they are all volunteers- few or no show organisers are paid for doing what they do  at best they might get a few quid expenses but  not enough to retire to the Bahamas on for sure..Back in the 80s when I ran the Durham show for a few years I got a few quid to cover the cost of stamps- that was my lot !
Now as for my own reasons for attending shows . That is not always as obvious as you might think . Yes I want to make a few quid but its also  about being seen. In a hobby that is increasingly dominated by the Internet I view "putting myself about a bit"  as still quite important- even when it becomes a chore- its part of the job, Not for me the sitting in my ivory tower sneering down at  the chaps who spend their hard earned on my products (I can think of at least 2 major companies  who do this) . No I'll get my arse out on the road and go and see the chaps who spend their cash. - and yes possibly take a bit more off 'em if I'm lucky but I don't assume I have a right to make money and if a show's a bummer I don't whine at the organisers- I simply don't go back . This has happened a few times over the 22 years I've been at this game. So a show is a dead loss Tough shit, suck it up - Just Shut  Up and Soldier On !  Traders are after all only 1 part of the show experience- and with the Internet now dominant  possibly not always the most important to some attendees.
Some of my 40mm TYW troops . These are mainly Danes but a bit of fiddling about will eventually turn them into French- Swiss Guards .

 So Robbie is right here- there has to be more stuff at shows. Back in the day it was fairly rare to see kids at shows- Now- more often that not Mummy tells Daddy that he has to take young Arbuthnot out from under here feet (Possibly so she can get it on with the Gardener in peace!!!!) or he doesn't get to buy any Soldiers - and yes I've been told this numerous times in recent years (except the bit about the Gardener  but then I've always had a lively imagination !!) so there should be a kiddies game or two at larger shows so Daddy can  get about in peace perhaps. Notwithstanding this there are larger numbers of youngsters than there used to be so I'm not overly concerned for the future(Anyway I'll have snuiffed it  so won't need to give a toss !) but said youngsters are not always of immediate concern to the Trade as they don't have much cash!  .
 Also in a world that is becoming increasing bland and holier than thou sometimes it's nice to shake the buggers up a bit !   Death Before Tedium!! 
 So thats why I go to shows- for the Brass for the appearence and also for Laughs. Not all shows have the same elements of each in that order- Salute is for the Brass - there is  usually  little time for laughs . A decent 2 day show is a bit different- Say Donnington or Triples or increasingly Scarborough- I get a bit more time to  see chaps and look at Games something that doesn't always happen at a 1 day gig - especially if I've been up half an hour before God just to get there.
Sir John Chandos- a famous knight of Edward III time . Killed in France. - 28mm figure

A lot depends upon what the customer wants from his show- after all my basic wants are simple- a load of Punters spending their cash a t my shop  Job done .But  If I was paying at the door (instead of through the nose ) then I suspect my wants would be a little more complex- Yes you want to see your mates and have a chat - so somewhere to do this is essential- a bar is nice but not obligatory (though I blush to say so!)  Edible  food is nice but a rare and special thing- see my post "Culinary Adventures ! -
 A one day event can hardly hope to copy the best US shows with Games registration and lots of playable games lasting several hours  together with "after hours" gaming once the Trader Hall is closed- This is mostly because the usual show venue in the UK is  not the same as the "Resort Hotel" venue of Historicon- which I attended 3 or 4 times in the 90s and noughties. No, British shows- even 2 day events are actually 1 day shows  10 till 5 the get off home. I doubt such venues as Historicon's exist in the UK orf if they do are affordable by the average club  It would take a major change in culutre within our hobby and lets face it many don't like change in any form .  Most British shows are not much further than the nearest town- in the UISA it isn't like that  chaps travel  for a couple of DAYS in some cases to get to the show.  Historicon was only a short drive for OGUS and the 2 7 tonners we took -a mere 4 hours  each way - distances are just much larger there, you have to adapt to the geography  . However War Tron - Scarborough  is trying to at least have a go in this direction  with some "after hours" gaming over the weekend of the show so we'll see how that goes

Thursday 8 May 2014

Crossed Lances- A review....

Now as you may have gathered I don't do reviews- never quite seen the point of them to be honest. I've read enough of the overly gushing  hyperbole over the years  to make me spew . Also enough of the tight- arsed mean minded twaddlle at the other end of the spectrum to add to aforesaid pile of  unwholsome semi-solids so when Peter Bradford asked me to  mention his Jousting Game - Crossed lances on this blog I was a bit taken aback. After all many reviewers have an axe to grind one way or another and Pete is a mate so I have what might be termed a conflict of interest here- well a bit anyhow.
 I played Crossed lances at the  Donnington show last year- where it won Best Participation game and I was aware that Pete and fellow author Martin Knight were even then working on an extension to include other tournament evets such as Archery Contests and Foot combats as well as non Tournamant  Judicial Combats .
 Basically these 2 books  will give you enough Info to run a Medieval Tournament from the12th Century  through to the beginning of the 16th century. Individual games are short- pandering to the fashion for "Wargaming Lite"  but there is much  more within the  2 volumes and indeed there are  several different  possible games with the tournament set up . The needed components- Cards and counters as well as a simple playing area are all included so whilst its entirely poosible to spend a fair few quid on  Tiltyards and Archery Butss and wooden counters  it is by no means  an absolute that one should so so  Indeed  I found the fact that all the bits except actual soldiers and dice were included to be a big plus- especially since I have a fair number of Medievals already. I can forsee more fun to be had running the tourney as Games Master  than actually playing  but then  I'm not by any means simply  a "games player"  and here lies the rub  I suspect the basic game will pall after a couple of dozen goes, However the Authors do seem to have thought of this and have stuffed in loads of advanced  rules for Intrigue and other skulduggery which in effect turns this into a Medieval Role Playing game- which is of rather more than ordinary Interest.
 I 'd reccommend buying both books- the second Volume has all the  Intrigue and such like in it  while the first has the basic rules and Jousting Rules. Both books have several pages devoted to copiable Game components such as the Cards and counters.
 I'd say that this is a bit of a must for Clubs with a limited gaming time and likewise as an entry level primer to proper Historical gaming- there is a good bit of Medieval flavour here and you don't need to spend a  couple of Tons to get a decent set up
 more info at 
 But then you can see for yourself- Peter and Martin will be running a Tourney over the 2 days of War Tron In Scarborough 28th -29th June- I might even Tilt a lance or Two myself ...

Friday 2 May 2014

Keep shining on ...

 It has been some time since my last post here. I can only blame Salute- and its inevitiable aftermath- a stinking cold - snottering my way through the post Salute work  hankie always at the ready . Paracetamol on full automatic. Large "Gold Watch"  never far away. Laugh, I thought I'd never start.
However I'm now back in the land of the more or less living with a few minutes in hand  for a bit of harmless bloggery.
 sov here we have a small selection of pics of the recent additions to my "Shinyloo" retro project.
Stadden 30mm Scots Greys- all over 30 years old and in a shocking state when bought.
Inow have a few dozen assorted 30mm figures finished- all singly based in a delberate "Charge"  style. However there is a downside.
Side view of the Greys.  I do like painting horses- ....

I'm beginning to think that Grant Young, Lawford et al must have had the patience of Saints (and I KNOW the Brig did not ,,,)  to have fiddled about with hundreds of single figures during a game. I've a bare 3 dozen and the little buggers will go anywhere but where you place them- Cavalry are fine but the Infanrty , breath heavy on  'em and you have an unsightly hemmeroid... sorry Pile -.
Mostly Stadden with a few Minot- the firing and loading chaps at the end. As it happens I'd much rather paint almost anything than French lIne Infantry-. A bit of a bugger if you are doing a project involving the French Army.
... or perhaps heap  with little arms and legs sticking out. This despite the weighted bases. Mind you when I do get them to stand up  and say "cheese"  I'm quite pleased with the result.
British Rifles the 95th- second unit to be rifle armed . Harry Smith in the background trying to get someon to post his letter to Juanita ....
 Next up for this project will be some more British Infantry and some Royal Horse Artillery .