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Monday 27 April 2015

Salute- A traders View.

 From Stand TB14 to the Gents and back.....

 Arrived at Ex-cell about 14.30 on Friday afternoon for the set  up. Jump through the usual tedious- but nessercery security hoops and get in about 15.00 .  set up  all but done by 16.00. No worries. Off to our hotel which is deliberately some distance away- a 20 minute or so drive from the awful wasteland that are the nearby hotels we used to use -  bad expensive beer and poor overprice food that would disgust a sick dog.
  Get to the hotel and do the 3 S's - off to the pub next door before a walk to our usual Friday night eatery- where the kitchen is closed


Find another pub nearby where the food is reasonable and tastes  pretty good too.
 Walk back to the hotel for a relatively early night
 Saturday Dawns 
 Breakfast at 08.00- it will ber the only food we get  for almost 12 hours. As it happens its pretty good- Bacon, decent snorkers (vide The Cruel Sea) Hash browns Eggs-  Baked beans for those with a stronger stomach than I...
Drive to Ex-cel- no problem- Try to find somewhere to park the Van- Hmmmm....... So off we go leaving Jim to find a parking space.
 Get to the stand.
 Plug in the lights- nothing happens. The dammed things were fine last night. So report the fault to Harry the  head of the organising team... there is a man with a load on his mind- apparently I'm not the only one with a fault.
 It takes a while but I eventualy get power- Ex-cell send an elictrician to replace the  fuse box
 - actually they send a crew of two- this is why I'm paying a HUGE fee for a days power on top of my substantial tradestand price but then Ex-cel never miss a chance to gouge- this in nothing to do with the Warlords.
 so 6 minutes past 10 and the power is ON
 .... and the first wave of Zulu warriors  arrive at the barricades .....
 Next time I look up  its midday  and the credit card machine glows dully in its own heat- a quick gulp of cold and nasty tea and back to the fray.
 Napoleonics. Acw . Italian Wars French and Indian War WW2 Moderns- Jim is grasping some Maoris !
 Zombies - still in their boxes -fly over the counter! Prussians, Russians, Normans, Vikings Huguenots Landsknects  . The Blue moon SYW bins look as if a tornado has been through 'em - hardly an Austrian cavalryman left !
I guzzle on a bottle of water before Dehyration sets in . It's hot and just a bit sweaty ! 
More Moderns, WW2 Polish,More FIW - this time 28mm  Lunch was for wimps ....
 15.00 and the pace begins to slacken. I get to go for a wee -wee!
 All I see are bloody Saga games and Zombie bloody cowboys- how sterile and tedious - other games in the distance but no time
 Back to the battle !
 Some chap wants 10mm Zulu War "Characters"- how do you tell? Tiny Chard or Tiny Bromhead? . Still no worries we have some, though I can't vouch for who's who.
 16.15 - approx ... Pace definitely slacker now. I nip off to see Ged Cronin at Gringo40s- Fancy some Garabaldini ....
Jim has to go off and get the van in the queue..... Lynz  and I can handle the stragglers .....
17.00 - the show closes but we are  still dealing with some French  chaps- Lynz's French is better than mine so all well
 I sit down and guzzle more water......

 knackered ...

the only sounds I caqn hear  are the creaking of sundry joints and the happy rustle of pound notes coming home to Daddy .......and a goodly number of happy chaps with Old Glory carrier bags full of Goodies ..
Now all we have to do is load up and get back to the hotel. No WAY are we going back tonight. A quiet dinner and a pint or two- assuming I have strength to lift 'em . Then early - ish to bed for a few Zeds.

So Gentle reader that is MY personal view of Salute. Its fine for all you chaps just toolog about the hall looking at this and that. Some chaps were working for a living .....

Tuesday 14 April 2015

Destructive and Formidable.

 A while ago I bought David Blackmores book. Destructive and Formidable- British Infantry Firepower 1642-1765. Best thing I've read in years..
It brings into focus  lots of things we should consider on the wargames table but don't - in case it hurts our brains.
 When was the last time you heard the phrase "tactical doctrine"  around the table or in a set of rules? Now I've heard it used in the modern context more than once but rarely when considering he Black powder era.
 The idea that each bloke in a tricorn hat is exactly the same as all the others seems imbedded in wargamers psyche.
 The fact that it wasn't like that on the battlefield seems-especially these days entirely beside the point.
 Blackmore makes the point quite forcibly that the Dutch, English French Prussians- all had different firing methods. I suppose the Austrians did too  and in some cases different formations- yet all you see on the table are the same  half a dozen "elements or "bases" with figures in two ranks.
. Hmmm - stuff to think about 

Sunday 5 April 2015

Tantobie Wargames and Tactical Society.

  Those of an acronymic turn of mind might want to look away now .....

We are  of course the T.W.A.T.S.  

40mm Iron Brigade advance- this shot from one of our few demo games- we do 1 each year at the Durham Wargames group Open day in June.


 Yes that IS  the name of our very unofficial  wargames group. Meeting at irregular intervals always on a Saturday at the Commercial Inn in Tantobie- a village across the valley from New Kyo .
 We have- based mostly on previous experience-done our level best to avoid all forms of organisation . At our inaugural meeting - in aforementioned  pub of course- we formed a Committee and our only resolution was to disband the committee.
 This is not as daft as it sounds. The group has no financial stuff to worry about or any group property so we have no need for "Officials" or "Officers"  and therefore can avoid the small- minded backbiting that all (but one) of the current membership have encountered to a greater or lesser extent at their various former clubs. The exception to this is of course Andrew the Tekkie- who until he encoutered us had never actually wargamed. We have about  half a dozen more or less regular memebrs plus several other chaps who drop in from time to time
 In theory we'd like tio have one meeting a month - always on a Satuardy usually near the end of any given month but real life often gets in the way Three of us are in the wargames biz so shows in some months stop the wargaming. Others work funny shifts. So it tends to be meetings by arrangement with me as the main conduit.
15mm Macedonians from TWATS memeber James Mains collection.. Just to show that not everything here is from Old Glory UK.

 Our considered preference is for Umpire controlled gamesas the whole concept of points systems is to us decidely un historical and deeply unmilitary and therefore Fie upon it. - Also its as boring as all hell unless you are the sort of Dude who has his  underpants numbered from the right and enjoys sorting out his sock drawer !  "List Building " is for pre-pubescants or  blokes who need to get out more!
 Aside from the very occaisional foray into Axis and Allies or Kingmaker  boardgames don't really do it for us,  Nor  really  does any kind of Fantasy or SCI- fI as I'm the only memebr who has even a small Sci- Fi collection . Games Workshop games are definitly out . Even given that some GW kits are useful  product and may fit into my own Sci-Fi collection - on MY terms . I refuse - and so do the rest of the members to buy into thier nasty illogical and really rather pathetic "universe"  wherein their  Games are set.  . Likewise Fantasy "games" . The whole commercial  Sci-fant hobby has  on the whole become-with a few honourable exceptions where clubs such as the Warlords  still use a bit of imagination - - too loud too childish and too narrow too repetitive  and too wallet catching for anyone with a thinking brain in working order.  to sully his hands with.. I actually find some of the junk out there insulting- not everyone is 14  grow up dudes ! This is NOT an attack on Fantasy per e but rather on the "games design concept"  which - becasue its easy stifles imagination- I have the same reservations about a good bit of sop called "historical" stuff too!.
"FUN" does not always mean removal of the brain or the sheeplike following of other brainless dweebs .
 Despite appearences we are an adult group. We meet in a pub with the legal restrictions that imposes.
 We play   "to period" rather than merely playing the same old same old game over and over again.
 Over the dozen years or so of our existance we've played the following periods and sizes - in no particular order- and including some where those armies have been sold on and I may have forgotten a few .....
 Napoleonic  in 15mm and 25mm., Classical Ancients 15mm- 10mm., ACW-40mm . AWI 15mm and 25mm .
 French Revolution in 25mm Marlburian 10mm. Modern 28mm and 15mm and 1/285th WW2 Western Desert and Normandy  15mm WW1 20mm and 15mm (1914 campaigns in both cases) Seven Years War 25mm and 10mm  ECW 25mm Russo- Japanese Naval- 1/600 WW1Navel 1/1200 WW2 navel 1/1200, ACW riverine 1/600th. British Colonial- NW frontier , Boxer Rising. Assorted rennaissence  campaigns- usuallu involving the Ottoman Turks ....
Some of my Janissaries

 The games playing is not particularly intense - after all this is supposed to be relaxing. Beer is not mandatory- some chaps have to drive to get to the pub! Space limitations mean only 1 multi-player game per meeting- but that the way we tend to like it. Its about  human interaction rather than self- centred points scoring " the craic " to put in Irishly  is at least as important as the gameplay- oftem more so- especially if a point comes up pertaining to the rules or indeed not pertaining to the rules..... All games are scenario driven - period , Rules scenario all being decided by the Umpire for that meeting- sometimes the players even get prior notice of period and possibly of rules and scenario. Most of the games invlve at least some "Active Umpiring" .
 The painting and modelling side is important tov some but by no means all of us but the hHistory  seems to be important to all of our current memebrship
 This is the way the T.W.A.TS. do it .
 We like it this way .....