Friday, January 2, 2015

Looking Forward

Well in line with many others I am taking a look at what I want to achieve in the forthcoming year(s).

2014 was a curious year in that I returned to Shrewsbury to my house after 3 and half years living in a rented house in Coventry. This move has taken up most of my energy for the last 2 months and I have not had a chance to consider my hobby however with Christmas done and the dust settling I now have the opportunity to move forward.

From a hobby perspective the big difference for me is both good and bad.

The Bad

Not much really but there were a couple of clubs within VERY easy reach which are now less accessible. Also Coventry is almost bang in the centre of the country's road and rail network which meant that going to shows was pretty easy, more on that later.

The Good

First and foremost I get a wargames room. More correctly I have a room that I can set up as a wargames room. Right now it is a complete pigsty with the remnants of years of clutter which I have quite happily lived without for 3 plus years so I figure it has little value to me. E-Bay will be getting what can be sold and the local tip will have the rest. I already have some ideas on how to configure this room for gaming, storage and workspace but more on that in a separate post.

In 2014 I purchased A Military Gentleman by John Ray. This book is a masterpiece showcasing the rather wonderful collection that Mr Ray has put together. It has also given access to a forum that has a strong group of individuals with a common passion. I hope that it will continue for many years to come.

As for gaming/collecting I was putting together a collection of AWI figures. This I will continue with and am looking to have some games with my son using the Muskets and Tomahawks rules. Otherwise we have the Lion Rampant rules and will be doing some skirmish stuff based on the Wars of the Roses or as my son likes to think of it Game of Thrones.

These are both skirmish games and I would also like to have some games of a more grand nature. At the moment the jury is out on this but I am leaning towards 15mm Seven Years War at the moment. Lets just see eh.

Finally in respect to shows. I really enjoy going to shows, I will keep going to them and intend to try and marry this up with my work which is developing online interactive systems. I have already built a system for Antique events and intend to spin this off to the wargame community also.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Pydna at Partizan

OK so this is a little late at 2 weeks after the event however this event cemented my return to miniatures.

Do you think he will notice the coffee stain?

I had been dithering over going to the Partizan show, I had been before, many years ago, I like the venue and it is just under an hours drive but the thing that tipped the balance was Mr Simon Millers call for folks to volunteer as a participant (General) in his demo game for his new rules.

Generally I have found that going to shows on my own can be a bit of a trudge. Sure I am enthused by the wealth of eye candy but I am not interacting with anyone, I have the odd chat but it is a generally solo experience while surrounded by the hundreds of others who are there. So I thought about and and then volunteered. The rest, as they say is history or in this case a re-write of history as the Macedonians won in our game.

Simon had been billing it as a monster game with thousands of figures and he was not wrong as this is the sight that greeted me on turning up.

The table laid out

This photo does not do it justice as these are all well painted 28mm figures. Thousands of 'em which may lead you to think that such a large game may suffer from being unmanageable. I can tell you it is not, certainly when using Mr Miller's rules.

On with the battle and I found myself in rather exalted company, facing the boys from Claymore Castings and standing next to Keith from Aventine Miniatures whose figures I believe were well represented on the table.

The game itself was pretty fast once we got going and the rules seemed to me to be a mixture of Command and Colours with the Activation randomness for a General to issue orders. These are both of the rules that I like. The gaming area is laid out in a grid and all movement is via squares. This appeals to me, I am not a great fan of the micro measuring of distances that some players indulge in. Maybe more of that in a separate post. Combat is simple but effective and uses a standard deck of cards. All in all a great game and a great day out, helped not least by the fact that I managed to take the winning combat, Keith having done all the actual hard work...

As it is I will be looking to volunteer to General at other games and if my painting is felt up to scratch by the organiser even contribute some miniatures.

Let battle commence

Dave looks on as Simon contemplates the next move

Hey mum they made me a General

The Macedonians get the win - Hurrah for Greece

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Back at the Brushes

Wow, has it really been two years since I last blogged.

Seems so and I am not sure really what to put this down to. I think that it is probably down to a couple of things:-

Change of direction

I became more involved with a board game group and this sucked most of my time.


In the form of a rather badly damaged knee leading to arthritis. I was warned of this when I was 16 and had an operation. They told me to stop playing rugby so I did - when I was 42. The reason I stopped was that the pain in my knee under contact was for too much. This has progressed so much so that last year I could hardly walk let alone do exercise. I have subsequently had a procedure that has given me a new lease of life - although Rugby is limited to watching I think.Family - I prefer painting and modelling generally to playing. My eldest son is the reverse and gives me a hard time about it. This becomes VERY irritating and I often find myself just not bothering. 

So What's Changed

Not sure what to put it down to but I think that the knee op has made a huge difference to me. I generally have more energy and am more determined about the things that I want to do. This is one of them.

So where to from here

In the intervening time I have not been completely off the minis and have managed to get a couple of SAGA Armies together and a some Bolt Action Germans and Russians.

Right now though I am tackling a slightly different era - the Eighteenth Century.

I am starting off with a stab at Muskets and Tomahawks and putting together some AWI troops. Was going to have a bash at Rebellion for Black Powder but when I looked at the lists it was apparent that I would have to get a lot of figures together and that would take a lot of time and sap a lot of energy. Hopefully skirmish first and then get the army together. I have made a start and more on that soon (I hope)

Also my son has graduated from Uni and is now trying to find a job - whatever, he is here again and is also one of the people I play SAGA with. Right now though he has a love affair with Game of Thrones and having bought a copy of Lion Rampant at Partizan that other week we are going to get a couple of Armies together for those rules based on GoT.

So, it's back to the brushes...

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Figuratively speaking

OK, so I have the moulds, at least a couple to get started with and here is a view on the first few castings

As you can see it is a small force at the moment but growing almost every day. The issue I now face is where to get the metal from. After a bit of discussion with Mark Dudley of I tried phoning one of the figure manufacturers I have purchased from to see if they would sell me some metal. This was despite the guys at the club being sceptical over the suitability of the metal.

As it was they were unwilling to sell me metal but were more than happy to direct me to their suppliers, Geo.W.Neale . Seems it was the same metal that I needed but they would only supply in bulk, the alternative was to go to Tiranti who they also supply and with whom I was already familiar.

The figures are interesting, essentially Tiranti and GWN are similar in price up to 25kg, being 1,000 figures at £0.375 and £0.366 respectively. At 50kg it drops to £0.285 per figure for GWN but then do I really want to commit to 2,000 figures!!!!

For the moment then it seems I will be using Tiranti unless I can find some other souls out there to split an order with. 

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Metal and Plastic...

Well there have been a couple of critical events here at Schloss Asbach. First of all my moulds have finally turned up from Prince August and I have started casting - oh joy, I just love them, absolutely love them. Took the first casts down to the club, that's Scimitar Wargames here in Coventry UK and my compatriot Bob has taken the mould catalogue so that we can purchase moulds together and save a bit of cash.

I have also decided that whilst the name of my Imagination is based on German brandy which comes from a particular place the Principality of Asbach will be based on a different location. I was trying to explain to my rather perplexed mother the whole idea with the benefit of Wikipedia to demonstrate how there were many many small states in the Holy Roman Empire and came across Babenhausen, a 25 square mile principality - that is the size of the village that I grew up in!!!!! It has a rather interesting looking watch tower and seems that there is a castle nearby. This seems to me as good as any a location to do some research into for the look and feel of my Nation.

On other fronts I have started painting up a load of Warlord Games greek hoplites so that I can use them for both Hail Caesar and Commands and Colours down at the club.

Still no sign of my new iPad so still short of a camera and no piccies for you - the new iPad will be out at this rate, sigh....

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Hurry Up And Wait, all the way to Asbach

There is a long established phrase in the Army "Hurry Up and Wait" meaning that you get yourself as ready as possible as fast as possible and then wait and wait and wait and....... well that is what it has been like here.

After a fair bit of dithering I ordered my moulds from Prince August almost two weeks ago and asked for tracked delivery. Having heard nothing I phoned them on Wednesday to be told that they were going out the following day - still heard nothing though, just hoping they will turn up this week. I am also waiting on the arrival of a new camera and this is due by the 15th of Feb. So all in all I am sort of stuck.

In the meantime I decided to get some 1/72 plastic Great Northern War figures just to get the painting juices flowing. Got a few done now out of the box of 48 and I would not be surprised if I end up having quite a lot of these little devils. They are cheap and I can compliment the 40mm with something a bit different.

I have also decided upon a name for my Imagi-Nation; The Principality of Asbach. This is in honour of Asbach Uralt which is a German brandy much loved by a Sergeant of my acquaintance 25 years ago. It was founded by a Hugo Asbach so I guess that means I should go for Crown Prince Hugo as the head of the Asbachers. Red and Black with a hint of Gold/Yellow for the brandy itself may well now form the basis of the uniforms.

Go Asbach

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Pass the Duchy.....

Well it has been a bit of a weird week.

First of all I have got virtually nowhere at all with sorting out my armies with the exception of a small bit of painting of my 28mm WWII figures. It is apparent thought that I have not got a camera that I can easily use to keep a record of what is going on. This is a vital omission since a bit of eye candy makes a HUGE difference to a blog. I for one look at the photos first and then read the text afterwards - I suspect that most people are the same. So the top priority for my blogging on minis is to get a better phone. So tomorrow I am going to be looking into which phone I need and then from mid week, hopefully I will be posting some images on here.

The next big issue is what am I really interested in. Following last weeks post I came across a couple of blogs that are dedicated to what can loosely be described as Old School. Amongst which were a few Seven Years Wars dedicated blogs. Ahh, now we are talking. Just before Christmas my mother was sorting out her attic with things that had been placed there when I moved out 30 years ago!!!! There was my old Prince August casting kit - albeit with a few of the moulds missing.

So that was that, I am now going to get the casting going and will be reporting on my progress here. This will be in 40mm semi rounds from the Seven Years War ranges - photos to follow.

Now which contract should I be going for????