Author Archive

Bad Dog

Posted on October 9th, 2017 under , . Posted by

I’ve made the decision that I’m too old to waste any more of my life waiting for replies from traditional publishing houses about my novel.  It has been two years, with one reply back, which was promising but, as they say, close but no cigar.&nbsp…

Making Life Multiplanetary

Posted on September 29th, 2017 under . Posted by

Call me a starry eyed dreamer, but this was what Heinlein wrote about when I was a kid.  I’ve waited all my life to see mankind go back to visiting other planets.Made me emotional to watch this, so good I’ve posted this on both blogs.   

Making Life Multiplanetary

Posted on September 29th, 2017 under . Posted by

Call me a starry eyed dreamer, but this was what Heinlein wrote about when I was a kid.  I’ve waited all my life to see mankind go back to visiting other planets.Made me emotional to watch this, so good I’ve posted this on both blogs.   

SJG Ogre Miniatures Wargame

Posted on September 22nd, 2017 under . Posted by

 

This piece is going to be a criticism of the Ogre Miniatures wargaming rules by Steve Jackson Games.  If you’ve followed my blog for any length of time it should be obvious that I have played a fair few game of Ogre/GEV, and have a sizeable collection of the miniatures.

The picture above is proof of that.

Let me start by stating the obvious, the board-game is a classic.  Now that has been said let me explain what makes the rules for playing using the miniatures less than a fully satisfying miniatures playing experience.

It’s quite simple really, the photo above is almost the perfect illustration of the problem–range to move ratio.  It doesn’t matter what ground-scale conversion one uses: one inch to the hex, two inches, three or even four the problem remains, and the larger you go just makes other things more difficult too, like the size of the table need to play on.

In Ogre, units move one to four or more hexes per turn.  The range of the weapons is one to three hexes, with specials like howitzers being an exception, and cruise missiles of course, which in my experience are scenario specific.  Also, in Ogre terrain blocks, as in costs movement points to cross, but line-of-sight is is irrelevant to targeting an opponent, as it is abstracted as a defence bonus.

So what’s the problem?

When the distance you can move a unit is as great or greater than the range you can shoot, what you have is a high level (more abstract) game, and miniature wargaming tends towards a lower level (less abstract) game.  The move to range ratio is a big issue here, because it just doesn’t give the feel of a miniatures game.

As a player of miniature wargames I want tactical problems arising from terrain blocking line-of-sight and manoeuvre, which is why I use my miniatures as tokens on a hex map board.
  

SJG Ogre Miniatures Wargame

Posted on September 22nd, 2017 under . Posted by

 

This piece is going to be a criticism of the Ogre Miniatures wargaming rules by Steve Jackson Games.  If you’ve followed my blog for any length of time it should be obvious that I have played a fair few game of Ogre/GEV, and have a sizeable collection of the miniatures.

The picture above is proof of that.

Let me start by stating the obvious, the board-game is a classic.  Now that has been said let me explain what makes the rules for playing using the miniatures less than a fully satisfying miniatures playing experience.

It’s quite simple really, the photo above is almost the perfect illustration of the problem–range to move ratio.  It doesn’t matter what ground-scale conversion one uses: one inch to the hex, two inches, three or even four the problem remains, and the larger you go just makes other things more difficult too, like the size of the table need to play on.

In Ogre, units move one to four or more hexes per turn.  The range of the weapons is one to three hexes, with specials like howitzers being an exception, and cruise missiles of course, which in my experience are scenario specific.  Also, in Ogre terrain blocks, as in costs movement points to cross, but line-of-sight is is irrelevant to targeting an opponent, as it is abstracted as a defence bonus.

So what’s the problem?

When the distance you can move a unit is as great or greater than the range you can shoot, what you have is a high level (more abstract) game, and miniature wargaming tends towards a lower level (less abstract) game.  The move to range ratio is a big issue here, because it just doesn’t give the feel of a miniatures game.

As a player of miniature wargames I want tactical problems arising from terrain blocking line-of-sight and manoeuvre, which is why I use my miniatures as tokens on a hex map board.
  

Reflections & Musings

Posted on September 8th, 2017 under , , . Posted by

 The last couple of months I’ve been out and about, mostly doing archery, and having fun in the sun.  I know, I know, not the typical wargamer pursuit.  I’ve also been taking the time to read a bunch of books from my to be read pile.&nbs…

Reflections & Musings

Posted on September 8th, 2017 under , , . Posted by

 The last couple of months I’ve been out and about, mostly doing archery, and having fun in the sun.  I know, I know, not the typical wargamer pursuit.  I’ve also been taking the time to read a bunch of books from my to be read pile.&nbs…

Spartan Games: Game Over Man

Posted on August 25th, 2017 under . Posted by

   Shocking news, Spartan Games are going out of business.  As an outsider they always seemed to be doing so well, what with the Halo game and all.  But reading the announcement here, it’s obvious they over extended themselv…

Spartan Games: Game Over Man

Posted on August 25th, 2017 under . Posted by

   Shocking news, Spartan Games are going out of business.  As an outsider they always seemed to be doing so well, what with the Halo game and all.  But reading the announcement here, it’s obvious they over extended themselv…

Gencon BattleTech

Posted on August 18th, 2017 under . Posted by

  Over on the BattleTech Facebook page there is announcement about new products from Catalyst Games.  I pulled these four pictures from their post to spread the word.  The one above shows the new box set that will have eight mechs; …

Gencon BattleTech

Posted on August 18th, 2017 under . Posted by

  Over on the BattleTech Facebook page there is announcement about new products from Catalyst Games.  I pulled these four pictures from their post to spread the word.  The one above shows the new box set that will have eight mechs; …

On My Work Bench

Posted on August 11th, 2017 under , . Posted by

When I’m not out shooting pointy sticks at round things (you’ve seen the post on archery I did earlier) I’ve been using Milliput to make a new part for my RAFM Cheetah.  While waiting for the Milliput to harden I thought to distract myself with so…

On My Work Bench

Posted on August 11th, 2017 under , . Posted by

When I’m not out shooting pointy sticks at round things (you’ve seen the post on archery I did earlier) I’ve been using Milliput to make a new part for my RAFM Cheetah.  While waiting for the Milliput to harden my I thought to distract myself with…

Archery Update

Posted on July 31st, 2017 under . Posted by

Me with members of my club shooting at a competition together, and clearly we are the rabble because none of us are wearing club shirts (left-to-right, Reg, Tom, me, and Lazlo).

It has been a year since I did the last post here on archery, and it has been an interesting year of shooting that would probably bore you all to tears if I went into the finer details of how to shoot an arrow.

I have not only achieved my first class archery award, but also bowman, which is as high as I can go unless I start attending record status shoots.  Quite frankly I’m not sure I have the energy and commitment to do this.  For a start it would mean travelling around the country to get to enough events to be able to shoot three or more rounds, while getting enough points to qualify, and then having to do it all again the next year.

Also, I have had to change my arrows again because my draw length increased.  The nice arrows I had borrowed from my beloved had become too short for me, and as a consequence hazardous to use–accidents can happen if you pull the arrow off the rest and let it loose. The longer arrows we had to hand are too stiff for me, and as a result my scores have dropped precipitously because I’ve lost confidence in them.

After much deliberation and worry an order was placed with Merlin Archery, and in due course the package arrived with the parts to make up a  set of ten arrows.  My first ever set of brand new arrows that I’ve bought, which are not hand-me-downs or secondhand acquisitions.

Thirty inches long, they’re like rails that go on forever.

  
Having now used them, and with help from Sailesh, my club coach, I’ve been able to tune my bow to match them and I’m hopeful I will be able to improve my scores.
   

Archery Update

Posted on July 31st, 2017 under . Posted by

Me with members of my club shooting at a competition together, and clearly we are the rabble because none of us are wearing club shirts (left-to-right, Reg, Tom, me, and Lazlo).

It has been a year since I did the last post here on archery, and it has been an interesting year of shooting that would probably bore you all to tears if I went into the finer details of how to shoot an arrow.

I have not only achieved my first class archery award, but also bowman, which is as high as I can go unless I start attending record status shoots.  Quite frankly I’m not sure I have the energy and commitment to do this.  For a start it would mean travelling around the country to get to enough events to be able to shoot three or more rounds, while getting enough points to qualify, and then having to do it all again the next year.

Also, I have had to change my arrows again because my draw length increased.  The nice arrows I had borrowed from my beloved had become too short for me, and as a consequence hazardous to use–accidents can happen if you pull the arrow off the rest and let it loose. The longer arrows we had to hand are too stiff for me, and as a result my scores have dropped precipitously because I’ve lost confidence in them.

After much deliberation and worry an order was placed with Merlin Archery, and in due course the package arrived with the parts to make up a  set of ten arrows.  My first ever set of brand new arrows that I’ve bought, which are not hand-me-downs or secondhand acquisitions.

Thirty inches long, they’re like rails that go on forever.

  
Having now used them, and with help from Sailesh, my club coach, I’ve been able to tune my bow to match them and I’m hopeful I will be able to improve my scores.
   

RAFM Cheetah WIP

Posted on July 21st, 2017 under , . Posted by

This is picture is of the pre-loved and slightly tatty Cheetah I got off eBay, which was sans butt-plate.  As luck would have it I could find no pictures on the web of the Cheetah taken from the rear.  Fortunately, I have friends who have complete Cheetahs to send me pictures of what the butt-plate should look like.

However, as luck would have it–or not, as luck only involved winning an eBay listing–I managed to buy a Whitecat.  This has the same V-motor butt-plate as the Cheetah, so I am now using this as a template to fabricate a replacement for my model.

I started by bending up a bit of wire to make a frame for the Milliput butt-plate.  Then I added the Milliput and moulded it into the rough shape I needed.  Still a bit of shaping and carving yet to do, but it has been far too nice to be sitting indoors making toy soldiers to finish the job.

And here’s the cleaned up Cheetah awaiting assembly.

   
So, more updates to come, but now it’s time to go off and shoot pointy sticks at round things: archery being lots more fun to do when the weather is nice.
  

RAFM Cheetah WIP

Posted on July 21st, 2017 under , . Posted by

This is picture is of the pre-loved and slightly tatty Cheetah I got off eBay, which was sans butt-plate.  As luck would have it I could find no pictures on the web of the Cheetah taken from the rear.  Fortunately, I have friends who have complete Cheetahs to send me pictures of what the butt-plate should look like.

However, as luck would have it–or not, as luck only involved winning an eBay listing–I managed to buy a Whitecat.  This has the same V-motor butt-plate as the Cheetah, so I am now using this as a template to fabricate a replacement for my model.

I started by bending up a bit of wire to make a frame for the Milliput butt-plate.  Then I added the Milliput and moulded it into the rough shape I needed.  Still a bit of shaping and carving yet to do, but it has been far too nice to be sitting indoors making toy soldiers to finish the job.

And here’s the cleaned up Cheetah awaiting assembly.

   
So, more updates to come, but now it’s time to go off and shoot pointy sticks at round things: archery being lots more fun to do when the weather is nice.