Author Archive

Shoot out in Carefree

Posted on April 26th, 2017 under , , , . Posted by

 Dead Man’s Hand at the club last night, I wasn’t sure how many players we would have, I half expected four but in the end it was only Simon and I. I thought I would just take the stuff along and wing it once there, I had a vague idea for a shoot …

Not Again

Posted on April 25th, 2017 under . Posted by

Thought I was in for another terrible morning serving the great British public, three customers before 0910 hrs, but it has now tailed off and I am back to the trickle. Also as the missus is back I have the afternoon off, I would have had the whole day…

What’s going on

Posted on April 24th, 2017 under , , , . Posted by

Just turned 9.30 and I have had at least ten people in so far, so many in fact I have not even had a chance to look at my emails or check out more Salute photos from some of my favourite blogs, I do hope this does not continue, I have maps to draw.I ha…

View From The Window

Posted on April 23rd, 2017 under , . Posted by

The last day of home alone, the washing’s done, the ironing is done a bit of a food shop today and we are ready for Mrs A’s arrival tomorrow, then it is a short week before we head off into the wilds of Scotland just in case the wall is rebuilt and I t…

Good stuff on the box

Posted on April 20th, 2017 under , . Posted by

I am having a surprisingly good time with what is on offer at the moment after months of dire programming, as you know I have programmed myself over several years to have something in the background, not music, never music, while I potter about with th…


Posted on April 17th, 2017 under , . Posted by

I closed the PO on Thursday and I was off, my one regular Saturday customer was informed we would be shut so no damage there, I am hoping the PO will not notice the drop in their profits amongst the Easter celebrations. I went First Class of course to …

Never say Never

Posted on April 13th, 2017 under , , , . Posted by

My Wild West mat turned up the other day and I am pleased with it, nothing startling but nicer than the one I am using. I took a couple of photos but the light was not good so I have simply plonked the advert from Deep Cut Studios. I could have gone fo…

Thunderbolts fizzle out

Posted on April 12th, 2017 under , , , . Posted by

Once again a fight against Ryan’s Seleucids, this time with an elephant, this beast is very powerful in War and Conquest, I hesitate to say too powerful as I have only come across one twice before in my many games. The first time it was no problem and …

A good mornings work.

Posted on April 10th, 2017 under , . Posted by

Once I had finished my breakfast yesterday I decided to finish off a couple of projects before catching some rays with a beer and a book. My new Roman addition to the Patricians is Quinta Macedonica a border Legion which went on to serve in the Byzanti…

View From The WIndow

Posted on April 9th, 2017 under . Posted by

Lovely day yesterday and it looks like being another, the sun is shining, still a bit cool though, and there is a morning mist way in the distance so I can see myself sitting in the garden with a cold beer at some point today. There has been a lot of i…

Good Read

Posted on April 8th, 2017 under . Posted by

I am well known for always having a book at hand, while travelling offshore in the chopper, taking the boys to their clubs, on the train or wherever. I have been fairly lax though for the last six months or so, not that I have not been reading books, but they were all associated with my new late Roman army, so more research than pleasure, albeit I enjoyed them. Getting the new iPad mini hasn’t helped either as I tend to pick it up rather than a book, although I am weaning myself off this constant checking for what turns out to be nothing, no emails, no posts most of the time.

I do read the Spectator on it though, they send me a paper copy but I don’t really pick that up, the Spectator is important because it has a book review in it, something which always tweaks my interest and the buying of books usually follows, the Sunday Times was bad for this until it dumbed down and I gave up on it. My first buy then has been ‘Praetorian’ by Guy De La Bedoyere, it keeps me in my Roman bubble and it covers the famous or infamous military unit from beginning to end, this no doubt will be the first of many.

While out shopping the other week I also noticed several books on Russia, an interest of mine, especially the period between the Revolution and the fall of Communism, I duly noted the titles and on getting home ordered up ‘Praetorian’ and ‘Last of the Czars’. I also bought one book in the store, ‘Blitzkrieg’, supposedly a new take on the Battle for France, I am really enjoying it but it is far from a new take with nothing new revealed yet.

My fourth book in the ready use locker is one for which I drew the maps and was given by the author as payment for making some corrections once the project was finished, ‘The Mongol Invasions’. The original stuff I was given was pretty bad and although the finished articles look good they need some tweaks, but it is too late now.

I do always feel a little guilty buying books online, but you can get new books for as much as 50% off and it is really difficult to pass that by. I have bought many books at the usual £20 – £25 mark as the contents intrigued me and found them to be rubbish. I also do not go into the local Waterstones now as much as I used to as I find that my military and historical interests must be frowned on at HQ as their selection diminishes with each visit while the section on Angels gathers more shelves.

Get off my land

Posted on April 6th, 2017 under , , . Posted by

As you know I was away gaming in Yorkshire not so long ago and I liked the scatter terrain used by Michael and Simon, a bit of thought had went into it and with that, along with finishing the villa, I decided to up my game. I ‘tidied’ up my terrai…

Banzai, err, Doner und Blitzen

Posted on April 5th, 2017 under , , , . Posted by

I had a great evening at the club last night, which was required after two days in the PO and another two and a half weeks to go. We were doing Dystopian Wars which had been put off the week before as the second edition rulebook had not turned up at Si…

HMS Tartar 4th Commision 1970 1

Posted on April 4th, 2017 under , . Posted by

(I have a plan this year to go back to my youth and travel back to one of the defining times in my life, my trip to the far east in HMS Tartar during her fourth commission, I want to try and write it as it unfolded for me, or as near as I can.) I joine…

Sharp Practice 2

Posted on April 3rd, 2017 under , . Posted by

As you know this is not my cup of tea, although I would probably play it to fight over some nice terrain with beautiful figures, also, if you want someone to play your game you have to play theirs, it’s a given, and good manners.The missus was leaving …

View From The Window

Posted on April 2nd, 2017 under , . Posted by

It’s cold, but the sun is shining through the window and I can see all the way to the unlovely windmills which are standing doing nothing as not a breath of air moves the ‘wind tree’ in the garden of Eyebrow cottage. The scaffolding has gone from Washington House and the house next door has new occupants, but I have no idea what or who they are, nothing else round about has moved. The village is waking up for the year, we had a quiz night in the hall last night and the drama group are ready with their first production of the year and some of the absentee landlords are here to enjoy Spring for a few days or weeks before heading back south to the rat race. There are a lot of rental properties in the village so if you are local and want to own your own house you can have a problem.

Brexit, I voted for it but am reaching for the remote now, I am Brexitted out, what happens now is out of my control so as Confucius recommended I am trying to put it out of my mind. There are moments of sheer joy still to be had of course, the look on Donald Tusk’s face, the Spanish trying to grab Gibraltar, they can have it for me by the way, not a friendly lot in my experience, Hungary doing its own thing with ‘refugees’. And the BBC of course, this week they filmed a fool returning his British passport along with a letter full of rubbish as if anyone was remotely interested, seemingly he managed to get an Irish passport, so he can still travel so where is the sacrifice, also when the barriers go up surely being British he will need to get another British passport and pay the £77 again? The big one for me when it all kicks off will be fishing rights, I am interested in that one, when I was on Fishery Protection I remember seeing a map of the UK on the chart room table with coloured zones around the coast, all marked thus; Spain, Holland, France, Spain, Germany, Denmark etc. that will need reprinting hopefully.

That’ll show em.

My next door neighbour was cleaning his garden last week on a Thursday morning, I shouted over “I thought you were in the Army?” He is by the way, when I was in the Navy we got six weeks holiday a year if you were free, no Thursday mornings, his answer was that he booked a day off to do the garden! Yes, you can bank your holidays and take them just like civvy street, presumably as long as we are not democratising anyone at the time or we are expecting a Russian landing on Lindisfarne. But as the conversation went along I also found out that you can join up now and tick a box that you do not want to be sent overseas, it just fell short of ‘do not want to be involved in a war’ another, not as surprising, was that the physical benchmark for entry has been lowered as too many women were not managing it. God forbid we ever do have to fight a real war against a first class opponent.

Is this too much?

Mind you we might not have to with the like of this quote from the House in the wake of the attack on Westminster Bridge “Will the Prime Minister agree with me that what happened was not Islamic….terrorism”. Might be a good time to look out those 1938 Munich white flags, give them a dust down and don’t get them mixed up with the 1939 ones.

The upgrading of security in the country has had one benefit already after a fan, sorry, possible terrorist, wandered back stage during filming for “Ant and Dec’s Big Saturday whatever” the vulnerable pair were whisked away to safety before you could say “Allah Akbar”. One up for the West, mind you in my experience Geordie’s can normally look after themselves and usually provide the security not need to be protected by it.

Don’t forget the other one.

I was reminded one evening last week that my world had gone and I was living on a different planet to the one I grew up in. I sat in front of the box having a quick bite before heading off to the wargame club and the quiz compare turned to the panel and asked Ashley what she thought, Ashley was a bloke, big, deep voice, Adam’s apple, the flower print top and wig fooling no one, then, turning to the contestant in the hot seat was told that he would not take the lower offer as he had been instructed by his husband not to. I switched over to Pointless just in time to hear a bloke who looked like a full time bouncer in a rough part of town voice that he knew the answer because the Lion King was his favourite all time move. The defence rests M’lud.

If any of this confuses you, then think of the uproar now about the naming of Hurricanes, the usual agitators want to know why they should be given women’s names as it is insulting to women, well if you have ever got on the wrong side of a woman you will know what it feels like to be hit by a hurricane maybe. Just kidding, they can call it after any one of the 97 different genders for me, its just not going out weather.

And if I feel the need to atone for my thoughts I can always avail myself of the ‘Masculinity Confession Booth’ at Canada’s University of Regina where males are invited to fess up their sins and change their ways for being, err, male. Don’t laugh I will put money on this coming to a campus near you soon.

The actual booth.

Mexico City went one better than the Confessional Booth with the Penis Chair on their trains, this is supposed to make men uncomfortable and think about violence towards women, no I don’t get it either, surely locking them up would work better, I would think there is not a lot of things more uncomfortable than being in a Mexican prison, hang on to that soap Pedro.

And it’s reserved for men only!

Great news for all you Dr. Who fans who have been waiting just ages for the Beeb to come bang up to date and ‘finally’ give the Doc an openly gay character as a side kick, but don’t pop your champagne or Fanta yet, hedging their bets the companion is a girl called Bill, aaagh, when will they get it right!

Winning streak ends

Posted on March 29th, 2017 under , , , . Posted by

It was a beautiful day yesterday until the rain started around 1500 hrs, but I was looking forward to my WAC bash at the club so even that did not dampen my spirits. It was another outing for the Thunderbolts but at a lowly 2,000 points, this army does…

Grand Designs 2

Posted on March 29th, 2017 under , , , . Posted by

Couldn’t rest yesterday until I had finished this. I scrounged the civvies and the cart from my now defunct Dux B stuff, I also now realise that is another project in waiting, to rebase them all, cows, chickens, pigs, serfs etc. to fit my WAC base colo…

Grand Designs

Posted on March 28th, 2017 under , , , , . Posted by

To all intents and purposes that’s the need to keep going with the Patricians over, I can now field a very decent 2500 point force with choices to push it towards 3,000. I have however got some more on the go, Legio Quinta Macedonica which I may use as…

View From The Window

Posted on March 26th, 2017 under , . Posted by

Beautiful sunny day although it is still sharply cold at this time, Mothers Day of course and I have already given my mother a thought or two and shortly will be preparing breakfast in bed for the mother of my warriors just to keep in the good books. B…

You wait ages for a Roman building then ……

Posted on March 25th, 2017 under , , , . Posted by

A whole town comes along. I started on my Warbases Roman Villa the other day trying to be patient and not rush things, I have managed so far as this is now day three. I am also still waiting for the base material I ordered so I think it will be next week before it is complete, I want to add some little bits and pieces but hey can be ordered and scattered whenever, they are not essential. I decided as my villa would be around at the end of the period I like wargaming that it would not have the slabbed courtyard or pool, it would more likely be a working villa rather than something for a local absentee landlord. I also had to make my mind up whether to sand it up for the East or leave it with greenery for Europe, I decided it would get more use being European, so Europe is good for something, it’s a joke.

I did fail to notice that there is a build your villa .pdf on the Warbases site, it should have been mentioned on the one piece of paper in the pack, but I managed to make only two mistakes with the build and one with the lovely mosaics supplied by David Bickley. Although you won’t see the inside of the villa much in the large games I play it really is a treat to know the inside looks so good and of course I shall point this out when using it. I went overboard and ordered up Pantiles from a railway modelling shop, I needed three packs and they came to just short of £12, but they are a huge improvement over the flat mdf.

The next stage will be to paint the walls, I might get around to that on Sunday, I do not use thick plaster for my walls as most of it would probably end up over me rather than on the building, so I use a thickish paint and dip the brush into some sand, I like the finish, just enough stubble to hint at a coat of plaster.

I am hoping for some goodies from Royal Mail today, those extra figures I ‘needed’ and the bases for my buildings as I am also tarting up my WWII stuff, I know the troops are on the way but I am not so  sure about the bases.

Now, the town. I was directed to Warbases last night by a Facebook post, and lo and behold you can now build up a complete garrison town for your Roman army, there are barracks, shops, mansions and a gorgeous late Roman church, the only thing missing is the fortifications, a wall and towers. I of course wanted to buy several of the buildings, but uncharacteristicly I did wonder where I would put them, the villa is bigger than I thought and if you do garrison your cohorts you will need a big table. The mansion does however remain a possibility.

Oh, and I sat down to the Last Kingdom the other night while building the villa, and even though I am prepared to watch all sorts while painting or building I switched it off after about twenty minutes, the breaking point for me was the soppy, pathetic, “hope of the north” character. And another thing, there is a nunnery on the edge of the village and none of them look like Uhtred’s religious lady.

I am really impressed with the camera on this iPad Mini, it manages to eliminate my need to take several pictures until I get one which is not blurred.

The end of the tunnel gets further away

Posted on March 22nd, 2017 under , , , , . Posted by

I have managed to finish my nomad Nobles a few days early and I am very pleased with the way they have turned out, when they were 90% complete I revisited them and started to stick on some of those extra bits that seemed a pain at the beginning but which now enhance the models.

Hun Nobles.

As the basing was sitting drying I dug out the warbands I wanted to re-arrrange and to my delight found that I did not need to buy any new figures as I had spares already painted and based on a nearby shelf, I have no idea why. I also had the bases for them, so within an hour I had the four warbands enlarged, based and ready to go. I am hoping the the re-basing might give the Franks a new lease of life.

Back, Franks and Welsh, front, Picts and Saxons.

This of course means I now have a lot of spare hobby time, so I went online today to order up some MDF bases for my terrain, six quid for half a dozen sheets but fifty-four pounds for postage! The next outfit took £5.45 for postage, I wonder if that was a mistake, however I did not want to take the chance. I then jumped in and ordered up another two Roman units, one infantry and one cavalry along with their shield transfers, I already have the infantry movement tray and can make one up for the cavalry. These units are extra in order to field 3,000+ points if needed and also to give me a bit more of a choice when constructing a force depending on the enemy, I hesitate to say that is it as I would also like to add a unit of Roman mounted bowmen, they are not required but I do like the look of them.

It looks like I might get around to building that Roman Villa in the next week or so. I have been inspired by some of the terrain pieces I saw at Snaith, instead of just plonking down a bit of carpet or whatever there were nice areas with small huts and pieces of fencing for broken or uneven terrain, they had enough room to move troops but visually the were very appealing. This will all happen soon if I can keep my hands off these new figures.

Hope for the Reich

Posted on March 22nd, 2017 under , , . Posted by

We were going to be doing Dystopian Wars using Simon’s huge collection but his Second Edition rulebook didn’t turn up so we swapped for Bolt Action instead. I had hoped to play British as my main force in Bolt Action but that is not happening and more …

Slaughter in Snaith

Posted on March 20th, 2017 under , , , , . Posted by

My journey to Snaith in Yorkshire yesterday was dismal, motorway most of the way and constant rain and murk, surprisingly when I actually got to Snaith it was fairly mild, but of course wet. Snaith itself looks nice and it still has five pubs which is …

View From The Window

Posted on March 19th, 2017 under , . Posted by

It’s early and it is a foul day, I have managed a bacon sarnie and am just about to load the Batmobile for my trip to darkest Yorkshire to play wargames, it’s going to be a long day.There are a few things on the list for this week but they will have to…