Author Archive

Lots and lots of Zulu’s

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

More Challenge prep and this time I’m returning to a historical setting with the Anglo Zulu War. I’ll refrain from using that line from the film but it is what leaps to mind seeing these laid out. This is over 760 Baccus Zulu’s and, would you beli…

Brooklands Military Vehicles Day

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

Yesterday I went to the Brooklands Motor Museum in Surrey for their Military Vehicle event. Its probably the last such event of the year for me and one that I haven’t been to before so I was looking forward to it. I have been to Brooklands before though, a few years ago I was here for a corporate day with my old firm. When I and my boss finished the event we spent a couple of hours exploring the site before heading home, our ‘official’ reason for being there completely forgotten! This time I was able to take my time looking around the site and unlike my last visit I came equipped with a decent camera. 

Brooklands was the world’s first purpose-built motor racing circuit. Local landowner Hugh Locke King wanted a race track but it was the design genius of Colonel H.C.L. Holden that saw it develop into the 3¼ mile concrete banked circuit that became synonymous with British motor racing. Work commenced in late 1906 and was completed in just nine months with the first race in July 1907. Very soon afterwards the site also began its long association with aircraft design and testingBAC, Bleriot, British Aerospace, Hawker, Sopwith and Vickers have all tested here and it is estimated that over 18,600 new aircraft of nearly 250 types were first flown, manufactured or assembled at Brooklands. (Source: www.brooklandsmuseum.com).

The museum boasts a wide range of exhibits, from its Aircraft Hanger; Workshops; Motoring Sheds including an exhibition of British Grand-Prix racing vehicles; a selection of aircraft including Concord outside; and of course the remaining sections of race track and banking which have recently been restored. The Military Vehicle rally was just the sort of excuse I needed to revisit this excellent museum and explore it properly. 


Bedford RL Recovery Vehicle

Bedford RL Recovery Vehicle

German BMW and sidecar in North Africa colours

Harrier Jump Jet

105mm Howitzer

Austin 7 Bomb Disposal Vehicle

Barnes Wallis ‘Grand Slam’ Bomb – 10 ton of awesomeness! 

Vickers Vimy Replica

‘Aircraft Factory’ display featuring a Wellington Bomber

The wellington has been restored but the skin left off so you can see the latticework frame designed by Barnes Wallis
Test Hill – This 1:8 Gradient is a tough challenge for some vehicles

The new ‘Aircraft Factory’ hanger

The Taureg was classed as a remote area patrol vehicle and was one of only two built to order for an unknown African or Arabian customer in 1978. 

M3A1 White Scout Car

Despite the cold weather it remained sunny all day ensuring a good day was had by all.

Skirmish at Isentium

Posted on November 14th, 2017 under , , , , . Posted by

Today I decided I needed a game come what may so I decided to give a solo game a try. I’ve not done much of this in the past but I think this may be the way forward for me. I’ve missed a lot of games with the Rejects this year due o unfortunate timing …

To the Strongest for the Anglo Zulu War

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

So the Zulu madness continues. For the last couple of months I have been tinkering with various ideas for a set of Zulu War rules. I started out conventionally enough by looking at lots of different rule sets that were already available. None felt righ…

The Challenge Prep Begins

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

The long process of Prep’ing for the Analogue Challenge has begun, and I thought I’d start with a little something to get Ray’s blood pumping! I bought these Martian Tripods earlier in the year from Pendraken when I briefly flirted with …

Gaming my way to Happiness

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

One of the regular reasons wargamers often give for not indulging our hobbies is work, be that the type that earns money or the type that keep the house running. Many of us are busy trying to hold down a decent job – sometimes two! – just to make ends …

The Shuttleworth Collection

Posted on October 31st, 2017 under , , , , . Posted by

The wife and I went away for the weekend for a friends wedding and on the way home we decided to visit the Shuttleworth Collection. I have been meaning to visit this museum for a long time and now that I have been I realise that I am going to have to c…

The Shuttleworth Collection

Posted on October 31st, 2017 under , , , , . Posted by

The wife and I went away for the weekend for a friends wedding and on the way home we decided to visit the Shuttleworth Collection. I have been meaning to visit this museum for a long time and now that I have been I realise that I am going to have to c…

SELWG 2017

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

Its not secret that SELWG is one of my favourite wargame shows. Its just the right size for me;  always has some great games on display; is close enough to my home that I can drive it in under an hour; usually the weather isn’t too bad for standin…

SELWG 2017

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

Its not secret that SELWG is one of my favourite wargame shows. Its just the right size for me;  always has some great games on display; is close enough to my home that I can drive it in under an hour; usually the weather isn’t too bad for standin…

Encouragement not Criticism

Posted on October 15th, 2017 under , . Posted by

I’ve just been watching the latest Episode of Tabletop Minions on Youtube and the subject has touched a nerve with me. The presenter described an email he received from a newbie to the hobby who took his (or maybe her?) newly painted army to a local sh…

Encouragement not Criticism

Posted on October 15th, 2017 under , . Posted by

I’ve just been watching the latest Episode of Tabletop Minions on Youtube and the subject has touched a nerve with me. The presenter described an email he received from a newbie to the hobby who took his (or maybe her?) newly painted army to a local sh…

Stocktaking…and tidying up.

Posted on October 10th, 2017 under . Posted by

Some days just don’t go to plan but still end up being very productive. I had planned on doing some painting today, finishing a few loose ends before the preparation starts for the Analogue Painting Challenge in December. I started off well but one thi…

Stocktaking…and tidying up.

Posted on October 10th, 2017 under . Posted by

Some days just don’t go to plan but still end up being very productive. I had planned on doing some painting today, finishing a few loose ends before the preparation starts for the Analogue Painting Challenge in December. I started off well but one thi…

Play testing the Line-Exchange rules

Posted on October 7th, 2017 under , , , , , . Posted by

I should have known the Young Padawan would be reluctant to face my Macedonian Pikemen again, so instead I have had to resort to some solo play-testing of the ‘new’ Maniple Line-Exchange rules. The whole exercise took less than an hour and quickly demo…

Play testing the Line-Exchange rules

Posted on October 7th, 2017 under , , , , , . Posted by

I should have known the Young Padawan would be reluctant to face my Macedonian Pikemen again, so instead I have had to resort to some solo play-testing of the ‘new’ Maniple Line-Exchange rules. The whole exercise took less than an hour and quickly demo…

Maniple Line-Exchange in TtS!

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

My recent game against the Padawan (The Battle of Beneventum) highlighted a problem with the way Maniples work in the original version of To the Strongest. Unbeknown to me this very problem had already been addressed in an update providing a new ‘solut…

Maniple Line-Exchange in TtS!

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

My recent game against the Padawan (The Battle of Beneventum) highlighted a problem with the way Maniples work in the original version of To the Strongest. Unbeknown to me this very problem had already been addressed in an update providing a new ‘solut…

Cretan Archers: Veteran Light Infantry

Posted on October 1st, 2017 under , , , , . Posted by

The skill of the bowmen of Crete was well known and consequently were used in many different armies in the ancient world. The earliest depiction of these skilled bowmen comes from the Minoans and it shows them using both simple and double-convex bow de…

Cretan Archers: Veteran Light Infantry

Posted on October 1st, 2017 under , , , , . Posted by

The skill of the bowmen of Crete was well known and consequently were used in many different armies in the ancient world. The earliest depiction of these skilled bowmen comes from the Minoans and it shows them using both simple and double-convex bow de…

Casualty Dice Holders

Posted on September 27th, 2017 under , . Posted by

This week I have spent a little time working on some casualty dice holders. Over at Reject HQ we always use small 5mm d6’s to keep track of casualties, the problem is we keep knocking the pesky things over. I’m still working on writing up a simple set …

Casualty Dice Holders

Posted on September 27th, 2017 under , . Posted by

This week I have spent a little time working on some casualty dice holders. Over at Reject HQ we always use small 5mm d6’s to keep track of casualties, the problem is we keep knocking the pesky things over. I’m still working on writing up a simple set …

Battle of Beneventum 275BCE

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

I’ve finally got my Pyrrhic army out onto the games table, a mere six months after finishing it! Today the Padawan and I played out a battle based very loosely on the Battle of Beneventum.  The tactical setup mirrored the battle but we u…

Battle of Beneventum 275BCE

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

I’ve finally got my Pyrrhic army out onto the games table, a mere six months after finishing it! Today the Padawan and I played out a battle based very loosely on the Battle of Beneventum.  The tactical setup mirrored the battle but we u…

The Cretan Runner by George Psychoundakis

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

I’ve been reading a really excellent book about the Cretan Resistance against German Occupation during WWII. I bought this book while on Holiday in Crete but its available through Amazon and other sellers and is well worth reading if your interested in irregular warfare and resistance in Crete. Its written by George Psychoundakis who during the war served as a runner or courier for the resistance, crisscrossing the island on foot with messages and reconnaissance reports. Travelling in all weathers in constant danger of capture and execution by the Germans his story is a fascinating insight into the workings of the resistance and the Cretan struggle against the invaders. 
George was a young shepherd boy when the Germans invaded in 1941. He knew the island well and moreover he knew how to cross its often mountainous terrain on foot. Distance isn’t measured in this book in miles or kilometres but rather in the time taken to walk from one location to another. He joined the resistance and quickly took on the crucial and dangerous job of war-time runner. The physical strain of this role is hard to comprehend with many journeys covering immense distances and terrain that even a mountain goat would find daunting. Sometimes he would be carrying important documents and sometimes munitions or explosives. All would have earned him an appointment with a firing squad had he been captured. 
George was an intelligent lad and unlike many of his compatriots was literate and well read. After the war, he wrote his memoirs as a form of self therapy, describing his time as a runner. It was only some years later these were read by a former SOE officer who revisited the island and met with his old friend George. This officer was Patrick Leigh Fermor, later Sir Patrick, and he convinced George to let him edit the handwritten manuscript and publish it. The result has become a unique, honest and insightful account of the resistance movement in German occupied Crete. 
The book traces Georges ‘career’ throughout the war and is filled with often well observed accounts of missions that would have otherwise been lost to history. While many tales tell of the dangers and hardships of their existence and the retribution dealt out by the occupiers it is also filled with humour and comic observations that say so much about the determined pragmatism of the Cretan people. 
Amazingly after the war George found himself in jail as a deserter from the Greek Army, despite being awarded the BEM (Medal of the Order of the British Empire for Meritorious Service) by the British. It was only after 16 months that George’s plight was discovered by his former employers and his release was secured. He later went on to serve during the Greek Civil War but his life was largely one of extreme poverty until the publishing of this book. Despite this frugal mountain life, and the limited schooling he had as a child, George went on to write several other books including translations of the Iliad and Odyssey from ancient Greek to the Cretan dialect. From 1974 until his retirement, Psychoundakis, was a caretaker at the German war cemetery on Hill 107 above Maleme. He died in January 2006.
Although much of the book does not directly describe the fighting against the Germans it is a none-the-less fascinating insight into the resistance movement in Crete. In particular its description of the harshness of the terrain, and the cat and mouse games played avoiding German patrols, are highly evocative. Anyone interested in playing skirmish type games of resistance, hit and run, guerrilla type warfare in mountainous terrain would do well to read this book. 
Author:     George Psychoundakis

Format:     Paperback, 368 Pages
Publisher:  Penguin (2009)

Rating:      ★★★★★   Highly recommended