Random Thoughts


Operational!

The Operations Room is now up and running and all the major work has been completed after months of preparation. It's taken a lot longer than I had hoped because I have been waiting for some furniture to arrive, but now all is in place and I can start using the room for painting, gaming and of course updating my blog. Nothing is ever fully 'finished' though, and I suspect we wargames know this more than anyone else. Let's just call it a work in progress! I now have lots of storage for modelling materials and finished projects. My games table is only modest in size but is more than adequate for 6mm wargaming and small skirmish games. The Padawan and I are already looking forward to more games here, away from the distractions of the family room downstairs (TV mostly). This picture has already been seen when I posted my first Batrep from the room earlier this week. Overlooking the table is my picture wall with various items of artwork to inspire me. I have Alexander and Hanibal looking down on me.

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The Operations Room

One of the most common laments of wargamers is 'lack of space'. I've struggled with this for years, even going to the length of selling a large part of my 15mm WWII collection in order to make space for new projects. I'm sure I'm not alone in our community, struggling to fit 'a pint into a quart pot' with painting supplies, models and terrain squeezed into every available cupboard in the house. The green-eyed monster has risen more than once when I have looked at pictures of other wargamers dedicated hobby rooms, basements and attics. My house is a humble three-bedroom and with two kids and one future son-in-law living with us, space has been at a premium, especially in the last couple of years.The Operations Room at RAF DuxfordAs previously reported, my eldest daughter (the Original Padawan) has recently left home taking her partner and a vast quantity of boxes and furniture with her. I've spent the last couple of weeks decorating and moving my youngest daughter into the newly vacated room. That process is n

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Temporary Radio Silence

It's that time of year again and the Hadley household will be heading off on holiday for a couple of weeks. Consequently, the blog will fall silent for a little while (some people may even prefer it that way!). It's not complete radio silence though, as I will no doubt be posting a few pictures on facebook and twitter (I can't help myself). I have a list of archaeological sites and museums that I want to visit while we are away, so I'm sure I'll find plenty to take photos of during our stay. Its been a busy few months both personally and professionally and I'm looking forward to having a complete break from 'real-life' for a couple of weeks. The azure waters of the Mediterranian beckon, I have a pile of books to take away and, in between visiting historical sites, I expect to spend a lot of time resting, reading and recuperating!I won't be completely idle on the wargaming front though. When I get back from the holiday the planning and preparation for this winters Analogue Painting Challenge begins i

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The First Padawan flies the nest

Today is a big day in the Hadley Household because my eldest daughter, Sarah (the original Padawan) is leaving home! She and her Partner have bought a flat (with a little help from the Bank of Mum and Dad) and after what feels like an eternity of legal wrangling are finally at the end of the process. Like her younger sibling, Sarah has been dragged through hundreds of museums, forced to play games with her old man and indoctrinated into a world of geekdom from an early age. Now she's a qualified Nurse in a great job she loves and with a bright future ahead of her. So we didn't do a bad job of raising her after all that! Early days - My little warrior  Visiting Museums and Archaeological siteshas always been 'in the job description' forboth my kids.    Dragonmeet 2010. A dedicated tabletop gamerin the making  Accompanying me to Salute 2012  Dragonmeet 2018 and I've been replaced! My immediate future looks like it's going to be filled with a lot of DIY. With a spare bedroom, we're

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Solo Wargaming - To the Strongest!

Regular readers will be aware that I have been playing more solo games recently and its a trend that will likely continue. I'm still attending games at Posties Shed-o-War but I only average about one game a month, especially during the summer when other events and holidays reduce availability to join the lads for a battle. The young Padawan can occasionally be arm-twisted into joining me for a game of To the Strongest! at home, but if I want to play with my 'little men' more often, solo play is the best way forward. This long overdue article discusses how I achieve realistic games using these wonderful rules. You may have a different approach and as always comments and suggestions are very welcome.I have played quite a few games solo now and have slowly been developing a method for 'automating' one side so I can play against an opponent that still has the ability to surprise me, or at the very least put up a stiff fight. The rules for TtS! already introduce a certain amount of friction and no commander c

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It's Oh so Quiet

I was going to write a post entitled Calm before the Storm about how I don't have much to blog about at the moment but am non-the-less busy preparing for the Painting Challenge... and then I realised I'd done exactly that a couple of years ago before Challenge VII. It seems this phenomenon is not a one off and probably proceeds every Challenge. I am quite busy, buying, prepping, cleaning and tidying my desk and generally getting ready for the starting pistol to fire next week. I'm having fun though, because the weeks preceding the Winter Challenge always tend to be filled with buying models and materials and receiving lots of fun parcels in the post.One thing I have been particularly enjoying is tinkering with my planning for the challenge. For the last three events I have been using a spreadsheet to record everything I do for the competition. I'm able to keep track of planned projects and ideas here as well as recording the points I score as I go along. All very boring for those that aren't into such ad

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PAX Unplugged 2018 Wrap-up

In its second year PAX Unplugged was bigger and provided even more opportunities for fun and games for all. This year I went on Friday, Saturday and for a bit on Sunday. Friday started by grabbing a table for home base. Basically, my friends and I got a table where we could leave our stuff and always return to. It did mean that someone had to always stay with the stuff. But it was nice to be able to cruise the vendor hall without lugging our things around. The vendor hall was bigger than last year and the booths looked great. Both the big names and smaller independent board game publishers had a presence and there were many booths dedicated to selling board games, dice and other accessories. I stopped by the Ares booth and picked up the Battlestar Galactica: Starship Battles starter set. It looks gorgeous, but I have not had a chance to try it yet. My friend bought Railroad Ink by CMON and a group of us played it. It is a roll and write game where you need to connect rails and roads to exits for poi

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Post Comments Fixed

For the last couple of weeks I have been struggling to fix a problem with Post Comments that forced me to temporarily switch to using Google+ Comments. The embedded comments at the bottom of each post wouldn't load and neither I nor visitors were able to read existing contributions or add new ones. This has happened before several years ago and I was able to fix the problem by editing the code of the site (based on advice from the help forums). This time though I couldn't find a fix and the imposition of Google Comments has stretched on for much longer than I would have hoped. I dislike Google Comments (even though I like G+ as a social platform) because only people with a google profile can comment and this leaves a lot of readers unable to interact with my posts. The problem has now been fixed and regular comments have finally been restored. I'm not entirely sure what I did to cure the problem but I have been tinkering with the site template and settings and one of these things mush have fixed the issu

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SELWG 2018 - Close, but no cigar

My annual pilgrimage to Crystal Palace show didn't happen this year thanks to a spot of car trouble (more on that in due course) although it shouldn't come as much of a surprise to me as its been something of an on-again off-again affair for months. Initially I though I was going to miss the show because my Teacher wife has just had a numerically significant birthday and we were planning on taking a holiday during the Half Term break. However that plan went out the window several weeks ago and I tried really hard not to show my happiness when I realised I would be able to attend SELWG after all. I guess its Karma therefore that my excitement at attending the show should come to an (almost) crashing halt late last night.I've never experienced a tire blowout before so I guess I should count myself lucky that it happened at relatively low speed and where I was able to pull into a lay-by. I say lucky because just a few minutes earlier I was travelling at 70 mph on a badly lit road. Not only did the wheel fail but

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