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Colonial NZ Wars table at The Winterdale Tavern

At yesterday’s open day at New Zealand’s newest wargaming venue – The Winterdale Tavern on the Kāpiti Coast – I put on a colonial New Zealand Wars game. Well, I say ‘game’, but in fact because of it’s location right by the front door, we decided to make it an eye-catcher for visitors, so it was really just a static display. I actually love doing static displays, as it lets my imagination run wild in setting up a feast of lovely terrain, as well as providing an excuse to jam-pack the table with as many of my models as I can! Working from the back of the table, the first thing to capture the eye was a Māori pā, which was 3D-printed for me by Printable Scenery   A pā was a fortified settlement or position with palisades and defensive terraces. The pā was constructed of rows of strong log palisades. Behind the palisades there was usually a trench, so that the defending warriors were fully protected as they fired through loopholes at ground level.  Inside the pā is a

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Amazing open day at The Winterdale Tavern

This is a live post from the first open day of Kapiti’s (New Zealand) newest wargaming venue, The Winterdale Tavern. The Winterdale Tavern brings together the hobbies of wargaming, board gaming and role playing into one friendly place to hang out and play. Facilities include lots of tables, tons of exquisite terrain from Printable Scenery (whose premises provide the venue), a boardgame library, hobby shop, a bar for special events, piped music, indoor/ outdoor seating areas … wow! What an amazing turnout the open day has had. The place has been jam-packed with gamers, visiting hobbyists and walk-ins. The club has signed up so many new members. Here are a few pics from the day: 

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The colonial New Zealand Wars at Kāpiti’s newest wargaming venue

Next Saturday I am planning to bring out my colonial New Zealand Wars figures and terrain to put on a display game at the open day of Kāpiti’s newest wargaming venue of choice, the Winterdale Tavern. The aim of the open day is to attract new wargamers, boardgamers and RPG players to help build up Winterdale Tavern’s community. The Winterdale Tavern, brainchild of Printable Scenery’s Matt Barker, is a dedicated venue for gamers, situated in the Lindale complex off the old State Highway 1 just north of Paraparaumu.  Obviously, a centrepiece of my table at the open day will have to be Printable Scenery’s magnificent Māori pā. There’ll be lots of other games happening too, both fantasy and historical. So if you’re in the Paraparaumu region on Saturday, why not take this opportunity to take a look round at this cool new gaming venue, not too mention the chance of seeing so many of Printable Scenery’s amazing 3D-printed offerings in real life.     .   &n

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A Kiwi at Partizan

As I mentioned in my last posting, during my recent trip with my wife to the UK and Europe, I was able to fit in a day at the Partizan Wargames Show in Newark. This was actually the second British wargaming show I’ve visited, as back in 2013  I was lucky enough to attend SELWG in London. Based on that previous experience, I had some idea of what to expect. But despite this fore-knowledge, the sight of so many incredibly impressive games at Partizan was a real eye-opener to this colonial boy! The show was held in a very roomy and light venue at the Newark Showgrounds. I arrived just before opening time, and there was already a queue at the door. At 10.00 exactly the doors opened and the line moved quickly as the entry formalities were carried our efficiently by the organisers (including giving the first 500 visitors – including yours truly – a specially commissioned 28mm figure of the famous inter-war revolutionary, Rosa Luxembourg). I spent the next six hours happily wandering round the ha

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ACW Camp Scenes

I’m researching and preparing yet another scenario for Sharp Practice. This one is going to be about the Union cavalry raid on Port Republic during the Shenandoah Valley Campaign in 1862. This was one of the few moments when the Union showed aggression and they almost managed to capture Stonewall Jackson himself. The Union cavalry surprised the encamped Confederates, so I need some camp scenes for the game. I procured tents from QRF/Freikorp15 and stacked muskets from Irregular Miniatures. Incidentally, Irregular Miniatures have great stuff, but some of it is well hidden – the musket stacks are in the 15mm napoleonic section. Add a couple of crates and spare figures, and I had two camps.   As the Confederates were surprised, I wanted to convey frantic activity. In this scene, a drummer is beating the long roll while soldiers hurry to get into formation: While tents look nice, I’m actually not sure the Confederates camped at Port Republic had them. Maybe they only had bedrolls an

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RPG Random Encounter Dice Giveaway

RPG Random Encounter Dice Giveaway – Enter to Win Welcome to the The Giveaway Geek, the geek that keeps on giving; I am pleased to announce that I have teamed up with New Comet Games, creator of the RPG Random Encounter Dice, which is currently live on Kickstarter. We present the RPG Random Encounter Dice Giveaway! Enter to win below, good luck! One winner will receive: 1 Complete set of RPG Encounter Dice (13 dice total). Prize value is approximately $36 USD. This giveaway will end April 25, 2019 at 11:59 PM CST and is open Worldwide – Some exclusions may apply. Please make sure you read the official Giveaway Geek†rules before entering.†For any questions, thoughts or feedback†leave a comment using the form at the bottom of this post or use the form on my contact page to shoot me an email. About RPG Random Encounter Dice RPG Random Encounter Dice are the perfect tool when you need a new monster to fill in on the fly during a game, when building your dungeon or populating a full world. –

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Dead Simple RPG – 8th Edition

So, here it is, the idiot edition. I call it the ‘idiot edition‘ as, until you good people have trawled through it and pointed out all my obvious errors, and I have corrected them, it will not become the official 8th edition. Most significant changes to the rules and the text are in blue, and there are some significant changes which I hope you will see as a natural evolution to the game. These are the player’s rules, so I am now working on the GM’s rules, including a fairly comprehensive set of monsters and races for your players to go all murder-hobo on You will find it in the Rules Downloads page, right at the top. I am now retreating to my writer’s bunker to await the storm. As usual the best place to comment is on the Facebook Page:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/1411598512466256/  

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Partizan, here I come!

“And if you’re reading this from somewhere that we English would call ‘abroad’, isn’t it time for that trip to England?”  Newark Irregulars/Partizan Team Well, this New Zealander is indeed planning a trip abroad next month, and has managed to talk his wife into adding Newark to our itinerary as we drive from London up to Edinburgh to visit our daughter who is teaching in Scotland. So Partizan, here we come! Having attended only one big wargaming show in my life (SELWG a few years ago), I’m really looking forward to this event. I’m slavering at the thought of seeing so much of the very best of UK wargaming on show. We’re staying in Newark a couple of days, so I also hope to fit in the National Civil War Centre (but I haven’t told my wife about that one yet!). At Partizan I hope to meet many of the wonderful online friends that I’ve made through this blog. So if you see me wandering around looking lost, do say hi!  Here’s what I look like

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The Spirit of ’61 – A Big Game of Sharp Practice

On the occasion of my birthday, I invited Sigur, Virago and Stephan to a big game of Sharp Practice. I’ve always wanted to play a game with four players and more units than usual and this was a perfect opportunity to try this. Our forces’ objective was to confiscate a whiskey distillery. Both had a wagon to transport the destillery as well as an assortment of infantry and one unit of cavalry. Sigur and Virago played the Confederates, while Stephan and I took the Union. I split the commands, Virago and Stephan playing the C-in-Cs and each getting three Leaders (apart from Sigur, who had four). I took the opportunity to field my 5th New York Zouaves, a colourful troop I just finished painting. Deployment started a bit slow for the Confederates. They were still crossing the bridge while the Union cavalry was rushing forward and Col. Bendix (Stephan) moving his men into line and into the field. As my cavalry was rather wimpy in close combat, I had them dismount and advance on foot. When SigurR

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On Parade! Eighteenth century supply train and civilians

An army marches on its stomach, so they say. Thus no army is complete without its supply train. In the final installment of this inspection parade of my French army, let’s look at the supply train consisting of these four carts. And we’ll finish with some eighteenth century civilians. On the left is a four-wheeled ammunition wagon. Front Rank offer this with two different types of top – the rounded wicker lid as shown above, or the wooden one in the picture below.  On the right is a smaller ammunition cart drawn by one horse. It also has a wicker lid. The soldier walking alongside is in his red waistcoat, having removed his white coat. He is actually a French and Indian Wars miniature, with a hatchet in his belt. The supply wagon shown on the left is advertised in the Front Rank catalogue as a medieval cart. But I thought it would be totally suitable for the eighteenth century. I’ve added some sacks as cargo. The civilian driver is also by Front Rank, but I understand is quite an e

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On parade! Eighteenth century French artillery

The guns in my French army, all made by Front Rank Figurines, are wonderfully detailed models that were a joy to paint. Jean-Florent de Vallière (Director-General of France’s artillery) reduced the pieces in use to a set number of types of cannon and mortars. He also recruited Jean Maritz, who had designed and built a water-powered horizontal cannon-boring machine in Geneva. By 1732 the first Maritz cannon boring machine was operational in the foundry at Lyon, boring out the Model 1732 system equipment. These standardised pieces became known as the “Vallière System”.  Prior to the outbreak of the Seven Years War, the French army was equipped with the best artillery in Europe. But they were to be overtaken by Austria with their Model 1753 Liechtenstein system.    Source: Kronoskaf French gun carriages were initially painted red in the eighteenth century. But some time after the Vallière reform of 1732, the gun carriages were painted blue to distinguish them from the equipment of the supply train (cais

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On parade! Colourful French cavalry of the 18th century

My inspection parade of all the armies in my wargaming collection continues with French cavalry of the mid-eighteenth century. They’re certainly colourful en masse! These were all painted in the very early 2000s, so represent my level of painting at the time. But despite the fairly crude shading and detail, they do look really good on the table, and have in fact stood the test of time quite well. As with most of my armies, the basing hasn’t been done to align to any particular rules. I work the other way round – I adapt rules to suit my basing!   First up are the Colonel-General Dragoons. Dragoons were basically mounted infantry. Thus these Front Rank figures, with their boot-gaiters (‘bottines’), short red coats and muskets really look the part. French dragoons were equipped with tools, such as axes, bill-hooks or saws, instead of off-side holsters, and these are faithfully represented on these models. I particularly like the way Front Rank have posed the officer on th

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On parade! 18th century French guards and grenadiers

Having previous inspected the French and foreign infantry in my eighteenth century French army, we now come to the guards and grenadiers.   These Gardes Françaises were the first Front Rank figurines that I ever painted. I still recall how surprised I was at how easy the job was made by the fine sculpting of the models. The Gardes Françaises were part of the King’s Royal Household. Their uniform was quite ornate, compared to normal infantry uniforms. For instance, the belt slung over the soldiers’ left shoulders was lined with lace. I have always admired Phillipotteaux’s famous painting of the Gardes Françaises at the Battle of Fontenoy (see my more detailed posting about this painting), so I determined to paint my soldiers as shown in Phillipotteaux’s work, rather than from other sources which differ somewhat. The flags for my minature regiment are by GMB Designs. I added white cravattes made from paper. All French regiments had these tied to the top of their flag staffs. No

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On parade! Foreign regiments of the 18th century French army

The French army included quite a few foreign troops, amongst them Swiss, Germans, Swedes, Scots, Italians, Netherlanders, and, of course, the famous Irish ‘Wild Geese’.   I wanted to portray one of the Irish red-coat ‘Wild Geese’ regiments in my army, and so chose the Regiment Lally, which was renowned for its service in India. I liked the combination of red with green cuffs. I had never really used the black undercoat method of painting before, but found it worked very effectively. The red coats  were quite difficult to do, however, as the red paint remained quite dull over the black undercoat. The flags are by GMB Designs flags.  If I recall correctly, I reversed the colours of the quadrants in GMB’s version of the flag, which I felt were wrong. Rudyard Kipling wrote a poem about the Irish Guards in the British Army of the First World war. This poem harks back to the days of the Irish Brigade in French service, even mentioning the colonel of the Regiment Lally: WE̵

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