Thursday, 19 November 2015

To base or not to base....

So - I appear to have started a debate on the last Meeples podcast. Do you base your 15mm vehicles or not?

Neil's sufficiently convinced of the rightness of his views to post a poll on Twitter: I'm sufficiently convinced of mine to link to it. Vote, do!


Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Lest we forget...

[A trifle late in the day, as I've been Dad's Taxi for a son with mock GSCE's and a wife who forgot something to take to her evening work today.]


Taken on a visit to the Tower last Remembrance Sunday
As a mark of respect, I normally post something today: every year the whole concept seems to gain more controversy, but I will make no apology for marking the day, and the sacrifice of those who died doing what they saw as their duty.

Our Vicar is a Canadian army veteran - he'll be a decade or so older than me, a solid, gruff man who one wouldn't think was prone to be emotional. John McRae's "In Flanders Fields", as Father George read it aloud during our act of Remembrance on Sunday, is one of the very few times I've ever heard him struggle for words.
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Monday, 9 November 2015

Kickstarter Watch - Stagriders and Warbears

Picture © Dead Earth Games
To use that phrase that should end up in Meeples Bingo 2.0 - these are really really pretty, from the Dead Earth Games folks. I've pledged for 6 stagriders for my KoW elf army (yes, they're human figures, but you can't see the ears....)

The KS has just (as of the time of posting) passed its goal, so we're in :D

(See! Not everything I blog is historical :D)

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Hereward Wargames Show

I'll paste from our Facebook feed:
The Hereward Show team and all at Peterborough Wargames Club would like to extend their thanks to all of the Traders, Gamers and members of the public, and the staff of the Cresset that came to Hereward yesterday and helped to confirm that there is demand for a show in the Peterborough area. 
The feedback we have received has been overwhelmingly positive and the lessons we have learned will be invaluable for our future shows. 
Speaking of which, the date for the 2016 Hereward Wargames Show will be SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 4TH. Put it in your diaries now!
and....
If you have comments you'd like to share on how things went, what you think we can improve etc, please feel free to fill out our feedback form.

Knackered but happy :D 

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

"I Aten't Dead"

...to quote Granny Weatherwax.

Still suffering with this damn eye problem - latest round of drops seem to be improving it a bit, probably helped by being preservative-free, unlike the last batch :D

Off to the cornea specialist on Friday - watch this space for more news.

Saturday, 15 August 2015

Administrivia

Posting will be sparse for a bit - multiple eye specialist appointments upcoming. Which will hopefully fix the problem :D

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

New Plastic Soldier Company 15mm German paras

And I quote:

15mm Late War German Fallschirmjaeger.
Company sized 15mm Late War German Fallschirmjaeger box set. Contains: 141 figures, including 3 x panzerschreck teams and panzerfausts. All you need to build a 3 platoon company (including company HQ).

Had I not already stockpiled a box of the Battlefront ones, I'd be grabbing these like a shot. 

Monday, 10 August 2015

Battle Report - 10-Aug-2015 - Sails of Glory

 Back to the club for the first time in a while, and a nice little game of Sails of Glory. We went for something a bit different this time - Andy took a French first-rater (the Orient), while Miles, Dave and I took a frigate each (the Terpsichore, the Meleager and the Iphigenia).

It.. could have gone better for the English. It probably would have gone a whole load better if we'd actually coordinated our battle plan, rather than sailing merrily up to the Orient as we felt like it. The Iphigenia was the first to go - I took only a partial broadside from the Orient, but pulled a really vicious set of chits from the B bag, and wound up with one hull box left and on fire....

Ouch... Iphigenia on the receiving end of a partial broadside
For those unfamiliar with the Advanced rules for SoG, the first thing that happens in a turn is you determine if the wind changes. Immediately after that you resolve continuing damage (before things like movement and crew repair actions!) - and guess what, if you're on fire you lose a hull box. Exit the Iphigenia, a charred and drifting hulk, sails and masts ablaze (and probably with her magazine gone).

Miles' captaincy of the Meleager didn't fare much better: the ship wound up caught in irons when the wind changed, and due to some less than inspired movement choices, she drifted onto a rocky island shore and foundered.

Which meant it was all up to Dave and the Terpsichore....
The Terpsichore getting hammered...

He did his best to pull of a piece of Bolitho-esque heroism, but it wasn't to be - almost managed a couple of rakes of the Orient, but in the end the first-rater's superior firepower did for him.

A fun game, with lessons learned - we may well try this scenario again next week!

Sunday, 9 August 2015

Holiday reading... ok, listening

Given my current gaming addiction (Sails of Glory, in case you've been on holiday longer than I have) it may come as no surprise to learn what my holiday listening was.

My right eye is still not 100%, so instead of print (which also takes up valuable luggage space) or e-books, I've been using up Audble.com credits on the Alexander Kent "Richard Bolitho" series of Napoleonic-era naval books - the series is being read by British actor Michael Jayston, who brings just the right aura, and a wide range of accents, to the novels. I was kind of hoping to grab some good SoG scenario material out of them, but Bolitho is, of course, the hero of a book. and thus most of his victories come against odds ranging from the unfavourable to the impossible, so some tweaking will, I suspect, be required.

Good to dip in to them again - Jayston reads them very well, and they're a bunch of rattling good yarns.

Saturday, 8 August 2015

Sails of Glory record game at Grncon

79 players. Sheesh!

Now, admittedly, I think it's a bit of a cheat, since it looks more like 20 4 player games end to end, but you can't fault Ares Games for trying....


Friday, 7 August 2015

RIP Les Munro - last surviving Dambuster pilot

Squadron Leader John Leslie Munro, CNZM, DSO, QSO, DFC, JP (5 April 1919 – 4 August 2015)

While Munro is famous as being the last surviving pilot from Operation Chastise, he was, ironically, one of those who failed to drop his mine, being hit by flak on the outward journey and losing all radio, which made the drop impossible.

He was later promoted to a flight leader role in 617, and took part in most of the raids in the early part of 1944 in which the squadron pretty much defined their rôle as a precision bombing force - he even led the squadron when Leonard Cheshire was on leave.

His passing leaves just two surviving Dambusters, "Johnny" Johnson (McCarthy's bomb aimer) and Fred Sutherland (Les Knight's front gunner). 

Thursday, 6 August 2015

"Well, I'm back"

...from a very pleasant and largely computer-free two weeks in Branson MO and Orlando FL.

Hope everyone had fun without me...

Friday, 17 July 2015

Administrivia

So, we're off on holiday to the USA  tomorrow at 5 o'clock in the morning.

This means I will probably not be blogging for the next two weeks. I may pop up the occasional post, but in general I'm having a break from serious use of computers.

Hope everybody has a good time: don't trash the place while I'm not here and be good to each other.

Thursday, 16 July 2015

Enjoy...

https://meeples.wordpress.com/2015/07/16/meeples-miniatures-episode-150-live-q-a/

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Dambusters Challenge at the Festival of the Forties

The club will be taking our Dambusters Challenge game to the Festival of the Forties weekend in about 10 days time - July 25-6. It's a great day out, with loads (and I mean LOADS) of reenactment groups and vehicles, live music, trade stands, demos, the works - admission's next to nothing, and it's just five miles out of central Peterborough (postcode PE7 3DR).

You'll find us (not me, as I'll be in the US) in the marquee near the bar - as ever, look for the BIG blue table.... 

Monday, 13 July 2015

Battle Report - 13 July 2015 - Full Thrust

(Yes, my iPhone camera still needs fixing)
A nice simple introductory game umpired by Dan from our club. Initial impressions are that he core rules are elegant in their simplicity, and very very quick to pick up. While Ground Zero Games do produce sets of various factions' ships. there's also a ship design system, which would allow me to customise it for my own nefarious purposes.

In our game, the New Anglian Confederation (me, Dave, Tom) took on the New Schwabian League (Dan, Al, Reuben)- basically a battle of shields and speed (NAL) vs Teutonic brute force (NSL). We lost, largely because I think it took us a critical few early turns to appreciate the way movement worked - it''s very simple but until you've played a few moves you can't always appreciate the effect of your actions.

Good fun, though, and thanks to Dan.

Sunday, 12 July 2015

A busy week....

I swear, I can't decide if the amount of stuff that now happens online for holiday bookings make it easier or harder :D I do know that if I ever find the web developer responsible for the US ESTA site, he and I will have.... words.

So, that's the mother-in-law's 80th over and done with, a mad rush up from London on the M11/A14 for James' Sunday cricket forestalled at about Sawtry by a phone call from the skipper to say "the heavens have just opened and the pitch is a couple of inches underwater".... and a visit to my eye surgeon for new drops, which I'm still adjusting to. And we recorded another Meeples podcast, which you will love :D

Been one of those weeks where I feel like I've done a lot but not achieved much for me on the wargames front. Oh well. 

Saturday, 11 July 2015

Friday, 10 July 2015

Kings of War 2nd Ed core rules download


With perfect timing, if, say, you're looking for a new set of fantasy rules to play with your existing figures, Mantic have announced the new Kings of War core rules available for download....

Thursday, 9 July 2015

Age of Sigmar




Mmm.

Yes.

Well.

You may want to keep an ear out for an upcoming Meeples episode where that's concerned. :)

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Meeples 148

In which Neil and Hobbs, with questionable assistance from your humble scribe, review Soartan Games' "Planetfall". 


Remember, it's not too late to submit questions for episode 150!!

http://troubleatthemill.blogspot.co.uk/2015/07/meeples-150.html

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

The Great Wargaming Survey 2015

Reposting this so it gets the widest audience possible:
Hi! 
Hopefully you remember the Great Wargaming Survey we ran last year. As far as we're concerned, with nearly 8,000 responses it was a great success. It was a good snapshot of wargamers in the summer of 2014. But to be able to even start to discern trends, we have to do it again (and again and again, but that's for future years). Hence the Great Wargaming Survey 2015. 
Obviously, the answers to our questions will only be valid if lots and lots of wargamers take the time - which shouldn't be more than 5-10 minutes by the way - to fill out the survey. As a thank you, we're offering everyone a 10% discount on their next purchase from our webstore and, if you choose to submit your email address, you'll have a chance at winning some really awesome prizes as well. The full list is included in the survey and is even longer than last year. 
Please ask your friends to fill out the survey as well, and if you have a blog, please post about it. Your friends and your readers too deserve a shot at these wonderful prizes and of course, we all want to know more about ourselves. 
As last year, we'll publish extensively about the results both online and offline, that's a promise! 
Kind regards and happy answering, 
Guy Bowers and Jasper Oorthuys

Sunday, 5 July 2015

You know you've been a modeller too long....

...when the wife assumes that anything useful in the paint/glue department in the house will be in your workshop, not the shed.

As it turns out she was wrong: since I don't paint with enamels, or use the Army Painter dip (I use the ink washes) any more, I hadn't stolen the white spirit :D

Saturday, 4 July 2015

Audio book review - "Night Raid"


To give it its full title, "Night Raid: The True Story of the First Victorious British Para Raid of WWII", by Taylor Downing. It's the story of Operation Biting, the paratroop raid on the German Würzburg radar facility at Bruneval in northern France.

Actually, it's quite a bit more than that - it starts off with the para drop, and then flips back to cover the history of radar before and during the war, the set up of combined arms operations under Louis Mountbatten, and ranges widely about just about anything that's even remotely connected to the raid. To be fair, the raid itself would probably only merit a short book, maybe three or four chapters, but the surrounding context makes for fascinating reading (or in this case listening).

If I have a gripe, it's that the author seems to forget what he's written, and if, for example, he needs to mention an event in two different chapters in two different contexts, it's covered the second time as if he'd never mentioned it before. If I did that in an essay I'd have been accused of padding. :D

That aside? Cracking story, and one I quite fancy trying to war-game. The audio book is read by Gordon Griffin, which is pretty much all you need to know: clear, well-phrased, subtle \character' voices, well up to his usual standard.

Well worth a read or a listen. 

Friday, 3 July 2015

Meeples 150

...is coming up real soon now. and we thought it would be fun to do something different (well, I suggested it and Neil didn't argue :D).

So. episode 150 will be a listener questions show: this is your chance to find out what our Desert Island boardgames are, whether Neil and I will still be talking after the first game of the NFL season, why Rich is now a fan of Chain of Command, if Dave is really that tall, how many loopholes we've all found in our New Year pledge, what Hobbsy is painting next, and if Neil's painted anything yet! The world is your oyster. To quote Neil:
You can:
Post it in the comments [Mike: including here]
Post it in the comments section to this news on the Facebook page
Post it to our Twitter Feed @mandmpodcast with #ep150
Send it to meeples.miniatures@ntlworld.com with a subject of EP150.
Cut off for questions is around the 13th of July – we look forward to hearing from you!
 All yours, ladies and gents. Have fun!

Thursday, 2 July 2015

The Great War

Well, you were going to get an unboxing series on the PSC Great War box which arrived today (OK, it arrived Tuesday but I only picked it up from the sorting office today) but my camera's flat, the wife has nicked the iPad charger and my iPad's flat, and my iPhone camera needs to go back to Apple as its autofocus has stopped working....

... so you'll have to wait. :(

Also. watch out for a fun announcement for an upcoming Meeples episode :D

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Kickstarter Watch - One. Two. Twelve.

Not the typical Kickstarter I mention - this one's an art-relaed Kickstarter from my good friend Tim's wife, who is .... kinda talented :D

I'll let her explain:
Hello, my name is Jackie Duckworth. I am an artist and illustrator based near Cambridge. 
As an illustrator, I love working to a brief - taking a client’s ideas or words and finding ways to make them into an image. But as an artist, it is also important to spend time on developing my skills, my artistic vision, by working on my own projects.
I want you to come on a journey with me, to see a year through my eyes. I want to be able to respond to images and turn them into ideas. I want to show you how I think, photograph, sketch and make work. And I want to share that with you, in an affordable way. 
My project is to make 12 hand printed linocut postcards, one per month. Each one will respond to a place that I have visited, a person I have met, or an event I have been to. I will choose all kinds of different of subjects and interpretations, challenging myself by compressing my ideas into such a tiny format.  
She also says:
Two of the events I am going to illustrate are the Folk Festival, and the Battle of Waterloo re-enactment, if you have a particular interest in either of those.
It's lovely work - go treat yourself. 

Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Hereward Wargames Show - trader list

Full traders list (to date) up on the website: http://www.hereward-wargames.co.uk/traders.html
Still not too late to request a trade stand - look for the link in the red box on the traders page or the home page http://www.hereward-wargames.co.uk - we're one of the only shows to allow you to book online.

Monday, 29 June 2015

Dropzone Commander - a quick look

Given we had far too many generals on the Allied side (several of whom hadn't played in a while) I sat out ths weeks round of the Hundred Days campaign (in which the Prussians handed the French a good kicking) and watched Reuben and Vince play Dropzone Commander.

Veeerry interesting - nice quick play system, in which the rules didn't seem to need too much reference to the book (even though it was both their first game). The box set comes with a lot of stuff for the money, the minis are crisply detailed in some resiny-plastic hybrid that doesn't suffer breakages, and all in all it's a very nice little gaem. Definitely the kind of thing I might dip into, although it's Sails of Glory next week, then Dan's introducing me to the Full Thrust rules the week after.

Sunday, 28 June 2015

TFL Summer Special 2015

For those not on the mailing list, or not paying attention - it's out. I got back from a pleasant afternoon by the River Nene watching James play cricket to find a note in my inbox. The usual wide range of scenarios and articles covering many of the TFL rulesets: this time, nothing from me due to pressures of Real Life, which means I'll actually have to buy my own copy!

Saturday, 27 June 2015

Waterloo 200th

If, like me, you didn't get across the Channel for the Waterloo celebrations... my friend and occasional wargaming opponent Tim did.

Check out his posts and photos - some superb uniforms....

Friday, 26 June 2015

"The King Is Dead"- Osprey

Well - this looks interesting.

And I quote:
The King is Dead is a board game of politics and power struggles set in Britain in the chaotic period following the death of King Arthur. For the good of the country, a leader must unite the Scots, Welsh, and Romano-British; not by conquest but by diplomacy. Players are members of King Arthur’s court. Whether a loyal knight, a scheming lord, or an ambitious noblewoman, you all have one thing in common: power. As prospective leaders, each player will use their power to benefit the factions, gaining influence among their ranks. The player with the greatest influence over the most powerful faction will be crowned the new ruler of Britain.
Definitely sounds like mike cup of tea.

Thanks to Neil Shuck for the spot (I think he landed a review copy).

Thursday, 25 June 2015

Suggestions

What do we make James watch next?

So far (that's, shows we've already seen, folks!):
  • Xena: Warrior Princess
  • Babylon 5
  • Firefly
  • Andromeda


Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Andromeda - the end

Just finished the show with James.

A very strange 5 seasons that. If you'd asked me at the start, had I seen it all once already, I'd have sworn on several volumes of Featherstone, Grant and Wise than I had. But we got to about the point in season 2 where the production company fired Robert Hewitt Wolfe, the main show runner, and I turned to Anne and said 'do you remember this episode, 'cause I don't?'...

There were episodes in the next 3 1/2 seasons I do remember, but equally there were episodes I know I SHOULD remember - in one specific case, the sequel to the stunningly brilliant Season 1 episode 'Star Crossed', which remains to this day one of my favourite episodes of any SF TV series. I was right, though: the plotting and the like go slowly downhill, to the extent that the Season 5 finale feels like someone took all the dangling plot threads, threw them together with string, sealing wax and superglue, stirred, crossed their fingers and hoped the result made sense.... My comment to Anne, and I don't think I'm being overly arrogant here, is that I think if you'd given me, or any number of people I know, the reins from four episodes out, we could have set up a better finale.

That aside? Andromeda touched, early on, on some SF tropes (AI, time travel, addiction, etc) and handled them really well. The show ended up with one of the most female-heavy lead casts of I think any (even if you accept that Doyle and Rommie start out as Harper\s wish-fulfilment), and was not afraid to be pretty gender-equal in its minor rôles.

And I am still of the opinion that Andromeda the ship is one of the most classically elegant ships in SF.

On to the next.

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

GW in short-sighted shock

From the unofficial GW fan Twitter feed:
Riiiiight....

Monday, 22 June 2015

Battle Report - 22 Jun 2015 - Sails of Glory

More a general summary of progress to date than a battle report...

We've now, I think, played enough that it's starting to fall into place - there are some quite deep subtleties in the phase order, for example, that add some very elegant twists to the rules. I did, to my considerable satisfaction, prove the doubters wrong and that it is possible to tack to windward and come about cleanly in a 100 gun first rater, if you know what you're doing, too :D

This week we tried something a little more sophisticated - two French ships on one short edge of the table, stern to wind, two British ships awaiting them in the middle of the table. Dan and I took the French and... technically won, since Dan's frigate made it off table on the opposite short edge. I crossed the T rather neatly on Carl's third rater and managed a full broadside bow rake... and then  for the first time ever, I committed the 'confuse right and left on a movement card' error, and managed in quick succession to sail into Dan and then off the table :D
Trying to work our way past the British....

A lucky escape...

In the foreground, Dan and Dave tangle and board, while
I cross the T on Carl...


Sunday, 21 June 2015

I must be slipping...

Or at least, not watching stats when I post. This is post # 1004. Which means, rather amusingly, that the post on Kickstarters on Wednesday. was in fact my 1000th post.

Wow.

Not bad in 4 1/2 years. I shall pour myself a decent Scotch, and here's to the next thousand.

Oh, and of course, the gorgeous Ms Beckinsale.... (who needs to hurry the heck up and make more action movies, or I may have to change actresses...)

Saturday, 20 June 2015

Maybe not...

Carl just found thiis awesome example of Amazon Marketplace automated price setting gone mad....

Sails of Glory Ship Pack: Hermione 1779 by Ares Games https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00NIFNV5A/ref=cm_sw_r_awd_y3AHvbKH97A2W

And it's not even a Kickstarter exclusive...,

Friday, 19 June 2015

Sarissa English Timber Framed range

My turn to have been living under a rock for a while, I think :D

How did I miss these? A whole range of 28mmm timber framed stuff in Sarissa's usual mix of MDF and greybeard, including a manor house, a gatehouse and a coaching in. Perfect for Wars of the Roses.

Definitely a few of these on the list once I get my Perrys painted, 

Thursday, 18 June 2015

Waterloo 200th

Just in case you've been living under the proverbial rock recently, today is, of course, the 200th anniversary of one of the most important and crucial battles for control of Europe, the battle of Waterloo.

I''m not exactly sure when I became aware of it as a historical event - I do know that my first real understanding of it came from being loaned and then given Pericoli's "1815: The Armies at Waterloo", which as well as being full of custom reference plates for the 1970 movie, contains a detailed and well-described account of the progress of the battle by Michael Glover. Which probably got me top marks on my last secondary school history exam before I (for various reasons I should cover in another blog post) gave it up.

The other book that is Waterloo to me is Henry Siborne's "The Waterloo Letters", for its first-hand accounts written after the battle.

It has always been one of my favourite periods of history, and I think the gorgeous plates in Pericoli's book, and the letters written to Siborne, may have quite a lot to do with it :D


Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Kickstarters

Hrm.

Just been listening to Neil's latest podcast, from his trip round Games Expo.

Listening to the various interviews, I was counting up how many Kickstarters I'm waiting for some or all of

9.

Deadzone Infestation (just the rule book, yer honour)
PSC's Great War (on time)
Blood Rage
Conan
Kings of War 2
Dungeon Saga
Russian Trucks of WW2 (not holding my breath)
Winter War (rest of, also not holding my breath)
and
Kingdom Death: Monster (so NOT holding my breath here)

Should keep me out of mischief.

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

New Unit Syndrome

On what I think is our fifth game of Sails of Glory in 6 weeks down the club: poor old Carl treated himself to HMS Victory, and very generously let Dave captain her...

Result - one full broadside from the French Montagne, while being boarded by Le Swiftsure - last seen being sailed away under a tricolour with three matelots hanging off the stern painting in the name "La Victiore" while singing the Marseilaise.

New unit syndrome. Gotta love it :D

Monday, 15 June 2015

Starship combat rules

A lot of answers to yesterday's post - the common thread seems to be GZG's Full Thrust rules, which I shall check out.

Ashley, however, asks:
what type of space game do you want to play?;
  • Low record keeping?
  • Streamline play?
  • Size of fleets?
  • Fighter or capital ships?
  • How real?
to which I answer:

  • yes please,
  • yes please,
  • 10 or so a side,
  • the latter
  • fairly
So, Ashley - have at :D



Saturday, 13 June 2015

Back from the Royal Armouries

I don't think I've ever seen so many Napoleonic games in one place: there were over a dozen, in scales from 28mm down to 6mm and map based, tables ranging from 6'x4' to 15'x6'. We fitted Quatre Bras on a somewhat cramped 8'x6' with two 4'x'2' side tables to store impending reinforcements (which, being Quatre Bras. there were a lot of!), despite a little organisational kerfuffle of our own making (mostly due to me not being clear who was actually keeping track of whether we were coming or not!).

We made it to Leeds a bit before 10, and after some setup and chasing up tables, I took the French, under Ney, Carl the Allies under Orange and Wellington, and Gary umpired (using Black Powder). Things went pretty much as per history, as far as it went: if anything, the Dutch/Belgians were more resilient than I expected, probably not helped by a couple of unwise unsupported attacks on my part early on.

Huge thanks to Kirsty and Lisa from the Armoury, Dave and the gang from Warlord, and everyone who came along and variously said hi and made us feel welcome. Sadly we won't be back tomorrow. as we can't raise enough warm bodies to man the table (Gary's off to Waterloo for real this week) but if you're free tomorrow, the event's still on, and there are lots of very nice looking Napoleonic games to ogle at, lots and lots of lovely historical items including one of the Siborne models of the battle, and even an onsite coffee shop. Stuck for something to do on a rainy Sunday afternoon? You know it makes sense!















Friday, 12 June 2015

RIP Sir Christopher Lee CBE, CStJ (27 May 1922 – 7 June 2015)

Do not underestimate me, boy 
Look closer and you'll find 
That if you peel back the polite 
There might be something fierce inside
The quote is actually from an unrelated song by a friend of mine, Marian Call, but it seems somehow appropriate.

Sir Christopher Lee.

Sarauman, if you're my son's age.
Scaramanga, if you're mine,
Dracula, if you're older.

Actor, fencer, stuntman. Lead vocalist on a heavy metal album at the age most people (except Lemmy and Keith Richards) would be contentedly dozing off by the fire.

Special forces soldier during WW2.

Which latter is why he rates a respectful note of his passing on this blog. Two of my favourite quotes...

The first from a scene when Peter Jackson was directing Lee in the scene where Wormtongue stabs Saruman. And Lee stopped him:
‘Peter, have you ever heard the sound a man makes when he’s stabbed in the back?’ 
'Um, no.’
'Well, I have, and I know what to do.’ 
The second, from when over-pushed by an interviewer on his wartime career: he leant forward in his chair and asked, conspiratorially:
"Can you keep a secret?"
 Cue enthusiastic and breathless agreement from interviewer. A smile from Lee.
"So can I."

If I make it to 90, I'll settle for having lived a tenth of the life he did.

Thursday, 11 June 2015

Kickstarter Watch - SOTRII

Well, that didn't last long (thanks to Paul O'G for spotting it0:
Good afternoon everyone, and thanks for jumping onboard and supporting our Secrets of the Third Reich II project. We were off to a good start but as you know, over the last few days, things have been more or less at a standstill. 
We always knew, to complete SoTRII it was going to be a costly exercise. We brought this project to Kickstarter in the hope at we would gain the support to be able to take the game where we wanted to take it, as financial backing for a small business such as West Wind is an absolute must to undertake a project the size of Secrets. All our finger have been well and truly crossed that enough backers would come in to make this possible.  
So to conclude, it greatly pains us to say that we have reached the following decision. After long consideration, number crunching to try to make this fit, plus a great deal of soul searching, it is with great regret that we have no alternative but to cancel the project. We have over the last few days looked at all the options to try to work around this to make it financially viable, and please believe us, this is not a decision that we have taken lightly. This is purely a financial business decision that we have had to take. We are very very sorry. 
We will not be able to take the project to Kickstarter again in a different format, however, we will be looking at other avenues as a possible way forward outside of Kickstarter, together with John Bailey and Ian Hill.
We know you are going to be disappointed that we are not able to take this project any further here, we too are very disappointed, and we thank you all very much indeed for your commitment and support of ourselves and the project since launch.
With very best regards,
Andy & Wendy Cooper, West Wind Productions 

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Origin Awards 2015

Sails of Glory won as "Best Historical Miniature Rules" and "Best Historical Miniature Line", receiving in both categories both the Critics' Choice and Fan Favorite Award,
Starting to think Dice Shop Online might have been a bit premature in dumping their stock. Still. Not complaining.

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Match Report - 8 June 2015

A short note to record the end of the club's 2015 Deadball tournament. I got to wrap up by playing Ben, who I've never played, and was already in an unassailable position due to being top of the leaderboard with 4 landslides out of four. Despite my best efforts, he kept up the record :D

Most four pointers, and winner: Ben
Most kills and most cheers: Dale (playing JUDWAN????? - all his kills with MVPs - something very wrong there!)
Wooden spoon: *cough* *blush*

Monday, 8 June 2015

Royal Armouries Napoleonic Wargames Weekend 13-14 June

We'll be at the Leeds Royal Armouries this weekend: they're putting on a weekend of Napoleonic Wargaming in conjunction with Warlord, and we're taking a Black Powder Quatre Bras game, currently (unless we magic up a lot more volunteers) just on the Saturday.

Admission is free, and the venue's open from 11-5 both days.

Sunday, 7 June 2015

Sean Bean's Waterloo

Perhaps by way of atonement for the somewhat suspect "Sharpe's Waterloo". Sean Bean is doing a two part documentary for the History Channel (UK) next Sunday from 10pm on the Battle of Waterloo.

Certainly worth recording, I suspect.

Saturday, 6 June 2015

Friday, 5 June 2015

Kickstarter Watch - Secrets of the Third Reich II

As Westwind are Good People (and friends of Meeples), and my former club mate John Austin (come back mate, we miss you) is involved in getting this thing going, here's a reminder that the Kickstarter for the Weird War 2 game Secrets of the Third Reich is now up and running.

30 quid will get you the rulebook and armies book, £79 that plus your choice of starter set.

Enjoy!

Thursday, 4 June 2015

Battle Report - 1-Jun-2015 - Sails of Glory

Again :D

Three a side teaching game this time, a first rater, a third rater and a frigate each: Dave, AndyM and I took the British, and Chris, Vince and Reuben the French.

First blood went to the French, as Andy's frigate went to the bottom, largely due to being on the receiving end of a broadside from the first rater. In the meantime, Vince's 74-gunner managed to get herself caught between the two British ships of the line: we almost pulled off a simultaneous broadside from both sides, but had to settle for grappling and boarding her inside.

The only problem was that in order to avoid colliding with the other British ship, I had to veer off downwind, and combined with several wind changes left my third-rater at the mercy of a 110-gun French ship...

...who very fortunately couldn't /quite/ stay on the table...

If this wasn't a teaching game we'd almost certainly have gone for a bigger table, and I suspect I'd have lost in pretty short order: being loaded with chainshot was all very well, but the changing wind kept stopping me from getting close enough.



Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Brigade Models Small Scale Scenery

Anyone looking for Sails of Glory scenery to out-do the card stuff Ares Games supply, I've just ordered (and it shipped today) a village, keep, manor and some harbour walls from Brigade Models. It looks delightful, and it's ridiculously cheap.


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