Monday, 23 March 2020

Creating a Discord server

As various communities I'm in are looking at ways of doing Virtual Un-distancing, I've started a series of posts on my personal blog on various technologies you can use. First up, Discord.

Friday, 20 March 2020

Discord server up!

Ok, so, two job interviews (for the same job) and a lot more tidying and stuff later, where are we?

The "Miller's Tale" Discord server is UP!

If you want to join, the invite link is here - you can sign up in a web browser, or if you have the Discord app installed on your tablet, smart phone or computer, the link will take you to the server. There are a number of chat channels, as well as the potential to set up voice chat for online games. or even one to one or small group video chat. I'll be there as TroubleAtT'Mill.

Have fun - treat it as an adjunct to all your current social media, with maybe the advantage of being a little more real time and not subject to the vagaries of what the system thinks you should see on your timeline. Also, voice chat? :D

I dunno if anyone else has noticed, but Amazon's Prime service is creaking a little under the load of a lot of people wanting stuff delivered (remember they run an Amazon Pantry food service which is probably breaking at the seams like all the others). Sadly, this means a couple of bits of kit I need to be able to do a pukka job on the Dux Britanniarum online game aren't going to arrive till possibly Tuesday, so I'm going to regretfully defer that to Saturday 28th March (Chillcon day, were it sadly not cancelled).

And now. on with the Compendium, once I've checked my tame cartographer (James) has done the maps I asked for.

Tuesday, 17 March 2020

Online game of Dux Britanniarum on Saturday

Assuming I can get the cameras etc all setup, I propose to run a game of Dux Britanniarum in the studio on Saturday. The intent is to have two players or teams in separate channels on Discord running each force, who will communicate their moves/intentions to me so I can move their forces.

Anyone interested, watch this space.

EDIT: due to delays in Amazon deliveries, this is postponed to Saturday March 28th.

Discord server/online gaming convention

I am in the middle of setting up a Discord server for online gaming and chat. This is not intended to replace Twitter, as that's a happily thriving community that I'm not interested in superseding or competing with (I am not an idiot).

However, it's going to contain at least the following:

  • Chat area for wargames, board games and RPGs
  • A business area where small companies can both advertise and chat to customers (I will probably require you to prove to me you're a gaming related business before you get to represent as such, and obviously I will require things to be kept civil and positive :D).
  • The games area - a channel where you can arrange an online game, and a support channel where you can ask technical questions about doing so
  • A channel with a dice-roller bot (never know when THAT'll come in handy!)
  • Voice chat. I'm not setting up any channels as yet, but I have plans: they will if nothing else be useful to allow voice chat while playing wargames via (say) Tabletop Simulator
The server invite link will be up later today or tomorrow, once I have things locked down and bots created to my satisfaction. 

Friday, 13 March 2020

State of the Mike

I'm starting to think I should have "I Aten't Ded" as a tag on this blog (sounds of typing - oh, wait, I do!), although to be fair if you've been following me on Twitter you'd be aware I've been busy.

So: to catch up,

I came down with a rotten cold (no, not Covid-19!) the last two weeks of February, for which my brain was typically getting about as far as 'Good morning" for the first week and then giving up - it took me a week before I had a day without a sinus headache or migraine. Sadly, not enough brain to string coherent sentences together for DuxB... Once I recovered, life has been a combination of catching up on work (as *another* of our team was leaving, deadlines were looming...) and finishing up tarting up the Dead's Army boards, which, if you HAVE been following me on Twitter, now look pretty bloody awesome, and you can see them at Hammerhead tomorrow!

We are (after a last panic to assemble the Rubicon telegraph poles I'd bought and forgotten about) now done, and I was looking forward to a weekend off at the O2 for my annual pilgrimage to Country2Country and then finding some time to finish the Compendium.

Fate has other plans. Just about every US country artist has fled the country in a Covid-19, Trump-induced panic, so C2C got cancelled. And on Thursday, my boss called me to tell me they were letting me go with immediate effect. If you want the gory details of the latter, feel free to DM me on FB or Twitter, or ask me at Hammerhead, but my opinions probably shouldn't be aired anywhere permanent and public :D

So - here we are :D

I have various agencies looking out for things for me - if anyone knows of Perl developer vacancies, particularly short term contracts or even part-time ones,  especially if they allow telecommuting (not that they might have much choice soon!), feel free to let me know. However, I do have most of a month pay in lieu of notice, and a couple of small contract jobs from CricketArchive to extend that with luck, so, the short term plan:

  • reformat the work MacBook and wait for them to tell me where to send it. Dead prawn in the battery bay tempting but unlikely.
  • tidy the s**t out of the office and workshop (already in progress, the labeller is earning its keep)
  • set up the studio for game videos etc
  • Finish the Compendium. 
  • Start podcasting again (possibly two)
  • Start writing the next batch of gaming stuff, which includes CoC scenarios and some D&D stuff for the DMs' Guild (quick wins for money as they're already hand-written up in the dread Green File Of Gaming)
  • Look at starting a Patreon or other ways of further monetising this so I don't have to go back to work full time as a developer.
  • Remind Anne that all the above is potentially paying work and that doesn't mean I have time for DIY 

Comments, opinions, good wishes welcome.

Sunday, 16 February 2020

A good day on the Compendium

...when I wasn't dealing with work (ugh) and not-work-but-work (don't ask, but fun)....

I've sorted out a bunch of stuff (with the inevitable 'damn, I've added a page feed near the top of the document, and now several sidebars are on the wrong page!'), and there's probably two evenings work left (not including the index and drawing a map), which will probably be Tuesday and Thursday, with luck.

Saturday, 15 February 2020

No More Nails 2, Foamboard 0

Fingers crossed, anyway. The first two bits of foam board seem now to be stuck flat where they're meant to be, and I have stuck the last one down with the aid of five large household paint cans as weights.

In other news, thanks to AndyM and the guys, the TV is now up on the wall of the studio (that actually happened on Wednesday) and I spent some time today setting up the Apple TV properly so I can toss a primary or secondary display from an iPad, iPhone or Mac to it. The uses of this are many, from D&D initiative trackers and map displays, through watching the Test Match to showing me what the camera or cameras see when I'm shooting video. (This also makes the latter one step nearer!)

Friday, 14 February 2020

More Dead's Army terrain

...and much swearing, as the extra bits of base for the church and graveyard have decided to warp.

It's not as bad as it could be, as we'd already decided to glue them to the terrain tiles: cue a bit of a panic and a whole bunch of sorting and tidying until I found my No More Nails (and happily, my hot glue gun which I've been looking for for AGES!). So I've stuck two of the three extra bits down with NMN and weighted them with large paint pots and we'll leave those to see if they hold :D

Thursday, 13 February 2020

Wednesday Terrain Building

Yesterday was back to Wednesday terrain sessions, now I'm back off vacation.

Some issues with the Salute game - apparently Andy picked the WIP up to bring it and a lot of the bits fell off, so he didn't bring it :( We'll be switching to hot glue next week, and seeing if that holds better.

We did get the Dead's Army church renovated, and some work done on both the cricket field and the graveyard: specifically Myk modded some Ratio station fencing by attaching pins to it so we can stick it in the foam terrain tile, and we undercoated the graveyard 'sabot' base and trimmed it, as well as sorting out what's going where.

Today I managed to find the white AP spray and undercoated the fences white (rather than green). I also worked out a force list for the first episode of the club's Kings of War/Vanguard campaign, which may mean I have to rebase my Shieldwolf shield maidens on 20mm bases (and paint at least a few more).

Tuesday, 11 February 2020

Dux Britanniarum - British Shock Cavalry - some thoughts

British Shock Cavalry are tough as nails. They're technically only available either as the very last couple of reinforcements for the British, or as a starter option for the Gwŷr y Gogledd in Raiders.

The former isn't really so bad, as to get them you have to have won four battles or raids by 5 or more as the British, by which time the Saxons are either fleeing across the North Sea like whipped curs or have also had about that many wins and have piles of Warrior Group reinforcements and skirmishers.

The latter case, as an alternative for the Gwŷr y Gogledd, is, I think, a little problematic if you're facing the Saxons (more so than with other forces). Shock Cavalry roll double the number of dice in combat (and the rule is 'calculate the number of dice including bonuses, then double it' per a clarification from Rich) and on top of that do double Shock. Lets do the maths:

  • 4 Elite Shock Cavalry = 4 dice
  • Champion = 2 dice
  • Lord = 3 dice
  • Hero of the Age = 3 more dice for the Lord (remember, it's in the British starting hand) + 1 for the dragon-suited card
  • total = 13
  • Doubled = 26

With no other dice, that's an average of 13 hits. Against Elites, that's an average of 2-3 kills and 8-10 shock (because Shock is doubled). With an Aggressive Charge or Artorius (which is not unlikely, and something the British player will be looking for and hanging on to), the cavalry are hitting on 3's and that suddenly becomes 20-21 hits, 3-4 kills, a metric boatload of shock (14-16) and busted Amphorae all over the shop.

Meanwhile the 12 Saxon Elites, Lord and Champion they are (in the best case for the Saxons, attacking) have 17 dice, for an average of 2-3 kills and 4-5 shock. To be fair, that is likely to break the cavalry, but that is their worst case opponent - two lots of Warriors and a Level 2 Noble will have 14 dice and probably not break them, although they will likely incur excess shock while vaporising the Warriors (4-5 kills now and 8-10 Shock). Against a single Group and Level 2 Noble in the Border Tower raid the charging cavalry would automatically capture (3:1 dice odds).

The tactic for defending against Shock Cavalry is to keep them at range and fill them full of missile weapons, so they have too much shock (any at all) to charge. The other forces in Raiders have 12 or 16 missile-armed troops in their core force, so the Gwŷr y Gogledd going against them do at least have some chance of being held at bay. The poor Saxons have 4.

I'm teetering on the edge of deciding they're overpowered for game balance, and the rule should perhaps either be double dice OR double Shock, not both. I'm also wondering if woods are too lenient in terms of movement restrictions for Shock Cavalry (charging knee-to-knee at speed in a wood?)


(Partial) battle report - 10 February 2020 - Dux Britaniarum

As well as a club general Meeting last night, we got to play Dux Brit. Very much a playtest rather than a raid - testing two things:

  • Raids where the British attack the Saxons (because reasons :))
  • More testing whether the British Shock Cavalry in the Dux Raiders Gwŷr y Gogledd force are overpowered against forces that don't have much in the way of ranged attacks.
Carl had (with some trepidation) the Saxons, I had the British. 
British forces advance to take a Saxon-held village. Standard raid scenario, just with the rôles reversed.
...and here come the British Lord's companions... 
Carl tries to shoot them, fails to do enough shock to stop them charging.
Carl then tries to hit the cavalry first, falls 4" short even with a Bounding Move.
The cavalry activate first next turn, with this fat fistful of Fate goodness - perhaps it's a little above average for a Fate hand, but it's not unreasonable... remember the Hero of the Age comes in the starter hand.
That's a very painful 16 dice. Doubled for Shock Cavalry charging, doing double Shock after that.

We paused there, once we'd rolled for effect, and talked through a few things, ran the 'what if the Saxons had charged home' test'... 

I'll document our thoughts in the next post.

Monday, 10 February 2020

Not dead :D

Been away for a long weekend, having had house guests all week.

Did manage to scrape some hobby activity every day, though, just:
  • Thursday - site updates for Hereward Wargames Show
  • Friday - more of the above
  • Saturday - interesting and quite long discussion about the relative merits of some Arthurian fiction: more mental notes taken for the Bibliography section of the Compendium 
  • Sunday - managed to listen to two more chapters of "Worlds Of Arthur"
Running the last Dux playtest tonight. Also back at work, which isn't where I'd like to be :D

Tuesday, 4 February 2020

Compendium Rules clarifications...

Yesterday I also put the rules clarifications from the Dux Britanniarum Compendium out on Dropbox for people to comment on. A huge thank you to Derek Hodge for collating the wisdom of the Mighty Dux himself...

Today's hobby activity has included dealing with the first piece of feedback, which did require a bit of thought :D 

Another I hate computers day....

Well, actually yesterday. I hate it when my hobby streak for the day turns out to be IT.

Sorting out a mailshot to the club, which should have gone out by the forum's newsletter mechanism... which decided that it would de-queue 5 emails from its outgoing queue to the local mail server and then toss the rest down a black hole. 


Eventually got a list of members active enough to be eligible to vote out of our treasurer, dug each one's email out of the forum database, and sent them by hand. But not my idea of fun at all :D

Sunday, 2 February 2020

State of the Compendium

Busy weekend with a gig for the band. Did some more work on the Compendium yesterday, so here's where we are. Today, mostly prep for club EGM on Monday.

Done, ready for beta playtests

Revised Battle Scenarios, rest of Battles section:
Done, ready for beta playtests

Characters Section:
Non-nobles/hirelings section needs writing, rest is done.

Assorted imports from TFL Specials:

part finished, more suggestions welcome :D

Sample Multiplayer Campaign:
part finished, needs a playtest for one concept, needs map

Campaign Progress flowchart/reference:
part finished (mostly needs a cleanup and making sure I haven't missed anything)
(Should this go on the back cover to match the QRS on the main rulebook?)

Collected faction progress charts:
British done, rest to do (basically to include stuff from Raiders, Compendium in one place)

Master Terrain table:
Raiders fortification values to calculate

Rules Clarifications:
Need Rich's check (or him to wash his hands of it :D)

Copyable Record sheets:
two more to do

Formatting, fillustrations:
Yes that is a word.
I'm formatting as I go, but I will do a final pass once done and I can figure out where to add fills. I may be looking for people with nice hi-res photos of Dux forces.


Friday, 31 January 2020

Home sweet home, and more Dxx

Also. more whisky, which forestalled posting last night :D We're now back in England, unpacked and fed (and the cats, too, who would like to assure us that James was horrible and mean and never fed them at all... (yeah, right)).

Added a new section to the Compendium yesterday with some multiplayer campaign ideas and a minor variant British force and career path. Today I listened to more of Guy Halsall on the flights home - he's progressed from criticising John Morris to having a go at Gildas (which seems only fair, since the latter himself appears to have had a fairly big axe to grind in his writing!). Once home I moved yesterday's notes across to the main file, edited and added some more, cleaned up some formatting issues.

I'll see if I can get that section finished tomorrow, and then it's bits and pieces and (shudder) the index.

[Amusing discoveries department: it's possible I went to the same primary school as Guy Halsall, as he was born in my village a year after me.]

Thursday, 30 January 2020

Hereward Catchup

First batch of traders up on the website yesterday. We’ll be introducing them, as is our wont, one at a time over the next few days then as they roll in.

Today, however, is a Dux day. :D

Wednesday, 29 January 2020

Fort Charlotte

As a change from Vikings (however contemporary the Up Helly Aa festival actually is) yesterday we detoured by Fort Charlotte in Lerwick, which is a naval fort overlooking the bay and the use of Bressay. This is actually its third incarnation, as it was built and rebuilt during both of the Anglo-Dutch Wars before being rebuilt AGAIN in the 1700s - the latter incarnation is the one that mostly stands today, although it never saw action despite being manned throughout the Napoleonic Wars.

Small, but atmospheric, and an interesting little site.

Monday, 27 January 2020

Working on the Compendium

I’m currently up with Anne in Lerwick for Up Helly Aa, visiting friends: you won’t see much blogging, but I’m attempting to wrap the Compendium this week and next (both of which I have off work). First on the list are working my way through Guy Halsall’s “Worlds of Arthur” and adding a campaign section o the Compendium based on some discussion on Facebook and some ideas I already had kicking around.

Friday, 24 January 2020

Bernard Cornwell and Dux Britanniarum

I have always felt (and I think Rich has said) that the world of Dux does fit in very well with the Bernard Cornwell "The Warlord Chronicles" series (as well as the likes of Rosemary Sutcliffe's "Sword at Sunset").

With that in mind, a couple of things:

First, fans of the Cornwell books may be interested, if they have missed it, in the announcement that Epix have bought the TV rights. The fact that this is being produced by the same team as did the BBC's recent "His Dark Materials" series gives me a certain amount of confidence in the result, as well as hope it should be better than "The Last Kingdom" adaptation.

Secondly, I've been working on the Compendium, specifically battles, some more, and added a new Cornwell-esque pre-battle option to those already available. Like all Compendium stuff, it will be optional.

Thursday, 23 January 2020

Dux Britanniarum battle research

Since we've been working on battles for Dux, today's hobby activity has been some interesting listening for the pre-battle phase, namely "The role of contests and rituals in ancient battle" from those nice folks at the Ancient Warfare Magazine Podcast.

As ever, recommended listening.

Wednesday, 22 January 2020

More work on the Dead's Army board

Myk and Carl were round for a scenery Wednesday, so we had a meeting of minds to debate what to do about the warped graveyard board... Having resigned ourselves to the fact that no amount of applied PVA, paint and/or brute force was gong to fix the warp, we debated either embedding it in one of the foam tiles or essentially building it a foam core 'sabot' base that we could use filler to hide the last bits of warp.

Et voilà, as they say in French. We went with the latter approach, and a big piece of 5mm A0 foam core - technically it's about 6mm narrower than the boards, but this won't be an issue.

We also rather brutally removed one wall, to address my objection that village churchyards in England really don't generally have separate cemeteries, and the spare bits of wall will get reused to extend the churchyard.

Next time, we'll filler the edges where they need it, cut some more foam for the rest of the churchyard and landscape it. Usefully, this being foam core, we can pin it to the underlying blue foam terrain tiles.

In addition, I added some climbing roses to Godfrey's cottage. Flowerpots to follow :D

Tuesday, 21 January 2020

Posts page, and some club updates.

Yesterday was mostly club business - if you follow me on Twitter you'll have seen that the Hereward trader form is up. We also did some serious rearrangement of our scenery cupboard at the club.

Today I was reminded, by pointing someone at one of my post series, that I have several series of posts on here that are quite useful reference material, so I have created a Featured Posts page so you can find them!

Sunday, 19 January 2020

A bit of Dark Ages research

I caught this on YouTube and have been watching it again (having seen it a first time when it originally aired).

Some interesting new archaeological stuff on the Age of Arthur, Saxon Britain and Tintagel, among other things, presented by the ever engaging Prof. Alice Roberts. Worth a watch, although there are a few places where it felt a bit dumbed down (like, tin in Cornwall is really not a revelation!), and I'm not sure how much it adds to the useful Dux Brit references, though I do wonder about a campaign where a Lord in Tintagel tries to strike East and reclaim some of Britannia as the attacker.

Saturday, 18 January 2020

Hereward update

The form for games submissions for this year's show is up. The trade form will follow soon, but we're redesigning it slightly, so please bear with :D There'll be a site update when that happens.

Also note that advance admission tickets are now purchasable (and have been for a while) for the princely sum of £3.

Friday, 17 January 2020

Reducing the sprue pile...

No brain tonight, after a long day at work, so I grabbed a couple of sprues out of a Mantic grab box I acquired a few years ago and had earmarked for painting for D&D/Battlesystem playtests, and also to try some fun and games with Contrast paints.

The Mantic Goblin Spitters have a reputation for not being among Mantic's best - they're very odd in that they have hunched shoulders and the face (not really the head) fits on a plug on the front of the torso. They look weird, but somewhat characterful.

Anyway, two sprues worth assembled, and undercoated with AP Greenskin. That'll do for today.

Thursday, 16 January 2020

More gardening and a shopping list (comments welcome)

Although not a lot to show for it, since today's hobby activity consisted of a couple of coats of paint on the Sarissa shed and a trip to Trains4U for some (small scale) flowers and vegetables from one of the model railway ranges. Godfrey's cottage will have tomatoes, strawberries, cabbages, some climbing roses and a few pot plants. Also pondering whether to rebuild the graveyard...

Also pondering the next bits of kit to pick up for the workbench. The plan is to move the 3D printer out from the shelf over my head here (I'm in what used to be my office in our music room, as I've locked up in the office/studio/workshop for the night) onto the long counter in the workshop, and use the rest of that counter for what could best be described as 'maker tools' for scenery builds, since I'm starting to figure that that's probably where a lot of my talent lies aside from writing.

Things that would be nice to have on there, if First Direct finally cough up my PPI claim:

  • the 3D printer with a dual reel/head kit so I can print with dissolvable supports or in two colours - mine's the single reel version, and the upgrade is not cheap
  • a resin 3D printer such as the AnyCubic Photon (for figures etc)
  • a Proxxon hot wire table and the better fence from Shifting Lands (if you want to see the amazing things you can do with this and XPS foam, check out Black Magic Craft on YouTube)
  • a spray booth - this presupposes I can find my bloomin' airbrush.
  • a MDF laser cutter. Low on the list, as Trev from the Rift has one I can feed files to.
  • a die cutter - been thinking about one of these as an alternative to the laser cutter for things like tile strips etc, and also because anything that saves ME having to try and make straight cuts, even with a steel rule, is a win :D
  • and (given some of the items on the list generate stuff one shouldn't breathe in) some air extraction 

On a more immediate note, I'm out of PVA (would you believe, my 3L supply from Hobbycraft went MOULDY????) :D

Wednesday, 15 January 2020

Back to Wednesday scenery evenings

Starting work on tidying up and prettying the Dead's Army boards and bits, as they're going to a few shows this year. Myk was building the Sarissa shed, Andrew painting the bandstand while Carl and I worked on removing the warp from the cemetery board and garden planning for Godrey's cottage.

Watch this space, as they say. 

Tuesday, 14 January 2020

Jackdaw folders

I picked these up the other day for a fiver each from Abebooks. Henry asked what was in the Peninsular War one, so here's a bunch of pics (in between writing last night's battle report).

Battle Report - 13 Jan 2020 - Dux Britanniarum

OK - battle playtest, Carl and Colin, playing the British defenders, Myk and Rob (complete Dux newcomer) the Saxons.

The observant will note from the photos I've switched to Universal Lard Tokens to track shock - there are reasons for this :D

We 'rolled' defence of a watchtower this time. Carl set up with a formation of Elites + Warriors defending the tower and a very annoying group of slingers up top.
Advancing from bottom right are Rob's Elites (centre) and a unit of Warriors coming round below the hut.  
The Saxon elites pile into the defenders. On the good side for the British, they do actually do more kills than the Saxons.
On the bad side, the British take ridiculous amounts of shock, and the four surviving Elites in the front rank break due to busted amphora, run away through the rear rank (doing 5 shock on their way past)...
Four figures, and count 'em, 8 shock. Buh-bye....
Had this been a campaign battle, the British may well have withdrawn here.
(Photo by Reuben Turner)
Another round of combat chases off the warriors at the tower. Meanwhile Myk's Saxon warriors come in from the British left, and after duelling Step Forth cards, in which they give the approaching Saxon levy a bloody nose, the British Warriors (centre of the table, just to the left of the watch tower, charge the British elites....
...and manage to roll a 4. On 3 dice.
It all went even more downhill for the British from here - Colin had some awful dice as the Levy and the Saxons fought another round, and the Levy broke, having no place to stay.
British morale definitely going down now.

Again, had this been a campaign battle, the British would have withdrawn here if they hadn't already.
We continued for another round, and the Saxon Lord card came up before the British. They smacked into the waiting warriors, and that was pretty much it...
A good game, perhaps marred a little by the British having bad dice when it mattered, and the Saxons having bad dice when it didn't :D Thanks to my loyal playtesters as ever, and I think we're calling this workable!

Sunday, 12 January 2020

More downsizing, and some KoW elves for sale

That's all of it. Really Useful Box is yours
if you buy the lot, and I'll buy Merv some
After some thought, I'm switching back to building a human fantasy army for Kings of War, since I can also use it to test out Battlesystem 5E and also in my D&D campaign world.

As such, I have an awful lot of KOW Mantic Elves to shift. I may keep some so I can have a small force, but I really don't need THIS many :D

  • Mage Queen - metal
  • Palace guard Prince - metal
  • King - metal 
  • 5 bolt throwers & crew
  • 24 scouts
  • 110 bowmen 
  • 90 spearmen
  • 10 cavalry
  • 20 palace guard
  • 3 forest shamblers - metal
  • 1 of the last metal Dragon Riders ever made (with note to prove it from Ronnie R)
  • GW Finecast big greebly treant thing (Sylvaneth Treelord)
  • 3x Malifaux smaller greebly treant things (Waldgeist)
There's around 4000 points here. At reasonable eBay prices, I'm looking for around £200 for the lot, I think (working on 50p a figure for the common stuff), but I'll consider offers. Happy to split this, but ideally in to no more than two or possibly 3: there is essentially enough here for two decent sized armies or clearly one insane one. 

Saturday, 11 January 2020

Catchup on a couple of days of stuff

Been tidying the storeroom a bit (as opposed to the workshop or the store garage... I really may have too many places to keep stuff :D), as a break from actually thinking since I've done far too much of that for work this week.

Yesterday (in my lunch break) I painted (since they arrived) some Reaper Bones rats, using various shades of Contrast paints... enough to be serviceable tokens for an RPG. They're now on the 'things to grab when I need a wandering monster' shelf :D

Today, as a break from shifting boxes and counting and sorting a big Really Useful Box of Mantic Elves (over 200 on their sprues, in case you were wondering!), I assembled 20 Mantic skeletons (actually from the original Dwarf Kings Hold game). They're the original plastic ones, with odd little tabs that essentially are where you glue the ribcage and upper body onto the spine and lower body. They actually go together surprisingly well, and I will probably undercoat them and paint them sometime next week. Undecided whether to go the Contrast route, or spray with AP Skeleton Bone, or even spray black and drybrush.... We shall see.

Tomorrow is a Compendium evening :D

Thursday, 9 January 2020

Show prep, and an AAR on one of my scenarios

Spent my gaming time today doing setup work for the show, since we're going to be kicking off trader and game stuff early this year.

Also, to my delight, the Eagles and Lions Wargaming guys on FB posted a video review (I don't think you need a FB account to view it, I may be wrong) of their go at my Valle Della Marie IABSM scenario, which you can find in the 2017 TFL Summer Special (which, like all Lardies specials, contains all manner of good stuff above and beyond that, and is invariably well worth your money). I also ran this twice at OML5, which folks seemed to enjoy. Basically it's a down-and-dirty clear Jerry out of the next bit of Italy scrap for the British.

Andy's blog

For those who may have missed him, I should flag that my partner in Dux Brit and musical crime, Mr Andy Hawes, is back blogging and gaming again.

As well as helping me with the Compendium playlists (and planning to restart the Linnius campaign this year), he's also working on some fabulous Tolkien First Age forces on his own blog. Do go check him out!

Hereward 2020

To expand on what I said on Monday, after this year's kick off meeting last night:

This year’s show will be held on Sunday September 6th at the Cresset in Peterborough, and wil feature the usual great mix of participation and demonstration games, tournaments, painting competitions and traders.

On- and off-line booking forms for games and traders will be available later this week from the
website, and will be sent out to all our past games and traders. Any questions, don't hestitate to contact us.

Look! New logo!

Tuesday, 7 January 2020

Custom laser decals

I wasn't intending to get this started quite this soon, but as things escalated on Twitter....

Mill House Studios (a.k.a. me) are able to produce custom decals for shields etc. These are laser printed on clear decal film, either from your artwork or custom designed by me (for an extra charge).

Current prices, from your own artwork, are:
  • A5 sheet - £3
  • A4 sheet - £5
  • UK P&P (up to 5 sheets in A4 card-backed envelope) £2 (that's basically UK Large Letter rate)
For more details, see here.  Prices may be an introductory offer and subject to change.

I'm open to suggestions for a range of things people would like me to design/carry as ready-to-order sheets. Among the things that spring to mind are aircraft decals in 15mm and 28mm, as these seem to be scales not catered for by the model trade.

Monday, 6 January 2020

Still Chairman...

Club AGM done for another year. Didn't manage to land some other mug with the big hat :D

Hereward Wargames Show formally confirmed for another year.

Cookies consumed, show games planned.

The hobby goes on :D

Sunday, 5 January 2020

Wrapping up the Compendium day 3

Another day of bits and pieces - cleaned up the appendix with the campaign game process reference, tidied up the hirelings section, re-read several bits of Raiders to confirm a few rules clarifications.

Review - Multideck

Multideck is a Mac OS app for designing and printing cards for games. In essence, it's a graphical mail merge program customised for single- and double-sided cards, taking a CSV and a layout and using them to produce printable sheets of cards.

I'm currently using it to generate D&D spell cards for my players (which is why I didn't get this review finished yesterday, as my players turned up!), but it can also be used to generate custom activation decks for games such as IABSM, or unit cards for games for which they're useful, etc. For example, generating cards for a certain well known rule set.
Create a spreadsheet
Add some image files - note that the Boar and Dragon files match the values in the Symbol column.
Create a layout. Note that Item2 is of type Image, so that it picks up an image file corresponding to the value in the field Symbol, rather than the text of the field. Item2 is the card name - it's set to a certain font size and style and also Shrink to Fit as part of that style.
And print. The backs (and the card background) are very similar except that they use static images rather than ones picked  up from the CSV. Standard poker cards print 9 up on A4.
This took me about 15-20 mins. I should note that Multideck is a little temperamental - it has crashed on me a couple of times, but it seems to save as it goes so I've rarely lost work. Also some of the magic incantations to (for example) only display an item if a given field is present in the CSV can be a bit tricky to figure out. There is a very handy forum for it on BoardGameGeek, and the author is quite responsive.

Worth the money if you're proposing to do a lot of cards.

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