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


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:

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.


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



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


Deadzone Infestation (just the rule book, yer honour)
PSC's Great War (on time)
Blood Rage
Kings of War 2
Dungeon Saga
Russian Trucks of WW2 (not holding my breath)
Winter War (rest of, also not holding my breath)
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

Sunday 14 June 2015

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.


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.

Tuesday 2 June 2015

15mm scale farms

I mean, it's not like I have this thing about them or anything. I mean, I only own three...

Oops. Four.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Monday 1 June 2015

Late (and a touch grumpy)

...and my eyes are tired.  Consider this a placeholder... ;)

...for the entertaining trip home, in which a Network Rail van put a large dent (and a broken window) in the side of my car by failing to remember that vehicles ON a roundabout have right of way. Fortunately the car still was still drivable, but it needs the ministrations of a body shop and Autoglass.

I'm fine (modulo taking therapeutic quantities of ibuprofen to forestall any back problems from the impact) - at home awaiting the insurance companies on the phone. Not how I wanted to spent the day.
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