Friday 29 April 2011

Stylish Blogger Award

This Stylish Blogger Award is doing the rounds and Donogh has been kind enough to nominate me for my documentation of my losing battle with the shininess of wargaming stuff. Wow, well, I am honoured and would like to thank my mother and father, without whom this would not have been possible. I must also thank my wife, who tolerates my addiction and my cats, who keep me on the straight and narrow and my buddy Steve who feeds the addiction and goes along with all my madcap plans and ...

1. Thank and link back to the person giving you the award.
Donogh of Land War in Asia nominated me as I mentioned above. Thank you and I am well chuffed that he appreciates my blog enough to nominate me.

2. Share seven things about yourself.
  1. I started gaming because of my father. He saw his friend's children playing this game called Dungeons and Dragons and decided that we should play it. I'm not sure if he did me a favour or not, but I have had loads of excellent enjoyment from it.
  2. When I was 16 and 17 I rode amateur flat racing with the Arab Horse Society.
  3. I am a Norwegiophile. Not sure if that is a word, but Norway is very much my spiritual home.
  4. Anyone that knows me will tell you that I am a total fanatic about Vikings. This extends to doing a PhD on Viking berserkers and trying to correct every nineteenth-century misconception that survives.
  5. I like cats. I have two cats, both of whom dote on me. I think it is because I feed them.
  6. My other hobby is growing orchids. I currently have around forty in the house.
  7. My mother-in-law actually likes me!

3. Select 10-15 blogs who you think deserve this award.
This list reflects those blogs that I follow that are most often updated with material that interests me. I was going to try to avoid blogs that have already received this award, but then it struck me that multiple awards just show that a blog is popular. If I like it enough to send the award its way then so be it. The blogger should be rewarded for appealing to a wide range of people. So, on with the awards. In no particular order:

Frugal Dave at A Year of Frugal Gaming got me blogging when he started his frugal year. I liked the idea and it has worked to some extent in that my expenditure actually has reduced. I know it might not seem like it from some of my posts, but it has, and various projects have been finished. Thanks, Dave.

Steve Blease of Bleaseworld has actually been responsible for a lot of my expenditure over the past year in particular. Stop tempting me with 'nefs and Land Ironclads, dashitall!

Andy McMaster is a decent chap and keeps reminding me on Another Slight Diversion that I am not alone in my constant distraction by shiny things.

Jet at Geektactica writes most excellent battle reports and is partially responsible for my interest in Impetus. Great set of rules but I was not planning to buy the full version. Ooh shiny ...

Steve at Little Legions is the main person responsible for getting me into Impetus. Thanks a bunch, mate! :-) Mind you, I did enjoy playing it. His beautifully painted Crusader army is tempting me to get a Crusader or Arab army for the first or second crusades, even though I have more than enough to paint in my lead pile. I have resisted so far though.

Javier at War feeds my need to read other people's Warrior Heroes: Armies and Adventure reports. They are good fun to read and his figures are very well painted. We are planning a crossover between our adventurers at some point. It will be like Grendel versus Batman or something equally cool and epic.

The Gruntz guys along with Mark at Dropship Horizon feed my need for 15mm sci-fi goodness. I've been into 15mm sci fi since the early eighties when I first picked up Laserburn and some of the Laserburn figures from Bob Connor at Tabletop Games. Now there was a bloke that gave good mail order service.

Tactical Miniatures Gaming has a large number of most excellent battle reports. I want to move in over there because they always seem to be having such good fun.

Another blog that inspires me is Victoria's Boys in Red. It keeps reminding me that I have Martians still to paint for our Soldier's Companion games. I really must find time for that, although this month looks like being a write-off already. Also, while on the topic of VSF there is no way that I could leave out Yours in a White Wine Sauce.

I could pick more blogs but these will have to do for now.

Thursday 28 April 2011

Infinity Games UK

I just joined the Infinity Games affiliate scheme in the hopes of boosting my spending power with them. I hope this will not put any of you off reading this blog. Basically, if you click through to IGUK from the box on the right of the screen, then it registers on my account and I get 5% of the total purchase price of anything you may buy.

I like IGUK because I have had excellent service from them. They were prompt to deliver my games and the website tells you if everything is in stock, so no waiting around to find out later that what you want is not available. They also sell most games with 10% or more discount off the RRP and include postage in the cost quoted, so you know up front what you will be charged.

I have put a link to the Age of Conan boardgame on the right at the moment. They currently have it at £31.89, a discount of 47% off the RRP, which is pretty good IMO. It was certainly good enough for me to buy a copy for Steve after he painted a bunch of figures for me. I really need to get around to writing a review of the game so it must be time to play it again, assuming that Steve is willing. After all, I beat him last time so we may never play it again! ;-)

Tuesday 26 April 2011

Battles of Westeros

Fantasy Flight Games recently announced a painting contest for Battles of Westeros. The idea was to paint a unit from the game including a leader, while staying faithful to the books. Best painted figures win a full set of the game. I don't reckon I stand much chance, as much because of my photography as my painting, but here is my entry.

Sunday 24 April 2011

Bwendi Militia receive transport

President Throckmorton P. Gladiolus proudly announced last night that the Bwendi army had received its first consignment of the new Throckwoddle Industries Bullfrog All-Terrain Truck. Throckwoddle Gladiolus, CEO of Throckwoddle Industries, declared that he was pleased to have been able to do his patriotic duty in selling these trucks to the army. Minister for Procurement and Defence, Throckwoddle Gladiolus, stated that this was an historic moment. No longer would the Bwendi militia have to take taxis or the bus into battle. Now they had their own dedicated transport and the army would save a fortune on bus and taxi fares, and compensation payments for damaged public transport.

Captain Pangloss of the militia is quoted as saying, "These are surely the best of all possible trucks. Our militia troops here on Bwendi Prime and on our outworld colonies will surely benefit from their versatility."

A squad of Bwendi militia parade in front of their new transport:

Imperial Commander - Wheeled Softskin, Hull Class 2, Turreted MG, Autoranger, carries up to 10 passengers, 2 Crew (paid for separately), 34 points.
5150 - Hard Armour, DV 1, 1*HMG, Wheeled, Speed 16/12, Crew 2, 136 points.

The trucks and cargo crates are 15mm Ground Zero Games. Infantry by

Saturday 23 April 2011

Starfighters over Bwendi Prime

My ninja shopper picked up a Squadron Commander:Reheat (Brigade Models) starter set at Salute last week for us to split. I got the ONESS German kit because I have the same for my ground forces, representing the loyal and heroic army of Bwendi Prime. He is working on the Eurofed victims, representing the evil imperialists of the Albion Defence Force. These starfighters are intended to be 1:300 scale, the same as the ground forces they sell, and I plan to use them in direct support, as well as for space battles. SC:R looks like an interesting rules set. I suspect that managing more than a couple of flights of fighters per person will be a stretch because of the record-keeping, but the game should have enough crunch to be interesting even with a small number of fighters and ought to come into its own in a larger multi-player game. I'll let you know when I have played it.

So, anyway, enough rambling. I completed painting them today (instead of writing my thesis, which is what I am meant to be doing) and here they are. Apologies for the shoddy photos. I am not happy with the eight-pointed stars on the wings either. Yes, those are meant to be stars (The Frog Star actually), not flying spaghetti monsters. My hands shake too much at times! I may replace them with decals if I find any suitable ones. Alternatively, there may be a schism in the Bwendi church with people turning away from The One True Frog and beginning to worship the Flying Spaghetti Monster. The background is a board printed from WorldWorksGames' Sathrican Homeworld map. Click the pics for a larger version.

Hornisse Interceptor:

Galland Attack Fighter:

Friday 22 April 2011

2 Thaumont 1000AC - Deeper into the Dark

With the treasure divided up and the belt added to Pushka's load, the group makes Elias comfortable before gathering their weapons and armour and setting out into the labyrinth. After a brief discussion, the group decides to investigate the central passageway. 

Breccia leads the way. As a dwarf he understands the underground. Miroslav and Lacrimos follow behind with a lit torch, but staying far enough behind that the torch does not interfere with Breccia's infravision. The passageway continues on for about 150' before opening into a larger chamber. The chamber is furnished with cracked, mouldering tables on which lie rusty iron implements. The storm is still raging outside, as the group can tell from the rain and hail that is falling into the chamber through a hole in the ceiling. This hole is the base of a shaft that must run all the way to the top of the tor. From the bottom of the shaft a rope dangles, swinging slightly. A drain in the centre of the floor allows the water to escape, but old darker stains suggest a different fluid was carried away down that drain years ago.

On the opposite side of the chamber from that which the group entered by, another passageway leads on into the dark. Searching the chamber reveals nothing further of interest and no clue as to why there is a rope hanging down into this chamber, so the group decides to press on. Breccia moves off into the passage to check it out. His infravision reveals nothing but he soon comes to a junction with the main passage continuing straight ahead while another passage branches off to the right.

Tuesday 19 April 2011

The Rather Large Award-Winning Towton Project

The team took the Towton game to Salute last weekend. I could not make it because my friend had chosen to get married that day but it seems to have been a successful day even without my micro-management, because they came away with the Most Impressive Troops trophy. Nice. There's more about the show, including more photos over on the Towton project blog but here's a couple of photos just for the Ooh Shiny Complex followers. Click the images for larger versions.

0900 on a snowy Palm Sunday in 1461. Shivering, the troops line up as snow begins to fall:

As they realise that their arrows are not reaching the Yorkist lines, the Lancastrians begin their advance across Towton Dale:

Norfolk falls like a slightly asthmatic lion on the Lancastrian flank. The Lancastrian rout begins.

Thursday 7 April 2011

Only one week until Salute

I now have a complete single iteration of the order of battle painted, based and ready to field. The last of the flags went on today. That's 288 stands with around 8500 figures in total on them. These photos were taken before I had finished all my figures so there are some gaps in the lines:

The terrain is completed, all 18' by 4' of it. There are just a couple of tasks left to do:
  1. Print orders of battle for the game;
  2. Print display material;
  3. Rely on the other team members to turn up with their figures;
  4. Work out how to fit everything in Steve's car.
I shall not be at Salute because my friend has decided to get married that day but the other team members will be there for you to talk to and the game will be there for you to ogle. I hope you enjoy it.

The orders of battle (each square represents one stand):

Wednesday 6 April 2011

1-2 Thaumont 1000AC - Hobgoblins!

Breccia rolls to his feet, sword in hand. Espying the creatures attacking Miroslav he recognises them from their brethren's assaults on his mine. 
"Hobgoblins!" he shouts.
Quickly he moves to the corner of the passage and checks for more of the creatures, knowing that they generally hunt in packs. His infravision is blocked by the firelight and he can see no further than the edge of the area illuminated by the fire, but there are no more hobgoblins in immediate view.

Meanwhile, Miroslav is back-pedalling away from the hobgoblins, fending them off, while trying to draw them away from the passage. Seeing a gap in the hobgoblin's defense, he pauses in his retreat, lunges with his axe and catches the hobgoblin a mighty blow that half tears its head off. It collapses to the ground never to move again as blood and brains spatter all within several feet of the creature.

Lacrimos charges from his bed and charges the hobgoblin nearer to the passage, almost falling over Breccia as he does. The hobgoblin slams into the wall with a sickening thud and fresh blood spurts over Lacrimos' hand as he withdraws his sword from the body. The hobgoblin slumps to the floor dead.

The hobgoblins are dead. A quick scout of the passageway shows that there are no more in the immediate area and no sounds of alarm can be heard.

Returning to the bodies, the group recovers two short swords, two javelins and two small shields that have seen better days. The Hobgoblins have 8 Royals and 12 Crona between them. One of the Hobgoblins is also wearing a well-crafted thick leather belt covered in brass studs that might have some value.

The rest of the night passes uneventfully (unless there is an argument over the treasure!) and the group awakes in the morning ready to continue their journey or explore the tor. Elias is still unconscious though and will be for at least another two days as his body recovers from the terrible rat bites that it endured.