David Bickley's Wargames Blog

The occassional ramblings of an average gamer, journeyman painter, indifferent modeller, games designer, sometime writer for Wargames Illustrated and host of games in GHQ.

Friday, 4 March 2016

I had such plans...

Blogger has been more uncooperative even than usual tonight! I had plans to write something thoughtful to mark the 300th post on my Blog, but I've wasted over 30 minutes waiting for Windows 10 to update, for either Safari or AOL to deign to function, and for Photobucket and then Blogger to decide to work! Its at times like these that I think the whole body of computer nerds should be rounded up and locked in a dark place with something nasty!!!! And what's it all for anyway? Who looks at anything for more than a fleeting moment and then what infinitesimally small percentage can shift themselves to say anything about your efforts? Well, I've got that off my chest at least.
I've had a difficult few days this week with my arthritis in my hands particularly. I have painted, if I dare use that word, a few bits after a long weekend break at the end of February. I managed to complete the two Front Rank British limber sets for my Wars of the French Revolution project, but I pulled the outriders off and have replaced them with C18th civilians, as it seems that's what was the norm in the early 1790's. So I have to undercoat the four figures and paint them now before I can fix them to the sets and varnish the whole. I also managed to finish a set of machine gun pack mules from Tiger Miniatures for my Rhanzlistan Field Force. These are really useful little figures and I recommend them to anyone looking for some inexpensive options for a mule train in any period from about 1800 onwards really, as there are several choices, even mules without any loads to add your own. But my main achievement this week has been a converted ACW Reb command stand of one mounted and one foot figure, JEB Bykleigh and staff! I finally got a supply of 'my heads' cast by Trevor at Dixon Miniatures and can now indulge a fairly silly whim to have a 'little lead me' on the table in my armies! Next up will be an ECW version I hope, after I buy a suitable figure from Warlord at next weekend's WMMS show. {You may remember that Matt made the head originally for a Christmas present for me ~ it adorns the header page on the Blog ~ so I will choose a figure he sculpted for Warlord's ECW range and modify that.} But, back to my recent 'painting', three Foundry Dragoon Guards for the Indian Mutiny project. They are quite straightforward little chaps with no really difficult animation to deal with but when I looked at them this evening it seems they were painted while I had a bag over my head and my hands in boxing gloves, mistakes all over the place, very disheartening! I will have to go over them completely now and paint out all the wobbles and missed bits. If its not the hands its the eyes it seems. I do not intend to give up though, as I enjoy it far to much and it has always helped me with my anxiety and depression, it always seemed to flow out of the brush when things were difficult as I painted the little lead chaps.
There was only one game here in GHQ this week, an Ancient game with Jon as the usurper Albinus against yours truly, the rightful Emperor, Pompus Maximus! The scenario saw Jon's force of mostly infantry attempting to intercept a tax gathering convoy while my mostly cavalry force tried to save the tax raised for the Imperial Treasury. We used Neil Thomas's Ancient and Medieval Rules, the Dark Ages option this time, and played our usual 12 Turns. At the end of Turn 12 I had just scraped a win by dint of saving the tax collector from Jon's hordes and having lost one base of figures less than he had in the process. Here's a picture of the action ~












The tax collector's waggon could not move until Turn 4, determined by random dice throw before the game giving Jon a chance to use his only cavalry, two units of bow armed Hun Light Cavalry to try to seize the convoy, defended at that point by only one unit of Dark Age Infantry. In fact the infantry put up a splendid fight, holding off the Huns and then Jon's Frankish Warbands just long enough for the convoy to escape and for the first relief forces to arrive. Meanwhile, the bulk of my cavalry were off on the flank to cut off any escape just in case Jon did manage to capture the waggon. The fighting there was very bitter with his infantry doing sterling service throughout the game. We entitled the battle, the Battle of Villa Relagatio ~ local football fans may work that out I hope! This is the situation at the end of Turn 12. Not much left of the two mighty forces that began the battle...






















I'd better get back to something more thoughtful though now as this is the 300th post as I said at the outset. I mentioned that next weekend sees the Alumwell Wargames Society show, more popularly known as WMMS. I saw from their web page that its the fortieth such show and that really brought me up sharply. You see, Phil and I, together with the support of the other Committee Members, were the organisers of the first shows in the 1970's and 80's. I suddenly feel ever one of my 65 years now. I've missed at least three in more recent years, due to travelling to exotic locations, but must have been at more than 35 of them I think. The show now is held in Wolverhampton, at Aldersley Leisure Village which is about a mile from my home. If its a nice day we can walk there along the canal side. But this year is very special for a more important reason, as Matt is coming up and bringing Arthur, our eldest grandson, to his first wargames show. Now Arthur is only three, but he's already shown signs of being really keen and with some help has painted two 28mm figures of his own when he's been staying with us! As I have a photo of Matt sitting at my painting table, aged about two, pretending to paint the 'little mans' its not really a surprise, it must be in the genes! It seems I have passed the torch on in the darkness in some small way, and that gives me more pleasure than almost anything else you see. If there is nothing beyond this life, then I will have made a small difference along the way in this, and that's all any of us can try to do really.

19 comments:

  1. David, I blog for myself as much as for any readers, if there are any, but enjoy reading your accounts to feed my unrequited desire for a French Revolutionary War army or two. Keep on blogging!

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    1. You have no FRW collection,Colin? Well, you are welcome to look over mine anytime you like, as I do your SYW collections especially. I do Blog mostly for my chums, myself and the cadre of decent folk like yourself who bother to chip in. Are you going to Falkirk or Edinburgh shows this year?

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    2. Thanks David, sadly no FRW troops :-(. But I might yet take the plunge! I hope to be at Claymore so hope to bump into you there. Doubt I shall make Falkirk though.

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    3. I hope to make both shows so will look out for you at Claymore.

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  2. Always keep on blogging David as it's for yourself as well as other folks! Photo's look great of course.

    Christopher

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    1. Glad you enjoy the blog & the pictures Christopher. I shall blog on as you say.

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  3. I feel your pain with Blogger and Photobucket, many a time I have had my finger ready to click the delete account button.Don't get hung up on lack of comments, if I stopped to comment on every blog I visit I would never get any painting done :-) I do endeavour to comment occasionally on most that I visit regularly though. Bit of a bugger getting old, but can't say I fancy the alternative, certainly getting to know what my mother meant when she said "wait till you get to my age". KBO old chum.
    A narrow victory by Pompus I see, is his power on the wane perhaps? Baldinus waits eagerly in the wings ;-)

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    1. I think it's more blasted Windows 10 than out else. I'm not so much hung up as puzzled by the comment drought. I know my stuff is far from wonderful but it's nice to get feedback, even "It'll do!" Hands easier today so corrected abominations and cleaned up Darcy et al for Pride & Prejudice & Zombies!

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  4. I recently found your blog. I'm putting together a 6mm French Rev force so looking at yours is both fun and inspiration to keep plugging along at mine.

    I blog for myself. Its like an online diary of sorts. I totally appreciate how painting helps reduce stress, and how blogger can be infuriating.

    I liked the comment about the grandson painting. I have a 5 year old and 3 year old. Both paint 54mm plastic guys while I paint my figures. That type of bonding is awesome in my opinion. As for making a difference, Im a teacher and all anyone can do is try to make a difference for one person every day. The fact that you give your grandson this moment with you is priceless.

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    1. Welcome to GHQ AP & thanks for the kind comments. It's nice to hear from a fellow teacher too, even though I'm long retired now. Good work on bringing your two into the joys of painting!

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  5. Don't be disheartened Mr.B. There are hundreds of blogs out there. Most folk just have a look & move on. I know lots of people who've commented to me on our games and none of them has ever posted anything here.

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    1. Thanks,Jon! Not disheartened, just jogging folks' consciences I hope. Nice to hear folk comment to you, though what they might say is another matter...

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    2. Not,"Mostly harmless" then?

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  6. The reality is that few viewers will bother to comment - free content is very much taken for granted.

    The rights and wrongs are for a debate somewhere else, but it would be nice if more of those who consume only would just every now and then pause to are a comment of appreciation for the efforts made.

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    1. You are undoubtedly correct in your assertion Norm, but it still irritates me that so few folk think it polite to leave a note or offer a comment.

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  7. Always an interesting read. Hopefully I'll be attending the WMMS on Sunday. I remember visiting the show in my youth when it was still held at the Alumwell school.

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    1. I'm glad you enjoy your visits Matt. I hope we might have a chance to meet up at Alumwell on Sunday for a natter.

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    2. If I spot you I'll introduce myself - I won't be wearing a full harness and sallet though.

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