David Bickley's Wargames Blog

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

Thursday 31 December 2020

New Year, New Tier...

 ...New Allied Italian cavalry!  I've actually painted 10 Aventine cavalry since the last but one blog post, all from the bargain purchase from fellow gamer David. I allocated four figures to an extra base of Roman cavalry and six figures to two extra bases of Allied Italian cavalry ~

The Roman element of the Republican army now boasts three bases of heavy cavalry.
The Allied Italian cavalry I've just added. I made use of odd left over LBM shield transfers for these figures rather than order a new sheet. Like most wargamers I'm cheap if it comes to the pinch!

A shot of the whole of the Allied Italian cavalry with their command figure base in the lead.
Finally, the whole collection laid out, before it's put away for the duration...
I think I'll take a break from these, as I've said previously. Firstly I've an Overseer's cabin to finish for plantation settings in ACW and AWI games. Of course it will double as a cabin in other settings just as easily. Until then, Happy New Year!

Tuesday 29 December 2020

Good Bye to 2020!!!

 Goodbye to 2020, a year I am supremely confident very few of us, if any, will be sorry to see the back of, given Covid19's malign influence on ourselves, our families and our friends, not to mention our hobby! I doubt I will be alone in this sentiment, nor in my earnest hope that 2021 will see us move back towards more normal times in all aspects of our lives at some stage. With all this disruption to our lives it's quite hard to summon up the necessary application to produce the usual annual review, but I will do my best in the circumstances.

Firstly games: you must remember them, I hope! Here in GHQ I have not hosted a game since Lockdown Mk2 was imposed. When I look back over the plans I'd formulated with Phil and Jon I'm mostly overcome by sadness at lost opportunities to game with my friends and share the pleasures that our wonderful hobby and friendships bring us. But, not withstanding all the coronavirus malarky, we did have some memorable games while we could. We played 24 games over those parts of the year when face to face games were possible. Of those I won 9, drew 2 and lost 13, clearly a below average performance on my part! A few pictures of more memorable games here in GHQ at least ~

With restrictions on meeting face to face for games here in GHQ or elsewhere for much of the year painting took on more significance for me, as I'm sure it did for others. My major effort since May will not have escaped even the most myopic visitor to Tales from GHQ, namely the building of two 28mm armies for the Punic Wars. I did paint other stuff or course and built some new terrain pieces along the way, but the Punic Wars project occupied the bulk of my effort ~

In all I painted 797 28mm figures over the year, surprisingly not a great increase over previous efforts.

I made a few purchases over the year, leaving aside the three phases of figure purchase for the Punic Wars project, starting with my most expensive acquisition from Germany, a prepainted Vauban fortress, delivered with stereotypical German efficiency I'm pleased to say ~

When I bought these two for £10 in a bookshop in Cornwall during our October holiday I thought they would be my bargain of the year...
I was wrong, as became obvious when I acquired a large box of over 100 Aventine Miniatures Republican Romans from fellow gamer David for what I freely admit was a bargain price! During the year I also contributed to Wargames Illustrated, either in it's hard copy format or in its ethereal Bite Size format; five pieces in all, with my War of 1812 - 15 piece appearing in both formats! 

As we Stand To, waiting with a mixture of hopes, aspirations and trepidation, to see what 2021 brings I am confident most, if not all, of us will be hoping to see the return of wargames shows. With many early ones already cancelled it seems the autumn Partizan 2 might be the first I would attend. Of course even that is contingent on developments outside of our control. I did though attend two Shows this year in early March: WMMS and Hammerhead. The first is already deferred now to 2022 while the second is provisionally relocated to September. Such is the life of a wargamer in the Times of Coronavirus! A happy, healthy and above all safe New Year to you all!


Tuesday 22 December 2020

🎼 “It’s a long, long time...

 ...from May to December!” At least is has certainly  felt as if it was on several occasions. But, all the hours and minutes spent at the painting desk here in GHQ have now come to fruition with the completion of the three phases I envisaged when I first embarked on the Punic Wars project around my 70th Birthday in May and in the midst of all the Coronavirus malarky! Readers of my blog here will have followed my progress along the way, as might readers of Wargames Illustrated where the project featured over three issues in the latter part of the year, so don’t go expecting to see anything new today! What I do have to show is the whole collection laid out on the table here in GHQ. I hope it will give a sense of what I’ve managed and perhaps even inspire someone else to take up their own project as we head inevitably for a New Year Lockdown Mk3 ~

Now, I mentioned the fact that I’d envisioned this project evolving to completion in three phases, each tied to a purchase of figures for the phase. Those are now all completed of course, but along the way the project has acquired an added phase 4! That came in the decision to add some Spanish heavy cavalry to the Carthaginian army with figures from Wargames Foundry and with the wonderful offer of a bargain box of Aventine Miniatures Republican Romans from fellow wargamer David. His generosity has enabled the addition to the project of more cavalry, some command bases, some Levy and the Velites I was missing for the Allied Italian Legion. They should move across the painting desk in the coming weeks, all being well of course. In the meantime, a few pictures of the whole effort to date ~

The balance of this bargain buy has now gone into the  RUBs containing the Lead Pimple under my desk while I give serious thought as to whether I want to deploy more figures or whether I want to move the remainder on. There must be others who would appreciate a bargain addition to their Republican Roman collection. We shall have to see where that one goes...

Sunday 20 December 2020

Velites for the Allied Italian Legion

 The final three bases of figures complete the work on the figures for the Allied Italian Legion in my Republican Roman army. These twelve figures will represent the Velites of the Legion and were another part of my recent acquisition from fellow gamer David. There are no specific shield transfers from LBM for the Etruscan range from Aventine Miniatures, so I made do with spare Roman shield transfers bar one which I fudged up by cutting part from a hoplon shield transfer! 

Currently under the brush are four more figures from the same source to bring the Velites of Legio VI up to strength. When they are done it will likely be "down brushes" then until after the festivities.  Having said that, it just remains for me to wish you  Happy Christmas (Boris et al permitting of course) and a Happy and Safe New Year!

Wednesday 16 December 2020

Generally Speaking

 I've made several references recently to my bargain buy from a fellow wargamer of over 100 Aventine Miniatures Republican Romans. One bonus quickly realised was the addition of figures to make up two new command bases. The first features one mounted and two foot figures to depict the overall General for the Allied Italian elements in the Republic's army ~

The second base features a single mounted figure. In this case now, having reviewed the organisation on the tabletop battlefield here in GHQ, the base will take on the role of the commander of the Roman wing of the army ~

I'm quietly pleased with the look of these two bases and they round off the Republican Roman army nicely for now. There will be a few additions in the new year, but they will have to wait for now at least. In the meantime a final picture showing the whole Allied Italian contribution to the Republican Roman army ~