Thursday, 21 May 2020

Mixed Bag.

I hit the deck running when locked down, I ran/played more campaigns than I have done in years, I also managed to try out a new set of rules (Honours of War) which I really enjoyed and which gave me a bit of a boost for the dormant SYW project. I also completed several things for WWII, the addition of more troops, a case of topping up troop levels than the addition of whole new platoons, the same applied to vehicles. I went a bit crazy with the addition of a small industrial complex which I can use for both Eastern and Western Fronts, I cheated and used mainly spray paint for these and may return at some point for more ambitious weathering and grime.

I can't recall now how many weeks it has been but I hit a bit of a slump last week on completing the Konigsberg Campaign, I also found out that a couple of guys I had worked with offshore had died and my enthusiasm dried up, I hadn't talked to either for some twenty years but it was sad nonetheless.

It didn't take much to put me back to my normal self as on a trip to Tesco my wife and I were told we could not shop together but had to remain 2 meters apart because there had been 'complaints', then I was shouted at for daring to go up a down isle to reach some butter rather than take a long detour along the dog food alley. My blood pressure resumed normal high status.

Konigsberg you ask, well the Soviet counterattack had retaken the small station at Seerappen and this meant that with three tables to go and only two games to play the Germans could not win, the civilians trapped in the city would have to suffer the wrath of the Red Army. I took a little rest and then decided to continue with another campaign, this time it was the British who were putting the lid on the Third Reich as they steamed along the road to Bremen, Colonel Robert 'Bob' Hope in charge. The campaign is quite different from the normal in that you do not have a battle on each table, there are eight possible games but as the British turn up a die is thrown and if the table is defended, they do not all contain Jerries, you may find the defenders lined up to surrender. This happened on the first two tables as into the bag went an infantry and a Waffen-SS platoon, even the fanatics had had enough. Bob's men however have come up against some resistance on table three. I am having to substitute some of the forces for my own, the SS were supposed to be Fallschirmjager but I don't have any and as the platoon make up is almost the same here they are.

Colonel Hope's boys.

Kampfgruppe Krosbi

As I mentioned above I have decided to add another four battalions to both sides of my small SYW forces, I have just completed two Irish battalions in the French service and have started on my first Highlander battalion, Perry's opened up a week or so ago so I jumped for their figures. I got two battalions and they are nice figures and go well with Front Rank, I will have to paint tartan for these two units but it will be military tartan so I don't foresee a big problem, anyway, they will look fine on a wargame table. That will leave four more battalions to get, I really should get a couple of bog standard French types but I lean towards the foreigners mainly because I like the flags. I use GMB Designs where I can and have had no problem so far in choosing, I highly recommend them.

My boys at school, dress tartan.
My boys at school.
I have had a bit of a clear out while under lock and key, I don't tend to have a load of spares lying about but I am giving away some Dark Age figures and skirmish bases to lads at the club, lads, apart from a couple they are greybeards. Anyway I have also gifted around 10 Highlanders due to my inability when ordering to count to twenty.

Postage, that old bugbear of mine raised its ugly head again last week, I ran out of spears quite a wee while ago as I had used them all up on my Ancient and Dark Age armies, but if not using Front Rank figures who supply wire for standards then you have to find your own for the SYW. I popped on to eBay and although the price was a bit high needs must, a couple of places wanted £5+ postage for them, I looked for them again today to back this up but can't find them, I forget what I searched for, possibly "Spears, most expensive postage", no matter I got them from Magnetic Displays postage free and within a day or so, they even threw in a couple of dice. Great stuff.

I am kind of stuck with the TV at the moment, I have just finished 'Fauda' season 4, the Israeli show involving special forces, in the same vein I started 'Caliphate' last night which is a Swedish television show which was recommended, again with terrorism at its heart, despite the fact that Sweden seems to be full only of women and is shown as spectacularly multicultural I did not switch it off which is a good sign. Both are on Netflix. One of my favourite superheros along with Batman was Spiderman, in fact these are the only two I ever really liked, perhaps because both were more or less human in their characters, I saw a Spiderman movie while trapped in a metal tube flying to China and only watched it because of this, against my better knowledge and stuck for something the other night I put on the latest Spidey movie. I lost the will to breathe after ten minutes, I could go on but I won't as the Old Bill might pay me a visit to check my thinking, it was awful. I will leave you on a bright note, Code 404 (NowTV), clever and very funny, I actually laughed out loud at some of this which is a rare occurrence with today's take on comedy, an inspired piece of entertainment.

Almost done. Although playing a lot of small campaigns solo with Chain of Command I continue to plow money into Bolt Action which I also enjoy so I bought their new campaign book "Stalingrad", why not with a new Russian army to play with. The book has twenty-two scenarios all well explained with accompanying maps, it also has new troop types and army lists pertaining to the campaign for the city as well as a look at the overall situation and how the Germans became bogged down trying to take something which really was of no strategic use to them. I have four of their new, large version campaign books and have played one scenario, it is not the content but time which is my enemy here. No, there is one more thing, you need a lot of terrain for many of these scenarios from D-Day defences to the cityscapes of Budapest and now Stalingrad, these are battles which any WWII wargamer no matter the ruleset used would love to fight, but in some you would have to put a lot of effort in beforehand or pretend and make do, when I do find the time it will probably be the latter for me, or divorce.

If you are a regular reader you will know I went to see new friend Duncan's weapon and vehicle collection a week ago and thoroughly enjoyed my afternoon, I decided to share some of my pictures on two WWII Facebook pages. two people from literally hundreds took umbrage at this and called me a 'gun nut' or said I was akin to a 'pantie-wetting gun fetishist'  or words to that effect. I am of course neither, but the attitude behind these claims did make me wonder if they were so annoyed, upset and triggered (10 points) by these why did they play games involving World War II? I was hit three times last week by such types, thankfully they mean nothing to me. On the plus side I eventually got an answer from Lindybeige re the Kickstarter and a nice apology from the boss of one of the FB pages, despite the brouhaha having nothing to do with him. Back on an even keel I think.

I don't know what they are doing with Blogger at the moment but it is becoming a real pain jumping between different interfaces, and the new one is rubbish.


  1. First, sorry to read of the loss of your coworkers. Second, you have a lot going on in this post! I could have stretched this content out over several posts. I will touch on a few...

    Shopping: I have not been out shopping much since lockdown but I did accompany my wife on a recent trip to a large grocery store. Imagine my surprise (and horror) when I found myself wandering down the aisle the wrong way. This was news to me!

    Netflix: Your recommendation for "Drive to Survive" was an excellent suggestion. Hope we manage to get a Season 3. Given your record of one-for-one, I will look into "Fauda."

    WWII Campaigning: I look forward to the start of your new campaign.

    1. Thank you Jonathan. I had a weeks worth of pent up Blog to sort and all bits and pieces. You will enjoy Fauda, jury still out on Caliphate.

  2. A busy post and no mistake. All this virus malarkey is taking its toll, not just in lives, but in common sense it seems sometimes to me. Farcebook is a good example of this. KBO George!

    1. The novelty has now worn off David, I will welcome a return to normal.

  3. A fair old missive there George, all good stuff particularly like your Tesco visit, as if shopping wasn't bad enough. Strange how lockdown has spurred a lot of folks on with projects old and new, I was surprised by my own output too. However that would be curtailed if I didn't sidestep my wife's reminders about jobs around the house that need doing. I am finding posting on blogger a real ball ache too, so much so that I have not bothered to post up my recent stuff, perhaps longer posts like this are the way forward, I have no patience with technology I'm afraid.

    1. The Blog I do enjoy writing but it has been pushed to the back during this nonsense while I put the energy I can muster into painting and solo gaming hence a blank week and a mixed bag. I am baffled by the changing interface on Blogger, adding pics on the new one is dreadful while it was so easy on the old one to place one at a time where you wanted. There seems to be no rhyme or reason to which interface turns up.