Saturday, 31 December 2016

Sagittarii and other stuff

I finished my second Patrician Roman unit the other day, it is one of two skirmish units of archers which I plan to use, I will have thirty-two of them when I am finished, this will give me either two units of between twelve and sixteen or three units of ten if required. I intend to have a light cavalry unit with bows as well so that is more than enough skirmish commands. These figures are Gripping Beast the others will be Footsore, I wanted a better mix than using either one or the other manufacturer.

I am just about finished Goldsworthy's 'Fall of the West' overall it confirms my previous knowledge of the loss of the West, the pressure on the borders and the continual waste of resources in civil wars and rebellions. The army itself, although changed from the days of glory of the early empire remains a formidable force but expends most of its energies fighting other Romans, and with the subsequent loss of land and hence taxes and manpower it becomes unable to do its job. That is the situation with a broad brush mind.

I have been recommended to look at the books by Ian Hughes and have ordered and received two already, one about the general Stilicho who begins my period and the other the life of Flavius Aetius, the man who will be commanding my own troops in due time. I have checked out Hughes online and from what I have seen and read so far I think I am on to a winner. Although I have the books I am waiting for one more to arrive which has nothing to do with this subject but I want to start it as soon as I get it which I hope will be Tuesday.

My StuG and the 250/1 have been given their factory coat of dunkelgelb and markings so are ready to be weathered, I am hoping to do this today and get them finished over the next couple of days.

Thursday, 29 December 2016

Quick on the Draw

Pretty quiet day at last, I opened the PO this morning and after two hours of sitting I decided to close as I had had no one through the door, big mistake, just as I was putting the key in the hole I had to sell one stamp, then I got four more in a matter of minutes, so I had to sit put.

I did manage to complete a map in that time however so all was not lost. One of my presents this year was an 'artists glove' for use with drawing tablets, a bit pretentious thought I but no, far from it. The idea is that the glove allows your hand to glide rather than slide across the drawing surface while at the same time it cleans it, does it, yes it does. I wore it yesterday in the shop and when I had to get up and serve someone I could see them looking at my hand but right up until the end of the day not one asked me about it. I have to mention that those books in the pic merely support a monitor, they are not mine, well the cookbooks are but they turned out to be hopeless unless you are cooking for 50 people.

One of a series of maps for a new book being translated from the original Russian.

I managed to get a couple of hours free and couldn't stop myself building and priming my two new kits. They are Rubicon and are very nice although I do think the MG's need to be more substantial for wargame wear and tear, I know they have realistic proportions but still I can see they will need careful handling. The instructions for the 250/1 had a few B's and C's the wrong way around and the pannier you can see just forward of the tracks does not look like the pannier in the drawings etc. which is flush like the one on the other side. I have left the front off as I need to paint the interior before cementing it down.

The StuG III again had the same muddle with some B's and C's which caused a problem for me, I was building a mid production model for summer 1944 and popped the B03 top on the cab only to find out too late it should have said B04. Now this is not a life or death mistake as I doubt many wargamers looking down on the battlefield will be able to tell you whether the vehicle is early, mid or late, I certainly couldn't until I built this. However if the options are part of the kit they should be labelled correctly. I cannot be the only person to have noticed this, or perhaps the others had keener eyesight than me.

Despite this if I need a kit and Rubicon do one then I shall continue to buy theirs before anyone else's, at least there is never any major parts missing or broken like a certain other company's wares.

I have a few things on the go just now, I am finishing some Late Roman archers, only the bases to do now, pics soon and I have a Comitatensis unit needing spears and shields before priming, I have more on the way, archers and the last Auxillia before I move on to the cavalry and Germanic allies. I will probably do the two vehicles next and get them out of the way.

Thursday, 22 December 2016

2016 A year in Wargaming

Most Bloggers seem to be doing a round up of their year so why be different.

Just before 2016 kicked off I jumped into Bolt Action and this continued to take up my spare painting time for the first part of the year and then off and on as I collected more vehicles and terrain. My first wargaming period was WWII and I enjoyed the simple rules from the book 'Battle' by Charles Grant, I then sold up and moved on to 25mm medievals for many, many years. I played the odd WWII game but was never really sold on the rules systems. I do remember one where you had to write down the kind of ammo in your tank gun and my interest was shattered in a game where my opponent had a Panther hull down on a hill and it killed every single allied vehicle on the table. I have enjoyed a few skirmish type games over the past couple of years and with the amount of beautiful figures and models etc. available I found Bolt Action to be fun and not too serious, hence the return to WWII.

I have settled in well at the local club now and join in many games which I wouldn't buy but am glad to have the opportunity to play, I also run the odd game myself, especially Dead Man's Hand and now and again War and Conquest. My friend Simon will play a game and Ryan is building an army for WAC so 2017 should be a good year for Ancients/Dark Ages, well, more games than I have had so far at the club. Bolt Action is also fairly popular so that is another win for me. The most memorable game at the club this year was the Muskets and Tomahawks 'Last of the Mohicans' scenario, it will be hard to beat, I can still see that poor drummer boy running about terrified.

I managed two War and Conquest gaming weekends and won as many games as I lost, so I was very happy there, the weekends have turned into an excellent all round affair meeting old friends, having a laugh, talking rules, army lists and tactics with like minded people as well as playing four guaranteed games with people who enjoy wargaming and bring beautiful armies to the field.

I got to Salute for the first time in my life, it won't be the last if I can help it. I enjoyed the show and most of the bad publicity I read about it turned out to be untrue. I got to a local show in Cumbria which I hope does well and continues, but apart from that I had no need to attend any. To be honest I can get almost everything online now and unless a show has a good smattering of actual wargames as opposed to a trade fair which I can take inspiration from, I won't be going to many next year either.

Unlike most wargamers when I start a project I usually finish it before moving on, maybe it comes from being ex-Navy, I am unsure, but I have a lead box not a mountain and only one project on the go just now (see below).

I could not make my mind up on a new Army for War and Conquest, I knew I was going to have to paint one but seesawed between Aventines Sassanids and Pyrrhic ranges as opponents for my Early Imperial Romans. In the end I went for neither and instead jumped for Western Patrician Roman, why, well the Footsore figures are nice and they have pretty shield patterns and they are Romans, case closed. Also I am having to have patience until Aventine bring out their Byzantines and after that 3rd Century Romans, looks like civil wars on the horizon. I was not going to start this army until January but I had the figures, bases, transfers etc. so one unit is finished and I am halfway through some skirmishers.

2016 bit into the legendary Anderson Map Fortune, as well as two armies for Bolt Action, I bought a lot of 28mm terrain, something which has not finished yet, several game mats, a fold up 6x4 table along with a my beautiful table tennis table, 9x5, and of course the first units of my new army. It also managed to subsidise a lot of the house refurbishment but that only comes into the conversation as justification when the missus says "not more soldiers".

The new year is starting well with a game weekend at my crib with some friends in February and then an away weekend in May, I do miss the War and Conquest game weekend in early May which is a damn shame as Legio XII Fulminata were looking forward to that. I hope to go to Crises in Antwerp with some mates and I will definitely make the WAC game weekend in November with the Patrician Romans. The Curtis brothers of Curtey's Miniatures and 1st Corps are hoping to organise a WAC weekend possibly in March oop here in the North, so I am hoping if it happens to go along to that, especially as I have had to let the lads down next week due to my grandaughter appearing here with chickenpox, no point taking the plague to a wargame day. Also on the WAC front I shall continue to cross swords with my son's Carolingians and two club members who are building armies for the new year. I would also like to get a Bolt Action campaign going with mate Simon at some point.

So there we have it, out with the old and in with the new. I shall be going dark probably until the festive season is over due to my visitors so all that remains is to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year and thanks for tuning in.

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Christmas Club

Last club night of the year so our AGM and grand Christmas game. A nice little chat from Matt on a successful year for the club, a lot of new games, boardgames, terrain and some new members, so very healthy looking for 2017. We maintain our policy like many clubs that we are an adult only venue due to the ridiculous red tape involved in having minors come along, a shame but that's modern life, kids from 18 down can come with their parents, like young Alf in the photos.

A huge game of Victorian Steampunk using, I think, In Her Majesty's Name rules, each of us had a gang, some gangs like the Black Tongs had several players while others were on their own albeit with possible allies somewhere on the table. I was the leader of the Brick Lane Commune dedicated to overthrowing society, poor deluded fool that I am, I had an ally in the Wapping Vigilance Committee who started in the middle of the board in the Green Dragon pub, quaffing pints of lukewarm beer and eating pies waiting for a BBC team to come and expose them as Brexiteers. Our job was to help them against the dastardly Black Tong who owned a warehouse nearby while striking at any members of the Establishment on our merry way to burn said warehouse to the ground.

London Town.
The Brick Lane boys, and woman Reg.

The warehouse begins to smoke.
The Wapping boys' local.

 My gang wasn't so far from the warehouse so I duly made my way through the streets while keeping an eye out for some Johnny foreigners lurking nearby (the Sons of the Desert), I had decided to take on the nearest Tong gang and Molotov the warehouse. Suddenly some French marines started shooting at me with futuristic ray guns or some such, what with the Arabs, Chinese and now Frenchies I was beginning to think I was in the wrong part of town, coming here, setting up their evil plans, taking our jobs.

Luckily for me the Frenchies torched the warehouse on their way somewhere else, so all I needed to do now was kill some people, my compatriots from Wapping were holed up in a house fending off all comers, between them and me was a huge scrum with all sorts of wierdos fighting around the home of some satanic cult. I wasn't going that way.

The Sons of the Desert took the odd pot shot at me but in the main left me alone, I duly attacked the Tong, only to find out my people were pretty much useless at killing other people, a bit like the Peoples Front of Judea, all mouth and no trousers, on the other hand I began to lose bodies. As the game closed I had garnered a measly score of 24 having killed two guys and given another a headache, the winning score was around 300, bloody socialists.


So there you have it, a good nights entertainment made all the better for Julian's mince pies and Andy's box of Roses, and my thanks to Rob who was obviously thinking of my weight as he missed me twice with the remaining pies! Also of course a big thanks to the organiser, Dan. I almost forgot, Santa was apprehended by the Police and duly clubbed to the ground, so don't look for any presents this year.

Monday, 19 December 2016

British get more armour.

 I have always wondered why Allied tank designs were so different to the Germans and Russians who seemed to understand tank warfare better, although I suppose they both had years to work it out correctly on the battlefield while we were stuck with what we had until near the end when the good stuff started turning up, the British Comet and American Pershing spring to mind. So in the main we were stuck with the Sherman, reliable, but a tall silhouette, not enough armour and a usually pretty poor gun, but there was lots of them and they could be improved.

I wasn't going to add a Sherman to my British forces but found in the end I had no choice, however I did not go for the tank killing Firefly as these were outnumbered by the number of normal Shermans and I am not one for going for elite or super units. So I received Warlord Games' Sherman V for my birthday.

The kit was fine, there were a few mold lines and a few bits of flash on parts but nothing to worry about, there were instructions thankfully, unlike a lot of Warlord kits. There are usually little numbers next to each part to identify them, Warlord don't do that, OK it is unnecessary with this kit but there was one part which was in there which I have not a clue about, I can guess it may have something to do with the rear bins on the turret but it is now in a drawer somewhere. I think they missed off the usual spade and axe which you can see on a lot of photographs on the rear deck.

I do wonder if it would have cost them much more to give you a 17pdr gun barrel in the box to upgrade it to a Firefly, although I am unsure whether these used the Sherman V build, if they did it would have been a nice addition.

All that aside I am very pleased with how it has turned out, it is a nice substantial little model and the use of stowage really brings it to life, I have seen several British Shermans with foliage on them rather than camo nets so when I find a decent foliage it may get some of that as well to finish off, I am not 100% happy with the stuff I have used on my German vehicles, I have seen better. I also noticed from photographs tanks with tracks around the turret for added protection so I gave mine some. I have not yet added any decals but might do this this afternoon, although I notice markings are hard to see in many photos. I have gone for a dusty look this time and left the mud off.

Inspiration for my tank. Great picture.
Primed and ready.

PS I put the decals on after all, Fife and Forfar Yeomanry and gave it a name.

Sunday, 18 December 2016

View From The Window

I'm late this morning, I slept fairly well but refused to leave the warm comfort of my bed as it was cold, we could set the heating but we have a very temperamental boiler control and it is simply easier to get up, run along the corridor, switch it on and then dive back under the duvet for half an hour. It is damp and grey as usual, a dog walker has just went by and some of those mad sods on bikes with lycra skin and daft hats have swept through, they always seem to be bawling at each other, where do they get the energy to bawl and pedal?

I see there is the usual brouhaha about the winner of Strictly Come Dancing and shouts of fix, fix, fix. As my guy didn't win does that mean it was a fix, I am unsure, I do know that no matter how good a dancer a guy was, if he cried floods and bit his lip every time he finished a dance or someone said a kind word it would be a cold day in hell before he got my vote.

The real winners?

When is a war not a war, when you 'fight' as an IRA terrorist, simple. They banged on for years about their war against the British and murdered at will, but when one of them was shot in the 'war' it was an outrage and a scandal, he wasn't a soldier after all, he was an innocent civilian. And after we surrendered with the Good Friday agreement and gave them all a get out of jail card how were we repaid, by endless legal action to put British soldiers behind bars for doing their job. This latest disgusting farce is led by Barry McGrory a man who secured amnesty for hundreds of terror suspects and is a friend of Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness. Just tell them no, stuff human rights and legal niceties, the government for whom these men fought should simply do what is right.

Are you all following that well know football, sorry, political pundit Gary Lineker and his views on the price of crisps and Brexit. I have had to shelve another of my programme choices due to BBC and Luvvie bias, Have I Got News For You is out. They gave old Nige a hard time years ago whenever he came on the programme and he faced them down and came out of it well, but ever since the referendum not a programme goes by than they stick the boot into the decision to leave and the people who voted for it. Am I missing something, did every single Labour and Lib Dem MP along with everyone in the Luvvie business want to stay in, wasn't there even one of them with an independent mind who thought out would be a good thing, what's the odds?

That's what I think of Democracy.

Muslims Like Us, the new BBC show, watched it, no neither have I and do not intend to. They could have put on Methodists Like Us or Seventh Day Adventists Like Us and I still would not watch it, I am not interested in something which has no bearing on me whatsoever and stop trying to persuade me Moslems are just like me, and I have it all wrong.

Nope, nothing in common.

Now you know that whoever has governed the country over the last several decades have bought into the windmill and sustainable energy thing and closed down perfectly good power stations or not commissioned new ones because it would upset the eco-warriors and subsequently their votes, or so they think. Well the energy watchdog has now said that in the future one household may be plugging in their electric car and have all their Christmas lights annoying the neighbours while across the street another family are huddled around one bar of their electric fire. Why would this be happening, because family A have paid more on their bill to ensure they have plenty of electric juice while family B have not, needing their meagre wages for food and water. Start saving your pennies now folks.

A young lady came up to the Post Office counter during the week and after I had posted her parcel she asked for a second class stamp, asked me if it would get wherever quickly, she then winked at me! I recovered and told her no amount of winking would get it there any quicker. I counted out her change told her she had got a discount and, yes, winked back. Now here is one several of you will like but not believe. I got in yesterday morning to find an old lady waiting at the door, this has never happened on a Saturday morning, so I opened up and served her, she then said that it was a pleasure to come to my office and that I was always cheerful, kind, patient and never looked a day older. My first thought was that in her dotage she had come to the wrong office, apart from the day older bit. I thanked her and thought how nice was that, someone had seen through my grumpy facade at last.

No.2 son Stewart is fighting in a boxing match tonight, I won't be there but my thoughts will be with him although I think he is mad. He is doing it for two reasons, to get fit and to raise money for a cancer charity for personal reasons. We have already wished him well along with many others but I thought I would mention it anyway. Ducking and diving son, dancing and weaving.

Don't smile, too late .......

Friday, 16 December 2016

Wargamers OCD

 Right, sitting alone last night enjoying a bottle of fizzy French cider and admiring my latest painting efforts, having worked on them all day, something was not quite right. I Googled the unit and immediately saw that the shield boss was not metal but yellow with a blue ring, on looking closer at the transfer it did indeed have a blue ring albeit very thin. It should have been closer to the boss but of course LBM can't do that as they need to put a hole big enough to have no problem attaching it to the shield, if I had spotted it earlier I might simply have painted the boss yellow, but I didn't.

Perhaps the people who copied the Notitia Dignitatum just coloured the metal boss, but maybe they didn't, all the copies showed a coloured boss, anyway it looks OK from a distance I shrugged.

The more I stared and supped my cider I knew it was not right, but the unit was finished, why muck it up now, I tried to concentrate on The Walking Dead but my eyes were still drawn to the shields. Nope, I have to paint them yellow. Job done.

No still not right, there was no blue circle now, but who would know, I would know and how could I expect them to fight if their shields were missing the blue circle, I could see them routing for the table edge looking accusingly at me. I would have to paint the blue circle. Job done.

Not quite, when picking these troops off the movement tray I usually touch the shields and the new boss was not varnished, so what, would it matter, yes it bloody would, I couldn't take the chance of the unvarnished paint rubbing off, so head down again.

Repainted, revarnished and back on the movement tray, phew, now I can relax, and if they dare run they are in trouble.


Thursday, 15 December 2016

Regii, Auxilium Palatinum

My birthday today, life trundles on and though I am 64 I still feel 63. I am sitting here 'home alone' as the wife's Christmas bash for her ukulele club has coincided with me being another year older, I am not taking it personal as I have shared 39 birthdays with her so far.

I have had the day off and apart from a quick jaunt into Lancaster and some food shopping I have spent the day basing my first unit for the new Roman army, as I was putting more effort into the painting I have done the same with the basing so it has taken most of the day on and off waiting for PVA to dry etc. The unit in question is one of two Auxilia commands the other being a Legionarii unit, they are named as Regii, Auxilium Palatinum.

My presents are all wargame related, a Sherman V for my WWII British along with the Footsore figures to make the above Legionarii. I also got the Painting War special on the Dark Ages. I am not sure having seen it how useful the book will be, I cannot see me taking 7 or 8 steps to paint hair or 15 steps to paint a horse. I have seen whole armies painted to very high standards without putting five different shades of each colour on the figures but using the triad method of base, dark and light colours. No matter, it is very pretty.

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Russians in Sicily?

Getting to the end of another year at the club, we have our Christmas game next Tuesday when all who can, participate in a large skirmish type game, last year was a Lord of the Rings game with sweets placed all over as objectives, this year I believe with will be a Steampunk type game but I am not sure.

So the last 'real' wargame for me was Bolt Action last night, there were four of us, Ryan who has not played before was German alongside Julian with his new Italians, for the Allies I was British and Simon was Russian. We had 600 points each so there was not a lot of armour around, Julian had a small tank with an auto-cannon and a truck, I had a Humber armoured car along with a bren gun carrier, both Simon and Ryan had light anti-tank guns.

We used my desert mat and Julians beautiful Mediterranean houses complete with all those little touches which just lift a project to that next level, like the plant pots, donkey and dilapidated wagons and carts. It was a simple game due to Julian and Ryan's lack of experience so we placed three objectives and it was game on.

I was on the left flank opposite a farm complex, I had gone for firepower so took two full infantry squads all with rifles and an LMG supported by an MMG team and the bren carrier with two more LMG's, my plan being to shoot the enemy to death and walk to the objectives. It was basically the same scenario on the right with Simon heading for another large complex, the Axis spread their forces over the table so we fought both Italians and Germans rather than one on one.

Julian rapidly advanced his little tank and opened up only to miss, I met him with my Humber and I too missed a flank shot, we were both a bit tardy with our infantry as I didn't want to advance before causing some mayhem, I was also a bit scared of the anti-tank gun which was way over on my right, I shouldn't have been as it proved mostly useless at hitting anything. There was a large outcrop of rocks in the middle of the table which frustrated a lot of shots. I got the first die out of the bag in turn two and bang, up went the little tank, I was overjoyed as this doesn't happen very often when I shoot at other vehicles.

Julian moved into a house to control an objective and I landed artillery on it which upset the guys inside but did not cause them to run, Simon had taken a house on the right which gave him an objective. As we neared the end of the game I moved up to contest Julians objective, Ryan moved up and took the middle, both now tried to wrest the third from Simon to get a win. Unfortunately for them the Soviets were more than capable of holding theirs, a flamethrower caused havoc among the Axis and then an elite unit of infantry with armour cleared the courtyard to maintain control, it was one each and a draw.

In the game I was too cautious, we didn't have enough time for me to pussyfoot around and I was thrown off by killing the enemy tank, if we had managed another turn or two it would have been a different story and we could have followed up Simon's success on the right, but it didn't happen. I did manage to take out a German squad and inflict a lot of damage on the unit in the house so in the end I was happyish. The Germans had some dreadful luck with their dice and couldn't hit a barn door which helped immensely. As we discussed the end of the game I pointed out that being a newcomer to the game Ryan was on the back foot with regard to what he spent his 600 points on, he could have had one less infantry squad and a bit more support while keeping his men together to work in a coordinated fashion rather than having troops all over the battlefield, I think this was one of the main problems with the enemy attack. I am sure the next fight will be much different.

As you can see the terrain was terrific and the Italians were really nicely painted and lovely figures, especially the strange truck, the whole game was a joy to play and take part in. Tea light explosions showed up at the club for the first time, they are all the rage as I have half a dozen and Simon also has them.

Oh, and I said I would retract my opinions on Time Commanders if I felt I was wrong, so I am not going to. I gave it half an hour almost before I reached for the remote, I am sure many non wargamers and some wargamers enjoyed it and good luck to them, after all whether you like it or not you are paying for it.

I have a Roman archer unit primed and ready to go, my first Auxilia ready for basing and more troops arriving from Footsore today, so plenty of work for me during the long winter evenings.

Sunday, 11 December 2016

View From The Window

Not much of a view this morning as I am at ground level this week as my study PC is somewhere in Lancashire, it has been repaired and sent back to me but we were out yesterday afternoon so all I have is a small card. I was not informed it was coming back and still have had no communication with either Scan or DPD to say it might come today, I did check up online and the page tells me it will be delivered today, do I believe this, not really, just in case I have put a note on the PO door for the driver to knock at my house door rather than assume because the PO is shut we are again not in. It's a horrible, damp grey morning which no doubt heralds a horrible, damp grey day.

Yes Christmas is coming, of an evening I am surrounded by a sea of bright lights and moving pictures of Santa Claus, elves and reindeer, I like Christmas, I love opening my presents on Christmas morning, I never tire of Dino singing 'Let it Snow' but as for the lights, bah humbug.

"Dee Daw" that is the sound of the PO door as people come through with their bundles of Christmas cards for foreign destinations, I was expecting a busy week but it has been fairly quiet apart from yesterday, which either means there will be no rush this year or next week will be hell. I have had several of my annual visitors through the door this week, people who bang on about village life and regret the passing of the thirteen shops which the village once supported, but hey, that 0.002p will ensure I am still here for them next year.

10 more than my Christmas rush.

I see Boris Johnson is in trouble for saying something everybody already knows, and who are now busy distancing themselves from and pretending he made it up. I get it that diplomats have to be diplomatic but would we have a better world if we treated all the bad guys as bad guys because it sure doesn't work when you pretend otherwise.

Crowdfunding, no I had no idea what it was either, it seems that in this brave new world of people politics you can send money to said organisation to fund people who want to be politicians but don't belong to any party. I think it is mad as well but the social justice warriors think it is a great idea, anyway they had an advert on the box the other night or it was a news item, and many talking heads, ninety percent young people, you know, the ones who didn't vote in the referendum then moaned about having their futures thrown away by us oldies. Get to the point I hear you say, OK, the last one said 'extremists will not get funding', so what is their idea of an extremist, who will be barred from getting funding and who will make the decision? In my experience extremists have no problem getting funding, many of them are funded by the state i.e. benefits or their deluded followers. I have a suspicion that if I asked for funding I would quickly be identified as an extremist as my views do not coincide with those of the SJW's.

And I see another victory for the SJW's here in the north, a woman charged with contempt of court has been set free, she is an anti-fraking campaigner and the case is somewhat strange in that the proceedings yesterday were held in secret. She was swigging champagne and whooping it up having beat the system, well we are not quite sure as the whole deal was secret. Like the loons who block motorways, runways and destroy equipment she broke the law but was let off, what then is the point of the law if you can break it as long as you are a rebel with a cause, preferably a green one.

Don't you are disagree!

 Security here at Stalag Anderson will have to be beefed up, in the ironing basket, don't forget I am ex-Navy so can handle the steam breathing monster, I counted thirteen single socks whose partners have all made a successful bid for freedom. I did manage to catch two at a local airport, one on some barbed wire with a motorbike nearby and tricked another as it got on a bus. All joking aside how is it they go into the wash basket, as in the Ark, two by two but only one comes back, I may have exaggerated with thirteen as I managed to pair up some more in the light of day, all my socks are black but here again they disguise themselves in all shades of grey so that it is difficult to find two the same. This afternoon I have the Goons looking for tunnels.

These won't get far.

"My bad", "I so want to do that" or "that is well good, well this or well that" what is the point of those, especially "My bad" which I hear far too much of these days, presumably it is modern for 'sorry' or 'my fault' it doesn't make sense you moron. I also cringe when SO is used, there is no need, use a proper word if you really have to, of course we have Friends to thank for the spread of that one, something I did try and watch but never managed a full episode.

Do you get the feeling that the Remoaners are secretly thankful that Brexit occured, it has turned into a 'get out of jail free' card, we all know that the economy for instance was always perfect before Brexit, never a blip or a fall, but now, when things are not going the way you want you play the Brexit card. If some anti-social lout attacks someone with a slight tan, instead of blaming the feral underclass you play the Brexit card so you don't need to explain why the thug is living in a dump with drug lords on every corner and not a policeman in sight. Anything which happens which is news worthy and is bad news is down to Brexit, from the size of Cadbury Creme Eggs to broken windows in Bradford. Give me a break.

I read last night that A.A. Gill the food critic and writer has died from cancer, I used to get the Sunday Times every Sunday until it dumbed down and his articles and reviews were exceptional and a joy to read, I was never going to visit any of the restuarants but that was not the point. Any man who gets thrown out of a restaurant by the awful Gordon Ramsay with Joan Collins at his side is a loss.

Right I am off, I have typed this up in the PO which is a place I should not be on a Sunday morning and it is cold so I am now going to retire to the shelter of my home to await the delivery of my computer, mmmmm.

Saturday, 10 December 2016

Wargaming Doesn't Get Any Tougher Than This!

If you are a British wargamer and not living in the wilds of Scotland or Wales shunning society,  lamenting the wholesale slaughter of animals to make the new five pound notes, then you will know the BBC have taken your hard earned licence fee money and brought back 'Time Commanders'. The game show which pits two teams against each other while fighting a famous battle from history with what looks like the PC game Total War.

The first I heard about it was a post on Facebook to which I immediately responded with 'Please tell me that is not Gregg Wallace!" But yes, the famous fruit and veg gadgie and pudding lover is the new face of the historically based 'Time Commanders', of course he is, Dan Snow must be busy. I gave up years ago when the, unknown to me, militarily astute Richard 'The Hamster' Hammond from that car show fronted the programme.

But wait, the warning bells have only just started. I watched a two minute clip of the coming programme, Monday night I believe, and it deals with the Battle of Zama, now I have read about the Punic Wars and of course Hannibal's defeat at the hands of Scipio, but I do not remember it being an example of ancient urban warfare. Whatever was happening seemed to be happening in a town square, a quick google will tell you both armies deployed on a plain the better to use their cavalry and elephants, as you would if you were two of history's most famous generals. The Roman guy just being lucky on the day, but that's another discussion.

Alarms were going off, red lights flashing, Gregg opined that one side's centre was being 'mollered', a new one on me but a real word, possibly Punic perhaps? Then that familiar voice, Mike Loades, the weapon expert who, like Gregg, cannot speak without shouting to put his point over, which is a shame as he seems to know his business. Now I had been told that Aryeh Nusbacher was back on the programme, I had not taken to this particular military expert and if you check him out online neither has many other people despite him being a lecturer at Sandhurst. I did not see Mr. Nusbacher but I was jolted by a quick shot of a rather large, red headed pantomime dame standing grinning beside Mike Loades, imagine my surprise to find out that was Lynette Nusbacher AKA Aryeh Nusbacher. Words fail me.

Will I watch it, yes I will but I am not hopeful and if I am wrong I shall retract this, time will tell.