Wednesday, January 27, 2016

From the sublime to the ridiculous...

Armadillo gun slingers, anyone???  


 Made I larf....   from here [clicky]
 

Sunday, January 24, 2016

"Cassell's History of the War in the Soudan"

..."apologies" for the dearth of posts this year to date...  well...  actually, not an apology as such, just a statement I'm too damn busy to post... 

What I did spot however was the following on one of the excellent series of posts [clicky] that construes this years "Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge".. no not the awesome (as the young people say) paint job on the Camel Corps, but the reference to a text I'd not come across before, "Cassell's History of the War in the Soudan".


Written by James Grant, and published in 1885, its available as a free download in multiple formats here [clicky] and is chock full of original sources.. fill yer boots...


Thursday, January 14, 2016

"Britannia" - a review..

Difficult to believe that this is the fourteenth book in the series, but there is every evidence that Scarrow is getting better and better a s a writer..  some of the early ones were a little "clunky" at times, but this one is very polished, and well written..

I'll admit to wondering if there's very much more Scarrow can wring out of his unlikely pair of hero's, they've been all over the Empire in the previous 14 books, including Rome for a few of them, they've had political machinations, spying, fighting in the desert against the Palmyrans, but for the last few books they're back where the series started off in Roman Britain, in AD 52....

Caratacus has been captured and imprisoned, but now the Druids are providing the focus of the British tribal opposition to Rome.
The acting governor, Legate Quintatus, is due to leave for another posting and comes up with the idea of a lightning strike at the centre of the Druid resistance (the Island of Mona, or Anglesy) in the dead of winter, and the Blood Crows - the Thracian auxiliary cavalry unit commanded by Cato - are called upon to spearhead the attack.

Before they can leave though, Macro is wounded, and forced to remain behind as garrison commander of a frontier fort. While Cato scouts for the Roman army and faces his own battles and skirmishes, at the fort, Macro discovers that the Roman army is in danger from a second British army that they are not aware of, and which is planning to attack them while they are focussed on the British forces defending Mona. He leaves with a small party and eventually rejoins the main force with his news which at first is ignored, but then proven right.

Cue the later part of the book which shows that the Roman Imperial army was not a complete stranger to defeat. In this case in the depths of winter a retreat back to the Roman frontier, in the wilds of Wales, in the middle of a freezing winter, with little or no supplies...   reminded me of Bonaparte's retreat from Moscow. Some excellent battle scenes especially his description of Roman artillery in action...

Cracking stuff..  8/10.

Monday, January 04, 2016

2015 Review

Still not really a person for doing this kind of stuff on my wargaming blog as this is the retreat. It's where I come to get away from the results orientated, text driven, target fixated, email sapping, meeting focussed, real world I (currently) occupy 

Still, as I sit here in the garage, cigar in hand (hence the garage) with a glass of Lincoln Green Brewery's "Tuck" on the side (a superb dark chocolatey, slightly tart, porter style ale) which was an unexpected and excellent Christmas present from the rel'ies in Nottingham, and while I 'look forward' with dread to a return to the grindstone tomorrow after a full week and a bit off the following should be seen as a joining up of the threads, and a bringing to a close of the last year...

So how did I do against my expectations [clicky]??

I've got to say it wasn't a brilliant year, but definitely a step up from the year before. Having said that, however, this is still a hobby, not a job, and I come here to relax not stress, and I still managed a fair number of good things, with a definite up turn towards the end of the year... I (still) only get so much "me time", and I invest a fair amount of that in my boat, can't see that changing in 2016 to be honest...

So the painting totals for the year turned out at 73; I started well and ended well, but let's not mention the middle of the year . Much much better than 2014's twelve points, but still not up to the heady heights of 2013....

With the exception of these guys, and a few trucks, it was a bit of a Sudanese year...

69 posts last year (c/w 68 in 2014, 84 in '13, 85, in '12) which is OK given the general level of engagement in the hobby in the last year (I'm surprised I was so prolific - it didn't seem like it at times...) what was a bit of a surprise is that 1 of my top 10 posts of "all time" (by page views) were written during 2015... (my chunter about 'taste' [clicky] and the lack of it in the hobby ... it's a fine line we tread, so why cr*p in our own nest is - still - my view)...

Nine table top games this year (c/w only three last year); I said I wanted to do something about the appalling lack of time pushing the little metal men around and I did... two things made a difference, first and mostly the "One Hour Wargames" book (which has been the best £10 I ever spent - oodles of small and immensely playable scenario's), and secondly, Skype.

Annexation of Chiraz - Game #5 - The Defence of Cressay - Game - Part 1 and Part 2
John Corrigan Memorial Game - "Bridge Defence" - Set Up & Game
"One Hour Wargames" - Scenario 1 - Pitched Battle (1) - The Game
"One Hour Wargames" - Scenario 2 - "Pitched Battle (2)" - The Game
"One Hour Wargames" - Scenario 3 - "Control the River" - The Game
"One Hour Wargames" - Scenario 4 - "Take the High Ground" - The Game
"One Hour Wargames" - Scenario 4 - "Take the High Ground" - revisited...
"One Hour Wargames" - Scenario 5 - "Bridgehead" - Set up & Game
"One Hour Wargames" - Scenario 6 - "Flank Attack (1)" - Set up & Game 


I work long hours, and I still find it very difficult at times to summon up the enthusiasm to set the table up when it's much easier to open a beer, light a cigar, and read a good book, but there is something about those short, small engagements that meet my requirement every time...

Speaking of which, 46 books were read last year, compared with 48 in 2014 so there's a definite feeling that was what I was mostly doing... favourite books this year? Fiction would be "Rumours of War" by Mallinson (the scene where they have to kill their horses after the retreat from Corunna is still seared on my memory). For non-fiction "Destructive and Formidable" by David Blackmore [clicky] an absolute blinder of a book made even more enjoyable as a result of the comments and conversation from my fellow bloggers afterwards - it's what the Internet is supposed to be about... I'd also add honourable mentions for the two Laurie Lee books about his experiences in Spain just before and during the Spanish Civil War...

The worst book without a doubt was...

...utter tripe...  "Dreadful.. far fetched and poorly characterised - put it down half way through - life is too short...." I wrote.. errr, no holding back now, Steve....

No resolutions were made (or will be made), no targets were set (or will be set), no projects defined (or will..... you get the picture), so once again I can report that all targets and goals were achieved ...! Hurrah!!

This year??

Well I intend painting more this year (it would be difficult to paint less) but high on my list this year is a couple of re-basing projects - for the Sudan and AWI collections..work has already started on the Sudan collection

I'm also overdue another game with DG - wanted to fit one in over the Christmas break but time got away from me..

Then Salute is just over the horizon, and the days are already getting longer - soon be summer!

Happy New Year to all my reader - may the dice roll as required, and your brushes always keep a sharp tip...