Jobs for psychpaths after the apocalypse.

See here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-29804446 the blog title is sadly not hyperbole. I always keep an eye out for that kind of thing given the 80’s nuclear war fear has been something of an unhealthy obsession for me (though I channeled it into a BA dissertation).

Employing psychopaths to manage after the balloon goes up makes about as much sense as the concept behind the Dirlewanger Division in WW2- and we are all well aware of how well that went. Though I am reminded of a radio interview that I heard with the late, great J.G. Ballard who said that the psychopath would be the ideal personality type for the forthcoming years….

On to more serious ground, once I’ve got my current research project out of the way I will try to pull the files relating to ‘Regenerate’ from the National Archives. They were nothing but helpful when I researched Wyndham Lewis.

Cheers,

Pete.

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Tracked Land Rover and swamps- fresh from the Shed

I’ve finished the Land Rover conversion that I was working on. I’m rather pleased with it- though I’m unsure about how I painted the windows. I’m not sure whether they look too cartoon-y or not…?

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Still, it should look decent enough on the table top.

I’ve also finished the swamp sections. Not much to say about these really, just a combination of paint, varnish then flock/ static grass/ bristles for reeds/ flowery tufts in that order.

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They are of a decent size so plenty of room to have Partisans hide in them in a Pripet based game… should make for an interesting scenario….

Cheers,

Pete.

Fire in the Lake- Board game.

This afternoon I went into town to pick up a parcel that was waiting for me; it was either text books or a new board game… Fortunately for this blog it was the latter.

Fire in the Lake: the latest installment in GMT Games COIN series had arrived (great price and service from IGUK). This one is the fourth that they have produced- see my earlier post on the Afghan and Colombian games. I was quite excited to see what was in side so I ripped off the cellophane and rummaged through the rather heavy box.

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The game is up to the usual high standards the GMT Games always seems to achieve- great heavy duty board, solid pieces and plenty of reference sheets too. The four game able factions are: ARVN, US, VC and PAVN. It will be interesting to see how the rivalry between the latter two factions plays out given that they are ostensibly on the same side. One of the notable features of the game is that any of the factions can be gamed via the mechanics if there are not four players in the game. A rather detail;ed flow chart system is used, though it is quickly picked up in game. It does provide a tough game too so nothing is lost in the game experience if you don’t have a full set of players.

For those that have not played any of the games in the series they all use a card driven mechanism to determine player order in each turn, this can lead to a player either taking the event on the card or taking another action. All of the cards have been drawn from the history of each war, though they will often come out in an ahistoric order; Fire in the Lake for the first time introduces a mechanism that classifies the cards by year so that they event better fit the scenarios in question (so no references to Linebacker 2 when game time is 1966 I’d imagine) again something else that I’m looking forward to exploring when I get round to playing it.

I’ll probably get Brian round to run through the games introduction first before I jump into a full game… watch this space for a fuller report.

Cheers,

Pete.

‘Of Gods and Men’- Megagame, Royal Armouries, Leeds.

Yesterday saw myself, along with Brian, Chris and Evan, go along to the Royal Armouries in Leeds for another megagame. After the viral success of a video made by the ‘Shut up and sit down’ guys the megagame concept has generate a lot of interest, so much so that this game had to be expanded to cope with the massively increased demand.

Also it was a first for me as I had been given an umpiring role for the first time… which to be honest I was fairly pleased about as it was something I was wanting to try at some stage.

The city state of Messinia- consisting of the city and outer and inner hinterlands. Apologies at this point for the rather poor photos- they were taken on a smart phone (and elderly and crap one at that).

The city state of Messinia- consisting of the city and outer and inner hinterlands. Apologies at this point for the rather poor photos- they were taken on a smart phone (and elderly and crap one at that).

The game was set in classical Greece, the time of the Homeric legends, rather than a purely historical idea; there were Five gods represented in the game, each with three players, nine heroes, each played by an individual and them eight city states played by teams of four. As you can see a large game. I was umpire/ control of the city state of Messinia, they had to compete with the other city states to gain the most prestige, to achieve this they could trade, build civic structures, and conquer land. With am emphasis on fighting it would prove useful for them to recruit Heroes to lead their armies, the heroes were keen to do this as it increased their personal glory, for they were in a parallel game to compete for the highest total, they also had their own quest to complete, I heard rumours of a golden fleece but it never appeared in Messinia, as well as defeat a variety of rampaging beasts that appeared at the whims of the Gods, Speaking of the Gods the mortal players had to placate them by building temples and monuments in their honour and dedicating great victories and quests to them. This fed back into the game they were playing as well.

As you can see there were effectively three games in one, or possibly more accurately three parallel games going on in the same world. I say this as for while one group of players needed the other they only really wanted the help they could get out of them for their own ends.

A blurry shot but it gives you an idea of the busyness of the hall.

A blurry shot but it gives you an idea of the busyness of the hall.

As control for Messinia my duties consisted of managing all game events that happened in that city state- mostly economic as it turned out as whilst they were attacked on the first turn for the rest of the game they managed to keep any further violence on foreign shores. However Messinia did have its own fair share of beast plaguing it, including a rather troublesome troll, which saw a succession of Heroes turn up to dispatch them for Messinia for not just the glory but extra rewards that helped them, or else a promise to come back and help Messinia further.

Evan took on the role of one of the Heroes but never had anything to do at my table so I didn’t see much of him through the game. Chris and Brian took on the roles of different aspects of the Gods so likewise I didn’t see much of them in game as the interactions between Gods and mortal was very limited, unless the God choose to physically manifest themselves to influence the game.

A rather large punch up- two different Gods manifested themselves for the fight on opposing sides, the result saw the sacking of the city state of Argolis.

A rather large punch up- two different Gods manifested themselves for the fight on opposing sides, the result saw the sacking of the city state of Argolis.

The Messinia players had a rather slow start as they were more concerned with getting a solid economic base set up than with pursuing an aggressive foreign policy (they did get some rather stiff prestige penalties for not attacking early on) however this did hold them in good stead for the reminder of the game as they seemed to have far more money than anyone else. As an aside I was very surprised that none of the other city states tried to attack them more, especially to try and take out the gold mine they had established.

At this point of the guys the lads of Messinia had more gold in their coffers than everyone else put together. Not the rather impressive monument.

At this point of the guys the lads of Messinia had more gold in their coffers than everyone else put together. Not the rather impressive monument.

Given the size of battle that was being fought on other tables it would have been fun to run an epic struggle at my own. Ultimately though the lads only placed fourth in the over all rankings, but as they had come from dead last it was an impressive achievement and I think that the longer the game went the high they would have gone.

The impressive monuments didn't stop at the yellow pagoda of Ares, but incorporated the step pyramid of Aphrodite as well as the finished but undedicated at the end of the game archway.

The impressive monuments didn’t stop at the yellow pagoda of Ares, but incorporated the step pyramid of Aphrodite as well as the finished but undedicated at the end of the game archway.

Given all three monuments were constructed with just card, blutack and a Swiss Army knife everyone was rightly rather impressed by them.

Some heroes  did die in the making of this game.

Some heroes did die in the making of this game.

After the game people headed to the pub for a post- game pint and informal debrief, which adds to the whole experience imo. So all in all another great megagame and I’m already looking forward to the next one.

Cheers,

Pete.

http://www.megagame-makers.org.uk/

http://www.shutupandsitdown.com/videos/v/susd-play-megagame/

More on the Land Rover conversion.

I have finished the converting of the JB/ Airfix Land Rover to a tracked version.

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It is currently sat on my work bench under a coat of green paint but I’ll wait until it is finished before I photograph it again.

I learned a lot from doing the conversion and it has given me the motivation to do a few more. Though should I do another there are several things I would do differently. Mostly this concerns the track units: rather than glue them on separately I would make them up as axles then mount them to ensure better symmetry. The soft plastic that they were made out of took quite a lot of carving and gluing, I would have much preferred to have had all the parts made from polystyrene plastic but you can’t have everything….

Staying the the modelling theme I have decided to revamp all of my trees. If you look at any of my previous game photos you’ll notice them all mounted on large hexes. They had begun to look more than a little scratty by now and the limitations of the hexes was beginning to drag so I have gone for them all mounted on smaller bases. No pics of these as they are not very interesting. What is slightly more interesting (hopefully) is that I am redoing the swamp sections too, as they were also hex based. I invested in the plastic Kallistra offerings after I had been rather taken with their hills that I had got in the past. http://www.kallistra.co.uk/?page=14

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Here they are primed ready for paint, the picture doesn’t give any idea of scale but the smallest is slightly bigger than A5. I have added extra texture to them too. Again they’ll be photographed again once they have been completed.

Cheers,

Pete.

3rd quarter 2014- progress report.

This past quarter I have painted 99 20mm figures and 28 54mm one.

Painted 34 20mm trucks, cars and AFVs.

Also read 30 books. The last two of which were on the English Civil War- will this develop into a gaming project? Only time will tell….

Cheers,

Pete.