2016 wasa busy year IRL so I didn’t get much hobby stuff done. My biggest gaming achievement was running my first megagame, something I have wanted to do for a long time, so that is ticked off the list. Part of this year will be spent planning another megagame for 2018.
The SCW stuff stayed in their boxes so that needs to be rectified this year. Other plans include more naval (starting with the Russo- Japanese War) and some operational level gaming. Continuing with the 6mm Cold War project too.
Still I shall see what happens, hobby stuff is meant to be fun and not forced.
Been a while since I’ve done one of these. I’ve finished the module work on my MA for the time being (just got some reading to catch up on) so I’ve got a bit more time to myself.
Accordingly I’ve been getting some work done in the shed- mostly focussing on my 6mm 1980s Cold War forces. A bit tricky to paint as they are rather small but I’m going for effect when they are massed together rather than individual masterpieces. There will be photos in due course. Also started on some 20mm Commandos for the Guild Forum’s group build.
Managed to get a few games in- well umpiring them at any rate. Funny how much of the rules we had forgotten.
I ran a Normandy game:
A Stalingrad game:
This evenings game wasa tank fest seeing hordes (well 8) of T34/85s facing off against a pair of Tigers. Sadly I didn’t take any pictures.
With regards to boardgaming I got in a game of ‘Fire in the Lake’ the Vietnam COIN game published by GMT. Their series has quickly become my favourite board game series and this Vietnam game is my preferred installment.
Its belend of Euro game style mechanics with a strong military/political theme makes for great game play.
Additionally I backed the ‘This War of Mine’ kickstarter. Based on the powerful and moving PC game I’m looking forward to early next year when I should get my copy.
Megagaming is going from strength to strength too which is very encouraging. The next one is Jena 1806 wher I’m stepping into to Boney’s shoes, should be an interesting experience and one I’ll do a full report on.
That’s all for now.
Being borm in 1978 there are quite a few classic shows that other wargamers reference that were before my time.
One of these shows has been Callan. Bob Cordery of Wargames Miscellany (a blog well worth checking out btw) wrote about the show in reference to its old school wargaming charm and suggested that I looked it up.
I watched the episode he suggested and really liked it but not for the wargaming reason he was so fond of. Growing up and cutting my wargaming teeth with GW it featured a style of gaming that has never been part of my past but the story and plot of the show had me hooked. Since then I have been acquiring the series on DVD and have become quite the fan.
Basically Callan (starring Edward Woodward in the eponymous role) is a bitter cynical antihero, a skilled assassin working for British intelligence with a high degree of loathing of the state and its officials as well as himself as killing is the only trade he has seemed any good at. Set comtempoarily in the height of the Cold War it is the complete antithesis of James Bond. Dirty deeds and questionable morals with none to truely trust beats implausible chases and naff one liners in my book everytime.
The show ran for four series after a successful pilot epiode from the late 60s to the early 70s. Sadly alot of the first and second series have been lost, given that this was before the widespread introuduction of home recording they have probably gone for good. After the series finished the pilot episode was refilmed as a full length feature which is also good; sadly the legacy was soiled somewhat by a TV special in the early 80s. Vrey dissapointed in the way in which the 80’s monstrosity killed off Meres (Callan’s fellow agent and subject of a lot of his ire, tempered by a sense of grudging respect for his abilities) I found his brand of cheery public school psychopathy to my liking.
I think this episode is one of my favourites as it includes all of the themes that I have mentioned above and is certainly worth your time.
I had a look back at what I wanted to do in 2015 gaming wise and it was a bit of a failure. The first idea proved to be deeply unsatisfying for reasons I won’t elaborate on, the second fizzled out as soon as it started and the third was not even attempted.
Accordingly I’m loathe to make any commitments but 6mm gaming and SCW look like they’ll feature. Most of my energy gaming wise will be going to ensure that my first megagame (more on that later) goes well.
I’m hoping real life will be busier this year too so that is another reason not to want to try to plan too much.
Things have been quieter than I’ve wanted on the blogging/painting front… been rather busy with postgrad work and trying to keep the black dog in his kennel… still due to various reasons (if you ever see me in person I can moan to you about it) I’m taking a break from the former for a few months, calling it a leave of absence makes it sound rather formal ….
Still with the unexcepted free time I will try to do a bit more painting and hopefully have something to show here. Though I have been painting Easter eggs for my nephews (apparently my Sister has a tree with them hung on in their house- new to me too).
The oldest wanted a footballer so I did this:
The poor quality phone camera photo reminds me of noseybonk’s terrifying visage (look on youtube if you didn’t have your childhood in 80s Britain) but it looks better in real life.
The middle one wanted a ninja turtle so I came up with this:
Both were really pleased with them- in fact they found it hard to believe they were hand painted. Nice to put my limited brush skills to something else, and shows I have been painting something. The good news is the youngest nephew is too young to request one the bad news is I’m taking delivery of another dozen polystyrene eggs tomorrow and a list to work through… will keep me busy for a while.
On the plus side I am keeping up with gaming, managing one or two a week. In fact I’ve been playing through some old classic boardgames that I missed the first time round.
I enjoyed a 4 player game of ‘Fury of Dracula’ which plays really well- the hidden movement works nicely and from what I’ve read on the net the 80’s version I played is better than the latest reworked incarnation.
Also I played (and lost) a 3 player game of block/Mega Mania. A fun little game, looking forward to a rerun of it.
A rival block after my vigilante carefully placed a demo charge…
Other than all this gaming on my PC is keeping my mind off things, no doubt playing Wargame: European Escalation and Air Land Battle will spur me back into cold war gaming… watch this space.
Looking back over the past few months of this blog I was struck by my paucity of posting… I’ve had a plenty of ideas for post and played plenty of games I could have blogged about but I find if I don’t take action straight away it gets pushed to the back of my mind. Being busy with uni work has meant that my concentration for writing has been saved for that (seemed more important)… so much writing in fact that I fail to find this joke as funny as I probably should:
“Q: How many historians does it take to change a light bulb?
Posted on March 17, 2011
A: There is a great deal of debate on this issue. Up until the mid-20th century, the accepted answer was ‘one’: and this Whiggish narrative underpinned a number of works that celebrated electrification and the march of progress in light-bulb changing. Beginning in the 1960s, however, social historians increasingly rejected the ‘Great Man’ school and produced revisionist narratives that stressed the contributions of research assistants and custodial staff. This new consensus was challenged, in turn, by women’s historians, who criticized the social interpretation for marginalizing women, and who argued that light bulbs are actually changed by department secretaries. Since the 1980s, however, postmodernist scholars have deconstructed what they characterize as a repressive hegemonic discourse of light-bulb changing, with its implicit binary opposition between ‘light’ and ‘darkness,’ and its phallogocentric privileging of the bulb over the socket, which they see as colonialist, sexist, and racist. Finally, a new generation of neo-conservative historians have concluded that the light never needed changing in the first place, and have praised political leaders like Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher for bringing back the old bulb. Clearly, much additional research remains to be done.”
From here: https://thedispersalofdarwin.wordpress.com/2011/03/17/q-how-many-historians-does-it-take-to-change-a-light-bulb/
As I’ve been doing the prep work on my dissertation it is all too familiar to my recent output… On a related note I’m torn whether to game parts of my dissertation, would it spoil things or would it give me extra insights or would it just be a distraction best left for afterwards… I’m tending towards the latter. Any input form anyone who has been there before would be grateful.
Looking back on my plans from this time last year I can see that I only achieved one of those goals and that was only in the final week of 2014… still I consider those projects still on the go. However some new things have caught my interest….
Firstly I’ve really enjoyed both painting and gaming with the Gladiator figures so I think I will get a few more ancients figures for some skirmish games, no more than 20 a side to keep it simple. I’m drawn to Thracians as they are my favourite tribe and they have plenty of potential for gaming scenarios. Will pick up them and some Celts first probably.
Secondly I’d like to play in more campaigns. The Gladiator one was great fun and I’m keen to start the Ludos one (previously we only played a single gladiator). I’m running a PBEM WW2 game for Brian and Evan and hope to do some more in the future- possibly with other people too.
Thirdly I’d like to do more SF gaming- quite what and how remains to be seen, probably skirmish games possibly RPG, I’ve always had a fondness for the Post Apocalyptic genre but I seem to be revisiting the Cyberpunk literature of my teenage years so maybe something along those lines.
That should keep me going for a while. See what I pick up when I sell some old stuff and visit the forthcoming shows.