Welcome to my blog, the story of my continuing journey into the World of Zombie Wargames.

Monday, 17 October 2016

Shildon 2016

Bren-gun Carrier on a railway flat-bed.
Well, I did make it to "Stand To", the show at Shildon Railway Museum, following yet another magical mystery tour (thanks for nothing Sat Nav) through the wild lands of County Durham.
A quick look around the games, traders and museum quickly followed, just to get my bearings of what was going on and where was followed by a more determined wander to decide where to spend my limited funds.
I was with four others (friend, #Son, + grandchild, the Son-in-law and our mutual southern friend-recently moved North).
The hall on our arrival
The place was never going to be full of visitors (despite there be NO entry fee!) but we'd arrived early and there was a steady stream of visitors throughout our time there.
The one-man-show that is Andrew Wiley, (who seems now to be a fixture at most NE shows) was there with his excellent Wild West game (Fittingly using Dead Mans Hand rules iirc) ; the town is almost 100% made from card using "Finger and Toe" models.
I quickly came away form the table having witnessed the poor sole in the centre of the table taking his first shot and scoring a '1' on a d20 - jamming his gun!

Early doors at Dave Docherty's Sudan game
I met up briefly with fellow blogger Roy Williamson, ( of the blog Never mind thejankers) and would chat with him  later too.
Dave Docherty (top bloke), of the blog One man and his Brushes put on the Sudan game (better piccies and write-up on Roy's blog btw). The game looked great and was very much to my taste; I would say "Old School" but that term seems to mean different things to different folks these days.
The game followed a fairly well-worn path of a desert column moving across the table to relieve a beleaguered garrison at the other end.
I did love everything about this game , a period that I have quite a large collection of figures for (though not a single one painted!)

Some time later the column has moved up the table
Looking back at the game later on, the desert column had moved some way up the (very large) table, but were still well short of their objective.
Alas I didn't stay around until the end, but there were people around the table all day long, rolling dice to fight off the various Ansar attacks.
A second desert game was put on by Redcar Iron Beards (iirc) using 15mm figures (as far as I could tell), once more with great looking figures.
Superb brushwork

For the fantasy fans, two very enthusiastic chaps from Catterick Gamers put on a fantasy display using Warhammer 40k figures (I think).
The enthusiasm of these guys for their game was unbounded as was their painting - both figures and scenery. Though not my cup of tea, it was difficult not to be drawn in by their love of what they do.
Their table, though busy with figures was not overly so, a feature I've noticed (and disliked) in a lot of this type of fantasy game.

Super looking terrain.
 Their great detailed terrain matched well with their figures etc. and had obviously had some TLC when built.
More of their great terrain
And yet more.
t was a bit disappointing to only have four games on show, just another tow or so would have made a big difference imo.
I was surprised not to see more of a showing from some of the local groups, Redcar and Catterick or hardly local!
The traders were, as always, very welcoming and I could easily have spent well over my limited budget.
I chatted with most of the traders as they weren't exactly inundated with punters, bu did have a steady trickle .

In conclusion, I did thoroughly enjoy the show (getting out is always a boon), it was easy going, the people in attendance were welcoming and the company I was with were good crack.

Whilst there are a lot of shows within an hour or so of where I live I do hope this one continues and garners support in the coming years.

Monday, 10 October 2016

Alive and....

Having taken in the Shildon Show last year, I am intending to once more brave the wilds of the Southern wastelands to visit this great show. I'm also looking forward to meeting  fellow blogger Roy Williamson of the blog Never mind the Jankers.
 For once, I have a few things on my list which I'd like to purchase and have some limited funds (advanced Xmas money) with which to do so (unlike the Gateshead show I recently attended on a shoe-string).
In other news:
I have had an enforced absence from all things blogging realted recently due to a resurgence of an illness I've had over the last few years. Whilst this is is bad enough I lost two days to being bed-ridden by flue (though mostly unaware of what was going on around me.
Of course this has left me with the job of trying to clear the back-log of blogs I regularly like to both visit and comment upon, but I've been trying to make the effort. Apologies to daGobbo though, whose blog seemed to have vacated itself from my reading list! (All OK now though.
In addition to the several carrier-bags of meds I have to take over the coming weeks, I also have two imminent hospital visits, having already had two and just for good measure a couple of optical test too -just to discover I now have a least one other problem in its infancy and one pending!
Take it from me people, getting old sucks big time - don't do it!

I'd also like to thanks the two bloggers that showed such consideration after my fortnight's absence from the blogging front - that's two more than when I disappeared from the interweb for two months a year or so ago!

In yet more news, some of you may be aware, I lost someone, about two years ago, whom I thought would be regular gaming opponent but a southern friend has recently moved North and now lives a mere five minute walk from my house. Even though he is  mainly a fantasy player (I know, I know) he has expressed interest in gaming with me in some of the projects, so things could be on the up!

Thanks for visiting and if you've taken the time to read to read through all of the above drivel - you're a braver man than I.

All comments of course are welcomed and appreciated.

Monday, 19 September 2016

The Opposition (more Pirate stuff)

Hip, Hip, a tray (of figures)...
So it wasn't as difficult finding the figures I would be using to oppose my pirate forces.
For some inexplicable reason, I seemed to have organised them into groups of sixteen.
They're all Irregular Miniatures from their 28mm Marlborough range. I like them ( a lot) and not just because they're cheap and I'm a tight-wad!
These figures cost a measly 90p when bought singly, that goes down to 75p when buying 24 or more and a mere 72p when buying 100!  Value for money or what ?
The view from inside the tray
I did buy a dozen or so cavalry from the range too (still unpainted after fifteen years!) - again cheap at £1.80 each or £1.50 when buying eight . 
I'm sure that when I bought these, alongside all my pirates, I was trying to emulate someone else's game with a central island/town etc. in a grand treasure-hunt or similar. There was one thing that I was a bit disappointed with when I re-discovered them - although they looked finished, they weren't!
There's not a lot to do on them, they're fairly usable as they are and at least the bases have been finished (Bases - Bah, the bane of my life)
The Officer core
There's quite a variety of figures in the range though the left-most Officer in the photograph on the right would also make good piratical captains I don't thik he's originally part of the range.
I'm fairly sure that some aficionados among the readership will spot inaccuracies with regard to uniforms etc, but this range is a generic range. Mine are painted up to represent British forces, but could just as easily represent the other major powers in the Caribbean (Spain, France etc.)
Drummers (Who'd have guessed )
The colour choice of coat-lining, turn-ups etc. was based on my local regiment of fusiliers that had 'Gosling green' facings, rather than the all-too familiar blue of 'royal regiments.
Drummers of course wore reverse colours, hence mine all have green coats with red facings.
The units that can be seen in the top photograph all have a drummer present save for the 'Grenadier' unit (I don't know why - I may have been under the impression they didn' have them).

The NCOs and Ensign
A well as the Officers, there are also NCO  figures armed with a Halberd and one suitable as a ensign - though I haven't decided upon which flag I would use.
The stances of he NCOs do show the fairly limited number of poses (something I like) and whilst the standard line infantry have firing poses I've opted to to have any.
Showing the two poses I use for the foot figures

I opted for marching figures and figures with ported weapons as they match nicely with the NCOs
These jolly fine chaps fit in really well with the majority of my pirate figures, they're well proportioned and don't have stubby looking muskets, these look great, even if their bayonets aren't fixed.
The grenadiers I intended to have striped stockings and would be used as marines, - yet another bit of painting yet to be done!

And that's it for another week, one day I may find the cavalry figures I bought way back when and may even get them painted up, but don't hold your breath!

Thanks for taking the time to visit and as always your comments are both welcomed and appreciated.

Monday, 12 September 2016

Move Along

Random photo of my gladiator collection to fill space..
The subject of the post should really have said, "Move along please there's nothing to see here" which would say it all really (but was a tad too long). The reality is that I've been unable to do anything hobby-related during the last week due to real life issues.
I've travelled the length of the country to a funeral (and suffered the resulting hangover) and after a quick turn-around arrived home to receive my relatives from Canada whom #2 son was babysitting. Next up was a wedding and meeting two of my cousins whom I hadn't see for about forty years or so.
Assorted beasts for the arena - Lion steaks anyone ?
Next up, with not nearly enough sleep, it was off to meet another relative arriving from Canada (luckily our house is big enough to accommodate all these newly arrived foreigners).
 The latest guest arrived today, so no proper blog this week - as I'm sure you've already guessed.
(I've thrown a couple of pics from my Gladiator project on here to pad this out - just in case you were wondering - everyone likes piccies right?).
Victory! (How I'm feeling getting this post done)
So, apologies whilst I back-track and catch up with all your blogs posts that I've missed commenting upon in the last week or so - I promise I'll try and catch up, as time allows between the compulsory bouts of entertaining I'm compelled to do.

In other news I have found the promised opposition to my pirates and given the opportunity (they're in one of the now occupied guest rooms) to photograph them, they may well feature next week (fingers crossed).

That's it then for this week, thanks for taking the time to visit and as always your comments are always welcomed and appreciated.

Monday, 5 September 2016

Border Reiver 2016

Large Celts v Romans affair
A dismal, rainy, Saturday morning saw #1 son and myself set off for 'Border Reiver', the closest show to where I live (though still in the South) at the Gateshead Stadium. Whether it was the weather, timing or general apathy I did think the show was low on numbers than previously.
There was the a good number of traders covering a wide range of wargame goodies and most had  a constant trickle of punters after their wares from what I could make out.
Close up of the above game.
The games were varied from many points of view. there were large and small, historic and fantasy, skirmish and army-sized, on land and sea and in the air! My favourite being a Celts versus Roman battle put on by two very great guys. I just wish my photographs did their game justice!
The lighting in the hall played havoc with my limited(very) photographic skill and many of my pics have a yellow aura about them, despite my best efforts with photoshop. (I'm not the only one to 'suffer' this effect btw).

Large Napoleonic battle.

As one would expect the games varied as much in quality of presentation (read effort) and a few did have some unpainted figures on show.
The viking game looked interesting, despite the right angled river! (Something I don't mind btw)

Large representation of Cannae - in 15mm iirc
Photograph right: Wall to wall figures being moved on turn one (I think they'd finished the move by the time I left, an hour later.
Ancients are not really my cup of tea.

Good looking game set in Vietnam

All homemade vehicles and terrain
 The fantasy element was well represented, my friend Stuart having a huge table showing off his scratchbuilt terrain, vehicles and monster robot type things (Titans I'm reliably informed) for a huge Warhammer-like game.
Another featured a 'football' type game set upon a huge galleon, whilst another featured a 'classic' elf/dragon affair, though don't quote me on it.

Fantasy football on a ship. (And why not)
Great looking French - Indian War game.
Great looking Dead Man's Hand game, using car buildings

Wings of War
Fantasy game
What of the loot you ask? Well truth be told I purchased not a jot.#1 son bought a book of Rapid Death Fire scenarios for use with his Flames of War games and other than beverages that was it!
I did have a good time though, the Traders were great to chat to (as always) and those running the games that I took an interest in were all welcoming and informative too.
Best part of the day though was seeing friends that I hadn't seen for a year or so - worth the entrance fee alone!

Next week, real life threatens to interfere with getting a post out, but I will try and make the effort!

Thanks for taking the time to visit and as always your comments are both welcomed and appreciated.

Monday, 29 August 2016

The Others (Pirates 7)

So although I've shown most of my pirate collection, here's a few of the figures that have either been missed or didn't easily fall into any of my 'categories', hence the first photograph of an executioner complete with impractical axe. I believe the figure is from the Foundry range but alas  why I cannot say. I suppose there must have been someone that had their head lopped off in the golden age of piracy but most pirates were hanged and gibbeted for their crimes.
"Hi Ho, Hi Ho, it's off to kill we go"
Next up is one of many axe-armed piratical types that I have (Foundry must have been doing a special deal on them).
The figures themselves are highly usable of course, both as pirates and civilians and come in two distinct varieties, those attacking and those looking like they may attack.
I don't believe I have any other pirate figures, other than the foundry ones that are axe-armed.
I singled out the chap on the left for his gnome-like (or dwarfish) qualities as an example of my axe-wielders (I do have another three that appeared in an earlier post)

Two left-handers and a special (I like this pose)
Men wielding their choppers
A rare breed pf pirate, 'The woodsman'
Amongst the other I have a few civilian types of which these three on the left are examples (yes, it's a poor photograph - I know).
The two individual on the left are probably 'named' characters from Foundry whilst the chap on the right is a captive. I've included him once more in the photograph below, for scale purposes.

The photograph on the right (with camera- hogging captive for scale) shows a very small preacher-type and an even smaller firearm (large pistol?) armed cabin boy (Jack Hawkins ?). The two are truly diminutive as can easily be seen, but they'll probably be used as they are. 'Jack' is either carrying a large pistol or a small musket-type carbine. Anyone who has handled a horse-pistol of the era will know how heavy these things can be. Such a small chap using one two-handed is a good representation imo.
Pirate cricketers ?
The four figures on the left are all 'grenadoe' armed, I'm guessing the throwing stance is unavoidable. Grenades must have been quite unusual terror weapons probably for both the recipient and the user.
To complete this post here's yet another figure I came across with the dreaded "chest foot":

"I'd have preferred a parrot"
The overall audit of my pirate collection was quite surprising, I knew I had quite a few (meaning well over 100) but here's the final count in loose categories:
Gunners -26; Muskets etc.-74; Melee armed - 97; "Grenadiers" - 4; Others - 54; Unfinished bases (various) - 35 making for a total of 290! I think have overdone it a bit and next week I'll be posting about their opposition, just the single post though and dependant upon whether or not I find them!

In other news, I discovered that my latest follower. Michal Kucharski has a blog that can be found HERE  - it's an interesting mix of various genres (and his painting is superb). It's well worth a look .

I'll also take this opportunity to apologise to those whose blogs I normally leave comment. Real life has raised its ugly head once more, in various guises, which along with the normal round of new and old health issues, there has also been a family bereavement.

As usual your comments are both welcomed and appreciated.

Monday, 22 August 2016

Personalities (Pirates 6)

Captains 3.  
It seems that almost every figure manufacturer feels the need to produce 'specials', or 'personality'  figures with probably the most prominent one being that of Blackbeard, or Edward Teach (or Thatch) if you prefer, being of course the epitome of a pirate.
The photograph on the right shows three such personality figures (all Foundry IIRC)  with their version of Blackbeard on the trio's left.
"I'm Blackbeard", "No! I'm Blackbeard", "I'm Spartacus"
Not a bad representation I guess, but he's not the only one I've got!
The photograph on the left shows another two 'Blackbeards' (How I ended up with two identical sculpts, I don't know).
The other Sculpts shown have probably all been given names of the more famous real-life pirates, such as Avery, Morgan etc. something which amuses me, but for all the wrong reasons.
Three more "Historical" characters ?

The variations between all of these is sufficient to give a wide selection of  figures that are emminently suitable as Captains for both pirate, merchant and Naval vessels.
The only thing I dislike about a lot of them (and a lot of other figures too) archetypical pistol raised in the air. Anyone who owns or has used a large pistol will know how heavy these things are and it's not generally done save for a formal duel (maybe).
"We could be proper pirates if we had hats"
Most of these can be used as ships' captains, but there are also those which shout out "Civilian!" (to me at least) , such as these three on the right. It's probably the lack of piratical hats or something!
There is ample scope for figures, such as these three to be used as Governors, important passengers etc.

 The last two I have for this section is the pair on the right; as they're so distinctive I have to assume they were listed as "named" or 'special' or something.
They wouldn't look out of place in a French-Indian war setting, the figure on the right being very 'Indian' looking imo.

Good, bad and ugly?
There are of course some Female Pirates too, amongst the 'personalities ( no doubt all called Ann , Mary or Grace (Bonny, Reid and O'Malley respectively.), but these vary from the historical to the hysterical.
The photograph on the left shows the three most historical looking in this selection.
(Sorry about the blurriness, but I blame the crap photographer )

"Avast behind" (and a bulging front too).
These next three amuse me, probably more than any other figures I have in this collection.
From left to right we have a pantomime lead woman playing the role of a man; the typical heroine from an old black and white film of yesteryear and finally a cross between a fantasy pirate and Rambo.

"We're laydees"
The three women on the left, a maid and two 'ladies', not quite the sum of my civilian female personnel, but a good chunk of it!
These three could easily be used over a span of a hundred years or so., but if I recall correctly they were indeed in some manufacturers Pirate range. I have quite a few similarly looking Redoubt figures from their Musketeers'  range (unpainted)

"We're feckin ladies too"
 Rounding off the female theme  are these two wonderful (imo) characters, suitable both for civilian and pirate use, being basically females in male clothing.
The figure below I discovered also to be a female I (I believe from the Old Glory Range) though I was dubious at first as to her sex.
It was only whilst working my way through the Old Glory pirate listings that I came across the figure and realised it was female.

"I may or may not be, I'm not sure"

That's it then for this week, next week will be the remainder of the odds and sods that haven't had their five minutes of fame, some more civilians and diverse crew that haven't been covered in a previous post.

As always your comments (and patience with this series of posts) are welcomed and appreciated.