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

Monday, 23 October 2017

More purchases

The North star purchases
Omitted from my last week's post were two more 'buys' from the Shildon post last week and in addition I've received a whole host of other purchase from both North Star (including Copplstone's) and ebay.
All the North Star purchases were aimed at my ;Adventures in Jimland' games, but I'm sure the natives may also see some use in piratical endeavours.
The Renedra wattle fencing wasn't a planned buy, but it only cost £5 for two frames and I've seen it at £4 for a single frame.
Just look at the label!
Wattle fencing
The 'George Orwell' figure I saw an immediate use for as a civilian and was a bargain too at £1.50 from Col. Bill's and was another impulse buy, I hadn't heard of the "Newark Model Soldier coy" and discovered it was probably a 'freebie' from a 'Partisan' . I've seen it for sale on ebay too at £3.50+ too!
Having looked at the options of buying animals in lead I quickly looked around at the cheaper plastic animals One set in a tub cost £3.99 but only contained four cows that were of a usable size but the various ducks, sheep and dogs all towered over them. I did find the Pegasus box of farm animals for under £12 (incl. p&p) for 32 animals on ebay and are perfect to pad out my pirate towns (the initial purpose ), but they are of course perfectly usable in many contexts.
(Not all the animals were blurry)

As it's close to Halloween I've also been on the lookout for cheap creepy crawlies etc. for 'Jimland',
My feeble spider below Roy's superior looking one
but the £1 card of bugs was a bit disappointing (but nevertheless usable), Roy (the sorcerer's apprentice at Col. Bill's and fellow blogger) gave me a bag of much more presentable spiders at the Shildon show.
My daughter however came up trumps when she spotted a pack of bugs and Halloween stuff in a local supermarket ("Morrison's) for a mere £2!
A quick trip to view said items and I found they were perfect for giant bugs in Jimland.
So here's the photos:
Giant flies....
Giant scorpions....
...and giant frogs plus...
.... giant centipedes ...

a snake which is probably to scale for an African Black Mamba
An ant, just slightly more imposing than my feeble one on the left
More and larger spiders
Gigantic bug (cockroach I think)

A mouse ! (Not so usable)
There was few other unusable useless bits too such 2d skeletons (far to large and flat), but overall well worth the £2 for the pack!
In addition to buying things I have been doing some hobby-related things too.
Cleaning and basing figures was at the top of the list, the cleaning aspect taking very little time. For bases I've been cutting up old plastic store cards etc.
All the figures I've bought have now been based and undercoated and I've even managed to spend a lot of time yesterday (Sunday) constructing the wagon I bought.
A wagon  (who;d have thought?)
I don't normally do any gaming related things on a Sunday, but making the wagon (not for the faint-hearted), inbetween breaks in the busy football programme worked out well. I did one piece at a time which, with the frequent breaks allowed for them to dry and plan for the next.
I'm very pleased with the final model.
Overhead view and much bigger than I thought!

New Native bowmen

The camera crew
New explorers, pack animals, native bowmen and porters
 It's probably obvious that I haven't solved all the problems with my camera lens blur and I'm till a rubbish photographer - sorry !
I'm just about at 100% re my recent illness, but I did crick my back again, but it didn't prevent me trying to catch up with all the hobby time I've lost.

I'm currently working on the aar report of my first foray into "Jimland" and I'm hoping to post about it next week, but I am deliberating on how to present it. I'll probably follow the diary version used by blogger 'TWD' at "Toms Toy Soldiers" (search for his label Tombogoland) .

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

Monday, 16 October 2017

"Stand To" at Shildon 2017 & the Loot!

Great Looking late Roman game  (I think)
Despite being unwell for several days prior to this event, but having put an order into Col. Bill's previous, I upped my game, had a very pleasant early morning journey and chat, arriving at the event about 30seconds after a friend who had some goodies for me !  A quick chat and off to spend money!
It's sad that what I think to be  a very good venue was so underwhelmingly attended, by both punters and gamers putting on games, though the same couldn't be said of the many traders, friendly and helpful to the last.
(Photographs above and to the left.
Not a group game as such, other than the guys putting the game on were a group of friends (Smoggies I think). I could even have had a game if I had had time as they played through two games during the hour or so that I was there.

Fantasy (40K ?) game with some good looking terrain and figures
Another shot of the above game (notice the blur)
The 40k style game was very eye-catching even though it's not my type of game and the guys who were playing were very pleasant to chat to.
I think they're "Catterick Garrison Wargames Club".- apologies if I didn't get it right.
The ever-present, indomitable Mr. Andres Wiley also put on his excellent Wild West game on (Dead Man's Hand rules iirc), with the added feature of a river. Unfortunately I hadn't realised that my camera had a small smudge in the middle of the lens which caused innumerable problems with any photographs I took at the event and wasn't discovered until I started taking photographs of my loot at home. (Yes, I'm still a rubbish photographer)
Don't go near the crossroads!
This excellent looking WW2 game was put n by a great bunch of guys but for the sake of me I can't remember who they were and I'm sure I took a photograph of their  information .
The game looked good and some extra work had been made on their buildings too, to cover the awful tabs that show on the roofs of many a pre-painted mdf building.
There were flashing 'explosion' markers all over the place adding a nice effect.
I really liked that it seemed an all-infantry affair too, or at least I couldn't see any armour!

Notice the 'flames' behind the building in the top centre (thus avoiding the blur in the bottom centre)
Close-up blurry action
Close of the flames (with the blurry bit cut from the rest of the photo)
There were meant to be six games being presented, but for whatever reason there were only four - pity really, but sometimes things just happen. I was thankful that at least all four games were good.

Despite the draw of the eye candy my initial stop was Colonel Bill's where I picked up an order that I had made on the Thursday before the show and knowing that I was time-limited (as Stu who runs Col.Bill's was at two shows on the weekend) I was delighted to have my order gone through. Col. Bill's (Stu) has always been a delight to trade with.
So here's the results, mostly aimed at my "Adventures in Jimland" but with my pirates project in:
the back of my mind too.
Two females (at a bargain price imo)
A civilian crew for a wagon
Victorian photographer (I've always wanted one of these)

Self explanatory really
A pair of oxen (I bought two sets of these)
See label (getting boring now huh?)
A pair of pack horses Ray at Anything but a One"Don't Throw a 1"
A wagon load for a wagon (duh)
Who'd have thought a simple wagon would have so many bits ?
No batteries included (It doesn't need them) but thankfully a good set of instructions
I also got a very welcome small gift from fellow blogger and apprentice to Col Bill's emporium (at "Never mind the jankers")
 More  on that though at a later time as I've also received several parcels in the last week

That's it then for this week, "Stand to" was a good event, sadly I don't think it has  much life left in it without a lot more support!

As always your comments are both welcomed and appreciated

Monday, 9 October 2017

Treasure Hunt Tokens

Six markers - can you make out what they're meant to be?
It took me about a week to make these when it would have normally taken me about two hours (less drying time), thanks to the 15  minutes of available work time I had  in between being in agony.
The were made specifically made for my pirates project and are intended as marker 'clues', but really they're just 'x' and ''y' coordinate markers. 
Their usage I'll explain below but the idea can be used for basically any genre of game; for the modern era you could use vending machines, dumpsters etc;for ancients you could use shrines etc.
 Please bear with me the explanation may take a while...
"The Rocky Outcrop"
The premise is that your table is laid out first then imagined to be squared off (though it could just as easily be divided into rectangles)
So using a 48" square board you could have it squared off as a 3 x 3 grid in 16" squares or a 6 x 6 grid in 8" squares (or vice-versa in this instance)
You will however need at one marker token for the number of rows (or columns, but not both) in your grid.
using my 48" square board divided into 6 x 6 squares I would need 6 markers. (clear so far ?)
View from the other side , now renamed as "Lookout Rock"
The lonely grave (so boring I only took the one photograph of it.)
There are two types of game that can be played with these tokens , both require the same basic setup and preparation 
Firstly, each token requires two cards for them (I haven't thought of anything easier)
Each token will require an East-West card and another card for the North-South component of either game you're playing.
 Secondly each token must be placed on the boards imaginary grid so that only one token is in any one Easy-West direction (the 'x' axis) and there are also no other tokens in its North-South direction (the Y axis).
Something to delineate which axis is which from the back of the cards may also be desirable (and easily done)
For game type 1 wording on the card would read something like "There is NO treasure to the East or West of the Lonely Grave"(maybe you could add a picture of it too (If you're clever and like that sort of thing)
For game type 2, the wording would be similar but with one big difference the wording would omit NO to Give "There IS a treasure to the west or east of the Lonely grave"
"The Cairn"
"The Cairn" - boring reverse view
The easiest way to place the tokens on my imaginary 6 x 6 of 8" squares is to line them up initially on the top row, one to each column. Then you start with column one and determine it's actual row position. The easiest way of doing this is by having six playing cards  numbered 1to six (surprisingly enough because there are six rows) to see which actual row it ends up on, There are of course other methods, counters or even dice would do the job starting with a d6 then a d5 (omitting the row that the first token ended up on) and so on.
 I must admit though that the six card trick (or numbered counters) is probably  the easiest and quickest way.

"The Hanging Tree"

So now that all the token pieces are in their starting positions  I'll try and explain how game one works!
(The tokens can be placed in the centre of the imaginery squares as the the treasure can't be found under a token, I won't bore you explaining why)
To sum it up the objective is to find where the treasure is buried and there can be only one place it can be - initially unknown to all the players.
It's a bit like the game "Cluedo" (or if you prefer "Clue" where you eliminate all the suspects of the murder of Doctor Black one by one until you are left with only one - the murderer
So the two piles of cards (the East-West deck and the North-South deck) are shuffled and the top one is taken from each pile and unless you have a GM, they are placed where no-one can get at them or see their fronts.
The maximum number of players for a 6 x 6 gridded game I'd suggest is probably 3, maybe 4 tops!
From here on in there are lots of options (for both games) as to how to proceed.    
Let's imagine there are three players, I'd deal each player a single card from each deck, which will give them a row and a column where the treasure is NOT  present  (they should probably have a scrap of paper with a 6 x 6 drawn on it so that they can cross off the relevant row and column.
This will leave 4 cards spare (two in each deck and there are two where the treasure is buried).
"The Rusty Anchor"
"The Rusty Anchor", reverse view
Once the players are satisfied that they have recorded their initial findings (or clues) take their cards back and add them to the two decks, give them a good shuffle and then place them face down in two columns. (there are other ways to do the following but many will be tedious and will result in a much longer game)
So what now I hear you ask (you did ask didn't you? - Or have you fallen asleep?)
Well, the players must find the rest of the clues, how you do this is pretty much up to how you wish to run your scenario.
Option one would be to travel to each token in turn where maybe after one turn standing there with one of your crew (I'm imagining pirate bands playing this game) you draw a card from each column note the clues down and replace the cards.
Option two is to have other places to go and retrieve more clues;"Tis rumoured the tavern wench knows a thing or two about the treasure"; "The barmy hermit Barney will take a shot at you with his antiquated blunderbuss but can tell you where the treasure isn't"; "That old graffiti on the dockside definitely states where there is no treasure".
And so on, I'm sure more creative and imaginative players than me will come up with all manner of ideas.
Eventually when a player has all ten clues he can go the imaginary grid square and dig it up.
Of course with the other pirate gangs roaming around too you may not get there alive. Rules for digging up the treasure are up to you though!
The Monolith thing" and nothing like the intended  Mayan Stela
Boring rear view of my least  liked token
I'll now briefly explain how to play the second game
"Stay Awake there at the back !"
The initial setup is the same except for a few things .
Firstly decide how many treasures there will be (up to the maximum of 6 on my 6x 6 imaginary grid).
Shuffle both decks and place face down.
The players have no initial clues and must go to certain places as (above) 
to collect more. A variation could that each location only gives either a North-South card OR and East-West one  though players maybe should know which beforehand.
Players get to keep their cards in this variant , each pair of North-South and East West will give you a treasure location and even here there can be variations - either allow treasure to be in the square where the token is or not!
"The Monkey God" which I can also use as a token
Not only must you  decide how many treasures, there are you also have a means to deciding how much each is worth- maybe a d6 x 10 in doubloons, maybe a fixed amount 18 Reals each  or maybe drawn from a back of marked counter , deck of cards etc. each with varying amounts on them.
The number of these treasures counters could be limited or even more than the number of treasure available (a couple of already robbed sites maybe ?)

(Padding Photo)
The first game type ends if all the players gangs are killed, eaten by giant ants etc. or maybe the treasure was found and they got away with it.
Game 2  will end similarly though players may wish to get whatever treasure they can find quickly and get out of Dodge before a tot-up to find who has the most loot!
"The Hanging Tree" and how it looked originally
I can easily imagine a Frostgrave game 2 setup using various Stela with the clues 'written' on them to find treasure or using the game 1 variant for a solo hunt to find the the cure for the Zombie infection, maybe from pages of someone's journal, saying where he's searched and not found it yet"
As if I haven't bored you enough already here's few notes on how I made the tokens:
Firstly they're all based on old plastic credit or, store cards etc. (with numbers and magnetic tape filed off)
"Lookout rock" is polystyrene covered in filler (as are the bases and painted to match my new terrain boards)
"The Hanging Tree" is a plastic toy that I acquired from somewhere or other.
The anchor came from one of the cheapo Pirate ships I go a while back.
What was intended as a Mayan Stela and turned into something less than salubrious was once more polystyrene covered in filler.
Stupid pre-coloured rocks!
  The cairn began life as a polystyrene cone which then had rocks glued to it carefully (it was then undercoated grey and the rocks painted individually to look how they did prior to the undercoating (I was ill at the time I tell you!)
The grave was a piece of foamboard with a layer of card cut way so I could smooth the 'grave' out., whilst the cross was two twigs glued together with the bindings added later.
The "Monkey God" has appeared before - go find it if you're that interested!
I did have a few more ideas for tokens which never made it past the idea stage - A broken wheel (or wagon), a burned out hut and an ant's nest all spring to mind from my original ideas.

In other news, I'm feeling a lot better (thanks to all who have asked after my health, so much so that I'm almost ready to put the roof on, on my current build.
And I'm also about half-way through my initial venture into Jimland - Yes, I've sneaked in a bit of  gaming!

I must also get around to welcoming some New followers, that have sneaked past my early warning systems (I blame the drugs- as usual). So "Idle Doodler", "Hils" "Gary", "Phil Curran", "Staz Matt", and "Ric Walters" welcome to my blog.
For one reason or another my followers profiles don't show any blogs of their own listed, but I'm pretty sure "Hils"Whom I know of either has a blog or contributes to one somewhere. If you guys want to comment if you do have a blog (or blogs even) and want a plug, feel free to do so,

I had hoped to be posting about my experiences playing Jimland next week, but I may well be at the wargames show  "Stand To" at Shildon railway museum.

Finally, that's it then from me for this week and as always your comments are both welcomed and truly appreciated
(I sometimes think it's our follower's comment that keep some of us bloggers enthusiatic enough to keep blogging!) ,