Saturday, 31 May 2014

"What the Dambusters did next"

If you missed this on its initial broadcast, or the repeat last Monday or just now, it's available on Demand 5 till sometime in September in the UK.

It covers, as the title suggests, what 617 Squadron did after the famous Dams Raid - if you've read Paul Brickhill's book , not much of this will be new to you: the raids on the Dortmund-Ems canal, the Limoges rubber factory, the V2 and V3 sites, the Bielefeld viaduct, the U-boat pens... But it's well put together - it does omit a few nitpicky details that I'd probably have put in, but all in all it's a good little documentary.

What was new to me? I don't think I was aware that the V3 tunnels at Mimoyecques were still undamaged enough to be visited, and the presenter and a French historian just walking in to the tunnels was -- wow. Also, I don't think I'd really appreciated how the V3 was intended to work. Even as a die-hard 617 Squadron geek :D, I'd say this was worth a watch.

Friday, 30 May 2014

Book Review - "The Other Side Of Airfix" - Arthur Ward

[Free review copy supplied by Pen and Sword Books under their "Remember When" imprint.]

Now, I don't know about anyone else, but Airfix was a constant thread through my childhood. When I was about eight or thereabouts, my grandfather (a retired Civil Service Engineer/Inspector, who I gather spent a goodly part of the last war dealing with projects he wasn't allowed to talk about!) bought and helped me built their 1/72 Lancaster, not long after I'd devoured Paul Brickhill's book on the Dambusters

Not long after that, I negotiated my pocket money up to 'more than an Airfix Series 1 kit', and I spent a lot of time assembling and painting aircraft kits on Gran's kitchen table. And then there was the annual pilgrimage to the model shop in Hull (Sid will remember it? Not that far from Paragon station) for the new catalogue, to be pored over, and its contents wished for (and hinted about to doting grandparents!).

By the time I got to secondary school, I discovered wargames, and moved to building tanks - and I suspect, like everyone else, got massively frustrated at those blasted rubber tracks. My pride and joy, though, was the 1/24 Spitfire - now that was a kit!

But we're not here to talk about that. The book, Mike, the book!

In a way, the book isn't talking about that, either. Sure, it touches on the kit range, with which the name is pretty synonymous to most of my readers. It's much more about three things - the history of the company, the other ranges - the toys, games and crafts - and the people. And I have to admit I found it fascinating, not least because I spent a lot of time going 'crumbs, I didn't know Airfix made that", in many cases ("Super Flight Deck" springs to mind) even though I used to own it! 

Ward obviously knows and loves his stuff - this is his fourth book on Airfix, after all! - and with the help of folks from the Airfix Collectors club there's a huge range of photos of things in the company's range, from babies' dummies/pacifiers to Weebles. (Airfix made Weebles? I never knew!). On top of that, the text covers the story of the company from its first flounderings in wartime to the initial demise in 1981, and its subsequent reviving by several companies including the three H's of Heller, Humbrol and Hornby. One of my favourite bits is the brief look at Airfix artist Bill Stallion's work on the box covers for a lot of the plastic figures, including some photos taken by his wife of him with wooden mock weapons to get a pose right for a cover. 

It's a tough book to position, I guess. If you're a serious toy collector (which I'm not), it probably doesn't tell you much you didn't know. It's not a wargamers book per se, either, and as such it skates the edge of what I'd review here. But - if you simply grew up in the 70s, though (like, I suspect, a worryingly large number of the folks reading this!), it's a delightfully nostalgic read. Sure, it's not a book you're going to keep around for reference - it's pretty much a coffee table book. 

Would I have bought it for myself? Mmm. Good question: probably not, but at least in part because it's not a book I'd have been looking for, so wouldn't have realised it existed! It's £19.99, which for 177 pages of colour picture-heavy, largish hardback is fair enough. (It's not as big as the concussion-inducing Wargames Compendium, mind you!) Being Pen and Sword, of course, it's also available in Kindle and ePub format, and I certainly would recommend it at that price (under a fiver) if you want to revisit your childhood. 

Thursday, 29 May 2014

The Royal Mail and paints...

I was wondering where this whole thing had got to, when a letter arrived from my MP the other day.

In short, the Royal Snail are dragging their feet something rotten.

If you haven't signed the petition yet, it's here.

Wednesday, 28 May 2014


If you're anything like me, or many of the other war gamers and role-players I know, you occasionally get ideas about running insanely huge games with masses of people and stuff...

...and most of us lie down till the feeling goes away.

Some people, however, don't.

If you've not run across the folks from Megagame Makers before, check this video (from the folks at Shut Up And Sit Down) out.

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Musing about copyright again

Y'know, for someone who actively dislikes both the 40K game and GW's business practices, I do have a fair few blog posts about it. "Methinks", to misquote the Bard, "he doth protest too much."

40K 7th edition is, apparently, out, to the usual collection of applause, curiosity and complaints about changes that break the system. Regular readers will be unsurprised to learn that, personally, I couldn't give the proverbial rat's posterior.

However, I am concerned to note that there are people blatantly making downloads of the text (both as ePub and PDF) available online.

Now, I do have to hold my hand up here and admit that I do have 'hooky' PDFs and/or ePubs of a few sets of wargames rules, but they are in all cases either long out of print (and sitting on my eBay watch list, as often as not, for as soon as a decent second hand copy comes along), or things for which I have a legal physical copy, wanted one for the iPad and one wasn't available. You are thus, if you wish, at liberty to call me a hypocrite for what follows, but I personally am very clear where I draw the line, namely at the point where I'm not paying for something for which the publisher/author is still in a position to take money from me for. That is unquestionably theft.

Seriously, folks? It may be GW, and it may be ridiculously expensive, but it it's a brand new, in print, set of wargames rules which you can buy. Whatever you think of their business practices, and whatever your views may be of the greyer area of out-of-print and/or digital copies of print rules, this is the wrong side of that line.

Monday, 26 May 2014

(Delayed) Match Report - 26 May 2014 - Dreadball

And it's straight over to Vish and Jase for the end of our live tri-d broadcast..
"Ah... Vish wish to apologise. Since Devastators get whitewashed by bunch of girls in short order... Vish still laughing, by the way... Valkyries take on Arctech Unmentionables in exhibition game - loads of MVPs too. Vish like Unmentionables - big walking sushi. Lots of carnage.
"Anyway. It very exciting game. Down to last play of last rush. But Jase still editing highlights for you. Vish told him get lots of angles of Anya Anderson falling on backside, because it make Vish laugh so much he spray monitor with mouthful of sponsor's fizzy soda. MegaCola - it not just tasty, it great for cleaning screens too. So.. Vish and Jason very sorry - we have highlights package for you after Co-Prosperity news tomorrow. Till then, Vish wish you good night...[1] 
"Oh! Vish nearly forget! Also! Valkyries now have cheerleading squad. Vish off to Vish's bunk."

[1] As do I, as I didn't make it in till 11.30. Sorry for the short post!

Sunday, 25 May 2014

The end of one series, the beginning of another

We finally closed the book (metaphorically speaking) on the Babylon 5 TV series tonight - about 5 minutes ago in fact - with the final episode of season 5, 'Sleeping In Light'. (For those who don't know or remember, it was actually filmed as season 4's finale, as at the time it wasn't clear whether there'd be a season 5 - which is why it alone of season 5 has Claudia Christian as Susan Ivanova in it.). I vividly remember watching it with friends when Channel 4 first aired it.

It's still a superb and fitting finale to one of the two best TV SciFi series ever, right down to that final cameo appearance (and Chris Franke's superb score over the final credits).

And from there, we move on to the other of the two (as well as the Babylon 5 TV movies, and Crusade next time it gets repeated, of course).

Joss Weedon's "Firefly".

I adore this show: it's vastly different from Babylon 5 in some ways, although like Babylon 5 it sports some of the great classic TV quotes, and of course it suffers from that remarkably irritating fact that Fox, damn them, killed it after 13 episodes. So we'll never know... perhaps some of its brilliance lies in the fact it didn't have time to stagnate. It also spawned a movie (Serenity), several excellent comics and a board game...

One of the reasons for watching it next is that we can't play the board game, which I've had since Xmas, until we do. Not because the game doesn't make sense without the series, but the game spoilers the series, and we'd like to play it with James.

Saturday, 24 May 2014

Some light reading...

Not a review, as I only bought them today. Just a heads up that Tesco has a bunch of books at 2 for £7 which may be of interest (and actually works out just cheaper than Amazon if you like physical books). There's probably more of these worth a grab, and at least in Tesco you can flick through a book before buying...

Book three of the Tancred series by James Aitcheson, which I'm pretty sure I have the first two sitting in my unread pile.

(Yes. It's a bad sign when you can't remember what's in your unread pile!)

Another take on the origins of WW1, this time by the ubiquitous Max Hastings.

I'll be interested to compare it to the AJP Taylor "War By Timetable"...

And finally, book one of Conn Iggulden's War of the Roses series - I know some people are dubious about the quality of his research, but I do occasionally just enjoy a rattling good yarn, and they're great for working up campaign backstories when you're a drama-loving old hack like me :D

I already have this from Amazon.

Friday, 23 May 2014

New arrivals for D-Day

Couple of things arrived in the post today:

First up, some nice brew-up markers for the Shermans :D These are from War World Scenics,

Secondly, my custom deck from Artscow turned up, with which I am well pleased. The "Smoke 'em if you got 'em" card is the Tea Break card.

Thursday, 22 May 2014

Change your eBay password

Another day when, as a security certifier at work, I hide my head in my hands for a moment and just sigh.

eBay have had a security issue, in which the database containing "eBay customers’ name, encrypted password, email address, physical address, phone number and date of birth" was hacked into via someone at eBay's internal login that had the appropriate permissions, and the contents acquired.

Here we go again. You know the drill:

  • change your eBay password to something new
  • if you use the same password anywhere else, change it to something different
  • consider using a secure password manager like 1Password if you can't remember passwords
  • be vigilant about attempts at identity theft - the hackers got away with your name/address/DoB
Identity and authentication are a key part of today's Internet. Don't treat them lightly.

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Book reviews - a statement in advance

I have been approached now by two publishers asking if I'd be interested in reviewing books of interested to my readers on my blog. Obviously, I'm a touch pleased and flattered, but I am also conscious that my reviews up to now have been impartial (yes, I really DO like Chain of Command that much!) and I'd like to keep it that way. So: from here on in...

  • If I review a book, rule set, supplement, whatever, that a publisher has sent me, I will make it explicitly clear that it's a review copy and who the source is (in the event it's not the publisher). 
  • The fact that I was asked to review it will not affect what I think or say about it, be that here, on Twitter, Facebook or Google+, or on the Meeples podcast. I have (I trust and hope) a reputation for being honest and direct in my reviews on here, and I don't intend for that to change.
  • If I don't think a book is relevant to this blog, I reserve the right to decline. (As a rough idea - wargaming, modelling, the history of those, military history or tactics? all fine. Outside that general area I'd probably look twice.)
OK? (And no, this is not me fishing for stuff to review, either! :D )

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Probability for Wargamers - some Dreadball thoughts

After yesterday's rather satisfying strike (nearly the full length of the pitch), I got to wondering:

Suppose you have one action with your (all stats 4) Striker, and need to basically run, pick up the ball, run, pass, catch the pass with another Striker and score on that action. What are the odds?

Let's step through it.

To pick up the ball you need two successes (4,5,6) on four dice (remembering that 6's explode)... as it's late and I'm lazy, I'm availing myself of some superb work by BalrogBond on the Mantic Forums which you may need to read.

From the above, P(2 successes) = 29.1%

Now we have the ball: we run and throw with the free action we just got. It'll be a three dice roll assuming we got to short range - +1 dice for being a Striker, and -1 for having run. How many successes?
  • Well, we have a 12.5% (1/2 * 1/2 * 1/2) chance of none at all. 
  • For each dice we have a 41.7% chance of one success, so that's 3 * (50% * 50% * 41.7%, or just a hair over 31.2% chance of one on three dice. 
  • for two it's a little hairer, as we can do it either by:
    • one success on each of two dice (3 * 50% * 41.7% * 41.7%) = 26% PLUS
    • two successes on one dice (3 * 50% * 50% * 6.9%) = 5.2%
    • making a total of 31.2%
  • for three successes there are several ways,
    • one success on each dice = 7.2%
    • three successes on one dice, 3 different ways = 3 * 1.2% * 50% * 50% = 0.9%
    • two on one, one on another, six different ways = 6 * 6.9% * 41.7% * 50% = 8.6%
    • for a total of 16.7%
  • four? (my brain is starting to hurt). 
    • 4 on one dice = 0.2% * 50% * 50% = 0.05%
    • 3 one one dice, one on another, six ways = 1.5% (look, just trust me!)
    • 2 on two dice, 3 different ways = 0.7 %
    • 2 on one, 1 on two, 3 different ways, = 1.1%
    • for a total of just over 3.3%

Let's stop there, as we have a long tail of 5+ successes.

The Dreadball throw/catch rules say we get as many dice to catch as we made throwing successes. We NEED two successes to get the final throw. because we need to double to get the free action.
  • Two successes on one dice? = 9.3%
  • on two dice? the easy way is (1 - the odds on one or none) = 33%
  • on three dice? 56.3%
  • four? 77.8%
So the odds of making the catch are (31.2% * 9.3% + 31.2% * 33% + 16.7% * 56.3% + 3.3% * 77.8%) = a smidgeon over 25% not counting the 5+ successes odds.

And our final throw is a three dice throw (+1 Striker, -1 small target). We only need one success, so that's an 87.5% chance ( 1 - the odds of none).

OK. Let's tot those up.

Final odds of scoring = 29.1% (pickup) * 25.1% (pass + catch) * 87.5% (strike).

About 6.4%. Wow. My dice were on yesterday!

So. Here's the question. 

You have one coaching dice. Where do you use it?

Monday, 19 May 2014

Match Report - 19 May 2014 - Dreadball

Two exhibition games for the club league tonight: one vs Carl's Settler Spacehawks, a very satisfying 7 point whitewash thanks, and Carl was gentleman enough to admit it, to a rather major booboo on his part, although to be fair, if he'd made the score, things would have been different.

Second game was against old adversary Dale's completely psycho Teratons, the Deranged Devastators. As ever, the name of the game against Dale is keeping enough players on the pitch to be able to get an unassailable lead. This was NOT helped by... well, we'll take you over to Jase and Vish for a live look-in at the game...
"And you join us about halfway through the Valkries/Devastators game, and as usual, the Teratons are taking it as seriously as any other. No deaths yet..." 
"Thanks, Vish. But the Valkyries are having a hard time keeping players on the field and out of the treatment room. This isn't helped by the fact that MVP Anne-Marie Heldar has decided that today she's going to play as a Striker..." 
"Valkyries coach not popular." 
"Indeed not, big guy. She got laid out by a Devastator in the first rush, and since she got back from the medical time, she's been riding the pine all game. As has Wildcard." 
"Vish think hardly worth wasting the MegaCreds. To be fair, though, the big lass did well against the Spacehawks." 
"True, she did. Anyway. You join us as the Devastators have just fumbled a pick up, and here comes backup striker Freya Sigurdsdottir..." 
"Jase fancy her, remember, viewers.
"Hrmph... As I was saying... here comes blonde bombshell Sigurdsdottir from deep in the Valkyries half, a long run, scoops up the ball without breaking stride, skirts the edge of the one point zone... is she going for a one... No!... Another couple of long-legged strides, and a rifled throw to Ola Gunnarson who's stood half-behind one of the big turtles almost under the three point target - quite how she hasn't got flattened yet is anyone's guess. Laser beam throw from Freya - she had exactly one spot she could throw that that Gunnarson could catch it and the Teraton couldn't block it...." 
"Perfect catch."  
"Ola snags it one-handed in mid-air, turning as she does so. Wow... the throw's almost part of the same movement, laser-guided, dead centre. Three point strike, and she absolutely nails the landing for the cameras. And the crowd go mental." 
"Vish think that a Strike of the Season contender." 
"Dead right there, big guy."
A three pointer from deep in the Valkyries half using just one action. That was the last strike in a game that was closer than it looked. Dale had a chance for a four pointer to tie it in his last rush, and... failed.

Sunday, 18 May 2014

Painting 4 Ground MDF buildings

Had to share this, because it's inspirational, and proof that every 4 Ground 15mm WW2 building DOESN'T have to look like all the others...

Repaint by Derek of Derek's Wee Toys blog - deserves to be shared wider.

Saturday, 17 May 2014

Meeples Episode 127

At last - after another few abortive attempts to hook up with Neil (the man has the kiss of death to technology) and MikeH, we finally managed to record a piece for episode 127, catching up on what we've been up to of late.

The meat of the episode is a look at Geek Nation Tours, about which I know nothing so I'm clearly going to have to listen to it!

Friday, 16 May 2014

Painting DDs

I've been doing a bit of research, since I had a couple of queries about the canvas and paint schemes on the Sherman DD's. Moreover, I've been a Good Boy, and used Evernote to save my research, like I said I would :D

Look! Research notes!
Key things I was after:

  • the colour of both the sides and the TOP of the canvas... If you look at the Bovington one, the top is a slightly different shade compared to the sides, but I dunno how much of that is age. 
  • underneath detail. Again from the Bovington DD you can see the red primer for one side's supports for the props. (I'm wondering if that's a post-war fix...)
  • the 'deck'. It wasn't clear till I found some of these photos that there's an extended deck around the tank the canvas fits to.
Hoping to get these painted this weekend. I've made the assumption that the US ones were painted US olive drab, not a British shade, but that's I suspect impossible to verify one way or the other.

Thursday, 15 May 2014

Command Decision Sherman DD's

4 of them, in fact. Just undercoated, so far, with PSC US Armour Spray.

They come as a 7 piece whitemetal kit - body, two tracks (which fit remarkably snugly and are impossible to get on the wrong way round), turret, gun, and two half hatches, which are a pain to fit, especially if you can't find your tweezers. In general, though - nice and easy, not much filing or flash, a nice heft to them (being solid metal).

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Jackdaw History Folders

After a conversation with my wife this morning, in which I got a completely and utterly blank look when I asked (not that this is unusual, but.. :D), and a matching one with my colleague at work, I'm forced to turn the question to my wider audience:

Does anyone else remember the Jackdaw series of history folders at school? This would be around the seventies. Essentially they were a series of folders on particular topics in history containing several of what, if I remember rightly, were termed broadsheets of general text about the topic, plus a whole bunch of facsimile documents from the era in question.

I vividly remember school having the 1066, Romans and Domesday book ones, and there's a part of me pretty sure (and this is why I'm remembering it now) that I read about the Battle of Towton from one.

What's maddening is I can't find a list of the UK titles online (the US ones appear to be still in print, but the US isn't a complete list - see for example Richard III and the English Civil War in the picture above, which aren't on the US list).

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

New Army Painter colours

I wouldn't normally bother registering the fact that Army Painter have added a couple more colours, but I couldn't fail to be amused when I noticed that the two latest additions to their Warpaints range are...

Chaotic Red and Hydra Turquoise.

Or, to put it another way, murrey and blue. If you were paying attention in the Heraldry series of posts, you'd know why I'm amused. If not? They're very popular Wars of the Roses livery colours, and I have four boxes of Perry's to paint sometime after June :D

Usefully, they also do the red as a primer.

Monday, 12 May 2014

Battle Report - 12 May 2014 - WAB Age of Warlords

Another game in the club WAB Dark Ages campaign, protecting Britain from the invading Picts and their allies...

It didn't go well (stop me if you've heard this before). My opponent was Tony, with a non-Raider Saxon army (shieldwall, close order), and his mission was to kidnap (my story)/rescue (his story) a fair damsel from a hut on my side of the battlefield.

First contact was between his Gedriht (mounted) and mine (not), which was brief, and bloody, and ultimately didn't go well for me. Shortly after that, my Duguth and his collided, in a to and fro battle which took a frustratingly long time, and even my Gedriht wading in on a flank didn't tip the balance for several rounds of combat. By then, my Warlord had been incapacitated in single combat (for the second time this campaign), and the resulting test drove my mounted Duguth off the table...

By which time, Tony had the girl, but hadn't read the victory conditions, so spent rather too long escorting her around the table with his whole cavalry unit... I did, in the end, break his Duguth, but by then I was down to two units, neither of which were in a state to take on his two surviving units.

That aside? Great fun game, as always.

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Taking notes... actually something I do very badly. :D

I'm not, generally, very organised (if my wife were reading over my shoulder she'd be laughing her head off about now), and I do tend to rely on my (usually pretty good) memory for things to take notes.

Of course, this doesn't always work on the internet - URLs can be non-memorable, and, as I mentioned in a previous blog post, links can 'rot' due to servers dying, URLs changing - while I don't always remember URLs, I do often remember the search terms that got me there... I do sometimes use this blog as a note-taking device, but trust me, you don't always want to know what I'm taking notes on (I do have other hobbies...).

Since I'm currently multitasking on a project build ('Bloody Omaha') and campaign/project research (Sharp Practice in its War of the Roses variant), I figured I probably ought to do a better job on the latter :D So I dug out the copy of Evernote [disclaimer: link is a referral link from my account] I've had installed on here for ages, and hardly used since about 2009...

Evernote runs on Mac and Windows, as well as iOS and Android. Usefully, it cloud-syncs to a central account, so your notes are available on every device you have the app on. More usefully, really, much much much more usefully, it's smart enough to turn web pages into clippings, so when some clever forum admin thinks he doesn't need to take backups and that page you carefully bookmarked goes away forever (me? bitter much? oh heck, yes!), you still have a copy.

It comes with a little browser plugin on the Mac that allows you to clip part of a page, as well as a menu-bar icon from which you can take notes, save images, record audio memos...

All in all, it's pretty powerful. And I probably should have been using it a lot more!

Saturday, 10 May 2014

Audiobook review - Alison Weir "Lancaster and York"

A COMPLETE contrast to the previous audiobook... Superbly written, and superbly read.

For all I did the Wars Of The Roses in school, there's so much I didn't know about the causes and the personalities. At least I can now tell Richard III of York from Richard the 3rd Duke of York ;)

Friday, 9 May 2014

Artscow cards for IABSM/Sharpe Practice etc

Anyone who's played one of the Too Fat Lardies card-activated games will probably be aware of the very useful service provided by Artscow, that of providing a facility for designing and printing decks of cards.

Some of the Lardy regulars have already produced several useful decks, which can be found here on the TFL Wiki, including decks for IABSM, Sharp Practice, Through The Mud and Blood, Charlie Don't Surf...

I've just built a scenario specific deck for the 'Bloody Omaha' IABSM game I'm running next month using the "multipurpose card deck", which wasn't as painful as I expected: there aren't as many tools for alignment as I'd like but I did discover a couple of useful tricks:

  • Design your background as hi-res as you can to the correct proportions (5:7 width to height). There isn't a way of telling the system to add the same custom background to all the cards in a deck, but if you get yours designed right so it sits right when you drag and drop it onto a card, without scaling and moving, then its easy to do the drag/drop 54 times :D
  • Images on cards get autoscaled to fit the region you drop them in - again, be careful designing the image and size the layout area before you drop it in.
Next up, some "Sharp Practice: Of All Base Passions" War of the Roses cards.

Thursday, 8 May 2014

Making a start - 29th Infantry Boat Sections

I'd have made more of a start, but it's hosing it down outside, it's bloomin' cold in the workshop and I don't have an indoor spray booth :D

That painful bit at the start of any 15mm company-scale project - sorting out the box of figures into poses, trying to identify the poses ('Is that a BAR?')...

Anyway, I got most of the stuff on small bases for one box sorted - I'd have done both if I could remember where the second box IS :D
Old style bases, which is not what I expected in the box. And I seem to have accidentally based the bazookas, which I didn't need to do. The extra BARs from Peter Pig turned up today, so I do at least have enough BARs...

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

3D printed objects hit Amazon

OK - it's only in the US, but there is now a 3D Objects storefront on Amazon via 3DLT (another Shapeways-like 3D design/print service).

Now admittedly, its current stock can be I think generously described (to quote my wife) as 'tat', apart from some phone and GoPro cases and holders, but it's an interesting indication that 3D printing is becoming more mainstream.

Looking through Shapeways (as an aside) it's interesting how little there is if one searches for (say) "tank 15mm".

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Project Planning

Time to get cracking on my 29th Infantry Division boat sections for next month.

The basis is a pair of Flames of War 29th Infantry box sets which, being Battlefront, are almost guaranteed (pardon my cynicism) to assume a slightly different organisation from the IABSM scenario I'm working to. (In their defence, Flames of War tends to work to TOE org charts, IABSM to likely in-combat ones).

So - in each box I get:
  • 13 assorted figures that will pass for Big Men, including Brig-Gen Cota
  • 4 figures with Bazooka
  • 4 figures with BAR
  • 4 figures with flamethrowers
  • 12 engineers with Bangalore torpedoes
  • 4 2 man 60mm mortar teams
  • 2 2 man .30 cal teams
  • 2 medics
  • 60 riflemen
  • 6 useful casualty figures
  • 9 useless casualty figures (sorry, figures in the middle of being hit just look crap)
From each box I need to assemble 4 sections, each containing (as per Rich):
  • One rifle squad (9 rifles, one SMG'd NCO) - 2 med, 1 small base
  • Two BAR teams (2 BAR, 2 rifles) - 2 small bases
  • One 60mm mortar with four crew (2 crew, 1 rifle, 1 SMG) - 1 med base
  • One flamethrower team with two crew (1 flamethrower, 1 rifle) - 1 med base
  • One five man demolition section (3 Bangalore torps, 2 rifles) - 1 med base
  • One medic - 1p piece
  • An unpredictable number of Big Men :D - 1p pieces
Major problems appear to be:
  • Not enough BARs
  • Not enough medics.
Everything else appears to be doable, and since I have a plan involving a nice chat with Command Decision re a custom-cast 50-pack of their casualties and medics (come on, this is Omaha, you can't just take a base OFF when it gets killed), the medics won't be an issue...

So. Anyone got about 8 spare 15mm US Army BAR gunners? [Answer "yes Mike, you dipstick. Peter Pig in nice packs of 8 for next to nothing!" *click* *click* *ka-ching* . o O (This online shopping lark is dangerously easy) ]

Monday, 5 May 2014

Just the odd picture or a hundred

I had way too much fun in Ayton, not just wargaming with the guys but getting used to the new DSLR. I now have a Canon 700D with a couple of new lenses - an 18-55mm and a 55-2050mm, both of which are image-stabilised (which means they're very handy for taking pictures in ill-lit wargames venues) - actually one of the neater features is that its automatics include auto-ISO, so it's one fewer parameter to tweak, Given the ISO range goes up to 12800 (compared to 1600 on my old camera), it's pretty awesome in grotty light,

Anyway: here's a rather large slideshow of the stuff I was taking:

Apologies to readers on iOS - full Flickr set link is here.

Sunday, 4 May 2014

Home sweet home

Back home from sunny Scarborough. And I'm absolutely knackered. 

Just downloaded 200 photos from the new camera, but I'm afraid you're going to have to wait till tomorrow when I have time to sort them.
In the meantime, here's a couple of videosfrom Henry that gives the flavour. Much as I love blogging, I love my own bed more. G'night. 

Saturday, 3 May 2014

Ayton 2014 day 1 - teasers

I'd upload more, but the hotel wifi is sloooooow. Anyway, here's some shots from today's games....

Friday, 2 May 2014

28mm MDF castles


From the folks at Sally 4th, aka

£540 painted. 

But still. 


Thursday, 1 May 2014

Unoffical Bolt Action Spanish Civil War lists

I'm not a Bolt Action player (yes, yes, I know you know I prefer Chain of Command) but I figure that a fair few of my readers are.

Ryan from our club has been working on a set of Spanish Civil War army lists for Bolt Action. The list is available in Open Office format or PDF.

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