Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Scenery First

Well it's been a busy few weeks, just for a change, and since my last post I have received the Liche Lord goodies I bought on Nickstarter, even more into the idea of this game now. But I am determined to have a whole game ready before I invite a couple of guys round to play (keep watching for the invite Bil Curd). I love being on the Frostgrave group on Facebook, loads of great stuff there and some very keen players who all enjoy their hobby.

For me the hobby is as much about the aesthetics as the games and I have some definite ideas for what I want from Frostgrave: I want snow, I love the real stuff and we don't get much of it round here, I have never really modelled snow and ice so I am looking forward to that particular challenge. I also want CITY, lots of the games I have seen online look ok, but they are often full of random scatterings of terrain. I want my games to be more than that. Ever since I played the first Assassin's Creed game on the X-Box I have fancied creating some new city terrain, I want a close feel, with multiple levels and lanes and allies. I also want my city to not look like Mordheim, (I think I have said that before) Not sure how I will achieve this bit yet, but again I am up for the challenge.

So what first then? Simples - Plan. in the last few years I have enjoyed planning and sketching before building. My 40mm pirate buildings were great fun to make as I drew them first then turned those sketches into models. ( I really need to write an article on here about them) So for this project I have been planning. I haven't sketched buildings though I have been working on a layout/floorplan.

Ok so here's the plan. This is a 2 foot by 2 foot square. Split into four squares. This means my first scenery for this game is going to be pretty compact. Each foot by foot section will get built at a time. Making this easy to work on and store, unlike some of my recent projects.

The colour scheme for the plan is as follows. 
Blue - Ground level
Orange - 3 inches high
Red - 6 Inches high
Brown - 9 inches high

The plan represents the city before the blizzards and ruins. The model will be ruined (although I am tempted to make an undamaged version too) I am going to start with the top left section first. I shall of course put regular updates on here so you can track my progress. 

This is going to be cool, it might not work, but it's going to be interesting finding out.

Wish me luck:0)

Monday, 19 October 2015


So I have been looking at Frostgrave for some time now, another fantasy skirmish game to tempt gamers to part with their monies. I am a lover of  skirmish games, and a veteran of GW’s Mordheim and LOTR. In more recent years I have played more historical based games but I have been intrigued by Frostgrave and thought although I don’t necessarily have anyone lined up to play with I thought I would give this ago.

So what is it that appealed to me? Well first of all Frostgrave is a skirmish campaign driven game - probably my favourite type of game. It relies heavily on the use of magic, I have never been into magic not even in fantasy games (My first love in Warhammer were Dwarfs) So having to use magic I thought might be an interesting feature then last of all it’s the snow, the ice the frosty stuff. I have always shied away from snowy scenery, it’s hard to pull off, so I quite fancied the challenge. There’s another important challenge for me - Don’t make this look like Mordheim. If it I use Mordheim figures and Mordheim scenery I may as well play Mordheim.

So what have I done so far? Well I  went on the Oldhammer Trading Company, sold some old stuff made a few quid so I have ordered a bunch of toys and some books. Northstar rushed me the rulebook, the collection of short stories and a bunch of figures.

Part of my starter bundle

First impressions then… Well I like the figures, the hard plastic soldiers are great, lots of possibilities there. The pewter wizards are nice too. Pretty sure I will be buying more of those. The rules look pretty straightforward and will lead to fast games. Nicely presented, in a full colour hardback. I do have some reservations however my biggest one being the almost complete lack of background, with the exception of the blurb on the back cover and the foreward we really get very little insight into what the frozen city of Felstad, now Frostgrave looks like. What Frostgrave is lacking is a world. Getting into Mordheim for most of its players was easy, the Warhammer World was rich and had its own history, we knew much of what was around and what things should look like. Likewise Lord Of The Rings, came with one of the most detailed worlds ever created and a few minor film projects which helped as source material. Frostgrave doesn’t have that, and I am not sure why. It might be that they wrote loads of stuff and they couldn’t fit it in and there’s loads to come (there is the Thaw of the Liche Lord supplement on the way in November); it might be that they have deliberately left Frostgrave lacking in background so players can create their own; or it might be just be laziness on the part of the writers. I reckon it’s probably a mix of 1 & 2. What ever is the case I am thoroughly looking forward to a foray into a completely new game for me. Next time the Frostgrave plan, until then some of my new figures ...

3 of the Frostgrave soldiers, with the odd addition. 

3 more Frostgrave plastics (on the left is my Apothecary)

2 Wizards and and their apprentices

2 more wizards and Apprentices

Wizards from Casting Room Miniatures

3 Adventurers from Casting Room and an Oldhammer Dwarf

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Autumn 2015 Time to start again

Damn it's been exactly a year since my last post. Clearly it's been a busy year after all I haven't written anything since the end of last year. Several things have got in the way of me keeping this blog up to date, being busy doing what I do, changes to my job and sadly losing both my inlaws in the past two years has seen my focus elsewhere. 

Anyway I intend to try and pick up again, especially focusing on some gaming stuff, with new Zombicide and Frostgrave projects in the pipeline. But for now I am just going to post some cool pics of stuff I have done this year.

Victorian Gentleman for School Workshops

Stand & Deliver 

End of the Duel with Big Dick @ Pendennis

Dartmouth Castle Smugglers

Time Capsule Awesome Archaeology

Fighting Suffolks at the Battle of Bosworth

Polax Action - Bosworth Field

Family Eagling C1595 @ Pendennis Castle

My brilliant wife, Heidi, finally met her hero

The olde Enemies @ Pendennis Castle

Resident Evil Cos-play at London Film & Comic Con

Smuggling at Dartmouth
It's been a pretty cool year, done some great things and had a great laugh. Go find my Facebook Page for more photos. I might write about some of this stuff too. Right a Picture says a thousand words, so that has saved a thesis. Next get on with some gaming:0) 

See ya soon.

Monday, 13 October 2014

Well that was most of 2014

Firstly many apologies to readers who have come to this blog this year and found nothing new. My only defence for not writing and being up to date, is that frankly I have been far too busy with my Conflicting Interests to be writing about them. And as I look at last year’s Blog updates, it seems I was a tad busy then too.  In future I will endeavour to be less tardy.

So what has happened in 2014? Well from a Gaming point of view it has been pretty good. Firstly my game I ran at Salute was very well received. It has been some time since I last played Piratical games, in fact so much so that I sold my large(ish) 28mm pirate collection sometime ago. Then I discovered 40mm and especially Sash & Saber miniatures, and it all started again.  So Salute this year saw me running several games of 40mm pirates in  my new scratch built Caribbean town. I just love the level of detail that you can achieve in this scale. The games themselves were the usual blend, of Mayhem, carnage and humour. I get a great mix of new players and various gamers who have played pretty much every game I have run at big shows. We always have a blast. Best comment of the day came from the dad of two kids who played. The younger child, a boy of 9 years said, “the best bit of the day, was the pirate game, I loved the hunting for treasure and shooting my sister. I really loved it cos it was run by a pirate too”:0)

A quiet Caribbean Port, before all hell breaks loose.
Other gaming has been pretty healthy this year too. Mainly due to me purchasing the very excellent Zombicide for my wife, Heidi, last Christmas. A small group of us now play a variety of games every other Tuesday, mainly Zombicide, but we have played other board games, Pirates Cove, Ankh Morpork, D&D and recently WarhammerQuest too. I also squeezed the odd game of Spacehulk in during the summer too. Much fun. And the dark winter night beckons.

Spacehulk, the old ones are the best ones.

The future? Well…Tuesday gaming… Zombicide (which I will feature separately) and WarhammerQuest. For Salute 2015? Watch out for a huge  pirate game, 40mm ships, it will be mayhem, Yaaaar!

And Re-enactment, how did that go this year?
How best to describe it? A year of Highlights. Which was the best bit? I really can’t choose. Firepower at Kenilworth,  Multiperiod at Kentwell, Kelmarsh,  Holding the right of the King’s Vanguard at Tewkesbury, The Not COW, Getting Freddie Flintoff shot at Bosworth, Leading a Yorkist Division at Bosworth, Fighting a siege a Pendennis castle. It really has been a stonking year.

Too much to write about really, so in Chronological Order here are some of the best bits…
Suffolks at Kenilworth Castle Maybank Holiday.
We love Kenilworth, a great Tudor venue. This year our event was a lot less stress for us, as EH combined the event with other Tudor activities. We did our Living History thing, which was a good way to kick off the year. We provided a sword demo and our Firepower demo. Much banging by the Suffolks, very well received. Weather was great, Canvas dry, all made good omens for the rest of the season.

Kentwell through the Ages:
Not much I can say about this event that I haven’t said before. Second year it has run and it just gets better. We provide the medieval village folk on the barnsward at Kentwell. Just a lovely chilled weekend. Doing our Living History thing. Some of our non-Kentwell friends get to play at one of the best sites in the country and when they have, they kind of get why we love it there so much. This is predominantly a non military weekend, with the exception of the Multi-period firepower display. This is the only part of the event done in 3rd person. This year we had weapons from 15th, 16th, 18th, 19th & 20th C. That’s medieval, Tudor, Pirate, Napoleonic, Victorian, WW2 & 1950’s Home Guard. Who knows what we’ll add next year.

Ramming Jezebel the swivel gun

Tewkesbury, a select group of Suffolks went to Tewkesbury to fight for the king. We fought in the colours of our mates the Worcester Household. Saturday’s fight was Ok,  Sunday’s was much better.  Opposition provided by the Hartley Household. Great fun. Heidi had a great weekend with her handgonne and we loved having our Token Lancastrian with us. My mate, Adrian Pinn, would arm up each day and then announce he was off to muster “Farewell Yorkist Scum!” “Die well Lancastrian Dog!”

The Not COW
When we started the Suffolks we held an Off Season Social called the Council Of War. It was held in our house and always included a Medieval Banquet, cooked by several members of the household. This year it was pretty obvious we had out grown our Living room. We decided to hold the banquet somewhere else. The obvious choice being Kentwell, (For many of us our spiritual home) So on the last weekend of July the Suffolks had a quiet LH weekend which included a banquet for ? in the Merchant’s Hall. It’s hard to describe how cool this was. The food was fantastic, cooked by a team of folk. The Merchants Hall is a very evocative building, built by reenactors in a traditional style, it needs very little dressing. By the time it is candle lit and everyone present is in their finest 15th century attire it makes for one of the most special evenings of the year. Can’t wait for next year.
We actually had a weekend off in August this year!

A wonderful place for dinner

Freddie and Bosworth.
I’m gonna be on tele in January:0) In August this year my family took part in a TV programme called Flintoff Lord of the Flies (I think) It basically involved England Cricket star Freddie Flintoff and his co presenter Robb Penn, travelling round Britain in a Green chip van, meeting people and finding out what makes them tick, their hobbies, their passions. The WOTR Federation were approached to see if they could find a family in the South East who were going to be at Bosworth and would be prepared to take part in the show. I said I was up for it and I think the general consensus was that we probably wouldn’t mess it up so we got the gig.
So we had an entire TV film crew visit us and hang out in our conservatory and chatted about re-enactment. Which included my good lady wife helping Freddie into all of my armour, he kind of fitted, kind of. Freddie wasn’t supposed to be taking part he was just going to chat and ask questions. LOL:0)

The Eaglings with Freddie Flintoff and Rob Penn, and Freddie's chip van.

So the Friday evening we arrive at Bosworth, LATE. We picked up our brilliant new tent delivered from Period Tents and then started to put it up in the rapidly fading light. On the plus side Mr Flintoff & Mr Penn had arrived before us and were already cooking us Fish & Chips in their funky green chip van, Smashing!
Saturday came, We successfully fitted Freddie into some soft kit borrowed from the 6’2” Bendy, stuck him in my armour  and got him into a block of Men At Arms getting shot by the gunners in the Fire Power display. Great fun and the guy is such an over actor.
And to cap it all, Bosworth then became the perfect mix of both my Conflicting Interests. I was given command of a Division of the Yorkist army in all the battles. Just like wargaming but without the dice. Awesome, except that apparently I had to stick to the script. God Save King Richard, Loyaulte Me Lie.

Duke of Suffolk's retinue leads the Yorkist army out of camp :0)

And then Pendennis:0)
For those who don’t know, Pendennis Castle is one of Henry VIII’s gun forts sitting on a blustery headland that juts out into the English Channel and overlooking the entrance to the Carrick Roads, the first deep water harbour in the west of Cornwall. Pendennis also just happens to be THE perfect location for the Suffolks.

Last year we had a three day event at Pendennis and this year we were back for  five. Two days of just us, doing our LH thing. Then three days of LH and the Siege of Pendennis.

This is the largest event that the Suffolks have done. 32 Suffolks, including the kids, spent the week at Pendennis, and we had a blast. Even so we were missing a handful of regulars, and sadly I think we will never be able to get a date to suit everyone, which is a real shame as this is the one not to miss. I mean, most reenactors get to do events in great venues up and down the country, we usually get to stay in the grounds of castles, it’s a real privilege. However there are very few groups who get to live in the actual building, which is just what we get to do here. I get given the keys to a castle. How cool is that?

The garrison of Pendennis Castle
I played the role of Sir John Killigrew, and was supposed to be the Good Guy. Unfortunately I made the schoolboy error of letting the crowd know that Killigrew was an MP, boy did they get hostile:0)
So we got to live in a castle, shoot Elizabethan Sakers, have sword fights and musketry. We shot at a three masted ship and we even got our own pub for an evening. There is just too much to put in this small blog entry, I think I’ll have to write an article just for this one show.

I think I’ll have to go with Pendennis as being the Top event of the year, but it’s a damn close run thing. I owe a huge thanks to all those who played in 2014. It was stonking fun, and 2015 is already shaping up to be just as good:0)

Sunday, 23 March 2014

2013 - what happened there then?

As I write it's March 22nd 2014. Readers of this blog, if any of you still check in will notice that tis is the first entry since last Easter. And for that I apologise. I didn't crawl into a cave, and not play, paint, make or reenact last year, far from it, it was a very busy year with some ground breaking events. However, and unfortunately, whilst not at events or work we had to cope with the trauma of a close family member fighting lung cancer and doing things like writing Blog updates frankly never got a look in. Sadly that fight is now over, and normal service will resume during 2014.

So what did happen in 2013? Well I reenacted in the 15th, 16th & 19th centuries, stayed in castles, fought in tournaments, fired cannons, fought with swords, rapiers, clubs and friends. (see what I did there) I fought in skirmishes, battles and sieges.I took End Of Empire To Salute 2013, and went Dinosaur hunting with a bunch of steampunks. I have tried several times to write some detailed reports of last year's events, and I might even manage it yet, but frankly that will stop me getting on with this year, which is promising to be a very good one. So Watch out here comes the 2014 season, let the madness begin:0)

Monday, 29 April 2013

Easter Holiday, new stuff and Old School

Right, a few weeks behind here, so this will be a quick update before I launch into the reenactment season and produce a SALUTE2013 report too.

The Easter holidays saw a number of gaming opportunities:0)

First I got on with the paint job on my Ork Dakkajet. I bought this when I took Nate, my son, to GW when getting stuff for his birthday. Had loads of fun, making and painting this model. Pointless purchase but that is what gaming is all about. Need to buy lots more now.

My Dakkajet.

Nate has started to play 40k in store. It's a hobby that really suits my son with aspergers. He laps up rules like Rainman:0) I did have a (small) proud dad moment though, Nate totally owned that other kid! I don't know if I approve of of all things that GW do these days, but I do have to make one acknowledgment... Daren, the store manager at Southend, is an awesome member of staff and how he keeps going all day long I don't know. Most gamers are enthusiastic, hell most of us are frothers, but in the 18 years (ouch) I have known Daren his enthusiasm just gets greater. Daren if you read this... Respect my friend.

Nate's Deathwing
 Old school then... Not only did Nate start to play in store, we also started playing Spacehulk at home. The latest edition has some fantastic miniatures that I have mostly got around to painting. Nate and Heidi went head to head and, H proved that even after all these years she has lost none of that ruthlessess. Stealers in her hands are very dangerous indeed, even when she took it 'easy' on our eleven year old.

Blood Angels v Genestealers, oh yeah!

What a great game. Spacehulk hasn't changed much, if it aint broke don't fix it!
Coming next Salute 2013 and the Reenactment year is underway:0)

Sunday, 3 March 2013

Blast from the Past --- Brewhouse Bash!

My son, Nathan, was 11 recently and he decided that he wanted a Warhammer party, (he started to paint figures in the autumn) It was great, half a dozen friends, a model each, glue, paint and off we go. However I didn't want the kids just  to paint, we needed a game we could play. I wracked my brains for what we could play, then it just popped up.

Those of you who are old enough might remember a little game in White Dwarf issue 223 (1997ish) called Brewhouse Bash. A small board game inspired by Gorkamorka. It was a freebie (Yeah I know) and it was great fun.

Kitchen and Thunderbox

I used to play it with kids in school, so I went looking for the playing pieces. I found various bits in a folder, but had to give in and search for it on line. PDFs successfully found I was delighted, however it was became apparent that it might not have the impact I was after. So I came up with a new plan; build the Brewhouse, Da Oomies' Arms.

Balcony & bar

I' ve got to say, I am pleased with the result. It was great fun to make and the kids had good fun too. This game is one that reinforces 'simple is best'. A simple game with only a handful of rules leads to a fast paced and ruthless game. If you have never played it search out the PDF, if you have played it, then go and play it again. You'll love it I promise:0)

The whole board