Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Flag unfurled

A new banner flies in Umstrittental (The Disputed Valley) produced with love and care by women from all the towns that comprise the Umstrittental League. Each of the towns will fly it for a time before taking it to the next.By such a means all will get to see the Great Banner for themselves. In battle the Great banner will accompany the League's troops into action...

I hope ( although no doubt things will intervene) to set up the first battle of the Umstrittental Bund over my September long weekend when there will be time and energy to set a game up and leave it up overnight, playing a solo game over the weekend and when the family are at work and school...



Monday, 29 August 2011

Brief encounter...6.00am Tuesday

Just a very brief post to say thanks to all who have voted in the recent poll! There has been universal ( almost,but that is another story...) rejoicing at the decision to see the Disputed Valley becoming the League of Umstittental. Gentlewoman have embroidered through the night to produce a League Banner which I will reveal here shortly in all its glory...

Real life ,in the form of issues resulting from the dismantling of our concrete garage and preparation for the the new wooden one,not to mention increasingly arcane short and long term planning formats at work, has left me with little time and even less energy for the hobby!
Finally I am looking to extend my knowledge of 13th century Danish armies- any suggestions most welcome.

Friday, 26 August 2011

Base fellows and a period sojurn...



Saturday morning at last! My middle daughter is off under canvas with the Guides for the first time, the garage project ( old one being demolished prior to re erection elsewhere and new one being built by joiner) needs work,I have vile work-related paperwork to do and I feel like a wargaming period holiday...



I don'y know about you but I have a core of interests I wargame/collect figures for and others I dabble in. As interest in a period waxes and wanes( 3 holidays to Denmark including a day trip to Sweden 18 years or so ago sowed the seeds of an abiding love of that part of the world,wargaming related to Scandinavia and even the formation of that country known as Tradgardland) I work on another for a bit and then another and so on. The transition one from another is often caused by what I am reading,viewing or even a chat (virtual or real) with fellow wargamers. I immerse myself for some time (days or weeks) move things forward and then go into another period/ I wonder if this rings a bell with any of you?




The core projects remain although they can be lain aside for months ,even years before being revived. Clearing out the garage has shown me the relatively big lead mountain I have and some figures caught my attention again . This combined with the reading of Scandinavian themed Ospreys on the train - catching up on holiday purchases and my ongoing interest in the history of the region,not to mention the recent medieval week postings at

http://dalauppror.blogspot.com/ has provided me with with an interesting wee task this weekend. I have decided to depict 13th century Danes....
Two other thoughts- firstly I continue to be awe struck at just how much research info a wargamer has access to on the Internet. Gone are the days of library crawling on the whole. We are blessed with being able to research the obscurest of armies from the the comfort of our own home -wow I still say!
Secondly I have browsed medieval rules of all shapes and sizes this week as well as reading your helpful reviews/useage of them. I have found them to be a very mixed bunch but none completely filled the bill. Yes I will come back to Retinue and Terry Gore's medieval warfare for other projects but not for this. So my thoughts returned to Fitzbadger's excellent post-
http://soweiterleague.blogspot.com/2010/01/we-dont-need-no-stinkin-rules.html as inspiration. So here we are at last - no/minimal rules and figs on 40mm bases ( like the look and I have loads in the spares box) we shall see what happens. Please excuse the waffling nature of this- up early and the absence of ground coffee have not helped! Enjoy your day...



Thursday, 25 August 2011

Frustrations

I have spent ages trying to leave a comment at http://dalauppror.blogspot.com/ re a kind offer of his to no avail...
Sometimes I could see Blogger far ,far away!!!!!
Technology makes us it's servents rather than the converse I fear- please excuse this grumpy old man.

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Cast your votes here...





I originally posted this last Friday-





"Behind the town walls of one of the most heavily fortified towns in the Disputed Valley men are gathered from all the towns in the valley.Some are the Electors ( who failed to agree upon the election of a new Duke) others are men of influence or those who have seized the opportunity in these difficult days... The Electors ,furnished by Tradgardland and the Imperium, have been forcibly ejected from the town and are making their ways back to their army's respective camps within the Valley. Within the Rathaus a fierce debate rages into the night,through the dawn and into the next day. The men are forging the future and hammering out the Constitution of The League of Umstrittental... "






I have always tried to make my blog intereactive by asking for feedback and comments now I wonder if I can ask you to imagine you are present at the above gathering. Please cast your vote for or against the formation of The League of Umstrittental at the poll at the side. I would gladly bribe/encourage you with free ale and suckling pig but there are is limit to even the Internet I fear. Vote now and have a good day...

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Syldavian troops



I've not been one for "mix n match" armies where the same figures double for different armies. Many do it with ancients but I have not. However I am coming round to the idea more. Here are my Imperium soldiers which , with the aid of a different flag, become units of the Syldavian army! These fantastic flags are by Jiminho and look great with my figures...




Saturday, 20 August 2011

Sumpf Speil...



Sunday morning.

The week and weekend have been too busy so far to paint.I am always surprised,but should not be so, by how little spare time and energy I have upon my return to work. The needs of family come first and hobby takes third place- at least in terms of practical gaming and painting.However there are opportunities to plan,day dream and most importantly scribble notes down for future reference. And so "Sumpf Speil" was born...


Sumpf is German for bog or marsh and is also the name of a town in the Disputed Valley located in a marshy area. The idea came from two main strands- firstly medieval troops in Ditchmarshen using their spears to vault over dykes and some Minifigs I had ordered. The syw figure of an Austrian sharpshooter resting his musket on a spear ( yes ,you know the one) was ideal to portray the light infantry from Sumpf. I imagined them crossing the marshes and drainage channels musket/rifle slung on their back vaulting with spear. The figures are stuck on 2p coins and undercoated awaiting work.


The game emerging in my head involves moving small bodies of troops across a marsh ( with or without a local guide malicious or otherwise) using dice for random movement and hazards.The Sumpf jaeger troops using their local skills to lure their enemies into difficulties perhaps. I had also thought of night actions where a guiding lantern and will o the wisps get mixed up and sow confusion. Maybe some folkloric element of real or imaginary danger can be filtered in too. I am at the early stages but am enjoying the process as I iron,garden and other tasks.


Well that's where we are at present .Over to you for some more ideas or comments- thanks !Sumpf Speil awaits your contribution...

Friday, 19 August 2011

Developments and a question...

Behind the town walls of one of the most heavily fortified towns in the Disputed Valley men are gathered from all the towns in the valley.Some are the Electors ( who failed to agree upon the election of a new Duke) others are men of influence or those who have seized the opportunity in these difficult days...

The Electors ,furnished by Tradgardland and the Imperium, have forcibly ejected from the town and are making their ways back to their army's respective camps within the Valley. Within the Rathaus a fierce debate rages into the night,through the dawn and into the next day. The men are forging the future and hammering out the Constitution of The League of Umstrittental...

Saturday morning:Dear Reader it has been a busy week here in the Duchy.The new term has begun for all of us-Jan to her school office, the girls to 6th,5th and 3rd year respectively and myself to my to new P2 class . The paperwork ,new curriculum and admin have been infinitely wearisome (hence brief post) but the teaching has gone well. I forget,however,how tired it makes me. It has been a long week!
Finally the question- Can you suggest/recommend a set of medieval skirmish rules to me? I have got Retinue and it still looks good but I am open to other suggestions. Please leave them as a comment here. Finally have a good weekend one and all.

Saturday, 13 August 2011

De Saxe Legion in progress...

Sunday morning: Just a quick post of the Oberspange new-modelled Town Militia on the painting tray. A note through our letterbox,found on our return,from the postman indicated that a wee parcel/box could not be delivered and will have to be collected on Monday. I fear it was further recruits for this unit. I had hoped to have them to hand today but that is not to be...


Figures are carrying the town banner and the cut of uniform and weapons are straight from De Saxe's book.

Friday, 12 August 2011

The Town of Oberspange Summer 1760- one year ago from today...




The Burgomeister of the town of Oberspange in the Disputed Valley is known for his interest in matters military. As much as it lies within his power and finances he takes a keen concern for the safety of the town. The town walls are kept in good condition,the watch towers manned and the town guard regiment drilled to within an inch of it's life.




For days now Herr Schroeder ( for that if the Burgomeister's name,more accurately Captian Schroeder ,as he is a veteran of the Scmaldz Revolt and subsequent campaigns)
has been pouring over a tome in his study. The book came direct from the publishers in Edinburgh and has engaged him to the cost of his sleeping and eating. "The Reveries or Memories concerning The Art Of War" by De Saxe has supplied Herr Schroeder with all he needs (apart from money and the goodwill of the Town Council) to turn the town guard into a LEGION using the book as a guide for new- modelling.With one final lingering look over the coloured print of a soldier armed and uniformed in the style of De Saxe , Herr Schroeder puts on his best coat,dusts himself down ,puts his sash of office over his shoulder,tucks the book under his arm and goes out to talk to the richest and most influential family who sits upon the Council...




The above is some "fluff" surrounding my small painting project for this final weekend of the summer hols- to get a De Saxe Legion ready for the wargames table to fight in the current campaign. I have a few figures resembling the above print and I have been promised enough to be able to finish the unit.It will be great to see an ,albeit small, De Saxe Legion on my tabletop...




Thursday, 11 August 2011

St Clare's Day- a campaign update...

It is now the Feast day of St Clare , a popular day in the Umstrittental, workers have stopped the harvest, guilds meet in their guild chapels and Mass is also said in the camps of the Tradgardlanders and of the Imperium too. After Mass everyone will partake in the Cinnamon, alexanders and raisin buns sold and eaten on this day traditionally. Local bakers sell their buns around the camps and in the towns of Umstrittental the various militias ground their arms for the day and enjoy the festivities...

The updated map from the Altdorf Porcupine ( a broadsheet of impeccable philosophical obscurantism and salacious gossip) shows where the troops have now arrived. It does not show the disposition of Town Militias who remain within their communities uncommitted to either side. The Porcupine goes on to address the issue of the still vacant role of Duke and laments the lack of progress in coming to consensus. Finally ,amidst adverts for revolutionary new water clocks and supplies for air powered muskets and the alike, comes a warning that in the forthcoming campaign control of the river,river crossings and of the river fleet will be of supreme importance...

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Venise- Pandora's box opened!!





At the BBQ on Saturday Phil was sharing his myriad photos from his recent holiday in Italy. I was most taken with those of Venice- a place I have visited many times in daydreams but not in reality...






This afternoon I looked for 18th century Venetian uniforms OofBs etc and found loads of info including many images of which I have posted one.






Most interesting possibilities for the world of the imaginations I fear. I must resist ,well maybe!

Monday, 8 August 2011

Out and about in Fife...

Yesterday we went out for the day within the East Neuk of Fife.Our first stop was at Anstruther where we sampled the delights of the award winning " Anstruther Fish Bar" excellent fish well cooked ( Hake in our case) with great chips. The shop is always busy and rightly renown far and near.
After wards we drove to Pittenweem ( as depicted in photos) where it's Arts Festival is currently taking place. Parking was in a field where the weekend's rain had transformed the "road" for cars into a quagmire!

After some light beachcoming- see photo enclosed ,we looked around the venues displaying the work of many artists. You might notice the gazebos which artist erected just outside their houses.
Around the village there are some 90 or houses,galleries,halls etc to visit.People throw open their homes to display their artwork or serve teas etc for the week of the festival. Invited artists display as well as locals. An astonishing variety of talent is on display and we wandered happily for over three hours. The sunne came out and an excellent day was had by all. The vernacular architecture of the buildings is just crying out to be modelled on the tabletop with their stepped gables , pantiles and charm...






Sunday, 7 August 2011

An invitation to join in here in diminutive lead style ...







Any fellow imaginations/bloggers and sundry followers of matters Tradgardlandian , wishing to send representatives ( 25mm or 28mm mounted or on foot) to accompany either the Duke of Tradgardland or Graf von Apfelstrudel on their respective campaigns are invited to send their details to the respective camps now as the campaign season begins in earnest. Chaplains,natural philosophers, aide de camp, diverse characters and mere observers are most welcome. A place may be open to inspiring gentlemen within regiments too...

Those who are thinking of being involved are invited to send a little biographical detail with their figures with the potentiality of this being woven into the plot at some further date...

The Imperium advances...

A detachment of the Imperium Army makes it's way across the Polkadot plain on the way to the Disputed Valley. Please Click on the photos to see more of the regiments and read their names...





























Ain't no stopping us now...

It has been a custom of many years standing that after Claymore my family go over to Phil W's ( my regular opponent) for a BBQ. The weather has never stopped us in myriad years- one year bbqing had to be conducted under a brolly but we go there in between showers. However this year was different. The rain came on really heavily yesterday and looked set in for the night.This even before a match was lit. However, not to be defeated, the bbq was set under a gazebo as the rain poured all around. Cooking occurred as we all sat around the bbq -sheltering under a combination of gazebo,parasol and wedged brolly. A great time was had by all -the food and company excellent...
On the way home, through the dark and torrential rain, we were treated to two firework displays near the Forth ( one related to a Boyszone open air concert at Hopetoun) which were breathtaking. All in all a good end to the day!











Saturday, 6 August 2011

Matters Diverse... a a tad downbeat (sorry-blame the weather perhaps)

It has been raining very heavily here and I awoke to a wet and dull Duchy... rain still lashing down. Now to move on:
Firstly a link for Jeff re Burntisland:
http://www.burntisland.net/name.htm where I hope he will get some info re the fascinating name.

Secondly regarding Claymore- a rather damp squib! Perhaps it was me or whatever but little caught my imagination- In a word uninspiring. Little games of interest to me- I liked the 40mm 1650s game of the Deluge in Poland,VBCW 1938* was a repeat(albeit an excellent one) of the one we saw last time, big SOA game (using Tactica) but I couldn't bear to go near them/it as a lapsed member of the Society having been a member for over 20 years but one who found less and less in Slingshot to read,a few good ideas in a pow escape game, some ok ecw in 25mm but nothing really caught my fancy at all. Traders were in abundance but nought bought beyond 100 bases (25mm circle) mdf for £2 . Much cheaper than GW ones...
I even forgot to pick up a book from Andy at Old Glory- my apologies Andy!
All in all not too great an experience. However there were good points like coffee and chatting with friends, bumping into folk one had not seen for ages and the alike.

I had hoped to return from the show inspired ( perhaps even distracted from the straight and narrow by a new and potentially exciting period ) but I wasn't - however the apres show was excellent - more of that later today when I have access to photos on my daughter's camera...

*perhaps the sight of some Dinky vehicles from the 1930's being used in the game( great idea guys!) reminded me of my father's ones which I loved as a child,looked for to use in my vbcw project but appear to have lost in moving house some years ago- it would have been so fitting to have used vehicles from the real 1930's in a gaming of the imaginary ones- if you know what I mean...

Friday, 5 August 2011

Saturday morning in Tradgardland

Just a brief post this morning. Two photos to start the weekend - one is of some of the produce harvested from the garden ( beautifully photographed by Jan) and eaten last night. I get such satisfaction from planting,growing,harvesting and eating our own vegetables etc.I know many of you bloggers have gardens and/or allotments. Do tell us about how your garden etc if getting on .
The second photo depicts Duke Karl Frederick of Tradgardland and a trusted advisor(dismounted) prior to setting off for the Disputed Valley. In under two hours I will be setting off for Claymore in Edinburgh. The annual show promises to be as great as ever. If you are there say hello! A good weekend to one and all...

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

The Brigadier..








This morning I decided I needed to work out the personality of the Cavalry Brigadier for Tradgardland. I didn't wish to start from scratch or use an old character. I therefore consulted Tony Bath's Campaign book and the (rather ineptly shuffled) cards...
BTW the cards were purchased about 40 years ago in Switzerland and have rather pleasing illustrations on them not to mention a lovely view of Innsbruck on the back.
Georg Genson- Smaaland Herrengardemeister (Lord of the Manor) has a love of wealth and what it can buy ,is physically handsome, a great lover, prone to taking revenge on those who displease him, is unreliable, energetic and courageous!

However it must be said that his greatest joy can be found looking at the contents of his cabinets of curiosities which fill a whole room within the manorhouse. Within that room can be seen the fruits of a lifetime's collecting,inheriting,bargaining, threatening (and on one occasion even murdering) to gain items for display within the linden wood cabinets. Georg has gone on the expedition with the sole purpose of adding to his collection by any means possible.The duties of a Cavalry Brigadier come a very poor second...

As a fellow member of the Ducal Society Duke Karl Frederick is willing to turn a blind eye to Georg's collecting but only for so long...

Tradgardland Cavalry Brigade...

Reinforcements left the Duchy of Tradgardland yesterday bound for the Disputed Valley.

The first regiment was the Ducal Lifeguard,which comprises volunteers sent by various states of Europa. Amongst them can be found gentlemen of renown and undoubted bravery. They have seen action before and are most reliable .They will accompany Duke Karl Frederick himself who will lead the army in person...

The Smaaland Heavy Horse are the cream of the Duchy Cavalry regiments. They proudly claim a lineage which extends from the armoured cavalry of centuries before. Resplendent in coats of rose they carry the banner of the Guild of Bee Workers and Husbandry- who maintains the regiment from Guild coffers. Many of members of the Guild can be found within the regiment itself

Accompanying these regiments of renown will be the Cavalry Brigadier and a regiment of Dragoons...

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Birthdays and boxes...

Freya,my youngest, was 14 yesterday on the 2nd of August.We all had a super day with a trip to Edinburgh shopping and coffee in Waterston's before retuning home for a birthday meal with Freya's auntie and granny. Friends popped in or rang with greetings and/or gifts .Freya enjoyed her day as did we all...

I have resolved to get out all my painted 18th century stuff from the Ikea drawers where they reside,pop it back in better order ( currently figures are higgildy-piggdly and it is hard to ascertain the size of the forces at all...) and see where we are at.
Unit movement trays,needing to be taken from the messy pile in which they currently lie, will aid both storage and organisation. The Tradgardlanders and Imperium are based on GW bases fitting into 2 by 4 movement trays whilst the Disputed Valley are based upon penny sized bases in a 2 by 5 movement trays. Other arrangements are there for light infantry,ensigns and cavalry.A note of requirements in terms of bases and movement trays will accompany me to Claymore on Saturday .I may have time to do part of this today perhaps not. Once done it will aid gaming ,choice of forces and give a better overview. Yesterday saw rain all day until early evening -today the sunne has risen with me.
Finally I am resolved to game even more (solo and with others) and have even more fun with the hobby that has accompanied me since boyhood through life...

Monday, 1 August 2011

Into the Valley...

The Tradgardland Expeditionary
Force has set out for the Disputed Valley. Scouts have gone ahead to prepare the camp and meet with with Representatives of the town of Adlerfort ( http://tradgardland.blogspot.com/2011/07/midsummer-manoeuvres.html to see pictures of the Adlerfort Regt ) to ascertain where the Imperium are encamped...

More information on the Tradgardland troops and those of the Imperium very soon...

Ducal Army on the march...

Ducal Karl Frederick has appointed the regiments of the Ducal army which will form the expeditionary force to the Disputed Valley.

In the current difficulties( which saw the complete withdrawal of Tradgardland troops from the Valley in the face of a large army of the Imperium and her allies from the Disputed Valley towns) Tradgardland will support the majority of Disputed Valley towns in their struggle against the Imperium.

A commander for the force has not been chosen yet but will be appointed within the day. Other Ducal troops will join the expedition at a later date. Camp will be established in the foot hills of the Valley. An encounter with Imperium troops is expected very,very soon...