Friday 30 August 2013


It has been an extremely hectic and stressful time here of late. Jan's cancer has returned after being away for three years. She will begin a cycle of chemo over thirteen weeks starting in around three weeks. I go in for a TURP procedure/op in around 10 days and will be off work for a number of weeks.Work has been hectic ( albeit with a very supportive boss) and I am snowed under with paperwork, planning and new methodologies.
Hobby thoughts/plans/ongoing projects were a helpful distraction when Jan was ill before and they continue to be so (time/energy permitting) therefore I will post again very soon in a hobby related update here I hope.

Sunday 11 August 2013

A shortcut to nettles...etc

There is a slight nostalgic feel to this post as today is the end of my hols. It has been a mixed summer but with tremendous weather and some lovely places visited and times spent.Yesterday saw us visit the local Farmer's Market here in Dunfermline.We bought some super plants for the garden - a yellow Crocismia and Echenachea White swan ( apologies for mispellling but I can't be bothered checking them) and some splendid beer-
It was sold by a chap who has a one man brewery-
I can vouch for this splendid ale which I had the first of yesterday.I couldn't resist popping a in a flag from a League of St Andrew unit I'm painting at present-a unit of Germanic pork butchers orginally from Edinburgh.
In the picture is a book I am currently reading by Aidan Nichols O.P -a favourite author of mine and this,his latest book, is excellent too.he talks of this land which he calls Albion in the following way-
As we know ,awareness of our patrimony,the millennium and a half of Albion's existence, and not only in its Christian aspect,is under threat today ,owing to various factors in our culture:the 'neophilia' or the love of the new,which arose in the 1960s and produced in the Blair years such shallow mutations as 'New Britannia' and 'Cool Britannia';the emphasis of the educational system and its curricula on immediate relevance...
I will leave it there as I think I have said enough.
Today after church whilst I cut the grass Jan collected nettles from the garden  and made some splendid soup for lunch-
It was very tasty indeed ,and as I type,my eldest daughters are preparing rhubarb crumble  with rhubarb from the garden for tea.Can't Wait!
Finally a recent arrival in the Duchy -
A Minifigs Mythical Earth giant.I hope to put him through his paces soon...
I'll leave the last word to Tolkien himself-
Still 'round the corner there may wait
A new road or secret gate;
And though I oft have passed them by,
A day will come at last when I
Shall take the hidden paths that run
West of the Moon, East of the Sun.

Tuesday 6 August 2013

That old (well ancient) black (in terms of undercoat) magic (in terms of spectacle) has got me in its spell...again

On Saturday I went to Claymore with my friend Phil.I enjoyed chatting to old friends and looking about.After the game we went back to his house and set up a game in his newish wargames room. It was Carthaginians v Romans. I was a tad unsure about the game before hand and how much fun it would be. We were using rules I had doubts about- DBM and had not played for ages.................
To cut a long story short it was great fun,totally absorbing and I even lost! Here you see my Romans advancing to meet their opponents.Note the spectacle and variety of troop types.
My Roman veterans holding the road as the Cretan slingers flee.
The Gallic warbands breaking into the Roman lines.The rules work really well at replicating units breaking into a formation and breaking through...
All in all I feel that my enthusiasm for one of my wargaming "first loves" has returned-I began with Airfix ancient Brits v Romans and have gamed ancients ever since. So what's on the horizon-
1) Playtesting for the forthcoming urban skirmish rules - see-
which look fun and i am delighted to be involved in
2) To continue to game with Ross's splendid rules with my 40mm chaps as mentioned in my last post but one
3) To finally get down to collecting an opponent for my Imperial Romans- maybe a middle/long term plan,maybe not...
I know many who read this blog are not ancient gamers but I encourage them to at least dip a toe in the water .Who knows you might get hooked.
P.S figures are Phil s as are the splendid figures

Saturday 3 August 2013

In the news ...

An interesting article on the BBC website-
Well worth the read I say.
BTW might I see some of you at Claymore today perchance?

Thursday 1 August 2013

Stout Hearts and Willing Swords- a first game-rules by Ross Macfarlane

This afternoon,after a visitor from Forbodia left I decided to set up a solo game using the SH&WS rules.No complicated scenario just an encounter battle-
A wood defended by some viking archers who are about to be attacked.
Mounted vikings face some javelin armed skirmishers and two heavy infantry units.
A closer look at the vikings opposing the cavalry including general and standardbearer.
The cavalry ride the skirmishers down...
Archers are charged by infantry unit and a hero in yellow cloak on the left of the picture.There are casualties to archery.
Cavalry take casualties and their enemy come round the flank...
Two heroes hold off the enemy...
The defeated archers flee the field.
A great game (first time out on the table top for the 40mm vikings) and a most interesting set of rules giving an exciting solo gaming experience. Next time I will use a few more figures and heroes and set up a better backstory. Thanks to Ross for some great rules which you can find on his blog at-