Thursday 31 October 2013

Battle of Twin Farms, an interlude...

Yesterday I went looking for some inspiration for the forthcoming solo game on my bookshelves-
From left to right- "From Dusk to Dawn" is a book first published in 1945 by the farmer,writer,journalist etc A G Street.and is an enjoyable entertaining read filled with memorable characters.The Pocket Book was got relatively recently when seen  remaindered in a bookshop in Edinburgh.A good background read. Finally the first book I bought about the Home Guard many ,many moons ago.There are many pictures in it which would inspire gaming and modelling as well as being a good read.
Finally a book published  relatively recently and an utterly splendid read. Most interesting,entertaining and thought provoking too.
Any suggestions for other reads welcome here too...

Wednesday 30 October 2013

England 1940, somewhere near Twin Farms... Part 1

Mr Yeatman has rushed from his look out point on the tower of St Adhlhem's church. Breathless ,with cassock slightly raised to aid running, he arrives at the thatched  vicarage. He knocks on the door and Fr Timothy (Farthing) answers.  A short conversation ensues on the telephone  and some minutes later the police arrive...
Mr Yeatman tells that he has seen an armoured column with "hundreds" of Germans approaching.
The police agree to ride over by bicycle to Twin Farms where Captain Mainwaring is stationed with his platoon. "I fear there will be a battle today Mr Yeatman" comments Fr Timothy.

Battle report soon dear reader, will the day go well for the gallant Captain and his men?

Sunday 27 October 2013

A little light conversion work...

 Sunday morning earlyish  ,after the Clocks went back...
As a boy my pride and joy were my Elastolin figures.I didn't have that many .The first came from a holiday in Switzerland around 1970- including some Composition ones of "Modern" Swiss soldiers.They (the plastic ones) were added to from a Chap who sold them in the UK.who  produced a typed list which I poured over along with a coloured leaflet from  abroad.I think they were quite expensive relatively speaking.My dad would  order a few for me at a time and they arrived by post in wee grey cardboard boxes- often birthdays and Christmas. Eventually a castle was got one Christmas- probably from Jenners in Edinburgh? I had some Romans etc in 40mm but mainly what I called Swiss  v Landsknechts. The "Swiss" were the armoured figures and fought against the colourful and exotic Landsknechts commanded by a splendid mounted figure Georg von Frundsberg. Exotic characters and names in a catalogue for a smallish boy...
The castle went as part of downsizing years ago along with some figures but many remain.I found this broken chap ( one of the "Swiss" the other day and have repaired /converted him for use -
He was missing a hand and sword.I replaced them with one from the Perry 28mm plastic box of  European mercenaries which looked not too bad scale wise.He was glued to a 2p coin and Milliput added for to the base.Finally ( so far) his damaged shield was cut off and replaced by a card/paper construction to represent a faceted  metal shield to look like this one made by reenactors- 
I am still considering trying to change the lower legs to boots but have not completely decide yet.Any guesses as to what the figure will be and his period?

Friday 25 October 2013

Humanity, a Resource?

Just been signed off by my supportive G.P for another 10 days. Today went through an Absent Management meeting and later in the day was called by someone who used my name as many times as possible in a brief call (zeitgeist I fear) arranging a telephone interview next week with Occupational Health. I am left feeling like a resource.People have been helpful,even kind ,but I still feel hassled by the System etc .Is it just me?

On a brighter note I am delighted by my Apple crop (some pictured above) which I have never known so abundant nor tasty. The weather has had a lot to do with it I feel.
Trying this afternoon to chill by catching up with "Homeland" and this book-

Night Watch

A wonderful video called Night Watch can be found here-

While you are there do have a look at the interesting gaming and splendidly painted figures on the Irregular Wars blog too...

Wednesday 23 October 2013

Raiders/Mercenaries from the empire (not TM)

I have always been fascinated by the Holy Roman Empire and that old chestnut about it being neither Holy,Roman nor an Empire.
Because of that I have always had a soft spot for GW's The Empire.In fact I still have my old copy of their supplement about it from many moons ago-
I have always felt less comfortable with aspects like the uniformity of the different state's troops for example but nevertheless find it interesting still.
I have been painting some figures for warbands to use with the Songs of Blades and Heroes skirmish rules lately. I have tried to get a vague background for them-the empire.A sort of Holy Roman Empire but with all fantasy races at the same technological level. So goblins dress in renaissance clothing like everyone else for example. Here is my first effort- a GreatGoblin/Orc(?) raiding party-
Redoubt/Dixon figures with White Knight's Miniature Imperium heads added.Some I painted ,some are painted figures (by someone else) I had lying around with a head swop.
I have really enjoyed working with these figures and getting them ready.
Here is the band's leader/hero/anti-hero depending on one's perspective and the standardbearer bearing  a flag "liberated " early in the early days of the band's formation. Finally a picture byPeter Paul Rubens which is a particular favourite of mine-
A painting that says something of the atmosphere I am trying to create in the figures for this project.

Monday 21 October 2013

reading matters-

Monday morning early.
Popping in with Jan today for the delayed Chemo 2 ( hopefully) this morning. I have packed my rucksack-
The reality is a little more practical if less fun.

As ever we take a variety of magazines and books to pass the time. Today I have packed the following- Toy Soldier Collector magazine- inspiration for those 54mm projects,Songs of Blades and Heroes rules - get the mechanisms into my head and some warbands created on paper ( when I return to work very soon I will need a small scale project/game to work with as time/energy will be limited) the whole of Charles Grant's Meccano magazine "Battle Practical Wargames" articles printed out.I want to read the last chapters again and also look at the illustrations as inspiration for the Duchy of Volare- Cantare project.The last item is my moleskin notebook where I jot down hobby ideas.I refer to it often and ideas are not lost into the ether nor forgotten.Project ideas are recorded here to use later,perhaps even months or years later.
So I am all set .Finally a picture of our bookshelf which used to be a fireplace but was beyond redemption.However it looks great and works well for books-
Have a good Monday morning one and all!

Saturday 19 October 2013

A rainy Tradgardland

Nothing much happening here as the rain lashes the Duchy this Saturday lunchtime.But pop over to- to see what I have been up to...

Friday 18 October 2013

How should this differ from this or even that?

I am considering (having looked at the unpainted figures I have and will have soonish- already paid for through a kickstarter thingy) taking Tradgardland in the Napoleonic period.I have already done so in my gaming with some very enjoyable portable games against the Danes and British naval landing crews.
What I have in mind is what I call the "Archduke Piccolo" solution- namely that one can have a good tactically satisfying,not to mention fun,game with sides consisting of 2inf batts,1 cavalry regt and a gun.I can't recall where he wrote this but it has stuck with me ever since...
That is what I think I might go for. Batts of around 24 figs,half of that for cavalry But how should my imagination gaming with

differ from my battles with
In other words how, using simple rules can I make my gaming experience  in 1806 differ from mine set around 1750?
You thoughts and ideas are needed.

Thursday 17 October 2013

A question of taste?

When I was a boy I happily played with Timpo,Britains and other makes contentedly in the same game.Now I am older I have scruples. I have two different styles of 40/42mm figures currently on the painting table-Toy Soldier style and Deutsche Homage ,both from the redoubtable Irregular Miniatures.Both great in their own way.However I wonder how they would look upon the same battlefield together.I can't make up my mind.I'm reluctant to order more until I solve this .Can you give me your opinions please?

Battle Report

Don't forget to click on the photos to enlarge them and read the text,thanks.

For  a reminder of the background to the involvement of the Duchy of Tradgardland in Bordurian affairs  see the following...

Tuesday 15 October 2013

Reading Matters/Desert Island Reading/Nostalgia

I had a useful and enjoying morning sorting through old files and magazines,extracting things I wished to keep and recycling the rest.I ended up with a lever arch file packed to the brim with articles I had forgotten about.I look forward to reading them again and the pleasure and hobby ideas they will give. It is a heady  mix from a variety of magazines which now has the shelves looking much neater and far more fun to browse in. I also was looking at this influential book from my early wargaming days-
By the way on page 115 you will see a picture of the type of  Airfix cottage referred to a couple of posts ago.
The inside front and back covers have charts and annotations from more years ago than I care to mention.I can't recall where I got the content from but they are scribbled in my youthful hand.They pertain to acw games especially I played with Airfix figures at the time.Here is an example-

I was musing too about my Desert Island  choice of hobby book and felt this would be a most definitely a contender.Why? I think because of the delightfully old school pictures,range of periods covered and simple rules I could use with stones from the island beaches as troops.
Do leave a comment below and let us know what you would choose and why.

Monday 14 October 2013


I was trying out different looks for my blog this morning re template etc.I appear to have lost all my stuff from down the side-blogroll etc etc.I am rather vexed by this to say the least.Can I get it back?

Sunday 13 October 2013

In Syldavia 1750... somewhere in the disputed border country

The Scottish Highlands- the game and reflection on it

The game was great fun.Time flew by as I played it out solo yesterday. Here is a link to the rules I used-

The Fachan was a Great Hero with Power 3,the Kelpie 2 and the Ghillie dhu 1.This made them powerful characters in the game.The war dogs were used under light infantry category.One,of many, things I like about Ross's rules is the way we are encouraged to add our own ideas etc to his splendid core.
I gave them a + 1 in combat the first round for ferocity.Here they are in action.
Next time I will give an advantage to the Kelpie for fighting in the burn I think.

I allowed three figures to fight with the either the  Kelpie and Fachan at a time due to their size.The Kelpie or Fachan through a die their opponent one each .Scores were compared and modifiers applied.Hits then taken.So at times the Fachan (for example) hit a figure and parried(same score in die) the other two.Clumsily written here but it worked well.
The game went well and ended with a marginal win for the Glen inhabitants- less of their units ran away!I had meant to use a wizard but forgot during the game as i got caught up in playing the battle.I will use one next time! here is a figure I forgot to mention in my previous post the Ghillie Dhu-
Seen here defending his forest home.
I hope this all may have encouraged you to have a look at the rules and try them (with or without fantasy components if you wish) with your figures.As for me I will add to my collection  for this "period" and game it again soon.Finally a picture of the defeated command group (piper,hero/chieftain and chaplain) leaving the glen-
Its as if he's saying "I'LL BE BACK...!"
and I am sure if I have anything to do with it he will.

Saturday 12 October 2013

The postman commeth... Continental Wars society

Our postman brought an envelope today-It contained the following:
ever I have been tardy in resubscribing but got round to it this week. Ralph Weaver  quickly sent me my  back issues of the newsletter- fantastic service Ralph and thanks!So I got the pleasure of two issues at once! I cannot tell you what a joy the newsletter is to read- filled with inspiring articles,photographs and interesting pictures and more.Don't miss it! Only £6 ( I think) for a year's subscription and well,well worth it.Leaves the Glossies in the shade. They can be contacted as follows- The CWS address is:
37 Yeading Avenue
Middx HA2 9RL

Join up today -you won't regret it!!!!

Friday 11 October 2013

The Scottish highlands (almost) - a Stout Hearts and Willing Swords battle

I didn't feel like painting today so I have set up a game to use with Ross's "Stout hearts and willing swords" rules.I have used them already with my 40mm vikings.Now to give them another go with my 28mm figures. It was set up on the dining room table as follows-

A Clan battle of the 16th century like any other you may say but this one is a little different...
Strange creatures have lined up with the one of the clans to resist the invaders.They are the original inhabitants of the glen...
Firstly the Fachan- malevolent one legged,one eyed giant-

Next the kelpie or water-horse-
Finally the shy, solitary fey that is the urisk
The invaders are deployed as in the following picture-
Will they win the coming battle or not ?I hope to play the scenario out today or tomorrow,do pop back and see what happens...