Thursday 30 April 2020

VWC - First Meeting

Having floated the idea of a Virtual Wargames Club in my previous post, I wasn't quite sure what to expect in terms of a response.

Well, I'm delighted to say that enough readers have emailed to say they'd like to be involved for this to get off the ground, so our first meeting is in the diary for 11.30am UK time on Saturday.
A big 'thank you' to those who have emailed and joined the virtual regiment (surely it won't be long before we start designing colours, and logos..!)

It's a small, but elite group of fellows so far. If you'd like to join the throng, email me:

I'll be sending out the zoom invitations this evening, so look out in your inboxes (and check your spam folders if you don't receive).

If you're reading this after the invitations have gone out, do still email me, and I'll be able to add you.

So, if you'd like to spend 'coffee time' for an hour in the company of fellow wargamers from around the globe (we are already 'international' in our membership), then do get in touch. If you only wish to join for a few minutes, that's ok too... it doesn't have to be the full hour.

The conversation will be all about wargaming, painting, and the sort of stuff you are likely to bore your spouse to death with in lockdown! The sort of stuff we talk about when we meet in person, at shows, at clubs. 
There will be a bit of 'show n tell' too for those who want to show what they're working on, and discussion of books, rules sets, periods, and projects galore.

Who knows, it may become a regular 'thing'.

All the very best

Tuesday 28 April 2020

Virtual Wargames Club..?

I've been thinking...
Dangerous. But true.

At the moment, I'm noticing I've got time to listen to podcasts, enjoy reading the odd blog, and even look around the various social media groups.
There's a spirit of connectedness in his period of lockdown.

And yet, sometimes there's nothing like a good face-to-face chat about the hobby. Whether that be at a club or a show.

So... Whilst the wonders of modern technology can't bring us into contact directly...

what about a Virtual Wargames Club?

Not a club where we play wargames, but where that other part of the hobby is conducted, namely a good old chat.
We'd talk about painting, current projects, rule sets, books, figures, terrain making, modelling, all manner of the sort of stuff we chat about at shows and at clubs. The sort of stuff that helps keep the painting ands gaming mojo going.

The wonders of zoom (is there anyone on the planet who is not yet familiar with this?) allow this to happen in many other arenas, so why not wargaming?

I'd be happy to host it, and set it up, I'd just need to know there would be enough interest to make it worthwhile. Initially I think we might have a dozen or so, or maybe more... Who knows.

If you might be interested, drop me an email:
with "Virtual Wargames Club" in the subject line.

It will most likely be a Saturday morning around 1030 - 1130 UK time. 
Now, I know that might not suit some of our overseas pals... so if you are in, for example, the US or Canada, Australia or NZ, let me know in the email and I'll see if we can find a time that accommodates everyone.

If you aren't familiar with zoom, it will become very apparent how it works when you join the first meeting. I'll send out full instructions in advance.

At this stage I'm not sure we'd want to do it weekly, fortnightly, monthly. Who knows.
Let's just see who might be up for it...

Sunday 26 April 2020

A solo game, and other news...

This weekend, I have set up a solo game, primarily as a reminder of the mechanics of the WAB 1.5 rules, which I haven't played for many years.
In fact, most of the games I've had with those rules were using the Shieldwall supplement with Dave O'Brien and Jack Glanville when I lived up in Scotland, probably around 2006 ish.
So getting the successors onto the table and playing through a few turns has been good fun.

Other news:

1. Battlechat
Last saturday, Henry Hyde interviewed me for his Battlechat podcast, which was great to do - a chance to both reminisce about the past, chat about current wargaming activities, painting and ideas, and also to look forward to future projects. Thanks to Henry for the interview, and to those who have commented so favourably on various social media platforms, including on Henry's patreon community. It seems to have hit the spot.

2. Local interest
During the week, on my regular daily walk, I took a detour into the centre of the village just to enjoy some places of historical importance... The village of Berkswell (pronounced Burks-well, as opposed to Barks-well) is based around an old Saxon settlement. There is plenty of evidence of that history... the Saxon well spring and the the church (primarily Norman, but the base of the cross is Saxon). It's just so nice to have this on my doorstep.

3. Optivisors
Finally, a big thank you to Garry Broom who has kindly lent me his spare optivisor following my enquiry as to their value on the Saxon Dog Facebook Group. I'm impressed... and depressed at the same time. It certainly shows up all those bits of painting that I have been a bit slapdash with in the past!
I'm planning a new army for the summer/ autumn/ winter, and thought it deserved my 'best brush' hence the question about optivisors. I think it will have a significant impact on my painting. Let's hope that impact is positive!

Thursday 16 April 2020

Project versatility

One of the reasons I was attracted to the Successors project, and the rationale behind the way I have approached it, is the interchangeability of many of the troops.

To illustrate, here the table is laid out with two armies facing each other...

And then the armies can combine to make a much larger force:

This will be the Macadamian army for The Bathelas Campaign with which I am involved via Henry Hyde, and a number of others.

Talking of Henry, I am due to be interviewed by the esteemed gentleman this Saturday for an upcoming Battlechat podcast. Looking forward to it.

Next week, I'm making finishing touches to some terrain and hopefully will dust off my old edition of WAB for a game, just to refresh myself on the rules. I'll post the odd picture...

Meantime, stay safe, and enjoy the hobby. It's a very positive, creative, and satisfying endeavour in these times of turbulence.

Monday 13 April 2020

Army General

Introducing Antithesis II...

He will command his Antithesid forces against the Macadamians of Philipolytas 'The Great'... soon!!

Thursday 9 April 2020

Greek mercenary phalanx

Latest unit is a Greek mercenary phalanx. These are Foundry figures, from their single-pose blister packs. Enjoyed painting them.

Because they are all the same pose, I decided to make some slight variations in shield colour just to break up the overall pattern.
These chaps are pretty versatile and can serve for either side in my Successors campaign.

Happy Easter!

Tuesday 7 April 2020

Painting Output Q1

The increased painting output (very much aided by the current world situation) for the first quarter of 2020 has been encouraging.
I decided to tot up the points … It came to 151 - infantry being 1 point, cavalry 2 points (one each for horse and rider)|, elephant and crew 10 points. 
This is not necessarily a huge output compared to many, I'm sure, but it does represent a considerable upturn for me after some more fallow years. Almost a return to the dizzy heights of 2006-2009 when I was able to knock out 600-750 'points' per year.

Here are just a few of those units...

It's tempting to think that it has been a 'Successor-ful three months'.

I am in the process of basing up another pike unit for the successors project, and once I've done an Army General, I will be ready for a little game.

Over the Easter holidays, I had intended to make some terrain boards for the successors project, but with the D-I-Y stores closed, I am unable to procure the required materials, so I have invested in a battle mat which I hope will be winging it's way to me over he coming days. I will place on some suitable terrain bits n bobs and go from there.

Yesterday, noting Keith from Aventine's post on FB that he is solo operating at the moment, and is inundated with orders, I decided to add my support by ordering some cavalry. I am in no rush for them, and am happy to wait, but thought a small business like that could maybe do with every little bit of cashflow right now... Well, this afternoon, I got an email to say the figures are cast and ready for posting. Well done Keith. Top level of service.

Hope you're all keeping well. Take care, take plenty of rest, and keep wargaming!

Thursday 2 April 2020


Yesterday's post was, as most of you guessed, an April Fool post.
And I'm delighted that the fact that you rumbled it straight away showed two things...
1. You, the readers of this blog, are very intelligent and smart.
2. I'm a very bad liar.

Both these are good things.

Have a great day!

Wednesday 1 April 2020

Back to ... something different?

First introduced to The Hobbit in my final year at junior school (1973 - so aged 10), I was transfixed.

Myself and my brother (4 years younger) quickly began creating paper dwarves, elves, men and goblins, cutting them out and having them mounted on tabs (who'd have thought this would become a wargaming 'thing' all these years later?). We played with them on the rug on our bedroom floor.

Fast forward, through many years of playing with fantasy figures, and then the serious business of roleplay games in the late 70s, early 80s, and so on... Not an unfamiliar story, I'm sure.

Amongst all the current world turmoil and turbulence, I've been feeling a bit disillusioned with historical gaming, for some reason. I've been thinking it's all a bit dark somehow to be playing at war, and having model humans killing each other on our tabletops.

As I completed the unit of successor phalangites shown in my previous post, I just felt washed out with it all.

In an idle moment at the weekend, I opened a box... a box or two in fact... of figures that hadn't seen the light of day for decades.
And somehow my heart leapt.

A big decision is called for.

Perhaps it's the promise that the impending publication of the Oathmark rules brings.

Whatever has got in to me, I've decided...
After decades of involvement in the historical hobby, I have decided to sell it all off, and concentrate on fantasy wargaming, set in my version of Middle Earth. Not the spikey, massive-weaponed fantasy world that many seem to portray, but a sort of magical dark aged world, akin to that spawned in my imagination by The Hobbit.

Here are some of the fantasy figures I discovered as I opened those magical boxes on my coffee table...

Everything else must go.

Every historical figure you see on this blog is now for sale.

It's a new game of toy soldiers, and one with which somehow, morally I feel more comfortable. It's like coming home... full circle.