Sunday 16 July 2023

A week reflecting on 'obbies

Last weekend was a milestone birthday, for which I had a bit of a 'do' for family and close friends (some wargamers amongst them). 

Once the gazebos had been derigged, on the Monday Lisa and I set off for a rather special trip.

We went to Framlingham... somewhere I have longed to visit not least because it is where the fantastic TV series "detectorists" was filmed.

We were able to stay in the centre of the town, and all week were darting here and there following a very detailed google map which has many of the specific scene locations marked (a labour of love by someone who is as mad as me about the programme I guess).

So, "what's this all got to do with wargaming?" you may ask.

Well, the series is very much about middle-aged blokes and their hobbies. It just so happens that Lance (played by Toby Jones) and Andy (played by Mackenzie Crook, who also wrote and directed the series) are metal detectorists. But the parallels with our own hobby, and indeed any hobby, are so very obvious.

Anyway, having watched all three series from the very start (plus the Christmas specials) and many hundreds of times since, I was able to indulge.

For those who have no interest in the show, apologies...

Normal service will be resumed shortly.

Meantime, a few snaps:

Below - Maggie's shop, as seen from our hotel room.

Lance's flat

Castle Inn was used for "The Two Brewers" external scenes 

The King's Head in Orford was used for internal shots of the quiz night at The Two Brewers.

Becky's school

The Lemon Tree cafe where lance met his long lost daughter Kate is now a rather nice Italian restaurant... we insisted on the corner seat where Lance and Kate sat!
The tree in the churchyard opposite where Andy spied on them has since been felled, but other than that the scene is easily recognisable.

The field where King Sexred's ship burial is shot.

The Two Brewer's Beer Garden (in real life this is the White Horse at Ufford) where Lance and Sheila had a rather moving scene.

Saxon Round Tower church... Boom! The church at Aldham

The spot where Lance makes his big find!

The Mayor's house

The Crown at Great Glemham was the location for interior scenes at The Two Brewers.

For those who are interested, all series are on BBC iplayer.

Monday 3 July 2023

Holding Action

A couple of weekends ago, The Old Berks (myself, Steve G, Andy M, and John K) gathered here for a catch up, a bit of show n tell, and a game.

We shared latest projects, and chewed the wargaming fat for quite some time before settling at the table for a small game I had prepared. I wanted to trial my 18th Century rules using the 1704 Wars of the Vaubarian Succession (WVS) armies and decided to create a 2 player v 1 player game based on one of Charles S Grant's 'teaser-style' scenarios (Holding Action).

I called the battle Hugellucke as the Vaubarian force (under the command of Steve) were to defend a hill line and the pass against the two columns of Astrovians (John and Andy).

There was also a bit of random Hussar arrival, and a few other little surprises thrown in. The benefit of having an umpire allowed some of the defenders to be concealed behind the ridgeline and in woods too.

It was a good game, and the Vaubarians held out in the end, despite a spirited and intense attack. 

I won't give a blow-by-blow account, but will let the pictures tell a bit of a story....

For those who like to know a bit more detail of the set up, the forces were as follows:

Vaubarians (commanded by Etienne Graf von gill)

  • 4 infantry battalions (Liebgarde, Dremel, Breitner, Ratzinga)
  • dismounted dragoons
  • Podolski Hussars (began the game off table... random arrival time and place determined by dice throw)
  • 2 field guns.


column 1 commanded by Herzog Johann von Kerplunk

  • 3 infantry battalions (Frankl, Schrodinger, Mahler Grenadiers)
  • 1 cavalry regt (Klammer Kuirassiers)
  • 1 Field Gun

column 2 commanded by Brigadier Andreas von Tielemans

  • 3 infantry battalions (Wittgenstein, Klimt, Schindler)
  • Karavani Croats
  • Czardas Hussars (began the game off table... random arrival time and place determined by dice throw)
  • 1 Field Gun

It was a most enjoyable and close encounter. The rules seemed to work well, and those unfamiliar with wargaming the period soon got into the swing of them which was very gratifying.

Meantime, there's all sorts of fresh things afoot here... more of which soon.