Tuesday 26 April 2016

The French Wars of Religion.

Amongst the many other wargaming items that I purchased at Salute 2016, I also took advantage of the Wargames Illustrated subscription offer and got a £25.00 Warlord Games voucher to spend at their stall. Couple this to the Warlord voucher I was given by the wonderful Jason Williams at York Wargames show, I was able to buy two boxes of their new French Wars of Religious figures.
 I also got a few of the old Foundry Wars of Religion packs. These are over 25 years old, but are still very good figures, if a tad expensive.
 The upshot is that I have decided for my next project to build up armies for the Wars of Religion.
 I also want to use another set of rules that offer an historic feel to the games I hope to play, and although I still enjoy Blackpowder I want something extra.
 Anyway, last week Colin hosted our first tryout of the Baroque Rules, which cover the period of the wars. First impressions were very good.The rules are easy to understand, and one needs to think very carefully about what you intend to do before you make a move.
  They are based on the Impetus framework which I have also greatly enjoyed, and these work just as easily. So I intend to carry on with the Baroque rules, and once I start painting the figures I hope to stick to these great rules.
 All I need now, is Pete from Pete's Flags, to concentrate on painting up some flags, and stop attempting to live a normal life and I am then up and running. Of course I couldnt pick a period that had very small cavalry units, oh no, I decided on a time when the armies were heavy in cavalry. This could be a very expensive decision I fear. To get some extra inspiration I also bought a copy of a French film titled Henry of Navarre, and I must admit, that whilst the history might be iffy, the look is very good.

Wednesday 20 April 2016

When is wargaming, not wargaming.

I was going to hold off writing this post until more wargamers who read the Wargames Illustrated had a chance to read and digest their now regular feature, Club Focus. [ A good idea by the way]
 However this months write up has been mithering away at me since I obtained my copy, so I have decided to comment prematurely.
  I was also a tad worried that any casual reader coming across my blog for the first time [ I wish ] would think I was a moaney old git, perhaps I am.
 Anyway in this months Club Focus, it concerns a visit to the WB3D gaming group, who are actually based not very far away from where I live, and I actually receive their daily Facebook entries, [ I'm not certain how that happened]
 The club is pretty new, and seems to be very active which is wonderful etc. etc.
There is a 'however' and it is the following text which I will quote;

 ' The concept of 3D gaming in the context of what we do as wargamers is not original. However there are two reasons why we chose to adopt the title for our club.
The first is controversial in our community but I believe firmly that wargaming is a title for our hobby will become obsolete and may already be having a negative effect on bringing younger people into the fold.

It then goes on ; ' The second reason [ for the name] is that not all games played at wargames clubs are wargames. For example, do games such as Zombicide, Pandemic and 7TV among many others count as wargames?'  

You can see where I am going with this dear readers can't you.
   I thought we had done away with this bollocks in the late 1970's and early 1980's when the USA introduced Adventure Gaming which was an attempt to get away from the connotation with war, obviously not.
 So just to clarify why the group calls itself WB3D, it is because they are based in Whitley Bay and they play with 3 dimensional figures, ie toy soldiers, or is that toy persons, or toy non persons, to include toys of indeterminate gender and creed.
 AND someone at the club firmly believes that the term Wargames is having a negative effect on young people.
 F.F.S. we live in an age where young people constantly view live executions, sexting, non stop porn and all the other abominations of modern life shown 24/7 on the internet, but the term Wargames is having a negative effect on young people!!!
 Also the term Wargaming is becoming obsolete, because the new non wargaming, wargamer is 'playing' other non war, wargames.
 BUT ZOMBICIDE, et al. doesnt have a negative effect on young people. because playing with 3D figures [ ie non soldiers] re enacting dead people eating live people is a positive role model to have.
 You couldnt make it up.

 I should have known when a member of the WB3D talks of 'concepts' and 'contexts' that this would be followed by a load of over emotive, navel gazing, unmitigated bollocks.
   I honestly thought I had finally escaped this when I retired, but oh no, 'they keep dragging you back in',
  I am waiting for some flat earth believing informed person to suggest that we re name this country in order to escape the fact that we had a British Empire, perhaps we could be called  Zombieland.
 Be afraid fellow obsolete persons, be very afraid.

Monday 18 April 2016

Salute 2016, The Painting Diatribe.

Any regular followers of my blogs, know that I have a bit of a bee in my bonnet about the Salute Painting competition. For a show of this magnitude it really should showcase the best of the painters around Britain and probably all of Europe as well. Over the years, it is clear that this is the case regarding fantasy and sci fi entries. The standard is very high, and probably on a par with the old Games Workshop Golden Demon competitions.
 In the historical classes this is not the case. Usually there will be two or three top class entries, and that will be about it.
 Its as if most historical wargamers either can't be arsed to put a unit in the competition, or perhaps they feel that the judging is just not up to a decent standard and there is no point.
 I think this year hit an all time low for naming a winner of the historical classes.
 Again I have to apologise about the images, as it is very hard to get a decent photograph of the entries. The following three stood out for me as top quality painting, I know it is a subjective thing, but I have a bit of experience about what is what.
                    The following were entered in the Class two, 3 to 40 historical figures.
                                       Some very nice Napoleonic hussars. [ 12 in fact]
Confederates entered by Tony Runkee.  [ 24 infantrymen]

                                      Seven Years War French entered by Dave Jarvis. [ 30 infantrymen]
                                  One of the entries in the single figure class, it wasn't placed by the way?                                                        Unfortunately I couldn't see who won this class.
                              The winner of Class Two Historical unit, 3 to 40 figures [ 5!]
                        The second place in the Class Two historical unit 3 to 40 figures?.
                                        This was first in the Historical wargames unit other.

I will let others make their own judgement, and hopefully when the winners are properly photographed then it may be easier to decide if they were worthy winners, personally I think whoever judges, and I use that word carefully, the historical painting competition, doesn't know shit from clay.
 So anyone seriously wanting to enter the Salute Historical painting competition, be prepared for some serious disappointment.
 So how was Salute, apart from my usual gripe about the painting farce. I genuinely loved the day, brash, tiring, very expensive but also a great way to recharge one's wargames batteries and come away inspired.

Salute 2016, Part Three.

For so reason my PC is running very slow, so I am having trouble downloading the images I want to use. Anyway onto other games and the trade. I always enjoy looking at and talking to the members of the Continental Wars Society, the members are good crack. I couldnt manage to take many decent snaps of their Garabaldi game, as the camera was playing up, but I particularly liked this cavalry unit. Oh and the Garabaldi biscuits were a nice touch too.
Essex Warriors displayed the Battle of Kunnersdorf in 28mm, and I had a good time sledging their American contingent regarding the virtue of Frederick the Unpleasant. It was a very tidy game, with some decent units to admire.

I was impressed by the use of Kallistra terrain for this game regarding the First World War,It was very effective and eye catching.

I dont know what the game was, I dont know what rules were being used, but I thought it was a damned fine looking game that was very popular.

Agincourt, displayed by the New Buckinghamshire Wargames Group in 28mm.
This looked a tidy game that I would have liked to take a command in

One of two games depicting the Battle of Hastings in 28mm, I unfortunately didnt get details of the group, again a battle I would like to have fought in.
Below is a game that intrigued me, as it displayed MDF model ships, that were very good, using a new set of naval rules by Capitan. I normally dont like MDF, apart from for bases, but the ships really looked the part. Again I didnt get the name of the group, but it was a nice display.

I was really taken by this fantasy game by I believe the Chesterfield Gaming Society, entitled Kings of War. It had every type of unit imaginable and all were beautifully painted.
                                                    I loved this giant, made of resin.
 My favorites however were the mammoths which were very effectively painted and displayed.

The game, used various different areas of weather and terrain, including an Ice Dragon and army.

Salute Part Two.

Now that I have had some sleep, I can now hopefully write a fuller account of Salute 2016.
Usually at a wargames show, there will be one standout game if you are lucky, I think Salute managed to produce three absolutely top notch games, and several very good quality eye catching games. For me the best games were, Ian Smith's 40mm Napoleonic game,Bill Gaskin's absolutely wonderful Seven Year's War table and the Crewe and Nantwich, 28mm Siege of Bristol, all were of the finest quality as regards overall presentation, and figure painting, and of course in Bill Gaskin's case in figure design.

                          The Siege of Bristol, a 28mm English Civil War masterpiece.

  Looking at all three games, it brought home just why I love wargaming, for the spectacle, colour and skill involved in producing these games makes me want to grab a paint brush and attempt to emulate what I had seen. [ sorry]
Anyway in part three I will give a review of the show overall, and the things I found of interest.

Sunday 17 April 2016

Salute 2016, Part One.

Well, I'm back from Salute, after a very long weekend, and its fair to say I'm knackered.
 Salute is a beast of a show and I have learned one needs to pace oneself before during and after the show. Needless to say I forgot that advice, and hence my feet and back hurt, and my wallet has been strangled dry.
 So overall impression, I thought it was a huge success, especially given this years theme of Steam Punk? which I confess I know nothing about. Anyway I will start at the beginning.
 London has excellent public transport and I was able to get from North London to the Docklands in record time,ie 08.15, to find there was already a queue, to get into the show!
 I managed to blag a chair off a kind Salute worker, and ensconced myself in the waiting excited masses. [ Can you tell I'm taking Creative Writing lessons]
 I found it interesting to listen to the people, mainly men aged 25- 35 talking in a language I didnt know, about all things sci fi, fantasy, skirmish game, etc etc. I couldn't fault their enthusiasm or excitement, so great really. Once the place opened the masses were handled really professionally and the South London team should be applauded.
 Right, minor quibble, where was the seating area so punters could get a break and talk a bit? There was nowhere to sit in the hall, and when I tried to rest against a wall, I was told that I was blocking a fire exit? I got the impression, more traders were in the hall this year, so can only assume the seating had to go, however I still think there was enough space to create some areas.
 Right onto the show.
As I am a historical wargamer, I will start with these games, and I was pleased to see Dave Brown of General de Brigade fame? staging an ACW with his new rules due in the summer. I have to confess that I have ribbed him a lot since we first met, which he has taken in a great spirit, but I confess I do like his new rule systems and find them fun with a fair degree of accuracy thrown in.

 I can only apologise now, for some of the images, but the figures were great and it was a lovely game to look at and watch.

 It seemed that a lot of the historical games were in one area of the show, deliberate, I dont know, but I was very keen to see Ian Smiths 40mm Napoleonic, I was not disappointed, as it was a beautiful work of art, and I dont think that is an exaggeration. He is a lucky so and so.
I thought the cliffs were brilliantly rendered and must be about the best Ive seen at any show.

 One of my favourite regiments, the Neuchatel batallion, Ian painted the officer.

  The three daft lads who presented the game, Tony and Shaun, showing just how close they have become during the weekend.

Ian Smith showing the audience how to wear a smaller than average tee shirt correctly. Well done Ian.

I will provide hopefully in part two, some better qualitity images of other games that caught my eye.

My 6mm Napoleonic set up.

My 6mm Napoleonic set up.
Austria 1809.

Austrian Hussars

Austrian Hussars
Hinchliffe figures

Austrian Grenzer

Austrian Grenzer
Austrian Grenzer

Smoggycon 2013

Smoggycon 2013
Smoggycon 2013

Smoggycon 2012

Smoggycon 2012
Smoggycon 2012

Smoogycon 2009

Smoogycon 2009
My French getting another beating