Saka Light Cavalry

Saka Light Cavalry

Friday, 27 February 2015

Civil War:The War of the Three Kingdoms 1638-1660 Book Review

As The title suggests this is not just a book covering the English Civil War but also the Bishops War and the following wars up to the restoration of the monarchy with Charles II. In fact it goes further with a short section running up to 1690 and the fall of Charles II

The book has just over 800 pages of written word with the rest of the 888 pages dedicated to index and bibliography. Indeed the list of books used is very expansive and probably less than the whole truth. Today's insistence on listed as many books as humanly possible is really off putting to me, especially as the list does not seem to match up to the references. 

Royle's style is relatively easy to follow and whilst this book does not roar along (over 800 pages of close printed text is never going to be a quick read) however it's engaging and for the most part an interesting read. It may be a bit much for anyone who does not have an active interest in the period but for those who do it is likely to have some details you may not already know and possibly a few you might question his view.

Given the page count you can expect most subjects to get good coverage, this is true for most events but others get quite little attention and some times I was left wanting him to go deeper into the subject. What you don't get is a great deal of social history or any real feel for what it was like for the common troops etc. This for me was not an issue as so many books these days are written with this as the main focus and I am more interested in the larger picture when it's the whole war theme. 

What I was a little disappointed in given the size of the book was the restricted detail of the battles. Given the thickness of the book I would have expected more detail. I know there are books catering for single battles but it left me thinking Royale may not have a good understanding of such subjects, a worrying weakness in his work if so. However he makes up for it in other parts of the book where he is more detailed and clear in his writing. Political and Religious subjects get full measure and how each group effected the others was well written. Also the sections covering Ireland was far more in depth than the typical book. 

I suspect the author is both Scottish and slanted towards Parliament from his interpretation of the events and his portrayal of some of the leading personalities within the book. From his feeling that Charles I was so divorced from reality to his indulgence of Cromwell when Cromwell deserved a greater censure.  Though this is nothing new as so many histories are towards one side or the other.

The only real issue I had with the book was the almost slavish reliance in Lucy Huthingson's published account of her husbands involvement in the Civil War and later events. He seems to take what she has written as gospel even though it was clearly written to place him in a good light (difficult as he was a Regicide and died whilst imprisoned) and drips venom on anyone she felt did not see events in the way she did or had any part against her husband. Hutchinson is quoted far more times than any other source, something that should not be considered anything but a worrying sign of over reliance on a dodgy source.

Apart from that rather glaring concern I think the book is well worth getting if you want a book that covers the whole period and helps you understand the wider picture without being too partisan to one cause or the other. Unfortunately it's not on Kindle as that would be the best method of reading as it's quite a heavy book.

Thursday, 26 February 2015

Walkers of Rohan

At The World Wargames Show at Castle Donnington last year I picked up a couple of GW plastic Middle Earth figures as I thought they would make good NPC guard types, not realising that they had horse images on the shields.

They cost me just 25p each so would owe me nothing if I did not get round to painting them or if they were never used. They had sat ever after but with so many challenge posts having some form of Middle Earth posting I had the incentive to paint them up. I even have a scenario in mind that they can get used so 50p well spent.

So these will make an appearance at some point in a future roleplaying session before possibly descending to the NPC graveyard. For colours I just followed a few images on line and worked in a bit of my own but overall it's almost a total lift from what I have seen on line. The detail as many of the GW old plastic tend to be, great in parts but soft in others. The scale armour on the left being in the better category and gloves and hair in the not so great. So quite a pleasant diversion from the usual fair for me.

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Oh Shiny, oh Shit!

Not only did I get home to be greeted by three packages but I got to open them early having been shall we say let go. So on the bright side I now have a bit extra time to paint some figures, maybe even catch Dave up? OK pure fantasy that last part so lets move along.

First up keeping with the alphabetical theme of yesterday.....

Four packs of Essex Miniatures for the Roman Army, these have arrived to possibly included in the batch I am prepping at the moment.

Anyone recognise this building? hint, it's far Project Waterloo and will be released by Leven Miniatures at a future date. I have two to paint up so will get this cleaned up at the same time I do all the others ones I picked up at York.

Tajima 1 Miniatures also arrived (always a fast service from these guys). these are the smallest tuft size they do. Until recently the only colour available was a dark green. The ones on the left are called moss and will fit best with the basing I do. The light green may be a little too light but will still see some action.

So not a bad day at all hobby wise, now I need to make use of the extra time before I hopefully get back into work.

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Postman Blues

I have numerous orders in the pipe line at the moment with a few landing tomorrow I guess. So what, who and when?

Baccus for a few bits such as my son's British Skirmishers, some Brit Nap flags and a few bits for me to make up the order  ;-)
I was speaking to Peter at the show and he was telling me the new flashy website is really attracting a lot of hits, not just the buying pages but all the other cool information, forum etc. If you have not been over for a look then check it out, shopping Baccus has never been so easy and er tempting.

Essex emailed me Monday saying my Roman cavalry have been dispatched, this will allow me to finish off my army possibly before the challenge finishes. If not I will still have a good number of cavalry finished before the challenge finishes in three weeks.

Mike at Leven was pulling my leg that building of the week has been er, absent of late. Given the tonnage of resin I have I have no right to be sitting back and to get my juices running he is sending me his La Belle Alliance. That should have arrived today so will land tomorrow.

Tajima tufts, I am getting two boxes of the small clumps, should be here by Wednesday. I am really looking forward to these as they are not the standard green which is looking too dark on my Ancient bases.

Lastly Warbases, I need a base for my Roman camp and some movement trays for my 20mm Gaul's that are still waiting on their sprees.

So looking forward to tomorrow as something has to land, I hope.

Monday, 23 February 2015

Mini Tanks of Greyness

Well my Ancients project continues to provide me with fun painting opportunities and today it's my ElleePanzers that are up for review. Baccus provide the lead again, you get them either in packs of two or you can buy double packs. Whilst officially Hail Caesar elephants are in singles and the base is half the size of a normal unit. Not mine I tell you, I have three elephants to a base and it's the width of a normal unit. Risky having not tried the rules with this house rule but I am reasonably confident we can fudge it.

As you will know if you have read the other posts, I want the Ancient armies to look just that, so most units will need lots of figures on the bases, I want the feel of mass to come across. I am also working on the whole with a brighter pallet than you will be used to seeing with my 6mm. Again it's for the whack you between the eyes effect.

I added escorts to the base, when we play I can either have them or have the elephants without the support and just ignore them. Not sure if I will end up buying more elephants in the future, depends on how big the army gets I guess. I am also pleased to say that' Matt's resolve is weakening, he has gone from No way in hell am I buying into this to piss off, I think that's progress  ;-)

Here we have them with the Saka Horse Archers that I painted up at the same time, they are on 60x60 bases whilst the elephants are on 60x40. I am also in the last stages of finishing eight units of light infantry (there is a story in that), some big artillery eight skirmish units and four casualty markers so plenty more to follow in the near future.

I am really happy how this project is generating it's own mass and how my vision of what I want is coming to reality. Nothing has been cast in stone and being prepared to alter to suit reality is making me more keen rather than putting me off a little.

I think the Challenge is greatly to thank for the boost this project is getting and I hope to have examples of all the units I have bought painted up before the challenge ends in just over three weeks. I also now have enough figures for another three 96 figure phalanx's, would be great to get these painted up before the challenge finishes but I think that's beyond me if I plan to paint anything else.

Friday, 20 February 2015

Partisan Sniper Reminder

I have had this figure for two or more years and even though I knew what I wanted to do with it I had not got round to painting it. I had started pre-challenge but did not like the coat so had to take it back to metal and start all over again.

It's an Artizan figure from it's WWII eastern front Partisan packs but I felt it would be better served as a French lady with attitude. I did my usual trick of using a stone wall made with my Linka mould as a pavement. To cover up the obvious placement of the base I added a poster I had downloaded from the internet scaled down to act as a poster she had ripped off the wall.

I cut away a section of the poster so it looked ripped and also painted the rear so it was not an offensive paper white finish. I originally had the coat a almost black but felt it made the figure dull dull DULL!! so in the end went to the opposite end of the spectrum.

So what if she is not practical, she had better be a good shot instead. The figure was sent off to a mate for no better reason than just because, ended up arriving on his half birthday so perfect timing in the end. I still have a load of male Partisans to paint up so maybe these will get done in the next month? Maybe.

Thursday, 19 February 2015

Back to the Wet Pallet

Twenty odd years ago I was using a stay wet pallet all the time but I was also using for the most part artist acrylics rather than hobby paints. It was just a nice flat Tupperware box but it worked well for me. I had another go with the idea a year or so again but a lot less successful, mostly because I was using a tub that was both high sided and was not flat enough at the bottom.

So I have had another go this week using an old sandwich box (size of a slice of bread) and it works much better. It's great to come back to paint from a day or two before and still be able to use it.

I still use Windsor and Newton sheets as the thick blotter paper holds the water and the tracing paper type sheet holds the water away from the paint but keeps it moist. 

You just need to make sure you hit the balance between to dry and too wet, a bit of practice sorts that out for you. No need to spend £15-30 on a proper set up as this works well and besides I don't have the room for the real deal.

In the background is the British Naps I am working on at the moment and some of my son's work awaiting varnish but also two Vikings I am working on as well.

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Latest Baccus French Napoleonic Cavalry

I have been painting up all the new releases from Baccus of the redone Napoleonic French, though the last few releases I have been a bit slow getting them done but I am finally up to date with these three.

NFR13-Carabiniers, these I think will finish off the codes for French regular cavalry, like the Cuirassiers these are mounted on larger horses than any of the other regular horse (size gets smaller down the regiment types to such as the Hussars. 

Again these are really nice figures and has plenty of detail to paint in or pass over without it shouting Missed a Bit at you. Unfortunately I don't have any of these on my painting list for Project Waterloo as these fall under Lee's remit and he has got them done already so these won't make the big show same as the rest in this post as Lee also did the Guard.

NFR36 French Guard Lancers were released at the same time and no I have not painted them up as the Red Lancers instead going with the first Squadron dressed in a much darker blue. 

The lance is also in the charge position which I really like though I would have preferred more movement in the pennant but that's a quibble not an issue.

These painted up nice and easy and I look forward to getting them on the table sometime, though that will mean painting up a lot more of the Guard as I just have bits and bobs but this can be done once we have some direction as to what we want to do post Waterloo.

NFR19 Grenadiers a Cheval are another Guard Regiment with them wearing the nice bearskin which adds to their size a bit. Again nice looking figures and a good amount of detail. 

Not a total fan of the cast flag but I can live with it. All three bases painted up over about three sessions so fairly quick for the level of detail attained. Mostly down to the quality of the castings and low level of clean up. Typical of Baccus you end up with a good looking unit with out any hassle, that's a great boon when you have a whole string of units to paint.

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

More Black Tree Vikings

One of my start of year goals was to create a further four points of Vikings for my Viking Warband. These twelve figures supply the last three points though two of the figures have been given to my son for his own Viking army (his second army after the Anglo Danes) so I need to paint up a couple of replacements.

These are a further twelve Black Tree Miniatures figures and overall they are just as good as the previous figures I have added to my collection but the two I am giving away really don't fit for me. One of them is the figure above in red. Nothing wrong with the figure I just don't like him.

Some of the weapon poses though are questionable such as the guy on the right with the axe turned around. The one in red is at ease with a flagon of ale in one hand and his axe at rest in the other. Shame then that I want the figure for a dynamic skirmish game where there is no time for a tea break. In fairness I can use him and others in other games but it's another figure that will be swapped out of my Saga army when I get more painted up. Meanwhile he will do fine.

I am doing a few painting jobs for a mate and part of the payment is a load of Stick on shield transfers from Little Big Man, having recently read a horror story about putting them on I was a bit worried but they turned out reasonably easy to attach and I like the results. As such I will be mixing in the rest of the transfers with hand painted ones.

This batch are a mix of axe and sword and gives me one warrior unit, one hearth guard and one point of Berserkers. I will actually be replacing the berserk figures with some nude fanatics that I was given by Gary. These will be painted up soon as my son also has some and wants to see how Dad does it.

So both me and the boy have amassed a reasonable force and need to give it a go again, timing is not bad either as I have taken this week off work as the kids are on holiday so maybe a game of Saga followed by cowboys will be on the menu in the next couple of days.

Sunday, 15 February 2015

A70 Wintergewitter AAR

My regular Saturday night opponent and I have been playing a lot of PTO and as such wanted something a little bit different and so went for a scenario that had snow! The great thing about ASL is that it has so much chrome that you can put together scenarios for almost any situation you like. 

In this case it's in Russia at a village called Verkhne-Kumsky on December 13th 1942 and depicts an attack by the German Panzer Regiment 11 as part of the relief effort for Stalingrad. The Russian 5th Shock Army was directly in the way. In this scenario it's just seven squads worth of infantry with just one MMG, two LMG's and an ATR, so much for the shock element. I would receive three T34 M43 tanks as reinforcements on the second turn (of 6 turns)

The German force is no better off with just three and a half squads with the same number of MG's. However they have mobility being carried into battle in three Hanomag's with a 4th smaller halftrack and five tanks a mix of PzIII and IV's. Infantry and tanks on both sides are in winter camouflage and all the buildings in the village are wooden so best cover will be +2.

To win the German's have to clear the centre of the village of Russian infantry and tanks whilst the Russians just need that one tank or squad alive and in good order to win the game.

Duncan moved up close daring me to take a shot, I did and that was my first mistake. Failing to do any damage and losing concealment I was to suffer in the return fire.

I found myself in a in for a penny kind of situation and in short order had fired all squads that had a target, all with the same lack of success. I only had to suffer the German armour for my first turn against my infantry but the two 4FP (Fire Power) mg's each tank had was enough to put me in trouble as more squads broke.

The German turn two saw Duncan scoot his tanks into firing positions to await my tank support. Meanwhile the infantry with the aid of the halftracks started to reduce the last of my infantry within the perimeter, The halftracks are especially useful for cutting rout paths and it became clear early on that I would have to win the game with at least one tank surviving to the end of the game and to do that I needed to take out some of the German tanks if not all of them as they get the last half turn.

By this time I was well behind the curve and it was still very early in the game. However I definitely failed to bring my A game and lost a tank to some fairly dumb play. I then positioned my two remaining T34's in to defensive positions hoping to out shoot his poorer armoured tanks but another really bad moment of paying attention saw me put a T34 so it was between two Panzers so had it's rear exposed.

The bonfires on the map tell the sorry story as by my turn three I was tank less and my infantry was out of position.

I have two unbroken squads and a leader, the only support weapon is a malfunctioned LMG, the two squads on the right are broken and will either be killed or captured in the upcoming German tun. It was post Rally of my turn I conceded knowing further resistance was futile a flip to the actual events.

My play was a mix of risky and sloppy, something that rewards you with a quick exit in a game. The decision to fire early could have worked for me, I was hoping for slightly better than average luck and forgetting the German's had a morale of 8 meaning I would need Duncan to be slightly unlucky if I got just a bit of luck. ASL does not reward such needs that often and this game reminded me of the vast difference between morale of 7 and 8, it's not just a pip.

This scenario would convert very easily to miniatures, if 20-28mm I would recommend cutting down the tanks to 2 Russian and 3 German and a pair of halftracks. Infantry wise keep to the same number of squads and make the German's Elite and slightly heavy on SMG's or LMG's. 

Friday, 13 February 2015

The Uff-Puff..... A Review

Well I never thought I would have that as a title of a blog post but that's the curve ball of this wacky hobby and well it's a wacky product so why not?

The uff-puff is the nickname the Baccus family have given to the new basing aid or to use it's Sunday name The Baccus Static Grass Applicator, priced at £1.75 for the UK. This little fella (7cm long) is a plastic bellows like device that you 3/4 or so fill with static grass and literally pump out the static grass onto the glue you have added to your bases and it simply blows the grass out of the applicator and hay presto the flock is standing upright.

Here is a close up of the Saka horse I posted about yesterday. I have always had reasonable results by sprinkling them onto the base though the weight of the flock tends to force it flat and the glue tended to end up covering a wider area on the base. Neither were deal breakers as it was far better than the flock method I used before.

Here is a closer view of other figures I based up at the same time and as you can see it really works well. If you want the full carpet effect you can do that as well, it looks like a neatly mowed lawn with almost uniformly straight grass which will really appeal to many. Personally I like the bare patches though it's not so authentic.

Works perfectly well with 28's as well as the smaller scales. I have yet to do field tests with troops on the table but I have handled the bases in less than ideal ways and it's stood up to that test.

The process is not fast though, it will slow down my basing as you need to keep filling it up and don't forget to shake every about 20-30 puffs for best results. I have to admit that I can see the slow down as a bit of a turn off but to those people who are put off is that compared to the time taken to paint up the figures the very short period of applying the static grass by either method is a drop in the ocean but the difference between the two methods is well worth the extra time. OK using the old adage of the two foot rule you can't see a difference (actually you can, just) I say that when someone stoops to look at my figures I don't like to cringe. It's a great new addition to my basing arsenal and it would be a good buy at more than double the price, just don't tell Peter.

Thursday, 12 February 2015

6mm Baccus Ancients

I don't think you can call something a project with only one base done so I was happy that I have got round to painting up some more troops for my 6mm Ancient diversion. Whilst so far I have not managed to get anyone to commit to building a 6mm army I hope painting up a few more units will change at least one mind. Matt's fairly resolute with his no, not now, not ever (should I take that as a no then?) Lee was starting to show signs of cracking under the pressure. If he had not already dropped plenty of cash on his Spanish Naps he may well have caved in at York. He has started to talk about Roman's so maybe a few units of Pilum fodder will bring him much shiny.

As mentioned before I plan to use Hail Caesar rules with a few modifications, mostly base sizes as I want all the units to have the same frontage including elephants, though artillery may be all 30x30. One think I really want to do is have dense units of cavalry rather than the nine to a unit on 30x60 bases. These are Saka horse archers so not dense but on the same size base as the 96 pike from the first unit. I find the idea that skirmishers take up the least amount of space rather difficult to visualise. To me, especially a swirling body of horse archers firing then dashing back to safety should take up a lot of space. So that's the thought process and I am building test units for various troop types and the results should start to trickle through in the next month or so, no rush as I am a one man army at present.

Under prep at the moment I have heavy bolt throwers, companion cavalry, hoplites, peltasts, bow and javelin light troops as well as a few casualty markers so plenty to keep me entertained.

Monday, 9 February 2015

Curtgold Music to his Ears?

Well the road to hell is paved with good intentions as they say. Seems it's also paved with Dylan figures as well :-)

The fee for the Analogue Painting Challenge is one 28mm figure with the theme of Anti-Hero this year. I had a few ideas but kept thinking of the Black Scorpion Bob Dylan 1966 figure. That was the year that Dylan went on tour playing the electric guitar for the first time and created quite a storm in the folk scene, especially with his traditional fans. Given that so many loved the move as well as hated I thought he would make an ideal Anti-Hero.

My only mistake was not researching my subject as it turned out the only suit he seemed to wear all tour was a near impossible to paint slanted check black grey number. It gave me kittens painting it up as it's quite something to try and paint to the curves and I had three repaints before I was even close to happy. Looks real crappy close up but stand back a few yards (well miles LOL) and the effect looks OK.

Why hell? I forgot that Curt hates all things Dylan having received a certain cowboy in last years event. Honest it was a genuine mistake. Funny thing is that this is the second year on the trot I have supplied a Black Scorpion figure as payment. If the theme next year is Goblin Pirates I can make it three years on the bounce :-)

Friday, 6 February 2015

Building of the Week - La Haye Sainte

Sometimes a task just grows bigger than it is. For almost as long as this building has been available I have had it in the box awaiting it's turn at bat but for some reason it's become a bit of a millstone around the neck. Having already painted it once for Leven Miniatures I know well enough how easy it actually is to paint up but somehow forgot it was fun too. Finally it got it's chance and as usual I soon was lost in the work and before I knew it I had finished.

This time I distressed the walls a little more, making the contrast between the brick and walls less stark. I also added traces of red to show bricks showing through the plaster a little more (see top image for a good example).

Again I have based this on a 120 by 120mm Warbase, then the usual basing style. The set costs £12.00 and needs casting to order. In real terms it means on a typical week it's not dispatched till the day after ordering!!! Sometimes a little later but not the usual wait and see you get from some suppliers. Obviously around the time of shows you could have a longer wait or even dare I say when on holiday? Thought not  ;-)

Lee has a few sets of this building and he is coming up with all sorts of different variants simply adding the odd building or swapping out. Also in the future one of the lesser farm complexes will be available adding yet more choice to the Waterloo and beyond gamer.

I have just about all the buildings we need for Project Waterloo and Lee is starting to get the urge to finish off the boards. Hopefully this will translate to getting the game set up and played out well before Joy of Six. We still need to make a final call on Plancenoit, mostly how much of the town to make the table and how many buildings to represent it. That will more or less dictate the amount of time I myself need to put aside for my last efforts (beyond being Lee's lackey for the painting and sanding of the boards). The other rather boring duty to do post all this is the practice of doing the set up of the table for Joy of Six. We have approximately three hours to set up if we are there as early as possible, no one is telling us how much time we have to pack it away LOL

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Thracian Hell!!

I really turned on the jets last week trying to get a submission in and it was a big one. I painted up 62 Thracian peltasts, a mix of about 4-5 suppliers. I had another twelve figures painted up years ago that needed taking off their bases and mixing in with these. Tow of which already were battle damaged with loose arms. For now these two remain tossed to one side and are very likely to end up in the bin.

So 72 figures make up 24 bases, the maximum allowed in one of the Macedonian Field of Glory army lists. Will I use that many medium infantry with Heavy Weapons? Probably not, well not more than once. It would be the start of a new all Thracian army but I don't think I will go down that road as I would need literally hundreds of these figures.

I used 20 different colours for the base colour so the figures get a good variety between colours and poses. I am guessing I would use these as four units of six bases or three of six bases.

Every shield is also different in the 62 I painted though obviously many are similar in type, that with the face painted on them.

I could not help myself though and had to joke a little. My daughter loves the cat face above as I knew she would. So about thirty years after the Hoplite with the yellow smiley face I am at it again.

Thracian's can be very tough opponents so these should get a fair bit of play between them even if not all together. Most of my armies can make use of them so expect them making an appearance in the next game or two I get.

This year should see more wargaming not only than last year but more than the level I managed since coming back to the hobby nearly four years ago.

Indeed as well as Ancients we should get a lot of Napoleonic's as Lee has managed to build up armies for all the major Nations and is working his way through the minors. I am feeling the need for a few campaigns to focus us into getting games played.

Monday, 2 February 2015

Plundering York The Goodies

The Boy, Lee and myself headed up to York with little more in mind than plundering the rich pickings that were on offer at the Racecourse. We did not even get into the show before Gary Amos thrust a bag into the car, loaded with one hundred Griping Beast Vikings for the boy and me. Now my son is starting to build his second Saga army a Jomsviking Army and we will be looking at doing games with shield walls as between us we have well over 200 figures. What a gent and the boy has already started to paint up his share and doing a fair job of it too.

I bought a few bits from Warbases a couple of packs of 30x30 bases as I will use most of my stash up on the 20mm Celt's. I also got some of the 40x60 bases that will be used for my 6mm Ancients. Also for the Ancients is the small casualty markers as I plan to use the Hail Caesar rules and these will be great to track their state. Lastly, four eight figure movement trays so we can use our Saga single based mini's as shield walls. Really looking forward to increasing our forces so we can have some great larger scale battles later.

Baccus got the lions share of my attention and cash with me adding a fair few more figures to the pile for my Ancients army. Lee is coming round to the idea and may just spring for a Roman army. Well that makes me think I need to get some Celt's at some point then. Indeed I can see this getting out of hand ;-)

Now back to Gary for a moment, he told me last year that consumables don't count towards hobby fund deficit and so it's with a clear conscience that I picked up these replacements for racks. Funny thing was that most of the traders selling the paints had fairly big gaps in there stock, I wonder if this is down to most gamers now buying at shows due to the post restrictions or issues with buying from Vallejo. Two new colours included, one to replace the Panzer Aces New Wood that was out of stock (bought old wood) and Cavalry Brown.

Leven Miniatures was the other big hitter, actually bigger than Baccus in reality but these were part of a deal so kind of don't count LOL. Here we have Papelotte Farm, you can see from the A4 (Legal) sized Field of Glory army list that it's a large building.

The set comes with the option to paint up with the modern turret if you wish, I will be doing the original tile roof.

Mike can also supply Frichermont Farm though only the front right section is based on known detail as it seems no one actually really knows what the rest looks like. What is based on reality though looks great and I will be wanting to get on with this sometime soon.

On the left is Plancenoit Church which will take it's place in the village/town and the new Fachwerkhaus to replace the one I painted up a few months back. So this is almost all the Napoleonic buildings we need for Project Waterloo which is just as well as Lee is gathering his drive to push on with the boards. Hopefully both buildings and tiles will be finished around the same time, lost for both Lee and me to do yet though.

Totally different are these Middle East buildings that I will be using for our Ancients games. I just need to resist the urge to paint them up soon rather than concentrate on the Nap's.

I got a pack of the Baccus Ancient casualties, this is the basic idea for the Hail Caesar markers, if they don't grab us we will just go with small dice but I was confident enough to buy ten of the markers.

So that was all the buying, I spent almost all my time chatting with mates which my son put up with really well given he wanted to do some buying of his own and also playing of a game or three. Overall it looked a good show, not as busy as it was last time I went two years ago but that was no bad thing for me. We got in at 9.45 and left at gone 3.30 so we certainly got our monies worth.

But the best bit of the whole day was spending a couple of hours standing and watching my son play a few games with a group of younger gamers ran by History Alive. The man who runs this does workshops in the school holidays where the kids from the area he is based get to gather and wargame. He also runs a number of school wargame clubs and I think he is doing a great job of harnessing the kids interest and enthusiasm.

Not only did it prove to me that my son is not just doing this to hang out with Dad but he really loves to play, he played three games back to back and time just flew by, well over two hours in fact. So I just stood away from the table and watched him and enjoyed the moment. Much later it occurred to me that the fun he was having was very much the same as the fun I used to have when I was first into wargaming and for want of real rules we made up all sorts of stuff, used piles of books for buildings and slowly built up bits of realistic terrain and watched the table become more of a battlefield and less of a jumble sale. It's enough of a walk down memory lane to get me to sit down with my son, work out what would interest him the most and get a few packs of mini's and write up rules for fun and slowly put together another project one bit at a time.