Sunday, 30 November 2014

Reveille 2014

Today has been a stupidly busy day (equestrian stuff dominating the morning and evening) but in the middle of the day I managed to spend a few hours of relative calm at the Reveille show at Lincombe Barn in Bristol. For once I wasn't running or helping out with a game so I had a chance to wander and enjoy the show. Reveille isn't the biggest show by any means (2 small halls and a smattering of rooms) but it is one of my favorites, probably because I catch up with so many old friends there. So of the three hours I spent at the show I probably spent at least two of them chatting, catching up and making plans for future games and campaigns, some of which might actually come off.

Walmington on Sea - looks so peaceful :)

20mm Rapid Fire form the German perspective

The emphasis is on traders but there were small number of very nice games, including my chums from Abbey Wood with a VBCW game, a "Dads Army" participation game and a medieval game put on by John Curry (which apparently was based on the "reenactor's view" of  a medieval battle. Alas I forgot to ask John exactly what that meant whilst we were chatting. There was also a very nice desert "Rapid Fire" game in 20mm.

The Germans seem to be very well equipped with capture British kit - there was a 25pdr battery somewhere else too

Shoppingwise I picked up the new YT-2400 "Outrider" for my X Wing collection and some bits and pieces for my 20mm Burma Skirmish project (Airfix Jungle Outpost, a DUKW and a set of US Marines in the old style coloured plastic that isn't garish and horrible like many of the current Airfix reprints).

As usual the cafe was busy and churning out decent grub - I got there just before the bacon ran out, which was just as well as I'd not had breakfast, and lunch was  a very tasty lamb burger. Also as usual parking was a complete pig so I ended up a goof 10 minutes walk away. But the sun was shining and the exercise did me good :)

Jerry Hendy ponders his next move in the VBCW game

Looking forward to next year, apparently we are signed up to do a Wings of Glory participation game.....

This lot soaked up the res of my time this weekend - sweeties :)

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Galleys and Galleons Playtesting

This week I have (after a game of Fire and Fury at the club - my first for 18 years) been reading through and playtesting "Galleys and Galleons", a forthcoming set of piratical naval rules from Ganesha Games set in the "age of discovery". I don't want to say too much about them as we've been asked not to give away details but suffice to say I am liking these rules a lot. They are quick and simple to play, sensibly realistic within the confines of the game system, beautifully adaptable with all sorts of special features and ship types and - best of all - lots of fun! I've been playing with Peter Pg 1/450 scale models which are ideal for use with these rules, but they are scalable to use with just about any available model scale.

Being the cussed old naval wargamer that I am I have fired off a couple of salvoes of thoughts and comments based on my readings and my first few games. As with any set of rules there are "I wouldn't have done it like that" elements, but mainly requests for clarifications and suggestions for additional bits and pieces to build on the realism aspects whilst maintaining the simple and fun approach.

As you can see, one of my opponents has adopted a very laid back approach to this game and has decided it is his firm favourite (and indeed first) wargame. Ole won this game by the simple expedien of jumping up just after this photo was taken, scattering the ships and batting the dice all over the lounge. Well done Captain Mog!

Anyway, more playtesting later in the weekend. But I must say, very nicely done.

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Warfare 2014

This weekend I made my annual trip to Reading for Warfare, one of my favourite shows in the UK wargaming calendar. As in recent years I was there with the Wings of Glory aerodrome helping to run the participation game. Great fun as always, we had two tables running with action packed games played throughout the day. I understand that traders selling Wings of Glory models, and KR (with their multicases designed to accommodate 1/144 WW1 aircraft) enjoyed a high number of sales as a result of our games :)

One of the reasons I enjoy Warfare is that so many of my wargaming friends from around the UK attend the show. So a good half of my time there was spent in deep conversation with them, and  a number of new projects discussed and potentially in the pipeline.....

Shopping is obviously on the agenda. But for once I was fairly restrained. A small bag of 15mm stuff from GZG, a couple of sets of "Tombstone" 28/32mm westrn gunfight figures, various 15mm bits and bobs from Peter Pig, and some 20mm Airfix Gurkhas and Aussies for my WW2 Burma Skirmish setup.

Oh, and something else on which I will be writing later in the week.....

 Anyway, as usual a rather nice selection of games, although not many that "wow"d me this time. Still, they were very nicely presented and quite a few of the players were happy to stop and chat.

Sunday, 9 November 2014


One of the latest warships to be restored and displayed in the UK is the diminutive CMB9. At 40' in length she was one of the first of the many short Coastal Motor Boats that were operated by the Royal Navy in the Great War. For the last 5 years she has been under restoration in Avonmouth, In the Summer she headed to Plymouth, but this weekend she headed inland to Bristol to take part in the city's Remembrance Day events. 

I've been keeping tabs on CMB9 via Facebook and hearing that she was coming to the city I was up at sparrows for a trip to Cumberland Basin to see her arrive. She was a lovely sight as she came through the lock and tied up in Cumberland Basin.

However, things didn't end there. After chatting to Robert Morley, the owner, and hearing that they were heading deeper into the harbour and tying up at the Cottage Inn which was where my car was parked I thumbed a lift and was rewarded with a short trip on board. Its not every day one gets to set sail on a WW1 warship, and I feel deeply honoured and indeed very lucky to have had the chance.

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

More Engaging

It was Star Trek night again at the Berkeley Vale club last night. We played through a couple of scenarios. In the first a Federation task group was dispatched to rescue a team of research scientists on a disabled science vessel, whilst the Klingons sought to grab them for themselves. A short battle this one, with the Feds beaming off one team only to have the rescuing ship destroyed, then the second team nabbed by the Klingons - only for Alan to blast the Klingon ship that carried them to atoms (his special orders were to ensure that no scientists were left in Klingon hands, and in this he was ruthlessly effective!)

The second battle was a slugfest with the simple aim to give the other side a darned good kicking, and to practice more with the rules. Great fun, and interesting to see tactics developing (especially the use of warp drive for hit and run attacks), as well as a growing appreciation for why damage control and shifting power is something to think about.

I'm really enjoying "Engage". its such a simple set of rules to play, but its simplicity belies a finesse that allows many variations in play and ship design, and it really captures the Star Trek feel very nicely As usual we've identified a few modifications and house rules that we think will make it work even better for us and which better reflect some of the aspects of the TV and film episodes, including changes to the rules for teleports and transporters (both ships should have shields lowered), restricted firing arcs for torpedoes, allowing rear firing weapons and tighter arcs needed to gain the shooting bonus for firing at the targets rear. With luck we'll give those mods a spin in a couple of weeks.