Sunday 31 December 2023

Happy New Year

Hi everyone, normally I would be posting my "review of the year" today and my plan for 2024 tomorrow. 

But as some of you may know I'm poorly in hospital at the moment. I will post my review and plan in a few weeks when I'm back home.

In the meantime, happy new year everybody :)

Sunday 6 August 2023

Trents Reach, INWarD 23

My game for INWarD 23 was a refight of the battle of Trent's Reach in 1865. i've played this one out quite a few times, and this time was the first attempt at it with my "Man o War" variant rules (which are intended for not entirely serious play but as it turned out went down pretty well) All warships and gun batteries were 3D prints that I had designed and made (and if they aren't on Wargames VAult already then they will be soon. The game was a blast and attracted a lot of attention.

The Confederate forces made a good job of penetrating the river obstructions (I had simplified these to a line of scuttled ships and log pilings - I didn't include the mines/torpedoes as that would have slowed things down a lot), but by the time they had punched a hole the Onondaga had arrived on scene and started shooting up the Confederate ironclads to great effect. Hunchback went town to a spar torpedo from one of the Confederate Squibs, Virginia was sunk in quick order by four concentrated shots from Onondaga which caused flooding criticals, Fredericksburg was also shot up and sunk. 

Richmond looked to be getting past the Union fleet but a shot damaged her engines and she was slowed up (and had suffered heavy damage to her armament) and it was obvious that Onondaga would overhaul her and sink her quickly, so we called the game. A Union victory but it could have gone either way. 

Thanks to Stuart and Nigel for running the Union and Confederates respectively (with occasional help from passers by), and to Helen and Nick for popping in. A fun day for all I think

Monday 24 July 2023

INWarD 2023

 Its that time of year again - the 7th International Naval Wargames Day, celebrating the birth of the father of naval wargaming, Fred T Jane, takes place on 6th August. Its an opportunity for naval wargamers around the world to play games with each other F2F, online, or solitaire and then discuss their experiences. Or just share ideas and experiences on wargaming forums, websites etc. nd, as always, we aren't that fussed about the date, consider it a week of celebrations either side of Fred's birthday :)

For my part, INWarD coincides with the Thornbury IMPS and wargaming show, where I will be running a participation game covering the American Civil War battle of Trent's reach. All in 1/600 featuring 3D printed models that I've created, printed and painted. Hopefully a fun day for all! 

Sunday 14 May 2023

Not a Great Day at Legionary 2023

 I had a strange experience at the Legionary show in Exeter yesterday. During the week I decided to "weed" my 1/600 ACW collection and sell of some of the duplicate models that I have acquired. I was helping to run the "Wings of Glory" game at Legionary and thought it would be good to put the models on the Bring and Buy.

I had 20 ships in total. Each one individually recorded on the two record sheets that I was given by the staff. Each model was individually labelled with a reference number and a price, and they were in a box that was marked "£10 each". So all seemed OK.

Around lunchtime I noticed the box and models wasn't on the B&B any more, and around abut 2pm I  asked the staff how the sales had gone. at that point I was told "one sold". So where were the others? Turns out they had sold ALL of them in a single lot for £10. Nice. So despite them being individually recorded they'd sold the lot for the price of one model. At this point I'm quite adamant that they owe me £200 so they then discover that they know who the models were sold to. The call him and the guy says "but they were in a box marked "£10", and there were no labels, they must have fallen off". SO I explained that it said "£10 each" but the guy was adamant that wasn't the case. Anyway, he then admits there must have been a "mistake" and says "I'll post them back to you". No way that's happening, so I ask him to return them. Long story short, he's at a pub 20 miles away so off I went to collect them. And lo and behold, all the ships have labels, and the box very clearly says "£10 each".

Every model labelled as thus, with their own code number.....

...and this written in the box which clearly means have everything in it for a tenner (if you are an idiot, or just happened to be holding your thumb over the word, by accident of course.....) 

Now I'm obviously not saying there was anything dodgy going on (although some of my friends were convinced it was deliberate), but you have to be some kind of special stupid (or something else not right-minded) to think that it was £10 for the lot. And you have to be some kind of incompetent B&B staffer to not follow the VERY SIMPLE process they had in place to record sales. Especially as there were plenty of other boxes of multiple items, individually recorded, on the tables. 

The good news is that the senior guy on the B&B did manage to find out who had my models and was VERY apologetic for the obvious errors. I'm sure the club would have been very happy as well since it saved them £200 of expense.

I was happy to get my models back unscathed, but decidedly not impressed that this had happened. It was the first time I'd put things on a B&B for some time after previous bad experiences (notably when I'd had stuff stolen off the B&B at a show, and then when all the items I put on a B&B at a show in the West Country got immediately sold to a dealer mate of the organisers for the "deal" price I'd listed, before they'd even got on the tables), and nothing yesterday convinced me that I will want to risk it again in the future. It also ruined what was up until that time a veery enjoyable day. They say that the last 5% of an activity is the bit you'll remember for ever. My lasting memory of Legionary will therefore not be a good one.

In happier news though, I had a table at the Lincombe Barn Tabletop sale today, sold a pile of stuff, bought a few nice things and caught up with many old friends. A much nicer day :)

Monday 8 May 2023

Black Hawk

 Its a wet and rainy Bank Holiday weekend here in the UK, so naturally (after the Coronation fun and games had died down) I've been 3D modelling. My main "work" on this over the last week or so has been the Confederate squadron on Lake Ponchartrain (more of them in a later post), but I've also been working on an old favourite, the Union flagship Black Hawk. This is a beast of a model in 1/600 and should look suitably imposing when I get a chance to print her out :)

Friday 28 April 2023

ACW 1/600 Torpedo Boats

I've had some fun modelling this trio of ACW era torpedo boats. They are now up as a "pay what you want" download on Wargame Vault, so you can have them for free if you like :)
The subjects are the Union picket boat (Picket Boat No. 1 being notable as the craft used by Cushing to sink the Albemarle), and the Confederate "David" and "Squib" class vessels. The models are intended for printing at 1/600 but may work well in 1/1200 with resin printers. The picket boat and Squib are probably useful for eras other than the ACW. 

Enjoy :)

Tuesday 18 April 2023

More 3D Ironclads

 Just a quick update, I've been busy creating more 3D STL files of ACW ironclads and riverboats. In the last few days I've modelled the US Navy's first four ironclads, the Monitor, New Ironside, Galena and Keokuk. All being well these will be up on Wargame Vault soon.

Thursday 19 January 2023

Back in the Saddle

 So after a rather muted start to the year I've got back in the saddle with some more 3D modelling (which I'm finding works quite well as therapy). I've actually put together around ten new 1/600 models in the last few weeks, but here are a few of the more unusual ones.

Mike Haught has released the "War of the Pacific" battlepack that Rolf Grein has been working on. When I met Rolf in Oz in November he was adamant that I should model HMS Shah and Amethyst as their battle with Husacar was included in the pack. Both were fun to model and Shah  proved to be the biggest model I've printed on my Elegoo Mars so far. Pictured here with an ACW ferryboat gunboat which I also worked up over Christmas.

In a similar vein I've modelled the Peruvian ironclads Victoria and Loa

and a chance discussion on one of the naval wargaming Facebook groups got me interested in some of the proposed and uncompleted Confederate ironclads (a good counter to all the monitors I've been working on recently - more on those in a later post)

All good fun to work with, and now I'm looking at a range of less well known Confederate ironclads to model over the next few weeks.

Saturday 7 January 2023

Dave Schueler, Rest in Peace

 I've just heard the very sad news that Dave Scheuler passed away on New Year's Day. He had been poorly for some time but even so the news of his passing has left me in shock. Dave was a very good friend although we were separated by nearly 5000 miles and never got to meet in person, something that I shall always regret. Dave was a former submariner and a legend in the naval wargaming community. His DANG games (Dave's Annual Naval Game) and the write-ups on his blog were things I always looked forward to, and he was kind enough to use some of my rules and campaigns some years. Dave will be very sorely missed and I offer my most sincere condolences to Lynn and all his friends. 

Dave, I will miss you 

Friday 6 January 2023

"The Plan" for 2023

 Six days in and I'm still formulating my plan for the year. So I thought it would be helpful in concentrating my mind if I actually got on and put pen to paper or finger to keyboard|) to crystallise my thoughts. So here goes.

1) 3D models - I have a whole host of models on my "to do" list, mainly ACW and 1860s/1870s ironclads.  So I'll aim to get those done, and for those where I think there will be an interest, I'll get them up on Wargame Vault. (To be honest I already have a handful that are either done or nearly ready to go, but I'll set myself a target of ten new models. Simples :) I'll also aim to learn a more complicated 3D modelling package as there are a few craft with more complex hullforms that are giving me trouble.

2) Rules and Campaigns - I have a few "LFG" projects that I need to progress, so in no particular order I will issue at least one data book update for Narrow Seas and Dahlgren and Columbiad, I will finish off the Venezuelan Crisis campaign pack for Broadside and Salvo (also for Fire When Ready), I'll at least start - and aim to finish - the long-promised Sino-Japanese War campaign pack, and probably include the French campaign in there as well. And also the Narrow Seas campaign pack - the basic rules and at least one campaign/area specific module.

3) Paint up all of my Paraguayan War 1/600 models in time for the Naval Wargames Weekend

4) I have a host of things for some of my other naval rules to sort out. These include damage/morale markers for "Mare Nostrum", various markers for "Bumper Boats", etc. I'll aim to select at least four rule sets/eras and spruce up the required bits and pieces for each.

5) Talking of "Bumper Boats" - I'll get the remaining fleets finished and the rules sorted out, again in time for the Naval Wargames Weekend.

As usual I expect many things will get in the way and tear these plans asunder, but thats the whole point of a plan, isn't it? :)