Wednesday 31 May 2023

Rain Stops Play

The Weather
Well things have been a bit quiet here on the gaming front for several reasons, but mainly down to the simply wonderful weather we have been having these past few weeks. After a distinctly cold and wet Spring, suddenly we have been thrust into early Summer like weather, as can be seen in the photo below.

Normally we have fairly mild Winters and Spring here in Bristol, but not this year, so the normal gardening calendar has been somewhat disrupted. So what I would achieved by now on the gardening front is suddenly having to be compressed, which is taking pretty much all of my time and effort these past few weeks. Not that I'm complaining as it's wonderful weather, but it does stop me doing much else. Still much better than wind and rain!

As mentioned previously, I've pretty much plumped for the 1809 period, or thereabouts, for my games. The FRW period is still lurking in the background, but currently my focus is on the Danube Campaign. To this end I bought the 2nd and 3rd volumes of Gill's wonderful history of the campaign.

I'm currently re-reading the 1st volume and I'm picking up much more info this time round. This reminds me of what we were taught at college when reading chapters, that you should do it in 3 goes; firstly skim it get a basic overview, then a quick read through and finally a proper read through. Sadly time does not permit this approach, but it really does pay dividends as currently I know what's coming.

MDF vs Metal
I'm still torn between MDF and metal for the 1809 project. Whilst 10mm metal has lots of attractions, I'm leaning towards the MDF route, possibly augmented by some 6mm figures for say skirmishers to add a bit more dynamism to those bases. Still early days of course as as you will see, I have another project that needs my attention.

Partizan & Blog Inspiration
Hindsight is a wonderful thing, but having seen all the wonderful Blog reports on this years Partizan show, I really wish I had attended. Well at least those kind enough to have put up plenty of eye candy photos have allowed me to vicariously enjoy it.

Given my dearth of gaming or painting of late, Blogs have once again provided me with plenty of ideas, inspiration and simple enjoyment. Whilst maybe losing out to Facebook etc, it is a much better medium IMHO to share our wonderful hobby.

Tony Adams RIP
I was saddened and shocked to read about the sudden passing of Tony Adams, who was a frequent commentator on this Blog. His woodscrew armies were certainly niche but I found them absolutely wonderful and his obvious enthusiasm for them. His interests were varied and his book reviews often led to a purchase or two, which I will always be thankful for. The following tribute to him can say much more about Tony than I ever can:

His passing away has made me ponder my lead mountain, my collections, books etc and what I really want from the hobby. Certainly his love of my MDF armies has helped me focus my mind on this front and in a sense will be a tribute to him in one way or another. 

The Finger
I'm glad to report that my finger has healed really well, but probably still has a week to go before I feel comfortable using it for painting and modelling. Despite my one handed gardening and love of being outside, I'm certainly hankering after getting the toys out and based, painted etc, weather dependent of course!

What's Next?
Having had Napoleonics and WWII stuff sat on the dining table for nearly a month now, I finally tidied it all away to allow me to try and re-focus me time and energy into the 18thC India project for the Cotswold Wargames Day in the Autumn. I have lots of basing to do first and foremost, so that I can make sure the force is more or less complete, before moving onto the priming and painting. I find that if I don't do this, it's very hard to keep on track, which is a challenge at the best of times.

Having played H&M games for months now, it is time for a complete change. As always I have loads of ideas and plans, but want and need something that is pretty much ready to go on in terms of painted miniatures etc. In the end it was an easy choice for me to plump for some more AVBCW action, which hasn't had a run out for quite some time now. Ideally I'd like to play this as some sort of campaign, as it's much more fun and generates a nice stroy line, or so I feel. Again I'm not short of ideas but now need to look through my scribbled notes to see what thoughts I'd had previously.


Wednesday 10 May 2023

Single Digit Disruption

A few days ago, whilst taking part in the Red Bull Solo Extreme Garden Pruning Competition, a momentary lapse in concentration caused by Lewis Hamilton closing in on my lead, led to my early retirement from said event due to my cutting the tip of my finger off. Now having been a First Aider at work, I didn't panic, despite quite a bit of blood and having to find the bit of skin the had been cleanly removed by my secateurs (top tip: sharp tools make clean cuts that heal better), I made my way home (three doors away) from the event. Despite thorough cleaning and two goes at primary healing, by the third go (which 'stuck') it was obvious I needed to get this properly dressed so it was off to the local urgent treatment centre. A three hour wait later and I was seen, with the nurse rather impressed with my efforts (10/10), which was good. A wash with iodine and a good dressing and I was off home.

Luckily it didn't really hurt despite cutting through the nerve tips, nor did it become infected, but it was a tad sore and all in all very inconvenient, especially as the weather had warmed up enough to enjoy cycling again, as well as a desire to get back to the mid-18thC India project. These along with gardening are on hold whilst my finger heals (dressing comes off tomorrow) which is frustrating as I'm the sort of chap who likes to be doing things! So what to do?

The offending digit all dressed, but being left handed, the next worse finger to injure after the index one.

Luckily for me I had been playing some simple games of the excellent Shadow of the Eagles rules, to get to grips with them again, whilst I pondered what period or campaign to base a possible future force around.

A nice and simple game, with some real to and fro action as both sides contested a river crossing. 

I had been 'chatting' via e-mail with Norm Smith as to whether to go the Peninsular War route, the Revolutionary Wars one (my plan from several years ago) or something else. Norm wisely recommend the 1809 Danube Campaign and the more I thought about it, the more it made sense. Having already read John H Gill's first book in his 'Thunder on the Danube' trilogy, which I greatly enjoyed, I quickly ordered the other two which should arrive soon.

So with my 'period' broadly set, I'm still unsure as to go down the MDF route and my 'Old School' look or the Pendraken 10mm route, as they have a rather nice range for this campaign. Still early days yet and plenty of stuff in the queue that needs attention, such as the aforementioned India force. Then of course there is the small matter of making sure my finger is fully healed before I can wield scalpel and paint brush! In the meantime I plan to run some more small games, set around French vs Austrians, to get a feel of things. One game is sketched out and I hope to kick things off in the next few days, as long as I don't injure myself again...