Thursday, September 29, 2011

Old Man's Update

As you can see from my previous posts I've been reorganising and basing my ancient armies to meet the DBA genre.  This was a can of worms once opened.  I couldn't stop.  I've just finished my Gallic, Nubian and New Kingdom Egyptian, which I'll post pictures of in due course.

This also had me locate my Dwarves I painted for initially Here Be Dragons a DBF set of rules, more in line with DBM style armies.  I will however be making them HoTT armies, although what I'm going to do with 8 artillery pieces and 3 gyrocopters is something I'll have to work on.

Next week sees me at the hospital to have some BCC extracted from me.  Can't say I'm keen on this, but thanks to me dear mothers insistence of "you have to be a bronzed Australian" I now have a price to pay for her dogma.

Next year will be a year of change for me.  I have a number of hospital visits lined up and I will be taking things in a more relaxed manner.  I am reducing my commitments, and as such won't be going to AUSCON or other such events.  I am finding that I fatigue easily these days, and need to rest a lot.  I will still run some events for the Blind Pig, namely my signature event the Uncharted Seas tournament and the Dystopian Wars.

So what have I planned for next year.  Games.  I will be trying to have as many games in as possible for systems that haven't been played in ages.  EPIC will be a priority.  I intend to dust of my WarGods and heaven knows what else.  I also want to get back into playing Malifaux.

I have some figures of Adam S which have to be painted.  After this I will not be taking any more commissions as I really have lost the plot these days.  Yes I love the money, but I'm just not in the spirit of getting the jobs done. 

My day to day existence is difficult.  Teenage children are a challenge.  Just trying to make ends meet on a pension is not easy.  Slowly, little by little I am selling off pieces of my collection just so I can pay the car registration or children's school fees.  This world is not the world I was born into.  It has changed, and in my opinion, not for the better.  I don't deal with change well (unless I am the instigator).

I was watching a Time Team episode the other day and was struck by the words one of the cast made.  Some of the team were rubbishing the recording techniques of the then antiquarians.  He commented that in say 100-150 years from now, will the archaeologists be rubbishing what we do today.  With everything recorded by GPS in electronic format, will the people in the future be able to read the findings.  After all I can't even restore data I had recorded ten years ago because of the changes in electronic storage.  Books and written word will always be the focus.  It doesn't need electricity to run, doesn't need to be stored in electronic format.  Is always as available as picking up a book.  Yes I do use electronic books, but I still prefer mine to be real paper versions.

In my dark and brooding moments I reflect on my life.  In my reflection I see great sadness.  I look at the people I have know who have left my circle of (and perhaps I use this word loosely) friends.  I have outlived a few.  I find that like with change in my life, the change in my age and my ability to connect with people has left me a rather lonely old man.  I am surrounded by my "conquests" or 40 years.  My memories are attached to some of these.  Some remind me of the fun times I had as a youth with my peers.  Mostly all it does is reinforce the loneliness, as I have no one to share them with anymore.  It is this growing loneliness the preys on my mind more than anything else these days.

It was on a whim that I went and looked up the word friend in the dictionary.  This dictionary is the one my children use.  In this edition it describes a friend as "person one likes and chooses to spend time with".  It is an interesting description as it only refers to a one way view.  I like a lot of people, I desire their company, but it does not mean that the individual returns the friendship.  I wonder whether people just tolerate me, and is this why I have become known as "Mad Jack".  It makes me brood. (My mood has improved since I wrote this.  I was going to edit and delete the section but I think that people need to see me as the eratic individual I am.  My dark moods filter my perception such that I can't see the good.  After running the Uncharted Seas tournament I feel the friendship that people gave me.  I'm in a happy place and I see happiness.  Thank you, my friends at the Blind Pig.)

Mind you I don't make matters easy for people.  I don't do evenings as I am usually exhausted by late afternoon and by the descent of night I'm about ready to return to my coffin to sleep.  I'm like a reversed vampire.  I hate travelling to far from home.  It also takes me ages to find any connection with people that doesn't leave long periods of silence or awkwardness.  I find that I need to fill this silence in with babble.  Some people have referred to me as a snob.  I guess I am on a certain level.  It's all I have left, my nobility, my family name.  The lesser son of greater sires.

Another interesting phenomenon is the concept of family friends.  My wife and I are very much alone, we have no peers with which to socialise with.  While my children were growing up we never once had the opportunity to go out for a nights entertainment.  Even while my mother was alive, she never once offered to look after my children to allow Chelle and I the opportunity to have fun.  Mind you if my sister wanted her children looked after it wasn't a problem.  So the social stigma continued.  Schooling was worse.  My health excluded me from work.  Parents of other children just weren't interested in knowing you unless you were a somebody.  At church this was even more pronounced.  So my loving wife of 26 years and I are all there is.  I think we are better off because we look at so many other parents and they are on the whole divorced.  Old values do have a place when compared to the selfish and vain society that now dominates the social landscape.

Why am I writing this here on a blog?  Well I think it's part of having to speak out about how I feel.  I don't have any close friends, and my therapists are, after all, paid to listen to me.  No one asks, and I don't talk unless the right questions are asked.  Even then it's easier to hide behind the banality of "Mad Jack" than actually let people see who I really am.  I think it would frighten them.  It sure as hell frightens me,

So enough philosophy from me.  I'm going to do my usual, and fall back on my only working coping mechanism - withdrawal.  I will post some nice pictures soon, hopefully in enough quantity to hide this meandering post.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Interesting DBx Link

New World DBA

As if I really need to look at another period.  However I love the colour that the South American natives have.  My only fear is that I may not be able to give the colour and dash that they so rightly deserve.  A project for later, but I won't forget it.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

DBA Continues

I have found my Indians.  No not the American ones, but the sub-continent types.  I have been able to build two armies from those I had painted and based, with a third if I use the elements from the other two.

II/1. Republican Indian. 500BC - 321BC.
1xHCh (Gen), 2x3Cv, 1x3/4Bd or 3Lb, 8x3Lb.

II/2. Mountain Indian. 500BC - 170BC.
1x2LH or El (Gen), 2x2LH, 1x4Bd or 3Ax, 4x3Ax, 4x2Ps.

II/3. Classical Indian. 500BC - AD545.
1xEl (Gen), 2xEl, 2xHCh or 2LCh or 3/4Lb, 2x3Cv, 1x4Bd or 3/4Lb or 2Ps, 4x3/4Lb.

As you may have noted.  I like Elephants.  The Classical list has three, however this is the list that I need to paint a few more figures for.  I can field it, but it means having to poach from the other two lists to build it.

My eye is still troubling me, but I find that I really don't have to do much with all these DBA armies.  I'm rebasing them, and on the whole they don't need much in the way of additional painting.

De Bellis Antiquitatis

Thanks to Owen Evans I have decided to trawl through my DBM armies and see what I can make of them into DBA armies. It's been a good trawl, there are quite a few. I have concentrated my armies around the Classical period of 500BC to AD476.

I have to date the following:

II/11. Gallic. 400BC - 50BC 1x3/4Wb or LCh (Gen), 2xLCh or 3Cv, 8x3Wb, 1x2Ps.

II/16. Asiatic Early Successor. 320BC - 285BC
(a) Antigonos 320-301BC: 1x4Pk (Gen), 1x3Kn, 1x3Cv, 1x2LH, 5x4Pk, 1xEl, 2x2Ps.
(b) Demetrios 315-285BC: 1x3Kn (Gen), 1x2LH, 6x4Pk, 1x4Ax, 2x4Sp or (1x3Cv + 1xEl), 1x4Sp or WWg (tower) or Art.
(c) Alketas 320 BC: 1x3Kn (Gen), 4x4Pk, 3x3Ax, 4x2Ps.
(d) Eumenes 320-316BC: 1x3Kn (Gen), 1x3Cv, 6x4Pk, 2xEl, 2x2Ps.

II/17. Lysimachid. 320BC - 281 BC. 1x3Kn (Gen), 1x2LH, 4x4Pk, 4x3Ax, 1x2Ps, 1x4Sp.

II/27. Pyrrhic. 300BC - 272BC.
(a) 300-281BC: 1x3Kn (Gen), 1x3Cv, 6x4Pk, 2x4Sp, 2x2Ps.
(b) 280-272BC: 1x3Kn or 3Cv (Gen), 1x3Cv or 2LH, 1x2LH, 1xEl, 4x4Pk, 2x4Sp, 1x4Ax, 1x2Ps.

II/30. Galatian 280BC - 25BC.
(a) 280-273BC: 1xLCh or 4Wb (Gen), 1xLCh, 1x3Cv, 8x4Wb, 1xSCh or LCh or 3Cv.
(b) 272-48BC: 1xLCh or 3Cv or 4Wb (Gen), 2x3Cv, 8x4Wb, 1x2Ps
(c) 47-25BC: 1x3Cv (Gen), 2x3Cv, 2x4Bd, 6x4Wb, 1x2Ps.

II/40. Numidian or Early Moorish 215BC - AD25
1x3Cv or 2LH (Gen), 4x2LH, 5x2Ps or 3Ax, 1x2Ps or El, 1x2Lh or 3/4Ax or 4Bd.

II/53. Ancient British 55BC - AD75.
1xLCh or 3/4Wb (Gen), 2x2LH, 3xLCh or 2Ps or 3Wb, 5x3Wb, 1x3Wb or 2Ps.

I have enough to do two Egyptian armies from Section One - The Chariot Period - 300BC to 500BC. As well as the Ilyrrian (I/47). I do have an almost obsene amount of 15mm Ancients that I will have a look at shortly. These are a mixture of Irregular and Museum Miniatures with some amount of Essex. I will start to parcel these out into DBA armies which I will offer for sale in the coming months. I am at present rebasing the above armies. I worked out how to use my guillotine so my base sizes are as pretty close to accurate as I can make them. I shall post pictures as I finish them. I'm starting with my favourite Pyrrhus, I think he and I would have gotten along rather well together, seeing we tend to exhibit the same sort of military competence. So till next time...

Thursday, September 15, 2011

One Eye Only

Down to one eye thanks to a poor showing at pruning the bushes.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Jeff's Thoughts!?

Keeping in touch with Jeff T

I am keeping in touch wih Jeff by email. In this way I and others can find out what he's up to, and to help him cope (maybe not the best word) with his strange new environment. Hey John Thanks for the thought. Funnily enough your blog is also blocked for me and getting photobucket here is difficult at best. It is available one day and not the next. I'll attach a couple of photos of the last few weeks. I'll say this now though, If you are a young single man you need to get to Shang Hai. There are opportunities galore over here to have a great time. this last two weeks I have been out drinking with the teachers at my school and getting into trouble. The other thing about China is that things are open all the time. We were walking home from a restaurant and went past a go kart track open at 12:30 at night. 80RMB (about $11) gets you about 10 mins on the track. This is a different way of life than anything I am used to. On a different note, Do you have any Grade 2 or 3 teachers that you can get in contact with? I am teaching a grade 3 english class and we are writing letters to an overseas country. I figure that if I can get another class to interact, it can be targeted rather than random and just a letter that goes out into the void. Carrie, Ruby and I are moving into a nice 3 bedroom apartment at the end of this month and the Ayi (literally Aunt) is the person you hire to look after the child and the house. This means that there is a spare room for those that would like to come for a visit. As for the eating, I have decided that the only way to go is to go all the way. I have had a heap of the food from the street vendors and it is pretty good apart from one or two rare exceptions. There is this these street vendors all over the place that offer skewers of meat (note I didn't say beef or lamb because I am not entirely sure). They are great. they do however stack the premade skewers in front of the charcoal fire out in the open air for you to select as you want. You can get about 12 skewers for the equivalent of about $2. On an entirely unrelated note, I had the squirts for two weeks before I got used to the place. Happiness is a dry fart. This is really and agreeable place to go. Coming here with an open mind ready for experiences is a must. I am having a ball. I'll update soon. Give Bec a hug for me. Jeff.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

GJMWT "Thanks for Coming!"

Thanks to Leslie who claims full responsibilty for taking this shot, and he's really chuffed with his camera skills.

GJMWT The Winners on the day

Apart from Jamie I really can't recall the names of the others, forgive me all involved. I'm sure that someone will tell me who's who in due course.

GJMWT My opponents on the day

The opponents on the day. Round One Nikki, Round Two Neal, Round Three Jason (sorry Jason I missed taking a shot of you), and Round Four Toby. I played father (Neal) and son (Toby) on the day.

GJMWT Some of the tables

GJMWT 2011 The Tables Set Up