Thursday, December 29, 2011

My Summary of 2011 and what 2012 may be.

A new year is almost upon me.  A year is almost over.

With the New Year I am faced with the conundrum of my life. 

I need to make a decision whether I should be investing my money in my hobby when there are so few with whom I can share it with.  Indeed there are a lot of people at the club I frequent whom I know and do so dearly hope are my friends.  Yet my, perhaps clumsy, attempts to encourage contact outside the club have amounted to little.

So I surround myself with my hobby.  I go through the process of believing that I have lots of people to engage me with my hobby, but the sad evidence of truth is that there are few.  Few if any phone me and have chats with me on any regular basis.  I have very few visitors that aren’t related to some form of transaction.  I have little but the constant pain I live with and the loneliness that comes from being a recluse. 

2011 has not been a good year for me.  My pain has increased exponentially along with my feeling of isolation.  So my days are filled with nothing to do but suffer in silence and solitude.  I normally paint to take my mind of things but for this whole year I have not even been able to find any joy in this activity.  I let a number of people down by my malaise, yet in the end I have no control over this darkness.  I apologise to those who were affected.

So you may ask what my days consist of.  My day starts with me waking to the depressing awareness that I’m still alive. I scoff five different forms of prescribed drugs and then hope for the best.  I then spend a day brooding with pain and suffering.  Yet for all that I suffer I still place the needs of my wife and children ahead of any thought of care for myself.  I am husband, father, decision maker, problem solver, peace-maker, magician, priest and bard.  Somehow I manage to get through the day until the evening when I take another batch of drugs that allow me to sleep.  This routine is unending.  With little contact outside of my immediate family you can only wonder why I’m not any more unbalanced than I already am. 

So I come back to why bother?  Why should I bother spending money on things that are ultimately only going to sit on a shelf and stare back at me with accusatory eyes?  What is the point of feeling smug and conceited with what I have accumulated?  So I sit here at this crossroad wondering where my life is going to take me in 2012.  Do I continue my sad existence, or do I decide that I’ve had enough.

I guess 2012 may be about me.  Maybe that’s the decision I have settled upon as part of the process of writing this piece.  I don’t know if I’ll be able to do this as it is not in my nature to be self-serving.  I will however be trying to enjoy life, I’m not sure how that will happen – but I will give it a go.

As I wrap up my waffling for another year I think that I need to make a few comments for 2011.  I need to thank Rebecca Weir for her generous kindness to me this year.  It made all the difference to me and I appreciate everything she has done.  I’d also like to thank Luke of Phoenix Forge and all of those anonymous people (although I can probably guess a fair number of you) who contributed to my birthday present in July.  I was gobsmacked and humbled that people thought I was worth something. Thank you.

Monday, December 26, 2011

A Quote that I like.

Do not waste your tears. 
I was not born to watch the world grow dim.
Life is not measured in years, but by the deeds of men.
                                 Rogue Trader, p113

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Necromunda table

Well here's the first table layout.  This is the contents of two of the original Necromunda boxes (and may supplements I'm not sure).  Two gangs are on the set, my Scavvies and Pit Slaves.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Talisman Figures Wanted: Citadel produced

OK, below are some of the Talisman figures I am chasing to complete my collection.  I don't have a lot of cash but I think I can do some trades of one sort or the other.  If you can help, please post in the comments.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Super Dungeon Explore: What's in the box, Part 1

OK I've been waiting to get my grubby paws on this game for a while now.  My main motivation was the figures that come with the game.  I enjoyed Urban Mammoths "Warheads" miniatures, the bobbly head style.  The figures in this game are rather nice.  What struck me when I opened the box was that all of the figures (with the exception of five treasure chests) are muti-piece models. This was a surprise as I was expecting one piece figures which is fairly much the norm with board games.
The plastic is hard not the rubbery type that cheaper game publishers supply.  They are brittle in places and some care needs to be taken with the spear "men", and with the grey character figures.  I think that the figures deserve being painted.  I think that if you bought the game only to play the boardgame then you will not be getting the full value of what I think will prove to be a nice addition to your boardgaming library.
I obtained my copy through the helpul service of Warpuppy, although I am sure you can pick this up from other reputable stores and online business'.
So my recommendation is give it a try.  My next job is to read the rules.  Stay tuned for more in due course.  The pictures below show the game at various stages of opening.
The above is the box sealed and waiting for the joy of being cracked.

First view inside the box.

The rulebook.  Full glossy colour. Nice layout, and nice artwork - which appears on the game cards as well.

After having taken the mapboard out this was what greeted me.

Oh and these are the dice.  Not every face has a "score".

Super Dungeon Explore: What's in the box, Part 2

This has pictures of the boards and cards.
A picture of one side of the double-sided map boards.  All bar the bottom right board are double-sided.

The other side!

The tokens used in the game.  Nice thick card.  Although I had a couple of the tokens split while punching them out.  However a bit of glue will sort out that problem. 

Just an over-view of the cards that come with the game.

Super Dungeon Explore: What's in the box, Part 3

These are the hero's for game.  They are grey in colour as opposed to the red-brown colour that are the Consul's creatures.
I must have spent twenty minutes trying to work out which parts belonged to which models.  I could not find any instructions as to how to assemble the figures.  As you can see each model has multiple parts, which is nice.  The only model I'm not too happy about is the barbarian as that axe looks a little short.  Due to the tiny proportions I'm not sure if some of the figures appendages are correct or poorly moulded.  Won't know until I examine under my jeweller's light.

Super Dungeon Explore: What's in the box, Part 4

OK Part 4 is the Creatures.  As you can see the figures are for the most part multi-part figures.  This is nice as opposed to one piece pieces.

The above is the Dragon.  Nice enough scale to suit any game system.

Spawning tokens, the dragon skulls on the columns.  More multi-piece creatures.  Not sure what they are yet.

One of the big "ogre" type monsters (you get two in the box) and two flying "dragons".

More multi-piece creatures.  Note the two boo-chests in the top right corner.  More of them a little further down.

These are the cannon fodder miniatures, why because there are a few of them and I'm too lazy to investigate what they are.

These chests, you get two, are brilliant.  Anyone who loves discworld could easily do the Luggage.  I like them indeed.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


Well here are some photo's of my 1st edition Talisman which includes, City, Dungeon and Timescape.  I even have 35 metal figures of the characters you could play.  Of course now you can get Talisman from FFG, which is just as good and the figures are plastic.  I am wondering if I shall paint them one day?  Mind you there are a couple of expansions I haven't acquired yet from the contemporary set. 

From memory the usual players were Alex, Michael, Gary, David, Anthony and Michelle, plus me.  I think that Gary was the only one who ever rushed to get to the center of the board and end the game.  The rest of us I think just enjoyed wandering around, beating each other up, dying, picking a new character, and continuing on.  It's a game I enjoyed as the group gamed at my first home and were really good friends.  Michelle is of course my wife and she's still with me, and I only hear occasionally from Anthony, Michael I can get in contact with easily enough but the others have all moved on.  Sigh, I'm getting melancholy.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Game Room now clean and ready for business

Here are the pictures to show it's all done.  Now for some friends!
Below is my smaller DBA style game boards.
Those below are my sea and space tables. 4'x4'.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Working Studio Finished!

OK I have done it.  I have finished one room completely.  See for yourself!

Ignore the piles of clutter that is at the back of this shot.  I have got to get to that next.
This is the other view of what I have to finish clearing up.  Then my gaming table will be free and I can actually think about entertaining people again.  That's if they'll have me? 
(small pityful whimper and a sad face...)

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Almost there!

Yes the new and improved on work desk.  I just need to add another shelf and I will be able to hopefully keep my hobby area clear for at least a week.  While cleaning up I worked out that there were at least 30 unfinished projects that had been pushed off to the side (this being my way of moving on to other projects - it has been my intent to come back to them...).  I have just got to clean up and sort the "creative clutter" on the floor and I should be halfway back to painting again.  Here's hoping.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Home snapshots from the early 80's

Here's from a time when I had lots of friends.  We used to meet at my parents home, where my mother would even feed them all.  All much missed. 
A quiet game amongst friends.  From left to right: Bruce (I think), Alex, Anthony, and Michael.
One of the usual nights.  Must have been a role playing night, Top Secret I think.  Towards the end I think we were playing more boardgames.  Star Fleet Battles was most popular.  Who was there?  I can name most of them except the chap on the extreme left.  The usual gamers were Anthony R, Michael M, David K, Dick W, Tony M, Rob M, and Alex M.
Here is what happens when the party decide to solve the adventure by killing (well maybe seriously maiming) the GM.  Top Secret would appear to be what we were playing.
Yes, there were 8 of us in this vehicle.  Not sure where we had been or how we didn't get pulled over.  Happier days.

Queensland Role Players - A blast from the past

I have been cleaning up my studio and I found several boxes of old photo's.  I thought I share them.  Enjoy!
Not sure where this photo was taken but clearly this group won a D&D competition.  Steven Twine was the DM, and the older gentleman was a professor, the rest I can't even remember their names.  The curse of old age - memory goes all too soon.

These shots were from a promotional QRP did back in 1982 (I think) at a shopping centre (Wynnum somewhere).
The committe sometime in the early 80's.  From left to right and back to front. Russell (I think?), Greg L, Rob M, Michael M, Keith D, Steven T, John M (Me, yes I was thin once), Anthony (I think), Angela M, and Russel P.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Update from Jeff

As you will know I'm keeping in touch with Jeff.  I write to him every couple of weeks and ask him to share his experiences of China with me.  I also do it to let him know that he's not forgotten.

Here's his latest for you to read.

So, To the questions.

1: What’s grocery shopping like?
You really have 2 options for groceries where we are. You can go across the road to the Carrefour. (a massive french based department store with something like a Coles on the top floor.) You can get just about anything there from your entertainment centre to motorbikes. You will have a hard time finding anything though. Chinese or maybe French logic means that if you have the dishwashing stuff in one aisle like brushes and racks, you must have things like plugs and sponges 3 aisles down. Brooms are not kept near the mops and buckets... That would make sense. They are kept near the dishwashing detergent. The food section is kind of the same but they have an imported section where I can get stuff like Tim Tams and cornflakes. You do tend to pay western prices for things and it can get very expensive very fast.
The other option is to go to the local market stalls. You get slightly fresher fruit and veg at a much reduced price. As for meat though, that is an experience. From both Carrefour and the meat market you can get things like live eels, turtles, clams, fish and frogs. Both of them have all of the meat in trays out in front opf the stall and you just pick what you want and they bag it up for you. At the meat market though you have live chickens and pigs standing around looking a little bewildered. I watched one guy order a bunch of eel and while he waited the lady picked one up, laid it on the chopping block where there was a nail at the top to keep the slimy little bugger there. she then slit it open and took out all the guts and bones. As she threw it into the plastic bag, the mouth was still opening and closing. Then there were the chickens.... It was at that point I left. I let the Ayi (person who does the cleaning and looks after Ruby and does the cooking) do all of the shopping as she gets a better bargain and knows the reputable stores.

2: How do you get to and from work?

Soong Ching Ling school has a branch of the kindergarden (Hong Mei road.) out near where I live. The school puts on a bus for all of the Chinese teachers that live in the city to take to the Chingpu campus. I take that one out to the primary school right next door. Getting to the Hong Mei campus is fun though as I can walk but prefer to take the electric scooter as it take 5 mins not 20. Everything that anyone has said about Chinese drivers in Australia is a product of the roads here. People would rather eat broken glass than let you in. There is at any one set of lights about 30 - 40 people on bikes all waiting to go with the lights. All of these people are being honked at by the people trying to turn against the lights. Those people are being honked at by the people trying to get through the lights before they turn red. those people are being honked at by the people who anticipate the lights and have already started to go. those people are being honked at by the people who are running the now red light (after it has been red for a few seconds.). Then there are the people who use their horn as a surrogate to using their indicator. And then there are the people that are honking at you to let you know that they are about to run you over and that you should get off of the footpath if you want to walk somewhere. This shit is crazy. But somehow it all works. I walked past the scene of an accident where a bike t-boned a taxi. The cops were measuring the skid distance and doing all of that while traffic was weaving in and out between the still crashed bike, the taxi, the cops and running over the measuring tape. People will not stop for anything here.

3: What do you do in your down time?

Down time? wtf is that?

But seriously, there is a massive amount of things to do in this city. The volume of drinking establishments and other types of eateries means that you could be drunk and fed well everyday for a couple of years without repeating an establishment. And that is without travelling very much furthur than 20 mins either side of the main part of the city. There are a huge number of tourist sites like peoples square and some temples around. Historic water towns are beautiful to see and are not far out of town. They are knocking down a few of the old towns to make way for new development though and there is a lot of history vanishing day by day. If you want to travel a couple of hours to somewhere like Ningbo or Beijing (flight time that is) and you experience a whole new level of the world. Weekend trips to those places you see on the documentaries are not a difficult thing to organise. In general though we would head out to the pearl markets to get shop for some cheap jewelry or something. They have a reputable dvd store where you get some pretty recent movies for about 5 RMB each. Television series like mash box set will set you back about 100RMB ($15AUD). After I invest in a good dvd player I will be set up nicely. The current dvd player is a bit shit. Then there are the fabric markets where you can get a suit or shirts made. I recently ordered some jeans to be tailor made for 160 RMB (about $25 AUD). I am going to pick up a Cashmere full length overcoat that is being tailor made for me that only cost 600 RMB ($100AUD after some hard bargaining). I priced one on ebay at $1500AUD. Woot!. The fake markets are where you can go and get genuine replicas of just about anything you want. They are selling rifle scopes next to toy helicopters. a stall that sells make up is sandwiched between a luggage stall and a stall that is selling ipads and other android tablets. Belts, watches, sunnies, posters, silk paintings, beautiful tea sets, bottle openers are all on sale. It is utterly bewildering over here.

Carrie may be coming back to Australia in Jan some time so we may have to put togehter a care package for the piggies.

I have to get some work done now so I'll sign off.

Have fun and stay well John. Give my love to Bec and slap Paul around a little. Or vice versa if you are feeling tired of living.

Friday, November 18, 2011

The problems with enamel paint

I finally found some cheap paint for my gaming tables.  The problem, they are enamel.  Normally I don't have to worry when using acrylics, it dries so quickly.  My patience is being tried waiting for the paint to dry, it's like watching grass grow.

I have pine boards, which have notches.  So I've applied putty, thinking maybe this is a waste of effort, considering that I will be moving the boards from time to time.  However, the first board has been done.  It's my naval board which while the Royal Blue is gloss, it suits the theme of water.

I will take pictures eventually. 

Chasing E.C.Tubb Books

Ok I'm on the scrounge.  I've gone back to reading old titles from old authors.  The following are titles I'm after from E.C.Tubb.  If you can provide me with them, leave a post in my comments.

Dumarest of Terra or Dumarest Saga as they are known.

8. Veruchia
9. Mayenne
10. Jondelle
16. Haven of Darkness
17. Prison of Night
18. Incident on Ath
19. The Quillian Sector
20. Web of Sand
22. The Terra Data
23. World of Promise
26. The Coming Event
28. Melome
29. Angado
30. Symbol of Terra
31. The Temple of Truth
32. The Return
33. Child of Earth

Monday, November 14, 2011

No Motivation

It's sad to say but I have lost my motivation and focus.  I know I've been saying this for a while, and I suppose people are tired of seeing me write as much.  Yet I have not found the enthusiasm to do any of the thousand and one projects that are sitting in my Studio, crying out for attention.

I thought a little shopping therapy would help me, by getting me excited with a new project.  It did not work.  I don't know what will get me going again.

I have decided to think through some logistical removals within my residence.  I think that the changes will result in some increased gaming space and the placement of my precious libraries out of harms way, as well as placing them all in one area.  I just have to work out how I'm going to be able to move all the furniture by myself in this heat.  I did it before, so I guess I can do it again.

So while I have been thinking of these plans I have been updating my library database.  I have now catalogued 4 bookcases and recorded 1,152 items.  Only 4 more bookcases and about 40 boxes to go.  I'm staggered by the size of it all.  It makes me hope that my children will appreciate what I'm going to leave them, otherwise I shall have to find a padawan who will accept my collection.

This brings me to a question that a number of people ask me.  "How can you afford all of this?"  Well for starters I own my home, I have no credit cards or debts of any kind.  I don't drink or smoke, eat out or gamble.  So this means that apart from the costs of living and utilities my pension allows me to buy the things I need that help to while away my time while waiting for the Grim Reaper.  So there's your answer people, I hope that answer satisfies your curiosity.

I'd really like to run some roleplaying games again, particularly Call of Cthulhu or Empire of the Petal Throne, even first edition Advanced Dungeons & Dragons.  I just need to find people who would want to participate in some games.

I intend to buy a few my 4'x4' boards from Bunnings this week.  This will allow me to have a variety of game systems catered for.  Just need some cheap paint to make them playable.

I'd like this heat we are having to go away, but I guess it's a taste of whats to come this Summer. 

Well I'm off to spray some more insecticide about, got to get those cockroaches under control.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

New Table Tops

Finally I bit the bullet and went to Bunnings to buy some new tabletops to game on.

I almost got the 4'x4' size.  They are just short by I think 1/2", but close enough is good enough in this case.  I'm very happy with this.  They are pine, and will only need a light sanding to take the rough cuts along the edges.  I intend to paint one blue for my sea table, the other black for a space table.  Will have to see how brave I am with painting stars and the like on the space table.

The other two boards I bought for DBA.  They are 3'x2' which is great as it will leave 6" on either side of the 2'x2' area for the placement of "dead" and other gaming paraphernalia.  I may buy a few more of these and store them with the long term view of a one day DBA/HotT tournament.  Need to drum up interest in this though as it's only a very small number of players at the Blind Pig who play.

So, it's the club tomorrow.  An epic game of Dystopian Wars with Leslie.  I wonder how many points we'll go for this time.  Something insane I'm sure.  Must remember to bring my camera.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Weekly Update

What have I been up to?

Well I haven't been painting if that's what you may be asking.

Have I done anything?

Nothing that I find worthy of seeking accolades for.

Finally bit the bullet and purchased some more Dragyri for Dark Age.  May get them this week.

Visited my local second hand bookshop.  Stripped them of some more authors I remember reading in my youth.  As you may guess I'm spending more and more of my time in the past.  I guess I'm finding comfort in those things that made me happy.  Reading certainly falls into that category.  It also means I don't have to raise a paint brush and do any serious work.

I really should update my book database more regularly.  I had fallen behind the work and had to enter 61 new titles to the collection.  It now stands at 1148 novels.  I really must invest in more bookshelves, but that would stop be from buying more books or figures or games...

The school year is almost finished.  My son has his grade 11 exam block next and following week, then he's on hols.  So my internet connection speed will drop, my electricity bill will go up.  That's all it's doing now, going up and up with no stopping.  If my children didn't need computers and social networks I think my bill would be considerably less, but that doesn't seem to be happening any time soon.

It's interesting.  In my youth entertainment was simple.  There were books, games and the great outdoors.  The only power I needed was for the light to read a book at night.  Games were such that no power was required, except if played at night.  If I were to mention to my children to pick up a book, they look at me as if I've grown a second head.  That so "old school" they tell me. 

I had an interesting conversation with a friend today.  It was about gun laws.  He argued that we should be entitled to own guns.  I disagreed.  I stated that guns are like security screens for your home.  A security screen deters the casual offender. One who might be encouraged to break and enter because there is no security will do so.  If there is security they will pass it by more often than not.  Of course a security system will not deter the professional or the determined.  Gun laws are like that.  If guns are readily available then the casual offender will be tempted by the freedom and can cause harm.  With restrictions you can stop the casual offender, but not the determined from doing harm.  I wonder how many deaths are actually caused by gunshots?  How many people are killed by other devices or tools, say knives?  As I concluded our conversation, I simple stated "each to their own", as I don't believe I swayed him by my arguments.  I of course would not be able to own a gun, and if I did, it would be a danger to myself more than to anyone else.  I have no intention of dying the slow malignant death which is my final fate.

Bah, I getting melancholy again.

So the club is on this Saturday the 12th.  I'm hoping to be there, but am feeling a build up of toxins inside me that may cause me some issues.  I do want to give Leslie a sound thrashing at Dystopian Wars, of which he richly deserves but will more than likely be the reverse.  Optimistic aren't I!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

My Collection of AD&D Modules

Listed below are all the AD&D modules that I have managed to find so far.  There are some gaps, and I have as yet to satisfy myself that there are not a few of them hidden in some of the many boxes that make up my filing system.

If you have any of the modules I'm missing, please let me know and we'll see if we can come to arrangment over a sale or trade.  Please post in the comment section.

Secret of the Slavers Stockade
Assault on the Aerie of the Slave Lords
In the Dungeons of the Slave Lords
In Search of the Unknown
The Keep on the Borderlands
The Lost City
The Hidden Shrine of Tamoachan
The Ghost Tower of Inverness
The Lost Island of Castanamir
To Find a King
Test of the Warlords
The Tree of Life
Descent into the Depths of the Earth
Shrine of the Kuo-Toa
Vault of the Drow
Dragons of Desolation
The Land Beyond the Magic Mirror
Against the Giants
Adventure Pack I
Oasis of the White Palm
Lost Tomb of Martek
Baltron's Beacon
Ravager of Time
The Secret of Bone Hill
Blizzard Pass
Maze of the Riddling Minotaur
Against the Cult of the Reptile God
Blade of Vengeance
Swords of the Daimyo
Queen of the Demonweb Pits
The Book of Lairs II
Tomb of Horrors
White Plume Mountain
Expedition to the Barrier Peaks
The Temple of Elemental Evil
Danger at Dunwater
The Final Enemy
Beyond the Crystal Cave
The Sentinel
The Gauntlet
When a Star Falls
Eye of the Serpent
All That Glitters...
The Forgotten Temple of Tharizdan
Mordenkainen's Fantastic Adventure
Isle of the Ape
Castle Greyhawk
Red Arrow, Black Shield
Curse of Xanathon
Terrible Trouble at Tragidore

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Blood Bowl 1st Edition Rules

I am desperately seeking a copy of the very first release of Blood Bowl, specifically the rules.  My set was lost in floods some time ago and I'm wanting to complete the set.  If you can help then let me know by posting in the comments section.
from the Mad One

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Last day of the month, first day of the week.

After much procrastination I finally did my tax.  What a jolly exercise it was.  Having a migraine as a carry over from yesterday afternoon didn't help much.  So my wife is very happy with me now.  All I have to wait for now is for the ATO to process it.  I used the eTax programme and did it "online".  Still confusing, but not as much as reading the Tax Pack.

So as I stated before, my health isn't good.  The migraines are getting worse, and there is very little that can be done to reduce them.  I need a nice dark cool place.  Pity summer is coming.

I've yet to get back into painting.  With this happening I've just been looking at my old figures and deciding what to do with them.  Wargods of Aegyptus seems to be the one to run with at the moment.  I've plenty of figures, and I have the time.  All I need are opponents.  Perhaps at the Blind Pig next year.

Looks like 5 pension days till Christmas.  Don't know what to do this Christmas.  My family is now just my wife and the two kids.  No one to visit, and no one who will visit.  It's generally not a good time of the year for me, as it then feeds on to New Years Day.  I get very melancholy about the prospects of another year. 

Have made a half-hearted attempt at cleaning the studio, but it's looks too much like hard work.  I tire easily these days, and it would help if I could unclog my vacuum cleaner.  I really should make an attempt while the weather is still cool(ish).

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Happy Birthday 'Chelle

Today is my beautiful wifes birthday.  I can't tell you how old she is, no woman tells people their age.



John, Liam and Dana.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Back to the future... read that as past.

I looked at the future and have decided that there is nothing wrong with the past.

"What's he banging on about?" I hear you say...

I've looked at a number of the "new" roleplaying games and I will point the finger at the new D&D as the main culprit.  I'm not impressed.  The games seem to be nothing more than miniature orientated games, well if you want that, go play actual miniature wargames. 

A roleplaying game to me is all about imagination, interpretation and occassionally some dice rolling to determine an unpredicted outcome.  It's all about character development through story telling.  Something that seems to be missing in todays roleplaying community.

So I've gone back to the past.  I've dug out my Runequest, Tunnels & Trolls, Call of Cthulhu, Empire of the Petal Throne and OSRIC (which I don't mind).  Simple systems.  People just seem to want too much these days, and there's nothing worse than reading reams of paper (read feats etc from 4th Ed D&D).  I like the old, choose a class, look at your spells or abilities and off you go.

My wife has been attending church services with the Baptists at present.  No, she hasn't become a heretic, she was invited to attend as she spends a lot of her time helping out in their charity arm.  It started as part of a "work for the dole" programme, and has blossomed into her giving her time to a really nice group of ladies.  Chelle has no "friends" and this group have given her the needed support that she couldn't find from our own faith.  I see I'm rambling, but there is a point to all this.  She told me that the sermon last Sunday was all about forgetting the past, or more precisely stop being hindered/hampered by the past, concentrate on the future and go from there.  So Chelle's doing this, but I'm not.  My past makes me who I am, what I do, and how I will act in the future.  I find comfort in the past, and I refuse to give up or modify my ethics or behaviour to fit into a world that quite frankly needs a damn good thrashing.  I am what I am, my families bard, the keeper of family lore and history.  As someone said once "if we do not learn from the past, then we are doomed to repeat it".  Getting philsophical in my old age. 

So back to the past is my goal.  I'm digging up my old games.  Giving them a dusting.  Reliving the memories that are associated with them.  Everything I have has memories attached to them, which is why I am loath to part with what I have.  Yet, I also believe in being generous, and people have been blessed by my generosity.  Hmm, my ego seems to be rising.  I'll stop now.  I've written enough.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

It's Monday Again

The start of another week.


Played taxi all weekend and achieved nothing.

Still have not lifted a paint brush in action.

Doctors again this week.

My beautiful wifes birthday this Wednesday, the 26th.

My life in exile continues.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

English Civil War

No figures painted, but a lot of re-basing and tidying up.  Hopefully there is now enough to field most of the antagonists for the period.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Warhammer Historical

Last fornight I ordered from Warhammer Historical some of the latest productions.  I did this primarily as they had a very nice 50% off sale, and who can pass up that sort of savings?  I certainly couldn't.

Today they arrived.  I had a look at the postal tracking.  Posted from the UK 12/10, tracked 13/10, 14/10 and 15/10.  Then it seems it sat in customs for four days before being sent on it's way to me.  Well, its with me now, so I can stop worrying about it going astray.

Over the Top
Soft cover.176 pages.  Typical high standard of presentation.  As to the content and it's use?  I just have to find the time to read it.

Gladiator, The Game of Deadly Arena Combat in Ancient Rome.
Hard Cover.  144 pages.  Again high standard of presentation. 

Waterloo, Tabletop Wargaming in the Age of Napoleon.
Hard Cover. 288 pages. High standard of presentation.

The Waterloo set I will read at some time in the future.  Gladiator I can actually start running with immediately.  I have a fair number of gladiators alread painted up.  All I need to do is create an arena!  (Maybe Bec might read this and build an arena of epic proportions - you know with a chariot track etc).

Over the Top follows on from the Great War ruleset.  From a quick flick I'm dissappointed in the content.  I really was hoping that this expansion would have covered the Middle East, but it continues on with the Western front.  I have Germans and British in 28mm but have to get around to painting them up.  A project for the long haul.

So it seems Gladiator is the most likely one of these to see some mileage.

My ECW project is progressing to the stage where I may have to paing some more figures.  Not a lot, well about 100 odd.  Mostly musket, cavalry and highlanders.  This will round off my lists, allowing me to field armies from any of the combatants for the period.  I must get my camera back from my daughter.  Hopefully I'll post pictures in due course.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Monday, the start of a new week

It's the start of a new week.

Children have a pupil free day.  So one's home sleeping, the other is out socialising.

Had the last stitches removed, and am pleased that they are out.  I can scratch without being overly cautious now.

Spent the weekend looking at my English Civil War figures.  I bought (or traded I can't remember now) some ECW from a friend years ago.  I had thought they were bare metal or partial painted.  To my surprise I found that a fair few have been painted.  They aren't works of art, but with a black wash and a nice base they will pass muster.  My dilemma now is which set of lists to work from for a DBA~RRR army.  I like the lists that the DBA~RRR writers produced.  They give you a little leeway compared to the DBA~Extension for 1500AD - 1900AD.  I now have I think sufficient based elements to field both sides.  I will have a couple of dry runs against myself to see how the lists play out and make a final decision in the weeks to come.  I was thinking of introducing a variable list so that it could reflect to my understanding of the period, the lack lustre recruitment of troops.  I think it would help stop an opponent from taking a tooled list each and every time.  Mind you I only see myself playing this period, so my games will most likely be few and far between.  Once the bases have dried I will post some pictures of the troops.

I've finally managed to track down some old TV shows I enjoyed watching.  Gargoyles (a Disney animation series) and Reboot (CGI animation).  Reboot I enjoyed immensely, as it was whitty and may have gone over the heads of some viewers unless they had a broad based education in literature and arts.  I have seen the new Thundercats animation and I enjoyed it.  Lastly the Nero Wolf Mysteries.  I can understand why the series was cancelled after two seasons.  Using certain cast members to play different roles in different episodes showed a series with a budget restriction.  However I did enjoy it for the entertainment it provided.  Certainly not as classy as the Hercule Poirot series by/with David Suchet.

My daughter started her first job at McDonald's this weekend past.  On Saturday, her first day she was really nervous.  It didn't help much when Dana and her mother argued and fought on that day.  It took Dad to sit with her and provide her the encouragement and support that she wanted.  She needed that from me, and I was gratified with her love in return.  I love my children.  She finished the weekend saying that she would not be able to eat McDonald's again.  Certainly she smelt of cooking oil, with it permeating everything she wore and her hair.  Thankfully a hot shower, and she was back to spending hours straightening her hair (she has naturally wavy hair).

I've yet to pick up a paint brush and actually start produceing figures.  I'm looking at my huge Lord of the Rings collection and debating the merit of making them into Hordes of the Things armies.  I just don't know if I want to do that.  Yet they aren't doing anything otherwise, except take up 8 underbed storage tubs.  What to do, what to do?

So that's me for the start of the week.  Totally committed to nothing.

Friday, October 14, 2011

English Civil War Update

I have started on the rebasing of my English Civil War figures to the DBA~RRR convention. 
The list II/21 English Civil War Royalist 1641-1643


1x4Kn(g) or 4Pi(g) or 3Cv(g) or 4Pk(g), 1x4Kn (Cavaliers), 1x4Sh (Musketeers)

Choose 9 from the following:

0-6 4Kn (Cavaliers), 0-1 Dr (Dragoons), 0-4 (1x4Sh + 1x4Pk) (Musketeers and pikemen), 0-1 4Sh (Firelocks), 0-1 4Bd (Billmen), 0-1 Hd (Countrymen armed with farm tools or cudgels), 0-1 Gun or Can (Gallaoper guns or Demi-culverins and sakers)

That is the list I’m starting with.  I’ve done the 1x4Kn(g) element.  Lobster suits and cuirass where possible. 10x4Kn.  These are my Cavaliers. 2xGun/Cannon. 6x4Sh + 6x4Pk.  The pike are ringers at the moment.  They are actually Scots, but I’m in the process of resurrecting some pike to take their place.

So from this I can build a list as follows:

1xKn(g), 6xKn, 2xSh + 2xPk, 1xGun/Can

Now I have to decide how to do the opposition, those nasty Parliamentarians (boo, hiss).

DBx Update

Thanks to the DBA~RRR amendments I have been able to get my English Civil War rebased.  Will post pictures soon.  I am though rather happy with all this. 

Also looking at Hordes of the Empire, Colonial Warfare during the age of expansion. HotT for Colonials. 

Ah, so much to do, so little painted to meet it all.

Thursday, October 13, 2011


I knew if I went searching enough I'd find it for the ECW time period.

Thanks to Fanaticus (you can see the link on my side bar) I have found the DBA~RRR amendments that allow you to play the Renaissance, Reformation and Restoration period.  Very happy with this.


Well I bought the Field of Glory:Renaissance rules and Wars of Religion companion and having started to read the rules, and examining the lists, I have a lot of figures to paint.  The nut cruncher is that I have to produce two armies, with twice the amount of work.  Guess I'm getting lazy.  However I am happy that I did buy the rules, they are rather nice.  I do recommend that you get yours through QBD as the price is a lot more competitive than some of the LGS.

So I'm off to ponder my ECW now in DBA~RRR.  Will post pictures when things come to hand.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

12th October 1985

Today the 12th October 26 years ago I married my beautiful wife.  Happy anniversary.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Start of the Week

It's the start of the week.  Things are looking marginally better than they did from Saturday.

My beautiful wife is doing a Certificate II in Hospitality.  Part of the programme required her to do 2 weeks work experience with a business.  Things were going good until Saturday.  The owner or part owner of the business sacked Chelle because she gave him the wrong steak.  Having worked in the education & training world I know what is required of people who are doing work experience.  Chelle was tossed in the deep end.  No one knew who she was on the first day.  Her appearance was not young and good looking.  There was little or no mentoring.  Quite frankly it was a joke.  If this had been real life work, Chelle would have had a very good ground for unfair dismissal.  What concerned us the most was that there was a clause in her placement that said that should she not attend any shift she could lose 7 weeks unemployment benefits.  When you are already getting pittance the lose of that meager amount would have been catastrophic.  Happily it all worked out today.  Chelle has passed her course! 

So I have started to ease myself back into painting.  Just picking a few models and badgering away.  The left arm causes me some twinges, as my muscles react to the stitches.  Thankfully I got the dressing off without any drama.  In previous cases I've had the wound bleed and then congeal into the bandages, making life painful in removing them.  The wounds look real clean, and apart from the scars should heal well. 

Found Reboot and am enjoying it immensely.  Love the humour.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Blue Max - WWI Aerial Combat

I worked on this project a number of years ago.  I'm hoping that I will be able to get a hex board built for these 1/72 scale Airfix models.  I had a read of the rules, and honestly if I can understand it in one reading then anyone should be able to play it.

I'm hoping to get this running at the Blind Pig, maybe December but more likely next year.

These are my allies.  The early period has the DH2.

Sadly my Germans are lacking as many aircraft but I will work on that.

I see the Hobby One has the Re8 and Roland two seaters which I shall have to get.  Not sure how I'll do balloons yet.  But I love a challenge.

I do have Wings of War, which is the card game (although they now have aircraft).  The aircraft that has been produced is of a small size, not sure the exact scale.  They aren't cheap, but then I have been looking at other figures, and when you factor is that you have to build and paint them, the WoW aircraft probably aren't that badly priced.  So I may be able to do Blue Max in a smaller scale, but will see what happens.

Some new purchases!

At present Warhammer Historical is having a 50% off sale on all their rule books.  I could not help myself, not at 50% off.  I was just thinking of buying one of the titles for The Great War, but the sale made things far too tempting.

In the end I got Waterloo, Gladiator and Over the Top.  Waterloo, obviously Napoleonics.  Gladiator, hopefully a useable set of gladiatorial combat rules.  Lastly Over the Top which is an extra sourcebook for The Great War ruleset.  All up, including the postage, just under $70AUS.  Considering that some Australian shops want about $60AUS for just one of them, I'm ahead by miles.

So having gone back to historial games for the moment I decided to lash out for the Field of Glory rule sets.  My source, QBD.  Yes the retail chain stocks some wargaming books, I even found roleplaying games hidden in their as well.  The English Civil War (ECW) has always been a favourite period for me, mainly because my family played a part in Montroses army in the North.  We have always remained Royalists and if by any indication of my children, will continue to be so.  It's a nice feeling really.  I'm wandering again.  Anyway I bought the Field of Glory: Renaissence rulebook and Wars of Faith, which covers the ECW period.  What was nice is that any orders with QBD over $60 are post free.  In the end I got the books for about $72.  Again another bargain as one retailer has the rulebook for $60 plus postage.  Score!

So at present I'm 2-0.  Extremely poor, but now chaffing at the bit for my books to arrive.

DBA Optional Rules, by Andrew Ross, Esq.

My good friend Andrew Ross, Esq has granted me permission to publish his optional rules for DBA which he has put together.  Sadly I don't get many games with Andrew these days, as he's available some evenings, but I off to the world of nod due to medication and health.  My greatess weakness is that evenings are not good for me.  So have a read, but please do not reproduce or distribute without the authors permission.

DBA Optional Rules

One, all or none of these rules may be only used with the prior concurrence of both players. An explanation of the rationale behind the rule change is provided in italic text.

Regulars and Irregulars PIP Modifier

Regulars differed from irregulars in receiving training to operate as formed bodies, making them more responsive to the Commander’s plans, timings, manoeuvre intentions and battlefield orders. Although fighting prowess as individual may be similar, regular training resulted in more consistent collective performance than the extremes sometimes experienced by irregulars.

To reflect the relatively consistency performance of regulars compared with the sometimes erratic behaviour of irregulars, dice modified to show 2, 3, 3, 4, 4 and 5 are used for all throws by regular elements. The conventional 1 to 6 dice are used for irregulars.

Whether troops are regular or irregular depends on their organisation, training and the consistency with which they could be controlled. Warband, Horde, Camelry, Scythed Chariots, Camp Followers and Denizens can never be regular. All other troop types can be regular or irregular according to their historical prototypes.

Elephants are always irregular for combat dice throws. If the elephant model also represents a general who would otherwise fall within the regular definition, modified dice are used to generate PIPs.

Troop Quality Combat Modifier

Some troops acquired a greater degree of efficiency and higher morale through experience and training than others. This was reflected in their performance and confidence in their own ability, whether or not it was in fact justified. Conversely, some were untrained, inexperienced and lacking confidence. These differences manifested in combat.

In addition to ordinary elements, troop quality can be further modified as superior or inferior. For every element in a force upgraded to superior, one element must be downgraded to inferior. Deciding which element should be upgraded or downgraded, if any, is more immediately apparent in some lists than others.

Superior troops are those recognised by their contemporaries as significantly superior in morale and efficiency. Elephants, Knights (or Cataphracts if the Cataphract option is used), Cavalry, Light Horse, Spears, Pikes, Blades, Auxilia, Bows, Psiloi or Warband can be superior.

Inferior elements are brittle troops historically identifiable as of significantly inferior morale and efficiency. Elephants, Knights (or Cataphracts if the Cataphract option is used), Cavalry, Light Horse, Camelry, Spears, Pikes, Blades, Auxilia, Bows, Psiloi or Horde can be inferior.

Compare elements total score after combat, rear support and tactical factors are calculated but before applying combat outcomes:

  • Superior troops whose primary opponent is not superior add +1 to any lower distant combat score or equal or lower to any close combat score.
  • Inferior troops whose primary opponent is not inferior deduct -1 from any lower distant combat score or equal or lower to any close combat score.

Cataphract Combat Modifier

The almost complete armour for man and horse used by Cataphracts combined with extremely close formation made them ponderous in manoeuvre and almost impervious to archery. Cataphracts also includes cataphract camels.

Cataphracts in combat against or in close combat against Cavalry, Light Horse, Pikes or Spears add +1 to any equal or lower to any close combat score. When shot at by Bowmen, they add +1 to any lower distance combat score.

Cataphracts in close combat against Scythed Chariots, Elephants, Knights (other than Cataphracts), Blades or Warband deduct -1 from any equal or lower close combat score.

Spear and Bow Combination Combat Modifier

Some formations used shielded spearmen or pikemen to protect archers shooting overhead. The front rank shields of the formation provided an advantage of protection against other bowmen but shallower formation of close combat troops in the front ranks was a disadvantage against close combat opponents.

Combinations or pike or spear armed front ranks with integral support from rear rank bowmen. They count as bowmen when in distant combat but add +1 to any lower combat score. They count as spearmen when in close combat but deduct -1 from equal or lower to any combat score.

Spear and Bow combinations cannot claim rear support.

Cavalry and Infantry Combination Combat Modifier

Some nations deployed with light infantry in close support of their cavalry, sometimes being carried as pillion on the cavalry horse, otherwise running alongside or behind. The close support lent some stability to the horsemen but at the cost of reduced mobility trough the horse carrying extra weight or being slowed to enable to foot soldiers to keep up.

Cavalry of the early Germans (List II/47), ancient Spanish (List II/39) and early Samurai cavalry (List III/54) can claim +1 if supported by integral infantry when in close combat against other Cavalry or Knights (or Cavalry and Cataphracts but not other knights if the Cataphract option is used). The combined element moves at the slowest speed applicable to its constituent troop type (cavalry or psiloi/auxilia) for the terrain it occupies.

Wedge Formation PIP and Tactical Factor Modifier

A wedge formation was used by some mounted units to provide additional shock effect at contact by focusing the point of attack to rupture the opposing formation. If impetus was lost however, the narrower formation could be more easily outflanked, surrounded, and destroyed before the shock advantage could be exploited.

Other less formal wedges common amongst some irregular forces where braver individuals led their less enthusiastic supporters forward, the followers echeloning back along the flanks, lacked the necessary cohesion to count as wedge formation.

Alexandrian Companion cavalry (shown as 3Kn in List II/12 and 15), Hellenistic xystophoroi (shown as 3Kn in List II/16a, b, c, and d; 17; 18; 19a and b; 20a and b; 27; and 34), Byzantine Clibanophoroi (shown as 6Kn in List III/64), and later German knights (shown as 6Kn in List IV/13c and d, and 74) can be deployed in wedge formation.

To reflect their emphasis on momentum and shock of impact, troops in wedge ignore any overlaps by enemy elements in side edge to side edge contact or in front corner to front corner contact, but not those enemy in front edge with the wedge’s side edge, provided:

  • In their own bound: the wedge either advanced into contact
  • In their opponents bound: the wedge pursued close combat opponents who recoiled, broke-off, fled or were destroyed during their last bound

Morale Equivalents

The loss of some bodies of troops would have a greater impact on the morale of an army than the loss of others. For example, the destruction of levy infantry would have less effect on the cohesion of a force than the loss of elite heavy troops.

Prior to the start of the game, elements can be modified to represent morale equivalents for calculating losses. Morale equivalents can be modified according to the table below provided that the total morale equivalents equals the total number of elements in the army.

Alternatively, opposing forces may be made up of equal total morale equivalents, representing large forces of poor troops or smaller forces of high quality troops. Army lists must still contain at least one element of the range of alternative troop types.

Element Type
Morale Equivalent
Elephants, Knights, Heavy Chariots, Light Chariots, Cavalry, Pikes, Spears, Spear/Bow, Blades, or Warband
Light Horse, Psiloi, poor quality Auxilia or Bowmen, or Hordes
½ - 1

Scythed chariots, camp followers and denizens are always worth zero morale equivalents. As a scythed chariot element still counts as an element for calculating the total number of morale equivalents, armies with a scythed chariot must always have at least one element also worth two morale equivalents. Camps and BUA occupied by the enemy during the battle count as two morale equivalents as long as they remain under enemy control.

The first side at the end of any bound that has lost its general or whose lost element’s morale equivalents total a third of its original morale equivalents and has also lost more morale equivalents than the enemy loses the battle.

The same calculation methods are applied to determine the demoralised and winning and losing thresholds for BBDBA.

Artillery Categories

Artillery during the ancient period was more rarely used in field operations than during sieges. Some types lacked manoeuvrability and had to be assembled in place. Other types attempted to compensate by making the equipment light enough to be man-portable or mounting equipment on carts or elephants.

Artillery is divided into two types: static or mobile.

Static artillery is lager or heavier pieces without the means to be moved during a battle without extreme difficulty. Its movement is restricted to pivoting in place to alter its arc of fire. Such a pivot counts as a move for distant combat purposes. Static artillery with a distant combat total score of less than its opponent but more than half has a ‘no effect’ outcome.

Mobile artillery can be moved during the battle but has its maximum range reduced to 350 paces. It can shoot only in its own side’s bound or if it is shot at by the target and if it did not move.

Blade Categories

The majority blade type relied on edged weapons, shields and armour. Some had heavy edged, pole arm or concussive weapons but lacked defensive shields or adequate armour. They were more vulnerable to missiles before closing to contact but equally formidable in close combat. Their lack of armour was offset by heavier weapons in comparison with other blade types.

Blades are divided into two types: ordinary and light.

There are no rule modifications for ordinary blades.

Light blades include Aurelian’s (doubtful) Palestinian clubmen (List II/64), Indian clubmen (List II/3), Dacian falxmen (List II/52), Byzantine menevlatoi (List III/64), and early Swiss halberdiers (List IV/41).

They deduct -1 from distant combat scores against Bowmen (including Longbow or Crossbow if that option used).

They add +1 to close combat scores against Knights (or Cataphracts if the Cataphract option is used), Pikes or Spears.

Spear Categories

The majority spear type relied on the cohesion provided by their close formation and defensive ‘shield wall’. Some instead operated with light equipment in a more flexible formation in broken terrain or in deep formations in open terrain using their spears to keep enemy at bay. They were more vulnerable to missiles but less susceptible to the effects of broken terrain.

Spears are divided into two types: ordinary and light.

There are no rule modifications for ordinary Spears.

Light Spears include those categories listed at ‘3Sp’.

For movement and for distant combat against Bowmen (including Longbow or Crossbow if that option used) Light Spears are treated as Auxilia. In close combat they count as Spears except that they deduct -1 from close combat scores against ordinary Spears.

Longbow and Crossbow

Longbow and crossbow technology coupled with improved missiles provided greater penetrating power than the self bows used my most nations or longbows used without improved arrowheads by others. This improvement came at reduced mobility associated with larger and heavier weapons and a significant additional training debt in the case of longbows or slower rates of fire in the case of crossbows. The mobility disadvantage was offset to a degree by mounting archers for transport to combat. Static defence was often be enhanced by the use of armour, shields, pavaises or fixed stakes.

Longbow or Crossbow armed bow elements (listed as Lb or Cb in the army lists) can shoot only if it did not move in its own bound immediately preceding.

Bowmen (not Longbow or Crossbow) deduct -1 from distant combat scores against Elephants, Knights (or Cataphracts if the Cataphract option is used), Scythed Chariots, Spears(or ordinary Spears if the option is used), Pikes, or Blades (or ordinary Blades if the option is used). There would be no appreciable disadvantage against other troop types as penetrating power was already adequate.

A close combat advantage for longbow or crossbows using substantial armour or defensive stakes should be achieved through classification as superior.

Longbows or crossbows used in the second rank of Spear and Bow Combinations count as normal bows to allow for reduced numbers compared with full longbow or crossbow elements and loss of accuracy due to the elevation required to fire over the front rank.

Dismounting Troops

Some troops rode to battle dismounting to fight, sending their mounts away to the rear. Others dismounted on the battlefield to fight but kept their mounts nearby to remount if required.

Element combinations separated by // in the army lists are permitted to dismount or mount during the game as part of a tactical move. An additional transport element of horse holders or wagon models, as appropriate, must be positioned immediately behind the dismounted element. The transport element is lost should the dismounted element make a tactical move without remounting or be destroyed, flee, break-off, or recoil as a combat outcome.

In a BBDBA game, an element eligible to flee as the result of demoralisation automatically remounts to do so, the 1 PIP and delay to remount being waived. The transport element of a demoralised element that is not being held is immediately removed.

If the player desires, the transport element can be permanently removed to save space, it being assumed that the transport has been sent off the battlefield.

Like dismounting, remounting costs 1 PIP. It takes an entire bound with no other activity to remount and form up, ending the bound facing in any direction desired.

Heavy Troop Combat Outcomes

It was the combat between heavy troops that usually decided the outcome of battles.  Some mounted troop types such as knights could shatter a formed opponent with an impetuous charge. Some infantry troop types such as blades or warband sought to resolve the engagement thorough a series of pulses, others like spears and pikes through constant pressure until one side gave way. The initiative would pass from one side to the other. The side with the initiative would seek to maximise the tactical advantage afforded by their style of combat.

The following outcomes are substituted in the event that the total is less than that of its opponent but more than half:

Cavalry                     If in an enemy bound:

·               destroyed by Knights not in wedge if in good going,

·               flee from Scythed Chariots or Camelry.

If not, recoil.

Pikes or Spears         If in an enemy bound, destroyed by:

·               Elephants, Knights, Light Horse or Scythed Chariots if in good going;

·               Warband.

If not, recoil.

Blades                      If in an enemy bound, destroyed by:

·               Knights or Scythed Chariots if in good going,

·               Warband.

If not, recoil.

Warband                  If in an enemy bound, destroyed by:

·               Elephants, Knights or Scythed Chariots if in good going;

·               Blades.

If not, recoil.