Friday 30 April 2021

Mini Vortex Mixer - Economical or a Waste of Money?

Just a short video today taking a quick look at a Vortex Mixer I got for my birthday a few weeks ago. I have been using it and decided it was time to do a quick review. 

This is definitely at the cheaper end of the market but it does the job. For my occasional use, this is more than adequate for my needs. However, there are plenty of similar machines to choose from and lots of reviews on YouTube so I would definitely recommend doing your research before spending your hard-earned gaming budget on a machine. 

Wednesday 28 April 2021

Recycled Terrain and a Bigger Table

It has been another busy week in the Operations Room, with more terrain work and the long-awaited table expansion (more on that later). I have put in a couple of orders for new miniatures but expect to be waiting for them for a few weeks. This is a combination of delayed (and more costly) shipping from the continent and the inevitable covid related delays for manufacturers still trying to get back up to full production. I'm happy to wait for their arrival but in the meantime, I have been scrabbling around looking for some new terrain projects to work on. This week I have managed to recycle or repurpose several bits of terrain for use in my 15mm Normandy games and in the process, I have realised I have an untapped resource that can keep me busy for some time to come. 

Tuesday 27 April 2021

Unboxing Ruined Buildings

I recently received some rather nice resin terrain from Ironclad Miniatures and shot a short Unboxing Video for my YouTube Channel, Miniature Adventures. The resin is very nice quality, with little cleaning required before painting, and is packed full of detail. 

I'm really pleased with these and hope to have them painted up and in action very soon. 

Sunday 25 April 2021

Getting out of the Bunker

Last weekend I was able to get out of the Operations Room and escape the Bunker for the first time in months (aside from work) and visited the Chatham Militaria Fair. I'm not a big collector - my pockets aren't that deep - but these are great places to see historical artefacts up close. And if you're budget extends that far, you may even come away with a souvenir for your gaming room or man-cave. 

Hopefully, this will be the first of many varied trips out as the year progresses and things open up a bit more. I'm still hopeful that some of the larger hobby shows will still take place as planned in the second half of the year and in just a few weeks time most Museums will be reopening. The Quarantined Wargamer will be quarantined no more, although I fully expect to have to remain cautious (keep hand washing, social distancing and wearing a mask) but it's a small price to pay for being able to get out of the house. 

Friday 23 April 2021

Battle Report - Assault on Morris Battery

My latest solo game at home has seen me get my newly painted British Airborne out on the table for a very exciting game of Chain of Command. As before I have made a 30 Minute Batrep video to record the game which you can see below. 


This was a very exciting game and thoroughly enjoyable. Here are a few pictures from the game but you'll have to watch the video to find out who won! 

The game used a lot of scenery that I haven't had on the table before, including these trenches and barbed wire fences. 

I also had some of my farm building on the table although they ended up playing no part in the game. 

The British have been tasked with assaulting and knocking out a fortified german gun battery overlooking the D-Day Beaches. They have a lot of open ground and barbed wire to cover. 

The British are Elite troops so get six command dice which is a huge advantage giving lots of flexibility in the game. 

British Para's get stuck in and earn their nickname The Red Devils. 

A very enjoyable game and I hope you enjoy the video. 

Wednesday 21 April 2021

Fields full of Hedgehogs

No, I haven't started painting cute garden animals for a fantasy game (relax Ray!). I'm talking about the Czech Hedgehog variety that often littered the beaches and fields of Normandy.  I'm always on the lookout for small battlefield items that can 'decorate' my games tables and this was a case of desire meeting serendipity in a most satisfying way. 

Sunday 18 April 2021

Encouraging the Next Generation of Wargamers

How do we get the next generation involved in Historical Wargaming? Well I believe we have to start when they are very young, and that means preparing the children closest to us; our own! Today's video on Miniature Adventures suggests some simple advice on how to encourage our children to take an interest in gaming and history in the hopes that one day the two will come together and they will enter the hobby. But in the end, we can't force them to become wargamers, all we can do is set the right conditions to instill something of our own passion for the hobby in them. 

I hope you enjoyed the video and of course if you did please like, subscribe and share. 

Friday 16 April 2021

Battle Report - Battle of Aquilla

I've been getting in some more solo games during my week off work and the first of these was a Punic War game using the To the Strongest! ruleset by Simon Miller. It's been a while since I have had these out and I wanted to try out my new arrangement for the Polybian Quincunx formation. It meant cutting up and rearranging some of my collection, but the new arrangement looks awesome without taking up loads of space on the table. 

I made a 30 Minute Batrep video for this game, although I did go over my time limit by about five minutes. 

The newly arranged Quincunx formation for my Polybian Romans looks really nice. 

As in previous games I use 10 sided dice rather than cards for my unit activations because it takes up less space on my tiny table. 

The Romans are taking a lot of damage and struggled to make the most of their line exchange and special rally activations. 

The end of the game was hard-fought and both sides were very close to breaking. The battle could have gone either way. 

You'll have to watch the video to find out who won 😉 but it was very enjoyable and fun to play right to the end of the game. 

Wednesday 14 April 2021

The Busy Wargamer

I was off work last week and despite a bit of a slow start, I got a lot done while I was off. I managed to get in a couple of Solo games, film them both for my YouTube Channel (the first will be posted for viewing on Friday) to get some painting completed and I've had a big reorganization of my room to make more space for some new terrain.

Wehrmacht Checkpoint

The latter items were prompted along by the fact that I wanted some of the pieces for my most recent Chain of Command game. In particular, I needed a German checkpoint with a gate and guard hut.

I bought these from Peter Pig a few weeks ago but I didn't get time to finish them for the Painting Challenge. The models are metal and very nicely cast so there was little work needed cleaning them up. The set comes with the Guard Hut, the swing bar gate, and the sandbag wall. There is also a small drum stove but I haven't painted that yet.

Polybian Romans

I have also been busily rebasing some of my 6mm ancients figures. Actually rebasing isn't exactly true, I have changed the size of the bases the figures are mounted on. Madness I hear you cry, and you'd be right. This picture shows the Hastati, Principes, and Triarii of my Polybian Roman army as there originally based (on the left) and the new compact basing I have moved towards on the right.

The Romans had a line exchange maneuver that allowed them to swap fresh troops into the front line and the To the Strongest! rules have a new way of representing this in the game. I still needed to be able to move the lines of troops forward and back but they are now a single deep unit and the original basing gave them a massive footprint on the table. By cutting the empty half of the base off, and placing the strips on a movement tray, I can swap the lines around as needed in a much more compact and visually pleasing way.

Solo Wargaming

As indicated in my introduction I have managed to get a couple of solo games completed and filmed for Battle Reports, the first of which will be on my YouTube Channel on Friday. Both games were exciting to play out and have reinvigorated my enthusiasm for solo games. I'm still looking forward to getting back in the Shed-o-War for face-to-face gaming, but that is still a few weeks away.

The Fictional Punic War game The Battle of Aquilla will be available to view on Friday.

..and the equally fictional Assault on Morris Battery (a Chain of Comand game) will be available to view next week.

And there's more!

In addition to solo wargaming, I'm currently hip-deep in two remote games that are more about overcoming the fog of war and command and control than pushing mental figures around the table.

The first game is a Seven Years War clash being organised by one of the Rejects. It's being managed via email and our job is to issue the orders with the mechanics and movement being handled remotely by the umpire.
The Battle of Stoliboz has been as much about fighting the fog of war as it has the enemy but everyone taking part is enjoying the game immensely. Check out the game updates on the Don't Throw a One blog if you want to know more.

The other game is with another group entirely (flirting with other gamers!). I was approached by a long-time reader of this blog and author of Vultures Wargaming Blog to join in a game of What a Tanker using WhatsApp to issue orders. We are still early in the game but it's been another excellent lesson in trying to see through the fog of war (literally!).
This is the grainy B&W Aerial Recon picture of the battlefield we all started the game with. It's littered with the wrecks of vehicles from earlier games and has been largely blanketed in early morning mist up till now. I'm one of the two Allied players and somewhere on this map the enemy is lurking.

The game is still at an early stage but it's been great fun so far. We get updates in the form of photo's from the tank commander's perspective so figuring out even where my co-player is has been a challenge.

I'm back at work this week so I expect things to slow down a little but the remote games will keep me busy for several weeks and I'm working on some more 6mm figures for ancient gaming, so keep your eye's peeled for updates on this next week.

Sunday 11 April 2021

The Quarantined Wargamer - Unquarantined!!

Yesterday was a big day for me because I got my Second Covid Vaccination dose (my wife had her's earlier in the week). It's an important and much-anticipated step forwards for this family and for my hobby because I can start to think about the real possibility of some face to face gaming in a few weeks time. After the 17th of May, (assuming the Governments roadmap isn't changed) groups of up to six will be able to meet indoors and so some small scale gaming can resume. It's been over a year since I faced an opponent across the table and I'm looking forward to it immensely. 

Incidentally, I've not had any side effects with either dose. I'm not denigrating those that have had side effects and chosen to post about them, but I expect there are also a lot of people out there that haven't had any side effects and this non-news isn't celebrated enough. So there you have it, nothing happening here, nothing to see, move along, please. 😀

Until next week, Stay safe, keep gaming, get your vaccination and keep rolling high! 👍

Wednesday 7 April 2021

The Hills are Alive

I'm off work this week but haven't achieved much. The family and I were supposed to be in Cornwall but the 'current' batch of Covid restrictions put paid to that, just like all our plans in 2020. I decided to have the time off anyway, as I'm still trying to get through my last years holiday allocation and figured I needed a rest. So I went into the week with big ideas, loads of games to play and figures to paint. Such are the plan of mice, men and wargamers! The wife and I have been getting out for walks and doing a bit of spring cleaning and generally taking it easy. I have however managed to finish one project.

Last week I shared an unboxing video of my newly bought hot wire foam cutter (here). Over the weekend I used it properly for the first time and made myself a set of edge hills for use on my small games table. 

The two large hills can fit together to make a very large hill. Many of the hills I already had in my collection were a bit battered and no longer fit for use. The high-density foam I use for these hills will hopefully last me a lot longer, and they were a lot cheaper to make than any commercial examples would have cost to buy. 

I have ordered some more foam and I'll be making more hills in a similar style, both grass-covered and some sandy hills for use with my North African desert games. I am working on some other models and if I can wriggle out of household chores I'll try to get them finished for next week. 

Sunday 4 April 2021

Buying new brushes

I recently bought some new brushes and decided that I would do a short video on what to look for when purchasing the most important tool on your painting desk. I'm not making any specific recommendations though, that's a minefield I'd rather avoid! 

I'm bound to have missed some advice out so please if you disagree or have more to add please leave a comment below or on my YouTube Channel, Miniature Adventures. And of course ff you did enjoy the video please like, subscribe, and share. Until next week, stay safe, get as many games in as you can, and of course, keep rolling high!