Tuesday 30 April 2013

Cthulhu Fluxx Card Game

The Delvers gathered on Friday for a game of Cthulhu Fluxx. I bought this game last week at Salute and this was its first outing. We played the original Fluxx game a few months ago and I have been keeping an eye open for this Mythos version for some time.

This is a self contained card game (none of that collectable nonsense) published by Loony Labs. There are a 'family' of Fluxx games on the market and the general concept is the same throughout them all. As players play cards from their hands they modify the rules of the game with those cards. This may mean that the number of cards a player draws or can hold in his/her hand may change as the game proceeds. All the rules you need to play are on the cards before you but with those rules constantly in a state of change (hence the name Fluxx) this is an easy game to play but a devilishly hard game to master. Throw in a few elder gods and you have a recipe for utter madness!

"Explore the dark and horrifying mysteries of the unknown as you battle insanity and fiendish cults in Cthulhu Fluxx! Follow the wild-eyed Poet, the obsessed Artist, and the expeditions of the Professor as they investigate Eldritch Secrets no mortal was meant to discover. Someone has stolen the Necronomicon from the library at Miskatonic Univeristy, and a Farm in the hills is undergoing a horrifying Metamorphosis. Meanwhile, unspeakable abominations stir in Penguin-riddled Tombs beneath the ice. Are you Inevitably Doomed to a lifetime of Nightmares in the Sanitarium, or are you, in fact, a Secret Cultist, worshiping the Minions of Darkness?
(Source: BoardGameGeek.com)

The box contains 100 cards and a simple rule sheet, but as already stated most of the rules are on the cards themselves. The game is designed to be played by 2-6 Players but the optimal number is somewhere in the middle. Most games will last about 30 minutes but a lot depends on the number of players involved, the draw of cards and whether players start to gibber uncontrollably mid play.

Monday 29 April 2013

Tank's in the Post

Just a short post to say a big thank you to Phil at The Wargaming Site. I won myself some 6mm tanks for helping his Blog over the 1 million hits threshold a few weeks ago and they arrived on Friday. I was unreasonably happy when they arrived in the post at my office. I think my work colleges looked in my eyes and saw the shineybloodyitus up close and personal, because there was a slight look of panic on their faces as I showed them my tiny tanks!

My tiny tanks!
This wasn't the only prize I won in Phil's Million Hits giveaway. I also won a copy of the PC Game WWII Frontline Commander. However as I seem to have a host of things on my to-do list and a finite amount of time to complete them in I decided to pass the game onto someone else who can do the game justice. So my eldest daughter's boyfriend (a dedicated computer gamer) received the game, in return for a promise to play a real wargame, with miniatures and terrain rather than pixels and power-ups! It's all part of my cunning plan to wean the lad off of digital gaming and turn him into a proper Grognard before its too late. 

Friday 26 April 2013

Recommend Book Shop

I've got to spread a little kudos about this great little bookshop in Tunbridge Wells. It's an eclectic mix, part games, part gifts, part second hand book store and with an old fashioned sweetshop inside as well. There are several aisles of bookshelves covering a wide range of subjects but significantly they also have a rather large section (five large book cases containing perhaps about 75 feet of shelving in total) dedicated to military and historical books, many at very reasonable prices and most in excellent condition. I never come away empty handed when I stop here and if you pass through Tonbridge Wells it is well worth a visit. 

Pantiles Books Crafts & Games has a wide range of low price, second hand, military books.
My latest acquisition from here was a pictorial review of Panzers in the Desert by Bruce Quarrie. This is a slim volume (just 94 pages) but is full of rare Black and White photo`s of German AFV`s in North Africa, collected from the Bundesarchive. Many of the photo's were taken by German war correspondents serving with Rommel's famous Afrika Korps but there are also examples taken by soldiers themselves. Some of the pictures are clearly 'reconstructed' scenes but many appear to be actual scenes and of course the equipment and men featured are genuine.

The book includes a brief history of the units that made up the Afirika Korps and the photo's show troops both 'in action' & at rest and include images of armour, artillery, soft skin vehicles & infantry. The photo's therefore provide a unique insight into this theatre of the war. I bought this book primarily as a visual archive and reference work and now that I have had a good look through it I am sure it will be very useful indeed for my North Africa Project.

Thursday 25 April 2013

Eastbourne Redoubt Military Museum

During the Easter Holidays I went away with the family for a few days and I managed to slip in a quick visit to the Eastbourne Redoubt Military Museum. I've been here several times before, back when they used to have a small wargames show, but its been a few years now and some of the exhibits have changed. So here are my pictures to give you a flavour for this excellent little museum in a very evocative setting. 

The Eastbourne Redoubt is right on the seafront and houses the Military Museum in its casemates
This model of the Redoubt shows what it would have looked like when first built
There are plenty of items of uniform on display including this Bicorne Hat with its own Box
A WWII Gas mask set in amazingly good condition
A recreation of the inside of an Anderson Shelter. I remember my Grandfather still using one of these as a garden shed when I was a wee lad. 
A section dedicated to the Royal Sussex Regiment
Medals issued for service during the Indian Mutiny 
Private, Bandsman, Sergeant and Officer of 35th Regiment c 1868
Undress Uniforms 35th Regiment 1846-80
Officer, Sergeant, Private and Drummer of 35th Regiment 1852
Sergeant, Officer & Private of 35th Regiment of foot 1805
Charge of the Grenadiers (25th Foot) at Battle of Bunkers Hill 1775
Detail on Dervish Sword captured during Sudan Campaign of 1884-5
Sudan Medals - Two Egypt 1882 Medals and Khedive Star 1884
Detail from a painting showing the Battle of Abu Klea 1885
Flanders - Bronze Maquette of Scottish Rifles Memorial
Trench Map in Case 1914-18
Wooden box in the form of a Tank - Trench Art c 1916
The Steyr Type 1500A Staff car which belonged to General von Arnim (the last commander of the Afrika Korps). It was captured by the Royal Sussex Regiment in Tunisia in 1943.
Von Arnim's Staff Car
Von Arnim's Staff Car
Von Arnim's Staff Car
The Battle of Quebec in 1759 - The models shown here are Flats
The Battle of Quebec in 1759
This museum is well worth a visit and has hundreds more exhibits on display that the military or wargaming enthusiast will enjoy. 

Wednesday 24 April 2013

Miniature Wargames with Battlegames

While I was at Salute on Saturday I made sure I picked up a copy of the new and improved Miniature Wargames magazine. As you probably already know this months issue is a relaunch (of sorts) as the magazine now incorporates that other stalwart gaming magazine Battlegames. In addition to absorbing Battlegames the new magazine has also acquired the editor, the redoubtable Henry Hyde. I was lucky enough to bump into Henry towards the end of the show and quickly wished him luck with the new venture. Now that I have seen the first combined issue I'm reassured that the new magazine is in very safe hands. 

The 'new' magazine retains a lot of the features regular readers already enjoy but very much in the simple and elegant style of Battlegames. Wargaming is very much at the heart of every article and is no longer relegated to a footnote at the end. That's not to criticise the old format, I enjoyed it a lot, but sometimes change can bring with it new vitality and reinvigorate an old warhorse, or in this case two old warhorses. 

So, the verdict. I like the look of this revamped magazine, I enjoyed the articles and the features and there was plenty of eye candy as well. The layout is simple and clean so it looks, paradoxically, both rather modern and slightly retro. I also liked the fact that on the whole the advertising was isolated away from the articles, not mixed in with them as in some magazines. I actually enjoy the adverts (its a way of getting a feel for the hobby and the latest developments) but its not something I like to see in the middle of an article.

The quality of the writing is also an important part of any magazine (obviously) and the articles in this issue grabbed my attention from the editorial through to the closing pages. I really felt at the end that I was better informed about the current state of our hobby as well as being inspired and energised by the games featured.

It was a thought provoking and inspirational issue and has convinced me I needed to subscribe after years of buying as-and-when I found a copy in a newsagents. And this time I have opted for my first digital subscription so I can read it on my Android Tablet. I recently gave away a huge collection of magazines and couldn't believe how much space was taken up with paper copies that frankly would never see the light of day again. I kept them more out of sentimentality than anything else and they were starting to fill the shelves. So opting for a digital subscription may prove to be the way forward for me, although I'm clearly years behind the trend.

Update: I forgot to add that with the digital subscription from Exact Editions you also get access to a load of back issues of both Miniature Wargames and Battlegames. I've already found a couple of cracking articles from previous issues, including a great one by Henry about the war in the Western Desert. 

Tuesday 23 April 2013

New Paint Rack

Here's something I picked up a couple of weeks ago but haven't had a chance to write about until now. My little painting desk is a 'bit' cluttered to say the least and there's not nearly enough space for my paints. There's not a lot I can do about this in the short term but I do have plans for a bigger desk when I get round to the unpleasant task of redecorating (I hate DIY). But for the moment I don't have a 'man cave' and I can barely call what I do have my 'man corner'...[boo hoo].

Reorganising my desk is therefore something I do with tedious regularity because it creates the illusion of improvement, but this latest reshuffle has been prompted by the purchase of a nifty little nail varnish stand..?!?

I have Phil at The Wargaming Site to thank for this product as he mentioned it on his Blog a few weeks ago and, after some measuring and a bit of umming and ahhing, I bought one. I hasten to add its not for my Nail Varnish Collection (I keep them hidden) but to use as a paint rack. Made of sturdy clear perspex this stand measures 29.5cm long x 11.5cm tall x 12cm deep which means it can comfortably hold 30 Games Workshop sized paint pots or up to 39 of the Vallejo style dropper bottles. I have been able to fit my core 'working' paints (The ones I use most often) plus water and blending medium on my rack with lesser used pots stored separately. Not bad for just £7.50 plus delivery.

There is also a five tiered version although this isn't available at the time of writing this. Aside from being very cheep compared to custom paint packs the real benefit of these stands is that they can accommodate a wide variety of paint pots of different sizes on the same shelf. The only downside that I can see is that unlike custom stands the bottles/pots are loose and could therefore be knocked over if you move the stand around, so this is probably best used in a static set-up such as in a painting room... or a 'man corner'.

My newly organised (but still too small) painting desk. Its now a lot tidier than it was and I have moved some of the infrequently used items to a separate toolbox stored where I can easily access stuff when I need it.

Monday 22 April 2013

Salute 2013 - My hobby Loot!

As usual I went to Salute with a shopping list already prepared and was able to get most of what I wanted. Also as usual I came home with a few surprise extras and the obligatory ton of leaflets, catalogues from traders and handouts from demo games.

Salute Loot!
My first purchases were some Likto Flames of War Token Sets from Figures in Comfort which are very nice if a bit expensive. I also bought an imperial measurement Flames of War Artillery Template from the Warlords stand. 

Then I moved along to Heroics and Ros and had a long and interesting chat with Andy Kirk about their recent acquisition of the Skytrex 1:300 WWII ranges. Andy said that for the foreseeable future they would be carrying both lines, even where there were duplicates in the ranges. The Skytrex ranges will eventually appear in the catalogue later in the year but for the moment they aren't available while the handover of stock, designs and moulds is transferred and organised. I picked up the following stuff while I was chatting to him: Deacon (6pdr Portee) x4; 25pdr + Crew x4; 40mm Bofors + Crew x6; Scorpion Flails x6; Quad Tractors x6; and Morris Bofors/Tractor x6. And all that for just over £10....god I love 6mm! 

I nipped over to the Antenociti’s Workshop stand and picked up some essential supplies; 2mm Late Autumn Silflor Tufts - 717-24s and Testors Dullcote Spray. I often buy from them online, as I do with Wargames Emporium but its always good to save on Postage so I had a rummage thriogh the latters C-in-C collection and picked up the following; 6pdr Portee blister pack, Artillery Crew Tropical; and some more British Desert Infantry

Timecast was another company firmly on my radar for the show where I bought some much needed 6mm Palm Trees. But while I was there I couldn't resist buying an Alamein Railway Station model as well. I also picked up some other Palm trees from Minibits although they will require some conversion to make them suitable for 6mm wargaming.

It was late in the day before I had a chance to visit the South London Warlords stand and pick up Salute T-Shirt but while I was there I also bought a Salute Key Fob Torch to replace one I got years ago. Its come in handy so many times I don't like to go anywhere without my little torch. Its great for those dark and dank spaced in castles or down 'holes in the ground' (my kids collective name for Historical sites). 

Last but not least I bought a couple of spur of the moment items including a nifty little Paint Brush Stand from the Oshiro stall and the Cthulhu Fluxx Card Game from EM4.

All in all a pretty good haul from this years show. Lets just say my wallet was considerably slimmer  and lighter after the event!

Sunday 21 April 2013

Salute 2013 - Full Show Report & Pictures

I promised to post my pictures and show report from the Salute 2013 wargaming event as soon as possible and I have worked really hard to get them ready in double quick time. I shot several hundred photos at Salute (as I always do) but have been able to edit this down to a manageable number, the best of which are shown below. The full Salute 2013 Photo Album can be viewed here on my Google+ Profile. The Salute 2013 wargaming shows at Excel in London's Docklands was another triumph for the South London Warlords as far as I was concerned. The word 'awesome' is often overused (especially by me) but this was a show that truly earned that epithet.

It was really great to meet up with so many fellow blogger's and old friends. The 'Meet the Rejects' session went very well with dozens of fellow blogger's stopping to say hello. I've tried to remember everyone that I met but there were so many (and my mind isn't what it used to be) so If I have missed you out please let me know and I'll update the list.

I was really happy to meet up with the guys from Skytrex in their last Salute as a miniatures company. As many of you will know they are selling off their miniatures ranges to make way for retirement and to concentrate just of the Model Railway side of their business. Last week they announced that they had sold their 1/300 ranges to Heroics and Ros who also have an extensive product range in this scale. Having chatted to both companies on Saturday I feel confident that this has been a good move and will ensure that the 1/300  market continues to be served with good quality, low cost miniatures for some time to come.

I thought the show seemed even busier this year and as usual I saw lots of money changing hands with the traders. My brief chat with a couple of them indicated they were having a good day but I expect many will already be making that assessment for themselves now that they have had a chance to crunch the numbers and compare to previous years.

As usual I went with a shopping list and managed to get pretty much everything on it plus a few unexpected items, but I'll post some pictures of my show loot tomorrow.

The South London Warlords Route 66 "Hammers Slammers" game
The South London Warlords Route 66 "Hammers Slammers" game - John Treadway can be seen on the right.
Frothers United's 'Smits Revenge'
Another Frother's game - Return to the Planet of the Apes
One of my favorite games,  Battlegroup Overlord - 30 Seconds to Dog Green
One of my favorite games,  Battlegroup Overlord - 30 Seconds to Dog Green
Oshiro Model Terrain - Assault on Aki Kamei-jo
Red Planet Miniatures - War on Mars
Guy Bowers and Jasper Oorthuys from Wargames Soldiers & Strategy
Wigmore Warriors - The Battle of Flodden - The flags are those designed by the Rejects very own Ray
Battlegroup Overlord - Inland from Utah
Newark Irregulars - Dux Bellorum - Arthur vs the Saxons
Scarab Miniatures - War & Conquest - Jarl & the Jomsvikings
Newbury & Reading Wargames Society - Chancellorsville
Ancient & Modern Army Supplies - Battle of Marathon 490bc
Naval Wargames Society - Fleeced - The Cod War
Chelmsford Bunker - Warmachine
Tyro and Her Cyclopes
Magister Militum - Colours & Guns
Victrix - Iberian Glory - 54mm Napoleonic
Victrix - Iberian Glory - 54mm Napoleonic
The Essex Gamesters put on a recreation of Waterloo 1815 on a truly epic scale
Essex Gamesters - Waterloo 1815
Essex Gamesters - Waterloo 1815 - The French in Papelotte
Essex Gamesters - Waterloo 1815
Essex Gamesters - Waterloo 1815 - The battle for Hougomont
Uxbridge Wargamers - The Battle of Baxters Farm
1938 A Very British Civil War
1938 A Very British Civil War
This Impressive cityscape was for the game 'To Berlin'
Lance & Longbow Society - Battle of Cravant
Lance & Longbow Society - Battle of Cravant
Arbuthnots Terra Firma League of Gentlemen - Stalingrad 1942
Crush the Kaiser - The Miracle of the Marne
Another game I really enjoyed looking at was by Nantwich Gamers - When Chaos Reigns - Normandy 1944
Nantwich Gamers - When Chaos Reigns - Normandy 1944
Nantwich Gamers - When Chaos Reigns - Normandy 1944
Wargames Illustrated - Battle of Little Big Top
Mechworld - Full Thrust
As already mentioned there are lots more pictures online here so feel free to follow the link and take a look at the full set.