Tuesday 28 December 2021

Christmas Presents: A Bumper Bookfest

This Wargamer had a bumper book delivery this Christmas and has already started making a dent in reading it.... aided and abetted by the worst chest cold I have had in years, which has meant the Holiday weekend was largely spent in bed.

Sunday 19 December 2021

Happy Christmas! : My Letter to Santa

With less than a week to go to Christmas, there will no doubt be some frantic last-minute shopping resulting in some strange gift choices. Why not write a letter to Santa to ensure you get something you want... it works for the kids so why not you?

Happy Christmas to all my readers and viewers. 

Tuesday 14 December 2021

AHPC Update One: Calm before the Storm

The Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge begins in a few days and I'm in the last stages of preparation for this amazing Festival of Painting. Over 100 participants from across the globe will be taking part over three months, each working towards their own personal target.

I'm hoping to do regular updates of my own progress through the Challenge, but I know the next few months are going to be very busy indeed. So while I want to do a weekly video, in all likelihood, it'll be a little more ad-hoc than that! 

Sunday 12 December 2021

Terrain Building - An amateur trying to improve

If you want to wargame you need terrain to fight over and that can be expensive. The cheaper alternative is to make your own, and in that respect, I count myself as an enthusiastic amateur at best. That being said I have collected quite a few terrain books over the years and this video discusses some of my favourites.

Wednesday 8 December 2021

Unboxing: Desert Fort from Blotz

Today's video is an unboxing of a 15mm scale Laser Cut MDF modular desert fort from Blotz. The fully assembled model is shown off and my plans for painting it during the Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge are discussed. I'm really impressed with this model, especially when the whole fort retails at just over £30. I do love a bargain!

I was so impressed with this that I bought some more pieces while I was at the Broadside Show last weekend. I picked up a couple of short wall sections, another long wall section, a broken wall section to represent a breach, and another 'sticky outie corner'. In addition, I picked up a Middle Eastern building which is actually a walled complex of four connected buildings. Not sure how I will use this...but I couldn't resist buying it! 

Keep an eye on the blog during the Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge to see how all these items turn out once painted.

Monday 6 December 2021

Broadside Show 2021

Posties Rejects went to the Broadside Show on Saturday at its new venue in Gillingham. We had an excellent day and ran a long overdue Demo game - The Battle of Montenotte (12 April 1796). This was Napoleons first Battle as Commander in Chief, so quite early in his career. We had a lot of engagement from the public which was absolutely fantastic and kept us busy right up to the end of the day.

I also shot a few photos of the other games but we were so busy that I literally had to run around the hall in the last hour or so. 

Sunday 5 December 2021

Table Mates

The soon to commence Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge brings friends back to the painting table from nearly every corner of the globe. This got me thinking about the ability of our wonderful hobby to forge the most unlikely of friendships and bring people together.

Sunday 28 November 2021

Reading time and making more

Reading, both for research and just for entertainment, can easily be pushed aside by Social Media and other distractions. It could even be argued that pursuing our hobby (painting, building, playing and yes, blogging and vlogging) all eats into the time available for us to just sit down and read properly. Maybe it's time to make a change?

Making even a little bit of time in your day can make all the difference. Over the last month, I have read more than probably in the last six months, and that was just forcing myself to take a short lunch break or reading for fifteen minutes before bed.

Thursday 25 November 2021

Quick Strike AAR's - What shall I do next?

Earlier this year Little Wars TV challenged wargaming vloggers to make video AAR's that were shorter and more concise than the usual format seen on YouTube. The brief was deceptively simple but also devilishly difficult; to have a full battle report with a running time of 10 minutes or less but with some historical context, a scenario summary, and a recap of the game at the end. Given that normal video battle reports often run for over an hour, the concept of editing that down to just 10 minutes gives you some idea of the challenge.

Wednesday 24 November 2021

Guest Post - Encounter on the Orange River, 1900

Today I have a Guest Post from fellow Reject, John. He moved home not so long ago but made sure to reserve some wargaming space in his loft. This is a game he played earlier in the year and decided to share via the medium of my blog. The words and pictures are all his, so I can't take any credit for what looked like a thoroughly enjoyable game. 

Sunday 21 November 2021

The Painting Challenge Returns

It's that time of year again when the Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge puts out the call for participants. The Challenge is run by a gentleman called Curt and attracts a multinational collection of gamers who set their own personal points targets, challenging themselves to complete a body of work over the winter months. I'll be participating again this year and I have a new project as my main target for this years event. 

Wednesday 17 November 2021

Salute Loot and a New Project Alert!

So, I went to Salute on Saturday (see my show report here) and this time I went with a very focused shopping list. Some of what I wanted I didn't get because the trader concerned pulled out of the show, but I still managed to come home with a significant haul of lead and other goodies. 

A serious shopping haul

Lots of bases for my new project...and I still need to buy more! 

A few random figures for the Painting Challenge

A new Desert Battlemat from Geek Villan

Tufts and paints for my new project

And the 'first batch of minis for my new project - The French Foreign Legion in 15mm. These are Blue Moon miniatures which I bought from Old Glory UK. Also, features is an MDF fort from BLOTZ, a bargain at just £30. 

The Foreign Legion project will be my main task during the Painting Challenge this year. Hopefully, I will be playing with these by spring next year.

Sunday 14 November 2021

SALUTE 2021: After Action Photo Report

I went to Salute 2021 yesterday at the Excel Centre in London - just a short drive from where I live. The show was a bit quieter than usual, with noticeable gaps in trade stands and games tables, but at least the show went ahead. I certainly had a good time and spent a lot of money with those traders that were able to attend. Visitor numbers were down on previous years (to be expected) but I fully expect this to be a temporary phenomenon and the show will bounce back. 

My main disappointment with the event was my usual gripe about signage on demo games. Some games didn't make the video simply because I couldn't identify either the group running the game or the game itself. Many of the games listed in the show guide were different - presumably because the list was made a while back and hadn't been updated. Whatever the reason it made correctly labelling some photo's impossible...so those pictures didn't make the cut!

Aside from this, it was a great day and I thoroughly enjoyed myself. 

Tuesday 2 November 2021

20000 Bullets: The Battle of Rorke's Drift

January 1879 and in Natal a little over 150 men defend a tiny collection of buildings against what seems to be overwhelming odds. I played this game earlier this year and the resulting battle report was split into three parts with a total running time of over 90 minutes. But I decided I would give my Rorke's Drift game the 'Quick Strike' treatment and get it down to just ten minutes.

Just think of this video as a 'Directors Cut'!

If you want to watch the longer version of this game check out Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 on my channel. 

Sunday 31 October 2021

Hobby Gatekeepers

Being a Gatekeeper often has negative connotations attached to it. But can we turn being a gatekeeper into a positive thing for the hobby? Surely if a gatekeeper can hold shut a door they could also hold it open? Here are my thoughts on why any gamer with a blog or youtube channel needs to be an advocate for the hobby as a whole, welcoming in new players, unafraid to let them decide what they want from their hobby.

I'd love to hear about your experience of joining the wargaming community. Did you encounter a gatekeeper that almost put you off entering the hobby, or have you seen it happen to others? 

Sunday 24 October 2021

Planning to Succeed

There is a fine line between setting yourself a challenge and setting unrealistic goals. Finding the line between them is a matter of careful planning.

I can't claim to have always succeeded in my plans, but I am convinced I would have failed more had I failed to pre-planned projects before splashing the cash. As always I'd love to hear what you think either here or over on my channel Miniature Adventures.

Tuesday 19 October 2021

SELWG 2021

Over the weekend the Rejects went to our first in-person game show in over a year and a year and a half. SELWG has moved to a new venue, and there were a few hiccups along the way, but we had a great day and bought a lot of gear.

We had a good day and all the Rejects said they enjoyed themselves. I did video them giving some feedback but the sound quality was so poor (too much background noise) I left these out in the end. Pity, because some of the responses were amusing! 

A fine body of Rejects! 

Inside the new Venue

'O'Group - The Scottish Corridor

'O'Group - The Scottish Corridor

Mark Backhouse's 2mm Romans using Strength and Honour

Cheshunt Wargames 6mm Battle for Hoe Binh, Indochina 1951

Milton Hundreds CoC Game featured two lovely Shermans. 

Deal Wargames Boworadet Rebellion, Siam 1933

Society of Ancients - Trebia

Spalding Wargames Club - A fist full of Lead

Gravesend Gamers Guild - 40k Titanicus

Postie chatting up one of the Traders. Does everyone really give him a discount??

Where's Walley? 

My modest Loot from the day. Not as much lead as I planned but there is always the next show!

Sunday 17 October 2021

The Lay of the Land

Warfare rarely takes place in nice rectangular shaped battlefields, so when wargamers try to recreate the map and place terrain on their games tables, compromises often happen. But if we move the terrain to fit our table, is it still a historical game?

This subject came about because I recently played a game that necessitated some creative squeezing and twisting to make the map fit my undersized table. I still think it produced a reasonable representation of the battle I was playing, even though the terrain was placed slightly differently from how it was at the battle. 

Saturday 16 October 2021

Posties Rejects are going to SELWG tomorrow

I will be going to SELWG tomorrow along with a few of my mates from Posties Rejects. This will be our first in-person game show in over 20 months and we can't wait. If you see me (I'm a big target, hard to miss) please come and say hello.

Thursday 14 October 2021

Nero: The man behind the Myth Exhibition

Yesterday I had an opportunity to visit the British Museum's latest special exhibition with my daughter. She is studying history at A level and had a chance to pick a subject of her own choosing as a special side project. She has chosen to look at the first emperors, Augustus, Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius, and Nero, collectively known as the Julio-Claudian dynasty. This exhibition focuses on the last of these, Nero, but understandably there was a lot of information about the emperors that came before them, so my daughter was very happy and came away with a tome of photos and ideas for her project. I enjoyed it too but I also got the chance to spend an afternoon nerding out with my youngest daughter, so win-win. 

I took a lot of pictures as usual but thought a few were more military than others and therefore worth sharing here. 

Sword and Scabbard AD 14-16 - The scenes on this scabbard celebrate julio-Claudian military successes in Germany and stress harmony and order. Germanicus hands the enthroned Tiberius a figure of victory. In reality, the troops had mutinied at Tiberius' accession, preferring Germanicus as princeps.

Soldiers of the Pretorian Guard AD51-2 - Augustus established the Pretorians as his personal guard. They were an elite unit and the most powerful military force in Italy, where no regular troops were stationed. They enjoyed considerable privileges and their support was crucial for the emperor. The relief depicts six Praetorians in parade armour and was taken from a triumphal arch in Rome that commemorated Claudis' conquest of Britain in AD43.

Copper Alloy Helmet found in England, c AD50-100 - Following the conquest of Britain, Roman and local tastes influenced one another. This led to the emergence of a new distinctive artistic identity that is evident in decorated military objects. This helmet combines a Roman Shape with Celtic style decoration. Its owner was perhaps a local warrior fighting for Rome, or a Roman soldier who commissioned armour decorated in a local style. 

Copper Alloy Cavalry Helmet AD 1-100 - The Roman governor Gaius Suetonius Paulinus was campaigning in Wales when local discontent erupted into rebellion. Boudica attacked Camulodunum (Colchester), defeating the Ninth Legion when it attempted to rescue the town. This decorated cavalry helmet was possibly war booty ritually deposited in a marsh by a Briton. Alternatively, it may represent a votive offering made by a Roman soldier adopting practices similar to those of the native population. 

Roman Horse Trapping c AD50 - Rome's frontiers along the Danube and Rhine were under constant pressure from neighboring tribes. The author Pliny the Elder served as an officer in Germania during the reigns of Claudius and Nero. While stationed here he write on military topics, followed later by his famous Natural History. These horse trappings are marked 'Pliny prefect of cavalry'. They may have belonged to Pliny, or a soldier under his command. 

Limestone carving of a Parthian Horseman - The Parthians established a vast empire across modern-day Iran, Iraq and Armenia. It endured for almost 500 years and was recognised by Rome as its equal in wealth, culture, and military strength. Its military might came primarily from its superior cavalry. Mounted on light horses and carrying bows, these legendary fighters feigned panicked retreat at full gallop, only to turn in the saddle and shoot back at the pursuing enemy. The archer depicted here wears the characteristic Parthian dress and carries a composite bow. 

Nero was a great supporter of public sports and entertainment. He, like many of his predecessors, was a populist and drew political power from the support of the masses. Military spectacle, including chariot racing, in the arena, was common. Chariot racing was managed by teams called factiones. Each faction had numerous charioteers and hundreds of supporting staff. Nero was a supporter of the popular Greens and when he raced chariots himself he would mix expensive ground chrysocolla with the sand turning it green in their honor. 

Marble of Nero AD 66-68 - This marble statue was displayed to stress Nero's martial qualities and in particular to Celebrate his success over the Parthians. The breastplate of this statue depicts the emperor as the Sun riding in his chariot. Below two mythical figures symbolise the Parthian submission to Rome. 

It was a great day out and a very interesting exhibition to share with the Young Padawan. 

I would certainly recommend seeing this exhibition if you are interested in the period. There is far more to see than the handful of items I have highlighted here. As with all of these special exhibitions, the British Museum is very good at selecting artifacts that tell the story they want to tell. Most are from their own collections but they can also bring in rare and special artifacts from other museums so often this will be the only chance to see some items together. 

My only gripe is with the museum's presentation of the information panels. The information they contain is excellent...but would it kill them to use a bigger font! All the info panels are at waist height and if you want to read them you have to stand in front of the display, blocking the view of anyone else. And some of the artifacts are very small (coins and small items of jewelry) inside huge cases so it's really hard to get up-close-and-personal with some of the artifacts...and if you do you block the view of the information panels for other visitors! Don't get me wrong, I love the British Museum, but they really need to break with stuffy tradition and work on their presentation skills! 

Sunday 10 October 2021

Hobbying Safely

Humans are uniquely gifted with intelligence and foresight to enable them to avoid hazards, but so often we ignore the risks until it's too late. Model makers and miniatures painters are just the same and many of the common hazards (and accidents) associated with our hobby have remained the same for as long as there have been gamers painting miniatures to play with. The first step in avoiding accidents is identifying the risks and this video discusses some of the common ones and how to avoid them.

Tuesday 5 October 2021

Operation Caravan Quick Strike AAR

The LRDG raid on the Italian Airfield at Barce in September 1942 is a classic adventure story of endurance, bravery and brazen daring. This night attack followed a drive of 1850km across vast tracts of inhospitable desert.  The LRDG showed that targets hundreds of miles behind the front lines were vulnerable and nowhere was safe from attack by their "Ghost Patrols".

I first ran this game as a Demo at Broadside in 2017, but of course, running the game meant I didn't get to play it! So I decided I would recreate the scenario and play it as a solo game in my Operations Room. Having made the decision I promptly realised that the rules I used for the demo game were no longer suitable, so I wrote a quick set of simple rules for solo play. They still need a bit of polishing but they worked well, gave me an enjoyable game that replicated the difficulty of this scenario for both sides. 

The original version of this game was a Demo at the Broadside show in 2017.

To fit it on my smaller tale for this solo version I had to twist and squeeze the map a bit to ensure that all the essential elements were present.

As the game progresses smoke rises from more and more targets.

Ultimately the LRDG were there to destroy aircraft and infrastructure on the Italian Airfield, and in this, they succeeded spectacularly. 

Please watch the video and if you enjoyed it please 'like' and of course subscribe to my YouTube Channel Miniature Adventures

Sunday 3 October 2021

The Golden Age of Geekdom

Today's video is inspired by a blog post I wrote twelve years ago. It was itself inspired by an earlier article I read in a gaming magazine which asked when was the Golden Age of gaming and if it is different for everyone. I have had several Golden Ages across several genres of geekdom, and I argue, I'm living in one right now.

Sunday 26 September 2021

Not now Death, I'm Busy

Never paint your last miniature, it could be fatal. Once upon a time, I had a huge lead mountain that was becoming a millstone around my neck and cluttering up the house. I made a conscious effort to reduce the pile and only buy what I intended to paint. But increased lockdown productivity and a lack of trade shows have reduced my lead pile to dangerous levels. It's time I bought more miniatures, on purely health grounds of course.

Judging from many conversations I have had over the years, I suspect that most of us have a lead mountain that is far from at risk of elimination. But just in case, keep some miniatures aside as life insurance. 

Wednesday 22 September 2021

The Battle of Trebia - A Quick Strike AAR

A Quick Strike After Action Report of the Battle of Trebia using 6mm figures and Simon Millers To the Strongest ancient & medieval wargame rules. It is December 218BCE and Hannibal has invaded Northern Italy. He is outnumbered and needs a victory to steady the support of local tribes. But he has laid a trap for the Romans and is confident of victory.

This AAR has been in production for a long time, mainly because holidays and work commitments have eaten into my time a bit this summer. I have learned a whole new set of skills making the film, including finally getting to grips with some sound editing software to improve the audio. I'm still not 100% happy with the sound, but I had to draw a line under this project at some point or it would never have got finished! 

I shot a load of pictures while making the video and thought I would share a few here (it was a pity not to use them) as a teaser for the film. 

Sunday 19 September 2021

Strange Attraction - Picking a Wargame Period or Genre

What is it that attracted you to a particular period or genre of wargaming? Were you inspired by a new set of rules or a new figure range? Or was it a new book or film that got the creative juices flowing? I have been chatting to some of my friends about what motivated them and they suggested a few things I hadn't even thought of.

Maybe there are a few things in this video you hadn't thought of. As always I would love to hear what you think, either in the comments below or on my channel, Miniature Adventures

Wednesday 15 September 2021

Unboxing better sound

Today's unboxing is less about gaming and more about improving the quality of the audio I record for voiceovers and the like. My games room is not an ideal studio and there are many reasons why it is not an optimal place to record video and audio for youtube. However, this recording screen and pop shield should improve my audio and even a small improvement will be welcome.

In addition to hardware, I am also learning how to use software to improve audio quality. I've been using Audacity for a while now but I was a little bit put off by the level of technical knowledge needed to use some of its more powerful features. Over the last couple of weeks, I have bit the bullet and made a concerted effort to teach this old dog some new tricks. It has been a bit of a learning curve, and I still have a lot to learn, but I'll keep chewing on this until I'm happy with the result. I'm stubborn like that! 

Monday 13 September 2021

The Battle of Chatham 1779

It definitely wasn't Washington's finest hour on Saturday. The Rejects had some long-time friends over in the Shed-o-War for an American War of Independence game, welcoming them into the growing 'Honoury Rejects Alumni'. A good time was had by all but once again I found myself on the losing side. Having said that I felt we played a good game and overall our strategy was a good one. Sadly lady luck and the dice had other ideas! 

I didn't make extensive notes this time because I wanted to concentrate on the game and our guests so this won't be a fully detailed battle report as usual. However, I did get a few good pictures and thought these were worth sharing below. 

Keep an eye on Ray's blog for a more detailed report. It's not available at 'time of going to press' but I'm sure he will get something online pretty soon.

Sunday 12 September 2021

Work life balance

We often hear about the work/life balance but for many people, it is fundamentally wrong. I believe that is because the equation is incomplete and we need to add a third element to truly balance our lives in a way that suits us. 

It won't come as a surprise that I think hobbies should form the third element of the equation. The life half of the traditional equation is often full of its own type of work (the chores that need to be done every day) and understanding this - and making time for hobbies and other pastimes - is the first step towards a happier life. 

I'd love to hear what you think so please join the conversation below or in the comments over on my YouTube channel. Until next week, keep gaming and keep rolling high! 

Wednesday 8 September 2021

6mm Chariots are Fiddly!

I have finally started work on some models that I bought back at the start of the year. My 6mm Celts arrived in May and I did an unboxing video at the time but other projects meant I couldn't get started on these until now. 

Now that I have started preparing them - cleaning them up and glueing them to sticks ready for painting - I have come to appreciate just how fiddly 6mm Chariots are! The irony is that I ought to know all this having assembled and painted a dozen ancient Indian chariots for the Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge a few years ago. 

These Celtic chariots however are much smaller and my fingers are as big and clumsy as ever! 

As you can see I also have a considerable body of heavy and light Celtic cavalry to get on with and I'm hoping to get paint on metal in the next day or so.