A gaming catchup

For nearly my entire expat experience of 2 plus decades I have managed a yearly catchup with a good mate: a few beers, some nibbles and a game or two in his gaming room*. After a two year COVID forced hiatus, he and I were able to once again resume my run of bad-luck as a victory turned into a defeat just as a battle concluded and my 1’s were trumped by his 6’s.

So two quick games, the first Romans on Romans using Hail Caesar, a failure to charge home by my cavalry saw the battle turn against me very early on as I defended a ridge. Then an American War of Independence game using Black Powder, where a straight slog saw some initial lucky rolls turn in the later part of the battle as a near run thing came down to the last turn…and the dice do not like me. It was the second game that has me reflecting more and more on the rules I use especially given the popularity of Black Powder for many of my favourite periods, but… (And those but’s probably need a musing all to themselves)

Apologies for the poor quality of the photos, full blame for this goes to me.

Thanks to Greg for the great game and hospitality.

* This gaming room has served as the benchmark since the first time I ever stepped into it; part library, part gentleman’s club, part bar, part military museum with a wargaming table, it is quite simply, inspirational. And something I have always aspired too.

Reading (still): Welker, David A., The Cornfield, Antietam’s bloody turning point. (2020) ISBN: 978-1-61200-832-5

Dark Ages II

Following on from Dark Ages-I, I managed to get far more done in the last two weeks even with work pressure and COVID restrictions than I thought I would be able to, and while I still need to finalise the design and do the flags for both forces, they are all ready to be fight over the outcome of rolled dice.

Also while scrapping the bases clean of the 80’s flock, a number of the figures clearly had Essex inscribed on the bottom, so it stands to reason that they are probably all (or mostly) Essex Miniatures, and knowing the person who gifted them to me nearly two decades ago they were probably purchased from The Tin Soldier, when it existed in the Dymocks Building (Sydney, Australia) during the 80’s, sadly the store has gone the way of many bricks and mortar stores, and has been closed for at least the last 10 years.

Two Viking/Saxon warbands, and a small Norman or Saxon Huscarl force, all grouped for Ravenfeast.

Now onto some 28mm terrain, a Dark Ages hut (or two), some low stone walls, and maybe some church/abbey ruins.

Dark Ages I

Not much to show this week, and given how crazy the next few weeks at the “real job”* will be, I expect them to be equally as light. However I did manage to get out all my old Dark Ages troops and started to take stock. Over 20 years old, originally belonging to a friend and painted in gloss by him, based on cardboard, and with that amazing 80’s flock, they clearly need a spruce up if I am going to play either Ravenfeast or Saga.

Original (left), spruced up (right), decal by little big men studios.

I blame it on nostalgia that wants me to field these very old castings, also it would be a shame to not let them do battle once more, especially if I can get a chance to “crush enemies, see them driven before me…and you all know the rest.

If only I could work out who made them?

EDIT (18 May): Some of the figures (not pictured) are old Essex miniatures.

Painting Notes: Figure: Oak Brown (Army Painter, AP), Anti-Shine Matt Varnish (AP), Matt White (AP), Platemail Metal (AP), Agrax Earthshade (Citadel). Base: Burnt Umber (Daler 223), Raw Sienna (Daler 667).

* Just found out we have been ordered back into “Work From Home” in the next 48 hours. So a mad scrabble to get some bases 3D printed, and organise schedules and the such before a month of restrictive movement and gatherings takes place. Sadly this means some of the current projects will have to backseat as access to certain “toys” is curtailed for a bit, but on the flip side other projects get to come to the fore.