Welcome to my wargaming blog,
I'm Dave and live in Morpeth, Northumberland in the UK.
This may or may not be a regular thing, we'll just have to see how it goes.

I am a painter/collector of figures first and a wargamer second. My thrill in this great hobby of ours is to place that final well researched & painted unit into the cabinet. The actual gaming with the figures is an important but secondary experience, we all like to win, but it isn't the be all and end all of it, being with good friends and having fun is.
Hope you will enjoy reading this blog as much as I will writing in it.
Just to remind the visitor to scroll down the various pages and click on 'older posts' to see more.

Friday 16 September 2011

10mm Caesarian

These Old Glory 10mm figures were originally based up for Warmaster but as most of our lads at the club have progressed on to Hail Caeser they will of course do just as well for that set of rules. As the Old Glory figures come in strips of five then to fit the set sizes of the Warmaster bases some of the figure strips had to be snipped off to fill the bases up, a pain to be honest, but it does look better than having gaps between the stands.
I quite fancied Caesers wars against Pompey for a while, it's still an ongoing project so there's still plenty to do (like so much else!) but I'm getting there.
Three stands to a unit, with each unit representing either a Cohort or if the scale is made smaller i.e. ranges and movement halved, a Legion thereby enabling larger engagements to be represented.

Four Cohorts of an Eastern Legion.

Eastern Greek cavalry.


Western Legion


With archers to the front

Gallic cavalry

Raw legionaries

That should do for now, however Neal and I will be trying out the 10mm Marlborough using Blackpowder. I have set the table up so he'll be popping over
 tonight to get started. These things are usually played out over a few weeks but I'll be taking regular photo's during critical points in the game and will then put them on here. Keep a look out!

Sunday 11 September 2011

Even more naval gazing

Did a bit more photography yesterday as the sun was actually out, though with a bit of cloud cover it just took the edge off the direct light which seems to work for me. I'm nothing like an expert with  what is actually my sons camera but I'm learning as I go.
I've been gathering these Xyston http://www.scotiagrendel.com/Xyston/1:600 scale ships bit by bit for a couple of years and , like most things will get around to having enough for a game one day! They are fab models, very detailed, maybe a bit pricy but worth it.
The inspiration originally came from reading (I think) Don Featherstones  book 'Naval Wargames', he used this scale had rules and black and white photographs inside which looked great rowing round various home made islands bashing into each other! I like the scale, you can pick them up without needing tweezers and look good.
Have a look at this site, great stuff and what I'd like to get to in the end http://olicanalad.blogspot.com/search/label/Fleet%20of%20Battle
Here are the pictures:
Greek Triremes
Phoenician Triremes.
Phoenician Triremes & Quinqueremes.
Phoenician Quinqueremes.
The decking has to be ink lined in for the planking so that's a bit fiddly. Could do with about twenty per side, so a few to go!
I'll try to get the 10mm Ceasarian Romans up on the blog in the next few days.

Thursday 8 September 2011

Naval Gazing

Andy commented to remind me that the Durham show also took place in this area. Durham is a show that is smaller than the Reiver show in Newcastle, a real local show, but that's no bad thing the folks there are friendly and small isn't necessarily bad ( at least that's what my wife tells me!).
Anyway one of the years I went down Andy and some of his mates were playing a Russo - Japanese War naval game using some of his collection of 1,600 scale warships see; Old Glory Shipyard . It seemed to be a cracking game with expletives as well as shells flying across a 6' x 4' table. I must say that I did suggest that the lads should (as it was a sunny day) move the game outside onto the bowling green, don boater hats and use Fletcher Pratt rules. These were written by this Gent about 1940 Wikipedia and were on the 'Grand Scale', guestimating ranges and even with players using binoculars to spot types of ships!
I remember when I was young my brother (who has 14 years on me) using these rules with his 1,200 scale WW2 home made (out of balsa wood) ships. Preparation included finding out the tonnage of each ship, it's armour at various points and number and sizes of guns. You then had to put this info into a huge calculation to find each ships sinking point, as each hit from opposition gunnery would take points off the total. Bloody complicated but as it was all we had in the 70's it did fine and dandy!
All a shallow excuse to put up the photos of the few ships I own, all GHQ 1,2400.


HMS Hood

Prince Eugen

HMS Prince of Wales

And also a couple of Napoleonic ships both Langton models:

Byeeeeee, Dave.

Tuesday 6 September 2011

Mucking around

I know, I'm buggering about with the layout and colouring of the site. I think the black background allows people to see the writing better, (any constructive comments welcome) I should know I seem to need the specs more and more these days.
I now paint using an angled light/magnifying glass combination which of course means all my brushes need to be cut shorter so that the end doesn't knock against the glass. It takes a bit of getting used to, working under the magnifying glass (you have a job gauging the depth & distance) but for all you chaps like me, of a certain age I would highly recommend this system . After all no matter how good you are you can only paint what you can see!

Monday 5 September 2011

Border Reiver show

I know it's Tuesday and the show was on Saturday but just a quick bit from the organisers side. As one of the approx fifteen members of the Border Reiver Wargames club and having been involved for about fifteen years I did of course turn up at the usual ungodly hour of 0700 and spent the next two hours along with the rest of the lads putting out tables, chairs and helping the traders get their stuff in and set up.
After putting some stuff on the bring and buy most of the rest of the morning was spent with Tom on the door getting the (very reasonable I thought) three quid off the punters as they came through the doors. Comment was made by some people that we looked like a couple from the Dale Farm gypsy camp in the news lately but I couldn't possibly say!
Got time to see Andy at Old Glory (who sponsors the show) to pick up some more 10mm WSS so I'll be pushing on with them soon. At the moment I am re-basing my 15mm ancient Greek/Macadonian/Persian armies. Some of the Greeks are particularly venerable Minifigs, crap painting but they are close to my heart as they were some of my first metal figures. So their being based for Hail Caesar as we are starting to play that quite a bit.
Anyway managed to look round the show for quarter of a hour before starting to pack away again at 1500. About 500 people went through the doors, so considering it had been peeing it down for most of the day that wasn't too bad for a fairly smallish show. The club does it for the sake of it being the only wargames show in Newcastle (the next closest being Smoggycon in Middlesbrough), we make a very small profit from the bring and buy, but really that's about it. It is hard graft but Rob organises it well it's very friendly and it's a 'good crack'.
I think that the show could have done with a couple more really good demo games, I noticed a cracking WW2 desert game and a spacey type (neither my cup of tea but pretty) but could have done with more. I may suggest at the AGM that next year I give it a go with the 10mm WSS assault on Blenheim as a participation game, we'll see.
My son and his wife are over from the States for two weeks tomorrow and the last couple of days I have spent painting, unfortunately rooms not soldiers so I'm knackered but looking forward to seeing them.
I'll get back to the wargaming figures stuff soon. I don't know if people are interested in my wittering!

Friday 2 September 2011

10mm War of Spanish Succession French.

Right lets see if I can get a few examples of the French on here and then I'll move on to another period, scale, whatever next week.
Anyway, the French:
Front to back, 1st Battalion Navarre, 1st & 2nd Battalion Artois. Two stands to each Battalion.

Left front to back, 2nd Batt Navarre, 1st Batt Provence, 1st Batt Greder Allemand. Right front to back, 3rd Batt Navarre, 2nd Provence, 2nd Greder Allemand.

These are the eight squadrons (16 companies) of French Gendarmerie.

Since these were taken I've rebased the command units (you can just see one at the back) and put them on round stands. I find they stand out much better, plus I have put the names of the various brigade/wing commanders on the back. I did this with the units and squadrons as well I think it gives a bit of personality to the units if everyone knows exactly which unit is charging to glory or possibly destruction, you actually care just that little bit more! It also helps players who are not familiar with the period to know which troops are which.
I've just phoned Andy at Old Glory to order a few more bags of 10mm figures, so I'll pick them up tomorrow, back to painting, probably French.
0600 start tomorrow, Were at the Arena for 0700 to set the tables up for the show. It's a long day but it is always good to see everyone who turns up both punters and traders.
See you soon,

10mm War of Spanish Succession Basing sizes

Patrick asked about base sizes so I thought I had better put it on so anyone could see.
The platoon firing battalions British, Dutch German etc are 8cm x 2cm figures in two ranks times two. French, Bavarian rank firing were deeper so 6cm x 3cm figures in three ranks times two. All cavalry squadrons are 8cm x 3cm on one base.
You may have to make the bases slightly larger depending on who's figures you use but it really doesn't matter how many figs you put on the base if you intend to use Black Powder. Just whatever looks good to you.

Thursday 1 September 2011

10mm War of Spanish Sucession unit organisation

Not going to have time to post any pictures tonight but I thought I'd let anyone interested know why I based the figures the way I did.
If you look to the left under the blogs I follow you will find a link to Peelers Wargames and Witterings page.
I met this gent at many of the shows up here and was really impressed with his basing system of about 60 10mm figures to the Battalion, split into two 30 fig halves.
I hate fiddling around with small bases of figures, moving them around the table seems to take forever and they tend to get knocked or even dropped by the less adroit members of the club (guys you know who you are, no names no pack drill!). Visually 60 figures does the business, side by side they form line, split in two one behind the other they represent the Battalion in 'column of attack' probably to wide in terms of actual ground scale but what the hey. Back to back they can be said to be in square, and column of march will have a small arrow marker to one side in the direction they are going.
Truthfully for this period line was the formation for most actions and column of attack would be used for manoeuvre near the enemy and assaulting fixed positions only.
I love and as you will see in the future, own plenty of 28mm figures, but 10mm gives you the visual sight of lots of figures en-mass, and because of the ground scale (an ancient but seemingly forgotten thing in 'modern' rules) you get depth of manoeuvre on our limited table tops. Therefore as a general you keep reserves, as so you should.
Anyho I digress, the Allies using the Platoon firing system are based in two figures depth and the French using the rank firing system are (as you will see when I put up the pics) based three figures deep.
The cavalry are nine figures to a squadron. I arrived at this by comparing the average (as it varies from nationality to nationality and depending on circumstances and situations) frontage of a Battalion of infantry to a squadron of cavalry, about half the width of an Allied battalion in line actually.
Originally I went for a variant of General De Brigade as a set of rules, I like them, we use them at the Reivers club but at best they are for a couple of brigades per side if you want to finish in one evening (as unfortunately we do). Then came Blackpowder, everyone seems to like them, there flexible, you can add bits on to the basic rules if you wish and your units can be of any size, you just designate them as tiny, medium or large. No figures are taken off so ok for my basing system, all you do is place a small die behind to show fatigue. Sorted!
The figures bit was easy, I get on well with Andy from Old Glory UK, he lives fairly locally and I'm a member of T.W.A.T.S (I really won't go into that one) so theirs was the main choice with fill ins from Pendraken, another great range.
That was two years ago, I tend to dip in and out of a period but there will be enough to have a game with them soon. I will be purchasing some more command figs at our Border Reiver Show in Newcastle Arena
 on Saturday.
OK enough for now.
By, Dave.