Wednesday, 29 August 2012

City Park

My unfortunate, but justly deserved, banishment has left me with some free time, but no access to the materials necessary for not wargaming. I have therefore been forced to do something else, part of which involved a visit to the new lake in the middle of Bradford. I have to say that I quite liked it. Praise indeed.

I hope to end my period of 'no fixed abode' on Friday when I anticipate making what is already possibly already the world's greatest concentration of wargamers in one small area even, er, greater; at least for a few weeks. Will I will be able to not wargame in such circumstances? Do eminent philosophers keep asking rhetorical questions despite constant requests not to?

Monday, 27 August 2012

Where are you?

Keeping a low profile, that's where. For reasons that are entirely my fault, but with a timing not at all of my doing, I have had to lead a somewhat peripatetic existence since Saturday. I will reveal that I am currently not that far from Valley Parade, but no more than that for the moment.

As I once said "It's not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters." and on that basis I shall be attempting to emulate Mizuta Masahide when he in turn said "Since my house burnt down I own a better view of the rising moon"

Or, as my old oppo Euripides used to philosophise down the pub "Forgive son; men are men; they needs must err." 

Friday, 24 August 2012

Shock news

I did some painting. Or, to be more precise, I got out my painting tray and stared at the figures thereon desperately trying to remember what on earth I was doing when I packed it all away earlier in the year. It's all early 18th century; those who have been following this blog will understand that I was persuaded to particpate - in a small way - in a WSS project by a friend of mine. There is no overall plan that I have to stick to because, as I haven't yet explained, I was the only one who ever did anything. The WSS 20mm project, c'est moi.

So, in the finest tradition of all wargamers everywhere, I didn't continue with the part painted stuff. Instead I started something new by preparing, gluing and undercoating a dozen cuirassiers that I got from John Cunningham some months ago. I think that they will be Bavarian: d'Arco's and or Weickel's perhaps.

I now you are all desperate for painting tips, so here you are. I always undercoat in terracotta because if you subsequently miss a bit it doesn't matter so much as if you undercoat in white. You heard it here first.

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Granby Halls, Leicester 14th May 1976

I have been reading The Rolling Stones 50, a rather large collection of photographs and ephemera celebrating the 50th anniversary of the first Rolling Stones performance. One of the concerts covered is that at the Granby Halls in 1976 which, and I bet you never saw this coming, I didn't attend.

I did have a ticket - I can't recall why it was for the Leicester show, but I do recall getting it via Armers or possibly his mate Diprose - but couldn't go because I was in Bradford Royal Infirmary at the time due to an altogether unfortunate encounter with a short and dubious woman. (As a slight wargaming related diversion, the chap in the next bed to me had fought at the Battle of Jutland.) I had managed to get two tickets; the other was for my old schoolfriend Dave, and on page 260, top right hand photograph, there he is in the audience.

What a drag it is getting old.

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

One out of twenty ain't bad

A reader asks: "Why aren't you answering the twenty questions like what everyone else is?".

The bloggist replies: "Well, I'm sure that both you and the other reader have spotted that this is a philosophical blog, and as such only deals in rhetorical questions. Except for the one that you asked just then of course; which we have not only printed, but also answered. And that is what we philosophers refer to as a paradox."

If I needed another reason - i.e. if the previous answer was in any way lacking - I might point out the foolishness of using up all that material in one go. I could make those twenty questions last till Christmas and beyond. However, as I'm feeling kind, I will answer one question: the twentieth.

What upsets you? People who walk without swinging their arms. Shallow, but true.

Monday, 20 August 2012

The WSS (not) revisited

So, you don't ask. If you aren't interested in the WSS - except for sieges - then why do you bother not wargaming it? (Note to self: one last time, if you don't cut out those bloody rhetorical questions then who on earth do you think is going to read this stuff?)

Well, the story starts at Recon in December 2010. I was talking to a wargamer of some substance, let's call him 'M'. He told me that he and another wargamer in good standing, let's call him 'T', were intending to start a new project. Now, for M it would only normally have been a noteworthy conversation if he had told me that he had foresworn all new projects and that from then until the day that he died was only going to play with the toys that he had. What raised this occasion out of the ordinary was his assertion that in accordance with the current straitened economic circumstances the plan was to use 20mm plastic figures. In fact it was to be the War of the Spanish Succession based on the excellent Zvezda Great Northern War range of figures. He, M, was intent on producing a French army, T had decided on the British and they wondered if I - a noted 20mm plastic enthusiast - wanted to join in. As a further inducement in transpired that T could source figures at a discount.

Now then what could I say? (Not to self: look I won't tell you again, stop doing it. Is it big? Is it clever?)

Saturday, 18 August 2012

Visually lacking

If there was one thing readers have been complaining about - which as it happens there isn't - it would be the focus on writing rather than pictures. Obviously there is my own portrait at the top; me looking suitably philosophical and stoical as befits one of the major figures of Stoic philosophy. But, that apparently is not enough.

Well, my answer to that is simple "Know, first, who you are, and then adorn yourself accordingly." as I first said many centuries ago. But, as the customer is always right, I show above, apropos of nothing in particular, a Hussite Wagenburg.

Thursday, 16 August 2012

'Life.... a long preparation for something that never happens.' - W.B.Yeats

And for me the current thing that isn't happening is the War of the Spanish Succession. "Why so?" I hear you ask "A long standing interest of yours perhaps?".

Well no. Actually, until about 18 months ago I knew very little about it and cared less. And now that I have read Duffy, Chandler, Kemp et al I have to say that it still doesn't do much for me. To start with there's the uniforms: dull, dull, dull. Then there's the tactics: even duller. And all those sieges: ahh, actually I quite like the sieges - Vauban, Coehorn, bastions, parallels, zigzags, batteries, scarps and counterscarps . But that just makes it worse because how does one replicate all that engineering on the tabletop? And, if one can't then how frustrating is that? Is it as annoying as a blogger who can't do anything but ask rhetorical questions? Who can say?

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

I'm Cilla Black from the Radio Ones

One of the key tropes of succesful wargaming blogs is the carefully timed hiatus caused by the real world which tantalisingly leaves the regular readers wanting more. Well, I have had the two bob bits for the last couple of days and have therefore been unable to bring you my penetrating views on the usual stuff in the usual manner. Apologies for that.

Obviously I haven't let my indisposition affect my inability to carry out any wargaming activities and I therefore promise that before too long I will be able to reveal what it is that I am not doing.

Thursday, 9 August 2012

What the world needs

Presumably no-one could possibly disagree that what the world needs above all else is another blog about wargaming. But, just for the sake of argument, let's invent someone who takes the opposite view. "Look," he says (I think it needs no explanation as to why even an imaginary person with an opinion about wargaming is a he) "there are loads of blogs on the subject. They are written by people who can write better than you can, who can paint better than you can, who know more about the subject than you do, whose opinions are  worth reading and who actually do some wargaming every now and then."

It's the last point that's the clincher. Yes, there are wargaming blogs, but they are all written by people who actively participate in the hobby. Where are the blogs by the dillettantes? Where is the blog that takes a more, how shall we say, philosophical approach?

Step forward Epictetus.