Thursday, 1 June 2017


It has been a while since I have had to report any domestic appliance related issues. However my gas fire - yes, the same one I used to dry paint on the chariot which unexpectedly started to smoulder instead - has failed an inspection and had a notice stuck to it forbidding further use. And then there's the freezer; I won't go into details, but suffice it to say that I am glad that it is in the cellar.

Anyway, we had another go at Pike & Shotte for the Italian Wars last night. We didn't actually get everything correct, but we were somewhat closer than the previous week. The rulebook is dreadful, but the rules themselves are OK. On the plus side things move along reasonably quickly, I like the way that units behave once they have taken their requisite number of hits and I have always found the concept of saving throws to be a bit of a guilty pleasure. On the other hand melees seem very complicated; all the bother of getting supporting units into place never seems to actually make any difference. I suspect that overall, and as usual with new rules, we aren't quite using the tactics that the designer intended.

I am afraid it's been another poor boardgaming month, but there has been some painting:
  • Another sixteen longbowmen - four stands - have finished off the box that I bought. As previously advised, I have absolutely no immediate plans to use them in a game, but one can never have too many archers in a 15th century army. 
  • A dozen WWI British infantry haven't even made a dent in the pile of unpainted figures, but is a small step towards being able to have a go at Square Bashing.
  • I have previously complained that I didn't have many non-lancer, Napoleonic Prussian light cavalry and eventually it has dawned on me that no one else is going to do anything about it. I have therefore painted up a box of Prussian Hussars. My cavalry units are very small and so that amounted to three regiments. The original reason for small unit sizes was to facilitate a more colourful tabletop and so, in the spirit of things going full circle, the three units have blue, brown and green dolmans and pelisses respectively. The brown ones look very familiar; I rather think I had a unit forty five years ago, probably Airfix Waterloo British Cavalry despite the incorrect headgear. Unfortunately for nostalgia, that unit also has a bit of a problem with the gloss varnish and so are unlikely to see action very often.
  • Some more home made shell hole hexes
  • A rather nice walled garden, a terrain type which will be familiar to players of C&C Napoleonics. In another misadventure, while it looks very good it has turned out to be too small to hold the sabot base for a unit of infantry thereby rendering it not much use.

There will be a blogging hiatus for a few days as, taking advantage of my senior railcard, I am off on a trip to London and St Albans. I shall be meeting up with the wargaming opponent and bandmate of my school years who was mentioned here recently; indeed the unit of brown coated Hussars mentioned above would have taken part in his fixed refight of Waterloo. There won't be any opportunity on this occasion for a game, but we shall no doubt find plenty to speak about on subjects as diverse as female fronted prog rock bands of the 1970s and the lack of taste once displayed by the former mayor of Harpenden. I intend to be back before election day, but in case I'm not: Vote Labour.

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