31 October 2013

O'er the Hills - A Black powder Napoleonic report

Last Thursday as usual was Gaming night,and I wrote a scenario for Kevin (British) and Karl (French) to play whilst I became the umpire to ensure all the special rules and fine details ticked along smoothly. The scenario was a fictitious peninsular engagement between the British and French somewhere along the Portuguese border. This is one tough battle for the British to win.

The layout was a a 6ft x 5ft table covered in many hills, a tree lined road marked the French entry points and all the ground was deemed rough going so 1/2 movement for all troops. The two large hills in the centre of the table gave a +1 cover bonus as they represented natural defences. The objective was a simple one and the French simply had to take the road that passed through the foothills.

The forces for this can be downloaded from my Google Drive HERE you need the PDF's called Oer the hills.

The French player starts with one brigade on the table deployed in open order ready to advance through the woodland.
Open order is a house rule I have used for Battalions that adopt skirmish formation so to speak, I dont allow them to receive the skirmisher bonuses, they only receive a cover bonus for the wood, and become an unclear target but that is it.
The French player randomly allocates entry points for the remaining brigades that march on in column along the roads. At this point the British players forces are not visible and will only become visible when units clear the woods or the British player has a clear line of sight on a French column.
The French become visible and the first British Brigade with a battery deploy. I have to state at this momeny Karl suffered real problems with the dice and struggled to get movement to deploy so it was turn 6 before he got moving .
Now it is at this point the French general got a brain freeze or just gave up playing, as he completely ignored the games objective and spent the remainder of the game trying to attack the two brigades on the flanks.
As you can see from the above it became a victory for the British who never had the objective threatened.

Overall the game played well and the Black powder mechanics are good but when a player fails to try there is nothing you can do as an umpire to stop that, and it did sour the game a touch.

28 October 2013

Loki's 200 Followers Competition

Thank you to all my followers, last night the blog reached a big milestone for me and one that I am very happy to see arrive. With Jonathan Freitag and Graham_Cummings 2003 joining the longship.
I gained my 200th follower and therefore it is fitting that I hold a small give away in celebration of this event.

Here is what is up for grabs in this little give away. A limited edition Scottish warlord, Painted by me further pictures can be found here.

So how do you get a chance to win this fine figure. The rules for this are very simple:

1. You must be a public follower on this blog. You can be either a long term follower or a new follower between now and 6 pm GMT on 5th November 2013. 

2. You must comment on this post.

3. If you promote this give away via your own blog you will gain a 2nd entry, if you post a link for me to verify the promotion.

27 October 2013

Welcomes and general news

Another week comes to a close at the Great Hall I will be travelling back from Fiasco in Leeds at the time this post goes live.

This week nearly saw me achieve another personal milestone with the addition of some new Longship crew members, so welcome too Mr J, Sophie Vandermissen and Alfons Canovas this leaves me one short of 200 followers at present. Maybe I will achieve this before the year is out.

Next up I have added some new right side bar links. First of these is for a new blogger network called Tabletop Gaming Central. I have already enrolled into this as these networks help us all gain traffic by way of presenting our work to wider audiences, So please pop over and join up by clicking the link below right.

I have also added another link to Miniature Bids the wargamers alternative site to Evil bay so you can find it easily should you wish or indeed use the image below and create a link on your own page. This is a fairly new venture but major improvements are being made to the site all the time. Now with the ability to import your feedback from Evil bay so you can prove your trust worthiness.

Thursday saw my regular night of gaming at Kevins this was a scenario that I wrote for a Black Powder Napoleonic outing and a full post will follow early next week.

26 October 2013

Blog Con Coming soon

With only 14 days to go it is almost time for the 1st UK convention of Wargaming bloggers being held at the Wargames Foundry HQ in Nottingham on the 9th and 10th of November 2013.

This promises to be an interesting first event in what hopefully will continue as a viable convention. Giving Wargaming bloggers a chance to meet up, have a good conversation and exchange ideas etc. The event is also open to anyone who wishes to attend, even if they dont run a blog.

This year will see a couple of Bloggers doing demonstrations of some of the basics to get your figures looking good regardless of your painting ability.

James - Will be holding a face painting session, showing you how to make them stand out with relative ease.

Loki - Will be giving a step by step basing tutorial, using a wide range of products and the excellent Tajima 1 products

In addition to this various demonstration / participation games are being put on for you to enjoy from members of the wider blogging community.
Muskets & Tomahawks
Warhammer fantasy 3rd edition by the Oldhammer movement
Very British Civil War
Chain of Command

There will also be a range of products from several manufacturers to peruse and of course you will also have the ability to swop/buy your unloved toys as well

Interested and want to find out more about this open event then please visit HERE for further information.

I am in the final stages of preparation for the event now. Having painted a nice batch of 28mm Foundry Pirates for the basing demonstration.

I am looking forward to meeting many of the bloggers I have come to know over this last year and those I have not yet met. I often dont get the time when helping at shows to have a good chat and for me this will give me the perfect opportunity to chew the fat with some of the great people I have met. Of course I shall have to avoid the swift kick Ray has promised me for sending him up in an earlier post.

Hope to see many of you at what promises to be a great social weekend!

25 October 2013

Fiasco and a new Man Cave!!

So Tuesday morning long standing pain in the arse friend Kevin rings and once again attempts to talk me into taking a trip to Fiasco wargames show in Leeds. Casually dropping a large hint that he will have sculpted the horses for another good friend Martin at Warbases. Now I had no plans to go to Leeds in fact I should really have been travelling south to take the kids to see the grandparents in London and politely had to refuse the offer.

Then I started my working day assembling what I can only describe as the largest order of bocage  I have ever had, this caused me to completely go out of stock of bases and with a shortfall for the order to boot. So I had to ring Martin and place an order to get me out of jail and complete the order. Now to collect the bases as quickly as possible, I ended up volunteering to help out at Fiasco for the day as I could collect the order.

This of course then led me to having to return Kev's call and tell him to ensure he had the Horses finished, as we would both be going to Fiasco, but as he needed me to take him he would have to get prepared for an early start as I would be helping Martin for the day. Telling Kev he needs to be ready to leave home at 6.30am on a Sunday morning is always fun.

Anyone who has read this blog for a while will know that my current painting facilities are sited in an old Pantry cupboard, leading off our front room. Not an ideal location as it is very cramped at the best of times and as the family is growing it often means I cant paint in any form of peace and quiet in the main room of the house.
When I started the blog this was my hobby space not exactly large but adequate providing I did not need to paint too many figures in one go.
I made some modest improvements as time progressed to enable me too be a bit more productive, but this still left me with zero space in reality to store work in progress or those figures that were completed.
I managed to expand upwards but it became more cramped, combined with a growing waistline I only fit half in and out of the cupboard to paint as I can't sit inside any more.

After several lengthy debates with the wife it has finally been agreed that I may convert the small upstairs bedroom into an office / painting cave of my own. On the proviso, that all my bits that are stored throughout the house are located in the one room thus giving back space that is needed for other uses. Needless to say I don't have a problem with that proviso or any other that may follow at all, and really count myself lucky as I finally get a window!!!

This project will be a carefully planned move as I want to ensure I keep the wife happy and the room really will work for me. I will document the progress on the blog as I go along.

23 October 2013

Should we care about Stats!

There has been a lot of talk about stats on many blogs of late, so here is my warped view of the stats we see!!

Topline stats:
Pageview chart 68013 pageviews - 270 posts, last published on 20-Oct-2013 - 199 followers
Now I wont pretend I take much notice or for that fact understand much of these, but I do like to see the stat for followers as this tells me I am engaging with a wider audience. But the most Important one aside from that is the comment count, after all engagement with the audience is one of the objectives of my blog.

In more detail: 
Graph of Blogger page views
So this last month things have become very erratic with some really high spikes for no apparent reason at all. As you can see pre spike average hits were 350 per day.

Graph of Blogger page views
This week things have returned to some form of normality.
Graph of Blogger page views
This is the one I do check regularly and that is to satisfy my curiosity that people really do want to visit the blog and my readership is growing.
The Other stats:
United States
United Kingdom
New Zealand

I like to see were my audience is in the world. What I like from this is that my readers are spread far and wide.

So having said all the above, are all the facts and figures really so important that anyone should be driven by these things. After all the recent spike was down to something completely unexplained and saw my daily visits increase to peak at 907 in one day with 315 in one particular hour, add Vampire stats into the mix and do we really get anything like a true page view count ever. Regardless of this page views are page views and, I like many often celebrate and run a give away based on this figure. (In my case because it serves as a handy reference point to celebrate).
My favourite stats are the follower count for both Blogger and Google + as I want to engage with a wide audience, and combined with the comments statistic I can see if my blog is doing the job and I am engaged with my readership.
Just to keep it real here are some better stats worth a look:

So Thank you for Visiting, Following and Commenting they are all appreciated.

20 October 2013

Welcomes, Gaming an Orctober update & I won something !!!!!

This week has seen the Longship crew swell its ranks with the addition of Tomsche, opa wuttke, Paul of the man cave and Fred Jackson. Welcome aboard and I hope your journey with me is a good one.

Thursday saw me travel to Kev's for a bit of Hail Caesar action, Ancient Britons against the power of Rome.
My Objective was a simple one hold the hill fort and not get wiped out.
Nice table layout using the broken ground and river that I have newly made and Kev's new Hill fort.
 We wanted a variety of terrain on the table to maximise the use of the rules in the book as this was our second game of Hail Caesar. What follows is a brief extract of the game, as I was enjoying the game so much I forgot to take lots of pictures and the exact details elude me of all that happened.
General Thorn insideicus studies ground before him

Cockeditup deploys his Britons in a defensive array
 Both sides had clear objectives for the game Kev had to either smash my army and take the hill fort, whilst I just had to survive.
Cockeditup has a little problem getting his cavalry into position
 The Roman war machine suffered a little from forming full lines due to poor command rolls,but that was rivalled by the cavalry of the Britons who refused for several turns to join the chariots on the flank.
 Both sides had made several exchanges of distance weapons and the roman initial assault was checked for a while.
There was a big stand off with many exchanges of javelin and pilum before the clash
 The Romans re organised and came back to the fight and mayhem ensued, with casualties being racked upon both sides, The Britons were holding out well in the centre causing many legions to become shaken, and a unit of slingers were punishing the Veteran legion, but then came the clash.
How cockeditup earned his name.
Yes despite a hard fight and melee's going from one players control to the other eventually the Legions overcame the Britons and they collapsed.

What a game, afterwards we sat and had a well earned cuppa and a chat about the game. Hail Caesar really does work well for the period. We both really had a lot of fun playing this and both came away knowing we had just had one heck of a great game. This for me is what playing with toy soldiers is all about, we both had some poor dice, we also had some good ones too!! We had a couple of rules queries after only two games that's no surprise, but we dealt with them quickly and amicably. We laughed a lot especially when things did not go how we expected them too. The game has some really subtle nuances that really do make this a characterful game to play. Overall this is the most enjoyable game I have played in a few months and am already looking forward to the next one.

Well Orctober is now 2/3rds done and I have a few more figures completed to swell the savage Orc ranks.

I won something after a long time trying many different competitions, maybe Loki is now due some good luck for the future.Thankfully this did not involve dice or my chances would have been scuppered from the outset. Many thanks to Jonathan at Palouse wargaming Journal I will be the proud owner of :

I have always promised myself that this is a period of history that I needed to study in far more detail than the passing knowledge I have of the period and this gives me the perfect excuse to start studying the period. The fact that my good friend Kev enjoys this period is also a bonus.

Now if you are not following the aforementioned blog then may I recommend a visit to this well organised blog with plenty of variety for any follower. Palouse Wargaming Journal.

17 October 2013

Messing about on the river and other news !!!

Last time I mentioned that I was busy finalising my flexible river system, and expanding it into a full set of pieces to ensure its viability and also to work out some rough costings.

The final result:
A bit blurred but as you can see all the core components are finalised.
A straight section river width is variable with 100mm entry and exit width.
A 22.5 degree curved section.
 A ford section.

And finally the last bit of flexible madness was making a few more sections of scatter terrain, this time it was broken ground patches something myself and Kevin need for the Hail Caesar games.

Next up is another fine blog give away being run by Carl at hitting on a double 1 (my sort of dice). There are some very nice books up for grabs if world war 2 is your bag head on over and get yourself entered..

14 October 2013

Orctober progress, life, gaming and giveaway !!

Welcome to the newest member of the longship, going by the name of Arrg. I could not find a blog so if you could post a link in the comments that would be good.

Its been a funny old week here, I have mostly been floored by some virus that has seen me with a streaming cold and eyes that refuse to open properly and unable to work for the last six days.

I managed to get it together enough and went to +kevatthecabin for my weekly dice fest and lets just say I rolled badly for the most part, I did follow instructions and saw my forces disintegrate before my very eyes.
and a write up of the game can be found HERE.

Before the virus claimed me I had been working on improving my flexible river design. I wanted to obtain a rippled surface and also see if the widths could be adapted to suit.

Apologies for the quality of the above pictures, but as you can see I managed to get the look I wanted so I shall expand this into a full set.

Next came a couple of hours work on the next addition to the Orctober fest last night again this needed final highlights to complete the model. Savage Orc standard bearer.

The final Item for this post is the discovery of a new blog and a great giveaway being held there so pop over and visit Palouse Wargaming Journal.

9 October 2013

Loki gets Hi Tech, Wargames Foundry Pirates WIP

Well blow me I know I am ill as I decided to get Facebook sorted out. I want it known that I held out for as long as possible but finally lost the battle last night. I have had many requests over the last year asking why I wasn't on there. I did not consider it a problem I have watched enough Jeremy Kyle on daytime t.v. to keep me secure in the knowledge I was right. However over the last year I have gained a fair few friends through blogging. Although I am on Google + and having trialled Facebook with the business I was finally convinced that it was potentially a good thing to do, there is always the delete button if needed :) It will allow me to be more easily contacted etc. etc..

I have been fascinated by pirates since I was a young boy. Blimey that's a heck of a long time in reality. I don't know what it is maybe its the freedom of lifestyle, and the daring deeds of times long past. Although there is no denying they were a ruthless and bloodthirsty bunch in reality. I have always admired the Foundry range of pirates, but I have not had the luxury of lots of surplus funding to spend on what in essence is a bit of frivolity on my part.

As I briefly mentioned on a whim I happened to be browsing Evil Bay and saw some of the Foundry pirates and they happened to be only a £1.00 a figure. I heard a voice in my head saying to me "that's a bargain if ever there was one!" the other voice was saying "don't stray from the path, you have done well and not been distracted from the years goals you set." I spent the next few hours ummming and arrrring over the pirates, then a voice in my head said "look idiot, these will give you a bit of a break from your painting projects and the other projects you are working on." Now I have to admit life has been a touch stressful here and life at the moment feels like a bloody great juggling act and it's only a matter of time before I drop all the balls.

So I spent my money and thought I am going to have some fun with these. I have decided that the lead will get the best paint job my brushes can deliver, so I expect it to take a few weeks to get all 30 painted but here is the test figure.

7 October 2013

Orctober Fest

Everyone knows Loki is not known for painting Fantasy stuff right. After all there is a distinct lack of it on the blog save a few Dwarf's and a unit of Gobbos. Well yes and no, you see I like the figures but don't play the game, mainly because I don't have time and prefer historical games. The other major problem is they are not an easy paint, one look at heavy metal painting or golden demons and I am a gibbering wreck I just cant paint to that standard as much as I would like too!!

Now having said all dat dare is a problem coz peeple finks its zombtober and dats plain wrong I tells ya. Every decent being knows dat it's ORCtober, dem dare dead fings aint got da brainz dey was born wiv. So we ave to put a stop to dis stupid zom bizness and sort dem owt!

You can all blame congratulate Sean and Erny for this latest bout of silliness, but I thought what the heck I may as well give it a whirl. Now I will state outright here and now I doubt I will get all 20 of these done, but I have a unit of savage orcs from a while back (dont ask how or why!!) I made a start by trying to get them ranked up and undercoating the things and thats as far as I got in reality as I could not get them to fit together on the 25mm GW bases. Any how all that aside throughout  Orctober I will be painting some savage orcs an will present them as I complete them.

So first up I set about finishing the Big Stabba, this was already a bit further on than the other figures and just needed some finishing highlights and touching up!

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