Prufrock's Wargaming Blog

Prufrock's Wargaming Blog

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Cricket World Cup

There hasn't been much action here on the hobby front of late because the cricket World Cup - which is now on in India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh - has been taking up quite a bit of my time.  As a kiwi I follow the New Zealand team, so I was extremely pleased to see them get past one of the tournament favourites, South Africa, in a testing quarter-final the other night. 

It is not always easy being a follower of New Zealand cricket.  Our sides have tended to be made of up honest triers and the odd player capable of turning a game on its head.  New Zealanders have attempted to make up for lack of talent with grit and nous, but a rash of premature retirements during former coach John Bracewell's time in charge set the team back a long way, and it still hasn't really recovered from that.

Still, it's moments like these that we must dare to hope that this might just be the time that they make it through to a World Cup final, and give themselves a chance of glory!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Pat's photos of our Magnesia games

Pat has very kindly sent me the photos he took of our Magnesia battle.  He has taken a series of close up shots, which I'm very pleased to post here.

Hastati from Magister Militum's Chariot range.  These were some of the first figures I painted, way back in 2005.

Xyston Antigonid phalangites, painted by Fernando in Sri Lanka.

Our Eumenes for the day.  Another Xyston figure, this time painted by myself.

The Antiochus of the day.  Xyston again.

Chariot equites.

Xyston peltasts, again painted by Fernando.

Old Glory Seleucid cataphracts.  I didn't do a very good job painting these and they could do with a touch up.  I do like the figures though; they have a certain air of nastiness about them.

Roman allies from the Strategia e Tattica range.  My new favourite Romans.

Antiochus with his guard of Old Glory xystophoroi.  As you might have gathered, I really like the cavalry of the Old Glory Successor range!

A jumbo from Chariot.

And lastly, the hand of doom...

A big thank you to Pat for these photographs!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Magnesia with Pat

My boardgame buddy Pat and I had been planning to get together for a game day for some time, and we decided that we would go ahead with the event today despite the horrific earthquakes, tsunamis and threatened nuclear meltdowns up north.  It turned out that it was a good way to take our minds off the horror, and I certainly feel a lot better after a chance to chew the fat and let off a bit of steam.

I'd had a few ideas for games, but with the disruption of the past week we ended up settling on the tried and true - Magnesia with Lost Battles - and the simple and classic - the Quatre Bras scenario from SPI's 1976 quadrigame 'Napoleon's Last Battles'.

We got through two games of Magnesia, with Pat cleaning up both times as the Romans on the back of aggressive cavalry attacks on Eumenes' flank and canny use of all-out attacks in the centres.

The first game ended early with Antiochus' death in a rally attempt leading to a general rout.  The second game was much closer, with the Seleucid line being rolled up from its left while the phalanx tried desperately to break the legions opposite them.  In neither game did I manage to shatter a Roman unit, which shows how well Pat managed his forces.  It was good to see the Romans perform well, as the last time I played the scenario some ridiculous dice saw Scipio and friends utterly routed ( go here to see a report of that battle).

From memory, the first game was won 80-33 and the second 91-76  

The Quatre Bras game was a light way to fill in the last hour of the visit, and some good dice results saw the the French beaten off.

Here are some photos of the Lost Battles action.  As always, click on the images to see larger shots.

* I've got a new 1800 x 900 table (well, our school does...) which allowed us to try out my latest ground carpet and use zones 320mm (8 bases) across.  On the whole I was pretty pleased with how it looked, compared to my usual set up.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Trying to identify some 15mm figures

I have a collection of Romans I picked up from ebay a few years ago and I've always wondered what make they were.  They are pretty ropey and I hardly ever use them unless I need to, but I may do them up one day and it would be good to know what they are so that I can get some extras or replacements.  I have a feeling they might be 15mm Minifigs, but I'm not sure.  Any help identifying them would be much appreciated!

Here are the hastati with pilum.  I think these could be z153 or z162 in the Minifigs Macedonian and Punic Wars 15mm range.  Would anyone be able to give me a yay or nay on this?

Here are the principes.  These might be either z153 or z154 from the same range.

The triarii are possibly z154?

And these velites are probably z152 if these figures are indeed Minifigs.

Again, any help would be much appreciated!

Pre-order offer for Deluxe Lost Battles about to expire...

Phil Sabin recently posted this message on the Lost Battles yahoo group:

We have now moved firmly into the production stage of the board game, and placed the order for the paperback books so that they will arrive in time for the printing of the games (hopefully in June/July). Hence, we must now revert to the standard price if we are to have any chance of recouping our very large investment in the project. If you have not yet taken advantage of the pre-order discount offer, please do so by Friday March 18th at the latest.

It appears as if we can look forward to the game being produced around the middle of the year, assuming all things go well.  This is excellent news for all those who have been keenly awaiting the publication of this game.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The wargamer's spring

Spring weather is starting to settle in here in Japan now and it is my favourite season of the wargaming year - prep time!  This not-at-all-onerous process involves sitting down in a cramped airless space to cut and file excess lead off a huge pile of figures, then to wash them - making sure that those which require horses can sit upon them fairly comfortably and that those which require shields and weapons affixed have them so affixed - and finally to put them on strips of cardboard in readiness for spray undercoating when I can get some time and good weather.

So far I've cleaned and prepped a hundred Xyston Spartans, a hundred Old Glory Persian archers and slingers, a hundred more Strategia e Tattica Romans, twenty-odd horse archers from OG and Essex, and there are a number of large boxes and full carry-cases to go. 

Well, it's the price we pay for buying so many figures throughout the better part of the year, I suppose :)

It little profits that an idle hand
At this grey desk, among these loaded shelves,
Matched with an aged knife, I cut and carve
Unequal lengths out of a leaden race,
That bend, and break, and fall, and know not me....

(with apologies to Alfred, Lord Tennyson)

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Earthquake in Christchurch

On Tuesday of last week a powerful earthquake struck the city of Christchurch, New Zealand.  It has been a period of sadness and increasing horror as the extent of the loss of life and damage to property and landscape has been revealed.  Although I'm not now as close to the city as I once was, the seven years I spent there attending university were happy and fulfilling ones, and this event has brought home how much a part of my life the city has been, and how important some of the people who live there are to me.

At this distance there is not a lot of practical good that I can do. I have spent a lot of time reading online newspapers, trawling facebook and other places for news of friends and relatives and feeling an odd sense of guilt that I was not there. The immediacy of it all has been crystalised by the photography of a friend who works in the central city. As an engineer, Geof has seen a lot of the evidence of the disaster at close hand, and has been putting up photographs of the damage visited upon the city this last week.

I'd been at a loss regarding what to put on this blog following the quake. At a time like this it seems even more frivolous than usual to think or write about games, painting, new rules, books and figures. When a wife is waiting for a husband who will not return and parents are mourning the child taken by the fall of a television set, there is no pleasure to be had in toy soldiers. In hearing and seeing the stories - of the sister and brother buried hand in hand who were dug out by a frantic stranger, one alive and one dead; of the fellow who hitchhiked 500 kilometres to hand out soup to the hungry; of the Australian search and rescue team that arrived to a standing ovation; of a Japanese cameraman, addressing a church congregation in Lyttelton, trying hopelessly to find words that might express his sympathy - it's pretty obvious again that, no matter how seriously people may take this hobby at times, it is indeed 'no great matter.' 

I spoke to Geof yesterday, and he has kindly given me permission to post here some of his photographs of the city and what it has gone through this past week.  These photographs speak for themselves, and I will not risk spoiling the starkness of the imagery by attempting any commentary.
(All photos copyright of Geof Wilson, 2011)

More of Geof's photographs can be found at his Flickr site, here.
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