Saturday, 1 November 2014

A Long Needed Holiday And Some New Gaming Purchases

Hi ho!

Two weeks away from my studio has left me pretty refreshed mentally and physically and ready for that mad dash up to Xmas Eve and another 2 weeks without having to pick up a brush to earn a crust.

Over the last fortnight I've had the company of my wonderful wife and have also seen some of my oldest friends again at Fiasco.

Fiasco was as mundane and moribund as ever, much like the majority of shows these days. They offer no scintillatingly fresh content, bring and buys are on the decline and the wares on offer are just plain drab for the most part.

At Fiasco, my total bill for the day was a measly £48.50 with my purchases being the 'In Her Majesty's Name' rules, a section of 11 British Infantry in Home Service Dress for said rules and a copy of 'Stalagmites' from Midlam Games. This is a wonderful little 'home grown' board game with a distinctly retro feel.

For me, the day was 'made' by the attendance of some really great friends from all over the North and for whom Leeds is a relaxed drive from home.

I played a few fun games at a local Wednesday night boardgames group but both Kayte and I decided that we simply couldn't be arsed with going to the wargames club this week, choosing instead to take a night drive across the Pennines in what turned into the second worst driving conditions I have ever been in. Still it was a fun and sometimes alarming 5 hours in the company of our Scottie.

No gaming this coming week, as it clashes with the traditional night of trying to blow of your fingers with gunpowder *SIGH* and so the dogs would not be at all happy were we to leave them at home alone.

Next week sees the annual general meeting of one of the local wargames clubs which Kayte and I also decided not to attend as we are both pretty fed up with politics and the disregard for the constitution of same by those who want things to rumble along in the same old way, ignoring any opinions other than their own*. The thought of being crammed into a room full of raised voices and hopeless causes seems to be less fun than a couple of glasses of decent red wine and a good book.

Anyway, I've managed to nail down the last few items for my Death Eater costume, with a final bill of £900. It sounds a lot but frankly that's about the cost of two unpainted armies, so I am rather pleased, as it's all 'move quality' kit. Now, if I can get it all fine tuned for January, I'll be able to get to my first cosplay convention (Do try one - they're great fun!)

On Halloween, I went over to Chatsworth House again, where there is a rather splendid new gallery featuring the exploits of Dukes Of Devonshire in the 1st and 2nd World Wars. I really enjoyed it, and given that I rarely watch military TV shows or even go to military museums these days (I find I can't stomach the whole war thing as much as I did as a youth - odd for a wargamer, I know) it was a great little exhibition.

What I really wanted to see however was a 16th century spell book which was on display for the last week...

I've had a lifelong interest in occult subjects (not to be confused with my interest in swords and sorcery subjects). and this was not a book I'd previously seen. I just wish I could have seen more pages. The bestial figure on the left intrigues me.

The day was rounded off with a rather splendid dinner at Chatsworth and a sunset drive back to Sheffield.

Now, as you may know by now, I have an abiding love of vintage roleplaying games and thus I was very pleased to get my hands on a copy of both the Gamma World and Twilight 2000 RPGs in their 1980's editions. T2000 was a really great game set in the aftermath of the nuclear phase of the 3rd Word War and was almost a mil-sim if played properly. I had it as a youth but like most things it was moved on. Anyway I managed to get about 18 modules and the rules for a handsome £80. Gamma World was a post apocalyptic fantasy game, at the totally opposite end of the spectrum. I managed to get a copy along with three modules for £50; a frankly larcenous price to pay, but what the hell... You only get one ride on the roundabout after all.

The game which continues to elude me is Star Frontiers by TSR. In it's time it was a flop of a game but I'd love to try it out again. Despite the massive print run, many are in terrible condition and the sharks who prey on nostalgia-crazed gamers are putting truly horrendous premiums on the game - And are not managing to sell them.

To hell with that... I don't mind a dance but a fuck is out of the question!

If you have a set of rules and any modules, get in touch and I will pay you a fair price, but I'm not going to be extorted by greedy dealers.

During one of the 'recovery days' where we stayed at home to give our arthritic limbs a chance to heal, I did manage to get into my studio and make a start on my UNSC forces for Drop Zone Commander, a rather interesting looking 10mm company-sized sci-fi miniatures game. The first two sections are done apart from the basing. I decided on an 80s inspired colour scheme, redolent of the mid-tech troops in the Traveller and Striker rules systems.

The results are pleasing to the eye, but I still have two more similar lots and all the vehicles to get painted, let alone based.

And so, with 36 hours of holiday left, I shall bid you a fond farewell as I have to watch the second episode of 'Constantine' which is not based upon the life of the Byzantine Emperor but is an occult/horror series based on the seminal D.C 'Hellblazer' comics. It's gritty, sleazy and excellent. The first episode was pretty good, the second looks fun and the third episode will hopefully blow the minds of the viewers. Buffy The Vampire Slayer this is not!


*See my previous blog post