Monday, January 30, 2012

DBMM at Munster 2012

Hugely enjoyable couple of days gaming with Dbmm rules at Cork in Munster S.Ireland over weekend.
Usual excellent hospitality from Richard and his family and another famous victory over his children on Scene It (Film Quiz) game for XBox (I also won a 'dance off' on an embarrassingly horrendous dance moves game on the XBKinnect !!).Usual gathering of wargame geeks at Richards and accompanying chit chat as edifying as ever.
Weekend got off to a interesting start as I travelled south on Friday with my Chauffeur (Mr Brittain) as due to wargames related waffling we managed to take wrong route through Dublin ending up heading towards Wexford (albeit still in a definite southerly direction) adding a couple of hours to our journey time.

I took my Maurikian Byzantine army (competition this year was themed for "armies of "The Early Medieval Period - 477 AD to 1073 AD" ). As per last year terrain was pre-set by organizers which I really like (although I know some dislike) as it speeds up set-up time thereby increasing actual battling time and eradicates ability to cherry pick terrain to order which can often be a game killer Imho.

Gaming on day one (Saturday) in the very nice venue of Cork University commenced promptly at 0930hrs.
My first game was against Greg Mann (a player who plays in a lot of Dbmm competitions in UK having won several and whom I have not played before) using Khorasanian.
A great (albeit quick) game as I advanced right up to his army and managed to break his left wing command pdq* with some decent combat rolls. (* pretty damned quick)
Killing the command General also got me first General killed trophy and very nice it is too  (my photo does not do it justice)

However my Kavallori came a bit unstuck against his Spearmen by failing to break through at any point in his line despite committing 2 Generals in charges !
They took some losses and then my left wing command was promptly shattered in one turn (his dice awesome mine back to normal) with the -2ME 'hit' on my center breaking the army.
This gave Gregg a 19-6 win. I was however chuffed to take any points off him.

My victorious right wing

My center with CiC and fellows having bounced off Gregs Spearmen (again !)

Game two in afternoon was against Steve Mills (with young Tommy the Dice Rolling Machine assisting) with an extremely nicely painted Sassanid Persian army (belonging to umpire Tom 'Grandad' Worden).
The table was most terrain heavy of the 10 and really was not optimal choice for either of us (again I like this 'deal with what you have in front of you' aspect of the pre-set option).
Persians had a block of 4 Elephants which rushed forward as I frantically tried to re-deploy some PsS to deal with them and divert my mounted line (my PIP dice rolls throughout were poor whilst the rolls by the DRM were awesome throughout) a central slog ensued as I could not escape and whilst I did kill 2 elephants the others wrecked havoc !
I did manage to break a Persian command but fell to another 19-6 loss.

Sassanids with those bloody elephants advancing (the pic does not capture the high quality paint job)

Day two (Sunday) started promptly once more and I faced off in morning against Tim Madeley (a cracking bloke I have played each year) who was using Patrician Roman.
Tim managed to set up his Legionaries on a central hill along with his Artillery and I thought my lot will have a torrid time attacking that (retreat or inaction not an option) but to his infinite and undying credit the Madeley chap advanced even coming off his hill 'fort'being a man after my own heart !
This made for a cracking game all across the table as I tried to hold his superior right wing with my inferior left (he had several LhS & KnF against my mainly LhF and CvS) whilst I took on his Legionaries and a block of Irr AxS on his left. with my Mounted.
I broke his right wing (his KnF dieing ingloriously to lowly LhF!!) but saw my survivors on this wing broke next turn.
My central command was teetering on the brink as well as his superior number told, but luckily (in a large degree indeed) I managed to break his left wing AxS command and both armies were broken in same turn. As Tim was nominal defender he got a 13-12.
A fast, furious, rip roaring, and exciting game this one with which I managed to double my score despite losing as such.

Tims right wing rushed into contact with lesser opponents

Face off in center

Tim tries to stop my advance with his hand

Huzza ! first of his Knights being removed 

Nik Gaukroger and I had a friendly rivalry from last year as to which of us might finish bottom (and obtain a trophy) as he felt I robbed him of this illustrious prize last year, but it seems the Munster group drafted in a 'ringer' in form of Padraig (last years umpire) fielding a Tuareg array and I faced him in last game.
The table was to his advantage as it had several dunes and scrub fields that his CmS like.
However with nothing more than my usual simple plan of advance asap and engage (aided by getting 3 night bounds) I was surprised (never faced a Camel heavy army) to find that the CmS are so plain awful, as despite Superior grading their low combat factor of 2 makes just about every combat a high risk venture for them as 2ME Troops.
They seemed to simply melt away (a few did cause my KnF grief). Padraig had a flank march with a large command of Warband which appeared on my right but too far way to make any impact as the Camel commands were quickly destroyed and his army broken.
No claim by me to any great tactical feat in this one simply a dice rolling contest the CmS are hard pushed to win.
Great kudos to Padraig for attempting to use Tuareg at all and for being aggressive with it too.
I won this one 23-2 and so nearly doubled my score again.
This lifted me from 'relegation zone' to a lofty (for me) 12 place.

Remains of the central and first to be broken Turaeg command 

Turaeg friendly terrain but to no avail

The flank march arriving

Four enjoyable games against 4 gentlemanly opponents and scoring every game (thereby without suffering a 0-25) made this one of my better competition results.
I must remember next year to again not read the rules or have any practice games as this 'tactic' seemed to work for me !! Looking forward to next year already.............

Only 'downside' to this years competition was the Munster blokes 'gift' of a Dbmm measuring stick as it was 'adorned' with what can only be described as a hideous and ghostly image of Willy Coughlan !! I had to turn mine 'face' down as I found it disturbing and am convinced the eyes were watching and following my every move !!! see for your self (or yer'self as they say down there)

A selection of pics and insults

Tuaregs about to succumb to Nik's Khmer

Willy 'The Face' Coughlan against Mick 'Chinaman' Hession. Note chauffeur looking 'lost' to left and an onlooker literally biting his nails with tension and excitement !

Battle of the 'Tonys' as Messrs Fitzgerald and Bergin enact a Byzantine civil war as Richard tries to stop his hairline receding behind them.

Steve 'The Lucky Maurikian' Bainbridge (eventual winner) against Rob 'The Orangeman' Brennan (note also the 'Two Tonys' confused as to which side of their table to be on)

Tim 'Mad as Me' Madeley looking for excuses in rule book against Mark 'How Did I Win That!' Gibson

Jan 'Van the Man' Embden snapping one of his figures in half as Nik 'Race you to the bottom' Gaukroger watches bemused in a battle of strangest names encounter (Note Dave 'The Don' Houston in background seemingly playing on wrong table)

Stephen 'The Wandering Chauffeur' Brittain against 'The Face' in a classic 'dice cup or tactile rolling technique' match up with Tom 'Granda' Worden the umpire ready to step in if things get rough.

'Wandering Chauffeur' making rudes gesture at enemy troops

Jim 'Tesco' Gibson lining his dice up as an on table reserve

Dave 'The Don' Houston posing contentedly as other fellow appears to have forgotten his army

The results of the competition were:

No    Name                          Army                                    Score
1    Steve Bainbridge        Maurikian Byzantine         79
2   Mark Gibson                Nikephorian Byzantine     76
3   Richard Aynsley          Early Vietnamese                71
4   Jan Van Embden        Pre Samurai Japanese      66
4   David Houston            Christian Nubian               66
6   Stephen Brittain         Early T'ang Chinese           58
7   William Coughlan      Seljuq Turk                          53
8   Greg Mann                   Khurasanian                        52
8   Nik Gaukroger             Khmer                                   52
10  Seamus McKenna      Kushan                                  50
11  Tim Madeley                Patrician Roman                49
12  Richard Murphy        Sogdian                                 47
12  Gary Barr                     Maurikian Byzantine         47
14  Jim Gibson                  Dailami                                 46
15  Rob Brennan               Medieval Vietnamese        42*
16  Anthony Fitzgerald   Nikephorian Byzantine     40
17  Mick Hession              N&S Dynasties Chinese     38
18  Tony Bergin                Early Byzantine                   32
19  Steve Mills                   Sassanid Persian                28
20 Padraig Bracken        Tuareg                                     8

* = Only played three games.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Pbem Wargaming and an EBay purchase

Couple of screen captures from ongoing Pbem PC Wargames (all I had time for tonight)

First up a T34/85 roving about in Germany in March 1945 (Combat Mission)

France 1940 in Western Front Campaign Series game in 'boardgame style' view

Which leads me nicely to my EBay purchase at a very reasonable £20.74 (inc p&p) as I was so impressed with playing Stephens copy and could not resist (a recurring Steiner theme I fear !!). 

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Boardtastic Saturday of Wargaming goodness

A full on day of Wargaming of the board variety yesterday as I went to Stephen's at 1000hrs to play the excellent Age Of Napoleon game (we really should have been playing a practice game of Dbmm for Munster competition next weekend !), followed by trip to my fathers with No Retreat! The Russian Front under my arm for another excellent session through to 0100hrs.
Both very good games and both with excellent components and cards (AON edges it in looks department especially the cards and counter artwork) both very playable and both very enjoyable.
Who could ask for more ?

Age Of Napoleon is a broad strategy wargame (in the mode of 'We The People' or Hannibal versus Rome') with card play (various event type cards or discard for various actions) integral, I played as Allied Coalition whose field armies are simply not up to the standard of Napoleon whose Corps (units nominally represent 'Corps' of 40000 or so troops) has highest combat factor in game and top movement and seniority (ie ability to command).
This works fine as Napoleons ascendancy in battle is well represented as the French try to win primarily (at least so it seems) by military conquest.
Allied player relies more on cards played particularly Diplomacy cards (by which he can turn French Allies to Neutrals and so on) and by cards such as Insurrection (Spain uprising very possible but also can occur elsewhere). French have some similar cards but usually not as useful as Allied but do seem to have more cards applicable in battles (eg Le Garde Imperiale).
Battles are straightforward affairs with each side totalling available combat factors (various cards can affect this) and rolling a D6 on corresponding column of CRT to yield a result.
Both sides survivors (if any !) are spent (flipped to weaker side) after combat but winner can immediately recover his army (ie stack of units) by discarding a card whilst loser cannot recover until next  round.
Lots more to it of course !

In our game Napoleon had a fairly torrid opening year (1805) as he failed to beat a meagre Austrian Force (2 lowly combat factor 2 Corps) with his Army (If I recall correctly 18 combat factors ?) by failing to inflict only 1 hits (as did Austrians)  and then again failing the drawn battle roll (for which he had a +4 DRM) thereby being forced to retire spent and bloodied ! the Allies where then able to follow this with a nice card combo of 'Peace Talks' (basically cancels all but Diplomatic activity for 2 rounds of the 6 round year) followed by 'Napoleonica' card which allowed me to recover the 'Peace Talks' card which I played again later to cancel all activity again (1805/Campaign scenario starts in 3rd round so I limited French to military activity in 3 out of the 4 available).
Stephen was less than impressed as he had no cards to counter any of this, and indeed at one point threw his cards across the table (I am calling this evens for my (allegedly) throwing a dice last year !!) in disgust and frustration, we take our gaming rather seriously over here !!
But the following year 1806 not so good for Allies as French managed to convert or conquer most of Italy and Germany (size of cards hand each is affected by number Minor & Major countries controlled). This was achieved without Napoleon (whom I had sent off to deal with 'Rebels & Loyalists' a card which forces French player to replace Napoleon with another Corps).
In 1807 Allies again done quite well with Russian forces coming westward and play of 'Radestky' card generating a stronger Austrian force pool. French main army again led by Boney again failed in a major battle against a combined Russian-Austrian force (I ducked but no more cards were flung just expletives !).
However in 1809/1810 (we finished at this point) the French proved unstoppable as Napoleon crushed the Austrians (forcing them into occupied Neutrality) gave Russians a pounding and converted several Allied Minor nations into French Dominions (making them immune to Diplomacy !) only an Insurrection in Spain blotted their copy book.
Britain failed to appear (they only have 4 Corps but can move by sea) in game as the required 'Brittania' card was always in French control or in re-shuffled deck !!
This is a game I was impressed with as it has nice historical flavour (chronology of events certainly askew) and loads of decisions points each turn/round which are constantly varied with changing card hands.
Stephen after an initial dislike (he felt French were impotent) also liked the game as he noted that French really need to concentrate on the Military side of things ie Conquest conquest and more conquest in spite of Allied political machinations.
I soon learned that Allies just cannot go toe to toe with Napoleon and must try to balance withdrawal with tactical stands to slow French progress whilst trying to change allegiances and split French effort across multiple theaters which is all very plausible stuff.

Austria prepares for French onslaught in 1805 with Prussia in Neutral mode (crappy iPh pic)

And so it was that I later leaped forward a century and a half or so (and about 20 miles physically) to do battle on the Ostfront with No Retreat! The Russian Front.
As my Dad is a firm Germanophile  I took mantle of the Ivans in this newly acquired game. Another game with cards (albeit possibly less crucial than in AON ?) and all the expected Ostfront stalwarts such as, Panzer Bonus, Blitz Attacks, Pockets, ZOC, Generals Mud and Winter and so on.
Cards are split into top (German) and bottom (Soviet) half with various actions and events possible depending on game phase and period of game.
The Germans have the strategic initiative early on but then it turns to Soviets and several cards only useable in these initiatives.
Turns represent 2 months nominally and each unit is an Army or Front, one striking feature of the game is low number of unit counters (40-60 although the do get recycled throughout) making this a very playable game.
A lot of stuff is therefore abstracted (rail moves, supply etc) or dealt with by the cards but game definitely mirrors strategic historical advantages and disadvantages of both sides overall.
Units have a combat and movement factor (with Huns being generally more mobile and their Panzers tough especially in 1941/42), and combat is resolved on separate CRTS. using an odds ratio system with cards, terrain, blitz/shock counters and similar affecting odds by column shifts to left or right (ie down or up). One novel rule is the Counter-blow which allows the defender to force the attacking side to make involuntary attacks on defenders units (simulating spoiling attacks) at cost of a discarded card and loss of any defensive terrain benefits.
Usual range of combat outcomes with Defender forced to Retreat or be Destroyed/Shattered or Exchange of hits or No Effect.
German units have 2 loss steps (flip counters) whereas initially all Soviets are only single step loss (but later in game the appear on their stronger flipped side whilst still being 1 hit wonders but from late 1943 they gain 2 step loss ability) this along with their much superior reinforcement schedule sees them gather strength relentlessly if they survive long enough.
Germans can win in 1941 by achieving a Sudden Death victory condition (totaling 21 VPs from their start of 12) or a several later sudden death totals or alternatively an Objective Victory by capturing 3 of the 5 Soviet objectives (Moscow, Stalingrad. Sevastopol, Leningrad and Polesti Oilfields).
Again much more to game than this but this is essential flavour of the game.

Late 1941 with Germans having taken oddles of cities but no objectives with Soviets firming up around Moscow (another poor iPh pic), note also Leningrad isolated (bottom left near Lake)

In our game in 1941 the Germans crushed the Soviet west front forces and spread rapidly into Mother Russia capturing lots of VP cities, but no strategic objectives. But they faced the standard quandary of whether to adopt a 'broad front' or 'rapier thrust' strategy and lack capability to replace losses in first couple of turns.
Soviets flooded Moscow region whilst trying to trade space for time in south and essentially leaving Leningrad to its fate.
I realised almost too late that my cautious strategy was risky as on turn 3 the Germans came oh so close to achieving a Sudden Death victory having accumulated 20 Vps (ie needing only 1 more !!) and having an attack in place at Leningrad (which was not yet able to Fortify).
This attack by Army Group north units looked certain to succeed but as luck would have it the attack yielded an Exchange result which destroyed my unit and caused 1 hit on a Hun unit but crucially the Germans were unable to advance into vacant Leningrad hex (normal moves occur before battles) and this ended their turn !!
I was then able to re-occupy Leningrad with a stronger reinforcing unit. Mud conditions in October/November turn slowed the Huns (and cancelled  any Panzer bonus) and despite investing Stalingrad they could capture no more cities (and indeed had to send forces westward as Soviet units threatened their supply lines.
The following 2 turns are Winter and Long Winter which still restrict movement but also give Soviets defenders extra -1 and -2 (only in this first winter) defensive shifts on CRT if attacked (Panzer oil and Whermacht blood frozen !!).
Soviets also got several strong reserves (Siberians ?) and I was able to regenerate lost units. Destroyed units cost one discard to restore but count Disorganized (no attacks) unless a further discard made. Shattered units come back free but also cost to recover from Disorganization.
Surrendered units yield a VP to enemy and cost 2 cards to restore, but due to my retreat strategy (and Germans not realizing significance) I had suffered no such losses (suspect I will next time).
Soviets then get ability to flip one unit a turn to its stronger side (I was also able with a card to flip two in one turn) and the 5-3 Inf Army unit in Leningrad became a whooping 8-4 Guard Tank Army !!
This put fear into Huns (whose best Panzer Army is a feeble 7-6) who realized that they had reached their high water mark and began to pull back westwards to try to protect gains essentially abandoning assaults on all Soviet objectives (only Sevastopol was still marginally threatened) as Soviet juggernaut gained strength and numbers.
We ended mid-1942 at this point both rather excited by the prospect of this game.
Another hugely enjoyable gaming experience.

Moscow citadel forming just in time.........................

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Playing favourites.............(I knew this would turn out to be an epic !!)

Been holding off doing this (as I really should be painting or playing !!) but here goes for an idea from 'Dont Throw a 1' blog which he got from other blogs. As a lover of nostalgia I could not resist.
Compiling was easy but cutting my waffle to readable amounts much more difficult !!

To quote from 'Dont Throw A 1' herewith the premise:

"Over at Steve's Random Musings, he recently posted a list of his favourite Wargame facts. He got the idea from Too Much Lead and has invited other gamers to post their favourites.
Steve goes on to say, "We all  have favourite games, periods, inspirations and so on, the challenge then is to document what they are so we can all see what drives us....."

And so to the sleep inducement:


Oh dear what a start ! 20+ years ago this would have been easy as it would have been World War 2 exclusively but since then I have delved into so many periods its a toughie to pick just one (my Blog indicates my 'butterfly' tendancies nowdays).
Currently Horse & Musket (1700-1815) is my main interest, certainly figure painting, rule purchases and reading/research has been mainly in support of this period of interest.
The appeal of lines of blokes shoulder to shoulder advancing into blackpowder volleys with cannon roaring and mass charges by blokes on big horses is stirring to my loins and infuses the blood.

Still have a hankering for Ancients period for similar stirring reasons only the black powder element being replaced by hack and slash images. 
I probably have more Ancients figures than anything else (at least in 15mm) and does have added appeal of being able to go to competitions to play against others quite readily (an aspect of wargaming that I have only gotten back into in last couple of years)

But when all is said and done World War 2 is still my favourite period as the boyhood hook of Tiger tanks, D-Day, Arnhem, Stalingrad et al is a force still strong in this one !


15mm is my favourite across all periods as a good balance of size versus quality and affordability and suits the size of table I have been able to use through the years 6' x 4' or now 7' x 5' maximum). 
6mm is a great scale for WWII and I suspect if I was just starting out in wargaming 10mm would be a real option. 
I started with 20mm (as did many of a similar age) as that was what was readily available and still consider it best for skirmish type games. 
I consider 28mm and above modelling/diorama scales and impractical for wargaming unless a massive club or show-demo projects.


Oh lordy lordy this one I simply cannot narrow down to under a hundred so will quit whilst ahead !!
I am an incurable rules junkie/collector.......................................

Cover pictures of a (very) few select favourites (in absolutely no order of merit) will have to suffice:


From a background of Risk, Campaign, Escape From Colditz and adverts in Miltary Modelling I became heavily into board wargames throughout the late 70s and into the 80's with numerous Avalon Hill (RIP) games adorning my shelves. I love the 'game in a box' appeal especially when visiting my Father as I could/can carry a game to his much more readily than any figure game. Interest waned in late 90s early 00s (?) but has been rekindled of late.

All time favourite has to be the one true king (I still get goosebumps and lump in throat thinking of this arriving on my doorstep for my birthday back in 1978 !!!)

Honourable mentions to:

Up Front The Squad Leader Card Game

Conflict Of Heroes: Storms Of Steel! - Kursk 1943

Panzer Blitz/Panzer Leader

Blackbeard (not truly a wargame but close)

The Battle Of The Bulge (Avalon Hill)

PC WARGAMING (not one listed on other blogs ? but part of my wargaming 'career')

Bought my first ever PC (a Win95 model) in 1997 primarily (sold to better half as an assest to household and investment for 'soon to start school' sons education) to play Talonsofts Eastern Front thus making this one of my most expensive wargames purchases ever ! Have bought loads of PC wargames since ranging from direct ports of boardgames through to Call Of Duty entertainments. 
Most 'important' and fun aspect has to be playing wargames by Pbem which has given me a whole raft of new contacts with players across the world. Have cut back on this very time consuming form of wargaming but still play Eastern Front and its sister Western Front and the excellent Combat Mission WWII games.


Lots to choose from here. 
In 15mm bulk of my stuff would be Essex certainly for Ancients subjects, with lots of Old Glory/Skytrex for 15mm WWII and in 6mm the rather spiffing GHQ vehicles with Adler infantry replacing the venerable Heroics & Ross. Minifig 15mm have a distinct 'old school' appeal. Of course I cant forget Airfix plastic 20mm with which I started out ('midgies' as they were known here) and of which I still retain hordes. 
Must mention the various model kit makers (oh how I struggled for years trying to bind bloody rubbery plastic tank tracks !) including Airfix, Hasegawa, Esci and Matchbox. 
Taimya 1/35th also get a nod as I built several of these prior to starting with Wargaming (I recall being awarded a Boys Brigade badge for a Taimya Horch jeep I completed)


Short list this one regarding clubs as I have only been on and off member of Ulster Wargames Club (formerly Ulster Military Modeling Society) in Belfast as the venue and meeting times have seldom well suited my job circumstances or shift patterns. But I have met many fellow gamers in its hallowed halls and had many excellent games therein. 

I do miss the annual show they used to put on at which I usually managed to put on a game.

I am in this one (no idea how long ago) on left just behind bloke in green top (no idea what we are playing ?)

Have been lucky to have attended several Wargames shows/conventions (or geek-fests if you prefer) with my first being to Derby World Championships in late 80s. Played in a few Ancients competitions here and also at Britcon Manchester and in Munster Cork. An annual pilgrimage to Warfare show last few years (I think I have been to this show at least 8 times) is a real highlight of year for me. A full wargaming immersion experience and a massive test of the Steiner financial security (and physical well being upon return !!)


Stephen Brittain is by far my most regular (I think its down to bran flake intake ?) 'Enemy/Opfor' and has been for more years than we would both care to recall. 
As his brother John says regarding his dice rolling abilities 'he is in league with satan' to which I readily concur, his ability to force my dice to roll one's by simply stating "you dont want to roll a one" is evidence enough for me. 
Of far greater annoyance is his relentless churning out of well painted armies for all periods at a rate of knots far exceeding my own (albeit modest) production rates. 
Long may our wars continue as all I can say.

My Dad has been a long time opponent especially in board wargaming aspect (and ultimately to blame for my interest in all things Military. 
Again I hope long may this be the case.

ONLY HALFWAY (you still reading !!)


Yikes !!! a myriad of influences is short answer. 
A random listing:
My Dad, time living in Paderborn West Germany on BAOR base (whilst Dad was in Army), Airfix, Military Modelling and Battle magazines (and later Miniature Wargames/Illustrated), Battle and Commando Picture Library comics, Sven Hassel pulp fiction, Military History section at local library, War films on TV/Cinema. 
I suspect many many more in the dark recesses of my brain cavity.................................................


Another yikes category !!

If I had to sell all and keep only one then it would be:

But oh so many other that fall into the above mentioned inspiration category. Again I will select a very few from the legions in no particular order:

Band Of Brothers

The Longest Day

Saving Private Ryan

Hell Os For Heroes

The Great Escape

Apocalypse Now

Kelly's Heroes

The Blue Max

The Bridge At Remagen

El Cid

The Alamo (John Wayne version)

The Eagle Has Landed


A Bridge Too Far

Boy oh boy that was dreadfully painful leaving out a lot of other favourites !!!!

I simply cannot fail to mention this 'film' an work of amazing scope and magnitude never bettered


Again just so many choices. Battle! and Operation Warboard where my first rule sets and still among my favourites and biggest influences. Osprey titles must get a mention great resources.
My favourite book 'award' would go to:

I broke several piggy banks to afford this one at publication.


Big influence on me at young age (7-8yrs) was time spent in Officer Mess at Paderborn Barracks in West Germany circa 1972 (my mother was part-time cleaner) whose walls were adorned with numerous large oil paintings of a myriad of British Battles and Exploits. Sensory overload for such tender eyes !

I guess this category could include Figure Painting at which I would class myself as only moderately skilled. 
Lots of ifluence from the brushmanship within Rules, Magazines and Blogs and indeed my opponents figures. 
I was for years a died in the wool advocate of Humbrol enamel  paints but have now changed to using primarily Vallejo Acrylics. 
I perhaps strangely paint direct to figures of all scales not favouring an undercoat or shading as such as I find that at the 15mm and under scales I use natrual light provides enough shading in use (if not under close up scrutiny) and that in particular black undercoating makes figures too dark overall for my tastes. 
But I do see its attractions for speed and outlining but having tried it a few times it was a waste for me as I ended up painting figures in their entirety anyhow (or they somehow felt unfinished).


Again lots of influences with many of mine coming from Film Soundtracks (I have the original vinyl Cross Of Iron LP OST among others). Lately I have found U-Tube to be a goldmine for discovering recordings of Military Bands and Tunes (many have made their way into my iPod for use as background 'noise' whilst gaming/painting)


This has been a simply massive boon to Wargamers with easy access to an overwhelming amount of resources previously unattainable. 
Online Discussion Groups and similar, Publishers and Figure makers web-sites abound and these very Blogs are a time killing deep black hole of wargaming goodness. 
Not a day goes by but I am not checking blogs, newsgroups etc. I have made a number of 'cyber'friends/contacts' that I would never have otherwise and one wonders how one existed prior to all this whether of an 'old school' disposition or not. 

Favourites (most used/visited) are:

Would be impolite not to mention 

I subscribe too far too many Wargame related discussion groups of course !

Find myself checking this most days


Similarly Board Game Geek is a time consuming resource.

FINISHED !!!!!! If you managed to endure to the end of this rambling nonsense award yourself the Steiner Endurance award (alternatively seek help urgently !!)

And I dont know why Blogger has put large gaps/spaces between entries/pics here it must have gotten mightily bored as well..............................(so much so I had to edit to remove lots of pics !!