Sunday, 4 November 2012

What does a wargamer do with a redundancy cheque?

So, what should he do?

In my case I have brought forward what I was going to spend some of my retirement tax free lump sum on. I am having a wargames room put in the garden,

Well, when I say "wargames room" I mean a big shed. A big shed with insulation and power. Like model railway buffs have. Only bigger.

The base was laid a week or so ago, and that looked larger than expected. At that point I was wondering whether I had been entirely sensible and may have over done it a bit.


It's quite a big area, as you can see. You can also see where I haven't painted the fence as my old garden shed was in the way.

This project has been slow moving and slightly fraught. We have a slight slope at that end of the garden and the builders wanted to charge silly money to do it (more than the price of the shed!), until Mrs T remembered that someone we knew years ago as a fellow parent at the village school had divorced and remarried a builder. He came in with a decent quote, and also was able to do the insulation for me. That was more than expected, but if I have to do it, it will take me months as I'll probably only get to spend only the odd half day at the weekend on it. Mrs T also tracked down an electrician who gave us a very reasonable quote for running in power and light. So with that and the insulation it'll be quite cosy for a winter's evenings's gaming.

We aren't at that stage yet. Delivery of the pieces was on Thursday, in the pouring rain. Luckily we had some large plastic tarpaulins to cover the big heap of bits with. Then the builder came on Friday, when it was cold but dry.

So, here it is. Not insulated and no power yet, but the unit itself is fully assembled (door needs some work as it won't lock). There's a piece of external edging board missing but that shouldn't be an issue and it is mainly for decoration and neatness anyway.


Pretty impressive, I think.

There is some debate as to what it is. I bought it from a company called "UK Garden Buildings", which seems to be a catch all title. It's a shed in their catalogue, but I think it is leaning towards "outhouse" in size. A colleague at work suggested "man room" or even "man cave".

For the moment it's the shed.

More updates as progress is made.

34 comments:

  1. Nice shed you've got there, boy. Fancy playing a game? ;-)

    Seriously good call. Hours of fun, and for everything else there is Barclaycard...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The intention is to increase the amount of gaming as games can be left in situ.

      The timing I hope is pretty good as next year one of our Monday Night Group members, who provides the venue for most of the year, is moving away. This may become our "permanent" home, as much as we have one.

      Delete
  2. In Australia it would be a man cave. It's a shed ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think it will be a shed in the same way that detailed, accurate, miniature, military figurines are toy soldiers.

      Delete
  3. Good call. A splendid garden club house.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That was my thought. Perfect for sunny summer evenings as well.

      The other option was to have a whole lot of pre-painted armies done, but then where would I store them or play with them?

      Delete
  4. Wow! I'm beginning to get war room, ( or is it bunker) envy - and to become fed up with the planning regs in the dales national park. I'd probably have to build one with drystone walls! You may have seen this, but the scots wargamer Jim Duncan did a fascinating post about his war room - link http://jim-duncan.blogspot.co.uk/2012/02/inside-hut.html which might be worth engaging with a chat with him to obtain what modern managers insist on calling -"the learnings". I think they mean lessons. Looks brilliant - look forward to seeing the internal deployment. Ken

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Damn! If only I'd seen Jim's post before I went off and did this. Mine is bigger, being 18' x 12' and I'm not intending to put in all of the features he has. I was expecting to leave it unheated most of the time and brink it up to temperature with a fan heater in the winter.

      But I have no intention of putting a PC in and working in there.

      Delete
  5. Envy, envy, envy

    Your missus is a good 'un too

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I feed off your envy (cackles madly).

      I'm very lucky in the respect of Mrs T, who is a real treasure.

      Delete
  6. Nice work fella. Just a word of caution. We used to play in the tennis club's wooden building during the winter (as not much tennis was being played in the snow). Despite the use of heaters we still had to play in coats and fingerless gloves. Think about how you're going to heat that beasty!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Notwithstanding comments above, it can't be any colder than your garage! I look forward to the official opening....

    ReplyDelete
  8. Trebian,

    It certain sounds big enough, and as long as it is properly insulated it should be usable 24/7 for most of the year. Might I suggest fitting at least one of the modern electric wall heaters for the colder months. It is not only essential if you want to use it for wargaming but will also preserve anything that you store in there.

    All the best,

    Bob

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Heating is going to be key. I've been storing all of my wargaming stuff in the garage for years so that'll be okay...as long as the mice don't get at it!

      Delete
  9. Insulation is the thing - I have a friend who works from a shed in her garden - but it has masses of roof, floor and wall insulation. Once heated it really is very nice. The excellent power supply means she has also installed a beer/wine fridge. Can't imagine you would need anything of that sort - just a bucket for the dice to play Featherstone/grant rules with, a retracble tape measure to accidently "unform" your opponents units, and a bottle of old Madame Pasquiers finest rubbing claret for the thinking time inbetween bounds. I still have war room envy though. My maximum board in my war room upstairs is 6 X 4 - as with many things at my age - feels disappointingly inadequate.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ken,

      I agree that insulation is key. Hopefully I've got that right, filling in between the struts, under the floor and in the roof.

      We do have a small fridge that survives from my student days that will probably end up in there.

      6 x 4 is never enough for me these days which is another reason for going down this route. I have a 6x4 board that goes up in the dining room and is okay for PBI and some of the other, smaller, RFCM games.

      Size is everything!!!

      Delete
  10. It reminds me of two great truths:
    The difference between men and boys is the price of their toys.
    And that wonderful song from The Man of La Mancha, "To drem the impossible dream...."
    Good on you and God bless the missus!
    Jerry

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "The difference between men and boys...." why do you think this is called "Wargaming for Grown ups"????

      As for the dream and Mrs T when I mentioned it to her she said "Go on, do it now".

      Admittedly at that point we thought the project would come in a £2k......

      Delete
  11. Excellent decision, Graham!

    The shed looks splendid. You will, of course, still wish that you had bought a bigger one after a few years, because that's just how it goes.

    Kind regards, Chris

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As I can't fit a bigger one in at the designated end of the garden I think I have a few years yet.

      It takes the 12' x 5' table from the garage and we've never wanted fr more space there.

      Although thinking about it.....

      Delete
  12. I don't want to precipitate on your well drilled parade, but your significant other's indulgence may not be as selfless as you think... I've just shared this blog with Mrs H. She was very impressed. She said if I can arrange for a similar construction she doesnt mind how large it is or where it goes, as long as it gets me and my "junk" out of the top bedroom. Feedback is a gift I understand.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Go for it! The doors is open, regardless of the conditions laid upon it.

      Delete
  13. Envy at critical mass... :D

    ReplyDelete
  14. Green of envy. I live in a flat, at best I´d have a dining room table.. :-((
    But at least I still can go to my club on weekends

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My sympathy for your flat living issues. I suppose the advantage I have for living in the countryside and having a two hour commute is that I don't have to live in a flat and I have a fair amount of space.

      Clubs are good if you have the right one. We've tried to fit in with one or two round here and never quite made it, hence the Monday Night Group.

      Delete
    2. Graham,
      I dont know if its any good but when I was self building last year,I found two companies that were really competitive for insulation. Sheffield Insulations,a nationwide company are very good, or KINGSPAN SECONDS are also very good. Get a heavy duty high density foam board and do it yourself.
      75mm+ then cover with a decent plasterboard,preferably fire and damp proof.
      It isnt that hard honest.
      You may also need a de humidifier to keep things right.
      Anyway enjoy.
      Robbie.

      Delete
    3. Robbie,

      I'm sure you're right, but I've had the quote and awarded the business.

      The problem is not actually the cost or the difficulty, - it's the time. I know how long it would take me, and with the weekends I have free I won't be done by Christmas.

      Graham

      Delete
  15. Hi Trebian

    It seems I have come late to this party but I have been away to Belgium trying to enjoy myself.

    I see that KEN H (thanks Ken) dropped in a pointer to my blog entry on huts.

    http://jim-duncan.blogspot.co.uk/2012/02/wargames-hut.html

    I certainly can run a series of games at home now using all the facilities mentioned.

    Ventilation and overnight frost protection is critical as you don't want dampness and then frost damage on the inside.

    Jim

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jim,

      I was very impressed by your shed. If I'd seen it first I'd have been inspired by it!

      I've been storing my wargaming stuff in an unheated garage for years now to no ill effects, so I'm expecting the same to apply for the shed, but thanks for the tip. Of course I am a bit further south than you.

      My main worry is mice, - the little b*gg*rs have got into the garage every so often and nibbled stuff.

      Trebian

      Delete
    2. Trebian

      I can just picture a wargame cat patrolling the shed and its immediate environ. Did you factor in a cat flap?

      Anyway, forge ahead and damn the rodents.

      Jim

      Delete
    3. Won't the cat flap interfere with the insulation?

      And the neighbouts chickens might get in.

      Delete
    4. If the cat flap was also an airlock that was activated by a magnetic cat collar then you could be in with a chance.

      Failing that put down rodent poison!

      Jim

      Delete
    5. You've clearly put more thought into this than I have!

      Delete