Friday, 22 May 2020

Getting a little Chile

The whole War in the Pacific thing that ended up with me publishing "It's Getting a Bit Chile" was given impetus by me finding an actual range of 15mm figures to wargame the period.

I'm a 15mm bloke for this sort of period as it seems to give the best balance of size and detail in a game with rifled firearms, so that sorted me fine. Then I published the rules and people seemed to have an aversion to 15mm, or perhaps more of an affinity for another scale. So people said "I'd buy these rules but no one does figures in the scale I like". I then pointed out that you could use a mix of ACW/FPW and other European wars of reunification figures to cobble together some armies. A lot of this discussion took place on the Baccus 6mm forum, and then subsequently on the blog of a French wargamer who styles himself "L'Empereur bete et mechant". It seemed it was possible. L'Empereur wrote a blog about his thoughts and plans here, and then an update when he got the figures from Baccus here. The figures he chose as proxies were listed on the Baccus forum here.

But he wasn't the only one. Another, unconnected, French wargamer in 6mm, named Patrice Deffayet stole a march on him, and posted these pictures on the 19th century wargames Facebook group:

Image may contain: text

No photo description available.

No photo description available.

No photo description available.

No photo description available.

Stunning. The flags are HAND PAINTED!!! I asked if hem inded me posting the photos of his work, and he consented. The man is both a genius and really nice like that.

So, in conclusion, it is possible to use other figures in other scales, and they can look awesome.

No excuses now, chaps, go out and get a copy of "It's Getting a Bit Chile". Only £14.99 from Amazon.

Monday, 18 May 2020

Next Project nearing finish line

My next lockdown project has been set of gladiator wargame rules.

What? I hear you say. Where did that come from? Good question. After publishing the battlefields book, I was intending to move straight on to the Taiping rules, but...

I got a chance to work on a set of rules with a really old friend, - my longest standing friend in the whole world in fact. We started to wargame together in Primary School, and although our paths have diverged, we've kept in touch. Alas we've not really been able to work on any games or rules together for a long time, but old Covid-19 has changed that.

A while back I got asked whether I had a set of gladiator rules ready for publication. The answer was I didn't. If you've followed my back catalogue of blogs you'll know that skirmish level games rarely feature (with the exception of "Musketeers on Ice", of course.) Any how, when my old chum and I started exchanging emails he let slip he'd done a set of sword fighting rules (the man took fencing seriously back in the day). I asked if he felt like doing a gladiatorial modification for them, which I'd publish through "Wargaming for Grown Ups Publications". The reply saying "You're on!" with outline modifications was back with me in an hour or so.

That was the end of March, so we've been to-ing and fro-ing for six weeks or so. We found a group of
play testers who were playing games online up in Sheffield, who were pleasingly enthusiastic. I even got out my old biscuit tin.

Apart from we're doing it by email, it's been like old times indeed. Derek and I were always on the same wave length when we were working on games and rules, and it seems that we still have that, even after over 40 years.

The rules really are quick play, and the combat mechanism is simple and elegant. Derek wanted to go with the name "Ludo", but apparently that's already been taken. As the combat system uses a handful of dice, with re-rolls based on skill level, we've gone for "Dicing with Death".

I think we have a final version, and that's just having a final read through as a pdf. Then we'll get some hard copy proofs later in the week, so hopefully in print mid-June at the latest. It'll be in colour, and available from Amazon, Wargamers Vault and also CP Models. Hopefully Mike will do some sort of deal with the rules and his awesome figures. It will include the trade mark Wargaming for Grown Ups diagrams so it's clear what is going on, and the well laid out and simple to read text. Not sure on exactly how much it'll cost yet, but it'll be less than "It's Getting a Bit Chile".

I hope some of you out there are as excited as I am about this.

Wednesday, 6 May 2020

Lochdown Lochabers

In between work on the new Battles of Northamptonshire book I've been working on (did I mention it? You can find out how to buy it from the Battlefield Society here: link, or if you think Bezos doesn't have enough money it's on Amazon here: link. Buy from us and not only do we make more money, but we'll get it in the post quicker too) I've been slugging my way through more tartan terrors. Oh how I hate painting tartan. I had enough of it last year with the Jacobites, this year's project is a Montrose Army in 15mm.

Any how, I've not finished yet, but I've got enough of them done to have some form of photo shoot for them. The figures are Peter Pig, my favourite 15mm fellows for this period.

Eventually I'll have 3 Irish Regiments/Brigades, ditto for Lowlanders and 6 clan units. Regular troops are 6 bases each of three figures, clan units are 3 bases each with four, but the bases are 30x30 instead of 30x15. I then have cavalry from my Covenanter box if needed, plus some artillery.

So far I've got two each of the regulars, and here they are in a line.

This is an Irish Brigade, with a pike base in the back rank looking the wrong way. Careless of me.

Another Irish unit. I found the flags on a blog, rather than draw them myself this time round. I did have to size them, however.

A lowland regiment, with a standard that dates from Jacobite times in lieu of knowing what it should look like.

Some Highlanders with basic saltires. The standard bearers are converted lochaber axe men, which seem to have worked okay. The Highlanders are nice, but Martin doesn't make any musketeers, something I'll need to deal with when I start rules writing. I think they'll count as having firearms regardless.

The Covenanters have been out before, but I put a few on the table to make up the photos. Here you see them clustered on a crest line. I am well provided with Covenanters, as I did enough to do Marston Moor.

The opposing sides were set up sort of in a Tippermuir setting, although I'm not happy with my pencil notes on this battle, so I need to revisit the scenario.

Oh, and here are some cavalry. Bit murky and drear.

I didn't exactly open up Shedquarters, but I did use it for the photo shoot. The light is usually better in there, and obviously the table and terrain are to hand.

In a way I'm trying not to think about playing wargames too much, as that's when I really start to miss it.

Hopefully I can knock off the other few units over the next week, then that project will be done. In the mean time I've a set of rules to get to print. Then I've got some WSS infantry from Strelets I'm looking forwards to getting to grips with. And another set of rules. Certainly keeping busy.

Monday, 20 April 2020

And in my other life...

As some readers will remember I not only write wargames rules, but I published a proper history book last year, on the Battle of Edgcote in 1469. I did this because I'm the Secretary of the Northamptonshire Battlefields Society, and last year was the 550th anniversary. We then took a nice model built by Phil Steele round the shows. I'm sure I've mentioned this before.

The book, and indeed other publications the Society has done, are an important part of our role in promoting, protecting, and educating people about, Northamptonshire's military history. They also make a small amount of money for us, which helps to keep membership fees down.

When we do the shows or put on an event anywhere, we usually pop up the banner on the left. This lists the battles that we knew about when the Society started a few years ago.

Not all of the battles on there are well known.

And we get questions about those. More than the famous ones.

So we thought we'd probably better do a book about them. Which is what Mike Ingram (guru on Bosworth - not one of ours - and Northampton 1460) our chairman, and I, have been doing over the last 6 months. And it's about ready for publication. And we got some extra battles for the banner, too.

A lot of writing is about sitting at your desk and hitting the keyboard, but there's also books to consult, battlefields to walk and pictures to take, so the Coronavirus has played a bit of merry hell with that, but even so we've manged to get a text and pictures that we like done in the timescale we wanted. Sort of scuppered the launch at the Battlefield Trust AGM, alas.

The last month has been bashing it into shape. Making sure we don't contradict each other between chapters, and ensuring that the story is coherent. And proof reading. And editing. And revising. And re-proof reading.

Still. We're about done. Official launch date is 1st May, and we're taking pre-orders (there's more on how you can do this over on our Facebook page: Cover price is £9.99. Go on, order it.

So that's why I've been a bit quiet. I've also been sorting out how we're going to manage the postal sales, as we thought we'd give that a go this time round (we make an extra couple of quid a copy if we buy in bulk from Amazon and then sell on. Plus we get to put promotional stuff in the envelope and maybe get more paying members).

Chapters cover: Boudica's Revolt, Saxons & Vikings, Conquest to King John, Northampton 1264, Northampton 1460, Edgcote 1469, Newton Revolt, the ECW in Northamptonshire, the Siege of Grafton Regis, Naseby campaign & battle, Woodcroft House, The Black Watch Mutiny and the Battle of Waterloo. Yes. You read that right.

Wednesday, 1 April 2020

What a Chap's Doing

I don't think I'm exactly in a "lockdown" routine, but I seem to be lining up things and getting them done. This morning I e-mailed out the Northamptonshire Battlefields Society newsletter for the last quarter. It was an odd edition to compile as mostly it covers the talks we've had (and we were one short last quarter) and reports on events and shows we've done or are going to do. Luckily the two talks we did have this quarter warranted extra page space, so I didn't have to be as ruthless in the edit as normal. I also sourced an article by Mike Ingram, our Chair, on how Northampton dealt with the plague in times past (the town locked its gates and didn't let in anyone from London). So that's a job well done.

I've tried to mix up what I've been doing, so I've been at the painting table and made a decent dent into my Peter Pig Montrose Scots lead pile. Here are some Highlanders. Got three more like this to do. Painting also means I can work through my backlog of podcasts, so "Hello to Jason Isaacs"

Next up are some Irish Regulars.These are quite nice figures. Very good detail and good clean castings. One more of these to go. NB I will do the Ensigns once I've finished all the painting, as I draw them on the PC and it's more cost effective just to do one sheet's worth at the end.

Then I did some lowland foot. The main difference to the Irish is they wear berets not helmets. I've already got a load of these in my Covenanter Army. One of those pikes will have a flag on it so I can tell them apart. A couple more of these to do.

 Finally some artillery. This is a standard sized saker type gun and a couple of the very light ones that come two to a packet. I've got another three of the big ones and another pair of the tiddlers. I did the small guns on half sized bases, - or rather infantry bases turned through 90 degrees.

On the rule writing front the Taiping Era writing up has started. I'm currently trying to put the organisation of Chinese units into a comprehensible paragraph or two to work with the rules. It is so much easier when I set up games just for me! As a distraction to the madness that is the Qing/Ch'ing dynasty military system I started work on the cover. It is in yellow, and the text is vermillion, as befits such an important document.

In tandem with this I'm also working with my oldest wargaming friend (other than my big brother) Derek, to produce a set of gladiator combat rules. Well, I say working with. He's doing all the game development and writing and I'm making clever comments and suggestions. But it is good to be doing this. We haven't written any rules together for nearly 40 years and life has meant we've ended up moving to different parts of the country, so on the positive side the lockdown has got us back in regular contact with the promise that we will get back together. The last game we had together was in 2013, and that's way too long. We're still not sure on a title for the rules. It's a dice based system, so I suggested "Dicing with Death", but he prefers something based around "Ludo". So the cover isn't exactly finished yet, and has a holding title on it. It's in imperial purple, of course.

Well, all of that should keep me busy for a while.

Friday, 27 March 2020

What's a Chap to Do?

So, back from holiday and Tuesday evening came round so the Monday Night Group should have been assembling in Shedquarters for our weekly game. Alas, for inexplicable reasons, wargaming is not regarded as an essential function justifying a gathering of more than 2 people, so we called the whole thing off. This is seriously going to impact my game numbers for the year.

That leaves my gaming at a bit of a loose end. There's been some questions about wargaming by Skype or whatever, but generally I wargame as much to be with people as play the game. Never really done a lot of solo gaming.

There are projects to do. My Montrose Army has been sat on the desk being painted very gradually for well over 6 months, which is very unusual for me. Partly that's because I'm doing it because I need it rather than really want it, and partly because having done loads of Jacobites in the last 2 years I really can't face anymore tartan. And then I've got some odds and ends to finish off and then a few battalions for my WSS armies from the new Strelets packets.

At the moment with the weather being nice you can get out and give the car a proper clean, inside and out, so I've done that. Not being able to drive it anywhere means it'll stay cleaner for longer, I hope. Now I have Shedquarters it can also go in the garage and that'll help keep it pristine when the weather turns. Then there's always some gardening. Spring is sprunging, so the lawn needed a mow and weeds in the paving blocks needed removing and so on.

I'm currently trying to finish off the manuscript for the next Northants Battlefields Society publication, which I'm writing with Mike Ingram. We were aiming to launch it at the Battlefield Trust AGM the first weekend in May, but that aim has been thwarted a bit due to its cancellation. My feeling is that we should stick to the agreed schedule and work on it whilst it is still fresh in our thoughts. The challenge there is Mike is a freelance writer and tour guide, so he's having to increase his paid writing as no one is doing tours at the moment. We're nearly there, anyway. Spent yesterday morning sorting pictures and maps out.

When I'm done with that I really must crack on with the rules for the Taipings etc. I've started to re-read some background. Since I last had them out there's been a lot more historical stuff available on line, so I need to look at that, too. I've also been hunting around for out of copyright images to spice up the pages, like this one of the Heavenly King holding court.

I do really need to get another publication out there, as sales of the other two have stalled a little bit. Having said that "To Ur..." has now shifted 250 copies, and "It's getting a bit..." has reached 99, so that's not to be sniffed at. The guys at Outpost have also confirmed that sales of Pacific Wars had a noticeable increase in January, so that's something to be pleased with and mirrors what has happened with Pendraken.

What that seems to mean is that there are people out there taking notice and doing stuff. Be good to see some AARs or blog reports.

Right, now better get on with my "To Do" list.

Tuesday, 24 March 2020

That Recommendation Thing

One of the staple questions on most forums/chat groups for wargaming (it may be for other subjects too) starts “What do you recommend…?”. In our case this normally devolves into asking for figure recommendations followed closely by rules sets. It rarely touches the “what really detailed books on this subject can you recommend so that I can make up my own mind on things”.

The figure one, for someone who mostly doesn’t do 28mm can be rather tiresome. If a scale isn’t mentioned then the immediate assumption is that you’ll want 28mm figures. Even if you’ve asked about 15mm the assumption is that you meant to ask about 28mm, or that you intended to start a thread where fans of 28mm figures can discuss their personal favourites.

I find that often I’m lacking context in the discussion, as is often the person asking the question. I spent big chunks of my career analysing products or suppliers in order to recommend a purchase / contract decision. The first thing you needed you know was what people actually wanted. Often, the person asking for the thing didn’t know, and didn’t even realise they didn’t know. So you went into a process of thrashing that all out, then you could have a look at products and make a selection. If you made any assumptions on someone’s behalf you really made sure that they knew you’d done so.

Also, as I moved from place to place it was important to make sure that you didn’t just recommend the decision you made last time as it might not fit (I went from start-ups to multi nationals and back again: one size does not fit all).

So before you recommend you need to know some stuff that the possible newbie doesn’t know they need to know. Are they going to wargame with people locally who are also in the hobby? If so, many of the decisions are made for them, - unless they want to do something different and don’t mind painting both sides.

Budget is also an issue, - what is an affordable army in 20mm plastic isn’t as affordable in 28mm resin or metal. 15mm might possible beat both of them, as may 10mm or 6mm. Then there’s storage. If you have unlimited space, then go for it in as big a size as you want. For me, I find that even going from 28mm to 20mm saves a massive amount of shelf space as I can use shallower boxes. In effect
I can get 3 boxes in a shelf space where previous only 2 went, increasing capacity by 50%. The light weight plastic also means I can use less chunky, more light weight boxes, which is good for my shelves and storing at above eye level.

The other issue then comes down to what type of game you want and your playing surface size. Even with the Shedquarters table size I can’t accommodate some of the games I want to play with the bigger figures. On the other hand if I want to do a skirmish game, then the larger figures win out as they’re easier to see and handle.

And the other thing with figures is the aesthetic of it all. What someone thinks as a great sculpt is either too skinny/too indistinct/too chunky/just plain ugly and so on.

And don't start me on "accuracy"...

Asking for rules recommendations is even worse. Rules for what? Usually a period is the starting point, but generally that's it. "Can you recommend a set of WW2 Rules?" What sort of question is that? I've got PBI, Crossfire and Battle! on my book shelf, and I've played several others, including NQM and Blitzkrieg Commander. None of them really overlap in terms of level of resolution, although PBI/Crossfire sort of overlap, as do NQM/BC. To be fair, most modern wargamers get that there are different levels of resolution and that maybe one size does not fit all at all.

The Ancients & Medieval periods are a real problem for me. Whilst operational wargaming is probably out in that period, battles vary enormously in size and scope from a few hundred, probably, in Dark Age warfare, up to the 10s of thousands in the Classical Period. I've got and use several sets of ancient rules, not even including my own "To Ur is Human". I've got AMW. Armati, Basic Impetus and Hail Caesar as well as Strategos/Lost Battles and I've used all of them by choice in the last 5 to 10 years (and played FOG & ADLG as well, asnd Baccus' SPQR). Each of them scratches a different itch and work for different levels of conflict and periods. I like BI for the medieval period and I like AMW for big refights with lots of players. Armati is good for an evening game, and TUIH is great for Sumerians. The others don't really offer anything else, so I can't see why I'd go to the trouble of really learning them properly. Hail Caesar is way to much of a tool kit to use on a regular basis as well, and although Phil has liked the results we are getting for the Edgcote game I'm less convinced. We get believable results almost in spite of the rules, and they're working because Phil has done a lot of surgery and grafted on character rules that could almost be used anywhere.

So when asking for a recommendation you sort of need to tighten up your act, guys. And when making one, you really need to say why and give your reasons and what you're trying to do.

At least, that's what I think.

Wednesday, 11 March 2020

Taiping Trials

So, about time I got down to some play testing for my next rules publication. The pressure hasn't been on them as I'm finalising a book on Northamptonshire's battles in collaboration with Mike Ingram and we're pressing to get that done for the start of May, so my thoughts haven't been in this direction.

I've had three or four attempts to play this scenario but I've been frustrated for a number of reasons. Anyhow, last night Richard and I were able to get stuck into some Far Eastern Oriental Action. He got the Ever Victorious Army, trying to evict the Taiping Rebels from a district near Shanghai, and I got the command the Army of the Heavenly Kingdom. We were well entrenched behind some mud walls with our front covered by paddy fields. What could possibly go wrong?

I should note here that I have made some decisions about changes to the rules as they were previously made available. Previously they were played on 6" off set squares, with multiple unit occupancy by square. I've taken the view that, whilst I don't want to sell IGABC again with minor tweaks, buyers might appreciate some commonality, especially if they've gone to the trouble of marking up a cloth. I thought it would be nice if they could re-use that previous work, rather than crawl around drawing up another one.

It is also clear to me from reading this earlier work that there were some design issues that I didn't quite resolve in the area of movement and formations. By taking the movement rates and ranges from IGABC and modifying them slightly (there's no Disorder in "Taiping Era") I found that I'd fixed most of those issues. If players don't need to re-learn all of that then it is an easier task learning the game because let me tell you the combat system is COMPLETELY different not just to IGABC but to anything else I think you'll have ever seen or played. With that said, on with the game.

The Taipings are to the left. They've got two "Brigades" of 5 battalions each, plus some chaps in the pagoda complex and a unit of cavalry. There's a pair of guns in the middle and a couple of sets of jingals too.

The EVA was close to full strength with 6 battalions of foot and a battery of field guns. The infantry was split into two ad-hoc brigades.

Richard immediately confounded the Taiping's cunning plan of hiding behind defences and difficult terrain by marching off to his right to turn the position. Hmm.

I responded by switching some of my units across to my left, but it takes so long with troops using Chinese Drill (I may speed this up a bit as it is hard enough fighting European drilled troops as it is).

Richard has worked out his weapons out range all of mine, so he can stand off and shoot at me. However, he is in range of my artillery if he isn't careful. A lucky shot inflicts some damage on these Malays in open order. Two hits in fact. He is able to rally some of the damage off, another thing I need to think about (I reckon I'm going to do officer cards again, like IGABC, which may address this issue).

The attack on my left is developing quite nicely for Richard. My reinforcements, however, are nearly in position and the cavalry, quite literally, are arriving. The white small Mah Jong tiles indicate where damage is being taken.

Well aimed rifle fire pours into my position, and my brave fellows are starting to suffer. However, we have dished out some damage too, so it isn't all bleak. (Note to self,  - look at firing bases for musket/spear armed units to see if they are being treated unfairly).

My cavalry are now in position, and I've stabilised the position a bit, but that unit with a 3 bamboo tile is looking a bit vulnerable.

Sure enough they're soon going backwards, but the cavalry have slowed the EVA advance by forcing one of their battalions into a square.

My grand plan grinds to halt as the cavalry fail a test and won't advance. This means they have to take an extra round of shooting to what I expected.

But at last they charge home.

Only to be shot up some more and beaten in the hand to hand. The Wang in charge decides to head for home. Nonetheless my infantry are able to close on the square. Perhaps we can see them off?

But what has been going on elsewhere, I hear you cry. Well, those open order infantry have summoned up the courage to charge my jingal unit, as my infantry bumble around trying to get into position.

The square has formed into a firing line to meet my charge out on the left, but they fail their reaction roll and fail to deliver an effective volley. I need a quick win here before that unit on their right collapses.

Bit of swings and roundabouts. My chaps drive back their opponents, but my black flag battalion is tumbled out of the paddy field. My cavalry will not rally up their morale value so are a bit useless for now.

The centre is falling apart too. No need to worry, however, as it pointed me in the direction I needed to go to tighten up some of the rules.

On the left my brave fellows continue to drive back that EVA battalion, oblivious to the carnage around them.

My jingals are driven back in the centre, but it means I'm drawing their opponents into a trap. It's quite an obvious trap, but it's a trap nonetheless.

Alas some well aimed rifle and artillery fire breaks one of my battalions. It really is looking very dicey.

Especially as my left has completely collapsed, apart from that single unit in the distance.

Last photo as most of the right heads for the hills. Complete victory for the EVA, but at the cost of one of their battalions. I'll take that as a win.

The changes made to movement and square size/layout worked okay, so I'll persist with those. Made a fair number of notes as it is clear that the version I was playing from had a load of stuff not written down. To be fair that was the same with both TUIH and IGABC and is probably true of all rules written for personal use. So, some tightening and tidying up to do.

It is hard work for Chinese units fighting European trained troops with better weapons. Richards forces were outnumbered 2:1 and he had to attack. However the greater manoeuvrability of the units and their superior weapons range means that it is easy for them to concentrate force at critical points and their generally higher morale ratings mean they can get out of trouble even if badly handled. Having said that there were a couple of instances where the system nearly produced a couple of catastrophes for the EVA, which is what  I want.

A good start to this bit of the rules publishing project.

Monday, 9 March 2020

WMMS Alumwell - 8th March 2020

Off to Wolverhampton for our first public show of the year.

Alumwell was where we debuted Edgcote last year.  Then we had quite a few painted figures, and some idea of how the game would work, but we were using a green cloth and foam rubber hills.. As you can see below we've moved on from there.

We just about got there in time. We had to pack and unpack the cars before we headed off so we could fit everything in plus our bonus helper for this year (thanks Graham!) and we did get there 5 minutes before the opening. Luckily other stalwarts of the Northamptonshire wargaming scene were also attending, so a quick text as we got close to the venue saying "meet us at the entrance!" produced another 3 volunteers for carrying the car contents to the stand, so thanks to Chris A, another Graham and Steph.

Yes, we have made a lot of progress from last year.

Phil & Graham got to play the game in the afternoon. Funnily enough we've been taking this game round for over a year now and I hardly ever play it. Too busy stopping small children getting their fingers caught in the visors of the helmets we have on display.

We had good space for our stand. We got a bit squeezed last year, IIRC, but we were better placed this time round.

Good amount of passing traffic kept me busy on the armour and sales stand. Met a couple of people who wanted to say hello to Trebian as well. (I arranged with Leon at Pendraken for him to have IGABC on his stand. No one bought any, but then he didn't sell any rules all day, so I'm not in the least put ou.). One person who stopped by to say hello had played TUIH with cardboard counters and liked them. He'd picked up his copy from Bring & Buy last November. It struck me that's really quick from buying to dumping the rules, given the launch date was mid October.

I had a couple of quick walks round the hall and picked up some odds and ends (see below). The re-enactor types were there in force. The WW2 types have now got a small artillery piece.

Here we have a cross period exchange.

Then a chance to look at a few games. This was a 54mm reverse Rorke's Drift called "Lawk's Drift"

There were many Zulus.

This was a mega game of Sharpe Practice set in the French Indian Wars, I think.

It looked impressive. Must have taken the whole day to play.

Following on from last Tuesday, here's a Blitzkrieg Command beach landing.

Right next to us was a lively Jacobite Rebellion game. Top headgear, guys.

Then across the way was a Home Guard invasion game that everyone was enjoying.

Whilst on my stroll round I spotted one of these in 15mm. Brilliant. I wanted one for my 1879 games as they're a feature of the nitrate mines on the Altiplano. The model railway types have them but they're a wee bit expensive. This was £3. I went back for a second and bought the last one.

A chat on the stand with someone asking when I was going to release my SCW rules drew to my attention that Martin Goddard had released a pack of mortars with crew in Isabolina Caps. Now Martin told me when I asked many years ago that there was no demand for them, so I'm pleased he's got round to them (ideally we need some in berets and adrian helmets who aren't in uniforms from other periods, but these will do for starters). Of course when I got there despite there being no demand they had sold out...except Nigel found me a packet just lying around on the stand.

I was also able to pick up two more boxes of these, after finding one by chance in my local model shop. On reflection I should have gone with the Firing Line figures originally, and these were a £1 more expensive than my first box and I have no idea when I 'll get round to painting them but they are rather nice.

So, a rather good day out for us and me, before driving home to watch the England/Wales game on catch up TV from Saturday which rounded off a near perfect weekend.