The fine lady in the image is a “ knocker” ( singular!). She was employed by the fair denizens of Victorian England to wake up those having difficulty rising in the morning with the shooting of peas at the bedroom windows. The unbearable heat of Wales in Summertime may necessitate the employ of such a professional..
My regular reader will notice that my paint table is strangely tidy, by my standards at least! I’ve developed a new system; parcel of minis arrives , hopefully unnoticed, and figures are cleaned up. Here is the genius bit!!!!!! I then take the minis , and you know there are a lot of them, out to the garage to be undercoated! I know it doesn’t “ sound” revolutionary but I can now at least see the carpet in the front bedroom!
During the Winter I had extolled the virtues of pottering, if you have only twenty minutes , try and do some task. Get the menial out of the way and you’d be surprised how the progress mounts up. This is different, this is Summer industrial scale preparation.
“ Another parcel for you! “ my current wife sneered. Oh dear! Eight days to finish a medieval army, could it be done? Would my new system cope with the pressure?
Ragnarok was a prophecy of what was to come at some unspecified and unknown time in the future, but it had profound ramifications in Norse mythology. It was the end of times but also a new beginning for what comes next. The chaos and destruction of Ragnarok has been likened to the arcane rituals of teaching a new player how to play SAGA with the Cardiff Dice Studz…
Firstly, John is not that new! He was wargaming at school and in the intervening forty years he has had a few “ issues”! Firstly he is somewhat “ careful” with his money but knows almost every gaming product available. Secondly he tires easily when there are heavy minis to paint or model trees to pack away. At this point , he will enter a Zen like trance until the requirement for physical effort has passed. To be fair, he has now committed to SAGA and bought figures. Could we convince him that here at last was all he could ever need in a wargame, the most fun two men legally in Cardiff on a Tuesday evening?
When a player is new to a system, how do you introduce them to the rudiments? Do you go easy on them? Do you smash them into the ground to show your innate superiority at handling little metal men? Neither option was to happen this evening, John had been watching SAGA Thursday all through lockdown and he was ready!
If have a John in your club then please share their details so that we might never invite them to Cardiff Dice Studz ever again!!!!!!! only joking, it was a great game and John is on his way to becoming a fully fledged member, just as soon as he gets his own set of figures!
The album above had been bought as a present from my father to my mum when they had been courting! What a generation! You take a lady to see a war film and leave her with an album of American Civil War music! But, to me, just the cover was enthralling and the subjects of many attempts to copy the battle scene. Not quite as many drawings as those of John Wayne’s other classic “ the Alamo”, but close. Well I no longer have a record player but I do have a love of this period!
I wanna be in the cavalry, but I won't ride home no more
The figures are Lancashire Games 18mm. They are massive minis and I love them. I used contrast paints so they were dead quick. The heavy detail just loves washes of colour, so a lot of shading wasn’t needed. I was going to use Commands and Colors scenarios so I only needed three brigades of horse, but I thought I’d go dismounted too. The Northern infantry were ordered weeks ago but as Buford also found, the time keeping of sloggers can’t be relied upon. Hope you like them!
Tradition with a capital “T” is of course all important for all true Dice Studz. Dave Lowrie has scoured the ancient Vendic texts for enlightenment and the revered text disappointed him. Rather than the Aryan supermen of old , he decided upon Ghaznavids from three thousand years later. May my brave charioteer Krishna, have mercy upon his soul , ever to return to Earth. I would stick with the Ancient lore and bring Vendic Indians …
But when Biorn came out over the sea, he went south to Engerland, and then south further to the beach at Bournemouth and in those days was Sven Timjiin captain of the Jomsburg Vikings. Foul Baldwin the Norman entered into covenant with them, and was called an ally and friend. When Sven Timjiin demanded tribute from Baldwin, money and succour came there none. The Norman claimed that he had but three times already paid for said land. Sven would retrieve what was owed by point of sword and did battle ensue…….And while Sven was alive he was deemed the best of men and the bravest in all deeds that try a man.
It’s been a very long time since some of these veteran gamers had convened at Cardiff’s Firestorm Games but it was the first Friday on the month and that means Kali Yuga night! Named after the fourth and worst period of the Hindu Yugas, the evening brings the more openly competitive 28mm L’art de la Guerre players to our local game store / temple. It’s not for the faint hearted as these players are masters of their arcane tabletop arts, one mistake and your beautifully painted minis will forever be consigned to wargaming history as an anecdote of their brilliance and your foolishness! It is indeed the Age of Iron !
On the second table, Colin and Eddie joined in battle. Colin brought his Spanish juggernaut in the first round against Mark but ever the follower of fashion, he too brought early Arabs against Eddie. Don’t be deceived, Colin may have the looks of an Adonis but his manner leaves a lot to be desired from a gentleman player (below)
It was a Late Roman civil war on table three. As Andrew and I placed our commands, it was almost as though we had brought the same two formations; two strong legion corps and one heavy horse corps but the devil was in the detail.
Boots on the Ground is Cardiff Dice Studz mass battle game night. For myself and Dave it was a welcome return to L’art de la Guerre Wargames Rules. One of the new army lists is Taifa states and Mr. Lowrie appears to have spent the whole of Lock-down painting gaily robed Moslems.
It had been a great game. We will be returning to L’art de la Guerre in 28mm in the first meeting in July, hopefully with Don, Andrew and Eddie. Remember if you are coming a booking system is operated in Firestorm and you still have to wear a horrible face nappy!!!!! First views of version four though are very favourable!
Forty years and not a miniature figure ready for the tabletop. “Pull yourself together man!” I said. “ You could be ready in a week!”The challenge was set! Could a very average gamer like myself get four SAGA points of figures ready in just seven days? Sunday evening and the miniatures were ordered and they arrived from Wargames Foundry Tuesday afternoon. The clock was ticking….
Wednesday night was my weekly visit to my mother’s house but that didn’t mean that I couldn’t do some glueing of the characteristic Norman shields. I’ve come to use Gorrilla glue for all my minis but I really don’t enjoy this stage. Now attaching the minis to their temporary bases is different and that means Bostik. In true Adrian Mole style I love the smell of Bostik. I didn’t end the session with a model aeroplane stuck on my nose but I was reminded of the 1980s Caerphilly glue- sniffing association of my youth.
Here some strategy was needed! How could I keep painting and going back and fire to the garage without raising the suspicions of a higher authority? A joint project was the answer, whilst the boys made a plane, I painted Normans.
The rule of three is truly transformational!!!! Before embarking on a new project, you must use the minis at least three times! It’s my new mantra; use the mins you have before the new “ shinny” fever! It had taken ten days but the force was completed! One family trip to the beach to secretly collect basing material and it was done.
What started out a challenge was quite envigorating! The four SAGA points was complete and I was fired up to play. Has you know who started yet? We shall see! I hope you like the finished minis below. Try the rule of three and see if you too are so inspired!
We don’t follow fashions in Cardiff. If a new version of a wargames rule set comes out, a certain percentage of players relish the fact that they will not move with the flock! One such stalwart of conservatism is Colin. He has been collecting Napoleonics since a child and the suspension springs on his Mark II Astra creaked as he entered that emporium of dreams that is Firestorm Games, Trade Street ( still), Cardiff. We would play Lasalle version one and like it!
It was a welcome return to face to face wargaming last night for Cardiff Dice Studz. To be realistic it was mask to mask combat but what a joy to finally be playing toy soldiers on a Friday/ Freyaday night! Steve brought his immaculately painted Norman host and I threw together my Anglo- Saxons for our new favourite gaming system, SAGA.
After some very hurtful comments about the size of my buildings , we decided that a rather drunken Cedric the Swineherd would be the central objective for the two rival armies. We are new to the system so went for a very modest four point force each.
The Anglo- Saxons comprised a warlord, two heart guard units of four, an eight man warrior unit plus two six- man levy units of archers. The levy gave me an extra activation but it did make me vulnerable to return fire.
Steve went for a much more sensible Norman force of larger units. Doubly so because I realised that the Anglo- Saxon board is dependent on unit sizes and not the usual troop quality. The Normans brought four mounted milites hearth guard, eight mounted warriors with javelins and eight warriors with hand weapons. Steve moaned about not bringing any double ranged “ bows” but he did bring an eight man crossbow unit that was to prove decisive.
Leaving his foot sloggers behind , the Norman warlord rashly stormed through the village . They would meet the stout yeomen hearth guard and the Norman warriors may have regretted their impetuosity!
SAGA is such a great system! The games are fast paced and so enjoyable. I really thought I had it in the bag until Steve skilfully used the activation board to turn the tables. We made a few errors but the game is easy to understand and we both went and bought more of the books so Freyanight SAGA looks to be a winner!