Monday 29 January 2024

Audible Book: Victory at Sea - Paul Kennedy

A good general read of naval war in WWII, from the man who brought us Rise and Fall of the Great Powers. In fact how I came across this Audible version of this book (Victory at Sea), was because I was looking for an Audible version of "that" book (Rise and Fall). I was intrigued at his (Kennedy's) obvious obsession with WW2 naval power and the world wide implications of naval conflict. I listened to the sample and was hooked (see below, it gives a good all ocean coverage of WWII and I have to say "I learned a few new things" - although the editors should have picked up some silly errors [Hipper was not in the Channel Dash, but the Prince Eugen a Hipper class cruiser heavy, while accounting for RN CVs they had tallied the Furious sunk despite it surviving the war, getting confused with the loss of the Hermes I think], in the main it was wholesomely good and accurate [so I forgive the previous small errors], but I would double check specifics of ships to see if they are correct): 

As per what is now a recurring theme of my Audible purchases, if (as I usually do) I like the audio recording of the book I also end up getting a print copy too. It is a knowledge at your fingertips thing for me. Here, despite it being newly in print (so a relatively "expensive" treat) and despite it being in hardback, I really wanted it for the glorious watercolour artwork which beautifully accompanies it. If but only for that reason alone, the watercolour illustrations make it a beautiful book for the library shelf and thus I can whole heartedly recommend it. 

Sunday 21 January 2024

Random Sci-Fi Stuff: From the Photo Archive Bucket .. Dust Bucket World

The usefulness of some of the Revell Star Wars spin-off range 15mm(ish) miniatures is shown with this beautiful "Combat Shuttle". A pretty much snip and click piece. It is the focal point of a 'planet drop' scenario and an ideal centre piece for a skirmish around a local spaceport or emergency wilderness dust-off . Ramp down, the "Away Team" is covered by heavy cannons as they disembark (see below, sitting on a nice little diorama made from the local wargames club terrain and friends bric-a-brac science fiction extras): 

This reminds me of the 2000AD Cursed Earth style shanty town with "Muties" hiding in the shadows(see below, careful searching is required, kicking doors in and covering your arcs - notice, there is a platoon of Ground Zero Games [GZG] Star Grunt forces approaching in the background): 

Good stuff, I liked the feel of Star Grunt and the "Western in Space" feel to barren desert planets! 

Friday 19 January 2024

Late Review of some Xmas Presents - Family Games

The Reign of the Cthulhu board game is now fixed as a family favourite, however the family was gifted two additional games "Taskmaster: The Board Game" and a story card game called Odyssey (see below, a trio of charmers):  

Taskmaster is a hoot, but like the series of the name, you would not want it played in your house - too much danger of collateral damage (and lateral thinking wins in spades). 

Odyssey looks the more intriguing game, despite being the simplest. You have to weave a Greek Tragedy through twenty "flipped" story cards (a few variations on how to draw the cards and use them) - perfect to be mixed with alcohol in a suitably inspiring setting. I think it needs careful cast selection and people to be in a certain storytelling frame of mind, the creative juices flowing, less of the analytical to the forefront and more emotion.

Tuesday 16 January 2024

Trying to learn "Root"

Darn if the US Marine Corp use it in their training, then I have "got to" take a look at it. Now from what I thought was going to be a straightforward A4 booklet of rules to read say in 45-60 mins, I was a little taken aback with the wealth of rule related material. It was all beautifully produced, engaging and rich in "pleasant" detail - but I have to "get my head round it" so I can explain it to others. It is a competitive faction (players v players) game, most play is not collaborative (although there can be moments of alliance [that also could lead to betrayal]) so it is important to get the "rules right" (see below, three instruction manuals - a light introduction, example of play booklet [a run through of a few turns], then the "Lore of Root" which is the definitive guide which looks "medium to heavy"):

It is beautiful and I am keen to play.

Monday 15 January 2024

Note to self: KCL Wargaming Network Videos, Journals and Books

Some old links to Professional KCL Wargamining Videos and Articles:


Perla, Peter. “The Art and Science of Wargaming to Innovate and Educate.” King’s College London, 2018.


Wong, Yuna. “Developing an Academic Discipline of Wargaming.” King’s College London, 2019.

Journals and Books: 

Barzashka, Ivanka. “Wargaming: How to Turn Vogue into Science.” Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, March 15, 2019.


Hirst, Aggie. “States of Play: Evaluating the Renaissance in US Military Wargaming.” Critical Military Studies (January 9, 2020): 1–21.


Hirst, Aggie. “Play in(g) International Theory.” Review of International Studies 45, no. 5 (December 2019): 891–914.


Sabin, Philip. “Wargames as an Academic Instrument.” In Zones of Control: Perspectives on Wargaming, edited by Pat Harrigan and Matthew Kirschenbaum. MIT Press. 2016.


Sabin, Philip. “Wargaming in Higher Education: Contributions and Challenges.” Arts and Humanities in Higher Education 14, no. 4 (October 1, 2015): 329–48.

Sunday 14 January 2024

Games Workshop (GW Demon) - WIP

Confession: This one was pulled from the archives (a year ago). Backstory ..I had a moment of weakness, I think I was in need to cheer myself up with a tonic and "it" took advantage of me!  Daemons are like that, they attack you when your defences are down and this one appeared unexpectedly in an aisle in local non-wargaming shop (Boyes) during a boring shopping trip (see below, yes I totally blame the Games Workshop Daemon for taking advantage of me, I am weak and it promised me riches [but it took my wargaming soul]. I have primed, washed and base-coated it [and washed it again for good measure] to gain the following effect): 

Despite being a bit over the top, it is very, very good fun to paint and it is one of the "classic Warhammer miniatures" - just sought after just to paint (see below, I like the way fantasy holds no bars so you are free to experiment - although you could say I went for a typical "Demon Red" painting scheme, three layers of paint [shade, base, highlight] and a wash on the metals! Presentable but not yet totally finished): 

Vallejo Game Colour paint range did the trick, along with their washes. The next stage is spot highlighting and some extra "detailing" on the base! Watch this space ...

Saturday 13 January 2024

Call of the Cthulhu - Pandemic Style (Collaborative Game)

I can highly recommend this game that was a Xmas present purchase that went down a storm with friends and family (see below, a Pandemic style collaborative game, where the investigators try and stop the sprawling tentacles of doom engulfing humanity): 

So far it has been played twice, not with a great success rate for the investigators to date, but they were up against the A-Team of Elder Gods. The board game comes with some lovely miniatures that obviously will need painting in the due course of time. 

I actually enjoyed it much more than a 7.4 rating, my rating would be a 9.0!

Friday 12 January 2024

The "Look" that is in for 2024 - Sci-Fi Bounty Hunter Dude!

If I could pick a look for 2024, in a world filled with uncertainly .. I think this might be a the one - "Don't Mess" with this dude (see below, a 28mm Sci-Fi figure I picked up at Conference of Wargamers (CoW) 2023 [manufacturer TBC]): 

Quite pleased with the Space Bounty Hunter "look". He is  obviously displeased to be stranded on a far distant planet probably in the middle of a Laz-Gun fight! 

Tuesday 9 January 2024

A retro-project approaching its completion: Games Workshop Warhammer Starter Set circa 2003 - The Orks!

Before Xmas this was the state of play of my Warhammer Starter Set - bought for me as a birthday present circa 2003. The Empire troops are long painted but the Ork (careful not to drop into the LOTR spelling convention here) are still wanting a  bit of attention (see below, the Ork Boar Chariot and Ork Archers are just primed, Ork Chopper Boyz looking ok): 

The Ork Chopper Boyz are pretty much done - an extra bit of work on the blades won't go amiss (see below, these Ork Boyz don't seem to be the 1HD wonders of Second Edition D&D I remember so fondly of in my youth , more like 3-5HD "bad ass" things you try and avoid if at all possible):  

So during the Xmas break I went to it with gusto [it was a bucket list item]! The Ork Archers get their final painting session (see below, basing and flocking of course still to follow): 

The Ork Crew and Wild Boar Chariot was the most challenging. In short, a lot of work .. albeit mostly brown and metal (see below, it did however become a mix between a "labour of love" and "point of honour to finish without rushing". Note:  the Spear Ork is really working hard to find something "to hit"):

A close-up of a typical Greenskin - showing off with a whip, prodding a Wild Boar and bigging himself up (see below, where is a juicy, defenceless Elf when you need one?): 

Nearly there, just the last bit of basing to do! Not that bad after twenty years - I was just waiting until I learned to paint?

Tuesday 2 January 2024

Wishing you all a (belated) Happy New Year!

Wishing you all a Happy New Year!

My Blogging "New Year's Resolution" seems to be reporting Spammers trying to leave betting website links in the comments sections of one my historical posts to Google.

Frustrating that!

None of them (yet) have got through to be  shown on the Blog as I have set approval before publication wrt comments.