It lives…

It happens every year! The summer lull in hobby activity seems to be a global thing.  The number of posts that start in September or October with the words…  I’m still alive, or…  sorry for the lack of posts, always makes me smile and realise I am not alone.


Sorry but I am back and sadly I’m not dead yet… therefore prepare your self for even more rubbish being shouted from the insides of a garden shed (as long as the good lady lets me go out there every so often!)

I have to say that this year it seems to have been that much harder to get back into the routine of posting than usual…  Why? Well I am glad you asked…

D I bloody Y…  She who commands the back door keys wanted to get some spring cleaning and DIY done this year, so talked me into a late summer project involving a whole lot of white and magnolia paint.  The hallway, stairway (not to heaven) and landing changed over the course of a week from chocolate brown to good ol’ maggi (5 coats later it finally looks ok).

As a softener she did take us away for a week beforehand.  Budapest and Prague, two cities that I would be happy to return to but I think I walked up every bell tower in each town just so she who knows best could be photographed from the top (she’s down there in the square somewhere while I’m panting and collapsing at the top of 300 stairs…)

when my vision finally cleared I have to say both cities are perfect if you like your gothic architecture.

The photographer is an amateur but the sunsets are magnificent.

You get plenty of dirt after a few hundred years, they need a new window cleaner methinks…

Prague’s famous spires.

A clock that gathers 2000 spectators when it chimes (we arrived on the day it opened after 6 weeks of renovations).

Both cities have picturesque but very wet rivers.

Since getting back and finishing the DIY I have managed to get a few games in…  Plain old Bolt Action.

And a game of Konflict ’47 (Bolt Action with robots and lasers…)

Next up we might have agreed to play Steam Wars again!  Why?  Because the rules are now available HERE for free if you want to try it for yourselves…

eBay Purchase – A Project For Later In The Year (Score So Far +6)

It couldn’t last now could it…  Six points up on the tally means I’ve managed to keep my focus on the plan for a few weeks straight…

It was inevitable that some ‘shiny’ thing would draw my attention away!

In this case it was an eBay auction that caught my eye after our last Dust Tactics game.  Coronasan and I were discussing the possibility of building a set of airfield scenery. Mainly so that our collection of fliers for Dust could be used as scenery or objectives when they were not being used in the actual game.

Coronasan has a mind to build an old style control tower in MDF but I will let him get into that one over on the Loft Full Of Lead

That leaves me to populate said airfield.  And what better than a HUGE transport plane to do that…

This is the result of that eBay auction.  It cost me only £2 and cost twice that to get it posted to me…

A simple childrens plastic toy (the lights and sounds no longer work sadly). It appears to be a good scale for most 28mm(ish) games figures and vehicles.

She looks mighty fine alongside the other Dust Tactics planes I have as well.

I will be shelving her immediately so that I don’t get distracted (that’s if I have a space on the shelf that is big enough for her to fit into).

Definitly not on ‘The Plan’.  However, as its not going to be touched until summer (or at least until Coronasan gets a control tower built), I am not going to score myself down.

Score for post 0 points / Total score +6

A Little Bit Of Bolt Action

We recently got one of the long postponed games played. We had talked about getting a game of Bolt Action played for a few weeks as this rule system is as simple and smooth as they come.  The ulterior motive behind this is the need to select a rules system for Coronasan’s Steam Punk Wars.  He has painted a hoard of colonial/ Empire troopers and is about to start out on the epic task of completing all the assorted vehicles he has scattered about his Loft Full Of Lead.  Bolt Action is a front runner in the list of rule systems to be used when we get that game up and running.


We went for a fairly large game and spent over the normal points to get all the options in that he would be fielding from his steam punk game. Troops, weapons teams and vehicles.

I had tanks, artillery, rockets, machine gun teams and anti-tank guns. As well as a selection of soft skin and light vehicles…


The battlefield was a village affair.  A good mix of cover and open lines of sight.


It left two sizable armies bunched up, trying to gain cover, by the end of turn one…  A benefit for my rocket troops, which were very lucky with close packed targets on the day.


The big guns found it harder, as they were not able to see their targets, or shoot at them, due to cover and friendlies in the way.


When the odd unit poked its nose out too far, it was often quickly dealt with.


Coronasan’s US troops were massed at the tree line for too long and could not run forward without getting shot to ribbons.  His tanks were out classed by German guns on this day too. 


The cover was hugged wherever it could be found and I recall 3-4 units camped out in this one bunker at times.


As the death toll on the US side began to tell, the Axis forces moved out and headed for the houses.


Happily feeling the benefit of the cover supplied by the remaining Axis big hitters.

This was very enjoyable, as all our Bolt Action games have been. So enjoyable, I think I forgot to take photos from the other side of the table.  It’s likely that these rules will heavily influence the steam punk rules we use in the end.  For that game, my wait may be a little longer though…

Post Number 41.. And I Am 41. Birthday Brings New Stuff.

I am happy to say that I have reached another birthday safely and without loss of life or limb.  (Lets all be thankful for the small things).

Birthdays are good as the represent a chance for me to talk loved ones into buying me stuff for this never ending hobby…  This year I the found timing in my favour and attended Warfare in Reading just before my birthday.  This meant I was able to actually buy my own presents and give them out to have them wrapped and returned on the day.

Usually there is some trepidation before the day as I await to see if the requested item will be sourced correctly by said loved one or if a surprise replacement (usually the result of a mistaken order or wild guess at an alternative) will be found within that colourful paper…

This year was all about the base (sorry cant get that song out of my head) or headquarters as an Englishman would call it.


The headquarters in question is the new Warbases Police House.


Complete with smaller out building/ jail house block.

This will be the HQ for my Victorian Peelers faction which gets the odd outing in Empire of the Dead and may also show up in ‘In Her Majesties Name and Wolsung’ (if I can shoehorn them into the rules).


The next was again off the Warbases stand and is their Workshop (slightly less generic than the rest of their range). This reminds me of a twentieth century British workshop often seen on industrial estates and farms in my childhood.  I almost picture this with an ancient petrol pump outside and an oil stained set of blue overalls on the attendant/ mechanic.


Complete with sliding doors (the main doors big enough for a truck to drive in) it will look good by itself or along with the other buildings in my set.


My Daughter (not a gamer in any sense) also shocked me and tagged along to Reading to find me something for my birthday.  She proved to be no trouble at all (even as a blonde 15 year old surrounded by ‘sad old men’) and came up trumps with this built and painted 1/48 scale Tiger from the bring and buy.  Putting an immediate smile on my face until she calmly stated I couldn’t have it until my birthday…

Who knows what next year will bring!

Another Tank Game Played And Lost.

My ever expanding collection of tanks got an outing again the other week.  This time it was a force focused entirely on armoured vehicles.  All that firepower…  How could I lose…


The table was set up as a mix of town and country (sounds like a magazine…)  and my tanks went off hunting their prey.


That prey was again a large force of Allied Shermans and that nasty tank destroyer that plagued me last time. The Allies were going for quantity to out gun my quality.

Their extra vehicles, however weak they may have been in comparison to my tanks, began to take their toll early on.


My King Tiger was feeling fairly invincible as it roamed across the town taking out Allied vehicles with almost every shot.


The Allies were almost as effective with their tank destroyer managing to land some very long range shots.  It was destined to be a shoot out between these two heavy hitters that settled things.


As my King Tiger nosed out from behind cover to find its target, the tank destroyer found its mark though…


One problem with quality is its lack of quantity. My 3 vehicle losses left me with only a single tank, and a command vehicle that was armed with machine guns.


The remaining Shermans closed in to claim the objectives and by the end of the game my last plucky panzer was so pinned it was unable to do anything (other than act as a target for more shots).  He did survive to end the game, with surprisingly minor damage, but unable to claim any of the objectives.


Overall another good game and a lesson in army construction.  Some times the side with the most guns will win against the supposedly better shots…

Tank War, City Fight. More Tanks, More Buildings, More Mayhem.

As the Tank War reports so far show, the tally of wins and losses are even at this point.  So I will let the next game push me forward towards a new win.


The table was set for a fight over the local city scape and would again be decided by three objectives. These were placed fairly evenly over the centreline of the table; one to each flank and one near the plinth at the tables centre.


The game played very differently from the last with the open lines of fire of a cities streets. The open roads allowed movement at much higher rates and resulted in rushing moves by tanks and made recce vehicles very effective.

Troops were also very useful as they could traverse the gardens and narrow lanes that the vehicles could not pass through.


The German forces this time had more variety of forces and this opened up more options for them. The Allies tried to hold their far right flank with one of their heaviest tanks. This decision lost them the option to benefit from its power elsewhere on the table. When they realised that it was blocked from crossing back past the canal, it was left holding one objective, but became powerless to help when they needed to reinforce their troops elsewhere on the table.

The final 2 objectives fell to the German advance and the game ended 2:1 in favour of the Axis. That score is representative of the score between us for games up until now.

Next time the results will change again. Will it be in my favour?  Lets hope so…

Do I Have To Post Game Reports Where I Lose? According To Some People I Do.

A friend asked me why I posted a Bolt Action Tank War report where I won but have not yet posted a report of the game where he managed to win.


Its my Blog! So my Rules!! Apparently not!

So, for the benefit of Veganman1961 (not his real name).


The game was fought in the rolling hills and hedgerows of France.  The Allied forces were trying to gain control of three objectives and took the decision to set up with the weight of their armoured column on the left and their recon section to the right.  They did not have enough vehicles to cover the centre too so were relying on rolling in from the left to support the right flank from the centre once they had won it.


The German forces were never going to make it an easy win. Using the cover of the hills and hedges they moved to cross to the centre of the field.


Soon that advance was being stopped by the heavy guns of the Allied tanks.


A key to the Allied strength was their very effective tank destroyer. This light hulled tank not only managed to destroy Axis tanks but was able to shrug off a number of returned shots.


Finally the Allied flanking move rolled around the Germans and began to attack the rear of the German tanks.  The loss of their Tiger II was only one setback that they failed to overcome.


As the Axis forces rushed to the objectives late in the game the Allies slowly reinforced their hard won gains and in the final push came out on top with 2 out of the 3 objectives under their control.


The Allies were victorious to the dismay of my German forces and out classed their opponent in all their manoeuvres.  It would seem at least one general was having a very good day….

We Got a Game Played You Know.

Its whole purpose, was to have the shed for gaming. Lots of games have been played, but if I am honest, not a lot has been played recently…

This little book turned up in the post and changed all that.


Bolt Action is a game I like and have played a lot over the last year.  We haven’t played it for a while though as the next shiny thing came along I guess.  I have a good sized and fairly well painted (by my standards) German army. With a few small tanks…

Tank War allows more Tanks…  And all manner of other vehicles as well…  But mainly MORE TANKS!


My collection of vehicles for the Germans (lazy person that I am) is a smattering of painted models, and a collection of, mainly, diecast-prepainted vehicles.  1/43 and 1/48 scale do well (if slightly larger than the ‘true’ 28mm scale).  They are also usually cheaper and easier than buying plastic or resin kits.


We set up in the fields around a small hamlet and rolled for the amount of objectives. this is when we found out that we would be playing with only one…  It was, from that point, always going to be quick, and bloody, as all our units would be focused on gaining and holding the sentry box at the centre of the table.


First blood went to the Americans with their first Sherman gaining an easy kill on a German transport. Its surviving German Medium Anti Tank Gun quickly set up with the only field of fire it had left open to it, but without its tow it would not prove very effective for the remainder of the game.


The American plan to move forward early and take the first shot left their lead Sherman open for multiple shots in return.  It weathered most of these but finally the weight of fire proved sufficient to destroy it outright.


Focusing so much on one target bunched up the German forces and left them in the open for reprisals though.  Their AT Gun and Puma were soon smoking wrecks as the battle raged on elsewhere.


The other flank saw the lighter armour and faster units converging at a pinch point to the right of the objective. The only way through to the objective would mean going through the enemy column.  German Panzerfaust armed troops and a plucky little Panzer 38(t) were too much for the light American recon vehicles but would be held up long enough to stop them reaching the objective.


As the game came to a close the Americans were unable to move their remaining units up to support their initial advances and the Germans managed to hold the objective to win the game.


This played quicker than normal Bolt Action and was a nice change. We did not use the advanced crew rules or crew skills this time round but will be looking to get the guys to try an escalation style campaign over the next few games to add in these rules. It looks like quite a few more tanks are going to be seen on the table over the next months.

More Laser Cut Goodness, And Some Odds And Sods Of Resin.


First up, 28mm hand carts…  These are from an eBay seller who went out of his way to sort out just what I wanted even though I missed out on one of his auctions. These are due to be used on my Victorian Gothic table and any Mid East Bazaar I manage to set up in future. Seller s_j_day is the guy to go to for a wide range of items in all scales and with some novel ideas to. School room sets anyone? (Complete with a blackboard and an upright piano).




Hurlbat Games makes this little beauty. They call it their footbridge and it’s from their expanding Sci-Fi Cityscape MDF Scenery Accessories Range. I see this little footbridge featuring in a number of settings, as its wrought iron look fits in very well with my Victorian stuff and even my Deadzone stuff. It’s a great size for street level skirmish games, with bases fitting perfectly onto the steps. This range also includes some simple barriers to block off roads and now even features a lovely little statue plinth complete with carved effigies on the sides. The plinth is new to the range since I picked up my bridge and will be in my shopping basket very soon. Shipping is free for these items and at only £2.50-£3 an item even my, post Disney, pocket can cope with that.




I appear to be back in a wagon period as well, as these bits are all awaiting a finish. The first is an ox cart for my Saga games. The second is from those lovely Warbases chaps and was sat, flat packed, on my bench for months after Salute where I picked it up… Can’t find a horse to fit this yet as my blitz box is currently bereft of anything equine at this time.

Thankfully the chaps at Westwind do supply theirs with draft horses. The last is a Black Mariah (Victorian police van) that, one day, will be finished off to join the peelers crew I have for Empire of the Dead.  Then I will need to read the extra rules for wagons from their Requiem Kickstarter.

The last little lot is from various places and finally got started (and in the case of the crates, finished) recently. I have to admit, table scatter like planters and pots appeal to me as a nice way to get usable blocking/ cover terrain on the table, and do keep things looking natural. How often in real life is a tyre barricade found to be in just the right place when you want to take a pot shot at some villains? Never… Planters, pots and wheelie bins however, now these are all over the place…
Reminder to self: I must find some 28mm wheelie bins.

How many tanks did you say we could use?

A terrible photo I know. I am trying not to use newer photos to tell older stories, so must remember to revisit this force again soon.


Bolt Action had hooked us and was playing well. I even won a couple of games. Not a regular occurrence for me. But, boys will be boys, and the challenge was set to see who could get the most tanks on the table in a game of Bolt Action.

Now, Bolt Action lends itself very well to combined forces, with an emphasis on infantry. It was never designed as a mass tank game, and for a good reason too. A 28mm game cannot hope to fit that many vehicles, with longer weapon ranges, on a 6×4 foot table. This is the reason smaller scale games exist. 15mm (or smaller) is a good scale for a tank game. In the past I have collected 20mm, 15mm and 6mm tanks, all before the time of the shed. Of those older collections, few remain, and only one in any complete form. I have however, kept a large US Army for Flames of War. There is something about 15mm that seems to make it a good size for this type of army. Its small enough to allow me to have loads of them but large enough to keep the detail I like to see in my models. We did not fall in love with the Flames of War ruleset though, and I have not played with these troops for quite some time.

This little challenge, one oversized game, would allow them out of the case for a brief moment and into the sunshine again.

A table was set up. My old 15mm buildings and dirt roads left an open battlefield just suited to tank warfare.


My opponent was the soviet steamroller (with two tanks for every one of mine).

The result was carnage with my slightly higher quality tanks suffering against the higher rate of fire of the soviets. The rules were adjusted, where needed, in the spirit of the game but proved in the end not to be up to the task. So, for now, we have no plans for a repeat of this particular game.

Warlord are publishing a Tank War expansion for their Bolt Action game, later this year. I suspect that their investment in, and mass production of 28mm miniatures, will mean it cannot supply the massed tank actions that a smaller scale game can. I will most likely buy this book and enjoy the game it provides, but I have a suspicion that I will still find myself craving something bigger (or smaller…) than it has to offer.

Next up… Back to a bigger scale…