Thursday, 20 June 2013

Feeble excuses and a good deal of navel-gazing.

It's been a busy week or so here at Castle Paul, no painting or hobby updates. :(

I did play some more RT at the club last Thursday though and I have another game tonight so I will have some interesting photos and notes with which to do reshoots in the near future with any luck.

This photo was taken eight days before this post, it was supposed to be part one of a step by step guide for turning it post-apocalyptic. It's still sat there. :(

Don't pay my whinging too much heed, the hobby slowdown was due to the fact that I travelled south to the ancestral homelands (Suffolk) to introduce Warlord Leon to all the folks back home, which was great fun, I also enjoyed a birthday and my very first Father's Day along the way!

Hobby gifts included a copy of Pandemic, Talisman: The Dungeon, several volumes of the Judge Dredd collection and a new camera. I treated myself to some new post-apoc survivors from Wargames Factory, I will post a pic of the sprues when they arrive from Wayland Games.

The Philosopher, coming to a Yorkshire tabletop soon. I get this look sometimes when I get a bee in my bonnet about some aspect of wargaming.

Next week I am introducing Axis & Allies to our board game club within a club, I am tweaking the set up very slightly to erode the allies edge by a smidge, I will let you know how things pan out.

That's about all I have to report, to prevent this from being an entirely frothy filler post I am going to have a crack at the interview questionnaire James has just done on his blog, thanks James hope you don't mind me copying you. The original idea for this came from Rejects, Fran and Ray about a year ago so thanks goes to them also.

By way of introduction, this is a picture of your host in a somewhat typical pose and environment. I am trespassing on military land on the Cypriot north/south border near Nicosia, purely so I can wander around some 'off-the-map', Crusader era, castle ruins. Had to dodge a few soldiers and a rare outbreak of common sense prevented me from taking the camera along (spying charges, military positions, not good...) but it was totally worth it! The WIFE captured my moment of triumph as I returned and the wave I gave her hilariously looks like a NAZI salute. It's not, I swear.

A more recent snap from the WIFE's phone. Goodness knows what I am smirking at.

Q1. Favourite wargaming period and why?

I thoroughly enjoy historical wargaming and from that POV it's mid to high medieval, HYW, WOTR and all that. To be accurate though I love Sci-fi and Fantasy way more. I prefer Fantasy in all ways except wargaming, where it's a lot more 50-50.

Q2. Next period, money no object?

I am scaling my ambitions down to the point where they are almost realistic. I have no plans to go wildly off into a new area, I would prefer to concentrate on exactly what I'm doing on the blog and I already have all the minis for that. I would like the painting fairy to swoop in and finish a few units off though!

Q3. Favourite 5 films?

LOTR trilogy
Original Star Wars trilogy
Raiders of the Lost Ark

Q4. Favourite 5 TV series?

The Wire
Sopranos (RIP James Gandolfini)
House of Cards (UK original)

Q5. Favourite book and author?

Ok, favourite book is hands down LOTR and therefore Tolkien gets the nod as favourite author. I don't think he was the world's best ever writer and I would question his ability to self edit but he had a genius for bardic story-telling and the explored theme of male friendships in LOTR is a powerful one.

Q6. Greatest general? Excluding oneself!

It's Alexander the Great, by a country mile. He faced every adversity known to war and came out on top, he was unorthodox and unpredictable, he was insanely lucky, he was utterly fearless and he was loved, feared and hated in equal measure by everyone in Europe, North Africa and Asia. One day they might make a movie worthy of his legacy!

Q7. Favourite wargames rules?

I don't think any published rules I have ever played (that is a lot BTW) are perfect, if I were to pick the one with the most fun potential and the fewest bizarre abstractions I would go for Blackpowder and it's sister game Hail Caesar. I wrote a game called 'Anarchy' for myself and a few mates which we still play a fair bit, it's perfect for me because it was a personal venture. I find it tense, exciting, challenging and fun, but most of all I don't question any of the reasoning behind the rules!

Q8. Favourite sport and team?

Premiership Football. I don't get to watch much sport these days, I support Man U (Football/Soccerball) from the comfort of my sofa and I make the effort to watch my brother-in-law play for Morley (Rugby Union) but that's about it. I am boycotting international football because I loathe almost everyone involved in the England set up. If they win a world cup in my absence I may buy the DVD but that's it.

Q9. If you had a one use only time machine, when and where would you go?

Sending matter back through time is, lamentably, impossible. Therefore I would go forward a few centuries and get myself a fancy new immortal body and a jetbike. I would use my celebrity status as a 'neanderthal' curiosity to get wealthy and spend the money on robots.

Q10. Last meal on Death Row?

I couldn't enjoy anything with my looming demise so close, I could try and be facetious by saying 'poison' so the buggers wouldn't have the pleasure of topping me but that would be unrealistic. I would pick pizza as my favourite food but honestly I would be far too depressed to care if it was my last meal ever!

Q11. Fantasy relationship and why?

I must say I feel very lucky in that department, especially since the recent birth of our first child, but I like to think that somewhere in an alternate universe there is a version of me who pried Isla Fisher off of that Borat fellow.

G'day fellas, fancy a game of Warhammer!

Q12. If your life were a movie, who would play you?

John Travolta, we both take the hairy, beefy look and turn it into pure sex.

Q13. Favourite comic superhero?

Tough, tough question. I like Batman but I am not automatically drawn to say him over Iron Man, though that is possibly because of RDJ. Superman is too perfect to sympathise with, also, he must be a alien or sutin. Spiderman is a whiney brat, just like to get that one in there. I am going to say Wolverine because his regenerative abilities and adamantium skeleton are just superb concepts from the creators. *UPDATE* Since writing this I have read through four more volumes of Judge Dredd and I have completely become obsessed with all things Mega-City One. He is my new favourite, forever. *UPDATE*

The Law. It's him.

Q14. Favourite military quote?

Well, from a wargaming philosophy point of view it's:

"Mon centre c├Ęde, ma droite recule, situation excellente, j'attaque." Ferdinand Foch.

As an Englishman though it perhaps ought to be:

"Firstly you must always implicitly obey orders, without attempting to form any opinion of your own regarding their propriety. Secondly, you must consider every man your enemy who speaks ill of your king; and thirdly you must hate a Frenchman as you hate the devil." Horatio Nelson.

Apologies to our cross-channel cousins! Just kidding!

Q15. Historical destination to visit?

I have already been across the length and breadth of northern France and Belgium visiting my first choice of the battlefields of WWI, luckily enough. My next choice would be to follow Bernard Cornwell's TV series and visit the battlefields of the Peninsular War. The family regiment has been the Black Watch (in it's various incarnations) for centuries so that would be an added incentive to visit that part of the world.

Q16. Biggest wargaming regret?

I regret nothing! I am, however, starting over with a blank slate and loving it!

Q17. Favourite fantasy job?

Heir to the throne, leading his bataille against the forces of tyranny.

Q18. Favourite 5 songs?

Genuinely impossible question to answer, however, off the top of my head I can give you an eclectic 5 great songs I love right now at this second:

Hallowed be thy Name by Iron Maiden
Whiskey in the Jar by Metallica
Into the West by Annie Lennox
Comfortably Numb by Pink Floyd
Imagine by John Lennon

Q.19 Favourite wargaming moment?

The recent epiphany that led to me rediscover the good, old-fashioned way to game when I was on the verge of abandoning the hobby altogether.

Q20. The miserable git question, what upsets you?

"Hell is-other people" (Jean-Paul Sartre), although, "When a man is able to take abuse with a smile, he is worthy to become a leader." (Reb Nachman).

Thanks for the idea James, Fran and Ray!

Thanks for stopping by!


  1. Excellent !

    It's always nice to know the men behind the titles and from what I read, I do like (in a totally laddish ans appropriate manner) the Paul behind the Warlord.

    PS : You don't need to apologise to us frog eaters! We've been best ennemies for centuries but will be friends for eons. (it's always been a pleasure to cross the channel for me anyway and I'm glad to come back to UK this summer).

    1. Merci, mon ami!

      I liked the idea and the way I felt like I knew GI James Brewerton a bit better so I had a go myself.

      I would echo you on cross-channel experiences, I always have a great time and feel welcome.

      I knew you guys could take a joke, it's the Germans that don't have a sense of humour! ;)

  2. Great to get to know you a little better, were you in Cyprus on Holiday? I grew up there 6-18 year of age, some great castles to look at and plenty of wine and beer to drink....
    enjoy fatherhood before long the kids will cut into your hobby funds/time
    Peace James
    who started that GI tag I will open a can of whoop ass on his irish ass.

  3. Same here James! I was on my hols, the WIFE's Dad is a Greek Cypriot and we go out once a year to see her family and eat kleftiko. Amazing place for historically based tourism. WIFE likes the beaches. I am still currently finding little quiet periods of hobby time when nobody notices what I'm doing, hope it lasts. Going to be the proud owner of a hobby-centric garage workshop soon if our house sale goes through and I intend to hide in it often.

    Fran told me it was all Ray's idea. ;)

  4. Excellent navel gazing - might have a pop at the quiz myself - which reminds me I haven't gotten around to the taxonomy of a wargamer thing yet...

    The car certainly looks super ;)

    1. It certainly does what it says on the tin. I say go for it with the taxonomy, or the questionnaire, or both. Very cathartic!

  5. Replies
    1. Cheers Fran! I don't need much of an excuse to natter on.