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The Musée des Blindés tank museum in the Loire Valley town of Saumur is one of the world's largest tank museums - and I managed to take a load of photos there a couple of weeks ago!
ADLG has reinvigorated a whole host of previously little-seen armies and figures, and next up on the rehabilitation trail are some Two Dragons Normans (and dubiously Viking-esque Almughavar morphs) who take part as a Feudal Spanish army in 5 games of 300 point large-army L'Art de la Guerre 15mm action at the 2016 BHGS Challenge.
Marvel at how these brave Norman-esque warriors emerge blinking into the light after so many years with flocked (rather than more modern grass tufted) bases.
Leighton Buzzard is not normally associated with Piracy on the high seas, nor is it twinned with any exotic ex-Colonial cities from far flung continents (although being twinned with a town called Titisee is admittedly vaguely amusing).
Here are some shots of e4M's super-cheap plastic Mechs, sized as 28mm stormtroopers but great as monster Mechs for 6mm. They are painted but not quite finished.
Recently, with all sorts of new rule systems coming onto the market and perking up player interest it appears that the UK Ancients competition circuit has been undergoing a bit of a renaissance (geddit?).
Rather than just rely on gut feel, I've pulled together some stats for the rulesets covered in the main "BHGS" series of events (edit 2.6.16 plus the DBA circuit), as these are (I believe) the rulesets that have most takeup in competitions right now. This does unashamedly mean the focus is on mostly 15mm events - so all of the various iterations of WAB and it's derivatives are not covered, but unless I'm missing something I don't believe any of those sets are supporting the same sorts of numbers of players or events throughout the year as the ones I looked at.
The data I did use was collated from several sources - the current BHGS rankings for FoGAM and L'Art de la Guerre, plus the DBMM rankings page (edit 2.6.16 plus the UK DBA rankings) and finally John Graham Leigh's DBM results page, all to look at how many people are playing each system in competitions across the UK.
The main (and I believe fairly safe) assumption is that these sets of rankings & results capture pretty much all of the competitive games played in the past 12 months in the UK across these 5 systems. I also then shared this with the veritable king of stats analysis in UK gaming, Martin from Vexillia who did some validation and additional analysis (thanks Martin!)
What I looked at was numbers of players, number and size of events, and then also how much does each set appear to depend on a "core" of very active players, and finally also how long is the "tail" of occasional players in each ruleset.
So, what's the state of play?
As ADLG makes it's way onto the big boys table of UK competitions with a 16-player field for 15mm ADLG at Roll Call 2016, discover how Mithradates of Pontus manages to almost (but not quite) control his many and varied disparate troop types in 5 games against all possible flavours of Romans.
In three fleetingly (thankfully?) brief battle reports, enlivened by some tremendous 15mm eye candy and the usual videos, the Scots Covenanter's appear in FoGR and take on three Royalist armies in a one-day competition with pre-set terrain.
In this latest Podcast episode I'm joined by Ian, Gavin, Jeavon, John and Stan all from Central London Wargames Club in a "straight to live" recording made in the beer garden of the Fox pub at the ExCeL Centre, London.
The Fox may not be the most salubrious of locations, but the Audacity software I used has cleaned up almost all of the pub-background noise when recording the podcast so the sound quality is surprisingly good for what was the resting place for weary and thirsty gamers escaping from the mega-show that was Salute! 2016.
In this episode I ask the question "What's in the Bag?" of all of my guests, and with some added liquid lubrication the discussion then rambles onto subjects as diverse as the pricing of 15mm figures, packaging strategies (blister pack or baggie?), how much would you pay for a boardgame if you lived on a submarine, and just how many 1/3000th scale ships are "too many"?
To get the full experience it may be best to have at least 3-4 pints yourself before tuning in !
Just back from a couple of games of Osprey's new-ish Black Ops modern skirmish rules... and I'm pleased to report that they appear to work !
They are set in the same era as Force on Force, but are a lot more beer & pretzels, whilst still maintaining a bit of tactical depth and that real pace that is needed to make a modern skirmish game feel "real"
Having done some wargamer-scale "dabbling" in 1/300th Moderns for a while now (erm... 3 whole large armies and a lot of eBay fishing...) I'd been strangely drawn to the idea of supplementing the increasingly futuristic looking tanks and rather indistinct infantry with some SF Mechs and Walkers.
This new habit started with an unusually restrained initial outing at Warfare 2014 where I picked up a handful of Mechs and Walkers from Ground Zero Games. But then... I caved in and did some online shopping...
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