Game of Thrones

While driving around the country yesterday I listened to the first 5 hours of the audiobook “A Song of Ice and Fire”, better known as volume one of “Game of Thrones”.

Today, with a mountain of ironing to process, I watched the beginning of the TV series. I have seen it before, but with the original writing in my head it made much more sense. The production, locations and characters are superb, and as close to the book as one can achieve for an entertaining TV series.

I particularly like the opening sequences (developed as the story progresses) depicting mechanical gearing operation, indicating the background political mechanics, and which is later reflected in the pseudo-mediaeval castle backdrops.

One problem with the audio book is the allocation of British Regional accents to characters, and particularly the lack of consistency. I am not sure that I am in favour of using regional accents to identify characters, even if Westeros has similarities to Britain in its geography. But when a character who speaks with a Lancashire accent for three chapters suddenly becomes Welsh and a scotsman migrates to Yorkshire at the same time I start to question the production values.

2014 and a new freedom

Happy 2014 everyone.

For me this is a turning point.  It is the last year of my working life and my employer has agreed that I may work from home, saving me around 3-4 hours each day in wasted driving time.  This means that in addition to my plan to take more exercise and reverse the increasing size and weight of my body, I will (memsahib permitting) have the time to return to several abandoned wargaming projects.

I am a wargaming butterfly, flitting from project to project as the fancy takes me.

The first resurrected project is my 1700 campaign, for which I have already fought one battle and started a new page on the blog.

This week the focus is on my 1901 game.  Again it is a simple solo campaign, based on the board game of Diplomacy, but all the battles are fought with model soldiers or ships.  I am struggling a bit with fleet vs army actions, but usually work on the basis that a fleet attacked by an army has landed a shore party equivalent to half an army force, with additional support from naval guns (either off table support or landed as in the Boer War that is recreated each year at the British Military Tournament ( formerly the Royal Tournament)).

The next battle is the French attack on the British fleet occupying Brest.

Watch this space…  

Introduction

I started this blog to publish a record of my exploits in the world of wargaming with miniatures. It will probably be highly irregular in publication, but my intention is to make an update at least once a week, and to have some progress to report, despite real life intervening.

About me.
I am in my late fifties and have been wargaming in one way or another since 1968 when my parents bought me Terry Wise’s book “Introduction to Battle Gaming” for christmas. Films like “Charge of the Light Brigade” and “Waterloo” inspired me to buy and paint loads of Airfix soldiers.

Next I moved into World War Two, still with 1/76 or 1/72 models. A school friend and I spent many Saturdays not quite finishing battles.

I married and wargaming took a back seat, but I discovered a game by Merit called “Combat” endorsed by General Sir Brian Horrocks, just before the birth of my first child. I then found some 1/300 models and expanded the game to include infantry, in the form of lorries. The next discovery was SPI’s “Arnhem” game, which is still my favourite hexgrid board wargame.

Later, single again and moving to smaller premises, the 1/72 collection was sold and I invested in 1/300 scale English Civil War armies. I had by now discovered historical re-enactment and my battles alternated between 1/300 and 1/1 scale soldiers. The re-enactment took over as main hobby in a variety of wars in the gunpowder era.

Many years later, with a big enough house to host a wargaming room and a new wife to ensure it’s never available for that purpose, I have returned to wargaming as my main hobby. I still re-enact, but have found a compromise as a pensioner of les Invalides in 1812, presenting the battles of my youth as public displays with home-made wooden equipment in a style that could have been invented by an old soldier as a pastime.

I have a number of long-term projects that I will work on from time to time. Amongst these are:
– A campaign of the whole of World War Two, based on the “Axis and Allies” board game, but using weekly based grand strategic turns and converting the combats to tabletop battles with GHQ miniatures and (probably) “Blitzkrieg Commander” rules.
– Operation Market Garden, using SPI’s Arnhem game and local combats in 2mm scale on a 6cm hex terrain.
– An imagi-nation set on the island of Belgica (Belgium). Two ready-made countries with six provinces each and an independent city state. Each country conveniently has an exclave in the other to fight over. This will use figures culled from games of Risk.
– The wars of the Spanish Succession in 6mm at a figure scale of 1:10 with Irregular Miniatures troop blocks.

I have several other piles of unpainted lead in the toy cupboard, but that will do to be going on with.