Saturday, 24 December 2011

Merry Christmas.

Well it's been one of those busy times again lately for me & mine, and I haven't had time for much Blogging at all really, which is a great shame. I have managed to fit in some rather good DBNapoleonic and DBColonial games, as well as a really good weekend game at Chez Alex, and a day at Chez Tim's too, as well as Smoggy & Recon, so it hasn't all been bad, and ... and ... I have also finished decorating the two boys rooms, so after a quick paint the wall job in the spare room, I reckon that the new year will usher in some serious spare time to enable me to paint & base a lot of stuff. And I have lots of it to catch up on.

I wish a Merry Christmas to you all, I hope it's a good one for you, and a Happy New Year too.
Best Wishes,

Friday, 11 November 2011

In Remembrance.

This photo was recently taken on a wander nearby to Ayton, by David Wright, one of our gaming chums.

When you see a field like this, it does make you stop & think for a moment or two, in remembrance of those who have gone before, and for those who are still serving. God bless them all.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Pickering War Weekend, October 2011

It was the annual War Weekend at nearby Pickering a few weeks ago, so here's a few pictures of the event. We've been away to Spain since then, hence the delay!
As usual, the day started well enough, with a rather large breakfast..

Pickering itself was well busy, and you could hardly get a look in, so we turned our attention to the village of "Le Visham", as usual done out as a German occupied area. Sentries were posted to ensure the locals good behaviour.

Germans looked on, as an Englishman abroad took in the sights & sounds of how things may have been.

I wanted to take this toy home .. there was one for sale in a militaria shop in Pickering, at around £1500 ... nice to have, but I don't see how I could have sneaked it past Mrs P. And then there'd be the credit card bill too. So I wimped out.

Peeler Jnr, by the newly Frenchiefied village sign.

This one was a jaw dropper .. we waited in vain for it to be launched, though it was pointed towards the distant moors.

German reenactors were generally chatty & helpful, and there wasn't too much strutting about.

This French patriot wasn't allowed into the occupied area, and had to make do with vocal resistance from the sidelines.

Onto to nearby Goathland, where the Allies were holding out. I have always thought that a .30 cal MG was pretty impressive ..

.. until I compared it with a .50 cal MG,, which was just mahussive. Difficult to jog around whilst shooting that one from the hip Rambo style I reckon!

The LDV were on guard near the train station, with some nice weaponry on display.

Bren gun on a tripod, not something I've seen before.

On the way home, across the moors, there was a road block .. deep undercover resistance fighters perhaps, or SOE reenactors? Whatever they were, the one in the middle was as hard as nails and refused to shift until I got out and gave it the word. It wandered off slowly, giving a look back that said,"Yeah, whatever".

An extra one from a recent boat trip on the Coronia, from Scarborough Harbour. I knew that the boat had been at Dunkirk, as had it's sister boat The Regal Lady, but hadn't realised the original name of it until I saw this plaque.

So there we are, a good day out was had, and we were lucky with the weather. Unlike whilst in Spain!



Monday, 10 October 2011

A damp week in Scotland.

Hi up there. Needless to say, but it's been a while .. again. Been busy, computer was very ill & then I couldn't get onto my own Blog. FGS! Well, now I'm on but the posting side seems to have changed - I really must try to keep up. What with extra shifts at work over the summer months, I've missed out on Newcastle & Derby shows sadly. My thanks to those new Followers who've registered despite my lack of posting recently, it's much appreciated.
As is usual in the summer months, my gaming has been a tad slow, (people are busy, on holiday, or working long hours), though a few of us have been able to work on a set of DBx rules for our Kallistra 10mm figures, which are coming on nicely & with a few more playtests & input from our other gaming chums, should be finished soon.
I thought I'd post about our damp week in Scotland - we had a pleasant enough time, staying near Dunbar, just south of Edinburgh, the only downside was that it rained. Pretty much all the time! Though it could have been worse, as there was flooding the week after we left. And it was that week in which those riots were on in London & other places too. Disgraceful behaviour I thought, which deserved a much more harsh response from the police & others, but hey - lets not get into that on here eh!
So, Scotland - a pleasant place to go, friendly people all round, and the food & beer was good & not too expensive either overall, which is worth noting in these difficult economic times. Which, however difficult things are, does not excuse rioting!! There, I've gone there again, I must stop that. Worth noting too that there was no such trouble in Scotland, as far as I know.
Here's a picture of a 25pdr, which for some reason was overlooking the bay at Dunbar. I don't know why it was there, but it was in good condition and my boys wondered if we could take it home on our tow bar. It would look good in our front garden I think.
An older artillery piece in a rare dry time at Edinburgh Castle, a marvelous place to visit. Whilst Mrs Peeler plans where to go next, Peeler Jnr keeps an eye on the nearby cafe ... as always, thinking of his next meal. Or snack. Or in between snacks snack. There are some good Regimental Museums here, which are well worth a look.

Good old General Haig, a much maligned fellow these days, looking very up for it.

There was a pretty good waxworks display of various events, this one caught our attention -

.. as Mrs P's late Father was called Alexander Stewart! It did make us chuckle as he'd probably quite like to wear that get up himself. And he'd probably claim some sort of ancestorship too, knowing him!

I can't quite recall if this next one was in the Castle or the nearby 'Edinburgh Dungeons', which were really good, but Peeler Jnr, being dressed in black, curled up in a dark corner & pretty much nearly killed me off as I turned the corner whereupon he unravelled himself and gave out a scary zombie like screech. It was a good job I wasn't armed, or he'd have been history on a reflex, I can tell you.

As you do, we went for a drive out over the countryside, and came across this - which looks like an entrance to an underground area. I presume it was something to do with drainage or perhaps an underground reservoir, or maybe a basement as in a recent dire Danny Dyer film I've seen.

Whichever it was, it was locked, and as we pondered it, the mist began to roll on in. We made our excuses & left swiftly, before anything bad could happen.

So there it is, not too many photos taken really, due to the poor weather. Did I mention it rained all damned week? I think I did. It's raining as I post this up, hopefully the weather will improve for this coming weekend, as it's the nearby Pickering War Weekend - large hurrahs, it's always a good do & seems to kickstart our autumnal wargaming period.



Monday, 27 June 2011

Armed Forces & Scarborogh WarTorn Show.

Well it was Armed Forces Weekend again in sunny Scarborough, this last weekend 25th-26th June, and as you can see, it was a good weekend to have it, indeed the Peeler family suffered from sun burn bordering on sun stroke just from the Saturday afternoon. Here's a view from The Spa, over the seafront toward the castle and harbour, it's a good view even on a damp squib of a day.

The Main Events were on the Saturday afternoon, and after a look round the various stalls & shows, it was parade time, led by a very smart Army band ..

.. followed by more serving soldiers ..

.. followed by retired soldiers. Needless to say, everything else came to a halt at this time, and people flocked to line the roadside and applauded as they passed.

Now I appreciate that this is a mere training aid for the sea cadets, but frankly, I want one. Preferably in my front garden.

Peeler Jnr spotted some of those sandal wearing smelly hippy anti-armed forces types in the near distance, and swiftly took positive action ..

.. actually I'm joking, there weren't any protesters this year, thankfully. They got short shrift the last time they bothered. All in all, it was good weather, a good event, and was thoroughly enjoyed by all who attended. It also reminded the Armed Forces that we do actually care, and that we do support them.

Onto the WarTorn Show, organised by Scarborough Wargames Club & Richard Jackson of the Loughton Club, both of whom I've known for some years, on and off. I have been a member of both, and originally got into the Loughton Club, in my 'down south' years, by meeting up with Kevin Brazier, which led to a renewed interest in Napoleonics & the rather good GdB rules written by fellow member Dave Brown (yes yes, I know, I'm name dropping ..). They were attending & putting on a very nice looking 28mm game, and also, a fair amount of beer & curry was to be had ... oddly, we met up each evening in The Cask, a pub I haven't frequented since my youth, so it was quite a nostalgic weekend really. I think the curry house was The Eastern Promise, opposite the Market Place, and a fine meal was had. With beer, obviously. Then more beer, back at the Cask again. Myself & Norman managed to fit in a visit to the Forge on the Friday too, just for good measure. I did forewarn them, and the cat was ready for him. Thinking on it, beer seemed to be quite prominent over this weekend.
Now, a couple of years ago, for various reasons, some of us local gamers departed after some years, from the Scarborough club, and have 'done our own thing' since then as the 'Yorkshire Coast Wargamers', and a happy time we've had of it too. We did wonder, in that soft fluffy concerned sort of way, if we should go to this show or not, as in would there be tears & tantrums, faceslapping at the door, harsh stares , giving of the evil eye and so on .. and we decided that we'd be daft not to go, as it's on our doorstep and heck anyway, like we're all grown ups aren't we? (Well, some of the time at least!). I'm happy to say that there was no daftness. Or if there was, then I missed it...
So several of us went along, merely as punters, and I have to say I'm glad that we did - it was a well planned, decent quality show, with a number of decent games on, and enough traders to fill the two halls. There was also a bar - which served a very decent Wolds beer - and we had two good lunchtime nattering sessions with Andy of Old Glory, Brown, Richard, Norman, Kevin, Alex et al, during which I think we almost put the world to rights. I don't know what the door numbers were, it's maybe fair to say that it wasn't exactly heaving (not a bad thing though), but these things can take a while to really take off, and given the right support we're hoping that it becomes an annual event. For a first show, I'd say they did well enough. If you can get to next years show, as a gamer, trader or punter, then I'd suggest you make the effort - it's a right good weekend, though I can't say that we can grantee the same decent weather!
An early port of call for me was to have my 'Complete Victoria Cross' Book signed - in person - by the Author himself, the good Mr Kevin Brazier. I have to say Kev, it was an honour!

Meanwhile, poor Gary showed the effects, to put it politely, of a Southern chap overindulging in far too much Northern Ale. And other alcoholic beverage besides, I reckon. This was several hours after his recovery began, and he still wasn't his usual ambient self. He did, to be fair to him, recover during the Saturday evening curry, during which he drank some milk.

The Loughton game, Basauco, in 28mm. The boards were put together by Richard Jackson, and here we can see Mr Brown affecting to be not at all bothered whilst Derek does his best to blow his columns away. The table was really effective & made to a modelling standard, rather than just the usual boards that we all generally use. The photos don't do it justice.

A general shot of the lower hall. As said, it wasn't really busy, but I think there was enough at a first show to say that it was worthwhile and bodes well for the future. In some areas, the lighting could have been better, but hey, you can't have everything eh.

An interesting Roman Warlord figures game, lots of beastly Britons erupting from the woods on the unsuspecting columns.

One shot of a small part of the spectacular game put on by Mr Rob Ringrose, this was an absolute joy to see.

Scarborough Wargames own game, stacks of 28mm Naps on there.

And last but not least, Kev Braziers Alamo game, a marvelous model, stacks of Mexicans, and individual defenders too. It looked & played well, and had clearly been well researched.

Purchase wise, I only really wanted a few more of those Blue Moon 15mm Marlburians from Old Glory, but, whilst naturally I would hesitate to label Andy 'a temptress', he did in fact push a box of AWI under my nose - so I had to have some of them too. Just enough for a DBx type game you understand .. and I hear that Blue Moon are soon to release Napoleonics too. So many figures, so little time ..

Overall, a right good weekend was had, it was good to meet up with my local chums, me old Loughton bunch, Norman, Andy and others besides. Oh, and Gary & Glynis! And the beer intake was pretty darned good & manly too. Now, I really need to get painting. Marlburians first I think.



Tuesday, 17 May 2011

The Ayton WD3 Weekend

Well, it was a good two weeks ago now, the last weekend in April, and this is me finally getting around to posting about it. Starting off late last year with an off the cuff comment, then a solid suggestion, which swiftly led into a full blown rather well planned plan on the WD3 Forum, around twenty gamers, both local & from far away, met up at our own local Ayton Hall for a weekend of gaming, socialising and partaking of food & beer. The weather was unseasonably warm and dry, and the chaps were in good heart I'd say.
The 'main game' was an 18thCentury fictional, led & well umpired by the good Mr Hyde of BattleGames fame. He supplied the rules and his own splendid collection of Spencer Smith figures, and around a dozen players also added their own smaller collections, painted for the event, to the fray. I have to say, it was a joy to see those historic S/Smiths in the flesh, and also to see some newly painted figures - Ian from Essex, if you're reading, that WH Btn was just wonderful.
As well as the 18thC game, we had Bob with the VBCW game, Norman's Viking game, and Tim's Toy Soldier game, which all added to the general pleasant gamey atmosphere of the weekend. We met up around 5pm on the Friday, and the tables were swiftly set up and terrain laid out ready for an easy start the next day...

The Hall has been recently refurbished, and naturally HM still has pride of place on the main wall.

Norman, Tim & Richard decide which game to try first..

... whilst the VBCW game gets going at a cracking pace.

Not all of those attending had met before, and it was good to see how quickly we all gelled into an easy-going group, which made the setting up quick & easy, and we then retired to the Dennison for some rather large meals, thence to The Forge for copious amounts of beer and a right good natter.
The 18thC games started off as three separate tables on the Saturday, following on from the campaign run by Henry. All three games would then lead into one large game on the Sunday. Here we have Lord Peeler's forces dutifully marching out to take on Tim Hall's advance guard.

Which, as they quickly foundd out, was mostly mounted and fairly dangerous too. A long & drawn out cavalry melee ensued, during which Tim's superior cavalry did rather well.

After dispersing Peeler's mounted forces, Tim's cavalry took on the Light infantry, and gave them what can only be described as a good slapping.

After clearing them out of the way, the mounted horde was only stopped by some well aimed volleys from the regular line, waved on by Lord Peeler himself. It was with a sigh of relief that this initial encounter came to an end, with the ominous warning from Mr Hall that, "You do realise that was ONLY my advanced guard don't you". Hmm, it was worrying.

The three 8x6 tables were reorganised and pushed together to form one 24x6, and the terrain & figures set up so as to be ready for the next days main battle. We then retired to the Dennison for some rather large meals, thence to The Forge for copious amounts of beer. No doubt an awful lot of waffle was talked, but frankly, I can't remember much, except that we all had a very nice time and lost the power of speech in the early hours of Sunday.
The setup on the Sunday, with all players present if not feeling quite correct.

My own forces were arrayed opposite Tim's again, and I realised how much he had. Also, they were from John Ray's rather fine collection, and the standard of painting simply dazzled my own troops. Yes, that is my excuse for what happened, and I'm sticking to it.

My line advanced forward to exchange musketry with their opponents, which soon led to high losses on my side.

Both dazzled and outflanked .. what chance did they have, eh!

To my immediate right, a large skirmish firefight went on inconclusively for most of the game.

Several players had a go at Tim's & Norman's games, and had jolly time of it.

A general view of the table. My own forces are arrayed in front of the central town.

Whilst to my left, my allies were busy getting a sound thrashing themselves.

Back to mine, and whilst the Foot slogged it out, a Cuirassier charge made utter mincemeat out of one of my Btns, and was so successful that it carried on into another, breaking that one too, as can be seen. Things were not going well!

When most of my forces had finished dying, there was only one thing for it - to send in The Nuns of the Ditch, an elite unit of tooled up Nuns with attitude & faith, armed with fearsome close quarter weapons. It made no difference as they too got blown away, and even had the indignity of losing their cassocks, as well as some other garments, which we will not talk about on here.

Toward the end of the day, with a clear winner, Mr Hall was good enough to offer terms, and our side was withdrawn back into the town, there to recover and mull on their rather harsh defeat. The Nuns had to be fed & watered with mead and steak & mead pie, such was their upset at being so easily defeated. Lord Peeler was left alone, in a darkened room, there to contemplate his future.

The games & tables etc were cleared away with great speed, and after a general witter, most players left for home, happy with having had a most pleasant weekend of gaming and meeting up with fellow posters from the WD3 Forum. Here's a picture of most, a happy looking bunch if you ask me..

And just when I thought, well that's that then, and was beginning to get that usual 'coming down' feeling after such a good weekend, those of us that were left, about a half dozen, went .. that's right, to the Dennison for some rather large meals, and thence to The Forge for copious amounts of beer. I think we'd all weigh a bit more by the Monday, certainly my work clothes seemed unnaturally tight by the time I got back... Words fail me to describe what a good weekend we had of it. It was good to meet up & game again with Tim Hall & Norman, meet up with Henry again, and to just be part of such an august gathering of gentlemen gamers. As Tim said, "Twenty odd gamers meeting up, some for the first time, and not a single figure dropped or terrain piece broken, and not a single harsh word." It was indeed, as Henry said, all done in the true "spirit of wargaming".



PS - and plans are already afoot for another bash next year!

PPS! - And a LARGE thankyou to Mrs Peeler & Mrs Wright for the large amount of sandwiches & cakes throughout the long days. We'd have passed out through hunger without you.