Thursday, 7 September 2017

Book Review: Battles of the Dark Ages by Peter Marren

In an attempt to inspire myself to finish off my Saxon warband for our planned Bloodeagle campaign I have been reading Battles of the Dark Ages by Peter Marren.



The book covers most, if not all, of the important battles that took place in the British Isles during the Dark Ages (covering 410-1065AD). The writing style can be a little dry at times, but it is fairly easy reading and goes into some depth on the more important battles.



The book gives a good insight into the political and military history of the British Isles through the period, with plenty of interest to the Dark Age wargamer.



There is a Gazetteer at the back of the book which lists nearly a hundred and thirty battles from 410-1065AD. If that doesn't give game possibilities, nothing does...



I would say that I feel the author has spent a little too much time researching the locations of the battlefields and could have gone into more depth on the tactics and strategies used. Afterall, the book is called Battles of the Dark Ages, not Battlefields of the Dark Ages. However, as the "Dark Ages" are called that due to the lack of information, I understand that there is not much detail to base the book on, and looking at the actual battlefields is useful for attempting to work out how a battle was actually fought.

On the whole, a good and useful read.

Note:-

I have just noticed that the blog passed the half million pages views mark sometime last month. Now as I haven't been posting very much recently I am very thankful that the blog still seems to be drawing quite a bit of interest. I will try to post more regularly over the coming months.

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Carronade 2017 Follow Up

I have had a couple of days to think about Carronade now and I think it is worth a second post...

Mainly I want to cover the painting competition format, which is somewhat different to the other shows I have entered.

I must admit I don't have extensive experience at competing in painting competitions, I have only done so at the two North East of Scotland show (SKELP and TARGE). However, the format of those competitions does differ somewhat from that of Carronade.  I must point out that I am not saying that it is either a good or a bad thing, just that it caught me a little by surprise.

Firstly, as Carronade is a large show, I was surprised at the small number of categories.

Historical Single Figure
SF/F Single Figure
Historical Squad
SF/F Squad
Vehicle
Junior

I would have expected to see a few more in there such as Diorama, Army and possibly an "Open" for anything that defies categorising.

The other part of the painting competition that somewhat caught me by surprise was the lack of a presentation ceremony. Now, as I am not the most extroverted of people, I was quite happy about that. The prizes were in cash rather than vouchers, which meant I didn't have to run around at the end of the show trying to find something to spend them on, another plus...



The trophies themselves are nice little glass shields and something that I much appreciate, is that I get to keep them, ad don't have to return them for next years show. I would, however, have liked to have had my name engraved on them, but there isn't really a spot for that...

NOTE: If any of the organisers of Carronade read this, please don't see these comments as criticisms, I only offer them as suggestions for how you could consider developing the painting competition in the future.

Now, I think it is time to look at my purchases for the day.

I bought several rule books, and top of my shopping list was the Gothic expansion for In Her Majesties Name. I was hoping to collect this from Craig Cartmell himself, as I did last year with Blood Eagle, but unfortunately, he couldn't make it this year, so I ended up getting it from Caliver Books instead.


While I was at Caliver's stand I also picked up En Garde! from Osprey Publishing. I am slowly putting together a Border Reiver game (with figures from Reiver Castings) and have been looking for suitable rules. As En Garde! has an army list for the Border Reivers it seems like a perfect fit.


I also had a browse of the minis that Caliver had, and was pleasantly surprised to see they had some of the Lucid Eye Neanderthals (I got the chieftain a couple of years ago and have been after the rest since then...). I added the Amazon Warleader to the purchase, as I couldn't resist it.


My final purchase from Caliver were a couple of miniatures from the Wayne's World of Wonder range produced by Miniature Figurines. The first one bears a remarkable resemblance to a comic character that I remember reading in the old Warrior Magazine from the early 1980s, Axel Pressbutton. The second is a hulking mutated figure carrying a rather vicious looking gun. As he is wearing a german helmet I had to add him to my Weird War collection.


The only other miniature that I got on the day was this tasty little barbarian from Four A Miniatures. I had originally ordered it as part of their recent Kickstarter, but they had run out of castings. They sent me a couple of alternatives at the time, but very graciously gave me this one for free while I was chatting at the stall! I know it is an awful photo, but I will try to do something a little special with it when Ii paint it up...


The rest of my purchases came from the Flea Market. Having a love of all things Pulp, I have been tempted to try some "Back of Beyond" type games for some time, and I spotted this rather tatty copy of Triumph and Tragedy for the token sum of £2, along with it's Colonial Supplement (also for a mear £2). So I really couldn't resist. I guess I will have to pick up some of Copplestones Back of Beyond minis now...


The same table at the Flea Market also had a copy of Gloire and it's supplement Under The Black Flag. I bought Gloire direct from Rattrap Productions when it was first released but I had never bought the supplement, so this was snapped up. IT was also a nice reminder as I will have to see if Gloire will be suitable for the Border Reivers game...


As I was leaving the Flea Market room I spotted a copy of the boardgame Senji. I have wanted to get a samurai game for a few years and have not found one that I was totally taken with. Senji looks like it has the mix of flavour and strategy that I am looking for and I managed to pick it up for £15.





This finishes my coverage of Carronade, so back to the normal focus of the blog for the next post.

Saturday, 13 May 2017

Carronade 2017: Wargames Show Report

Just back from a visit to Carronade 2017 a few hours ago and time for a photo dump.

In the morning we had a table booked at the flea market, I must admit, the flea market system is an inspired one that seems to be very popular. The tables were all booked up, all day and everyone seemed to be doing very well. It clearly works for the organising club too, as they don't have to allocate several staff to run, the more usual, bring and buy, they just have one person on the check in desk.
Clearly the people who had the tables were also enjoying meeting their customers and being able to negotiate deals.
I did reasonably well and managed to make enough to cover my purchases for the day, although Jeff, who shared my table didn't do quite so well.
After the flea market, we grabbed some lunch and then took in the rest of the show. There were a very good mix of traders there and I spent most of the afternoon browsing them. Unfortunately, this meant that I only got a cursory look at the games on show. I did however, manage to nip around and take some photos. So here is the photo dump...










































 








Not very informative, I know, but I didn't have a chance to get any details. Still, I think you will agree, a very impressive display of well made and attractive tables.

As well as perusing the trade stands I also entered three pieces into the painting competitions. It was a very pleasant surprise, when I wandered by in the afternoon, to find that I had won 1st and 2nd place in the single figure category.


So, all in all, a good day...

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...