Sunday, December 28, 2008

In the Dog Days

Xmas 2008 has been and gone and we're now in the period between xmas and New year. The romans used to call these the 'Dog Days' and, at different times in their history, held the Saturnalia festival through them. I use them to think a bit about what has been and what is to come.

Miniatures - very little activity on this front. I have accumulated a number of 1/32 figurines of Napoleonic French to paint up, have started some but my painting room keeps being used as a spare bedroom (heresy!) whenever the urge hits, so have stalled. Similarly with the He 123 model. As for the miniatures wargaming, a distant memory waiting to come to life again!

Comp Games - Updated my versions of East Front and Operational Art of War. Played a small series of EF games v friend via email. Lost a week of my July Holidays to playing 'Great Invasions' - if I can find the time this holiday I'll be getting back to the dark ages for at least some of the time...

IL2 Flight Sim - Have accumulated only a few dozen hours flight experience this year, mainly in the form of chase scenarios to sharpen up my own skills while waiting for the time and energy to get back into the online arena.

Blogging - This blog has suffered also this year, with only a couple dozen posts on it - and a lot of them seems to be focused on the one aspect of my present gaming life (online MMORPG). On the other hand, my favorite bloggers in the gamesphere keep going from strength to strength and have kept me going when I wonder what it's all for. Keep it up guys!

MMPORG - Continue to immerse self in Renaissance Kingdoms. Becoming reasonably skilled at the modes of online organsiation and communication which this game relies upon. Have thrived in the RP aspects of the game, even having my 'home RP' being nominated for Kingdom wide awards (a great privilege). Clan Leader, General of the local Regiment, Advisor to the Steward of Scotland, local celebrity, peace keeper, traveller. My online persona keeps me busy! Meanwhile, on the other side of the planet, my aztec peasant in the Tribal Nations continues to grow strong in his pursuit of fishing and bean farming and will soon be strong enough to tour ancient mexico.

So - it's been a good year for MMORPG for me, but the other aspects have suffered. Due to domestic issues, for example, have hardly touched a 'traditional game'. As 2009 creeps over the horizon, I wonder what will be next in the evolution of this little gamer.

Happy yuletide to you and yours, and a safe new year! May your dice continue to roll above the odds!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

RIP Gary Gygax

I've just learned that Gary Gygax, co-author of the original Dungeons & Dragons, passed away earlier this year (March). Quite a shock and a tear in the eye.

This guy affected my life in a very major way, and gave me many many many hours of some of the most exciting friendship filled fun.

Despite the monster run away commercialised mega rip off that the orginal game seems to have changed into (it was out of his hands for more than the past decade, in defence of his memory), Gary's ethic was always to have fun, cut the crap, remember that the game is all. So true.

R.I.P Gary Gygax

Sunday, November 23, 2008

New Banner on RK forums

My new banner for use on RK forums.
Took me 20 minutes to make.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Wargamer's Delight

Before I launch off into another RK story, I should say that I'm flying again on IL46. Not a lot and not online, but am enjoying the feel of the virtual wind beneath my wings and the clattering life and death experience of stalking german bombers in my russian fighter plane. Still not a great pilot, but am building a bit of technique up. Beats me how some of the pilots I've seen can be so good!

Back to RK.

One of the joys of this historical MMPORG is the sense of wheels within wheels, layers within layers, always something being beyond the horizon when one tries to understand how the world works. Some of this is in relation to the 'rules' of the coded game (which admin have let the players work out for themselves as a deliberate act of policy).

Much of this sense of 'a bigger world out there', which generates the immersive effect of the game over time, comes from the forum based structures the various players have created to regulate the community. From the Clans and Guilds and Robber Armies to trading emporiums, court and church hierarchies, to governmental structures from town councils to National Assemblies, these larger bodies add meaning to the simple day to day actions of so much that goes on. One of these large organisations is the Royal Scottish Army.

Put simply, Scotland's three counties each has a Regimental structure composed of town bands, each commanded by a Band Leader. The Regiment is commanded by a General, assisted by a Councillor. Together with the Field Marshall sitting on top of the structure, the Generals and Councillors form the RSA High Command. The High Command is answerable to the people through the Steward of Scotland, who spends most of his time in the (s)elected National Assembly.

Most of the soldiers, however, are hardly aware of these arrangements.

The guts of the RSA is its town 'band' structure. Each town maintains its own Band, commanded by a Band Leader. They tend to be subdivided into Groups, which are led by Patrol Leaders. Groups perform the daily work of patrolling, guarding, escorting as required.

Thus, Galloway Regiment has about 50 soldiers organised into five town bands of varying strength and ability, performing a range of tasks that requires steady communication and reliability amongst its members. At its peak we had nearly 100 soldiers, but since then there has been an attrition of leaders as well as troops, partly due the stresses of conflicting goals and ambitions, partly due the stresses of frustrating game system changes over the past three months.

Due various ingame (rebellion, going rogue, being sued) and outgame (loss of connection, lack of time) our Regiment has suffered the loss of its last few Generals over the period when we needed them most. This has contributed to a sense of leaderlessness, which is poison to an army.

So, I was asked to become the General of the Regiment, an honour and a privelege. After considering the additional demands on my time and the stresses I was about to subject myself to, I accepted the promotion.

This is a wargamer's delight. It's like all that theory of supply, logistics, training, command being added on top of the more typical 'military' things of maneuver, combat, deception, coded into a game with thousands of players each taking a little role in character, facing off in real time other groups similarly composed. It's getting close to the 'real thing' as far as admin and organisation go.

I'll be filling in on this blog some of the things I do as general in between the battles which hardly ever happen. It's the stuff between the battles that determine who wins them. So I find it all pretty exciting (in an RK, long term kind of way),

Saturday, November 01, 2008

My gamer ethic in the RK

I recently posted the following on a RK forum. It forms part of a discussion about the fact that RK is a game, written in response to the increasing incidence of incidents of flaming, disrespect, harassment and (in some corners of the realm) a growing sense of ennui as players develop their characters to the 'outside edge' of the envelope (sort of like, "where do you go when you've got max stats in any game?").

BJB had posted earlier in the thread that he thought that much of this was people taking it all too seriously, mixing up their ooc and ig personas.

Hear Hear to much of what bjb said. In my little ubergamer view things there's a number of things at play. For a start, many of us are at different levels.

I see RK as many games in one (strategic, managerial, political, powergaming, role playing, chat/relax, historical trip). Inside each of these games lie various tactics and strategies. Each of us comes to this world for something a little different. On top of that, each of us brings our own type of gamer ethics.

The level at which I'm at stresses the RPG aspect of MMORPG. So that's where the following is coming from...

In game terms, the scheming plotting power playing megamaniac character is welcome in any game I play in. The rebellious criminal mercenary powermonger character is equally welcome. An elitist political interfering corrupt government should be the norm. All I ask is that the playing field is level and people don't shout at each other.

My character has adopted a certain persona. That has become 'real' over time. (And a little of Drac has crept into my persona also!) I too have been through that experience of the two personas blurring, though I think I managed to avoid the mental breakdown and the flaming that so often comes from that. I think I reverted to maintaining my responsibilities to clan and other bodies i was in, being a 30 minute player while I recovered.

I look around me now and see looming threats to a fragile nation, lots of entrenched attitudes and clashing personalities. The markets are getting closer to bursting, the economies are about to crash. And of top of it all the platform is unstable.

I the player am amused with the realistic potentials I see here for acting out historically accurate plots and subplots ingame. Be they rebellion, coup, war, economic collapse, etc. There are many darksides to this game. That is good and, from my readings of the wisdom of LJS, the way it is meant to be. For it gives us the chance to struggle to make things better.

My character will certainly do all he can to ensure that the present structure continues as long and as strong as it can. I wouldn't expect anything else from him. The player behind the character is pretty certain that that will lead to an entirely different style of game evolving as his world is changed around him.

Drac will be disturbed and might even lash out at that time. But that will be Drac, not me the player. It's a delicate balance at times.

But well worth the effort.

Just thought I'd share that with you.

Territorial Ambitions

I came across this post about territorial level D&D play over at The Verbing Noun. Made me think about the concepts of territorial ambitions for high level characters, initially in terms of old time RPGs but then in the new world of online RPGs i'm presently entranced by.

I never got one of my D&D characters up to the level 9 or 10 necessary to attain the level of territorial control, but I sure always thought it would be cool to do so. I did play in a campaign once where the world in which our characters lived and died was actually a D&D based strategic game, complete with monthly turns and table top wargames. That was fun.

These days, when I get my RPG kick out of the online MMPORPG Renaissance Kingdoms, the issue of 'territory' is soon going to rear its head in a fairly big way across the Kingdom. Some of the more egotistically altruistic players with Kingdom wide reputations will soon make a play to take over a County in a big way, setting up break away Kingdoms etc.

Which will drag me into it as a leader of the resistence, a royalist rebel, etc. Will be fun.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Cthulhic Laugh

Just came across this post about Cthulhu plush toys and similar weird things over at Jerusalem Gamer. Big laugh, especially the Cthulhu baby coat...

Cottage on Loch Fyne

Three weeks in real time have passed, about 48 hours in the RP started last month. It is an interesting experience, this RP on the forums of a MMORPG.

I and my two thieving comrades met up on one thread at 'Ben Gloum', began to establish our characters. We have since ran a thread on another of the forum's boards called 'Cottage on Loch Fyne'.

The events so far are quite simple. We came across a lone cottage with a barn. We snuck a look at the barn. Hearing some disturbance amongst the cattle in the barn, the lone occupant of the cottage retreated to her room and bolted the door. We took the cattle. She emerged after we had gone.

We have travelled through the night. On the morrow we are hoping to utilise a ferry across the Loch so that we can move the cattle to the southern markets before winter arrives. It will be sometime after we have crossed Loch Fyne and are working through the valley routes towards Loch Lomond and the southern cattle markets that we expect to meet up with a bunch of soldiers.

The soldiers have been exercising and practising their archery on another thread on yet another board. Our times lines are now roughly synchronised. Our NPCs have developed over the past month. It will be an interesting meeting when our group changes threads again to become NPCs in their's.

For interest sake, the cottager was played by another NPC of a player I asked to play the role. She did probably the only thing she could have done to keep her character alive and her cottage still standing. The Ferryman will likewise be another NPC played by yet another player I have invited. I am the only one who has any idea of who else is actually behind the masked NPC characters. Adds an element of mystery to it all...

'Scout', by the way, tracked the army group on their own thread for a couple of weeks, eventually retreating to the opposite side of the Loch and watching from a distance, before he faded into the woods and 'headed north to catch up with his boss'. He might be the deus ex machina we have up our sleeve as badguy NPCs crossing the mountain valleys with our stolen cattle when the army catches up with us.

Friday, October 03, 2008

RP in the RK

After over a year of playing RK I'm finally involved in a Role Play which exceeds the 'I post - you post' model. For what it's worth, here's the story behind the experience...

One of the army generals was keen to stir up a bit of activity in the ranks and so invited some fellow soldiers to come out on a 'training trip' to the highlands. They are doing this in a thread on a forum site called Highlands Hall. Basically, a party of about six soldiers are wandering up the east shore of Loch Lomond, have spent one night there, are going to continue on their journey towards the village of Lochgilphead on Loch Fyne. As far as the soldiers are concerned, they're coming out on a camping trip and will practice some of their bush skills and so forth.

They know that all is not totally right, however, because there has been the odd post in their forum by a NPC (non player character) called 'Scout'. He hasn't interacted with them beyond viewing them from a safe distance. In the evening he was briefly seen on a nearby hill top, he spent the night in an abandoned hut near the trail, in the morning they see him on the opposite side of the Loch after he stole a boat to get there.

Scout is in private communication with the General in command of the soldiers. In these communications Scout keeps the General informed about what is happening and planned with the other related threads of RP activity (see below) so that the the soldiers will turn up at the right place and time under the General's leadership for an exciting climax to their trip.

Scout's friends are a bunch of NPCs who met up on another forum and another thread. Their story started with some of them meeting on Ben Gloum ('Mount Gloom') on a misty night. They waited for some more NPC friends to gather and then headed off to Lochgilphead. Deciding there aren't enough of them to take the town, they have instead decided to go and attack a lone cottage for some supplies and entertainment.

These 'baddies' are all NPCs. No-one knows who is behind the various RP 'mask accounts' being used by the characters. The Ben Gloum 'meeting thread' occurred on a forum board called 'Gathering of the Clans', the raid on the cottage is developing on a third forum board called The Glen. The occupant of the cottage is being played by another player who has taken an NPC for the purpose.

Thus, there are three separate threads on three separate forum boards occurring. The 'leaders' of the various groups are in contact privately to keep time and space co-ordination, but apart from that the storylines would appear to be independent. The aim will be to guide the soldiers and the baddies together. Most likely by them noticing the plume of smoke of a torched cottage, or meeting up with the fleeing cottager (if she manages to RP an escape from the baddies).

The only really agreed ground rule is that player characters (soldiers) can't be killed or maimed without their permission, and that the NPCs (baddies and the cottager) will either die or run away.

It's been developing about a week at the moment. Probably another week or so to go before the climactic scenes when the soldiers and the baddies meet in a blood fest of RP combat.


Sunday, September 28, 2008

Online Peasant

My Tribal Nations character, Agapanther continues to develop in the Aztec milleux. Is now a bean farmer, works at the mines when he's not on his farm, spends maybe an hour a week in the pubs (well, maybe two). Not hypo about this game like I have grown to be about Renaissance Kingdoms, but doing nicely thankyou very much. Once I get my first harvest in I'll be able to start thinking about my stats. Unlike my guy in RK I think I'll not waste too much time in the level up process (but not be manic about it).

Just for interest's sake, here's a copy of my avatar from the TN forums:

I made the image from some snaps I'd taken of a grandchild's plaster fun house creation (a rainbow coloured plaster skull). Just played with Brightness and contrast, touched the 'hue'.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Tribal Nations

You'll know that I really really like playing my clan chief blacksmith soldier character in Renaissance Kingdoms. In fact, it regularly swallows large chunks of my life. And at times the thin line blurs between my game persona and my 'real self'.

Well. There's a new game release which has grabbed my attention, Tribal Nations (TN). It's the same game code/system, presumably under license, except its set in the Pre-Columban Americas of the 15th Century. It's been going only about a week and at the moment there's maybe 3000 players in three 'clans' (villages) in one province of the Aztec Empire. It will eventually grow to cover the continents from the bottom end of modern USA to the top end of South America. It seems most of the players have come over from RK, most of them playing an 'alter ego character' in TN.

I was put onto it by one of my clan members from RK and have just started. My aim will be to be a speed eating five minute ingame only player for as long as I can. And then try out the dark side of the system. Should make a nice counterpart to my RK life (which just grows more politically convuluted every day it seems).

Anyway, if you want to check it all out and get in on the ground floor, sign up today...

Added link to Online Campaigns on the sidebar

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter

I was passing through Gametraders (2nd hand computer game chain store) the other week when came across the next gen of the Ghost Recon first person shooter game stable. It was only $20 so I got it. I have enjoyed Ghost Recon since it first came out (way back early this decade). I've previously picked up the two expansions of the original GR. I haven't competed them, however, as other games took my time up in the meantime. I knew that this Advance Warfighter was out there, but had never seen it before.

Needless to say, I was quite looking forward to having a look.

Love it. Same old scenario based style of play from the original game, with each scenario having various sub objectives as you work your way through it. The first introductory mission is set in Guatemala City, a dense urban environment with nests of rebel snipers and sentries keeping the streets unsafe as you collect your scattered team and then try and complete your mission.

Very tense most of the time, great soundtrack. Your team is composed of three other soldiers which you can command through your HUD (Head Up Display) gear, much like the real thing in the digital battlespace of the 21st century.

I still haven't completed the first mission after over 10 hours of playing. Great Fun.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

RK - The Battle of Muirkirk

I've participated in a limited war in RK over the past month which culminated in 'The Battle of Muirkirk'.

Early in the month, took custody of Clan's sword, 'Blackwind'. This was the last artifact made by Ragehammer MacTavish. Was planning on a bit of an adventurous tour of Galloway with Ragehammer and another clan member, so we had set up our farms for a long absence and gathered supplies for our trip.

As we set out, a brewing crisis up in the County of Glasgow (where thieves, robbers, bandits and political rebels had formed an army and were extorting the local fishing village) suddenly exploded on the national scene (when the rebels decided to march south, threatening to lay waste) and the call went out to members of the Royal Scottish Army to join the colours. The town which our County's Regiment was to form up in was Wigtown, also the first town on our tour.

The players in my mob were all all soldiers of some rank, and armed with sword and shield for our own travels, and months of patrol duties had ironed out the technical issues involved with combining our actions. So we were the right blokes in the right place at the right time. We marched straight into the ranks and formed the skeleton of one of the eight platoons such a regiment contains (this later grew to five burly scottish warriors as a couple more from our town unit were assigned us upon their joining the ingame regiment).

After a couple of days rallying in Wigtown, the regiment marched north into the county of Ayr, halting for a couple days in the town of Girvan where we were joined by the Ayr County Regiment and more individuals marched under the colours. I had my work cut out in the pubs of Girvan trying to keep various ranking personalities from ripping each other apart while diplomatic solution was sought with the rebel army to our north.

Word arrived of the opposing rebel army, marching and recruiting on the road to our north, taking advantage of the truce that had been called for them to negotiate. The combined regiments marched to force them out of the town they were in. The rebels retreated to the next town up the road, stormed its walls and looted its town hall. This took them an extra day.

That was their mistake, as that gave us time to march up to the town and seal it off. We proceeded to storm the town the following day. About half of the rebels fled, most of those that remained were cut down or, at the least, severely wounded, at relatively small loss to the Royal Scottish Army (though our two fatalities were sore missed and much mourned). The following day we returned in full regimental strength to the south, leaving the locals to clean up the mess in the town hall.

On the road to the south we came across the rebels who had fled the town of Muirkirk when we had stormed it. We massively out numbered them and cut them down on the side of the road. We proceeded South.

Over a week later, I have disbanded my platoon from the Regiment and we are preparing to resume our interrupted planned adventurous trip!

Another quiet day in the Renaissance.

These events are known as 'The Battle of Muirkirk'. Through it all, was much instability in our squabbling and brawling National Assembly as it goes through its birth pangs, and the forums were down as are being restructured. An interesting time indeed.

The two Royal Regiments who put down the rebels had about 60 players in them combined. The rebel army probably numbered less than 25 at its peak. There were two fatalities in the Army, Rebels suffered about 15 dead. Death in this game means that you must remain in the town you 'die' in for 45 days, with loss to stats etc, if you die in a town - if you die on a 'node' (on the road) I believe you are permanently killed.

To co-ordinate the actions of this many people ingame, especially as the forums weren't working properly throughout, requires an active functioning online community (and don't forget, roads still need patrolling, farms still need working, towns and counties still need administering to keep the world moving on). A great gaming experience well worth the massive investment of collective hours days months and years which lie behind it imho.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

And more games

I visited the 'Hi Tech' fair at Wayville showgrounds last weekend. It was like it was hidden away in the back room of the shed of the 'Home Improvement Show' which dominated all the pavilions. But we eventually found Geek Corner. In Geek Corner was a big table with lots of greatly reduced comp games (ie $5 each). I couldn't help myself and got four games Diplomacy (after the board game), Panzers (Platinum - real time C&C type interface, WWII armour tactical), Merchant Prince II (Trading and discovery turn based strategy game of renaissance treachery and patronage) and Great Invasions (RTS mega game of dark ages 350 - 1066, military economic diplomatic and religious).

The last one has really sucked me in over the past week. The online reviews aren't very complimentary to it's understandibility or its documentation. The criticism is well justified. But the game appears well worth the effort to learn. I hope to pop up a brief review of the game in near future.

Renaissance Kingdoms continues to thrive by the way, have recently gone on an ingame tour of the scottish counties with a bunch of MacTavish kinfolk. Has been a great gaming and social experience. More on this also, soon.

I hope.

Monday, June 23, 2008

I bought some games....

Yep. After thinking about it and writing about it, I went out and purchased legitimate copies of John Tiller's Campaign Series and The Operational Art of War 3. Wow! Years more of gaming here I tell you!

Haven't really played either game yet, but spent quite a few hours poking around in their innards. Here's some of what I've found...

East Front has probably changed the least. There are a few new scenarios and unit types, but basically unchanged in its dimensions.

West Front has expanded to include the Spanish Civil War and, I think, the Greek Civil War. Particularly with the first, you can imagine how excited I am. I am already thinking of writing a whole suite of scenarios at Battalion and Brigade level, with everything from Assultos and Civil Guardia units to Dinamiteros and Moors, French F17 WWI tanks blasting away at armoured trucks, Hs 123s battling it out with Chatos. The included SCW scenarios are limited to 3, one being complexity level 5 and the other two, 10. So a bit of variety is called for! I also notice that there are Brazilian units, so the game is expanding into the numerous 'small wars' of the Carribbean and South America.

Rising Sun now incorporates the Chinese Civil War from around 1933 until 1950, complete with Nationalist and Red opposing forces, as well as Japanese. The expansion of the game to now include armoured trains, controllable warships, etc will have perhaps its greatest impact on this set of scenarios.

Apparently the whole mechanism has been tweaked as well. Very Impressed.

The Operational Art of War 3 contains a whole 20th century of warfare at operational level, including those conflicts of the balkans and middle east prior to WWI, WWI itself, WWII (of course), and the more famous international conflicts since. So now I can land at Gallipoli or invade the Grenadas or fight over taiwan, using the same game system. And a damn good system it is too!

They haven't got a SCW or Falklands scenario included. Their absence is a bit of a surprise to me, as both of these conflicts seem ideally suited to adaption to this system. Something for the designer bug in me to work on, no doubt...

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Hurricane v Donier 17s

I've been flying again a bit over the past week. Using IL46 flight simulator after a break of several months. Trying again to get my skills up. Doing it slowly. Have created a scenario using the 'quick mission' menus, 3 Do17's flying in near Smolensk and me in a Hurricane IIc trying to shoot them down before they either land or shoot me down, or I run out of ammunition. In maybe 7 hours and 30 attempts I've shot all three down on one occasion, though it was a close thing as I was left behind enemy lines without elevators. Shooting two down isn't too difficult.

Once I can consistently get all three and land back at my base I intend stepping up the difficulty by putting a Bf109 into the mix as an escort for the hapless bombers. When I am good enough to deal with that perhaps I'll go online again and not embarrass myself so much as I did last year!

Review - John Tiller's Campaign Series

I recently posted this comment on a review for John Tiller's Campaign Series over at, a bit cheeky considering I haven't yet seen a copy. Haven't been able to source a legitimate copy in Australia I'm now debating whether to a apply a crack to the copy I've found or, for the first time, pay good cyber dollars for a game. There'd normally not be an issue here (with my ethic of internet=free) but I, and I think so many other ubergeeks, who have enjoyed the game since it first came out as East Front in the early nineties feel some kind of moral obligation to reward the folk who have ensured we can continue playing long after XP is becoming a memory (East Front etc don't play on Vista).

Saturday, June 07, 2008

An Ancient Impulse Indeed

So why didn't Plato ever think to deck out a dungeon for his fellows to loot? ...
Many indie games are very close to being products of an anarchist collective.

"Dungeons and Dragons Owns the Future," The Escapist [7 June 2008]

While recently reading Jeff's Game Blog I followed the links in one of his posts to the above article (and a few others). I had found a genre of game culture which accepts that gaming is, in many ways, a modern analogue of an ancient impulse. In this deep level of metageekdom, the cultural invention of Aeschylus - ancient greek playwright who introduced dialogue to the story teller's art - is fairly equated with the later invention of Gygax and Arneson (publishers of the original D&D). Taking the conception a step further, Living Epic: Video Games in the Ancient World recognises the significance of emerging digital techne, creates a multidisciplinary syllabus for the study of online video gaming which draws on our understanding of the classical cultural roots of western culture (and, indeed, studies classical literature by drawing on our experience of online gaming).

All very interesting to me, what with my anthropological interest in these dimensions of the human experience.

So much so that it takes my thoughts back into the study of the phenomena which is occurring in PBBGs such as Renaissance Kingdoms. It'd be nice to tell that tale in both its 'internal' and 'external' dimensions. Is this the pursuit which the frustrated anthropologist in me has been seeking for?

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Hs 123 and East Front


Have acquired an old Airfix model, an 1/72 Hs 123. The box was a bit old and tatty, and the fuselage pieces were off the spruce when I opened it, but otherwise all seemed good. I came across it in a quiet little stall, under some more 'standard' model kits, in the gloomy back corners of the Junction Market, one of Adelaide's largish weekend markets held in industrial size sheds. Even though it's probably 25 years since I last bought a kit model, seeing the spanish markings on the box art, how could I resist? Now I just gotta build the bugger.

And I seem to have stalled on the French figures. 1/54 scale figures are a lot of surface area to paint!

East Front

As you might guess, East Front II was one of the first games I loaded onto the new hard drive. Am almost half way through a mid-level complexity scenario (mixed regimental level). I'm playing the german mixed group of defenders in 41/42 against a largely infantry russian wave. As usual, it is the T34s which cause the most grief. Wayne and I are exchanging repartee when we send each other our respective turns. Pretty funny.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Painted uniforms

I'm progressing slowly on painting up my 54mm napoleonic french artillery figures. I'm putting on the 'base' colours before adding detail. I'd found an excellent uniform guide on the web a couple weeks ago, and then the C drive melted down. So I can't locate that picture again. So, I'm now using the pictures on this handy site to base my uniforms on. Have done flesh and hair so far, am about to start the blue of the uniforms now.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

games wot I played and the online leap

Looking at the list of things that I've loaded into the computer recently, it's all online mediated stuff now. There are certain desktop standalone games I keep in a drawer because I'm sure I'll enjoy them again one day, but I seem to have made the leap from silicon to electron based gaming.

Thinking such meta-gaming thoughts recently I went for a browse on the topic and came across Open Bracket, a blog themed around online game development. Very interesting to me, with my anthropological bent. What endears me even more to the author is the fact that their current favorite online game is Renaissance Kingdoms!

For the record, in the past few months I've played Rook, The Great Dalmutti, Ticket to Ride.

Red Baron Crashes

I had a few computer problems recently but have rectified them since. Whewh. That'll teach me to not backup stuff! It sure was nice to have the opportunity to sit down to an empty C drive and an uncluttered desktop.

It's interesting to see what's been loaded on so far.

1. Internet - access to Renaissance Kingdoms.
2. East Front - keep an email exchange of turns going in a classic WWII tactical game.
3. Prepare to download the client program from hyperlobby to fly IL46 and get distracted.

It's like I'm stuck in a timewarp.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Awsome figures

I've just added a link to Jason's Historical Miniatures to the sidebar. Absolutely awsome sculpted figures of american revolutionary and civil wars!

I've recently come across some 1/32 scale figures which I'm thinking of painting up and came across the above site while looking for ideas. I bought some Russian WWII infantry figures, and some relatively high quality french napoleonic gun team models at a garage sale. I'll post up a little photo essay of the experience when I do.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008


Well. It's been awhile since I last posted again. Beginning to sound like a broken record. What's kept me so occupied? You guessed it, Renaissance Kingdoms strikes again.

I have swept ahead with my character, levelled up to become a level 2 blacksmith, spend my online day making axes swords and knives, trading on the market, chatting in the pubs, posting on the forums. The clan has grown to about 40 members, and is getting involved in most aspects of scottish life. In politics, am participating in national debate about draft constitution. Militarily, continue to take my monthly patrol with the Royal Scottish Army. Culturally, run a couple of threads on the forum at village level, moderate the clan forum, am setting up a national guild of scottish blacksmiths. Still raising pigs. Good fun.

In the bigger picture (if there is such a thing) I have started to play East Front II online again, at a much reduced rate of turn exchange with my old opponent "Red 1". I'm probably only flying once a month on IL2, but am no doubt going to take off again shortly.

In miniatures, we have cleared a room enough that it becomes feasible to think about setting up the table for the first time in this house (we moved here 18 months ago!). I'll also be able to seal off that part of the house from the smell with painting figures and scenery, which is good to know with winter coming on. I have inherited a small box of scenic accessories for 6mm from an old gaming buddy. I was selected as the most likely to use them.

Age doth take us all.

Will futher update as appropriate. Hopefully not so long between posts...

Tuesday, January 01, 2008