Heretical Gaming is my blog about my gaming life, featuring small skirmishes and big battles from many historical periods (and some in the mythic past or the far future too). The focus is on battle reports using a wide variety of rules, with the occasional rules review, book review and odd musing about the gaming and history. Most of the battles use 6mm-sized figures and vehicles, but occasionally 15mm and 28mm figures appear too.

Tuesday, 12 April 2022

Hobby Update 12th April 2022

The hobby time has bounced back a little after a short fallow period - mainly due to real estate issues at home as much as anything else.  But I have a set up which is working okay at the moment.  I have managed to get a few games in - there are still a couple which I have not round to writing up for the blog. 

First on the bench have been these Games Workshop figures featuring the party of dwarves plus Bilbo and Gandalf from The Hobbit.  The film likenesses were brought out very well in these figures!  As ever, my paint jobs are strictly at the functional end of the spectrum, but the paint job doesn't stop the figures coming through, IMHO.

Alongside them, I have been doing some of Gripping Beast's Dark Age Warriors.  Quite simple to put together and paint, they are pretty nice and I daresay I will find some uses for them!  At the back are a few of the Female Soldiers from the Frostgrave Soldiers II box.  I also got some Frostgrave Barbarians and some Stargrave crew, so they will be along shortly too, I hope.


Also on the painting bench at the moment are the 1/300 plastic aircraft from Plastic Soldier Company's Battle of Britain set.  They are quite nice really, looking forward to finishing them off too and getting some slightly prettier air warfare battles done!

I visited the Hammerhead show last month.  I had meant to spend a full day there, but my eldest daughter asked to come along, so that meant shortening it to a visit of a few hours instead.  My bank manager will thank her, I was ready to splash lots of cash in one go, which is pretty unlikely me!  Don't worry traders, I will make it up to you by Partizan, at the very latest.

It seemed busier than usual, particularly the pavilion and there looked to be a considerable scrum around the bring-and-buy tables the whole time I was there. 

Anyway, I got shots of a few games.  First up was a SYW battle from the Like A Stonewall group.  This used 40mm semi-flat Prince August figures, which I have a considerable soft spot for, since I had several Prince August sets as a kid.  They were going for a largely 'old-school' aesthetic, which I think they achieved, broadly:

My daughter got to roll some dice for the Austrians and seemed to roll impressively high! It was a very nice-looking game, but for my personal gaming I think this is the kind of thing I love to do with Neil Thomas' rules with more figures on the table in an eighth of the space in an eighth of the time.

Next one to catch my eye was a really good Star Wars game, with most of the models 3D-printed, the lady was explaining.  I didn't see the game itself underway, but all the toys looked really nice.

Combined land/naval games always look really good at shows.  I think this was a pirate game by COGS.  It was a huge physical game, but looked like a very large skirmish I think?  Anyway, lovely, lovely toys.

I think this next one was a What a Tanker game, by the Harrogate club, maybe? My companion (my eldest daughter) thought the buildings in this one were particularly nice.

This next was a real eye-opener, 'The Last Stand of George Thomas', one of those people whose lives truly were much stranger than most fiction!  Anyway, as ever, The Boondock Sayntes put on amazing looking games and are full of period knowledge - and I believe they won a well-deserved award for it.

Loving the big Kali model in the centre!

Can never get enough of Sikhs piling forward, regardless of period or location!

Very British Civil War stuff, truly the best ever setting for getting loads of random stuff onto the table!

A nice, bijou Sudan set-up:

And of course Pony Wars! Brought out of retirement.  Had a really interesting chat with one of the game presenters who was part of Ian Beck's original team.  I was able to explain what an impact this game had had on my thinking about wargames - that for some periods like this one, and for many later, that procedural generation of the enemy and neutrals had much to recommend it, since the opposing commanders were not really engaged in a recognisable face-off in the way that a SYW battle is 'about' Montcalm and Wolfe directly pitting their wits against each other.  I genuinely think it was one of those 'ahead of its time' concepts.  As the guy put to me, it was almost like a computer game but translated perfectly to the tabletop.

Pony Wars has such a distinctive look!

I did a bit of shopping too, but perhaps not as much as I had intended - there were still plenty of pennies left in the purse at the end of the day.  Partly this was because the show was really rammed and I just couldn't get to the Bring and Buy, partly because...I know what I really want and it wasn't there.  I want early World War 2 stuff, perhaps with some 15mm Moderns.  I want a few bits and pieces for 15mm World War 2 as well, but the exact stuff I wanted I couldn't find (it wasn't rare stuff, I am on about Polish and French early war infantry platoons), but perhaps they had sold out by the time I looked.  Better look at Partizan!  But I did get some bits and pieces - a few 'rounding out' things from Baccus, and the Frostgrave stuff I mentioned before.  

Additionally, the latest scenario books from Michael Hopper over in Canada arrived.  These are full of Napoleonic scenarios: Perfidious Albion 1806-1809 and The Rise of Albion 1809-11, the former featuring, despite its name, some scenarios featuring Swedes, Sicilians, Portuguese and Spanish as well as the British - who are fighting the Spanish and Danes as much as the French. The latter on the other hand features many of the Franco-British clashes from the Early Peninsular War, as well as a smattering of Spanish-French and Portuguese-French encounters.  Looking forward to playing my way through these!


  1. You have a lot going on at present. Thanks for the show recap.
    My two Perfidious Albion scenario books are on the way but having the maps in pdf leading the way spearhead is a real bonus.

    I look forward to watching you play your way through them too! I playtested a number of the scenarios.

    1. Thanks Jonathan - I always aim high, even if I fail to reach it. I play-tested part of the Bussaco scenario and very good it was too, so looking forward to doing some of these. There is even a 'very outside chance' I might do the Sicilians for Campo Tenese...

  2. You have been busy on a wide variety of things, which is good to see. So nice games on show there and nice to see that it was busy, but sadly limiting your ability to wander round it seems. I avoid the B'n'B tables as they do look like rugby scrums most of the time. Given my penchant for 10mm, there is rarely anything of interest there anyway, other than the occasional book.

    1. Yes, looking forward to getting a few games in with my new toys (although I am also looking forward to getting a few games in with my old stuff too!).
      I think the 'rented table' set up for BnB sales is good, but there are limits: because the stuff is turning over quite quickly, then it encourages lots of looking, which is fine, but it means that the pace never drops so if you aren't a slightly pushy shopper, you aren't going to see lots of stuff. If I was by myself I might have braved it more, but not with my daughter there since it would hardly have been any fun for her.

  3. As I was reading I was thinking "You have been busy". I get to the comments section and see I am not the only one thinking that!

    You have been busy. And the trip out to a show with your daughter sounds like it was great, even if it did curb expenditure :-)

    1. It was good, really nice to have a companion. She quite likes the figures, and she really enjoys RPGs too and hybrid games like Heroquest. She is a big fan of the Bad Squiddo ranges.