31 December 2011

2011 Reflections

Another year comes abruptly to an end (again without permission I might add) so what have we done with it? Actually, a great deal I can honestly say and even more than 2010, which can be summed up with “Dark Ages” and “Blood Bowl”.

For the former, it actually started off as a Bleaseworld inspired focus month in March, but them I amazed myself with my persistence to a single gaming genre for many months (this was, in fact, unprecedented), helped in no small way by my buddies who managed to get together every month and get a great Viking campaign going.  I would also say that the encouragement from you all here at the blog also helped a great deal too!

In our sagas we invaded Saxony, defeated the Saxons, smashed the Saxons, slaughtered some trolls, rescued a Princess and had all sorts of merriment: lots of good fun grows from the shaft of an Danish Axe! (and ale horns too...). The Lad loved it too and the concept of character development was something he really got his teeth into. 
The 'Deathstars'

Which is what he then did in spades from about mid year when he discovered Blood Bowl. Actually I was rather amazed at how quickly he has picked up this game, and its specific nuances. He got his first team, the Orc 'Deathstars' and has since tried coaching a number of other races.  I have loved rediscovering this gem which I have played on and off (more off though sadly) since the late 1980s.  I had fun with my old skaven team but also have been developing the Vampires, which has been an enjoyable challenge.

Orc star blitzer scores a TD at "Blocktober'

We have also expanded this genre to include listening to BB related podcasts when we travel, so thanks to Three Die Block for all the great ideas, advice and good laughs along the way. We also attended the 'Blocktober' tournament in Melbourne and met some great guys there who were very welcoming.
The Lad scores his first ever TD!
Event wise this year we had our Festival of the Boot, went to the Nunawading Wargames Association Open Day, played at Conquest 11, and had a nerdgasm at Supernova.  Most importantly though, we got together with friends to play no less frequently than monthly and played twice with Owen at Western Wargames Association.  Great times.

To cap off the year, in the week before Christmas the Man Cave was relocated almost a thousand kms Northwards – thanks for all the well wishes and yes it all went well with only a few gaming related casualties. I also just had an article being published in WargamesIllustratedIssue 291, with my thoughts on how to train an opponent, and featuring the Lad extensively as you might imagine.

So a good gaming year, well focused without too much divergence.  Accordingly projects like Weird WW2 and VSF didn't get much (if any) attention, but it cant all be done.

2012 will have a different focus, though we will start off with the Man Cave Gamers' Viking Demo Game at Cancon on 28 January, which will be a first for us. For the next two years my job will see me travel away from home extensively and have minimal time for modelling.  BB will be there on the weekends when I get home to the family, but I'll have a different gaming focus next year. Some seeds are currently germinating and I'm looking forward to seeing where they lead!

In any event, 2011 was a great year of gaming in the Man Cave. In fact, one of the best for a long, long time.  Thank you indeed for all the support at the blog and wonderful comments and encouragement.  The Lad and I   wish you all the best for 2012 (unless the long predicted apocalypse occurs that is...)  Now we are off to finish the last day of the year with a Blood Bowl grudge match of my Undead against the Lad's new Chaos Team (good one Santa!)

29 December 2011

Moved in and Online!

Moving into the new house (well back into our old house but you get the idea) four days before Christmas was always going to be a challenge, but its done and dusted now.  And to top it off, today those magical 'connected" lights flicked to green on my wireless modem.  Huzzah!

The move went well with relatively few breakages, though when it comes to modelling one is always particularly sensitive to any scratch.  All repairable in any case - thanks for all the well wishes!

Santa brought some great gaming goodies this year - Christmas round-up to follow shortly!

24 December 2011

Merry Viking Christmas

I thought this one was appropriate after all the Dark Ages gaming we did in 2011!
From our Man Cave to yours, we wish you a safe and Merry Christmas.

14 December 2011

Man Cave on the move...again!

Yep, time for the biennial Man Cave relocation - this time back to Canberra.
I'll be offline for a bit, and praying that all my minis arrive safely!

11 December 2011

Inspiring Urban terrain

In preparing to relocate the Man Cave later this week I was committing an unwelcome neatness and chucking some bits and bobs.  Like many of you, I have a bits box bigger than Pandora, and I have long planned some WW2 style urban ruins with lots of the bits.

I recently came across this in a bit of unsanctioned net surfing, and think it has some great inspiration for this style of modelling project.  Note that Brian's work  won an award for best themed table at a GW Games Day - and well deserved too in my humble opinion!

Back to the packing...

10 December 2011

Both Down

Just when you were getting over the demise of "Tackle Zone Radio", a new BB podcast appears in time for Christmas - thanks Santa!!!

09 December 2011

Christmas Health and Safety.

Before we get down to the happy business of singing Christmas Carols later in the month, the following are some things to consider from an Elfin Safety point of view:- 
Jingle Bells. 

Dashing through the snow, in a one horse open sleigh
O'er the fields we go laughing all the way

A risk assessment must be submitted before an open sleigh is considered safe for members of the public to travel on. The risk assessment must also consider whether it is appropriate to use only one horse for such a venture, particularly if passengers are of larger proportions. Please note, permission must be gained from landowners before entering their fields. To avoid offending those not participating in celebrations, we would request that laughter is moderate only and not loud enough to be considered a noise nuisance.

 While Shepherds Watched. 

While shepherds watched their flocks by night all seated on the ground,
The angel of the Lord came down and glory shone around

The union of Shepherd's has complained that it breaches health and safety regulations to insist that shepherds watch their flocks without appropriate seating arrangements being provided, therefore benches, stools and orthopaedic chairs are now available. Shepherds have also requested that due to the inclement weather conditions at this time of year that they should watch their flocks via cctv cameras from centrally heated shepherd observation huts.
Please note, the angel of the lord is reminded that before shining his / her glory all around she / he must ascertain that all shepherds have been issued with glasses capable of filtering out the harmful effects of UVA, UVB and Glory.

 Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer 

Rudolph, the red-nosed reindeer had a very shiny nose.
And if you ever saw him, you would even say it glows.

You are advised that under the Equal Opportunities for All policy, it is inappropriate for persons to make comment with regard to the ruddiness of any part of Mr. R. Reindeer. Further to this, exclusion of Mr R Reindeer from the Reindeer Games will be considered discriminatory and disciplinary action will be taken against those found guilty of this offence. A full investigation will be implemented and sanctions - including suspension on full pay - will be considered whilst this investigation takes place.

We Three Kings. 

We three kings of Orient are, bearing gifts we traverse afar.
Field and fountain, moor and mountain following yonder star

Whilst the gift of gold is still considered acceptable - as it may be redeemed at a later date through such organisations as 'cash for gold' etc, gifts of frankincense and myrrh are not appropriate due to the potential risk of oils and fragrances causing allergic reactions. A suggested gift alternative would be to make a donation to a worthy cause in the recipient’s name or perhaps give a gift voucher.
We would not advise that the traversing kings rely on navigation by stars in order to reach their destinations and suggest the use of RAC route finder or satellite navigation, which will provide the quickest route and advice regarding fuel consumption. Please note the camels carrying the three kings of Orient will require regular food and rest breaks. Facemasks for the three kings are also advisable due to the likelihood of dust from the camels hooves.

 Away in a Manger. 

Away in a Manger No Crib for a bed
That's enough ..... Quick .... call the Social Services.

08 December 2011

NASA Telescope Confirms Alien Planet in Habitable Zone

"The potentially habitable alien world, orbits a star very much like our own sun. The discovery brings scientists one step closer to finding a planet like our own — one which could conceivably harbor life, scientists said."
At least we know where the invading Bug horde will come from now!
Planet Kepler 22b - Lovely this time of year
EDIT: Maybe those dirty bugs are already here!!!

07 December 2011

Another Christmas Joke

Three  country boys died on Christmas Eve and were met by Saint Peter at the pearly gates.

'In honour of this holy season' Saint Peter said, 'You must each possess something that symbolizes Christmas to get into heaven.'

The cowboy from Mudgee fumbled through his pockets and pulled out a lighter. He flicked it on. 'It represents a candle', he said.

'You may pass through the pearly gates' Saint Peter said.

The logger from Gunnedah reached into his pocket and pulled out a set of keys. He shook them and said, 'They're bells.'

Saint Peter said 'You may pass through the pearly gates'.

The old Narrabri farmer started searching desperately through his pockets and finally pulled out a pair of women's panties.

St. Peter looked at the man with a raised eyebrow and asked, 'And just what do those symbolize?'

The Cocky replied, 'These are Carols.'    

05 December 2011

Military Wreckage

Apart from just being cool pics in their own right, there are some great terrain/modelling ideas here!

03 December 2011

Bear Remover

A man wakes up one morning to find a bear on his roof. 
So he looks in the Yellow Pages and sure enough, there’s an ad for ”Bear Removers.”

He calls the number, and the bear remover says he’ll be over in 30 minutes. The bear remover arrives, and gets out of his van with a ladder, a baseball bat, a shotgun, a large cage and a mean old pit bull.

“What are you going to do?” the homeowner asks.

“I’m going to put this ladder up against the roof, and then I’m going to go up there and knock the bear off the roof with this baseball bat. When the bear falls off, the pit bull is trained to grab his testicles and not let go. The bear will then be subdued enough for me to put him in the cage.”

He hands the shotgun to the homeowner.

“What’s the shotgun for?” asks the homeowner.

“If the bear knocks me off the roof, shoot the dog.”

02 December 2011

01 December 2011

Battle of Sunchon

Today is the anniversary of the Battle of Sunchon, an air battle fought in 1951 near the city of Sunchon, North Korea.  The Royal Australian Air Force's 77 Squadron (recently converted from P-51 Mustangs) was conducting a bomber escort mission with 12 Gloster Meteors when they were attacked by an estimated 40–50 Chinese MiG-15 jet fighters.

This was to be the RAAF's largest aerial engagement during the Korean War and Australian pilots performed admirably, despite their Meteors having inferior manoeuvrability to the Soviet-built MiGs. They managed to score the RAAF's first victories of the Korean War, losing three Meteors in the action with two pilots captured and one missing presumed killed. Accounts naturally vary, with the Australians claiming at least 10 MiGs splashed, but Chinese and North Korean sources stated it was only one.  Two MiG kills were later confirmed.  As a result of this action, 77 Squadron's Meteors were considered inadequate for aerial defence and re-roled to a ground attack role for the remainder of the war.