Tuesday, 24 December 2019

Christmas Bumper issue of the Shenanigans Gazette

The Gazette has 36 crammed pages to help the day go smoothly with a merriment of wargaming distraction.



The opening pieces look back at 2019 and forwards into 2020, with some commentary
about a year of hobby changes.


There are articles on Boardgames, figures and general discussions on terrain and
photography.


There is even a mince pie quiz!, plus a little dose of Fake news.


Oh and of course some blogger action at ‘The Battle for Blogger’s Acre’.


Follow the link to my DropBox file (Thank you DropBox). 


An invite to join DropBox is the first thing you will see, but you can close that screen and
the download will be revealed. Or 'sign in' button, just ignore and press the download icon.


Thanks to everyone who supports the Battlefields & Warrior blog


LINK


61 comments:

  1. A bumper edition for sure and looking forward to reading it. Merry Christmas.

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  2. OMG! 36 pages. You have really excelled yourself this Christmas. Thank you so much for these yearly missives and the posts during the year.

    Hoping to have time in a few hours to start. Get back to you when I finish - maybe tomorrow otherwise I will be reading it while camping from Friday!

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    1. Thanks Shaun, a replay of your recent scenario is in there.

      Enjoy your camping - too chilly in the UK (winter) for camping shenanigans :-).

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    2. Hello Norm,

      Just finished. A truly fantastic read with a little in there for everyone. A few things came to mind as I was reading:

      It is good to see that you have resolved your sizing/scaling dilemma. I know it has been plaguing you for years now, although you only got serious about it this year.

      I am interested to see which WW2 tactical combat system drops off! I am guessing ASL will stay but as for the others...?

      Bosworth - just a note that the selected Society of Ancients Battle Day in April 2020 is Bosworth. I was thinking of doing it (it is the last battle in my long list of historical battles to play) but not really sure.

      While reading your Christmas post I had a small epiphany. I acquired some spaceships a few years ago and have been wondering, and trying, for years of how to convert some spaceship boardgames I used to play. Mainly Starfire. But I should just run the boardgame as is and use rules, such as Full Thrust, for the miniatures.

      And I see in the last game your Russians with a lack of infantry dd not make the objective. In my replay they should not have either. The Russians has a string of very good close combat and morale rolls that saw the last Russian section on the objective.

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    3. Thanks Shaun, thanks for getting back so soon, yes, the size / scale thing has been an almost stupidly stubborn block to things, it has seen several false starts at being sorted, but I thing this time we are go! :-)

      Rather than say what I dropped, I can say that the two WWII boardgame systems that I still have are ASL and Old School Tactical. I dropped one earlier in the year and the second one that I refer to in the post, destined to go in the New Year, actually went a few days ago ... Phew!

      thanks for the reminder about the Society of Ancients doing Bosworth this year, i need to pick up on the momentum of that and get something done. The new book I got has some nice disposition maps.

      Starfire - Happy Memories :-) though I seem to remember the rulebook was in my hands a lot.

      I would like to run that Russian game again and see if an early end can be put to the 50mm, that would have opened things a bit for me. Another thing on the list :-)

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  3. Fantastic! Thank you. Had a quick glimpse while preparing myself for today’s marathon of eating, drinking and socialising. Look forward to coming back if/when I get a quiet moment.

    Richard

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    1. Thanks Richard, I have been enjoying watching your ‘Tilly’ stuff grow,

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  4. Thanks Norm will have a dip in later merry Christmas 😀

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    1. Thanks Matt, Best Wishes. Some ACW stuff for you :-)

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    2. Well I have managed to drop back in Norm......I have no idea how you have the energy to put down your thoughts in such a structured way. A very interesting read well done and thanks 👍

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  5. Merry Christmas Norm. This morning I have read Looking back and Looking Forward, and Pocket Armies with my coffee and very enjoyable and thought provoking as always, I'll get through the rest over the next couple of days when things quieten down. What immediately strikes me is how similar our thought patterns are about this hobby of ours, although you are so much better than I am in getting those thoughts down on paper so to speak. I'm in very much the same boat now having moved to a smaller house where I won't have the room for the larger figure scales, and I'm being very much drawn back to 15mm scale. I think I have reached one of those hobby crossroads points too, I have even thought about walking away from it for a year or so to clear my head a bit, but the lure of painting soldiers is constantly there, for me it's almost a drug, I'm addicted to painting model soldiers! Anyway Norm, I won't bang on any longer, but hopefully you can see that your considerable writing efforts are being rewarded. Looking forward to reading the rest. Thank you :)

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    1. Hi Lee, Best Wishes. Yes, I think we are on the same page for much of what we do and share an understanding of a path that is often booby trapped with uncertainty and vague promises of light at the end of the tunnel.

      I think while you have the distractions of unpacking and getting settled in, you could do worse than ticking-over with a smaller scale ACW project and re-establish those 15mm painting skills.

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    2. Hi Norm, finished reading and must say found it all very enjoyable. Just a few points that stood out for me (in no uncertain order).

      That applicator is brilliant and I never realised you could make your own tufts and patches, I like that. Expensive?

      The Hexon edge tiles are a massive improvement, it really bothers me for some reason when I don't see straight edges to hex boards!

      Bloggers Acre - great fun read :)

      Peter Pig figures - I absolutely love them. As you say service is first class every time and they are true scale 15mm figures and proud of it. Never had a poor casting, and I have painted (and sold) hundreds and hundreds of them. Just superb and long may they prosper.

      Finally, enjoyed the piece about the future/ relevance of blogging v FB as this is something I have also been pondering recently. I have noticed that my blog posts don't attract the views that they used to (I do have some thoughts as to why), whilst FB posts attract probably four times the likes and comments, let's face it us painters do enjoy a bit of buttering up! But FB posts are gone in an instant and a blog retains a record of work for far longer, especially if correctly set up with labels etc, as mine is not. I think mine has stagnated somewhat and that maybe it's time for a fresh start with fresh ideas. Your's though Norm is regularly packed with very readable and informative material, a pleasure to read and I make a point of always trying to leave a comment.

      Thanks for the read Norm.


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    3. Hi Lee, the Static Applicator sits at around £70 - £80 mark (well at least in a model shop it does :-).

      I am really surprised at just how much the visual improvement is when the half hexes are added.

      I enjoyed Bloggers Acre very much - good fun to pull that together, I hope all those concerned are okay with it.

      Yes, I really like the Peter Pig ACW, though for me, I have some hesitation as they may not be different enough from my Kallistra 12mm ACW to justify re-doing another army .... but I am (very) sorely tempted. I will paint up an infantry regiment to see how it looks.

      It is interesting about the blogs and their 'archival' nature. I left the blog for a few months a few years ago and was surprised to see that visitor numbers remained fairly constant even without new material, so obviously the back catalogue of posts does interest people and as you say is a feature that FB can't offer.

      I like your blog and always click as soon as it shows up in my reader list. One of the things I do do with each of my posts, is visit various relative forums, and highlight the post there, I think that captures extra interest, depending on the post title and also the forums I go to will vary according to the content (boardgame or figures). That itself raises an interesting point that perhaps most that follow my blog or pop in, are interested in less than half of what I write about and from the sidelines are probably screaming at me to get back to the subjects they like:-)

      I think while at the end of your time in Spain, you were moving the 40mm posts towards terrain construction and no doubt and DBN battle type posts would have followed and that would have had a lot of appeal to the 40mm crowd and many others.

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  6. Brilliant, thank you! And a very Happy Xmas to you!

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    1. Thanks David, Best Wishes and thanks for dropping by.

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  7. Well Norm what an excellent and entertaining read for a sunny and crisp Xmas morning! I really enjoyed sitting down quietly to peruse your ramblings whilst the family were doing bits'n'bobs. So many things you have said strike a chord with me and I'm sure fellow gamers.

    My decision to downsize some years ago to 10mm was cathartic and allowed me to rationalise my terrain, which was a blessing in disguise. Ditto on the ruleset front, which has meant that I can concentrate on the game rather than having to try and remember the rules over a wide range of rulesets. Less is more in this case. As for periods, a similar case, with ImagiNations coming to the fore for the 17th - 19th centuries with some historical stuff too.

    12 or there abouts seems to be the magical number for the amount of units per side for a good mid-week game. More than that and it can get a bit unwieldy, but the advantage of playing just a few rulesets is you know what size to go for for any given ruleset.

    Narrative campaigns have, as you know, been a feature of our games this year and certainly add to the whole gaming experience. I hope you find the time and inspiration to give this a go.

    So once again thankyou for your efforts and I really look forward to more excellent Blog posts from your self in 2020!

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    1. Thanks Steve, your own 4’ x 3’ style games and use of a constant scale have certainly played there part in my thinking on this matter.

      It is really interesting that Gripping Beast of 28mm plastic fame, have just released a ruleset called Milites Mundi, supported by a new range of 10mm from them, plus Plastic Soldier Company are doing 15mm ancients and 10mm moderns and Victrix are going to do 12mm WWII, so its difficult to see how the main wargame mags and show traders are going to be able to ignore this ‘new wave’ of smaller scale appreciation. - a very interesting future indeed.

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  8. Great stuff Norm, I really enjoyed that. Loved the Battle of Blogger's Acre. I was interested in how you have thought about your gaming and your collections, in particular how to get the size of the table, figure collections and rulesets all working in harmony.

    Have a great Christmas

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    1. Thank you and Best Wishes. I was concerned a couple of times that the opening articles were veering towards the self indulgent type of commentary and twice came close to abandoning that approach, but I carried part in the hope that some of it would strike a chord with gamers and I do think there is some common currency here.

      I’m glad you saw the harmonisation, but not surprised as your own table size / 60mm unit frontage and favour of ruleset follow a similar inter-relationship. Cheers.

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  9. Norm, that was quite an enjoyable read! You covered so many diverse topics, it is difficult to comment on them all. Really enjoyed your thoughts on looking back and looking forward. As for looking forward, I always look forward to each of your interesting blog posts. Keep it up!

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

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    1. Thanks Jonathan, your encouragement to others on virtually every blog I visit is astounding and it looks like over the next few weeks, your own blog is going to be a ‘must see’ show with that wonderful Kunersdorf scenario.

      Best Wishes, Norm.

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  10. Merry Xmas, Norm: thanks for the lovely gift of the Holiday Read: I look forward to settling in with it to round out my day!

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    1. Best Wishes and thanks for the kind comment.

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  11. Wonderful stuff Norm, I thought you had been quiet on here lately. I too have limited space and try to play everything on a 4x3 board, I find your blog very useful indeed.

    Merry Christmas.
    Paul.

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    1. Hi Paul, Best Wishes, yes, the post started as a good idea and then took over life!!!! :-) (but the comments here have made it feel very much worthwhile).

      I am seeing a lot more commentary lately on 4’ x 3’ type gaming lately, we just need the magazines and wargame shows to catch up :-)

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  12. Merry Christmas, Norm! This will help immensely while at relatives houses today :)

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    1. PS just finished reading. WOW! Lots of great stuff coming up in 2020. I can't wait!

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    2. Thanks Steve, Best Wishes. Even on my plans of cut-back, there is still so much to want to do ..... wonderful :-)

      Thanks for the ton of work you have been putting into your blogs these past weeks, really enjoyed the Kursk / Quatre Bras stuff. looking forward to your 2020 schedule.

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  13. Merry Christmas Norm! Ill read this when it all gets a little less hectic!
    Best Iain

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    1. Thanks Iain, Best Wishes, as I type it is almost midnight, I’m pretty sure all of ours crashed out a few hours ago! The grandkids were full of energy and I had to pretend to be asleep, just so I wasn’t asked to be a zombie ... again! :-)

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    2. Great read, obviously liked the caveadsum woods! So goodbye to 28mm again? I guess it makes sense for you, changing from 12mm to 15mm,I'm not so sure. I just stick to 28mmat least in part so that I don't have to consider what scale to use,there is no choice! I really enjoyed your ACW and the other Soviet assault write up.
      Best Iain

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    3. Thanks Iain, I agree about the 12mm - 15mm, it is not a certainty yet. Have a good New Year.

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  14. Merry Christmas Norm. Thanks for all your very interesting and though-provoking posts throughout the year.

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    1. Thanks Mike, Best Wishes, I have really enjoyed seeing your painted stuff, especially the 6mm - marvelous.

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    1. Thanks Ross, Best Wishes and thanks for a year of an absolutely charming table.

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  16. Some great stuff in the gazette Norm. Thanks for this - a great read.
    New Years Resolution is to get some of your hex based rules on the table in 2020.

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    1. Thanks Darren, a great Resolution :-) There is just so much stuff to do and your gaming circle has a rich schedule, which is always fun to read about.

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  17. Hi Dan, Best Wishes, thanks for dropping by.

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  18. Fab Boxing Day read! Love the idea of pocket armies. I’ve always thought 12-16 units was about as much as anybody could handle, even with simple rules. Happy New Year!

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  19. Thank you and Best Wishes. I think the Pocket Armies will do a good job of building scenarios that highlight specific local actions within a bigger battle.

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  20. Hi Norm,

    Happy Christmas! Thanks for the Gazette, a great read. Very interested in the TaM extension. All the best.

    Jay

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    1. Hi Jay, Best Wishes, glad you enjoyed the read.

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  21. Great job on the tome Norm! I’m only about half way through....such a variety of topics. You basically wrote a magazine. This is something I would expect to see at a bookstore. 😀
    So far I’ve really enjoyed the article on blogging and of course the ACW stuff. I’m curious if I play apart of the blogger battle but saving that piece for time when I have uninterrupted read.
    Thanks for putting it together for all of to read. Merry Christmas to you and yours. 😀

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    1. Thanks Stew, Best Wishes. The German Commander in the Battle for Blogger’s Acre is someone called ... Major StewMann :-)

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  22. Hi Norm, Happy Xmas! Thanks for all your posts this year and the great content over on the Commanders site. Wishing you and yours a Happy New Year!

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  23. Hi Paul, Best Wishes and thanks in particular for your support of the Commanders site.

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  24. Hi,
    That was a good read. As a boardgamer i enjoy mostly reading about that stuff and miss out most of the Miniatures articles.
    I look forward to reading your Blogs about Boardgaming issues. It offers something different from most of the posts on Boardgamegeek . Trivial things like Sore backs, lack of Tabletop space, lack of time , distractions etc are things we all suffer from but is rarely discussed.
    Like you said the Article on WW2 Tactical systems was great , can you do aone on say Strategic Games, comparing the top ww2 sytems.
    One of your Articles i liked immensley was about CoH and comparing the Armour stats. That helped me decide on sticking with CoH as one of my ww2 Tactical Systems. The other is Combat Commander.
    I would have went for OST but the Map size is what put me off and with ASL the complexity. However i look forward to reading about your progress with them
    Happy Gaming for 2020!

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  25. Hi Scott, thanks for reading, I did the post in a compartmentalised way to make it easier for readers to be selective, so glad that worked. The blog post about CoH armour is one of a series of T-34 v Tiger blogged articles that have looked at several systems and that sort of thing is something I really do enjoy doing.

    The thing I like least about OST is the board size, if they had been done like CoH boards it would have ticked many boxes. We are spoiled these days for tactical systems, yet I still find myself waiting for the ‘right one’. If only they would put the original Squad Leader basic module back into print, with the British added, a couple of more scenarios and extra boards - what a package that would be :-)

    As I go into 2020 I think Series games will get a fair bit of commentary, but I will be doing some of the WWII stand alone campaigns, the counters for Cobra have just been clipped and I would like to see an early look at Red Typhoon.

    There is just so much to do and write about :-) Best wishes, norm.

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  26. This was great! Thank you so much for sharing it with us (I didn’t get to read it until last night and this morning). I expect I’ll be rereading it several times. Hope you had a great Christmas and best wishes for the new year!

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  27. John, thanks very much, Best Wishes, Norm.

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  28. enjoyed the philosophizing on wargame focus, which I force myself to do periodically also - or perhaps my wife does! Lots of provocative thinking there, and we can all do a bit more of it.

    Was hoping for coverage of the DG Cedar Mountain, as you will recall I re-wrote the Musket and Saber rules for the folio games.

    In any event, I like the sound of your 2020 - happy new year and happy gaming!

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  29. Hi Alex, I enjoyed the ‘thinking about the direction of the collection’ type writing, it comes at a good time of the year when everyone is doing looking back / forward type posts and makes us all think a little ...... until we just default back to type and think about it again in 12 months :-). I am just looking at Decision Games’ Cobra and the planned write up will categorise which part of the collection it sits in ..... aiming to keep to organisational plans or at least look like I am :-)

    I must return to the Musket and Saber rules at some point. last year I did Stonewall’s Sword, which is Revolution Games’ take on Cedar Mountain, quite detailed and very entertaining.

    Thanks for stopping by, Best Wishes for the New Year, looking at Steve’s current momentum, you have a ton of stuff to look forward to :-)

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  30. All the best for 2020, an excellent read still a few pieces to digest.
    Funny how a lot of gamers of a certain age seem to be looking to refocus. I've disposed of the majority of my 28mm and Peter Pig has seen the benefit in a number of purchases.
    I always used to work on the principle of 9,4,2 (Inf,Cav,Art) for my pocket! Armies. I found it allowed for a little variety in most table top encounters.
    My gaming colleague and I have also started to revisit out boardgame collection after deciding we missed those days of playing games without the necessity to purchase armies. Life was simpler when budgets were tight and choice was limited 😀
    I look forward to watching your progress.

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  31. Thanks Graham, reading across the blogs over Christmas, it strikes me that quite a few are treading a similar path, a re-focus and boardgames are getting greater mention.

    I have been plotting all morning :-) which has involved looking at base size and variations for Peter Pig ACW and ...... Pendraken 1809 Napoleonics ... Oh No! :-).

    Best Wishes, Norm.

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  32. Having now read it all, thank you so much! You are an inspiration to all with limited time/space for their hobby, and your 'pocket armies' concept hits the nail on the head. Please DO keep up with long-form postings, you are always interesting and a worthwhile read. I take the point about wondering how many people are actually reading, and we should all give comments more often - having said that blogger seems to want me to log in with a google account etc, which is a slight faff about.. Is there a blogger equivalent of the 'like' button on other social media? That would be a simple way to register that one had enjoyed the post. All that aside, great stuff, thank you so much!

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  33. David, thanks very much for the 'thumbs up'. Not sure about different ways to 'like', I'm guessing that since Blogger is a free platform provided by Google, that they are probably after people joining the 'Google family' and having a G-Mail address.

    Hopefully the 'Pocket Armies' stuff will make a healthy contribution to the blog this year. cheers.

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