Monday, 30 April 2007

Ancients

I've never been a big player of Ancients, I've always considered myself a Horse and Musket person. Many years ago I purchased a couple of Ancient Armies so that I could get a game on club days and usual I had 2 historically opposing ones. In those days we played DBM, I'm not a fan of the rules but it what everyone else was playing.

I've never had an inclination to raise, paint or buy any further ancient armies until I saw the HaT plastic range now available. So my interest in Ancients has risen slightly...but I don't want to play DBM, so what was the alternative?

In my club there has been a re-insurgence in WRG 6th Edition rules in 25mm. It started off with 2 or 3 players and is now up to about half a dozen. The rules are sound, however, there have been a couple of off putting things: (1) The rules are long out of print and are not easy to find second hand (2) Same for the army lists and (3) Three people who play 6th Edition in the club have had serious heart conditions!!

I have purchased the rules from the Evil Empire: Warhammer Ancient Battles and again a few people have been playing these in the club with their existing armies. There are some remnants leftover from Warhammer Fantasy that spoil these rules but I can't deny that the source books are excellent for people new to the period.

Then recently Crusader Miniatures brought out their new historical rules called Crusader which are a very reasonable £7.50 and printed in full colour. They cover the Biblical period through to Medieval and although designed for 28mm they can be used with any scale and any basing system. On reading these rules they look just my type of rules, simple but giving a good flavour of the period. The only downside is as they are a new set there are no army lists yet. (The book does have a Saxon and Norman scenario at the back).

The good news is that it looks as if the Army Lists are going to be free supported by their website and a Yahoo group. But in the meantime I am going to have to try and fudge the army lists for my Roman and Ancient British armies.

Sunday, 29 April 2007

Spammers

I've really been hit by spammers hard in the past 7 days. Firstly I'm receiving about 50 spam emails a day to my old pete@freewargamesrules.co.uk address. To counter this I have set up a new email address but I don't publish it anywhere. If people want to contact me now at the site they have to fill in a contact form which e-mails me the form without revealing the e-mail address to the user.

This has worked a treat and I get no spams to the new email address. I still have to monitor the old address but I can view them on the server remotely and delete them if I can see they are not wargame related.

The second type of spam I was getting was via my Guestbook some spammer or web-bot was putting in multiple entries per day to some Italian spam site, which meant I had to daily enter the guestbook and remove his/her spams. Now I've had to amend the guestbook so that the user has to enter a 3 digit random code to accept the post. Hopefully this will stop any automated scripts from adding spurious entries to my guestbook. We'll see how this goes on, if this fails I'll have to start logging IP addresses!

I managed to transfer the entries from the old guestbook so they were not lost.

Friday, 20 April 2007

Now Hair Brush Armies

Some of the readers across the Pond have been having trouble finding the types of hair curlers that we do over here. (For information we could get them from Boots The Chemist a large pharmacy chain).

Well I had an email from Will Scarvie of San Diego with his solution:

I'm having no luck finding the right kind of hair curlers to make my armies. But, I did find a number of hair brushes whose teeth work almost as well. The kind I'm using has a rubber insert into the handle, and rows of plastic teeth coming up through the rubber.

Underneath the rubber, these teeth are joined in rows and evenly spaced along the sprue that connects them. Trim to length and I've got lots of infantry. It's not as cheap as the hair curlers probably are/were, but it works and it's WAY cheaper than 6mm lead figures.

Tuesday, 17 April 2007

The Vista Nightmare

I purchased a new Computer in November 2006. When I bought it, it had a free upgrade voucher to Vista.

So I paid £14.00 for shipping and handling to get my upgrade DVD pack which included an upgrade by the PC Manufacturer and The Vista Disc.

Now I'm no slouch at installing OS systems and in my time I have installed DOS, Windows 3.11, Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows ME, Windows XP, XP SP1 and XP SP2. So you would think it would be easy to install Vista...

No. After 12 hours and numerous Blue Screens of Death (BSOD) I am defeated. The problem started with sptd.sys error. After booting up with a Linux CD I checked the web and found this is a problem driver. So I managed to get to a command prompt and rename the file.

I then managed to get to another BSOD with the error of Page Fault In Non Paged Area. I googled this and it is one of 2 possible problems that no one appears to have solved (1) Faulty Memory (2) Video driver problems. Other people with this error can't install Vista either.

So I have now rolled back to Windows XP SP2 and all is fine and dandy again. I just pity the people that spend hundreds of pounds to get the upgrade kit.

My tip of the week is if you want Vista - by a new machine with it on. Otherwise stick to XP as it works!

Monday, 16 April 2007

More Hair Curlers

I had an email asking me if the colour photos of the armies were mine. Unfortunately they are not however after a bit of searching I have found the artist. He has more armies on his site here.

Saturday, 14 April 2007

Hair Curler Armies

Way back in the depths of time Andy Callan wrote an article about making armies from hair rollers after a discussion by Paddy Griffiths. The original article by Andy can be viewed here: Andy Callan Article

Here are some pictures of such armies:

Picture 1


Picture 2:


Picture 3:

Tuesday, 10 April 2007

Hex and Grid Games

I'm quite partial to the Richard Borg games BattleCry, Memoir 44 and Command & Colours. They are ideal for 2 players and our club has actually bought the first 2 and keep them in the gaming cupboard. If you turn up without anything planned you can usually find someone to have one if these games against.

On Boargamegeek in the Battle Cry Page there is a variant set of rules for the game called Advanced Battle Cry Deluxe Edition (find them under Files). These really improve the game and make it more "ACW like". So much so that we play these rules on the tabletop with 20mm plastic figures.

You could use the Kallistra Hexon System but these are quite expensive to make up a board for BC. So I purchased a 4 inch plastic hex template designed for quilt making from http://www.roybland.cjb.net/. With a bit of practice I found the best way to draw the grid is not to fully trace around the template but only to draw the straight sides and then only about 3/4 of their length. This hides any errors as you get near the sides when the grid can start to drift but also looks very good on the tabletop. I then purchased some Kallistra singles and hills to place on top of my drawn grid.

A new group has now opened called Hex/Grid Yahoo Group which is for like minded people to discuss these hex games, convert current rules systems etc. There are a number of hex tabletop rules available free from The Antwerp Fusiliers.

Friday, 6 April 2007

Wikipedia - 6.5 Hours

Yes thats how long my entry lasted on Wikipedia. But it wasn't Mr Dunn who removed it it was another editor.

Instead I have a link at the bottom of Wikipeda's List of Miniature Wargames where I have the last whole paragraph!

Wargames Blogs

Now that I've finally sorted out the site coding I thought I would look at some of the content. My first thought was I needed a list of blogs for wargames.

Thanks to Derek Hodge who let me copy his lists of blogs I now have a healthy selection.

Please feel free to tell me about any other blogs of interest.

Wargames Blogs

Thursday, 5 April 2007

Wikipedia

There is a very large discussion going on at The Miniatures Page (TMP)at the moment which I feel I must comment on. It's regarding Wikipedia and there entry for our hobby at Miniature Wargaming.

If you are familiar with Wikipedia its is an online encyclopaedia which anyone can edit. However, to ensure sensibility editors are used to keep the content relevant. One of these editors responsible for the Miniature Wargaming is a Larry Dunn, and I will come back to him shortly.

It would appear that certain persons have added content to the entry to try and give a broad background to our hobby. One person added the rules I Aint Been Shot Mum (IABSM) by TooFatLardies. Mr Dunn removed this link as he considered it commercial. None of the persons connected with TooFatLardies had submitted it and I'm sure they wouldn't have mind however, other "popular" rulesets were left on. I can see where Larry came from on this one but I think all the other rulesets should have been removed too.

On the other hand he allows a list of manufacturers so isn't this commercialism?

The one I do disagree with him though is that several people have tried to get the The Miniatures Page listed as an organisation because of the forums that people can visit. For some reason Larry won't let this stay on the page.

I think TMP is one of the most important meeting places for people from our hobby and think it should be allowed. (I think part of his problem is because 1. People can pay voluntary subscriptions to keep it running 2. He doesn't think it is notable enough).

Should 1 person be allowed this power over our hobby?

Today at 12.55 pm GMT I've added a link to my website which is completely free, non commercial and popular (thousands of visits per day). We'll see how long it takes to remove my link!

Monday, 2 April 2007

New Look Site Goes Live!

After a hectic 24 hours I've managed to get the new "turbo" powered site up and running. So time for a little R&R and maybe some painting now.