Sunday, 26 December 2010
Saturday, 25 December 2010
Wednesday, 22 December 2010
After three years, we've just reorganised the living room in the cottage, and - having got rid of the ancient sofa - we realised we've no longer got anything between the roaring oil stove and the toddler.
Cue two cases of Drax's toy soldiers:
If you're interested, the one on the right contains my entire infantry company plus a bunch of other stuff [it also has a busted lock from when I arrived at the games club without my key]; the other one contains most of my chimera-chassis vehicles.
There endeth the lesson.
Tuesday, 21 December 2010
Tuesday, 7 December 2010
Tuesday, 23 November 2010
I exchanged a brief email with Col Corbane the other day, and – amongst other things – I noted that our particular corner of the blogosphere has changed somewhat in the last year or so; maybe in the last year-and-a-half. Here are some of my thoughts on blogging since May '08… Where did it start?
Well, when I started blogging, many of the other blogs that I was aware of were relatively basic and relatively disparate. They were also fewer and further between. Now there are blogs everywhere, and most have the good wit to be affiliated to one of the ‘hubs’, like BoLS or the excellent From the Warp.
For those of you unaware, there was a moment when Ron almost stopped FtW, and I believe that would’ve been a sad loss. As it stands, I’m sure he’ll forgive me embarrassing him by noting the superb way in which he binds our corner of the web together. Kindness to strangers and generosity of time are two of the things which make this such an enjoyable way to waste time on the internet.
There were a number of fellow bloggers who were very encouraging in the early days, not least the early ‘Flylords’ over at BoLS. BigRed seems a personable chap, and I enjoyed being allied to the BoLS Alliance, but – alas – I found the hosted ads during the US presidential campaign rather distasteful. Not the Flyboys’ fault, but not something I didn’t want to be linked to.
I was blogging for a month before I got my first comment – from Brian over at See My Inner Geek, and then (like many bloggers) I spent months chasing comments and blog traffic. With fewer blogs about though, it was easy, and a rather rewarding validation of my holiday time.
How did things start to change?
Mostly, things with my blog started to change when I got bored of (grew out of?) chasing comments. I realised that the blog was becoming simply a means of logging my work and – just as importantly – tracking my progress. This was helped by life changes too, like moving across the country and getting a new job. Moving away from my very occasional games also forced me to focus more on the [painfully slow] completion of my Imperial Guard.
A lack of funds helps, too!
It’s probably worth noting that new IG Codex fired a bit of life into the old girl, too.
Where am I now?
Now I’m increasingly aware that my blog is something of a dinosaur. The format is basic, the content unglamorous and my miniatures rather quotidian. The good news is that despite all of this – and despite the Technicolor temptations of newer, shinier blogs – I have a core of readers who still seem to enjoy my work and (apparently) 180 followers: thank you, followers. It’s startling to think that 180 strangers in the world are even remotely interested in my ramblings. Cheers.
I’m not likely to change. There’s a chance, I suppose, that I may at one point cease: I certainly don’t imagine I’ll be doing this in a few years’ time – real life or Mrs Drax may yet put the kybosh on that.
The most recent thing to give my hobby some new energy is of course the fact that I finally joined a gaming club – a very friendly and welcoming place where I’ve enjoyed a series of great games, on great tables against great opponents.
Finally, why do I keep doing it?
I enjoy it.
I love the fact that I’ve managed to meet up with stalwarts like Col Gravis, Suneokun and TSINI – and what absolutely cracking chaps they are! Hell, I even managed to get a surprise game in with Suneokun, and some fish and chips too.
In addition to this, a number of other bloggers have been immensely generous; immensely – both with words and with material. I have, for example, had a number of freebies sent through to me, including bits, miniatures and (in one case) enough parts to make my most recent salamander conversion. Thanks to (among others) Col. Corbane, Zzzzzz, Fallen 73rd and Kevin (or The Other Kevin – I for get which, I’m afraid).
For those of you unaware, my 'Admiral Drax' header at the top there was in fact created gratis by Suneokun: top bloke.
Most important of all though, are the relationships I’ve been able to strike up. Readers and fellow bloggers have been absolutely great, and the comments after I posted about the birth of my little baby daughter last year were indicative of the marvellous spirit there is out there. Now I'm also pleased to be on a wavelength with the likes of Col. Hessler, Hal'Jin, Rasmus Olesen, Loquacious, The Antipope and Rogue Pom (amongst others).
Kind words; kind people.
Sunday, 21 November 2010
Saturday, 6 November 2010
Thursday, 4 November 2010
- The British public were (and remain) largely unaware of the ferocity of the fighting in Al Amarah, as there was very little media coverage for some considerable time;
- The personnel of the 1PWRR battle group routinely demonstrated feats of extraordinary physical and moral courage (Pte Johnson Beharry won his VC in Al Amarah);
- The role of an armoured infantry unit is more fascinating than I anticipated;
- Life aboard the Britsh 'Warrior' IFVs seems intense and the cameraderie simply awe-inspiring;
- The rules, role, reliability and weaknesses of an IG Chimera make it a wonderfully comparable beast to the Warrior;
- I've been mis-naming my mounted infantry detachment (1st battalion, Cadian 24th) as 'mechanised' where 'armoured' is more appropriate. Henceforth they shall be redesignated '1/24th Cadian Armoured Infantry'.
Pte Johnson Beharry with his Victoria Cross
I've also decided to use an extract from the book in class with my Year 9s next week!
So there you are. It's not to everyone's taste, but I found it highly engaging, and although I'm not prone to posting things like reviews, I was so moved by some of the accounts I thought I'd share.
Thanks for reading.
By the way, my converted Salamander-proxy IFV is now completely finished (hooray!) but I've not been home in the daylight all week, so I can't photograph it (boo!). Pics soon.
Friday, 29 October 2010
- the little winch under the flamer
- the optical unit above the driver's port
- the new addition of a gun shield (although it seems maybe a little bare)
- there's rust on the wheel hubs which I'm quite happy with
- I like the petrol can on the spare wheel
- the wheels rotate
- I'm useless at painting lights
- the front-left mud guard still looks a little bare
- I've tried to use red as a sort of 'spot colour'
- strangely (it being a vehicle) this is the first of my models on which I've ever tried to shade and highlight fabric: I'm fairly pleased with the result, but it's not something that comes easily to me.
Monday, 25 October 2010
Last night I bit the proverbial bullet and got back into some 40K painting...by basecoating my command IFV - to be used as a proxy for either a commander's chimera or (more appropriately) a replacement salamander command vehicle:
Some of you may have seen its earlier stages...well not much has changed since then, but I really really needed to paint something enjoyable, and though my vehicles' colour schemes are pretty dull to paint, the variety on this one should at least pep it up a little.
Thanks as aye to Zzzzzz for the generous donation of the main bits.
PS: The Dad-Car is going into the garage this week to see if they can't make her all better so I can start back at the club again. Resurgam! Live, damnit, live!
Thursday, 21 October 2010
I'm still devoid of transport, but the kindness of friends and colleagues means there is now hope on the horizon that I'll be back to gaming soon...and with that comes the rekindling of my painting fire.
Strangely, I have managed to paint some 'Epic' Space Marines that my mate left round my house. Crimson Fists, but I think they'll need some basic highlighting. The photo's rubbish:
Until next time...
Wednesday, 13 October 2010
Sunday, 3 October 2010
A week-and-a-half ago I managed to get to the club and play a game at short notice against a very nice chap called James. He wanted something competitive, so I brought a fairy cheesy competitive Mechanised force - 1500pts. Here it is:
HQ: Primaris Psyker (70)
HQ: Coy Cmdr w. 4x plasma guns (110)
EL: Psyker Battle Squad [x10] (110)
TP: Vets 1 w. 3x plasma guns (115)
TP: Vets 2 w. 3x melta guns (100)
TP: Vets 3 w. 3x grenade launchers (85)
FA: Hellhound w. smoke (135)
FA: Hellhound w. smoke (135)
FA: Devil Dog w. multimelta + smoke (140)
HS: Hydra (75)
HS: Griffon (75)
HS: Griffon (75)
I played James's Space Wolves, and his list was made in response to mine, given his choice of models. We thought it'd be fun to play a game from 'Battle Missions', so we did, and we rolled up 'All-Round Defence' meaning the marines were in the middle defending a central objective and I was attacking from all sides. My HQs and HSs had to stay in reserve.
James's list included the following (I think):
15 Bloodclaws w. Wolf Priest in a Landraider Crusader
Dreadnought w. plasma cannon + stormbolter in drop pod
Long Fangs w. 4 lascannon and a missile launcher
Long Fangs w. 4 hvy bolters (I think)
15(?) Grey Hunters in a drop pod.
To cut a short story shorter, I won first turn and had tabled him by the end of my turn two. Here's my post-match notes - in no particular order - as I'm wont to do...:
- James was unlucky with his rolling at times; that is, he certainly wasn't lucky.
- It would've been far more even if he'd won first turn
- He was a tremendously nice and knowledgable opponent
- My first shot = Str9 AP1 large blast on target from my psykers (although all marines except 1 made their cover save)
- My second shot = Devil Dog melta cannon short-range shot on the landraider: one-shot-one-kill.
- I must remember to keep psyker battle squad more than 24" away from psychic hoods or equivalents
- The Primaris Psker annihilated the dreadnought after coming in behind him from a reserve rule
- The rules for deployment really made my job easy.
- Templates and blasts worked very well, even when considering cover saves.
- From five scatter-able shots I made, four were on target!
- The runepriest was killed by a griffon shell!
- My hydra didn't get to play
- I ran out of targets: James conceded rather than bring on his reserved Grey Hunter drop pod.
A top opponent, and I was genuinely sorry for giving him such a tonking. The emperor was with me that night.
Tuesday, 21 September 2010
Wednesday, 15 September 2010
Friday, 10 September 2010
- great missions; great variety of terrain, too!
- two particularly great opponents (Andy and Jay)
- in each game - very unusually for me - I used combined squads (2 squads in one game; all 3 in the others!). I think I did this (a) for speed and convenience; (b) for survivability; (c) to intimidate, and (d) to maximise firepower (FRFSRF Vs Blood Angels = carnage)
- the autocannon were necessary, but pretty rubbish throughout
- the list was (predictably) rubbish against mechanised Imperial Guard - no surprises there; I need more anti-tank.
- grenade launchers kill marines (I love grenade launchers)
- a hedge of bayonets kills chaplains:
- Space Marine scouts are BS3 (grrrr!)
- cheap special weapons squads make excellent screening troops
- mortars (which I also love) really can make a difference: even one in a small game!
- I really need a tray to carry and organise my forces when gaming.
Saturday, 4 September 2010
I had a great time at my first Games Club tournament (400pt Combat Patrol) last week: I took an infantry platoon, placed third and enjoyed myself thoroughly!
In this post, I'll include photos of the superb missions and a couple of the tables (each roughly 3'x4') as well as a couple of photos and notes from the games. Huge credit goes to a nice chap called Andy who not only penned the missions, but who also organised the tourney and was a cracking opponent for my first game.
NB: Sorry for the picture quality, but the club's in the extensive cellars of a pub, and the lighting's hard to counter.