Monday, May 16, 2016

New Sharp Practice Army Lists

So with the kind help of Richard Clarke of Too Fat Lardies fame, I've managed to put together army lists for the South American Wars of Liberation to go with the realease of the wonderful new set of rules "Sharp Practice 2."  The list give you many variations for both Patriot and Royalist forces fighting in the Northern Campaigns of Simon Bolivar in Colombia and Venezuela (1817 - 1824)

You can find them here:

Coming up next will be photos of the two armies from these lists and some first games.

Friday, February 26, 2016

I have some new figures out

If anyone is interested, they can view some new figures that I have released, over at my Orinoco Minatures blog:

If I have time, I'll try and get some painted up for the Analogue Hobbies Painting challenge.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Happy Christmas / Vesele Vanoce 2015

Firstly I'd like to wish all who occasionally stumble across this blog a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from Prague. Blogging for me has been rather slow this year due to multiple other commitments. I will use the respite of the holiday to try and throw up a few posts about a backlog of battlefields visited, figures and games. Thankfully the Christmases out here have traditionally been lower key affairs, the main family meal taking place at dinner time on Christmas Eve (usually fish and potato salad). The commercialization of the holiday has been ramping-up here over the last 10 years, but still nothing compared to the 2-3 month shopping madness you encounter in Ireland or UK.

In keeping with most of Central Europe, they do have quite nice Christmas markets in local squares, amply supplied with gallons of hot wine and pancakes. This one on Namesti Miru in Prague is just a few blocks from my apartment. No Christmas music being played there yesterday afternoon, just the chatter of friends and family over hot wine.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Bohemian palaces, castles and Salute 2015

After a monstrously busy month at work, it took a few days off before I had the mood to blog again. This was helped today by a decent stroll in the park at the end of my road, where they also happened to be holding a rather nice food and wine fair.

The good thing about the park, is that apart from having stunning views of Prague, it happens to hold a late Renaissance gem in the form of the Belvedere Hunting Palace/ Summer Palace (the photo of which I took this afternoon above). It really is one of my favourite buildings in Prague, and could equally be at home in Florence or Sienna, such is the grace of its design. It's considered to be one of the purest forms of Renaissence architecture north of the Alps. Anyway, it was a perfect spot to spend a few hours with the family over good food and wine.

I also managed to get out to another smart little 17th century chateau, at Mnisek Pod Brdy, about 30km southwest of the city. It was rebuilt in 1656 by a retired Imperial general after the 30 Years war (having been burnt to the ground by the Swedish Army in 1639).

To top that I also managed to climb up to Karstejn Castle, which is another giant fortress just beyond the edge of the city, on the Beroun River.

This gothic pile, was significantly altered in 19th Century, so it's not too certain if it's current state reflects any historical reality. It is very large though.

The view from the ramparts is quite good, looking down on the village as it winds down to the river. The village itself has many decent watering holes, perfect on a hot day.

I did of course manage to get to Salute in London. Plenty has been written about the show on other blogs (including the Bloggers meetup), so I'm just posting up a few shots of my favourite games.

For me two games really stood out. Firstly it was the South American Wars of Liberation game by South London Warlords. The Battle of Araure (which had a lovely write up in the show programme as well). Really a cracking and realistic display. It caught my attention for obvious reasons, and
I'll write more about this over on the Orinoco Miniatures blog...

It was also great to finally meet John Fletcher, with whom I share a great interest in the period. A very nice chap indeed to talk to.

The other game was I believe the show winner. The gargantuan display of the Battle of Fort George by the Essex Gamesters and Ron Ringrose (and his spectacular ships).
I ended my Salute weekend quite pleasantly, with a few hours digging around Foyles bookshop, topped off by some quiet Sunday pints in a favourite London haunt - The French House; De Gaulle quite liked it as well...

Saturday, January 31, 2015

What can we expect in 2015

Well January flew by in a flash. I thought I would have a brief review of 2014 already posted up by now. Needless to say, 2014 turned out different to plans. Lots of things didn't get off the ground, blogging slowed to a halt, and painting virtually evaporated. Though there were a few positives, such as Chain of Command, which proved to be a great discovery, along with getting a British and (soon to be) Soviet platoons painted up late in the day.

The Analogue Painting challenge was entered, with a less ambitious target, though even that may prove elusive, given the hours I'm putting in at work. A few entries have gone in already with more on the way.

The good news though is that I now have another large batch of figures for Orinoco miniatures ready for release (peasant militia, and more Gran Colombians). With these and a few ancillary packs soon to be completed, I hope to have all the figures to put on a key battle from the Wars of Liberation (below you can see the very first preview of some of the new figures).

Putting on the Battle of Ayacucho is the ultimate aim, but for this year it will probably be one of the smaller battles in the north for the liberation of either Venezuela, or New Granada/Colombia.

In regard to battlefields visits, I did manage one very interesting walk during a short working holiday to Crete in September (that is, the family were on the beach, while I sat in the apartment and worked). I'll get round to writing it up, along with several overdue posts on other battlefields I've visited (including Vimeiro, Bussaco, Rolica, as well as the Italian front battlefields from WW1).

I also paid a visit to the Hussite's main town of Tabor, and actually got to bump into a bunch of them celebrating their 600th anniversary in Prague! (Indeed the Hussites are alive and well in Bohemia. Thankfully time has mellowed them a tad, so all we saw was some small Hussite jazz ensemble, which was a very absurd moment.)

On the up side, the stalwarts that are the Prague Wargames Club, proved to be as reliable as ever, and a constant source of new ideas and hobby inspiration. From a humble start back in 2003 when myself and a friend (Nick Dorell) tried to kick off a few games at a small table in a local hobby shop, we now have nearly 30 members, and a permanent clubhouse.
Plenty of games were held during the year, my personal favourites being some Mud and Blood battles from 1914 (the "Race to the Sea" scenario). 

Also, it was great fun getting to grips with Chain of Command; really and excellent set of rules.

The large summer Napoleonic game was also a winner. The good news is that we will attempt most of the Waterloo battle in 15mm using the "General de Brigade" rules in the summer.
So plans for what's left of 2015, well a house move is still on the cards, as are more figures for my Orinoco range. The Auterlitz/Slavkov battle may yet see the light of day in a smaller format, as with the South American Liberation Wars battle. Certainly more games would be welcome, especially Chain of Command. I'm also intrigued by the recent WW1 adaptation of these rules, and scenarios for the Kaiserschlacht campaign of 1918. As for more blogging, let's hope.
As usual, we'll be going on our annual pilgrimage to Salute again this year with other from the Prague Club. Salute 2014 was excellent, and the bloggers meet up as enjoyable as ever. So obviously I'm looking forward meeting some of you again this year at Salute.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy New Year 2015

So I'd like to wish all of you and your families a Happy New Year and a peaceful 2015.
Instead of the usual postcard, here are a few shots of a cold and snowbound Prague from my own camera today from Letna Park (just behind our apartment).

Nothing of course that couldn't be remedied with some hot wine in the park :-)

More on the sorry state of my 2014 later, and more modest/non-committal  plans for 2015. Now back to family, food and champagne.