Saturday, 30 October 2010

Raided, Looted, and (almost) Burned.

What a ride these last few weeks have been!  

Our club had a great session last Sunday.  We had the best turnout ever, and on this occasion we had to book a larger room.  Four games on the go at the same time.  It was great to see both new and familiar faces enjoying a variety of nicely laid-out games.  

The continued growth of our club, and the amount of interest in miniatures gaming evident in the Tokyo area, is really satisfying to see. 

Unfortunately, Achilleas and Matt were unable to make it with their French and British, so no Napoleonics this time.  But I did have a fun Blitzkrieg Commander II game instead, set in 1945 with my Russkis taking on British (i.e not enough Germans to go around, as there were two BKC II games going on at the same time).  I really enjoy that rule set for WW2 games.

I also received two boxes of Warlord Games' new Landwehr.  I actually think they are really neat, even if they are not the most accurate out there.  They match well in size with my Front Rank figures, were good value with free postage, and will be easy to paint.

That was the good news.  

Much less fun was the fact that my wife and I fell victim to identity theft this past week.  Some low-life had gotten hold of a whole slew of credit card numbers- ours included- from a very reputable company in the UK.

We found out from the card company after the jerks (a professional job most likely) had gone on what seems to have been a global spending spree.  Fortunately the banking system was on the ball; they had caught wind of something fishy going on, and decided to put a tentative stop on the card while they contacted us.   

After many phone calls and time off from work (at a busy time, of course!), the good news is that it is all covered by the card insurance, and we won't find ourselves out of pocket.  

But you can imagine the hassle and pure waste of time we are having to contend with. We have had to contact other merchants and services we deal with, to let them know what happened and to transfer all other payments to a different card.  We keep another card just for emergencies like this, but any new purchases of any kind are ruled out until the matter is officially settled and we get another card number.  

Needless to say, je suis très pissed-off.  

To be fair, the company in question from whom the information was stolen has been up-front and very communicative about it, sending regular updates to all involved.  And certainly we live in an age where electronic transactions are a necessary part of life, especially for me living here in the Far East.   But merchants take note, from now on it is bank drafts or PayPal purchases only.

At least things are calming down now, and I can slowly get back to hobby stuff.  We will most likely be able to have another Black Powder Napoleonics game on November 14th, so I will try to get the redoubt finished (coming along nicely now after some surgery and having added the gabions), as well as to finish up some loose odds-'n-ends on my painting table.

Saturday, 16 October 2010

Protecting the Armoury

With the prospect of more Napoleonic games on the horizon, and more gamers at the club, it was clear from our last session that we need more terrain- buildings, woods, rivers, roads- the lot.  So I've been working on my allotment of trees as well as some buildings and structures for 28mm games.

I've made good progress with a redoubt I've made from old tofu tubs, and prepared bases for a row of resin buildings I ordered years ago from Hovels.  These are great buildings, and will look good once painted and glued on the base with a surrounding fence.  But being resin, they are heavy.  I've also got  the Hovels' carriage house, but that will be for later as it will be quite an undertaking.
In the background is the basic shape of what will be a small(?) armoury, something which seems suitable for opposing forces to fight a battle over.  

I knocked it together this morning in about thirty minutes from various pieces of foam packing material- the crumbly white stuff- which I cut into shape and glued together with cocktail sticks and PVA.  The whole was covered with packing tape to cover gaps and prevent the foam from crumbling away, and then I brushed it liberally with undiluted PVA to seal it.  

I will then face the whole structure with foamcore panels, and add doors, beams, gables, chimneys and the like before the laborious task of roofing it.

Being Styrofoam it is extremely light, so should transport easily to the club despite its size.
The 10 pdr. howitzer in the redoubt protecting it is the next in line in my French for priming and painting.  I've just about finished its companion, the 6 pdr. gun, and will post pictures of that once it is base is finished off.

Yes, I know I should be spending more time on painting miniatures! But to me good wargaming is a coming together of good companionship, fun rules, well-painted miniatures, and attractive terrain.  

As terrain is notoriously difficult to cart around, and I have only a short distance to travel to the club compared to others having to take the train half way across Tokyo, it makes sense that I work on the buildings as others are already painting up a good number of miniatures as well.  

And I do love making terrain, even if I keep on avoiding the annoying problem on how I'm going to store it all.