Battleshed Diaries

Friday 2 September 2016

The wanderer returns

The Battleshed lights flicker on. The familiar aroma of paint, glue and that particular mustiness associated with sidestreet bookshops. Grimhag the resident spider has been busy the last few weeks. She must have had her spidery friends over for a party judging by the web festooned chariot racing construction site on the Battleshed table. Crunch. Bugger! Stepped on a miniature. Pulls it from the dust. Well, the infantryman can at least shoot around corners now!  

It feels I’ve been away far longer than a few weeks from Battleshed Diaries. With various summer activities - travel, family and suchlike - crowding in on my increasingly burdensome gaming schedule (self-inflicted of course) I decided it was time to take a wee break. A step back, concentrate on some of my other, non-gaming, interests. Well, not completely. I was still surreptitiously keeping an eye on the blogs I follow, reading the hobby magazines and trying to keep up with the splurge of daily feeds from all those Facebook groups I’ve ‘liked.’

I’ll admit now that I spent some of the time visiting the Dark Side too – online gaming. Although to be fair I’ve been playing Eve Online for years, on and off. Oh, and for anyone interested in trying Eve, it will be free to play on a basic (Alpha) account from November. I can also recommend Witcher 3: Wild Hunt for some adult orientated fantasy adventuring. Its certainly a bit 'Games of Thrones', if you know what I mean! In my defence, I did manage a few one-off tabletop and board games!

Most of all I concentrated on my writing project, which continues to be quite an adventure. So far it’s been fun, intriguing, exciting, sometimes difficult, often frustrating and has a tendency to take me in directions I never envisaged. I’m pretty much done with the first draft. Which means all the real hard work starts with the second! 

Hadrian's Wall
What else? For historical gamers, or indeed anyone with an interest in ancient history, my wife (…I should’ve reconsidered how I started that sentence…) and I completed the full Hadrian’s Wall long distance trail in August. We started from the West coast at Bowness on Solway and after 7 days continuous trekking and 84+ miles later, we finished at the appropriately named Wallsend on England’s east coast. 
A thoroughly enjoyable and interesting trek it was too! Very well waymarked all the way (aided by the excellent dedicated Harvey map). The trail crosses much rural/agricultural land, and whilst the remains of the wall are mostly concentrated in the central sections, its nonetheless a fascinating trek. The vallum (earthworks south of the wall), were in evidence even more than the original wall. A trail full of interest not just for all things Roman but a fine route through ‘hidden ‘rural England; its sleepy villages, flora and fauna. So I can highly recommend this trail if any of my readers are thinking of attempting it.

I’ve had two campaigns running whilst I was away for SAGA and Frostgrave, both of which I’ve kept updated on this blog (right column links). The Saga campaign is currently in season two (of 6) and is progressing at a steady pace. Now I’m back expect a few detailed posts soon. 
Frostgrave campaign scenario: The deep, dark Cavern
In fact, the battle report for the third scenario for the Frostgrave campaign (the Diabolist’s Scheme), is planned to be up next, with the fourth and final scenario scheduled next week. 

Another system helping to ease me back into the gaming groove is Alien v Predator. I had yet another cracking game down at my local club this week. This time I took on the role of the Aliens against the Predators and Colonial Marines. It got messy. Mostly for the Aliens. But not in a good way. It was one of those games where the phrase ‘you couldn’t make it up’ was repeatedly heard. Check out the game report over at Double Six

Faustus Furius
With the imminent release of yet another unnecessary remake from Dollarwood, this time Ben Hur getting the ‘reimaging’ treatment, it was prescient that the much anticipated (for me anyway!) ancient chariot racing rules, Faustus Furius, have been released. My reader may know that I’ve been involved with the playtesting and development of these rules from Irregular Wars. Shout out to my gaming buddies, Sam Pate, Jamie Mitchell and Bill Goodlet for assisting me with this.

The chariot racing track mentioned at the start of this post is my priority modelling project for completion, mostly because the Battleshed looks like Captain Caveman has been let loose in there! And I need the table space. Again, more detailed posts coming up, but I recommend heading over to Ganesha Games for a copy of the Faustus Furius rules and free card downloads.
Bio-engineered apes, unboxed.
The only new miniature arrivals in the Battleshed recently are a shrewdness of bio-engineered apes. Yes, you read that right – bio-engineered apes. This was a Kickstarter from Ganesha in support of their Project Simian Ultra X supplement for Mutants and Death Ray Guns. Of course, these hairy simians will have to join my long painting queue. They won’t be happy about that. I’m not sure when I’ll get to use them on the tabletop, but it’ll be fun painting them, eventaully!

Spinward Fringe

Finally, something which may be of interest for RPG fans. I’m a keen follower of the SF book series, Spinward Fringe by Randolph Lalonde. In fact, I’ll be attending a mini ‘TritonCon’ in Belfast, Northern Ireland, in a couple of weeks where I’ll be meeting up with a group of fans from Randolph's Facebook group. The latest news is that Randy is working on a RPG system, when he’s not publishing excellent novels, which I’m pretty excited about. I’ve only played a handful of RPGs but one set in a universe that I’m very familiar with is a real draw. It’s in the early development stages currently so I’ll post up a more comprehensive report once more details are confirmed. In the meantime, I highly recommend you check out the book, Broadcast 0: Origins to start your Spinward Fringe journey.

Well, that’s it for now. I’ve tried to keep this short. And failed miserably. But at least I’m back on the hobby horse, so to speak. Next up will be the latest adventures of Magi Bayaz and his motley crew in the ruins of Felstad. In the meantime, keep em’ rolling!

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