Battleshed Diaries

Sunday, 31 December 2017

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Monday, 7 August 2017

Summer 2017 round up

3 picture montage

Whilst summer rain pelted down outside, I was recently possessed by an out of character tidy-up of the Battleshed. It's been a busy few weeks, what with family holidays, trekking trips and various other non-gaming activities clogging up the calendar. It's that time of year I suppose, nothing usual there. So, taking a quick break whilst sipping from a mug of steaming tea that had somehow acquired a small green flock floater, I got to contemplating where I'm at with my wargaming plans and projects.

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

For A Few Models More: Hang 'Em High

The Reverend 'Truth' Foster deferentially closes his bible and slips it back under his frock coat as he concludes his church's prayer and nods towards Deputy Archie Roach, who's impatience with proceedings is clear as day despite his woeful attempt at feigned solemnity. The Mexican vaqueros, Teo De Herrera, twists and struggles on the dusty wooden platform, his hands tightly bound together behind his back and his neck held taut and red raw by a thick loop of coarse rope secured to the gibbet.

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

A new club blog on the block

FDWC blog header
A quick plug for another new blog that may tickle your wargaming fancy!

I'll have to disclose a particular interest, as its a shared blog from my club, Falkirk District Wargaming Club.

The idea behind a club blog is to provide a space where our members can author an article from time to time without having to maintain a personal blog. Many of my readers will intimately understand the mania of dark arts and obsession that can lead too! So now we've a nascent club blog, where our members can showcase their projects, after action reports and miscellaneous wargamy' articles they'd like to share with the wider community. It also compliments our main web site.

It's early days yet, and it'll be interesting to see what comes up given the wide range of wargaming experience within our club. The blog also has a private forum for our members, making it easier to organise campaigns etc. rather than using the limitations of the public club Facebook group. Like the blog authoring, its restricted to members only. Call it another club benefit! I hope the blog least tweaks your curiosity about what our members get up to in Falkirk!

Friday, 23 June 2017

Cattle Raid!

It's only been a few weeks since an exorbitant ransom was grudgingly paid by the Scots to the Anglo-Danish for the release of their captured warlord, Fearghas MacCoinnich. As he rode back through his lands he could barely endure the silent censure of his impoverished levy and their gaunt families as he and his small escort of Hearthguards passed by. Later, as MacCoinnich slumped deep in his cups and brooding in his Great hall, his retainers and servants were chary in his presence, fearing MacCoinich's irascible black mood. Suddenly, the hall's doors burst open and a breathless messenger hastened in. The alarm had been raised. A large group of warriors were approaching the outlying fields!

Saturday, 17 June 2017

The Battle of Oeversee 1864

Battle of Oeversee 1864 scenario: Austrian artillery

The shiny new Tray of Doom was put through it's paces in the Battleshed recently, with a welcome return visit by club member (and chairman -  all hail, bow, doff cap etc.), David Knight and his lovely dog, Beau. And he brought along two copies of Neil Thomas' Wargaming Nineteenth Century Europe 1815-1878 and a box of 15mm miniature adversaries. And I broke this years pledge. Technically.

Saturday, 10 June 2017

Giants in Miniature: Allan Quatermain

Another arrival at the Battleshed Barracks, this time 'Allan Quatermain' from Wargames Illustrated's Giants in Miniature range. A fine addition he is too! There are some really nice miniatures in this range and worth checking out if you haven't already done so. I've already got two more chaps from the range on the paint table!

Thursday, 8 June 2017

15mm Skirmish Supplies

A shout out for a new venture on the wargaming scene - 15mm Skirmish Supplies - dedicated to servicing the miniature and terrain needs for all those small skirmish warband tabletop wargamers out there.

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Professor Belfry-Chuffnell and the Yates Brothers

Three upstanding gentlemen joined the Battleshed's In Her Majesty's Name barracks this week: The Brothers Yates and Professor Donald Belfry-Chuffnell.

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Imperial fleet coming into range!

Star Wars: Armada X-Wing squadron engages Imperial forces

My low-ranking, Rebel Alliance X-Wing pilot alter- ego has been on a temporary secondment, where he got to hobnob with the higher echelons of Rebel Command. Swapping his battered flight suit for a hired Alliance uniform, he had an opportunity to observe how Fleet Operations distill all the machinations of strategic and tactical planning into those familiar short, curt commands he normally receives through his fighter com-link. For he was in the nerve centre of Star Wars: Armada.

Saturday, 3 June 2017

The Warehouse: conclusion

Akhenaton uses Clouds Men's Minds on Mohan Singh

Lord Curr adjusted his large calibre Holland & Holland hunting rifle and aimed again. The luminous cross hairs of the monocular targeting array focused on the foreign woman as she stood over Cartwright's drugged, motionless body. There was another loud rumble of thunder, the rain intensifying into a deluge. The image in the sighting reticule blurred from rain water smearing the lens. The Peer quickly wiped it with his thumb before refocusing on the woman. But she was gone. Cartwright's unmoving body was still lying in the wet but the woman had disappeared.

Friday, 2 June 2017

The Tray of Doom!

The Tray of Doom! has arrived! Although hopefully not when it comes to rolling dice. I’ve enough doom-laden dice, thank you very much! This dice tray comes most definitely under the ‘totally unnecessary indulgence, but you’re worth it’ label!

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

The Warehouse: part three

A gunshot. Lady Felicity promptly drew her 'daughters' from concealed holsters secured within her plain lilac skirt. The custom-made Italian pearl handled pistols glinted dully in the diffuse light. She picked up her pace, turning into a grim lane behind the old warehouse. At the other end there was uproar. The Peer's wolfhound was ensnared in a frenzied confrontation with strangely attired assailants. The sounds of the animal's growls and sonorous barks reverberated down the soot-slick brick walls. Lady Felicity started forward but a strange shimmering in the air ahead caused her to check her stride. Then, a stocky, vaguely human form began to coalesce out of the very air.

Tuesday, 30 May 2017

I'm Batman!

Gotham city in the Battleshed. I’m Batman! I may have overcooked impersonating the iconic line a wee bit too much during a weekend encounter with the Batman Miniature Game. I even started to get the raspy voice. I’m Batman!

Thursday, 25 May 2017

The Warehouse: part two

Captain Smyth tries to help defend Dakota

Captain William Smyth, late of the Grenadier Guards, had got the morbs. Shouldering his Martini–Henry rifle, he absently trudged towards the plank and batten doors barring the entrance to the dilapidated industrial warehouse.

Tuesday, 23 May 2017


Anglo-Danes attck with captured Scots warlord

The Scots Warlord, Fearghas MacCoinnich, has found himself in the outrageously humiliating predicament of being ambushed, captured and held to ransom by a bunch of raiding Anglo-Dane barbarians! Wild speculation and baseless rumours abound regarding the circumstance which led to MacCoinnich’s abduction, from illicit liaisons with a notoriously wanton temptress to a particularly drunken and debauched shindig after a successful hunt. Regardless the truth, the Chief’s Hearthguard and loyal household retainers are brutally attempting to quash any dissent whilst the warband is hastily assembled to attempt a rescue.

Thursday, 18 May 2017

The Warehouse: part one

Lord Curr's Company are attacked by the Servants of Ra Cultists

November, 1886. Leaden grey clouds draped listlessly over the abandoned soot stained industrial buildings somewhere in the north of England. Lord Curr thrust his cold-numbed hand deep into his jacket whilst his other tightly gripped his hunting rifle, slick with wet after the recent downpour. Dakota, his American Wolfhound, sat disconsolate and trembling at his side, the dog's fawny-white fur hanging lax and dripping wet. Muffled scrapes and wet booted slaps from the approaching Company detachment sounded nearby as they shuffled into position. Ahead, the warehouse loomed above the grime-slick cobbled streets.

Monday, 15 May 2017

Is there anybody out there?

Carronade 2017 show
The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated. So the popular Mark Twain paraphrase goes. In a similar vein, the recent silence from Battleshed Diaries may have had my reader wondering what on earth has happened? The last report was back in March when the headline was ‘The Indians are coming!’ And then nothing. Nada. Zilch.  

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

The Indians are coming!

Iroquois warriors from Warlord Games

It may seem I've been a bit quiet since my escapades at Vapnartak in York. In reality, I've been as busy as ever on the gaming front over the last few weeks.  I've just kinda' had my head down getting on with various projects, chipping away at my painting queue and regularly losing on the tabletop. So everything, gaming-wise, is pretty much steady at the helm.

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Where did the Minster go? Vapnartak 2017

Vapnartak 2017
By early evening on Sunday, I was in York and ready for some food and a beer or three after a pleasurable day filling my loot bag to the gunnels at Vapnartak 2017!

Thursday, 2 February 2017

Rogue thoughts

Falkirk District Wargames Club Rogue Stars playtest 2017
This week, I took part in a group playtest of Rogue Stars. With the rules only recently released into the wargaming world, a good few folks at my local club were eager to get a squad on the table and see what all the fuss was about. 

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Scalping Practice

Sharp Practice British FIW Relief Force

The Ohio Valley, 1758. Hordes of savage battle-frenzied Indians raging out of the dense forest on one side, opportunistic French Canadian Militia sniping from the forest on the other side, and what appeared to be a troublingly deserted forward supply base further along the rough track that passed for roads in this punishing frontier. Captain Timothy, the commander of the small British relief force, is beginning to regret this little expedition into the North American backcountry.

Thursday, 26 January 2017

Blast! That rotter, Don Paunchero!

Sharp Practice Portuguese Guerrillas

This week, I had an introduction to Sharp Practice! and an opportunity to play a scenario that’s generated much mirth and enthusiasm from other members at my wargaming club. I’ve occasionally found myself taking a quick break from whatever dice rolling I was engaged in at the time just to wander over to see what was causing such gusto. And then slightly surprised to find it was a historical game set in the black powder era, more often associated with all things studiously Napoleonic.

Friday, 20 January 2017

Digital or physical?

Command & Colors: The Great War from the Plastic Soldier Company. It’s a Kickstarter game that I backed in 2015 and since delivery has pretty much sat neglected ever since. For no particular reason that I can button down. Its even found its way from the Battleshed into the house, which is normally the preserve of my current board games of choice. Its as if it snuck in and just sits there, with its appealing cover art just hoping to be picked. Pick me! Pick me!

Thursday, 19 January 2017

Rogue Stars: First impressions

Finally! I’ve had my first foray into Rogue Stars. My bio-engineered simian mercenaries successfully bid on a contract to assassinate a civilian target on Valtius IV. No questions asked. A quick job for easy credits. What could go wrong!?

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Sharp Practice and plumbing

Sharp Practice Régiment de la Reine French

This post was scheduled to be all about my first encounter with Sharp Practice, the lauded Black Powder rules from Too Fat Lardies that I’ve been eager to play. But I failed to make the planned introductory scenario at the local club on Monday due to a ‘plumbing incident’.

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Battleshed Diaries has moved...

Battleshed Diaries has had the builders in! It's not moved far, just changed its address to:


Please use the brand, shiny new address from now on. Remember to update any bookmarks or blog rolls!

Unfortunately, this is likely to remove some historical Google+ comments and 'likes' not posted directly via this blog. Believe me, I've not taken the decision to rename this blog lightly, but I 'm hoping my readers will understand my reason for renaming the blog's url.

In the meantime, my apologies for the inconvenience. I won't be doing this gain in a hurry!

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Broken Legions: First impressions

I’ve been chomping at the bit to try two recent rule additions to the Battleshed library, both are from Osprey Publishing with their distinctive blue livery and captivating cover picture. One is Rogue Stars, the other is Broken Legions. It was pretty much fifty-fifty which one would get to be played first, with Mark Latham’s skirmishing in a faux Roman Empire winning out.

Friday, 6 January 2017

Rogue Stars: The Ucrian Harbingers

Rogue Stars Ucrian Harbingers Bio-engineered Simian squad

The latest crew to enlist at the Battleshed Barracks are five hardnosed and rather hirsute mercenaries calling themselves the Ucrian Harbingers. My first crew for Rogue Stars!

Thursday, 5 January 2017

A glance back, then a Mighty Stride forward

Happy New Year! Battleshed Diaries is limbering up for another year of multifarious wargaming, ridiculously ambitious hobby projects and some serious Lead Mountain mining! And to help activate a movement roll from the passing distractions and indulgences of recent festivities, I’ve actually picked up a brush or two and splattered some paint near some miniatures. Good omens indeed! But first, a quick review of the past year and a look ahead to what I optimistically think will be filling my 2017 gaming calendar.