Sunday, 26 October 2014

Trying something out

I've been a little quiet on the blogging front. I was supposed to game last weekend, but... lets just say... I was feeling a little unwell after a friendly (but very competitive once someone revealed he had organised trophies) evening of pool with a few mates. I think I celebrated my win a little too much..... :)

Anyway, I did make it to gaming today. For something a little different, Mark gave me a game of Saga since I've been curious about it for some time.

I decided to try a force of Scots, whilst Mark tried Normans.

My force (4pts) was:

2 units of 4 Hearthguard (combined to make a unit of 8)
1 unit of 8 Warriors
1 unit of 12 Levies (with javelin)

Mark's Normans were (I think):

Warlord (mounted)
2 units of 4 Hearthguard (mounted and combined to a unit of 8)
2 units of 8 Warriors

Some handy Lord of the Rings models were sub'ed in to represent the forces. My forces being the Urak-Hai & Easterlings.


The Urak-Hai pikemen are the hearthguard. The Easterlings are my levies.

Bascially I had no idea what was going on, but we got underway and Mark showed me how quickly things can happen. This was done by basically using multiple activation's to charge his knights (hearthguard) forward....

Luckily I'd put a Saga die on the Scots "Run Away" ability, so the charging knights were somewhat mystified to see the Scot levies quite quickly move out of the way revealing the Scot hearthguard. So another activation was used for the knights to charge into my hearthguard..

A number of dice rolls later....

I quite like this game already :) To be fair though... this wouldn't be a normal tactic on Mark's behalf, but it did show how brutal combat can be!

I couldn't really figure out the Scot's board and had thought I could only use most of the abilities in the turn where I was active, so I never really used any of the abilities. On re-reading near the end of the game, I think I can use them in any melee (which made more sense and would make the abilities much more useful!).

From here, the Normans continued to advance with a unit of Norman warriors charging my levies. Who ran away. Again :) So, the warriors about faced and charged my hearthguard.

This should be good I thought.... till I rolled some rubbish dice.

And lost the combat with the hearthguard having to break-off. My own warriors and warlord charged and dealt with the pesky warriors leaving Mark with very few options.

Other than to keep charging my levies with his warlord forcing them back...

And then into my warriors, but here I had figured out one of my abilities. I had my Saga dice on "A Barrier Of Spears" and I was able to use fatigue to increase my armour. This gave me a few extra dice!

The end result... 2 hits on Mark's warlord =

So... thoughts. I'm still curious. It was a little hard with not really understanding the battle board and what I could/couldn't do. A few more games will sort that out. As for a force, I was interested in Scots (I like Scotland :) ), but they may be too defensive for me? I might try a couple of other boards out over the next few weeks. My only other rule will be no horses.... I hated painting 15mm horses, so I really don't like the idea of painting 28mm horses! As for the levies... I couldn't really see the point of them?

Whilst Mark and I were playing, Rob and Phil rolled out a game of Bolt Action on a table utilising Phil's recent Sarissa purchases. The table looked pretty cool....

I'm not sure what the final result was, so keep an eye out on Rob's blog...

Rob was fielding one of the Japanese tankettes... it's so tiny! :)

I ended the day with a quick stop in at Ardmore to have a play with some photography only to find the place dead quiet with nothing really flying. So it was off home for a cuppa.

Finally, just to show that I have actually been doing some painting... I finally based my first two Bolt Action squads this week:

Overall, I'm pretty happy with the result. The faces need a bit of tidy up, but otherwise they're done. I may do insignia at some point... but may not :) Plenty more units to go yet. Hopefully I can get a few vehicles done over the next couple of weeks.

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Off on an adventure?

I'm sitting here quietly enjoying a cup of coffee in the peaceful surrounds of home. Just the radio is on quietly in the background.

And I'm trying to imagine something.

Trying to imagine what a 20 year old drug store assistant from Henderson, Auckland would have been feeling about now.

That drug store assistant is Horace Dyason and, about 2 months ago, he joined the NZ Expeditionary Force (later being assigned to the NZ Medical Corp) and is now in a field ambulance section ('B' section).

He is my great-grandfather.

On this day, 100 years ago, he would have be sitting on troopship (Star of India) in the Wellington harbour with the rest of the main NZ force about to depart to fight the Hun (or so they thought). A young man looking back across the harbour at home like so many other young men before the ships depart tomorrow (16th Oct 1914).

I'd imagine he'd be there, maybe with old mates, maybe with some new mates, but maybe also feeling very alone. Perhaps he sees at as an adventure. But, family history says he was a conscientious objector, so I doubt this is an adventure. More of a duty as he didn't want his mother to receive a white feather, but he refused to hold a weapon.

But I really can't imagine what it would feel like 100 years on.

It was only due to an article here on the WW100 site that I realised the significance of this week in relation to NZ's part in WW1.

There is an image in the article I've linked above of a mother saying goodbye to her son. Someone has colourised it. Creates quite a powerful image.

Having a copy of the war records for my great-grandfather. It got me thinking and after a look through them again, I noted that his "foreign service" started on 16/10/14. Early 1900's handwriting is hard to decipher, so it's hard to follow his service, but still it's interesting to try and piece it all together.

Does get you wondering just what they must have been thinking or feeling.

Lest we forget.

Sunday, 12 October 2014


The Diwali festival has been on here in Auckland this weekend.

I don't know much about the festival other than it involves a lot of colour and light.

I was sitting at home working on some models when Rob txt me about popping out since this was a great photo op. So I downed tools and headed on in to the city.

For most of the photos I set the camera to Av with an f-stop of 4 - 5. Iso was set to 400 and I used centre-weighted for metering. The camera did the rest.

Some general city shots:

Some of the crowd....

And the main stage.... the colours of the costumes were amazing. Especially the kids ones. They looked fantastic. I had thought there would be more light or colour effects (colour powders or confetti) around the show, but it wasn't too be. I suspect there may be more this evening (I know there will be fireworks), but neither Rob or I were keen to hang around after spending a few hours checking out the show this afternoon.

Still... as I say the costumes looked awesome.

For a few of these ones, I changed to Tv and lowered the shutter speed to try and catch some blurred movement. Shutter speed was 1/60th.

These kids were awesome. Had the best outfits too.

And to top the day off... there was also some Miss India NZ competition:

And here's Rob trying his best to ignore all the contestants as they walk past... :)