Tuesday, 29 December 2015

What!? Already!?

Another year is over!?

Is it me or has this year gone by particularly quickly?

I don't think I had a master plan for this year, so I've gone back over my posts to reflect on what I have been up too...

Painting & Gaming

Painting wise there isn't much to show for 2016. I'd been chipping away at my Bolt Action German force, only to have all painting pretty much stopped after a wrist injury at the end of May.

Still, I'm pretty happy with what I did paint.

Oh and I got some paint of some Empire of the Dead models :-)

Gaming wise... lots of games, as always, which is great. Mixed results throughout, but I was pleased to see the return of Infinity (albeit it briefly) and Flames of War in among a whole heap of Bolt Action games.

Our massive X-Wing game was also great fun and a great success!

My Incursion kickstarter also arrived and has been great fun to play. Expect to see more of this one!

And.... I finally got round to organising an Empire of Dead game :-)

So a good year of games with some good mates. Let the good times roll into 2016!


Refer to the comment above about the wrist injury :-( Kinda killed much in the way of training this year as the recovery and rehab process has been long and slow (scaphoid ligament sprain) especially since I was in a good place strength and fitness wise just prior. I'm only just starting to come right now where I can do some upper body training.

Still, on the bright side... my legs have got a lot stronger! :-)

Here's hoping for a better year training wise in 2016!


A good year photography wise. Especially with two actual paying jobs - One at the Auckland War Memorial Museum and one at Crossfit box I train at.

The museum job was a pretty special one as it was the 100th anniversary of the landings at Gallipoli. It was somewhat of an honour to be able to work on the day and cover some of the ceremony. 

To top it off, my lasting memory of RNZAF Huey's will be that amazing sound cutting through the crisp still air just before dawn. The crowd was hushed as they got louder and louder, eyes straining to spot where they were coming from. Finally, two spec's could be made out in the faint dawn light as two Huey's made they way in and flew over the cenotaph in remembrance. Awesome to see and hear.

Otherwise lots of other outings (not all of planes either :-) ), an attempt to get a small comp going between a few of us in between a few other random shoots. 

Photographing the Crossfit comps was great fun and it was pleasing that all the guys were stoked with the photos. A fair few are Facebook profile pictures now :-)

But the big one... Omaka Classic Fighters. Well, well worth it. I can't wait until the next one in 2017! No more needs to be said on how awesome this event is.

Otherwise, life in general is good. Good friends, good family, good whisky and a good job / career. 

Speaking of which, 2016 is going to be a hectic year work wise, but it is all for good. Another opportunity to be involved in and lead something great. Should lead to good things all going well! Hopefully it doesn't impact my blogging / gaming too much.

I suspect 2016 will be a good year in other aspects too. Let's see what happens.

Looking forward to more games, whiskey and beers with great mates.

Roll on 2016.

Happy New Year all.

Thank you for taking the time to read my ramblings and trawl through all my photos over the last year :-)

Thursday, 24 December 2015

Merry Christmas

Just a quick post on Christmas Eve to wish you all a Merry Christmas.

Eat too much, drink too much and enjoy yourselves. I know I will be :-)

Sunday, 20 December 2015

A long time coming!

Today was the day.

I finally decided to take my Empire of the Dead stuff around to games today. I'd kinda gone a little crazy with the kickstarter and then with buildings to use with them (when added to Rob's buildings, it made quite the table).... It was just one of those games that caught my imagination.

I'd made a few lists.... Lycons, Criminal Gang, Gentleman Club and Nemoian's (a crew that Rob had bought).

We decided on a 3-way battle first up. Rob would run Nemo & crew. I made the mistake of letting Mark pick one of the other factions first. Since he was feeling a little hairy... Lycon's it was.

I decided to pick the Criminal Gang.

We went for just a basic beat every up to try and get the hang of the rules.

Unfortunately I didn't take too many pics.

The table:

Nemo and crew arrive...

Lycon's sneak in around the back...

My criminals reckon they are pretty 'ard, So the Guv just sends them straight down the middle of the road...

Soon Rob and I have models in combat. All that we seem able to do discombobulate each other and it seems a struggle to deal any real damage.

That is until the werewolves arrive...

And they promptly start eating everyone. Far to easily.... (note to self.... buy some silver next time).

I finally cause a couple of downs on Rob's gang -

But the damage is done. My force breaks and Rob's follows not long after. Pretty convincing win for the Lycon's. The game flowed pretty well and we picked up the rules pretty quick, although we realised a little later in the game that we weren't quite doing everything right.

Game 2 was Rob vs. myself. I switched to the Gentleman's Club to give them a try.

But mainly because I'd outfitted that list with a couple of hunting rifles..

Suffice to say the rifles and large number of pistols coupled with some very good rolling made short work of the Nemoian's. Very short.

Overall, a very enjoyable game. Relatively simple to pick up and play (reminded us of games like Legends of the Old West etc).There's already talk of more play and even potentially starting a campaign. I think I'll need to be doing some list revisions to deal with werewolves... :-)

So, something that will definitely get some more game time.

As it was my birthday on Friday, the guys also surprised me with a birthday gift which was quite unexpected.

I'm looking forward to trying it. Thanks again for the gift guys! :-)

On a more somber note though. Some of you may be aware of my interest in history, particularly the Gallipoli campaign and my family connection there. My Great-Grandfather had long been evacuated, but 100 years ago today the campaign effectively ended. A lot of what if's, missed opportunities and unnecessary causalities, but I guess that is the same with any war. The evacuation was at least a masterpiece in planning and with how it was executed.

Taken from the only NZ history:
"The evacuation of Anzac began on 15 December, and 36,000 troops were shipped out over four nights. Support troops and reserves went first, then the fighting units were thinned out until only 10,000 remained on 19 December. They moved out that night in a coordinated withdrawal from the front-line trenches. At 4.10 a.m. on the 20th, the last men left Anzac Cove. Suvla was evacuated the same night, but British and French forces remained at Helles until 8-9 January 1916. Then the campaign was over."
Lest we forget.

Monday, 14 December 2015

Fit Girls

and guys!

The NZ Fitness League finals were held on Saturday. This is a team event where each week teams compete against other from across their region.

The crossfit box I train at won the East Auckland regional. This got them into the Open category finals. They would be competing against 8 teams from around the country, each of whom would be updating their scores as they went. Each team had to have 3 male and 3 female competitors. Different combinations of athletes could do each wod - sometimes the whole team, other times only a couple.

To make it a little more interesting, the Auckland teams went head to head at one of the local boxes.

I popped down to watch and grabbed a few shots of some very tough wods! Lots of pain faces :-)

Open Finals:

Then it was onto the Premier teams... i.e some of the top athletes in the country. Only one of the Auckland teams could make it to the head to head, so an invitational team was assembled, i.e. pretty much the best of the best including this guy who had literally just got off the plane from an event in Spain....

Kevin Manuel - NZ's top crossfit athlete. He placed 17th at the world crossfit games this year, making him the 17th fittest man in the world. Suffice to say, he made the workouts look easy!

The guys from my box, well they didn't place, but they certainly gave it everything! Just getting to the top 8 was pretty impressive.

Photo wise, the lighting was quite good, so I was able to up the shutter speed. Have decided not to do too much to these photos apart from the odd b&w. Only downside was the bars / judges tended to get in the way of the some good shots. All taken with my 18 - 55mm lens.

All good fun. I'm looking forward to completing rehab for my injury so I can get back into it!


Monday, 7 December 2015

Back to Muriwai

A cunning plan to head to the zoo just prior to the school holidays (i.e. crazy busy times) failed miserably this weekend as a sunny day meant everyone else in Auckland had the same idea. Well, maybe not everyone, but a heck of a lot of people anyway.

I'd driven around the block a couple of times trying to find parking along with a number of other cars... some of whom even slowly tailed families in the hope they may be returning to their car.

Not to mention driving past at least one car owner sheepishly leaving a note on someone else's car and then nearly being part of a multi-car pile-up when another spotted a park and went for it rather abruptly!

That was it for me... I was on the phone to Rob to request we enact a plan B. But we didn't have a plan B. so the easiest option was a trip out to Muriwai since he hadn't left home and I was half way there. A quick call to Mark G revealed he was having the same fun as me with trying to find parking, so it was off to Muriwai.

Unfortunately poor surf and crap winds meant the surfers and kite surfers were pretty quiet. So, we mostly spent some time up around the Gannet colony.

It gave me another good chance to use my 70 - 200mm along with a few alternative settings.

Mainly a change to the tracking settings based on reading this blog. Overall, I'm happy with the result. I still prefer the 9 box AF selection option, but the full 65pt was okay with this setting. Worth another go at a later date.

Anyway, here are the photos -

Seemed to be one or two Tern about...

Along with one show off in the wind that was there...

But this is more my style... just hangin out, enjoying the view...

Finally, welcome to a new follower - Gargamel from A Buncha Geeks. I'm expecting lots of awesome posts on board games, crazy movies and an eclectic mix of music reviews from this blog. The link recommended here is a good starting point! :-)

Thanks for reading.