Sunday, 25 May 2014

Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy - International Towel Day

Today is International Towel Day, or simply “Towel Day” to its friends (mainly flannels, extraneous lint and lost socks; those little drawstring nets are just hangers-on), the annual tribute to the life and works of Douglas Noel Adams (11 March 1952 – 11 May 2001), and all the other little bits in between.

Every year, two weeks after the never-ending sadness brought by each anniversary of his cruelly premature death (this time a poignant 13 years to us binary-oriented types, but less so for the decimally unchallenged 42-fingered pillaging virtuosi of Tweeënveertig VII, known across the galaxy for their remarkable axe-wielding piano playing, but alas not their sentimentality), fans celebrate this seemingly innocuous bathroom-based item that Adams elevated to intergalactic significance and utility from the pages of his Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. That book-within-a-book “has a few things to says on the subject of towels.”

A towel, it says, is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have. Partly it has great practical value. You can wrap it around you for warmth as you bound across the cold moons of Jaglan Beta; you can lie on it on the brilliant marble-sanded beaches of Santraginus V, inhaling the heady sea vapors; you can sleep under it beneath the stars which shine so redly on the desert world of Kakrafoon; use it to sail a miniraft down the slow heavy River Moth; wet it for use in hand-to-hand-combat; wrap it round your head to ward off noxious fumes or avoid the gaze of the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal (such a mind-bogglingly stupid animal, it assumes that if you can’t see it, it can’t see you); you can wave your towel in emergencies as a distress signal, and of course dry yourself off with it if it still seems to be clean enough.

More importantly, a towel has immense psychological value. For some reason, if a strag (strag: non-hitch hiker) discovers that a hitch hiker has his towel with him, he will automatically assume that he is also in possession of a toothbrush, face flannel, soap, tin of biscuits, flask, compass, map, ball of string, gnat spray, wet weather gear, space suit etc., etc. Furthermore, the strag will then happily lend the hitch hiker any of these or a dozen other items that the hitch hiker might accidentally have “lost”. What the strag will think is that any man who can hitch the length and breadth of the galaxy, rough it, slum it, struggle against terrible odds, win through, and still knows where his towel is, is clearly a man to be reckoned with.

Hence a phrase that has passed into hitchhiking slang, as in “Hey, you sass that hoopy Ford Prefect? There’s a frood who really knows where his towel is.” (Sass: know, be aware of, meet, have sex with; hoopy: really together guy; frood: really amazingly together guy.)

Most of us earthlings will of course know of the towel’s primary terrestrial application, namely hand-to-hand combat. After all, this is why we called them towels in the first place isn’t it (the early 18th Century Old French verb “toaille” meant to “beat” or “thrash”). However, for future reference in the interests of personal hygiene (from Greek “hugieinē”, the “art of health”) and in the disinterest of personal mould (probably from obsolete late Middle English “mould”), it is also worth noting their absorptive potential.

Douglas Adams’ enduring popularity is undeniably perpetuated by the cultism of Hitchhikers, no self-respecting geek will leave home without a couple of handy over-the-pub-table quotes tucked securely into their back pocket. But, although his minimalist tombstone simply says, “Writer”, Adams offered, and continues to offer, so much more, and endearments from his fan base are almost as eclectic as the multifaceted man: Cambridge Footlights, Monty Python, various radio and television comedies, hospital porter, barn builder, chicken shed cleaner, bodyguard to an oil dynasty, Dr Who, Doctor Snuggles, The Meaning of Liff, the 5 books that comprise The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy trilogy, the Dirk Gently series, Save the Rhino, Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund, Starship Titanic, Bureaucracy, Hyperland, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Future, as well as estimable associations with Richard Dawkins, John Lloyd, Graham Chapman, Stephen Fry, Pink Floyd and Procol Harum.

Douglas Adams was so far ahead, he even managed to die before his time. I know why I love him, and you will have your own reasons, but remember, DON’T PANIC, and wear your towel with pride, in celebration of a true prophet of our age.

Saturday, 24 May 2014

7TV and Bushido

No real battle reports, AAR's or scenario write ups on this one im afraid. Just some nice pics of the couple of games I ran the other week at my local wargames club in Huntingdon (Cambridgeshire)

7TV - The Forces of Captain Scarlet vs the Nefarious Crime Lords and their Femdroids.

Bushido - Prefecture of Ryu (Samurai) vs The Savage Wave (Oni)

Hope you enjoy the pictures.

Friday, 16 May 2014

Ludus Gladiatorius Gladiator Project

Finally I have got round to initially starting my long wanted Gladiator project. I have been wanting to do this for donkey's ages but just never had the time or found exactly what I wanted.

This all changed with my recent Wargames pilgimage to Salute and saw Gripping Beasts new Jugular miniatures for their new Gladiator game.

I did have a demo of Jugular but was not that impressed but was impressed however by the miniatures. These are huge though and well above normal scale - but perfect I thought, as I dont want hundreds of miniatures, just a good handful per side per Ludus or Lanista etc..

The price still remained a bit prohibitive though (£25.50 for 4 miniatures and a few extra heads, weapons etc)

Now being a self confessed bargin hunter and black belt in Googlefu (read tight git with a laptop) I managed to hunt down and aquire two sets of these miniatures for a paltry sum of £40, not a bad saving.

Hence my newly started Gladiator Project!!!

I have also been impressed and possess a nice set of Gladiator Rules from EM4 called Ludus Gladiatorius which have a very nice pick up and play feel which I want, also they have CUSTOM DICE (Dice Whore yay)

During the past couple of weeks I have slowly been searching the old Tinterweb and finding custom and houseruled additions to this game. I have now finally finished a complete draft of my adapted version of Ludus Gladiatorius rules with stat cards and a campaign system.

Right thats miniatures and rules sorted - what to play on I hear you ask. Well, there are alot of compays out there that can supply hex grids/chequer boards/sand mats etc but with the size of Gripping beasts miniatures I needed something a bit bigger.

Heroscape tiles! perfect. Connectable hexes so I can make any size area I wish. I got my Station Workshops to cut a 4mm MDF board for me to attach my hexes to and this will be sprayed with textured undercoat and then painted sand with a few blood splashes etc. A few of the hexes will be left unglued and attached to the board as I have 4 loose bases that I will make into spike pits (you can see the 4 miliiputted bases and the back of the miniatures picture)

These as well as Columns/Pillars are another adaptation to my rules.

So miniatures sorted, rules sorted, arena sorted (just need a few Lions and Tigers at appropriate scale) and now onto the painting.

Bases for pit traps at the back

Murmillo, Hoplomachus, Murmillo, Retiarius

Velite, Traex, Secutor, Retiarius

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Liebster Award

Wow!! I have been nominated for a Liebster Award by both Kieran at Do you have a Flag and Simon Quinton at Brummies Wargaming Blog. This to me is wonderful and very nice knowing that others appreciate my Nerd driven Geekiness posted onto this here Tinterweb thingy.

Most people in Blog land will know what a Liebster Award is but if you dont, its basically a chain letter type thing on Blogs were you nominate Blogs that you like and would recommend to others. Some guidlines to the Award are:

1. Copy and paste the award on your blog linking it to the blogger who has given it you.
2. Pass the award to your top 5-11 blogs with less than 200 followers by leaving a comment on one of their posts to notify them that they have won the award and listing them on your own blog.
3. Relax and ponder your awesomeness that comes with knowing you have made someone's day!
4. There is no obligation to pass this onto someone else but its nice if you take the time to do so.
5. State 10 truths about yourself.
6. Answer the 11 questions sent by the nominee.
7. Choose 11 questions yourself.

10 Truths about Me
  1. I really hate small boats.
  2. At school I had a terrible buffont hair cut!.
  3. I fell off Mount Blanc.
  4. Whilst serving in the Military I have visited over 30 countries but never the Far East.
  5. The worst job I have ever had was castrating piglets.
  6. I absloutely adore the Lake district.
  7. As a challenge for my 40th year on this rock I complete the 3 highest peaks in the UK consecutively.
  8. During the 50th Anniversary of D-Day I was the first Soldier marking the beach at Arromanche for the Veterans to parade and met the Queen and Prince Charles.
  9. I once won a swimming competition run by David Wilkie.
  10. This blog name was changed from Musings of a Frustrated Wargamer.
My 6 Liebster Awardees

Right then, onto my nominations. In no particular order.

I am predominantly only nominating 6 as these all have under 200 followers and are the blogs I regulary read and think deserve more coverage. I follow alot more but these others are packed with followers.
These questions I have to answer are a mix from both blogs that nominated me.

1. Why did you start blogging?
Mostly as a way of logging and keeping track of what I was doing in the hobby and trying to give me focus as I like many others am a bit of a wargames butterfly. I also incredibly unfocused in my painting. I find it very difficult to Ooganise my very little spare time and get the incentive to paint. Iam an incredibly slow painter and am never happy with my efforts.
2. If you could change one thing about the wargaming hobby, what would it be?
To have whatever your looking for available on an affordable scale.  
3. What is best in life?
Bacon and Eggs and a Hot Steaming Mug of Tea!.

4. Do you want to live forever?
Not forever, but I would like to live long enough to find out the answers to things that intrigue me. Are we alone in the Universe, will we get to meet other races. Will we ever get flying cars and will space travel happen like Star Trek etc

5. Fame or fortune?
Neither. I would just like to be comfortable and have the money to indulge myself when I require. 

6. What is your worst habit?
Iam bloody grumpy!
7. If there was one activity you've always wanted to do but never got round to it, what would it be?
Flying a Zeppelin!
8. Star Wars or Star Trek?
Star Wars and the Expanded Universe. I love Star Trek but Star Wars has Lightsabers! I have never run round the garden with a toy gun pretending it to be a phaser but every stick, broom handle and large cardboard tube is a lightsaber - and dont deny you have never done it either! 
9. If you could only buy from one miniature company from now on, which one would it be?
That's a bloody difficult one. At present it would have to be GCT Studios who do the excellent Bushido range. 

10. What is your favourite holiday destination?
San Francisco or Scandanavia.

11. What is your favourite Book/Film/Game character and Why?
This is not one character but a Genre. I am fascinated by Medieval Japanese History/Culture and Mythology so anything that involves reading, watching or gaming this period make me a happy bunny.

I would like my nominees to answer the same questions.

Thanks again to Kieran and Simon on my Liebster Award. Have a cupcake !!


Sunday, 4 May 2014

Happy Star Wars Day


I would like to wish everyone a very happy Star Wars day may the force be with you and your loved ones. Have a great day whatever you are doing.