1917

1917 Movie

At the height of the First World War, two young British soldiers, Schofield (George MacKay) and Blake (Dean-Charles Chapman) are given a seemingly impossible mission. In a race against time, they must cross enemy territory and deliver a message that will stop a deadly attack on hundreds of soldiers—Blake’s own brother among them.

The film is nearly two hours long, the story plays out in real time, and is presented as one continuous shot. The director explains more, in this behind the scenes look…

Alvis FV432 APC (Armoured Personnel Carrier)

Outside the Land Warfare exhibit at the Imperial War Museum Duxford is an Alvis FV432 APC (Armoured Personnel Carrier).

This British tracked armoured personnel carrier has a crew of 2 with capacity for 10 personnel, powered by Rolls-Royce 6-cylinder multi-fuel engine, armed with one machine gun.

Alvis FV432 APC (Armoured Personnel Carrier)

The FV432 is the armoured personnel carrier variant of the British Army’s FV430 series of armoured fighting vehicles. Since its introduction in the 1960s, it has been the most common variant, being used for transporting infantry on the battlefield. In the 1980s, almost 2,500 vehicles were in use, with around 1,500 remaining in operation – mostly in supporting arms rather than front-line infantry service.

Although the FV432 Series was to have been phased out of service in favour of newer vehicles, such as the Warrior and the CVR(T) series, 500 have been upgraded to extend their service into the next decade.[1]

Alvis FV432 APC (Armoured Personnel Carrier)

This particular FV432 entered service December 1964 with the 1st Battalion Gordon Highlanders BAOR.

Top Ten Blog Posts 2018

In 2018 I wrote 21 blog posts, a much smaller number than in other years.

Here are my top ten blog posts in reverse order. As is typical most posts are from previous years.

The tenth most popular post was about a Forge World Diorama at Games Day 2012.

Forge World Diorama – Games Day 2012

Post number nine was about the Amazon series The Man in the High Castle, which you can find on Amazon Prime Video.

The Man in the High Castle

54mm D-Day was my eighth most popular post. In the depths of the Nothe Fort in Weymouth (as well as a civillian nuclear bunker (now abandoned)) there is a really beautiful 54mm scale model of the D-Day landings

54mm D-Day

Seven was Downed Valkyrie.

Downed Valkyrie

Sixth most popular post about the time I ordered Ork Battlewagon Upgrade Pack.

Ork Battlewagon Upgrade Pack

Post number five was photographs from Dwarf City under attack. This was of my favourite display game at GamesDay 2008, it was the Dwarf City that was under attack by a sea borne Orc and Goblin army.

Dwarf City under attack

Fourth post was Tsar Boris of Kislev on Bear.

Tsar Boris of Kislev on Bear

Ay number three was a Dwarf City under attack post.

Dwarf City under attack

My second most popular post was a photograph of a Beautiful Dystopian Wars game.

Beautiful Dystopian Wars

My top post in 2017 was another Dwarf City under attack post.

Dwarf City under attack

 

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald – Official Comic-Con Trailer

The newest trailer for the second film in the Fantastic Beasts series has been released at Comic-Con in the US.

The Crimes of Grindelwald is the second of five all new adventures in the wizarding world created by J.K. Rowling.
I like the 1920s background to the films and feel it creates an ideal environment in which potentially games could take place. I am thinking about adding magic and wizards to games using The Chicago Way ruleset.

Top Ten Posts of 2017

In 2017 I wrote 41 blog posts, a much smaller number than in other years, but more than the 27 I wrote in 2016. Hope to change that for 2018.

Here are my top ten blog posts in reverse order. As is typical most posts are from previous years.

The tenth most popular post was about the new, as in 2007 new, Ork Army Box, Deal or No Deal.

Post number nine was some Ork Kill Krusha ‘Eavy Tank Concepts I had taken some photographs of at the Forge World Open Day.

Finishing the Shotgun House was my eighth most popular post and was from 2017. This was a post on finishing my Chicago Way Shotgun House from 4Ground.

Post number seven was entitled 54mm D-Day. In the depths of the Nothe Fort in Weymouth (as well as a civillian nuclear bunker (now abandoned)) there is a really beautiful 54mm scale model of the D-Day landings

Sixth most popular post was from 2017 and was about The demise of the Dystopian Wars. However I am really pleased to hear that Dystopian Wars hasn’t died and is coming back.

Post number five was photographs from Dwarf City under attack. This was of my favourite display game at GamesDay 2008, it was the Dwarf City that was under attack by a sea borne Orc and Goblin army.

Fourth post was about the new Games Workshop Shrine of The Aquila scenery

At number three was a post from 2017, and was of my new Scorpion tanks for Team Yankee – 15mm British Combat Vehicle Reconnaissance (Tracked) – Team Yankee.

My second most popular post was a photograph of a Beautiful Dystopian Wars game.

My top post in 2017 was another Dwarf City under attack post.

Hawker Siddeley Dominie T.Mk.1

I am impressed with the range and variety of aircraft on display at RAF Cosford. The first aircraft you see (well apart from the VC10 and Hercules by the car park, oh and the huge Bristol Britannia 312!

So once you have entered the museum, proper, the first aircraft you see is the Hawker Siddeley Dominie T.Mk.1 a navigation trainer used by the RAF.

Hawker Siddeley Dominie T.Mk.1

The Dominie advanced navigation trainer saw long service with the RAF. It was the first jet-powered navigation trainer designed specifically for such a purpose to enter service with the Royal Air Force.

Hawker Siddeley Dominie T.Mk.1

The Hawker Siddeley Dominie T.Mk.1 entered service in 1965 and was developed from the Hawker Siddeley HS.125 a twin-engine mid-size business jet.

Hawker Siddeley Dominie T.Mk.1

The Dominie T1 was used to train weapon systems officers and operators, air engineers and air loadmasters in systems management, air leadership, decision making and teamwork. The Dominie was retired in January 2011.

The demise of the Dystopian Wars

I was saddened to hear of the demise of Spartan Games, the company behind the wonderful Dystopian Wars and hope the future bears well for all the staff there.

The Dystopian Wars is one of my favourite games, though to be honest I’ve not played for a while.

What I think is interesting reading the discussions forums, talking to a couple of independent gaming store owners was how the business model and selling tactics of Spartan Games impacted on my buying patterns and potentially the impact this had overall on sales.

When I first found out about the Dystopian Wars back in 2011, it was one of those games which just makes me go “woah!” and I just have to have it. So when I saw the Dystopian Wars when I was a gaming shop in Birmingham, I was like a moth to a candle! This was one of those games that I just had to have and would have to play.

Looking at the models, unfortunately the rules had sold out, there was one model that caught my eye and that was the model I had to have and would set me down the path of the Dystopian Wars. It was the blister of the Prussian Sky Fortress. A few weeks later I managed to get hold of the rulebook and was very impressed with the content and production values.

What I liked about the game, from a purchasing perspective, was that I could pop into a gaming shop and pick up one or two blisters.

Dystopian Wars Kingdom of Britannia Ruler Class Battleship HMS King Richard III

Yes I know I could have picked up a boxed set or done a mail order for a load of models, however having the possibility of choosing from a range of models meant that I bought more overall. I would often add a blister to another purchase, I know I wouldn’t have done that if the range was only available in large boxes.

So of course when retailers were no longer able to sell the blisters, then I would no longer be buying the models as I did. As for mail order, well yes I could do that, but then again that would have required a significant purchase of stuff, something I don’t do very often, and it would take a real need for a range of stuff, as few people offer free postage and packing, or you need to spend a bundle of money to get free delivery. I liked to be able to go into a gaming store and buy one or two (or three) models alongside other purchases. I did hear from one retailer that Spartan Games stopped supplying them with blisters, only boxes, expecting retailers to market the game to players, and then for the players to buy extra ships direct from Spartan. I didn’t know that until recently, I just assumed with the declining range of blisters of ships that no one was playing the game. In the end I stopped buying new ships, as there wasn’t anything “new” for my Prussian and Britannia forces.

I also feel that Spartan got distracted by the Dystopian Legions game. Initially I was really excited about the Dystopian Legions, then I found out that the models were 32mm, rather than the classic 25/28mm and that immediately put me off. If I was buying figures and vehicles then I would want to use them with my existing models, but actually I would also be using them with my existing 25/28mm scenery. So though I loved Dystopian Wars, I didn’t buy a single Dystopian Legions model.

Dystopian Wars: Prussian Empire Blucher Class Dreadnought

I am sad to hear of the demise of the game, I really liked the concepts in the Kickstarter campaign (which I only found out about after the demise) and I wonder if another person or company will purchase the IP behind Dystopian Wars and it will remerge. Even so I have a lot of models, so I can keep playing.

The Curse of Dead Man’s Hand

I have really enjoyed playing Great Escape Games’ rules, Dead Man’s Hand. It is an enjoyable set of rules that allow for games in the Old West. I like the mechanics and the ease of playing.

Great Escape have taken their rules into 1920s prohibition with The Chicago Way and these rules allow you to recreate the Untouchables.

Their next set of rules look very interesting with the addition of what looks like the undead into the Old West, with their new set, The Curse of Dead Man’s Hand.

he Curse of Dead Man's Hand source book

The curse has finally come to Dead Man’s Hand.Get together anybody you can, time to put petty rivalries aside and stand together against an enemy who shows no mercy, who will take it all, and leave you with nothing, not even your soul.

You need a copy of the Dead Man’s Hand rule book to use the source book.

The Curse of Dead Man's Hand

As well as rules, there are going to be some new buildings from 4Ground, which you can see as background in these photographs from Great Escape Games.

The Curse of Dead Man's Hand

These buildings look like they will also be useful for “normal” games of Dead Man’s Hand.

SS-GB

SS-GB

Adapted from Len Deighton’s 1978 alternate history novel, and starring Sam Riley and Kate Bosworth, SS-GB premieres on BBC One on the 19th February 2017.

Produced by Sid Gentle Films Ltd and written by Bafta Award-winners Neal Purvis and Robert Wade, SS-GB is a complex thriller focusing on British Detective Douglas Archer.

Forced to work under the brutal SS in occupied London, Archer is determined to continue to do his job in the service of his country, but against impossible odds.

We first meet Archer in 1941, with the vast majority of England and Wales are under Nazi occupation after losing the Battle of Britain. Pockets of resistance continue to show their defiance against the occupying German forces, but after a German pilot is murdered by a British Resistance fighter, tensions in London could not be higher.

When investigating what appears to be a simple black market murder, Archer is dragged into a much darker and more treacherous world where the stakes are as high as the ultimate outcome of the war. The elusive American journalist Barbara Barga may hold the key – but can he trust her? And when his lover Sylvia endangers her life by bravely making a stand against the oppressive regime, Archer is forced to confront a deeper dilemma. Can he carry out his duty to defend law and order when he is working for the wrong side? What is he willing to risk in the fight against fascism?

The trailer and the images released so far, show a disturbing image of London under Nazi occupation. What may have happened if the proposed Operation Sealion was successful and Britain had lost the Battle of Britain in 1940.

Though most experts agree that there was little or no chance of Operation Sealion ever succeeding, many people have wondered and extrapolated what could have happened if it had indeed taken place and the Germans were victorious.

The background of SS-GB offers a range of gaming scenarios across different kinds of actions and scales. I may explore these in a later post once I have viewed the first few episodes.