Sunday, 31 August 2014

For Sale: HeroQuest Expansions

In both these sets the cards have been punched out and the miniatures removed from their sprues and partially painted.  There is no damage, and they seem to be practically unplayed-with.  For some reason I don't seem to have photographed the scenario booklets, but they are there and in pristine condition.

I'm sorry for the fuzziness  of some of the photos!  Open them in a new tab for the option to supersize them.

The links are to reviews on BoardGameGeek.

If you want to email me, my address is diplomatist2 "at" gmail "dot" com.

HeroQuest: Kellar's Keep - £30.00 (plus postage) - RESERVED





HeroQuest: Return of the Witch Lord - £28.00 (plus postage)

As far as I can see ,this is missing three small counters - two of the rubble ones and another.





Saturday, 30 August 2014

The Return of Paint Table Saturday!



I would like you to get the wrong idea though - I haven't actually painted anything!  But I've moved a little closer to it....



As I reported the yesterday, I'm going to focus my efforts on Pulp in Egypt.  However, I feel honour bound to finish off the nephew's Zulus (at least before Christmas!).


Terrain from Fenris

Friday, 29 August 2014

A Tale of Two Orders; Playing at a Distance; Selling Stuff

I'm sorry to to have posted this week - I seem to have been too busy or too tired.

At some stage after midnight on Monday I placed two on-line orders, one with Amazon and the other with Wargames Foundry.  Yesterday there were developments with both orders: first I got an e-mail from Amazon telling me that they were just debiting my card; secondly, my order from Wargames Foundry arrived.  I've not ordered from WF before and I am very impressed with the speed (and lack of fuss!) at which this was done and sorted.

Before ordering, I had a sit down with The Wife, and we discussed gaming priorities and needs.

  • Tiny little ships are too fiddly and too expensive.
  • Old West figures, gangsters, pirates, dinosaurs and retro spacemen are fun, but would require some investment of time and money before there were playable

The best thing to do would be to concentrate on finishing the stalled Pulp in Egypt project.

Accordingly, I did a mental audit of what we've got and haven't got (I know I should do a proper audit and get pieces onto a table, but "too busy or too tired").  I've primed some terrain pieces and vehicles (yes - there will be a Paint-table Saturday post this week!).

The order from WF was two packs from their Egyptian Adventures range.

Arab diggers

The Resurrection Party

Good stuff!


Playing at a Distance

Clint's PBB game of Blood, Bilges and Iron Balls goes on great guns (ha-ha!).  The events of Turn 5 will be announced tomorrow and there's the possibly that we'll see gun-smoke.  My take on events will be here.

Tomorrow is also the deadline for the first round of orders the Padre's game of Diplomacy.  Now, despite my moniker I know nothing of Diplomacy and I'm up a tree - I haven't even finished reading the rules yet!  Given the nature of the game, I won't be giving a turn-by-turn report (I'm not even going to let on as to which nation I'm playing).

And on-line, Pirates Glory is proving interesting.  I had a bit of a run-in with a guild of zombie pirates who are a little too happy to place voodoo curses on anyone who upsets them.  On a happier note, I've liaisons with three Governors' Daughters - and I feel a proposal coming on!

Selling Stuff

Just a heads-up that I've got a couple of HeroQuest expansions (Kellar's Keep and Return of the Witch Lord) that I'm selling.  I just need to check everything's in good condition and complete, and then take some photos.  I put them up for sale here first and a day later on the LAF.

And, of course, there's always Diplomatist Books...

Apart from adding new stock, my main task this week will be to make the Military & Naval History list more manageable by separating and re-arranging the WWII material.

I'm expecting a shipment from a supplier of remaindered books, but no sign of it yet.  Sign-up to the FaceBook page for announcements and updates - and the occasional special offer!

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Happy Blogday! Prizes to Follow...

Today is this blog's third anniversary.  I wasn't sure what I expected when I started, but I've been pleasantly surprised - there's lots of nice people out there in the blogosphere and it'd been a pleasure to meet some of them.  Blogging and blog reading has become part of my routine.

Some stats:-

  • 438 published posts
  • 83,178 hits
  • 1546 comments - these are particularly appreciated (do comment, even if you haven't before)

Graph of Blogger page views
Ignore the x-axis - it's wrong

Since I installed the flag widget on 31 Mar 2013, I've had visits from 131 different countries.

The ten most popular posts are

EntryPageviews
2149

998

868

771

6 Dec 2012, 2 comments
697

2 Apr 2014, 62 comments
621

16 Jul 2013, 22 comments
598

455

4 May 2014, 18 comments
402

337

So I suppose the message is, fill the blog with posts about royals and with giveaways.

And with that bombshell I hereby announce there will be a Blogday Giveawy later in the week (when I get my act together)

Saturday, 23 August 2014

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

More on Depression. And Cancer

In blogging circles there is a widely held theory (proven I think), that if you title your post 'TITS!  BOOBIES!!!  MORE TITS!!!' you will get record hits.  I think with this post I'll probably prove the corollary ;-)

I found the coverage of Robin William's suicide interesting.  For a while he was almost literally the poster boy for male depression, such were the number of memes (like the one I shared the other day) that his death sprouted.  In the media there were a lot of very thoughtful articles and reports about how depression, self-harm and suicide were hidden epidemics affecting the male population.



Yet, old tropes still came up.  I can imagine editors sitting around saying "But what did he have to be depressed about?  There must be another story here."  So, as in the beginning of 'Citizen Kane', we seemed to have reported set out to find reasons.  We got the old 'Tears of the Clown' stories with articles about how depression is the price of comic genius (just as alcoholism is the price of being a writer; or serving in Flanders is a required qualification for writing poetry); we got articles about how divorce and property deals had whittled away his fortune.  And then came the statement from the family that Williams had be diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease: and you could practically hear a collective sigh of relief - "Of course he was depressed."  The articles about mental health dried up.

Well I'm sorry, that's not how it works.  Depression isn't logical, and suicide especially isn't.  It would be nice if it was: the we'd only have to identify what was bothering someone and remove it, then they'd be able to snap out of it and pull themselves together.  As if...

Of course if you have worries it all adds up, but depression strikes everyone, millionaires and members of supportive families just as it affects the unemployed, the homeless and the lonely.  And that's not even to mention Anxiety, which I'm not going to touch on.

And now a happier story

This isn't something I'm involved in, but news of it popped into my Facebook feed this afternoon.

The Aftermath Gaming Club in Norwich will be running a 24-hour gaming event in aid of WAAC, starting at 10.00am on Saturday 23 August and lasting 24 hours.  Details here.

WAAC is 'Wargamers All Against Cancer' set up after a wargamer's mother was diagnosed with cancer.  It is raising money for Macmillan Cancer Support - details of WAAC can be found on their Just Giving page, where you can make donations (they're already very near their £3,000 target, hopefully they will make more).

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

New Follower Welcomes

Welcome to two new followers who have joined in the last few days

  • Ken Reilly of the Yarkshire Gamer which is a very nice looking blog covering all sorts of wargaming areas (including tiny ships).
  • MarkG of the interestingly named Repple Depple Club House who seems to wargame WWII onwards.
Hello guys!

And as is traditional, here's a couple of random images I couldn't squeeze in elsewhere.


A 1938 Kamm Stromlinie

Calculator designed by J H von Müller (1746-1830)


The pictures above are from the great Dark Roasted Blend website (which I mine often), the one below comes from the website of the artist, who I saw being interviewed on the TV.



Sunday, 17 August 2014

This Week's Obits of Interest

A tough week this one, with "the world's funniest man" and a Grand Old Dame (or Grand Old Broad?) of cinema dying...

Lauren Bacall (d 12 Aug 204
Actress 
Daily Telegraph obit 13 Aug 2014
Guardian obit 13 Aug 2014
Independent obit 13 Aug 2014


Maj-Gen Peter Istead
Soldier awarded the George Medal 
Daily Telegraph obit 13 Aug 2014


Ian McMillan (d.19 Jul 2014)
Marine Engineer
Guardian obit 14 Aug 2014


Robin Williams (d 11 Aug 2014)
Actor and Comedian
Daily Telegraph obit 12 Aug 2014
Guardian obit 12 Aug 2014
Independent obit 12 Aug 2014
Scotsman obit Aug 12 2014





Saturday, 16 August 2014

A News Round-Up

I've been a little under the weather for the last couple of days, which is why I haven't blogged as much as I'd intended.  So today's post is by the way of a catch-all round-up.

Bloggers for Charity


The end of the BfC auction means the end of active fundraising for BfC 2014.  I was able to post an announcement that the total raised for Help for Heroes was £718 - a very nice sum indeed!

It looks unlikely that there will be a BfC 2015.

A Mile-Stone

Ste over at Monty's Caravan this week hit the 100K visitors mark.  He promises prizes, so perhaps now is a good time to visit this excellent blog!

Wargame Bloggers' Quarterly



As surely everyone whose interested in this field now knows, a new e-zine, the WBQ was launched last weekend.  It's of very high quality and has already had over 1,000 downloads.

I'm sure anyone who follows hobby blogs and forums realises that the growth of self-publishing on the internet will be the death-knell of hobby magazines unless they change their act drastically.  Because of the visual aspect and potential for instant feedback this seems to particularly likely in the wargaming world.  It would be an interest subject for someone with more knowledge than me to blog about.

Anyway, I wish all involved much success and look forward to future issues.

The Dawlish Chronicles

A bit French, bu you get the idea...

A blog I've recently started to follow might be of interest to readers.  The Dawlish Cronicles is a blog by Antoine Vanner, author of the series of books of the same name (two so far) that chart the career of Nicholas Dawlish during the transition of navies from Age of Sail to that of the Ironclads.

We already have the following teaser about how the series will end:
Admiral Sir Nicholas Dawlish is probably best remembered today for leaving retirement in 1914, at the request of his friend and sometime rival Lord Fisher, to assume responsibility for Unconventional Naval Operations. 
His imaginative filling of that role, and his death at the age of seventy two on the Zeebrugge Mole, where he fell in a hail of machine-gun fire on St.George's Day 1918, (making him the oldest serving officer to fall in action in either World War), ended an illustrious career in a manner which he would have found wholly appropriate...
The blog isn't about the books, but is the history behind this period of transition.  It's great stuff and well-researched.

The PBB BBIB Game


Clint's Play-by-Blog game of Blood, Bilges and Iron Balls continues.  He published the results of Turn 3 today and, though we're still a fair bit from any action, things are beginning to mix up...

I'll update my PBB page once I've worked out the ramifications and transcribed the relevant section from Capt Fearless' memoirs.

Other Games


Given the success of the BBIB game, I've signed up for another play-by-blog one.  This will be the famously devious board-game Diplomacy being run by The Man Padre.

It may be the worse decision I've made in a long time!



I normally avoid playing on-line games (because it then becomes difficult to pull myself away from the computer!), but suffering as many are from Piratitis, I found it difficult to resist Pirates Glory, a trading and plunder game.  I'm actually enjoying it so far.

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Normal for Norfolk (No 2)

Those of you who were so tickled by my account of strange apparitions in Norwich might find this one interesting...



I've mentioned the West Runton Elephant before.  Well, by the virtue of some Norfolk alchemy it lives!




Actually, no.  This is a plywood replica (by the name of 'Hugh Mongous') that took Jeremy Moore, a local engineer, three months to build.  Earlier today he went for a stroll along the beach.

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

About Suicide


The death of Robin Williams has brought to the fore something I have touched on before - problems with mental health.

Some stats

  • The worldwide suicide rate is 15 in 100,000 people - in the EU is is 17.5; in England it is 10; in both Northern Ireland and Wales it is 11; and in Scotland it is 20.
  • Suicide is the most common cause of death in men under 35.
  • Men are three times more likely to kill themselves than women.  This surprises some - despite or because of the fact that women are more likely to seek treatment for depression (29% compared to 17%).
  • Britain has the highest rate of self-harm in Europe - 400 per 100,000 people.  People who self-harm are at a much increased risk of death by suicide.

All these stats come from the Mental Health Foundation report Fundamental Facts.  


In the UK, the Samaritans provides confidential emotional support 24/7 to those experiencing despair, distress or suicidal feelings.  They can be contacted by telephone, email, letter and face to face.  If you need to, talk to them.

Good luck and good mental health.

Monday, 11 August 2014

A Fortuitous Find!



While buying books in a Country Auction this weekend, I was fortunate to find no less that that very rare volume Memoirs of the Eventful Life in the Service of Four Navies of Admiral Sir Henry Fearless, GCB, KH, FRS, Cmdr of the Order of the Tower and Sword, Order of Merit of Chile, Etc, etc.

As naval historians will know Sir Henry's autobiography is extremely hard to find, only one print-run having been made in 1854 before the Anglo-French fleet under his command was surprised by the Russians and annihilated.  The undeniable fact that the nonagaenarian admiral had, in the heat of battle, forgotten that the French were allies and rammed his second-in-command - all the time screaming that the Russian steam frigates were "The Devil's ships, come to take us to Hades!" -  led to scandal and a re-assessment of his heroic status.  Most copies of his autobiography were pulped.

Interestingly, from my point of view, Sir Henry devotes some space to his version of the 1803 clash out of El Puerto de Santiago.  I have now included extracts in my own account of the encounter.

Sir Henry Fearless

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Ancestral Voices From Afar...*

No, not really.  Any Celtic heritage I have is Irish rather than Welsh, but I spent a formative time in Wales when at university - seven years all told (I'm a slow reader).

I was having one of my nights sitting up, doing nothing when I had a sudden craving for Welsh music.  Now,  generations of male voice choirs have given Welsh music a bad rep ("And he sings far too loud, far too often, and flat!") but it has been rescued of late:-


And if you can rescue Myfanwy - that most maudlin of songs** - you are a true genius! I've been across to Amazon and ordered Tir on the strength of it.

If you're in the mood for something a little more stirring and stereotypical (I can't believe I've written that something's more stereotypical than Myfanwy!)


And finally, something a little more fun..



*A small dollop of kudos to the first to give the sources of both the title of this post and the quotation about Welsh singing without referring to Google (truly Ancestral Voices!)

**With apologies to those who sit in the Danny Boy camp.

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

First Shots, First Losses

HMS Amphion
On 5 August 1914 the Royal Navy's Harwich Force made their first wartime sweep of the northern approaches to the English Channel as far as the Dutch Coast.  The rear part - the cruiser HMS Amphion (Capt C H Fox) and destroyers from the 3rd Destroyer Flotilla - were advised by a trawler that a suspicious vessel had been seen "throwing things overboard".

The Koenigin Luise in peacetime - for war service she was re-painted in
the colours of a Great Eastern Railway Co ferry

Two of the destroyers, Lance and Landrail, were sent ahead to investigate.  About 11 am they sighted the Koenigin Luise (Cdr Biermann) a ferry that had been requisitioned to serve as a mine-layer.  The destroyers gave chase, signalling the rest of the force to join them.  Lance opened fire, the first British shots of the world war.

Lance's 4 in gun, preserved in the Imperial War Museum

When Amphion and the the rest of the destroyers joined the fight, Koenigin Luise attempted to withdraw to neutral waters (leading the British into a minefield on the way).  This failed and, hopelessly out-numbered, Biermann gave the order to scuttle.  Koenigin Luise sank at 12.22, and 46 of the 100 crew were picked up by the British ships.

Fox later commented on the effectiveness of his gunnery:-
I commenced with salvoes from the three foremost guns with 7,200 yards on the sights; the first salvo was short and badly out for deflection; I made a lucky correction for the latter and went up 500; one round of the next salvo hit the top of the Keonign [sic] Louise's foremast and exploded. This was too much for the guns' crews, whom I previously imagined to be drill perfect; they started off firing as fast as they could, and it was a good minute before by dint of throwing things at them that I could stop them; the sights were again corrected and the order given for rapid independent — "Fire three rounds." At least two out of the three shots hit consistently. 
The RN's first naval engagement was a victory - as the Official History puts it "and so we drew first blood".  Yet two incidents quickly followed that cast a shadow over this victory.

Capt (later Rear-Adm) Cecil Henry Fox

 As Amphion and the destroyers continued their sweep, the destroyers sighted another ship of the same type as Koenigin Luise flying a large German flag.  They opened fire.  But this wasn't a mine-layer, it was the St Petersburg, a ferry carrying the German ambassador away from England.  With a diplomatic incident in the offing, Capt Fox sent a signal to the destroyers to cease firing.  Whether caught up in the excitement of the moment, or because the order wasn't received, the destroyers continued to shell the ferry.  Fox was force to put Amphion between St Petersberg and his own ships in order to stop the engagement.


The second incident was more serious in its consequences.  At about 6.30 the next morning, while returning to Harwich, Amphion struck one of Koenigin Luise's mines.  The explosion caused severe damage, breaking the ship's back.  Surviving crew were given to abandon ship and were picked up by the destroyers.  151 members of Amphion's crew and 19 prisoners from the Koenigin Luise were killed.

Crew of HMS Amphion

British Casualties of the Loss of HMS Amphion
ADAMS, Carl H B, Shipwright 2c. ARUNDEL, Norman Mc K, Leading Telegraphist. ASHTON, Robert, Stoker 1c. AUSTIN, Albert V, Chief Engine Room Artificer 1c.
BEARNE, George, Leading Signalman. BENNETT, Henry J, Engine Room Artificer 1c. BIRKIN, James W, Stoker 1c. BOND, John, Master at Arms. BOWEN, William, Act/Chief Stoker. BRETT, William, Stoker 2c. BURNS, Robert, Private, RMLI. BURT, Benjamin J, Armourer
CALLAGHAN, Owen, Stoker 1c. CANN, Jerome, Private, RMLI. CARTER, William A, Private, RMLI. CHARLES, Ernest E, Engine Room Artificer 4c. CHRISTIE, George, Joiner. CLARK, Thomas H, Ordinary Seaman. CLARKE, William. COKER, Fred, Stoker 1c. COLLINS, Andrew, Leading Stoker. COOK, Frank A, 2nd Sick Berth Steward. COOMBES, Edwin, Stoker 1c. COPLAND, Henry, Leading Stoker. COWLEY, Albert, Able Seaman. CRAIG, David, Leading Seaman. CRIDDLE, William J, Petty Officer. CROCKER, Samuel E, Chief Ship's Cook.
DAVENPORT, Raymond T, Able Seaman. DAWE, Samuel H, Petty Officer Telegraphist. DEACON, James W, Blacksmith. DENCH, John W, Ordinary Signalman. DICK, William, Stoker 2c. DONOVAN, Denis G, Stoker 2c. DOUGLAS, William J, Stoker 2c.
EDGCOMBE, Walter, Stoker 2c. ELLIOTT, Claude H, Shipwright 3c. ELLIS, William J R, Ship's Steward Assistant.
FIELDHOUSE, Ernest, Engine Room Artificer 4c. FISHER, Frank L, Stoker Petty Officer. FLACK, Robert W, Private, RMLI. FLEET, Frederick E, Leading Seaman. FOSTER, Jesse, Stoker 1c. FREEMAN, Cecil A T, Ordinary Seaman. FROST, Thomas N, Officer's Steward 3c.
GEDGE, Joseph T, Staff Paymaster. GRANGER, Charles, Act/Leading Stoker. GRISWOOD, Albert E, Stoker 1c. GROVES, Charles H, Private, RMLI. GUNN, James, Stoker 1c.
HAMLIN, Joseph, Leading Seaman. AMLIN, Thomas, Stoker 1c. HARRADINE, Albert L, Ordinary Seaman. HENDER, Charles R, Able Seaman. HICKS, William E, Signal Boy. HILLIER, Douglas R, Able Seaman,. HOCKING, Thomas J, Leading Seaman. HOLWILL, Thomas S, Leading Seaman. HORRIDGE, Frank V, Stoker 2c. HORTON, William E, Stoker 2c. HOURIHAN, Timothy, Able Seaman. HUGHES, William J, Leading Stoker. HULL, Richard E, Private, RMLI. HUNT, James W, Able Seaman
JARVIS, George, Stoker 1c. JENNINGS, George, Canteen Server, Admiralty civilian. JONES, George, Stoker Petty Officer. JONES, Richard G, Ordinary Seaman. JORDAN, Maurice P, Cooper's Crew. JUBB, Ernest W, Able Seaman. JULIAN, William, Leading Stoker.
KELLYN, Irvine, Private, RMLI. KERSWILL, Ernest R, Able Seaman. KINGHAM, Lionel F, Signalman. KINSMAN, Arthur W, Signal Boy. KNIGHT, William J, Stoker 2c.
LAMBELL, Peter J, Boy 1c. LANE, Albert E, Able Seaman. LANE, William J, Stoker 1c. LAVERACK, Francis W, Able Seaman. LENNON, Herbert, Stoker 2c. LOVELL, Henry, Able Seaman. LUXTON, Alfred J, Stoker 2c. LYNCH, Joseph, Petty Officer 2c. LYONS, Lawrence, Stoker 1c.
MACEY, Robert H G, Ship's Corporal, 1c. MAIR, William C, Leading Telegraphist. MARTIN, Albert, Stoker 1c. MAXWELL, John, Signal Boy. MCCONACHY, Charles G, Able Seaman. MCDOWALL, John, Corporal, RMLI. MCKEY, Victor J, Able Seaman. ERRETT, John E, Petty Officer 1c. MICHELL, Frederick C, Stoker 2c. MINIHANE, Jeremiah, Able Seaman. MOLES, Albert E, Able Seaman. MORRIS, Frederick, Stoker 1c. MORRISON, Frank, Stoker 1c. MULLEN, William, Leading Stoker. MUNNELLY, Martin, Chief Stoker. MURPHY, Joseph P, Signalman
NICHOLAS, William, Able Seaman.
OLVER, Charles H, Stoker Petty Officer.
PARSLOW, Samuel, Stoker 1c. PELLOW, James, Engine Room Artificer 2c. PENDRY, George F, Stoker 1c. PENGELLY, Albert G, Engine Room Artificer 4c. PINNOCK, Percy J, Stoker 2c. POUND, Frederick W, Stoker 1c. PRESS, Sidney L, Able Seaman.
REDFORD, Frank, Stoker 1c. REILLY, John, Act/Leading Stoker. RICE, James W, Leading Signalman. ROUTLEDGE, Charles, Private, RMLI. RUNDLE, Nicholas W, Able Seaman.
SCOTT, James E, Sergeant, RMLI. SHEPHARD, Archibald T, Stoker 1c. SIMMONDS, Alfred, Stoker Petty Officer. SKIDMORE, Walter H H, Ordinary Seaman. SKYRME, James H, Stoker 1c. SMITH, Gustave A C, Lance Corporal, RMLI. SPURDLE, Albert F, Boy 1c. STANLAKE, Henry T, Stoker 1c. STEVENSON, Joseph, Able Seaman. STOKES, George, Private, RMLI. STREET, Herbert J, Stoker 1c. SWEETMAN, Reginald H, Officer's Cook 3c. SYDENHAM, John W, Able Seaman.
TANCOCK, Thomas, Stoker 1c. TENNENT, John, Private, RMLI. THOMAS, Robert J, Petty Officer. THOMAS, William H, Stoker 2c. TICKELL, Nicholas, Able Seaman. TOLCHER, William J, Leading Seaman. TOOKEY, Frederick G, Stoker 2c. TOWILLIS, John D, Petty Officer. TUCKER, Reginald P, Act/Leading Stoker.
VIDLER, William H, Private, RMLI. VYVYAN, Francis A, Able Seaman.
WALLER, Harold, Stoker 2c. WARREN, John W, Carpenter's Crew. WARSAW, Eli W, Able Seaman. WELTON, William, Stoker 1c. WHITE, Thomas M, Stoker 1c. WILLIAMS, Edward A K, Shipwright 2c. WILLS, Frederick W, Stoker 1c. WOODHOUSE, Abraham, Leading Seaman.
YATES, Frederick J, Engine Room Artificer 4c.

Monday, 4 August 2014

Lights Out

It almost seems superfluous to mention that today marks the centenary of Britain's declaration of war against Germany in 1914.

This was the culmination of the 'July Crisis'.  Following the assassination of Arch-Duke Franz Ferdinand of Austro-Hungary, various diplomatic manoeuvers ended with Austria (heavily prompted by the German Kaiser) sending Serbia an impossible ultimatum on 23 July.  Treaty obligations (and refusal to follow the arbitration procedures in other treaties) now led to a series of escalations.

On 24 July Russia had a partial mobilization in support of its Baltic ally; Serbia itself mobilized the following day.  On 28 July Austria declared war against Serbia, which prompted a general mobilization by Russia.  Germany sent ultimata to Russian and France (Russia's treaty-partner and Germany's preferred enemy) requiring that they should not support Serbia.  On their reply, Germany declared war against Russia on 1 August and mobilized.  Germany moved west into Luxembourg on 3 August and declared war against France.  Belgium refused permission for German troops to enter its territory, but German crossed the border at 8.02am (local time).  The British government issued an ultimatum, requiring Germany to maintain Belgium's neutrality (as guaranteed by the 1839 Treaty of London) - the reply was 'unsatisfactory' and Britain entered the war at 11.00pm London time (bringing the Empire along with it).


All this led to the famous comment later attributed to Sir Edward Grey, the British Foreign Secretary:-
"The lamps are going out all over Europe; we shall not see them lit again in our life”
To mark all this an event called Lights Out is being held.  Everyone in the UK is being asked to turn out their lights between 10.00pm and 11.00pm, leaving on a single light or candle.

It seems a simple and beautiful thing to do.


Saturday, 2 August 2014

The PBB Game - Turn 1

Putting some distance between Ray and myself
Curt has now published the situation report for the end of Turn 1 in his PBB game.

I've added a page to the blog, giving my overview (stripped of any classified material, of course).


Friday, 1 August 2014

A Few Short News Items...

BfC Auction


I think everyone whose been involved with the admin of BfC has, at best, found it a draining experience.  Well, I think it's been worthwhile.  You will remember that the auction of figures was originally to be held in June, but had to be re-booted after only one bid was made.  There was much more support for the re-boot, and I'm am pleased to say that when the book was closed last night the successful bids totaled £530.00.  This is in addition to the other monies raised during the year.  A very pleasing result, and a tribute to the generosity of the wargaming community.

Now to collect the money and deliver the figures...

Disaster at the Great Hall

Solidarity is being expressed over the blogosphere to Andrew 'Loki' Saunders, who has had a workshop disaster (though fortunately not one which involved harm to anyone).

Readers of his blog will know that he recently refitted his man cave (in the process doing a great service to the hobby by sharing his paint charts and drawing up Vallejo triad charts).  It seems the new storage system wasn't up to the task of holding a lifetime's work and collapsed.  It remains to be seen how much damage has been done, but those who know the level of Loki's work will appreciate how heart-breaking it must be to lose it.

Hopefully, once the dust has settled, it will turn out that more can be salvage than the initial assessment suggests.

Loki is one of the Good Guys.

A Small Plug


As some of you know I try to supplement my pittance by selling second-hand and remaindered books (it's one of those cases of trying to make money out of one's hobby - in my case buying interesting books).  I don't normally plug Diplomatist Books here, but Facebook seems to be doing its usual algorithm thing and not sharing updates I post to our FB page.

The latest is the announcement that from today to 4 August, all WWI titles will be 30% off the marked price.

This is my own little contribution to the commemoration of the start of the war.  I'm strongly of the opinion that to commemorate this war we need to know the facts about it (and that people should read more books!)
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