Monday, 10 August 2020

Empires at War

 I bought this Spanish/Italian Villa from Empires at War at a very reasonable price.

Spanish/Italian Villa

Here I have only glued it together with no additions. There is plenty of scope for detailing if required. This will form part of my pirate port for the (hopefully) upcoming DevLAM '20 game. It has now been agreed that we will be playing this on a table approximately 16' long and varying in width from 4' to 5'. So, more buildings needed! I like the way these buildings go together, the price is good and I think the finished result looks really good. So, more of my money going to Empires at War shortly!

Tuesday, 4 August 2020

The Case of 'Swiss' Tony's Thumb and the Lady Mayoress - Turn 8 - The Denouement!

The four reprobates who entered the Conservatory in turn 7, now make their way into the Ballroom. Sergeant Pat Dawkins was peering in the door on the last turn. Seeing these plug-uglies arrive in the Ballroom, she turns and runs for the safety of the Dining Room.

Unfortunately for the lovely Patricia, Terry Shortcake catches a glimpse of her running and gets a shot off. Just as Pat makes it to the doorway and possible safety, Terry's hastily fired shot hits her in the back and she's down, right in front of the astonished gaze of DCI Hawley who has reentered the Dining Room.

Who will make funny faces behind Christabelle Wickham's back now?

Having disposed of Jason King, Doug Piranha moves towards the back door to assist his colleagues in the battle against the filth!

Luther, Smith and Dixon take up firing positions in the expectation of a running gun battle with the four thugs in the Ball Room.

Here I add the exact words from Doug ex-em4's e-mailed instructions for this turn. The major gets hold of the Mayoress from behind (steady....!), holds the gun to her head and shouts, "any coppers come in here, she gets it. I ain’t joking. And you, tosspot [i.e. PC Goody] fuck off out of it, NOW..." The Major was commissioned from the ranks, hence his language and attitude to ladies.

Meanwhile, in the Library, it’s all happening. The Major has uttered his threats to kill Dame Christabelle and blow me, Plod has just bloody ignored him and come in mob-handed! Fowler leads the charge with Maggie Habib and Gene Hunt behind him. Kevin Goody moves into the attack and Derek Grim appears in another doorway.

“Give up Cadwallader, you’re nicked!” shouts Fowler.

“Bollocks, coppers, I meant what I said!” and so saying, the ex-Major shoots poor old Christabelle in the head. (shades of Mimsie Hawley and Peaches Snapcase here! Déjà vu).

The Mayoress is down and enraged all the coppers advance.

There are tears streaming down Fowler’s face as he bludgeons Crispin Cadwallader with his truncheon. Raymond carries on clobbering the Major long after the Major has shuffled off this mortal coil. Raymond has to pulled off by Maggie Habib.

Fowler is yet to learn of the demise of his partner, Pat Dawkins and he has seen his secret crush since junior school shot in front of him, quelle horreur! Quelle tragedie! As the dust settles in the Snapcase Hall Library, Raymond Fowler's mind drifts back to happier times. A memory of that time he fainted in his office and Christabelle was there to revive him. Patricia was none too happy though. That night when they got home, in a fit of pique she dashed Raymond's half-built Airfix 1/72 Lancaster Bomber to the kitchen floor. Happier times!

At this point the remaining five scrotes decide that discretion is the better part of valour and remove themselves from the Hall heading for 'Swiss' Tony's Jaguar and freedom. As Maggie Habib tries to comfort Fowler, Derek Grim starts to daydream. Will this caper be enough for him to join the Gasforth Masons? He's been assiduously practising the Mason's initiation rites in the CID room with the assistance of Gary Boyle.

Our tragedy in several diverse parts now has to end, as unhappily as it began. I would like to thank Doug ex-em4 and Vagabond for all the laughs and playing the game like the Gentlemen of Much-Piddling that they are! Well played, chaps.

The End.

The Case of 'Swiss' Tony's Thumb and the Lady Mayoress - Turn 7

All hell breaks loose in the hallway! You have to imagine all of this is happening at the same time. It took me some time to work through it.

PC Bob Lewis who is nearest to ‘Swiss’ charges forward with a cry of “You’re nicked, my son!”. Unfortunately, ‘Swiss’, who has just shot Gently and before that DC Windsor calmly takes aim and Lewis is down (does this mean he won’t be Morse’s assistant in the future?). ‘Swiss’ Tony backs away from the corridor, still facing the bodies.

Unheard by Tony, Inspector Raymond Fowler appears from a door behind Tony (the Study) and is about to strike with his truncheon as Grim appears from the Billiard Room.

‘Swiss’ Tony is now alone in the main hallway (I’ll come to Otis later) surrounded by coppers. In fact, 11 live ones to be precise and three dead coppers. “You won’t take me alive, coppers!” shouts Tony. Grim shouts to Fowler, “It is my arse on the line and I will not have you sticking your nose in and sniffing about!”.

Surrounded by the long arm of the law, Tony is defiant to the last, “stitch this, you fucking woodentops!” he ejaculates as the thin blue line draws ever tighter around him.

Grims shoots and Fowler strikes and ‘Swiss’ Tony, a legend in his own lunchtime, falls to the floor gasping, "made it, Ma! Top of the world!"

Well, everything may seem a bit of an anti-climax after that drama but there are no fat ladies in sight at the moment, singing or otherwise, so the game continues.

Whilst Fowler chose to go through the door into the hallway and take part in the demise of ‘Swiss’ Tony, PC Kevin Goody has stumbled onto the whole point of the game, Dame Christabelle Wickham QC, the Lady Mayoress of Gasforth.

Whilst Goody dithers about, trying to extract his truncheon from a pocket full of Spangles and Crunchie wrappers, Major Cadwallader takes a shot at Goody. The Lady Mayoress manages to knock his arm just as he shoots and the bullet takes the top off of Goody’s helmet. Should one be looking for it, a faint odour of urine now arises from Goody's uniform trouser area.

Otis Spunkmeyer gets a shot in at PC Luther but misses, Luther, Smith and Dixon charge in and batter poor Otis to the floor.

...meanwhile, out in the back garden, we return to the never-ending ruck with Jason King. Elsie Tanner, armed with her ammonia spray and Doug Piranha, armed with a pickaxe handle advance on King. “Ave some of this, ponce” grunts Doug.

The doyen of Department S gets off one shot and Elsie is hit. “Bastard” she cries as she drops and Doug goes in, swinging his pickaxe handle. King’s crowbar is no defence against Doug Piranha in a rage and King breathes his last. In memory of his brother Dinsdale, Doug nails Jason’s head to the floor!

Dawkins opens the door to the Ballroom. Gladstone tries to block the back door but its already locked. Hawley and Tennison head to the main hall area.

Bertie 'Knuckles' Strangelove, Bifferidge 'Biffa' Bacon, Verne Cocklecarrot and Terry Shortcake having penetrated the back passage, now enter the Hall via the Conservatory.

To be continued...

The Case of 'Swiss' Tony's Thumb and the Lady Mayoress - Turn 6

Enraged by DC Babs Windsor being gunned down in front of them, PCs George Gently and Bob Lewis charge at the perpetrator, 'Swiss' Tony.

Calmly puffing on his cigar, 'Swiss' shoots Gently at close range, another copper down and 'Swiss' is feeling rather pleased with himself, having gunned down two rozzers in cold-blood before he's even had his breakfast. PC Bob Lewis can do nothing in the narrow corridor.

Meanwhile, in the Billiard Room next door, DI Grim makes his move. Resisting the urge to take his shirt off and do a 'Bruce Willis' (he had tried it back at the nick, but remained unconvinced whether it was his best look or not) he gingerly feels the knob of the door in front of him.

Flinging the door open wide, Grim is confronted by the lovely vision that is Mimsie Slopcorner, Tony's gal!

Mimsie raises her pistol as does Grim. Shots are exchanged and in the sudden fury of it, it takes a second or two before Grim's team realise what has happened. Mimsie is on the floor and not moving, Grim has taken a flesh wound to the upper arm. Realising that he has so far come through relatively unscathed, Derek Grim begins to plan out how he will be relating this epic event back in the CID room at Gasforth nick.

In the main hallway, Luther and Otis exchange shots. Otis, somewhat distracted by the big crack he's just noticed in the oak panelling, misses Luther completely. Luther scores a hit on Otis but Otis is still up and fighting.

Out in the back garden, Jason King at last prevails and manages to biff Bough on the bonce with his crowbar. Doug Piranha and Elsie Tanner move towards the debonair agent whilst the other four make for the back door.

This gives King just enough time to get on his walkie-talkie and warn DCI Hawley that villainous reinforcements are coming up the back passage.

Fowler and Goody burst into the study expecting trouble but the study is empty.

'Fancy' Smith, Pat Dawkins and George Dixon enter the Dining Room from the corridor in time to see DCI Hawley assault an empty bathroom!

To be continued...

Wednesday, 22 July 2020

The Gentlemen of Much-Piddling

After much dilatoriness, procrastination, apathy, inertia, dormancy and lethargy, Doug ex-em4, Vagabond and myself have applied some deliberation, pontification, consultation, cogitation and confabulation to the naming of our little group of friends and wargamers.

We are henceforth to be known as:

The Gentlemen of Much-Piddling

The Gentlemen of Much-Piddling provides a collective and collocative title for the foibles, pettifogging, quirks, idiosyncranicities, waffling and hyperbole of three charming, sophisticated and erudite gentlemen of distinction, who rise above the hoi-polloi and riff-raff to bring a touch of style and class to wargaming.

This is our new logo and we have adopted Rudyard Kipling's famous quote as our motto.

Edit: Friday July 24th. I have just found this quote which I rather like, from Andrew Jackson and seems to be the American equivalent of Rudyard Kipling's quote; “I have never in my life seen a Kentuckian who didn’t have a gun, a pack of cards, and a jug of whiskey.”

Saturday, 18 July 2020

The Case of 'Swiss' Tony's Thumb and the Lady Mayoress - Turn 5

Unbeknownst to DCI Hawley, a Jaguar screeches to a halt at the back gate to Snapcase Hall. The only representative of law and order to observe this is Jason King and he is engaged in a fight with 'Snorter' Bough. King has been thoughtfully provided with a radio by DCI Hawley, but is currently unable to use it, due to his being engaged in a bout of fisticuffs.

Out get six of the nastiest ruffians one would never hope to meet down a dark alley, alone at night. Really, one wouldn't even want to meet them in a cosy living room with all the lights on either! It is of course, Elsie Tanner, Bertie 'Knuckles' Strangelove, Doug Piranha, Bifferidge 'Biffa' Bacon, Verne Cocklecarrot and Terry Shortcake. They have returned from casing the Snapcase Emporium in Loose Chippings in preparation for the greengages snatch planned for later that month.

The fight between Bough and King continues.

Meanwhile, indoors Otis Spunkmeyer runs towards 'Swiss' to get instructions. 'Swiss' Tony and Mimsie are in position to ambush any intruders.

Inspector Fowler and PC Goody have pursued Spunkmeyer inside through the unlocked main door. Having entered, they are confronted by three closed doors and spend precious seconds deciding which way to go.

Sergeant Dawkins assembles her team after the demise of 'Camp' Freddie. George Dixon has the sledge hammer and batters down the door. They have a view up a long corridor with no one in sight.

DCI Hawley enters the Hall and finds himself in a room with three closed doors.

DI Grim enters the Hall at the same time from the other side and finds himself in a room with a closed door opposite.

DC 'Babs' Windsor leads her team from the front and is half-way along the entrance corridor when tragedy strikes. 'Swiss' Tony leans around the corner and discharges his piece. It's a good shot and poor 'Babs' drops to the floor, mortally wounded. A young life cut short.

PC George Gently jumps over 'Babs' to try and get to her killer.

Here's a shot of DC 'Babs' Windsor reporting for duty at Scotland Yard, before being assigned to DI Grim's CID unit at Gasforth nick.

To be continued...

The Case of ‘Swiss’ Tony’s Thumb and the Lady Mayoress - Set Up

It may be helpful at this juncture to show the plans of Snapcase Hall. As the inhabitant, 'Swiss' Tony obviously had access to these. DCI Hawley played the game with only a sketch map of the external environs and no knowledge whatsoever of the internal set-up. Each time he opened a door he did not know what was behind it. I couldn't post these photos whilst the game was in progress as DCI Hawley had to be kept in the dark.

This shows the interior of Snapcase Hall.

This shows the interior with the rooms labelled. 'Swiss' and Mimsie started the game in the Ball Room but are now in the Main Hall. The Major and his kidnap victim the Lady Mayoress are in the Library.

This shows the doors, red stars indicating external doors and green stars indicating internal doors. The red stars at the top and bottom of the photo are where the assault teams are entering the Hall.