Friday, 9 November 2018

MIA but not KIA - Searching for a sense for this blog

If you follow my Twitter account (@AnibalInvic) you may have followed a recent thread I posted with some considerations about the role of blogs in a rapidly changing social media landscape. I feel that Podcasts, Youtube, FaceBook and Twitter or Instagram is increasingly calling the shots specially among the younger generations, whose attention spam is brief to say the least or prefer easier audio or video consumption products.

Blogs are difficult to manage, posts require a lot of effort and time, and frankly speaking, much longer attention spam from the reader than what actually I think he/she is likely to put. So what is the point of maintaining the blog alive, specially with a shrinking audience?

To my surprise, my Twitter message received quick and,  if not massive, a decent amount of responses from lot of people, some of them well-known gamers, podcasters and rules designers whose opinion I respect a lot. 

The comment that really pulled a cord in me is that Twitter et alt is ephemeral, while the blog is here to stay and have a long shelf-value. What one posts is not for immediate consumption and then to the bin, but a reference that you can use in the future. It could be a nice battlefield walk around, a scenario report, a review of a book or some wargames rules or even the guide or the inspiration (using your photos of the painted models) for someone considering undertaking a project that one may have taken sometime ago.

This already persuaded me that it made no sense to shut down the blog and to lose 8 years of dedicated work and effort.

Now, but how to maintain a regular flow of posts? How to regain the mojo lost?   Richard Clarke of ToofatLardies came to inspire:

Do it "as and when". That's what I do.

Of course, silly me, why the pressure? I'm doing this basically for pleasure, not for business! If I have something worth of communicating, I'll do; but shouldn’t be worried about keeping a timetables or posting regularly

Well, this is it for the moment.  I got lost but thanks to the Twitter-sphere I have found a new way home.

As for next in the pipeline, we have Curt's Annual Painting Challenge that should begin by 21st December. I have already chosen my project for this edition (the ninth): a 2WW British Airborne platoon and supports for Chain of Command. Looking forward to receive Curt's news pretty soon.

And on the personal front, I have been diagnosed with an herniated disc after suffering a (stupid) accident doing some gardening late last summer. Apparently there is no other solution but to undertake a surgery (late in November). Not sure how long it will take me to recover from this, but it will interfere with my work and hobbies until Christmas at least.

Hope to see you all around here more often in the near future.

Sunday, 25 March 2018

VIII Painting Challenge is over :-(

Time flies and three months later Curt's Annual Painting Challenge is (sadly) over. This is my third year participating and probably the one I've enjoyed the most. It's also a good opportunity to accelerate on one of my annual painting projects which I tend to focus around one theme.

This year was Austrian Napoleonics, which I've been slowly advancing now for several months now. I took the opportunity to do some research on less known units and bumped with the Vienna Volunteers, one of the most outstanding militia units in the 1809 campaign.

This is a summary of the output this year

Austrian Line Battalions

Thursday, 22 March 2018

What a Tanker!

Our friends at TooFatLardies has just put in pre-order its new set of rules "What a Tanker!" which as the name implies is a 2WW skirmish armour battle book.  There is a very attractive offer for the hard copy, the markers and the pdf version bundle at GBP 24.0 representing a 40% discount on the headline prices. Release is scheduled on April 9th, just after Easter.

If you like to read a little bit more about the rules before jumping, take a look at this post released in the official Lard Island blog today. They seem easy to learn and fun to play, and surely if you are (like me) a 2WW aficionado at any scale, you'll have plenty of models ready to use.

Wednesday, 17 January 2018

Sleeping in a Vaubam Fortification: Fuerte de la Concepción (Salamanca)

Patio de Armas with the chapel remnants

This is a quite belated blog entry which I was initially planning to publish in late October 2017. I spent several days touring the Portugal/Spain border fortresses of Ciudad Rodrigo and Almeida, as well as the battlefield of Fuentes de Oñoro.
But how would you feel if in addition to visiting all these historic places,  you had the opportunity to sleep in truly original Vauban fortification now refurbished as an upper scale (4 stars) hotel?

This is actually the case of the Fuerte Concepción located at Aldea del Obispo, now called Domus Real Hotel. I don't think it is  well known specially among British tourists, a shame because it is the perfect base-camp for touring all the places mentioned plus the battlefields of El Bodón and Tamames in the Spanish side and the River Coa area in the Portuguese side.

A little bit of background and context: until very recently, the only good communication routes between Spain and Portugal passed through Salamanca and Badajoz. To exert control on those two routes, twin fortifications were erected, Ciudad Rodrigo-Almeida and Badajoz-Elvas on both sides of the border respectively.   
Aerial view from a tourist leaflet

Saturday, 30 December 2017

Happy 2018 and some plans

Last post of the year, wishing the blogosphere a very happy and prosperous 2018, hoping it brings health and success in your personal and professional fronts. Not a happy 2017 for us at ahome specially the first six months and wishing the year to end once and for all.

As for wargaming plans, after the experience of 2017 I've decided to shorten my planning horizons and try to live by the day, not terribly concerned with failures or success. This does not mean that I have no t sketched some ideas for  next year.

There's actually one important milestone at the end of April which will be the triannual trip with my club friends to a battefield, convention or museum. In 2012 it was Salute and Bovington; in 2015 it was Crisis, Waterloo, Arnhem and Bastogne; in 2018 it's going to be D-Day Normandy and the Samur Tank museum. Very excited with the trip as you can imagine.

On the gaming front:

- To continue with General d'Armee and Commands & Colors Napoleonics (the last expansion “Epic Battles” was my Xmas gift)

- New potential projects: retaking the First World War with Through the Blood and the Mud (one of my club friends is taking a lot of interest in it and I would not mind playing again after several years); I just recently listen to a Podcast dedicated to the GMT game of the COIN series called “Labyrinth” that has attracted my attention and is now in my line of sight; and finally explore some Cthulhu-related project (don't know yet if card-related, role or tabletop).

So this is it, reiterate my family and my own best wishes for 2018.

Thursday, 28 December 2017

TFL Christmas Special

A quick post. Just before Christmas day the traditional TFL  Special issue was released, containing over 130 pages of scenarios and ideas for many of the house's rule sets. This year it also includes a scenario I wrote for General d'Armee called "Encounter at Guareña River".

This a small battle or large skirmish (whatever you may want to call ot) that took place on 18th July 1812, two days before the major engagement at Salamanca, between a British-Portuguese and a French force.

It's been extensively tested at the club and was even some time ago adapted to be played as a Sharp Practice scenario (you can see a review in my blog here)

Sunday, 24 December 2017

Merry Christmas

May I wish you a very Merry Christmas in the company of your families, relatives and beloved ones. As many of you know 2017 has not been specially good to us, at least initially, when my wife was diganosed breast cancer on 22nd December 2016. Luckly we have overcome the problem and since early summer we have returned to a more or less normal life. These Christmas start in a complete different mood at home as you can imagine and I hope 2018 will be a better year.

Other people I know has not been so lucky and they will be having a special place in our thoughts tonight, in particular Kay the wife of Michael Peterson (aka MadPadre) whose example and love have been a light for us in these difficult months. Wherever you are today Mike, you'll be present in our house tonight.