Saturday, 31 December 2016

Review of 2016

So we say goodbye to 2016. And, once again, I give you a post showcasing the most popular posts in terms of hits from each month. As a process it does a fair job of highlighting the primary features of the year for me - horse and musket gaming, 3D printing  and HOTT. I rediscovered Battlesworn, and showcased Machinas. I tried a bit of WWII gaming. I did a figure converting/painting challenge. And I continued to look awesome in both genders, of course.

Anyway, on with the posts, and then into 2017.


Ozterlitz - Although our group regularly meets on a Thursday evening, we sometimes book a venue on a Sunday for a longer or larger gaming session. Our first of the year saw us refighting Austerlitz, using Blucher and hordes of 15mm figures.


New Technology At The Stronghold - The European supermarket chain Aldi is famous for doing weekly promotions on a number of eclectic items unrelated to basic household needs. In February they sold a relatively cheap and cheerful 3D printer, and I snapped on up. I then spent the next few weeks investigating the wargames potential of it. This is the first post on the subject.


The Night Parade of the Yokai - My adventures in 3D printing continued on into March, and culminated in me printing and painting two warbands for the fantasy skirmish game Battlesworn. The first was this one; creatures from Japanese myth and legend. I'm really pleased with how these turned out.


Fu Manchu's Halls of Horror - The 3D printing fell by the wayside a little, but my rediscovery of Battlesworn, aided by a supplement with new rules and a system for solo play, continued. The climax was a scenario which pitted a team of Victorian-era monster hunters against the evil of Doctor Fu Manchu, on a battlefield made up of vintage Citadel building floor-plans.


Excalibur in 'Bank Heist!' - In May I set about rebasing my Heroclix figures onto clear perspex. And then I played games with them.


Forgotten Heroes - Jenny Everywhere - Part 4 - In June I took part in my first internet painting and modelling challenge: Forgotten Heroes. The premise was simple: take a character from any form of media which does not currently have an official miniature, and produce a miniature for them in 25/28mm. I produced two entries. The first was converting a Heroclix Catwoman into Marvel UK's Captain UK. The second saw me using a 3D printed figure as the base for a miniature of the open-source character Jenny Everywhere. This post is the last one of a whole string I posted throughout the month.


A Great Coat Query - Regular readers will know that I enjoy wearing a nice outfit. In July I bought what appeared to be a military greatcoat, but I couldn't put a specific ID on it. So I asked you lot . I have no idea how it ended up as the most popular post for the month.


Sharp Practice - The horse and musket era has featured heavily in our games this year, with a number of rules in use. Sharp Practice was a new addition to our collection, and we're still learning how to play it, but it gives an entertaining and eye-catching game.


Maurice - Leuthen - A feature of this year has been Gary's Maurice scenarios covering battles from the Seven Years' War and similar conflicts. These have always been entertaining, and have allowed us to fight major actions in the course of an evening's play with very little stress.


MOAB 2016 - The HOTT Tournament - Finally! Some 'Hordes of the Things' content. My top post for October was my report of the annual HOTT tournament at MOAB in Sydney, in which my Pendraken Fishmen were reimagined as a minons of Cthulhu himself.


Army Showcase - Asag and the Stone Allies - November was a quiet month in terms of posts, since I was away on holiday for much of it. A query on the HOTT Facebook group saw me get my Sumerian rock monsters out of storage, and I ended up doing a showcase post covering them.


Last Stand - First Time - Dave Brown introduced us to his in-development fantasy mass-battle rules, and we used armies of figures some of which were as old as the players using them.

Friday, 30 December 2016

Wildlings vs The Dukedom of Ceidonia

I fancied a game of HOTT today, and squeezed one in before we headed off to see 'Rogue One' (which was an order of magnitude better than that hideous mess the franchise cranked out this time last year). I had the Ceidonians out on the table, since they currently don't have a box to live in, so decided to use them. When I put together Prester John's army the other week I repainted some of the dodgy old knights I didn't use for the army in the Ceidonian livery, allowing me to drop the Ceidonian steam-tank if I want to run them as a more conventional medieval army. For this game the army consisted of: 4 x Knights (including the general), 4 x Spears, 2 x Shooters and 2 x Blades. A classic two-point terror.

I fancied a game with a bit of a Game of Thrones vibe, so got out the Wildlings. They defended, but I couldn't be doing with ferreting out the snow terrain, and the defended some green fields instead. The Wildlings were: 2 x Riders (including the General) 1 x Beast, 2 x Shooters, 1 x Behemoth, 5 x Warband.

With hindsight this was going to be an awkward game. The Wildlings are very strong in bad going, and without it they are vulnerable to the massed Knights of the Ceidonians. The Ceidonians are weak in bad going. So whichever army defended would be looking to set up a terrain which would seriously inconvenience the other army. I used my DBA 3 style random terrain system, the Wildlings went for four pieces of bad going and a hill and got to place them all, creating a very closed battlefield.

Here's the Wildling deployment. The Ceidonians opted to try and attack out of the worse of the bad going into the one large open area. Their deployment roll saw them doing the opposite.

The plus side of being the attacker is that you get to set up after the defender. The Wildlings had gone for a wide, cover all approaches, deployment, so the Ceidonians went for a concentrated punch against their left, with a line of Spears backed up by a line of Knights. The former was designed to hold the Wildling Behemoth in place, whilst the Knights were there to exploit breakthroughs or provide a dangerous retaliation if the Warband destroyed any Spear elements. The two Shooters were assigned to cover the one exposed flank.

The Ceidonian juggernaut advanced.

The Wildlings redeployed in response, shifting some Warband over to the endangered flank, moving the Riders up in support and pushing forward with their Shooters against the Wildling left.

The Shooters engaged ...

... and the Ceidonians came off worse.

The Wildlings launched their attack.

But the attack was driven off.

The main Ceidonian force was almost at the main Wildling line. The Duke of Ceidonia and some Spears detached from it to help bolster the flank.

Fierce fighting in the bad going ...

... saw some Ceidonian Blades destroyed.

The Wildlings reorganised.

On their right they lost some Shooters to the Ceidonian crossbowmen. That was the last activity of note on that part of the field.

The Ceidonian flank-guard was holding its own as well.

And their main force now crashed into the Wildlings ...

... with mixed results. One of their Spears was destroyed by a Warband, but the Skin-changer Beasts were overwhelmed in return and the giant was driven back.

The Wildlings counter-attacked.

Wildling Warband fell, but so did more Ceidonian Spears.

The fighting became more desperate. The Wildlings were now well ahead on points, needing only to destroy two more Ceidonian elements to win, whilst only having lost three themselves.

The Wildling giant smashed his way through some Knights ...

... and turned on the Duke of Ceidonia himself. This was the crunch - literally - for the Ceidonians. They were only one element shy of defeat, and anything other than a draw or a doubling of the giant would see them lose it - either by destruction of the general, or by the giant recoiling over the Knight behind it.

All over for the Ceidonians.

The final position.

There were no key lucky moments in this game. Both armies got reasonable rolls in combat, and the Ceidonians could have pulled off a win had the dice swung slightly more in their favour. They set up a few likely kills, and any of them would have opened up the game for them. To some extent the Wildlings were mostly on the back-foot, having to redeploy in the face of the concentrated Ceidonian attack. So, all in all, the game turned out better than I thought it would.

Six by Six - Runners and Riders

In this post I will try and track all of the people, including me, who have said that they will be attempting the Six by Six Challenge in 2017. Since I didn't really expect anyone but me to actually take part, I'm not entirely sure how I'm going to do it, but as with anything in wargaming, any plan is better than no plan.

If you are taking part and I have missed you from this list, then let me know and I will add you.

Kaptain Kobold - The Stronghold Rebuilt

1 - HOTT
 Game 1 - Game 2 - Game 3 - Game 4 - Game 5 - Game 6
2 - Neil Thomas Pike and Shot
 Game 1 - Game 2 - Game 3 - Game 4 - Game 5 - Game 6
3 - The Rampant System
 Game 1 - Game 2 - Game 3Game 4 - Game 5 - Game 6
4 - Machinas
 Game 1 - Game 2 - Game 3 - Game 4 - Game 5 - Game 6
5 - DBA 3.0
 Game 1 - Game 2 - Game 3 - Game 4 - Game 5 - Game 6
6 - Galleys & Galleons
 Game 1 - Game 2 - Game 3 - Game 4 - Game 5  - Game 6

Pat G - Irr Wb (F)

1 - Ace of Aces Handy Rotaries
2 - B17 - Queen of the Skies
3 - Chain of Command
4 - D&D OSR
5 - Gruntz
6 - Space 1889: Soldier's Companion
 Game 1 - Game 2

Shaun Travers - Shaun's Wargaming With Miniatures

1 - When Warriors Collide
 Games 1-6
2 - Advance to Cover
 Game 1 - Game 2 - Game 3 - Game 4
3 - Battlestations
 Game 1
4 - WW2 3x4
 Games 1-6
5 - Fall of Rome
 Games 1 + 2 - Game 3 - Game 4
6 - Triumph
 Games 1 and 2 - Game 3

1 - X-Wing
 Games 1 + 2 - Game 3 - Game 4 - Game 5 - Game 6
2 - Dystopian Wars
 Game 1 - Game 2 - Game 3 - Game 4
3 - Rubber and Lead or other homegrown rules
 Game 1 - Game 2 - Game 3 - Game 4 - Game 5 - Game 6
4 - Starfleet Battles
 Game 1 - Game 2 - Game 3 - Game 4 - Game 5
5 - Miscellaneous
 Game 1 - Game 2 - Game 3 - Game 4
6 - MLB Showdown
 Game 1

Brian Hamilton - By Brush and Sword

1 - Blucher
2 - Saga
 Game 1 - Game 2 - Game 3 - Game 4 - Game 5 - Game 6
3 - Blood Bowl
 Games 1, 2 and 3 - Game 4 - Game 5 - Game 6
4 - Arena Rex
 Game 1
5 - Strange Aeons
 Game 1 - Game 2 - Game 3 - Game 4 - Game 5
6 - Fistful of Lead
 Game 1 - Game 2 - Game 3 - Game 4 - Game 5 - Game 6

1 - Cold War Commander
 Game 1 - Game 2 - Game 3
2 - Conflict of Heroes: Awakening the Bear
 Game 1 - Game 2 - Game 3
3 - The Walking Dead: All Out War
 Game 1 - Game 2 - Game 3 - Game 4 - Game 5 - Game 6
4 - Kings of War
 Game 1 - Game 2 - Game 3 - Game 4 - Game 5- Game 6
5 - Imperial Skies
 Game 1 - Game 2 - Game 3 - Game 4
6 - Memoir '44
 Game 1 - Game 2 - Game 3  - Game 4 - Game 5 - Game 6

Michael S - ChicagoWiz's Games

1 - Dungeons & Dragons (1974 edition and 1st edition AD&D)
 Game 1 - Game 2 - Game 3
2 - Ral Partha's Chaos Wars
 Game 1 - Game 2 - Games 3 + 4
3 - HOTT
4 - D&D/5e
5 - One Hour Wargames
6 - DBA or Neil Thomas's Ancients/Medieval Wargaming

Martin Sheppard - Sheppard's Crook

1 - Squad Leader
 Game 1 - Game 2 - Game 3
2 - Ancient / Medieval Warfare
3 - Memoir 44
 Game 1 - Game 2
4 - Four Against Darkness
  Game 1 - Game 2 - Game 3 - Game 4 - Game 5 - Game 6
5 - One Hour Wargames
 Game 1 - Game 2 -  Game 3 - Game 4 - Game 5 - Game 6
6 - AD&D
 Game 1 - Game 2

Natholeon - Natholeon's Empires

1 - DBA 3.0
 Game 1 - Game 2  - Game 3 - Games 4+5 - Game 6
2 - Seven Years War
 Game 1 -  Game 2 - Game 3 - Game 4 - Game 5 - Game 6
3 - Clobberin' Time
 Game 1 - Game 2 - Game 3 - Game 4 - Game 5 - Game 6
4 - The Pikeman's Lament
 Game 1 - Game 2
5 - Command and Colours
 Game 1
6 - Broken Legions / Songs of Broken Legions

Kevin Kearney - Warwell's Wargames

1 - Anarendor (WISER Fantasy Rules)
 Game 1 - Game 2 - Game 3 - Game 4 - Game 5 - Game 6
2 - Slipstream Pulp Sci-Fi (FU-inspired Rules)
 Game 1 - Game 2 - Game 3 - Game 4 - Game 5 - Game 6
3 - Spandau and Lewis
 Game 1 - Game 2Game 3 - Game 4 - Game 5 - Game 6
4 - Four Against Darkness
 Game 1 - Game 2 - Game 3 - Game 4 - Game 5 - Game 6
5 - Machinas
 Game 1 - Game 2 - Game 3 - Game 4
6 - Ticket To Ride
 Game 1 - Game 2 - Game 3 - Game 4

Phil Saunders - A Game of Bones / Democratic People's Republic of Philtopia

1 - Black Powder
2 - Team Yankee (6mm edition)
 Game 1 - Game 2 -  Games 3 + 4 + 5
3 - Blood Bowl
4 - Deadzone
5 - Rogue Stars
 Game 1 - Game 2
6 - Dragon Rampant
 Games 1 + 2

Peter - Grid-based Wargaming

1 - One Hour Wargames (OHW) and Others - SciFi Variant
 Game 1 - Game 2 - Game 3 - Game 4 - Games 5 + 6
2 - Galleys and Galleons
 Games 1+2 - Games 3+4 - Games 5+6
3 - Hundred Years War - Lion Rampant
 Game 1 - Game 2 - Game 3 - Game 4 - Game 5 - Game 6
4 - Dark Ages with Dux Bellorum
 Game 1 - Game 2 - Game 3 - Games 4, 5 and 6
5 - WW2 Naval (Pz8 rules)
 Game 1 - Game 2 - Games 3 + 4 - Games 5 + 6
6 - 19th Century ImagiNations
 Game 1 - Game 2 - Game 3 - Game 4 - Game 5 - Game 6

Sun of York - One Sided Miniature Wargames Discourse

1 - Impetus
 Game 1 - Game 2 - Game 3 - Game 4 - Game 5 - Game 6
2 - Saga
 Games 1 + 2 - Game 3 - Game 4 - Game 5 - Game 6
3 - Napoleon's Battles
 Game 1 - Game 2 - Game 3 - Game 4 - Game 5 - Game 6
4 - DBA
 Game 1 - Game 2 - Game 3 - Game 4 - Game 5 - Game 6
5 - Wings of Glory
 Game 1 - Game 2 - Game 3 - Game 4 - Game 5 - Game 6
6 - Songs of Drums and Shakos (will also count Songs of Blades and Heroes).
 Game 1 - Game 2 - Game 3 - Game 4 - Game 5 - Game 6

Ricardo Nakamura - Fantalonia

1 - And a Bottle of Rum
2 - Clash on the Fringe
3 - Mercenary Air Squadron
4 - Morale Napoleon
5 - MOTH - The Ion Age
 Game 1 - Game 2 - Game 3 - Game 4 - Game 5 - Game 6
6 - Star Trader

Kenneth van Pelt - The Penny Whistle

1 - DBA
 Game 1 - Game 2 - Game 3
2 - Blue Max
 Game 1
3 - The Great War
 Game 1 - Game 2
4 - 54mm Collection
 Game 1 - Game 2 - Game 3
5 - Carrera GO Formula 1
6 - Rogue Stars
 Games 1 and 2

Dan Foley - Last Stand at Cairngorm

1 - Chain of Command.
 Game 1 - Game 2 - Game 3 - Game 4 - Game 5 - Game 6
2 - A Gentleman's War
 Game 1 - Game 2 - Game 3 - Game 4 - Game 5 - Game 6
3 - Sharpe Practice 2
4 - Saga
 Game 1Game 2 - Game 3 - Game 4
5 - Mad Dogs with Guns
 Game 1 - Game 2 - Game 3 - Game 4 - Game 5 - Game 6
6 - Lion Rampant (and variants)

Jay - Numbers, Wargaming and Arseing About

1 - 1914 Opening Moves (Minden Games)
2 - Remagen Bridge (Minden Games)
3 - Flying Eagles (High Flying Dice Games)
4 - Courage under Fire (HFDG)
5 - Manoeuvre (GMT)
6 - Poltava

JWH - Heretical Gaming
Attempting the full BGG 10x10 Challenge

Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Six by Six - Choices

Last week I proposed the Six by Six Gaming Challenge. I'd assumed that it would just be me taking part, so have been somewhat surprised to find others willing to give it a go as well. I will be setting up a blog post in which I will try and track everyone's efforts through the year, but first I thought that I'd better make my own choice of games for the year.

So these are the games I will attempt to play at least six times in 2017:

Hordes of the Things - The low-hanging fruit for this challenge. If I can't play at least six games of HOTT throughout the year then it's really time to retire from gaming altogether. To this end I will add an additional challenge; I will only count games in which I use a new army, albeit where I define 'new' as either 'brand new' or 'modified from existing figures'. Hopefully this will inspire me to add to my collection, or reorganise figures and elements already in my collection.

Neil Thomas Pike and Shot - At the time of writing I have played precisely one game using these rules, published in 'Wargaming: An Introduction'. I enjoyed them, and would like to play them again. Whether they will hold my interest for sustained play I don't know, but by including them here I'm going to find out one way or the other.

Black Powder - I've owned a copy of Black Powder for a few years now, and it's a regular choice at our club. But we always play grand, big battles. Others have found, however, that it is possible to play much smaller games, and this is something I keep meaning to experiment with in the comfort of my own home. I haven't done it yet. Maybe 2017 should be the year when I do.
Update: I dropped these rules in favour of a different set of black powder rules- 'Scum of the Earth'.

Machinas - For the past couple of years I have been modifying and rewriting the rules vehicle equipment and features and driver signatures, whilst tidying up and patching some of the actual game mechanisms. My notes are spread across various documents, both electronic and paper. I keep telling myself that I need to write up my changes properly, especially since we hope to be featuring Machinas at MOAB in October. This tidying up process will require more test games. Adding the game to the challenge will, I hope, ensure that I play them.

DBA - I never liked DBA v2.0 and its sub-versions, but DBA 3.0 improved it no end and I've really enjoyed playing it. So this year I will be committing to laying it some more, and maybe putting together more armies, either from existing figures or new purchases.

TBA - OK. So this is a cop-out. I really want to include a board or card-game in the list, but I'm not sure what at this stage. Love Letter would be too easy (you can play six games in a couple of hours), but it's a game we play a fair bit. So is Fluxx. Memoir 44 is a possibility, as is Cosmic Encounter, although the latter needs more people than I can usually assemble for such games, so it would be hard to hit the six game target. So I'll leave this open for now.
Update: I went for another miniatures game: Galleys & Galleons.

Sunday, 25 December 2016

And A Happy Christmas To You!

Christmas Day is drawing to a close here in Australia. It's been a fun day; windy but hot and sunny and spent in the company of family. My son has changed jobs, and starts work with a radio station here in Wollongong next week, so he drove up from the Snowy Mountains on Christmas Eve and will be staying with us until he sorts out somewhere to live locally. It meant that he's staying with us on what would otherwise have been our first Christmas without him; an unexpected bonus.

Of course the main points of these posts on a wargames blog are these:

(i) What gaming-related goodies did I get as presents and

(ii) What games did I play

Well, I got a Lego Avengers game for our Playstation, and some more cars for Machinas. And that was about it in terms of games-related stuff. But see below.

In terms of actually playing things, we had a go at Maya's 'Betrayal at House on the Hill', which she got for her birthday last month but which we hadn't had chance to try out. It's a kind of co-operative game in which investigators explore a creepy old house. But at some point things suddenly change and one of them betrays the group in one of fifty or so random ways, shifting the game into a fight between the traitor and the other players. In our game I was the 'traitor', being bitten by a werewolf and becoming one myself, hunting the rest of the group through the house as they desperately tried to cast silver bullets and find a revolver to use them with. They failed as, one by one, I turned them into werewolves or ripped them limb from limb.

It's a nice-looking game, with pre-painted figures and geomorphic tiles for the house.

As I said above, I didn't get much in the way of games stuff, but I did get some slippers, which Catherine had knitted for me.


Weep with envy! Are they not fine?

But I wasn't the only one who contrived to look amazing this Christmas. Christmas Eve is Catherine's birthday, and we always go out and try to do something nice on the day, instead of having the whole thing buried under Christmas activities. Often we fail, because places that say they are open on Christmas Eve decide not to be on the day. This year we weren't disappointed though. This year we went to the gorgeous Chinese Garden of Friendship in Sydney. The garden itself is a treat worth visiting, and we had lunch there and enjoyed the ambience. But in one of the pavilions which dot the garden is a costume hire service where you can rent traditional Chinese costumes (for a mere $10!), and walk the gardens in them, taking photos and bemusing people who weren't aware it was an option.

So my wife got to spend the afternoon of her birthday flouncing around as a princess. So did my daughter:

And I know what you're asking. The answer is, yes. I did. But, for once, I will spare you the evidence.

I hope you all had, or are having, a great Christmas. Let me know how it all went, eh?

Thursday, 22 December 2016

Six by Six - A Challenge

On another blog I posted a comment wondering why all of the online challenges run for and by wargames bloggers seemed to relate to painting and modelling figures and terrain, rather than actually playing with the things. After all, we are all gamers (if you're not, you're going to find most of this blog pretty dull), so I assume we're playing games of some kind.

After I posted it I thought that perhaps some kind of play-based challenge was in order. I had a vague recollection that I'd seen one, and eventually found it HERE on Boardgame Geek. As described there it's quite involved, and was about refining your understanding of a few games throughout the year instead of playing lots of games only once or twice, but I thought that it would be a good place to start.

So, I am setting myself a blogging challenge for 2017, and am inviting you to join me. The Boardgame Geek challenge requires at least ten plays of each of ten different games. I decided to make my challenge less of a trial of endurance. I'm proposing Six by Six. Why? Ten plays of ten games is probably impractical for most people. I have a butterfly nature; I flit from game to game throughout the year, and certainly play more than ten different ones. But I think I'd be hard pressed to play ten of them at least ten times. I know people who play less frequently than I, or who can focus on fewer games, would find it an impossible challenge. Six games seemed a more practical number, and six plays of each seems quite feasible. It's two games of something every three weeks. Not impossible.

How does it work?

Well, anyone who chooses to take part commits to the following:

Choose six games for the year. It would be great if you chose them all at the start, but I know how mercurial I can be in my selections, so changing them as you go on would be quite legitimate. I probably will.

Post your choices to your blog.

Your challenge for the year is to play, and record in some way, at least six individual sessions of each of your chosen games. I say 'sessions' because you may choose to count multiple games of a small, short game (such as 'Love Letter') as a single session. Or not.

Any tabletop games count, be they miniature wargames (for preference), board-games, card-games or role-playing games. I shall probably select a mix of things. They can be games you are very familiar with, or you could use the challenge to try out games you want to learn more thoroughly.

At the end of the year you should have at least thirty-six game-plays recorded. If you have, then pat yourself on the back. That's the only reward, aside from the fact that you will now have greater experience of your chosen games.

Game reports can be as detailed as you like, ranging from the visual feasts I like to produce from time to time, to a simple one-liner saying 'Played Game X last night. I won.'

It would be good, and probably helpful, to record overall progress in some way; perhaps a cut-and-posted list of the games, with a running total of the number of games next to it. More ambitious people could have links to the recorded sessions.

I suspect that, in reality, I will be the only person doing this, and will post my list of chosen games at some stage over the Christmas break. But if you are interested, or want to spread the word, here are the 'rules' in a handy form you can copy to your own blog:

The Six by Six Challenge 2017

(i) Select a list of Six games. These can be miniature, card, board or role-playing games. You may change entries on the list during the year, but game-plays for games you drop should no longer count towards the challenge.

(ii) To start the challenge, post the link to your blog.

(iii) You commit to play each of  your six chosen games at least six times during the course of 2017.

(iv) When you play a game in your challenge list, record the play in your blog. This record can range from a one line acknowledgment to a full blow-by-blow report.

(v) If you've done it right, at the end of the year you should have at least thirty-six game sessions recorded.

If you do decide to take part (and there's no reason you can't dive in at any point during the year), then drop me a note in the comments, with a link to your blog, and I'll set up a post listing everyone so we can all follow your progress. 

Let's get out there and Play!

Monday, 19 December 2016

100 Objects

This weekend we headed off down to Canberra for a birthday party, and whilst we were there we took the opportunity to see the 'History of the World in 100 Objects' at the National Museum of Australia. This is pretty much what it says; it's one hundred objects and artefacts from the British Museum, collected and grouped to take the visitor through human history across the globe. It starts with the earliest known stone tool and ends with a portable solar panel and lamp.

The chances are that I've seen most of the objects before, having been to the British Museum more than a couple of times. But a lot of them would have been overwhelmed by the other items on display here. This select collection mixed famous items with ones that are probably less well-known.

The exhibition had originally been put on at the British Museum, but some of the objects in the Australian version were different. This was mostly due to some of the original ones being items that the museum would be reluctant to load out elsewhere - the Rosetta Stone, for example. I'm not sure which specific objects were different but frankly it didn't really matter. It was an interesting walk through thousands of years of history, culture and change, and even such things as a counterfeit football shirt had a story to tell.

I took a few photos. I could have photographed every object, but I didn't. Here are some I thought might be of interest to you, the Reader of this blog. Unfortunately in some cases I forgot to photograph the label giving details of what the thing was, so my comments will be somewhat limited.

Let's start with some Assyrian soldiers.

And how about the the head of a statue of Augustus Caesar? This is the one that was looted from Roman Egypt by the Kushites, buried in a trophy horde at Meroe and eventually dug up centuries later in the Sudan.

This is Mithras.

A Sassanian noble hunting.

A jug in the form of a Moche warrior from Peru.

This is a statues of an Aztec spirit. Specifically that of a woman who died in childbirth. Whilst such women were honoured as highly as warriors, their restless spirits had to be placated to prevent them from causing harm in the material world.

The famous Lewis chessmen

Brasses from 16th century Benin, depicting European soldiers

This is a relatively modern artefact - an Afghan war-rug. Made in the 1980s, it shows Afghans fighting the occupying Russians, the latter being depicted as horned demons.

I cannot recommend this exhibition highly enough. I did see a few things written on some of the labels I had issue with (once again someone failed to understand just what Darwin's theory was about), but it was mostly excellently put together, with the context of each object briefly but clearly explained.

But be quick; it's only on until the end of January.

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