Saturday, 30 October 2021

Palaeo Diet Inspiration

We've just been away for a few days in the Blue Mountains, staying at the lovely Hydro Majestic Hotel in Medlow Bath. One part of the hotel is a long lounge area called Cat's Alley:

This area is decorated by a series of paintings of hunting scenes, which just screamed 'Palaeo Diet' at me. So I took photos of them all to share here.

The paintings were by Arnold Zimmerman, a Swiss emigre. In the 1930s he oversaw the redesign of the hotel's ballroom, and was commissioned to do a series of artworks to hang around the area. Some time afterwards they were moved to Cat's Alley.

Unfortunately due to the lighting in the Alley they weren't easy to photograph; there were either awkward shadows or annoying reflections. However I hope you find them interesting. You can click on them to enlarge them

This first one shows that there's room in Palaeo Diet for some rules for mounted hunters.

But most of the scenes could be recreated using the rules as written.

This one might be fun with various cliffs which the beasts can cross but not the hunters.

This picture shows all three types of hunter.

More evidence that we need rules for mounted hunters.

And again.

One for Palaeo Diet: Pulp.

And one straight out of the game - two hunters with axe/club vs an Apex Predator.

This final picture was in a side-passage opposite a mirror, and was easier to photograph as a reflection

The hotel is well worth a look if you're passing through the Blue Mountains.

Sunday, 24 October 2021

Frocktober 2021 - Part 2

And so the annual Frocktober charity fund-raiser continues. Every year I don dresses in October to raise money for the Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation to do research into detection of, and a cure for, this hideous disease. This year I have once again set myself the target of at least ten different frocks during the month.

Obviously the most important thing is to post the donations link: IT HAS POCKETS

As you've no doubt become aware I love a brightly coloured or pattered frock. But I do sometimes tone things down, and sometimes look positively professional. Frock Five was one of those times.

Sadly I had no Zoom meetings during the day.

I brought a bit of colour back for Frock Six, which I wore for a weekend trip to our local cafe - we decided to have breakfast there to celebrate it reopening after the recent lockdown.

And I went for bold stripes with Frock Seven. This was a dress I picked up in a charity shop just before teh lockdown started, and was saving for a bold striped dress kind of day.

One thing we do each year as part of Frocktober is a high-tea. With lockdowns and so on we'd not got one organised this time, so we simply did it ourselves at home. I glammed it up with Frock Eight, a net-layer party dress I'd been saving for a friend's cancelled birthday part back in August.

So we're nearly at the end of the month, and the next post will cover the two, possibly three, frocks that I'll use to finish this year's fundraiser.

And here's that donations link again:  IT HAS POCKETS

Friday, 22 October 2021

Baltic Action

I've had a something of a lack of drive to do any gaming for the past week or so, but finally put some figures on the table yesterday. In fact I'd planned to play this a couple of weeks ago, but there was a Cat Incident and some of the vessels I wanted to use have been in the shipyard for minor repairs.

Anyway, we've been watching 'The Great' recently, which is a lot of fun albeit a bit wonky in terms of historical accuracy. It got me inspired to try a Russo-Swedish action in which both sides had a mix of conventional sailing ships and some galleys.

I gave both sides the same forces. They had two squadrons, one of sailing ship and the other of galleys. For the sailing ships I used the stats for this scenario; there was a huge flagship, two smaller ships of the line and a frigate. I lifted the galley stats from the book - both sides had a lanterna flagship and three galleys.

Terrain was random, and simply some scattered rocks. The wind was initially from the north east, with the Swedes (bottom right) approaching from the south east and the Russians (top left) coming from the north west.

The Russians had to work around some rocks. They sent their galleys straight forward, whilst the sailing vessels headed south, looking to intercept and cut the Swedish line.

Early moves saw the Russians rounding the rocks and heading towards the Swedes, who turned to meet them. Both sides were rearranging their galleys; failed activations had broken up their lines a little.

The first shot; a Russian SoL opened up on the Swedish flagship.

Two Russian galleys fired on a Swedish SoL as it turned into the action.

Both sides' galleys now clashed, with the Swedes rushing to grapple and board the Russian flagship galley.

Meanwhile the sailing ships sailed past each other with little firing; the wind shifted to the north, and what limited actions the ships got were spent trying to keep formation and avoid collisions as the weather changed.

The Russians caught the Swedish frigate, and shattered it in two broadsides.

Meanwhile the boarding actions on the galleys grew in intensity. Disaster struck for the Russians when their outnumbered flagship surrendered.

The Swedish frigate blew up.

A Russian SoL damaged the flagship of the Swedish sailing squadron. However the Swede would now also spend teh rest of the action tacking to get back into the fight.

A Swedish galley caught fire and exploded.

An overview of the action. The Russian galleys had suffered badly in boarding actions, and three of them had struck. The Swedes were suffering damage, but their vessels were still fighting. And the Russian sailing ships were now stuck downwind of the fight and unable to close effectively with their opponents.

Swedish galleys batter a Russian warship.

The Swedes lost one of their SoLs when some confusion of orders saw it collide with a struck Russian galley. The crew abandoned the badly damaged vessel.

One of the Russian SoLs was locked in a gunnery duel with the flagship of the Swedish galley squadron. It would come off worse.

The other Russian SoL caught fire, and soon became an inferno, before it too exploded.

With all of their galleys struck, and two SoLs lost, the Russian flag and accompanying frigate fled the action.

The combination of ships was interesting and something I'd like to explore again. Galleys are obviously not reliant on the wind, but their downsides are that they can't do the powerful full broadsides/rakes of the sailing ships, and that they need to expend activations to move. In this game the sailing ships of both sides suffered horrible activation failures and a really inconvenient shift in wind direction, so were never able to really exploit their advantages.

Wednesday, 13 October 2021

Camelot And The Barbarians

I set up a quick game of HOTT yesterday lunchtime - it's wet here so there's not much point to going out anywhere. I used Camelot (two heroes - one a general, a paladin, four knights and two blades) against the Wainrider Barbarians (one hero general, four knights, four warband and two shooters). The Barbarians defended, and set up a terrain of dense woods. Camelot attacked out of them.

The Barbarian army arrayed in front of their stronghold.

The Barbarians' left was the warband, and they were pushed forward rapidly to overwhelm the blades on Camelot's right.

The rest of the Barbarians moved forward to catch Camelot before they could fully extend their line after emerging from a gap between the woods.

Camelot sent an element of knights to assist their blades, leaving Lancelot dangerously exposed on the end of their line. The knights helped hold off the warband attack, though.

The two main lines clashed - armoured knights against heavy wagons. On Camelot's right Lancelot faced teh Barbarian hero.

Lancelot fell.

A Wainrider surged forward to support their warband, which were suffering badly under attacks from Camelot's mounted and dismounted knights.

The fighting in the centre became push and shove as the knights on both sides charged and counter-charged.

The Wainrider supporting their left flank was destroyed.

The Barbarian hero general was flanking Camelot's line, so they sent in the lone element of knights to draw him away.

On the other flank Arthur was heroically busying himself cutting down Barbarian archers. His knights were now winning in the centre as well, as more Wainriders were destroyed.

The Barbarian army broke when Arthur cut down their second element of  archers. 

The Barbarians lost one warband, two shooters and three knights (12AP). Camelot lost a hero, a knight and a blade (8AP). So it was closer than it seemed.

This was the final position.

It's still raining today.

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