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'A gaping silken dragon,/Puffed by the wind, suffices us for God./We, not the City, are the Empire's soul:/A rotten tree lives only in its rind.'

Sunday, 15 July 2012


... and finishing them. Some projects one has no choice but to finish. I'm thinking of paid employment there - in my case it is currently four projects, and soon to be five, with a combined worth (to my employer) of many hundreds of thousands, sterling. Other projects one has to finish within a reasonable time or other people's work will make your projects redundant - in my case this amounts to five writing projects; one book, one book chapter; and three articles. Still other projects suddenly grab you by the throat and insist ! In this case, it is my realisation that, since I was about six years old I've been a fan of Alpine plants, and now I must have a raised bed of them (the initial work began today).  But wargame projects, aaah, wargame projects. Here is one that I started earlier:

An English shieldwall (wighaga, or bordweallas) ...

collected and painted in 1986, when I began as a schoolmaster and, amongst other things taught lower school history.

That included the foundation of England, and I used these 15mm fellows (possibly by Donnington's) and others like them to illustrate the terrible defeat at Battle, and the heroic, exhausted defence of Senlac Ridge. But I also taught history with better outcomes at the school, using balsa, cocktail stick and paper ships to explain the great English victory over Spain in 1588. I wonder if any of those chaps (now around 38/9 years old) remember?

Anyway, last year I finally decided to have a go at De Bellis Antiquitatis (version 1.1), after thinking about it for a long time. So, more English, and some nasty Danes were bought (Essex, appropriately, this time), started, then left.

But this week, I'll finish them, this project:


  1. Love the figures.There is a rich vein of gaming in the classroom to be mined I think. I ran a lunchtime club a few years ago for children to game LOTR using their figures- great fun and they were enthusiastic at the time when it was popular at school.Now other non wargaming crazes are in the ascendancy I fear.

    I too am a big alpine fan ever since my parents had a biggish sloping border in the house we lived in til I was 13. I built my own where I lived around 20 years ago but am still thinking where to put a trough etc here.I look forward to seeing the work developing...

  2. I must admit that my attempts in the direction were over 25 years ago, i.e., well before the IT revolution that has buggered up, sorry, offered a transformative interactive experience to young people. I would be surprised if our odd little hobby had legs today in the educative space...

    Excellent news - it is remarkable, as Springinsfield has previously noted, how the enthusiasms of some wargame bloggers seem to be so similar. Sounds as if your parents had a scree - lucky people. I've looked into troughs, but they seem scarily expensive. For my cheap, raised bed, see next post!