Friday 29 May 2020

Everything coming up (bar) roses

A brief digression from wargaming. The garden has been a rare beneficiary of lock down. This new bed has cabbages, red cabbages, green beans, broccoli cauliflower and a solitary courgette plant. It had previously been an abandoned play area, for at least ten years, and it's great to see it in use. The scarecrow is there because pigeons have been at the caulis.

Broad beans and rhubarb.

I am really chuffed with these- first crop potatoes in pots, improvised planters and a grow bag. We put a lot of potatoes in because of the food scarcities back in March.

Little gem lettuces in £1 plastic planters.

This was our original raised bed- peas, spring onions, spinach, rocket and onions.

And finally the big new raised bed. This has been really exciting- I was worried that it might prove too shady, but the main crop potatoes are coming through big-time, also the carrots and spinach. 

We have been assiduously watering everything every day- ten watering cans, or so. This year it's all been about vegetables, on account of the crisis, but next year we'll plant some flowers and possibly put in a small pond for wildlife. It's been a whole lot of fun!

Monday 18 May 2020

Midsummer Madness- Week 1 results!

We've been running the online To the Strongest! 1066 online tournament for a week, and, so far, ten players have played eight games between them- which is a super start.

Here's a shot from a game I played with Alex Meyers, this week. Alex played a bewildering number of Aces- four, out of eight cards, in one (all-to-brief for Alex) turn, captured in the photo. The game was very close- I won by only two medals.

One of the nice things about an online tournament is that once can play people all around the world- Alex is in Belgium. Next week I hope to play some US opponents.

Here are the scores at the end of week one; points depend upon victories and the number of games played, with a positive bonus for playing at least one game in a week. Most of us played one or two games, Paul played three. 

STOP-PRESS corrected results!

We have a couple more players starting this week, and I'm hoping to game with a couple of the other players, this week, who have signed up but haven't played yet. If you'd like to join in, just drop em an email at the address on the left and I'll help you to sort out your first game!

Tuesday 12 May 2020

Mid-Summer Madness Tournament- first game!

Last night I played the first game of the To the Strongest! 1066 online tournament against Howard Litton (Limejelly3). I drew Harald Hardrada's Norwegians (ie Vikings), and Howard drew King Malcolm's Scots. The terrain was one of the more open versions.

I won't go through the game in too much details but I planned to charge and chop my way through his line with my Huscarls, and he to outflank me. We both achieved our objectives, more or less, as you can see above. King Malcolm was seriously wounded and carried from the field, and I was lucky enough to win the game by a slender one victory medal margin.

A huge hats-off to Antony, who set the online version up, and to Paul Thompson who showed us how to play online.

The tournament will run until Mid-Summer Day (24th June) and it's not too late to join in- if you'd like to turn a few virtual cards, drop me an email at simonmiller60 at gmail dot com!

Thursday 7 May 2020

Knights of Terra Firma II

Here's my second unit of Venetian knights. These are a repaint, re-base and  and expansion of an earlier unit (below); they look all the better for it. They were too drab, before. There's a WIP shot, here.  On the painting tray, I have the figures required to add a second rank- I'll be using units of 18 knights and cousilliers on a 20cm grid. I find myself drifting towards modelling the battle of Fornovo.

In other news, I'm recruiting players for an online TtS! tournament, called Midsummer Madness, starting next week. If you'd like to join in, please drop me an email at the address above and to the left. It'll be a blast!

Tuesday 5 May 2020

TtS! Midsummer Madness

Midsummer Madness is a pop-up on-line To the Strongest! tournament designed to while away the isolated evenings of early summer 2020. The tournament will commence on Monday 11th May and finish on Wednesday 24th June- Midsummer’s Day- with a Grand Final between the two players who had recorded the highest scores on the previous Sunday (21st June). I’ll provide various prizes.

Simply email me at the address above, giving me your “Discord” handle and I will record you as a participant.  n.b. I will need to publish names and email addresses in the form “simonmiller60 at gmail dot com” so that we can contact each other to arrange games (if this is a problem for you, let me know, there may be a work around). I'm particularly keen to attract players from Europe and further afield, who can't usually make it to the UK-based tournaments. If you've not previously played TtS!, don't worry, we can teach you. I'll be gentle on you. Promise.  ;-)

Booking a Game
Any entrant will be able to arrange an online game of To the Strongest! 1066, with any other player who has registered for the event, at a mutually convenient time, using the "arrange a game" section on Discord or by email. Players are encouraged to book the games as multiplayer and publish the server name and password so that people can drop in and observe, or have a chat.

Armies and terrain should be randomly selected from the 5 available armies (“1-2 I play the Normans, 3-4 etc…”) or agreed between the players. Games timings start with the roll for scouting. After 1 hour and 50 minutes have elapsed, the phasing player finishes his turn. After this, the non-phasing player gets a final turn, if he lost the scouting, so as to even out the number of turns played. Should players both prefer, though, they are welcome to battle on to a conclusion. 

A decisive victory is won when one player takes all of the other players medals. Otherwise, the player who has taken the most medals wins a tactical victory. A draw occurs when both players have taken exactly the same number of medals. Should the game have to be abandoned for technical reasons, the player who has taken the most medals wins a tactical victory.

This is designed to encourage players to play at least one game in each week (n.b. this is subject to change at my whim- it's possible may increase the points awarded during in the latter weeks of the competition).
  • 3 points for a decisive victory/ 2 points for a tactical victory against a player on the ladder with more points than you, or during the first week (before the ladder is published), or against someone who isn't yet on the ladder.
  • 2.5 points for a decisive victory/1.5 points for a tactical victory against a player with the same points as you.
  • 2 points for a decisive victory/ 1 point for a tactical victory against a player with fewer points than you.
  • 1 point each for a draw.
  • 1 bonus point for the first game played in a week.
  • A penalty point applied to each game played, after the second, in any given week (so that people don’t play endless games!).
  • Only the first game against a particular opponent, during the period of the tournament, will count towards the competition score. This is to encourage people to play against as many opponents as possible.
Example: Macbeth plays three games in a week. 
  • Game one is a draw- 1 point plus 1 bonus point for his first game of the week, so 2 points.
  • Game two he wins, against a player above him on the ladder, scoring 3 points.  
  • Game three he loses, scoring -1 point (since it is his third game in the week).  
  • Macbeth therefore scores a total of 4 points for the week.
Results should be posted in the results section on the discord forum and emailed to me (simonmiller60 at gmail dot com). Please let me know the date, players’ names, who won and whether decisively or tactically. I’ll record scores and publish an updated ladder, either late on the Sunday night or early on the Monday morning, ready for the next week's play.

That's it- it's simpler than it sounds. :-)  I do hope you can join us- I've been playing online for three weeks, already, and it's been really great to chuck down some (virtual) cards, and enjoy the usual banter with my opponents! I hope to cross swords with you, soon!