Monday, 18 June 2018

A double celebration

There are two events that occur of the 18th June each year that are worth celebrating. The first is the birthday of my fellow blogger and all-round jolly good chap, Conrad Kinch. The second is the anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo, where Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, and Gebhard Leberecht von Bl├╝cher led the Allied armies to victory ... aided (to a certain extent) by the Prince of Orange.

Interestingly both Conrad Kinch and Arthur Wellesley share much in common. They are both Irishmen, lived in Dublin, and were at the Battle of Waterloo. In must be admitted that Conrad Kinch's appearance there was somewhat delayed (by a mere two hundred years) and that the location was closer to the playing fields of Eton than to the countryside of Belgium (it was a lawn in central London) ... but he was there, and here is the photographic proof!

As can be seen from the following portrait of the Duke, they also share a similar hairstyle ...

... and from the back they look very similar.

So let's all raise a glass to celebrate this wonderful day. The toast is 'Happy Birthday Conrad ... and death to the French!'

Sunday, 17 June 2018

Comments: Still no solution in sight

The General Data Protection Regulations came into force on 25th May and either by design or coincidence, Blogger's automatic email comment notification function stopped working. There have been numerous complaints raised about this on the appropriate Help Forum, but little appears to have been done to solve the problem as yet.

Currently I and many other bloggers who use the Blogger platform are working around the problem by using the 'Notify me' option in the 'Comments', either by making a comment on our own blog entries and selecting this option or by replying to the first comment made by a reader and selecting it then. Whilst this is not the most satisfactory way to deal with the situation, it has the benefit of working albeit rather clumsily and requiring a bit more effort to be made on our part.

This is not the first time I have experienced problems with Blogger, although it is true to say that any previous ones have were mostly minor and were solved quickly. I did, however, take the precaution of creating a back-up blog on Wordpress, and recently I have been regularly backing up my blog content to the alternative blog.

I like the way that Blogger works and I do not want to change platforms, but I have concerns that Google – who own Blogger – might be looking to replace it or to delete it entirely, and having a back-up plan in place seems both sensible and prudent.

Saturday, 16 June 2018

Conference of Wargamers 2018 Programme

I collected the Conference of Wargamers 2018 Programme from the printer on Friday and posted it out late this morning.

Hopefully it should be delivered to attendees by the middle of next week.

Published and be damned!

One of the sessions I will be putting on at this year's Conference of Wargamers in early July is entitled PUBLISHED AND BE DAMNED! It is intended to be a talk and workshop for anyone who is thinking of trying self-publishing, and at present I am working on the PowerPoint presentation that I will be using to illustrate my talk.

I know that it is possible to have what has been termed 'death by PowerPoint' (during my professional life I certainly attended meetings where this was true!) but I hope to make mine more than just a set of notes that will appear on screen. What I intend to produce is a tool that attendees can take away and use afterwards at their own pace. It will break down the process of how to lay out your book before you proceed to the self-publishing stage so that users can avoid some of the common pitfalls that can dog self-publishing writers.

I am using as my example my HEXBLITZ rules, which I am turning into a small book. The end result should be that I produce yet another book to add to my list of published writings and a learning tool for potential self-publishers.

Here are some examples of the PowerPoint slides that I will be using:

Friday, 15 June 2018

Spanish Civil War: Day-by-Day: 15th June 1938

The Republican gunboat Laya was sunk by Nationalist aircraft at Valencia.

The Republican gunboat Laya.

Thursday, 14 June 2018

Downsizing: Another progress report

So far, I have managed to empty the 'hidden' alcove behind the draw units and stacked REALLY USEFUL BOXES in my toy/wargames room and to sort through my book collection. In total I have boxed up six boxes full of books that are going to be bought by an online second-hand book buyer ( and have filled three plastic crates full of Heroscape hex terrain that I will store in a shed in the garden.

I have also set aside several boxes of terrain and painted 15mm-scale buildings that I will be passing on to fellow wargamers ... and the three Games Workshop vinyl terrain clothes have also be allocated to new owners.

The only contents of my toy/wargames room that have not yet been sorted are my figures ... and that is a job that I want to take time over. I need to spend some time looking at what I have and to identify what I am likely to use in the foreseeable future.

Wednesday, 13 June 2018

Comments: The problem still continues

On 25th May the General Data Protection Regulations came into force ... and simultaneously Blogger ceased to send emails to bloggers notifying them that a comment had been made on one of their blog entries.

Whilst waiting for Blogger to fix the problem, some of us discovered that if we left a comment on our own blogs with the 'Notify me' option ticked, we received email notifications of any comments that were made.

I used this method for a few days, hoping that I would not be required do so for more than a couple of days ... but over two weeks have passed and all that seems to have happened is a message on one of the forums to the effect that Blogger are 'working on it'.

The situation is becoming intolerable for some, and Blogger's lack of communication with its users is driving people away. At present I am going to stick with Blogger because I have ten years of entries and comments with them ... but even my patience has its limits. If (or when) I do move to another platform, I'll give my regular blog readers plenty of notice. In the meantime, I'll just have to keep on using the 'Notify me' option.

Tuesday, 12 June 2018

Conference of Wargamers 2018 Programme ... and Timetable

I took the Conference of Wargamers 2018 Programme to the printer this morning, and I hope to collect it on Friday for distribution to attendees.

The centre of the programme contains the timetable ...

... which I hope will not undergo any changes by the time the Conference starts on 6th July.

Monday, 11 June 2018

My latest book sales figures have just sent me my latest book sales figures, and they look like this:

It is interesting to see that most of my books continue to sell reasonably well, with both THE PORTABLE WARGAME and DEVELOPING THE PORTABLE WARGAME being far and away the best sellers. The eBook edition of the former outsells the paperback edition, whereas the opposite is true of the latter, and sales of the hardback editions of both have stagnated. As I expected, LA ULTIMA CRUZADA is selling better in its hardback edition than the eBook and paperback editions because it is aimed at readers who will want a reference book they can use for the foreseeable future, and the latest addition to my catalogue – THE MADASAHATTA CAMPAIGN – has attracted a small number of purchasers even though the book is only available as a hardback.

Sunday, 10 June 2018

Other people's Portable Wargame battle reports: More Zulu War action

A few days ago Ross Macfarlane staged a Zulu War battle using 54mm-scale figures and my PORTABLE WARGAME rules.

This battle looked like it was great fun to fight, and a fuller battle report can be found on Ross's blog.

Please note that the photographs featured above are © Ross Macfarlane.