Not our own front gates here at Totleigh-in-the-Wold, of course, but suitably quiet and suitably festive looking front gates from somewhere for Christmas Week.
Listening to quiet Christmas jazz online at the moment with black coffee, nibbling a few Reese's Peanut Butter Cups brought by Santa Claus, and with a purring cat in my lap. What could be better? A cold, gray day here with a few inches of what fell as ice yesterday and turned to slush in the night. It is supposed to grow colder here in Lower Michigan, so I imagine things will become crunchy and treacherous before long. But otherwise, it's hard to get up in arms about much given the relaxed nature of the afternoon so far.
I managed to unpack three plastic tubs of my soldier collection yesterday evening and this morning. Thus far, everything seems to have survived the move swimmingly. For any readers moving anytime soon, I recommend styrofoam packing peanuts packed within and around the smaller boxes/tubs holding the actual miniatures themselves. Just pack the nuts gently by hand in between the bases of soldiers, pour more on top, and seal the lids with packing tape, so everything is held firmly but gently in place. It seems to have worked wonders during the sojourn up here from Central Illinois last June and six months in storage. Movement and banging into fellow miniatures within each tub has been minimal. No damage to paint or castings discovered yet. Keep your fingers crossed where the rest are concerned.
Speaking of toy soldiers, after consulting with umpire Greg Horne and opponent General MacDuff, the sloshed-on-too-much-ale but always nattily dressed General von Tschatschke decided to beat a hasty withdrawal from the Raid on Fickmuhlen since MacDuff's troops had firm control of the village and also delivered a sound drubbing to the Stollenian cavalry in the process. Far better to save the bulk of his force to fight another day than squander it trying to evict enemy infantry from prepared positions in a built-up-area. Von Tschatschke also conceded later that his opposite handled his troops more skillfully and simply also had better luck when it came to discharges of musketry and hand-to-hand combat. Subordinate officers who were present in the room during the post-raid consultation between von Tschatschke and Grand Duke Irwin-Amadeus II cannot be sure, of course, but a few reported overhearing a few offhanded remarks about loaded dice.
In any case, another battle between General MacDuff and General von Tschatschke is apparently a foot. This time, a refight of the Battle of Sittangbad is in the cards as soon as our umpire Mr. Horne is able to set up everything on his end of the world. Watch this space for more details in the coming days. The third time is the charm, and General von Tschatschke is feeling especially lucky!
Finally, yours truly has been enjoying revisiting The Wargame Compendium (a Christmas gift from the in-laws two years ago), and a stack of older Wargamer's Annuals as well as the old Battlegames Table Top Teasers special edition from 2008 or '09 these last few late evenings. It has also been fun figuring out on paper what will be necessary for painting up limbers and limber teams for my cannon this year and daydreaming about how I might use some Amazon online gift funds presented by ol' Mom and Step-Dad for Christmas 2015 last week. I think it was Phil Olley, who mentioned the wonders of this sort of daydreaming and 'imagineering,' to use Bill Protz's term, in two articles the former wrote on wargaming project management in early issues of BG a decade of so ago. Jeeze Louise! Has it really been that long?
Greg's Sittangbad layout. Win, lose, or draw, this will be fun!
Later. . .
Tuesday Evening, 9:22pm
The model soldiers are all unpacked, and everyone to a man, horse, and/or vehicle or gun seems to have come through The Great Ordeal of 2015, as it has come to be known, with flying colors. Only one minor repair is required, and that involves a signpost that has come a bit loose from a vignette base featuring two Minden Prussian (Stollenian) officers consulting a map while Grand Duke Irwin-Amadeus and Hives look on from horseback. Should be pretty easy to fix with a drop or two of superglue. Otherwise, no scratches, nicks, bends, or breaks. And everything seems present and accounted for. I'm really kind of amazed it has worked out so well.