What's New?

January 1st, 2007.Wow...how time can really fly by!  Besides brushing the dust off the site's code, I managed to stumble across a few more anecdotes during the Christmas holiday's reading.  For a New Year's Resolution, I'm going to try to update this site a bit more regularly than every half decade!

October 19th, 2003.  Some new anecdotes... In non-web news, I managed to complete an Orcish HoTT army.  I was quite happy with the results (of which I really should take some pictures and upload them) and even managed to win my first game with them.  The rules are a lot of fun; it is quite amusing to watch your opponent's face when you roll six pips and resurrect all six dead horde units back to the tabletop!

August 3rd, 2003.  Not much new for this site; mostly a lack of time to actually write up some of the things floating around in my head.  A sudden SF craze has taken over my gaming group - we're throwing ourselves into GW's Battlefleet Gothic Game.  The rules aren't bad, and the models are a joy to behold and paint.  With my continuing projects of 6mm Napleonic army, 15mm Pyrrhic army, 15mm FPW Imperial French, 28mm Pulp Figures, 15mm Orcs - you can blame Peter Jackson for that new addition to my overloaded painting table - time has become somewhat sparse.  My freelance computer programming has become somewhat busy as of late...it helps the bank balance, but sadly leaves me with little energy to work on my hobby site.  Still, if this keeps up perhaps I can quit my dayjob and work fulltime from home as a codewarrior.  One can dream...

Anyway, here is a new anecdotes for those masochistics who still visit hoping for something new.

January 11th, 2003.  Some of you may be excused for thinking that this site (or its humble author) were dead. Neither belief is true thankfully! The site was just taking a looooooooong nap let us say. But onto new things!

My reading has continued apace and I've added a bunch of new Anecdotes. I also wrote and hid an Antispam script. Well, not so much "antispam" as a "spam clogger". Spam has becoming increasingly annoying to me, after watching my inbox fill with forty to fifty such useless messages a day. Even worse, I'd really prefer my two young children not to be exposed to the hardcore porn pictures that pop up without warning. Anyway, my script randomly generates 100 imaginery email addresses that spambots will merrily trawl and add to their databases, bloating them with useless data. Just as they do with my inbox. Each page has a hidden link that spambots will find.

If any other webmaster wishes to do their bit in helping destroy the spam industry, please feel free to cut and paste the following code into your sites:

<a href="http://www.stapells.com/wargames/antispam.php" > &nbsp;</a>
Put it somewhere at the bottom of your pages.

I also wrote a little javascript to encrypt my email address in the source code. It should appear fine in your browsers, but is ignored by the spambots. If any webmasters also want to do something along those lines for their own addresses on their sites, please email me and let me know!

September 3rd,2001.  Fernando Liste of Corvus Belli informs me that his new website is now up and running.  It's heavy on the Flash plugins, so narrow bandwidth people will have to be patient, but it's well worth the wait.  The site looks good, but more importantly- now you can buy those great figures online!  I've scanned in a few of his figures to refresh your memory - now go buy some!

Also added a lot more scans to the figure pages...Imperial Romans, Goths, Dacians, Arabs, Picts, Ancient British from Essex and Donnington.

July 1, 2001.  I'm absolutely appalled at myself for neglecting my site for so long.  I finally did something constructive and fooled around with the background a bit, added some navigation links across the top of the pages and also fixed some dead links (thanks to some sharp eyed readers).  Some new anecdotes, one of which was submitted by a reader.  Thanks Allan!

My friend, Geoff Nurcombe of the painting service Flying Pigment recently bought some new Essex medieval and biblical miniatures to fill out a gap or two for the revised DBA 2.0 lists.  He was kind enough to lend them to me for scanning purposes.  View the results here.  Finally, but not leastly, I included some eyecandy of a great Eastern Renaissance participation game run by Mark Cabaj and Geoff Nurcombe and myself (to a small degree) at the Stratford Convention, HotLead 2001.

On a technical note, I also got a bit fancy on the behind the scenes coding for the Hotlead game webpage.  For each picture click, a PHP script dynamically generates each page and pushes it to the user.  The clever bit comes with the text.  Rather than constantly loading the same array, or (even worse) accessing another file for each picture request, the thumbnails page forces the browser to cache a javascript array.  So each new page simply reaches into the already locally resident text array.  Why am I boring you with this?  Because javascript is so finicky I suspect that it'll crash on some systems and browsers.  If that happens, please let me know.

Or for that matter, please let me know of anything else not working, or things that you like or dislike.

April 28, 2001.  Unearthed a couple of new anecdotes.  Once again put my scanner to work, as a packet from Jeff Bevan of Outpost Wargames arrived, bearing samples from his new 15mm ranges.  First onto the glass were the Central Asiatic Turk range.

Very impressive!  Historically accurate, well proportioned figures that will mix well with most other manufacturers' ranges.  All packs contain variants.  Spears and shields are separate, which may annoy some but will create greater variety.  The spears are a bit fiddly and thin; personally I'd use wire, but the hands are cast open of course, and spears are included, so you can decide for yourself.  One pleasant touch - the horses have nice wide, stable bases, which will make gluing on elements quite easy.

Minimal flash, good detail.  If you are considering raising a Steppe army, this new range is recommended.  The command pack is especially outstanding, and virtually guaranteed to lead your army to victory. :)  View the figures here.

March 18, 2001.  Been busy upgrading my Java skills...such as they are.  However, a very generous gentleman by the name of Fernando Liste sent me some sample castings from his soon-to-be launched miniature company, Corvus Belli which simply forced me into an update.

I've very glad he did.  They are absolutely incredible!  Very well sculpted with great detail and Celtic flavour.  They are nicely sized figures that will mix quite well with most other manufacturers' castings.  My personal favourite is the old veteran crouching down on his heels, taking a load off his aching knees (I know how he feels!).  Until he has a website, you can reach Senor Liste at arverno@hotmail.com for orders, a catalog or perhaps even free samples if you ask nicely enough.  Here are the scans of the Celts I was sent.  I am told that more horses, a British chariot and an entire range of opposing Romans are in the works.  I've seen the Roman Command Group; they look very sharp indeed.

February 1, 2001.  Last Christmas I figured I'd rewrite all my HTML pages to PHP.  The idea was to make development a bit faster, allow any global changes to existing pages to be easier, as well as laying the foundation for any future ideas that would require the dynamic scripting of PHP.  Unfortunately the project took a wee bit longer than anticipated I'm afraid.  I eventually had to write a perl program to convert all my files (bless you regular expressions!)  Also made the big migration to my new domain...http://www.stapells.com/wargames.  Please update your bookmarks, or links...assuming you've got any to update!  And, finally, of wargaming note: added a Hunnic gourmet anecdote.

October 28, 2000.  More figure updates - scanned in a box of Irregular castings.  Some are from the Punic Wars range, and the remainder are from the Dark Ages range.  The Punic Wars range is unfortunately beginning to show its age.  The sculpting is rough at best and details (like facial features) can be occasionally missing, but certainly nothing a good paint job can't spruce up.  In fact, my favorite Hellenistic pikemen (rc33) come from Irregular.  But the newish Dark Ages Goth/Lombard range is quite the opposite!  Crisp, well sculpted figures with a mix of variants in each code.  I was very pleasantly surprised to see how the talent of Irregular's sculptor (Ian Kay I believe) has dramatically improved with practice.  Have a peek at the Dark Ages figures section to see for yourself.

Besides scanning, I also found two French Second Empire anecdotes.  Currently I'm painting up some French line troops for a Piquet French army for the 1870 Franco-Prussian war; hence the direction of my recent reading.

Although .mp3s are colossal bandwidth pigs and it isn't really in the spirit of "Being A Short Discourse on Miniature Wargaming", I simply couldn't resist uploading this absolutely hilarious (and sadly quite accurate) AD & D spoof.  In the misspent days of my youth, I played the 1st Edition D&D rules, before discovering the glory of miniature wargaming.  It's a big file of course - about 4 minutes long, which means about a 20 minute download for you 56K dialup people, but I think it is well worth the wait if you've ever played a role playing game.  Or for those of you who haven't, you can see what you been missing.

October 7, 2000.  Ooooh...the postman arrived with two parcels for me.  One was from Gladiator Miniatures with some reinforcements for my Hellenistic and Roman armies, so I fired up ye olde scanner and added some more figure pictures in the Hellenistic and Rome sections.  I was very impressed with both the casting and the sculpting.  Crisp and clean, with great detail.  Weapons and shields are cast separately, which is a bit unusual for 15mm, but it's a great way to introduce more variety.  Some of the Xth Legion poses might be a bit static for certain types (like the Gallic Infantry) but that's a matter of taste.  Overall, Xth Legion and Gladiator make some of the absolute best Hellenistic and Roman infantry I've ever seen.

Gladiator was kind enough to toss in some samples of his latest offerings.  Some of his company namesake 25mm Gladiators, who look big and dangerous enough to give even Russell Crowe pause.  Gladiator also sell some new 1 on 1 Gladiator arena combat rules, that include a campaign section.  Naturally, I'm probably going to order them, since the figures look spectacular!  Another new range out are Gladiator's 15mm Samurai.  They're a bit larger and chunkier than the Hellenistic or Xth Legion castings, but will paint up extremely well.  The mounted samurai is particularly impressive.

September 16, 2000.  I'm pleased to resurrect the Pass O' the North scans in my Figures section.  After a brief hiatus and a move to another state, Jeff is happy to be back in business.  Great figures!  And speaking of great figures...since I was editing that section anyway, I added a few more scans of some other manufacturers as well.  Roundway, Essex, Donnington and Peter Pig to be precise.  I was particularly taken with the new 15mm Peter Pig Pirates sample Martin was kind enough to include with my order.  Fantastic sculpting!  And now, of course, I'm tempted to buy some of them...

August 26, 2000.  Nothing spectacularly new around here I'm afraid.  Another diadochi anecdote (a particularly interesting historical era for me) and two small variant ideas for Piquet.

July 29, 2000.  A couple of little anecdotes for your historical amusement and general edification, a most complimentary entry into my guestbook and a new DBA scenario - the epic, although rather obscure Elephant Victory.  Also finally wrote a cgi guestbook routine.  Test it out and make your own mark in cyberspace!

July 19, 2000.  Been pretty busy developing a couple of other websites lately, so this site has been sadly neglected.  They're actually paying me, so I guess technically I'm a "professional" website programmer.  Still got a day job though...  But I did write a cgi link counter routine for one of the other sites and ported it here.  You can now see the most popular links on my links page.

June 11, 2000.  A few minor additions, just to reassure everyone that I'm still around.  The DBA heresy continues - another DBA variant rule suggestion - Random Followups.  Some reading on the Napoleonic period prompted another anecdote.  Finally, I was contacted by Prince August, a manufacturer of figure molds, asking me to link to their site.  I've got a number of their molds actually from years ago.  It was fun to not only paint your own miniatures, but to actually cast them yourself.  A lotcheaper too.  So naturally I was very pleased to provide a link to their website.

May 21, 2000.  I attended the Invitational RayCon 2000 last weekend.  Played some rather interesting games of DBA and Clive in India games, and took quite a few photos of the events in question.  Also added a link to Mark Diehl's Tabletop Tactics, a most ambitious and articulate project.  Besides a number of interesting articles, and some US convention information, Mark is also planning to create a style of wargaming designed with the internet in mind.  On another note, I unearthed an example of Spartan Humour and added it to the anecdotes.  Finally, a very kind entry to my guestbook was made.

April 25, 2000.  Well, happy belated anniversary to me!  Started this little webpage a year ago...and 3906 visitors, 8.82 megabytes, 582 files and 21 directories later, it still seems to be growing.  And speaking of growing, wrote a scenario for Fire and Steel set somewhere on the Spanish Main.  Other assorted miscellanea digitalia include more comments in my guestbook, a pair of civil war anecdotes (one English; one American), and some additions to my Fire and Steel page.

April 2, 2000.  Two more gentlemen saw fit to make an entry into my guestbook.  Included into the site a review of Fire and Steel - a great set of gunpowder skirmish rules.  Jeff Caruso, owner of Pass of the North was kind enough to give me some samples of his 15mm figures to scan in.  Great stuff!  Gauls in mail, mounted Gauls and even some sneak previews of his as yet unreleased figures...Carthaginians, Gaul with carnyx and (my favorite) a slave carrying a winebag.

March 26, 2000.  Added some eyecandy appetizers to my armies page for no apparent reason.  It's javascript, so some olders browser may not see anything.  A couple of visitors were kind enough to sign my guestbook.  Coming up soon - some pictures of my Pirate Debauchery, Rum & Bloodletting game and full scenario notes.

March 11, 2000.  Rummaged through my closet and found a few Renaissance figures to scan in.  Just my leftover Essex castings for now.  Also added a link, another anecdote and just generally updated a few sections here and there.  The DBA houserules section also received another addition.

February 27, 2000.  Stumbled across a complete collection of the volumes of Diodorus Siculus' History in a used bookstore.  Inspired by such a find, I've written up a DBA scenario of the Battle of Gabiene.  Also joined another webring, the newly founded Historical Miniatures Wargaming Ring.  Speaking of joining, I'm (finally) now a member of the Society of Ancients.  Their bi-monthly journal, the Slingshot, is absolutely chock full of fascinating Ancient articles.  If you're at all interested in the Ancients period, you should really consider becoming a member of the SOA.

February 14, 2000.  Finally managed a bit of (long overdue) work on my website.  Fired up the scanner and added a few more Hellenistic figures, a couple of Rome's enemies and a fair number of Franco-Prussian French.  Also managed to think of a little variant change to the DBA Campaign rules.

January 16, 2000.  The new DBA 2.0 rules aren't even available yet, but I'm afraid I've already got a couple of 2.0 variant rules for your consumption.

January 9, 2000.  A sudden spate of reading about the Age of Reason prompted the inclusion of a couple new anecdotes.

December 12, 1999.  Not too much new around here.  Painted and took pictures of some more pirates and encountered another anecdote.  Also changed some things in the upcoming Debauchery, Rum and Bloodletting game, as well as minor tweaks in CSS file for the graphical look of the website overall.

December 4, 1999.  Added some new links and cleaned up a few things here and there (mostly in The Relief of Poona Mission including a most exciting news update (photo courtesy of that tireless researcher Bob Murch).

November 27, 1999.  Has it really been that long since I updated my site?  Apparently so.  Work is unfortunately taking about 60 hours a week out of my schedule.  And my newborn son Marcus (as in Emperor Aurelius) seems to take whatever other free time I get.  (Added some pictures and a mpeg movie to Marcus' website in case anyone is interested).  But enough!  On to business - added an Ottoman anecdote, changed all my DBA Resource Page links (it's moved, since Chris was limited to 5 megs shell space at his old address.  You might want to update your bookmarks).  But most thrilling of all; there is another adventure in exciting Bungiwalliland.  Read the ripping tale of The Relief of Poona Mission.

November 6, 1999.  Avast, ye scurvy seadogs!  Finished painting some Foundry Pirates and posted some pictures.  Also decided to employ this bunch of bloodthirsty ocean-going pack of thieves in a game.  The Punic Wars inspired another anecdote.  Wrote a little routine to date all my pages (assuming that your browser supports .js files).  Oh - the link to the Official Council Fires site from my DBA Tournament page is now working.  Some nice photos of the convention that Vidal Bairos organized.

October 21, 1999.  Another new section added - Conventions.  Notes and pictures of various events I've organized or I am playtesting for past or upcoming local conventions.

October 9, 1999.  Some visitors are only interested in specific topics, so I've added a Contents page that categorizes my website according to topic.  Lastly, but definitely not leastly, I'd like to thank the good Major-General for adding my humble site to his list of links.

October 2, 1999.  Fiddled with some behind the scenes stuff (thrilling site maintenance mostly) but added an afteraction report to the newest battle report.

September 27, 1999.  Inspired by the purchase of the new Foundry "Darkest Africa" range, I recently played a fun skirmish game set in deepest Bungiwalliland.  More to the point - I wrote up the encounter since one of the participants, Vidal Bairos, used his brand new digital camera during our little African squabble.  So there are loads of pictures!  Also I most flattered recently by Bob Jones, author of Piquet stopping by my site for a visit and recommending it to the PK Mailing List.  Thanks Bob!

September 18, 1999.  Collected some more anecdotes and scanned in some more figures.

September 11, 1999.  Anecdotes section was getting large, so I added another separate page.  Finally found some time to finish my DBA Maurikian army essay.  I included a link to the DBA Resource Page Bookstore in the bibliography, since the proceeds from the sales help offset the cost of the DBA Fanaticus software, which Chris Brantley generously pays out of his own pocket.  Also added bookstore links in my other army essays. 

September 4, 1999.  Painted up some 28mm Darkest Africa for a participation game at an upcoming Convention and stumbled across a Landsknecht webring which got added to my Landsknecht picture page, as did a link to Matteo Martegani's landsknecht re-enactor photos.  Speaking of links, Mark Ward, an Australian gentleman, has unveiled his club's webpage.  The NWS site is quite nice; most definitely worth a visit.  And yes, added another anecdote, colonial this time.  (Well, the Darkest Africa stuff inspired me to do some reading).

August 24, 1999.  A method for simulating variable terrain was added to the DBA variants page.  Alex Aimette apparently reads that page too, because he actually tried the random army break variant rule, and offers some enthusiastic playtest feedback.  But let's not forget about Piquet - a way of simulating variable terrain was also added to that particular variant page.

August 11, 1999.  I've tossed together a figures review page I've been playing with for a while.  It's not done yet...but I don't expect it ever will be.  It contains greyscale scans of the castings right out of the package - no cleaning or anything.  And would I let a week go by without adding any more anecdotes?  Not likely.

August 6, 1999.  Added another DBA variant rule for surprise attacks and even included an animated diagram.  Time to unveil another page - the Piquet Variant page, wherein the same surprise attack variant is translated to Piquet.

July 30, 1999.  Concocted a Berserk Elephant Rule for my DBA Variant page, which is now getting large enough for an index at the beginning of the section.  Finally got around to adding another Antigonid picture of some eastern phalangites.  You can now search the British Wargames Search Engine directly from this site in the Links section and even rate my humble site if you wish.

July 25, 1999.  Put a link to a translation of Plutarch's "Demetrius " in the Antigonos army essay, added a link to Fanaticus, a DBA bulletin board and scanned in some pictures of my Byzantine army.  Chris Brantley had some interesting thoughts about the Random Game End DBA variant, which he kindly allowed me to include here.  I might as well mention that there has been a welcome spate of good people signing my guestbook.

July 17, 1999.  Added some links and some quotes to the anecdotes section and have even incorporated a "secret" link to a completely non-historical, but Dilbertesquely humourous site.  Updated the Home page a bit too.  (That's a hint by the way).  Finally, tossed in some links to a couple of general search engines and a wargames search engine in the links section.

July 11, 1999.  Finished another army history complete with pictures.  This time the relatively obscure Lysimachos is featured.  Also added some relevant links to the Lombard section, and a picture of musketeers from my Spanish Renaissance army.

July 4, 1999.  Added some pictures for the DBR French Huguenot army, the DBR French Catholic army , for the DBA Lombard army and tarted up the Lombard Errata some.  The border graphic for the Lombard pages is from a 9th century Lombard church stone relief, in case anyone was wondering.

June 30, 1999.  Wrote a piece on some possible DBA Lombard army errata, which complements David Kuijt's extensive list of DBA Errata. While researching that, happened to read a couple of amusing anecdotes and added them to the relevant page.

June 21, 1999.  Inspired by Chris Brantley's The DBA Resource Page and David Kuijt's Medieval Armies DBA Page lists of DBA armies' backgrounds, I have done the same for the DBA #38a Antigonid army.  Sorry - no new pictures of my own Antigonid army to illustrate the page yet.  I don't own a digital camera, so it takes a little longer to put up pictures on my website.  Be patient - I will be doing some scanning.

June 15, 1999.  Played around with the page layout a bit; expanded the DBA page a trifle - new variant rule, clarified some wording and added another houserule.  For the curious, you now can read all about me, if you're so inclined.

June 3, 1999.  Found some more anecdotes and reorganized the section a little.

May 26, 1999.  Wow!  Chris Brant of the The DBA Resource Page added me to his links...my traffic is through the roof.  Thanks Chris.  As did a gentleman from Australia (we gamers from the colonies must stick together!)  Go visit Scott Driscoll's page soon.  He also signed my guestbook...hint hint.  I was so flattered to see such activity that I added a few more anecdotes.  Lastly, but certainly not leastly, I added David Kuijt's Medieval Armies DBA Page to my DBA list of sites.  Definitely worth a bookmark.

May 24, 1999.  Expanded the Rules page to include some DBA houserules and variants.  Also threw some eye candy around the other pages, just to add some colour.

May 17, 1999.  Revamped my homepage a bit, threw in some more anecdotes and links.

May 15, 1999.  An Anecdotes page is written.  Not gaming stories (I've got enough of them in my Battles section) but just amusing or interesting historical tidbits.

May 13, 1999.  The long-awaited Rules page has appeared.  The page is just reviews and my personal thoughts; it's not any set of rules I've written.  Hopefully someday I'll actually get around to adding some army lists that I've been thinking about for Piquet.  And some scenarios.  Add some pointed comments to my guestbook - maybe that'll inspire me.

May 8, 1999.  I've got a Guestbook page now.  Please feel free to add your electronic scribbles to my website.   I also joined the Wargamers Webring.  

May 7, 1999.   Added another refight in the 1809 Austrian Campaign.   The vicious battle of  Grosse Adlerwurst.

May 2, 1999.  The good news - added a button to the rules page.  The bad news - I haven't quite finished that page yet.  But I did get around to adding a few new links. And there's yet another picture of Antigonos now.

April 29, 1999.  Added some pictures to the armies page.

April 26, 1999.  The "What's New" page added.  That's it; you've found it!

April 12, 1999.  The World Wide Web grows once more.  "A Short Discourse on Wargaming" is unveiled to a breathless world .

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