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Adventures in video

Well, that was a learning experience. I finally got the camera batteries charged (and a new charger ordered that doesn’t require a US to UK adaptor :D) after Wednesday’s setup stuff and Thursday and Friday’s general gefuffle in getting James out of hospital (our NHS are wonderful, trust me, but woefully understaffed and underfunded – don’t get me started).

Nice setup – basically I have a pair of lapel mikes that go to wireless belt packs (they also do a single one for not much more than half the price), and the receiver unit will mount on the camera accessory shoe out of the way and plug into the microphone input on the camera. As I have a newer Canon (700D) DSLR it’ll shoot full HD video and the view screen will flip and twist so I can see it while I’m filming.

Things to work on:

  • the view screen is sufficiently small I can’t see it very well without my glasses, which means I can’t tell if I’m correctly focused when sat down.  The autofocus can ‘hunt’ a bit, which currently is solved by a process that involves a bunch of faffing with manual with something placed in the chair at ‘me’ height to focus on. More experimentation required – I think I can force it to use a limited set of autofocus points so it will reliably pick up me rather than the bookcase behind me.
  • I could plug a small monitor into the camera’s mini HDMI output so I can see what it’s showing better, however…
  • this would make my tendency not to look into the camera even worse (which is not helped by having a lazy left eye that tends to drift inward :D)
  • That said, I don’t look as bad in front of a camera as a talking head as I thought I might…
Still. Can’t show you the resulting video as it’s for someone else, but here’s a screen grab of iMovie, just to prove I’m not making it up.
Next step is to sort out all of the above, and also figure out which multi-camera software I can use for gameplay videos.
Yes, I’m not done tidying yet 😀
I do also now have a small camera clamp, which was bought for James while he was in hospital but wasn’t terribly useful, which now allows me to do over-the-shoulder workbench shots without camera shake and my head getting in the way.

I do also have a shelf clamp for the DSLR, but it’s quite hard to get it to stay in position and not sag, annoyingly. 

The below (very short!) test video was done using the iPhone audio, rather than the lapel mic – as it’s pretty much just above my head, this isn’t that bad (yes, the dialogue is banal, but it’s just proof of concept). It does demonstrate that my cutting mat has seen better days, however…

Trouble T’Mill

Review of 2 by 2 Napoleonics Rules

I recently discovered 2 by 2 Napleonics by Rod Humble, John Rigsby and Eric Sprague. They are simple but elegant way of representing corps level actions with units as either brigades or regiments. Here is an overview of the rules and my take on them.

Where to get the rules

The rules are available in different formats from the original author, Rod Humble. We used Version 2L RvH with additions by John Rigsby and Eric Sprague.


2 by 2 Napoleonics: Napoleonics 2mm wargames rules

Scale of game

The rules are designed for 2mm figures

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Steve Balagan

Battle Report – Orks vs Imperial Guard


I recently took the Orks out for a spin for the first time in while. (Since January in fact.) I played a classic matched play game of Cleanse and Capture (3 cards a turn, every turn) at 1500 points, against fellow Winters SEO Patron Stig of the dump. Stig kindly hosted, and has a very nice set up with some lovely home made scenery and a portable table he put together the day before! He also took the first two pictures here:

My army was a Battalion and a Spearhead, consisting of:
HQ: Warboss, 2x Weirdboy
Troops: 3×25 Boyz
Elites: 5 Kommandos
Heavy Support: 5 Flash Gitz, 10 Lootas, Gorkanaut

Stig took his beautifully retro Valhallan force:

This comprised of a Brigade (and possibly something else?). I think he had:
HQ: Company Commander, Primaris Psyker, Tank Commander

Troops: 6x Infantry Squad
Elites: 2x 5 Ratlings, Commissar, 2x Platoon Commander, Command Squad
Fast Attack: 3x Sentinel, Hellhound
Heavy Support: Mortar Squad, Autocannon Squad, 2 Leman Russ

From this point onward, sadly, they are my pictures and as such are rubbish.

Deployment. With two big armies and objectives spread evenly across the board, we both lined up all the way along the deployment zones. I put the Gorkanaut on my left flank, along with Lootas nearby for covering fire and with Flash Gitz and a couple of characters centrally. Stig placed his big guns opposite the Gorkanaut. We used the Chapter Approved 2017 roll off, and I went first.

Pretty much just advancing up the board. I picked some decent objectives, including the Ork one that requires you to make 3 charges for a point, or 5 for D3, but I think I only scored one point for holding an objective. The Gorkanaut put some hurt on a couple of infantry squads, while the Lootas targetted the command tank and stripped some wounds off it.

The return fire was brutal. All of my Boyz mobs suffered casualties, but mostly the one on the left flank, reduced down from 25 to about six. The shoota mob placed on the right flank also took a battering from the Hellhound. Heavy weapons across the line slammed into the Gorkanaut, but when the smoke cleared it still stood on a few wounds remaining. I don’t think Stig actually scored any points here (though he had a good attempt at behind enemy lines with the sentinel at the bottom not quite making it in with a stratagem use) thanks to my use of 2 CP to keep the purple mob from running away.

My turn 2, and more Orks arrived. The kommandos popped up to deal with some Ratlings and stop them defending an objective, while the Unstoppable Green Tide stratagem was employed to bring on more purple boyz on the far right flank by the Hellhound. Elsewhere the blue sluggas in the middle got into position to charge the lines, while the Flash Gitz blasted one of the poor Ratling squads to little tiny pieces. This gave me area denial for D3 points – and I rolled a 3.
I managed to make charges all across the board, getting 5 successful ones thanks to some above average rolls, and earning myself another 3 points for the objective. Several guardsmen were killed, but the Hellhound somehow survived the combined charge of two Boyz mobs, and the smoking Gorkanaut failed to bring down a Sentinel!

Stig’s turn two was a fall back and clear the lines. Somewhat luckily for me my two mobs in combat with the Hellhound were mostly untargetable, outside of the Valhallan’s special order to fire into melee. However the blue Boyz in the middle were less fortunate, as the guard squads they were fighting were ordered to “Get back in the fight!”

And no Orks were left in the middle! On the flank, the Hellhound was nearly blown up by a stray shot, but finally was taken down without incident in the fight phase (Stig used a command point to try and get the explosion without any luck.) The Gorkanaut took another battering, and was only just downed by the combined fire of the Leman Russ tanks. Stig did not score highly, but I think he began a defend card again and picked up the behind enemy lines card with the Sentinel.

Turn 3. The two remaining Ork Mobs mobbed up and swarmed the guard on the right, between shooting and melee taking out the autocannons and many infantry. At this point I was way in the lead on points, but I was down to only a few units left, including my somewhat out of position characters. Stig would need to push for objectives, but I didn’t have much left to stop him.

Stig again pushed back hard with his gunline. The Lootas were removed, and the big Boyz mob was diminished. The Flash gitz in cover took a lot of fire, and a smite from the psyker, but their armour miraculously held – I rolled something like 7 out of 8 5+ saves against one round of battle cannon shots! Stig also pushed his infantry forward to try and defend an objective in the centre.

In turn 4, the Gitz knew their days were numbered, so strode out of cover to take down the Psyker, and earn me a point for witch hunter! Seems like he was massively out of position, but we both agreed, those Flash Gitz should have been well dead by then!

In the middle one of the Weirdboyz carrying my relic, Brog’s Buzzbomb aka the jar of bees, got close enough to use it. The guardsmen defending the objective were completely swarmed by angry buzzer squigs and killed to a man! In the fight phase the last remaining Boyz swarmed the Valhallan characters (after taking down one of the Platoon commanders with a Tankbusta bomb to the face) and tried to drag down the warlord, but the brave Commander held on with one wound. Thanks to the Boyz shooting a diminished squad and the commander, plus the Psyker going down to the Gitz, I picked up overwhelming firepower for D3 points, and of course I rolled a 3 again!
After my turn 4, I think the score was something like 13-4 in my favour. We played out Stig’s turn, though a concession was hovering on the horizon. The Flash Gitz were finally obliterated, and though the Company Commander was calling in Mortar bombardments on his head, the Boyz were not removed and they finally killed him in melee. We reasoned that it was unlikely Stig would be able to catch up, and with my remaining characters being able to hide out of sight, probably wouldn’t get another chance to table me. So a win for Da Orks! WAAAGH!
This was an awesome game! It’s always nice to have a fun game with a new opponent, especially one on an excellent board and against a cool army. Obviously we weren’t playing a full on competitive game (Stig is still relatively newly reintroduced to the game anyway), but as always, Guard gunlines can be brutal. I could only stay in the game by pressing forward and claiming objectives, which luckily, came up for me at the right times. Stig’s cards were largely rubbish, and my dice were also on form. Plenty of Dakka Dakka Dakka rolls and Snakebite ‘feel no pain’ saves throughout. I got lucky, but I gave myself the opportunity to be lucky by playing the classic aggressive Orky way. As it should be.
An excellent game and a great opponent. I’ll definitely be back for more. I think we are planning to throw my Tyranids against his Primaris marines next time!

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