Imagi-world map … Mark 2 … and a bit

I tried to open my ‘new’ imagi-world map this morning … and had the same problem as I had had with its predecessor!

It turned out that the problem was the sheer size of the graphics file I was trying to open. If I tried to open it when I had other programs actively running, it took up more than the available cache memory and would not open until the other programs became inactive.

The solution seems to be to either draw a smaller map or to cut the existing map into two parts and work on them separately. The former would mean starting again from scratch (and the map would end up lacking some of the detail I want to included) whilst the latter would require less work in the short-term.

I have decided to adopt the second option. All I need to do now is to close down all the programs I have running so that I can open the graphics file to cut the map in two!

Imagi-world map … Mark 2

Whilst I was on the cruise that my wife and I took this Summer, I began work on ‘designing’ an imagi-world in which to locate the numerous imagi-nations I have created over the years. I used a map of of the fantasy world created by Robert E Howard for his ‘Conan’ stories as the basis for my imagi-world map, and I did a lot of work trying to alter it to suit my needs. By the end of the cruise I had a reasonably detailed map that I could do further work on it when I had time.

As I knew that I was not going to have enough time today and tomorrow to play-test my PORTABLE WARGAME 2 rules (my wife and I visited my father today and are visiting my father-in-law tomorrow), I decided to do some further work developing my imagi-world map. It was at this point that I discovered that the file would not open on my personal computer, despite being in a compatible format with the program I was using.

After several attempts to rectify the problem I still could not get the file to open, and in the end I decided that if I wanted to pursue the idea of having an imagi-world map, I would have to start afresh … so I did. This time I started with a very rough outline map of the World that I simplified, distorted, and altered. I then overlaid it with a hexed grid and I began to add the necessary detail.

It is apparent that creating this imagi-world map is going to take me some time, but so far I have found the process quite restful and something that I can work on when I have a spare few minutes.

Play-test … what play-test?

I was supposed to play-test the PORTABLE WARGAME 2 rules yesterday … but ‘normal life’ intervened, and in end I did not manage to.

Quite a few domestic, family-related, and business-related chores had built up over the past week or so, and although none of them was a major job, they all needed doing … so my wife and I did them … well, most of them (there are still a few that need to be completed today!). The day just seemed to disappear, and by the time my wife and I had had enough it was late afternoon and all I wanted to do was to sit down and rest.

Today looks like it is going to be ‘more of the same’, so I am not sure if I will be able to set aside enough time to run the play-test. If I do, I will write up a blog entry as soon as I can; if I don’t, them I will try to run the play-test on Thursday or Friday.

The Portable Wargame 2: Some small but important changes

Last night I re-read the most recent draft of PW2 and decided that a few small but significant changes needed to be made.

Firstly, I have removed the word ‘square’ and replaced it with the term ‘grid area’. This is so that the rules can be used with a hexed grid as well as a squared one, thus making the rules slightly more universal.

Secondly, I have reduced the effectiveness of all forms of gunfire (both from Artillery and Non-Artillery Units) as it did appear that it was far to easy to destroy Units at long-range.

I hope to play-test the amended draft of the rules later today.

I was supposed to be going to … Military Odyssey

I was supposed to be going to Military Odyssey today, but getting to bed late last night, coupled with the need to complete some urgent paperwork on behalf of my father (for which I had to drive to Maidstone in order to obtain and check information with my brother), meant that by early afternoon – when I might just have been able to get there – another belt of torrential rain had arrived over Kent.

Faced with the prospect of spending yet another afternoon wet and trying to walk about in the mud, I decided not to bother today. I might manage to make it there tomorrow, but the weather forecast is not very good and I may well delay going until Monday … family and other time pressures permitting.

Cricket … and the Art of Patience

If you love or understand cricket (and the people who play it and/or watch it, read on. If not, then you might find the rest of this blog entry a little boring.

Yesterday my wife and I went to Canterbury, Kent, to watch a one-day match between the Kent Spitfires and the Indian touring side. The game was sold out, and although play was not due to start until 2.30pm, we were warned to get there when the gates opened at 12.30pm … so we did.

When we left London, the rain was torrential, but the weather forecast for Canterbury was ‘sunny with possible showers’ so we took shower proof clothing as well as our picnic lunch and tea. By the time we reached the River Medway the weather had improved and the torrential rain had become a series of light showers, and by the time we had parked our car near the Kent County Cricket Club’s ground in Canterbury, all that we could see were some dark clouds on the horizon. By the time we had got into the ground and found suitable seats, the clouds had come a lot closer, and at 1.15pm it started to rain.

At first the rain was a light drizzle, but almost as soon as we had begun to unpack our umbrellas it had become torrential. It rained … and rained … and rained … and by the time it stopped at 1.45pm, we were soaking wet. Shower proof our clothing may have been, but monsoon-like rainfall was just too much for it.

Because of the rain, the commencement of play was delayed until the umpires felt that conditions were safe for it to start. The umpires inspected the pitch at 4.00pm … but by then it had rained again and so the start was delayed until after a further pitch inspection at 6.00pm. After this the final go-head was given, and the match finally started at 7.30pm … only five hours late!

During this long interval the crowd was entertained by members of the Jugnu Bhangra group from Gravesend. They are one of oldest – if not the oldest – Bhangra groups in the UK, and were formed nearly forty years ago.

Because there was now not enough time for the original 50 overs per side game to be played, the two teams decided to play a Twenty 20 match instead. India batted first and scored 164 for 6. In reply Kent scored 159 for 5, with Joe Denly scoring a century before being bowled by R P Singh immediately after achieving that score. It was a very close thing, and when the match ended at 10.15pm we felt that despite the bad weather, it had been a great day out.

Our trip home was not uneventful. By the time we had got back to our car, the exit from the car park was already clogged up and it took us nearly forty five minutes to get out. We then found our route back to the motorway blocked by the police. Apparently a suspect package had been discovered in the nearby railway station and a small fire had broken out in a large shop in the centre of Canterbury. (The suspect package was subsequently found to have been a very elaborate hoax, and a second, similar package was found in the store that had caught fire.) The diversion we had to take made our journey home even longer, and we eventually got home well after midnight.

Was the five hour wait for the match to start worth it? Yes. Would I do it again? Yes … but I will make sure that I take some waterproof clothing next time!

PS. For those of you have bothered to read this far, may I thank you. After wargaming, watching cricket and listening to Test Match Special is my other main hobby (I am too old to play now, and anyway, I was never that good a player!). If only I liked Science Fiction wargaming; if I did I might just be able to combine these two hobbies into one! (See Krikkit for further information).

Not Quite Mechanised

It has been brought to my notices that Chris Kemp has now started a blog about his NOT QUITE MECHANISED wargames rules and the Russo-German Campaign that he has been fighting for many years.

Like me, Chris was a founder member of ‘Wargame Developments‘, and I took part in the game he staged at Moor Park that proved to be the progenitor of NQM. I was also lucky enough to have taken part in some of the early play-testing, and it was as a result of this that I went on to give some assistance to Tim Gow as he developed his MEGABLITZ rules.

Chris has always been an interesting character, and this is reflected in his attitude to wargaming. His blog (and website) are well worth visiting once in a while just to remind oneself that it is possible to fight wargames (and campaigns) that can be fun.