Having some time off work last week, I was able to pay a visit to nearby-ish Bury St. Edmunds. It's a pleasant place to wander and shop, with a 'Cathedral City' feel, a nice mix of old and new, chain and independent shops, and very pedestrian-friendly. We had not been there, however, since before 'lockdown' in March. So, it seemed about time to return, and I had an ulterior motive - there is a decent model shop, and I needed some paints! Model Junction, in Whiting Street turned out to be up and running, with no shortage of stock and sensible safety measures - a maximum 4 customers at a time was not a problem on a quietish weekday afternoon. Plenty of paints from several different ranges, but my needs were simple and I was happy to plump for flesh, white and black Tamiya acrylics, and some Brass from the 'mig' range. And of course, one has to take a look at the plastic kits.. these resulted in a a couple of nicely matched impulse buys, the Revell 1:76 'Wespe' and 'Priest' self-propelled guns. Those will fit very nicely into my 'D-Day Dodgers' forces, and I was quite glad to spend a bit more and support a good local shop. I know on-line shopping is the modern thing, but it's great to have a 'real' shop to browse and make serendipitous finds, and in a pleasant location.
After that, I wandered into WH Smith and looked at the magazine racks - glad to see they are getting back to normal, and I was pleased to see some wargaming magazines. So how could I not support them too? I came away with 'Wargames, Soldiers and Strategy' no 109, and 'Wargames Illustrated' issue 392 ( August 2020 ). WSS has experimented with its issue 'theme' ; instead of a single period, it has a run of articles about a single location - specifically Afghanistan. I think this works quite well, with half a dozen pieces ranging in time from Alexander the Great to 1980s Soviets. Plus the usual run of other articles, including one from Henry Hyde giving a mini-campagin scenario based around a crossroads and river crossing - as you'd expect from Henry and WSS , rather nice maps that are bound to come in handy sometime. 'Wargames Illustrated' is also themed - this time about 'Strategy, Command and Control', which I hope will be interesting. Rick Priestly contributes an article on the theme, thus managing to have a piece in both magazines - his column in 'WSS' is in praise of The Society of Ancients. 'WI 392' also comes with a significant free extra - the rules manual for Warlord Games' new WW2 naval game 'Victory at Sea' . An interesting move, giving the rules away for free - "check out Warlord Games for all the playing pieces" says the editorial. No doubt they are reassuringly expensive; but for the price of the magazine, you have set of rules as well as the usual articles to read, and no doubt this will interest plenty of naval warfare enthusiasts. Mr Crook, perhaps?
I confess I don't buy these magazines on a regular basis, but I will pick them up if the theme looks interesting, and right now it seemed almost a duty to give them a bit of help - the covid-19 crisis has I suspect, hit them hard, by taking away their high street sales for some months. Equally I find I have just not been spending 'disposable income' in the past few months, while being fortunate to carry on working, and earning as normal. So I had no problem with a bit of extra hobby spending. I had a pleasant afternoon ( albeit dodging thundery showers ) and I hope my shopping was a 'win-win' thing for all concerned!
Next time, back to the Seven Years War and the outcome of the Bridgehead battle. Keep well, everyone.
** UPDATE ** Since the above, issue 393 of Wargames Illustrated has come out, including a special 'freebie' of a set of rules for Wars of the Roses period, entitled Never Mind The Billhooks ( splendid stuff!) written by Andy Callan, no less. Well worth a look, and a very good initiative from the WI team - good for them! Much more about that on Norm's most excellent 'Battlefields and Warriors' blog, many thanks to him for highlighting this.
|image from the mag's website: https://www.wargamesillustrated.net/|