janewilliams20: (Kallyr)
At my sister's recommendation, I asked for a SAD lamp for Xmas, and got it. Since today was a particularly bad one for general inertia and lack of interest in anything I'd normally find interesting, I tried it out, while pulling out the box of Lego that I'd been staring at aimlessly and occasionally shuffling for weeks.
SAD works. I have been down the "to-do" list, Doing. And so, I now have two playable HOTT armies and a stronghold, in 40mm frontage, made from Lego minifigs. I have photographed them, and the part-armies in progress, and arranged suitable storage for them. Time to document them.

This all started when I saw some minifigs on Biggleswade market, and did a double take. OK, the hair was blonde not red, but armour, sword, blue clothing, star on forehead..... I had to have her. Then I wanted to give her red hair, so started looking at Ebay for minifigs, and realised just how many there were out there. One who was the spitting image of Vega Goldbreath, to start with. A Celtic warrior woman - again, no red hair, but that could be altered. I started bidding..... I visited the Lego shop in MK, I shuffled bits...

So, here's the result. A Flickr set of photos, with detailed explanation in each one.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/janewilliams/sets/72157649570300100


janewilliams20: (Default)
 We are not, either of us, much into Lego. Have been in the past, admire what can be done with it, but total Lego in the house, zero. Until, that is, I saw some minifigs on Biggleswade market and noticed that one of them (probably meant to represent some comic figure or other), was female, had armour and a sword, predominantly blue clothing, and a star on her forehead. It just had to happen, didn't it?
Unfortunately, her hair is brown, not red. I've taken a quick look online at the cost of obtaining some replacement hair, or an entire figure whose hair could be swapped, and winced. (I did notice a "warrior goddess" figure that looks a lot like Vega Goldbreath, though)
So, I mentioned to Dave that from now on, visits to car boot sales and charity shops should include a quick look for Lego minifigs.

Yesterday, we visited two charity shops, where he found and purchased... a Lego tank. He's sure it'll be useful for something. The only minifig included is
a) wearing a helmet
b) missing from the box.

But it's a tank.... and it's a kit....

(sigh)


janewilliams20: (Default)
I'm using a nice simple variant on Kallyr's Orlanthi this time: hero-general, paladin (in case the other side have a magician), two flyers, six warband. It copes with most things.
Last game today, my opponent came up with something I'm told is from Doctor Who, involving angels. I know nothing of the background, but this meant two lots of flyer, Aerial Hero, flyer, with one of those two being the general. A beast and a couple of lurkers completed the army, and the world was full of Bad Going.
So, only my fliers, hero general and paladin can make contact with the bulk of the enemy. Four units. The warband are effectively useless. Oh, joy.
I started moving four of the warband in the vague direction of the enemy stronghold, expecting them to get ambushed by an aerial group on the way (and an Aerial Hero will make short work of them). The other two stayed back to cover the flanks of general and paladin, and the fliers went off to try to break up the big aerial groups.
The fliers broke up the groups, and died. Down to only two elements who can contact the enemy, and they can't catch up with them... one AH hit my warband and took out the flank cover. Six points down...
But thanks to movement points, the warband made it through to the stronghold and mounted a convincing if underpowered attack. One lot of aerials turned back to intercept them, and stalled. Abandoning their warband escort, Kallyr and Elmandanti (sp?) Bluespruce charged the stalled aerial group that included their general - and won! I still needed to kill one more point than they had to win the battle, but they now had no general,and needed an extra pip for each movement. The warband abandoned the stronghold to back the Beast into the edge of the board and kill it, Kallyr moved in on the second aerial hero. Job done. 

i
janewilliams20: (Kallyr)
Tudor Arms, HOTT annual competition, for those who are looking blank. Wargaming.

Richard has shown us pics of his rather lovely new Wolf Pirates. They're going to need an opponent, so I'd better adapt Kallyr's army to be a 1630 version, ready to (fail to) defend Boldhome. Also so that his army and mine aren't too much the same troop types - he's also hero general plus paladin and a lot of warbands. I differ in having flyers,and my paladin is a new addition in any case: I'll happily drop him when not facing magicians. So I take a quick look at who Kallyr had as allies at this period, and note that in 1625 at least, she had Telmori, and Argrath White Bull. I've got a half-painted Kostajor Wolf Champion base anyway, that woold give me an extra Hero, or I could do AWB - maybe as a Magician? Some sort of Praxian... I've got a couple of spare Bison Riders somewhere?

I also need Boldhome as a stronghold. This is going to be tricky. I'm not short of reference material, "Home of the Bold" has detailed maps and descriptions. My problem is a city in a mountain valley, and scale. I may try to use layers of cork tile to do a contour map of the area, and then dress that up a bit: put in the final cliff and Eastern Wall, with winding road up to the gate. Evenif I use the idea of having only a strnghold-sized area on-table and the rest behind, though, it's going to be BIG, especially front to back., I may have to do fore-shortening tricks..

Under the circumstances, it would be completely silly to try to produce a complete new 25mm "classic fantasy" (as per theme) army as well, wouldn't it? So how come I'm watching Ebay for bids, and what are all those bases and figures doing all over the painting table?
janewilliams20: (Kallyr)

I'd intended to get further than this tonight, but had trouble finding files.

Broken links (in some browsers) on writing page and Gloranthan stories page fixed

"New" stories added to that Gloranthan page. They'd been hard-copy published in Newt's "Hearts in Glorantha", and I don't put things on-line for free when a friend is trying to recoup his printing costs by selling them. He tells me the main sales drive is now over, though, so you get:

1) An article I wrote about how to use the little mythlets in the Dragon Pass gazeteer as scenarios
2) A Kallyr story that demonstrates the principles in that article in detail (assuming you have Kallyr as your PC) - "Lookout Hill", set in 1610, when she's still a disreputable adventurer. It's never been on-line before, and I think it's possibly my best so far.
3) "When the snow lay round about" - an early version of this had been on-line before, but this is expanded, clarified, and generally improved (thanks, Donald!)

Enjoy!
janewilliams20: (Default)
It is now 2011, and that means the '11 plates are available - assuming of course that you buy a new car to put one on. Or maybe not? Maybe I could buy one and save it? Or something?
The attraction here is the fact I noticed when buying the current car - the KA prefix is a local one. So, KA11YRS would spell... yes, I'm sure my Gloranthan friends can see where this is going.
So, I went over to the DVLA site and found out. Yes, I can indeed buy it, for £400. I can save it for when I have a car new enough to put it on (you can make a car look older than it is, but not younger). £400 is quite a lot of money, without also replacing the current car earlier than I need to, or waiting several years before I get to use it.

Are there alternatives? I looked up common substitutions of numbers for letters, and did some more searching. Too many theoretically possible options aren't available, and some prices are incredible (1 ALL will cost you £90K!), but I could, if I wanted, get V7NGA for £326 - and that could go straight on the current car. K666LYR is available for £185, but that isn't really all that close.

No, I haven't even bothered looking for variations on "Jane". I suspect that's a common enough name that others will have been there before me.

catch-up

Oct. 20th, 2009 10:35 pm
janewilliams20: (Default)
For a journal that's supposed to warn people when I'm out of contact, this isn't working too well...

Let's see, what have I been doing? Job-hunting, and trying to get this job finished earlier than predicted if I possibly can, mostly, which didn't leave much time/energy for other things even before I got a cold.

There was an alumnae weekend at my old college - I'd never been to one before, but thought "networking!" and booked a last-minute place. In fact while the socialising was fun, and probably good practice, the most significant event was the creative writing workshop I went to. It was about poetry. Free-form poetry, the sort I've never understood, liked, or attempted. We had a very good teacher, though, who explained things, asked good leading questions, and had some great tools for inducing inspiration: there's some tricks there I'll be applying to all sorts of writing. And, it seems, when properly inspired, I'm quite good at this freeform poetry lark. Or at least, someone is, and I can take dictation from them. She's going to publish a collection of poems from that workshop and others, and I'll have two poems in the collection. This is not what I expected, not when the introductions around the table started off with the lady whose book analysing Shakespearean sonnets was on sale in the lobby, and continued with various people with degrees in English and languages.

Then there was Furnace. I'd pulled out of running one game (it would have meant finishing writing the scenario), but took the Great Duck Point Boat Race up with me - it now has its own carrying bag, and a GM's Tshirt, due to me going a bit overboard with Vistaprint. That in fact didn't get played, but I had a good weekend up in Sheffield, staying at the Travelodge and rather enjoying the 5 mile drive to and from the venue. Sheffield in the early morning, pre-traffic, is an attractive place. Played in some good games, met some new gaming systems, didn't spend much, honest. Then back on Sunday in time to go over to Papworth for my niece's 17th birthday.

Last weekend, dropped into a "Bazaar" (craft fair) at the RAF base at Molesworth (now run by the US air force) and tasted some interesting American foods, prompting an investigation into Frito Pie, and then on to Pete & Shirleys in Oundle for the afternoon, evening, and Sunday morning. Again, a good time was had.

Oh, and I've had a cold. Three days off work, which didn't do my plans to accelerate getting through this last project any good at all.

Next Sunday, going down to London to see a performance of Beowulf at the British Library. I just hope I've stopped coughing by then.

In other news, Andre has been in touch about the story I'd half-promised him for Tradetalk, at just the same time as I'd pulled the file out of storage and taken another look at it. It's a follow-up/cross-over to Penelope Love's "The Widow's Tale" - I'd helped produce a conversion of the characters from the book into HQ stats an issue or two ago, and got all inspired while doing it. Writing in her rather distinctive style rather than my own took a bit of getting used to, but by the time my own characters have joined hers, I can relax a bit. I'll just go back to her style for the end, I think.
janewilliams20: (Kallyr)
But I said I would, so...

Saturday night we did Big Battle Glorantha - three armies a side, a combined Orlanthi/troll/dwarf force against the Lunars, in a campaign that may have been to re-capture the ruins of Whitewall - or not. I got to try out my "matching" armies, the Crimson Griffin against Kallyr plus paladin. I didn't in fact learn much, as the addition of a road made a lot of changes to the norm. The Orlanthi won. In fact, we won so thoroughly that no Lunar troops were left on the table.
Piccies and more reports under here )
I don't like magicians. Someday, I will have to insert Kallyr's newly acquired dislike of Leeks into a story.
janewilliams20: (Kallyr)
Yes, it's that time of year again when I head off to the Tudor Arms near Slimbridge for a weekend's wargaming. Very good pub including accomodation, BTW, well worth using. Real ales, real ciders, real perrys, good food.
http://www.thetudorarms.co.uk/
As usual, I drove down Friday, had a pleasant evening in the bar with friends, and will be home Sunday night.
wargaming bits under here )
janewilliams20: (Kallyr)
Actually I wrote this one a while ago, "commissioned" for the Tentacles 2007 con-book (which never appeared), and potentially going to be used by other hard-copy fund-raisers that never appeared either. The WhiteWall group is trying to tidy up our partially-finished work, so doing the final polish on this and releasing it into the wild is the start of my contribution.

Way way back, we were asked to show Kallyr and other leaders making mistakes. I don't think I write her very Mary-Sue in the first place, but she certainly isn't this time. Early Whitewall siege, Tatius has taken over command of the Lunar side, and the tone is changing from fairly light-hearted raids to more serious (and lethal) warfare. Some people catch on to this faster than others.

Stories page: http://www.jane-williams.me.uk/glorantha/stories/index.cfm
Word version: http://www.jane-williams.me.uk/glorantha/stories/WarNotRaids.doc
PDF version: http://www.jane-williams.me.uk/glorantha/stories/WarNotRaids.pdf
janewilliams20: (Kallyr)
Professional as in "to read it, you'll have to pay money". "Hearts in Glorantha" issue 2 is now on sale: see Newt's blog for details and links.
That includes "When the snow lay round about", a Kallyr story based very heavily on "Good King Wenceslaus". You may think you've already read it, but this is version 2, expanded and much improved on the original.

Issue 1, incidentally, contained "Lookout Hill", another Kallyr story set a few seasons earlier, shortly before she became Queen of the Kheldon. And again, if you want to read it, you have to pay. That one isn't available anywhere else, and never has been.

Newt's using Lulu as a publisher, so you can download a PDF, or order a printed copy: yes, good quality print. Not all that expensive, either. Here's the store. http://stores.lulu.com/store.php?fAcctID=1049551
janewilliams20: (Kallyr)
Having been thrashed by Sharrock Junior, it was on to Sharrock Senior. Tim accepted my Lunars as an appropriate opponent for Kallyr, we set up some bad going and hills, and set to, defending Whitewall. There were deployment problems as I tried to shuffle sideways to match his setup, and a flyer did a great jof od disruoting things before dying again, as did a Lurker on the other flank. Meanwhile his Hero General tried to get round to Whitewall, with riders in tow. A hastily shifted Flyer sat in a cornfield and ambushed them. The Hero General heroically chased it into bad going, and it fled, and returned, and fled, and returned, and..... meanwhile Kallyr headed in that direction with the intention of challenging the General to a duel, but had to go bac and sort out the collapsing left flank. The right flank was held up by sneaker and shooters, the centre was Barkered by a flyer, the rest was reshuffling.
Eventually the warband sorted themselves out, and Kallyr led them in a charge. We were up to the end of time, with many troops lost and no clear winner, but then in the final moments, the Lunar right crumpled before the Vingan onslaught. One Rider reached the gates of Whitewall but was driven off. Orlanthi victory - just.
At the gates of Whitewall

Next - Steve Harris and the Last of the Mohicans. Warband v. warband. His Hero sneaked round the back towards my stronghold, and this time the Flyer, without bad going to help, couldn't stop him. The only other combat was the other flyer being chased off by his Magician.
Mohican hero takes White Quartz tula
janewilliams20: (Kallyr)
Last night, my Easter Chicks were challenged by young Charlotte. It had to be a short game because Dave and I had booked a table for 15 min later. She deployed, she moved. I rolled a 6 and split into 3 groups. AHG and 2 wingmen hit her flyers, two flyers hit her shooter, AH and wingmen hit her unsupported Airboat General. Two attacks bounced, but the general died.

First real game this morning, Kallyr faced Benedict commanding Richard's morocanth. Magician, knights... nor ideal against my flyers, hero-general and flyers, but we can cope with careful deployment. My Lurker did a lovely job of breaking up the Warband before she died (what was that tree doing in Prax anyway?), but rolling that many 1s (i never got anything higher than a 3) was not something I could cope with. The flyers never moved, and the second time the Morocanth Sorceror tried to ensorcerel Kallyr, he succeeded. There's a story there, I'm sure of it.
Morocanth magician
janewilliams20: (Kallyr)
Day 1 summary – 3 wins, one loss. Killed three generals and captured a stronghold.
Read more... )
Happy but tired. Dave turned up at 5, also happy but tired (he's been over at Slimbridge birdwatching). We've booked a table for later, and I'm dozing, writing this, and inspecting photos before dinner.
janewilliams20: (Default)
We're staying on the marketplace over the same bar as last time we were here. Small, friendly, not en-suite, and breakfast is at 8. Not between X and Y, at 8. Wifi? You have got to be kidding. Not even a sniff of another network.
Did a dawdle round the shops yesterday and met a small, elegant and beautiful penknife (among many other gorgeous knives). Stroked it while eating at the Red Hen, this having a huge and varied menu, and got reminded of the German interpretation of "small “ (there's still nearly a pound of meat on the plate, but they've removed the bone). Then a stroll round town, and back home for drinks and nibbles until the bar closed.

Kallyr is still messing around with probability as a gentle nag, though quite what she's nagging about I'm not sure. The town guided tour here is "with the night-watchman". No, I haven't been on it, though I've listened to the start. I've taken pictures of the Rothenburg town clock doing its thing, and on zooming into the clock and sundial detail, discovered that the town symbol up there involves a two-headed bird of prey. "Haggar," says Kallyr. I'm pretty sure she's wrong (further checking of signs suggests a black eagle), but I still, somehow, got a picture much sharper than this camera under those conditions should be capable of. When she plays with RL probabilities it's usually for my benefit, but it also means she's up to something.
We went down to the walls overlooking the park this morning and saw a black kite soaring over the valley. My little camera seems to have produced better pictures than Dave and Pete with their bridge cameras. Vision, and birds, again. What's she up to?

Dave and I went down to the Spital bastion, explored that (including the cannon!) then walked the walls back north to the Gallows Gate - the café we spotted for lunch already had the other three sitting outside, having walked the north part of the wall. They recommended the Leberkase mit spiegelei, and they were right. Nothing to do with liver or cheese, it's more like what Spam wants to be when it grows up. We've wandered around a few shops since, picked up some cardboard model castles and resisted swords, and are in the nice shady bier-garten of the Reichs Kuchenmeister with a Berliner Weisse and bits of tree falling on us.

More wandering, and we've found the gingerbread house we stayed in first time, and an Internet café that will charge us 1e for 20 min and takes a USB stick. We'll be back there later, after another cool drink and some yogurt icecream and a trip back to the laptop.

(and we are. Windows in German is fun....)
janewilliams20: (Default)
It's odd, I've been here so many times for Tentacles, but it wasn't until this visit that I got a serious attack of Gloranthan symbolism. Dave and I are out for a really nice dinner (late birthday celebration) at a place on the town wall, covered, but looking out over the railing to the Rhine. Further along the wall-top garden is an ancient wooden statue, probably meant to be Janus. Two faces, anyway. The one facing me is smiling, and he's holding an eight-pointed star. I saw the other side when we were booking, even got photos. It's frowning, and holding a spear. The guardian of entrances and exits, gateways, Janus the watchman. Rigsdal.... If I was sitting up there, I'd have a view into town as well, along a road. The cover at that end is blue. Rigsdal, Rigsdal.... Kallyr would love it. What's more, just beyond is the herb garden, both culinary and medicinal. Ernaldesta would love it, too. But tonight I'm out with my husband, and I'm staying right where I am. The next bit of Gloranthan writing for me isn't even about Kallyr. She is just going to have to do without being the centre of attention for once. And the main course I've ordered is goat.
janewilliams20: (Kallyr)
Well, those who at least try to play as well as listen, anyway. I was looking for a score for "Sam Hall" - it's all [livejournal.com profile] mr_malk's fault!
http://www.greatscores.com/
Here, I can not only purchase a score on-line, I can hear it played by any instrument on my sound card, get it transposed, and print it. In several arrangements. "Sam" just cost me £2.49, which seems like good value to me.

Now I just want to know what Malk's version of the words is like.... I picked that icon for a reason.
janewilliams20: (Default)
The bits for Newt's new fanzine, "Hearts of Glorantha". I pulled the article and story I'd been planning out of storage: originally I'd planned them for the Furnace book, then the Continuum book, and now they're going to Newt. The article was about how to take little "mythlets" and location-specific ceremonies, like the ones in the Dragon Pass gazeteer (or indeed the British cheese-rolling ceremonies and similar) and turn them into scenarios tailored to your own PCs. Then the story was a demo of how to take a two-line mythlet and expand it to what turned out to be 4400 words of story. A Kallyr story, of course. I'm spending more time in the earlier part of her career at the moment, the arc I've tentatively called "1611: gateway to change". Here in fact it's 1610, and she's a visiting disreputable adventurer, not King of the Kheldon (yet). We have two major characters who also appear in "When the snow lay round about", which is set a year later: Ferenan, King of the Kheldon and Kallyr's uncle, and Tarki, leader of the Kheldon warband. Yes, there are noticable changes in their attitudes between the two stories...

A few lessons for me from all this.
1) If you have a deadline, stop this habit of procrastinating till the last few days and get it done early!

2) Yes, I was right, I do write better and more productively between about 2 and 6 am.

3) Yes, I can still do an all-nighter and get stuff done the next day, but this probably isn't a good habit to get into. At least, restricting it to Fridays and Saturdays would be a good move. It looks as if while I'm writing Kallyr stories I can channel her enough to borrow the Rigsdal Secret, "The worshipper can stay awake for any length of time, as long as he remains at his post....." but that does have a complete day's sleep afterwards built into the conditions, and trying to skip that as well gets silly.
janewilliams20: (Default)
Well over 1000 words, and I started writing it at 10pm. I really should adjust my sleep patterns back to something that fits a 6am alarm better :(
The only real problem with this one was keeping Kallyr out of it, but I just about managed it. Just. Very much a Gloranthan story, this one, it relies heavily on the reader already knowing the background.
Two more to go.
janewilliams20: (Default)
Sunday after Dave had gone to work, the builder who'd done our bricking up came round, Read more... )

Weigh-in Monday night Read more... )

Back home and refreshed, did some serious pruning of the Apothecary's Rose, Read more... )

Then, after planning an early night, got attacked by a story. Read more... )

Tuesday morning once Dave was home: dig up and pot rose and rhubarb. In fact it rained and we got no builder, but at least my plants are safe, and the rhubarb decided to split, so I have a root for [livejournal.com profile] tattercoats to try again.

Then off to the doctor to get the results of my bloodtests. It seems that everything is boringly normal, and my blood pressure is down lower than we've seen it for years. Still need to get that liver scan done, though.

Tuesday evening - backswording. Read more... )

Wednesday - evening off, Dave was on days, so home. And knackered (he's been working silly hours for far too long).

This is Thursday. Builder's back today, he and his son arrived just as I was leaving.

The assorted gears and motors and things for my BUA arrived yesterday. Read more... )

Plans for tonight: hug my husband.

Plans for Friday: LondonGlorantha pub-meet in the evening, Read more... )

Plans for Saturday: go to see Anthony and Cleopatra Read more... )

Plans for Sunday: might go to an extra back-swording session, might not.

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