Friday, April 3, 2020

COVID Cancellations (and more fun with ships)

We're all fine sheltering in place.  That's the good news.

CANCEL One Paycheck or Two

I've decided that during all this craziness that I am staying home.  We're taking the isolation very seriously.  I could be going to work but I think that is a little on the reckless side because I work in a place where the virus will run rampant.  I don't work in a hospital, so don't judge me too harshly.  I just don't want to expose my family to serious sickness.  It's hard to do the right thing by everyone, but family first.  I'm not getting paid, but I am in a position that I can afford that (well, afford is a strong word).
On the plus side, My wife is ecstatic about it as I am around to help out with the kids and home schooling.  And The Endless home projects she is discovering.   There's also a little more hobby time.

On the negative side; a week and a half in and I am utterly bored.

CANCEL One Garage Sale

I was gonna miss the Conquest Convention because my wife had decided that instead of having fun that weekend, we needed to participate in one of those huge community garage sales for children items; those things were people pack into a warehouse with all the stuff that their kids outgrew but are still in good condition so they can sell it to someone with younger kids.  She was right, of course. We got a garage full of old kid stuff that gots to go; clothes, toys, and a pretty odd assortment of My Little Pony plush dolls that daughter #1 suddenly decided one day weren't cool anymore.

We were working very hard to organize and price all these items when we got the email that the event would be cancelled due to COVID 19.  And I, the master manipulator, puller of puppet strings, immediately thought, "Well now, I've earned some hubby points by doing all this pointless work sorting items without compliant, and with the giant sale cancelled I wonder if I could swing by the convention?  But don't bring it up now, it's too soon.  She's still pissed about the sale being cancelled.  Wait 2 days and then bring it up..."

CANCEL Conquest Sac

A day later and Conquest Sac was cancelled, due to COVID fears.  

So when that fateful weekend arrived I decided that I would do some solo gaming and practice an Age of Sail scenario that I might use at Kublacon at the end of May.  With gaming opportunities low and needing some more experience with the Blood, Bilge, and Iron Ball rules and try out some of the house rules.   I broke out 2 squadrons of 4 ships each and had them sail toward each other, on a collision course with destiny for a solo game.

Game set up.

British Squadron had 1 80 gun ship and 3 74s.  French Squadron had 1 120 gun ship and 3 74s.

close up of the French


Some British Ships.
I'm in real danger of painting every British ship yellow.
For the next one, I must try out a different color scheme just to mix it up a little.

As both fleets are sailing toward each other (OK, Fleet is a strong word), I decided that each would try to take the Wind Gauge but by different means.

The wind is coming from the right.  I forget to put a wind arrow.
The British admiral signals for his ships to turn into line abreast formation and sail up wind,
The French Admiral signals for his ships to turn in succession.  

A few moves in and it starts to get critical on who will get the next sail chit first.

It's the British, and the lead British 80 gun ship opens up on the lead French 74

Getting ahead of the British is gonna be impossible,
so the French cut left to engage and pick up speed by turning down wind.
Remember the wind is coming from the right.

The lead French 74 is taking a pounding.

The British with little options, attempt to thread the needle.

"It's warm work..."

aaannndd around this time in the game I stopped paying close enough attention to report on the happening.  There was more game but my motivation to chronicle it sank.  But I ended the night with a better understanding of how the rules interpret Age of Sail tactics and how to run the game at Kublacon.

And I had a good time.

CANCEL Kublacon 

I know, you all saw it coming!  A  little while ago I got an email that Kublacon will be cancelled as well.  Expected, but still a let down.  I was progressing on the next two shops quite nicely and even mostly on target to getting all the ships I wanted done in time.

French ship on the left, British on the right.
WIP shots.  

I guess I'll finish these two ships since they're almost kinda sorta nearly done already.  The think about if I want to go on to something else or continue with being a shipyard. 

Cancel on Birthday Party

Second Son had his second Birthday, but sadly the party will have to be postponed.  My wife insists that we're only postponing it, not skipping it.  I'm not so sure.

Stupid Virus is Cancelling All My Fun!  

I hope you all are keeping yourself and your loved ones safe and sound.  All and all everything here is going to be alright.  Everything in life is only for now.  I hoping that with good thinking and common sense, we'll all see the other side of this thing sooner than later.  

In the meantime, I'm gonna try to not lose my mind with boredom and get some more painting time in.  I even had to start running OUTSIDE like a poor person instead of at the gym.  I know I'll have to go back to work eventually, but I'm monitoring that week by week. 

But let's take care of ourselves and each other.

And don't worry about me, I know I am rich in other ways....

But How long will it last?
Thanks for reading.  And I mean it; keep care of yourself and loved ones.


  1. Stew! It has been far too long since your last report. Good to see you are still alive and well. Life has certainly taken a sharp turn toward the unknown. As you say, with a little luck, care, and cool heads, most of us (!) should come out to the otherside ok. Since my work can be accomplished remotely, no time off for me although distant rumors of likely layoffs are gaining in frequency.

    Great looking ships and enjoyable sailing exercise.

    Take care of yourself and family.

    PS. You need more TP!

    1. Thanks Jonathan, I hope the lay offs don’t affect you. I wonder after all this how many of those who can work from home will continue to do so.

      Glad you enjoyed my mediocre batrep. I need to take better notes next time. πŸ˜€

      Every bathroom has a fresh roll and those are the extra, and I felt lucky to get it. Thankfully son #2 has plenty of wipes...πŸ˜€

  2. I just got word that I’m to return to work Monday which is a bummer.

    Sad to read that so many of your plans were cancelled!

    At least some hobby moments are coming up. Ships and play through look great mate.

    1. Thanks Dai. I hope work will be a safe environment.

      But yeah, the constant cancellation s are a real bummer for me. Glad you enjoyed the halfassed bat rep. πŸ˜€

  3. Excellent reading from the start to the end πŸ˜ƒπŸ˜ƒ , thanks for this Stew!

    1. Your welcome Phil. Glad you enjoyed the read. πŸ˜€

  4. Running outside like a poor person, says it all about you!

    1. Oh Simon, it’s just a bit o fun. πŸ˜€

  5. Always nice to see your ships on the table and that mat does a great job as a back drop.

    One of my 2020 goals was to go to more shows this year, but obviously events have now made this impossible. I have tried to look at the various future shows and the traders that I would have supported and have done some mail ordering with them, to at least try and keep some of the economical hobby wheels turning.

    The virus is having a huge impact on our way of life and increasing numbers of people are being touched by the consequences, both personal and economical, we can only hope that as many as possible will come out of this unharmed.

    Blogs are doing a great job at being the glue of the community and if anyone (me) has been questioning their relevance of late, the current situation just reinforces their importance and that the race to FB is not a ‘one fits all’ solution. We are lucky that such a large part of hobby is not contrary to isolation and I agree that ‘painting time’ will become a main activity over coming weeks / months..

    1. Thanks Norm. I too have been placing some orders in to some hobby businesses but I’m stipulating that there’s no real rush. I feel it’s my duty. πŸ˜€

      I hope that blogs are a way that people stay in touch, I know that I enjoy these intermittent hobby chats in this small circle. It’s my sincere wish we all arrive on the other side.

      You’re right about not minding the isolation. A lot of my hobby time is also my ‘leave me alone’ time. And I find that I treasure it a little more these days after spending all day every day with the family. I love my family, but I liked them more when I saw them a little less. Lol. But that’s unfair bc we’re all getting a little stir crazy. πŸ˜€

  6. Glad to hear you and your family are safe and healthy, Stew! I am working from home indefinitely and I'm thankful to have a paycheck but finding that working from home everyday is not as liberating as I expected though it does give me an extra hour of free time which is nice. I hope this doesn't impact you or your family significantly as I feel for everyone who has lost their job.

    Solo gaming is a great way to spend the time (especially when social gaming is basically cancelled). It is a great time to knock out hobby projects you have lined up too. I will continue to profess my ignorance of everything naval combat but I love the pictures you take from your games. It is amazing how immersive they look.

    It is always a pleasure to read new content from you and I'm selfishly hoping you'll be updating more frequently as long as you have extra free time :)

    1. Thanks Kuribo! So far the biggest impact is a loss of savings, which is bearable. You’d think I’d have more free time being at home and not working, but it’s really just changing the one supervisor from work to the three at home (wife and 2 surviving kids). All three seem to find away to fill most of the time.

      I’m super pleased you enjoy this blog even though it has wandered away from lotr.

      I’m definitely gonna have to try more solo gaming. Does lotr play well solo? πŸ˜€

    2. I only play LOTR solo so I don't really know any other way! I think the best way to play it is to find narrative scenarios (where the two sides are often uneven or play very differently) that you want to play as it makes it easier to get into the game and jump between the two sides each turn, if you know I mean. For example, the Goblin Town scenarios feature a lot of weak goblins versus heroic dwarves. Playing each side feels distinct that way and lets you focus on the story of the game too. If you decide to get a game or two in, you know I'd love to read about it! :)

    3. Thanks again Kuribo. I know you play it solo, I was being facetious. πŸ˜€

      But you’re advice on scenario selection is welcomed. I’ll give it a think.

  7. Too bad about the cancellations but it’s pretty much a sign of the times everywhere. Nice game and mat - looking forward to more reports in future.

    Glad you and you family are keeping safe, hope those rolls don’t run out before it all blows over πŸ˜€

    1. Thanks Mike! Yep, sign of the times. πŸ˜•

      Glad you enjoyed the half game report. πŸ˜€

  8. Stew,
    You are ABSOLUTELY doing the right thing by your family with this. My daughter is an RN at a hospital ER, and some of the stuff she's told me (and showed me) is horrifying. We were already taking it seriously because some of my health problems put me at higher risk, but she was a REAL eye-opener.

    No rational person would willing expose their family to this virus. Stay out as long as you can afford to.

    1. Thanks BW for your support. It was a hard choice to not go to work. I could be guilty of an over reaction but reports like your daughters help out.

      My wife is also a high risk person so it started to become a choice of going to work and staying away from family (which is impossible) or risking it. No win situation. Still other people have families too. I just happen to be in a position where not getting paid is not as hurtful right now so I have the option.

      Did you see the previous post of ships? πŸ˜€

  9. Hi Stew - great post and a reminder that in the greater scheme of things we are all pretty fortunate. I have been enjoying your naval build so free to paint those British hulls any colour you like. Sorry about the cancelled party but there will be plenty more mate. Take care and keep on painting.

    1. Thanks Carlo, I do feel pretty fortunate so far, though times are strange. I ended up painting the next ships(coming soon) not yellow just to be different. πŸ˜€

  10. Lovely pair of fleets! Since I've been laid off I've had less time to paint figures and a lot more 1:1 scale painting! Can't justify buying any toys with zero income but hey this is the reason we build our lead mountains! I knew it wasn't just poor planning and an inability to resist new things but was in fact sensible! How good to be vindicated!
    Best Iain

    1. Thanks Iain. I’m sorry to hear you were laid off. That is terrible. I’m sure you have enough stock piled to see you through but naturally the hobby budget is the first to go. Good luck on the house projects and in the job hunt. πŸ˜€

  11. Family comes first Stew, keep them safe. As for your naval game, there is always the port.

    1. Thanks Pat. Appreciate it. Port IS a necessatity for naval games. I wish I had some claret. πŸ˜€

  12. Keep doing the right thing for your family Stew, I'm also currently off work, company sent us home until at least the middle of this month. Know what you mean about bosses, swapped my work one for my son. Mind you have almost completed the last of my Portuguese :)

    At least you got a game in, how are you taking to the rules? Ive managed a few game of Kings of War Vanguard with my son, even won a couple, and are gradually adding in more rule options as we go. He even game up with his own wargame the other day using lego minifigs and rules based on Vanguard, will have to see if I can keep the interest alive.

    Take care and likewise look forward to some shows out the other side.


    1. Thanks Tony. I like the BBIB rules a lot. A have some small house rules outlined in the previous post that also worked well. My only annoyance was that steering damage came up an awful lot, almost too often, but there are only 3 cards in the damage deck that do that so might of been just the luck. πŸ˜€

      Glad for you playing with your son. It must be great to have a little Wargamer in the house. My kid’s are still too young to show much interest or understanding.