Happy New Year Mancavers!

Sorry for the world’s longest reflection and introspective on 2015 but its only once a year right?

No wild partying tonight. …hell not even a single alcoholic beverage as I’m away to Portsmouth to collect Grace for the weekend tomorrow. To anyone reading this you survived the numerous culls this year so I either genuinely like you and enjoy your company or you slipped through the net. If it’s the latter please identify yourself for culling.

2015 represented a massively lucky year for me. I shouldn’t be where I am now. I shouldn’t have what I have now but I do and for that I’m eternally grateful. I have no right to be sat here as I am now and should probably be drinking myself to death somewhere alone.

I love my girls to bits and am lucky to have someone as driven as Lucy H Lucock. She has been a rock this year. She has achieved so much in 2015 and I’m very proud of everything she has achieved. She’s lost a lot of weight, gained her health and confidence back. She’s become a Slimming World Consultant leading her group in Potters Green and has been inspirational to so many others. Keep up the inspirational work babe! I love you x xx x

My other girls, Grace and Phoebe, despite only being half-sisters are the most charming and loving sisters you’ve ever seen. They love each other so much and is evident in the sounds of laughter around the house when they’re together. A right pair of cheeky scamps and when it’s silent you should worry! They’re cunning. …verging on the malevolent and evil.

At times this year it’s been hard for the Marden clan. Some of your follow the drama that my sister causes and it was right but tough to tell her she’d made her bed and had to lie in it but ultimately it’s done her the world of good. Tough love was required and if it sounded harsh it needed to be. She needed help and couldn’t see it nor be told. Now she sees that and she’ll get the right help away from the poisonous toxic influence that was in her life. It was a pleasure to see her smile when she saw the girls at ColinAndZoe-mas. She’s back.

Colin and Zoe are an awesome couple. I’ve not always seen eye to eye with my brother but as he has gotten older its been a pleasure to watch him become the husband/father/man he is today. He’s a better husband than I was. He’s worked hard for it and he deserves everything he’s got. Zoe is his rudder, guiding and pushing him along. You couldn’t ask for a better sister-in-law and aunt to my girls.
Finners or Finley to give him his proper name is a cheeky so and so but every time I see him he’s becoming more and more confident and social. He’s a great little lad and a good foil to Phoebe and Grace.

Debbie is somewhat new to the family and every time I see her I can see just how happy she makes my Dad, Steve, even if her ability to play games is adversely affected by gin and she cheats. Lol. They’re a perfect couple and an awesome team leading a tag tag bunch of reprobates and ne’er do wells. I can see just how alive my Dad is with her and she has been everything my Dad needed and more. I couldn’t want for a better evil step-mum.

It’s been a long road for the family and especially my Dad. He’s always been my hero. …i never tell him stuff like this. He was the reason I studied what I studied at Uni. Everything practical I have today is as a result of him. If there are elements of my character you like you have this man to thank in part. The arty, creative, food-porn writing, moody sulky drinker in me….that’s all Mum. I’m sure wherever she is now she’s sat partying Oliver Reed, Keith Moon and Lemmy Kilminster under the table!

Lucy’s lot treat me and Grace like we were thier own and have really welcomed us with open arms and patient temperaments. I don’t think of it as putting up with northerners more like having another Gran and family. Thank you Michelle and Margaret.

Lucy’s siblings love the bones of the girls and would walk to the ends of the Earth for them and I couldn’t ask for two people to love the girls any more. Darrell and Emily. ….you’re both awesome and welcome at Chez Marden anytime.

I’ve not really managed to achieve much over the year and I should have done more. ..I need a driving force to keep cracking the whip. Messrs Evans and Alderman I’m looking at you! With that in mind I’m pledging to do more. …I’m going to start with 1 miniature a day so by the end of 2016 I should have 365 minis done. That’s my target for 2016. I realise that’s low but I have a work/family/fun balance to maintain. …and if something had to give it would be the pledge.

Hobby wise I’ve met a great deal of people and dealt with a lot of people I’d like to call friends now. …some people seriously went above and beyond this year when I was pretty low. ..thank you all. Anthony Evans, Rob Alderman, Chris Nicholls, Gareth Mosley, Brent Jay, Derek Maynard, Mark Rapson, Andy Thomas, Mike Bissell, Diggity Dug, Alexandre Dupuis, Ellis Norris (my green blooded brother from another Mother), Mark Southerd, Mark Waz Bretherick, Matt Heath and Steph Heath, Scott Young, Shaun Sullivan. Honestly there are far too many of you to name everyone individually and if you haven’t been is not because you haven’t inspired or been awesome to me.

Some of you may be aware that I’m part of a review website on Facebook called The Hairy Gamers with my long term bro-mance and partner-in-crime Tris. It’s been hard at times to keep pushing forwards and getting stuff out there. We’ve struggled but through everything we’ve kept going and I couldn’t have done it without you Bro! 2016 brings exciting times for us. ..taking on more, new blood in Gareth and James who’ve joined the family. Pleasure to have you guys onboard and here’s hoping for a successful and infamous 2016 for the Hairy Gamers. I want more. ..I want to get involved in more and take on more so if you have anything you want us involved in drop me a line on jase@thehairygamers.co.uk

Lastly my pretend family who’ve all been so welcoming. As some of you may know I spend a few weekends a year in a field and The Silent Tide are like a second family to me. …by that I mean money sucking leeches that drink on the sweat of my brow! Ha ha ha im just kidding. Since day one Dan Max, Stu Art, Andy and Sarah, April and Darren, Harry and the new Mrs Sarah, Andrew, Simon and Tony & Anu have made me feel involved and welcome. I’m not just a poor man’s version of James Tucker like some spreadsheet monkey. Nope. ..I’m just a lowly lowly cook. Not just me but Grace and Lucy too. You’ve made us feel part of the family and for that I thank you all. See you in a field soon! Unless you play X-Wing or we have a social in which case you may see sooner.

So what have I learnt this year-

Work smarter not harder.
Enjoy what you do and do what you enjoy.
Rage is not my friend.
I take on too much and fail at too much. …do less and do it right and better.
True friends are a rare commodity.
The love of a good woman is important, the love of a bad woman is priceless.
Hard work is its own reward.
I need more time for gaming and painting.

Happy New Year everyone. See you in 2016.

Battleground Hobbies: Battlefield Jungle Terrain

A great and simple tutorial for producing Jungle effect terrain on a mass and cheap scale.  I’ll definitely be stealing this idea to build up my scatter terrain for my AvP Predator temple jungle board.


‘Model-making Basics’ – modelling and shaping

Some excellent ideas and goes for modeling 25mm scale items and armatures for sculpting your own minis from a recently followed blog by David Neat.

I’ve even spotted something in here to make my life easier and I’m not sure David intended it as such. Hopefully he’ll have more ideas I can borrow for my modelling projects!

Cheers David.



This is the third of five outline accounts dealing with what I consider to be the five defining areas of model-making work; main construction, fine construction, modelling/shaping, creating surfaces and painting. I’ve written these overviews in preparation for teaching sessions at RADA ( Royal Academy of Dramatic Art ) in London. So they’re tuned towards the specialities of theatre design model work, but most of the points will be relevant in general terms to model work in other disciplines. I’ve started with the general ‘themes’ or requirements of the subject .. in other words the ‘ways of thinking’ behind the practical work .. and this is followed by a selection of ‘ways of doing’ giving more specific and practical guidance on the materials and methods used.

As I see it, ‘modelling and shaping’ encompasses the making of any element in the model that cannot be achieved by methods of construction. That…

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Guild Ball New Zealand: Rookie’s Corner 1 – Choosing a Team

If you’re new to Guildball then you might find this blog post by JS Imbeau of the Facebook group Guildball Supporters Club (Gu.B.S) of some use when faced with that daunting decision of which team to play.  It gives a tactical analysis of each team citing pros and cons for each.

It’s a heartily recommended read for all new players to Guildball. Go take a look.


A quick update. …

Sorry it’s been a quiet month on Tales From The Mancave….the girls have been excitedly preparing for Christmas and I’ve been kept busy with shopping, wrapping, chopping, cooking and playing games that sadly aren’t the kind I’d usually post about. So I’m going to give a quick update to keep your all advised of what’s been going down.  Let’s keep this simple. ….

I managed to grab three Star Trek Attack Wing Reinforcement Blind Booster Bricks for the forthcoming Temporal Cold War OP Series. I’ll be trying to post about each vessel and stick some pictures up as soon as I can.

Sticking with a space theme I’ll move next onto Star Wars.  I managed to grab a viewing of The Force Awakens on opening day and was like a child in a sweetshop with Daddy’s credit card!  Lol. Gaming wise I managed to pick up the last remaining ship I required to complete my Star Wars X-Wing collection. …the Tantive 4. Now onto Wave 8.  Being a massive Imperial fan I also wanted to get my dirty hands on the impressive Gozanti class Imperial Assault Carrier to swell the ranks of my Imperial Fleet.  I grabbed one for a very good deal of £39.67 (including P&P) from boardgameprices.co.uk which I was very happy about!

Sticking with Star Wars Christmas was very kind to me and I managed to get a whole heap of Star Wars Imperial Assault goodies from my girls.  I received Dengar to add to my wretched hive of scum in IG-88 & Boba Fett. I’m aiming to put together the whole line up of Bounty Hunters from The Empire Strikes Back. …so I need 4-Lom, Zuckuss and Bossk.  Then I’ll have then go toe to toe with my other games worth of hunters….the Predators from Prodos’ AvP.  I also got a copy of the latest expansion for SW:IA Return to Hoth. Finally I was given a load of Villain and Ally packs to build my SW:IA forces; – a Royal Guard Champion,  Kayn Samos, Chewbacca, Han Solo, R2-D2 & C-3PO and Princess Leia. So I can now assemble the whole gang from the films.  Happy gamer!

I did post a while ago about me returning to the Judge Dredd fold at NAGA to have some games with Brent Jay and Co. Well I was watching some very good deals on EBay and add luck would have it I did manage to scoop up the whole lot for a very decent price of £37 (including P&P). I ended up winning auctions for gangs for Judge Cals Personal Retinue, Justice Dept. Mega City Judges and Specialist Judges. So they’ll go onto the gaming table for use at some point in January against Brent.

The Hairy Gamers (me and Tris) took a little road trip to Dragonmeet in London during December to collect our AvP Wave 2 pledges and boy was there a whole load to struggle through a busy convention with.  I now have 3x Alien Warriors, 2x Alien Queens, 2x Royal Guards, 2x Alien Crushers, 2x Predaliens, 2x Alien Eggs, 2x Berserker Predators, 2x Predator HellHounds, 2x USCM Powerloaders and 1x each set of Dice (USCM, Aliens & Predators). I also bought an extra two boxes of Alien Warriors from Asylum Wargames Online Shop for a great price of £10 each. You can grab some too by visiting them on http://asylumwargaming.tictail.com/ . These guys have great deals on all sorts of goodies residual if you’re interested in Macrocosm or AvP.

This takes me neatly onto Macrocosm. Despite the awesome Chris Nicholls being very busy with his adventure into fatherhood for the second time he managed to go above and beyond to send out my Macrocosm Malignancy pledge.  Once the chaos of Christmas has subdued I’ll try to take some pictures and post more about this! Thanks Chris.  If you too are interested in Macrocosm then you can find more details on the website at http://www.macrocosm.co.uk/

Whilst we were on our road trip I managed to teach Tris the rules for The Devils Run and we even managed to grab a couple of demo games on the stand the Word Forge Games team were using.  Both of us are mad keen for this game and with any luck I’ll be able to help Mark Rapson with some more play testing and reviewing of the game in the build up to shipping.  With so many ideas for this game, with me posting regular bat-reps and reviews and with Mad Max Fury Road available on Blu-Ray and DVD it was inevitable that others would be drawn into the TDR:R666 game. Recently Tris and I expanded the Hairy Gamers family by inviting Gareth Mosley and James Hall to join our ranks. Both have the R666 bug and are busy trash-bashing and scheming for when R666 drops.  James has been busy using any and all HotWheels and Matchbox cars he can get his busy hands on to bash together some cars to use.  I myself am waiting until my pledge drops to see what gaps I have in my collection before getting too busy with trash-bashing. My ideas are mainly for scenery and game tiles based on British Roads rather than the American ones in the game.

Guildball now. ….as some of my regular readers will recall I play in a local Guildhall league at Black Dragon Games in Hinckley. Sadlt this has not been going to we’ll for my Fishermen who have lost their opening two encounters against Craigs Mort-Union team (12-8) & Andy T’s murderous Butchers (12-4). This week I have a double header of games planned against David Mustin and Mark Southerd in store on Tuesday so watch this space for that.  I’ve gone in half’s on a Union Starter with David to get me a copy of Avarisse and Greede to add to my Union Starter of Blackheath, Decimate and Gutter. I also added a Harry “The Hat” Hallahan to my Union line-up this month as well as hopefully getting the miniatures I’m owed by Jay Finnegan in the form of Fangtooth and Hemlocke. At some point I’ll have to grab me a copy of Coin,  the Union Mascot, so I can play Union too. I’ll do a “Gaming on a Budget” post later to cover my Guildball activities.  Having seen a couple of demo’s at Dragonmeet and spoken to one of the brains behind Guildball, Rich, Hairy Gamer Tris had also picked up a great deal on a Masons team for Guildball so we’ll probably throw down at some point even if it’s just to teach him the rules.

Lastly im going to talk about Frostgrave. Not the game or any bat-reps or warband stuff but mostly terrain.  I managed to grab myself two of the old Games Workshop Mighty Fortress plastic kits from EBay as a starter for my planned scenery. I wanted to build the walls of Felstadt. I also picked up 84 Lemax Snow Covered Wintery Pine Trees, a Garden of Morr kit from GW and some rather large Amera plastic moulded kits for their F204 Large Hill Top Ruin (Fantasy Realms page) & Z236 Corner Ruined Building  (Future Zone page). You can take a closer look at thier range on the link below;-


Once I get the chance to do anything with any of the above I’ll post something.

Merry Christmas and a Happy and Prosperous New Year to you all!

Judge Dredd

Some great info about Judge Dredd here. I have my beady gamer eyes on a set of Gangs on the cheap and might invest post X-Mas.

Go take a look for yourself and check out the playtests and battle reports I’ve previously posted.



Table Top Games UK

400 million people, and every one of them a potential criminal – welcome to the world of Mega-City One and Judge Dredd – he is the law!


Build a force and take to the streets, playing as the Justice Department or one of their many enemies – the Angel Gang, the Dark Judges, Street Punks, Fatties or even the insane Chief Judge Cal.

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Mancave Monday – TCW Reinforcement Blind Boosters

Tonight was a very exciting time in the Mancave as some lovely goodies I had ordered arrived and just in the nick of time.

Given it was the first glimpse of the Star Trek Beyond trailer and the worldwide premier on Star Wars:The Force Awakens it seemed fitting that my 3 sets of Star Trek Attack Wing Reinforcement Blind Boosters for Temporal Cold War and my final outstanding Star Wars X-Wing Ship, Tantive IV, both arrived.

Some time ago David Montgomery of The ShipYard YouTube channel previewed the STAW Reinforcement Boosters and I shared links each day to his videos (links to the videos can be found below).  Over winter Wizkids will be running The Temporal Cold War OP Series (based off the Enterprise episodes).  Each month players will participate in a scenario and build a 90pt fleet using all standard build rules and formats (check with your venue and TO for further advice).  Each player will then receive a randomly assigned Blind Booster to build an additional 40pt ship from which must be used.

For all of you who follow here and either don’t use Facebook or The Hairy Gamers (and why not!?) I’m going to provide links to each of my comments and the videos.

The Hairy Gamers can be found at https://www.facebook.com/TheHairyGamers?ref=bookmarks you can find a brief write up of each Blind Booster by me on that page which links to the videos attached below.  I dont want to steal David’s thunder as he’s done some great work on behalf of the STAW Community so please, please, please go take a look at his YouTube Channel and Subscribe.

So far we have seen:

Romulans – IRW Belak –  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kg0B0ZhGp4k&feature=share

Species 8472 – Bioship Gamma – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0eA8ZncHR-M

Dominion – Aldara – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BUrcuygImY8&feature=youtu.be

Federation – USS Lakota – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jiGCWpeTu9c

Mirror Universe – IKS Toh’Kaht – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1pL_cR_ITeE

**Temporal Cold War OP 1 Prize** Xindi – Diaspora – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kJ2rK5AnXcw&feature=youtu.be

Klingon – IKS Buruk – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0xru6Ibq4Y0&feature=youtu.be

Bajoran – Interceptor 8 – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sGnDLFvD_p8&feature=youtu.be

Kazon – Nistrim Cullah – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cF8UwB9VWPk

Vulcan – Seleya – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ajokBQPewa4&feature=youtu.be

Ferengi – Nunk’s Marauder – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7TQLyAfarVQ

Now mine have arrived I can share some pictures of the ships and cards without stealing Davids thunder.