The Expanse: ‘Hyena Road’ – A Utility Space Vehicle.

If you have not already seen the TV adaptation of The Expanse series (by James S. A. Corey, the pen name of authors Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck) then I suggest you find it online and see it forthwith. Read the books as well. The series had it’s genesis in a RPG game that I think had it’s origins in a game loosely based on GURPS: Transhuman Space. It is hard scifi with one major woo-woo which is the Epstein Drive – a sort of super efficient fusion drive that allows constant acceleration (which give a simulated gravity on board ships). When asked how it worked, the authors responded “very efficiently”.

the expanse books and series.jpg

Ships are effectively buildings with the floor being ‘down’.   This deckplan is of a small dual purpose passenger and cargo vessel.  I used GURPS Spaceships to give me an idea of size and components, but as far as the amount of fuel carried and performance – I just winged it. In The Expanse ships are plot devices so I didn’t bother too much on the details. I figure that the ship has water tanks for reactions mass, and a shielded ‘fuel tank’ to hold some sort of nuclear fuel/reactors.


Attached it the GURPS: Spaceships template I used to sketch out the major components of the ship. It is a PDF file.


Deckplans: (Click for larger image)


Blue Cheese and Walnut Ravioli with a Sage Butter sauce.

I thought that I would share with you this delicious recipe for some homemade ravioli. Mrs Woolshedwargamer has a friend from whom she acquired a kilo of blue cheese that I split into 100g lots and froze so we can use it over time rather than pig out on it all at once.

First off you need to make some pasta. This is actually very easy but I guess you could buy pre-made pasta sheets but not in my house!

This is a very simple pasta recipe.

200g flour (I used half and half standard flour and wholemeal), 2 eggs, pinch of salt.

Mix in a bowl until the eggs and flour have pretty much combined then turn onto a floured bench and knead the crap out of it. If you find it is a little dry just wet your fingers in some water to add moisture to the pasta dough.  This can take a while but keep at it until it is nice and elastic. Wholemeal flour makes the job a little harder I have found but not overly so. Once the pasta is made set aside.

Now make up the ravioli filling. For this I use 100g of blue cheese, an egg, 50g of walnuts, 1/3 tsp of nutmeg and 1/3 tsp of ground black pepper. Combine in a bowl and set aside.

Now you have to roll your pasta. If you have a pasta machine then this is an easy job. If, like me, you don’t have one then use a rolling pin to roll out a piece of your pasta dough (I do it in thirds).  Once you have rolled your pasta to a thickness of about 2mm use a cutter to cut rounds of pasta. HINT: Try to roll in one direction as much as possible. I used a large glass to cut my pasta. The left over bits you could recombine and roll out to make more ravioli or do what I do – save so that you can cook them up in a pasta dish in coming days. I ended up with 100g of leftovers this time so not an insubstantial amount.

Lay out your rounds of dough and put a dollop of your filling mixture on each one. Wet around the edges with water and fold over and press shut.

Now you have to make the sauce. While you are doing this bring a large pot of salted water to the boil to cook your ravioli.

The sauce ingredients are four garlic cloves (more if vampires are a nuisance in your area), a handful of sage leave (we have fresh sage growing so it was a matter of picking some fresh leaves), 20g walnuts, a wedge of butter (50g or more depending how rich you like your sauce), salt and ground black pepper and a splash of olive oil.  The wine is for lubricating the cook. Chop the garlic, sage and walnuts. Heat the oil and butter in a pan and add the and dry ingredients and simmer gently.

While the sauce is simmering away gently drop the ravioli into the boiling water – cook them until done – if you have rolled your pasta nice and thin they will only take about five minutes tops. Usually when they are all floating on the surface they are done but test one to make sure it is how you like them.  I use a slotted spoon to remove from the water and then toss them gently in the sauce to coat the ravioli. Turn the lot into a serving bowl and spoon on remaining sauce. Put a few shaves of parmegiano on and serve with a light salad to make you feel less like a pig for scarfing down the incredibly rich ravioli. We served ours with a nice cheap New Zealand Pinot Noir. Even our cheap ones are bloody good.



The recipe I used made 27 large ravioli. This is easily enough for four people if served with a salad.  If you have a pasta machine you may have a ravioli attachment for making the traditional small ones – this would work the same.

Bretonnian Mounted Men at Arms / Brotherhood Villein Initiates

Once again I have no idea what the hell a Villein Initiate is but I am hoping that they are the same as my Bretonnian Mounted Men at Arms. This is a Kings of War Regiment. The figures are old 5th Edition/6th Edition Mounted Squires. I added a few standards and the odd head swap with plastic Men-at-Arms miniatures.

I got these figures years ago in an internet trade. I am pretty sure I paid $20 for the lot (plus postage) which was about one tenth the cost of the same figures new in New Zealand at the time.  I think the days of deals like that are long gone unfortunately.


Review: Flat Minis

In my younger days back in the 80s we did a lot of role-playing. Should have been studying but instead played D&D for three days straight sort too much role-playing.  One thing we used to do was make cardboard flats for gaming – in New Zealand in those days you just didn’t get metals although most people I knew had the odd figure here and there.  So, as aids for combat and so forth  I used to draw my own and mount them on card.  Had a big collection – especially Judge Dredd flats – that I wish I still had but it went south many decades ago.

In recent years flats have made a big comeback. Go to Drivethru-RPG and you can find dozens of down-loadable minis. There are even fan-made freebies out there – like these ones for Tekumel: Empire of the Petal Throne RPG (these examples are single sided).ept-minis

I was asked to review some paper minis from the aptly named company from Lithuania called Flat Minis.

Right off the bat I have to say that I think that they have a great product. The minis are printed on an elasticised material with an adhesive backing. The images are double sided and come individually packaged in a small plastic bag.

The neat thing is that there is a laser-cut plastic body matching the image of the mini to stick the miniature to. This then clips into a small base to hold upright. The plastic is fairly rigid and about 1-2mm thick. I think these would be robust enough to be chucked into a container for transport without any damage. The cost is €2 per figure. Not exactly cheap but you get a gaming token ready to go with no effort. I would prefer metals but then add the extra cost, painting time, storage for transport and so forth. For role-playing I think these are a good idea.

Assembly took about five seconds. The sticker wraps around the plastic cut-out and the completed 2-D miniature fits snugly into the plastic base.

The actual images are somewhat cartoony – perhaps a little too much so for my taste.  The printing however is crisp and the colours vivid.  The current range from Flat Minis includes some eighteen characters.  I would prefer a more realistic representation of characters – but these will do the job intended. If they made these for either the Harn or Empire of the Petal Throne settings – I would buy the lot.

Some other examples from their current range.


And of course one good thing about 2D miniatures. They can fit through really narrow gaps on your dungeon layout.


Flat Minis –










“Armies march on their stomachs”

Napoleon (or perhaps Frederick the Great)said that ‘armies march on their stomachs’. The same goes for Woolshedwargamers and Mrs Woolshedwargamers.  As many of those who know me personally know I am not the slimmest person in the world – I probably rank about middling in the Wargamer Sizing Chart for clothes. I like food and I like cooking.

Recently I discovered the Youtube channel of Jas. Townsend and Sons who do 18th and early-19th  Century reenactment cooking with original recipes and as far as possible, original cooking implements and methods.  This is one of his recipes adapted to our thoroughly 1970s kitchen.

Pork A La Normand (Pork and Apples cooked in Cider)

Ingredients: A chopped up medium onion, a couple of apples diced, 1lb Pork pieces (450g), 1/3 Cup Wholemeal or Stoneground Flour, 2 tsp Nutmeg, Bottle of  Cider, 1 tsp salt and not shown 1/2 tsp ground black pepper and a wodge* of butter.

First thing is to coat the pork in the flour. 1/3 cup of flour seems a lot but the wholemeal flour really thickens the gravy up during cooking.

Now heat up some butter (how much? A decent wodge*. Brown off your flour coated pork pieces and set aside.  Don’t over cook the pork – just brown them off until they have some colour on them.

Now saute your chopped onion and diced apples until the onion starts to go translucent. Add the nutmeg and seasoning and stir in.  Let the spices cook for a few more minutes then add the cider and let it simmer for another few minutes.  Exactly how much cider is up to you. I like to cover the ingredients.

Return the reserved pork pieces to the pan and let simmer for at least thirty minutes. This dish matures so the longer you cook it the more tender the pork and richer the flavour.  I like a fairly runny gravy so didn’t reduce the sauce as much as Jas. Townsend & Sons did. next time I might use a bit less cider and see how it goes.


This was served with roasted potato pieces, steamed asparagus and a mix of sauteed cabbage/silverbeet and bell pepper. Pour the rest of your cider into a glass and enjoy.


For you Yanks and others.


Full Definition of wodge

chiefly British

  1. :  a bulky mass or chunk :  lump, wad

Bretonnian Battle Standard Bearer – or some other thingie in Kings of War.

Now that I have got a couple of thousand points of Orcs ready for Kings of War I am moving on to my Bretonnians who will become Kingdoms of Men or Brotherhood or something.  Most of my stuff is pretty much good to go as it has not lived for ten years in a box but was actually shelved and looked after. I have to paint some Pegasus Knights and some more Grail Pilgrims to use as their Kings of War equivalents.

I did find this fan made list which I like for a direct Bretonnian Warhammer Fantasy to Kings of War crossover.  I will probably use it for friendly games at home but will use one of the more official armies (Basiliean or Brotherhood or whatever) if I ever go to a tournament.


I am pretty sure that I got this miniature from the Bretonnian Army Box that was available for a while when the Bretonnians were revamped for 6th Edition back in 2004. He is the Limited Edition Bretonnian Army Standard Bearer.  It is another chronically unbalanced miniature. A plastic horse with a metal rider and a stonking great metal standard that shifts the centre of gravity of the model up so high that on anything other than a dead flat surface it keels over. To that end he fell over in my last game with him and toppled off the table and fell apart on hitting the floor. I had to do a bit of gluing and touching up but here he is – back in one piece.

I like to paint my Bretonnians with simple block colours. The heraldry on the barding is from a sheet of water slide decals I got off a guy in the States who knocked them out himself. I am not sure he operated any more but he was known as Imperial Forge.

Medieval/Pirate/Fantasy buildings completed.

I finished the buildings I was working on a few weeks ago.  Also finished a farm house and a barn.  I really need to make a few that are not quite so Conflix-like but these are easy to do and quite cathartic to work on.

First off – a farmhouse and barn. When I took the photos I realised I had not painted the door of the farmhouse. D’oh!

The gate house building. Not sure what to call it.

The Tavern/Inn building. I quite like this one even if it is pretty impractical as a structure. The balcony just holds a couple of 25mm round bases.

Now I really have to get back to painting Napoleonics. I have three units in various stages of preparation looking at me with accusing lead eyes.

Identify this figure UPDATE – Figure identified.

I found this Viking type figure with a slung bow and longsword in a box of random figures. The base has been filed so I have no idea of the manufacturer and there are no identifying marks.


Several helpful wargamers have told me that he is a Foundry Figure. I didn’t think old Foundry were that big. I have some old Foundry Napoleonic figures and they are like hobbits compared to modern 28s. Anyway – mystery solved. Thanks guys.

Waterloo – again.

I was cleaning up my images folders and found these pics from yet another Waterloo refight. This one was held at 2015 Napcon in Levin, New Zealand. I don’t remember too much about this refight – except that the side I was on got spanked for the most part. I played the British garrisoning Hougemont and surrounds. It was the first time that I got to use my British in a game although they had done duty in the big Waterloo refight held a few months earlier in June for the 200th Anniversary. I was not able to attend that weekend as I was unwell.

This game was run with Black Powder rules, and loads of shitty British command rolls. I think on one turn the British side made about three command rolls. We were mostly on the back foot the entire game as our commands failed to receive orders and we had to keep reacting to the aggressive French who seemed to roll more ‘3 Moves’ than I thought was statistically possible.

But as usual at the end of the day it did not matter. A good time was had by all and it was fabulous seeing the loads of figures on the table.

There are also a few pics from a 15mm game being played same day. Check out the British Rocket Troop in action and that fabulous Hougemont Chateau model that was scratch built and covered in printed stonework. Very cool.


WIP – More work on medieval/fantasy/pirate buildings

Finished the build stage on two more ‘Conflix’ like buildings. I was all set to undercoat them but my one can of matt black spray paint ran out of propellant.  The damn thing was half full of paint as well. It is a brand I use a lot and have never had a problem with.  The one problem with living a long way from town is that you can’t just whip down to the store to get something if you run out so it looks like I  will be painting them next week when I am away for work.

Construction was foamcore board, balsa, some bits and bobs from the scratch-building bucket and card. Lots and lots of card. Maybe I should use teddy bear fur and do thatching instead of tiling.

Wargaming and Roleplaying in the wilds of rural New Zealand

ARSM : Il wargame a Roma, dal 1972

Comrade's Wargames

Wargaming, painting and modeling in Oregon's Willamette Valley

The Woolshed Wargamer

Wargaming and Roleplaying in the wilds of rural New Zealand


adventures in designing a GURPS Dungeon Fantasy setting

Compromise and Conceit

Infernal adventuring...

Vector movement

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This site is Pacific War era information

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Miniature Wargaming Creations and Inspiration for the Everyman

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