Napoleonic, WSS & ECW wargaming, with a load of old Hooptedoodle on this & that

Thursday 31 March 2016

Hooptedoodle #215a

Following on from the previous post...

Obviously I never knew Asad Shah on a personal level, and would probably not have crossed the street to make his acquaintance, so I am wary of becoming overly emotional over his passing, but something somewhere seems very wrong.

It may not even be appropriate, since the context was the Irish Republican movement in Ulster, and the outside influences which supported it, but on the grounds that it follows a generally relevant theme of peace and forgiveness, and anything but radicalism, I thought I'd post this.

I don't propose that we should all hold hands round the campfire and sing Come-Ba-Ya, but I love this song, and (silly old fool) usually get tears in my eyes when I hear it. For folk music enthusiasts, this is a great spot-the-faces session - some real heroes in this clip.

Wednesday 30 March 2016

Hooptedoodle #215 - Asad Shah

It’s not often you get a link to the Daily Mail in this blog, but I thought this item of Glasgow news [click] might have slipped under your local radar, and I think we need to know these things.

Asad Shah, a peaceful, sociable man, a shopkeeper belonging to the Ahmadi Islamic community, was stabbed to death on Good Friday, apparently because he posted an Easter greeting on Facebook to the Christians in his local community.

Mr Shah’s business is in the Shawlands area of Glasgow, which is not normally a violent place. I have no wish to attempt to understand the internal tensions within Islam – it is clear that some feel very strongly about these issues, and it is also clear that there are people who – astonishingly, to me – feel that the world is not a sufficiently hateful place already.

I do not wish to leap to conclusions or condemn anyone, and it should be remembered that murders in Glasgow are in any case not infrequent, though they are mostly not religiously motivated. I am profoundly depressed – this one incident somehow sums up so much that is sick in the world.

The police have arrested a suspect, who is, in case anyone is keeping score, a 32-year-old Sunni Muslim, who would seem to have travelled from Bradford (200 miles away) to carry out his mission.

Social media? – maybe the world is not yet ready for civilisation at that level.

Sunday 27 March 2016

Jedburgh Abbey - Family Day Out

Since Good Friday was bright and less cold than of late (not actually warm, note) we set off on a trip to visit Jedburgh Abbey, in the Scottish Borders, which is about an hour and a half from here by car.

Very pleasant day. It seems odd to say this, but the Abbey is rather larger than it was last time I visited, since some more of it has been excavated following the demolition of some old housing near the river. The Visitor Centre is simple, but the audio-guided tour is excellent - recommended - giving a good overview of the history and a useful explanation of life in the place.

Architectural style is hybrid - the lower parts of the building are Romanesque, but the upper parts, which were added only 50 years or so later, are of a more Gothic style - fashions were changing. The builders were Augustinian "Black" Canons - this order was noted for involvement in towns and communities, so their buildings were usually less secluded than those of some of their contemporaries. The Abbey has traditionally been a church for the townspeople of Jedburgh as well as a retreat for the Canons, so has always had an important role in the life and history of the town.

Since Carter Bar and the English border are just a few miles down the A68, Jedburgh has always been right in the firing line whenever there was war or skirmishing raids, and the Abbey has taken a few severe kickings over the years. It's remarkable, really, that so much of it survives.

In more recent centuries, it has gradually been requisitioned as a burial ground by the prominent families of the area - notably the Kerrs and Rutherfords - and this results in a rather confused picture of the original working plan of the building - altars and fireplaces being shifted and altered to accommodate tombs.

Anyway - if you are around the area, it is definitely worth a visit - but go early in the day, to leave enough time for afternoon tea in the splendid little Chocolate House in the town (which closes at 4pm - the mysteries of Borders commerce?).

Nearer home, the bird feeders in our garden continue to be frantically busy. In addition to the usual suspects, we have seen a welcome return by a very vigorous family of Siskins (who have been absent for some years), and we are also delighted to see a few Greenfinches, who have been badly hit by a fungus disease in recent times, but show signs of recovery, in this area at least.

It also goes without saying that I am deeply indebted to the Contesse for her splendid photography.

Thursday 24 March 2016

Hooptedoodle #214 - A Brush with the Watchers

Erm – excuse me – good morning.

Good gracious me – what a fright! – you shouldn’t give someone a start like that when he’s shaving. What the blazes are you doing in my bathroom, anyway?

I’m sorry – allow me to introduce myself – my name is Thaddeus. I’m a Marketing Sprite – in fact I am a Junior Executive level Marketing Sprite.

And why are you in my bathroom…?

Well, we are aware…

We? Who is “we”?

It’s complicated, really - it doesn’t matter who we are – we are the beings who monitor the smooth running of the modern world, and we have been increasingly aware that you frequently display signs of a lack of buy-in – hostility, even – to the way things work. [Consults miniature iPad] – yes, it’s all here – within recent months you have expressed dissatisfaction with – let me see – the design of electric air fragrancers, the quality of budget sports socks, the value-for-money represented by the UK TV licence, the cost of inland postage, the Extended Guarantee movement, bananas – bananas? – yes, bananas, apparently [scrolls down rapidly] – the list goes on and on.

Are you telling me someone takes note of my views on these things?

Well, “takes note” is probably not the correct phraseology – our task is not made easier by the fact that you steadfastly refuse to complete satisfaction questionnaires (in fact one of your episodes was on the subject of exactly these questionnaires, I see), but we have a developing picture of a non-believer, a potential subversive, and I have been commissioned to visit you to gain some insight, to improve our records.

Just a minute – what do you mean, “episodes”?

Well, we have sensors in place – they operate through mobile phone pylons, as you may know – any spells of dissatisfaction, or non-compliance with our accepted standards of behaviour are recorded and calibrated.


Exactly – as an example, a 5 on the Discontent Scale is officially termed a Rant, and then there are Tantrums, Tirades and so on up to complete Ridiculous Intemperance, which is, fortunately, very rare. What has triggered this morning’s visit appears to be… [checks list] a Level 7 Strop on the subject of razor blades. What appears to be the problem?

This morning’s problem was that my spare blades do not fit my razor, Thaddeus – since they are from the same manufacturer, that seems unnecessarily inconvenient.

Ah yes – it says here that you have a variety of razors – 4, in fact – which between them take 3 different styles of replacement blades. That seems an unusually high number – is there some reason for this? Is it possible that you could improve the situation by, for example, being better organised?

Well I suppose I could. The problem comes when I go away from home – I pack shaving kit, including shave gel, a razor and a pack of spare blades. Without fail, I find that the fitted blade is knackered, but that I have brought a Mach3 Turbo razor and a pack of Fusion blades (or possibly vice-versa), and they do not fit. So I have to go out and buy some blades – and, because a new razor fitted with a single blade is much cheaper than a new pack of blades, I end up with yet another razor. My wife is far better at understanding these things, but she is rarely present when I am shaving.

You could, of course, buy packs of disposable razors – that would do away with the mismatch problem.

Well it would, but since I already have a copious supply of razors and packs of blades, that is not really a helpful suggestion, Thaddeus. It would be far more helpful if the Gillette Company did not make two directly comparable products, with different blade fittings, thus making extra profit out of customer confusion.

Is it so difficult to remember whether you are using a Fusion or a Mach3 razor?

Yes it is – the whole idea of product names and branding is entirely for the gratification of the manufacturer and their sales staff, and to ensure remuneration for their Marketing people. I do not wish to have to remember the model name of my razor, any more than I care what brand of toilet paper I am using. I might just remember the model of my car, but razors? – no. I seldom discuss my razor at dinner parties, anyway, so why should I care?

[Nervously, checking Episode Level reading on the iPad] All right, keep calm – I’ve got a note of that, thank you. We also observe that you have not replaced the battery in your Fusion ProGlide Power razor for 2 years – we can’t understand that at all.

You mean the battery that makes the razor give off a buzzing noise while I am shaving? – why do I want that?

It is stated in the advertising that the vibration causes the whiskers to stand erect, to give a more comfortable and thorough shave – in fact, it might have been in the adverts in 2010, come to think of it - or back in the Beckham days, but surveys show that customers like this feature and – mostly – replace the batteries promptly.

The buzzing noise makes the whiskers stand erect? – come on, Thaddeus, you know that is just bollocks, dreamed up by some 14-year-old in Marketing.

[Blushing slightly] All right, it is bollocks, but the customers seem to believe in it, and we prefer to maintain the pretence. Thus it is Official Bollocks.

If you will excuse me, I would prefer to finish my shave – such as it is – in peace. Perhaps you could leave now?

All right then – but bear in mind that we are listening, and we may come back if we are concerned. Perhaps you might learn to believe – just a little? [fades away as I take a step towards him – the last things to vanish are the spectacles]

And that’s it, really. I’m not unduly concerned, but thought I should report on the meeting. Maybe I should try to calm it down a bit in future? – nah – what the heck?

Wednesday 23 March 2016

Back to the River

I've now painted up my demo pieces for the rivers/waterways, and am rather pleased with the results.

I chose a compromise colour - as mentioned previously, I wish to use these hex tiles mostly as sensible, battlefield-type rivers, but deeper areas such as lakes and coastlines are also within scope. I experimented with various varnish finishes (another compromise - this time between perfection and my natural laziness). I decided that the water will mostly be visible in wiggly, 2-inch wide strips, and even a lake should not be like glass, so I opted for 2 thick coats of gloss varnish, I didn't rub down between coats, and the resulting brush-stroked, imperfect shine has a passable look of a current, or the wind, or something - anyway, it'll do!

I used clear gloss Ronseal varnish, because it is cheap and should be tough enough to avoid flaking. Though it is water-based, it is still fairly nasty sticky stuff when cleaning brushes, but it's readily available and goes on easily.

Even with just the three basic bank shapes I have available to date (there will be one or more junction pieces in due course, and maybe a couple of small islands), it is possible to play around and create a number of interesting shapes. I hope to get more river pieces to paint up in the next week or so. They store compactly and neatly, too, so I'm pleased. This could go viral - by next Christmas you could be the only kid in your gang that isn't playing at rivers

I still have to arrange for a couple of fords (just water tiles which show some colour variation, I think). And, of course, now I have established a system, I can give some thought to an alternative river colour for the other side of the water tiles...!

For no real reason, other than the fact that I like it, here's a loosely-linked music clip. I got a bit distracted, wondering whether David Byrne's suit would remain stationary if he spun round on the spot, but I guess not. It is nice for us Wallace and Gromit fans to see a pair of tribute Wrong Trousers, though, and any Al Green song is usually worth a listen.

Sunday 20 March 2016

The Hills Are Alive, and Hollow

During this next week or so I should receive some more of the new MDF pieces for my battlefields. I was about to use the word "scenery", but they are not very scenic - they are more game equipment. In the strange world of hexagonal geology, scenery is a contextual term.

You can never have enough hills. New hills almost ready - one of the old ones
nearest the camera
I made up the 10 new hills which Michael at Supreme Littleness has cut for me to date. These are 7-inch hexes, to match my existing stock, but laser cut from 6mm MDF in two parts per hill tile - to save weight (and in the hope that someone else might want 6-inch hexes in 6mm MDF?), the underhill (?) is a hexagonal doughnut, as you see.

Weight-saving hill, worm's-eye view
The tops and bottoms were glued together (very accurately - my tongue was probably sticking out) using "tacky" PVA glue, a very useful product which was new to me. Once dried, I painted them up with the house standard Crested Moss #2 baseboard colour. I also did some gentle dabbing on (spackling?) of a diluted darker green, to match my older hills and to make them more obviously different from the unspackled plain beneath. I was far too tentative with the spackling - it dried a lot paler than I expected, so I'll improve that when I paint up the next shipment of 10 hills.

Old hill on the right - yes, I know, I have to make a better fist of texturing
the new ones - I'll get to it. I'm very pleased with the match, and the old ones
are only very slightly thicker, which doesn't matter.
My original hills are ½-inch Insulation Board, cut by hand with a steel rule and a Stanley knife in 1974 or so - I couldn't do that now - I wouldn't even contemplate such a miserable job. How I still have all my fingers and thumbs is a mystery. No, lasers are the answer, my friends. Quantum science and those billions of dollars invested to develop the laser were all to avoid Old Foy risking his fingers with a craft knife. Obvious snag, of course, is that you can't laser-cut MDF thicker than 6mm - I think it just catches fire or something. So Michael has given me two-layer hills in 2 x 6mm, which is a close enough match for half an inch.

Very nice - only practical observations thus far are that the burned edges require 3 coats of the baseboard colour to hide the charcoal, and the MDF is a lot smoother than insulation board, so I need to be a bit more wholehearted with the spackling to give better texturing. It is, as ever, a learning process...

To achieve a more interesting effect with the dabbed texture colour, I invested in a natural sea sponge from Boots the Chemist. Ouch. Great idea, but of all the money I have ever wasted on my hobby, the price of this small sponge was the most eye-watering little surprise. These must be Fair Trade sponges - the guys who harvest them must have yachts at Monte Carlo.

Research on the colour of river water continues. I had a rough idea I might be looking for a colour called Teal, or similar, but it seems such a colour is not in vogue. I have a couple of candidate shades ticked on the extant Dulux sample cards - tricky business, this. For a start, my colour vision is not wonderfully accurate, and the shade cards are just bewildering - far too much information. If someone shows me 100 different varieties of greenish-blue then I can't cope - I am even distracted from what it was I was looking for in the first place. I found a wonderful colour yesterday, but it took about 15 seconds to realise that it might be suitable for the Caribbean in July, but not the Yorkshire Moors or Aberdeenshire in February. Anyway, I have a couple of promising candidates to ponder over. I hope I don't just buy something completely different in a moment of panic.

Thursday 17 March 2016

ECW - More Siege Artillery

Big ones, small ones - from siege cannons to a 2-man peashooter
Having worked on the oh-so-shiny gunners from the Mike & Whiskers Legacy Collection, and dug some appropriate guns out of the lead pile, I suddenly have a big dollop (I believe that is the correct military term) of extra artillery - specifically for sieges.

My ECW armies are already probably over-provided with field artillery, and I have a fine big mortar, but the approach of the siege project has highlighted a shortage of odd guns on small bases, to fit on tops of towers and in "mounts", not to mention actual wall-crushers.

A couple of very serious 'cannons of 8' - if these chaps (provisionally called Stan &
Olly) shoot at your town walls they will stay shot at, and don't forget it. Anyone who
observes that the ramrod would only reach halfway down the barrel is correct, of
course, but may spend the evening on the naughty step. Obviously they have a longer
one stashed somewhere, don't they? 
None of this is of particularly fine quality - the rehashed gunners are purely functional, for a start - but I have ticked another box for the list of things I need to do to prepare for sieges. Tick.

Only ECW artillery job still in my queue is to paint up a few more frame guns for the Scots - I have the gun castings, but am trying to think of how to provide suitable gunner figures in 20mm. Conversions coming up, methinks.

Next job is to slap some paint on some new hills (hexagonal, of course - MDF, of course) and start some tests to get a colour scheme for my forthcoming river system. These aren't siege jobs, but it would surely tidy things up a bit around here if I could store some of this MDF away in the scenery boxes.

Latest thought on a colour for rivers is - rather to my surprise - darkish blue-green. I was going to go for mud brown again, but somehow this doesn't seem right if the new river pieces may also form lakes and coastline. I'll get some sample pots from the hardware store and see how it looks.

Monday 14 March 2016

Hooptedoodle #213 - Elegance of the 1960s

A friend shared this on his Facebook account, and I thought it was so good that I should borrow it here - splendid stuff.

Despite the manic Britishness of the whole thing, I find this clip strangely uplifting. This must have been one of the more powerful Lambrettas, I guess - 175cc? Still a daunting load for such a small unit, though - I guess it would get a little out of breath going over the old Hardknott Pass.

We've been making rather slow progress with organising a summer holiday. Appropriately inspired by the earnest pluck of this lot, I am determined to try a little harder.

And the caravan, you will note, can be erected by morons...

Sunday 13 March 2016

Hooptedoodle #212 – Technology Yawn Hour – Mac Viruses

Good Heavens - THEY are going to terminate my account - I must do something really
stupid without delay. This screen courtesy of EasyShopper, I believe - interestingly, the target
URL for this screen is something to do with a mortgage portal. Why don't these creeps just
go and die somewhere? 
For a few years now I have been using a Macintosh as my main computer. I still have a desktop Windows machine, because it is much better for some jobs, but the Mac is my main internet tool. One great advantage this brings is that I have almost forgotten about viruses – the Apple architectures are less vulnerable to malware anyway, but also the relatively small potential-victim base makes the OS X world less attractive to those sad little single-cell organisms who spend their nights attempting to wreck the internet by contructing viruses.

I’ve had a few minor jolts this week. First came from an invitation to update my installed (Mac) version of Adobe Acrobat. I accepted this, as one does, and very quickly got an alert that an unauthorised browser extension was being installed – Joyround. I attempted to cancel the installation, but my Safari browser went very strange immediately afterwards. My homepage was changed to an unfamiliar Google search request screen, and all new opening tabs showed the same screen. Google Calendar, which I use on my desktop and my iPhone for all family and business schedules, also began to behave strangely, interrupting the normal functionality with a recurring pop-up screen (which I couldn’t exit) inviting me to apply for a fancy deal on an iPhone6.

I corrected my browser preferences, and I ran a Mac malware checker, and found and eliminated the aforementioned Joyround abomination. Sorted – I am back to the normal Mac world of calm, except that I seem to be getting intermittent advert interruptions from something called EasyShopper – I’ll see if I can find how to get rid of this. The stupid screen shown at the top of this post is courtesy of EasyShopper, as far as I can tell.

Discussion with my son reveals that he recently had to reinstall Adobe Acrobat on his Windows laptop, because an update seemed to have put an undesirable extension onto his web browser.

Corrupt this
Watch your step. Carry a baseball bat at all times. If you get an invitation to bring Acrobat up to date, check that it is genuine and what you are installing – even if it is a kosher upgrade you may find that you have Chrome as your default browser afterwards if you do not carefully uncheck the necessary boxes.

Wednesday 9 March 2016

Still in the Spares Box, with Mike and Whiskers

Whiskers developing his technique - in fact, I imagine Whiskers as rather more bald than this
Almost exactly two years ago, I scored one of my biggest-ever hauls on eBay, and bought in a load of ECW figures which came from the estate of a chap in Northern Ireland who had recently died - his entire collection, which was enormous, was sold by a local charity shop. I only bought a stack of his ECW troops - all SHQ and Tumbling Dice 20mm - but there were literally hundreds of them.

The big surprise at the time was that they had very obviously been painted up and organised to fight Montrose's campaigns - since that was exactly what I wanted them for, I had seen that there were a lot of Scottish troop types in the collection, but it wasn't until I started checking out the flags that I realised what I had.

The figures were quite nicely painted, in a very plain style, but I was a bit shocked to see that they had been heavily coated with some kind of ship's varnish - these figures were definitely intended to stand up to some severe, industrial handling, I would say. I set about identifying figures which would restore most easily, and which were of most immediate use for my Montrose project, and I did some retouching, and a great deal of applying matt varnish to tone down the finish, and rebasing, and I was pleased with the results. The episode generated a lot of very plain, rather dull Scottish and Irish soldiers, which provided a fine addition to bulk up the splendid Covenanter units which Lee Gramson had already painted up for me.

All good - I've done some Montrose things now, and intend to revisit this again soon. While I was spending a few late nights in 2014, getting these ex-eBay fellows ready for the armies, I got to know the previous owner a bit better. Of course, I have no idea who he was, but at 1 a.m. when I was preparing figures for the prescribed matt varnish I would find myself chatting to him - I called him Mike, in the absence of other suggestions.

"Well, Mike," I would say, "this one's got cat hairs stuck on the varnish as well - you should keep old Whiskers out of the painting room.." and so on. I developed a technique of loosening the cat hairs from the varnish with the tip of a penknife, and then removing them with tweezers. A strange way to spend a long evening - this is almost certainly why I started talking to Mike. As time went on, it became a house joke that I had gradually changed my mind, and that I now believed that Whiskers had done the varnishing himself - perhaps with a little guidance from Mike.

Well the horses are pretty ghastly, but they should paint up simply enough, and that
gives me the better part of two new regiments of rather understated Northern horse
Since I've recently been rooting around in the Spares Box, I found another load of the ex Mike & Whiskers ECW boys, and I realised that there are a lot more in the heap which would usefully restore in the same way. So for a couple of evenings I've been washing and debasing and removing the cat hairs. Since these figures are probably a bit worse than the ones I selected for refurbing last time, there are a lot more cat hairs - in fact I have now begun to believe that Mike did the varnishing, but that he applied the varnish with Whiskers, rather than a brush.

And oodles more artillerymen - just the job for the sieges - more than enough...
It's going OK - we are now ready for a bit of touch-up, and then the matt varnish can start. I need to paint up a few extra cavalry figures from scratch, to make up the numbers, but I hope to get a couple of additional Scottish/Northern units of horse out of this, and I will have more gunners than I will ever possibly need - certainly I will have plenty to man the forthcoming extra artillery for siege games.

Topic #2 - more pottery ornaments ready for sieges...

I previously gave a glimpse of some of my new Tey Pottery houses - this little side-project is shaping up very nicely, and I have the makings of a presentable 17th Century English town centre, such as I can lay siege to. So here's a slightly bigger glimpse...

Sunday 6 March 2016

Cue the Spares Box, plus a World of MDF

All a matter of balance - and special equipment...
I have received the first prototype Thing (not sure what it is – a buttress, a pedestal, a support…?) to enable garrison units to stand on a walkway on the walls that is narrower than the subunit bases. My ECW Foote are on 60mm x 60mm squares, but the walkways are about 20mm wide – you can see the problem. The prototype seems to work OK – Michael has produced a build-it yourself kit in 2mm MDF which glues together to give a block 50mm wide, 48mm high and 23mm deep, and I attach a piece of steel paper to the top. Since my unit bases are all finished with magnetic compound, this should be a big help. I have glued-up and painted the prototype in a delicate stone shade, as you see, so that it blends in a bit (i.e. looks less stupid than you would expect). It should even be possible to mount artillery on the walls if I use the Things two-deep. Now I need a supply of about 20, plus I need a good name for a Thing.

The Thing
Troops on The Thing
Call out the trusty Spares Box. It also occurred to me that it would be useful to have some musketeers mounted in single rank, on half-depth bases, specially for siege and fortress work. It seems a bit of a grunt to paint some up just for this role (and I’d begrudge the use of figures which could be made up into proper battlefield units), but the Spares Box came into its own. A while ago I bought some old painted ECW figures from Harry Pearson, and some of them are from the very earliest “Subscription” series which Les Higgins made before his more famous centrifugally-cast 20mm range (of which I use a great many). The early figures are interesting because they are seldom seen, but for me they are a bit puny in stature to mix comfortably with the later ones. However, for isolated special-purpose siege stands they could be just the thing, so I did some (minimal) touching-up and revarnishing, and mounted them up on 30mm-deep stands. They could never be accused of possessing actual beauty, but I expect they will do as they are told. In any case, given their age and history, it would be sad for them to live in the Spares Box forever.

Surprised to find themselves on special duties - "Subscription" Les Higgins ECW

They can do it without The Thing
While I was looking in the Spares Box, I was also reminded that the ex-Harry figures also include some of the later Higginses which are in good nick and – with a few supplementary figures painted to match, should provide me with 3 new units of foote – there are some red-coated fellows who will give me a decent double-sized unit for Francis Gamul’s City of Chester regiment – there’s that siege theme again…

I also have prototypes for some of the new MDF structures which will form the basis of my trench sections, but more of that on another occasion. I also have some MDF pieces which will provide a pretty radical solution to the placement of rivers on my hex-grid table. I’ll get some painted up – this week, I hope – and there will be some pictures (unless they are terrible, in which case I shall just change the subject – good heavens, is that an elephant in the garden…?).

The river system is that I paint up some 2mm-thick hexes to be water – good gloss varnish finish and all that – I’m still pondering the best colour for water, by the way – I tend towards mud rather than sky-blue, but I am open to ideas. Then I have a series of bags of extra parts laser-cut from 2mm MDF, painted in baseboard green, which sit on top of the water hexes, and are painted on both sides to give maximum flexibility. The bags are labelled “cheeks – straight”, “cheeks – inners” and “cheeks – outers” and that sort of describes the system – there are two different profiles for a straight (a bit wiggly, these are not canals) and two profiles for a curve. Each river piece connects at the edge, with a 2-inch wide river in the middle of a (4-inch) hex edge. Using the cheek-pieces in different combinations, it is possible to produce a wide range of river shapes, and you can even make estuaries, lakes or a coastline. Until I get more to fiddle about with, I do not know the full extent of what is possible, but it seems very promising. When I have a decent number of pieces painted up, I’ll try to put together a post to demonstrate this.

Not painted yet, but this quick mock-up gives an idea of the scope, with a
very small number of alternative shapes - does anyone else remember
Slartibartfast? It may have occurred to you that the cut-out bits which are
missing from this picture are - well, roads! - aha....

I’ve had problems with rivers since I started wargaming, and hexes are just a specific variation on that theme. The new rivers, by the way, will not be the slightest bit dioramic – these are to be flat, tidy, obvious rivers that you can stand a unit or a bridge on without everything falling over. Like an oversized version of Commands & Colors terrain tiles, in fact.