Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Bloggers Down Under - A Meetup in Canberra

Just finishing a lovely month in sunny Australia and starting to digitally dust off some of the photos I took while down here.   Expect more in the not so distant future, once I get back to snowy Canada.

While in Canberra (I was fortunate to be sent on a fact-finding trip to the Australian Defence Force Chaplain College), I had the good fortune to meet up with Alan Saunders, aka Kaptain Kobold, proprietor of the quirky The Stronghold Rebuilt blog (Alan is also on Twitter - @KaptainKobold).  Besides being one of my wargaming heroes, Alan endeared himself to me with his fearless Frocktober campaign to raise money for research into ovarian cancer, which claimed Madame Padre.

My partner Joy and I (left) met up with Alan and his wife Catherine (right)at the National Museum in Canberra, to see an exhibit on Ancient Rome.  

Alan and Catherine were great company, and as transplanted English (no they didn't come over as convicts) who have lived in Australia for some years, it was interesting to compare our impressions of the place against their experience.  We found them engaging company and I wished we could have found time to game together.  Hopefully one day.

The Rome exhibit was a curated selection of holdings from the British Museum.  I suppose my favourite piece was this stone burial vessel, which depicts scenes from an imagined and happy afterlife, rather like what a religion created by Too Fat Lardies might depict.

"OK, mate, you're too drunk to ride that donkey.  Get off."
"Sod off.  Doncha know who I am?   I'm fecking Bachus!"

Finally, the obligatory Rome Gift Shop (TM) astonished me with a vast collection of Playmobil figures, including Roman legionaries, ballistae, and a giant trireme!  

Behold the glory of the fully assembled Playmobil Trireme.   

Row well and live!

I realize that Playmobil gets a bad rap from some quarters - it's not as exciting as Lego, many playsets have the same boring bourgeois European vibe that you get from a house full of Ikea furniture, etc.  However, there is a whole world of Playmobil historical sets, including ancient Egyptians, and some interesting Viking/Dragon crossovers.

It all has possibilities, especially as my partner Joy has three lovely grandchildren who are still quite young but could be gently introduced to wargaming via Playmobil.   I had better start collecting sets now, so we could do this when they get older:

Blessings from Down Under!


  1. Glad you had a good time Padre, I used to regularly visits Captain Kobold's website The Stronghold back in the day, and enjoy his blog now. When you say "I had better start collecting (PLAYMOBIL) sets now..." this can herald the start of an expensive new addiction, so be careful.

  2. This is one (of the few?) positive things about social media. You meet and dvelop good relations with people virtually and is like you´ve known them for years. I have had great time already twice with Curt and Sarah Campbell i their visits to Spain.

    On the side, you look great Mike, happy to see you in such a good shape and mood.

  3. I liked Playmobil but the family went with Lego!

  4. Glad to see you enjoying life, Australia, and Playmobil.

  5. I'm sorry we didn't get a chance to also meet up too
    Hope you enjoyed our bush capital and the ADF facility

  6. Glad you had such a great trip. The playmobil looks splendid and l think you have an excellent cunning plan in terms of introducing a new generation to the hobby. I think blogging is such a valuable tool and source of inspiration for many of us.

  7. Looks like you had some fun down there!

  8. Fabulous. Merry Christmas my friend to you both!

  9. It was fantastic to meet you and Joy and it was indeed a shame that we didn't get to play a game. Had I known that there were chessboards at that pub I could have popped in a few Portable figures and we'd have been good :-D

    I can certainly see the appeal of Playmobil gaming and, at the time, I told you of people from way back who used it for DBA. Where something like Lego scores is that its components are interchangeable to a much higher degree, so customising figures and building compatible terrain is easier. Playmobil scored by virtue of the fact that its pieces are fully committed to what they're supposed to be.

  10. Fortunately for me the local stores don’t carry Playmobil historical sets so I was protected from impulse purchases over Christmas, but there is always mail order!


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