Category Archives: announce

And we’re back! And why I now hate 1and1!

If you see this post then the ‘I may be gone for some time’ post should hopefully have gone and this blog should now be happily relocated to a new host.

The host relocation took a little longer than planned. I had been with 1and1 (I won’t provide a hyperlink as that would be cruel!) since I first setup my website and domains about three years ago. I chose them because the startup offers made it a cheap option. To be honest, I’ve not really had any major problems. A few billing queries. A hassle communicating with the call centers and actually making myself understood. Earlier this year Henry Hyde (Battlegames editor) recommended a move to TSOHost having had some ‘issues’ with 1and1. I looked at the possibility of a move myself in March but really had too much going on to sort it out. Then this week I decided it was time.

I really want to get my development skills back up to speed as 1st November sees my job getting ‘outsourced’ and although there is a lot of promise there, there is also a lot of risk and uncertainty, so I want to be up to speed if I need to start looking for a job. I have a few ideas for various projects connected to this blog and I want to expand the content and format. But to do that I also need more hosting options and TSOHost could provide that. So on Wednesday night I opened an account with them.

I had originally intended to keep the domains with 1and1 until they were up for renewal but it transpired that because my blog is set up as a subdomain it would not be straightforward to test it prior to switching over so I just decided to move the domains as well. In the afternoon I moved over my belisarius.co.uk domain. No problems. Within a couple of hours all requests were hitting the new location. Then I moved the other two domains. My main one belisarius.org.uk holds my blog and all the family email accounts. The other the website and blog for Tyneside Wargames Club.

The transfer process is quite straightforward. Start the process with TSOHost so they know it is coming. Then login to the control panel at 1and1 and cancel the domain with them and specify where it is going. This is transferring the Registrar, the person who manages the domain. And it is important you specify ‘To new provider’ otherwise the domain returns to Nominet and effectively drops off the Internet! Both the domains were set to transfer this way and the process seemed to be going ahead. It was late. I knew it would take a few hours for the DNS changes to spread out, so I left it overnight. Come morning all my domains had disappeared from 1and1 but only the original belisarius.co.uk one was still showing active. After talking to TSO they said the domain ‘tags’ were still with 1and1. I spoke to 1and1. They said they no longer had the domains so there was nothing they could do… In the end I had to go to Nominet (who administer the domains and who owns them) and pay £12 to change the tag to my new host. It has taken a full day to finally get things sorted as I had a mis-configured .htaccess file and the DNS changes took longer than expected to filter through.

Throughout the process TSO support were quick to respond and very helpful. I cannot praise them highly enough and I’m looking forward to a long association with them.

1and1 on the other hand have been dismissive and evasive. I wanted the £12 back. It was a charge directly caused by their mistake and although only a small amount I don’t see why I should have had to pay it. More importantly, while the domain was offline I had NO emails coming through to that domain. So I have no idea if over a c.12 hour period I lost anything important? But 1and1s line is that they didn’t make the charge so they cannot refund it. They may not have made it but they were responsible. Despite my stating I would be terminating my contracts with them the only ‘compensation’ they offered was a free month on my contract!

I’m not sure where I can really take this. I think Small Claims may be an option but I don’t think they really care and part of me wonders if it is worth the hassle. But if you Google ‘1and1 complaint’ you will see whole websites devoted to the bad experiences people have had with this company. They are a BIG company and advertise widely and I’m sure most of their customers have no issues. But big companies have two ways to deal with small customers problems. They can say ‘We are big, sod off, we don’t care’ or they can say ‘We are big, it costs us little to sort your problems out’. 1and1 seem to adopt the former approach.

So there you go. If you are a wargamer and you’ve got this far all I can say is either ‘Well done’ or ‘WAKE UP! 🙂

So what does this have to do with wargaming? Well, it now means I can expand the blog/site. I’m going to be restarting my Wargaming Neutral Project and providing a more ‘graphic’ representation of that and my Painting Master Plans. I’ll also be trying to get more pictures of my modern microarmour up and trying to make available pics of as many makes/models as possible so people can see what they look like.

And generally try and be more gaming/blog/development active…. kids permitting…

Sorry for this ‘Slight Diversion’. Normal service will be resumed as soon as possible

Andy

 

Please follow and like us:

Some new books and a shout out…

Been watching a few things on the evil ‘bay recently and picked up a few books – because I just don’t have enough! First up

Main Battle and Light Tanks – Marsh Gelbart – Brassey’s Modern Military

I’ve seen this book around for a while and was waiting to get it at a good price. So £4.99 with free shipping did it for me. I appreciate it probably duplicates a lot of info I already have but there is still some useful stuff on nations I’m not concentrating on at the moment. And in a similar vein and price was:

ALLIED BATTLE TANKS - Yves Debay
ALLIED BATTLE TANKS – Yves Debay

The next two were a couple of old Osprey books by Zaloga:

Modern Soviet Combat Tanks by Steven J. Zaloga
Modern Soviet Combat Tanks by Steven J. Zaloga
Armour of the Middle East by Steven J. Zaloga
Armour of the Middle East by Steven J. Zaloga

Although old books with some of the info outdated (especially the Soviet book) they do provide the usual nice pictures and ideas for painting. The guy selling these was based in Newcastle so had agreed to refund the postage if we arranged to meet and hand over the books. We finally met up and rather than faff with a refund he brought along a couple of books of interest.

The Hidden War by Artyom Borovik
The Hidden War by Artyom Borovik
Ambush Alley by Tim Pritchard
Ambush Alley by Tim Pritchard

Hidden War I had already had recommended as a follow up read to my current Afgantsy and had actually been looking for a copy in town earlier that day! Ambish Alley I’ve heard of but never read. I hope it doesn’t trigger a new project!

And finally, while in town that day I called at the book stall in Grainger Market and found a copy of:

The Bear Went Over the Mountain: Soviet Combat Tactics in Afghanistan

Again, a recommended book on the Russians in Afghanistan and a bargain at £5. I hope I can eventually find his other books on the war at a similar price…

This does make me think I should maybe base up some Soviets on more arid bases!

The Blog with No Name

I’ve known Ian Willey for a couple of years and first met him at the Heroes ASL Tournament in Blackpool where he was a pleasure to play (and lose to!). It was only later that I discovered he was a figure gamer as well. His ASL blog is worth following as well (Wall Advantage) although I don’t seem to get time to play that any more. Recent health issues have allowed more time to be spent on his gaming (though I’m sure he’d rather be shot of the health issues!) and his blog is prolific, interesting and very active. He has run a number of giveaways at different stages in the blogs lifetime and having just hit 100 followers has a new competition running. So pop over, Follow, enter the giveaway and enjoy the blog. And read through the lots of good content there!

 

 

 

Please follow and like us:

RIP Shoebe…

Surveying the battlefield

Today we had to have our cat put to sleep. She’d been off colour for a couple of weeks but the last week saw her go downhill quite a lot and the vets (expensive) investigations turned up the inevitable growth that was the cause of all the problems and the best course of action was to not bring her round from the sedation. She would have been 12 in April. We had her from a kitten along with her brother Max (Maximus). He took umbrage one day a few years ago and moved out! She was originally called Phoebe but never really responded to the name but when my wife’s little nephew came to visit he couldn’t say Phoebe and it came out as She-bee. And she seemed to like that, so it stuck. We never really knew how to spell it so just changed the first letter!

We told the kids earlier. My 3 year old Zach said, “Has Shoebe died?”. Yes. “Was it with a gun?” No…

My daughter Hannah (6) paused for ten seconds before saying, “Can we have a dog now?”. She then went to bed quite happy only to then spend half an hour sobbing and wanting Shoebe back…

We’ll all miss her…

Please follow and like us:

Battlegames Magazine RIP?

Found out today that Battlegames magazine is looking like discontinuing –  at least as a print magazine. Here’s the full announce from the Battlegames website:

I am sorry to inform you that following a review of the business, I am no longer able to proceed with further printed issues of the magazine in its current format.
It has become clear that for some time now, I have been subsidising the publication, which has been squeezed by increased print costs, increased competition in the wargames magazine market, substantially increased postage and distribution costs and now, a dramatic fall-off in advertisers. To incur further debt by proceeding to print at this point would be completely irresponsible. Whilst you have been patiently awaiting news of issue 27, I have been struggling to come up with solutions to the problem, but it is clear that no simple solution exists.
I blame no-one else for this situation and I apologise for failing you. Six years ago almost to the day, I made the decision to start a company in what I knew was a niche market, and I am proud of what I managed to achieve, but the blunt fact is that I should have recognised the writing on the wall sooner and am now in considerable financial difficulty as a result. I have been operating as a one-man-band in a precarious financial position from the outset, with no fall-back position, and I have paid the price. It is now imperative that I resume my former career in graphic and web design for the time being, as well as my new one in writing, in order to prevent complete financial meltdown.
I am conscious of the support and encouragement that I have had from so many of you over the last five years or more, and this is not a decision that I take lightly. As you know, Battlegames has been very much ‘my baby’ and I’m sure you can imagine my bitter disappointment, but facts are facts.
I am hoping that I can salvage something from the ruins and have already received a couple of suggestions that have potential merit, such as producing a high-quality quarterly journal without advertising, with a higher cover price to compensate for this, but of course it would be crucial that any future printed matter would have to be profitable to make it worthwhile. Producing Battlegames is a highly labour-intensive exercise, and I am no longer in a position to subsidise the publication in any way.
If sufficiently large numbers of current paper subscribers are willing to convert to the digital subscription, then it is possible that Battlegames might be able to live on in electronic format, again probably quarterly, with occasional printed ‘specials’ and additional e-publications of the kind I had been hoping to produce all along. However, I am aware that many of you are not keen on electronic formats, and I fully understand your position. After all, I started Battlegames so that I could have the *printed* magazine that I wanted. If a digital version of Battlegames were to become viable (at present, with just 150 digital subscriptions, it is not), then I would consider redesigning it to optimise the publication for on-screen viewing, taking into account the most popular methods of viewing digital content such as iPads and Kindles, as well as on PC or Mac screens.
Whilst I am sure there will be plenty of comments online over the next few days on TMP, WD3 and elsewhere, and I shall be issuing a press release along the lines of this email, I am so busy trying to deal with my predicament that I will not be able to respond on forums.
I fully understand that you are likely to be upset about this news but once again, I can only apologise and assure you that if it had been possible to continue Battlegames in its current form, then I would of course have done so.
Until I have had sufficient responses, I cannot yet determine the viability of continuing either in a revised printed format, or with a digital-only option, but I will of course keep you fully updated as soon as I have a clear idea of the response. I would urge you, if you have not already done so, to sign up for the email newsletter on the home page of the Battlegames website at http://www.battlegames.co.uk which is by far the easiest, quickest and most cost-effective way for me to stay in touch with you.
Previous editions will, of course, remain on sale in the Shop here.
Thank you for reading what has been an extremely difficult message for me to write.
For me, this is very sad news. Henry has done an outstanding job over the last few years producing a quality mag in a very small market. It was the only magazine of the ‘big’ wargames mags that I read right through every issue. It’s the only mag that has a permanent place in the attic loo as I often re-read articles while ‘meditating’. It’s Old School credentials were often misleading as the content was wide and interesting to anyone in the hobby although I suppose the market was more of those among us ‘of a certain age’. There are often comparisons to the old Battle for Wargamers. Although the style, and quality were different, it was the ethos underlying them both, and I suppose a nostalgia for our wargaming past that drew us. I really am going to miss it if it doesn’t continue.
I wonder if the new Wargames, Soldiers and Strategy has had an affect on advertisers. It’s a quality mag, it’s in Smiths. There is only so much advertising to go round? Not sure really. There are so many factors involved in the current economic climate I think we’ll never know.
The plans for a digital version I will support. I would much prefer a printed copy but if I can’t have that I’ll have what I can get. I also hope that the removal of the allure of being seen ‘in print’ won’t impact on the supply of contributers. Irregular printed Specials are an option as well, or even a quarterly. I think it will take Henry a while to sort out his options, stabilise  his life/finances and come up with something. I’m sure he will, as his input to the hobby would be missed. Just take your time, Henry. We can wait.
 
Please follow and like us:

RIP Ian Daglish

It was with much shock and sadness that I yesterday learned of the death of Ian Daglish (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-manchester-14357758) following the plane he was flying crashing into houses in Salford on Friday. Ian was a great part of the British and International ASL community, a regular at tournaments, a great scenario designer and a respected author. You only need to read the various threads related to this sad news on the ASL Forums at Gamesquad to see the high regard in which he was held.

I can’t claim to know Ian as well as many of the UK players but at each of the Heroes and Intensive Fire tournaments I attended Ian was always friendly and helpful, easy to talk to, knowledgeable and a pleasure to play. There are few people for whom the phrase ‘a scholar and a gentlemen’ truly applies but Ian was one of them. He’ll be greatly missed and my condolences go out to his friends and family.

.

Please follow and like us: