Fiends in Waistcoats Copyright 2012-2014 Robert Audin all rights reserved
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The Great Occult War Copyright 2014 Robert Audin all rights reserved

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

COPPER The Best BBC Show Never Seen By The British Public

Copper is a very gritty detective show set in NEW YORK city in 1864 during the tail end of the American Civil War when New York was commonly called the wickedest city in the world. This time and this place is the birth (in America at any rate) of career politicians and organized municipal corruption. For you history aficionados this series is set a year after the great Draft Riots the most calamitous event ever to befall the city of New York. It was the worst civil insurrection in American history; four days of brutal street battles which ultimately had to be put down by the US army.
Federal infantry manning the streets of New York after the riots.
Film aficionados will remember Martin Scorsese's film "Gangs of New York" which depicts the riots in its final scenes. The series revolves around Kevin "Corky" Corcoran's, a Irish ex-prize fighter, former Union volunteer turned copper, Herculean efforts to bring villains to justice in a city where no one is an innocent and everyone is guilty of something. In true BBC fashion the show was canceled literally days before the 2nd season finale aired. There are rumors of a "Copper" TV movie sometime in the future.
Here are the first few minutes of the first episode.

The show takes its name from New York slang for policeman, "copper" now shortened to "cop" which has remained a term for policeman here even now. The original "coppers" where so named because they wore a badge made of copper to denote their office. The very first "coppers" where bounty hunters in all but name. They where charged with apprehending persons named in warrants issued by the city courts for which they received a bounty. Then London got a uniformed police force and New York citizens demanded one too. The policeman got a uniform and a miniscule stipend. The patrolman like the coppers they where supplementing where expected to live off the gratuities provided by a grateful citizenry. I kid you not. Naturally this lead to the widespread police corruption seen in the series. This also explains the reason why Kevin and his men are often acting a bouncers in Eva's brothel. Arrangements like this where how coppers put food on their tables.
First few minutes of the first episode of the 2nd season.

Sit down round the camp fire boys & girls let me tell you a story of a government broadcasting agency and there American commercial subsidy BBC America. BBC America is a digital cable network channel in the USA that is wholly owned by the BBC. Its purpose is to export the usual crap BBC shows like Top Gear and the Graham Norton Show to America for the maximum profit. BBC America has its own board of directors who felt the need to justify the existence of their channel by producing an original show. That show was Copper. Copper premiered on August 19, 2012 in America and August 29 2012 on Showcase in Canada. It also aired in Australia on FX Australia and in the Netherlands of all places on HBO. 


No worries you say I prefer to watch my shows on DVD and yes both seasons are available on DVD but only region 1 (US) format not region 2 (British) format so Brits will need an all regions player to get their Copper fix. It would seem that no one in England is allowed to watch this show unless possibly if you have the digital subscription service Netflix which is currently airing the complete show (both Seasons).

I have much more to say about this series which I will do next Wednesday by exploring the themes of this series and its striking similarities to "Ripper Street" the other decent show the BBC has produced in years.

There have been a number of RT issues of late that have taken away much of my hobby. Rather that temporarily close down the blog like I've seen others do I've decided to post a mad ramble once a week. I've only just begun and all ready I've rambled on a wide variety of topics I hope they amuse.

I'm pleased to welcome two new followers to the blog Der Feldmarschall and Twin Cities Gamer who has had the pleasure of seeing some Albert Bierstat painting in person. That must have been a treat. Welcome both of you!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

A Great American Painter of the West- Albert Bierstat

Although born in Germany Albert was raised in American he immigrated to American at the tender age of 1 years old. He studied painting in Dusseeldorf Germany where he was exposed to the European romantic school of landscape painting. His application of Romanticism to the vistas of the American West won him both critical and financial success. He exhibited two landscapes in a private reception with Queen Victoria in 1867.

He made his first trip to the American West by accompanying a US land surveyor. He used the sketches he made during that trip to produce numerous large paintings. This pattern created the Modus operandi for the rest of his life; accompanying the great Western expeditions of the post Civil War period followed by several years of painting.

The paintings he produced from his 1871 expedition to Yellowstone convinced the United States Congress to pass the Yellowstone Park Bill in 1872 establishing the first national park in the world.

Just a heads up I'll be posting primarily on Wednesdays for the near future. 

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Not so Shinny Shinnies

This is Crate Barricade WTW-09010 from War Torn. These are one piece casts, you get two different barricades in the set. They are pre-painted a medium brown so they are technically ready to use right out of the package. These are labeled as Green-Cast recycled rubber that means they are made from recycled tire rubber. They impressively are durable and not bendy. They will find use in both my Victorian and pirate projects. This particular item seems to be out of stock but you can find their other interesting items on there site.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Empire of the Dead Thoughts on the Rules

I began this blog to chronicle my adventures playing Empire of the Dead by West Wind Productions this game received a smattering of press when it came out over two years ago but it didn't gain traction until West Wind's kickstarter Requiem. The Lunatic and I bought 2 rule books and all the box sets when it first came out. I think the game gained a lot of followers during the kickstarter that had lots and lots of shinny new models for Gothic Victorian Games. Then the promised additional rule book was released to the kickstarter backers.
This ebook took the wind out of the EOTD sails (no pirate pun intended) and nearly all the EOTD bloggers lost interest. I say nearly because there is one left (perhaps I'm the only one) who still thinks the core rules are a well balanced fun game.

Why did this happen? Let me come right out and ruffle a few feathers here and say kickstarter. Kickstarter is the land of broken dreams, Requiem's successful run guaranteed the failure of the supplemental rules book. The kickstarter was supposed to fund a bunch of new models including a whole line of vehicles for the game and rules to use those vehicles in the game. But as the kickstarter gained momentum shinny syndrome took over. All sorts of crazy faction sets suddenly sprang up to be unlocked by eager backers; the Bedlam Brotherhood, the complete cast of the novel Dracula, Nemonians, did anyone really think these would be playable factions that could fit into a campaign with the existing factions? 

Let me take a moment to talk about the strengths of the game which to me is the ability to play a Mordheim or Necromunda style campaign with Gothic Horror factions; werewolves, vampires, religious wackjobs and gentlemen. The factions are reasonably balance and they have a number of interesting growth options. The core rules bring out that great experience. The only fault I have with them is their archaic IGO YOUGO activation system but that can be easily fixed.

There are still useful things in the Compenduim the vehicle rules are workable and there are two factions that could be incorporated into a general campaign. Special Branch and Criminal Gangs.
Now I haven't played with a criminal gang yet so I don't know how useful the various character types are in a game and only two affiliations Criminal Mastermind and the Tongs are usable. The Street Gang affiliation is total rubbish.  The Special Branch on the other hand should work just fine with the original factions. So in the near future when the people get over their kickstarter blues I hope they'll give the game another go.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Under the Black Flag

If you are looking for the ultimate pirate book look no further than "Under the Black Flag" by David Cordingly. Now this is not a new book but it can still be found on Amazon and other shops so search it out. I have read books on pirates since a lad, most of them are a chronicle of the exploits of the more famous pirates. Under the Black Flag goes well beyond that. This is a serious work of scholarship which delves deep into the question who where the pirates of the Golden Age and why did they take to piracy? Mr. Cordingly uses ships logs, pirate trial records and period journals to answer these very questions. Don't let the term "scholarly"  put you off Mr. Cordingly's prose is straight forward and his antidotes are engaging. He even delves into the contrasts between the real pirates and the most famous pirates of the western world Long John Silver and Captain Hook. If you are going to read only one book about the pirates of the Golden Age this is the book to read.

I'd also like to take a moment to welcome my newest followers, I know I've been remiss in this regard but I hope to make amends. So welcome Fran of the angry lurker, Alfons of miniaturas militares alfons canovas, Mike Reynolds, Austronaut of attempted gamer, TamsinP of wargaming girl and Brian Botzn. Thank you all for following Fiends in Waistcoats.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

I've Been Awarded The Liebster Again!

I have kindly received the Liebster Award for a second time by Mr. Edward King of I had previously received the award from Simon of Brummie's Wargaming Blog see here.

This time around I'll go the whole hog as I've come to realize that its aim to introduce new or lesser known blogs is a good one. Like Mr, King  I'm going to treat the "rules" as more informal suggestions and pick and choose. I thank everyone for thinking of me and my little blog. I'm sorry to say I've fallen behind as I've found myself working weekends again.

First Mr. King's Questions:

1) How would you describe your blog?
Originally I considered it Victorian Horror but now that I've moved into pirates I guess its more high adventure in waistcoats.

2) Why did you start blogging?
To try and keep myself focused on large gaming projects.

3) How do you relax?
For mindless relaxing I enjoy TV murder mysterys.

4) What is your favorite holiday destination?
I don't really have one.

5) Who inspires/has inspired you the most? 
In blogging? Michael from 28mm Victorian Warfare I started following this wonderful blog and I thought look how he posts wonderfully painted miniatures each week it should be easy.

6) Why is a raven like a writing desk?
No idea.

7) 'Star Trek' or 'Star Wars'?
You see this question asked on the internet all the time. When thinking about this question I only consider the original TV series and movies those are the things that has impacted the popular culture not the franchise drek that has come after.  I would have to say 'Star Wars' as I can remember queuing up on round the block lines to see the original movie as a kid. I saw it a total of six times during its first run.

8) What was the last book you read and the last you bought?
The last book I have read was 'Under the Black Flag' by David Cordingly.

9) Who is your favorite fictional character?
Captain Nemo

10) Which historical  event would you like to visit?
There are too many to really pick out one.

I nominate these 6 blogs for the award: Ste is always a good read. The home of paint table Saturdays.  Kasper's wonderful chronicle of his Gothic horror gaming. Its choc full for AARs.  Another great Gothic horror gaming blog. Lots of great IHMN AARs. Many great &TV AARs and his terrain is to die for.

Now as we all know this award has been making its rounds again and has hit nearly every blog I regularly follow so rather than harass these fellows I'm simply going to list a few blog you should read if you aren't all ready. 

Now here are my 10 Questions:

1) Do you consider yourself a gamer or a hobbyist?
2) What has blogging do for your personally in terms of your hobby?
3) Do you think the blogging community has expanded the hobby and if yes how?
4) What was the first miniatures game you ever played?
5) If you play games do you consider yourself a competitive gamer or a social gamer?
6) What do you think about wargame tournaments?
7) Do you belong to a wargaming club? And how important do you feel wargaming clubs are to the hobby?
8) How important is nice looking wargaming terrain to you?
9) If a major miniatures company started selling their figures pre-painted like the hero/horror clix figures what would that do to the hobby?
10) Do you have a long term hobby goal if so what is it?