Showing posts with label family. Show all posts
Showing posts with label family. Show all posts

Sunday, 22 October 2017

Frocktober 2017

Warning! This post is going to contain a lots of frock pictures. But on the plus side, many of them won't have me in them.

Yes, once again it's that Frocktober time of year, and I'm using this blog to promote the annual fundraiser by the Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation here in Australia.

Here's what they say:

Ovarian cancer is an insidious disease, often known as a “silent-killer” as symptoms are vague and often strike without warning. Unlike many other cancers there is no early detection test. Consequently ovarian cancer is often diagnosed in its late stages and only 20%-30% of women will survive beyond five years of diagnosis. In comparison, survival rates increase to 80-100% when ovarian cancer is detected and treated early.

The Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation is Australia’s pre-eminent ovarian cancer research body. Our goal is to raise ovarian cancer awareness and vital funds for the development of an early detection test that will save women’s lives.

We receive no government funding and rely on the support of our community and business supporters to assist in driving our research forward.

The classic way to raise funds is to wear a dress every day in October. As I've said before, this isn't very practical for me, or for many other (regardless of gender). But this year my daughter decided to wear formal or cosplay outfits to her university classes on as many days as she could. So this year she gets top-billing in my annual Frocktober post. She has a page set up for donations, and I'd love for you to go there now and make a small (or not so small) contribution. Thank you. Here it is:

Maya's Frocktober Page

Now enjoy the pictures.

I think she still has a couple of outfits left in her for this coming week as well.

Maya gets top billing, but Mrs Kobold and I haven't been idle as well. A couple of weeks ago we headed out to the Southern Highlands (with Maya) looking awesome together:

Then today we went back to Goulburn because Catherine wanted to visit a second-hand book emporium there, and I wanted to go to the war memorial.

This is Goulburn's War Memorial. I blogged about it a few years ago.

And this is me browsing the Argyle Book Emporium.

I picked up a few goodies.

And this is just me.

As I say, Maya is probably good for a few more outfits, and I may have one more outing left in me this month as well, but I think this post has quite enough Frocktobering in it to convince you to donate. So here's that link again:

Maya - Frocktober 2017

Sunday, 15 October 2017

Love, Murder and Knights

Catherine has been designing another of her murder mysteries over the past couple of weeks, and tried it out on us yesterday. I don't have any pictures, and obviously won't reveal too many details, since she plans to market it at some stage, but basically we all played pet cats living in a suburban street investigating the death of one of their number. It was as bonkers as it sounds, but great fun and kept everyone engaged and entertained for a few hours. As well as grossed out by the special cat-themed nibbles she'd provided for us.

Anyway, we played a game of Love Letter: Premium Edition afterwards; this is the version which has extra cards to expand it to between five and eight players. The dynamics are different to the basic two- to four-player game (more rounds end in a comparison of cards rather than last man standing), but it's still very entertaining.

Despite all this entertainment I still found time at home to do the basing on my Arthurian HOTT army, which is now completed and ready for its first game. Here's a quick picture. I'm sure there will be more to follow.

Sunday, 27 August 2017


As part of this blog's remit of being about my wargaming activities I do, of course, include some of my modelling and painting, even if, generally, I prefer to post game- and rules-related stuff. And it's always fun to be able to transfer skills picked up from my activities to other areas of my life.

Case in point this weekend. Every year, around this time, we go to a local charity ball, which always has a retro/vintage theme of some kind. It's an opportunity to dress up posh and fancy and strut our stuff, and you know I'll never turn down a chance to do that.

My wife and daughter made their outfits again this year, whilst mine was off-the-peg, albeit exactly what I wanted. But both my wife an I wanted headpieces to accessorise our looks.

My wife had made herself a 70s style jumpsuit in a rather unusual Hallowe'en spider-design fabric, and wanted something to match. we searched the files on Thingiverse, and found a set of pieces for making jewellery with. I printed off the necessary bits, painted them to match her outfit and assembled them into this. The assembly was a simple superglue and pinning with wire effort:

The fact that it matched her hair was just an extraordinary coincidence.

My beautification took longer (obviously). I wanted a fascinator to match the frock I'd selected; something fancy but not too over-the-top. I bought a few bits from Spotlight, watched a number of videos on You Tube, trawled through fashion blogs and Pinterest, and then set to. I assembled, and disassembled, but eventually with the aid of a little bit of sewing and a session with my daughter's hot-glue gun, I produced this:

All I can say is that it wasn't as easy to make as I thought it would be; I can see why people fork out wads of cash to buy one. However aside from time it cost me less than $25, so it was worth it.

Here's the bigger picture.

My whole outfit:

Mrs Kobold and I:

And the rest of our party - my daughter (seated), her boyfriend and her best friend. My daughter made her vintage-style dress and turban:

As you can see, we lead a glamourous life chez Kobold.

Sunday, 14 May 2017

Comic Gong 2017

I noticed that I haven't blogged about Comic Gong much since the first event was held, back in 2013. Comic Gong is Wollongong's one-day festival of comics, popular culture and nerdery in general. It started off as a small event held in an outlying library, but proved so popular that in 2014 it was moved to the town hall, and covers that building, the main city library and the art galley, as well as the plaza which connects the three venues.

The best thing about it? Its free! It's run by the local council and mostly organised by the library service.

And it attracts an excellent crowd of people, all of who seem to enjoy themselves. There are various events and displays during the day, you can meet local artists and buy your basic nerdy stuff.

Ex Manus Studios attend every year, selling their small, but lovely, range of figures. I have a few (unpainted) in my collection.

And there is, of course, cosplay.

Ariel is Tess, one of my daughter's friends. You'll see them together later. Apparently she and Ursula spent the rest of the day avoiding each other, because if they met up they were accosted by crowds of children wanting to have their picture taken with the pair.

My favourite outfit, purely because I love that handmade skirt.

And my favourite cosplay - George R R Martin with the Death Note book.

Did I cosplay, you ask? Certainly I did. Catherine and I paired up this year. She channelled her inner David Tennant and went as as the mind-controlling Kilgrave ...

... whilst I portrayed his nemesis, Alias Investigations private eye, Jessica Jones.

Sadly we didn't get any really good pictures of ourselves, but we'll be repeating these cosplays at Supanova in June, so hopefully we'll do better then.

However the featured cosplay for this blog is our daughter Maya's - Tinkerbell.

She made the dress and props herself, as well as modifying the wig and shoes. Her friends went as Aerial and Belle (seen here with one of the Comic Gong organisers as Jane Jetson).

Needless to say she was popular with little girls wanting to have their picture taken with her. And she lapped up the attention. (That's not a little girl; it's her friend Makayla)

Anyway, she looked fantastic.

As I said, we'll be off to Supanova, we hope, so there may be more of these costumes in another post.

Saturday, 15 April 2017

Murder And The Orient Express

We had another get-together with our friends the Perrys on Friday. We'd tried a couple of murder mystery evening with them over the past year and, having enjoyed them, Catherine wanted to have a go at writing and running one of her own.

The mystery went well; it's not an easy thing to design something like that and Catherine rose to the occasion providing an entertaining couple of hours for all involved, even if most of us guessed the identity of the killer. It was the journey to the solution which was fun, not necessarily the destination.

And, talking of journeys and destinations, we finished the evening with a game of Railway Rivals. This game has been released in a boxed form at some stage, but my version is one of the early cardboard tube editions purchased directly from the designer at a games con in the mid-eighties. I have four maps in my set, and we ran with France, since it's one of the two I have that suits six players.

Railway Rivals is, as the name suggests, a game of building railway systems and then (in an abstract form) operating them. This is, of course, a whole genre of games now, but Railway Rivals was one of, if not the, first.

Half of the fun of the game is that you get to draw on the laminated map. Here's the game in its early stages, as each player expands their network from one of the starting towns around the map.

Once the map has a mostly complete network the game shifts into an operations phase, which is run as  series of  races between randomly determined towns on the map. Players win more points with which to expand their network, and the races are punctuated by chances to expand your system.

We had one player team race ahead in the operations phase, and pretty much hold their position, but there was a lot of shifting around for the other five places. My network was the green one, which started in the south of France. I managed to create lines which at least pushed to the edges of some other areas, and had some lucky races come up which  made use of track I'd just built, but only managed to get a fourth place at the end. The most exciting races were a short one which ran from Rouen to England, and consisted of three ferries racing across the Channel, and another race which saw three players steaming across the whole country from Bayonne on the Spanish border to Belgium.

This was the map at the end, with additional player doodles.

This was the first time I've had this game out in possibly twenty years, and everyone seemed to enjoy it. sadly I don't think you can buy new maps for it anymore.

Monday, 13 March 2017

Tales of the Arabian Nights

We had another family boardgames session on Saturday, getting together with our friends to play the 1985 edition of 'Tales of the Arabian Nights'

As you might expect, this is a boardgame based on the 1001 Nights, where each player plays an adventurer travelling the world in search of fame, fortune, adventure and to seek their destiny. It is driven by The Book of Tales, and is essentially a massive Choose Your Own Adventure book with tons of added chrome. There's not a massive amount of skill required, and player interaction is limited as well, but the colour and attention to the theme make it enormously entertaining.

We had nine people, and it's only a six-player game, so some of us played in teams. We took Abu Hasan, and made him a cerebral chap, wise and knowledgeable and always willing to converse with others who had wisdom. You choose skills at the start of the game, and these will tend to drive your decisions, but you can also build a character by consistently choosing 'in character' responses to encounters; where we conversed, honoured and aided our encounters, a rogue might rob, attack or trick them, each getting different stories.

We wandered Asia for a while, before our destiny took us into Africa. There we picked up a clue to the whereabouts of the fabled City of Brass, but were curse to wander at the whim of another and ended up back in Asia. A strange encounter with some snakes, combined with our knowledge of their behaviour, led us to the incredible Valley of Diamonds, where, after some adventures, we acquired fabulous wealth.

Things were looking good for us, but Eric had also been having great adventures as well. A famous seafarer, he had wandered the Indian Ocean where he fell in with a beggar and a wizard who were both on dangerous personal quests. They put him on the path to his true destiny, and he entered the famous Dusky Land, wherein dwell the djinnis and ifrits, eventually rising to become their Sultan. With his new-found mighty status, her returned to Baghdad as the winner.

With six player the game took a while to play - I am the only one familiar with it, so had to teach it as we went along. But everyone enjoyed reading out the result paragraphs to other players, and there was much building on the stories created. We had fun and laughter.

We finished the session with a game of Love Letter: Premium Edition, which adds sufficient new cards (with new abilities) to allow up to eight players. This was entertaining as well, although the fact that none of us had ever used the new cards before made some of the strategy a little unclear. Eric won that as well.
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