PHLPOST — Slingshot July/August Arrives

In one of those bizarre occurrences that has made 2020 a year of, well, bizarre occurrences, PHLPOST managed to deliver my July/August copy of Slingshot to the Makati Office last week, where they had delivered the September/October copy to my home in Angeles City the week before (see PHLPOST comes through — Slingshot Arrives).

To be fair, I guess the backlog being cleared is greater in Metro Manila that here in the province so maybe a bit slower. Still, the important thing is the read, and another cracking read it is.

Topics in it include:

  • Honour and Loss – Phil Sabin recounts his long and stimulating acquaintance with Patrick Waterson
  • Sumerian Military Camel Riders
  • What a Wheelie – Chariots anyone?
  • In the Lab with Legions – How does one model the triplex acies legion on the gaming table?.
  • Making 15mm Siena Military Companies
  • Refighting Cannae
  • Aquae Sextiae with DBA
  • plus the usual Guardroom, book and rules reviews and figure reviews

Just the thing to read on a cold winter’s night here where the temperature has plummeted to 24 degrees Celsius.

PHLPOST comes through — Slingshot Arrives

PHLPOST appears to be rebranding itself from the old to something newer. And given that I moved to Angeles City just over a month ago, and notified the Society of Ancients of my new address just over 2 months ago, it was a happy surprise today when  the September/October issue of Slingshot found its way across the front fence (we don’t really have a letterbox here).

Waiting for a break from the work day to settle in to a good read of this issue. Topics in it include”

  • Every Man’s Hand – a ruleset for historical medieval jousts – the real ones not the Hollywood type
  • Garamantes – a DBMM Army List fine-tuned
  • Going Back to Gaugamela – refighting that battle using l’Art de la Guerre
  • The Sound of Battle – a general’s ability to communicate through sound signals
  • An Armati List for Cyrus the Great
  • Counting the Enemy – how big was the Caledonian army at Mons Graupius?
  • Telamon in Anaheim – Battle of Telemon using DBA rules
  • T’angoed! – the T’ang military machine and a recreation in 15mm
  • Warfare in Antiquity – the King’s College conference from 2019
  • plus the usual Guardroom, book and rules reviews and figure reviews

Plenty of entertaining reading is this issue and kudos to the new look PHLPOST for tracking me down and delivering so quickly. With Slingshot in one hand and a single malt in the other I can well feel that the world is slowly returning to something like normal, at least here in the exotic East!

Still Waiting for the Postman

Back on 8 August, in the post, Waiting for the Postman, I noted that I’d ordered some wargaming items mail order, including some board games, figures, flight deck decals and so on. I also noted that the delays in delivery are all at this end of the world.

The Navwar Ships

The ships from Navwar were cleared through customs back at the end of July. They were despatched to the delivery office, Makati Central Post Office, on 2 August 2019. It is now 12 days later and they still, apparently, have not been able to travel the 7kms from the Customs Office to the main post office in one of Metro Manila’s CBDs. Remember, these items arrived in Manila on 19 July. Still, I am patient.

The GMT Board Games Parcel

The GMT Board Games have now cleared customs yesterday, and today were, were despatched the 7kms to Makati.

I am confident that they will arrive just I am not sure exactly when.

When they do arrive, the service at Makati Central Post Office is absolutely brilliant – but I am impatient – want toys now 😉

Waiting for the Postman

I’m waiting for some ancient galleys

I’ve ordered some wargaming items mail order. This includes some board games, figures, flight deck decals and so on. The connections internationally to the Philippines are good, it all slows down however when it arrives in country.

I ordered some ships from Navwar before I left Australia on my last trip back and asked for them to be sent with tracking. Here is the tracking report. They were posted on 10 July 2019 and arrived in the Philippines on 19 July 2019. Not so bad.

It took 12 days to pass a customs examination and then on 2 August, the parcel was placed en route to the delivery office. This is a distance of about 7.5 kilometers or so, a distance I could walk in about 90 minutes. 6 days have passed and it has not arrived there yet.

Board games from the US

I also had tracking on an order of two board games from the US (see left). These were despatched on 1 August, arriving in the Philippines on 8 August. Not bad. They have now gone for customs examination. I am guessing this will take another three or four weeks to pass that inspection then find its way to Makati – or I will get a notice that tells me I need to go to customs to pay a fee.

It would be difficult to set up an industry here that relied on the Post Office being able to deliver and despatch items quickly. In the meantime, mercifully, I still have many more books to review to keep me busy this long weekend coming.

Update 2 – on pre-electronic wargame figure ordering – a piece of history

The parcel from Navwar
The parcel from Navwar

Yesterday I posted about Pre-electronic wargame figure ordering – a piece of history or rather Update 1 – on pre-electronic wargame figure ordering – a piece of history. I was expecting the delivery Navwar to arrive around 8 April or so.

I checked the letterbox tonight when I got home and found a parcel in there from Navwar. Now I’m impressed.

Posted the letter on 18 March 2013, Easter was in the middle of it all but the parcel arrived back here in Singapore today.

That’s a turn around of 17 days from posting order to receipt of goods – I guess letters are not that slow after all – I’ve had slower order fulfilment from on-line ordering at other firms.

Well done Navwar, Singapore Post and the Royal Mail.

Update 1 – on pre-electronic wargame figure ordering – a piece of history

Back on March 18th I posted about Pre-electronic wargame figure ordering – a piece of history. I just checked my bank statement and there was line noting that Navwar UK had put through a charge of £55.30 to my credit card on 28 March 2013. That was the complete amount and the postage for my order for some modern warships to add to Thomo’s ever growing lead-pile here in Singapore.

That also means that as I posted the letter on 18 March 2013 at Tanjong Pagar MRT Station, it has taken 10 days for the letter to arrive at Navwar’s shop in Ilford, England and for Navwar to fill the order, pack it and take it to the Post Office. Past experience has shown me that Navwar charge when the order is filled and ready to send.

So, allowing for the fact that Good Friday was 29 March and 1 April was also a holiday in the UK, I should have a parcel back in my letterbox next Monday, 8 April.

Maybe the old technology still works?

Pre-electronic wargame figure ordering – a piece of history

Pre-electronic means of long-distance communications
Pre-electronic means of long-distance communications

I wanted to order some modern Chinese and Indian ships and aircraft from one of the many little projects I am working on. I wanted to purchase the vessels from Navwar but unfortunately Navwar’s only concession to the 21st century is to accept orders by facsimile transmission. Part of the problem is that his fax machine is old and is a phone/fax type. It rings four times before switching to fax for the handshake, connection and eventual receipt of a transmission. The problem is that most modern fax machines give up listening for the handshake at about the third ring.

The only other way to buy his products is to physically co to his store in Ilford, England on a Saturday (not too early) or to send him a letter.

I am posting this as much for the benefit of my children, one of whom has only ever had the Internet, one can vaguely remember the black and white TV I used to have in the garage and the other two have pretty much grown up in the electronic age.

Before electronics, we used to send a letter. Yep, using a pen and paper we would write our order out, enclose it in an envelope, address the envelope and add a stamp of sufficient value to have the letter delivered.

The transport mechanism pre the Internet - a servant of the Post Office will collect it in the morning and in about 5 days time it should arrive in Ilford, Essex, England ... I hope
The transport mechanism pre the Internet – a servant of the Post Office will collect it in the morning and in about 5 days time it should arrive in Ilford, Essex, England … I hope

We then tool the letter to the letterbox where we inserted it into the correct slot. Magically, an employee of the Post Office will trot along later today and collect all the letters. They will be taken to the Post Office sorting centre, then this letter will travel on to Changi Airport where it will be placed on an aircraft heading to London. Her Majesty’s Post Office, the Royal Mail, will collect the letter there and deliver it to Navwar. About five days or so should elapse from the time I posted the letter to its delivery.

Navwar’s previous order turnaround has always been superb. I have been buying from him for nearly 20 years now and he normally turns orders around in about 24 hours. I have ordered by post from Navwar when I lived in Australia, Mongolia, Norway, England and Korea. I have visited the store when I lived in England as well.

I expect to have the ships back in about two weeks time judging by his past performance although I just wish he would move forward to 2013, technology-wise.

The other thing that is interesting about this is that I am sure that SingPost and the Royal Mail share the revenue from the delivery of this letter.I just don’t know how they keep track of all this and settle at the end.

There kids – that’s how we used to undertake long distance communications way before the Internet!

Banks and Post Offices

Today was a really mixed day. I had to deal with my bank. Sigh! I can remember a time when dealing with your bank meant dealing with your branch staff and the branch manager. Now, however, with anywhere banking and reducing the staffing levels at branches, you get to deal with the call centre. Today I dealt with the Hobart and Newcastle call centres to be told at the end of it all “well, we really can’t help you at all, even though it is your money, as our procedures are security procedures and they are there to protect you” even when those procedures are not designed to protect me or my money.

Compare that to the Australian Post Office. Awaiting an Express Post letter that had not arrived but needed the contents early, we telephoned the Post Office, spoke to the sorting centre staff and several hours later the recalcitrant letter was located and held for us to collect tomorrow morning early. Kudos to Australia Post then who can still hold their heads high and say, “yes, we do help out customers”.

Aussie Post 1: Aussie Banks 0