Monday, June 27, 2011

General Update on my gaming and the blog

I am still working 80 to 100+ hours a week, so even though I am posting entries on my blog, I am still considering myself to be on a long hiatus since I am not able to do any gaming or working on my gaming projects. Plus, it may take me a week or even a month to type up another blog entry.

Besides the book reviews and my article on getting organized, I am still trying to do some research on the Platte City, MO, shootout with Bonnie & Clyde to create a skirmish scenario for that shootout. I just don’t have much time to do any Google-Fu on more information about the armored car and armored shields used during the shootout. I also have to play around on coming up with more information on the individual policemen involved. If nothing else, I hope to have it finalized and up on my blog by July 19th, for the 78th anniversary of the shootout.

My current gaming projects are (if I ever get the time):
10mm 2nd Indochina War (US involvement in South Vietnam): Most of this project is finished and I have played a few games with the figures in the past few years as you may have seen from my previously blog entries on After Action Reviews of the games, which are now located on my Vietnam gaming website (https://sites.google.com/site/sapperjoesvietnamwargames/ ). I had previously used “Cold War Commander” (CWC) rules for my Vietnam games, but I plan to use “Charlie Don’t Surf” (CDS), by Too Fat Lardies, for future Vietnam games. I do want to get a game off some time this year, but everything is up in the air with my work load and working out of town. Plus, the days of having a game shop to run it at are pretty much over in St. Louis, so I have to clean out my basement for gaming or do some backyard gaming.

One of the first things that I need to do with the switching of rules is make some more “Big Men”, or leaders in Lardies’ talk, for the US side and possibly the VC side. I already have enough command stands that will work for the minimum required number of US “Big Men”, but now I need to get some more for the possible extra “Big Men” that the US might get. I will also need to increase the number of VC stands that I have. Other than that, I still have my unfinished “Snoopy” gun truck, M48’s, trucks, artillery, and other odds and ends for the US, but those are support units and what is required for the basic force. Since these are scenario specific items, I will work on them off and on.

The next thing that I need to do is start buying more terrain, like rice paddies, roads, hills, etc. I got some stuff, but I just need to get enough to do this right. I plan to start buying a bunch of stuff over the next few weekends for terrain.

I do plan to rebase my US troops to 40mm x 20mm bases for the infantry and vehicles instead of their current 50mm hex / circle base (yes, oddly enough that means actually basing them off of the CWC basing sizes instead of my original hex bases!) The reason for this is three things: 1) Reduce the size of their ‘footprint’ for less foliage and other terrain on be mounted on the base; 2) I plan to repaint some of the figures and replace some of my ANZAC miniatures that were posing as US troops with maybe some head swapping, and; 3) by reducing the base size, I should take up less room in my storage trays allowing me to carrying less boxes. I will not rebase the VC stands, as those were done by Steve H. Steve did such a wonderful job on the bases, that I cannot bring myself to rebase them.

Finally, my US force is a mix of the ANZAC and US figures from Pendraken to give more different poses. I still have several ANZAC figures left over, so I am also going to make an ANZAC forces as well (hmm…do you think reading about Long Tan has something to do with this!) I just ordered the figures with the SLR’s and that should be everything for a company of ANZACs for CDS. I am also planning to do a NVA force in their green uniforms for Long Tan and the later war. I am not sure if I really want to try to do an ARVN force. Not because I don’t want them, but in 10mm, I am not sure if they would really stand out vs. US figures, so I just might use my US figures as imposters for ARVN. I will probably still pick up a few vehicles and paint them up as ARVN though.
15mm WWI, Turkish Front skirmish and tactical: I have already bought some Minifigs Turks and British to start working on this project. I actually got about 17 Turks finish! I just got to do some minor details, flocking, and a sealer. That will be my first battalion for “If the Lord Spares Us” (ITLSU) by Too Fat Lardies. I am using an individual figure to equal one platoon for ITLSU, so that by having figures mounted separately, I can then also use them to equal one man for Too Fat Lardies’, “Through the Mud & the Blood”, (M&B). I did this so I can either fight brigade size battles with ITLSU or a platoon or weak company size skirmish with M&B. This is a low priority project that I am doing so I have something other than green uniforms to paint, plus I have been interested in WWI in the Middle East lately.

20mm ’Anarchy in the UK’ skirmish: This is the second highest priority for projects with me right now. Originally this was project was going to cover the low intensity warfare in Northern Ireland during ‘The Troubles’ for the period of the 1970’s and early 1980’s when the British Army were still using SLR and not the bullpup SA80’s rifles. After seeing the blogs, “Winter of ‘79” and “England Prevails…”, plus many emails with Mark & Math from “Winter of ‘79”, I decided that the route that I am going to follow instead of games on Operation Banner. Basically, I am pretty much going to parallel the “Winter of ‘79” blogs’ events of the breakdown of the UK in the 1970’s & early ‘80’s leading into a civil war. I am not going to worry too much about a back story, I just want to players to be at a little bit more at ease about the games with fictional Welsh Nationalist militants fighting off the conservative military coup forces from Salisbury, instead of PIRA and SAS trying to ambush each other. This will be an expanding project as the buildings, vehicles, and miniatures will be doing double duty for other future projects, like London zombies, ‘Red Dawn’ in Cornwall, and ‘Mad Max’ in Somerset. But right now, I just don’t have the time to be building my cardboard buildings for the project, but hope to start up again soon.

20mm Falklands skirmish: This is the project that has the highest priority. I sent off miniatures to be painted for most of a platoon of Brits and Argentines. I have gotten them back in the first week of June, but they are at home and I am working away from home and have not seen them yet. I probably will not get back to look at them for a while still. I also have some British figures that I painted up as well are on this blog. The British forces will double duty for the ‘Anarchy in the UK’ project, so there is more happiness there! I plan to do platoon size actions and some small section patrols. I need to get cracking on terrain and some buildings…and penguins! I plan to start buying some large hills over the next few weeks.

I made some orders during the month of June that are game related. First I made an order to Liberation miniatures for some more 1970’s/Falklands UK figures that I need (like a Milan team and SAS) and more squaddies with helmets to create a second platoon for Falklands or a rebel platoon for the UK meltdown. I also have some British vehicles, armed civilians, and ANZAC SAS (Vietnam line) for ragged militia types for the UK meltdown. Plus, I have some US figures with ranger caps and M1 steel helmets, along with a Ford MUTT for the US intervention forces for the UK meltdown and for shooting zombies along with my Hotspurs’ 1970’s SWAT team in 1978 Philadelphia.

I then order a few packs of 10mm ANZACs for Vietnam from Pendraken, so that should complete what I need there for an ANZAC company.

Next, I order some used books on the Falklands and on the 1920’s from Amazon. The Falklands books are: “No Picnic: 3 Commando Brigade in the Falklands” by Gen. Julian Thompson (the commander of 3 Commando Bde); “Above All, Courage: Personal Stories from the Falklands War” by Max Arthur; and a DVD from the History Channel, “The Greatest Raids from the Falklands Campaign”. The books covering the 1920’s are: “Alcohol, Boat Chases, and Shootouts!: How the US Coast Guard and the Customs Fought Rum Smugglers and Pirates, Part I: 1919-1924” by James Morrison; and “When Miners March – The Battle of Blair Mountain” (audio book, including 16 musical tracks) by William Blizzard.

To go along with the book on the USCG during the Rum War, I found an interesting download that is free on the internet, Intelligence In The Rum War At Sea: 1920-1933, by LT Eric S Ensign, USCG. I have not read it yet, but sounds like a very interesting topic. (www.ndic.edu/press/pdf/38038.pdf)
I plan to order some more used books in July which will cover more on the Falklands and some more books on the Rum War. In addition, I will start picking up terrain for the 10mm Vietnam and hills for the Falklands.

Anyway, that is basically what is going on in my life besides working my life away for the “The Man” as my youth fads away.

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