Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year and Xmas Goodies

HAPPY NEW YEAR! 


After a while I realized I forgot to mention what Xmas goodies I got this year, mostly what I got was books (yes, I am starting to sob as I realize I need more space on my book shelves).  But I am happy with the books I got and since they are not available in electronic format, I can't complain about needing more shelf space.

So, what books did I get?  As you read through the descriptions, I think you will get a feel that were was a common theme...

Monday, December 24, 2012

Happy Xmas & a Project 2013 - Update

First off, Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Happy Yuletide, Season's Greetings!



In keeping with the WWI theme of the picture, on Saturday, Steve H. (CombatColours) ran three games of Wings of Glory at Game Nite in St. Louis.  I did not take any photos, but there was six of us for all of the games.  Interesting the order we played the games was in reverse chronological order with late war planes first, then mid-war, and finally early war.  I did not kill any thing in the first game while flying a French SPAD XIII, then got one kill in the second game while flying a British SE.5a, and shot down in the third game while flying a British DH 4.  So all in all, I did average. 

Monday, December 17, 2012

Gaming, Painting, and Other Mundane Things for 2013

Well, here we are rapidly heading towards the end of time by the Mayan calendar, as well as our own, and I see zombies in my future.  Now, if that means my fat body being torn to pieces by flesh hungry ghouls or little zombie miniatures being painted up is still yet to be determined.   But since I just ordered some Elhiem's 20mm zombies, I bet you can guess which of the two previous options I think will happen in 2013.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

"Danger Close"


Pretty much all of us have heard of the phrase, "Danger Close".  But what does it mean and how does it effect wargaming?

Friday, December 7, 2012

What Battlefield is this? Answer to Quiz #1

This battlefield is the site of the Battle of Prairie Grove, Arkansas.  Today, December 7th, is the 150th anniversary of the battle.  It was a battle that due to very poor performance by the Confederate Generals and sheer aggressiveness of the Union forces prevented what should have been a major defeat to the Union's Army of the Frontier as the Confederate forces initially outnumbered the Union almost 2:1 until reinforcements arrived.  It is one of those battles that is hard to game because the players would never allow the historical hindrances to handicap them so. 

Thursday, December 6, 2012

What Battlefield is this? Quiz #1 (part 2)

Well, we still don't have a winner, but we did confirm that this is an American Civil War battlefield and the first picture from yesterday is an apple orchard were a deadly assault was  made.  So in this entry, I am going to provide some additional hints.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

What Battlefield is this? Quiz #1 (part 1)


Anyone care to take a guess where this picture is from?

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Kickstarter: 25mm The Pacific War 1879-1884

Kickstarter, why do you vex me so?  Don't you know that I swore off 25mm?  But you had to do a South American war?

Another project to tempt me so...those Bolivian uniforms were pretty.

Kickstarter:  25mm The Pacific War 1879-1884 (link)


Saturday, December 1, 2012

Liebster Award




Well, this was unexpected!.  There is a meme going around for the “Liebster Award” and I was put in by Dougie, from the “Dougie's Wargaming Blog.”  (Thank you, Dougie!) I actually got it earlier in the week, but due to work & just being so exhausted, I did not get around to saying anything until now. So staying in with the spirit of reason for the meme award, I accept this award and will follow through the rules as stated below.

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Liebster Award Rules

Copy and paste the award on your blog linking it to the blogger who has given it to you.

Pass the award to your top 5 favourite blogs with less than 200 followers by leaving a comment on one of their posts to notify them that they have won the award and listing them on your own blog.

Sit back and bask in that warm fuzzy feeling that comes with knowing that you have just made someone's day!
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Honestly, I think just limiting the number to only five is very, very hard as many of the blogs that I follow are well worth the nod of recognition.  Luckily, Dougie nominated several (excluding his, which someone else did already) which I was able to remove from the list of blogs to wrestle with on naming.  So here are the five that I will name in alphabetical order:

Civil War Horrors:  This blog is by the author Sean McLachlan of several Osprey books and a couple of novels.  His blog is mainly about a subject near and dear to my heart, the Civil War in Missouri.  There is usually some great tidbits of ACW history on a very regular basis.  Also check out is travel blog about his trip to Iraq.

England Prevails…:  This blog has just re-stirred to life after a nine month coma this year.  Steve Blease of Wessex Games created this blog to do a modern English Civil War between Royalists & Republicans.  While my personal “Anarchy in the UK” project is more in lines with Mark & Matt’s “Winter of ‘79” blog (which was also nominated by Dougie) for time frame, it does provide some flavor and ideas to help fuel it.

Plastic Zombie:  This blog is by Irqan.  I have been following it and several other blogs that have been running their own zombie survival campaigns using Two Hour Wargames’ rules, All Things Zombie (ATZ).   While I have not started my zombie project up yet (it is tied into the “Anarchy in the UK” project for using the same toys, just need to buy/paint zombies), it is nice to see a different take to the zombie games with Irqan’s blog.  Unlike the other ATZ blogs, Irqan’s zombie game is taking place in the 1920’s and he is using 1/72nd plastic figures.  Plus, Irqan is a friendly and good person to email with.

SP’s Projects Blog:  This blog is by Pete, also a good and friendly person to chat with emails with.  Pete’s blog got some interesting posts on SWAT games and some ideas for resource points in doing SWAT games.  His latest entry on the zombie infection mega-game sounds fun.

Wanted: BRAINS!:  Finally, this blog is one of the other ATZ campaign blogs that I have been following.  It is pretty good and well worth the award and a mention.

And finally, a special mention to this blog as Blake is a local gamer who will run games at stores, put on convention games, paint up big armies, and basically is makes a good effort to keep miniature gaming active going and in St. Louis:  Blake’s Gaming Adventures

Cheers
Joe

Thursday, November 22, 2012

A Kickstarter Project Worth Mentioning

With today being Thanksgiving Day, a day of giving thanks for various things, I want to share a noteworthy Kickstarter project I just happen to found today.  I am not part of the project, but I think it would be a very worthy project to support.  

The link to the project is http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1087666673/project-lost-american

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Colonel Trevor N Dupuy and QJM


Who is Col. Trevor Dupuy and what is this QJM that I am hearing some of you ask?  Well in this blog will touch the very surface about those two later. 

Sunday, November 11, 2012

11/11

If you have to ask, then I can't explain.


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Are you a proper Wargamer?

On several of the blogs that I follow have been running the following questionnaire about how much of a “proper” wargamer are you.  I always question what does it really mean to be “proper”, but that is an argument that does not apply to this fun excise.  So here we go…

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Some Little Changes

As you can see, I have been playing with my blog's template.  I figured out how to redo my blog entries to a smaller entry on the front page so that the front page doesn't look so huge.  

Friday, October 12, 2012

Tacspiel – Gaming the Vietnam Conflict with official US Army wargame rules

About two or three years ago, I was discovered that in 1966, the US Army issued a set of rules and procedures for a “Kriegsspiel” map based training designed to train officers on how to fight a counter-insurgent war in Vietnam.   This document was called “Tacspiel – War-Game Procedures and Rules of Play for Guerrilla / Counter-Guerrilla Operations”. 
What is better is that I found out that this document was declassified and available to the general public.  With some Google searching, you can find a free copy on line.  However this copy is of a poor quality and is hard to read in places, plus it is missing some charts.  There is a nice bound reprint of this document available at a cost at www.wargaming.co, entitled, “Tacspiel – The American Army’s Wargaming Rules for the Vietnam War, 1966”.  It is edited by John Curry and it is worth to look at the website as he also reprinted several other official military wargame systems, like the British Army’s tactical game of 1956, and Dunn-Kempf, the US Army’s tactical game system from 1977-97.  Another advantage of buying the reprint book, besides a clean copy to read, is that the editor adds the missing charts and adds some comments to procedures that were not complete.  I went ahead and purchased a reprint from the website.  I finally got around to reading it and I am going to provide a simple review of it, as well as a little history about it.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Command Sergeant Major Basil L. Plumley (Ret)


I just saw this bit of sad news, Command Sergeant Major Basil L. Plumley (Ret), passed away yesterday at the age of 92. 

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Maps, Scales, and A Restless Night


I love math.  I wish that I was better at calculus and physics back in high school and went more into a mathematical career.  Anyways, why am I even pining over math?  Well, last night I was sitting down with one of my 1:50000 topo maps of the Falklands thinking about how I am going to enlarge it make templates to cut out for elevations when it totally dawn on me…I was wrong on my thinking about using the altered ground scale for Charlie Don’t Surf for company battles in the Falklands and Vietnam! 
I suggested changing the game ground scale from 1:300 to 1:328 so to scale metrics to British Engineering measurements.  Stupid! Stupid! Stupid! (This is not including several other grammar and misspelling / typo mistakes I caught after re-reading the article, like on a 1:50000 scale map, 1cm=50m...sigh…that should have been 1cm=500m…that is a huge difference! I will go back and clean it up one day.)

Friday, September 21, 2012

Using topographical maps in miniature wargaming


OK, be prepared to get your nerd on!  I will be diving into some serious math down below, so I hope not to bore anyone too badly...especially considering the length of this blog entry as well! 
Just because we play with toy soldiers don't mean that we can't add some realism

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

10mm Falklands Project

(Click on the pictures for a larger version)

As I mention earlier, I will be doing a 10mm Falklands Conflict project in addition to my 20mm project for ground combat.  Both projects will cover different levels of ground combat operations.  The 20mm project will be skirmish level up to a company size element with each figure representing one man.  The 10mm project will be tactical / operational level with a battalion being represented on the board with an infantry stand representing a platoon.  The bulk of the 10mm miniatures will be mounted on 50mm x 25mm stands for platoons or 25mm x 25mm stands for independent sections, like recon or weapons sections.  As of now, I have not figured out what rules set I wish to use for this level of gaming.  Cold War Commander is set up for this level of gaming, but I am thinking of modifying Charlie Don't Surf or I Ain't Been Shot, Mum! to cover this level of gaming.  We will have to see what works out out.  One of the key things is ground scale should be about 1"=50m or close to that.  I know that the long out of print, GDW's Combined Arms was close to that scale and there are scenarios in their Harpoon's South Atlantic War supplement, which I still have in my collection.  However, I got rid of my copy of Combined Arms probably close to 12-15 years ago.

The first group of pictures is some of the rock cropping pieces from TimeCast's Falklands line which can be used for both the 10mm and 20mm gaming, except for the tents and fighting positions pieces.  I went ahead and paid extra for the pre-painted sets and I am not disappointed at all!  Matter of fact, from this point forward, anything I order from TimeCast will be the pre-painted models.  The first picture is of a 10mm and 20mm figure compared to the large rock cropping set.  As you can see, it looks great with both scales.  In the second row of the pictures are pictures of the 10mm fighting positions and tents sets.

 


Next is a series of pictures of TimeCast's pre-painted 10mm Falklands line's buildings.

This first set of buildings are the Port San Carlos house and garage.  This is based on the typical houses at Port San Carlos where the British 3 Commando Brigade landed on May 21, 1982.

This next building is the Top Malo house where a skirmish was fought between Argentine Army Commandos and the British Mountain and Arctic Warfare Cadre on May 31, 1982.


This  following building is based on the Estancia house and outbuilding that is located about 3 to 4 miles NW of Mount Kent and about 1-1/2 WSW of Mount Estancia.  It was secured by 3 Para on May 31, 1982.  It was from here that 3 Para prepared for their next stage in the operation, the assault on Mount Longdon on June 11/12, 1982.


Finally, the last two building sets are buildings from Port Stanley - the Davis Street bungalows (the white building) and the Philomel Store and garage (the yellow buildings).   Luckily for everyone, the Argentine forces surrendered at Port Stanley on June 14, 1982, instead of forcing the British forces to assault the city.


Pendraken is currently the only manufacture of a 10mm Falklands line of figures.  Right now, it is a limited release, but future releases will include British in helmets and Argentine soldiers, plus armor and weapons for both sides.  I ordered one pack of each British packs that are currently available and received them.  I am currently waiting for my MDF bases for them.  As I am not that good of a camera man yet to have crisp pictures of very small figures, I am posting two picture ads from Pendraken below of what they currently have available.  They have amazing detail when you realize that they are 10mm tall!


Finally, I am including pictures of the Armaments In Miniature's (AIM) 1/200 Falklands aircraft lines.  They are very nice one piece models.  I picked up one Vulcan bomber, one Canberra, two Sea Harriers, two Mirage III, two Super Etendard, and four A-4 Skyhawks.  That is all that they have available now.  AIM also has decal sets available for every model that they have for their Falklands line as well and I order one set of decals per type of aircraft.  The decals have enough to do four different aircraft with different markings.  Also, for the A-4 model, they have one set of Navy and one set of Air Force decals.  What is also nice about the models is that they are made with a metal screw in the bottom so that there is a place that you can attached a flight stand to with either a clip or a magnet.  That is quite handy, if you ask me.  Below are picture of the models with a ruler to get an idea of their sizes and the decal set(s) next to them for show.

This first set is the British aircraft with the Vulcan bomber on the top row, including a picture of how the metal screw is part of the model, and the Sea Harrier in the second row.



This following set is of the Argentine aircraft.  The top row has the A-4 with both sets of decals, Air Force and Navy, and to the right is the Super Etendard.  The bottom row is the Canberra bomber on the left and the Mirage III on the right.




In one final note, I had ordered my copies of 1:50000 scale topographical maps of the West Falkland and am waiting to get them.  When I get them, I will put up a couple of pictures for people who have never seen a 1:50000 topo map and the detail that you get with him.  Also, I am writing up in my very limited spare time a blog entry about gaming terrain, topographical maps, and how the two will effect my gaming of the Falklands and Vietnam in the future.

Be Seeing You

Sapper

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

10mm Vietnam terrain

This is a couple of pictures of some 10mm Vietnam terrain that I commissioned my friend Steve to make for me.  This is just one of the rice paddies and a piece of the stream system that was done for me.  I hope to get a better picture of the whole system later when I run another Vietnam game (hopefully next month!?!).  In the first picture I included a 10mm figure for size comparison.

Cheers,
Sapper

Monday, September 17, 2012

Just an update

It has been a long time since I have posted anything on this blog, but my wage masters have demanded a lot from me over the last few months.  Luckily, I got a little bit of a breather now with an additional person added on to the staff temporary to help me out.  This is not helping me with my time off from work, but it is helping with a little of the stress.  This project should be ending soon, maybe in a month, and I might get some time off before the next one.  But we have to wait and see about that. Regardless, I have not done anything really productive towards my hobby, i.e. paint or make terrain.  What I have done is spent money on more figures, referencing materials, and other odds and ends.  Anyway, the next list of stuff is that I had done over the past month or two.

Gaming

I had a second play test of the French Indian War with 'Sharp's Practice', specifically to try the Big Men Personalities rules.  It did not go over well and was an epic failure.  So, I am going to see about streamlining some of the rules, but keep most of the mechanics as is.  Because the play test was a disaster, I am not going to do an AAR of it.  But below is a couple of pics.



I am hoping to run a Vietnam game soon using 'Charlie Don't Surf', but as with everything else, only time will tell.

Purchases

Well, I made a few purchases in the past couple of months or so.  Most of it is related to the 15mm French Indian War project.  This is pretty much the last of it, except maybe buying the smaller fort set from Blue Moon and I forgot to add one pack of British Grenadiers to my last order, so I still need to order them.  I picked up one pack of each, as that is all I will need for my games, of the following:  Artillery (both French & British); Canoes, both short and long (also for both Indians and white trappers); Couple of wagons; the Indian assault party; Indian villagers; and several Indian lodges.  I also picked up several used Osprey books on the period.  In addition, I made and ordered a couple of custom made decks for 'Sharp's Practice' French Indian War through Artscow.

I also bought a few things for the Falklands Conflict.  I ordered 10mm UK troops from Pendraken.  I am looking forward to their release of the helmeted British and the Argentine troops.  The plan is that the 10mm figures will be mounted on 50mm x 25mm stands that will represent platoons.  That way I can do battalion size battles, like Goose Green.  I also picked up 10mm pre-painted buildings and terrain from TimeCast.  I also picked up some 1/200 aircraft to use for air support and dogfights.  Finally, I found by accident, but a happy accident, 1:50,000 topographic maps of the Falklands Islands.  I have not ordered any yet, but will do so for the areas of the nine battles.  I am already looking for to the big dig in my basement to find all of my old army land navigation stuff.  (Note:  I am actually getting so excited about playing around with land navigation again, that I am even considering joining an orienteering club.  But I probably won't because I only get four days off a month, and that is if I'm lucky, plus that would also mean giving up even more of my very little gaming time).

As I mention above, I designed some FIW cards on Artscow.  I plan to finish off my last CDS deck.  I have been also slowly working on ACW cards for TCHAE for the battles in Missouri, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Kansas.  I might not ever do TCHAE, but I am enjoying looking up old pictures and making cards for it anyway.

Speaking of the ACW, I have been reading a few books on the subject over the past couple of months: 'The 2nd Colorado Volunteers in the Civil War - The Story of James B. Wasson, Company "B"', by Don M. Mahan; 'Fields of Blood - The Prairie Grove Campaign', by William L. Shea; and currently reading, 'Civil War Arkansas 1863 - The Battle For A State', by Mark K. Christ.  I just started that book, so it will probably be a while before I start on a new book.  But, I am probably going to read, 'General James G. Blunt - Tarnished Glory', by Robert Collins, next.


Anyway, I was also involved in an Indiegogo project.  This project is a novelization of a game of a Call of Cthulhu, "Horror on the Orient Express" by the Bradford Players from the Yog-Sothoth.com site.  The author is Nick Marsh, who's blog is over in my list to the right, and a friendly person.  I am looking forward to reading this book.

Well, that is wrap for now. 

Be seeing you
Sapper

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The Angry Lurker's & Ray's 20 Questions

Well, on a bunch of blogs that I follow has been have a round of 20 questions going around that was started off on The Angry Lurker's & Don't Throw A 1 blog sites (see in my list of followed blogs to the right).  It is sort of social "get to know you" practice.  Since I have several blog followers that I have never met properly, I figure that this might be a worthwhile exercise.  The only problem being is that my answers are really only good for the seconds that I typed up these answers...like the wind, I am continuously changing.  So here we go...

1.  Favourite Wargaming period and why?

This is a very hard one to answer as I have many favorites.  Really, the answer lies with the question of who am I gaming with?  Some gamers are a major killjoy and can cause me to really dislike playing even my favorite periods.  For example, I really enjoy WWII, Northwest Europe operations in 1944-45, but I have come to dread playing that period due to rivet counters or German worshipers who have more Panthers on the board then were ever made.  Luckily, most of the gamers that I game with now, I enjoy their company and would be happy to play in gaming periods I don't care for at all.  But I digress, for the purpose of this question, I am going to limit it to periods that I have miniatures and that I have already game with so far.  So currently, I would have to say my favorite gaming period would be French & Indian War as that is the most current gaming project and I just ran a play test of it recently. 

2.  Next period, money no object?

Again, way too many to pick from.  I pretty much have started many various gaming periods that I want to do, so I guess for this comes down more towards what I really want to get finish that is barely started.  So I that boils down to the American Civil War in Missouri and west of the Mississippi River.
Lucy Hood, staunch Unionist, inspires the boys of Sigel's command at Carthage, Missouri, 1861
3.  Favourite 5 films?

So many movies to choose from as my mood for type of movies change depending on what genre I want to see.  This is what I would pick at this moment in alphabetical order:

2001: A Space Odyssey
John Carpenter's The Thing 
Maltese Falcon
Patton
Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
(with honorable mention - favorite movie series: the Harry Potter movies) 


4.  Favourite 5 TV series?

I can still think of more than 5 TV shows that I enjoy, but this is a little easier as I don't watch much TV at all.  Again, this is in alphabetical order:

Connections
Due South
Kolchak: The Night Stalker
The Big Bang Theory
The Tick (both the animated and live action versions)


5.  Favourite book and author?

Again, way too many to choose from because of my different interests and moods to have one favorite.  It is very difficult to pick just one.  I guess if I have to pick just one, I have probably read "At the Mountains of Madness", by H.P. Lovecraft the most times over again. 


An ancient city at the Mountains of Madness
6.  Greatest General? Can’t count yourself!!

How does one rank greatest?  Undefeated?  Innovative?  Popular and Charismatic with his troops?  It is hard for me to say, because the challenges face by the different Generals are not equal, especially in regards to different time periods.  So, I am just going say, Nathaniel Lyons, USA, 1861.  He had the aggressiveness the most Union Generals lack in 1861. Plus he successfully save Missouri for the Union facing major challenges not by other generals, like having 75% of army available for less than for 90 days as their enlistment was expiring.


7.  Favourite Wargames rules?

This is fairly easy, anything from Two Fat Lardies.  I will give other rules a shake down, like All Things Zombie which appears to be pretty good.  Also an honorable mention to "Formula De", while it is not a wargame, I have been in some serious cut throat races with that game!


8.       Favourite Sport and team?

This is a hard one because I really don’t keep up with sports in general.  However every 10 or so years I get on a F1 Formula Racing kick for a few years.  So I will have to say that is my favorite sport and my favorite team would be Ferrari. 


9.       If you had a only use once time machine, when and where would you go?

Wow…I really have no clue.  Probably back to when I was 18 years old with all of the winning lottery ticket numbers up to now.

10.   Last meal on Death Row?

I really don’t know again.  Probably something with a lot of beans and spices so they remember me by!
11.    Fantasy relationship and why?

Lea Thompson, circa 1980’s…do you really need to ask why?



12.   If your life were a movie, who would play you?

William Scott "Jack" Elam


13.   Favourite Comic Superhero?

The Tick! (But also an honorable mention to Batmanuel.  He was no superhero, but he did become the mayor of Gotham City!)

14.   Favourite Military quote?

"Sign here and here.  Now here is a copy of your honorable discharge.  You are a free man now." - my last unit administrator NCO

15.   Historical destination to visit?

The Apollo 11 moon landing site


16.   Biggest Wargaming regret?

Buying way too much of everything!  I wish that I had spent more of that money towards other things.

17.   Favourite Fantasy job?

Idle rich so I can do anything but work and get paid for it

18.   Favourite Song, Top 5?

Again, way too many choices from me to pick from as I am very open to all kinds of music.  So I guess I will try to name five, but these could change in the next two minutes.

"One Particular Harbour" - Jimmy Buffett (This song made me into a Parrothead since 1983!)
"Alice's Restaurant Massacre" - Arlo Guthrie (This was the song that grew up on)
"Gothica / Fleurs du Mal" - Sarah Brightman (words can't do any justice to explain how amazing she is)
"The Suits are Picking Up the Bill" - Squirrel Nut Zippers (I love Big Band swing)
"Ohne dich" - Rammstein (I dare anyone not to get a little sappy watching the video to this song)

An honorable mention for "Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of The War of the Wars" as my most favorite album.


19.   Favourite Wargaming Moment?

I have several fun events that happen in games that I played in, but really it is the comradeship of my fellow gamers that makes those events so fun.

20.  The miserable Git question, what upsets you?

Wow…that is a loaded question and I have way too many issues!  I guess I can sum it best as…other people.