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


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.


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.


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.


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 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