Friday, March 27, 2015

Pro Or Con 28MAR15

Far sooner than I was ready for , the springtime edition of the ProrCon wargame conventions is soon to be upon us  Check out the website for further information and make sure to set aside the weekend, these cons are always a lot of fun!

With any luck I will be running my 28mm Pre-Dreadnought fleet action at this con.

Monday, March 2, 2015

OK, OK,. Maybe I should stop

I got them all out and lined them up. It seems that I have gotten carried away with these crazy giant boats. Maybe I will go work on some Micro-Armor for a while!

Maybe even of 1/2400 scale Great War MicroNauts!

Anniversaries and all that

      As I sit here thinking (some insist I am napping) it occurs to me that there are some significant anniversaries this year. First there is the bicentennials of Waterloo and, in a more  parochial note, the Battle of New Orleans. More recently (as in only a century ago) strategic bombing first took place with the German Zeppelins raided London, the first submarine blockade was proclaimed against Great Britain, leading to the sinking of the Lusitania and  the Allies landed troops in Gallipoli.

      Some of these give rise to the idea of a memorial game or campaign. Waterloo has already been proposed by Tom from Texas with a short campaign as opposed to refighting the battle as it stood. The New Orleans campaign would be interesting as well, there were many options open to both commanders that would have greatly changed the outcome and there is also the first use of a steamboat in warfare! Frankly I find trying to game submarine warfare difficult to manage and rather distasteful (shooting at unarmed and defenseless civilians is something too much from today's headlines).

     Tom has offered to host the Waterloo campaign at his house which only makes sense as he has all the space we would ever need and the complete orbat for both sides. We need commanders for the British, Fernch and Prussian forces as well as players willing to push lead when a battle occurs. interested parties please reply in the Comments section. After we have completed the 100 Days campaign I was hoping to impose on Tom to host the New Orleans campaign as well. If that comes together we should be pretty well busy until the middle of summer.

     I lack the mins for a Gallipoli campaign but have been tossing around the idea of  building a Zeppelin or two and using Canvas Eagles to run a Raids on London game. That is still in the formative stages however.

      Anyone with ideas or the minis to host a centennial/bicentennial game that is wishing to  give it a go please contact me directly at daftrica 89 at yahoo dot com or in the comments section.

Happy Gaming !

Ogre, As much fun as ever!

So, we played Ogre on Saturday, it was a blast! We went over the rules and then ran the basic scenario so everybody had a handle on the rules. Then we played a monster game on four of the beautiful full-color boards using six Ogres and TONS of other units. The scenario I concocted was not very balanced and ended in a pretty lopsided fight but everybody had a great time. There is already talk of a campaign game! Playing the game re-enforced the impressive quality of all of the components of this truly MONSTER game, congrats to Steve Jackson Games on the attention to detail and superb quality of this edition of the game.


Saturday, February 28, 2015

Mars Attacks (Duluth?); An All Quiet on the Martian Front game

The Housemartin is a huge fan of the All Quiet on the Martain Front rules. I have to confess that I like the rules as well and find the models beautiful. I had built a rough fortification at Housemartin's request as he desired to try out the fortification rules.

       The design of the fort was based on the idea that the Martians have no naval presence to speak of  and thus the guns and turrets from warships can profitably be used to defend important points inland. The fort is an elongated hexagon with a twin-gun light cruiser turret on each corner. in the center  are a pair of towers; one equipped with range-finders and huge fans (to dispel the Martian toxic gasses), the other has a gun that shoots a thick mastic substance (think Liquid Nails) to cripple anything entering the surrounding earthwork.

     The Martians had several Assault Tripods, a heavy Howitzer Tripod, a couple of lighter Scout Tripods and a Slaver running as bevy of drones(?).

at the beginning of the game the 'Pods come into view

Battlegroup Kursk, After Action Report

Joe dropped by last Saturday and we ran a game of Battlegroup Kursk. The rules use an interesting activation/command system that is interleaved with the morale function. At first glance the tank by tank activation would seem to play slowly but, with only a limited number on command points to employ (often some units do not get to move every turn) and generous movement allowances, thing banged along at a snapping pace.

the situation on turn two, Germans trying to move on both flanks
 to force the Russians to give up some flanks shots

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Further progress on the SMS Blitz

I had a little free time so I finished up the major components and started to paint them. This time I remembered to leave them separate from the hull until I was finished painting them, it certainly makes life easier!

the hull got a preliminary coat of black

Sunday, February 22, 2015

28FEB15 OGRE Attacks!!!!!!!

We finally opened our copy of Steve Jackson's magnum opus version of Ogre. I have to say this is perhaps the finest boardgame that I have ever dealt with in all the forty years that I have been wargaming, the quality of the components is simple astounding. We spent a couple of hours punching out and assembling the 3-D models and sorting through the counter. Next week we will play the egame. It has been years since I played the old pocket version, my college buddies and I played until the counters, and the map, simple fell apart, I can scarcely wait!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

This is getting to be a habit!

     So I was sitting around (trapped indoors due to the extreme weather event we are currently enjoying here in Michigan) trying to work out the dimensions of Fort Mantanzas in 1/60 scale when the boat building bug bit me again! I resolved to construct something simpler than the challenging Dupuy so I stuck with a sleek little light cruiser. I got out the Proxxon hot wire cutter and shaped a narrow, slightly tumble-home hull then sat and looked at it for a bit, mulling options over in my head. It would need to be German to bring the forces back into balance but from there I was just winging it (as always!)..

razor sharp and narrow, she will be fast

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Making Rivets

I recently discovered a new 3D paint that looked like it might just replace my old rivet=making standby. I decided to put them to a head to head test;

the contenders, Americana Writer (the new guy) and Scribbles (the champ)

Below you will find a photo of the test, the grid is 1/4" lines and I tried making rivets as small as possible on up to a size that seemed larger than any I would find a use for.

I dropped the card as I was working which caused the Scribbles droplets to shift
 so I added a second row to give them a fair chance

    To my mind there is little to choose between them at the smaller end of the spectrum, but as you get larger, the Americana Writer provides a rounder, more symmetrical rivet that is less likely to run or drip. The fact that it is white will also greatly ease the painting situation as well. I was impressed by the way it help up when the Scribbles ran.

the new champ
     I will probably keep both paints in my arsenal, but for now, the Americana will be what I reach for first.

The Missing Bit

       One of the biggest compromises that one encounters in making models for wargaming is the significant difference between the scale (or size) of the model and the ground scale. This is rarely more evident than in naval gaming. You can wave you hand over a group of a dozen or so figures and declare them a battalion of six hundred men without raising too many eyebrows, but you can hardly wave you hand over a model ship and declare it a squadron. You pretty much end up having to represent the individual vessels for historic encounters.
        Even in games that have no historical precedent players would be reluctant to accept a single model as their cruiser squadron. The history of naval conflict is laden with stories of heroic individual ships, players want that level of granularity.
        Confronted with this issue and desiring to build ships in 28mm (yes, I know I am more than slightly mad) I had to make concessions in the dimensions of the model itself. Using the idea out forth by the great Col. Tremorden Rederring's website I compressed the size of the vesssel, essentially making them caricatures  of the real vessel.
      My latest effort, the Dupuy de Lome, was actually a far more graceful ship than my model, I had to leave out a a vast part of the hull to make a model that I could store and transport with a reasonable amount of effort.  Below you find a drawing of the actual vessel. You will instantly see that I have left between one half to three fifths of the center part of the vessel out of my model, including the oddly mounted center battery of heavy guns. My model would be more rightly called "inspired by the Dupuy de Lome".

the missing bit 

     I tried to include the characteristic features, the triple turrets at each end, the flying bridges, the heavy military masts and the huge ventilators that made the Dupuy de Lome stand out but I had to remove a vast section of hull,. A model over six feet long simply wouldn't work! Below you find a side picture of my model. Scale modelers would be tearing their hair out at the sight of it, but I am building for the rough and tumble world of wargaming and am more than willing to accept the compromises.

my toy boat

a well done 1/700 scale model, 
beautifully detailed but far too fragile to game with,
and the figures are WAY too small to paint well!

     Next, some light cruisers! I also intend to re-write my rules and publish them here (I know that I have threatened to do that before).

Happy Gaming!

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Dupuy De Lome; Paint at last!!

Well, I finally got the turrets finished and threw a coat of paint on the model. I still need to buils the lifeboats and boat-handling equipment, but she is pretty close to done! (At last!)

 the crew seems happy