As I approach six decades on this planet there are fewer and fewer things that get me really excited but I got an email today that has me truly in a state. The National Park Service sent me a link to a laser-scanning survey of Fort Matanzas conducted by the University of South Florida. The documents that are part of this survey include a 3-D scan and model of the Fort as well as careful dimensional drawings. The quality is superb, the documentation excellent and best of all it is free!
an example of the superlative renderings from the USF report
You can download the entire report by signing up with academia.edu or just view it on line.
Now I have no excuses for not building the model of the Fort that I have been going on about.
Best of all they are probably going to be surveying the CASTILLO soon!
I wonder if I could find somebody with a 3-D printer that could handle this..........
Justice&Rule and Honest Dan joined forces to buy the latest Kickstarter from Reaper minis. I am not generally a fan of these grab-bag collections of figures but I have to admit that this is one that I wish I had gotten on board with. J&R brought the recently arrived box of minis by to show off.
I have always liked the quality of the sculpts of Reaper miniatures and these are very much up to standard. Molded in a semi-soft plastic they are superbly sculpted and elegantly detailed with excellent attention to proportion and balance. Frankly, I am astounded by them. A staggering value as well at an average cost of around a dollar a figure (and some are very large multi-part figures) the price is impossible to beat.
So, with no further ado, feast your eyes on just a tiny portion of the collection.
I have mentioned in several posts that I needed to add boasts to my model warships and never got around to adding them. I have fund a bit of time and decided to build them rather than adding another larger model. The materials needed are simple; heavy card stock and a strip of one inch wide balsa about 3/32 thick, a razor knife, a pencil, a pair of scissors, and a ruler are that is needed by way of tools.
the first step is to draw out the sides of you boats on the card,
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.
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.
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
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
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!
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!