Thursday, January 31, 2019

UPDATED!!! Upcoming Convention Schedule

     I have managed to survive Spartacon, great venue as always and the weather was suspiciousl;y gentle once again, running two games back-to-back was taxing. I two local conventions still on the books; Flintcon and Battlefields. I plan on attending both. My WW2 tactical rules withstood the test of over a dozen players being exposed to the system for the firast time and the group added a lot of new perspectives which will be reflected in upcoming modifications. Flintcon will see me presenting a medieval castle under siege as well as another go-round of the World War Two game, probably late '44 or a Fall of Berlin scenario. Battlefields is far enough off that I haven't had to make up my mind yet but I will be bringing at least one game there as well.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

OODA Loops,Training advantages, Perceived Time and other Wacky Thoughts (now with the card deck and templates)

      First off I would like to say thanks to my playtesters; R.U.P., J&R, Trunkmonkey, The Housemartin, Brad and Joe; your input has been valued and considered and the number of weekends of gaming time you devoted to my loony ideas is greatly appreciated. That said what follows is entirely my own fault, they all said I was nuts.

     As I was busy building stuff over the last few weeks I find that the activity of the hands frees the mind to wander along different paths. One of the things that I have been playing around with is a way to represent the advantage that highly skilled, highly motivated and confident troops have over their opponents. Simply making them shootier, or tougher to kill doesn't represent the advantage because the opponent still has a full range of choices and reactions every turn, they are just not as good at the mechanics (don't misread me there, the mechanics are part of the well-spring of better troops).

Warning! What comes next is a whole lot of observational and theoretical blather and then a set of  rules for WW2 tanks that is definitely a W.I.P.

Thursday, January 10, 2019

And we're offf to the Show!!!!

     I have finished the Wreck of Remagen project just in time to crate it all up and ship it out to Michigan Toy Soldier so that they can take it on the show circuit.  But, I thought that I would let my loyal viewers (and any confused soul who has wandered here inadvertently) a first glance at the completed gaming table. All of the panels except the bridgehead one are geomorphic. they can be rotated and re positioned to give a different field of play in each game. The model was constructed entirely of blueboard (except for the sand and kitty litter) so it weighs nearly nothing.

the Park will gain a statue for the top of the hill 
as soon as I can figure out where I put that crate of 54mm collector figures a few years back

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

General Ludendorff, here is your bridge

     In a burst of energy I managed to get the other five panels painted, flocked and ready to go, which left me with no further excuses for not tackling the towers that are the iconic symbol of the Ludendorff Bridge. I took a long look at the photos of the bridge, fired up my faithful assist Proxxie and got to cutting foam. After a few hours I had this.

the massive octagonal towers featured machine gun positions near the base

Monday, January 7, 2019

Now all that is left is the towers

     In a burst of creative energy I completed the rest of the panels that represent the ruins of Remagen, now all I have to do is figure out how to get the two massive towers and a railway onto the remaining 2'x2' panel. Needless to say there will be a cartoonish amount of compression going here.

along the way the park and the "not an intersection" panels got a coat of gray paint
the loony road net was inspired by my trip to Boston;
the city where you can see where you want to be but none of the roads will get you there

the pile of blue rubble in the corner is where the towers will stand 


suitably grim, 
but how do I compress it without losing that absurd sense of massive Teutonic power

Sunday, January 6, 2019

The Damage Continues to Spread..

     So I had a couple of hours to myself this afternoon. Football had entered a phase that leaves me cold and no hockey on that I cared to watch so I found myself in the workshop once more. I need to complete five more panels to go with the test panel so there was nothing for it but to get stuck in. I framed up two more 2'x2' panels and got to work, first was a park with a small hill in the middle the other panel was a non-intersection. These are intended for use with What a Tanker rules and from past experience long lanes of fire tend to lead to static games of sniping. To avoid this I'm doing my best to break up the roadway with obstructions that shorten line of sight and allow lots of maneuver

knowledge is power (aided by gravity)
I'm sure that the verbose Sir Charles Oman 
had no idea how helpful he would be to my terrain projects 

Saturday, January 5, 2019

Sometimes a new coat of paint can't make everything look better

     Having finished the build on the test panel last night I got up early and put a coat of dark gray housepaint over the whole thing. After a couple pof hours of drying-time I then gave the interior of the buildings a good spray with Krylon Primer Matte Black followed by a lighter spray of Gray Primer followed with a dusting of Matte White Primer. After allowing this to dry I think that might just be enough to make this good to go for a game......just five more panels to go!

"mistint gray", I wonder if that is a real color?
it has been a bit since I did any ruins,
 I should have held off on the kitty litter until after painting,
it soaked up an amazing amount of paint

Friday, January 4, 2019

I Ruined It!....a little re-think

      Well, that is a bit of a lie; it implies that there was a "think" going into this project. There is nothing like hands-on to bring things into focus. So I took a deep breath and did the most unlikely thing, I stopped in mid-stride and decided to build one 2x2 foot panel rather than going whole hog  and ending up in the wrong place. Having learned the hard way with the Castillo project I decided to use a wafer-board base and attach a frame around the underside before I started adding buildings (there were a few scary moments while I was nailing the completed Castillo model to the frames)

with the frame drying I began to try out different looks, 
 my first thought was to run the roads at a 45 degree angle

Thursday, January 3, 2019

Madness moving at break-neck speed!

      I have to confess, few things get my wargaming blood up more than a new, over-the-top, terrain project. I have been throttling back since the Castillo because my space is finite (ample, but there is a limit to everything). However, when the proprietor of the local brick-and-mortar suggested that he needed some interesting terrain to haul around to wargaming conventions to promote his blend of What A Tanker and the Chibi Tanks that have flooded the modelling scene lately I couldn't resist the chance to build something big, silly and scheduled to leave my house just after completion. They were planning on hosting a game reflecting the US seizure of the Ludendorff Bridge at Remagen near the end of WW2 and needed a battered town and the German end of the bridge.....how could I resist?

 so there I was, with my trusty Proxxon Hot Wire cutter and a pile of blueboard.........
how many of my crazy stories start like that?

Trying to keep up the pace....

     I might have over-done it on New Years Day, but I'm going to try to keep up the pace as long as I can manage. Today I completed the ME-109e that I had assembled on the 1st. I had forgotten how much longer aircraft take to paint. This wasn't helped by my refusal to buy special Luftwaffe colors for this one-off project which resulted in my hand-mixing all of the colors. All the same, the Airfix kit is a delight to build and very well detailed with good decals. I built it with the gear up and trimmed off the props (I resisted the urge to put a thin sheet of clear plastic on as spinning blades) then stuck a bit of steel to the bottom to give my magnetic aircraft flight base a thing to hold onto. No IPMS show stopper here but a decent looking model all the same.

again I'm left to wonder why they bothered with camouflage 
when the aircraft is covered with huge markings and has yellow wingtips

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Hitting the Ground Running

    Having looked backward in my last post I have decided to look only forward with this one. To start the year off right I spent most of New Year's day in the workshop and got a couple of things dome and a few more started. Having a hard deadline of 12JAN19 (Spartacon) really put a fire under me to complete some of these tasks so I can't claim an entirely altruistic motivation. Truth be told all of these little projects are to support games that I am running there. I'm signed up for another convention in February and a further one in March; hopefully I can maintain this level of productivity!

templates for my WW2 tank game; artillery, strafing-run, dive-bomber
these support mission come in three levels of intensity so the templates reflect that;
mounting board and acrylic paints did the trick

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Battle of Almanza 1707-2007 reenactment video

 I just wish I knew enough Spanish to understand what they are shouting for orders

      I found this interesting, particularly for the example of firing by rank and how very open the formation was when executing it.  Almanza was the battle in eastern Spain that pretty much doomed the cause of the Hapsburg pretender to the throne. The uniforms are interesting, I wish I had seen this earlier on; I would certainly have wanted that purple and red unit (seen in the background of the above picture) in my collection!