Monday, December 4, 2023

The Many Troubles of Marius A.K.A. Thracing Marius


So, recently my scheduled cleared enough to let Anton and I get in one of our ancients matches.  Randomly book One was selected (again) and armies were selected in secret this time.  Anton chose to return to the Marian Romans.  I went out of the box and selected the Thracians.  I out scouted Anton 49:13 so he had to deploy first.  Below are our initial deployments.  I placed 5 wooded areas and a steep hill, but only got 2 of the woods to stick, this was not an auspicious start for my rough terrain army.

Wednesday, November 22, 2023

Gaming Update, Game at my place Saturday 25NOV23 7pm

          Game will be at my place this Saturday 25NOV23 at 1900hrs.

           Be there or we will insult your ancestors.

Monday, November 13, 2023

Wargames Atlantic 28mm Great War British; Ready for paint at last!


the whole crew; ready to do battle with my painting skills

        Sorry about the long delay between posts but things have been a tad hectic around these parts of late. I have been slowly building these lads over the last ten days or so, striving to ensure that each figure is as different and unique as possible. This is made more difficult due to the smaller selection of weapons available to the the British P.B.I. as compared to the Germans that I did a while ago. 

       I decided to depict the troops as they would be organized for trench raiding or attacking. By the later half of the war the British had given up on the traditional "riflemen are the army" approach and greatly diversified their training and equipment. The whole "walking slowly into machine-gun fire" approach was also recognized as simply mass-murder and tactics, while still evolving, had been vastly revised. While still not up to the German Stosstruppen  level of integration the British had recognized that decision-making and on-call firepower needed to be available to the Squad leader, or at least platoon levels.

        To this end they began organizing troops into attack files of a leader, a couple of soldiers equipped for trench clearing, followed by riflemen to hold positions and backed up by soldiers equipped with rifle-grenades and, last but far from least, a Lewis LMG team. The Wargames Atlantic set provides for all of these except for the rifle-grenadiers (a matter easily fixed with some simple modifications).

Friday, November 3, 2023

The Armée de l'Air arrives (at least some of it) at last

        During a part of my reorganization process (which is pretty much a continuous effort to squeeze more and more toys into a finite amount of space) I was confronted with the realization that I had more model aircraft in my "Spats and Such" collection that there was room available in the Heap of Embarassment*. A sober-minded inventory revealed that there were a dozen of so that could reasonably be passed along to Ebay but that still left me with several kits that had no home. I impose few rules on my hobby but one that I do try to honor is that everything must fit into the assigned space.

        While considering the unhappy thought that I might have to add these rare and wonderful aircraft to the Ebay pile I had an epiphany; I could build them and shift them from the guilt-laden "projects" section of The Vault to the "completed" section as minis that were ready to be used in a game. It also occurred to me that if I built the kits that were in the largest boxes it would free up more space. I didn't quite get that accomplished, but I did get four models in large(ish) boxes assembled and painted. Three of these belonged to the Armée de l'Air, an air force that I had rather badly neglected in my building program.

Friday, October 27, 2023

Last Plane Out

        In my continuing effort to clear at least a small portion of my backlog of unfinished projects I got this little bird done and off the workbench. Rich Uncle Pat had dropped it off ages ago along with some other models to use as eye-candy in his continuing series of African Cold War games. I got the other two done pretty quickly but this model is a terrible eastern-European kit and it was so horrid that I almost trashed it. My inherent cheapness and stubbornness made me push through and see what I could make of it. It still reeks as a model but it will do as a prop in a wargaming setting. Bonus points to anyone that can recognize where the decals came from.

Wednesday, October 25, 2023

28mm Wargames Atlantic Partisans, Painted At Last!

        It has been simply AGES since I put these models together. I had started painting them and then.......well you know the story; too many new "bright shiny" toys kept appearing. In an effort to get at least a couple of projects FINISHED this year I sat myself down and got these lads sorted out. Really, painting a few dozen figures should not take a year! So here they are, painted at last. We will start with an archeologist famous for his disdain for Nazis. You can trace his genesis here.

not an exact match with the famous Doctor Jones,
Illinois Smith, perhaps?

Monday, October 23, 2023

Wargames Atlantic 28mm Great War British Infantry

        Well, at long last we get to see these in the flesh. I am perhaps the world's worst person when it comes to patience, I absolutely hate waiting. But, in this case, I will have to say it was worth the wait. These figures are very very good. This set will provide you with thirty of the ubiquitous P.B.I. that carried the "Burden of Empire" across the globe. As with all other W.A. products these are cleanly cast in a firm (but not fragile) gray plastic with no flash and very few mold-lines. Common with other W.A. kits almost every permutation of headgear is covered; soft-hat, steel helmets, steel helmet and gasmask, tropical pith helmets and steel helmets with cloth cover (I am going to have to find some use for the hundreds of spare heads that are beginning to fill my "bits bin").

front of the box, the combination of excellent artwork and nicely painted miniatures is very effective

Saturday, October 21, 2023

When Empires Collide, A Comedy In Five Acts


       Neo Babylonians and Marian Romans, not two empires that ever ran into each other and not two armies that get used very much in Ancient Gaming but I and Anton selected them for our most recent game to amusing Results.   Here are the initial deployments and terrain.  Anton's Marian Romans are proximal, and my Neo Babylonians are distal.  

Wednesday, October 18, 2023

Playing with geometry, or it has come time to sink the sunk costs and rethink things


       I admit it, I am a stubborn person. I tend to stick with things even after it has become obvious that they just aren't working out (as is evidenced by my continuing pursuit of perfecting the the hotdogerito, a hot dog with cheese rolled in a soft taco shell and deep-fried- I swear it will work out eventually!). But in this case I am willing to finally admit defeat. My Red Stars and Rising Suns rules suffer from a fatal flaw that I adopted at inception and was too blind to see. 

       That flaw is the adoption of the concept of hexagonal movement even though I had developed a way to chart movement without the ridiculous constraint of sixty-degree turns. The problem hovered at the edge of my consciousness as I struggled to build movement charts to reflect the different capabilities of the various 1930's era aircraft that I was designing the rules to depict. The realization finally dawned on me that there was no need to ape the six-point movement system that I had inherited from other air war games meant to be played on a hex-map. The circles that I had made could have as many different angles as I wished to paint on them. Simply using octagons would add a good bit more subtly to the turns without much extra complication (aside from me having to re-work all of my existing maneuver books). Octagons are impossible on a printed map as they do not link up without dead spaces. Moving diagonally on this surface would be the same as moving using squares.

       However, without the need to link in a rigid pattern this allows us to move at a forty-five degree angle and maintain a proper center-to-center movement distance. 

       I am not yet totally sold on the idea. A ten-point system would also make sense, or even a twelve-point model. Sailors use sixteen points on the wind don't they? Of course there is the unintended outcome of the maneuvers using up more table-space the more points of turn that we add to the circles. A minimum-sized one hundred-eighty degree turn is two and a third hexes, three octagons and God only knows how many sixteen point spaces (my guess is eight, but I'm unwilling to work that out).
       It seems that I'm in for a LOT of chin-scratching, bourbon-sipping experimentation before I get this worked out. I am open to reader suggestions and ideas.

Tuesday, October 17, 2023

Airfix 1/72 Henschel HS-123 in Nationaist Chinese colors


       I swear this is the last 1930's bird for a while! After the last two kits I needed to fall back on something that I knew would be a simple and pleasant build; as I was out of Revell Polikarpov I-16s I rummaged around in the Heap of Embarassment until I found this oldie but goodie. I have built this kit twice in the last couple of years; once as a Luftwaffe dive-bomber and again as a fighter from the Spanish Civil War.  I knew this would be, as we used to say, a "shake and bake" much unlike the last couple of models I had worked on. Assemble was a breeze, no putty needed at all and just some light sanding on the seams and a mold-line or two to clean up. I had decided to build this one as a Nationalist Chinese aircraft because the paint scheme was simple and my Chinese Air Force needs to buff it's bombing capabilities.

Thursday, October 12, 2023

Gaming Update My Place 14OCT23 1900hrs

        I will be running a game at my place this Saturday, October 14th at 7pm.

        Most likely WW2 tanks, but I'm still deciding

Thursday, October 5, 2023

Redeemed by the decals, Part II, the MisterCraft PZL 11 in 1/72

       I have been on a roll building 1930's aircraft and decided to add another plane to my tiny Polish Air Force. A couple of years back I had purchased a few of these kits from an Ebay source in Poland at very reasonable prices. Up until now they have been tucked away in The Vault. I figured that I ought to add another PZL P-11 to the force since it was three years since I built the first one (a Heller kit which was very nice). Despite being rather newer (and having much better art-work and decals) this kit was a bit of a trudge. Flash on the delicate parts, vague and inaccurate instructions, fit issues and poor design all contributed to a less-than-happy build. What kept me at it was the bold and attractive decal schemes that the kit came with. It seems that in the 1930's every Air Force was more concerned with a flashy appearance than they were with the practicalities of camouflage.

flashy box-art, yes, I am a sucker for it