Monday, October 29, 2018

Strange things on the telly, is that a pink T-72?

photo from  By Vitaly V. Kuzmin -, CC BY-SA 4.0,
     With an hour to kill and feeling to lazy to descend into the workshop or get a book to read I found myself channel-surfing. Flicking listlessly through the channels I suddenly found a title that tickled my fancy "Tank Biathlon". I figured I would watch it just to pass the time. As I watched it I was stunned by wide difference of results from over a dozen different teams all driving the same tank, a Russian T-72B3 (except that China drove their own  Type 96A). Skills included driving, main gun, coaxial MG and pintle mounted AAMG.

     These were the very best tank crews all from countries that operated the T-72 as part of their arsenal so the difference wasn't from lack of familiarity. I spent some time thinking about the huge gap between the performance of the "very best" crews from these different countries (the Kuwaiti team apparently managed to forget to downshift when climbing the hill and stalled their tank) and then considered just how wide a gap would exist between these elite crews and the average soldiers. You can find the video on Youtube

     Intrigued by such goings-on I dug around and found that NATO has been doing pretty much the same thing with the Strong Europe Tank Challenge (major fail in the marketable program title department!) which you can see here.   
     Now I think that my rules should include such "ace" crews in some way. I begin to understand such skilled warriors as Wittman and Carius.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Anybody interested in a 28mm D.I.Y. Pre-dreadnought?

    As I wind down the Lace Wars Project I find myself interested in some more Armored Cruiser action. Thinking about this reminded me of the Pirate Sloop  and the resulting Pirate Sloop Giveaway. Continuing this torturous line of thought I began to wonder if anyone would be interested in a "build-it-yourself " 28mm Pre-dreadnought kit. The model would consist of a hull blank with assorted parts for superstructure and turrets. The builder would need to provide card-stock, wooden dowelling and glue to complete the model. I would post a series of step-by-step articles to help guide the assembly of the model such as is found on my Adventures in Blueboard and Foamcore page.

     Please respond in the Comments section if this sort of madness is to your taste.

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Return to Lace Wars, the figure modification madness edition

     At this rate I will never get these done. While building a Dragoon unit I was once again bitten by the figure modification bug. No longer happy with just changing a pose slightly I started cutting up the arms and hands that are provided, searching through other kits for arm in different positions and generally burning through a ton of time coming up with new and different poses for the figures. In the end I have a unit of Dragoons, no two in the same pose, but still a unit of Dragoons.  I think the next unit will all be posed exactly the same, just to move things along a bit faster.

pistoleers; all but one have had significant surgery

Thursday, October 18, 2018

A Return to the Lace Wars Part....oh heck, I've lost count

may I present the Danish Lifgarden til Hest

     Strangely enough, now that I am not under pressure to get units done for the convention on the 27th, I find it easier to get units finished. In my quest to find units of different colors I chose the Danish Lifgarden til Hest (Guards Cavalry in English). Matching the foot guards in snazzy buff-yellow coats with carmine cuffs and turnbacks they are a sharp-looking unit. The blackened steel cuirass contrasts nicely with the bright colors of the uniform.

Pikeman's Lament Rules Modifications for Pro or Con

     Having learned from prior demo games I am going to make some small changes to the Pikeman's Lament rules for the convention. I have no problems with how the rules play and am completely happy with them, but, for use in a convention I have found these changes make things play just a bit smoother.

      1. Rolling for Orders. A unit that has failed top pass its Orders check does not end the turn for that player. Instead we will be playing as if it were TMWWBK , a failed Orders check simply freezes the unit in question for the rest of the turn and you move on to the next unit. This keeps a string of poor rolls from ruining somebody's day after they have driven all the way to the Con.

     2. Each side will be subdivided into separate forces, they will all act on the same initiative  but they will be entirely distinct forces. Morale and Command effects will be specific to the player's force alone.

     3. I will produce the Commanders Characteristics and have them ready on a card in advance. Each side will be randomly dealt a number of Commanders  Cards equal to the number of players. They may examine them and assign the commanders to the units as they see fit.

     4. I will provide Unit Data Cards for each unit, these will list the Orders and Actions as well as the movement rate of all the units as well as a note regarding any special rules that apply.

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Return to the Lace Wars, Sir Edward Villiers Regiment of Horse 1694

     I can breathe a little easier now that I have finished all of the extra units that I promised myself would be ready by Pro or Con. I present to you Lord Edward Villiers regiment of Horse circa 1694.

finally, a unit of Horse in red

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

War of the League of Augsburg Rules UPDATED ( a Fourth time)

field test of version 1.0 about to begin

     I was ruminating about my dissatisfaction with rules for the War of the League of Augsburg when it occurred to me that I have a word-processor and the ability to type (sort of). I then sat myself down and thought real hard about my impression of warfare before the advent of Marlborough (his impact seems to have completely overtaken the entire English wargaming community's view of the entire period 1688-1718). After I awoke from my nap the kernel of these rules was in my head, so I sat down and typed it. It seems to be working after a couple of tests. If you are interested in such things take a look and give them a try.

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Con Jobs

     The Housemartin came over a bit early today and we gave his (and my own) scenario for Pro or Con a go. First we played through my Pikeman's Lament game, the results were satisfactory but the test game showed a couple of points that would benefit from a minor tweak.

     From there we moved on to The Housemartin's Gangs of Rome scenario. I have to admit that I greatly enjoyed this skirmish level game and The Housemartin's collection of buildings certainly improved the pleasure of the game

      We are looking forward to seeing you all at the convention.

The Great Horse Race continues

     As I push ahead with my Lace Wars cavalry project I thought that I would take a moment and let my gentle readers into my working method. Not to suggest that this is the only way, or even a better way, to get things accomplished. It is just my way of breaking the project down into digestible sized pieces. As you have seen earlier I have assembled and mounted on bases all of my horses, next I assembled all of the legs (the only thing in the set that is provided with no options). In the case of this kit this is the lower half of the figure from the belt downward. After these were glued together and dried I tacked one set of legs to the back corner of a horse's base, see below:

the starting point for everything

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Old Fashioned Vaudeville

"hey Ed, do you smell glue?"
 Two men standing near a medieval cottage:
        LOU: (pointing excitedly) "Ooh, Ooh, herd of horses!"
        BUD: (with a hint of sarcasm) "Of course I've heard of horses"
        LOU: (pointing once again) "Not as in 'have you heard of horses" but as 'Look, there is a herd
                                                          of  horses"
        BUD: (noticing the large number of horses running by) "That's not a herd of horses"
        LOU: (frustrated) "A bunch of horses all running around together is a herd of horses, right?"
        BUD: (growing angry) "Of course it is, what are you, an idiot?"
        LOU: (pointing once more) "And that is a bunch of horses all running around together, right?"
        BUD: "Well, for the first time you are making sense, yes that is a bunch of horses together"
        LOU: (exasperated) "And would you be so kind as to explain why THAT bunch of horses,
                                          running around together ISN'T a herd of horses"
        BUD: "Don't you see, that isn't a herd of horses, that is Anton's next painting project!!!"
                                                                (drum sounds Ba-Da-Bum)

"yes I do Junior, but it is Testors, so we will be alright"

     OK, if I was any good as a comedy writer I could have Fernando paint my figures for me, but you just saw my skills in that vein. My self-imposed mission is to have all of these guys operational by Christmas. Once they are completed I will have 108 cavalry in service, which I hope will be sufficient for my rules.
     The hardest part is deciding which units to paint, I want to paint only real historical units even though they are being used in a semi-Imagination campaign. I would like to make full use of the variety offered by the Wargames Factory design and the wide choice of colors that units used during the period. Reader's suggestions will be considered but I warn you, there will be a red-jacketed unit, some Russian green-coated dragoons and at least one wild French unit in yellow with red facings (I swear it looks like they were dressing in Elton John's closet!).

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

A return to 28mm Lace Wars; French Royal Carabiniers

     Just in case everyone had thought that I had given up blogging and painting let me correct that misconception; I have NEARLY given up blogging and painting because I have been busy with all sorts of annoying "grown-up" stuff. Happily that is mostly behind me now and I can get back to playing with toy soldiers. First order of business was to complete the forces that I will need for the game that I am hosting at Pro or Con 2018 (nothing like a convention deadline to get the paintbrush back in action). I haven't finished them yet but I have just finished the French Royal Carabiniers .

armed with rifled muskets these elite "dragoons" 
were given to Louis XIV's favorite son, the Duc du Maine