Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Franco-Prussian War Game Photos - 2009

Some photos from a Franco-Prussian War game from a year or so ago...I can't remember who won, although it was notable that the Prussians had one unit in enough of a bind that they formed square to repulse a charging French cavalry unit!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Russo-Japanese Russian Modification

I'm still basking in the glow....the Broncos have fired McDaniels (a few weeks ago), Tim Tebow shows promise (played a very nice game for a rookie), and John Elway appears destined for a front office job on the football side of operations.   The corner hasn't been turned, but at least they know where the corner is now.

Anyway,  on to gaming.

I have a bunch of Boxer Rebellion Japanese and Russians from Old Glory (25mm) that will be used for the RJW.  Unfortunately, the Russians don't have bayonets.  Russians without bayonets?  Say it ain't so!!  The photo shows the original figures, plus the modified figures with bayonets added.  The bayonets are just brass rod filed to a slight point, then cut off with clippers with the butt end filed smooth.   Super glued onto the rifles and there you have it - bayonets.   I like the look better.  Quick and easy to do.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

1:1 World War II Games

The title to this post should really be "Why I don't like 1:1 WW2 games".   First - read this excerpt from a newspaper article discussing the recent passing of a WW2 Medal of Honor winner, Mr. Biddle.
By T. Rees Shapiro Washington Post Staff Writer Wednesday, December 22, 2010

It was late December 1944 and a ragtag company of American cooks and clerks were stranded in Hotton, Belgium, about four miles from Mr. Biddle's unit near Soy.

The Battle of the Bulge had just begun, and the troops in Hotton were surrounded and outnumbered by German forces. They needed to be rescued. Leading the stealthy advance through the snowy forests was Mr. Biddle, who took over when his unit's two lead scouts were injured in a land-mine blast.

For his courageous actions during the 20-hour rescue operation, Mr. Biddle received the Medal of Honor, the highest U.S. decoration for valor.

Mr. Biddle, 87, died of congestive heart failure Dec. 17 at his home in Anderson, Ind.

"I'm not a hero, not at all," he told USA Today in 1999. "When the Army put me out front, they put the responsibility on me, and you think about that responsibility instead of the fear."

On Dec. 23, 1944, Mr. Biddle came under enemy fire as he crawled toward Hotton through snow and underbrush. In quick succession, Mr. Biddle killed three German snipers with "unerring marksmanship," according to his Medal of Honor citation.

He continued his advance 200 more yards before coming upon an enemy machine-gun nest. After killing its two occupants, he lobbed grenades at a concealed machine-gun position nearby and killed three more German soldiers. After signaling back to his unit to advance, Mr. Biddle moved forward, shot three more Germans and tossed his last grenade into a third Nazi machine-gun emplacement.

As darkness fell over the American soldiers, German tanks rumbled in the distance. Mr. Biddle volunteered to go out alone and scout the enemy armor location. He crawled through the woods, getting so close to German sentries that one stepped on Mr. Biddle's hand. He stifled a groan of pain into the snow beneath his face and returned to his unit unscathed.

Before I type any more - what an amazing action, and a humble and brave man.  We are lucky as a nation to have been served so well by our WW2 vets that are passing each day.

On to the game aspect.   As I read this, it hit me like a ton of bricks as to why I don't like 1:1 scale WW2 games - where individuals are represented with single based figures.   Read the combat summary above once again.   Sound familiar?   It sounds like EVERY single figure based 1:1 WW2 game I've read about or seen!  The extreme actions, extreme bravery, extraordinary achievements are present ALL THE TIME in those games.  Plus, add in an unreasonable amount of supporting weapons and armor, and it all adds up to comic book reality.  So - yet another explanation as to why I won't be doing that level of WW2 game.   I am really interested in the command aspect in combat, and when you try to represent the actions and behavior of each figure/person on the table, I think the command aspect goes out the window and it turns into "blam", "boom", and "Medals of Honor for everyone!" types of games.   I know a lot of gamers (the majority of WW2 gamers, in fact) love this scale of game, but its just not for me.

Back to painting....Austrian Cheveauleger  (spelling?   I could check....but does it really matter in this informal setting?  I think not!)

Friday, December 17, 2010

Things that make you go "Huh?"

To start off, my latest painted unit - Austrian cuirassier - waiting for basing to be finished!

I enjoy painting cavalry, but I find that I always have to work up the enthusiasm to clean up the next unit to paint.  Right now, I have the next unit (Austrian dragoons) sitting on the workbench.   For some reason, I just dread cleaning up and preparing cavalry for paint.  I don't like messing with the seams on horses, I don't like attaching arms...maybe I'm just lazy.

Which brings me to the title of this post:  Things that make you go "Huh?"

No doubt, I'll probably tick somebody off with things that make me go "Huh?", so I apologize in advance.  If you recognize yourself as any of these people - good for you, enjoy your hobby!

1.  Plastic, multi-part 28mm figures.   Huh?   I just don't get it.  Why on earth would I want to put that many pieces together.  "Build a man" Frankenstein soldiers.  Ick.  I'd rather prepare lead cavalry.

2.  The penchant for 1:1 WW2 games and rules.  Huh?  I have to believe this is tied to comic books, video games, and cheesy WW2 movies.   The common reason given for 1:1 preference is that any higher scale of representation is too abstract.   Huh?  Really?   So....you play that 1:1 squad with correct tactics?  The LMG is almost all the firepower?  Your rules reflect that at this scale, if you're seen you're dead?  It doesn't bother you to control each individual on the battlefield?  Zowie, bang, boom (insert explosion sound here).  

3.  ImagiNations.  Huh?  I really don't get this.  Our hobby is all historical fiction anyway...but I'd much rather that my fiction be "historical fiction".  I rather enjoy playing ACW with Confederates and Federals, rather than the "American Social War" with Corndoggians and Finials.   No purple tunics for me, thank you very much.

4.  VBCW.  Huh?   What's up with that?  Is the allure using goofy armor?  Maybe 'cause I'm not British....

5.  Steam Punk.   Huh?   I don't even know what that is.  

6.  Buckets 'o Dice.   Huh?   Is that faster than a chart or a CRT?  I don't like mangling my terrain and figures with dimples from the buckets o fun.  If I want more noise in the game I'll just turn the stereo up.

7.  2mm figures.  Huh?  HUH?   Why not paint rice grains?  I can cut a square of 60 grit sandpaper, paint it black and drybrush on some color, add a flag, and it looks just about the same..I once glued sand to a stand and did this...didn't look half bad....

8.  Zombies.  Huh?  Now, I like a zombie movie as much as the next guy....but zombie games?   Does everything have to be a game?

9.  Weird WW2.   Huh?   Isn't the real thing interesting enough?  Aren't there enough fascinating technology developments in 6 years from '39 to '45 that you don't have to create an SS Tiger-Walker with a Confederate flag flying from it?

10.   Opinionated wargamers that post stuff on their blog that most people don't care about reading.  Huh?  Sure glad I'm not one of those guys.....

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


I finally decided on the look and design for my rivers.   Here are some example photos of the first sections:

After many trials of design and finish, I ultimately decided on glossy, "blue-ish" water.  I'm really happy with the pieces - more to finish!

I'll detail the materials and steps to make them in the next update.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Denver Debacle Fire Head Coach

At last!  The Broncos fired head coach Josh McDaniels late this afternoon after posting 11 wins vs. 17 losses, botching countless player personnel decisions, dragging the organization down into an ethical issue with taping a small portion of the 49ers practice....it was well overdue.

I look forward to the Broncos coming back...this is the first small step of many in transforming from the Denver Debacle back to the Denver Broncos.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Austrian Generals and Artillery

Thought I'd take a few minutes to post some shots of my Austrian Napoleonic army's officer corps and artillery park.  I still want to add another battery or two of artillery, but I'm now working on cavalry (cuirassier).

That's all for now...lots of other projects underway as well...rules writing, terrain building, rebasing WW2 being completed.  More posts to follow.