Friday, December 31, 2010


To everyone who surfs past this blog, from my family to yours Happy New Year.  May you be prosperous and healthy in 2011.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

War Gaming Christmas Present

My wife and daughter bought me the best war gaming gift ever for Christmas.  How lucky could one guy get?

Friday, December 24, 2010


From my family to yours: Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
I love this poem, I hope you will enjoy it too.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Looking for the maker of these bases

I am on a mission to find the maker of these bases.  I bought these bases a few years ago and I don't remember who made them or where I bought them, so I'm looking for some help in finding out who carries them.  They are plastic and I believe they were being sold as bases for ships, but I'm not entirely certain about that anymore.
If you know please leave a comment for me.  I appreciate your help.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Closing the Circle: 1914

Played another game of "Through the Mud and Blood" by Too Fat Lardies this evening.  I borrowed another scenario from the "Stout Hearts, Iron Troopers" scenario book and instead of having the USMC attacking a dug in German force, I place the Germans in the attack with a hastily dug in Russian force.  Borrowing from the readings of Dennis E. Showalter's book "Tannenberg, Clash of Empires" and drew up a hypothetical battle.  Based on my reading of the book I found that a similar situation occurred where the Germans started to close in the Russian army.  The Russians in one area had dug in along a wooded area in the attempt to stop the advancing Germans.  The Germans had to cross a long open field before reaching the woods.  The scenario in the Lardies supplement worked the same way.  So I made my adjustments and drew up the two opposing side's orders.  The Russians had four squads, each with a big man.  The squads were not at full strength. One squad had as few as five men left.  They had one SOS barrage (or whatever the Russian term is for this) and a HMG.  The Germans attacked with two Platoons of four squads each and only a Prelim Bombardment to start off the game.
Here's a picture of the table before the setup of the blinds.
The fields in the middle are suppose to extend all the way across the middle of the board but I did not have enough felt for that (so in your minds picture it that way.)  The Russians are dug in along the tree line on the left edge of the board, the Germans start on the right side just behind the edge of the fields.
Here you can see the starting positions of both sides.  The Germans have tough fight ahead of them.  The fields only provide cover if the Germans go to ground, other than that the fields are a hinderance to sighting and movement.
Some really good spotting rolls by the Russian commander reveals some German squads as they dash across the fields.
A view of the Germans attempting to cross the field.  Since I was playing the Germans, I had decided to use all of my dice for movement.  I wanted to avoid getting caught in the open.  I ended up not being that lucky.
The Russians Forward Observer called in his SOS Barrage and bad things happened from then on for the Germans on the right hand side of the board.  The initial barrage caused 10 causalities in three different squads.  From then on the right side of the battle folded for the Germans.  Other than one squad who made it across the field and came into close combat range and then promptly lost and fell back, not one squad advanced any further than the trees.
The left hand side of the table was a little different.
The left hand side of the table went the German's way from the beginning.  The prelim-bombardment did some damage to the Russians facing these Germans and that caused the Russian rifle fire to be ineffective.  Again a mad dash was made across the field, since I was totally expecting another shower of artillery shells to land.  It never arrived.

The Germans kept advancing and firing and caused the Russians to lose their Bottle (or rout) due to excessive shock points.  It was at this point that the Russian commander called the game.  Once we had decided to stop playing, I found out why the second SOS barrage never arrived.  The Russian commander misunderstood the pre-game briefing and thought he only had one chance at firing the barrage, where in truth he had at least one more barrage to drop.  We called it poor communication between the Russian high command and him.
We had fun with this scenario and will be trying it out again in the near future.  Here are a few other photos from the game.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

NUTS! WWII skirmish game

Its been a little bit since my last post. Life has gotten in the way of having fun.  This past Saturday I ran a game of Nuts! by Two Hour Wargames.  If your not familiar with the rules, it is a fast paced 1:1 skirmish game, which uses an innovative system of reactions to move the play along.  I first played this system at the Enfilade Convention this past year and loved them.
I have run a few games for the guys in my group and I feel like I am finally at the point where I can run the rules comfortably. So this game was a Russian Recon Mission using two squads of 10 men each against two squads of Germans of 10 men each.  One German squad was broken up into two groups of 5 men and placed at different areas on the board.  This was also the first time where I did all of the rolls for the Germans as NPs or Non-Player figures.  The Russians were control by my friends Garland and Andy.
The first initiative phase went to the NP Germans.  The roll forced the German squad out of their house and into view of one the Russian Squads!

Needless to say the result was pretty bloody. Two Germans were KIA, the Squad Leader was Stunned, one was Out of the Fight and the last guy Ducked back around the house. It wasn't too long before the Squad Leader was captured and sent back to be interrogated and the last of the small squad were dispatched.
Meanwhile the rest of the Germans started to move towards the sound of the fighting and ended up getting caught out in the open, while the Russians started to spread out across the board.
The Russians had the edge in this battle and made the Germans pay for their costly mistakes.
The Germans take refuge in the trees.
Before long the Germans couldn't put up much of fight.
I called the game about 2 1/2 hours after we started.  As usual Nuts! games are quick and bloody and the system really supports the gamer who uses good tactics and punishes those who don't.  I did realize afterwards that I did make a mistake on the first roll for the NP Germans.  The did not have to leave the house after all, I had read the instructions incorrectly.  Oh well, it was fun night anyway.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Making a full forest

On the Piquet yahoo group, someone had asked how we model full size forests.  So I thought I would post how I've made mine.  I'm sure this isn't anything new but I hope it inspires someone to try it out.
First off I cut out some random shapes out of MDF and then primed them Black.
I then cut some dowels so that they were 1 inch taller than the tallest figure I would use in our games.  In this case I cut the dowels 2 inches tall so I could put a 15mm Sherman tank under them.  I then glued the dowels to the bottom of the base, using either 3 or 4 dowels per piece to make it stable.
The next step was to use some Woodland Scenics Bush Foliage.  I broke up a few different colors into different sized chunks.  I then glued the pieces to the MDF.
I found using Hot Glue was a great way to secure the pieces to the MDF.
When done I let the whole thing dry.  The only thing I didn't do right away, was to paint the dowels.  Next time I will do that as one of my first steps.
Here is one of the pieces in action.
This was a World War I game I based on the Eastern Front.  I hope you all like it.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

The Battle of Dvinsk April 5th, 1915

My group and I played another WWI scenario using Too Fat Lardies' "Through the Mud and Blood" rule set.  I took the basis of the scenario from the Lardies' supplement "Stout Hearts and Iron Troopers" scenario 8 "Race to the Sea".  Instead of a battle between the Brits and Germans, I placed the battle in Russia in 1915.  I changed some of the victory conditions giving the Germans the need to protect the bridge in the middle of town and Russians the job of blowing it up to slow up the German advance.  The premise of the scenario detailed both sides starting on the table edge and moving to their objectives but the forces are spread out off board and would come in piece meal starting with Turn 2 and the flip of Allied or Central Powers turn card.  Each flip of one of those cards allowed a new squad to enter the board at one of the roads leading into town.  Here's a picture of the terrain before the game started.
The first picture shows the table from the Russian side of entry.  The second is the table lengthwise with the bridge in the middle of the table.
Both sides rolled randomly for their entry road each time a force entered and there was the possibility of 6 entry spaces for each side. (If I had a good photo editing software, I would have marked them).
The first turn witnessed the Russians moving up the road to the bridge very quickly and the Germans being held off where they started with the turn of snifter card.
The second turn witnessed the German blinds card coming up first and then the German turn card for their second set of reinforcements arrived in the same place for both blinds.  Out of the blinds you see two are dummies.
The third turn the German turn card arrived first and a third set of forces entered along the same road and then the German blinds card arrive and the Germans seized the day and started to move.  3 of the 6 blinds are dummies.  This same turn the Russians were able to bring on their second set of reinforcements.
They too seized the opportunity and moved out to cover the bridge.  There are four blinds on the table, one of them is out of the picture at the bottom of the screen.  2 out of the 4 are dummies as well.
A really good spotting roll by the Germans revealed a Russian squad moving up the road.  The two dice next to the unit are its action dice.  At this point the snifter card came up quickly for two turns and no real movement happened.  The sides used their dice to attempt to spot each other with little success.  This was about to change.
The Russians find a German squad strung out along the road.  The Germans repay this by finding another Russian unit by the bridge.
The Russians dig in to hold the bridge long enough to get their engineers in place to blow up the bridge. The Germans continue to advance and more Russians arrive on the board.
Another German unit becomes revealed and takes cover around the house and barn.  In the distance you can see two more German blinds moving to out flank the Russians.
The Russians draw first blood by killing two stands and causing two shock points.
The Russians continue to march forward. The tables are about to turn in favor of the Germans.
The Germans are spotted in the woods across the river and they brought with them a HMG!  Its about to get bloody.
That Russian unit in the house was next to the bridge but determined fire by the Germans forces the Russians to retreat when the lose their Bottle and fall back.  The two dice in the middle of the unit are the number of shock points on the squad (11).
The Russians reveal another squad.  In the back of the squad are the four engineers tasked with blowing the bridge.
Another Russian blind comes up to draw German fire to take the heat off the squad with the engineers. The die next to the squad leader reveals 5 shock points causing the squad lots of headaches in trying to move into position.
Now you see the blind, now you see the troops in the trees.  The murderous HMG fire caused enough shock points and kills to make it fall back.  The squad at the base of the bridge now has 11 points of shock effectively pinning it in place.
At this point the Russian commander called the game due to the inability to remove enough shock points from his troops to be effective.  This battle decidedly went to the Germans with the Russians retreating licking their wounds.
Overall this was a good scenario and collectively as a group we had decided that the Russian commander should have moved over the bridge with his first unit to help stem the flow of the Germans giving the Russians time to bring up the reinforcements.