Saturday, December 21, 2013

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!!!!

It's hard to believe that it is the end of the year already.  My daughter is out of school for her Christmas break, the tree is up and decorated. There are colored lights on the outside of our new home for the first time. Our bank account is dwindling with the buying of presents for family and friends.  So, Yes, it must be the end of the year. :-)

The move went smoothly into our new home.  The unpacking process has been slow but I have been able to find arrange most of my gaming supplies etc into one place and put some of it away. I did manage to run two games in November but I couldn't find my camera and was so involved with directing the games, I didn't take pictures with my phone at all.  Bad Game Master!
Tonight however, I will be able to play while one of the other guys runs a Bolt Action game.  We haven't tried the rule set yet so this will be a first for us.

I've been thinking about the coming year and how I want to approach it in hobby terms.

My 10mm AWI project.  I have collected all of the figures I need to get started. What I don't have desire to do is paint it all.  This might be a project I send out to DJD and have them do it for me.  Simple rationalization here is, if I want to use this year someone else has to paint them.

Terrain:  I have been toying with the idea of making more terrain boards, but I need to be able to store them and pack them securely so I can take them to the game store on game nights.  Haven't worked that out yet.  From my first set of boards, I have learned a lot from others out there on the web and from what I didn't like with my first ones.  The other option is to buy up some more of the GHQ terrain maker product and build up a sizable stash of those, but they aren't cheap, in the long run, and will take lots of time to make them up.  The last option is to get Kallistra's Hexon product. They are preflocked and it would take two boxes to fill a 6'x4' table.  The draw back here is they are expensive and they would have to ship from the UK.  I do have some of their hills which are rather nice and durable to regular gaming.
I am still on the fence about this and I don't want to make a hasty decision because whatever I invest in will have to work the first time for a long time.
Along with the terrain boards, I want to redo all of the Woods pieces I build a few years ago.
They are starting to show their wear from constant use and I'm finding that I want the forests/woods to have more depth to them.  Since most rules call for some sort of depth that a unit/figure can see into or fire through are a constant theme, it's time to widen the woods.  Again, after seeing what others have done I have a good idea as to how I want to do these.
Buildings and other assorted terrain features will be done too this year.  I have several houses for the AWI project that need some paint.

Other Figure Projects: I have several other projects that I have working that I would like to complete this year.  The first is my Arab/Israeli figures for 1967. This will be a skirmish level game for us.  I have armor and figures for the Israelis and armor for the Arabs but need figures for them.  Since this is somewhat small in scope I'm hoping to have this done quickly.
I have started to collect figures in 10mm for Rome vs. Carthage era gaming I want to do.  Most likely these wont see any paint or time on the table until the end of the year.
The last project is getting together some 1/600 scale jets for Check Your 6: Jet Age.  I have picked up some to do some Arab/Israeli fights but have yet to put paint onto the planes.  The other thing I want to do with this is have better bases, that allow the plane to show if it is in a bank, climb, dive etc.. attitude while playing.

Over all I think that is the plan for 2014.  I'm sure somewhere along the line I will see something that will catch my interest and totally derail what I've written here. :-)

I would like to thank everyone who has come out to this little corner of the internet and has read what I've written and has helped with some of the decisions I've made.  I hope to be a little more active on the blog in 2014 than I was in 2013.

Happy Holidays from Oregon! May you all stay safe and prosperous in the coming new year! 

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Moving is the real barometer of how much stuff you have.

Well the new house is at the underwriting stage and so far all of the hoops have been cleared to this point.  Hoping that the next week goes smoothly and the movers arrive on time on 11/4.

This move has certainly put into perspective how much modeling, miniature and gaming stuff I have collected over the last 4 years or so.  Yesterday I spent the entire day just packing up all of my stuff.  15 boxes later, and mind you I haven't even touched the miniatures yet, my little corner of our shared craft room is cleaned out.  I'm pretty sure the miniatures will be another 4 boxes.

My wife and I have been debating on how we want to setup the new craft room for the two of us.  It's a little larger and has more open wall space.  There's no closet in the bonus room, so shelving of some sort will need to be used.  Ikea has some interesting layouts and will mostly be used for the room.  I would almost like to store my miniatures so they can be viewed.  I was thinking of a glass case to put them in but not sure if that's the best way to do it.  Any suggestions?

Hopefully I will be back to posting a little more regularly after the move is completed. I also have to get my painting mojo back and get started on my 10mm AWI armies I have.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

First game of Chain of Command

First Chain of Command game completed amongst packing up my house and getting ready to move.  I hate moving!
Anyway, my group and I ran our first game of Chain of Command.  A simple meeting engagement scenario with the Americans vs. Germans.
We had two young guys playing this time and they hadn't really play historical games before.  They caught on rather quickly.
My friend James and Sam playing the Americans.

Anthony and I played the Germans.  Since I was teaching I let Anthony control the bulk of the German forces.

The patrol phase went smoothly for trying it the first time.  Both sides locked down pretty quickly.

The Americans deployed first taking the farm house.  A German squad took up a position to fire on the house.  The building was tough and caused no damage.
More American troops appeared.

German squad took a beating and fell back into a line of trees.  They would soon lose that jump off point.

More Americans came pouring over the hill.
German armor arrives!

Another squad tries to make it across the field but didn't make it and fell to the ground for more cover.

The German armor backs up the squad.
The Americans push forward.

The Germans tried to push around the other side of the board and took an American Jump off point.
The Americans didn't bite on the flank move and kept pushing forward.

The German squad took some shock from accurate American fire.
The German tank sits in the tree line and waits for the Sherman coming down the road.

Close Assault time!

No more german squad. Killed to the man.

The Sherman rolls down the road and survives a couple of shots from the German tank.

The game soon ended after this as the German morale dropped to zero and they retreated back off the board.  We were very happy with the game played and at how fast we all picked up the sequence the flow of the game quickly.  I did spend some time flipping through the rule book looking for things but that was expecting with a first run.
We will be playing this again in October when we get together.
I've been using Too Fat Lardies rules for several years now and I think this is their best product that they have put out.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Three new sets of rules have arrived!

This has been a busy month or so for rules purchasing.  Three new sets of rules have arrived and I can't wait to get these read and get some miniatures on the table.

This first set is Great War Spearhead II.  I have used Great War Spearhead since they came out in 2001 for my divisional level games.  The rules have always been easy to follow and teach to someone.  With the improvements I've read about on the Yahoo Group, this set of rules should be excellent.

I have enjoyed Sam Mustafa's rules Grande Armee for a long time.  Sam has a very clear vision of what he wants his rule sets to deliver and they provide an excellent game.  I have a copy of Maurice and we like how it plays.  Our group tends to fall towards ACW games so these seemed like a natural purchase for us.

 I have too many of the Too Fat Lardies' rules to count. I am a fan of their system and once they started talking about Chain of Command and I watched the YouTube videos on how to play, I was sold on them.  I will be running our first game this Saturday the 14th.  It should be fun and I will post photos and AAR after Saturday's game.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

New books for the library.

Recently, I picked up some new books.  Two of a historical nature and one on mixing paint.  I thought the one on mixing paint would be of interest to some of you.

The First book is called "Color Mixing Recipes".  I picked this up at the local JoAnn's Craft store and it was on sale at 50% off.  I am color blind to certain colors and usually I have to be very precise in choosing the color paint I need for my figures.  So I tend to ask a lot of questions and go with a generally recommended color and then mix a shade and highlight from that.  What I like about this book is the process for mixing what you need.

The process is pretty easy.  You decide what color you need and then you read the number of "parts" of paint you need to make that color.

There's roughly 450 mixing choices and one of them is Khaki. :-)  They also have Gun Metal, Terracotta, Prussian Blue and a few other handy military colors.

In this photo you can see this color is made with 1 part White and 1 part phthalo blue.

This one is 1 speck of alizarin crimson and 3 parts phthalo yellow-green.

What does all this mean?  Well at the end of the book is this Mixing Grid. Each little box is 1 part of color.  A speck is defined as "small as a pin head".  The grid goes up to 20 parts.  I know this book will get lots of use by me.

The next book I picked up and started reading right away is "Blood on the Snow".  I've been looking for more and more books about WWI on the Eastern Front and this one was recently published.  I'm about half way through this one.  I am a little disappointed in how the books information has been presented.  The author has lumped tons of information together about the units in action and what section of the front they are on and it has gotten very confusing to follow.  Also his standard phrase, which appears about every third sentence is "the troops suffered severely from the lack of food, cold and poor winter gear."  Got it.  Lets move on and stop repeating it.

I'm looking forward to reading this one.  I'm planning on running some 15mm Fist Full of Tow 3 games at a 1:1 scale.

Friday, July 5, 2013

The Battle for Sicily 1266

About two weeks ago I put together a Piquet: Band of Brothers game pitting the Angevin army and the Sicilian army in 1266.
The armies, when I drew them up, couldn't be more different.  The Angevin army came out on top with very powerful Knights and some really great infantry units.  Their CnC was average and the two other commanders were poor and skilled.  What really hurt them was getting only 20 morale chips.  The Sicilian army ended up with sub-par troops with 3 vacillating units (you have to roll them up upon first contact to know what they are).  Their commanders all ended up being average but they scored big with 36 morale chips.

The battle field was simple and well picked by both commanders.  The Sicilian's lined up on the right side of the battle field.  The Angevin's lined up on the left.  The hill at the far end provided the only obstacle in the entire battle.
Some of the Sicilian Knights prepared for battle.

More of the Sicilian army arrayed for battle.

The Angevin army pushed the infantry forward.  This would be a fatal mistake at first.

That hill at the far end with Angevin troops.

Saracen Archers setup to fire at the enemy.

The bold Sicilian Knights charge across the field of battle and slam home in the infantry.  Destroying them to the man.

The Sicilian Knights shift and stabilize their line.
The Angevin Knights meet the challenge and take on two of the Sicilian units and hold their own.  The Angevin training helped out in holding the line.

A routed Sicilian Knight unit.

A little confusion in the Sicilian rear.  A Angevin Knight unit charged into the flank of Sicilian knights routing them and were poised to flank another unit.

An Angevin reversal.  Their knight unit gets disrupted and falls back but the Sicilians don't follow up.

More routed Sicilian Knights.  The Sicilian commander was looking rather glum at this point.  Most of his knight units were routed or disrupted.  The teeth of the army was hurting at this point.

The far side of the battle field finally sees some movement.

A long look at the routed Sicilian units.

You will also notice that there is a lack of Angevin Infantry units left.

It what could only be described as a miracle the routed knights of the Sicilians passed their morale tests and swung around ready to fight.  The beating the Angevin infantry took was enough to wipe out their available morale chips.  The Angevin commander fled the field with his army following behind.

This is one of the reasons I love playing Piquet.  The games never play out the way you think they will go.  There are always some sort of reversal in the game that sends it in a direction you didn't think it would go.
We had a great time with this little battle and will probably journey here again.