Wednesday 23 December 2009
The family are recovering by degrees (and many thanks for all the good wishes - they have been much appreciated) and the last of the prezzies has been acquired and will be wrapped and tree bound early this evening after the last of the food shopping has been tucked away. The beers and wine celler have been placed on Defcon 2 or yellow alert in readiness for the digestive onslaught and I am at the happy stage of 'if-we-have-not-got-it-then-we-wont-be-getting-it'. It will be nice to have the break and it is my avowed intention not to set foot out of the door until boxing day!
In closing then, I hope that everyone has a great time and that Santa has remembered at least a few of the items on your lists - socks are useful but not as interesting as an Osprey or a battle pack of some description!
**Health, wealth and happiness is the toast - Cheers one and all!**
Sunday 20 December 2009
Cursing a cruel fate I set about tackling each of the tasks in turn and was well into them when the thought suddenly struck me. This minor weather blip has caused all manner of mechanical glitches of the frozen kind so how must it have been on the Russian Front 1941 - 1945 when temperatures down to minus plenty and then some were the norm during winter. It certainly puts a perspective on the sheer scale of the weather issue. If a simple thing like a back door lock and a cat flap can keep me amused for a couple of hours whilst suffering from a relatively minor winter ailment imagine trying to get a tank moving whilst suffering from frostbite, bronchitis and sundry other more serious cold related unpleasantness whilst people were busily trying to perforate you in numerous and interesting ways..........
Anyone that has not read Guy Sajer's - The Forgotten Soldier should do so for a fraction of the point I am clumsily trying (and he was much better able to) to make. It is also something that should realistically be factored into any winter or extreme weather games - the issue of winter mechanical reliability.
As mentioned yesterday, my new Bulgarian 75mm artillery has arrived for the Balkan Wars set up so I can at last tackle the serious business of preparing to get them (and of course the Turks) painted.
Friday 18 December 2009
I will have to go back to work on Monday so am hoping that the intensive regime of medication will kick in and get me there - sadly I don't get any sick pay!
I have managed to resolve the Bulgarian 75mm gun situation though so all is not lost!
Thursday 17 December 2009
Should any readers be able to shed any further light on this I would appreciate it - as would my 15mm Bulgarian gun crews!
Tuesday 15 December 2009
The one issue that is a little thornier though concerns regimental flags. I have seen some pictures of Bulgarian flags - of a pattern a little earlier than the Balkan Wars - that look very similar to Prussian/Russian types but I have no clue as to whether or not this is a standard version or whether the colours are regimental specific. There is always the old standby of the national flag which I could use if need be. I did find a Bulgarian military website, in Bulgarian, which had some great photographs on it but frustratingly little detail as far as flags are concerned.
The Turks are a little easier in that all their flags appear to be red with a white crescent with a stand of arms or crossed cannon barrels in gold with a gold fringe.
I suspect that just using the national flags in each case will have to suffice in the absence of anything more concrete.
Sunday 13 December 2009
www.irregularminiatures.co.uk so reference should be made to them for closer examination if need be.
These are very nice and certainly look the part - I was particularly taken with the Bulgarian Infantryman advancing as he has a variant with a blanket roll over his shoulder as well as one with the large furry sheepskin hat that certain formations used due to shortages of uniform items. They also feature the leather leggings that were a civilian item of clothing but again, pressed into service due to equipment shortages. The challenge I will have though will be locating details of what Bulgarian infantry flags looked like as standards were still carried (as they were for the Turks as well) in action. There are 3 infantry poses - the two advancing mentioned and a figure kneeling firing. With the revolver wielding officer and the standard bearer there is sufficient variety to be able to mix up the bases pretty well. The final infantry type is the HMG and crew of two - the firer is cast on the weapon whilst the number two is separate. There is a slight variation in these figures in that one of the number twos has a blanket roll whilst the other does not. The cavalry contains a mix of figures with sabres drawn at rest on the shoulder with carbines slung or with the carbine held upright and resting with the butt on the riders thigh. The horses are mostly standing or pawing the ground so the whole unit (8 figures) will look as though it is at rest which I prefer for my cavalry units. The field artillery is from the Really Useful Gun range and consists of a pair of Krupp 75mm field guns and Schneider 12cm howitzer. The gunners are in standard 'serving' poses so need little comment from me. I am not convinced that the guns are correct though - the Bulgarians did capture rather a lot of Turkish artillery (the Krupp 75mm variety) and made use of the same but their main pre war outfit was the the French Schneider QF 75mm which looks very different to the German piece. I will take this up with Irregular and see what they have to say. Finally, the Bulgarian staff officer (which I am using as the overall C in C) is a delight - fully bearded (considered the height of fashion and virility in certain Bulgarian quarters!) and wielding a sword as he no doubt urges his countrymen on to tackle the hated Turk!
On the subject of the Turks, they are even nicer and most of the comments applicable to the Bulgarians are equally usable for the army of the Porte. No blanket rolls or woolly hats but fezzes that are nicely defined. The Cavalry are lance armed types which are very nice and well suited to overawing the locals! Once again I will need to check the artillery as the field gun is the 77mm gun which was in use by the Germans during the First World War. The version that should be use is the 75mm Krupp 1904 variant of the 1896 gun - how similar that is to the 77mm I will need to check with Irregular. Finally, mention must be made of the Turkish General figure - he is absolutely glorious; overweight, wearing a full length greatcoat and looking not unlike Nazim Pasha so I am very much looking forward to painting him.
Aside from the artillery issues mentioned I will only need to order a few additional pieces from Irregular to round off the collection. I will need some more gunners and perhaps some extra advancing figures just to give a little extra variety to both forces. I need to consider supply wagons as well - mainly ox-driven. In any event, I am really looking forward to tackling these figures - the only issue I have is to find two differing shades of khaki to paint the armies with. The Bulgarian khaki is 'browner' whilst the Turkish is 'greener'. Oh, and the flags!
Saturday 12 December 2009
This is first class service and no mistake and I shall certainly be looking long and hard at their catalogue for some other bits and pieces for the collection.
The figures are pretty good and are close to 15mm and so seem a little on the small side against, for example, Essex. They are a little rough in finish but not excessively so and will look fine when painted. The figure mix (bearing in mind you have to rely on Irregular's choice of models when purchasing a pack type deal) was not too bad either although I will need to add a few foot just to round up the unit sizes. Also, the gun crews are only 2 figures in the pack rather than the 4 that usually get when buying a gun separately. All in all then, first class service and a very good selection of models for the price.
Friday 11 December 2009
The forces will be quite modest in terms of the number of models but will certainly have sufficient variety for all manner of one off games and scenarios using my rules of choice for this period: When Empires Clash by Bob Cordery. Each side will have 48 infantry, 8 cavalry, 2 x MGs, 2 x Field Guns and a Howitzer and a command group of a general, a cavalry trooper and a foot officer. This seems a little on the heavy side in terms of equipment but as mentioned, I really wanted to have the choice. The Infantry will be based in 3s and the mounted in 2s all on bases of a 40mm frontage. I have chosen the Turks and Bulgarians to begin with but will add the Greeks and Serbs in due course. Hopefully the Montenegrins will be ready at some point (Ian at Irregular has them on his ‘to do’ list) so the next battlepack will be Greeks and Turks with the final one Serbs versus Montenegrins. I know that the latter is not a historical match up per se but it is a viable way of taking advantage of the battlepack concept. It means that the Turks will be the biggest single force with the ‘allies’ having greater numbers overall.
Of course having Turks from the 1912 era does raise the question of perhaps some Italian opposition - in conjunction with some Sanussi tribesmen for the Italo-Turkish war at some point. My knowledge of the Italian army of the period is very limited and so I am unsure of what figures, if any, would be suitable for them in 15mm. The Sanussi are also a challenge as although they are ‘Arabs’ they have more of a wraparound headscarf than the usual Bedouin headgear. At first glance they look more like long robed and bare-legged Afghan tribesmen so I will need to research this further in due course.
The naval side has already been taken care of with all the fleets represented (and ready to use) in 1/3000th scale with the exception of the Italians. This will not be a problem though as the redoubtable Mr Fox has a large collection of Italian ships, no doubt desirous of trying to force conclusions with the fleet of the Sublime Porte.
Thursday 10 December 2009
It was a no-brainer really although the Arab Revolt came a very close second - failing only because I cannot see any suitable figures for the Sanussi; either in 15mm or any other scale!
The order to Irregular will be on its way this weekend so watch this space for progress.
Tuesday 8 December 2009
In the meantime preparations for Xmas have been proceeding apace with yours truly dropping several broad hints about what he wants on December 25th!
I still think that small is beautiful and so will be pusuing the DBA style forces mentioned in earlier posts. I must confess that I am intrigued by the prospect of the Arab Revolt and have been looking at it anew - particularly the Sanussi invasion of Egypt. Turkish backed tribesmen with regular infantry, MGs, artillery and hordes of Bedouin opposed by Imperial infantry, yeomanry cavalry and Rolls Royce Armoured Cars certainly has my vote as a gameable period!
Much to ponder methinks..............again!!
Thursday 3 December 2009
By way of a diversion from the aforementioned college and work related ‘stuff’, I have been following with much interest Bob Cordery’s work contained within his inspirational blog http://wargamingmiscellany.blogspot.com/ in connection with the Modern Morschauser rules and am very excited by the possibilities they offer. They are a simple grid based set of rules designed by Jo Morschauser for the modern period (for modern read WW2 and earlier – basically the first half of the 20th century) and are ideal for fast play, solo or club night games. The original rules are very old – early 60’s vintage in fact – and Bob has been bringing these back to life and updating the core ideas in a more usable format suitable for today’s audience. They are very simple but challenging and make use of a square grid for ranges and movement. They suit my own ideas as to how rules should be written and games played and so I am eagerly looking forward to Bob’s final version of this set and fully intend using them for my own projects – in whatever form they eventually take! I remember reading somewhere that “anybody can write a complex set of wargames rules; writing a simple set is much more difficult”. How true this is and so, in my opinion, simpler sets covering a couple of sides of A4 should be more than sufficient for an evening’s entertainment. Simple does not have to mean simplistic and I could use the old standby of chess being a simple to game to play but rich in mental challenge.
I am hoping that my as yet unfulfilled interest in the Spanish Civil War may become a reality using these rules and so I have been dragging out the Peter Pig catalogue to see what is available for this conflict. My other two 20th century periods of choice – the Balkan Wars and the Arab Revolt – will be fought using another set of Bob’s rules - When Empires Clash - which are also available in a Colonial version for the small wars of the 19th century. As I mentioned earlier, take a look at Bob’s blog for some really informative and inspirational stuff, it is well worth a visit!
It has been quite liberating to take a step back from my ongoing naval considerations as they have taken up much of my gaming and modelling time this year and so a change of direction is most welcome. I was undecided as to whether to use 20mm plastic or 15mm metal but my current thinking is that 15mm will have the advantage of ensuring that I only need one scale of scenery. The associated considerations of cost and space are also significant so I am therefore thinking that from a practical perspective 15mm should be the preferred scale. Initially I was a little disappointed by this as I have always enjoyed 20mm plastics and the associated kit bashing but given that I will not actually need very much in the way of vehicles it will be a sacrifice I can live with. The Ottoman Turkish 18th century/Napoleonic army I have is in 15mm and also this is the preferred size at the club for DBA games so it makes even more sense for me to work in this scale.
As you may have gathered the three 20th century projects I have in mind (i.e. I would like to tackle each of them but will limit myself to just one to start with) are the Balkan Wars (Irregular Miniatures), Spanish Civil War (Peter Pig) and the Arab Revolt (Minifigs). I am really unsure as to which to tackle first although I suspect that either the Balkans or the Arabs will feature in the final showdown!
I intend to post an argument for and against for each of these periods and am unashamedly using the blog as a sounding board for the ideas around each of these periods/projects.
So there you have it - I know what rules I shall be using and what figure scale I will employ. I have the three periods mapped in my mind for consideration and have already identified the figure manufacturers I shall be using. All that remains for me to do is to decide which period will come first and that will be the next challenge!
Sunday 29 November 2009
Thursday 26 November 2009
The job is at a lower level than my previous position but is most welcome all the same. With college coming to an end in respect of my teaching qualification the timing is first class as I will be able to catch up on a load of stuff without the college assignments intervening before I tackle the next stage in January. It also means that I will be able to afford Christmas!
Guess I will need to look long and hard at what I shall be up to on the gaming front. Now, just where did I put that projects list?
Monday 23 November 2009
Seriously though, I am fast becoming a convert to the concept of imagi-nations as they provide a 'freer' environment for gaming - you can use whatever you like - as long as its in period. There has ben a great discussion on http://blasthofblog.blogspot.com/ about the armies used in the book Charge! Basically, it was a collection of units that were split up into armies as the game dictated. Certain units saw service on both sides and this got me thinking about how I should pursue my own ideas. Charles Grant in his book Battle! Practical Wargaming often mixed and matched forces based on the models available - Airfix WW2 Russians with Minitanks Hanomags anyone? The reference to unscrupulous arms dealers originally came from that book. Bob Cordery in his excellent blog http://wargamingmiscellany.blogspot.com/ has many posts devoted to imagi-nations and I have to confess that this has inspired me mightily - especially in respect of the 20th century. With this in mind, and in order to use as much of what is available figure and kit wise, I am going to give some serious thought to the much considered but never realised Balkanized country set up - a pair of nations, bordering either the Aegean or Black Sea - one under Russian influence, the other under the Sublime Porte and set in the early 1920s with lots of WW1 surplus kit to play with.
For the naval side I have a collection of Minifigs ships just waiting for a paint job and with the vast array of magnificent WW1 Aircraft available from Wings of War this becomes truly a multi-dimensional affair.
Imagi-nations are certainly not to everyones taste and to be honest, I can see the reservations as well as anyone (unique uniforms and equipment being the obvious one) but that said, I think they have a very valid place in the scheme of things - in effect, it is a translation of the standard military Redland versus Blueland scenario using whatever models the gamer wants.
Besides, variety is the spice of life and it would be a sad state of affairs if we all did everything the same!
Sunday 22 November 2009
This is a challenge that I shall enjoy attempting as it will serve to really focus my efforts on exactly what I can produce within the imposed budget. Checking out what is available in 20m plastic has been a very therapeutic experience as the choice available now is absolutely staggering. http://www.plasticsoldierreview.com/Index.aspx is a brilliant website full of all manner of reviews and pictures of figures on the sprue and painted.
I must confess to always enjoying working with 20mm plastics - even in the days of purely Airfix figures and Humbrol paints - and nowadays they are both easier to use and paint. I know there is the old argument about meaningless poses in the box but this is a small price to pay because in a set of 48 figures (on average) allowing for example 16 figures being 'unusable' that still leaves 32 usable figures at an average cost of £5 to £6 a box. Taking 32 figures at £6 a box is a mere 18.75p a go which competes very favourably with 15mms.
I am not suggesting that this will be all things to all men but certainly it has its attractions for me. By keeping the numbers small I can ensure that not only will I be able to complete the project but also that I will be gaming to the measure of the available material.
A very good gaming friend of mine has established by way of a tradition, a Christmas project. Every year, over the Christmas break (I should mention that he is in fact a teacher so has rather longer over the festive season than most people) he undertakes a top secret project to be rolled out in January. Taking a leaf from his book perhaps that concept is what I should undertake this year with the 20mms, in whatever form or period they eventually take.
Saturday 21 November 2009
My blue gridded cloth will suffice for use with these rules as the blue is a very nice 'night' shade so I will be able to give the rules a run fairly soon. Fortunately, the members of SEEMS have a multitude of space ship fleets ready at a moments notice to do battle so this wont be a problem.
As it stands at the time of writing I am in the unenviable position of having a set of rules but no models to game them with. This minor oversight will soon be rectified however, and in quite a novel and inexpensive fashion..................................;-)
Wednesday 18 November 2009
- Solar Sailing Vessels
Of these, the most visual is the Starship type as personified by anything from the Star Trek universe or even Star Wars. Overall they seem to be able maneuver pretty easily and within our game are probably the closest to 20th century warships as they move. Solar Sailing vessels use the solar wind or gravitational effects to 'slingshot' through space; rather like the wooden sailing vessels of Nelson's era. Saucers are fast and highly maneuverable which ties in with the reported sightings of UFOs that make the news every so often. Rockets move at a set speed in a straight line and have limited maneuverability but are able to change the ships heading whilst still travelling in the original direction. To turn the ship, or to be more accurate to head off in a new direction, requires the rocket to use thrusters to overcome the speed travelled in order to move off so, in other words, the faster the rocket is travelling, the further it needs to move before it can move in a new direction - rather like aircraft turning.
The great thing about space combat games is that like naval games, they can be done very much on the cheap as the amount of kit required is quite small (although I dare say any die hard Battlefleet Gothic players would probably disagree!). It is surprising though just what can be pressed in to use as a spaceship.................................;-)
There is a point to this post (albeit arrived at in my usual rambling fashion!) and all will be revealed in due course but I just wanted to share the germ of an idea and to see what response it generated. Suffice it to say, it will be worth it.........................;-)
Monday 16 November 2009
The Colonial range is also developing nicely and if the NW Frontier ever gets a shout then I shall be all over them like the proverbial rash - Malakand field force anyone?
Lots of possibilities with this little lot and so I need to get my thinking hat on - 15mm metal be blowed - this will be a whole lot more entertaining!
Sunday 15 November 2009
- 15mm 18th century Ottoman Turks
- 15mm Balkan Wars
- 12mm Risk 18th century Imagi-nations
- 1/3000th WW1 French Fleet
These are the projects that I would ideally like to start but suspect that this will not happen for a while due to time constraints (aka lots of college stuff). I actually need to buy the models for both the Balkan wars and the 1/3000th French so that will cause even more of a delay. I must confess that I quite fancy a quick historic project that will be compact in both terms of scale and cost. Several ideas spring to mind - most of which involve 20mm plastics - so I will give this some further thought. Something 20th century would be fun, especially as it will give me an excuse to make some kits again which is something I enjoy.
What I have available within my collection that is in need of attention is primarily Science Fiction based. I have a number of models for various ideas and these are as follows:
- Ottoman Turkish Dirigible Fleet and the RNAS Red Sea squadron
- Ottoman Turkish and Imperial Land Ironclads forces
- 2mm GZG OGRE models
- 28mm Combat Zone near future marines (think Aliens!)
- Various Space Hulk ideas
- Spaceships - lots of spaceships
- Robots - lots of robots
- 1/2400 ACW ironclads
- 1/2400 16th century galley fleets
On balance I really do not have any excuse for embarking on any new projects but I am quite sure that most (if not all!) war gamers need very little excuse to dive in to something extra!
Of course, I also want a good excuse to try out some of the Army Painter Quickshade I recently acquired secondhand...................;-)
Friday 13 November 2009
With a huge sigh of relief I sat down to consider what needed finishing off on the rules for the final version. The short answer is not really very much and so I have listed out that which needs attention as follows:
- Map movement
- Scenario types for one off games and some victory conditions!
- Merchantmen and raiders
- Air assets
- Shore defences - forts and gun batteries etc
I also need to work on the ship specification charts for the Royal Navy and the High Seas Fleet - and the Japanese and US Navy. I have most of the detail for these already in place but I need to tweak a few things as my ideas have evolved over time.
I will be consolidating all the written stuff into a single file in due course (probably with a few format changes for tidying up purposes) but in the meantime the rules and the ship specifications are available on request should anybody want them - just ping me an email.
Thursday 12 November 2009
The forces went pretty much full tilt straight for each other but it was gratifying to see proper screening of the heavy units by the escorts in the case of the Austrians - Mr Fox (despite his recent illness) displayed his customary naval cunning in this respect - although they paid a high price in that both the light cruisers (acting as flotilla leaders) ended the action in a crippled and sinking condition. The same thing happened to the Russian cruiser and all the destroyer bases received some damage both from their opposite numbers and the unwelcome attention of the vast array of secondary weapons from the respective battle lines.
I appreciate that is a little vague but all will be clear when I run the solo game. Tactically (and in terms of the game itself) it went very well and 'felt' right although one off naval games tend to be rather heavy on escorts as the natural war gamers tendency to chuck everything in against the opposition with little thought as to the aftermath usually comes to the fore.
Movement finally makes sense and works well - the use of the diagonal plane and 45 degree turns is a winning combination and also has the added advantage of ease of plotting for map moves etc. Even the split move idea worked well - I will make a card of some sort with long or short on each side to use as a visual reminder as to the speed for the turn.
Combat was good - results seemed about right and were heavier than the previous edition - this was what I wanted to enable greater decisiveness in the action. The only problem was that I had failed to allow for extreme scores against destroyers - this is easily rectified though.
Now that the main system has been proven to work I want to expand the rules in two directions. Firstly, I want to extend the set to cover up to 1945 - this means air power and such things as radar etc. I also, more importantly, want to introduce a simple plotting device to accompany the tabletop game to give some background to the action. I shall do this in conjunction with specific scenario types - either mutually agreed or randomly generated. This will make the games more 'formed' and with specific victory conditions which should serve to alleviate the kamikaze escort syndrome to an extent.
Once again I find myself extending my grateful thanks to many people for their unstinting help with this project thus far; in particular the aforementioned Mr Fox, Chris Hardman, Bob Cordery and Aussie Paul, all the members of SEEMS (especially Dave Kightly and Laurie)together with everybody that has read and commented on the blog on the evolution of this so far. Many thanks to one and all - I could not have done it without you!
Sunday 8 November 2009
Needless to say, after that little administrative faux pas I was not able to get the promised action underway. No matter, Ishall press on and will tackle the same next weekend and during the week (on Wednesday) the postponed match up of Black Sea Fleet Russian versus the Austro-Hungarians will take place at the club. This should be good for plenty of action methinks - especially when the respective dreadnoughts start trading salvoes.
Apologies to all that were expecting to read the report of the Greeks and Turks bashing each other - it will have to be a pleasure deferred!
Saturday 7 November 2009
This will be a serious play test with records of dice rolls, moves etc and hopefully some pictures. I will try and get some maps done as well for the after action report which I shall try to write up either this evening or tomorrow so watch this space!
Friday 6 November 2009
I hope to try these on a live audience next week at the club with a solo run out in the interim - I also want to get a new playing surface sorted out as well so I can photograph the action as well. this will give the after action reports a little more spice!
Thursday 5 November 2009
Movement needs to be revised - although the existing system of 90 degree turns and square displacement means that you are able to cover every square on the table it looks a little odd in practise. I wanted to avoid using diagonal movement because of the problems it causes (greatly exaggerated in my own mind I hasten to add!) but am now going to including it - mainly because a naval game needs manoeuvre and every tabletop admiral I have ever gamed with are usually inordinately fond of it! The 'distortion' caused by moving in the diagonal plane opposed to the orthogonal was something I wanted to avoid but given that the speeds are so low (an average of 3 or 4 squares being 28 knots maximum) there is no need to add the complication of staggered movement. Basically, a square, is a square, is a square. The only thing I have added to this as a sop to the distortion is to have a maximum speed of 4 squares when moving in the diagonal - this as a result will only really impact on certain destroyers.
Combat works reasonably well although I will be making it a little more decisive. To be fair, many of the ships in use had, to put it politely, seen better days and so were pretty dire in terms of capabilities. Having said that, the results thus far have been quite historical i.e. lots of shooting with the occasional hit being scored and that is fine but not hugely exciting as a game. As a result, I have tweaked some of the factors, simplified the ranges and changed some of the modifiers. That sounds pretty drastic but it is not as bad as it appears.
With these changes/amendments/revisions it means that I will be redrafting the rules once again. Still, as somebody once said, "If you wanna make an omelette, first you gotta break some eggs.........!"
On the plus side I feel now as though I am quite close to getting these rules to where I want them to be and I must again thank all the stalwarts at my club and the readers of the blog for indulging me with the numerous play test sessions - I am sure it will be worth it in the end!
Monday 2 November 2009
- Weather and visibility
- Campaign Rules
- Points Values
- Submarines and Raiders
- Air stuff
Points Values will be the easiest and is merely a mechanism for organising games. I would probably use something similar to HOTT and as an initial thought I was reckoning on using the vessel defence value (allowing for inferior or superior status) as the points cost. If using a 24 point fleet then a maximum of 12 points can be spent on ships costing 4 points or above. I would need to double the cost of torpedo boats and destroyers simply because they are based in pairs. I will consider this further and report any further ideas.
Saturday 31 October 2009
Friday 30 October 2009
I am not averse to buying seascape type game mats but with finances as they are it is not an option at the moment so I will check out my local art shop for some ideas and inspiration.
Thursday 29 October 2009
As the rules have changed somewhat over the past six months it would now be a good idea to revisit the ship charts and ensure that they are reflecting my current thinking on the subject. I have added protected cruisers, old battleships, coastal defence battleships and torpedo boats so at the very least these categories will need changing. The other significant revision is in connection with speed as I am now using the method employed by Barry Carter in his excellent Naval Wargames so individual ships will have their actual speed more accurately reflected. this task will not take too long to tackle - particularly as initially I am confining my efforts to the Mediterranean and Black Sea so the Royal Navy and High Seas Fleets will have to wait their turn; as will the Baltic Russians.
Once completed, these will of course be available to anyone that wants a copy - as are the latest version of the rules.
Tuesday 27 October 2009
I pondered this and came up with a number of observations that are worth setting down; if only to remind myself why I chose the approach that I did.
- No ship damage record charts
- A gridded playing surface
- The ability to differentiate between ships notionally of the same type
- Recognisable damage effects e.g. fire and flooding
- Be easy to pick up by non naval gamers
- Be suitable for large scale actions i.e. squadron and fleet sized
From the perspective of the above list I have achieved all the aims I set myself but I am still feeling a little 'short changed', as though something is missing from the whole. I pondered this further and came up with the simple expedient of needing to prepare a comparable strategic campaign system for use with the tactical rules. Campaigns, mini campaigns or even linked scenarios are very much a personal favourite of mine - even to the extent of writing up the after action report with more 'story' to it than the game would suggest - and are something I enjoy organising.
So I need to add a campaign system to the tactical rules - this will not be a problem to design but I cannot foresee myself tackling this anytime soon!
The VSF bolt ons though are a very different kettle of fish.........................;-)
Monday 26 October 2009
Friday 23 October 2009
So, Mameluke, Turkish, French and British armies to consider - and an active naval scene as well - which again certainly gives plenty of variety!
I will sit down and think about the feasibility of the said armies - I always find this a therapeutic exercise - and calculate costs etc. The Turks I have little problem with although I will need to add some of the Nizam-I-Cedid troops to the existing collection. These were the new army raised by the Sultan using modern methods and training as opposed to the traditional Janissaries (who hated them with a passion!).
Much to ponder methinks!
Tuesday 20 October 2009
Monday 19 October 2009
Sunday 18 October 2009
"We who are about to die salute you!"
Saturday 17 October 2009
Thursday 15 October 2009
As I have a large chunk of this stuff already to use adding a few additional pieces is not too onerous - especially as the models are already on tap. Small, bite-sized add-ons is the way to go at the moment so the 10 figures referred to above will be a pleasant diversion from college assignments - as there are so few of them at least I wont feel guilty about spending too much time on them!
Monday 12 October 2009
To enter in the spirit of the age (not strictly accurate but I am sure you will get the point) I will leave the final word of the subject with a certain Mr Percy French who can sum it all up far more eloquently then I ever could.
ABDUL ABULBUL AMIR
The sons of the Prophet are brave men and bold
And quite unaccustomed to fear,
But the bravest by far in the ranks of the Shah,
Was Abdul Abulbul Amir.
If you wanted a man to encourage the van,
Or harass the foe from the rear,
Storm fort or redoubt, you had only to shout
For Abdul Abulbul Amir.
Now the heroes were plenty and well known to fame
In the troops that were led by the Czar,
And the bravest of these was a man by the name
Of Ivan Skavinsky Skavar.
One day this bold Russian, he shouldered his gun
And donned his most truculent sneer,
Downtown he did go where he trod on the toe
Of Abdul Abulbul Amir.
Young man, quote Abdul, has life grown so dull
That you wish to end your career?
Vile infidel know, you have trod on the toe
Of Abdul Abulbul Amir.
So take your last look at the sunshine and brook
And send your regrets to the Czar
For by this I imply, you are going to die,
Count Ivan Skavinsky Skavar.
Then this bold Mameluke drew his trusty skibouk,
Singing, "Allah! Il Allah! Al-lah!"
And with murderous intent he ferociously went
For Ivan Skavinsky Skavar.
They parried and thrust, they side-stepped and cussed,
Of blood they spilled a great part;
The philologist blokes, who seldom crack jokes,
Say that hash was first made on the spot.
They fought all that night ‘neath the pale yellow moon;
The din, it was heard from afar,
And huge multitudes came, so great was the fame,
Of Abdul and Ivan Skavar.
As Abdul's long knife was extracting the life,
In fact he was shouting, "Huzzah!"
He felt himself struck by that wily Calmuck,
Count Ivan Skavinsky Skavar.
The Sultan drove by in his red-breasted fly,
Expecting the victor to cheer,
But he only drew nigh to hear the last sigh,
Of Abdul Abulbul Amir.
There's a tomb rises up where the Blue Danube rolls,
And ‘graved there in characters clear,
Is, "Stranger, when passing, oh pray for the soul
Of Abdul Abulbul Amir."
A splash in the Black Sea one dark moonless night
Caused ripples to spread wide and far,
It was made by a sack fitting close to the back,
Of Ivan Skavinsky Skavar.
A Muscovite maiden her lone vigil keeps,
'Neath the light of the cold northern star,
And the name that she murmurs in vain as she weeps,
Is Ivan Skavinsky Skavar.
The sons of the Prophet are brave men and bold
And quite unaccustomed to fear,
They could jockey a stallion, ambush a battalion,
And blow the froth off a beer
But needing a man to encourage the van,
Or harass the enemy's rear,
Or storm a redoubt, they would always send out
For Abdul Abulbul Amir.
Shakespeare it is not - but great fun all the same!
Sunday 11 October 2009
Friday 9 October 2009
I have also received the scan of the Colonial Marines in Space Hulk contained in the Ragnarok Compendium from Mark Kitching to whom I extend my most grateful thanks. This are even better than I remembered and so I will have plenty of inspiration for 'Aliens' style games going forward. Aside from the normal Colonial Marine hardware (pulse rife, pistol, SMART gun etc) there is also some suggested rules for Sentry Guns which I had forgotten about and so was delighted to see.
Thursday 8 October 2009
For the record, the marines won the scenario - we played 'Cleanse and Burn' and managed to get away with losing only 3 marines. Much muttering was heard from the various Genestealer commanders at the continued quality of the marines dice rolling.......................;-)