Sunday 19 September 2021

Ticking Over (Sort of)

No details, no clues but part of the smorgasbord of randomness circulating in the cavernous expanse of my  imagination

 The past couple of weeks have flown by, mostly for all the wrong reasons, but here I am once again! The good news is that Laurel is finally in the system and so is waiting on her initial appointment with the neurologist. This should be by the end of the year. We can then plan next stages etc which will be great news for her and all of us. My brother in law is as well as can be expected under the circumstances but he remains in good sprits although West Ham United losing to Manchester United will not have cheered him up! We have had a further domestic situation to deal with on top of all this - I will not go into details for various reasons - so life at Maison Crook has not exactly been a barrel of laughs.

One must maintain an air of sang froid though, and muddle through, which is what we do.

Needless to say gaming activity has been at a minimum and in truth I have really been unenthusiastic about anything other than looking for stuff to dispose of. I did a little work on the remaining ACW ships but my heart was really not in it so I stepped back and left it alone. I have tackled a lot of reading though, that and thinking about stuff which is my usual default option when life gets in the way.

The slightly modified bases for the block armies are in the hands of Warbases which I am looking forward to receiving. I have some writing to catch up on - the ACW rules as well as an article for Battlefleet (the journal of the Naval Wargames Society) - as well as a few ideas that are circling around.

The biggest thought that has been occupying rather a lot of my time is not what I want to do, rather what I do not want to do. This is the opposite to how I would usually approach my gaming and rather surprisingly it seems to make rather more sense than focussing on what I want! There has been a lot of stuff identified that is now surplus to requirements.

In summary then, and not trying to be too bleak, things are likely to be low key for the foreseeable future although beneath the surface thoughts are being thought, schemes are being schemed and plans are being planned.

Not a great deal different from usual then….

Sunday 5 September 2021

Resistance is Futile? Not really!

Picked up cheaply from a boot sale sometime ago (20p as I recall) and a cracking read, full of ideas for skirmishes, almost at a role playing level in some cases. I MUST get a copy of the hardback version!

 I have always been interested in the exploits of the various resistance groups that operated against the Germans during WW2. The most obvious one, at least in the West, is of course the French resistance although naturally there are many more. Linked with this is of course the involvement of the men and women of the SOE. For the moment I shall confine myself to the operations that took place on the island of Crete following the German invasion that culminated in the capture of the German General Kriepe by Patrick Leigh Fermor and others and immortalised in the book (and film) Ill Met by Moonlight.

The book you see above traces the story of the secret war to make use of the various resistance groups assisted by operatives from SOE. It is story of high drama, stealth, derring-do and endurance. The stakes were high and the repercussions against civilians when an operation was successfully carried out were usually brutal. The whole of the Greek islands are an ideal stamping ground for raids and similar alongside the inserted agents - in many ways there are parallels with what Lawrence and company were doing in Arabia during the Great War - providing specialist support and expertise to the local resistance groups (who occasionally cooperated with one another, but not always).

From a a gaming perspective operations of this sort offer a wealth of potential. Everything from company level sweeps by the occupying forces, ambushes, raids and sabotage operations - all of which are eminently playable. They also have the inestimable advantage of not needing much in the way of material.

In many ways there are two types of operations to consider. There is the purely military type - think the Special Boat Squadron or Long Range Desert Group - and then there is the resistance style of action, with or without the support of the SOE.

Certainly something to think about and in terms of the material needed very achievable. Many of the figures would be easy enough to find although I do not know of anyone that makes Cretan irregulars foe WW2 - yet anyway!