Friday, December 19, 2014

New Blog

I decided to separate out my Wargame stuff from the novel traffic. If you have any interest in keeping up with Thomas Devereaux and the crew of the CSS Appomattox, please head on over to the other site. http://chrisstoesenfiction.blogspot.com/.

Interestingly enough, the single post on the new and unadvertised site has generated more traffic than this blog has today. I am not sure how that works.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

A Giveaway Has Been Spotted

Paul at the End Transmission Gaming Stuff Blog has a giveaway going on. He is doing a drawing for a mystery box of miniatures. Should be interesting. Swing on by and take a look.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

New Cover

I have been tinkering with the cover of my book on Amazon. I made some minor changes to it. Let me know what you think.

Book Mailing Lists

I am fooling around with attempting to make a mailing list for my novel series. I have been reading some marketing books about doing this but really I have no idea of what I am doing. I just set up a mailing list as one of the books suggested. If you have any interest in signing up, please go to my dedicated page for it. Or fill out the form below.

I will not be sending out emails more frequently than once a month, if that often so please know I have no intention of spamming anyone. Thanks for your interest in my books.

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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Odds and Ends

Just sent out a mail to the Santa Clause participants to check who has not received their present yet. So far, I know of one that is in route a bit long but we are hoping for the best.

I think Google does not like me. Traffic on this blog has taken a huge nose dive. Not sure what is going on. Then again, I may just be boring everyone.

The CSS Appomattox is doing really well on Amazon. I surprised myself. I just checked and it is showing as:
Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #13,109 Paid in Kindle Store
#18 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy > Alternative History
#41 in Books > Literature & Fiction > Genre Fiction > Historical > Alternate History

I can't believe that I hit #18 even if it was just for a couple of seconds. That is pretty nifty to me. I have the first two chapters completed of the sequel already. Its proving to be a fun exercise at this point. This time our heroes will find themselves seconded to the British Army in an attempt to curry favor with the Crown. They are moved to a backwater in hopes to get them out of the way, they arrive in Egypt in late 1884.

It is distracting me from working on my ACW scenario book though.

I just received confirmation that my four M113's for my 1980s US Infantry force has been shipped. I now need to figure out what minis to get for the infantry. Any recommendations? I am locked into 15mm.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Santa Clause

I have heard from everyone that the gifts have been mailed. Furthermore, I have heard from several of you that you have received your Santa Clause item. This is great. I received mine last week. It was the first wrapped present under my tree. I have been very patient in that it is still sitting wrapped under the tree. I will have patience.

It actually has been a pretty good year, hobbywise. I was able to get several projects completed and I have some good ideas for the new year. Hopefully I can paint a bit before the year ends and complete one or two more items that are collecting dust in an unfinished state.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Chain of Command - Pacific Campaign

This is yet another game report from last week. I was able to get not only two solo games in but also two games in with Mark. This game was a Pacific Theater game set in 1941. I played the Japanese for the first time ever. It was a simple patrol scenario so no supports were selected by either side. Brian played the Australians and Mark umpired for us.

The table was very nicely done. Mark's terrain always looks great. We played scenario 1 from the rules which is a patrol game.

Following the patrol Phase, My Japanese held the following jump Off Points as indicated by the white dice.

Brian's Austrailians held Jump Off Points denoted by the red dice.

Brian had the initiative and began to move two squads down the center of the board. They were supported by a s" mortar team that did very little throughout the game.

As evident in the picture above, the Japanese deployed their mortar Squad off to the right hand side of the table (well my right). The mortar squad would punish the Australians throughout the game. I also deployed a single infantry squad behind a tree line to block the path of the advancing Australians. These troops engaged Brian's troops as he pushed them forward.

Here we can see my squad that dished out the punishment on Brian's troops. They were on overwatch which helped greatly.

I attempted to follow the tactical advice that Rich published on his blog but I don't think I am a very good pupil. But it must have helped some. Here is an overview of the action thus far. The mortar did try to put down a screen of smoke for Brian's troops to advance behind. The first attempt put smoke behind my team but the second attempt was right on the money.

Among the early casualties of my mortar squad was one of Brian's squad leaders. Brian had bad luck with his leaders. Several were hit throughout the game. Despite the mounting shock and casualties on his main line of advance, Brian brought forward a thrid squad into that channel of advance.

Brian managed to pin my defending squad due to shock and casualties.

The combat that lead to my guys being pinned resulted in the destruction of one of Brian's squads.

To support the pinned squad I brought up my second infantry squad behind the pinned one. This led to an exchange of long range fire. Eventually the pinned squad broke and fled. This was the first hit on force morale that I had taken.

The mortars broke a heavily hit squad of brian's infantry routing them off of the board. This left Brian with a single intact squad and I brought on my third squad. With two full infantry squads and the mortar squad on the table for one functional squad of Brian's, we called the game at that point.

It was a great game. Out one thought out of it was how much of an ammo supply should the mortars have? The light mortars were rather devastating (mostly due to really fortunate die rolls on my part - I know, it surprised me too). It is something that we need to consider. Maybe limit the number of times that they can fire before having to go to the JOP for more ammo. The three mortars firing together were fairly powerful. Any idea of what their standard load would be?

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Cold War Campaign - Game 3

Following the bloodless second game, the third game looked as if it were going to be harder fought. This time the terrain was in a large village that the IDF had fallen back to. The platoon was largely untouched so there was no rearranging of the platoon that was necessary. Again for support, the platoon had their M113 vehicles and a single Dragon ATGM team.

The town had been shelled by the Soviets prior to the attack. This left a large portion of the table in ruins.

The Israelis would defend the top portion of the table. The Soviets would enter from the bottom. The Soviets had two turns of movement in the patrol phase before the IDF moved. In the end, the IDF got the upper hand in the deploying the Jump Off Points.

The IDF JOPs are at the bottom of the picture. In the center of the table are the road blocks that I won from the Lardy Force List Contest. They are nicely made Dragon Teeth type road blocks. I really need to paint them but I wanted a game more than I wanted pretty. I think I had most of my buildings on the table for this.

Having the first initiative the IDF did not deploy anything on their first initiative. The Soviets quickly tried to move troops up. They deployed a BMP-1 and a squad on the cobblestone road. With a double six they were able to rush them forward. The infantry moved up behind a ruin.

The Soviets had some amazing luck as they had three initiatives in a row and ended up startlingly close to an Israeli jump off point. The Soviet BMP was placed on over watch. It would not advance more than an inch beyond this point for the rest of the game.

The Soviets also brought forward a T-55 in support. The T-55 has Syrian markings and was from a diverted shipment that never ended up in its destination country.

The Israeli initiative has the first combat of the game. The Israelis deployed into the ruin and initiated close combat. This proved to be a very bloody encounter that destroyed the Soviet squad to a man and the Israelis took six men killed from their squad. The IDF leader survived and they only took two points of shock.

This initial loss did not shake the Soviet morale badly. With the ruins secure, they deployed the Dragon team to the top of the ruin and fired on the T55. The T55 sustained damage to its main gun.

With its remaining command dice, the IDF deployed another squad behind the ruin. The squad leader ordered the RPG gunner to fire on the BMP-1 which resulted in a killed gunner. (The picture has been left out due to terrible quality of our combat photographer)

The Soviets rushed to support their troops and deployed anther squad and another BMP-1. To support the damaged T55, they moved a squad and a BMP-1 up there as well.

The Soviets continued to push and closed in on the known Israeli position.

They did not just get double sixes once but twice in a row. They brought up their second senior leader and pushed up into the ruins across from the IDF positions.

The squad that was not invested in the ruins began to advance cautiously on tactical once they realized they were directly under the defenders guns. On the next Israeli activation, the lead BMP took another RPG hit forcing it to fall backwards once its morale was broken. The Dragon gunner on the roof launched another rocket at the BMP that was supporting the damaged T55 tank. The hit was not fatal and the BMP took some shock.

The Soviet squad came off of tactical and attempted to charge their way forward to the ruins. This failed. They did not reach close combat range. The Soviet squad in the house fired on the men in the ruins and pinned them. They did manage to kill the Dragon gunner though.

The IDF squad behind the ruins moved to the side of the building to engage the Soviet squad. Not calculating distances well, I ended up moving them to withing close combat range and anther deadly fight ensued. This time the Soviets lost six men including their Platoon Sergeant. The remnants of the squad (squad leader and one man) broke and ran. The IDF squad lost four men in the brief fight.

This cost the Soviets some significant morale loss. Now they had a squad, one whole BMP-1 and three damaged vehicles left. With only 3 command dice left, the squad in the ruins attempted to take as many of the enemy as they could. Firing on the soldiers now in the open, they managed to kill one of the Israelis. This would force them to move backwards to cover.

The T55 attempted to move up and do something. To counter it, the Israelis deployed their final squad on the far end of the board. Over the next few turns, a leader would pick up the Dragon and attempt to engage the T55. He missed. At that point I declared it to be out of ammunition. The new squad moved down the street from cover to cover until it came in contact with the remaining BMP-1. It engaged it with its RPG and caused the crew to abandon it. At this point, the game was all but over.

The IDF lost no morale during the fight. The Soviets ended up withdrawing after loosing another command die. They abandoned two of their BMP-1s in the process. It was a significant victory for the IDF. The men's opinion went down after all of the losses that they took. The COs opinion went back up after the win. The platoon leader's assessment of himself came out to be Steady.

In the end it was a very fun game. What I need to do is figure out how many shots the RPG troops should have and how many shots the Dragon team should get. I decided three for the game but I have no idea how many they should have. Also I am not sure I am doing the damage right for these. No vehicles ended up taking more than superficial damage. Even when being shot by a Dragon. Two games with vehicles and no vehicles were destroyed. I will just have to wait for the Modern Version of Chain of Command to figure out what I should have done.

The Merry Christmas Scenario Book Sale

Its time to do a sale. This will last from now till December 27th. All of the scenario books will be 50% off.

In the Name of Roma is now $5.50
The Falcon and the Gladiator is now $5.00
The Coming Thunder is now $5.00
Air Campaign for the Western Desert is now $2.00

In order to take advantage of the sale, simply PayPal the payment to cstoesen@corecard.com and mention the Christmas sale. If you use the one click buttons, you will NOT get the sale price.

Anyway, I hope everyone has a Merry Christmas.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Week End in Review

Well, it was a great weekend. Friday night I finished the third game of my Modern Chain of Command campaign before they returned home. Saturday was spent attempting to get the house straightened up before the family came back. The family returned all safe and sound but exhausted from travel. I was glad to have them back. Mission Accomplished.

CSS Appomattox

I am not sure if there is any meaning to the stats that Amazon places on their various books. There is a section called product details that lists some items about the book. These include file size, length, the unique ID number of the book and so on. At the very bottom of this is a section called: "Amazon Best Sellers Rank."

I have no clue if this has any meaning or not but I was intrigued. As of this morning, this is what it listed:
Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #18,757 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
#33 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy > Alternative History
#59 in Books > Literature & Fiction > Genre Fiction > Historical > Alternate History

Now this is interesting to me. This is the best ranking I have had on Amazon. I have not been out there long but still, this in neat. To put things in perspective, In the Name of Roma's ranking is: "Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,304,722 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)."

The two lines below the Sellers rank are new to me. I have no clue of how many books are in each category but I am actually rather pleased that this showed up at all.

In addition to this, I now have 3 reviews for the book. Two are five stars and one is a four star. The four star review was extremely helpful to me. It was great feedback that is helping me improve the book. The other two just made me feel good.

Anyway, I have started on the sequel. I know where I am going with the story and that is kind of exciting. The hardest part is coming up with a good name for the book. Going by most of the working titles of my scenario supplements, I really stink at it. Rich came up with all of the good ones. For instance, I came up with "Campaign for Greece" while Rich came up with "This Land Divided."