Thursday, September 26, 2013

Last Night's Work and More Welcomes

Welcomes
The blog has been nearly exploding with new followers. Welcome to the newcomers:

First us is Brian Botzan. Welcome. i could not find in your profile if you had a blog or not. If you do, let me know. He runs the blog: RayGun Gothic Galaxy. Through this site I have learned quite a bit about Canadian B movies that I never knew existed.

Next up is Abikapi2. He is the author of Anonima Wargame Romagna. It seems that he has been up to some ACW gaming lately.

Our third contestant is The Kiwi. He is the author of The Gamer's Table which has recently featured some really nicely painted Normans.

Last up for this round is Thoran Braune. Again, I could not find a link to a blog that you host. If there is one, let me know and I will update it here.

American Civil War
Well along the theme of a recent post, I found some more figures. I was looking at the shape of my ACW forces and was fairly depressed. I have a large number of troops that are unbased and need some additional paint. Then I found a large bag that I had been gifted from the Mad Padre himself. When I received those, I was buried under the work for "In the Name of Roma" and completely ignored them. While the rest of the family slept, I went through the bag. WOW! There was a ton of great stuff in there.

First I had figures I can now use as my Cavalry commanders. They will fit in perfectly with my existing Old Glory Cavalry for both sides. Next was a large number of infantry. I pulled out enough infantry in Hardee hats to make two groups of 8. These also had a pair of drummers to go along with them. They will end up as a supporting unit for my main Union infantry. Then there was another two groups of infantry in slouch hats. These will promptly be drafted into Confederate service to begin the second company of Infantry in my Mississippi Rifles Regiment. Then there were a huge number of troops in kepis. These looked like the larger ones that the Union wore to me so they will complete out my Union infantry company. four groups of 8 of these have been mounted on popsicle sticks for base coating. There are several "character" casts in the mix. Fellows waiving a hat or with a bandaged head and the like. Including a couple that look like perfect NCOs. I have one of these fellows on the popsicle sticks as well. This will go a long way to finishing out my ACW troops for Terrible Sharp Sword.

Also I rediscovered that I have not taken care of the unit of Union Zouaves that I have. I have a group of 8 and another group of 7. I received from Mark a pair of zouaves with rifles to fill in the gap a couple of years ago and I have yet to paint them. Well on to the painting stick they went.

I have three groups of 8 Confederate cavalry. But only around half of that number in Union cavalry. Not sure how that happened. I thought I bought one OG bag each of them. I will have to buy some more at some point. Not sure when that will be.

Anglo-Zulu War
Ha! Bet you thought I was not going to have an update for this, right? Well, it is not much of one. I managed to get the four 28mm giants onto a painting stick and gave them a good flat black base coat last night. With the painting guide I found from Warlord games, I should be able to get some work on these. They really do look nice. But really, this is only a test.

Anyway, that is it for today. Hopefully I can drag myself away to get some reading done on the AZ War today to start framing the scenarios and the campaign I want to do.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Oops.

I just noticed that I had a typo in the ACW scenario that I had posted earlier. If you had downloaded it before, please grab the newer copy: Pohick Church

Welcome, Welcome, Welcome.

I noticed that the follower gadget had jumped up recently and I want to promptly extend a warm welcome the the latest to sign up.

First is TasminP aka Wargaming Girl. She has a blog of the same name, Wargaming Girl. Lots of fun stuff to follow there including her latest project involving pirates. I had been following Tasmin for a while now.

Next up is Monty. Monty is the owner of the blog Monty's Caravan. He has a number of interests including some Vikings that he has on the painting table. Good stuff. I just signed up to follow him.

Our most current new addition is Phyllion. This gentleman is keeping himself busy with two active blogs. The first, Diary of a Gaming Magpie, chronicles his wargaming interests. The first post I saw had me hooked. Great painting. The swordsman on the horse had me scrolling looking for the follow button. His second blog seems to be geared towards a set of ancients rules that he is working on. The blog, Aegeus: Age of Mythical Battles, looks very interesting. It seems to be still in the early stages but it is looking good so far.

Our next segment will be on either the ACW or the Anglo-Zulu War. Not sure which yet.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Painting Progress, New Lead and Other Things

Painting Progress I have not been able to do much work on the painting front thus far. I managed to get the bases half done on the Soviets on my painting table. They still require a dry brush and some flock but are closer to being done.


This is the set of casualty figures that are done. The top 3 circular ones are older figures that I had done more than a year ago. The others are the current batch.


I am very sorry about the picture quality. This is a wagon for the Soviet baggage train. The horses are nice but the wagon it terrible stuff. Still, it won't be on the table much.

Found Lead! Then I made an amazing discovery in my cabinet. A bunch of painted Soviets! These fellows will help me finish out what I have and I only need to re-base them. I was so very happy to find them. They were in an unlabeled drawer on the opposite side of the cabinet from the rest of the Soviets. With this find, I should be done with them by my birthday.

New Lead I just picked up some 28mm British Colonial troops. Just a small batch from Blank Tree Miniatures. These are really nice. No, I am not switching scales. Really. I am not. This is just a test. That is all. There are only 4 figures anyway. Just a test. They sure are nice though.

Lets try a Give Away

I have hit some large milestones (for me anyway) and it seems appropriate to give something back. But what to give away? What would anyone want? Well lets start with Figures.

First Up:
I have an unpainted copy of the Original 28mm Sharp and Harper figures that were distributed with the Sharp Practice rules. Beautiful figures.

What do you have to do?

1 Entry for commenting here. Multiple comments do not count, just the first.
1 Entry for being a follower of this blog
1 Entry for posting about this somewhere else and copying the link into your comment.

Second Item Up for Grabs
A packet of 15mm armor. This is a mystery box that has some new and unopened items as well as some assembled and primed 15mm armor. There may even be a painted item. This includes but is not limited too, 2 Battlefront Panther Tanks and a new unopened Marmon Herrington Armored Car. There will be no less than 5 vehicles in the box and may contain up to 10.

To get this one, you have to complete a scavenger hunt. I will post four different clues. Post the name of the post in a comment or e-mail me. I will draw from the correct entries. So what are you looking for?

1) The name of the ship that I had commissioned for my Italian Coastal Patrol fleet?
2) What was the name of my great Uncle who served in WWI?
3) What are the names of the two AWI books that I wrote?

I actually had several others that I was going to ask but it seems that you can only search back to August 2009. Not sure why that is.

Last Item
A copy of each of the scenario books that I sell off of this blog. That is both WWII air campaigns, the ACW book and In the Name of Roma.

The rules for this one are simple, if you tried the others and did not win, you could still win this.

When?
Well you have till my birthday on October 7th.

Monday, September 23, 2013

300 Posts + A Blog in Review and a Thank You

After coming up with my 300th post last week I started mulling over the stats on the blog.

Since I put this up for the first time in May of 2007 and took down a web page I had poorly maintained, I have seen huge growth. In July of 2007 I had a whopping 127 page views. So far in September of 2013 I have 5,028 and counting. Thank you! Hopefully this will not generate a comment similar to one Ray got from Fran about his increase in page views recently. I still chuckle about that vivid description but decorum prohibits me from reposting that.

So far I have broken the 50,000 page view mark (and am well on the way to 60,000 by this point).

There are now 103 followers of this blog (Thanks everyone for putting up with me).

What has changed? Well there is the whole Google Plus experience. Google plus is interesting. The +1 button allows someone to show they like a post without leaving any comments. Which is great as sometimes you just like something but don't really want to comment on it. Nice feature. Also it allows my page to be shared with other peoples circles. I am not a heavy user of it but it has led me to some great posts from some excellent bloggers.

The blog has gone from just my random ramblings to a venue for me to directly sell some of my scenario books. That has been an interesting experience. Lets look at the last three things offered.

1) The most recent with no time to really show for itself is the ACW Shareware scenario. When I last checked, it had 146 page views. Not bad for something that just occurred over the weekend (9/20/2013). It has 2 Google plus recommendations and 0 comments. The zero comments (and no PayPal love) have left me puzzled. Was it just junk and everyone has dumped it already? Unfortunately, with Google Drive it looks like I can't get a count on how many downloads.

2) The next in line is "In The Name of Roma." This was generated 597 page views so far. So far, so good. It has 31 comments on it making it in the top 2 all time commented on posts! It has six Google Plus recommendations. Again, that has to be in the top 3 of all of my posts. It has netted out 37 copies sold. That works out to about 6% that viewed it bought it. I can't tell if that is good, bad or unrelated.

3) Next up is "the Coming Thunder," which was my supplement for the American Civil War covering actions in Northern Virginia in 1861. This is my number 1 post on the blog. It has 1860 page views on it at the time I last looked. It only has 10 comments on it. It existed prior to my enrollment in Google Plus. (I think I did this in 2011 but I forgot to write that down). This one has sold about 79 copies. The first 50 coming in the first week of the release. The rest has trickled in (including one today - Thanks). That works out to about 4% of viewers to purchasers. Hmmm.... ITNOR is looking better in that light.

I also have released 2 air campaigns but they were harder to find the stats on. All in all, this has been personally satisfying but obviously has not changed my tax bracket at all. The core of this blog will remain my idle ramblings. It seems that any post that features an AAR of a game I played routinely breaks 100 and even 200 page views. Painting updates also rank right up there. So apparently if I put pictures in a post, it works out better. Of my top 5 all time posts, The Coming Thunder is the #1 post. The next 4 are 3 AARs and one painting update.

Traffic sources is also interesting. Should I be worried that the 2nd most page views on my site originated from: http://www.vampirestat.com? What on earth is that? I am scared to click it. :) The third most is http://r-e-f-e-r-e-r.com/. Not sure what either is but thanks? Could this be links from other bloggers? I have no clue.

The number one is from one of the first bloggers that I began to follow: http://miniawi.blogspot.com/ that is run by AD. He does fantastic work doing research on AWI battles. If you have ANY interest in the American Revolutionary War, please stop by. He probably has something that may be new to you. The research he puts into his posts in fantastic. Links from his site still drive a significant number of page views each month. Lately, The Miniature Page has been putting up some numbers here from posts I have made over there.

Who is looking? Well overwhelmingly the readership seems to be US based. The United Kingdom is in second place with just under half as many views. Russia is in third with 2700 page views. The country appearing in the list that I did not expect was Latvia. A warm Welcome to all my Latvian viewers. I wonder how many different countries are actually represented by my regular viewers. I guess I could install that spinney globe thing and check but I don't know where to put it. (No obvious and rude suggestions please) Actually, where are ya'll from?

Ads.... We all hate them. Yet, the whole AdSense temptation from Google is very tempting. The stats for my page go back to Jan 1 2010. It shows that in the past couple of months, I have had more Ad clicks than the whole life of the thing. Wow. Thank you for the mercy clicks. I honestly have no clue what stuff they are trying to schlepp off on my site. Probably something as useful as rotary nose hair trimmers and the like. Sorry for putting you through them but THANKS for clicking on them occasionally.

So, what to do with it going forward? Well, I think i will continue to use this as my place to think out loud for my various projects. No, those are not the flashiest of posts but they help me focus on what I am doing. Next, I will continue to post on the couple of games I get in each year. They are fun to write and it seems enough people keep viewing them too. The last thing is to try and figure out how to market the scenario better.

Anyway, Thanks again for dropping by and sticking with me.

EDIT - I just published this and there is already a +1 for the post. How does that happen? Is Google Plus giving me one for just publishing? Its not showing up that I clicked it when I view the page.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

American Civil War Scenario Availible - Scenario Shareware?

I was going through my old projects and stumbled upon some half finished scenarios that did not make it into The Coming Thunder. One of them was a scenario that I actually had 90% finished. It only lacked a finished map. I did not include it because it fell outside of Longstreet's operational area which is what I had restricted the scenario book too.

I spent some time trying to figure out what to do with this scenario and decided to try something. I am a big fan of shareware software. I tend to support the products that I like and keep. I was wondering if this would work for scenarios. So here is my thought. I would post a share link for the scenario. Down load it. Read it. Play it. Comment on it. If you like it, shoot me $0.50 or whatever you feel it is worth via PayPal to cstoesen@corecard.com. There is also a button for this on the right side of the blog somewhere. If you think it stinks, just delete it. What do you think?

Here is the scenario. It is for Pohick Church - August 18, 1861. Pohick Church was the home church of George Washington. It became the site of several small skirmishes throughout the war. Unfortunately, the church was vandalized and ill used while under Union occupation during the war. The scenario is a cavalry action the will require close to 40 cavalry troops for each side. .

Please let me know if you think this is something worthwhile to try out and what you think of the scenario. Thanks.

Edit 9/25/2013 - I noticed a typo in the scenario. Please take the updated version.

Edit 10/3/2013 - I have taken the scenario down. It seems that the shareware concept was a flop.

Friday, September 20, 2013

It is Friday and the Weekend is nearly upon us.

Being that it is the start of archery season here in Georgia, my hobby time is further subdivided. Nothing will happen today as I am exhausted after spending the morning in a tree stand and the afternoon at work.

I am still trying to finish off some Soviet infantry that I began painting a few weeks ago. The casualty figures are done. The infantry needs work on their bases before I will photograph them. I should be able to get a couple hours in this weekend to knock that out.

But what to work on next. Well I went to my cabinet and found that my Union Cavalry is not based. That seems like a quick project that I could complete without much difficulty. Also I need to flock some bases on my WWII Early War German infantry. My late war is all ready to go but I slacked off on my early war for some reason. I think that these should keep me busy in the short term.

For the long term, I am looking to either doing Romans or Zulus. I have lots of options for the Zulus that look reasonable in 15mm. Irregular actually has some really nice cases for Zulus. That and the packs of 50 Old Glory bags seem like a decent value. I heard good things about them. Any differences of opinion out there?

I was thinking about Rebel minis for my rank and file Romans with some AB for the officer types. Would they work together? There is also some nice groups from Corvus Belli (probably got that wrong) that has work details and the like. Anyone have any of the Rebel Romans? They seem a good value. Would I be disappointed with them?

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Anglo-Zulu War 1879 Painting Guide help needed!

As some of you know, I am color blind. As such I need rather explicit instructions to help me be able to paint things. Does anyone have a good guide that they can share for the British Regulars, the Naval Brigade and Zulus? I would appreciate any help I can get. The Flames of War books offer a perfect guide for me for WWII. Everything else is a magnitude of difficulty higher for me.

Thanks in advance.

Talk Like a Pirate Day!

I had hoped that I would have something miniature wise to show for this by now. Instead I have a partially completed British frigate. Oh well. But to cheer me up, I just found out that Krispy Kreme is giving away FREE donuts to anyone who enters their store and Talks Like a Pirate! Oh joy. Now to hope the Hot sign is on at my local one.

I do have some Peter Pig town militia miniatures that I want to paint up as Spanish garrison troops. Its on the back burner at the moment.

What is everyone else doing for talk like a pirate day?

Oh yeah, Arrrrggggghhh!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

New Distractions

Lately I have been studying up on the Anglo-Zulu war of 1879. Apart from having seen the movie Zulu over about 20 years ago, I know nothing of the war or its causes. In my imagination, it was a massive unprovoked invasion by the Zulus on the British colonies. The reality is far different. I have been attempting to slice and dice this down to something that is specific enough to create a set of scenarios for. So what I have focused on is the advance of Column 1 under the command of Colonel Charles Pearson. This column has a colorful array of units associated with it. Including Natal Native Contingent, a Naval Brigade, naval artillery detachment, portions of the 99th Regiment of Foot, the 3rd Regiment of Foot (The Buffs), Mounted Infantry, native engineers and volunteers.

The Natal Native Contingent has caught my attention. From the Nafziger Order of battle for the Battle of Inyezane - 22nd January, 1879, It lists them as being one battalion of the Second Regiment of the NCC under command of Major Graves. The troops were all drawn from local loyal tribes. There was not enough funds to give them uniforms so they were still in tribal dress with a red handkerchief tied about their heads. The officers and NCOs were all Europeans and uniformed in black and khaki. The uniforms were not the only that they lacked. Apparently, some did not trust firearms in the hands of the locals. Only one in 10 men were armed with a rifle. Over half of these were obsolete weapons. One source mentioned that they were 50 plus years old weapons. On top of this, to keep anyone from getting ideas, those issued firearms were given only 4 rounds of ammunition. The remainder of the men were carrying spears and leather shields. The NCOs and Officers carried more modern weapons but not enough to balance out against the number of Zulus that they would face in the field. Some of the higher ranking officers dismissed these troops as a fighting force. Yet they were used as light infantry at least once.

This project is proving to be a fun diversion and I am learning quite a bit.

Monday, September 16, 2013

An Unexpected Encounter - A IABSM AAR from In the Name of Roma

October 12th, 1941
Tenente Strombolli
Commanding Officer B Company II/80° Roma

This morning Collonello Chiarimonti dispatched my company with some reinforcements to investigate a position north of our line of march. Intelligence reported that there was an enemy formation in the vicinity. I am happy to report that by force of Italian arms, we have repulsed the enemy armor and shattered their infantry.

Our scouting forces consisted of a Company of Infantry supplemented by two machinegun teams and a battery of anti-tank guns.

Below is an aerial reconnaissance photo of the battlefield looking down from the Soviet side of the field.

With a patch of woods in the center the Italian half of the table was dominated by a ridge that ran from left to right. On the Italian right was a stream that ran across the table. There were two muddy dirt tracks that crossed the stream - one on either side of the area. On the Italian left was a stand of woods that would be occupied by the Soviets for the entire game.

The Italians took the field sending out small scouting teams on either flank (dummy blinds). The infantry was dispersed across the line with the Anti-tank guns on the center right. The anti-tank guns were to establish a position on top of the ridge line with an excellent view of much of the battlefield. While in most cases Caporale Andretti was a magnificent driver, he had some difficulties with the snowy terrain. Upon cresting the ridge he encountered difficulties stopping and ended up at the base of the ridge on the far side. (I forgot to declare that he would stop at the ridge before I rolled and achieved one of the best movement rolls I have ever had. Lesson Learned.)

Upon reaching the bottom of the hill, the anti-tank guns were immediately spotted by Soviet units.

The Soviets began to move and we noticed that they concentrated their efforts on the Italian Left which was substantially weaker than broader line that the Italians had chosen to deploy on. Our forces spotted some tanks almost immediately.

Immediately behind the tanks were more units but we could not clearly make them out due to the snow and debris kicked up by the Soviet tanks. Fortunately these were only the T-37 tanks and not the T-34 monstrosities that we were warned about in Romania.

What concerned us more was the deployment of troops in the woods nearest the run away anti tank guns. The Vehicles immediately came under fire. Fortunately the fire was none too accurate.

The primary concern was to not loose the anti-tank guns with Soviet armor close at hand. Our third platoon was spotted by the Soviets and began to received some unwanted attention.

We positioned the Forward Observer on top of the hill.

In record time he had provided some relief to our troops and called the most accurate mortar barrage on top of the soviet armor with pinpoint accuracy. (In all of the games that I have played IABSM I have never gotten such a lucky run of cards that allowed me to call in artillery where it was needed and when it was needed and hit the target on the first try. A miracle I tell you.)

The barrage had little effect on the Soviet armor but whatever it was that was behind the Soviet armor disappeared in the explosions. (I would find out later that the Soviet Forward observer was in the blind that was in the target zone and perished in the barrage.)

The T-37 proved to be far more menacing than we initially believed. The fast tanks made the most of their mobility and were largely able to emerge from the barrage unscathed. The first platoon of Italian Infantry was spotted by the Soviets as they sent the T-37s to turn the Italian flank. The exposed third platoon was able to run for cover of a gully near the woods and managed to avoid any casualties.

With the First platoon taking the focus of the T-37s now that the 3rd platoon found cover, the first Italian casualties are taken. The Sottotenente leading first platoon took a mortal wound leading his brave men out from the hail of Soviet machinegun fire. (I needed anything above a 1 on a d10 and I roll a 1. It figures.) The only thing slowing the Soviets was mechanical failures. (They failed several vehicle breakdown checks throughout the game.) If the tank platoon had managed to stay together, the Italian position would have been much worse.

To ensure that 1st Platoon made its way safe, the attached machine gun team stayed behind and engaged the tanks in a furious duel. Meanwhile more soviet troops deployed on the Italian left.

The platoon leader of 3rd platoon saw a glorious opportunity. He inched his way forward along the ravine and with a cry of Avanti Savoia, charged into the recently deployed Soviet troops. Killing a large number of the enemy, including the Commissar that was attached to the unit, the 3rd platoon completely broke the Soviet platoon, sending the few remnants scattered to the winds. The toll on the Italians was heavy as well and left the Italian platoon isolated from relief. Third platoon found itself isolated and cut off. With a shout of "Uhraaaah" the Soviets ran from the woods and assaulted the tired 3rd platoon. In a fight that left many of the enemy dead, the young sottotenente surrendered the remnants of his command to preserve his young soldiers lives.

As can be seen in this reconnaissance photograph, our men being taken into captivity. This did relieve the pressure on the Anti-Tank gun teams as these were the troops that had been firing on them as they slowly turned around to head back up the ridge. Meanwhile, the isolated machine gun team kept up its duel with several of the enemy tanks. The forward observer attempted to contact the mortar battery to adjust the fire but to no avail. The machine gun team actually stalled the tanks for quite a while until one of the tankers in a last ditch effort charged the machine gun and ran the team to ground.

The team's heroic efforts provided the time needed to get the anti-tank guns in position to drive off the Soviet armor. Revenge was had on the tank that crushed the machine gun team when after three shots, the team finally managed to place a direct hit on the attacking tank.

This picture was taken by one of our combat photographers attached to the anti-tank gun crew. The company headquarters was able to link up with the first platoon and reestablish order since the loss of their platoon leader. Under my direction, the remaining machinegun team, the headquarters team and the first platoon moved through the woods to launch an assault on the remnants of the Soviet infantry.

The Soviets in the open were down to two reduced squads. With great difficulty, the Italians moved through the woods to launch their attack. Movement proved nearly impossible for most of the troops and only the machine gun team was able to get into position to fire upon the Soviet infantry. The machine gunners managed to fire a few shots and caused one casualty before the Soviets began to flee in terror from our forces. (OK, it was really an orderly withdrawal but hey, this is my account. Doug can write his own. :) )

The Italians did not have everything their own way however. The Soviet tanks had moved rapidly to a covering position and began to fire into the woods and drove back the machine gun team to allow the Soviets to escape. (The fast tanks were just that - fast. Doug did a great job keeping these tanks moving and in action. They were a real thorn in my side.)

Our Forward Observer spotted a concentration of enemy infantry in a tree line across the map. He began to adjust his targeting to bring the mortar battery to bear on these troop.

End Notes:
At this point the game ended. The Soviet player (Doug) had to leave. The game did not play out as it did in my play testing at all. However, it was great fun. The Soviets were hard to control as they were poor troops and poorly lead. A full platoon remained in the woods the whole game and never fired a shot as did a machine gun platoon. The Italians were in better shape leadership wise. At this point, I think the Italians had taken the field. The mortars would have started coming down near the woods where the infantry was and they would have been forced to pull out. The Italians lost an entire infantry platoon and one machine gun team. Plus they lost the officer to first platoon. The Soviets had two badly mauled infantry platoons. The Italians won but it was a costly victory and close to a draw.

The game was great fun as always and Mark did an incredible job with the terrain. Thanks Mark. The scenario was "An Unexpected Encounter" from Campaign 4 scenario 1 of In the Name of Roma. For more information on the supplement, please check out my blog: http://cstoesen.blogspot.com/.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Thoughts on Casualty Figures Again

Welcome
Please give a warm welcome to ian_willey, the latest follower here. I can't find a link to a blog Ian. If you have one let me know and I will post up a link for you.

Casualty figures
I was just attempting to finish off 12 casualty figures this week for my Early War Soviets. I have a pack of Peter Pig and several Battlefront ones on a circular base. I really don't remember how I came across the Battlefront ones at this point. But in looking at them, they stand out far more than the tiny bases on the Peter Pig Casualty figures. As I was looking at the differences between the two the thought occurred to me that the Battlefront ones would make dandy markers for dead Big Men in Chain of Command or Troops, Weapons and Tactics. I have about 5 of these which would be all you should ever need for a platoon level game, even if things go disastrously for the poor Soviet player.

This seems like a nifty idea. So, i quickly ran over to thewarstore.com to see if I can grab some quick Italian casualties. Well, it seems that Italian casualties do not rate the big circle base that the deceased Soviets do. :( Quite frankly, I am unimpressed with the Battlefront Italian Casualties. One looks like he is lying on a bed with too many pillows and the other has two together that look like they might be up to something. They also look like they were squished with pliers or something. I am wondering if I can put some Peter Pig Casualties on a nickel. That might work too.

Anyway, the though was to have the Big Men stand out on the table if they were to fall. Is this worth the effort or should I focus on just finishing painting what I have?

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Pending Projects

Taking a few moments of time, I started looking through my projects directory at what I had started but never finished. As it turns out, there is quite a bit. The problem is that the projects are all over the place and work on any one will not help any of the others. So far my list is sitting at 20 projects. I am listing these here just as a reminder for later.

Rule SetProject DescriptionCompletion %
AlgernonAustro-Hungarian scenarios based on FLIK 55j15%
KMHAWI Scenarios and Modifications80%
BTHSCW Scenarios5%
BTHItalian incursion into France - 194010%
DUXLate Roman10%
DUXEIR Roman v Early Germans10%
IABSMGreek Campaign Update to IABSMv3100%
M&BEastern Front Supplement100%
M&B302nd Engineers Sceanrios 5%
SPLawnmower Scenarios35%
TSSStoneman's Raid 1864 10%
SPOttomans 50%
SPScenario - Action at Sonolenta Aldeia 90%
SPThe Next AWI Campaign 10%
SPScenario - Pohick Church 100%
TCHAEAtlanta Campaign 1%
TSS1861 Part 2 5%
TCHAELewinsville 10%
TW&TNext scenario for SOTCW 0%

The ones that are at 100% are in the hands of others at the moment. I really think sometimes that I just have too many interests. Painting projects are another story entirely.

A Curious Idea, Marketing & Weekend Plans

A Curious Idea
I am sure everyone is familiar with the concept of Shareware. I was wondering if this would work as a model for war games scenarios. For instance, I am working on a couple of projects in the background. One is some scenarios for Terrible Sharp Sword for the Battle of Atlanta in 1864. Rather than try to put it together in a large book of 30 or so scenarios and release it, what about putting together a couple of scenarios and posting it up on the blog for anyone to grab. If they like the scenarios, they can send something via paypal. What do ya'll think? Would that be a workable model?

Marketing
I will be the first to say, I don't have a clue how to do this. Any tips for an aspiring scenario author anyone? I have put posts on the typical places: TFL Yahoo Group & Forum, a post on the Market Place and WWII Scenario group on TMP, a post on LAF, A post on the Guild, a post on Society of Gentleman Gamers, two bloggers have reviewed the CSIR book, Wargame news and terrain posted it for me and I have some friends posting on boards I am not part of.

I am assuming at this point it is subject matter that is too marginal for the average war gamer to be interested in. Anyway, any word of mouth/internet that you dear readers could help spread would be very welcome. Any suggestions on something else I can try?

Weekend Plans
Mark is organizing a game at Gigabytes in Marietta from my book for Saturday at 12. Should be fun as it is one of the scenarios featuring Soviet Armor in the form of the formidable T-37. I really wonder how successful the CSIR would have been had they encountered any T-34s in the opening months of the campaign. Instead, they encountered tanks of such obsolescence that they did not even want them.

I have not gotten a game in with other people in a long time. I am really looking forward to this. I am even missing out on opening day of deer season for this. Ah, the sacrifices one must make. :)

I hope everyone has big plans for the weekend. Enjoy.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Thanks and Dabbling with Terrible Sharp Sword again

First I just want to pass on a thank you to Anibal Invictus for posting up a nice review of In the name of Roma on his blog: http://mylardiesgames.blogspot.com/2013/09/italians-in-russia-forgotten-army.html. Much appreciated.

While sifting though Google for tidbits on the Battle of Jug Tavern I found some really nice maps of Georgia circa 1864. I found a great map in 1:350,000 scale. The map in usable form is in a jp2 format. I tried to get the gimp plugin for it working but that is not working out. I found some other software to try out called IrfanView. I was able to open the file and save it as a regular JPG. The original map can be found at: http://www.history-map.com/picture/002/Northwestern-Georgia.htm.

But the area I am interested in is this particular chunk of the map. I copied the scale bar onto the chunk to give perspective.


Sorry if this is huge.

Now, this little plot of real estate shows where the Battle of Jug Tavern took place. If you find Lawrenceville and move west-southwest, you will find Beaver Ruin Creek. I actually live not far from there. Some Yankee labeled it Beaver Run on the map. Oh well. Also in this area is where another action took place. It seems that a home guard detachment from Athens fired a "rifled battery" at Adam's Brigade and more or less scared off 2 brigades of Union cavalry. The report of Adam's Brigade (you can get these from the book "The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies" Series 1 - Volume XXXVIII, Part II - Reports from 1891) details that they were following the Oconee river to get to Athens. I am wondering if he ment the actual Oconee or the Middle Oconee River as the Middle Oconee River would have been infront of Athens while the actual Oconee passes through Athens.

Much of the landscape has changed. Names have changed as you can no longer find Jug Tavern on a map (its now Winder). Unfortunately King's Tanyard is nor pictured on the map. We do know it was about 3 miles from Jug's Tavern and there was a bridge present that collapsed under the weight of fleeing camp followers and Union soldiers. There are a couple of likely spots on this map for that. Too bad I have not found anything as detailed as I did for Northern Virginia.

Enough for now. Take care.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The 100 Follower threshold has been breached!

While I was out of town over the weekend, I noticed that the 100 follower threshold had not only been reached but broken! Thank you all for joining.

First up we have Chris. Thanks for joining. I am not sure if you have a blog or not from your profile. Let me know and I will update.

Next is Grigork of the Megalomaniac. He has some good AARs posted on his blog with the most recent being a Black Powder game.

And number 102 is Ubique Matt from Ubique. He has recently launched into YouTube AARs. Good stuff.

I really aught to do something to commemorate this.

Now that the CSIR book is done (31 books sold at this point), I am looking for my next project. I know I want to do more with the Roman Dux campaign idea. I also want to do another Sp supplement. I am not sure if I should go with the continuation of the AWI stuff or maybe a Terrible Sharp Sword thing around Atlanta in 1864. I am actually a little bit adrift hobby wise right now. I have a painting table with some left over WWII Soviet troops. I have painted up some additional casualty figures for the Soviets and part of a platoon. I should finish that this week. Maybe.

I was looking at some research that I had for a skirmish that would be perfect for Terrible Sharp Sword. I thought I has lost it. Then I remembered that I had blogged about it back in 2011. Great. How to find it? Well Google offers a nice search gadget to pop on the blog. A few clicks later and I have it - The Battle of Jug Tavern August 2, 1864.

Cool small feature that is really useful. Now, what to do about Jug Tavern....

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Another Great Prize Draw

The Blog with no Name is having a fantastic prize draw. Check out the goodies he has up for grabs. I could really use the paint brushes.

Also welcome follower #99 - Steve63. I can't find your blog to link back on from your details.

Also Sean was good enough to let me know Puggle_monster's blog: http://spprojectblog.wordpress.com/. Please head on over and check it out.

Lastly, a book update. So far I have sold 24 copies. Obviously it is not hitting a best seller list any time soon but I am pleased. As always, thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Low and Behold, we broke 50K

Yep, launch a new scenario supplement and leave town and what happens, the blog runs over 50K hits. Thank you all for making that possible. I am thinking of doing some sort of give away once I break the 300 post mark. That should come around real soon. Or once I break 100 followers which is also rapidly approaching. Speaking of...

Welcome to Puggle_monster aka SP aka Pete S. I can't tell if you have a blog or not from your link. If you do, let me know and I will post a link.

A first review - Whoo Hoo!

Ray at Don't Throw a One has posted a review of my new book In the Name of Roma.

Thanks Ray!

In the Name of Roma! is Released!

“IN THE NAME OF ROMA”

Company and Platoon level scenarios for the Eastern Front, 1941

In July of 1941, the 80° Roma Regiment of the Pasubio Division boarded a train bound for Romania. Along with the rest of the Italian Expeditionary Corps in Russia (Corpo di Spedizione Italiano), they would advance through the Ukraine alongside their German allies. In the coming months, the 80° would be engaged in brutal fighting across 1400 miles of the Eastern Front – covering most of that on foot.

IN THE NAME OF ROMA is a wargame supplement that contains 30 company and platoon level scenarios covering the actions of the 80a Roma Regiment from August to December of 1941. You’ll follow the 80th from the open steppe to the Donetz industrial basin, including the amphibious attacks across the Dnieper, and the fateful decision of Column Chiarimonti to attempt to seize Nikitovka.

IN THE NAME OF ROMA includes:

• 30 scenarios divided in six distinct campaigns
• Historical background information and period area maps
• Italian and Soviet briefing for each scenario
• Formation information and stats for Early War Italians and Soviets
• Forward by Richard Clarke

Though primarily written for the Too Fat Lardies rules systems (I Ain’t Been Shot Mum; Troops, Weapons, and Tactics; and the newly released Chain of Command), the scenarios in IN THE NAME OF ROMA work equally well with Arc of Fire, Bolt Action, Flames of War or your favorite rules system.

IN THE NAME OF ROMA is available for $11 US. Send the money via PayPal to cstoesen@corecard.com and I will e-mail the PDF to you as soon as possible.

Follow this link to get a free sample scenario from the book. Note that In the Name of Roma is now available from Amazon as well.

It is also available on Wargame Vault.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Roman Dux under Construction

Well I have decided to to the German Limes route with this. The Upper German-Raetian Limes to be exact. This was a 353 mile (568km) stretch of fortifications with some 900 watchtowers and over 60 forts. Each watchtower was behind the palisade wall by some 20 to 50 meters. Each watchtower was separated by 300 to 800 meters provided they had a clear line of sight to one another. Just as with Hadrian's wall there were small fortlets (kleinkastel) staged along that held detachments from 40 to 80 men in strength. My area that I wish to copy is that of the Cohort fort of Saalburg. This is a great site in that they have some of the most complete reconstructions of a roman fort in Germany. Also it is dead easy to find data for it on the internet. (Remember, I am lazy.)

What did I stumble upon today but the most marvelous site: Vici.org. It has fantastic maps of the whole area that I am looking to include in my campaign. Here is the first map I made from this site.


Map from Vici.org. Terrible white lettering over the map is all mine.

Here we see the Cohort Fort of Saalburg with the watchtowers associated with it and the milecastle/kleinkastle that also had the same unit - Lochmühle. Saalburg was the home of Cohors II Raetorum Civium Romanorum Equitata. This was an Auxiliary unit that was at least in part mounted. This fits in with my preference for a mixed unit. To the northeast, Lochmühle had elements of the same unit present. While the milefort to the southwest was a unit of Auxiliaries from Legio XXII.

The Cohors II Raetorum Civium Romanorum Equitata was a Cohors Quingenaria Equitata unit. Formed by six centuries of infantry (80 men each) and four turma of cavalry (30 men each). This matches with the size of the fort.

The fort of Saalburg is well documented and there are any number of diagrams showing what it would have been like.


Taken from http://www.saalburgmuseum.de/geschichte/kastellgeschichte.html

Just 200 meters from the back gate of the Saalburg fort is the lime itself. The German Wikipedia sites are actually really helpful here. There is a diagram of what the gate through the lime would have looked like near this fort.


taken from http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Datei:ORL_A_03_tab_10_pic_03_Limes%C3%BCbergang_Saalburg.jpg

The child fort at Lochmühle is another story. This is far less documented as what it would look like. The general size is known. It was a 18 meter by 22 meter rectangle. It was set back about 30 meters from the lime. The artists reconstruction is dubious in that some sources claim that this fort had only one gate and this shows two gates.


Image taken from http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/de/8/8b/Kleinkastell_Maisel_-_Kleinkastell_Lochm%C3%BChle_-_Ringwall_H%C3%BCnerber_069.JPG.

Basically if you take the drawing at face value, there are room for 4 tent parties and an officer in the truncated barracks as well as a storeroom, a workshop and an outdoor oven. So that works out to about 32 men plus a head NCO, just under half a century.

That just leaves the watchtowers. These would be temporary duty for about 8 men who would take turns manning the towers. These would be wood or stone structures of 3 stories in height with the entrance on the second floor. In addition to this, there would be the patrols. Plenty of things to be going on for a campaign.

I am putting an artificial dividing line for the towers to be at tower 3/63 for the purpose of the campaign. That would be as far to the southwest as the troops at Saalburg would have to patrol.

Now, if push really comes to shove and the forces at Saalburg need backup, they have to call out to Legio XXII Primigenia Pia Fidelis at Mogontiacum or Legio VIII Augusta at Argentoratum or even Legio III Italica at Castra Regina. This could come into play if I ever venture into 6mm miniatures for Romans.

I think my next step will be to make some terrain.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Welcome and other ramblings.

Since the last post, we have had Inchigh74 join the ranks here at Wargamers Odd's & Ends. he runs the blog 1914-45. It is a sight that oddly enough covers wargames taking place between 1914 and 1945. Stop on by and take a look.

I still can't get my mind off of the Early Imperial Romans. The more I think about it, the more inclined I am to look at gaming around the Limes fortifications on the German frontier. If you have any interest in this, one site that caught my eye that I am reading away on is the JAMES CURLE's A ROMAN FRONTIER POST AND ITS PEOPLE: The Fort of Newstead in the Parish of Melrose that can be found on http://www.curlesnewstead.org.uk/index.htm. There is also a PDF of this floating around as well but the site has been very nice reading.

I am getting tempted to attempt to build a Roman fort in 6mm with some Baccus Roman figures for larger scale actions and then a watchtower in 15mm for use with skirmish figures. Just not sure what I want to do. There is the Hotz's Roman Seas sets for terrain as well. There are some nice looking buildings there. Basically everything to build one of the Roman Legionary forts plus a nice Roman town outside the fort's walls. If nothing else, it would provide a template to work with to attempt to make my own. According to the web site they should not be hard to put together. Then again, I am likely to glue my fingers together as well.

Given that my scratch building efforts are not that great, what is out there? Well, JR Miniatures has a Mile fort. Several places have Roman tents. Just not sure what else is out there.