Monday, December 28, 2020

Project for 2021

First of all, The War of Jenkin's Ear will be finished. No mattery what. That is a must do. I have gotten some feedback from the Beta readers but am waiting on more. I have some editing to finish and some images to capture from playtests. I will be printing more ships for this now that my 3d printer is working again.

The other project that has captured my attention is how to do a combined arms campaign for WWII. By this, I mean something involving naval, air and land forces. I was looking for an action to model that would allow games using Chain of Command or IABSM as well as Bag the Hun and Coastal Patrol. This provides a number of challenges. What sparked my interest for this was a random Google search that came across Operation Agreement (September 13-14, 1942). This was a failed British landing to attempt to capture Tobruk back from the Germans and Italians.

This led me on a search around this time period. What became clear was the importance of Malta in 1942 and the fuel oil situation for the Italian navy. On paper, the Italian naval assets should have dominated the Mediteranean. But oil shortages kept their major surface units in dock rather than patroling the sea. The actions around keeping Malta in the fight make for some amazing reading. Operations Julius, Vigorous, Harpoon all in June, the proposed Operation Herkules (not attempted), Operation Pedestal all vital to the survival of Malta. With Pedestal being a very costly success for the British, this operation kept Malta alive and a threat to all Axis operations in the Mediteranean.

In each of the Malta convoys, both naval and air actions happen continuously. My first step will be to work out how to make a campaign that integrates the air and sea elements. To work on this, my Amazon purchases after Christmas have been mostly on naval actions in the Mediteranean and getting overviews of the situation. Finding good orders of battle for the Italian, German and British naval and air forces in the area has proven to be difficult. Some web searches has given me some good information on the German U-Boats in the Mediteranean for the period.

One of my playtests will be adding submarines to Coastal Patrol. I have miniatures for Coastal Patrol in 1/1200th scale. I have discovered some wonderful miniatures in 1/600th scale that I am 3d printing. Printing in PLA doesn't look great but it is passable in 1/600th. The larger the ship, the better it looks. The small Italian MAS 500 boats get sketchy looking torpedoes. There are options from PT Dockyard in 1/600 as well.

Anyway, this is what is kicking around in my brain currently. What are your plans for 2021?

Friday, September 25, 2020

War of Jenkin's Ear Beta is now Available

The Beta is now available. The Beta includes the STLs for a Scout Boat and a Piragua in both 1/100th scale and 1/300th scale. It also has files for a Galley, Galliot and Fusta in 1/300th scale. That should provide the ships that are not commonly available from other vendors that are used in the supplement. These are STL files that can be printed out on a 3d Printer. I have an Anycubic Mega-S and have gotten good prints off of these files.

The Beta is out to get feedback. When the final version is ready, I will update the Beta with a discount code for anyone who buys it to get 75% off the final version. If you send me any changes, questions or things that just are plain wrong, I will send you the final product for free. Contact me through the contact form on this page and I will send it to you when it is ready.

You can find the beta at the link below:
https://payhip.com/b/Zy06

Thank you for your help and feedback.

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Approaching a Half Century

Time continues to tick away. This October, I will hit my half-century mark. 2020 has been a year like no other. Inspite of which, I think I am coming through it healthier than the previous few years. In terms of writing, this year has largely been a bust. I have made significant progress on my War of Jenkin's Ear scenarios. I'm editing the text to try to make this the best written of my scenario books to date. It is a painful process that I really don't like, but it is important to get right.

The playtesting has been sporadic and I have lost one of the tables in my game room which has made things difficult. I am looking for solutions for that and have a few ideas.

What is left? Well, mostly the playtesting and getting pictures that are usable. I have a decent tripod now. What I really need is better light for my game room. It doesn't help that it is in my basement. I need to base my Scots. I had them painted rather than doing it myself and am well pleased with what I received back. I also need to work on sabot bases. I have enough they just need texturing and painting. In terms of terrain, I think I am in pretty good shape. I could use more trees. But I should have enough to get the photos that I need. I have plenty of buildings. I even have enough palasaide walls. I would like to make a model of a ditch to go around the palasaide. I can use this for just about any period. I know how I want to accomplish it, just lack the time.

Playtest version? Well yes, I am close to that. If anyone is interested, let me know. Let me know the types of scenarios you are interested in and I will get you a couple sample ones to work with.

What is coming up? Well, I am doing my annual birthday sale. If you have any interest in my older scenario books, they will be 50% off for the month of October. Use code QCZOYNB7PW in my Payhip store to get the deal. The store is found at: https://payhip.com/ChrisStoesen. (I'm to lazy to figure out how to make it work just for October so it will work now too.)

The final supplement will have some STL files for your 3d printers to make some of the more obscure ships listed in the book. The book will contain some instructions on completing the ships. At this point, the 3d files will be free for anyone purchasing the supplement.

If I can get the editing done, the plan will be to put a BETA version up on the Payhip store of the War of Jenkin's Ear book for the Month of October. I will include another coupon code within the book for you to get the final version. At least that will be the plan. So I better get back to work.

Below is one of the sample game maps that I have worked on for the book. It also contains snippets from period maps of key locations and plenty of additional information to create your own campaigns in the period.

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Something Different - IRCWCC

Back 20 or so years ago, I was involved in a fantastic hobby. The people were great and it was quite fun. Life intervened and it was set to one side for a season. But now my son is old enough and has asked about the big boats sitting in the garage.

Back in the day, I was involved in Radio Controlled model warships. I battled in a fast gun group. First the IRCWCC and then the MWC. Since I was out of the hobby, the MWC is gone and its members reabsorbed into the IRCWCC. In an effort to get some ships on the water, I purchased some used ships from an old friend and have begun to work on them.

My son will be battling the USS Cleveland. It is a WWII heavy cruiser. The superstructure is in great shape and the internals are largely working. Still need to test the guns. My ship will be the USS Mississippi, a pre-dreadnought class American vessel that predates WWI. Its superstructure is not in good shape. So combining hobbies, I looked to 3d print the superstructure. It is an interesting ship as it was built in time for the Great White Fleet. Served into WWI and then was sold to Greece where it served until sunk during WWII. As first created, it didn't have any cage masts. A few years into its service life, it received a cage main mast. Then before it was sold, it was given a cage fore mast. So there are plenty of options. I am going for its middle look: a cage main mast and original bridge super structure. Also the figurehead that were common on the bow of the ship seemed to remain in place past when they were pulled off others. The Mississippi's figurehead is still around.

The Mississippi that I am attempting to duplicate is this:

To make life more interesting, the plans that I have date to the sale to Greece with two cage masts. I am cobbling together the bridge superstructure from images as well as the pieces that remained between refits. The base of the superstructure that constitutes the forward deck wasn't built entirely correctly which is causing some small issues getting things to line up. So I am going to try and fake it.

I have printed the bottom section of the bridge. I have modeled the whole superstructure but something wonky happened with the models in TinkerCad that has left me scratching my head. I'm not entirely sure it will print. I will try it out tonight to see what happens. Here is what she looks like today. The air intake scoops need repair. Trying to find something to duplicate that. The smaller guns on the sides are pretty beaten up and need barrel replacements. I think that can be done with brass tubing. I need to work on the rudder control to get the rudder to align properly in the default position. The speed control works but I do have newer replacements for both ships.

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Oared Galley's of the 18th Century

It still seems very odd to me that the Spanish would be using oared galleys when they had much more modern craft at their disposal. It is likely that the Galleys, Galliot(Half-Galleys) and Fusta (Quarter-Galleys) used were locally made and not sailed over from Spain. Havana had a thriving ship yard that was fully capable to produce these as well as more modern vessels.

Either the governor of Havana wanted to hold on to his better craft or they just didn't have anything better to spare. Given the shortage of men (only raised 1900 of the 3000 ordered by the crown for this operation), it is likely that these were all that were left.

Whatever the reason, I need several of each for the scenarios. My first stop was to look to see who made these already. I came up with a couple of options. The first was Old Glory Shipyards. They have a few galleys in their 1/300th ships. However, they only had galleys and those only had one mast. I wanted to differentiate in the sizes of the ships by the number of masts as well as the size. The ships are rather nice but thin looking (which honestly may be more to scale) for my liking. The next stop was Skull and Crown. They produce all three types in MDF. They did have a two masted Galley. Their ships don't look to bad. I am extremely tempted to buy some as they would be quick to paint up. The fusta is the only disappointment. It is for their rules and is to be used as a dice holder and not a combat vessel. So I have held off on these as well for the time being.

Next up was what was availible for 3d printing. I had a hard time finding anything that would work. I attempted to build my own model and i was very unhappy with my results at the end of the day. Then I found a model on Thingiverse. It was uploaded by one Tosostefanots. It is a beautiful hull of a Genoan Galley. It was perfect... almost. The hull he produced was a complete hull and not a waterline model. Also, his model is from the 1600s and unarmed.

Well, the basic shape was perfect. The model was in 1/250th scale which was easy enough to resize to 1/300th. Over the course of a few days, I messed with the files in Thingiverse and produced three different models out of it. First was a simple waterline version of the original. That was easy enough in TinkerCard. The hard part was shrinking the 22 oar pair Galley to become a Galliot of 18 oar pairs. Then converting the Galliot into a Fusta of 12 oar pairs. I think I have done an adequate job of it but not a great one.

These are early prints of a Galliot and a Fusta. The Fusta has not had the supports removed yet. This is also before I did work on the bow of the vessel. You can see where I accidentally broke the bowsprit of the fusta. I had actually broken a bit of the Galliot's off as well while removing the supports.

With the three base models I then created two variants of each. One with a rear canopy and one without. The galleys would have cloth covered canopies on the bow and stern of the vessel. The original model came with the supports present for the forward canopy. The stern canopy was not present. I made the basic shape for it and added it to the hull. For the Fusta, I removed the supports for the bow canopy. The pictures that I saw on line did not show such a large area in the bow of the vessel. To this, I clipped off the corners of the bow area and lowered the overall superstructure there. To give some variation, I will print a couple of each (canopy/no canopy).

Next I added some guns to each of the vessels. The galley has four guns in the bow. The Galliot has two and the Fusta has a single bow gun. There are stylized representations of guns. I am not good enough yet with TinkerCad to do more than that. At 1/300 scale, the fusta comes in at 115mm in length. The guns are mighty small. For the Galley, the guns are just tubes poking through the superstructure at the bow. They will be covered by the canopy there and only the bit of the barrel will be visible.

This is getting me closer to having a complete and usable fleet for the scenarios. I have started to paint up one of the Piraguas for my Spanish fleet. I will be working on organizing what ships are needed for each scenario and posting that up next. I printed a review copy of the supplement and am starting the editing process now. I know one of the scenarios will be rewritten. It is too big to be practical.

I'll post more pictures when I have the newer galleys printed.

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Success!

I have been working on making sure I have consistent dates through out the WOJE scenario supplement. A tedious job that I have broken up with more work on the Piragua and Scout Boat hulls. I have managed to get a good print from my model of the 1/300 piragua hull. I have been fooling with the settings.

In the picture above, you can see the progression. The hull closest to the camera is the best print thus far. The front post and the rudder are present. The holes for the masts are present and will hold the paperclip masts. There are no major flaws. The foremast hole is very close to the edge, but it isn't really an issue. The post for the tiller bar didn't show up in the print but given its tiny size, it isn't surprising.

While that one was printing, I decided to put masts and sails on one of the earlier prints. That one I had not printed with 80% infill and had some holes in the floor of the vessel. When primed, they won't even show up. The one printed on a raft also was not printed at a high enough infill. To the point where the print looks as if it survived a few terrible rounds of combat. I'll throw that print away. I was seeing if i could do something with it and gave up.

I will add masts to the good print then prime them both. Hopefully to paint this week.

The scout boat, on the other hand, continued to have failed prints. There is a consistent gap appearing in the port side to the aft end of the boat. i went back and zoomed in on the model in TinkerCad and found the issue. I added a small block into the area and saved the model. I will print that later today to see if it helped. I am currently printing a Fusta model. it is based on a fantastic Genoese Galley hull created by Tosostefanots on Thingiverse. It will be interesting to see how it turns out.

Thursday, April 16, 2020

War of Jenkin's Ear - Continued

I have been working on some models for the supplement. I have managed to make a 3d model of a Piragua and a South Carolina Scout Boat. Using the images of them in Larry Ivers book on the war, British Drums on the Southern Frontier, I think I have made a nice workable model of each boat. The piragua comes in a about 134mm in length in 1/100 scale and 45mm in 1/300 scale. This makes them handy little watercraft in relatively calm waters.

The first drafts of each were a little rough but I learned much in the attempt.

The squared stern vessel is the Piragua. Having a forward and an aft hold, the ships must have been cramped. Large numbers of troops and gear were hauled by the Spanish from Havana to St Simons Island, Georgia. I imagine it would be similar to driving to Orlando from Atlanta with my extended family in a subcompact car. Possible, but very uncomfortable. They could carry a swivel gun or two as defensive weapons but typically were unarmed.

The Scout Boat didn't have a hold area and was more heavily armed. Equipped with three swivel guns, these boats made up the bulk of Oglethorpe's naval contingent. It was made to navigate the rivers of Georgia and travel well inland to search for hostile Indian war parties.

I am currently printing the second iteration of both vessels. I still need to figure out how they will print in 1/300 scale. The side walls of the piragua was so thin in places, that it didn't print the first attempt. At a mere 4 1/2cm in size, the piragua is rather dainty in the small scale.

The next vessel that I will try to model will be a rowed Galley. Several were part of the naval force Spain unleashed against Georgia.With a little luck, I can make a working model.

If you are interested in helping me complete this project, I have opened an account at Ko-Fi.com. I will be giving away all of the models that I am making for the supplement to those that are willing to help me get this thing to completion. Thank you.

Update: Here is the first printing that I did with the new vessels.

I am redoing the models again to give them thicker walls to hopefully get them to print in both 1/100 and 1/300.

Edit, here are some I have been working on. The top two are Se Dog Miniatures hulls that I have shown before here. The two large vessels are Simon Mann models from Wargame 3d. The closest one is a row boat from Sea Dog Miniatures. The remaining two are my 1/300 models. I have one more update that I need to print and try.

Thursday, March 19, 2020

War of Jenkin's Ear - Update

Well, the book is mostly done. I have some editing to do on the text and I am still fiddling with the To Covet Glory addendum. What am I working on then? Well, I got a new to me book called British Drums on the Southern Frontier that is about the history of Georgia during the period. It is just fantastic. The problem is, I really haven't made the time to dig deep enough in it. The author, Larry Ivers, covers the establishment of the colony as a military colony. He details the forts that existed prior to Oglethorpe's arrival and the changes he made to the defense of the Colony. He dives into the political animosity that existed between the leaders of Georgia and South Carolina and the lack of support offered between the two. He covers the dynamics of the relationship between the settlers and the Indians and the role Oglethorpe played in turning some hostile tribes into allies.

It is a fantastic resource on the period and also covers the earlier actions of the War of Jenkin's Ear in Florida. A topic that I may revisit later. But for now, I am keen to create a new map detailing the Fort Locations in South Carolina and Florida. One thing that struck me, is the concern expressed by South Carolina in the 1730s about the possibility of a French incursion from Louisiana into South Carolina. Several of the South Carolina forts were established to create an early warning system to protect not only against Indian attack but for the French as well. That is a war game possibility that I hadn't really considered. While nothing really came out of it, it was a real and present threat as the War of Jenkin's Ear (1739 to 1748) gave way to the War of Austrian Succession (1740–1748). With the British joining in by 1742, they turned their attention towards the French elsewhere. Following the failed Spanish invasion of Georgia, Oglethorpe's troops were really in no condition to take up the offensive again. But what if they did? A raid into French Louisiana was theoretically possible. Had greater cooperation existed with South Carolina, it might even have been possible.

What is really interesting is the detail on the troops availible to Oglethorpe in the whole of the colony and not just in the particular battles of the WOJE. All in all, it is a great read and well worth digging into.

Thursday, January 23, 2020

First Purchases

I found a couple of items from Noble Knight and eBay. I picked up a Winter Soviet Company Box from Battle Front and a German Winter Platoon. This should give me a base Chain of Command force for the 3rd Battle of Kharkov. Looking forward to starting on these.

I also picked up some more British for my War of Jenkin's Ear project. I now should have 3 groups of 8 for my British Regulars. I will mark these for the painting table first. I want to finish this supplement soon. I still have some Spanish to paint up as well that were bought last year. Also managed to pick up more Indians as well to strengthen my Indian allies. This should give me enough for at least the British or Spanish to have Indian Allies. Not sure I have enough for both.

Also looking to try to get into Role Playing again after a long time. Looking at Adventures in Middle Earth. Now I just need to find a group.