Friday, December 21, 2012

Thoughts and Questions on Scenario Books

I put aside my AWI project to resume work on my East Front CSIR project. As I was looking through what I have so far, I was just curious, what is it that people are looking for in a scenario book? What are you really interested in?

For the most part, I have been writing towards what I want to do. An overview of the history of the battles that took place. Followed by any rule addendum that need to be added for the scenarios. And lastly anywhere from 18 to 25 scenarios on that topic. In some cases, such as my Greek Campaign and the East Africa one, I have included information for a Bag the Hun campaign for the air war fought over those particular battle grounds.

But what is it that you are looking for in a scenario book? What would you be interested in seeing? Does it need pictures of miniatures and terrain? Do you want period historical maps?

Granted, I tend to look for more obscure campaigns than other scenario authors. But what would get you to buy scenarios about the Italians on the Eastern Front in 1941?

As it stands, I have about 23 pages of background on the campaign covering August to December 1941. There will probably be about 25 scenarios total for both the IABSM and Troop, Weapons & Tactics rules.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Research for KMH & Sharp Practice

I happened across a website that has a collection of US Government documents related to the Naval Actions in the Revolutionary War through the War of 1812. This includes the Quasi War with France and the Barbary Pirate War as well.

These are collections of official documents, ships journal excerpts and first hand statements of anything related to the navy. I have been working my way through the Naval Documents of The American Revolution vol 2. This covers the period from September 1775 to December 1775. It has really proved to be worth the read thus far.

Hopefully, I will be able to get some time together and play a game of KMH based on some of the actions fought by the South Carolina Navy Schooner Defense shortly.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The Finish Line in Sight and ... Hey Look at This!

Well, I am now finishing scenarios for my CSIR supplement when all of a sudden, along comes something very distracting. I started to read Robert H Patton's book "Patriot Pirates." This book has captured my imagination. It covers the role of Privateers in the American Revolution. For a history book, it is very entertaining. It describes much of the economic motivation behind several of the larger figures in Revolutionary history.

(Amazon's link

) The focus is primarily upon the New England privateers, particularly out of Rhode Island and Massachusetts. It emphasizes the role played by privateers in the success of the revolution and how the investors and privateers became some of the most wealthy men post-Revolution.

He begins with an incident where the HMS Gaspee was burned by Rhode Islanders because the Gaspee was doing too good of a job enforcing the tariffs on incoming goods to the colony. The men who backed the attack, would become some of the most influential financiers of the war.

The huge number of small ship actions that occurred between these privateers and the Royal Navy, Merchant Marine or Loyalist Privateers open a large possibility for the gaming table. A campaign system that tracks the success of these privateers started coming to mind.

What Patton paints is a picture of the vast scope of the privateering endeavor. When one looks for losses on the sea during the Revolution, only the state navies and the Continental Navy has their casualties listed in most histories. The privateers are left out as they were not real navy. Yet these amateurs inflicted some of the most serious losses upon the British and provided the Continental Army with much of its supplies. Yet the losses among the privateersmen were staggering. Pension applications of coastal towns show in some cases 50 to 100% losses among the men who so served. While the Continental Navy suffered less than 900 men killed, the losses of the privateers were in the thousands.

One comment by Patton was that "Daring as they were, most privateersmen were sea faring novices who could not find a rope in the night much less match the gunnery skill of British professionals." This would match with the losses that they suffered. The manic pace of raising privateers led to less and less seasoned crews being sent out. Their success rate was such that one successful cruise could pay for two unsuccessful ones or the loss of the vessel and its crews. Privateering was a lucrative business that even Generals among the Continental Army gambled in.

So far, all of my interest in the Revolution has been the campaigns in the Southern Theater, I immediately got to work on what happened locally. It seems that Charleston was a very active harbor in the South and produced a number of privateers as well as equipping and creating a navy of its own. From 1775 to 1780, Charleston was a very important hub of activity. A large number of naval battles and landing actions took place around or near Charleston Harbor.

Given my penchant for liking the early part of any war, I began to look up scenarios for 1775 and 1776 around Charleston Harbor to use for either Kiss Me Hardy or Sharp Practice.

This and I have a small Frigate that needs to get on a table at some point are really proving to be a distraction.

If you want to get caught up in my distraction, here is a little website that I highly recommend: . It has provided a wealth of information on the period for me as well as some superb info on ships and their commanders. I highly recommend it.

Now where did I put my copy of KMH... Oh, there it is.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

CSIR Campaign

Wow! Progress as last. I have started to really get into the scenarios now. I have divided the scenarios into several mini-campaigns for each of the major battles that the CSIR fought. I have divided the initial actions of August 11th and 12th, 1941 into five separate scenarios. So far I am really happy with how they are turning out.

At this point I have three scenarios completely done. Two more outlined and another two scenarios that are at 80%. At this point, I think I will have 20 scenarios by the time I finish it.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Getting in a shape other than round.

Well, 2013 has a task for me of loosing some extra weight. I tried to convince my wife that selling a few lead miniatures would do the trick but all I received was a n angry look.

Instead her response was that we will run a half marathon in February. Here are some snippets of my side of the unfolding conversation. Great, says I. Running. That is rather manly. I can do that. Besides how far can that be. 13.2 miles!?! Oh. Rats. OK. That's cool. I can handle that. Disney World. Huh. That could be neat. Our son would love it. The marathon is WHAT? The Princess Half Marathon!?! You're sure about this? OK, OK. We can do the girly marathon.

My wife immediately signed us up and I just found out that not only am I running in the girly half marathon, I also am running for charity. Well, that is not too bad. Since we both work with kids, we picked the Ronald McDonald House charity (The Fund Raising Page) to run for. I have done many hospital visits for sick kids and I know how important the work that RMH does for families. They allow parents of sick kids to be able to afford to stay near their kids while they are in the hospital.

Well that is all well and good but in order to run for these guys, I have to help them raise $500.00. Anyone want to help me loose weight and support a great charity in the bargain? If you are interested, send me a mail at

Sunday, December 2, 2012

30,000 Posts

I was cruising through my blogger account and what to my wondering eyes did appear, but 30,000 hits to this site. Thank you to one and all that made this possible.

Well, I have done a little, tiny insignificant amount of work on the CSIR supplement last week while I was out of town. If I can get some real writing time, it may be possible to knock this out this month. Maybe. I would not hold me breath.

With Christmas coming ever so soon, what is everyone asking Santa for?

I would like some more East Front Terrain. What is on your wish list?