Thursday, October 31, 2013

Ads and Shock Markers

Wandering through the stats of my blog I decided to look at the Google Ads. WOW! Ya'll are clicking stuff. I have rocketed up to a total of $15 now in the account. The past 6 months have added $12 of that to the total. Thank you for your kindness in clicking away. Please keep up the good work.

Shock Markers
Well, I finished painting up my shock markers and it is an excellent example of poor planning. The miniature dice I have are slightly bigger than the holes that I made for them. So these will likely go into the trash as fixing them seem more trouble than it is worth. Oh Well.

Games Day
Saturday is the Terry Games day at Gigabytes. I am really excited about it. I have everything I need and some of what I wanted ready for the game. If you are in Atlanta on the 2nd, please stop on by and say hello.

Monday, October 28, 2013

More Free Stuff

Give Away
Loki is giving away a very nice miniature on his blog. Head on over to Loki's Great Hall and check out this competition that he is holding since he hit the marvelous milestone of 200 followers.

Ferb joins us from Ferb's Fighting Forces. Lately, Ferb has been treating us to some marvelous new terrain that he is working on. His card buildings look better than my resin ones. The train station really looks top notch. Stop by and take a look.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Welcomes and Progress

A warm welcome to Vinnie's World who just joined us. He started blogging this year and I found him through a post on Ray and Francis' blogs. Its a good blog so far. Stop on by and give it a look.

I managed to knock out some more jump off points. I am taking advantage of the fact that all measurements are taken from the center of the Jump off point and just basing these on US pennies like my miniatures. One is a stack of loose lumber, another is some firewood and another is a broken tree. These are still in a pitiful unpainted state and was waiting on the base pumice gel to dry. I don't have any loose barrels or boxes. I searched high and low through my bits box for anything useful and came up with nothing. I found a loose Italian LMG that I thought about using. But that occurred to me, with as few of those as the Italians had, who in their right mind would set that down and walk away from it? These will suffice for now.

I looked into buying some barrels and the like. Bauedea (I know I spelled that completely wrong) has some really nice stuff in 15mm that I looked at getting from Scale Creep miniatures until I noticed that the price of shipping was more than the pack! There is an inner cheapskate within me that could not justify that purchase.

I am going to run through my games for the Terry Games day this weekend (wife permitting). Hopefully I will have some pictures by Monday.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Something to show

Finally I am getting around to taking a few pictures. I completed my first two attempts at creating jump off points for Chain of Command. I wanted to keep it simple so I took toothpicks and a bit of balsa to make a sign that said "Warning" on it. Using my trusty source of I came up with the two below.

As you can see, I placed my now finished 15mm Italian Padre between the two signs. Well, they look huge. But hopefully on the games table they won't look like an eyesore. I only need 6 more and I am done. I am thinking of something else I can use as well. I am sure that any Italian speaking and Russian speaking readers will cringe at my choice of translation but I chose the one that looked like it would fit the sign.

The Padre is now finished. The holster was lopped off. The ribbon glued in place and painted. It came out looking alright. It won't win any contests but it is ready for the table. I may try to cobble something else together tonight or try to get some sleep. I am not sure that the meds for my poison ivy will let me sleep. You can get a bunch accomplished when you can't sleep after all.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Bag the Hun Resources

I am a big fan of air games. Especially those taking place early in WWII (and WWI for that matter). One web site that I keep going back to time after time is Håkans Aviation Page. If you are not familiar with this website, you are in for a treat. Håkan Gustavsson has a page that is priceless for scenario fodder for biplanes in WWII. The page features detailed operational histories of just about anyone who flew a biplane and scored a kill along the way. This site was a phenomenal help in scenario writing. What is great is that there are links in the text to jump you to other pilots pages when they are referenced. While the data is usually the same between accounts, there may be further details available based on if the referenced pilot is Italian or British.

My scenario that I am doing for the games day was taken straight from this site. He has sections on Swedish Aviators in WWII fighting in Finland and with the RAF. There are sections on BiPlane aces during WWII. This section features pilots from a large number of countries. Data on their prewar service is present (especially Italians fighting in Spain). Chinese and Japanese pilots are present. I did not know that the Japanese even had any biplanes. A large section is present on the Spanish Civil War as well.

Head on over and check out the site. Its a treasure trove.

Planning Updates for the Terry Game Day

November second keeps coming closer and closer. I managed to finish out the basing on the remaining Soviets I needed for the support lists for my Chain of Command game. The support lists for the Soviets seem to me to be much better than my Italian support list options. But I have now finished a project that I started months ago and lay abandoned. I finished my Italian Padre figure. When the wife was not looking, I managed to get a few moments and carve off the holster on the figure and found some ribbon to trim to size and place on the figure. I ended up with it being too long but I think it still works. Today at lunch, I went home and managed to paint the ribbon an appropriate purple color. Hopefully, i will get some pictures of the figures tonight.

Mark reminded me that not only did I commit to running Chain of Command, but also a Bag the Hun game as well. Well, having nothing set in mind for this, I looked in the games cabinet and went looking for my 1/600 scale aircraft. Mostly Hurricanes, Bf109s and Stukas are there for North Africa. Well, I wrote a supplement that covers that very thing a while back. Shuffled through my PDFs, I found the scenario that I wanted. July 17th, 1941, towards the end of Operation Battleaxe, 204 Group dispatched 12 hurricanes on a ground attack mission over Sidi Omar. They ran into some Stukas and Bf109s. (well, there were Italian Stukas and some G50s as well). Since this was from my oldest BTH supplement, it was not laid out as well as my later supplement. So off to the rewrite.

Once the game finishes, I will post it up here for you to grab and do with it as you want.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

More Stuff

Carl and Dalauppror have both signed up here. Welcome guys. Carl runs the Hitting on a Double 1 blog. He was mentioned here recently with an excellent give away with some really good books. In addition he has some nice AARs for his blood bowl games that I have been reading through.

Dalauppror runs a blog by the same name Dalauppror. This is a great blog with the unique Very Swedish Civil War and a Mideval Sweedish Dux Britanarium campaign. Excellent AARs, terrain and well worth visiting.

Official ACW Gamer Miniature Arrives
I just received in the mail my official ACW Gamer miniature. It is an excellent piece. I am not sure what I will do with it yet. Currently, it is residing on my desk at work. It may just stay there for a bit.

In my mail box this morning was a wonderful treat. I received my winnings from Ian's give away. Once I was holding the Thin Red Line, I remembered seeing it and look forward to watching it again. The Immortals I had never seen so I will probably watch it first. Thanks Ian!

More Work on the Games Day
Well, I managed to get some basing done on a few odds and ends for the Chain of Command game. I now have all of my engineer teams ready. Should be able to wrap the Soviets today. Next is the Italian odds and ends.

Just have to get to the post office and mail out some prizes to folks and I am almost up to date.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Back from the depths of history....

Many, many moons ago, I had a website with Earthlink. I attempted to do there what I am more or less accomplishing here on this blog. There were some pages on that blog that were worthy of saving. This is one of them. This dates back to almost 7 years ago when the TooFatlardies rules Troops, Weapons and Tactics was still in play testing. The scenario probably would still work played now but the rules changed from this point to final publication. This was a game I managed to put together with Terry Haney at his house using his lovely figures and terrain.

Burma 1943
Terry contacted me and we set up a game at his place to try out these new rules. I had played them solo once already as stated above. But this time around, I would have someone watching over my shoulder to make sure that I won't do that again. Terry asked me to come up with the orders of battle and he would provide the table, figures, terrain and chips.

I know nearly nothing about the Pacific Theater. My knowledge of the Chindits extended to they were lead by Orde Windgate who I happened to come across in preparing for my East Africa Campaign (Commander of Gideon Force) and some Israeli 1948 scenarios (founder of the Special Night Services pre-WWII). I knew he died in a plane crash in the far east and was quite the character.

In 1943, the Chindits under Orde Windgate have been at it again. Last night they launched a daring raid in force against a Japanese forward base. Using hit and run tactics they faded into the night before dawn. The local Japanese commander dispatched men to track down and stop this nuisance. Here begins our scenario...

The Chindits have placed a delaying force of a reduced platoon supported by a single Vickers MMG to halt the advance of the pursuing Japanese troops. The Chindits start on the West end of the map covering some 3/4's of the total map. The Chindits occupied up to the farthest house on the right. The Japanese were advancing up the road rapidly and would enter the table two blinds at a time.

The Map

Well, I knew that Rob Avery had a collection of Japanese figures on his web site I used the organization from his site to set up the following order of battle for the Japanese troops:

The Japanese:
1x Platoon Leader Class 3
1x Platoon Sgt Class 3
Squad 1: 1x Squad Leader Class 2, 1x LMG Team (4 men), 1x Rifle Team (5 Men)
Squad 2: 1x Squad Leader Class 2, 1x LMG Team (4 men), 1x Rifle Team (5 Men)
Squad 3: 1x Squad Leader Class 1, 1x LMG Team (4 men), 1x Rifle Team (5 Men)
Support Squad: 1x Squad Leader Class 2, 3x LT Mortar Teams, 1x Rifle Team (3 Men)

This would net the following Cards:
Jap Blinds Move
Jap Big Man 1 - 6
Squad 1 - 4
TIT Level 1 x 7
TIT Level 2 x 3
TIT Level 3 x 2

The Chindits:
1x Platoon Leader Level 4
1x Platoon SGT Level 3
Platoon HQ: 1x 2" Mortar Team
Section #1: 1x Squad Leader (SGT) Level 3, 1x LMG Team (2 men), 1x Rifle Team (1x Lance Corporal Level 2, 6x Men)
Section #2: 1x Squad Leader (SGT) Level 2, 1x LMG Team (2 men), 1x Rifle Team (1x Lance Corporal Level 1, 6x Men)
Column Support Section: 1x MMG Team (1x Corporal Level 2, 1x Loader, 1x Gunner)

This nets the following Cards:
Chindit Blinds
Chindit Big Man 1-7
Sections 1 - 3
TIT Level 1: 8
TIT Level 2: 3
TIT Level 3: 2
TIT Level 4: 1

I took the Chindit Org from here.

The Beginning moves:
Terry allowed me to enter on the first turn without following with the chips as he was going to leave his guys in place. My first two blinds entered from the road. The first containing my 1st Squad and my platoon leader shot straight up the road looking to plant themselves behind some jungle and use their remaining die to spot in the jungle directly ahead of them. That did not work out and they ended up the turn in the middle of the road. They did spot the Chindit MMG. Things do not look good for our heroes.

The next blind containing the light mortar section ran to the left behind a hill and promptly deployed in order to handle any trouble that came along - namely the MMG. The next turn saw the Japanese 1st squad stay in place! What were they thinking. Two additional blinds entered and moved to the left and right of the road respectively and managed to sneak out of the fire lane before being spotted.

At this point I must point out that the survival of the 1st Japanese squad was due more to bad die rolls for effects of hits than anything the big men did to save their men. These guys stayed in the fire lane some 3 or 4 turns before making it out of there and only lost 2 men.

The next turn had the arrival of two additional blinds splitting up as before and taking off on either side of the road. The objective of the two blinds to the left of the road was to take the house on the left side of the road. The objective of the two right side of the road blinds was to take the first house on the right hand of the road. Seems simple enough. Well, spotting attempts on the tall house and the close house on the right side of the road revealed a fake blind and a Chindit squad in the tall house. On the left side a fake blind ran into the jungle in front of the two Japanese blinds before being spotted as a fake. The squad in the house on the left hand side of the road deployed and attempted to fire on the Japanese 1st squad that had finally made it out of the fire lane.

Throughout this maneuvering, the MMG team became the light mortar squad's favorite target. After about 5 turns of constantly bombarding that position, the mmg team was destroyed. Bout that time, Terry spotted the two blinds on the right hand side of the road. They were both fakes! I had forgotten which troops belonged to what blinds when I deployed and accidentally outflanked Terry on the left. The Chindits in the tall house began to fall back.

The Chindits in the house on the left hand side of the road did not fare too well. They received the full attention of the light mortar squad and the two full strength squads of Japanese troops moving through the jungle towards them. This squad took a beating and lost its big men.

In a valiant effort to support this isolated squad, the platoon sergeant rushed forward from their fall back position to help extract them. By this time, the Japanese in the jungle across from the house began to complain about the poor marksmanship of the light mortar teams as the last volley from the light mortars came a little too close for comfort. Shifting the aiming point on to the crazy Brit that was running towards the Japanese lines the mortars fired again thinking that if they were off they doubled their chances of landing in the middle of a Chindit formation. The die roll was a direct hit. The results were three hits and two of the three were sixes. The platoon sergeant was mentioned in dispatches for his heroism. (I want to take a figure that is standing straight up and cut it off just at the top of the boots. Paint the boots and put small wisps of smoke coming from them just for such an occasion.)

At this point the game was decided that the Japanese had taken the field from the Chindits. We had fun and the rules were great. Played out in under three hours even with both of us flipping through the rules and muttering, "so how do you do that again?" I am left with a couple of questions and observations:

1) We played with the 'newer' grenade rules. I am thinking that the rule with the Boom card could have been more interesting game wise - probably not more realistic. Only 1 grenade was thrown the whole game.

2) The light mortar rules should be clarified a bit more. We treated them like the original grenade rules - a deviation die and 1d6 with a 2" blast radius. Is that how they should work?

3) Do light mortars only fire once per turn or once per activation with a big man? 4) I think these rules were viewing lt mortars as a 1 per platoon thing. The Japanese had 3 of these in this light mortar section. We rolled individually for each mortar, was that right?

Once it was all said and done, I was ready to give this another try. I still have to get troops close enough to assault and attempt the melee rules. I had a unit in position to do so but when the big man chip came up - no tactical initiatives. I guess the squad sergeant bent over to tie his shoes at the critical moment.

Thanks for suffering a trip down memory lane with me. It really was a fun game that I still remember well. I did correct a bunch of spelling errors that I found but other than that, left the post as it was. I need to remember to take not only pictures of the miniatures but the people playing as well.

Monday, October 14, 2013

And One More Give Away

I was alerted to another give away after my first post on that today. Hitting on a...Killing on a.... is offering a book giveaway for his blog as well. Lots of neat stuff in there. Myself, I am hoping for lot 1. Actually all of the lots have good stuff in them that I would read. Thanks Carl for pointing out my ommission.

Welcomes, New Stuff and Nov 2 Games Day

First with the welcomes

Tomsche joins us from Società di archeologia e cimeli. An interesting blog with a wide range of interests including some really nicely painted ancients.

Next is Eric the Shed. His blog is Shed Wars. I could not find a blog for you. Let me know and I will gladly link to it.

Welcome folks.

New Stuff
Well, painting has proceeded on my 28mm Colonial figures. I must say I have actually had some fun painting these. I have no clue how I will end up basing these at this point. I have not even tried to assemble the heliograph yet. That may happen sometime this week.

Next up is some remaining odds and ends for my WWII Early War Soviets. I have a few Engineers to base up and some basing to do for a wagon. The wagon was a rather crummy looking sculpt but it will do in a pinch. My Early War Germans have a Battlefront wagon that looks much better than this one. It lacks a driver but I will just have a foot trooper walking the horse.

I did start to work on some of my Civil War miniatures. I have a half of a company primed and ready for paint. Also will be painting up a missing Zouave as well as a single gun. Should then have plenty of troops for Terrible Sharp Sword if I ever get around to painting these up.

Terry Haney Memorial Games Day
Lastly, we have the Terry Haney Memorial Games Day on November 2nd. It is a chance to get together and get some games in to honor our friend. Terry was a good guy who loved to game. As his cancer kept him from gaming with his friends, he continued to collect miniatures and paint and solo game. He would occasionally disappear for months only to reappear and chat as if nothing happened. The last time I spoke with him, I thought his cancer was in remission.

So far there will be a number of games including an ACW game of Terrible Sharp Sword, a WWI game of Chain of Command, a WWII Naval game of Coastal Patrol and several others. If you happen to be near Atlanta on the 2nd of November, stop on by. Giga-Bites Café, 2197 Roswell Rd, Ste 101, Marietta 30062

No entry fee. Giga-bites has a really nice cafe with good food. There should be plenty of room for drop ins to come and play. We will start at 11am and end sometime before the store closes.

Another Great Giveaway

The Palouse Wargaming Journal is offering a nice book giveaway for their one year blog-o-versary. There are some nice volumes that they are giving away there.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

New ACW Journal has been released.

A few months ago, I was contacted by Steven Huckaby about submitting a scenario for a new ACW E-Zine journal that he was getting ready to publish. I Sent him a scenario that I had sitting around and gathering dust and did not think another thing about it. Well, the journal now exists.

The journal is ACW Gamer. Check out the website. The first issue was just released. The journal is quarterly. The cost is $12/year. Steven is taking orders for the journal through paypal at the following address:

I was given a copy of the first issue from my submission and I am very impressed. There is a wide variety of stuff in there. This is definitely a labor of love from Steven who is looking to help the hobby. The E-Zine is more than just scenarios. There are interviews with sculptors and other folks with in the hobby, information on battles, unit histories and ideas for adapting rule sets. In short, Steven has a wide range of articles that will be coming out.

More importantly, he is looking for articles. Break out the box of crayons boys and girls and support this effort. Steven has had a special miniature cast for the publication. It is a very nice diorama of a Confederate soldier giving water to a wounded soldier. As to scale of the mini, I will assume that it is 28mm by the look of it. It is a very nice one that I am looking forward to get my hands on even though I don't do 28mm. (No really, I don't!)

Please spread the word about the E-Zine. I think Steven is really on to something here. With the demise of Charge! (Scott Mingus' ACW publication devoted to the Johnny Reb rules), Steven is hoping to fill the niche left by this vacancy. If Steven can continue the pace and add to the content with each issue, he has a really nice magazine on his hands that will be well worth the price. That reminds me, I really should put something together for him.

If you want more information, give Steven a shout at:

And the Envelope Please.......

Ohhh this adds to the tension, right.... er.. anyway.

So for prize number 1, the Sharp and Harper figures, the winner is - Millsy! Congratulations. I just need an address to get them to you. Shoot it to me at chrisstoesen @ gmail dot com.

For prize number 2, the 15mm armor bonus box, the winner is - Johnathan Yuengling! Congrats. While Johnathan was actually the only one to follow all of the rules for this one (he posted the titles of the post where the info was found), I did give all of the others who wanted in at least a shot at it. johnathan, please send me your mailing address to chrisstoesen @ gmail dot com.

And for the third prize, the copies of my self published books, the winner is - Millsy! Not really sure how that happened. Congrats on picking up two of the prizes. Every one who commented on the giveaway post was entered in this one. Once I get you e-mail address for prize 1, I will send you prize three.

And last but not least, I am awarding a sportsmanship prize. Two gentlemen stepped up and offered their potential winnings to someone else. Granted that at least one of them was to stop Ray from winning. But I thought it was still a nice gesture. So Edwin King and Gary Amos will both receive a set of my self published stuff as well as another copy being sent to Ben Davy, the target of their kind gesture. I think I have some of your e-mails but to make sure, can you please e-mail me so I know I have your right addresses? Same e-mail address as referenced above.

Thank you to all who entered. It was more fun than my actual birthday. 42 was life the universe and everything. 43 turned out to be a badly bruised back and a case of poison ivy. Anyway, until next time, enjoy.

Monday, October 7, 2013

So Who Won?

Well, I don't know yet. I just got back home from a nice day out with my family. I will figure it out in the morning.

Friday, October 4, 2013


Its the little things that can take a game from good to great. On November 2nd, 2013, we are having the Terry Haney memorial games day here in Atlanta. Several of us will be putting on games that Terry liked to play. He was a fan of the TooFatLardies rules and bought just about anything and everything that Rich produced. My contribution will be running a scenario of Chain of Command.

As I have been mentally putting together my to do list for the game. One item that I realized that I was missing was jump off points. I decided to attempt to make some signposts to use for it. I was thinking of using some that had things like "caution" on them in Italian or Russian. I might try to knock some up over the weekend.

The terrain is largely set. I have the village and fences and most important, the well. I still have Mark's snowy ground cloth (sorry Mark) as well. Beyond the Jump Off points, I need to make up some patrol markers but these should be straight forward and simple.

I have all of the infantry I could want plus some supports to choose from. Should be a good game.

Please extend a warm welcome to Michael Awdry who runs the excellent blog 28mm Victorian Warfare. Its a great blog that I have been following for a while now. Welcome aboard.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

An Interesting Book - Confederate Commerce Raider Shenandoah

I have been listening to the Audio Book of John Baldwin's "Last Flag Down" about the CSS Shenandoah. The Shenandoah was a commerce raider that was secretly launched in 1864 and was the last Confederate ship operating at the end of the war in 1865. The book is based off of the officer's log books and diaries of the men who served on her as well as corroborating evidence from outside sources.

The book has proved to be interesting to listen to but a bit dry. Much of it is direct quotations from Lieutenant Wittle's logs. Since the ship was a commerce raider and not a proper ship of war, the captures of Union flagged vessels, so far at least, has been a bit on the slow side - action wise. On the plus side, this has been a book that has not prompted me to rush out to buy figures in order to try to replicate it. :)

I am just over a third of the way through the book so far. I am mainly listening on the way too and from work so it is taking me longer to get through this than other books.

What the book does offer is an interesting insights into daily operations and maintenance of sailing ships. From caulking decks and other maintenance chores it paints a vivid picture of how hazardous sea duty really was. The description of passing Africa around the Cape of Good Hope and the violent seas that the ship encountered made me appreciate the toughness of the mariners of the days of sail.

Anyway, it is worth getting from the library and giving it a good listen/read once. This will not be one of those books I will go back to at a later date. But still worth reading.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Anglo-Zulu War: Random Thoughts

As the end of the Give Away draws near, I just want to thank all of those that entered and signed up to follow the blog.

I have been thinking on how to represent these actions of the Anglo-Zulu War. Part of me wants to do something at a lower level and feature just a company of British troops on the table at once. The other part of me wants to do something with a figure ratio that shows a larger part of the battle at once. I am thinking the second option will ultimately end up winning.

It is interesting to look at these battles and not get pulled into the near futility of the Zulus attempting to break British troops when they were entrenched. Such actions are less interesting to me as I cannot see how to model them any other way then a "Zap the Zulu" type game. What is more interesting is when the Zulus were implementing their tactics against the British when the British were on the move. Here it seems that the Zulus actually have a chance of achieving victory.

I am going to try to play around with this some before I order the figures. I think I will use my Napoleonic Brits as stand ins for the British and use my Dark Age Saxons as stand ins for the Zulus just to see how some things work out.

Lastly, I would like to extend a warm welcome to the newest followers on the blow: SA Roe and David. David runs the Lead Warrior Blog. Sa Roe runs the blog Fflumpfs in the Pantry if you have a blog, please let me know and I will update the post.