Friday, October 31, 2014

Well its that time of year so lets do Book Reviews.

Given the number of posts I have seen about the subject on my blog roll, I thought today would be a good day to talk about about a small guilty pleasure that I have developed over the past two years of reading zombie stories. Quite honestly, I was never a fan. Then the movie Zombieland came out and I happened to catch it on a business trip. It was very funny. It was not a scary gore fest.

Then I reconnected with my roommate from college. Turns out he is an author on Amazon. He convinced me to put In the Name of Roma up on Amazon and helped me complete my first novel. What was the subject of his book (now books)? Zombies. I was very hesitant to read it at first as I am not a horror fan. However, much to my delight, the books were story driven and I liked all of the characters. They just happened to be interacting during a Zombie apocalypse. I was hooked.

His first book in the series is Nicole's Odyssey.

This was a fun read and when I put it down, I really wanted more. Sure enough, he followed it up by two more books.

Substation is more of a prequel to the series and Liberation is adding new characters to the overall story. Both are good reads as well.

Phil has dragged me into this and I fully blame him. Looking for something else I found LZR-1143: Infection by Bryan James.

This too has proven to be a good story with less of the horror to it. I am only about half way through this book. He has three more in the series as well as some others as well. This should keep me busy.

All of these have one thing in common with their Zombies, they tend to be the traditional slow moving ones similar to those written about by Max Brooks (Mel's son). If I keep this up, I soon may be visiting Rebel Minis and picking up some Zombies in 15mm. I must resist, I must resist.

CSS Appomattox is Published

I have just published my first novel, CSS Appomattox. This story is about the adventures of a Confederate Airship crew captained by Thomas Devareaux. The book is alternative history and a touch steampunk (but only a touch). The time period is the 1880s and the Confederacy has entered into a mutual defense treaty with Spain and is involved in protecting the Spanish Caribbean possessions from the Empire of Germany.

This is the current cover of the book. My graphics layout talents are not the best but I kind of like it. I have been told that the font is all wrong for it but I could not figure out a better one. Any amateur artists want to take a shot at it? :)

I am selling it on both Amazon and DriveThruFiction. Both places I have the book up for $2.99. I never know what to charge for things so I looked at other similar length self published stuff to come up with this price. Time will tell how it does.

What I would really appreciate is reviews on both sites. If you are so kind as to get a copy, please let me know what you think even if you decide not to publish a review.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Santa Clause is Coming To Town

Image taken from:

As we get closer to completing our Santa Clause projects, I think we need a means to identify what they are for our fellow Clausers. When you mail your package to your target, lets add "SC" into their name so that they know they received their Santa Clause gift and not just something else that they happened to have ordered and promptly forgotten about. For example, the name should be listed as "Bob SC Hope". This will give us the opportunity to place it under the tree with the care that it deserves.

Fantastic idea, isn't it? I completely ripped it off from Ian's Secret Santa project. Its a wonderful idea. Too good not to steal.

I hope everyone is making good progress. Its less than 60 Days till Christmas.

Now for some Good News

Thank you to everyone who purchased From Empire to Revolution. So far I believe we are close to 100 copies sold. Honestly for what is viewed by many as the backwater of the Great War, I am viewing this as a success.

I have finally finished with my offering for the Santa Clause but I can't show you as I want my target to be the first to see it. I did take some suggestions that I had received and made a sabot base for it. OK, truth be told, I had some one cut out the base and then finished it. The base is done and its looking pretty good. Well at least to me and my 6 year old son. He was rather miffed that he was not allowed to play with them.

I also managed to wrap up my offering in Ian's Secret Santa (Thanks in large part to those who bought From Empire to Revolution).

Next up, I am trying to be involved in a Play By Blog game. I have never done that before. I signed up for two of them. One is Roy's Old West game (that is still looking for participants last I heard). And I also signed up for the iron clad game. I am not totally sure how this will work but it should be fun.

Now my next task is to get some items off of the to do list. I have attempted a Mark Luther ground sheet. I bought a sheet at Target and dyed it green. I then sprayed it with a couple of Greens and Browns to break up the monotony. Anyway, it can't be worse than what I have now. Once Friday is over and done with, I plan on seizing the kitchen table and getting a solo game in.

Also I have made progress on my large tree for 15mm. It is currently standing next to my Santa Clause item and it looks pretty good. Also I bought some putty and hope to finish off the Roman Watchtower sometime soon as well.

And just to prove I will take a picture now and again, here is my finished Panzer II Flamm that I received from Gaming Models. I repainted it and am nearly happy with it. The Balkan crosses would have been tiny where they were supposed to go so I left them off.

This picture was an attempt to use natural light. Unfortunately, the sun was not cooperating with me.

Until next time....

More Adventures with Ebay

Well my quest to have user Kimmie_cu83 removed from my ebay account continues. I am on my 3rd service call this month to have that done. I had previously called them in May 2014 and May of 2013. Ebay claims that they have removed this person yet there they are.

They are now telling me that they cannot remove this person from this screen but "don't worry, all is well." This is complete crap. If I open another account, they tell me that they will link to that as well. Short version, it appears that I am screwed and Ebay is completely unwilling to do a thing about it. The claim is that they are not linked on their side. Too bad there is no real competition for them.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

The Coming Thunder Errata, Part III

Well one of my sharp eyed readers spotted another issue. I had the card Tarnation present in the book with no explanation of what it was. This was a simple mistake on my part. I had actually written The Coming Thunder before Terrible Sharp Sword was completed. I initially used a play test version of the rules to work the scenarios out. Actually, they were first just based on Sharp Practice. When Rich released Terrible Sharp Sword, this card was to have been replaced by the Dag Nabbit! card that are in those rules. I actually tried this and there is a scenario or two that has both Dag Nabbit and Tarnation present in them. This is now corrected in version 2.6 of the rules. Contact me if you need this replaced. Sorry for the inconvenience.

In addition, I have gone through the pages on the blog and added the label of The Coming Thunder on the relevant pages. It seems that I had not done that on all of them before. This should make finding stuff a bit easier.

Thanks everyone.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

500th Post - Secret Santa - Other Ramblings

Wow, I have cleared over 100 posts this year. This is post 500. The blog has risen to 160 followers and over 128,000 views. Not too bad. Thank you for following and reading along. It has been great fun getting to know many of you and getting feedback on my many different hobby adventures. Please keep the comments coming.

Secret Santa
Yes, it is that time. Ian's Secret Santa project just closed and I received my target. Now I just have to figure out what on earth to buy them. Also I was asked to make a post with a wishlist of things that I would be interested in. Well, that is a great question. I have 3 current projects going on that I need more stuff for.

#1) 10mm Zulus. I have absolutely 0 terrain for these fellows and I need more Zulus. No preference in manufacturer. I actually was looking to get from several different ones just to see what they are like.

#2) 15mm Cowboys. I have at this moment 6 painted cowboy miniatures from Peter Pig. Anything from that range would be welcome or any of the 15mm buildings from the Game Craft Miniatures Wild West Line. Especially their 1 story buildings. Actually that would be excellent.

#3) 15mm WWII terrain. I would be happy with just about anything that I could use for either Normandy or the Eastern Front. no preferences as to manufacturers.

#4) Just thought of one more. Picts from Splintered Light Miniatures. I need to beef up the rather weak force that I have for Dux Britaniarum.

Those are just some ideas. Or just go through the blog and find something complimentary to what you find. I am very excited to have something hobby related under the tree this year.

Other Ramblings
I was really wanting to use post #500 to show off something that I actually finished or to have a contest. Neither are going to happen right now. But I have an idea for a give away that I will probably do sometime early next year. I will check to see if there is something that I can do with a local terrain of figure manufacturer.

The Santa Clause is going fairly well. i have heard back from a number of participants and it seems that people have gotten their ideas well in hand and are progressing. I am guessing that I will be done with mine before the end of the month. So I can mail it in early November.

So far my experiment at Wargame Vault has been mostly fruitful. I am encouraged enough to keep the books up there. The Coming Thunder has been the best seller there. With the sample scenarios as well as the full book. They have done a fantastic job of putting the word out that the book was for sale there. All in all, I am impressed with them. I will use them again for my next project as well.

As for next projects, I am finishing off my novel, CSS Appomattox. I am over half way done editing it and if I can get focused, i should be able to finish off the editing in a week. I am seriously considering posting it up on DriveThruFiction as well as amazon. DriveThru is a sister company of Wargame Vault.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The Coming Thunder - Errata Part II

I was recently notified of a mistake that I made on the map for the Battle of Fairfax Courthouse (June 1, 1861). I had one of the buildings mislabeled so it appeared that there were two Methodist Churches instead of one being the hotel. I am putting the corrected map up here. For you to grab. If you have purchased the book through Wargames Vault, I have updated the book there. If you bought it directly from me and want the update, please email me and I will get you sorted out with a corrected copy.

Sorry for the inconvenience.

Monday, October 20, 2014

More Welcomes

I would like to welcome the latest two to join up to my mad rambles. First up is Alex Sengir. Alex, I could not find a link to your blog in your Google profile. Let me know and I will post a link. Alex is involved in two blogs:

His main blog; (ostensibly in English :))
And his club's blog: (in Russian)

I have looked at his personal blog and all I can say is PLEASE add the follower widget to your blog! It has some very nice AWI items and I have run out of space to add blogs through the blogger dashboard. The cornfield corner in particular was a very nice touch. The club blog is as he stated mostly in Russian but Google translate allows it to be accessible. A wide variety of things there.

Next up is R.A.E. Gingerbhoy. Now I am 90% sure that this guy has a blog and I was 95% sure that I am following it but to save my life, I could not find it. Please send me your link again and I will post it up here. His site is and it has some interesting stuff there. I have been following for a while now.

Thank you gentlemen.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

More work on my Roman Watch Tower

I received my plastic tiles in the mail. They are just what I was looking for. The tiles come in a big flat sheet. I cut them to size and glued it down today. This terrain project is starting to come together. There is still plenty to do. Especially with the base and making the ladder up to the door.

I also have tried to make a ground cloth in the same manner that Mark L has for his games. The sheet dyed ok. The dye was who knows how many years old. I sprayed some camouflage spray paint on it and it is getting there. I am not sure how it looks. My wife is dubious. But I am starting to like it.

No pictures yet for this.

My Santa Clause project is really coming along. The figures are painted. Now I am just working on basing them. They came out better than I thought that they would. I am working on a sabot base for two of the figures. It has turned out nice so far.

-Pictures hidden until after they have been received.- Speaking of basing, I have seven AWI provincials that I am getting the bases finished for.

Next I have managed to finish a few of my new flight bases for Bag the Hun. These are the Litko bases that have a dial that reads from 1 to 6 and a holder for a 6 sided die. This will allow me to track speed and altitude on the stand. I am having great difficulty gluing the magnets to the top of these. I think I have glued more of them to my fingers than to the flight bases. You can see an example of my older plain ones there in the mix. The unfortunate thing was that I could not reuse the old ones as I could not fit the pieces over the top of the magnets.

Lastly, I spent some time getting some clump foliage on my big tree. Again, more glue on me than the tree at this point. There is still plenty to do here. Oh well, at least I am being productive.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Aaaagggghhhhhh!!!!!! I hate E-Bay

I just went online to my e-bay account and found out that someone has attempted to link to my account again! This is the third time in just over a year. I have no idea who kimmie_cu83 is but they are an evil and VILE individual. It is this user or a variant of this user that hacked my account the previous times as well. How is this happening? I have spent hours of my life on the phone with E-Bay to get the past two attempts fixed. They promised me it won't happen again. Yet, here I sit on hold yet again waiting on them to kick this $%&*'er off of my account again.


I would like to wish a warm welcome to Larry Stehle of Egil's Nest blog. He blogs about LOTR (Always fun), Colonial stuff and both World Wars. Swing on by and check his blog out. He has some nicely painted LOTR miniatures there from the little bit I have been poking around.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Secret Santa - Time is Running Out

If you have not been to Ian's blog - The Blog with No Name lately, you may have missed the news about the Secret Santa deal he has going. Time is running out to join. It is an excellent means to build community among your fellow bloggers/wargamers. Stop by and sign up. I am really looking forward to it this year.

Monday, October 13, 2014

A Good Weekend

Well my time in the wilds of Western North Carolina were well worth it. I only was able to paint a fraction of what I brought with me, but what I did paint, I really enjoyed.

I managed to get 8 AWI Provincials completed in 15mm and three 28mm figures for my Santa Clause project. I think all of them came out really well. I will post up some pictures when I have a free moment of all but the Santa Clause items. That is for the person to see first after all.

My next task will be to base these all up. I think I will keep working on my AWI provincials for the time being and get some more buildings finished up as well. I have a bunch that are sitting there unpainted that have been on a shelf for years.

Friday, October 10, 2014

This Week (or so) in History

I was thinking about this week and pulled a few items to share.

October 2, 1861 - Springfield Station, Virginia
On October 2nd, 800 men of Newton’s Brigade advanced on Springfield Station Virginia. They were under orders from Brigadier General Franklin. Colonel Pratt of the 31st NY Volunteers was in command of the expedition. They were sent to gather wood. There they encountered some Confederate skirmishers, which they drove from the town with no losses. While they were in the town, they successfully withdrew thirty-two carloads of wood from the Springfield Station area. The Union forces advanced a train along the tracks to Springfield Station to load the wood and then the entire force and train pulled back with the troops along to Union lines with no loss of life. (Taken from The Coming Thunder, pg 55)

October 3, 1941 - Ukraine
SottoTenente Nicola Rossi, of the CSIR, volunteered for a mission to track down and engage one of the few units of partisan units that were operating out of Zaukepske, Ukraine. In the day, the SottoTenente Rossi was able to capture the partisan unit and earned a medal for his action. (Taken from In the Name of Roma, pg. 30).

The area of the Ukraine that the CSIR operated in during 1941 was a hotbed of Ukrainian nationalism. There were few partisans to be found at all. Locals were far more willing to sell out the few that attempted to operate. It is from this area, that the Germans were able to recruit a large number of Ukrainians to serve the Wehrmacht and in the German administration of the Ukraine.

October 7, 1941 - Ukraine
By the 7th of October, the 80th Roma Regiment reaches Pavlograd. The II/80o met up with the LXIII CCNN Legion on F. Woltschja. The LXIII CCNN Legion that was operating on the Eastern Front was without automatic weapons. They were only equipped with bolt action rifles even as late as November 1941. The Legion was a battalion sized force. Unlike the German SS, the CCNN was not equipped with the newest and best equipment Italy had to offer. In many cases, these troops had less equipment than their regular army counterparts. (ibid)

October 7, 1861 - Northern Virginia
On October 7th, James Longstreet was promoted to Major General. He was given command over a division that included his former Brigade. (Taken from The Coming Thunder, pg 58)

October 8, 1940 – The Bir Enba Gap
In the morning, a concentration of British armored vehicles from the 11th Hussars was discovered near Bir el Khamsa which is south of Sidi Barrani. An attack was planned by 159a Squadriglia with their Breada Ba.65 dive bombers. These aircraft were escorted by nine Cr.32 fighters from the 160a Squadriglia. They discovered a single troop of vehicles. These vehicles included a pair of Rolls Royce armored cars and a single Morris CS9/LAC armored car. (Taken from The Falcon and the Gladiator, pg 61)

October 9th, 1941 - Ukraine
On October 9th, the Italians are supporting the German attack on the Pavlograd attack. The 80th Roma regiment and the LXIII CCNN continue forward and seize a bridge that the Soviets were preparing to destroy. The bridge was captured. However, the units came under heavy artillery fire and two men were killed and another seven wounded. The bulk of the casualties were suffered by the black shirts. In addition, more Blackshirts and some Bersaglieri pressed forward and crossed the Volchya River to enter Pavlograd from the West. This completed the occupation of the town.(Taken from In the Name of Roma, pg. 30)

These and many more scenarios can but gotten here or now at Wargame Vault.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

In the Name of Roma News Part II

I am very excited about another distribution opportunity that was opened up to me this week. Edwin King of Diplomatist Books has started to carry In the Name of Roma. I waited to talk about this one because it was Edwin who encouraged me to get onto Wargames Vault as well.

Diplomatist Books will be offering the same download deal that I am offering here on the blog.

I would like to encourage everyone to pay his website a visit. He has some real gems on his shelves for sale. I have been combing through his Military History section and noting some items on my wish list.

Thank you Edwin for being willing to give it a chance and for being an all around fine fellow.

In the Name of Roma News

I have just gotten In the Name of Roma released at the Wargames Vault. This option will hopefully give those interested the opportunity to get a better instant download experience than I have been able to figure out with Paypal.

Please stop on by and check it out. I would appreciate any suggestions that you could offer me as I have not figured out the marketing of scenario books yet. Thanks

Roman Auxiliaries

Finally, I actually completed something.
I had the figures painted for weeks now but they were entirely unbased. Now I finished them off raising my rank and file total to 18 Auxiliaries. I have another 16 on painting sticks that are undercoated and waiting for some attention. My centuria is now up to 1/4 strength. At this glacial pace, I may wrap this up in another couple of years.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Birthdays and other stuff

Well my birthday has come and gone, but the sale is extended till Saturday at midnight.

I have an interesting weekend planned. My wife is going to North Carolina for the weekend for some scrapbook retreat. My son and I are to accompany her. The surprise for me was the invitation to bring some miniatures with us and paint. Well this had me rummaging through my cabinets to see what I want to work on. The first few drawers in the cabinet are all AWI related. My Rebels are in pretty good shape. I have plenty of militia infantry at this point to do most of what I want.

My provincials on the other hand are sorely lacking. My next AWI supplement, I am determined to have pictures of my miniatures in it. So I have a large number of provincials in the take with us box. Lots of Old Glory and Lancashire casts there as well as a gun and gun crew. I am bringing enough that I should be able to finish off a company sized unit at 1 to 1. At the moment I have but 11 painted provincials plus an officer, drummer and flag bearer.

Next up, I put my Santa Clause figures into the mix so I can get those painted up. The sculpts are pretty nice. I just hope my painting does justice to them. I think they are a unique addition to my target's existing collection.

Lastly, some Roman infantry has entered the box. Yep, the 16 sword armed Auxilia from the two packs of Corvus Beli are on the way to the mountains this weekend. As well as a couple of Centurions. Then my command elements are resolved.

While we are talking about Romans, I have decided on how to finish off the roof on my watchtower. I found some HO scaled roof tiles that look like what I want. I am going to buy that and see how it goes.

Sorry for the lack of posting but my motivation is at an all time low for some reason.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Birthday Sale!

Yep, its my birthday on Tuesday (Oct 7). So to celebrate I am having a sale on all my scenario books that I am selling. The sale will last from now until October 11th.

That means the prices will be as follows:

In the Name of Roma is now $5.50
The Coming Thunder is now $5.00
The Falcon and the Gladiator is now $5.00
And The Air War in the Western Desert is Free if you purchase something else. Or just $1.00 by itself.

To get these deals, DO NOT use the buy it now links. Those are still and always will be the normal price. (I am too lazy to change them.) Just email/PayPal me to Reference the birthday sale and what you want. I will usually respond within a couple of hours.

There is more information on each of these scenario books on the For Sale page above. Until next time, happy gaming.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Terrain Opinions

I have a good deal of basic terrain that I need for my table. But I keep wanting to take it to the next level and make it better. My question is how common were telephone/telegraph poles on the eastern Front, in 1940 France and in 1944 Normandy?

Should I have a string of such posts lining roads? Or are they rarer than that?

I recently was given a pack of the Battlefront Miniatures telephone poles and street signs. They seem really short. Then I have another set that are much bigger and based on small FOW biscuit bases.

Here is the two types side by side. Which would look better with 15mm figures?