Sunday, December 25, 2016

Merry Christmas

Christmas is here. I was truly blessed this year. I received a fantastic gift from my Santa Clause. I recieved a group of wonderfully painted group of Italian WWII miniatures in 15mm. They are just what I needed to round out my WWII Russian Front Italians. I can't wait to get these based and on the table.

My sister-in-law gave me some really nice paint brushes. I gave myself the TFL Dawns & Departures supplement and the Christmas Special. Best yet, I have some Amazon Gift Cards. I am already scanning it for new toys and reference books.

The year is almost over and I am quite glad to see the end of it. Merry Christmas everyone and a happy and healthy New Year to you all.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

New Books - Jentz's Panzer Truppen Volume 1.

Years ago, when the War Room was still down the street from my house, I found Jentz's Panzer Truppen Volume 2. It was a great reference for Sicily as it had detailed information on the tanks used by the Herman Goering division there. It has plenty of other information and most of it is at the Division level. Volume 2 covers from 1943 to the end of the war.

Poking around Amazon and needing some retail therapy, I found someone selling a used copy of volume 1 for a fairly reasonable price. It just arrived. It looks like someone chewed on one corner of the cover and the dust jacket is nowhere to be found but it is in good condition otherwise. This book covers from 1933 to 1942. So it is perfect for the early war period and even has information for the German troops in Spain. It should provide some enlightening reading.

Sharp Practice Campaign System - Dawns and Departures

Rich just released his new supplement for Sharp Practice just in time for Christmas. I quickly purchased it and got it downloaded to my laptop. It looks great. There are three separate campaign systems for you to use. Its very exciting. I first need to start playing some games though.

To that end, I had a look at what figures I owned for Napoleonics. I did not even bother to open the Russian drawer was I know nothing is painted. One day I will have to do that. But the British Drawer was much more hopeful. I had been going for making a one to one battalion of British troops. I did not make it too far. What I have though is pretty good. I have a 64 man light company of infantry. They are led by two officers and two sergeants. There is also a drummer and color party. I also have some miniatures that I bought off of ebay that I have not painted yet. This expands the force to 16 men of a center company led by an officer and a sergeant with their own drummer. I also have a mounted officer ready to go. All in all, more than enough figures to get in a game of Sharp Practice using the core forces from the rule set.

The French were also an exercise in Megalomania. I was looking to do a battalion of Legere infantry. What I have is a Chasseur company of 72 men led by three officers, five sergeants, two drummers, a horn player (forgot what they are called) and a mounted officer. In addition, I have some skirmishing carabiniers (light regiment grenadiers). I have nine of those fellows led by a sergeant. For supports I have a group of 25 cavalry. Included in their number is a musician, a standard bearer and an officer. Plus I have a single cannon with a four man crew.

I was worried that I did not have enough Frenchmen so I was on Ebay last night. Something I should avoid for a while. I picked up a some more figures. The first auction had a mounted officer, five Chasseurs and 8 voltigeurs. The second auction netted me 16 more miniatures with Carabiniers, Voltigeurs and a couple of Chasseurs. I should be able to field two groups of skirmishing Voltigeurs when they arrive in the new year.

What I am lacking is British support items. I have no artillery and no cavalry for those poor chaps. Those will probably be an ebay purchase for the new year.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Reading Material & Santa Clause Update

I have been thinking of doing a Pint Sized Campaign for the later war period. The problem was, I did not have any good references for it. All of my books cover the early war period. After asking a few questions online, I ended up ordering Zhukov at the Oder. I have only just started to read it but it is an interesting book covering the Soviet push into Germany and its ultimate goal, Berlin.

Thus far it has not offered much on small unit actions that I am looking for but it is still very interesting. What is better, is I got it dirt cheap on Amazon. I also purchased Jentz's Panzer Truppen volume 1. I had picked up Volume 2 a long time ago but never got around to purchasing the first volume. I found it for a decent price on Amazon and one click and it was on its way. Should arrive in the next couple of days. Now to find time to read with all of the hustle and bustle of the season going on.

It seems like the Santa Clause is running successfully. I have heard from most of the participants that gifts are on their way or will be shortly.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Messing With the Cold War Again

Since I cannot keep myself focused on any one topic, I have jumped back to the Cold War. I started looking through my collection to figure out what I needed for support options.

At this point I have a near complete platoon of British troops. I need some FV432s to round them out.

My US troops are a full platoon (circa early 1980s) with M113s. One needs some camo but the rest is complete. I need some armor for supports. I really want some form of M60 as the armor rather than an M1 Abrams.

The Soviets are a platoon of Motor Infantry with BMP-1s. I have one T-55 but it is painted as a Syrian vehicle. I really need some T-72s or T-55s to go along with them. There are some infantry that need some paint to round out the platoon. But other than that, they are complete.

I also reprinted my playtest copy of Cold War gone Hot (Chain of Command for the Cold War) and started to reread them. Hopefully, I can get some down time and paint or play a game here in the near future. Really should paint terrain......

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

New Toys, New Manufacturer and Observations in Scale

I was surfing E-Bay looking to do a little retail therapy when I stumbled across a new miniature manufacturer - War Game Models of Ohio. They make resin vehicles in 15mm that are really nice.

When I added them to my storage trays, I did notice that the T-34 is bigger than my Old Glory (Command Decision) vehicles. It is about a millimeter longer and the barrel and turret seem beefier than the Old Glory models.

For the German trucks, I don't think this will be an issue. If my Radio and tanker truck are slightly bigger than an Opel Blitz truck, I don't think anyone will notice. But the tank is very noticeable when next to the others. I will still use it but I may pick up another Old Glory pack of T34 1940s at some point in the future.

I started to inventory my Early War Soviet collection to see if there are any gaps that I have for the support list in Chain of Command. Honestly, my vehicle recognition skills stink so I was trying to compare my vehicles with pictures on the internet to figure what was what.

I found I have three KV-1s from two different manufacturers. The odd man out looks like the little brother of the other two. I believe that the two larger ones are from Flames of War. But the smaller one has a resin body and metal treads as well. As such, I am stumped as to what it is.

My T34s I recognize without having to compare pictures.

I have a plastic flamethrower variant of a T-26 (Kht-26 maybe? or OT-26). I think it is a Zveda model. Nice but feels fragile.

I have three Gaming Models T-26s. Looking at their site, I actually don't see the same turret as the ones that I have. It looks like his Radio antenna model with out the antenna. Speaking of which, I want one of those.

I have five of the Gaming Models KhTz-16 tractor tanks. Love these models. They were built in two places, Kharkov and Stalingrad. They were a terrible tank and most of them ended up as fiery wrecks but they are just too cool not to have. Gamine Models is the only place to get these. The owner built them for me by request. He did it because he thought they looked cool. Very nice models.

Then I have three Ba-10 armored cars. Two are metal models but are not Old Glory. Not sure whose work they are. And one is a plastic one (probably Zveda again). The plastic one was fiddly to put together. The front bumper snapped right off. But it fits in very well with the others.

That takes me to seven vehicles that I have no clue what they are. I bought them as part of a collection that someone was selling off.

I think two of them are BT-7s. I still have to figure out the others. Back to the search.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Scenarios, Research and Getting Something Done

In a burst of enthusiasm, I managed to finish my AWI supplement yesterday. I also looked over my Kharkov campaign again. It is ready but just needs graphics. To do graphics, I need terrain to take pictures of the troops in. So that had me drag out the train station. As I did so, I pulled out the new styrene strips I bought to continue where I left off. OOps. Wrong thickness. I need to go back to the store. Plus, my wife used up all of the PVA glue in the house for Halloween costumes. Got to get some of that too.

Putting away my train station, I pulled out one of my new favorite books, "The Bloody Triangle" that covers the armored battles in the opening days of Operation Barbarossa in the Ukraine. This was a source I used for the Ustilug Campaign. Great book that is chock full of good stuff to base scenarios on.

As I was reading, I came across a section discussing the 15th Panzer Regiment/11th Panzer Division's advance through the Ukraine. To Quote the author, Victor Kamenir, the town of Radekhov was the site of "the first significant tank battle in Ukraine" (pg 139). This got me excited. It seemed like a great candidate for an IABSM scenario and I know Mark has the miniatures in 6mm to get this done. I kept reading. It seems that the small town of Radekhov was occupied by two tank battalions and one Motor Rifle Battalion from the IV Mechanized Corps. OK. This could be a BIG scenario.

But where on earth is Radekhov? Unfortunately, it is not on It is in map M35-62-A which he does not carry. The book describes the town and its neighboring village of Stoyanov as "equally small and insignificant town"(pg 139). But, I found a 1929 Polish map of the area that has both towns referenced by the book present. Much harder to find as they used the Polish names for the towns instead of the Russian/Ukrainian names. You can pull the map up here: Below is the part that I am interested in.

Caution, original image is 28MB. I added it here as a small image. I hope it does not bog things down.

The Soviet force was commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Georgiy Lysenko. North of Radekhov and between Stoyanov was two battalions of the 10th Tank Division of the XV Mechanized Corps. Around 0330 hours on the 23rd of June, the lead battalion of the 15th Panzer Regiment engaged the battalions of the 10th Tank Division. They brushed them aside and approached Radekhov from the north around 0530 hours.

Here is where I am left slightly disappointed. The description of the battle tells me nothing about the forces that engaged one another. I have no clue what was in the 10th Tank Division at this time. So it was time to dig. Well, I found this little gem: TECHNICAL REPORT FROM THE 10th TANK DIVISION, AUGUST 1941. This was a report filed by the acting commander of the 10th Tank Division in August of 1941. He provides a breakdown of the losses suffered by tank type in the division. Now we are starting to get somewhere. Tanks listed in the losses section are: KV, T-34, T-28, BT-7 and T-26. Unfortunately, there are multiple models of the T-26 and KV tanks so this does not completely clear the muddy waters. But I did remember that I had a book by Charles Sharp somewhere. "The Deadly Beginning: Soviet Tank, Mechanized, Motorized Divisions and Tank Brigades of 1940-1942." Surely this will be enlightening. And it is.

Tank Regiments of the 10th Tank Division

Parent Unit1st BattalionSecond BattalionThird BattalionFourth Battalion
19th Tank Rgt31 KV Tanks52 Mixed T-34, T-28, BT-731 KV Tanks52 Mixed T-34, T-28, BT-731 KV Tanks52 Mixed T-34, T-28, BT-7Light Tanks
20th Tank Rgt31 KV Tanks52 Mixed T-34, T-28, BT-731 KV Tanks52 Mixed T-34, T-28, BT-731 KV Tanks52 Mixed T-34, T-28, BT-7Light Tanks

Well, it helps some. We can assume that the Light tanks are probably T-26's based on the August Report as that is the only tank type missing from it in Charles Sharp's account of the division. In the initial action, the T-34 tanks were not yet encountered. We know this from the next revelation from "The Bloody Triangle."

German aerial reconnaissance spotted a significant body of Soviet Armor approaching Radekhov from the east. This was the bulk of the 10th Tank Division. The whole of the 15th Panzer Regiment deployed in line and waited for the arrival of the 10th. They were supported by artillery and anti-aircraft artillery. This allowed the forward deployed elements of the 10th Tank Division to escape and fall back to join Lysenko's main force.

The Germans pressed on towards Radekhov and were met by Soviet artillery fire and a dozen tanks (no mention of types). The first battalion of the 15th Panzer Regiment dealt with the 12 Soviet tanks. They knocked out three and lost only one of their own vehicles in return. They then took Radekhov. The defenders fled to the south and southeast.

Now this is where the account gets interesting. The 15th halted south of Radekhov just before a hill to the southeast of the town. Lieutenant von Renesse volunteered to lead a reconnaissance of the hill and its surrounding area. His entire platoon (2nd platoon) from the 5th Company volunteered to go forward for the mission. Now we get some details. There were five tanks in the platoon. Three of the tans were armed with the short 5cm cannons and two were armed with the 3.7cm KwK cannons. One of these later types had a non-operational gun but still was eager to go forward.

In researching what tanks were part of the 15th Panzer Regiment, I found a source that said the 5th Company was a light tank company. But this does not work based on the armament of the tanks. The Panzer I and Panzer II light tanks did not have such heavy armament. But, the Panzer III tanks had exactly this armament. So we have one side determined.

The panzers aligned themselves in a wedge formation and moved up to 100 meters before a highway that was on the hill. The panzers encountered a few enemy infantry but reported back that it was smooth going. Then they spotted a formation of four Soviet tanks advancing in a single file line spaced fifty meters apart. The book states that they were of a type that the tankers had never seen before. The panzers got off the road and into position to ambush the advancing Soviet tanks. The Soviet tanks advanced at full speed down the road. At nearly point blank range, the panzers opened fire. Firing as rapidly as possible, the platoon scored hit after hit on the Soviet tanks. The Soviet tanks reaction was to turn around and drive off. The Soviets did not fire a shot, were hit repeatedly and did not lose a single tank.

This was one of the first encounters that the German Army had with the Soviet T-34 tank. This description, coupled with the Polish map should provide enough information for a nice game of Chain of Command. At the bottom of the map above, the hill can clearly be seen as well as the highway that was hidden to the Germans from the base of the hill. The hill itself did not have much in the way of trees but the elevations should provide some interesting cover to move in and out of.

AnywaY, I hope this was interesting for you. I will try out this scenario at some point with my 15mm Toys. Now to see if I have the right types of Panzer IIIs.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Murder and Devastation in Every Quarter

Yep, I was able to get some writing done today. My third AWI supplement for Sharp Practice is nearing completion. I now have 9 of 12 scenarios completed. Starting work on scenario 10 now. Things are starting to come together. Lets see what happens.

Santa Clause and Secret Santa

OK. I have just finished off my outbound gifts for both the Secret Santa and Santa Clause. Hopefully, it will prove to be a jolly holiday for my recipients.

How are you doing with your preparations? Everything coming along well?

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Interesting Movie

Looking to cure some boredom, I stumbled across an interesting WWI movie called William Kelly's War. William Kelly is an Australian who volunteers for service in the Great War. The movie follows his career as a sniper from Gallipoli to France. It has some interesting scenes that would work well as scenarios for either WWI Chain of Command or Through the Mud and Blood. Particularly an attack on a German bunker and the German Counter attack. It was not a great movie but it was certainly worth watching for free on Amazon Prime. If you get a chance and are interested in the Great War, it would be worth the hour and 45 minutes to see it.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

A complete and utter lack of progress

This month I have managed to do nothing hobby related. I am 90% done with my AWI scenario book and I cannot concentrate enough to complete it. I have done no work on terrain for the Kharkov campaign. It has been slightly depressing. But I am starting to feel better and I have high hopes for November which will be largely spent on Santa Clause items.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Annual Birthday Sale

I managed to survive till 46 years of age. To celebrate, I am putting all of my supplements on Sale for the next week.

Action at Ustilug - $1.00

In the Name of Roma - $6.00

The Coming Thunder - $5.00

The Falcon and the Gladiator - $4.00

Air War in the Western Desert June 41 to Nov 42 - $1.00

Then there is the individual scenarios that I am grouping together for $1.00 These include:
a) GreenHill Tennessee - Terrible Sharp Sword Scenario
b) Action at Sonolenta Aldeia - Sharp Pracrive v1 Scenarios
c) M&B - To Catch a General - Mud and Blood Scenario (WWI)
d) Kfar Darom 1948 - IABSM Scenario for Israel's war of Independence
e) SCW - First Flight- SCW Scenario for Bag the Hun and CY6

Or get the whole mixed bag of nuts for just $16.00. To order, Paypal the money to me at I will respond usually in less than 24 hours. Thanks for taking a look.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Santa Clause 2016

I have sent out the information for the Santa Clause. Thank you to all 14 participants. I look forward to reading about your plans and seeing your progress.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Santa Clause Update

I have what I believe is the final list of folks who are participating this year. There are thirteen folks signed up so far. I may have some room for last minute entries if anyone is still interested.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Cub Scouting

Its that wonderful time of year when many stores have booths of cute little blue uniformed Cub Scouts selling Trails End popcorn. My son is now one of those. If you have any interest in some really good popcorn and helping my son out, please hop over to his page and take a look. Sorry for the interuption in normal service. I will try not to do this often.

Popcorn Sales Page

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Train Station

I started work on the train station today. After putting a base coat of paint on, I realized my mistake. I had not filled in the gaps in my not so great gluing job. I am trying to think what else I need to do to finish out the building.

Any thoughts?

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

More Progress

I managed to finish gluing the walkway together without gluing my fingers to it. I also mounted the passenger platforms to some wood. Unfortunately, I don't have the height that I wanted on the platforms. I may go back later and cut these out and add a second layer. But I am too lazy to do that right now. I need to paint the walkway. Possibly add more writing on it as well. I am still debating on permanently mounting the walkway to the passenger platforms. Any opinions on that? I am thinking of leaving it separate for ease of storage. I need to make one more similar board and I have what I need for my scenario.

It's not much, but it was significant in that I managed it with the shaking in my hands. Hopefully, that will stop soon when I can tune back the UC meds. I have started work on the rail station/govt building. Hopefully, I will get some paint on it today.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Warehouse Completed

I finished off a warehouse building today. Managed to get it painted. It was an ebay purchase that was a little fiddly to put together but I really like it.

The paint job does not do justice to the building. It will make a great addition to my eventual Kharkov table.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Reinforcements and Ramblings

Recently, I have had a couple of friends who recently lost a parent. I was thinking of my own father as I checked the mail. As I fetched the mail I saw that my recent expedition of retail therapy had arrived. As I looked at the return address it reminded me of my Dad. He used to tell this old joke based on an old song.

"One day, Roy Rogers rode into town to pick up some new boots that Dale Evans had purchased for him. He picked up the new red boots and rode back to the ranch. On the way to the ranch, he was attacked by a wildcat that tore the new boots to shreds. Taking out his pistol, Roy killed the wildcat and put it on the back of his horse Trigger with the now ruined boots. At he reached the ranch, Dale Evans came out and immediately burst into song, 'Pardon me Roy, is that the cat that chewed your new shoes?'"

Dad loved jokes like that. It's been long enough now that these memories are treasured and sweet rather than painful. This was all driven by the return address of my Rebel Minis was listed at Chattanooga. Thus this long ramble.

Anyway, I picked up a few packs of Rebel minis Roman Auxillia. They look great. They come with separate shields. Some are standing while others are attacking. There were Four total poses. In the first pack, there were 17 of the attacking pose and one each of the other poses. The second pack had better variety. Nine of the standing pose, two with sword raised but still heavily weighted to the attacking pose. This should provide me with plenty of miniatures to round out my Roman force for the time being. I also picked up a mounted officer to go with them.

The second package was three Game Craft card buildings.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Santa Clause 2016

The Santa Clause 2015

Since Ian has kicked off the Secret Santa already, it is time to get rolling with the Santa Clause. If you were with us last year, you know how this works. If not, here are our ground rules:

Rule number 1:
To enter you need to either have a blog or be a regular follower of this blog (or Ian's) already. This is to give confidence to all involved that everyone will follow through to the end. If you have a blog and don't follow this one it's OK to join in. (I would still appreciate it if you did follow)

Rule number 2:
The idea is that each person involved buys a figure or figures to the value of less than £5 and paints them up to fit in with what the target blogger wargames or collects. Best would be some kind of command for the bigger scales but maybe a unit or two of such as 6mm or a building or... you get the idea.

Rule number 3:
Please try to send out your items so that they will arrive by December 20th in plenty of time for the big day. I will send out who you have on September 30th.

Rule number 4:
Please post on your blog about your participation. The more we can get on board, the more fun for all of us.

Rule number 5:
This is not intended to be a cheap alternative to Ian's Secret SantaTM. Instead it is a great opportunity to send and receive something that will be special BECAUSE it's a one off from a fellow blogger. Not that you have to limit yourself to something useful, feel free to paint up something that will just sit aside the painting desk or study etc and just give pleasure.

Rule number 6:
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.


So that's the idea, it is another great way to connect with your blogging friends and get something really exciting at Christmas. I hope that this year will be as great a success as last year. Ian's wife did a fantastic job with it and from what I can see, everyone had a great time. If you are interested, please leave a comment here with your blog address. We need to be able to look and see what you are interested in. Then shoot me an e-mail to chrisstoesen at I need to know where you are located as well so I will need a mailing address to send to your Santa Clause recipient. I will cut off the registrations on September 30th.

That's it folks, lets get this going! I hope to see all of last year's participants back involved. It was a great time.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Infinity Figure

I found myself in possession of a single Infinity figure still in its packaging. It is a "Senor Massacre" figure. If anyone is interested in this figure, please let me know. I will be happy to send it to you for the price of shipping.


Friday, September 2, 2016

Roleplaying - RPOL

I had played around with attempting to use RPOL to play an online, play by post version of some table top games. Honestly, I never got it to work right. RPOL is a great tool but it is far more suited to traditional role playing games.

A while ago, I started a game out there to test out some ideas for a Roman version of Dux Brit. I ended up converting it to an AD&D 3.5 game. Its actually survived quite a while and I have a couple of dedicated players who are pushing on.

The story is set on the Roman Limes wall in Germania Superior. The players are Auxilia troops stationed at the fort at Saalburg. The players have been dispatched as an esploratori unit to investigate some strange happenings north of the wall. A barbarian migration had begun and is forcing the local tribes out of their homes and across the wall.

Since it is AD&D, it departs from history at this point but it has been fun. If you are interested, stop by and take a look.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016


Well it's been an exciting week. With the launch of Action at Ustilug, it has gotten me focused on finishing my terrain for the Kharkov supplement. I have gotten some good feedback on the TFL forum about some missing items that I will try to round out with the Kharkov supplement. But I need to get cracking with the terrain.

I am focusing my efforts on the rail station scenario terrain. I have a solid idea on what to do for the passenger platforms. I picked up an HO scale passenger walkway at the local train store. It is a nice piece but fiddly. I have it mostly superglued together. What I needed was the passenger platforms that they would rest upon.

I stole the idea for the platform from Matt. He purchased some laminate tiles from Home Depot that looked reasonably like concrete. They come in 1' by 2" lengths. I cut them into 4" wide by 2' long strips. I will have to do this for two of the tiles to get the station to cross my games table. I intend on mounting these on some wood to keep them flat. Then mount them again on a long board to keep the whole thing stable. This will also give the train track bed some depth from the passenger platform.

For train tracks, I purchased a bunch of them from Mark IV Miniatures. I just got the straight lengths. I will have four sets of 4' long track sections to paint up. I just need to figure out the spacing between the passenger platforms to have room for the double track lengths.

Once this is all together, I can start to worry about the train station. I have assembled the structure that I will use but I have not painted it at all. All of this will occupy about half of a 6' by 4' table. The rest of the table will be generic urban buildings.

The Squirrel Moment

I was trying to save my pennies and buy a shapeways Soviet train in 15mm to go with the station. But the TFL yahoo group was all in a flutter about Rich mentioning that he was thinking about doing a Roman version of Dux Brit. That had me out in the garage looking at my roman figures. Thus far I have an auxilia force of 16 men painted with an optio, signifer and a cornicen. I have figures primed for another 16 auxilia. Reading about Rich's plans saw my Paypal account balance drop as I bought a couple of Rebel Miniatures Auxilia packs to round out this force. I really need to figure out how to stay focused on projects.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Thank you!

Late last night, I decided to post up my Action At Ustilug Pint Sized Campaign. The response has been fantastic. I just got caught up with sending out all of the orders so far. Thank you my friends for your generous support.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Action at Ustilug - Now on Sale

The Action At Ustilug is a pint sized campaign for Chain of Command. It contains a half ladder campaign with a variable support system that adds an extra level of friction to your support choices. The campaign covers the opening day of Operation Barbarossa. The German 289th Infantry Division crossed the Ukrainian border at the bridges near Ustilug and encountered the Soviet 87th Rifle Division and elements of the 41st Tank Division. The scenarios cover rural as well as urban engagements. The Soviet defenders acquitted themselves well and delayed the German advance through the town at every opportunity.

The booklet weighs in at 22 pages with full maps for each scenario. This does not have the same production quality as the Pint Sized Campaigns published through TooFatLardies as it has no graphics other than game maps.

This is the first early war Eastern Front Supplement designed for Chain of Command to be released. I am charging $2.00 for the supplement through this blog. Simply send a paypal payment to and once I receive the payment, I will mail you the PDF.

I would appreciate it if you can spread the word to your friends and gaming partners.



Friday, August 12, 2016

More Retail Therapy

I have really been laid low by this illness (UC). It is starting to get me down. So I decided to engage in a little retail therapy. I found a book I have been wanting on Amazon - Christopher Shores and Giovanni Massimello's A History of the Mediterranean Air War 1940-1945 Volume II. This covers 1942 to March of 1943. It is a great, big, thick tome. I look forward to giving it a read.

Next up, I decided to revisit a dormant project - Dux B for the Romans. I looked at the figures that I have. I now have suitable Centurions that I am happy with. I have more than enough command for 3 Centuries at a 1:1 scale. I have enough auxillia for one century that is garrison bound and not full strength. What I was lacking was the junior leaders - the Optios. I have one Optio. It is a great figure from Corvus Belli. It looks fantastic. But, when I went to order more, I can't find any. Oops. Only one of these fellows came in a pack of command figures. I have so many other command figures that I hesitated ordering more packs just for one figure out of it. I thought I was stuck. Then eBay came to the rescue. There was a guy selling 5 15mm Early Roman Command figures from an unknown manufacturer. They looked vaguely like optios from the fuzzy pictures. So I clicked buy. They were cheap enough.

I just got them today. They are perfect. They have the same feathers on the helmet that the CB figure has. But they have some kind of mane running down the middle. That should not be too hard to remove with a little time with a file. Three figures are waving a sword while two are standing there holding a banner. I figure I will cut off the banner and they will be holding a pilum.

All in all, two great purchases. Now to find the energy to read or paint.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Reinforcements for North Africa

After the game last week, I broke out my North Africa aircraft. I had a quick game of Check Your Six to get the rules stuck in my head. As I reviewed my aircraft, I started thinking about what I would want to add to my aircraft.

First, I inventoried what I have.

ItalyCr4236These were a pain to assemble
ItalyG50bis63These were simple to paint up.
ItalySM7917I copied aircraft with no camo pattern.
GermanyBf109e Trop816Simple pattern to paint. Slight megalomania as I wanted a complete Staffel of aircraft.
GermanyJu87B Trop353 of the unpainted really just need markings.
UKHurricane Mk184Had wanted to do a squadron of these.
UKTomahawks84One of the unpainted has an accidental hole through it.
UKSpitfire08These are for later in the war.
So, as you can see, I have a nice selection to start with. But I was lacking some aircraft for some scenarios that I wanted to do. Basically, not enough bombers. So, I went shopping. My Picoarmor order just came in. It is great.

ItalyBr203Nice clean castings.
ItalyBa658Neat little aircraft that did not fare well.
GermanyBf110C8These should be fun.
GermanyJu88A-13Should be a nice little bomber.
UKMartin Maryland3Nice bomber for the Brits
UKBlenheim IV3This was an impulse buy.
I also placed an order with Tumbling Dice. I am waiting on some Blenheim Is, Caparoni 310s and some Hs126s. Now to take some time to paint them. I also checked and I only have 14 flight stands so the possibility of doing larger actions is unlikely.

Chain of Command Pint Sized Campaign - Action at Ustilug, 1941

I just found a supplement that I had written over a year ago. It is a pint sized campaign consisting of six scenarios in a half ladder campaign. It follows the defense of the town of Ustilug by the 87th Soviet Rifle Division against the attack of the German 298th Infantry Division. The action takes place in the town of Ustilug and across the open plains behind the town up to train station at Piatydnie.

The booklet consists of the historical background of the action, information about the forces that were deployed, and specific rules on the support elements that are available for the campaign.

A quick note, this does not currently have the nice layout that Rich puts into the pint sized campaigns he releases. I am checking with Rich to see if he is interested in it first. If not, I may put this up on my blog later this week.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Strange Blogger Behavior

Not sure what happened, but it the past couple of weeks the top item in my blog roll has decided to display the image for that blog across most of the page. This had the lovely benefit of obscuring the pictures and text of my post. I have just spent some time tinkering with the settings and could not figure out why it was doing that. In the end, I had to remove the thumbnails from the blog roll listing. That makes the blogroll text only which is unfortunate but more usable. Anyone else have something like that happen to them? I know Fran saw that on one of my posts which got me looking at the issue.

Anyway, yesterday was a bust. I was too sick to get in a game. Didn't get to paint either. But today is a new day.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Got in a Game Last Night - CY6 Greece

Mark hosted his regular Thursday night game of Check Your Six. He indulged me and we played a Greece 1941 game. I was in command of a flight of three Gloster Gladiators with excellent pilots including Marmaduke Pattle. The Italians were played by Mark with a flight of two Cr42s, Chris (a different one) with a flight of two G50s and Max with a group of three Cr42s.

My flight came in at a higher altitude and spotted the Italians immediately. Pattle and his wingman dove down on Mark's CR42s. The last Gladiator remained at altitude and turned towards the G50s. And this is pretty much where my plan fell apart.

Turn 4 has Pattle with a shot on one of Mark's novice pilots. He scores a hit but Mark was able to save. Turn five has Pattle repeating his shot and jamming his guns. Mark again saves. Pattle next dives out of the way in order to get a chance to unjam his guns. (Actually, he should have just left but the Italians wanted to continue the game.) Turn 6 saw the the Italians land a hit on Pattle's wingman. This resulted in engine damage. The pilot would then dive out of combat and reached safety by turn 10.

Turn 11 saw Pattle land another hit resulting in airframe damage to one of Max's Cr42s. Max climbed and ran for it with this pilot. The same turn saw my other pilot take engine damage. He attempted to dive out of combat but was followed by a G50 and two Cr42s and probably would have been shot down.

Exhaustion overtook me and I had to quit after 13 turns. All in all, it was a great game. You just never know how things are going to play out. With a top ace like Pattle, there should have been multiple kills recorded. But one never knows how things will happen. Great game that was lots of fun.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Painted Miniatures

I finally finished some miniatures. First up is my group of Continentals. I only have six of them so far with an officer.

The second set of miniatures is a mule team for Sharp Practice supports. These are mostly for AWI but might work for the SYW if I ever get to those figures.

The last set is my engineers. Also for SP2 AWI. They are great figures but I really need 8 men and a leader but only have 7 with a leader. They are nice miniatures.

I did paint the remaining 4 figures for my mounted Militia. Also an officer for the mounted militia was painted. Then I have a preacher, a doctor, a dog and a guy and an ox that are plowing a field. The mounted militia is Peter Pig. The leader of the mounted militia is a scout from Peter Pig. The Preacher is from a Peter Pig ECW pack as is the dog. The doctor is a FIW civilian from Blue Moon. Nice tall rotund figure. The oxen and plow is also Blue Moon.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Managed to Get Some Painting Done

I had a partially painted group of Maryland Continentals done that I finished off with an ink wash. The next step is to start basing them. But that is not all. I painted my mule train for Sharp Practice. I have seven mules and a drover. All painted and ink washed. They are ready for basing. Lastly, I also started to paint an engineering team. The figures were purchased from Magister Militum. They are great but there is one figure that is too specifically dressed. He is wearing what appears to be an English Civil War uniform with a helmet. I don't think that I can use that poor fellow. The rest seem OK to use. The team is great. One fellow with a wheelbarrow, a man with a pick, one with a sledgehammer, one carrying a wicker basket of debris, two with shovels and another with a bundle of sticks. Then there is a leader figure that is pointing dramatically. The ECW fellow is holding a stick.

I am working on finishing off the Engineers and then will move on to some more mounted militia to finish off a group.

Hopefully, I can get some pictures before the end of the day.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Building Kharkov Station

I managed to make a breakthrough with the design of Kharkov station. I found a pedestrian walkway that will work well with what I have in mind. I found a HO Scale plastic kit at a local train shop. Great shop by the way. It is around the corner from my house and they had lots of useful bits there.

The plastic kit is a snap together kit. That mostly works. But it will not be stable enough for the gaming table. I bought two of them and put them together. I had to trim part of one walkway to get them to join up. I need to break out the super glue and stabilize the whole thing.

I added a simple banner to one side of the walkway that reads "Welcome to Kharkov Station" or at least that is what Google Translate tells me that is. Who know what it actually says.

Next, I need to figure out how much train track I actually need. The intent is to copy this.

I won't be able to make it as huge as this. The Kharkov station walkways are covered. Mine are not. The intent is to have a section of walkway that spans two double track sections. I have some tile pieces that I intend to use as the medians where the walkways will rest upon. The tracks will be in the grooves between the sections of tile. One of the things in the picture is a covered canopy for waiting passengers to take shelter under in the case of a storm. I am debating on skipping that part.

The second picture above is of the station itself. It is a one story structure with a curved roof. Here is where my Game Craft Miniatures Government Building will step in. I will remove the second story and create a flat roof for the structure. Then using a pringles can, create the curved roof structure. I have some balsa wood blocks that I will make a clock tower with to have on one of the corners. I just hope my building skills are up to the challenge. If I can pull it off, the Government building will become even more versatile and can mimic several buildings with a simple roof change. Well, that is the theory anyway. I will pull the tile out later today and see if I can start laying out what the track sections will look like.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

TFL Summer Special

Well, I did something wargames related today. I bought the TFL Summer Special. I am very impressed. It is full of good stuff. I now have such a backlog of things that I want to do, I will never get them done. All of my favorites are in there. Bag the Hun, Chain of Command, IABSM and of Course plenty for the New Sharp Practice.

Speaking of SP, I need to get a game in. I have all of the gear ready, just need to time to give the rules a spin. Hopefully, my health will start improving and I can change all of that.

In the works, I have a nearly finished Pint sized campaign (maybe quart sized is better since there are technically 2 campaigns in it) and a half finished 3rd AWI book. The new book is made specifically for SP2. I should start seeing work take shape on these soon enough.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Been Kinda Quiet Around Here

My apologies for my absence. I have been fighting a bad UC flare and just not had the energy to do anything. I am back to trying to work on my day job some every day. But there is nothing left in the tank for hobby stuff. Doc has me on new meds this week and we will see how this turns out. I hopefully will be back to normal in short order.

Until then, I am still planning on launching my second novel on Amazon on the 15th. I am just doing some last minute clean up on it and hoping to hit publish soon.

Until next time, roll some dice and have fun.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

More Urban Terrain

I finally finished off another eBay building that I purchased awhile back. It is a nice little office building. I had most of it done for a while now but I just finished the side brickwork and the front stoop.

I have it's partner up on the painting table. Just finished gluing on the balconies. It should make a nice addition. I also have the warehouse building that is ready for paint. Just lack the energy to complete anything at the moment. I may make some rubble for the ruined buildings next.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Research for my New SP AWI Campaign

So far I am keeping the working title of "Murder and Devastation in Every Quarter" as it seems fitting for the guerrilla campaign waged in late 1780. I have three of 12 scenarios complete and a framework for the others done. I have really enjoyed working on this one. At the end of it, I created a mini-campaign for Georgetown, South Carolina. It was a target Francis Marion had in mind throughout the period but never managed to take and hold.

One of the side effects of working on these scenarios is that it is making me revisit my previous scenario books "This Land Divided" and "With Fire and Sword." The next project will be to bring those up to Sharp Practice 2.0 standards. They are actually quite usable as they are with just minor tweaking. There are some timed events that have to be rethought through, but other than that, they are usable still.

The other side effect was I now have a project for NaNoWriMo. I am doing a novel about Captain John McClure of the Turkey Creek Regiment in 1780. Should be interesting.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

More Terrain Work

While not able to sleep, I managed to crank out a couple more items. I finished off a 4 Ground building. It is a very nice building but I do not like the way the roof joins look. Also the corners don't do much for me. I may end up repainting this even though I am not sure I am up to the task.

Next, I finished two small stands of trees. I had bought a nice set of Woodlands Scenic trees and got some of them based up.

Lastly, I got in all of the figures for my Frei Infantry Von Mayr. They look great. I bought some painted jagers for the force. They need some touch up to make them match but should be ideal.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Scatter Terrain and Distractions

Scatter Terrain

I placed an order with Stone Mountain miniatures a while back and they just delivered. The stuff looks great. The first pack is loose weapons, bugles, drums, backpacks, and artillery wheels. Pack 2 has barrels, crates, mealie bags, and stacked rifles. These will be very useful for several scenarios that I am working on. Pack 3 is nine campfires, two cooking fires, assorted pots and pans and two stacks of firewood. The cooking fires come with an animal on a spit. I must say, the critter looks kinda like a cat to me. The third pack is my favorite of the bunch so far. Last item that I picked up is a building. I have not taken it out of the packaging yet as there are several loose metal parts in with it as well as two hay stacks. They look good so far.


Well, I have been motivated by others Imaginations Seven Years War projects and I decided to take the plunge. I will do two forces. The first is the Austrian aligned forces of Anhalt-Zerbst. It will consist of Grenadiers, musketeers, jagers and some Cuirassiers. These I have not ordered yet.

The next force became the Frei-Infantrie of von Mayr. I settled on Eureka and Blue Moon 15/18mm figures for. I just received my group of Hussars, infantry NCOs, Officers, standard bearers and drummer. Also have an artillery piece and crew. Also picked up a mounted officer to be the overall commander. I bought some Old Glory 15mm Prussian Jagers for this force as well. Two more packages to arrive and I will have my von Mayr infantry ready to go. Now I just have to find time to paint them.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Terrain Time or How to make something into what it is not

I am looking to attempt to create the train station in Kharkov in 1941. I am going to base the building off of the really nice GameCraft miniatures model of their large government building. The thing is big in 15mm. I can't even imagine what it is like in 28mm.

I just finished the assembly of the building. It is really nice.

These are the back and front of the building. I plan on using this as a multi purpose "government" building. The intent is to have items that I can add or take away from it to use it for different things. I have been trying to find good pictures of the building from 1941. Those are hard to come by. Here is an aerial photograph that dates to August 1941, several months before German troops arrived.

The building I am looking at is closest to the tracks. There is a large courtyard in front of it. The basic layout has not changed much. Modern views are similar but the main train station has been upgraded. The only period photo that I found of the station is this one. I think it is a shot of the building from the rear and not from the courtyard.

The modern station is quite different.

What I have does not duplicate either building. But what I was thinking of extending one of the towers on the model to be a clock tower. In the period photo, you can see the columned tower on the right side of the building. The thought was to make a block of balsa and decorate it up to look like this tower. Then get a clock face from some doll house kit and make a clock face that would face the courtyard area. Put magnets into the roof of the existing tower and the bottom of the clock tower to hold it in place. But still be able to remove it for other things.

Once thing that I cannot see from the period picture is if the building has a name on the front. The modern one does and I was thinking of copying that and making a wire frame to hold the letters on that could be set on the facing above the stairs on my kit. The modern building also has a pair of statues there on either side of the train station sign. I was thinking about getting 2 10 or 6mm miniatures and painting them white and sticking them up there as decoration. Just trying to find the right figure first. Something heroic looking holding a teardrop shield seems about right from the pictures that I have seen.

I will never have the time or money to get it to match, but I think this is a useful middle ground. Any ideas or helpful suggestions?

Friday, May 27, 2016

Seven Years War

I am being sorely tempted to make a Seven Years War army. Looking at Carole's and Rich's posts on their Imaginations armies makes me want to give it a shot. My issue is I have no idea what I would want to do.

I have been wanting an Ottoman army for my Napoleonics. They would work rather nicely for this purpose as well. So this is a possibility.

Then I was thinking of my Mother's stories about growing up in Dessau before and during WWII. For several years she lived in Schloss von Anhalt with the Duke and his daughter. That had me searching for what Anhalt had as troops during the SYW. It turns out that the Anhalt family fought for a multitude of sides.

I stumbled across this project and it seems to be a gold mine of information:

French Army
Prince de Anhalt-Cöethen Infantry regiment fought for the French. Before 1759 it was the Bentheim Regiment until it was taken over by the Prince.

Saxon Army
Fürst von Anhalt-Dessau Cuirassiers. This cavalry regiment fought for the Saxons until they were captured by the Austrians.

Prussian Army
von Anhalt-Dessau Infantry (IR3). This was a standard Prussian regiment that had three battalions.

Prinz Moritz Infantry (IR22). Austrian Army
Anhalt-Zerbst Cuirassiers. 6 squadrons of cavalry and one company of carabiniers.

Anhalt-Zerbst Infantry. 1 battalion of four companies and 50 cavalry. My favorite quote on this regiment which tempts me to model it is "an under-strength unit of undersized soldiers, and of little military use."

Hesse-Kassel Army
Prinz von Anhalt Infantry Regiment. This unit also made its way to the United States for the American War of Independence.

These provide some confusing and odd choices. I still think an Anhalt-Zerbst troops would be fun to do. I am thinking about three groups of musketeers and a group of grenadiers. Then a group of Carabiniers from the Cuirassier regiment.

I have no idea of what to do for an opposing force.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

GameCraft Government Building

I started work on this monster. I love the building. It is a really nice one. But it is lacking on instructions. There is a video for how to put together the whole building. I have the multi part building with the internal floor kit. Watching the video helped greatly. But it is a slow process. I decided to use superglue for most of it. Its coming together slowly.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Game Craft Miniatures Contest

Well, it is coming down to the wire for the contest. I have to submit something by the end of the month. So I assembled three of their European Matt Board buildings earlier in the week. Today I put on the basecoat of paint. The larger of the two, I have inked. That one need to be drybrushed and something done with the slant part of the roof. (Just decided. It is a darkish gray now.)

I am using craft store paints to get this project done. The large of the two is base coated in "Oyster Beige" then washed in Windsor & Newton Peat Brown ink. I watered down the ink a little as they are strong inks. Now I am going to drybrush the mess in the same Oyster Beige.

I then applied another lighter dry brush of the same beige over it. Once that was done, I painted the windows. I like how it turned out.

So now I have a completed building for my Kharkov campaign. Now I just need to work on that smaller gray building.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Game Craft Miniatures Contest

I just discovered that GameCraft Miniatures is doing a contest. Submit a picture of their buildings from your collection and you could win credit for more GameCraft Miniatures. The problem is, you have to submit by June 1st. I have several of their buildings. Notably, their government buildings with removable floors, three matt board european buildings and their stackable skyscraper. Of them, I had assembled only the stackable building. It still sits there unpainted. So I grabbed a tube of glue and went to work.

Two hours later, I had all three matt boards assembled. They went together so easily. I was very impressed. Then I spent another hour on the top of the government building. I barely got the thing glued together before I could not longer keep my eyes open.

The matt board buildings are very nice. I sprayed them down with the sanding lacquer that Game Craft recommends. So far, they are coming along nicely.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Kharkov Pint Sized Campaign

Well the pint sized campaign has expanded into two pints. The interesting thing about the battle for me due to the variety between the 57th Infantry Division (a regular line division) and the 101st Light Division. Their force structure is different enough that it opens some interesting possibilities.

I have mapped out six scenarios for each division's advance. Both divisions approached the city from the west. It took them three days to secure the city against newly raised, green troops that were supported by armor.

I have located some excellent pictures of the city and maps and I am mostly sure of where the action was taking place during the advance ( - best source on the internet). So the maps will be based on reconnaissance photos of the city before the attack. The background and initial briefings are all done. The scenarios are in skeleton format and just need to be fleshed out. Once that is done, I need to playtest.

In looking at the scenarios, the rail line through Kharkov plays an important role. It is the 1st objective of both divisions. In looking at the pictures of the rail yard, there are passenger walkways that rise above the tracks and to the other platforms. Anyone have an idea on how to make one? There is one for HO scale but I am not sold on it yet.

Also, I need to place an order with Mark IV miniatures. I need some more tracks. Lots more infact. That and some more train buildings: a signal town, an engine shed and something else that I have not thought of yet.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

AWI Inventory Time

Every now and then, I feel the urge to pull out what toys I have and figure out what I am missing to wrap up the period. I managed a few minutes to do just that with my AWI collection. What I mainly need is the sabot bases that I have ordered from Litko. Just received notification that they were dropped in the mail today. Yea!

Rebel Forces

If you had not noticed, I am a huge fan of militia troops. So currently, everything that is able ready, is militia.

The first shot is of my original 4 groups of 10 militia. They are lead by two foot officers and accompanied by musicians. Mark Luther gave me three casualty figures a few years back that I managed to paint up. Unfortunately, they are the only casualty figures that I have for the entire force. I have a number of unpainted ones, but that is for later.

Then I bought some painted figures to flesh out this force. Here are three groups of 10 militia from Gajo miniatures. They are led by two foot officers and a flute player. I can't remember where the flute player came from but I thought it looked cool. Might be from QRF,maybe. The one pistol wielding officer is a neat miniature but is dwarfed by the Old Glory men that he leads. Eventually I will paint up more officers. For now I have enough. There is also a group of militia skirmishers and two spare figures. Lastly, there is my Francis Marion commander for the whole force.

Next up is militia cavalry. I only have four painted figures. I do have another 12 militia cavalry on painting sticks and two officer figures. The officers are mounted scouts from the Peter Pig Scout pack. They looked like they had no idea what was going on. That made them perfect. These will feature as Peter Horry's cavalry in my games. Again, I am ignoring the rule of 3s with these but I am not planning to paint more than this as I hate painting cavalry. I have since primed the unprimed figures in this group.

Next up are my Maryland Continentals. Yes, Continentals. I have four groups of eight of these fellows. I have two groups in regulation uniform and two in hunting shirts. When they are all painted, they will be mixed up. That should give me some nice looking troops on the table. I have a sergeant and two foot officers with them and a mounted officer. That should provide a nice sized force.

As a support element, the rules have a group of six engineers with a leader. I found this group on the Magister Millitum website and they went right into the shopping cart. Nice figures. I love the guy with the wheelbarrow.

The next support option is a mule team. These are also Magister Millitum figures. There is enough here to supply both sides with mules. They come with two drivers and I only mounted one on painting sticks. The picture is terrible but the figures are only primed.

This next group is my British Pioneer section. They are led by the duck hunter who is clutching his latest prize. On the opposite end is my Physic. These are all Blue Moon figures and very handy to have.

Then there is my casualty figures. I have a bunch of them that are languishing. I have not bothered to even undercoat these yet. Among the dead is a dismounted scout. While Scouts never appear on table in Sharp Practice, I see no reason to not paint one up.

The last support option are the wagons. I have two limbers, a water wagon, an ammo wagon and a supply cart for the engineers. These are all from Terry's collection. They will serve double duty and appear for both sides.

British/Loyalist Forces

My British forces are dominated by Provincials. I have forces from two different regiments painted up. THe first is from the New York Volunteers. I have three groups of eight men. These are accompanied by two officers and two musicians. I also have but did not get a picture of, an additional two groups of eight figures. These are Lancashire miniatures figures. I also have a mounted officer and one group of eight light infantrymen. I need an officer or sergeant to lead the light company. I think I have an appropriate figure somewhere.

The second regiment is from Delancey's Brigade. I have two groups of eight men. I have another two groups back on painting sticks. I do not have standard bearers for these guys. I will have to fix that at some point. I do have some light infantry officers on painting sticks that will give me a second officer figure. I also have a mounted officer that I need to add to the mix.

I have a Regular British artillery group. I did not paint up an artillery piece and crew for the rebels as the current scenarios I am writing do not call for them to have one. But then again, neither do the British. I just thought they looked good.

For the Southern Campaigns, you really need some Provincial Cavalry. Tarelton's Legion was everywhere across South Carolina. What I have is one group of eight men painted up. I need an officer. I have a standard bearer, a bugler and four more men. I will probably paint up one more of the men to act as an officer until I buy the officer I need and four more calvarymen. I have on order with Brookhurst three groups of Legion infantry. I also have the command pack for the legion infantry. That will be great to have.

And here are some extras that I need to get around to painting.

All in all, I have more than enough to game with. I need to round out some of the holes in the line up for both sides. I do have some expansion plans. For the Rebels, I intend to get a couple of groups of Light Horse Harry Lee's Cavalry and infantry. I have a scenario that they will feature in. Then I need to get some regular infantry for my British. The plan is three groups of the 63rd Regiment of Foot and/or possibly some highlanders. but those are lower on my priority list. Actually, if I can get them through Gajo, I probably will. They don't do any in a dark green facings and all are in tricorns but it might differentiate them from the Provincials. I could possibly repaint the facings. We will see.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Priorities on the painting table

With two significant projects competing for writing an painting time, I am struggling to figure out what to do first. The first is my Sharp Practice 2 project for the battles of Francis Marion in 1780. I have nearly all of the troops that I need. What I am lacking are some extra bits.

I managed to paint up a figure for Marion. The picture came out shiny and I am not sure why. I used a swamp tuft from Army Painter on it as it seemed appropriate.

For the Rebels, I have painted up 7 groups of 10 militia infantry. These are all based and ready to go. I really want them on Sabot basing but I am still waiting on my Litko order to come in. I also have one group of 6 militia skirmishers. What I am missing is militia cavalry. I have four mounted militia painted. I have another 12 or so on painting sticks. What they are lacking is an officer figure. I am sure I can find a mounted figure in what I have. I have a militia gun crew. I can't see this group coming up much in the fixed scenarios that I am doing as Marion never used artillery. He captured several guns that he ended up burying in a swamp as they slowed his men down to much. For supports, I am in need to a Physic, a holy man, deployment points, extra leaders, and a mule train. I actually have all of these figures. They are just awaiting time with a paintbrush.

Taking some time last night to get some painting in, I painted none of the above. I instead painted an officer and six men of the Maryland Brigade. Yep, I painted Continentals. Why? I am not sure. I am violating Rich's groups of three policy with these as I am only going to paint 2 groups of them (for now). I have two more painting sticks of the men but just did not even get started on the others.

I have a few terrain pieces to begin work on as well. I managed to knock out two tents last night. I still have several out buildings that need painting and at least two more houses. I also got some woodland scenic trees that I will mount on a base. Never can have enough trees.

As to the Kharkov stuff, I am intimidated by the sheer volume so I will hide behind my AWI stuff for now.

Monday, May 16, 2016

South American Wars of Liberation

The TooFatLardies just posted about force lists for the South American Wars of Liberation. I happen to have no personal interest in this period. But I have inherited a large box of 15mm figures for them. They are sitting in a box in my garage. Anyone out there have an interest in taking them off of my hands? Please email me at chrisstoesen at gmail dot com Thanks.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Terrain Time - Impudent Mortal

I had trouble sleeping last night so I decided to get productive. I had picked up a set of the ruined Impudent mortal kickstarter at Cool Minis or Not. I had their town set from the actual kickstarter. Last night i glued it all together. I had previously finished one of the town pieces and glued one other. Now they are all glued.

I turned a wonderfully neat package into a tabletop of destruction. At $45, the IM ruined city set is a great value. Now to start finishing them. Seeing what Matt has done with his Achen terrain has really motivated me.

I also started to base my Francis Marion miniature. If I run into sleep issues tonight, I may work on the standing tank farm and warehouse from Impudent Mortal. They did a great job of putting their instructions online and easy to find.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Planning Phase

I have two main interests to accomplish this year. The first is around getting my Sharp PRactice scenarios done and gamed this year. The second is to get a pint sized campaign done for Kharkov 1941. To that end, I need to review the terrain that I have available.

For the AWI, what I am mostly lacking is forests. Large quantities of trees. I have a few but nothing that will give me the look that I want. I have experimented with using a fixed foliage top that can be removed but that failed badly. I have a few buildings. My favorites are the Blue Moon FIW buildings. I have a pair of two story buildings and two one story shacks. In addition, I have several out buildings from JR miniatures and some tents to paint up. Lastly, I have a block house from Blue Moon. I don't envision using it with this scenario book but it is a really nice model.

What I am lacking is buildings that would suit for Georgetown, SC in 1780. I would ideally love to have a town of 10 to 15 buildings for it. I just am not sure of the direction that I want to go with it.

For the Kharkov campaign, I have most of what I need already. I have plenty of buildings for a small rural village. I also have been building up for an industrial area. I have some HO scale conveyors that I will use with a large rubble pile for a mining area. I just picked up some Impudent Mortal vertical tanks as well. These will add to the IM workshop and large warehouse (game Craft) that I have. I have been on the lookout for buildings that would fit in for a mining area. I am thinking of HO scale toys. I still have scenarios from In the Name of Roma that I have not done justice to.

I also want to get a reasonable rail station setup. Much of the fighting on the east front was around rail lines. Both sides needed them to move equipment and material to the front. Thus far I have about 5 feet of painted tracks. I have another one or two pieces of track that needs to be painted but I have done little with it. I got the Game Craft Government building to use as a train station. It should be a nice piece of kit if I ever build it. I have been shopping for other train station pieces but I have not come up with anything that has grabbed me.

The last piece of the puzzle is an urban board. I really want to accomplish something like what Matt did for his Achen terrain. I have a number of buildings that are in various states of completion but it is painting them that is holding me back. I am just not sure of what to paint them. Between the Impudent Mortal kick starter and several ebay purchases, I think I have the start of a complete city. I also have some matt board and mdf buildings from game craft as well. Then I have a bunch of ruined buildings from JR and now the IM kickstarter ruins. I need a full week just to get these knocked out.

The trouble is I can't focus on one part enough to accomplish anything at the moment. I have gotten my figures painted for the AWI and the WWII east front figures were painted a long time ago. So that is something.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Cool Minis or Not - Games Day 5/7/2016

Over the weekend, I was privileged to help Matt put on a fantastic set of Chain of Command games at "Cool Minis or Not." Matt did all the heavy lifting and hard work. He provided the terrain, the miniatures and everything. I got to sit around and talk about one of my favorite game systems and play. What a great day.

We took bins of buildings like this:

And turned it into the table below.

We arrived around 8am at the venue for setup and got right to work. Matt's terrain was beautiful over the course of the day, we played four games. Setup was very straight forward despite the sheer amount of terrain that was there.

Borrowing Mark's banner, we were ready to go.

The first game we played was a patrol scenario from the main rulebook. A platoon of US Infantry with a halftrack and a tank destroyer for supports fought against a platoon of volksgrenadiers that I can't remember the supports for as I was playing the US at the time. The game went well with the Germans occupying the ruined government building and another ruin across the street. The halftrack was amazing. It survived two separate strikes from a panzerfoust and stayed in the fight. It would be responsible for the destruction of two of Matt's volksgrenadier squads. My problem all day was low starting morale. I could not get a game started on a morale higher than 8. The results of the first game were a draw. Neither side could carry on the fight.

The second game of the day was a delaying action. I took command of the Germans and Matt the US troops. We were joined by a young man who was pulled in by the terrain. My volksgrenadiers faced a platoon of US troops and a tank platoon. This game was really interesting. The young man who joined us was supposed to play in a couple of other games but said, "this was way more interesting than his other games" and stuck with us. He moved his platoon down the main road. One tank veered off the road to engage a heavy MG team that I stationed in the government building. They ended up trading shots with Matt's tank destroyer the whole game and were nearly killed to a man.

Besides the MG team, I had selected a STUG III as a support element. The STUG spent most of the game engaging some infantry at distance that were hiding in a building. It did great devastation to the squad in the building but never managed to break it. But it had one shot at the tank that moved to fire on my MG team. I took the shot and rolled well. The sherman was blown to bits. The next highlight was after our visitor had to leave. His tank platoon engaged some infantry in a ruined building. These grenadiers had been wearing down Matt's infantry the whole game. Things were starting to look bleak for the allies. Then all three remaining shermans fired on the building. In the avalanche of 6's that followed, the squad was nearly killed to a man as the building collapsed around them. Its lone survivor routed off the table. This was all it took to break my force morale and ended the game. It was fantastic.

Game 3 was very short lived. I picked up the US infantry again. We attempted a flank attack scenario. My battle plan came unravelled almost immediately. I pressed my troops in quickly and in close combat lost the entire squad. The Germans did as well but my starting morale was an 8 and after the close assault, my morale was 4 to the German 6. The US pulled back immediately. A brief lunch at 4pm had us back on the game table for game 4.

We picked up another new player who was enthusiastic about the game. He played a platoon of US Infantry as did I. Matt again playing the Germans. I deployed along the long edge of the table while the other US player started from the short end. Matt's forces were spread out across the government building and two others. I again tried to push too fast and too hard. This time I nearly succeeded. I brought up the halftrack again as a support option. However, Matt had a grudge against "Old Reliable." Yep, I named that half-track. Well, the anti-tank gun appeared and fired a shot that routed off (not destroyed) my halftrack. And thus began my force morale spiral downwards.

The infantry, now unsupported, charged the gun and drove off the crew and close assaulted the senior leader that was directing it. Matt lost a senior leader and I lost my junior leader. I took a worse morale hit. I brought up a second squad only to have the two squads stuck in a firefight with all three of Matt's. By the end of that, our visiting player had fresh forces and nearly no opponents. We played several more turns of an already decided game to give him a better feel for the rules.

I am definitely planning on doing CMON again next year. I will probably bring a Sharp Practice game as long as Matt or someone runs a Chain of Command game. It was a great day.