Saturday, October 13, 2012

Army vs. Air Force

Just about the only consolation of being stuck on an air force base in the middle of nowhere for four months (aside from graduating my course, that is - assuming I graduate, of course) is that I'm an aviation junkie and air force bases are like miniature museums with airplanes everywhere.  This one is no different.  Sadly, there is no active flightline.  Although the runways are still here, they have that large 'X' at each end indicating it is no longer active.  We use it for our PT runs once or twice a week.

There are a few airplanes around - including a couple of special ones and another surprise, all of which I'll save for the end of the post.  We'll start off in chronological order, with the older trainers and work our way up to the ultra-cool. 

BT-13A Valiant, basic trainer from 1941 to 1944
AT-6/T-6G Texan, primary and basic trainer from 1944 to 1954
T-28A Trojan.  This particular plane was carried on the AF
inventory from 1951 to 1976! 
So much for the trainers.  They have there own history, but aside from names I really don't know much about them.  The Texan was used as a ground attack aircraft by the South Korean Air Force during the Korean War and the Trojan was used in the same role by the USAF during Vietnam.  And speaking of Vietnam...
An RF-4 - not sure of the specific submodel
Not sure of the exact submodel of this B-25 - I'm guessing
it's either a trainer or recon version.  Turns out I should have
put this before the RF-4 as the last B-25 was decommissioned
in 1960.

A standard C-47 painted to resemble an EC-47 used in Vietnam.
Now we get into some more modern fun:
RQ-4 Global Hawk
RQ-1 Predator.  Hmmm, strangely resembles an aircraft seen
recently over Yerbouti...
OK - so now we get on to the really, really cool (at least in my estimation) stuff.  First there was this:
Yes, that is an SA-4.  And with it, of course... its Pat Hand radar.
And even better, we got to go inside the vehicles.  There wasn't much room, even with the seats removed.  I've been in an M1 Abrams, and there is tons more room than in these bad boys although I have to admit that the driver's compartment in these is slightly roomier than the Abrams.  But not much.

Inside the missile transporter.
Inside the radar vehicle - that's the main radar screen just to the
right of center.
And the opposite wall inside the radar vehicle.
Now we get to the cooler part of the post.
What we have here is a MiG-23 and...
I got to check out the cockpit!
But wait!  That's not all!  We also have (the coolest part) a...
MiG-29!  Now don't get ahead of me, folks...
Yup, I got to sit in the Fulcrum too!
It is a beautiful little plane - much smaller
than you'd expect it to be.  This particular
specimen if pretty messed up inside the cockpit
because they didn't black out the canopy
and the sun here just beats it to death.
That's it, folks!  Hope you enjoyed the tour!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Air Tango

Last week we played an air battle in the Falklands using CY6! JA.  The game started off with four Argentine A-4s barreling in to bomb a British ship, while two Harriers attempted to intercept.  Randomly, two more Harriers would join the fray as well as four Mirages.  As it worked out, the Harriers took out one A-4 on the ingress, but the Skyhawks were able to drop their bombs and beat a retreat with the second pair of Harriers entering while they were over the target.  One managed to hit the ship.  One was damaged on egress, and even turned back to take a gun shot at their pursuers, but the original Harriers had already turned for home.  The Mirages came on in a gaggle and managed to lose two planes before we called the game on the assumption that the tighter turning circle of the Harriers could keep the Mirages from getting the flank or rear shot they would need to fire missiles.

My 9-year-old daughter has played a couple of games of WotC Pirates! and Wings of War against her 6-year-old brother in the past few years, but this was her first actual wargame, playing with the grown-ups.   She flew the Mirages and certainly deserved better advice from me than I gave, but acquitted herself admirably and the other guys even said she was welcome back.  I just didn't have my head in the game or it might have turned out differently. 

Unfortunately, I forgot my camera, but my wife was able to get a pic of the best photo op in the game when she randomly dropped in to check on our girl.  I got a couple of pics of the Mirages with my daughter's camera, which my wife brought in from the car, but she hasn't downloaded them yet.  I was having trouble figuring out her macro, but if any turn out decently, I'll add them later.  At any rate, here's the third A-4, hotly pursued by two Harriers, as it bombs the ship.

I'm away for some military training for the next few months, so there won't be much action on here.  I brought Traveller and Snapshot to do some solo gaming and I'm running an e-mail campaign for my game group.  I also brought ATZ and some of my zombie gaming stuff so there will be a couple games put on over at Wanted: BRAINS! in the next few months.  Unless I have something interesting happen in a solo game of Snapshot and decide to put it up here, I'll see y'all when I get back! 

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Space - the Final Frontier

So last night we did our first space ship fight using Full Thrust.  I've read the rules a couple of times and liked them for their simplicity without being beer and pretzels.  We've all played Star Fleet Battles and various other space battle games - in fact, we played a (for me) big game of SFB last week with four Romulans vs. four Feds.  I've never seen a Fed Command Cruiser explode with one shot before.  Now I have.  But I digress. 

I just couldn't take the taunting that I perceived everytime I looked at GZG's webstore.  "Buy us!" they said.  "Buy us!"  Both the space ships and the 15s.  So I did.  I got the two fleet starter set and two packs of 15s.  Total came to about $60 with postage, which isn't bad considering they had to ship from England to the U.S., which is usually quite expensive. 

Anyway, I painted up the ships - took about 3 or 4 hours to clean, assemble, prime and paint up the 16 ships between the two sets.  In each starter set you get a battlecruiser, a heavy cruiser, two light cruisers, two destroyers and two frigates.  These ships are about an inch long (the frigates) to about three inches long (the battlecruisers).  We used the six smaller ships in each set for our battle.

Two UNSC frigates and a destroyer.  ESU ships are in the
The pictures are a bit dark because we were playing at night on Doug's front porch.  Should be a good effect for a space game, though! 
The ESU destroyers with the light cruisers in the top left
The ESU closed the gap quickly and while several of their ships took hits on the first turn of contact, they focused on one UNSC destroyer and wiped it off the map.  In the second turn of combat, the same things happened.  But then the tide started to turn and the damage caught up to them.  Very rapidly
A strange picture.  The ships have crossed each other's
battle line and are turning back on each other.  The four-
sided die on the ESU light cruiser is simply to identify it. 
ESU frigates running between UNSC light cruisers.
A UNSC light cruiser takes on an ESU light cruiser and
two destroyers.  The play aids are my own creation.
While the UNSC took the big hits early, the damage creeping up on the the ESU and the UNSC's superior weapons quickly caught up.  At the end of the game, the UNSC had one light cruiser and one frigate with relatively no damage, and one frigate with pretty severe damage left versus an ESU light cruiser and a destroyer, both pretty well mauled.  In fact, I can't remember now, but the second light cruiser might have been taken out on the last turn of the game, too.  The game was five or six turns long and lasted about two hours - maybe a little less. 
I'm very pleased with the way the ESU paint job turned out.
This is the light cruiser, one of my favorite ships of the 
fleet - the other is the ESU battlecruiser.
I made the play aids by photocopying the fire arc diagram from the FT Light rules, then enlarging it so that the base fit inside the inner ring.  I copied it onto cardstock and laminated it for a little durability.  It actually came in very handy during the game - for turning especially - though a few of the ships still got off on some wonky courses.  There were a couple of cases where the firing arc diagram also helped us to judge if a ship was in the arc or not so I thought it worked out well. 
Everyone enjoyed the game and the rules.  We had a couple of questions that we were able to generally resolve pretty easily.  One element that Doug commented on particularly was the movement.  He appreciated the way you had to use thrust to speed up, slow down and turn.  We all agreed using vector movement probably wouldn't add much to the game while slowing it down appreciably.  I like the damage rules.  Most of the ships in the game died before they became crippled via the threshold rule, but a few still ended up pretty disabled.  All of them had some kind of damage at the end of the game. 
We all agreed that this is a great set of rules and everyone is thinking about which fleet to invest in themselves.  I'm looking forward to getting some more ships and expanding the games and rules we use.  As you can tell, I can't say enough good stuff about this game, the models, and the manufacturer support. 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012


My imagi-nation, the Democratic Republic of Yerbouti, received an award - the Kreativ Blogger Award - way back in May and I just noticed the other day.  D'oh!  You can go click the link to the right to read the latest news on Yerbouti, which, by the way, I need to update as I promised an interview with the workers in the sweatshop newly established in the capital city of Wacca Jawacca by none other than the smokin' hot, bodacious Kathy Lee Herself (and yes, we capitalized that on purpose).  Yes, it's frilly and flowery and pink, but it's pretty cool to have someone say, 'Hey, neat idea - great job!'

So, as part of the award, I'm supposed to tell all of you ten things about myself that you don't know, which should be pretty easy since with very few exceptions, none of you know anything about me, and I'm also supposed to pass the award on to six other blogs, which will be much more difficult as I don't generally read blogs, though there are a few that I like to peruse on occasion.

With that said, on to the festivities!  10 Things You Don't Know About Me . . . ummmmm . . . errrrrrr . . . *crickets* . . . OK, here we go:

1. I speak Arabic.  The Army taught me.  I volunteered for it knowing that was the language I was getting and I didn't have any choice of language.  Oh, well.  It is kind of cool - sort of like a party trick. 

2. I fly.  No, really, I do.  At least I used to.  I have my private pilot's rating.  Just can't afford to do it anymore.  I was half way through my instrument rating when I ran out of money.  Hopefully someday I'll be back in the air again.

(This is harder than I thought it was - trying to come up with at least interesting things for you to read . . .)

3. I am a 'fan' (I guess you could say) of the Red Baron.  I have every book I've been able to track down about him (including Snoopy vs. the Red Baron) and original Sanke postcards of he and his brother.  I've been fascinated by him since I was a kid of about 9 or so.  (You should see a pattern being established here - my first love in life was aviation, developed at a very young age.  Fortunately - or unfortunately - my 5-year-old has of late developed a similar love for both air and space.)

4. I just recently got my 15 year pin as a Boy Scouts of America volunteer, although it's actually been more like 17...

5. I have had the great fortune to meet some interesting characters in my life.  Among those I've met that would be of interest to you have been a survivor from the Bismarck, one of the Bock's Car crewmen, a crewman from the U-505, a Stuka pilot and a Ju-52 pilot, a couple of Rangers who scaled Pointe du Hoc, my wife's great uncle who fought as a Canadian in the 1st Special Services Force in Italy (my own uncle was with the Canadian engineers at Normandy), and various and sundry old timers who fought in WWII - all with interesting stories to tell, including two guys who were my dad's close friends in the Marine Corps during the war, but lost touch after they came home.  I count among my friends Cory Wells of Three Dog Night, who is also a wargamer.  In fact, that's how we got to know each other - we used to play Avalon Hill's Air Force by mail. 

6. One of my coolest vacations was to Japan for my brother's wedding reception.  While there I got to go to Chiran, the kamikaze base.  It is a sobering and amazing place to visit.

7. As you've probably guessed, I have close ties to Canada.  My ancestors settled Quebec (I hope the rest of you will forgive me for that), and my mom and wife are both Canuckians.  I was actually made an honorary Canadian by the Winnipeg ASL Club several years ago. 

(OK, now we're just getting silly.   But my life is actually pretty dull generally.)

8. I have way more figures than I can paint in a reasonable amount of time.  Bet you never saw that one coming. 

Wait . . . what?  I can't use that one?  OK . . .

8. One of the coolest places I've ever lived (which only include four places - Chicago and one of it's surburbs, Johnstown, PA, and . . . ) was Monterey, CA, while attending the Defense Language Institute learning said language Arabic in number (1.) above.  Got to go to Laguna Seca (for free), got to hang around Pebble Beach (for free too - nope, couldn't play, just got to hang around), went whale watching (had to pay for that one), did the usual tourista thing, got a couple of free boat trips, saw the house that was U.S. Grant's headquarters following the Mexican-American War, and did a few other cool things there.

9. I'm a voracious reader.  Although most of what I've read in the last ten years or so is history, I've also read plenty of fiction as well.  My own library numbers in the hundreds of titles (not including my wife's volumes - she considered being an English major - and the kids' books) - I'm sure I've passed a thousand by now (not including my wife's volumes - she considered being an English major - and the kids' books) - and that's just what I own, not what I've read, which easily doubles, triples or quadruples that number.  School annoyed me because it got in the way of my reading.

And finally . . .

10. And I'm stuck.  I told you, my life has been mostly boring.  Oh, here we go . . .

10.  I used to be a part-time cop.  The town I worked in had something like 15,000 hotel rooms, a major concert stadium/sports arena, a theater and a conference/convention center so they needed lots of part-timers to direct traffic, etc.  Fortunately, they liked me, I worked hard and didn't cause any trouble for them, so I was able to get into some cool gigs like patroling the village in a squad car and on a bicycle, I was on an emergency response team for crowd control, etc., and did some other neat things.  I got to meet a few sports and music figures through that job as well and had lots of fun doing it. 

So there.  That was a lot harder than I thought it would be!  Probably boring stuff for you to slog through, but hey, it was the rules of the game.  Now comes the really hard part - passing the award on to six other blogs.  OK, the first two are easy:

1. Bongolesia, by Mike Murphy, my inspiration in creating Yerbouti in the first place - not to mention that Mike is an awesome guy.  Fact is, I think he's won this one before, but IMHO he deserves another ribbon!


2. The Angry Lurker.  He was one of my first followers (if not the first) and always has some interesting or creative things on his blog.

And number 3 wasn't too hard to come up with either:

3. Have to give one to Shelldrake's Zombie Wargame Blog where you PBB (Play By Blog).  IIRC, you send in your moves each week or whatever the period is and he updates the battlefield, calculates the fights, etc. and you see if you live or die.  I thought that was incredibly clever.  I've played by mail and played by e-mail but never by blog.  Outstanding idea!

Now it gets tougher.  Like I said, I don't really read many blogs so I'm now going to have to hit cyberland to find the ones I do read that I especially like.  This isn't to denigrate anyone else's blogs - I just don't surf that much.  My wife is really the blog reader in the family.

I think that will have to suffice for now.  I have three more to give away and will amend this as I surf around and find that ones that really impress me.  Thanks for reading and for your support!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Saxon Seas . . . Errrr . . .

I realized it's been a while since I did anything with any of my blogs and figured it's time to post SOMETHING!  Not last Saturday, but the Saturday before we played a game of Roman Seas.  We really like the rules even though there are a few glitches.  A little logic irons out the problems and it does create a fun game.  We had four large Saxon raiders up against a Roman fleet of two scout ships, three hemoilas and a Liburnian command ship.

The Saxon Fleet

The Roman Fleet

First Contact

The points for both fleets were almost identical, but the Saxons, whose crews man the oars and fight, had significantly more manpower for combat than the Romans, who have separate rowers and marines.  The Saxons would row up to a Roman ship then grapple it, using their greater manpower effectively in hand-to-hand combat.  The Saxons completed hosed the Romans (thus the title of the post), who only escaped at the end of the game with one or two ships with relatively intact crews. 

I think this was the final position, or close to it,
of the ships.

This was the second time we played the game and had a good time both times.  The first time, we used the boardgame that comes on the disc with the rules.  It uses cardboard counters for the ships rather than the miniatures.  We did use a bunch of the ships playing another set of rules, which was ok, but Roman Seas were more fun. 

The ships are mounted on foamcore board that's been spraypainted dark-ish blue.  You can get blue foamcore board but I already had some green board and some blue spraypaint and I didn't want to spend more money for the blue board.  I mounted my first set of ships on artist's mat board, but the bases all warped from the spraypaint and disfigured the ships or pulled free from them.  This seemed to work much better.  It takes me about 15 minutes to cut out a ship, and I cut out several then glue them in turn with Elmer's glue applied sparingly with a toothpick.  It dries pretty quickly that way and doesn't make the color run.  In this way, too, I can assemble four or so ships in an hour and a half to two hours.  I forgot how I had done the inboard details so only one or two ships got that, but now that I'm back up and running, the next batches will all get it.

Next time we play, I'm going to create counters for the marine units so that it's easier to keep track of who's doing what, which was rather tricky.  You can use 6mm figures with the ships, but I don't have any, can't afford them at the moment, and really don't feel like painting them right now anyway!  We'll also do a more traditional Romans vs. Carthaginians battle so both sides have more or less equal ships and crews.  All in all, though, we had a good time.   

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Desert Truck Battle

Yes, you read that correctly - we played a battle between trucks in the desert.  Specifically, it was a battle between T Patrol of the LRDG and the Italian equivalent, the Auto-Saharan Company, which took place on 31 January 1941 north of Bishara.  T Patrol found the well at Bishara destroyed and fresh tracks, so they headed north to hide in some low hills for a bit. 

Yes, I know not all LRDG trucks were pink, but I like the
look of them.  It's sort of the quintessential LRDG look.
Of course, my wife made fun of me while I was painting
them and the last thing Steve said after the game was,
"No more pink trucks!"

The Auto-Saharan Company spotted them and charged in to attack.  The LRDG had eleven trucks and 44 men, while the ASC had seven trucks, four of which were armed with the 20mm Breda, and 28 men. 

Two of the ASC trucks with the 20mm Breda.

About half of the LRDG trucks survived and escaped, with no losses for the Italians.   In an incredible story of survival, four of the LRDG men walked about 150 miles over nine days across the desert before being found, starting their march with only two gallons of water.  Along the way they found a two pound can of plum jam that had fallen off one of the trucks on the way in.

In the game, the Italians tried to sneak up on the LRDG from the north, sending three trucks up behind a hill to do some reconaissance, while the four Breda armed trucks tried to stick to the shadows of a low ridge to their right.  They were discovered and the fight went back and forth for some time.  In the end, both sides had one operable truck left, though I think the British had more surviving crews so they got the victory.  The Italians didn't call in their resources, including air support and a pair of AB-41 armored cars, all of which were used historically and probably would have guaranteed them the victory.  

Although this is a Ca.310, the ASC had dedicated air support
in the form of three Ca.309s, but try finding a 1/300 model
of the Ca.309.  Can't be done.  And yes, I realize that I don't
have decals on it.  I just finished painting it about an hour
before the game and I keep forgetting to order the Italian
decals from Dave at I-94.

We used a set of homebrew rules that I had been pondering for some time, but finally knocked together just a few hours before the game.  The basic concept worked all right so I have some work to do to round them out and do some playtesting.  All of the vehicles and dismounted crews (British and Italian infantrymen, respectively) were GHQ 1/285, and the aircraft, I believe, is a Scotia 1/300. 

Sunday, April 1, 2012


Well, not much gaming going on lately so I thought I'd throw another game from a couple of months ago up here.  We had three or four miners in the camp next to the river get attacked by four Apaches.  Two entered from opposite sides of the board with the miners sandwiched between them.  Again, I didn't get any really good shots. 

One of the Apaches on a hill with the miners' camp
in the distance.

The Apaches did quite well.  I think one might have gotten wounded, while all the miners were killed or wounded.  I think one of them got away by skeedadling off the left side of the table.  I could be mistaken, though.

Two of the miners in the river, shooting at the Apaches
entering on the other side.  They didn't see the ones on
the near side until was too late!

Another shot of one of the guys in the river.

One of the Apaches in the miners' camp.

The figures are all Dixon and the tents are from Whitewash City by Hotz Artworks.

This week will just be some light gaming or boardgames because of Easter.  Hopefully the following week we'll do some naval gaming.  Until next time.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Ban the Man vs. The Duc, Duc, Duc

Played a game of the skirmish at Gloucester Point using 1776 on Saturday evening.  In this action, Tarleton and his men have been out foraging and as they're returning to the encampment, they are set upon by the Duc de Lauzun and his men.  The goal for the British is to get the wagons off the board.  The goal for the Allies is, of course, to stop them.  The sides are pretty much even - both have 12 figures of cavalry, and about 24 figures of infantry, give or take.  At start, Tarleton is set up in a field to the west of the road, and he has the 17th foot and some of the Queen's Rangers infantry in a wood to the east of the road.  The British also have a battery of 9-pdrs in a small redoubt about 1/2 or 2/3 of the way across the board.  The wagons enter on turn one, followed by the Duc on turn 2, then the Legion Etranger infantry and some Virginia militia on turn 3.  The British infantry shifted laterally towards the road on this turn while waiting for the bigger action.

On Turn 2, the cavalry squared off letting the wagons gain some ground up the road and the British infantry in the woodline shifted towards the road again.  Trading shots, the French cavalry took two casualties to one for the British.

Here you see the British infantry in the woodline, the
wagons on the road, and Lauzun's Legion facing the
British Legion in the distance.
The Queen's Rangers riflemen watching the wagons pass.
The cavalry lines, just before the charge. 

On Turn 3, the both cavalry declared charges, but the pre-charge morale test resulted in the French Halting for 1 turn, while the British Legion charged.  The American infantry entered and exchanged shots with the Queen's Rangers riflemen to no avail - no damage on either side.  When the charge melee was resolved, however, Lauzun lost and routed.  Unfortunately, again, since they were so close to the board edge that they routed right off the board.  Since the infantry had no hope of catching the wagons, it was game over in the British favor.  I just realized that I miscalculated the melee numbers for the British - I based their numbers on 12 figures, but they only had 11.  I don't think it would have mattered though, as they rolled low enough to beat the required roll.  I once again forgot my camera so thanks to Perry for the pics!  Over time he's become our de facto game group photographer.

All of these figures are Essex, and they don't make some of the specialty figures needed for this battle.  All of the French are Revolutionary Era figures.  The British Legion are Napoleonic Era dragoons, with the chest cordage filed off - you can still see the stand up collar and waist sash, though.  The Queen's Rangers are actually modified American light infantry.  I cut off the bayonets, filed off the cap brim and glued bits of string to the hats for the decoration.  If I'd had photos from the battle at Spencer's Tavern a couple of weeks ago, you would have seen the Queen's Rangers in all their glory.  With all the good lines of AWI in 15mm available now, I guess it's time to start replacing my old Essex with newer, nicer figures.  Maybe a unit at a time or so...

Went to Cold Wars last week.  Lots 'o' fun.  Spent most of the day in the flea markets and the dealer hall.  Picked up three sets of rules and five or six books for about $20.  I call that a stellar day!  Unfortunately, the game we really wanted to play - Pirate Raid on a Spanish Convoy, by Rick Stakes, was cancelled due to lack of participation.  He wanted twelve players, needed six at least and we three were the only ones to show up.  It looked like a blast and we spent a good half hour or 45 minutes talking to Rick anyway.  He hand builds all of his sailing ships.  They are beautiful, though comparatively simple since they are for gaming rather than display and he uses his own rules, which are also elegantly simple but very well done.   (We heard a LOT of games were cancelled due to a lack of participation.  Seemed to us attendance was way down.  It was not crowded at all.  No doubt, HMGS will be raving about another record turn-out in no time, though.)  We ended up in a game that sounded good on paper, but turned out to be rather mediocre at best.  CAUTION: **RANT AHEAD** 

In the PEL the game was billed as a historical battle, but when we got to the table it wasn't: the forces had no resemblance to the actual battle at all and the terrain only resembled the actual battle in the vaguest Picaso-esque way.  OK.  Once I adjusted to that, the rules were computer moderated.  Now, I've always been rather dubious of computer moderated rules, but now - having played them - there was nothing that I saw that would interest me in purchasing, or even playing, them again.  I might try a different set, but certainly not this one.  EVERYTHING in it seemed to be random - and I don't just mean combat results or morale tests - I mean EVERYTHING!  At the end of the game, looking at the disposition of forces, it looked very much like the enemy had won.  According to the computer, though, we won.  Things happened in the game that we couldn't make heads or tails of, and we're fairly well read in this period of history - in fact, this particular period was my major area of study in grad school.  The computer and GM had units doing things that would NOT have happened in this war let alone in this battle.  Oh, well.  After another bad experience a few years ago, I swore I'd be more careful in picking games.  We should have joined Patrick Hreachmark's shoot-out on the riverboat.  Patrick is another outstanding GM - never had a bad game with him.  I'm sure that would have been a blast!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Snipers in Beauchamp

OK, I figured it's about time to post another old game on here.  We played Spencer's Ordinary (Virginia, 1781) this past weekend, but there was one little glitch.  Well, actually two.  First, I forgot my camera.  I haven't gotten in the habit of remembering to bring it whenever I ref a game.  Second, The Americans nicely moved up the road and got into line in the edge of the woods opposite the tavern, while the Queen's Rangers lined up along the hedge adjacent to the tavern facing the Amis.  The Americans took one casualty from the 3-pounder sited on a hillock adjacent to the road, but they were unfazed by the loss.  Then the American cavalry decided to charge the cav of the QR.  The first time they did it, they were simply bounced.  The second time they tried to do it, they completely failed their pre-charge morale check and ROUTED!  This was bad enough, but they probably could have rallied at the end of the turn due to their elite morale.  To add insult to injury, though, their rout move carried them off the table.  Game over.  This is a tough enough scenario for the Americans, but without their cavalry, they are pretty much done for.  I think Perry got some pictures of the set-up at least so I'll see if he'll let me post a couple of them.  Not much to see anyway.  Move along.

One of the guys in our game group wanted to know why we didn't play a Zaitzev vs. Koenig type of scenario.  We explained that if played properly, neither sniper would ever see the other one and we could play hours without ever being able to take a shot.  However, I had a scenario up my sleeve that I'd wanted to play for a long time and offered it up since he wanted some sniper action.  It is pretty close to an actual event.  In the fall of '44, some armed civilians from the village of Beauchamp, Belgium, showed up at a US Army cavalry HQ.  They had been trading potshots with four German snipers in the village all day and were getting tired of the cat-and-mouse game.  They wanted some professional help and some heavy ordnance.  Troop HQ and an M-10 accompanied the civilians back to the village and, along with the locals, proceeded to hunt down the snipers, finally cornering them in a shed and summarily dispatching them.  I didn't have firm numbers on the civilians, but I had the M-10, the HQ section and the snipers.  In fact, they are featured in the photo in the heading of the blog.  We used the Tactical Commander rules with a couple of small modifications, which I don't remember now, but basically reduced the movement rate.

The layout.  Not knowing what Beauchamp looked like, we
just went with a generic layout of village in center, wooded 
ridge to the left and woods and orchards to the right, with a
bit of river at the far end.

The Germans were allowed to set up anywhere on board.  Three of the snipers began on the ridge with excellent crossfire opportunities.  The fourth sniper set up in the large tree in the woods at right.  His plan was to create confusion by shooting into the rear of the Allied forces.  He never got to fire - the Americans were too close the whole time, entering adjacent to the woods and remaining adjacent or in the woods the whole game.  The Resistance entered through the woods and orchard farther up the right hand side of the table.  This is Doug's sand table, by the way.  We play most of our games here.

Some of the Resistance fighters about to leave the woods
and reenter the village.

An aerial view of the M-10 and troop HQ.  One of the
snipers began the game in the large tree at top center.
The game was over before the Americans moved far
enough to let him safely open fire.

Some of the Resistance hunkered down behind a garage.

The game transpired fairly interestingly with both the Americans and the Resistance using sound tactics.  Problem was the snipers were just too good and the Allies didn't coordinate their efforts.  The Americans didn't advance fast enough, prefering to reduce every potential hiding place with the M-10 before the infantry would show themselves, while the Resistance advanced through the center of the village and took a heavy beating from the snipers as they crossed open spaces and tried to see around buildings rather than taking cover prior to the next advance.  This was especially deadly in light of the German's cross-fire ability.  In the end the Americans were just coming around the end of the woods into the village proper when the Resistance was already in the center of the village and pretty much dead, having taken 50 to 66% casualties - I don't remember the exact numbers now.  At that point we pretty much figured the snipers had won. 

No game this weekend as we'll be heading out to Cold Wars on Saturday, but next weekend we'll try another - larger - AWI game.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Willkommen! Bien Venue! Welcome!

Although I already have two blogs I can't keep up with, I thought I'd add a third one to highlight the usual gaming that I do.  My first two are an imagi-nation - the Democratic Republic of Yerbouti - and a zombie gaming blog.  This one will show everything else that I do.  Which is a lot.  My wife just shakes her head. 

Mainly, I want to highlight my figures.  Some of them are pretty ordinary, but some of them I have to admit I'm very proud of, having put a lot of work into them.  I'm almost embarassed to admit that some of my 15s take almost an hour per figure to paint (I'm a slow painter anyway - even with a cruddy paint job I can only finish about five of the little buggers an hour on average), and the Old West 25s can take up to three hours depending on the complexity of the figure. 

My WWII figures in the header are a good example of why it takes me so long to paint.  I brought them to the shop of a friend who's a professional painter once.  He opened the box, glanced at them, said "Oh, I see you paint all the unnecessary details," and closed the box.  He took a better look at them later and agreed they are beautiful figures.  But yes, it takes me forever to paint them.

I have some catching up to do, since I intended to start this a few months ago. I do have a couple of games to post so I will go ahead and start with an Old West shootout that we did a couple of months ago.  Basically, we each picked a location in town where our characters began and just started shooting and moving from there.  We were using the Desperado rules and it didn't take long for the blood to start flowing.

I'm having trouble rotating this image, but it shows the
layout we were using.  The buildings are all Whitewash City
 on a plain 3 x 5 tan felt mat.  The big building at the bottom
 right is the saloon (seen below), with the sheriff's office and
bank to it's left.

At this point I don't even remember who was who.  I think
Doug was in front of the saloon.  I remember I was in the
second floor window above him.  When he got wounded
he dove through the window behind him.

This was me coming around the corner of the bank after
running out the back door of the saloon and around behind
the sheriff's office and the bank. 

Just so you know, no one won the game!  If I remember correctly, Doug and I were the last two standing and we bled out on the same turn. 

In my other blogs, I put a list at the right of the websites of where I get my wargaming figures and such.  That would turn out to be quite a list without a narrow focus but I will include that information in the body of the post.  All my Old West guys are Dixons, the buildings are all Whitewash City as noted above, and we used the Desperado rules.  I have several other sets, but I'm most comfortable with these for the Old West. 

Looking at these pictures now, I'll have to make sure I do a better job with the photography from now on so the figures are clearer and can be seen close up.  Anyway, I'll post some more later.  I have a WWII battle on film (or at least on digits) and another Old West fight with Apaches attacking a mining camp, and in the next few weeks we'll be doing an AWI battle and a WWII coastal battle or two.  Somewhere in there we're heading off to Cold Wars as well.