Sunday, February 6, 2011

Week Four

Friday saw a senior moment when I forgot Mike's game was that night. I was wandering around with not much to do, so I agreed to a game of Scrabble with my wife and her friend. Luckily, Mike called to inquire to my whereabouts and I escaped. Angelo had devised a scenario that had me slotted for a turn four appearance, so I was able to make it without holding the crew up too badly. The battle was another Squad Leader Eastern Front action. I found myself commanding two Combat Engineer platoons, one T-34 platoon and a KV-1 platoon. My unit came in on the flank of a German assault. We helped to stop the rapid advance. A quick tank battle resulted in a bunch of blasted tanks, Germans and Russians. Both sides then settled down into a game of hide and seek. I winkled the engineers into a blocking position. The German infantry and I started a slogging match amongst a bunch of smoking hulks. Unfortunately, the game ended before I could take a long shot at some Hanomags the Germans were scooting across the opposite flank. I also had a bunch of broken German squads and leaders that were wanting execution but for the covering platoons. Tempting targets, the all. Good game.

Miniature Games played this week:
Squad Leader (see above) still remains one of my favorite World War Two games. I had not played the game since the late-80's but still am amazed at how much of it is coming back. Once I finish my basement renovation, I am going to have to dismantle some more boxes and find my SL stuff. It is a great boardgame and a great miniature game. Just enough detail for the treadhead/rivet counters and a very workable play style that rewards accurate period tactics and PUNISHES mistakes. I have figures I could use for a table top version of this both in 6mm and 15mm stuff, but I just cannot decide which scale to use. Later this year I will have to play around with it. There are also the 10mm lines that would work for the game. Hard choices:
6mm--great but small. You could play with smaller tables or use 4" hexes and have a 1:1 for the infantry. Support weapons and leaders need a different base as they are hard to differentiate by casting. Vehicles can be done in a variety of paint schemes by theater, loaded, etc. as they are cheap and easy to paint for the little amount you actually need for the scenarios.
10mm--Somewhere between 6mm and 10mm as they paint faster than 15mm but cost more than 6mm. Visually, castings are easier to discern the support weapons. Could be played with 3" so the size of the table is a bit larger; but the look gets better.
15mm--Visually, the best; but 4" hexes are needed. And my 15mm stuff is all based for skirmish. I have the most terrain for this scale.
At first glance, it looks like I need to play around with my hex mats and figures and see which scale appeals to my visual preferences...

I finished various terrain pieces that had been on my table and in a Moving box for some time. It felt good to completed the Nuclear Waste Dumping Pit (Old Crow?), several tank traps and barricades (all Games Workshop), two caveman tents (Acheson?) and a containment tube (manufacturer?). I wish I could tell definitively who manufactured what, but they all come from various finds in fleamarkets and eBay. I think the tents are Acheson. The resin of the Pit matches smell, style and texture of Old Crow stuff ( ) I have, so they be from there. No idea on the containment tube.
Barry sent me the Boot Hill that was featured in last week's letter, he also sent me the a Hardware store, bunches of snake rail fences, cow-high-and-pig-tight fences, concertina wire (uh-oh here's another vote for 15mm Squadleader) and one abatis for the ACW. Once again, this is some of the best terrain pieces in my collection, His modeling is superlative and his pricing is excellent (

Projects I worked on this week:
American Civil War: received boost in some fencing. I also moved some figures to the "on-deck" status for basing once the convention is over.
Carlist Wars: I ordered three packs from Warmodeling ( to round out my British and French Foreign Legion units. Grenadiers and command packs must have come out and I missed it, so I picked three bags to work on in the Spring.
Doctor Who: I have been watching a bunch of John Pertwee (the Third Doctor). He tends to mix it up with the bad guys more than the earlier Doctors; thus, his episodes lend themselves to miniature games. I have two Daleks to finish on the painting table. Perhaps Sea Devils or Unit get painted next.
Renaissance (16th Century): I dug out my copy of Spanish Fury Actions! ( as I have a hankering to play some Elizabethan skirmishes in Ireland. I have always liked the rules and the integrated system. Actions! are for fighting skirmishes in the era. There are integrated systems that allow for Battles, Sieges, Duels, Campaigns in Europe and Campaigns in the New World. I have played Actions! and like it; the rules are very command oriented. Someday I would like to play the others in the system. They also have variants for the English Civil War, Amercian Revolution, War of 1812, and Russian Revolution. They also have another system that is oriented towards Ancients and Medievals.
South American Wars of Liberation: I followed up with War Modeling to determine the whereabouts of my Mountain Guns. They should be here next week. Hopefully in time to go on a trip with me as I am running out of painting time before Cold Wars.

Painting and Painters:
Terrain got some work this week, see above. It felt good to finally finish the pieces. As for figures, I worked on basing a bunch of the clutter. I also have my final detailing to finish on these. If I can paint today and through the week I should have a pile of stuff completed by the time I go away...I also got back to the camouflage painting of an OGRE contingent. I have been using the Russin Black Sea pattern. It all started when I painted an OGRE in that fashion with a make-up sponge. It came out so well as to appear to be airbrushed. The smaller vehicles are more challenging but, I think the force will be a coherent one.

I was reading an Arquebusier, the Journal for the Pike and Shot Society ( It had some good articles. If the early Gunpowder era is your "thing" then I would subscribe to the Journal. Great discounts from various figure and book companies for period purchases.

I weeded out my BLOGs as some of them had been trending towards areas of lesser interest.

Not much here. I listened to an Actual Play session of the new Gamma world on Beer and Battle ( It seems like a fun game. I would want to play it with figures, though. So the problem would be figures in the right style and scale...and a DM..and TIME.

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