Saturday, March 31, 2012

Still Time to Vote

Thanks to every one who has voted so far.  There's still time to vote this weekend, but it looks like I'll be heading back to Wascanastan and dusting off back issues of the Peshawar Gazette.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

What Armies Should I Use

Playing TTTs (table top teasers) it's all the rage they say.  The best armies for these actions are 25mm+ Horse and Musket (Nappys and SYWs) and I'm clean out of these armies.  But looking at what's on the wargames shelves and unpainted in boxes, here are some potential campaigns I can fight pretty much right out of the rubber maid rough tote (that being my army storage of choice).

I've put up a poll so that you too faithful reader and participate in the home game!

1.  Northwest Frontier/Afghanistan 1878-80
About 10 years (eek that long ago) I ran a series of games using British and imperial forces vs tribesmen and Afghan "regulars".  These appeared as articles in the Peshawar Gazette on Ross' old site.  Every thing's still there.  Has all the right elements unit wise, but balance is always a problem (i,e, how many natives is Brit worth).  Also has the appeal that my great-grandfather fought in the Tirah campaign in 1897 and my daughter's Muslim school friends tease her about being descended from the oppressor!

2.  Spartans Vs Pyrrhus 280BC
These are (gulp) almost 30 years old in some cases.  Two core armies plus enough allies and mercenaries to flesh out one or both sides.  Units are more balanced one side vs the other, but there's another balance issue in that the Horse vs Foot balance differs from say SYW.  Also you have to work our what an artillery unit represents (typically a better unit of lights with longer range weapons - so Cretans or Rhodians instead of bog standard javelin armed psiloi.

3. El Cid Spanish.
Newer than anything else on the list.  There's a core of Muslim and Christian units plus a Norman army to provide mercenaries and allies.  A better balance plus artillery units now become crossbows!

4.  French and Indian Wars
Again about 10 years old and there's two full sides, line infantry, light infantry and artillery.  The two sides are balanced and units are mostly equal, but no cavalry what so ever.  Typically this means a translation to more lights or working out the points/unit banalce and making it work without cavalry.

Spring Plans

Ok, the signs are all there.  The snow is almost all gone, there are Robins in the back yard and snow geese on Wascana, I am thinking about what final exam questions to use, I am contemplating getting on my bike.  Yep it must be spring.  And that means the time of the year (given 4 months with no classes to teach) when I can stop dreaming and start playing.

So here goes, with this year's list of gaming/hobby objectives

  1. Clear up the basement so that I can set up a wargames table.  I almost had this last year and then the basement wall issues arose.  Since half of South Regina had similar problems it took until late August to get this finished and then I was right into fall term and organizing an orchestra trip to Banff.  The good news is that I can get 100% spousal approval for clearing up the basement!
  2. Make it to the monthly games nights and run a few miniatures games.  Also on the list last year, but the damn events are scheduled on the last weekend of the month which tends to be the weekend where most work/family events are planned.  This will take more planning on my part plus firm (and publically announced) committments to run a game (making them harder to weasel out of).
  3. Use my 1:2400 WWII and/or 1:3000 WWI Naval ships.  The latter are old and battle tested, but the WWII were purchased in 2011 and there's enough to o a decent game.
  4. Play some table top teaser (TTT) type games.  There's been enough blogger trails on the TTTs to get me well and truly hooked.  So time to get off the duff and set to.  The one problem is that these cry out for classic European Horse'n'Musket armies in 25mm or larger and I don't have any currently (I sold my last 15mm H'n'Ms last year to buy the WWII navals).   I'll have to go through the armies and spares boxes to see what I can dig out.
  5. Finish off the FIW figures.  I need a few odds and ends to round out some units and I'm pretty  much good to go.   I may also look at expanding into SYW Europe by adding cavalry and European light troops, but figure buying is low on the budgeting priorities this year!
  6. Complete more Peninsula War plastics.  All infantry so far, but cavalry and Brit artillery exist.
  7. Do up some good terrain pieces.  High on the list are hills (my pink foam ones need some TLC, rivers (I have a nice rubber one that's gone AWOL), and a fortress (to as to use the new table saw and TSUV).
  8. Re-visit the Span-Am war!  

Well that's enough for now.  We'll see how many of these play out before the Fall term starts in September.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Ides of March pt 2

For Ross

Rinse the Blood Off My Toga

What Happened to The Comment Trails

Ok there is a blogger mystery that's got me stumped.  Until recently, when I posted a comment on someone else's blog I was given the option of following the comment conversation and would get alerts in my gmail inbox (since that's the email I use for blogger).  But now that option seems to have disappeared.  There is a subscribe by email option that appears sometimes (but not always) - but it doesn't seem to actually do any thing.

Any one know what's up?  Do I just have top check on the original posts to keep up on the conversation?

The Ideas of March


Thursday, March 8, 2012

The Reading Shelf

With the living space occupied by kitchen furniture and the basement cleared to allow for the table saw, there's no space for modelling right now.  So I've been reading a lot.  Currently it's Duffy's book on the '45, which I highly recommend.

This has lots of good war games appeal, even if you don't plan to game the '45 (I'm not planning to ...yet).  I'm still in the early chapters but two key points jump at me.  The first is that I can't remember another occasion where the red coated infantry turned and ran like they did at Prestonpans.  The second is that the Jacobite army showed incredible flexibility and speed on the march.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Dangerous Times

I'm in a stall pattern on the modelling and gaming front currently due to kitchen renos, which have resulted in the kitchen furniture moving into the spaces where I normally paint. Hence the dangerous times - I can think about gaming but can't do anything about gaming .   It's the sort of time that odd packages are ordered on line full of potential future projects.

I've managed to resist the ordering urge and am instead on figuring out what to do with the table saw once the renos are out f the way.  I'm guessing that roads and rivers will appear, but also a fort.

Here's my real life model - a fort with real heritage.  Fort Anne Nova in Annapolis Royal Nova Scotia.  Originally built by the French in Port Royale the capital of Acadia, it withstood three attacks (a raid in 1704, two seiges in 1707) in by British and colonial American forces before falling in 1710.  It then got renamed as Fort Anne and survived 7 French attacks in  (1711, 1722, 1734, two in 1744, 1745 and 1746) and then an American attack in 1778 (a later US attack was successful as the garrison was shipped to the Carolinas).  

It hasn't changed much since 1702, a small Vauban style fort with turf ramparts.  I figure such a model could be used for FIW actions, Caribbean island campiagns or to represent small outlying works in a SYW European campaign.