Monday, February 27, 2012


For our kitchen renos, we purchased a portable table saw in lieu of paying a contractor.  We got the saw together and mounted on its  TSUV (table saw utility vehicle don't know) and it's proved very useful.  I've managed to produce the correct sized bits with no damage to myself or my self esteem and not too much wastage (which is going down as I learn to use the thing).

But its got me dreaming of a Vauban fortress this summer.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

What I've Don on My Reading Week

It's reading week (that's the mid term break) but I've been a busy beaver.  Unfortunately, I've found other things to do other than model or game.

  • Marking 130 first year calculus midterms
  • Kitchen renos (still underway)
Oh well when the renos are done and the kitchen moves out of the rest of the house, I'll get back to gaming stuff.

Monday, February 20, 2012

The Painting Set Up

Thanks to all the bloggers who posted descriptions and pictures of their painting set ups.  Other than making feel like a disorganized pack rack, they were very helpful.

In the end the solution came from my wife's decorating.  We bought a new floor lamp to match one already in our living room, and moved the other lamps about.  I now have a much brighter light source (including a lamp that shines directly over my left shoulder).  Also I reduced and reorganized the amount of crap I bring to the table to reduce the chances of domestic strife through my own clumsiness.

Last night I tried it out while working on my SYW/FIW troops - I'm adding figures to bring various regiments further up to strength.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Barolo Revised

Now that I have a browser that actually works, I've corrected some typos and added to the Barolo Campaign (see revised post below)

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Barolo Campaign

I've taken up Bluebear Jeff's challenge, but been Steve the Wargamer has out marched me!  Here's my mini-campaign.


The fortress town of Montferrat (held by the Electorate) controls a major crossing over the Barolo River.  Montferrat cannot be attacked from the west due to the river frontage, but siege operations can approach from the south once the river is crossed.

The Empire forces represent a covering force with the mission of securing crossing points over the Barolo to the south of Montferrat and defeating the Electorate field army to the east of the river.  This will allow the siege train to safely cross the Barolo and open trenches to take the fortress.  Two crossing points have been selected at San Giorgio and La Morra.  The Electorate forces have taken some steps to prevent the crossing of the Barolo and are moving additional troops into the area.

1)    The Bridge at San Giorgio (Teaser 20 Reserve Demolition)

a)    Orient the map so that the Barolo River flows from the south to the north and Empire (red forces) approach from the west.  The Electorate (blue) forces follow the instructions in the scenario. 

b)   Outcomes:
i)      Empire (red) victory secures the crossing at San Giorgio.  Empire forces detach a garrison to hold San Giorgio and disperse in mop up operations, to attack Castelli di Gabbiano (Game 3) or support the main army at La Morra (Games 6, 7 or 8).  Electorate forces to the east of the Barolo retreat further eastward and regroup and join up with supports.  The reinforced Electorate counter attacks San Giorgio (Game 5).
ii)    Electorate (blue victory) denies the crossing of the Barolo.  The Empire brings up reinforcements and boat and tries again (Game 4)
iii)   Electorate forces stranded west of the Barolo retreat south to the Castelli di Gabbiano.  They can be isolated, but remain a threat to communications and are attacked in Game 3.

2)    Bridgehead at La Morra (Teaser 21 Bridgehead Breakout)
a)    The Map is correctly oriented.  Montferrat lies to the north and San Giorgio to the south.  The river flows northward.
b)   This represents the vanguard of the main Empire (Blue) forces and the main body of Electorate (red) troops in the Barolo region.
c)    Outcomes
i)      An Empire (red) victory results in a successful bridgehead and the retreat of the Electorate forces northwards.  The Empire follows up its success in Game 8.
ii)    An Electorate (blue victory) forces the Empire forces west of the Barolo.  If the Empire has won at San Giorgio (i.e. won Game 4 or 5), they regroup and shift their focus through the South road and move to Game 9.  Otherwise they try again at Falletto (Game 6).
iii)   A draw (the most likely outcome by far) sees the Empire retreat in good order to the prepared position at Fontenorro (Game 7).  However, if the Empire has won Game 9, they outflank the prepared position and move to Game 8.

3)    Castelli di Gabbiano (Teaser 13 Last Stand)
a)    Orient the map so that the Castelli lies on the eastern shore of the Barolo River. 
b)   The red garrison should be made up of the Electorate forces stranded at San Giorgio (if any).  The Empire (blue) forces should include some regiments from the San Giorgio action.
c)    Outcome:  once the garrison is overwhelmed the Empire regiments (less casualties) leave their own garrison and return to San Giorgio.

4)    Assault at San Giorgio (Teaser 19 Assault River Crossing)
a)    Orient the map with the positions X and Y on the eastern shore of the Barolo.  Adjust the terrain so that the village X closely resembles the town of San Giorgio from Game 1.
b)   Electorate (blue forces) at X and Y are fresh regiments, but the reinforcements should include regiments from the action in Game 1.
c)    Empire (red forces) should include regiments engaged in Game 1 plus reinforcements.
d)    Outcomes
i)      An Electorate (blue victory) will result in the termination of the southern attack at San Giorgio.  The opposing forces will result to trading insults across the Barolo and await the results to the north.
ii)    An Empire (red victory) will secure a crossing but allow the Electorate to retire in good order.

5)    Counterattack at San Giorgio (Teaser 16 Reinforcements off the Table)
a)    Orient the map with the point 2 on the eastern shore of the Barolo.  Adjust the terrain and replace the single building at the bridge with the town of San Giorgio from Game 1.
b)   Electorate (red forces) include regiments from the action in Game 1 plus fresh reinforcement
c)    Empire (blue forces) initially on table is composed of the garrison detached at San Giorgio from Game 1.  The blue reinforcements should include regiments in action from Games 1 and 3.
d)    Outcomes
i)      An Electorate (red victory) will result in the termination of the southern thrust.  The empire troops will hold San Giorgio or the west bank of the Barolo depending on the scale of the victory. 
ii)    An Empire (blue victory) will secure the crossing and see the end of serious Electorate resistance in the San Giorgio area.  The Empire moves sends  a column to Segharia (Game 9)

6)    Crossing at Falletto (Teaser 18 River Crossing)
a)    Orient the map with the town of Falletto on the west bank of the Barolo.
b)   The Electorate (red) forces on table at B and the reinforcements from C should come from refinements engaged at La Morra (Game 2).  The reinforcements from C should be refresh regiments.
c)    The Empire (blue) forces should include regiments engaged at La Morra plus fresh reinforcements.
d)    Outcomes
i)      An Electorate (red victory) will result in the termination of the siege campaign.  Having failed to cross twice with the main army, the Empire general should retire on fortifications provided by a bottle of strong Italian red wine!
ii)    An Empire (blue victory) will secure a crossing but allow the Electorate to retire in good order on Fontenoro (Game 7)

7)    Battle at Fontenoro (Teaser 1 Positional Defense)
a)    The map is correctly oriented with a tributary (the Asti) of the Barolo flowing southward.
b)   Electorate (blue) forces include regiments from La Morra (Game 2)
c)    Empire (red) forces also include forces from La Morra.
d)    Outcomes
i)      Electorate (blue) victory or draw halts the empire advance south of Montferrat.
ii)    Empire (red) victory allows for the siege to begin. 

8)    Battle of Montferrat (Teaser 15 Reinforcements on the Table)
a)    Orient the map so that the town (Montferrat) lies on the Northern edge.
b)   Electorate (blue) forces should include regiments engaged at La Morra.
c)    Empire (red) forces also include regiments from La Morra.
d)    Outcomes
i)      Electorate (blue) victory or a draw slows the empire advance south of Montferrat but allows for the siege to begin. 
ii)    Empire (red) victory allows for the siege to begin and catches the garrison at a disadvantage.

9)    Action at Segharia (Teaser 41 Chance Encounter –segharia is Italian for “sawmill” or so says babelfish)
a)    Orient the map 90 degrees clockwise so that the wall runs north-south.
b)   The Empire enters from the Southwest and the Electorate from the Northeast (after rotation)
c)    Empire regiments should come from the troops who originally attacked San Giorgio.  Electorate regiments should include some from San Giorgio plus reinforcements.
d)    Outcomes
i)      An Empire win allows the forces from the southern crossing to move north towards Montferrat. Depending on results at La Morra, move to Fontenorro (Game 7) or Montferrat (Game 8).  In either case, the Empire can draw on all of their regiments to fill their unit rosters for the game 8 or 9.
ii)  An electorate win or a draw halts the southern thrust be leaves the bridgehead securely under Empire control.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

You Too Can Help Me Teach My Class

Wanted : Imaginary Currencies

I'm teaching two courses this year, both of them new to me and one brand new at never been taught at our university before.  The brand new and never been used course is on the pricing of derivatives using the Black-Scholes formula (and yes I've read the Black Swan) and other methods.

Part of the course includes currency trading options, and I'd like to have some imaginary currencies to use in assignment and exam questions.  So I pitch the request out to the representatives of the imaginations of the blogi-sphere.

What is your imaginations currency and how does is trade vis-a-vis the US dollar of sterling?

I do have a reputation for silliness to up hold here - typically my word problems use names from novels or history books I've been reading.  My daughter come home with stories of the prof who bases his assignment on Harry Potter novels that circulate her high school.  One year I was lazy and went for normal names and a student complained that they were too boring.  Naturally the next test featured Nebuchadnezzar, Zaphod Beeblebrox and transactions in the currency units of carbon credits and goats.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Happy Birthday Mr. Darwin

I love it when University Students put their creativity towards having fun.  I also want to see what turns up for the costume contest.


Monday, February 6, 2012

SYW/FIW French Infantry

Here's some shots of my 25mm SYW troops, the French regiments stationed at Louisbourg in 1758.  They are blurry, as I am still learning how to use the new cam for close up work.  I would have reshot them last night but Lynne came home from book club earlier than I expected!

Cambis Regiment (RAFM)

Artois regiment (RAFM figures in waistcoats)

Bourgogne on the right (RAM) and Voluntaires Etranger on the left (OG, from the 1745 range)

Compangnie Franche (fielded as a line battalion) plus artillery (all RAFM)

French staff reassure the women folk (who look more than capable of looking after themselves), while scruffier elements of the French forces lurk nearby

Thursday, February 2, 2012

New Photos and New Pages

I've found more Louisbourg photos, and added these to the new "Photos" page (see the link on the right.

It was 1995 my wife was 7 months pregnant, we were living in Halifax and we took a flyer up to Cape Breton as the last adventure BC (before children) for the Grand Encampment.  Parks Canada had no idea how many visitors to expect and it was packed, but they rose to the occasion and it was a great weekend.  We managed to skip most of the lines by good luck - also a pregnant woman is great for queue jumping. 

More Louisbourg Shots

As per David C's request I've dug through the photo box and found 2 pictures from an earlier visit.  On this day, I was on the first bus out to the site and given the grey morning pretty much had the town to myself for a while.  The second photo down is one of the best shots I've ever taken.

While I'm dong my bit for Nova Scotia tourism, I 'll also load up the shot of the aged pater in front of the recreation of Champlain's original Port Royal (opposite the river from the current Annapolis Royal NS).

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Looking for Advice - What's Your Painting Set Up

I had a discussion with SWMBO about how I set up for painting - which ended up with her asking what other modelings do.  I thought I'd check around.

Here's how I set up for painting.

  1. I paint in our living room so that I can watch TV and talk to my family, plus it's got better light and way more heat (at least in January) then the basement.
  2. I use a vinyl table cloth to protect the floor (much bashed up hard-wood, due to be replaced but so are the basement, kitchen and roof!).
  3. I use 2 folding TV tables to balance my water, painter's palette figures etc.
  4. I keep the bulk of the paints in a box at my feet.
The end result is that I get boxed into my chair (which has arms, further imprisoning me) and SWMBO gets nervous that I'll knock something over or drop it on the chair or flood (sigh again).  It's also tough to get a lamp on the tables which is what I'd love to do.

So advice?

SYW on the 1:1 Scale

I was trying to find shots of my daughter's Jamestown project, but instead stumbled on shots from our family vacation to Louisbourg c 2006.
The view from the King' bastion towards the Dauphin demi-bastion
This shot shows some of the building challenges of building in Cape Breton - the terrain is either solid granite or cranberry bog.  In times of siege, the Governor would be well advised to fix the ditch and covered way, although historical maps of the sieges show that the walls were exposed at this spot due to the lay of the land.

View from the King's Bastion over the town and out over the harbour mouth.  It shows why the fortress was built - the large well sheltered harbour.  Notice in the distance the island (which had a battery during the sieges) and the lighthouse point on the opposite shore - where Wolfe erected his battery in 1758.

Inside of the curtain wall between the King's and Dauphin bastions.

Inside the King's bastion - Companie Franche and Cannonniere Bombardier coming out for a demo.

The main block was the largest building in North America at the time.  The palisade was meant not to keep the redcoats out but to keep the goats and pigs in!

Musket volley!

Coming up on to the ramparts.