Thursday, August 21, 2008

Fantasy Flight Games aquires the rights to - Talisman and Battle Lore

This news item describes the transfer of these two properties from their respective companies to Fantasy Flight Games.

Given that FFG is treating the Talisman transfer very well, it is expected that the same will occur with Battle Lore.


Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Most Excellent SYW Information (two in one day)

The Leuthen Journal is a quite informative website, with a lot of great information on SYW armies and wargaming.

Once again, I am impressed with the high quality images available for painting guides for the various armies.

Something keeps tugging at my 18th century heart-strings....

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Seven Years War History Page

Wow, what a fantastic site! Kronoskaf is a project to get large information-bases out to the public, with all sorts of information included. Their first two topics have been the Seven Years War, and also Athens in 421BC.

Let me say that this page totally impressed me. There is overview of many of the nations (all?) involved in the Seven Years War. Maps, descriptions, etc. And of huge value, for all of the military units involved, there is good (detailed) painting information, often with color diagrams.

Very nice, thank you Kronoskaf staff.

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Pictures of Miniatures I am selling

Sadly, I did not paint these. But I am currently trying to sell them. If interested, please email me. Click below to see the album of pictures.

Toy Soldiers


Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Name Pole for Williamsburg Area Miniatures Convention

Polls PoweredBy MicroPoll

Incredible Napoleonic Diorama Pictures

These are a couple of INCREDIBLE!! websites with pictures of Napoleonic dioramas. They are in German, but don't let that fool you - the pictures are well worth the visit if you want to see incredible terrain and painting on miniatures.

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Kamloopian Terrain Building Tips

Steve, from Kamloops British Columbia, has a YouTube Channel with a bunch (over 100) of videos on all sorts of topics related to model building, terrain construction, painting, and other things. Very instructive and informative. I watched a few on building trees and buildings, and learned a couple of things.

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Friday, August 15, 2008

Gaming Blogs to Peruse

So, when you are not busy painting miniatures,

Check out this list of gaming blogs - some have some REALLY interesting stuff on them.

Outskirts of Berlin scenario for Memoir 44

Breakthrough at Seelow Heights is a really good looking scenario from the Brumbar website. It is for Memoir 44, and requires the new Breakthrough mapboard, and also the Soviet army expansion.

If anyone in ODMS gets this set up and plays it, let me know. I want to know if the Breakthrough mapboard is worth the price of the new backpack.


SiegMeow - Cats that look like Hitler

Cats that look like Hitler is a hilarious web page.

Note: I am definitely not a fan of Hitler. But I do like a funny cat picture from time to time.

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Thursday, August 14, 2008

Paper Model Design Software

The Model Train Software company has a Model Builder software package that allows you to design any sort of modern building (late 19th century to 2008) that you like and print it out in any scale you like for construction.

The scales they offer are all the typical Model Railroad scales AND Military Modeling scales, including 25mm 28mm 30mm 1:72 and so on.

On the website, they offer a free building that can be printed in a number of different scales. It is an early 20th century sporting goods store, but would serve very well as any type of old west cow town building, just by changing the sign (think: Saloon, Livery, Dry Goods, Blacksmith, etc).


Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The Dictator wants to know - Where are Oscar's Italians?

Oh where, oh where are Oscar's Italians?

Has anyone seen them? Certainly not the Duce up top.

Rumor has it that they got lost somewhere between Virginia and Singapore.


Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Pinkhus Karlinsky - boatman for the Tsar

This picture shows the man himself (Pinkhus Karlinsky) in glorious colorized detail. This is from a webpage with LOADS of pictures from Tsarist Russia. See more about Pinkhus at the Transportation page of the website. He served as chief of the floodgate on his part of the Volga-Baltic canal for 66 years.

The website is from the Library of Congress, and is called The Empire that was Russia

For instance, in this picture of Austro-Hungarian Prisoners, from the early years of the Great War, there is in the left hand corner an excellent image of an Imperial soldier, in the white gimnasterka (tunic), dark green trousers, and white cap.

Not that I'm thinking of Russian troops. Not for the Russo-Japanese war, nor for the Russian Civil War. Nope, not at all.

Honest, comrade.


All the kings men - British!

All the Kings Men - a great 54mm website. I know, this has absolutely nothing at all to do with any of my current (or even planned) projects, but dang - they sure do look nice. Just click on the pic.

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Friday, August 8, 2008

Colonial Encounter on the Frontier is an article on the website that is a very nice description of the sorts of military skirmishes and encounters that took place on the Northwest Frontier. Play up, Lads!

This leads me to the announcement that I will be developing some wargaming scenarios for submission to magazines. Any ideas or character names or place names etc will be welcomed.

ADDENDA - Also on the website, I found an absolutely marvelous article about Peshawar. See here a fantastic image (prepared in 1985 by an American, Richard Meinke, which is a map of the old city. A slight modification of this map (remove the radio station symbol, change the names of the High Schools to Government Schools, and rename the cinema to a theater - and the map would serve nicely for a gaming map for late 19th, early 20th century gaming. Very nicely. Which gives me a couple of game ideas. Maybe more than a couple....

SECOND ADDENDA - See the historical article section of this website. There are great articles on the Gandomak Treaty, the Treaty with Ameer Dost Mohammad Khan, the Yusafzai state in the Swat Valley, and the Frontier Corps, including the Khyber Rifles and the Chitral Scouts.


Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Vive L'Empereur

Videos of L'Empereur.

Be sure to check out the link to his MySpace page, as well.


July in Gaming

  1. Played a number of boardgames
  2. Held a game-day at home, with a number of non-gamer attendees, as well as some die-hards from ODMS
  3. Worked on a Russian Civil War variant for Memoir 44 (tchankas anyone?)
  4. Mounted 15mm Dervish swordsman (Old Glory, 100 figures)
  5. Continued to paint a unit of 28mm British Colonial Cavalry (Eureka, 12 figures) for Jon Krigbaum
  6. Attended Historicon
    • Played boardgames (BattleLore, Alhambra Dice Game, Mystery Rummy, Ticket to Ride, Amazonas)
    • Entered Iron Paintbrush speed painting contest with Odin B and Chris B (from ODMS)
  7. Continued to paint 15mm Ruso-Japanese war Russian Infantry (Old Glory, 96 figures)
  8. Watched Master and Commander, and Gladiator
  9. Purchased copies of "Field of Glory" and "Shako II"
  10. Purchased Osprey books on Russo-Japanese War, and Russian Civil War Whites
  11. Order Russian Civil War bolshevik figures (15mm, Peter Pig) through Cotton Jim


underground3k Military Vehicle Database

Underground3k is a website dedicated to military hobbyists. It has a great series of databases about the worlds military vehicles, with each entry accompanied by many photos, and a military article archive, and a military game arcade.

Check it out.


Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Forgotten Samurai Rules

Two sets I missed the first time around -

15mm Samurai Rules - based on Rules according to Ral
Daimyo - on a good web page dedicated to Samurai wargaming

First Half of this article . . .

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Medieval Japan Rules - a partial list

First, there is a very nice overview of several rulesets here.

Of those mentioned, I have heard very good things about Katana, The Age of the Country at War, and Killer Katanas. Many others mentioned.

PJ Rockefeller has a set of decent looking rules (Bushi) here.

This set (Heroic Samurai) seem to be designed for 28mm, but they do use units and with some base size reduction, could be great for 15mm.

Although they have all the detail of a roleplaying game, Katana To Yari seem to be a good set of skirmish (man-to-man) rules. Based on Samurai sword flicks, where Mifume carves his way through dozens of extras.

This link is inspirational, but nothing of substance about the game.

One last option - Warhammer Ancients does have a Samurai army list.

Second half of this article (with two additional rulesets) . . .

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Sunday, August 3, 2008

15mm Russo-Japanese early estimates

Over the north country whose seas are frozen
Spring wind blows across
It is time to beat Russia
Rampant for three hundred years.
-- Mora Orgai, 1904.

Not the most popular land wargaming period, I have been collecting and slowly painting a 15mm pair of armies for the Russo-Japanese war of 1904-05.

With Naval Wargamers this is a fairly popular topic, for a couple of reasons. It is a mark of the ascendancy of Japan's Imperial Navy. It is the epitome of Pre-Dreadnought naval development. And the battles are fun. And who doesn't like to poo-poo the Imperial Russian fleet (especially with such fun histories available such as this). I believe that Big Mike (of ODMS and the Hangar) will be completing some pre-dreadnought fleets including the Japanese and Russians, at which time I would be glad to defend the Tsar's tarnished honor.

Once all painted, I should have about 60-70 stands of Russian infantry, and about 50 stands of Japanese infantry. I will have around 10-20 stands of Japanese Imperial cavalry, and about the same of Russian Imperial cavalry. Probably another 30-40 stands of Russian Cossacks. Add to all that some field guns (about a dozen per side), and the same number of machine guns.

Currently I have the first 25 or so stands of infantry for each side close to being completed. It is taking me about 3-4 nights to complete 25 stands of infantry, as an estimate to completion (of course, I don't, or can't, paint every night - meaning about a week for 25 stands, or 100 infantry figures).

This will give me armies big enough to play any of the rule sets I am interested in, and I hope to play several and compare them. I am basing the infantry on 4 man square bases (1" x 1") and the cavalry in 3 man linear bases (1.5" x 1"). One of the reasons for the lag in cavalry is that I am using Gale Force 9 bases for this project, and I have to order (or buy at Fall In) the stands. Curse me for not realizing this at Historicon, I could have easily picked them up then.

The stands form different sized units in different games, but almost always a Battalion. In "Square Bashing" a battalion is 4 stands. In "Barrage", probably 5 stands. In a mod of "Chassepot and Needlegun", a battalion varies between 4 and 6 stands.

With 3-4 battalions to a regiment in Manchuria (for both sides), and 2-3 regiments to a division, this means that I should be able to do maybe two infantry divisions (48 stands) per side, with additional cavalry and divisional asset artillery. That is MUCH too big for Barrage, and even for Square Bashing. But it is the right size for C&N, if I want each player on a side to control a division.

Ideally a C&N game would be 3 on 2 (with 3 russian players, and 2 japanese players) each controlling a division. The Japanese troops would almost universally have better morale, and the Russians would outnumber them in a field battle. In an Attack-Defense game, with the Japanese on the attack (as the many scenarios taking the fortifications around Port Arthur would call for), the Russians might fare as well as 1-1, but the Japanese would have much better troops and better machine guns.

I am still a few weeks away from a critical mass of painted stands, but perhaps by Fall In the first clash of sabres and bayonets in Manchuria will hit the table.

Japanese Painting Decisions: I am doing the Japanese half in the early Blue winter uniform, and half in the later Khaki uniform. This is because of other uses I have in mind for the figures. The Blue figures will do very nicely for the Sino-Japanese war (which I plan on using 15mm Boxer Rebellion chinese for), and also for the Boxer Rebellion. The Khaki figures will do very nicely (with one eye closed) for some RCW interventionist forces.

Russian Painting Decisions: I will be doing some of the units in the white gymnasterka top, with the Russian green trousers that the legation troops wore in Peking and on Seymour's column in the Boxer Rebellion. The remainder of the troops will be getting an all-green (1881 uniform) treatment. I am prepping two units of Frontier Guards. I would like to find fur-cap russians in the 1881 uniform that I could use as Siberian Guards. A few of these troops may see double duty in the RCW, not too many. The cossacks, on the other hand, will be usable up until WWII.

Some Russo-Japanese Links:
Wikipedia Entry
Russo-Japanese War Research Society
Russo-Japanese War Armed Conflict Event Data
Good overall article on the Zhukov Russian Military History Site
Encyclopedia Britannica article with good links
Osprey book on the Conflict

Some Sino-Japanese War Links:
Wikipedia Article
Excellent article from the Russo-Japanese Research Society
Excellent Excerpt from Sara Paine's Book
Concise Overview of the Conflict

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Friday, August 1, 2008

Secret Miniature Figure Stash

DM: Okay, after killing the orc guards, you see through slashes in the tapestry that it is concealing a door. Pulling back the tattered remnant, you see that it is an ancient dusty wooden door, with iron hardware that has rusted badly.

Thief: Alright everyone, stand back and I'll check for traps.

DM: (rolling dice) Alright, it doesn't SEEM to be trapped, but the locks are really old and have a lot of corruption in them.

Barbarian: Phaugh! I kick in the door. CROM!!!!! (smashes head with rule book) (rolls dice) Success! We're in!

DM: Okay . . . that's one way to do it, but it made a lot of noise, you'll have to be quick if you don't want to attract wandering monsters.

Thief: I'll check the room.

Knight: No, better yet, I'LL check the room.

DM: Okay, you enter what appears to be a 10x10 room with wood paneling on the walls, with a table and chair on one wall. The other walls are covered in shelves. All of the shelves have a mix of books and cardboard boxes on them. In front of the boxes, on the shelves, are numerous small silvery figurines - some of men, some of horses. The table has on it a bunch of little brushes and tiny pots of paint. The room smells musty, and you can swear you hear low strains of music coming from a black contraption on the back of the desk. It is all very arcane.

Knight: I pull out one of the boxes from the shelves, what is inside it?

DM: (rolls) It appears to be a collection of painted figurines. They look like small versions of crusading knights from Veluna, but somehow different.

Knight: Interesting. I check another box - same thing?

DM: (rolls) Well, this one also has painted figurines in it, but they are carrying odd weapons, almost like long crossbows, without the cross-bar. The figurines are all wearing red coats and black hats.

Knight: Alright, here's what we'll do. I start hefting all the boxes . . .

DM: (rolls) Uh-oh, that's what I was afraid of. You hear footsteps in the hallway, coming your way, moving in a hurry. As the figure draws closer, it calls out "Chuck?"

Barbarian: I draw my sword and stand very still next to the doorway...

: I draw my daggers and cower in the shadows.

Knight: I shove a handful of the figurines into my forage bag, and draw the holy blade, Restitution.

: (rolls) it looks like it is a spouse (rolls again) and female. It's the wife of the painter. She is getting closer, and angrily calling out "What's in that room? What have you been hiding from me?" You better roll for initiative...