Friday, December 30, 2011

Some Troops Exercise

My Middle son wanted to get in a tabletop game before new years.

We did this little tussle between some French and Brits using Star Wars Miniatures Battles rules.

Very fast paced and done in just over 90 mins.
Tradition continues

We have made a gingerbread TRAIN for this year's confection concoction.

So far that makes 5 years in a row for making a gingerbread house ... how long does it take to make a tradition?

Saturday, December 24, 2011


Four years ago I had put some of my painted toy soldiers for consignment sale at ABC Books in Courtenay. Imperial Guard Chasseurs a Cheval from 2007 Best Presentation Award Dak-Kon Convention Courtenay

Many were sold to a single gentleman for his grandson, then 8 years old. I was unaware of this at the time.

This past autumn I collected the few remaining, unsold, toys and found a faded post it note with Norman's phone number and the note:

"lead soldiers - different"

on one of the boxes.

Three weeks ago, I decided to call Norman.

He told me that only two days before he had been speaking with his grandson about what he wanted this year, they had discussed some new electronic gadgets or computing game software.

Later, when grandpa was gone, the boy asked his mother very quietly if grandpa could get Santa to bring some different solders for him to use with the red (British 1800's uniform) ones that he already had. Norman's daughter had told him about this that night, he had no idea how to find me or contact me in any way and he knew that there were no others toy soldiers similar in the shopping area of town.

Now here I was calling to him, the very next day.

Norman then asked if I had some that could be the 'other side' from the red uniforms, and he also said that his grandson was very well read on the period that the soldiers came from, so could these opponents be accurate as possible.

I had 60 French Imperial toy soldiers that had not been selling on eBay for months, not even anyone looking.

Grandpa took them straight away and I dropped off the package in person, one little 12 year old will be having a happy Christmas.

The spirit of Santa is alive and well, connecting little workshops like mine to the boys and girls that ask.

I hope that your spirit is lifted by this little tale and you remember to ask for what you want in your new year.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Tricornes missing ...

Many of the remaining tricornes from my collection are missing ... they appear to have been removed from their storage case, now I cannot use the remaining few to do the games planned over the holiday season.

There is a suspect, sadly they have not come forward, conscience is taking a long time to work on them I suppose...

I will substitute something for a game with my boys over the season, making do and moving forward the game, it will just not have the correct tricorned look.

Friday, December 09, 2011

New Custom Game Tools

Experimenting with Cyberboard, for Paul of the Napoleonic Wargaming blog, I have come up with some new ideas that I will have to play around with for my other campaign game ideas.

For Paul, I have a basic set of game tools and this image was from the first test of them done tonight.

Monday, December 05, 2011

New Map and Napoleonic Campaigning combination.

A piece of the map I have to work with.

Paul, of Napoleonic Wargaming and I have connected and I am going to put together some Cyberboard tools for his campaign.

Something Napoleonic for me to work on at least!

Sunday, November 20, 2011


More moves done in my 7 years Wars Cyberboard system:

General Situation in central Urope

British fleets took out at 4:1 odds Dutch Shipping off the norther coast of Holland.

Big Battle in Pilsner had:
+3 King Fredrich
+2 Seydliz
+2 Henry
and Prussian (called Altmorania in my fictional "Urope") troops 4*3, 4*3, 2*1


Austrian +1 General Daun
troops 3*2
Saxe-Bearstein troops: 3*2 and 1*1

For at total of 1.4 advantage to Prussia. Not enough to get any strategic bonuses.

The Plan die rolls were dismal for the Austrians and fair-good for Prussians, which eliminated the defensive bonus for the Austrian/Saxon positions.

3 Major rounds of Battle ensued (each about one hour in length)

Round one went to the Prussians who gained a position bonus of +2 and took only 10% casualties while inflicting 25% on the Austrians.
Round two was the reverse of round one save that it was slightly less damage to the Prussians (only 20% casualties)
Round three was the clincher, essentially the same as round one, for the math, the problem was that the Austrian side could not take any more of such casualties and now the odds were tipping heavily in the Prussians favor.

The Saxons were abandoned as a rear guard and Daun commenced the withdrawal. A lucky shot into a nearby artillery battery nearly killed Daun, he was lucky also with his saving throw. The Prussian Prince Henry suffered a lot of damage (almost dead) from a fall during a cavalry charge.

Other actions were at:

Miastokrol, Russians kept the fortress after a 2 hour attempt at siege, 20% casualties to the Prussians caused them to break the siege and retreat.

Vienna! I decided that the "vile" Stagonians, would do a mad action to grab territory, in Linz and Saxe-Bearstein while the Prussians were busy with the main Saxon and Austrian armies (even though this would likely piss off their nominal French 'ally'). Well in this round the Austrian capitol Vienna was only covered by one force, and a shot at the nearby troops would keep them from helping the capitol ... taking it would make Stagonia a major player! HA fat chance!

Both the flank column and the force attacking Vienna were defeated. The one into Vienna was killed to 55%, then the rest were caught in a pursuit 100% loss as the rest are now prisoners.

The other force had to retreat into the mountains, near the area of Tipplebruder ...

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Expanding the removal of fantasy minis

check out this Ral Partha Dragon on eBay here

or enter:
in your browser

I am doing a blowout on eBay of many of the non-historical and some of the historical periods that I do not game any more ... basically if I have not used these in games in the past 10 years I am selling it off.

Must make space for what is to come.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Shedding continues.

On eBay click here

or enter this link:

in your browser.

You will find this great 15mm Pirates set along with loads of other 15mm historical and 25mm fantasy miniatures.

With the reduction in the space available right now I am clearing out the game elements that do not serve me directly right now ... that way I can focus more on the ones that do!

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Digital Game tools

I have been playing around with some of the photos that I took for selling some minis recently.

I used them as parts in a Cyberboard Game box based on SHAKO, as seen top-down.

Here are the two 'views' of the map ... one showing the minis the other with some 'transparent game aids' shown.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Clearing Space

With the game table space gone and the need to downsize heavily upon me I have started the process of selling painted and unpainted minis.

These French are due to join many others on the eBay auction site this week.

Hence my dropped off postings about games topics.

Friday, October 07, 2011

Nafziger Collection

In February 2010, George Nafziger donated his collection of Orders of Battle, etc to the U.S. Army to place online.

His letter as reproduced is:

Gentlemen (and ladies),

I have donated the notorious Nafziger Collection of orders of battle to the U.S. Army's Combined Arms Research Library (CARL). It is online and free to the world. I'm afraid I do not have the URL and I understand that it is still in a "teething" process, but it is there.

You may be wondering why. There are several reasons. First, technology was killing me. The collection was in WordStar, a DOS-based program, and Windows XP and Vista would not allow me to print the documents, so I found myself having to maintain a Windows 98 machine (and a spare, just in case). Sooner or later, I would no longer be able to get to the data. Technological changes would lose it to me (and you).

Second, I'm 60. Sadly, I'm not going to live forever. I imagined, not unrealistically, that since my wife and kids know nothing about the collection, could care less about it, would see a Windows 98 machine and think "junk" and place the computer, its hard drive and all the collection on the curb for the garbage collector, that my death would result in the disappearance of something that meant a lot to me as a hobby and a labor of love. Soooo, when approached by a friend two to three years ago, I realized this was the best solution. Besides, there is some sweet irony about a Navy Captain having his stuff figure so prominently on a U.S. Army website. :-) And, in some sense, maybe I will achieve a modicum of immortality, leaving a legacy that will haunt you all long after I've shed this mortal shell.

And with that, if any of you are silly enough to want to order something on the old website (which is still functional), I will take your money, but pretty soon I'm going to take it down and leave a link to the army's website.

Enjoy, make use of it, and consider it my gift to the wargaming community.

A fabulous set of wargaming tools!

You can now find them organized by era in .zip files HERE!

I will also be posting this to my sidebar of resources.

Saturday, October 01, 2011

Table's End ...

It has been a few weeks coming, I did check in with a few other gamers to see if they could use my big gaming table.

Since the space has been sold now and I cannot store the 4'x8' foot table anywhere else, I decided to recover the wood for use in heating.

Here is seen the saw cutting up the table after the legs and supports had been removed.

This is a shift I shall have to work through, it will mean a few more weeks at least before I can do any tabletop games as the boxes get sorted out.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Paint Day @ Jeff's

We, Peter, Jeff and I, did a paint day in support of Jeff's Colonial Campaign.

I worked on these Bengal Lancer troopers and officer (seen in the first image), while Peter did another troop of cavalry and Jeff put the finishing touches onto some of the 'British' forces for his own colonials command.

Much quiet time in contemplative brushworks, then some discussions about colonial forces, in seeking to change the ambiance I found "Charge of the Light Brigade" and we put that on in the background and some military issues from the film were discussed while painting continued.

Finally it was inspection time ...

Jeff was relieved of the need to paint some 30 minis for 'cavalry' forces.

My efforts on the day 12 Bengal Lancers that Alex will get to command.

In all a comfortable afternoon.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Some Colonial Campaigning

Faced with some really messy jungle areas I put the Ghurka troops on the left front and split the Highlanders with the officer leading the larger group on the left while the sergeant performed recovery duty with the ponies (you can see some wounded still on them at the start of the action).

All of the Pioneers are massed together to back stop the Ghurka, while the remaining Brits (in Khaki) are to be first cover force and be ready to form firing line immediately.

Somewhere around these jungles are some Zulu like spear forces with my objective to put the village to the torch.

The Ghurka got into action much faster than anticipated, they did well however they were forced to flee with casualties that ~ in this territory ~ are not easily accepted.

One thing I will say about card systems that include any sort of 'end of turn' card in them. They take away very much of any players freedom to plan or act. What they do create is a sense of 'what is most important to move' as you may only get ONE unit to move (or maybe NONE! ~ something that really BITES and I take umbrage at such a rule as one bad luck with the cards and you end up standing around getting whomped ~ not much fun nor is it any sort of 'recreation'). Thankfully I had moved most of what I wanted to when the dreaded HALT! card came up TWICE! in as many turns with less than 1/2 of my force moved.

The Zulu guys came at my flank after the poke at the vanguard. This time there were two major forces that could fire as they came out into the open. Only three of them made the first charge home, the total of 8 got into hand 2 hand. Then they ran away, only 2 from the charge. Combined with the remaining 6 was less than 1/2 survivors ... they started to flee.

Then the crazy move cards created a rear attack potential, something that my recce had indicated was not possible.

At least the cards gave me the ability to get the leading two units to "ABOUT TURN!".

Once again withering fire, fleeing Zulus. This time only 1 of 20 even got away.

We prepared to engage the village, still not certain that I had dealt with all the opposition...

That was when the one British officer got wounded. Lucky shot from the one rifle armed Zulu.

All in all a good start to the campaign action ... we shall have to see what develops for the others now.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

...A Near run thing!

Last Wednesday my youngest son and I had game time together.

He said that he wanted to play a game on the table with the 'red men', meaning my British Napoleonic forces.

So I asked him did he want to attack or defend? He said attack.

Then I set up a 13 unit vs 9 unit British attack on a French force, I took the French.

My youngest son then wanted to write out his own plan and get it all going his own way...this took some time to write up, then we put our minis out on the table and started what turned out to be the closest match of SHAKO I have yet played to date!

We ended up setting up asymmetrical to each other with my Dragoons on my far left more or less centered on his main line infantry battalions.

Since the British had all of the movement arrows, they moved first every turn.

My son chose to push his light infantry forward first, to see if he could get into the town sector I held. My move was to drive at his infantry line with my Dragoons before they could move out of the way of the light batteries on the hilltop.

The counter move-was with his cavalry, to smash them into my light infantry holding the edge of the farmers fields...

The rest of the British forces simply moved up along their attack arrows.

This was the major test of the early game, the British chose to fire, and failed, the French chose to form emergency square, and failed!

From this the British Light Dragoons drove across the fields, while the French Dragoons shattered the British line and then half of the attached light artillery!

This put my young son into a panic, he was down 1-0 (needing 5 to win and I needing 7) and felt that his situation was not recoverable ... I warned him that in another two turns he could be in a position to win the game with some luck. He chose to continue after some time away from the table.

On our return to action, my Dragoons got to smash into the other half of his light Cavalry force, while his light Dragoons took out my light Infantry battalion. This caused a Division roll for me and him. He got a "2" and had to fall back to the board edge with his light Dragoons, I got a "5" which meant carry on.

Every turn so far when my artillery got to fire I would roll "1"'s on turn three this changed ... with devastating effect. Three "6"'s caused mayhem in the line Infantry advancing. Then the French Dragoons had to attack (or just be shot to bits), this they did, and failed utterly. The Highlanders fired getting 2 hits and then the charge was a 6-1 result destroying half of the Dragoon division, now another morale roll ... a "1" = rout! The French Cavalry and 1/3 of its artillery were in flight from the field...suddenly my young son was ahead 3-1!

Now the pressure to get the win for the British side was on!

The British Lines poured forward to musket range and hammered out shots, trading with French units at the river, the difference was that the French had artillery. Now the tide began to turn as the British units steadily lost men, while the French were only temporarily disordered.

By turn 5 there were too many casualties in the British lines, they had lost 75% of the division, this meant immediate rout for the Highlanders were the only unit left.

As the French commander I was relieved as the British Grenadier forces had crossed the stream and were now BEHIND by left flank! If I did not get rid of the infantry facing my Grenadiers then they would be either fired on the rear or most likely charged from the rear!

Thankfully for the French this did not happen, meanwhile more French losses had happened outside the town, now a Division morale roll was needed, this time a "2" and I only had to fall back to the board edge... Score at this point 5-3 each of us needed only 2 more units to break and run to get a win.

The French had re-set the guns to face on the former left flank and my Grenadiers turned about in time to fire on and disorder the British Grenadiers, they did not rally! This meant that the Royal artillery battery was going to be vulnerable.

In order to give the advancing columns time to get up and to press the attack my young son committed his Grenadiers to a wild column attack against a steady French Grenadier battalion in line. What a reversal!

Over in the town sector the French were being forced out of everywhere, except for the corner of the fields, where a greatcoat wearing battalion charged and routed off the field the British unit that was holding them down.

Again it was time for morale rolls, this time the British did not fare so well ... a "1" sent the 1st Brigade of the light Division off the battlefield, combined with the other losses, this brought the action to a close at the end of turn 6.

Final score France 7, Anglo 4.

Without a doubt this was the closest fought action using the SHAKO rules that I have ever played and was pushed to the limit by a five year old!

Bravo to my young son!

Enjoy the eye candy (click to see them larger) and please leave your comments or discussion items.

Update October 6, 2011:
This game turned out to be the last on my gaming table at home.
The space has been sold now.