Thursday, July 10, 2014

Mid-Summer 2014 progress report

I'm blogging to let know people I'm alive.  I've been spending the weekends painting.  Specifically, I've been working on 28mm 1870 Bavarian infantry brigade.  I want to get a battalion done a week.  Problem is there are seven battalions to finish!  I also started a 28mm 1870 French Turco infantry regiment, too.  I'll be done with my 28mm FPW projects when those armies are finally painted.

Realistically, that puts me into September/October to complete my 28mm FPW game for Command Con 2014.  I'm only running one gaming slot this year for Command Con 2014.  That will be Friday, November 7th at 12 PM, I believe.  I'm also running a 15mm SYW Battle of Minden - August 1, 1759 on Saturday, July 19th at 12 PM at Wargamers Cave.  I'll also be running a 28mm Boer War Game 1881 on Saturday, August 9th at Guns of August for Big Muddy HGA...

Other activities have seen me writing and catch up on my reading.  I' finished Edgar Rice Burroughs' Princess of Mars.  I'm now reading the second book.  I have an interest in 28mm VSF.  But it's another expense I can afford to do without, for now.  I have a backlog of 20 books to read before I'm caught up with everything.  Any progress I make towards my unread pile is progress none the less...

Good painting and good gaming,

Saturday, June 28, 2014

WH40K Demo Game by Hostile Contact

Steve Hood (Combat Colours) and Joe Collins (Sapper Joe) squared off in a WH40K demo game run by Curtis Tuner (Hostile Contact) today at Wargamers Cave in Granite City, IL.  Both sides had 1,000 point armies.  Combat Colors had Space Marines.  Sapper Joe had Chaos Marines.  They fought over several contested objectives.

Combat Colours blew up one of Sapper Joe's Rhinos.  Sapper Joe returned the favor by pinning down Combat Colours' dreanought.  Sapper Joe had a Nurgle predator that pounded on the dreadnought to little avail.  But he got lucky and blew up Combat Colours' Razorback.  Meanwhile both sides' infantry shot it out over contested terrain until the two brought their jump troops and terminators on board.

Then, things got really ugly.  The game went six turns.  Steve lost by the narrowest of margins because he didn't have any troops available to contest an object other than his devastator squad.  Sapper Joe found the game to be a good learning experience.  Combat Colours is also interested in playing more WH40K, too.

I'm hoping for another 1,000 point demo game next month at Wargamers Cave.  BTW, we're doing 6th edition WH40K.  I've played 7th edition.  It's no fun.  I found that out last night when my Blood Angels fought Dark Eldar....

Monday, June 23, 2014

Review of Hitler's Guards by James J. Weingartner

Author:  James J. Weingartner.
Title:  Hitler's Guard - The Story of the Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler, 1933-1945.
Publisher:  Battery Classics.
Copyright:  (1974), 1989.
Pages: 194.
Price:  $22.50.

This is one of those stories about books I'd purchased, read them, and then realized I used to own a copy of it and had already read it!

The books is the story of Joseph Sepp Dietrich and the Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler.  The unit originally started out as a ceremonial bodyguard unit.  It was an entire panzer division by the end of WWII.

How that happened is part of the book.  The other part is how the unit was used to deal with the Third Reich's enemies, both foreign and domestic.  The Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler fought all over Europe during WWII.  They were seen as an elite of the Waffen SS carrying out Adolf Hitler's personal orders.

Starting with the "Night of the Long Knives" and the murder of Ernst Roehm to the final days of the Reich, Sepp Dietrich willing became Hitler's personal "paladin" in carrying out his master's orders.  This places Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler not only among the elite military units of history, it also ranks them as some of the worst war criminals, too.

Though little thought was given to Himmiler's propaganda, Sepp Dietrich and average ranks of the Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler say themselves as a new racial elite fighting the Bolsheviks and international Jewry in their crusade on the Eastern Front.  For they liked to say, "My loyalty is my honor."  Recommended.

WIP, 23JUNE14, 28mm 1870 French

Here are some photos of 28mm 1870 French, WIP, 23JUN14:

                           28mm 1870 French Command and dismounted Chassuers d'Afrique.

June painting and figure purchases...

I've been working on 28mm 1870 French command and 28mm 1870 Chasseurs d'Afrique this weekend.  I'll get some photos of the finished pieces up soon.  I'm taking a break from painting this morning.  I feel like Napoleon III at Sedan sometimes.  The amount of figures I have to paint is overwhelming.  I'm trying to make a dent in my unpainted miniature pile.

Some days, it goes better than others.  This weekend was productive.  However, I still have an entire 28mm 1870 Bavarian infantry brigade to finish.  I moved onto 28mm 1870 Prussian and Bavarian artillery to finish later this week.

I finally got a large purchase I'd bought about 1.5 months ago.  A WH40K Baneblade kit.  I have no idea what type of tank I'll assemble.  I'll finish my 28mm FPW armies before moving onto the remaining WH40K vehicles...

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Review of Warmachine Prime MKII: Steam-Powered Miniatures Combat

Title:  Warmachine Prime MKII:  Steam-Powered Miniatures Combat
Publisher:  Privateer Press.
Copyright:  2010.
Pages:  256.
Price:  $29.95 US (softback).

I bought and went through the Warmachine Prime MKII:  Steam-Powered Miniatures Combat rules.  I'll say they are thoroughly written and developed.  I like that.  The examples are easy to follow.  It's spelled out what you can and can't do.

Each Warmachine army has a warcaster who controls steam-powered robots named warjacks.  There are also solo characters and units can be added to an army.  The point values for normal Warmachine play are 35 and 50 points.  Each figures has a card telling what it can do and any magical abilities.  You win the game when you kill the warcaster.  There are different scenarios you can also play.

I got into Warmachine by accident.  I traded a WHFB Warriors of Chaos army for a Menoth Protectorate army.  There are several different factions in Warmachine.  I have the angry Catholics who cleanse everything with fire.  There are also Cygnar, Khador, Cryx, Retribution, and Mercenaries.  I bought a Mercenary army as my second faction.  I have yet to put them together.  I first have to paint and assemble all the Menoth Protectorate models first.

I'm lucky there's a community of Warmachine players here in St. Louis, MO.  I've learning to play on Wednesday afternoons/evenings at a local shop.  Instead of FOW, I'm now playing Warmachine because that what the majority of other gamers are playing.

There are numerous gaming systems besides WH40K.  Warmachine is the best play tested and tried.  I've enjoyed the games I've played.  But the system rewards an aggressive play style.  Keep that in mind if you decide to invest in it.  Recommended.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Review of The Franco-German War 1870-71, Vols. 1-2

Author:  German General Staff.
Titles:  The Franco-German War 1870-71, Vol. 1 - The War against the Empire. 
           The Franco-German War 1870-71, Vol. 2 - The War against the Empire.
Publisher:  Battery Press.
Pages:  582; 663.
Prices:  $34.95 (US).
            $39.95 (US).

It's cheaper to buy the entire five volume set of The Franco-German War 1870-71 by the German General Staff from Battery Press for $149.95.  It'll run you more to buy the books individually.  Fifteen years ago, I'd bought the first two volumes.  I then moved and eventually sold off my copies after I got rid of my 15mm FPW armies in Hays, KS.

That was a mistake.

Now, I'm rebuilding 28mm FPW armies for a different gaming system.  But I still wanted to have the books as reference materials.

Getting to the books, they are dry reading.  The first volume covers Weissenburg and the frontier battles to the climax at Gravolette-St. Privat.  The second volume is dedicated to the Sedan campaign and the fall of the Second Empire.

The other three volumes cover the Siege of Paris, battles in the provinces, and the final victory and occupation of Paris.

My interests are with the Second Empire when France still had a chance of winning the war.  The Republican phase of the Franco-Prussian War is interesting.  However, much of it revolves around sieges and relief expeditions.  The early Imperial campaign has more open battles and room for maneuvering.  If you want a more balanced account of the FPW, look at Michael Howard's The Franco-Prussian War.  He goes into details about the Republican phase of the War and how the French responded to the German invaders.

But the Official History of the Franco-German War 1870-71 is probably one of the better first hand accounts of the conflict in English.  It's still academic reading.  Not for the casual reader.