Thursday, April 23, 2015

WIP, 28mm Vikings, 24APR15

Here are two photos of my second 40 28mm Vikings.  I spent this evening working on them.

                                          WIP, 28mm Vikings.


            Overview of my work table.  Those needing painting out number the figures completed

Friends of mine told me about SAGA.  They have Anglo-Danes and Viking armies.  But SAGA only needs about 30-40 figures.  I currently have about 140 28mm Vikings right now!  That would be four SAGA armies at least...

Ugh.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Mini-Review of Khan: Empire of Silver by Conn Iggulden

Author:  Conn Iggulden
Title:  Khan:  Empire of Silver.
Publisher:  Delacorte Press.
Copyright:  2010.
Pages:  387.
Price:  $26.00.

Overview and Impressions:
I discovered this author at my local library.  Conn Iggulden is an English writer who lives in Hertfordshire, UK.  He's written a series of books about Genghis Khan and the Mongolian empire.  He's also written books about Julius Caesar and the Roman empire.

I started reading Khan:  Empire of Silver to see how Iggulden handled writing about the Mongols fictionally.  It was part of my research for a historical novel I'm working on.  I love how the author was able to blend historical fact with his fiction.  That's a skill I'd love to have.

Khan:  Empire of Silver follows the Mongol invasion of Russia in 1238 and subsequent withdrawal of Mongol forces to select a new khan when Ogedai died.  The battle scenes are handled realistically and the narrative keeps things moving.  I enjoyed how Iggulden brought all the historical characters to life.

Unfortunately, my local library has only one copy off the Khan series.  Recommended for historical fiction reader.  Too bad Iggulden doesn't write straight military histories.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Review of The Viking Wars of Alfred the Great by Paul Hill

Author:  Paul Hill.
Title:  The Viking Wars of Alfred the Great.
Publisher:  Westholme Publishing.
Copyright:  2009.
Pages:  169.
Price:  $26.00 (US).

Overview & Impressions: 
 I knew little about 9th century England.  This books is about the conflicts the Anglo-Saxons had with the followers of Danelaw.  Alfred the Great was Saxon king of the last English kingdom who defeated who defeated the Viking invades in a series of wars.  Despite being dethrone by his own privy counsel. 

Alfred the Great is remarkable for many reasons besides his victories.  He instituted religious reforms, started building programs and educational reforms throughout England.  Alfred also instituted jury trials and other civil reforms.

But the author's descriptions of the military battles are informative.  It's a treasure trove of ideas for Dark Ages wargaming.  Recommended.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Mid April musings...

Things haven't worked out the way I thought they would.  I didn't get any gaming in this week.  I spent the time organizing my painting queue and actually sealing figures with gloss varnish.  I got the rest of my Warmachine Protectorate of Menoth figures finished and sealed today.  They are now drying.

The only thing I have left is the Covenant of Menoth Solo.  I'd like to get done with him tonight.  I also have 40 28mm Vikings to paint, also.  I started them earlier last month.  I moved over to the Warmachine stuff when I got to a breaking point with the 28mm Viking.  There are 40 more 28mm Vikings to paint along with 40 28mm Viking archers.  I have enough Vikings to do Stamford Bridge.  It's one of those things you think won't take long.  But then things mushroom.  And you have more figures than you intended...

I spent my resources getting a Privateer Press Battlfoam Tourney bag this month for my 30mm Menoth Army.  I'm planning on getting a second bag for my mercenaries in May 2014, too.  I'll then get the remaining 28mm Vikings I need in June 2015.

The only things left are 18mm SYW Prussians and 18mm SYW Swedes.  I offered to buy Sapper Joe's 15mm War of the Triple Alliance figures.  He wants to hold on to them.  I'll probably get all my 18mm SYW armies finished before he gets started on his 15mm War of the Triple Alliance.  It looks bizarre enough to game.  I just don't want to go to the trouble of organizing an order for figures if someone else had everything for sale.  I'll be more productive and stick with 18mm SYW...

Reading wise, I started The Lost Fleet:  Beyond the Frontier:  Dreadnought by Jack Campbell.  I'm also halfway through The Viking Wars of Alfred the Great by Paul Hill.  I've also gone back and am attempting to learn reading ancient Egyptian.  I'll see how that progresses...

Monday, April 6, 2015

WIP, Menoth Protectorate, 06APR15

Here's a photo of the WIP, Menoth Protectorate, 06APR15 I got done this morning:



                                          WIP, Warmachine Protectorate of Menoth, 06APR15.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Review of War Dogs by Greg Bear

Author:  Greg Bear.
Title:  War Dogs.
Publisher:  Orbit Books.
Copyright:  2014.
Pages:  291
Price:  $25.00 (hardback).

Impressions and Overview:
When Greg Bear's character fights and leads, you're straight in the action.  Some of the narrative found me leaving.  Human beings have made contact with an alien race called the Gurus.  They're in war with the birdlike Ants.  Human space soldiers pay the price to fight these alien invaders.

Bear does a great job with his descriptions of Mars.  I wish I could do his detailing justice.  But I can't.  Everything breaks down when his narrator finds fresh water and oxygen in an underground cavern on Mars.  The final third of War Dogs fell flat for me.  But the points leading up to it kept my interests.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Review of The Kaiser's Pirates by Nick Hewitt

Author:  Nick Hewitt.
Title:  The Kaiser's Pirates:  Hunting Germany's Raiding Cruisers in World War I.
Publisher:  Skyhorse Publishing.
Copyright:  2014.
Pages:  238.
Price:  $25.95 (US).

Overview and Impressions:
This book is about 201 pages.  The rest is indexes.  Nick Hewitt talks about the cruiser war between Imperial Germany and Great Britain during WWI.  The German's lost most of their overseas colonies in early in the conflict.  The German cruiser raiders were in 1914 and 1915.

The Kaiser thought a strong Imperial Navy would be able to challenged the military might of Great Britain.  So the theory of 20th century naval power went.  Germany was a victim of geography.  It's ports were on the North Sea.  That meant all the British had to do was blockage the country and starve the people into submission.  That's what happened later on in the war.

However, the Germans sent out a group of aggressive sea captains to wage war on British commerce in the heady days of 1914.  The commerce raiders preyed in the South Atlantic and South Pacific.  There was also a German light cruiser causing trouble in the Bay of Bengal and Emden stuck in an  African mangrove estuary.  The book also covers the highlights of the cruiser actions at Coronel and the Falklands.

There's also some attention paid to the armed merchantmen the Germans equipped with weapons, too.  After reading A Naval History of World War I, I found this book more enjoyable and easier to peruse than the encyclopedic campaign histories on different oceans.  Recommended.