Friday, August 30, 2013

Review of Semper Fi Vietnam by Edward F. Murphy

Title:  Semper Fi Vietnam:  From Da Nang to the DMZ, Marine Corps Campaigns, 1965-1975
Author:  Edward F. Murphy
Publisher:  Presidio Press
Copyright:  1997
Price:  $7.99 US

Semper Fi Vietnam is part of my summer reading.  I just finished the book today.  The book chronicles the US Marine Corps' involvement in South Vietnam from the initial deployment at Da Nang in 1965 to the final US embassy evacuation in April 1975.  The book's chapters are organized by year. 

Even though I was born during the Vietnam War, I feel like I lived through this conflict after my constant reading about it.  The book is filled with endless recon patrols, firefights, LZs, and VC/NVA ambushes.  I have more ideas for war gaming this conflict than I can recall.  Semper Fi Vietnam is written as part combat history/part unit campaigns.  The author focuses on unit participation and the officer who commanded them. 

Take it for what it's worth.  I've enjoyed books written at the squad/platoon level than reading divisional campaign histories.  The unit history is interesting.  But it doesn't necessarily convoy the daily grind of combat operations.  I'd rather have a first person account than reading about a particular event third person.  Murphy handles the campaign history admirably.  But Vietnam was fought at a squad/platoon/company level.  However, I do have a better appreciation of the battles for Khe Sahn, the DMZ, and Hue now. 

At a more practical level, I have a better idea of what my father's generation went through in the 1960s.  The whole subject of Vietnam was a heated topic.  I had a vague understanding of the conflict when I was youngster.  It's only as a adult do have a truer picture what actually happened.  That's one of the reasons I've spent the past several years reading unit histories written by actual combatants.  I feel I owe it to my former mentors who served in country about why the US fought and lost the war.  And also have a better idea how to run a proper Vietnam war game when I do get around to gaming it next year.

But I still have three more books on the Vietnam war to read this year, namely Rolling Thunder in a Gentle Land, Everything We Had, and Khe Sahn:  The Hill Fights.  I'll write more book reviews on the blog as I finish them.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Photos of August 2013 Games

Here are some photos of games I've played this August 2013:

                                         Chaos Demons vs. Chaos Space Marines, Photo 1.

                                          Chaos Demons vs. Chaos Space Marines, Photo 2

                                          Chaos Demons vs. Chaos Space Marines, Photo 3.

                                          28mm ECW, 17AUG13, Photo 1.

                                          28mm ECW, 17AUG13, Photo 2.

                                          28mm ECW, 17AUG13, Photo 3.

The first 40K game I played Chaos Space Marines vs. Chaos demons I lost on Friday, August 9th.  That was against my friend, Brian Bigford.  He brought out his Chaos Demons of Tzneech.  They are no fun to play. 

Afterward, I did two 40K demo games with Don Cox.  Though I don't have any photos of those, Don won both games with his Nurgle Chaos Space Marines.  The first game I ran my Chaos Marines.  The second game today I ran 40K DA Deathwing terminators against the same Nurgle Plague Guard army list and still lost a second time!  Dice are not on my side this time of year (or any year for that matter)...

The last game I played was 28mm English Civil War using the Warhammer ECW rules.  I played Parliament.  Don ran the Royalists.  It boiled down to a cavalry duel.  I won by turn 6.  It was a quick game at Wargamer's Cave in Granite City, IL.  We spent more time driving and waiting in traffic on the highway than we did actually gaming.  That's how things go in the summer...   

Friday, August 16, 2013

Ides of August 2013

I've been spending my time working on assembling figures.  I've stopped painting miniatures for the rest of August.   I do have a bunch of 40K figures that need to be sealed.  I'll try and do that this morning.  The rest of my time has been ordering and tracking down misshipped figures.  Here's what I've been working on this week:

1)  28mm Vietnam - I got the rest of my 28mm US Marines and ARVN this past week.  However, there was an error on the shipping codes.  I resolved with the distributor I dealt with.  Instead of getting US Vietnam Marines, I got four packs of Asian Water Buffalo!  It's been resolved.  However, figuring out what happened was a headache when I realized the codes on the figure packs didn't match what was on their website...

I also had some minor issues with broken landing gear on a 1/55 diecast US Marine Sea Knight helo I bought from them.  It was easier just to repair the landing gears with superglue than send it back to the retailer.  I don't know if the package was damaged before the retailer got the helo or after it was shipped in transit.  It got resolved again when I fixed the landing gears.  Other than that, I have few complaints.  The two US Marine helos are prepainted and I didn't have to do anything other than get them out of their boxes.  And they were the same price as the FOW 15mm Vietnam Hueys (that's the scary part).

I now have a complete 28mm US Marine and ARVN mechanized platoons.  I'm now waiting on my 28mm Vietcong order from Eureka Miniatures  That should come later this month from Australia...

2)  25mm Trojan War - I spent nearly two hours cleaning a basement sink by hand to get all the paint flakes off of it last weekend.  I never want to go through that again.  Until I get some bathroom cleaner and rags for the basement, I vowed not to paint.  Instead, I started working on 25mm Old Glory Trojan War armies.  The good thing is I'll get my ancients assembled.  The bad thing is drilling out 180 spearmen.  The hands of Old Glory figures need to be drilled out for the spears to be assembled.  I only have a hand Citadel hand drill.  It's been slow going.  I got my first unit of spearmen based this morning.  I got the Trojan archers and slingers done earlier this week.  It's going to take me the rest of August and a good part of early September to get these figures done (that's including the 28mm chariots, too)...

3)  28mm 1870 Prussian Heavy Artillery - I assembled and based an entire battery of 28mm 1870 Prussian Heavy Artillery this week.  Problem is it's 28mm siege artillery.  I went to the Foundry website and bought Krupp Siege Mortars instead of heavy field artillery.  Now, I have guns that range the entire board for Chassepot and Needlegun.  However, the Germans need in the extra fire power based on play testing of the rules.  But, I don't know about siege guns.  However, that's my fault...

4)  WH40K - My Khorne Chaos vehicles are done.  Now, my Blood Angel army needs to be resealed.  The weather is supposed to be good.  So I have no excuse not getting it done this weekend...

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Gaming Posts, August 4, 2013

I played a game of WH40K this week with my friend Kevin Joyce.  He ran Black Templars.  I ran Khorne World Eaters in a 1500 point game Thursday afternoon at Game Nite in St. Louis, MO.  We both ran mechanized forces.  I had two Chaos Land Raiders and one Chaos Rhino.  Kevin had a Land Raider Crusader, Rhino, a Razorback, and a Space Marine Dreadnought.  We stood around each other and shot each other most of the game.  For 4 turns, I rolled hits on his dreadnought and rolled double "1's" on armor penetration!  My shooting at his Land Raider Crusader wasn't much better. 

We did get into hand to hand combat with one of my units of Khorne World Eater marines and his Black Templar close combat squad.  Again, Rev. Kev and I couldn't kill each other.  The combat went on for the entire game.  I finally lost by one model at the end of turn 6.  All I had left where a squad of Chaos marines and a pinned Land Raider with another squad of Chaos Marines and Kharne the Betrayer who never got out of his vehicle!  I also forgot to bring in my squad of Khorne Chaos Obliterator Marines, too at the end of the game.  So I gave into Rev. Kev and sent up another demo WH40K in two weeks.  So much for my newly mechanized Chaos army...

I also played a game of 28mm Darkest Africa/WWI with Don Cox on Friday afternoon.  I ran Belgian Force Publique.  He had German askaris and regular Marine troops.  Don took out my artillery and proceeded to nail my askari units.  I only had one whole unit of Belgian askaris left on the table by turn 3.  All the other units were retreating or broken by that time.  It was not a good day for the Force Publique in Tanzania...

I spent yesterday catching up on sleep.  I did little last night gaming-wise.  I did clean up the basement with my various painting projects.  I boxed up my Ravening models and put the Dark Vengeance figures away.  I got a bunch of Blood Angels to respray with gloss coat today.  I'd touched up the bases that had gotten beaten up since I don't have foam for the figures.  I also have my original 28mm FPW 1870 French Zouaves on my painting table needing to be finished with their base coats.  That is my project for this morning...