Monday, April 28, 2014

Yearning for Oldhammer 40K: Part II

For those who don't have the GW disease, it looks like May 24th will be release of 7th edition WH40K.  And I say to myself.  Why?

To which the answer is:  Money!

Well, I need to talk to my friend, Scott McCoy, about settle down on an older edition of WH40K to play with my friends.  I'll be damned if I spend $85.00 on a new rule set.  Let alone $50.00 codexes!  The whole GW pricing has gotten obscene.

Though I do have a bit of good news.  I purchased a GW Baneblade kit for $0.96.

"How did I do that?" you may ask.  I have $149.00 in credit from an auction at a local gaming shop here in St. Louis, MO.  The Baneblade kit ran $149.96.  I purchased it for less than a dollar.  Now I have to wait for it to show up.

My friend, the mad Don Cox, showed up with 13 Lemon Russ battle tanks last Friday.  I promised him to play an Apocalypse game some time in December 2014 once he has all his tanks painted.  I'll bring out my 40K Deathwing Terminators, Land Raiders, and Baneblades to take on his Imperial Guard.  It'll be one of those epic fights.  However, I want everything painted and assembled by then.

The only things left are a box of 40K Deathwing Terminator Command Squad and another 40K Land Raider.  Then, I'll be done purchasing GW stuff.  The new 7th edition rules are my excuse to stop buying stuff and complete my armies.  Playing a revised 5th edition rule system will give me peace of mind to the corporate greed that is GW's current management....


Sunday, April 27, 2014

Review of Old Man's War

Author:  John Scalzi.
Title:  Old Man's War.
Publisher:  Tom Doherty Associates, LLC.
Copyright:  1/2/2007 (mass market paperback)
Pages:  368.
Price:  $7.99 (US).

This is more a friend's recommendation than anything else.  There is an entire series of Old Man's War stories.  The premise is simple.  Humanity is at war with the rest of the galaxy.  The Colonial Defense Forces recruits senior citizens to become 25 year old soldiers again in order to fight humanity's wars on the frontier.

This has been going for over 200 years.  And humanity is only on the periphery of the conflicts.  If a soldier survives a ten year commitment, they get to settle on one of the frontier worlds.  Recruiting soldiers from the nursing homes and giving them new bodies is a cool premise.  The whole service thing in return is also very Heileineques.

But be forewarned, this novel is filled with gratuitous sex and unadulterated violence.  It's one of the reasons I'm turned off to it.  Also, the descriptions of the aliens could stand some more work.  People either love or hate Scalzi's work.

This book is recommended by my friend, Brian.  He normally won't touch anything from the Black Library except for Space Wolves novels.  He's also into Orson Scott Card's Ender's Game.  But I don't like Ender's Game, either.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Simple joys of painting...

I wrecked my plans for the weekend.  I looked at the alarm clock and turned it off this morning.  8:00 AM turned into 10:30 AM.  It was 12:08 PM by the time I got up.  Half the day was gone.

However, I painted another 28mm 1870 Bavarian infantry battalion tonight.  I plan to go back and complete the 28mm 1870 Bavarian Lifeguard Regiment tonight.  I'm painting boots and helmets today.

It was good to paint for about hour.  I got done with several 30mm GW High Elf cavalry figures this past week.  I need to paint some more if I ever want to get my 28mm 1870 Bavarian infantry brigade done this year!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Weekend ebook purchases.

I kind of regret the weekend ebook purchases I made through Barnes and
However, I've added more books to my reading list.  Here they are in no particular order:

1)  Prince Lestat by Anne Rice.  I enjoy the first three books in the series.  I'm hoping this one will be just as good.  It was a pre-order that won't be available until October 2014.

2)  Scars.  Another Horus Heresy novel from the Black Library.  Another pre-order for the hard-copy.  Available from The Black Library for e-sale now.

3)  The Falklands 1982:  The Winter War.  Another ebook for the Nook that ran me $4.99.

4)  Osprey Men-at-Arms:  Henry VIIIs Army.  No ebook available.  I was forced to buy an out of print hard copy.  Ran what would have been a reasonable purchase into an expensive one.

5)  The Last Stand of Fox Company.  Ebook for the Nook.  It's about US Marines in the middle of the Korean War as they hold off the PLA in the dead of winter.

6)  Age of Shiva by Landgrove.  Another ebook for the Nook.  Godpunk type novel involving a graphic artist and the Hindu end times.  I have no idea what to expect.  Other than it's different...

There are other books I want to get on WWI, Vietnam, and Korea.  Also a booklet on the South American Wars of Liberation.  I hope some American distributor picks up The Liberatores that premiered at the Toronto Film Festival this past year.  I really want to see it on the big screen...

Monday, April 14, 2014

Review of Osprey Campaign 98: Kalka River 1223

Authors:  D. Niceolle and V. Shpakovsky.
Title:  Osprey Campaign No. 98:  Kalka River 1223.
Publisher:  Osprey Publications.
Copyright:  2001.
Price:  $19.95 (US).

This book covers Subodei's raid into Russia in 1223.  The Russian army and its Polotsvian allies were lured into a trap by the retreating Mongols, only to be snared on the banks of the Kalka River on the steppes of the Ukraine.  Most of the Russian princes were either captured or killed.  The survivors were bound and slowly suffocated to death beneath the Mongols' victory feast.

The Russians had made the mistake of killing the Mongol ambassadors when they first demanded the fleeing Polotvsians, who were allied to the Russians by treaty and marriage.  Not being able to outfight the Mongol hordes, the Russians would have been better off submitting to Genghis Khan while the Mongols were still at a distance.  Alas, that didn't happen.

The Mongols considered the killing of emissaries to be unpardonable.  They got their revenge after the battle of the Kalka River.  However, the 40,000 strong Mongol army was called back by Genghis Khan to help finish off the northern Chinese kingdom.  It was up to Ogedei, Genghis Khan's son, to destroy the Russians in 1237.

Though I still think things would have gone better for the Russians if they'd first submitted to the Mongols when they first came in 1223.  The subsequent dark ages wouldn't have been so oppressive or barbaric.

Recommended reading for starting with the Mongol invasions of Russia.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

My April reading so far....

I'm about halfway done with Death of Integrity by Guy Haley.  I'll save my comments for the next book review when I finish up in a couple weeks.  It's an entertaining book.  But it isn't serious sci-fi.  I could go on.

The problem is there are too few space marines and terminators to do a particular job in this novel.  The Horus Heresy novels, the Space Marines fought as legions of ten to twenty thousand space marines.

In Death of Integrity, the number is a little over several terminator companies to take on a massive genestealer infested space hulk.  Let me put on my suspension of disbelief hat at the door..

That is my complaint.  The author doesn't realistically address the number of space marines they'd need to assault a space hulk.  But what can I say?  It's a game foremost.  The books are there to sell product (hopefully).  People ready the Black Library novels for the fluff.  I only have two more Black Library novels to read this year.  Once called Ravenwing and the other is Scars, another Horus Heresy novel due out in May (naturally about the White Scars).

I also have other fantasy/sci fi novels to read.  More retro stuff like Space Viking, The Martian Trilogy by Rice, another Doc Savage novel.  I did add on two more Vietnam War books.  One is called Hill 488.  The second book won the Pulitzer Prize last year for non-fiction.  That's Embers of War.  I'm planning on moving to other histories that include Ancient Egypt, modern Chechen combat, finishing a biography of Catherine the Great, and other Zulu War history called Like Lions They Fought.

The rest is six to seven books on different aspects of Vietnam told by various authors.  By the time I get done reviewing all the Vietnam books, it'll feel like I lived through several tours by the time I post reviews...


Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Will I be joining "Oldhammer 40K?"

I woke dreaming this morning I was playing "Oldhammer 40K" with my friends Brian Bigford, Ahmo, Scott McCoy, and Curtis Turner (Hostile Contact).  I'm not sure what edition of WH40K it was?  I'm thinking 3rd edition.  But I could be wrong.  It was just a dream.  Or premonition of things to come...

I mentioned my dream to my friends who play WH40K at lunch with afternoon.  Scott McCoy said seriously he'd use old 5th edition rules with house modifications if 7th edition WH40K bombs.  I'm having enough trouble with 6th edition WH40K.  I haven't kept up with all the new codexes and supplements.  I can't afford to keep my armies up to date.  I sold off a 40K army in order to pay for more super heavy tanks/APCs for my Dark Angel Deathwing Terminators.  I need about $800.00 in Battlefoam for my Chaos and DA Deathwing Company.

The only things I'll be buying for WH40K is a Baneblade Tank kit, a Land Raider Tank kit, and a Deathwing Terminator Command squad.  Most will be bought at local stores.  The rest my mail order.

Maybe I'm ready for "Oldhammer WH40K."  I'm no longer playing WHFB and I'm now learning Warmachine.  Things change.  The problem is I have thousands of dollars tied up in WH40K.  I just can't walk away from it all.  So, I'll probably resigned to playing "Oldhammer 40K" like some washed out Napoleonics player who couldn't give up gaming Empire 1st edition...

What does that say about me?

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Review of The Faded Sun Trilogy by C. J. Cherryh

Author:  C. J. Cherryh.
Title:  The Faded Sun Trilogy.
Publisher:  DAW.
Page:  775.
Copyright:  1978, 1979 (2000, paperback).

The mercenary mri lose a war with humanity.  The mri's former employer, the regul, betrays them on the desert world of Kesrith.  The only survivors are a brother and sister who are joined by a human soldier to retrace the mri's footsteps back to their home-world.

The mri themselves are an honor bound caste of priests, warriors, and civilians.  The novel take off once the three leave Kesirth for the mri home-world.

On a dying desert world, they encounter the other mri who never left for the stars.  The survivors have regressed and no longer live with technology.  It takes the outsiders to show them the benefits of the planet wide AI that still exist (along with planetary defenses).

But the regul show up to finish off the mri.  However, humans intervene.  The regul fleet is destroyed in orbit and the mri reach a compromise with humanity.  They promise to serve as mercenaries in exchange for leaving the mri home-world alone.

I enjoy C. J. Cherryh's writing.  But the desert settings are much like Dune.  It took me a long time to finish this book.  Not that I didn't try, but life got in the way.  I'd hoped to have it read in a month when I started in January.  But I've had to deal with a parent who has dementia issues along with other health problems.  I can't even begin to say how much time I've spent in ER waiting rooms these past three months.

Alas, I didn't have The Faded Sun Trilogy to read when I had downtime.  But I finished it this weekend.  Recommended.