Friday, August 11, 2017

Early August 2017 reading: part II....

Here's a list of things I've been reading this week:

1)  Private Yankee Doodle by P.L. Martin.  More drama in Washington's Continental Army at Valley Forge...

2)  The Long Way Home by Sabina Chase.  More background on the main character and her days in NASA.  She's now a mother to he newly created "son."

3)  The Roman Empire and The Silk Routes.  Economy history of the Roman Empire and its trade with Han China, Parthia, and Central Asia....

4)  Blue Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson.  Martians on a flooded Earth after the Antarctic ice shelves melted in the 22nd century...

Monday, August 7, 2017

WIP, 28mm Viet Cong Infantry Company, 07AUG17

Here are photos of a 1:1 28mm Viet Cong Infantry Company, 07AUG17:



                                          1:1 28mm Viet Cong infantry platoon and Company HQ.


                                          1:1 28mm Viet Cong infantry platoons.

I have more VC than I'll ever need for a 28mm game on the table space I have available at home using Ambush Valley.  Ugh...

The Viet Cong need to be detailed, flocked, and sealed before they're finished.  I'm hoping to have them done by mid September 2017.  Notice, I did all local force VC.

Photo of 28mm In Her Majesty's Name Game, 05AUG17

Here's a photo from a 28mm In Her Majesty's Name game, 05AUG17:

                                          Big Game Hunter's party gets to the Catholic Mission, 1885.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Early August 2017 reading...

Here's what I've read this week:

1)  We Should Have Been Zombies.  Memoir by local DJs and garage band members.  Interesting stuff.

2)  The Long Way Home by Sabina Chase.  More military sci-fi about an ex-NASA astronaut trapped in the 22nd century...

3)  The Rhodesian War:  A Military History by Moorecroft.  More about the bush war that tore apart Zimbabwe after independence from Britain in the 1960s...

4)  Blue Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson.  Unique take on drafting a planetary government from scratch in Blue Mars...

5)  Private Yankee Doodle by P. L. Martin.  More on life in the American army during the Revolutionary War...

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Late-July 2017 reading....

Here's what I've read this week:

1)  Private Yankee Doodle by Lee Plumb Marin.  More about being a soldier in Washington's Revolutionary army.....

2)  The Long Way Home by Sabina Chase.  More military sci-fi about a NASA astronaut stranded in the 22nd century....

3)  The Rhodesian War:  A Military History by Moorecock.  More about the guerrilla insurgency that toppled Smith's white government in 1980...

4)  Blue Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson.  Getting into the second Martian revolution that overthrew the Terran colonial government on the terra-formed planet...

Monday, July 17, 2017

WIP, Nurgle Death Guard from the Dark Imperium box set, 17JUL17

Here are photos of WIP, 30mm WH40K Death Guard Plague Marines and Pox Walkers from the Dark Imperium box set:



                                          WIP, 30mm Nurgle Plague Marines.



                                          WIP, 30mm Pox Walkers and Blight Drone.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Mid-July 2017 reading...

Here's what I've been reading this week:

1)  The Rhodesian War:  A Military History.  More on the guerrilla insurgency in Rhodesia/what became Zimbabwe.  Interesting interplay between the then Apartheid  South African government and Smith all white Rhodesia.

2)  Blue Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson.  Started third book in the Mars Trilogy.  Begins with a successful second revolution against the Terran authority on Mars while Earth falls into chaos because of the flooding from the melting Antarctic ice shelf. 

3)  Private Yankee Doodle by P.L. Martin.  More about a private in General Washington's American army during the Revolutionary War.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

WIP, 6mm 1980s Angolan Support Vehicles, 13JUL17

Here's a photo of a WIP, 6mm 1980s Angolan Support Vehicles, 13JUL17:




WIP, 6mm Angolan Armor and 30mm WH40K Skitarri Rangers

Photos of some WIP, 6mm Angolan Armor and 30mm WH40K Skitarri Rangers:


                                          6mm 1980s Angolan Armor for FFoT, III.


                                          Last of my 30mm Adeptus Mechanicus, Skitarri Rangers.

Monday, July 3, 2017

New WH40K 8th Edition Playtesting, 03JUL17

I play-tested the new WH40K 8th edition rules with my friend Curtis Turner (Hostile Contact) this afternoon at my house.  We got a 1500 point game done in 1.5 hours.

Here are my impressions:

1)  Vehicles are harder to kill in the new edition.  Vehicles have Strength, Toughness, and Wounds stats.  It simplifies the game instead of dealing with armor values.  However, land raiders are tougher to kill outright.  I crippled a Chaos Predator with a couple turns of turns of las-cannon fire from a Deathwing Land Raider.  Both my Land Raiders were standing at the end of the game.

2)  Close combat and power weapons maul Space Marines in regular power armor.  Terminators will last longer in close combat for a couple of turns.  However, regular marines (both Chaos and Imperial) are more fragile to outright effects of power weapons.

3)  Psychic powers can be effective if your opponent doesn't has a psycher.  They can't counter your psychic power plays without a Deny the Witch roll. 

4)  Storm Bolter rapid fire can be effective in removing regular Space Marines.  Assault Cannons are also effective in clearing out troop formations, too.

5)  Deathwing Terminator armies are more effective in this new edition of WH40K.  My termis had more staying power with two wounds than previous games.

6)  Curtis had horrible dice rolls.  Mine were good (for a change).  I didn't know what happened to my usual luck.  I'm not complaining.  I won this game we played.  I was destined to lose when Brian Bigford blew up one of my land raiders on Turn 2 the other weekend we gamed...

Overall, recommend edition.  Plays faster, bloodier, more tactically forgiving.  

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Early July 2017 reading....

Here's what I've read this week:

1)  The Long Way Home by Sabrina Chase.  Hard military sci-fi novel about a NASA astronaut trapped in the 22nd century rim.  She holds a huge secret; the location of a virgin planet.  And is being hunted down for it....

2)  Green Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson.  Another hard sci-fi novel about the colonization and terra-forming of Mars into a livable world...

3)  The Rhodesian War:  A Military History.  Nonfiction on the conflict that paved the way for Zimbabwe's independence.  I've just started it.  Mainly colonial history of Rhodesia...

4)  Private Yankee Doodle by P.L. Martin.  Nonfiction autobiography of an American Revolutionary NCO who fought in Washington's Army during the conflict...

Friday, June 30, 2017

WIP, 30mm WH40K Martian Dunecrawler, 30JUN17

Here is a photo of two assembled WIP, 30mm WH40K Martian Dunecrawlers, 30JUN17:



                                          WIP, 30mm WH40K Martian Dunecrawlers, 30JUN17.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Review of the Empire of the Summer Moon by S.C. Gwynne

Author:  S.C. Gwynne.
Title:  Empire of the Summer Moon.
Publisher:  Scriber.
Copyright:  2010.
Pages:  371.

Overview and Impressions:

This book took several months to finish.  It's about Quannah Parker and the Comanche Indian Wars in the American Southwest.  I didn't realize how bloody the history of the area was.  The Texans and their Anglo-settlement on Comanche land was the tip of the iceberg.  The Spanish and Mexicans were just as brutal.  I felt I was reading history written in a sea of blood.  Ugh...

The part of about Quannah Parker and his mother, Rebecca, was interesting.  He was one of the few Indian chiefs to adapt to the world of the whites after the 1870s.  He kept a large household of wives and children, while selling horses and cattle.  Interesting personage.

Recommended.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Review of Such Men as These by David Sears

Author:  David Sears.
Title:  Such Men as These:  The Story of the Navy Pilots Who Flew the Deadly Skies over Korea.
Publisher:  Da Capo Press.
Copyright:  2010.
Pages:  401.

Overview and Impressions:
This E-book took a while to read.  I should have finished it sooner.  It's about the US Naval aviators who fought during the Korean War from 1950-1953.  Day to day operations, tactics, downed pilot rescues, bombing runs, and POWs in North Korea were covered.

James Mitchener's The Bridges at Toko-Ri were based on his experience as a reporter aboard an US Navy carrier during the conflict.  His novel was an underlying theme in the book.  The use of naval reservists to fill the Navy's aircraft also weighed heavily, too.

Overall, recommended reading.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Photo of completed 28mm Vietnam Era US Marine Platoon

Here's a photo of a completed 28mm Vietnam Era US Marine Platoon:



                                          28mm Vietnam Era US Marine Platoon.

Another 28mm project: 50th anniversary of the Tet Offensive

I've completed two different 1:1 28mm Free World infantry platoons.  I finished the 28mm Vietnam era US Marine platoon this morning.  It needs to be sealed at this point.  My 1:1 28mm ARVN Ranger Mechanized Platoon is also done.  The only thing left for the 50th anniversary of the Tet Offensive is a 1:1 28mm Viet Cong "Local Force" infantry company.

The problem is there are a lot of figures to paint.  90 total.  That doesn't include the 28mm Vietnamese civilians, too.  There are too many figures to fit on my 5' x 6' table.  Ambush Valley handles about three squads per side before breaking down.  I  need to come up with a TS&TF variant to handle larger games...

My main impetus is to get everything finished for the 50th anniversary of the Tet Offensive.  If I can run a game at Command Con 2017 in November 2017, so much the better.  I also need 28mm Vietnamese buildings or grass huts in addition to painting the figures.  A rice paddy or two would help, too...

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Mid-June reading: part II....

Here's a list of what I've read this week:

1)  Empire of the Summer Moon.  Read another 50 pages in the book last Sunday.  I plan to finish tomorrow afternoon.

2)  The Long Way Home by Sabina Chase.  Read another 50 pages in the military sci-fi epic.  It's over 800 pages long...

3)  Men Such as These by Sears.  Read another 70 pages covering the Korean air campaigns of 1952-53.  More on the North Korean treatment of POWs.  It was brutal.

4)  Another 100 pages in Green Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson.  More on the native Martians and their campaign to subvert Terran rule..

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Mid-June 2017 reading...

I didn't get too much accomplished this week reading-wise:

1)  Green Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson.  100 pages read.

2)  Men Such as These by Sears.  Another 25 pages read on the Korean War about US naval aviators captured in North Korea.

3)  Empire of the Summer Moon.  More reading about the Comache.  Another 50 pages read.

Photos of my 28mm games ran at Die Con 17, Collinsville, IL, USA

Here are some photos of 28mm Great War in Africa and 28mm Masai Warriors vs. Colonial Germans in 1885 games I ran at Die Con 17, Collinsville, IL this weekend:



                                          Initial set up for the 28mm Great War in Africa.


                                          Both sides deploying their askaris.


                                          The Germans licked their wounds while the Belgians advanced.


                                          Both sides bloodied another.  Both failed army morale the same turn.


                     Masai were able to advance.  The German play could roll movement to save his life.


                                          More Masai warriors advanced on the Germans.
                                             

                                          At the end of the game, the German play blew army morale big time.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Early June 2017 reading...

I've been reading the following books this week:

1)  Such Men as These by Sears.  More reading on US Naval aviators during the Korean War by some excerpts by Mitchner....

2)  The Long Journey Home by Sabina Chase.  More reading about an ex-NASA astronaut in the 22nd century...

3)  Empire of the Summer Moon.  More reading about the Comanche and their raiding in Texas against the Texas Rangers...

Photos of Completed 28mm ARVN Ranger mechanized platoon

Here's a photo of a completed 28mm ARVN Ranger mechanized platoon for my 28mm Vietnam War games:


                                          28mm ARVN Ranger mechanized platoon.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Photos of Completed 28mm Masai Warriors, 26MAY17

Here are photos of my completed 28mm Masai Warriors.

The army is 84 figures.  All Foundry.  All bloody expensive.  See and weep.

I'm finally done with my 28mm Darkest Africa projects after six months of painting in time for a local gaming con in June 2017....











Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Mid-May 2017 reading...

I've read the following books this past week:

1)  Empire of the Summer Moon.  I'm on page 131 of the book.  Bloody history of the American Southwest and the Comache raiders...

2)  Green Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson.  Getting into the terra-forming and political ramifications of the settlement of Mars in the late 21st century....

3)  Such Men as These by Sears.  More about US Naval aviators in the Korean War....

4)  The Long Way Home by Sabrina Chase.  Interesting story about a US Air Force astronaut surviving as a mercenary pilot in the early 22nd century.  Back story of Terran war with a crab like alien species.....

WIP, 28mm Masai Warriors, 23MAY17

                                         WIP, 28mm Masai Warriors, 23MAY17.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Early May 2017 reading...

Here's what I've tried reading:

1)  Such Men as These by Sears.  I'm about 100 pages into a book on US Naval aviators during the Korean War.  Interesting and stirring read.

2)  I went back and read the 60 pages of Green Mars Friday morning by Kim Stanley Robinson.  Started out in the outlawed colony under the South Polar Cap.  Mars is being terraformed in spite of what people think.  Thought provoking read...

Zulu War Game, 06MAY17: AAR.

Here are photos from a Zulu War Game I did with Glenn Wilson on Saturday, 06MAY17:



                                          Initial Zulu impi deployment.


                                          Glenn Wilson reacting to Zulu advance.


                                          Zulus across the tabletop.


                                          Zulu impi right flank and center being shot-up.


                                          Zulu morale broke with Impi took 50% casualties.

Photos from WH40K Game, 26AMR17: AAR.


Here are photos from an old WH40K game that happened in March 26, 2017 with Hostile Contact.

                                          The initial battlefield.


My Dark Angels' landraider attack.



                                          Chaos counter attacks.


What's left of my Deathwing terminators.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Review of The Road to Guilford Courthouse by John Buchanan

Author:  John Buchanan.
Title:  The Road to Guilford Courthouse:  The American Revolution in the Carolinas.
Publisher:  John Wiley & Sons.
Copyright:  1997.
Pages:  452.
Price:  $19.95 (US).

Overview and Impressions:

This book took a while to read.  The author packed lots of information into few pages. 

The Road to Guilford Courthouse covers the American Revolution in the Carolinas starting in Charleston, South Carolina and ending with General Greene's defeat at Guilford Courthouse.  That paved the while for General Cornwallis's surrender at Yorktown.  Cornwallis took the cream of his army through the Caolinas chasing after General Morgan's irregulars and General Greene's Continentals.  Corwallis destroyed his army in the process.  Thus, setting the stage for the British loss of her thirteen colonies.

Recommended.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Mid-April 2017 reading....

Here's a section of books that I'm reading....

1)  The Lost Stars:  Shattered Spear by Jack Campbell.  I'm about 2/3 way through this last The Lost Stars novel.  It's been entertaining so far.  I'm curious to see how everything ends next week....

2)  The Road to Guilford Courthouse:  The American Revolution in the Carolinas by Buchanan.  It's hard to remember that the American Revolution was really a civil between loyalist Tories and Patriot Whigs for control of the continent.  Interesting read.  I'm at the point of Cowpens, which I already read about.  It's been a hard read to digest all the information that the author provides, however.

3)  I finished Posiedon's Wake by Alastair Reynolds.  Interesting story about space explorers from Africa coming back home to Earth centuries later...

4)  I also finished The Madness of Alexander the Great:  And the Myth of Military Genius by Gabriel.  See previous blog entry for comprehensive review.

5)  I recently started was Such Men as These:  US Naval Aviators During the Korean War by Sears.  Starts in with Mitcher and his posting on the USS Valley Forge in 1952 in the Sea of Japan.

6)  My final book was Green Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson.  I barely started it before putting it down last Easter....

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Review of The Madness of Alexander the Great: And the Myth of Military Genius by Richard A. Gabriel

Author:  Richard A. Gabriel.
Title:  The Madness of Alexander the Great:  And the Myth of Military Genius.
Publisher:  Pen and Sword.
Copyright:  2015.
Pages:  224.

Overview and Impressions:
I'm no fan of Alexander the Great.  He died like most tyrants drinking himself to death.  According to the author, Alexander had a lot of emotional baggage that eventually unhinged him.  He couldn't trust anyone and saw conspiracies around him.  Alexander only felt relief in combat and wanted a heroic death in place of his miserable existence.

I'll give the author that Alexander was brave and reckless.  However, he didn't plan out his strategies too well.  Once he couldn't conquer the known world, Alexander turned his back on the people that help put him in power.  I could go on....

However, I won't.  The book is interested to think that Alexander the Great suffered from PTSD.  It's a better theory that someone inner city high teacher saying Alexander the Great died from AIDS!

Friday, March 31, 2017

Review of The Expanse #1: Leviathan Wakes by James S. A. Corey

Author:  James S. A. Corey.
Title:  The Expanse #1:  Leviathan Wakes.
Publisher:  Orbit.
Copyright:  2011.
Pages:  582.
Price:  $17.00 (US).

Overview and Impressions:
James S.A. Corey is the pseudonym for fantasy authors Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck.  They wrote The Expanse series.  Its about humanity's expansion into the stars from Sol.  The Expanse #1:  Leviathan Wakes was the basis for the first season of SyFy's The Expanse. 

The premise is that an alien pathogen is made to infect human beings by an evil Terran company.  The rest revolves around power politics, revolution, and war throughout Sol between the Belters, Earth, and Mars.  The scene is set several hundred years in the future, however, once the inner planets have been settled.  The alien pathogen turns out to be an unknown stargate once the infected asteroid of Eros is hurtled into the clouds of Venus. 

The book is well written.  It had me turning every page.  Recommended.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Review of Eden to Armageddon by Roger Ford

Author:  Roger Ford.
Title:  Eden to Armageddon:  The First World War in the Middle East.
Publisher:  Pegasus Book.
Copyright:  2010.
Pages:  667.

Overview and Impressions:
"Our fathers lost the First World War on the Tigres' shores..."  Johnny Turk, 1918.

The stupidity of advancing into machine gun fire by battalion, artillery barrages, and incompetent generals massacring generations of men on both sides.  I just want to take a hot shower and forget what I read.  I used to have the stomach for WWI histories.  I no longer do...

The Allies lost as many men as the Turks, the British were able to out general them on two fronts:  Palestine and Mesopotamia.  The war was won on those fronts.  Massacres and subsequent massacres cover every one's hands in blood.  No one was clean.

I could go on.  I won't.  I'm too disgusted with the whole thing.  One can see where the twilight zone political reality of today's Middle East came from.  Allah Akbar!  Ugh...

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Early March 2017 book review....

I've been reading the following book this past week:

1)  Hammer's Slammers by David Drake.  See previous blog entry.

2)  The Road to Guilford Courthouse by Buchanan.  Still working on reading about the American Revolution in the Carolinas.  It will take me a while to get through it.

3)  The Lost Stars:  Shattered Spear by Jack Campbell.  This is the fourth installment in The Lost Stars series.  It's been an interesting run so far.  I like the characters and the battle scenes are worth the reading...

4)  Eden to Armageddon by Ford.  I'm still reading read about the First World War in the Middle East.  Finished the section on Gallipolli.  Rather depressing reading in general...

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Review of Hammer's Slammers by David Drake

Author:  David Drake.
Title:  Hammer's Slammers.
Publisher:  Ace Books.
Copyright:  1979, 1985.
Price:  $2.95 (US).

Overview and Impressions:
Easy to read military sci-fi involved armored actions in the 26th century of the mercenary group, Hammer's Slammers.  It's always fun to read about them.  Fast read.  Recommended.

15mm SYW Battle of Minden: AAR, 04MAR17

Here are photos from the 15mm SYW Battle of Minden Game I ran yesterday.  Both side lost....



                                          Kevin Joyce pushing the initial French attack.


                                          Kevin Joyce responds to my flank attacks.


Both sides blow army morale on Turn 4.


Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Review of Ultima by Stephen Baxter

Author:  Steven Baxter.
Title:  Ultima.
Publisher:  Penguin Books.
Copyright:  2014., 2015
Pages:  520.

Overview and Impressions:

I was not impressed with this book.  The author, Stephen Baxter, spent too much of his time on world building/destroying.  The characters were secondary.  He assumes the multiverse he built will die in a final heat death.  Getting to that point was the a major plot-line in the novel.  It didn't help.

Not recommended except for hard-core hard sci-fi readers...

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Sapper Joe's Annual Game or AAR: 28mm Russian Civil War, 25FEB17

Here are photos from Sapper Joe's Annual Game or an AAR:  28mm Russian Civil War Game, 25FEB17:



                                          Battle of Tugalos:  Initial deployments


                                          Glenn Wilson and I move our 28mm Red Guard Battalion.



                                          28mm Canadian artillery raining down on Glenn's company.



                                          My armed thugs marching in the snow


                                          Steve Hood (Combat Colors) debating his next moves.


                     End of game when I ordered a retreat.  Afterward, I was executed for my actions.

The rules were modified Sword to Adventure using Sapper Joe's modifications.  The playtesting went well.  I didn't like the scenario of advancing across a snow covered field against artillery shells and light machine gun fire.  As the Reds, we paid a price in casualties.  Glenn tried running his men.  But he had to use a Commissar to shoot reluctant soldiers to move.  I kept rolling "1's" for movement.  So I walked my troops through the snow.  I still didn't like getting shot for ordering my troops from committing tactical suicide.  Very Russian Civil War....

Blake

Friday, February 24, 2017

Review of Tarzan and the City of Gold by Edgar Rice Burroughs

Author:  Edgar Rice Burroughs.
Title:  Tarzan and the City of Gold.
Publisher:  Ballantine.
Copyright:  1974.
Pages:  190.
Price:  $1.25 (US).

Overview and Impressions:

Quick read of a Tarzan story set in central Africa about two mythical cities.  Tarzan deals with the locals who are ruled by an evil queen who likes to hunt her enemies with man-eater lions.  It was a fun read.  Recommended.

Painting Projects...

I've slowly been working on 28mm Masai Warriors.  The figures are taking too long to finish.  Other things have intruded on my weekly painting time.  I've been assembling 30mm WH40K Adeptus Mechanicus figures.  I'm also slowly working on painting commissions.  I'm unsure how much I'll get for 2017.

Here's my list:

March 2017:
1)  Paint 28mm Masai.
2)  Assemble 30mm WH40K Adeptus Mechanicus figures.

April 2017:
1)  Paint 28mm Masai.
2)  Assemble 30mm WH40K Adeptus Mechanicus figures.

May 2017:
1)  Finish 28mm Masai.
2)  Finish Assembling 30mm WH40K Adeptus Mechanicus figures.
3)  Prime 30mm WH40K Adeptus Mechanicus figures.

June 2017:
1)  Paint 30mm GW High Elves.

July 2017:
1)  Finish 30mm GW High Elves.

August 2017:
1)  Paint 30mm Warmachine Dwarfs.

September 2017:
1)  Finish painting 30mm Warmachine Dwarfs.

October 2017:
1)  Paint 28mm US Vietnam Marines.

November 2017:
1)  Paint 28mm US ARVN Rangers.

December 2017:
1)  Begin painting 1st Platoon of 28mm Viet Cong.

January 2018:
1)  Paint 2nd Platoon of 28mm Viet Cong

February 2018:
1)  Finish painting 3rd Platoon of 28mm Viet Cong.

March 2018:
1)  Paint 40 28mm Beja Dervishers.

April 2018:
1)  Paint 40 28mm Beja Dervishers.

May 2018:
1)  Paint 40 28mm Beja Dervishers.

June 2018:
1)  Paint 40 28mm Ansar infantry.

July 2018:
1)  Paint 40 28mm Ansar infantry.

August 2018:
1)  Paint 12 28mm Armored Arab cavalry.
2)  Paint 12 28mm Arab camelriders.

September 2018:
1)  Paint 28mm mounted Ansar command.
2)  Paint 28mm Krupp gun and impressed crew.

October 2018 to December 2018:
1)  Work on painting commissions.

January 2019:
1)  Paint 18mm SYW Prussian musketeer brigade No. 1.

February 2019:
1)  Paint 18mm SYW Prussian musketeer brigade No. 2.

March 2019:
1)  Paint 18mm SYW Prussian musketeer brigade No. 3.

April 2019:
1)  Paint 18mm SYW Prussian fusilier brigade No. 4.

May 2019:
1)  Paint 18mm SYW Prussian cuirassier brigade No. 1.

June 2019:
1)  Paint 18mm SYW Prussian dragoon brigade No. 1.

July 2019:
1)  Paint 18mm SYW Swedish provincial infantry brigade No. 1.

August 2019:
1)  Paint 18mm SYW Swedish provincial infantry brigade No. 2.

September 2019:
1)  Paint 18mm SYW Swedish regular infantry brigade No. 1.

October 2019:
1)  Paint 18mm SYW Swedish garde infantry brigade No. 1.

November 2019:
1)  Paint 18mm SYW Swedish Horse brigade No. 1.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Review of Into the Storm: The Malcontents: Book One by Larry Correia

Author:  Larry Correia.
Title:  Into the Storm:  The Malcontents:  Book One.
Publisher:  Skull Island Expeditions.
Copyright:  2015.
Pages:  285.
Price:  $14.95 (US).

Overview and Impressions:

This was a rousing tale set in the Warmachine fantasy universe about a fallen Storm Knight and his malcontent underlings being turned into professional soldiers.  Hugh Madigan led his Malcontents to war against the fanatical Menoth Protectorate and their unyielding religious warriors.  There are twists and turns and losses throughout the conflict.  Enjoyable fantasy epic and an easy read. 

Recommended.

Review of Red Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson

Author:  Kim Stanley Robinson.
Title:  Red Mars.
Publisher:  Bantum Spectra.
Copyright:  1993.
Pages:  572.

Overviews and Impressions:

The technical aspects of this hard sci-fi book are awesome.  The social implications aren't.  The whole premise of the novel is the colonization and terra-forming of Mars by a group of American and Russian scientists.  Afterward, the UN allows for mass-colonization of the northern part of the planet.

While a group of scientists set up another secret colony in the southern polar region.  There are space-lifts and the usual cyber-punk frontier "Rim" towns.  The idea of a quiet American "revolution" against the international land-grabbers struck me as disappointing.  I thought more could be done with it the social development of Mars.  The author assumes the worst excesses in human nature regarding interplanetary settlement in the mid twenty-first century.

Still recommended for the technical descriptions of the Red Planet....

Monday, February 13, 2017

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Mid-February 2017 reading....

Here's what I've been reading this week:

1)  The Road to Guilford Courthouse by Buchanan.  Started reading about the American Revolution in the Carolinas...

2)  Ultima by Stephen Baxter.  More of the Roman Empire in space as an alternate universe book.  Several humans from our universe cross over and become involved the Roman and Celtic interstellar empires.  Interesting so far...

3)  Eden to Armageddon by Ford.  Depressing reading about the Middle East in World War I.  I'm reading about the Caucuses right now and the Armenian genocide of 1915-17.

4)  Red Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson.  I'm on page 400 of a hard sci-fi book about the colonization of Mars in the mid 21st century.

5)   Into the Storm:  The Malcontents - Book One.  Fantasy book set in the Warmachine universe about a failed Cygnar Stormknight and his platoon of malcontents before a big invasion of Menoth Protectorate, the crazy religious zealots who cleanse everything with fire.  It's an easy read.  I'm on page 50 right now....

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Early February 2017 reading...

I'm reading the following books:

1)  Red Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson.  Hard sci-fi book about the colonization of Mars.  I've begun the part where the colonists are introducing genetically engineered lichen to the planet.

2)  Ultima by Stephen Baxter.  It's an alternate sci-fi tail about the Celts, Chinese, and Roman empire in interstellar space.  Interesting so far...

3)  Eden to Armageddon by Ford.  It's a comprehensive story about World War I in the Middle East.  I finished Mesopotamia and now getting into the Caucasus Front.

4)  The Road to Guilford Courthouse:  The Revolutionary War in the Carolinas by Buchaccan.  Just started this book with the beginning chapters about Charleston, South Carolina....

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

WIP, WH40K Adeptus Mechanicus Army, 01FEB17

Here are some photos of my new WH40K Adeptus Mechanicus army that needs to be assembled;


                                          Unit of Adeptus Mechanicus Sigarians from Mars.


                                          Punched out sprues from my first box of Adeptus Mechanicus.


                                          Remaining boxes of WH40K Adeptus Mechanicus.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Review of Chief Joseph and the Indian Wars by Robert D. Bolen

Author:  Robert D. Bolen.
Title:  Chief Joseph and the Indian Wars.
Publisher:  Fort Boise Publishing.
Copyright:  2015.
Pages:  182.
Price:  $14.95 (US).

Overview and Impressions:

I read Chief Joseph and the Indian Wars by Robert D. Bolen.  The first part deals with the various Indian Wars throughout America.  The second part dealt with Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce and their flight from the US Army to the Canadian border in 1877.  Though Chief Joseph was a peace chief, his sub-chiefs were war chiefs.  He made use of them to delay General Miles pursuit.  However, he captured the Nez Perce thirty miles short of their objective....

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Review of A Devil of a Whipping by Lawrence E. Babits

Author:  Lawrence E. Babits.
Title:  A Devil of a Whipping:  The Battle of Cowpens.
Publisher:  Chapel Hill.
Copyright:  1998.
Pages:  231.
Price:  $19.95.

Overview and Impressions:

I forgot that the American Revolution was this nation's first Civil War against English rule.  The Battle of Cowpens played an important part in that war.  It helped set the stage for Cornwallis' surrender at Yorktown later that year.

Babits lays out the case for Cowpens.  He makes use of old pension records and battlefield archeology.  General Morgan comes over as an underrated military commander.  White Colonel Tarleton's reputation for butchery explains why the Americans refused to given quarter to the British Legion after it was defeated.

Morgan's use of progressively stronger infantry lines and the ability of the militia to hide behind the Continental battle line also helped explain why Morgan won against the exhausted British.  Afterward, the British Legion was crushed by its losses.

Recommended.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Mid-January reading: part II

Here's what I'm reading this week:

1)  A Devil of a Whipping:  The Battle of Cowpens by Lawrence Babits.  Read about General Morgan and Tarleton and their respective forces.  Our American Revolution was really a civil war between England and her American colonies.  Most Americans don't think of it that way, though...

2)  Ultima by Stephen Baxter.  I'm at page 116 of the novel.  It's the Roman Empire in space and their Celtic interstellar flight crews.  Interesting premise to the book...

3)  Eden to Armageddon by Ford.  Interesting history of WWI in the Middle East.  Started with the Allied Campaign in Mesopotamia...

4)  Red Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson.  Hard Sci-Fi novel about the colonization of Mars in the year 2026.  I'm currently on page 96....

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Mid-January reading...

Here's what I've read this week:

1)  Four Days in September by Jason Abdale.  See previous blog review.  Finished.

2)  Sedan, 1870:  The Eclipse of France by Douglas Fermer.  See previous blog review.  Finished.

3)  Ultima by Stephen Baxter.  I'm on page 49 of the book.  It has a futuristic Roman empire in space along with space vikings!!!  And a Han Chinese empire, too.  It picks where Proxima left off.  I haven't given up on reading more works by the author, though.  The second book makes up for Proxima's crappy ending when the human race is microwaved to death due to the destruction of Mercury...

4)  Victory Conditions by Elizabeth Moon.  I'm not doing a formal review of this book.  I thought I was getting good military sci-fi with a descent female protagonist.  Turned into one of the most boring works I've read in a long time.  Too long on narrative, too short on action.  And what action there was turned out to be rather unsatisfying.  Not my cup of tea....

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Review of Sedan, 1870: The Eclipse of France by Douglas Fermer

Author:  Douglas Fermer.
Title:  Sedan, 1870:  The Eclipse of France.
Publisher:  Pen and Sword Publishing.
Copyright:  2008.
Pages:  321.

Overview and Observations:

I read Sedan, 1870 to get a better idea of the battle that doomed the Second Empire.  Douglas Fermer paid specific detail to the individual soldiers who fought.  The major players of the Franco-Prussian War are also spelled out.  About half the book is the background leading up to the conflict.  The rest is the actual battle of Sedan itself.

Recommended.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Review of Four Days in September by Jason R. Abdale

Author:  Jason R. Abdale.
Title:  Four Days in September:  The Battle of Teutoburg.
Publisher:  Pen and Sword Publishing.
Copyright:  2014
Pages:  244.
Price:  $39.95 (US).

Overview:

The author, Jason R. Abdale, talked about the Battle of Teutoburg in 9 AD.  Rome lost three legions to Germanic tribesmen.  Abdale lays out for a case of the battle taking place in September and its location in western Germany.  He spent a lot time describing the battlefields and roles the various commanders played.  While I'm a fan of Roman history and took Latin during my undergrad, I'm burnt out reading about how the different soldiers were armed and what weapons they used.  It took away from the importance of the battle or why the Romans were in Germany in the first place.

What was important that Roman didn't actively seek to conquer Germany for a long time.  By then, the effort was half-hearted at best.  But some Roman prisoners did survive the battle.  For they were liberated when the Romans came back to Germania for revenge...

Recommend.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

AAR: 28mm WWI Darkest Africa Game, 07JAN17

Here are photos I took of a 28mm WWI Darkest Africa Game on Saturday, 07JAN17:



                                         The start of the game.


                                         Glenn Wilson (Mute Bystander) moves his Belgian askaris.


                                          Both sides take some pot-shots at each other.


                                          The Belgians make melee contact with the Germans.


                                          The Force Publique loses the melees and breaks army morale.


                                          The Belgians flee in terror of the Germans mighty ju-ju.  End of game.