Thursday, November 10, 2011

Vietnam In HD

History is showing its next incredible series, VIETNAM in HD this week. It started on the 8th. Its six hours of documentary with interviews and footage, most never before seen, that lays out the war, and all its difficulties, harsh realities, heorism, courage, and haunting surrealism. Its really a story of the people involved, and as History really knows how to do, delivers a very human side to the very difficlut task of understanding America's most confusing war. I watched 4 hours of it last night, and only wept 3 times. Not bad considering. It is real and raw and haunting listening to the stories of the Vets who did their duty with honor, and courage and pride, in a war with no real objective besides body count, and no real front to battle over. Thank you for all that served in this war that so changed America, and the sacrifice that only your Afghan/Iraq counterparts would understand.

Some facts I learned last night:

At its high point in May of 1969, (and this is after Tet) the US had over 500,000 troops serving in country in Vietnam.

In WWII the US soldier saw an average of 10 days of actual combat per year. In Vietnam, the US soldier saw 240 of 365 days of combat. (the average work days in a year with 2 weeks vacation is 250). This is a haunting stat. The constant combat stress, and sheer volume of combat is incredible. No wonder these guys had a hard time coming back to civilian life. How do we think we are going to do with the Afghan/Iraq vets?

After suffering several hundred casualities to take Hamburger Hill, the US abandoned it 16 days later. 4 days later the Viet Cong and NVA took the hill back by simply walking to the top of it, without a shot fired.

During the siege of Khe San, US C130 pilots were LANDING on the airstrip that was zeroed in with artillery and mortar fire so they could deliver supplies and evac casualties. When this came impossible they did slow speed passes dropping supplies from 600 feet. It was one of the most hazardous duties in the entire war. They saved the lives of untold men because of these supply drops.

The Tet Offensive was incredibly well coordinated on the first night of the attack. Over 130 Towns/Cities/Bases were attacked simulataneously. Tet enemy strength for the attack was estimated to be at 84,000 troops.

After Tet, due to overall casualties and command and control casualties, the VC ceased to function as an effective fighting force, although they did continue hit and run tactics throughout the remainder of the war.

The US High Command decided, mostly because of GEn. Moore's sucess in Ia Drang in 1965, that a body count would be used to determine our sucess in the war. Our kills to there's.

I know this is a gaming blog, so here's some of my thoughts/struggles with gaming Vietnam:

-It seems very personal and real to me. Maybe not something I should be playing a game over and having fun.

-There is a lot of room for amazing and beautiful terrain, figs, vehicles, etc.

-There are some great rule sets out there.

-I wonder what a Vet would think about me playing a game about the experience he went through. I would hope he wouldn't find it disrespectful.

-I don't think I could run a Vietnam game at a Con, for the above reason.

I have wanted to do the period for a very long time. In fact, I already did it once half-assed in 20mm. I have about 15 plastic models, and a bunch of VC and US from TAG waiting for paint. I already have a pretty good vilage that I built for Vietnam, but use mostly with Samurai. I have oredered Ambush Alley's Vietnam Sourcebook for Ambush Alley. I may be adding this to the list to do this Winter.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

The List - 2011 Fall 2012 winter Projects

OK so here we go:

1. EPIC - Well I muct say, painting some ultramarine on a sprue of original beaky Space Marines has been pretty fun and nostalgic. And the last few releases of models are just gorgeous. I had forgotten that. So I am gonna pick off EPIC as I go into the long night, to hopefully emerge from the shadows with a painted Space Marine, Orc and Eldar force. Imperial Guard may be too much to ask, but I have a bunch of it too. And that Damn Chaos and Squat stuff. Focus...Focus.

2. VIKINGS - I love my new collection of Vikings. I need to add some odds and ends to it, but its in really good shape. I will add some trolls (I have a nice selection of assorted old GW Trolls just for the job) Dire Wolves (I have a bunch of Plastics from GW kits), Valkyrie Leader (Maybe convert one of my unbuilt Bretonnian Pegasus Rider mounts), Hill Giant (Again GW plastic, beautiful), then probably figure out how to do some goblins, and press some Orcs into service as more trolls, ogres, and giant kin. Really going for a more Ragnaok-y kinda thing here.

3. SAMURAI - Love my sammies. Not painted great. From my old days when I was learning, but they look good together. and look even better now on group bases. Going to play Commands and Colors and Commands and Colors Fantasy and Hail Caesar with them. Need to do ground work, flock, static grass, etc. Then decide if I want to paint more of my Old Glory and L5R sammies, or go for it and do the Perry's stuff and stay historical. I am leaing toward the Perry's. I also have a nice selection of the L5R Goblins to add to the mix, so they are perfect for C&CF, beautifully sculpted too. And if you can get the Bob Ollie samurai orcs and goblins sculpts then you have added a pretty colorful army to the collection.

4. 15mm FANTASY - This is the ongoing project. Really need to do basing and flock for these guys to get them finished. Undead are on paint sticks already, and I have a great selection of Thain from Demonworld, so kinda anxious to get them painted as well.

5. 15mm NAPOLEONICS - A rebasing project. They look good rebased. And since I will never use them the way they are based, they need to be converted. Once rebased I can play Commands & Colors Napoleonics and Black Powder. This is a big project, just because of the sheer vilume of my exsting collection. But it will look good when done.

Gonna keep the list to 5 this time. But you all know me. I will certainly add to it. I am pretty sure I will come back to Post Aocalyptic when I am suffering some general malaise, I always do. And I have all my 15mm Sci Fi to do as well. And I have been thinking about doing some 15mm scale 2'x2' game boards for me and the boys to play on. Be fun to have some pull out boards to skirmish on in 15mm. Now I can get back to painting. Finally. 

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

I feel a Fall 11/Winter 12 List Coming On

I feel a new list coming on.

I got some of my stuff done on the summer list. Not a lot, but some. I spent most of the summer, when I could paint, getting ready for Recruits in Sept, and assembling and priming stuff that I can just pull out and paint for the winter. Kinda like a squirrel burying some nuts.

So I have a bunch of 15mm stuff ready to go, tons of stuff to get basing done on, and numerous ways to go for the fall and winter.

Initial thoughts are:

I have gotten the Epic bug again, and I will be painting this stuff off and on. I have massive unpainted aries for this that have sat for ages. I started painting some Ultramarines just to get the juices flowing and I forgot how fun painting these little guys is. So they are on the list.

I have to get my 28mm Samurai and 15mm Fantasy basing done. they both have languished too long without being completed.

I acquired a beautiful collection of Vikings over the summer, and would like to fill them out with some characters, Carls, and some archers. and of course some Ice Trolls a Giant, and Dire Wolves. then add some Goblinoids for them to fight, maybe throw in some Norse Dwarves. Maybe a bunch of snow terrain. Hmmm....

I have my 15mm Sci Fi legions to do and they are ready. As is the rebasing for my 15mm Nappy collection.

And I have my 28mm Fantasy Skirmish figs to do as well.

It really is an embarassment of choices and it should be a bountiful fall and winter.

I'll post a list when its complete. It would be nice to complete one. Never done that.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

and since we are talking Fantasy Napoleonics a bit...

A nice little project on the Lead Adventure Forum really got my juices going. These beastmen are incredible. All done by Funky Brush. I made a quick wallpaper for my pc at work so I would remind myself to think about how I would do them. I have named them 'The Braying 29th'.

I have also been digging for bits on ebay and the internets to see what it would cost to play with this idea. I have tons of unpainted 28mm napoleonics, just not plastics. So maybe a little harder to pull off as Funky Brush's work was done with plastics, but still doable I think.

Right now I'm thinking:

French - Elves - Maybe Dark Elves
British - Beastmen
Spanish - Skaven/Ratmen or Goblins
Austrians - Undead(white uniforms, eastern european, etc.)
Russians - Orcs and Goblins?
Prussians - Dwarves - well this is the Baron's request so we'll go with it.

I have found a bunch of suitable heads and legs and arms in plastics. It will be fun  to try to marry them.

I also found that the 40k Kroot heads are incredibly easy to use as well, so maybe I have to find a spot for them.

This leaves out the lizardmen, which would be fun. Maybe they can be the Portugese or Italians.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Napoleonic Russian Officers - Hollywood Edition

So my favorite pop culture blog group, Uproxx, had a story about somebody who took the wonderful portraits of the Tsars Russain Generals during Napoleon's invasion in 1812, and reainted them with current Hollywood actors. Now this is a War & Peace I can get behind. The story is here:

I have included my favorites below. While most are not filthy enough, sweaty enough, riddled with consumption or gonareah enough, or nose covered with exploded capillaries from drinking Vodka all day, there are some that just fit. Enjoy.

Well of course his looks great.

And his too. The only one that would look like crap is Timothy Dalton.

What a face.

I'd follow this guy to hell.

How much of an aristocrat does Ben Kingsley look like. Maybe the best one.

But this one is my favorite. I don't know why. Probably because he looks like a spoiled aristocrat that has gotten caught up in a war and all he wanted was the uniform to get chicks.

For pure giddy glee, nothing beats this one:

And finally, I will never again look at a Warhammer 40k Imperial Commissar and not think of this Picture. All he needs is a power glove.


Monday, September 19, 2011

Workshop of Doom

Well, since the finish of RECRUITS, I have been itching to work on something new in the workshop. But as usually happens, the Workshop of Doom was an absolute wreck. I am pretty messy when it comes to terrain projects, and building 28mm scale shelled out buildings and rubble makes for an even bigger mess. So it was time for a clean out. I have also been sick for the last week, so it took a little longer than anticipated, but I now have a shiny clean workshop, with all painted and unpainted figs, neatly tucked away in their plastic shoe boxes, and all of them LABELLED!!!(revelation). The labelling is really what took so much time. Sorting and such. I have 1 6' bookcase of finished, painted minis. And 3+ bookcases of unpainted stuff. When painted, they would probably take up another 5 bookcases of stuff. So, you never really finish I guess.

Anyway, I am contemplating what's next.

I have my list of course. And it would be nice to finish of the basing on my 15mm Fantasy stuff and rebase my 15mm Napoleonics. And Epic has been weighing heavy on my mind. and other things 15mm...

We shall see.

Saw the release of the Dread Fleet boxed game by GW. Yawn. I was hoping for a Man o War game, but I guess Spartan beat them at their own game. Better to make money on a llimited release boxed game like Space Hulk. Oh well. I am indifferent.

And what will winter hold. Will I finally get to those Late Romans/Arthurians, or does the Raven Banner sally forth? Hmmmmm...

Monday, September 12, 2011

Get the Loot - Fallmouth Hills

The FoL:WW game was a lot of fun. We had 6 players, and a small board, so I could get them to engagement quicker. Well they got engaged, but not as much with each other as with the environment. Remember, in the wastes, the environment is just as deadly.

The scenaior was simple: Sticky Earl, the prospector, got drunk in town and let it slip he had been looting some good stuff up in Fallmouth Hills. He expected a continued treasure trove of goodness to come out of there. Well, when the rest of the saloon heard what he said, they all decided to get there crews together to get what they could before Ol Sticky Earl could back up there.

So, a simple search and loot scenario, with loot having a value, and so does getting rid of the other gangs, or dealing with the environment. Everytime you came to a terrain feature or item, you could search. We developed the Loot/Event Deck to turn over to see what happens. It worked well. and one player had so much to search and so meany encounters, he never got out of a 12" by 12" area, and almost won the game.

Here's pics of the game.

Nice to get this phase of the post apoc stuff done for now. Habve some more buildings to paint, but gonna put those on the back burner for now.

I didn't get much this year at the convention, toy wise. I was very focused on what I was looking for, and seeing none I didn't really get anything except a couple of great things.

first, I got a beautifully painted 15mm ECW army by the Baron for a couple of blisters form Recreational Conflict. I now have a little interest in adding some to them to do a pocket version(almost) of Black Powder.

second, I got a couple of MicroPanzers Mechs, to go with my 15mm Aquan Army.

Since the Workshop of Doom is in a total mess, I decided to do a reorganization and a thorough cleaning before I started anything else. But once complete, I've kinda had Epic Space Marine on the brain this last month, afetr trading a bunch of my Battlefront stuff for some nicely painted Marines and Squats. Also, I would like to add about 20 archers to my Viking Horde. And I would like to start rebasing in earnest, the 15mm Napoleonics. and Blasphemy, I feel an odd itch in my brain to paint and acquire some new 28mm space Marines for In the Emperors Name, or FAD. Let's just see what happens.

Recruits Con was this past weekend

Well RECRUITS was ths past weekend, and much fun was had by me, the boys and some of the Generals.

As always, the con was first class. We get kinda spoiled and never say enough thanks, and can I helps to Duane and Laura Fleck, who created and have ran all 18 shows. Wish I could help more. thanks for your continued efforts.

So, on Friday night, cruised the vendors with the boys, said hi to old friends, then sat down for a fun, Force on Force game of Rhodesian African war. Terrain was gorgeous, but of course, I forgot to snap picks. A whole bunch of chits and markers were used to run the game, and while it simplifies things, it certainly detracts from the overall effect. Since I have only really played ambush Alley, I don't know if  you need all the counters or not. i will take another read of Force on Force and see what I think.

There was great suppport for Tomorrow's War. The worldwide unveiling of the Osprey edition happened at Recruits this year. and sales looked brisk. Its great to see a great game supported at a local con.

On Saturday I was very excited to play in an old friends stunning and clever 54mm French and Indian War game. He was using John Jenkins collectors edition figures. gorgeous and such a classic toy soldier feel to them. It was a real pleasure using such awesome figs.

His terrain and woods and everything about the game was first class. He used This Very Ground, which is a pretty fun set. I told everyone if they had had someone selling Conquest F&I stuff, I w ould have been right there. And I still might be. Put an order together on sunday for them, but waited to see if the glow will receed. But, I am pretty pumped about the idea.

Then in the afternoon, I ran Fistful of Lead: Warriors of the Wasteland. The Baron's cowboy skirmish rules, with our mods for Post Apocalypse. It was really fun. Mostly Basement Generals played, but it was great to have a complete game, ready to go and enjoy. The Baron helped a bunch, as no one knows his rules better than him. Thanks Baron. Pics and background on the next post.


Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Patton's D&D

I just watched this and I am floored. I love Patton Oswalt and his book Zombie Spcaeship, Wasteland. His chapter on D&D is terrific. So enjoy this fantastic version on acoustic guitar, sung by cute, earnest and very lovely sounding girls.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Post Apoc Game at the Barons

We played with some of the new post apoc terrain last night to get our feet wet for our Fallout/Post Apoc game for Recruits Con in September.

We are using the new rules The Baron and I wrote. They are a post apoc mod for the published rules the wrote: Fistful of Lead. FoL is an Old West shoot'em up game, using quick resolution, and a card based turn mechanic. Great fun and we have shot up Lesterville on many an occassion.

Well my great skirmish love is post apocalyptic. It's pretty fun to model ruins and with all the great scavenger and mutant figs on the market, its just too fun. So we decided to add a bunch of chrome to FoL, retool a few things, and we now have Fistful of Lead: Warriors of the Wastelands, or FoL:WoW.

We played our first real playtest last night with the Basement Generals. simple looting scenario, but it was fun doing real playtesting with the guys. Thanks for all your suggestions and input.

Here's some picks:

skirmish in Shanty Town

RPG vs Flamethrower

Reese's Boys take a run down the street

Overall Layout with the Generals

Collapsed building with rubble piles and cars

Jackson Drive Playas moving forward against the Muties  

Shotgun vs Machine Gun
It was a fun night. We got some good stuff resolved on some random charts, how to keep the game moving, some weapon rules, etc.

thanks again to the Generals. One thing I do know, I have a lot of painting to do to be ready for the con.   

Monday, August 8, 2011

Post Apoc - Shanty Town and Rubble/Rubbish Piles

Well, I moved on to my Shanty Town and Rubbish Piles for my Post Apoc/Fallout project. I also base painted Post Apoc Building #4 this weekend.

Shanty Town. Here's some pics of the shanties primed, then the first set painted. All told, the first wave of the Shanty Town is 16 shanties. Most in pretty good disrepair, but also some that are faling down, not finished, or burned to the ground. I have been wanting to do a shanty town ever since I saw Gisby's Shanties he did for Kill Zone. Beautiful stuff.

 Finished Shanties, burned down, unfinished, falling down.

Next is the Rubbish Piles. BAses made from CD's. Insulation foam build-ups, then various rubble from straws, balsa, basswood, paper, card, and plastic. 7 total. Great to break up fields of fire.

All of this is to get ready for Recruits in September. We are playtesting the new version of the Fistful of Lead Rules, Wasteland Warriors. Post apoc goodness from The Baron and the Lead Addict.

Hope you enjoy!