Thursday, December 1, 2011

Dr. Zhivago as a mini-series

I was going to rent the 1965 film last weekend - it is a personal favorite and had been since I first saw it in the 70s - but instead picked up a 4-hour BBC TV miniseries from 2002.

It is brilliant; like any book Pasternak's novel has far too much material for any film, so an interesting comparison can be made between what two directors would choose to exclude and include.  So, no half brother but the suicide of Yuri's father is included.  A better understanding of his obsession with Lara and of Komarovsky's effect on his own life.  More development of Strelnikov. Very nice locations, although I think the winters in the 1965 version manage to look cold in a way this version does not. 

Well worth renting.  Yuri Zhivago is still a schmuck for cheating on his family, but there's not much you can do about that.  At least in this version he expresses some measure of guilt over it.

For the wargamer?  A better armored  train for Comrade Strelnikov.  After a couple of scenes, anyone gaming the civil war will pay more attention to logistics.  Overall, just a lovely story set against the background of the revolution.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

What else can one hide?

Lets assume we are going to put on the table some category of units - tanks (stands representing 10 each) and infantry (in stands representing 80-120).  What can we use that to hide?
  • The stands may have variable strength depending on casualties - say two or three steps available.
  • They may also the straight-up strength-zero dummies.
  • It is easy to hide which is the command stand, if it matters.
  • An indicator can show which stand has the FOO with it.
  • Small support weapons (MGs, light AT guns, etc) can be a marker under an infantry stand until it should be deployed.  
Concealment is critical to understanding WWII, and a set of grand-tactical rules has to acknowledge that.

Secrecy in combat

Lets presume we can get away from the idea that we have to identify a particular firing stand and target stand, but can deal in groups firing and targeted.  That means that dummy stand might stay unidentified for a bit longer, since one need not exclude particular stand from those identified to the enemy as firing.

Megablitz has a nice idea where you total up your combat dice and hand them to your opponent, who roles them and secretly applies the results.  I'd like to extend this a bit to differentiate weapons fire.  So, I might determine that my 88 at 1500m gets a "red" dice.  Having rolled the dice, the target player organizes the results - so a red dice rolling a 4 might score a major results on a T/34 stand  but no result on a JS2 stand.  Results would be secret, and might or might not involve a visible result for the attacker; likewise, the exact firing stands might or might not be revealed.

Mixed formation

After lunch with Ross, one point from the discussion I want to capture are the cases where differing pieces of equipment were deliberately deployed in mixed formations - the classic being the 1-firefly per 4-sherman-75 troops used by Commonwealth forces in NWE.  Platoon level rules kind of ignore this, basically letting the player deploy one troop of fireflys per 4 troops of sherman-75s.

Visually, that's fine but I want a way that blends capabilities to represent to effectiveness of the merged formation.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Need hidden state information

I just realized an implication of having magetized bases.

  Here is a stand (50mm x 30mm Jagdpanzer IV)
It has state information and you can't see it.

Here it is:

The labels on the bottom are inkjet-printable business-card fridge magnets - an Avery product I think.  While 60th Regiment, 15. Division VIII corps is more applicable to the Prussian army (another project) the fact is that this is an easy way to put stance, casualty, morale or "I am a decoy" information on a stand so that it cannot be seen.  It is easy to add or remove but a brief experiment suggests that it is reasonably durable during normal stand use.

Something to think about.  Perhaps let every German AFV use a Tiger stand until the real type attached to the bottom is revealed? 

It is also fine for ID information that is not particularly needed by the opponent but is needed by the player.  Or key chart values to save looking them up?  The mind boggles. :-)

Monday, October 24, 2011

Combat System

I don't know the answer yet, still thinking of the questions.

For a fast, clean system with a lot of kit on the table, this is where the rubber meets the road.
  A winning system should be:
  • Fast:  Few rolls, few exceptions
  • No "game tactics":  real world tactics should pay off, but there should be no temptation to tweaking the action of the individual stand.  Infantry, especially, should be operating by the battalion.
  • Minimal record keeping.
The cycle of decide-act-resolve should be fast and lead to a clear conclusion quickly so the players can get on to the next decisions.

"One mechanism" sounds good, and BKC actually manages that, but it does not necessarily simplify the visualization of what is happening.  Players  (IMHO, YMMV) accept that tanks, guns and infantry act and interact differently.   Having multiple mechanisms does not seem to harm Command Decision for example.

The simplest system would have two results at least on a stand basis, pushed back and destroyed; a battalion who's attack was broken up by push backs would have to concentrate on keeping together or accept the loss of capability.  Strict distance rules might count the pushed back units as effectively lost until the attack had been re-organized.

Also, add factors and one roll,or handful of dice?  Single-die stats are certainly simpler to work with, but it is not hard to do Monte-Carlo analysis of  "handful" results.  The curve shape I have in mind would be to increase central tendency as the volume of fire increases, but to reduce the incidence of "low effect" events while allowing an increasing tail of "high effect" events.

Also, given one hour turns, I think it would make sense to provide rewards for effective combined arms "from above" rather than try to have it fall out of a "bottom up" model.

Are tables evil?  It might be interesting to look at using a nomogram of some sort as a play aid to integrate comparative firepower, protection and morale effects into a single roll without using tables or formulas in the familiar sense.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Still WWII Rules

Three notes this evening:


I have just received my copy of John Curry's "British Army Tactical Wargame 1956" which is filled with fascinating data on planning cycles, movement rates, and the like.  Written by professionals with experience on the WWII and Korean War battlefields, should be a gold mine.

This was  my first order from Lulu and I am impressed.  Solidly made, stapled spine and fulfillment from a company in Canada-- received promptly and while I am not a fanatic about these things its nice to not be a 100% importer of my hobby books.


I have swung around to a change of heart in unit representation.  If we take a stand to equal a company,. we end up expecting it to act like a company -- cover the frontage of a company, take initiative like a company, lead its own existence like a company.  That pushes awareness down a level too far for my purposes.  If I take a stand to 100 men (or ten vehicles) and the basic unit to be the battalion, then the player (who should be thinking divisions or at least brigades anyway) may manipulate the stands of the battalion as part of the battalion performing its mission, but they are just a representation.  It also makes it a bit easier to pace the degradation of battalion capability as numbers are lost.


Written orders.  Not the thing for a "club night" game these days -- writing seems seriously out of fashion.  On the other hand, looking at the basic doctrine of WWII it is hard to see how we can get away without at least recorded objectives, artillery fire plans and the like.  These don't have to be written for each turn but some mechanism seems essential to constrain telepathic opportunism, especially if we are to eschew random aids to represent a formation's failure to do whatever the commander desires.


Four, four notes.  OK - concealment.  Critical to the success of those nasty lads with their tiny we anti-tank guns.  Blinds might work.  So might allowing some "key concealment" units to be attached to more visible units and not revealed otherwise.  So an AT gun could be deployed with an infantry unit and only revealed when it fires.

Maybe.  A general referee-free solution to the concealment problem would be far better.  Blinds?  Strictly limiting orders before deployment?  I really don't know just yet.

Monday, October 17, 2011

A couple of interesting documentaries

Unknown War -- A fascinating Brezhnev-era piece from 1978 showed up at my favorite video shop.  This is pretty broad brush stuff, as probably befits a Soviet official history aimed at an American audience.  There is a current western historian there to provide some perspective; which if you do not actually know the history yourself is more than needed.

What does it offer the wargamer?  A lot of documentary footage that I for one had never seen before.  If you want to see some great combat film footage, and are old enough that "detente" is a nostalgic period in your life (I visited some of the cities shown rebuilt in the film in 1974) I'd recommend renting it (or finding it elsewhere -- I am sure much of it is kicking around youtube).

If you consider yourself at risk from too much Communist propaganda, you might counter-dose with Russia's War -- which basically portrays Stalin's entire time as General Secretary as his war against his own people.  Likewise kicking around you-tube and available on DVD.

This, by the way, is my preferred film version of 1984.

I also recommend the recent Polish film Katyn - very powerful stuff.  It paints a county coming to terms with the enormity of Nazi occupation, while dealing with the Stalinist occupation that took its place, and how individual Poles tried to come to terms with that reality.

My final offering in what seems to have been a festival of grimness in the last couple of weeks is the book Bloodlands by Timothy Snyder.  It covered the area of Poland and the former Soviet Union controlled by the Nazi and Stalinist states from final collectivization of Ukrainian agriculture to the death of Stalin.  The detailed portrayal of the Ukrainian famine of 1932-33 that opens the book is certainly as compete as any I have seen.  The book also makes a real effort to affirm the dignity and uniqueness of each of those murdered; it is well worth reading.  In looking for a link for the book I found (I should not have been surprised) that there is a lot of controversy around it; both because the Holocaust is a loaded subject for a lot of people and because (as also should not be surprising) no group comes away with completely clean hands.

I really must find a light comedy or a superhero movie to watch come Saturday.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Still on a WWII kick

Looking at scales and organization somewhat evades the key question of command and control; and with it its friend sequence of play.  After all, it's the failed command rolls that were driving me nuts in my last BKC game -- and for that matter in playing black powder.  It's not that I can't stand having some restriction on what my toy solders do on the table, it's just that some system are so frustrating.

I have played many randomness-free C3 systems over the years.  In many ways written orders  (early WRG rules, and Charge!) and simultaneous resolution are best.  They have real advantages for solo play, but with a lot of units to move I've found that my decision time was limited to the first few minutes of each turn.  That's the most significant thing that pushed me away from Command Decision.

Lately I have been looking at Megablitz.  It is a stand=battalion games that aims to play very large actions spanning several days.  The interesting there is that action is restricted by state (using the acronym SMART for Static, Mobile, Attack, Retreat, Transit).  A unit can only move and act in ways appropriate to its state, and legal state transitions are restricted by current state and supply factors.

Restricting action based on state (stance may be a better word) should allow a more open unit activation system.

A big question about good brigade activation systems is "how many players should be able to play at once?"  One-command-at-a-time is great for solo or two-player but falls flat on its face when half a dozen people are playing -- too many people are just standing around.  A good system gives everyone at the table something to do.

One system I have in mind I saw used in large, multi-player refereed skirmish games.  Each character was given a number based on his ability.  As the referee read the numbers, a player with that number could undertake an action but a player with a higher action could interrupt just before the low-numbered player acted and take his action instead.  Once you acted that was it for the turn. 

That could be adapted by assigning proficiencies to commanders, keeping the range low to allow multiple moves by one side, but using an initiative system so, for a given value, either one side or the other is rated higher for the turn.

I have a game called Tomorrow's War on order.  It is another skirmish system, which features an action and response system that might work for WWII.  Shipped, so I will have a look next week. 

And of course there is always good old alternating move, roll for initiative, with opportunity fire.  It has some interesting variations which intensify fire -- probably a good thing for a WWII game.

Friday, October 7, 2011

WWII ranges

This subject is soon going to need its own section.  Or page?

Anyway, a table of ranges in meters converted to inches at various ratios.  The base distances are not far off those used in the weapons tables for Test of Battle, which uses Short, Medium, Long and Extreme bands.


6x4 Table (km)
250 500 1000 2500

width  depth
6 12 18 48 inches @ 50 m/inch 3.6 2.4
2 4 8 20 inches @ 125 m/inch 9 6
1.7 3.3 6.7 16.7 inches @ 150 m/inch 10.8 7.2
1.5 3 6 15 inches @ 166.7 m/inch 12 8
1.25 2.5 5 12.5 inches @ 200 m/inch 14.4 9.6

In terms of a division in defense game, both 6" = 1 km and 1"=200m seem to me to give the most effective table size.  However, we come close to loosing close range combat entirely.  Soviet AT doctrine, for example, called for fire to commence at no greater than 500m range.  Also, table terrain interpretation will have to be considered carefully.  Simple flat table space cannot be considered equal to a clear, open field of view or very long range fire will be too common.

I sometime reflect on this image when considering lines of sight:

There are clearly some very long viewplanes here, but between most places out on the plain you cannot see very  far at all

Thursday, October 6, 2011

More WWII Thoughts

Some more thoughts on WWII;  I've dug out some TOE information (actually I bought some downloadable army lists from Micromark -- already nicely digested for wargames use).  Some preliminary conclusions:
  • I was considering abstracting away companies and just using fixed stand:man or stand:vehicle ratios.  However, this creates more problems than it solves.  In particular, Soviet tank battalions are so much smaller than German that any alignment of stands to battalion commands is a bit wonky.  Aligning stands to companies (for the most part) is no harder although there are some details to resolve.
  • Looking at the constitution of an infantry battalion, and its tactical employment, I think a core of 4 rifle company stands using my current 40x30 basing would be a start point.  Firepower would depend on the number of bayonets and the automatic weapons mix along with morale factors.  Add to this a number of support stands on 30x30mm bases -- Tripod MGs, Mortars, and specialized AT teams would be be in the category.  Normal would probably be 2 x MG, 1 x Mortar, and 1 x ATR or Panzerschreck.  Given the need for either scouts or the forward platoon positions employed at Kursk I think a 30x30 scout stand would also be good to have.
  • The wide spread in vehicle company (and battery) sizes raises some interesting questions.  For example a fresh Soviet tank company is 10 vehicles, while the German equivalent is 15-17.  At the other end German reconnaissance formations operated very small armored car platoons which doubtless increased the flexibility of reconnaissance elements.  Do I want to bring the recon company together as one or break it up - and if it is broken up, to what degree?  A final call will probably have to be somehow capabilities based.  I will also want to avoid having the same vehicle type in two different kinds of formation, a decision which leaves the question of how to deal with the five tank reconnaissance platoon of the German panzer battalion.
  • Then there are the Soviet SU regiments, which are broken up into 4-vehicle batteries.  I'm not going to worry about those right now.
One approach to differing unit sizes is to look at the problem across two dimensions.  Larger formations should have a larger volume of fire, but individual shots should be no more effective.  Larger formations should also be somewhat more durable.  Consider 3 types of formation.
  • "Large" German companies -- or comparably-size SU regimenst -- with roughly 15 vehicles, and a base Rate of Fire (ROF) of 3.
  • "Normal" Soviet companies with around 10 vehicles and a base ROF of 2.
  • Platoon-sized Reconnaissance detachments, with a base ROF of 1 and perhaps some restriction like only being able to return fire -- or at least to not be able to get into duels with tank companies.
  • A recce platoon would disappear at the first destructive hit.  A Large or Normal company might be marked as "reduced" at the first destruction and loose one from its ROF -- at the second, either would be removed.  I don't think carrying one marker around for a that big a problem.  Alternatively, either might disappear but it would be harder to achieve with a Large company than with a Normal company.
Lots to think about.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The Perfect East Front WWII Rules

What do I want from a set of WWII rules?  This is a moving target, obviously.  Some of the parameters are more or less fixed:
  • I already have a substantial more-or-less 1944 WWII East Front collection.   It is not going away, and I am interested in the period in any event.
  • I have a 6x4 table.  While it is nice to be able to offer a game that will work on smaller or larger but that is the space I will be using for the foreseeable future.
  • I am unlikely to see more than four people around the table, and normally it will be one other and myself.
Some parameters I must admit may change with time, but for now:
  • I want to play largish actions -- I have a goodly number of figures and I would like to be able to get *lots* of them on to the table without being awash in detail.
  • I want to have definite time, distance and figure scales; a measure of imprecision is allowable but it's important to me that figures and games map to the real world in a defined way.
  • I like to play Table Top Teasers, most of which are based around a six to twelve "units" a side.  I would like to have each teaser unit map to a definite unit in my game organization.  Exactly what that unit is -- company or battalion -- is not as critical as that it is well defined within a TOE and have the level of real-world independence that could conceivably map to the independence required by the scenarios.
  • I want to be able to game the sort of situation I can read about in history books.  That does not mean I want to play the whole of Kursk on one table in an afternoon, but (unlike books about the west, where the struggles of individuals companies is discussed) it is rare to find a single sentence that looks at any unit smaller than a battalion. 
  • I am not a great tread-head, but I do think technical factors are important as well as morale and C3 factors, perhaps more for the satisfaction of expressing an interest in tanks and guns as getting at the effect of various types on the battles.
 So, should the basic unit be a company, a battalion, a regiment?  Do I want to be able to represent a divisional defense on my table (at Kursk, 52nd Guards Rifle Division has a front of 15km, with a depth of about 5km from the forward lines, and a forward security zone 3km to the front.) or a divisional attack (an average, at least for the Germans at Kursk, of about 5km)?

In the first case, I would need each foot of my six-foot table to represent 2.5 km for the frontage.  The depth would then be an adequate 10km.

In the second, one foot to one km would do, with a depth of 4km; or the regimental defense could be represented in depth.

In any case, just taking the simple frontages as the long axis and accepting the old trope that most engagements in Europe are at around 500m the divisional defense scale gives 500m = 2.5", or 1"=200m.  The regimental defense scale gives 1" ≈ 80m or perhaps 3cm=100m.

For comparison, here is the 78th GRD from Glantz's "Soviet Defensive Tactics at Kursk"

I will do some more research on this part of things; I am not going to send the question off to its own blog for now.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Gaming Weekend

Two games against Ross this weekend.  The first was Blitzkrieg Commander II, a play of Grant's Reinforcements In Defense; Off Table examined in detail on my 10mm WWII blog.  The other was a Renaissance Basic Impetus game in 15mm which Ross has discussed in Battlegame of the Month.

I will be re-basing my 15mm Renaissance forces for Basic Impetus using 25mm basing guidelines.  The game has very short movement rates for standard 15mm -- fine for space-constrained Europeans, but here in the empty expanse of Canada big tables are easier to find.  Doubling distances will work well on a six by four foot table.

This gives a rough idea of what a pike square will look like on that basing - each base will be 120mm front by 60mm deep (that can be varied, but I think that depth will work well); a pike square then consists of a front and rear base, only separated as the casualties wear away at the rear base.

Reasonably massive; in fact I should be able to make the end result far prettier.  Knowing the front and rear are always together lets me pick and choose figured for the best effect for each block while knowing that each set of stands is a single block means I can bring things in from the extreme edges to both give the levelled pikes some room to play (indeed, the front block could be even deeper) while improving definition and giving space for double-pay-men and officers to keep order on the flanks of the formation.

I can only wonder what the result would look like in 10mm.  I won't duplicate my Italian Wars army but it is tempting to look at another ancient or medieval period with a small-scale force on very big bases.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Small progress

Much assembling of new toys this week, so little new finished.  But I have organized some Naval Infantry for 10mm Patriotic War

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Crawling along.

A new post in Enlightenment Imaginings; and I think I have used about a liter of superglue in the last week.  I plan to end the month with everything for WWII assembled and primed.  I was about to write "everything" period, but there are a few projects (SF comes to mind immediately) that are not going to make the cut this month.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Stuff in the mail

My Pithead order arrived, so I now have enough sdkfz 251's of various marks to fully equip my panzer-grenadier battalion.  The order also included the Grille for their heavy company.

Romania now has its 1st two "home brew" vehicles, a TACAM-60 and a TACAM-R2; both were tank destroyers built using captured Soviet guns and available chassis. I shall order one more of each I think, plus the essential T4s and TAs -- that's Panzer IVs and StugIIIs by their German nomanclature.

Good odds that today I will receive my Pendraken order, including a good supply of lend-lease jeeps to tow Soviet  AT guns and drive commanders around.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Intermediate Report

I'm on a bit of a "put it together" kick this weekend, in anticipation of a good priming opportunity in a couple of weeks.  First, I assembled all of my pending Romanian armor.  I expect a couple more pieces this week, but after months in a drawer they are started.

I've also mounted my long suffering WWII aircraft

I'll have close-ups when the bases are flocked and labelled; they are all 1:300 Heroics and Ros.  I gave up looking for an affordable 1:144 Strumovik.  Lots of JU87s out there, but...

Anyway, I think these will work well over the table.

Likewise my BKA "Floating Tank."  Needs a wash and assemble; the main gun mantlet disappeared (it was in the box, my fault) so I grabbed the turret of a 1:144 T-34/76.  I'll have to check some cammo patterns for this one.  The MG turrets have fiddly little barrels -- this is a real model-makers kit so I am expected to cut them out of wire.  I don't think so.

By the end of the long weekend, I will have a couple more units organized and blogged for the WWII, and may even have some more enlightenment units up.

In real life, number 2 son is now in university residence, so the nest is empty.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

On to Montreal!

Well, number one Son is now a Montréalais; Sunday we dumped him in a shared student-style flat in a very classic Montreal neighborhood .


Accompanied by the good McDuff, who had come along to help me control my emotions (too much joy can be dangerous while driving long distances), I headed off to the Captain's.   After a brief return to parental responsibility ("Dad, could you drive me out to Ikea?"  Thankfully Rob lives nearby)  we settled down to mark the passage of hurricane Irene with a festival of games.  For the first time I played Wings of War and a member of the DBx family (HOTT in this case) as well as a German-style rail building game called Transamerica.  I'll not paste many pictures of games and figures here (although Rob's Burgundians are lovely) -- I am sure you will find some pictures elsewhere.

History, wargame stories and game design were heavily discussed in the twelve hour drive there, and on the return trip.  All in all, a very enjoyable weekend break.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Some WWII blogged!

As you can see from the sidebar, I now have the WWII blog going with one unit on the blog, and pictures of four more "in the can".  Progress - I love it!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

So, how did we do this week?

Well, I have actually labelled two Soviet units (410 Rifle Regiment and 119 Separate Tank Regiment); however I have lost the light here to photograph either them or the Romanians.  I will try to make that happen early this week; then my WWII armies will have their own blog.

I also now have a new time waster -- The Operational Art of War is a multi-scenerio operational warfare engine.  The interface looks like a good old fashioned hex map boardgame, but the internal engine is quite bit more sophisticated.  I think the sweet spot is WII, but it has scenarios available from the ECW up to the cold war.  It also has a powerful scenario editor and a very active community so the replay value should be pretty good.

I will be out of touch next weekend while I take #1 son to university in Montreal; but I will post here if I make progress before or after that.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Epic Fail!

No planned objective was met this week.  I did, however, progress on another front.  I have organized units for three of my WWII forces, and attached the labels for two of them.

This is what the unit labels look like:

Organized units (on magnetized stands) will go in Belgian biscuit tins labelled to be easily found.

I fear I have been focusing more on WWII than on other projects in the past week.  I have significant forces, but have always planned a few tweaks to finish them off.  Maybe this will be the chance.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Progress Report

The scorecard for this week

  • Interpolated mass, temperature and luminosity for all stars with complete spectral data
  • Complete painting (but not basing since I do not have the rules yet) for a 15mm SF unit.
  • Pictures of one 10mm ~SYW unit
  • Revise ground scale for Mars-la-Tour and write "scale" section for rules

If I were at work, we would certainly be talking "red project" about now.  So, how did I do in detail?

The star data interpolate is actually getting close.  I have to:
  1. Add "extrapolators" to accommodate the end cases for each luminosity class.  Alternatively, I could plug the data to make sure that my extreme ends are covered.  That might actually be simpler.
  2. Develop data outside of the Main Sequence.
  3. Sort out "R", "N" and similar secondary types - where do they fit in the more-or-less smooth curve of each luminosity class.
We'll leave this one on the books, but I think it will probably be more like two weeks.

No paint touched the SF platoon, but I did magnetize, label and photograph a 10mm German infantry battalion for BKC.  This project will get a website when I have some non-fascist units to include.  I really have quite a large army, but this is the 1st explicitly organized battalion.

I wrote one (really easy) rules section and blogged the Bravant artillery.  The "document 10mm unit" target is a gimme until I run out of labelled units; still, I should do something more entertaining with these lads.

I also found yet more forgotten FPW figures.

So for next week:
  • Code complete and tested interpolator for Main Sequence only.
  • Finish painting an incomplete unit for some army - I have got to get the FPW French going along.
  • Catch up labeling on existing Bravant units and blog both another unit and some kind of army list.
  • Write another section of the Mars la Tour rules.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Mixed Success

Results for this week:

Objective Result
interpolated mass, temperature and luminosity for all stars with complete spectral data Fail
a starting coat on my first 15mm SF platoon Succeed
pictures of one 10mm ~SYW unit Succeed

On the other hand:
  • Close investigation and new decisions on the Mars-la-Tour rules including several posts.
I'd say moderately successful -- its been an annoying busy weekend.

Targets for next week:

  • Interpolated mass, temperature and luminosity for all stars with complete spectral data
  • Complete painting (but not basing since I do not have the rules yet) for a 15mm SF unit.
  • Pictures of one 10mm ~SYW unit
  • Revise ground scale for Mars-la-Tour and write "scale" section for rules.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Oh, My, more figures!

Well, the good news is that I have made decent progress so far - still one day off left and I have got a base coat on my SF lads, posted some cavalry thoughts on the FPW blog and started a blog for my enlightenment imagine-nations.  Just some programming to go.

The other news is far from bad news, but I have just discovered a complete unopened shipment from Pendraken including 3 lovely tumbril carts from the ECW range and the SYW carriage, Wolfe and Montcalm from the FIW range and lots of other command packs.  Good stuff, but shows the work required to get the ~SYW force to where in deserves to be.

I also remembered that I have some 1:600 RCW river warfare ships I have done nothing with -- this is not a retired project, I will get them going at some point.

I do think I need to mull over my objectives and sort them out so I can know when I get there.  No wargame army is ever really "done" but I can set some "phase one" targets.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Trying to make sense of too many projects

I now officially have way to many projects in the air. In order of most recent effort I have

  1. 15mm SF for Ambush Alley's "Tomorrow's War" - a slow project since the game isn't out yet.  As I finish units and paint them up, I will blog the results and once the game is released I will post AARs.  
  2. Yet Another Future History.  Currently this project is mostly software development; it has been absorbing most of my time for May and June.  It has the virtues of cheapness -- it's just software, and I am writing it.  It will will go forward and still at a good pace, but I want to get back from it being 100% the only project.
  3. My space fleet.  This is sort of on hold until I have a bit more future history for the ships to do battle in.
  4. Mars La Tour on 6x4.  Needs to move from hand-wavy speculation to ready-to-play troopers.  Decisions and painting required.
  5. My 10mm Not-the-Seven-Years-War armies  This is actually my most recently used force, but aside from a few photobucket albums is not really documented.  It is part way though labeling, and has half finished units.
  6. My 10mm late war WWII East Front/Great Patriotic War.  Pithead is about to release the key Romanians  tank destroyers I need (that being the wargamer's version of the word need), Pendraken now has Red Army Men in pilotka hats (because helmets are not truly manly), and the force deserves to be organized into formations and labelled as such.  Its a good sized force for BKC that has seen some good use and should see more.
  7. My 15mm Renaissance - Lovely figures, mostly painted by Ross.  They have unfinished bases, and many are not even based yet.  Shame!!!
  8. My 6mm SF for FWC.  Honest to God, the figures are here somewhere.
  9. 28mm ECW - at least one regiment.
So, how to push some sense out of this? I mean, so many lovely figures and cool ideas; so little time!  Lets set a target, on a weekly basis.  We will try this:

Each week I will:
  • Paint one unit to completion for one of the FPW, ~SYW, 15mm SF or East Front.
  • Document two completed units for one of the above; including labeling the bases.
  • Complete one significant step in programming the star map for my future history.
  • Write one rule for Mars la Tour - note, however, that I allow that a single rule may be rewritten many times.
The week will end when I go to bed the night before the first regular working day of the next week.  I will record progress here and also post longer-term time-activated plans here.  And then we will see how I make progress, and you can all mock my lack of it.

This is a runt week, so my objectives will be interpolated mass, temperature and luminosity for all stars with complete spectral data, a starting coat on my first 15mm SF platoon, and pictures of one 10mm ~SYW unit.