Saturday, December 28, 2013

Game Room Pictures

Here are some photos of my new game room with a battlefield set up for Modern NW Africa.  I hope to host a game soon so I can have some pics of actual wargaming in this space!  The table is 8' x 4'.  The painting area and space to store all of my "junk" (the wife terminology) is simply incredible!  I am so fortunate to have all of this dedicated room.  I really feel blessed.

PanzerBlitz WWII Game

My friend Kevin hosted a unique (I thought) WWII game at the NC December Game Night.  It was an early war French vs. German scenario and used the PanzerBlitz boardgame rules adapted for miniatures.  All of the participants seemed to enjoy themselves.  Here are a few pictures of the game before it started and in action.

Overall this was a visually impressive game, and the rules seemed to really work for the period.  I hope he hosts the game again as I look forward to an opportunity to play in a game.  Great job, Kevin!

December Game Night

Had a great time at Northern Conspiracy Game Night yesterday.  I played in a late Medieval game hosted by John.  It was Knights Templar vs. Knights Hospitallers using a home grown set of rules by AJ.  It was a great game - beautifully set up and a boatload of very nicely painted 28mm figures.  Here are a few pics of the game.

The game was a pretty close affair, but the last two turns saw our cavalry break through and give us a marginal victory.  All in all a very fun night with great friends to end the year.  Thanks guys!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

New Game Room Actually Being Used!

It has been a very long summer getting the new house set up.  now I am able to spend some time on the Hobby!  I have been doing some painting over the past couple of days and I got some twenty-nine 28mm Napoleonics finished and based!  It always seem that when there is a big game day coming and I commit to supply some troops all of a sudden the brushes warm up and lead comes to life!

These figures complete my Westphalian and Polish brigades for V&B Wing Scale and Napoleon's Rules of War game systems.

I will be taking photos of the troops during the game and will post them when I get a chance.

Monday, July 22, 2013


We are on the train headed north out of Virginia returning home from the convention.  We had an excellent time at HISTORICON 2013!  Overall impressions of the convention are the following.

1.  This was my first time at the Frdericksburg venue.  It was ok, and I thought better than Valley Forge.  Space for games was good, even if a bit loud at times.  Registration was smooth with plenty of room.  I am happy that they may be using a different registration system for games as I didn't get any of my games I signed up for on the web.  The shuttle bus was a great amenity if one had time to wait for it.  Hotel selection and pricing was very good.  Food options were good.  My hat is off to all who worked to set up and run the convention, I appreciate all of their hard work!

2.  Dealers' Area was well set up with plenty of room to see everything.  I don't know if that lead to my initial feeling that there was a better selection than in Valley Forge or not.  Really ended up being fewer choices.  Bigger vendors, less variety.  Kind of like the "Wal Mart-ization" of the hobby?  Oh we'll, there is always the Internet.  Only bought a few things, mostly paint and terrain.  Good deals.

3.  Gaming was probably the big disappoint of the trip.  I know that convention gaming can be hit or miss, so i didn't go into the games expecting all Northern Conspiracy level games.  that being said, I like to try new rules and so I sometimes suffer to give it a try.  I played in three games.  Some takeaways from myself and other Penguins were:
           A.  Game masters should know the rules the rules cold and should make decisions quickly and decisively.  They should be consistent and fair to all players.  Never have a favorite at the table.  Leave your personal preferences at home.  We play to see which side will win today.  The final thing is to be attentive to your game at all times.  Things have to go through you so it is important that you maintain the pace of the game.
           B.  Nice looking terrain does not make an interesting scenario or game.
           C.  Clear orders of battle and clear objectives/victory conditions are essential to the players' enjoyment.
           D.  When you are playing, try not to take yourself or the game too seriously.  The biggest problem I faced in my games was opponents who really ruined the game for all involved because of attitudes or actions.  Come on guys! It is our hobby!  Lets have some fun and consider others.
     I don't know if I will play games in the future.  Maybe just watch games from now on.

4.  I really enjoyed our other than convention activities.  We had an opportunity to tour all four of the battlefields in the Fredericksburg area,  Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Wilderness, and Spotsylvania Courthouse.  It was really special to stand on the Bloody Angle and the Sunken Road with other military history enthusiasts who appreciate the significance of those spots and what happened there.

5.  This trip only reinforced how fortunate I am to be a part of our gaming community at the Northern Conspiracy.  We bring together individuals with diverse experiences, interests and viewpoints and we have fun in nearly every instance.  We can talk about virtually every topic and have lively and interesting conversations.  Sometimes we agree and sometimes we agree to disagree.  The important
thing is that we laugh and we edify each other.  I can honestly say that I have true friends.  That makes me feel great!

Well, there you have it!  My synopsis of a great trip and convention.  It will be REALLY nice to be back with the loving wife and family, but I have had a great time and will remember the trip for a long time.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013


The trip to HISTORICON has begun!  We are on the train, sharing stories and laughing up a storm!  If the beginning of the trip is any indication of how things are going to go this is going to be a great time!  Thanks to Ralph, Earl, Byron, Charlie and Greg.  Super friends and traveling companions!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

New Header Picture

I really like the new picture that I have added to the header of this blog.  I also use it as my desktop background. 

My friend Andrew sent it to me.  I just think it is one of the most incredible paintings of the War of 1812 that I have ever seen.  I think it is supposed to be a representation of the Battle of Crysler's Farm but I am not sure.  No matter, it is a very nice painting, no matter what it is supposed to be!

Modern "Russian" Armed Rebels

Here are some pics of figures that I painted several years ago and have used for the Modern Crossfire rules set.  They are really the old Combat Miniatures "Operation Panshir" Afghans with some "Operation Urgent Fury" Cubans mixed in, but they do very well for Bosnian Serbs or other "Russian" armed rebel forces.  I am going to change their basing and combine them with Liberation Miniatures Multipurpose Figures Range to be my European "Bad Guys".

 This commander stand is one of my favorite painting efforts

 I also really like the RPG gunner.  The assistant gunner in this photo is armed with an old PPSh 41 SMG.

 These guys are armed with the SKS Assault Rifle and an AK-47.

The Cubans are painted in a different uniform scheme based on a Hungarian pattern.

Modern Skirmish Games - "Bad Guys"

Here are some photos of my "Bad Guy" troops that I will be using in my modern skirmish games to fight the British, French and other European forces that I have.  Guess "Bad Guys" is a relative term determined by your point of view!

These are from the older "Heroes" range.  This set of figures were great in that the same figures and weapons came with different head options.  The figures are currently mounted for Modern Crossfire but I will be changing them to individual figure bases for my Special Forces modern skirmish rules.

Modern Police SWAT Team

Here are some photos of a Modern Police SWAT team that I painted back in the 1990's for use against my generic "terrorists."  Back then, that term had very different meanings.

But these guys are capable of taking on any form of Bad Guys that come along.  These guys have worked with my British SAS Urban Assault Team.  For some reason I don't have any photos of the SAS troopers - they are camera shy!  I will try to get a shot of them up on the blog at some point.

Besides, if they are not successful in the firefight - they will look really good!

Falklands 1982 Photos

Here are some photos of my British forces for the Falklands 1982.  The first set of two pics are of the armor support.  There is a Scimitar and a Scorpion,  The tank commanders are from Liberation Miniatures.

The next set of pics are of the RM Mountain & Arctic Warfare Cadre.  These figures were painted many years ago.  I don't know if you can see it clearly, but I think the DPM camo is some of the best I have ever painted.

Finally, I recently added some SAS figures from Liberation Miniatures.  This is one of the teams that I have painted.

I now have three teams of SAS troopers painted up for my homegrown Modern Skirmish rules.
The rules, like most skirmish sets have a figure ration of one-to-one.  They are based on a set of rules that I downloaded free from the internet - Special Forces.  I have heavily modified the rules, but the basics are still the same.  We are having fun with the rules so far.  I will post some photos of my Argentinian forces later.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Falklands Game at Game Night

   At the last NC Game Night I put on my Falklands Scenario.  This was the third time I have hosted this game in the past month.  By far this was the best game with the most playability and the closest outcome.  The modifications we made to the rules really are working making the game much more competitive and more enjoyable to play.

   The spotting changes with the addition of the automatic spotting for units that stay in place and fire more than twice force players to make choices between maneuver and massing fire.  I think this really helped limit the power of the British Light Tanks and gave the Argentinians much more of a chance.  I think the British were also a bit intimidated by the addition of a 105mm Recoiless Rifle team to the Argie Order of Battle.

   Here are some photos of the game: 

The Battlefield - The British will come on the table edge closest to the camera.  The Argentinians are defending the hill in the background.

The very confident Argentinian team awaits the start of the British attack:

The British commanders plan their assault:

The Argies in their defensive position:

This was an overall good game.  I do want to make further changes to the fire combat system to simplify the game.  We only got through four turns during this game and it kind of leaves players unfulfilled to actually finish a game.  I really want to speed up play.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Modern Figure Bonanza!

My friend from the Northern Conspiracy (NC), Mike, has given me some of his unused modern African/Arab 20mm miniatures.  I had an opportunity to look through them today and it seems that I have added about 45 new Arab African Rebels to my modern skirmish collection!  They will be perfect for the 'bad guys' to my French and Allied troops in NW Africa.  Even three or four PERFECT Jeep type vehicles to be used as Technicals.  Once I get my African government forces painted, it will be time to take out some dudes bent on making life difficult in Europe!

The next biggest treasure was the recoilless rifle and crew which are PERFECT for my Argentinian contingent on the Falkland Islands.  The stand is on the painting table now getting the finishing touches of new paint on their uniforms and being re-based.  This is a much needed addition to the defenders of Goose Green and Darwin.  Watch out British armored vehicles, there is a new sheriff in town!  Perfect compliment to the short range bazookas.

The guys at the NC are just so great.  It is wonderful to belong to such a super gaming community!  Thanks again, Mike!

Falklands Game Test Run

Friday night several friends from the Northern Conspiracy came up to WV to help play test my Falklands skirmish scenario.  The game did not go well, but my buds from the NC really gave me some great feedback and I think they helped me make some key edits to the rules and play sheets that will really help the game night game on Friday.

I didn't get any photos, but AJ posted a few on his blog (see below).

I will provide a game report next weekend.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Huzzah! 2013

I had a chance to attend the Huzzah! Wargame Convention in Portland, ME this weekend.  It was a pretty good sized convention with 20 miniatures games and various board games and card games each gaming session.  There were sessions on Friday evening, Saturday morning, afternoon and evening and Sunday morning.

I ran two A&A War at Sea games during the convention.  Both of these games went very well.  The first game was my "Changing Teams" scenario and the other was my "Convoy to Malta" scenario.

The "Changing Teams" scenario has a small French fleet trying to escape from the Mediterranean while being chased by Italian and German fleets and air units.  A force of British ships is coming out to help support the French.

The "Convoy to Malta" scenario is a standard convoy game with the Allies trying to push a four ship convoy through strong air attacks and an attack force of cruisers, destroyers and submarines.  The British send out a battleship and supporting ships to reinforce and protect the convoy.

I will post photos as soon as possible.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Falklands Game Work

Today I was able to finish painting 6 more figures for my Falklands Game.  The figures are for the SAS platoon in my game.  The figures include a heavy machine gun to give the Brits some badly needed fire support.  I have the last eight figures of the platoon primed so I can start painting them this week.  I also flocked all figures and wounded markers, two bunkers, and the six figures I finished painting.  At the same time I flocked the 28mm Westphalian Battalion that I have had off to the side of the table for the past several months.  I got the first coat of paint on the hills that I am going to use for the game to end up the day. 

All in all a really good day of production at the table!  The Falklands game is coming along really well right now.  I have all of the infantry painted that I really need.  If I can get one more squad of SAS painted, that will be great but I don't know if I will be using them for the game night scenario.

The hills look very good and I think they will add quite a bit to the game set up.  I am working on the "broken ground" terrain pieces next.  I am using a new floral material from my local Michael's craft store.  That will only leave me with the indirect fire/smoke markers left to make and the game will be ready.  Once everything is ready I will take and post pictures.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Game Night Swashbuckler Game!

On Friday night I played in a Swashbuckler game hosted by my friend Ralph.  It is a great game based on the 1980's Yaquinto Board game by the same name.  Players plot their moves in six separate steps each turn.  It is really interesting to plot out your move and then watch yourself slash away at air as your opponent does something totally unexpected!  Actions in addition to swordplay (parry lunge, running lunge, etc.) include interesting things such as throwing chairs and mugs, jumping on tables, even swinging from the chandelier!  Really an enjoyable way to to spend an evening with friends.  Here are some photos of the game.

The guys who played included Gordon, Eric, Mike, AJ, Paul, Bob and Charlie.  Here are the guys around the table.

Have to hand it to Charlie.  Only one swordplay move during all three rounds we played and he ended up winning the entire game!!

Thanks Ralph.  It was a great time.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Getting Back Into the Game Mode

Like every gamer, I have been in a wargame low point for the past couple of months.  Right now the creativity has returned and it is good to be back at the painting and gaming tables.  A few weeks ago I played a Falklands skirmish game getting a scenario ready for an upcoming game night.  Several members of our gaming club played the game and helped me evaluate the scenario.  Overall they enjoyed the set-up and the rules played pretty well.  I have made some rules changes based on their comments and added some troops to the OB's for both sides.  I hope that we will have a chance to try the scenario again in the next three or four weeks so I can verify the changes before I put on the game in May.  Stay tuned for more updates.

Friday, February 1, 2013

War at Sea Battle

I had an opportunity to host a War at Sea game at our club in January.  The battle is a what if scenario with a small French fleet attempting to flee the Mediterranean and join the Allied cause.  A combined German and Italian fleet and Air Force are attempting to prevent the French escape.

There are four distinct fleets engaged during the battle.  The French are sailing from the NW corner of the board to the SE corner.  The Italians are sailing from the NE corner and the Germans enter from the middle of the eastern edge of the table.  The British enter on the second turn if the game at the SW corner of the board.

The opposing forces are relatively equal.  The French have the Strasbourg and the Dunkerque as major units supported by three cruisers and three destroyers.  The British have the battleship Prince of Wales, aircraft carrier Victorious and several cruisers.  The Germans have the Prinz Eugen, two cruisers, three destroyers and a couple of U-boats.  The Italians have the largest force with the battleship Roma as the main unit, along with the Gorizia  and a couple of other cruisers.  The Axis aircraft include Stuka dive bombers, Ju-88's, and Re-2201.  The Allies have a few Brewster Buffaloes, and the aircraft on the Victorious (Swordfish and Martlett).

The object of the game is for the Allies is to get the majority of the French fleet off the board and the Axis must prevent them from doing so.  Sund simple, not so on either count.

In this game the French proceeded down the Western edge of the board trying to link up as quickly as possible.  The German player attempted to slow them down while the Italian fleet caught them from behind.  The Italians did not do a very effective job of catching up with the French and the Allies stormed over the lighter German warships.  The U-boats were ineffectual and the aircraft missed their mark in nearly every attack.  The game ended due to time constraints, however, the issue was never really in doubt.  The Germans lost all of their ships and the Italians lost the two cruisers who got close enough to the French to come under fire.  The Allies did not lose any ships.

This game had a very experienced French player who figured out early that he had to join the British fleet as quickly as possible.  The German and Italian players were no experienced and they tried to attack piecemeal.  They paid dearly for their lack of cooperation.

This is the second time I have played this game and the outcome now stands at 1-1.  I think I will run it at an upcoming war games convention in Maine.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Game Activities for 2012 and 2013 Hobby Goals

Figures Painted
25-28mm - 40; 1 Pirate Ship; 1 Ship's Boat
20mm - 3
15mm -
6mm -

Games Played
Volley & Bayonet - 4+
Crossfire - 1
Other Rules - Brother Against Brother (3); Smalle Wars (1); Axis & Allies War at Sea (3); Men Under Fire (2); Russian Civil War (1)

Terrain Pieces Completed - Hill for VnB Wing Scale 1812 Game (Thanks Gordon!)

Overall it was a very good year in the hobby arena!  I am happy that I got to game at least once a month on average.  Working on the Volley & Bayonet Wing Scale Rules set was really a good way to get through a difficult year.

I have some goals for the coming year.  First, I would like to put on a kick-butt Game Day in October for all of my friends at the gaming club.  Second, I would like to work on my 20mm Modern figures more and get them constructed/painted and organized.  Third, I would like to play in and/or host at least twenty games this year.

The Game Day is going to be a Volley & Bayonet Wing Scale BIG game.  I have just a few figures to add to the collection and the armies will be ready.  I will need some help with the terrain for the gaming tables - but the guys in the club have some great terrain so that is not a problem.  Now to work out the scenario and victory conditions.  We will see what happens!  Happy New Year!

Last Game of 2012

The last wargame of 2012 was a War at Sea game with my son Andrew.  I am trying out a scenario that I will be running at our club game night in a couple of weeks.  I learned a lot by playing the game - like the power of aircraft in the game (again).  I made a couple of modifications to the scenario and it should be good to go for the club.  Thanks to Andrew for kicking my butt and showing me all of the things that needed to be changed to improve the game!