Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Blog News-New Label-Game Tokens

I have deleted the “Monopoly Tokens” label and have added Game Tokens. I thought that this new label name “Game Tokens “would give me more latitude in the types of posts I could make on this topic.

Axis and Allies 1941 Battle Report-#01

Axis and Allies 1941 Game Board

I played my first game of Axis and Allies 1941 the other day. There were only two us and I won the best out of three in a coin toss and picked the axis powers. That left the three allies for my opponent. We played for four hours and had to quit; so much for a quick game.

Germany had the advantage of having a large force contained in a relatively small area and did not have to worry about supply lines as did Britain, US, and Japan. Coupled with the fact that Russia, although fields a large infantry, has nothing much of an air force or mechanized units, by the end of the second round Germany had sacked the Russian capital and Russia was basically out of the game.

Like I alluded to before, the game dragged on, and toward the end of the game the only countries that had any air units were Japan and the US. Japans navy was non-existent, Germany had no navy or air units, Britain did have a few transports, but little else. The only power that had substantial force was the US, but it had to transport units across the Atlantic and Pacific. Since neither Japan nor Germany had any way to bring the war to the US or England, I believe that the US would have eventually won the game.

I few things I would have done differently if I could have hit rerun. First of all I should have, after sacking Moscow and gaining one of Russia industrial complexes, built up my forces substantially here before moving on to take other territory. Secondly, after I had gained so many IPC points, I had at one time 21 IPC; I should have built up my forces not only in the territories I had just conquered, but also back in Germany’s original domains. Lastly, I should have made better use of my navy resources; I pretty much ignored these units.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Pirates of the Spanish Main Rules and other Miscellanea

Here is a list of resources for the Pirates of the Spanish Main gamer. Unless something else presents itself, this may be my last Pirates of the Spanish Main post. There are other variants that I would like to explore and I will probably will making some posts about these variants. I will of course be making battle reports posts as these battles occur.

Basic Rules

As the title indicates, these are basic rules provided by publisher to get you started. These rules are very basic would probably be alright for younger players, but will not do for the more serious player.

Pirates of the Spanish Main Forums

There is a wealth of POSM information at this forum.

Pirates of the Cerulean Seas

Pirates of the Cerulean Seas is a comprehensive set of game rules incorporating official Wiz-Kids FAQs and Rulings and House Rules by Ryan Hackel. They definitely make the game a lot more interesting and challenging.

Pirates of the Spanish Main – Alternative Rules

For the advanced POSM player these alternative rules bring environmental rudiments like wind and currents into the picture.

Pirates of the Spanish Main

This site offers a collection of additional house rules and game aids that will further your POSM game play experience.

Evil Stevie's Pirate Game

Evil Stevie's Pirate Game is a fan site that offers alternative rules, games aids and other information relevant to the POSM gamer. How can you not be a fan of POSM?

POTSM Players Guide

Although not really related to the POTSM “board game”, this RPG will add some interest to your next game of POTSM by adding life to your crew members and their actions.

D & D Game Zone Pirates Pocket Models

D and D Game Zone provide images of the many ships and game pieces from the Whiz Kids former line of pirate ships. Many of these models were available for sale at one time on this site, but it seems that most of the models are now out of stock. I suppose the page remains for reference purposes and also to display the few game pieces that are still available from this supplier.

Pirates of the Spanish Main Statistics Sheet

This this a statistics sheet that I created to use when playing Pirates of the Spanish Main. Instead of pulling the very delicate masts out each time the ship is hit we keep track of these hits on the stat sheet, thus prolonging the life of tabs on the sails. The stat sheet is also great way to keep each ships basic movement, cargo capacity and any repairs that were performed. In addition the stat sheet also provides an area to keep track of your crew members and any special abilities they might offer.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Micro Diorama and US Army Organizational Units

I am planning on creating a diorama to display a collection of C in C 1/285 infantry and several armored units and wanting to create a realistic display. I wanted an idea of how a real Army is organized. I came across the Operational Unit Diagrams on the US Army’s site that I will be useful for my purposes. Click on the organizational units to display a description of each organizational unit(you must have Flash enabled).With the amount of infantry units I am planning on using my diorama will display a platoon worth of infantry.

Friday, August 23, 2013

A Hobbits Home

Although I never got around to reading the other two books of the Hobbit trilogy I do remember reading The Hobbit and being totally fascinated by the theme of the book. The beginning description of Bilbo Baggins and his home under the hill still resonates with me.

Maddie hobbit’s hole site features a handsome hand built Hobbit home. The home with a removable roof features fully furnished rooms, a pantry with miniature cheeses and pies, a table set for guests, ornate doors and windows with wrought iron work, tile floors, flowers, candles, fireplace, ETC, ETC, ETC. This diorama is a highly detailed labor of love. Who says girls cannot love Hobbits.

There’s even a landscaped yard and garden outside. You really have to see this to truly appreciate the work that went into this miniature. The home was built to accommodate miniature doll house furniture so it was built in either the 2”/3" or “1" scale.

Free War Game Rules

Free-war-game-rules offer dozens of free game rules under the following categories: ancient, medieval, renaissance, 18th century, Napoleonic, ACW, 19th Century, WWI, WWII, Modern, Sci-Fi, Fantasy, and Miscellaneous. The lists here should keep you busy enough; however there are also links to Blogs, Board and Map Games, Computer Wargames, and Figure Manufacturers.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

1/144 Scale Star Wars Fighters and Walkers

Source of Image

Although most of the models are out of stock at this time, Hobbylinc is offering most of F-Toys line of Star Wars fighters and walkers. Most of the models are in 1/144 scale. If the product images are to be trusted it seems that some of the models come with display stands. These models look as though they should be easy to build and at about $9 per model, would be a very economical way to augment your collection of Star Wars fighters and walkers.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

1/285 Scale Terrain (DIR)

I never really thought too much about this scale, until I started looking for supplement parts for my Axis and Allies 1941 game. However, during the search for supplement parts I came across this directory of suppliers of 1/285 terrain manufactures and I thought I would pass it along to my readers. Perhaps someone might find the resource useful?

Monday, August 19, 2013

Building a Woodland Scenics Outhouse or Two

I enjoy building metal kits. Metal kits have a certain heft and they are constructed ruggedly. Woodland Scenic’s Outhouses kit comes with three individual outhouses. I built the two identical outhouses. The third is more detailed, and I thought I would save this structure for another time.

There were three castings for each of these structures, front, back sides and the roof. I used a file to true-up the edges and to remove casting residue I soaked the parts in denatured alcohol and let dry. Using the cheapest brand I can find I primed the castings (front, back, and roofs) with flat white spray paint.

I let the primer dry thoroughly and then dry fitted the pieces together. After I was satisfied with the placement of these parts t I used a Cyanoacrylate to glue the front and back sections together. I then gave one outhouse and roof edges and front and back a basecoat of Americana Barn Wood, and the other rebasecoat of Folk Art tan. I have been using these very economical water based acrylics for just all my painting needs. Just make sure that you apply these paints over a good base coat.

I was trying for a weathered old paint look on the one structure, so the Barn wood colored outhouse got a dry brushing of light grey. I used two separate applications of the grey paint. After this had dried I painted the door hinges a dark grey and gave the structure a couple washes of a black wash (alcohol and India ink-Two tablespoons of ink to a quart of alcohol).

The roof tops for both models were painted back. To give the tar paper some texture and while the paint was still wet I sprinkled black and dark gray chalk. I was trying to create a perceived randomness so I varied the placement of the black and grey chalk over the area of the roof.

The other outhouse, the one I painted tan received a couple washes of Folk Art oak stain. The wash consistencies were varied. I used one stronger wash and diluted this wash down with some more water and gave the structure another wash of oak. After this had dried I painted the hinges a rust color and gave the structure a couple good black washes. Not really being satisfied with the outcome I dry-brushed this structure with some barnwood.

I added foundations to both of the outhouses. I like the texture of wooden match sticks, which when painted and dry brushed can be perceived as a concrete foundation. I started by cutting the front and back pieces and then fitting the side pieces in. I painted the foundation a dark grey and after this was dry I dried brushed the foundation with a medium gray followed by a dry brushing of light gray.

I added a field stone foundation to other outhouse. I created this from piece of field stone sheet cut to height of a styrene strip. I gave this a grey base coat and dried brushed it with burnt sienna.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Smash Monster Rampage!

Download separate PDF ‘s containing the necessary components of the game like board, buildings, markers, rules, ETC; print out and assemble and you are ready to play Smash Monster Rampage!’ Smash Monster Rampage is a ‘print and play’ table top action board game for two players. The set-up and preparation seems pretty extensive. Consider it part of your fun.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Two More Sources for Axis and Allies Supplement Parts

In my research, I have found that 1/285 scales seems to the size that is just about right for supplementing the Axis and Allies game pieces. Although I must admit that going this route might be very expansive, for those of us who want more detail and durability for their game pieces, the next two providers supply miniatures that fit both of those criteria.

GHQ

GHQ is often quoted as being the supplier of the most highly detailed miniatures in the industry. GHQ offers a full line on WWII military armor, and aircraft. If you are looking for rules they also provide rules for several games that make use of their miniatures.


C in C

C in C is another supplier of micro armor. C in C’s prices are better, but although the detail is there, C in C is reported to use a softer metal than GHQ. However, that being said, C in C provides an extensive line of 1/285 scale WWII armor, aircraft, and figures.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

An Interesting Article on Creating Modular Scenery

I am not sure what model train gauge this article refers to especially, but the techniques mentioned here can be used in any scale. The article” Confessions of a Mediocre Model Railroader” presents a very interesting approach to creating scenery for your model railroad layout. The article describes what I call a divide and conquers method, whereas scenery elements are created in specific modules and worked into your layout. Time, thought, and planning is given to each module allowing for some very creative and beautiful scenery elements that work well with the overall theme of the layout.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

1/72 Revel Pirates of the Caribbean Ship

I was rummaging through a box of my un-built scale models and came across a copy of Revell’s Caribbean Pirate Ship. What caught my attention about the kit was its scale. Although I hadn’t purchased this kit because of its scale, the kit is modeled in 1/72 scale. 1/72 scale? That got me thinking. I wonder if there are any 1/72 pirate figures available to complete a scene.

Well there are, but before I mention where they can be found let me mention what I found out about the model. First of all Revell has its own product page, which includes a picture of a completed and painted model, and a downloadable instruction sheet.

In addition there is a YouTube video that introduces the view to the model and takes you through the process of building (through a time lapse video) and painting the model. I like Revell’s treatment of the model better. I will let the video do the introduction; the video will do a more thorough job than I can.

As far as 1/72 figures, although there seems to be couple options for pirate figures (Mars and Germania Figuren) there is only one set that meets my needs and are readily available, that is Germania Figuren’s , 72-8003, their Pirates of the Caribbean Set 3. There are six figures that are posed like they are doing something on deck. This set of figures has been reviewed by the Plastic Soldier Review. The only source for these figures that I could find was the Michigan Toy Company.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

RPG’s and such that I have added to my Reading List

With exception of Pirates of the Spanish Main Players Guide (POTSM), the following RPG’s are free. The Introduction to Space 1889 is rather on the short side so I will start here and then I want to read the Starsmuggler which is a one player game. One player games have become my new passion and I will hopefully be making more posts about these solo games as I find them. Starsmuggler is the third solo game I have come across so far. I don’t know what’s more fun, the acquiring or the playing of these games. I will keep you informed.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Risk Dice Roll Examples and Probabilities

When teaching someone how to play Risk for the first time, often learning how the die work causes considerable confusion.

This chart taken from the official Risk rules sums up the process.

And then there are the probability of die rolls and the chance of your success (or demise).

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Images from the Revolutionary War Encampment Weekend

A re-enactment of a Revolutionary War Encampment was held on the Daniel Boone Homestead over the weekend. It was a two day event with about seventy-five re-enactors taking part. There were camp, small arms demonstrations and talks about the life of camp followers. There was also gun and blacksmithing demonstrations. The programs climax was a re-enactment battle between British and colonial forces
Here are a few, of what I thought, were some of the better ones. Perhaps I will go through the images again and upload a few others.

British and Loyalist Troops in Review.

A view of the continental army's encampment

A couple colonial camp followers performing some sewing.

Another view at camp with a continental standing outside his ten.t

A few British Dragoons letting off some steam.

A British regiment on their way to battle.

A British regiment forming ranks.

A British regiment firing their smooth-bore flint-locks.These guns were not as actuate as a rifled gun, but could be reloaded about four times per minute.

A British regiment firing at will.

Continentals firing their rifled flint-locks back on the British.The "rifled" gun was more actuate than the British smooth-bores, but could not be reloaded as fast as the smooth-bore; they could be reloaded about two times per minute.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Weekend Excursion-Revolutionary War Encampment and Reenactment

Although I do have a link to the Flintlock and Tomahawk blog on home page, which basically covers the French and Indian war, I have not written anything about this period. Over the weekend, my wife and I are planning on attending a Revolutionary War encampment and reenactment. I know the French and Indian War predates the Revolutionary War, but customs were not too much different in these eras. I hope to get some good images of the battle and other activities around this camp and look forward to sharing these with you.
See you all on Monday.

Summer Reading List (An update)

I have just about finished reading all of the titles on summer reading list and have started to look for a few more titles to add to this list.

The Most Dangerous Game (short story), 1924, Richard Cornell

The Most Dangerous Game is a story about a big game hunter that is being hunted by a Cossack aristocrat on an isolated Island in the Caribbean. Score: Big Game Hunter=3; Cossack aristocrat=0. Nice ending!

Anthem (short story), 1937, Ayn Rand

Anthem is a dystopian short story. Anthem is set in an unspecified time in the future. "Mankind has entered into another dark age characterized by irrationality, collectivism, and socialistic thinking and economics." In this dystopian society the concept of individuality has been eliminated. It is a place where uttering the word "I" is punishable by death. Interesting story!

The Land of Mysteries, 1840, Edward S. Ellis, 1840, Edward S. Ellis

The first part of The Land of Mysteries was full of adventure and dire escapes from the natives of the region, however the ending wasn't at all realisitc. Two poeple fall in love (an adventurer and the a princess), filling thier pockets full of diamonds and exscape through the jungle to safety.

Ironclads & Ether Flyers: Aeronaval Combat for Space 1889 (Space 1889 Sci-Fi Roleplaying), 2000, Frank Chadwick

Interesting reading and very imaginitive. I don't know if I will ever play this RPG, but perhaps, if the mood stikes me and I have all the neccessay miniatures; perhaps someday...

The Steam Man of the Prairies, 1868, Edward S. Ellis

Adventure, gold, and indians. The Steam Man of the Prairies was an imaginitive and fun read.

Frank Reade: Adventures in the Age of Invention, 2012, Paul Guinan, & Anina Bennett

15mm WWI Whippet Tank


The model from Blue Moon Manufacturing is my fist 15mm casting. Blue Moon offers several WWI tanks so I am sure I will be ordering another at another point in time.
The tank is a resin casting and comes with a metal spruce that includes six machine gun barrels. The casting contained a little flash that needed to be removed. I used a hobby knife and file to remove the flash and I had to putty a few small irregularities on the front of the tank. It looks like I may have to drill out the openings for the four machine gun barrels with a small drill bit.

I have done some research into this tank and have included these resources below. These sites and images should give me plenty of fodder when it comes time to paint and weather this casting.
The Whippet tank was a British tank that saw action against the Germans in 1918. The tank weighed 15 tons and had a range of 80 miles. It was armed with 3 or 4 7.7mm Hotchkiss machine guns and could travel at a speed of 8 miles per hour.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Thrilling Tales 28mm Figures- Big Joe and Company

Artizan Designs offers a large collection of pulp figures that the people from Artizan call their Thrilling Tales line. According to the people at Artizan the collection of figures is not related to the Thrilling Tales site or game. The collection was named to “convey the spirit of the range”. The Thrilling Tales collection includes 227 products and figures can be purchased separately or in sets of three.

I just received my first set of Thrilling Tales figures “Big Joe and Company”. The figures have a lot of great detail and I look forward to adding to my growing collection of 28mm miniatures. What caught my eye with these miniatures was that one of the miniatures reminded me of Donald Sutherland. I wondered whether the three miniatures were not somehow connected to the movie “Kelly’s Heroes”. Kelly’s Heroes a WWII flick that stars, Sutherland, Clint Eastwood, Telly Savalas, Don Rickles, and Carroll O’Connor.

Clint Eastwood-private Kelly (a former officer who was just busted to a private because of some misadventure) after learning about a shipment 15 million in gold that is sitting in a bank behind enemy lines, goes AWHOL to go after the gold. All types of Army units are drawn in to this caper, by the promise of getting a share or this gold.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Blog News-New Labels

I have added two new labels to my ever growing list of identifiers. One new label is “Print and Play” and will used to identify print and play games. The games chosen for this category are those that are complete game systems. These games, as the label name implies, are printed out, usually using a color printer. Some of the games will require some assembly and the only thing that you may need to supply is a set of dice (some games even provide these).The games will probably be board game and RPG’s, but who is to say what I may find?
Another new label is “One person games”. This is a new topic that I have been searching for lately and have come-up with a few games that can be plated solo. Rocket Run, published by Experimental Playground, is a game that has the distinction of being both a print and play and a one person game.

Print and Play-Planet Run

I recently came across one of Experimental playground’s earlier posts for this year, a print and play game, Planet Run. Planet Run is comprised of a game board, game tokens, markers, and rules. The game itself will print on one sheet and the instructions on another.

To get yourself in the right frame of mind before attempting to play this game I recommend that you listen to this LibriVox recording (a MP3) of the Repairman. The MP3 runs for about 30 minutes and narrates a story about a futuristic repairman that needs to visit a plant inhabited by lizard like creatures to repair an ancient relay tower.

This is a one person dice driven game. The scheme of the game is as such. Your ship is hit by asteroids and you are forced to land to on a nearby planet to make repairs. While there you will need to explore the planet to find materials to fix your ship and food to keep yourself alive.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Build Your Own Millennium Falcon from Paper

A few posts ago I made a post about a ½ inch Millennium Falcon that someone had made from Paper. I also made a post about a couple other Millennium Falcon models that were available. Recently, I came across another model. This is another model made out of paper.

Although this model, like the last one in which I made a post, is from Japan, this one free. Download a zip file of 10 PDF’s from here. Print out on a color printer and assemble. Assembly instructions can be found on site and can be translated into whatever language that suits

This model looks like a highly detailed model of the Millennium Falcon and although the online instructions seems to simplify the process, judging from all the components in the PDF’s, I don’t believe that it is going to be as easy to build as the online instructions would have you believe.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Axis and Allies 1941 Supplement Parts

I set up the game the other day. It took me near twenty minutes to place all the units for all the nations. I wanted to get a feel on how the pieces were deployed on the board. Like I had mentioned, in an early post, the manufacturer does not provide as many game pieces as they once did, here is a breakdown:

The idea is to use the supplied cardboard unit counters. The problem I had that there were not enough of the one unit counters for the initial set-up and I forced to make use a multiple unit counter in its place. I fell short with the placement of infantry units.

Recently, I came upon a site that supplies supplement piece for Axis and Allies. The Historical Game Boarding site offers pieces for several different versions of Axis and Allies, including Axis and Allies 1941. Pieces can be purchased separately or they can be purchased in battle packs.

By choosing other versions of Axis and Allies you can find pieces in more authentic castings, like the Bf-109 Fighter or Sdkfz-251 Personal Carrier for Germany or the P38 fighter or the M4 Sherman tank for the US.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Some more thoughts on Axis and Allies 1941-Disparities

Axis and Allies 1941 Combat Piece Totals

I am still waiting to play this version of Axis and Allies. Getting everyone together is proving to be a real dilemma. However, in the mean time I have time to strategize and I have been looking at the game from every conceivable angle.

As you can see from the chart there are some major disparities’ between several of the opponents when it comes to battle pieces. Take for instance the totals for the Soviet Union. Compare these to Germany’s. Coupled with the facts that the Soviet Union only collects 7 IPC per turn, and it does not own a bomber. If that wasn’t enough its capital sits smack up against a pretty strong force on Germany’s side, I don’t expect the Soviet Union will last more than a couple of turns.

The United Kingdom and Japan both process large starting navies. Japan has a slight advantage over the UK in their infantry and the number of fighters they process, but Japan only starts with 9 IPC compared to UK’s 12. Japan has one industrial complex. UK has three, whereas two of those are located in the Far East.

The US is pretty well prepared, but goes last and will most probably have to make some type counter attack on its first turn. The US must transport all of the wares, whatever theater they decide to participate in. The US has the largest IPC count, they start with 15 IPC and can pick-up two additional IPC without too much trouble, however they may need to replace units they might have lost in the preceding turns of its opponents.

Friday, August 2, 2013

South Pacific World War II Videos

In my last post I mentioned watching a video entitled “Jaws of the Enemy”, a WWII documentary about the US assault on Guadalcanal. There are other episodes here depicting other WWII battles as well.
  • Bloody Santa Cruz
  • Enterprise Vs. Japan
  • The Grey Ghost
  • Hammer of Hell
All five of these episodes tell different stories of the seemly invincible Aircraft Carrier Enterprise. The videos use real footage from that era, interviews with survivors, animated reenactments, and statistics on the vessels on both sides of the conflict.

Defiance at Sea



I read this book sometime ago, and have had a completed review for some time, but for some reason never got around to posting it. Defiance at Sea, by Jon Guttman, offers fourteen dramatic historic naval stories that cover naval action from the years 1591 to 1982. These are stories offer all the drama of real sea battles with “vivid and accurate accounts”.

The stories within this volume tell of captains and commanders, who under overwhelming odds; attack the enemy, knowing that their actions will put their ships in dire circumstance. But sometimes, no matter the odds, the outcome can be glorious.

There are stories that tell of ship captains that use their cunning to harass and outwit their enemies. These actions often provide time for their compatriots to flee and for their countries to plan counter-offensives.

This book offers scenes of determination, intellect, persistence and bravery not only from ship captains, but also from the ships crew.

I thought these stories might be good fonder for sea bourn war gaming activities and if nothing else would give the gamer a historic prospective of the battle being waged on the game board.
Side Note: One of the stories included in this volume was about the battle of Guadalcanal and the Solomon Islands. Just recently, I had the pleasure of watching “Jaws of the Enemy” a video that runs for about an hour, which describes this very decisive WWII battle.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Space 1889-A few Resource Sites

Although I had heard of “Space 1889” it was in passing. I am now trying to become more acquainted with this genre. Here are a few resource sites that helped me:

Frank Chadwick's News and Reflections on the World of Space: 1889

This is Frank Chadwick's official blog where he keeps us up to date on his latest offerings. Frank Chadwick is the creator of the Space 1889 genre. There is also a nice list of links to other Space 1889 resource sites.

Space 1889: Science Fiction Role Playing in a More Civilized Time Game Designers Workshop (GDW)

Offer reviews on the Space 1889 series of books.

Space 1889


“Science-Fiction Role Playing in a More Civilized Time.
Everything Jules Verne could have written.
Everything H.G. Wells should have written.
Everything A. Conan Doyle thought of but never published.......because it was too fantastic.”

Site offers information about Space 1889 and links to more Space 1889 resource sites

RAFM

RAFM offers a nice collection of miniatures for your Space 1889 battles.

Jasta Braune- SMS Hamburg-Class Gunships

TMP published a construction article on creating your own Apace 1889 airships some time ago that I thought might be useful.

Typical Astrospheres used by Interplanetary Ether Flyer's


The original image used for this adaptation was found in : Introduction_to_Space_1889"

Ether Flyers are designed for higher altitudes. Flyers operating in the lower astrospheres cannot attack those in higher astrospheres. The only means an Interplanetary Ether Flyer can be attacked are by Flyers in the same or higher astrospheres. Ether Flyers are designed to operate optimality in the following five astrospheres:

  • Orbit
  • Upper Stratosphere
  • Lower Stratosphere
  • Upper Troposphere
  • Lower Troposphere