Tuesday, December 31, 2013

A Happy Find

As this will be my last blog post for 2013 I wanted to go out on a high note. As I am waiting on my order from Figurehead for my Soviet and American Navies I have been rebasing my existing ships and cleaning things up. I knew there were a few extra ships not used for my Falkland forces and a pack of US Command Ships from the 1960s and 70s (think WWII Heavy Cruisers and Light Carriers with a lot of antennas) but to my surprise I found a pack of OH Perry class frigates to add to the US Navy.

So they were based primed and the painting has begun along side four Essex carriers (was looking to use them as Commando Carriers) and the four command ships. I found the antennas to be as fiddly as I thought. Only had minor issue with the glue.

So the Perry’s will be useful in the New Year but what of the command ships. I can see USS Wright CC-2or USS Northamton CC–1 being a target of a Soviet submarine.  We will have to wait and see.

USS Northamton CC-1

Sunday, December 29, 2013

The New Year is Coming

With the start of the New Year I hope to get a little more organized. That includes my blogging. Right now I have three a active blogs covering my life in writing.

GFB1914 will be the blog dealing with The Great War, my research and travel. Articles will have images from my miniatures and games but the articles will also include sources.

Basement Games was Lebanon 1982. This will cover all of my TOOFATLardies products as well as my naval miniatures and board games.

My Jewish Journey covers the path I started to take earlier this year going through the process of conversion. It is the weakest of my blogs as it is the hardest to write. By putting it on my list here I know I have to be more active.

I hope to blog on each at least weekly, as long as I have something to say.

Hope you enjoy what I am putting out there.

Basement Games
My Jewish Journey


These are boats are little seen on the gaming table, and that is a shame. The Greater Underwater Propulsion Power Program (GUPPY) and their Fleet Snorkel were the US Navy’s response to the surprise found in the German Type XXI U-boats.

When the war ended in 1945 the US Navy and Royal Navy both had large battle tested fleets. Unfortunately the American vessels had experienced four years of war while the British ships were battered by an additional two years of war. The designs were tested but old.

The US started the GUPPY program in 1947 and the British followed a similar upgrade with their T and A class boats. The reason for the conversions was that the submarine hulls existed and were needed. The down side was the cost. Congress was not willing to spend to bring all of the existing submarines to the higher standards.

While there is an alphabet soup of conversions (GUPPY I, GUPPY II, GUPPY IA, Fleet Snorkel, GUPPY IIA, GUPPY IB, and GUPPY III) they all involved improvements in hull and battery life.  The GUPPY II had the snorkel and improved radar. Only nine of the GUPPY IIs were converted to the GUPPY III with the improved BQG-4 PUFFS passive ranging sonar. Once again it was a budget issue.

This link will be helpful to anyone interested in the GUPPYs. Also I suggest looking at U.S. Submarines Since 1945, it is a great reference that I use often.

Do not worry about the stats when designing a scenario, as there are few out there that know of all of the differences between the seven groupings or even the quirks within them. Now gamers, why do you need this ancient submarine? These were the front line boats in the 1950s into the 1990s with our allied navies. One was even active in the Falkland War, but that is another blog post.

Miniature is 1/6000 scale from Figurehead.

Friday, December 27, 2013

USS Coral Sea doing an Unrep

Here is the USS Coral Sea along with the USS Wainwright doing an underway replenishment.  The Coral Sea was the third of the post war USS Midway Class. A class of carriers that was greatly influenced by British carrier designs that included thicker belt and deck armor. Both the Midway and Coral Sea served for the entire length of the Cold War, and even a little after, as the Midway was part of Operation Desert Storm.

I knew her from her time in the Mediterranean as part of the Sixth Fleet. There she took part in freedom of navigation operations involving the usual suspects (Libya and Iran with Lebanon and Syria thrown in for good measure).

Currently I only have two carriers in my US fleet. Than again I do not think the Red Team will ever get real close to them.

The miniatures are 1/6000 scale from Figurehead.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Give the Sturgeon a Chance

The Sturgeon Class (SSN 663) was conceived as a quiet under-ice boat that could take ASW operations to the Soviet bastions within the pack ice. For the sailors they were so much more.

While designed in the 1960s they were found as a complement to the more modern 688 class. The 688 class boats were often assigned to the carrier and Surface Action Battlegroups as escorts. The best ASW weapon was found to be another submarine and not the more commonly thought destroyers. This allowed the 637 class to be given other tasks. Much more interesting for their crews (and todays gamers).

For naval games set in the 1980s the Sturgeon Class will be operating under ice, on spook ops, or waiting at choke points for passing Soviet shipping. With a sonar suite or par with their more modern kin and a weapons suite better than most these boats have a place on any gamers collection.They have at their disposal in the 1980s Mk48 torpedoes, Harpoon cruise missiles and Subroc. A very powerful mix.

While this blog deals mostly with the land and air war during the Lebanese Civil War and the 1982 operations, this boat was part of the American response to the conflict.

The miniature is 1/6000 scale from Figurehead.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year

The tree is up, gifts purchased and the last of the baked goods are on the rack cooling. A good time to reflect over the year gone by. As this is a blog dealing with my hobby of wargaming I will reflect on that.

I am also ending 2013 basing up my modern 1/6000 scale naval miniatures bought years ago.  These have been mostly forgotten and regulated to the back of the worktable. These Cold War miniatures are mostly from the 1960s and 1970s, a period when the gun was as important as the missile.  It is also a period that I am interested in due to my friends out in York.

This year was spent mostly getting ready for next and the Centenary of The Great War. My Ottomans and British are ready to fight in the desert. My Knights of the Air are ready as well, just waiting for TOOFATLardies Algy rules.

Next up on the painting bench are the British and German cavalry for Nery.  An engagement I want to run in the New Year. So while I have not gotten done as much as I intended I am happy with the results.

For 2014 I will continue my Great War project, Cold War naval, and maybe one new project (stay tuned for that). I also look forward to playing IABSM, CoC and DUX  by the Lardies.

All the best and Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all.

One of the model kits from my youth and one of my favorite Soviet ships.

Monday, December 16, 2013

A-1 Skyraider

The recent release of the A-1 Skyraider by Flames of War will be useful and necessary for the American and South Vietnamese forces. But I want to bring up another theater for their use, equatorial Africa.

Introduced by the French, these aircraft are a useful asset to use in COIN actions in and around Djibouti, Madagascar, Gabon, Chad, Cambodia and the Central African Republic.

From http://en.wikipedia.org.

"The Skyraiders had only a short career in Algeria. But they nonetheless proved to be the most successful of all the ad hoc COIN aircraft deployed by the French. The Skyraider remained in limited French service until the 1970s. They were heavily involved in the civil war in Chad, at first with the Armée de l'Air, and later with a nominally independent local air force staffed by French mercenaries. The aircraft also operated under the French flag in Djibouti and on the island of Madagascar. When France at last relinquished the Skyraiders it passed the survivors on to client states, including Gabon, Chad, Cambodia and the Central African Republic. (several aircraft from Gabon and Chad have been recovered recently by French warbird enthusiasts and entered on the French civil register).

The French frequently used the aft station to carry maintenance personnel, spare parts and supplies to forward bases. In Chad they even used the aft station for a "bombardier" and his "special stores" – empty beer bottles – as these were considered as non-lethal weapons, thus not breaking the government-imposed rules of engagement, during operations against Libyan-supported rebels in the late 1960s and early 1970s."

These have a great deal of potential for TOOFATLadries' B'Maso! I am sure they will be added to Daddy’s Little Men’s forces. What do you think Mark?

Monday, December 9, 2013

To All the Ships at Sea

It appears that in our gaming circles we are seeing more interest in naval games. From the pre-dreadnought era to the near future several gamers are painting up their fleets and getting them ready for battle.

It has me thinking of the balance within designed naval campaigns. Since the pre-dreadnought there have been a limited to the number of naval super powers. And the limited number is just two.

To be a naval super power the nation needs three things.
  • A battle fleet with the ability to project power outside of their home waters.
  • Logistics to support the battle fleets.
  • National Policy willing to project this power.
Often a nation meets two of the points but not the third.

Prior to The Great War the Royal Navy was the only fleet able to meet these criteria. This ended with the alliance with Japan and the recall of the fleet to home waters. No other navy will meet these criteria until the post war period when the two English speaking almost came to blows.

Germany in the First World War was only a regional power and not a real super power. Their surface raiders operated worldwide but were little more than a nuisance.  The submarines attempted to blockade the British Isles with little strategic success to show for the losses.

Not until after the war was there a period of two naval super powers when the Royal Navy and the US Navy fleets projected power throughout the world. This period ended with the parity offered by the Washington Naval Treaty to Britain, the United States and Japan.

Not until the middle of World War II did the United States become the world sea power that we have lived with to the present time. The Chinese today can project power only into the western Pacific, and possibly the Indian Ocean. The Soviet Navy of the Cold War was only able to project power through the Black, Baltic Seas and the Arctic Ocean even with their limited carriers and allied ports in the Third World.

So what does this mean for gamers? Not a whole lot. Just remember that any Cold War engagement with the US Navy will normally have a carrier nearby to intercede.  And woe to the gamer without air assets to protect his ships. It also makes regional fights more interesting.

As for me I will continue to take my submarines out to sea and engage the enemy closely. As a gamer you are not really heavily invested if you do not come back to port.

Pleasant sailing.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Cassinga Update

Well last weekend Mark and I ran a setup and playtest for the Battle of Cassinga. It went very well for two players that were rusty with IABSM from TOOFATLardies. We even were able to can a player to join in at Dragonhead. We discussed the good and the bad for the game and it looks like he if a convert. He was especially please when I talked of the depth of rules for The Great War.

As we are running the game at Fall In two days (OMG) for now I will just share image from the game. Oh my poor Cubans. Mark, you may have me hooked with the Cubans. I even have a few troops to start me off.

The Battlefield During Setup

 White Cards are South African AT Troops on Blinds

I Hate Airpower and RPG7s

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Philadelphia Observer - 16 April 1862

News Report for the Union Lines Along the Chesapeake

Philadelphia Observer
16 April 1862
by Macaulay Connor

While our reporters in Washington and the Union lines have been reporting about the success of Generals Sumner and Heintzelman, this reporter has it on good authority that the lines have been pulled back ten miles. With little fighting reported.

General McClellan has finally arrived on southern soil with additional troops. It is assumed that his forces will join up with the entrenched Union forces in the next three days.

What will the Union do than? It is possible they will try to force the river. Local Virginians have been collecting and destroying all river craft to keep them out of Federal hands.

There is also the possibility that General McClellan will try to attack the Virginia lines. If so this reporter will report the action, as he will be at the front.

Rumors from the Union lines show they are looking to pull back to the landing and than back to Washington to defend President Lincoln.

This reporter is able to work from behind Confederate lines thanks to the assistance of the friends of this newspaper.


OK, now to the important bits. The Union has pulled back seven to ten miles and none of their crossing points are secure. It appears, to my reading of the rules that their one bridge will be destroyed due to Confederate activity.

The Union does have the ability to crush the Confederates, if they can get their huge divisions moving in sync. That is asking alot as they are spread out, often outside of command range.

The one good piece of news is that reinforcements are on the way from Washington DC and Baltimore. These will be with General McClellan. There is also a good chance more will be at the landing on the next strategic turn.

If I was a betting man, I think the Union has a 20% chance of victory as of this turn. Higher if they can keep their moral up.

Friday, November 1, 2013

And the Winner is…Me!

I want to give a shout out to Chris Stoesen of Wargamer’s Odds and Ends fame. A little while back he was running a number of contests on his blog and I took the time to answer the questions fully by looking through his older blog posts.  

I enjoys especially the post An Early Christmas: Expansion of the Italian Navy Porto Corsini, but than again I was a sailor and I am always drawn by sharp looking ships.

Oh, back to the contest, I won. So two days ago a rather heavy package arrived containing two panthers, four Marmon Herrington III, two Soviet 76mm IGs and a Stug III. My late war Germans are very happy.

So thank you very much Chris. All will be put to effective use, including the Marmon Herrington III. I found out they were used by the Rhodesians until the late 70s.

Thank you again Chris.

Here are the prizes.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween

In the world of Lebanon 1982, we have seas of sand, desert heat and, well mummies. What were you expecting, Ishermans and Sho’t?

I want to wish everybody a Happy Halloween. For the dads out there, try to control you raiding of the candy bags.

As for the image, I was torn between Imhotep and Evelyn Carnahan. While I prefer Evelyn I went with The Mummy.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Golan 1973

Yesterday Mark and I played a game simulating the Syrian attack on Booster Ridge. We ran in twice, the first battle was at night. In this engagement the Syrians had better night fighting equipment. 

The IDF was unable to fire until the range was below 800 meters with the Syrians able to fire out to 1,000 meters. Unfortunately for the Syrians were unable to utilize this advantage. The fight occurred between 500 to 600 meters.

The numbers counted quickly as the IDF lost the right company with the Syrians turning the flank. The conclusion was the Syrians taking the hill but unable to advance past it as they lost over 60% of their T-55. The follow on mechanized division would have to carry on the fight with their tank battalion and a reconstituted battalion from the brigade.

The honors in this engagement go to the recon company from the Syrian brigade. They did yeoman service in identifying the Israeli positions. The goat in this has to be the IDF artillery. In ten turns (an hour and a half) they were only to put one illumination round on the Syrians.

In the next fight we made the engagement in the daylight. The IDF went from two companies to one and the Syrians added an additional two battalions to the brigade (not sure were they came from). In this fight the IDF had the ability to fire our to 2.4KM while the Syrians were only able to fire out to 1.5KM. The Syrians lost a great deal of their armor in approaching the hill. Eventually they caused the loss of the right platoon (again) and an organized assault cause the hill to be captured. Once again the losses were over 60% for the Syrians.

In both engagements the IDF had less than their historical order of battle. In the day engagement the Israelis had a third of their historic tanks.  The only reason the battles were close was the training level. The IDF were rated as good, possibly they should have been excellent. The Syrian were rated marginal, the best they could expect. In these engagements we could see how the battle happened historically. Kahalani’s 77th Armored Battalion was devastated of the initial days of the war. But due to the terrain, training and replacement they were able to hold. This was an enjoyable game and I look forward to running more of these types of battles in the near future. We were even thinking of doing the Sinai soon. Unfortunately I need to paint up some new forces. M60s for the IDF and desert tan for the Egyptians.

Thank you Steve and Dragonhead Distributors for allowing us to play there. Rules used were FFT3. Miniatures are 3mm from PicoArmor. Terrain and painting done by yours truly. 

The Syrians getting organized to take the ridge. OK not very historical.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Egyptian Lysander

As a teenager, one of my favorite science fiction books was one that used cover art from paperback science fiction. Most were of space ships. I did not know it was cover art until I saw the same images on paperbacks years latter in used book shops.

What I loved about this book was the story line were many of these space craft were personal craft or merchants that were fitted for war between Mars and Earth (I think).

While this is used in many science fiction novels and movies it does have a connection in real life. During the Falklands War civilian transports were used as reconnaissance aircraft. Often coming close to British Harriers. In the bush wars of Central America and Sub-Sahara Africa, T-6 Texan was often used in COIN operations. 

Now the aircraft I am interested in is very similar with an obscure history in the 1948 Israeli War of Independence. It is the Lysander. An aircraft that was designed as an army cooperation aircraft before World War II and was found to be perfect for short range reconnaissance and photography. After the fall of most of Europe they were pulled from front line service. These aircraft received a second life as they were able to operate from unimproved airfields and could supply the resistance fighters in France and the Balkans. 

They were also used by Egypt in World War II to patrol the Western Desert. I saw never sure if there were watching the German and Italians, or the British forces. A few lived on to see action in the 1948 Israeli War of Independence. These twenty-year-old well-used aircraft were still operational and on at least one occasion engaged an Israeli aircraft. The story is best told from ACIG.org

(I reached out to ask if I could use this excerpt but did not hear back. I will take it down if the owner so wishes.)

By Dr. David Nicolle  

Conflict of another kind
The war had left Egypt’s shores months earlier, but other clouds were looming, both in Egypt’s increasingly tense relationship with Britain, and over the frontier in Palestine. For this reason, the REAF hung onto whatever aircraft it could. Although nine Lysanders were sent for scrap between October 1946 and January 1947, four others were overhauled and returned to the Miscellaneous List in June 1946. Some while later, these were attached to the new Royal Flight, which itself formed part of No. 3 (Comm) Sqn. Meanwhile, their original owner, No. 1 Sqn, had regained its original status as the REAF’s elite unit, being re-equipped with secondhand Spitfire LF.IXs as a fighter-reconnaissance squadron by the end of 1947.

Shortly before the Palestine War broke out in 1948, two of the REAF’s surviving Lysanders were re-equipped for aerial photography. According to Jabr Ali Jabr, writing about the 1948 war: ‘Very few Egyptian aircraft were equipped for photography and the only ones available for this purpose were two antiquated Lysanders. One of them was usually unserviceable. At the same time, there was also a serious lack of officers trained to interpret and comment upon aerial photographs. The same went for analyzing and using the information from such pictures.’

As a result, the two Lysanders were thrown into the early part of the Palestine War. One of these, or perhaps the third surviving Lysander, was soon involved in an extraordinary aerial combat with an Israeli Avia C210 (Czech-built Messerschmitt Bf 109) on June 9, 1948. Air Commodore Muhammad Abd al-Munaim Miqaati, one of Egypt’s first three military pilots, and now Deputy Director General of the REAF, was due to fly from al-Arish to Cairo-Almaza, but had been expecting trouble. This would, in fact, be the first day of the so-called Ten Day War, which followed the collapse of the first UN Truce. As Miqaati recalled: ‘It was Condition Red. I had been advised to keep the radio on, but I was still nervous as I set across the Mediterranean. Fortunately my gunner – I don’t remember his name – was a keen-sighted man and he spotted an Israeli Messerschmitt as it maneuvered into position to attack. Of course, my Lysander was a very old kind of airplane, but I’d flown these for a long time. Still, we were at a big disadvantage and you’d expect such a contest could only end one way… The pilot of the Israeli aircraft came up behind us. I told my gunner to fire just as the Messerschmitt came into range and I went down to about 100 feet. Then the gunner fired and I throttled right back. You know the Lysander can drop like a stone to land in a field, like they did when the RAF took spies in and out of France. The Israeli must have been concentrating on keeping me in his sights because he dropped his nose to follow. He overshot and went right in, almost level with me. I honestly felt sick in my stomach and, I don’t know why, I saluted him. Then we flew straight back to Cairo.’

The Israeli pilot was Bob Vickman, and his loss remained unexplained for the Israelis until Miqaati’s account was published. According to an unofficial report obtained by the British Air Attaché in Cairo in October 1948, No. 3 Sqn no longer had any Lysanders, but one was still listed as serviceable at Almaza in January 1950. Air Commodore Miqaati said that a Lysander was among many different types kept there in the early 1950s, intended for an air museum that was never built because of the 1952 Revolution. British bombing during the 1956 Suez War destroyed most of these historic aircraft. One way or another, Egypt’s Lysanders went out with a bang rather than a whimper, and they were surely the last to see combat.

While I have played and helped design a number of flight and combat sims, I find it hard to believe (but not impossible) that a Lysander could down a Messerschmitt Bf 109. What can I say; the Lysander has a place at least for 1948 and 1956 conflicts.

I am happy to show these aircraft off in 3mm. These have just been released by O8 and came from PicoArmor.

The models are very clean with little flash. You can see here both the bare metal and primed and washed versions. 

I have also painted both the silver and camo patterns of the REAF. This will make a nice addition to my 1948 collection. While it is an aircraft that was available, I do not think I would want to be in one against any fighter. But that is just me.

Additional colors can be found at Wings Palette.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

T-62 from Khurasan

Here is the T-62 from Khurasan built but not yet primed. It is a clean model that was easy to build. My only complaint with the build is that the external fuel tanks were a little hard to attach. (The map it is on is the GCACW game On to Richmond. The CSA wants one of these to protect the capital.)

I also found the main gun is a little heavy for the resin turret. It size allows it to be used with my existing QRF model. I am sure I will also pick up a Battlefront one as soon as they release one. I am optimistic. 

For now this tank will be joining my Egyptian forces. More to come.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Libyan Kit

It is amazing how much Cold War kit is still out there. Much of it coming from the 1950s and 60s. I saw these great pictures from a fellow blogger of graduation ceremonies in Libya. 

For me the T-55 never goes out of style.

I wonder if these are the same camo patterns used in the border conflict with Egypt in 1977?

Friday, October 4, 2013

Syrians on the Table

Well I got a late start today but here they are. I am impressed with the sculpt of the T62. The QRF T62 is 3-4mm shorter but this will not keep me from fielding both types. 

My real disappointment was with the tracks. The tracks had an indent to ensure you put them on correctly. Unfortunately it is center so you can still put it on wrong. Not a big issue but with the level quality of the mold this it should not of happened.

The infantry are nice and will be fun to paint up. As you can see here they are taller than my QRF/Peter Pig figures I have already painted (not sure which). While I will not mix them in the same squad I will have no issues with using both on the table. These will make excellent big men for the TOOFATLardies rule sets.

Now for you Chris, here are the Syrians standing next to Peter Pig range 17 pack 87.  They are taller but I do not think there will be an issue with using them on the table. What do you think? The BTR-50 is from QRF and used for size comparison.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

The New Syrians

I am very please to add a few more figures to the workbench. These creations from Khurasan Miniatures include some Skinnies for Starship Troopers (ok they are called The Intruders from their Earthdoom line) and a batch of their new Syrians. I will only say a few things as they are still in the bags.

The T-62 is a resign hull with white metal fixtures. It is a clean casting and I look forward to putting it together in the morning.

The 15mm Syrian infantry and support look really good and clean as well. My only concern is the size. They are well proportioned but large. I will be checking them against my existing Syrians in the morning to see if I can use them together.

These are welcome additions and I look forward to having them ready for gaming latter this month. More soon.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Mediterranean Goodies

It is a very good time for gamers interested in the Middle East. 

To start off Wargames Illustrated in Issue #312 offered a 1967 Six Day War supplement. This will go along with their release over the next month or so of the vehicles of the Six Day War. Many of these will be repackaged Vietnam ear weapons with some notable additions. This includes the M50 Super Sherman and the M51 Isherman (the i-Sherman). Both of these are useful for my preferred period the 1973 October War. And they do have a certain coolness factor.

I am also glad they will be repurposing some of their Vietnam vehicles. I have wanted to purchase the ZSU 57 but I didn’t need four of them, so I am pleased they will be selling them in groups of two. I need to check and see if Mark needs one.

While right now they only have four product codes showing, more are on the way.

Nice complements to these are the releases and announcements from Khurasan Miniatures. They are releasing for next month a new line of Yom Kippur War figures starting with Syria with Egypt and the IDF coming soon.

The Syrian Infantry looks really good and I bought one of the new T62s as a test. The prices for the infantry is acceptable but the cost of the tanks are approaching FoW. I just need to wait to see the quality. I have been impressed with his figures in the past and on that I made my purchase.

Lastly Mark and I will be running a Golan engagement on Oct 26th at Dragonhead Distributors. Rules are FFT3. Game will start around 12 so stop buy if you can.

Now back to painting the 3mm aircraft insignias, again.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Looking for the Missing Link

I recently went on a hunt for a set of links I lost dealing with Arab and Israeli forces. I thought it was in French and dealt with models but my Google abilities appeared to be lacking. After a day and a half, ok I am stubborn, I found them. I was glad they were as good as I remember.

Here they are for you as well.




What amazes me is the junk both the West and the Soviets sold to these countries. Israel using versions of the Sherman into 1973 is hard to believe. Than again the Lebanese used theirs into the mid-1980s.

There is a good mix of color photography to help the modeler and gamer. Let me know what you think. Also what are your favorite sites for information from the Arab Israeli Wars?

Next up a strange aircraft just released that was used by Egypt in the Arab Israeli Wars. Once I get them painted. Oh bother.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Type 89 Ready for Paint.

Well the Type 89 tanks are coming together easily. The only problem I had was with one of the commanders in the turret. He was too tall in the turret. I had to remove is neither regions.

Tomorrow I will be priming them and base coating the tanks along with two Isuzu 1.5-ton Trucks. These trucks, along with the Soviet GAZ, will be useful for conflicts in Africa and the Middle east in the post war era. This will speed organizing and painting the Peter Pig figures I have had on my list to paint for a while.

My only internal question is do I look to run 1939 battles or 1945. 

I promise the next post will involve the Arab Israeli Conflicts. 

Here are a few links to resources dealing with Japanese Armor and Tactics.