Monday, July 28, 2014

WWI Games

I have played a lot of games. And while not all of them have dealt with The Great War many (if not most) have.

This is my start on a top 10ish list of best games of The Great War. While everyone's list will be different I would love to hear about your favorites. Please comment here or on the appropriate Social Media channel.

The list includes both board games and miniature rules.

Great War at Sea - Mediterranean  by Avalanche Press
Great War at Sea: Cruiser Warfare by Avalanche Press
Jutland - Avalon Hill
The Far Seas S&T

If the Lord Spares Us by TOOFATLadries
Through the Mud and the Blood by TOOFATLadries
Trenchfoot - GDW  and Frank Chadwicw

Ace of Aces: Handy Rotary Series
Algernon Pulls It Off by TOOFATLadries
Dawn Patrol - TSR
Wings - Yaquinto

The Guns of August - Avalon Hill
Pursuit of Glory - GMT
Lawrence of Arabia - 3W

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Games Day July 12th

I attended the Gamers Day for Delaware County Gamers and it was very well attended. I do not know if it had anything to do with Historicon being the following weekend, or possibly coming off of the energy from the last meet up on the USS Olympia.

These photographs are from a Blitzkrieg Commander game I played in. My German assault guns did not have a very good day as they were trying to protect the flanks of two Kampfgruppes that kept moving away from each other. I will give the rules another try but will play in my preferred 3mm or 6mm for micro armor. Playing in 15mm made it play too much like Flames of War.

And lastly the remains of the day. My two battalions was reduced to a company more or less. Each stand is a platoon.

Friday, July 25, 2014

GDW 20+ Years Latter

When you are trying to buy back your youth, it is amazing what you find in the boxes that show ups. And that does not include what you were trying to buy.

I have been involved with miniature gaming and wargaming since the mid 70s so a lot of the games I remember fondly are only available on eBay and the like. Moves and mom had taken their toll on the collection. Recently thanks to Tony and Chal over at Army Group York I have gotten back into modern, or at least Cold War period, naval gaming. This is a fun period that is action packed and if you do it right it can be over quickly. Often I got it wrong and it was also done quickly too. I had the miniatures but needed the rules. I still had a copy of Shipwreck but I was not happy with the submarine rules so I went with my old standby, Harpoon.

For me Harpoon is the rule set by GDW. The more current addition by Clash of Arms was to complicated for me without a computer assist. So I went looking for Harpoon 3 and found a cheap clean copy on eBay. I was pleased with this find. I also took a walk down memory lane when I found this 1992ish GDW catalogue. I remember owning a lot of these games. I think many of the old GDW line would still sell well 20+ years latter. They were well thought out games, for the most part. This was also the period of Dangerous Journeys and Twilight: 2000. Perfect for zombie gamers today. Than again that just might be me.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

M.Y. Miniatures for The Great War

Thanks to Chal and my friends over at the Army Group York wargame group I was introduced to M.Y. Miniatures. Mick has a large number of miniature lines covering both naval and land gaming. My initial interest was for 1/3000 naval figures to help fill out my Interwar and late WWII collection. And the Naval figures are a good investment for the table top.

While shopping around I also took a look at his 15mm figures for WWI. There are a lot of possibilities here. Mick has most of the powers that fought in The Great War. While his lines are not very deep, I was thinking this was a way to add to my WWI figures from Peter Pig. As Peter Pig are closer to true 15mm and I have a lot invested in this scale I thought I would ask for a sample.

With my next order both the German Jaegers and British Naval Infantry showed up and I was pleased with the figures. In the photograph are my recent additions from M.Y. Miniatures next to Peter Pigs Range 16 Naval Command.

While the figures from M.Y. Miniatures are bulkier than Peter Pig these look good next to each other. These troops, and other from M.Y. Miniatures, will make a great addition to the rest of my 15mm Great War figures. I also am now looking at his 15mm Dark Ages figures for TOOFATLardies Dux Dux Britanniarum. Just a thought.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Nordkapp - Soviets

The Soviets in this campaign have a tough time. The NATO naval forces have the job of bringing these merchant ships into a Norwegian port safely. They have the assets to protect the convoy against any single attack, they can only be defeated if the Soviets can roll back the defenders layered defenses.

To do this the Soviet Navy has only limited resources. For operation they can commit Naval Aviation assets including:

Strike Assets

Reconnaissance and EW

They will also use their submarine assets operating in the North Sea and in and around Nordkapp. These include:
There is also a wild card force that I will be holding back for now.

All in all the Soviets have the forces needed to make life difficult for both the Royal Navy and the US Navy.

Friday, July 18, 2014


Before going off to war, it is important to make the appropriate war plans. And with a plan you need reference materials. For me, I just needed to go back to some of my old favorites. In this case it is two books by Sir John Hackett.

The Third World War published in 1978 was one of the first of many books written about the Cold War going hot in the 1980s. Considering when he wrote it, the book is very believable in a scary way. As a sailor serving at the time he sets his story I find this not only believable but a good reference for such a non-war. While The Hunt for Red October and Red Storm Rising are good books they were not what I was looking for. So I went with Sir John.

There are plenty of land and tank engagement books written about the Central Front yet little is written about the possible war at sea.  If the balloon did go up the US Navy and the NATO allies were going to be very busy. There will be carrier strikes, convoy battles, ASW operations and sweeping the Soviet shipping from the sea. And that is just in the first week or so. Naval Ops will be based on getting convoys from the US and Canada to the Central Front. These will be needed within four weeks of the start of the war to round out the NATO forces. (While the round out brigades as a process were found wanting in the First Gulf War, this was not known in the late 1970s.) Without these resources the Central front will have trouble holding the line without resorting to nuclear weapons.

As the Central Front will be trying to hold, there will be added pressure placed on both the south (Balkans and Turkey) and north (around Norway) fronts.  My campaign is based on the supply runs being made to support the Northern Front. These were trained for. You can see how these operations were planned for in HMS Fearless. While I have read of the NATO plans, I am assuming they do not go according to plan.

The campaign is designed around Harpoon (GDW Edition) but can be played with using Shipwreck! or similar modern/Cold War period rules.

Monday, July 14, 2014

New Commissions

Latest additions to the fleet:

3 1/6000 scale Missile Corvettes - A69 type Avisos for the Falkland War
2 1/3000 scale British Battleships for post WWII era - HMS Anson and HMS Vanguard
1 1/3000 scale R-80 British Airship
1 15mm scale Gunboat for the Colonial Era to WWII

Crews for the gunboat are on the painting bench right now.

The 1/6000 scale are Figurehead, 1/3000 are from M.Y. Miniatures and the 15mm gunboat is Peter Pig's WWI line.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Gamma World - 2014

While I remember a very different Gamma World I am please to see it is alive a well since 1978. At least it is in and around Atomstown (think southeastern Pennsylvania).  Thank you Doctor Mercury.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Arado 234

This one threw me, the Arado 234 as a gaming miniature. Flames of War will be releasing this aircraft latter this month. Now a Stuka armed with the 37mm cannons makes sense to me for a tabletop game, although they will spend more time off table than on. The HS 129 is another useful candidate as well, but than they added to the list Me262, FW190 and now my favorite the Arado 234. What were they thinking?

Ok, they were thinking they were going to sell miniature aircraft just like they sell tanks. That is their business model. Now the Me262 and FW190 are great aircraft (every German army needs these) that were used rather successfully in World War II, or at least as successful as you can be considering you are on the losing side of the war.

But the Arado 234, we are taking about a jet recon/bomber. An aircraft that cruises at 435 mph. I do bot get it. How do you use this aircraft in any miniatures engagement? While I know it was used against the Ludendorff Bridge at Remagen and Remagen is currently big on the Flames of War product line it does not make sense.  This is more useful for a game of Over the Reich or Bag the Hun than Flames of War.

Can anyone give me a good reason why this should be in the OB for a miniatures army?

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Shenandoah Studio

I was pleased to receive this email from Shenandoah Studio. As I already have their three existing games I wanted to share this offer with you. They are all a joy to play and using the iOS Game Center you can find plenty of players.

We hope you are enjoying Desert Fox: The Battle of El Alamein. The response from you, our fans, and the press has been fantastic. We've received glowing reviews from Touch ArcadePocket TacticsPocket Gamer, and more. Thank you for helping us spread the word.

To celebrate the launch of Desert Fox and the 4th of July holiday in United States, we’re holding a special 4th of July Early Bird Sale starting today July 3rd, 2014 on Battle of the Bulge and Drive on Moscow

Both apps will start at $2.99 USD (70% off), our largest discount ever. The price will then crawl steadily back up to $9.99 throughout the week. You need to act fast to lock in the lowest price. 

Head over to our blog for a look at the full schedule. 

If you already own Battle of the Bulge and Drive on Moscow you can help by:

We hope you enjoy the sale and will share the good news with your friends. 

Shenandoah Studio

Q2 Results

This quarter ended much to fast for me and I need this exercise to help keep me honest.  Here is a review of the status of my two main blogs. My gaming, painting and blog were acceptable. My biggest advance in painting was with my fleets increasing the size by 37% and 34 ships. I will be doing more as my painting table is a mess with WWI, Falklands and Interwar ships and airships cluttering the work area, all in different states of completion.

As for the blogs, well I could have done better.

Green Fields Beyond
Posts - Q2 20 Increase quarter over quarter of 53%
Total for the Year 31 Posts
Views - Q2 49,363 Increase quarter over quarter of 3.6%

Basement Games
Q2 35 Posts Down 20%
Total for the Year 77 Posts
End of Q1 Friends are at 67 with 62,648 visits.
End of Q2 Friends are at 79 and 67,048 visits.

So what does this mean, well getting to 100K is still a long way off for either blog. I am seeing more comments and the feedback is positive so that is good. Unfortunately the feedback is often on other social media site. I need to work on that.

My new goal is a combined 40 posts per month for Q3. That is doable as I have a lot to say about both history and gaming. Funny how that happens.

Royal Navy - 1953

The state of the post-war British Fleet Air Arm is best described by looking at the fly by conducted for the Coronation Review of the Fleet at Spithead before Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

Nine carriers attended including; Eagle, Illustrious, Implacable, Indefatigable, and Indomitable along with the light fleet carriers Perseus, Theseus, Magnificent and Sydney. The fly by was impressive with 37 squadrons participating showing examples of many combat tested aircraft. These includes Fireflies, Sea Furies Seafires, Attackers, Vampires, Skyraiders, Sea Hornets, Meteors, Avengers, Gannets, Wyverns, Sea Venoms, Sea Harks and Dragonflies.

While additional carriers were about to come online, the Royal Navy was at its height in having the ability to power project from their carriers.  For me this was the best of times as naval designs were changing faster that at any point in time since before The Great War.

R.A.N. Sea Venoms