Friday, February 23, 2018

Review of The Legend of Drizzt: Volume One by R.A. Salvatore

Author:  R.A. Salvatore.
Title:  The Legend of Drizzt:  Volume One.
Publisher:  Wizards of the Coast, LLC.
Copyright:  2013.
Pages:  936.
Price:  $19.95 (US).

Overview and Impressions:
This was an omnibus of the the first three Drizzt novels:  Homeland, Exile, and Sojourn.  They contain the adventures of a young drow elf who rejects his violent homeland for exile and eventual adventures on the surface world.  The first novel paints a dreadful picture of his homeland and city of Menxoberranzan.  The second deals with his misadventures escaping it.  Sojourn is concerned with his exploits making his way on the surface world. 

Drizzt is a fighter.  However, he is versed in magic.  The tell is told in third person and then interspersed with first person narrative.  The first omnibus took a while to read.  However, it's recommended as good fantasy writing by R.A. Salvatore.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Review of Pacific Thunder by Thomas McKelvey Cleaver

Author:  Thomas McKelvey Cleaver.
Title:  Pacific Thunder:  The US Navy's Central Pacific Campaign, August 1943 - October 1944.
Publisher:  Osprey Publications.
Copyright: 2017.
Pages:  296.
Price:  $35.00 (US).

Overview and Impressions:
The author covers the US Navy's central Pacific campaign from August 1943 to October 1944.  It's mainly the carrier air war between the American and Imperial Japanese navies.  Cleaver goes into pre-WWII naval aerial doctrine, tactics, organization, and logistics and how they affected the outcome of the conflict.

Military planner had been expecting a naval war between Imperial Japanese and US navies since the 1920s.  They thought it would be fought with battleships.  The old battle wagons were sunk at Pearl Harbor on Sunday, December 7, 1941.  The only capital ships the US Navy had left after that were flat-tops.  So the Second World War in the Pacific theater was fought by carrier fleets.

The Battle of Midway was the decisive battle of in the Pacific.  Everything after that were mopping up operations against the Imperial Japanese navy.  The Japanese overplayed their hand at Midway and lost.  Admiral Nimitz's plan was bypass their Pacific strongholds and go for the jugular vein of the Japanese home islands.  That plan infuriated General MacArthur.  He wanted to liberate the Philippines, first.  Invading Japan was projected to cost millions of casualties.  That is why Truman ordered the dropping of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. 

That is outside the scope of this book, which looked at the US central Pacific naval campaign to crush the Japanese.  It was brutal, effective, and it worked.  The Japanese couldn't afford to lose their carrier pilots.  The US Navy had a luxury of experienced naval aviators and aces.  The campaigns in the Marianas, Philippine Sea, and Leyte Gulf provide the worth of Nimitz's staff and underlings.  It went a long way in winning the Pacific theater....


Saturday, February 17, 2018

Mid-February 2018 reading....

Here's what I've read this week:

1)  The Coldest Winter:  American and the Korean War.  Defensive battles around Pusan perimeter in August 1950....

2)  Swords of Good Men.  More Vikings in 11th century Norway....

3)  Pacific Thunder by Cleaver.  More carrier battles in the central Pacific in mid-1944 between the US and Imperial Japanese navies....

4)  The Legend of Drizzt:  Volume One by R.A. Salvatore.  Drizzt learns about deities from an elderly, blind ranger friend whom he helps bury...

5)  To Guard Against the Dark by Julie E. Czerneda.  Sira makes contact with other members of the Clan while Jason Morgan signs onto a merchantman starship...

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Early February reading: part II....

Here's what I've read this week:

1)  The Coldest Winter:  America and the Korean War.  More background between the Nationalists and Mao's Communists in the Chinese Civil War.

2)  Missing Persons by Joe Pfeffer.  I stopped reading this second rewrite about missing people in Methland, MO.  Well written.  Not my cup of tea...

3)  Swords of Good Men.  More Viking misadventures between the old Pagan Norse and the Christians under King Olaf in 11th century Norway.

4)  Pacific Thunder by Cleaver.  More 1944 carrier battles for the Mashall Islands in the central Pacific between the Imperial Japanese and US navies.

5)  The Legend of Drizzt:  Volume One by R.A. Salvatore.  More adventures of Drizzt the Drow in the Forgotten Realms.

6)  To Guard Against the Dark by Julie E. Czerneda.  More adventures of Jason Morgan and his partner, Sira, leader of the the surviving Clan members.

Saturday, February 3, 2018

50th Anniverary of Tet Offensive, 02FEB18, AAR

Photos from 50th Anniversary of the TET Offensive game, 02FEB18.

I ran several Viet Cong local force squads against some aggressive USMC squads. My VC got their pajama bottoms handed to them in both games. I couldn't hit anything to save my life and the American firepower was too overwhelming. I have a better idea what to in future games.

Overall, Ambush Valley/Force on Force works well for small numbers of 28mm figures. Realistically, I have way too many figures for the average game scenario!

          Initial American deployment of his squad in the first game.  My VC were offboard in reserve.

Glenn Wilson moves up his USMC infantry through the brush

Friday, February 2, 2018

Early February 2018 reading....

Here's what I've read this week:

1)  The Coldest Winter:  More about President Truman and the joint chiefs of staff pre-July 1950.  More about Civil War China between the Nationalists and Communists in 1948.

2)  Missing Persons by Joe Pfeffer.  Murder mystery moves to methland Missouri....

3)  Pacific Thunder by Cleaver.  Initial air campaign in the Pacific during 1943...

4)  The Legend of Drizzt:  Volume One by R.A. Salvatore.  More miss adventures involving a tribe of goblins and a baby-devil who are gunning for Drizzt...

5)  To Guard Against the Dark by Julie E. Czerneda.  More back story about Jason Morgan and the humans in Trade Pact space...

WIP, 30mm Fantasy Figures, 02FEB18

Here is a photo of WIP, 30mm Fantasy figures, 02FEB18:

                                          30mm three headed ogre and high elves.