Friday, January 24, 2014

How would the Death of GW affect your gaming?

I'm just curious.  How would the death of GW affect your gaming?  Do you have lots of many sunk into GW figures and armies like I do?  Do you use them for other gaming systems?

I'm curious to learn what other people do with their figures.  I'm using GW High Elves for a generic fantasy game this afternoon at a local gaming shop.


Sunday, January 19, 2014

28mm ECW AAR - 18JAN14

I ran a 28mm English Civil War game at Wargamers Cave in Granite City, IL on Saturday, January 18th.  My players were Glenn Wilson (Warbeads), Steve Hood (Combat Colours), Kevin Joyce, and Don Cox.  Glenn and Steve were the Royalists.  Don and Kevin were the Parliamentarians.  I didn't bother to let them have cuirassier or cannons this game.  It was infantry and cavalry.  We used Warhammer ECW for rules.

The jokers had fun at my expense.  I was told I didn't want to do "serious" gaming like certain people in St. Louis who still play Empire.  The jokes went downhill from there.  However, the battle see-sawed until the Parliamentarians lost both their horse regiments and an infantry regiment by the end of turn 5.  The game was then conceded.

Here are some photos of the Royalists and their "commoner" opponents:

                                         Beginning of the battle.

                                          Parliamentarian and Royalist cavalry in melee.

                                          Parliamentarian infantry try and reform in the face of the Royalist advance.

                                          Near the end of turn 4.

28mm Darkest Africa AAR: 27DEC13

The British fought the Germans in a Great War in Africa game using The Sword in Africa.  A company of British regulars took on a platoon of German marines and a platoon of German askaris.  It was a downhill for the Germans.  Lance Western ran the British and Don Cox ran the Germans.  Here are some photos of the game:

                                          British and German firing lines at the beginning of the battle.

                                          Lance moves up his company of British regulars.

                                          What's left of Don Cox's units break on army morale.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

With a view on the Titanic: GW stock drops 25%

I've divorced myself from my GW addiction last year.  I haven't bought any Games Workshop product recently.  I'm still playing the 6th edition of WH40K with friends.  But I've given up on WHFB 8th edition.  I don't wish the company ill.  I believe they produce good looking models.  However, their current management needs to go.  They'll either driven the company in bankruptcy or or be forced to sell it in a fire sale.

Here is my reasoning:

1)  Games Workshop has upset its customer base.  No one is happy with GW.  Or I should say few people are.

2)  The company has been cranking out new releases no one can afford or wants.  And the initial cost of their basic box set is too expensive for most novice gamers.
3)  There has been little marketing of new supplements for WH40K or WHFB.

4)  Little thought has gone into play testing new product.

5)  New releases have been rushed to market to make up for the fact product hasn't been selling with said customer base.

6)  Specialist game lines have eliminated in the name of profitability.  This has further alienated the customer base who'd been buying their specialist games.

I could on about this Titanic.  The only thing I can say is I'm glad I'm not in charge of the shipwreck.

However, my problem is two-fold.  I own four different WH40K armies.  I'm willing to go to other game systems like Stargrunt II or an older edition of WH40K whenever the ship finally hits the iceberg.

I don't see GW's current management turning things around.  I see them selling the company to a large corporation that wants GW's IP for toy manufacturing or producing movies or video-games.  In order to turn things around, GW would have to lower the prices on their product lines and radically revamp their current WH40K and WHFB rules for the sake of playability and balance.

Good luck on that happening....

So, I'm sticking to my prediction of the impending financial train wreck that is Games Workshop.      

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Review of The African Knights by Conrad Cairns

Author:  Conrad Cairns.
Title:  The African Knights - The Armies of Sokotu, Bornu, and Bagirmi in the Nineteenth Century.
Publisher:  Foundry Books.
Pages:  62.
Copyright:  2006.

I bought this booklet for $15.00 when Foundry got rid of its books.  I wanted to learn more about the Muslim warriors of sub-Saharan Africa.  I thought I could come up with a The Sword and The Flame variant for it.  Alas, no one really makes figures or African knights in 28mm.  It's one of those weird colonial side shows that interests me for a while.  Then common sense reigns in...

Aside from that, I enjoyed the booklet.  It gave me information on armies I didn't know existed.  These armies were centered on the open plains and savannas of Nigeria.  But they were mopped up by British regulars and their askari troops when Nigeria was finally conquered in 1900.  

Unfortunately, I don't think The African Knights are currently available from Foundry.  I could be wrong.  


Review of Panzer Leader by Heinz Guderian

Author:  Heinz Guderian.
Title:  Panzer Leader.
Publisher:  Da Capo Press.
Pages:  523.
Copyright:  1996, 2002.
Price:  $18.50.

This is a memoir by General Heinz Guderian.  He talks about the opening campaigns of the Second World War and his time as Chief of the General Staff under Adolf Hitler.  Guderian was known for his development of armored warfare and its use in spearheading offensives.   His victory in the Ardennes sealed the fate of the French army in June 1940.  Guderian also presided over the collapse of the German war effort on the Eastern Front in 1945.

The author is candid in what kept Germany from winning WWII and what went wrong.  I get a sense Guderian didn't really care about Hitler's tirades after he was called back to service as Chief of Staff in 1945.  By then, the war was lost.  It was just a matter how large an Allied victory would be.

Recommend reading for any serious or casual student of WWII.

Reading Ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphs

I decided to learn several foreign languages later this year.  One of those languages is ancient Egyptian.  I bought several books on learning to read ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs for beginners.  I need to buy more books before I start teaching myself to read ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs.

I'm wondering how much of a challenge this will be with my dyslexia.  But I'm up to it.

For the record (in addition to English), I took several years of German in high school and three semesters of Latin during my undergraduate years.  I don't know how much help they will be for me to learning reading middle Egyptian.

Here are the books I've bought so far:

1)  How to Read Egyptian Hieroglyphs by Mark Collier and Bill Manley.

2)  Easy Lessons in Egyptian Hieroglyphics by Sir. E. A. Wallis Budge.

I'll see how this project progresses as I get more books...  

Review of La Grande Armee by Georges Blond

Author:   Georges Blond (translated by Marshall May).
Title:  La Grande Armee.
Publisher:  Arms and Armour.
Pages:  544.
Copyright:  1979 (English publication in 1997).

My experience with the Napoleonic Wars has been the 15mm games of Napoleon's Battles and Age of Eagles I've gamed.  The uniforms are colorful and the French are glorious.  But that's about it.  I've only read a couple of books on the period.

One of which was La Grande Armee by Georges Blond.  He starts with the formation of the Grande Armee in 1805 as it goes about the continent crushing its opposition.  The major campaigns are covered from Boulogne and Austerlitz to Spain, Moscow, and finally Waterloo.  I learned more from the book about the 1813 and 1814 campaigns when Napoleon was scraping the bottom of the barrel regarding his manpower requirements when the Allies stormed the gates of Paris.

La Grande Armee also covers the ulcer that was Spain.  That combined with the losses from the 1812 Russian campaign doomed Napoleon.  I'd read one account of 1812 in detail.  That combined with La Grande Armee are my introduction to Napoleonics.

Blond writes in a very French style I enjoyed.  It was different from the usual English and American academics I've read.  I also have Detailles' illustrated La Armee Franscaise.  Blond had the advantage of interviewing people who'd talked to the survivors of the Napoleonic wars during the 1930's.  But the author was still objective enough to see the failings of a general like Napoleon who said he could afford to lose 30,000 troops a month while his enemies couldn't.


However, I'd like to add to my library regarding the Napoleonic Wars.  Any suggestions would be helpful.  Thanks.

More book buying or how to waste money...

Like Sapper Joe, I have a backlog of books to catch up reading.  However, I made a conscience effort to read more on Saturdays.  But I keep buying more books and adding them to my pile of unread novels!

Fortunately, I make it a habit to read the things I buy.  I'm hoping the pile will be cleared up by the end of the year.  Here is what I have on my plate:

1)  The Faded Sun Trilogy by C.J. Sherryh.  I started this last weekend.  It's a long trilogy of stories.  About 750 pages.  I'd like to have it read by the end of January 2014.

2)  Death of Integrity by Guy Haley.  A WH40K Blooddrinker's novel.  414 pages.

3)  Space Viking by H. Beam Piper.  Retro-sci-fi novel from the 1940's.  164 pages.

4)  The Martian Tales Trilogy by Edgar Rice Burroughs.  Burrough's John Carter of Mars tales from 1912-1914.  669 pages.

5)  Doc Salvage:  The Infernal Buddha by Kenneth Robeson.  New Doc Savage novel written in May 2012.  302 pages.

6)  Ravenwing by Gav Thorpe.  A WH40K Dark Angel novel about the Ravenwing company.  412 pages.

7)  The Element of Surprise:  Navy Seals in Vietnam by Darryl Young.  Account of Navy Seals working on the Mekong delta in 1970.  274 pages.

8)  Gone Native:  An NCO's Story by Alan G. Cornett.  Seven year story of an American soldier involved with the Phoenix program in Vietnam.  292 pages.

9)  A History of Ancient Egypt:  From the First Farmers to the Great Pyramid by John Romer.  Newly published, I started reading it today.  I had to put it down and save it for later.  John Romer is an excellent author and historian who specialty is Egyptology and the Classical world.  This is the first volume that focuses on the formation of the Old Kingdom.  The second volume to be published will deal with the Middle and New Kingdoms.  475 pages.

10)  Fangs of the Lone Wolf:  Chechen Tactics in the Russian-Chechen Wars 1994-2009 by Dodge Billingsley.  Newly published about the the Chechen conflicts.  181 pages.

I've got some other books.  But I'll save them for the next blog posting.  I'm starting a new project this year and I'll say more about it later...

Thursday, January 2, 2014

New Year 2014 Resolutions

Happy New Year 2014!  And the New Year brings some resolutions.  My painting has slacked off in the past year to focus on writing.  I want to get back and paint more.  I resolved to make Thursday evenings a painting night (besides a laundry night).  

Here is what is lined up on my painting queue for this year:

1)  Finishing off my 28mm Franco-Prussian War armies.  This project doesn't seem to get done.  No matter what I do.  I'm in the process of painting up a 28mm 1870 Bavarian infantry brigade.  That's the bad part.  The good part is once I'm done with that, I'll be able to move onto the rest of the 1870 French Turco regiment, 28mm 1870 dismounted Chassuers, and 28mm French/Prussian/Bavarian artillery.  This project might get done by Memorial Day 2014 if I'm lucky.  I should have my sanity checked for undergoing said projects in the future.

2)  Finishing up WH40K:  There's an entire WH40K Ravenwing army to complete, along with assembling/painting a Blood Angel Stormraven.  I haven't done that much gaming.  What I've done has been some WH40K.  I'm not happy with the direction GW has taken the rule system.  But I'm still playing.

However, I wonder for how long before GW totally wrecks WH40K in the name of stockholders.  I'm to the point I'd like another Baneblade tank for my Deathwing along with another Land Raider.  But the GW prices have kept me away from buying any new Citadel product.  I'm wanting to complete GW armies and then get Battlefoam for my forces.  That's another expensive proposition...

3)  Warmachine:  Menoth Protectorate and Steelhead Company Mercs.  I'm wanting to transition over from WH40K to Warmachine.  I traded a WHFB Warriors of Chaos army for a Menoth Protectorate army.  I also bought about 50 points of Mercs this past Xmas.  Assembling, painting, and playing with those armies are on my list for later in the year.

There's a strong Warmachine group here in St. Louis, MO.  I should be able to game it every Wednesday (weather permitting).  That's is what on my plate for 2014...