Saturday 31 December 2011

Happy 2012!!

Today it's the last day of 2011,  a good moment to do some balancing act of the year and think about what could lie ahead.  Of my last year´s projects, the one really successful was to start playing Vietnam with Charlie Don't Surf: we have a full array of minis, scenery and a happy gaming group fully engaged with the rules. Left in the corner were to write some WWI scenarios and find our mainstream rules-set to play Napoleonics: Lasalle has been close to get the prize, but not enough close.

2011 was also Stalingrad year, the most ambitious project undertaken by my gaming group and a personal feat of the game organisser and stiff-lip umpire Alfredo....well, to be really accurate, Stalingrad was the 2011 game and will have to be the 2012 too, as the campign has not been finished yet.

Monday 26 December 2011

Christmas Holidays (war- and other-) games

The first leg of the Christmas holidays is over, food, drinks and gifts... but NOT the gaming activities. On Sunday, I organised with my two kids and some of their friends a Zombie game.

Saturday 24 December 2011

Merry Xmas!

It's now over a year and a half since I started this blog. In this period I have developed many new relations with people around the world, from Asia to America and crossing Europe; I don't know them face to face but our common interest for wargaming and history have created a very strong bound, and I can already treat them as "friends".

So, let me wish all these friends and other readers of the blog a very-merry Xmas, and unlimited happiness, health and success to them and their families in 2012. I wish the world today to drench in the spirit that moved those poor guys in 1914 to leave the trenches and create an unforgettable Christmas in such terrible circumstances.

Sunday 18 December 2011

BIrd in the Trees - A CDS Battle Report

On Sunday morning we met at the club to play a new battle with Charlie Don't Surf, the TooFatLardies Vietnam-era wargaming rules. This was our fourth game and  most of my gaming mates seemed now quite familiar with the mechanisms and are progresively turning their attention to tactics. The other piece of news is that (at last!!!) I did not act as umpire and I could finally play a full game. Not that I dislike umpiring, but after three games I was eagerly looking to take a command.

The scenario this time was not a mainstream search and destroy operation: a US helicopter had crashed near the Cambodian player, next to a well identified supply trail of the Vietcong, and the the American player was in a race against the clock to locate the crash site, blown the remants and rescue the survivors or their bodies. 

Saturday 17 December 2011

Chatting around IABSM 3

The Meeples & Miniatures latest podcast focused around IABSM 3, with a long  interview to Richard Clarke, coauthor and the main brians behind TooFatLardies. Worth listening while painting, it provides a very good picture of the game mechanisms and the design philosophy and principles. Richard announces that 4 major handbooks with new materials to expand the game are coming over the next months. I'll be eagerly looking to them.

Wednesday 14 December 2011

Cuirassiers Feast

A nice little surprise when I arrived home tonight, this book I ordered at Amazon a couple of weeks ago just arrived. I had enough time tonight just to skip through it but I can already tell you that if  you want THE source for painting and collecting French Cuirasssiers this is it.

The 83 pages cover the 14 French Cuirassiers regiments, their history and organisation plus 4-5 lavishly illustrated colour plates per regiment, covering in detail troopers, trumpeters, officers, saddles, etc.   I already own 10 books of the Histoire & Collections series dealing mainly with the guard regiments and the Hussars among others, but this one is really superior to the previous volumes. A perfect Xmas present to suggest your relatives and in-laws ...avoiding the traditional wraped tie or underwear typical of this season :-))

Sunday 11 December 2011

Stalingrad Part VII - As the night falls...

I have just received the report from the last game of our Stalinngrad Campaign. The climax of the battle is now approaching with the German units surrounding the fortified  factory and ready to initiate the assault on the last Red Army positions. Only the early fall of the late September night in Southern Russia created a lull in the fierce battle, but unlikely to last for long.

The Germans continued tightening the nook around the Factory. Fresh reserves were thrown into the battle and the last remaining and wore down Red Army units had to fight to the last man to retard the relentless progress of the Nazi war machine.

Tuesday 6 December 2011

Playing the Beanball- A CDS Battle report

I'm really pleased how our gaming group is progressively mastering Charlie Don't Surf, the TooFatLardies company-sized Vietnam rules. On Tuesday afternoon we met to play scenario six of the companion book Surf's Up called "Playing the Beanball".

The scenario takes place in 1967, with the US forces supported by some local RVN police squads having the mission to evacuate the civilians of a hamlet and destroy the village, depriving the Vietcong forces from local assistance and infrastructure. The Vietcong must resist and cause maximum damage to the invading forces and his southern puppets ("3 strongs missions") and eventually retire in good order; the mission is considered successful after completing 3 ambushes.

The mission was a total disaster for the US forces, that had to call their helicopters to evacuate the area in a rush with heavy casualties. After arriving to the campbase, the Company commander, Captain F.A. Lure has been sent to Saigon to undertake a new assignment far from the front line.

Helping with your New Year's Resolution List

Those following this blog regularly will already know that one of my favourite blogs is "Roundwood's World".  Specially if you´re interested in WWI that is THE blog you need following; but also if you're looking for detailed tutorials on terrain making and (more recently) figure painting. I cannot recommend louder that you become a follower of Sidney's blog.

In a totally different angle, yesterday Sidney published this superb and cheerful piece titled 29 Ways to Stay Creative: A Wargamer's List that has a lot of (good-quality!) food for thougt for that New Year's resolution lists that all of us we usually write by this time of the year. Don't miss the piece, you'll not be indifferent to it... and will cheer you up if yuo're having a bad day. Hope you enjoy it.

Sunday 4 December 2011

Charlie Don't Surf - Second introductory battle

This morning we have played a second introductory game to the TooFatLardies company-sized Vietnam-era rules Charlie Don't Surf.  The game was based on the first scenario of the companion book Surf's Up, initially played a month ago (se here the battle report)  but with the addition of new sections of the book: the American forces had some artillery support available and the Congs could enjoy some tunnels and deployed a couple of nasty bobby traps.

Saturday 3 December 2011

Stalingrad Part VI: Enemy at the Gates

The sixth game of the Stalingrad Campaign was played a few weeks ago but unfortunately I was not able to attend. As a remainder to readers, we started in July a campaign around the dramatic last days of September 1942, when the German army attempted a final effort to gain full control of the city before the winter. We play with the TooFatLardies platoon-scale set  Troops, Weapons and Tactics. What follows is an illustrated brief summary made by the game organizer and umpire.