Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Next game ahoy!

After what seems like many weeks (because it was, well, many weeks), my sim games class finally finished our Napoleonics battle.  Though on paper it might look like a British walkover (thee routed French brigades to none), it was a lot closer than the results would indicate, as three British brigades were pretty wobbly themselves at the finish. Two better rolls on some French break tests, and teh game could have easily gone the other way.

Anyhow, I don't have any photos of that, so you will have to rely upon my lurid prose to compose a thought-picture of your own. At any rate, there was not a lot of maneuver in the final turns, just a lot of slugging it out and hoping for the best.  We wrapped the game up and started on our next simulation: WWII naval, with an adaptation of the Battle of the Komandorski Islands as our scenario.

I cut linoleum tiles to base the ships, texturing the base with putty, then adding paint and gloss varnish to make it look like water.

We're gaming at 1/2400 using the Naval Thunder rules and Panzerschiffe miniatures.  While Panzerschiffe resin models lack the spectacular detail of the GHQ or Navwar ships, the price is right and they work well as game pieces.  The students seemed to think they looked good!

I rely upon our Middle School Art Department for construction paper from rolls. Sadly they were out of blue, so I had to make do with green. I then added blobs of blue poster paint to give an "ocean effect".  Doesn't look great, but at least it doesn't look terrible.  Had I some white paint in school, I would have added a few whitecaps for detail.

I made my own splash markers out of golf tees, mounted on pennies and given some drybrush to give the impression of spray.

My students were shocked at the complexity of the rules relative to Black Powder, and since this is my first toe in the water with these rules, we're taking it slow.  On our first turn, the Japanese and American cruisers traded some long range shots.  All of the IJN salvos fell short, but two American shells scored lucky hits, and one IJN destroyer suffered damage to its engine room.

Waves (or in this case, the seam where my two "ocean boards" meet) crash over the bow of an American light cruiser.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

But the presentation is terrible!

Gotta love chopped.  But, let's face it, certain techniques and cuisines are favored over others.  Italian cooking, with its emphasis on simple, fresh ingredients, always fall short on the requirement that ingredients somehow be "transformed."  Well, sometimes, ingredients are transformed for all the wrong reasons...

Fellowship of the Ring (Awesome!)

This spring break, my nine year old daughter has asked to watch the Lord of the Rings movies with her. While I would rather she read the books first, how could I resist the chance to geek out with my daughter?  She was deeply impressed, to the point of constructing her own Fellowship of the Ring out of Legos.  From left to right, they are Sam, Merry, Pippin, Gimli (in the foreground), Legolas, and Frodo.  That's the Eye of Sauron in the background.  Apparently, Humans and Wizards don't make the cut.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Zulu War: A Work in Progress

After selling my 15mm Anglo-Zulu War figures, I went out and bought a bunch of 28mm Anglo-Zulu War minis.  I looked at other periods, but none of them have the cool movie associated with it that makes me want to go refight Rorke's Drift.  I found a copy of the Warlord Games' boxed set for Rorkes Drift available for a song on eBay. I have not attempted to construct the laser-cut houses yet, but I love the resin sandbag and biscuit box obstacles.

Most of the minis are Old Glory 28mm metal figures.  Not my favorite range (except for the unmarried Zulu warriors, which look great), but they paint up well.  The unit on the Zulu left is Warlord plastic.  They are more slender than the metal figures, but not so much so that they look incongruous on the same battlefield.

I've done two units each of Zulus and British. I'm nearly done with the British force, but I'm going to need a hella lotta more Zulus. 

Zulus, sir! Several of them!

Men of Harlech, stop your dreaming. Something something spearpoints gleaming...

The Warlord warband.  Usuthu!

Some primes and unpainted Zulus can be seen in the left background.  I'm testing the fit on my old movement trays, since these figures use the copper-zinc alloy 20mm bases that my old 15mm figures did.  It's a tight fit, but they work well.

"Independent fire at will!"
"Very nice of 'im."

Spit, boy, spit!

Because we're here, lad. Just us. No-one else.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Lenin Emoticon

My students made me this Lenin emoticon.  Just in case I should ever need a shorthand way to express frustrations with the mensheviks or the need for a Dictatorship of the Proletariat.