Friday 30 September 2022

1/300 Russian Missile Troop

Classified as "Divisional Level" assets (certainly according to the Modern Spearhead OoB) for my Russian Cold War Motor Rifle Division (see below, a Frog-7 [conventional or nuclear armed] and four SA-6B Gainful): 

Heroics and Ross models.

Wednesday 28 September 2022

A Most Dangerous Discovery - The Way Back Machine and Other Parts of the Internet

Back in the days of the early 2000's I was in academia, like others, searching the Internet with a passion. The WayBackMachine was in its basic inception and I used it for hours in "multi-disciplinary research! (ahem). Well it's way better now as there seems to be oodles more to find and quicker check it out for yourself (see below):  

Examples of searches ..

The generic WayBackEngine link: 
And there is more to be found ... (note, the collections are not necessarily comprehensive - but nevertheless a brilliant time waste, er I mean research resource) ...

Dragon Magazine: 
The General: 

Military Modeller: 
Meanwhile in another part of the Internet - Donald Featherstone's Magazines and Newsletters: 

And finally - the way is was back when board games had printed Zines distributed by postal mail or hand:

I advise you to set an hour timer on your mobile phone before you start clicking on the links - but it may already be too late by now.

Tuesday 27 September 2022

British Army Fight Club Video: Jim Storr - Issues of Land Command

I found this You Tube talk very interesting, it was from the academic and former British Army officer Professor Jim Storr about the current state of (British) land command (see below, in part a review of issues in his current book, "Something Rotten" - link to You Tube): 

The name (Storr) caught my attention as I am currently reading (or rather it is on the shelf about to be read - along with some others, ahem - my bad) his book about the 1980-1990 NATO-WARSAW Pact era, Battlegroup, "The Lessons of the Unfought Battles of the Cold War".  

Monday 26 September 2022

Paddy Griffith: ACW Book: Empire Interactive - American Civil War Game

I recently (well fairly - this or last year[?]) read Paddy Griffiths ACW book (and it is very interesting to hear American commentators, perhaps shall we say not so praiseworthy reviews, of the book) but knew that upstairs in the loft was an old bag of computer games, one of which was Empire Interactive's Battles of the American Civil War in which was a paper book supplement, written by Paddy. Yes back in the days computer games came with physical instruction books, so with some spare time on my hands (don't tell the wife) off to the loft I went (see below, amongst the cobwebs my efforts were rewarded):  

It is a classic info book. A good guide to get the basics into perspective and introduce themes to a general audience rather than an in depth or comprehensive historical reference or treatise, but I would say it also goes slightly beyond that and hits the wargamers "sweet spot" and gets them salivating. In the words of an old football coach, "Nobody ever gets cut for spending time practising the basics" and this my friend is a good grounding text to return to so you know you "have it right" (see below, nicely illustrated, some 48 pages and a lovely thing to dip into): 

In combination with my recent purchases of Warlord Games Epic ACW and the Worthington Games (solitaire) Gettysburg wargame, it is a nice fit. 

Saturday 24 September 2022

WW2 American Infantry Experience in European Theatre of Operations (ETO) - Audible Book: Closing With The Enemy

I can highly recommend my current Audible book on the US Army in the ETO (European Theatre of Operations) and how they fought .. or .. rather how they changed the way they fought from the Normandy beaches, through the bocage through France and into Germany. Incredible detail, particularly with reference to the urban combat (Brest and Aachen) and the ingenuity employed (see below, another book I pick away at during car journeys and walking the dog): 

Particularly as it gives great reference to US learning experience and their adaptation in confronting challenges - on the fly changes and inventing doctrine that worked (like pulling a M12 155mm SP howitzer into a street fight to emphasise a point to some defending Germans and positioning artillery perpendicular [aka already flanking the position to be attacked] to teh axis of attack on a village, so that there is no longer a problem of short rounds [blue-on-blue] and the attacking infantry can "pounce" on still stunned defenders). 

Friday 23 September 2022

28mm Fantasy - Undead Hoards - Skeletons

For reason still as yet clear to me after a short conversation with my eldest teenage son I began painting my massed skeleton (from various manufacturers) collection (see below, HeroQuest [top left], Warlord Games [top right down to bottom], Wargames Atlantic [middle left down to bottom] and there was even some Games Workshop lingering around off camera): 

My colour palette (see below, Army Painter Grey Spray Primer plus the paints shown - Citadel Base Corax White (which I think is a lovely grey), Citadel Contrast Skeletal Horde, Vallejo Game Bonewhite and Vallejo Game Dead White): 

Corax White (see below, looking white, but a grey white to my eyes, perhaps it is the primer coming through - but as a base paint it is rally rich in pigment): 

Skeletal Horde with the Bonewhite highlight (see below, I must confess to using it more as an all over wash than a selective paint so perhaps I am missing a trick here, still I like the end result):  

Dead White ultra-highlight (see below, trying "not to do too much" with a dab, giving a fine-lining highlight effect - which I find the hardest part, just to put enough on and no more): 

Thank is the bulk of the figure done, just a bit of work to do on the weapons and shields. The aim is to produce a suitably rusty grimy effect .. watch this space ;)  

Update (3/10/2022): Swap out Vallejo Game Dead White for the less bright Vallejo Game Off White, the less intense colour works better for the highlight IMHO. 

Thursday 22 September 2022

Note to Self: Peter Perla Wargaming Research Publication

 Wargaming and The Cycle of Research and Learning (

Thanks to John Curry from the History of Wargaming Project, Peter Perla himself in the Lost Battles, Rex Brynan and SDM in Paxsims  for bringing this to my attention.

When three respected sources of information point something out independently, best listen - or even better read it! 

Sunday 18 September 2022

The French Admiral Suffren - Bane of the Royal Navy

After finishing listening to Mahan's "Influence of Sea Power on History" (although I have to say, it was a much longer than expected slog), I was delighted to uncover an aspect of naval history I was completely ignorant of, namely the illustrious career of the French Admiral Suffren, who was the bane of the Royal Navy on the India station in the late eighteenth century. I have to confess to my relative ignorance of the of both the "Age of Sail" and this great French admiral (other than a class of French WWI vintage armoured cruisers being named after ), things I am trying to address (see below, the Wikipedia link is a very useful starting point):

There is also a wonderfully titled tomb (Satan's admiral) on Admiral Suffren's career, but it is somewhat outside of my price range and budget (see below, I ask you is there nothing [in theory] you cannot buy on Amazon?):

From my internet poking I see there are plenty of other wargame bloggers have tread the Suffren path before:

There are even board games to play:

Interesting "Age of Sail" web-site:

More doubtless to follow ;) 

Saturday 17 September 2022

Morder Orcs from Warlord Games

Happily assembled, or rather happy to assemble these mutinous creatures into one bit (as yet unpainted) warband (see below, who knows they may well becomes the stuff of nightmares for a Saga warband):  

I do like them as they have a feel of the old Tolkien wood carvings about them, the cruel look and vicious posturing! I may have to go and get the Saga Age of Magic expansion ..

Friday 16 September 2022

Ancient Naval Siege - Syracuse 414BC

I seem to be on a Worthington's Games blast at the moment. If it is not the addictive solitaire books then it is their delightful titles such as Syracuse 414BC - the tragedy of all Greek tragedies. When Athens went mad, after going bad n an "imperial" way (see below, the epic sight of a trireme beached on shore with hoplites):

This one again came from Second Chance Games ( and I thank them for their services to wargaming .. although this was a slightly heavier hit on the wallet being a bookcase game. I am looking forward to it, particularly as it promises to "play quick". Note: there is a two player variant but it is being sold on the solitaire slant!

What sold me was this review - I was struck down and sunk after hearing it :) 

Thursday 15 September 2022

Inter War USN Planning - WWII War Plan Orange Evolution

I can highly recommend this talk from Peter Pellegrino (of NWC fame) with respect to teh evolution of the US naval strategy against the IJN aka, War Plan Orange (see below, Peter never disappoints):

00:30 - Introduction 03:25 - Wargaming Misconceptions 07:04 - War Plan Orange Explained 12:05 - Schools of Thought 13:55 - WW2 Naval Strategy 30:36 - Recap of Myths 32:08 - Interwar Wargaming 34:23 - 1932 USNWC Curriculum 36:08 - USNWC Influence 
40:45 - Conclusion

Especially valid in putting into the correct perspective the "Nimitz Quote" (see below, not using wargaming as the oracle's tool - but rather as a tool that could sharpen a commander's mind):  

War Plan Orange (Japan):

  • Phase 1: Protect Western Coast of USA!
  • Phase 2: How do you get to Japan ["The Hard Bit"]?
  • Phase 3: Defeat and Invasion of Japan?

Fantastic though, the NWC finally goes Rainbow (see below, why have one plan when you can have four+, one of them has got to work, right?):

But at the heart of it all was the concept and practice of adversarial "gaming" .. 318 games [scenarios] .. and by god they did it every day when they were at the NWC .. learning how to play (a month of the school year) ,, both at a tactical, operational and strategic levels (see below, including multi-aggressor [even RN "Red"], multi-discipline [Sailors, Marines and Aviators] multi-spectrum [even testing out hypothetical ships] - respect and well done, that shaped the senior officer cadre for WWII): 

"And" they always finished with "The Battle of Jutland" (RN v HSF), turned on its head and into "The Battle of Sable Island" (RN v USN). Something I can perhaps aspire to use as a background campaign or scenario development for my 1/3000 Navwar fleets ;) 

Note: I did take "War Plan Red" as an "Atlantic Chase" influenced mini campaign to CoW in 2021:) 

Wednesday 14 September 2022

Worthington Books - Braveheart Scottish Battles

I have been looking forward to getting my hands on this Worthington Games book. Seeing as I have really enjoyed the Waterloo, Gettysburg and Bismarck games to date (see below, a small point to note - the previous four Worthington games were picked up through Amazon "pay and print" service, yet for some untold reason the print I could only find a physical copy of this game from Second Chance Games ( and I thank them for their services to wargaming): 

Looking forward to play this with my Scottish relatives. As per the Waterloo game I intend to translate this game to table top - thinking of it as a good use for some 28mm medieval miniatures ;) 

Monday 12 September 2022

War on the Rocks Podcast - Ukrainian News

The world seems a complete mess just now. One place that helps me understand what is going on, particularly in Ukraine, is "The War on the Rocks" Podcast (see below, I can highly recommend any episode with Michael Kofman in it):

Ukraine pieces:

Always insightful!

Saturday 10 September 2022

Note to Self: Brian Train's Stuff is ALWAYS Worth a Look! Urban Warfare

Putting this here so I don't mislay this link (see below, link to Brian Train's web-site, but specifically Urban Warfare game):

Something for me to look at later.

Friday 9 September 2022

HM Queen Elizabeth II


GUWS Site - Is full of fantastic Wargaming Resources

Georgetown University Wargaming Society (GUWS) has a fantastic resource pool of YouTube wargaming materials .. click at your own risk  .. (see below, I dare you, a wealth of treasures, beware it is a most beautiful time trap if you do click/ Spoke from one who has lost days in "Little Wars TV" - Thank you again Sebastion Bae):

And Google drive documents (see below, now that should cause some serious clicking if I know anything about wargamers):

Most dangerous in particular is (se below, naturally a link to some FREE wargaming books):

Then there is teh Wargaming Database (see below, warning pour yourself a coffee before you click, you may be there a while looking!):

Note: Hmm, you may not see or hear from me for some time if I take my own medicine by clicking on those links above ;) 

Monday 5 September 2022

Natalia Wojtowicz - Evaluating Effectiveness in Wargames (KCL)

Another interesting presentation from KCL Wargaming Network (see link below):


The third of the Wargaming Network's 2021-2022 public lecture series 'Evaluating Effectiveness in Wargames,' featuring the research of Natalia Wojtowicz, is now live on the Wargaming Network's YouTube channel

Natalia Wojtowicz will showcase different methods of evaluating effectiveness of wargames, compiled from academic, industrial and governmental sector. A comparison of common and distinct factors will be analyzed to connect the effects with structure of the wargame. The question of objectivity of results will be explored based on recent experiments on adjudication. This presentation will be focused on identifying next steps in measuring and evaluating wargames.

Natalia Wojtowicz is a lecturer at the Hague University of Applied Sciences in the Safety and Security Management Programme. She teaches about wargaming, game design, and digital skills. Her research includes effectiveness of wargaming, new methods and experimental implementation. Previously she worked at the NATO Civil-Military Cooperation Center of Excellence, leading the Wargaming, Modelling and Simulation project focused on introducing civilian population into training and education. Later she designed 14 new wargames implemented across NATO. Currently she is researching adjudication in wargaming and testing an upcoming game about uprising in Belarus. You can follow her at @Wojtowicz_N

Watch Natalia Wojtowicz's presentation and the audience Q&A now at the Wargaming Network's YouTube channel, and we look forward to your participation in the upcoming 2022-2023 public lecture series. 

Sunday 4 September 2022

BBC iPlayer/Web-site: The Bomb (Interesting Series)

While reading the news on the BBC web-site I came across (see below, amazingly already onto its second series):

Twenty minute sound bites!