Wednesday 12 October 2022

Red Teaming - Audible Book

This one book that has been on the reading list for a while, but because I thought it hinted at more of the business side of things I hung back. I now regret that, thirty minutes in and I am truly "hooked" (see below, it even has a hook into "The 10th Man" from 'World War Z' - which seems appropriate given my recent Cthulhu RPG reading):  

Recommended .. even though I have not even finished it yet!

Tuesday 11 October 2022

First Experimental Battles - Triremes

Ok the kit (or certainly enough kit) has been painted and placed on the table = but how to play? (see below, "Red" Spartan triremes face-off against "Blue" Athenian .. as they represent ships, not squadrons, .. I think I will need more "space"): 

The "dice have it" .. coloured dice to represent hit points of damage .. six hits and you are dead. Double attacks from flank and rear. Working on the principle of one ship per model (aka "not squadrons") there  is a maelstrom of ramming and mad manoeuvre (see below, this Athenian started the day extremely confident but ended the day clinging to the wreck of his trireme with his gloating Spartan son sailing on - the Fates are extremely fickle):   

Seeking easier prey, I called on my friend, we'll call him "Dave" - who always loses in the most sportsmanlike way, so I laid a trap for him (see below, I gave him plenty of Spartan triremes to surround my defensive circle of Athenians in a prickly "kyklos" formation):  

All I had to do was survive for a set number of turns until the rest of the Athenian fleet turned up and scared the Peloponnesians away, simple. As the unwary Spartans approached I decided I would sprint out at them, like a released coiled spring (see below, unleash watery hell!): 

Except Dave had not read the script and biffed me up before the rest of the Athenians had time to turn up. Perhaps I should have waited more patiently for the attack to bounce off my prows and then I could have taken the unwary Peloponnesians in the flank or rear quarter as they drifted past in disarray (see below, as it was I traded blows and came off far worst, swimming home again): 

Sigh, I retain my 100% ancient naval record, the only way now being up. All hail to Dave the Navarch, I now tremble in your wake or rather swim pathetically!

Rules: Er, yes, there were some, sort of. I was going to play using a set called "One Hour Ancient Naval" (by "somebody" - Update [12-1-2022]: please see comments by Simon for clarification on this) whose name escapes me. However I had to roughly translate the movement in inches to hexes and related the up to 45 degree turns into a number of hex sides. I then slimmed everything down to do triremes only (Romans really liked boarding and shooting a lot), so the rules were a back of the fag packet and a bit in my head, so yes I kludged them together and called them in as I saw fit. The result being I pulled in rules from of things I had read historically or I think were in one of the many other ancient trireme rule sets I have previously read ... and so, the result was that I still lost, if I may say so in the finest of style and Dave managed his fourteenth game in a month ;) 

Saturday 8 October 2022

WWII AFV Unit History Book: Stug III Brigade 191

A nice surprise! I received an unexpected book gift from the father-in-law courtesy of the wife's quick visit home (see below, a book I must confess to have picked this very book up, thumbed through it, wanted [I touched it so it means I can keep it], but thought that I could not justify it - but a present justifies itself, so result): 

Time to get thinking as to what scale models does it inspire me to paint up from my collections (20mm, 15mm(?), 1/200)? 

Friday 7 October 2022

Audible Book: Admiral Jellicoe and The Crisis of the Naval War

This was a fascinating subject as Jellicoe was very much a "war hero" for his services to the Grand Fleet, leading up to and beyond Jutland, but the inability to deal with the U-Boat threat was his Achilles Heal (see below, revealing more as a detective story of what was not said, what he was prepared to say and what he was focused or overly fixated on): 

All in all I found it a turgid read, but was totally fascinated by the way the man was consumed with detail but somehow missed the most facing pungent problem facing the Allies in WWI (he considered fighting U-Boars nigh impossible). The convoy solution to the problem was mentioned in passing (and is literally the oldest trick in the naval service book) as "logistical problems were eventually solved", no hint at the political issues (understatement, ahem) with Lloyd George and no admission of credit to which the crisis was turned around. Plenty of attention to efforts and energy of ideas and systems that did not really yield the results effective convoys did. A far cry from an account of the same period from these Wikipedia pages: 

Thursday 6 October 2022

Cthulhu RPG

If your character is frightened and paranoid then I think you are probably playing it right (see below, be afraid, be very afraid):  

Then some more. Did I just see a tentacle, or two? 

Monday 3 October 2022

1/1200 Navwar Triremes - Greece in Peril [Again]

I tend to cycle round in my 'catholic' (as in disparate and varied rather than religious) wargaming interests and it is about time I revisited my 'old' (as in unfinished) ancient naval collection of triremes from the "Greece in Peril" period (see below, despite being 1/1200 you can get some nice detail on these Navwar miniatures - Themistocles to the front!): 

As one swallow does not make a summer, then one trireme clearly does not make a fleet (see below, the complete [or first stage] collection of Greek triremes, the two square bases were just products of experimentation to see what works, but they may also have a use representing a Navarch):  

This is "my starter for ten" Greek fleet with three squadrons on ten each, plus two command ships - or a left, middle and right of the fleet if I put the individual ships into sabots of bigger bases. Nothing deciding bar the need for flexibility of thought. As for the rules to use .. plenty of options, watch this space in due course ;)  

Footnote: It is sobering to reflect that I started this project in 2012! What a different world that was! For instructions on how I based and painted the above please see link below and keep scrolling down: