Thursday 31 August 2023
Wednesday 30 August 2023
I am glad it was easy to do, but just in case I forget this is where I was told how to do it! (see below, thankfully there are some clever and helpful people in this world!)
Tuesday 29 August 2023
Monday 28 August 2023
Sunday 27 August 2023
Friday 25 August 2023
The 12:00 on your digital device is not the same as the Solar Noon (as per a a sun dial), to calculate the digital time for your Solar Noon check out this web-site (see below, thank "gawd" for clever people who can do mathematics that I cannot):
Courtesy of the ESRL Global Monitoring Laboratory, a big thank you to you!
Thursday 24 August 2023
Vietnam War - US News Broadcast of the (Surprise) Tet Offensive (NBS News Saigon) - You Tube Footage
Sometimes history is thrust upon a sleep walking nation and they are rudely awakened to unpalpable truths (see below, incredible News footage from 1968):
Amazing that was shown as a "special broadcast" to the US people outside of direct political control!
Wednesday 23 August 2023
Despite this being a quick Audible listen of just one hour and eight minutes, it is as powerful and revolutionary now as when it was first written with teh ink drying on its pages (see below, the old master - I took the opportunity to download it with my Audible subscription as a "Freebie"):
Compare Sun Tzu's notes on war with the actual way we (modern man) conducts war and politics, even or especially in light of the World Wars of the twentieth century and the disturbing "current" of the twenty first century history, and I challenge you not to feel the cold tinge of fear at the bottom of your spine. Are we bound to repeat teh same mistakes throughout history? Study war to find a way to stop war - or at teh very least, not to lose one!
Tuesday 22 August 2023
Full title - The Creativity Code: How AI Is Learning to Write, Paint and Think, by Marcus di Sautoy (see below, for the sexy artwork that hints at robot domination, without having to show a robot. I listened to it via Audible rather than reading it, but in the end I bought a copy of the book as well, as there were sections in it you really needed to read IMHO - yes, like the ones that mentioned sums I could not do in my head!):
So, now I have finished listening to this .. it seems to be pointing out that we’ve done lots of quirky things, some of which look and feel impressive .. but we seem to be back in a loop, back to 1990 when Expert Systems (symbolic logic machines) were going to going to transform the world. Deep Learning is now the new flavour of the revolution (Artificial Neural Nets that are trained to be clever) .. but back in 1990 it was not Expert Systems that shaped the Commercial World for teh next twenty plus years. No that was the dirty old Database and Networks which transformed into a brand the new thing called the Internet .. the "What Net" are you going fishing somewhere strange? Yet it dictated the course of computing for the next 20+ years by reinventing the Network to be used by everybody and therefore everybody's concern . My personal opinion of course .. which like most things these days seems to be in the Cloud, running better on someone else's piece of tin.
Monday 21 August 2023
You can blame Whispering Al for this one, not me, if you succumb (see below, a very likable looking set of board games awaits the unwary traveller):
Hmm, Pacific and Bismarck games immediately catch my immediate eye, but to be frank, they all look good!
Not cheap, but the most expensive game is the one that is never played .. as it serves as a distraction!
Friday 18 August 2023
And in addition I already had three of David K Brown's books on warship design through the World War eras (to complement my Conway and Janes). In short, as you would expect, when a naval maritime designer recommends a naval constructor's book and says "it is good" then, it is good. One thing to shout out is that it does concentrate on the technical bits. WATU (Western Approaches Tactical Unit) is not mentioned (well not in the index - as I have just started reading it I might come across it yet). The Raspberry, Pineapple, Beta Search, Step Aside tactics are not mentioned.
Thursday 17 August 2023
Wednesday 16 August 2023
Tuesday 15 August 2023
With a gaggle (well technically two schwarms of Luftwaffe Me 109's) of little friends in tow in close escort position (see below, going left to right the air is full of Nazi bombers and escorting fighters, fourteen planes in all):
"Achtung Spitfire" - the RAF greeting party arrives (see below, tilted back indicated the aircraft is in an advantaged position [Blood Red Skies game term]):
The desperate attack of "The Few" are pressed home against the bombers (see below, but with the sheer numbers of German fighters in the air a Spitfire is caught as his compatriot riddles a Heinkel with 303 machine gun fire at insanely short range):
After one frantic pass through the bomber formation the Spitfires spin round again displaying their tight turning capability, but the Me 109s are closing in):
Then suddenly, the sky is clear. A classic RAF "hit and run" - the Germans have lost a Me 109 ("Where is Sigmund?") and a Heinkel is trailing smoke but is still intent on pressing on (see below, target is set for Manston airfield):
Then all hell breaks loose as Spitfires and Hurricanes appear out of no where, charging straight into teh bombers (see below, the RAF concentrate on the left side of the the German formation, attaining local superiority. Twelve fighters to seven, but the remaining eight German Me 109s are placed ideally to swing into the rear of the Spitfire formation):
Again a Spitfire pays the price, but fortunately the pilot jumps clear (see below, the RAF bravery means the German bomber formation is once again penetrated and riddled):
A Heinkel from the leading formation goes down in flames and another one is severely damaged in the rear formation but Manston comes into sight as a flak barrage greets the unwanted guests (see below, the "tail end Charlie" Heinkel in not a happy bunny - or rather Nazi!):
Manston Sector Airfield: sirens start wailing and AA firing at full effect (see below, the Spitfires and Hurricanes again disappear as the bombers conduct their attack run):
The surviving bomber of the lead formation scores a telling hit on Manston, but the rear formation is less successful (a near miss) but loses its damaged aircraft to accurate flak (see below, RAF ground crew watch as German parachutes open from the doomed bomber as the crew bails out):
Manston is damaged but still operational, it lives to fight another day. Holes are repaired in teh runway, as wearing RAF pilots land, refuel and get ready to "go again"!
I am fortunate enough to have a local games company that is very proactive in promoting the hobby, in small and large events, Pendrakon Miniatures. One such event being their recent Small Games Day hosted at their HQ. Several gamers (local and not so local) were invited to put n a participation game. Which I think is a fantastic idea. Although stalled from getting over until late in the day by family duties I managed to catch up with a friend demonstrating a Science Fiction game called Möbius Mayhem (see below, the playing surface being a 2D representation of the 1D mobius strip and space critters "trap dooring" around the surface):
There was a furious exchange between lazer armed Space Teddies and Space Pirates - where the more elite Space Teddies tore the Space Pirates apart. I then had the pleasure of being the Hive Bug Mind of Space Spider, who had to close to "fang kill" in close combat, which they managed to do, overcoming a smaller band of Space Troopers. The second game was an interesting spin on the French Indian Wars, in the "feeding of an army department" - or rather feeding the Colonel, who wants to impress his friends with a wild turkey for the dinner table. A detachment of British and French scouts simultaneously despatched with the same mission (because officers are basically pompous officers no matter which army they come from in this period of history). Based on mechanisms from The One Hour Skirmish Wargame Book by John Lambshead, it was an extremely entertaining game to play (see below, to the "lucky" go the spoils - all manner of wildlife was waiting for us in the vegetation, not much of it friendly!):
Summary: As a plucky canny Brit. I shot the turkey and avoided punishment from my senior officer as the Colonel was well fed at his table. I avoided meeting a bear (thank god), although the run in with a skunk was disturbing. In the distance I heard French screams and a cry of "wolf", followed by several musket shots which didn't seem to hit their mark!
Many points of kudos and thanks to Pendrakon for putting on this very entertaining "Small Game Day" - and even though I was only there for the last hour or so, it did exactly what it said it would do on the tin. If I had managed to come across a little bit earlier I could have caught a game of Blood Red Skies too. In total I think there were about six or seven games, with a health stream of participants and shoppers browsing. Naturally, I came away with a few goodies purchased from the establishment, just to extend my ranges, it seemed rude not to!
Monday 14 August 2023
Sunday 13 August 2023
Saturday 12 August 2023
The Last Hundred Yards is my summer tactical WWII infantry project. Next, when you look around you, you find you are in the middle of a battle site, albeit a Medieval one you know almost nothing about, Tewkesbury - War of the Roses, classic Kingmaker [Avalon Hill original if you have it or the new revamped game, with excellent reviews] (see below, I had to buy a reference book - I do remember a reference from Simon Schama and the History of Britain):
Friday 11 August 2023
Nuts - Game Publisher Web-Site (currently waiting for a Version 2 printing in 2024, I have the original version 1):
Board Game Geek reference (what do the other folks say about it?):
The box is a collection of magic tricks to me. Excellent reference material, historical and hypothetical (Cold War gone Hot Style), innovative game play, fog of war and realistic decision based (without the benefit of being a 10,000 foot tall general). The pain is sitting down and learning the mechanisms well enough for quick play.
Links to other resources, would be much appreciated!
Additional Link (27/08/2023):
Thursday 10 August 2023
Now this is an interesting recommendation from a friend (Game We Play). Something for the Ancient and WWII enthusiast:
WWII 3x4 Advancing Companies Rule Set:
Some time shall be spent investigating here!
Wednesday 9 August 2023
One of the interesting themes I like seeing in wargames (and in particularly games with the crazy bunch of people from Wargames Developments) is when the concept of a game is pitched back to its most basic form - but still plays well. The basis of a few rules that devolve "great simplicity" or as John Gribbins would say Deep Simplicity (see below, a book on chaos that I liked reading):
One such game Quadwrangles was a mobster themed gang war in old Chicago Town (see below, the godfathers of the mafia muster their forces in a showdown):
Random resource placement, variable [mob] weapon values and a chaotic sequence of play makes it interesting (see below, blood on the streets and one family finally dominates):
Stripped back without teh chrome to its basic form (see below, more network math than mob):
It plays well with friends. This themes and many other themes are bundled together and available at:
Tuesday 8 August 2023
"Lost Mines of Phandelver" Finish - 2023 D&D Reboot - New Adventure "Dungeon of the Mad Mage" Awaits
A bizarre sight awaits them, a chair on a chain harness, a bucket with a sign, "One at a time. A gold coin for the bucket man" and a long dark vertical chimney with a distance white pinprick of a light, with faint sounds of raucous revelry carrying down the chimney. One by one the adventurers ascend and teh party find themselves in the surreal surrounding of the Tavern of the Yawning Portal, an entrance point to the "Dungeon of the Mad Mage" and "Waterdeep"!
Monday 7 August 2023
This had been on my "to do" list for a long, long time. In a way it will be the end of my Matilda project (odyssey), which encompasses BEF 1940 (Arras, also including the\ Matilda I), the 1941-42 "Queen of the Desert" Western Desert 8th Army, Red Russia (snow camouflaged) and finally the Digger Australian Hedgehog, Flamethrower and gun tanks (see below, for current Australian reference points):
I found this You Tube video very informative (see below, nice combat and motion pictures, plus CGI reconstruction):
The majority of my Matilda fleet come from the Airfix stables, but I have one ESCI/Italeri and one resin (Britannia Miniatures - I think) addition. There are two Matilda I's metal from the old 20mm Skytrex range (where ever they are now). If I was feeling brave enough I might have a go at the Matilda Scorpion mine clearing AVRE tank.
[Footnote: Sad fact of the Internet and "links" - they can and do change. This post has been so long in the pending state that one of the two original links I had - "expired" by teh time I came to post. So I guess, pictures and words last better than links over time.]
Sunday 6 August 2023
Urban warfare game (see below, Boardgame Geek):
Board Game Geek Reference:
Saturday 5 August 2023
As part of the gaming material needed for my "Follow the Bush Tucker Trail" at CoW 2023 I decided that I really had to paint some genuine Platoon 20 Australians in (as opposed to using some LRRP US types play their part). Perhaps there would be nothing to notice, but I would "know".
Web Links: Inspiration was gained and sought from:
Painting Description - basically a Hodge-podge of Vallejo Model Colour greens with a Sand and Brown thrown in (read, listen and look at the above links) with copious amounts of black, brown and green washes and inks chucked in for good measure and satisfaction (see below, the jungle is dirty, sweaty and dangerous):
I hope this does the Diggers credit! Additional link and reference suggestions welcomed.
Friday 4 August 2023
Nice Blogger Site showing WWIII - Modern US/Soviet/Russian 6mm - Armour, Infantry, Engineering Units and Aviation Units
This is really nice work (see below, a WIII extravaganza of 6mm moderns - lots of US and Soviet kit on show, where he goes I hope to follow):
Way down to the bottom of the link there are some beautiful examples of Pontoon and GSF Ferry units, something I will try and duplicate for my modern 6mm Russian/Soviet engineering units. This has helped me in my attempts at finishing off the Cold War (WWIII) Spearhead OoB Soviet Motor Rifle Division (still currently a WIP)
Thursday 3 August 2023
Wednesday 2 August 2023
It is good to hear that Prof Phil Sabin, from Connections UK, Lost Battles and Simulating War fame, is having a busy and creative retirement. More games and variants flowing from his pen, particularly in the field of air warfare (see below, pictures and links):
More information at at Bob Cordery's Blog:
Tuesday 1 August 2023
Somebody at the USMC has been asking this question (see below, someone thinks there is a certain merit playing the same battle many different ways):