Saturday 30 September 2023
Friday 29 September 2023
Thursday 28 September 2023
Wednesday 27 September 2023
Tuesday 26 September 2023
Monday 25 September 2023
The US artillery was a cheeky, cheap by comparison purchase of 105mm standard US Howitzer (also suitable for post WWII conflicts like Indo-China) from Grubby Tanks and their Britannia Miniatures stocked range (see below, I got two but really on reflection want three for the battalion so I know I will have to "go back" to them - and while there also get some more of their nice US Art Crew):
Coincidently like all good wargames when I had been to a local DIY superstore for a "bathroom project" - I was also on the lookout for "potential wargame materials" (as well as a bathroom sealant remover). I passed an artificial lawn section where they selling off "cheap" small patches. What is not to like?. Could they be of use? (see below, I think there is potential):
Sunday 24 September 2023
Saturday 23 September 2023
I can highly recommend the book as it came as a shocking myth buster to me - (spoiler alert if you read on) as it revealed recent statistical analysis of Soviet era and USAF era data shows the "10:1 claim" to be far closer to propaganda that proven fact. That is taking nothing from the USAF pilots who attained air supremacy over the North Korean (aka Soviet) pilots and Chinese PLAAF pilots. The revelation is that in the early combat Soviet pilots in 1951 started off on the better end of kill ratio [0.8 - 1.0] because they were filled with combat veterans from WWII - both sides were learning first hand "jet combat". The USAF was by comparison trained (in jet flying) but unbloodied (in actual combat). The longer term operational mistake the Russians then made was to swap in and out whole Air Regiments at a time, whereas the USAF consciously only replaced individual pilots so there was always a combat capable cadre for new, the younger pilots to learn from. They were slowly bloodied from "wingman" status to "guns" - learning their trade in the skies above Korea. Boyd himself never shot a Mig down but flew 22 missions as "wingman". The seasoned in theatre air crews then returned stateside to teach tactics to the rookies before they went out. The clever American logic was assisted by the fact that there was only two Sabre air groups "spare" so rotating formations out of theatre was far too troublesome whereas the Soviets had plenty of air regiments - all of which were bloodied in turn, so each experiencing there own costly combat learning curve (and allowing an American ascendance). Then towards the 1952/53 period the Chinese pilots took over the bulk of combat were initially poorer in training and so had to relearn the lessons of the Soviets. A statistical ratio of 4:1 (in favour of the UN) was more likely over the whole war, but the early war was very touch and go. Boyd's first gut instinct about the Mig-15 being "theoretically" better than the F-86 may well be true [Boyd came to think better US canopy (observation) and automatic hydraulics (reaction time) were the difference, but in reality there was also combat experience of the man in the plane]. By comparison the Soviet cannon was greatly feared, the Sabres were comparatively under gunned with six fifty calibre machine guns - later Sabres experimented with cannon. The final remark across all eras is that pilots always over estimate their kills, with a lot of damaged planes limping home (although total write-offs on landing).
Friday 22 September 2023
A third charity shop purchase (and probably the last for the time being) was another Star Trek collector's miniature - something I view as a "classier shuttle", for Travellers more accustomed to representing the Federation on official business (see below, after performing a nifty planet take-off):
VIPs and Federation Officials get your electronic boarding passes ready.
Wednesday 20 September 2023
Tuesday 19 September 2023
The Connections UK 2023 Professional Wargaming Conference has certainly bounced back post Covid in fine style. Hosted quite appropriately at Royal Military Academy Sandhurst (RMAS) it served up a feast of wargaming talks and more importantly practical wargaming sessions. For more details see the Connections UK web-site:
Specifically for Connections UK 2023:
It was a "Who's Who" of the Professional Military and Academic (with hobbyist representation), crammed full of fascinating talks and plenary sessions.
Friday 15 September 2023
The Plastic Soldier Company (PSC) did a revamp of the (Airfix?) boardgame and I even managed to paint most of the planes for the board game (see below, the start of the campaign, Kanalkampf - I still have a few German planes still to paint!):
Definitely needs a longer revisit [probably three hours+ to do it justice]/ I think the key to a successful game is playing following the German historical sequence of attack by arranging the Mission Cards - historically, rather than drawn semi-randomly as suggested by the rules. In its purest form it needs to be played double blind with a White Control Room and added atmosphere!
Sunday 3 September 2023
Thanks goes out to Brian Train for pointing me to these links on Info Chess, as any form of online reference seems somewhat illusive to pin down (see below, I don't think a definitive or comprehensive set publicly exists [neither free or for sale]):
Naval War College (NWC)
For the uninitiated Info Chess is a Fog of War style of Chess, where players choose (or rather army build) their own sides chess set and can buy special properties to "power up" the pieces. Invisibility, Scanning and Turning pieces are all integral parts of the standard play of Info Chess.
Note : This is not to be confused with XTR Command Magazine War Master Chess 2000 in Issue#49 https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/12691/warmaster-chess-2000
Note: Promises of signing up for an online game seem to be stalled sadly in a "Work in Progress" state.
Note: The "other" ECCO games are of interest too!
Saturday 2 September 2023
The poses are good and warlike with plenty of character(see below, we are in the age of the plastic pack of forty, taking over from metal dozen for the same price - but does that mean mass resin is to follow?):
I am going to resist the temptation to DB'X' them on a base of four [as those games seem to be on the way "out"], but retain them as colourful individuals that can be hoarded together into an appropriate fighting mass):
More [Greek assembly] to follow, my ultimate aim is to get three figures worth of figures on the table .. but maybe not this year!
Friday 1 September 2023
Benghazi Handicap - Command Decision - WWII North Africa Campaign Source Book [Including Command Decision Scenarios]
This is my designated playground for 10mm play ground for Pendrakon miniatures, although I do have my old Airfix, Matchbox, PSC, Italeri/Esci collections of 20mm toys that can be used too. I am a sucker for the clanky tank era and this theatre of operation was full of them (usually in a state of burning).