December 28th was Dave's Annual Naval Game, or DANG for short, hosted by the Schuelers each year at about this time. There is always a different theme, and this year's game was based around the 1973 Yom Kippur War, the actions at sea. Arthur Brooking, Dave Creager, David Sullivan, George Kettler and I were the participants. David Sullivan and Dave Creager ran the Israelis and George, Arthur and I volunteered for Arab duty.
We Arabs knew we were all in a hard way. I think each of us played the old Yaquinto Missile Boat game, so there were no big surprises. The Israelis would be hard to beat. George took on the Syrians, whom I knew would be doubly stinky, and Arthur and I opted for the Egyptians. They were merely bad. We had lots of boats. Mainly Osas and Komars with some lesser vessels thrown in for good measure. As with all DANG games, it was run as a mini-campaign. In this case, we had daily missions to run, some required, some optional. Unfortunately, on Day One we drew a required patrol off Haifa, which we knew would not be fun.
The actions looked a lot like this: Syrians or Egyptians encounter Israeli boats. Israelis slaughter Syrians or Egyptians. Scenario ends. The Israelis had some significant advantages. One was that their boats were simply larger than the Osas and Komars. They mounted heavier guns, more missile launchers, and missile reloads. Another plus, was that they were technologically more advanced. They had ECM capability, and also had decoys and chaff to defend against our Styx missiles. Our advantages were A) more boats--not an inconsequential factor, and B) our Styx missiles had greater range than the Israeli Gabriels, and greater hitting power. The problem was getting them to hit.
The rules we used were David Manley's Bulldogs Away. Dave and I ran them at Enfilade, and they are very easy to use. It allowed us to play through lots of encounters. We ran through five days of the Yom Kippur War, with at least one encounter almost every day. It gave we Arab players plenty of opportunities to test, and improve our tactical doctrine. Unfortunately the doctrine frequently involved launching all of our Styx missiles at one or two Israeli Saars, only to see them diverted by chaff and flying off after a flock of seagulls that happened to be circling nearby. Meanwhile, the Israelis could fire a couple of missiles at each of our boats and we'd be faced with having to remember the next verse to "There's a hole in the bucket."
In the end, both the Syrian and Egyptian navies were wrecked in five short days. The truly tragic part is that in wrecking our navies we were also able to sink or seriously damage four Israeli vessels, out performing the historical record. I think the Arab fleets were able to preserve a few more of their boats however.
Just some quickie notes about the pictures. The first picture shows the ending moments of the game as six Egyptian missile boats encountered an Israeli patrol off the Sinai. We implemented new tactics which, sadly, worked about as well as the old tactics. These worked almost as well as raising one's hand and saying "shoot me." You can see the two Israeli Saar boats in the middle about to do the old rope trick and escape all but one of the red Egyptian missiles. The Egyptian boats, on the other hand, are also surrounded, but they will simply plunge to the bottom of the Mediterranean. The second shows an Israeli Saar boat surrounded by incoming Styx missiles. By the time these sixteen VW sized missiles penetrated the chaff and flare dispensers maybe three or four would remain. By the time we were finished rolling badly the Saar would be sailing back to Haifa with the Big Smile signal flag hoisted in its halyards. If precedent was broken and we actually rolled a hit, it was big nastiness. However, I titled the picture Houdini, because more often than not the Israelis escaped. The last picture is just photo of a couple of Dave's wonderful Skytrex Saar boats.
Struggling through the difficulties did not diminish our good time. Dave and Lynn always know how to show us a fun with comfort and good eats. DANG is always high on my dance card of annual miniature events.
Well, it's off to DANG today. Dave's Annual Naval Game is an Arab-Israeli missile fest using Bulldogs Away, so that should be fun. I should have pictures to post tonight or tomorrow.
We met friends Greg and Carolyn for dinner last night and watched Pat's band play at Jazzbones in Tacoma. It was a good first show and it was great to see G and C. We exchanged belated Christmas gifts and I received an articulated light/magnifier. I confess, I probably need it, but haven't been prepared to do anything about it. I'll try to get it set up in painting land today or tomorrow and give it a try. Anything I can do to help me see those teeny-tiny Hallmark highlanders.
About those highlanders--I finished my first fifteen yesterday, only about eighty left to go. I think I've figured out a strategy for painting, them, just not a very good one. If they were all dressed in Brooks Brothers suits, rather than plaids it would be easier.
For the past couple of years I've had a LibraryThing account. Virtually all my books are listed there, and I am gradually writing reviews of them as I read. I'm also reviewing my Ospreys, which I think could be handy. In any case, tonight I added the link to my electronic library.
Not much going on this holiday week. A little bit of painting. I finally finished my Early Roman DBA army. It's the hoplite army the Gauls slaughtered in their 5th century invasions of Italy. I also wrapped some some figures for Space 1889 and some militia for AWI.
Now I'm working on some 15mm Hallmark highlanders. They're tiny figures with kilts--a bad mixture at my age and eyesight. I also have begun working on my first Action Stations miniatures. One is an 80 ft Elco PT boat, and the other is a massive flush deck Destroyer/Transport. I've assembled some German S boats as well, but everything is still ways off from completion. I'm hoping to have a relaxing and productive couple of weeks off. I'll get some painting done, and some reading in.
I've been reviewing the 100+ Osprey books I own in my LibraryThing account. I'll try linking to that.
Mark Waddington and I made a find this week. Stone Mountain miniatures offered up a bunch of old Houston's Space 1889 ships pretty cheap. Mark ordered a passle. I ordered a much smaller passle. They might be here before I go back to school.
Next game: Daveshoe's Annual Naval Game on Friday.
No pictures today. We had an infantry slogfest at the Game Matrix playing Space 1889 yesterday. I was a British commander trying to control some difficult terrain. Things went badly fairly quickly. Ambushed by some hill Martians, we lost an infantry unit and some Gatlings. Things were pretty much downhill from there. The scenario rules set some conditions that were difficult for us to overcome. It's hard to see how we could have succeeded without a couple of breaks going our way. Aah, better luck next time.
Today I finished my Early Roman DBA army. I've had these guys for a few years, and it's nice to get them done. I'm going to be moving on to working on my 15mm Hallmark figures from the First Jacobite War for Kings War. They'll be different and fun for the period--way different than what the other guys are painting. I have some done already that will need remounting, but lots more of both sides to paint.
I'll be playing in Daveshoe's annual naval game on the 28th (DANG), and then it's off to Drumbeat January 5th. I'll be running Thunderboats and an Ironclads game at the latter. Pictures, I promise pictures.
Last weekend five of us got together at The Game Matrix to try the Thunderboat rules once more. Son Casey, rules designer Dave Schueler, Dave Demick, and model maker Sean McEvoy met me in South Tacoma for three heats of racing.
It was my first opportunity to haul all six of my finished boats out on to the game table. It was truly a blast. The rules are just amazing, and the drivers are really forced to make a lot of dangerous decisions. I won the first heat despite a bunch of very aggressive decisions, and the dice were with me. Things did not go so well for me in the following heats. Daveshoe had some astonishingly bad die rolls and I'm not sure he ever completed a lap. There are a couple of differences between this game and Golden Age Air Racing. First, is that it is much more difficult to re-roll out of aggressive choices. Drivers are much more constantly on the edge. It is important to finish laps, and disaster seems much closer for the boat drivers than the air racers. Second, is the chance cards. Chance cards are bad. They are almost always bad, except when they are good--which is about a quarter of the time. Unlike the air racing, I can almost see myself playing it safe sometimes.
I've included pictures of all the boats and some racing courtesy Dave Schueler
I've finished up a few more AWI militia, because one simply cannot have too many. However, I'm going back to 15mm for to wrap up a few more loose end projects. I am finally painting my early Roman DBA army. They are an enemy for my Early Etruscans. The only problem I've ever had is coming up with a suitable color scheme for them, particularly the shield patterns. I'll just have to do my best.
When the Romans are finished, I'm taking on a long time unfinished project--my 15mm Hallmark figures from the First Jacobite Rebellion in 1689. These are beautiful true 15's. I've always wanted to paint them, but have never really had a suitable set of rules. I've decided to adopt the King's War rules by Bruce Bretthauer over DBR, because the latter makes all the highlanders warbands, and liable to being shot down rather ineffectually. In King's War there are some special highlander rules that gives 'em a fighting chance. In any case, I have a enough figures painted for a couple units on each side. I've ordered some Litko bases, as well as a few more command figures to fill things out. It should be fun.
Today was the first Saturday of the month, which made it DBA day. I was in need of some time away from home to be sure. I really enjoy the regulars at DBA--Andy, Dale, Mark, Scott and the others, and I don't get there every month. So, it was nice to be welcomed.
I brought my hydroplanes for show and tell, and it was nice to share them around. I even bought a new army. Game Matrix is stocking some of the Xyston boxed armies, so I picked up the Aitolians. It is pretty unhoplitelike, but cheap, so I thought I'd give the army a whirl.
I squeezed in three games. First, Andy and I tried the Emishi and the Pre-Samurai Japanese. I took the former, and it was tricky. The Japanese lost a big chunk of their cavalry, but in the end I lost 4-2. Then I played Gary Griess's Vikings with my Eastern Woodland Indians. This is always a great matchup, one I've played many times, and I really clobbered Gary 5-0. He asked to play another game, and we went back to the Emishi and P-S Japanese. Gary took the Emishi, and had a bit more success than I did. We got into a bow shooting death match, while I tried to work around his flank with my cavalry. Gary took a 3-1 lead, but I evened it up and killed his general to win 4G-3. It turned into a really great game.
I'm looking forward to some painting this evening, before a lot of school work tomorrow. I'd like to get pictures up of all the hydroplanes tomorrow.
Tactical Solutions is this weekend. This is a new convention hosted by NHMGS members in Spokane. I confess, I've been so frantically busy with school and other family issues that I haven't given it much thought. With my Philadelphia trip coming up next weekend, I decided long ago I wouldn't be able to attend. Nevertheless, I wish Chuck Hamack, Mike Clinton and the other organizers well. They've worked hard to pull this off.
For more information about this event click on the link to the NHMGS website.
It's been a busy couple of weeks since my last posting. Lorri's father passed away, and there have been additional family difficulties since then. Add our second deadline week at JagWire, and my life has been pretty full. However, I have managed a couple more finished thunderboats. No new pics today, but I'll try to get something on the 'net soon.
I finished Bill Brow's Miss Exide from 1965. Exide was a chief competitor for Musson's Bardahl during the glory years 1963-65. Brow was a family favorite because his day job was as a milk-man. Since my dad had also been a milk man, he was someone we could root for. We saw Brow racing limited boats on Green Lake in the early 60's. Sadly, he was killed when Exide disintegrated in 1967.
My second boat is Miss Wahoo. Wahoo was owned by Bill Boeing, and named for the town of his wife's birth, Wahoo, Nebraska. Wahoo was a very good boat in the late '50's, the best of a class of three including Miss Spokane and Shanty One. It was driven by Mira Slovak. Slovak was a good driver and a great story. He was a Czech immigrant and Cold War refugee, so he always made a great story.
My post-Enfilade post included a picture and some information about some hydroplane racing we did at the convention. Though it didn't attract a huge crowd, the races were full, and we had actual miniatures to work with. I also mentioned that Shawn McEvoy was going to send me six miniatures and the big hydro party would begin.
Let me just take a big step backward here, and explain my bizarre interest in this project. I grew up just outside of Seattle in the 1960's. We really didn't have any major league sports until the late 60's when the Sonics and then the Pilots arrived. Our AAA baseball team, the Angels, wasn't very good; the Huskies had moved beyond their '60's Rose Bowl teams and had settled into the mediocrity of the later Owens years. What we did have every summer was hydroplane racing. As a 10 year old in the summer of 1965, I knew the boats, what they looked like, who their drivers were, and how they were doing. The neighborhood was fairly divided between Ron Musson's Miss Bardahl, and Bill Brow's Miss Exide, with all the cornucopia of other boats mixed in for fun. Though hydro racing had moved out of the province of the underfunded amateur owners, and into the hands of commercial sponsors, it still was small enough that on any given day anyone could win. One of the lasting sports memories of my childhood was the dreadful 1966 President's Cup race on the Potomac when Musson and two other drivers were killed. Despite the lack of ESPN or a 24 hour news cycle, the disaster was big news in Seattle, and we young fans were all plunged into a state of mini-mourning.
When I was a kidlet, all those of my age on my block built our hydros out of scrap plywood, painted them the best we could, and tied them on to the backs of our bikes. We'd race them up and down the street to emulate our heroes. Summer was the race season.
Shawn's inexpensive resin-cast miniatures, together with Dave Schueler's very fun rules offered me this opportunity to recapture a bit of my youth. I'm working on my first three boats. I've finished 1955's Slo-mo-shun V. It was damaged in a flip during the same week in which I was born. Driver, Lou Fageol was in the same hospital where I was born at the same time. I'm also done with Musson's Green Dragon. It's different than the earlier Bardahl's classic lines and bronze green and orange finish. Musson's Bardahl was a national points winner from 1963-5. I'm also working on a 1965 version of the Exide. The brilliant red boat with its lightning bolts and checkered tail offer a bit of a challenge for me, but I'm hoping it will be done in the next week or so.
Yes, I know it's another weird project, a bit divorced from the medley of little men that usually constitute our hobby. I see it as simply another outlet for me to express my historical interests in miniature outside the usual shoot up, stab 'em, or blast 'em with high explosives. I really like my connection to racing games, both the air racing and hydroplanes. I fully expect a large panoply of racing games at Enfilade 2008.
I've managed to squeeze in a couple of game days between schoolwork and family tragedy. On September 29th NHMGS held its annual day at the Museum of Flight. This is my second year organizing the event, and it is often fraught with frustration. In the past the museum hasn't been very cooperative, and our membership hasn't turned out to support the event, despite offering free admission.
This year was different. The MoF had has set up in our customary place under the SR-71 Blackbird. All the tables were ready for us, and we had plenty of space. We also had plenty of representative games filled with players for the day. I could not have been more pleased. I ran an air racing event, and that was a lot of fun for me and the participants. It also happened to be a Seattle "free museum" day, so there were lots of passersby and inquiries about our strange and wonderful hobby.
Yesterday, October 13th, we gathered at Bruce Meyer's house for Gigtoberfest. This was a day Bruce arranged as a general miniature gaming opportunity at his magnificent Gig Harbor game room. Bruce suggested we drag out our AWI figures and run a game of Guilford Courthouse. We agreed that it was a big enough game to keep plenty of folks involved, while proving an interesting experience. We'd run the game a couple of times before, but a few years ago, with a home grown set of rules. Bruce ran the game, I played Greene, and the game was a lot of fun.
The Brits made the fatal mistake of not being aggressive enough, taking a few initial casualties to chase away the nasty militia with the bayonet. My guys were under strict orders to retire to the flanks to support the 3rd line of Continentals, and too many of the Brits obligingly got drawn into a fox chase into the wooded far flanks, and were unable to aid their outgunned friends in the center of the battlefield. It was a nasty business, and Cornwallis would have had a difficult time making sufficient excuses to Parliament.
It was a great time. I saw lots of friends involved, including folks I don't always see. John McEwan of Reviresco was up from Olympia with his latest multi-media design, the Water Witch in 25mm. Clyde Carpenter made his first appearance since moving west of the mountains. I think everybody had a good time. I only stayed for the morning gaming session, due to the death of Lorri's dad this week. There was lots to do at home. Gaming continued in the afternoon with three smaller games hosted by Michael Koznarsky, Tim McNulty, and Chris Bauermeister. Everyone agreed after the event that we would try to do this again in the spring.
It's September 1, and summer is nearly over. I can't remember a summer like it for the sheer sapping of time and energy. A lot of the time was spent on learning new things.
I have a new job, one that I am very excited about, teaching high school American Studies and journalism at a school where I truly want to work. The principal has a vision of working for kids that I truly share--as long as my energy holds out. My job will require a great deal of my time. We are on deadline six days per month, and it will require some late evenings. I haven't ever taught in a traditional high school, and this one is unique in its asymmetrical scheduling. It's all very exciting, a little intimidating, and frightening at the same time.
My father in law has been sick, and in the hospital since July 13. It's taken a lot of our time as we worry over his recovery, make visits, and stress over his health or lack thereof. His near death in late July was almost more than the family could bear. His lack of progress is both heart-rending and irritating because we just can't move on.
I've also been gone a lot this summer. Delayed by my father in law's illness we went with niece Beth Anne to Victoria for five days. It was wonderful, I simply love that city. We did some shopping, relaxed in a great room overlooking Fisherman's Wharf, and went hiking on the Sooke Peninsula. The day after I returned, I headed off to eight days of journalism conference in Ellensburg. It was enjoyable, and I learned a lot, but it was also exhausting, and I was all in by the time I got home on August 4th.
Needless to say lots of great gaming time was lost to these competing activities. Few games played, and not even much time for painting. I did attend Dragonflight August 10-11. Enjoyed it too. Mark and I ran two big Space 1889 games which were well received. I also managed to sneak in a couple of DBA games today with Al Rivers, which were quite fun. Otherwise, game times have been scarce. I am hosting the Museum of Flight get together on September 29th, but the rest of the weekends this month are filled with other activities. A wedding, a Weyerhaeuser function, and a couple of Mariners games are keeping me busy.
Though I've had less time for painting than I'd like, I've settled in for some genuine progress the last few weeks. I've finished a couple units of Royal Marines for Space 1889, as well as some mounted troops. They look good. Next up will be some Sepoys manning a pair of Hotchkiss revolving cannon. I also finished the 7th Regt. (Royal Fusiliers) at Cowpens. These are Perry figures, and I struggled a little bit to pick out their facial features adequately, but I still enjoyed painting them. Most importantly, they are finished. I'll likely work between the two projects-AWI and Space 1889-through the rest of the year.
Hopefully, as I settle in to my new position at Emerald Ridge, and get used to life as a high school guy, life won't be quite so troubling.
It's been two weeks since Enfilade. I've managed to avoid the usual lull after the convention to begin painting again. Of course, I kind of suffered through that lull before the con, so it's just as well.
After the success of our Martian game, I came home and immediately painted up a British colonial gun battery (three sections of 9 pdrs.) I used some old Minifigs guns to go with my Old Glory gunners. I've also turned to some oldies for some colonial cavalry on Mars. I'm painting up Skinner's Horse mounted on Martian gashants. They're primed and ready to go, but I won't paint the yellow-coated Bengal lancers quite yet.
My current project is painting a DBA army. I'm working on II/26 Bosporans. They are an interesting mix of knights and auxiliaries with an artillery thrown in for good measure. Sadly, the Museum miniatures have a couple of failings. One is the Sarmatian lancers have a fair number of broken lance tips, and their's not much I can do about it. The other problem is that the pre-packaged army does not contain all of the options, which is a bit of a drag. I always thought it was an interesting army, due to the chief combinations. It also has some great enemies, such as the early Ostrogoths (I have this army painted,) Alans, and Early Imperial Romans (I have these armies unpainted.) The army is nearly complete, and it is one more project I've had laying around for a few years I can count as finished.
For the rest of the summer, I probably won't stay as focused as I usually do. i want to paint more for fun than for the next project. I see myself picking at my 25mm HYW figures, some AWI figures and my Martian stuff. In 15mm, I'll paint up the Alans, as well as some 15mm Middle Earth goodies.
Enfilade 2007 is over. I left early Friday for the convention site at the Red Lion Hotel in Olympia. I have a few responsibilities at the convention, and the most important is setting up pre-registration and the registration desk. It's a big job. I spend about five hours in preparation before the convention, assembling lanyards, and completing pre-reg packets. This year we had some 110 pre-registrants, so it was time consuming.
We had more work to do before the convention officially opened at 1:00 as we matched badges with lanyards. I had a lot of help from committed convention regulars--Mark and Joe Waddington, Arthur Brooking, Dale Mickel and Scott Murphy. They did all the hard work of matching pre-registration packets with badges, t-shirts and caps. They also managed the initial run through of early registration for events. They did a great job. It allowed me to help with other issues, and even let me do a bit of early shopping.
The rest of the day and evening went wonderfully well. I participated in Dave Schueler and Shawn McEvoy's Thunderboats! game. Thunderboats! is a hydroplane racing game that draws extensively from Dave's Golden Age Air Racing game. Shawn is a high-end resin aircraft kit manufacturer and has produced hydroplane kits and models for the Hydroplane Museum. Last year he began making smaller scale models for this game, and he had six painted hydros for Friday night's game. The game was so popular I actually had to sit out the first heat. I did watch some though. Dave added random event cards to mix of results for pressing in corners or redlining the engine, which added a lot to the game. Most added hydro "incident" flavor, such as going airborne and suffering damage, but a helped a bit such as increased power or cursing another driver. It was a lot of fun, and I was able to finish first with lots of very good die-rolling. All of the players ordered hydroplanes from Shawn, so I'm looking forward to receiving them later this summer.
Saturday was very busy. I helped keep the registration desk rolling, and ran games in each of the three game periods--never again. The first game was Gulf Patrol. Dave Schueler and I ran this in the morning. It includes ships from the US Navy, the United Arab Emirates, the Iranian Navy and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard. Each group has separate victory conditions, that mostly involve keeping open the sea lanes through the Straits of Hormuz, and safeguarding territorial waters. The Revolutionary Guard is the wild card who stir things up and precipitate action. In this game the RG demanded to search all vessels in the shipping lanes and opened fire leading to a general missile tossing hoo-hah. The only player to come out unscathed was the UAE, as they set out to generally clean up the wreckage from the other three players. Fun. We used Bulldogs Away for the rules, and they worked quite well.
In the afternoon period David Sullivan and I ran our two Roman armies from different eras in a WRG 6th edition game. It was a difficult game to run, and I wasn't particularly satisfied by the outcome. We just need to play the game some more and become more expert on the difficult to follow, difficult to remember rules set.
In the evening Mark Waddington and I ran our Sword and the Flame on Mars Game. The scenario is called Mechanical Madness, and we've run it twice. Mark did a super job of upgrading the terrain. We believe it was easily the most popular game at the convention, and it was over subscribed by many, many players. It won overall best of show, and I hope to write more about Mark's incredible talent as a model builder in a later post.
Sunday was a bit more leisurely. I hosted the annual membership meeting which went well--maybe reasonably well would be a better description. I played in the DBA Open tournament, and had a lot of fun. I drew Doug Hamm as my first opponent. He had the Toltec-Chichmecs against my beloved Italian Ostrogoths, and shot down five knights in the first game. I died like a dog 5-0. I had a little more success against Andy Hooper's Trapezuntine Byzantines. I won 2G-0, and I actually got in a second game with Andy while we were waiting for the next round to begin. I love playing with Andy. He's a good player, has a lot of great insight into the game and period history, and isn't totally wrapped around winning and losing (I could do better with this.) My last game was against Henry Thompson. I've known Henry for a very long time and it was great to play him. He had Seleucids. I was able to dodge instant death from his elephants and shot my way to a 3G-1G victory. A tough day for generals.
All in all a great covention experience, except I was a little too busy on Saturday. I'm going to try to limit myself to running two games next year--neither on the same day.
I know, I know, I'm a slacker. In any case, here's a little bit about Enfilade and my plans for the convention. First, Enfilade is May 25th-27th at the Red Lion in Olympia. It's a great venue, and we'll have a super time. There are super games planned. Our preliminary events list can be viewed at http://www.nhmgs.org/enfilade2007.html .
I'll be running three games. All of them will be on Saturday. The first is a modern missile boat game using the rules Bulldogs Away by David Manley. I tried these last week with Dave Schueler, and though the rules read really complex, they played very easily. I really enjoyed the game and the scenario Dave came up with. I've included photos of Dave's U. S. ships and my Iranians. The vessels are all resin miniatures from P.T. Dockyards. They are a bit daunting when you first see them, but I eventually got the hang of assembly.
The second game is a re-run of WRG 6th edition ancients with David Sullivan. He's added some more later Imperial Romans, and I'm increasing the size of my Republican units, so it should be fun. We'll have to go through all those glitchy bits in the rules again, I'm sure.
Finally, Mark Waddington and I will re-run Mechanical Madness, the giant Martian game that attracted so much interest at ConQuest. We have some new stuff. I'll have a Martian Windsprint, a light floatship that can zip around the board. Mark and I each have a unit of Dead Earth Warrior women, e.g. naked Amazonians. These figures from Bronze Age Miniatures are just beautiful, and Mark has some super special Amazonian rules for them too.
On Friday night I'm going to try to slither into Sean McEvoy's hydroplane racing game. On Sunday I'm hoping to play in the DBA Open tournament. All in all it should be fun.
Saturday was the NHMGS auction. We had to move the auction from the time and place we originally scheduled. This challenged the availability of many of our members. I think we had thirty six buyers and sellers, which meant there wasn't a lot of new cash available to take on some of the very interesting items.
We began with a silent auction at 10:00, which ran until about 12:30. There was some great stuff available. Kim Harris liquidated the late Bill Cooper's collection of unpainted stuff. There were some odds and ends from Company B, Jim Denberger had a Denberger-like collection of interesting stuff-lots of interesting Seven Years War books. Scott Murphy had the coolest item--a copy of WRG's Armies of the Ancient Middle East by the Two Nigels. This is a rare book that often goes for over a hundred dollars on eBay. Went for thirty bucks--a steal.
None of the lots went for passels of money. There were very few painted figures. We made only a hundred fifty dollars on the sales, but even so, it was still fun. It was fun to see Kim and Phil Williams as always. Dave Schueler and I did some more plotting on our scenario, and I was able to show off my missile boats.
Been in a funk lately. ConQuest just kind of wore me out. I've had a hard time focusing on any meaningful painting since February, and school stuff has kept me pretty busy and worn out. Even sitting down and painting for a couple hours in the evening was a chore, and I got very little done.
I enjoyed my trip to Salute in March. I played in the Gangsters game by the North Vancouver guys, and enjoyed my brief time there until my gang of hoods all seemed to immolate themselves in a surprise gunfight. I also had a blast with Doug Hamm, Andrew Ma and Rob LeCoq, playing in a War of 1812 scenario. We followed that with Doug's DBAish Seven Years War game, which had possibilities.
Unfortunately, I returned from Salute with a lot of stuff hanging over my head--report cards, 6th grade camp, and our vacation to Palm Springs. Not that any of that was terrible, but it has sapped a lot of my energy. In fact my return from vacation has energized me to begin work on a new and limited project--modern naval coastal stuff.
The always enjoyable Dave Schueler and I are doing this project together. Dave is the maestro of all things naval, and is the most wonderful scenario designer I've ever known. He has a lot of experience with 1/600th WWII coastal naval combat, and suggested the modern fast attack boats as a possible Enfilade project. PT Dockyards has a relatively new line of miniatures in 1/700, and David Manley has written a new set of rules called Bulldogs Away. We decided to focus on a hypothetical clash in the Persian Gulf, between Iranian and U.S. naval units.
I've finished building my ships, but the painting will probably take the rest of the week. I'll try to post some pictures of my ships soon. I've included some pics from the P.T. Dockyard site.
I am the miniatures co-ordinator for ConQuest '07. It is a multi-genre convention in the same vein as Dragonflight. It's biggest drawback is that it is a California for-profit con unfamiliar with the area. Last year was the first year of the convention and they suffered financial disaster. Sort of like the Donner Party of gaming. I attended the convention and met Gabriel "Mondo" Vega, the principal of the corporation and I was impressed by his genuineness and enthusiasm for the hobby. I agreed to coordinate the miniatures and do what I could to encourage NHMGS to support the event.
This is always a bit of a challenge to me. In my role as President of NHMGS it is unseemly for me to profit from involvement with other conventions. All of the goodies that come with volunteering for other conventions, such as Dragonflight or ConQuest, I have to turn down. This included free admission and rooms at the hotel. So, I pay my admission, and will drive back and forth to Bellevue (some 30+ miles each way) for three days in February. Oh well.
On the other hand, the miniatures portion of the convention is looking pretty good. Saturday should be a day in which we are filled up. Parts of Friday and Saturday also are busy. We'll see what happens in about three weeks.
Yesterday we had another Martian get together out at Game Matrix. Mark Waddington and I have been hosting these games for the last several months. We have two games we're hosting at ConQuest, and we wanted to play test them with live bodies before we actually host them with strangers. The first scenario-A Sea of Enemies-involves the relief of a British hill fort, surrounded by hostiles in the Martian wastes. We've run that twice, and it's turned out well.
This second game is called "Mechanical Madness." Mark has his full compliment of amazing scratchbuilt goodies in the game. There were three of the eight-legged walkers, conversions of the Wild West Burger King toy. British walkers, of course. The Brits also had a pair of steam tanks, and two armored suits. They also had the beautiful Zepplin Mark converted and were reinforced by the piece de resistance, the scratchbuilt Aphid gunboat. Martians had mainly foot troops with some entrenchments and fortified artillery. They also had Mark's gorgeous Ranger gunboat, a conversion from the Star Wars Tatooine Skiff, and were reinforced by a pair of Merrimac walkers and a unit of German allies.
This was the first time we'd played mechanicals vs. mechanicals and with their more deadly firepower we noticed some potential for catastrophic damage. One of the British walkers suffered a catastrophic penetration and explosion from a medium gun. The Aphid likewise suffered a crippling hit that forced it out of the game, and expedited the British decision to retire from the battle on its first turn of entry.
All in all we learned a lot about how the mechanicals work in a game, the need to tweak a few rules, and that Space 1889 is a real crowd pleaser.
I'm a high school history and journalism teacher, a career I've loved and continued to enjoy. Aside from my family I have several passions-miniature wargaming, movies, books and music. I'm also a died in the wool Mariners fan and baseball lover.