Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 Wrap-Up

Well, another year is gone!  Hurrah!  This past year has been not so good to my state what with several tornadoes, including one which almost completely wiped out a small town, and a monster flood on the Mississippi River.  I hope the weather is not quite so bad in 2012.

I've played and/or run a large number of games this year -- 28 with my local wargaming group, 1 at the small HUBCON convention in Hattiesburg, 5 at our regional Bayou Wars convention in New Orleans, 4 at the 1st Annual Colonial Barracks convention in New Orleans, 1 rules play test with Lord Sterling, and 1 rules play set with my son.  That comes to 40 games!!

I've painted 383 "Olley" points of figures and equipment, plus 8 25/28mm sized buildings, and a number of trees.  Figures have included Seven Years War era imagi-nations, French and Indian War, Between the Wars Back of Beyond, Victorian colonial Darkest Africa, African animals, and "Pulp" fiction.  It has been a fairly busy painting year with a high in April of 91 points and a low in October of 3 points.  By the way, an "Olley" point, for the uninitiated, is one foot figure, one rider, one mount/animal, or one gun or wagon.

Our group's last game of the year was fought today, Saturday, December 31.  "Electric" Ed ran an introduction to Uncharted Seas for us.  I commanded on of the Orc flotillas.  Even though our side lost, by a slim margin, I beat up on my opponent's Dwarf flotilla.

My Orc flotilla - one battleship, one assault battlecruiser, three cruisers, and three frigates

As one of my cruisers rams a dwarf cruiser, the other two bombard him.  We sank this one!

After an ineffectual ram, the crew of my battleship boards the dwarf battleship and slaughters the defenders.  I scored 13 hits (6s are double hits) on his crew against only his 5 on mine.  This prize will be a welcome addition to the Orc fleet, once we can figure out how to operate the infernal machine!  No one said orcs were smart!!
There will be a battle report soon on the Jackson Gamers blog.  Big John will also be posting pictures on his Nomadic Old School Gamer's blog once he gets back to Arkansas tomorrow.

And to all my readers, I would like to wish you are yours a healthy and prosperous new year.  And here are some fireworks to close out the year.


and Natural:

A Fire Rainbow

The Northern Lights

Monday, December 26, 2011

Newly Painted "Pulp" Figures

I just finished a batch of various "pulp" era figures.  Some of these had been laying around for a while and a few were brand-new arrivals.  Without further ado:

A group of four British "bobbies" led by a sergeant.  Three of the four are armed with "night sticks" while the fourth has a "new fangled" electric torch.  I cannot recall the manufacturer so anyone with an idea, please leave a comment.

Three of these four figures are from Artizan Designs "Knights of the Crescent Moon" pack and are armed with a pistol (2) or a submachinegun (1).  But the leader is from a different manufacturer and if anyone can place him, please leave a comment.

Maude, the missionary's wife (left), and Charlotta, her adventurous sister (right), both from the Copplestones "female archaeologists" pack.  My good wife provided the fashion advice with the color schemes.  As usual, she got them both just right.

But when danger threatens, they immediately assume their "alter ego" guises, armed with high-powered semi-automatic pistols.  You just don't fool around with these sisters!  They are also from the Copplestones "female archaeologists" pack.

Another look at Maude in her two guises.

And at Charlotta in her two guises.

These three ladies are very dangerous dames.  On the left is Elle Woods (from Legally Blonde) in her big game hunting outfit.  In the center is "Cara Loft," that well armed and dashing "tomb raider."  And on the right is Fiona (Burn Notice) with her high powered rifle, looking for someone to shoot.

And finally we see all of them together, joined by the missionary (center) and the huntress Ruby Maye Loveless.  Together they constitute the Justice Union League against International Espionage and Terrorism (JULIET).
I thought I would have a little fun with these rather disparate figures, grouping them into a 1920s/1930s predecessor of such 1960s organizations as CONTROL and U.N.C.L.E.  Some of them will see play in my 1930s back of beyond China game for Bayou Wars this summer.  Others may appear in other games during the year, maybe even in Bill's and my "Mayan Adventure" game planned for Colonial Barracks in November.

Maybe over the coming year I can obtain some opponents for them, such as a 1920s/1930s CHAOS or THRUSH.  Hummmm, some of Copplestones excellent Russian Civil War Soviet character packs would work.  We'll just have to see.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas 2011 at the Barracks - Part 2

On this day, all of us at Col Campbell's Barracks wish you and yours

Very Merry Christmas


A Happy and Prosperous New Year !!!

Christmas Tree at Col Campbell's Barracks

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Christmas 2011 at the Barracks

Two years ago, I brought you some scenes from the Christmas activities at the Mississippi Archives where I work.

Christmas Trees:    Antebellum
                             Depression Era

Trains at the Archives:    Possum Ridge

This year we added a new tree:

And the trains are still running at Possum Ridge, our fictitious Mississippi town:

The lovely Rachel from our Museum division watches as the chief engineer works on an engine.
A young visitor watches the Illinois Central's City of New Orleans as it passes on its way down to the sea.  The orange and black three unit train immediately behind the Ice House is the Rebel, a Gulf, Mobile, and Ohio fast passenger train.
The monuments in Possum Ridge's town park, including one (left rear) to the town's namesake.  A hobo catches a nap on the park bench.
One of the newer acquisitions to Possum Ridge's economy is a cotton gin on the outskirts of town.
The gin is supplied by one of the many cotton fields prevalent in Mississippi.
Another new "addition" to Possum Ridge's economy is carefully hidden behind a kudzu draped abandoned house located far from prying official eyes.
On the other side of town, members of the local Missionary Baptist Church welcome new members to their flock.
The lovely Rachel tries her hand at steam engine repair under the watchful eye of the chief engineer.
For more information and pictures of the Possum Ridge layout and buildings, please take a visit to our department's blog, A Sense of Place.  If you are interested, you may subscribe to notices of new blog postings.

And for a final look at Christmas at the Archives, the tree that is present year round in the work area where I spend my time.  This tree is appropriately decorated for other times of the year, such as Mardi Gras, Easter, etc.

Yes, it is sitting in a large trash can since the stand that came with it broke several years ago.

And so once again from all of us at Col. Campbell's Barracks, we wish you a


and a

Very  Happy  and  Prosperous  New  Year !!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Dwarfs at the Barracks!!

Yes, Col. Campbell has moved towards the dark side, with two 12-figure units of dwarven infantry and a leader-priest dwarf.

Well, just kidding about moving towards the dark.  I've had these dwarfs for a number of years.  They are from the now defunct Mega Miniatures USA [edited 01/23/2015].

The dwarf leader-priest in his flame outfit.  He is holding a sacred lizard.

Der Blauetotenkopfverband (The Blue Death's Head Unit)

Der Grunetotenkopfverband (The Green Death's Head Unit)

Both of the units were used in our wargame group's medieval battle on Saturday, Dec. 17.  We used the venerable Rules by Ral and rated the dwarfs as foot knights.

The Blues advanced and attacked an enemy unit of human foot knights.  On the advance they took some casualties from archery fire.  And my abysmal die rolling resulted in them being beaten by the human knights.  The Greens never got in the action as my leader, James the Weak, couldn't roll high enough to "energize" more than 2 or 3 units a turn.  Oh well, the game was fun even though our side ended up losing.

A battle report will be forthcoming, either on the Jackson Gamers web site or the Jackson Gamers blog.

Friday, December 2, 2011

"What Did You Do in the War, Daddy?" -- Part 1

In response to a question about where our father was stationed during WW2 from my younger brother, I did some more examination of his "flight diary."  My father kept a small notepad in which he recorded very basic information about the bombing missions he flew as a flight engineer and top turret gunner of a B-17 assigned to the 731st Bombardment Squadron, 452nd Bombardment Group, 8th Air Force, from November 24, 1944 through May 6, 1945.  They were based at Deopham Green Air Base (link).  He flew a total of 29 missions, 27 of them were combat and 2 were humanitarian.  The targets were throughout Germany (Berlin, Hamburg, Dresden, etc.) and France (German enclaves along Atlantic Coast).  The two humanitarian missions were in early May 1945, delivering food to Amsterdam.  He called them "chow hound" missions.  His plane and crew left England on June 29, 1945, and flew back to the USA via the Azores.  They were in the midst of transitioning to B-29s at Sioux Falls Army Air Base, South Dakota, when the Pacific War ended.

In the back of the notepad, my father had drawn his B-17:

The Square L was the tail symbol of the 752nd group

To give you a little better perspective of his in-flight duties, I can highly recommend the movie The Memphis Belle.  My father told me one time that, like the crew of the Memphis Belle, he had to crank down the landing gear by hand.  

One of the two planes in which he flew (the "Sweet Sue") was shot up on a bombing mission against Darmstadt on December 24.  They were extremely low on fuel and had to make an emergency landing at Laon, France, where they spent Christmas before being flown back to their base on December 27.

I will probably be posting more as I do a better examination of his flight diary and compare it to the history of the squadron and group.

And for those who are interested, is making their WW2 records available free of charge until midnight on December 7.  link