Monday, June 25, 2012

Hunters and a Mighty Gorilla

I have painted up some recent purchases.  They will eventually be used in a safari game later this year.

First we have some white hunters with their faithful gun bearer.  These figures are from Brigade Games and were developed to complement Howard Whitehouse's The Lion Eats Tonight rules.

The mighty hunter draws a bead on an unsuspecting target while his female companion watches intently for her own trophy.

Supported by his gun bearer, another hunter advances at the ready.

Purchased from my friend Ken H. at Bayou Wars earlier this month, these two "famous" characters will join my Darkest Africa forces.  They are both Foundry figures from packs DA1 (Explorers) and DA14 (European Ladies).  Also pictured is one of Foundry's "special" animals from pack GPR024.

The Lord of the Jungle and his mate, Jane, survey their domain.
"Red Eye" the Silverback peers cautiously from the jungle as he watches the two-legged intruders.

And finally, another "Knight of the Crescent Moon" joins the Justice Union League.  Detective Inspector Achmed was also purchased from Ken H.  He is another Foundry figure, from pack DA234 (Belgian Officers and NCOs).

The newest addition to the Justice Union League joins the "Knights of the Crescent Moon."

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Bayou Wars - Part 3

In Part 3 of my Bayou Wars report, I will post some pictures taken during the game in which I was Assistant Game Master.  This game originated in a program that was presented very early in the year at the Mississippi Department of Archives and History about the finding of the "lost mines" where the Mayans got the jade that they used in their various religious and statuary products.  About the same time the Bayou Wars Board of Directors decided that they would go with a Mayan related theme since the world is supposed to end this year with the end of the Mayan calendar.

I suggested the idea to my good friend Bill H. and together we ran with it, building a "Mayan" temple, some other ruins, and additional jungle terrain.  We both supplied about half the troops for the game.  We used the Two Fat Lardies I Ain't Been Shot, Mum! rules, suitably modified for 28mm figures and simplified for convention use.

The actual discovery of the source of Mayan jade happened in the fourth quarter of the 20th Century.  So we decided to move it "back in time" to the 1930s and have a German expedition attempt to "locate" the lost Mayan jade mines.  Opposing them would be American and British forces.  In this scenario, some local Central American banditos had kidnapped an archaeological team that had located the jade source.  They were to sell them to the German Nazis (Zeppelintruppen and Marinentruppen) and their local hired mercenaries.  The American Marines and Rocketeers, aided by part of the garrison from British Honduras, were to rescue the team and thwart the nefarious scheme of the Nazis.

Later on, I'll post some pictures of our building of the temple and the various ruins, the finished products you can see in the following pictures.

One of the jungle giant trees Bill H. built using PVC water pipe wrapped in glue-soaked toilet tissue.  They looked excellent and really added another dimension to the jungle terrain.

Bill H. explaining the scenario and rules to the players.

 I Ain't Been Shot, Mum uses a technique called "blinds" to generate some uncertainty into where the various players' troops are located.  Bill used flock covered CDs with labels and, where appropriate, national flags as his blinds, as can be seen the following pictures.

American Rocketeers advance towards the temple.  Behind the temple, some of the German Zepptruppen are deploying.

In the background, the banditos with the captured archaeologists have linked up with the Germans and are ready to hand them over for their reward.  The American blind on the temple is revealed in the next picture.

As the American Marines deploy on the temple the German Zepptruppen and joined by their Marinentruppen comrades.  Also in the area are the German-equipped Central American mercenaries (in khaki) and the banditos.

Frau Doktor Martha deploys her Germans to breakthrough the British (right) and American (left) troops deployed to block her path back to the Zeppelin that will take them back to Germany.
When the gaming time block ended, it was very apparent that the Germans would not be able to break through the British and American forces and make it back to their Zeppelin.  It appeared that everyone had fun.  We had an unusual mix of players in this game -- Doc Ord and his wife Martha (opposing each other with British and German troops), our fellow gamer "Electric" Ed, two father and son pairs, and another teenager.

Bayou Wars Report - Part 2

The game I ran at Bayou Wars was held on Saturday morning as the Annual George Carr, Sr. Colonial Game.  This action pitted US Marines and a British flying column protecting American missionaries against a local Chinese warlord in the "Back of Beyond" China sometime between the wars.  I used The Sword to Adventure variant to Larry Brom's inimitable The Sword and the Flame rules with a few modifications to convention action.


While American Marines man the perimeter of an American mission station to repel the Chinese warlord's troops, Number 30 British Flying Column must race to their assistance.  Will the British get there in time or will it be "A Mission Too Far?"

An overview of the game with the British entering from the left side and the Marines defending the mission on the right.

The Warlord and his son deploy some of their units while the Marines man the mission station walls.

Warlord troops advance against the Marines and begin to take casualties.

His Britannic Majesty's Armoured Car (HMAC) Ajax fires into the mass of Chinese troops that are overrunning the mission station.  Very few Marines are left.

British infantry and Ghurkha rifles deploy against the Chinese troops.

The Chinese troops flood into the mission against the last of the Marines.

The final bastion, the mission chapel, is overwhelmed and the missionaries and the two surviving Marines are captured.  HMAC Ajax's machinegun, while killing a number of Chinese, just couldn't help prevent the station from being overrun.

Although the British flying column moved as quickly as it could, they just couldn't get to the mission quickly enough to prevent it from being overrun.  Like their compatriots in 1944, it was "a mission too far!"

HMAC Ajax and the Crossley lorries are Matchbox Models of Yestreyear vehicles.  The troops are a mixture of many different manufacturers from old "true" 25mm MiniFigs to new 28mm Copplestone and Brigade Games, all owned and painted by ColCampbell.  But once on the table, all melded together almost seamlessly.  The roads and streams were made by the incomparable, late Andrew Doyle.  The rest of the terrain (except the "cornfield") was built and/or painted by ColCampbell, hisself.

NOTE:  The scenario was patterned after the "Bridge Too Far" of Operation Market Garden in 1944 with the Chinese playing the role of the Germans, the Marines playing the role of the British paras, and the British Number 30 Flying Column playing the role of the British XXX Armoured Corps.

Part 3 still to come!

Bayou Wars Report - Part 1

It has been two weeks since Bayou Wars, the HMGS Gulf-South regional convention (link) in Kenner, Louisiana ( a suburb of New Orleans).  But those two weeks have seen me go through first a viral sinus infection and then a bacteriological sinus infection.  I've finally felt energized enough to post the pictures I took.  Herewith are general pictures I took of various games being run at the convention, in no particular order.

15mm Battle of Albuera - Napoleonic Peninsular battle

Battle for Henderson Road - 15mm SciFi
Battle of Isle of St. George - 1:2400 WW2 naval, French vs Italian in the Med, 1940

Battle of Ligny- 15mm Napoleonic Waterloo campaign

Battle of the Crossroads - 15mm Seven Years War; Austro-Russians versus Prussians

Battle of Borodino - 1:72 Napoleonic, 1812 (200th anniversary)

Burn the Village - 25mm Victorian Colonial

Chariot Racing makes a triumphant return to Bayou Wars

Command and Colors Napoleonic - with 15mm figures!

Firestorm Armada - spaceship battle on star scape gaming mat

French and Indian War - 25mm with a lovely fort

The Foraging Party - 25mm ACW Brother vs Brother

Battle of Cross Keys - 15 mm ACW in The Valley (150th anniversary)

March and Die - 54mm French Foreign Legion vs Arabs

Panzers' Graveyard - 15mm WW2 armor action

Invasion of Peleliu - WW2 in the Pacific

Search for the Gold Monkey - 25mm pulp action (the ship is over 4 feet long!)

Ship featured in the Search for the Gold Monkey game

The Patrol - 25mm "Sergeants 3" action on the Northwest Frontier

WW2 air to air combat
That is just a sample of all the action that was going during six 4-hour gaming periods over three days.  Plus there were several tournaments and a bunch of dealers.  This is an excellent regional convention that is easily accessible for gamers from Texas to Tennessee to Florida.  Hope to see you next year!

Parts 2 and 3 will cover the games in which I directly participated as either a gamemaster or a supporting producer.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Where There Is Smoke ...

There is fire and police.

After completing preparations for my Bayou Wars game earlier this month, I took a short break in painting, partly because I have had both viral and then bacteriological sinus infections.  But as I am finally recovering from them, I completed some fire and smoke markers and a few British early 20th Century police.

The fire and smoke markers are made by Litko Game Accessories and I have had them for a number of years.  I finally decided to glue them together and then to steel washers to make them easier to store and use.

The sets come with small flame markers in two colors and tall and short smoke columns.  I mixed the flames and smoke pieces together to get ten small and ten tall markers.  I then glued them to steel washers (3/4" or 20mm) and painted the washers a charcoal color.  I'll primarily use these with my 1:2400 pre-dreadnought ships and my plastic Renaissance galleys.

Here are a couple of Japanese battleships, the lead ship showing that a single fire has been started and the trail ship showing that a massive, critical fire has gained on the damage control teams.

I also painted some heavier armed police for my British police flying squad.  I'll use these in pulp fiction games and as my contribution to our WW2 home army games using I Ain't Been Shot, Mum rules.

The detective inspector (in mufti) is an old out-of-production Ral Partha police detective while the three rifle armed constables are from the Artisan Design Thrilling Tales line.  The detective inspector was originally painted as a gangster in a very bright blue suit (a la Dick Tracy style).  But I repainted him in a more neutral charcoal suit although he still wears a red carnation boutonniere.  They will join four other bobbies that I painted back in December.

The British police flying squad can quickly respond to any crisis and swiftly put the Hun infiltrators in their place!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Mississippi's Restored Confederate Flags

Over the past several years, the Mississippi Department of Archives and History (where I work) has been engaged in a project to restore our state's Confederate flags that have survived.  On Monday, the Museum Division opened a small exhibit in the lobby of the William F. Winter Archives Building showing six of the restored flags.  The building lobby is open from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm on Monday through Friday and from 8:00 am to 1:00 pm on  Saturday.  If you are close to Jackson, please stop by a see these restored flags.  The exhibit will be in place through the end of November.  More details about the department, including a map of the Winter Building's location can be found here:

The pictures I took show the information plaque that depicts the flag prior to restoration, a close-up of the wording, and then a picture of the restored flag.  One picture in the portion about the 22nd Mississippi's flag describes how some of the restoration was done.  Two of the flags were captured in battle and later returned to the state.  There are detail pictures showing the capture information added by the captors.  Finally there is a picture and description of the rare twenty-star United States flag that we need to restore once funds can be accumulated.  The flags are framed behind glass so I had to use some unusual angles to cut down on the reflections, when I could.  I hope you enjoy this exhibit.  And please stop by and see them in person -- they are magnificently restored!

I couldn't eliminate all the reflections on this flag's picture.

Not readily apparent but details about the capture of the flag were added by the captors.
"Captured by 1st Lieut Adj THOMAS P GERE
5th Minnesota Vols
Demcember 16th 1864"

Details of the flag's capture added by the captors.

Contributions to help restore this rare flag can be mailed to:

Foundation for Mississippi History
ATTN:  Twenty-Star Flag Restoration
P. O. Box 571
Jackson, MS   39205-0571

And please designate that the contribution is for the Twenty-Star Flag.