Tuesday, November 14, 2023

Serenity at the Controls


On Tuesday, Nov. 14, a group from my local MOAA chapter was given a guided tour of one of the C-17 Globemaster III aircraft assigned to the Mississippi Air National Guard's 172nd Airlift Wing at Thompson Air National Guard Field adjacent to the Jackson-Medgar Wiley Evers International Airport.  We got a close-up look at the first C-17 assigned to an Air National Guard unit, aircraft #0007, which joined the 172nd in 2003.  It is one of nine C-17s assigned to the 172nd.  Besides the officers of the chapter, two spouses and my granddaughter joined us to see this magnificent aircraft.

Serenity standing in the cavernous cargo bay only about 1/4 of the way down it.
[Faces deliberately obscured.]

And seated in the right-seat in the cockpit.

C-17 #0007 has been named "Spirit of America's Veterans" which was aptly chosen for our tour since we are all veterans.  We had a great visit and thank the 172nd for the experience.

Saturday, October 7, 2023

Microarmor in North Africa

Well, this post has been a long time coming.  It has been 8 months since I last posted.  My painting and posting mojo has been at a nadir although I have been gaming with my local group, the Jackson Gamers.  But now I've been energized to renew my interest in gaming the actions in the Western Desert of North Africa in 1941 & 1942.

I originally got involved in these campaigns years ago with "Blitzkrieg Commander," playing several games.  But interest waned.  Now that I've been playing games using the "Memoir 44" rules, I've found my interest again.

I'm able to use the forces I've already painted and based, just adding infantry and 'special weapons assets' - antitank guns, mortars, and machine guns.'

Because I'm using 1:285 scale figures and vehicles I procured a 4" hex gridded desert mat from Cigar Box Battle.  After a brief exchange of messages my mat arrived posthaste.  For terrain, I using hexes cut from various colors of thin craft foam and the hills from 1/2" extruded foam insulation board.  The units are mounted on bases from Litko.

A Test of Units and Terrain Pieces

In the above image (please click for a larger version), the two dark brown pieces on the left are a wadi with a unit of DAK infantry at the mouth.  Next is another unit of DAK infantry behind a sandbag emplacement along with a unit of Pz-IV tanks.  The tan pieces are a desert track with another DAK infantry unit along with its AT gun special weapons asset.  And finally on the right is a small sand hill with a unit of heavy antitank guns (50mm PaK 38).

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

In Memoriam - Lori Brom


On the afternoon of Monday, January 23, 2023, my good friend and "sister from another mister," Lori Brom succumbed to a heart attack at Ochsner Hospital in New Orleans.  Lori was a delightful person to know, funny, witty, and smart.  After her father Larry Brom died in 2015, she and her sister Christy carried on Sergeants3 and the publishing of Larry's many rules, especially "The Sword and the Flame."

Lori Brom, 14 Nov 2014, at Colonial Barracks

Lori was the sparkplug behind the unfortunately short-lived Colonial Barracks conventions in New Orleans in the early and mid 2010s.  There gathered the most enthusiastic devotees of Larry's rules to play games and visit with friends, both old and new.  Economics and Covid put an end to that convention, much to our loss.

 She and Christy welcomed my wife and me into their home many times.  Those visits were always full of laughter and stories.  We didn't get to see them in person these past several years but did correspond via telephone, e-mail, and letter.

A loss too soon of a wonderful lady.  May you rest in peace in the loving arms of your parents on the green shores of the never-dying lands in the west.

"And all will turn to silver glass; a light on the water; grey ships pass into the west."

Friday, November 11, 2022

Veterans Day


First, a loud shout-out to all my veteran comrades on this Veterans/Remembrance Day.

I participated in a small Veterans Day parade put on my the local citizens/business organization, Fondren Renaissance, around the neighborhood in which my church is located .

With my driver, Lloyd

It was an interesting experience since besides military reviews the last time I marched in an actual parade with a military unit was during Mardi Gras in 1972 and 1973!

Thursday, October 13, 2022

First Pashtun Unit for TMWWBK


After many weeks I finally finished my first unit of Pashtun infantry to be used with "The Men Who Would be Kings" rules.

These twelve mountain warriors are all armed with rifles - a mix of a few modern bolt-action rifles, a number of Martini-Henry single-shot rifles, and a couple of rifled jezzails.  They are all Old Glory castings.

Under the unit categories, they are "Irregular Infantry" with a 6" movement rate and worth 4 points.  In the rules, this category "is a catch-all for troops neither impeccably trained and drilled European regulars nor  native troops fighting in Tribal fashion."

You'll notice that two of the warriors will be carrying around their own rocks for cover.  These particular Old Glory castings are inherently unbalanced and would fall over if not supported.  I got the idea of using rocks from Neil of the Toy Soldiers and Dining Room Battles blog, in particular this post of his.  Thanks, Neil!

This is the first of seven Pashtun units in my lead pile - two more irregular rifle armed units, three tribal infantry melee weapons units, and a tribal cavalry unit.  Hopefully with some perseverance I can get all of these painted by the end of the year.

Wednesday, October 12, 2022

Medieval Crossbows


After a couple of games last month using the "Lion Rampant, 2nd Edition" rules, I saw a need to complete a unit of crossbows.  I had four painted 25mm figures obtained a number of years ago and decided to match them with eight unpainted figures that I had acquired a fewer number of years ago.  I knew I couldn't even begin to match the paint job of the original figures.

So here we have my new unit of twelve crossbows:

Please click on image for a larger picture.

I think you can probably tell which ones are newly painted (hint, their helmets are all the same) and which ones I bought already painted.

My Medieval troops are all (or will soon be) mounted on hexagonal bases to distinguish them from the forces raised by my wargaming buddy Lord Sterling which are either on round bases or rectangular/square bases.

Sunday, September 11, 2022

Mustering the Troops


It has been over a month since I've posted anything, which is not really unusual.  Various non-gaming related events have "interfered" with my gaming activities.  But I have been working on several gaming items.  One being obtaining a copy of the 2nd edition of Dan Mersey's "Lion Rampant" medieval rules.  After reading through the rules and digesting the changes, I said, "Self, we need to have a medieval game."  So I dug out my vintage 25mm Medieval troops and started planning.

After updating my "retinue" list (now a "warband" list) from our last games back in 2015, I planned on what I needed to do to bring some of the units up to date.  Many of my units have gone from washers (infantry) and rectangular metal bases (cavalry) to hexagonal bases, but not all.  I did that to differentiate my Medieval units from those of Lord Sterling who has the Kingdom of Parallelogram and the Kingdom of Circumference.  I decided in the Duchy of Hexagonal, although I called it the Duchy of Bentwood.

Please click on a picture for a larger image.

So here are the first eight Warbands (each of 24 points), first the forces loyal to Duke William Worthington:

From the left - Bentwood Castle, Castle Kilgarren, Cove Hold, and Southern Hold.  Since I took this picture I've substituted some units for others, but the basic composition remains the same.

Bentwood Castle (Duke William) -- two elite cavalry (AKA knight) units, two heavy infantry units, and one Archer unit.

Castle Kilgarren (Sir Robert Hastings, Constable) -- one elite cavalry unit, one heavy cavalry unit, two veteran heavy infantry units, and one skirmisher unit.

Cove Hold (Count Leslie Dumfries) -- one elite cavalry unit, two heavy cavalry units, one veteran heavy infantry unit, and one crossbow unit.

Southern Hold (Baron Hugh Guisby) -- one elite cavalry unit, two heavy cavalry units, one veteran heavy infantry unit, and one archer unit

Against them are arrayed the rebellious alliance:

From the left - the Teutobergerwald Abbey, Free City of Haven and Men of the Dale, High Tor Keep, and High Reaches Castle.  Again a couple of units have been substituted since the pictures was taken.

Teutobergerwald Abbey (Lord Abbot Heinrich von Kurland) -- two elite cavalry units, two heavy infantry units, and one crossbow unit.

Free City of Haven (Walter, Hereditary Manager of the Free City) and Men of the Dale -- one heavy cavalry unit, one veteran heavy infantry unit, two light infantry units, and one veteran archer unit (the Men of the Dale).

High Tor Keep (Baron Stephen de Bleu) -- two elite infantry units, two light infantry units, and one archer unit.

High Reaches Castle (Freiherr Uwe von Strenger) -- one elite cavalry unit, one heavy cavalry units, two heavy infantry units, and one veteran archer unit.

With these warbands, I designed a small game for our Thursday "Old Guys" Group.  It pitted three loyal warbands against three rebel warbands using the "Bloodbath" scenario from the rule book.  Each warband was 'balanced' with one heavy cavalry unit, one heavy infantry unit, and one missile unit.  It was an interesting game with all the players either getting introduced or re-introduced to the rules.

The Warband from the Free City of Haven was successful in repulsing the Warband of Cove Hold from taking a rolling hill on one end of the battlefield.  The Cove Hold heavy cavalry and heavy infantry were singularly unsuccessful in driving the Havenites from the hill and suffered tremendous casualties.

An overview of the entire battlefield towards the end of the action.  There was much bloodshed, several leaders were killed in challenge duels, and the rebels persevered over the loyalists.

I have a larger game scheduled for my wargaming group on Saturday.