Monday, August 28, 2006

Castle Model

As long time readers of this blog may recall, my youthful miniature wargamer bug was revived when I helped my stepdaughter construct a castle model for a school project. We were both very proud that our castle received the best mark the teacher had given for this standard project in nearly 30 years. It was a quite imposing castle.
Her teacher gave her a list of features (eg. Keep, chapel, curtain wall, portcullis) to include in her model, and we then built a design around these requirements. The stars visible on the board connected these features on the model to the legend (white section near the drawbridge).

The model took about 20 person hours to create from our plans, its scale can be seen from the pen lying alongside the rear wall (above). A surprising comment from her teacher was that we had built it close to scale (which we had). We used about $20 of materials plus paint. We made it from balsa wood, on a cloth covered wooden base. Here's an aerial view...

We recently had to move house, and I have deconstructed our castle to its component bits. Before I did so, I took these photos. It had already suffered damage over the last 18 months, it now lies in wait in pieces for a medieval army to form and fight over its battlements.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

East Front II Update - Battle is Joined

Just a quick update on the ongoing email game of Talonsoft's classic East Front II Ihave going with Wayne.

The scenario has passed the half way mark. The First Panzer are locked into two major battles with endless hordes of Russian troops and tanks, for the central ridge and for the Southern town. In both instances the battle is closely locked at the moment. The southern edge of town has seen a fairly major tank battle, with a bit of a standoff at present. The other two main tank battles have occurred on the Northern slopes of the central hill, and for the ridge road about 2kms south.

A developing side show is taking place in the Russian rear, where a recce unit of germans has bumped into second line Soviet units protecting against just such a grab for easy points in a rear attack from 'behind' the river.

Will let you know how this goes.

We are about to move house, so I am not sure how often I will be able to post here for the next week or two.
I will keep track of all the blogs I follow from work, though...

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Site of Interest - Iron Mitten

I might start putting up the odd link to sites which for some reason grab my gaming fancy. First amongst them should be TMP, but I'll put up a separate entry on that some other time. For now, let me recommend Iron Mitten. It's a beautiful and growing blog, kept by a fellow who has multiple passions for history, drawing, cartoons, writing, collecting and painting beautiful figures, photography. Seems to be all about Ancients, which is fine by me.

EF II - New Scenario: Battle is Joined

We have commenced a new East Front II scenario, 'The Battle is Joined'. I am playing the 1st Panzer on an afternoon during operation Barbarossa - attacking a series of objectives composed of rural road intersections, junctions and river crossings in an moderately wooded hilly terrain. It is defended by outposts of russian infantry, with armoured and motorised reinforcements (I believe) arriving in the early part of the game.

We are up to turn 6 of 20, and I am still awaiting the KVIs and T34s I believe to be around. My tanks are meanwhile engaging relatively obselete models at close range (so far without loss to myself), and my infantry are fighting their way into the only significant town in the area.

Will let you know how it goes.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

EFII Game Report - Long Walk Home

In the long term project Wayne and I have going (a series of Talonsoft's East Front II games played by email, taking us from the conquest of Poland to the obliteration of Berlin) we have recently completed The Long Walk Home scenario (click here for an earlier report on the game). It was a major Finnish victory, the Russians failed to penetrate the main line of resistance, let alone breakthrough the battle area along the highway.

It was a very interesting scenario, showing the versatility of Talonsoft's Campaign system. You could really feel the difference between the efficient ambush strikes of the Finnish ski troops, as opposed to the blundering steamroller of the soviets. The character of the battles that developed along the wooded roads was one of Finnish trying to strike the rear and flanks of the Russian columns as they advanced up the few roads, yet not get too caught up in any particular firefight as that would allow the Soviet to in turn encircle and overwhelm the skitroops. Finnish Troop Quality, especially their consistent ability to rally but also their movement speed, made them very tough opponents. The russian's strength lay in his seemingly inumerable reserves.

To my mind it fairly accurately reflected the tactical dimensions of the Winter War. It would only be a matter of time and casualties and the russian would win through through sheer force of numbers. Which is exactly what happened historically.

Thus, out of two completed games, Wayne and I have each won a major victory. Both games have gone the way they did historically (broadly speaking).