Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Legion Test Game at the Club

 Last night I committed blasphemy at the club - I ran a non-historical game.  On second thought, maybe it was historical as it did happen a long, long time ago.

I ran a game of Legion to teach the rules.  I really like Legion and think it's a much more refined version of Bolt Action.
It was a very tough night for the alliance, who pretty much got crushed.  Even poor Luke didn't fair so well against a AT/ST.

The overall opinion on Legion was very positive so I think you'll see more at the club in the future.

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Wargames Illustrated Issue 383 (Shameless Self-Promotion)

The current (Sep'19) issue of Wargames Illustrated (#383) has some very good coverage last July's Historicon, including a full page spread on my game.  Hence the overall self-congratulatory post.

Thanks fro the very nice coverage - Dave Taylor is a superb photographer and his skills make even the schlock I put on look good.

Monday, September 9, 2019

WW1 French Corps Expeditionnaire d'Orient in 6mm: Done

 My contribution to the clubs upcoming Gallipoli game is complete - well I still need to seal the bases but I like to let the glue dry a few days before doing so.  I present to you the French Corps Expeditionnaire d'Orient in 6mm scale.  The figures are from Baccus.
1st division: 8 battalions of infantry, one artillery and one HQ unit.
2nd Divisions also of 8 battalions of infantry, one artillery and one HQ unit.  There's also a corps HQ/Supply Depot.

All the stuff behind the divisions is "extras" that came with the French Division set I purchased from Perter at Baccus.

This is the first time I've painted up 6mm figures in a long time.  How long - maybe all the way back to 2012.

I had forgotten how freeing painting 6mm minis are - there isn't a lot of detail that I can paint so rather than focus on individual minis one focus on the entire basing to convey the setting and time period.  It was a lot of fun.  I suspect you'll see some more 6mm in the future.

Thursday, September 5, 2019

WIP: WW1 French Corps Expeditionnaire d'Orient in 6mm

A really messy "work-in-progress" shot of some Baccus WW1 French I'm working on for a club mate.  These are being painted up to be 2 divisions of the French forces used in the initial landings at Gallipoli.  The basing is at the Battalion level.

It's an interesting force with a mix of troops in French blue and a range of colonial and Senegalese troops.

I am not the most skilled painter in 6mm so am trying to make the basing look good - see the "barbed wire" to distract people from my really awful paint job.

I suspect Peter Baccus will see some additional orders from me for his WW1 line

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Playtest Labor Day

 Labor Day was a big day of gaming at the club as I got to participate in 2 play tests.  The first was an outing of Josh's newly built and simply superb Gallipoli table.  It really is stunning

 We played the first day of the British Invasion at the tip of the Gallipoli peninsula.  The figures are 6mm in scale and the game was a blast
 I played one of the Turkish commanders and lets just say the Brits had a very difficult day.  I think the rules need to be tweaked as it was just too easy for the Turks.

Oh, there may have been a beach being taken away from the Brits.  Just saying.....
Josh really did a stunning job on the table.

There will be no pictures from the second game but the table and mini's are equally stunning.  Why no pic's? - cause you just might see the game this season on LWTV and I don't want to "spill the beans"

I also recorded my first two rules reviews for the channel so it was a busy day - please be kind in your complaints about my ugly visage on the You-Tube.  I am a delicate flower.

Monday, September 2, 2019

Daring Aquatic Rescue

At approximately 4:10PM this Sunday, my wife informed me that there was someone in distress.  Being a man of action, I immediately went into to rescue mode, complete with a cheesy 80's TV-show soundtrack playing in the background.  My mission - attempt a daring rescue of a skink that was trapped in our pool.

 This operation was going to be both dangerous and difficult. It also required me to channel years of childhood experience playing with cold-blooded beasties in the bayous and estuaries of coastal Alabama to become a cool, fearless reptile rescue machine.

This next part may be too much for those of you with delicate constitutions - using nothing but my hand I lifted the trapped skink out of the pool.
 It was a blue tailed skink, which is native to Maryland and as you can see does, indeed, have a blue tail.  They are actually very beautiful.  They are also vociferous mosquito eating machines and make good neighbors.
This particular skink was quite friendly and insisted on crawling up arm and resting on my shoulder for about 20 minutes before agreeing that it was time for him to return to the pool side wisteria vine.

I love it when a plan comes together.

Friday, August 30, 2019

The Prusa 3D Printer is Fixed and Working!

The replacement Thermistor arrived on Wed and I actually managed to get it installed correctly on Thursday.  My Prusa is back up and working.  I must say I'm really impressed with the quality of Prusa's customer service - the part was dispatched from the Czech Republic on Friday and received in Maryland by Wed.  There's also a superb set of instructions online of how to replace a thermistor which made Thursday's "operation" rather easy.

The first print from my newly "thermistorized"* print head is a warehouse roof.  Perhaps not the most exciting of subjects but I've made a commitment to the club to print off a warehouse and paint it up.
How big is this warehouse?  I'm 25% done with the two sections pictured.  There are three more building/roof sections to print out!

You may see this warehouse in an upcoming LWTV video....

Anyway, I'm really happy with the Prusa printer and the level of customer service.  There are less expensive printers out there but I think the combination of hardware and support quality make Prusa worth a bit of a premium price.

* I know "thermistorized" really isn't a word but given that Google's auto spell correct feels free at times to substitute any word other than the one I want, I try to strike back by making up new words to confuse their devilish algorithms.

Fight the Power!

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

ESR Napoleonics at the Club: Talavera!

Last night, at the club, I ran another game of ESR Napoleonics (published by The Wargaming Company) and we all had a blast.  I restaged the full battle of Talavera.  The table size was a little tight at 6x4 ft but it worked.  The first picture shows the French advancing on the combined British / Spanish position.
The allied side had 2 players with Tony taking the role of Wellington and Ed "becoming" Cuesta.  Ed really gets into character for these games.
The French had three generals with Tom taking the overall command as Jerome / Jourdan, Simon commanding Victor's corps and Dave commanding Sebastiani's troops.
The fighting was contained to the French right flank (as it had been historically).  There was a lot of see-saw fighting as division after division was wrecked.  Simons I Corps saw two of its three divisions wrecked in exchange for two Spanish and one British division.  We really got to experience how fluid this game system is .
The final British assault.  Tom's Dragoons on the left pushed back the British Calvary but Simons infantry were pushed back from the guns.  In the end, the game was called as a French victory as Simon managed to get his one remaining division of the table edge but the battle was very closely fought.

As for the rules, I really like them.  To be honest, I still got some things wrong but it was a much better run through than our previous game.  I'm going to tweak the OOB's and run this one again - perhaps on a slightly larger table that will afford a little more room for maneuver.  I'll also put a little more effort in on the terrain as this may become a convention game down the road.

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Prusa I3 Mk3S - Thermistor Woes and Superb Customer Service

Last night I kicked off a 15 hour print for a "secret LWTV" project.  Ok it may not really be all that secret - I was just trying to sound cool.  Anyway, the print seems to have stopped at the 94% completion point and I was seeing a mintemp error on the printer's control panel.

After inspecting the printer it looks like one of the wires to the Thermistor has broken from wear and tear.  I'm 99% sure this is from use error as I've been struggling a bit with the filament jamming and have taken the print head apart at least 5 times so may have not made sure the wire was clear the last time I reassembled the printer.

I went online to the Prusa support site and was able to quickly diagnose the issue via their superb documentation.   I took the picture you see above and then opened a chat box with Prusa support.  Horsa jumped on the chat with me and quickly confirmed my diagnosis and just sent me a new Thermistor for free.  Thermistors are cheap but this unit is coming from the Czech Republic and postage isn't free.  I was very impressed with the customer service and the lack of a nickel and dime attitude that I see with a lot of other tech companies.  As I think the break is due to my error, I would have gladly paid for the part and postage but this issue was never raised.

I highly recommend both the Prusa company and the I3 Mk3S printer.  Get the kit - it's a little cheaper but the process of putting the thing together really does teach you how these things work and makes it a lot easier to diagnose issues.

For clarity, the initial problem I had with the filament jamming seems to be from using Cura as my slicer and that software not being fully tweaked to work with the Prusa printer - yet another "user error" on my part.  Once I switched over to the free slicer software from Prusa, I've had no jamming issues.

3D printing isn't for everyone as it's still a developing technology but if you're a tinkerer at heart its a lot of fun and I highly recommend you incorporate it into you miniature gaming hobby.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

The Waterloo Campaign is Coming to an End

 Not the most exciting game from the campaign last Monday, but one that was rather grim for my French.  2nd and 3rd corps are being chased by the entire Prussian army and were nearly caught.
 # rd corps maneuvers to block the Prussians advancing to the south, while 2 corp tries to make it through the woods.  There are Prussians advancing from three directions direction
Third corps manages to get off the board as do 2 brigades from 2nd corps
This escape came with some cost and I'm afraid 3rd corps is running out of real estate.  Strategically they have done their job as the majority of the Prussina force is concentrated on them.  Will it be enough?  We shall see..