Tuesday, November 15, 2011

New (Old) RAFM Sci-Fi Vehicles

After doing some searching on the good ole world wide web, I had come across a few references to some grav tanks and APCs that RAFM used to offer on their website within the last few years.  I believe, based on what I can gather, these are old Martian Metal vehicles, which, if true, amazes me considering how poorly the Striker (Traveller) Martian Metal infantry looked. 

RAFM pulled these vehicles because many gamers thought the costs to be too high and they were getting some negative PR.  However, I asked about the availibility of these vehicles on the RAFM forum recently, and Smiley, RAFM person extraordinaire, has made these castings available again to the 15mm sci-fi community.

One can buy a grav tank, a four vehicle grav tank platoon, a grav skiff, a grav APC, and a grav APC interior.  Prices range from $5.95 for the APC interior to $80.00 for the grav tank platoon.  The APC interior appears to be a resin casting.

Now, in an effort to not be accused of being a sock puppet, I do agree that these vehicles are rather expensive, about twice as costly (or more) than comparible resin offerings from other companies.  But, these are also some fairly large pieces of metal, and to be honest, the grav tank design is rather kick butt and fits to my thinking what a high tech level grav tank should look like.

So, perhaps wait for a sale to save a few bucks, or bite the bullet and buy a few at full price.  The more sales we generate for RAFM the more likely they are to expand upon their offerings.

Grav tank
Grav skiff

Grav APC
Grav APC interior
Pictures from RAFM's website.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Finished Buildings

Months ago I had written about some custom buildings I was having completed in exchange for some 20mm moderns.  I have posted pictures of those buildings (a mosque, hotel, and shanties) as they were works in progress, but have never posted any pictures of the structures as completed.  I had completely forgotten that the chap (David Glenn) who made these for me had sent me pics of the completed works, the pictures of which I found today in a buried file folder.  So, here they are!  I still need to get out my terrain and post pictures of all my wonderful terrain toys, but for now, this will have to do.

I can use these for the 2003 Iraq (Generation Kill), Late 1970s Germans in Africa, Mogadishu (Black Hawk Down/Little Bird Down), and Striker/Tomorrow's War projects.

L' Hotel de Somalia (or Olympic, I have signs for both)

Back of the hotel
Battlefield debris

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Using Force on Force/Tomorrow's War in the Traveller Setting

Low Tech Infantry Unit
I have rather enjoyed the Ambush Alley Games series of rules sets for engagements in the modern world.  Ambush Alley (for regulars vs. insurgents), then Force on Force (for regular vs. regular encounters) have recently been combined into one Osprey hardbound publication called (surprisingly) Force on Force. The rules within Force on Force cover both the insurgent vs. regular and regular vs. regular battles that we might find in today's world. Ambush Alley Games also has a sci-fi set of rules called Tomorrow's War, which I have not personally seen, but uses the same basic model as Force on Force, but taking the weapons to a science fiction level).

Using the RAFM 15mm sci-fi figures as they were originally intended (packaged for Game Designers' Workshop's Striker), one can easily convert the weapons systems for Traveller/Striker into Force on Force parameters. The platoon sheets that were included in the Striker sets can allow one to come up with some interesting science fiction forces based on the Traveller/Striker model, an example of which can be seen to the right.  One could also take the suggested morale and initiative ratings on the sheet to come up with the various quality dice used in Force on Force.
RAFM has nearly every Traveller/Striker figure available again, just not packaged in the organizations that Striker calls for.  However, the fine folks at RAFM will allow special orders, so if you tell them you desire 'x' of one figure and 'y' of another, they will take care of your needs (they do want a minimum of a $20.00 order when doing this).  I have recently taken advantage of this service, and RAFM provided me with two platoons of low tech infantry and one of high tech infantry as organized on the old Striker sheets.
Bear in mind that if you decide to use Force on Force (or Tomorrow's War) you will need to purchase extra leader and support weapons figures to cover the random events that can occur from Fog of War. 
Let's go through an example of how to order some low tech infantry from RAFM:

Low Tech Infantry Unit Order
Looking at the low tech infantry sheet (Striker Set #1), one needs twenty figures to field a platoon.  Those twenty figures consist of one officer, one mortar gunner, two NCOs (the same pose as the standard rifleman), four automatic riflemen, and twelve riflemen.  All these poses are found within RAFM's Infantry Pack #4.  So, to order the twenty figures necessary, one would add two packs of Infantry Pack #4 to one's shopping cart, proceed to checkout, then send RAFM an email (brock@rafm.com) describing the poses desired.  When I created my order for two platoons of low tech infantry I emailed RAFM and attached a picture of their Infantry Pack #4 with the quantities of each figure desired notated on the pic shown here along with my order number.  Brock from RAFM confirmed that he received my email with picture attached, and in a couple of weeks I received my order with the correct number of figures and poses I needed.  On the same order I also ordered twenty of the Infantry Pack #1 to use as the high tech infantry from Striker Set #4, so my order was for a total of sixty figures, which RAFM handled with ease (at least from my point of view).

Converting ratings from Striker to Force on Force was rather easy as found out by my gaming buddy, The G Dog.  Taking the most common of weapons from the Traveller universe, here is what he has come up with:

Assault Rifle - 1d small arms
Advanced Combat Rifle - 1d small arms
Gauss Rifle - 1d small arms
Snub Pistol - 1d small arms
Accelerator Rifle - 1d small arms
PGMP-12 - 3d medium support weapon
PGMP-13 - 3d medium support weapon
PGMP-14 - 3d medium support weapon
FGMP-14 - 4d heavy support weapon
FGMP-15 - 4d heavy support weapon
Light Assault Gun - 2d light support weapon
LMG - 2d light support weapon
Grenade Launcher - 2d light support weapon
Auto-GL - 3d medium support weapon
RAM GL - 3d medium support weapon
RAM Auto-GL - 4d heavy support weapon
Submachinegun (SMG) - 1d small arms
Shotgun - 1d small arms

Flak Jacket - one defense die
Combat Armor TL11 - two defense dice
Combat Armor TL12 - three defense dice
Combat Armor TL14 - four defense dice
Battledress - four defense dice

Using one of the most famous units within Traveller (The Duke of Regina's Own Huscarls or 4518th Lift Infantry Regiment), their ratings for Force on Force would be as follows:
Squad, Duke of Regina's Own Huscales
1 Squad Leader (Combat Armor 14, Gauss Rifle)
1 Assistant Squad Leader (Combat Armor 14, Gauss Rifle)

2 Fire teams, each with:
Team Leader (Combat Armor 14, Gauss Rifle)
Trooper # 1 (Combat Armor 14, Gauss Rifle)
Trooper # 2 (Combat Armor 14, FGMP-15)
Trooper # 3 (Combat Armor 14, FGMP-15)

The squad would throw 13 dice in combat, defense dice for the squad would be 10 +4. For a single fire team, defense dice would be 4 +4 (plus cover).  Some nasty buggers, for certain.

As you can see, one can still easily use the RAFM Citadel 15mm figures as they were intended (in the Traveller setting), making Force on Force, or its sci-fi partner Tomorrow's War, as rules set of choice.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The African Project - The Foundation

It has been a few months since I have posted to the blog, and so, in an effort to get me back on track, here are the beginnings of the African Project, mainly the background setting.

From the African Project page:

Set in the late 1970s, on the heels of Operation Feuerzaber. The Bader-Meinhof Gang (well, those who didn't commit suicide anyway) are not happy with the West German government, nor is a certain faction within Somalia. In this age of terror, more Middle Eastern and German radicals, this time with tacit Somali support, have taken hostage West German citizens that were working within the confines of a "peaceful" Somali village. They plan to execute the hostages on live TV, showing the world that they are not to be trifled with.

In actuality, the "peaceful" Somali village is actually in Kenya, called BP1, just over the Somali border (and literally within small arms range).  BP1 is on the B9 (also known as the Isiolo-Mandera Road), just a few klicks from Mandera.  The Somali faction who has taken the hostages are from the Rahanweyn clan, a clan that is found in Somalia, Ethiopia, and Kenya, and therefore has some support in the northeastern part of Kenya where the three countries meet.  The fact that the hostages are actually in Kenyan territory makes the diplomatic maneuverings that much more sensitive with the recently installed Kenyan independence government.
The Rahanweyn clan believes that the raid on Flight 181 was a raid by the West German government on the Somalian homeland.  While the official Somalian government gave authorization to the West Germans to conduct their operations at Mogadishu airport, there were those within the various clans who did not agree with this approval, and they have persuaded the Somali government to take a hard line with the European country during this latest crisis.  Therefore, not only are there members of the Rahanweyn clan involved, but the West Germans may have to deal with Somalian government forces as well.
The hostages were taken from a farm near the border by members of a sub-clan of the Rahanweyn, led by one Abdi Mukhtar.  Mukhtar has sixty to one hundred fighters under his control, with the typical mix of Russian small arms (AK-47s, light machine guns, and the ubiquitous RPG) and perhaps a few technicals.  He may have other support, from the Somali government, which may include armored vehicles.
The West German forces are from Fernspählehrkompanie 200, a recon unit tasked at times with unique operations.  While specialized hostage raids fall within the realm of Grenzschutzgruppe 9, the West German government is hesitant to use this force again, trying to keep their existence as low key and unknown as possible.  So the task falls to recon, who have been working with the GSG9 to enhance their raiding techniques.

There will be some other players involved besides the Rahanweyn and the West Germans, but those forces have yet to show themselves.

RAFM - 30% Sale

Eye candy from RAFM website
Well, it's been far too long since I have posted anything to the blog, and I still need to setup my terrain and snap some pics, but in the meantime, in conjunction with my Striker Ambush Alley/Force on Force project, I thought I would post a mention about RAFM's 30% sale, which is on all of their products.  For those sci-fi gamers, there are the old RAFM Citadel 15mm Striker figures, which look as clean and crisp as they did lo these many years ago when they first burst onto the scene.  And now RAFM has created a new APC to go with them, called the Imp.  The Imp comes with two weapons options (dual mount missile launcher and a twin cannon auto gun), and while it retails for a pricey $11.95, it is a nice casting.  With the sale going on you can grab one for only $8.37, which is quite in price range with other 15mm vehicles on the market.

Picture from RAFM website

RAFM has repackaged their sci-fi figures, so don't expect to find the old Striker packages.  However, for those of you who want to buy your figures along the old Striker org charts, RAFM will sell you whatever mix of figures you want.  Just email them with your requirements.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Shanty Time!

Here we go again, some incredible buildings being constructed for me from the same chap mentioned in previous posts! This time we have shanties and some miscellaneous parts he is adding in.  Super work!  These are 15mm structures, with lift off roofs, and will be used for both Middle Eastern and African settings.  Add these to my existing structures (Deimos Design Studio and Kerr and King), these shanties, the mosque, and L'Hotel de Somalia will give me one kick arse Ambush Alley terrain display!  Even though I decided to go with a three foot by three foot board instead of the standard two foot square that Ambush Alley suggests for 15mm, filling the larger board will be no issue, depending on the setting location, because all of these structures I will have to use.  Add in the pieces from The Terrain Guy and Battlefield Architect and *BAM*, I have an easy to set up and great looking game!

So, just waiting for the paint jobs to be completed and my new toys mailed to me!  Okay, let the drooling begin:



Wednesday, May 25, 2011

L'hotel de Somalia

Oh, start drooling now, go on, get it out of your system.  As mentioned in my previous post, I am having a couple of buildings and some shanties created in trade for some 20mm figures.  The pics in the previous post show the excellent work on the mosque, and now I have some "sneak peek" pictures of L'hotel de Somalia, a motel based on the Olympic Hotel made famous during The Day of the Rangers.  Look at this work!  The floors lift off allowing access (and building clearing possibilities) to every room on every floor.  Heck, there are even stairwells and an elevator shaft!

Alas, the bad new for the rest of you, this chap does not really do commission work, so you will just have to game/live vicariously through my posts and pics!



Monday, May 16, 2011

New Mosque!

I am trading some 20mm figures in exchange for a couple of 15mm scratchbuilt buildings made, specifically a small mosque and hotel to use with my Deimos Design Studio and Kerr and King buildings, taking my tiny village setting into a bit larger of a village/town setting as needed (the hotel will be psuedo-based on the Olympic Hotel of Black Hawk Down fame).  By adding these buildings to my existing ones, I can now put a dozen structures on my three foot square gaming space I am using for Ambush Alley (I just feel like the two foot square suggested in the rules for 15mm figures is a bit too small).

So the chap making the buildings has sent some work-in-progress pics of the mosque, and OH WOW, am I ever blown away!  For my gaming needs I requested lift off roofs and a small minaret for the mosque, and the builder has come through in a big way (I am not sure if he does commission work so I am reluctant to give out his name...pending a reply from him on that very issue). 

As you can see, the mosque is coming along very nicely, and I cannot wait to get this bad boy on the table as most the buildings I have are smallish single room structures of one or two stories.  I'll let the pics do the rest of the talking.


Sunday, May 8, 2011

Ambush Alley - Contracting Trouble Pics

We had a quick game of Ambush Alley Friday night at the Buzkrieger bunker (Cincinnati) with a few of the Buzkrieger boys along for their first taste of AA (they mostly do WWII microarmor).  The G Dog brought his 25mm setup, using Battlefield Evolution figures.  The insurgents came away with a fairly convincing win, even after being down to just a few figures on the board.  The Marines simply could not get to the contractors quick enough before the insurgents received reinforcements in key areas.  Fog of war played a bit of a part in this one, a building was determined to be on fire, which channeled one of the Marine fire teams towards a Haji hotspot.  That fire team was able to securely move into a building, only to be close assaulted by a ten figure Haji force.  The insurgents lost a few figures from Marine fire, but were able to pass their morale check and swarm the Devil Dogs, eventually killing two and capturing two.  On the other flank the two Marine fire teams were having a hard time getting around a fifteen figure insurgent group, but one that had no leader, and after failing three troop quality checks, that force was finally shot up and bypassed.  But again, another insurgent force came into play just in time to secure a commanding position near the SUV.

We still struggle with some of the interruption/reaction sequence, and cannot determine that after all Marine units have moved and fired that if they can react again to insurgents who have not previously taken an action.  It did not help that I had a copy of the rules that were of a later version than The G Dog, so finding the same sections at times was interesting as the page numbers were not the same for the two versions at hand (and I had a third version from a PDF download that was yet again different).  But, overall, I think we are enjoying the feel and ease of play of the game.



Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Back to the Alley, with Focus

I have found that the gaming bug that has bitten me hard recently is really getting out of control with the amount of giures and terrain I have been buying recently, so I have made the difficult decision to pare down the modern gaming projects into just two areas (well, three perhaps), and in just one scale.  While I believe that 20mm figures are probably the best way to go for modern skirmish gaming, particularly using Ambush Alley/Force on Force, I already have painted figures and terrain in 15mm, and that terrain can be used in the Middle East as well as Africa.  Therefore I am sticking to the initial reason this blog was created (the Generation Kill/Iraq project), keeping the hypothetical West German/Somali brew up, and perhaps also doing the 1993 Mogadishu battles between the Rangers/Delta Force and the Somali warlords.  In all cases I can use my Deimos Design Studio buildings, and adding in the Kerr and King adobe buildings I recently picked up.  I also will be adding in the 20mm fences I picked up from Ironclad Miniatures (but selling the nicely cast 20mm shanties) since they seem to scale well as tall fences for the 15mm figs.  So the Caribbean and Asian projects have gone by the wayside, and all the figures and terrain I have picked up for them over the last few months (in 20mm) are now listed in The Bazaar.  This will allow me to complete my Generation Kill project (nearly done, have to paint the Peter Pig U.S. Marines), and still give me some other figures to paint up on the side (the QRF West Germans and whatever figures I wind up using for the Somalis - Rebel Miniatures, Peter Pig, or perhaps Flashpoint Miniatures).

For a complete diversion, but using the 15mm terrain I already have, I will be painting up some of the RAFM Citadel 15mm science fiction figures, using Ambush Alley to bring the old Traveller world back to life.

Tonight I will be posting pics of the Kerr and King buildings as well as the QRF West Germans (unpainted).

So, be certain to check The Bazaar for some good deals and come back to the blog from time to time to see the progress I am making with the scaled down projects.

Monday, April 18, 2011


I keep promising to take pics of my QRF Germans, along with other items, but I just cannot seem to get around to taking care of that little chore.  I hope to remedy that soon along with taking pics of more painted figures.  The Peter Pig Marines I have are begging for some coats of paint, and I do want to get the West Germans started. 

I received my Kerr and King Middle East buildings last week.  Not bad resin castings at all.  They have the lift-off roofs that I find are a must for my Ambush Alley gaming.  When I snap pics I will be certain to take a few of the buildings as well.  There are pics on the Kerr and King site, but folks might want to see the unpainted versions as opposed to the pictures of painted buildings on the Kerr and King site.  The lift off roofs will need a bit of work as they are hard to get on and off, but some filing of the roof edges and perhaps adding a few bits like air condition units will do the trick.

I also received my copy of Force on Force recently, which is now the combination of the previous incarnations of Ambush Alley and Force on Force.  I like the format.  I did not like paying so much for a set of rules, and with such slick production one would think there would be no typos, but there are a few typos and for the life of me I cannot find the building clearing table that is referenced within the text.  However, that said, now I have rules for regulars vs. regulars and regulars vs. insurgents within one set of rules.  I look forward to pushing some lead about soon.

A side note...a gaming buddy (The G Dog on The Miniatures Page) and I have been talking about using the old 15mm RAFM Citadel figures inconjunction with Ambush Alley rules to do some sci-fi gaming.  I have always liked those old RAFM figs (created for use with Traveller), but did not enjoy using them with Striker and Striker II rules.  I will not water down this blog too much with this project, but might snap pics and post random thoughts from time to time about it.  My buddy pretty much has the weapons and battle dress/combat armor worked out, so not a lot more needs to be completed to use with Ambush Alley.

From the good news desk....

It looks like Grubby Tanks will be taking over the future production of Britannia Miniatures.  This is great for those who have enjoyed the quality of the Britannia line and might have been wondering about the future of Britannia.  Jenny Howitt, Dave Howitt's daughter, was filling some existing orders, and has mentioned that Grubby will be taking over.  I hope all is as well as can be in the Howitt family.  It is always sad to lose a loved one, and (not nearly as soon) sad to lose a gaming brethren.  At least Dave's legacy will live on!

Hopefully, soon, pics to follow!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Notes and Thoughts

QRF West Germans Have Arrived!

Okay, first, I really need to set down and take some bloody pictures of some of my recent aquisitions, particularly the Cold War era West Germans from Quick Reaction Force.  After receiving my first West German order (command, MG3s, Panzerfaust, and infantry armed with G3s) I decided to add a few more "extras" to the mix.  I needed to get UZI-armed troops for close quarter work, a couple of Marder 1A1s for transport (the Fuchs would have been a better choice for a vehicle that might have been deployed for a special unit, but the Fuchs didn't enter service until after the time period I have in mind), snipers (the TO&E I have for the West Germans has a G3 with scope armed infantryman within each "fireteam", so scoped weapons were a must), and a news media team to report back on the nasty doings the unit is involved in, those shameless western troops repressing third worlders!

I WILL get pictures going soon, starting with the bare metal Krauts and then pics of various stages of completion as I work on them.  I am going to use my standard Ambush Alley mounting system, meaning 20mm round bases for leaders and 15mm round bases for other types.  I use the 1.5mm thick bases from Litko.  They are thick enough to hold onto without making the figures tower above the surrounding terrain.

Kerr and King

With the passing of the Deimos Design Studio owner, I have been looking for other sources of 15mm Middle Eastern buildings, with hollow interiors and lift-off roofs.  Well, I have found some sources, one being Kerr and King from Old Blighty.  I have an order in for a few buildings (one large, two medium, and one small) and courtyards (one for each building), as the latter aspect is sorely lacking within my current setup and a very common feature in the mid-east. 

There is also the buildings from Najewitz Modelbau that look intriguing, but their prices are pushing towards that Miniature Building Authority range.  Perhaps if the Kerr and King buildings blend with with the Deimos ones, I'll order a Najewitz building or two as well.  But, with Kerr and Kerr added into the Deimos buildings I already have, I will be able to place quite a few structures (a dozen or so) on my terrain tiles.  I am using a three foot square gaming area instead of the two foot square as suggested in the Ambush Alley rules, just seems to look better.

Ironclad Miniatures

Still waiting on the 20mm shanties and walls I've ordered from Ironclad.  It's been nearly two months.  According to the owner, he's had some issues of late (a recent move and a computer virus), and he assures me that my four shanties and wall sections are on their way.  I certainly hope so!  He's had some bad press recently on The Miniatures Page and needs to make things right for some folks, including me!

I think I will be able to use the shanties in both the Caribbean and Asia, double duty always being a good thing.

Update - I received my Ironclad order today, and the owner added in an extra shanty as an apology for the delay!

Friday, February 25, 2011

The Asian Project - Status Check

A few weeks ago I posted some alternative plans to use with Ambush Alley, some sort of hypothetical conflict that takes place in southeast Asia using various forces from the theater (Americans, Aussies, Vietnamese, Khmer Rouge, Chinese, and maybe the odd German), doing this project in 20mm.  I also have some ideas for 15mm Africa and 20mm Caribbean.  I actually will probably be working on all these projects, as some of them are easy expansions on existing projects.

For 15mm, I received some nice Quick Reaction Force post war West Germans.  Armed with G3s, Panzerfausts, MG3s, and Uzis, they will make a nice force for an incursion into Somalia, circa 1977-78 (think Mogadishu, NOT Black Hawk Down, but earlier).  I have placed another order with QRF for snipers, two Marders (which started to see service in the early 70s) and a media team, just to add a little "flavor" (but not Flavor Flav, that dude is gay...right, this blog is NOT politically adherent).  I have North African buildings (Deimos Design Studio) already that I think would work for a small Somalia village, placed on some desert terrain (The Terrain Guy).  Maybe find a few 15mm shanties and the terrain is set.  Now, I have insurgent-type figures (Rebel Miniatures), but for Somalia, I need something a little more "African."  Both Rebel Minis and Peter Pig make suitable African figures, and I like both styles.  But for "blending" purposes, I think the Rebel Minis figures are more in line with the style (height and heft) of the QRF figures.  They make both African militia and African military so I can add in different factions. 

Now, for 20mm, I have some great Liberation Miniatures West German figures in field cap that I can use for a "special forces" unit.  I have on order some shanties from Ironclad Miniatures.  I also have some painted Liberation African Government troops coming from an eBay winnings.  I've also ordered some additional Liberation figures (U.S. Marines with M-14, 1982 period U.S. troops with M-16, African rabble types, and African Government troops).  Okay, so now why have Africans in two scales?  Because in places like Grenada African figures work well for the populace and military forces, and the 20mm project (well, this one at least) will be set somewhere in the Carib.

Let's not stop there.  The Liberation U.S. Marines (M-14) will also be able to do duty in early Viet Nam (as will the shanties)!  I just picked up a copy of Go Tell the Spartans, and while dated, it certainly gives me some additional ideas for early 'Nam.  I also just finished re-reading The Village, early Marines near Chulai, very small scale stuff with Marines, local militia, and local Viet Cong.  So, the Asian project is still in place, albeit a bit modified. 

I will be posting pics of the bare metal soon, then moving into the painting stages.  Probably going to work on the post war QRF Germans first, no camo, should be easier to paint (meaning faster to get them to the tabletop).  After that perhaps I'll work on the early 'Nam Marines, as again, no camo, and should be easy to paint.

Stayed tuned....

Friday, January 28, 2011

Britannia Miniatures' Dave Howitt's Passing

I am very saddened to hear about the recent passing of Dave Howitt, driving force behind Britannia Miniatures.  I've only ordered a few things from Britannia, but when I did the service was cracking and the response to my emails was extremely timely.  I extend my condolences to his friends, family, and the gaming community, we have indeed lost a wonderful person.  God bless him.

UPDATE:  It appears that the Britannia Miniatures website is now defunct.  I had heard that Mr. Howitt's daughter was carrying on with the business, but that might have only to fulfill outstanding orders.  'Tis a shame, I was hoping that Britannia would carry on, but certainly can understand the family's decision to cease operations. My thoughts and prayers go out to them!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Pulling the Trigger

Hey kid, c'mer and pull my finger...

Well, in anticipation of expanding the Ambush Alley project into the reverse future (um, meaning the past), I've ordered some post war Germans from QRF and started working on a new page, called The Asian Project, to give some background and direction to my hypothetical world of the late 70s.  Why Germans?  Why not, it's my hypothetical world (with a real world setting I guess).  Post Viet Nam, with Vietnamese, Khmer Rouge, Aussies, Kiwis, Yanks, and whomever else I throw in.  Finding figures would be very easy, between the various 15mm manufacturers who make Viet Nam ranges.  There are plenty of options for Asian/Viet Nam buildings in 15mm (TimeCast Models, Miniature World Maker, Flashpoint Miniatures).  Alas, not all these buildings have lift off roofs, a MUST for me when gaming Ambush Alley, but the MWA buildings do have lift off roofs.  I have some palm trees from The Terrain Guy, those could be added to to increase the amount of vegetation.  Does anyone make 15mm H-34 helicopters?  Just thinking aloud there.

Of course, I COULD go into an African project since Peter Pig make some wonderful figs.  Imagine African rebels, government types, Cubans, South Africans, and any other faction I want to add in (special forces from West Germany perhaps?)  My Deimos Design North African buildings could serve dual purpose.  Hmmm, now I am rethinking this all again.  Wait, wait, wait...a lot of gamers are already doing African games, my Khmer Rouge/Asian Project idea could be a bit more unique, it's like Viet Nam 3.0!  Must be that lack of focus thing kicking in again!

Stayed tuned over the next several years while I sort all this out.  From time to time the Asian Project page will be updated with random tidbits.

More GameCraft Releases/QRF Sale

GameCraft Miniatures have added two more products to their 15mm Middle Eastern building range, this time a hotel/apartment building facade and downtown shops.  I like the GameCraft buildings, they are cleanly cast, well designed, and look great.  I just wish they would make more buildings with lift off roofs and have openings for windows and doors.  Don't know why I am hung up on open windows and doors, just like them!

Quick Reaction Force is running a 10% sale until January 23rd.  Yes, I know I am a bit behind on getting this posted.  I am still very tempted in buying G3 armed Germans and move my Ambush Alley project into a new arena, some fictitious African or Asian setting taking place in the 70s or 80s.  More on this later...hmmm, I think I'll go ahead and order some Germans right now!

And...now I have five packs of G3-armed post war Germans on the way! 

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Focus, Focus, FOCUS!

Are you like me?  Do you have a difficult time staying within one, two, or twenty historical periods you want to game?  Ever read a book or see a movie and think "I could game that!"?  Then, my fellow focusless gamer, read on.

I love military history.  My interests are as widely varied as the various wars that this planet has seen.  I have dabbled in ancients (DBA), been addicted to Napoleonics (can anyone say Empire?), played Seven Years War and the American equivalent, the French and Indian War.  The American Revolution fascinates me.  The War of 1812 is one of those wars I want to game more, both land and sea (or lake).  The Federal period (Harmar, St. Clair, and Wayne) holds a special place as I grew up less than fifteen minutes from the site of Fort Hamilton.  The American Civil War is probably my number one interest, although I haven't pushed lead blue and gray soldiers for far too long.  I've looked at colonials (even painted a few), think World War I is cool, was hot and heavy in World War Two micro-armor (and a little in 15mm).  Vietnam has always driven my salivating mind processes into overtime (I had 30-50 paperbacks on the Nam back in the 80s).  Moderns were also a micro-armor project for me, and now in 15mm (curse you, Ambush Alley!).  Then of course there are the books and rules to go along with any project.  Mix in other periods and one can see that I am doomed!

With the recent (and very sad) passing of Major Richard Winters, 101st Airborne, I pulled out my DVD set of Band of Brothers and watched the last disk, the one in which the veterans of Easy Company were the "stars."  That got me thinking (again) about doing some paratroop actions, maybe in 15 or 20mm.  Why do I do this to myself?  I have plenty of books about Easy Company, having collected most of the memoirs available.  Rules could be a simple skirmish type, but I do not have European terrain.  Would that stop me?  A bit, the condo only has so much room, and the better half might have something to say about more toys!

And, to make things worse, I have been toying with expanding my Ambush Alley project again!  I have yet to purchase any figures for Lebanon (1982 style), but Quick Reaction Force has a sale going on right now, and buying some Cold War 15mm Germans would be neat.  Create some sort of fictional country (Africa, Asia), having different factions (government troops, rebels, commies, Cubans or some other Eastern Bloc influence...see, the possibilities go on and on), and using Ambush Alley to game it out...cool!  But then I remembered, I have some of those hard to get 20mm Germans from Liberation Miniatures already, the cool ones with feldmutze headgear and G3 rifles.  Sweet!  Could buy some hooches from Monolith Designs or Britannia Miniatures, add in some other Liberation Miniature types (Cubans, African troops, South Africans, 1980s U.S.), and BAM, another crazy project.

And there lies the dilemma.  I have gaming things to work on now.  I also have hikes and backpacking trips to plan and go on.  I have some things around the condo to do.  I rarely actually game anymore, all my gaming buddies have lives and we do not see each other like we did even ten years ago.  Should I keep buying more toys, ones that I will rarely use?  Those 20mm Germans are still there, in their bags, waiting to be painted, waiting for terrain to be put in, waiting for bad guys to kill.  I have purchased and sold more figures and rules than I can remember.  And, I still have THIS project to work on, the project that drives this blog's bus!

I should sell everything and stick to reading and hiking and working on the condo...but then reading more books simply pulls me right back into the gaming windmills I must charge towards.  If only I could win the lottery, then I would have all my figures painted and a huge game room to use them in!  If only I could FOCUS!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Updates and GameCraft Miniatures New Release

It has been FAR too long since I have posted to this blog.  My real life committments do prohibit my ability to do much in my gaming life in the weeks leading up to the holidays.  Hoping now that the New Year is upon us I can start being a little more active with the blog and gaming in general.

I have been having a bit of trouble trying to get the folks at Deimos Design Studio to reply to my inquiry in having a special building made.  After an intial burst of contact months ago, they seem to have fallen a bit off the map.  I was hoping to have a block of buildings made, maybe three of four buildings all linked together.  Perhaps, like me, their real lives got in the way a bit and they have just been a bit busy.  Time for another dispatch to see what the status might be.  I've had great service from them for the two orders I have placed, so I still have high hopes!  UPDATE - Okay, I just went to their URL, only to find it has gone POOF.  Looks like another homegrown company has bit the dust.  So glad I was able to buy their buildings when I did, so saddened to see them disappear without as much as a goodbye.  Guess that explains their lack of response!

On another note, I am happy to see that one of my favorite manufacturers has released a 15mm minaret!  GameCraft Miniatures announced that they now have added a 13.25" tall minaret to their line of 15mm Middle Eastern buildings.  Consisting of four parts (three resin and one acrylic tube) this piece will make an impressive addition to my small village.  Here is the picture from the GameCraft site:

I am hoping that I can get my figures painted within the next few months, and actually do some gaming!  Then I will expand my Ambush Alley project into Lebanon, 1982.  Americans, Israelis, PLO, Christian militia, maybe even Syrians.  Should give me plenty of gaming options for 2011!

Happy New Year!
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