Saturday 30 August 2014

Matrix Games book

Hot off the press from the History of Wargaming Project is this new book on Matrix Games.  My copy arrived this morning!

I have followed the development of the MG concept over the past 20+ years and designed several successful such games so it is pleasing to see this attempt to make MGs more accessible to both professional and hobby wargamers.

“In Matrix Games, knowledge, imagination, and persuasiveness dominate. Both the referee and the players find their greatest success by drawing on their storytelling skills. In many ways, Matrix Games boil down the art of gaming to its essence”. Peter Perla

Invented by Chris Engle, Matrix Games are an innovative way of wargaming situations and conflicts that traditional wargaming methods find hard to model. This book was written as a manual to help develop and run matrix games about modern conflicts. The examples included have all been used for real military training to develop understanding of complex confrontations.
This book includes:
A foreword by Peter Perla, author of the classic Art of Wargaming.
An introduction to Matrix Games        
S.C.R.U.D. Simple Combat Resolution Using Dice

The five scenarios are:
The Falklands War (1982)
Chaoslavia- Former Yugoslavia (1993)           
Crisis in Crimea: A Counter Revolution (March 2014)            
The Red Line- The Civil War in Syria (August 2013)  
Lasgah Pol- Peace keeping in Afghanistan (2008)

As can be seen from the list above, the book includes my own Falklands War game which has been used by the military establishment of at least one country...

At £12.95 this book is well worth a look - even if you are simply curious about how MGs work and their possible applications.

Friday 29 August 2014

Elchingen 1805 - part 2

Nearly forgot to post this - the second half of my game report!  Above can be seen the Austrian counterattack on the village while to the right(!) if the frame are some Austrian cuirassiers off to do battle with the French heavies.
The cavalry battle - watched by some French gunners.
A brief but bloody affair, the French had (just) the best of it.
An overview of the centre.
The French Cantiniere taking her horse to water.  I wonder if it had a drink...
Austrian infantry sweeping round the flank
The French still clinging to the village....
...and taking the ridge from the flank.  Sneaky!
More cuirassiers!  The plucky Cantiniere cheers on the French cavalry.
Endgame.  The French clinch a narrow and hard fought victory by overrunning the Austrian guns.  To quote the French General "It was the chaps in bicornes what done it."  It probably sounded a lot better in French.

Thursday 28 August 2014

Fishbed fun - part 3

The MiG-21 is now complete.  The photos were taken in something of a rush on a rather untidy painting table.  I used the Soviet markings included with the kit.

 Little Ivan at the controls.  Actually the pilot was missing from the kit and this chap came from the spares box.

In the not too distant future I will post some rather better photos of the MiG actually in use in a game!

Wednesday 27 August 2014

Fishbed fun - part 2

More progress - here is the MiG after 3 coats of silver have been brushed on!

Tuesday 26 August 2014

Pleasing to behold? The answer

This post generated a number of correct answers.  This link is of course, Marc Bolan and T-Rex with Jeepster.  
Why?  One of the verses reads thus:

Just like a car
You're pleasing to behold
I'll call you Jaguar 
If I may be so bold

Hey, it was the '70s man!

Monday 25 August 2014

Pleasing to behold?

I ran a couple of posts (see here and here) about the build of this kit but completely forgot to photograph the finished model until recently!  Here it is in er, 'flight' over my garden.  That glass which appears to be holding it up is just a trick of the light...

And you can have 50 points if you can reveal the relevance of the post title to the content.  I'll turn on comment moderation until at least Tuesday midday.

Sunday 24 August 2014

Fishbed fun - part 1

This is another old kit - but not one I've tackled before.  In fact this is my first 1/72 MiG-21!
The contents of the box.  The parts look pretty crisp and not excessively numerous!
Initial assemble - so far so good.
Keeping everything in line.  Where would we modellers be without Blu-tac?
The kit offers a choice of two decal sets - Soviet or Czech.

Saturday 23 August 2014

Elchingen 1805 - part 1

We played this scenario on 13 August.  I put this game together a short notice having forgotten that I was to take the game that week!  I thus quickly printed out the scenario from the CCN website here , sorted out the terrain and dug out the boxes of French and Austrian toys.  Encouraged by the fact that they - for once - wouldn't have to attack across a river and up a hill, Martin opted to lead the French while John led the Austrians.  As it turned out, the Frenchies had already crossed a river (the Danube) but still had a ridge line to assault!  Above are the French massing...
...and the Austrians atop their hill!
 An overview of the field of battle.  Austrians on the left, French on the right.
French cavalry still crossing the Danube.

The initial French attack was focused on the village...
...from which the reluctant Austrians were driven at bayonet point.
Note the diminishing strength of the unit accompanying the French general (centre)...
...until he is alone!
A subsequent French assault on the Austrian guns ended badly.  Those are the Austrian dice - which wiped out the French unit!
Both sides pause for breath with everything still to play for....

More soon.

Friday 22 August 2014

Feeble Forbodian flying Fagot full of finely filed filler finally finished

Just in case you thought the Forbodian Peoples' Air Force would be a mighty organisation, here is their latest acquisition.
The tale of this nasty MiG-15 has been unfolding over a couple of earlier posts here and here.
Anyway, the bloody thing is now finished and I have to say it looks OK.

Even the vast quantity of filler has covered up tolerably well!

Alpha Jet - part 2

Built and ready for painting!

Thursday 21 August 2014

Alpha Jet - part 1

I've already mentioned this kit here and here.  And now....on with the build!
The contents and the box.

The initial build went smoothly but some parts did need clamping into place while the glue dried.

Though the box featured a 'clean' aerobatics machine, I was encouraged by the discovery on the sprue of pylons and bombs.  That's more like it!

Tuesday 19 August 2014

ASU-57 air portable assault gun

As part of my quest to find suitable models for Little Cold Wars, I picked up this tiny terror on eBay.  For those of you unsure about what an ASU-57 looks like, here are a couple of photos of the real thing.
It was designed not long after the Great Patriotic War as a means of giving paratroops some armour support.  It thus forms part of a Soviet tradition of experimenting with airborne armour - they've been at it since the 1930s.  The tiny ASU was used as an assault gun and improvised APC by the pre-BMD Soviet paras.  It must have been rather cramped in the latter role - the length including the gun barrel is under 3.5 metres and  it is only 1.18 metres tall.

Here is the model - sent all the way from Bulgaria.  It is a real Soviet-era diecast which had at some point (and quite understandably) lost part of it's gun barrel.  Despite it's small size it scales out at around 1/43 - which is bang on for my LCW toys.
It even has little wheels so I can push it around the table.
And so to the missing gun barrel.  After a bit of measuring I discovered that a bamboo skewer was just the right 'calibre' and a sleeve of plastic tube was cut to join it to the existing barrel.
More photos when the glue is dry and it's had a lick of paint.