Monday, May 29, 2017

Memorial Day, Martian Legion and Two Hour Wargames

Jack is no longer with us, but he wants to make sure we remember to thank our veterans for their service and their sacrifices on this Memorial Day. I think those of us who turn history into games have a special responsibility to remember those who made the history in the first place.

Next topic: there's a book called The Martian Legion that I was able to resist for a long time. But I caved; it's about John Carter and Barsoom, after all. And every other character ERB ever created. . . and just about every other Pulp character ever created. It is a big, beautiful over-priced book that is supposed to be a big, beautiful mash-up of ERB and The Pulps. I have a feeling I'll be underwhelmed by the big, beautiful mash-up but the book itself is big and beautiful and the paintings by Craig Mullins are EXACTLY how I picture Barsoom.

The unveiling. . .

It is beautiful. . .

Next Topic: Two Hour Wargames. They are not for everybody, but I am a fan of the "reaction" mechanics and the way that you are forced to manage the battle as opposed to commanding it. The only character you are ever in complete control of is YOU, no matter what set of rules you are playing. . . or genre or level of command. AND you can play solo. Really solo, against the game rather than just playing both sides "honestly." AND the "fog of war" is real, due to the game mechanics. Watching the movie Midway this morning reminded me just how critical that "fog" is to a more "realistic" impression of history in our games.

So I am going to spend some time playing through some THW rules for the French and Indian War and World War 2, and eventually Sci-Fi and Pulp (Barsoom, again?). Not exclusively, but seriously.

See ya!

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Stupid Human Tricks, Colonial-Style. . .

While reading A Wilderness of Miseries by John E. Ferling, I came across this passage in a chapter about typical military discipline during the American Revolutionary War that surprised me:

"Some of the orders were designed to protect the troops from one another, to prevent accidental or deliberate injuries; for instance at the outset of the war officers were notified to fine soldiers around Boston who tried to catch British-fired cannon balls before they stopped bouncing."

Who has to be told, under threat of fine, not to catch a cannon ball?

Monday, May 1, 2017

Dead Trees Are Done!

Finished the bases for the "dead trees" this weekend, including adding magnets to the center of the bottom of the bases to help hold them in place both on the game table and in their travel box. Next up are some boulders on new cork squares.

I've been spending some time with the Sharp Practice 2 rules from Too Fat Lardies for my French and Indian War gaming. I want to set up a solo run-through soon. SP2 has lots of interesting ideas but lots of "moving parts," too. 

Who's played Sharp Practice 2 and what do you like or not like about it?