Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Intro Thoughts on a Spanish-American War Project

Photo from War Times Journal website
For years, fourteen in fact, I have been the owner and moderator of The Spanish-American War Yahoo group.  And for these same fourteen years I have wanted to game both the land and naval actions of the war.  While most of the land combat is seemingly one-sided, I was going to go with a Cuzco Wells scenario in which the Spanish actually outnumbered the American and Cuban forces, running the game as a quasi-skirmish affair using Tiger Miniatures.  A lack of space kept me from moving forward with that little endeavor, so I decided to "go small" using the old Freikorps 15 range, but those figures are showing their age with a lack of multiple poses and fairly plain look.  The Fantassin figures (which became Warmodelling, then Capitan, and now apparently Stonewall), while a bit more animated and offering a wider variety of poses, lacked U.S. Marines and some other necessary items, and they are simply far too large to use in-conjunction with the Freikorps.  So, to that end I have purchased and sold off in 25mm, and purchased and sold off in 15mm, figures for gaming the land actions, a project still stagnated to this day.

From a naval aspect, again the two major actions are fairly one-sided, but I believe Manila Bay, if the Spanish have the option to use their fortress guns, could be a more balanced game.  So, I do have the fleets for Manila Bay from War Times Journal, but they sit in their bags, waiting for basing and painting.  Really no excuse for not getting this project worked on as the ships are tiny (1/3000 scale) and I have a large sea mat ready to use, and even rules selected (the simple Quickfire rules, also a WTJ product).  So, what is the hold-up?

I think part of it stems from the shiny toy syndrome, in which a grab onto another idea or project and allow other ideas to wane.  However, I am determined to change that this year, by at least getting the naval project completed in 2018.

So, stay tuned as I plow my way forward into Manila Bay!

Friday, December 8, 2017

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Barbarians at the Gates

Well, more like Tripolitians in this case.  I finally got around to basing most of the remaining Second Barbary War figures, in this case the Tripoli pirates.  I had the U.S. Marines mounted some months ago, but for some reason (perhaps a lack of bases or more likely a lack of drive) never got around to the bad guys. I still have to mount the gun crews, but I think what I might do for those is model two types of stands, one with crew and gun, and another with just crew.  I have plenty of gun crew figures, so I can certainly have it both ways, so to speak.  I'll need to pick up some guns from Thoroughbred (most likely I will go with their 9 pounders), but beyond that, the forces are pretty much ready for base prepping and priming.

About half of the grunts and two of the leaders (right, on larger bases)

I've been giving the rules (Force on Force/Ambush Alley) some thought, thinking that my initial force ratings for the pirates might be a tad off.  Therefore I think the following change is in order:

Barbary Coast Dudes

Quality - D6-D8
Morale - D6-D10

Beyond optimum range 1D for every four figures firing (muskets), within optimum range 2D per every two figures firing (pistols and muskets), and gains two extra melee dice for use of knives, pikes/spears, blunderbusses, and swords.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Really Off Topic - The Battle of the Wabash Trail

As part of my love for Ohio Indian Wars, I on occasion keep coming up with ideas of projects related to the period that have nothing to do with gaming.  One is to write a tour book that would cover Harmar, St. Clair, and Wayne, another to do a tour book on just St. Clair (smaller in scope, but easier to complete the legwork), another idea is to backpack either St. Clair's or Wayne's march from Fort Washington to Wabash or Fallen Timbers respectively, and most recently I have been thinking about marking the St. Clair campaign with some sort of driving tour signage that would guide the driver from Cincinnati to Fort Recovery, taking the closest historical route, and going by the various related stops.  Of course, to do the latter, I would need to raise about $1000.00 to purchase the signs, work with local and state entities to allow the signs to be installed, and then write that St. Clair tour book to provide directions and background.

This idea is probably a pipe-dream, but I did design a tour directional sign!  Imagine seeing these signs for one hundreds miles, from the heart of Cincinnati to Fort Recovery.  It could spark some interest in the period and increase a bit of tourism dollars for the small towns along the way.  Hmmm, maybe I should think more on this....

Fort Jefferson on a cool morning
Fort Jefferson from the southeast - The flag in the previous picture can be seen above the white house in the center
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