Saturday 25 September 2021

There you are Mr Mojo!

"Ho there Mr Mojo, where have you been?"

"Sorry boss, things were going **** up with Brexit so I shot over to Crete to paddle board with some Russians."

"Well, now you are back we can crack on, have you had any ideas?"

"Well, loads but....well we had a few beers and stuff so I'm a bit murky on where I got to."

"Good thing I'm doing your job for you then!"

First up, more progress on Stout Hearts as per picture. Nearly final map. Looking to finish this very soon. Play testing next week. The photo does show this is a floppy map, bits of A4 stuck together, but it does look nice in real life.


I have been very happily inspired by a number of developments in other guys wargaming lives:

Bob Cordery's Portable Wargame is getting a lot of interesting applications. This one (of many) from Mark Cordone is brilliant, from the home made map tiles and 2D buildings to the 1/72 micro armies is simply superb (here).

Useful review

I like reviews, especially ones which are useful. A simple like it or not is not helpful. However, there is a great review of my Hue game here.

The reviewer didn't like it all that much but appreciated the experience. The important thing for me is that he thought that it was a good simulation of urban warfare. That is, lots of static shooting and endless assaults. Possibly not a not a fun game for the manoeuvre enthusiast but I take that as a compliment

On the horizon

Against the Odds Magazine have a belated Annual coming out. This time, La Vendée - 1793. I find this endlessly fascinating so it is on my list (see the blurb here).

An apology

Unfortunately, some Google nutter has decided to screw up everyone's Drive links. I know this has affected some of you looking to download some of my files. Please keep trying, I'm working to make all of them available again very soon. Thank you for your interest.

Saturday 28 August 2021

Russian Front Notebook 1

I have decided to start keeping some proper notes on references for the Russian Front (Great Patriotic War if you prefer) so I can find them later on.

In this first installment, some references on useful but uncommon subjects.

Luftwaffe strategic bombing in Russia

Not a subject I am familiar with but a very interesting video from Bismarck (Military Aviation History channel).

Military Aviation channel

And one of the source documents he uses (the RAND Report on Luftwaffe strategic bombing).

German railway operations in Russia

Another subject that I must admit has not been on my radar since playing the Russian Campaign. A very useful article on The Influence of Railways on Military Operations in the Russo-German War 1941–1945.

Russian squad tactics

And a couple of useful references:

Soviet Squad Tactics in WW2

Russian/Soviet Rifle Squads 1935-2019

There are some points of accuracy to explore on these but nonetheless, very helpful. Possibly a clue about my current project.

More to come in due course!

Wednesday 11 August 2021

Quatre Bras run out!


A belated thank you to Mr Rapier and chums for giving my old Quatre Bras game a remote run out the other week. Glad to see people having a go and, I think, reasonably successfully. Nice to see and also to have some useful feedback. Feel free to have a go here. One day the whole 100 days!

Also very worthwhile having a look at Martin's latest OHW game, this time GD at Kursk. Really really good!

Monday 26 July 2021

Something for the weekend sir?

No sooner than I post about Stalingrad than I come across another series of brilliant documentaries by Army University Press (US Army that is!). Their series of four videos on the battle for Stalingrad describe the fighting through the lens of current (US) army doctrine. Big boy stuff this with acronyms and very unusual use of English. Really excellent.

One thing to look out for is their staff ride for Stalingrad. There are some brilliant handouts for staff ride leaders and a complete three dimensional environment that, unfortunately, is only available to US Army personnel. 

One other excellent video series that I have come across is by The Operations Room. They specialise in top down animations. The one that blew me away was their first episode of Black Hawk Down. Check it out, it's great! 

Sunday 30 May 2021

TIK History - Tick VG?


TIK History: I came across TIK History through one of Geordie's very helpful blog posts. If you Google TIK  you will see some interesting discussions about some of his views. To say that he has a particular perspective on economics is an understatement. He would fit in well with Trump supporters who view the NHS as the work of the communist devil.

Having said that, and make you own minds up if you wish to form an opinion, is it worth watching some of his output?

The short answer is yes. I have watched all 23 episodes so far of Battlestorm Stalingrad. I thought they were really good and educational:

  • TIK does pretty well at presenting and his style goes down OK with me.
  • The story is narrated through animated maps, these are detailed (look like US Army topographic maps), zoomable and show their scale.
  • Statements are supported by references.
  • The narrative really does create an insightful picture of what actually happened.
  • The main source for the series is Glantz's Stalingrad trilogy supplemented by the current wave of new histories and is well researched.
This series has done a few things for me:
  • It has reminded me I need to refresh my library and I have bought the latest edition of When Titans Clashed by Glantz and read it straight through. I have a few other updated books to get as well.
  • It has rekindled my interest in the Eastern Front which is a very nice change of scenery.
  • The visual representation of the campaign shows what I knew, but didn't always realise was so important. The Red Army contested the battle through endless desperate defences and multiple continuous counter attacks. This brings to life the granularity of the fighting which, to my mind, no other medium has managed to do.
  • There are great learning points for wargames.
So, I'm a happy customer but always careful if I think someone is dripping something in my ear!

STALDATA: This is a website and You Tube channel run by the French historian Anton Joly who has provided support to TIK on the Stalingrad series. Anton's Stalingrad Battle Atlas is excellent (all four volumes!). Very well worth watching his videos. As a non-French speaker, I was always impressed by Anton's presentation style. He has now got a Australian chap to do the voice overs which is great, but I became very fond of listening to Anton.

Tank Archive: This blog is excellent! I mention it in the context of the above sites because because I have been drawn to it by looking up things on the Red Army. This is a blog new to me bit not to others, there are some familiar names appearing in the comments. The best thing about this blog, apart from the very high level of technical knowledge shown by the blogger (I couldn't find his name, sorry) is that the material is from primary historical documents. Very very good stuff. 

Wednesday 19 May 2021

PW Addendum


Hi all, just a quick addition to the PW post. 
Phil Dutré has kindly provided a link to his excellent index of PW issues Thanks Phil!

Tuesday 4 May 2021

Daaarrgh mateys, here be treasure!


I'm afraid blogging has taken third place behind two things beginning with B. Neither of which I feel the need to bother you about as they are in the news everyday. However, a little time away from blogging is a useful exercise sometimes and I have just been tinkering a little with things when not working.

I have made an entirely accidental discovery of some old wargames magazines which have been in a box for the last twenty years or so. It has been very enjoyable leafing through them. 

As you will have guessed from the picture, the box contains possibly the complete set of Practical Wargamer plus some special wargames issues from Military Modelling. I am surprised by how many I am familiar with and delighted to find some I really treasure. 

I imagine anyone reading this blog will remember PW, edited by the legendary Stuart Asquith.. If I recall correctly, it was a spin off from Military Modelling. The first issue was in the autumn of 1987, pretty much the same time as the first issue of WI. I think the last issue must have been around 2000 as I had just moved house when it folded. I was much disappointed as I was just about to resubscribe..

So here is one of my favourite PW issues.....Winter 1989

This issue featured the work of Clive Lane, a man dedicated to Airfix plastics and hexes. What a great combination. Here are a couple of tasters...

Another treasured magazine is this Wargames Manual from MM in 1983. This featured a fantastic article by Charlie Wesencraft.........

Large scale Napoleonics with each stand a battalion but able to change formation by the positioning of its various elements. A work of genius not seen, to my knowledge, anywhere else.

A great trip down memory lane when magazines were about doing stuff yourself and exploring the boundaries rather than just buying product (which is not a hobby!).

A couple of other things have also cropped up which are great and FREE!

  • Crossfire: A booklet of 2' by 2' Crossfire mini-scenarios including a campaign (Volkhov, Russian Front). Hopefully the first of many. Give them a try here.
  • Punched Magazine: The e-magazine with a game in it. This time round it focuses on COIN games. Not something I'm a fan off but worth reading nonetheless. Take a look here. In my view, issue 1 was more interesting (Franco-Prussian War).
Hopefully blogging conditions will improve from here onwards!