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Friday, March 27, 2015

Treasure Trove - The Combined Arms Research Library (CARL)

If you are REALLY in to World War Two military history, there is a lot of information on the web.  One of the best places for free, primary source information is the Combined Arms Research Library (CARL) hosted by the Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.  This institution hosts a huge volume of information that is vital to training up the next generation of US Army staff officers.  It really is amazing that this material is offered free of charge to the general public, and you should take advantage of it.

The Digital Library is where you want to be for your WWII fix.  If you visit often, pay attention to the Recent Additions section to the right of the page - this will show the latest scanned documents that have been entered into the collection.

When searching, you will be searching through the scanned PDFs in the collection.  My experience is that you have to be fairly specific in your search, and rarely get what you want back by putting in one word.  If your specific search isn't found, go WAY general - like "3rd Infantry Division" - and just page through the results.  The search is very fiddly, but it is worth browsing until you find what you want.

I have used CARL's digital library many times when researching articles, scenario games and just for fun.  I will warn you - you can lose hours of time browsing the catalog.  Below, I will list some of my favorite things in CARL.

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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Battlefield In a Box: Train Yard Switching Tower (BB186)

When Battlefront's Battlefield in a Box train tracks first came out, I was a fan, but like everyone else really wanted curved tracks. When those came out, I felt the set was complete, and so was pleasantly surprised when the switching tower was revealed.

At just $25 USD for a nice, 3 piece building that's fully painted (as well as 2 Buffer stops), this is a good value set. Stylistically, it matches the train station, which more or less works for just about any theater.
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Monday, March 23, 2015

Chain of Command- The Road to Singapore. Japanese Vs. British

By Joe Moore and Eric Lauterbach

This Thursday's game night saw me blooding my 8th Army Perry Miniatures Brits against Ed Leland's Warlord Japanese in a no holds barred bungle in the jungle cage fight using Too Fat Lardie's Chain of Command rules.  Sure, I painted my figures for desert, but not unlike their real-life counterparts, the exigencies of the conflict mandated their fighting in an entirely different theatre of war!  This was also Ed's first use of the Japanese so this was a debut for both sides.

We opted to play a patrol scenario and my additional forces amounted to an adjutant to keep forces moving onto the board and a medium machine-gun for some extra destructive effect.  Ed chose "ruse" to allow him to deploy farther from his jump-off markers.  In the Patrol Phase, my thought was to pin down his patrol markers as quickly as possible given his ability to deploy a greater distance away and to hopefully limit his flexibility a bit.  As it turned out, we essentially ended up having the trail running through the area as the boundary separating the two forces. 

The table

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Friday, March 20, 2015

Huntsville Historical Gamers' Total War Kursk Game

By Dane Tkacs
On the last weekend in February, the Huntsville Historical Gamers ran a "total war" multiplayer, flames of war game representing the opening battle of Operation Citadel; the battle of Kursk.

The army lists were determined using historically present forces. The game was played with 3 players per side each commanding an independent company.  The game was a modified No Retreat, Defensive Battle, played for roughly 6 hours with 6 turns played.

German Forces: (~7,000 points)
4th Panzer Army
   39th Panzer Regiment:  10x Panther D + Support
   2nd Gepanzerte Panzer Pioneer:   4x Pioneer Platoons + Support
   503rd Schwere Panzer Abteilung:   5x Tiger I + Support
   3x Batteries  (Guns across the Volga rule)
   2x JU87 Squadron
   HS-129B Squadron

Soviet Forces: (~6,000 points)
6th Guards Army
   170th Tank Brigade:    Guards Heavy Tankvoy (KV-1S) + Hvy Assault Gun Co
   53rd Motor Rifle Brigade:   Guards Strelkovy Batalon + Med Tankovy Company
  169th Tank Brigade:  Guards Tankovy + Lt Tankovy Co + Assault Gun Co
   3x Batteries  (Guns across the Volga rule)
Voyenno-Vozdushnye Sily:
   Sturmovic Squadron

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Wednesday, March 18, 2015

The Long Slog, My Cold Wars 2015 Diary

By Mitch Reed

In a bit of a departure from my usual articles; I plan to chronicle my experiences at Cold Wars 2015, held in Lancaster PA, 5-8 March 2015.  Hosted by HMGS, it's one of three big events they host In Lancaster, PA and Fredericksburg, VA. I have been going to HMGS events for many years that pre-date my Flames of War era.  In fact, it was seeing the game at Historicon one year that got me to jump into Flames of War. This year I am playing in the Mid-War doubles on 6 March hosted by the I95 Gamers and the late war charity tournament hosted by Kurt Reese the next day.

As I wrote about before, I love doubles tournaments and like other doubles events hosted by I95, this tournament has a hook.  This time each player can make two 1000 point lists, where the combat platoons are the same, however all the supporting platoons can be different once you see your opponents list. I like this and I can't wait to see how this works out.

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Monday, March 16, 2015

News from the Front - Ep 89 Live from Cold Wars 2015

It's Episode 89!  The guys brave the snowy weather to bring you the live show from Cold Wars 2015!  We hear about the trip, some over-indulgence in some fun and the tournament reports.  The guys briefly talk about some of the Battlefront plans for 2015, including Vietnam and the Cold War.

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Friday, March 13, 2015

German Jagdpanthers vs US Infantry

By Dirty Jon Baber

Wally came over to get some practice with his latest Flames of War US tournament list.

We've been playing early in the morning on the weekend, so I dug the sleepers out of my eyes, poured some coffee and got started.  I wanted to get my Jagdpanthers  - that I painted in 2013 - on the table some more, so I dug them out.

I figured that Wally could see how his list does against some pretty heavy stuff he may have to attack.  We are playing a 2000(ish) point game and rolled up Hasty Attack on the mission list.

Jon's German Tanks

Wally's US Infantry
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Wednesday, March 11, 2015

The Economics of the Hobby

By Mitch Reed

For some time now I have wanted to write about the fiscal side of our hobby. In my article on the Forces of War and Flames of War Digital, I ended up touching on the subject so much I felt it was time to get off my rump and put some thoughts on paper.

Economics is a huge factor in this hobby. Once a player has gotten the bug for Flames of War they face two major limiting factors: money and time.  While time is better left to articles on motivation, the cost of this hobby is something we all face. I recommend that you do not read on if you are just thinking about getting into the hobby and please do not let your spouse read this.

Boys and Their Toys
While I never took an official poll or census, I have come to realize that the demographics of our hobby are easy to figure out.  In my years of playing I would say the average player is a middle aged, white male, gainfully employed, probably college educated, with a lot of disposable income.  I know, same demographics as serial killers.  It’s that last part, the disposable income we will explore further. 

I know you have heard this before: our hobby is not cheap.  I purposely tried to avoid thinking about how much I have spent over the last few years on Flames of War alone because the number is probably staggering.  Add to this other games we play (my new Napoleonic’s in 2015 for instance), and this number just grows.

Decisions Decisions... The world needed a Breaker Morant shirt, so the folks at redheadedtshirts made one for me

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Monday, March 9, 2015

AAR: Fate of Nation Israel & Jordan Pincer (2305pts) - Game 2

By Tom Burgess,

This AAR is for a reset/refight of a previous Fate of the Nation game published here on WWPD where my Israeli AMX-13 based tank company won 6-1 against my friend Charles' Jordanian Tank Company.  Charles felt like he needed his infantry deployed at the game start to form a screen so that my AMX-13 would not be able to get to the flanks and rear of his tanks so quickly. So we backed up the miniatures, redeployed and started all over again.

 We kept the board set up exactly the same and Charles chose to defend the same side. We did not even bother to reposition the objectives.

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Friday, March 6, 2015

Off to Cold Wars!

We're off to Cold Wars, so no update today! See you Monday!

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