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Saturday, January 24, 2009

Shooting range

On Friday me, Lydia, and Dallas went to a shooting range.

I shot a Beretta 92FS, Dallas shot a glock 19, and Lydia shot a .22. Then we rented an M1 freakin' Thompson. That was sweet.




In heels no less.

Here's a link to my photo bucket to see the rest: http://s153.photobucket.com/albums/s217/flamesofwar_sjm/Guns/
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Thursday, January 22, 2009

Front page of the Ft Lee Traveller!

My Stuarts and deuce and a halfs are featured on the front page of the Fort Lee Traveller. Here's the link: http://www.fortleetraveller.com/e-edition/?haspdf=1

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Rangers lead the way!

Here's a nice write up about the Sicily game put on by Ron. Thankfully, the writer corrected my mistake in the interview- I referred to the "Mt. Etna" board as "Monte Cassino", which is in Italy and not Sicily (but I'll be damned if it didn't look just like it!)

Anyhow, here's the link:
http://www.fortleetraveller.com/articles/2009/01/22/news/top_stories/top04.txt

Coming soon: Panther A Platoon pictures, F4F Wildcat Pictures, and pictures from the Sicily game.

Full Article copied & pasted for posterity after the cut.


War Games

By Mike Strasser, Managing Editor

A war broke out at the U.S. Army Women’s Museum Saturday – sans explosions, firefights and bombardments. Instead strategy, experience and the roll of dice were the arsenal used to claim victory.

Flames of War is a World War II tabletop game where two opponents, armed with miniature armies, move, shoot and fight in any one of several scenarios such as “free-for-all” or “hold the line.”

This year’s tournament – the fourth organized by Ron Bingham, museum technician – recreated the Battle of Sicily in 1943. Experiencing war history from the point-of-view of a frontline commander is an aspect of competition not lost on any player.

“I like to refer to us all as ‘history geeks’ because we all have an affection for military history,” said Phil Gibbons, after the first round of competition. “When you have people like that, you tend to see a lot of attention to detail. A lot of us strive for historical accuracy. That’s why you see the exact representation of specific units.”

Gibbons, a retired Marine Corps master sergeant, is known by Flames of War colleagues as “Gunny Phil.” Winning and losing aside, he said the tournament is more about enjoying the camaraderie that comes from playing the game.

“My wife loves it when I go to a tournament, believe it or not, because she said I always come home in a great mood,” said Gibbons. “It’s good mental therapy to get out of the daily grind and come out here and peek into history. We can’t experience what those guys experienced by any means, but we can explore it and understand it better. Bottom line, it’s a lot of fun.”

Steve MacLauchlan said he wasn’t interested in history until he began playing Flames of War four years ago. The Richmond native used his collection of rangers to take the hill in Mount Etna for a victory.

“Before this, I knew nothing about these engagements,” said MacLauchlan. “The immense amount of troops that fought, the casualties ... it’s hard to imagine.”

Visitors to the museum were able to watch the competition, and ask questions about the game itself. Shan Palmotier gave the McGowan family a tutorial on Flames of War and the history behind the Battle of Sicily.

Pat McGowan, who brought her daughter and two sons to the tournament, was impressed with the details in the miniature soldiers and vehicles. Her youngest son, Andrew, liked the playing field, filled with trees, roadways and battle positions.

“I loved the way they’ve incorporated the actual time period to the game,” said Pat. “The details, I think, are what makes this game more real.”

Along with two families on a home school field trip, Soldiers from a basic noncommissioned officer course also stopped by to see the action.

“As a museum staff member, I believe the high point for the day was when the two home school families arrived to learn about WWII,” said Bingham. “This shows that these type of museum events do reach out to the public and that there are many exciting ways to teach and even participate in history.”
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Saturday, January 17, 2009

Home from the Sicily game

Ron did an awesome job running that tournament, and I had a blast. Rangers are fun to play, and both of my opponents were awesome. Game one saw my Rangers attacking a hill and monastary (Which I mistakenly assumed was Monte Cassino- which isn't in Sicily at all- I'm an idiot) in Hold the Line vs Ken Berry's Fallschirmjaeger (german paratroopers). The combination of heavy terrain and Ranger's ability to double move through it saw me on the objective pretty quickly, and Ken just didn't have enough stuff to throw back at me.

Game two was against Gray Collins, who I plan to make an effort to play with more often, and was a brutal grind. My rangers squared off against his Italin Fucilieri across a 95% open board in Free For All. Neither of us ever really had a shot at capturing objectives, but Gray manned up and went for it anyway. By the time I repulsed his attack, I didn't have enough to go charging across the field and threaten his. I won the battle by virtue of killing more stuff (per Ron's scenario rules), but the battle was truly a draw. Gray was a pleasure to play against, and I think we had a pretty great battle.

Ken wound up winning best Axis General, and his son Joseph wound up winning Best Allied. Thanks to my tenacious Rangers I won the Infantry Assault Badge (Ron actually gave me a cool pin with a rifle on it as well as a certificate and a Pip Roberts blister- which just might motivate me to finish my British Grants) Overall the Allies won the day.

Thanks to my opponents, all the friendly faces, and especially Ron for a very enjoyable day of gaming.



And now- me and Lydia's Cylon Cake detail and comparison:


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Off to the 4th Annual FOW Day at Ft. Lee

I am about to leave for Ft. Lee where Ron "Bing" Bingam is hosting the 4th annual FOW Day at the Ft. Lee Army Women's Museum. The theme is the invasion of Sicily. For some reason I decided to run Ranger's. I think the Rangers are a cool list, but competetively their trained status and tiny platoons make them vulnerable to high casualty rates. Anyhow, it should be fun. Rangers Lead the Way!

Last night was the Season premier of BSG- I dug it.



Me and Lydia made a BSG cake. We rule.
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Thursday, January 15, 2009

SBD Dauntless

6 SBD Dauntless to take on those japs! I am not quite as happy with these guys as I am with the japs, mostly because I did the letters by hand which always looks a bit sloppy. But I do like the color I picked. Also, the dull cote hasn't been applied yet so the shine on the decals will be fixed.

As always, there's more pics after the break.









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Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Two Full Thrust Pictures

It's been a while since I've gotten in a game of Full Thrust now, but here's two early pictures of my NAC and NSL fleets. This is only around half of each fleet, and was taken before adding tons more escorts and some capitals and super capitals.



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Tuesday, January 13, 2009

new 1/300 airplanes underway

Japanese Vals and Zeroes









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Mein Fiancee, Lydia. She's studying to be an interpreter for the deaf. She doesn't play wargames :(









And this is the cat, Combat:


And the snake, Kevin Snacon: (He does play wargames)



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FOW: Soviet Strelkovy vs German Grenadiers

This is the sequel to our previous battle, here: LINK

After the IS-2s broke on the German defenses, a Strelkovy Battalion came forward to try and break through the German lines.

STRELKOVY VS GRENADIERS



COLONEL DEMAYO'S STRELKOVY
2 giant strelk blobs
Scouts
10x Shermans w/ tankriders
4 Flamethrowers

HAUPTMAN MACLAUCHLAN's GRENADIERS
------------
HQ + mortars & Schreck
2 Grenadier Platoons
1 Battalion Pioneer Platoon
HMGs
3x Pak40s
10.5cm Artillery
4x Marder III Ms
3x Stugs



DEPLOYMENT

The Grenadiers hastily re-dug their foxholes after the IS-2s smashed apart their defenses only hours earlier.

The Pioneers and pak40s are deployed in ambush.

Tom's bazillion Shermans line up on the Left flank, while the strelk blobs both weight the right flank.

The right flank makes an infiltration move deep into the German area, giving up the first turn.


*A German objective and the 10.5cm battery


*A gun crew prepares to fire


*The Grenadiers on the right flank prepare to hold the line


*The tank riders prepare to mount their lend lease emchas



*A Strelkovy company infilitrates the German lines with the aid of a scout group


*"Alright men, here they come!!"


*The Right Flank


The board before turn 1

***************
TURN ONE GERMAN
***************

Artillery and mortars rain down on the approaching horde, and knock out 3 rifle stands.
Small arms fire opens up from the forward grenadier platoon, scoring 14 hits, and killing 6 stands.


*The soviets weather intense fire

***************
TURN ONE SOVIET
***************

The horde unpins, and charges forward. Small arms fire is ineffectual, but flamethrowers open
up pinning the defenders. The assault succeeds and pushes the grenadiers back, killing 2 teams.




*The Bolsheviks advance


*The defenders' foxholes are filled with flame


*The Germans fall back

***************
TURN TWO GERMAN
***************


The Grenadiers unpin, but still no reserves arrive. At the urging of the hauptman, the forward
grenadiers rush forward to assault the bolsheviks!

The mortars lay down a smoke barrage to cut down on the russian defensive fire, and the 10.5cm
artillery ranges in to put their heads down, but fails to kill anyone. Small arms fire from the
grenadiers causes a few casualties, but defensive fire pins them down pushing them back.


*Smoke and shells pepper the soviets in the open


*The Germans fall back in the face of heavy defensive fire

***************
TURN TWO SOVIET
***************

Of course the horde unpins and continues forward, threating the forward objective! The fire
from the bolsheviks is whithering, killing the hauptman and most of the remaining grenadier platoon, who then flees the field.

The assault kills everyone except the 2iC who promptly pulls back into the woods.


*Shermans on the move


*The rear strelkovy company navigates the terrain


*The Soviets take the position


*The scouts move up the creek bed


*The end of turn two

*****************
TURN THREE GERMAN
*****************

The Pioneers spring their ambush in the woods, and prepare a desperate assault against the strelkovy on their objective. The mortars send one team forward to contest the objective, while the remaining attempts to drop a barrage on some soviets in the open, and despite being a single tube kills 2 stands. On the other flank, the 3 pak 40s ambush the Shermans, along with a calculated barrage from the 10.5cms, killing 4 and bailing 4. the Stoic tankers do not flee however.

Small arms fire from the ambushing pioneers devastate the remaining strelkovy company, ahead of the assault. The germans lose one stand, but finally run off the remaining strelkovy company.


*The pioneers ambush and charge forward!


*The pak 40s ambush the approaching sherman company



*The shermans sustain heavy damage


*Mortar and small arms fire softens up the strelkovy for the assault


*The first strelkovy company melts before the pioneers


*After the German turn 3

*****************
TURN THREE SOVIET
*****************

The scouts move along the creek bed, and assault the mortars, knocking out one tube and take up position around the objective.


*The scouts capture a mortar team


*The remainders of the shermans attempt to take cover behind a wood

****************
TURN FOUR GERMAN
****************

Stugs arrive from reserve. The pioneers and a grenadier platoon move up to secure the objective, in preparation of the second strelk wave.

The pak 40s destroy 3 more emchas, forcing the remainder to flee the battlefield. The stugs and artillery range in on the scouts, and knock out 2 teams.



*3 Stug IVs arrive from reserve


*Soviet scouts come under artillery fire

****************
TURN FOUR SOVIET
****************

The scouts fail to unpin. The last strelk horde advances, while the scouts pull back into a small wood.

****************
TURN FIVE GERMAN
****************

The marders arrive from reserve, but two bog on a stream.
The stugs race forward to the wood containing the scouts, and hope to catch them before they can disengage. The pioneers on the forward objective consolidate their position. The 10.5cm Battery ranges in on the strelkovy company, killing one stand. The stugs move up to the edge of the wood and shoot the scouts, who promptly disengage.


*The 10.5cm battery furiously fires their guns


*The defenders of the forward objective


*The stugs chase off the scouts

****************
TURN FIVE SOVIET
****************

The scouts withdraw, and the strelk blob slides to the right along the bridge.



*2nd Company shifts to their right.

***************
TURN SIX GERMAN
***************

The Stugs hook around the strelkovy blob's flank, and the pioneers reposition again. The

artillery rains death on the bridge, killing 2 infantry and an HMG. The stugs machine gun

another strelk stand.

***************
TURN SIX SOVIET
***************


The strelk horde unpins and advances. The scouts withdraw further.


*The Strelkovy are relentless

*****************
TURN SEVEN GERMAN
*****************

The Marders advance down the road, and the stugs continue to flank the strelkovy, raking them with MGs, killing another stand. The 10.5cms fire a repeat on the bridge, again knocking out a stand.

The stugs assault the strelkovy in the woods, bogging one on the way in. They only kill one stand, and promptly fall back leaving one to be captured.


*The Marders have no armored targets!



*The stugs navigate the burning wrecks of the shermans


*The soviets capture a stug

*****************
TURN EIGHT SOVIET
*****************

The strelk advances forward, and assault the pioneers with flamethrowers blazing!
The assault is bloody, with soviets losing troops to both germans and their own commisars! When the smoke clears, the pioneers are eliminated, and the strelkovy is sitting on the objective!


*ZA STALINA!



*The high water mark

****************
TURN NINE GERMAN
****************

The last grenadier platoon and the marders swarm the objective, in an attempt to win it back!

MG and 10.5cm fire pounds the soviet positions, pinning them and knocking them below half!

The stugs assault the scouts in the woods, bogging another on the way in! One scout stand dies, but the the leader remains and forces the last stug back! Both platoons make their motivation check to keep fighting.

The grenadiers assault the soviets in the woods, killing off the remainder of the strelkovy.

The soviets now only have a single infantry stand left on the board, making it a 4-3 for the germans.


*The remaining bolsheviks are surrounded


*The 10.5cms fire their few remaining shells at the reds


*The stugs are foolishly relentless in their pursuit of the scouts, and promptly lose another!


*Charge!


*The soviets heroically fight to the last man


*Though the Germans are victorious, their company now exists only on paper as over 85% of the men have been killed or wounded



*The only surviving soviet


TOM'S CLOSING THOUGHTS:

The Strelk infantry performed admirably, even dying to the last man. But it matters not, if my
wretched tanks cant roll motivation.

STEVEN'S CLOSING THOUGHTS:

Mein Gott in Himmel. Die untermensch are so many!
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