Wednesday, September 25, 2013

The History of England Podcast

I have been fairly busy the last month-- more so than even usual with three kids all in extracurricular activities-- and one of the more interesting things to occupy my spare time has been the History of England Podcast. And I thought the History of Rome Podcast was long! The History of England has run over a hundred episodes so far, and has just reached the beginning of the Hundred Years' War! It has obviously entertained me, and I dare say educated me, or I would not have listened so long. It occasionally gives episodic updates on what else is going on in Europe, and obviously a lot of English history post-1066 is intertwined with France's history, so you're getting a somewhat wider view than you might think. Combined with Norman Centuries and 12 Byzantine Rulers and you're getting a much wider view of the Dark and Middle Ages, especially. Can't wait to fill it out with the History of France in English, maybe the Medieval Archives and the British History Podcast, and even the History of English Podcast...and I can't wait for somebody to start a Holy Roman Empire podcast! Real opportunity there, people!!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

FoB2: The Battle of Morunnin

We played our randomly generated Field of Battle scenario described here Friday night. It went well for the French, with Marshal Dalé's plan working perfectly-- the Russian hordes did, indeed, crash and break against the French rock.

We were a bit short on command stands, which played a bit to the French's setup advantages. Essentially, the Russians were forced to set up first, and the French responded by setting up entirely on the right half of the table. They placed the imaginary town of Morunnin on their left flank, and the entire left half of their line was able to anchor on a forest edge. On their right, they placed a grand battery-esque concentration of four artillery batteries.

Saturday, August 17, 2013


Vikings, a photo by The Gonk on Flickr.
Right now, I have just finished the first two books of Bernard Cornwell's the Saxon Stories/Tales/Chronicles, whatever it is. They are awesome! The primary protagonists of the series so fare are Halfdan, Ivar the Boneless, and Ubba-- the historical leaders of the Great Heathen Army of Danes which conquered almost all of England, leaving only a toehold of swamp for Alfred the Great to stage his great come back from. All three of them were the sons of Ragnar Lothbrook, the star of the History Channel's Vikings. I can't believe the "Ancient Nazi Aliens" of the History Channel put out something this good and something this historical-- or, if not historical, at least consistent with the legends. It's not perfect-- of course, the hero Ragnar is at both the Lindisfarne and Portland Bay raids, which were six years apart but are represented closely together, in the wrong place, and in the wrong order in the show. But it is still awesome!! I can't wait to watch some more...and get some more Anglo-Saxons painted and run some Dux Britanniarum games!!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Field of Battle 2 Random Scenario

FOB 2cover
FOB 2cover, a photo by The Gonk on Flickr.
The year is 1807. The Prussians have been humiliated, and the late arriving Russian Army, now under Bennigsen, is trying to surprise the French in a sweeping movement through Prussia.

In the van is Major General Barclay de Tommey (Tom G.), leading his corps on the Prussian town of Morunnin, where Marshal Francois Dalé's (K. Dale) French corps is assembling to halt the Russian advance.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013 like blog posts about Gladiators?

2013-08-11 18.44.55
2013-08-11 18.44.55, a photo by The Gonk on Flickr.
So I picked up a bunch of Crusader Gladiators at Historicon 2012-- woof, no, make that 2011!! Wow, how time flies, I swear I thought these hadn't been sitting around that long. Anyway, over the years, I also grabbed a few different rules to try out with Number One Son, who-- at twelve-- knows more Roman history than I do. I finally got around to painting up enough gladiators to play some games, as well as a few animals. And Number One Son and I sat down and finally played our first game!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Historicon 2013: Saturday

2013-07-20 08.53.19
2013-07-20 08.53.19, a photo by The Gonk on Flickr.
Stayed up late again, got up early again. Still, no real plan. I wandered around looking at the games, and fortunately was able to hop into one of the best looking games at Historicon-- a speculative game of the Battle of Fort DeRussy, an ACW Brother Against Brother game.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Historicon 2013: Friday

On to Friday! I suppose technically Friday began Thursday night, as I stayed up late drinking Yuengling and just hanging out. I then work up early and hit the ground running again, in a hurry to do nothing. I may not have had any plans, but I can sleep at home! I cruised around, taking in the sites, strolling through the vendor hall, and hit the flea market. And in that flea market, I found...more Russians! For some very great prices, I picked up (if I recall correctly) sixteen stands of guns, two and a half regiments of cavalry, and another twelve battalions of foot!! At this point, I'm thinking this is about three, possibly four, divisions of Russians. That's more than I was planning on in the first place!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Historicon 2013: Thursday

I traveled to Fredericksburg, VA, again this year for Historicon. I honestly have yet to have had a bad Historicon, so if I tell you, yet again, that I had a blast, I'm not sure how you should take it! I will say that I had concerns this year. I typically hunt for games with interesting rules I haven't gotten a chance to see in the flesh and try to get in those. However, this year, every set I could think of that fell into that category-- notably Maurice and Dux Britanniarum-- wasn't being run. In fact, I only preregistered for two games, and wasn't particularly enthusiastic about either (and, in fact, played in neither). There were a few things I was definitely interested in, though. Of primary interest was the Vauban's Wars playtest, an unofficial game.

Friday, November 2, 2012


D-Day Game
D-Day Game, a photo by The Gonk on Flickr.
So this is a very late game report, but we did actually manage to run our first big D-Day game! This was 2,375 points of Americans run by two players, and 1,345 points of Germans run by me. This still was not a lot of Germans, and I felt fairly thin across my front. However, I probably would have put up a much better fight had my artillery not gotten pinned down in the preliminary bombardment, and refused to unpin for six turns in a row!!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

4% of the Sand on Omaha Beach? Fragments from D-Day.

Just ran across this interesting note about the sand composition on Omaha Beach:

"University of Texas geologist Earle McBride analyzed samples from the beach...Further testing revealed the shards to be magnetic shrapnel from the Allied invasion....He and his colleagues also identified iron and glass beads formed by the intense heat of explosions. Up to 4 percent of the sand is made up of this shrapnel, the researchers report...

Monday, September 24, 2012

D-Day Maps and Groundscale Questions

Ed: Fixed links. Not a lot has been going on in my D-Day preparations this week. My brother-in-law has been in town visiting, and I have been covered up with work. Number One Son and I managed to progress one single turn in our game, although it is still set up to be finished! Anyway, I was poking around the web looking for D-Day stuff and ran across some nicely detailed 1:7920 maps of Omaha beach. I don't anticipate doing bluffs for a while, but I made sure and saved copies of this for when I do.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012


I bet this movie will be very good! Daniel Day Lewis is an amazing actor, and I'm sorry to see somebody as distinctive as Tommy Lee Jones or even Hal Holbrook in it as well to pull me out of my suspension of disbelief. I will no doubt be hauling Son and Daughter Number Ones to the theater to watch this with me!