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!

Monday, September 17, 2012


D-Day, a photo by The Gonk on Flickr.
Got the German 10.5cm battery done. That was, I think, the worst painting experience from any Flames of War figures I've done! It came with nicely sculpted resin bases, with recesses for the crew. That sounds like a good idea, as hiding figure bases is always an issue. However, getting the gun AND the crew onto a base is a bit of an art. The recesses actually messed with that. I wasn't free to locate the figures in such a way that I could get the gun back on the base after I had completely finished painting and flocking it. So, I had to paint the figure bases separately, trim their bases so they actually fit in the recesses, glue them onto the base with the gun now in the way of everything, then go back and try to fill in and hide the gaps around the figure bases. It actually tacked on a couple of nights to the entire process and started to really irritate me.

Monday, September 10, 2012

One step forward, one step back.

Flames of War D-Day
P-47, a photo by The Gonk on Flickr.
I am getting stuff painted for my D-Day game, but I don't actually seem to be getting any closer to running it! But I had a good weekend otherwise...

Tuesday, September 4, 2012


D-Day layout
D-Day layout, a photo by The Gonk on Flickr.
Things are coming along well for my D-Day beach landing game. I finished painting up the water and sand, and I think they look pretty good. Here it is set up on the short (five foot) end of my table-- the grass mat is rolled up on the other end, giving me room to work with my sons. There's a few more inches of water depth hanging off the end. It didn't seem necessary until I put the LCT out there!

I sat down and started reviewing the scenario and the rules, thinking about putting everything on the table. In doing so, I ran across the Overwhelming Force special rule-- "The Allied force has 75% more troops than the Axis Force." Whoops!! That's a bit of a bummer as my Germans can be used for anything, so I have lots of them. But it's the American forces that will limit the size of this game...

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Family Time and D-Day Beaches

Family Time
Family Time, a photo by The Gonk on Flickr.
It's been quite the family hobby time lately. Number One Son has taken some real interest in things since getting his Spinosaurus at Historicon, and I've had the gaming table covered up with his stuff lately as much as mine. And to keep Number Two Son, four, involved as well, I picked up some chubby plaster statues for kids for him to paint right alongside us. It has frankly been a blast, as they both have their own little projects to work on, and I can even work on my own stuff a bit. A little bit. The Mumak is now in, and our last two evening have been spent gluing that behemoth together. It's a pretty sweet kit, simple for its size, and pretty accessible to an eleven year old.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Dark Ages History Podcasts

I listen to a lot of podcasts while commuting and painting figures. Lately, I have been trying to fill my time with podcasts on the history of the Dark Ages. Saga has been a lot of fun, rules wise, but I can't claim to be very knowledgeable about the period. Rome fell, the Vikings came, Western governments started to be entangled in questionable Middle East wars, and the Normans conquered England. Getting more in depth in the period, though, has really revealed a lot more interesting history. Here's what I have been listening to:

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Reworking the Queue!

2012-08-25 16.24.26
2012-08-25 16.24.26, a photo by The Gonk on Flickr.
Well, that didn't last long! Warlord Games' Bolt Action is on a lot of people's horizons lately. Our local Hobbytown USA ran a bunch of demos today. I wasn't really expecting much from the place, honestly. They run a fair amount of 40k and some Flames of War, but I never get down there for a couple of reasons. I already have plenty of gaming with pleasant people I already know in the comfort of our beer-filled domiciles, and their hours of operations don't really jibe with my own need for late night gaming. Nevertheless, I was curious to take a look at the rules, and had the time today, so Number One Son and I headed over there.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Form a Queue

I'm trying to get myself a little organizized, so I am forming a queue of shorter term hobby goals. I'm not really creating firm goals; I'm just trying to keep a little better visibility of what I'm thinking about. I've got a lot of thoughts bouncing around in my head and I could certainly use a bit of direction at times... I may post this list again periodically as items are completed. BWAH HA HA HA HA...I slay me.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Ranger, lead the way!

Yeah...I had been sitting on some birthday money and it is now away, for a couple of Ranger platoons and two Armaments in Miniature LCAs.

Monday, August 20, 2012


Laying out D-Day
Laying out D-Day, a photo by The Gonk on Flickr.
After I finish painting up the Infinity figures I'm working on, I want to finish preparing for a D-Day game. My goal for the year was to run two D-Day games, and it's getting late in the year. I grabbed some beach and water colored fabrics on my way home from work tonight and proceeded to lay it all out on the table, so to speak, and take stock of my situation. Here is what I found:

Thursday, August 16, 2012

A Little Prehistory

Spinosaurus, a photo by The Gonk on Flickr.
Here's the latest state of Number One Son's Spinosaurus. Last night we glued it down on a plasticard base and covered that with Liquitex Ceramic Stucco. That basically an untinted "flocking gel." I use it a lot on my bases. He's pretty exited about it and kept want to make fancy bases, but dour Daddy dissuaded him from anything too advanced. Although, it's not too late to put some interesting stuff on there.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Infinity PanOceaniac Fusiliers

Infinity PanO Fusiliers
Infinity PanO Fusiliers, a photo by The Gonk on Flickr.
A couple of guys in the game group were talking about starting Infinity up. What the hey, I already have plenty of the figures, so after seven some-odd years, I have started painting them up. Here is a photo of the first three. I see now that I didn't finish highlighting the blues on the two men. Naturally. They are based temporarily on the regular bases. I'd like to do something more interesting, although I'm not sure what. I also think I'd like something more hefty, as many of the figures will be quite fragile and I'd like the base to strike the floor first when I drop them!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

More Saga

Playing Saga
Playing Saga, a photo by The Gonk on Flickr.
Last Friday, we broke out Saga again. I was hoping to run the Escort scenario, but the player with all the wagons canceled at the last minute. We fell back on killing each other's Warlords. We set up with six points each this time, and one army of each faction. It wound up going a little long, though, and I think it probably would have been better to have stuck with either four point armies or a different scenario. Still, everybody seemed to have fun. I was reminded to take stop motion video of this game, click More to view it.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Playing Saga

Saga rules cover
Like most of you, probably, I've been hearing about the Dark Ages skirmish rules Saga lately. I played it at Historicon and was intrigued. It has something of a board game mechanic added to it, which reminded me a lot of Alien Frontiers. It's not strictly historical, outright attempting to recreate the tall tales of the Viking Sagas. The leaders stand head and shoulders above the rest of the field, although we're not really talking the excesses of 40k here.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Blogging from Historicon

It will be done here, on Twitter. With mercifully little typing.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Workbench of a Madman

2012-06-25 22.26.35
2012-06-25 22.26.35, a photo by The Gonk on Flickr.
It has been a whirlwind summer so far. The wife and kids left for Germany even before school was out-- but no rest for the wicked, as days later, I was off to Las Vegas for a work-related convention.

Friday, May 11, 2012

He triggered the rear guns once more. A direct hit!

Car Wars
Car Wars, a photo by The Gonk on Flickr.
Today is the last day for Steve Jackon's phenomenal Ogre Designer's Edition Kickstarter. It currently at almost $900k-- or 20% of SJG's 2011 gross income. I'm tempted, although I've never played Ogre before. What I have played is Car Wars, though. Through the process of this kickstarter, Steve Jackson has promised to do a kickstarter for Car Wars in 2013. Pretty cool! The whole thing really got me itching for some Car Wars, with fond memories of creating taped together graph paper areas and running down pedestrians even up into college-- twenty years ago!-- so I headed over to e23 and bought the latest rules and a counter sheet. That's not quite a complete game-- you still need a turning key and dropped weapon counters, which can be grabbed here. I actually found a scan of the original pocket box counters and have been using them, which includes another necessity-- squishy pedestrian markers! That will do as I task my poor mother to root through whatever old stuff I have left at home to see if she can find my old pocket boxes.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Check Your 6! Bombers!

063, a photo by The Gonk on Flickr.
Here are the photos from a recent Check Your Six! game by Bob Bryant. There aren't even all the B-17's he has, but they were a lot of them. The scenario was weighted a little more heavily to the Germans to try out some bomber simplification rules Bob had cooked up, and once those big gunned German fighters got in among the American bombers, it got real ugly real quick...

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Stoumont Flames of War

Battle of Stoumont
Battle of Stoumont, a photo by The Gonk on Flickr.
I haven't been posting, but I haven't quite been idle, either, fortunately. Here are the photos of us trying out the 3rd edition Flames of War with the Battle of Stoumont scenario from WWPD. I personally didn't notice any huge change in 3rd edition. It's more of an evolution than a revolution, fortunately. And it's not like we play it enough to hit the weird edge cases which we're probably playing wrong anyway!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Guest Star: Dragon

DSCN0261, a photo by The Gonk on Flickr.
I went with Reaper's Young Swamp Dragon for Black Fang. He was about the right size and shape. I didn't really try to follow the module concept art for this, I just painted him black.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Supporting Cast: Reefclaw

DSCN0251, a photo by The Gonk on Flickr.
As I've mentioned before, I had to custom convert a miniature for the adventure's Reefclaw. I started with a Reaper moray eel familiar, and added claws from the Creature Components pack, bulked out with a little sculpting putty. If I'd had more time and energy, I might have added the antennae and such, but as it, it's an acceptable figure, I think.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Supporting Cast: Spider

DSCN0259, a photo by The Gonk on Flickr.
Here's the Reaper figure I painted up for the spider in the Beginner Box adventure. He's just a little guy for a giant spider, so I went with a realistic paint scheme on him based on some stock picture I found on the Internet. I was pleased with how he turned out.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Pathfinder Iconic Character: Valeros

DSCN0233, a photo by The Gonk on Flickr.
My version of the Pathfinder iconic fighter, Valeros. I wanted to make his stone mug a touristy one for Faerun, but it was pretty darn small and decided against it! I'm not very satisfied with his eyes-- but I'm done!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Iconic Pathfinder Character: Kyra

DSCN0225, a photo by The Gonk on Flickr.
My paint up of the Pathfinder iconic Cleric, Kyra. The eyes are a little sloppy in the magnified pictures, but in real life, her eyes are spot on for the artwork, it's really nice. Again, I totally missed that red sash. Someday-- maybe-- I'll fix it.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Iconic Pathfinder Character: Merisiel

DSCN0217, a photo by The Gonk on Flickr.
My paint up of the iconic Pathfinder rogue Merisiel, a.k.a. Patrish, a.k.a. Kaijitsu.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Iconic Pathfinder Character: Ezren

DSCN0212, a photo by The Gonk on Flickr.
Here is my work up of Ezren, a.k.a. Slate in our game! Already picking up some wear on his casting index finger...Number Two Son, almost four, likes to take HIS turn playing with Daddy's little men. Below is the reference picture and more angles on the miniature. I'm pleased with him, although the color balance is pretty bad in these pictures...dammit Internet, I'm a painter, not a photographer!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

The First Time is Always the Best

Number One Son's First Character Sheet
1st Character, a photo by The Gonk on Flickr.
So Number One Son wasn't really fooling about creating his first character. I came in last night with the Pathfinder Bestiary, as our local semi-FLGS, Nord's Games, is going out of business and blowing out their stock at 40% off. As soon as I walk in the door, he launches into a torrent about his character.

"He's got an 18 Strength and a 16 Dexterity!"


"And I found some armor that gave me +9 so I have an Armor Class of 19!"

"Really! You were able to afford that with your starting money?"

Big grin. "Weeeeeeeellll..."

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Pathfinder Complete, Part Three

DSCN0205, a photo by The Gonk on Flickr.
The third half of the first day of our Pathfinder fun (part one, part two). We played this last Sunday, and it went well, although not quite as smoothly for a variety reasons, mostly my fault. We had time on Sunday, and I had been monstrously busy at work, and figured this was about the only time I would have for at least another week, and I wanted to get the game finished. However, I had also just bought Number One Daughter the Hunger Games. She is a voracious, obsessive reader, and she made it clear in no uncertain terms that should would rather be reading!! I made it clear that I would really rather come and play with us, and I won. However, she was a little sulky. Mistake first of many, I suppose.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Pathfinder Complete, Part Two

DSCN0205, a photo by The Gonk on Flickr.
The second half of the first day of our Pathfinder fun, but only the first half of the second game, so the second half will be in a third part. Whew! I asked Number One Daughter, twelve, to join us for the module included in the Pathfinder Beginner Box. She is not a gamer. She has fun when she plays games with us, but she rarely will initiatie or even express desire to participate in any games we play, unlike her brother. She wasn't opposed, just somewhat apathetic. She does enjoy drama a lot, though, so I talked about the story aspect, about how it wasn't a game in the traditional sense, but there were some rules to help people stay in their character's abilities. I also discussed the similarities with improvisational acting, and she became mildly intrigued. She noted how she was familiar with XPs and levels from Pokemon, and I told her how all that had originated with D&D.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Pathfinder Complete, Part One

DSCN0205, a photo by The Gonk on Flickr.
Today was Number One Son's birthday. As I have been mentioning here, he got the Pathfinder Beginner Box. However, he also got the friggin' LEGO Batcave, so after opening presents, he immediately retired to his room to start assembling that! I peeked in a couple of times over the next hour or so, and he didn't even crack the seal on the Pathfinder box! However, before too long he came asking if we could play it. That actually threw me for a bit of a loop, as I had planned to play in the afternoon, when Number One Daughter would be available to play as well. So, I had to put my improv hat on.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Edition Wars

My new favorite source of role-playing wisdom discusses the edition wars that are flaring up again after Wizards of the Coast's announcement of 5th edition development commencing. Language warning!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Time Keeps On Tickin'

Pathfinder iconic characters
Pathfinder iconic characters, a photo by The Gonk on Flickr.
Holy Schnikes!! It seems like just a week ago I had two weeks to get the Pathfinder figures done. According to my calendar, I'm down to just one week now, as Number One Son's birthday is just next Sunday! Fortunately, I was able to bang out two more characters this weekend-- Merisiel and Kyra, the two ladies of the pregenerated characters. So I have the female-friendly angle down, and hopefully can get Number One Daughter, 12 years old, to participate with us. She is not big on gaming, but she seems to be able to feign enjoyment when I force her-- but, she does love acting, so I will be emphasizing role playing as "improvisational theater" to to hopefully pique her interest.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Ezren versus Reefclaw

Ezren vs. Reefclaw
Ezren vs. Reefclaw, a photo by The Gonk on Flickr.
I mentioned painting up some Pathfinder figures for Number One Son. Here's the first of the four pregen characters, the "iconic" wizard Ezren. I have looked through the beginner module that comes with the set, and bought what figures I didn't have. I already had goblins and skeletons, and I picked up a small spider and a small dragon. However, I did not have and could not find a miniature for one unique Pathfinder monster they will encounter-- a reefclaw. It "resembles a lobster in the front and an eel in the back," so I decided to take a Reaper moray eel familiar I already had and give it some claws from the Reaper monster parts pack. Here you can see my start on it.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

For Auld Lang Syne 2012

Welcome 2012! I really can't believe it's 2012 already... I elected not to violate any local ordinances this New Year's Eve, as Mik and I took my gun-controlled European brother-in-law to the shooting range and laid out a good old-fashioned American amount of ammunition for us to shoot.  Fortunately, a fellow New Year celebrant stepped up with the greatly impressive All-American Premiere.  That is definitely on my fireworks list from here on out.  Now, to reflect upon 2011, and see what's upcoming for 2012...