Sunday 12 January 2014

Some photographs from the end of the Great War

With the centenary of the Great War coming up, and my plans to refight elements of it, I was reminded of some photos from the period in the family album. The only definite date I have for any of them is 1918. I thought I would post them, partly because I am too busy to game at the moment and I don't want the blog to get too quiet, but also because I thought they might be of interest. Also, I have little information about a lot of these so if anyone is able to glean more information from them, please let me know.
I have no idea which unit this is and family stories tell me nothing
The rugby team
My great-great aunt (or thereabouts) met her husband in this hospital
Or possibly in this one

My great-grandfather and great-grandmother in France in 1918 according to the writing on the back of the photo

When in France on holiday, one buys postcards of big guns!

It is important to have your photograph taken with the subject of some of your postcards
Once also buys postcards of ruins
And of destroyed forests with a crashed plane in them

Tuesday 7 January 2014

2013 - A Belated Retrospective featuring 2014 - Some Plans

I've not been hugely active on this blog of late, so I thought I would post the obligatory retrospective. Overall, last year was a pretty shitty year for me, for a variety of reasons, but my gaming helped me keep my head above water, and I did write a book that will be published in March (See the Amazon sidebar), so it is not all bad.

Games played:
The list looks longer than it really is, because I logged the modules that ASL scenarios came from as well as logging ASL itself, but I have logged 29 games in the past year. I may have forgotten to log a couple, and I feel sure that there was at least one game that did not have a BGG entry for me to log it. Still, that is not bad at all for me, and my biggest pleasure was getting back into ASL. It has been years since I played it ftf so the appearance of a player in the area is a godsend. I can't wait to get more ASL on board this year.
Advanced Squad Leader7
Rally Round the King7
Tomorrow's War (second edition)6
Car Wars: The Card Game2
DreadBall: The Futuristic Sports Game2
The Last Hurrah - ASL Module 62
ASL Action Pack #4: Normandy 19441
Beyond Valor: ASL Module 11
Doomed Battalions: ASL Module 111
DreadBall: Void Sirens1
Hollow Legions - ASL Module 71
Maurice - War in an Age of Gentlemen and Philosophers: 1690-17901
Paratrooper - ASL Module 21
Polemos: Great Northern War1
Warheads Medieval Tales1
Of the other games I played, Rally Round the King has remained at the top of the list (tied with ASL). It is a superb system for quick battles and the campaign is still ongoing over on Talomir Tales. There is a slight hiatus at the moment due to my workload but I shall be pushing on with it in the next week or two.

Tomorrow's War has come in a close third place. I enjoy it but the layout of the rules makes my head hurt. It really does need a better index.

Dreadball proved to be a fun game. I had dithered over buying it for ages and then was pleased when I did. The way Steve and I play, I cannot imagine us having any of the problems that the forum recounts, so I look forward to playing that some more too.

I thought we had played Warheads more than once, but I appear to have logged only one game. This is another fun game that could easily be played with more normal figures. All kudos to Steve for the Magic Roundabout style terrain that perfectly suited the style of the game though. We need to play this more.

Maurice was another game that we wanted to play more, but things got a bit hectic at the back end of the year. It's on the list for this year. I have some ideas for a mini-campaign, but need to make time for it.

One other thing I did last year that I have not done in a while was delve back into the world of boardgaming. I bought Chandragupta, Chariots of Fire, Lion of the North, Nothing Gained but GloryWizard Kings and several ASL modules. These last were primarily to update my ASL set with the newer versions of scenarios and for the Starter Kit style boards they contained. Wizard Kings is a simple game that I have played before and I wanted a set for something light to play when I am feeling brain-dead. The others are all largely in the same series from GMT and cover battles in ancient India, chariot warfare in the Middle East, the Thirty Years War and the Scanian War. Now all I need to do is find the time to read all the rules and play them all.

The Objectives:
I failed on most of my objectives for last year, but I have excuses that I consider to be valid. This year's objectives are both easier and more ambitious at the same time. They are easier because they will involve painting fewer figures, but more ambitious because they involve playing more of the same game without getting distracted.

On to the Future:
This year I have one big plan. I bought the Death of Glory book for Command Decision: Test of Battle and I intend to play it through. I have played Command Decision since first edition and CD:ToB is the latest iteration of the game. Although I have not yet played it through, I have read the rules and am enthused about it, because it really does look like a significant improvement on previous versions. Death of Glory covers the fighting in the Lorraine region in 1914, and includes a bunch of scenarios plus a mini-campaign. Steve has painted a 6mm Irregular minis German army for this and I am painting the French.

If the Death of Glory project succeeds, then I plan to try getting enough commanders on board later in the year to play the 'Home before the leaves fall' campaign from Over the Top, which was the original Command Decision Great War rules. This campaign covers August and September 1914 on both the Eastern and Western fronts. It has room for six or seven commanders and thus has plenty of room for command confusion and stupidity. The commanders are: French, British, Russian, German Overall Commander, German Western Front and German Eastern Front. The Belgians will join in only if they get invaded. The only problem is getting all the games played promptly enough to keep everyone interested, so I shall be looking at either having an abstract system for determining battles and only playing the most interesting one each turn, or recruiting people around the world to fight some of the battles for me. We'll have to see how the Death of Glory project goes first though.