Tuesday, July 30, 2013

One of those days

I'm just having one of those days today. For some reason little things are just setting me off.

A trip to the supermarket had me wanting to eviscerate other motorists both coming and going. Pulling all the way through the parking space from one lane over as I'm trying to get to it to park? Seeing me back out and not giving me room to turn in the direction I would like to go? Little annoyances to be sure, but it made me apoplectic.

I thought I'd paint, and may yet still, but I spent most of the day just being a grouch.

Then I decided to read up on my blog roll to help. And you know what? It did. Particularly this post by Justin over at the Royalist Roundhead. When I can snap out of it better I will likewise do a post on blogs that inspire me. I also need to go through and do a post on drumming up some followers for blogs that are great but don't have the followers to match their greatness. Similar to what James at Exiles Wargames Painters and Loki at Loki's Great Hall have done in turning me on to some great bloggers.

Welcome to Grigork of The Megalomniac, a quite nice looking blog with some good battle reports and excellent figures and terrain. And how can you go wrong with a cat on the games table?

Also Ray said he preferred female armor.

I suspected as much. ;)

And finally. I would still be playing D&D today if she was in my gaming group.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Battle report over at Talomir Tales

Just to let you know that there is another battle report up over at Talomir Tales here.

I played it out over the weekend and felt it was not my finest hour. Too many distractions and my brain was addled from I don't know what. Perhaps too much time away from the rules hurt as well.

Just a tease, get thee to Talomir Tales.
I've got to get my truck serviced today, but I've been thinking about bloggery again lately. I also need to buckle down and get some paint on some figures. I know same old story.

I'll leave you with some Man flesh for Anne:

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Happy Gygax Day

Hi All,

This just came across my radar this morning.

I have no idea if there were events or anything involved. I'm not interested in the drama surrounding which version of D&D is better or if retro clones are better etc.

I just like to remember the good times I shared with friends playing games with Mr. Gygax's name on them.

If you care to share your reminiscences, please do. Or perhaps I will share a thing or two. You can see one such inspired art work from this post here.

Have a good one.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Heraldry on a rainy day

Well, I'm on a short trip with my Mom and kids to sight see around Northern Arizona. We had plans to see Meteor Crater, Walnut Canyon, Sunset Crater and Wupatki National monument.

The only problem is my daughter came down with something. So my mom son and some teenage cousins are out while we sit in the hotel watching cartoon network and fiddling around with Talomir Heraldry.

I hope they aren't getting too wet as it is pouring rain outside the hotel right now.

On to the heraldry.

I have to fight out a battle between two armies I do not have, so I was going to make paper counters for Stygustan (Egyptian) and Tropilium (Imperial Roman). So of course I need something to differentiate the counters.

The scarab is from by johnny automatic. I just colored in the wings. The Faces I had from Free Heraldry Clipart and then I added the Tau Rho (for Tropilium) as a riff off of the Chi Rho of late Roman iconography. Of course there is also a Tau Rho christian symbol but none of them worked for me. The font is Atene from Dafont.

Next Tropilium had a bunch of mercenaries and conquered nation units. For the North Tropilium unit I just kept the same design and noted it in the name and stats of the unit. They also had Riata Warriors and Hykar Cavalry fighting for them. So first we need to come up with heraldry for those nations.

Again fairly simple, three colors for the Savage head for Riata. For Hykar I wanted Centaurs I don't really like the graphic, but it was quick. To differentiate mercenaries I added a sinister bend.

At first I had put the bend on top, but that looked crappy. I also noticed when making the images for this post that I'd missed coloring a sliver on the left. Oops.

Finally Tropilium also has the Black Company in its employ. Since the Black and White Companies are rivals so I thought that they should be a mirror of each other. Since John Hawkwood was the commander of the actual white company I used his arms and made both.

So that is what I've been doing over the last few days. The units for the Stygustan army are printed out and read to cut from 110lb. cardstock. I'll have to wait until tomorrow to print out the Tropilium army.

Id like to welcome new followers to the blog as well. I've followed quite a few blogs of late and they have been kind enough to reciprocate.

DeanM of WAB Corner painting up and fielding some beautiful WHFB armies. Even his quick paintjobs look really sharp.

John of Band of Wargame Brothers gorgeous looking 28mm figures and terrain. I need to have more of a look around this one.

Edwin King whom I'm guessing writes Thoughts of a depressive diplomatist. You friend profile doesn't have a link and you don't appear to be named on the blog itself. But a quirky and interesting blog none the less.

Chris Stoeson another person with no blog link. If you have a blog please let me know and I'll post a link. of Wargames Odds and Ends, looks like a good blog with scenarios for sale. Again I'll have to investigate further.

Crazy Joe or Gary as he is now calling himself ;) writes Happy Valley another unique blog with opinions to spare. It was actually his review of Tony Harwood's book that helped it achieve critical mass and push me to buy it.

laughingferret of Laughing Ferret Lab who wrote a very insightful post about that lame article bashing wargamers in the telegraph.

That's all for now.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

San Diego trip over the 4th of July

Sorry if this is not directly related to Gaming but there is a bit of history and militaria in this trip.

So as I mentioned in a few of the last posts, we took a family trip to San Diego California to sight see and go the Safari Park Zoo.

I took over 1000 pictures, most of them a blurry mess, which I distilled to around 270 and will show about 28 of them here. They are reduced to 20% of their actual size and I hope give the flavor of what we experienced.

First off the Museum of Man in Balboa park.

Mayan Stele
Samurai Armor

Mummies and self portrait.
Too many things to photograph. No flash allowed and I had to hustle to keep up with the kids. A very eclectic collection with some pretty interesting stuff. My wife was a party pooper and wouldn't let the kids and I go through the "Intruments of Torture" special exhibit.

The next morning we went to the Cabrillo National Monument. The site where Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo was the first European to set foot on the West coast of the US. My photos here were a little lack luster. One interesting fact they mentioned was how all the early explorers except for Hernan Cortes died while on expedition.

A sub being pushed by tugs and Coronado Naval Air Station.

Chainmail and helm in the gift shop.

Next up was the San Diego Air & Space Museum.

This time we paid extra to see the Ripley's "Believe it or not" exhibit.

Model of a galley used in the movie Ben Hur.

Alien vs. Predator motorcycle.

And then the museum proper.

WWI room

Some nice scratch builds.

Cockpit of a WWII bomber.
Perhaps I should have shared more pictures of the planes here but it gets a bit overwhelming and we've all seen planes before. It was an interesting place.

We rounded out the day with a trip to the Aircraft carrier Midway.

Entrance on the starboard side.

Tower on the flight deck

Statue in a park of the Port side.

More carriers across the harbor.
I've been putting together this post over a number of days and I'm surprised at my photo choices here a little bit. Suffice it to say the thing is huge and stuffed full of aircraft from all of the eras during which it served. I seemed to be particularly enamored with the mess hall and the XO's office. We probably should have done this one earlier in the day or on a separate day. We steam rolled through it. It was also comparatively hot that day, though still in the mid 70's.

Finally on to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park in Escondido. I think I had been here once in the 80's when you could drive through in your car. We went to the Zoo and then stayed at the Zoo overnight at their Roar and Snore. It was very cool.

White Rhinos


Golden Eagle

Young Gorilla and a female.

Big Daddy.
The previous photos were during the day around the park. We next went in to the campground and had dinner, followed by a tour of some of the exhibits where we got to go behind the scenes.

Sumatran Tiger

It is quite an experience to be stalked by a tiger who is three feet away.

The Elephants came over and played in the water for us.
Unfortunately most of my night shots were garbage. My hands aren't steady enough and flash was not always a viable option. The next morning however.

One of the Cheetahs



So I would highly recommend the Roar and Snore. It appears I neglected to include the picture of the campsite, but it was fairly comfortable. They have large tents set up with 3" foam mats for bedding. You bring your own sleeping bag, pillows, etc. They even had showers there which were quite pleasant. I have no idea the cost, as everything was arranged by SWMBO. I think it is a definite stop if you made it all the way to San Diego.

To round out this very long post I'll bring your attention to some special boobs. If you are offended by such things do not proceed.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Meet Francis Finnegan

Francis Finnegan was born February 28th 1837 in Ballintemple, Co. Armagh, Ireland. He was the 9th of 10 born to Peter Finnegan and Margaret Vallely.

My grandfather always told the story that Peter Finnegan died falling off his donkey, my grandfather liked to say ass, while coming home from the pub. Subsequently the family emigrated to North America. My Aunt always said that they arrived in Canada and then illegally entered the U.S. to settle in Hyde Park, Vermont.

Francis Finnegan c. 1860

He mustered in to Union service on June 20th 1861 with the 2nd Vermont Volunteer Infantry Regiment, Company D. This regiment was part of the 1st Vermont Brigade (Old Brigade) and took part in most of the major battles of the Eastern theater as part of the Army of the Potomac,VI Corp, 2nd Division, 2nd Brigade.

The following is the list of battles from the regiment's wikipedia page

July 21, 1861
Battle of Warwick Creek
April 6, 1862
April 16, 1862
June 26, 1862
June 29, 1862
June 30, 1862
September 14, 1862
September 17, 1862
December 13, 1862
May 3, 1863
May 4, 1863
June 5, 1863
July 3, 1863
Battle of Funkstown
July 10, 1863
November 7, 1863
May 5–10, 1864
May 10–18, 1864
June 1–12, 1864
June 18, 1864
Battle of Charlestown
August 21, 1864
Battle of Opequon (Gilbert's Ford)
September 13, 1864
Battle of Winchester (Opequon)
September 19, 1864
September 21, 1864
Battle of Mount Jackson
September 24, 1864
October 19, 1864
March 25, 1865
April 2, 1865
April 6, 1865

The website Civil War in the East gives a nice table showing the Regiments movements and involvement here and there are synopses of the regiment on Vermont in the Civil War here and Antietam on the Web here.

My grandfather always told two stories about his grandfather's experience in the Civil War. The first was about how he lost his toenails after retreating from the battle of Bull Run and the other was how he was wounded in the arm while reloading his musket at the battle of Gettysburg. In my research it became clear that he was not injured at Gettysburg as the regiment appeared to see very light action until then and was held in reserve with no casualties during that battle. In fact I could not find Francis Finnegan listed as a casualty in any of the online resources I found. So I began to question the whole story. After consultation with my 1st cousin once removed I found out that the end results (ie lost toe nails and musket injury) were true, just the timing and battles were incorrect. He said it was the Wilderness campaign and the battle of Spotsylvania where these things occurred. Over the 4th of July holiday I had some time on my hands during the 6 hour drive to San Diego, so I found and ordered a book on the 2nd Vermont Volunteer Infantry from Amazon. In it I found written confirmation that he had in fact been injured on May 12th 1864 ( Zeller 271). This corresponds with the units involvement in the assault on the Bloody Angle.

So there you have it. This now gives me a template for fighting a campaign using various rules sets. I'm mostly thinking of using it as a way to link skirmishes using Rifles & Rebels from THW.

So no glory here. Just a guy who did his bit, humped his gear around the theater, and didn't get killed. The story of many a participant I think.

Francis Finnegan and Jane Smith wedding photo c. 1870
Finnegan Family August 6th 1917. Francis is the white beard on the right, my grandfather is the boy with the tie on the left.
Works cited:

Zeller, Paul G. The Second Vermont Volunteer Infantry Regiment, 1861 - 1865 Jefferson: McFarland & Co., 2002. Print.

Welcome to Captain Richard of Captain Richard's Miniature Civil War. He has an impressive collection of ACW memorabilia and a fantastic setup. The detail of his table is mind boggling.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Blog re-design and some upcoming stuff

Hi All,

Just a quick note. Dynamic views has been terrible for me for the last 4 days or so, javascript not loading. So I've given up on it completely. I'll try and get things more ordered here soon. Let me know if there is anything you would like to see (besides more Boobs that is).

I'm still slogging through my vacation pictures. I'll try to hurry it up but it's a lot. I'm only 500 in.

I'll try to bring my laptop to karate today so that I can give a writeup to my ancestor who was at Gettysburg. Right now I have a lot of basic info but am getting a little bogged down. I'll probably do an overview and then follow up with more in depth stuff as I get to it.

I'm back on deck to play out the last battle of the season for Talomir over at Talomir Tales. It is Spring 994 and Tropilium has invaded Stygustan.

Stygustan (RR 7, -1 to Mangu)
4 Light Chariots
2 Infantry
1 Axemen
6 Archers
1 L2 Magic-User [costs 1 RR]
4 L1 Magic-Users [cost 1 RR each]
The Drums of Doom [1 RR]

Tropilium (RR 10, -1 to Treyine, +1 from Northern Tropilium)
1 Equites
3 Legionaries
2 Auxiliaries
1 Auxiliary Archers
1 Archers
1 Slingers
1 Ballista
1 Mercenary Hykar Cavalry [1 RR]
1 Mercenary Riata Warriors [1 RR each]
The Black Company [3 RR]
1 L2 Wizard [1 RR] 
1 Northern Tropilium Auxiliaries
Amulet of Sorbrowane

Gotta run.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Big Lee's 1 millionth hit prize draw.

Shameless bid to gain five more entries into Big Lee's giveaway. You can find it here. Don't dally like I have, you have until Monday to enter.

I've been feeling a little run down after the big vacation. I found the spot on my ribs that I was denying is cracked. I don't have picto-graphic evidence but it hurts like hell if I press on it just right. So denial was not the cure all I had hoped it would be.

I'll share some pictures of San Diego and the Safari Park in a day or so, I only took about 1000. Lots of stuff from the Air & Space Museum and the Aircraft Carrier Midway. We also were stalked by a pair of Tigers.

I also hope to bring you an outline of my ancestors who fought in the Civil War. I'm sure I mentioned it before but Gettysburg sparked my interest again and I found a book devoted to the regiment my Great great grandfather was in. Also confirmed that elements of my grandfather's story is true, just not the specifics of time and place.

I've also been reading, albeit slowly, And a Bottle of Rum. In a bit of synchronicity my son is doing a summer camp about Pirates so my Pirate will be Jack Rancid, Captain of the Calico. If he becomes a pirate I'm thinking he will be Throat Beard the Pirate.

I'll finish up with  few milestones. I am now over 70K views and June was my highest viewed month ever with 11,679 hits. I am over 200 posts and have finally broken the 100 follower barrier. Now that I have achieved some of these targets I am going to focus more on comments and conversation as that is more appealing to me.

Welcome to new followers:

Don Hans of Realm of Citadel a fine painter and Oldhammer adherent. Check out his Thugs and Nurgle warband. And while you're at it give him a few more followers. You won't be disappointed.

Warlord Paul of The Black Hole great looking terrain and figures. It looks like many of the heavy hitters already follow WP. Be cool like us and follow him too.

I have actually primed a few fantasy adventurers and am trying just gluing them to the washer and will base goop after painting. The theory is it will get them painted faster. Already had one incident with the troll. I knocked him off his washer and so had to handle him to paint him. I ended up peeling off some primer with my fingers, so he looks like he has a skin condition on his hand. I'm going to try and make it work. I'm thinking an Orky green palette with maybe some grayish highlights.

I've rambled enough for now. Have a good one.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Hot fun in the Summer time

Hi All,

  You may have heard of the heat wave in the Western US. Here in Phoenix it got a little hot.

Screen caps from 6/28 and 6/29.
I think it only got to 119F on  June 29th, but it was pretty damn hot.

I'm back into the full swing of Exercise, except the running has taken a back seat in all this heat. As such my aches and pains have gone back to the usual places. The only new thing is my ribs hurt from being punched in them and I may have to admit that it's more than a minor injury.

Astute readers will notice that I have been playing quite a bit of Elder Signs: Omens. I got it on the Kindle and it is addictive. I've beaten three of the four Elder gods in the basic game, but cannot beat Azathoth. Playing the app has given me a greater appreciation for the boxed game and I have learned the rules better. I may look into getting the expansion in the near future.

Several blogs I follow have been putting up mid year progress reports and I thought I would do the same. I had meant to take a bunch of pictures and snazz it up, but I'm at the point where I want to post something rather than put it off for another day.

So here is the project list with notes:


Add blog pages
  • Pile of Shame – haven't started.
  • Figures/ Models Completed – haven't started page (1 figure completed)
  • Games Played 12/31/12
  • Project List 12/30/12

  • Finish Tereken Figs – 30 foot 50% complete, 4 cav 20% complete
  • Finish Mirholme Figs – 17 foot 30% complete
  • Finish Naz-Goth Figs – 29 foot 50%, 2 foot 10%, 4 cav 10%
  • Finish Treyine Figs – Taken off sprue, washed?
  • Refurbish old terrain – Not started
  • Build water feature terrain – Not Started
  • Heraldry and Banners – Preliminary designs only
  • Card stock buildings – Not Started
  • card stock dungeon – Tried to adjust to 1/72 scale

Ancient/ Fantasy Naval – Not Started
  • Play War Galley
  • Build Roman Seas paper ships
  • Read and Play Roman seas
  • Go through other naval rule sets

18th Century Imagi-nation -Basic ideas roughed out only.
  • Create Map – Got ideas for using Brain and Internal organs for maps.
  • create back story
  • Read Muskets & Mohawks, Long Rifle rule sets
  • determine terrain needs
  • paint up figures

ACW – 20 figures cut off sprue and washed
  • Paint 10 Union figures – 5% on 10 foot
  • Paint 10 Confederate – 5% on 10 foot
  • Work through Rifles & Rebels ex of play
  • Asses terrain needs/ figures

Wild West – Some Western Figures cut off sprue
  • Finish reading Six Gun Sound Rules – Did I finish reading, got pretty far.
  • Build Western card stock buildings
  • Paint Cowboy and Indian figures

Pulp – Found a lot of resources, need to finalize
  • Continue research into Cthulhu
  • Figure out stats for Larger Than Life
  • Asses terrain and buildings
  • Source more figures

WWII – Not much progress
  • Finish reading NUTS!
  • Paint Billy V Americans and Germans
  • Look through Not Quite Mechanized
  • Revisit Squad Leader in Miniature

Sci-Fi – Not much progress, added Star Navy and Fighter Command
  • Read 5150 rules
  • Source Figures
  • Play the damn game

So as you can see a lot of work still to do. I've decided that I need to focus on the work instead of the results. In that way I will have something accomplished.

Off for a quick Holiday weekend. Have a happy and safe 4th of July. If you celebrate it that is.


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