Archives for 2005

High Stakes Drifter

Merry Christmas all! Not much news to report today on GPW. I’ve been painting and have a lot of work to do. Hopefully after the holiday I will be able to produce some photos and put up a gallery of the work in progress! Just a note before I head off to Christmas Eve with my family, I’ve picked up a few board games recently and one CCG called High Stakes Drifter. This last is a game with poker like mechanics and a western theme. I’ve played against myself a few times to learn the mechanics and look forward to playing others this week. If you’ve tried this one out, write to me about your experience! The game looks like a lot of fun.

Be safe everyone!


2cm Flak compared to MG34

**Edit – I changed the picture to one from, a great site for models of vehicles! **
Today I did some work on looking at the odds in Disposable Heroes of using the 20cm auto-cannon on the SdKfz 222 as compared to using the the co-axial MG34 against infantry. The results are interesting.

2cm Advantages: HE effect can effect whole unit. Longer Range. Much more useful vs. armored vehicles. Effect improves against enclosed spaces. As a support gun it works more effectively against infantry.

2cm Disadvantages: weak anti-personal effect. MG34 has a better morale modifier.

Ok, assuming I have it all correct above, lets look at some scenarios in which a SdKfz 222 engages the enemy. Correct me where I’ve got this wrong.

Scenario 1: The armored car rounds the corner and catches a squad out in the open. With a choice between the BAR team and the rifle team the vehicle commander has to decide what is the more worthy target. Lets assume they were expecting combat and they move slow into the engagement. An acquisition roll of 5 or less is required.

The 2cm would have an ACC of 6 to attack one of the infantry sections. Shooting up the 12 men in the rifle section would be with a 1AP. The expected result of this turn can be summed up mathmatically as 0.5 Acq x 0.6 Acc x 12 targets x 0.1 AP. the result is 0.36 expected casulaties. With an Acc of 5 and a ROF of 4 the MG34 gives 0.8 expected casualties. With the 2cm the unit takes a morale check at -1 while the MG 34 gives a morale check at -2. The MG is the clear winner here.

Scenario 2: Same as above but the infantry are in wood buildings offering medium cover.

2cm changes: Acc goes to 3. AP goes to 2 for enclosed space.
MG34 changes: Acc goes to 2.

The results are dramatic, the 2cm still has 0.36 expected casualties but the MG34 drops to 0.32. The winner by a nose is the 2cm. The MG still has the edge in the morale effect so if the target is already pinned, using the MG might be a better choice in an attempt to break them.

Scenario 3: Same as above but the cover has become heavy with another -2 to the Acc. The answer might surprise you. Both choices bottom out at 1 Acc. The 2cm is expected to cause 0.12 casualties. The MG34 is expected to deliver 0.16 casualties and has a better morale effect. The clear winner is the MG34!

Against smaller infantry targets the MG34 is the clear winner no matter what.

Here are the numbers as I worked them up in Excel:

Aqc. Acc ROF AP Chance of Casualty
0.5 0.6 12 0.1 36%
0.5 0.5 4 0.8 80%
Linear Cover or Concealment (-1 Acc)
0.5 0.5 12 0.1 30%
0.5 0.4 4 0.8 64%
Soft Cover (-2 Acc)
0.5 0.4 12 0.1 24%
0.5 0.3 4 0.8 48%
Medium Cover, enclosed (-3 Acc)
0.5 0.3 12 0.2 36%
0.5 0.2 4 0.8 32%
Heavy Cover, enclosed (-4 Acc)
0.5 0.2 12 0.2 24%
0.5 0.1 4 0.8 16%
Reinforced Cover, Enclosed (-5 Acc)
0.5 0.1 12 0.2 12%
0.5 0.1 4 0.8 16%

The Dead Shall Walk

Have you seen Urban Dead yet? Its a very low-tech Massively Mulitiplayer Game where people play as humans until they are turned into Zombies! Take part in the battle to take over the city! Best of all, it is free!

Ok back to the GPW salt mines…

Fall of the Lion Gate

The fine folks at Too Fat Lardies have come up with a real winner. Its a supplement for “I Ain’t Been Shot Mum!” and covers the Japanese invasion of Malaya and Singapore. It has extensive rules extensions, history and scenarios. If you haven’t tried “I Ain’t Been Shot Mum!” give it a try. Fantastic set of rules. They are a great company to deal with and quite friendly.

Aslan Is Not a Tame Lion

Here is a great article on the Chronicals of Narnia. My friend Mark Ballou worked on the film and I think appears as an extra. Its a great, alegorical story and I am sure it will do well this Christmas. If you are wondering what this has to do with gaming there are only a couple of tenuous links. Mark is brother to Tom who along with Jan Spoor hooked me on historical miniature wargaming. Also, I am looking forward to some interesting toys to come out of this. I missed the large amounts of PVC toys that came out for LOTR (I was collecting other stuff at the time – this time will be different.) What I thought of too late was that the PVC stuff for LOTR would have worked great for the Games Workshop series of games. They were bigger, fully painted and in some cases much cooler looking. If the same type of figs get made for this film I expect to buy up bunches of it to pull off some of the battles.

Once a gamer, always a gamer, eh?

Veterans Worry Pearl Harbor is being Forgotton

The title of this post redirects back to a news article that is similar to ones posted all across America Today. Today is December 7th, Pearl Harbor Day.

“It’s mind-boggling to me that so many kids don’t even know about Pearl Harbor and what it was and what it meant,” said Hess, 78, as he sat in Jack Hanna’s Newport barbershop working out the last details for today’s annual memorial service.

“We have to keep this going. If we give it up, who’s going to carry it on? Who’s going to take the time to remember that this was a world event, not just one involving the United States?” Hess said. “No young people seem to want to carry this on, to replace us, so we keep doing it. Someone has to do it.”

Mr. Hess, you will probably never see this blog entry but I want you and all the other Vets to know that we care. We are reminding people every day, as much as we are able to, about your sacrifices as well as those of our allies during that period of time.

It struck me today, while reading that news article, we are serving a higher purpose with this project. I am so very grateful for all of the help that has come in thus far. We have a long way to go and a lot of money yet to raise. God willing, this project will be a success and keep alive the memories of those men.

Wake Island Added to the List

I am very fortunate. I have a friend, Jim Keats, who has offered to cover Wake Island. I have also met a new friend from friends down here, Mike Peccolo who will also run a Wake Island game. Jim will run his at Historicon. Mike will run his at Nashcon. Since I am located in Nashville I will run my games at Nashcon as well. Baxter Key will run his Bataan game at Naschcon too. With Mike onboard this means at least 4 GPW games there.

Speaking of which, it has been proposed that the theme of Nashcon be The Pacific. Of course I think this is wonderful and if they do manage to pass that I will do everything I can to help. If you have not been to Nashcon yet you should consider either running a game or just coming as a participant. The location is great and the convention is fun. I have seen some absolutely beautiful games run there.

Stay tuned! This project is just starting!


The Greater Pacific War Project Grows

The Greater Pacific War Project has been growing for the last few weeks. We have gone from 5 core members to 15. We have garnered industry support as well. It’s been a very exciting time.

The project, in summary, is an attempt to re-tell the history of The Greater Pacific War of 1931-1945 with historical miniatures. We have a website that is growing in functionality. I also have been blogging about the project at

To give you an idea of the depth of the project the following games are to be run at Historicon 2006. Not all scenario names are finalized but watch the website for further details.

  • Marco Polo Bridge Incident, China, 1937
  • Pearl Harbor, 1941
  • Slim Creek, Burma, 1942
  • Singapore, Malaya, 1942
  • Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands, 1942
  • Retreat to Bataan, Philippines, 1942
  • Kokoda Trail, New Guinea, 1942
  • Second Naval Battle of Guadalcanal, Ironbottom Sound, 1942
  • Bouganville, Solomon Islands, P-38 Interception of Adm. Yamamoto, 1943
  • Betio Island, Tarawa Atoll, Gilbert Islands, 1943
  • Kohima, Nagaland (North East India), 1944
  • Battle off Samar, Philippine Sea, 1944
  • Iwo Jima, Bonin Chain, 1945
  • Battle of Manila, Philippines, 1945

The number of Nationalities this represents is very broad. From Indians and Naga to Philippines, Chinese, British, Americans and Japanese we have covered a large percentage of the peoples involved in this theater of World War II. Our eye is on as complete coverage as possible given our ability to run games, figures available and so forth. In some cases we have had to do large amounts of conversions, such as the case with the KMT Chinese.

The Project Corporate Sponsors thus far are:

  • Figures, Armor, Artillery, USA
  • Britannia Miniatures
  • Battleworks Studios
  • Iron Ivan Games

The list of Game Masters that have joined us are:

  • Peter English
  • Dale L. Kemper
  • Greg Lyle
  • Phil D’Amato
  • Chalfant Conley
  • Keith Stine
  • Sean Barnett
  • Michael Sammarco
  • Chris Bonni
  • Baxter Key
  • Peter Mancini

Further support is being offered in the form of volunteer work, advice and moral support from HMGS-Mid South, Lord Al’s Expeditionary (Al Gaiser) and Nancy Tiller.

For further information regarding the project check out these resources:

The project is more than just a handful of events at Historicon. The website is a community updated entity that will provide valuable information, scenario ideas and discussion about this engaging piece of history. We hope you enjoy what we can provide and contribute on our forum.

With Every Promise of an Unmitigated Disaster!

Today was interesting. I kicked off working on the miniatures for the Marco Polo Bridge game. I think it will be a great game. However, this morning things were in doubt.

First off, who in their right mind would start a major project and drop hundreds of dollars on figures knowing that no one makes the figures you need for the game? I have a powerful combination of stupidity and unmatched over-confidence. Thankfully, at least this time, it pushed me in the right direction. The Kuomintang 29th Army is an interesting beast. They were trained and equiped by the Germans though their organization reflected the realities of China in the 1930’s. 15 man all rifle squads were not uncommon. Though much of their kit was German, there are differences. The major one is that they don’t have boots. They have puttees.

My original plan was to use Finnish and German figures from several sources. Battle Honors, Bolt Action Miniatures and Artizen make up the majority of them. Then I was going to use thin strips of masking tape or dental floss to make the puttee. Sufice to say as soon as I tried that approach it was clear neither way was going to give acceptable results. In fact it was a total write off. This left me in a dilema. I had spent the day cleaning flash and mold lines and flattening bases for the figures. It struck me that maybe I could make the puttees right on the legs. A little flattening, some carving, what could go wrong? It was an idea that was pregnant with every promise of an unmitigated disaaster!

It worked!

I am really happy with how they came out. Sure, some figures did not look as good as others. some looked Fantastic. The best were the ones that started with a straight, high boot. The worst were the ones with flaring blousing over short boots. In those cases I used a sharp blade and dremel file to smooth them out. All in all, I am very pleased though with the results. I now have very acceptable troops!

The main trick is to make about 4-5 lines from the knee down to above the ankle. If there is a boot, make a line above the top of the boot. This helps hide the boot by disguising where it actually ends. Do what you can to smooth the leg and it will look good. Your X-Acto knife needs a heavy blade and needs to be as sharp as possible. You will inadvertently cut off some feet. I did. Just be sure to glue them back and carry on. Out of over 100 figures converted I cut off 3 feet. The figures are expected to live! I’ve glued them back together and I think they will be fine.

I want to thank my able assitant today who spent 5 hours helping me get this task done. Alison, our Media Relations person came over to see what this was all about and got pressganged into cleaning flash! It took about 5 hours.

All in all a good day. Here is the list of figures for the KMT side of the battle:

17 Officer Stands
5x fifteen man Rifle Squads (75 stands)
12x SMG Stands
4x Mortar Teams
10x LMG Teams
2x MMG Teams
1x HMG Teams
1x Irregular Guerilla Squads
2x Armored Cars (Army Group North Miniatures – beautiful! Pricey but I recommend them)

When I get some of the KMT painted I’ll provide photos.

Some interesting links!

Dien Bien Phu Blue Ribbon Picture

Here is the group of us that ran Dien Bien Phu getting our Blue Ribbon. From Left to Right are Peter (Me), Martin, Sam, Pete and James. Martin did the terrain, Pete did the rules and the figures. The rest of us helped GM and drink beer. It was great fun! this event was held at Fall-in 2005 and yes we all wore funny French hats. I am sure they have a name, perhaps a faithful reader will comment on it! Posted by Picasa