Archives for 2006

Where the hell have I been

Hello all,
I’ve been away from this blog since basically the Summer. I missed Fall In! this year and have not been active in the gaming scene for ages. There are a couple of reasons for this. The first is that work has gotten very interesting and intense. I got a promotion and a raise (they don’t always go hand in hand now do they!). I’ve gotten to travel a lot because of that and have been to various military bases and national labs around the country. Its been a great time – excepts that I don’t have much time to play a lot of games, paint lead, etc. Nothing has happened with the Greater Pacific War project and I think the website might be having difficulties – not that it got a lot of traffic to begin with. I did hear from Historicon and they made some requests for 2007 so I will look into doing something for that.

This past weekend I started my first miniatures project in ages. I sat down with my copy of the 2nd edition of “The Japanese Art of War” and pondered how I was going to complete it. I’ve come up with a number of improvements I would like to implement – especially the use of language. Lets face it the terms Offensive Opportunity and OO and Defensive Opportunity and DO just don’t make for easy reading or comprehension for first time readers. So, I am going to try to work the language down to something easier to get a handle on. The mechanics will remain faithful. The second edition version I have is much more mechanically clean than the version freely available out on the web. The main thrust of the 2nd edition is not to clean up the rules though (this would only be worthy of 1.5 if it was just those changes) but to fully integrate a campaign system. The campaign system I have in mind is a melting pot of ideas and its primary attributes will be low record keeping, fun operation, no GM and modular. I want campaigns that have a story to tell and thus allow people to create their own. I want the battles to be fun and somewhat even – i.e. you will never get one side outnumbering the other by some devastating amount.

The rule mechanics are ready for the battle game, what needs to be added are longer descriptions, introductions, designer notes, sidebars and so forth – stuff that writes itself. The campaign system is in outline format currently – with a more fully realized design ready to go for my Star Wars Miniatures Battles stuff. I won’t be releasing that system as its just for fun between friends and I (and would require more work from a legal standpoint to release than is worth my time). The system is fun though. It really takes advantage of letting players call the shots.

In other news for those who don’t know, I was accidentally “blinded” in my left eye in an accident (badly scratched cornea). I have had surgery (PKR) to fix it and my vision is coming back. My total vision right now is about 20/25 in both eyes with improvements every day. The injury and the surgery were very painful but even that is under control. I am grateful for the support I’ve gotten from friends, family and loved ones. I will be supporting the Wang Vision Institutes’ Eye Ball next year and volunteering for the effort as much as possible. I am very grateful to Dr. Ming Wang whose skill, bed side manner and intellect saved my eye sight and corrected my vision. I’ll post more details at a later date.

I did create a new video in the past few months. I took a song done up by Jay-Z and Linkin Park called Numb/Encore and added video, mainly from Iraq. Please take a moment to check it out:

Numb/Encore in Iraq

Fire and Fury Games’ Battlefront:WWII HISTORICON 2006

Greg Lyle put on a great Guadalcanal game for the Greater Pacific War project. Pictures can be seen at the link above. Also at Historicon was Peleliu which would have been part of the project if we had had room for it. That beautiful game was done by Pete Landry and the photos are really impressive.

Roxanne Patton’s game also has a photo spread on the same site. She did Mt. Suribachi and had a very clever design for the board! I think overall it was a really excellent set of games that all did a lot to show off the nature of island fights in the Pacific. Each of these games were well done and from what players have told me, each was fun, well executed and refereed.

Lasers that produce a line

CALPAC LASERS – Laser Pointers

A LOT of people have asked me where I got my laser pointer that produces a visible line on the table surface. It is the CP-TI-327-VBL and is available at the above link for the low, low, low price of $29.95 (compare to the $50 I paid in 2000 for it.)


GPW project starts on Thursday!

That’s right campers – Historical Miniature Gaming’s Biggest Summer Vacation is about to start and the Greater Pacific War Project is there! This is our biggest outting this year with over a dozen games, fabulous lectures and stunning terrain. I am very much looking forward to kicking this convention off with my Marco Polo Bridge game. I have the boards ready and packed. Tonight I drive over to the Lord Al’s where Baxter of FAA will be loading up his racks of miniatures onto the truck. By his generous offer he is taking all of my terrain (10 boxes!) up with him along with the hundreds of miniatures involved.

I will fly up on Wednesday and arrive at the Lancaster Host that night, probably around 10:30PM. Hopefully the bar will still be open. If not I will be looking for my first game of the convention! It better involve dice, 1 page of rules and a case or two of beer!

If you are coming to see the project and participate in some of the games I have lots of give aways including very generous gifts from and Iron Ivan games PLUS we have been sponsored by Yuengling Beer who will be having a promotion with us, giving away lots of fun prizes. I am sure some of them will be of the drinkable kind!

Please look for me and say hello. I am curious to know who is reading this blog!




While looking for information about the survivability of an Abrams tank to a napalm strike (they are supposed to have all sorts of improvements in that arena) I came across this site. It is very informative and gives a great discussion on the merits of Diesel vs Gas Turbine engines in tanks.

Check it out!

Potomac Books Supports the Greater Pacific War Project

Potomac Books just contacted me and has lent their support to the project in a big way! They are funding Jon Parshall’s trip to Historicon so that he can give a lecture and do a book signing! This is fantastic and brings to the project the scholarly link necessary to make this a truely educational experience. I am so excited about this words just can describe my joy. I will post more about this on the Greater Pacific War’s website later this week as we hammer out the details.

If you have not checked out Jon’s book “Shattered Sword: The Untold Story of the Battle of Midway” please do. Its amazing and I highly recommend it.

Champions of the Force

Champions of the Force

Yeah – my addiction continues! Having complete collections of all prior releases there was no reason not to go gangbusters on this set too. It just came out last week. I picked up 2 cases that were sequencial. I ended up not getting a single rare or ultra rare duplicate! What amazing luck. I have almost the whole set of 60. I have extras of some decent figures and of course quite a few junky bits. Actually the junk is useful. The Ugnaughts are 3 points and can blow doors of their hinges. This is clearly the answer to that opponent you think plans on turtleing (using override to stay locked in a room after killing one of your guys).

You only need one or two though. I have 6. Same with the R5 droid. Its semi-useful with droids so it will see more use with Sepratists than anything else. It should have been given the ability to repair vehicles. Oh well. There are a few nice droids it could repair.

The heavy hitters in this set are the Sith, a new faction. The Old Republic is also a new faction but is lacking any unique characters. For now the Sith will pretty much kill any Old Republic squads. In a future set the Old Republic will likely get the characters they need. You ought to see the stats on Darth Bane. I got one of them and he would kick Darth Vader’s ass in any of his configurations. And that’s saying something!

The Republic gets the most new characters and a lot of them rock. Of course the old school Rebels and Empire get some nice loot now too! I need a few more E-Blasters and Atgar guns! Very nice models.

I was waiting for this game to Jump the Shark but this set is really quite solid. It continues to add to the tactical options the serious collector has and there are some fun characters in there.

Definitely give it a look if you can stand collectable games and love Star Wars as much as this Alpha Nerd does!

Advair is my new friend

Advair Indications, Dosage, Storage, Stability – Fluticasone Propionate and Salmeterol – RxList Monographs

Well it looks like the fun I had back in May with the asphixiant fumes has had a long term effect. If you are not familiar with that incident check out this article at TMP. It turns out I have damaged my right lung and will be put on an inhaler until it properly heals. There is a slight wheeze detectable from the lung and its probably been interfering with my sleep. However I believe it will heal quickly enough. As it turns out, asthema runs in the family somewhat so I am familiar with it. I haven’t had any attacks and this will more than compensate for any loss of capcity I gained. Its just another reason why we should be careful of what chemicals we use in our project.

So folks, keep it safe!

ABC News: Kalashnikov — The Bio of the Big Gun

ABC News: Kalashnikov — The Bio of the Big Gun

The elderly inventer of the AK is slated to speak out against terrorists and revolutionaries world wide who have made his weapon the most popular on Earth. Great read.

Thought Hammer

Thought Hammer

Thought Hammer is an online retailer that sells boardgames, CCGs, miniatures and so forth. I found them through Boardgame Geek and decided to give them a try since I wanted to pick up some of the Runebound expansions.

They have great prices (up to 35% off of retail) and the service is fantastic. Packing and shipping was well done and they were great with communicating back to me. I think of all the things an online retailer can get right or wrong, communication is the most important. After that comes service and price. I am more prone to pay more for good service than to save a buck and wait in doubt.

So what did I get? I got the two adventure decks for Runebound: “Crown of the Elder Kings” and “The Scepter of Kyros” as well as the boxed expansion “The Isle of Dread” which I was not able to get at the local Nords Games (I could have ordered it but since they don’t give discounts and driving eats up gas, I gave that option a pass.)

I played Runebound the weekend of Nashcon with Rohn and Pete and had a great time. We played it with the two new items decks and the two new challenges decks. It was a blast. We did it over two nights logging about 5 hours for 3 players (two of which were very new to the game.) I ended up winning but, as Rohn put it concerning my items, I had the Arsenal of Democracy. Indeed in the end game I did have the Wings of Regiroth and some crystal scepter that allowed me to make an additional 2 damage magic attack in pre-combat. Since I was playing Carthos the Mad this allowed me to potentially deal out 4 damage in pre-combat! I was basically unstoppable and when I took on the Red Encounters I was at +14 magic in woods (base plus experience plus a special encounter card.) Suffice to say my allies would watch the fireworks show while I fried 3 of the lesser dragons. I had 7 health so it wasn’t even a competition.

I am REALLY looking forward to the Isle of Dread expansion. That baby looks sweet!