Sunday, October 28, 2012

Odds 'n' Ends

After expending much energy producing the rules, ships, terrain, game pieces, etc. for my Row Well and Live! ancient naval rules, I sort of hibernated from blogging. However, I feel a need to fill the gap so people won't think I have suffered the same fate as Kevin Smyth.

I have another game of Row Well and Live! planned for early November and I'm somewhat busy painting the wrecks that I got last month from Xyston. Now that the rules have progressed to the level of deadliness that I intended, I expect to need a half dozen or so wrecks to mark ships that have lost all flotation and are just semi-buoyant hulks. I'm about 50% there. I also have a handful of ships in the works. I think I have less than a dozen unpainted models, which I'll get to maybe this year. I already have more than enough for a game. The additional models will just allow more variety of ship types.

Bolt Action!
I discovered the joy of Warlord Games' Bolt Action WW2 skirmish rules when I stumbled one Saturday into The Panzer Depot and dropped into an impromptu game hosted by Chris Craft. The game was the German attack across a causeway held by elements of the 82nd Airborne (John Kennedy's old outfit in his younger, thinner days) in Normandy. It played pretty well and I immediately told John to hold a copy of the rules for me when the next shipment arrived.

Meanwhile, I started wondering if and what I should paint for Bolt Action. Like most things I get into, there is already a bulk of figures painted by the time I jump in and there seems to be no reason to paint a few more units. I thought about painting Germans, so I could be one of many players with German figures, then Americans for ETO (which still intrigues me). However, I realized that I've been sitting on unpainted lead for Japanese for several years. When I ran into Jerry Tyer at TPD and he mentioned he was painting Marines for Bolt Action, I knew the time had come to get to work on these guys, about which more in a later blog.

Conflict of Heroes
I've managed to play a few games of Academy Game's excellent Conflict of Heroes board game. Dan Carey contacted me through Board Game Geek and we've met a few times now to play at The Panzer Depot. I haven't beaten Dan yet, but I'm trying.

We've played scenarios from Storms of Steel, the Kursk variant, and Price of Honor, the Poland 1939 variant. I am waiting (and waiting) for Academy to finally release the Guadalcanal variant. It's been in the works for years (no exaggeration). It's also been 99.9% ready for years. I understand there has been a major production issue that involved losing original art and requiring a recreation of all that before they could start production. Their woes are greater than mine, but I'm still antsy.

Smyth Agonistes
Electronic media is more than ephemeral. All those 1s and 0s can go "poof" at any time. This makes me think that I should be saving my blogs in a more permanent format—or even just downloading them as PDF files (still 1s and 0s, I know, but my 1s and 0s).

It makes one wonder what will be left of our electronic medium culture. Newsweek magazine will go wholly digital by the end of the year (not that many will notice). The entire oeuvre of a blogger like me will one day cease to be when the electrons die. No big loss, since nearly everything I write is mere persiflage. My postings can reach anyone on the globe with an Interwebs connection, but they won't outlive me (or, for that matter, won't outlive my Internet account). Say what you will about the inconvenience of clay tablets, they at least had permanence.

Kevin's fate, alluded to above, was not so terrible as oblivion, but somehow he has lost access to editing his three blogs on Blogspot. He can't log in with his password and he is unable to reset it. I'm not sure what he did, nor is he, but Google is utterly useless for helping resolve it. "Free" remains worth every penny you spend on it. He's now had to abandon his blogs on Blogspot and move to new digs on (which, frankly, is a better service than Google anyway). Still he has no way to port over years of blog posts, so he's starting from scratch at In the words of Kurt Vonnegut, "So it goes."

His older blog, Northwest Historical Gamer (, remains for now and can be accessed through my Favorite Blogs listing to your right. So will A Gamer's Tales. I'm pleasantly surprised to see that Blogspot will allow a Wordpress blog to be listed, so there is it.

My cats are opaque
This may seem a very quotidian observation, but I raise the issue to point out that this bit of the posting is written by faith; sight being impaired by the interposition of Maeve the Merciless between my oculars and the computer screen. Any amount of time spend doing anything besides watching TV (when the cats can pile about me on the couch) is suspect to them. They get restless, they walk about the house making noise urgently calling me  away from what I'm doing to pay attention to them, they cause trouble. More to the point, they jump up on the desk and interrupt my work.

Of course I love them nevertheless, but I tell them that I only keep them in case of famine. That doesn't seem to faze them. I suspect it's because that's why they keep me.