Friday, September 23, 2022
Tuesday, September 20, 2022
Saturday, September 17, 2022
Nancy and I have been Deep in the Heart of Texas this week visiting family, hiking, and concert-going. While our base camp was in Round Rock, we did make a foray into Austin for a concert. No, we were not there to see Willie and the Boys.One day we made the two-hour drive through Texas Hill Country to Fredericksburg to visit the National Museum of the Pacific War and the Admiral Nimitz Gallery. Fredericksburg was settled by German immigrants of which Nimitz' family was one. There is even a Freitag's Backyard Cafe in nearby Stonewall. Including a lunch break, we spent a little over six hours in the two museums with most of that time consumed by the Pacific War museum. So much to see and read. With travel time, it was a long ten-hour day.
Below is a selection of photos from some of the static equipment displays. The lead photo to this post shows an eerie display of a downed, Japanese Val airplane.
|Japanese Type I Dual-mounted MG.|
|Bofors 40mm gun.|
|Japanese 37mm gun.|
My dad still has one of these!
|Japanese triple-barrelled AA Gun|
|Knocked out Stuart tank|
commanded by Australians.
While I may not dive into gaming this period in miniature, tackling these campaigns and battles via hex and counter boardgames certainly sees a renewed interest.
If this looks interesting, the website for the National Museum of the Pacific War is
As a reminder, keep those Haikus coming if you want an entry in the 10-year anniversary contest. Many great poems so far. I hope to see more.
Tuesday, September 13, 2022
The Palouse Wargaming Journal (PWJ) marches across its tenth anniversary.
It is said that a habit is formed in 21 days.
Publishing a blog for ten years, with regularity, must represent a lifestyle.
With 1,458 blog posts, blogging as a lifestyle decision seems applicable.
With nearly 40,000 comments (OK, half are mine!), this has become a wargaming community and outreach program for me.
What are ten take-aways from ten years of blogging?
- Averaging about 10 posts per month, I have yet to run out of content. When I began, I worried that potential material would soon become exhausted. To the contrary and to my surprise, more ideas and topics pop into my head than there is time to write up. My list of draft topics is long.
- Blogging has enhanced my hobby enjoyment.
- Perservance. Keep at it and write regularly. Regular updates are key to engagement.
- PWJ seems to attract readers and regular commenters of a similar demographic with similar interests. How did this self-selection happen?
- The blogging community is generous and polite.
- Readers tend to follow the principle of if you cannot say anything nice, don't say anything. My painting may not be the best nor my games the most handsome but you would never know it from commentary here.
- I gained new wargaming acquaintances and friends from all over the world. Many with whom I have even enjoyed a game or two. Amazing, really.
- Blogging opened up new possibilities and a venue to share thoughts on gaming, collecting, and wargaming in general with (mostly) likeminded wargamers.
- Following other bloggers’ works and reader commentary are both motivational and inspirational.
- I am grateful to anyone who happens to stop in to read my work and doubly grateful for those readers who regularly offer up a comment or two.
- Create a Haiku observing the traditional three lines of text having 5, 7, and 5 syllables each.
- Theme: What draws you to checking in on actvities at the PWJ?
- Enter as many times as you like by leaving your Haiku as a comment to this post.
- One Haiku will be selected randomly from my favorite entries.
- Gift Voucher amount will be determined by the number of responses.
Paint desk is busyArmies march into battleAnticipation.
Thoughts swirl and wanderInspires; encouragesQuite habit forming.
Contest will close 30SEP2022.
Saturday, September 10, 2022
With WSS' 2022 Great Wargaming Survey wrapped up, time to begin digging into the survey responses.
While many of the questions remain the same from 2021, the 2022 survey saw a few, new questions added into the mix. One of these new questions is the topic for today's installment.
The question of interest is,
What is your primary source for rules.
The available choices were:Having been in the wargaming hobby for a very long time, a quick glance over to my bookcase of rules shows rulebooks from a variety of sources. By raw numbers, commercial rulesets seem to dominate shelf space. However, there are many binders containing free and homegrown rules as well as rules clipped from magazines. A number of the classic rulesets are embedded within books on wargaming. A selection of self-published rules take up shelf space as well.
What is my primary source for rules? Well, that is an answer that seems to never remain at rest. In the early days, rules in magazines and books offered inspiration when I had access to little else. With the arrival of the internet, I found much of value online. I am an avid commercial rules' collector too.
Inspiration comes from many sources. The period under study often drives primary rules source too. Some periods are only addressed by one source. For me, the answer seems to settle upon the notion that I find inspiration and value in all of the sources listed in the survey. By linear feet of shelf space, I suppose Dedicated, commercially published rules may take the First Place ribbon. Being a confirmed rules tinkerer, many of the commercial rules have a tendency to see a house rule or two to satisfy my tastes. Actually, I tend to tinker with house rules for all of the primary rules sources.
What does the survey have to say on such matters?
Counts by Source for Rules
From the survey counts, more than 50% of respondents choose commercial rules as written. Add in those that may supplement commercial rules with house rules and the percentage climbs to almost 80%. Is this result surprising? Perhaps not. The advertising and visibility in the hobby press likely drives demand. The remaining 20% of the market is splintered among four categories. Self-published commercials rules make up only about 2% of the responses. I know some self-publishers produce outstanding products, many of which are comparable to dedicated commercially published rules. I wonder if this niche will grow over time?
Given the dominance of dedicated, commercially published rules, are there any tendencies that can be teased out of the data? I examine a few attributes.
Source for Rules by Age GroupWhen examined by Age Group, do any broad generalizations emerge? Yes. Younger cohorts tend to rely upon free or magazine/book rules more so than do the older cohorts. Older cohorts are more likely to explore homegrown rules. These older groups are also more likely to add house rules into a commercial ruleset.
Source for Rules by Primary Wargaming Interest
Source for Rules by Years Spent Wargaming
As seen in tendencies from past survey analyses and the results for age and primary interest above, years spent in the wargaming hobby (Duration) offers no surprising results. In fact, duration confirms what has been presented. That is, newer wargamers tend toward free and magazine/book rules more so than do the old veterans of the hobby. These seasoned vets are more comfortable adopting house rules and homegrown rules than those with less time in grade.
In whichever category you find yourself, whether by age group, primary interest, or years spent wargaming, I am always interested to read your thoughts on your sources for rules.
Wednesday, September 7, 2022
Following up on the ECW command stand presented last week, today more ECW figures depart the painting desk. Off the table is a nine-figure regiment of horse in buffcoats and floppy hats. Figures are TAG cavalry from the Thirty Years War range (Swedish?) but I am pressing them into service for the ECW project. Nice sculpts but a bit fragile. Upon close examination, one can see that the trumpeter has already lost the bell of his instrument. This mishap occured during the photoshoot. Fragile little thing. I may try to reconnect the bell to the pipe.Game #2 with the Sumerians and Basic Impetvs occured on Tuesday. With hosting a four-player remote game, once again, the players kept me hopping and photos were few. I may be able to create a patchwork summary battle report but perhaps, not. While the game was entertaining, the post-game discussion prompted a useful analytical exercise. The discussion continued on to email where the relative merits of rules and resolution of specific tactical situations were debated. This conversation sparked a chance to ponder topics on game design, theory, computational validation, and testing. Perhaps fodder for another posting and further discussion.
Sunday, September 4, 2022
A little over one year (13 months, actually) after starting a Sumerian Army (well, actually two!), my Sumerians take to the field of battle.
Following on Graham's Sumerian battle in last week's remote game, I offered up my Sumerians for another look at Ancient Mesopotamian warfare in this week's game. In preparation for hosting the weekly remote UK game, Kevin volunteered to help me put the armies through their paces with a Basic Impetvs variant I devised.
|Battle lines are drawn|
We would use two matched armies in the contest with the victory condition of breaking the enemy army in a straight-up fight. Each army would contain 17 BMUs. Plenty of units for a big battle. I would play the Red Army. Kevin would play the Blue Army.
Notice that one unit of heavy infantry (spear) on each side of the table is of the opposite color. Whoops. That was a last minute mix-up on my part. To even out the two armies, I swapped one of the red shielded spear with one of the blue unshielded spear. I forgot to swap their colored VBU dice. This would cause me some confusion later in the game during the heat of battle.
|The armies advance.|
|Skirmishers contest the center of the battlefield|
|while control of the pond is up for grabs.|
|Red skirmishers in flight.|
|Red Lugal surveys the situation.|
|The enemy is driven back!|
but at what cost?
|Red Lugal in melee!|
|Red Army begins to waver.|
Thursday, September 1, 2022
I begin September with a mixture of topics without a common theme. Well, besides wargaming, that is.
First, off the painting table is an ECW command vignette for the 30mm ECW project. The figures, themselves, are from TAG while the models are sculpted to represent Pappenheim. I know, I know. Pappenheim did not see service during the ECW. In fact, he fell in battle during the Thirty Years War but the figures lingered in The Lead Pile and the group was pressed into service as I whittle down the lump of TAG lead.
Third, the gaming front sees two battles this week. Game #1 was an Ancient Sumerian clash using Graham's To Ur is Human rules. The game was a hybrid in that there were active players both onsite and remotely. Ian and I were online. Graham (umpire), Phil, Richard, and Tim were in Shedquarters pushing lead. In the heated contest, Richard, Phil, and I came out on top. Graham will likely have a full accounting of the battle in due time.Game #2, is slated for later this afternoon. Kevin is coming over for a F2F game. Sticking with the Ancient Sumeria theme, my Sumerians will see their Baptism of Fire on the gaming table. Time was spent this week preparing for the game including writing up a Basic Impetvs variant for Bronze Age combat on a hex grid. We give the rules their Baptism of Fire too.
Finally, The Palouse Wargaming Journal approaches ten years in the blogosphere. Anniversary date mid-September. More on that event later.
Monday, August 29, 2022
Having enjoyed the series of Samurai Battles scenarios using Basic Impetvs on a grid and 15mm figures, I wanted to expand this combination to include my many 28mm collections based for Impetvs. Given that the hexes used in the 15mm Samurai games were four inches and too small for my 120mm 28mm BMU frontages, I needed a new plan. That plan was to build hex tiles that were five inches. Well, I finally got around to making that plan a reality this weekend.
|Hex tile piles ready for deployment.|
|130 hex tile grid laid out on table.|
These armies and new hex tiles will get their Baptism of Fire in a Thursday F2F match. If this proves a success then all of my Impetvs-based collections may see action on a grid.