Monday, December 14, 2015

Larry Brom Tribute Game

At the November CMH club meeting, Terry Shockey put on a Larry Brom tribute The Sword and the Flame game.  It was a good ole Zulu War scenario.  It was a fun tribute game!

Here are pictures from the game:

Zulus advancing towards British line.


Zulu right horn attacks.

Zulu right horn and center attack.

British cavalry come to the rescue of the British right flank.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

The Sword and The Flame by Larry Brom

Today I learned that Larry Brom, the creator of The Sword and The Flame (TSATF) rules has died.  I am sad to hear this news because Larry was the reason historical miniature wargaming became my main hobby.  Thirty years ago this year I was introduced to The Sword and the Flame rules from my Dad's coworkers son.  He setup a small Zulu war scenario and we ended up playing it twice in one sitting.  It captured my interest and I was off into the hobby.  Larry was able to capture the fun and the history in the rules.

TSATF Zulu War game I ran back in 1997.  Pretty basic, but I was pretty green back then.

Canadian Lancaster Bomber

I just watched this video of the Canadian Lancaster Bomber.  Back in c. 1995 I saw this bomber fly over the Canadian Parliament buildings at night.  They were shining fake search lights at it.  I believe it was for the anniversary of the end of WWII.  When I visited the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum years ago, I don't think it was there at the time, but I definitely enjoyed the museum.

This video is very cool.

Sunday, November 1, 2015


I am currently painting up 25mm Aztecs, other natives and Conquistadors.  These will be used for a future The Sword and Flame game.  I think the rules will work out fine, but have yet to test it.

Notice I said 25mm.  Yes, I am painting up 25mm not 28mm.  I acquired free a bunch of 25mm Monday Knight Production miniatures from their Gold and Feathers line.  In future posts I will show the Aztecs and Conquistador Allies 25mm figures.  I think there are more options in 28mm, but I prefer to work with what I have.

I would be interested to read in the comments who else my Spanish could skirmish with back in Europe.  I do not know the history of Spain in this period in Europe.  I am slowly learning about the Conquistadors.

I hope to put on a fun game in the future.  At least something different.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Tacticon 2015

Good convention!

There has been a lot of discussion leading up to Tacticon this year.  Genghis Con and Tacticon here in Denver came under new ownership earlier this year and there seemed to be a lot of doom and gloom about Tacticon.  I took the wait and see approach.  I went through the new online registration site and it seemed to work, but really that did not matter, I had to be at the convention to take it in.  I ran my ACW James river naval battle game on Saturday.  I always plan to run a historical miniature game at the convention and this year it was on the Saturday instead of Sunday.  I only attended to run my game, check out the vendor area, walk about the convention, and of course chat with friends/players.

Hunger Games
Card games
The convention was at the same location as last year.  Like a broken record, they need to leave the hotel, it is not that good.  The layout threw me for a loop this time, I had no idea where anything was and the organizers did not put up any maps.  Also, registration bungled my badge, but that was not surprising.  It seems to happen every convention.  The bungling was resolved by a coordinator and the owner of the two conventions himself before I left Saturday.

Boardgame library.  Well stocked.
The gaming was the same as other years, but the organizers (probably just the owner) decided to add video gaming and cosplay to the convention.  Apart from the Artemis game setup in it's own room, the video gaming in other main room was a waste of time.  The room had lots of wasted empty space, and was always less than half used.  In my mind, who comes to convention to play video games?  The cosplay setup I can't get my head around.  Genghis Con and Tacticon have been about gaming and cosplay is removed from people sitting down and enjoying gaming with other people.  Nothing against cosplay, but it can go and free up their display tables for games.  LARP I get, it involves gaming.

Cosplay and LARP area.

Part of video game room.
Only three gamers plus a teddy bear in the room.
Large crowd in the train game room.
Death race before cars are picked.
The vendor room was small and there was barely anything there for the historical gamer, which is not surprising these days.  Genghis Con is a bit better, at least Chessex is there.  Was the vendor area very useful for other gamers?  Probably not much.

Vendor area.
The attendance seemed okay for Tacticon.  I heard attendance was down for miniature games and boardgaming.  I think because of the new ownership there were different groups that decided not to attend.  I hope they do for Genghis Con.  Also, due to lack of advertising and poor website setup, other people (i.e. gamers from out of town) chose not to attend.

Part of miniatures area.  Crossing the Meuse in foreground.
The historical miniature gaming was hit and miss.  Tacticon is always light on players, and this year was the same.  I only had one person sign up for my game ahead of time, but was able to get two more.  The game went well and I enjoyed running it.  There were some game masters who said they had no one show up for their games.  When you run the game at a convention, you have to be ready mentally for no gamers at your table.  No shortage of good historical miniature games, maybe I'll have to play in some next time.

Two games of Battle Cry connected.
So overall I thought it was a good convention.  Always good to see fellow Colorado and some neighboring States gamers come together.

Recommendations to organizers:
  • Cosplay should go.
  • Smaller room for video games.  Keep Artemis, I'm a fan of that game.
  • New better venue.
  • Better advertising (i.e. web site).
  • Games listed before the convention on a web site without having to sign in.  Full public listing.
  • Maps to where everything is.
  • Organizers should have the Game Master badges resolved fully before Con.
  • The booklet was useless.  It needs a lot more content, like previous Tacticon booklets.  Did I mention maps?

Six more photos below.

Pulse of Battle.  Ancients Field of Battle rules.
X-Wing tournament
Chain of Command Pacific battle.
Crossing the Meuse, May 1940, Dinant Belgium
Crossing the Meuse, May 1940, Dinant Belgium
ACW game

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Oldest Book in My Collection

I was inspired by another blog I stumbled upon that had a post showing their oldest military related book in their collection.  This evening I gave my book shelves a browse and discovered my oldest book is really not that old.  It is from 1922.

The book is titled Q-Ships and Their Story, by Edward Keble Chatterton.  The author in World War One joined the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve and later commanded a Motor Launch flotilla.  He seems to have written a number of books after the war.

I read this book many years ago, but I do remember that it is a good book.

Illustration List


Monday, August 31, 2015

First Battle of Gaza Table

Progress has slowed down on my First Battle of Gaza, WWI scenario.  I have painted up all the miniatures for the game, and I am down to just testing the scenario/rules and finishing the terrain.  In the pictures below you will see the layout with no armies and with hidden movement bases.

I am not happy with the sand dunes at the bottom of the photo.  I'll have to come up with something different.  The palm trees, buildings, rail, hills, cactus hedges and wadi came out not too shabby.  The cactus hedges are on two sides of Gaza.  Note that any Turkish trenches are not visible.  These get placed once certain movement bases are made visible.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

August CMH Club Meeting

Here are a series of photos from our last monthly club meeting.  I ended up playing the 1775 boardgame.  I heard good things about the game, but it appeared to me a bit complicated.  It is easy to play and I definitely recommend it.

1775 game

Renaissance Warfare game


DBx game

Monday, July 6, 2015

Historic Gettysburg Photos Documentary

I stumbled across this interesting four part documentary (~1999) on William Frassanito researching the locations of where exactly the Gettysburg photos were taken.

I think it means more to me that I have gamed parts of the battle, watched the movie Gettsyburg and walked the battlefield.  I actually missed seeing the Gettysburg Sniper's Nest while walking very near there...woops.

Part 1 - 15min

Part 2 - 15min
Part 3 - 15min
Part 4 - 6min 47sec

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Battle of Waterloo at CMH

Last weekend our club put on a 25mm Battle of Waterloo game that ran for two days using the Column, Line and Square rules.  Setup took place Friday night, then the game ran all day Saturday and finished Sunday afternoon.

Some statistics from the game:

Figures: 1468 French, 1261 Anglo-allied and 767 Prussians
Grand total: over 3500

The whole wargaming surface was covered with teddy bear fur grass terrain style.

I was not involved in the game, but gladly chatted with everyone and took pictures.  It looked like a fun game and it appeared the battle was playing out differently from the historic battle.

Overview video from Saturday

Sunday slideshow photos

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Why Join the Historical Miniature Wargaming Hobby?

Recently this question came to mind while thinking about the opposite to why someone would leave the Historical Miniature Wargaming hobby.  I know many people who enjoy this hobby just like me, but why should someone join in the hobby?

For myself, I guess I think back to when I was thirteen when I can say I officially started in the hobby when I was introduced to The Sword and Flame rules playing back to back Zulu War battles.  I was hooked.

Here are some thoughts on why start into the Historical Miniature Wargaming hobby:

  • If you enjoy painting historical miniatures or models then this is the hobby for you.  Rather than just have planes hang from the ceiling just collecting dust, these planes can move around the table shooting down other planes.  Model tanks painted up to run on flat beds in a model train table can now drive anywhere on the table firing away, with all sorts of vehicles on fire.  You get to paint all sorts of miniatures/models.  You can also paint in any scale you want within certain range bands for land, air or naval miniatures.
  • Gaming is a main component of the hobby.  If you enjoy gaming with friends or meet new people, there are lots of opportunities to game.  You can go to conventions, local clubs, or meet-ups.  If you don't want to game with other people, you can just do solo gaming.  Before I discovered a local club, I did a lot of solo gaming and enjoyed it.  On the other hand gaming with other people is a great way to meet new opponent and some or many may become friends.
  • Do you enjoy military history?  This hobby has lots of opportunities to learn more about all sorts of aspects of military history.  I would probably be still stuck reading about WWII if I had not got into the hobby.  I've learned so much more and discovered I enjoy learning about different periods.  I still enjoy WWII, but wow, the hobby has opened my eyes.  Fellow people in the hobby enjoy showing you their period and enjoy answering your questions.  Even if you don't know anything about a period, you don't have to feel intimidated on the game table, the games are for fun.  If you don't have fun, try a different game.  You can share your military history knowledge via club newsletter articles, a blog, or during a game you run.
  • As mentioned earlier, the hobby is a great way to meet people who share your enjoyment either for painting, gaming or military history.  I guess for me it is gaming and military history.  I think the way to go is to join in a local gaming club, hopefully a Historical Miniature Wargaming club, that way you are not distracted by non-historical miniature gaming or board games.  Over the years I've been lucky to belong to three different clubs.  I highly recommend it.  You may not get along with everyone, but there are definitely others there that you will enjoy.
Any single choice above is a good reason to get in the hobby.  If you can check off all four above, there is no reason you should not be in the hobby.

In this day-in-age there are many choices in what you can do as a hobby.  Certainly computer gaming is the easiest, but Historical Miniature Wargaming is great fun.  To be in the hobby, you don't have to own any miniatures or paint any, you can just show up and enjoy the games other people put on.  There is always a need for more gamers around the tables.

Are you considering getting into the hobby or just want to sample it?  Feel free to contact me for advice (eegist at

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Conclave of Gamers 2015

This was the first year I attending Conclave of Gamers convention here in Denver.  This was the fourth year of the convention.  I wanted to see what this local convention was all about.  There was a request for historical miniature games so I decided to put on a simple ACW naval river scenario.  It has been awhile since the ships have seen a gaming table, so why not.

Boardgaming, miniature, and vendor room on Saturday.

I went with a good friend of mine and played in some boardgames and ran my ACW naval game.  I like the convention space (Crowne Plaza).  It is close to restaurants and has good open space with good lighting.  Only two spaces were in use at the venue, an open gaming area and role playing area.  Everyone I came in contact with was friendly.  I only went on the Saturday and found attendance pretty low compared to the space available.  I guess the issue was it was the same day as another geek convention (Starfest).

The boardgaming at the Conclave of Gamers was good.  They use the same format as Boardgamegeek.Con, where they have a library and signs you can put on your table to attract players.  I like this format, it works very well.  Their library of games was very small, but I'm sure it will grow over the years.  You can just bring your own games to the convention and set them up.  Boardgaming is essentially the most played at the convention.  Also, there did not seem to be a lot of roleplaying games on the go.

RPG area.
The historical miniature games were not well attended.  There were not a lot of historical miniature games to choose from, but even those were really lacking players.  I lucked out and had three club members and one other player join my game.  I can understand why.  This is a fairly new convention, it is not well known, there are competing conventions (even on the same weekend), and historical miniature games are not as popular at a general gaming convention.  I have no problem filling my games up at Genghis Con or Tacticon.  With no official word that these conventions will continue and if they do not I would like to running games at a local general gaming convention that has room for historical miniature games.  Maybe Conclave of Gamers will be that convention.

I enjoyed the convention and recommend it.  Historical miniature wargaming wise, I recommend Genghis Con or Tacticon (if they are still around), or definitely our club convention West Wars.  We just need to convince boardgamers that historical miniature games are just as fun.

My ACW naval game laid out.

Union ships move up.
All ships engaged.

Monday, April 27, 2015

April CMH Club Meeting

Here are pictures from the action this month at our monthly club meeting.  Enjoy!