30 January 2016

The Christmas 2015 Sittangbad E-fight: The Conclusion. . .

Very late in the game, you can observe General MacDuff's army converging on Sittangbad and the trapped remnants of General von Tschatschke's forces.  Von Tschatschke seems adept at losing his guns!

Realized some days ago that I had yet to share how the final few turns of the recent Sittangbad E-Fight between General MacDuff and General von Tschatschke, and hosted by Greg Horne, shaped up.  While, von Tschatschke was able to get about half of his army across the River Weser and out of direct harm's way, the relentless onslaught of General MacDuff's forces meant that a regiment of cuirassiers, two guns with most of their crews, and a regiment of infantry were sacrificed, either as casualties, or, in the case of the infantry, as surrendered prisoners. 

Most frustrating of all, von Tschatsschke's two young engineer officers, who were detailed to blow the bridge spanning the River Weser, were never quite able to do so.  Blame a wet fuse, damp powder, or probably just youthful ineptitude, but this was the bridge that would not blow before MacDUff's troops reached it and were able to prevent further attempts.  As Greg so succinctly put it,

It is considered they were able to interfere sufficiently with the charges and that the demolition is now impossible.

So, the game concluded after nine hard fought turns, with General von Tschatschke riding off in the opposite direction back up the road toward the capital city of Krankenstadt to inform his monarch that his 'victory' was an easy one, and the Grand Duke had nothing to worry about after all.  The Grand Duchy of Stollen is once again safe, and all is right with the world.

Greg had a number of interesting observations to make during the post-game discussion, and I thought I'd share them here:

Who needs fog of war rules when you've got players? And someone who has to interpret their orders from afar? Hey Ross? Just thinking about our issues getting the light infantry to do what you wanted at the start of the game!

I was quite taken aback when Stokes decided on precipitate retreat with a stop-gap defence right at the end. I expected there to be fighting around Eisenberg and perhaps a cavalry encounter in the middle of the table after Eisenberg had been overrun. Would you play it the same way again, Stokes? 

There was a moment around move 5-6 where The Cuirassiers had fought fairly successfully against Ross's cavalry and it seemed to me that another charge combined with the Esterhazy Hussars could well have decisively beaten the von Preece Dragoons.  Kibitzing as I occasionally do, it looked a pretty good move at the time to me.

Ross, the game was pretty much won by your cavalry. Your guns were about to come into action on Turn 10, Your infantry would have made it in by turns 11-12. I think your light infantry performed well despite their 60% losses.

Duration. I think the game as played in the book was of 16 moves duration. Would we have made 16 moves? I think that would have been the case if Stokes had chosen to fight a couple of delaying actions and then kept enough infantry in the town to force Ross to fight his way in. As it was, I was forced to improvise a rule allowing an early blowing of the bridge as it appeared the game might be rather shorter.

Losses. A fairly bloody affair. Stokes had two units wiped out, the Cuirassiers and the Light Infantry. His gunners were heavily effected - 70% losses. Three of his units got clean away; his engineers, the Dillon Regiment of Foot and the Esterhazy Hussars. The Lubomirsky Regiment is now being marched to drab captivity in grim fortress of Rosenthal.

Ross had two regiments of Horse (Olley's Dragoons and Asquith's Hussars) almost completely destroyed as well as the aforementioned damage to his light infantry.

Still no-one was threatening to get close to the 50% rule anytime soon so i was comfortable not performing an accounting.

Again, well played and congratulations on a good game.

Indeed!  A fun game, and we have begun another, hosted by Ross this time and set in the early 1830s somewhere along the border region between the U.S. and Canada.  Things are just getting started really, but you can check in occasionally during the next week or so if you like at: The Battle of Rushville 1830.

-- Stokes

The Bridge on the River Weser.  But von Tschatshke's men were unable to ignite the blasted fuse.  Not just once, but TWICE!  It was all over after that since MacDuff's cavalry reached the bridge and took the two young men prisoner.  I've since heard tell that these two ne'er-do-wells have resigned their commissions and become assistant's to the seamstress of General MacDuff's wife.

Tea, Cats, and Painting Challenges. . .

 An innocent enough looking mug of Constant Comment orange-flavored tea,laced with two-teaspoons of sugar, a healthy dollop of clover honey, and a shot of Knappogue Castle 12-year old single malt Irish whisky.  It worked wonders and, oddly, did not taste that bad.  I'll have another before bed this evening.

The curative powers of uninterrupted sleep are amazing.  While I don't feel tip-top today, the nine or so hours I enjoyed before waking at 9:05 this morning were, in a word, delightful.  As was the hot shower shortly thereafter.  I feel, at least, human again and will sit down for a couple of hours early this evening after the Young Master's bedtime, for some painting.  Incidentally, the hot tea laced with various 'medicinal' ingredients really worked and cleared my head and throat considerably  as I sipped it at the breakfast table.  Our forebearers were definitely onto something in the days before over-the-counter cold medications that leave you feeling decidedly strange even if they help nasal and head congestion.  

The presence of our cats always helps too, especially the greetings we get each morning after feeding.  Onyx, our neutered male (picture below), is especially affectionate and would sit in my lap all day if I let him.  I really think the spirit of a dog inhabits his body, though, since so much o his behavior seems more akin to that of a cuddly lap dog than to a cat.  He spent much of the day yesterday camped out beside me on our bed, purring loudly as I slept and wheezed.  Both cats like me a great deal, as indeed do most cats I have met throughout my life to this point, but Onyx has clearly made me his human since we adopted him and his sister Gunnlaug in August 2012.

 The Regal Onyx enjoying the Saturday morning sunshine during breakfast today.  Had I been a bit quicker with my little Sony Cybershot, I would have a photograph of Onyx standing up peeking over the edge of the breakfast table in his daily quest from something else that might taste better than the usual Purina Cat Chow. 

In other news, one of my informal group of wargaming friends and acquaintances scattered around the globe has suggested a painting challenge for the month of February, to help several of us out of our post-Christmas painting doldrums.  My group of pledged figures is shown below and includes: 20+ RSM95 and Minden figures which will make up the third batch of that 80-figure regiment I began at this time last year as well as the color bearers and colors themselves.  The entire 80-figures unit is based on the Ernestine Saxon infantry as outlined on the Kronskaf website and will include various contingents from smaller Saxon territories that were, if memory serves me correctly, part of the Reichsarmee.  More or less.  This particular contingent with have white breeches, gaiters, and coats in the Prussian cut with red facings and turnbacks.

In addition, there is a large group that consists of an upstanding Black Hussar Lutheran pastor in the midst of saving the Naughty Lola and her girls from a continued life of moral decay as they make there debauched way across mid-18th century Central Europe.  The miniature women involved are all 30mm figures from various Suren/Willie ranges.  Finally, there are two more 30mm Willie ladies, who will become laundresses once the painting is done, helped in this aim by the addition of two dollhouse miniature cauldrons and a scratch-built balsa yoke along with a couple of spare buckets.  There will be another base added to the vignette that will feature a clothesline and some drying laundry thrown over it.  We'll see how things progress.  Happy Saturday everyone!

-- Stokes

My pledge for the February 2016 Painting Challenge.

A Sunday Morning Painting Challenge Update. . .

Well, I spent just over 90 minutes in the chair yesterday evening carefully applying a very thin wash of Ivory Black alkyd oil thinned with Liquin Fine Detail (very runny) to the shoes and scabbards of those 20 or so RSM and Minden musketeers, officers, ensigns, and drummer.  I used a fairly new Cottman #4 round watercolor brush with a good point.  My paint when thinned with this version of Liquin flowed like ink and after a couple of early minor glitches, I got the hang of working with this consistency.  Nothing to bother photographing and sharing yet, but it seemed to go pretty well without too many mistakes to cover/fix later.  So, that's all of the flesh and all of the black parts done.

This evening, I'll begin with the white.  I might simply jump to the white crossbelts first, then later in the week the red facings and turnbacks, then eventually the tiny details and finally fill in the large areas let on the coats, waistcoats, breeches, and gaiters with white as the final step before varnishing and taking care of the flags.  But my mind has not yet quite made itself up yet on the precise order of things.  I did enjoy reading a brief post by Phil Olley recently though about how he tackled a unit of Austrian figures clad mostly in white.  Intriguing to say the least.  Click HERE to check it out if you have not already stumbled upon it yourself.

-- Stokes 

29 January 2016

Some Weekends. . . Sigh!

Well, darn it!  There is a much anticipated lull in the reading and course prep this weekend, and I was so looking forward to some uninterrupted soldier painting.  And what do you think happened?  Yep, I woke up with a cold and slight fever this morning and had to miss not one, but two Friday events, a meeting and a professional development seminar.  Not deathly ill, mind you, but I don't feel like doing a darn thing.  Even picking up a paintbrush seems less that exciting at the moment.  Blah.

-- Stokes

27 January 2016

To Followers of the GD of S Blog. . .

IMPORTANT: Google Friend Connect (GFC) & Blogger follower changes

I've noticed that on a couple of days, I've suddenly lost a significant amount of followers on Google Friend Connect (GFC). While you do tend to lose a follower here and there, the sudden loss of this many followers seemed strange to me. Another blogger recently googled to see if GFC was experiencing issues (back in 2011 they phased out GFC for non-blogger sites, so wouldn't be the first time).

Apparently, starting the week of January 11th, Google has been slowly adding this requirement: you now MUST have Google account in order to follow blogs through Google Friend Connect. If you follow blogs with Twitter, Yahoo, Orkut, or other Open ID providers, you will lose your subscriptions to blogger blogs via GFC. 

Fortunately, if you'd like to continue receiving updates from me, you could do as they suggest and sign up for a Google account and re-follow your blogs.  Thanks!

Here's the original message:

In 2011, we announced the retirement of Google Friend Connect for all non-Blogger sites. We made an exception for Blogger to give readers an easy way to follow blogs using a variety of accounts. Yet over time, we’ve seen that most people sign into Friend Connect with a Google Account. So, in an effort to streamline, in the next few weeks we’ll be making some changes that will eventually require readers to have a Google Account to sign into Friend Connect and follow blogs.

As part of this plan, starting the week of January 11, we’ll remove the ability for people with Twitter, Yahoo, Orkut or other OpenId providers to sign in to Google Friend Connect and follow blogs. At the same time, we’ll remove non-Google Account profiles so you may see a decrease in your blog follower count.

We encourage you to tell affected readers (perhaps via a blog post), that if they use a non-Google Account to follow your blog, they need to sign up for a Google Account, and re-follow your blog. With a Google Account, they’ll get blogs added to their Reading List, making it easier for them to see the latest posts and activity of the blogs they follow.

We know how important followers are to all bloggers, but we believe this change will improve the experience for both you and your readers.

Posted by Michael Goddard, Software Engineer

23 January 2016

"How do you paint your figures?"

A Continental Army staff group that I painted two or three years ago using the methods outlined below.  The 1/56 scale miniatures are from the Fife&Drum range, which is compatible with Minden, Crann Tara, and RSM95 figures and, to some extent, those by Eureka, Jackdaw, and Suren (Willie).

This week, a comment was left by a new visitor, in which he remarked about the porcelain-like appearance of my figures and asked how I get that look.  Well, it is a bit inexact, and I am always tinkering with the way I do things, but basically, it's like this.  For me, the once-upon-a-time look of the shiny Napoleonic figures in the collections of Peter Gilder and Doug Mason, that featured prominently in issues of Military Modelling and Miniature Wargames during the early 1980s, has always informed my painting.  However, it was not until a few years back that I decided to go whole hog and at least try to do something similar in my own painting.  Here's the shortened version:

I typically use a white basecoat and then apply thin washes and/or stains of the various flesh, uniform, and equipment colors over top to achieve that translucent, porcelain-like appearance.   When using acrylic model paints like those by Citadel, I simply use one of the many flow-aids available for acrylic paints in art supply or craft stores.  If using oils or alkyd oils, and I like both, I thin with either Winsor&Newton Liquin Original or Liquin Fine Detail.  The former has a consistency not unlike soft butter and is fairly easy to control while the latter is runny, so you need very little of it.  It tends to run when you use too much.  

In any case, both products speed the drying time of oils considerably.  Usually, everything is dry to the touch by the next morning.  Small details come next, for instance facing colors, crossbelts, pouches, musket stocks, and buttons are then added with acrylic hobby paintsI sometimes use oil-based silver and gold for the latter since these have more brilliance than their hobby acrylic brethren

Last of all, I apply two-three coats of glossy acrylic varnish.  For the first eight or nine years, I used the old version of Future/Klear acrylic floor wax and finally got rid of the last little bit of my single bottle as we packed up the old house to move last June.  More recently, I have relied on artists' supplies once again, using Liquitex Medium Varnish and even more recently Liquitex High Gloss Varnish.  This stuff is a bit thicker than the floor polish was, so it takes longer to apply by brush, but the results are well worth it if one is after that classic, glossy toy solider look for his or her figures. 

As I say, my approach to painting is inexact, and I always mess around with how I do things in that consistent attempt to paint the perfect figure(s).  Sort of the military figure painter's proverbial pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, or the holy grail of glossy toy soldiers.  Sometimes I almost nail that 1970s-early1980s Gilder-Mason look, and other times things fall short somewhat.  But I enjoy painting and modelling quite a bit, so each attempt is a learning experience and fun in its own right.  Especially when you finish, look the figures over, and think to yourself, "This particular batch doesn't look half bad!  Why didn't I think to do such and such like this before?"  Or, alternately, "If only I had left X alone, these would be pretty close to perfect!"

The key, I think, is not to shy away from experimenting a bit, don't get too hung up about the potential for mistakes, which are usually rectified without too much trouble, and don't overwork your paints or your figures.  Keep things fairly simple and understated, and resist the urge to apply a gazillion shades of the same color, or paint in every single minute detail.  Learn when to stop in other words.  In a nutshell, that outlines my approach to figure painting. 

-- Stokes

 A trio of Suren (Willie) 30mm women that I painted up as generic sutleresses in late 2014 using the wash and stain method described above.  The paints used were mostly oils but with small details picked out  using Citadel hobby acrylics.

22 January 2016

Winter's Majesty. . .

The view from our front walk here at Totliegh-in-the-Wold this morning just before 10:30am.  

Meanwhile, at Totleigh-in-the-Wold life is good and we are enjoying the winter with cold, snow, and fires on the hearth during the evenings.  Tonight, the Grand Duchess and I will play a game or two of Scrabble and enjoy something medicinal, which should help my game.  Immeasurably.  Sittangbad E-fight and soldier painting updates to follow this weekend.  Happy Friday everyone!

-- Stokes 

Saturday Morning Update. . .

Thank you for your kind words men.  The deer here do eat things from the flower and vegetable gardens we have been advised, so I am unsure what the Grand Duchess will do when she plants a vegetable garden next summer.  Bambi and his droogs do, however, seem to leave hasta and ivy alone, since there is a lot of both in the beds, and it looked rather nice when we first viewed and visited the house last September.  The huge storm is, sadly, well to the south and east of us here in Michigan, threatening parts of the South and Middle Atlantic states.  For instance, my old stomping grounds in southeastern Pennsylvania outside of Philadelphia is/was, according to yesterday's predictions, supposed to get hammered with heavy snowfall.  

However, so often the national and local news media get people all whipped up about an approaching weather 'event' that, when it finally happens, hardly meets everyone's worried expectations.  I am always amused when a large winter storm is predicted here in the U.S., and people haul off to the supermarket in a tizzy to stock up on three items: milk, bread, and, oddly, toilet paper.  I'll leave it to readers to figure out why the third ietem seems to figure so prominently in people's minds.  I used to notice this odd behavior during winters years ago when I worked in such a super market back in Pennsylvania, and I have seen similar habits in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois, and now Michigan.  It is as if people think, somehow, they will be snowed in for the winter when two or three inches of snow are predicted.  We are, indeed, a bizarre life-form.

The Grand Duchess begged off the Scrabble game last night, but we did sit and chat about this and that before the fire after supper with a bit af apricot brandy and coffee to start, followed later by a finger of Laphroig for each of us and an old episode of Inspector Morse on Netflix along with his wonderful Sergeant Lewis.  I don't think I was awake for more than two minutes after switching off the bedside lamp.

-- Stokes 

In the other direction, part of our wold as we walk to the driveway and the street where the Young Master catches the school bus each morning.

And our woods behind the house, from which millions of deer spring as soon as the sun sets.  I've only seen two during the day since we moved into the house, but there are loads of fresh tracks in the snow each morning.  So, they are watching.  Oh, yes.  They are watching.

17 January 2016

Find the GD of S on Facebook!

Just a few of the Croats fighting for the Electorate of Zichenau, arch enemy to the Grand Duchy of Stollen. 

The Grand Duchy of Stollen is now on Facebook!  Find and like us there.  The terminally befuddled and out of touch Grand Duke Irwin-Amadeus II and his gentleman's personal gentleman Hives hope to see you soon.

-- Stokes

16 January 2016

Riding Hell for Leather. . .

 Most of the now finished Stollenkeller, Mk. II as you enter via the staircase down to the basement and make an immediate left, looking, more or less, eastward.

Well, the university semester has begun, we are a week in, and things are about to become terribly busy as usual, so time to make a huge push to get things finished down here in my den before free time becomes a rare commodity what with teaching, professional, and family commitments here at Totleigh-in-the-Wold.  

With that in mind, I spent yesterday (Friday -- I have no classes and few professional commitments on campus on Fridays), hanging my things, putting a few remaining items away in our ample closet space down here, and getting rid of the last moving cartons and packing paper that have cluttered one end of the main central room since before Christmas.  

While there are still a few things I would like to do down here eventually, in general, I am pleased with how things have shaped up.  So too is the Young Master, who joins me down here in the afternoons once he is home from school and has had a small afterschool snack.  His knights and castle from Christmas 2013 will probably find their way down here before long as only seems right and proper.  

Watch for a Sittangbad E-fight update or two here as Greg, Ross, and I play things to their conclusion here over the next few days.

-- Stokes


Thank you or your kind comments everyone!  Yes, I have been thinking about lengthening to table by two, or four feet taking its length to 12' x 6' or possibly 14' x 6'.  12' x 6' seems like a nice size, though, for the size of my forces and the kinds of non-historic, scenario-based battles I envision when time permits.  The Young Master, cats, and I have already spent many happy hours puttering around down here in Zum Stollenkeller, Mk. II during the last month (can you believe it?), and I imagine many more are to come.  

Last night, I managed to sit down at the painting desk and apply a white gesso basecoat to a vignette base consisting of a Lutheran pastor by Black Hussar Miniatures, who is attempting to save the souls of several ladies of ill repute by Suren/Willie. I followed that fairly quick exercise with sorting through a few more civilian figures in my odds and ends box for a new series of camp follower vignettes, and next got my next batch of 20 RSM and Minden figures ready to go for the third part of that monster 80-figure regiment that I began painting last year at this time.  A delightful 90 minutes at the end of the day.  Alkyd oil fleshtone onto the hands and faces this evening.  Charge!

 Here is another corner at the bottom of the stairs, where I hung two of the six military print reproductions that appeared at the center of Military Modelling for three or four issues in late 1985-early 1986.  I actually picked up these issues in Brussels, Belgium way back when during January '86, and finally managed to get the prints framed after the Grand Duchess and I set up house together back in 2005-2006.  No, we weren't married yet.  Shhhh!  Don't tell the Young Master.  For the record, I knew as far back as 2001 how I felt about the Grand Duchess.  She refused my early attempts to make things permanent, and it took several years to wear her down before SHE finally asked me to get married in January 2005, and we at last tied the knot in late June '06.

 Here is a shot of the southern wall of Zum Stollenkeller, Mk. II.  That's the Young Master's insect collection atop the bookcases just beneath the old print of Napoleon aboard the H.M.S. Bellerophon.

Here are two more of those old Military Modelling print reproductions on the northern wall over my computer desk.  These two are my favorites.

Finally, here is a vintage movie poster from 1965 when The Heroes of Telemark was first released.  My stepfather and I spent a couple of hours rooting through stacks of old movie posters beneath a junk shop -- Crown Antiques, which used to be based in the old Squirrel Hill neighborhood of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania -- one warm spring afternoon in 1990.  He found a couple he liked and also purchased this one for me all three for the princely sum of about US$40.  Anyway, this poster hangs at the bottom of the stairs and is the first thing you see as you descend into Zum Stollenkeller here at Totleigh-in-the-Wold.

09 January 2016

Sittangbad Efight to Resume. . .

 A particularly nice photograph by Greg Horne, taken from General MacDuff's side of the table with Eisenburg Village in the near distance and the larger Sittangbad in the background.

We received word from Greg this morning that he is home, and the game is afoot once again!  Ross (General MacDuff) and I (General von Tschatschke) will issue our orders for Move Six shortly before moving on to shooting and any melees that might occur.

-- Stokes

Here, you'll observe General von Tschatschke (in faded red, or perhaps pink at the lower right) and his army retreating through Sittangbad and across the River Weser.

03 January 2016

Happy. . . January 3rd!

Another one of my favorites from the 2013 Elbow River refight.  Stollenian officers interrogate a Zichenauer dragoon in green.

Well, the Christmas trees have been removed from the house, and the decorations have been put away for another year here at Totleigh-in-the-Wold.  The house looks a bit empty, but on the other hand, it's nice to have the holiday clutter gone and the pine needles vacuumed up, which itself reintroduces a pleasant aroma into the house for 3o minutes of so afterwards.  Ahhhh.  

Spent the middle third of Sunday afternoon having a series of thinks (Thank you, Dr. Seuss!) as I made a concerted effort to unpack the final half-dozen moving boxes occupying space in our bedroom.  Not entirely new thoughts, mind you, but rather expanding on what I initially shared about my 2016 painting goals a week+ ago on The Feast of Stephen, otherwise known as December 26th.  Here are my expanded blatherings. . . 

1) Finish the latter half that monster 80-figure infantry regiment I began in January 2015.  Another 40 figures or so.  

Afterthought -- I have the third group of 20 or so all ready to go on the painting table here in the new and improved Stollenkeller.  I even managed to find my pad of painter's pallet paper recently, so I might start by applying flesh tone this evening to these after the Young Master's bath and bedtime.  He starts school again tomorrow morning.

2) Paint the four Minden SYW personality figures, Russian artillery crew, and two Russian guns (a cannon and howitzer) I received from the Grand Duchess and Young Master for Christmas 2015. 

Afterthought -- I also came across a couple of fairly large and unassembled Minden Austrian cannon that were purchased as part of an artillery equipment Kickstarter project Jim Purky ran a year or more ago.  Forgot all about these as we do, of course, and rediscovered them several nights ago while unpacking the ol' pile of lead, which now resides neatly in a bottom built-in drawer.  What a delight!  But what to do with these?  Must think that one over.  In any case, I plan to order one more baggie of four Russian artillery crew from Minden when the time comes, so that each of my two guns has a full crew of six in keeping with the organization laid out in Charge!  Or How to Play War Games, which remains my wargaming touchstone almost ten years into the project and more than 20 since I first enjoyed reading Young and Lawford's words.


3) Paint limbers, four-horse teams, and limber riders for the approximately one dozen cannon in my two 25-30mm imaginary mid-18th century armies, the Army of Stollen and its nemesis the Army of Zichenau.  Yikes!  If I'm not careful, the wargaming table will need to grow in order to accommodate these and that pontoon/wagon train I assembled back in 2014.

Afterthought -- I came across a two horse team of Austrian and Prussian limber riders each while rooting through my stuff the other night, so I won't need quite as many of these as first thought.  Still a lot, but not as many.  I also rediscovered an unassembled hay wagon, horse, and drover by Black Hussar Minitures that I purchased last summer while in Berlin that I also forgot about.  One more piece to add to that large supply train from 2014.  And now that I think about it, adding another few feet to an end of the table really wouldn't be such a terrible thing. . . 

4) Finish painting a series of female camp followers (laundresses, ladies of ill-repute, and a Lutheran pastor who has his work cut out or him) that have been languishing in my "to do" pile for the last 18 months or so.  These are mostly Suren 'Willie' 30mm figures with one or two from Black Hussar Miniatures.

Afterthought -- The Suren "Willie" ladies of ill-repute and Black Hussar Lutheran pastor trying hard to save their souls were already attached to their vignette base at some point last year before the move to Michigan, so all they will need is a coat of two of white gesso at some point this year when I get to them.  The remaining three female figures will become yet more vivandieres and a lone laundress along with some Minden civilian farm laborers plus one or two others.  All of the ladies are part of a larger (and ongoing) camp follower mini-project which I began a couple of years ago.  Not combat troops, but vignettes to add personality and period feel to the peripheries of the tabletop.  Thinking like a model railroad enthusiast here.

5) If time, replace my 25mm MiniFig standard bearers in my infantry units with pairs of Minden standard bearers, which were purchased in early 2015 and have also languished in the "to do" pile, along with some Front Rank cords and finials along with lengths of brass rod, ever since.

Afterthought -- I came across these too along with the lengths of brass rod and finials that were ordered a year ago.  It will be fun to rationalize the infantry standards carried by my line infantry and give each unit two standards instead of the current one.  The Minden  figures will, of course, fit in well with my RSM95 figures as well as a few early units made up with 1/72  Revell SYW figures.  At that time, 2006-2007, I used MiniFig 25mm Austrian and Prussian standard bearers, something I have continued to do.  While I like MiniFigs, they don't really work well in units consisting primarily of other 25-30mm figures though, so it is high time to rectify things!  2016 is the year.  I am going to make sure it happens.

Finally, our umpire Greg is away this week, so our play-by-email refight of Sittangbad is on brief hiatus.  Another thing that occurs to me, though, is that I ought to try hard to play four-six games of my own in 2016.  Perhaps linked games or some kind of mini-campaign as discussed by Charles S. Grant in one o the Wargaming in History books.  A very full program as Mr. Kinch noted in a comment several days ago, but as I replied, my sense of purpose, focus, and fire has been renewed given the enforced absence from hobby-related activities in 2015.  Let me at 'em!

-- Stokes


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