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3D Pontoon Bridge and Kickstarters

Finally, I have a moment to blog about my latest project, a 3D printed pontoon bridge suitable for Flames of War or any 20th Century-era battle in 15mm.

The idea started as a from a Facebook post on the FoWSA discussion group. Someone was looking for specific terrain for a Team Yankee scenario. Said scenario involved some combat engineers hastily constructing a bridge or some type of river crossing. There didn't seem to be any easily found bridges available for purchase. I took it as a challenge to 3D print it.

I searched briefly on Thingiverse to find a suitable bridge. There were a few very detailed bridge models there. Most of them looked very spindly and breakable. But, I found a cool design for a pontoon bridge. For those not familiar, a pontoon bridge is a series of simple boats tied together across a river or water feature. Some type of roadway, wood or metal, is fastened to the top of the boats thus providing a functioning bridge across the water. The concept has been use…
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Cold War hex-n-counters

Cold War gaming is rising in popularity. The list of miniatures games for the time period include Team Yankee, FoW: Arab-Isreali wars, FoW: Vietnam, Cold War Commander, and Force-On-Force.

But an interesting artifact from that era is the old Avalon Hill-style simulation game.  These games would include a detailed hexagonal map and cardboard counters to represent the playing pieces. Combat involved rolling dice and cross-referencing a detailed chart that would return the outcome of an attack. Each of these games were developed from a copious amount of historical research and were designed with the maximum amount of realism that could be achieved and still be played in about 20 hours. Most modern games try to hit the sweet spot of two hours to complete, but these games were meant to suck up an entire weekend.

While simulation games probably won't sell in today's tiny toy and collectible card game market, for guys of a certain age (40+ years old) these were a hobby in and of the…

Fun with 3D printing

My last big birthday present was an XYZ daVinci 1.0 3D printer. I finally sat down and starting messing around with the thing. And I truly enjoy it! Most of the shapes I've been producing are still mostly 2D "ish". I've tried some models with height and ran into some technical stuff. No worries, the issues will get resolved. it has something to do with the extruder getting clogged. 
Most of the items I've seen come out of a 3D printer have been trinkets and baubles. Busts of Yoda or Chewbacca and such. I'm far more interested in generating something useful. So, as a beginning project, I printed up some stocking stuffers for the young people on my Christmas list.



So, what would I like to make with this gizmo? War gaming terrain of course! My printer doesn't have the fine detail to create figures. However, vehicles are definitely a possibility. Buildings and structures are far more likely.

3D printing comes with a few challenges. The plastic comes out of …

Fall 2016 Catch Up Post

Life has caught up to me again and not much gaming has been done for a long stretch.

Back in September, I was working furiously on my Glider Rifle company in a desperate attempt finish in time for the Late-War FOWSA tournament. Sadly, my wife got a call that a close family member was very ill. This prompted us to jump in the car on the day of the tournament and rush to be with family.

I wonder if I'm ever going to attend this tournament.

Here is short recap of the games I was able to participate in.

MillenniumCon 19 was successful for another year. I'm part of the convention staff but could only make it to the con for one afternoon. While, I was there, I took part in the HUGE Ogre game put on by Desert Scarab. I was given the GEV-Ogre to command. Not one but TWO nuclear-tipped cruise missiles were launched and and the beautiful city of Monopolis was left burning. For details on the game, check out Scarab's blog here.




There is a full photo gallery of the entire convention in…

LotR/Hobbit SBG Tournament

Not a whole lot to post this week. I'm starting on the late war elements of my US Rifles list. This will be used at the next FoWSA tournament.  More about that in a later post.

Back in June, the local Lord of the Rings/Hobbit SBG group held a tournament. Most of the players have moved on to play more Bolt Action but we all wanted to get together again for some fun in Middle Earth. I brought my venerable Wood Elf army, led by Legolas and Thranduil. I really love those guys!

The new Hobbit rules have not been kind to the Wood Elves. They have weak armor ratings (3) but are supposed to be balanced with a strong ranged attack from massed archery. Most of the players are bringing armies with much higher armor ratings (5 minimum, 6-7 for many heroes) such as Easterlings and Dwarves. Monsters such as Trolls and Dragons have new special attacks that are even more effective to the squishy elves. Given the style of play that has developed, the Wood Elves just really aren't a competitive…

Thirty One bags

Most miniature gamers know that storing and transporting your minis can be a challenge. The ubiquitous Battle Foam trays are nice but spendy. They can also be bulky, and you still need to carry your books, dice and extras in a separate container. I'd rather spend that money on more miniatures!

So, I built my own custom miniature transport container that is affordable and functional.

Back when I started this hobby, my wife's friend was selling Thirty-One bags. You might have heard of them. The wife bought me a bunch of the open top bags in the very manly color of slate grey. They have a box shape with a square metal frame at the top and some long handles to carry over my shoulder. I got a few in different sizes. They work great for transporting most of my gaming equipment. Their big drawback is that they don't have rigid sides which is a problem when you're hauling around your fragile little soldiers. Another drawback is the typical cheap plastic "shoebox" jus…

Mid-War FoWSA Tournament AAR

The Mid-War FoWSA (Flames of War-San Antonio) tournament was held on July 9th. I was very happy to participate with a complete army list! I lost every game but still had a blast!

The list I used was a US Rifle Company from the North Africa book. FoWSA requires a list of 1700pts for rounds 3-4, and a half-size 850pt list for rounds 1-2. Rounds 1-2 are played on a half table 3'x4'

My 850 point list:
HQ Command Carbine team w/ 2 bazookas
Rifle Platoon w/ 6 teams, 1 bazooka
Weapons Platoon w/ 4 M1919 LMGs, 3 60mm mortar teams
Anti-Tank Platoon w/ 3 57mm AT guns
Armored Platoon w/ 4 M4A1 Shermans

My 1700 point list:
HQ Command Carbine team w/ 2 bazookas
Rifle Platoon w/ 9 teams, 1 bazooka
Rifle Platoon w/ 9 teams, 1 bazooka
Weapons Platoon w/ 4 M1919 LMGs, 3 60mm mortar teams
Mortar Platoon w/ 4 mortar teams, 2 bazookas
Anti-Tank Platoon w/ 3 57mm AT guns
Armored Platoon w/ 4 M4A1 Shermans
Parachute Rifle platoon w/ 8 teams, 1 bazooka, 1 60mm mortar
Field Artillery Battery w/ 4 M…