30 December 2008

Tablet Fairy Tales???

30 December …

Major Higgins, Lieutenant Landowski and four escort troops headed to Camp Trafalgar this morning aboard our dirigible (dubbed the Orca), piloted by our only Republic Navy representative Seaman 1st Johansson. As they lifted off from the camp, I could have sworn Johansson let out a yell, but I could have mistaken it for engine noise or the bag creaking as it rose under the strain of the passengers. I just hope one of those huge flying reptiles does not decide to attack the Orca. Or at least, if the pteros do attack, that a few rifle bullets will drive them off before they can seriously damage the bag. If all goes well, the Orca should arrive at Camp Trafalgar by tomorrow morning.

Today, we survived an attack from some truly strange creatures near the site of the temple. Plants that walked like men on two legs and attacked with grasping tendrils of viny growths! The black leg escorts were somewhat stunned, as the things have a mouth that opens to reveal a yellow looking flower and emits a deafening screech. Lady V let out a bark when the creatures were about thirty feet away - luckily, she and I had accompanied the squad on an observation walk, or the black legs would have been completely surprised by the ambush.
When I turned, I saw six or seven plant people springing from the undergrowth along the path. They screeched in an unholy high pitch as they leapt at us, injuring one of the men as they came. We fired at the creatures with our Martini-Henry rifles, dropping three of them, as the others fled into the rainforest. Within seconds, they were gone without a trace of thier passage through the thick undergrowth. Private Douglass was injured in the shoulder by a javelin made of a thin, three-foot long reed with a crudely sharpened tip. Another man was injured when he collapsed, striking his head on a boulder, stunned from the noise of the plant men's shrieks. I guess the tablets from the temple were more than just a fairy tale. One of the specimens was carried back with the squad and Drs. Caruthers and Palmer were upset they were unable to dig at the sight today.

Doc Armstrong and Herbalist Dempsey treated the injured and also began to study the plant creature. The specimen is about five feet tall, green, thin and has a pod shaped head that splits along its entire length into three valves. They have three opposable fingers and the feet have no digits as they are a single three jointed flat foot. We have no idea how they sense prey, as there are no obvious eye structures. They are definitely hard to spot as their natural camouflage is uncanny. They can easily ambush any patrol we send out and I am thankful we had Lady V today, as she was able to spot them before they attacked. I have no doubt the casualties would have been more serious if the ambush was not spotted. We will send a messenger hawk to Camp Trafalgar tomorrow with a brief report.

29 December 2008

Similar Paths and Possible Futures

28 December …

Today the RTS Santa Fe and Hammerhead departed for Earth and I felt safer knowing that the Santa Fe will have a fighting chance against the Huns. The Santa Fe has a special package on board: some of the more portable discoveries from the temple and a copy of all their scientific notes. Drs. Caruthers and Palmer were adamant about the tablets getting back to Houston safely, as a discovery such as this is an achievement many never find in their careers. I suppose they want to ensure their place in history.

The motor whaleboat dirigible is complete and will be tested tomorrow; Seaman Johansson is more than ready as he is assigned to Corporal Jones squad so he beds with them and also works at the saw mill. I have been told he is a good worker and does not talk much. I have seen for myself that he has the physique of an English Bulldog, standing five feet six inches but with huge hands and no neck.

Father Flannigan ventured out to the temple today after the sermon and lunch with most of the officers. Lady V and I have taken it easy today as RSM Taggart and I sat around smoking pipe tobacco and played a few games of chess. We talked about my boy Ian today, and his appointment to Gannon Military College. It seems as though Ian will not be alone as Taggart’s boy, William, was accepted into Gannon as well. The Naval Academy did not accept his boy either as he was only awarded the Star, not the Cross. I hope they will both get along well and will become friends as their fathers have.

Well, it is off to bed and must write my wife another letter before I rest this Sunday evening.
[Editor's Note: "The Star" is the Houston Star, a medal awarded for valor above and beyond the call of duty. Think of it as equivalent to a Silver Star in modern American terms. "The Cross" is the Lone Star Cross, the highest military decoration awarded by the Republic, analagous to the Victoria Cross of Britain. It is usually awarded posthumously. The sons of a recipient are automatically accepted into either the Military or Naval Academy if they apply. This does not mean automatic graduation, however, and many are dismissed for failure to meet the rigorous standards of the Republic's military academies.]

First Christmas on Venus

25 December …

Sergeant Thibodeaux and his expanded crew worked miracles today with Grillag, greens and potatoes as we dined on our Christmas Feast. Father Flannigan gave an inspiring mass and we all enjoyed the meal.

Chief O’Malley introduced me to Seaman 1st Class (equivalent to a Lance Corporal) David Johansson. He was assigned to us as a pilot for the motor whaleboat-based dirigible. He has been in the Republic Navy for five years and is already a very efficient coxswain with both air and nautical vessels. Since he is in the Navy, he will be under Mr. Griggs' command and not the Army's. He is therefore mine, so I will have to see skills he has besides piloting so I can assign him to one of the work crews. I have a feeling he will be put on Corporal Jones’ saw mill crew. They are a man short due to a bad injury one of the privates suffered last week. The doctors think they've managed to keep the cut from going bad, but in this Venusian mist, who can tell for sure?

Lady Venus was treated with a Grillag hip bone today that was smoked by Private Mistrot. We received mail and a few presents from loved ones. The men always enjoy mail call and it is nice to get letters from the missus.

My wife sent me some drawings our younger boys made, and our oldest, Ian James, has gotten word back that he has been accepted into Gannon Military College. I would have preferred the Naval Academy, but they do not like to admit the sons of enlisted men unless they have won the Lone Star Cross. Ian wants to join the military, and always has, but I told him if he joins he must muster in with a bar instead of a stripe. At Gannon he will be able to become a staff officer with either the engineering, signal or artillery corps; the Naval Academy is the only way one can become a Navy line officer. If Ian chooses civil engineering (which I highly doubt, as the boy is most destructive) he will be in a position like Mr. Griggs; however, I have a feeling he will become an artillery officer. He does like to see things go boom.

Well, enough rambling about a father's pride. I should take Lady V for a walk, as Chief O’Malley is waiting for us so he may tag along.

28 December 2008

Christmas Eve

24 December …

   The RTS Santa Fe and the newly commissioned RTS Hammerhead landed today, and not an hour too soon. The men seemed to all stop work at once to catch a glimpse of the gunship as it sported its speed and maneuverability flying a four mile perimeter before the Santa Fe landed. The RTS Hammerhead is sleek in design and reminds me of a seagoing brig. It is 110 ft in length and sports 12 breechloading rifled cannon. The captain of the ship is Lieutenant Randolph Roderick and the senior enlisted is Chief Drexel; the crew complement is actually forty enlisted and two officers. What a wonderful Christmas gift it is, and we will all have the chance to take a stroll on board the new ethership.

   The RTS Santa Fe brought us gifts from the Republic: mail, rations, supplies, another company of black legs, four more cooks and one more mountain howitzer with crew. With the new company, the 3rd Battalion now is up to 245 men with two gun crews. Mr. Griggs will no longer be alone as the junior officer in the mess as Sub-altern Fredrick Pummel RA reported for duty with the 3rd Battalion. Mr. Pummel's name should be familiar to anyone in the Republic, as he is the youngest son of Major General Pummel. We did not receive any more Marines, but the Santa Fe now has a crew complement of one platoon.

   We also received a gasbag and a huge wooden propeller to attach to the motor whaleboat; seems as though we are going to use it for both water and air travel. The new dirigible motor whale boat is a smart option since it has a power source and if we need to make an emergency landing on the water we will be safer (unless it is beyond the reef). The trip to Camp Trafalgar will also be considerably shorter as we will be above the rainforest. I will assign Sergeant Garcia with the conversion of the craft.

   Tomorrow is Christmas and we will have the day off. It will be nice to get the latest word and the further developments of the Hun's Imperialism. Off to the mess for some ale and tales of adventure.
[Editor's Note: The RTS Hammerhead was the first of the Shark-class of aether gunships produced by the Republic of Texas. The other members of this class of ship were named the Mako, Blacktip, and Tigershark.]

Middle Age Artillery Practice

18 December …

What a splendid day! The two trebuchet crews, after an hour of basic artillery techniques, began to hurl stones into the air towards the ether landing pad area outside the perimeter walls. Corporals Mendoza and Ferguson both hurled at least one hundred stones today and we know one thing: it is much easier in theory and we need more practice. The targets were damaged and the trebuchets are definitely deadly as the stones came plunging down with massive force. Major Higgins and the other officers were delighted and the men enjoyed the spirit of competition and began to have a lot of respect for those ancient armies who used the trebuchet in battle. The sound of the stone as it leaves the sling is amazing and has to be frightening on the receiving end of the weapon.

We lost a day of work but we now have a strengthened sense of security beyond the walls of Fort Humid. Tomorrow it will be back to the grind stone and further progress on fort improvements. I will be happy when the exterior wall is finished and the defenses are in place as we received word today by messenger hawk from our English friends of an Imperial German attack against the French on Mars as the Huns bombarded the French positions at their colony of Noveau Paris. Although the Hun are not on this continent as of yet (it is the smallest of the Venusian continents) we still have to be prepared for the worse.

Trebuchet Anticipation

17 December …

The trebuchets were finished late today and tomorrow we will be able to test them out for effectiveness. The men thought it was peculiar for a modern army to be using antiquated equipment for defense. We did have quite a few people stop by and inspect the work as the officers thought it was splendid and always gave congratulations to the men. The men themselves took great interest in the project and are very eager to see whose trebuchet will throw a rock the farthest. Corporal Miller and his red legs also took interest and will instruct the men on artillery techniques. Each will be manned during engagements and alerts. Corporal Mendoza’s squad and Corporal Ferguson’s squad will be responsible for the siege weapons as the black legs will man the walls.

I know this is a short entry today but we are all exhausted from the excitement and hard work.

Sunday Rugby

14 December …

Ahh... another Sunday to relax and enjoy the rainforest weather as today RSM Taggart and I rode Pachysaurs out and about and we managed to stay out of trouble as we were only gone a few hours. Father Flannigan had another wonderful service and the men played rugby. Mr. Griggs and Captain Higgins both played and managed to each gain a black eye as the playing surface turned into mud. Lieutenant Armstrong and Herbalist Dempsey will have their hands full in the morning with muscle strains and loose teeth.

The two trebuchets were started yesterday, as all of the main pieces have been built. The only thing left is to assemble the pieces and to also build a rock bed to roll on and ammo. The later will be the easiest as we will be throwing stones. Spot, our Triceratops, can drag the large boulders from the quarry site for our ammunition.
Enough. Tomorrow will be very busy, trying to finally assemble the main upright frame for the trebuchets.

Indirect Fire Capabilities

10 December …

Work was good and steady today through the normal weather pattern of a clear sky followed by a sunny sky, a rainshower and repeat. Fort Humid is coming along pleasantly. The outer wall is starting to take shape and will definitely give us better protection. I still feel a little edgy about that strange temple ruin. I just hope we do not awaken this ancient civilization and were they truly as tall as the four guardian statues?

Today, during the operations meeting we were discussing construction and defence when Captain Lamar discussed our indirect fire capabilities, or to be blunt, the relative lack of them. He had valid points about our capabilities with only one rifled howitzer, and produced a book with Middle Age catapults that were effective against infantry, fortresses and even elephants. I have built one such device (a trebuchet) during a combat engineering course in Leeds about four years ago, where we learned the principles of engineering in ancient warfare. Major Higgins thought it was a great idea and asked if I could construct at least one trebuchet, if not two, for a secondary means of defense. Mr. Griggs was delighted by the idea as well and together we will look over plans I still have from my course manual entitled “The Practical Guide to the use and Historical Development of Ancient Engineering Techniques in Modern Warfare. Volume I,” written by Brigadier Ian James Willoughby IV KCB, VC. Yes it is quite a mouthful but it is a very well written book and has engineering drawings drawn to scale.

Well, enough of the diary for the night, as Lady V wants me to take her for a walk to inspect troops.

27 December 2008

Fish and Wine

07 December …

I am thankful today was Sunday, as it was relaxing to get away from our usual hard labor and drop a line in the water. Sergeants Garcia, Cromwell and I caught fourteen Venusian Flounder today; one was three feet in length! As we were reaching the reef's edge we were soaked by a water geyser from some type of whale (hopefully of a non-Texican eating species). It was only about thirty feet away from our whaleboat and it took us about two seconds to head away from the reef's edge and back in towards shore and the safer, shallower waters along the beach. Lady Venus was barking and looking over the edge of the boat as if she wanted to play with the thing. Crazy dog.

Sergeant Thibodeaux smoked the fish for us and gave the rest to the crew during the evening meal. The flounder was very tasty, but I can only imagine what it would taste like smoked over genuine Texican mesquite, rather than the Venusian hardwoods we have been using. I might have to talk with Chief O’Malley about bringing some here when the Santa Fe returns in January.

Father Flannigan joined us for dinner and brought two bottles of Fredericksburg wine with him to our NCOs' Mess. According to him, "fish is not fish without the taste of the grape." I'm no fancy wine drinking fellow like some of the officers, but I have to admit that the white wine did go well with the fish. He had us rolling with tales of his youth. Seems as though he was a private in the Connaught Rangers before getting his call to a priestly vocation. At one point, Corporal Jones was even blushing in embarrassment.

The RTS Santa Fe is logging unthinkable miles as they are making return trips here monthly. With the flight time taking a little more than a week each way they spend more than half the month floating in the airless ether. Chief O’Malley was telling me about a new class of ethership the Republic is building. They are purpose-built gunships with a crew of thirty and are meant to serve as escorts against a growing Hun threat. The "Lucky Santa" only has two cannon for defense - hardly capable of defeating an Imperial German Luftschiffe. They won't be able to carry much in the way of cargo, though, so we will still depend on the Santa Fe for most of that. There is also talk of bringing material to make an airship here on Venus, for scouting, exploration and observation purposes.

Well, I must close as it is time to fall into my bunk and get ready for another hard day at work.

25 December 2008

Wind Power

04 December …

Today was another important first for Fort Humid, as Corporal Mendoza and his crew connected the newly-finished windmill to the water well pump. They also finished the construction of a water storage tank, providing us with stored water sufficient for a week. Corporal Ferguson's crew completed the timber construction of the ammo bunker and the black legs are going to provide the dumb labor for shoveling the three feet of soil required on all sides of the timber. The ammo bunker is sunk in the ground to a depth of four feet and continues for eight feet above ground. Tomorrow, Ferguson's crew will start on three bunkers to hide from any potential aerial bombardment as we have received word today of reports of the dirty Huns attacking land positions from their ether and lighter than air vessels.

The scientists have not discovered a potential entrance to the temple as their digging crews have sunk a four foot deep trench all the way around the stone slab and it seems to still be solid. One crew did find pottery and a stone tablet, all with the same writing as was found on the stone slab. The pottery is not unlike that of the ancient Greeks and Romans of our Earth. The tablet shows a pictograph of a great battle between plant-looking people and birdmen. I wonder if it is just a story book as I cannot imagine a race of vegetable people. What would they live on? Would they wither without water (not that I can imagine that becoming a problem here on Venus)? The questions are endless. When the RTS Santa Fe returns at the end of this month they will send back a few discoveries and copies of the text back to Houston.

I am planning on taking the motor boat out into the water if the weather permits this Sunday as some fishing would be relaxing. Lady Venus is growing steadily and is now about three months old. She is very playful and follows me around until she gets bored and goes to visit our cooks, who always give her scraps. She shows up again and waits for me on the porch after she gets bored with her rounds.

Working like a Mule

28 November …

The RTS Santa Fe departed for Earth as the rain passed today. It was a very busy day at work as we had to catch up on the days of work lost to the storms. Sergeants Garcia and Cromwell worked their respective crews to finish some projects and start new. Corporal Jones and his saw mill put in a long day as the fresh cut trees ran through the huge 48” blade. Corporal Mendoza managed to install the hand lever pump and catch basin today as one of the water wells was completed just before the storm. The manual hand pump will be in place until his crew can build the windmill replacement. I do feel better knowing our supply of fresh water is now securely within our walls.

Corporal Garza continued working on the fifty-seven SET Huts that now adorn our landscape, as walls and roofs were installed. Clothes line posts were also set in the dirt and cross arms installed today as well. I am definitely proud of my men and am thankful for their solid work ethic and the good NCOs who make my job easier.

Doctors Caruthers and Palmer, along with the officers, headed to the temple once again and stayed until the sun was setting in the west over the rainforest landscape. They have found some sort of writing and are still trying to translate the text. They are going to start a dig around the temple site to hopefully uncover a settlement of an ancient civilization. Who knows what they may find? Mr. Griggs was most excited and looked a little comical as his hair was still standing as he came through the gates. I took him off to the side and corrected his deficiency before he appeared before any of the men. After all, one job of a Staff NCO is to train the junior officers and also to help them save face when the need arises. For junior officers eventually become senior officers, and the respect they earn for their NCOs will carry them throughout their career.

A Wet Thanksgiving

27 November …

The RTS Santa Fe was unable to depart today as the heavy rain developed into lightning storms. Chief O’Malley and I looked at our fortifications and later ventured out to the blue ruins. The Chief suggested a tall lookout tower by the landing site, I think it is a good idea and will bring it up to the officers during the Monday Operations Meeting.

The officer entourage left out quickly this morning with a small escort element for security. I went along as well, curious to see if the lightning had affected the blue stone this time. By the time we got to the site, the whole place was electrified and beams of blue light seemed to burn brighter this time than the last. The static electricity produced by the lightning was very powerful as well. The officers stayed under the observation tent as the granite continually absorbed the lightning. I think this was a wise decision. There was enough galvanic current out there to fry a Triceratops, not to mention one of us frail humans!

I had almost forgotten about Thanksgiving dinner. Our head cook, Sergeant Thibodaux, prepared more Grillag, fish and potatoes. We finished the evening off with a pint of ale at the NCO Mess. Happy Thanksgiving.

24 December 2008

Merry Christmas to You All

In celebration of this joyous holiday season, occassioned by the birth of our Redeemer, Jesus Christ, I want to take this opportunity to wish you all a very...

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

The journal will return to a more regular publication schedule following the festivities and solemnities appropriate to this holy season.

23 December 2008

Meanwhile, back on Earth...


Three New Land Ironclad Classes Added to Her Majesty's Ever-Victorious Royal Navy Land Forces!




Hurrah for British engineering! Her Majesty's Royal Navy has put more earth-shakingly powerful land ironclads into production from the Brigade Foundries [actually, Brigade Models, www.brigademodels.co.uk]. Three new classes of ship are beginning to be produced, it was announced today: the Imperator, the General, and the Brunel classes. The photostat above does not, actually, contain any of the three new classes, which are so new as to not even have paint upon them as of yet.

Sadly, these armored leviathans are not going to be available for service here on the Red Planet anytime soon. Their immense weight will require specially designed transport vehicles to cart them across the aether to Mars. Even disassembled, it would take many trips back and forth with current vessels to deliver a single land ironclad to Mars. But what a difference that one leviathan could make in cowing the ambitions of the Kaiser's colonial administration!

[Editor's Note: This is an area of VSF gaming that I am seriously considering getting involved with in the next year. I really like the models, and the fact that the system (Land Ironclads, by Wessex Games) is compatible with an aerial system (Aeronef) and a forthcoming naval system (Aquanef). The models are quite nice, and seem to paint up well from what I have seen online, though they are a bit difficult to get hold of in the States. I took the photo above from Brigade's website. I hope they don't mind, but if anyone does, please let me know and I will remove the image. I am hoping the advertising is worth the picture grab.]

18 December 2008

Gashant Herds of Mars


Gashant Riders of the Boreal Cities

As you can see, we have confirmation that some Martians have domesticated and appear to be riding these strange, bird-like creatures. They lack feathers, and have, in fact, a rather leathery grey-ish hide. Their legs are digitigrade, they are warm-blooded, oviparous and beaked all similar to a terrestrial bird's . They lack wings, and have only small, club-like forelimbs, which are perhaps atrophied wings. Earth zoologists have tentatively classified them as reptiles, but have not completed a taxonomic report on the species.

The domesticated beasts seem to be used more in the newly-explored Boreal region of Mars, where they seem quite common. Pictured above in the photostat is a patrol rider of the city of Borea Major. The patrol our explorers encountered were quite restrained, obviously impressed with our advanced British technologies. It is hoped that our Viceroy will swiftly send a diplomatic mission to the Boreal Cities and enact treaties which will permit an exclusive trade between these advanced Martian societies and ourselves.

[Editor's Note: If you are a reader of TMP, you should know that RAFM (www.rafm.com), the Canadian company responsible for the production of the official Space 1889 miniatures, is currently selling them at 50% off for infantry and cavalry. Act quickly, folks! I know I will be ordering some cavalry units.]

17 December 2008

[OOC] Indecision Delays

So, its been a little while since I posted anything. With Christmas just around the corner, and all the time demands that brings, to be honest, I haven't lifted paintbrush, nor really considered a single scenario in a week. The closest I have come has been lurking and posting on TMP in the wee hours or from work.

Well, that's not entirely true. I started on some telegraph poles that I have decided I cut way too tall. So I need to fix that.

Anyway, the point of this post was indecision delays. I was corresponding with another gamer today, and he mentioned how his current project is stalled out while he tries to decide exactly what he wants to do with it. And that got me to thinking about how many of my projects have stalled for extended periods for exactly the same reason: indecision.

I think it stems from two things: perfectionism and lack of funds.

Perfectionism is that drive that I have when it comes to my miniatures to get them 'just right.' That doesn't necessarily mean historically accurate. With VSF, it often does not mean that. I mean that it looks 'right' to me, and is such that I think others will ooh and aah over them toa degree. I don't expect abjecy adoration. Besides being blasphemous, I think its ridiculous considering my skills in converting and painting. I'm decent, but not more than that, and so expecting a lot of WOW factor is not in the cards. But everyone likes to have their efforts appreciated, and the more thought that goes into the project, the better the results are likely to be. Since we want the best we are capable of, this leads to lots of thought. In turn, it means a lot of time spent planning and less in doing. The end result is that little gets done, although perhaps it is of a better quality. I actually ran a poll over that not too long ago.

Lack of funds is an even more fundamental cause of indecision. If, like me, your gaming budget is rather limited, you simply can't afford to buy new minis when your conversion doesn't go as planned, or the paint job comes out completely horrible, or what have you. So we again spend a lot of time in thought and planning and tweaking ideas, rather than implementing them. Again, delay through indecision.

Is there a fix? Beyond massive government bailouts of the wargaming community, that is? (Sorry - no more politics, I promise.) I don't know if there is, but I know I need to get something done, or the Lead Pile may cause the Earth to wobble.

Thanks for listening. Let me know what you think.

12 December 2008

Strange News from Earth

Floating Mystery Island Reported Over Pacific!

My friends, today we have received word that an island - entirely unknown heretofore to Earthly cartographers - has been discovered over the Pacific Ocean. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I said over the Pacific Ocean, and over I meant!

Ancient legends of the Pacific islanders tell of a floating island called by many names, such as "Laputa" or "The High Kingdom" or "The Flying Isle." These Laputans are said to possess some extraordinary technologies, not least of which is whatever diabolical engine allows an entire island to float over the sea and the islands of the Pacific.

These discoveries have been made by a new correspondent to the journal, a one-time faithful reader such as yourself, perhaps, who has made such contributions to the success of our endeavour here that he was rewarded with correspondents' rights. Mister Arndt, our hearty welcome and congratulations, sir!

For more on the initial report, please direct yourself to this location on the telephonic differencing engine weave: http://leadpeople.blogspot.com/2008/11/inspiration-laputa.html.

07 December 2008

[OOC] Lest we forget...

Gentlemen, a glass.

In remembrance of an attack on our nation exactly 67 years ago today.

To the men and women who gave their lives defending our nation from the totalitarians of the mid-20th century, my deepest and sincerest gratitude.

To those who survived the war (such as both of my grandfathers, since deceased), my humble thanks.

May God grant your rest bring you peace, in the knowledge that you secured freedom for two generations around the world.

Amen.

2 More Deathrays Done, Plus Other Items [OOC]


Friends and Followers,

I have finished two more rays, the standard bearer and one of the carbine-armed riders. Here's a couple of pictures (sorry about the background - its my official paint desk):




Also, I received many small bits of lead from overseas this week! Yay! The folks at Black Cat bases were kind enough to pick up a couple of miniatures for me from Donnington Miniatures at Warfare in Reading (that's in the UK, for all us Yanks), and shipped them to me. One I won't be able to use for this project, but the others shall probably work. What are they, you ask? Priests! I now have a trio of priests (one mounted!) to provide spiritual comfort and guidance to the Papal forces on Mars.

I also got in a batch of Papal infantry and Zouaves from Freikorps, direct. I had to go to them, because it was faster than ordering from Little Wars, even though Little Wars (the US distributor for Freikorps) is just across town from me! Haven't started on them yet, but look forward to getting after it soon.

I did start painting the French Foot artillery I bought for the pontifical forces. I'll only have one gun crew and a breechloading field gun, plus a wrecked gun objective I am planning. But that's plenty, I think. I can see a race to retrieve the gun or destroy it before the natives can get their hands on a modern European field piece.

Also, I made a little progress on the rivers, which I will post about tomorrow on the gaming terrain blog.

That's all for tonight/this morning. Got to go get some sleep so I can make 8:00 Mass!

04 December 2008

Spar Torpedoes in the Sky

Martian Flying Cavalry Carries Torpedoes

"They're mad, I tell you. Completely barmy. I'll have to get the Royal Artillery Research and Development nobbins on this immediately!"

That was the response of General Sir Michael Stackpole, KB, when informed by this journal that it appears the Galforrian Deathray Cavalry were practicing with what amounts to small spar torpedoes in their hands. One of our clandestine correspondents in the Galforrian Empire was able to watch the flying cavalry at training, and described it thusly:

"They had these long, long poles, very thin, sort of like a regular lance. But no point on it. Instead, there was this... I dunno what to call it. Some sort of explosive device. Anyway, they flew under a few barrels full of water, suspended high up, you see, and tried to hit the barrel - swinging in the wind it was, so not too easy to hit. But when it did hit! By the Hammer of Grabthor! The barrel exploded as soon as the tip of that lance struck it solidly." (Translated from Galforric)

I certainly hope our scientists can swiftly come up with a counter stroke to these fiendish devices. I fear that the fragile peace on Mars shall soon be a memory, if the militaristic machinations of the Galforrians and their Germanic friends continue thusly.

[Editor's Note: I am heavily leaning towards this option. I have some small egg shaped beads I am thinking of putting at the tips of the lances to represent a shaped charge explosive of some kind. Possibly a tiny fragment of handwavium or something. That leaves me with two carbine-armed riders, who become the personal guard of the Prince. I only need one more pack of lancers to complete the unit if I go that route. I'll have a unit of ten lancers, with musician and commander, plus a half unit of five, with the Prince, his standard, two guards and a tambour drummer. Should be plenty, yeah?]

03 December 2008

[OOC] Adding to Eli's Lamentation

I was checking out Eli's blog I See Lead People (http://leadpeople.blogspot.com/) today. I do that a lot. He's doing some interesting things.

Eli lamented the fact that he didn't get too much accomplished on his projects as he had hoped to do in the month of November. That got me to thinking (always a Bad Idea) about how much I had gotten done.

And by 'done,' I mean get 'em off the painting/converting table and into storage until its game time.

And I am whiffing. Batting 0.000. I got a good bit of parts of a few projects done, but actually finishing anything? Not that I can tell. The closest I came to that was realizing my heart just wasn't in Napoleonics right now and packing that stuff away until such time as it is. But that's not the same as 'done.'

I worked on deathrays, and got a few of them done. Now I only need about seven more, and I have to buy some minis to get there. It being Christmas time, I should probably wait and see what I get for Christmas before I go buying lead.

I started on a few Papal Infantry. Again, waiting for additional stocks of lead to arrive. I suppose the fact that I came up with a color scheme I like is something...

I started repainting some Seebattalion troops into Etherschiffetruppen. I got about four or five close to done. Out of 20. So, progress, but no completion!

I started a minor conversion of a Battleball (sci-fi football board game, Milton Bradley I think) figurine into a 25mm German Power Armor Assault Trooper with Experimental Handwavium Engine. Even sculpted the Handwavium port (think Iron Man movie, but on the back and green not blue) and have that glued on. Still got a ways to go.

Re-visited the whole rocket situation for the second Sentinel. Decided to use the skinny missiles, even though I am not super happy with them. I would really like to find some 25/28mm Hale's or even Congreve rockets.

Worked some more on the rivers terrain project, including creating a narrow ford. Still, nothing completed.

I really need to just sit down and finish something. Anything. I know it will make me feel better. Maybe I will get something done tomorrow, as I am taking the day off work (been feeling rather ill, actually, so maybe not).

Thanks for listening to me whine on. Maybe, if I get anything done this week, there will be a more interesting post.