Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Tuesday Boardgame: GMT's A Distant Plain, Playthrough Part 1

It’s Tuesday and as part of my highly irregular Tuesday Boardgame feature, I actually have something to say about playing GMT’s A Distant Plain, Brian Train and Volkho Ruhnke’s simulation of contemporary warfare in Afghanistan as part of GMT’s COIN (CounterInsurgency) series.   It seems apropos to talk about this game tonight, seeing as the newly elected (and bodged together) Afghan government has just signed a deal with the US to continue to allow American troops to remain in country, this signalling that the war isn’t quite over, or at least, has moved to a new phase.    However, as one of the longest running wars of modern (and post-modern time) I think Afghanistan deserves a simulation, and got a good one in this title.

I did say a little about ADP in a previous blog post, and if you want to get a much smarter analysis than I could provide, I recommend Brant from Groghead’s review here or Professor Rex Brynen’s equally insightful review on Paxsims here.  What I offer here is a play by play account of my own attempt to play the game solo.   If you are not into looking at blocks on a board, and some of my previous posts suggest few of you are, than move on, nothing to see here, TLDR, etc.  However, if you’re curious to see how the game feels and plays,and how the rules work (or how I’ve misunderstood them), this may be of interest to you.   

I wish I had taken a picture of the board setup before I started.  I chose the 2003-2013 scenario, which starts after the US-led coalition has moved on from Afghanistan to Iraq and discovered that all is not quiet in Afghanistan after all.   You can check the dispositions on the last page of the game rules, which are on the GMT website here.  A quick note on how this works.   I’m playing the game solitaire, and I can choose any of the four factions, the Coalition (US/NATO/allies), the Government (basically the Karzai govt), the Taliban, or the Warlords (a composite of the northern, non-Pashtun tribes and leaders who are looking after their own interests).   Perhaps it’s a lack of imagination, but I chose the Coalition.  The other three factions are governed by a series of non-player matrixes, basically decision trees which give certain actions depending on the conditions on the board at the time.

The game is card driven.   The sequence of play is randomized on each card.  If you look at the first photo below, the top of the card has four logos.  They are: Govt (blue), Coalition (Brown w white star), Taliban (black w crescent and star) and Taliban (green w a thingy).  The sequence changes with each card.   Basically, only two factions get to act per card.  If this was a four player game it would be awesome because the next card is revealed while the current card is being played, giving all four players a myriad of choices:  do I take my turn now, do I pass and act later to counter the devastating action another player is about to get to do, do I want to take advantage of an Event or wait, etc etc.    It would be like poker with a few of the cards revealed in each player’s hand.   Solitaire is not quite so exciting but the NP matrixes are good company.

So here goes.  In the pictures below, I use red and white tokens to help show which provinces are in play at the moment the picture is taken.

First card:    #37, Afghan Commandos.   This card gives the Government a free Sweep action and a free Assault action, which only Troops can perform.   For each 2 Troops (rounded down), one Taliban Guerrilla is activated (basically revealed), which means that it can then be assaulted and eliminated (underground or non-revealed Guerrillas, both Warlord and Talib, are immune from attack).  Using the Non-Player matrix to determine the Govt’s actions, this is an event card that the Govt will use so the Event happens.

The Government starts the game with three Troops (the dark blue blocks): two in Kabul and one in Herat, so thanks to this card they can all move to one space.  There are currently only two provinces under Talib control, Paktika and Zabol, so the Govt sends three troops to Paktika.   .   

That’s enough to do the job .  The Talib Guerrilla and Base are both eliminated and Paktika flips from Talib to COIN control.


The Coalition is the next player up and since the first (Govtt) chose the Event, the second player can do an Operation and a Special Activity.   The Coalition player needs more troops on the board, and so elects a Train operation.  This can only be done where there is a COIN base, and so far the only COIN base is in Kabul.   The Coalition trains three Police and three Govt Troops in Kabul, and pays three Govt resources to do so (the Coalition does not have it’s own resource track, but rather uses Govt resources), moving Govt resources from 20 to 17, and then does a civic action to Increase Kabul from Neutral to Support (each space or province has three possible levels of political activity, Opposition, Neutral and Support).  In the photo below, Kabul now has five ANP (police, light blue blocks), three ANA (troops, dark blue), three Coalition troops (tan), and markers showing COIN control and Support.  I’m now feeling pretty good about Kabul as my base camp going forward.

For the Coalition’s Special Activity, it elects a Surge, since it seems that this is the only way it can bring Coalition Bases and Troops onto the board.  The Coalition can chose to do this in three areas where there is COIN control per turn, so it choses to bring a base and two troops each to Khowst and Paktika provinces,


And a base and two troops to Kandahar province.



Since two factions have gone on the first card, we go to the the next card which is #70, Contractor Surge.

This card represents large amounts of aid flowing around the country and benefiting everyone.  The card allows up to three provinces with COIN (Govt + Coalition) pieces to be shifted 1 level towards Support (there are three levels, Opposition, Neutral and Support) so Kandahar, Herat and Paktika are all moved from Neutral to Support.   For three provinces each with 1 level shift, that gives the Warlord and Talib factions three resources points each to represent graft and sloshing around of aid contracts.  Now the Warlord faction can a

According to the Warlord Non-Player matrix, since there are more than 6 pieces available, Warlord will choose a Rally operation in three spaces.   Warlords choose provinces with high populations, putting one Guerrilla each in Nuristan, Baghlan and Kabul.  The Warlord player can also choose a Special Activity, and the Non-Player Matrix says Cultivate so since it now has a guerrilla in Nuristan and there are no Govt police there, the Warlord puts a Base in Nuristan.  

Note: In looking at the non-player matrix, I realize that I misunderstood the card.   I thought Contractor Surge automatically happened but it is an Event that a Faction can choose to happen, and I goofed.  The NP Matrix says the Warloods would have chosen an Op and a Special Activity INSTEAD of the Event, and I applied the Event and gave the Warlords an OP +SA.  It’s  now past my bedtime, so I’ll let that stand and pick this up later with the Taliban being next on the card.  

The Taliban are the only other faction eligible to move on this card.  Since W went first with an OP+SA, if all factions were player controlled, the second faction would only get a Limited Op, but in reading rule 8.1, NP factions do not do LimOps.  They get a full Operation plus Special Activity.  Happy days for the Taliban.

According to the matrix, since Talib do have 15+ pieces, they rally.   A Talb piece must be placed in Kabul,, then a piece to gain control in a province so a piece is placed in Ghazni which is wide open, then pieces are placed where there are 1-2 Talib pieces, so one is placed each in Zabol, Waziristan (Pakistan) and NW Frontier (Pakistan).  Then the matrix says that the Talib then buy Sharia (basically a political action) in one place where they can achieve the greatest shift, so Zabol province is moved from Neutral to Oppose status.  


The Talib have done Rally in five provinces and Sharia for one, so the cost for this turn is 6 resources.   For their Special Activity, the Matrix says the Talib will choose Extort, which is good because they are now down to 2 Resources.  There are four provinces (Zabol, Ghazni, Waziristan, NW Frontier) where Talib dominate, so they can Extort there, gaining one resource per province for a total of four, taking the total Talib resources to 6.  That ends the Taliban turn.  Because Warlords and Talib both acted on this card, their markers go to the Ineligible Factions box the next card.

The next card is #61 Desertions and Defections.  


The first two factions at the top of the card are Warlords then Talib, but both are Ineligible this turn so the turn goes to the third faction shown, Coalition.  The Coalition cannot play the Event on this Card, so it has to decide on a COIN operation.   Hmm, as a Player Faction and without a Matrix to guide me, (this is tricky, I have to make my own decision!) but the Train op seems a smart way at this early stage to get COIN pieces on the board.  I choose Kandahar province since it has a COIN (Coalition) base there, and spend 3 Govt resources to add 6 Govt pieces (3 ANA and 3 ANP) to Kandahar province.  Train allows me to do a Civic Action but Kandahar is at Support so I don’t need to do that.  I could cash three Govt pieces in for a Govt base, but there only three Govt bases available total, and I have a feeling I should save them for now.  




So that’s it for the Train op.   The Coalition has a Special Activity and of the three (Surge, Airlift, Airstrike) I chose Airlift, which allows me to move up to three Govt troops to any three spaces in Afghanistan.  I choose to drop two of my newly trained Govt troops into Ghazni (where, since I outnumber the sole Talib piece 2-1, I get COIN control of Ghazni) and one to Oruzgan (where I also get COIN control since the Govt troops is the only piece in the province).


 This ends the Coalition turn for this card.

Now I need to consult the Matrix for the Govt faction.  The Matrix says that the Govt ignores the Desertions and Defections Event on the card and does an Op and SA instead.   Since the Govt has more than 15+ pieces unplaced and has several provinces where it can Govern with effect, the matrix says the Govt will Train as its op.  The matrix says the Govt can only Train (place cubes) where there is a COIN base and only where there are at most 6 COIN cubes in excess of the number needed to gain control (control = more COIN or Talib pieces than all enemies combined in a space) of a province.  The only province that meets that criteria is Paktika, so it gets 3 ANA and 3 ANP cubes.The Govt can also do a Civic Action in one space where there are no COIN bases, and since Orusgan is the only province in COIN control with no base and room to move increase Support.  Since Oruzgan has no COIN base, it moves from Neutral to Support.


The total Govt cost for these two actions (Training and placing cubes in Paktika, Civic Action in Orzugan) is 6 (3 each) and so the Govt resources drops from 12 to 6.  For its Special Activity, the matrix says the Govt can Govern in up to two areas where there is COIN control, Support or 0 population.  Whether the Governing is Benign (which adds population to the province as refugees and displaced persons return) or not (if there is no Coaliton base, the Govt can extract patronage, which ticks people off) depends on a die roll in excess of the 6 available +1 population counters (which represent the limit of possible population boosts in the game), and since none are in play yet, the Governing will not be begin.  In Oruzgan and Herat, there is no Coalition base, there is Support and COIN control, so the Govt can Govern in those provinces, taking the population value of the two provinces (1 each) and diverting that amount (a total of 2) from Aid to patronage.  


Both provinces go from Support to Neutral. That all sounds very rascally.  AID drops 2 to 13, Patronage increases 2 to 17.

That ends the Govt turn.  For the next card, the Govt and Coalition are now ineligible factions, and Talib and W are eligible.  I confess at this point I am still not sure where this is all going but hopefully those of you who are curious will learn more next Tuesday, God willing.  So far it looks as if the Govt and the Coalition are doing well, judging from the number of pieces on the board, but I suspect that could change easily.  






Sunday, September 28, 2014

Diplomacy Game: Spring 1902 Results

Here are the results of the Spring 1902 turn.   Big bump in Tyrolia - Italian and German armies go head to head in the best WW1 style.    Austrian Army in Galicia is dislodged from Warsaw.  Austrian player, your retreat options are Ukraine, Silesia and Vienna.  Please advice by this Tuesday night.   Orders for F1902 turn due by this Saturday, October 5th at the latest.  Cheers,  MP



General Notices:

Order resolution completed on 28-Sep-2014 at 16:45:32 EDT

Order Results:

Austria:    Austria: A bud Holds    Austria: A gal Holds

Aus A Gal Dislodged from war (2 against 1).   Valid retreats:  ukr, sil, vie.

Austria: F gre Holds

England::  England: A edi - yor;  England: F lon - nth;   England: F nth - hel    England: F nwy ska

France:  France: F bel - ho; lFrance: A gas -spa;  France: A mar -bur; France: A par -pic

Germany:    Germany: A boh Supports A mun - tyr;   Germany: F den - kie;  Germany: A mun - tyr

Bounced with ven (2 against 1).

Germany: A ruh - mun

Failed because Germany: A mun - tyr failed. 

Italy: Italy: A rom - ven

Failed because Italy: A ven - tyr failed. 

Italy: A tri Supports A ven - tyr   Italy: F tys - ion  Italy: A ven - tyr

Bounced with mun (2 against 1). 

Russia:  Russia: F bla -sev;  Russia: A mos -war;  Russia: A rum Supports A war -gal;  Russia: A stp - lvn;  Russia: F swe Holds; Russia: A war - gal

Turkey: Turkey: F arm -ank;  Turkey: A bul Holds; Turkey: F con Supports F arm -ank;  Turkey: A ser Supports A bul;  Turkey: F smy -aeg


Supply Center Ownership:

Austria: Budapest, Greece, Vienna (3 total).England:
Edinburgh, Liverpool, London, Norway (4 total).France:
Belgium, Brest, Marseilles, Paris (4 total).Germany: Berlin,
Denmark, Kiel, Munich (4 total).Italy: Naples, Rome, Trieste,
Venice (4 total).Russia: Moscow, Rumania, Sevastopol, St.
Petersburg, Sweden, Warsaw (6 total).Turkey: Ankara,
Bulgaria, Constantinople, Serbia, Smyrna (5 total).

Dislodged Units:

Austria: Army Galicia.



Thursday, September 25, 2014

The Daily Dissembler: Last Issue For The Spring 1902 Turn


The Daily Dissembler, Special European Gazette Issue, February 10, 1902

We make sense of a complicated, far-off world so you, dear reader, can enjoy the Gilded Age.

The Current Situation

Some of our readers have requested a graphic showing the status of Europe, and those Minor Powers now under the influence, Benign or Otherwise, of the Great Powers.  We are happy to oblige.

Dateline Germany.  Wanted: Good Horsemen


The government of the Kaiser is seeking skilled horsemen of a reliable and sober character for employment as diplomatic couriers. Payment is at a generous bonus above current market rates. Horses are provided as are hosteling and victualling costs (beer ration included!). 

An excellent opportunity for adventurous young men to travel to all corners of the continent while in the service of the most prestigious and enlightened government in Europe.

Riding skill will be tested and character references from three (3) known men of note and standing are required. Literacy not required or desirable. Former men of the cloth need not apply.

Applications accepted at most Embassies. Signing bonus if you tell your recruiter: "The Dissembler sent me!"

Britain's Home Office Issues Communiqué: “No Fighting in Low Countries"
First, the German Foreign Office claimed that last fall’s Battle of Amsterdam (extensively documented by this paper) was merely a scuffle between rival football fans.   Now, the British Government is saying that there was not even a scuffle.    In an official communique released yesterday, London states that "The recent aggression reported in the Low Countries did not actually occur and is attributed to a desire by the Dutch to draw attention to their country and its claim to be the cockpit of Europe.”  This paper contacted the Dutch Government seeking a comment.  Mr. Van Huytens, a spokesman for the Dutch Foreign Ministry, told us that the British communique is “Poppycock.  We have been trying to serve both London and Berlin with demands for reparations for ten million guilders to repair the damage they caused, and all we get are 'Sorry, love, I’m just the cleaner’.  It’s totally irresponsible for so-called major powers to behave in this fashion. "

In the same communique from London, the Home Office stated that "The Scottish army that was trying to leave has now voted to remain in the UK and has been put on a better course, together with no immediate travel plans."

Scottish “football fans” appear pleased to remain in the UK.


New Warships Are Turkish Delight


The Daily Dissembler has obtained this schematic of one of the warships recently delivered to the Turkish navy.   She is the Mejidye, built here in the good old US of A by Keels and Deals Inc. Naval Architects, Bangor, Maine.

The motto of this firm is “Getting sunk is a pain, Just ask Spain.  The choice is plain, buy your navy from Maine.”   However, this purchase may be a pain for the McKinley Administration, since the firm of Keels and Deals has been extensively subsidized by US Government assistance.  Senator (R) Thurston P. Grafton of Maine defended this assistance, saying that “Wanting to keep jobs in Maine, as well as ensuring America’s capability of building state of the art naval weapons systems in a dangerous world, is a laudable goal”.   This paper is currently investigating allegations that the Senator’s reelection campaign was largely financed by donations from Keels and Deals.  As well, the paper is looking into reports that Senator Grafton spent much of the winter in Turkey, being put up in five star hotels in Constantinople at the expense of American and Turkish taxpayers.  The Senator’s office defends the trip, saying that the Senator and his aides were conducing “Hands on research, investigating whether the Turkish belly dancing industry includes American girls sold into white slavery”.

Letters to the Editor


Certain intolerable reports have come to my attention indicating that your “man” (I will not grace him with the dubious title of reporter) in Rome, Mr. Ernest Harrington, has been spreading vile calumnies, unfit to be stated in polite company, as to the character and choice of companions of my niece, Miss Amelia Roosevelt, whose insightful columns are read most widely here in the US, from the Oval Office to the humblest of parlours.   I need not belabour the fact that Miss Roosevelt, “Intrepid Girl Reporter”, is widely seen as a paragon of American femininity in this new century and has millions of admirers here at home.   I also need not remind you that the Daily Dissembler has attained its current enviable reputation thanks to the willingness of this government to give it free access to the White House, the Cabinet, and to councils of state, and that it would be a shame for your readers should this access be reluctantly curtailed for security reasons.   Finally, let me make it plain that should Mr. Harrington show his cur’s face in Washington, I shall personally, and with the greatest of satisfaction, roll up my sleeves and horsewhip him all the way to Delaware.

Yours sincerely,

Theodore Roosevelt, Vice-President, United States


I am writing to you to determine the whereabouts of  Miss Amilia Roosevelt.   The impulsive young signorina, against my advice, has left Trieste without informing me or my staff of her intentions, and without filing the travel documents necessary for movement within the Liberated Zone.   Despite the best efforts of my soldiers, the countryside is not safe because of partisans, bandits, and assorted Hapsburg dead enders.  These will be dealt with soon enough, but I tremble for Caro Amilia’s safety, the poor tender flower!  I cannot fathom why she would have left without discussing her plans with me, and in the dead of night, too!   If you learn of her whereabouts, pray inform me, as I have several small gifts I would send her.  It is nothing elaborate, merely some small items taken from the occupying Governor’s palace as trophies of my victory here, a few small odds and ends such as an Aubusson carpet, several Irish wolfhounds, a Ming dynasty vase, a set of armour which once belonged to Charles II of Austria, and a darling little yacht … mere trifles, really, but sincere tokens of my admiration of a true flower of American womanhood.

I remain your servant,

Count de Graspi, Generale di Brigata and Commander, Italian Expeditionary Forces, Lion of Trieste, Order of the Risorgimento

Crossword, by Our Mystery Correspondent, “Elgar” - some enlarging may be necessary.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Psycho Killers Of The Old West, And Other Gaming Adventurers

It’s been an interesting weekend to be sure.    Saturday was the day of KEGSCON, a small gaming day with a big heart put on by the stout lads of KEGS (Kent Essex Gaming Society), a merry bunch of SW Ontario gamers centred in Chatham.   Sadly I was unable to spend the whole day there, as I had committed to an Army event that morning, filling in for an Army Reserve padre friend.  I didn’t get on the road until after noon, and had forgotten how far it was to Chatham - two hours from my door and only another hour from there to Windsor/Detroit and the US border.   My chum Rabbitman was there for the whole day and had a grand time in several splendid looking games.

I got there about mid-afternoon, in time to strap myself into a Y-Wing and try the Star Wars X Wing game that seems super-popular at the moment.  I had fun, but found the level of chrome and the presence of killer-pilots a little distracting.    It doesn’t seem quite fair, as rookie Y-Wing Pilot Guy, going up against Darth Vader and the Imperial Shuttle of Doom and then discovering that the bad guys had a series of cards which suggested that Imperial saboteurs had been awarded the Rebel Alliance X-Wing Maintenance Contract.  Damn these government cutbacks!  Does nobody do background checks anymore?  That being said, I liked the system, and the manoeuvre plotting and simultaneous revealing reminded me of ancient WW1 flying games like Avalon Hill’s Richtofen’s War.   I think if I was going to invest in this sort of system, I would look at Wings of War and go that route rather than the Star Wars route, though is someone ported the X Wing system to the Babylon 5 universe, that would be another story.  

But I digress.

It’s simply amazing that anyone survived the American West, if our evening game was any indication of what a psychotic place it was.   All those who stayed after dinner were given a miniature and invited to place it anywhere in this model town, which combined two different manufacturer’s buildings in one long street of death.

The objective of the game was brutally simple:   last man standing.   Everyone had a six shooter, there were no teams, though we were free to form alliances on the fly.    Each player had a standard playing card assigned to them, and there were two of each player’s card in the game master’s deck, so when your card came up, you could either shoot or move, and could perform any combination of these actions a total of three times.   Mostly I stood still and shot three times on each card.   All movement and shooting was governed by D20s, there was another dice for hit locations, and the severity of wounds was assessed on a chart using D20.  Generally getting shot in the head or body was bad to worse, while getting shot in the extremities was  more annoying than fatal.

Poor Rabbitman stumbled into someone, missed him at point blank range,  and was in the process of apologizing for his negligent discharge when he was promptly gutshot.   His death was long, bloody, and rather comical.

  Hmmm, this saloon looks safe.   I’ll hid here.

Here’s me, the Psycho Preacher, skulking against the barn and blasting away at Keith's (our game master) character.   After ten shots, I think I nicked his elbow.

Annoyed,  because he had several other people also shooting ineffectually at him, Keith turned and dropped me with a bullet to the head.   Moral of the story, if you’re going to target the game master, put him down the first time. It was a great game, players of several generations, lighthearted, incredibly simple, and lots of laughs.   It was a good way to end a long and pleasant day.  Even a two hour drive home in the dark and the rain was made fine thanks to a rebroadcast of a terrific edition of Marion McPartland’s Piano Jazz, in which she talks with and plays two greats of contemporary jazz, Bill Charlap and Renee Rosnes.  If you like jazz and want something to listen to during your next painting session, have a listen.  McPartland’s voice sounds old and frail but there’s nothing wrong with her playing, and her delight when Charlap and Rosnes play some of her compositions is incredibly touching.  The two were very gracious with her.

The cherry on the ice cream for me while at KEGSCON was finding a copy of this old SPI game, perhaps the most famous monster game of the 1970s and most famous of the Gettysburg wargames, Richard Berg’s Terrible Swift Sword, in the near-original detergent-box-style package (I think the first edition was in the plastic SPI pizza box format).  The counters are punched and it’s a little battered, but still, it’s cool.   If you are curious why TSS is a big deal in the paper board gaming world, there’s a short and useful account by Russ Gifford here.  Yes, there are a hundred reasons why a tabletop miniatures game of Gettysburg would look better than all three maps of TSS crowded with those dull 1970s era counters, but I am still darned happy to have added this game to my collection for a tiny fraction of what it would have cost me on eBay.  Lord knows when I’ll get the chance to set it up and play it.  Now, if only I can complete find SPI’s Campaign for North Africa and Next War, my monster game collection will be complete!

Of course, if you doubted that tabletops full of beautifully painted miniatures were not cool, you only have to look at Henry Hyde’s Wargaming Compendium to be convinced of that.   I can happily report that thanks to a contest run by the gentlemanly and talented Jonathan Freitag, proprietor of the Palouse Wargaming Journal, I now own a Kindle copy, and can Hyde within it looking at the pictures and inspiring text when I should be writing my thesis.   Many thanks, Jonathan, you rounded out a good weekend for me.

Today is of course Tuesday, and I wish I had time to post another instalment of Boardgaming Tuesday.  I may do so on Wednesday, since I still have A Distant Plain on my boardgames table and just took my training wheels off.   I’ve finished the tutorial scenario and have started playing the game for real.   Hopefully I can report on that soon.  There may be another issue of the Daily Dissembler forthcoming before the results of the Spring 1902 turn of the current Diplomacy game are published here.   Such excitement, and I haven’t even started to think about a weekend away with Madame Padre in Appa the Volksbison!

Blessings to you!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

The Daily Dissembler: News From The Diplomacy Game

The Daily Dissembler, Special European Gazette Issue, January 15, 1902
We make sense of a complicated, far-off world so you, dear reader, can enjoy the Gilded Age.

Fierce Debates In Italian Parliament!
Count Rossi, the Foreign Minister, today made the following address to a crowded Parliament:

Italy’s Camera dei Deputati in a recent (and raucous) session.
“Despite the current manoeuvres and saber-rattling by other European powers, Italy has no belligerent intent towards anyone [Laughter].  No, gentlemen!  I affirm: our only aim is to spread peace.  The scenes of celebration as Italian troops liberated Trieste from the Austrian yoke were truly warming to my old heart [Cheers].
“With these peaceful aims at the forefront, it is my great pleasure to announce the establishment of an agreement with France.  She has removed her troops from Piedmont and we on our part have guaranteed her south-eastern border.  The Italian position is clear: there is no room for foreign troops south of the Alps!  [Prolonged cheers].
“Italy also publicly declares that it has no plans to seek territory in the Iberian Peninsula and will not establish a presence there unless powers (other than France) should do so first [Groans].”

"No Battle of Amsterdam”, Says Germany

A communique from the German ambassador to the Hague, Herr Meyer, accuses irresponsible journalists of “the Yellow or otherwise press” of inflaming reports of fighting between British and German forces in Amsterdam last fall.

In the official statement of the German embassy to Holland, the Kaiser “is very disappointed to see a simple hotel booking error and a few beer-fuelled but fraternal games of football characterized as a “Major Battle” in some less responsible news publications.    With both parties returned to their home stadiums, perhaps nursing a few sore heads and hangovers, there is no reason to presume that relations between Britain and Germany are anything other than familial and cordial.”  The communique concludes by saying that the German government is “looking forward to the ’02 World Cup”.

The Daily Dissembler’s man in Holland, Mr. Bork, reports that his route to the German Embassy in Amsterdam, where the conference for the press, “ yellow or otherwise”, was held, has mostly been cleared of rubble from the “fraternal games of football”.   

 In related news, the Dutch government has announced that the Red Cross is welcome to visit camps established near Groningen for British and German “football fans” interned after the recent fighting.

Interned “football fans" at Gronigen, Holland.  Photo courtesy of the Red Cross.
At the White House, President McKinley said that the Government of the United States deplored the violation of Holland’s sovereignty.  However, he went on to say that “Since almost every other two-bit neutral nation in Europe has been violated, I don’t see how this is America’s problem to solve.  I am sure things will work out for the best, and that trade, diplomacy and gentlemanly manners will win out in the end."

A Report From Trieste: An Exclusive Interview With Italy’s Leading Soldier

Story filed by the Daily Dissember’s own Miss Amelia Roosevelt, Intrepid Girl Reporter and niece of the Vice President.

Following after a long and eventful journey towards the front line, I was finally granted an interview with Generale di Brigata de Graspi, the commander of the Italian Expeditionary Force.  There was some confusion about this - at first I had been intended to meet him in his field headquarters in the former Imperial Navy Yard, but there were administrative difficulties. Under the new passport system all unaccompanied female travellers under 35 years of age are now required to present papers and photographic identification on enter the Imperial City.  After personal examination of my papers the General’s private aide de camp, after giving me dinner as compensation for the delay, arranged for me to meet Count de Graspi in his private apartments in the Hotel Trieste.

Count de Graspi

Count de Graspi is far from what expected of a military leader.  Tall and charming, he would not be out of place in any salon in Europe, or even Philiadelpia.  As I explained to him that I represented the blossoming interest of young militant American womanhood in European politics, he positively beamed – how unlike those men of Washington or New York! – and signified his appreciation.  Young womanhood, he explained, was very dear to his heart.

After several minute’s knowledgeable discussion of women’s position in America, I asked him why the Italian Army had invaded the Austrian Littoral...

No, no, no, mio caro!  This is not an invasion!  We are here at the request of the people.  Trieste, as I am sure you know is not Austrian!  These Hapsburgs have no real claim to it.   The situation is too difficult for one so pretty as yourself, but a great part of the population has always wanted to be Italian.  In the current international situation and with the success of our recent intervention in the Tyrol, the population as a whole asked that we extend our protection to them.  This of course, our Government felt obliged to do.

What of the stories of the army meeting heavy resistance, I asked...

Well, there are always those who seek to maintain the status quo.  The members of the regime who serve the Occupation - the army, the navy, the civil service, the post office, teachers and some railway staff – did oppose us, it is true.  But that was to be expected.  

The survivors are currently in detention centres awaiting processing and de-Hapsburgastion.  There is no reason why they shouldn’t eventually be released and form a productive part of civil society.

And the atrocities?

My dear young lady!  You have been listening to some very foolish talk! (Umberto, take the names and addresses of the signorina’s contacts).

First, you must realise that we live in a new century, and that you need to adapt yourself to it.  My good friend and son-in-law the Foreign Minister, says that we soldiers are no longer war-bringers but peace-makers, and I agree!  Talk of ‘invasion’ and ‘resistance’ is outdated.  In the twentieth century there will be no invading armies or conquered peoples: merely coalitions of equals.

You must remember that Italy is a constitutional monarchy.  It lies much closer in spirit to your own Great Democracy than the tyrants who rule the other Powers could ever hope.  If those under the yoke of oppression cry out for our help, how could Italy not answer?
As to the supposed atrocities...  On hearing of them, I personally ordered an investigation and I am pleased to say that it has found the reports to be without substance.  You must realise that we are visitors to this country.  My men simply did not know that the bridge would not take the weight of the train taking the government into exile.  Lack of investment by the late regime in the rail network and recent storm damage is surely to blame for that incident.  Equally, the Chief of the Imperial Police was well-known as a conjuror: there would have been no difficulty in him tying those knots, opening the window and arranging the noose despite the heavy shackles and restraints he wore.

In that last case there is evidence of premeditated aforethought.  The Colonel knew that by killing himself in such a way, he would cast doubts on our good intentions.  The Austrians (and other governments, for now in the shadows) are spreading malicious smears!

What next for Italy?

I am a simple soldier, and have no say in politics, but unlike some of her neighbours, Italy has no expansionist plans.  Already, I hear, the Government is in negotiation with allies.  She will protect herself from attack and, if in order to do so, has to strike first,she will strike hard!

There are rumours that the General is seeking a political career, are they true?

It may not appear to be the case, but I have grown old in the service of my country.  The time for warriors of my kind has passed.  Like the Roman of old, I shall retire to the plough.  Perhaps I will spend my twilight in simple retirement on my estates (Umberto!  Give caro Amilia the address of the villa!).  Perhaps I will travel the word.  You talk of America awakens a thirst in me.  I want to reach out and embrace your readership - to touch them, as it were; those young women whose fertile minds are awaiting instruction.  

Yes, I hear America is a land of opportunity.  A godson of mine has opened an import-export business in the Wild West (New Jersey, I believe).  I shall visit him.  I am told that America has an almost endless thirst for olive oil.

Yet for an old soldier, the call of duty is a hard one to resist.  There is talk of making me (‘The Lion of a Trieste’ they are calling me!) a Senator-for-Life.  In these difficult times, it would be hard to refuse a new way of serving my dear country.  

The stallion may be put out to pasture, but he still rises to the bugles’ call, eh dear?

Insightful commentary on the European situation by General Sir Erasmus Blatt (ret), geo-political and military correspondent for the Rioters News Agency, on contract to the Daily Dissembler..

What a coup! In one fell swoop, the Emperor of Austria-Hungary has forfeited his status as a maritime power. The loss of Trieste has left his orphaned fleet languishing at Pireaus. Its survival must now be at the Porte's sufferance, for it is difficult to see how Austria-Hungary can retain for long its fleet without the means of sustenance nor support.

But what were the Central Powers about? Neither Germany nor Austria-Hungary has come out well from the early exchanges. The Kaiser can congratulate himself on at least achieving one build this fall. That is one more than the Emperor can count on.

The Emperor will need allies, and those soon. Having no reason to look for friendship from the Kaiser (what IS that army doing in Bohemia?) nor from the Czar (did the Emperor really believe he could 'liberate' Warsaw?), and with Italy unlikely ever to give back the 'Jewel of the Adriatic', there remains only the Sultan to offer the slightest hope. Whatever the Sultan will be buying in the coming year or two, it will be in a 'buyer's market.'

Irony of ironies. Italy re-enacts the Fourth Crusade by stabbing in the back the defender of Christendom from the dreaded Turk. Finding little solace from his co-religionists, the Emperor must needs turn to the Infidel... Well, he may well get more honest dealings thence, at that. The 'Sick Man of Europe' seems to have benefited from some revivifying physick - haply Austria-Hungary will receive a dose of the same. At least as the winter gloom brightens into the 1902 spring, the Emperor might after all have better reason for optimism than the Kaiser. Much depends upon where Turkey goes from here.
For the Porte seems to well on the road to re-establishing itself as a European Power, and a force to be feared. The Czar had best look to his southern realms, for the Black Sea is in danger of becoming a Turkish lake before long. This might lead after all to the Czar and the Emperor patching up their differences in order to present a united front against Turkish expansion. If, however, Italy and Turkey are working in concert, your correspondent likes not the chances of the Austrian Empire lasting much longer, nor yet the Russian.

What of Western Europe? Your correspondent suspects that by keeping its hands off the Iberian Peninsula, France is playing a very deep game. With nothing to fear from Italy, who will have its hands full in the Balkans and the Eastern Med for the time being (and Italy will also want shortly to secure the wealth of Tunisia), the Second Republic will its free for operations in the Low Countries, possibly continuing into the Rhinelands and Bavaria. But France can afford to prevaricate whilst she picks the low hanging Iberian fruit during the course of 1902. She could have afforded it better still had she plucked at least Portugal during this past year, then she could have picked up Spain on the return journey, having secured two builds during the autumn months (Holland having been seized as well). No doubt the Republic had pressing reasons for deferring the otherwise agreeable task of securing its south-western flank - for instance, to ensure Italy kept its eyes averted eastwards.
From its own point of view, Italy has begun well by inflicting a stunning defeat upon the Empire. The Kingdom is well placed to make further gains, especially if she has some kind of Understanding with Turkey. No doubt the rest of Christendom will blame Italy for its betrayal, but Italy owes little enough to its alleged co-religionists. Indeed, had your correspondent the ear of King Victor-Immanuel, he would be advising him to watch his back at all times. 'Perfidious Albion' has nothing on France for duplicity...

Meanwhile, are we looking here at a Brittannic-Gallic detente after centuries of enmity - an entente, withal? With just two supply bases available in the Low Countries, one of which is already in France's grip, who will win the remaining one? That Britain and France have some sort of Understanding seems likely - but what is its true nature? Non-aggression or full Alliance? No doubt events during 1902 will better inform us.

That leaves the Kaiser, more than likely without a single friend upon whom he can rely. He will have to deal, and deal as none other of the Hohenzollern House has dealt before. He may find a friend in the Czar, but he will probably need one among the Western powers as well. Which should the Kaiser prefer? In any case, even if anyone is prepared to listen, it will be as a supplicant - a mendicant indeed - that he will be entering talks. That is not a good harbinger of Germany's future.

Your correspondent's prognostications for the next year or so: The Kingdom of Italy, the Second Republic and the Porte in the ascendant; whilst the Central Powers, and possibly Russia, struggle simply to survive. What of the Island Kingdom, then? It is too early to state with certainty, whether triumphs or disasters await her in '02 or '03.

Dateline Rome: Ministry Totters!

Or Man in Rome Ernest Harrison reports.

As inevitably as 1902 follows 1901 a Spring Crisis has hit the Italian Government.

There are two parties.  The Northern Party headed by General de Graspi, the ‘Lion of Trieste’ (elsewhere profiled by my young colleague, Miss Roosevelt, now reportedly and repeatedly enjoying his hospitality in Venice) believes Italy’s future lies in Mitteleuropa.  They argue that Austro-Hungarian territories are up for grabs and demand a place at the table.   This party is currently in the ascendancy, as is demonstrated by the recent adventures in the Tyrol and Austrian Littoral.  

A second, Southern (or more properly Mediterranean) party argues that Italy’s strengths lie in more familiar stomping grounds.  This party, led by a group of predominately naval officers argues that the Ministry has overlooked the fact that Italy’s weaknesses lie there also.  They point to the failure to occupy Tunisia in 1901 and argue that this led to the poor decision not to mobilise a fleet to counter the ‘Turkish Menace’ that has since arisen.

Questions have also been asked about the wisdom of the recent treaty with France – was too much conceded in order to preserve the ‘sacred ground’ of Piedmont?  Frankly, neither party is above making such concessions to foreign powers if it furthers their own position.

Much depends on how the International Situation develops.  Will Austria crumble?  What will the Ottomans do?  Will England intervene in Portugal?  On such questions does the future of Italy depend.  


Note to Ed – 

Bill, send more Havanna Cigars and rum – I have a chance of an ‘in’ with the navy. And what the hell is that Roosevelt girl up to?  Does she know the damage she is causing?!  


Friday, September 19, 2014

Diplomacy Game: Build Results for Fall 1901

All the builds are in.   We’re now in the Spring Turn, 1902.  Will Austria find an ally to save it from its grim-looking future?  What will Turkey do with its two new fleets and should Italy be worried?  Will we see Germany and Englad drop the gloves while France exploits its free hand in Spain and Portugal?  The Daily Dissembler will bring you all the details and expert analysis in the coming week.  Players, the deadline for the Spring 1902 turn is next Saturday, September 27th at midnight, EDT. 

Results for Fall, 1901 (Adjustment)

General Notices:
Order resolution completed on 19-Sep-2014 at 07:09:16 EDT

Order Results:

Austria: No Build

England: England: Builds F lon

France: France: Builds A par

Germany: Germany: Builds A mun

Italy:Italy: Builds A rom

Russia:Russia: Builds A mosRussia: Builds A stp

Turkey:Turkey: Builds F conTurkey: Builds F smy



Monday, September 15, 2014

Introducing the 88th New York in 28mm

One of my objectives this year has been to double down on my half-finished and unpainted ACW figures, and I am promising myself a test-drive of the Sam Mustafa Longstreet rules if I can get some more guys on the table.   Here is one project ticked off the list, the 88th New York, a collection of 28mm Redoubt figures, infantry in shell jackets.  It’s only taken me two years to finish them.  The flags are bespoke 88th NY flags from GMB.  GMB has been my go-to place for flags got a long time, though I have to say, I like what I’ve seen from a US shop, The Flag Dude.  I am retrofitting my SYW Russian army with his kit.   The split-rail fencing was kindly made for me by my friend Mike Barratt, one of the Rabbitmen in the Basement crowd.

The officer was a bit of a challenge as I think the sculptor intended him to be a reb, since there was braid on his sleeves and on the top of his kepi that had to be filed off before painting.


Since I had an early war feel in mind for them, I gave some of them the red leather canteen straps that were issued early in the war, and then a few the white canvas straps that became common later on,  just to add a small note of variety.  Likewise, I gave most of them the standard brown army blanket (painted with Vallejo English Uniform) but a few got gray blankets, again, just for the variety.  


Madame Padre looked at them and said “They look like they’re wearing blue jeans”.  Maybe I overdid the light dry brushing a bit?   More on that in a later post on painting Union troops.   I am reasonable happy with the final look on the faces and with the suggestion of woodgrain on the rifles.



Now that they are mustered into service, they needed their standards blessed by the Brigade chaplain, Father Corby, while Col. Meagher and the Division commander look on (the mounted figures are also all Redoubt minis).  I suppose, since I am a priest, I could have blessed them, but that seemed not only inappropriate but potentially unfair to my gaming friends.  Besides, that’s what the Father Corby mini is for.  The men know him and like him.


The 69th, followed by the 88th, on a route march.  After I looked at that photo, I noticed how jarring it was that some of the bases were not edged in green paint, so I’ve fixed that and they should fight better because of it. Now that I have two regiments of the Irish Brigade done, I am starting to think of a third.     Does anyone have any suggestions as to what options I would have in this scale besides buying more Redoubt figures (not that I don’t like Redoubt, I just like some variety)?   I am thinking I should look at Sash and Sabre but I’m happy to take your suggestions.


These figures bring my 2014 totals to:

28mm Mounted: 13, 28mm Foot: 42, 28mm Artillery: 1

20mm Foot: 33, 20mm Artillery: 2, 20mm Vehicles: 2, 20mm Terrain Pieces: 2

15mm Vehicles: 5, 15mm Foot: 26, 15mm Terrain Pieces: 3

6mm Foot:  120, 6mm vehicles: 4, 6mm Terrain Pieces: 2

Kilometres Run: 861


Sunday, September 14, 2014

Diplomacy Game: Results for the Fall 1901 Turn and Latest Edition of the Daily Dissembler

Results for Fall, 1901 (Movement)

General Notices:
Order resolution completed on 14-Sep-2014 at 00:47:12 EDT

Order Results:

Austria: F alb -gre;  Austria: A gal Holds;  Austria: A tri Holds  A tri Dislodged from tyr (2 against 1). 

England: A edi -hol Bounced with ruh (1 against 1). Convoy path taken: edi-nth-hol;  England: F nth Convoys A edi -hol;  England: F nwg -nwy

France: A bur - gas;  France: F pic -bel;   France: A pie - mar


Germany: F den Holds;  Germany: A ruh - hop Bounced with edi (1 against 1);  Germany: A sil - boh


Italy: F nap - tys;   Italy: A tyr -tri;  Italy: A ven Supports A tyr - tri

Russia: F bot -swe;  Russia: F sev -bla;  Russia: A ukr - rum;  Russia: A war - gal  Bounced with gal (1 against 1). 


Turkey: F ank -arm; Turkey: A bul -ser; Turkey: A con -bul


Supply Center Ownership:

Austria: Budapest, Greece, Vienna (3 total).

England: Edinburgh, Liverpool, London, Norway (4 total).

France: Belgium, Brest, Marseilles, Paris (4 total).

Germany: Berlin, Denmark, Kiel, Munich (4 total).

Italy: Naples, Rome, Trieste, Venice (4 total).

Russia: Moscow, Rumania, Sevastopol, St. 

Petersburg, Sweden, Warsaw (6 total).

Turkey: Ankara, Bulgaria, Constantinople, Serbia, Smyrna (5 total).

Dislodged Units:

Austria: Army Trieste.  Must retreat to either vie, bud or alb.   

Deadline for end of Retreat Phase:  This Tuesday, midnight EDT.




The Daily Dissembler, Special European Gazette Issue, October 15, 1901

We make sense of a complicated, far-off world so you, dear reader, can enjoy the Gilded Age.

Battle of Amsterdam:  First Reports of a Major Battle


Our correspondent in Rotterdam, Mr. Erasmus Bork,  has given us our first reports of a major clash between German and British forces in Holland.   Two weeks ago His Majesty’s Imperial government announced that “England has sent a delegation to the Hague to discuss the agenda for a preliminary meeting on ways to reduce tensions on the continent.”   However, last week it seemed to the started citizens of Amsterdam as if the British delegation was wearing khaki.   On Sunday last, troops of the British Expeditionary Force, disembarked in the harbour and took positions just to the east of the city.   The startled Dutch police and government chose not to oppose the British.


 Soldiers of the British Expeditionary Force check their accoutrements and prepare to march out of Amsterdam.

The same day, the Germany First Army under General Fritz von Quack crossed the Dutch border marching on Amsterdam.  By Tuesday evening, residents of Amsterdam heard artillery fire on the outskirts of the city.

German forces moving into Holland advance on Holland. 


A week of fierce fighting followed, with the city’s eastern suburbs changing hands several times at bayonet point.   Between the numerous guns of the German Army, which is lavishly equipped with siege artillery, and the supporting gunfire of the Royal Navy, damage to the city’s architecture has been severe and loss of life considerable.   Finally, the exhausted participants withdrew, and a truce was declared after tireless negotiations and trips between the lines by members of the Swiss and American legations in the city.   German troops have since withdrawn to their side of the border, and the British troops reembarked and returned to England.  Our correspondent, Mr. Bork, reports that the Dutch authorities are now back in control of the situation, and that some British and German wounded and stragglers have been interned.

Our artist’s impression of hand-to-hand fighting on the outskirts of Amsterdam, as described by those who were there. 

The Situation in Austria

Our correspondent in Vienna, Miss Amelia Roosevelt, intrepid girl reporter and niece of Vice-Presidential nominee Theodore Roosevelt, has cabled us with intelligence of grave import.   Reports from the Ministry of War have credited Austrian arms with a great success in checking the advance of a Russian army attempting to invade Galicia.  Reports of heavy fighting along the border indicate that while the Russian attacks were pressed gallantly in may places, they lacked the numbers to dislodge the Austrian defenders.  Other communiques from the Ministry trumpet the news that Austrian warships have landed marines in the city of Athens, and that Greece is being added to the Empire.  However, there are ominous reports of German troop columns marching unopposed into Bohemia, where, having reached the ancient town of Klodzko, they are expected at any moment to go on and occupy Prague.   Meanwhile there is significant unrest in Vienna as the first refugees arrive from Trieste, bearing news of an Italian advance on that port city.   Miss Roosevelt hopes to travel to Trieste shortly to report on the matter.   Unease only mounts at stories that Turkish infantry have marched into Belgrade, and have been asking locals for directions to Budapest and Vienna.   A run on banks has occurred in many Austrian cities, and many leading citizens have been applying for American visas.     For the last few weeks, there has been an ominous silence from the palace, and rumours that the Austro-Hungarian Emperor is ill or incapacitated.

Austro-Hungarian troops defending the Galician border, from a photo released by the Austrian War Ministry.

Readers can expect another special issue of the Gazette as soon as more cables and dispatches arrive from our London office.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Saturday Paint Table

The American Civil War Union troops shown here last week are finished and based.   I’ll get to them in a later post.   Taking their place are these five minis.  The stout chap on the bottle top is a Bob Murch Pulp Figures mini, and the other four are GW Gondorians from their LOTR range that I’ve had for a long time:  2 copies of their Beregond figure and a Gondorian foot command pack.   The Bob Murch mini and one of the Beregonds are going out the door as prizes to a contest from back in April.   The Murch figure is going to Joakim Strom, aka the Miniatures Man, and one of the Beregonds goes to Baconfat.  I figured since I am painting Beregond, I might as well do a few more Gondorians while I’m at it.


Watch this space tomorrow for results from the Fall 1901 Diplomacy game running on this blog.   Very exciting!

Blessings to your brushes!


Thursday, September 11, 2014

News From The Diplomacy Front: The Daily Dissembler, Fall 1901

For those of you following the current Diplomacy game being hosted here, I have introduced a media presence in the game so players can agitate, foment, and tell outrageous lies to each other and to the world.  I of course will only comment within standards of the highest journalistic integrity.  Orders for the Fall 1901 Turn are due this Saturday at midnight EDT and results should be published sometime the following day, 

The Daily Dissembler, Special European Gazette Issue, September 11, 1901

We make sense of a complicated, far-off world so you, dear reader, can enjoy the Gilded Age.

Since our readers have requested an easy-to-digest map of the European situation, which appears to grow more complex with each passing day, the Dissembler offers this map showing current troop and fleet movements:

Movements at the end of the Spring 1901 Turn.


Dateline:  Constantinople

 A view of the Haliç, the main Turkish navy base on the Golden Horn. At left some of the yard buildings; at right, the stately offices of the Ottoman Navy Ministry.  Incredibly, these buildings appeared closed and empty when our correspondent visited.  If the antique warship seen here is any indication of Turkish naval might, the Sultan will need a navy in a hurry.

After several weeks of seeking an interview, our correspondent in the Balkans, Thaddeus Scribbler, has received the following curt message.  “The Turkish Navy regrets that it is unable to provide a comment on the recent conflict in the Black Sea.  This is because many senior personnel are in discussion with a major naval power about a proposed transfer of shipbuilding technology."

When Mr. Scribbler visited the Naval Ministry buildings, the only staff member at the admiralty who offered a comment said "Sorry love, I'm just the cleaner..."

In the absence of any Turkish comment, we are forced to agree with Russia’s claim of a victory in the Black Sea, though we note that both navies have returned to their ports to lick their wounds.   Will a rematch occur soon?   Sources in America confirm that the naval architects of Keels and Deals Inc, of Bangor, Maine, have been actively lobbying the Turks for a large contract.  The company’s motto is “Getting sunk is a pain, Just ask Spain.  The choice is plain, Buy your navy from Maine."

Dateline:  Rome

From Our Correspondent Ernest Harrington
"In the pursuit of news This Reporter sometimes has to visit establishments that are alien to our home readership.  For, among the ruins and palatzios there is a veritable demi monde.
"Italy prides itself as being the heir to an ancient civilization; yet in truth it is a young country, barely thirty years old.  Its ministers and officials are cynical and, for the most part, corrupt; it's 'nobility' are jumped-up and eager to curry favour.  This is the country that has forced the Pope into self-imposed imprisonment in the Vatican. There is little honour in the Eternal City.,,
"How then should we ready last week's communique from the Foreign Ministry on the international situation?  Your correspondent will look behind the weasel words and report back on the unvarnished truth."

 Our correspondent, Mr. Harrington, getting all the inside news from his contacts in Rome.
Well, Bill, will that be clear enough for our stuffed-shirt proprietor and his teetotal, stay-at-home circle?  
Impress on him the necessity of me having an expenses account that is both generous AND pays out in good time!!  
These taverns and low-grade gambling dens are alright for meeting low-level clerks, but they KNOW NOTHING!  If you want scoops from Ministers and the Nobility we must (repeat MUST!) get some high-class whores and cardinals on the payroll.  They will NOT be cheap!
And send some more cases of Cuban cigars!

Dateline:  Columbus, OH.

At a recent campaign stop, President McKinley vowed that in the event of further hostilities on the Continent, his administration would not put American boots on the ground in Europe.  

“That’s simply not in the cards,” said the President.   “Neither are airstrikes, because we don’t really have that capability, though there are these local fellas, the Wright brothers, that we are watching with interest.  Maybe in twenty or thirty years they’ll actually invent a way to put a man in the air.  We’re hopeful, and this administration will continue to promote America’s future in technology, unlike my opponent."

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Doing the Santa Clause Thing

 Image from the British Army website, here.
My blogging friend Chris Stoesen is to thank for getting me involved in the is year’s Santa Clause challenge.   You can read the full details about it here.  As I understand it, Chris as the organizer assigns participants a blogger, and then you go research that blog, figure out what the blogger likes to collect and find a figure, building, etc of no more than 5 pounds sterling (about $10 Canadian) in value, paint it, and send it to your assigned giftee by 20 December.  It’s not to be confused with the Secret Santa thing that is running elsewhere in the wargaming blogosphere.
I think this is a cracking idea and I’m part of it.   There’s still time for you to consider joining the fun.  Have a look at Chris’ website and contact him before September 15th.


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