Tuesday, May 26, 2009

When life deals you lemons....

For the past few months, my life has had its ups and downs. That fact usually reflects on this blog, more or less in an unspoken manner.

During the time I have been blogging, I've met some pretty great people who have given me support, advice or whatever encouragement they could lend. For that, I'm very grateful. But most aspects of my life happen outside the blog and my hobbies. Those things have a profound impact on the time and energy I'm able to give to my interest pursuits. No matter the amount support and encouragement I receive, I've got to pay heed to those things that take a higher priority.

Reenacting and StE(r) are some of those things that are a labor of love to me. Sometimes time is so fleeting you have to make hard choices what to do with what little time you have left over for the fun stuff. Unfortunately, its come time for me to make a hard choice. I could blame it on the economy, rail against the politicians, and so on, but that would come close to whining. I'm not a whiner.

It has come to a point where I want to simply give my readers a bit of closure. This will be my last post on StE(r). I've built this site up to a point where its value is still significant for the next few months. Maybe someone will pick up the torch and run with it on another blog, which has always been my hope.

So, I close this post in the immortal words of Douglas Adams...

"So long, and thanks for all the fish"

Monday, February 16, 2009

Weekly Wargames Focus

I loved to play Avalon Hill's Squad Leader in the day. I enjoyed the game and the add-ons. That is, until I couldn't afford to be a Squad Leader addict any longer. But over time Hasbro ruined bought Avalon Hill and did away with most of the good games, including the beloved Squad Leader.

Behold Multi-Man Publishing! Squad Leader is back and thriving once again. Although MMP's forte is SL (or Advanced Squad Leader when you start into the expansion games), they do other nicely designed board wargames that hit on a number of familiar wars. MMP did the world of wargaming a huge favor by keeping one of the best examples of the old-school wargames alive and in good shape for all to enjoy.

It is my sincerest wish that Hasbro will sell the right to other Avalon Hill games to small companies like MMP, so they can help keep a great hobby going strong.

StE(r) has Twitter on the side

I decided to add on to the blog with Twitter updates on the side. This will be handy for small on-the-spot wargaming updates as well as in the field reenacting reports. Just keep an eye on the left side of the blog, and scroll to the bottom to read.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Awesome Images

One blog that gets my attention on a weekly basis is the Reenactor Post. The contributors there have an awesome ability to uncover some great offerings on the 'net. Recently, they uncovered some Russian photos that transpose WW2 images with modern day ones. The result is awesomely stunning, and in my humble opinion a required look if you're a reenactor.

I won't post an accompanying picture lest I spoil the surprise.

Cool Vids: Someone looking to get into Vietnam Reenacting

Here's an interesting video - not of reenactors, but someone looking for a group. This could be a novel (or creepy) thing! Sometimes it is hard to find groups that do niche eras, so selling yourself on video may not be such a bad idea. Just don't be a Private Pyle... Gomer or the dude on Full Metal Jacket.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

I might have to chock this week up as a light posting week -- lots happening on all fronts. Will pop a post in when I have a minute or two to spare!

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Another new title in the collection

I'm on a wargame buying roll. I really enjoy the John Tiller Civil War games, and I succumbed to the temptation again, and bought another title. This time it's Campaign: Peninsula. I wanted another eastern theatre game, but it's very tough to beat Atlanta, which seems to be the most recommended title in the series.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Group Spotlight

Here's something not usually found in the States -- a non-SCA medieval group. Weorod is a nifty group - here's a description from their site:

Weorod are a small, independent Historical Re-Enactment and Living History group based in Southern Hampshire. Although a new group, we are formed around a nucleus of seasoned re-enactors from other societies with over 6 years experience gained whilst working with organisers of both large multi period events and small shows. We normally commit to around six weekend events throughout the season allowing us to maintain a healthy balance between group training sessions and shows. This enables us to always give our best.

The site is beautiful and well-written. I suggest a bookmark if you're looking for a well-designed site.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Cool Vids: 1884 Trapdoor Springfield Carbine

In my previous trapdoor Springfield post, I embedded a MidwayUSA YouTube video with Larry Potterfield, which featured the 1873 rifle. He actually did quite a few of these videos, mainly focusing on the weapons of the old west or gunsmithing techniques. They are all excellently done, and worth the time to watch.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

My favorite Sutler of the week

At a loss where to get some War of 1812 or Napoleonic gear? Look no further than MilitaryHeritage.com. These guys from Canada have it covered, and more. The selection of firearms is very impressive, and at reasonable prices to boot. They have matchlocks to doglocks to flintlocks, and from what I can tell is their strong point.

They have some uniform pieces from the Napoleonic eras, which they seem to cater to the most. But if you do F&I War, Revolutionary War or even Early Colonial reenacting, MilitaryHeritage.com is still a great resource.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Reenacting Links of the Week

World War 2: The Russians put on a large reenactment copmmemorating the Siege of Leningrad: Siege of Leningrad Marked 65 Years Later. Nice photo! Here's another article and nice photos: St. Petersburg marks anniversary of 900-day Nazi siege.

American Civil War: The aftermath of the inauguration, very interesting observations: Emotions affect war re-enactor.

Here's more on some of the bureaucratic nuts and bolts of doing a Civil War reenactment: Woodbury Zoners Hear Plans for a Civil War Reenactment .

Sounds like a promising event, if the word quality isn't being thrown around too lightly: 'The Battle Of Bulls Gap' Reenactment Planned In May .

A great example of being personally involved in local historical preservation: Preserving local history is LaFayette man’s passion.

Here's a small article on a living history in Jacksonville, FL: Salt pork, squirrels part of living history re-enactment

American Revolutionary War: Here's a great piece on a John Bartram reenactor: Reenactor channels ‘God's gardener' in Philadelphia.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Tidbit for your ACW impression

Here's an interesting article in Popular Science about soldier's loyalty to each other in the Civil War and how it affected survival.

Cool and then some!

If you're into playing older wargames and can't find an opponent, then VASSAL is the way to go! Here's a short description of the application:

VASSAL is an engine for building and playing Internet-capable versions of turn-based, human-vs-human games. Players move and manipulate game pieces via the mouse while typing accompanying text. Moves can be recorded into a log file and stepped through one at a time for email play. During live Internet play, all moves and text are automatically broadcast to other players in real time. Combining a live VASSAL session with a third-party Internet voice-chat tool (such as NetMeeting or TeamSpeak) allows you to play with people around the world at very close to face-to-face pace.

You use modules to emulate the games you want to play. What I've seen looks great. They have alot of Avalon Hill titles, along with other manufacturers. But apparently they're a loss for SPI titles.

Weekly Wargames Focus

One of my favorite wargame designers back in the day was S. Craig Taylor, Jr. On a curious bent, I wondered whether or not he had continued on after his stint with Avalon Hill. He produced a couple of games me and my friends played heavily; Airforce/Dauntless and Wooden Ships & Iron Men. As a matter of fact, one of my friends was a Airforce freak and playtested it when it was being updated and reissued for Avalon Hill. Doubtless we played other games he designed, but those two were the ones that really stuck out in my mind.

Last week, I hit paydirt. He is still designing wargames, but not all board games. His forte seems to be card games. He designs these games for Lost Battalion Games. This site was hard to find, and I had to link through another site to get to it. But the extra work was worth the find. Lost Battalion has a load of games, but if you're a traditional board gamer, you may have to change your paradigm a little, and give the card-based games a shot. There are also rules for miniatures, and at least one one board game title, Sergeants!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Just Arrived Today

The Portable Abraham Lincoln

ISBN:78-0-14-310564-0

I've given this book a spot read, and I like the editing and choice of Lincoln's writings. The Portable Abraham Lincoln is a worthy buy for anyone who has an interst in Lincoln and would like a sampler of some of his best writings.

This is the Bicentennial Edition (of Lincoln's birth), as it was previously published in 1993.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Reenacting Bosnia in Japan

Seems that the late Bosnian War has become somewhat of a reenacting subject in Japan. My suspicion is that they were using the conflict as a Check Spellingbackdrop for some Airsoft battle scenarios, rather than accurately recreating any particular battle that happened in the conflict.

Molehill, meet mountain!

The more entertaining part to this article are comments that some pudding-heads make to explain it.

Neat! A kiwi wargaming group

The Kapiti Fusiliers website was an unexpected treat that was caught up in my search for Napoleonic reenacting. These guys are miniature wargaming geeks who seem to be pretty active. They also have reenactors in their numbers - there a great article about the reenactment of Waterloo and some nice pictures to boot.

A very nice example site for other wargaming groups to emulate.

Group Spotlight

To pop me out of the ACW/WW2 groups rut, I've decided to look to Europe and spotlight some groups in other time periods. If I'm correct, the major reenacting period there seems to be the Napoleonic War, and there are a ton of groups to spotlight. The first I'd like to do are the 23rd Foot Royal Welch Fusiliers.

I have the impression that Napoleonic reenacting is equivalent to Civil War reenacting in the States in terms of size and interest. Unlike ACW, the Napoleonic reenactors have nice colorful duds! The 23rd Foot is no exception.

The 23rd's site is simple and pegs the basic information, but the photo gallery is the main attraction for the casual surfer. Lots of picts that give an idea how active this group is. Interesting and well worth a look.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

New in the collection

Scraped up my remaining Christmas money and bought Winter War from HPS Simulations. This is the first honest to goodness wargame I've purchased in quite awhile, and I'm pretty excited about playing. It was a toss up between this and Spanish Civil War. Since I had an interest in the Russo-Finnish War, I decided to give Winter War a try.

I've decided to use the Squad Battles games to play the less known or not as covered wars, leaving Combat Mission games to cover the WW2 European theatre for my gaming needs.

Cool Vids: What to Get?

This is a well done slide-show type video of what you need to get as a 101st Airborne reenactor. A great idea for any group who wants to draw recruits via the Internet. One thing I'd love to see is someone photogenic enough to talk through and show variations in clothing and how to put on gear.