Monday, February 18, 2008

Impressions - US Army, Vietnam - 1969

Another shot from the King's Mountain event from almost a year ago. This event featured groups who specialized in US army impressions throughout the centuries, starting with the Overmountain Men who fought at King's Mountain.

The final impression period was Vietnam. The private on the left is wearing what would be the uniform of US forces in the mid- to later stages of the conflict. He looks to be wearing the 2nd Pattern Tropical Combat Jacket, Variant A, along with the 2nd Pattern Tropical Combat Trousers. He's also wearing issue Jungle Boots, second or third pattern.

This far as I can go on the description, but from what seen at King's Mountain, it was pretty impressive and the way to go for many who are looking to branch out from WW2 reenacting to a area that is now developing an interest in recreated events.

This fellow is part of the recreated 199th LIB "Redcatchers".

Weekly Wargame Miniatures Focus

Paper Terrain.com is an interesting concept for miniatures wargaming. Rather than spend lots of time modeling buildings, the more gaming-oriented miniatures wargamers can put up some great looking buildings in a fraction of the time and money than it would take with conventional models.

The offerings from this site are many, and come in the major wargaming scales - 6mm, 12/15mm, 20mm and 25/28mm.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Group Spotlight

I don't cover too much in the way of French and Indian War groups, but once I seen the Snowshoemen site, I decided to give it a group spotlight.

One thing I notice about some groups is their character, and the Snowshoemen definitely have a site that expresses character. The groups is primarily the French and Indian War, but it also has a couple of splinter groups, Church's Company, that covers King Phillip's, King William's and Queen Anne's wars of the late seventeenth century, and Eames' Rangers for Revolutionary War. Easy site to navigate, and a nice opening for looking at F&I groups.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Saturday Vids: Roman reenacting - Ad Pugnam

This Saturday Vid is early - going out of town for the weekend, but I wanted to share a very creative video done by Roman reenactors. It has a strange old timey feel to it, but the effect seems to go.

Update on a great site

It looks like Let's Play History is well on it's way to becoming an essential site for anyone looking to step into reenacting for the first time. LPH is more gearing to the civilian side of things, but has potential for the military too. Check it out, and support the effort going into it - we'll all benefit.

My favorite Sutler of the week

Oooops! Got busy yesterday, so I didn't have the time to write the Sutler of the Week. Valentine's Day does that you know. :-) Anyway, here's the SotW in all its glory...

AEF Supply is a cool site, hands down. It was one of the first sites that I encountered when I started doing surfing outside the American Civil War realm to look for single-era vendors to cover in the blog. Then I opened up the sutler categories to anyone interesting.

I like this site because it specializes in supplying US army reenactors from the Spanish Armerican War through Vietnam. The prices are very decent, too. Plenty of pictures illustrate the inventory. This is a great place to go if you're into Spanish American War reenacting, this vendor has the best overall selection of uniforms. The WW1 selections are simply excellent - this was AEF's primary era before it expanded. The site is easy to navigate, and is recommended by many reenacting groups.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Picking Fights: Vietnam

The HPS game Vietnam is beginning to grow on me.

I've already got someone to play me in a dry run so I can learn the rules. This game is set up much like a traditional wargame, and each unit represents a squad, or squad weapon. In this skirmish, the "P" stands for Pinned, and as the NVA, I've been able to Pin one of my American opponent's squads. But, he's got two of mine.

The larger battle has two separate American platoons, and right now my overall strategy is to keep them separated and defeat each with superiority of numbers, and wait for the the rest of the US force to come rolling in. Let's see if I'm successful.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Weekly Wargame Miniatures Focus

OK, now for a shameless plug for the hometown miniatures company.

This plug has a whole-hearted recommedation to it, I'm happy to say. Sash & Sabre Castings covers a small handful of eras in 25mm, including the Seven Years, Napoleonic, and American Civil wars. Where Sash & Sabre really shines is with their 40mm line, which covers many major periods from Rome to the Zulu Wars.

From personal experience, I can say that the quality is excellent, and when painted, the miniatures look great. If you're looking at building an army for wargaming, Sash & Sabre should be one of your first stops.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Group Spotlight

Not exactly a military history group, the Civil War Texas Civilian Living History could be considered an auxillary of the Civil War aspect of militray reenacting. This group has honed down theire image not only to do a civilian, but of civilians of Texas who have their own look and personality.

A worthy visit for anyone interested in being a civilian and needing some insights into the subtleties of an authentic impression.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Travelogue: Wilmington and Fort Fisher

Starting up another semi-regular serial. I travel enough, so I'll blog about the interesting places along the way. Many times, these are places that I've enjoyed as a reenactor and want to share some of my experiences, and maybe what you can find to help you enjoy some preserved history. To kick things off, I'm starting with one of my favorite towns, Wilmington, NC, and one of my favorite sites, Fort Fisher.

Wilmington
I've been to Wilmington numerous times, and I never tire of it. It's as Southern as any southern city gets, and reminders of its Civil War heritage are almost countless, from the points of interest to the many DAR statues that you can find about town. Not so visible, with the exception of the USS North Carolina, are the WW2-era landmarks which can be found around town too. Not only does the Civil War history live strong in Wilmington, so does the spirit of the WW2 homefront.

Fort Fisher
I have a thousand storys to tell about Fort Fisher, and this landmark is much like coming home each time I visit.

Saturday Vid: Hoghton's English Civil War Sealed Knot

Obviously a PR piece for Hoghton's Companye of Foote, this is still a great look into English Civil War reenacting. It's interesting - one part musket, one part pikes and one part rugby. :-)

Friday, February 08, 2008

Picking fights, update

The one great thing about computer based wargames is the volume of games you can initiate and play at once. I've picked fights with three players so far, with another one lining up to send in moves. All you need to have is a sense of organization.

I already have a roaring battle going on in one game with the Poles vs the Wehrmacht. I've got the Poles, and while my opponent was able to knock out one of my Shermans, I was able to rain some fury back, and scored on a StugIII and a couple SdKfz 251 halftracks. I get the feeling he's going to hurt me back.

If you have empty time, I suggest, very heartily, to buy Combat Mission:Beyond Overlord, learn to play it, and pick some fights.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

What I'm Reading Now

Well, what I'm kinda looking through it for the moment. If you reenact a North Carolina regiment, State Troops and Volunteers is almost a requirement to have as a reference. If you research North Carolina regiments, this is one of the most indespensible books to have in your library.

State Troops contains a wealth of photos and bits of information about the men in the uniforms. You can almost trace the progression of State-issued uniforms, and get a handle on who wore what early on.

My favorite Sutler of the week

CR Henderson & Sons has a nice selection of Civil War ammo and hardtack boxes, all properly built and stenciled. Although he doesn't have a large selection of everything, what he does have is correct in dimensions, color, and stencil lettering. He also seems to have the spirit of improving the accuracy of his products. I like that.

Apparently, for more complex boxes and desks, he'll work with the customer. That's a nice service in itself.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Them's fightin' words!

Looks like a "public history" blogger wants to stop reenactors... or farbs. I'm not sure how wide his paintbrush is with this post, but judging from his other writings, it's pretty broad. One part of me kinda sees his point, the other part of me says "what a snob - history is for everybody." Then I really thought about it. Although he doesn't come across well to me as a reenactor, it's interesting to read what a critic who maybe has a qualified opinion has to say about the hobby.

I do recommend any reenactor to read Public Historian's Haven and come back and post here with opinions and comments.

UPDATE: Found another blog, Living on the Field with a very relevant observation about reenacting battles and the history behind it, and whether or not reenacting is preserving the history or changing it. A much better critique of reenacting than the Public Historian's Haven.

Gave Vietnam a run last night

I'm a serious gaming geek these days. The instant I get a game, I run to the computer and install it, ASAP. Vietnam was no exception. From mailbox to -BAM! - computer in nothing flat.

I only had time to run through the tutorial game, but I was pleased with what saw. If you've played other non-Squad Battles HPS titles, no fear. The interface and command buttons are very similar to other John Tiller games and easy to learn.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Weekly Wargame Miniatures Focus

This is the first post in a weekly posting about interesting sites of another militaria-based hobby, miniatures wargaming. The first site to kick this series off is Warmodelling.com.

Warmodelling.com is the outlet for Fantassin Miniatures, a Spanish company that has an interesting line of products, including the Spanish-American and Carlist wars. The site has a ton of pictures, and the company offers not only miniatures, but services for painting and modelling too.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Group Spotlight

Surfed on to a cool WW2 Italian site today, the Italia Living History Group. Most of it is in Italian, but there's enough to click through that any WW2 buff would be interesting in perusing the contents, especially the pictures. The picts show that our reenacting bros in Italy have some pretty cool stuff.

'Zine on the table this week

Strategy & Tactics is a favorite magazine of mine, so it receives regular play on StE(r) on a fairly consistant basis.

This month covers the Second Marne and Alexander's campaigns in Bactria, and promise to be exciting articles. But my guilty pleasure with S&T is looking at the ads for the tabletop wargames. One day, I might buy one.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Just Arrived Today

Song Yet Sung

ISBN: 1594489726

Although this isn't military fiction, it still would be useful to living historians doing antebellum presentations. The book seems to be well researched, and the author has an easy to read writing style that should make this book a quick read. I'm putting this one on the list of books that I read when I need a break from the thick military histories.

Saturday Vids: Napoleonic Reenacting 7e linie

This shows what a little knowledge in video production and a bit of creativity can do for a great recruiting tool for any reenacting group. Made me want to get my uniform and kit together to fight 'ole Boney.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Picking fights

If you play computer-based wargames but cannot find a partner, I suggest joining the Blitzkrieg Wargaming Club, or more affectionately known as "The Blitz".

I used to get some great gaming partners from this site. The strength of this club stems from the players willing to do PBEM and the sheer variety games played. Very worthwhile to join up (which incidently is FREE!). I'm currently trying to find partners willing to play Combat Mission: Beyond Overlord.