Sunday, December 2, 2012

Austerlitz 1805 207th Anniversary Project

 207th Anniversary of the Battle of Austerlitz 1805

Today is the 207th Anniversary of the Battle of Austerlitz in 1805, December 2. This was considered one of Napoleon's best in any list of his bloody masterpieces.

I have been working towards a new project because of the anniversary to use the small shipment of some 1500 new 3mm Napoleonic figures I ordered about a month ago, to make a very small miniature setup based on Austerlitz, as near as can be ascertained with the books I have on hand.

I don't intend to use more than about ten percent of those figures on this project, which is meant to be extremely compact, if not minimalist.

This post is only to update readers; I don't have really dramatic progress such as pics this time, for viewing, but have done the preparation research so I could start now, if I weren't writing this. To me that part is the more important part and always has been. The rest of the hobby is a good way to use the information. Other gamers I know are content to let someone else figure it all out, but I prefer to do that myself.

About Those 3mm Figures

They are very quick to paint up. The artillery I showed last time only had a few swipes of the brush and were pretty much ready to use, in maybe three minutes' work plus modest drying time, and the same applies to the other types. After just a few colors are applied they are about as good as they are going to get, except for any obvious slop-overs.

They are kind of tricky because they are so very small, on the one hand a very quick few strokes makes them more or less ready to go, but when you look closely especially with magnification you actually can see more details, that you are then tempted to try to paint. But the trouble is your finest brush will then look like a baseball bat under the magnification and it will appear to move ten feet when you try to even make the slightest move.

And then after all sorts of delays for corrections of seemingly massive slop-over, where even 1 millimeter equals two feet on the man, it turns out that when you set them on the table 1 foot from your eyes they are so small that you can hardly tell which are blue and which are gray. You also cannot see the slopovers that seemed so bad a minute ago.

Over at the 3mm group some have started to be posted as enthusiasts have been getting their pieces painted over the past couple of weeks, and I don't think their standard is much better than mine. People so far have been skipping details such as cuffs. If there is any way to get them on, they would look better with them, so I will soon see about that. On a 6mm figure that is what makes the uniform come to life in periods when they were used, but this is rather smaller than that, and is a very tiny area. I am curious to see whether tey will be visible even if done.

Painting has not been the holdup. Rules have been. And specifically which scale of representation to commit to before painting. I was talking about using 1 figure = 312.5 men a month ago. Now I have gone even further towards the far out there scale by going to 1 figure = 500 men.

At this scale a battalion of 500 men would be just one figure, and a whole army could easily deploy on an area the size of a mousepad. The ground scale is 1:50,000, which directly corresponds with military and other topographical maps, notably those used by NATO and others.

I have talked about this sort of arrangement before. I don't think anyone actually does it but me, as far as I can tell. If anyone else does try to play at a scale like this I would love to hear about it.

Talking About Austerlitz Books in This Section

There are two sets of rules that lend themselves to the army level of play that I have referred to here before.
One is Napoleonic Wargaming for Fun, by Paddy Griffith.

The next one is Charlie Wesencraft's Practical Wargaming.

Griffith has Army level rules in that book among other sets of rules, and Wesencraft has what he calls the Army Corps in Action rules. These last ones predate and resemble the systems of DBA closely.

Both of these books have been recently republished by John Curry, who is at

The problem I am having with these is that they are element-based, where the elements are all of some uniform size, so as to compare with one another one-on-one, whereas I am making units of the correct size, within the nearest 500 at least.So I can't just say a brigade is 2000 men; some may be but many are not. Uniform elements are not good enough for me, they'd seem a ghastly abstraction.

So I am probably going to see what I can use from these rules, once the figures are painted up, but at the same time I am about halfway through just making my own rules anyway, since the scale is radically different from what we normally see. At 1:50,000 scale, 20mm is 1000 meters. The huge expanse of Leipzig would be only about 20 inches of battlefield, and other battles would be smaller still.

But Austerlitz takes up a wide expanse, if one includes Brno (Bruenn) the nearby fortress town, and the map I am looking at takes in 24 km by 18 km, which is a pretty large area. That translates to about 14 by 19 inches, a foot to a foot and a half, and could easily be played on a coffee table sized area.

Also the armies are quite small at this scale, only around 150 figures or so on each side. They could all be assembled on the same mouse pad. So I think they will be ready soon, sometime this season. I have been figuring out how many to use,

Then another influence is the famous game with the greats of British and American wargaming who did Borodino at 1 figure = 500 men. That can be read about on the Vintage Wargaming blog (see Blogroll.)

So far I have been reading in Robert Goetz, 1805 Austerlitz: Napoleon and the Destruction of the Third Coalition, Greenhill Books, 2005. This book came out after the earlier Scott Bowden book on Austerlitz, that there was some controversy over because some critics were accusing Bowden of making citations he had not really researched properly. The consensus IIRC among the critics, if there was any consensus that is, was that he did read the French sources, and analyzed well from them, but probably not the Austrian and Russian ones, even though he cited them, so that was the basis of the criticism.

You could find these type arguments at TMP and at Amazon reviews, and maybe some of the other specifically Napoleonic sites, if you wanted to follow up on that.

And the Goetz book came out later, with another adjustment to the OB, which Bowden himself had been correcting in his book, from the received wisdom one quoted in Christopher Duffy's Austerlitz 1805 book much earlier, that one came out in 1977. Goetz comes up with about 82,000.

The idea is that Napoleon's Bulletin lied like a bulletin, and exaggerated the Allied army to 90,000, and did this to make the victory look even more amazing and great than it was, for propaganda value. So the modern revisionist might doubt that they were all present, and say there were many less than we thought, due to attrition, etc, and surely so many less that it is easier to see why they would lose.  But Goetz seems not quite so ready as some others to take away all the strength of the Allies, and gives some back, in a process of applying what is known and projected and guessed at.

I find this kind of adjustment to the OB fascinating to follow through different authors and books.

There is also an Osprey title, Campaign 101, by Ian Castle, Austerlitz 1805: The Fate of Empires, 2002, which I have been using. That one has some parts written by David Chandler. Now this is a replacement at Osprey for an earlier number actually written  by David Chandler, which I would like to get, even if some parts of the analysis may seem to be dated.

Another book I have here is a thicker one, not just on the battle but the whole war situation of 1805, in 700 pages, talking about the overall situation for 500 pages before arriving at the battle of Austerlitz. This one is by Frederick W. Kagan, The End of the Old Order: Napoleon and Europe 1801-1805. So it takes in a wider picture and isn't only about the battle and military aspects. It puts a perspective on the situation though. There are readers' impressions of these books at TMP as well as at places like Amazon reviews.

Kagan has several unflattering footnotes aimed at Bowden and some at Duffy.

Trying Out Skimlinks on the Blog
Besides the fact that I have been using these books to come up with a painting plan, I am trying to do something completely different at the same time by citing their titles. With the Christmas season well underway I am trying to launch skimlinks on the blog as a belated replacement for amazon links, which I used to have here.

The governor of this state made a highly misguided tax deal (extreme increase) that caused all 9,000 amazon associates in Illinois to be kicked out, and become unemployed, over a year ago, reducing our income to zero. We have been near destitute since then, eating beans and rice sometimes to eke out an existence. Even my figures are now the size of rice grains themselves.

Skimlinks is a British-based, London, UK,  middleman company who themselves would serve as a non-Illinois amazon associate, that would allow me to resume the sales through them back to amazon, at least until I can get to a better state. They have a lot more than just amazon however, about 12,000 retailers, so it could be that if I mention things they may pop into links whether I planned it or not. So this post is also an experiment to see whether I can get the links working, and if not I will try making adjustments later, so the scene may change a bit, and that explains why. For example it may change much earlier links from a couple years ago. I don't know yet what it'll look like; if it gets too carried away I can reduce it.

When someone follows a link for a certain book, they are not committed to buying that or any book or other item, but can get whatever they then decide they do want after all. For instance once when I was talking about Wesencraft's book, the best customer was buying Civil War books unrelated to what I was talking about, but it was good anyway. I have also followed those links and found forty dollar books for two dollars, or even less, sometimes. It turns out to be a better deal than I could have imagined.

I might also consider adding google affiliate ads as well, the ones currently displayed off on the corners are called adsense, this would expand on that program.

Join skimlinks here: 

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

3mm Napoleonics Arrived In 2 Days

Quick and Accurate Service From PicoArmor

I sat around thinking about the Napoleonics for a week, and how I might use them, and then placed an order over the Internet on Saturday the 27th, so for them to arrive by noon today the 30th already was quicker than I had expected. In fact I was still thinking about how I was going to use them.

It was already afternoon when I ordered on Saturday, about 72 hours ago, and I have not even checked my email yet to see if they had confirmed receiving the order. By ordering over 25 dollars' worth, domestic US, I qualified for the free shipping, which cost them $3.65, but because I am in the worst state of the Union,  and so are they, being within the distance I would drive to work at the Salt Mines, I was subject to the tax which was about 25 percent more than what I saved there. No doubt the governor's cronies already spent my money last year anyway, plus everybody else's.

Look at These Babies

I ordered fifteen packs. Altogether with the governor getting his vigorish it just goes over $64 US for that many.

There are over 1500 between the troops and the sixty pieces of artillery. There are closer-up pictures on the links already  provided, and I'll put up some more; I meant to do one particularly for the UK and Euro people last time but I'll just put it here.

The whole line so far has only ten packs, so I got one of each and a few extras in certain types strategically selected. That way I can see the entire range right here, and still expand in certain ones before ordering again.

Now when you check what the Fighting 15s guy said, here, you'll see he is a bit concerned he might run low on the bearskins Grenadiers first, but mine came from PicoArmor just that quick. Where it says 'here' leads to him talking about it on TMP, and where it says Fighting 15s it goes directly to their site, where the figures are pictured for all ten packs closer up, and priced at 3 GBP each. You can do the math, the rates change a little daily. I can't tell who's in worse shape between US and UK from such a rate, considering in the US they are $4, maybe free shipping. Time is a factor, though, too.

I don't know how Australia is doing for these, but they are probably coming right along, it isn't really that far anyway depending on your means of transportation.  On the Fighting 15 page they have a blue flag with a circle of stars. I think that means the Euro flag, but in any event  both of the sites linked take PayPal, etc, and can handle the conversions of currencies in a click.

From what I have seen so far, it looks like the bearskins could pass easily enough for an 18th Century Grenadier mitre with a different swipe of the brush. The infantry with helmets might be a better choice to do 18C fusiliers, until better ones come along. The guns could also be used earlier well enough. And the shakos themselves could possibly resemble the headgear of the Croats or Grenz troops from a generation earlier.

So we'll see whether the Napoleonic bicornes come in first before the tricornes we are waiting for. For the time being I will be using those Irregular 2mm wagons and tents I think as a substitute since no one has done them in 3mm yet. After all they are just game tokens, aren't they?

And Another Comparable Range From Inkbiz, Getting Closer to Fruition?

Inkbiz has been talking about his 4mm he sculpted, and teasing us with pictures, for a few years now. He picked this week to do it again, and there's an interesting discussion about that here, along with pics including painted.. He says he has a number of sculpts and is about to make some molds. So how compatible these would be next to the others is a very interesting question. No one has seen how much larger of smaller they will be side by side yet.

To me the frontage question is as important as the height and girth question, but there may be ways to work around whatever the result turns out to be. If he puts them closer together because some want to do 1:1 ratios, and he can by half a millimeter, then to my way of doing things there would be too many figures on a given frontage, unless something is done about it.

But let's say he does 1.5mm and the other are 2mm apart. Then the workaround is to use the narrower frontage ones for columns and that sort of thing. Also in some armies a 2- or 4-rank line is used instead of 3-ranks, and one way to express that on the table is with a different frontage for x number of troops. So whatever he does, there may be workarounds, unless they are absurdly out of scale. That remains to be seen when someone does see them.

For the moment, I am thinking about a one-meter square Leipzig 1813, where each tiny figure would be 312 men and a vivandiere, counted mathematically as a half man to even out the math. This would mean eight figures at this scale would stand for 2500 men, and small units would be divisions, half or a third of the small unit a brigade, and Corps have a few of the divisions.

This is about as far from the 1:1 idea as anything, but it does put Leipzig on a dining room table even though it is sixteen miles by thirteen and a half.

I already tried this scale for Gettysburg with the ACW, and it seemed it would work, but because the field there is only maybe six miles or less across I could see I could do that on a somewhat more intimate scale too, then was distracted by other battles, work, etc. Also I have so many more figures than that scale calls for, I thought then I would try having larger units and a larger field.

But a one meter Leipzig is now right here in my hands, and the only trouble is, these 1500 figures still won't be enough for such a massive battle. They would already come close to what I have in mind, but I will probably need more shako men. 1500 x 312.5 comes to 468,750 men, but because I wanted the whole variety that would mean some 46,000 Austrians would have helmets in 1813 unless I order more figures. So I think I will.

Also the cavalry are still limited to heavy cavalry in the French-style helmets for right now, so I look forward to fresh releases. I could make do with ACW cavalry for other types for the time being, while we are waiting.

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Sunday, October 21, 2012

New Oddzial Ozmy Napoleonic 3mm Now Available, 18th Century May Be Next

Exciting News
The big news came out at the end of last week:  the new range of 3mm Napoleonic figures have finally been made available and orders are being placed. It is okay to order now. We have been hearing since last spring that these figures would be released in September, so some fans were getting impatient, but the word is that 9 out of 10 types were ready then, and two more weeks were needed for processing the production, and now they are all ready to order. Ten out of ten are now shipping, a few weeks later. More will be released some time.

The types now out include infantry with shakos, the same but with plumes also, skirmishers, infantry with helmets close enough in this scale for either the Austrian or Bavarian or Wuerttemberg ones, heavy cavalry with French helmets such as the dragoons, cuirassiers, carabiniers, there are foot grenadiers with bearskins suitable for la creme de la creme, and so far 6-pounder medium guns and gunners with shakos.

So it's not a complete line, yet, but it's complete enough to get started for sure, and there will be more later. Shakos don't need to be Belgic and stovetop and bells so much in this scale 3mm, so the same sets could be French, Austrian, Russian, or others. Once they are in your hands you can make decisions what will be good enough, and what might work better. Oblong hats would suffice, and when you see them you'll see they actually do have brims, and other tiny details, smaller than your finest brush. Also details you see and try to paint turn out to be too small to actually see on table without using a jeweler's loupe.

It may not be clear to the viewer just how hard it is to get the paintbrush to pick out the details which are present. When you see them in a photo, they are enlarged considerably from the actual size. Depending on your computer, the whole figure may not be bigger than the number 8 right here on your screen.

These here in this pic are most of a pack of ACW Artillery. This isn't the new Napoleonic but I just thought the readers seem to like pictures, so here's one we took several months ago, showing four colors of paint so far I think. The 15 "pieces" for $4.00 USD consist of two cannon each piece, cast nose to nose, which you can snap apart with your fingers, so fifteen pieces means 30 cannon, for four dollars. Crews, limbers, etc sold separately, which is 75 crew for four more dollars, or 15 limbers with 30 horses, etc. Of the two guns, if you look carefully one is banded like a Parrott Rifle, and the other is more like a smoothbore Napoleon 12 pounder.

"They Look Like Ants!"
When I showed them to people, they said, "they look like ants!"

There is a 3mm Yahoo Group also called 1/600, where the latest news and talk is actually going on, and then next we will hear about it in places like the forum TMP, etc. It won't be long before some people will hurry to get their pics posted to show off their paint and base jobs. It's just out since Thursday so give it a week or so, and someone will have them up somewhere.

I have not ordered any yet, but I will soon. 

This year I have been collecting something above 8,000 of the ACW figures. I have pictures somewhere, taken last March, of the Civil War and also who knows how many World War Two, British, German and Russian but I can't be arsed to dig them out right now from the files, just because I happen to be talking about this. We were using one of the Nemesis' cameras since I don't have one.

Note, I changed my mind since writing that line, and pulled up the artillery picture from that set of pictures after all, just to have a picture of something very similar. I can show more later.

It is occurring to me too that I have a set of Vietnam era stuff as well, in 3mm, now that I think about it. So that's what I have been working on all this time. They also have modern, meaning right up to date, and a set aimed at Yom Kippur War, which was October 1973 in the Middle East. The difference of course is the models of tanks and vehicles are different over the years.

Sometime later in the spring of 2012 there was a set of TMP threads here about people's ACW 3mm in which Marcin, the designer of the figures, stepped in and showed a picture of the Napoleonics, and predicted September as the release time.I think that's the right thread, there were a couple of them. Yes, there it is, for Marcin's post with the first picture, which are ten shako infantry on a 2cm front (2mm frontage each file) scroll down the TMP thread to May 1, it starts with April 28. There are some very interesting ACW ideas and pics there too.

That was the first glimpse anyone outside the Yahoo Group had of the Napoleonics, and it sparked some enthusiasm. There are over 500 members in this Yahoo Group. The excitement there is palpable right now, since they are the very ones who have been waiting. The ACW line has been out for a while now, along with 20/21 century stuff.

Even More Exciting News --  Nearly Exclusive to Here So Far18th Century Next!
There was also some discussion back then when we had Marcin paying attention of some desire for 18th Century troops types, as well as wagons which are lacking so far. At that time he showed the Naps.

The latest news this weekend, even later than the Napoleonic release is that Marcin has now said YES there may be Seven Years War types, maybe next after the Napoleonics. He did not confirm nor deny a time frame of 18 months, although to be fair that was just the poster's words and not his to be accurate. He just said next, and a couple maybes, and nothing about the time frame except 'next.'  That's good, because I could not wait and already did it myself, I started to look at the ACW as substitute 18th Century,  but to have dedicated figures would be better.

We should get on the group and fora and press for tricornes, mitres and all that. The fact that we already did has had an effect, he did listen, this will push him over the edge.

PICTURES ARE HERE, and you can also order there too click on title link

This link in the title above is John's site at PicoArmor.
Okay, so there is a link to one place the figures can be ordered now, and at this same link you can see photos of all ten currently released Napoleonic packs. They are priced at $4.00 at this site and come with 150 infantry, or 45 cavalry, or 30 pieces of artillery. This shop is here near Chicago, Illinois, USA. The boss there, John, said go ahead and place orders although his site still says coming soon; they are on the way and pretty fast, this is only Sunday of the first weekend right now. Free shipping deal may apply depending where you are, see his site for his details.

I will add a link for another shop that Marcin mentioned also where they are available too. I checked it out, this is Assault Publishing and that is Marcin Gerkowitz' own site, which has online store, so this would be right from the horse's mouth, no wonder he recommended it. The site is in English, but he I think is in Poland, check his ordering details to see about his shipping and all that.

"which has online store," now he has me writing with Polish accent, from reading so much of it! At least I didn't put a u in color this time.

Then a third place I saw mentioned was Fighting 15's, that is someone on the Yahoo Group 3mm miniatures said they are ordering from there. Not sure where they are but some of you might know.

Just pick whichever one sounds most convenient for wherever you are. For myself I will probably go to a store down the street mostly, although they keep running out of figures right after I go there,  but would go to the PicoArmor site if I have to order online, since they are right in my own vicinity.

The ACW have 120 infantry, 45 cavalry, 30 guns. Some specialized types are different as far as numbers, because he is counting it as 15 pieces either way, and the difference is how many figures are on a 'piece.' So 8 ACW infantry, ten Napoleonic infantry, three cavalry, 2 guns, all of these times 15 pieces give the varying totals.

A good way to experiment and see different types in different periods is to order the Sample Packs, as they pack in maybe three pieces  of several different sets all in one, usually for around 8 dollars, instead of buying full packs of ten different items. This way you can get a few of many items all at once. The Battle of Britain Sample set for instance has Hurricanes, Spitfires, Dorniers, Heinkels and Junkers as well as Messerschmitts, just like three each or so instead of fifteen of one type.

The Yahoo Group I have been talking about is called 3mm miniatures, and there is also another one called 1/600 which specializes more in aircraft, whether World War I, World War II, or more modern types.

Tumbling Dice also carries a very nice range of compatible pieces for those.
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Monday, October 1, 2012

A Great Time To Visit Catalonia

 But Not For Me, Just More Overtime Work

One of my Kollegas went there for these past couple of weeks, visiting Barcelona in particular. Not sure what else he did yet.  He is a Mexican-American by family heritage and switches from English to Spanish and back pretty easily. He thought he was going to Spain. He never even heard of Catalan, unlike the people around these blogs, who know something about the history of the places.

Just like they say, youth is wasted on the young, so too are good vacations wasted on ignoramuses sometimes, er wait is that ignorami, uhh.  He had never even heard of Catalonia, nor their language, until I gave him a quick rundown on what was going on around there this past couple of weeks. While he was there.

It was a quick rundown, too, since there is only so much he was going to remember to look for, but it helps to have at least a little basic stuff in your head before it's too late to even notice it, and you're already back to the Salt Mines again.Which he now is, and it's all used up for the year. They don't let us out very much.

So I suggested he try listening to this song first, before he goes there, to help with the right attitude.
He was going to be cut off from the Internet the whole time, cold turkey, and he is a big Apple fan normally.

Here is a basic version of what I think the lyrics are about, and the attitude is something like a cross between Jimmy Buffett and a Cave Man at the same time. I thought that would help him enjoy his trip to have that in mind before he got there.

A Ti A Ti,   Gypsy Kings

In passing along the Rampla
At the Rampla in Barcelona-o
I found a nice little chick
And I carried her to my house

I love you, to you to you, bam bam bam
Only to you to you, bam bam bam 

*Some of those words might not be quite right, for instance the book says it is usually spelled Las Ramblas, a good place to walk (Ramble) around and see people, a little bit like Michigan Avenue can be, but better. Better, because look who is there.  I used a little license on the vem vem vem, or ven ven ven, but so did the artist, I think. They don't have vem in Mexico, but ven could fit. I like the bam for effect.
That lucky pendejo probably didn't find any chiquita nada, since he's probably a maricon, anyway, but I am probably just jealous since I would have tried to find battlefield stuff, if only I could go there, but no vacation for me since 2004 and not any sick days either since even before that by a couple years. And then I wasn't sick, either, in April 2002, I just woke up late with a headache, and called in with a 'sick voice.' That was over 10 years ago. All I got out of this trip was to work the overtime to fill in his place.

In fact now that I look at this, I think it went to my imagination almost as much as his, and cost me less. I would still like to go some day. Maybe Almanza too.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Incoming--a Good WW2 Shooter Game

Incoming Review

This is a fun little game for WW2 shooting, that you can play right out of your browser right now.

Incoming just came out this month over on addicting games dot com. On Thursday it had 250 plays and now has hit 62,000 just over this weekend, so I am not alone in getting hooked on this thing.

The Nemesis has been trying for years to get me to finish plugging in his old X-Box and playing some of the games but I have been fighting the temptation to become addicted to these types of games - only to succumb to this one.

And you don't need any special machines or downloads, this you can play right now in your browser by clicking on that link up above. Just be sure you don't have any appointments for the next half hour or so when you do, because you won't want to stop shooting.

You are dug in to a bunker and waves and waves of German infantry come at you. They look like 10mm figures, in motion and with sound effects. You have a .45 caliber pistol to start out with seven rounds. When you hit them you will hear a thud, see blood, and they will grunt, before they fall. If they are scared they will go prone and are somewhat harder to hit. In bunches you can throw grenades, in range, or drop mortar rounds on them if you have it.

Once you have shot down enough Germans, you get dollars to buy an M1903 Springfield rifle, and can switch weapons when those five rounds or the seven Colt ACP rounds are used up. Then you save for an M1 Garand, a BAR, Boys Anti-Tank Rifle, Mortar, Bazooka and the fifty-caliber machine gun. You can use up to four weapons at a time and the lesser ones drop away as you upgrade.

Next rounds you will try to get enough dollars to buy a Tommy gun, then some grenades. These make it a lot easier to kill Germans, in the ever-larger waves that are coming at you.

Among them there are riflemen, Machine Pistol men, and worst of all for you are those with the Panzerschreck, because when they launch their rockets at your fort they cause damage until either you lose the round or else you kill them all.

Each of these are worth the dollar points you need to keep getting better weapons, and my advice is to buy each weapon as soon as you can, because you will need them desperately as you level up. The Germans get stronger and stronger, no longer just squads but whole companies.

These companies are reinforced by a few different kinds of armoured cars, halftracks,  and eventually tanks. There will be Pantera tanks, which must mean Panthers, and then there will be Tiger tanks. Each higher level of vehicle is harder and harder for you to kill, even when you get better weapons.

It is designed so that you have all you can handle, and since your weapons are constantly running out of ammo, the trick is to train your left hand fingers to efficiently switch weapons as each one is reloaded, while using the right hand to aim and squeeze the trigger.

Your eye is selecting targets while the corner of your eye tries to see when the Mortar is reloaded, or the Bazooka, or the Boys Anti-Tank Rifle, or the BAR, or ultimately the Ma Deuce, fifty-caliber machine gun.

That baby is fun to fire but when a 200-round belt needs to be changed, you need to switch back to the Mortar or the Bazooka, because it takes longer to reload than the BAR did, although it blasts even harder when it does.

At the higher levels you will have to shoot everything you can at those Tiger tanks because you have to hit them three or four times with the big stuff to bring them down, and tank guns shooting at you may be more damaging than even the pesky Panzerschreck rockets--I'm not sure because I was under too much pressure to study that at the time.

The rounds are set up as an 18-day campaign which you can finish in an hour or so, as you get better at efficiently blasting the highest priority targets at the fastest speed you can, before they overrun you and destroy you. If they do, you just continue at that level until you level up.

Day 18, the Whole Panzer Division

On Day 18 the highest level, if you are able to destroy all the last Tiger tanks and all the hundreds of infantry, then when you see four Tigers at once followed by four more and four more, the reward comes that you see the shadows of four-engine heavy bombers coming to obliterate everything on the field. That is the sign of Victory.

Try it, it's fun. Buy the best weapons you can, and learn to switch from one to the next with hotkeys 1,2,3,4.

They have 3000 other games there too but this is the one.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Okay Back Open Again

 Everybody can read here again, they have backed off on the SOPA for now

Working Overtime
I had to work a twelver at the Salt Mines because of the Civil War Correspondent mentioned last summer having leg and foot problems that went from bad to worse. Now it's crutches and then his gf stepped on a nail or something and had to get it removed. Meanwhile I worked my job and covered half of his.

This doesn't leave much time.

He was mumbling that I didn't get his Virginia pics up yet. The trouble was partly not understanding pictures, since I have not acquired a proper camera yet, and partly being overwhelmed at trying to explain actions of 1861 at the same time.

At the time when that happened I was having a hard time running the computer in the 96 degree heat since it kept overheating, and photos make that problem worse.We have snow now and so it is just inertia now holding it back, but the fact it's Robert E. Lee's Birthday has raised my awareness.

Site Closures, PIPA, SOPA, NDAA
The site closures worked; over 7,000 good websites are said to have joined in, and something like 30 Senators changed their minds Wednesday alone.

Plenty more where that came from.

Also the President made some encouraging noises, so SOPA from the House and PIPA from the Senate have taken a big step back.They should, since they would give absurdly too much power to the wrong people in the wrong way, supposedly to protect copyright holders. I write my own articles and have spoken disparagingly of pirates a couple times, but don't want this.

Counting also that time when the president called Kanye West a "Jackass" after the music awards that one time we now have a clock that has been right twice, thus proving up the old adage about broken clocks.

Don't want to be too specific there since the NDAA signed while everyone partied on New Years' Eve is still out there. Dr Paul has introduced legislation today in the House to get rid of the threatening provision of that, although the 93-7 thing makes for an uphill fight on that one. Amazingly one of my Senators was in the 7. I am still looking for the other time he was right about something, and there may be something, I just haven't noticed it, that was Senator Durbin.

Among the other 40,000 new laws we got for New Years' there was one good one I noticed, that is that in Illinois now Hunters can now harvest road kill legally, although you'd still have to show your hunting license papers are up to date with the Sheriff of Nottingham.

In another hour I and the Nemesis should have our Ron Paul bumper stickers attached, I to the smart car and he to the pickup truck.They arrived today.

Yesterday the five pounds of Ethiopian Yergacheffe coffee arrived, so I can set aside that nasty generic stuff for a while.

Just got my 100th Win in Chess yesterday too, it was the Nemesis, who finally fell to my two Queen Checkmate after 93 grueling moves. I don't think I had beat him since April so it was very good. Our record now stands at me 16, and him 27 wins out of 43 games, so I am chipping away at his lead. Against all the rest of the world I'm in the 70.5 percentile, and with 122 losses, and three draws, the 100 wins makes for 22 under .500, but now only 11 are because of the Nemesis, and 11 the rest of the world combined.

93 moves is quite a few moves for chess, it is usually over in 20-40, but I dragged him down, and so the 100th Win was even more special for being a win over him. He is on my team against the rest of the world, the Capone Outfit out of Chicago, but our in-team sparring partner matches are some of the toughest we do, for practice.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Closed Today for SOPA Protest

We are closed today in solidarity with the SOPA protest along with other great sites from the erstwhile Internet.

If you don't know what that is, try for the Cliff's Notes explanation. They are already closed, but do have an explanation posted in the English language section. has announced they will not close their entire search engine today, but will alter the search page in solidarity.

If you do know what that is, and you'd like to help, educational commentary is free and does not take very long.

On the other hand, if you know what it is and don't want to help, then continue merrily about your way.

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This site will reopen for Robert E. Lee's Birthday. The closure is expected to last but one day at this time.