Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Oh well. What can I say. the chances of keeping this blog up to date have diminished even more due to the arrival on Monday 2nd June of :

Zachary Fraser Rae McMaster

If only he'd arrived on the 6th I could have taken hime to Normandy every year for his birthday!

Will post again....well, no idea really!


Thursday, November 01, 2007

Intensive Fire - Bournemouth October 25th -28th 2007

Thursday. Well, what can I say. Got the 8.40 train out of Newcastle and a mere 6.5 hours later I was in Bournemouth. There were a good few people already in attendance and the Kiwi Hotel was it's usual excellent and welcoming self. Decided not to squeeze a game in first night as basically knackered afte a busy week.

Friday. Shaun Carter offered a guided tour round Bovington Tank Musuem. Two car loads of us made the trip and it was well worth it. Shaun knows his stuff and it was informative and I got lots of pictures of tanks :-) I'll try and post a few later.

I'd intended to playtest the Kohima module i nthe afternoon but delays in printing stuff meant it never really got started so ended up playing Derek Tocher at Village of the Damned from Mark P's Few Returned pack. It was my first game in while and Derek is one of the best UK players so I wasn't hopeful of a victory. I setup too spread out and the random blazes allowed a rapid advance. I didn't have a huge amount of luck with the dice but that really just meant I lost a turn or two earlier! A fun scenario and I would play it again.

Saturday. As the main tourney kicked off I played Tim at Church Knoll, a new scenario from the Kohima module. IJA on the HOB I and II half board 'knoll' with 5 pillboxes and Brits attacking with only one mortar and an ATR. A couple of smoke get placed by SSR at the start but as the IJA had setup back a little it only helped a little. As my troops ascended the hill and rossed the crest line the smoke cleared and the enemy opened fire. The INF gun scored a couple of criticals and as I attempted to lay smoke to cover the attack with my only mortar it broke on it's first shot and never repaired. It all went downhill from there. The scenario needs a little tweaking e.g. extra smoke but has the makings of a good one.

Later we played another Kohima scenario, Wakey, Wakey. I'd played this a Blackpool as the IJA and one so this time took the Brits. First turn is Night as the IJA enter and try to take out 3 Lees and support in laager. They made a rapid approach but I managed to get crew in two tank and they sat with support firing point blank into the assaulting Japanese. I had some good dice and when my reinforcements arrived it was evident the attack had run out of steam. Again, a little tweaking needed but that's what the playtesting was for!

The evening saw me sticking together the sections from the new Kohima HASL map to make up the Hospital Ridge and Tennis Court area. The map is shaping up nicely and I'll post a section here once I have the OK. Didn't get time to play on it but have the files at home now so will be printing it again to try soon.

Drank a wee bit too much on the night and had some good chats with various people - part of the attraction of the weekend. Bought the CH Total Axis pack, which looks interesting, and Uncommon Valor, which I've fancied for a while.

Sunday. The final round of the tourney took place and as I planned to get an earlier train I decided not to play but to have a little reorganise of my Game System markers. Hoping to put a core system together in Raaco with just German, Brit, Russian and Amis. As I'm also planning on setting up a big game at home it will give me the excuse to punch and clip my new BV3 and FKaC. Now if only Yanks will sell out so I can get some lovely new counters!

So, as ever, IF was a great weekend. Inspired to play more I met up with Neil, my regular (only) live oppo last night and we played LSSAH9 Forest Through the Trees. I took the SS moving up board 36 across mined roads/bridges facing dug in Russians in pillboxes and trenches. Never really got started. Couldn't clear the mines and every time I ran my 8ML and 9ML leaders through 6FP mines they pinned and broke and it all juts went very badly. 6 turns in and I wasn't even half way. Some great moments though and a good reminder of how fun ASL can be even when on the recieving end!

I'd like to see more AARs from IF attendees. It was a good turn out this year with a Texan and Aussie vying for furthest travelled. Looking forward to Blackpool where a serious playtest of Kohima is planned!



Thursday, October 11, 2007



Just quick post...

Job OK. Hate using Microsoft crap though!
Laptop dead.
Main PC dying. Want Quad Core!

ASL. Played last night. First time in ages. Lost...

But... am going to Bournemouth! Will rpobably play badly as I've forgotten the rules but what the hell. Will try and post an AAR on return.

And try and play some more ASL



Sunday, September 09, 2007

PC problems

Been having problems with my PC so posting a bit of info here so it can be viewed from various forums. Basically it seems to be running hot.

My current core temps are 18C/36C. This seems a big difference between cores with one running at 7-9% the other at 12-15%. I booted into windows and ran the everest stress tests. Results are:

Hopefully these are clear enough to see.

Plus a pic of the inside of the case for comment.

Friday, August 24, 2007

RPT2 Kerepesi Cemetery

Played this on Wednesday against my regular opponent Neil Brunger, our first game after a few months break. We were both a bit rusty on the rules but it's a relatively straightforward one so few problems were encountered.

The Hungarians setup well back but with a small force in J5 to keep me straight. MMG and HMG were in S8 and T4 with an 8-1 on Level 2 covering the approach well. The StugIIIs were in P6 and Q6 with a couple of dummy 5/8"s in P3 to keep me guessing.

I setup my MMG, LMG and 8-1 on Level 1 in E6 to give cover while the Assault team (DC, FT and 9-1 with some support) pushed up the middle with the bulk of the first line squads and 7-0 heading down my right flank. Two T34/85s joined them while the other with squad support went down the left.

I succumbed to a couple of LOS blunders from his HMG/LMG combo seeing a couple of broken squads on my right. The center assault faired better giving a foothold in the woods but as they moved to the tree line got hammered by the MGs again with Hungarians pushing forward again to counterattack. The T34s stalled on the right as the troops guarding the road threatened with PFs and the forward tank got smoked. As my 9-1 in the woods succumbed to the Russian sniper things were looking bad for such a short scenario.

I pushed the other T34 down the left, braving a PF but breaking the support of the now dummy revealed Stug. On the right the first T34 became shocked and soon was confirmed elimated while the second pushed an Intensive Fire shot at an approaching Stug only to malf the gun and disable it next Rally Phase for a Recall. By now my overwatch team in the building had come down and the FT was taking it's toll in the center as I finally pushed into the cemtery. As my last T34 was stuck on the left with little time to move round it was threatened by his HMG team rushing down with PFs at the ready and despite turning to face the threat succumber next fire phase but failed to burn.

The Stug that had moved out to threaten my T34 on the right malfed its gun on the last Hungarian player turn and a few deaths from Failure to Rout in the cemetery had put the Hungarians on the back foot. The Russian 7-0 and 2 squads had pushed round the right to finally advance into the last Stug in the woods. Getting ambush they took it out and the final turn saw a 9-1 and squad with a last foothold covering the cemetery in Q3. The last Stug failed to repair so was out for Victory purposes and my remaining squads pushed to take out the last Hungarians. Braving supporting MMG fire and residual they closed in but it was the FT at long range, safe from all SFF attacks that was to break the leader and final squad for a close Russian victory.

All in all, a fun game and the usual tight Schwerpunkt design. ROAR has this now 22:11 for the Russians and given that I didn't play too well and still won I would give the Hungarians the Balance.

Nice to be playing again anyway.


Friday, July 27, 2007

Changes and such...

Well, sat in the middle of nowhere in Cornwall. Well, maybe not the middle. I can see the middle from the windows just beyond the back of beyond...but you get the picture!

But they have broadband! Rather slow as at the end of the line but I'm not complaining. Can't get a mobile signal for love nor money though!

UPDATE: have a job. Not ideal. Pay could be better. But it will pay the bills for a while and it's permanent, Council. Doesn't quite fit into my Open Source ideals - Visual Basic and Oracle - but it would be hard to have such ideals if I don't have a house to plug the computer in!

SO hopefully stuff - ASL Stuff - can start up again. Have to wait until the beginning of August when I get back home and job may not start until 1st September. They need to do CRB checks etc. so hopefully nothing in my murky past will come back to haunt! :-)

Main thing is that hopefully I can get to Bournemouth now. Work permitting of course.

Back again soon.


Tuesday, July 17, 2007

What's happening...

Well, all attempts to keep this updated for a while have failed. My ASL gaming time has dropped to zero as I devote time to finding a job. My regular opponent has called round twice for a game and both times we just ended up chatting and never actually getting the counters out! I'm away for two weeks from Friday so it's going to be next month at least before we even try and play again.

VASL has gone as well. I've been playing through the Operation Watchtower scenarios with Aaron Sibley. We've had some great games but this too has stalled. I'm still hoping to make Intensive Fire in Bournemouth in October but it all depends on work. If I have a job I may not have the time. If I don't have a job then I won't be able to afford it!

I've even cut down on the ASL forums. Most of the posts aren't worth the effort anyway - harsh I know :-). But I just can't seem to get interested in it at the moment. I've got various programming projects I want to try - a SASL extension for VASL, a new eASLRB, some web stuff etc. - but can't motivate myself. I've just spent most of the morning reading the sections in time management and procrastination at

Things will get going soon, I'm sure but until then all life outside of Real Life is on hold...