Sunday, June 3, 2018

June

The Death of General Warren at the Battle of Bunker's Hill, June 17,1775 - John Trumbull
(Source)
June is a month within which a number of significant battles were fought. Midway, Bunker Hill, Monmouth Courthouse, Normandy, Ligny, Quatre-Bras, and Waterloo. To name but a few.

Expect a number of battle posts this month. Also if you chase that link under the painting, there is an annotated version of the painting (kind of like 18th Century Facebook) which identifies some of the men Mr. Trumbull included in the painting.

I'm feeling a bit lazy this Saturday night (as I write this, Sunday - or later - as you read it) as I spent some time war gaming today on the old computer. I have played face to face with other humans where I have a rather abysmal record as a commander. The Missus Herself beats me every damn time. The woman has a knack for selecting just the right time to send in her reserve.

She's also simply wicked with a pair of dice. I need a seven, I roll a three. She needs a three, she rolls a damn three. But like Juvat always says (and the Emperor Napoléon would concur), it's often better to be lucky than good.

Anyhoo, I ran across this video which a fellow made of a game reenactment of the Battle of Bunker Hill. (I know, I know, it was actually fought on Breed's Hill, did you know that the battle of Waterloo was not actually fought at Waterloo? Nearby, but not there. Wellington named the battle for where his headquarters was situated and he also figured that English speakers would find Waterloo easier to pronounce than Mont-St-Jean.)

The video is longish but I found it entertaining. Especially when you consider the depth of realism which even inexpensive computers are now capable of. Things we couldn't dream of back in the early 60s when I started wargaming.

Anyhoo. Enjoy. (I really am a geek when it comes to wargames.)





54 comments:

  1. I confess to only skimming the video. On the other hand I watch a video about steam engine repair with the same look of intensity your dog has as it watches you eating bacon.

    Wifely luck.
    My wife and I have played miniature golf once in a while, (and no, it isn't called miniature golf because of our lack of stature) and even when I put the ball exactly into the clown's mouth, the ball will exit the clown's nether region and miss the hole.
    But my wife will bounce the ball off a random obstacle and get a hole in one.

    Looking forward to the upcoming posts as always.

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    1. Well, if we're confessing here, I too skimmed through it, thought it was "cool" enough to post in its entirety.

      Not offended if you didn't watch the whole thing. (Steam engine repair? Like trains? Cool.)

      My wife's luck is similar. I played miniature golf with her once. She's like the British (they lose every battle except the last one), seems I was trouncing her nearly every hole, yet she won anyway.

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    2. Stream locomotive? You might like this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aHIEudnoRYU&t=58s

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    3. Joe & Sarge.
      Yep, steam engines like train engines and steam engines for maritime propulsion as well as industrial engines and farm tractor steam engines.
      I have watched a number of the videos on the British Railway repair and operations series and quite a bit of David Richard's Steam powered machine shop series,
      https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCBdj-vOveiEFWe3vnGoJUag
      as well as Keith Rucker's Vintage Machine Shop series.
      https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCyjwQ6oz4cqqtEcWGboSU3g

      The industrial world used to run on steam, and then you kids with your newfangled electric motors and gasoline and diesel engines changed everything. (to be read in your best old man voice, except that everyday I am further towards the point when my old man voice is just my voice)
      The large inline and radial aircraft engines also attract my interest, and standing near Fifi when she started those big radials was great.
      On the other hand it makes me laugh to realize that most rechargeable things are using electricity created by steam.

      If you get the chance to go to any of the large antique machinery shows take advantage of going and seeing the machinery in operation.
      We went with friends to the Thresherman's Reunion at Rough and Tumble Historical Association and we forgot to tell them that light clothing is a bad, bad, idea when a large number of coal fired farm tractors or moving around.
      http://www.roughandtumble.org/

      And just in case the question gets asked, my Navy days don't include time spent shoveling coal, they do include the end of the black oil period, and nobody regretted the passing of the days of heavy fuel oil.



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    4. Joe - Wow! Great little film, I had no ideer!

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    5. John - Awfully cool stuff. (Noticed some good old timey music in there as well.)

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    6. Thanks. Our ancestors managed great engineering and machining feats without computers, without power tools for every operation, without ISO.

      I'll grant that some of the things I see - no eye protection, no hearing protection - make me cringe.

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    7. An informal tour of Watervliet Arsenal Machine Shop Museum: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dFN1yEvAhyc

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    8. Watervliet is amazing! Belts and wheels everywhere.

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  2. Looking forward to your battle posts coming up this month.

    Thanks for the post.
    Paul L. Quandt

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  3. You say the Civil War, i say the War Against Northern Aggression.

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    1. As Napoléon would agree, the winners get to write the history books.

      Not that I disagree with the South's title of that war, but hey, to go all 1st grade on you, Ft Sumter, you started it.

      ;)

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    2. Well....The democrats started it anyway.

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    3. Well, technically the stifling Trade War and Manufacturing Embargo War were the first shots which led to the Civil War, War of Northern Aggression, War between the States, whatever.

      Then there was the whole John Brown incident, which did nothing to deflate tensions at all.

      Ft. Sumter may have been the first official 'shooting' event, but the fight had been going on for some time. If you count all the political and economic 'battles' as part of the fight.

      If not, well, then what Juvat said. It's... the Democrats' fault!

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    4. Juvat - Aye, 'twas those demon Democrats.

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    5. Beans - there was enough blame to go around for both sides.

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    6. Oh, yeah, yup. Between the backsliding on slavery abolishment and working to circumvent trade laws, amongst other things, the South was to blame for. Just the North couldn't cover themselves in purity, either.

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  4. Computers have really changed wargaming, especially with limited intel and ease of play from the days of AH and SPI. Although I like the efforts GMT produces, waiting for The Battle for Sicily along with The Hunters and The Hunted (Atlantic U-Boat campaign, 1939-43 and 1943-45 respectively). Still like pushing cardboard counters around a paper map. Looking forward to this month's posts Sarge!

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    1. Yes, there is much to be said for the old school style of gaming. I have many fond memories of my board gaming days, especially on Okinawa.

      I will trot one out from time to time, unfortunately the cats like to play as well. And, being cats, they don't follow the rules.

      "No, no, you're not supposed to bat the 15th Panzer off the board like that! At least roll the frigging dice before you do!"

      Yup, they just give me that feline stare and say, "Your move human."

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    2. "Yup, they just give me that feline stare and say, "Your move human."

      Cats!

      Paul

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  5. So, does Yorktown come complete with the lyrics to "The World Turned Upside Down?"

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    1. It should. (And yes, if I find that one, I will be checking.)

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  6. Good LORD! I'd be over run and the surrender signed before I finished figuring out which buttons i needed to click! Whatever happened to "Pong" and "Space Invaders?"

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    1. It takes some practice to get good at those games. A lot of it is trying not to micromanage every detail.

      But yes, it's easy to get overwhelmed. (Been there, done that.)

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  7. Love all the history Sarge. Thank you.

    Old school, indeed. I remember the heady days of the first-person shooter games like Wolfenstein and Duke Nukem. At some point, I burned out. The games my kids played had amazing graphics, but the game play just didn't interest me.

    I confess a weakness for ACM games, my favorite being European Air War. The end came with Win XP. When it came out (like all things digital) EAW was cutting edge, and so one of it's first queries to the system on start-up was " do you support 8-bit?".
    Win XP replies "What the hell is 8-bit?", aka the dreaded "7127" error code.

    Fortunately, EAW has had a long and dedicated cadre of followers who mostly reside over at Sim HQ, many of whom have drilled down into the original software and made many improvements. I really need to get over there and do some homework.

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    1. And yet another website for me to explore!

      There are a lot of older games which were incredible. While the graphics are rather dated, they beat the pants off of their newer cousins which are often just a bunch of pretty pictures and abysmal game play.

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  8. Oh, wives and dice. Mrs. Andrew must have some hidden gypsy blood in her as she 'pushes' dice. "You need a natural 20 not to have the Orc eat your face." "20!!!" You need to make a 15 to get the marshmallows out of your pack and roast them over the flaming centaur (long story.)" "17!!!"

    And then there's the time I, as the DM, was being 'not nice' (in her words) and told her, yet again, that she needed to roll a natural 20. Which she did, after winging the die off my forehead, right between the eyes. "20, arsehole!!!" (pretty much that was the exact time I went from really liking her to totally falling head over heels for her.)

    Never did the Golf thing, but she was a better bowler than I.

    And now that I am old and grey and not nearly as hansom as the picture taken in, like, 2002 shows, I miss my board games, all of them. Yet another reason to hate my in-laws (dark, long story there.)

    Though computer games are fun, and I like "World of Tanks," except when everyone but me is using premium ammo, and I just can't kill anyone because of cheaters (which has happened a few times.) At least "World of Ships" gives you the option to play against the computer and not a bunch of premium ammo slinging mouthy jerks.

    My biggest regret was losing all my MechWarrior cds somewhere. Though I doubt they'll play on my newer, faster combonkulator. And the dog might get annoyed with the joystick on her favorite pillow. Why, Freedonian Air and Space Administration, Why did you have to go out of business??? (That right there tells you how long I've been playing various games. I remember their original name, and used to have some of their original game content until the In-Laws...) (well, that, and waiting for the newest releases of Squad Leader supplements, until Avalon Hill came out with Advanced Squad Leader where the rulebook only cost $90 or something, the death of my Squad Leader days...)

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    1. My son was a big MechWarrior fan, played it all the time. Amazing graphics for the 90s!

      Ah Squad Leader, I had the originals, game play was great, mechanics were close enough. Yeah, I have the 90-freaking dollar incomplete effing rule book. Bought two of the sets and said, no more. Not enough value added to replace the original.

      I call it the day the MBAs took over Avalon Hill and effectively killed it. Sad times.

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    2. Yep. Not to mention I had invested in all the previous modules and the only things that were useable in the new and improved version were the mapboards. And each 'supplement' coming out at around $100.00 per, for counters and more rules...

      Dead to me they became. I still wish I had the money to invest and do it all over, now, but AH is dead, MME (the current owners) don't keep all the product in stock. Though some of the historical modules seem very interesting (even one dealing with St. Nazarre and it has rules for gunboats and even a destroyer.)

      MBA equates to jerks in my world. Never liked them, want to go full Vlad on them.

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    3. We are on the same wavelength here, that's for sure.

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  9. I have an iMac so that I can play some of my old favorite games. The which of I shall do as soon as I unpack it from our most recent move ( yes, it's been over a year now, I'm slow, ok. ). I also have a collection of AH and other board games. But, alas, no one to play those with.

    PLQ

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    1. I get the whole "haven't unpacked yet" thing. I have stuff still in boxes from an office move six years ago. (I wonder what's in those boxes from time to time, obviously nothing critical.)

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    2. Paul, if you have Advanced Squad Leader you can play VASL (Virtual Advanced Squad Leader) which you use your boards and counters to keep track of what's going on, and the computer for game play and something, something.

      No people to play with was one of the reasons I stopped gaming a long time ago.

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    3. I have a link to that site. While it's tempting, I really don't have the room to set up the boards nor do I have the time.

      Perhaps after I retire.

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    4. AW:

      I think I have Squad Leader, but I don't think it's Advanced Squad Leader.

      Paul L. Quandt

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    5. OAFS:

      Not to engage in one upsmanship, but we have some boxes that haven't been unpacked in, perhaps, six moves. Now some of them are in storage where our son works.

      Paul

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    6. Squad Leader good, Advanced...

      Meh.

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    7. Paul - copy that on the six moves. The Missus Herself will discard boxes that haven't been opened in the last decade. So I unpack as fast as I can for personal stuff.

      Business stuff, if I don't need it, then it stays boxed.

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    8. I'll see your six moves and raise you. 20 years ago when we moved onto Rancho Juvat, We build a 40' wide carport with a 14' x 40' store room on the back. Moved a lot of boxed from our 4400 sq ft home in there that didn't fit in our current 2200 sq ft home. Guess what?

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    9. Even if I had the time, room, or opponents, we have cats. Cats are inveterate wargamers... ;-)

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    10. Ok juvat, you got me on length of time of unpacked boxes; however, I'll see your move from 4400 sq ft to 2200 sq ft and bid a move from 2650 sq ft to 1200 sq ft.

      PLQ

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    11. Now we're squeezing into smaller spaces.

      Man, you lot are competitive!

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    12. Bet we're not.

      Paul L. Quandt

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  10. Early 80's (Is that correct use of the apostrophe? I can never remember.) we supported the training command with record keeping on a PDP-11 Mini. As a tool to get users used to the terminals and comfortable with the keyboards the software provider had D&D on the system. After a period of time we were supposed to turn off access to D&D so as get them doing real work on the system. Shoulda heard the screams of agony when we would turn off access to a particular terminal. You would think we had kidnapped their first-born or something just as heinous.

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    1. Well yeah.

      D&D is like crack cocaine, gotta wean 'em off slowly. Man you admins are a cold bunch. ;)

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  11. When I think of June in terms of military history I can't help but think of Operation Barbarossa--not a specific battle but the beginning of the world's largest and deadliest land battle. It doesn't help that June 22nd is the current Birthday I Dare Not Forget....

    Not sure if you heard this before, but prior to Tamurlane the Mongol khans were buried in secrecy on the open Mongolian steppe; he chose to have a mausoleum built in what is now Tashkent. Allegedly he placed a curse upon those who would disturb his tomb. A team of Soviet archeologists opened the tomb on June 22nd 1941....

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    1. Napoléon crossed the Nieman to begin his invasion of Russia on the 24th of June 1812.

      As you said Jenk, lots of history in this month. Also France fell to the Germans in June of 1940.

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Just be polite... that's all I ask. (For Buck)