Too Fat Lardies' "Talking Tactics"

For the WWII gaming novice like myself Richard Clark of Too Fat Lardies is writing a serialized tactics tutorial "Talking Tactics." Well worth reading. Currently there are seven parts

  1. Introduction
  2. The patrol phase
  3. Deploying for the attacker
  4. Deploying for the defender
  5. Fire & Movement
  6. Resource placement
  7. Fish & Chips

I will update this posting as more parts are published.

Update: The Lardies have assembled all the postings into a single PDF document. The document is available in the files area of their mailing list.

Wargames magazines

In the US the wargaming press is limited to three general audience magazines. Perhaps there are more, but I am unaware of them. They are

  • Wargames, Soldiers & Strategy
  • Wargames Illustrated
  • Miniature Wargames (with Battlegames)
Without a doubt your money is well spent on Wargames, Soldiers & Strategy. Its coverage of historical periods, rule sets, battle scenarios, available miniatures, and informative columnists is well rounded. And the Editor seems like a guy you would want a pint and a conversation with. I subscribe and will renew.

Wargames Illustrated was my first wargames magazine subscription. It continues to be a excellent source of inspiration, but its recent purchase by Battlefront Miniatures is clearly changing the weight of page counts from the broad hobby to Flames of War and WWII. I subscribe, but am considering not renewing.

I find Miniature Wargames interesting some of the time, but mostly I find the tone, as best I can describe it, as matronly. A nearby games store has back issues for several past years available and I have bought, read, and find these older issues and under a different Editor more appealing then the current issues. I will not subscribe.


SketchUp models and templates

In my posting Dimensions from photographs with perspective I noted that SketchUp is a tool that needs a trained user. Well, I stopped putting off training myself and within a few hours I was quite comfortable with the basics of it. I know enough now to be able to create a building similar to the one photographed in the previous posting, for example

The yellow roof is there to help me orientate myself when viewing the model in elevation only. I also only use parallel projection for all work in 3D.

With the model finished, I used the Flattery plugin to take each face of the model and lay it down on to the XY plane to create a printable template from which to construct the building in the real world. I also experimented with the Unfold plugin and the brilliant Pepakura Designer application, but for my needs Flattery was just right. (Note that Flattery does not yet work with SketchUp 2015.)

I assembled some parts of the building so as to understand first-hand some of the issues that arise from this process. The first issue is simply keeping track of the parts; I would like to be able to automatically number each face so that once flattened I have a reference to the 3D model in place. A consequence of this is that the template should be printed upside down so that the markings are on the back of the face and not on the front. Doing this also leads to the idea of applying the template to patterned materials. I should note that I am not interested in printing features onto the faces -- such as brickwork, shingles, window frames, ivy, or "rising damp" -- as these models will be enhanced with moulded windows, doors, and other dimensional findings, and then painted.

The template was printed on thin card stock and so material thickness was not an issue in assembling. However, the material I plan to be using -- for example, chipboard, plywood, and MDF -- does have thickness and so I am now learning how to incorporate this construction element into the SketchUp design. I found the videos "Sketchup and Laser Cutting: Making Teeth and Slots" (parts one & two) to be very helpful in getting started with adding dimension. (I am not interested in the interlocking teeth as my models will be glued.) The second video also shows how to flatten the model and to adjust the faces to account for material loss during laser-cutting.

Cats are evil creatures that break Ps on the keyboards with their kneading

Cats are evil creatures that break Ps on the keyboards with their kneading. A big thank you to HP for all their helpful product repair support pages.

High School freshman year is a blizzard of handouts, worksheets, and single pages of notes

High School freshman year is a blizzard of handouts, worksheets, and single pages of notes. None of which are dated. None of which use any system of ordering (e.g., "handout 21 of 97"). I am appalled that my children's teachers can not provide a comprehensive set of materials at the beginning of the year. (What have they been doing all Summer?) When there is no "text book" there are few means for the child to advance or review. When the "text book" is so fractured how can the child know what is missing? How can a parent help in such chaos? This really is no way to provide an education.