Why are tires so expensive?

Where can you buy 15mm and 28mm wheels for military vehicles? I looked around today and found several suppliers, but with outrageous prices at ~$2/tire. Langley Models have better prices, but still high. For some reason I had expected to be able to buy a 100 for $10.

Keiichi Matsuda's Hyper-Realty

Keiichi Matsuda has updated his 2010 haunting vision of an augmented reality with his new Hyper-Realty. Worth watching and, be advised, it is a horrible place.

Sobriety is an unwelcome form of adulthood

'Nuf said.

"Flat" terrain feature example

I like adding features to an otherwise flat terrain board. This includes features like swales, outcroppings, or a bunch of logs. Anything that might get in the way of gameplay's terrain is put at the edges of the game board. Here is constructive set of photographs showing the progression of a flagstone and well terrain feature by Firedragon Games

How to start gaming a scenario?

I am working on a scenario and I am looking for advise. I have imagined a setting in the future where inadequate water supplies has lead to national governments and international corporations buying land in other countries to claim water rights. The water is then transported back home -- as water or as foods, eg wheat, rice, etc -- or sell it to the highest bidder. This lead to armed insurrection by the locals even though the water claims are legal. The insurrections have now devolved into multi-party factional/clan warfare. All factions have advanced military equipment (mechs!), but some factions have better supply lines and maintenance facilities than others.

The environment is harsh. Dust storms of national and global scale have made long distance wireless communications unreliable. So, despite the advanced equipment the factions continue to rely on scouting (human and autonomous drones) and runners to convey situation awareness and instructions between units. Even long range targeting and retargeting takes significant time, but once established is accurate. Some factions rely on well planned actions with strict adherence to the plan by the discrete units. Other factions rely on discrete units making local decisions stemming from the unit's overall purpose.

The scenario I am working on is a tanker truck needs to be driven to the coast (ie, off board) by its corporate owners. A rival faction wants to divert the trunk to its own facilities for local distribution (ie, driven off the other side of the board). It is a stalemate to have the trunk not reach either of these destinations before N rounds of play. It is a defeat for both sides if the tanker trunk is destroyed.

My initial plan was to use the Horizon Wars rules as I played an early edition of them from a few years ago. The rules are basic, but do make for a quick game. However, I am not wedded to them so am open to suggestions for other suitable rules.

My first question is how to start gaming a scenario? Is there an approach to determining the units needed? Or is it ad hoc, ie just play a game with a guess at unit composition and respond to the results? Or something else all together?

Update: The working document for this is at "A setting for near-future wargames."

Weekend workbench 2016-05-14

Finally made the cubby to hold my modeling tools, materials, and stuff. Still need to paint it, but that might happen in another life.

Update: It is beginning to fill up.

Meeting room geek lights

I have been giving more thought to the meeting room occupancy display. Right now I am considering what would be a minimal presentation. There are 2 reasons for this. The first is that the problem is not about showing details of who has reserved the room, but, instead, is the room free for squatting and, if so, for how long? The second problem is a technical one and that is the display device should run for weeks on a single battery charge. (I am assuming no mains electricity.)

So here is the new display.


Each light, red and green, represents 10 minutes of time. The display shows a total of 2 hours of time. The above display indicates that the room is reserved for another 40 minutes, free for the following 60 minutes. and then occupied for at least 20 minutes -- it could be more, but the display can't indicate for how much more.


Here the room is free for another 20 minutes, then reserved for 30 minutes, and the free again for at last 70 minutes.

The more I look at this the more I think that this is the solution.

The spotter stood still ...

The spotter stood still bracing himself against in the swirling sands of the desert winds. It was not sight but sound that caught his attention first. Once again, the people of the Rough needed to defend themselves against the Coppers. The Rough had only a ruined city and salvaged armaments to defend with. The Coppers had everything else ... except the will to never give up.

A setting for an Horizon Wars miniatures wargame.