Thursday, November 17, 2011

Two Out Of Three Ain't Bad

Things are starting to look up here in Raubenstadt! The new, faster, faster, better, more powerful sump pump has been installed and the basement is now no longer under water. (I wish I could say the same about the mortgage, but that's another story!)
So... the destruction and eventual construction of "The Man Cave" will continue. Huzzah!

I was relieved to discover that "Battlegames" will not go the way of the Dodo, and will (hopefully) be with us for many a long year to come. Congratulations to Mr. Hyde for finding a way forward. Huzzah! Huzzah!

Now if I could only get Hat Industrie to have their 1/72nd Scale Seven Years War Prussians jump to the front of the production line, just in time for the Holidays, my joy would be complete. Sigh

Friday, November 4, 2011

Three Strikes!

Some days it just doesn't pay to get up. I went downstairs this morning and the basement was flooded (again). It seems the recent rains we had were just too much for the sump pump to handle, and the durned motor burned out. This is the third time this year for Raubenstadt to be inundated. Maybe I should change it's name to Bangladesh! So Monday a new and more powerful submersible pump will be installed, and the drying out process can start (again). Sigh.

I was saddened to learn that Battlegames Magazine is apparently going under and issue #26 was the last one. It was the best since The Mid-West Wargamer's Association Newsletter, edited by the sainted Hal Thinglum (forever blessed be his name) closed up shop. I will miss it. Double sigh.

Well there I was...all set to order a whole bunch of Hat Industrie's SYW Prussians from the Michigan Toy Soldier Company, when I noticed that they were in 1/32nd scale and not 1/72nd! Arrrrgh! I understand that the 1/72nd will be released in their E22 batch, but that's probably sometime in the Spring of next year. Triple Sigh.

Mom always said, "Good things come to those who wait." So I am determined that by the time Hat releases the 1/72nd SYW Prussians...I will have a DRY basement...and Mr. Hyde may determine that Battlegames might continue as a Quarterly or in some form on the Internet!

Friday, September 9, 2011

What Up With Minifigs GFI?

It has come to the Markgraaf's attention that the Minifigs GFI site has been down for "maintenance" for quite some time now. Does anybody know what's going on with them? Are they ever going to come back on line? Or do I need to open a line of communication with Minifigs in the U.K.?

Monday, September 5, 2011

Hey, Hey, Hey! Where's My Hat (Industrie)?

We're about a month to a month and a half out from Hat Industrie's latest batch of releases; E20. "Big deal.", says you. "Yarrr!", says I. Among the planned sets are Hat's first entries into the Seven Year's War: Prussian Infantry Marching and Prussian Infantry In Action. I have been waiting for these for a long time, and it is good to know the wait is almost over (and has paid off)!

If they are anything close to their Napoleonic Wars Grandson's version of Prussians Marching and In Action (See the latest Plastic Soldier Review) good times are a comin' for those of us who indulge in Tricorne era wargaming!

I hope that they made the molds for these extra-durable, because I plan to purchase a blue ton of these excellent figures! Bring on the Austrians, British, French, and the Am. Rev. figures! Whoo-Hoo! Woe to the Treasury. Woe! Woe! Woe!

Hats off to Hat Industrie for listening and supplying what their customers want.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Did I Miss One?!

Well there I was...taking a break from working on the downstairs "Man-Cave", when I noticed a update from that most excellent of bookstores - On Military Matters. Among the selections offered was a soon-to-be-published book from that prolific duo Brigadier Grant and Mr. Olley, Wargaming In History: The Seven Years War, Vol. IV.

"OUTSTANDING!", says I. "Put me down for one copy for Christmas!" Later on, I was going through my wargaming library. I have Volumes One and Two of their series...did I somehow miss Volume Three?

Friday, March 18, 2011

What Does Fred Think?

I was reading Jay Luvaas' book, "Frederick The Great on the Art of War", and on pages 38 and 39 the following paragraphs caught my attention:

"Machiavelli speaks...of the principini, those diminutive sovereigns who, having only small dominions, cannot send an army into the field. He advises them chiefly to fortify their capitals in order to secure themselves and their troops in time of war. Those Italian princes discussed by Machiavelli are really a breed of mongrels, half sovereign and half subjects. They only appear as sovereigns by the number of their domestics. The best advice that one can give them would lessen a little the opinion they entertain of their own grandeur, the extreme veneration they have for their ancient and illustrious pedigree, and their inviolable zeal for the scutcheons. Men of sense claim that they had better assume no rank in the world other than what is due noblemen of easy fortunes; that they ought to climb down from the scaffold of their pride and maintain at most no more troops than would be necessary to guard their palaces against robbers, if indeed any robbers could be reduced to the starving condition of seeking a subsistence in those palaces; that they ought to raze and demolish their ramparts and walls and everything that gives their place of residence the appearance of strength. The reasons are these: most of these petty princes, especially in Germany, ruin themselves by spending excessive sums to maintain that grandeur with which they are intoxicated, and to support the honor of their family they reduce themselves to beggary and want. There is hardly a second son of a younger brother who does not believe himself to be something like Louis XIV. He builds his Versailles, keeps his mistresses, and maintains his armies....

The reason these little monarchs do not need to fortify their capitals is very plain: they can hardly be besieged at any time by their equals for their larger neighbors would presently intervene and offer to mediate, an offer they are not at liberty to refuse. Thus instead of bloodshed, two or three dashes of a pen are enough to terminate their quarrels.

What can be the use of their fortified towns? If they were strong enough to endure a siege as long as that of Troy against their equals, they would not be able to hold out as long as Jericho against a powerful prince. Besides, if they lie between two mighty neighbors who are at war, they have no choice but to observe neutrality unless they would be totally ruined. And if they join with either belligerent, their capitals become the frontier town of that Prince's dominions...

In short, to make war, give battle, and attack and defend fortified places is the business of powerful sovereigns, and those who effect to imitate them are no wiser than the man who counterfeited the noise of thunder and believed himself to be Jupiter."

Now Frederick's opinion must be weighed carefully. After all, he lived through and helped shape the course of his tumultuous times. But I can't help but wonder if his opinion was easier to reach because he was at the head of one of the most effective armies ever to march. His "business" of being a powerful Prince would have been much easier to carry out if the petty princes had voluntarily disarmed and demilitarized themselves.

Food for thought. The Markgraaf is now going to break out his soldiers and make some thunder!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Meanwhile...Back At The Ranch...

TWO MONTHS SINCE MY LAST POST? Where does the time get off to? Right after the Holidays hit, I had to help relocate Number 2 Son from here in Indiana to Mankato Minnesota during the worst snowstorm in a decade. What an experience! It was thankfully concluded without any fatalities, fenderbenders, or property damage. Sleeping on the floor of the Bus Terminal in Minneapolis for two nights due to the snow emergency in Chicago did not improve my outlook. But enough of the excuses of reality. What's been going on in Raubenstadt?!

Well...the short answer is, "Not much. I've been busy.", but some progress has been made in gutting and re-doing the basement, i.e. "Man Cave". Sometime in the Spring, I'll get a large dumpster and finish off ripping out the paneling and wooden battens. The idea is to get the walls back to bare concrete block and go from there. In my mind's eye, I already see the permanent wargame table, the shelves for the troops and reference books, and finally, the painting area. All with adjustable lighting. It's going to be everything I've imagined I've needed ever since I discovered wargaming back when Dinosaurs Ruled The Earth; and Raubenstadt will rise like a Phoenix from the soggy mess that was the last time the basement flooded. The Markgraaf has pinned his hopes on the battery powered back-up sump pump to keep things dry down there.

I promise not to let so much time elapse before my next post. I've been going through my wargaming library to get the creative juices flowing again, and I've got a few ideas...heh, heh, heh!