Wednesday, January 9, 2013

All is not lost

Being completely overwhelmed by academic and commercial pressures, this has had to take a backseat.

But the brain is still ticking and musing, with the help of the back of envelopes, hexes vs staggered squares and ground scale etc.

Have a great 2013, one and all.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Sizing priority

The recent past has seen me at business school filling my head and time with Strategic Management, Financial Analysis, Capital Management, Corporate Systems, Marketing Models and Appreciative Inquiry, amongst others.

But really, the issue foremost in my mind, which none of the above helps to settle, is this:

should my gaming hexes be 500m or 1km?

The difference is significant, you will appreciate, as it impacts on the game/force/time/space/lethality/density/geospatial ratio thingies.

Chris Kemp's OOB's at may hold the key - brain still processing.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

School is nearly out

Graduating (hopefully) in June, should then have some time to myself again.

Here's hoping...

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Slight change of plans

The original plan was to do a show and tell on building a Cassino terrain thing. Proving hard to find suitable polystyrene easily in my neighborhood so I will do an Arnhem bridge instead.

Assembling materials as we speak, operations may commence before this weekend, or just thereafter, as I am traveling into the countryside for a family gathering.

Present at the meet will be 2 x professors, 2 x doctorates, 1 x aspirant doctorate.. and me.

So I will steer the conversation towards babes and booze just to show the geeks what they been missing... ho ho ho.

Monday, August 1, 2011

OMG - Corps Commander

Some kind soul posted a copy of these up at "" and I am busy reading them. Although I owned two copies of these originally, both have disappeared over the years and I thought that's the end of them.. but no.

We played many enjoyable games with these in 1/300 scale.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Weebly vs Google

Have decided to suspend the Weebly experiment due to time constraints of managing two sites.
It's difficult to choose between the two as they both have image limitations, such as hotspots - far as I can tell.

Cassino Files Part 1

Added some pages working through the planning concepts under Terrain.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Geographically Challenged

On the site under Basics - Terrain - Terrain 101.

Stretching the memory a little, but more to come under terrain 102 or is it 201?

Also will build a Cassino battle to illustrate, in good time.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Web sited

Have developed a prototype on Weebly, seems OK except no breadcrumb on page - difficult to see exactly where you are. Can be accommodated but increased maintenance will result. Oh well...

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Basing 101

1st Edition now on Google site under Basic Kit/Forces - graphics need work but under time constraints right now.

Rambling On

So why have I been trying to develop a web site? I am a simple fellow so the answer has to be simple, if you go look here you will see a smart thing and I want to do likewise for each theater/campaign/operation, exact outcome still a bit vague. This must tie in to the Berthier campaign software too. I have an idea thanks to MS Powerpoint where I can pre-create each page of a site, save it as an image (say jpg or png) and then plonk that into a blank web page and upload only 2 files per page instead of say 20 - 30, per page. At 20 - 40 pages that makes a big difference vis a vis the total file count.

But that must wait a bit, time to do real gaming stuff. So I am preparing my courses for Basing 101, Terrain 101 and Rules 101. In Powerpoint, which will be uploaded in due course as images to Google (which sometimes sticks in my throat a bit due to monolithism hmm, tho' they are a fine bunch, and the wife refers to them as Gargle cos you can spit it out hmm..).

Don't ask, it's all rather vague, actually..hmm.

Saturday, July 9, 2011


Well, everything was in place; all ducks in a row:
  • web design tool - check
  • free web hoster - check
  • ready to upload files - check
  • ready to upload 2000 files - what?
  • yes 2000 files - let me ponder over a drink
  • one by one per terms and conditions for free hosting - pass the bottle!
So we stick with Google sites for a while... where a change is as good as a holiday.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Lost for Word(s)

So I obtained copies of Dreamweaver, Xara Webstyle, Xara Premium, Kompozer, NetObjects Fusion and NetBeans. And tried to develop a website. Unsuckingfessfully.
I have never in my life been so successfully stymied by so much obfuscation and ridiculous claptrap as trying to fathom this little lot out.

Know this, I started using MS Publisher to design web pages and it is brilliant, up to a point - my biggest moan is that Tables of Content don't include content - "it is a junior version of Word" - I read that somewhere on the web. You can see the clue in that quote, I am sure, well ahem I missed it completely, at first.

3 days of whacking my head against the html wall (and I have passed an html course with honours before) using those top premium products and all I can say is "WTF?".

Because last night it finally dawned (so to speak) on me and I tried Word. What a beauty and congrats to MS as I finally found something positive to say about them. It does just what I need, no, want..

The best of the bunch is Kompozer (and it's free!), but Word tops it for my purposes.

We forge ahead.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Moving the World

Have decided that Google is great for blogs, less great for websites, although it seems to be the best of the free crowd based on templates.

But I need, no, want more..

Thus, I am constructing a site at the webs free hosting etc - nice thing is I build my site locally then upload the html, one file at a time, ouch, but I get the result I want, perhaps a little less professional in appearance but functionally superior and easier to maintain - time will tell.

When it is ready I will change the links from the MH&G blogspot and voila there she is!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Slow down

At 03h00 last night I woke up and decided to start a new company here in Kenya. This means my time for hobbying will be very limited for some time to come but will strive for an hour per day.

Patience is a virtue, so I am told..

Sunday, June 26, 2011

WW2 Organisations

Moving along a bit now to examining the dynamics of Panzer Division organisation change yields the table below.
Over time the division lost tanks but gained infantry. Also, some internal command changes occurred highlighted in green (Brigade HQ components dropped after 1939) and yellow (Motor Cycle Bn moved) and orange ( Flak Bn added).
More units were armoured as equipment became available and finally the Artillery was strengthened - 1st Panzer Division used as model.

Next move is to draw organogram and develop data tables.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Campaign Management Software Investigation

Weeellllll, a week spent on this investigation and here are some findings to share with you (I will keep the headache and red eyes to myself).

Firstly no doubt a lot of effort has been invested by extremely committed individuals to put their ideas into practice as software. It is not worthy of me to knock them and their efforts, intelligence and sweat in any way whatsoever. I don't have their level of commitment or even remotely the ability to beaver away at the programming but I do know what I want and will tell you at the end.

Secondly, it must be clear that there are different ways of managing a campaign so to clarify:

  • Play By E Mail (PBEM) - In these situations players move pieces in accordance with their rule books by on-screen mouse manipulation – this has been described as one level above kidney stones in pain and I concur heartily:
    • 2 or more players conducting a campaign not able to play face to face
    • 2 or more players enjoying the lack of a God view in a game but able to resolve battles face to face
    • blah blah etc
  • Real Campaign Management 
    • All the PBEM conditions apply but the pain level is hugely diminished by intelligence built into the software to manage forces, bookkeeping and combat.

Ok, on with it.

In the course of this affair one thing is common to all the software – they all have absolutely terrible descriptions of what they can do and manuals and tutorials vary from semi-useful to utterly ludicrous, but Berthier has some merit here. Which is indicative of the output of highly talented people who did it out of commitment in their spare time for which we extend our grateful thanks and appreciation - except ADC2 which should be noticeably better as a commercial product.

I looked at these but there may be more, please inform me.

What I Want
umm.... just be reasonable
Eye Candy
Er, no, thanks to DOS heritage
Graphic Editing
Yes with rocket science degree
Yes, lesser degree
Yes, logical and straight forward
Yes, limited
CyberBoard and Berthier combined
Terrain and elevation definition
Could not discover elevation
Could not discover elevation
No elevation functionality
Yes, limited
CyberBoard and Berthier combined with more
Line of Sight
Possibly but documentation bad
Possibly but documentation bad
Berthier with more
Berthier with more
Unit definition
Berthier with more
Berthier with more
Combat resolution
Yes but basic
Berthier with more
Rule mechanisms
Some for movement and supply
Berthier with more
Management type
Campaign and PBEM
Berthier with more
CyberBoard and Berthier combined with more

Some more thoughts 'n things about what I want:
  • Unlimited terrain types
  • Unlimited unit types
  • Unlimited units
  • Hierarchical definitions of units
  • Ability to change component units on the fly during a campaign
  • Supply definitions – Berthier is good but more flexibility and options such as POL, LOG and Repple
  • Movement definitions more flexibility and options
  • Terrain elevations – more
  • Line of sight
  • Combat resolution per specific tables
  • Turn sequences 
  • Also ability to choose map layer shapes, e.g. hexes, squares, interconnected circles etc.
  • Link sub-campaigns into a parent campaign

Clearly there should be more and this is an inadequate requirements definition, for instance perhaps some sort of work flow mechanism is needed to manage it all. This is intensive, extensive and expensive programming.

I remain in hope..

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Not The Corner Store

I consult on Business Systems for a living and if you think war is hell then try using these systems in Africa.. but let's keep focused and more importantly KEEP IT SIMPLE STUPID.

An army runs on it's stomach, tanks 'n trucks 'n planes run on gas 'n spares and guns and bombs kill - aka POL and LOG.

Each nation for each type of division has a daily POL and LOG needs requirement tabled according to it's posture - a daily shopping list varied according to the social activities and guests expected that day, in a manner of speaking. Also true is that some nations have armies which can exist on less than others - more anon.

This POL and LOG is generated by production centers, accumulated into a pool (on paper) and then pushed out to the units in the field along Supply Routes which have to be reliable transport assets such as railroad systems and good road networks - air supply is too little too late at exorbitant cost and risk. The Berlin Airlift is a well known exception but it was only a short distance and the Reds weren't shooting.

All armies do it, and all armies mess it up.

Of course it doesn't help if the Route passes through unfriendly neighborhoods as this magnifies the mess e.g.:
  • sabotage - especially prevalent and successful in the Western Front such as wrong routes and bills of lading resulting in U boat propellers going to Panzer Divisions in Russia and their ammo going to U boats! Also Panzerschrecks in Normandy and Fausts in Russia where the ranges compromised effectiveness.
  • partisans - famous on the Eastern Front and to a lesser extent in the West requiring units to protect the Routes which in turn uses more supply and can't be everywhere at once
  • interdiction - mostly air attack which requires air superiority to succeed tactically against the Supply Routes or strategically against the production centers and transport nodes a la Bomber Harris type stuff but please pick the right types of targets.
The tabletop supply requirement is nicely encapsulated by operational type rules such as MegaBlitz which works great if you are either fighting one off battles or playing a campaign. So this Supply Chain 101  discourse is really all about the mechanisms needed to manage said campaign.

More anon.

Western Front developing

Firm decision bearing fruit already per work in progress image below; map board scanned and conformed to the corporate livery.

You can see the Fronts clearly marked, very neatly and proper too.

The national capitals are covered with tarted up symbols being part of the developing Logistics Supply Network - doing the research by way of Paul Carell (real world constraints), Holocaust site (railway networks) and others.

Original is largish so this is squashed a bit but click and enlarge.. erm  it's not too big though in current format.