Archive for the ‘Cool Stuff Related to Games or Silliness’ Category

Yea! I am out of the sling and on the way to full motion with the left arm. I can type normally now and will be getting back to all the stuff that has been piling up over the last three weeks.

From an Ambush Alley Games perspective, I’m working on several scenarios for the upcoming Force on Force Special Ops book. I’m also writing an article/After Action Report based on of the scenarios from Cold War Gone Hot for Miniature Wargaming magazine.

From a personal perspective, I’ve dusted off my Viking rules to start polishing again after the last playtesting. I’m also helping Skip Peterson put pen to paper on his Legends in the Skies WW2 dogfight game. Painting is still a few weeks off since any rotation of the left forearm is still very painful.

I haven’t posted in a few weeks…the reason is that I broke my arm on February 3. And yes, that was my birthday. Long story, but in essence for my 50th I decided to take a nose dive directly into a sidewalk. I fractured the upper end of my radius in my left arm, right where it joins the elbow. As with all medical situations, there is good news and bad news. The good news is that I don’t need a cast and should recover in 4-5 weeks total. A cast does not help with healing this kind of injury and would simply mean that the arm would atrophy. The bad news is that I am not in a cast, meaning I am less comfortable and that any slight arm rotation or jar sets off a string of curses. As the orthopedic surgeon said, “if you can man up, you’ll heal quicker.”

One week after the fall and the swelling has gone down enough for me to be able to wear my wedding ring again. Last night I actually was able to hold and file some 28mm miniatures without too much discomfort, so hopefully I’ll get back to painting soon. One thing I can’t do is lift anything with my left arm more than a coffee cup in weight, so it will be some time before I’m running demos or setting up games. In the meantime, here’s a picture of a Tomorrow’s War game we ran at Games Plus as a test of the new points system.

Defenders of the Crystal Processing Factory


For those of you who know me well, you know that I am a musician. Several months ago, I joined a band named Step 9. Our first performance will be in a week. We have launched a Facebook page and a website: if you want to check us out.

I’m very pleased to share the early reviews of Cold War Gone Hot, for which I was the lead author:

Overall, I am quite pleased by the early feedback. Most of the criticism is for a few typos and the desire for more content (always a challenge in this industry), but everyone seems to like the three-part format and the “Hollywood-style” scenarios. I am very honored to have worked with such a great team — Shawn, Rich, Jim and Piers, as well as the many other contributors. Dixie did a great job with the maps and my thanks to Osprey Publishing as well. I only hope the next book I’m working on turns out as well.


Personally, it’s been a year of ups and downs that all-in-all has ended well. Two surgeries, work craziness, coupled with my son heading off to Indiana University, my partnership in Ambush Alley Games and joining a band as a keyboard player/vocalist and it’s been a year that even Mr. Toad would say is a wild ride.

I plan to get some painting and gaming time in during the holidays, and will probably post some photos of both. But just in case, I wanted to wish all my friends, followers and acquaintances a very merry Christmas and happy New Year!



Well, it’s official. I now join the ranks of people with two jobs, but this newest addition to my responsibilities is a fun and welcome one! I have joined Ambush Alley Games as a member of their board of directors. Here is the press release:

Shawn, Peggy and Robby Carpenter are a great group of people with whom to be in business. They are talented, fun and very collaborative by nature. I am looking forward to a long, long relationship with Ambush Alley Games.

I know many, many people are writing about the end of the Space Shuttle program and expressing nostalgia, disappointment, anger or even joy in some cases.

For me, it is simply a sad day.

As a kid, I grew up watching the Gemini and Apollo missions. The men who flew them were my heroes. My original “I wanna be when I grow up” career was astronaut and continued to be that until I was diagnosed with diabetes in my late teens. I pushed myself and graduated at the top of my high school class with my head full of the stars and my heart full of the joy of exploration. I actually spent one year in college in Astrophysics at the University of Illinois, thinking that I would eventually work for the space program and NASA in some way.  I was not alone. Thousands if not tens of thousands of  people felt as I did; the future was space. The truth is, the manned space program of the United States was a catalyst for positive change and set difficult, but attainable goals for several generations of young men and women.

Now? Now we hitch rides on the resurgent Russian space program.

Don’t get me wrong…the Space Shuttles are getting long in the tooth. They probably should be retired. But what have we done as a nation to replace them? Where is the plan for the next challenge? How will we keep pace with the rapidly growing technological competition posed by other countries who are no longer shying away from space, but accelerating their efforts to move beyond the current levels of achievement.

What has happened to our nation that we are no longer focused on the hard, the impossible, the aspirational, but are simply mired in the mundane. Before you get up on your high horses about the economics of manned space flight and the US deficit/budget crisis, the bad economy, etc., the benefits of our manned space program have more than paid for themselves several times over in breakthroughs in medicine, engineering, computing, miniaturization and other practical technologies. The very challenges of space force innovation…and that innovation pays enormous dividends for those of us stuck at the bottom of the gravity well. The problem is, when you launch a mission, there isn’t an immediate return on investment. Wall Street doesn’t gain 10%. Corporate coffers are not enriched immediately. Politicians don’t go up in the polls the same day. The benefits manifest themselves over months, years, even decades.

What the systemic dismantlement of NASA by the past three administrations has done has underlined a horrible, horrible trait of the present United States government and culture; namely, we can’t engage in long-term planning and vision. The words of John F. Kennedy still echo to me  from long ago:

We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too. “

How far, how very far we have fallen. God help us all if we can no longer aspire.