Archive for the ‘Research’ Category

Surgery went well and I am in hand therapy to restore 100% motion to my left hand and index finger. The prognosis is excellent as five days after surgery I had almost 80% motion back in the finger, even with stitches in my palm. Hats off to Dr. Frank, my orthopedic surgeon! For those who absolutely need to know what happened, sometime in my younger years I damaged the pulley in my left hand and a year ago my left index finger started locking up…either straight out or in a trigger position. Several months of shots and examinations later, we finally settled on surgery.

Until I get my stitches out and the ace bandage off my hand, my painting is curtailed. In the meantime, I am planning, writing and organizing. What’s being planned? Well, I am in charge of the Ambush Alley Gaming demo tables for Historicon which will be custom-built. I am not sharing the scenarios or boards at this time, but if you think Operation Enduring Freedom for one of them, you’ll be in the right neck of the woods. One board will be 20mm scale and one 15mm scale. All I can say is that I am itching to pull out the hot knife, the airbrush and to start making a mess all over my garage muahahaha.

What am I writing? Well, I am writing  the Cold War book for Ambush Alley Games. I am delving into declassified Soviet documents and trying to get a balanced perspective of what we all thought was happening versus what was really taking place. I just finished reading The Bear Went Over the Mountain, which is a collection of Soviet analyses of small unit actions during the Soviet-Afghanistan War that provides some deep insight into Soviet doctrine, tactics, adaptability and insurmountable issues. I am starting to take notes out of The Collapse of the Soviet Military that offers a picture of the Soviet armed forces during Gorbachev’s regime. I am also working on a couple of side projects for AAG as well, including Tomorrow’s War and helping redesign/build a new website for AAG.

What am I organizing? For starters, my son Will and I are ripping up my collections and piles in the basement to try to restore some sense of order. Like most wargamers, I am a pack rat and I have been collecting things since I was in high school. If you want to take a stroll down the memory lane of the hobby, I could arrange a tour of my basement 🙂  I am also helping Will kick off a project with his friends that converts 40K figures and background into Tomorrow’s War stats. Unfortunately, this will be for our own personal use as I have no interest in seeing how hard the giant Games Workshop intellectual property attorneys can squish me. This project has also involved rapid assembly of some Space Marines, since I determined that they would be the quickest to paint for Will’s project. At first I considered painting these in digicam, but I have since come to my senses. I am cutting away much of the “Gothic” crap on the armor and vehicles and trying to go for more of an ultra-modern look and composition of the forces. I may end up in the desert uniform pattern for March 2003 US infantry which is much easier to paint.

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Starting to tear into 1980s Cold War research for a project I am working on. I’ve been doing quite a bit of reading on the Soviet TO&Es for the 1980s, both for Europe and Afghanistan (the latter starting out like Europe and diverging quickly under battlefield conditions). The period I am most interested in is 1985-86. Here is my first attempt at a TO&E:

Soviet Motor Infantry Platoon

3 BMP’s (either BMP-1 or BMP-2)

Each BMP carries 8 dismounts and 2 crew. In practice the crew would stay with the vehicle and provide fire support to the dismounted infantry.

The 8 dismounted men are organized as:

1 section leader with AKM/AK74

1 assistant section leader with AKM/AK74

2 PKM gunners

2 assistant PKM gunners (themselves armed with AKMs or AK74s)

1 RPG gunner with RPG-7/16 and pistol

1  Rifleman with AKM/AK74 or SVD (one SVD per platoon as designated sniper)

Does anyone know how correct this may be or have any refinements they can share? Thanks!