I use to have better than 20/20 vision. A few years after turning 40, I had to get reading glasses and I'm still not use to wearing them. In fact, I should have worn them while proof reading The Bushwackers of Kashyyyk before I broadcast my "lookee-what-I-did" message to the known universe.
It was only AFTER posting my first graphic novel on line, that I discovered a typo. I'm sure there's more.
The problem with proof reading one's own work goes beyond failing eyesight. Having a second pair of eyes to act as an editor usually helps catch such errors--before they're displayed to the public. Though, until Stern-Rake Studio expands beyond "One-Man Band Status," I'll rely more heavily on my reading glasses to catch any wayward words.
Speaking of what's not seen, I received a couple of e-mails asking for the details of the game. I must confess, that the action depicted in The Bushwackers of Kashyyk does not coincide EXACTLY with what happened during our game, but it comes very close.
This was an off-the-cuff scenario Adrian put together after we finished our Star Wars RPG (Role-Playing Game) session. Stargrunt II (SG II) is wildly popular with our group and we thought we'd give it a try using my Star Wars Miniatures by Wizards of the Coast (WotC).
SG II is written in a generic format, so players can use the rules in any sci-fi setting, along with the myriad of figures that are available. To incorporate the widely different styles of figures, SG II uses the WYSIWYG ("wizzywig") rule. That is, "what you see is what you get." The intent of this is to minimize confusion about what type of weapon each figure is prominently carrying.
Under this rule, we quickly discovered that most of the squads could not engage their enemies effectively, because they were armed, in essence, with oversized pistols. This resulted in a lot of desultory fire, with squads falling back, only to rally and re-occupy their recently vacated positions.
The scouts were the only unit to close on the rebel position. Once they did, however, a lucky die roll by me killed the squad leader. Then an unlucky die roll by Seth caused the squad to fail its morale check--badly. Once the scouts scattered, that left Seth with only 2 squads against my 4, and all of them were in defensible terrain.
Narrative-wise, this would have made a very boring story, so I condensed it.
This is known as "artistic licensing," or "acceptable lying," depending on your point of view.
Adrian came across some page-length, house rules which incorporated Force users, but we decided to keep things basic for this initial game. Since a lot of WotC's Star Wars figures are wielding side-arms, for future games, we may also have to alter SG's WYSIWYG rule.
For those of you interested in playing SG II, the rules are available as a free download here:
The wargaming hobby often sparks controversy, usually from Christian groups sermonizing against Dungeons & Dragons. Now, Native American groups are upset over an upcoming game based on King Philip's War:
I have no patience with the grievance mongers of special interest groups.
While minority groups have a right to voice their concerns and complaints, it is also the right of my special interest group to see such games produced. Playing these games is an interactive way of understanding the origins of the war, how the battles were fought, the war's consequences and most intriguing of all--the possibility of an alternate outcome.
With all due respect to Annawon Weeden (of the Mashpee Wampanoags), his comment, that it's "...just a way to have fun reliving a tragedy..." misses the point. Many of the wargamers responding to this article on TMP pointed out that an enormous amount of historical research is conducted during a game's development. One commentator noted that an extensive bibliography will probably come with this game. Nor is the research limited to the game's design team. Gamers intent on playing this, or any other game for that matter, conduct their own research on everything from the grand strategy of the opponents down to the footwear worn by the combatants.
In fact, thanks to Wikipedia, I learned more about this conflict than I knew prior to the controversy. And increasing one's knowledge of history is a good thing, isn't it?
1. Thanks goes to my friend Adrian for posting the Yahoo article and the Wikipedia entry on Facebook.
2. The Battle of Bushy Run actually occurred on 5-6 August 1763, near modern day Pittsburgh, during the French and Indian War. I used the image of Don Troiani's painting simply because I liked it.
I played this Korean War miniatures game at last year's "Enfilade!" convention right after filming Clash at Kursk. The battery in my camera was almost exhausted, but it managed to hold out long enough for me to make my latest YouTube movie Nightmare at Naktong:
I'm a retired USAF TACP (Tactical Air Control Party) member, now working for Washington State Emergency Management. In addition to being an Emergency Operations Specialist at my day/night/weekend job, I'm a Foreign Affairs Specialist, gamer and writer.
I maintain three blogs as an on-line platform. "Stern Rake Studio," my central site, explores a variety of topics on gaming, pop-culture and writing. "Station WTFO" is where I post comments and discussions on the national and international issues that concern us. Finally, "The Redshift Chronicles," is a spin-off of "Stern Rake Studio." This site focuses on sci-fi gaming and is home to my long-form webcomic "Breakout from Bongolaan."