Wednesday, December 28, 2016

After Action Review: Panzer Leader, Scenario #14

What's an Ardennes Offensive scenario in Panzer Leader without the Panzerlied "theme song?"

For the third and final wargame I managed to play in 2016, my friend Joe and I decided on a "Battle of the Bulge" session of Panzer Leader--the actual campaign, not the film.

(Image found on Pintrest)
But speaking of the mediocre movie, I took some liberties with our game and added it to this after action review (AAR).  For instance, I changed the name of "Kampfgruppe Peiper" to "Kampfgruppe Hessler," and imported a couple other movie characters, and even movie quotes, into this AAR.

Our game took place at Joe's house on 17 December--72 years and a day after this phase of the German offensive occurred.  The scenario was determined by a die roll, and we came up with this:

The German spearhead was led by Colonel Martin Hessler (played by Joe):

While the Americans were led by Major Wolenski (me):

For the AAR narrative I used the names of the towns printed on the Panzer Leader Boards C & D.  Also, Joe was kind enough to indulge me in my quest for cinematic quality.  Normally in the game when units fire, they're flipped over.  Instead of that, we used various counters from his Advanced Squad Leader game to illustrate a unit's status.

Here's the pre-game set up:

I wrote this AAR using a new template provided by the Comic Life program I use.

I'm rather excited about this first issue of The Broadside!  The images are in JPEG Format, which can be clicked-on to enlarge.  (And if you're like me, with "aging eyes," you may have to use the Zoom Function on your internet toolbar to enlarge the images even more in order to read the print).

I also have a PDF version available, which I'll try to find places to post it on.


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Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Seattle Sounders Victory Rally Today

I must admit I hardly follow the Seattle Mariners, or the Seahawks, although I'm always happy to see our baseball and football teams do well each season.

I know even less about the Seattle Sounders than I do about our other sports teams.

A few days ago, I managed to catch our soccer team win it's first ever MLS Championship Game on Saturday.  (I didn't even know they were in the championship).

There'll be a victory rally through downtown Seattle today.

Congratulations to the Sounders!

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Book Review of a Bundle of Battlefields Graphic Novels

During the Thanksgiving Weekend, when I wasn't helping my wife decorate the house for Christmas, I caught up on some of my reading. 

I selected the remaining unread Battlefields graphic novels in my collection, all written by Garth Ennis.    

The first story, Happy Valley, is about a newbie pilot joining a veteran Wellington bomber crew in 1942. 

It might sound cliche, but this story made me laugh--and yes--made me cry.

I decided to continue with the air war trend and read The Fall and Rise of Anna Kharkova.  This story is actually book three in a trilogy about Anna.  The first being Night Witches followed by Motherland.

I haven't read the first two books, because I've been buying the Battlefields series haphazardly at Half Price Books.

Anna's Fall and Rise covers a twenty year time span where she experiences a double-whammy of cruelty.  First from her German captors in the final days of World War II, followed by her own country's cruelty to it's own citizens.

The final book in my ad-hock trilogy was Dear Billy.  

This story is an extended letter by Nurse Carrie Sutton to her pilot boyfriend Billy Wedgewood.  In her letter, she confesses to Billy how she was captured, raped, shot and left for dead by the Japanese during the invasion of Singapore.  She then goes on to explain how she exacted personal revenge--and her inability to cope with the impending peace.

I've always enjoyed war stories more than any of the other genres of comics, but I only vaguely recall any of the Sgt. Rock, or Sgt. Fury stories.  

Garth Ennis knows how to tell a poignant 5-star war story you never forget.