Via the excellent Dieselpunk, an great 1919 poster from Germany, advertising civilian air travel with Junkers aircraft.
This would have been part of the effort by the German aviation industry to “civilianize” as rapidly as they could, to try to salvage something from the post-Great War wreckage, and the restrictions the Allies were imposing on military aviation in Germany. It’s also a fantastic poster, in a style I really, really like and occasionally attempt to emulate.
We headed over from Victoria Friday afternoon, making good time and even seeing orca whales from the ferry, which I haven’t seen in years. Friday evening I spent flying in Rene’s perpetual World War One air combat game. I was doing fairly well until a Fokker Dr1 slipped in behind my Camel and blew me away in one savage burst!
Saturday turned out to be “Soviet Saturday” for me! I played the 30mm Dust Warfare skirmish system with Martin (an old friend) and his nephew Riley (this was Riley’s first gaming convention!) and another gamer in the morning, Weird War Germans vs Soviets over cardboard ruins Martin and I had been up until 2am assembling! It’s a fast system with some interesting features, and I want to have another bash at it at some point.
Saturday afternoon it was time for my big Russian Civil War game, with a full set of six players and loads of toys on the table – the White Russians had a SPAD XIII for air support and a field gun, while the Reds had a huge horde of cavalry, an armoured car and an armoured train! The cavalry did better this game than they have ever done before, completely shattering one wing of the defending White force by themselves.
We rounded out Saturday evening with more Russian-German action, this time a WW2 Eastern Front scenario of a scratch Soviet force trying to hold off flanking attacks by German panzers. The 15mm figures and vehicles were really well done, and the terrain was elegant. It was a close fight, with the Germans losing a fair number of tanks to Soviet infantry but being positioned by the end of the game to push their untouched reinforced infantry units into the Russian villages with their remaining tanks in support.
Sunday Martin and I played Colin’s very nice and well-run War of 1812 scenario, a re-creation of the Battle of Crysler’s Farm 200 years after it actually happened. I played the invading Americans with two other gamers, and we got our asses absolutely handed to us by the British/Canadian/Mohawk defenders. Nevertheless, we apparently did better than the Americans had actually done historically – we did manage to drive one of the two big British infantry regiments from the field, but the effort wrecked my brigade, while Canadian militia light troops and British cannon drove the rest of the Americans off!
We’ve been playing a lot of Pulp Alley recently; this photo is actually from ten days ago, not our most recent game, but it’s better than any of my snapshots from the more recent game!
I’ve whipped up half a dozen teams (Pulp Alley refers to them as Leagues) that we’re swapping back and forth between actual players as the spirit moves us. Being pulp, we’re well off into stereotypes, I’m afraid! There’s the stiff-upper-lip Sir Charles, who denies being an agent of the British Crown; the Teutonic schemer Stahlmaske, as dangerous to his underlings as he is to his enemies; the sinister but intoxicated General Vodkanovich, White Russian exile; the mercenary Captain B., and various other gangs of pulpish skulkers.
I’ve even brought back crowd favourite Red Lily, International Women of Mystery, although she and her crew haven’t yet appeared in a game.
We’re having a lot of fun with Pulp Alley, as should be obvious. The printed, softcover book has just been published, along with the Fortune/Challenge cards in playing-card style. I’ve got copies of both enroute, and I’ll do a proper review here on the Warbard of both when they arrive!
“Aviatrix” is the feminine version of “aviator”, but of course you knew that already. This fabulous pair is courtesy Kemon’s Flickr stream, which has a huge array of mostly aviation-related stuff, a lot of it from the interwar pulp era!
Ran my first miniatures game in ages yesterday (Sunday), with a friend running the defending Whites and a co-worker/friend who’d never played Through the Mud & the Blood before running the attacking Reds. I gave the attackers about a 30% manpower advantage, although they were short of decent officers (as the Reds tended to be, especially earlier in the Russian Civil War).
The photo is from fairly early in the game, with Sean’s Reds working their way around and over the ridge with the chapel of St. Boris the Intoxicated on it. The Reds wound up taking up a firing line along the hedges on the far side of the ridge and clearing the hamlet beyond with sheer weight of fire, while the Red sailors on the far left worked their way across the hedges, trying single-handedly to assault the right flank of the White village. Supported by fire from the ridge they did succeed in destroying one White section entirely, but at ferocious cost to themselves – nearly 50% casualties. Other Red casualties were fairly light, while the Whites got pasted, taking at least 30% casualties to their entire force, two rifle sections rendered non-functional and the other two withdrawing at the end of the game with a few casualties each.
While both players had fun, and so did I, I’ll do a few things differently next time I run a game like this. I should have thrown a Reinforcements card into the deck for the Whites, with some reinforcements (another rifle section or two, or maybe something more potent like an armoured car) coming in after X turns of that card. I was also shocked at how rusty I’d become about the M&B rules. We did movement through rough ground wrong for the first few turns, which really made the initial Red advance a slog — thankfully they were mostly sheltered behind the ridge, so the only effect was to make the first few turns more boring! Thankfully, everything I got wrong affected both sides more or less equally, so while it irritated me it didn’t screw the game up too badly.
Sean, the Red player, had never played Mud & Blood before. I’m not sure, but this might have been his first non-GW miniatures game ever. He’s stoked for more, enjoyed the rules, and I’m sure we’ll have him back in the proto-USSR in the New Year. He said some interesting things about Mud & Blood that I’ll expand upon in a future post, too.
No, not the Warhammer-universe mercenaries, but the real thing, in real-world wars. The Library of Congress’ excellent Flickr account, where they share all sorts of treasures from their huge photo archives, put this image up earlier this year:
"The animal seeks for wounded men lost on the battle-field; he searches in holes, ruins, and excavations, and hunts over wooded places or coverts, where the wounded man might lie unnoticed by his comrades or the stretcher-bearer."
That lead to some Google searching and the discovery of several interesting articles about military dogs on the Western Front, primarily as ambulance dogs or messenger dogs. There’s another LoC image on Flickr that has some very good links in a comment just below it, a few of which I’ve reproduced here.
I’m not (yet!) into Western Front Great War gaming, but if you wanted a unique unit amongst your trenches, a dog and handler could be done quite easily with a spare infantry figure and a dog — quite a number of manufacturers make dogs in both 15mm & 28mm. From the look of the period photos, most of the dogs were collie or terrier types, not very large, which makes sense. The ambulance packs could be sculpted with a bit of milliput or greenstuff, and a messenger collar would be even easier to add.
A bit later than the Russian Revolution/Russian Civil War-era Russian history that I usually post about, but it overlaps so beautifully in our pulp interests here on the Warbard that I can’t resist. Behold, a poster urging Russians to build airships to glorify Lenin’s memory!
Via Paul Malon’s Flickr account, where he posts all sorts of awesome scans, from Soviet propaganda like this to western consumer advertising. The graphic arts of the pre-WW2/post-Revolution early Soviet era was fascinating, all sorts of very creative things happening in Russia at the time, despite all the problems the country was facing. That creative modern art was actually one of the things that first got me interested in the interwar period and Russian history of the time, as back in college I had an art history teacher who had done her Master’s on Russian art and graphic design of that era and passed her enthusiasm on to her students.
I’ve previously posted images from the San Diego Air & Space Museum Archive’s Flickr account, but they’ve just uploaded nearly one thousand images from a former RAF member who served post-WW1 in Iraq, elsewhere in the Middle East and in the UK.
I’ve also just discovered the Flickr account of the San Diego Air & Space Museum Archives, which is full of all sorts of great interwar aviation imagery!
They’ve got autogyros:
The famous zeppelin USS Los Angeles:
…and this fantastically pulpy looking volcanic island, with (unfortunately) no location information. I’m absolutely certain that steaming caldera houses a Mad Scientist’s Secret Headquarters or a Lost World, however!
The San Diego Air & Space Museum Archive’s Flickr account is all part of the fantastic Flickr Commons scheme, which has great museums, libraries and archives from all over the world putting their material on Flickr with no known copyright restrictions.