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    Just Jack


    I’ve got 8 million excuses why, but the short story is I’ve had a lot going on personally and professionally and so this is the second weekend in a row that I got ZERO games in. Very depressing. And it doesn’t look to get any better from now to the end of summer. And so I’ve done a bit of thinking and it’s time for a pivot. What I need are ways to get get quick games in; my son and I have been having an absolute blast playing through Operation Jupiter (we’re eight games into a 30 game campaign), but the games take a long time to set up, a relative long time to play, a long time to tear down, and a long time to process, write, and post to the blog.

    So what I need is a mechanism to get quicker games in; easier set up, smaller forces for quicker games, which makes for easier processing, writing, and posting. Combine that with the fact that my buddy Ivan just put out his new rules “Five Men At Kursk” (5MAK), which I really want to play, then combine that with the fact I have a bunch of 10mm modern troops lying around in a box waiting to be painted, based, and played with, and you might be on to the same idea I came too.

    I’ve got quite a bit of Minifigs 10mm modern stuff lying around needing to be cleaned up, primed, painted, and based, so what I’m doing is basing it up for 5MAK (single basing for troops, couple guys on a penny for weapons teams, one vehicle is a vehicle). I also have a bunch of vehicles lying around; some I have painted but want to re-do, and some that haven’t been touched. So I touched them too, and what I have now are two pretty much identical forces for 5MAK.

    The whole she-bang, everything I did up this weekend. Essentially I built this as “Blue Force” vs “Red Force,” with Blue using NATO gear and Red using WarPac gear. From the picture the Blue force is missing its helicopter gunship and tanks; the tanks are Takara pre-paints I’ve had for years (M1 Abrams), and the Blue gunship is an AH-1 on order from my buddy Mako at TMP.

    Most everything in the pic is from Minifigs UK; the two T-72s are Takara pre-paints, and the two aircraft are from Maisto Tailwinds.

    A couple Bradleys in NATO 3-color camo.

    A Ka-52 Alligator for the Red Force.

    The Red Force 10-man rifle squad.

    The Blue Force support teams. Clockwise from far left: Mortar team (81mm), SAM team (Blowpipe), Rocket team (Carl Gustav), MG team (MAG-58), and ATGM team (Milan). To see the rest of the pics, please check the blog at:

    Anyway, I’m happy to have all these done, and I’m looking to get some games in with the boy, who’s really been having a great time (as have I). So all this is about a strategy to speed things up in order to get games in, perhaps even on week nights (gasp! Don’t tell the wife!). So the plan is to draw up a force generator which will result in each side having between 6 and 17 men, and 0, 1, or 2 support teams. Though I’m quite proud of how good (in my humble opinion, and in strictly relative terms) my tables have looked recently, these fights are going to be on very simple terrain to speed up the set up/tear down process.

    If you’ve looked at my Cuba Libre blog, you may have noticed I’ve been planning a campaign in the fictional nation of South Leon, a country on the west side of the African continent which was a key player in NATO domino theory during the Cold War, but now the Cold War is fini, has been left to deal with a communist insurgency fomented by its neighbor. I had planned to play some pretty big games in 15mm for this, but what I’m thinking is to get it rolling with these guys.

    And it’s funny, I’ve been a solo gamer for so long it seemed that would simply be that kind of wargamer. But now my boy and I have been playing, I kinda don’t want to go back! But I tell you what; pretty soon I’ll be going out of town on business for two weeks, and from what I understand nights and weekends will be mine. So another thing I’ve been pondering is taking these guys with me, a sort of ‘travel set.’ Most of the guys are mounted on magnetized bases, I’ve got 2′ x 2′ boards I can take, trees, walls, shrubs, and houses that are easily transportable. Dice, camera phone, and notebook are no problem. The only thing I’m worried about are vehicles; I’m scared of knocking the crap out of all these metal vehicles. For Blue I’d need an Abrams, a Bradley, an LAV, a HMMWV, and the Cobra. For Red I’d need a T-72, a BMP, a BTR, a BRDM, and the Ka-52. Not sure how to safeguard those in my luggage, and could make for an interesting conversation with airport security 😉

    The second part of my two-pronged strategy also revolves around my Cuba Libre blog. You may be aware of my campaign in the fictional country of Cronistria, a newly-minted democracy in the Balkans. Cuba dispatched SF troops there to aid the country, and now the local forces have been trained up to the point they are ready to take on their communist adversaries. So I’ve set up a 2′ x 2′ table of a small village, and I’m looking for the boy and I to fight a series of battles over that same exact terrain. You know, two patrols stumble into each other, then the place magically transforms into a key piece of terrain for political reasons (each side wanting to show its resolve). So those will be small games using 5MAK in 15mm on a table that doesn’t change (I can see getting at least five fights out of it).

    Well, if you’ve somehow made it this far, please drop me a line to let me know what you think of my strategy to speed things up to get more (some?) games in. And let me know if it sounds like batreps you’d like to see.



    Look at Wally World for plastic tackle boxes with compartments that way you can take the Tracks in that with foam around them. I glad you and the Boy are having such fun !!!


    Sound ideas so far. I’m in a similar situation so want to maximise my playing time.

    Look forward to any ideas you put out there.

    Tim from Gomi Designs. 15mm Vietnam riverine. www.gomidesigns.co.uk

    Just Jack

    Kyote – Good call man, I’ll have to take a look at that.

    Mishima – Yeah, not optimal, but I want to still get in as many games as I can during this busy time.


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