Gift from the Wife: Reindeers and Fast Attack Submarines!
Just a quick post here on Boxing Day, dear readers, to record an accidental (but welcome) visitation from the Wargaming Santa this Xmas. Before proceeding to that bit, however, I should like to point out the above item, the likes of which I could not have imagined until I opened it on Xmas morning. Both of us (the wife and I) are retired US Army, and we live near the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard (a place where they work on nuclear submarines, better known among locals as the Kittery Naval Yard, since it's actually in Kittery, Maine). Herself uses the services on the installation, to include the Navy Exchange and Commissary, where she ran across the above, which she scooped up and gifted to me (wonder why?). I find it wacky enough to be service irrelevant (nautical reindeer? a non-sequitur to say the least), and thus proudly wore it on Xmas (and intend to do so in the future). Now, to move along to the Accidental Toys for Xmas story.
It seems that once upon a time, our hero (your humble correspondent) placed several orders for figures and whatnot in October/early November, expecting delivery of said items well before the end of December. Well, as of Dec 23rd, they had not yet materialized. By then, I had resolved that I would not be seeing these items until after the holidays. Imagine my glee, then, when I found both packages of wargaming goodness waiting there in the mailbox on Dec 24th---an Xmas Miracle!
KRIEGSPIEL BLOCKS AND APPARATUS
Xmas toy goodness #1: Three Deluxe Starter Sets of Kriegspiel blocks along with three Kriegspiel Ruler sets. In the above image, I've laid out the contents of a starter block set. It contains two sets (one red, one blue) of six battalions, five batteries, four squadrons, and various break down blocks. Despite having seen kriegspiel blocks in pictures, I was surprised to see how small the blocks were (I include a pencil in the above image for scale). I happen to like this particular producer, Photon Cutter Studios, because their blocks come ready to go, as in no stickers to mess with!
I've long had multiple versions of the Kriegspiel rules on hand, along with several sets of maps, which I've been reading and thinking about for the last few years (one of those "side" interests we all seem to have cooking but not yet ready to serve). With these block sets I have removed the hurdle between reading and doing. I hope to dabble a bit more deeply into this kind of gaming in the upcoming year.
Xmas toy goodness #2: a long anticipated box of goodies from Northstar miniatures for my Chocolate Box Wars/Mid Century collection. Arriving was another batch of Austrian 1866 gunners,which I will eventually convert (surprise) to expand my Hungarian artillery contingent (well, one does, doesn't one?). Additionally, I picked up some of the newly released Northstar 1866 Prussian Hussars (Totenkopf, aka Leib Hussars). Previously, I had relied on Foundry for my Prussian 1866 hussars. As a matter of fact, I was just about to place another order from Foundry to represent the Leib Hussars when I stumbled upon these newly released Northstar figures....
...although I'm not a big fan of "glue arm on" figures, I am favorably impressed with these sculpts. In size and detail, they are consistent with with the 1866 Prussian Uhlans and Austrian Hussars , among others, in the superb Northstar line. These also have the death's head sculpted onto the busby, a detail not on the Foundry hussars. I had expected to get started on these hussars right after my Hungarian commanders. The delay, however, wound up being a happy accident. In effect, it saved me from myself and brought about a small hiatus in hobby activity for the holidays, which worked out well.