Thursday, April 30, 2020

Isolation Update # 7: Ayer Rocks

I'm not sure who started this but a little activity called "Ayer Rocks" has been taking place here since the Pandemic and possibly befor that.  People have been painting rocks and putting them out for people to find.  Being a painter I jumped in.
Doing free hand stuff is very differnet form what I normaly do but its a good way to pass the time and Evelyn likes sloping paint on rocks. This is one of mine I put it on one of the Trees by the Veteran's Memorial
My Wife did this one the catapiler form the very hungry catapiler placed on a bench near town hall.

AdamC: USS President and Corsair Xebec

Two very different ships on offer today.  The USS President and a yet unnamed Xebec.
 The USS President was a sister ship of the USS Constitution there were some differences in construction and armament.  The President was more heavily armed with 42-pounder carronades compared to Constitution’s 32-pounders.   
President side by side with Boston
President was the Flagship of commodore John Rogers in 1812 and 1813 and cruised extensively against British shipping often in company with other US war ships.  Rogers was unlucky and never had a shot at a English ship or squadron of equal force so his real contributions the American cause are over shadowed by the flashy single ship actions of other ships.  In 1814 President Switched commanders to Captain Steven Decatur and was captured by the British while trying to break the blockade. 
The details of the figurehead were a little hard to make out but I determined it was supposed to be George Washington in is Continental Army uniform which I did my best to recreate. 
 The Stern details are great lots of good "ginger bread" from the ships name to an American eagle and shield. 
 Next up a kit bashed Xebec.  I got another 6 brigs with the American Fleet set and more brigs are about the last ship type I need (I have 10).  So after waiting for Guy Bowers to share how he was going to make his Xebec.  I decided I would proceed on my own.  As a side note here are a pair of Islands I carved from packing foam. 
The hull is made from parts of two brigs.  The masts are part of left-over plastic spear parts.  The foremast should be leaning forward.  opted to have the fore and main masts with their lateen sail spreading to different sides because it looked cool (like a pair of wings) and I found several images with sails in this orientations.  The Sails are paper form my daughter’s art pad it took some trial and error, but they came out good in the end.  I sort of regret the bit of cloth I tried to make into a furled sail, but it doesn’t look too bad I suppose. 
I created a pop deck with some left-over bits including railings made from 15mm tank tracks (anyone spot that?) The paint job is of my own invention.  Green is a color that appears on several Muslim flags, so it seemed a likely choice for a warship.  I think the Xebec came together nicely and I hope to compare construction notes with Guy when he gets his finished.  Now I just need some good  Corsair ship names. 

Monday, April 27, 2020

Isolation update #6

Its been a little while since may last update in part because the days sort of run into eachother.
Evelyn requested some "noculars" for exploring so I made her a pair.
 She was a great asistant cook making meatball stuffed cheesy garlic bread.  This will be a great dish to make for the next potluck I get invited too.
Evelyn likes to go and play the piano at in downtown infrom of Makon's a local resturant.
Walks and puddle splashing are alos a big higlight for our days. Evelyn likes to pick up trash on our walks .
 We did up a coulple of #Ayer Rocksfor our neighbor
Mrs Connolly has been very nice to Evelyn so we did these an art collaboration.
The other news is Evelyn got scary sick last Thursday. A fever that hit 105 at one point. The doctor checked her out Friday and ordered a covid test Saturday (it came back negative). We are still waiting on test results but she seems to be back to normal. 

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Remote Gaming: Cat and Mouse French and American

 I'm playing this Scenario a lot because I hope to run it at the Lets Roll convention last night I was facing Mark McLaughlin in a French frigate.  I ran two US Brigs I had planned to try to keep them together but couldn't resist getting them both into firing position on turn two.  Mark cut across my second brigs bow doing 5 of damage.
Once again I find myself fighting one on one with the Frigate and that isn't a winning plan for a brig.
After a few more turn of fire my second brig is forced to strike by Mark's well aimed fire.  My brig and its consort manage a few hits as well but with one of them engaging at long range the damage is limited. 
  I get a little luck as Mark's frigate missed with all guns for the first time that night. 
I manage some good hits but I'm bobcat nipping at a tiger and after several turns of long-range fire during which I score hits but cannot do critical damage Mark again maneuvers to cross my Brig.  He hurts me and being 4.5 inches in front of me a collision is imminent.  I would like to board by Mark is at Full sails so boarding is not possible.  
I reduced sail and having succeeded in avoiding the collision turn (I now believe this was not a legal move and should probably have passed "through/behind" Marks ship).  I manage a good broadside hurting Mark but his fire as you bear broadside sweeps my deck with grape shot and forces me to strike. 

Sunday, April 19, 2020

Solo Gaming: Black Seas Cat a Mouse

 I wanted to the secenario I tried with Frank the other night.  This time with Two French Privaterrs facing a US Frigate (USS Boston)
 Turn one the USS Bostion fires its bowcaser and cuts a few showeds form one of the French Brigs.
 The Fench Brig cuts across Boston doing minor damage.
 Its hit hard in turn by the Boston
 Boston cuts between the two ships and the second broadside does minor damage to the second Brig.
 The French Brig lad a critical hit on Boston and its mizzen falls into the Sea!
Boston Fires at long range doing little damage.
 The French brigs maurver to put the Boston between them.
 Fired at from two sided Boston is reduced to half its starting hull points
 Narroly avoidign a colision Boston lands a devistating raking broad side and the first French brig sinks.
Boston slowly turns and the two ships excange a final broadside.  Boston lands a critical hit and the second brig stikes its colors.

Friday, April 17, 2020

Isolation Painting: Back to Black Seas

First up is a shipyard I've been working on for a port to use in games of Black Seas. The project was for a game at Huzzah Con this May.
Unfortunatly the Convention has been canceled for this year so work will slow as I come up with way to make the best looking port I can. I thried to put as much shipbuilding stuff as I could in the docyard: Left over Anchors from my kits, wooden blanks, mast and even smoe canvas. All this stuff probably wouldn't be just sitting here but helps make clear that ship building is going on.
The ships are 1/1000 scale ships form GHQ they had wire masts that I tried to manage years ago and failed utterly but they work well here as ships under construction. 
Next up is a sctrach build of my owe devising whith a Black Seas brig for scale. Its a costal and river vessel called a Gudalow. They were quite popular in Maine, New Hampsire and Massachusets.
You can take a ride in Gundalow in Portsmouth New Hampshire

Gundalows were sometimes pressed into service as gunboats most famously at the Battle of Valcour Island during the American revolution.
As you can see this Gundalow is doing duty as gunboat in a harbor defence roll I'll have to come up with stats. Gudalows are fairly large but shallow draft great for carring cargos but not very stable. The Philadelphia was sunk by a single hit for example (but maybe the Brititish rolled a criticle)

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Isolation update #5 Remote gaming

Well many of us are missing social interaction of gaming and are trying to find ways simulate that exerience. Last saturday Dave Valinten hosed a fun game his Devil in the Wilderness.
 Dave had good set up using with two cameras and a computer aided system for rolling dice.  Its quite a setup he calls it Aplication of Force and it worked really well.  There were some issues with the same random events popping up a little too often. We played cooperatively with Dave as GM and his son playing the bad guys. 
The forces of civilization were able to hold off those of darkness even though the town seemed to be spontaneously combusting around us!  Inspired by Dave and itching to get in some more Black Seas I arranged to meet electronically with Frank and teach him the game.
My own set up is less sophisticated than Dave’s but I did have two cameras’ with laptop providing the second one.  
 Frank took HMS Unicorn a standard 5th rate.  
 I ran the US privateers Brigs Sea Hawk and Rattler. 
 Frank started with the windward position and I tried to get to cute working a ship to either side.  Frank got a raking position on the Seahawk and knoked away several spars.
My ships got too close to each other in my efforts to bring them back together and collided.  At this point my camera batteries gave out and the recording of the battle didn't take (anyplace I can find it anyway).  The Unicorn hit the Seahawk hard with its next broadside and forced it to strike.  The Rattler managed to hit Unicorn several times but was also hit in turn by the Unicorn.  If the collision hadn't happened, I might have been OK but Franks heavier ship had a clear advantage and his last broadside reduced my ship to swish cheese (only less buoyant).

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Isolation Update #4

This past weekend was my first full week (it seems longer) of not working.  I miss work (ok I miss the adult interaction it gave me) a bit but we are adjusting. 
The time I get spend with my daughter is a compensation (you know except when it isn't).  One recent change is she now gets to pick out her own clothing (with mom and dad judging if its appropriate to the weather) toddler chic at its finest. 
 We’ve been doing lots of walks and as you may know Evelyn likes to pick up rocks. The other day Evelyn brought a rock to me and proclaimed, “I found an ear!”  I looked an asked if it could be a troll ear (you know like the Hobbit).  My wife immediately says, “Like in Frozen!” That sums up the difference in our thought processes when it comes to Fantasy.  Evelyn agreed with Ariana having not seen the Hobbit, the animated (and only valid movie) version is a bit beyond her thought I may need to rethink this soon.  
Still really does resemble an ear.
 We made Easter Eggs for the town wide egg hunt and placed them in our church’s Saint Andrews window because we live at the end of dead end road that is up hill and no one walks by our house.
We also did the hunt and saw the Easter bunny from a safe social distance. 
One of our neighbors who is missing her grandkids put out some eggs for Evelyn and gave her Cupcakes, which she instated on carrying herself, and some pansy’s to plant in our garden.
Easter morning Evelyn and I made blueberry muffins.
Evelyn got lots of goodies, jellybeans, teddy grams and chocolates. Also, stickers and a couple of toys.
The Princess counting cards were a particular hit. 
Easter Dinner was Pork with a Fig sauce, potatoes, squash and asparagus.  Evelyn helped with the Potatoes and Squash mixing the seasoning and helping me place them on the pan for cooking.