Friday, November 28, 2014

Diplomacy Game: Results Spring 1906 Turn

We are now seeing the long, grinding scrum of the endgame.  

Turkey’s weight of numbers begins to tell in the Balkans.  If you’re wondering what happened to the Italian army in Serbia, and why it couldn’t retreat to Trieste, it’s because Tri was contested in a standoff in the S1906 turn, and a province where there was a standoff is not a valid retreat destination.   It will be interesting to see Di Graspi explain this debacle, though I understand that Italy is now ruled by a military junta so he doesn’t have to answer to anyone.

France has now started to retaliate for the sneak attack by Italy, and is cooperating with the Turkish army trying to break north from Naples.  We’ve seen a second Miracle of Rome, but the sound of guns is getting closer and ruining the mornings of people taking espresso and biscotti in the cafes.  Maybe time to go visit Milan or Florence, where it’s safer?

England is playing a patient game.   Did it just betray the Sultan by occupying Moscow?  And what is that Fleet in the English Channel doing?   

Perhaps the next issue of the Daily Dissembler will shed some light on this confused picture.

Players, Fall 1906 orders by Monday, 1 December, midnight EST please.


Results for Spring, 1906 (Movement)

General Notices:
All dislodged units destroyed; advancing to next phase.Order
resolution completed on 28-Nov-2014 at 09:20:54 EST

Order Results:


F bal - pru; A ber Supports A kie

F den - nth;  F hel Supports A kie; A kie Holds

A lvn Supports A stp -mos; A lon Holds  F nth - eng; A stp -mos


A bel - pic; A bur - par; F hol - bel; A ruh - hol;

A spa - gas Bounced with gas (1 against 1). 

F tys Supports A nap - rom Support cut by Move from Tunis. 


No order for unit at Silesia. Hold order assigned.Germany:
A sil Holds


The Army in Serbia cannot retreat; unit destroyed.

A bud Supports A ser - rum

A gas Supports A pie - mar Support cut by Move from Spain. 

A pie -mar; A rom Holds;

A ser - rum Bounced with con (2 against 1). Dislodged from gre (3 against 1). 

F tun - tis Bounced with tys (1 against 1). 

A tyr - ven Failed because Italy: F ven -  tri failed. 

F ven - tri Bounced with adr (1 against 1). 


F adr - tri Bounced with ven (1 against 1). 

F aeg -  ion; A alb supp A gre -  ser

F bla Convoys A con - rum; A bul Supports A gre - ser

A con - rum Bounced with ser (2 against 1). Convoy path taken: con- bla- rum. 

A gre - ser; A nap -rom Bounced with rom (1 against 1). 

F sev Supports A con -rum;  A war Holds


Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Tuesday Boardgame On Wednesday: Fox's Gap From GMT's South Mountain/Twin Peaks

So my irregular Tuesday Boardgame feature appears on Wednesday … reason why, it’s complicated and tedious.   Last time I ran a Tuesday Boardgame it was GMT’s COIN game on Afghanistan, A Distant Plain.  This time it’s another GMT game, South Mountain from the double game Twin Peaks that I mentioned about a month ago.

 I chose the simplest scenario from the South Mountain Battle Book, Fox’s Gap, in which a brigade of Cox’s Kanawha Division, Ohio troops with a good reputation, go up against Garland’s North Carolinans, who are all rated as Green but have the benefit of a good defensive position.   It’s a two-turn game, and the side to hold hex 3922, the hex behind the Jeff Davis artillery unit at the top centre of the picture, at the end of two turns wins.  It’s a simple scenario to get my head around the key rules of the Great Battles of the ACW series, which basically go back to 1970s and Terrible Swift Sword, except that the command and control rules, which run from Army Commander through Corps to Division and Brigade, don’t apply in this scenario.

First side to go is by dice roll and the Union wins so the order is prep fire against the Confederate centre while two battalions of the 30th Ohio advance on the right, supported by the artillery, three sections of the 1st Ohio.

 The rest of the Union infantry uses Prep Fire, which gives a stationary shooter a +1 bonus.  Two units fire on and hit the 5th NC, causing a step loss and a disruption.  5NC gets hit a second time and fails its morale test, losing another step and falling back two hexes. 

 30th OH advances on the 13th NC and its supporting artillery.  The Parrotts of the 1st OH don’t do any damage on the way in.  The Jeff Davis artillery get to shoot on infantry moving within three hexes of them, but don’t do any damage.  30 OHb doesn’t have the movement allowance to charge, so shoots and causes no damage.  30 OHa has the movement to charge and does so.  It takes fire from 13NC on the way in but no damage and it continues with the charge.   I misread the rules and counted the Jeff Davis artillery (4 SPs) as part of the Shock Odds.  In fact, artillery don’t count in Shock Combat.  The Union didn’t roll well, and the result is that everyone is disordered.


That ends the Union turn.  The Confederates don’t have a lot of options, but Garland runs over to 13th NC to try to help them rally and defend against a second melee.  His modifier (leaders get a -1 for each star on their counter) helps Section B of the Jeff David artillery and the 13th NC to rally, which will help them trying to stand another assault.



Garland’s only reserve is the 20thNC, which uses all its MA to charge the 30 OHa in the flank.  Ouch.  That’s a whole lot of hurt on the Buckeyes..


 The 30OHa are thrown back with two step losses.

And that pretty much ends the game.  The Union don’t have the ability to dislodge the rebs at this point.  Perhaps if the Union had thrown more weight at the Rebel left to begin with?  At any rate, the mechanics are very smooth and easy to grasp.  It will be fun to try a larger scenario with the command and control rules.

About my only quibble with the game so far is that the contour lines are a not always easy to decipher on the map.  For example, Hex 4023 , which the rebs were defending above, is clearly on the same contour level as 3922.  But, is 4023  higher than 4123? I’m not entirely sure but I think it’s higher, because of that line wandering through 4023 just to the left of the right hex edge.  It is certainly higher than 4022 and 4122, I think, as the contour line seems to run under the stone fence.  At least, I think so.  Seeing as it’s a game fought over hills and contours, it rather makes a difference.  I’m not sure if all the light perpendicular lines and right angles are trying to represent - fields, maybe?  They don’t seem that helpful.

 Anyway, a minor quibble.  This would make an excellent miniature scenario, even for my 28mm figures.   I should give that some thought.


Monday, November 24, 2014

Weekend Roundup: Introducing Irresistible Izzy

 It was a quiet weekend at the Mad Padre’s Painting Chapel. A little bit got done, paint wise.  Some work done on magnetizing bases and intelligent storage of figures prior to the move coming at me next spring.  Perhaps the highpoint was Saturday night, when I decided that my friend Rabbitman needed some miniature and baklava therapy to shake off his funk.   Something totally silly was called for, so I grabbed my Lord of the Rings collection which has seen some exposure here lately, tried to mentally dust off my knowledge of the GW rules, and hit the road.  We had an agreeably silly game, but it did mark the debut of a hulking chap I affectionately call “Izzy”, short for “Izzy the Isengard Troll”.  Here he is leading some Uruks of the White Hand out of some woods, wanting to smash the Rohirrim and eat a horse or two.


For this action we threw most of my toys on the table, in varying conditions of paintedness (is that even a word?), Isengard vs. Rohan.  Because the Uruks had some good assets (a half dozen Berserkers, very tough to kill and each w 2 attacks) and Izzy, who is sort of Middle Earth’s equivalent of a King Tiger, we gave the good guys Aragorn (3 attacks per turn and some nifty bonuses), and several heroes of the ridder mark - Eomer, Theoden, Gamling and Eowyn on her little pony.  Rabbitman tells the story on his blog here.  He wasn’t overly impressed with the GW rules, curiously called the Lord of the Rings Strategy Battle Game - why is it called Strategy when you have to throw dice three times to try and kill one figure?  Good question.

While the GW experience was so so, there were some high points.   When these minis are painted (alas, not all of mine were), they can be quite photogenic. Here Eowyn and two of the Royal Guard (chap on the left painted by Rabbitman, chap on right w shield showing by Yours Truly) ride down some annoying Uruk scouts.  We had some laughs thanks to Eowyn, imagining her riding behind Aragorn and desperately sticking Uruks to gain his attention and impress him.  Actually she was the Human player of the game, and did quite well, even shrugging off a paralysis spell by the Uruk shaman, who behaved quite caddishly.

 Izzy lumbers towards the Rohan battle line.  Notice how Patrick has lined up his troops behind the troll, rather like infantry advancing behind a friendly tank.  We were considering a house rule that if Izzy doesn’t score a kill on an enemy figure at least once every two turns, he eats a nearby friendly figure, just to keep his strength up.  The poor Rohan archers in the second rank banged away at him for all they were worth, but due to his tough hide and armour they needed a 6/4+ (roll of a 6 on 1d6 to wound, then a second roll of 4 or better) to cause a wound on him.  They couldn’t touch him.  Izzy was very annoyed at horse-smelling snooty men by the time he got near.


HAHAHAHA!  IZZY SMASH!  IZZY SMASH GOOD!  Gamling and his foot levy men died valiantly while the Rohan horse fought their way through another cluster of orcs to try and save King Theoden.    It wasn’t looking good for our heroes when we ran out of time and had to call it.


Mysterious elf babes watch impassively from a nearby hill.

Perhaps next time we play will see a rematch, perhaps Aragorn going head to head with Izzy.  There were a few rules I forgot until half way through the game, such as charging cavalry getting an extra dice against foot, and a chance to knock foot opponents offer and stomp on them.   Other rules, like requiring a Courage roll to charge the Fearsome (really, he’s quite cuddly when you get to know him) Izzy the Troll, I forgot completely.  I found myself agreeing with James that these rules require an awful lot of dice rolling and get quite cumbersome with over two dozen figures on the table.  I should dust off the GW War of the Ring rules for large battles and see if they are any better, or buy TFL’s Dux rules for Dark Ages and try Thomas Nissvik’s Dux Gondorum adaptation.

You wouldn’t believe how long it took to get Izzy settled down after he got all excited.

Diplomacy Game: 1905 Adjustments Phase Complete

Builds and Removals for the 1905 year are complete.

Germany is down one army (or is it the Kaiser’s Personal Guards) in Silesia.

Italy belatedly realizes the importance of maritime power and builds a fleet in Venice.

England, not having any maritime powers to fear, builds another Army to send to the continent.

Players, the deadline for the Spring 1906 Orders is this Thursday, midnight EST.



Results for Fall, 1905 (Adjustment)

General Notices:

Order resolution completed on 24-Nov-2014 at 07:36:53 EST

Order Results:

England:  Builds A lon

Germany: Removes A pru

Italy: Builds F ven

Russia no longer controls any supply centers, and has been eliminated.



Sunday, November 23, 2014

Diplomacy Game: Results for the Fall 1905 Turn

Here are the results of the Fall 1905 turn of our Diplomacy game.  

Current score:  Turkey 10; England 9; Itlay 8; France 6; Germany 1.  

Sadly, Russia is no more.   The last Russian supply centre, Warsaw, was captured by Turkey, aided by England, so I took the liberty of eliminating the Russian A War rather than making the Russian player retreat it and then disband it.  Russian player, thanks so much for participating, you had a tough run once Austria folded.    

Against all odds, Germany is still in the game with one Supply Centre, Munich, which France was unable to grab this turn.

Builds and disbands for the Adjustments Phase are shown at the very bottom of this post.

Veteran diplomacy players will recognize the endgame phase, where the amount of communication between the players drops off as the paths to victory become fewer and clearer.  However, General Blatt’s commentary will no doubt show us the subtleties and possibilities of the situation, and certainly there is scope for the two smaller fish, Italy and France, to try and engineer a falling out between Turkey and England, though for now their alliance appears fairly solid.


Moves for Fall 1905

Results for the end of the 1905 turn, including the dislodged Rus A in Warsaw.

Results for Fall, 1905 (Movement)

General Notices:

Order resolution completed on 23-Nov-2014 at 14:02:57 EST

Order Results:


 F bal Supports A kie -ber;  F den Holds
F hel Convoys A lon - kie; A kie - ber;
A lvn Supports A mos - war;

A lon - kie  Convoy path taken: lon-nth-hel-;kie.

F nth Convoys A lon -kie;  A stp Holds


F hol Holds;  A bel - ruh;

A bur - mun Bounced with sil (1 against 1). 

A pic - bel; A spa -mar Bounced with pie (1 against 1). 

 F wes - tys


A pru - ber Bounced with kie (1 against 1). 

A sil -mun Bounced with bur (1 against 1). 


A bud -rum Bounced with con (2 against 1). 

A mar -gas; A pie - mar Bounced with spa (1 against 1). 

A rom Holds; A ser Supports A bud -]rum

F tun Holds; A tyr - tri Bounced with alb (1 against 1). 


Russia: A war Holds Dislodged from mos (2 against 1). 


F aeg Convoys A smy - gre

A alb -  tri Bounced with tyr (1 against 1). 

F bla Convoys A con - rum;

A bul Supports A con - rum;

A con -rum Bounced with bud (1 against 1).

Convoy path taken: con -bla -;rum. 

F ion - adr; A mos -war;

A nap - rom Bounced with rom (1 against 1). 

Turkey: F rum - sev; A smy - gre Convoy path taken: smy-;aeg-gre. 


Supply Center Ownership:

Austria: None.

England: Berlin, Denmark, Edinburgh, Kiel, Liverpool, London, Norway, St. Petersburg, Sweden (9 total).

France: Belgium, Brest, Holland, Paris, Portugal, Spain (6 total).

Germany: Munich (1 total).I

taly: Budapest, Marseilles, Rome, Serbia, Trieste, Tunis, Venice, Vienna (8 total).

Russia: None.

Turkey: Ankara, Bulgaria, Constantinople, Greece, Moscow, Naples, Rumania, Sevastopol, Smyrna, Warsaw (10 total).


England: 9 supply centers, 8 units. 1 unit may be built.

France: 6 supply centers, 6 units. No units to build or remove.

Germany: 1 supply center is, 2 units. 1 unit must be removed.

Italy: 8 supply centers, 7 units. 1 unit may be built.

Russia: No supply centers are, No units. No units to build or remove

Turkey: 10 supply centers, 10 units. No units to build or remove.



Saturday, November 22, 2014

The Daily Dissembler: Your Trusted Source For News Of An Imaginary Europe

The Daily Dissembler, Special European Gazette Issue, September 15, 1905

 We make sense of a complicated, far-off world so you, dear reader, can enjoy the Gilded Age.

A Note to Our Readers

In the interests of our readers, and that we may present the most accurate possible picture of the extraordinary events in Europe, our Editorial Board has decided to print the following extra

ordinary communication from our reporter, Mr. Ernest Harrington, even while we are awaiting police reports on the veracity of the strange, and possibly momentous, events he describes.

My Ordeal: Four Days in a Fishing Smack and a Surprise Interview

From Our Late Roman Correspondent, Ernest Harrington

It was the day after my exclusive report on Marshal de Graspi’s attempt to seize the Spear of Destiny that my travails began.  I had spent the evening in one of Rome’s seediest meeting places waiting for a rendezvous with my Vatican source, but when the monsignor failed to show up I returned to my office.  At some stage my cordial must have been drugged, as I found myself becoming insensible.

 When I awoke I was in a small, confined space.  From the heaving movement and prevailing stink of fish, I deduced I was in one of the small vessels that ply Mediterranean waters.  After a few hours a crew-member appeared; he refused to answer my demands to know what was happening, merely tossing me a bowl of thin fish broth.  How I wish he was the only member of that gang I met!  Over the next few days I was beaten and roughly questioned about my journalistic activities and informants.

"I deduced I was in one of the small vessels that ply Mediterranean waters"

On the fourth day, we reached shore and I bundled into the back of a van.  I was delivered to a large villa, where I was doused with a bucket of water, given some clean clothes.  After a long wait, during which I feared I was about to be summarily executed, I was brought into the presence of no less that Marshal de Graspi himself!

Gone was the dandy whose dapper figure had bewitched the matrons of Boston.  He appeared not to have slept in days, his skin was sallow, there were large bags under his eyes and his famous whiskers were un-waxed.  Yet, as he spoke, a fire burned in his blue eyes.  

 He surprised me by apologising for my detention: it was necessary, he explained, for reasons of state security.  He had learned that Italy had been betrayed by traitors within the political and military classes (he spent a good ten minutes on a diatribe against ‘Turkish practices’ in the Admiralty).  Before retiring to a place of safety in the country, King Victor Emanuel, had commissioned de Graspi to personal government of the country.  He had no recourse but to cleanse the Augean Stables and take on the burden of leadership.  Accordingly, parliament had been suspended and the military and ministries were now in the hands of ‘trusted patriots’.  Pre-emptive strikes had been made against France and Turkey (“barely in time, for the sacred ground of Italy is now tainted by the invader’s foot”).

It was here, that de Graspi’s frightening obsessions became clear.  This was all part of the New Italy’s destiny, he declaimed.  Now the Spear of Longinus has been found in a Hapsburg treasury, it only remained to recover the True Cross from Constantinople and seize the Lost Priory from the French.  Much mysticism followed, which became more confusing as he went on.  It was only after stating the end goal of liberating the Rosslyn Chapel from the Protestants, that he finished his oration, sinking to his chair exhausted.  My role, apparently, was to be de Graspi’s voice in America.  This I naturally refused.

 And that, dear readers, is why when the authorities raided a certain Marseilles house of ill-repute I was found naked and bound in the cellar.  The presence of a carpet bag containing a large amount of currency and files containing incriminating material on a number of prominent Italian and French politicians I can only put down to an attempt to discredit both me and them.

 [Note to Ed - Bail will be sent by a Special Military Tribunal on Thursday.]

My Journey To Paris

Story filed by the Daily Dissember’s own Miss Amelia Roosevelt, Intrepid Girl Reporter and niece of the Vice President.

My readers will recall that my last report was filed from a woods in the middle of Germany, where Kaiser Wilhelm was conducting his quixotic defence of his realm.   Upon leaving  the Imperial presence, I made my way to Berlin, which I found to be a scene of total anarchy.   As in Vienna, parts of the city were engulfed in conflict.   Worker’s committees, inspired by the revolutionary writings of Mr. Karl Marx, and inspired by similar uprisings in Russia and Austria, had raised their red banners of revolt.   From my hotel I could hear the sounds of artillery in the working class neighbourhood of Prenzlauer Berg, as loyal German troops, including the Kaiser’s own Foot Guards, fought with the Sparticists, as the revolutionaries call themselves.  The situation become further confused as an English army, advancing from the west, attempted to enter the city.   With much of the Charlottenburg district in flames, and the American Embassy cut off by the fighting, I was able to use my schoolgirl German to assist a group of Benedictine sisters evacuating their orphans.  We were fortunate in that our white flags and the Sister’s habits allowed us to pass between the German and English lines, and the British troops, being perfect gentlemen, allowed us to proceed towards France.  I learned the words of many German children’s songs before I left my new friends in Soissons and took the train for Paris.

Fighting in the streets of Berlin, as seen from near my hotel.

I confess that I expected to find refuge and tranquility in the City of Light, but found the city very tense.   Following the news of the Fall of Marseilles, it seemed that the French Government had been forced to disband an army that had raised recently in the Paris region.   The streets were still crowded with recently dismissed soldiers, some of whom were drunk and others demanding arrears in their pay.    Heavily armed gendarmes kept a tense eye on the streets.   Patriotic crowds denounced the treason and incompetence of the French officials and generals who, they claimed, had allowed the Italians to invade.  I was nearly caught in a riot, and my dress was badly torn by a coarse soldier, but I found myself hailed by a friend, the Comtesse Miley de Cyrus, whom I had known at Bryn Mawr.  The Comtesse took me into her town car and sheltered me in her palatial town home.   I asked her if she knew the position of the French government on the current situation.  “Ma cherie!”, she laughed, “I know ALL their favourite positions.”  I confess that remark went over my head.
With the assistance of the Comtesse, I was able to secure an appointment at the Palais de l’Élysée with the French President, who charmingly asked me to call him Emile.   I called him Mr. President.   No sooner did the interview start than I regretted having accepted the dress that the Comtesse had leant me, which was rather revealing in the French manner.  My first question was about how the entire world world was shocked by the fall of Marseilles to the Italians.   Have you taken steps to punish the French officials and generals who let this happen?

"No, of course not", he replied suavely.  "This is no an occupation, it is a regrouping of troops for the coming attack on the Turk. Our alliance is strong."
This remark took me aback, as  I was under the impression France and Italy were at war., and that Italian troops were in fact in Marseiiled.  I asked him, Do you think that Italy’s attack came because France’s passive foreign policy made it look weak?
Tsk, tsk, he said, as if I was a somewhat dim schoolgirl, a fairly common reaction when heads of state speak to me.  "As I said, ma cherie, Italy did not attack us, we have simply prepared a safe marshsalling area for the Italian troops in preparation for the coming war."

I asked, Do you trust England not to attack you from the North?

The President waved a hand as if to dismiss the question.  "Our alliance with England is as strong as ever."

I asked him about France’s ambitions given the German collapse.  Does France want a piece of Germany, specifically Ruhr and Munich?

The President smiled charmingly.   "We would of course not intrude on the territory of our neighbour Germany unless invited."

So, I asked, Is it true that France has allied with Turkey?

The smile grew wider.  "Italy and Turkey are at war. Italy is our ally. Do the math, Ms Roosevelt."

With that, an aide suavely informed me that the interview was over, but that I was invited to share the President’s box at the opera that evening.   While the temptation to get a more extensive interview was strong, I plead my exhaustion from my recent travels.   Upon returning to the Comtesse’s townhouse, I discovered an embossed letter from the Turkish Embassy, inviting me to a dinner party where I learned that the Sultan was most interested in meeting me.   I am currently arranging travel to Constantionople and hope to report on that visit in my next piece.

Insightful commentary on the European situation by General Sir Erasmus Blatt (ret), geo-political and military correspondent for the Rioters News Agency, on contract to the Daily Dissembler.

Stirring the Pot...

A commentary by General Sir Erasmus Blatt, geo-political and military correspondent for the Rioters News Agency.

It was subsequent to the emergence of newly commissioned fleets and armies throughout war-torn europe that this writer perceived that mighty Turkey might well have outgrown its strength. Powerful at sea, the Porte appeared to lack solidity on land. Small wonder the hasty commissioning of three new armies.

But there was nothing to be done about the fall of Serbia to Italian arms, not in 1905 at any rate. On the other hand, the military career of General Walid Pasha, commanding in chief the invasion of Italy, may well be coming to an abrupt and possibly fatal end. The strike for Rome had to be over-ambitious. But a landing in Apulia was not only assured, but would have placed Rome in a very parlous case come the Autumn.

The Sultan can count himself lucky his alliance with England is holding firm, for his army in Moscow is far from any possible support from his own forces. So with the vicissitudes of its fortunes during the opening months of 1905, Turkey remains in a powerful position, and may well surge back later in the year.

Italy, meanwhile, continues form success to success, but for the loss of Naples. That loss, however, bids fair to outweigh the gains. Had the Turkish Army in Naples supported the Apulia landing this spring, Rome was doomed. French pressure would have recovered Marseille, and the Capital of Western Christendom would have gone the way of the Eastern, never to be recovered. The 'Miracle of Rome': perhaps it was the earnest prayers of Pius X that kept the Turk from the door. I shouldn't wonder if in less than 50 years' time he receives his canonization from the Vatican.

But for how long can Italy survive the attentions of France and Turkey both? Powerful as is the Peninsular Kingdom, she may be able to hold out for a long time. But the eventual outcome can surely be in no doubt.

This despite the unhappy situation in which the Republic finds itself: its Mediterranean fleet orphaned, and the resources as yet unavailable to wrest back its sole entree to the Mediterranean at Marseille. The strike at Tunis can only have been by arrangement with Turkey. Methinks the interests of France and Turkey both might have been better served had the French fleet moved into the Gulf of Lyons. Marseille would surely have fallen in the Fall season; and the Italian fleet in Tunis would have been placed in a terrible quandary about whether to stay in port or venture forth into the Tyrrhenian Sea. Imagine had the Turkish landed a second army in the heel of Italy. The Sultan's fleets would have been released to challenge the Italian fleet off the coast of Sicily at that, and Rome must have fallen along with Marseille. Italy has been given a reprieve. What can she make of it during the waning of the year? 

Meanwhile in the North, England is having things all its own way. The Czar in Warsaw is lamenting his lost Imperium; the Kaiser is in little better case. Soon the newly crowned King of England will count himself master of the entire Baltic littoral as well as the Arctic. Astonishing the progress made by the Island Kingdom.

It would be a bold prophet, withal, who could predict any other outcome but the division of Europe between the powers most accustomed to imperialism: Turkey and England. At that, it might well come down to a final showdown between Albion and Anatolia.

15 July, 1905

Friday, November 21, 2014

A Sweet Pulp Ride

Two posts in one day!   Here’s the other project I got off the workbench this week. the Tamiya 1/48 scale Citroën Traction 11CV I bought for my Weird War Two project.   I haven’t made a model in this scale for quite a while, and I haven’t put together a civilian car since I don’t know when.   It was a fairly simple model to assemble, with very clean parts.
Somewhere on a rural road in France, an unlikely pair meet.   Who summoned whom to this rendezvous?   Who is betraying whom?  I realize there’s a difference between 1/48 and 1/52 scale but the vehicle seems to work with the Bob Murch figures.

Once again I tried some pigment, thinking a muddy, hard-used look would be better than a nice clean vehicle straight from the car wash.

I love the grille on the front.   Maybe I should have dirtied it up a bit.

 More mud.   Too much mud?   Not enough?   I never know.   

Now, if I could only find one of these in 20mm.

These figures bring my 2014 totals to:
28mm Mounted: 13, 28mm Foot: 55, 28mm Artillery: 2; 28mm Terrain Pieces: 9; 28mm Vehicles: 1
20mm Foot: 33, 20mm Artillery: 2, 20mm Vehicles: 2, 20mm Terrain Pieces: 2
15mm Vehicles: 5, 15mm Foot: 26, 15mm Terrain Pieces: 3
6mm Foot:  120, 6mm vehicles: 4, 6mm Terrain Pieces: 2
Kilometres Run: 1,041

Heroes of Rohan, or, Will the Horse Survive?

I moved two projects off the painting bench this week (I’ll save the other one for a subsequent post).   I’m trying to finish off painted figures and refurbish some old ones before the Analogue Hobbies Challenge starts (again, more in a subsequent post)  Here are the three mins (L to R, Eowyn, Gamling, Theoden) from the apparently now defunct Heroes of Helms Deep boxed set.   Since these were all partially painted previously, I’m only going to give myself credit for painting 1 28mm foot figure for the three of them.

Here they are with their backs to a wood, and apparently without their horses.   That pike in the foreground suggests things can’t be good for our heroes.

Oh dear.   A horde of nasty Uruks charge up hill towards our three heroes.   While the Rohirrim seem imperilled, I wonder if the whole GW LOTR range may be in greater danger.  I made a very infrequent trip to the GW webstore and noticed that the whole Tolkien line of licensed products is now listed under the single title/category of “The Hobbit”.  It looks like most of the models from the original LOTR series are still in stock, but I noticed some absences.  With the original three films now a decade in the past, I suspect GW accountants will pull the plug on the range when sales fall to a certain point.  Since they all seem to have vanished from retail, it looks like the GW Webstore or EBay will have to be my sources if I want more of these guys.  It also appears that GW has withdrawn some of the LOTR rules books, such as the War of the Ring book for large-scale battles.

Hmmm, those Uruks need some work as well.  At least some sort of nasty grey wasteland texture on the slotta bases, or should it be green, to show the tender shoots of Middle Earth’s forests trampled under the iron-shod sandals of Isengard?

Bring it on! cries Theoden.  "Those accountant pukes won’t discontinue the Riders of Rohan, not as long as my sword is held high" (which is not the best defensive stance for an oncoming pikeman, but who am I to second guess King Theoden?)

Some versions of the Gamling sculpt have him holding a banner, which frankly I’d prefer.  In this version his left hand (awkwardly cropped from the shot) is sticking out empty handed, which makes him look a bit like a fencer or a back alley knife fighter.  Maybe I should find him a shield?  I like the Eowyn casting.  There is one from the third film (the scene with the Nazgul on the Pelennor Fields) with her wearing armour which would be nice to have as well, but I like this one.  I should find some Viking shield maidens (maybe from the Wargames Foundry line) to keep her company.

These figures bring my 2014 totals to:
28mm Mounted: 13, 28mm Foot: 55, 28mm Artillery: 2; 28mm terrain pieces: 9.
20mm Foot: 33, 20mm Artillery: 2, 20mm Vehicles: 2, 20mm Terrain Pieces: 2
15mm Vehicles: 5, 15mm Foot: 26, 15mm Terrain Pieces: 3
6mm Foot:  120, 6mm vehicles: 4, 6mm Terrain Pieces: 2
Kilometres Run: 1,041

Monday, November 17, 2014

Diplomacy Game Spring 1905 Results

Here are the results of the Diplomacy Game Spring 1905 Turn.  As one player put it, Europe’s agony continues.  Several moves failed this turn,.  Perhaps the only success was the Italian push south into the Balkans, taking Serbia from Turkey.  However, powerful Turkish armies are massing and the Turks are knocking on the gates of Rome.  The Kaiser  still lays claim to his war-ravaged capital, in the spirit of Frederick the Great.  Rumours have it that the German press is now instructed to refer to him as “Wilheim der Grosse”.

The Turkish A in Ser must retreat to either Gre or Alb.  BREAKING NEWS  - TURKISH A SER RETREATS TO ALB.


Moves: several cruises got cancelled.


Results for Spring, 1905 (Movement)

General Notices:
Order resolution completed on 17-Nov-2014 at 06:08:58 EST

Order Results:


F bal Supports A kie - ber; F den Holds 
F hel Convoys A lon -kie;

A kie - ber; Bounced with pru (2 against 1). 

A lon - kie Failed because England: A kie - ber failed.

Convoy path taken: lon - nth - hel - kie. 

F nth Convoys A lon -kie;  A nwy - stp;  A stp -  lvn


A bel Holds;  A bur Supports A spa - mar; F hol Holds

A pic Holds; A spa - mar Bounced with mar (2 against 2). 

F wes - tun Bounced with tun (1 against 1). 


Germany: A pru - ber  Bounced with kie (2 against 1). 

 A sil Supports A pru - ber



A bud Supports A tri -ser; A mar Holds

A pie Supports A mar; A rom - api Bounced with smy (1 against 1). 

A tri -serI F tun Holds; A vie - tyr


 A war Holds


 F aeg Convoys A smy - apu; A ank - con
A con - bul; F ion Convoys A smy -apu

A mos Supports A stp -lvn;

A nap - rom Failed because Italy: A rom - apu failed. 

F rum Holds

A ser - tri Bounced with tri (1 against 1). Dislodged from tri (2 against 1). 

 F sev - bla; A smy - apu Bounced with rom (1 against 1).

Convoy path taken: smy-aeg-ion-apu. 


Valid Retreat Paths For Turkish A Dislodged from Ser: Gre or Alb



Sunday, November 16, 2014

Weekend Roundup

It was a good weekend all around, despite signs of winter settling in on SW Ontario.  I celebrated a birthday on Friday, and Madame Padre and I treated ourselves to a day in Niagara on the Lake, which is a town that people usually visit in the summer to attend plays at the Shaw Festival, visit the innumerable wineries in that region, and enjoy tourist pleasures.   On a cold November day we had the scenic old town mostly to ourselves, and enjoyed a pub lunch.  We visited Beau Chapeau, where Madame Padre treated me to a very stylish fedora to wear with my newly repaired British Warm, a coat that my father had tailored when he was first commissioned as an army subaltern many years ago, and which I am very happy to wear in his memory.  It’s as heavy as a load of bricks, but its warm and stylish in a retro, film noir kind of way   I am now set for a cold winter’s day and/or pulp gaming.


A little progress at the modelling bench.   Some of you had some helpful suggestions for basing my newly made trees into a more effective ensemble, so that gave me some ideas.   Still very much a work in progress, but here’s a sabot-style base with the holes cut into it for the trees.

And they seem to fit.  Now for some landscaping - ground texture, some rocks and perhaps a fallen tree trunk or two, and some bushes, but not enough to obstruct if I want to put some figures into the woods.


And some gaming on Saturday night.  My mate James brought his late war 15mm Canadians over and we devised a scenario pitting his Sherman Squadron of Doom against some 12th SS panzer grenadiers, using Too Fat LArdie’s I Aint’ Been Shot Mum company level rules.  I was very pleased that my friend Rod could attend.  He was my boss when I was posted to CFB Suffield and he was the Base Commander there.  After a distinguished career as a combat engineer, Rod left the military and now manages the maintenance department for the city of Guelph.  When we were in Suffield he was too busy to attend a wargaming night, but was always intrigued when his junior officers would report on their experiences at the Padre’s Land Warfare Simulation Centre, so this was his chance to experience tabletop wargaming for the first time.

Here’s a little slice of Normandy.  We weren’t trying to reproduce a particular action, just something generic (I plead being too lazy,  mean busy, to research a specific action). Germans (me) have two platoons of grenadiers, a aug of three MkIV panzers, two 7.5cm Pak 40s , and a FOO with an off board battery of 81cm mortars which never showed up.  Jerry could set up anywhere on the table.  I chose to put most of my stuff on the right hand to the railway tracks.   Canadians deployed on the left table edge.  Here Rod surveys the terrain and wonders what he got himself into.


A good start for me.  I put a tank killer team into the woods on the right hand side of the road below, and they took out the lead Sherman before trying to fall back on their supports.  Unfortunately they weren’t fast enough and got bagged when the Canadian infantry caught them looking sheepish with a smoking Panzerschreck.  “We give up. Tommy.  What, this?  How did this get here?"


I now committed a totally bone headed move and brought my PzIV aug out of cover, thinking they could support the lone AT gun I had currently engaged.  My other mistake was not to site both PAKs so they could mutually cover a kill zone with the Panzers and all fire together with a better chance of overwhelming the lead enemy tanks.  This was a disastrous mistake, as my Panzers all missed and were promptly chewed up by the enemy, including the dreaded Firefly 17pounders.   Rod and James confessed later they were quite surprised (they were too polite to say delighted) by this move.

With my Panzers committed in the centre and pounded into scrap, and one of my PAKs smothered by an enemy barrage, I had little to stop the enemy tanks from hooking around my right flank.   The grenadiers seen behind the hedge managed to stop one with a lucky Panzerfaust, but there was little else I could do.


Not as many pictures taken as I would like, but here’s a view of the Canadian juggernaut grinding forward in the centre.  The little cluster of dice at the bottom right of the picture mark the spot where my one PAK is getting pounded by tank HE fire and off board artillery.  It only claimed one victim.  My dead panzers are a little further up the road shown at the bottom of the frame.  The other PAK, very poorly sited, finally got off one shot and missed, then hooked onto its truck and skeddadled.

What can I say?  I look good in a fedora, and I can put a nice looking table together, but my tactical skills are pretty miserable.  I reset the table tonight, with a more intelligent German deployment, and it was much harder going for the Allies, so hopefully some lessons learned for me.   It was pleasant to see Rod having a good time.  During our debrief, be remarked that this war-game felt much more real than the kind that he played when he was in staff college.  Those wargames tended to be all IGO/UGP affairs, with all the assets one could want (attack helicopters, fast air, artillery) on call and ready to deliver.  Rod thought this felt more realistic, with a few scared leaders and men hiding in woods and a few others doing most of the hard work.   I suppose the staff college games are designed to give students all of the tools in the box to play with so they have a better grasp of doctrine, but it was certainly a vindication for the Too Fat Lardies philosophy that a good game is one where players have to manage the friction of the battlefield.

If you like, you can read James’ highly self-serving and annoying account of the game here.  He doesn’t mention what terrible luck I had getting the cards I needed.   Even so, win or lose, a night of gaming and laughter with good friends is what the hobby is all about, and hopefully I’ll learn something for the next time.  And there will be a next time.

Blessings to your die rolls!





Thursday, November 13, 2014

Foundry ACW Union Artillery

The 28mm Union cannon and artillerists seen last in my Saturday workbench post are now done.

The artillerists are Perry Brothers sculpts done when they worked for Foundry.   I confess I am very partial to the Foundry ACW line of figures.  The artillerists are from Foundry pack CWA2 Artillery Crew Aiming Gun.  I should have purchased a second cannon, since there are enough figures to respectably crew two pieces in any scale bigger than Skirmish/1 to 1.

So far my ACW Union collection just has Parrott guns, so I decided I’d give the Yanks a 12pder Napoleon.  I drilled out the barrel a little ways with a pin vice and then blobbed in some black paint.  Don’t know why I didn’t think of that doing that for my previous guns.

I like the goatee on the gun chief, it gives him a competent and slightly swashbuckling air.  Pity my iPhone wasn’t up to the job, as I am quite chuffed with the faces on these two chaps.

After this picture I took some black Tamiya pigment and rubbed it on the shaft of the rammer/sponge, to make it look properly used and grotty.

Battery commander observing the fall of shot.  He looks like he’s saying “Come and get some, Johnny!"

These figures bring my 2014 totals to:
28mm Mounted: 13, 28mm Foot: 54 (including the powder barrel in this set!), 28mm Artillery: 2; 28mm terrain pieces: 9.
20mm Foot: 33, 20mm Artillery: 2, 20mm Vehicles: 2, 20mm Terrain Pieces: 2
15mm Vehicles: 5, 15mm Foot: 26, 15mm Terrain Pieces: 3
6mm Foot:  120, 6mm vehicles: 4, 6mm Terrain Pieces: 2
Kilometres Run: 1,019

Diplomacy Game: 1904 Adjustments Complete

Here’s the board at the start of the Spring 1905 turn.  Austria has been eliminated, Germany and Russia are still at the table, just.   Turkey thus far leads the field with ten supply centres and England, her nearest contender, has eight, with Italy (7) and France (6) bringing up third and fourth places respectively. 

We are now in the Spring 1905 turn, our ninth turn of the game if you’re keeping track.  Players, let’s make the deadline for your orders midnight EST this Sunday 16 November, midnight EST.



Results for Fall, 1904 (Adjustment)

General Notices:

Order resolution completed on 13-Nov-2014 at 08:59:27 EST

Order Results:

Austria no longer controls any supply centers, and has been eliminated.

England: Builds A lon

France: Removes A par

Germany: Removes A gal

Italy: Builds A rom

Russia: Removes A lvn

Turkey: Builds A ank  Builds A con Builds A smy


Supply Center Ownership:

Austria: None.

England: Denmark, Edinburgh, Kiel, Liverpool, London, Norway, St. Petersburg, Sweden (8 total)

France: Belgium, Brest, Holland, Paris, Portugal, Spain (6 total).

Germany: Berlin, Munich (2 total).

Italy: Budapest, Marseilles, Rome, Trieste, Tunis, Venice, Vienna (7 total).

Russia: Warsaw (1 total).

Turkey: Ankara, Bulgaria, Constantinople, Greece, Moscow, Naples, Rumania, Serbia, Sevastopol, Smyrna (10 total).



Monday, November 10, 2014

Diplomacy Game: Fall 1904 Move Results

Well, Diplomacy Fans, as they say, that escalated quickly.  Quick highlights:

Italy, sensing that Turkey was going to plunge the stiletto in, acted simultaneously, but took on the additional burden of starting a war with France as well.   Perhaps DeGraspi has indeed lost it.
Turkey, like Godzilla, shrugs off all attacks and has a massive three builds coming in the Adjustment Phase.

France may have sat on the fence too long.   Russia continues to dwindle.  The Kaiser, in a flurry of moves that would have made Der Alte Fritz proud, does his best to stave off disaster.
England, Sphinx like, is now beginning to feed on its proxy Germany and continues to play the long game with Russia.

All results are below.   Players, your adjustment orders to me by midnight EST Wedenesday, Nov 12th, please.

Results for Fall, 1904 (Movement)

General Notices:
Order resolution completed on 10-Nov-2014 at 05:55:50 EST

Order Results:
 F bal - ber   Bounced with pru (1 against 1).
A den -kie;   F hel Supports A den - kie
F lon - nth;  E F nth - den;  A nwy Supports A stp; A stp Supports A mos


France: A bel Supports F hol
A bur -mun Bounced with sil (1 against 1).
F hol Supports A bel;  A par - bur Failed because A bur -mun failed.
A pic Supports A bel;  A spa Holds; F wes Holds

A gal -rum  Bounced with rum (1 against 1).
A pru - ber Bounced with bal (1 against 1).
A sil - mun Bounced with bur (1 against 1).

 A bud Supports A gal - rum  Support cut by Move from Serbia.
 A pie -  mar; A tri -ser Failed because Turkey: A ser -bud failed.
 F tun - ion  Bounced with ion (1 against 1).
 A ven - pieI;  A vie Holds

A lvn Holds;  A sev Holds Dislodged from bla (2 against 1).
A war Holds

 F aeg Convoys A con -nap;  F bla -sev;
A con -nap  Convoy path taken: con-aeg-ion-nap.
F ion Convoys A con -nap; ]A mos Supports F bla - sev
F rum Supports F bla - sev Support cut by Move from Galicia.
A ser -bud Bounced with bud (1 against 1).

Results for Fall, 1904 (Retreat)

General Notices:

Order resolution completed on 10-Nov-2014 at 10:52:58 EST

Order Results:

England:  Supply centers were gained. Units that may be built: 1.

France: Supply centers were lost. Units that must be removed: 1.

Germany: Supply centers were lost. Units that must be removed: 1.

Italy: Supply centers were gained. Units that may be built: 1.

Russia: Supply centers were lost. Units that must be removed: 1.

Russia: A sev Disbands
Turkey: Supply centers were gained. Units that may be built: 3.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

The Daily Dissembler: Your Trusted Source For News Of An Imaginary Europe

The Daily Dissembler, Special European Gazette Issue, September 15, 1904

We make sense of a complicated, far-off world so you, dear reader, can enjoy the Gilded Age.

A Note to Our Readers
The editorial board of the Daily Dissembler continues to regret that this edition of our quality journal is published later than we would like.   We ask that anyone aware of the whereabouts of Mr. Ernest Harrington, former manager of our Rome Bureau, please contact your local constabulary.


 General Paul Von Rennenkapmf, Commander of some Russian Army or another

The Russian War Ministry, which is reported to be in the back of a lorry near Warsaw, reports that the Army Of Romania has recaptured the port and region of Sevastapol, decisively routing Turkish forces in the area.  General Paul Von Rennenkapmf, who masterminded this brilliant stroke, is to be personally awarded the Order of St. Michael and St. George by the Tsar himself, as soon as the Tsar can be moved from his safe location.  The General has also been named Field Marshal of Hoiy Mother Russia.  While autographing copies of his memoir and self-help book, Knout and Lash: A Commander On The Art of Motivation, the Field Marshall boasted that building on this success, he will soon be across the Black Sea and into Constantinople, just as soon as the Black Sea Fleet can be refloated.

Elements , or is it remnants? of the Black Sea Fleet after the Russian liberation of Sevastapol - soon to be refloated?

General Samsonov, currently commander of the Grand Army of Livonia, was asked by our Moscow Bureau Chief if it was true that he would soon cut through Anglo-Turkish lines to link up with General Rennenkampf.  “Hah!” the General exclaimed, spraying our reported with a pieces of caviar.   “I can’t march anywhere until my men get bread.  We’re starving here, the supply chain is a shambles!  Besides, the only thing that fat oaf Rennenkampf wants to link up with is his latest mistress!   Say, you wouldn’t know if any other countries are hiring generals, would you?" 


Sources in Constantiple’s Ministry of Economics report that Italians are forsaking their homelands and heading over the Alps to the more robust economies of Germany and Switzerland, as economies contract across the Mediterranean.

Communiqué from the British and Colonial Home Office

The King is happy to announce the occupation of Moscow by the ANZAC Corps after a successful landing at Gallipoli and subsequent travel by the Orient Express before continuing on a Contiki Bus Tour that lead them to the very doors of the Kremlin.  Unfortunately their luggage was lost in transit and they had to obtain some substitute clothing from a passing retailer of Turkish carpets who did them a good deal in farquary rugs among other things.  Slightly embarrassing, the ANZAC's had to borrow a flag.  It features a white pacman about to swallow a star on a field of red.   
However the King very much regrets the embarrassing rivalry between his Royal Navy and his Royal Army over whether to attend the Kiel Regatta or the at home match of the Holstein Kiel football team.


Story filed by the Daily Dissember’s own Miss Amelia Roosevelt, Intrepid Girl Reporter and niece of the Vice President.

It took some work to find the court of Kaiser Wilhelm.  After getting lost in a series of seemingly identical Silesian villages, my driver was stopped by a patrol of Uhlans, who were none too friendly.  In fact, it rather looked like they were ready to put us up against a tree and shoot us, when a stern voice cried out “Was its los?”   A German officer on a fine bay rescued us from the Uhlans and soon delivered us to the Kaiser’s court, a small table under a grove of trees where the Emperor of the Germans and his generals were plotting their strategy.

Kaiser Wilhelm was a most charming host, and after offering me schnapps and some excellent bratwust and black bread (Ach, madchen, mere soldier’s rations, for I am but a humble soldier, ja?”, I proceeded with the interview.

Q: There are rumours about the Kaiser’s mental health?  Are you quite well, sire?

A: Rumours of ill health concerning the Kaiser be they mental or physical are completely unfounded.  The Kaiser is under treatment by the finest homeopaths in Europe and heartily recommends Oscillococcinum (made only from the finest German duck liver harvested from the banks of the upper Rhine of course) to increase one's manly fortitude.

Q; Some have accused the Kaiser of being a lap dog of Great Britain? How do you respond to these accusations?
A: Corgis rarely make good lap dogs as they are rather too heavy to sit comfortably on one's lap.  The Kaiser recommends a good Dachshund for such purposes.   
Q: Sire, if you are not in league with the British, can you explain the reason why a British Fleet and Army both tried to enter Kiel and bumped each other?

A: Socialist unioinizing trouble makers have been interfering with Britain's compass manufacturing sector,  creating continuing navigational problems for the Royal Navy. Our continued fight against the forces of Bolshevism will only hasten the end of these socialist saboteurs.
Q: What will happen to the German homeland?  Will you try to defend it, or try to build a new Germany in what used to be Russia?
A: The rumours that Kaiser has put an offer in on a small bungalow in Berlin Ontario are completely unfounded as are rumours that he has been approaching other European crown heads for the loan of a pickup-wagon and a few peasants next Saturday in exchange for a keg and bratwurst to be provided for the moving crew.
Q: What are your thoughts on the current balance of power?  Will Italy go to war with Turkey?  Will France come off the fence?

A: Like counting the number of angels on the head of a pin, balancing power is best left to philosophers and theologians.  What happens between Italy and Turkey in the privacy of the Balkans is their own business.  The Kaiser has heard of this new variation on the strange practice of planking.  He considers it, as all things French, to be a silly practice and advises France to stop lazing around on fences and look to her borders.  

To ensure my safety, the Kaiser detailed a handsome young staff officer, Count Seigfried von Seyfried, to escort us on the road to Berlin.  The Count entertained me with his fine baritone voice (who knew Wagner wrote so much!). Fortunately we found a biergarten where I was able to employ a young barmaid to distract the Count while my driver and I hightailed it westwards. I hope soon to be in Paris and to report on the French view of the current hostilities.  Wish me luck! 


Insightful commentary on the European situation by General Sir Erasmus Blatt (ret), geo-political and military correspondent for the Rioters News Agency, on contract to the Daily Dissembler..

Emerging Patterns?

A commentary by General Sir Erasmus Blatt, geo-political and military correspondent for the Rioters News Agency.

The fog of bellicosity that has descended upon Europe these last three and a half years is beginning to clear, as two distinct alliances reveal themselves. I had earlier indicated that Turkey and England might well seek each other out across the war-torn subcontinent. So apparently it has transpired, with the two combining to achieve the fall of Moscow.

That the Turkish captors have been cut off from their supports by a Russian army, defeated in Romania, slinking back into Sevastopol would seem at first sight something of a setback to the Porte - or at least an outcome that would make the capture of Moscow lose some of its savour. Not so. It will not come as any surprise to this writer if by the end of the 1904 year, a stateless Czar will be sojourning in what remains of his empire in Siberia. With help from England and a compliant Germany, Turkey can keep Moscow, and Russia surely can not hold its other possessions. 

Still, miracles have already happened: look at Germany! The peculiar Kiel incident raises some questions. Was England seriously attempting to seize Kiel? Or was it all a pretence? Unopposed, the English army or fleet ought to have strolled into the place, and expanded thereby its hold upon the North European coastline. Mistaken orders, or a ruse? Both are equally possible.

It would seem that otherwise, the accord between England and France is likely to hold for quite some time to come. Neither can really afford a break with the other with central Europe still in a state of flux.

But it must be nearing the time for England and France to pluck the low-hanging fruit that German supply bases so ripely resemble right now. The Kaiser could be offered as a sop the Grand Duchy of Warsaw, at the expense of Russia. The situation around the Baltic and the Rhinelands is looking very tense. The restraints upon the Western powers can not last much longer. France and England resemble right now a pair of salivating Rottweilers, forbidden yet to touch that meat lying under their noses. 

Meanwhile, the accord between Italy and France seems to be holding well. This certainly benefits the Republic, who can devote its energies north of Switzerland. Its Mediterranean fleet may be required,. though, to help Italy against the Turkish fleet, should the Sultan prove - or turn - hostile.

So far, Italy and Turkey have coexisted - even cooperated - amicably enough, but there has been little contention in their aims. One feels that the time must be near that the Sultan will begin to cast his eye towards the Western Mediterranean. But perhaps not yet. I believe that having acquired the Emperor's capital at last, Italy will be commissioning a new unit - my guess would be a fleet - in Rome or Naples. 

For the time being, half of Turkey's fleet is committed to the Black Sea. On the other hand, it appears that the Constantinople Army was not left there for nothing. A seaborne operation could be directed almost anywhere...

I should not be too surprised if great maritime events occur in the Mediterranean during the latter half of 1904. But the fog has not yet dissipated completely...

This day, 1st July 1904

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