A Dry Season

State of the Union

Well, the gaming drought continues due to the crushing workload of architecture school (insert whimpering sounds). After complaining, I’ll admit that I’m giving myself a four-hour break on Saturday to play Squad Leader with a friend at the local gaming club’s monthly game day. It’s been a long, long, (very long) time since I’ve played a game of Squad Leader, or any hex-and-chit wargame (unless Memoir ’44 or Command and Colors counts), and I’m really looking forward to it.

Current Events

I have managed to do a bit of reading here and there, though it’s not getting done at my usual rapacious pace. I finished up Frigates, Sloops, and Brigs, which was pretty darned awesome and launched into Balkoski’s Beyond the Beachhead: The 29th Infantry Division in Normandy. Balkoski’s book is the perfect resource for Skirmish Campaign’s Heroes of Omaha and Panzer Lehr, as it details the exploits of the US force covered in that game book and is written from the level of the blood and mud. The author did lots and lots of research from primary resources, which lends a lot of authenticity to the nitty-gritty perspective.

A chronicle of the 29th Division in WW2

I’m only about 50 pages in, but the book is clearly written, and has some great breakdowns of US infantry organization and small unit tactics. The narrative hasn’t reached actual combat, yet, but I suspect the quality will continue, or even improve. I get the impression that Balkoski fell in love with the 29th a bit, but I hope it won’t be to an annoyingly blinding degree.

In any case, if you’re considering playing the HOOPLA campaign book, Beyond the Beachhead is proving to be an essential companion piece. Unless the next 200 pages completely suck, in which case I’ll let you know!

Signing off for yet another night of drafting until I drool…

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