Napoleonic, WSS & ECW wargaming, with a load of old Hooptedoodle on this & that

Friday 25 August 2023

WSS: Late 17th/Early 18th Century Campaign Systems

 I've been pondering (and reading, and scribbling) for a while now on the topic of a campaign system to go with my WSS armies.

 I had a look at a couple of board games, which were interesting but not sufficiently generic for my own needs, and I bought and downloaded Real-Time Games' Malbrough s'en va t'en guerre, which is really very ingenious, but also fairly complex and very heavily abstracted (the "map" is a square array of playing cards, for example). I would like to have a bash at this at some time, but for the moment I have returned (yet again) to Arthur Harman's Cockpit of Europe, which was published in Miniature Wargames #48, May 1987, and which I have been looking at, off and on, for years.

Arthur claims that it based on an idea of Paddy Griffith's; again, it is very abstract - some of the ideas are very similar to the Real-Time Games product, but it is less ornate. In some respects it is maybe over-simplified (e.g. there are no rivers or hills in the map) but it is certainly worth further study.

Since I am a rather slow learner these days, I wondered - has anyone ever played this game, or are you aware of the odd demo online, or a more expansive description? Or have you any further suggestions?

All clues welcome. Many thanks.

Wednesday 23 August 2023

Hooptedoodle #445 - Underpublicised Risks for Domestic Wireless Networks

 Yesterday I took delivery of a replacement router/hub for Chateau Foy, which is a lot more modern than the previous one and is giving a far stronger signal, and much faster speeds.

 Such has been the rate of arrival of wifi-enable gizmos here (and everywhere else, I guess) that we had a fairly full afternoon of reconfiguring phones, computers, tablets, smart TVs and printers for the address and password of the new router. The last item to be tweaked was the Canon printer in my office.

Different drill here. If you wish to alter any element of the domestic WLAN on this printer, you select a menu item on the device, and it gets you into a step-by-step instruction dialogue for idiots, though I suspect they have not often come across idiocy on the scale you can find here.

The display on the printer says: and hold the WPS button on the access point [which means "the router"], then press OK on the device [which means "the printer"].

Now, since the router and the printer are in different rooms, this task obviously requires two people, so the Contesse kindly helped me out. She held in the WPS button on the router, and I pressed OK on the printer, two rooms away. For the next 5 or 6 minutes, the printer told me that it was "trying to connect to the access point". Eventually we cancelled the attempt. Tried twice more, with the same result.

I gave some serious thought to just using an old-fashioned USB cable to connect the printer to my iMac.

Decided to give it one last chance, so this time we swapped roles, and I did the WPS-holding job, while my wife climbed up on the rickety step stool in the office to press OK.

Same drill again, I held in the WPS button, prepared to hold it for half an hour if need be, and my wife shouted through that it was trying to connect. Then she said, "Maybe it doesn't work until you release your button?".


I said, "But it says you have to hold it in, it says nothing about releasing it...", but the ache in my finger encouraged me to try releasing it. It connected immediately.

So I was pleased that we'd got everything changed over, but a little disgruntled that the connection instructions on the printer hadn't mentioned the need to release the WPS button.

On the other hand, it doesn't mention remembering to breathe during the operation either. If I'd only done what it said, I could have been in real trouble.

I've decided I need to re-evaluate my normal guidelines for applying commonsense when following instructions for idiots. Life is marvellous - every day you learn something useful.

Saturday 19 August 2023

WSS: Another Refurbished Unit - Lobkowicz Cuirassiers

 I've been doing some refurb work in odd spare evenings, encouraged by the cooler weather. I bought in some pre-owned cavalry, added a couple of command figures, and here we have the Austrian Lobkowicz Cuirassiers, ready for action.

This is my fifth Austrian Cuirassier unit, all refurbs, and all the previous four have blackened armour, but I rather liked the appearance of the existing paintwork on this new unit, so kept them in the natural steel. I'd be embarrassed to try to justify this distinction, primarily because I'd be making it up, but in my reading I was interested to learn that Imperial cuirassiers units from the region of Lothringen [Lorraine] deliberately kept their armour unblackened. Not really relevant here, but it shows that there are options.

This particular regiment was raised in Silesia in 1682 by Count Veterani, was taken over in 1695 by Zanthe von Merl (who was from Luxembourg), after Veterani was beheaded by the Turks; by the time of Blenheim the inhaber was Prince Lobkowicz, who was a Czech. The point is merely that it is almost impossible to say where this unit came from! In the Imperial army, they were officially designated KR 17.

Figures are 20mm Les Higgins, as ever, the trumpeter is an SHQ man (from their 30YW range) mounted on a Higgins horse.