Shuri Castle Diorama

We visited Shuri Castle in Okinawa. If you are a military history buff, I recommend it!


Budget Wargaming

This hobby can be very expensive to say the least. Especially if you play GW Games. How can we keep costs down for both table top miniatures Games and board wargames?

Self made model of Mount Fuji, total cost: $3.00

A good friend pointed out that by buying figures at eBay or other auctions, the figs are only cheap if they ship from your country.

The gentleman at the Budgethammer Blog recommended a search like this for GW figures in order to get the best deals:

warhammer -bowl -rings -white -epic

He says:

“Firstly, it cancels out a number of words that tend to clog up Warhammer searches that I’m not personally interested in. “-bowl” gets rid of any Blood Bowl minis (I love Blood Bowl, don’t get me wrong, but I don’t like the old GW models and there’s a surprising amount of it on eBay), without hiding any Blood Angels stuff. “-rings” hide Lord of the Rings stuff, again of which there is a lot of. “-white” hides the Warhammer magazine, White Dwarf, and “-epic” hides all the Epic 40,000 stuff.
The search is set to ignore all Auctions and only display Buy It Now options. It hides all Business accounts/shops, only displaying Private sellers. Lastly, it orders it by Most Recently Listed.”

Ian Dickie in his book, “Wargaming on a Budget,” discusses things like:

“He offers sound practical advice on buying and building your armies (should you opt for metal, plastic, or even card, and in which scale?), gaming tables, terrain, buildings and even storage solutions. As well as purely financial constraints, Iain Dickie also recognizes the fact that available space is another major restriction for many gamers and tackles this issue too. Now you’ve got no excuse not to get wargaming!”

Photo: I played Captain Morgan in a promotion in Canada.

Indeed choosing plastic over metal, or a smaller scale such as 2mm over 28mm, both of these will save you money.

Irregular Miniatures is one of the cheapest if not the cheapest producer of metal miniatures. GW is perhaps the most expensive. Going for 20 mm soft plastic miniatures makes our hobby very cheap indeed.

The Wargamer online magazine has more ideas on keeping wargame costs down.


There`s a plethora of free rules available for miniatures play from all periods.  Just do a web search for “free wargame rules,”  or “free table top miniatures rules,” something like that.  Many rule sets have been a labour of love by their author, and have been play tested over many years with friends and relatives.  Some of the free rules are actually better than the rules which are rushed out to make publishing deadlines by the major companies.  And frankly, the rules are what make or break the game.

Need a Budget Place to Stay in Japan?

To How to teach English in Japan (New)

To I am Hakone

To Kevin`s English Schools



AI for Solo War games

AI for Solo War games

I have often espoused the opinion to much scoffing, that all table top war-games be they with figures or board war games, should include a solitaire system with good AI.   Most in the industry or simply people like me who love to play games usually disagreed.

Thankfully, these days, there are game designers, who share my feeling – Dan Versen and others feel the same way and back that up by including solo rules and challenging solo opponents.


I have often thought: Would it be possible to make a solo AI for board war gamers, that was not only generic enough that it could be used with most games, but would be challenging too.

Do any of you know of such a system?

I would love to hear from you in the comments section  below.  Is there some kind of computer software that we could use?


Years and years ago, I used to convert many of my board war games to the computer using the scenario editor of various computer war games I had.  Tanks was one of them,and Empire Deluxe was another.  The AI of the latter was not very good, so unless you played the vastly weaker side, it made for a boring game.

I would love to hear your comments below!

Visiting Japan? Check out the guests houses that are loaded with games!

To How to teach English in Japan (New)

To Kevin`s Guest Houses

To I am Hakone

To Kevin`s English Schools

Old Soldiers Magazine News

Howdy Gents,

I’m hoping to get the next issue out on the 15th of April. I’m in need of articles, it would indeed be helpful if I could receive 3 or 4 more articles for the coming issue. Personally I’m working on articles on “The Battle of Ctesiphon”, “Pavia 1525”, “The Sikh Wars”, and the next installment of my article on the Boer War. I haven’t had time to do any indepth studies of wargames in the last months.

My mother’s surgery was successful, but her convalescence is very slow, so I’m still doing things like helping her out of chairs and making sure that even though she walks (or in fact shuffles) through the house under her own steam, I’m there to catch her when she stumbles, and stumble she does. It is time intensive, and I thank everyone who has written for their support and well wishes. It seems there are many of us soldiering on under similar circumstances taking care of elderly parents. And, one day not too long from now, we will be in the same condition, much as we all hope to the contrary.

SO, please, if you all can, article contributions over the next 20 days or so would be helpful.

Take Care,
Old Soldiers Magazine (publisher)
White Dog Games (graphic designer)
tdcgunslinger @
tdcgsl @
(two for technical redundancy, remove space before and after the @ – done to confound spam bots)
Friends of Ernie Pyle Museum Foundation (member of the Board of Directors)

The Toy Soldier Company

Toy Soldiers, Plastic Toy Soldiers,
Metal Toy Soldiers and Playsets from
The Toy Soldier Company

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Lego War

Lego War


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