The Caffeinated Penguin

musings of a crackpot hacker

Final 2016 pics, and some 2017 pics.

| April 4, 2017

Kids – 2016

Kids – 2017


| January 4, 2017

So, it’s all yeecheyed up now because of the rain, but, on Saturday, we did have a good amount of snow and got Miles out in it and convinced him to walk around, play and go down the hill on a sled. He also asked to go back out and play on Sunday. Woot! Max was less interested, but he’s been sick and just kind of wants to stay inside and play with his toys. I get that.

Anyway, link to some snow pics (and, eventually, videos):

Pics for 2016

| December 22, 2016

Finally got around to sorting through all of our pics.

Kids – 2016

Also, we went to Disney

Battle report – 1p40K demo game 1

| February 5, 2016

So, a friend was back in town on holiday break. We got to talking about wargames, so I broke out my 1p40K demo setup. I use the US Army and Insurgent lists from the Fan Armybook for these games because there is a chance that people not familiar with wargames will be familiar with basic military strategy and equipment. In this case, my friend is a Sergeant in the Army, and hence is familiar with that equipment.


The basic lists are:

US Army

  • 1 x Platoon HQ (4 guys with Assault Rifles) and the “Binoculars” upgrade (lets them call in an artillery strike).
  • 2 x Veteran Squads (2 guys with Assault Rifles, 1 guy with an Assault Rifle and a one-shot Grenade Launcher, 1 guy with a Machinegun)
  • 1 x M2 Bradley (autocannon, machinegun, 2 one-shot missile launchers)
  • 1 x M1A2 Abrams (3 machineguns and a battle cannon)
  • 2 x Humvee’s (Uparmored, with machineguns) Total is 815 points.


  • 8 x Regular Squad (4 guys with assault rifles, 1 guy with a Grenade Launcher), with the “scout” upgrade.
  • 2 x Technicals with Machineguns.
  • 2 x Technicals with Missile Launchers I had calculated the total at 800 points, but actually had that wrong. Basically, I made the following mistakes:
    1. I didn’t add in the cost for the missile launchers (30 points each for a total of 60)
    2. I forgot that the technicals can’t transport troops, and let all of them do that.
    3. Since the scenario called for a hidden deployment, I bought “scout” for the squads. But, one squad deployed in the open, 3 deployed in hidden (but fixed) places, and the remainder were held in reserve. This means, at a minimum, I spent 75 points more than I had to. So, in the end, aside from letting the technicals transport my reinforcements in, the game was actually pretty even. Spending 75 more but forgetting 60 means it was 815 to 815. However, I also think that the way I used “scout” ended up not being worth the points, and I should have just used the standard rules, which would have paid for a couple of transport vehicles.

Anyway, on to the pictures. Note that these pictures are taken at the end of each turn, not at the end of each activation, but I’ll try and spin it into a narrative that makes some sense.



The basic scenario is that there are bad guys in the large compound to the right of the picture with some guys by the gate. The blue and yellow cards are miniature playing cards for hidden set up.

The Army can move on any board edge. He chose to move on the left board edge, and this is right after first turn, so he’s moved his Abrams right up to the crossroads (which would prove to be a bit of a mistake).

Turn 1


On his first activation, the Abrams moved up to the roundabout so it can see the compound.


On my turn, my insurgents (behind the sandbags at the compound) shoot at the Abrams with their AKs and RPG, scoring an immobilized result. The RPG gunner gets a round of applause for his targeting of the vulnerable track areas.


On his second activation, he moves up the Bradley.

My insurgents in the top floor of the building reveal themselves and shoot at the Bradley, inflicting a wound but having no secondary effect.

He then disembarks the troops from the Bradley, who assault the building, lose the assault and are pushed back into the street.

I reveal an insurgent group in another building (you can see them in the foreground on the right) and they shoot at the Abrams, inflicting another wound and getting a Shaken result.

He moves up one of his Humvees (you can see the back of it poking out from behind the building) and put fire on the building.

I pass with my remaining unit (all the rest are off the board).

The fire team in the Humvee gets out and assaults the building through the back door, destroying the defending insurgents and securing the building. They take position on the top floor to provide fire support with their M249 SAW (Machinegun).


With all my moves complete, he moves up his remaining Humvee and puts the other fire team in the building on the opposite side of the street as the first.

Turn 2


This one starts with a bang. I roll successfully for all my reinforcements, so first turn I roll on a technical with recoilless rifle (missile launcher) which is proxied by the Humvee with a tube blue-tacked to the top, and take a shot at his Abrams with it. A good hit with that causes a wound – so, remember, we’re now up to 3. They also got shaken, so their shooting is going to be quite bad.

He rolls up with the Bradley and blows up that truck (hence the smoke and flame) throwing the remains of the squad out.

I roll on a second recoilless rifle technical, and shoot the Abrams again. Another wound! Now 4!

He splits fire from the Abrams, shooting a machinegun at the technical, a couple machineguns at the guys in the building, and the main cannon at the guys behind the sandbags. The technical survives, and everyone else takes minor casualties.


This overview shot shows things a little better.

He moves up his left side fire team into the next building so they had a good field of fire and were able to put more fire on my guys across the street, whittling down that squad but not forcing a morale check.

The guys riding in the un-blown-up technical disembark and get into a building, then shoot at the Bradley, causing a second wound with no secondary effects.

His command squad (outside the building in the foreground, up against the building) call in an artillery strike on the compound, which does minor damage.

My guys who were thrown from their exploding technical run for cover behind the sandbags and ineffectively shoot at the Abrams.

All the remaining squads exchange fire with nothing particularly interesting happening.

Note that even though I could have had my 2 machine gun trucks come on this turn, I elected not to do so, holding them in reserve until next turn.

Also note that his two Humvees are now positioned peeking out from some walls in the foreground left and right of the picture.

Turn 3


Once again, I go first since I have fewer units and thus ran out of activations first. Rather than get blown up by either the Abrams or the Bradley, the remaining technical with recoilless rifle peels off and shoots the Humvee it can see.

The infantry all exchange fire, leaving a couple units with only one man left and they fail morale and are suppressed.

His command squad joins another fire team in a building, and everyone basically shoots at everyone else without much effect.

Then my remaining technicals show up. They have machineguns and your standard 5 man squad with AKs and an RPG. They come in on the opposite board edge as the rest of their friends, unload out of their technical into the building and shoot at the Bradley. BOOM. No more Bradley.

The other squad takes up position behind a hedge row and puts fire into the building with the command squad and second fire team.


View from the compound.


View from his board edge.

Turn 4


Again, I go first. One of the squads with an RPG hits the Abrams again, getting a Shaken secondary effect.

The Abrams then everything at the full strength squad at the end of the street, killing 3 but failing to suppress them, largely due to the Shaken result rendering its fire less effective.

My remaining technical with the recoilless rifle then backs out and shoots the Abrams, destroying it.

The infantry then all shoot at each other with minor casualties since everyone is in cover.

His remaining Humvee comes out to give some fire support.


View from the compound.


View from his board edge.

Turn 5


He pulls his command squad and second fire team back, using the remaining fire team and Humvee to cover them.

My remaining teams, all well below starting strength, advance, firing as they go.

My truck with the recoilless rifle advances and eliminates the squad shooting from the building overlooking the crossroads. (A recoilless rifle round through the window tends to ruin your day).


View from the compound.


View from his board edge.

Turn 6


At this point, it’s a free for all. Everyone converges on his remaining units who try to fight valiantly and hold their position. At the end of this turn, all that remains is the Lieutenant, trying to dramatically call in an airstrike before his position is overrun. It’s so bad, I’m out of smoke markers and have to use a bare tea light (the markers are lights covered in cotton wool which is painted and the light at the center flickers making it look like fire).

They do manage to kill the technical with the recoilless rifle, however.


View from the compound.


View from his board edge.


At this point, we called it as a marginal insurgent victory. They eliminated a whole platoon of US Army, plus a Bradley and an Abrams, but at the cost of several technicals and 35 men.

I want to play!

My son Miles wanted to help us measure. He’s 2 and he’s already getting it:


Goodbye Heidi

| January 29, 2016

Our tortie, Heidi, passed quietly in her sleep yesterday afternoon, stretched out in her bed in a sunspot.

When we got Heidi, she was thin and had ear mites and what could best be described as a “smoker’s cough”. As near as we could tell, she’d had a rough life as a street cat and then rescue. She wasn’t adopted at clinics because she just sat in her cage. Not shy, really, just ambivalent. We took her to her new forever home, took care of the mites, and let her play in the yard. She fattened right up, enjoyed sleeping in the sun, catching birds, and loved it when we’d feed her poultry scraps, especially duck. LOVED duck. She’s also the only cat who would stand up to Mikey, because she didn’t take anything from anyone else. Loved having her ears scratched, hated being picked up. Later in life, he cough became more pronounced, so she was on prednisone for the past fear years. Just before Thanksgiving, she started having accidents in the house. The vet couldn’t find anything obviously wrong. Over the next few months, we tried different foods, etc. but nothing seemed to help. Just after Christmas, I noticed that her weight loss had become pretty severe and brought her in for another exam, where the vet was able to feel an abdominal mass. She only lasted about a month after that. Up until the end, she still liked being petted and brushed.

This is the most recent picture I have which actually is of her, rather than her in the background.



I don’t have any of her playing with the boys, but they both loved her. We’d even found her curled up in a crib with one of them at times. I just don’t have pictures of it.

For reference, here is the post where I first talked about her. (For what it’s worth, it seems their website has moved and is now here.

For the curious, we don’t know how old she was. She was full grown at the time, so at least 2, which means she was at least 10, but she could have been anywhere from 10 to.. who knows. 15?

She was a good cat, and we will miss her. I hope she enjoyed her time with us. We enjoyed our time with her.

In the end, I guess that’s all you can hope for, right? Enjoy spending time with the people you love, chasing your passions, living your life, and eventually you’ll die warm and safe in your sleep.

Reference pictures for weathering

| January 28, 2016

While visiting my brother in law, we went for a walk and I found these cars in a field. Hopefully the landowner didn’t think me strange for taking them, but you can see what the cars look like having been sitting there for some number of years.










Updated kids gallery – now with more sorting!

| January 6, 2016


Also, the latest Owncloud release (the software I use to host it) includes support for sorting, so I’ve set it to sort them chronologically with the newest at the top. So, folks can scroll down until they see pictures they recognize and can then stop looking at old pictures.

Updated kids gallery

| October 7, 2015

Clicky the linky.


| October 7, 2015

Had a little bit of a break from the job search last night and finished reassembling my second tank. Also got some treads on the APC after a little bit of cleanup sanding. It still needs a bit more.


The pirate ship is completed!

| September 23, 2015



We added a safety railing and a hatch to cover the ladder down belowdecks…


Because, as you can see, if you’re not paying attention, you’ll fall down pretty badly.


We also added this gate by the rock wall..


Again, because it’s a pretty big drop – and you can’t always count on Diesel dog being there to catch you.


Miles approves of the portholes.