22 December 2011

Merry Christmas to Myself

Saw a used copy of the Malcolm McGregor Uniforms & Weapons of the American Revolution Posterbook at the local bookstore. Bought it for myself.

18 December 2011


Again, not exactly wargaming, but a tangent... small toy sculpting & painting. I previously posted a pic of the sculpt in progress, but here's the finished critter, OEGR.

Again, he's about 3" to the top of his head. When I brought him home last week, right after this photo was taken, I dropped him outside my door while fumbling for my keys. My poor judgement, as he was balanced on a tall tower of wrapped Christmas presents I was sneaking in the house, and when it leaned a little too far to the right, he tumbled down onto the pavement. The worst of the damage was a broken neck. I'm trying to repair it (but haven't had time in the past week or so) but if I can't, he may end up with a painted on scar and stitches along the crack/joint.

I've got another one in the works, OEGB.

17 December 2011

2011 Resolutions Evaluated

With the holidays looming, very little free time on the horizon, and painting & gaming on my mind, I'm just going to evaluate my 2011 resolutions  few weeks early. There's no possibility for any of these changing for the remainder of the year.

1. Get back into pointless gaming. This is a carry-over from last year. I'm going to throw the "Legendary Battle" into this one as well. I just want to play some interesting non-competitive games again. Although I've going to one in a little over a week, I'm really getting sick of tournaments and the tournament mindset.

Fail. I ran a couple of non-points based games, they weren't well received. Most people seem to only want to play competitive, points based games anymore.

2. Paint lots of Romans (and the friends & foes.) Again, a carry over from last year. This year I'd really like to be able to pit two Roman armies against each other for some dramatic civil war action in the late Republic.

Fail. I painted one unit of legion, one unit of Spanish cavalry, and got about 90% done with a unit of Spanish scutarii. I have committed to running a couple WAB games at Cold Wars, so I need to step things up ASAP, but I'm not sure how I will find the time!

3. Cleveland East-side gaming. I'd like to get some gaming in my general part of town. I know there are a few other people around here, so it's just a matter of organization. Ideally I'd like to do something a bit casual. Some friends and I used to get together every other weekend, drink some beers, have some laughs and play some 40k in the basement. Something like that.

Fail. Nothing happened with this. What little gaming I've done in 2011 has been far from home.

4. Make my hobby more profitable. That sounds a bit "unfun" but I assure you it isn't. I've said before that I believe that if one is going to devote 1/4 to 1/3 of their time to their work, it should be something they enjoy, and about which they are passionate. I've learned that lesson the hard way -- I'm now left with nothing to show other than a lot of stress & baggage from almost a decade of suffering at a job that made me miserable and made me feel shitty about myself. I don't want to go back to that. As long as I'm in this position, I want to try to do something positive with it. I'm trying to work on a few different possibilities. This is something I've really got to work hard for, and is probably the most important thing on the list. In terms of survival, that is. OK... everything else on the list is back to less serious business...

Mixed. While I was unemployed, I did do some commission painting that helped get me by. But it never became practical and the market has completely changed since I previously did this quite successfully about 10 years ago. So compared to the past it would be a "fail" but I feel like I did what I could within the current environment.

5. Paint more landsknechts. I've had some of them forever. I love the figures, and if nothing else I can work them into my Empire army. I'm not even sure I care if I use them. But they take time and I keep postponing working on them based on the idea that it's not efficient use of my time. I need to throw that idea out the window on occasion, and just enjoy painting them once in a while. (I did paint a few in 2010.)

Fail. Painted one unit of pike, never even found appropriate command figures for them.

6. Sculpt/Convert more. I've got some ideas. I know I can do it, I just need some more practice. It's a matter of motivation to get over that first obstacle -- starting.

Mixed. But not with wargaming miniatures. A bit of terrain, and a bunch of toys and whimsical artsy things. While this has been a "success" in terms of me being happy with doing stuff, it has little to do with gaming. So I'll be generous and call it "mixed."

7. Paint Macedonians/Successors. I've got a pile of pikemen. I want to paint them. I always seem to have other things that seem more pressing. Like adding to existing projects rather than starting new ones.

Fail. I've got one unit of pike primed, and one poorly painted test figure.

8. Paint Carthaginians. This has got to be one of the easiest to do. I've got a small batch of Carthaginian spearmen. If I paint them, I can mix in a bunch of mercenaries... some Spanish, Numidians, Gauls, etc. Most of those I've already got painted. Tah-dah: Instant Carthaginian army. Added bonus: they're cleaned, assembled, primed and based. They just need paint.

Success! Painted the Carthaginian spearmen, a couple of mounted command figures, and a Numidian elephant. Add the above mentioned Spanish to the mix and I've got a small but solid Carthaginian army. The one last thing I'd like to add is a unit of cavalry.

9. Gaming Table - refurbish or replace. I'd like to either repair and refurbish my existing gaming table (table tops that go on the dining room table) or replace them with an entirely new one.

Fail. I made some drawings for some ideas.

Six "failed" resolutions, two "mixed" resolutions, and one "success" for a painitng project that I've put to use in a single game. Even the silver linings seem to have some pretty big clouds.

There are a couple things not on the list above, both positive and negative. Non-resolution hobby events, I suppose:

0. This year I played in an RPG campaign, the first in 15-20 years. Although I am sad it ended, it was a lot of fun while it lasted. Success!

0. 2011 was the last WFB tournament for me. For many years they were more fun than competitive. But the balance has slowly crossed the threshold to a point where I am no longer interested in participating. Fail.

0. Speaking of WFB, I gave 8th edition more than year of "trial" before finally losing interest. It's not just that I don't care for 8th edition. I could probably deal with it and keep going in the hope that the gameplay improves. But the dead horse I've probably beat on too much is that the tournament/competitive aspect of the game has crept into almost any WFB gaming opportunity. So barring any changes there, I probably won't be playing any longer. Fail.

0. Lastly there's the recent WWI project I've started. It may seem like it came from nowhere (and certainly wasn't on my list above) but its something I've wanted to do for many years. The fire was finally ignited in 2011! Success!

So in the "unforeseeable" categories, I think I had a 50/50 split of success & failure. Even better if you just lump the  two WFB things together into a catch-all "WFB is dead to me" item. ;)

I'm starting to think about resolutions for 2012, but there are a couple of hurdles I'm going to have to clear. In spite of the big turnaround and bright things that have been happening in most other aspects of my life, the wargaming & painting hobby thing seems to have one foot in the grave as the new year approaches. More on that in a few weeks, along with the new resolutions.

09 December 2011

Aerial Progress & Cold Wars Ancients

WWI Aerial

Per previous request, here's a shot of everything I've got done so far. Since the last entry, I assembled the Revell S.E.5a, which looks great and went together very quickly and painlessly - a big difference from the Sopwith Tripe.

Note, the DR.1 on the "ground" is the Eduard model I'm working on for a friend, not mine. Earlier this week I picked up some "music wire" from the local hobby store. It's a little finer than the wire I used on the Pup. I'm going to try it out on the minimal rigging on the DR.1.

I'm going to get a list of all the planes awaiting assembly soon.

Cold Wars

Apparently the GM registration for the Cold Wars PEL snuck up on everyone. It seems a bit early to me (and apparently to others.) I hadn't planned on making any final decisions until after the holidays, but I wanted to get in the PEL, so I made a last minute decision last night. I'll be running a pair of WAB games on Friday morning/afternoon, called "Hispania Ulterior" featuring Lucius Hirtuleius vs. Marcus Domitius Calvinus in some Rome on Rome action with plenty of special guests.

Guess I'll find out if WAB has any life left in it. ;)

So if I can tear myself away from the planes for a bit, they may take a bit of a back seat to finishing up some more Romans & Spanish by March.

08 December 2011

A Day To Live In...

Today I turned 40 years old.

I usually do a Pearl Harbor themed graphic for my birthday. But since I've been recently obsessed with WWI aviation, and I love this photo, I went with it. It's a Handley Page O/400. I found it at Breguet's Crash Files.

I'm actually expecting one in 1/72 kit form sometime this week, along with what should be the end of my WWI plane purchases -- at least for the moment. I still need to buy the remaining flight stands and a mat.

I finished the Sopwith Triplane... barely. I almost gave it up for a bit of terrain as a wrecked plane. It was that much of a pain in the ass to assemble, and really does look pretty bad. Photos forthcoming.

I was wondering if this was standard Revell quality, since the two Airfix planes were of pretty different quality. So I opened a S.E.5a and was pleased to see that it looks much better.

I've got a lot of thoughts running through my head about wargaming at 40. I'm going to let them roll around in there a little longer before writing anything (if I write anything at all.)

04 December 2011

Another Fokker DR.1, Sopwith Triplane, OEGR

I've finished assembling the Eduard Fokker DR.1 for a friend. From a distance it doesn't look so different from the Airfix DR.1. But the quality of the kit is far better, both in terms of detail and assembly. The only snag was that one of the struts was broken on the sprue. I believe I managed to repair it, though.

I have also started assembling a Revell Sopwith Triplane for myself. It's wretched.Worse than the Airfix models (so far) to a similar degree that the Eduard model is better. I have a couple more Revell waiting to be built -- I hope they're not all like this.

I'm also working on a little something different again. I call him OEGR, he's just over 3" to the top of the head. That's a single eyeball, by the way. Not a nose. Primed tonight, painting soon.

30 November 2011

No More Crusader US

Just read at TMP...


...Crusader USA (Old Glory producing Crusader figures in the US, under license) will be gone at the end of the year. I'm a big fan of Mark's figures, and buying domestically was so much more affordable than ordering overseas from the UK. Especially when working in Old Glory Army discounts.

Many (most, with the exception of the plastic Romans) of my ancients are Crusader, and I had planned on expanding on my previous purchases from several ranges (especially Spanish) as well as getting a few new (to me) figures (like Thracians.) I may rethink my plans, now. Because of the holidays I won't be buying before the end of the year. I hadn't ordered from A&A, for example, because it was less expensive to order domestically.

Not to sound even remotely nationalistic, but I really do wish there was more domestic choice. I'd like to see more options in the US miniatures market. The cost savings, being able to buy at shows, etc. would be great.

At any rate, the point is, I'm sad to see the agreement between Old Glory and Crusader at an end. It's been my favorite source of ancients.

The Might of Rome

Neither of these photos are mine, I found them both while looking for something completely different. But I thought I'd share them, as my mind is spinning with modeling & gaming ideas... :)

29 November 2011

New Reading Material

Well, more like reference material, though I have started reading through it from the start.

My book (per Captain Brown's recommendation on Warseer) arrived today. Condition on Amazon was advertised as "Very Good" but the book that arrived was in virtually new condition. The spine hasn't even been bent. Bonus!

I looked up the illustrator (Bob Pearson) because the name sounded familiar. Found his web page with a CD of color illustrations for sale. Might look into purchasing that at some point.


I have also been following the blog (and referencing the web page) of W. I. Boucher.


27 November 2011

The Riddle of Steel

...which translates to painting as well.

I stumbled across a painting blog tonight. Not miniatures, but watercolors, which is another interest/hobby/pursuit of mine. And on this blog there were questions from people, several of whom claimed to be novices, asking very specific questions about which brushes, brands of paint, etc.

And I don't think that's necessarily a good idea. And that goes for miniatures painting as well. Reading that made me think of painting miniatures, as I thought those sorts of questions were unique to this hobby. I always see a lot of beginners asking about "recipes" for painting certain colors, etc. But in a Riddle of Steel sort of way, I think that the hand, eyes and mind pushing the brush and paint around are infinitely more valuable. The technical specifics? That's something that should be left for later. Fine tuning, I think.

I guess the two things on my mind are... One, that while I could probably fine tune my technique and improve by spending a fortune on the best brushes, paints, etc., I can get by pretty well with something cheap. And, Two, that knowledge, and the skills built up to support the previous statement, come from just trying different things out for myself.

If I tried reading some of the painting forums, CMoN, etc. as a totally new painter, I would be under the impression that I would need to invest hundreds of dollars just to get started in painting if I wanted to "do it right." But I would argue that this is far from the truth. While quality materials are important, I think you can learn a huge bulk of your early lessons (and skill development) on a far smaller budget. I also think that you will learn far more along the way and that the best way to achieve a solid footing in any skill  (painting or anything else) is to have a broad understanding of it from the ground up.

Mind you, I'm not the best painter around. But that's my point. I see a lot of painting instruction that's more suited for the top fraction of painters. But new painters shouldn't necessarily start out there. They should build  decent foundation down here, with those of us in the common dregs of the painting pool. ;)

25 November 2011

Hail Caesar, DBA and Fall In Loot Collection

Had a #000000 Friday mini game day. Well, very mini, just four of us and it the games only lasted a few hours.

First up was our first trial game of Hail Caesar. Metellus Pius and his Romans on the left, Lucius Hirtuleius with a mixed force of Spanish, Celtiberians and a pair of Roman legions. It was a small game with two commands on each side.

On the far end of the battlefield, the Celtiberians broke, but not after wearing down the Romans including the one unit of veterans. On the near side, the Roman led Spanish smashed through the Metellus' nameless (and incompetent) subcommander's division.

The Sertorian faction stays in control of Spain... for the moment.

There were a few bumps in learning the new rules, but we still finished in less than 2 hours. Overall, I liked the rules. I'd like to see some larger games, especially after getting to know the rules a little better. Overall, though, I like Hail Caesar so far. Not sure if I'm as instantly fond of the rules as I was with Black Powder, though.

Next up was a bit of experimental DBA, Alexander v. Porus. The brown strip was actually a (muddy?) river, which turned out a bit difficult to cross. The Indians won a cheap victory by raiding the Macedonian camp and taking down Alexander.

I also got to pick up the loot I had a friend pick up for me at Fall In: "Last Argument of Kings," some landsknecht casualties from Artizan (they were out of the looters) and a 1/72 Esci SE5a. I also took the copy of "Trench Wars" that he didn't sell at the flea market off his hands.

20 November 2011

New Paint for the Pup

I tried a new color of paint on the Pup. I also managed to pry off the nut on the bottom of the DR.1 and reposition it so it fit better on the stand. Decals still to come. I actually did this earlier in the week, but haven't had time to take a photo. My weekend was more or less shot, so no work on anything. I'm lucky to get time to post this brief update.

17 November 2011

Pup Painting

I picked up a couple of paints for the Pup today. I took the Airfix colors, looked up the equivalent Vallejo Colors on the The Ultimate Model Paint Conversion Chart and got something that looked not entirely dissimilar from what I expected based on illustrations, profiles, etc. Not really happy with the colors. The fuselage/wing color seems too light.

I haven't even bothered to show the bottom, as the color looks more "banana" and less "clear doped linen."

On the other hand, now that there's some paint in it, I like the rigging better. The glue joints are too pronounced, but I do like the rigging itself.

Still more touching up and finishing to do. And decals, of course. I'm not a huge fan of waterslide decals, so I'm probably going to postpone for a bit and then do several kits at once.

In other news...

I've started putting together the Eduard Fokker DR.1. for a friend and I've got to admit that it's a huge step up from the Airfix kit. Hopefully I can do it justice. I'm looking forward to working on the paint scheme (Lothar Von Richthofen)

12 November 2011

The Flight Stands Have Landed

I received the two Omni-Stands I ordered from CorSec Engineering. I got the 5" bases. They are clear acrylic but come with paper backing on both sides -- which I suppose makes one of them "fronting" -- and a metal threaded receptor in the center. The paper is still on in the photos below. The two telescoping rods have spherical magnets on the top, one 1/4" and the other 3/8".

I had a chance to spend a couple hours at my stoodio between running errands today, and couldn't wait to test them out. They are exactly what I'm looking for.

I've used small nuts glued on the underside of the planes, as close to the center of gravity as I could get. I don't remember what size (saved the label in the container in which I'm storing them.) The smaller, 1/4" magnet is just strong enough to hold the planes in position. The larger magnet is almost a bit too strong, but I think I may keep a couple of those around in case I end up with some larger/heavier planes.

One mistake I made on the Fokker DR.1 was that I glued the nut appropriate for balance, but not far enough back from the plane that spans the landing struts. So it fits a little awkwardly. I'm not certain I can fix that at this point.

Almost done with the first DR.1. Not sure I got the colors & effect exactly right. Should look better with the markings on it.

So I'll definitely be picking up some more of the Omni-Stands.

I'm also looking into the hex map issue. The two current options under consideration are 72" x 48" felt European Field map from Hotz Mats, or having my own design printed locally on 72" x 48" outdoor banner vinyl. The former is about $60, the latter is $140.

EDIT: It looks like CorSec makes some potentially nice looking mats as well. I'll take that into consideration too.


09 November 2011

Regarding Rigging

A follow up to my previous entry, in which I questioned the issue of rigging for WWI planes.

I found & read this article, along with quite a few other articles, forum discussions, blog posts, etc.


Again, it's coming down to a scale issue. If I was doing 1/48 scale planes (or larger) a lot of this seems like great info. In fact, I may try a larger display piece in the future just to have a shot at some serious rigging. But I'm not certain how well it would work on 1/72 planes. For example, the shrinking method will require the heat source getting close to other parts of the plane, due to the size of the model.

Still, so far I do like the look of the rigged plane. I would like it better if I didn't screw up a few parts. So right now my instinct is to keep doing it, at least for another few planes.

08 November 2011

Dogs & Birds (Pup & Albatros)

Almost finished with the rigging on the Sopwith Pup. I screwed a few things up, and it's not the cleanest bit of modeling, but it's my first one and 1/72 scale isn't exactly large. I forgot a second (forward) tail stabilizer on each side.  I will go back and finish that.

I also put together (minus pilot) the Albatros D.V. This is the last of the original 3 Airfix planes I had.

So, my question is... do I continue rigging all the planes? Some of them are far more involved than the pup. I'm trying to weigh the time & effort involved (which is significant, but not a horrible experience) with the fact that these are for playing games, not just display. So I've got some concerns about durability as well.

Here's a comparison shot.

Still waiting on the batch of allied planes. Lost out on the German planes I was hoping to get on eBay, but I did stop at the semi-local hobby shop (Wings Hobby Shop in Lakewood, OH -- no web page). Like just about everything else in this damned city, it's on the opposite side of town from where I live. The selection of 1/72 WWI planes was predictably small, but they did have some. I grabbed a Fokker D.VIIF and two more DR.1's (one for me, one for a friend.)

The manufacturers are Eduard and Roden, and I can already see that they are better than the Airfix DR.1 and Albatross. The Airfix Pup was really a nice plane and of similar quality to the new ones I got, though.

Ordering a (some) flight stand(s) tonight.

As I've been inhaling all nature of unhealthy fumes while working on that first plane, I've been wondering... Why does Snoopy fly a Camel rather than a Pup?

06 November 2011

Sopwith Pup - Rigging & Mounting

I've started the rigging on the Pup. I've done the cross bracing so far. I've used 28 gauge steel wire. The rigidity helps make it easy to assemble. But it does look a bit thick.

In order to help work on it, I got impatient for working out a way of mounting. So I glued a small #40 nut on the bottom of the plane, roughly at the center of gravity. I then cut  few 4" lengths of 1/2" wood dowel, with a small wood screw in each end. So I can use RE magnets to hold the plane on the dowel, and the dowel on my steel work table. Hopefully the nut works with the Omni-Stand I'd like to use. Based on the strong bond with the magnets I've already got, I think there are some other options as well.


Did some easy terrain this weekend. GW fences and signs from the fortified manor.

04 November 2011

Fokker DR.I - Assembled

I've been working late at night, squeezing in an hour or two of hobby stuff after a long day of watching my daughter and work. Not that I mind either of those, I enjoy both my new role as father and my new job quite a bit. But my hobby (and other interests) time is more or less limited to the last hour or two of the day - late at night. So I didn't feel up to working on the Pup's rigging tonight.

Instead I assembled the Fokker DR.I. Like I said previously, it really isn't even close to the quality of the Pup. But it was still a pretty quick assembly. If it was molded better, it would have gone more quickly. But in the end it looks OK, as long as you don't examine the detail (like the guns or engine) too closely.

This time I did leave the pilot separate. Sadly, there are cockpit details, as there were on the Pup.

The third model I already have in my possession is one of my favorites (and I don't know why, exactly) in the game, an Albatross D.V. Again, another Airfix model, and again it's got some soft detail and mold lines, like the Fokker, and not near the quality of the Pup. Maybe this is a British bias against German planes showing through? ;)

Over the weekend I hope to at least install the rigging on the Pup (none on the DR.I). With a little luck I will assemble the Albatross, too. Hopefully next week the next wave of planes will arrive here, as well as my first flight stand.

03 November 2011

Sopwith Pup - Assembled

Here's my first plane assembled, a Sopwith Pup. It's an old Airfix kit. I thought I would try assembling the whole thing first, then painting. In hindsight, I should have left the pilot out and painted him separately. But this is the first plastic non-gaming-specific kit I've done since I was a kid, so I was just following the instructions.

It was a little trickier than I thought. The cross-piece for the landing gear was missing, so I used brass rod and had to guess at the length. The upper wing was a pain in the ass to attach, as all its held on with are the struts connecting to the lower wing. But it turned out OK for a first try. I need to touch up the engine cowling a bit with some filing and maybe a bit of putty.

Unlike some of the other planes, this one is probably not going to be terribly interesting to paint.

I just cracked open what may be the next plane, a Fokker DR.1. It's another Airfix, but the quality is horrible compared to the Pup. More to come as I continue...

edit: As I just posted in a reply below, I found this site with some great photos to use as a reference for the rigging: http://www.werkost.com/Pup.htm

01 November 2011

New Project Takes Flight

I've played Blue Max, and more recently the further evolution, Canvas Eagles, with friends for many many years. In fact, since I met & joined the Twinsburg Wargame Association back maybe 15 years ago. (Wow, has it been that long?) In fact, I posted some photos from our recent Game Day last week.

So after years of consideration, I'm biting the bullet... I've got some 1/72 plane kits and I'm going to gather together some more, along with flight stands, hex map, etc.

I'm ordering a magnetized Omni-Stand from CorSec Engineering to see how well it will work with the 1/72 planes. I've got a mat from Hotz Mats, but unfortunately it's got a 4" hex pattern on it rather than the 5" I need. So I may order another from them, or maybe try one from CorSec. I've got a small selection of Allied planes, but I'm looking to expand the meager two Central planes in the collection so far.

These will be the first plastic aircraft kits (or any non-game company kits) I've built since I was a kid. Back then I was interested in the then contemporary jets of the '70s & '80s. Since then I've become far more interested in the early days of flight, which has further nudged me (for a long time) to start my own collection for Blue Max/Canvas Eagles.

As I mentioned previously, I enjoy the game quite a bit and think its appeal spans between both hardcore wargames and casual or family games. So another part of my reasoning for this project (besides just enjoying the planes) is to not only get more games in, but maybe recruit some new players.

Naturally, I will update my progress here.

26 October 2011


I'm working on putting together an alternate thatched roof for the Armorcast stone cottage. Hopefully I can get them to cast some. I ran out of the brown putty while doing to exterior and had to switch to the grey.

I still want to add some texture to the purlins and then add a few rafters.

24 October 2011

Game Table (Again)

I'm still thinking about a game table, as I've previously mentioned.

Here's the situation: We live in a split up & down house. We're the "down" but share the basement with our upstairs neighbors. They have the attic, and I don't know if they are using that or not, but they really haven't made much use of the basement other than the laundry.

I have used gaming boards placed on the dining room table before. But that's not 100% ideal for a number of reasons -- though it's not completely bad, either. It just involves cleaning off the dining room table, making the boards small enough to carry up & down stairs, and then the actual carrying of all the boards, terrain, figures, etc. from the basement. So its a bit of a hassle. But simply making some new portable boards to fit in the dining room is still one option.

The other is to make use of an empty corner of the basement, which has a clear space of about 12' x 13'. The end of the 13' is open and adjacent to the laundry area. So my basement limits are that I could put a table as long as 12', and probably as wide as 6' (leaving 3' on either side for the players.) One short end would be against a wall, the other would be next to the laundry.

So looking at my options I can:

  1. 4x8 portable tabletop for the dining room.
  2. 4x8 table in basement, plywood with folding table legs.
  3. (2x) 4x6 tables in the basement, plywood with folding table legs.. I can use them together for as large as a 4x12 table or a 6x8 table.
  4. 4x8 all wood table in the basement.
  5. Larger (6x8? 5x10? 6x12?) all wood table in the basement.

#1 is the easiest and cheapest to build, but involves an effort that usually prevents games from going on here in the first place. Also, using the dining room table with boards on top is somewhat unstable. But at least we get to play in a more civilized part of the house.

#2 & #3 are fairly easy and inexpensive to put together, and will still remain portable. If I really wanted to, I may be able to temporarily bring those tables up to the living & dining rooms of the house if I wanted to.

#4 & #5 will involve more building and more expense, but the tables will be nicer, can incorporate storage, and although slightly portable, they are more sturdy. If/when we eventually move into a single home, I plan on trying to secure a permanent gaming space and this is the sort of table I would want for that. I have a couple of ideas on the exact design, but two are my own and a third would be to use the Drunken Dwarves "Ultimate Gaming Table" design (adjusted slightly.)

Game Day 25 - What is good in life?

This weekend was the 25th Game Day hosted by Ron, one of the members of my ol' gaming group.

We played three rounds of games. The first round was one of my favorites (in spite of never doing very well at the game,) Blue Max using the Canvas Eagles rules and 1/72nd planes, hosted by Rich. I piloted the Albatross D.V in the center of the third photo. This was the only game I've seen in which every single plane survived the game. In fact, this was a rare battle in which I survived. We did have a record number of potential collisions, though -- but not a single one happened!

As with every game of BM/CE, I came home and dug out the three plane kits I bought years ago but still haven't built. I think I may go with a magnetic Omni-Stand and hide some chunk of metal inside each plane. (For the curious I have an Albatross D.V, a Fokker DR.1, and a Sopwith Pup, all Airfix.)

The second round had games running. One was a multi-player Hordes of the Things hosted by Sam. I fought on the side of Tarzan and his mostly animal minions, losing horribly to an alliance of Conan and Jason and the Argonauts.

In a second game I played a one-on-one against on of the new HotT players and did a little better, using the Conan army against Jason. But then, how can you go wrong with Conan. :)

At the same time the Things were Hording, Ron was running a Killzone game on another table. I don't know the details but it seemed to be something like a cross between Killzone, Toon and the movie The Running Man. There were various anthropomorphic gangs (rabbit gang, frog gang, etc. all with shotguns, pistols, etc.) competing in a futuristic televised gladiatorial type competition.

And in the third round, two more games were going on. I ran a modified Warhammer Fantasy Battle game in which barbarian refugees from the north are denied asylum in the Empire so, hungry and homeless, they descend on the village of Hintersdorf. The game ended up closer that I thought it would be, thanks to my realizing that units defending buildings are steadfast after we had started playing. That helped the Empire hang on and defend themselves better than I had thought they would.

Next time I change that rule.

Still, the barbarians did make off with a bit of the livestock, a few villagers for ransom or slaves, and a few of the buildings were burned down. But I call it a minor Empire victory. They took minimal casualties, half the town was intact, they still had some of the livestock and most of the villagers.

While the WFB game was going on, Ron was running a D&D game at another table. I didn't take any pictures because I was running the WFB game and there were no miniatures on their table. ;)

A late fourth round was also scheduled, but everything was running a bit late so we passed on the last scheduled round which was going to be me running Betrayal at the House on the Hill, pick-up card games, and possibly Ron running Space Hulk.

Once again, a fun time was had by me, and hopefully everyone else as well.

22 October 2011

New GW Terrain - "By The Power Of..."

Let me just start with this (not my graphic)...

...because that was one of the first things I thought of when I saw this...

GW has some great ideas, skill and quality. Sadly, they kill it with an obnoxious obsession with plastering everything with SKULLZ. That tower? Would buy two of them if it wasn't for the SKULLZ overdose. New Forge World Empire hero? The SKULLZ barding is too much. That last tower they released? Same thing, far too many SKULLZ for my taste. There's such thing as trying to maintain a certain style... and then there's a point at which you go too far overboard and become a caricature of yourself. Sadly, that is what has happened with someone(s) in the creative department at GW.

But other than the OMFGSKULZZZ of the above tower, I think its great. It's got a whimsical fantasy character that I love, but not in a cheesy fantasy way. Like the building with a ship for the top floor that has appeared in some of their photos.

21 October 2011