zondag 11 november 2012

9 Days in November

Thanks to a few of free days next week I'm able to take the whole week off work for just three days of vaction. Giving me 9 days to spend on the things I like... and some I don't like...

Crunching some numbers

I added a little box to the left to remind me of how my Unpainted (Lead) Syndrome is developing. Hmmm... it doesn't look that good, but hey, with Crisis last weekend it was to be expected. And then again, most of that is 6mm stuff... You can hardly see it :-)

And the 15mm ZIS guns and  I bought last week are very close to getting finished, I hope to put those counters back to zero in a day or two.

On cruise in the Pacific...

Last week they were re-running Battlefield 360 on the History HD channel round dinner time and all that talk about the battles of the USS Enterprise reminded me that a loooooong time ago I bought a copy of Carrier from Victory Games which I'm pretty sure I didn't get around to playing yet.

I expect a lot of aircraft/AA/whistling bomb/explosion sounds being heard over the dinner table as I roll that D10...

Happy Gaming

donderdag 8 november 2012

Crisis 2012: the aftermath

Crisis – the Venue

After years spent in the dark, claustrophobic, hot and badly ventilated function room at the Metropolis cinema complex, TSOA moved their annual event to Hangar 29, a repurposed storage building on the banks of the Scheldt River. How did this turn out?

Parking: should have been no problem, but the city council decided that it was the perfect spot to build a megasized ramp for a snowboardcompetition… I managed to park my car at the site itself, but those that arrived a bit later had more trouble.

Getting in: arriving at 10.00 sharp there was a 50m or so line that was moving pretty briskly. The waiting area, while outdoors, is covered by a roof so when the weather is bad, you’ll keep dry. The entrance fee was 8€ and as every year you got a specially commissioned figure. This year it was Peter Minuit, the administrator of New Amsterdam who purchased Manhattan from the local Indians. His parents were religious refugees who came from what is now Belgium, as all Crisis figures are supposed to have some link to Belgian/Flemish history.

The show area (facebook link): this year saw a massive upgrade in available floorspace, and headroom as well. Moving the show here was a great idea. Weird thing was that even with the added space, it still looked very busy, especially in the trader aisles. My only fear an old warehouse would be pretty chilly didn’t come true. The massive building was heated to a very pleasant temperature, without leading to the wafts of gamer funk that were all too common at the Metropolis site.

Catering: was back under club control and a big improvement on the catering firm that had to be booked at the old site. I think prices were a bit lower, service was better and I had the impression consumption was up too. And while in previous years you got a reduction coupon for a burger menu at the cinema complex, here the club operated their own rolls and bratwurst stand. Quite a hit judging by the line at noon J

I can only say that this move was a good… errrm, move by the club. Hopefully they will keep Crisis here for a very long time to come. A serious improvement on the old venue!!!

Crisis – the Purchases

I have been a very, very good boy this year with very few “ooh shiny” impulse buying (and even that was kind of planned for).

Hobby supplies: I stocked up on Vallejo varnish so I can get back to my 3D dungeon project and bought a sheet of plastic rooftiles that I need to finish off a small shrine/chapel that has been in limbo for years.

6mm: I picked up my pre-order from Adler, filling the last gaps in my WW2 Russian army (mortars, AT rifles and engineers). At the bring and buy I stumbled across a blister of ZIS-3 guns and while checking out the traders I ran into a sale of GHQ scenery. Those metal buildings make look any other scenery like a resin turd… They were 50% off, but after picking out a collection of stuff worth 48€, I offered to pay 20€ for the lot. And got the extra discount, they really wanted to unload that stuff from their inventory.

(Huh??? Already getting painted???)

15mm: I also picked up a box of Plastic Soldier Company ZIS anti tank guns. This was somewhat more of an impuls purchase but my 15mm FoW army is a project in progress. The guns have already been built, so the box isn’t added to the unpainted pile. I must say that for PSC standards, these gun sets are pretty poor value for money when you compare it to their tanks sets. Then again that did get me a discount: they had forgotten to mark the price, so when I asked how much they were I must have looked rather shocked when the guy told me they were 22.5€. This led to an immediate “But I’ll settle for 20” from the seller. I’ll have to train that look for next year, hehe J

Ooh shiny: nothing from Crooked Dice as I expected before the show, but some stuff from the Perry twins. I never see myself getting into 28mm Nappy, unless maybe at the lower end of Sharpe’s Practice, but I always wanted to paint up something for the display cabinet. So I ended up with a command group of Russian cuirassiers and a 6lbs gun and crew. And I also picked up a Cossack cart, but more from a gaming point of view. It looks generic enough to be used as an objective or something like that in a (fantasy) skirmish game.

Freebies: I traded in a bunch of Mantic points for their “Thinking Elf” vignette, featuring an Elf (obviously) looking at a chess-like boardgame. And the Peter Minuit figure off course
I ended up with two of those Peter Minuit figures: when I was rummaging through my backpack in the bar area, someone told me I had dropped my figure. But back home I found two, so it was somebody else’s figure that had gotten lost. Because I don’t need two, I’m giving away the double to the first person who comments “I wants it!!!” . You just have to pay for the postage through paypal (or bank transfer if you’re in Euroland). So add your email adres so I can get in touch.

Happy Gaming!

vrijdag 2 november 2012

Crisis 2012 Preview

(picture from the TSOA facebookpage)

Believe it or not, but tomorrow this old warehouse in the Antwerp harbour will be the Wargaming Walhalla of continental Europe. The guys from TSOA are hard at work (I hope) with setting up this year's convention.

I don't have any big "must buy" list prepared for tomorrow. If anything I'll be heading down there with a "don't need much at all" attitude. 
What's that you're saying? Heresy?

I seem to be at a point in my hobby that I seem to be have gotten the "Ooh Shiny" bug under some form of control. Could it be that I've finally found a focus?

So what are the few items that are a definite "must buy"?

- Vallejo paint and (lots of) varnish for my 3D dungeon project (currently on hold due to lack of supplies)
- Adler 6mm WW2 Russians (on pre-order): all the mortars, AT rifles and engineers that are missing for my FoW army
- Some scenery (buildings, hedges,...)
- Maybe a few blisters of support weapons for my Bolt Action Brits (Vickers, 3" mortar)
- Possibly a few "follies" from Crooked Dice like their Blake's 7, Space 1999 or Silent Running mini's

Come back on Sunday to see how I did :-)

Happy gaming everybody!

dinsdag 16 oktober 2012

October, week 2

Another few pieces of scenery that spent years tucked away and gathering dust. I'm pretty pleased with the demon being summoned, I built the paint up from a dark drybrush at its base to solid colours at the upper extremities to simulate it taking form in the smoke.
Some more wall pieces for the 3D dungeon got built or painted.
Not the most impressive of results, but at least I'm still painting and building stuff. And chippin' away at the unpainted pile... Last week the unpainted pile growth was -2, up a whopping 100% from the -1 of the week before last.

This week's production line: the British squad leader is pretty much done, mostly the base needs some detailing and the decals have to be added.
Most of the GHQ Russians just need only a few details (tracks)and some flock and they're finished as well. This weeks unpainted pile growth should end up in the negative double digits with nothing new ordered for now. (Bad weekend: major appliance failures and upoming car repairs/maintenance... gulp)
And the 3D dungeon project never ends. At this time I already added another pair off corner pieces to what you can see in the picture. Now it's back to casting, I'm running out off blocks quickly.

Happy gaming (and painting)

maandag 8 oktober 2012

October, week 1

With production being stopped for a few days due to a cold I didn't finish as much as I wanted.

Some walls and a tile for my dungeon project and a new piece built too, some modern scenery. And I finally got round to flocking that LotR terrain piece.
(Stop laughing over there in the Ivory Tower)

Planned for week 2: a couple of Romulan ships, a pile of crates, a deamon being summoned (by Fenryll), Aragorn, a British squad leader and painting and building even more dungeon walls. 

Happy gaming!

woensdag 12 september 2012

I Hate Mantic!!!

And I'll tell you why in a minute or so. 

But first off all, yes, I'm still alive (obviously). But in the battle with daily life I seem to have been throwing nothing but 1s for quite some time now. And when having to choose between playing, painting, blogging, housekeeping, work etc... something had to give. While I have been playing some games (Kings of War, Dwarf King's Hold, Flames of War), the painting and blogging didn't make the cut.
Now that I've switched to using trick dice, the number of 1s has gone down and I've spent some time painting again and here is my return to the blog.

Now back to Mantic and why I hate them...

A few months ago I supported Mantic's hugely succesfull Kickstarter campaign for Kings of War and have been waiting for my rewards since then. Having chosen the Goblin army I knew I would have to wait a while as they are the newest army in the range.

But even before this box crammed full of Gobbos landed on my doorstep, they decided to launch a new Kickstarter campaign for their newest game: Dreadball. And the more I read about the rules and gameplay (links can be found on the Kickstarter page), the more I'm tempted to support this one as well. 

Mantic, all about affordable gaming??? My a**!!!
I'll have spent more on Mantic in the last months than I did on GW for many years.
(Eh Ronny, can I pay in kidneys? I've got a spare one somewhere.)

While my purchases were pretty moderate over the past half year, now I'm faced with a 202 figure 1000+ point Goblin army (and a lone Orc shaman). Now I'm faced with the prospect of another 56 figures for Dreadball (at this time and likely to grow) if I back the campaign and there's well over 100 more Kings of War figures inbound sometime in Q2 2013 from that Kickstarter.

The rank and file of the army are made up from a single sprue of Goblin archers with metal arms for the spear- and swordsmen. Not the greatest variety of figures and poses, but this way they were able to get most of the army on the market in a single go. Only 178 more Gobbos left to assemble after these first two...
What was I thinking???

They're backed up by three "War Trombones", blunderbusses on steroids really. Short ranged but with 20 attacks each you don't want to face them. Guess I'll stick them behind some units who will most likely die quickly in combat, putting the victorious enemy unit in the kill zone of these little fellas :-)

And these cuties are "Mawbeasts", basically teeth on legs. There's enough of them for two troops or a single regiment. Next year they'll be reinforced by some real Goblin cavalry thanks to Kickstarter.

And here are the characters, rather limited for the moment. Please, please, please, release some more soon. I don't want to have to scour ebay for some GW ones.

Don't expect any pictures of painted figures any time soon. This army has been designated as my coffee/lunchbreak project:. I'll be building my figures on my breaks. I'll use my worktime to eat and drink instead, haha. Right now I'm spending my painting time on my Dwarf King's Hold dungeon tiles set.

Hope to see you soon!

zondag 5 februari 2012

January into February

January Overview

About the only regret I have looking back at the past month is that I didn't get any games played due to my inability to read a calendar, snow, flu... Other than that I'm a very happy gamer. I returned to the hobby after a rather lengthy hibernation period by reviving this blog and getting a shortlist of projects drawn up. With quite a bit of succes.

Pretty much all my time was devoted to Mantic Games' Dwarf King's Hold game, as you can read in my previous posts. Building this dungeon has been a victory of sorts: working for a whole month on a single project is quite an achievement for me. Though as the construction part is winding down (and at last I ran out of plaster) I'am looking forward to do something else...

It has been a rather expensive month, but with the annual club fees that was to be expected. Shopping for new stuff was limited and targeted, same for Ebay: a few back Issues of Captain's Logs for Starfleet Battles (costing me several times more on shipping than the actual items).

DKH Green Menace: 36.41
Magazines: 26.87
Ebay 10.74
Drums and Shakos Large Battles: 7.72
Club Fees 25.00
Beer and Pretzels 11.10

Total 117.84€ (yikes!)

February Plans

Errrm... Spend less??? By buying most of my magazines through Maelstrom, I'll be saving about half (High street magazine agents ask waaaay too much for foreign magazines). I have no plans for getting any new (boxed) games and will only be looking for some small odds and ends to complete ongoing projects.

I ran into a post on Fenris Games on TMP or TGN and checked out their Ebay store, and placed a small order for some barrels (I need these for my dungeon project) and a pair of Porta Potties (?) to add to my modern/zombie scenery collection. If they're any good, I'll probably order some more from this company, they have some interesting scenery items for reasonable prices.

Projectwise, I'll keep slaving on my dungeon but I Intend to start going through my WW Russian GHQ collection and start organising my FoW army. I'll have to paint up some more infantry but I'm looking forward to that. After the monotony of a grey dungeon, those Russkies will look as colourfull as an EE Space Marines Chapter :-)

And games? Play that elusive fourth scenario from DKH... Come hell or high water (or snow)...
Get a set of cards for Combat Cards and give the solo zombie scenario a go. For more info on this game, check out Mik's blog, he has a review and some AARs that got me interested in this game.

Happy gaming everybody and stay tuned!

And a Hi there! to the new followers of this blog...

Welcome to the Dungeon

Here it is in all its glory: the dungeon for scenario 4 of Dwarf King's Hold. Getting it ready for last Friday's game called for a lot of last minute painting (the construction crew suffered from a flu outbreak, shutting down operations for several days), but sadly, it was not to be...
With a snow front moving over the country on Friday afternoon shutting down the roads and my friend coming down with the flu as well, my dungeon has yet to see first blood being spilt in its dank corridors :-(

With my construction crew back on their feet, work on the last parts of the tile set is coming along nicely. All the bases have been sawn, all the tiles have been cast and only the big 6 by 6 room, one of the odd shaped ones and a small room need to glued (and painted and sprayed and aaaaaarrrrgggghhhh...)

And when that is done, there are only (who am I kidding, only???) many many many feet of walls to be made. But WYSIWYG, that's all the bricks I have available for this as I ran out of plaster an hour or two ago, woohoo.
And I'm not planning on getting a new one in the near future :-)

maandag 23 januari 2012

Good news, bad news and WTF!!!

Just a quick update on the Dwarf King's Hold dungeon project...

First the good news:

The first batch of tiles for scenario 4 has reached "playable without having to apologize for not being unpainted" state. Still far from finished, still needs more painting, drybrushing and varnishing, but it looks good enough as it is.

Then there is the bad news:

The next batch of bases and I still need to saw a few more (five, mostly small ones). In the time between taking the picture and writing this, I managed to complete the 6 by 4 room. So the news isn't as bad anymore.

But I grossly underestimated the amount of tiles I needed to cast. I've got 50 of them on the heater, drying and from the inventory I made I will need another 66 to finish the entire set of tiles. Without miscasts that another 11 times...

Now where did I leave that bag of plaster???

dinsdag 17 januari 2012

Hard Hat Area

As I said, I've been hard at work on my project list, or at least the Dwarf King's hold part of it anyway. For some reason the "buy Green Menace" part was the easiest by far... Last Friday's game didn't happen because it seems I'm too stupid to read the club calendar (and yes Stef, so are you for not correcting me :-p )

At least the dungeon construction is proceeding quite rapidly and by the time we get together for that game of DKH we will be playing it on my homemade terrain.

Here is about half the setup for scenario four in various stages of completion. All rooms and corridors will be at least painted with a first coat of grey. Bottle of paint permitting, it will be empty pretty soon so I need to find someone online who sells Foundry paints without the Foundry shipping charges.

The plaster tiles are glued on some left over pieces of 3mm acrylic sheet that I found at work and apart from two more rooms, I've got all the pieces for this scenario ready. Now all I need to do is cast another 70 or so tiles... All???

Constructing the walls will be the second phase for this project and right now I'm not even wanting to consider the amount of casting that will be needed to get a dungeon this size walled up.

More updates soon(ish)

donderdag 12 januari 2012


Maelstrom games just kept bugging me about their January sale and even decided to extend it when they saw I hadn't ordered anything yet... How can you keep saying no, I'm not made of stone after all?

So I ordered a copy of Dwarf King's Hold: Green menace. This means I'm well on track when it comes to the top item on my projects list (see my previous post). Not only did I order the expansion but I have been working all week on the 3D scenery (sawing, casting, glueing, painting, more on that in another post) and tomorrow I'll be playing it at the club.

A good start to the new gaming year;

woensdag 4 januari 2012

What's this? A blog? And it's mine? Not Again...

Has it really been this long? Guess real life has been sucking the errm... life out of me even more than I thought...

Not that gaming was out of the picture completely, there still were the (irregular) club nights, drooling over the glossy magazines and attending the usual wargame shows (and a visit to Salute as well) and the unavoidable "ooh shiny" moments. I'm happy to say that those moments didn't get acted upon though... most of the time anyway. And those that did were limited to buying a set of rules only, my lead version of Mt Everest is able to supply most figures anyway.

But the time has come to perform some CPR on this blog and my hobby in general. I'm not planning on starting anything big for the foreseeable future, but I'm sure that when I finish typing what I do plan to do/am interested in, I'll be cursing myself (again).

  • Dwarf King's Hold from Mantic games: play some more games, work on some 3D terrain, buy the first expansion .
  • Wait for Project Pandora from Mantic Games: a SF twin to the above, slated for an April release.
  • While waiting for the above, maybe dig out my copy of Space Hulk (Stef?).
  • SAGA: I knew I bought those Foundry Vikings for something back then...
  • Ganesha Games: play some more of their excellent skirmish games.
  • Wait for the Napoleonic and fantasy mass battle games from Ganesha Games, due any moment now
  • Flames of War: sort out my Blitzkrieg Commander Russian army and join the others playing at the club (playing FoW in 6mm looks a lot better).
  • Start playing something from Two Hour Wargames.
All things considered, I guess the main issue will be time... The only things I don't own already are the Mantic games and a few PDFs from Ganesha Games.

Stay tuned!

Ctrl-Alt-Del: the Day after Crisis

What better time to restart this blog than what is to me the watershed moment of the gaming year: the Crisis show by the Tin Soldiers of Ant...