dinsdag 5 november 2013

Crisis Managment

Time to clear the cobwebs and blow off the dust from this place... With last Saturday's Crisis 2013 wargames show in Antwerp, this seems a good moment to do that and restart the blog and the hobby in general. And rather than wait for New Year's Day and lots of resolutions, I'll be using the Crisis show as my gaming year start point from now on.

Crisis part 1: Planning

When it came to shopping, the plan was short, I haven't had that "I need to buy..." or "OOOH, shiny" feeling for quite a while (if you ignore any of the Mantic Kickstarter campaigns, but that's another story). Ever since last year's Crisis, figure buying has been at an all time low, while in the few periods I got behind the painting desk, I kept pretty focussed on my 15mm Russian WWII force. So before the show, I came up with this little list:
  • The Event/Gadget card decks for 7ombieTV and 7TV from Crooked Dice
  • Maybe some of their Blake's 7 figures, for old time's sake
  • The "Fall of the Reich" expansion for Battlegroup Kursk
  • Terrain items (pretty general)

Crisis part 2: Plans vs Reality

Were my memories of last year's show a bit  on the bright side? It seemed to me that last weekend the (same) venue was a lot more cramped than last year. More traders? More visitors? I don't know but I remembered more open space last year. Whatever the reason, it is still waaaaaay better than the previous location. And with the parking lot not being claimed by that Freestyle snowboard championship ramp like last year, getting rid of the car was a lot easier. To get an idea what the show looked like, go here.
So what did I drag away at the end of the day???

  • The Crooked Dice card decks (no figures though)
  • "Fall of the Reich" and the mini rulebook
  • Terrain items: a 4Ground pair of ruined shops in 15mm,  in 28mm a  MicroArts three story SF building with interior wall set, and a fantasy/dark age building at the bring and buy (cost me a whole two euros) and a small buggy from Ainsty Castings (with literally the last pieces of change in my pocket)
Sounds good so far, now we get to the other stuff:
  • "Of Gods and Monsters" rulebook
  • The free figure given away at the door
  • A free sprue of 2 Mantic Elf scouts
  • A Zvezda KV-2
  • After many years of resisting temptation, a box of Perry Miniatures Napoleonic Russians
  • A pair of Foundry paint sets for those Russians
  • Oh, and some laser cut casualty dials, nearly forgot those :-)
All in all a very modest harvest this year...

Crisis part 3: Aftermath, and beyond

Less than 72 hours later, both MDF buildings have been constructed, as is the KV-2. After opening the age old packaging of the bring and buy find, I discovered that the pieces were all severely bent ouf ot shape. They must have been stored somewhere pretty warm for a long time. But after a day or two on top of the radiator and with some weight piled on thay have now reverted to their original shape. And the Russians are now in my desk at work as my coffee break mold line removal project.

And where do I go from here? Continue working on those 15mm Russians for FoW, Bolt Action and Battlegroup Kursk... Start a new warband for Songs of Blades and Heroes using my Mantic Undead/general baddies that I got as part of the Kings of War kickstarter. Finish the assorted odds and ends that have been lingering on my painting desk for ages.
Wait for the unevitable thud of the Deadzone box to arrive next month. Yes, yet another Mantic kickstarter I couldn't resist...

Keep watching this space... You never know, I might be back with more... one day...
Happy gaming and painting everyone!

zaterdag 16 februari 2013

There's light at the end of the tunnel...

Or, more appropriately, at the end of the dungeon corridor. Part of the reason why I didn't get around to blogging is my 3D dungeon project. I have been painting/varnishing my tiles and walls quite feverishly over the last few weeks.

A pair of Mantic Elven scouts have found the exit, and I'm right behind them

After I finished the last stands and truck for my 15mm Russian infantry platoon, everything else was set aside and I'v been concentrating on my dungeon. Since then a steady stream of finished tiles and walls have made the move from the painting desk to the games table. Maybe another week or so and I should have completed this mega project and I hope to find a bit more time to spend on my blog.

Happy painting and gaming, make the most of your weekend!

vrijdag 25 januari 2013

Somewhere in Ookerzistan*

Once upon a time my friend and I had one of those "Ooh, shiny!" moments featuring modern skirmish gaming. Damn you Ambush Alley/Force on Force/Flying Lead/...

This lead to the purchase of some boxes of Ceasar 1/72 troops (lovely figures), some more in metal (SHQ and Combat Miniatures???) and an assortment of modern 1/72 vehicle kits...

Just part of a collection of plastic and metal figs, prepainted Dragon vehicles, Heller and Revell kits and some bring and buy finds

And then the project flatlined...

Code Blue in the wargames room, code blue!!!!

Stef had however scratchbuilt a rather large collection of buildings before this happened. And those have now changed hands as part of his clean up of the basement.

Guess I'll have to invest in a sand coloured cloth now :-)

And all I really need is a maximum 10 figures per side to get a game of Flying Lead underway... Hmmm...

Some Platoon 20's (another b&b find)  getting ready to ambush a humvee patrol

Happy gaming and painting!

* Ookerzistan: One of those Central Asian countries that always seems to be in one conflict or another, currently NATO led forces are deployed there to keep out yet another fundmentalist movement...

dinsdag 22 januari 2013

Week in Review 3: Where Do I Go From Here?

A rather nice week: after a short pause last week I finished the first half of the 120mm mortar battery in 6mm, the 15mm ZIS truck and several dungeon tiles and walls.

The Drakon riders are almost cleaned up and ready to be assembled. I'll be painting those as a diversion from the rather drab monotony of putting together a Russian army and varnishing a sprawling dungeon complex.

Because that dungeon is still a hard hat area, my friend and I had to use the carboard version for our game of Dwarf King's Hold at last Friday's club night. First game of the year, and I hope the first of many, and certainly more than last year.

A Forward Detachment in 15mm

Between writing the concept for this post and the photoshoot I started on the last of the infantry and their second truck, only the Commander's M3 is still missing (delivery is rumoured to be next month)

Over the last few months I have been painting some 15mm Russian figures without any real direction. Meaning I'm still not getting anywhere when it comes to a real army list. So time to sit down and plan my moves for the coming weeks and months.

I'l be using the Forward Detachment PDF army list that used to be on the Battlefront website. Did they remove it to put into the Red Bear book? Doesn't matter, it's on the hard drive anyway.
I've taken this list because although it is rated as a tank company, it is a mixed force of armour and infantry. That way I don't have to paint either a lot of tanks or infantry just to cover the two troop choices. Let's see what I need to get the minimal army list requierments:

Battalion Commander: two infantry command stands with vehicles or one tank and an infantry stand with a vehicle. I already have one command stand finished and to with two boxes of Plastic Soldier Company T34s half done, I'll be going for option two. It will also add more points, not to mention firepower to the basic list. So all I need here is a ride for the one infantry stand. I'll have to buy that.

First Company: minimum of five tanks. That'll be 5 T43/85. Got those, just need to finish them

Second Company: a minimum of a command stand and a platoon of 7 bases. The command stand is ready as are 4 bases. That leaves me with three more to paint, I'm not going to be bothered by the fact that they're a mixture of rifle and SMG teams. At the start of a battle I can always make clear what kind of a platoon they represent. And the optional two trucks as transport are pretty much covered: one is ready to roll and I have 4 more fully built.

In short, I need to paint 3 bases of infantry, 6 T34s, one truck and one M3 scout car. And only the scout car has to be bought.

Looks like a plan!

Happy gaming and painting, see you soon!

donderdag 17 januari 2013

Off to the Front With You, Chaps!!!

After many years spent in a dark cupboard, the time has come for my skirmish sized force of WWI Brits from GreatWar Miniatures to be sent off to the front line and see some combat action in a not too far off future. And no, I'm not getting sidetracked (again), nor did I tire from painting an overdose of WWII Russians...

Trench raiders - Lewis gunners - Command - Riflemen - Trench mortar - Bombers
(Lesson learnt: take pics by daylight)
In a win-win-win-win-win-win situation, these chaps are leaving my collection to join my friend's one, where they will get all the paint and maybe even some flock (haha) they deserve, possibly even before the leaves fall (this year). So what are all those wins about?

-My unpainted pile drops by 40 figures.
-I don't have to spend any money on club fees this year, my friend will pay that for the figures.
-The figures will get painted.
-I'll still get to play with them.
-Somebody else will store them for me between battles

Should have thought about that ages ago :-)

Happy gaming and painting

maandag 14 januari 2013

Week in Review 2: Vintage Games


Not a lot happening on the painting table last week. The mortar teams have ground to a halt and all I have to show (though not in pictures) are a few more dungeon tiles that got their last coat of varnish.


Even though I have bought hardly any figures since Crisis, that doesn't mean I'm not spending any less money on gaming. Oh no! Other than buying some magazines and brushes, I still look around on ebay quite a lot and in the last month or two picked up one or two (or a lot more) items. And a distinct theme seems to emerge: vintage games (and toys). We'll leave my intrest in 50s tinplate toy trains to the side and look at the games.

Every once in a while I check ebay for the old 28mm Star Wars figures from West End Games and my search string included copies of Star Warriors. This is mapbased dogfighting game set in the original trilogy (parts 1 to 3 were still in a far far away future) featuring all the known and well-loved spacecraft. And yes, this was one of those "Ooh shiny!" moments. So I entered a pretty low bid, more in a "you never know" frame of mind than in a "must have" one and won with a pretty big margin left. A bit to my own surprise, I must admit. I'm sure I spent more on shipping than the game itself cost me: £6.51.
After reading through the rules, it should be pretty easy to turn it into a miniatures game, and as I have enough Micro Machines, Fleet Battles and Pocket Models stuffed away, this won't cost me anything (extra).

With "The Hobbit" nearing release and rereading The Lords of the Rings trilogy and a simmering desire to do something with a solo RPG campaign it was of ebay again to look for MERP from Iron Crown Enterprises. At a little over £8 for a copy of the 2nd edition boxed set, this was a bargain compared to what the expansion books will cost me. They seem to be more sought after a lot more. I did manage to find a few cheaply here in Belgium, though they took a lot longer to get here from Bastogne than the one I got from the States (guess the Germans are encricling the town again) and got another couple at reaonable prices. So far I have books on the kingdom of Arthedain (home of Aragorn), Bree and the haunted barrows and Moria.
But there are looooooots more titles out there. Ah well, just one way to avoid spending money on additions to the unpainted pile, I guess :-)

And this week?

Get those mortar teams finished, and start the second half of the battery. Keep working on my dungeon. Prepare the Mantic Elves Drakon riders that have just arrived for painting and ponder a colour scheme. Grey mountain dragons like my Lord has, or go for bleu/whitish ice drakons? Decisions, decisions...

Happy gaming and painting and see you next week!

vrijdag 11 januari 2013

The Week in Review - Week 1

This post has spent waaaay too much time as a concept, waiting for some pictures to be taken and added. Better luck next week, you'll have to enjoy this post in all its plain text glory...

The week was a short one but still rather productive. Here's what I've been up to:

- Finished two 15mm 45mm (huh, confused?) AT guns
- Started AND finished two command and two observer stands in 6mm
- Started the first half of a 120mm mortar battery in 6mm
- Started to finish the first of my15mm Zvezda truck after months spent in limbo on a corner of my painting table
- Put on the last coat of varnish on a few dungeon tiles

Plans for the coming week(s):

- Keep working on the 120mm and then 82mm mortar batteries in 6mm
- Add the final touches to some 6mm tanks
- Dungeon tiles
- Finish the truck and get started on the other 15mm ZIS trucks

I have no idea what has happened to me, this seems to be a period of never before seen dedication and focus to a very limited part of my collection. Even more amazing is that I keep working on what I bought at the Crisis show two months ago. Rather than throwing it on the unpainted pile as previous years... an unpainted pile that is actually shrinking right now!!!
I guess that Maya calendar thingy was all about me: the end of the buying era and the start of the painting era :-)

Happy gaming and painting everyone!

dinsdag 1 januari 2013

Everybody Else is Doing it - the Year in Review

2012 in General

While real life was pretty crappy last year and has been draining away a lot of energy, I seem to have problems remembering most of the first part of last year. Only about the last quarter or so I have kept solid records. The main trends for the whole year are something like this:

- Not a lot games played, mostly confined to Dwarf's King Hold and 6mm Flames of War.
- "Normal" purchasing went down and was much more planned (exit butterfly syndrome???).
- Still spent a lot of cash on the two Mantic Kickstarters though :-)
- Started a huge project: my 3D dungeon
- And stuck with it!!!
- A burst of painting activity during the last months of the year.

Looks like the Crisis show at the start of November got the juices flowing a bit again and since then I have managed to finish painting about 45 15mm and 90 6mm Russians for my FoW armies in those scales. For me that is a blistering pace :-)
And even with the arrival last month of the Dreadball Kickstarter (52 figures) I managed, I guess for the first time ever, to end December with more figures painted than have arrived! Yes you are allowed to gasp for air and look shocked.

Outlook for 2013

Now that I seem to have the "butterfly" and "oooh shiny" problems under control, the time is ripe to keep chipping away at my unpainted mountain and finish a few projects.

- The dungeon project is nearing the home stretch, a few tiles need a second coat of paint, but most are done and waiting for the last coats of varnish.

- Continue painting 6mm Russians so I can finally come to the table with a fully painted army, with all options covered. I hope to do this during the next month or two and this would also mean that most of my Crisis purchases will be finished in what can only be called record time.

- Get Dreadball up and running, Veermyn seem to be first.

- Paint some more 15mm Russians/Afrika Korps/Brigade Piron (Belgians 1944), but more as a diversion from the main projects, just to keep fresh.

Happy gaming (and painting) in 2013

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...