Sunday, July 22, 2018

2018 - Hobby Reset (Continued...)

It's almost the end of July already...where has the time gone?  Well, no pictures to share at this time, but I did want to get an update out on what the year has brought and where I am heading.  I have played a ton of games, so that's good.  My painting has been slacking though...we did a bit of a remodel and switched some rooms up at the house, and I got out of the habit a few months ago and am just getting back into it.

I have decided to just stick with my Grey Knights for 40k along with some various Imperial Guard units that I can run as allies.  It's just easier to stick with one army I have found.

I have also decided to dive into Necromunda...great game.  I am gathering Orlocks and Cultists for now, and will do Cawdor once they are released.  I almost dove into Kill Team as well, but think I will stick with Necromunda for now.

I have also recently taken the plunge into Age of Sigmar, and just played my first games today using a newly acquired Fyreslayer army.  I had fun (helps to win)...and will be working over the next several weeks to do the detail work on the army (it was base painted), paint a bunch of characters, and do the basing.  It's a huge army and will give me plenty of options.  I may do a second army for this game too...let's see...

I still play historicals, but my main game in that regard for the past several years, Flames of War is on the shelf for now.  I am going to play some Bolt Action, SAGA, Battlegroup and some other ancients when I get the chance...I am not getting out of historicals.

I am also trying to resist Adeptus Titanicus...and who knows what will happen if Epic or Warmaster or Mordheim are released again...I missed all of those games the first time GW had them and they have done a great job with the things they have recently will be hard to resist.

That's if for now...happy gaming everyone!

Monday, January 1, 2018

2018 Hobby Reset

2017 was a different year for me regarding this hobby.  I played a lot of different games (21 different systems/rules!), drifting away from some previously regular games, namely Flames of War and Team Yankee, discovering new games like Battlegroup, and re-discovering some old favorites like Warhammer 40k. I divested myself of some projects and started new ones like I have always done in the past as my interests ebb and flow.  That said, about half-way through the year I started to think a lot about the hobby and realized that following my mantra of doing what makes me happy isn’t enough; doing that just led me to a point of having too many games & projects. 

So 2018 is going to be a “hobby reset” for me.  I am going to focus on completing projects for games I want to play with my friends, and not just working on a million things and never accomplishing anything.  I also want to stick to certain games so I can play them more frequently and be more versed in the rules when I do play instead of having to constantly look things up when I only play a set of rules once or twice a year.  This is where I think I am heading:

World War II – When Flames of War 4th Edition was announced I was immediately concerned that the rules would be changed to the point of the game being awful like so often seems to happen with new editions.  Surprisingly, I was good with the rule changes and streamlining; yes, there are things that could be better (morale for large units for one) and they certainly could have closed some holes and inconsistencies with the EW/LW and MW periods being different, but overall the rules aren’t awful.  What stinks though is their new release/army book/list model.  I hate it.  What worked for Team Yankee because people didn’t have existing collections, doesn’t work for FOW in my opinion.  Battlefront has lost me with their new business model.  FOW doesn’t seem to get played much locally.  I have invested in several of the Battlegroup books and the few games I have played have been good fun.  In the past I would have divested my collection, but I don’t think I will be doing that at this point…I will continue to play 15mm WWII using FOW V3 (preferred) or V4 (if someone asks me) and Battlegroup.  I will not be adding new armies to this collection, but I may add some odds and ends to my collection so I can try some things in Battlegroup which aren’t prevalent in FOW (resupply, vehicle recovery, wire teams, etc.)

In 28mm I want to play more Bolt Action.  I have Italian Paras done and am working on Japanese SNLF and British for Europe, as well as acquiring figures for Soviet and German forces.  Like with FOW, Bolt Action has a new edition out which makes some changes that may or may not improve the game, but I don’t care.  I am fine with sticking with 1st edition, as do my regular opponents for the game. 

World War I & Arab-Israeli Wars – These two periods are fine using FOW V3, and though there will be new books out for them according to Battlefront, I am good with using what has already been released.  I am looking forward to see how they handle the 1973 war though.  My Israelis are set; I got rid of my Jordanians, but have a complete unpainted 1967 Egyptian force that I need to get motivated to do.  And for WWI, my French and Germans are complete.

40k – 2017 was a great year for 40k for me.  A game I completely got out of after it went to 6th edition pulled me back in.  Look simple rules…look an index that covers armies that I can use against friends…look, no eliminated troop types (HINT – BATTLEFRONT for future reference, this is a plus for existing gamers!).  I started collecting a Marine force, changed it out for another Marine force, purchased/traded for various Imperial Guard troops and Eldar, and repurchased my old 5th edition Grey Knights!  Seems like a lot, and I did go a bit overboard, but I have settled on having 3 forces for the game – Grey Knights, Guard and Eldar.  I also played some Shadow War and had fun; I will likely build some specific forces for that game.  I just wish that the new Necromunda was the same system instead of being yet another slightly different ruleset as I like those figures too; maybe they will come out with a crossover?

Ancients & Medievals – This period is going to be my most diverse.  In 28mm I have several forces for SAGA and I am acquiring more figures to combine with these to be able to play larger games like Hail Caesar, Kings of War & Impetus.  Yes, I had a large 28mm collection that I got rid of when WAB died…that was a mistake.  I am not going to build several armies in 28mm, but rather will do one for the Dark Ages and one for the Classical Period…and maybe the Hundred Years War too.  SAGA is also coming out with a 2nd edition in 2018, and I will see what that brings.

I am also committed to my own project of doing some 10mm armies for the ancient & medieval periods; these will be armies that I can use for Hail Caesar, Impetus, etc. and have a different look to them.  This is one of two projects I am keeping that are really for me; I have no expectations of anyone contributing to these games other than playing in them when I get around to it.

Fantasy – I had big plans for fantasy gaming but realized that was one too many things to be doing entire armies for, so instead I will be doing smaller fantasy forces to supplement my 28mm historical armies.  So maybe some bear riders to go with my 28mm Dark Age army, and some beast/herd allies to go with Romans or Numidians.  Doing a smaller force and combining with historical armies lets me double-dip and removes some stress that I had placed on myself.  I have also considered relooking at Frostgrave as a few of my friends are playing it and seem to enjoy it.

CAV – I will do a small force for this game too eventually.  It’s fun, plain and simple.

Black Powder/Pike & Shotte – I am currently completely out of these periods, though I like them a lot.  This is probably my longest term project on the list…this is something I would love to do in 10mm.  Only time will tell if I have the ambition to do it.

2018 Goal – So what will 2018 bring for me?  First off I am going to rework, repaint, rebase as needed the 40k Grey Knight and Imperial Guard I have.  Then I am going to finish off the 28mm British & Japanese for Bolt Action.  That will be followed by rebasing & reworking my 28mm Dark Ages figures and painting a bunch more to field an army for Hail Caesar, etc.  After that, I have no idea other than it being one of the things I have touched on above.

I am also going to stop tracking the hours I spend on this doesn’t matter and just added unwanted stress on myself.  I will keep tracking figures finished and games played…and who knows how often I will update this as blogs seem to be fading in favor of Facebook groups which I have mixed feelings about.

Enough of my rambling…happy 2018 everyone!

Monday, October 9, 2017

SAGA Rus Princes & October Update

Wow, it's October already.  Where has this year gone?  I certainly haven't updated this blog as often as I intended too, and I certainly haven't finished off as many projects as I had hoped to so far this year.  I have a couple of months left to try to correct that and build momentum going into 2018, so here's hoping I can do that.

On the positive side, I just finished basing a new force for SAGA.  It is a Rus Princes army made up entirely of 28mm metal Gripping Beast models.  The figures were painted to a very high level by Andy K, an associate that I met via the internet.  He does great work and my pictures really don't do the figures justice.  The good news is that they fought to a bloody draw in their first game and got the win in their second game, so their tabletop career is off to a great start!  Shield transfers and banner by Little Big Men Studios.  Spears are brass wire that I made.  The army consists of a mounted Warlord, 4 units of mounted 4 Druzhina hearthguard, a unit of 8 City spearmen warriors, and 12 militia levy archers.
 More Druzhina
 The Last of the Druzhina
 Another angle on the Druzhina
 Levy Archers
 Warrior Spearmen
I have also had quite a bit of time taken up by acquiring a bunch of stuff for 40k...I started with Space Marines which I reconfigured after I had already acquired everything I thought I wanted, and have since acquired a sizable Eldar force and a tank centered Imperial Guard force. I really like the game and am glad I have gotten back into it. 
I almost purged the Kings of War Ogres that I had been working on...they are great models but I have grown sick of painting all of the straps and buckles on them, so much so that I just can't face painting anymore of them.  While taking pictures of them to sell I realized I actually had a valid army with what I had painted, so instead I am just getting rid of the partially painted figures.  I'm going to base up the army and look forward to getting it done.
I have several other irons in the fire when it comes to projects and hope to make some decisions on 2018 soon..until then, happy gaming!

Sunday, June 11, 2017

June 2017 Update

Wow...June 11th already...where has the first half of 2017 gone?  Part of me feels like I haven't accomplished much this year, but then I look at the number of games I have gotten in along with the time I have invested and the progress I have made on various projects and I may not be doing so bad after all.

One big thing I have been struggling with this year is Version 4 of Flames of War.  When this was first announced I was concerned that the change in the rules would put me off, but once I read through the rules and the freebie EW/LW conversion books and played a few games, the rules are actually good.  I like a lot of the changes (Recon got hosed a bit IMO, but I guess I can live with that) and the game flows well.  The issue I have with V4 is their army list model.  Battlefront has embraced the product model they first deployed with Team Yankee which is fine for new players (like I was with Team Yankee), but for players with large existing collections it stinks IMO.  The Afrika Korps and Desert Rats books contain only a portion of what the German and British lists in V3's North Africa book had, then they release cards with additional content that could have been in each for your $50 you get part of what was in North Africa for 2 of the 4 nationalities.  This is a step backward in army list options AND existing players are being nickle and dimed.  That said, the answer for me is to play the V4 rules for all periods using the V3 army list books; the games are fine and though some points may not be properly aligned to the V4 changes, it is all relative in friendly games.  Unfortunately I think Flames of War will be seeing a bit less table time in the near future as the local players figure out what is going to happen.

All is not doom and gloom though.  As Battlefront turns off some players, it appears that GW is pulling others like me back in.  I haven't played 40k since 5th edition and the failure that was 6th edition at which time I got rid of my armies.  I also haven't played Necromunda in years.  That is all changing.  GW has done a better job of marketing their product and showing the changes in the upcoming 8th edition IMO; so much so that I picked up the Shadow War rules, have some 8th edition stuff on pre-order, and started collecting Space Marine and Genestealer Cult forces.   I really like the 30k models from the Prospero and Calth sets, and got the Overkill box as a start on the core GSC force.  Now I just have to assemble and get painting (along with acquiring more stuff of course...).  I also got in a game of CAV: Strike Operations which I really liked.  Unfortunately I traded off my stuff from the first Kickstarter because I thought the game was never going to get off the ground locally, so I will have to reacquire some figures to play that game.

I have also been laboring on painting an Ogre army for Kings of War. I like how the army plays on the table, and I like how it is turning out painting-wise, but painting them has turned into a chore.  THERE ARE JUST WAY TOO MANY STRAPS AND BELTS ON THESE THINGS!!!!!!!  I have come to loathe painting all of the belts and straps and am forcing myself to paint them and not just blow through with a quick paint job.  I also got my stuff from the Shield Maiden Kickstarter that Shieldwolf Miniatures ( and these are amazing.  They will be the next fantasy army that I work on and I hope I enjoy painting them more than the Ogres.  Shieldwolf is going to run another Kickstarter later this summer which will include more heavily armored maidens along with Sci-fi options (think plastic Sisters!).

The rest of the year I will be focused on finishing the Ogres and getting a viable Space Marine force assembled and painted.  If I can do that and finish up a couple of other odds and ends, I will be happy.  Now, here are some pictures of what I have been focused on:
The start of my Space Marines
 Closer shot of the Beserker Braves and some Boomers
 Some characters, Boomers and Siege Breakers
 A couple of GW Mournfangs and some Fleabag riders used as Chariots
 Boom Wagon!
 Mirliton Mammoth with Shooters; Mahout and crew are not permanently attached - this will allow me to use the Mammoth with other riders for other armies
 Resin markers for Shadow War that a friend made and I painted up.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

15mm Cemetaries

Here are a couple of 15mm Cemetaries I just finished up.  They are from Monday Night Productions.  The price was good and they shipped quickly.  The only assembly required was on the arch on the ruined piece which had to be glued on.  The ruined piece will go with my rubbled 15mm city, and the intact piece will make it's debut today at Shifting Sands.  I will post a recap of Sands later this week when I have a chance.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Team Yankee - 15mm West Germans Completed

I recently completed the last of my 15mm West Germans for Team Yankee.  This included 2 more Gepards and 1 Leopard 1 that were painted to match the ones I previously posted.  It also included two platoons of infantry, so I won't have to proxy using my WWII models any longer.  These are Battlefront figures and painted up nicely.  Here they are with the company commander:
 I also painted up 6 stands of Fliegerfausts.  These are a nice, cheap anti-air addition for the force:
Next up are 4 Tornado strike aircraft.  These are actually 1/144 scale models from Dragon that came 2 in a box that is marketed as "Tornado ECR Lechfeld Tigers".  These come with all of the kit to do an electronic combat/recon version of the Tornado, but luckily for me they also come with the ground-attack munitions dispensers.  I simply built them to be gaming pieces, and left off all of the buzzers & whistles...the wings are glued in place for example, and I simply painted the glass for the cockpit instead of modeling with the pilot.  I purchased Litko flight stands and with those, these 4 aircraft cost me about 40% of what it would have cost me to get 4 of the Battlefront ones.
 Next up is one of my objectives.  This is a Battlefront M577 from the Viet Nam range that I painted as West German and put a West German crewman and a couple of infantry figures with.  The West Germans did use these as command vehicles.
And my second objective is a crashed Huey, also from the Battlefront Viet Nam range.  Painted up nicely IMO.
My West German force makes it's prime time debut next weekend at "Shifting Sands 2017".  It looks like there will be 20 to 24 players split between NATO and Warsaw Pact.  I will try to remember to take, and post pictures of the event...

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Looking Back, Looking Ahead - 2016/2017 Edition

As I sit down to do my annual review of the state of my gaming hobby, I can only wonder where 2016 has gone so quickly.  Seems like it was just the summer and now 2017 is tomorrow.  That's life I guess...time flies when you are having fun so they say.

On the plus side for 2016 I actually had more painting time this year than last, though my production wasn't as good.  I chalk that up to all of the 15mm WW2 Soviet tanks and Team Yankee West German vehicles that needed cleaning and assembly.  The West Germans had a lot of plastics which I never really worked with so that took a bit of extra time for me to figure out how to best assemble them.  I am pleased that I finished the Soviet armor and Team Yankee Germans (still have to finish basing the infantry, but I'll get that done in the next few days...and update at that time..they will be done for Shifting Sands!).  It is always good to have something "complete".

I enter 2017 with a few things on my "to do" list:  a 28mm Mantic Ogre army which I have all assembled and primed, some 15mm terrain additions for my Team Yankee table, and to finish up a couple of 10mm ancients armies so I can begin using them.  The terrain additions will be done in a week or so.  The Ogres in a couple of months hopefully.  I will work on the 10mm ancients in between doing other things, plus I want to work on putting together a multi-player set of rules to use them.  There are a lot of good rules out there, and I know that no rules are perfect as we all have our own biases, but it always seems that a good multi-player set is the hardest thing to come by.  We'll see what happens with that effort...worst case, I stick with other rules, warts and all.

After those 3 things, I have plenty of other projects to chose from:  28mm WW2 Japanese SNLF, 28mm WW2 British, 15mm Flames of War Japanese, a 6 point SAGA Rus Princes force, 15mm Poles and Transylvanians for By Fire and Sword, more 10mm ancients, and some other 28mm Fantasy forces.  We'll just see what I'm in the mood to do.  I know I'll finish up a few of these projects in 2017, I'm just not sure which ones will call to me to be worked on at this point.

I thought I played more games in 2016 than I actually did; it turns out that I played a wider range of games in 2016 than I did in 2015, but the total number of games was less.  This is something I hope to improve upon in 2017.  As for what I'll play in 2017, Team Yankee is a definite, as will be Kings of War and the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game Mummy's Mask...I already have games lined up for these in January.  After that we'll see.

I hope to get in more WW2 gaming and ancients gaming in 2017.  All of the buzz recently has been about Version 4 of Flames of War and what impact the major rules overall will have on game play.  I'm taking a wait and see attitude at this point because there is just a lot of speculation and rumor and assumption going on at this point; I will pass judgement once I have the new rules, read them, and a couple of games under my belt.  Just in case they don't catch on with the guys I game with, I am prepared to stick to V3 or look into other games.   I am especially concerned about what will happen to WWI, the Pacific and Arab-Israeli as I have 2 armies for 2 of those periods and have invested in a Japanese army...yet Battlefront  has only said what they have planned for Early War and Late War, but have remained silent about these 3 periods.  I'd like to get in some more Bolt Action games too; I have the 2nd edition rules, but haven't read or played them yet...I hope to in 2017.

As for new projects in 2017...I'm not sure at this point either.  The only thing on my radar at the moment will likely be a Warsaw Pact force for Team Yankee.  I'm not sure if I'll do Soviets or use the upcoming East German book as a basis for a Polish force.  With Plastic Soldier Company announcing plastic T55s (5 for just over $30), that becomes a viable option as 5 Battlefront resin T55s is over $70.  Other than that I will just likely acquire some bits and pieces for the Kings of War fantasy armies I'd like to do...but knowing me, there will likely be at least one project I jump into that I currently have no plans for.

So to sum it up, 2016 was a pretty good year...I wish I could have gotten in more game, but that, along with completing a couple of more projects, is something to tackle in 2017.

Happy New Year!