Monday, January 20, 2020

Why controlling the lead mountain is so hard.

I started this post about a year and a half ago. It started to ramble. My thoughts swirled around like Witches and Munchkins in Oz. I wanted something that was well written and concrete but Have to realize that's not going to happen so here is the post as it is now.

This post has it's genesis in a couple of posts on TMP "How to collect - in breadth, or in depth?" 20 May 2018      "Simplify, simplify; or, does the hobby end up owning you?" 1 Dec 2016 The former discusses whether one should collect one period but do it in depth getting all the Armies involved, civilians, buildings, livestock, purposed built terrain. or collect several different periods and even scales building a small force enough for a game at a small scale, minimum terrain and building and no extras. The latter post was a discussion of down sizing ones collection to a manageable number of periods whatever that may be. As we can see Frothers Did It And Ran Away is still dealing with this process but also that many have had or are having the same experience. My comments are below.

I think collecting in breadth is what will work for me. I like collecting and painting different periods. I try not to sell off painted stuff. There are a couple of periods that I want to have everything for it, buildings, figures, accessories. Other periods I'm happy with a core force and a few scenic items.
There's too many great miniatures and different rule systems to lock down on just one or two.
I'd say pick the one period to be you main focus and do in depth and then select several other periods to do but put a limit on how much you'll collect for those. 

Loads of very good advice on strategies to keep/get the collection under control also great thoughts on how others approach the hobbies physical aspect.
A few years back I felt the same as you. I decided to sell off all unpainted miniatures,rules I didn't care for and research books that weren't part of the periods that were being kept. I gave away the bit's of wood, plastic and sundry stuff that had been saved for building terrain. It was a good move. There was more space and the thought of completing the projects that remained was not so over whelming.
That's not to say new projects haven't been started. Most are small and all have an endpoint.
Part of the hobby is collecting things even if they are never used to their fullest. So I would imagine that every so often things must be sold off to keep it in line. I've no regrets about what's been sold and none of those periods have been replaced.
Good Luck!

While many offer ways to get it under control we often don't look at what the cause of it all is. So here's my theory. With a game like chess the number of playing pieces are set. Sixteen figures per side, thirty-two for the game. The Game can be played with the basics

or you can indulge in a more historical look.
Wellington Chess Set

certainly you can collect sets for different eras but even then it limited in scope and you know where the end is.

OK maybe even that can get a little out of hand but I'll ignore that.

What we experience as wargamers is the ever growing number of pieces to play the game or newer but similar games coming along. I was reading the A Wargaming Odyssey Blog the other day and this quote struck me

"To be honest I certainly like the look of the game and there are a few folks at the club that are into this which is useful. However, in my usual way I am looking beyond the obvious and so will be expanding the figure collection to eventually produce a couple of forces the new Osprey rule set Men of Bronze – which covers hoplite warfare with forces around 50 to 80 figures per side. Obviously DBA could feature as well as the Portable Wargame or even Command and Colours should the need arise. There are also plenty of Greek mythological figures around so Dragon Rampant or HoTTs  may even feature."

This is the mentality that gets us in trouble. Here's a game which needs 32 figures to play but having played a game or two the author is already thinking about buying more figures going from 32 to 100-160 figures and starting a new game. How often do we do this? I wanted to play Spanish Civil War, bought some figures (bags of 20), found a scenario book or two and organized my forces according to one of the books. I got a few rule sets as well but settled on one that a friend was working on. Along comes Chain of Command with a fan based info for SCW, great, but they use a seven figure squad for the Legion and the rules I based my units on used five. I had sold off all my extra figures in a fit of madness. Sure I could play the game with what I had but how would that affect game balance?

here's a more recent discussion

And two even more recent posts.

This is a solid plan for keeping things under control. Maybe:-)

This has more to do with aging and what to do with the collection.

Saturday, January 4, 2020

And in an instant it's gone.

You may think I'm referencing the end of the year or the decade for that matter but no it's about my painting goal. Upon awakening on Sunday the 29th of December 2019 I was ahead of my purchases to painted models by 131 figures. A trip to the local Hobby store just to see what paints they had ended with me buying two boxes of Perrys ACW. It was a good deal. How could I resist? How could I forget the two hundred unpainted 15mm ACW figures I already had? Out of sight out of mind as the saying goes. Then an order I had placed from Warfare Miniatures arrived driving up the total. I had anticipated this an managed to paint almost enough to compensate. Still the year end number was in the black but 100 plus would have looked better than the 27 I ended up with.

I started this post on the 30th of December, now we're already three days into the new year. Since I'm starting with I clean slate I placed an order for some Empress Vietnam War figures taking advantage of the sale Age of Glory was running. I also wanted to get to painting them while I was still excited about the period and not caught by some other  shiny thing.

An advantage of keeping track of things is that at the end of the year when others are wondering where the year went you can look at the records and see what was done.
  • 31 games played
  • 334 figures painted
  • 1,045 Miles ridden on my bikes
  • 1 Grand daughter born
Another fun filled year in the books.

Vietnam game.

First of the Vietnam collection.

Waiting for the light.
Grand Army Plaza, Brooklyn, NY
Week one.

Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Closing in.

Rolling in to December always has it's challenges and traditions. Black Friday sales seem to be the biggest challenge. There's the sales for things that you had in the back of your mind but don't really fit in the plans you laid out for this year as well as the things you are willing to get to "help" a friend get free shipping and the biggest challenge those that you have plans for but could wait until next year to get. This last is my current dilemma. Warfare is having a 15% off sale and I could finish off my GNW project with it but I had hoped to wait until January. There's five more days to debate this.

Traditions involve recapping the year and setting plans for next year. Now is a little early for this but I've seen a few blogs that have discussed their current year or a system for keeping the lead pile and projects organized if not under control.

Here we have a plan to limit projects to a certain size.

Here is a quarterly update on how the year is going.

Here our blogger enters the Analoge Painting Challenge.
Details of the challenge above.

Part of the planning is the monthly tracking through The Pledge. This year is working out fairly well for me. Another unit of infantry for the GNW project and the start of another "no new periods" period. These put me at 304 figures painted. Fun fact, of those 16 were for an unplanned period and 56 were for periods that were technically finished.

GNW Vastmanland Regiment. Warfare Miniatures.

USMC Vietnam. Empress Miniatures

Sunday, November 24, 2019

Through the Mines

Once again Matt laid out his dungeon terrain and we played a game. He's been working on using the Flint & Feather game engine for LOTR and it's shaping up nicely.  The scenario has Aragorn, Boromir, Legolas and Gimli escorting the four Hobbits through the mines hoping to get out the other side.

A Wraith awakened while getting a treasure. 

Surviving the fight our group head to the next chamber.

Attacked from all corners Legolas and Gimli make short work of the skeletons.

Winding through the narrow passage.

Dinner time in the mine.

The fight is costly but won. 

Two of the Hobbits are down before Aragorn and Boromir can move in.

A vicious battle but in the end Good prevails.

It was a great game with the victor unknown until the last die roll. One of the great things about playing at Matt's is he has all the little details that add color to the table.

See some more pics of the action on Matt's blog.

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Back at it.

October has found me doing more facets of the hobby. The summer saw a fair amount of gaming but little else. Now I've gotten back to painting and am continuing the reorganization of the AWI armies.

I finished nine Swedish cavalry by Warfare miniatures as well as some RAFM Plains War that had been sitting in a box for years. The RAFM had been primed white but something went wrong and the figures had a bit of  that orange peel look to them I started painting them anyway but had some trouble with coverage. They went back in the box until last August when I pulled them out determined to finish them. While on vacation I picked up some Holger Eriksson GNW figures. I finished off five artillery crew and a gun. I really like the style of these figures and although they don't match size wise to the Warfare Figures I will use them alongside them.

Smaland Cavalry, Warfare Miniatures.

Plains Indians, RAFM

US Cavalry, RAFM

Swedish Artillery, Holger Eriksson.

Back in June I had picked up some of the new Empress Vietnam figures. This hasn't been an interest to me in over forty years. No manufacturer has made figures that grabbed me and it's been a challenge to find rules that give a game that will give the feel of what I imagine the fights were like. Then Gringo 40s and Empress both release ranges that look great. Easy as it is to order from across the pond  and Ged's reputation it was easier to get the Empress from across the table through Age of Glory  at NJCON.  I painted the grenadiers as a test for colors to use. It's always difficult to decide on colors when using online references as even the same photo  can show up in different shades. I'm liking the kneeling figure the best. Number one was painted just because often that's how I think of Army Green but it's pretty bright.



Here's the paints I used, all Vallejo. Equipment and flak jackets were the same for all figures.
1 - US Uniform 922
2 - Russian Green 894
3 - Russian Uniform 924
4 - US Dark Green 893

Flak jackets Khaki Grey 880
Webbing, pouches, khaki 988, Brown Violet 887.

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Organizing the AWI collection

We played another game of A Gentleman's War AWI the other night and a great game it was. We used two card decks and had five players. Three games over three weeks so I had left  my figures at Matts and in the end brought over most of the collection not that he doesn't have a substantial collection of his own. Here's Matt's AAR over on saltflats1929again.

Returning home I decided this would be a good time to organize the collection and see what's what. It's surprising how many figures there are. The AWI project was started many years ago and through out that time new ranges became available and rules played changed. The first figures bought were Old Glory and Front Rank to be used for Minute Man. Then Foundry came out. I picked up some Firing Line Cavalry. Painting was slow as usual and before I was done Perry came out. Most recently I've added Fife and Drum and Brigade Games.

Mistakenly I thought this organization would take only a couple of hours but it looks like it will be a little longer to get it how I would like it to be. Here's the start.
The painted part.

First box done 

These fellows need a home.

The American Officers in the back.

Clearing out a box.

Random figures.

Ten American Regiments 18-24 figures each

Friday, October 18, 2019

The Battle of Kakiat Church

After close to a month without gaming we got together for some A Gentleman's War set during the American Revolution. Matt laid out the terrain and I started setting out figures. The scenario was basically  the Crown's troops attempting to destroy the Rebel forces and take control of the church.

The British and their Brunswick allies had about ten units and the Patriots had about thirteen. We didn't formally write up distinctions but gave them to units a the situation required them.

Initial deployment of the Rebels.

The Crowns forces advance.

Slowly the Brunswickers advance.

The British engage the Rebels.

The German artillery is destroyed and the infantry start taking casualties.

The lead British regiment takes a beating as more Patriot troops move up.

A slugfest begins on the Brunswick side with hits given and saved by both sides.

The British close in and apply heavy pressure to the Patriot right.

With game set up and chatting we reached the time limit for gaming. We could have adjudicated a result but Matt said we could leave the game set up and finish it the next week. The latter option  was taken.

Now where were we?

The view of the line of battle from the Patriot left. 

The Rebels move up to reinforce their right

Reduced in strength the British keep the pressure on.

The Brunswicker Charge.

The melee 

The Grenadiers do their job but the line regiment fall back. 

The Grenadiers withstand the withering fire from the Rebels

Mounted infantry ride up to add their weight to the attack.
 We had decided to have reinforcements come in. Three units each. The Patriots had theirs enter the center and the right flank. The British came in on their own left with one in the center. Although a regiment of New Yorkers moved in on the British left they were unable to eliminate the threat to their flank. The other reinforcements didn't get into action by the time real time made us stop for the night.

As usual as the fighting became more intense and seesawed form left to right photos didn't get taken. The result was that three times the Rebel right was secure and three times it was broken. Despite seemingly overwhelming odds the Brunswickers held firm and then fell back in order. Both sides needed to regroup and though we considered leaving the game for another day decided to both claim victory and leave the field.

Another two great game nights with fortunes swinging back and forth. A few more face cards some sixs  not saved and things could have been different but as with many things it the journey that's fun as much as the destination.