Sunday, February 23, 2020

Spies, Medievals, and Vietnam

Hobby life is moving along. Painting has slowed down as I was able to get an extra weekend in at work but we've had two good nights of gaming. I didn't get a lot of photos for either game so not a picture heavy post.

First off was a spy game set in 1500's. Howard's paper city creates the scene. The objective of the game was for my spy to drop some documents off and then escape the city. Howard as the Cardinal's Guard was to try and catch me. The Guards spent much of their time challenging stand up citizens and I was just able to make the drop before having almost the entire Guard force descend on me luckily I was able to escape in the confusion and outrun my pursuers.
The City

The Friar looking to save souls.

A Henchman of the Spy accosted by one of the Cardinal's Guards

Next we did a city fight using A Nobleman's War. Matt 2.0 and I were the Swiss who were attempting to destroy the Burgundian guns at the center of town. Jonathan and Howard were the Burgundians and their English mercenaries protecting the city. The Swiss entered the town piecemeal giving the English time to form up and cut down the unorganized Swiss. The Swiss were able to spike three of the guns and cart off one but loss half their force.
Swiss pikeman advance into the city

The artillery park protected by English mercenaries.

I managed to finish a few more Vietnam figures. Here's my attempt at using computer photos as back drops. I've since learned that the figures should be a little closer to the screen and a bit more light in front would help.


So that's it.

Monday, February 3, 2020

Off to a good start

We were able to get three games in this month. The first two were actually a continuation of the same battle. AGW set in the AWI. The King's men were a bit slow to advance but after taking some casualties were able to inflict enough damage on the Americans to force them off the fence however the were unable to bring them decisive defeat.

The Crown's forces defend the chip bowl.

Militia supported by Continentals.

Riflemen skirmishing with Jagers.

Patriot line.

Brunswickers advance

The Crowns forces move in.

24th Foot

The Crowns force secure the fence line.

The battle heats up.

Crossing the river.

Stopped by fire.

Defending the fence line.

The Patriots challenge the regulars.

Melee doesn't go well for the Crown.

The militia are out of the way.

The Grenadiers advance.

Crushed by the continentals the grenadiers are harassed by the riflemen. 

the third game was a play test of Cadre a modern skirmish rule set. Set in Vietnam with a USMC platoon pressuring a mixed NVA and local VC force.
NVA position themselves to slow the American advance.

Overlooking the village defended by the NVA.

American squad takes a hit from a NVA sapper.

Behind the NVA line.

The USMC use the m113 as a base of fire.

Local force VC HMG challenges the USMC.

VC in the bush.


Three great games. I was glad to be able to get the Vietnam figures I had just bought and painted on the table. 

Here's some more AAR over on Matt's blog.

the AWI


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.