Friday, January 28, 2011

Three Cheers for Standardized Basing

First, welcome to two new followers, Bard and Felix Flauta.  Hope this blog is interesting.
Second, no pics this week.  Life has been crazy, not all crazy bad, just lots of evening appointments and activities that took the place of my regular painting time.
I have been thinking lately about my hope to do one wargame a month.  January is passing by and I still haven't played anything (although I did play a fun new board game with the family).  I am thinking I might try to play a quick small game of Warhammer with my son.
Anyways, I have been thinking about what I might like to play.  I'm kind of fed up with the new "buy tons of more miniatures" editions of Warhammer and Warhammer 40K, so I am looking for another game to play.  Ideally it would be a game that I could play solo sometimes, which then means that I would need to create two armies: one for me and one for my "opponent."  It also wouldn't hurt if I didn't have to sink a lot of money into it, both in terms of rules and miniatures.
I generally favor fantasy over sci-fi when it comes to non-historicals, and I've been looking at three "not Warhammer" games: Hordes of the Things, Hostile Realms, and Fantasy Impetus.  Ironically enough, each of them are conversions of historical rules, de Bellis Antiquitatis, Piquet, and Impetus.  Even better, they use roughly the same basing.  HotT uses 60mm frontage per unit, Hostile Realms uses four stands per unit with each stand having a 60mm frontage, and Fantasy Impetus uses 120mm frontages that would equate roughly to four HotT stands.  In other words, Hostile Realms and Fantasy Impetus units could be used interchangeably, although HR removes stands and FI doesn't.
Even better yet, my FLGS has a copy of the previous edition Battle for Skull Pass Warhammer box set at a very discounted price.  That's at least a HotT dwarf army, and a good ways towards a HR and FI night goblin army.  And even better yet, the pieces are pretty easy to paint.
We'll see how this develops as time goes on.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Friday, January 21, 2011

Still more Beastmen Gors

I'm continuing to chip away at my beastmen.  These had been partially painted years ago, but now they are finished.
Beastmen Gors, Games Workshop
I'm still working along on the British AWI figs.  I've told myself I can't buy anything until they are done.  This is just to battle my hobby ADD and keep me from having even more in the way of half-finished, partially painted miniatures.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Roach and Gunther, Foundry Zombie Survivors

As I combed through my collection of random, unaffiliated miniatures in an attempt to see what I could cannibalize (no pun intended) for my ATZ solo-campaign, I came across a blister of Foundry "Street Violence" miniatures.  These are from the "Outlaw Trash" blister, and fit the Zombie Apocalypse genre perfectly, although Foundry's names for them, "Roach" and "Gunther" leave a lot to be desired.


I can use them as survivors or gangers, whichever I need at the moment.

Friday, January 14, 2011

More Beastmen Gors

I keep chugging along on these guys.  For whatever reason, they keep floating my boat.
Beastmen Gors, Games Workshop
My photography hasn't been great lately, so I think they look better than they appear here.

And I don't have one of those "here are blogs I follow" panels in my blog, but I thought I would give a little nerdlove towards Felix at Pokeminiatures, which isn't what it sounds like.  Felix is a bright light of self-affirmation every time I start to get down on myself for jumping around from project to project.  He told me once that I should "bop 'til I drop" between whatever I wanted to paint, because it would a) keep me painting, and b) eventually I'd discover that I had managed to paint up an entire army after all.  While certain websites are afroth with nerdrage right now, I thought I'd spread a little collegiality instead.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Gary and Monty

I've been considering doing an All Things Zombie solo campaign, and in preparation for that have been digging through my plastic tub marked "Metal miniatures, not associated with games."  It turns out I have a surprising number of figures that can be civilians or gangers.  Here's two that were pretty easy to finish painting and base.

I got these guys like ten years ago from a blister set depicting "typical" gamers.  I'm calling them "Gary" and "Monty" after a couple of certain RPG creators.

Between painting up AWI British, random civilians, and the odd GW beastman, you'd think I'd be content, but my hobby ADD is in full swing right now.  I was just figuring out how much it would cost for me to create a Hordes of the Things Savage Orc army using miniatures from Black Tree Design (answer: about $70).  But I am telling myself that I have to paint the AWI guys first before I start anything else.

Monday, January 10, 2011

On Roleplaying Games

I was an RPG fan first before I was a wargamer.  In fact, it was RPG's that got me into miniatures to begin with. First, I had a problem player in a game I was running.  She was constantly "where the action was" in gameplay.
"There's a chest in the room." "I check out the chest."
"While you are looking at the chest, someone approaches the door."  "I rush the guy with my sword."
Basically, where ever it was most beneficial to be, her PC would magically appear.  So I began considering using miniatures to help with the game.  Plus Champions, a frequent go-to game for me, practically required them.

The second factor was that as time went by it got harder and harder to get a group together.  I was out of college and my friends and I were all doing what most young adults do in their mid- to late-twenties: nailing a career down and having children.  And one day I realized that I could do a wargame with only one other person.  It was about that time that the company whose manual I had purchased on painting miniatures started a skirmish game, called Mordheim.  Mordheim was a total gateway game.  It got me buying White Dwarf for the articles on building terrain and the new warband rules, which in turn exposed me to Warhammer Fantasy Battles and Warhammer 40K.  The internet showed me other games, and highlighted some deficiencies in Games Workshop's business model.

When I left Columbus and began a new career in a very small town in Ohio, I found it almost impossible to organize an RPG.  There just were not the people around who played.  But I could find people who wanted to play WHFB or 40K via the internet, and from there I began a pretty steady diet of monthly-or-so wargaming.  After a few years I developed enough friendships where I could "out" myself as a RPG enthusiast, and basically built up a gaming group from scratch (one that continues on without me, as it turns out).

But RPG's and wargaming were never exactly apples-to-apples in terms of scratching a particular itch.  RPG's had the benefit of no material component.  I could plan adventures while driving my car on long trips, or during slow days at the office.  But that in turn felt shallow and lacked fulfillment sometimes.  I liked the tangibility of wargaming pursuits.  I was making things with my hands.  I also liked that I was being social in a wargame without constantly being "in character," either as player or GM.  I could bitch about work or talk about how my family was doing or whatever right in the middle, rather than breaking the flow of the game.

I also have continually found myself having to run a game, not play one.  That means a lot of front-end loaded work that all hinges on the inconsistent attendance (not to mention personalities) of the people playing.  If I paint miniatures and the game falls through, I have good looking miniatures to look at.  If I build an adventure and no one plays, I have a file on my flash drive called "GoblinRuins1A.odt".  It makes a difference.

And finally, and this may the most subjective of points, I just don't enjoy RPG's as much anymore.  I find less joy in the improv acting of roleplaying games now than I used to.  With the right game, I might feel differently. Who knows?

What I know now is that I really miss wargaming.  I thought about making a resolution towards doing one wargame a month, even if it meant coercing my pre-teen son into a game of Heroclix or just playing a solo wargame.  Just one wargame a month, that's all.
 

Friday, January 7, 2011

Beastmen Gors

These are the guys that got me through my painting block.  I got these painted up today, then moved onto the AWI British in the previous post (they were drying when I posted the British).  Anyways, these guys painted up quickly and nicely.
Beastmen Gors, Games Workshop
I often find getting a quick "win" helps me get back to the long, slow projects.  I have a pile of these guys laying around from years ago (back when I was stupid and glued shields on first, then primed) so I can come back to them as I want.

AWI British progress shot

RSM95 American War of Independence British
Back on the wagon.  Here are four British infantrymen which are painted, but awaiting finishing and basing.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Distractions

Distractions--we all have them, especially in a hobby that requires so much focus like painting miniatures.  I'm only into the first week of 2011 and am already wrestling with them.  What is causing my current dilemma?

  1. A moderately successful RPG campaign that I'm running.  It's hard to paint miniatures for a game you're not playing when you could be building encounters for a game you are.  Add to that the fact that putting together D&D4E encounters is about as hard as solving the Junior Jumble in the newspaper.
  2. A bad first miniature.  I'll admit, the first AWI figure didn't turn out well.  The primer didn't hold and the paint job was rushed and I was oft-distracted.  When the first one looks bad, it is hard to be excited about the next 47.
  3. Not really having a goal.  I have a goal insofar as I want to paint four units of AWI British, but it is only in the hope that the local historical wargaming group will organize a get-together in which I could participate.  That's ambiguous enough to make it seem suspiciously like vaporware.
  4. Learning a new scale.  Despite the miniature being theoretically the same scale as, say, Games Workshop or Foundry or Wargames Factory, they are in fact much closer to 1/72.  It is a lot more fine detail work and just seems, to me at least, to require a whole different style of painting.  That may be more in my head than anything else.
I once again wish that I had my old wargaming club, where I could know that the Spring would bring a new Warhammer campaign and I could consider building or adding to a new army for it.  I've considered trying to organize my own in my new city through Meetup or something similar, but we will have to see.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

First AWI British figure

First, welcome to Ubique and Andy McMaster.  There may be someone else--sometimes I can not tell who came in when.

I have finished my test model, an AWI British marching infantryman by RSM95 miniatures.  He's painted up to look like someone from the 64th Regiment.
One of the problems with this guy was I rushed the primer and it just wouldn't stick to the miniature.  You can can even see it close up like in the photo.  It's small, closer to a true 25mm figure than what I'm used to.  It's a start, just 47 more to go.

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