Monday, August 18, 2014

What the heck happened to that guy? (with bonus: why I wargame)

Wow. 4 months? Time does fly when one gets busy... So I suppose I owe you some explanation.

I'm now cohabiting with Ms. Head-Spigot M.D. (gf's note: Finally!) and switched jobs from one that let me work from home to a regular old office job that involves weekly travel. While great for my social life this has wrought no small amount of havoc on my painting life. Additionally, my main opponent for 15mm sci-fi gaming moved away from the area which means that I needed to find another outlet for my insatiable need to push miniatures across the table. All this led me to jump back into my old standby and favorite "big" (as in you could actually find some minis in a decently stocked hobby shop) game, Flames of War, so expect to see quite a bit of that posted in these parts from here on out.

I definitely haven't given up the old 15mm sci-fi ghost (I recently finished painting up my Clear Horizon Hell Divers) but its now one of many projects on my far too overcrowded bench.

(Fig. 1,  My far too overcrowded bench)

One further change, while I'll still throw up things that I'm painting/building/terrain building posts, I plan to go a bit more "meta" with the blog from now on.

What do I mean by that? When I logged back in tonight I seriously thought about deleting the blog and walking away, what could I add that plenty of other far more prolific wargaming bloggers weren't already talking about? If you want news about new releases TMP and good old Dropship Horizon have you covered. If you want shots of your favorite minis exquisitely painted look no further than some of the amazing work out there as typified by Dwartist. Eventually I decided the only thing I could really add to the conversation was my thoughts about a hobby I've loved for almost twenty years now delivered from a gamer's perspective.

Age-wise I'm directly in the demographic that bridges the "old-timers" who got into wargaming before video games became a thing and the millennials who can't put down their "Nintendos". Statistically I'm far more likely to be playing the newest iteration of Call of Duty than doing research on how to build a historically accurate 3/4 CLY (Sharpshooters) list for Flames of War or dreaming up rules for near future 15mm sci-fi skirmishes. So why do I stick with it? Why go through all the effort and expense for a hobby that demands so much of its enthusiasts when I live in an era with so many more easily accessible distractions?

Part of it is the social aspect, I've met plenty of great people wargaming that I never would have had the chance to run into in my normal life. Doctors, college aged kids, lawyers, high-school dropouts, die hard righties and unrequited left-wingers, wargaming fans run the gamut of the political and economic spectrum and the niche nature of the hobby practically demands that you'll be forced to spend time with people who reside out of your normal circles. For someone who does not share a love of sports wargaming serves as an ideal social melting pot, a place and activity that provides a common bond between people that wouldn't otherwise exist.

Part of it is the spectacle, it's one thing to boot up a copy of the latest video game and enjoy the efforts that tens of millions of dollars can buy, but it's an entirely different thing to see an army of figures that you've spent dozens of hours painstakingly painting, pouring your time and attention into, arrayed against someone who knows that exact same feeling. There's a feeling of tangibility that comes with wargaming that I have yet to see matched by any other hobby. A feeling of being able to touch and hold with your own two hands the fruits of your labor that no video game will (at least for the foreseeable future) ever be able to match. When I first started playing Warhammer I didn't use a single painted figure in my armies, I was there to play, not to paint! Now, even with how much less free time I have, the thought of using an unpainted army is almost unthinkable, I'd feel like I was depriving both myself and my opponent of the visual feast that wargaming provides.

Above all else the reason I still play is that after all these years it's just still so much damned fun to throw some miniatures down on a table, roll some dice and for an afternoon transport yourself to another world. Despite its shortcomings I've yet to find an experience as personally immersive as wargaming. No matter whether that means holding a ruined block in Normandy against all odds or bug hunting on a space station hundreds of light years from Earth, those moments, the ones that happen in those special games that still stick with me, that deciding moment where a roll of the die is all that separates you from victory and defeat, have a power to suck me in like nothing else. Until that tension no longer exists, until those do or die moments no longer spark the same excitement in me, you'll still find me, "little men" in hand, on the other side of the table.      

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Just to clear a few things up, and out...

Wow, it's been awhile! Sorry for the long hiatus but as I'm sure we all know, life gets in the way... That being said I do have some good news, A) I'm not dead and B) it's time for some Spring Cleaning which means everybody gets to snatch up some of my lesser used minis/terrain! This cuts this year are especially deep as I'm moving in with my girlfriend in a matter of weeks (editor's (girlfriend's) note: FINALLY!) and I need to get rid of some things as I will no longer have a dedicated gaming room. No need to worry about me "getting out" of the hobby, as the pile of lead I've been working on can attest, I'm still in it until the end, I just need to make some space! Most of these are going up on ebay, but if you're interested go ahead and send me an offer through email if you'd prefer to deal direct. If there's no bid I'm more than happy to pull it and work directly with a reader!


Item #1:

Chain link feces with razor wire

14 Section of chain link fence topped with razorwire. All told, these fences are almost 60" long!
Ebay link here

Item #2: 

You know 'em, you love 'em, Ebox buildings are a staple of the 15mm sci-fi community and I'm definitely a fan as well. I've broken mine up into three different lots:

Lot 1:

Link Here

Lot 2: 

Link Here

And, Lot 3: 

Link Here

I managed to pick up TONS of resin cast crates at a local wargaming swap meet a year or two ago, and they call need to go, make me an offer for a piece of them, or for all of them. There are a LOT of these things!

Item #3:

Item #4:

My "ashy" army. My 15mm Sci-fi gaming is moving in a much more skirmish based direction which means that I'll be using much smaller forces and won't be needing these guys. Maybe you have need of some sudden reinforcements in your urban or ash waste setting...

Army consists of:

5x Khurasan Power Armored Soldiers
1x Khurasan Red Faction Power Armor
3x Combat Wombat 8x8's with Magnetized turrets
2x Combat Wombat 6x6's with Magnetized turrets
52 x Ground Zero Games UNSC New sculpts containing enough rifleman, command stands, and support weapons to give you a well rounded force!

If you haven't seen my ashies, they can be seen here, and the 6x6's and 8x8's can be seen here,  

Item #5:

4x Khurasan Iguanas, and 3x Khurasan Polecats. Again, the move away to skirmish is making me drastically reduce my motor pool. They're all painted and can be seen here

Item #6:

My Khurasan Federal Army, well, army. Roughly a platoon's worth of guys (45 figures) with command and support weapons well represented. For an idea of what the paint job on these guys looks like, check them out here.

Item #7:

Miscellaneous: I have a few more armies that I'm looking to move but I'll wait and see if I get any nibbles from the community for these first.

Thanks for looking, and remember, no deal is too crazy to be entertained during the spring cleaning sale!

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Unexpected Reinforcements miniatures swap

We've all been there, those moments when picking up the brush seems like too much of a chore to bother and even priming some new minis feels like a daunting task. To help you get over that and keep your painting output up Dropzonetoe over at Unexpected Reinforcements has started up a monthly miniature swap. This particular swap works very similarly to the annual X-mas swap over at The Miniatures Page though with a twist (the good kind, prizes!). The rules are simple, the blog master over at Unexpected Reinforcements chooses a theme (e.g. this month's was "mechanized squad") and a shipping date. As the date draws near he'll send you the address of your swappee at which point you send in the pics of your swap and then send off your swap. My entry this month was from two lines that I don't see get a lot of love, a Type 567 IFV from Combat Wombat and the previously mentioned (scroll down to #3) New NSL from Ground Zero Games. 

 Combat Wombat Type 567 IFV painted in an urban scheme, I probably spent over an hour applying those camo dots with a toothpick. Scheme is a rough adaptation of WWII German Armor scheme.
 Rear view
 The NSL squad I decided to pair it with, 3 riflemen, a SAW gunner, an AT launcher (I love the box launcher), and a designated marksman.
Everything together.

Oh, I suppose I should probably talk a bit about the prize portion of this contest ;). At the conclusion of each month a vote takes place to determine everyone's favorite swap. After a winner is chosen they receive a prize, this month's lucky winner will get a prize from Clear Horizon. Didn't win? No big deal, because if you manage to make swaps for 3 months in a row you'll get a prize just for participating. 

While it's too late to participate in this month's contest, February's contest is just around the corner. An incentive to paint, some unexpected new minis, and the potential for prizes, what are you waiting for? Pick up your brushes and paint pots and get in the fight!

Monday, January 13, 2014

A great read about wargames design

evilleMonkeigh over at Delta Vector has a great ongoing series on wargaming design. While I don't agree with everything that he says there are a lot of great points, food for thought, and examples of what he believes makes a game great and what makes a game less than stellar. It's a fascinating series and if you haven't already I heartily recommend giving it a look and then thinking about the rules systems you use. It's a great resource for those of us out there who are thinking of writing our own rules, and a wonderful read even if you're just a dabbler in the hobby.

If you're interested, the first piece can be found here.

Friday, January 3, 2014

My project pile and wishlist for the new year

The cold (at least for California) winter months are here in full force, the blockbuster video game season has passed, the holidays are over, and the BBQ's are long put away until the arrival of Memorial day... that can only mean one thing, it's back to wargaming for me!

It wasn't until just the other day that I realized how long it has been since I picked up a paint brush or did anything hobby related. With that being said, it's time to get going and get back into the game. What better way to do it then to detail a list of some of the models that I'm excited to get on the table, some projects I'm planning on working on, and a few sneak peaks at what has me most excited for wargaming in 2014.

My list of projects, and some bonus things to look forward to in the new year after the jump...