Tuesday, January 2, 2018

2018 Plans and Catch Up

Hey everyone,
Still alive here just haven't been doing much hobby stuff as of late. Since returning from Fall-in I haven't really had much of an opportunity to do much painting or even a lot of gaming. Check after the break for a brief list of what I have managed to work on and a list of what I hope to accomplish in 2018.
Warning (Absolute wall of text incoming)

Friday, November 10, 2017

Altar of Freedom: A Long Time Coming and Wargames New Year

Sorry for the silence as of late. This year has been incredibly busy. I had a friend move in and then out of the spare room in the house, went to World Expo in Chicago and IPMS Nationals in Omaha for work and completely redid my paint desk (more on that in another post) As this is slowly turning into a blog about me apologizing for not posting I'm gonna jump right into the content.

Before I do however, I had a thought. Usually I post a yearly recap around new years and set some new goals for the following year. As is pretty apparent, any goals I've set for this year aren't getting done. I dropped the ball on the hobby pretty hard and the paint room remodel project took far longer than I had anticipated. As a result I'm going to structure my year around my one big show trip each year. As anyone who knows me knows, Fall-In is the big trip I take each year and I'm going to call the first week in novemeber my "Wargames New Year" As I was preparing to go to Lancaster this year I took stock of a lot of stuff I bought exactly a year ago and never opened. Thinking of various plans and all that it makes sense to me to sort of start fresh after each of these big shows. I spent a ludicrous amount at this years show as well and it'll be nice to come out of the gate running. As I prepare the next project and get drafting on that I thought I'd showcase a project I did actually get on the table this year. 

3 years. After 3 years of putzing around on this project, it's almost ready to see the table. As I write this draft of this post I have most of the work done on the project. The grand plan is to run the Gibraltar of the West campaign at the shop some day though I'm a ways off from that. Let's start at the beginning.

Altar of Freedom is a set of rules for Grand Tactical Battles in the American Civil War. The game is designed to be fast play and uses 6mm figures. I was drawn into this system based more or less on one detail; Bases. In many other rule systems (especially for ACW, it seems) units are various numbers of bases somewhere between 2 and 10. Occasionally different systems call for varying numbers of figures and building a collection to work with every set of rules was never a possibility. When I bought the rules (some 3 years ago) I was less experienced with historicals in general and was a little overwhelmed when I'd read about how some of the armies would look in 28mm. My friend Joe told me about AoF and I looked into it. After reading the rules I ordered a pack of 6mm figures to try my hand at painting them. Surprised at how quickly they painted I ordered enough reinforcments to do the smaller battle present in the core book and the 2 scenario books. I began by painting a few units of Union Infantry and the Union Artillery and Generals. And there they sat.

Perhaps daunted by the task of painting hundreds more or distracted by shinier newer toys I made no progress on the project. After 2 years of no forward progress I enlisted the help of Charles (Weekend General Blog) to build the forests. We spent an evening and assembled most of the board for the demo scenario. Swearing that I'd finish the project I foolishly tried to go home and paint the rest of the union. After a few more months I conceded and had Charles paint the Confederate Infantry and Generals. A few months later I caved completely and had him finish the union.

I based the collection myself and finished each piece with flags where needed. I finished the terrain including the last couple forests as well as the hills. The roads were purchased at Fall-in last year.

As I mentioned previously the grand plan is to run the Vicksburg campaign here at the shop some day. I'm not gonna bother setting a timeline because I know I'll never stick to it but I do have a vague plan in place. I currently have enough figures to run the two smallest scenarios, Drewry's Bluff and one other. I have the terrain done for the first but will need to finish some stuff up for the second.

In no particular order are some photos of the game. It seemed pretty well recieved and I'll get some photos up soon of the armies by themselves.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

A New Project and 2017 Plans

First I'd like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

I had mentioned before that I had started (another) new project. I wanted to wait to post about it until I actually had enough stuff to play a game with. I've finally hit that point minus basing.

The project I've been teasing for a while now is Pike and Shotte in 10mm. Like most of my projects its inspired in part by a blog I follow. In this case I got the idea from the Big Red Bat Cave blog. This  is a blog run by the guy who wrote To The Strongest (my favorite ancient rules) Apparently there's an English Civil War version of the rules coming some time next year and I'm really looking forward to it. While posting about the upcoming game he referenced playtesting the game using someones collection of 10/12mm figures. My only experience with 10mm stuff so far was Drop Zone Commander and truth be told I wasn't exactly thrilled with the plastic infantry. After seeing the pictures on his blog however I was definitely willing to take another look at the scale. I took a look at the figures from Old Glory while I was at Fall-In and decided to pick up a bunch.

After getting a bit of it painted I picked up some extras from Pendraken. So far I've gotten enough stuff painted for a 300 point game of pike and shotte as well as a few extras.

One of the other things I've been talking about picking up lately was some sort of photo booth type thing for better photos. I finally got one in the form of a Square brand collapsible one from amazon. Funnily enough however, these photos weren't taken in it. I can't seem to get good photos from it. These photos were taken with a sheet of white paper and my normal desk lights. I'll need to mess with it more later

Any way to get to the point here are some photos of the (almost) finished stuff

First up is the infantry. The Kings Lifeguard for the Royalists and Skippon's Foot for Parliament. All the core infantry is from Old Glory and are based on 40mm square bases.

Next is the cavalry. These figures are also from Old Glory. I decided for the 300 point armies to paint the 2 maximum units of Cuirassier for the Parliament Force. After doing research I painted Haselrig's Lobsters and Essex's Lifeguard. The two units are identical except for the flag. Below that is one of the two units of regular cavalry for the Royalists. Again the two units are identical except the flag.

This is a medium gun from Old Glory with some additional stuff from Pendraken on the base hidden behind the guy on the far right.

This is part of the in progress baggage train.  The figure is by Pendraken and I filled the cart with supplies also from Pendraken.

Some of the finished command figures. Prince Rupert is from Pendraken and the generic general on the left is from Old Glory.

Finally from Old Glory is the first bit of terrain. I was gonna wait until I had finished all the basing and command to start the terrain but I couldn't help myself.  I have a village worth to paint and so far I'm having a blast with it.

 Looking forward into 2017 I've set what I hope is an attainable but challenging set of goals for the year. Back in 2015 I pledged to paint 200 figures and I passed the mark in mid December. For 2016 I tried a few different paint challenge type things but feel like I generally slacked off a bit too much. For 2017 I want to paint more than the last few years but because I've been painting a lot of different scales it's a little hard to quantify. I'm going to use the Analogue Hobbies scoring system to try and paint 2000 points worth this year. It's not a crazy amount but it's more than last year.

In addition to the figure output I've got a few games I intend to get on the table this year. First of all, I intend to recreate the Siege of Worchester from the Pike and Shotte book in 10mm. There's another guy at the club painting the scots for this so it shouldn't be too hard.

I want to play the Fort assault scenario from the Glory Hallelujah Book in 28mm using my growing ACW collection. The guy painting the scots is working on some confederates for this so again, it shouldn't be too hard.

Finally the third major project I'd like to complete this year is my crusades project. I'd like to finish the minimum of 130 points of both crusaders and saracens for to the strongest by years end.

There's a few other smaller projects I'd like to finish as well but I'll cover those when I get to them. I still have the AWI project and the Romans on the backburner as well. Lot's to come in the New Year and I'm looking forward to it.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Fall-In 2016

I'll admit I'm absolute garbage at keeping up with the blog. I had intended to keep pushing out shorter single unit posts in an attempt to keep posting content but even that's fallen by the wayside. Add to this, Thanksgiving is a super busy couple of weeks around my house where nothing gets done and you can see why it took so long to post this.

Fall-in is the one convention I have time to go to each year and every year I come back with the distinct impression that "This was the best year yet!" Issues about location, the politics, the drive, etc. aside I feel like I do more and more each year. Spending an even larger amount and playing even more games.

A full write-up and another 60 or so photos below

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

English Civil War Mortar

This ones part of the desk clean off. The figures are by warlord and its on a 80mm by 100mm base. Super generally speaking I like the warlord ecw artillery. It's a little on the pricey side but it paints up really nice. I dont't know a ton about the era so I just went with the colors on their site. At some point I'll get around to finishing some infantry. More pictures after the break.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Roman Triarii

This is the first unit for the project detailed in the last entry. I made these using the Victrix Romans in chainmail box. The figures themselves are fantastic. Easily assembled with good options.

Trasimene or Bust

Ever since I played Total War Rome 2 I have completely fallen in love with the Second Punic War. There's been a lot of real life getting in the way of the hobby the last couple weeks so there's been a lot of reading other peoples blogs and what not. The biggest inspiration for starting this project now (in the middle of cleaning off the desk) was the Olicanalad Blog. A while back he posted a campaign using the Hannibal board game as the engine. An idea which I'd like to shamelessly rip off. I figured I'd start off with core armies, then stage my own Lake Trasimene game (at a smaller scale)