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)
First up the stuff I did play
I finally had a chance to start playing some modern games. Starting at Fall-in I got another chance to try Skirmish Sangin, this time with someone who knew the rules really well. They were ok. In the post game discussion, we talked about how the game seemed to cover that very specific instance. The moment where a fire team makes contact with an enemy and the resulting moments of action. The mechanics themselves were great (and had my favorite rules for RPGs so far) but they covered such a specific encounter that I just don't know how to feel overall. I read other peoples AARs of the rules but nothing I've read so far has made me think other wise.
Next, we tried Osprey's Black Ops. These rules were fine, but didn't leave me wanting to play again. All of the individual mechanisms works and functioned but I just wasn't blown away by anything. That said, I didn't try the stealth rules and that could possibly sway me into trying the game again.
Finally, we played Spectre: Operations. I had incredibly high hopes going in, but unfortunatly I just wasn't blown away by these either. The conflict were gaming is a generic US vs Taliban type of engagement but Spectre seems to be focused on kitted out special forces teams and that sort of thing. The whole time we were playing I kept thinking of how well the rules would work for something like a Rainbow Six: Siege game but for the Taliban player, the game wasn't really fun. (I was that taliban player and I had an awful time with it) In defense of the mechanics, I think had the Taliban been on table at the start instead of moving onto the table turn 1 along with the US the game may have been a lot better. The way the initiative system works I was able to shoot exactly once the whole game, and was killed to a man by the end. I think the rules are good, just not what I'm looking for.
I'm intending to try force on force next and hopefully that might work a little better but for the time being, Moderns are going back on the shelf while other projects take precedence.
Last Years Goals
I don't really want to talk about it. I got almost nothing accomplished this year and really didn't finish much of anything. Too many real life problems got in the way of the hobby and I'm really not happy with my painting output. One of those projects was building a paint studio and I'm happy to say that, though not quite done yet, my time in that studio has really increased my paint output. I've gotten more finished since I got the desk set up there than the rest of the year, though I still don't really have anything worth showing.
There are 5 Major projects I want to finish this year:
2. For King and Parliament
4. Bolt Action French
5. Congo/Death in the dark Continent
This one should be easy to get on the table but only time will tell. Charles and I played a few games of Soldiers of God last year and I enjoyed it quite a bit. Due to real life stuff I think the project hit a bit of a wall but I've purchased the first (big) batch of saracens and have most of the crusaders at least started. The general plan is to get an army going for Soldiers of God and adapt it to To the Strongest. Hail Caesar also seems like it will work well for club games.
For King and Parliament
I was given a playtest copy of the rules based on Simon Miller's excellent To The Strongest but again with real life stuff I haven't finished the figures or had a chance to playtest it yet (My deepest apologies) Odds are at this point by the time I get everything together the rules will be on full release but they are definitely on my radar as a project to see the game table this year.
Due to the waning interest in Flames of War at the club and my growing interest in ww2 gaming, Ive picked up a pile of 15mm figures from PSC for this system. To start, I've begun working on a company of British Para's and a company of Germans for a Pegasus Bridge Scenario. More on this soon (hopefully) as I've received 4ground's Bridge kit and am about halfway through putting it together.
Bolt Action French
I've had the french on my list for quite a while now and I took the plunge and purchased enough to get started this year. I'm going to start off small with approx. 1000 points including a vehicle or two. This is mostly to get in a game each month at the shop and I doubt I'll be buying more 28mm WW2 now that I've dove into the PSC stuff.
Finally, I picked up Congo when it was released but only had a chance to try it in November. It's a fun set of rules with a ton of hollywood flavour and truly excellent miniatures. I picked up a starter column and am writing a series of articles on getting into the game with Paul that will later be published on the Michtoy Blog.
For my own armies though, I'm looking at Death in the Dark Continent as a possible rule set to expand to. Armies are larger than congo but still seem to come in under 100 figs. I'll be starting this ruleset with some zulu war stuff thats been "work-in-progress" for a while now, and the new ruleset will be a good excuse to finish some stuff.
I've been sitting on a few different projects not really sure what to prioritize this year. One of the projects, (time permitting) I'd like to finish is the Romans v Celts game I've begun purchasing for. I'm going to attempt to track what I paint in general this year and am going to attempt to finish more this year. Its a bit harder to track what I paint now that I've begun to paint more than just 28mm stuff but I'll be using the analogue hobbies painting challenge to keep track.