Monday, July 29, 2019

Intergalatic Convention AAR and personal note

A post in which I summarize my recent gaming weekend at the local convention; Friday night through Sunday.  Delayed some, due to stuff discussed in the personal note.

I had signed up to run 3 games, one on each day.  I had meant to run around and take a bunch of pictures but never seemed to get around to it, but I did take some.  We'll do a day to day blow by blow with some general thoughts about the con at the end shall we?  Of course we shall. 

I'll be focusing exclusively on miniature wargames because that's what I like and wanted to play.

Starting Off on Friday night

My convention weekend started off nicely on Thursday evening when the wife took the kids to her parent's house in the bay area; with strict instructions that I was supposed to have fun all weekend and not try to do any chores.  Yes Ma'am.  As an extra bonus I managed at the last minute to get Friday off from work versus just leaving a little early.  This left me Thursday night through Sunday with a rare gift of alone time.  Something I usually only get while driving to work, which is why I sometimes take the long way. 

Since I had nothing really planned till early Friday evening, I took full advantage and woke up on Friday whenever I darn well pleased, went to the gym (because I'm sure those 40 mins would counter-act all the pizza and soda I was about to consume all weekend), and lazily collected the stuff I would need to run my 3 games over the weekend. 

Everything to run 3 games over 3 days.  Not that bad really.

I was actually a little nervous about transporting the Osgiliath terrain.  While not exactly fragile I wouldn't call it robust either, not to mention being big, in odd shapes, and awkward (just like me).

Showing up late Friday afternoon, after I unloaded the car, I spent some hours chit chatting with people and saying hi.

kicking off and hour or before my LOTR game was a fun looking post apoc game in 15mm put on Mr. B.

I would of liked to play but there really wasn't time to get involved before I would have to host my own, so I contented myself to making jokes  and adding funny commentary while setting up my LOTR game "Defense of Osgiliath" 

I had 2 players, a Mr. R and Mr. M, both of which I've known for awhile and are Good Guy Gamers.

I had a pretty smart set up for both my LOTR games, if I do say so myself, in that I had prepared ahead of time 2 different OOBs depending on how many players showed up.  2 players was just the scenario straight out of the book.

The day of the con, I couldn't find my pretty objective markers,
so at the last minute I printed these round blue one.

fighting amongst the ruins

Both players had a good time, though the good player was CRUSHING IT for awhile with outstanding die rolls, so it was a good thing the evil models regenerated. 

I could use some more practice in explaining the LOTR rules quickly and efficiently as I'm new to hosting games with these, but overall I think it went smoothly and it was gratifying to see the Osgiliath set up on the table.    

Then packed up and went home to watch Frasier on Netflix.  Because I could.  Because no one was home. 

Saturday, Day 2 at the Con

Packed the car up with the stuff for the  the ACW game I was hosting later that day, and back off to the con well rested and happy.
There were some options on Saturday morning and I decided to play in a space ship game based on the Babylon 5 series hosted by Mr. C.   Now I've never seen an episode of Babylon 5, but never the less it seemed like a good option...

My ship is red.

..mainly because:
1) it fit my schedule perfectly, starting early and ending with enough time for me to grab some lunch and set up the ACW game.
2) I haven't played in a space ship game in forever
3) Most space ship games play just like an Age of Sail game - moving and turning, firing arcs, speed adjustments, etc...  the main difference is that instead of saying "I fire my lower deck of 32 pounder guns, boom boom boom!"  you say "I'll fire my armor piercing twin linked beam lasers, pew pew pew." 

I took a few minutes to wander over the the What a Tanker game by Mr. R, which I would of liked to play in but alas again, schedule wouldn't allow it.  BOO

After the fun in space, I set up my ACW game for fighting out Barlow's Knoll.
I had some high hopes for this being my flagship game at the con; a big battle, lots of miniatures, a nice looking table, and room for 5 players.  It was also, I think, the only game on the schedule going from Saturday afternoon through the evening so I had high hopes for a good turnout, and was a little disappointed to get only 2 interested.

some pics of the game table

With only 2 players, and knowing that there was no way that the whole battle could be played with all the troops, I did some quick GM thinking and basically just cut the battle field in half.  Giving the CSA 3 brigades and the USA a division.  In hindsight, this was still a little large as RFF really plays best when each individual controls 1 large brigade or 2 small ones.

CSA closing in

"Hold the Line!"  

The ACW gaem ended around 9PM, and with nothing going on I packed up and went home.

Sunday, Day 3.  

Sunday morning saw me back at the con for an early morning game of Gaslands.  A system that I've heard lots about so wanted to try it.  Turns out, it's a really fun game. 


Gaslands was probably the most attended game of the con, with 7 players at one time.  However, I also learned that since gaslands is a game with single activation (1 car moves at a time), it can play kinda slow with a lot of players.  And other game tables were empty.  So maybe in a bout of selfishness and wanting to try some else new, I crashed my car to take me out the game so I could go do one of the empty game tables.  My car was on it's last legs anyway because I've already had my run ins with the debris strewn all over the table.  

I then played in a Napoleonic game hosted by a Mr. L featuring the one and only Sharpe's Rifle company.  

The rules were "chosen men fat" which I had never heard of before.  It's a skirmish game. 
The idea was to get some objectives of fine wine out of the town, I playing the British manged to grab two of them for a draw.

After all that it was time to set up for the last game I was hosting, "the Retaking of Osgiliath."  

Ruins of Osgiliath

There was a widow with a purple film over it nearby,
so some of my pics have a purple shine to them.

Boromir in the tower.
"This city!... was build on rock and roll!"
Wait, that not the line for the extended cut of the movie.

Unfortunately, the game didn't run because no one really wanted to play.  There was some mild interest but most people where gamed out and I already had an attitude of "unless someone says they're dying to play, then never mind and pack it in."  It was the last day of the con and late afternoon, so I don't blame folks. 

Instead, I left early and brought some KFC to my aged and ailing father.  Which is his favorite.  We watched some lame TV show about sharks.

General Thoughts of the Convention

I did have a good time at the convention.  The venue is great, the people were fantastic, and the games fun.  GMs can store their stuff at the con (which I had forgotten about) which is very helpful for people putting on multiple games. 

I had less luck with scheduling this year than last year.  Last year I seamlessly went from one game to the next and it was spectacular.  This year there were a couple of occasions where I really wanted to play in a game but couldn't because the games I was hosting were scheduled too close or overlapped.  I blame those GMs for scheduling their games at the wrong time, because how dare they schedule their games when it works for them and not when it'd be best for me.  (joking of course).
It's just one of those things that happens.

The only real negative was that the con was poorly attended.  There just weren't that many people there.  One doesn't expect a large turn out at these small local cons, but it was still pretty low even allowing for that.  I never had a full table of players, and I'm going to blame this on the low attendance and state that it's not a reflection of my personality.  I guess it's possible that people aren't really into the ACW and LOTR, no that can't be it.

 The event organizer went around and asked everyone what might help raise attendance, and I have no real good feedback because I have no idea how to run a convention and make a profit. 

So while I had a fun relaxing weekend, the low attendance does tend to put a damper on it.  Still, I shall return next year. 

And I am a BAD BLOGGER because I didn't do the blogger thing where I take pics of all the miniature games.  I just didn't get around to it for no other reason than I was goofing off. 

Ending on a Personal Note, not related to gaming. 

That Sunday night after the con was the last meal I had with my father, and the last time we would speak.  He died 2 days later.  I was able to get to him before he passed but too late for him to be able to acknowledge me.  I held his hand  and spoke to him while he stopped breathing.  We were alone in the room and it seemed utterly still.  

His health has been bad for awhile now, so while not unexpected still more sudden than I would have liked.  

Making arrangements to have him buried next to my mother in southern California.  I have now entered that phase of life where one does not have parents.  It is strange.  

It will be awhile before my next post obviously.  But thanks in advance for reading and the well wishes from my internet friends.  It occurs to me that I've been corresponding with some of you for close to 2 years now.  I'm always torn about putting personal stuff into the wargaming blog, and usually don't, but major life evens seem to be an exception.  

Friday, July 12, 2019

Timecast fields painted up for 15mm ACW

So right after I said I was done with terrain and was gonna paint some miniatures I went ahead and did some more terrain.

Life is like that. 

Just Because I had these Lying around and an ACW game in the Works...

Since I'm hosting an ACW game at the convention, and an ACW table could always use more fields, I decided that it was time to paint up those 15mm latex fields that I got from Timecast oh-so-long ago (back in December as part of the Christmas and Birthday loot as seen On This Previous Post). 

Turned out to be an easy quick project. 
spray dark brown primer
dry brush browns
brown wash.
flock the edges. 

Some 15/18mm Union Cav or scale on 1x1 inch bases.

End result, 4 more fields for the ACW table.  These will see the table during the convention for Barlow's Knoll.

I'll reserve final judgment on the fields till I see them on the table surrounded by the other terrain, but the Timecast fields were very easy to work with and seem to do the trick. 

Ready the Miniatures!

The small local convention is just about a week away, so the rest of my hobby time will be spent doing all those little prep jobs of a gaming host: printing out the OOBs and player aids, organizing the miniatures and terrain, getting a haircut and manicure so I look good for the public, etc and etc..


4 foot tall Unicorn Sprinkler.
That's right, you read that correctly.
It sprays water out f the horn.
For Daughter #1 to play in during these hot summer days

OK, so I didn't build it but inflated it like a beach-ball.  
Still was a lot of work for these tired smoker lungs.

Till next time.  

Sunday, July 7, 2019

Completed Expected LOTR ruins.

I've finished painting up my latest LOTR ruins made from Hirst Arts for battles in Osgiliath and Minas Tirrith. 

but first, a little mini drama presented in 1 act to illustrate how this came to be:

Scene: Our hero (which is me) is driving home from work when his plans are cancelled due to reasons.  Knowing that the his wife and 2 surviving children also have plans tonight, he calls her to tell her that instead of doing what he was gonna do he can now go with the family to their thing.

Wife speaks: "That's OK, you don't have to come, it's all gonna be moms and kids anyway, and you deserve a break. Why don't you stay home and do some painting or whatever."

Our Hero (again, which is me) replies: "Oh it's alright I can come (brief pause), but since you mention it I could get some painting done so I will stay home but let me know if you change your mind."
Hang up.
Turn phone off.

End scene.

(No, I didn't really turn the phone off)
(and maybe the wife is really the hero of the story.  Maybe.)

So unexpectedly I was able to finish the expected ruins.
I expect you'll like to see some pics...

Dry Brushing is Quick and Easy

Painting formula:
Black primer spray paint.
Heavy dry brush dark grey
Medium dry brush grey
Super duper light dry brush white.

It’s so simple it’s Kinda hard to mess up but I still managed to do so in a few places.
However the terrain is very forgiving of small mistakes and overall; came out pretty darn alright if I do say so myself.

On to the pics!

All 3 items painted!
I really ought to get a nice place to photograph terrain besides the kitchen table.

The Statue House

with the statue inside, naturally.
That good old king what's his name.

I'm really please how this broken statue house came out.  It's the smooth brick patterns that really make it stand out I think. 

The pretty piece of wall

Just a low wall, forms a corner so it can stand up.  

Arches Arches Arches Everywhere.

the back is really nothing special.
shame to end on this pic really.

All of the these terrain pieces use a variety of bricks from a  minimum of 2 and some even 5 different molds and I think I'm starting to get a real knack of mixing and matching the bricks together to from unique terrain.  It also just goes to show what an awesome system the Hirst Arts molds really are. All of them have been well worth the investment. 

That's a Load Off My Hobby Table

My main concern for the up coming convention was getting these 3 terrain items done so it was a relief when they actually painted up really fast and easy, even somewhat ahead of schedule.  It's still 2 weeks till the convention.  Now I feel really prepared and all remaining things on the to-do list are pretty minor; like typing up the army lists and packing everything for transport.  

And now that the terrain is done and the terrain making urge is out of my system (for now), I feel like it's time to return to the roots and start painting some miniatures again.  Just have to decide what.  

Thanks for reading.  

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Signs of Life, and Light at the End of the Tunnel (LOTR ruins)

A post in which, after 5 or 6 weeks (it was so long I can't remember clearly) of no hobby activity, hails my glorious return to the hobby desk.
5 or 6 weeks is not that much time away, in the big scope of things.  but it seemed like a long time to me, especially since my main form of relaxation is this wargaming hobby.
but house projects have been wrapped up to a 'good enough' state of completion, no more trips to southern CA. to get my fathers house sold.. and while life is still busier than I would have it, the happy day has arrived where there is time again to enjoy oneself quietly at the hobbydesk.

Good thing too,  because time was growing short...

Light at the End of the Tunnel Could Also be a Train

While there is time for hobbying in the late hours of the day, there are still enough obligations during daylight hours to prevent any gaming.  BOOO! 
But there is light at the end of the tunnel in the form of a small local convention near the end of July called Intergalactic Conquest.

I was officially able to attend the convention when the wife put it on her calendar, and so after being given the green light I signed up to run some games.  I might of gotten a little over enthusiastic thinking of how I was in a state of no gaming and that this might be the only convention I attend this year, so I volunteered to run 3 games, which is quite a commitment.  But the event list for the con is pretty sparse for miniatures and I like running games, so there it is.

you can check out the list of scheduled games here on the Event List.
See my name?

I'm running two LOTR games, one of Friday night and one late Sunday afternoon as per my original plan.  However, I just COULDN'T let a convention go by without an ACW game, because conventions without ACW are just a tragedy, So I'll put on the Barlow's Knoll scenario for Saturday night. 

Now the ACW scenario I've run a couple times before so that's easy.  But for the LOTR games I better get going on finishing some projects.  There's only a few weeks till the convention and there's still lots going on in the real life, so I'm slightly under the gun.

While I am looking forward to gaming again and happy about the light at the end of the tunnel, it also could be a train coming down the tracks as I rush to complete the LOTR projects. 
Will I leap out of the tunnel at the last second like an action movie star or fall under the train and get smashed on the tracks?

Signs of Life at the Hobby Desk

Now where was I?  Oh yes, making some kick ass ruins for the LOTR table.
After some furious activity of gluing and occasional sanding to get the little blocks to fit right,
here are some WIP shots of the ruins I'm working on:

A 28mm Warrior of Minas Tirrith shows up to demonstrate the scale

Here we have the ruined wall section from the last post with some a little bit added to the top for extra prettiness.  This is completely assembled with ground texture added and ready for painting.

Now here we have a piece that I'll call the Statue House because you know, it's a building with a statue in it.  The name is nothing if not accurate.  This has higher door arches than necessary just to give it a little more height than other pieces and provide some variation.  It still needs some ground texture in places.  This is actually one of the more complicated pieces I've made since it uses pieces from several different HA molds.

And lastly, here yet another ruined wall section of a basic design.  There's no base on this one, so it's ready for painting.

All together they make a nice little cluster

So lots to do in the next few weeks but it's nice to spend some time back at the hobby desk. 
Too bad I was all rusty, and not to mention my blogging skills had collected a little dust. 

Hopefully it won't be too long to until the next update.
Thanks for reading!