Monday, May 7, 2018

Now Where Was I,... oh yes, wargaming blog

Gamer, Interupted

SOOOOooo how are you?  It's been awhile.  

There was a short interruption in blogging due to growing family responsibilities, in that the size of the family grew with the birth of son #2 in early April.  This has been coming for awhile now ( I wasn't really surprised), and accounts for the shockingly low number of games played in this year.  I'm gonna have trouble hitting the goal of 24 games for the year; I should be at 6 by now and only have 3.  

Word of advice; having a baby around when you're in your early 40s is MUCH harder than it is when you're in your mid 30s.  Who woulda thunk?  

Though one benefit of being a slightly older father is that one is somewhat more established, and I've been enjoying a long Paternity leave from work; and will do so until mid May.  Going into my paternity leave I had some excitement that I would get SO MUCH hobbying done.  I mean, I just gained 40 hours a week (not to mention the time spent commuting), and even if only 2 of those 40 hours could be devoted to hobby stuff and the rest to new baby and family or whatever, then I really should have lots more time to engage in painting and such, right?  

I Miscalculated

That was a totally wrong assumption, and there I was, many weeks into my leave and I'd done ABSOLUTELY NOTHING for wargaming except doing some online searches for cool wargame stuff while the wife was in labor.   No, that's not true.  Well it's not completely true, but definitely true during the boring parts, and the whole process takes like ALL DAY...

Staying at home being devoted to family is great and all (or NOT great, depending on moods), but it seemed that whenever I try to sit down for some panting and hobbying, this happened:

I can't get any painting done!
I have no time for playing games!

There I am in ALL MY GLORY.  I'm sure I'm even more handsome than you imagined.  Just another average gamer. It's amazing what calories and time will do to a man.

Persistently picking up where I left off...

So with a combination of buckling down,  the family finally settling into a rhythm of a new normal, and greatly spurred along with a growing sense of desperation that I was going to go crazy without some downtime; I returned to the hobby desk to see what was about.  I found that large ACW project right where I left it:  making a bunch of artillery limbers and markers.

ACW Artillery limbers

Markers of artillery being damaged (dead horses) and low on Ammo (ammo boxes)

Now this is a project I've been putting off for a long time now.  I'm not sure one actually needs Limbers to play ACW.  So far I've used a complicated system that if the guns were facing the enemy they were unlimbered and if facing away they were limbered; without any distress and confusion.  And while they do pretty up the table they seem like a lot of work for little gain.  However every ACW rules I like do require markers for when guns become damaged or run out / run low on ammo.
But since I was fool enough to order limbers in the first place I might as well make them.  I'll probably be glad I did; is what I am telling myself.

And as an added bonus, this is the only project cluttering up the hobbydesk and I feel a rush of excitement when I clear off the hobby desk with completed projects!  A sense of freedom to start new ones!  A sense of accomplishment that something was done.  I probably need to get out more.

I also received extra motivation in that a couple of the blogs that I follow where doing great posts with ACW content (I'm looking at you Tony, Dan, Norm, and Matt, so thank you!).  Nothing motivates you to paint miniatures that you only half wanna paint more than reading cool content on the same genre.

Limber UP!  or Artillery Accessories

Just under the wire, with a week or so left in my leave, I finished these.  It took forever, but at least now I can say I was productive during my paternity and completed something!  : ) 
And I'll cut myself some slack as I did paint 46 horses for this project, and horses always take longer to paint.

the original plan was to have each limber be like these, with 4 horses each.
But that was crazy because it meant painting even MORE horses, so I only made 3

16 limbers completed, and with my sleep deprived mind instead of making 8 for the CSA and 8 for the USA as intended, I gave the USA one extra (so 7 CSA and 9 USA).  It was an easy mix up to make because 1) I'm biased toward the Union and 2) the only thing that differentiates a confederate limber from a  union limber is the uniform of the guy sitting on it.

Union Limbers with men in blue..

Hey, this isn't Naps, where the Franco-Prussian-Australian artillery batalion was a different color than the British-Spanish-Brazilian one.  : ) 

CSA limbers with men in gray...

While at some point I know that I'll have to add more limbers, I'm thinking 8 markers each of Low on Ammo (the ammo boxes) and damaged battery (dead horses) will be enough..

I actually think these markers came out looking pretty good. 

So I'm planing on getting back to posting more regularly as I was, about 2-3 times a month.  But now with a clean hobby desk, where will the next project be?

Thanks for reading.  Comments appreciated.


  1. Congratulations! Not quite 40 myself, and I can not imagine doing all the baby stuff at my advanced age... although seeing you hold the baby makes one think a bit about the good parts.

    I am impressed that you managed to get anything done during your "vacation", and all the limbers and markers turned out quite nicely, even if you did not split the limbers evenly between Union/Rebs.

    So what are the options for your next project? Some fiddly rigging project? Great War? Another dozen regiments of the boys in blue?

    1. Thanks Las!
      I only got anything done by some sheer determination. :)
      as of options on next project, I feel a strong urge to do some terrain. It was something I was gonna do with ALL MY FREE TIME while on leave that I ended up not having.

  2. Congratulations on the baby front. All good. Limbers looking good, I have also been enjoying the ACW goodness on the various blogs and today tried to do a terrain blanket like Matt's! ... Hmmn not as good, but a learning curve travelled!

    1. Thanks Norm! The more ACW the better is my opinion, one of my most favorites genres.

      good luck on the terrain blanket. If we don't experiment we never learn and all that.
      I made my game mats out of caulk and flock, and while they came out alright if I had to do it again I would change a few things.

  3. Congratulations on your new family addition!

    With all of the limbers, teams, and markers, you have not been idle. All look splendid.

    1. As for the limbers, they are a real pain but you will be very glad that you pushed through and completed them.

    2. Thanks Jon!
      These Limbers were especially painful in the end (the next post will say why). But I think you are right. Now that they're done I like the look of them.

  4. Limbers and markers look splendid matey!

    Am very much looking forward to meeting the wee lad in the flesh, though, I couldn't imagine trying to do the whole baby-thing again now I'm 41! O_o

    We need to schedule a game when you are able to take a break.

    1. Thanks Dai! Absolutely. I'll have to have you over and we can take turns holding the little devil while we move the miniatures and roll the dice. : )

    2. As long as he is indeed a "little devil", then I'm definitely down for that. :)

  5. be honest you need to cut yourself a lot of slack. Kids are really special I took about 5 years off ! enjoy them while you can πŸ˜€ anyway a lot of nice limbers. These are on the list but I need to pluck up the courage to buy them.

    1. Thanks Matt!
      Don’t worry, I was attempting to be humorous about getting some hobbies in while there’s a new born screaming all the time. πŸ˜€

      I’m hoping that I won’t have to take 5 years off from gaming but I am seeing a natural decrease in free time. Though when I am not gaming i still want to produce miniatures as it seems to be a good opportunity. πŸ˜€

  6. Now that’s what I call a brilliant post Stew. Firstly congratulations to the clan on the new addition. Being the father of two teenage sons who both wargame now is sensational. The joys of their infancy and the laughter certainly now render the tears and stress of these dependant little folk into distant memory. You’re a very lucky man.
    The ACW is a period I simply love but don’t get a chance to play enough. I think your limbers look sensational and certainly look the part and make the difference on the tabletop that’s for sure. Keep up the good fight Stew.

    1. Thanks Carlo! You’re words will serve as an inspiration for me. πŸ˜€. I’m going to try and groom the kids for wargaming, especially the girl.

      The ACW has become one of my favorite times to study / learn about and game. Such a fascinating time of history.

  7. Congratulations Stew, know what you mean about older fatherhood, had our son when I was 44. Mind you I didn't start wargaming until I was 46 so by then we had a routine well and truly sorted. So I paint in the evenings after he's asleep and I game at my club on Friday nights.

    Great limbers and markers, don't know about other rule sets but Fire & Fury uses limbers and they suggest two horse versions.

    1. Thanks Tony.
      Originally I thought the limbers with 4 horses just look better, but not so much better that it justified the effort. Kinda like dating someone super hot but crazy. πŸ˜€

      It’s awesome that you get to game most Friday nights. I used to shoot for twice a month but I don’t know what’s going to happen now. I’m sure eventually I’ll settle into a new pattern.

  8. Firstly congratulations to you all on the new addition. Great job on the progress with the ACW stuff it is all looking marvellous.

    1. Thanks Simon. I appreciate it. My ACW stuff is all kinda mass produced but I do like the way it looks when all placed on the game table. πŸ˜€

  9. Aw,congrats,new dad in your 40s sounds like it'll be tougher but frankly I'm impressed you got anything done! Limbers and casualty markers look great.
    All the best

    1. Thanks Iain!
      Son #2 has already broken me with sleep deprivation and constant demands to be rocked. πŸ˜€

      I’m hoping to still get in the occasional game and hobby project done.

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