Sunday, January 20, 2019

Endings and Beginnings Part II: 2019 Goooooaaaaaals!

What you get by achieving your goals is not as important
 as what you become by achieving your goals.

-Zig Ziglar

I like making goals for the year for hobbying, It helps me in finding a direction for my energies and provides a sense of accomplishment when projects are complete.  Having a sense of accomplishment is very important to mental health and can be hard to come by in my world of mediocrity.

I also really wanted to get this post up before January ended.

2019 Goooooaaals for Wargaming Awesomeness and a Theme

Goal #1: is of course to relax have fun.

Done and DONE!  that was easy.  Just didn't want to lose sight of that, this is a hobby after all.

Goal #2: Production: let's paint something.

This is going to be an interesting year, as I don't have a large-overarching wargame project in mind.  Usually this project takes the form of a certain scenario / game that I want to put on for an upcoming convention sometime later in the year.  Yet this year I already have a couple of good wargame convention games ready to go (or at least, very close to ready to go that it won't require a lot of work) that haven't been played to death yet.  For example, the ACW scenario for Barlow's Knoll has only been at 1 convention so far, but is complete with all troops painted, terrain done, etc..  and I would like to run it again. 

So no need to go all balls out on anything to complete it before an artificial deadline.   See Goal #1.

Having said all that, Painting still will be done and I have all these lead piles lying around that could use some love (and as we all know, love = time spent * paint).   So the big goal will be to reduce the lead piles across the board.  To which I set for myself the following semi random bench marks:

- ACW armies will reach 175 bases of infantry for each army. Plus some extras like hospital wagons, more markers, etc..
- 50 dark ages figures, any combo of Saxon, Viking, or Norman. 
- AoS fleets will rise to 12 ships (6 each), along with boats, fallen mast markers, etc...
- I'm still figuring out what I want to do with Lord of the Rings, so any LoTR figures painted are bonus points.
- 3 terrain projects for the year (any genre).

So I guess I have an Overarching project for this year after all; not a specific scenario / game but to increase the breadth of each genre that I currently play and also reduce those wastes of money and space that are the lead piles. 

To which end I'm going to add the following twist:
- Limit of 3 purchases of figures for the entire year.   Each purchase can be of any quantity, but I can only buy figures 3 times this year.  Obviously things like rule books and hobby materials (like bases and such) don't count. 

And Obviously the two ships that I ordered on Jan 6th from Waterloo Miniatures that just arrived don't count either.  I mean from NOW ON. 

Bonus points for having under 3 purchases of figures. 

Goal #3: Play more games and The Matrix

No, I didn't mean that matrix

I've been working in my sector too long, because now whenever I think about goals I immediately start chanting "realistic, specific, and measurable."  Because I have been brainwashed. 

What I want to do during this year is play a bunch of games of course (don't we all), but I also want to play games using my stuff.  After all, I have all this stuff lying around.   So I'm setting a goal that my current 4 favorite genres will each be played 3 times this year.  Plus, it will help me to paint some dark age figures if I actually play a few dark age games of some sort.  Because motivation to paint something in a genre always increases after playing a game. 

I meant This matrix
(a simple table in powerpoint, i made sound more great than it really is.....)

The Overall Idea is that each of my most FAV genres will see at least a little play time over the year.  So for each time a genre is played I'll mark  off a box in the matrix.  It's the genre that matters, not the rules used. 

- I want to play 30 total games for the year.  That's a raise from last year's goal of 24, but this year there will be no birth of children that will take me out of action for awhile (unless there's something that I don't know).   The Matrix will account for 12 of those 30 which is less than half ( I AM MATH GENIUS), which leaves plenty of wiggle room for all sorts of games in other genres or really playing the crap out of certain ones. 

-Attend 2 conventions.  Kublacon in May is looking good. 

-maybe play a campaign.  I've often felt that campaigns are more trouble than they are worth, but some of the excellent blogs I follow have done campaigns lately and I do like the idea of one battle effecting the next.  All I really need is a regular patsy I mean volunteer.

There we go, 3 goals to ensure that 2019 is full of wargaming awesomeness. 

Thought you said "and a Theme?"

I did, thanks for reminding me.  The theme for 2019 is "variety."  I want to mix it up a little.  I wanna take advantage of the fact that most of my stuff is in a decent stage of completion.  Some genre's are almost at the stage of being 'a really good collection.'  I wanna try out some new rules sets but still play my favorites.  I wanna use all these figures that I have stored in the garage.  I want to pretend that none of these goals will change at the first opportunity. 

There you have it.  More goals foolishly committed to the internet to be reviewed in a years time.

"There is no spoon."

Thanks for reading.  
Super Thanks (more powerful than regular thanks) for any comments.


Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Ruins Completed!

As previously promised, this post will feature actual wargaming content...

I've finally completed the ruins I was making for Lord of the Rings.  It was a fun project, but here at the end I feel like it was a lot of effort for a game I haven't played in over 5 years...

If you are so inclined, you can check out the previous posts on this project..
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

When Only a Grey Dry Brush will do..

Blah blah blah- here are pretty pics!

Taddaaa!  This thing was painted by priming it all black and really just dry brushing shades of greys all over it, but not 50 shades of gray; a dark, medium, and light, and then white.  Here and there on rubble piles and such there is a brown wash.  The ground around the ruin was painted with a grey-brown color and greys dry brushed on that, with the rubble picked out with the same process of the ruin walls.  The top half of the tower and the statue and now glued into place as well.

It was a LOT of dry brushing.  And there a few places that it was hard to get a brush onto, like the inside of windows and narrow hallways.

Overall, I think it came out looking pretty darn good.  And honestly I am more than a little proud of it.  This is the biggest terrain project that I have ever tried and the first time using a MDF base.

So How is that Whole Osigiliath game board coming then....

Long ago, when I was more into Lord of the Rings gaming, I had an idea that I was gonna do a whole game board based on the location of Osigiliath in Middle Earth.  Because it sounded cool.  This project has been going on for years now, and it's only the new release of the Lord of the Rings by GW that re-lit my interest in the lands of make believe after being dormant for awhile.  I think that's one of the joys of this hobby, that a project can be put down and picked up again.

Wanting to see how this project as a whole was coming along, and to compare the old terrain pieces that I have over the years to the brand new super shiny my favorite terrain piece ever that I had just made; I pulled out and placed all the Osigiliath ruins on the kitchen table and then stood back and took a good look.

I then went crazy with taking pictures...

right about here I remembered to add in some miniatures to show scale....

Is there anything more backwards than a guy in heavy armor armed with a bow?
There's probably lots of examples in history where guys put on plate armor and then shot bows at each other....
or not.  

Overall I am very pleased with the effect, even on the brown wood table the terrain gives the impression of gray ruins.  Which is what I want; when you watch the movies the scenes that take place in Osigiliath are primarily colored with greys, dark browns, and whites.

The kitchen  table is just shy of 3x3, and Lord of the Rings is typically played on a 4x4 or a 4x6.  So a few more terrain pieces will be needed just to cover the table.  I think the addition of the MDF base REALLY works well and I'll likely do this from now on.  It'll give more opportunities to play with power tools!

I'll also need a grayish table cover.  I could make one of course, but I am tempted by some matts from Cigar Box like the Town Square or the Dungeon Floor that will just be easier to buy rather than make; but it's hard to make a purchase sight unseen.  Also I don't know if I want to spend that much money for a very specific genre that might not be used that much. 

I'd also want to rebase all my existing troops on gray brown rubble bases instead of the ubiquitous grass and shrubs.  But that is close to madness!  That's because I  have megalomaniac dreams of taking this all to a wargame convention and finally being that cool guy with the really awesome table that everyone wants to take pictures of.  Ahhhhh, simple dreams. 

For now though on the Lord of the Rings front, my motivation is low.  This last ruin was a fun project, it was something different, I got better at making some terrain and learned some skills, but man was it labor intensive. That's probably in the nature of the HA molds. And it took longer than I thought it would, though there were some family stuff and holidays that took away from hobby time.  Conversely, at the same time I got to brain storming ideas for the next LoTR project.  But for now, all this goes back into storage at the back of the garage.  Maybe to chipped away at again and again over the years.  I'll also need to think of some better storage ideas. 

I think for LoTR, I first should probably play a game of it in order to renew my motivation. 

Thanks for reading and comments! 

Sunday, January 6, 2019

Christmas and Bday loot!

I'm catching up on blog posts from the winter holidays still, and today we talk about the greatness of gift giving...

Fun Fact

The closer your birthday is to Christmas the better person you are.  It's true!  Think of all the worse people you know, and they're probably born in June. Trust me I know, because several people in my family and extended family have birthdays in June.... Conversely, the best people in your life are likely born in December and January.

Da Booty

Did I mention that my birthday is the same week of Christmas?  It might of come up. 
Sometimes this works out for me because people double down on the gifts.  Other times I have to buy myself gifts because I know I am unlovable (you don't have to tell me).  If the last part of that sentence now has you singing a Morrissey song that came out in 1986; then our brains are frighteningly in sync.  

Wargamers are indeed hard to shop to for, especially by non wargamer types.  I always tell people that gift cards are perfectly acceptable, though gift cards tend to result in purchases of large amounts of miniatures that just increase the lead pile (I still have stuff from last Christmas yet to be painted).    This year I must of been loved because I got some excellent and exciting birthday and Christmas loot.  Here are the highlights! 

Daughter #1 (age 5)  made me an activity book from pages of here coloring books.  Super cute and I plan to spend an evening completing it so she'll know it was appreciated.  maybe we can do it together.

Son #2 (age 9 months) made me a promise not to spit up on me which he later broke, but also promised me not to eat my wargame stuff as long as I kept it off the floor and out of reach and behind a closed door.

From the wife:

brushes and wet palatte that keeps your paint from drying out.  Seems cool.

Rocks and sticks.  I use these rock clusters a lot in my ACW games to denote...(wait for it)... rocky ground.  I'm not sure what to do with the sticks but I'm sure something will come to me.

I also got a gift card to the the Warstore.  Always something to buy at the Warstore.

Since I've taken my over my father's life and caring for him, moved him from southern CA. up here to Northern CA and he'd be around for Christmas, I decided that it be a good idea that he have some gifts for the family.  He wasn't up for shopping with me so I took care of it all; naturally this resulted in generous gifts for his dear oldest son.  I got these and had the wife wrap them so I didn't see the actual stuff until Christmas or my birthday.  So from him but really from me to myself:

A Frontline Gaming Ocean Mat.  A lot of the times when I view Age of Sail games on TMP or blogs I would ask what ocean mat they were using; and the answer was usually from Tinywargames or Frontline Gaming.  Tinywargames is based in the UK and the shipping across the ocean to America was too much (probably because of the size), while Frontline has a US presence.  Previously in my AoS games I've been using some blue calico fabric which seems to work well enough, but I wanted a mat to see if there was an improvement in appearance.  Time will tell.

Bonus points for Frontline Gaming that the Mat comes with a carrying case
The size is 6 x 4

Timecast Latex fields.  I can always use more fields.  Also based in UK (the UK always has the cooler stuff..) but the shipping for a small box was much better priced.  While I have made my own fields with some success, the plowed fields never come out quite as I picture them in my mind, so I'll give these a try.  These are the medium and large fields and require painting.

Though my favorite gift has to be this knit cap that is shaped like a Viking helmet..(also from the wife).

YAAARRR!  I'm ah Viking! 

I swear the next post will have some actual content.  Promise!  

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Endings and Beginnings 2018: part 1- year wrap up

Love is life's end, but never ending. Love is life's wealth, but never spent.
Love's life's reward, rewarded in rewarding.
---Herbet Spencer

I Grow Self Reflective at the End of the Year 

Like most people, I've had a very busy and emotional end of the year full of celebrations, fights with the family, stress, responsibility, success, forgiveness, and Love.  For all parts of life, it's the people in it that matter.
And now iIt's come to that time of year again, where bloggers write year end summaries, and who am I to buck the trend?  I am so put upon...  Actually I like these type of posts and read them with gusto, so naturally I'll take the opportunity to write one myself.  I suspect most bloggers feel this way. 

This blog of Terrible Loss has been around for over a year now, Which means the blog has been around long enough that I get to look back at last year and see if I accomplished any of the goals that I foolishly committed to the internets.  Let's see if I'm in for some stunning success or slanderous shame.... there is no middle ground. 

Don't bother going back and reading the "goals of 2018" post, it's not that good.  But I've copy & pasted those 3 goals to this post for easy access.  Let us read on...


The first goal of 2018 concerned blogging in general, in which I wrote:

2018 goal #1: Blogging:
1) Continue to blog as long as it's enjoyable and rewarding; probably re-evaluate every few months or so.  The plan is to post 2-3 times a month.  There's some self imposed pressure to "have something to say or show" for each blog post.  There definitely seems to be a link between being more productive at the hobbydesk and writing about it.  

2) Continue to promote the blog some; mainly by linking it on forums like TMP and such, and leaving comments on other's bogs.  I don't feel the need to promote every post, especially if it's just me saying "hey look, I painted something at a mediocre skill level!"  But if I am gonna put effort into writing and posting it follows that I want to increase readership. 

Did you follow a link from TMP to get here?  Then the plan is ALREADY working!"

          I count 33 posts of delicious wargaming content over the last year (that's not counting posts that say things like Happy Halloween and nothing else).  That's 2.75 posts a month on average.  I think that is pretty good for me and probably represents close to my maximum, even factoring in the break from blogging I took when Son #2 was born. I didn't really take a break on purpose but was forced into blog silence by sleep deprivation.
For you people who write greats post almost weekly, I'm in awe of how you could be so prolific and productive.  I think my fingers would fall off if I tried to write that much.  But having some sort of publication schedule for this blog is important to me, as I think people are more excited / into blogs that post on a regular basis.  Plus, one of the main reasons of blogging in the first place is to build and be part of some sort of online community and to that one needs regular attendance (so to speak).

Followers on this blog are up to 41!  If I was smarter person I would of recorded what it was at the end of last year so I could see how much that increased, but I'm not that smart (luckily I make up for lack of brains with my good looks and razor wit).  I'm convinced that number of followers means something but not sure what.  And I'm sure that only blogs like this one with small numbers of followers think anything about it at all.  : )

I have promoted the blog on TMP on occasion, but I've generally found that the BEST way to promote my blog is to be active on other people blogs.  To which end the number of blogs that I have started to follow has increased tremendously again, and I try to leave comments where-ever I go in the blog-a-sphere, though of course there are my favorites because I can tell that you are "my kind of gamer.'  Just like my blog is certainly one of your most favorites EVER (don't tell me otherwise, let me live in ignorance).

By the way; this is how I organize myself for blogs, as I see it rarely discussed and I wonder if I am different.  If I'm following your blog I'll certainly add it to the list that appears here on the right side of the screen (if you are looking at the web version versus mobile).  I have it set to show 25 at a time.  When you update your blog it'll shoot to the top of the list.  Then later on while I am enjoying some alcohol or other substances at the end of the day and goofing off on my phone I'll go through the blog list and read the updated posts.

Anyways...Evaluation for blogging:  STUNNING SUCCESS.

The next goal of 2018 concerned gaming, as in games played:

2018 Goal #2: Gaming:I'm going to set a gaming goal of having 24 "gaming experiences" throughout the year, which averages to 2 games a month.  Some months will have more, some less.... The idea is to just play enough games to feel like I actually have a hobby of wargaming....

                 Speaking of the web version of the blog, also on the right side is a box that tracks games played of 2018.  There are rules of course to what counts as a game: namely it has be be for a least an hour and either involve miniatures or be a boardgame that made for adults, so games of disney princess Candyland, Sorry!, and Monoply Jr.  with Daughter #1 don't count (though are important).
I see 24 entries in that box so it looks like I just barely made it, and that's with almost no gaming since October.  So the lesson is: get your games in while you can.

Evaluation for Gaming:  STUNNING SUCCESS.

And Finally; like all wargame blogs, we have a bit about what was painted in the last year.  I talked about 4 areas at the beginning of the year and it makes sense that we'll grade each separately don't you think?  (and even if you don't think it makes sense I'll do it anyway; kinda like in a  marriage).

Goal #3 of 2018: Production:
-ACW: Currently each army is around 120 bases strong, and I'd like to increase that to 150 each so slightly bigger games can be played; this will also mean that I'll need some more markers for things like being disordered, low on ammo, generals on horseback, command stands,  etc..., 

           Evaluation: SLANDEROUS SHAME.  I didn't do this.  I blame getting distracted with the big Lord of the Rings ruins terrain project for the last part of the year versus painting miniatures.  

Age of Sail:  I want at least 4 more ships, making 8 total.  Then that genre can be called "complete."  (for now)

         I am tempted to cut myself some slack here.  People who have been following the blog and care about ships already know that the ships that I do have very heavily damaged not once, but twice! (see HERE and HERE  if you are inclined).  So I could give myself partial credit since I've definately made and remade enough ships to bring the count up to 8 ships.  But we're grading with all or nothing here and there are only 6 complete ships at the end of the year...

Terrain: first comes the miniatures, then comes the terrain.  Really I want just to make the ACW battlefields POP, and I like a  good looking game.  And for any other 15/18mm mass battles that I want to take on in the future.  So I have some ideas for 15mm roads, MORE snake rail fences, some bases with multiple trees on them for easy "Woods," more fields, and some houses / buildings.

       Hmmm, I did a good job on terrain this year looking back at the old posts of varying quality...
I did make a lot of roads and fields: see THIS AWESOME POST
I made lots of snake rail fences: see THIS OTHER AWESOME POST

I like make terrain more than I like painting miniatures..

Generic casualty markers/trackers: I have several games that I like that instead of removing figures you add a casualty tracker, that counts up as the unit takes damage.  Games such as Hail Caesar, Sword and Spear, Picket's Charge, and Sharpe Practice 2.  I don't have a good way of doing it and just leave a dice behind the unit, and I want something prettier.

Evaluation: SLANDEROUS SHAME.  didn't even do this.  the reason is simple: for the past year I never even played a game of Hail Caesar, Sword and Spear, Pickett's Charge, or SP2.  It's these darn other games that are so sexy that took my time.

So Overall...(and enough text already..) 

That's a score of 3 to 3;  Even Stevens.    Just shows that in all things I strive for mediocrity. 

for the success, I shall award myself an 'i'm awesome' meme..

for the failure,  I am punished with a shame meme

NAH! it's more a reflection of how good I am at predicting my future behavior than my year of wargaming.  and while life has it's hardships, I've very much enjoyed this hobby and blogging about it.  I really love this hobby and wargaming, and I'm ever grateful for being exposed to it and able to do it as often as I am.  

And thank you to everyone over the last year who has read the blog and left a comment.  Thank you for being a part of the online community (and making me feel more important than I am).   Thank you to everyone I gamed with; your company is excellent and the highlight of my month.  Thank you to my family for another year.. of everything.

Till next time.