Friday, November 20, 2020

Incoming stuff! The lead Pile Cycle


Sing it!  (to the tune of Kung Fu Fighting)

"Everyone loves online shopping
Add to cart as fast as lightening
The wallet is slowly tightening 
My lead pile is certainly frightening."

Several purchases have crossed my doorway recently.  Everyone likes a little bit of "here's my haul."

Not my actual house.
Pic stolen from the internet for comedic effect.
Isn't it Hi-larious?

Incoming Stuff

I've had some Kickstarters arrive.  The first to show up was my new version of the board game Britannia by PSC.

I love this game to bits, so the purchase of it was a no-brainer for me.  Though its been several years since I played it last, and who knows when I'll be able to break in this new version.  It's essentially the same game as the old version rules-wise, but has cooler components and a new 2 player version; which might make it easier to get on the table as the proper game is a 4 player game that takes about 6 hours to play.  You might hear or read on the internet of people playing it at around 4 hours but they are lying.  Or they strapped themselves to the chairs with no food or bathroom breaks.  It's an awesome game, it just takes awhile to play.  

A closer look at the new components.
There are some crazy cool people who paint the miniatures for their board games,
but I am not one of them.

The other KS to arrive was the "Farms of Gettysburg" by Things From the Basement.  I pledged for these back in June of this year, and just assumed that every KS is a year wait; but I must of not been paying attention because but here they are!  That was a nice surprise.

These are 15mm MDF buildings based on actual buildings / farmsteads from the battle of Gettysburg; which I think is a pretty cool idea.  However in hindsight, I probably didn't need to get ALL of them, cause what am I gonna do with 13 farms?  Typical overspending of wargamers!  Who authorized such a transaction?!!  Let it rest, for now is not the time for recriminations, and blame can be assigned at a later date to all guilty parties.

Close up of the raw woods.

These are also way more detailed than I thought they would be, even more than the 28mm stuff from Sarissa that I got recently.  

I have long wanted to do some scenarios focused the first day of fighting over the rolling hills and ridges west of Gettysburg, though I've been distracted by other battlefields that are easier to construct. 

This will probably be the first that I assemble, as the Thompson was in a central location during the first day in the fight for Seminary Ridge, and later went on to serve as Lee's headquarters for the rest of the battle.  

Speaking of Seminary Ridge, What would Seminary Ridge be without the famous Lutheran Seminary?

What a monstrous hunk of resin!
My 18mm ACW troops at the bottom for a sense of scale.

I have long been looking for a 15mm Lutheran Seminary building but they are hard to find.  Go ahead, type it into a search engine and see what comes up, I dare you.   After coming up empty for months I finally found that Noble Knight Games had one in stock...that I immediately purchased.  I am a Kung Fu master at the speed that I can click add to cart.  

This thing is huge! It's the second biggest building I own in either 15mm or 28mm (yes, the 15mm Seminary is bigger than other 28mm buildings).  Such a large building on the table is certainly going to draw the eye as it towers over everything, so I'll have to be sure to paint it extra good.  Which will be a challenge because there a ton of little details on it. Like all those window frames, roof tiles, and the zillion bricks.... sounds like a good challenge for ACWary.  Mark your calendars!  ACWary is just 2a little over a month away!  What do you mean "What's an ACWary?"  For shame that you forgot this thing that I made up one time after drinking too much coffee way back in January... Here is a LINK to the post for a reminder.  

Tough I'm not a huge fan of these bushes sculpted onto the model.
And it doesn't quite sit flat which is annoying.  

Lead piles need a cycle to illustrate the way they are constantly renewing themselves.  There's a Water Cycle (Evaporation, Condensation, Precipitation, and Collection) a Rock Cycle (rocks go from Igneous to Sedimentary to Metaphoric) that serve as examples.  I know these things because Daughter #1 loves "The Magic School Bus Rides Again" on Netflix.   The Lead Pile Cycle can be something like:

Imaging: Wargamer imagines playing with a miniature army and how much fun it will be.
Purchasing: Wargamer buys the miniatures (lead pile grows).
Procrastinating: Miniatures sit for awhile as the wargamer gets distracted by other stuff
Painting: Miniatures are finally painted (lead pile shrinks).
Imagining: Wargamer imagines new additions to the miniature army and how much fun that will be...

and you get the point. I personally thought the addition of the Procrastinating step to be quite inspired.

So it will come as no surprise that after my unexpected hobbyathon where the AWI lead pile seriously dwindled to a mere few nude lead miniatures, that it was renewed with an order from Brigade Games.

And the cycle repeats itself.
Another 48 miniatures added to the lead pile.

The Long Winter

The end of the year is upon us and is the time where I usually get swamped with fun (or at least trying to make it fun) family stuff.  Gaming tends to cease (like it wasn't already due to the COVID) but spare time for the hobby side also tends to disappear.  I doubt I'll get much done of anything but that's the way it goes when your children are small.   So any future blog posts will have to heavy on the witty commentary and light the substance.  Least all the above shows that I have plenty of stuff just waiting for me.  

Plus there's a super important birthday in December that needs to be celebrated.  There's also Christmas. 

Have I mentioned my birthday is in December, really close to Christmas?  

But first!  Next week is Thanksgiving here in America.  Wishing everyone a SAFE and happy holiday.

Till next time.


Sunday, November 8, 2020

10 day hobbyathon


or thereabouts...10 days give or take.  Lots of pics in this post.  

Got Caught, and Got Lucky

I tested positive for COVID.  I get tested through work, and took the test on a Wednesday and got the results on a Thursday night.  It was a little distressing since I know we've been VERY careful and when I got the results it was late evening and I was sitting at a table with my wife and her parents (who had come up for Halloween) who are all in the more vulnerable population.   I'll spare you the details of how I spent all of Friday in a parking lot so I wouldn't be around anyone (Ok, so one detail there).  
It's weird knowing that you are the diseased one.  There are also a lot of health officials that call you when you test positive. 
Long story short; the wife and kids ended up going to the Bay Area to her parents house so I could spend 10 days in isolation.  No work, no leaving the house.  The lucky bit is that all the family tested negative twice over the next week and I never felt sick.  Having known people who have gotten very sick I feel especially lucky to be one of those asymptomatic individuals.  So basically I ended up with about a week of goof off time, and the whole thing was harder on everyone else than on me.  My biggest problems were loneliness and ennui.  And trying not to eat all the Halloween candy that didn't get passed out.  

It couldn't be hobby-time all the time of course.  The whole house had to be DEEP cleaned and disinfected, especially the bathroom (and if you have to clean one, might as well clean them all) and the kitchen.  And when was the last time anyone cleaned the stove top?  Or cleaned under these sofa cushions?  Why do I live in such a pig sty??!!    I also did some of those chores that there never seems enough time to do like clean and vacuum out the car.  I also finally watched the last StarWars movie (it was terrible).  

Did Some Painting

Since I was stuck at home during election week here in America, which has tensions high, I decided it was appropriate to paint some Sci Fi near future dystopian miniatures to fit the mood... Just kidding! I churned out some AWI miniatures.  Still on the theme though.

It's a pretty crappy picture actually, but they there are nonetheless...

First off I painted up 12 more of the Colonial Militia in the brown MPC coats. I like these figures.  

And when those were done I decided to double down and painted up 12 AWI Continental Infantry and their dashing officer.  
Another terrible picture!  I must be out of practice on taking photos.

I'm not really going for a particular regiment, I just picked a color scheme I liked.  I was shooting for something like this:

So lets see how I did with that (Hint: the answer is poorly)

I know I say it all the time, but I show some close ups
not to show off my painting skills but more so you can just SEE
the damn miniature in the first place.  

Let's not forget about the aforementioned dashing officer...

I had a pony tail just like this when I was in high school,
though I colored it purple.

I really like way these came out and am digging the uniforms.  While my British are red with blue facings I kinda like contrast with the Americans being blue with red facings.   I hereby award myself a self high five   (because no one was around of course) on my decision to do the AWI in 28mm so that these miniatures will one day make a  pretty sight when they finally hit the table.


After that I was kinda sick of painting because that is a lot for me; so while catching up on The Mandalorian (which is pretty good and makes up for the terrible Rise of Skywalker, and it's about time that I watched something on DisneyPlus for myself that I got for the kids), I spent an afternoon making some 28mm Snake rail fences. 

Not much to show, they're fences.
The kits are from Battlefield Terrain Concepts

Kitchen Table Battles

Having yet MORE time to kill, it struck me that I now 'all of a sudden' had enough AWI stuff for a small game; so I did a solo game of Musket and Tomahawks 2.  

Side Discussion: Solo Gaming
I don't love solo gaming.  I know some folks like it and even do it exclusively.  But I tend to get bored quickly during solo games.  I am poor company for myself.  But it had been a long time since my last solo experience.  Plus for me; solo gaming is best used to try out new rules and see the how the game mechanics work on the table and get a idea of what tactics should be used etc..   and I didn't have much else to do.  

Table set up.  

There's no real AAR since I didn't really take the time to write down what happened.  So just some  pretty pics (I hope you'll agree).   The scenario is that there are two objectives on the board that the Colonials have to occupy and the British goal is just to stop that and cause as many casualties as possible.  The Americans had 3 units (2 large militia units and 1 large Continental Infantry unit) and the British had 2 (1 of regular infantry and 1 of Light Infantry).  Each had one daring Officer.  

British Light Infantry have the Scouts trait and move through the woods easily
to come up on the flank of some Continental Infantry.

Colonial Militia stalk in some woods (slowly) getting to the objective.
The British Regulars move up as well.

The British Light Infantry on the right and the Colonial troops shaking out
into lines.

Overall; I had a good time putting Muskets and Tomahawks 2 through it's paces.  The game is a little more complex than I initially thought and there are lot little rules to keep track off.  The good news is that they all interact with each other well and I really like the game.  It definitely has a fun black powder skirmish feel to it.  

Musket fire erupts everywhere.... 

The Continental Infantry use 'Volley Fire' to engage the British Lights.
Volley fire is an effective tactic in M&T2.  It ignores terrain and causes reaction tests.

Militia and British Regulars get into a Musket Ball fight.

Testing out the Melee mechanics of the game.

I did get a random event in the game, 
Where a farmer decides to take pot shots from his house at anyone within 12"

It's also nice feeling of pride when a genre you've been slaving away on finally hits the table for the first time; and I was pleased with the appearance.  It's kinda like that feeling you get when after going to the gym for awhile you finally see some improvement in the mirror.  Or so I've been told.   Self High Five Again! 
yay me again!

Doubling Down:

Riding high on that solo experience and still not in the mood to paint anymore and with the election coverage being a distraction and a reminder of hard times, I decided to put down a small ACW scenario.

I really ought to upgrade my rivers.

The scenario is the "Ball's Bluff" scenario from the Regimental Fire and Fury rulebook.  The Battle of Ball's Bluff is a small battle early in the war, where a small Union force crossed the Potomac river to scout the CSA and ended up in a fiasco of a defeat.  Generals lost their job afterward.

The CSA attack starts to pin the USA against the bluffs of the Potomac River

This is a hard scenario for the Union.  All the troops are green and the command structure is terrible, so really they just struggled to do anything more than not retreat.  I don't think I would play this scenario again.  

The charge of the CSA that ends the game.
If you can see the dice and know RFF, you can tell that
the CSA have rolled the best they could while the USA has rolled the worse.

The CSA take the main position, the USA general killed, and it's just like the real history.

To be honest, this wasn't nearly as fun as the solo M&T2 game.   I know the RFF rules very well as it's one of my favorites, so there was noting to learn or experiment with.  Playing it solo got less interesting fast.  It could of been a function of the scenario, but overall it just wasn't as engaging as I would of hoped.  I either missed an opportunity to play larger more engaging scenario or maybe should of broke out a board game.  

Back to the Paint Desk

From my M&T2 game I learned that Colonial Militia really need an officer hanging around to help keep them from running away the first time any British Regulars look at them too sternly so I decided to paint one up, and might as well do a bunch of other miniatures as well. 

All my group pics in this post suck.

I painted up another 12 Colonial Militia.  Since these guys are not wearing the MPC coats I wanted to paint them in any color but brown just so that they would be distinct.  

The officer and his NCO are in MPC coats.

All the Brigade Games AWI miniatures have been really nice miniatures except for this officer, whose face is sculpted to look more like an alien than a humans.  More like an alien gorilla, it's just missing a nose. You might not be able to tell from my great paint job.  


Today the wife and kids returned to the house.  Children are cute after you haven't seen them for awhile.  The totals for the week and a half are:
2 solo games and 39 miniatures painted, which is a lot for a slower painter like myself.  Extra points to me because these miniatures were bare metal in blisters when I started.   Add to the totals one new an improved President and BIG sigh of relief, and one REALLY clean house and a healthy family.  

Thanks for reading.  I hope it was a good post, though kinda on the long side.  Great thanks for any and all comments.