Monday, January 22, 2024

Hobby Budget


let's talk about something super uncomfortable: MONEY.

Oh, is that too uncomfortable?  Then let's talk about Sex.  Last night the wife and I....

Let's stick to money. It won't be that bad.

New Year, New Hobby

January is the month for new years resolutions.  Hobby resolutions are all the same; get more stuff painted, play more games, finish X project blah blah BLAH. 

Before I come off all snide (whaddya mean too late?) I should point out that I have all the same hobby resolutions. I'm no better.  I wanna get more stuff painted, I wanna play miniature games more often, I wanna finish that project that's been sitting around for too long.  I wanna feel like I'm actually enjoying my life from time to time.  

It's kinda like how all of us men in our late 40s have the same resolutions; lose weight, be healthier, be a better parent and husband.  I'm looking at you Dai.  You too David.  It's like looking in the mirror.  

We all got the same goals but we're gonna go about them in different ways.  To achieve my goals I'm gonna use the most powerful concept that man has ever invented: Budgeting.  And you thought the most powerful concept man ever invented was freedom. Pffffft. Freedom only works on a budget.

Hobby Dollars

For a long time now I haven't kept track of how much money I am spending on this silly hobby.  Perhaps that is an appalling thing to admit as I am a grown man, with a job, the sole provider for the family with other responsibilities.  So maybe it's important to know how much money is being wasted on plastic Vikings versus groceries.

Previously I've told myself that I can buy whatever I want when I want but 'don't go crazy because there is such a thing as too much.'  Because after all, I am a grown man, with a job, the sole provider for the family with other responsibilities.  So if I want a box of plastic Vikings who's to say no?  Not my family, because I'm not gonna tell them.  Not you guys, you're complicit.  

Yet money is the limited resource that will be used to achieve these hobby goals of mine.  Actually all hobby goals are achieved through the limited resources of money and time, usually in a reverse relationship.  Less money spent equals more time needed to completion; more money spent means less time needed.  

Because I recently turned a year older and wiser, and greyer and somehow more attractive; I've become suddenly very attentive to money and time.  But this is a hobby blog so we'll focus on that aspect of life over the serious stuff.  No need to get bummed out by the inevitability of death  (whaddya mean too late?) .

I'm fairly sure I have little more time to give.  I'm a fairly busy man (aren't we all).  The time that I do spend is already chiseled out of a fairly packed schedule.  Instead I'll focus on the money which will be easier to track, with the idea that by paying closer attention; any money spent will be more effective in completing goals.  

An effective budget needs a limit.  I decided to set my budget at $1000 for the whole year.  that will include everything for this hobby for the year; buying miniatures, paint supplies, Only Fans accounts, attending out of town conventions, everything.  Depending on your own Socio Economic Status a thousand dollars for luxury goods for 1 person either seems a pittance, the just right amount, or an extravagance.  Feel free to judge me.  I'm just a stranger on the internet and I don't have real feelings.

I'll be using the blog to track expenses.  I don't have any yet, it's only January and I have quite the backlog stored up... as I think it might be fun and somewhat interesting to track throughout the year.


Side topic: Bonus Moneys: 

Work Overtime: Anytime that I work overtime; half of the extra income may be applied to the hobby budget.  I don't do overtime a lot because it's a pain in the ass and in my profession I do overtime by signing up to be 'On-call" for all hours for any Mental Health Emergencies.  It usually means working on weekends and stinks, but it does pay decently.

Time to Go

I bet you did not expect such a Cents -sational post about a budget.  I'm sure it's got a high Interest Rate.  It remains to be seen if this Investment will pay Dividends. 

Thanks for reading.
Double thanks for writing a comm.... wait!  I just wrote my second post of the year, and without any MEMES! 

Ha!  Proves that I don't need memes as a crutch.

wait, does that count as....?

Till next time.  Actual wargaming content next time.  

Tuesday, January 9, 2024

Wooden Wars

 Alternative title: The Dad Dilemma

Alternative Alternative title: What to do with the damn kids?

I have 2 big projects that I want to tackle this year.  This is the first, and it involves the most fearsome beast known to mankind: CHILDREN.  
Turn back now if you are of faint of heart and nervous disposition.
disclaimer: there are no kids in this post, only snide comments about them

Child's Play

For reference, my remaining children are two boys ages 3 and 5, and a daughter age 10.
I'm lucky so far in that my children enjoy playing board games.  At this point I have more 'kid friendly / family' board games then I do grown up adult board games.  And I lean toward chucking the grown up board games because they never see action these days, or years. 

Of course, the board games are just the gateway to get them to eventually play miniature games.  This is a purely selfish desire;  I want guaranteed opponents in my old age for my vast miniatures collections that I'm going to have.  Get'em hooked while they are young; so much later in life  they don't have to say to each other "No, it's YOUR turn to play with dad, I did it last time."

I needed a miniature game that threads the needle for the 10 and 5 year old.  I've invited my 10 year girl to play a miniature wargame a few times as she's smart enough to get some games, but she's always declined stating that she "doesn't like toys with guns or weapons."  Pity, as most of my WARgaming miniatures have some sort of weapon.  Sometimes she wanders over to my hobby desk while I'm sitting there doing something from Lord knows where; I wasn't watching her, it wasn't my shift.  And then she's really interested in what I am doing, because it's bedtime.  She finds lots of things really interesting right before she should be going to bed.  

The game that I've settled on as my gateway drug is called Wooden Wars from Skull and Crown miniatures.

I saw this game being played at a convention a LOOOOOOOONG time ago, saw lots of kids and patents having a great time, so I'm glad that it's still around.  

The premise is simple and fun: armies are made of wooden flats and players shoot by tossing a rubber ball at them.  Solders that are knocked over are casualties.  It's a winning combination; miniatures for me, tossing stuff for the kids.  My kids love to toss stuff.  If there's a choice between placing something down and tossing it then tossing it wins every time with them.  

At the last convention that I attended, I sidled up next to Mr. TF who owns / runs / is Skull and Crown miniatures.  Reintroduced myself as we've met before but it has been a long while, and talked some shop.  Mr. TF is a very nice man with a winning smile and answered many of my stupid questions even after I placed an order.  

Before the year was over, I had a large box arrive: 

It was a very HEAVY Box.
Mr TF even threw in some extra goodies.
Because I am also a nice man with a winning smile
and we take care of our own.


My First Naps

The wooden soldiers are based on the Napoleonic wars which, my best blogging buddies will attest, I know nothing about.  Words like Hussar, Landwehr, Fusilier, and Cuirassier mean nothing to me, and could equally describe types of cheese or alien races in 40K because they sound like made up words.  

These being my first Naps, it only seemed right to start with the French.

The French soldier comes like this in bare form.
Includes an option for a fancy furry hat.

Needing to know what a Napoleonic French infantry uniform looked like, I took to the internet for a deep dive into Napoleonic uniforms.  Luckily for me, Napoleonic uniforms are fairly drab and consistent so little research was needed.  

We'll pause here for Naps players to recover their breath after hyperventilating, or to clean the screen perhaps after doing a spit take.

Actually, I just went to the Skull and Crown Blog and copied the pictures that I saw there.  

I'm also forgoing traditionally painting the flats with brushes; and am going for an easier option of using paint pens, so it's more like coloring in the spaces.  

After some experimentation I found that 'coloring' before assembling was easier
and looked better in the end..
After finalizing a color scheme I went into mass production. 

I feel some Pressure (like a drip, drip, drip, that'll never stop, whoa) as I would like to use these soon.  I think I ordered enough wooden troops for a game with 4-6 kids as I think this will be fun to play with my son's Cub Scout den.  Also; there's a convention in April that has a "young player" program and I think it'll be awesome to show off.  So April (really late March) is the DEADLINE.

One done.

After all the coloring.  Glue all the pieces together.
Here's the front and back of a French soldier.
I added the ruler to show that they're about 3.5 inches tall.

I decided to color the backs of the flats in a rudimentary fashion, as the bare wood looked odd.  It's a little extra time but with kids we all know that Time Spent  = Love.  I'm just getting lucky that the time sent is not actually with them.

Because I am a grown man in his late 40s, I'm a bit of an expert at coloring..  I cans stay in-between the lines and everything (mostly).  

This is from Peppa Pig
My youngest kids still like it.
Sometimes, I feel a lot like Daddy Pig.

As I said earlier, I feel the Pressure (that'll tip, tip, tip, 'til you just go pop, whoa-oh) to get this done quickly, but maybe I need not panic.  It's only been a week and I already have MANY done.

Looks Napoleonic to me,
because it looks like a high school marching band.
Which is what I secretly think to myself whenever I see a Naps Game.

Eisenhower said "Plans are useless, but planning is essential."  Right now I'm planning on making enough French and then enough British for a small 1vs1 game with my two oldest kids and seeing if they like it.  they BETTER!  Otherwise I'm gonna end up with a pile of painted miniatures that never see the game table.  What miniature wargamer has that??   Embarrassing.  

Thanks for reading.
Double thanks for writing a comment.
Till next time.

Tuesday, January 2, 2024

Arise Blog! Arise!

 /prep spell "revive blog."
-Spell "revive blog" has been prepped.

/cast spell "revive blog." 
-You cast Spell "revive blog"

--Blog has been revived.  You hold your breath to see if anyone remembers or cares.  You are disappointed to see that only the spammers and the bots are interested in new posts by you.  The internet has moved on.  Worse yet, people have declared that the ACW is not the best CW after all. 

Remember those old text adventure games?  Some of them were more snarky than others.  


Hi there.  Welcome back to the blog of Terrible loss.  Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and any other holidays that I might of missed.  Also any important life events that might have happened.  
Did your dog get married?  that's wonderful.
Did you have to put your Aunt to sleep?  that's sad.
Did I get those mixed up?  I'll fix it later.*

In all seriousness, I hope you all had a nice enough winter break.  I'll now take a moment to go read AAALLLL of the blog posts that I have missed over the last 3 months.  Be right back...

/play inner monologue
-Inner Monologue is playing while you read blog posts of other bloggers.  as you scan over several posts it goes something like this: "yes, that is good.......fine, fine.....all very well over there....Gah!  those are god awful and that is a stupid idea, but I'll write a comment that says "those are really good, and it's an interesting idea.' because I want to be nice and to be seen as encouraging even if it's the worse idea I've heard in 6 years and no one wants honesty.....I'm sure nobody does that to me...

Great stuff everyone.  Nice to see that you all held down the Blogasphere without me.  It's almost like another wargaming blog like this one isn't even needed.... Never mind.

The Start of the Wargaming Season

Like many men, one can track my life through seasons.  Baseball season, football season, hockey season...etc... Though I don't watch any sports because sports are lame and extremely boring to watch.  Plus whenever I'm around sports-watching-people and they say things like "We Won YAAAAY!"  I'm always having to make a Self Control check (2+) to not say "correction; the sports team that you wanted to win because you overly identify with their victories or defeats has won the game, therefore you feel good, but you did nothing. THEY won.  Not you.   yaaaaay."  
I'm never invited to watch sport games.

So nothing lame like that.  I mean the wargaming season.  Something substantially more important.  Miniature wargaming, where fortunes are made and actual lives are changed forever.  

It just turns out that near the end of the year things get really busy around here at house Terrible and time for hobbying tends to evaporate.  It then resurges in the new year as time returns as the children all distracted by all the new toys they got and the wife is bought off with all the expensive jewelry she got and I finally get some alone time to sit at a desk and make believe with little soldiers.  real Grown Up stuff.

The Wargaming season starts NOW, and should last till around October / Novemember-ish depending on resources, time, and inclination.  

The Hobby season coincides with the Blogging Season.  So lucky, all of us. Because how does one even do wargaming without a blog?  Mind boggling.  

I actually did some wargaming stuff over the break; made some terrain and markers,  went a local convention and hosted two games.  I didn't take any pictures which at the time I found LIBERATING but now I kinda wish I did. If only there was some other person there who could take pictures for me.  Oh wait,  there was. 
Mr. GM over on his blog took pics.  See it HERES is so desires.  My games are the Dark Ages and the ACW (the McPherson's Ridge game as featured on this blog before) nearer the end of the post.


Go as in begin, and Go as in 'get out of here.'  I'll begin reading and commenting on the blogs of the usual suspects and we'll see who wants to to be Best Blogging Buddies again.  No harm if you don't.  Just ignore me till I get the hint.  But if ya do then leave comments back and we'll be like old friends come back from the front. Starting at the top of the blog roll and going down. 

And now it's time for me to GO and get out of here.  As this post has gone on long enough without providing any super cool miniature wargaming content.  Which is the thing we all desire. 
Hopefully talk to you again soon.

Thanks for Reading,
Double thanks for writing a comment.
Till Net time.

Did your dog get married?  That's sad.
Did you have to put your aunt to sleep? That's wonderful.
There; I fixed it.