Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Pike and Shotte - quick pic

The Baron and I have been talking rules and what we want from a game and rule system quite a bot lately. His interest is focused on the Pike and Shotte rules by warlord. After several different discussions, I broke out my painted 28mm ECW to see just what I had if were going to play P&S straight up.

They have 4 pike stands of 4 on 40mm square bases. And 2 shot sleeves of 3 stands of 4 figs each on either side. (its really 3 units in the game). So 40 fig units. My figs are mounted 4 to a 40mm stand, so that works to start with. My original units were built for 24 man units(6 stands). I arranged them as 10 stand units and this is what I got:

So instead of the 7 units I had, I now would have 4 big units(Battalia I think in the rules) It still takes about 9-12 Big Units to make an army, and 4-5 of those would be cav. So We are a bit away from playing unless we do a proxy unit game. These are probably the army I will do after the Spanish Nappies are done.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Fontline Gamer and his giveaways

I've been bitten by the Inifinity bug a little. and the blame can be laid to rest squarely on Frontline Gamers shoulders. He is having a give away for his Birthday bash on the blog. Go check it out and follow him for a chance to get some goodies. And his normal posts are a nice reward if you don't already follow.


Monday, May 21, 2012

Pouring update - 5-21-12

Well this distraction has been fun and energizing. I spent most of the weekend installing a new set of exterior doors on the Villa, but I did get those new molds poured and they are awesome.

Right now I've made about 6 pours each of the cavern molds. I really like the amount of wall that you can cover with these molds. And their height is perfect for 15mm figs. Just high enough for evoking the dungeon feeling, but low enough to move figs and see. Only issue I see is pouring enough floor to go with all the wall. I think I need to cast the floor 2 to 1 to keep eough floor tiles ready.

I got out and got a new sheet of pink foam so I will cut some tiles out of it tonight na start building. I think I will go 6x6, that's large enough to have a 4x4 room with wall all around. That seems to be a basic module need. Halls will be 4" and 3" wide (so I can have a 1 or 2 tile wide hall way with walls).

the thing I don't like is building the walls on top of floor tiles. It wastes a lot of floor tiles. But if you don't the walls look shrunken and small since their base is lower than the floor. I don't think I can get around this, but it sure uses a lot of tiles.

Pics tonite when I start making a few tiles.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Poured and ...loved.

Well I got a chance this evening to pour about 20 casts of mostly the cavern sets and the sci if sets. I poured 3 each of the new industrial edge and cavern accessory molds . AWESOME. These molds are great. And I can't wait to do some stuff with them. 15mm sci if corridors and dungeons here I come. And 28mm too I guess. Pics of the stuff and test fits later this weekend.

Friday, May 18, 2012

They're here...

I got back to the office today and waiting on my desk was a great little package from Bruce at Hirst Arts. - My new molds are here!!! Yeah!!!

I will pour them up this weekend and let you know how it goes. I need to find a suitable tile base (foam, cork, mdf) to put the casts on. I need 2x hallways and 6x min rooms. Litko priced the 6x6 bases at $300.00 for 50. So I won't be doing that. I dont have a table saw or I would do them my self. For $300.00 I could buy a table saw.

I think I will concentrate on pouring the caverns and use the sci edge and floor molds as the off pours or scrapings. The cool thing about pouring plaster is, if you scrape your mold at the right time, the scraps off the tip are still plastic and you can slop those in a simple mold(usually a basic block or floor tile mold) and get more castings. Its pretty efficient and reduces waste. Of course I keep all the waste in a bucket and use it for rubble when I do post apoc stuff.

Poor little Hussars. I will be back soon. just needed a break.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

My Favorite Ladies - A Top Ten List

So Frontline Gamer put the ten games that have influenced him the most (good or ill). Fire Broadside followed with an insightful commentary as well. These are the two gentlemen who are mostly fueling the Infinity thoughts I have dancing in my head. Anyway I thought the commentaries were well written and thought provoking and several of my most influential games were on their lists. So I thought I would follow suit and explore this a little as well.
This doesn’t include computer/console games and they have influenced me greatly as well. But in the end I keep coming back to wargaming, minis and rules.

D&D Basic – My first. She was so seductive and mysterious. If ever there was a gateway for gamers my age it was her. She treated me well and when I came back to revisit her later in life, she was just as beautiful as ever. Her sisters and cousins were a real blast too(gamma world, star frontiers, villains and vigilantes) but no one was ever as good.
SPACE MARINE(2nd Ed) – A different sort of lass from across the water. She was so new and foreign. We dated for years. And she always came through. She was a gateway drug for mini gaming. And it opened a world of possibilities. One of the best and funnest games ever. Before the bloat, before the volumes of rules. 64 pages of rules. That was it. And it was awesome. I still visit her now and again. She makes me feel young.
DBA – A very grown up Lady. Prim and proper. I courted her for a while and tried to make a go of it, but after a while it all kind of felt like chess. She did however, connect the dots for me for the history that I loved and mini gaming that I was beginning to love. So she lead me to bigger and better things. But she was the first historical. I wouldn’t even give her the time of day now, as I think the world has simply passed her by.
WHFB/40K/NECROMUNDA/MORDHEIM – Welcome to the party. Come on everyone is doing it. Seductve, evocative, self contained, over confident, this club girl was who everyone wanted. Big armies, new rules, background fluff. But as she aged and tried the same old tired moves, or invented new ones you could never help but feel unsatisfied when you were done with a date. She always looked good. But something was missing. And she just ran off with your credit cards. Time to break up. I have had the same love/hate affair that most people have had with the Evil Empire. Some games were really gems,( Space Marine, Man O War, Warmaster), some just got bloated and decrepit, making Nurgle himself proud of their corpulence. In the end, the resin will ruin them, but the only thing they really had left was some cool models.
MAN O WAR – Brutish and loud and an absolute blast to be with, this confident little lady seduced many a gamer in its heyday. My second favorite GW game. Fantasy sea battles were a revelation. And there were norse. Need I say more. I still have her, I still have all her fleets. She always satisfies.
FULL THRUST – A smooth and sleek evening dalliance. She is warm and engaging and isn’t terribly demanding. There isn’t a lot of depth there, but she sure is fun. She is aging gracefully as well, but could use a little touch up. An introduction by the Baron to me many years ago. My great love of Sci Fi fleet combat was finally realized with these rules. They are getting old, but that doesn’t mean they are any less relevant or fun. I would love to see an updated version with updated clean crisp styling but not a lot of rules changes. This thing has been put through its paces. It knows who it is. And you love it for it. A fan based update of the basic rules was done with some really nice graphics and style. Wish GZG would do a full rules book update. They’d sell a mint.
COMMANDS & COLORS/BATTLELORE – A confident and robust lady. Pretty on the outside, much depth underneath. On a whim I played the Fantasy version of this game, Battlelore, with the Barons son on a rainy afternoon waiting for the rest of the Generals to arrive. We had a blast. The rules were easy to learn, but much subtlety lie beneath the surface. It seemed to embody the best of both board games and mini games. Finally a vehicle for my hordes of 15mm Demonworld guys. I immediately rebased them all. We then started to play Commands and Colors, the historical and earlier version of the Richard Borg rules(Commands and Colors, Battle Lore, Memoir 44, Battle Cry) that are so fun and engaging. I liked them because the speed of play, the lack of arguing and gameyness that can happen, and cause they are fun. They will be an important part of my gaming collections and games for the forseeable future.
FISTFUL OF LEAD – A total tramp. She has been played and played and played by us for years. We have used FoL as our go to game forever. Always a fun time. Always a great game. This is the Barons lady, so treat her nice. I am Dancing with her sister right now, Warriors of the Wasteland. And the Baron is whipping her other sister into shape-FoL:Horse and Musket.   
FIRE & FURY – A saucy old tart of a game. You either love em, or hate em. I have probably played these rules for longer and more consistently than any other rule system. I always loved them and we fielded huge forces and 5 people a side games. No other game could have done that. It was a slog, but it was fun. I even built massive 15mm Napoleonic armies to play the Nappy variant, Age of Eagles. It was not as successful, and frankly turned me off to nappy gaming until…
BLACK POWDER/HAIL CAESAR – My newest mistress. I was already  in love with the period addressed by the rules, and the style, attitude and general gentlemanliness of the game was a nice breath of fresh air after so many detailed and fiddly rulesets about the period, home grown  or published. It is the rule set that motivated me to finish my British Pennisular army and feel like I was painting toward a goal. That’s huge for me. Its Brother, Hail Caesar, has motivated me to keep my hordes of fantasy figures and not sell them, so that they could be used for the HC rules. That was a revelation and a breath of fresh air as well.
Honorable Mention:
Supersystem/Goalsystem – While not as known as some names on the list, she has been an incredible companion these last 5-6 years. Interesting and innovative, the the goalsystem mechanic is just damn fun and easy to understand and get on with playing. It is the sole reason a fun miniatures(not rpg) super hero game can be played that captures all the flavor and action of a good team-up or annual. The intuitiveness of the system allows it to be ported to a huge range of possibilities across genres too. I am sure she will move up the list as I continue to spend time with her.
Crimson Skies – Sleek, sexy and fast, this fine dame had it all. A great rule system, and well thought out and semi-believable alternate pulp history, and of course superb minis. We have had a lot of fun with her. We still get her out occasionally, and our buddy Chris, of the Cluck Amok blog had the most awesome giant blimp for gaming. I have a giant tub of the minis, the original box set of rules and Wright Fury with your name on it.

Heavy Gear - I will always love the thought of you. You are beautiful to look at, but I can't stand to spend time with you. In my mind you are perfect. Reality does not match. Complicated, laborious, and simply not fun. All of your reinventions are the same. You look great, your story is compelling and interesting, but deep down you can't escape the fact that you are not enjoyable. I have mentioned it many times on the blog. I love the concepts, the minis, the background, the look, the art, the feel. But lets face it folks, these rules(pick you version) are not enjoyable and fun to play. At all. It's a huge disappointment that has been with the game since its inception. Please, I implore you DP9 scrape away all vestiages of the mini game from its start to now, and totally write a new game. Make it fun, and fast and engaging for all sides playing the game(do not use IGOUGO), make it simple(simple doesn't mean smart, it meas playable). I won't rant on price cause I guess if you can get it, get it.  

Well that’s it. A lot of the things on this list were introduced to me by my oldest friend, and founder of the Basement Generals – Ze Baron. Thanks to him for being the always willing opponent and force in my own little gaming world.  It seemed right to equate each one of them with a woman or lover. Cause it has been a whirlwind affair with gaming that started when I was 11 and read my first copy of D&D basic under the covers of my bed with a flashlight, Tolkien on the night stand.

After I had written this post, the Baron and I had gone to lunch to talk about gaming and stuff. His current thoughts are on the blog today. I also heard from some other people that understand my current malaise(as one of them put it). It seems we are all sort of searching right now for the sweet spot. I hope we all find it. Paint, build terrain, game, have fun with your friends. It doesn't get any simpler than that.

Hirst Arts Test Fitting and.. I love it

I test fit some of the cavern molds I poured the last few days, and as ususal, this stuff is just too much fun. I got out some of 15mm guys. and voila! Instant 15mm dngeon that scales right and seems big and intimate at the same time.

Bruce Hirst at Hirst Arts doesn'tget enough credit for the work he does on his molds and the ability to let all of us build amazing things at a very reasonable cost. Thanks Bruce!

Only problem is, I need to do some transition pieces from these to my finished dungeon. (or get rid of my dungeon and do an all Hirst Arts one). 

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

So I ordered these two new molds to my list:

 The cavern accessory mold. Stairs, columns, doors, tiles, etc. Nice filler for my cavern.

Indutrial edge mold. This will be used for my 15mm scifi tiles. spacejacker used it to great effect for his project and now I will as well. http://tinysolitarysoldiers.blogspot.com/2011/07/3d-spaceship-modular-tiles.html

I will use Hirst arts floor tiles instead of his ingenius floor tiles from plastic and 20mm square bases, but I really like the feeling of his tiles. This will go well with my 15mm dungeon project. (that I can use Scott Pyle's great new Dungeon Delve rule set on).

As I was cleaning up my casting stuff last night in the dark, I realize I may have Gamer OCD as well. I was laser focused on getting molds poured yesterday when Igot home from work. So much so that I had 16 molds going at one time. Time to put on the brakes. relax. have fun. slow it down. New projects are like an itch you have to scratch. I'll probably only cast a couple molds a night, just to turn it down a notch and not look like a mad scientist on my back patio at 11:00 at night mixing plaster and pounding molds. How does my wife put up with this...

But I do have an awesome new set of tiles poured. I have 4 casts of all the sci fi molds. Only need about 6 more to actually be able to do something. and I really like the cavern molds too.

Wargaming is awesome.

Monday, May 14, 2012

And for something really different...

Ok so this is how my Gamer ADD works. I thought I would give you guys a little glimpse into the mind of a derranged gamer. I have been talking about needing a bit of a change to recharge the batteries. Now that my Nappy Fever has sttled down to about 100 degrees and simmering(simmering is where all the flavor is made), I felt a littl ebit of change needed to keep the juices flowing and not burn out. Seems resonable, but then I want to make sure I get to the finish line as well, that is finishing my British army and my small Spanish Army by the end of August. So I don't want to get too distracted.

So I resolved myself to painting my 1st Hussar unit as a reward. I ususally save Cav as a reward for pounding through the infantry. they are on sticks, they are rimed, they have base flesh painted and have a flesh wash. Good solid start, I'll stay focused on that so I can meet my goal fo August. Here they are, happy as a clam I am starting on them:

SO, I had 30 minutes on saturday and decided It wasn't enough time to work on faces, so I looked up from my table and saw these on a shelf: 

These are 28mm scale scrathbuilt shanties that I haven't finished yet for post apoc and sci fi. I pulled a couple down modestly and started to do some painting on them. Great I can always pick these off one at a time and get them done too. Good idea sir!

 Prgress on two of the shacks. I really had a lot of fun scratchbuilding these. Times up! Gotta go.

So I leave, and then I start thinking...Well, I can't just go from well made buildings to shanties(I am thinking in terms of Sci Fi here. Because I am particularly taken by the Sarissa Precision and MicroArt SciFi building for Infinity). And as the society develops, there will be a transition. So so small buildings, but better built than just a shanty. So maybe some concrete or plock buildings that have metal and scraps filling in the gaps, then full on heavy construction. Well I think I have some casts left over from all of the Hirst Arts Egyptian molds I cast about 3 years ago. Then the block house shaties were born. see below:
 So of course this morphed into, hey you need some more blocks cast. You have a 50 lb bag of unopened dental plaster. Just cast a few molds when you have some time this weekend. Keep it small. No bug deal. This is a fun side project when you have alittle window of time and dont have time to commit to painting.

So I found a couple of hours sunday to cast a few more basic block molds.Well, while digging for those molds, I ran across the scifi molds I got for xmas 3 years ago. Never been cast. Well maybe you could try a floor modl out...

Two hours later I have this:

 And this:

 This is the from the cavern molds I never cast.

Man I'm screwed. I love this stuff. and its fun to cast and pop them out of the mold. I never got one pour of the block molds, but I will. I think I may take a minor break and do some more of this. I know this won't last long cause its a lot of work. But if you have the materials cast, the fun part is scratch building stuff to use.

Sometimes you have to embrace the ADD, and let it take you where it must.

Don't worry sad Hussar. I will put your paint on soon. Don't worry.

And I just wanted to show you guys this resin cast model that is available for purchase. Isn't that incredible.I absilutely love it. I may have to pick it up. Its expensive and I don't remember who makes it, but holy hell that's beautiful.

A quick Rant...

I had a bit of a blow up in general on Friday with the Baron. Not directed at him, but directed in general about gaming.

I have been exceedingly frustrated by the lack of any interest in playing any full encompassing games(40K, WFB, AT-43, DUST, Heavy Gear, etc.) becasue one aspect of them is always lacking. Ususally it is the rules. Having a crappy set of rules makes spending all that money and time painting even worse. I can't and won't do these games. But I love some of the figs. SO I buy them and paint them and organize them, with a vague future purpose, but nothing really gets done.

The other side of the coin is the kind of rules that we play a lot of as a group. Small publihing house sets that are generic or DiY. And frankly, they all seem to be running together. And I am sick of filing in the gaps. I don't mind on a few games, but it seems like its on everyone.

Some are really great and do a nice job of being innovative and fun. Scott Pyle's work is particularly fun and rewarding for us and our group cause we love the goalsystem stuff as a mechanic and we get to play test a lot of Scott's stuff. But a lot don't go far enough, or some (most) leap past the generic base line stuff and get into tons of detail statting up a bunch of different manufacturer figs and forget the basic generic troops.

The sweet spot right now for me is Black Powder cause its a great set of rules, and army focused books are coming, but I feel like I am painting toward a goal. 1st goal is a Brit army for the Penninsula. I know what that is, I can get that done and stay focused to do that.

But so many rule sets don't even bother to do generic troops or provide lists of troops that the rules were playtested with. anyway. here's the rant below. Again it wasn't directed at the Baron, just gaming in my little circle. And I think some of this is because I am mightily intrigued by Infinity. And I know not one person(well, maybe one) in our group would play this game straight up with the fluff and the figs as written. I thin that's a shame cause its getting crazy good reviews and looks like fun. Imagine a fluffy game, with great gaming rules and beautiful minis and a scifi/anime aesthetic. Hmm too bad DP9 never did all of that together.

Anyway. I feel better now, but I think I need to narrow my focus. Sell a bunch of stuff and have 9-10 things that I love, instead of 30-40 and 30-40 more that I still collect for that are half ideas.

So I see that initial list:

15mm Fantasy for Commands and Colors.
28mm Nappies for Black Powder
15mm Nappies for Black Powder(only because thay are done)
15mm ECW for(well I am not sure now cause Pike and Shotte are not getting the reviews I had hoped for)
28mm ECW (see above)
15mm Sci Fi - fireteam based - the hunt continues
15mm fantasy (skrimish and dungeon bash)
28mm Fantasy (mass battles for HAil Caesar)
28mm Fantasy for Song of Blades
28mm Post Apoc for Warriors of the Wasteland
28mm Sci Fi for Skirmish
28mm WWII skirmish for WWWII

Not on the list but should probably be:
Space Ships
Dystopian Wars
Dark Ages
28mm Fantasy Warbands (40-50 figs an army - Saga size)
Kaiju/Giant Monsters
Giant Stompy Robots
Heavy Gear

I think that has to be it other wise I am Doomed. Thats a huge sand box and its too big, but believe it or not, that cuts out a whole bunch of stuff for me.

What it boils down to is do I have a set of rules I like and enjoy and just build armies or figs for that?

so I see that list as:
Black Powder
Hail Caesar
Song of Blades(any and all Ganesha games)
Fistful of Lead(and variants)
Commands and Colors
Full Thrust

that leaves me with gaping holes in stuff I love and not having rules for them.

the Rant:

"I honestly would like to play a good(great, fun, not too gamey) set of rules that actually has a well developed background and is fun and immersive. I don’t want to be a fanboi. But I would like to be invested in the whole thing. Like we were when the first GW stuff came out(1st and secind editions).

All the generic rules sets are looking the same at this point. I would like to have one or two games that weren’t DIY.

Heavy Gear is a great example. I love the background, minis, all of it, but that rule system sucks a$$. So now I have to find a system that will work, convert all the crap to it, blah, blah, blah. Its exhausting.

And no way I am going to find a 15mm game that works with what I want. And if I do, then I have to make my own lists, and units and convert and blah, blah, blah, here we go again.

And I can do DIY on historical like Black Powder and Hail Caesar and be ok with that. But not for everything. For our skirmish gaming its fine. But for anything else its getting old. That may be why I am enjoying the Nappies right now. I am headed some place. With the 15mm Sci Fi. I love the figs, but there’s no goal. Frustrating. I don’t want to be told everything, but I don’t want to create it all either.

Take Gruntz, FUBAR, or even FWC. In any of those sets, there are not ANY generic lists. Why the F would you spend all this time on writing these games and then not provide the players with lists of the generic type troops that the author says ‘this is my base line’, or ‘this is what I play tested with’, or ’I think this is where I think everyone should start with MY rules’. I hate it. Give me a list of f-ing light, medium and heavy infantry, or green , experienced, veteran and expert troops, or a light, medium and heavy tank with 5 generic gun options. Jesus I just want to play, not write a goddamn dissertation or worse, have to buy the troops you have statted out. Which makes you no better than GW.

I’m tired of all the mental masturbation.

Sorry for the rant. "

So there it is. A peek into the continuing frustrations of a gmer who is truly overwhelmed and blessed with riches of being able to play any period he wants, with a full gaming group of 8-12 people, places to play on a regular basis, a full workshop to explore any painting/hobby related thought or idea, and a very understanding wife who knows how much I love doing this, and one of the great conventions around that is held not once but twice a year.

I am embarassed I even mentioned it.

shut up and game...

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

And now for something completely different...

So anybody play Infinity? A couple of websites I read and enjoy have really pimped it as a fun game. I haven't been in a hole. I have just ignored it. I thought just another excuse to sell $10.00 figs. But the rules themselves have been getting crazy good reviews by the folks that play them. And even GW purists can't look you in the face and say 40k is fun or fast or engaging to play the way its written.

What I know: it's expensive on a per figure basis. It's a skirmish size game. The rules are free.

What that means: expense is relative if you love the game, but not that relative. It's hard to pay those kind of prices for each figure. Yes it fits the rest of the industry but..., I like skirmish. Does it play with 4 to 8 people? It's important with our group. I like free rules. And the quick start rules read easy and are fun. Army lists are free too.

Bravo if what you really want to sell is miniatures.

I don't know if anyone else in the group would play these rules straight up with the Infinity miniatures. But if we use proxy minis, they'll try anything. If I buy and paint them all they'll play it too.

Gonna read the rules and see if I like them and try some simple solo games to understand the mechanics.

I do know one thing, I have been watching how beautiful these minis are And no other mini company has connected more with the military anime feel than infinity.  Just look at these:

Don't worry it's not a new period...yet.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Update 5-7-12

Well, I have been busy doing other things, but, a spring thunderstorm allowed me to put some much needed time in on the British Guards Units I was working on.

And success. I finished both yesterday about 8:00. I now have 10 British Infantry Units for the Pennisula. A great feat for me for sure. I have 2 units of Highlanders on the table ready to be started. and I am sorely tempted. But painting 50 figs at a time is a slog. It is great when they are done, but man its a marathon. I may need some relief. I have painted the equivelant of 7 units on tha last few months and I may need a break. That may be the most productive I have ever been in painting an army.

Problem is, I really wanted to get the Highlanders, a Lt Dragoon, an Hussar, and a couple more Cannons painted by the end of July. If I let ADD take over I will be off on a tangent and who knows when I will come back. If I don't take a break, then my painting may suffer. The verdict is out. Maybe some Ponies, then finishing with the Highlanders is what I need to do.

I the mean time, Khurusan has still not released the Jasmine Throne Foreign Battalions yet. Hmm...

I may be needing some Post Apoc goodness. We shall see.