Sunday, January 29, 2012

Freshly Painted Otherworld Figures

Here are some of the Otherworld Figures. The figure line is based on the Monster Manual of Advanced Dungeons and Dragons from way back in the 1980's.
These are from the last New Release of 2011. There is another New Release on the way with Goblin Wolf Riders, Huge and Giant spiders, Evil Priests, Evil acolytes and some Dungeon Level sets (I & II)

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Second Twelve days of 2012

Condottiere--continues to hold my interest. I have been unpacking figures and moving to shelves of figures of all sorts but have come across suitable late Medieval and Early Renaissance that a game of this is definitely in the 2012 future. It turns out a buddy has a bunch of the figures, too. In line with the interest, I took a few looks at comparative rules and canvassed some of you. The goal was to determine what Frank Chadwick intended for the range of the field artillery. It is obvious that he intended a longer range than made it to publication. Unfortunately Wargames Foundry and the author are silent. Looking at the range ratios of various rules in the same genre as Condottiere has me convinced that the range should be 60" for the field gun. On a "knee-jerk" level, this makes sense. Most of the actions are going to start with armies either in range or almost immediately so. Good luck trying to get out of range; in many ways this is good as it stimulates the other side to move and close. I have played too many games where you spend the whole allotted time advancing to contact with the game ending just as it gets interesting.
Miniatures--I have been too busy of late to play miniature games. School, kids, sports, dogs, day-to-day, etc. all have conspired to keep the miniatures in the boxes and the terrain on the shelves. Even painting has slackened as I grow tired of skeletons, dwarves, Chaco and Pulp. Thankfully a bunch of this was finished and based. Finally. I also sent some of it off to get painted as I was starting to feel overwhelmed as my ratio of completion reversed and went berserk. I closed a trade on some
HeroQuest, HeroQuest Expansions and Advanced HeroQuest that sent the ratio over to the wrong side; then, I received a Mantic Crazy Christmas Bag as a late Christmas Gift which plumped 102 assorted figures into my lap. Now, I have some serious painting and building to do. I moved some budget money from uncommitted to painting and sent some figures off. Bunker Monkey helped by delivering six mounted and dismounted cowboys to the table for basing...when they get based that will add 18 to the completed side...other than that, I have seven days to make some headway on the month.

Boardgames: I had a few of these get played over the first few weeks. My kids have shown a new interest in boardgames that was fun. Unfortunately, exams have caused that to taper of. We did play two games of this one:
Tales of The Arabian Nights: The Legendary Storytelling BoardgameTales of Arabian Nights by Z-Man Games (http://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/34119/tales-of-the-arabian-nights) can be had from various places for around $40.00.
In the game, you are a hero or heroine in a story of adventure based upon those told by Scheherazade. Players travel seeking your own Stories and Destiny. You will travel, gather fabled treasures, learn fantastic stories and gain wealth! This game is thoroughly recommended. We palyued another iteration...I was kicking butt and then we had to stop...oh well, I think I might actually have won this one against my kids.
Bret and I managed to get a game of Citadel by Fantasy Flight Games. It's a card game of city building in the Middle Ages. I was skeptical but found it to be a good game. I will happily play it again. We also tried a full turn of Age of Conan. Although it was a slow strt the turns should rocket now that I have enough of an understanding to teach it. It is definitely a four player game. It also captures the feel of the genre at the power politics level. The four major powers use military or diplomacy to accomplish their goals. Magic can have a powerful but not all conquering impact. All the while, Conan is adventuring across the land and effecting the machinations. All in all, I think this one needs to get some table time...
The Blogs--I trimmed my following from twenty-nine to eighteen. It was taking too much time just to look. I hope to trim this further.

The Pod Casts: Not much here other than my daily diet of news. I continue to follow the Gamer Gang for my gaming news and Fear the Boot for my RPG interest.

Goals:
  • Budget red lined and went over for the month due to an unexpected delivery of some stuff from Litko in their Lab area and Stone Mountain bringing some long ago ordered buildings back into production (a promise to buy is a promise to buy). That will make next month tighter but I have almost no products on the radar. Historically, the post-Christmas season runs over budget; Febraury is way under in the run-up to Cold Wars and then March is either on track or under. Really, I only have one set of rules and the Wargames Compendium 2012 on my wish list for the Convention. So that leaves plenty open for painting and projects...or saving for the next big thing.
  • Miniature count is in 1:5 painted to unpainted. If I finish basing the Cowboys from Bunker Monkey my ratio will drop to 1:5 which is better but a long way from where I finished last year. The month could finish even better if I do some basing and finish gluing the six painted Star Wars vehicles. I could actually even balance it with just a bit of painting. High hopes.
    • I count an individual 28mm or 15mm, 10mm and 6mm strips of infantry as one figure;
    • Cavalry counts as two;
    • Limbers, guns and wagons as two with each horse as one;
    • Vehicles as five-plus figures depending on the size.
    • Prepaints are a zero-sum one figure in and one figure completed unless there is work done to them and then they are costed as above.
  • Seven boardgames played this year.
  • HeroQuest, Two HeroQuest Expansions and Advanced HeroQuest arrived intact. The quest for two expansions Wizards of Morcar and Frozen Horror have begun. Problem is there is a knucklehead on eBay who thinks they are worth hundreds and hundreds of dollars. It does not matter that they have listed these at insane prices and keep relisting. What does matter is by listing it too high, no one is posting their sets. Or if they do, they post them at crazy prices that don't get bought. As is, I have the books. I can use my Dwarven Forge for the maps, so I guess, I'll have to proxy the figures but the style is hard to match. The other option is to buy parts and gradually put them together. I did that with a Space Crusade expansion but I would prefer not. Short story if you have one and want to sell it let me know...but I am not buying it for $1,500.00...yup, that's what one guy lists it at. Oh, and he lists a collection of the game and some expansions at $10,000.00--totally cracked and unrealistic when you can get a mint game for $80.00 if your careful and patient.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Thursday, January 12, 2012

The first twelve days...

One of my Christmas presents was Frank Chadwick's Condottiere rules. I like the book. It's based upon Charles Oman's version of the early Renaissance warfare. TMP roasts it for that and some typos. Yeah, I was disappointed there were typos; but, I think the book is good. It's a fun idea to be able to play a campaign in an evening with each of your friends painting his own Condottiere. A club could provide two generic citystate forces and thenIt's too bad about the errors; but... So here's a quick synopsis:
  • It's 1:1 or so it says but looks like 1:5 or 1:10 based upon my thin understanding of Company sizes in that period.
  • Groundscale looks to be about 1:10.
  • Units are Companies. Each Company is 10 Cavalry; 16 infantry or two guns.
  • Each army needs 1 Condottiere and 2 wagons or tents.
  • Campaign starts with five companies. Each player chooses a nationality (Italian, German, Spanish, French or English) with requisite units.
  • There are also Municipal Troops that are available for the Condotierre to command from the City State which hires him; 1 Company of each of the following:
    • Italian Men At Arms
    • Italian Crossbow
    • Italian "Landsknechts"
    • Italian Brigante
    • Italian Pavissieri
    • Artillery Battery
There seems to be an error with the artillery range. It has conflicts within the rules suggesting an organ gun should have a shorter range than a field piece (I agree) but it lists both ranges as 30" which is more than the longbow (24") and slightly less than the heavy crossbow (36"). This strikes me as a typo. Chainmail has the field gun shooting 50% further than the Arbalest. Have Pike Will Travel does not address artillery and ranges are based on chances to hit--"Go ahead take the shot. You can't hit me at that dist--" to misquote out of time. First Edition Warhammer has the Field gun fully shooting twice that of an Arbalest. I'm curious where some other rules see it like Warhammer Ancients, Hail Caeser, George Gush's Renaissance Rules, Armati, Tercio, etc. I would love feedback here as I can't seem to locate the box of books with the relevant rules. I do need to change it and would prefer to do it once.
In the world of Terrain, chek out this Spanish Town by Angel Barracks. I need to work this into my budget. Perhaps it will find a place on my Birthday list:

The Pod Casts:
The Gaming Gang is a good way to keep up with breaking news in the boardgames, miniatures and RPG world with their daily 10 minute news. They also have a weekly in-depth review of several games. Good stuff.

Goals:
  • Budget is on track but approaching the red line for the month.
  • Miniature count is in 1:3 painted to unpainted. Stan Johansen helped me by painting 24 medieval peasants (http://stanjohansenminiatures.com/). The month could finish at 1:1 if I could only finish gluing the six vehicles (they are painted) and myriad of figures "almost done" on my table (most only need a bit of touch-up to be complete. My ratio got blown by some trades...
  • Three boardgames played this year.
  • Closed a trade on HeroQuest. I had to take Advanced HeroQuest in the lot as they were a pair. I think that's about the last of the old Games Workshop boardgames I enjoyed playing and wished I could have afforded in the Big '80's.

Projects
  • Not much accomplished here.
  • A little prep and finish work on some figures but no figures completed.
  • I also have been trying to work some trades on my final stage of the Star Wars stuff; but confidence is low...I may have to buy the four figures I want to complete the collection. Luckily three are cheap, cheap, cheap but the fourth will be like Cad Bane (Games Workshop expensive).

Games Played to Date
Board; Card & RPG: Three
Survive, Escape from Atlantis (x2)
Tales of Arabian Nights
Miniatures: None

Dade's Massacre


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The Dade Massacre-National Historic Landmark

From the original oil by Ken Hughs in the collection of the Historical Association of Southern Florida. The massacre of Major Francis Langhorn Dade near present day Bushnell, Florida on December 28, 1835 heralded the long and costly Second Seminole War, 1835-1842. Declared a National Historic

Check out these photos from a reemactment of Dade's Massacre http://www.starznbarz.com/History/DADES-BATTLE-REENACTMENT-2012/20988611_n7pN6z#!i=1668147225&k=TsSB4zz

If you go down to the battlefield near Ocala, FL; the Florida Park service has preserved the actual battlefield and built a mock-up for reenactment. I found it interesting that the preserved battlefields has evolved into an Oak forest with little undregrowth; thus, the narrative of the battle will make no sense. No sense, that is, until one walks over to the reenactment field which is about 150 years behind in the evolutionary progression of the northern Florida forest.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Cad Bane!

Aura Cad Bane.jpg

2011 In Review

Goal Met! 52/52! 27:1!
I managed to mee my goal of playing 52 Board/Card/RPG games and 52 miniature games last year. I also managed to diminish my lead and plastic piles 27 times faster than the gre--I painted, had painted or completed 27 figures for every one I acquired. The ratio was WAY higher until I traded for and was given a bunch of unpainted and half-painted figures. And I did all of this way under my budget! This year will be harder to meet the goals as I have had to cut two conventions from the calendar due to conflicts...

In the final week of 2012:
The first night of my Nephew's visit, we broke out Castle Ravenloft. It was great while we had five players but we lost one to pre-Christmas obligations. The rest of us muscled through the fatigue from travel, shoipping, work and school to try to Recover the Shrine of Ravenloft. We would have suceeded but in our fatigue, we forgot to cancel an event using some excess cards. The event we failed to cancel caused us to involuntary flee through a series of traps: Crushing Walls, Spears and then Fire Gouts. Needless to say we died as crispy critters.
My nephews and I played two games of Loot and Scoot in the run up to Christmas. It is an entertaining game of competitive dungeon crawling. Not having the actual game and unable to find the time to go out for it (too much building and wrapping), we bought the iPad application version. It is fun but not something I would buy in hard copy. Why? It's essentially parallel play and that does not really work for me in the sub-genre of Dungeon Crawl. Don't get me wrong it was fun. We had lots of laugh and enjoyed the competition. It was also neat designing your dungeon and exploring the other players' dungeons. But it lacked something for me--good game to get as an app.
My friend Stuart came down following Christmas. In the first evening I was too tired to set up a miniature game so we played Betrayal at the House on the Hill. The first game was quite good with the Haunt being a villain who shrank the other explorers and then let a cat out in our midst. We fled from room to room until one party member found a toy airplane. Then, it was Stuart Little to the rescue riding an Airhog. We escaped. Barely.
On the morning of Stuart's visit, he and I played two games of Alien Attack. I was thrashed each time. Essentially it was a race game and I have a tendency to push the envelope in the race games. The same reason I won't go get a pilot's license. All in all, it's a good game for introducing people to the concept of gaming. I wonder how the expansions will effect it. The first expansion adds some tougher aliens. The second adds Men In Black and National Guard. I suspect, they will only work if there is a player significantly better than the others and you need to disadvantage them. Frankly, I bought the expansion for the limited access figures.
Later the same morning, Stuart and I gathered my son and nephews and we played the C.A.T. Rescue from Space Hulk. As always this is a fantastic game. We played a game, switched sides and played it a second time. Both games were excellent. A big Thank you to Stuart for coming by for a visit and running some games.
I received an an awesome present of some of the Dwarven Forge Ice Caverns. This is good stuff. It rivals the caverns in it's coolness (pun intended). I see an ice caves of Hoth game in my future. Or perhaps a Pulp exploration. Or an adventure down to the Mountains of Madness...where did that Shoggoth get to?
My various projects saw minimal activity as I had a bunch of family here...nine was the house count with a few in and out through the week. That said, I did some little thinking and planning:
  • Chaco enjoyed some planning for terrain. I think I may have talked Barry into sculpting a fort or observation poast.
  • Colonialism/VSF got some paint brush time and some camels based.
  • Conan is creeping forward all the time. I built more models, cleaned others and primed a third batch. I also began considering trying Hail Caeser.
  • Fantasy enjoyed a rush of last minute work on New Year's Eve when I closed a sweet deal on some HeroQuest stuff. I also tracked down a free site where the scenarios and rules can be downloaded (http://www.yeoldeinn.com/). I had fun with this many years ago and suppose it might work very well. I'll have to run a game or two when the trade is finalized.
  • French Revolution got a bit of research on the Cisalpine Republic. It also had some planning with Magister Militum about the Prussians
  • Gamma World enjoyed some more planning as I piulled excess Star Wars, HeroClix and D&D figures from my boxes.
  • Star Wars is finished. I managed to get the last five figures I deemed necessary to regard the collection as complete. In addition, I found out Wizards of the Coast is no longer releasing any more collections. The last figure, you ask? Cad Bane. I am embarassed to say I paid as much for him as a GW character figure. But, the collection is done. That is, almost-done as I still need to finish organizing and basing the lot.

As far as Painting and Painters in the final week of 2011:
  • Chaco War: Basing of the Troops continued. I found the soil needed some brushing to instill a more dry look to it.
  • Conan/LOTR/Colonialism/Pirates/Ancients/Medievals: I finished Seven pack Camels from Essex that have much value to many genres; Conan, Ancients, Arabian Nights, Medievals, Pulp, erc. I also started the next phase and started prepping various war bands.
  • Dwarf King Lair is in the final stages of highlights and basing.
  • Gamma World--Boy is it hard to get the Dreamblade bases off of the figures!
The Blog of Alfons Cánovas from Spain has a great three part series on the Cisalpine Republic of the French Revolutionary period. It is refreshing to look at the plates and think that I might be able to use some colors other than blue on some of the spares. Check them out. If I can figure out the book they came from, I may just have to try to find it.

New Figures from Crooked Dice...

picture

Out today!

Must resist the new projects. Must resist...

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year. I realize I am a bit late. No excuses. Just an apology. Sorry.

Out with the Year of the Rabbit and in with the year of the Dragon...suposed to be a powerful year for those born under the Dragon. That's me...we'll see.