Sunday, January 31, 2016

January 2016

A slow month with a little progress on the Pirates. I have an eye appointment this coming week...I think some new glasses are in order. I know the first seven months of this year will be a slow burn due to work commitments, so I am managing my expectations on painting and gaming.

----Pirates are still in progress. Working on flesh today. Have been using my new head light/magnifier.

On the table: 150 pirates/civilians, and 4 ships.

 0, work gets in the way :)

$0 this month--- Good way to start the year.
Total for the year: $0
Budget: banking $100 for the future.
Plan: < $100 per month

Friday, January 1, 2016

2015 Round Up and the Plans for 2016

Time to look back at 2015 and make some plans for the new year. A long post below...I return to these posts each year to see how my interest in the hobby progresses.

This afternoon I will read the Too Fat Lardies Christmas Special and continue painting the 15mm Pirates.

2015 Painting
J: 30
F: 18
M: 60
A: 20
M: 30
J: 0
J: 10
A: 0
S: 0
O: 88
N: 97
D:  78

2015: 431 (ouch!)
2014: 1708
2013: 1990
2012: 1119
2011: 1013
2010: 1389
2009: 441

Games in 2015: 14, Pulp Alley and fantasy games dominated my play at home

Review of the Plans for 2015:

1- PIRATES! I have about 400 pirates, sailors, crewmen, and civilians and 4 ships. Get these done before Historicon. All primed and ready to go.
---Failed! Will continue to plug away in 2016. Not giving up on the project. I am half way done so far. This is #1 project for 2016. I have started them on my holiday break.

2- Texture the bases on the imagination figures...need to get off my butt and get this done. I figure this is about 12 hours of work.
---Done (and it took much longer than 12 hours)! I also sold off the figures I bought already painted so now my entire collection has been painted by me (with some help from JG). I will need to paint up opposition forces for the Kingdom of Katzenstein.

3- Attend Historicon. I especially want to get in another zombie game with my son, and a pulp game with the Pulp Alley rules. I don't think I will be able to attend Cold Wars this year (and Historicon 2016 is in doubt) due to switching positions at work and professional education requirements.
---Historicon was fun once again. No Zombies or Pulp Alley however. Plenty of fun with the PK crowd as always.

4- Cut spending by at least 20%.
---40% reduction! My drastic painting slow-down contributed to the reduction. I adjusted my spending target to <$100 per month towards the end of the year and I hit it. Overall great reduction.

5- Make small additions to existing projects as the fancy bites. Some sci-fi skirmish figures might be in order. I usually get a taste for something at the we will wait and see.
---No major additions to existing projects, but see #7 below.

6- Fantasy Rules. Although I keep searching just because I like reading rule books, the Piquet/Pulse of Battle/Hostile Realms rules meet my needs. I am going to pull the elements together into a single document and finish stating up all the fantasy units. Also make a custom card deck.
---Some progress but not done. Still bouncing back and forth between the HR rules, BYV, and my home rules.

7- Consider the next project...6mm sci-fi set at a company per base is the leading candidate....28mm Pulp has also caught my eye. So many options to choose from!
---Pulp joined the rotation. Pulp Alley is a great rule set and the Pulp Figures are very nice. Will continue to develop this project since it makes for a quick game and JG seems to enjoy them. 6mm sci-fi has continued to interest me...see below.

8- Manage the lead mountain. The pirates are all primed and ready, the Phase II Demonworld fantasy figures are stashed for the future, and a very small batch of 6mm sci-fi figures are in the ready drawer. The fantasy figures are part of a long range plan...for everything else, my goal is to paint any new figures within a year.
---Done...painted all of the small number of figures I bought this year (Pulp Figures), plus made a big dent in the Pirates.

Plans for 2016: Not as ambitious this time due to work and educational requirements

1- Finish the Pirates. Seriously this time.

2- Continue to tinker on my own Fantasy Rules.

3- Conventions: None planned this year...very sad to not be attending Historicon due to work requirements.

4- Budget: $1200 target for the year. Besides the usual books, magazines, and supplies, my only planned figure purchases may be the 6mm sci fi project.

5- Next major project: One of four options...A and B are in the lead.
a. Next phase of the fantasy project (start the Demonworld figures)---plenty of figures on hand.
b. 6mm Sci-fi---Currently has my attention, but I would have to buy figures.
c. Add the next 12 or so units to the Kingdom of Katzenstein.
c. Opposing forces for Kingdom of Katzenstein.

Project Round Up:

Katzenstein (imagi-nation): A mature project. I have planned expansions in two phases.

Zaquetta (fantasy): Phase 1 is done... 150+ units! I have a huge batch of Demonworld figures on hand and there are so many nice ranges on the market. This will be the lifetime project...I can always return to add units. I plan to purchase and paint all the selected figures from one company at a time to keep building up my armies.

Pulp: Added Pulp Alley in 2015. Great set of rules with lots of potential. My first foray into 28mm figures.

WW2: A mature project. Will pick up an occasional British or German unit or vehicle.

Krasnovia (modern skirmish) and Ziva (sci-fi skirmish): A mature project.  Basically it is one big individually mounted 15mm skirmish project with any sized force from squad to company.

Splintered Lands:  A mature project. My favorite miniatures. I am reading all of the Redwall books. Will add any new figures they produce.

Air Combat: A mature project. No planned additions right now but I do like float planes!

Starmada: A mature project. No planned additions.

Zombies: Started with a small batch of zombies and I can use many of the modern/sci-fi armed figures and civilians. This is a backburner project designed for playing with my son.

Possible Future Projects: Not that I need any more projects, but these are some ideas I have for the future. (in general order of current interest)

6mm sci-fi: Interested in 6mm for larger games...division+ on the table. Researching figures now.

A Very British Civil War: Love the though of developing my own forces and the alternate history. Would be a 28mm project that comes with it's own terrain headaches.

Wild West: Still a possibility, but only after the Pirates get done. Could be done with Pulp Alley.

Civil War: Considering 6mm.

Napoleonics: Considering 6mm.

Gladiators: would go 28mm with a custom built arena if I take the plunge.

Slaughterloo/Flintloque: love the figures, but not my preferred scale.

Spencer Smith Imagi-nation: I still think about starting another imagi-nation (larger scale).

Model Casting: Considering trying out my hand with casting my own figures from molds.

Monday, December 28, 2015

December 2015

Nice close out to the year. Great books for Christmas, painted some figures, and even got in a game.

 66 x 15mm pirate figures: 66 points
 6 x 28mm pulp figures: 12 points
Total: 78 points

On the table: 150 pirates/civilians, and 4 ships.

1 fantasy game with "Bear Yourselves Valiantly" rules.

$35 this month--- few rule books and supplements for holiday reading
Total for the year: $2794
Budget: $806 under budget for the year!
Plan: I met my adjusted plan to spend less than $100 per month to close the year...down from my original $150/month plan. Adjusted target was less than $3000 (originally $3600) total for the year That will be a 40% reduction from 2014! Plus I sold $400 worth of figures, and received a $367 refund from a failed kickstarter (I reinvested this kickstarter refund money into more Demonworld figures for the fantasy project...not counted in the expenses above).

4th Quarter Plans:
1- Finish 1/4 of the Pirates in October- Done (finished 1/2)
2- Pulp Figures in November- Done (+6 more)
3- Fantasy Samurai in December- Done

Painted figures for the month:
Part 2 of 4...will base them all when done.

6 new additions for Pulp Alley

Friday, December 25, 2015

Christmas Loot

Merry Christmas to all.

Some very nice items for Christmas from my wife and son.

Light holiday reading.

Will need this when I start 6mm.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

The Trees Wept

I finished a game of Bear Yourselves Valiantly tonight. This may be the last game of the year.

The forces of the human City States took on the Elven King's army in a vicious battle over a holy Elven grove just inside the borders of the City States' border.

I did not set a turn limit at the beginning, but after five turns, I decided the game was halfway done. The first few turns did not play out as enjoyably as I had hoped, but I am glad I stuck it out for an exciting finish.

I need to read the rules again, but I think I am getting the hand of things. I also need more command stands.
I forgot to count ammo from the start and the Elven archery almost won the game. My units are double the width of the bases called for in the rules so I need to create a house rule to allow a little more maneuver and passage of lines.

Merry Christmas to all, and to all, a good night.

The Elven grove is in the center just past the two fields. Humans on the left in this picture.

The Elven center...matched pairs of bowmen and warriors with the Grove Guard prepared to advance to defend the trees.

Massed Elven cavalry on elk and unicorns.

Nomadic Wood Elves prepare for a flank attack.

The human center, elephants and mixed swordsmen, axemen, and spearmen; the Ronin are in reserve.

Human cavalry leading hoplites.

The elephants advance rapidly but suffer from the Elven arrow storm.

The ambush is sprung on the human light troops protecting the flank.

The Magnificent Zuron blasts the Grove Guard with magic bolts as they prepare to throw the island slingers out of the grove.

Both sides prepare for a whirling cavalry battle on the flank.

Confusion sets in...the Elves pull back across the stream.

As the human center disengages at the same time.

The humans get the short end of the stick on the flank...losses are severe.

They break and stream to the rear.

Elven cavalry comes out on top at the beginning.

And the Grove Guard scatter some archers.

The counter-attack is fierce.

The Grove Guard is defeated!

But the Elven archers get revenge by emptying many saddles.

With the rest of his command destroyed, General Greco leads a band of horse archers back into the fray.

The Ronin absorb the Wood Elves' volley and begin to slaughter the unarmored Elves at the edge of the forest.

In a shameful display of cowardice, the human commander retreats to a safer position with his best troops.

The Elven center gets the upper hand...but will they prevail in time.

No...the dastardly humans have cut down two sacred trees for their holiday feast screened by the slingers.

Both sides are exhausted on this flank.

The Elves could have succeeded with just one more turn.

The Wood Elves slink off into the forest to lick their wounds.

The field is short a dozen or so units.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

November 2015

Good progress on the painting front. I also hit 7 years back in the hobby this month.

35 x 15mm fantasy figures: 35 points
31 x 28mm pulp figures: 62 points
Total: 97 points

On the table: 300 pirates/civilians, 6 pulp figures (on the way)

1 fantasy game with "Bear Yourselves Valiantly" rules. Another game set on the table for next month. I also want to get in a Pulp Alley game in December.

$50 this month--- splurged on some pulp figures and cards for Pulp Alley
Total for the year: $2759
Budget: $584 under budget for the year.
Plan: I am planning to keep remaining spending to less than $100 per month to close the year...down from my original $150/month plan. New target is less than $3000 (originally $3600) total for the year That will be a 40% reduction from 2014! Plus I sold $400 worth of figures.

4th Quarter Plans:
1- Finish 1/4 of the Pirates in October- Done
2- Pulp Figures in November- Done; but I bought 6 more figures to be finished in Dec.
3- Fantasy Samurai in December- Done (in November)
---Remaining December plan: 6 pulp figures and another batch (about 100) of the pirates.

Mercenary Ronin from the City States

News Hounds


More hooded cultists


Yangtze Pirates

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Steadfast Dwarves

While the seemingly endless wars over possession of the Golden Idol have taken a brief pause, all is not right in the world. The Overlord has taken an opportunity to launch a quick strike to destroy a Dwarven border post.

With my hobby motivation renewed (good painting progress for the month already), I took an opportunity to get a fantasy game of Bear Yourselves Valiantly on the table. These rules are from the Look Sarge, No Charts stable...I have enjoyed their fantasy, ancients, and WW2 games at conventions.
I played without the base labels (used a roster), made my own dice, and kept my units in their standard 4 x 40mm configuration (the game calls for 3" wide units). I fiddled with movement a little to compensate, and I increased the ranged combat distances.

A very fun game...ran quickly, decisive results, and the combination of card activation and special dice are perfect for adding drama to my solo games. I think I will get the Elves on the table next.

This was a smaller game than I usually play since it was a learning game. I do need to read the rules again as I am sure I missed a few items.

Honors for the game go to the Dwarven Clan Warriors that launched the early attack that forced six Skeleton units into retreat!

Dwarves defending the border against an undead legion. Reinforcements are on the way.

Skeletons on the right, Zombies in the middle, and the elite undead on the left for a flank attack.

The King is on the way lead by the bear mounted cavalry.

Pick these up if you can....don't be fooled by the no charts things...they are very well done.

Not a good start to the attack, a brave Dwarf clan shrugs off some arrows and launches a counter attack. The Skeleton archers fall back disrupting the whole line...leading to a failed morale role that sends the entire command in retreat. I think of undead retreating as more of a loss of necromantic power that must be re-asserted (rallied).

The Zombies are trying to bash through the center.

I used a "horde" rule...+1 for every additional unit, and Zombies don't retreat...the losses are applied to the back unit until it is destroyed. The Dwarves hold the line with crossbowmen supporting from the tower.

I think The Overlord is going to turn this Necromancer into a Zombie...the whole command is in retreat,

Zeds are falling, but they keep on coming.

The Chaos Warriors defeated the first line, but the ballistae are tearing holes in the Zombies. 

On the left flank, Skeletal Knights crush one Dwarven band and breakthrough to cause havoc.

This draws in the Dwarven reserves as the Bear Mounted Warriors meet the Vampire Thralls and Spectres...Dwarves lose.

But counter charge to hold the line.

After their initial success, the Knights throw back the Dwarven Berserkers, only to get hit with massed crossbow fire.

And then destroyed by the Berserkers' counter-charge.

The Dwarves have stiffened the line since there is no longer any threat from the enemy right wing.

The Chaos Warriors head for home, leaving the Zombies to cover the retreat.

The Vampire Lord decides to withdraw with honor,

The Dwarves hold the field.