Wargaming Musings?

I'm a bit of a butterfly in terms of my attention and sticking to gaming projects long term isn't my strongest point. On the bright side, atleast I flit between the same things. Expect an ecclectic medley of Moderns, Dark Ages, Quar and Early Wild West, almost all in 28mm... (with some 1/48 moderns thrown in... )

Friday, 12 December 2014

An update, and a change of direction

Hello all!
I'm alive!  Honest!  So the move went - I wouldn't say well, but  not too badly.  We settled in, thesis writing got more intense (almost finished the first draft;  lots of bits are with the supervisor being read), I spent some time in Oxford, my funding ran out... and that's the last couple of months in a nutshell.  I'm still thesis writing,  still out of funding.  More importantly, as far as this blog is concerned,  is that I haven't done much painting - my normal slot has been eaten by commuting, and I don't get much opportunity in the evenings as thesis writing is, to steal an Ork-ism, 'brain urty'. At some point (after lots of basing) there will be an update with some 20mm milita, Soviet motor rifles and DDR workers combat groups.  There are also more arthurians and hairy germans too.

But the lack of painting time and funds have made me think about what I'm doing on the hobby front, and which projects are of particular interest. There have been a couple of folks on the LAF who were talking about thinning down their unpainted lead and focusing more on the projects which particularly appeal; and that's had an impact too. A metric I have used a lot is to assess how much scenery I have for a project - I don't like making scenery,  so it's often a good gauge of what I have definitely wanted to do things with...

So - what is going/has gone?
Early plains wars - an interesting period, and some great figures and rules.  But I've not painted more than a handful of figures in the last 4 years, have very little scenery, never played a game with them and haven't even been tempted to buy new stuff for them.

Sci-fi kung fu stuff - at one point, inspired by too much sleeping dogs and Farcry blood dragon I started looking at a '80's sci fi' type setting for a fistful of Kung Fu.  I bought a few figures, painted some stuff and didn't really get any further.

My retro British apocalypse stuff definitely stalled, and lost focus.  In 28mm the winterapoc stuff overtook it and in many ways fitted the game play aspects better. At the same time, my 20mm stuff started to drift more towards the twilight 2000 end of the cold war hot spectrum.

The winterapoc +10 stuff is going (there was never much of it); but more of this later.
I'm also streamlining my modern (post war anyway) African stuff - I've not finished anything for it for years, and baring the couple of games the other year I haven't used most of it. I'm keeping the painted mercs and African milita, but the rest is going.

The Gothic horror stuff is also going. I only ever painted a handful of miniatures, and my scenery building stopped and never got started. I'm still vaguely interested - but I just don't think it's going to happen. There werewolves will be joining my Dark Ages stuff though...

So - what am I keeping, and how is it going to evolve?
The 40mm moderns are staying.  They are pending a time when I have a bit more time and energy to make the most of them.  From a practical perspective, they don't have a resale value, and the whole project was something of a nostalgia exercise.  I will add some more figures if they turn up cheaply, and the focus will stay much as it has always been.

28mm Malayan emergency. In actual terms the project is pretty much finished, and is still pretty close to my heart. There are another 30 or so figures left to finish painting and that will then give me lots of CTs, a couple of different security forces to chase them with (gurkhas and British infantry/marines depending which figures I use for flavour), Malayan home guard, special constables,  armed planters/miners. I will add a couple of period cars/trucks and that will be the core sorted.  I may convert some DA askari to make aboriginal police.  But I may not.  I also read a good article about the kumoitang and triad secret societies fighting a closet war with the CTs as an offshoot of the Chinese civil war; so some of the kung fu stuff will be incorporated into this (the triad in traditional costume and the martial artists) and there is room for some pulp adventure around the edges (afterall Biggles was in Malaya for a couple of adventures! Special constables against a sorcerer and summoned deamons and the like). It may also expand into the Indonesia confrontation.  I'm not sure yet. If it does,  it'll only be a couple of squads of figures for the Indonesians and I'll probably just use the Malayan emergency security forces as the commonwealth troops.

The Quar. No idea where they are going to evolve to,  or what I am going to do with them.

Winterapoc is staying. It's a unified project, and almost finished.  I've got enough figures to play lots of games, and a regular opponent to use them with (waves at Seb). I'm going to finish off the last few conversions, and may get some of the new sss figures and/or some more sea wolves and cultists.

The final project is to keep the arthurians/early saxons.  Plenty of finished figures, the will to play games and figures I enjoy painting. I have enough Welsh, romano brits and picts. I  am planning to add more saxons because I enjoy painting them lol. The current plan is to do some 'mid period' stuff for the wars between Christian and Heathen saxon kings in the 600's, and at least find a use for all my hairy germanics. The project will still have some mythical stuff - gods, giants, Alfar and hopefully dragons - but the aim is to keep it to 'saga stuff'  rather than turning into a fantasy game.

And what haven't I decided on?

My 20mm cold war stuff -  I've got lots, and it's scattered across lots of forces and genres.  There is also twilight 2000 and the possibility of doing britapoc in 20mm, with easier access to scenery.  Some of it will go, possibly all the East germans and maybe the stuff I was accumulating to be twilight 2000 marauders and the like.  Probably the DRA  troops too...

The 'modern' kung fu stuff.  Heavily inspired by sleeping dogs, I'm definitely still interested and have effectively all the figures I need (and that were are available! ) but scenery is non-existent and will be difficult to get sorted.  Definitely one to muse over.

Stone age stuff. What stone age stuff you ask? I bought some cave men and neanderthals.  It's an idea I have toyed with for years, and scenery is easy - I'm just not sure about pursuing it long term or not.

Arthurian picts - I know I included them above, but they are the other end of the country to my principle interest (Wessex and the south west) so still have a bit of a question mark over their heads.  The same is true of the Wendol - they are up for review as I don't have enough to do much with, but the figures are also pretty steep to buy more so that puts them into a slightly grey area.

My 54mm inquisitor figures have about half the figures finished, and there are some magnificent conversions left to do. But I've not touched them in many years, and they were only unpacked at the last place to repack them prior to moving.

I'm also not sure about what to do with my old ratskin gang.  Currently the figures have been part stripped, but I've not so much as looked at them for a year or more... 

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Painting update - 28mm Arthurians and 40mm moderns

Probably the last painting update from me for a while - although I have stuff on the paint desk making progress, I don't think that they will be finished before packing overtakes them!

Something of a odd collection this time - more 40mm moderns,  including a couple of conversions (head swap on uzi guy and adding the cossack hat) and some test pieces to check that I can get away with just a paint conversion to 'shift' the African milita figures to eastern Europe.  I think they look good - a bit more ragged than some of the others, but I can atleast use them as bandits. The wattle fences are Rendera - I did the entire packs worth, but decided that too many pics would just get dull!

The werewolf is a Reaper bones model.  My first, and I must admit that I am generally impressed.  Once I've got a few more they can be set loose on a Arthurian village... ('The wolves are running master Kay!' - perhaps not quite the sort of wolves they meant in The Box of Delights, but they'll do! )

The little people are my take on the Alfar, although they owe more to the Brownies from Willow than Tolkien's elves. They are, literal, little savages - with bronze and stone weapons ( fey folk not liking iron), animal (rabbit? Squirrel?) furs and green clothing (from Scandinavian folklore, along with the pale skin tone and dark hair). The painting isn't my best, but I fully intend to field them enmass as per the 'action shot', where hopefully the limitations in painting won't show so much. The blood stains on the weapons were to add a touch of savagery to the figures,  and I envisaged some sort of sacrifice and dipping weapons in its blood to empower them.  Ib game each stand will get multiple low strength attacks, and I will use the chittering horde rule so that additional bases can support as if they had spears (to represent them swarming all over people). The chap with the owl is a shaman, and the single warrior with the downed germanic a hero of some sort.  Figures are all 15mms - a mix of Mick Yarrow prehistorics and unknown celts and zulus. I'm planning to do a fair few more of these...

There is a collection of hairy germanics of varying flavours.  I have too many of these chaps, unless I plan on gaming something like Mons Badonicus or Dyrham in 1:1 ratios.  And there are more to paint. (Put it this way - Cerdic began conquering what would become Wessex with 2-3 ships worth of men. Depending on the size of the ships, that could be anywhere between about 80 and about 240 warriors. I've got somewhere around 200). The eventual plan is to be able to form two mid period armies, to game the various wars between Christian and Pagan saxon kingdoms.  And maybe a separate force of Frankish mercenaries.

The Romano-Britons are segregated by shield designs based on their ability.  The levy have plain whitish shields (there's a vague reference in the Gododin to white washed shields,  as I've probably said before) whilst professional warriors and retainers have shield designs. All the red and white shields in this batch belong to a semi uniform group (matching tunics) which I envisaged as the guards from a Civitate eager to cling to its roman lineage, and trying to hark back to the Legions of old (heavily inspired by Tudric of Gwents troops in the Bernard Cornwell Warlord trilogy). The rest just have a mix of designs in assorted colours.  The bulk of the 'uniformed' troops are GB plastic dark age warriors with metal Westwind heads...

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Painting update - kung fu stuff and 20mm vehicles

Just a random assortment of stuff I've had floating around on my desk.  We've got to move next month, so I'm trying to get random oddments finished so that they don't just get packed down and possibly never see the light of day again.  We're only likely to be at the new place for 6 months, so we aren't planning on doing much unpacking - I should have somewhere to paint, and the dining table to play on, but I imagine most of my excess stuff will stay packed. Not sure what to keep out yet - leaning towards the arthurians as it could do with some more progress and the paint schemes aren't too complicated. Plus I very seldom need reference books for details.   The 20mms do call, but I can churn them out pretty quickly so I will have to keep lots out to keep me going.  I don't think I'll have the spare capacity to do the 40mms what with settling in,  finishing my thesis, getting viva'd and then starting a post doc and Christmas... Maybe the Kung Fu stuff - but I don't think there is enough there to keep me going.  Anyway.  Enough wittering! The 20mm vehicles are both from Liberation Miniatures,  and are a Praga AAA truck and an MTLB. The triad gangsters are a mix of Northstar, OOP Chinatown and Sgt. Mjr. Minis. The deamon is also Northstar, and shown next to a part painted Arthurian Militaman. Although it's a dead ringer for the deamon from Big Trouble In Little China,  I'm half tempted to use it for my Dark Age sagas... I also am still undecided on how to do the basing for the kung fu figures, so excuse the primer :-)
The final piece is a figure I've wanted for years - the Glockroach! He's posing with a cybersamurai who will also be for a Fistfull of Kung Fu...

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Photo report - Arthurian Skirmish

I have decided to try and get some more games in, and decided to start with a test game using the GW LOTR rules.  I remember them being good fun when I used to play them just after they came out, and that they should work well for the whole range of games I want to play (from straight historicals to dragon slaying and rescuing princesses from giants).

The scenario was simple enough - a rag-tag group of saxon raiders attacks a farmstead at the same time that the local lord is summoning the levy to try to track the raiders down.  The Romano British objective was to drive the saxons off, whilst the saxons wanted to capture civilians as slaves and/or take possession of the farm.


The battle was fun and was very close in the end, with both sides being 1 casualty away from breaking. In the end,  the saxons took the crucial casualty and although they passed their first morale test, the villagers had escaped and they decided to call it a day. 
Pictures were taken at the end of each phase (move,  shoot,  fight)...