Saturday, June 20, 2015

Updates, Changes, and the Future

Before I get really started, first is some pictures.  The first two are a comparison shots of the 28mm ACW figures that I will be using, including the new Company D figures I talked about earlier in this blog.  The next two are some of the paper buildings I am working on.
L to R: Foundry, Company D, Renegade, Perry, TVAG B'Hoys
Company D's Missouri State Militia
A 18mm Blue Moon French Indian War Indian for was the only figure I had available at the time.  L: MicroTactix; R: WorldWorks Games; Tiles: WorldWorks

I guess I am having a mid-life crisis, if that is what you call it.  I think it is mostly because of work, especially the very long hours (right now, between travel times to and from work, I am out 14 hours a day and this is not including showering and eating diner!) and being away from home more than 75% of total days a year, plus things are really not going good at work in general which is causing me to be really bummed and stressed out.  I have so much crap that I have bought over the years thinking that I will eventually get to it, but I never do.  So I am looking (once again) at reducing off a large chunk of my gaming stuff (plus books, DVDs, and CDs).  Having so much stuff has been weighing on me for a long time about why do I even buy more and still keep stuff that my interest has wane or know that I will never get to do.

One of the main things that relates to this blog will be the selling off of my miniatures and rules.  I plan to start asking my immediate gaming friends (those that I game with the most) first if they are interested in any of it.  After a month or so of seeing if they wanted anything, I will expand out to other gamers in St. Louis that I periodically game with for another month (I really don’t want to mail a bunch of stuff, so I am staying local first).  After that, anyone that reads this blog will have the next crack for a couple of months, then TMP for a couple of months, followed by EBay for a few months, or at any local shop's or conventions’ auctions that occur after the first 4-6 months, and finally the dumpster after a year or 18 months (depending on space and my blue funk.)
Basically, I am going to start back into sending figures off to be painted. I just don’t have the time and quite honestly, I just don’t enjoy painting anymore.  I am starting into buying terrain for now until I eventually reach a point where I will feel I don’t need any more terrain.  I plan to do as much as possible with paper buildings / terrain vs. resin, plastic, or metal items for cost and weight.   I will most likely just buy painted collectibles and not gaming pieces in the future (for example my recent purchase of the 54mm Bonnie & Clyde along with the V-8 Ford.)

As you saw from some of my last posts, I am starting an ACW skirmish project in 28mm, specifically for the guerrilla war in Missouri.  This will be my last new project for some time.  Anything else that will be bought from this point forward is something that I have already started, which is a lot of projects already.  But I really need to make a decision on what projects that I just need to axe that would like to do, but just will not get to doing.  An example of this is my 1/300 scale Pentomic era.  I really want to do this project, I just don’t want to buy / build the terrain, especially all of the buildings to do this project.  I think that am finally going to give up the ghost on this project and just paint up some of the different types of vehicles for display, who knows how I am going to feel about it later?

As for actual gaming, I am mainly going to focus on skirmish level games (50 figures / 5 vehicles or less per side), but I really want to focus on smaller scale skirmish games especially (10 figures / 1 vehicle per side).  I think with the smaller number of units / figures, there will be more challenging and things to do then bigger games.  The bigger games (i.e. 100 figures / 10 vehicles per side) will be kept to a minimum.  So pretty much I think I will only keep my 10mm Vietnam and 15mm WW2 at the big game size.   

As for all of the rules that I own, I plan to really cut through those.  Basically, my plan is only to keep the rules that I actually do get to game with my friends, rules that are can or are designed to be for solo play, a handful of rules that I don’t use but I want to keep because I really want to play them or strictly for their useful information (examples, Shipwreck because I really want to do the naval campaign for the Falklands, and Yellow Ribbon because I really found the information interesting while never plan to play it.)  I have bought a lot of rules that I will never use because I thought they might be good or some others talked about using them, but the interested died off, I found other rules that are more my style, or I just know that no one else would really be interested in them.

I am looking to keep my gaming rules simple in the future as I just don’t have much time to read rules and I don’t get to game enough to memorize rules.  With that said, I have picked up a couple of Neil Thomas’ books (One Hour Wargames: Practical Tabletop Battles For Those With Limited Time and Space & Wargaming Nineteenth Century Europe 1815-1878) based on some reviews on Neil Thomas’ book, One Hour Wargames.  I like what I am seeing and I think that this will be the way that I will go with my 19th century projects (the American Civil War and Triple Alliance War).  I really only will have about a half of a dozen units of one (for artillery) to four stands (for infantry or cavalry) for a “normal” size games and a dozen for a “large” game.  To do all of the random optional units, I think I only need fourteen units per army.  If I did my math right, I only need 96 infantry, 8 skirmishers, 36 cavalry, and 3 guns + 12 crew for a “basic” army.  I might even use just one base per unit with a hit marker die mounted on the base, but just double the figures on the infantry base to give it more “mass”.  This still would cut the number of figures need almost in half (48 infantry, 4 skirmishers, 9 cavalry, and 3 guns + 12 crew).  I am going to work on some numbers in the near future to make a final decision on which way I am going to go with this, but I am leaning towards the second.  But this could mean seeing the 15mm ACW and Triple Alliance War projects becoming a reality again.

As part of my quest to have miniature gaming back into my future is to have a small (2’x2’) gaming kit to carrying around with me when I work out of town to do solo games.  Or at least I am hoping that this will get me to feel like I am getting back into gaming.  I mentioned in my previous post about having two buildings done and some street tiles printed off that will be part of this “traveling” gaming kit.  Here are a couple of pictures of those buildings and game tiles.

These next set of pictures sort of goes in line with this traveling game kit, but this one is more for hotels.  I have this little traveling chess / backgammon set.  The board is 8” x 8” and has a little divided area underneath (I forgot to check the dimensions of the depth of the holding area).  I am thinking that I could use this to carry a One Hour Wargames type game set in 6mm using 25% measurements.  I can fit everything in the box for one conflict except the book.  But considering everything else that I mention in my first paragraph, I doubt I will do anything with this, unless I just decide to use blocks and no miniatures.

Third, I will be deleting some of my blog links to the right soon, maybe even as I post this.  Mostly I am deleting anything that has not been updated in a year, a dead link, or it is an interest that I am not that interested in anymore.  I don't want anyone to take it personal if they don't see their blog on there anymore, it is that I just need to reduce the numbers so I don't feel tempted to do more or keep some of my dead projects, plus I am having a hard enough time to keep up with other blogs as it is (I am close to six months behind on almost all of them now).  But fear not, I will be creating a page tab above to put the links to all of blogs that were removed so I can find them back later.

While this is not really towards gaming, but sort of ties in is that I am installing some track shelves in my bedroom to give me more space to store books.  Because of the way my bedroom is laid out, I have these two 15” sections of wall that really are too small for pictures, so that is where I am placing my shelves.  You can see in the pictures below that one set of shelving is done (plus having gaming books on it!).  I have the material to set up the second set of shelving, but I just need to do it now.

Also as a side note, I am starting to learn Morse code and bought a practice oscillator (my ADD is kicked in).  Plus I have downloaded several software programs to help me learn.  Right now, I am trying to learn the alphabet.  I know eight letters by heart now, but I am still having problems picking up the space between the letters in a word right now.  So, why am I doing this?  I really can’t explain.  I have always wanted to have learn it since I was a kid, but the tools were not available to me then (computer software and a cheap practice oscillator).  Plus there were no Ham operators around me while I was growing up.  A month or so ago, for some reason I decided to see if there was a software program that could help to teach Morse code.  When I found several that were free, I also found that I could get a practice oscillator for under $50, including shipping.  So I am only out $50 for this whole adventure, and that is pretty cheap if I decide that it really is not for me. 


Saturday, June 13, 2015

Still alive

Sorry, I really don't have much to post other than I am still alive.  Work has been and looks to be very demanding and not giving me much if any free time.  When I have free time it is very limited and I basically waste it because I can't focus on anything.  I really have not even been reading for the last month, but I did finish the audiobook on the Border War, but have not started another.

I did however print off some paper buildings that I scaled down from 28mm to 15mm.  I finished two of them that were fairly easy (I forgot to take pictures and I am not anywhere near them to add them to this entry.)  One is an abandoned building from WorldWorks Games and the other is a TV repair shop from MicroTactix Games.  I also scaled down the dirty streets' tiles from WorldWorks Mayhem Streets of Legend for 15mm too (they are 4" sq. now).  I have printed off enough tiles to cover a 2'x2' area, but I have not got any further than that with the street tiles. This is my attempt to get a small gaming area set up to do various solo games when I am away from home.  I plan to look more at Two Hour Wargames and games like The Department, which I reviewed a couple of months back for the type of games that I will play (maybe).  I shouldn't need a bunch of minis and the bigger buildings will take up a good size footprint on a 2'x2', so I really should only need a half dozen buildings or so.  But going back to what I was stated in the previous paragraph, everything is basically at a stand still because of work.

I am going to try to type up part 7 of some of the more interesting things from the guerrilla warfare in Missouri, but I am not sure when I will have time.

Until then