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 size...it 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. 
Cheers


Sapper



2 comments:

Simon Quinton said...

Some nice looking figs and terrain. Looking forward to reading more about them as they develop

FlyXwire said...

Joe, I like your idea about a traveling game table. In our area I've been pushing the idea of presenting "Pocket Battles" for a few years now - pushing for smaller game tables but with more terrain embellishment (which generates increased LOS blocking while promoting general overall appearance). If this approach is done on a smaller pieces needed basis (less is more), then crafting in heightened fidelity becomes more manageable. An additional benefit of making terrain tiles or modules with greater terrain fidelity, is that your skirmish level games will benefit best from these quality game boards (this too can allow for converting some skirmish level rule sets to play as grand-tactical system [M&T for example] - as these game systems are already designed for managing "skirmish" style terrain). Another benefit of the prepared modular terrain system [approach], is that continual improvement and embellishments can be added over time to the core pieces - where the quality of the presentation begins to approach "vignettes" or diorama levels of appearance.

I could see your 1/144th scale Viet Nam kit really working well with pre-populated terrain tiles. One downside perhaps of having divergent figure scales though, is that some terrain won't be useable with large differences in scale - such as 10/12mm vs. 28mm. I've recently made some 1 foot square terrain tiles (out of 1/4 inch thick cork sections) that are working well for both my 1/144th scale WW2 games, and for 15mm battles also (AWI & ACW). Maybe think in that direction?

Hey, let me know when you're ready to unload your 1/144th scale WW2 stuff, ok?

Dave