Blog discription

What will you find here? Ramblings from an aging gamer-miniature painter. When I first started out in this hobby computers were in their infancy and finding other gamers could only be done by going to conventions or as in my case bumping into somebody who happened to see me reading "Panzer Leader" on the school bus. Look how far we have come! The internet has allowed our small community to be able to connect on a level I never dreamed of when I was but a small lad. What I do hope you will find here is something interesting from one wargamer/miniature painter to another. I paint miniatures somewhat decently, so I will be posting some pictures of my work, and perhaps a review or two of games and/or miniatures. Most of all this is just about having fun and anything I post here is meant to be for that reason.

Friday, March 23, 2018

Showcase: Infinity: Nomad..... RIOT GRRLS

"Don't call me babe"

Infinity is a science fiction skirmish level game loaded with all kinds of interesting models/figures and all the fluff to read to back them up.

One of my favorite figures, of Corvus Belli's Infinity world, are the Riot Grrls.

"These girls come from the marginal neighborhoods of the Human Sphere, well accustomed to street fights and everyday urban survival. Problem girls who, when leaving the module for Bakunin's common spaces, are constant sources of trouble and are old acquaintances of the Moderator Corps' cells."

Above paragraph is a quote straight from the fluff. Basically you have hardcore punk philosophy, feminist movement type girls who don't take crap from nobody. My kind of soldiers to mess with my friends evil empire of Pan-O.

Well I finished up this particular figure I am about to show you, that is armed with a boarding shotgun and stun grenades along with her little TinBot B deflector unit.

So enjoy the pics.

[Below Riot Grrl with boarding shotgun]

[Below TinBot B deflector unit]

[Below both of them together]

Well that's it for now.


Monday, March 19, 2018

Battlefields 2018... A Pro or Con club convention

Well our club (Pro of Con) put on it's first one day convention (of two the club runs) of the year, and we had pretty good turn out considering it was St. Patrick's Day, Cold Wars (a big convention), and Hotlead (a Canadian convention, which our club usually attends but I think we were stuck with date conflicts) all happening on this same day.

We used a internet company called TableTop events for the first time, to help facilitate some of the administrative work, and I have to tell you I think it was a MAJOR improvement for our little convention in the ability to preregister for the day and be able to sign up for a game you would like to play without having to rush to a table to put your name on a sign up sheet. I believe Game master's being able to book their games this way was a big improvement.

Also behind the scenes, I would like to send out a special thanks to the Circus Master Rob Gendron, who I believe makes this event run like a Swiss clock.

At the convention I saw the usual acquaintances and a few new ones, and more importantly I saw a gentlemen named Ron Carson who I haven't seen in like 25 years. Memories flooded back of some excellent ECW games etc. This got me to thinking. Being at the end of the baby boomer generation I realized our (or should I say my community of peeps) isn't getting any younger. I've always wondered whether I would continue gaming as I grow older or retire from gaming. My vision isn't what it was when I first started painting for instance, and through the magic of reading glasses etc. I have been able to extend that love. But would I still have the desire to game later in my life. I think, sadly, as we lose friends and our lives change around us that seeing some of the older gentlemen still carrying on my answer is yes. I may do it differently, gaming less, or focusing on a few special events a year to bring out my toys, but there is a future, and I can relax a little seeing that the wonder of life only ceases when we draw our last breath.

Enough of me psychoanalyzing and on to the cool part of what went down at the convention.

The first game I played was put on by the infamous John Thull who is an awesome scratch building fool, who is handy with a brush as well (Click here and scroll down to see the stages of how he built the Fort). He put on an eye popping game called "Siege of Castillo de San Marcos". Using the rules Pikemen's Lament, he claims (and I believe rightly so) that this is the largest game of Pikemen's Lament to hit a convention. He allowed me to have first choice of forces, and this probably because he owes me a large sum of money (just kidding of course). I picked the British and I had a blast. One player had to be the Fortress commander who had to crawl under the table and come up through the Fort to command the Spanish. He tried to talk me into to it, but we (yes, me in the royal sense) don't do that. I had fun and the Fort was really impressive to see in person.

My assault parties made it to the top of the wall, but the Indians on the otherside of the Fort where routed, and the Pirates attacking the town in front of the Fort where replused. With all eyes on me, and the impending counter attack coming, it was all she wrote. Still I MADE IT TO THE TOP OF THE WALLS my peeps!!!

While this game was being set up I was able to take a picture of a couple of other interesting games that were being set up.

First up was a game called "Roman Circus Chariot Racing". Game was hosted by Michael Konwinski and was a work of passion that rivaled Mr. Thull's Seige game. What was impressive to me was the fact he painted hundreds if not thousands of little tiny spectators which really gave you the feel of being in the movie "Night at the Museum". Really, you could just hear the roar of little people.

Amazing! Yes?

Second was a cool looking game called "Death Rides the Sky: A Pulp Alley Adventure". One day I will sit down and play one of these games. Oh, and the game was hosted by Michael O'Brien (Why he was not at a St. Patty's day celebration somewhere shows you how hardcore a gamer he is). The premise being you had to fend off waves of Pterosaurs and cavemen to find a hidden treasure. Indiana Jones like.

The above games were all going on in the morning session. The afternoon session that started at 2 PM had me playing in my second and final game of the day.

The game was run by a well known author of rule sets like "Age of Reason", Age of Discovery", etc., Tod Kershner. He is writing a rule set now called "Go Strong into the Desert", which coincidentally was the name of the game he was hosting. It's about the British during the Victorian age, and their campaign going into the Sudan. A really good book that he highly recommends and where I believe why he named his game so, is also called "Go Strong into the Desert: The Mahdist Uprising in Sudan 1881 - 84", by Lt. Col Mike Snook. I looked over his copy at the convention and when I arrived home immeaditly ordered a copy. Yes it was that interesting and has some awesome color plates.

We had six players playing in the game, and it was a good age mix. The young fellows brought their youthful exuberance to the table and it was fun seeing them get into it. It made my gaming experience that much better.

Basically what we have going on in the pictures below are two large British squares, supporting each other with gatling guns, and cannon on the corners trying their best not to be over run by the Mahdist Fuzzy-Wuzzy (a term used by British colonial soldiers for the 19th century Beja warriors supporting the Sudanese Mahdi) players. I think you'll find that Tod did an excellent job in painting all these figures and put on a good looking game.

Tod used an oval based, home made, clicker counter to track causalities. While I am not convinced there is not a better way, they were unique in my opinion and did the job quite well.

Of course I had to be one of the Fuzzy-Wuzzy players. Who doesn't like an underdog? We ended up breaking both squares so our team walked away with a victory. More importantly fun was had by all.

My conclusion about this convention and all that happened during the day.... I went home with a smile on my face.



Thursday, March 15, 2018

1:48 scale die cast cars for Batman Miniatures game

Well as I mentioned in another post I scored a bunch of half off DC Batman miniature stuff at the last convention I was at. I've got the terrain, like buildings and such covered, but not vehicles. So I started a search and discovered that Menards for some reason carries some. 1:48 scale is O scale for trains and you would think that they would have a bunch of die cast cars, trucks, etc. But this is not true. It looks like 1:43 is what is happening in this world. Demand? Who knows, but I only need a couple that will make my Batman games come to life.

So for now here are some pictures of four vehicles I picked up to start my project off with. Oh and best of all, no assembly, no painting, just pull out of the box and put it on the table. Yes!

That's it for now. 


Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Man down... OR How I survived CincyCon

Well my friends and associates,

As you all know I was painting Samurai at the last minute for a convention called CincyCon a few weeks back and was successful at finishing them up in time to take them along.

When the day arrived to leave I promptly collected all the things I needed (you know like miniatures and the important things, who needs extra clothes and their toothbrush) and started the journey down (four hour drive) the day before the convention began, beating by the way another few inches of snow. BUT the drive was horrid, even though I was staying just ahead of the changing weather from rain to snow, I literally drove in a torrential down pour the entire way, but at least I wasn't on icy - snow - slushy crap.

The real reason I go to this convention is to meet up and have a weekend visiting my friend from Georgia. We started this about 5 years ago meeting in Lexington Kentucky. Which is almost the exact halfway point. The following year my friend offered to drive a little more and so we met by Cincinnati on the Kentucky side of the Ohio River. Then we found out about CincyCon which is in Hamilton Ohio and our little meet became even closer to me, but further for my poor friend.  Yes our splitting of about a 9.5 hour drive between us went from about 5 hours and 30 minutes (for me), to 4 hours 10 minutes, and finally 4 hours to Hamilton. So my friend went from 4 hours, to 5 hours 30 minutes, and finally to Hamilton for a grand total of 6 hours and 30 minutes. Hamilton is closer to me but further West causing my friend to drive further North and West.

Now I ask you, is that not hardcore friendship! Of course these times are not counting in weather, an avalanche down in southern Tennessee mountains that forced him an hour more out of his way etc.   But this year it took him even longer because he developed a Sciatic Nerve problem in his lower back and left leg causing him to have to stop several times along the way to lay back in his seat as far as he could to rest for a bit.

Which brings me to our first "Man Down" situation. My poor buddy suffered this the entire weekend. Standing, sitting, laying down, didn't matter he was hurting. The drive up caused the condition to worsen, so my main concern all weekend was making sure that he was as comfortable as possible.

We got a couple of games in, got to chat and catch up, and even ran our convention game we were putting on, but wisely cancelled our second. We normally do a breakfast thing on the day we part but we cancelled that as well so he could get back as soon as possible. For the record he got back safe and sound.

On that note you will understand that I didn't get a chance to take to many pictures of other events going on or see too much of the dealer booths, but another friend down with us alerted me to the fact a booth was selling all there DC Batman stuff for half off! I was like, "WHAT"! Needless to say I scored big time on that and not seeing any of the other dealer booths didn't matter to me as much. I took home 400 plus dollars worth of Batman miniatures for the low cost of 190 bucks. So I was all smiles on the way home.

Now before I finish this awesome story I have told you, it doesn't stop here. This is where we come to our second "Man Down" situation. Upon arriving home several hours later I wasn't feeling so good. So not feeling good that I had to run to the commode several times that evening and I was off my feet the rest of the week. So I caught something from someone down there and I wasn't too happy about that. So my flu racked and beaten down butt has survived and I am only now catching up to post some glorious photos of what I did take. So if you've read this far cool, here comes the eye candy.

The following couple of photos are from my game with my friend. A good refresher on our Samurai battle boards for Saga which helped us be frosty for running the game for convention attendees that signed up the following day. It was a close run battle and my friend had his foot on my neck until the last turn and I pulled out a narrow victory.
[above a view of my Takeda battle line]

[above a view of Oda's battle line]

 [The armies approach]

[closer look at Takeda's Red Devils]

While my friend and I were gaming, not too far away at another table two other friends of mine where playing in a Renaissance Galley battle game. This game was run by Richard Smethurst with what I believe were home grown rules called "Cross and Crescent" using 15mm miniatures.
[above a nice terrain piece he laid out for a touch of spice]

 [The Venetians arrayed for boarding]

[The Turks unafraid row forward with zeal]

 [The light in this hall did not cooperate with photo taking so I tried a flash to show the galley in all it's splendor]

[the fleets close and the commanders shout orders to there tiny men] 

[initial volley with guns before closing to board]

A game being set up (called "Battle of Wilson's Creek) for later in that day was an American Civil War game in 15mm. It was run by Alex MacDonald using a custom made 3D board created with input from the Wilson's Creek Battlefield park rangers, and includes models of the actual buildings present at the battle. Rules used were Black Powder. I have a friend at home that is really into American Civil war so I took pictures of this for him.

On Saturday my friend and I setup and ran our game called "Saga Samurai" with our home brewed battle boards. We had four players that had not only interest in the Samurai period but in the Saga rules themselves. The Battle began with Oda side shooting down or wearing down the Takeda Cavalry and were winning until the very last turn. Somehow the Oda team managed to lose both their Warlords causing a big swing in points and went from an assured victory to a draw. They all said they enjoyed the game, and I truly hoped they did. It was fun to put on.
[above the Takeda battle line on right after receiving a volley of arrows from Oda on left]

 [same shot as above from rear]

 [Takeda right flank surges forward with infantry and tries a flanking maneuver with Cavalry. With battle board abilities and being a skirmish game, new players always fall into this trap about flanks and rear sort of stuff. With all around facing, it's the battle board abilities that mean everything. Once this team member in Takeda group realized that he brought his cavalry back to support the infantry]

[above the Takeda left flank commander launches a cavalry charge straight into the teeth of Oda's arquebus and took a beating]

While our game was going on a couple of my other friends were involved in a game called "Smokin' Some Cubans", a game pitting the Angolans and Cubans against South African army and UNITA guerrillas. This was a 25mm game run by Mike Demana and using the rules "Wars of Insurgency". I only got two shots as I was busy running my own game. 

Lastly what would a convention be like without the Star Wars of some sort making an appearance. Always popular with the youngster's dreaming of visions of glory waving around their light sabres. This game was cool looking and run by Ryan Smethurst who did the Galley game the day before. He used an adaption of the rules "Sword and the Flame". It looked like they were having fun at it so the adaption must have worked out well. 
 [above what you don't want to see coming at you from the rebel trenches]

 [steady boys we got this]

[OMG we are being lead by an eight year old! Run for your lives men!]

Of course I am just kidding about the eight year old, but he looks very serious, I would not want to face this yoda sized commander.

Well my friend survived, I survived getting the flu, and I am actually feeling like painting once more. So thanks for looking and reading and I hope you all have a great day.