Monday, January 16, 2017

AHPC VII: Week 4 & Future Hints

 So we're now 1/3 complete with this year's challenge.  Points wise I'm right on track with last year.  My attention will be turning to the bonus rounds.

My current tally is 1,460 points.  I may need to bump up my target of 2,000 a bit.
 At the end of each month of the Challenge I clean up my work bench - this hobby does generate a lot of mess.  You can see a hint of what my "East" bonus round is.
 As for the home terrain round - all I can say is that it involves a minor bit of carpentry.  Measure twice, cut once.

Hmmm, I wonder what I could be making that was a width of 15 inches?
An exciting shote of clamps in action - spine tingling, isn't it?

Like Wargame Miniatures, one can never have too many clamps in a workshop.

What am I building?

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Orc Blood Bowl Team

 Meet the Black Hills Titans, my Orc Blood Bowl team.  The team colors are loosely based on the Tennessee Titans of the NFL.  I don't really follow the Titans, but thought the uniforms and back hills of Tennessee are sufficiently "Orky".  These are the 12 plastic figures you get in the box set (along with a human team).

These are part of a giant post from the Challenge which I'll break up here for ease.
 Two Black Orcs
 Two Throwers
 Two Blitzers - I still need to work on the plume - the bright yellow makes them easy to ID but I want to add some orange to make them look like flames.
and six line men.  All of the numbering and base labels are drawn by hand - I like the slashes for numbers rather than arabic numerals and the labels came out very "Orky".

The Orcs are 3-3 vs their human openers from the Holiday season.

Friday, January 13, 2017

AHPC VII: Forstgrave and Bloodbowl

 My 4th submission consists of some Frostgrave figures and a Skaven Blood Bowl team.

First up 11 special characters (wizards/aprentices etc)

 Next some animals
 and finally, a Skaven Blood Bowl team - the newly released GW plastics

Thursday, January 12, 2017

AHPC VII: Submission 4 - US Rangers, Somali Pirates and some Frostgrave Soldiers

 The bulk of this submission week the mini's I got from the Radio Dishdash Kickstarter on the Blackhawk Down incident in Somalia.  The figures are very well done and depict but a bit on the delicate side.
 First up 16 US rangers with light weapons - great poses, easy to assemble and fun to paint.
 Closer shot of the back two rows and..
 Then the front two.  These are the first moderns I've painted and I went with a somewhat abstracted desert cammo uniform.

 Next up are 12 Somalis who I'll be using as pirates.  I really like these figures and wish I had purchased more.  They don't seem to be on sale any more on the Radio dish dash web site.
 These figures are meant to be used with the Skirmish Sangin ruleset which I have but haven't played.  The rules look very promising and I need to give them go.

A bit of a random inclusion in this post - I found an unbuilt sprue of the plastic frostgrave "soldiers" from Northstar Miniatures and decided to get them done - easy to build and paint up.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

AHPC VII: Submission 3 - Gnolls

 My third submission for this year's challenge was 20 plastic and 8 metal Gnolls in 28mm from Northstar miniatures.
 I really liked these figures and they were a lot of fun to paint.
 Painting some silly fantasy figures is a nice break from hisotircals because there is a lot more creative freedom - I have yet to find an Osprey Mean-at-Arms book that details the proper uniform of a Gnoll force.  I can also do really silly thing like....
 A Gnollmation!!!!!!

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

AHPC VII: Three Weeks In

The first three weeks of the AHPC VII are in the books.  So how am I doing?  Pretty good - I've got 1,135 points on the board and am essentially on pace with last years production.

In addition to providing statistical minutia for the painting masses, I have assumed the role of Monday's Minion - I report out on the painters who are assigned Monday as they're submission date.  Mr Curt has proven to be very Tom Sawyer like in his task inducements.

In the confusing graph to the right, the purple bar is my actuals for this year (thats why it's flat after week three).

My plan for this year is the lower Red line, which may appear conservative bit I've got some business travel coming up.  The Green and Blue lines are my weekly performance from AHPC VI and V, respectively.

Productivity will take a big hit during the last week of January and first week of February as I'll be traveling for two week straight - the first week in London and then the second week in the Turks and Caicos for my firms annual meeting.  I know that sounds very like very rough duty but I will not have access to a paint brush for 14 days!

Over the next couple of days, I'll post some pics of what I've submitted so far.  As for what's on the desk now - it's WW2 Italians in 28mm (Perry miniatures).  There may be a few Trenchworx vehicles also....

Friday, January 6, 2017

2017 Goals

Well it's time to layout some goals for 2017 - sadly, I actually put some thought into these.  2017 is shaping up to be an eventful year - I'm turning the double nickel (55 years old!), my son graduates from Carnegie Mellon and my gaming hobby continues to provide a great deal of engagement for me.  Work the side will be busy with at least 6 trips to the UK during 2017 and several to South America.

I like to use the goals to stretch myself hobby wise, so fully expect to miss some, but hopefully not all of them!

So here's the list

(1) St Michaels Con
- Host 2 Events (Spring / Fall)
- Ensure better accommodations for participants
- Increase the size a bit
- See if I can finagle some form of sponsorship
- Develop a longer term plan

(2) Historicon
- Put on 6 iterations of my game (2 each, see below)
- Reserve the equivalent of one day for my gaming
- This year's games have a silly themes
      Muskets & Magic    
      DAK and Dragons
      SOCOM and Sorcery
- They're really the same game just with different types of units for the players.  All will involve various factions investigating a recently discovered ancient ruin which will have an Egyptian theme
- Go all out on the terrain

(3) Other Gaming Conventions
- In addition to HCON attend and least 3 other cons, with one in the UK (need to plan my trips better)

(4) Get an Article Published
- This one smells of hubris but, heck, I'm an egotistical jackass.  I'd like to write an article about either terrain making or putting on a convention game.  Somewhere there has to be a war games magazine editor with low enough standards to accept my rambling prose

(5) Participate in 4 tournaments
- I really like tournaments and want to get back into the swing - the upcoming release of version 4 for Flames of War will provide that opportunity
- Maybe one can be a Team Yankee event

(6) Scenery: Geomorphic Dungeon Terrain
- My plans for the Historicon game will involve a multi level table with a dungeon complex making up the lower level - how will this be accomplished?  Not sure, was kind of hoping you would tell me...

(7) Finish in the Top Ten of this year's Painting Challenge
I'm not sure I can post another 3K points tally but we'll see.,.,..

So there you have it, lets see what happens

Monday, January 2, 2017

A look back on 2016

Well 2016 has come and gone.  For me (outside of politics, ugh) it was a very good year.  Most importantly, the family was both healthy and happy and my son entered his senior year of college.  My wife, Mary Beth, (AKA "The Boss") continues to teach people how to do awful things with sharp instruments and I am still gainfully employed as a partner in a Venture Capital firm.

All in all, I am far luckier than I deserve and am very grateful for what we have.

Gaming wise it was a very eventful year and my enjoyment of the hobby continues to grow.  Some of the highlights include:

(1) Hosting a Mini Gaming con in April: Rather than go to Cold Wars and whine about the decrepit Host Resort, I decide to host a mini gaming con for three days in St Michaels.  I had 13 or so like minded souls stay over the course of the event and it was a blast to put on.  Many thanks to the WWPD crew and friends for attending.  In fact it was so much fun we had a similar event in November.

As you can see from the glamour shot the November event was very fun - it's always a good sign when someone uses a measuring cup to drink the gin and tonics.

The number of attendees kind of strained the my house a bit but there was no lasting damage and and lot of great gaming - I'm looking forward to the next edition in late April / Early May of 2017

(2) My Historicon Game "Grapeshot on the Chesapeake, with a hint of Garlic" went really well.  I think all the players had a great time and I won an award and got written up again by the kind people at Wargames Ilustrated.  I did learn I have limits to running con games.  I ran the this game 9x during the con and really didn't leave myself anytime to play in other peoples games.  I enjoyed putting on each game but was dragging a bit on the last game Saturday night.  I think this year I'll just run 4 versions and save some time to perhaps play in a tournament.

 (3) Built a Gaming Table as a house warming present for Steve.  In April I built a gaming table for Steve Mac as a house warming present.  I think it came out very well and hopefully he's still enjoying it.  It was a lot of fun to build and a nice test of my limited woodworking skills.

(4) Placed 1st in the Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge (version VI).  You can see the painting output in the picture.  I always set a goal to finish in the top ten but this year ended up being first.  To be honest it was a bit of a slog for the last few weeks.  Still this event is the funniest hobby event I do each year and I'm grateful for Curt organizing the madness.

My painting tally for 2016 was pretty good and the vast majority was done during the Painting Challenge

                                         2016          2015
Infantry                            488            222
Cavalry                                2                2
Artillery                             12                8
Vehicles                               9               17
Ships                                    3                0

Infantry                            101             132
Cavalry                                0                 0
Artillery                             16                 0
Vehicles                             23                11

1/1200 Ships                        2                 2

1/600 Ironclads                    0                 10

So now you know what I felt good about in 2016 - how did I compare to my goals - well so-so:

(1) Conventions: Attend 4 2 HMGS, 2 non HMGS: PASS
- I'll give myself a passing grade but just barely - I get bonus points for hosting two mini-cons!

(2) Gaming / Tournaments: Play in 6 tournaments / host three gaming nights: PASS
- I played in only 1 tournament in 2016, but hosted 7 nights of gaming so I'll give myself a pass

(3) Finish my Napoleonic Peninsular Collection: FAIL
- I added two Portuguese battalions but nothing else

(4) Write a Draft set of Rules: FAIL
- I've got some notes jotted down but nothing shared with anyone else - writing wargame rules is hard!  I should bear that in mind when making comments about other peoples rulesets.

(5) Add 36 square feet of sectional terrain: PASS
- I added roughly 40 and have a good set of panels to choose from.

(6) Sell some stuff to make room for more stuff: EPIC, EPIC FAIL
- lets not talk about this one.....

(7) Finish in the top ten of the Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge VI: Major Pass
- Managed to eek out a first place!

Overall not to bad.

I'm still thinking about goals for 2017