Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Q1 2021 Update - a bit late

 Well I am almost a month late on my first quarter update.  It's easy to forget to do this when you haven't posted anything or done much hobby related stuff.  The good news is the move is done and we are mostly settled in.  There is still lots to do as we are now having a pool installed so thinks are not exactly settled.

As for gaming and game related hobby stuff I have basically done nothing. I have been very busy with my model railroad stuff and it has really consumed all my hobby time.  I do want to get back to the gaming soon but at this time I have no real plans.

I started watching The Falcon and Winter Soldier on Disney+ and it is sparking some interest in digging out some Marvel Crisis Protocol stuff to paint.  It's kind of cool that Baron Zemo plays a central role in this story.  I actually never knew he was the villain in Captain America Civil War.

Saturday, January 2, 2021

2021 The Year Ahead

 As I start my 15th years of the blog and my 25th year as a miniature gamer, I am really re-evaluating the hobby and may participation in it.  Not to worry, I am not going to give up gaming!  But I am going to be changing how and what I do.  This past year has done some serious damage to my faith in society and my trust in people.  Gaming is a social activity for the majority of it and that part has been ripped away and I see no signs it will be back.  We have all become much too accepting of this madness.  But I digress.  I have very little in the way of plans and ideas for 2021 as it stands right now.

I have a big house move coming up in the first weeks of the year and that will (and already has) put a huge dent into my ability to game and hobby.  I expect it will take until well into February before I can really get back into modeling and painting and even then my time will likely be split between games stuff and train stuff.  On to the predictions!

Flames of War (and WWI, FoTN, WWIII)

This is my favorite game(s) right now have has been for several years.  I will keep playing all of these variants.  I have lots more to build and paint for my mid-war Soviets and I expect that will be a major hobby area.  I would like to get my Team Yankee US forces painted and maybe add a few more units for variety.  I also have a few new units for my FoTN Israelis that would be nice to finish up.  And finally, I have a WWI US force that I have been wanting to build for a while so maybe this is the year.  I would love to actually play these games with my friends this year (without all the fucking drama) but that might be wishing a bit much.

Sci-fi Gaming

As usual I will continue with Kill Team and Necromunda.  I have lots of stuff for both game to keep me busy on the hobby side and I expect that there will be some new items added this year.  Warhammer 40K is officially dead and I have no plans for it and no desire to play it.  I may end up keeping a few items for Kill Team and selling off most of the rest.  Time will tell.

Fantasy Gaming

I really like Warlords of Erewhon and I would like to keep playing it.  It allows me to use my fantasy figure collection and inspires me to build and paint more random stuff.  This is likely the only fantasy gaming that will happen this year.  The good news is my Nighthaunts really work perfect for these rules and it allows me to get them on the table.  Sadly, I think AoS is dead.  My friends don't really play it or care for it so I do not expect to see it back on the table.  Not sure what I will do with my other two armies but I will figure that out later.

Historical Gaming

Black Powder is still on the menu and always will be but it probably will not get played.  If I do get in a game it will likely be smaller games on a regular size table.  I have played these size games before and they can be very fun.  I will do more work on Napoleonic Russians and French this year but I have no specific goals in mind.  I may sell off my Napoleonic British collection as I just don't have the time or the motivation to paint it.  No one really wants to play those battles anyway so I doubt it will be missed.  This year might be the year I cut all the ancients gaming loose.  I have not done any of this for years and I have no desire to go back to it.  Might be time to thin the herd.

Board Games

Just forget about this.  COVID killed off what little interest there was for this stuff.  I don't see it happening.  Having said that I am keeping my Warhammer Underworlds and Blackstone Fortress collections.

Conclusion

It is hard for me to get really motivated about gaming right now but maybe that will change.  I don't want to just collect and paint miniatures, I want to fight battles. That ain't happening right now.  I am trying to be hopeful and optimistic about the year ahead but its really tough.  I have friends that I have not seen for nearly a year...

Tuesday, December 29, 2020

2020 is Finally Over

 2020 started off filled with high hopes and optimism and ended in a quiet whimper.  I had so many plans for the year of gaming and things were going good at the beginning of the year, and then COVID hit and everything went crazy.  Here is a link to my goals for the year if you are interested.  Most of the review of the year has been covered in my quarterly review posts I did this year - Q1 Progress Report, Q2 Progress Report, Q3 Progress Report.

Looking back on the year via these quarterly reports is actually very helpful.  I see much more optimism and joy around the hobby in those posts than I feel right now.  It is good to remember that the year has not been a total failure.

Lets look at how things went this year.

Kill Team - W

I really expect this game to be one of the major games of the year but like happens almost every year it did not turn out that way.  I did get in a couple of games.  I finished painting an entire terrain set for the game - Sector Fronteris.  I painted my new AdMech kill team.  This was a win for the year and I kind of miss this game.

Flames of War - W

FoW was planned for greatness in 2020, and while it fell short of that level, it was a good year for the game.  I managed to paint a large collection of MW Soviets and I bought several more units to expand the army even further.  Tim and I did get in about 10 games over the year and towards the end I was starting to figure the army out.  Flames of War was a success for the year but should have been even better.

Fate of a Nation - L

This is a fail for the year.  Nothing painted and no games played.

Great War (FoW) - W

This was a surprising win for the year.  I had no high expectations, just play it. I managed to get in two games.  They were both pre-COVID and that made all the difference.  This is not a game you turn too when game time is limited.

Age of Sigmar - W

Another game I had very little in the way of expectations for this year.  But I managed to paint a lot of stuff for my Nighthaunts.  I collected a few new models for it.  I did not get in a game but I didn't really think I would.  I count this as a win.

Black Powder - L

I had low expectations for this game this year and COVID put the nail in it.  This game generally needs about 6 people for the size game we put on and the lack of space and the lockdowns made sure this did not happen.  I did not paint anything for the collection this year but my friend, Tim, painted a Russian gun and a battalion of infantry for me, which was very cool.  It was not enough to call this a win, however.

Bolt Action - L

I had some big plans for this game in 2020.  I wanted to do a Market Garden campaign, plan a big MG tank battle, build a new army for the Far East (11th Indian Div), but none of that happened.  I only played one game and I don't even remember it.  Total bust.

Necromunda - W

This was actually a great year for this game.  Tim and I played a small two player campaign, which pushed this to the second highest played game of the year.  I bought a ton of stuff but still did not manage to stay current with the releases.  I finally finished my Escher gang and I painted several new models for the Goliaths.  Solid WIN!

Board games - W

I acquired all but one of the Blackstone Fortress expansions and much of it was already painted.  I am really excited about this collection.  COVID probably played a part in not playing this game but there was only a small chance it would have been played.  Warhammer Underworlds was a little surprise.  My Nighthaunt painting progress included the Thorns of the Briar Queen.  With ti painted I had to try them out so Tim and I got in a couple of games.  It is such a fun little game.  I take this as a win.

Team Yankee/WWIII - W

I had no plans for this in 2020 but I thought the new starter set might draw me in and it did.  It is such a great set!  Tim and I slit ours and I too the US and he got the Soviets.  I managed to assemble and at least base coat my army.  I also acquired some second-hand stuff from Mike to help fill the gaps.  I now have the start of a really nice US Army force.  We only played one game this year but it might have been the best game we played.  It certainly was the most fun. WIN!

Distractions - W

Every year something (or a few things) come along that you did not foresee and will distract you from the plan.  The last few years I have tried, and mostly failed, to limit these.  I usually count distractions as a loss because it usually is not something that will stick around.  The first one of this year was Marvel Crisis Protocol.  I've had my eye on this game for a long time and this year I took the plunge.  We've not played it yet but Tim and I have gathered quite a bit for the game.  The next distraction was Warlords of Erewhon. I wanted to try this game as a way to get back into fantasy gaming.  I did not want to go back to LOTR:SBG and no one wants to play AoS, so this looked like a good option.  Turns out it is a great little game.  We played a couple games and I was able to use my Nighthaunts and even some of the old skeletons I collected for Frostgrave.  I think this game has a bright future with our group.  I've been in a bit of a game/hobby funk for most of Q4 and this lead me to rediscover my love of model railroading.  I've tried and failed at the hobby many times over the years and sold/traded all my stuff to Tim about 5 years ago.  I was done and was not looking back. Earlier this most something happened to rekindle my interest (I blame Tim's generous friend for all this).  Tim then jumped in with an invitation to an operating session at a local modeler's layout and I was hooked. In the last few weeks I have collected a lot of stuff, some purchased and some donated by Tim (a lot of my old collection as well as some great new items) and I have started a new blog dedicated to my return to the hobby.

Conclusion

Looking back this year was much more positive than I remember it and than I feel right now.  The stress of life is conspiring to poison my outlook for fun.  I am working very hard to fight against these feelings.  COVID and, more specifically, our reaction too it has me feeling very down about social activities like gaming.  That is one reason why the MRR hobby is more appealing right now, it is much less social in nature.  I've got a few days before I do my 2021 predictions but as it stand right now next year might be VERY different for me.

Final Numbers

Models Assembled this year (includes cleaning and prepping metal figures):
15mm FoW WWII - 19 (13 tanks, 2 aircraft)
15mm Team Yankee - 16 (16 tanks)
28mm Bolt Action - 8
28mm Age of Sigmar - 28 (5 Cav, 1 Mortis Engine)
28mm Necromunda - 7
28mm 40K - 7
28mm Terrain - 22
40mm Marvel Crisis Protocol - 23 (11 terrain. 1 HULK)

Total - 130

Figures painted this year:
15mm FoW WWII - 212 (11 Tanks, 6 guns, 4 Rocket Launchers, 2 aircraft, 4 pillboxes and nests, 4 Objective Markers)
28mm Age of Sigmar - 19 (1 Mortis Engine, 7 Cav, 2 Realmgates)
28mm Napoleonic - 1
28mm Necromunda - 14
28mm 40K - 32 (17 Terrain)

Total - 278

Game Record:
Bolt Action 1-0-0
Gaslands 0-1-0
FoW Great War 0-2-0
FoW Mid-war 4-6-0
Team Yankee 1-0-0
Kill Team 2-0-0
Necromunda 4-3-1
Warhammer Underworlds 0-2-0
Warlords of Erehwon 2-0-0

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

New Model Railroading Blog

I have decided to start a new blog for my model railroad content.  It seems to be mostly off topic for here and I did not want to clog up people's feeds.

Drunken Samurai's No Caboose Blog (dsnocaboose.blogspot.com)

Anyway, if you are interested please check it out and maybe follow me there.  Don't worry, I will continue to post wargaming content here.  Now if I could just figure out an easy way to migrate my posts from here.  

Thursday, December 17, 2020

Model Railroad Thoughts and Ideas

 Not much has been happening with the model railroad yet and in fact not much as been happening with any hobby stuff for a while.  Most everything hobby related has been packed up in preparation for moving into my new house next month.  This has left me stuck just thinking about things and in some cases impulse purchasing things.

When I made the decision to get back into this hobby I started from a place of having absolutely nothing to work with.  I had sold off my entire collection to Tim about 5 or 6 years ago, and I mean my entire collection.  This means that I am starting with a completely clean slate and I will be able to experiment with new products and techniques that I might not have been willing to do had I kept everything.


My first MRR hobby purchase was this Bachmann E-Z Track figure 8 set that I got off of Facebook Marketplace for $25.  It is basically new and in perfect shape.  My plan, starting out, is to experiment with E-Z track and foam board as a base for the railroad.  For purists this is basically a joke product but I would like to see for myself the viability of E-Z track for a permanent (semi) layout.  If nothing comes out this but a way to quickly run some trains in a circle I am totally OK with that.

My entire MRR experience has been limited to DC power with a single power block.  Basically, one train at a time.  Initially, this will likely be how I get things going again.  Tim is giving me back my old MRC power-pack as his layout has a nice DCC system.  Power and train control have advanced a long way since DCC first came out 30+ years ago and in the last few years we have seen the introduction of Bluetooth and WiFi control.  In the end DCC will likely win out but it would be fun to have a Bluetooth engine.

In the past I have never considered any of the more advanced power options for a layout.  Things like powered turnouts and operating crossing gates seemed like too much trouble to be worth it.  My little starter setup will allow me to investigate some of these options and may even include things like DCC turnout control and auto-reversing loops.  This first stage is going to be about investigation and experimentation.  I will work hard to avoid trying to build some grand layout and getting in over my head.

Motive power will, again, initially be with older DC power.  Tim has graciously agreed to return my old engine collection, which he is not using at all, as well as a couple of new DCC compatible units.  This should solve all my motive power needs with virtually no expense.  I do plan of trying my hand at re-wiring an old unit for whatever control method I decide to go with.

Rolling stock is mostly, and again, be supplied by my friend Tim.  Much of my old stock is coming back (all the off road and stuff he is not using) as well as a few new items that he does not need.  I have won a couple auctions and made a few other purchase from friends.  I will definitely have plenty to work with.  In fact, really need to slowdown on that part.  I told myself I would plan the rolling stock based on need and not just buy cool stuff...that went right out the window.

Anyway, this has just been a bit of a ramble but it should give you an idea of what I have been thinking about recently.  I will not have anything running until well into February most likely.  Moving is a pain in the ass.  As an aside, since model railroading is a movement sort of thing I might start doing video posts.



Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Return to Model Railroading

 I have always had a love of the model railroad hobby, and over the years I have tried to get into it with very little success.  Back in 2007 I started a home switching layout but I quickly got discouraged and quit.  A few years later I traded/sold off all my trains to my friend Tim and I didn't look back.  Tim got back into the hobby around the time he acquired my collection and has started a small layout in his game room.  Even seeing lots of ,y old stuff on the WIP layout has not been enough to rekindle the interest.  Then last weekend Tim hauled me out to a local modeler's railroad for an ops session.  Rick has a large but rather spartan railroad in his basement.  It is built for operation and it runs very smooth.  After about 5 hours running trains it is safe to say I am hooked again.  You see some pictures I took of the railroad and the session below.










My entire experience with the hobby has been based on technologies and products that were common in the 80s and 90s and those were all based on tech from the earliest days of the hobby.  Since then DCC has been invented and has become old. With my renewed interest in the hobby I am also interested in new techniques for layout building and control.  Much of the hobby is still rooted in 50+ year old tech and ideas and I want to take this opportunity to rethink how to do things.

Tim and I are going to start up a little modular group (basically me and him) and we both want to try ideas that we have used in our wargaming terrain projects.  This is going to be an interesting journey and I really hope this return to the hobby has legs.  Stay tuned for more updates.


Monday, November 2, 2020

Black Knights

 Another unit for my Age of Sigmar Undead army is complete.  These are Black Knights.  These are for Legions of Nagash or they can be used as Hexwraiths for my Nighthaunt army.  The reality is I will likely never use these for AoS but I have already used them for Warlords of Erehwon.










This is a really great set by Games Workshop.  I have now built this set as the Black Knights and the Hexwraiths.  I think they look much better as the Black Knights.  I might need another box.