Wednesday, December 21, 2011

2011 Gaming Year in Review

With Christmas and New Years just around the corner my gaming year is basically done. Oh, I might sneak in another game or two and I might even paint a few more figures but nothing that will alter my impressions of 2011. So, it is time to look back, as I do each year, and evaluate what I did for the year.

To start off I will go through my plans and ideas for the year that I published back in January. It is always fun to see just how far off of my plans I get by the end of the year.

Lord of the Rings: SBG - Funny, this one turned out pretty much as I thought. I played in The Gathering in the Desert in February as I planned. I had to finish up a few Rohan items for the event. In the summer some friends and I decided on a painting challenge to get a new army ready for GiTD 2012. I was already planning on a new Dwarf army so this became the focus of the painting challenge for me. I painted up a 700 point force in just about 4 months. As a matter of fact all four of us managed to stick it out and finish our armies. We didn't get in as many games as we had planned but the point was to paint and paint we did. All in all this was a good year for this game and was probably the second most played game of the year.

Legends of the Old West - I had some big plans for this game this year. Tim and I were planning on doing a Mexican Revolution/Poncho Villa project using these rules. I did manage to order some figures from Old Glory and I got about 13 of them painted. But, it was not to be. Turns out Tim totally forgot about this and didn't do anything for the project. Oh well, no great loss I guess. If I had been really serious about this I would have made more progress.

Legends of the High Seas - I had some fancy ideas about using these rules for some French and Indian War skirmish but this never got past the idea stage.

Black Powder - This game is still a huge motivation for me but I did not get to play it this year. I still have plans for this and I am still working on the figures collection to be able to play it. I painted more ACW (not as much as I had planned) and I also painted my first Napoleonic French unit.

Flames of War - As fate would have it this game turned out to be the major focus for the year. I was planning to play in a tournament this year but that did not pan out. I did paint three armies (two were mine) and played several games. It have really turned a corner with this game and really enjoy it. I have cooled a bit on the rules. As it turns out they are not as well written as I thought but I still think it is an excellent game. This may have been the most played game of the year. Oh, I still detest 15mm but the game is good enough to get me past that.

Warhammer 40K - I played a few combat patrol games and a couple of 1500 point games but that is about it. I had planned to finish painting the Orks and I failed to paint any. I did paint nearly 100 Catachans and I am close to having a new IG army. I still love this game, the models and the universe they have created, but I can't afford the GW hobby. I did acquire lots of models this year but they were all second had/used stuff. I just cannot see myself purchasing anything new for this game.

Other Games - I finally gave up on my dreams of Warhammer Fantasy Battles. I sold off the Beastmen and all the books. It seems that the game is universally despised and all the people I was likely to play against either never jumped in or bailed out quickly. Selling the army might have been as mistake as I really liked how it was turning out and the models were cool. But it was just a distraction that was likely to soak me for lots more money for no gaming return. Did I mention that I can no longer afford the GW hobby?

I picked up the Clash of Empires rules and read through them. The game looks excellent and there are a couple of guys locally that are already playing. I see good things in the future for this game. It just might get me back into ancients gaming.

Over the summer I picked up a copy of Rate of Fire for 28mm WW2 games. The game is pretty simple and straight forward. I did manage to get in one test game and it was OK. I was hoping for more than OK but it was just OK. I do need to play it a couple more times to give it a fair chance. A few of the guys and I pulled out the Legends adaptation for WW2 and played a game. I like that much more than RoF. All of this thinking about rules did inspire me to paint some more 28mm WW2 figures so that is a good thing.

On the blog front I did manage to meet a personal goal of averaging one post per week. I have also attracted a lot of followers and return viewers. I just want to thank everyone you stops by to see what I am doing and to comment on my projects. I am not very good at replying to comments but I do read and appreciate them all.

So, there you have it. Not a bad year of gaming, painting and collecting. Now I have a couple of weeks to think about what I want to do for next year.

Friday, December 16, 2011

More 28mm British Paras

Last weekend me and the guys got together to play some 28mm WW2. We were trying out our Legends of the Old West adaptation that Tim and I experimented with last year. Just the thought of playing some 28mm WW2 was enough to inspire me to do some painting. My British Paras had not gotten any love for nearly four years even though I had made several purchases. So I decided it was time to expand this force a bit.

This installment has 16 figures that are mostly Crusader with a few Foundry leftovers. My previous batch of paras used a painting guide I found online. This time I used the painting guide from the Flames of War D Minus 1 book. I like hoe these turned out but they are different from the other figures.

Here you can see the three different painting styles side by side. The figure to the left was painted by a friend years ago and is the starting point for my collection. The figure to the right I painted about 4 years ago. The one in the middle is the new one.

In the back view the difference in the Dennison smocks is more noticeable. Even though these are fairly different paint styles and colors there is enough in common that they look good all mixed together in the same army.

I have a few weapons team left to paint for this army. I am also planning one last Crusader USA order to flesh out a couple more squads.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Flames of War Schwere Panzerkompanie

There is something about Tigers. If you love tanks it is hard not to hold the Tiger as one of the greatest tanks ever to roam the battlefield. When I picked up three Tigers at the recent gamer's garage sale a few weeks ago I just had to paint them. These are very nice models and they were fun to build and paint. These Battlefront miniatures are the resin and white metal type and they have more parts than the Plastic Soldier Company PzIV kits.

Naturally, having three Tigers it is very tempting to think about playing them in a game. These three tanks are nearly 1200 points of a 1500 point Flames of War mid-war army. That leaves very little points for suppot and I am still not sure what I should take. I have never played Tigers in FoW and I have also never played against them. The look to be a tough nut to crack and seem like they would be fun to play. I am not so sure they are as much fun to play against, especially in mid-war. There are very few allied units that can deal with these tanks.

First we have the Company Commander. This single tank is 395 points, ouch!

Next is the first Tiger platoon. Again we have a very expensive single tank - 385 points.

Finally we have the second platoon. Another 385 points.

There you have it 1165 points for three tanks. I just wonder how long three tanks will last in a game...