Category Archives: Rant

What About The Weather?

I don’t like undercoating models when it is cold or raining, the moisture in the air can sometimes react with the spray paint and make the surface very rough. I had this experience once with a very nice resin vehicle and really never want to repeat it.

So here I am with a growing pile of models waiting for a dry non-freezing weekend day to get spraying…

Honestly, all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.

The Data Lives

After picking up a SATA cable from eBay for a couple of quid, I have installed my disc drive into another PC and can now access all my stuff again!

I still have to get the other dead PC fixed and trying to get it done this time of year is not ideal.

At least I can finish writing up my Steam Wars rules and get them as finished as possible for our Christmas game.

It’s Dead Jim

I have been having a bit of computer trouble recently, my main super duper kick ass desktop has blown its motherboard. Again.

As my better half has been using the other system for a very important paper she is writing, I have not been doing much, other than taking out the hard discs from the dead system and trying to access the data. I have backups but they were a few days old when the systems failed and I had been writing loads into my Steam Wars rules and I really don’t want to write it again.

Ho hum, I hate computers sometimes…

Eight Out Of Ten

I popped on to Tabletop Gaming News the other day for a quick look to see what is happening in the world of toy soldiers only to find that eight out of the first ten articles are about new Kickstarters. I have dabbled in a few Kickstarters over the last few years, but I find it amazing that there is so much capacity for more and more Kickstarters.
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The hunger for more and more games, especially board games, just dilutes the amount of time we as players have to actually play the same game more than a few times. I struggle as it is to find the time to play the games we already have.

I have just joined in on the Astropolis miniatures Kickstarter, but this is quite a small offering that will be delivered in about two months and I was only going for a few models.

Too Many Unplayed Games…

Mr Steinberg made the point the other day that are too many games vying for our attention. This is indeed true. The problem is that we keep buying even more new rules and adding to the pile…

Osprey Publishing keep on popping out nice little rulesets for different periods and genres that seem like a good idea to try out.

A conversation sort of goes like this;

roguestars“Seen that new set of rules coming out next month, [insert book name here] looks interesting and you only need ten figures to get stuck in.”

“I have some of those from [insert a model range here] that I don’t use any more.”

“…and I have always wanted to get some of these [insert independent model company here] figures just because they are great sculpts and would look brilliant painted.”

..and so on.

The end result is that new rule books are constantly acquired and in some cases a game is arranged to try them out. But in quite a few cases, the rules end up on a shelf as other even newer shiny toys distract an honest wargamer with limited gaming time, but who can always find a few pounds sterling to spend on a discounted book.

Since reorganising my book shelves, I have grouped all the unplayed rules into one section, which takes up more space than one would like.

onthesevenseasOn The Seven Seas is an Osprey pirate game that grabbed my attention, I was particularly interested in the rules for sailing ships at 28mm scale as I appear to have a small fleet of large ships.

Fighting boarding actions has always been a game scenario I have wanted to play out. In the end, I just built my own ships and wrote my own rules using the core of my No Quarter game and coming up with a Naval Battles supplement.

Of course it is not only Osprey who are banging out new rules to tempt us, there are plenty of books from other publishers on my bookshelf that have been sitting there for a while in some cases. However Osprey books do have a habit of being very reasonably priced as well as being about as regular as a monthly magazine.

cutlass

I’m not sure when it was released, probably quite a few years ago as I have had models from the Black Scorpion pirate range crewing my ships for quite some time, but I bought Cutlass earlier this year to add to the pirate games on my book shelf, which as a period by itself seems to have more than its fair share of rule books. Cutlass is a set of rules by Gav Thorpe, once of Game$ Work$hop fame, or infamy depending on your view. Personally speaking, anyone who can make a living at their hobby is doing very well indeed.

fightingsail

Fighting Sail is a game at yet another scale, about 1/1200 (or even 1/2400) which allows whole fleets of sailing ships to do battle. I think the plan here is for us to use the Pirates of the Spanish Main cardboard ships from Wizkids that were common a few years ago. I’m sure I have a few around somewhere in the Loft Full Of Lead. Apparently, if I am short a ship or two, then Mr Steinberg can apparently provide an entire fleet. For both sides. And a friend.

freebootersfate

I don’t think I will be playing Freebooters Fate as the game uses profile cards for specific models. Much as though the Freebooters Fate models are very nice, they are quite expensive and I already have plenty of generic pirate, navy and swashbuckling models.

So in total, I currently have four pirate or ship based rule books sitting on the shelf which fall into the unplayed category. That is just the pirate rules.

RelicKnightsOne of the Kickstarters I went in for ages ago was Relic Knights, an anime style small scale game with some really nicely designed figures. However, as it was so late delivering, the guys at my local games club had lost interest and moved on to other even newer things.

Anyway, I have finally started to put together some of the Black Diamond models as I think they could be used as Special Forces models in other games. But with luck, I will actually get a game using the Relic Knights rules as well.

DropzoneCommanderNot since the days of Game$ Work$hop’$ Epic have I played a games around the 1/300th scale. Dropship Commander looked very tempting, but having bought the rule book, I resisted, as on reflection, an army of these lovely models would be quite expensive and take an awful lot of painting.

The other problem is that I don’t have a great deal of appropriately scaled scenery. Apart from my really old polystyrene Epic buildings and some slightly less old cardboard Epic buildings,  I would be relying on the smallest trees in my terrain collection and some hills.

I am still tempted by gaming at 1/300th scale, ages ago I bought a small army of Brigade Games tanks, APC’s and some Germy infantry. They are sort of painted, but not actually found a set of rules, or an opponent to try them out.

kampfgruppenormandyKampfgruppe Normandy was an impulse buy several years ago at Salute I think. Basically, Game$ Work$hop were selling off piles of these books for £5 each. Lets face it, at that price what is not to like. Of course the problem is actually getting to play the game. I have plenty of World War II models and lots of appropriate terrain, just not the get up and go to get up and play. I guess the main problem is that Kampfgruppe Normandy is competing with Bolt Action which is a WWII game that has plenty of players, support, new rules and a large range of models.

The next three on the new and unplayed shelf are all Osprey books.

inhermajestysnameIn Her Majesty’s Name is another in the steampunk genre. With the plethora of appropriate models being painted around here over the last year or so, another set of rules seemed like a good idea, but with Empire Of The Dead and my very own Steam Wars, I’m sure when will get around to it. There is even a supplement available but I am definitely not getting that until I at least give the core book a go. How hard can it be?

roninGoing back a few years, I was at Salute with Joken and he really fancied trying out a small scale Samurai game. We bought some Samurai models with a view to painting them up and perhaps downloading a freebie set of pdf rules. It was not long after Salute that we discovered Bushido and were sucked into the world of fantasy Samurai. As it turned out, the Bushido guys were all ex-Confrontation players and that sat very well indeed with us. But not one to pass yet another rule book to read, I bought Ronin as a possible alternative.

blackopsThe most recent acquisition is the Black Ops book. This is indeed one of those games that tempts me because of all the fantastic models out there waiting to be bought and painted. For Black Ops I thought the Black Scorpion modern US Marines would have been perfect, but they seem to have disappeared from the Black Scorpion web site. But don’t panic, Hasslefree have a load of modern soldiers perfect for the job. With all the other projects on the go, perhaps by Salute next year I will be ready to buy some.

stargrunt2EDIT: I did forget one, I bought Stargrunt II at a show years ago as I have so many figures from different ranges and this may have been a way to get them all into a game.

I think that is the new and unplayed list, although it does not include a board game or two that languishes in the Loft Full Of Lead. There could be more that have been unplayed for so long that I have forgotten about them.

Army Painter Dip

I had been using Army Painter resin “dip” to shade models, as will have been seen in the Orc posting extravaganza over recent weeks. Since then I have moved on to their ink version.
I have found that each have their pro’s and cons.
The biggest things against the tinned resin dip are;
(1) the tin never seals very well and a large amount of the dip will dry up. I usually lost about a third of a can. As you can see in the photo below, you can end up with a massively thick layer of dried up dip, and what is below becomes unusable.solid-dip1
(2) The price. Considering how much was wasted, it was actually an expensive way to shade models.
(3) As it leaves a gloss finish, it is necessary to matt varnish the models to get rid of the shine.
(4) It is messy, smells and brushes need to be cleaned with white spirit.tarkin-how-many-tins-were-wasted
But I do like the results from the resin dip, the models come up very nicely.

Over the last year or so I have been using the ink version of the Army Painter. As this comes in small bottles, it only costs a couple of quid at a time, it is water based, has a matt finish and does not go off. The finished results may not be quite as good, but it is much easier to work with. So I will be sticking with the Army Painter Dark Tone ink for the foreseeable future.

Too Many Kickstarters

As usual, there are plenty of board game and wargaming Kickstarters around at the moment, no idea how many, but there are lots competing for our hobby cash.
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I have been trying to resist but failing miserably with recent Kickstarters. The only good news is that I have completely missed several altogether because I did not even know about them. If I had known about them, I probably would have jumped in.

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Basius 2 ended in October 2014, well funded with just over 800 backers. This is basically a molding board to make your own textured bases out of green stuff for models. There were lots of base options covering plenty of themes. Which one would I have gone for? Probably the steampunk variety.

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World Of Smog is a steampunk boardgame that looks like fun. I have enjoyed Rivet Wars hugely and am interested in trying some other boardgames as a change from my usual wargames.

This is a CMON Kickstarter and with their recent history of delivery issues and lack of communication I thought I would give it a miss. Had Acardia Quest and the second wave of Rivet Wars turned up by now, I would have added by pennies to the pot.

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Oathsworn Miniatures have some really nice looking Sci-Fi Robots funding, but as I jumped in to the Ramshackle Land Train Kickstarter, I decided to pass on this one. I really was not sure what I would use them for, they just look nice…which is a problem in the wargaming hobby, so many nice looking models end up on my painting table but then don’t necessarily get used in a game.

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Anvil Industry is another UK based small company producing some great stuff. Their Afterlife Kickstarter ended in October 2014 with nearly 400 backers. This was for a new game, rules, several factions, (unnecessary) dice, counters, the whole lot.


Much as though the figures are very nice, I really don’t need a whole new game system. But by Salute next year, I could be tempted to pick up some individual models like those above…

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The Green Alliance from Maxmini also funded in October 2014. This was for a great looking range of WWII American style Orks.

If I was going to resurrect my Cash-hammer 40,000$ Ork army, I could have been tempted, but no.

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GTC Studios, the creators of Bushido funded their Rise Of The Kage boardgame on October 2014. I was very tempted by this one as Bushido is a current favourite game.

Luckily for me a friend has pledged into this one so I will get to have a few goes when it delivers.

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Andy Foster is one of my favourite sculptors and his Return Of The Monsters Kickstarters funded in September 2014 with over 400 backers.

I have always fancied getting my hands on the massive winged Netherlord, but really, what would I use it for? I resisted.

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Wolsung is another of the steampunk games that caught my eye, some great looking miniatures and excellent building options. This funded in July 2014 with nearly 500 backers. I do feel this was quite an expensive project to back so I resisted.

Another friend has pitched into this one, so I will get a go at the game at some time. I will see what I can proxy in for this game.

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Regular readers will know that I really like Dust Warfare and so may be surprised to learn that I did not back the Dust Kickstarter.

As I already have a large Allied force and pretty much most of the Axis that I could use, there was no need for me to want to get any more or either force. Could have been tempted with the SSU, but as my Axis army is unpainted, I really didn’t need another unpainted army lying around.

I have manager to pick up a few cheap walkers from eBay and will have to make my own version of the Mickey ARV (above) and the Recon Mickey.

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Quite a few of those listed above ended in October and November 2014 and would have put quite a dent in my credit card. I still managed to back several in that period anyway but it could have been so much worse.

A Female Thor?

Just read this on the BBC News. Marvel have decided to change Thor into a female character. Really? A female Thor? You must be kidding. Is this just a coincidence that it is happening at the same time that David Cameron reshuffles the UK Government Cabinet to include more female cabinet ministers? I think not. At last it is now confirmed that Stan Lee is in league with the Tory party…
female-thorStarbuck changed gender in Battlestar Galactica, but that was many many years after the original TV series that it worked. What will we get now? A female Thor in one set of comics and the original Thor in the Avengers?

Journey-Into-Mystery-83I have read Thor since the very first issue of Journey Into Mystery #83. Not that I have the actual issue, or was reading much at all in 1962, but I have caught up with the Thor story through to the Avengers and it has always been one of my favourite characters. So if the male Thor is to become “unworthy” and give up his right to Mjölnir, that does mean that this replacement lady-Thor can be a temporary thing and ultimately give back Mjölnir when man-Thor becomes worthy again. I can hope.