Tuesday, December 27, 2011

What Was, What Is and What Will Be!


It is that time of the year again where we all take a look back on what we did in our hobby for the year. I always love to look back to see just what I did over the year, because to be honest, I can't remember just what I did! So this year, I will look at what I did, what I am working on and where I intend to go. So lets take a look back shall we?

Lord of the Rings
Well once again this game seemed to be at the fore front of things. Gathering in the Desert 2011 went off without a hitch (except for the Ear Infection I had at the event!). Once again it got rave reviews from all that attended and everyone had a great time.

I also got invited to attend Games Workshops Throne of Skulls in Las Vegas (as a special invite for all the work I do for LotR) The only good things about ToS was getting to hang out with friends in Vegas and the fact that I got all of my Uruk-hai models painted.

This year I also convinced a couple of buddies (Rob, Jerry & Mike) to do a little painting challenge (Tale of Four LotR Gamers) and it was a great success! We each got 700 point new armies painted. In fact I got ALL of my Goblin models painted, that being well over 100 models!

I had planned on giving away my Easterling army to a buddies son, but as most teenage boys, he found girls more appealing and moved onto to that as opposed to playing with toy soldiers!

So what does 2012 mean for LotR, Well GitD 2012 is coming and I have been thinking of adding another Evil army, we will see. but 2012 will have more LotR in it for sure!

Legends of the Old West
Well I had ideas of grandeur of doing a Wild Bunch project with Rob using the LotOW rules. Well I got about as far with the project as blogging about it here and that was it. In fact Rob asked me a few weeks ago what happened with this and I was like "What Old West Project?". Wow totally blew this one!

Well I did do something drastic for my Old West gaming this year, I sold my Cowtown collection of buildings to the local shop. The reasoning was that I have a huge collection of Resin Old West buildings that I have been wanting to use. But the only problem was I kept pulling out the Cowtown buildings to use. So by selling this set it will hopefully get me to build and paint up the resin buildings, we will see.

Legends of the High Seas
So I actually got to play a few games of my own game this year. Over the summer my son wanted to play a few games. My buddy Jance and my son started a little campaign and actually got another guy to play. So there were a bunch of games played over the summer. Jance loved the game so much that he bought and painted his own Crew and also jumped into LotR as well.

I also started working on my Wicked Wench ship model a few weeks ago and it is almost ready for paint. it will be making the trip to Chicago to be used in the LotHS campaign game! And since I will be going to Adepticon in 2012, I plan to build and paint up a new Pirate Crew for said event. So LotHS will be played again in 2012!

Warhammer 40Kmunda
Well, this project was sort of worked on. I got in a few games of 40Kmunda with Jerry and we both loved it. Other than that, not much happened on this project. In fact 40K was not played as much this year as in the past. It dose not mean that I am done with this project (or 40K), in fact I am hatching a plan to do a War of Da Teeff project using the old Gorka Morka Rules. I am thinking of doing another Tale of Four Gamers sort of thing, but more on that later.

Gothic Horror/Pulp
Well I did move forward on this project, in fact I got a ton of figures painted for this. I even did a practice game with Jerry this year that was a blast. I had wanted to get the rest of the guys over to play, but the time got away from me.

Well 2012 will see me and Mike running a Pulp game at a local convention (Vul-con). So we will be running two games ( or Chapters). I will be using a modified Legends set of rules and I will be posting pics and details next month. So at least I did something for the Pulp/Horror gaming.

Other Gaming
Well this was a wide range of gaming mostly focused on WW2. The surprise game this year was the rise of Flames of War interest. In fact I played a ton of games of FoW with the rest of the guys. I actually got two armies finished up. I finished up my US Light Tank army as well as got my DAK German army finished. I actually bought a bunch of Plastic Soldier vehicles (Shermans and Half tracks). So FoW was the second most played game this year.

As for other games, I dabbled in a few new games (Infinity, Heavy Gear) but not enough to really keep my interest. Also Blood bowl has crept back onto the table (in fact as I write this I played a game just two days ago!) and it looks like it may be back strong for 2012. In fact I am running a small Blood Bowl tourney for a few guys and my son on January 1st, so we will see where it goes for 2012.

So what lies ahead?
Well, as last year, I think the theme will be Skirmish games again. Being a gamer for many many moons, I have decided that smaller games are the way of the future. So it will be interesting to see what happens and what my buddies are doing. So drop me a line telling me what your doing for 2012.


Friday, November 25, 2011

What is going on????


As many of you know, I have a certain fondness for the Lord of the Rings Strategy Battle game by Games Workshop. In fact I enjoy the game so much, I wrote a little pirate game based on the rules. I also run a Lord of the Rings tournament called Gathering in the Desert and it is going into it's 5th year.

But today I need to do a little ranting for a minute. It seems that Games Workshop has no clue what it is doing with the Lord of the Rings game. Let me explain, for years while the movies where out we (the LotR community) had support from Games Workshop with them releasing Source books. We also had articles in White Dwarf (which many WHFB and 40K players hated!) Times were good for Lord of the Rings players.

But recently GW has been doing some strange things with their 3rd Core Game (Yes GW thinks of LotR as a Core Game!). I started noticing that it was getting harder to get Source books. In fact many were taken off the GW web site. As someone who runs tournaments for the game, this made it hard to get new players into the game. But there was a bright spot, GW released a PDF of the special rules and stats for entries that were found in the source books.

The bad thing was that they did not include points cost, but we still had Legions of Middle Earth. But now, LoME is out of production! So where do players get the point cost? What the heck are they thinking??And how the heck do I as a tournament organizer, recruit new players? It seems that Games Workshop is letting LotR die a slow painful death.

So where does this leave us (LotR Players)? Well there is always hope that with the new Hobbit movies there may be a re-do of the game. I am hopeful that the new movies will be an new resurgence in the game. Although I am worried that GW's track record of late with rules may see some drastic changes to the game that I love. Only time will tell, but for now, I will be left scratching my head and wondering what the heck GW is doing with this game!

Sorry rant over...


Monday, November 14, 2011

Heavy Gear Blitz! Say What???


What the heck is this you may ask, well I asked this of myself as I was walking out of my local store this weekend. Well, I have had my eye on this game for a long time, in fact about a year ago my buddy Mike G brought this over to my place to give it a spin, and I liked the game.

You see, way back when, I played a little game called Battletech (or Battle robots for those old enough to remember that!) I loved Battletech, I collected a ton of Mechs and had just about every source book and novelsthat FASA put out. The only problem was that my game group never really got involved with it. So the only time I got to play was in local Battletech tourneys. Soon I had shelved the game and moved onto something else.

Well when Mike G brought over Heavy Gear a year ago, I thought why not try it out. I fell in love with the game and was ready to jump into it with both feet. But life has a funny way of changing ones priorities. So alas I did not get into Heavy Gear.

Then this past weekend, while at my local shop, I kept eyeing the starter sets. So I decided what the hell, I have the money I better jump into this now. So I took the plunge and brought home the Northern Army starter box as well as a set of counters for the game.

So what did I get, well I am glad you asked, inside the box you will find two rulebooks, Locked and Loaded and the Field manual. You also get a set of dice and a tape measure. Also there are 4 Jaguar gears, 4 Hunter Gears and 2 Grizzly Gears as well as 2 drones and optional weapons.

The nice thing is that there seems to be a ton of support from the company (Dream Pod 9) . The other thing is that the scale of the game is 1/144th or N scale, so there is a ton of terrain out there (Model Railroad stuff!).

So stay tuned while I suit up into a Heavy Gear and give the game a whirl and building and painting some Gears.


Monday, October 10, 2011

FoW US Armored Company


Way back in in August of 2010, I started my second Flames of War army, a US Armored Company. I took the plunge and purchased a ton of Old Glory Command Decision vehicles. Recently I picked up two boxes of the Plastic Soldier Sherman Tank kits.

For those who have not bought these awesome kits, I highly recommend them and the cost is perfect! (5 tanks for $30.00!) I got the M4A2 kit and M4A1 kits.

Once again these kits are perfect for building a quick force for very little money. While at my local shop I took a look at the price of the FoW tanks and I almost fell over, Plastic Soldier company will be getting a lot more money from me with there kits.

Now onto the US force I have been working on for about a year now. Now I approached building this force I went with a historical bent. You see when I first started this force I was reading a great book called Army at Dawn, which is about the US involvement in North Africa in WW2. There is a great part in the book that talks about how when the US force landed in North Africa they could not get the Sherman tanks out of the hold of the transport ships. The only tanks that hit the African coast first were light tanks.

So I decided to do M3A1 Stuarts as the main back bone of the army. So here is two Combat platoons of 5 M3A1's and the HQ with two Stuarts as well. These are all from Old Glory and are great little models with a lot of character.

To give the force some punch, I added in 5 M3 Lees with the shorter 75mm guns. These are from Old Glory as well.

Now we have the Sherman tanks from Plastic Soldier and will only be added at a later date to the list. These models are the M4A1 kits.

Here are the other Plastic Soldier kits, the M4A2 kits which like the other Sherman tanks will be added later.

Next up is my artillery command, Forward Observers and Staff teams. All the models are from Old Glory.

For my artillery I went with T19's which are going to be tough to play in the game do to the Awkward layout, meaning they can only move or shoot. So while they will be tough to play, it makes the force very historical. Once again these are from Old Glory as well.

Last up is some Anti-tank platoons, these are M3 75mm GMC half tracks. This unit is not done yet because I still have to finish painting 3 jeeps and the command stands for the unit. These are also from Old Glory.
Now this past weekend I got to get this force out onto the table against Robs Fallshirmjagers
that he is working on. Well I would like to say the US won, but it was a draw, which is not bad and is not a loss. Playing a all tank army for FoW is going to be tough and it is very different from a combined arms army. I am happy with how it is looking and is nice to learn how to play some different.

So there you go...


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Pulp Time!


For a long time I have been interested in doing some Pulp gaming and have been acquiring Pulp figures for a few years now. My particular interest has been to do some Egyptian gaming, or more to the point, some sort of game using Mummy's!

Well thanks to my good buddy Jerry of Jerry's Big Picture and a discussion we had last week I have started planning on doing a few games. Well our discussion lead to me coming up with a basic storyline and what characters I would develop for the game.

Next up would be the rules, this is something I have been wrestling with for years (see my other blog The Pulp Project ). Well I have decided that I am going to adapt the Lord of the Rings rules for a set of rules. The LotR rules or the Legends rules have enough variety that I am looking for and I am most familiar with.

So anyway, here are a few pictures of some of the figures that I will be using in the game. I of course will post up here as I work out d=some of the story arc and rules. But without further ado here are the figs (which are a mix of Artizan, Copplestone, West Wind, Blue Moon and a a couple of old Ral Partha figures).

So stay tuned Pulp adventures, there is more to come...


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Tanks in the Night!

So on Sunday Jerry came over to play some Flames of War (and also get me sick!, Thanks man!) but we wanted to do a tank battle. You see Jerry and I have both been feeling the same way towards FoW, just sort of uhh towards it. In the last few years I think I have only got in about a dozen games.

So a few days before Jerry came over we were talking about why we do not play FoW more. Basically we had our own reasons which were somewhat the same, so I asked what is that attracted us to FoW? Well that was easy, it was the tanks! So I told Jerry lets just do some tank battles and build a few Tank armies. In fact this Tank idea had me talking with Rob about possibly doing some sort of Krusk battle with all tanks, more on that later.

Well back to this past Sunday, Jerry came over and we busted out some tank on tank action. Jerry Had 3 Sherman's and about 7 M5 Stuarts. I realized that my collection of vehicles would be lacking, I only have a 4 tank Platoon of Panzer II's, a Panzer III platoon and a F2 & F1 Mark IV.

Also this little game let us use my new Desert board that Jerry & I painted up last week, got to tell you, the tanks looked great rolling around on the table. So below are a few pictures from the game and just for the record, I lost to Jerry, of course I did not have the right tanks (come on Panzer II's against Sherman tanks!). All in all it was a fun game and now Jerry & I are looking at adding more tanks to our collections.


Monday, August 22, 2011

It is Finished!


The Moria Goblins are done! I started the last push on Thursday and I completed all 48 models on Sunday. Now as I said before, my goal was to finish up all of my Goblin models (some of them from the first release of the game!) and now I can say that I have done it!

So to recap the 48 models I had 20 Goblin Archers which you see below.

There were 17 Goblin spearmen.

And there were 6 Goblin Swordsmen with shields.

Here is a shot of all 48 models together finished.

And here is a shot of the whole models completed for the challenge.

So, I took a picture of all of my Goblin collection together, that is 116 total models in the collection! I did not know that I had this many Goblins and it is a nice looking army (too bad I can only field 75 models in most games!) and it gives me many options when I do field the army.

Here are a few close ups of the whole army.

So now, all I have to do is play some various point games (175, 350, 525 & 700). We are all (Rob, Jerry, Mike and Myself) going to get together and try to play through our catch up games to see how the points shake out.

I have to say, that this little challenge was very fun to do. At first some people were worried that they could not stay focused to do this, but in the end we all did a great job of staying focused. And this show just how easy it is to paint up a army over a few months time. I have heard that our little challenge has sparked a few other LotR SBG gamers to do the same sort of thing. Once I here for sure I will post a link to their little challenge.

So there you go, I will post up more photos once we play our catch up games and off course I will let you all know who won and where we went to eat! I hope you guys enjoyed the coverage and I will leave you with one last shot of the whole Moria Goblin Army...

Friday, August 19, 2011

Tera forming in progress


In a previous post you saw the terrain ordered for GitD 2012, well last weekend I dived into some little world building. So where to start? Well I decided that the best place to start would be with the Realm of Battle boards, these are the largest pieces and these would set the tone for what I would need for these in the future.

So before I got started I enlisted a few friends to come over to help, (Rob, Mike & Jerry) but only Jerry could make it over (Mike had to work and Rob was out Jeeping). Also one reason for inviting Jerry was the fact he had just recently painted up his GW hills and I really liked the colors he used. The base color was Krylon Flat Brown, then a heavy dry brush of Americana Honey Brown followed up with Americana Desert Sand color. The rocks were painted with Americana Burnt Sienna and wet brushed with a mix of Burnt Sienna and Desert Sand. The paved stones were dry brushed with Desert Sand and Americana Sand.

The red rocks remind me of Sedona Arizona's red rocks and are a nice color contrast to the rest of the board. Once again a big thanks to Jerry for doing the work on the rocks.

Finally here is a shot of 6 out of the 8 tiles with my cat Gabby inspecting our work!

After letting the boards sit for a few days I realized that I do not have any other terrain for this board! Most of the other terrain ordered were to supplement other GitD boards. Then I noticed the crash lander kit I ordered, it would be perfect for the board (not for LotR but for the Combat Patrol for 40K). So I had nothing to do so I busted out the crashed lander and got started, here are the results. Let me say that this older kit (from the 4th Ed. of 40K) is a great little piece, I have been wanting to paint one up for some time and I really had fun working on this.

Here is the cockpit of the lander.

Here are a couple of the wing sections.

Here is the other wing.

Here is the other engine section with a wing.

Overall the board looks great as well as the crashed lander and I am looking forward to doing more for these boards.