Friday, October 28, 2016

Band of Painters - November (early)


Here is my next installment of the Band of Painters Challenge for Konflikt 47 , it is the November installment. Why so early you may ask? Well it seems that I have a 100 figure Chinese Boxer Rebellion commission that needs to be completed before Thanksgiving, so I decided to kick out these two small units pretty quickly.

Nachtjager Unit
 First up are the Nachtjagers, the back story behind these things is that Germany started messing around with DNA splicing and these are a mix of snake, bat and alligator spliced with a volunteer human. These models are a pain to assemble, the spot where the wings attach don't give you a good glue spot to hold them on. I had to pin them which makes them more than enough sturdy. Unfortunately you only get two poses, the model on the left and center model. Since I did not want two of these guys holding torn off heads, I removed the hand (model on right) and replaced it with a GW plastic Ghoul hand I had in my bits box. A simple conversion if you have the parts.

Schreckwulfen Unit
Next up was a Schreckwulfen unit. Once again the German scientists spliced DNA of a wolf with a human, I still think of them as werewolves though! These were built pretty quickly with no issues and are all stock. I was going to go with a Grey scheme, but decided that I wanted them to be in browns, the next ones will be in grey.

So there you go, just a few completed models for Konfikt 47 off the bench.


Monday, October 24, 2016

Historical Gamer vs Generic Gamer Discussion


Yesterday I was involved in a rather interesting discussion at my local store about our little hobby. Some very interesting points were made and it got me thinking about this post I am writing now. The discussion started about how a certain UK based Historical company was not happy about how their sales were doing in the good old US of A. This seems to be a discussion that has happened with many companies that are based outside of the US.

It would seem that Historical sales compared to Sci Fi and Fantasy sales are always low in the US. So I asked the group of friends I was talking with what their take on it was. Here is what I found out, which is not eye opening in any means, but rather interesting none the less.

One comment was that Historical gamers are the blame for the low sales and no new blood coming into the hobby. The comment was stated that most if not all Historical hobbyists are rather button or rivet counters and this just turns off new players all together. I would tend to agree to some point of this, but not wholeheartedly. Yes some historical gamers can be rather sticklers to history and yes most of us have run into rivet or button counters. But to use a broad brush and say that all of us are like that is not fair.

I look at myself as mostly a historical player, but my gaming roots are clearly in the generic Sci fi/fantasy realm. I have played many games, but in the last twenty plus years I have gradually drifted towards more historical games. Why? Well for one thing, I got tired of all the updates to a certain game system that always had units coming and going out of date with a new release of the rules. I also got to one point when I was playing said games and started to try to create more historical units in the fantasy/Sci Fi settings. It was sort of a natural migration of sorts for this because I have heard other Historical gamers do the same migration in their games.

Now, I do not play a tabletop simulation of my historical games (like some folks do) but I do tend to do some research on a particular army or unit I am working on. I am not fanatical about it, but I do like reading about what the units have done and where they fought. Am I a stickler for having the right colors on a model, yes I am, but that's because I am trying to re-create said uniform or said units. Do I shudder when I see a model painted in the wrong colors, sure I do, because to me its not historical. Now will I approach a total stranger and correct them on their painting or way they are playing with said units or models, No. But if I am asked what I think, I will tell you what I think about it and will inform you of what I would have done. More on this later.

Another statement that was made yesterday was that most US consumers are a "Want it Now" culture. I totally agree with this statement, hell as one guy said yesterday, we invented the fast food chain and most US consumers don't want to wait for anything. This may be the reason why games like X-Wing are so popular here in the states. All you need to do is buy up whichever ship you want, pop it out of the box and your all set to play! There is no building, painting just playing. I remember when a buddy and I were playing Halo ship battles for the first time in our local store. We just happened to be playing when there was an X-Wing tournament going on. All of our ships were assembled and painted and we had many X-Wing players stopping buy to look at the game. All of them were very interested in the game and they all pretty much asked if the ships come like they were painted? When we informed them no, all of them walked away and I don't think even one copy of the game was sold that day. Bottom line was all of them that asked wanted the instant quick out of the box ready to play game, they didn't want to wait and do anything for the game but just play it.

Perhaps this is why video games are such a huge success, all you need to do is put it in and play! There is no time needed in researching about the armies, assembling the armies or painting said armies, there is the instant satisfaction to just playing said game right out the gate. All the time you have with getting an army ready to play is wasted time that you could be playing the game. Heck it sometimes takes me years before a new army shows up on the tabletop, in that same time I could have played dozens of video games multiple times!

Another comment from yesterday is that the US population has no sense of its own history. Hell, we have a tendency to tear down our own history to make way for the future to quickly! Its funny, I lived in Los Angeles for a good part of my life and I was surrounded by historic sites, many of which I never knew about. It was right there in my own backyard, but I never knew about it. I think its fair to say that most Americans are like this. As a country, we are not as old as some so we tend to think that we do not have much of our own history here in this country. I mean look at the UK, there is history going back to beyond the Roman era and Viking era still standing today. Here in the states we want to tear historic sites down for the next strip mall or high priced condos! Perhaps this is why there is such a low segment of historical gamers here in the US. I know many of my historical gamer friends that play many other periods of other countries history, but only see the US for a few conflicts.

One point that was made yesterday is that our culture is more about scientific achievements and technology than history. That could be the reason why more futuristic games are more popular over historical games. If we as a US populace are always looking ahead, why would history be important? Maybe that's why there are more generic gamers in the States than Historical gamers. I am not sure of this but it does make sense to some part of my brain.

I mentioned that another reason Scifi/Fantasy games may be more popular over historical is because of our love of movies and the movie industry in general. I grew up with Star Wars and all of the other movies that followed, heck my own entry into SciFi gaming was thanks to the movie Aliens and my buddy handing me a copy of Space Hulk! The movie industry does tend to make it easier to get excited about a certain genera of games, but there are also a multitude of great historical movies out there. But I think most current movie goers are all about the big explosions and special effects over any sort of substance to a movie.

So with all of these possibilities it got me thinking about what sort of gamer am I? Am I truly a Historical gamer? Or am I a more Generic gamer? I do play many games but as of lately I do tend to lean more towards historical games. In fact out of the last 10 games I played, all but three were historical games. Am I a button counter historical gamer? I don't see myself as one, although one friend tends to think so. Would I ever play a non historical game, sure I will be playing a non historical game this coming weekend. Is one type of gamer better or worse than the other? I don't think so, I guess it only really matters on what you enjoy in the hobby, because after all, it is your hobby.

That's what I took from the conversation yesterday, its really your hobby, there is no right or wrong way to doing your hobby. Its totally your own and it really doesn't matter what everyone else thinks. Its about what makes you happy and what you gather your enjoyment from. So do what you like and who cares what others think. I am happy to say I am a Historic Gamer at times as well as a Generic Gamer other times.


Thursday, October 20, 2016

Black Powder American Civil War


My local game buddies and I usually get together once a year or so and do really big games of Black Powder American Civil War. This year thought we did not find the time to put together anything, our last game was Flank Attack at Chancellorsville, you can read about the game here on Drunken Samurais blog.

With no games coming up, I decided to organize a large game in February 18, 2017 up at Imperial Outpost Games. There are a couple of main reasons for this, first up, a good friend and fellow Adepticon attendee, Merle D will be coming out to play. Secondly, I usually run Gathering in the Desert in February and I am burned out on organizing this event, so I decided that it would be a great time to do this big game.

The other night Robert and I were talking and he mentioned that we are mid way through October and that we need to get going on this ACW game in February. It dawned on me that I still had figure to paint and some terrain I needed to build for the game. So I thought I might as well get started on this project now.

So I drug out all my painted ACW stuff (which is only three small 5 stand regiments) as well as my in assembled Perry Miniatures. here is the first regiment assembled last night.

This is a larger unit making up seven stands all out of the Perry Confederate box. They assembled rather quickly and so I figured I would add another regiment as well.

This regiment is from the first ACW Perry box which allows you to paint them up as either Union or Confederates. I did add a Sash and Saber banner bearer as well as a Old Glory Second Edition commander to the group.

Tonight I hope to get at least two more regiments assembled as well as prepping the Old Glory ACW set of Wounded and Dying figures. I will use these for casualty markers besides my units when they suffer hits.

So stay tuned for more ACW Black Powder updates.


Monday, October 17, 2016

Band of Painters October Submission


Another month down on our little Band of Painters Challenge and I decided to take the easy route this time and work on the Panzer IV X tank that came in the starter set. This tank comes in at 230 points as a Regular crew and I paid +10 for armored side skirts, so total is 240 points.

Panzer IV X for Konfilkt 47
 The Panzer IV X kit is just a plain old plastic Warlord Panzer IV kit (it is a complete tank kit) as well as a resin turret-mounted Scherefeld Projektor which is cast up rather nicely with minor flash or issues.

Construction of the Warlord kit is pretty straight forward with an exploded diagram on the starter box. As a side note, there are no instructions on how to assemble the turret, but having put together many tank models in various scales, it was pretty easy to assemble it without instructions. Also this kit went together faster than a standard Rubicon Panzer IV, that's just an FYI.

Panzer IV X in Ambush scheme

I decided to paint up this vehicle up in the Ambush camo scheme like I did for the walker I did last month. I figured the Germans would use this on all of their vehicles in 1947 and hey, its a Sci Fi thing and alternate WW2 thing now!

Panzer IV X searching for a target!
So there you go, another installment of Band of Painters completed, next up will be a few German Heavy Infantry in Heavy armor.


Friday, October 07, 2016

Love/Hate Saga Relationship


Been doing a lot of thinking about Gripping Beasts Saga game of late and I have been trying to figure out why I feel the way I do about it. Now I will have to give credit to Robert over at Drunken Samurai Painting Blog he is having the same thoughts but for Bolt Action.

I have been playing Saga for a few years now, but have not been to serious about it. Yeah I do have three armies now, but I have sort of been flirting with the game for years. I don't hate the game, but don't seem to love the game either, it is just there in the middle. That's why I have been thinking about it a lot, why have I not moved it into the Love this game category.

As most readers of this blog know, I love skirmish games of all types, heck you don't have to look to hard to figure that out. Also readers will know that I absolutely love GW's Lord of the Rings Strategy Battle Game, which to me was the best skirmish game out there. I also love anything that deals with the Dark Age period, my first Warhammer Ancient Battle army was an Orkney Isle Viking army. So when Saga came out, I saw it as a mix of my two loves, Skirmish and Dark Age period. But for some reason I kept Saga at arms distance. I remember seeing an article in Wargames Illustrated showcasing Saga and I remember being turned off by the this new dice mechanic for activating units and abilities.

I eventually caved in and started playing Saga using my Vikings from WAB. A few of the other guys I game with picked up the game and we started playing, but once again the game was just there in the background for me. Perhaps it was the fact that I was using models that I painted for another system or it was the fact that I was struggling to understand just how to use the battle board and the rules. Not sure why I was having issues with it, was pretty simple.

Another thing that most readers will pick up on is that I like to organize events and with that I build a ton of terrain for said events. Just look back at all the tables of terrain I built for Lord of the Rings, most which I still have. When it came to terrain for Saga, it was easy to re use LotR terrain. I did pick up a few buildings from 4Ground for Saga, but nothing much. So once again, I had terrain for Saga but still was not feeling it.

Maybe it was the fact that there were no events for Saga going on locally. When I last attended Adepticon a few years ago, they had gotten the Gripping Beast Grand Melee for the US. I happened to be in the same room as this event and was blown away by what my friend Eric Hagen had done for terrain. Also the format looked awesome for the event, but unfortunately I had other commitments for Adepticon and could not play in it. Then I found out that Eric and his crew run an event called Saga Storm, basically a small Saga event held outside somewhere up in the Frozen North!

So here were two awesome looking Saga events that were run very well and it spoke to me inside that I should do something for Saga locally, because as people know, I like to organize stuff! So with the help of Mike, we organized a "Non" event for Saga called Ragnarok back in 2015. We had support from Gripping Beast and had about 8 players. Everyone had a great time playing in this "Non" event. But I was feeling burned out on running events, so I did not really push doing something with Saga. I still had that non committal feeling about the game.

So, after thinking about all of the above items mentioned, I think I finely figured out what is wrong with Saga, it is me! It would seem that I have been the biggest reason why I was wanting to think there was something wrong with the game. I was letting past experiences cloud my judgement of this very cool and popular game. I even know the point when I finally figured out it was me, last Sunday when Robert and I got in a game. It was a very close, challenging game and after Robert packed up and left, I had this lightning bolt of a realization that I do love this game! I have been thinking about this all week and my mind has been trying to tell me differently, but I think I fully have embraced Saga.

So what does this epiphany mean for me? Well it means that I will be working on a few new armies, building a few new terrain pieces and it may, that's a big may, mean I will run another Ragnarok event in the near future, we shall see. But it has been eye opening to me to fully come to terms with this game and realize that I was the one in the way of it. Self realization is an important thing in life, I think it makes you a better person and why not have the self realization in our hobby as well?

So now who wants to play some Saga???