12 November 2015

The Big Winner!

The Gamer's Armory, a game store in North Carolina, recently held a gaming marathon to benefit the Turner Syndrome Society of the United States. I live across the country from North Carolina, so I didn't participate in the event, but I saw on the shop's Facebook page that they were holding a raffle as part of the event. There were a couple of items on the Raffle Wall that looked interesting to me, so I bought a few dollars in tickets. A while later I got an e-mail announcing that I had won a Flames of War Operation Market Garden: Guards Armoured Recce Company boxed set. That was my first choice in prizes and the one that I applied most of my tickets toward, so I was pretty excited about it. Because I live too far away to just stop in and pick up my prize, I sent in a payment to cover shipping and they sent it right out.

It's a pretty cool item, with 17 vehicles, 2 terrain pieces, and some dice and tokens. I haven't opened the plastic wrap yet. The box makes a lot of noise when I move it around, so I hope that the contents haven't been damaged too much in transit. The box is a little worse for wear, but even if a couple of the vehicles are damaged I still made out pretty well, getting a significant WWII miniature force for the price of a few raffle tickets. Their website says they have raised over $45,000 over the course of 4 annual events, so it sounds like they are doing some good things. It is nice to win a prize, but I didn't mind pitching in a few dollars to a good cause anyway.

19 October 2015

Getting a Little Bit of Gaming In

My gaming and hobbying hasn't quite taken off like I planned for a variety of reasons. It seems like there just isn't enough time in the day or space in the house for all of my hobbies. We have plans to move things around and increase everyone's usable living space, but to move one thing you have to take care of another thing and it seems like stuff goes round and round.

I have, however, been doing a little bit of wargaming-related stuff. After spending a long time thinking about it I finally have sat down and started working my way through the Advanced Squad Leader Starter Kit #1 by Multi-Man Publishing. I've read tutorials, watched videos, and even worked through the first scenario on my own. I've been trying to use the big 2nd Edition binder rulebook to reference rules as I come across them. I feel pretty comfortable with some parts of these simplified Starter Kit rules, but there are some rules that I don't have a good handle on yet. I am pretty sure I was doing the Rally Phase incorrectly, the Routing Phase still gives me pause, and I am pretty sure that I am messing up at least some parts of Morale Checks and Close Combat.

I haven't even gotten into the rules for Support Weapons, Artillery, Vehicles, and all the weather and terrain stuff yet. It's probably going to take quite a bit more time and work to feel like I have even a basic grasp of the system. It was nice to actually sit down and roll dice and move counters around a bit. It's a complex game system. I had a copy of the original Squad Leader when I was a kid, and I played a simplified solo version of that game quite a few times on my bedroom floor.

08 July 2015

I Found Some of the Missing Time

In my previous post I mentioned that I wasn't exactly sure what all I did in between my final blog post in 2011 and the start of school in early 2013. Well, the answer to part of the question has been bouncing around my desk and bookshelves for a long time. I painted at least one more figure before my long break; a Grey Knight that I painted as a sample for the rest of my planned Grey Knight army taken from an army list in White Dwarf magazine.

I think I pretty much took the paint scheme right out of the same copy of White Dwarf that the army list was printed in. It's not particularly fancy and I have realized in the last few minutes that I am a terrible photographer, but at least I have a never-before-posted picture of a figure I painted.

Today I visited the (somewhat) local Hobbytown after work in an attempt to find the latest copy of White Dwarf; the one with the free miniature and all the rules for the new Age of Sigmar iteration of Warhammer. At first I kind of liked the idea of the new rules, but now I am not so sure. The most alarming rumor that I've heard is that all of the older Fantasy sculpts are going away and will be replaced by newer stuff that looks more like the 'Space Marines without guns, so Fantasy Space Marines!' design of the new figures. If I wanted Space Marines, I would buy 40k figures. I just kind of see this whole experiment not working out very well for Games Workshop. I really liked all of the fluff and design that made up the previous ranges of Warhammer Fantasy figures.

Anyway, I really wanted to grab the new White Dwarf so I could see what the fuss is all about even though I already downloaded the rules and warscrolls from the Games Workshop website. Come to find out, the magazine wasn't there and the Hobbytown is closing up shop (with today as the last day of operation at the old site) and moving to another location, so I don't know if they had a copy of the magazine at the other location or not because their computers were down and everyone at the counter was in a bad mood. I didn't even bother asking about it. On the way home it started raining quite heavily, and I was soaked pretty well all the way through because I was on my motorcycle. Once I got ahead of the rainstorm, the wind was still pretty bad and I got caught up in a nice big dust cloud blowing in off of the farm fields. I managed to stay in pretty good spirits about it all, but it was irritating to go all the way to Hobbytown only to find the inventory all gone and then to be caught in the storms on the way home.

07 July 2015

Don't Call it a Comeback (Yet)

I knew it had been quite a while since I posted on this blog, but I hadn't realized the gap was nearly at four years now. I took a bit of a break to do some other stuff, and I just never really got back to painting figures and playing games. That doesn't mean that I've been entirely idle in the gaming world. I've managed to keep up on some of the gaming news and I still follow a lot of gaming- and painting-related Facebook pages and social media hubs. I've also added quite a few boxes of stuff to my lead/resin/plastic pile by way of Kickstarter campaigns from Reaper, Soda Pop Miniatures, Mantic Games, and others.

Where have I been, and what prompted a return to this blog? Well, I went back to school and finally finished off a 4-year degree in Accounting and Business Administration. That took up a lot of my time and energy, and is really the main reason I was away from this hobby. But I didn't start school again until Spring of 2013, so that leaves a year of time unaccounted for. To be honest, I don't really remember what happened between November 2011 and December 2012. Judging by my Facebook feed, I got really into comic books, reptiles, and amphibians during that time period. I wound up with two snakes and a vivarium partially-prepped for Poison Dart Frogs before I got back into school and realized I wouldn't have time to care properly for frogs. In 2013 I rediscovered my card collecting hobby and started a trading card blog, which I have maintained with some regularity for about two years now. I've made a lot of blogging friends and really feel a sense of community with the sports card bloggers who comment on each others' posts and send trade packages back and forth.

As I was wrapping up my final semester, my wife went back to school to start her attempt at finishing a degree plan. This prompted a shuffling around of the room assignments in our home, which is an ongoing process. My wife is moving her study and hobby area from a hutch in the living room and a room in the basement into the room that previously housed our sons and a closet full of my gaming stuff. The boys are moving down the hall into a different room. I am moving my stuff from my wife's new area down into my basement lair, and our treadmill and other workout equipment are moving from my basement lair into the other basement room that will be vacated by my wife's hobby stuff. It's a lot of moving pieces and it is very hard to find the motivation to get it all done, so it all happens very slowly. As part of the process I have had to move a lot of my gaming stuff around and this prompts me to look at all the figures I've built and painted, opening boxes and sifting through all these forgotten treasures while waves of nostalgia crash over me. All of the old army plans and ideas have been coming back to me and I feel the urge to build and paint and plan out armies and projects. So I've been going around and reading more gaming news and visiting the blogs on my gaming blogroll and thinking about what it will take to get back into miniatures. I need to find all of my paint and see if any of it will reconstitute with the addition of plenty of water. I need to clear off some space on my desk for hobby stuff, and I need to get my shelves sorted out. There are a couple of unfinished projects just waiting for me to get back to them and I hope that I will be able to overcome the various obstacles that are currently in the way of my return to the hobby of painting figures and (possibly) playing games with them.