Monday, November 21, 2011

Piquet FAQ

Field of Battle WW2
I haven't mentioned it here, but the Piquet FAQ from Santa Clarita Wargamer deserves to be noticed by those with interest in the rules. He has also posted a lot of Field of Battle WW2 content lately, which I've found fairly interested. Along related lines, Brent Oman is currently developing a squad level FoB WW2 set. I'm very interested in that, as I feel more free to improvise scenarios. At this scale, just about anything could have happened. With FoB WW2 at company scale, I feel more contrained to try and follow history.  I mean , not that I actually run that many scenarios as it is...but I do have a Carentan map made up, and most of the figures ready for it.  I should really make the time to run it...

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Loyal Rebels

I just received in the mail my copy of Loyal Rebels: Andreas Hofer and the Tyrolean Uprising of 1809. It's a book I've been interested in getting for a while, as English sources on the subject are scarce. I finally saw one come across AbeBooks and snatched it up-- for $8, including the shipping!! Quite a bargain. Not just that, it appears to be signed by the author.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Domo Arigato, Mr. Roboto

Number One Son is, like most ten year olds, pretty bad with his money (in my stodgy, fatherly opinion). My exhortations to save his money tend to fall on deaf ears. But he is a Lego fan, so at some point I told him that if he would save up half the $260 price tag for the Lego Mindstorms base set, I would pay for the other half. I was a little skeptical when he took me up on it, but he saved his money all summer and, with, I suspect, more than a little help from some grandparents, made the goal last week. He was pretty enthusiastic about it-- he started building the "humanoid" robot Alpha Rex without any instructions, just eyeballing the box! I slowed him down a bit, got the electronic instructions installed on the computer, and encouraged him to start the intro kit. His Shooterbot shot all the gaming group that came over last night for some Race for the Galaxy. I woke up this morning to find him already up, the Shooterbot disassembled, and most of Alpha Rex built. I think to him, it's not a robot if it's not humanoid. He keeps talking about how he has a toy robot, and I keep trying to convince him that, no, this is a real robot. I think it's starting to sink in.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Mah boy gets Gutshot!

IMG_1648, a photo by The Gonk on Flickr.
Three Rivers Con is an occasional local convention which is mostly devoted to role playing. I've been meaning to make it to one, but something always seems to come up! This year, a small window opened up between soccer games and family obligations for me to take Number One Son to the show. It wasn't just the show, but Mik was running Gutshot with Flounder's assistance. Flounder has run this several times for us, yet I had never been able to make one of the games, so I was actually pretty excited about playing in it! Mik borrowed my Whitewash City buildings, but used Lego cowboys. This was a hoot, especially since Number One Son is also a Lego fan. We were given two Gutshot character sheets at random, and then took turns assembling our characters! It was more fun than I expected.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Field of Battle 2

Field of Battle 2
I got Piquet's Field of Battle 2 last week! I've really been sold of FoB for a while. FoB2 doesn't really bring any big surprises. Blunder on the Danube has all the changes to the system. However, the coolest thing about it is, in my opinion, the scenario generator. It's a way to build a campaign-style framework around a one-off battle. Both sides have some options based around the quality of the Commander in Chief's command rating. You choose your focus between Deployment, Reconnaissance, Strength and Tactical Adjustment (once your opponent's disposition has been noticed). If you have a great C-in-C and he focuses his strength on Recon, you're likely to get more areas of the table to set up troops in, especially if your opponent has not chosen to emphasize Recon. However, there is still Fate. Each side gets three Fate rolls, which may or may not apply to each area. It's a simple system-- a d4 to choose the area, and a 50/50 roll to determine a positive or negative adjustment. However, these positive and negatives are rolled via a d12, so there are six adjectives for both the positives and negatives. You might get bonus to Recon due to Cavalry Screen, or Maneuver. You might get a negative modifier due to Bad Maps or Poor Staff Planning. It's enough of a description to give this Fate bonus a little meat to help explain why the scenario set up is what it is. Scenario creation is honestly not one of my favorite things, so anything that helps me come up with a more interesting scenario is a big bonus in my book. Combine this system with a simple "best 2 out of 3" campaign, and it looks to me that you can have some simple, but real, campaign fun.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Skullcracker Bird

ShadowSea Skullcracker Bird
Skullcracker Bird, a photo by The Gonk on Flickr.
I just finished up my ShadowSea Skullcracker Bird. Technically a fantasy model, he'll probably serve as a pseudo-historical albeit anachronistic Terror Bird in some prehistoric games with Number One Son. It's a nice resin model, and to stabilize it I mounted it on some plasticard (a For Sale sign from the local hardware store). It's surprisingly light, although thick enough everywhere that it seems durable. The paint scheme is loosely based on the snake eating Roadrunner, but I turned his flaring crown feathers into a display. Speaking of resin models, I spent the weekend in Memphis with my wife for our sixteenth wedding anniversary. My mom watched the kids in the evenings so that my wife and I could celebrate, but during the day I took Number One Son to the Games Workshop Battle Bunker.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Ave Tristan, paintituri te salutant!

A big thanks to Tristan of GWpertinent for sending me a sprue of Warlord Games Celts and Praetorians by way of Mik. He must have twigged to the fact that Number One Son and I have been painting ancients, and these will be put to some good use by us. That is just supremely cool. Thanks, Tristan!! ...even if you ARE a Chelsea fan. Did you see that ludicrous display last night? The thing about Chelsea is, they always try to walk it in.

...apologies for the bastardized Latin...I actually spent like 30 minutes trying to figure out what the equivalent word for "those about to paint" would be, based on "Ave Imperator, morituri te salutant" before deciding I was just waaaaay over my head and wasting time...

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Fireball Forward Brecourt Manor

Setting up for Brecourt Manor
Brecourt Manor, a photo by The Gonk on Flickr.
You may or may not have heard, but the upcoming ruleset Fireball Forward! has released a limited set of playtest rules and initial scenario. It appears the initial book will have a few scenarios following Easy Company, which is just up my alley with my FoW Airborne. So, I've set up the game and we're playing it this Friday. I played FF! at Fall-In! last year and Historicon this year, and I like it. There's really no reason not to play it given I already have the figures. One thing I like about FF! is the relatively small figure requirement-- here you see I only have nine and twelve stands per side. That ought to let you get into a period you have only minor interest in without too much effort and money invested. The "official" basing doesn't quite match FoW but isn't strict-- I'm using FoW command stands for individual leaders, medium bases for teams, and medium bases with larger sabots for full squads.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Amerikanische Burger Essen

It's been a while since I had a food post on here, but I had a very nice little dinner the other day. It centered around this nice little gift brought back to me by my wife from Germany, a bottle of her local Stuttgarter Hofbräu. I grilled a couple of pounds of hamburgers, which is always fun. I tried a new dish for me, which was grilled broccoli. I mostly followed this recipe, leaving out the Parmesan, instead of our usual steamed. It was fine, not great. I fried some Onion Rings for Son Number Two, who really loves them. But the real pièce de résistance was my Brussels Sprouts. Yes, the Brussels Sprouts. I can't hardly get the vile things down when they are steamed, but during a recent trip to New York, I left a $50 steak on the plate and ordered a second helping of their fried Brussels Sprouts. Delicious, and this recipe is basically what I had. It's easy, and awesome.

Friday, July 22, 2011

The Decompression Chamber

DSCN0142, a photo by The Gonk on Flickr.
That's the new name for my "man cave." After five weeks of inactivity when the wife and kids were gone, they have been back now for a week. And in that week, I've finished an entire Flames of War M2A1 105mm artillery battery with staff team and spotter, as well as three Old Glory US paratrooper command teams I was lacking and most of a staff team! I love my family, but after a full day at work and then another five hours with the wife and three kids, I am definitely ready for a break. For whatever reason, I find retreating to the painting table very relaxing. That and my general lack of direction reminds me of "tinkerers" who work in the garage with no real purpose, just tinkering for the sake of relaxation. I tinker with miniatures.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Historicon 2011

Corner Kick!
Corner Kick!, a photo by The Gonk on Flickr.
Historicon 2011 was a lot of fun. The drive was very long, ten hours, but the facilities were nicer than the usual Lancaster Host (usual for me-- I missed last year, so this is my first HMGS East con away from the Host in ten years). I played in several great Piquet games, which have been spotlighted on Blunders on the Danube, as well as a game of Fireball Forward, which I'm looking forward to seeing published. I also finally made time to sit down for Bob Wiltrout's soccer game Corner Kick!. Ed: AND former local Brian met me for a midnight Blood Bowl 1-1 mauling of my Skaven by his Ogres, leaving 3 of my 4 Gutter Runners missing the next game-- one of which had to be retired-- and killing one of my players! All the games were really fun, and here you see my Number One Son (wearing his Germany jersey) back at home stomping my Argentinians in a game of Corner Kick! with his Subbuteo figures. I had two definite vendor purchases in mind-- D-Day bunkers from Armaments in Miniature and more Primaeval Designs prehistorics from Acheson Creations. Neither was there!! Naturally, I didn't let that stop me from blowing the budget in the vendor hall...

Five Weeks

Ammon Miniatures Cyber-Monkey
Cybermonkey, a photo by The Gonk on Flickr.
Five effin' weeks my family is out of town. You know what all I got done in that time? This. Ammon Miniatures' Cybermonkey. Between being sick, being lazy and going to Historicon, that single miniature is the only thing I completed. Disgusting! This is the first resin gaming piece I've painted, and I have to say I think it's not really an acceptable material. Sorry, Citadel Finecast. Resin has been used for years in thicker and larger scale casting, but at this scale, it's just too flexible and fragile. Painting this guy, I snapped the radar dish off its stand. I shouldn't say snap, that implies something more like a plastic break-- this felt like chocolate cake coming apart. The reglue is probably a stronger joint. Resin can-- CAN-- deliver superior quality casts, and I figure most of these boutique resin castings are more for painting and displaying, rather than gaming. However, this figure was just too cool not to add to my growing super apes collection...

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Out of My Mind On Saturday Night

Khalith, Mummy King
Khalith, Mummy King, a photo by The Gonk on Flickr.
Productivity, bah! My wife and kids leave me alone and the very next day I am struck down by a nasty cold/sinus infection that has taken me two and half weeks to finally get completely rid of!! TANJ!! I have gotten just about spit done since my last post, but here is a Reaper Mummy Pharaoh I had kicking around primed for a few years and finally finished before I got too sick to do anything but lay on the couch and watch NetFlix. With any luck, though, all these antibiotics and steroids I've been taking will keep me healthy for Historicon next weekend!! I'm looking forward to it, although I just realized the new location is about an hour further than is estimating a 10.5 hour drive for us. Eh, it's worth it.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Blu-Tack holds the hobby together

DSCN0058, a photo by The Gonk on Flickr.
An amusing little snapshot of my workspace. I got the urge to put a few things together, which required a fair amount of epoxying. In the process of curing, I propped all the guys into position as best I could using one of my main stay hobby tools-- Blu-Tack. I wanted Orangatango as soon as I saw him. Super apes are fun, I already have handfuls, and one more is always appreciated. Still, as Orangutan-based super apes go, I still think Harangutan is my favorite, just for the pun. Reaper's mummy pharaoh Khalith is waiting some finishing touches that don't require any Blue-Tac-- although I used that craft paint bottle topped with Blue-Tac as a handle while painting him. I also have handfuls of Reaper Egyptian figures. They hit the table about as often as the super apes...which is to say, not very often... Speaking of super apes, or their mechanically augmented cousins, I recently stumbled across Ammon Miniatures's Cyber Monkey and couldn't let that pass by. Now he was a chore, lots of fiddly gluing and soft resin in an awkward pose-- can't wait to drop him and ruin him! Which I'm sure will happen eventually! And, speaking of resin, with Blue-Tac holding up his atrophied little wings, I assembled my ShadowSea Skullcracker Bird. I picked him up at Fall-In! and he will presumably be fighting my Neanderthals at some point as an only slightly anachronistic Terror Bird.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Landing Craft Done

15mm Landing Craft, a photo by The Gonk on Flickr.
The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry... With the wife and kids shipped out Thursday, I took Friday and Monday off work and had visions of one wonderfully productive four day weekend. Friday went pretty well, and I ran a game of Empire Builder Friday night. I noticed my allergies were acting up, so I stocked up on allergy meds and sudafed ahead of time, only it didn't seem to be doing much good, and by the time I got to bed, I realized it wasn't allergies at all but a debilitating summer cold that took me out the rest of the weekend. I spent Saturday and Sunday camped out on the couch wandering my Netflix queue-- of note were two small budget Sci-Fi films I really enjoyed, Hunter Prey and Monsters. Mosters cost $500k to make and grossed $4.5M? Wow. Anyway, I started feeling somewhat better on Monday, and managed to put the finishing touches on my landing craft. The LCT really needs to be detailed somewhat, but it should mostly be sea blue so I'm pretty much done with it regardless. I'm not sure if the decks should be sea blue or navy blue, if I ever figure that out, I can go back over that. And I figure those LCVP crew load stands took at least an hour per stand, even with my Slop-and-go painting of them. I need to be a bit sloppier, I suppose-- I still detailed the faces and hands.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

2011 So Far...

Random graph
It's not quite halfway through the year yet, but now is an opportune time to examine the state of my hobby. The wife and our three kids will be heading out of town for five weeks soon (my wife is German and spends summers over there when she can) thus I need to make sure I have all my ducks in a row for what will hopefully be one of the more productive periods of the year. In all honestly, last year was not a very productive time. My theory was that there weren't three crazy kids and a wife to need relief from. just me and the dog. Anyway, let's review 2011 in light of my January goals.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Circling, Waiting for H+1

Loaded LCVPs
15mm Landing Craft, a photo by The Gonk on Flickr.
All six LCVPs are finished. I initially wasn't going to bother painting the loaded troops. They're totally unnecessary, more stuff to paint, yada yada yada. Yet as I looked over my LCVPs and LCT, I just decided they were too cool not to go all the way on. So, I've got the first two boat loads finished. They're sloppy but effective. The rear one still has wet glue, but has since dried and been painted.

Monday, May 23, 2011

This Great and Noble Undertaking

15mm Landing Craft, a photo by The Gonk on Flickr.
And the landing craft are begun! I have six LCVPs by Battlefront and a Mk.5 LCT (still under construction) by Lindberg. The Lindberg model scale is given as 1:125 which is pretty spot on for 15mm, and you see I can fit the standard payload of five Battlefront Shermans in just fine. Strangely, the molded display that comes in the box refers to it as an LSU, which apparently was what they were renamed post-WW2. All I've read indicates the LCTs at D-Day were Mk.6 models, with extra armor and an extended ramp to provide more cover. However, all the beach landing orders I've found show a complement of five tanks on the LCTs, whereas the Mk.6 only apparently had room for three after modifications-- or so I read somewhere (ed: I think I'm conflating Mk.6s with LCT(A)s here). I can't find any pictures of a loaded Mk.6 clear enough to tell for sure. Anyway, I'm not going to worry and bother with trying to convert it just to end up wrong in the end (and, judging by the profiles in the attached picture from Spearheading D-Day, it's probably beyond my ability anyway), and will paint this up as is; i.e., a Mk.5.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

US Parachute mortar platoon finished

Back into WW2 then, with the effort to get more "lower level" units on the table. Here is my US Parachute mortar platoon. That gives me an absolutely full company with both battalion support options-- the mortar platoon and a machine gun platoon. Thinking about it,'s not far from here to a second company. I have three squads of three stands each. If I'm reading my TO&Es correctly, a company was intended to have two twelve man squads, so I'm heavy as is. I have twenty seven stands. If I put six (two squads of three stands) per platoon, I only need eighteen for a three platoon company. So, another nine stands, plus a single officer stand and 60mm mortar stand, and I have two paper strength companies. I already have an Old Glory pack of officers and support weapons. Huh. Also, I just bought a few 82nd memoirs covering Sicily, as well as the Skirmish Campaigns Skirmish Elite: Combat Jump Sicily book. I figure I ought to be able to get some games out of those as well. My focus is actually D-Day right now...I have the LCVPs out and ready to get started on. I just need to put in a paint order, and am having an anxiety attack over ordering paint based on inaccurate web swatches!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Blood Bowl Norse finished!

Blood Bowl Norse, a photo by The Gonk on Flickr.
Yay! The Norse are completely completed, and I have run them through my little birthday bash as-- wait for it!!-- team name Turning Thorty, har har har!! Anyway, the party was a blast, we played Blood Bowl straight through for almost twelve hours. My incredible wife stocked us up with Dunkin Donuts for breakfast, Subway platters for lunch, local Chenese joint trays of food for dinner, kept the coffee pot full, wrangled the kids, and had more Yuengling on hand than the thirteen of us could possibly drink! We only (!) got in three games. I went into the last round ranked second, and played first place-- we tied and third place won his game, taking the day! My opponent and I also tied on TD differential, so the tie breaker went to casualties, with him having the better differential, so I ended third on the day-- not too shabby. Pictures of my team on the next page:

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

A New Technique for Rivets

Micro-Mark Rivets
Whether it's giant land trains, WWI tanks or Necromunda Underhive terrain, I'm always running across people in the hobby making rivets. Micro-Mark just blasted out an e-mail with their new solution, rivet decals, which appear to work much like a water slide transfer. It appears from their picture that you get a page full of rivets, mostly in rows but a few different patterns as well, and trim them up and apply them as needed. I thought it looked like a pretty clever idea-- I wonder how well they adhere?

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Blood Bowl Norse Painted

Blood Bowl Norse
Blood Bowl Norse, a photo by The Gonk on Flickr.
There! It took me longer than I thought it would, as it always does, but I have finished painting the Norse team-- nine Linemen, two Throwers, two Catchers, two Blitzers, two Ulfwereners, and one Yhetee. I still have the basing to do, but I want to experiment a little before I start, and then do them all at the same time so they hopefully match well. Despite the basing, they will make their fully painted debut as Björnsson's Bullies at tomorrow night's Painsphere meet up. My Field Marshals wouldn't mind a rematch against them myself...we'll see...

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Most Depressing Gaming Trip Ever

My Car! by The Gonk
My Car!, a photo by The Gonk on Flickr.
We headed over to Mik's to try out some Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 3.0. We'd had some thunderstorms throughout the day, nothing major, and it was raining pretty hard while we started generating characters. Then my wife called and said she and the kids were sheltering in the bathroom! Typical overreaction from a wife, huh? I'm trying to get my game on, and she's calling me freaking out over a little rain. She calls me a second time, and I ask her what she wants me to do? I can't do anything about the weather!! Shortly after that, we hear the rain noticeably start to escalate. Then, the "tack tack tack" of hail. Then, "THUDTHUDTHUDTHUDTHUD!!!! I never heard that before!! We open the door and there is a carpet of big hail stones outside. I stick my hand it in, get hit by a few small ones, then WHAP get a big one that HURT BADLY and left a nice bruise. And I'm thinking, "Yeah, that would have dented a car..." More than dented, my car was absolutely crushed. We called the game and I went home to apologize to my wife!! We wound up with golf ball sized hail and it was indeed a pretty scary situation after I got home. I am covered by insurance for the damage to this and the relatively minor damage to the house-- nothing at all to complain about when over 250 people died.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Blood Bowl Norse

Blood Bowl Norse by The Gonk
Blood Bowl Norse, a photo by The Gonk on Flickr.
I finished another three Linemen! I was about ready to just stop here-- Norse have a lot of positionals and I think six Lineman are probably plenty...but then with AV 7, injuries and Journeymen, I better just go ahead with the nine I originally intended. I do have basing materials ready to start basing once the last three are done. I will be trying something along the lines of these snowy bases.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Friday, April 8, 2011

Yhetee! Yippee!

Blood Bowl Yhetee, a photo by The Gonk on Flickr.
Finally got my Yhetee conversion done! He started out as Reaper's 02697: Yeti, a figure I've had knocking around for a while. I think he turned out pretty well, although I've had a heck of a time getting a decent picture of him once he was painted. I think he looks better than any of the photographs show. I'm not under any illusions about the quality of the sculpting, but I am pleased overall! Click "Read More" to see a lot of in-progress shots and a comparison picture with the Ulfwereners and normal players.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Norse Ulfwereners

Blood Bowl Norse
Blood Bowl Norse, a photo by The Gonk on Flickr.
And the reason why those horns were so unadorned-- I really wanted to move on to my Ulfwereners from Willy Miniatures! These are my first non-Games Workshop "Fantasy Football" figures, and I picked them up through Impact Miniatures. Willy Miniatures has some really sweet figures-- I just need half an excuse to buy those Wights!-- and I really like these figures, although they have some scaling issues. They are ST 4 bodies on ST 3 feet! I also liked his Snow Troll, and almost bought it...but I have other plans for that! And they're coming along swimmingly, and will soon (well, soonishly) be unveiled here! Click more to see the Ulfwereners compared to a normal Lineman.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Norse Linemen

Blood Bowl Norse by The Gonk
Blood Bowl Norse, a photo by The Gonk on Flickr.
I was out of action for a couple of weeks due to work travel, but am back in the saddle again. Here are the first three of my Norse Linemen done. I may go back and pretty up the horns a bit at some point. Or I may just leave it like that... Six more Linemen, two Ulfwereners, and one Yhetee to go...

Monday, April 4, 2011

Solo Tabletop Gaming Appreciation Month

One is the loneliest number
November '11 marks the first Solo Tabletop Gaming Appreciation Month. It had its genesis in a thread on the SoloWarGame Yahoo group, and I think it's a good idea. Solo Wargaming isn't in the spotlight much anymore but there is still a strong group of enthusiasts. I love the idea, although find the opposition in a solo gaming is often quite boring. ;-) I imagine I'll do something along these lines for November-- however, I won't be committing to it in May! I have a hard enough time planning my lunch tomorrow, much less a game six months down the road...

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Getting the Band Back Together!

Blood Bowl Trophies
The Blood Bowl has been picking up around here lately, and there's a very specific reason why. I've got one of those large round numbered birthdays coming up. Now, I'm not the sort of person who goes for all that celebratory nonsense. To me, my birthday is just another day. However, my wife is bound and determined that we will celebrate this birthday somehow-- so much so, that she threatened to have a party with all HER friends if I didn't come up with a better idea! So, I did.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Norse Blitzers

Blood Bowl Norse by The Gonk
Blood Bowl Norse a photo by The Gonk on Flickr.
I finished my two Norse Blitzers this afternoon. I'm pretty pleased with the team, they're turning out nicely. Nine linemen, two Ulfwereners and a Yhetee to go...

Monday, March 14, 2011

Lessons in Anti-Monarchicalism

Originally uploaded by The Gonk
I've carried some cheap bottle opener on my keychain for about fifteen years. It was given to me by some long ago unreadable vendor, and has served me long and dutifully, well above and beyond the call of duty for a normal bottle opener. He finally gave up the ghost, and I got an almost identical replacement the very next day from Mik. However, this replacement was in name only, not spirit, as he lasted only a few short months. I decided to purchase one, and figuring with luck it would amortize at under $1 a year, I bought a $20 one and got it engraved. I thought I had picked a cool quote any wargamer would recognize...but apparently, I was wrong, as none of my friends appeared to know the reference!! "Sic semper tyrannis!" shouted Brutus, when he stabbed the tyrant Caesar (or so the dramatists say). It is a phrase I've often considered getting as a tattoo, on the off chance I could become the king of Sweden (Field Marshall Bernadotte was rumored to have had this tattoo). The translation: "Thus always to Tyrants!" Listening to the History of Rome podcast, he mentioned how Emperor Diocletian ordered (unsuccessfully) price fixing across the Roman Empire, and how these prices have survived history and included the names of three different types of beer. A little research on the Interwebs turned up CERVISIA as a Celtic wheat beer. As a big fan of Hefeweizen, the epiphany struck-- a keychain with which I could exclaim, "Thus always to beer!" as I killed yet another one.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Blood Bowl Norse

Blood Bowl Norse by The Gonk
Blood Bowl Norse a photo by The Gonk on Flickr.

I finished the first four of my Norse team-- the two Throwers and the two Catchers. The team colors are purple (in a nod to the Vikings) and gold. I have the two Blitzers about half completed. After that, I have nine Linemen to finish, two Willy Miniatures Ulfwereners/Norse Werewolves in the mail, and a Reaper Yeti that I'm considering having a go at sculpting a winged helmet for...

Saturday, March 12, 2011

The Next Project Begun!

Blood Bowl Norse
Blood Bowl Norse
Originally uploaded by The Gonk
With our Blood Bowl league underway, we have several coaches new to the game that don't have teams. We have plenty of teams to borrow, but most of mine aren't painted! Here is my attempt to rectify that, by painting my Norse. We have two players in the league who are playing them, so we'd better have two teams painted for the day they both show up for a game!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Sixth--FINAL-- 29th ID section done!

29th Infantry Division
29th Infantry Division
Originally uploaded by The Gonk
Cue Fanfare for the Common Man. Imagine the slow motion scene of me applying the last bit of Gryphonne Sepia to the beach bases, exhaling, and slowly moving the brush to the paint water. Wearily, I shake the brush, wipe it, lick it to a point, and place it back into the brush stand. Slowly, I collapse back into my painting chair and gaze satisfied upon what I have completed.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Welcome to the Painsphere!

The Painsphere in Public
Originally uploaded by The Gonk
We recently started up a local Blood Bowl league in Knoxville-- the Painsphere! I'm pleasantly surprised by the response. We've had a couple of game nights with 5+ coaches showing up, and eight coaches playing thirteen matches so far, just from within our own gaming groups and associates. Last Tuesday, we played in a local gaming shop, centrally located for many of the coaches. This is the first time I have played in a local gaming shop in a number of years!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Total War

FoW: Total War
Originally uploaded by The Gonk
We've put together a few Flames of War games since our primary driver has moved on. One thing that was irritating me was how much support stuff I was putting on the table to fill out points. Eventually, I started to think about using multiple companies per side, to consume points with company level troops and using fewer points for support. Then I bought Das Book, and found the rules for Total War, which are essentially that.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

5th 29th ID section done!

29th Infantry Division
29th Infantry Division
Originally uploaded by The Gonk
Fifth section of 29th Infantry Division completed! I actually had these guys mostly completed last weekend, and was pretty stoked to be well ahead of my slow "two weeks per section" norm lately. I had visions of having the sixth finished this weekend and was ready for it! Then, life happens as it tends to. School functions, neighbor functions, etc... Plus, mid-week I came home for lunch, and just browsed by my painting table to gaze upon them momentarily, and I found the whole table standing in water!! Somebody had dumped my paint cup over on my painting table!!!!!!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Paper Blood Bowl Players

Make Your Own Game Pieces contains foldable paper cubes to represent Blood Bowl players. It's an interesting idea. Obviously, it's not as nice as a fully painted team, but it's probably easier to use than proxies when trying out a new team.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

4th 29th ID section done!

 29th Infantry Division
29th Infantry Division
Originally uploaded by The Gonk
Fourth section of 29th Infantry Division completed! I keep churning these guys out...the fifth one is primed and ready to start painting, and the sixth, unfortunately, is still back ordered (although I got a shipping notice recently, so I should get it soon). I've settled down to about two weeks per section, which isn't too bad, I suppose. I am only painting 2-3 nights a week or so, around family and work stuff. I'm mostly glad that despite a pretty strong pull towards Blood Bowl lately, I haven't given up on painting these guys! Next up, I need to order some paint for my LCVPs...

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

A Return to Three Coach Blood Bowl

Threeway Blood Bowl
Threeway Blood Bowl
Originally uploaded by The Gonk
We played an impromptu game of my old hack for Blood Bowl with three players. It actually played fairly well, despite a few oddities. We played with 11 players per side and a single ball, with the kicking team able to place the ball in either receiver's third. What we found was that once the ball was well into somebody's third, he was playing 1 on 2 as both other teams had only a short distance to go to score! I might try to assign scoring end zones instead of letting teams score in anybody else's end zone. We also had a kick-off in which the next player to take a turn was not the receiving team. But, overall, the changes to play felt minor, this still felt like Blood Bowl to me.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

3rd 29th ID section done!

29th Infantry Division
29th Infantry Division
Originally uploaded by The Gonk
Third section done (the one on the left)! The weather has cleared up, so no more snow days, no more holidays, the kids are back in school and their functions have started back up, and I'm back into the swing at work, all of which means less time to paint and a bit slower productivity on my painting. Still, I'm not going to complain much about 103 (if I'm counting correctly) figures in the month of January!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Second 29th ID section done!

29th Infantry Division
29th Infantry Division
Originally uploaded by The Gonk
Thanks to some snow days and the MLK holiday, I got the second section of 29th Infantry Division with the other optional machine gun finished! That gives me a legally playable force now, although of less than 350 points! Still, I'm making progess...that's just more than half of the boxed set, and just more than a third of what I'm planning on painting.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

First 29th ID section done!

29th Infantry Division
Originally uploaded by The Gonk
I finished up my first batch of 29th Infantry Division troops. On the right, you have a full assault section. On the left, you have an optional machine gun stand, the company commander and 2IC, and then General Cota in front.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Are You Ready For Some Football!

I'm not! My next door neighbor calls over and asks if I would like to come by his house and watch "the game" tonight. "Sure," I say. "Is UT playing tonight?" UT played their bowl game a week and a half ago! Oops! "No," he says, "the national championship is on tonight!" Ah, really? What am I supposed to say, that I'd rather be an anti-social neighbor and sit at home painting my toy soldiers? At least there will be beer there.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

29th ID Under Way

29th ID Under Way
Originally uploaded by The Gonk
Got some painting time this weekend and started cranking out my Christmas present of Flames of War 29th Infantry Division Assault Company. They are nice little figs, and I'm taking a little bit more time on these than I have on my previous FoW figures. Which means, across the entire weekend, I only got most of one section done. I had intended to crank out the remaining command stand, company commander and 2IC, and General Cota tonight, but I have a head ache, a cold and I spilled my beer so I thinking...29, Let's Go...To Bed! I ordered two more sections and another LCVP box, so I will have a full six sections when I'm done. At the current rate, that could be mid-February, but the current rate is pretty unrealistic!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

The History of Rome Podcast

Whew! I have been listening to the History of Rome podcast and have finally caught up! It's really quite nice-- good audio quality, well-spoken history and fairly comprehensive; it is so far almost 48 hours of podcast covering Rome from the legendary flight of Aeneas from the Trojan War well before Romulus and Remus founded Rome in 753 BC until, most recently, the reign of Emperor Probus, ending in 282 AD. I just finished listening to the last episode as I painted up some of my 29th ID, and I'm kind of sad I don't have another episode to immediately launch into. At least this will let me catch up on the last two WWPD: News From the Front episodes I have missed.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Complete Book of World War II Combat Aircraft

At a recent game of Check Your 6!, a question was brought up about the features of a particular aircraft, and the host hauled out a hefty tome entitled Complete Book of World War II Combat Aircraft. At well over 400 pages, it certainly does seem comprehensive, and each plane is detailed in a full color, full page (at minimum; many have two page spreads) three angle diagram. And best of all-- once I went looking for my own copy, I found one...FOR A DOLLAR. Score! I got it on AbeBooks and they no longer have any copies below $20. Still, for such a large, lavishly illustrated book, that's not a bad price. For somebody like with without extensive knowledge of the subject, it's a great book just to sit down and skim through. Which aircraft accounted for 50% of the Axis planes destroyed in Europe? Read the book! Or the wikipedia entry. Although, the book has much nicer pictures and is certainly more enjoyably tactile.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Piquet Cards

Santa Clarita Wargamer has recently written an entry on Piquet's use of cards to simulate command and control problems. It's worth reading if you're curious about Piquet.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

For Auld Lang Syne

Welcome 2011! I can't believe it's 2011 already. We violated a few local ordnances this evening with a screeching round of fireworks. For my own references as much as anything, Magic Crystals are a lot of fun for the price. These things shriek LOUDLY and actually fly. On the downside, one came back down on my new car! No damage that I could see. It rained pretty hard most of the night, but fortunately around midnight it lightened up quite a bit. Our midnight finale' was Sky Quake, which I was a bit underwhelmed by. It was still a 500g power bundle though, and as it started going off, I thought, "Wow, I wonder which neighbors went to bed early tonight..." For a big piece like that, my favorite is still Loud and Rowdy.