Monday, 12 September 2022

Money, Moving and Miniatures

My guess is that I am not the only gamer who is feeling the pinch. It's not that I am flat broke but money is tight. I am worried that I am about to get shafted by work and of course Christmas is Coming. Add this to the increased uncertainty about what the next months ahead are going to bring.

Having spoken to the people I know in the gaming market, things are not good. Prices are up across the board and margins are tighter than ever, just to stay competitive. Nobody seems to be on the edge, well except my local gaming cafe, but they are worried about the future. So buy it now whilst it's cheaper and whilst you still can. I wonder what the new year will bring? 

I spent some money at Partizan but not as much as I would under normal circumstances. I have brought some Star Wars:Legion stuff of eBay but only because it was ridiculously cheap. Right now I suspect that I will get more figures as gifts that I will buy for myself this year. My brother in law gave me a box full of 40k bits. There is not a lot that is of instant use but I can see some uses for it. There is a knackered Rhino and a Hammerhead that I have no practical use for but I can see them being used as terrain pieces. 

There are a couple of itches I want to scratch but I am guessing that I will be waiting until next year. Stargrave has been the main focus this year and there is some new stuff for that I really want.  I have developed an urge to make a couple of Sludge armies. As there are no other players I would need to do two armies so this becomes a bigger project. Then of course there are all the existing projects on the bench already. 

Right now I don't really need any more. I have a grey legion sprayed even greyer which is based and ready to go. This hasn't got much smaller this year but I have kept almost kept pace with painting and buying. This is not such a good thing as I would have liked to get more figures painted but I have been saying that every year recently. 

The solution is consolidation. So I am moving in with my other half and hopefully that will sort out some of the problems. Most of my stuff is now boxed up and ready to go. As I posted last week, I have trimmed a load of stuff from it's sprues. This has freed up a whole 35l RU Box and been replaced with a couple of mid sized zip lock bags. Maybe I will get round to finish a few before the move (I said it was boxed up I didn't say I'd moved the boxes off the bench) but I guess I am done for a while. My biggest gaming purchase of the year, so far at least, has been on a couple of KR Multicases. These are now a week passed their dispatch date so I am getting a bit twitchy. I wouldn't have brought these but for the move. They are really just to protect what I have whilst I am moving.

Moving in is something I want to do but I have a feeling it is going to keep me away from painting. Space, at least for a little while, is going to be at a premium. Every time I move I complain about the space I have for a work station. I have managed to work out a paint station that works but is not my ideal but this looks like something I am definitely going to miss, This time should hopefully be the low point with the prospect of moving on up thereafter. I've gone from having a room to considering a large travelling makeup case.

If anyone has any suggestions about semi-portable paint stations (it's not going to be moved out of the house but needs to be able to fit in a corner) I would appreciate it?

So two posts in a week. It's funny how things change. I really have the urge to paint but I guess that's because I am tired of looking at boxes. Despite that I might get a chance to cheat a little.

Saturday, 10 September 2022

D&D Why I Love To Hate It

Setting aside Airfix figures, my first real gaming passion was role playing. I got started with Tunnels and Trolls. I have a lot of love for that game but I recognise that it isn't really the best game on the market and that over time it has become even less like the first choice. Great for solo play but then so was Fighting Fantasy. Even then there were better games.

I moved on to Basic D&D and quite liked it. It was a better game. I played a few games of AD&D and then kind of forgot about it until 3e. I didn't really want to play D&D even then. We had been playing Harn, which is a system I really love. Harn was a series of experiences that I loved and even made me cry. Then Butch brow beat the DM into converting the characters into 3e. I cried again when I figured out that my somewhat flawed but courageous holy warrior would have to become a paladin. I mean a paladin. It's just not me. Lawful Good, well it's just crazy.

So this became the norm for a few years. Roleplaying was just not as fun anymore. Three big books later and I was really done. Then 3.5e came along and then a load more money went out the door. It didn't really improve the game, it just changed it. Too much detail in the rules lead do what I called "real life lag" as the rules lawyers got into it with the DM. Most of which was Butch trying to get his own way. It very quickly ceased to be fun.

4e came along and somebody else tried to talk me into it. This justs seemed to take some of the ideas of magic, tapping abilities and the like. I never ran the game as I just could not wrap myself around the ideas. I got persuaded to play a Warlord. This meant that most of the time it was better for me to give another character an extra action than do something myself. This is just not worth playing.

I cannot comment on 5e as I never played it. I was bored before I even started. This would have been the fourth set of books in ten years or so. D&D just seems to be so wrapped up in itself. In fairness this is not the worst abuse of the fan base, I am looking at you GW. That said, most contemporary RPGs require a significantly lower cash outlay to get into the game.

Modern D&D has a number of backgrounds but they are just absurd. It moved away from sort of the classic high fantasy races to those that were created just to make the races look different. As a figure painter I like to have figures for the characters and it is only comparatively recently that this was actually possible. They seem to tinker for the sake of tinkering. This allows them to charge the players even more money.

Probably it's just me. D&D has the same number of players as Columbia has people (that's 50 million). I see the game being played by a particular type of player. They are less about the story and more about the ability to kill  every mother f{}%ker in the room. It makes the game less for for the few of us who love the story. 

Yet this is the game people want to play. Even now there are better games to play.

Tuesday, 30 August 2022

Sprues and the Pile of Shame

 Looks like I am about to move again. As a way of making the pile of shame a little easier to hide, I mean move, I have trimmed everything from the frames. This is one of the bags.

OMG how much shit do I own?

I never really think of myself as a hoarder but when it comes to moving house I begin to question that. 

Friday, 29 July 2022

6mm Wargaming

6mm wargaming? Well I used to do that quite a bit. Going back thirty years it was practically all I did. Timing is becoming my thing at the moment so this is about a month out of date but I went to the Joy of Six recently. It's not really my thing now but a few of my mates, and one in particular, are still keen. So having done my duty in the morning, the thought in my head was "what the hell". It was on the cards anyway.

I enjoyed the show. Some pretty stuff there. I got several ideas. More about the terrain than the figures. I spoke to a lot if people from the world of internet wargaming. So had a nice time there. 

For some reason I did not buy anything aside from food and a drink. I was looking at the idea of brigade games' Imperial Skies. If I got two forces I could probably find another player. As my paint queue of 28mm stuff is at least four years, if I only include what is painted and based. I would to think how long the rest would take.

Given that I am more into the idea of gaming in a more compact area, 6mm has a lot of appeal. There has  been a lot of growth in the area and it now covers a number of areas I am interested in. Skirmish is still winning, I have pretty much everything I need for that but I am always open to a change. The fact that I still need two armies kind of puts me off.

Polemos rules seem pretty good to me. They have worked for Napoleonics and I imagine they will be fine for the other two mass battle periods that I like the idea of, ACW and ECW, would probably also work. Give that I like the idea of making everything smaller I would like to make the 60mm square bases smaller, 40mm or 30mm. As I am working on the premise of using skirmish sized tables, this would allow me to get biggish battles on the table.

The last gaming that involved 6mm was a Napoleonic game. The plan was to refight the entire The Napoleonic Wars using a boardgame of that name as a campaign structure. That might sound impressive, if not stupid. The plan was big but the forces involved would not have been that high in reality. I was going to be the French and I was figuring £200 would have given me absolutely everything and a few allies. So I spent most of that. I think I was a bit light on artillery but that was about it.

So I started painting. After arguments about rules and basing we started to make progress. Then it petered out. Every now and again I paint a few more bases. Just to keep my hand in really. It's something I wouldn't mind going back to. I play about with the idea every couple of years and I drag a few minis out for some out for painting. As I recall it's the Hussars that have the most interesting uniforms so they get the most attention.

Somewhere there is a part of me that would love to get back into this scale. The idea revolved around using the boardgame, The Napoleonic Wars, as a background. It's already a pretty enjoyable game. I play Napoleon so I do pretty well all the way along, right almost to the end. We had played our way through this a couple of times. This wasn't going to be an every week game but it was an opportunity to get together and make an event of it. Personally I could have see this going on longer than the actual war. Everyone was picking a side, getting the figures. It just kind of fizzled out. 

Friday, 1 July 2022

Playing To Type

After going to the Phalanx Show yesterday myself and a few friends were at mine to play boardgames. I have a batch of games that I have acquired over the last few of isolation. Not quite a burning desire but I was heavily tilted towards playing them. When they found out that I had a copy of Escape From Colditz, the discussion was over.

You may not be familiar with the game but it was a staple of my childhood. It was a game l played a lot with some long lost good friends when I was at primary school. Its especially memorable because it was played a lot on the last day at school. Osprey Books did a reprint and whilst I thought it would be a nice buy I wasn't going to spend the money on a game I didn't think anyone would play it. Then I saw it in a charity shop for a tenner. I just couldn't not buy it.

So although the clear winner by a country mile, it was only possible because of my friends and we all got a chance to take a step back into childhood. It is still a good game but to me it is how all the participants play to type. It is possible to figure out what is going to happen when you play with the same people for decades. So whilst I got two of guys to safety, taking chances and getting one killed I did so because the French, in blue (heavily camouflaged on the blue safe squares) were there to give me the kit to do it whilst playing to type, the cheese eating surrender monkeys. Cheers Martin. 


Sunday, 19 June 2022

Father's Day

Today was Father's Day. I've had a nice meal (eaten very quickly in the playground area of a beer garden because that's what you do) and I got a few nice presents. Phoenix Point is a game I have been after for a while and Count Dooku for Star Wars Legion.

This is the kind of present that makes happy.

Sunday, 5 June 2022

On a Role

Role-playing us about the only gaming I am doing at the moment. Setting aside throwing rocks at Airfix figures and MB Games Tank Battle, the first real gaming I did was Tunnels & Trolls. I liked the way the game sounded way more than D&D. Something that I still feel today. The wargaming thing came along shortly after. It was a long time before board games became a thing and they were usually played alongside the people I used to RPG and wargame with.

It has to be said that I am missing wargaming more than a little. Board gaming is perhaps the easiest ask. There are plenty of opportunities as board game cafes seem to be everywhere now. I have a gaming group for RPGs but would like to run my own games again which looks like it will happen soon. Wargaming, because it's generally one on one is just harder to find opponents for. There are a few possibilities but I guess we will see.

We all know that this kind of hobby is a bit niche. A lot of players are somewhere on the spectrum, even me apparently, and it depends what you are  comfortable with. I struggle with rules lawyers and I struggle even more with the "I'm right and I will shout longer and louder than you until you accept I am right, no matter what the rules say". I see this a lot with games geared towards competitive play, the ones with big armies that need big pockets to play. Past experience if these puts me off. Months of painting and a big financial outlay ruined by shouty angry people.  This is perhaps why I prefer skirmish games.

So I guess what I aim for now is the more solitary experience. My plan to breed some gamers is still work in progress but will take a little time. In the mean time I will just keep it going.