Friday, February 29, 2008

Game Night Feb 27, 2008

First I have to apologize for the lack of posting and the delay in posting game night info. I started a new job recently and it has been occupying my mind heavily.

So this past game night I got to watch a great game of DBA between my Macedonians, fielded by Darron, against Neil and his new Pyrrhic army. Not a true historical match up but an absolutely great game none the less. In the end Darron managed to earn the victory but it was quite the slug-fest. It was only Neil's second game and so he is still getting used to the rules but he did a great job. A few better die rolls and the game might have been his.

So congrats to Darron on the win and a good effort by Neil. I'm sure he will be kicking ass with his Pyrrhic army soon enough.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Game Night Feb 20, 2008

No camera for tonights gaming unfortunately but I probably wouldn't have bothered anyway. Not because there wasn't games worth grabbing pics of, but because I had to use all my time to focus on my game.

Tom was by for the first time in a while and so he and I had a game of DBA. Since my Spartans are still sitting on the bench he had to settle for playing my Athenians and I took Alexander. Tom always gives me a challenging game. He doesn't leave me any openings and so I have to earn everything I get from him (or hope he has crappy dice luck, which does happen a little too often for the poor guy to be honest). Tonight I got a solid victory but it was hard work and I had to think about every single PIP I spent. Thanks for the great game Tom!

Tom had a really awesome game of Warhammer warbands using his Khorne army against Darrons Ogres. It didn't look too good for Tom in the beginning but his Champion of Khorne, despite losing Frenzy, pulled a win out for him in the end. The game was a spectacle and a half I can tell you. Better luck next time Darron.

All in all a good gaming night.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Game Night Feb 13, 2008

Yesterday was not the best of days. I woke up sick and though I felt good enough to go game when the time came I was not altogether with it. I had taken my camera and then completely forgot to get any pictures. Not that I would have wanted to document the absolute slaughter that occured. Darron played my Athenians and I my Macedonians and I ended up feeding my army to him piecemeal. I kept saying to myself "Don't do that." but it happened anyway.

Then as the night wore on the sicker I got. Needless to say I feel like crap today too.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

On the Bench

I'm in the midst of working on the horde of Greeks that are on my workbench at the moment. Right now I'm painting the Spartans with the Thebans on deck.

Look at that mess, I really need to reorganize my workbench.

But then I decided I needed a change of scenery as it were and finally cracked open my Warhammer 40,000 Eldar Army box I bought with the latest reissue. Here is the Wraitlord in progress.

And here is what I have completed so far.

Notice that the Fire Dragons are missing an Exarch. My stupid army box had the six Fire Dragons it was supposed to but none of them Exarchs. Lucikly GW didn't balk at sending me a new one so I should have it by the end of the week. I just need to finish the Wrathlord, three Warwalkers and Falcon and I will have built everything I currently own. Then it will all go sit on the shelf with my other unpainted 40K armies. Someday they will get painted.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Going Solo

I've been getting pretty frustrated lately with the lack of gaming in my life. Sure, I feel pretty lucky to have such a kick-ass gaming group in the gaming wasteland that is Portland Oregon, but just one night a week doesn't cut it.

I plan to play more games with my kids, but I don't get anywhere near the level of gaming satisfaction from that as I need. Though as time goes on that will change.

Gaming with the wife is more painful than it's worth. At least the kids are interested in playing games. My wife, I love her dearly, but she just doesn't game. It's sad really.

So I decided to start gaming solo as much as I needed. Gaming solo isn't anywhere near as enjoyable as getting together with your friends, throwing some beer and pizza down your throat and taunting one other mercilessly while pretending to kill his toy soldiers using your toy soldiers and a bucket load of dice. If there is a Nirvana, let me tell you, that's it.

However, beggars can't be choosers so solo gaming it is. With that in mind I decided to try to make some headway with what are widely considered some of the most solo friendly rules in existence. Those from Two Hour Wargames. Specifically their game 5150. Alas that did not go so well. 5150 (and frankly most of THW rules) is a game that I want to love. I really do. It has so much going for it. But the mechanics are just flat not fun. I know there are a lot of THW fans out there and I say more power to you. I own a lot of their games myself, but every time I try to play them it's an exercise in frustration. The Reaction System is great in theory but I find it tedious and annoying in practice.

I considered using the Stargrunt II rules (which are now a free download by the way) because they are a fantastic set of rules that do a great job of capturing ultra-modern combat. But they don't cater well to alien races and the combat system, while really good, doesn't have a lot of room for extreme variation or bizarre weapon systems.

So now I'm thinking about using the No Limits game. It uses more familiar mechanics and has the additional benefit of being completely free. It has a complete figure, equipment and force creation system that looks clean and straight forward. You can just hustle over to Wargames Unlimited to get it or one of their other free games if you are interested.

Since I'm mainly interested in doing a heavily narrated campaign I'm creating a journal for tracking my characters and their games. So, with that in mind I have started another (undoubtedly pointless) blog to act as my journal. If you can spare the brain cells that will commit suicide because you forced them to read my drivel, just head on over to Holden Salvage. But don't say I didn't warn you.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Game Night Feb 06, 2008

Well tonight was a game of DBA between myself using my Athenians and Neil using my Macedonians. This was Neil's first game of DBA and he did well. But he made a pair of critical mistakes that let me take his camp and coupled with some bad dice rolls meant I won the game rather quickly. It was a very fun game however and hopefully Neil will soon have his Pyrrhic (II/27b) army ready for the table and more DBA action.

Game Over!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

1/72 Plastics

I've been rather busy of late and so I have been somewhat neglecting the blog. My friend Tom wondered about an update so I figured now was as good a time as any to write the little blurb I had promised on why I like 1/72 plastics so much.

I discovered 1/72 plastics quite by accident. Being a Warhammer Fantasy Battle and Warhammer 40,000 player I was trolling the net one day in an effort to find cheaper alternative miniatures to feed my need to own every single army under the sun. As it happened, searching for "plastic miniatures" brought me to Plastic Soldier Review which is an excellent site devoted to 1/72 plastics. While it didn't apply to my needs at the time I bookmarked it for future reference.

Time went on and I started to get interested in perhaps doing WWII and Moderns skirmish gaming and had purchased some rules for that but I had such a heavy investment in WHFB and WH40K that I didn't want to go down the 28mm path again. I really like 28mm miniatures but their cost can be prohibitive especially when you add vehicles into the mix. So I began to look for alternatives and low and behold I read that 1/72 was a popular scale for these genres due to the inexpensive and prolific vehicle kits. This of course reminded me about Plastic Soldier Review so I went to have a look at what was available for actual soldiers. The reviews of WWII soldiers seemed promising but I wanted to see them in the flesh before I committed.

The next day I went to a local hobby store that I thought carried 1/72 plastics and got my first look at a set of Italeri WWII Americans. They were far far better than I had expected. Their detail was superb and it was only $9.50 for a box with 45 miniatures!! I bought them and some Germans and a couple of 1/72 tanks.

At the same time I was getting interested in both Ancients and Napoleonics and decided to buy some boxes for those periods as well. As time has gone on I have extended my collection a great deal with 1/72 plastics.

I can hear you saying, "Great, but why? What makes 1/72 plastics better than 15mm or 28mm?" Well, I wouldn't say they are "better" necessarily. It really is about perspective. For me cost is the number one issue. This is simply because I know myself and knew exactly what was going to happen as soon as I started playing ancients with my gaming group. I was going to start wanting armies, lots of armies. That same motivation had really hit my bank account with WHFB and 40K and I didn't want a repeat of that. At the same time I knew I didn't want to try to limit myself on army counts. So in the end, price, above everything else was what made me decide that 1/72 were for me. Having said that, price is irrelevant if the miniatures were not good enough for me and 1/72 were very surprisingly good.

Are there draw-backs to 1/72 plastics? Oh you bet there are.

First, they are a real pain to work with. Cleaning up mold lines and doing conversions are made that much harder by the soft plastic that is used. Regular plastic glue (usually) doesn't work and so you need to find alternatives such as plastic activator with super glue or "hot welding". Even more than with regular hard plastic and metal miniatures you need to be sure they are thoroughly washed and properly primered before you paint them. For me, the glueing and painting issues are small and easy to deal with. The only one that really bugs me is mold lines and they vary from none at all to just bad enough to be annoying.

Second, while the periods and armies covered is rather broad, the depth of coverage is inconsistent and things such as command models are a bit harder to deal with.

Third, quality isn't always consistent between sets from the same manufacturer so you have to carefully review your potential purchases to be sure that they meet your needs.

Fourth, historical accuracy isn't guaranteed. As with quality, if you are concerned with historical accuracy make sure you review the sets you wish to purchase first. Plastic Soldier Review is the perfect resource for this.

In the end, I don't regret deciding on 1/72 plastics. On the contrary, I am very happy with that decision. As it stands I now have two painted DBA armies in this scale and nine more waiting their turn in the queue. There is no way I could have gotten so many of the armies I am interested in if I had chosen any other scale. Even if you never decide to use them, I would suggest you look at a few boxes at your local FLGS and see for yourself that they really are every bit a valid part of miniature wargaming as lead.