Tuesday 31 December 2019

That end of the year post - 2019 edition

   So, I know a lot of people aren't fans of the end of the year review style posts, but sadly for anyone like that, I love them, so here is mine;
  1. 52 games target - classic and a good thing to keep to - Smashed it with 157 games played. It helped that I've played a lot of board games with a few different groups of mates and a fair few quick party games.
  2. Paint more than I buy - damaged my backlog last year, so want to keep that up - This was going to be a massive success again until late November when my mate Neil sold me two whole armies, so Failed.
  3. Not to buy into any small scale skirmish games this year - esp not fad looking ones - I'm going to say I failed this one too. I bought into Burrows & Badgers, Aeronaticus Imperalis and the new Necromunda.
  4. Finish some key projects (again) - Sword and Spear - Failed, at least one of my Dark Age projects (I have 3 that need most of the army painted) - Finished one, almost finished a second but bought a third and 2.5k of 30k Ultramarines - Only 2k finished at the sec but they have been on the table.
  5. Play some key rulesets - Sword and Spear (been meaning to try this since it came out) - Failed again, bigger games of Sharp Practice 2 - Not actually played Sharp Practice at all this year, more 30k (still loving playing this) - Definitely passed, Titanicus  - Played but not a huge amount, Kill Team - Played a couple of games but nothing properly yet - this list could go on and on.
   The long and the short is that the year started to target but it went off the rails really quickly. The big thing I have done this year is really rediscover my love for the Lion Rampant family of games (The Men Who Would Be Kings, Rebels and Patriots and Pikeman's Lament) which has led to quite a few new armies for the above games. I think the big thing, is that I don't regret some of these big projects - ACW for example was really good fun to paint, made for easy pick up games and has inspired me to convert my Napoleonics over to Rebels and Patriots for 2020.
   While I think I said that 2017 was my 'year of the boardgame', 2019 has definitely stolen that title, with my stats showing I've played the same amount of different board games as I have wargames rules. This was helped by starting a few occasional board gaming groups some of whom could supply their own games which expanded my opportunities massively, but really getting back with my old club, SEEMS, has massively helped me game more this year.
   In pure stats I've had a middling year in terms of figure painting and I think I can confidently say that I have never started as many new projects in a single year as I have this year, but this has been more than made up for in terms of the sheer variety of gaming and the amount of books I have caught up on - hitting my non-hobby target of 100 novels in a year.
   2019 was also the year that The Mournival Podcast started up, which has been really good fun to be involved with.

   I always end up saying that *insert year here* has seen me play less pretty games, and I think this year has been no different on that front. I have played some brilliant looking games, so I don't want to take anything away from them, but I definitely need to up my game for next year.

   Looking forward to 2020, what do I want to achieve? This is something I have thought about a fair bit over the last few weeks and I think the answer will just be a variation on last year's aims;

1. Play 52 games - of with 26 must be 30k - As I am on a 30k podcast I really need to know what I am talking about and make sure I don't have a dry spell like 2019
2. Paint more than I buy - Especially after failing in 2019 and going to add that my bought figures must never go higher than painted numbers
3. Really must not buy into too many more projects - Ultimately this will tie into aim 2 as this is another backlog aim
4. Look to finish some older projects properly - Baggage, non-coms, appropriate scenery etc all make a battle feel more realistic - just painting 24 points of a Lion Rampant army doesn't quite cut it
5. Replay (mini versions of) famous battles - 2019 saw us play a mini (and it really was mini) version of Hastings, and this is something I'd like to do with other periods. Get a feel for what each side had and what the conditions were, then replay it, so looking at Agincourt, Nasby, Towton, maybe even Bosworth?*

   I had also hoped to get another post in before the end of December but the month ran away from me, so this is the best point to talk about Cavanuary. Towards the end of the year I always get thinking about some strange stuff and this year's strange thing was how much cavalry I have waiting to be painted, so I've decided to only paint and post about cavalry units** in January, with any units painted at the end of December being held back until February to post about.

*Although that'll be at least a couple more new projects
**I plan to bend that definition at times

Thanks for reading

Monday 23 December 2019

Armiger - Knight in Training

   I've spoken about doing an imperial knight army a few times on the Mournival Podcast as a daft 'one day' idea, but somehow it has since gained traction and became a daft idea that I am actually doing. I've got a few knights that I am in different stages of work on and due to the size of this model, it got to the front of the queue a bit quicker than the remaining ones.
   As the Armiger is something like a squire or a knight on probation, I've kept the knight free of heraldry, the pilot has to earn it before they can show it. Although, judging by the weapons on this one the household already has some thoughts on the suitability of the aspirant.

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Friday 20 December 2019

Blacken the sky with arrows

   Following on from the first unit of men at arms we have the famous English and Welsh archers, without whom the history of the period wouldn't be the same. Like the foot men at arms, these guys are Perry Miniatures with a Front Rank metal archer at the front*. I'm painting them in batches as per normal and trying to pick uneven numbers of archers that have the colours of a certain captain and those of uncertain loyalty so that by the time I have finished it should just be a mess of different colours.

*Yes, I know the swearing myth is incorrect, but its too good a model not to pick up

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Tuesday 17 December 2019

The fewer men, the greater share of honour

   As usual, when I should be painting the last unit I need to finish a project off, what do I do? Start a new project . . . While my last unit of Norman cavalry languishing on my painting table for another day, this new project is the late 100 years wars - notably Agincourt but going right up to the fall of English France.
   I've started with the English - simply because I know slightly more about them - and as this project is going to be a big one*, I plan to break it down into at least 4 chunks. The first two chunks will be getting enough figures for both sides to be able to play a game of Lion Rampant at about the 26-28 points mark, with the last two chunks expanding both forces both for a bit of variety and for playing much bigger games.

   The first unit finished was a unit of English Men at Arms (using the rules for expert foot sgts in Lion Rampant) as once I spent a bit of time looking at the models they seemed fairly quick to paint and I wanted to get something finished quickly to give the project some real sense of movement. As mentioned below, the models are Perry Miniatures men at arms but they use the same sprue for their 'English knights' too, so I'm not going to be too hung up on terminology as the two groups would be pretty close to being identical**. The banner in the unit is Sir Matthew Gough, for no other reason than it is one that I had.

*Buying about 6 boxes of Perry's plastics off a mate and looking to buy another
**My knights will have a mix of the Perry 'French knight' sprue and a bit more bling to stand out

Thanks for reading

Tuesday 3 December 2019

Solid block of infantry

   As I said on the first of this quick trilogy of Norman posts, I was a lot busier in the last week or so with my hobby than my blog has suggested, but now I am starting to slow down again, it felt like the perfect time to get back up to date with the posts.

    I always like the idea of at least two solid blocks of infantry in a game of Lion Rampant, so when I was planning my Norman I knew I would be buying more spearmen. The Gripping Beast starter box set comes with 2 units of Horsemen, a unit of archers and a unit of crossbowmen and I already had a unit of spears which were bought to be mercenaries for my late Saxon army. So another quick trip to Gripping Beast got me the numbers I needed to boost units from Saga to Lion Rampant sized units and got me the extra infantry unit I wanted.

Thanks for reading