Saturday 31 December 2022

That End Of Year Post - 2022 Edition

    Another year over, what have I done this time? Mostly not quite as much as I thought I was going to, gaming was definitely down on previous years, but I think the quality of gaming was mostly higher, I don't know if this was because I was more grateful to be out or more time in advance was put into thinking about a game instead of grabbing some boxes on the day of a game. 

   I painted about the same amount of figures as last year but bought a lot lot less, I've played less games than any other year since I started collecting data (half of my two lowest years to date) and read less books than recent years. All sounds doom and gloom doesn't it, but I think the game photos from this will show that it wasn't.

Here are the aims I set myself at the end of 2021;

1. Definitely need to start focussing on projects a bit more. I have so many half finished things and while painting numbers in 2021 were high, the actual number of usable armies that came out of this year are shockingly low. Minimum of 1 finished project a month. - This is a fail. Finished 8 but bought 6 new projects and topped up a single unit or two for a few other projects, meant that I not only missed the target but I'm slightly over my year starting numbers.
2. For the love of whatever deity is up there I need to buy less figures. Have a strict 2:1 painting to buying ratio and cannot buy more figures than are painted at that point. - I can probably say I failed this one, the buying spree I had in September ruined a target that I had been passing until then. I have painted more than I bought but not to a 2:1 ratio.
3. No new projects unless for playing someone who is already invested in a game - don't want to be starting loads of new stuff in 2022. - A fail as mentioned above but not disastrous.
4. If 2022 is going to be a repeat of 2021 in terms of wargaming I want to focus on prettier games. Only agree to a game when I have finished all the figures, have scenery and the time to get the game in. Aim for 12 photogenic games. - I've purposefully been harsh on this score and tried to pick the games where I genuinely stood back and said, that's a pretty board, but to be fair, I think I've only played one game this year where I wasn't at least happy with the board and that was the 1st game of Bolt Action at Wayland Games, where I hadn't packed any scenery and they were too short staffed to get me any out of storage, so we just grabbed odds and sods from under the tables. Counting 9 I think.
5. Play more smaller scale games - I still think that smaller scales might be the right way for my hobby to go, but I only managed to get 2 games in with a smaller scaled army, so I've not proved anything to myself or anyone else. Aim for 12 games in 15mm or smaller. - This year I played 3 games with 15mm models, so barely better than last year, but those games I played looked really impressive and proved my ideas do work - to the point I have a lot more 15mm to paint for games next year . . .

   What do I think are my trends from this year? 
  1. I have painted a lot of cavalry and while I've not used as much of it in games as I had planed, my non-WW2 gaming has included a lot more mounted troops than I ever have in the past.
  2. Too many armies played too few times. I played with 26 different forces/collections this year (albeit that some armies included multiple collections in) but only 7 of those collections saw the table more than once. It would be nice for the same collections to see the table a few times in a row next year.
  3. The surprise of Bolt Action and Lord of the Rings being in my top 3 most played rulesets - although Lion Rampant was my most played single ruleset. I knew we'd play some bolt action but I was surprised by how we played and LotR was a complete surprise.
  4. Also surprised by how few board games I played this year.

   As I didn't expect to be playing many games this year I thought it would be a good idea to keep a photo of every game I did play as the year went on, with the aim of seeing what my year looked like, and while the number of games was higher than I thought it would be, I've kept to that plan;

Necromunda in January. Really enjoyed this game and slightly gutted it didn't turn out to be the start of a campaign

WW2 - Bolt Action in January when I didn't realise Waylands wouldn't supply any scenery at all . . .

Crisis of the 3rd century - Lion Rampant in February. My only criticism of this game was that the green mat at Waylands was just too dark* - this was fixed by buying myself (long over due) a green mat of my own
*my painting is dark enough as it is

Seven Year War - Rebels and Patriots in March at Neil's house

The first board game got it's outing in the last week of April

Napoleonic naval action in early May

A couple of games of Bolt Action were played on the same day in mid May using my Soviets

The battle of Hastings at the end of May inspired by a trip to Battle Abbey

WW1 Naval game in June as I started to try and be more regular at club

Quatre Bras (ish) scenario in June. A dark looking game that looked better in person but proved my basing for 15mm Rebels & Patriots worked

A couple of games of Bolt Action in June using my Winter Germans (top) and my US (bottom)

War of the Roses game at the end of June

I tried the new edition of the Horus Heresy rules in early July

We played two games of Lord of the Rings Battle Companies in late July with both of my brothers and one of their partners. Possibly the game I laughed the hardest during this year

A couple of games of Lion Rampant set in the crusades one club night at the end of July. The first game was over in less than an hour but getting a second game in wasn't unwelcomed

It took until the last day of July before I got my second board game of the year in

15mm Goths and Middle Imperial Romans had another go out in August refighting Adrianople (ish)

A couple of games of WotR in the same week in August with a battle of Towton refight above and another game, at Neil's house, below

An afternoon in a board game café with my wife in August added another 5 games to my running total made up of Patchwork (a game I need to buy now) and Tiny Towns. Much food and drink was eaten at the same time

After a few weeks off gaming we were back at Neil's house to put some ACW on the table

Another 6 weeks off gaming before I played a small game of LotR with my youngest brother who wanted to test out his new collection of Minas Tirith. I was feeling pretty smug until Faramir very nearly killed my troll in the first round of combat.

In the same week we then had a couple more games of LotR, this time more Battle Companies.
These turned out to be, messy . . .

Agincourt played the day after the anniversary. The French faired really badly in the mud, but setting up 42 mounted knights was a great feeling. I do need to paint some more foot troops for the French, however.

A couple of linked games of Bolt Action in Mid November based around an US intelligence officer.

The very next day, yet another game, this time American Civil War to try out my new horse holders and dismounted cavalry figures. So obviously neither side's cavalry showed any inclination to follow orders. . .

Then we had a couple of English Civil War/War of 3 Kingdoms games in quick succession, starting with the battle of Upper and Lower Sodmire at Neil's house where I learnt that Royalist Cavalry are really good fun . . .

Followed by a last minute St Andrew's Day game on the last day of November using my Highlanders vs Covenantors where my opponent found out that both Highlanders and Royalist Cavalry were fun . . .

A couple of goes at Flamme Rouge a game I had been trying to get on the table all year. Cannot tell you how good this game is

Britannia AD43 (or so) in December at the request of a wargaming curious mate from Dad's club

3x 3 player games of Lord of the Rings Battle Companies while it turned out I was suffering from covid

So, next year, what do I want to do differently?;
  • I'm looking to limit the armies and time periods I will be playing next year to focus on gaming the period right if I can. Hopefully this will also allow me to finish armies and projects off properly as there will be fewer last minute rushes where I realise I need to buy a limber for a game or something like that.
  • Improve my scenery for more periods. My WW2 Normandy scenery is pretty good now, although slightly lacking on the building front, while some of my other time periods/places aren't doing as well. I need to finish my desert terrain and have another go at modelling the jungle.
  • I definitely need to spread my gaming out a bit, this year I had a lot of hobby gluts then fallow periods. It would be much better to game every other week fairly routinely than play 3 or 4 games in a couple of weeks, then do nothing for a month. Its just the way it worked out this year but I'm sure I can do better.

My aims for 2022;
  1. Focus my gaming. Going to try and focus on desert warfare for the first few months of the year then Normandy in the last few. But happy for a few other games in be mixed in. Going to be hard to score this one.
  2. Play more 15mm - 6x 15mm games in 12 months can't be unreasonable?
  3. 2:1 painting/buying ratio - a return for this aim.
  4. 12x photogenic games - I quite enjoyed this aim in 2022.
  5. No new projects bought at all. This one feels like the sort of aim I will accidentally break in the first 2 weeks of the year but we'll see how it goes. Also I have bought a few projects for 2023, so I'm probably already cheating in the spirit of this aim.
  6. Play more scenarios - Go into a game with a set scenario and limit the amount of games that are just line up and kill them all's.

Lets see how this goes

Monday 26 December 2022

Eldar/Aeldari Dark Reapers - Crimson Scythe Shrine

  In my continued effort to build an Eldar army* with every aspect shrine represented, I ordered a box of the new plastic Dark Reapers the moment they went on preorder, built them, sprayed them, then let them mature nicely on the shelf for a bit.

*I'm not sure why I'm painted 40k either

   I've painted them in the classic colour scheme, following the GW painting tutorial online - except I've dry brushed when they have edge highlighted as life is just too short. I also decided to break my rule on the Craftworld colour scheme on the loin cloths, leaving it off on these models, figuring that the Reaper doesn't have an allegiance.

The heads are a bit shiny and needed a matt varnish before I took these photos.

Thanks for reading

Friday 23 December 2022

Tanith forever

   This is a post that is completely out of it's correct time* as I finished the models in 2020, took the photos, started a post then left it as a draft. As with my first unit they are Tanith 1st inspired rather than actual Tanith, although this post does include the old metal version of Commissar Colonel Ibram Gaunt as I just really like the model.
*A time travelling post?

  The first unit is the command squad including the Commissar Colonel and a special weapon but not a huge amount more to say.

   The second squad is like the first one I posted. 10 men with the compulsory Tred Fether (missile launcher) and gives me my bare minimum platoon**.
**Way too expensive to buy too much more even in the sale that I bought these

   Lastly, not specifically Tanith inspired but the free model I got with my order, a nice commissar that I plan to use any time I need an extra commissar model.

The next post will be back in it's own time period.
Although Victoria Miniatures have re-released these models with an slight upgrade . . .

Thanks for reading

Tuesday 20 December 2022

Take Flight My Pretties

   I had a carefully crafted plan for the end of this year* - projects I planned to get finished and bits to get started for next year. My lull in painting mojo had put a bit of a stopper to that, so I'm now just painting whatever I fancy again. I have been working on bits for my Britannia AD43 (or so) project due to an impending deadline, but I've also been relistening to the Night Lords trilogy, this time on Audible instead of on my kindle after recommending them to a mate. This has led to another project jumping up the backlog that has no rights to be this high up - my Chaos Marines.

*stop sniggering

   I think the last time I did anything on these I said I had finished all my old ones, that was a cover to say I had a whole pile of new stuff waiting to paint. So the bits that made it onto my painting desk this time were the second Raptor squad and a Raptor HQ.

   The raptors I have painted the same as the other unit, and while I'd love to bulk both units up a bit more, maybe giving both units the option of 5 men with and without the 2 special weapons, they are done for the time being - I just can't afford the money it costs to buy more when I have no real aim of this army seeing the table any time soon.

   The lord on the other hand is a bit more interesting. The base of the model is Haarken Worldclaimer, a black legion HQ model who I have replaced the arms, head and jump pack on to make my raptor lord. The conversion will make more sense once I've painted his command squad, but they are a problem for later. Skin wise, I wanted to make this model match my daemon army to show that he is on the path to daemonhood and that these aren't random mutations - his command squad will be a bit more fleshy than this.

Haarken Worldclaimer chaos raptor lord hq

Thanks for reading

Friday 16 December 2022

Yet More Yellow Shields

   It was only as I was working out the sides for the Britannia 43AD (or so) game and having a look at my backlog that I realised I hadn't painted quite as many of my troops as I thought I had. The game itself was only a smallish demo game - 44 points an army, split between 2 players a side - so I didn't need everything, but I was sort a unit of Roman Auxiliaries. 

   Again, like the Skyclad Britons, I had some already built and sprayed, so I grabbed them and started slapping the base colours on to see if they could be done in time*. It was only later that I realised the 14 that I had built and sprayed wasn't everything that I had left, there were another 7 or so waiting in backlog, built but not sprayed . . .

*figuring if the base colours and washes weren't done before bed the day before, there was no point even trying to get the rest of the stuff done the day of the game

   I followed the same recipe that the others on this blog have been painted in, although this batch had the metal command figures that had so far avoided going under the brush. I'll sort the last few out when I next have a moment.

Thanks for reading

Wednesday 14 December 2022

Fearsomely Dressed

   I've had a bit of a painting lull in the past few weeks - although the backlog of posts might not have shown that - which has been brought to an end* by an impending game. Project Britannia AD43 (or so) is a pair of armies that I just haven't managed to make into a decent game despite a couple of plays - using the Rule Britannia fan made Lion Rampant variant, which mixes Lion Rampant rules and Rebel & Patriot stat lines just meant the Celts didn't stand a chance. The Romans should probably win the games, but when between two games there was only 3 combats, and neither of those went well for the Celts meant they weren't fun games for either side. I've seen MG42's less effective than the Roman pilum machine gun.

*as is so often the case

   This time I've gone back to the standard rules and pointed units up accordingly. This then meant I was thinking about my backlog and while I can't get all the figures for these projects done for the game, I thought I'd better make a crack at starting some and the already built and sprayed Skyclad Ancient Britons met the brief perfectly.

   The main bulk of what was left was the second unit of sky clad warriors - although now the units will be going down to 12 figures and not 16, I actually have enough for three units with the extras I've ended up buying.

   Like the last unit, the bulk of the figures are from Warlord Games - I've bought a lot of packs of metal from them now, but there are a few figures from else where. I'm pretty sure at least one figure is from Crusader Miniatures and the woman is from Colonel Bills, just to add some variety. 

Thanks for reading

Wednesday 23 November 2022

We Can Get Off Our Horses?

   A project I didn't expect to be painting this year was American Civil War in 28mm. We played a lot of it in 2019, it was my go to club night game for a fair while, then other things came along and the collections dropped to the bottom of the boxes stack and remained there ever since.

   Then this year, my mate Neil decided to get his Confederates out and wanted a test game to see how dismounted troops for his cavalry could work - something that R&P doesn't normally do. This, however, brought to light the gaps in my collections and that, as a historical gaming period to game, it is brilliant for a club night. A few sizeable orders later and we have a fair bit to paint;

   The first thing onto my desk for this gap reducing drive are dismounted Union cavalry units. This means three bases of horse holders (as I already had one in my collection) and 4 units of dismounted cavalrymen - I seriously doubt I will need all 4 units at one point but it stops issues mid game. 

   I probably need to bulk up the horse holders so that every horse is represented rather than it being a token holding base, but then I need to represent the holders themselves in the unit and it starts to get messy fast.
   We played another game using these new additions and obviously neither side's cavalry wanted to follow orders and were shot off the table before they could deploy, so I'm glad I got them painted up in time . . .

Thanks for reading