Sunday, January 26, 2014

New Banner

So, I'm trying a different photo in the header - still haven't figured out how to adjust the text (grrr!).  This is from one of the two pirate games I ran last fall.  Two games, that frankly, didn't go as well as hoped and that lies entirely in my lap - rules were just not where they needed to be.  Though there was also the challenge of not enough players available for the number of games open to be played.  That was disappointing in the first game, ship based - only had three players instead of the nine I'd hoped for.  But it was good for the next day's game, all land based, because the one person who played worked with me on the rules side of things - and the rules, readied too fast, were clearly not ready for full light of day.

This problem may be solved going forward because I may have found the set of rules I've been trying to create - already published by someone else.  Our local group is gravitating quickly towards a standard set of rules, at least for the Horse and Musket periods.   The rules?  Rank and File from Crusader Publishing.  While they are meant to cover from 1740 to 1900, I see no difficulty pulling them back to 1640 or so to include Three Musketeer games - and piratical events, of course.  Nor do I see any challenges in including German East Africa from World War I.  Sure, a few minor tweaks will be needed but the rules lend themselves to minor adjustments without any risk of breaking them.

That does leave the challenge of which rules to use for the Viking era and the Robin Hood 'era'.  Personally, I think I will just make some more significant adjustments to Rank and File and still use them for these periods.  My goal is simple - one set of rules to play all periods, just flavor adjustments needed.  This causes some to suffer apoplexy, I realize, but that is not my concern.  Having more games with less confusion is of greater consequence to me.  And already, at the club, these rules are generating more games.  So, yeah, seems to be the right way to jump.

Saturday, January 25, 2014


Well, as of today some figures that have languished for far too long are now prepped, primed, and pre-based awaiting painting.  These would be the domestic beasts - or most of them.  I have started gluing the horns onto the Minifig's longhorns but that is a chore so will take some time - and then I have to glue the horns on to the highland hairy cattle (Falcon if memory serves).

However, all of the sheep (96) are ready to go (Irregular and some Baueda), the goats (48, Irregular and Minifigs), the pigs (72, Irregular, Baueda, and Hovels(?)), the horses (18 - some Irregular, some Freikorps, some who-the-heck-knows), the donkeys (12 - Irregular???, maybe Museum Minaitures), and the mules (9 - sorry, don't recall but maybe Irregular).  And not just mammals - something is fowl.  I've cooked some geese - and chickens, too (48 and 72 respectively, all from Museum Miniatures).  Actually, I used some Sculpey clay as the base on top of sheet metal bases, stuck the stems of the poultry in that, and cooked for a proper time at a proper temperature - to cure the Sculpey.

Some of the beasts are already painted, 24 sheep, 10 pigs, 5 goats - as are some of the cattle.  After priming (!), I glued the painted ones onto the bases of the others in need of painting - except the sheep which I just based since they had numbers to fill full bases, four of them - but primed bases.  The smaller 'cattle' go 6 to a base, the larger three to a base - 1 1/2" squares, poultry 6 to a base on 1" squares.

Oh, and on the cattle front, I've sorted it out as 48 longhorns, 24 zulu suitable cattle (that can stand-in just fine as more longhorns), 24 beef cattle to be painted as Herefords, 24 beef cattle to be painted as Black Baldys, 24 dairy cattle twice (yup, that is 48) to be painted as, um, dairy cattle (breeds not finalized just yet), 6 cattle to be local 'on the farm' stock - painted however I choose to add some variety, 24 Highland hairys, and 18 Brahmin beasties.  Oh, and I have 18 dead cows (courtesy of Peter Pig).  Except for the longhorns and Hairys awaiting horns, these are all on bases ready for painting - those not already painted (though some will certainly get re-painted in the process to match my plan).  Almost forgot (actually did forget and had to come back and edit in), 12 ancient Aurochs cattle - whoever manufactured these, they were just too big to match most of the other stuff so I landed on painting them as Aurochs, the ancestor of most modern cattle, supposedly.

Some of you may be asking: "What in the world are you going to do with so many 15 mm domestic farm animals?"  Well, finish painting up the dogs, various breeds, various sources, and then start on the other wild beasts I have to either paint or just base if already painted.  And then play with them.  On the table.  With other more 'traditional' miniatures.  Old Macdonald may have had a farm, but I've got myself a veritable Animal Kingdom.  Eat your hearts out!  Oh, wait, your figures aren't very well fed and mine are - morale points to me.

Not to everyone's taste, but having so many animals is to mine.  Visual feast - in more ways than one.