Wednesday, August 24, 2016

The Path of Kings

So as tempting as playing AoS or 9th Age was, I have decided to stick with my guns and play the game I already know that I like, Kings of War. To that end, I'm just going to have to put in more effort to finding opponents and playing games. Also, since I do have armies out of the wazoo, I could work on them for the next few years and still not be done.

Locally, I've already sent out the call to find more players, and I've got a play date already set up next month. Now, that may seem like a long time to wait to play, but actually it works out really well for me. You see I got an Abyssal army from Mantic back during the KoW2 kickstarter. It has been sitting in its plastic bags ever since. My play date is the perfect opportunity for me to bust out that army, and get it ready.

So I'll be blogging my progress in the next month on getting the army ready. Now as much as I'd like to say that it would include painting, well.... Lets just say we'll keep our expectations low. There is a small possibility that I could find a color scheme that I like and could get started on it. But, as the whole army is not even assembled yet, we'll take it a day at a time.

Now I've also talked to my friend Robert about joining me. He's got an Abyssal Dwarf army that still needs assembly. So I'm going to put the pressure on him to join me in this quest to get a new army built and ready for next month. I may even sucker him into recording his progress so that I can share here.

First stop, build a list. So next time I'll post up what I'm considering with some thoughts behind the design choices.

Monday, August 15, 2016

The Fantasy Crossroads

Hello all,

So today we are going to talk Fantasy. While my wargaming all started with sci-fi, my real love is fantasy. My whole gaming life really started with D&D. Swords, wizards, magic, and monsters...yeah, that is my first love. I didn't dip my toes though into fantasy wargaming until '94ish? In college, wargaming meant either 40K Rogue Trader, or Battletech. Both excellent and fun games. Warhammer Fantasy battles did exist, but there wasn't a player base around me. Also, being a college student with a tight budget, buying blocks of models didn't appeal to me. However, after college, a few of my buddies did get into it...and of course wanted to draw me in as well. Somewhere in another post I talk about that, but the point is, once I did get into WFB, I was hooked.

Flash forward some twenty years. I own several WFB armies. Heck, I even own a Kings of War army by Mantic. But am I doing anything with them? Nope. Why is that? Well, mostly its because AoS (Age of Sigmar) blew the crap out of the local WFB scene. Basically, fantasy is on complete life support in my area. So here I sit, with a whole office filled with fantasy armies, but no clear direction in which to take them.

There are three paths in front of me, and I can't figure out which one to take. And yes, I do kind of need to take one of them. I simply don't have the time to walk multiple paths, and I need to do something with my models.

Path number one, Kings of War. I really enjoy KoW. It is a good solid game. I think all of my armies have corresponding forces in KoW. Seems like a no brainer. The problem is, it has gotten no traction at all where I'm at. I've tried to get something going, but it looks like the people have all moved on. I think its biggest problem is that it just doesn't have the variety that WFB had in terms of rules. Sure, I could field my Phoenix Guard and Swordmaster models in a KoW army...but in KoW, they are the same unit with the same rules. People get hung up on that loss and can't seem to get around it. So as much as I want to do KoW, I can't seem to find people willing to play it.

Path number two is 9th Age. There is a small group currently trying to attract people to it. So far the reviews from local players is fairly positive. So why am I not jumping on that wagon? Well, mostly because I have to learn a whole system that is as complicated as WFB, but with all new terms. Granted, the two won't be all that different when it comes down to it. But it seems daunting to try to wrap my brain around similar rules with all new terminology. And, lets face it, I'm going to find rule changes from WFB that I don't like or agree with. And since the game is player made, that makes it harder to accept that if GW had made the exact same change. Odd I know. This path just seems like too much work. Probably isn't...just need to convince my head of that.

The last path is Age of Sigmar. That path seems to go down into some fiery depths fairly quickly. What hurts this one the most is that it is GW's game. It is the herald that killed WFB. So you can see, it is hard to embrace the enemy. However, there are people around that are playing it. Also, the fact that it is a skirmish game means I don't need to lug around as many minis. So I can get into it as small or large as I want. Also, the General's Handbook has finally given it point values. Not that I'm looking for a competitive game here, but instead a fun beer and pretzels game. The points just give it structure.

So there I sit. One path I really want to take, but it has no traffic. The one to the left looks like a lot of work, and the one to the right eats away at my soul. I suppose the smart thing would be to try and find more KoW players. If not that, as much as I hate to admit it, AoS is next in line. I get the flavor of WFB, I just need to forget the silly nonsense that is the fluff of AoS and ignore the round bases. Or, I could find someone to teach me 9th Age so I can ignore the new terms or at least link them up correctly through actual play instead of reading.

Feel free to comment with your own opinions and to present possible trails I haven't considered. Until next time folks...

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Adrift once more

So quick note. I'm still completely uninspired with my hobbies. I could drone on and on, but what's the point? Hopefully I'll post something better in a few days.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Droldrums in the Warp

So apparently the SS BrotherG is just kind of wafting around the warp aimlessly of late. But that's okay. This isn't called "The Long Crusade" for nothing. There are just going to be times when either your hobby momentum has hit a snag, or life just comes barging in. For me, the calm is due to PC games for the most part. I've got a glut of options for me when I get home. Couple that with the fact that I'm currently not in any sort of hobby gaming event, and the figs get to sit pretty on the shelf.

So lets talk about how to deal with the doldrums. I think the first solution to feeling aimless about your hobby is to actually find an aim. Create an achievable goal for yourself. It could be as little as "paint a test model" for a given army or faction. This can typically be done in just a few hours. Low time commitment, and you actually produce something. If it comes out well, then you can expand it further. For something like Warhammer or Kings of War, I'd suggest doing a command group. That's three models typically and can still be done in a few hours. From there it shouldn't be too hard to finish out a front rank. After that, try keeping a goal of doing another rank until the whole unit is done. This kind of approach does a couple of things. First, it keeps the scope of work fairly small and manageable. Nothing kills a goal like the feeling that its too much work. This kind of slow progress lets you work on only a few models at a time until you are comfortable with the paint scheme. Once that is done, doing a whole rank is fairly easy as no thought is required. Its sort of paint by numbers. And, within a few weeks or so (varies on how much time you have to give on a daily basis), you'll have a whole unit finished. Heck, just having the front rank done makes the unit look better on the table for play.

As I've touched on before, painting apparently is not my favorite thing to do. But something like the above makes it more attractive. Especially if I can sucker someone else into it with me. Nothing like setting up a painting challenge or group to help keep the momentum up. Keeping something like that to about three weeks sounds about right as well. Unless people are really committed, anything longer than a month is going to peter out.

I'm also a big fan of escalation leagues. Especially when it comes to a new game. But they also work great when doing a new army too. Now of course, I will admit that I'm not good at restricting my purchases when it comes to this type of thing. I once had this whole plan of painting stuff before I bought more stuff. Never happened. I ended up getting so caught up in owning the army, I purchased the whole thing before ever finishing a single model. While that is fun, it can turn a nice gradual plan into an insurmountable heap of minis and you find your interests swinging to greener pastures.

And finally, I do find that having a blog helps. Simply putting thoughts down on web page can keep the embers warm. Hopefully you'll see some movement on my undead army in the next few weeks. They are my first love when it comes to fantasy. I once had a fully painted army, but then got lured by better looking models and as such, have traded or sold most of the older stuff away. So now I have great models, but little paint. Lets see how well I can do to fix that.

Until next time.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Lazy Summer Update

Hello Gentle Readers,

Hope everyone is having a fine Summer. Mine is going okay, but not especially productive. My gaming recently has been pretty much 100% electronic. Most of it playing DDO with friends, however the occasional MechWarriorOnline game has also snuck in there. I have to admit I also bought Overwatch from Blizzard. It is a fine game, but I am a complete newb. I think I play maybe two characters right now and am slowly trying to learn the others. I played some support character this morning who had a very short ranged gun, or could charge up a longer ranged shot (like that ever hit), and could drop little drones all over the place. Ugh...that was not a fun experience. I could only kill something if a cool breeze could knock it over first.

I did expand my bolt action armies, both German and British. I bought the Heer Army expansion and a PIII. So that now gives me a PIV, a PIII, a hanomag, and a command unit to add to my German army. For the British I only picked up an MMG set. I'll work on building them possibly this weekend. Depends on how crazy things get.

I did toss out an idea to my local gaming group about trying a Kings of War escalation league of some sort. I want to use it to motivate me to paint my models, plus I enjoy playing KoW. However, the community here is basically on life support. I think there are just so many game now that the old WFB community is just fractured all over the place.

I've not done anything with my Warmachine, but am waiting for the two player boxes to come out. I might pick one up for the new rules and such and expand one of my armies. Not quite sure which way to go just yet though, or if I even should.

Oh, I did purchase a Firestorm Armada fleet. Already painted and everything...though I'll probably strip it and start over again. But honestly, Spartan games have fallen to the background of my current interest. Its a cycle, so sue me.

Okay, yes, I have also been sucked into Pokemon Go. I'm not going crazy or anything...I mean I am only level 7...but yeah...its fun.

Till next time.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Gaming Momentum

What makes a player stick with a game? And I'm not just talking about playing, as the context here contains the collection and hobby aspect of the various wargames I play. What keeps a player interested in a game/hobby where they continue to expend time and energy into it?

As you may have guessed, I'm currently having another crisis of hobby focus. The last few months I have been trying to stay focused and enthused about Planetfall. I've even invested a good chunk of change into the game again. That being said, my movement recently has completely stalled. I've got this great Relthoza army all assembled. I have a good portion of it primed and ready for painting. And yet the motivation to continue that painting has faded away.

In fact, what is currently on my kitchen table is a flames of war army that I've had for years. I have the 78th Sturmdivision army that battlefront released eons ago. Its a great infantry company that has stugs and armored rocket trucks, infantry guns, and paks. Plus, I bought extra stuff for it way back when as well. So once I finish the army, I'll be able to immediately expand it.

And yet, I have to ask myself, why am I dropping away from Planetfall, and suddenly switching gears to Flames of War? I mean, the model count is pretty close. The scale is similar. Planetfall is already built and some of it primed. But what I'm looking at is assembling a whole army, and then what? Will it get primed, and then left behind for another project?

Is it painting that is my kryptonite? I can get an army all set and ready for painting...and then the floor falls out?

I will admit, that tournaments were the main factor for me painting any of my models. I painted undead for tournaments....and my dwarfs....and my necrons....and my Germans and Italians...all to get them ready for tournaments. In fact, all of my painted armies have been for tournaments. My wood elves were my first army and they were done for a Seattle GT back in the day. The vampire counts were done because I was trying to win a local Rogue Trader event. The dwarfs and necrons were for the OFCC. And my Germans and Italians were for local events and the grand WCP FoW tournaments.

I don't play tournaments anymore. I get too stressed. I'm far too competitive for my own good. The last ones I've played in were for the OFCC, which really isn't a tournament, but pretty darn close.

Now I apparently need to find a new reason to paint. A new form of motivation. Otherwise, I'm going to end up with an entire office filled with assembled minis. :)

Friday, June 17, 2016

Warpstorms block all forms of communication....

Well obviously there were Warpstorms, otherwise, there would have been more updates. :D

I have been gaming. Just not a whole lot of miniature gaming. I've been playing quite a bit of Dungeons and Dragons Online with some college friends and our kids. The game is solid. It is free, and it is the best computer representation of D&D that I have seen. It has true 3D movement (although they have kept true flight from the game). There are super cool traps and such that can be avoided or disarmed. And it has a great class and race selection so that everyone can find something they like. It has just been fun. The built in voice over IP is a must have. It is amazing how 20 years have gone by, and yet my friends and I are still on the same wavelength. If you have never given the game a try, I whole heartily recommend it.

I've also been playing MechWarriorOnline. Battletech was my first table top wargame. I was playing it back when I was a teenager. MWO is a fairly decent sim version of the game. Plus, you can typically get in, and play a match in under 15 minutes. That may not seem important, but when you have a family, finding 15 minutes can be hard, let alone more time. So this is a great way for me to "blow stuff up" as the wife likes to call it and still be there when needed.

My 21" monitor died the other day, and the wonderful wife unit gave me the go ahead to replace it. Having Father's Day just around the corner didn't hurt. So I was able to snag a beautiful 27" ASUS monitor for a very fair price. It is lovely:

Oh this is a thing of beauty. I highly recommend one if you are into PC gaming.

As to mini gaming, I'm still on the path for doing more Planetfall. My gamer ADD though is starting to kick in. Lately thoughts of Bolt Action and Flames of War.....and lets not forget Kings of War, have been bouncing around my head. Oh what a problem to have, so many cool games! There just isn't enough time.

So what should I do next week? Perhaps some painting? I really do need to do a test model for my relthozans. Also, Warlord was nice enough to send me a 20% off coupon for June. So I may have to pick up some British weapon teams for my Bolt Action force. My Germans are fairly well covered.