There was a conversation on the Toofatlardies yahoo group recently about striking the balance in your hobby time between wargaming, painting, and blogging. Over the last few months, i've found that i really do value my painting time as a much needed wind down after what can often be a busy and stressful job, and also the social experience of gaming. Unfortunately, this has meant that almost all of my hobby time over the last few months has been devoted to painting and gaming.
|A Saxon priest tries in vain to use the power of the old gods to mark assessment tasks.|
Considering that, I'm thinking that this long overdue post will be an update of what i've been up to, and what's coming on the horizon as far as the blog is concerned.
The release of Dux Britanniarum: The Raiders from TFL, together with conversations down at the club about running a Dux Brit campaign have seen me dust off my half finished Romano-British and Saxons and get painting. I can now report that the Romano Brits are finished, (it only took two years!) and the Saxons are well on their way. Ad I must say that I do really enjoy painting up dark ages figures, especially when the figures in question are the superb Musketeer miniatures offerings.
I've also managed to knock up a load of scratch built buildings and some terrain. Since studying in Leeds, I've developed an affinity for the North, and so my Romano-Brits are based around the Kingdoms of the Old North, Elmet and the Pennines. This not only gives me a chance to build some craggy mountains, fenland, and scruffy looking thatched buildings, but the new Gwyr y Gogledd (Men of the North) rules in Raiders means that I can swap out some of the Romano-Brit milites and comanipulares for the superb Arthurian mounted types from Musketeer and Gripping Beast. While my wife was recovering from laser eye surgery, I used Mitch's excellent blog as inspiration to build all the buildings required for a Dux Britanniarum campaign, and they've also come in handy for SAGA! As far as terrain, I knocked up some fenland, a couple of large hills and a huge craggy mountain (2"x1"), and I also picked up some fake moss sheets from eBay which look to be ideal for moorland. All of this should stand me in good stead for a Gwyr y Gogledd campaign, and come in handy for SAGA too.
|The Northern British landscape. My terrain project is aimed at reproducing a similar 'look||'|
In the near future, I'll be posting up some pictures of the finished Romano-Brits, followed closely by the Saxons. As far as what is coming up in the pain ting queue, after having a crack at SAGA, I'm also very keen to get my Normans and Byzantines painted up and on the table. Then I've also got a Pict starter force for Raiders which might be fun as well. And then there's the rest of my early war CoC project. On the whole, i'm very happy that despite the sometimes overwhelming workload, I've managed to keep plodding along with my painting and modelling.
|A Romano-British community takes shape, watchtower, church, even a pigsty!|
I've managed to get a load of gaming in, having ventured down to the Central Coast Wargamers Club a couple of months ago. The club is made up of a great bunch of blokes with a wide interest in historical gaming, and at the monthly meetings, i've managed to get in a load of diverse games. Last month, I introduced Chain of Command, which went down a treat, and I've also managed to have a crack at Impetus, some homebrew Napoleonic grand battle rules, and finally got a chance to play some SAGA. After playing a game through, I do see what all the fuss is about this set, it's fast, fun, and is very evocative of the types of scrappy, exaggerated skirmishes found in the sagas. I'm keen to try out the Normans, and once they're all painted up I might even start up a gaming club at school, as this would be an ideal intro into historical gaming.
In the next few months, a few of us are planning on starting up a Dux Brit campaign, so i'm very much looking forward to that. Some of the campaign blogs, like Dalauppror's, Mike's Trouble at T'Mill, Guitarhero Andy's, Moiterei's bunte Welt, Conflict of Interests, and Trailape's blog, along with a load of others, have provided some fantastic inspiration.
I've also managed to have a few games of Dux Brit, albeit with half painted forces, and the other night had a load of mates over for a game based around the 70th anniversary of D-Day. This was another Chain of Command initiation for the lads from my other gaming group and we saw British Paras backed up by a DD Sherman holding off a determined attack against Ranville by 21st Panzer troops with armoured support. Despite some hairy moments, the paras held firm, and the end of the game was decided by the British team's use of the Chain of command dice, which interrupted the German panzershreck team's shot at the Sherman and wiped them out. Out of interest, we then rolled as if the CoC dice hadnt been played, and the panzershreck brewed up the Sherman and the explosion took out half of the accompanying para section! Good job the CoC dice was there, it would have been poor form for the dastardly Hun to win on the 70th anniversary! Everyone seemed very impressed with the system and great fun was had by all.
I must say that i'm really enjoying the regularity, as well as the diversity, of the games i've been able to get in this year, and am looking forward to more of the same!
|D-Day +70 Game. Ranville, with Pegasus Bridge just off table beyond the town.|
|Steve, Brian and Noel command the heroic defenders.|
|Battle rages in Ranville|
|The 13/18th Hussars Sherman DD moves up to support the beleagured paras.|
|A FOG Renaissance Conquistadors v Aztecs game at CCWC|
|Kevan's superbly painted Nikephorian Byzantines march against an Arab army, a Hail Ceasar game at CCWC|
|My first game of SAGA. My unblooded Vikings face Steve's Anglo-Danes. The buildings are the scratchbuilds I recently completed for Dux Brit.|
|My Warlord and his Beserkers charge the Anglo Danes. The SAGA board 'Odin' ability saved these guys from the English archers more than once!|
|The Anglo-Danish Housecarls fall|
|Clash of Warlords. Sorry for the blurry pics, my beloved Canon IXUS 120 died!|
|And the Danish lord falls slain!|
So, that's what i've been up to. I'm really interested to hear how you all manage your hobby time. I know that in the past browsing forums and blogs have swallowed a load of my time, and I'm not unhappy that in spending less time on the computer i've been able to get so much of gaming and painting done in the last few months. That said, I do feel that wargaming has a very strong online community, one which it's a real pleasure to be a part of, and with my lack of 'online' hobby time, I do feel like I'm missing this online community.
Hopefully I'll be posting on this blog a little more regularly, even if the posts are a little shorter, and I'll try to post some comments on many of your blogs as well, all of which I read and enjoy. I'm constantly amazed by bloggers like Sidney Roundwood and Mike of Trouble at T'Mill and their ability to keep pumping out engaging posts on a very regular basis, while managing real life and painting up a never ending line of little masterpieces.
For those of you who read this blog, I'm afraid that for now you'll have to make do with my sorry, sporadic ramblings! Until the next one, happy gaming and painting!