Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Crowd Funding Update: Bushido!

Just another small update for today.

Kickstarter and Indigogo are both "crowd / public funding" websites and as of late have seen a rather large influx of wargaming companies hoping to find the monetary backing to expand ether the company, the range of miniatures or their whole game system.  One of the companies whose Indigogo campaigns I have been following with great interest is Bushido.

Later on this week I hope to have an entry done for Bushido in my ongoing "Games that interest me / project primer" as it has been on my radar for many a few months now.  What with the superb perks available to the backers for their campaign to introduce a new faction, the Ito, I have been sucked in and in the future will be receiving the Ito and Prefecture of Ryu starter sets (plus some extra models thanks to the stretch goals having been met).

In any case, the original goal of 5,000$ to launch the new faction has been completely smashed and now stands at a couple hundred over 25,000$.  With still over 60 hours left in the campaign, there is still time to support it and have access to the advantages.  Who knows, they might even add another small stretch goal that will give the supporters ever MORE freebies!

And now I must fix my personal blogging peeve of too much writing and not enough pictures by showing off some of the AWESOME artwork of the now officially upcoming Ito Clan done up by the crew over at GCT Studio (the producers of Bushido)

Happy birthday Frontline Gamer!

A couple of weeks ago the totally awesome blog Frontline Gamer celebrated its first birthday!  In an effort to boost the number of followers to his blog, Frontline is running a series of giveaways.  To be eligible, its quite easy, just publicly follow his his blog like all seven of my followers do and post a comment in the comment section for the various giveaway posts.

Not only is he giving away a LOT of very cool stuff, but the content on the blog is absolutely fantastic.  Covering many of the games that intrigue me, the evil (and I put this lightly) that is Frontline Gamer has started me down the path of many a few projects over the last couple of months.  Give it a read, you won't be disappointed.

Monday, May 28, 2012

RayCon 2012

For the second year running, I have been graced with an invitation to a weekend of gaming and drinking up at a cottage on the base of the Bruce Peninsula, just off of Lake Huron.  Last year I had but a smattering of figures with me, a little bit of ImagiNation, two sections of WW1 French and finally some spaceships for a game that was never played.

This year on the other hand, I arrived with a large enough army of ImagiNation figures to finally play a game.  Prior to leaving for the "'Con" I made sure to get in touch with Dave Hoyt of Much Ado About Nothing fame and to set up a game.  On the lovely Saturday early afternoon, the tables of conquest would see the forces of the Duchy of Libations (yours truly's) boosted by a regiment of grenadiers from Das Kaiserreich (one of Dave's two armies) facing off against the might of the army of Le Grand-Duc de Gourmandie.  I will not actually write a battle report for this match, as the Duchy of Libations were massacred, but pictures will be posted later on down the post.

Fantastic morning shot of the bird sanctuary island across from the patio of the cottage.

A nice 20mm North Africa game was the first to be set up and played.  I had slept poorly and on my left shoulder the night before and was not feeling particularly inclined to play a game in the morning, so I sat off to the side in the sun and watched.

Dave and I only had access to a smaller 6' by 4' table as the other two were being used by his son Mike (my standard gaming partner).  Coupled with the fact that we were going to be trying out a new ruleset with the help of his friend Vidal, we kept the terrain simple.

The forces of Libations and Das Kaiserreich form-up for battle.  Note:  I have 7 less units then Dave according to his "all painted models on the table" philosophy.

The mass of cheese-reeking men form-up on the opposite side of the table.

A couple hours later and a sound trouncing (which incidentally only gave Dave one more Epic Point then I according to the campaigning ruleset of Maurice), I decided to get in on a game of 20mm Egyptians vs Hittites.  Having never played an age prior to gunpowder games, I was very much interested in getting one in.  An hour and a bit later, the dinner bell rang and we decided to call the game.  My first victory of the weekend!

Finally the last game of the weekend took place on Sunday morning and was put on by the duo of Dave and Vidal featuring Dave's fantastic early WW2 collection.  I was placed in command of the French side and while we would sustain horrific casualties, we managed to stave of the advancing Germans long enough for the bridge to be blown, thus ending the weekend with another victory!

Overall, this was a much needed weekend, both to get some gaming in with my ImagiNation project and to get away from the supercharged nature of RMC.  The weather held off for most of the weekend and Saturday, when most of the gaming takes place, was perfect.

I came away from this weekend with a massive amount of new idea's to add to my current project and after asking Dave if he had any spare artillery bases I could borrow and replace, I walked away with the bases and about 30+ pounds of Napoleonic figures, some of which I will be stripping and repainting.  I have plans for a "Sharp" based skirmish game for Peninsular War gaming.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Games that intrigue me (Episode 1; The Return of the Mechs)

Hopefully this will be the first of a couple of entries of games that interest me, but I might not be ready or willing to jump into right away.

And unsurprisingly I will break the mould of what these entries are all supposed to be about right from the start.  I had this article written quite a few months ago, but for some strange reason, I never published it.  Here we are, a couple months later and the game I had originally written about has gone from something that intrigued me, to a minor side project.

Without further adieu, on to the actual game!

A couple days ago I ventured to Kingston's FLGS with my good friend Mike, author of the never updated blog A Mere Matter of Painting and I decided to take the opportunity of fantastic weather to make a trip into town from the University.  With no real plans in mind or a shopping list, we browsed the ever increasing selection of non-Games Workscrap products available.  While lamenting that it has now been almost two full years since we have joined forces to do a joint-project, we stumbled upon the starter box set for BattleTech.  Now, I had never played the game before, but it has aways been just under the radar of my "next big thing" project list.  Mike on the other hand had extensively gamed the system back when all of the intellectual properties were owned by FASA, but has not painted or played BattleTech for over half a decade now. (The BattleTech intellectual property is now owned by Catalyst Game Labs and the miniatures are produced by Iron Wind Metals)

Splitting the cost of the starter box, we excitedly returned to campus and the wargaming club to open it up and feast upon classic wargaming goodness.

The box set minus shrink wrap (lasted all of 10 seconds after opening the doors to the club...

Big pile o'plastic.  The two boxes above the pile each contain a "premium model".  Multi-part and made of plastic, these are rather nice and easy to assemble.  Very crisp and clean details.  Sadly, this cannot be said about the rest of the models.  They are not in the same scale as the "premium" Loki and Thor BattleMechs, but rather halfway between that of the BattleForce game (think 1 model = 1 lance and are in about 3-4mm scale) and the actual 6mm scale that BattleTech is played in.  The casting on the models is quite pathetic really and not even a fantastic paint job can really save them.  In any case, Mike and I have decided that we are not going to bother even painting them, instead using them to serve a dual purpose of allowing us to get a hang of the rules before we pick up proper metal Mechs and once they have been superseded, we can use them along with the included hex boards as a board game when we really really don't feel like taking out loads of terrain.

Speaking of hex boards, here is the fully contents of the box!  The major upside of the starter box is its value for money, considering Mike and I split on it.

The hex mats themselves were the pleasant surprise of the whole box.  Made out of nice and heavy cardstock, they feel very nice and the printing quality is very good.  Being double sided, the two mats included in the box give the gamers a good amount of versatility in "terrain".

Mike trying to remember how BattleTech is played.  We got a good four games in that day and now have a hang of the basic elements to the rules.  Unfortunately, the ruleset included in the box is more of a introductory type book and does not cover all of the elements of the game (especially with equipment).  No matter, I picked up the 3rd Edition of the rulebook while on a "me time" trip into town.

Being rather bored of painting ImagiNation models non-stop for the last two months, I decided to switch gears per-say and built and painted my "premium model" from the starter box:

I present to you Loki.  This mech is not the greatest designed mech in the game as I quickly found out in a game.  While its armed with silly amounts of high power weapons frontlined by two Enhanced Range Particle Projection Cannons, if it were to fire all of its weapons in one turn, it would almost max out its total heat capabilities (EVEN with 22 points of heatsink...).  In other words, it will be most effective sitting in a river or lake and blasting away with its considerable firepower.

Not exactly the best painting job I have done over the last year or so, but to be honest, I wanted to sit down and paint a model from start to finish in one sitting.  This also happens to be the first non-organic model that I have painted up in a LONG time.  Interestingly, Mike noted that even my Spaceship project was organic.

Monday, May 7, 2012

One year of ImagiNation: Part 2 (Project overview)

While the last post was chock full of pictures, this one will be rather lacking in them. The goal of this post is to give a general overview of what my project will look like once it reaches 100% completion. To demonstrate this in pictorial format, I have created an organizational chart. They say a picture is worth a thousand words...
So, if we look at the most up-to-date version of the chart, we see that I am aiming for having the following units in my army (boxes in orange signify that the group is fully painted):

 -Line Infantry Regiment
-Town Militia Regiment
-Grenadier Regiment
-Skirmish / Light Infantry Regiment
-Royal Guard
-Hussars Regiment

 I have already talked about the Line, Militia, Grenadier and Hussars regiments in prior posts, so I will concentrate on the Light Infantry and Royal Guard. The Light Infantry / Skirmish Regiment will be just that, a skirmish formation. Using the Austrian Grenz figures from Crusader, these will be more specialist troops and will be used to screen the advancing army.

 The Royal Guard is a formation that came about because when I ordered what I believed to be the remaining models required from Old Glory, instead of being shipping a full blister of 8 infantry models, I was shipped a half blister of infantry (for my Line Infantry regiment) and a blister of command. One of the bayonets was rather badly beaten up and therefore had to be amputated. This gave me a glorious chance to write in some fluff about a possible new addition to my army. The Royal Guard are forbidden from fixing bayonets at any point in battle because in the not so distant past, the members of the regiment bayonetted a commander who failed to follow the direct order of the Duke of Libations. I'm taking advantage of the fact that I was only sent 4 models by getting another blister of the same models and making two units of 6 models each. To make the models visibly different from their non-royal comrades, I'm going to be flipping the colour scheme of the uniforms, so that the main colour is sky blue and the trip is forrest green.

In terms of gameplay, the Royal Guard will be a more elite unit (to go along with the Grenadiers) and will be equipped with rifles, not muskets.

One year of ImagiNation: Part 1 (Finished products)

It has almost been one full year since I have started working on my ImagiNation project. I can't say that I have made massive progress on it, as I was hoping to have most of it done by now. In any case, real life has taken a bit of precedence this year and painting, well, its been on the back seat. Having a girlfriend does tend to soak up all of your free time (not that I'm complaining at all) and leaves very little for hobby work. None the less, I have gotten some decent work done. The next couple of posts will be a resume of what I have been up to over the last year or so and what kind of progress I have made to date.
Here we have the full layout of the project.
The first of four Line Infantry groups. I was mistakenly sent two packs of command and half a pack of line, so I'm still missing a full groups worth of figures. Hopefully the new North American distributor for Crusader Miniatures will be at HistoriCon this year so I can get the remaining models
Up next is the completed Grenadier Regiment. Consisting of two groups of 8 figures and a four figure command, I'm quite happy with them and they were the first and only to date completed unit within my project (still missing a flag though...)
One group
Second group. Now with the Regimental Sergeant Major carrying the standard of St. Trifon the Pruner, patron saint of wine growers...
And the command for the grenadiers
Following the grenadiers is the General-in-Command of the Duchies continental armies. I can't remember what absurd name I gave him, but it certainly has to do with alcohol...
Next is the first of two Town Militia groups. Both of theses groups are of 10 figures, making them rather large. While they have a little bit more firepower then a normal company, groups of this size are slightly more unwieldily and I am going to be playing them as inferior quality.
Command for said Town Militia..
Two full artillery crews. I'm missing bases for the actual 3pdr guns, so they will have to wait a bit before hitting the table.
Finally the first of two Hussars groups that will eventually form a regiment. After some experimenting and playing, I have decided that at a bare minimum, cavalry needs two Big Men (using the Too Fat Lardies Sharp Practice ruleset of course) to be effective. The hatless, head-bearing Serb will serve as the second officer for this unit. Finally a quick teaser for an upcoming game in 6mm to be played with my club.