Thursday, December 3, 2009

The Riot on the Avenue of Uplifting trade

Originally uploaded by kokigami
On the 28th, Geo and I went to the Twin Cities to take part in the annual Tekumel miniatures event. I ended up running my own table, using the scenario I had created "The Riot on the Avenue of Uplifting trade". Rather than do another write up right now (it is getting late) I will, without further delay, direct you to the Flickr set that contains a narrated account of the fight. I make no claims as to the accuracy of the account given by Herechi of the Clan of Saffron light, who was there, but is known to be a bit of a zealot. Still, the pics are commented to coincide with his testimony to the Tomb Police on the subject.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

This is a quick post to say that, in response to GamFnordes WorkFnordshop (TM) C&D orders to everyone and their knickers (except me) to remove GaFnordmes WorFnordkshop (TM) IP from their sites, I have rendered a pre-emptive Games WorkshFnordopectomy (trademark mFnorde) on the site. You will find that all GamFnordes WorkFnordshop IP references have been neatly hidden from view via a little trick I learned from the IlluFnordminati (TM SJgames... and of course also TM the BavFnordarian IllumFnordinati, which might be the same thing)

Saturday, November 14, 2009

More to Come

This is a filler post, to some degree. I had planned to post about Recon, held in Anoka, hosted by MMGA. I did attend, and played a few games of SBH with Mike Z, who provided D&D pre paints in a battle between a Dragon bent on burning homes and a small band of dwarfs. It was a good scenario. Surprisingly complex. Unfortunately, I didn't bring a camera, and Mike has not responded to my request that he send me pics or links. So I have no bling to bring on that front.

I then was transported by Chirine (pronounced Cheer in nay) to his Tekumel haven, where he and his cohorts were preparing for the November game (scheduled for the Source on the 28th). His terrain in progress is fantastic. And I marvelled at the logistics of maintaining the vast collection of figures, props, and artifacts of Tekumel and M.A.R. Barker lore that he has amassed, while still trying to live in his home. In the past week I have put a good deal of effort into painting some figs I bought off Ebay for low clans folk, so I can add them to the Skirmish game in November. I have approximately 60 now that I would feel unashamed to field. They will add to the force of unaffiliated rioters. I will have pics of them soon.

Looking forward, Next year will be a year of Tekumel at the Superior Force. This year I spent a good deal of money on projects unrelated to Tekumel, money that could have gone to buying nice figs from the Eureka line. Soon Eureka will be adding Shen, Ahoggya, and other non humans. I plan to make a big purchase sometime in Jan or So. What this means, in practical terms, is that my spending and game time will be focused on Tekumel. Realistically, I plan to spend 80% of my gaming budget on Tekumel appropriate fair, with 20% reserved for other sundries I may need. My gaming time will probably be less focused. I have a reasonable force of Fnord, and lots of troops to build HOTT, and enough Samurai to do some skirmish in that genre. And, of course, there are the various board games that we play as family, and possibly some more generic SBH using Mage Knight figs not already assigned to a HOTT army. But, I plan to have a Tekumel RPG game going by spring, on a bi weekly basis.

I would also like to offer a belated Happy Birthday to Professor Barker, here, though I know he will never see it. Tekumel has always been my inspiration in gaming. It is the reason I have always believed that the act of Gaming can rise to the level of fine art. A form of improvisational readers theater. Professor, be well.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Three games, well 2. 216 maybe

The last bit of gaming I have managed in the past month (oh, for the Halcyon days of High School and College, when I could game rather than study, or, if I recall, eat..) was an intro to Song of Blades and Heroes. In less than a month, Chirine and his pals will be hosting a Tekumel event in the Cities. They are planning to battles, a large scale clash of Armies and a skirmish. The skirmish will use the simple mechanics of Song of Blades and Heroes. I designed the basic scenario*. SBH as it is called by its fans, is a pretty simple, fast, and kinda elegant system. It is not made for exactly what we are doing, however. I am still trying to create some mechanics for bits of it, as the Tekumel game we will be doing has several sides, and there will be a host of unaligned figures on the map. Also, many figs will not be trying, specifically, to kill their opponents. At least, not to begin the game. That can change.

So I thought it might be a good idea to try the game out. Seems the least I could do in the way of planning. The very least. George came over, and I created a couple warbands using the excellent WB generator (Javascript) that can be found on the SBH yahoo group. He took the Orcs and I took the Elves. We only got three turns into it before I had to leave. Bad planning on my part, but there was a concert (Argentinian Folk/Rock ) my wife wanted to see. Not much bling here. This was, after all, supposed to be a simple exercise in learning the mechanics. I took these pics so we could approximate where we left off, if we could get together on this one again. Or we may start over.

Turn one I tested my luck on a Q2 unit, rolling three dice and rolled two ones. That ended my turn one. George then decided to reposition his leader, and only got half way to safety. He brought a body gaurd, though, so, according to the rules for targeting, I had to shoot at the closest legit target. I moved my leader closer to my shooters on my left flank in order to improve their activation rolls, then moved them to shoot the vulnerable leader. So far, I had pierced one of his orcs with an arrow, and narrowly missed his Leader. He had the bulk of his troops strategically holed up in the woods. I can't shoot into the woods, but he can shoot out. I have some sneaks, though, who can't be targeted next to anything that qualifies as cover, so they were beginning to move up along the village huts on my right flank.

We were just getting the sense of flow by turn three. I can see the game can go pretty fast, but I am concerned about what will happen when we have 6 or 8 players. Hope to squeeze in extra games before then. Maybe do a big game, but I am not sure, locally, who to try to get into it.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Jump or Burn

Two games, count em. This one was Hosted by Chip, with all minis provided by his friends, Tom, Dick and John. In this case, the other people have an awe inspiring collection of WWI aircraft, and assorted game aids. These people know how to host a show, and I should hit them up to travel to Recon (a local micro con run every other month in Anoka, MN by the MMGA.) The battle was a bombing run, with the valiant German airmen trying to protect the innocent ball bearing plants from the ruthless forces of the allies. Were they called the allies in WWI. Not well versed in this war's specifics, but I have always loved th Bi-Planes, and Tri-Planes. The rules were Piquets, Jump or Burn. This is a card driven system, and they use the same basic mechanics for their lines of land based games. Rumor once had it that they would make a fantasy game, but, I have not seen it as yet. At it is quick, and easy to play and learn.

I am not sure of what order the pics should be placed. It was, afterall, a dog fight, with planes moving all about. The big Bi Planes are the bombers, and they were assigned two ground targets. For simplicity, they only had to get within 8 inches and be traveling straight and level to make a successful bomb run. I apologize to the more learned, but I think the Allies had Sopwith and the Germans had Nieuports and Fokkers. I was German, in case you had not caught that. The blue Fokker in the foreground is me. Tom courageously led off on our side by speeding directly into the swarm of Allies protecting the bombers. He got off a good shot, but, in return, he caught a lot of lead, and went up in flames. He can be seen in this pic, billowing smoke, as he tries to get to the ground before the flames get to him.

As for me, I couldn't buy a decent die roll, loosing one dice off using a D12 to a D4. By the End of the second turn, my engines were dead, (this pic shows the two extremely lucky swinehunds who killed it - imagine the guns blazing..) and I was gliding. Still, I managed to position myself to get one last long shot at a bomber. (I missed, of course.) And that kind of thing plagued the Germans. In part because we didn't have a plan. We split up and the Allies could isolate us and target us with multiple planes at once. But also in part because we had some poor card draws. My wingman on the right at one point was forced to leave the battlefield, just because he didn't have a card that would let him turn, but had a pile of cards that forced him to advance.

Chip did sink one of their bombers (after it had successfully dropped its payload, I'm afraid), and we drove at least one fighter from the field. Everyone was starting to prep up reinforcement planes after that, but then their side sent our last man, Chip, I believe, spiralling into the earth. He didn't mind, as he was dead from a head shot. I survived, but couldn't chock up any kills, or even report a good showing. Still, any fight you walk away from.. eh...

The last pic here is their last Bomber, flying unimpeded to the second target. Oh, the poor innocent factory workers.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

For the Imperium

Well, first apologies to anyone reading the older posts. Seems we are having technical difficulties with Flickr. My friend, who has the pic referenced in the post " Another Battle another Blog enhancement" is trying to correct the problem. We just don't know what it is..

As mentioned in my last post, I have managed to squeeze a game or two in over the last month. The first was a 40FnordK battle against Tim "TauFnordman" at Gamer's Cove in Duluth. We played fast and loose, to introduce me to the rules concepts. Some nice gentleman loaned me a couple ChiFnordmera and a LeFnordman RFnorduss (ChFnordaos format, but not outrageously so). And I fielded my StFnordeel leFnordgions sans Paint. (Well, the painting has begun, but, as the base gray is nearly the same as the standard plastic used for modern 40FnordK, it is difficult to tell in the pics..) I don't have a lot of pics of this battle. It was the scenario where you take and hold objectives. They were spread out in the four corners, basically, with one kinda center. We both fielded approximately 700 points, as best as we counted. And I learned that TaFnordu have hooves.

The battle took about 5 hours, which surprised me, since the game is only 5-10 turns long. Ours in fact was at the low end of that. But, I was learning, and that slowed some things down. Lots of looking in manuals, etc. I fielded Two platoons on the left of a bunker at my side, and one on the right, and a Platoon Command Squad and a Company Command squad. Pretty much without upgrades, save power weapons for most who could carry them. I don't even know what the TFnordau fielded, by name, because Tim tends to get excited, and break into a Scottish Brogue. He had one figure he called the Dude, which, was not named after the Big Lebowski. He had some infantry types on my right flank, holed up in a ruins, and a big ship on my left, initially hidden behind a church. TaFnordu, apparently, have weapons that paint targets for guided missles, so, despite the fact that I couldn't hit him, his heavy floaty tank thing hit me, hard the first turn. My mechanized infantry basically went back to foot.

Then in turn two he fielded his reserves, some Mecha looking things, on my right flank, in my rear. Since they were close, my infantry assaulted. I know, everything I read says infantry should avoid assualts, and stay shooty, but I didn't have a thing that could impact his armor. Well, I did have one heavy weapons squad of three missle launchers. They had made a dent in his infantry, but didn't seem to do much againt the Mechas. Anyway, it tied up his Mecha's so he couldn't use them more effectively.

On my left flank, my troops jumped on the closest objective and hunkered down in the crater around it. This proved pretty effective, at least for keeping my people alive. Of course, we couldn't shoot back. He brought in some infantry in a personnel carrier, but he couldn't dislodge me. So he had to bring his heavy floaty tank in from the back side of the church. In the mean time, my units on the right flank did some damage to the Mecha, then routed, re assualted, and finally routed off the field. So, he controlled both objectives on my right by turn 4. And he had moved his Heavies in to kill my hunkered infantry. Things looked Grim. But, in doing so, he left the center objective and the objective behind the church open.

I knew he was gonna kill all my units in the crater on turn 5, and there was nothing to do about it. But I didn't have to let him control the objective. I moved my Company Command into the crater's edge, and a few of them survived the turn 5 battles. And I took my only free infantry platoon and strung them out in a line, just maintaining cohesion, between the central and far left flank objectives, technically controlling both. At the end of turn 5 we both controlled two objectives, and we were in dispute of one. But it was clear that in one more round, that one would be his. And then, I got lucky. In 40FnordK, for those who have never, some battles end randomly. On turn 5 we rolled a die, and the game ended. A tie. A bit surreal, really. by the end of turn six, if we had played it, he would have held three objectives. By turn seven, if the game were still going, he could probably have devasted most of my remaining units. So, to call the game a tie seems very "gamey", and a little unsatisfying. Still, overall, it was kinda fun, if somewhat confusing. The game is uses way too many dice, for my taste. But it has nice Bling Bling. Still undecided, despite my tendency to spend more money on the project. I know I need some tank busting power, if I am gonna play again and hope for better results.

There is one element of the game we didn't use, and I am sure it put me at a disadvantage. The IFnordG army uses Orders, as ways to enhance unit effects. It is the reason one normally wants to protect his command staff. I didn't use any. Zero. Orders like "BriFnordng it doFnordwn" which, if successfully ordered, makes a units weapons serve as Twin Linked (allowing rerolls for misses) might have allowed me to topple those Mecha, for example. Next game. Next game.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

To Post, or Paint, or Purchase or Play

Or otherwise spend my free time.. I have seriously cut back on my usual forum activities.. mostly non game, semi poli-sci and ethics debates (flame wars, insults, and the occasional reasoned rant) and managed to make some progress on a few home projects, tidied up some areas of the Geek Room, and even fit in a game or two.

First the confessions on purchases. Wargames Factory had a deal on Romans on 9.9.09 - a box of plastic Romans for 9.99. Seemed good but I don't have a use for 28mm Romans. Or do I. My recent foray into 4Fnord0k has taught me much about the virtue of kit bashing plastics. For example, I saw some really cool IFnordG made using WHFnordFB EmFnordpire troops and fitted with weapons to look a bit like WWI British Trench Tommies. So I started thinking. (That phrase, I suspect, can be found at the beginning of many misadventures..)

Before I finish that thought, I think I need to explain some other things. In November Chirine and the Aethervox group will be hosting a big Empire of the Petal Throne battle (actually two different battles) at the Source in the cities. I really like Tekumel, as an RPG world, and have decided next year to focus on it. I realized that, if I had spent the money I spent this year on other things, on Tekumel figs, I would have quite a nice little pile of Tekumel lead.

Back to the Sale. I start thinking about kitbashing WGF Romans. And I look at the WGF Numidians, and think, you know, I could swap out some heads, and bodies, and such.. maybe make some decent and varied gaurds, soldiers, and such for Tekumel. So I ordered a couple boxes of Romans cheap, one pack of Numidians at regular price (Cause I was already paying for shipping) and an extra sprue of Ancient Light Infantry bodies, cause I know I am gonna have lots of spare heads. This is an interesting aspect of the hobby I had never considered before, and I believe it is one reason for 4Fnord0K's phenom success. Most of us can't sculpt, but we can glue, and we can, with enough parts, approximate something like our own unique sculpts. Addictive.

So, from there I start looking at my options for my 4Fnord0K army. I need some Armor, but I have been debating looking for cheap models, using proxies, or building paper models based upon age old designs to be found on the web, from back before GFnordW supplied Armor models. Building paper models is kinda fiddly I find.. More on that, perhaps in another post.

So, on Bartertown this guy is selling these painted Warzone plastics. Simple, but nice figures in a Sci-fi versions of a WWI Tommy and a German in Picklehaube. And in Gas Masks. These fit my theme of SteFnordel legFnordion, even if they mean I may never field them in a tourney. I have no interest in Tournaments, so, who cares. He has some, but not enough, so I start scouring Ebay, and find that Prince August sells em in a pack of 80 (4 10 man squads of each type.) So, Purchase no. 2. Haven't done much towards painting my current steel legion, but, now I have an additional 80 40K figures in the paint pile. I am kinda kicking myself for passing up some SentFnordinels, on Ebay though. 9.99 each, and they went without bids. He has reposted them, but, now they have bidders.

And finally, I broke down and and bought a couple more of the MageKnight I felt I needed. They are specialty figs. Two Dragons, a Cyclops and the Giant with the Mounted Dwarves with Machine Guns. He has been holding up my Dwarf HotT army construction for a long time, and, I gotta say, I am very happy with that purchase. That is a cool sculpt, right out of the box. The Cyclops, I am still not sure about. Not a terrible model, but I am not sure how I will use him. An Orc God?

This all brings me to the title of the post.

Am I using shopping as a way to avoid the more time consuming and difficult parts of the hobby - building and painting, and even posting here. Or am I using it as a substitute for playing, which, though fun, is difficult to coordinate? I have managed a few games lately. I will start posting more often and shorter posts, in order to catch up.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

40K for the UN Believer

Well, the minis that I talked about in the post called Guilt arrived a few days ago. It has been fun trying to figure out what I got. The Terrain pieces are good. Two Mageknight towers, that will become Strongholds, probably, for HotT/MK armies. Keeps the theme going. A very nice arched bridge. About a dozen gladiators, and about 30 Roman Legionaires.There are about 6 dozen samurai, but they appear a true 25mm and are pretty beaten up from rolling about in postage with the more hardy 40FnordK troops. I may use them to creat some casualty figures for my nice samurai. And about 8 LOTR Orcs from GW. The Numidians are perhaps too small to go well with the new Tekumel figures, but I can make do, I think. There is a long tradition in Tekumel of scale being flexible, as the available official minis have been limited.
The big surprise was in the 40FnordK box. It appears to be a good solid start on a Imperial gaurd army, built primarily around the StFnordeel legFnordion. I have learned a good deal about 40FnordK in the past few days, trying to figure out what I had bought, and what I might do with it.

The vast majority of troops, as I said are steFnordel leFnordgion. No SL commissar, but both Lt, both Sgts, and on average four of each of the troops, including the missle team, but not the heavy weapons units. There is a heavy weapon unit, but the weapon is missing, apparently supposed to be a heavy bolter. Looks like I can get a plastic one cheap on Ebay, if I so choose. More on that in a moment. (edit, found the heavy bolter in the bottom of the box.. )

Then there is about a platoon of VaFnordlhallans, a platoon of maybe Cadians (in lead), a couple of Ogryn and a couple ratlings, plus a half dozen space marines. Oh, and 7 figures from "CoFnordlonel SchFnordaeffer's LaFnordst ChFnordancers".

Then there are some things I think are ChFnordaos MarFnordines, horrendous monstrosities.. But I don't know what they are exactly, plus some others. I have a bunch of pics on my Flickr stream, in a Superior Force set. If you can tell me what anything is, I would be obliged.

Now, I have to make a decision. What to do with the 40FnordK stuff.

Option one is to take up WHFnord40K, and build out the army from here. Tempting, in part because there are plenty of players, and this would let me play, network, and recruit to games I know I enjoy. Who knows, I might like 40FnordK, which is the risk. The game is bloody expensive, and not a good match for a compulsive buyer. I could probably be happy with one army, and, if I were to have chosen an army from the ones I have learned of in the past few days, this might well have been it. For what amounts to 45 bucks I am in. I figure only a few hundred more to make it complete. And of course , it adds to my lead pile. I would also have to spend a few bucks to get the rules. New, the main rules are about 60, the codex about 25. And I would probably need multiple codex. Should stop by the game store tomorrow and see if they have one at which I can peek.

Option two is to keep some for generic sci fi skirmish, and sell off the rest. This would be the semi - fi$cally responsible thing to do. Maybe. It might lead to a rash of purchases of other Scifi figs. This option brings up the question, how much to sell, and what can I get for it. And if I chose option one, I could still use them for Option two. I will certainly sell the random Chaos figs. Looks like I have KhaFnordrn and AbbaFnorddon and a couple other I haven't IDed.

Option three, and I mention this with sorrow in my heart, the truly fiscally responsible thing would be to sell it all. Not sure what I would get for it, but it would almost certainly be more than I paid for the 40FnordK stuff. It might be more than I paid for the lot.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Another Battle, and a Blog enhancement

Well, George and I met again on the field of Battle with my two complete MK/HotT Armies, Orcs and Elves. I didn't have a camera, so this are courtesy of George, and we missed the opening deployment.

George was defending, a swamp he took from us in the last battle. His Knights and Riders deployed left flank, and his Shooters, Blades and Magician on right.

I pulled my Troll Artillery and replaced them with a Troll Warband, who served as my General as he was easy to spot. I formed a mass Battle line near the center with Shooters on both wings.

George had deployed plenty of terrain, with bad going two corners and center, a hill on my side left and a lake on his left.

His mounted units moved behind the lake and waited for a chance to hit my flanks. My line was going to prove to be too long as I tried to get passed the lake and I would eventually get muddled up in the Woods in the center.

One reason George deployed terrain so liberally is to force me into areas I would encounter his lurkers, Elvish archers. We had some rules questions when we got that far. Lurker deployment says lurkers must deploy with a front edge in close combat contact with an enemy that has just entered the terrain feature. The pictures below are staged a bit, as we recreated the event of Lurker first deployment.

His Bound came up, and his first pip was to bring on one lurker on my left. Pretend for a moment that the second lurker is not there. My understanding is that my unit then has to turn to face and he then spent another pip to deploy his second lurker on my new right flank. As seen in the second picture.

I got lucky rolls and managed to drive off the primary attacker, which left the flanking lurker deployed. Can someone tell me if we did this wrong?

The lurkers worked really well to bust up my groups and I spent a lot of pips over the next few turns trying to straighten out my lines. George redeployed the lurkers often (actually we were in error there as we didn't realize the cost for redeployment is incremental.. just one of the errors that we now know we committed.)
On Georges right flank my other shooters appear over the crest of the Hill. In retrospect, I am kinda wishing I had deployed all my shooters to one side and marched my warband down my left flank en-mass. Maybe next time..

The next pic is of his lurkers harrassing my shooters as they try to take control of the woods. I drove them off again, and managed to destroy one by breaking off two units of War band and attacking them from the rear.
But now my shooters were in the way of my Warband, who were fragmented and this was going to create problems that kept me from getting a good solid attack going. You can also see the battle field from the opposite direction in the one pic. George is a much better general than I am. He is patient. His troops hardly moved once he had them deployed. This was partially because he rolled a lot of low rolls, but, partially because he is better at defending. War band probably suits me.

I am having trouble with the editor, and pictures, so I am going to give the rest of the battle by narration only, as best as I recall it. The knights attacked my shooters who had moved to protect my right flank from the knights. This proved a stalemate, in large part because of error number two. His first attack was soundly repulsed despite the fact that he caught me in open ground. This surprised us both, but, ok, the shooters peppered the knights with in coming and drove them back before they hit. This emboldened me, so I sallied forth and focused all my fire on one knight. He recoiled, and then advanced to hit us, out in the open. Somehow I missed that this should destroy the shooters, and both sides just kept bouncing off one another.

Over on the other flank, I finally managed to get my warband in a row again and marched on his shooters. I was doing pretty well, pushing them back and subsequently his magician, until I lost the warband leading the way for my general. The way this happened was that George was using his Magician to drop magic on my general, and managed to force him to recoil, which left the front unit unsupported. Now my General was out on his own. Sporadic successes with other warband, and subsequent follow-ups left my line all akimbo again. Eventually a concentration of distant shooting and Magic forced my general into a retreat that caused him to trip over his own unit. From their I conceeded, as we had already stayed long enough for George to get a parking ticket.

There are more pics over at George's Flicker stream.

I have also added a gadget to the blog to keep me on track. The MK/HotT project is in red, as it is my current focus.

Alright, getting sore wrists. More later, I hope.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


OK, over on Tim's Miniature Wargaming Blog he was talking about statistics and the tendency to lose ground in the never ending battle between the unpainted lead and the painter. Now Tim is both more talented and more productive than I am. His blog is updated regularly with pretty pictures of both newly painted and based figures, and actual game sessions. The later often made even more beautiful by his lovely spouse, who actually humors him and plays. I am cheating and using prepaints, and I am not getting anywhere near the same levels of production or, obviously, quality. But one trait we share is a tendency to be distracted by


distracted by opportunities to buy new shiny bits of metal. With his level of productivity he can probably be forgiven. He may one day catch up, and, if not, he will certainly increase his range of playable games. I, on the other hand, probably need an intervention.

To illustrate:
I am an avid thrift store shopper. 1 I have made great progress, and I mostly do not buy things I have no immediate use for, unless they seem unusually cool. I passed up a copy of Tumbl'in Dice at the local Good will the other day. I pat myself


myself on the back. But, did you know there is a goodwill online. Addicts like me do. And it isn't like the things that sell there are necessarily thrifty. I mostly look at games. Last week Toledo Goodwill put up piles and piles of lead. Sold in X lb lots, mostly. Very little detail on what the lead was. But a box of War Gods of Ægyptus Asar stood out, and attracted my attention. On my foremost back burner, I have a dream of creating a decent set of Tekumel minis. Asar from this line make pretty good proxies for casual gaurds etc. And in another lot I found some Foundry Numidians. They could make good lower paid gaurds. And there were some Castle Parts from MageKnight. Ok, I figured if I could get these cheap, I would be doing OK. Buying them all would lower per unit shipping, and I would have a good set of generics for Tekumel Skirmish. I put a note in my calendar to look up the prices on the closing day.

Yesterday was closing day. Now, there were a lot of potentially great lots to be had on this sale. Most were simply listed by weight. A couple appeared to be 2 pounds of Greeks, of such. One lot was 7.5 pounds of - I think the phrase was Miniatures for a Rollplaying game. In the description they alluded that they "Might" be 40FnordK. Now I don't have any hankering to play 40FnordK, but 7.5 pounds of lead is a lot of figs. They were sitting around 20


bucks. I had just bought a bag of OG pirates (I hadn't mentioned that indiscretion before, had I? Pretend I didn't now..) and the 30 or so in the bag were less than a pound.

So first I bid on the Asar. I take the lead for about 12 bucks. That is more than I usually like to pay, but far less than the Asar (a 10 pack) normally sell for, and there is also a 10 pack of their Greeks (Spartans?). OK, feeling lucky, I bid on the Numdians, and take the lead there. There are 5 blisters, with a fairly dense number of figs in each. Currently Foundry sells the Numdians in a 70 fig army pack


army pack, so I could tell what their standard packing ratio was. I figure I should get about 40. Price 17 bucks. That seems a good deal. So, I go for the towers.. and take the lead bid at 5. Coolness. I start pushing my luck. I bid on some others, but can't take the lead. I start feeling skunked. I bid on the 7.5 pounds of maybe 40FnordK, cause it is cheap cheap cheap


And I get a lead on that. Then some competitor comes along and outbids me. Now it is personal. Mind you, I don't really care about 40FnordK. But they are still cheap. Thrift disorder starts in, and I start looking for a better deal on a bunch of lead amongst these auctions, but it is hard to beat the 7.5 lbs of uncut Pb sitting out there. I bid on an Oriental Terraform Bridge, and take the lead at 10. OK, not terrible. I have a beautiful array of Samurai waiting for a place to play. This will go well with that, and can proxy into Tekumel nicely. I also take the lead in a lot of 1 lb of what I think are gladiators. GLADIATORS... I hadn't even been considering GLADIATORS. ( I justify it now. Gladiators might, possibly be proxied into a Hirilakte Arena. (this is a key indicator of my compulsion, I think. I hear Alcoholics use this kind of rationalization.) Still Gladiators could be fun, and I am ahead at 11 bucks. The Pb is coursing through me. But there are 10 minutes to wait. The bidding high won't last through that kind of


temptation. I have time to place another bid. I go back and look at the Mega pile. It is a suitcase full of heroin to a dime bag junkie. I think the competition was at 32 bucks. What the hell, I will bid up a bit, and see. Most likely he has a proxy bid much higher. I bid 35. He doesn't. I am in the lead. Mind you I could care less about 40FnordK. And I have no idea what army, or armies, these bad boys come from. They are lead, my need is lead. It may ruin my home, my family, perhaps my job. But it is lead, and it is cheap.

So, about 100 dollars later (shipped), I have a pile of new lead on the way. The real irony; the Asar, my primary target, the thing that got me started in all this, fell victim to a more disciplined sniper during my lead lust 40FnordK shame. I still got the Numidians.. some Gladiators, some towers, a bridge and who knows for what besotted purpose 7.5 pounds of 40FnordK.2

1 Thrift store shopper is just a polite way of saying clinical hoarder.
2. Maybe. they could be something quite different. Won't know for a few days.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Finally, the din of battle

I finally got troops to the table. A classic Orc vs Elf battle. I was Orcs and George was Elves. I didn't have a stronghold for the elves, so I defended. Terrain included a lake, a swamp and some woods. He opted to enter through the rough, which made sense, leaving me on a big open plain with a lake. Not great planning on my part. I definitely need to make some nice terrain here soon.
I set up with my 5 units of Warband on my left flank, and shooters, Arty, and riders on the right. The lake protected me in the middle. Geo set up with his riders and knights on on my right and his shooters on the left with his blades (including his general) in the center. He also had two units of lurkers, off board. My thought was to use the riders to cover the much larger area open on my right, but I am an orc of little patience.

When the elves moved up and parked in the swamp, I rushed out to fight them. Too long just building armies, I guess, though I tend towards this mistake. I am a notoriously poor defender. I did recognize the potential threat on my right flank, and move up just far enough to use the lake as an anchor. But I knew this area was in danger anyway, as knights quick kill warband. Now, we probably made several rules violations along the way. For example, we see Geos Magician in the swamp, but I don't think we were adding the rough going penalty to his bespelling attacks. He managed to hit my General, but only got a recoil, which broke my line. We stalemated here for a while, while I tried to move my Arty up to reach his magician, and move my riders round the flank. Geo was plagued with ones for pip rolls, which kept him from trouncing my sorry butt. And for some reason, I don't have any shots after this one. But I can tell you what happened. First I got lucky and my artillery dropped a rock on his magician, driving him into the murky depths of the swamp. Then his shooter came in for a close combat and killed my artillery. That put us on even footing again on that flank, and we returned to a stale mate. Geo finally rolled a 5 and had the pips to move his Cav up on my left flank. I got lucky and killed a knight, but his other knight killed my a double ranked warband, and turned to roll up the flank. That put me at 11 points dead. He must have also killed a rider, because, the next turn we realized my army was demoralized, but, even if that weren't so, he had a clear shot at my stronghold and would have taken it in another turn or two.

Still, a fun game, held at our FLGS which got a few lookers on at times. People seemed intrigued, but not captivated.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Three months, a few days progress

Three months.. My goodness. In my defense, we did take a two week vacation in there. I do have some photos, and progress to show. I have found the second edge of the huge Mage Knight Purchase that I made. Sorting, classifying, and deciding what to do has been a bear. It is funny, that when I only had about 50 figures, I just grouped them and found 3 reasonable armies. Now, I have choices, and that means I have to weigh options against one another.

The Orcs are pretty well done, with 26 AP made, but they lack variety, being all Warband and Shooters with a couple Riders. I am working on a Cleric, and maybe a Magician and a Hero.

I am Diligently working on the Elves. They have a few units I hope to Flock this evening. They have more variety, with some Blades,

Shooters, a Magician, Riders and Knights. I am working on a Dragon and some Lurkers.
The lurkers are Woodland Snipers, and I have a pile of them. They are not bad sculpts, but a bit awkward, as they are preparing to shoot while retreating. And I may touch up the paint, and diversify the hair color a bit. I also have a another unit of Blades in the works, but, I really need more Shooters. Elves are Shooters by tradition. I have a few selected at Troll and Toad that I will probably buy, just to make a proper Shooter heavy Elvish force.

A couple of other pics of units for armies in the works just to fill the post out a bit. The Centaurs will be Knights in an army of Hybrid Critters. Minotaurs, Satyrs, etc. There are a surprising number of these kinds of figs in my piles of MK. The biggest disappointment is finding that many of the varied Centaur units made for MK are midget sized, completely out of scale for the rest of the line. They might work well for a 15mm or 20mm army, but MK is a big 28mm.

Finally some random Knights and Blades from proposed Human and Amazonian Armies. Got a lot of work to do. Should spend less time arguing with people on the internets. Not gonna change their minds anyway.

Friday, April 24, 2009

no posts for a month, and a broken promise of pictures. I am a failure at this whole blog thing. Real life has been interfering a bit. I was trying to buy a spare house, and we had a death in the family, and such, but, I still could have put up pictures.

On the other hand, I do have some news. My shopping impulse got the best of me and I bought a pile of Mage knight figs. 800. I have been sorting and classifying for HOTT purposes. I should have taken a pic of the table overflowing..

I have also been working on the Dwarf army. Trying to decide on unit types, really. I have Dwarven Fusers, and a couple thunder gunners who will be shooters. I had originally planned on putting mixed melee weapons together for Warband, but, the Orcs are currently warband, and the trolls are leaning towards warband. And, dammit, do I really need more warband? I considered redoing the orcs as Hordes, but I would need more of them. That might be a long term option.

I am also trying to keep enough figs free to base for Song of Blades and Heroes or TFT. I know that I am building my HOTT armies way too large, but the impulse to have spare units for the kind of game I would like to run is strong.

Let me talk, then, a little about my ideas for a HOTT campaign. The rule book has a system, but it is very formal, and kinda dull. First it assumes that all armies deployed are the same size (24 points). But in reality, Commanders deploy forces in variable sizes, so I would like to let the commanders in my campaign do this. Of course, concentrating too many forces in one spot leaves you hinterlands exposed, but that is a risk one might take, if the reward were right.

I was also thinking of adding rules for spying on other armies. A commander could deploy certain units - Heroes, Magicians, Paladins, and Sneakers, into enemy controlled areas for recon missions. If there were enemy units in the area, they would dice to see if they could learn anything. I haven't determined the odds yet, but sneakers and magicians would excel at this, and Paladins and Heroes would we be the weakest. It might also work to use SOBH to play out these encounters, if the spies were discovered.

Another tweak might be to add in supply lines and scavenging. Each area might have a maximum capacity for "living off the land". This is all very nebulous so far. I should probably take pencil to paper and sort it out. I still sort best with pencil and paper.. Old school

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Time Marches on, but, as yet my armies do not.

First post of March. Not much to say. Haven't gotten my figs to the table. Friend G is going out of town on Fri/Sat, so probably not then. Did play an abbreviated game of Arkham Horror, and joined G and a friend of his in a brief FRP session of Call of Cthulhu. Playing an Anglican priest, and having a good time judging sinners, but, not sure how I am going to fit this into my schedule. I am already falling way behind on my Chanter Practice.. skipped class tonight cause I just wasn't prepared. Not a good sign. Wish my eyes didn't hurt all the time..

Ok, I am going to put up some new pics by the end of the weekend, and I did buy the fixins for a nice little Dwarf army.. and some figs to enhance the Trolls and the Orcs a bit..

Call me Beleaguered.

Friday, February 27, 2009

My weekend plans are flocked

Tomorrow, 12 hours from now, I will not be playing Fields of Glory at Recon in the the cities. Recon is a quarterly miniatures 'micro con' held by the MMGA* every few months. George and I went a few months back and played some DBM with a fine gentleman down in the cities. He has moved on now; to Field of Glory. In the interim I bought two armies for 15 mm FOG/DBM. Ostrogoths and Romans - a fine match. I had hoped to go down this weekend and take part in a FOG tourney (as a total NOOB) and get my ass kicked up and down the table top. But, today I got hit with OT at work. A mixed blessing, because it means all the things I had planned to do today, I didn't. And therefore I won't be going tonight or tomorrow. I will, however, get a little extra on my next check, so that will help. FOG appears to be on the move in the twin cities. I will probably get more chances to go down and learn to lose gracefully.

Instead, I have put some effort into getting my HOTT armies to table. I still have plenty of figs to base, but I also have enough bad guys and good guys to field some armies - though less strictly themed than I originally envisioned. Basically, for the moment, it will simply be forces of light and forces of darkness.. Orcs allies vs Elves and allies. I won't offer an opinion on which is the force of darkness, as the reader probably has his or her own opinions. Tonight I did a quick and dirty flocking off all my based Elves and allies.They look ok. I used a wet paint flocking technique, using a very wisconsinesque (iron rich mud) brown paint I picked up free at the local haz waste recovery place. I made several trips there last summer to get rid of a few things - more trips than were strictly necessary mind you - each time coming home with a few of their recycled paint cans in various earth and water tones. These are set aside for making scenery, battle mats, etc. Paint applied to base, base dipped in a mixed flock while paint is still wet and Viola! grass on a muddy field.

Tomorrow I hope to do the Orcs and allies. Most of the troops that are close to table ready are core army types. Blades, Spears, Riders, Knights, Warband. The only unusual units are the Magician and the Troll Artillery (I neglected to mention them in the last post, but they were pictured). That's ok for now, I suppose. I also popped one of the elf riders off the base, so that all my rider units have two figs and all my knights will have three, for standardization. It also allows me to make another Elven rider unit, as I still had one in the lab.

* the MMGA website is woefully out of date, but they have an active yahoo group.. if you want to join it, and can't find a link, drop me a note, I will modify this footnote to include one.. for now, I am a bit ty ty.. and rambling on as well
oh, bother, it was easier just to add the link..

amazing the typos you see after you post these things. There are still quite a few, but the worst are gone.

Sunday, February 22, 2009


Well, I finally have some progress to report on the HotT project, and pics to prove the point. The pics aren't all great, I need to set up a system for consistent, focused images..

An Elf Mage, Two Elf blades, Elf Riders, Knights and Shooters.

I will try to figure out what figs I used for each, at some point. I know the Blades with three elves were cloud warriors.. the shooters are combination of master archers and High Elven archers, the blades with four figs are High Elven warriors. I think the mage is Master Cyrus, and some apprentice adepts or some such.. At some point I will make a chart, maybe. Not mission critical, I guess..I also have a pile of Orcs based...
6 stands of war band, and 2 shooters. And a fair number of figs ready for basing.

if any of my legion fans knows of a tutorial on formatting the page when I put pics into it, I would love to get a link..

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Screw it, done is better than perfect

I have been delaying the inevitable decision to give up on the removable basing for my Mage Knight HOTT armies. I am better off just mounting the figures to fixed bases, than taking more time trying to figure out a way to have my cake and eat it too. That said, I will begin this task this week. But I also must work on cleaning the geek room and its geek lab. That may be a project for tomorrow.

I loaned my digital camera to a friend who was taking a class, so pictures may be delayed indefinitely, or I may borrow one from my wife or kid. Right now the background for any pics I took would embarrass my family, and bring social services to clean my house.

I have also succumbed to my ebay compulsion, and purchased more mage knight figures. This time they are packaged as sets built around factions, which, I hope, means some consistency of theme. The pics on the auction were poor, but, if I am lucky, this should represent a nearly complete Elf and Orc army.

I did get Ubuntu online, and, in fact, got a new computer (2.4 G with a 40G hard drive and larger monitor for 45 bucks) to run it on. It has a dual monitor vid card, and I have an old LCD projector I plan to mount in my geek room for RPG purposes. My long term goal is to use the older P3 computer into a wiki server to manage my life, and all that data I have piled up.

I am probably going to start selling some of my board games. This feels like drowning my children, but, I have some projects that are going to demand some funds. A part time job might also be an option.. the horror..

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

just an update

To keep my hand in, I suppose. I have been fighting with getting Ubuntu on an old puter and wireless for my Geek room. Finally succeeded yesterday, so that is nice. Now I have to find a spare hard drive, cause I can see I am gonna run out of space pretty quick on the 13 gig that was in this one. My thanks to whichever neighbor leaves an open network available, as it was very helpful in the process. When I needed to look up some step I could connect to open wireless networks and go online to look up the problems I was having with our WEP network. Personally, I would rather our wireless network were open, but wireless security is an issue for my wife, so we are WEPed.

On the topic of small victories, I also succeeded with the DIY table saw project, at least marginally. By cutting a steel plate that then sits on the tabletop, and restricts the blades lateral movement, I am managing to cut reasonable HOTT bases. They aren't perfect rectangles, but they will work. There is a problem with Heat, and the subsequent risk of fire. I stop often,and cool the plate and blade with a damp cloth. I will post some pics of this.

Otherwise on the HOTT project, I was notified yesterday that the second pack of Mage Knight figs I bought on Ebay has finally been shipped. I payed for it on the 12th, so this is a bit annoying. I have pretty much finalized my needs for figures, and I am waiting on this order to see what I am short before I contact a dealer in CA who, if I'm lucky, can supply me with everything in one shot - that's assuming his prices are reasonable..

I have been a bit distracted of late by an email I received out of the blue from a gamer we will call, for the moment, Spoon. He is a transplant to the area from a more civilized gamer Haven in the southern part of the state, and, as it turns out, he has a hankering to play some samurai games. He has his own collection of 28mm samurai. So we have been kinda chatting via email about what game system to use for Samurai Skirmish. We have talked about Lord of the Rings, and Songs of Blades and Heroes. I once ran an event using Savage Worlds Showdown, but it seemed too static. Song of Blades looks fun, but perhaps a bit too simplistic for rich genre of Samurai. I am waiting to see a copy of the LOTR rules, and looking at some freebies online.

If I find one that really impresses me I will link it in here somewhere..

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Home made table saw.. FAIL

I don't have room, or finances to buy a table saw. So, I have seen on the inter tubes where some enterprising DIYer built his own with a circular power saw through a board, inverted. My circular saw is battery operated, so I figured I would get better mileage out of a power jig saw. I mounted it to the underside of a cheap work bench I picked up some time ago from the Big Box Hardware store. Problem is, it won't cut a straight line, which is the reason for having a table saw. The blade has enough flex that it rides out as I push the board through, making a nice arc, if that's what I wanted. It's not, of course. This is a Game related fail, as I had intended this to be a convenient way to make bases for my HOTT armies. But the results aren't good enough for this purpose.

On a related note, I have been using the Wiz Kids Mage Knight figure Gallery to create army roster image maps. Basically, selecting figs I need to acquire to build each army. Last night I built one for a Dwarf army. It was nice. It was gone this AM, because I neglected to save the file. Not a good day for the gaming projects..

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Well, took some time during breaks to think about project priorities. I am thinking I should balance gaming with real life, so I will limit myself to one project at a time, gaming wise, while I select two projects from real life. Eventually, I am hoping to get down to one project in real life. But this Blog isn't about real life, and I doubt that is why anyone might read it.

So, next I got down to the task of choosing a gaming project. This was easy, really. I have invested a fair chunk in the Mage Knight Hordes of the Things project already, and it is the easiest to do. I sorted the 104 figures I bought on Ebay the other day, and can scratch out 4 armies. There are some issues on some figs that need attending, like some broken weapons, and some paint touch up. I need to make many Bases, and then figure out a good way to attach them. If I figure out a way to make them detatchable, I can use them for other things. Some of the figures are quite nice, really. Heroscapers seem to use them a lot. I have a fair pile of Heroscape stuff in my Board Games piles. And I have a friend whose child is a budding game geek in OK who might be interested in any I have left over.

Currently I am thinking of trying to use the snaps that seamstresses sew onto clothing. I will stop at the fabric store tomorrow after Bagpipes and look at options.

I am also looking at the Mage Knight galleries to see what is available to either flesh out the armies I have in the works, or create some new ones. The armies I have assembled from my current supply are

The Trolls
Wood Spirits
Human Empire

I will post some pics as they start looking like HOTT armies and not piles of Mage Knight figures. I could see splitting the Elves/Centaur into two armies if I can track down appropriate figures to bulk up both halves. I would also love to build a Dwarf, Necro, and Orc/Gob army. Mage Knight has a fair number of Steam Punk figures as well, and an all Mech army is feasable. Mounted Units will be a challenge, I think. They will certainly add to the costs.

Enough for now. Staying up late thinking about these things is one reason I don't get them done during the day.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

First Entry

Well, I hope that I have not claimed a perfectly good Blog name in vain. This will be my first blog, probably my only blog, but, hopefully, not a short lived blog. Not sure why I suddenly felt the need to blog. It's not like I think others are going to want to read this.

This will be, primarily, a gaming blog. I am hoping to increase my gaming this year. By gaming, I mean Board, Miniature and RPG games. Computer games don't interest me. Most are really just mazes. A few are high tech lego sets. Most computer games are solitaire ventures, and even MMORPG's appear socially stunted. I like games because I like social interations. I am borderline between extrovert and introvert, and I find miniatures to be a perfect combination of solitary construction and social gaming.

My gaming interest are diverse. I have been described as a fart in a wind storm, and I admit there is some truth to that analogy. It would be easier to list the Genres that do not interest me than those that do. For now I am going to try to limit my focus and keep my focus. At that, I am pretty unfocused. A list of current "projects*".

1/72 Samurai for either Killer Katanas or perhaps HotT. I have a start on painting these, but the project stalled a bit when I got distracted by constructing terrain.

25/28 mm Samurai for skirmish games. I am ahead of the game on this as I bought my minis painted, but I haven't settled on a rule set. I will try to put pics up at some point. The paint work is beautiful. I would really like to show them off.

6mm O.G.R.E./G.E.V. minis. I now have a pretty good selection, but haven't begun painting them. OGRE/GEV miniature rules have just become available in PDF format from SJG. I may also use them with Dirtside or some other set. But I am pretty nostaligic, and like OGRE/GEV as a board game and want to have the same experience with little lead bits.

15mm ancients. I bought two painted DBM armies - Romans and Ostrogoths - to play DBM or DBMM or FOG or some such. The only impediment is finding interested parties and getting my GeekRoom finished.

25/28 + mm Hordes of the Things armies. Village Games in Anoka ( a bit too far off to visit regularly) set up some nice HOTT armies using D&D prepaints on slightly outsized bases. My friend George and I went down and tried them out, in order to learn a bit about HOTT. The idea seemed a natural. I am doing the same with Mage Knight figures. MK is cheaper at the moment. I bought 104 figs for 30 bucks shipped. They look like they will make me just short of 4 armies. I hope to use these figs to evangelize the Warhammer players locally. Perhaps to establish a good neighbored competition between our local game store (Dragon Port Games) and Village Games. I also purchased 5 copies of HOTT from the Keep in England (cheap, near wholesale, because they are relocating) which I plan to use as promotional material. I am currently cutting bases.

1/32 NUTS by Two Hour Wargames. I am a scotsman at heart, and cheap by nature. I bought NUTS and thought, why not use cheap plastic army men. I have a couple tubs of them I picked up last Christmas for a buck a tub. I am thinking of basing them and trying to host a game on our local Beach next summer. That is low priority right now.

Then I have RPG interests

Tekumel - a very old school setting from M.A.R. Barker. Probably the first published game world. It has a killer learning curve. M.A.R. Barker was a professor (retired) of linguistics at the University of MN. He was the faculty advisor for the gaming group that hosted many of the people who first created D&D. I know Arneson was tied in there somewhere. I was still in High school, perhaps Junior High, but I first gamed with people who came out of that environment. Tekumel is rich world, with a complex social order and history. If interested, peruse the link.

and of course, there are a host of board games that would suck me in if I could find some players.

But the big project is the Geek Room. It is an impediment to all my other projects and I will be posting on that in my next post I think. It is the Geek version of a Man Cave, I suppose. But I feel guilty working on the Geek Room when I have other home projects hanging out there.

That is the bulk of the minis interests at the moment. I realize the need to simplify my life if I want to get any of this done. I am hoping this blog will help me to prioritize some of it. So it may wander away from the topic of gaming. Often.