Monday, March 31, 2014

Taking Stock

Two posts in one day?!? Well, it's a bit of a slow day at work, so I thought I would take advantage by pondering where I stand on the (too many) projects I have.

  • Dark Ages: This is actually pretty good. I have enough Saxons, Vikings and Scots/Picts for Saga. And now I have a nice collection of buildings, including a church, and other terrain bits for a reasonable Saxon village to raid. I even have a long ship, along with some as yet unpainted fortification pieces. In terms of the future here, I have some Normans I would like to paint, and am considering adding some more Irish/Scots/Norse Gaels, and possibly expanding into Russia and/or Spain.
  • AWI: Lots of unpainted stuff here I need to get to. This has always been one of the core periods in the collection, and will remain so. I'm also starting to get a little more terrain here.
  • ACW: Another long-term core project. I'd say if I can get the Perry plastic artillery and plastic cavalry, that would be about all I could ever need or want. I just picked up the Dunker Church from Sarissa Precision, and hope there is more specific ACW stuff coming. Just need to keep plugging along.
  • CY6: This is also a solid period for me, with plenty done to put together some good games. I still have quite a few unpainted planes, and will consider even more. The best thing about CY6 is no additional terrain costs!

OK, those are the "Big Four" that seem to be always on my bench. A few other "close" periods are:
  • Wild West: I have lots of figs, but no good setting. I keep eyeing some of the many laser cut MDF buildings out there. This is mostly an investment issue. If I get the money to get the buildings, this could be pretty much ready to go. I like The Rules With No Name here.
  • WWI: I have lots of 15mm, both early and late war, but still have yet to find a nice rule system that I really like. I picked up CD Test of Battle and the WWI supplement, but it just didn't grab me somehow. Nothing necessarily wrong with it. Probably some more time spent with it would sway me. But with the announcement of WWI 28mm plastics coming from Victrix, I can see the pendulum swinging that way...
  • WWII: Russo-Finnish still seems to get top billing here, and with my investment in the Baker Co. Kickstarter will likely remain so. Getting trucks and tanks will make a big difference there. But Norwegians, Germans, British and French are all on the docket. Some buildings and terrain will make a difference here, too.
  • Pulp: I have some cool minis to paint, and some cool rules (Pulp Alley). Terrain will be key here - and an opponent!
  • FIW: I have some minis to paint, and some buildings together. I even have Muskets & Tomahawks. Just need to get the time!
  • Seminole Wars: Ditto. I have the Seminoles, but need some US regulars. I've started getting some Florida terrain. This could be cool. If I find time!
  • South America Liberators: Fascinating period. Cool minis. Great source material. No buildings. I still want to, but you know how it goes!
  • Naval: I'll lump all this together. WW2 capital ships is pretty set. I'm still tempted by some coastal actions with PT boats though. And then there is Napoleonic naval. I have a couple painted, several more unpainted. Another fascinating period lacking mostly time.

What about those "down the road" type projects?
  • Vietnam: I have a small collection of mostly unpainted minis, with a few more on delayed order. This will be skirmish only. Zero terrain collected for Asia.
  • War of 1812: After playing in Black Powder, this is intriguing. And it is the closest thing to a "local" war for us in Michigan. But look at all these other periods! This may have to wait.
  • Pirates: I just can't bear to get rid of them. 
  • Aztecs: I have a small collection, and have always been fascinated. An adaptation of Saga might be cool. Then I would need terrain. Ugh.
  • Donnybrook: This is a nice looking set of rules and is tempting. I have basically nothing else to start with, other than an interest in the settlement of Quebec in the 17th century. I am sick.
  • Ancient Greeks: I've has some of these 15mm figs hanging around a long time. Some day.
  • Star Wars: Yes, there are still lots of these old minis lying around I would like to do something with. Some day.
  • Crossed Lances: Have you seen this? How cool does this look? Shiny!

Getting Pushed Around on the Peninsula

My French opponents
(Yes, it's true, I played a GAME! It's been a while...)

I finally got around to taking up my buddy Jon's standing invite to come down to the FLGS for a Black Powder game. I've never played, and for that matter tend to avoid Napoleonics. No need to get into another era, one filled with a dizzying array of troops, nationalities, colors. The research alone scares me!

But this was interesting.

Jon has collected and painted an impressive number of British and French from the Perry plastic line for the Peninsular campaign. And he's scratch built a superb looking Spanish village as well.

Check out that ship and that church!
On to the game.

I was given the right wing of a British attack force, including rifles, some light infantry and some elite highlanders. And I failed. Miserably.

Actually, the plan wasn't too bad. Put the rifles in the woods on the right, light infantry in the building on the left, and let the highlanders charge right up the gut and let the following unit follow through to the objective.

The British
Unfortunately, my dice rolling must be rusty. After a good start, and getting everything set up, the dice gods abandoned me. For the second portion of the game, my guys pretty much stood there and said "shoot at me." Before they all ran away, that is.

The left wing crossing the river. They didn't get far either.
Still, an interesting game. I must admit I was a bit distracted with some Elite Eight basketball going on, but I hope next time I can pay greater attention. :) I did like how the order system works, with a dice roll compared to a leader's rating determining how many actions a unit can take. And the concept of a roll fail ending a leader's turn makes one think about the sequence you want to do things. That's a neat twist.

Rifles in the woods. I think they got off one ineffective volley.
The concept of leaving all stands on the table was a new one for me, and can take some getting used to. I'm still not sure how I felt about that. It's nice in other games to tell at a glance a unit's relative strength. But maybe that's the point - you're not supposed to know.

I hope to try it again, and we're already talking about expanding it to the War of 1812. And of course there are still all those ACW figs in the pile. (That's going to take a big table, I can tell.)
This is as far as I got. It was looking good at this point.

And my 15mm South American Liberators... It's endless!