The past three weeks (including this one) have been a wargaming desert, just too much family stuff going on, so I have gotten zero games in, but I have gotten some painting done, and even knocked out a pretty ambitious project (two weeks from start to finish!). If you're so inclined, and if you're reading this I assume you are, let's have a look.
First up, I've had a hankering to do some simple American Civil War gaming. It's true that I already have some ACW stuff, but it's crap, no other way to explain it. It was one of the very first wargaming projects I ever did: I ordered some 10mm command, infantry, cavalry, and guns from GHQ. Nice figures, but expensive and don't fit with anyone else's stuff. I didn't know much about rules or basing, screwed both up multiple times, only ever actually played one game, with my late father. At the time I was apparently into ridiculous levels of battlefield friction and so I played some set I got from a buddy, something I'd never heard of before and haven't heard of since. To make a long story short, the Old Man and I sat around an 8' x 6' table very sparsely populated with my half-assed painted and based troops, and watched them do very little for the next six hours. You had to roll every time you issued orders, and there were a lot of failed orders, and lots of blunders that had regiments marching to and fro, everywhere but where you told them to go.
So ACW lay dead in my house for about six years, then I found a solution: the boardgame "Battlecry! 150th Anniversary Edition". I looked at it online for about three weeks, not really wanting to drop $150 on the game and shipping, but then, on a lark, fortune smile on me. The family and I were out having lunch with my mother in a part of town we don't often find ourselves in, and after lunch I spied a nearby "Hobbytown USA" I'd never been in before. The ladies waited in the car as the boys and I strolled in, and BAM, there it was, a copy of Battlecry, for SIXTY BUCKS! I took it home, cleaned up the minis, primed them, and got to work. They're not beautiful, definitely not my best work: I gave them simple block paintjobs, then I finally tried the vaunted "Dip" method, with very mixed results, then I matt sprayed them and it frosted some. Lastly, and this is my only complaint about the game/minis, I put the flags on, and they are absolute crap! The next day I had to spend a couple hours supergluing them back on... In any case, I present to you my setup for Battlecry (and already scheming about replacing the plastic minis with 10mm Old Glory troops from Connie and Russ).
Okay, so I actually finished another, smaller, project as well. Long-time followers of the blog know I'm not really into Sci-Fi stuff; the one caveat to the at would be Star Wars stuff, but I've never figured out a compelling, fun way to play games with heroes that you know are not going to die in a game. I.e., in A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi, you knew Luke, Leia, Han, and Chewie weren't going to die, and since you know they can't die, it kinda makes it hard for them to lose, and fun games aren't made from scenarios where one side cannot lose (in my opinion).
In any case, please forgive my divergent rant: just because I don't like Sci-Fi stuff doesn't mean my boys don't. So as I was sauntering through Hobbytown USA with my big box of Battlecry, something caught the boys' eye...
So, two projects done, more to go. I really had a lot of fun with my "Blood & Guts" campaign in North Africa (here on the Blackhawkhet blog) and I'm eagerly looking forward to taking my GIs and tanks to Sicily and Italy, so I've been making quite a bit of purchases and (so far) a little bit of painting in order to get ready for that.
So sorry, things have gotten away from me in terms of gaming, just not enough time, but next weekend I'll be finishing off (at least the ground portion) of my US Marines in the Dutch East Indies, then we'll see what else I get into. I need to finish my Israeli War of Independence, Kampfgruppe Klink in France, and get back to Cuba Libre, plus Mr. Travers has really got me intrigued with his tiny wargames concept:
Between he and Steve (over at "Sound Officer's Call" blog), I'm really itching to play some WWII Eastern Front at the company/battalion level, and I think this would be perfect. I'm thinking to finish up KG Klink, then have the unit's Executive Officer, Major Schultz, get promoted and take over his own kampfgruppe, just in time for Barbarossa. Sexy, yes!?