Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year and Best Wishes for 2013!

First, my best wishes for 2013 and Happy New Year.  I'm now another year old, a little wiser, and sadder.  But I look forward to more miniature wargaming locally and completing some painting projects this year.  And for those who shudder at the amount of unpainted lead they still own.  Some helpful suggestions:

1)  Consolidate the figures you are never going to paint due to disinterested, lack of space, or lack of time.

2)  Prioritize what you'd like to accomplish this year.  Do you want to work on a particular project?  Is there something you want to get done.  It could be something as simple as rebasing figures to completing a Napoleonic army.

3)  Set aside time to paint each week.  This is your hobby.  It's a part of wargaming.  If you can't paint, then save up the money for a decent painting service. 

4)  Don't get sidetracked by the "New Shiny Lead Syndrome."  Your significant other or wife will be more understanding of our niche hobby (which is weirder to the general public than chess) if you make a concerted effort to get some unpainted lead you currently own painted than throwing money away of figures you'll never get around to priming.

5)  Work on some area of interest with fellow gamers.  Even if its one or two guys.  I'm tired of doing projects for both combatants.  It's more interested and easier on you if you just do a small project with a friend who won't screw you over by backing out of it at the last minute.

6)  Finally, do things that interest you.  It's your hobby.  If you have two different small projects, you can bounce from one thing to another until they both get done.  And you won't get bored just painting one thing.

Hope this helps,


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    1. Hi Blake, a Happy New Years to you also!

      Besides the shiny lead, there's the terrain building that makes our games all the more interesting and attractive too (even for the linear warfare periods). For me, it's not always the miniatures that impede my doing/finishing a project, as I've got lots of painted collections for the periods I've always enjoyed playing, but doing attractive game terrain, or a battleboard for a new hex-based ruleset, or tabletop pieces for a different theater of operations that requires consideration and effort also.

      At the moment, having resurrected my 20mm WW2 figs that I've had painted up for 15+ years, I'm enjoying the possibilities of playing lots of Bolt Action games in the coming year, and has me devoting lots of time to making entrenchments and terrain pieces for these future games. Along with this work, I'm thinking of being able to transition some of the completed pieces to use in scenarios for another theater of ops; for Tunisia 1942-43 (in addition to East & Western Fronts - WW2). I use the word "transition" here, because putting the work into terrain objects that'll be useable for different theaters, or even different historical periods adds greater utility to the work, and this helps my motivation.

      In retrospect, as I think back over the past year (or even father back) about the games I've played that stick in my mind, it's those beautifully presentations that I remember mostly. Games put on in our area by Steve Hood, Jerry Merrell, and Dave Harrison featuring beautiful board layouts! Of course these guys aren't able to put on games all the time, but I appreciate that when they do, the games will be real visual treats that draw me into the action. It's often the case that the actual rules system being played in these games aren't that ultra-realistic either, but it's the combination of good looking figures, nice terrain, and interesting scenarios that seals the deal so to speak.

      I've been on a kick now these past months, talking up the idea of making "vignette" terrain for our miniatures wargames. This has coincided with my thoughts and work on terrain for my Bolt Action battle boards, but the idea was already there. That is the idea of working up wargaming terrain one piece (or pieces) at a time that approach the look of a model dioramas in appearance, but that can be used on the tabletop over and over again, so not just for one custom scenario. The idea is to make terrain features like "The bridge", "The farm", "The hill strong point", "The orchard", etc., that can become the salient gaming features on the tabletop. You get the idea......individual pieces (vignettes) that look good as stand alone terrain, but when combined on a wargames table can become something greater as a whole. These terrain vignettes don't have to be made up all at once either, but can be planned one at a time as the "featured" piece for an upcoming scenario. This way the extra work on them can be stretched out over time, but the idea is that the terrain can all be combined to add greater density and appeal to our game presentations, both for aesthetic reasons, but also as for center pieces for scenario objectives and mission tasking too.

      Well, this will be an approach, plan, and project for me this coming year, but something that can add greater results for some of my war-weary lead.

      Again, Happy New Years bud!