Wednesday, January 31, 2018

The picture I had in my mind.

Not everywhere you go is as you expect but Oslo met my preconceived expectations. Snow,sun,clouds, water and tall people. First stop the Viking ship museum. Though not large it has three grave ships that were dug up and reassembled in the museum plenty of artifacts giving a glimpse into Viking life.

A small cart.
                                                        The longest of the ships.

A sled.

Next door was the Norwegian Folk Museum. Inside were exhibits of Folk Art, Sami culture and Norwegian farmers and craftsman which also covered a bit of 17th and 18th century military history. Outside was the larger part of the museum a display of buildings from various periods and sections of Oslo's history. 

Boardgame from a toy exhibit.

Stave Church.

House used to entertain.

Fencing so I get the right look on the wargames table.

The plan for the next day was sledding for an hour or so and then off to the history museum. We never made the museum sledding was too much fun. Toboggan-run-Korketrekkeren.

Preparing for the 2Km ride down the hill. The public transit brings you back to the top.

At sunset we took a quick ride on the ferry around the harbour and then a stroll around the Akershus Fortress.

Defending the city.

The grounds were open but the buildings closed.

View through the gate.

Another successful trip. Then to top it off back in Stockholm wandering the old town we came upon the Royals.
Princess Kate

Crown Princess Victoria and Princess Kate.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Obligatory events and terrain

We jumped a plane to Copenhagen and after a red hot dog started to explore the city. First of the musts was a drink at Mikkeller and Friends. The next was bike riding with a visit to the Little Mermaid and the Fort. I love it when the location of these things work out. The timing was perfect to see the changing of the Guard.

Beer Geek Breakfast Stout

                               Biking around the Harbor.

The Changing of the Guard.
                   The Star Fort.

My dinner companions thought this was a unique way to present the food.
I thought this would be a cool as ground cover for a wargames table.

I noticed we must be near the border of
The Duchy of Tradgardland

Saturday, January 27, 2018

No painting, no gaming. I'll call it research.

As we come towards the end of the month I've missed several chances for gaming and haven't lifted a paint brush, before you fell sorry for me I have been able to get some research in. It's taken the form a trip to visit a daughter in Stockholm.

First stop Valhalla Bageriet for a cardamon bun and the seasonal Semla. Next was off to the History Museum We didn't plan enough time for this it certainly needs more than the hour or so that we were there. A nice display of early Swedish inhabitants with a collection of Roman weapons, the Viking exhibit with it's many artifacts from the dig at Birka, the history of Sweden timeline and the Gold room took most of our time.
Model of ship.

Model of town.

Ships at dock.
Giant cat of the Vikings or perhaps Loki in disguise.

We pretty much ran through what was left the Medieval Art and Medieval Massacre sections but will go back another day. 

Uniform from GNW.
Mans clothing.
Women's dress.
Women's Dress.
The next day we went over to the Army Museum  as I had been here before I didn't take but one picture. Now I need to find a figure for the Shiny Toy Soldier project in that tricorne hat.
Officer and cadet early 20th century.

The Wargame exhibit was closed but I had missed most of the rest of the exhibits we went trough those. My normal scheduling challenges arose when we found out that the tour on Military uniforms in pop culture was starting and we were off to a dinner reservation. We left with the music of Jimi Hendrix blasting away.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

The first sight of Flashing Steel

Having drunk some cheap wine Howard's man waves his swoard at Nate's men
I didn't get the camera out much during our first try of Flashing Steel from Ganesha Games . Nate and Howard came over and we did a quick game. I had spent a little time setting up the character sheets giving us each two characters. The scenario was taken from the Gloire rulebook but moved from a tavern to a market square. We mostly used the QRS sheet to play and only refered to the rulebook a few times. It always takes me a few time with the rules to get a grip on them but I felt the game went well. I had given all the characters the best quality and combat skills. Reading through the book latter and looking at Song of Muskets and Tomahawks I realized the numbers should have been bit more moderate. For the next outing a game with six to eight characters per player  should provide a better feel for the rules.
A wider view of the action.

For the game I had painted the reverse side of my gridded board in a greyish which provided a suitable backdrop. Good for small games we'll need a bigger area for the next games. Since I had the miniatures out and hadn't taken many photos during the game I set up the board and took a few shots.

Brigade Games figures

 Redoubt figures

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Sticking to the plan.

Wednesday night saw the first game of the year. A forcasted storm had Matt decide he was available on Wednesday so he could get a game in just in case the storm did come. Good decision!

We chose to play The Pikeman's Lament. Matt pulled out his Samurai and although there was not enough for a 24 point game we still managed four units each. The forces were balanced with One Samurai (forlorn hope), two Shot and, one Yari (pike). I placed my leader with the Samurai, Matt put his with the Pike unit.

Matt's force

My Force

More of my force with the only Samurai I own in the foreground.

This was the first time that either of us had played these rules so the game was a little slow moving as we looked things up. It still moved quickly taking us about an hour and three quarters to finish. I think we got most rules right and decided we should give it another try. The main concern is that with the activation system one side may not get much of a chance to move. Playing a few more games should show if this was just how we rolled last night or if it's a legitimate complaint. 

My Samurai attack.

I'm pushed back with two casualties.

What's left of my pike prepare for a charge by Matt's Samurai.

The Last Samurai dies with honor.

A good game to kick off the New Year. A plus in that this was one of the games I've been wanting to play for awhile and that I used figures that someone else had and didn't rush off to buy some for myself. I'll admit I did visit the Perry website this morning:-).

As usual more photo's here at Saltflats1929
Exotic Army Lists for the Pikeman's Lament
DuxRampant Forum

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

2018 The Plan part 2 the decision

I've spent much of the last three days reading reviews of 2017 and aspirations for 2018 on others blogs. All of the interesting, inspirational and helpful in making a more detailed plan for my own 2018 hobby experience. Some that particularly stood out are Palouse Wargaming Journal , Battle Game of the Month , Grid Based Wargaming , The Stronghold Rebuilt , Commission & Regiment , Gleaned from all these blogs as well as various forums have been strategies for painting more,tracking methods, rules reviews and various ways others deal with the pitfalls of human nature in their quest for having fun.

With all this in mind here's the breakdown ( until it does)

I will continue the Pledge on TMP as motivation to paint and a control to not buy too much. I've also join a similar painting challenge on the LAF which has a additional goal of painting 365 figures in the year. Since my average over the last three years has been 224 figures this may be a bit of a stretch but it's good to have a target.

Link games to be played with figures to be painted. This was a strategy from last year that worked fairly well. The bonus to it this year is that the group I'm gaming with has developed an better understanding of each other and what we want to play. It may take a few more weeks to shake this out but I'm seeing some new periods and systems popping up.

Now here's the laundry list of games, periods and figures to be focused on.

The Portable Wargame. This has some qualities that make it attractive. Easy to set up, plays within the allotted time frame, covers a few periods. The main attraction is as stated by the Author in his When Empires Clash is "the armies needed ... are small... this means that I can raise lot's of small armies"

Dragon Rampant All the Mersey rules could be included in this but I'll focus on these as I can use my LOTR figures and paint a force using my Warring States Chinese.

Battle Troll As a campaign. The group has everything needed so for the most part it's ready to go just working out linking the games.

AWI Skirmish. No commitment to a rule set yet Song of Drums and Tomahawks and Sharp Practice II are on the list. I've heard people are using The Men Who Would be Kings for this period as well. Listing AWI has more to do with getting figures and terrain painted than any one rule set.

The figures I'd like to get painted are quite a mish mash. The Warfare GNW figures are the one I'm most anxious to get started on with 15mm WWII being next, a few artillery units would give me complete armies for PW. After that it's AWI, 40mm Knights and Warring States. 

Not exactly the solid plan I had hoped for but I've too many interests and partial things done to commit to much. Perhaps devoting a month or so to organization would help starting with the work bench.

Thanks for reading.

Sunday, December 31, 2017

2018 The Plan, part 1 the options.

Time to put into writing what the plans are for 2018. This years plan has been a little more difficult than I expected. The main idea is to work towards making the lead pile smaller while still indulging in purchasing new lead either for existing projects or new ones. As much as I'd like to think that I won't buy any new miniatures past experience has shown it's just not happening. I've always thought that if I was playing a game I should at least have some figures for it but now I have come to the conclusion though that just because I'm going to play a period doesn't mean I need to buy the figures. If someone else already has the figures I'm good to use those. If the group is getting into a new period and army size is small enough I can easily be convinced to buy and paint figures up.

The Figures 

With that in mind I went down to the work room and looked through what I had. An overwhelming experience to say the least. Warring States Chinese in 28mm, WWII Germans in 28mm and 15mm, AWI 28mm unit based and singly, LOTR. I stopped looking knowing there was more.

Of course there's new figure lines that are popping up on the Internet or ones that I've likes for a few years but never pulled the trigger on because of my awesome self control. Here's what I've been looking at recently. GRINGO40S has a Tonkin/French Indochina range coming out, 1898 Miniaturas produce some great looking figures for the SAW a period that's always interested me. There's also FPW 15mm Prussians I'd like to get to battle the French that are already painted.

Then there's the two new periods I've bought figures for but haven't painted any. GNW 28mm and Medieval Knights 40mm.

The que is backing up quickly.

The Games

Last year I was in the 6x6 challenge which gave some form to my gaming. This year challenge will be modified to some degree but what that will be has yet to be determined. 3x6 may be the practical option. The Lion Rampant series is on the list as well as Sharpe Practice. The Portable Wargame has grabbed my interest and can be played with existing armies. I'm still looking for a WWII game on the same scale as Chain of Command and Bolt Action and something to use all the 15mm stuff I have. Saga is releasing a revised version so I'm sure that will get a look. We've played a few one off games of Battle Troll, Mad Dogs with Guns and Flint & Feather but would like to see a campaign of four to six games played with a least one of these. Certainly some favorites will get played and I'd like to do a few games of A Gentleman's War 18th Century using historical scenarios. Song of Muskets and Tomahawks, Flashing Blades and Blood & Plunder were all purchased will most likely see at least some use in the coming year. Oh wait Too the Strongest is having a sale I may need this as I've become interested in gridded wargames.

So there's rule set options laid out. Now it's time to make some choices and work out how to coordinate figure painting and game playing to make it a productive year.