Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Out with 2013 - In with 2014!

2013 has come to pass and it is time to reflect on a few things about the hobby and look to the future. I have noticed that I am moving in a new direction over the past two years now away from the fuel of GW into the land of other types of gaming. Better games, cheaper games and more fun. That is not to say GW games have not been fun, but with several of their changes that I dislike in the game and how they are as a company has not instilled me with the loyalty that I once had to the company as a consumer.

Plus the start of the year was rough with my mother recovering from having a brain tumor removed and I lived a life of hell at the hospital for over a week to be there for her. Then at the end of this year, my wife’s mother passed away that has caused the holidays to not be so great. Still, this is about going forward and making lemonade from lemons and sipping that refreshing sweet, yet tart taste of life.

I did my first Kickstarter in fall of 2012 and received it in July for the Reaper Bones I outing. A fun and very worthwhile pledge yet the Reaper Bones II was a bit more money driven to mine more cash and just threw out a bunch of junk I could care less about. I pledged a $1 this time around, I hoped to pick up a few items but with our budget in the crapper I may not be able to due to lack of funds.

2013 saw a few new Kickstarters hit the table including:
- Crossover Miniatures 2: Rusty did a snap job and delivered on time. I would back him again. Looking forward to round 3 this year.

- Games and Gears: I pledged for one of their Battle Boards, the city textured able at 28mm just looks like it will be a huge timesaver and the cost with shipping over the pond was a great deal. Their prior KS they delivered on time, so let’s see if they stick to the schedule.

-Winter War: Gav got the fight of his life with this kickstarter and the huge success of the fans of WW2 gaming (and great timing as two systems were dropping Finnish/Soviet lists). I am watching mixed progress here and looking forward to getting my minis.
The major setback for Gav so far is the casting machine going bust over the holidays.

- Robotech: One of my earlier pledges and perhaps my largest (up there with Reaper Bones I) to date. A great deal was offered but the setbacks of the timeframe have been rather disappointing. The minis look great (of the few previews) that I have seen so far. My bet on this one is at best the end of spring and more like May/June before we see any actual product. Things are just going slow and I fear that the models are going to be great but the rules and testing may not be well thought out. I hope I am wrong on this one.

- Guardian Chronicles Super Heroes Board Game: This game has me very excited but also the setbacks on this has also been disappointing and already behind the timeline also for delivery. The concept of the game, the mini concepts and such are amazing and a great value for the $160 package. I will give Iello credit that they DO LISTEN to their fans and have done some great steps as thanks for the support including some free bonus figs and upgrading the dice once people saw that they was not engraved (but printed) that made people rather upset. I am much stoked about this game, reminds me of the Freedom Force video game (that oddly I am playing the squeal right now Freedom Force Vs the Reich).

2014 appears to be filled with a future of Super Hero Kickstarters including Pulp City (slated in late January), Crossover Miniatures 3 and the prospect of Supersystem 3 getting revamped and put in print! I think with this in mind, I may put some money aside (or save in Paypal) to use for these in the future.

Bolt Action reflections:
I picked up the book right around the first of the year and grabbed up the German sourcebook. I started to work with others to pull a gaming community together of players and generate interest including running some events at Suncoast Skirmisher game day in Tampa, organized several local gatherings joined the Warlord Sarge program and setup Salty BayCon tournament that had a small attendance of 8 which isn’t bad for a first outing. Since then two LGS have started to offer tournament games that has resulted in between an average of 8-10 for the most part, we had two with bad attendance but that was the timing of the year for other things (one was Halloween weekend).  

2014 offers a new year and with all the major powers and the two minor books we will see a series of books about various theatres such as the Pacific (should be next) and Armored Platoon rules with extra tank goodness. I hope to make Recon this year as it appears that this and Crucible will be my gaming cons for the year. I also look forward to getting the French done and on the table and the Finnish underway and on the tables soon enough!

Other Games:

Strange Aeons: I did no gaming this year, painted some Reaper Bones and Uncle Mike’s stuff including my entries into the Brush-off 2013 this year. Didn’t win anything this year, but last year I did get second place! Always next year! I do want to get into the Cult of the Black Goat to get the t-shirt and free figs for life (of the company) and pick up some of the new goodness. I really enjoyed this game, but it is a hard sell to new players for me.

Old West Gaming: Shoot and Skedaddle was purchased in 2013 along with the rules, cards and counters (may get more counters soon). This is a developing game still but has some great elements that I like such as quick one off games as well as campaign play. I also have Legends of the Old West and Rules with No Name to play with as well. I may pick up Dead Man’s Hand in the future as I hear great things about it. So far, I have about maybe 2 dozen figs left to paint but no real scenery. Something I may have to tackle in 2014!

Super Hero Games: A small surge of interest has hit with a friend passing off a large number of HeroClix figs that I have found uses for. I got Supersystem 3 a little over a year ago (close to 2) and started to pick up figs from Crossover, Reaper, Pulp City and Supersystem. I painted some and then got unfocused, so they sat to the side waiting. Now with tease of Supersystem 3 getting revamped and a second set of rules Super Force Seven in draft format I am very excited about this. Combined with the new table (that I need buildings for) this could be a great year of Super gaming!

Pirates: Well, so far I cannot find a good system outside of Legends of the High Seas. I have kicked around messing with the concept of Shoot and Skedaddle to adapt over for Pirate games which I think would work well. In my recent cleaning of the hobby room for the New Year I found myself wanting to paint my pirates, get some ships done and play some games. Oh scenery also!

Post Apocalyptic: I have a case full of almost 50 figs, I bought the After the Horsemen and Wastelands 3 (free rules) and had a small surge of interest and some good trades that helped me build up a nice collection but no forward progress. While both rules set are decent they are not sitting well with me, I may adapt the system again like I may for the pirate gaming.

Judge Dredd: I may start demo games for this to get some credit for free stuff. I got a gang from a fellow gamer online on the blog circles and when I got the rules for free they looked great. Then Warlord took over making the minis and redid the book! Yea! Looking forward to getting the book and playing soon! Just need some scenery but the new city table should add to the gaming environment also! One of my friends already has a Judge gang and I have some of my Ape gang almost done. Thinking of another gang, but not sure what: BritCit, Robots or the crazy insane Cal Judge and his group could be a blast. With my supers and zombie stuff I have enough to do a zombie horde or vigilante already.

Goals of 2014:
My friend Lee wants to do weekly painting, which I like as you can be social, show off what you are doing and inspire one another as well as BS about things.  I was thinking of instead suggesting a painting night every other week and gaming on the other week. I want to paint more and game more plus the mix up makes things fresh. I plan to call it the League of Extraordinary Painters and Gamers. I figure if we don’t have an event we are going to that week we can still do a small gathering and play something.

Projects for 2014:
Reduce clutter in the hobby room (sell stuff or toss)
Paint my Robotech figs (when they show) and try the game out.
Paint my Guardian Chronicle Figs (when they show) and play the game.
Paint my Games and Gears City Table!
Paint more Super Hero figs and play some Supersystem 3 games!
Finish painting my French and play some games!
Paint my Finnish Army (when it starts to arrive) and play some games!
Finish my Ape Gang and start a second gang and play using the new rules!
Finish up the remaining old West Figs before buying more.
Play Shoot and Skedaddle
Paint more Strange Aeons figs and play some games!
Give X-Wing a try! Been interested for a long time!
Give In Her Majesties Name or Ronin a try!
Attend two events this year (Crucible 3 and Recon)
Do weekly (if no other plans) League of Painting and Gaming
Demo more Bolt Action, Demo Judge Dredd (perhaps)
Learn to Airbrush better (practice)
More Blog updates and articles on various things like review and product features.
Make/Buy Old West, Modern City, Strange Aeons, Robotech, Pirate, WW2 and Judge Dredd scenery!

Wow, I need to win the lottery! Hah! Lofty goals but hey that keeps me on my toes! I hope everyone has a good New Year and a great hobby year as well! 

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas

I just want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas. Appreciate the good moments as well as the bad ones. These past two years have been a hellish Christmas. Last year my mother was in the hospital trying to survive brain surgery after a large tumor was removed, just an unreal experience. Now, this year my wife's mother passed away just recently. There isn't a great deal of joy going around right now and everyone is just blue and not festive. 

So, take a moment to talk to your loved ones, appreciate the moments and find those good memories because you don't know when they will be gone. Make the most out of everything in life. Be safe out there and enjoy the holidays! 

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Bolt Action: Early War French Update - Alpine Chaussers

Finished the Battle Honors Alpine Chaussers squad for my French:

Judge Dredd: Ape Gang Update

Finished of a few of the Ape Gang I am building:

From Boiler Suit Apes: Pistol Packing Ape and Brains

Orang sniper

Ape with crowbar from boxed set also

Ape with minigun from Pulp City Line

Herclix repaint and conversion.