Sunday, April 29, 2012

HMGS Midwest- Little Wars 2012

 I made a quick afternoon trip out to Little Wars in St Charles, IL yesterday. Never having been before I was interested purely as a spectator in on a couple fronts, mainly to see how one of these events operates from Historical gaming side of the aisle and also to (what else?, shop Historical miniatures!) Couple weird things going on, 1) this event has a cross pollination of some of gaming you see at Adepticon. being a week after Adepticon this is very odd. In fact the scheduled WFB tournament had ZERO registrants (we saw Rob the organizer there) there was also a Privateer Press event run by my pal, Felix who never ceases to get the bodies there, Adepticon just last week or not. I stopped by the table and he had probably a dozen players.  And # 2) for the size room they had there where alot of empty tables there, while we arrived late in the day, so it possible alot of there events where completed but for Saturday afternoon I was looking for a bit more in the tables and terrain department, I was a little let down there.

Our main goal (since we weren't signed up for any events) was to check out the vendor hall. unlike Adepticon where vendor space is very limited. and probably less than 10% of the total floor space Here it takes up probably 40% of the event including the flea market room. This was pretty awesome. I because of way vendors bring the ton of stuff there alot just in bags..I could have literally spent all day in the vendor hall rummaging thru various things. Out initial hunt was for various Historical miniatures that you just cant get a good feel for from the various websites or just arent pictured. We saw alot of usual suspects, we were both kind of looking for some classical antiquity 15mm Historicals as the subject has come up for our next Hail Ceasar campaign. However we totally struck out there. I did find alot of metal Crusader blisters (which you cant get in the US anymore, you know have to order overseas)  at good  prices however it wasnt enough to get me to invest because I couldn't find two of the same blister of anything I wanted (as in enough to make a unit) Hank from Gorgon was out with a great display showing Gorgon's fantastic stuff. I am eyeing a bunch of different Gorgon's 28's depending on what period we settle on next but since he's local it's not tough to get.

 ( awesome skirmish table , no idea what they where playing but love the table)

Then we stumbled up the Iron Wind metals both who currently does Battletech but also has all the old Ral Partha molds and still casts and sell them..It was a Fantasy/ Sci-fi- / Pirates geeks- miniatures paradise- thousands and thousands of loose pewter models in buckets going for $2 an ounce. Some  seriously great stuff in there, Once Chris and I got a load of that..we were finished and we spent the rest of time there scouring stuff...I found some kick ass. Orc's from probably late 80'early 90's. I think these are Bob Olley sculpts as they look very similar to my Reaper Orcs..anyway I got 14 of them for $20. Chris picked a mix of Pirates and Fantasy Figs...we spaced out on the flee market room and by the time we got there they where packing up..bummer as it looked like there was alot of cool stuff  there. Next year I am making this a priority to get out there the first. if its not right on top of Adepticon or we dont get a Hail Caesar tourney to make the Adepticon cut next year..this might be the thing to do.

 As an aside, I was speaking to the Iron Wind gent a bit about this insane amount of figures and the amount of molds there must be..he tells me alot of the stuff 75% of it isnt even on the website..where they might so 5 poses of something but really there are 20..I did some digging and found this interesting article on Iron Wind . HERE. Battletech is currently experiencing some growth I've seen so expect these guys around for awhile which is cool with the old Ral Partha coming along for the ride.

Finally I wanted to show this awesome 15mm game I saw.  We've been taking about 15mm for size consideration and expense when jumping around to different periods with Historicals. I quickly realize the trap. Yeah figs are cheaper..but once you get the just start expanding the game size as the scale get smaller. Currently in Hail Caesar we run three divisions of 300 points. We've been talking going 4 division or 400 points.. because it removes the 3 division triangle where games can implode quickly due to bad event (like strong flank push with multiple sweeping advances) with 4 Divisions these quirky game enders based on bad luck are minimized so for a more balanced game we've talking about 4 Divisions. Due to excessive model counts four divisions at 28mm maxes out an 8 foot table really quick, I say its basically playable but too crowded, if you really want to use alot of Cavalry and use them effectively. SO-  15mm solves that problem. BUT The new problem, as perfectly illustrated above is once you go 15mm, if you are like us the next thing you know, you are saying " hey well instead of 4 divisions a side", lets do 6, then 8, or even 10....Arghh...something to seriously consider.

LPL 6- Round 9 Zombie Pirates

Round 9 has begun over at the LAF for Lead Painters League Season 6.

Yay- my above entry "The Hunt for Rex Eleven"  won this time out by a pretty good margin against another excellent entry. Its disappointing I had to re-run it...but as its lost to the LPL "painting assassin"
(meaning you draw him , you lose as he looking at 9-0 so far) first time around and it was Adepticon week, I didn't have much choice by to re-run. For week 9. I reach into my very shallow Privateer Press shelf and pull out some select figures from my Revenant Crew and Blackbanes Ghost Raiders for my entry "Crew of the Atramentous"  This one is going to be another squeaker I am in the lead currently but its really close. so please go vote. Next week is final round..being its the Maritime bonus round I have something special planned as long as I can take the photos to do it justice.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Adepticon 2012- Straight, No Chaser

 As you might have noticed, my Adepticon coverage this year was basically non-existent until now considering my past coverages of the event. You'd think for the 10 year anniversary I'd have been more excited but the combination of personal work related issues forcing me to cancel my LotHS event and some general hobby malaise kept me from really being that overly excited.

My main interest was the 2012 Lord of the Rings Championships, where I brought my re-tooled Cirith Ungol / Mordor army from last years Bilbo's Birthday Bash, back for another go using Games Workshop new Warbands rules. I'll cut right to the punch line. I won the Best Overall "Lord of Middle Earth" Award of the Tournament. No one was more surprised than me, because I rarely win more than 1 game at LotR tournament, and when I won all three games, I figured I'd be up there due to my always high soft scores. I haven't seen the scores yet, but whatever  they were they were high enough that my battle points beat out my paint score, and that has never happened.

I am humbled to be a part of such great community of local players. Games are always fun no drama affairs. When this tournament found itself in the awkward situation of the new books coming out after it was announced but still far enough in advance to create an issue..the organizers decided to allow use of both LoME and the new Warbands books at this event. Even though LoME lists have a distinct competitive advantage over Warbands..every single one of my opponents was running a Warbands lists. I played three awesome guys, and had a good time, So playing in this event was enough for me, winning it, is just a validation that dont always have to go to these things ready to chew nails and shred your rulebook. I am going to write up my games later this week but they were very close affairs and luck was just really on my side.

On Saturday I also did some paint judging and took a whole bunch of photos of the LotR Team Tourney which I am going to run again in separate post. It was also great to see that couple of first time players from the whom I know twin cities who are former WFB tourney players  won the team tourney. Here in the midwest, anyway LotR is alive and well.

I also ran some demos for Warlord Games Hail Caesar on Saturday evening we had a great group of players again more disgruntled WFB'ers in attendance and definitely picked a few more players at least locally as a result. All in all a very productive Adepticon for spending my personal shortest amount of time there ever and as well as spending the least amount of money.

 As for the rest of grand spectacle that is now Adepticon, I dont have much really to say.  There were two big low-lights. Thursday night check in was a disaster because of this stupid Battlefoam bag give away... so people were 750 deep at 5pm to get the free $30 bag they were also still selling in the vendor hall with the same patch you got in the swag bag regardless. As a result of the word FREE (so it might as well have been a free bowl of soup as a man bag for your miniatures) There were a ton of people there before 5pm and it took hours to check in (if actually you waited in line) and the hotel was horribly behind in setting up rooms so everything Thursday as far as I could tell was off was pretty much a mess. Since I am of the "waiting in line is for suckers" mentality..I waited until like 9pm when it took 10 mins to check in and got my normal swag bag, which was its usual chock full of great stuff. (Hordes plastic starter, bunch of miniatures, paints, etc)

The Hotel also had the idiotic idea to schedule a wedding in what was last years Flames of War ballroom, in the middle of Saturday Night, This created a weird scene of  Gamers mingled in with a suburban Chicago wedding of cigar smoking sports fans with a bunch of very attractive, dressed to nines, young women (never a bad thing) but the gamers milling around the outside of the ballroom gawking was obvious. I can only imagine whomever paid for that wedding having some choice words for the hotel after that..It wasn't particularly great for Adepticon either as it was just weird.
and ate up valuable gaming space, and clearly made Wedding guests as well as some Adepticon attendees I am sure uncomfortable. It's not like Adepticon doesnt make the Lombard Weston a hell of alot of money every year..they really needed to squeak out the extra dough at the expense of bruised feelings of everyone who is giving you their money?.

Corporate stupidity of the Westin and crass commercialism of Battlefoam aside, our local hobby tournament is now big business. 40K, WFB,, Warmahordes, and the Crystal Brush, where all hugely popular and drawing people in like flies on a popsicle- but the coolest thing , for me anyway is all the other little stuff that goes on there. A lot of little start up vendors there, especially in the demo hall who stayed open late when the main vendor hall inexplicably seemed to close earlier than ever. Tons of demos, board games, old games , new games, games I never heard of going on, in halls and almost every nook and cranny in the place. I applaud all the folks running for all their hardwork and making it whats it become. You cant make all the cool little events happen without the big stuff to pay for it all. So any minor irritants aside, I still look forward to what next year is going to bring,  plus I am the 2012 "Lord of Middle Earth", who else is going to say that, thanks Adepticon!

LPL Season 6, Rnd 8 Redux

Round 8 has begun over at the LAF for Lead Painters League Season 6.

Above is my entry for last round, *Green Magic* which somehow pulled out of vote by vote dead heat to squeak out winning by ONE vote...a margin of 1-5 votes is a draw and I finished 6 votes ahead. Due to Adepticon, I had to re-run my round 2 Entry "The Hunt for Rex Eleven" one of my better entries
it lost to the fellow who is going to win the whole thing probably going 10-0. so I wanted to re run it at some point. I got a very solid draw this week from a very good painter and "Rex" is cruising with a comfortable lead, let that not discourage your voting however as there is still alot of great new stuff posted. Still shooting for finishing in the top ten in this thing...and I just might be able to do it, as lady luck has smiled on me of late as I will talk about in my next post!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

LPL Season 6, Rnd 7. Appendix N Fantasy

Round 7 has begun over at the LAF for Lead Painters League Season 6.

Above is my round winning entry "Servants of the Spider Queen" which is also a preview of my upcoming Adepticon Army for the Lord of the Rings Championships taking place this coming Friday. With the release of the "Warbands" rules..I could reconfigure my Cirith Ungol army to feature more diverse units so my list now features Spiders, Spectres, Orc Trackers. Morgul Stalkers ,along with Orcs , Uruk Hai and of course, Shelob...I'll get out a shot of the whole package before the event.
So if took to the time to vote for Servants, Thanks!

As for round 7, my current entry is entitled Green Magic  in an ode to the worlds oldest role playing game and its "Appendix N" bibliography, of which I am a huge fan of ( more so than I ever was the game), but admittedly it was the gateway to  wargaming to me and although I have
not played it since 1st Edition, those images and style of "Old School Fantasy" are aesthetically certainly what I gravitate to with this hobby.  I do read alot of the RPG blogs because of the fantasy miniature cross over, and all the retro clones of the 1st Edition game the last 5 years or so are pretty cool. You got love to the hobbyist- self-published world taking their hobby back from the corporate stupidity of always trying to mass market everything to the lowest common denominator. This of course goes on in the miniatures hobby as well, but its cool to see in RPG world the big boys actually get their market share threatened, which doesnt really happen in the miniatures world.. ( I'll save my "Corporate Hobbies Suck" editorial for another time..)

As I look at the fiction section of my bookshelf, Tolkien, Howard, Moorcock, Vance, etc..., and continue work on my own Skirmish game (more on this soon, I know I keep saying that..but seriously)  It's certainly satisfying to see all these little aspects of your hobbies/ interests come together.

Anyway check out *Green Magic* which is in close heat this week so I need your vote- if you think its better that its competition. I am 3-3 after 6 rounds..if I want to finish in the top ten, I need win the remaining 4 rounds...a tall order.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

LPL Season 6, Rnd 6. Home in Middle Earth

Round 6 has begun over at the LAF for Lead Painters League Season 6

Above is my 5th round entry, "Arnor, before the war"  New Photos and touch ups but some of the figures are certainly familiar to anyone who frequents here.  This won by a huge margin, so if you bothered to vote, you have my thanks!. My follow up entry, "Servants of the Spider Queen" features Shelob and some of my newest figures for my re-tooled Mordor list I am running at the Adepticon 2012, Lord of the Rings Championships which is right around the corner.

My spiders and their undead minions seem to be sharing similar success as Aragorn, Gandalf and the boys above, but since I am trying to climb my way back out of the bottom half of the leader board, please go vote!, as always there is some fantastic stuff this round, no matter your taste. It's somewhat fitting that the Tolkien stuff is whats pulling me up to a tie 3-3 record going in the last 4 rounds. While my round 10 entry is well planned out, not sure what I am going to do for 7, 8 and 9.

If you're a regular here, you might have noticed there is basically zero Adepticon talk going on this year other than some mentions in these posts. That's because its a very light year for me. Real life has me very busy, and I have had little time for my Adepticon army for LotR still isnt done, I am sure I will be working on all the way up to a few days before, plus I am trying to 3 color paint a whole of my Saxons for some historical demos on Saturdays... I will be there Thursday Night, Friday all day and Saturday night for those of you that want to catch up and say hi.

Monday, April 2, 2012

LPL Season 6, Rnd 5. Worlds of Tolkien

Round 5 has begun over the LAF for Lead Painters League season 6  

Above is my 4rd Round entry "Red Planet" which again lost, but much closer this time 136 to 197..I think the painting , composition, where about equal this time it was clearly a matter of personal taste. I can see where people start to slack off over the duration of this, getting a quality,new entry in every week is insanely tough. Fortunately for me this weeks bonus round is the Worlds of J.R.R Tolkien and I have lots of painted Lord of the Rings models, and have been working on LotR models constantly . My current entry, titled *Arnor, before the War*  is currently winning by a huge margin, so I should climb back up the ladder a bit with the bonus points. after losing Rounds 2, 3 and 4. I could use a rebound.  I do have a couple more LotR entries, ( Some of my Adepticon army for this year is coming up next,) then some Dark Ages, and some more Fantasy models coming. Plus the next  bonus round is round 10 and its a Maritime theme..I am going Pirates all the way.


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