Monday, July 30, 2012

Podcasts for Gamers: Meeples and Miniatures

I've listened to Neil Shuck's "Meeples and Miniatures" sporadically for years.  The early years were pretty rough, but this year I realized Neil has really hit his stride. He's enthusiastic, thorough and fair and his inclusion of guests have really made this my "go to" gaming podcast.  My favorites are the "View from the Veranda" episodes with Henry Hyde (of Battlegames Magazine). Henry's cheerfulness and enthusiasm for wargaming is infectious.  I also really enjoyed the pair of painting podcasts he did with Steve Archbold and the shows with Richard Clarke of "Too Fat Lardies".  Good stuff, and with close to 100 episodes out there's a wealth of material to listen too if you haven't been there from the beginning.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Historicon 2012, Photos and Review

Our final day at Historicon would need to be cut short for the drive home, but we were signed up for a pair of games, and I had a ton of items I wanted to pick up from the vendors. Some photos from our final day and my review of the con after the jump.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Historicon 2012, Friday

We are having a BLAST at Historicon.  I cam with a friend of mine, both of our wives and my son. All of us are having a tremendous time - we're already planning to attend next year. Some of the games I've played in have been the closest, epic gaming I've ever done. Some pics and thoughts after the jump.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Historicon 2012, Thursday

With my family in tow, I arrived at Historicon on Thursday to find the games I'd signed up for canceled. Despite that disappointment, I managed to have a great time. Pics from my first day at the convention after the jump.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Dark Age Norman Book Club

I discovered the battle of Hastings after watching Simon Schama's History of Britain.  Hastings and the Norman Conquest weren't a part of my high school courses, and I didn't take any medieval history courses in college. Schama's retelling of the story stuck with me, as he draws their personalities so vividly that they seem like living people, rather than a collection of names and deeds. The cast of characters, the twists and turns of the conflict, and the agonizing decisions that Harold faced seem like something drawn from fiction. I read a few books subsequently on the battle and period, but with only a handful of battles I didn't think there was enough potential for gaming the war to warrant painting up any armies. 

After listening to Lars Brownsworth's 12 Byzantine Emperors, I decided to listen to his Norman Centuries podcast, despite feeling the Normans were the "bad guys" who ruined the good thing the Anglo Saxons had going on in Britain before William got involved. I still think the Normans were a group of thugs, but I did get interested in their adventures in Italy, as well as their involvement in the First Crusade.

It turns out these Normans are a group I could get behind for wargaming. From small scale raids with SAGA, to the actual battles involved between William, Harold Godwinson, and Harald Hardrada, the Norman invasion of Sicily and Italy, and finally their trek to Jerusalem, there's plenty of fodder for wargames large and small.  My knowledge of the 11th century is woefully shallow, so I've decided to put together a reading list to bone up on the period before painting up hundreds of Norman knights.

I already polished off a few books:
For getting a handle on Norman warfare I'm looking at Osprey's The Normans (Elite) , Norman Knight AD 950-1204 (Warrior) and Ian Heath's Armies of the Dark Ages, 600-1066 A.D.  I typically need to provide both sides of any wargaming I want to do, so to get a handle on the Muslim adversaries they might face with a Crusades game I'm thinking of picking up The Crusades Through Arab Eyes. That should be plenty to get me started, but I would love any recommendations.
Edit: The Crusades: The Authoritative History of the War for the Holy Land from the recommendation in the comments. Thanks Bob!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Hail Caesar Skirmish #4: Marian Romans vs. Early Germans

With Historicon fast approaching, my pal Mike and I got together for a rapid fire series of games to brush up on some rules. This was Mike's first time playing Hail Caesar, so he took a larger force of Romans to face off against my early Germans. Pics and a battle report after the jump.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Warlord Games Numidian Cavalry

After almost a year, I've finally completed my Numidian cavalry from Warlord Games. I've had them painted for months, but delayed basing until I had enough 50mm x 50mm and 25mm x 50mm cavalry bases. These are also the first horses I painted, using the oil wipe method for shading and highlighting.

Shields are hand painted (easy to make out at close range, but look ok at table distance).  The cowhide and Tanit emblem are based on the shield design from Little Big Man Studios. I'd like to paint up a full Numidian army and would probably switch to their actual decals for such a large project.

This is a small unit under the Hail Caesar rules. To convey the swirling mass of horseman that would close, loose javelins and then ride away, I've mounted these figures diagonally. Hopefully I can maintain the suggestion of motion if I add another six figures to bring this up to a standard size cavalry base for Hail Caesar.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Making Rough Ground Wargames Terrain Tutorial

One of the main reasons I've been so taken with this hobby is the visual aspect of miniature games.  The actual figures don't take up very much room on the tabletop battlefield and I think the terrain that makes up the battlefield should receive just as much attention as our figures. I'm on a continuing mission to create better looking terrain for my wargames and I've documented my process for creating some rough terrain in case you'd like to try something similar.  Follow along after the jump.