Monday, July 22, 2013

Historicon 2013: Saturday

Saturday was our big gaming day, with games scheduled from 9am until 11pm. Luckily they were all a blast. Check out monsters, mutants and an ironclad after the jump.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Historicon 2013: Friday

We had a whirlwind of gaming and I fell behind in my Historicon updates. Friday was good, a leisurely morning in the vendor hall, a fun Lord of the Rings game, and our first try at World War II naval action. There were also tons of great looking games I only managed to snap some photos of.

Pics and thoughts after the jump!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Historicon 2013: Thursday

Day one down, with lots more gaming to do. Before turning in I thought I'd throw the photos I managed to snag up on the web for those of you who are unable to attend. Check them out after the jump.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Historicon, Here I Come!

Everything is wrapped up at work, I've got my itinerary, shopping list and a wad of cash for the vendor hall. I'm all set for Historicon.

Last year I really enjoyed taking a rest from the multi hour set piece games with a few short demos to break up the day. If you don't follow Architects of War / Alien Dungeon's blog, twitter, etc. you may have missed this, but they are running a number of demos for 'SAGA', 'Uncivil War', and 'All Quiet on the Martian Front'.  There's also a number of demos of the latest update to DBA being run throughout the con I'd like to check out. I couldn't get jazzed about the last edition, but I'm happy to give them another shot, especially with a little guidance from folks who've already deciphered the rules. I'm hoping to spend some time trying out all four demos.

I also downloaded the Guidebook app for my iPhone this year. A quick search found the guide for Historicon 2013 with a full schedule -- including games, tournaments and hobby university classes -- with the ability to add them to a personalized schedule, plus room for notes and maps. Highly recommended! I think it'll beat carrying the large paper program around (which I invariably lose the first day). While building my schedule I was able to review all of the games being run, and so many are tables I'd love to roll dice on. This year I'm bringing along some non-historical gamer friends of mine who signed up for full gamut of sci-fi, zombie and fantasy games that intrigued them, all games I'd happily join except they conflict with some of the ancient and WWII games I'm dying to play.

In the past, I've read some grumbling about non-historical games at Historicon, Cold Wars, and Fall-In (even my own regular opponent Mike was mystified by Battletech appearing on a side table at the first Cold Wars he attended), but I'm happy to see some alternatives to Yet Another Napoleonic Game. I love historical wargaming (I'll play any period as long as I can move some lead and roll some dice), but gamers tend to be a well rounded lot with varying interests. How many historical blogs have been peppered with posts about Fantasy Flight's X-Wing game over the last year? How many joined in on the Reaper Kickstarter? I don't think any attendees are laser focused on only a single period, and historical and non-historical games together make these conventions doubly fun. Can't wait!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Testing Techniques for Painting Horses

Oh horses, why do you vex me so? I've found cavalry to be an essential branch of the ancient and medieval armies I'm painting up. They typically have dynamic movement capabilities and impressive combat stats in game, and a large mass of cavalry figures looks impressive. But I still can't find any enthusiasm for painting up that much horse flesh.

In an effort to determine the quickest way of painting up mounted troops, I tried out three different techniques on some Conquest Miniatures Norman cavalry. Painting to wargame standard, I wanted to compare the final product with regards to the time and effort required to complete the paint job. My horses after the jump.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Wrapping Up the First Half of the Year

June's done and with it a number of dangling projects that I've finally managed to put to bed.


Crummy light, iphone camera, but at least they are done.

I don't enjoy painting horses, and decided to tackle all of those that needed painting in a single go. The great herd thwarted me for the better part of six weeks, but I've FINALLY managed to get a small portion done. The Numidian light cavalry that was pressed into early service recently just got a final touch up and some basing. I have another 12 Norman horse to finish up, but at least these fellas are done.


I received my Bones shipment today with a mix of excitement and dread. 6 pounds of plastic miniatures is now waiting for paint. Chris Palmer is already logging his progress through the Kickstarter goodies, but I may hold off until after Historicon. Getting through all of these minis is going to take some planning and pacing. It's a marathon, not a sprint.


The biggest event in June is that my wife, son and I finally departed our home to temporary quarters while our new house is being built. Most of my games and hobby equipment are in storage, save for a traveling paint kit and a few summer projects.

While we were packing I took the opportunity to clear out any old game or hobby bits that didn't need to be relocated to our new home. Digging through an ancient box of busted models I unearthed the very first scratch-built wargaming units I ever created.

25 years ago my very first exposure to wargaming was Rogue Trader. Games Workshop's earliest plastics were more affordable than the various metal figures I was used to painting, and I saved up my lunch money for the original plastic Space Marine boxed set.

Those Space Marines and books are long gone, but I remember an article by Rick Priestly encouraging young gamers to cobble together vehicles from spare bits. I created a copy of Rick's "deodorant hover tank" with pieces of sci-fi and military model kits I had on hand to support my freshly painted Space Marines.

Ye Old Spice hover tank. That poor dorsal cannon lost its barrel.

For some heavy support I got a little more daring and built a quadruped tank from plasticard and sacrificed Transformers toys.

My crippled mecha tank, missing his feet and roof structure.

Both vehicles saw battle only a single time before being neglected to the bits box, bumped and broken apart across half a dozen moves until I rediscovered them last month. The rest of the bits got dumped, but these two managed to be saved at least one more time, though they'll likely wind up as wreckage scenery for some post apocalyptic or sci fi games.

Looking forward to the rest of the summer I'm super excited about Historicon. I've got lots of choice games lined up and a growing shopping list. I may not be getting in too many games otherwise this summer, but the time away from the table should help me catch up on some painting.