Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thanksgiving, from the Native Perspective

Here's a great article on Smithsonian's site about the colonization of New England by the pilgrims from the American Indian perspective. There's a lot here I hadn't heard before: the system and rules of fealty between the various native villages, the harsh rites of passage to enter adulthood, the natural technology that was superior to the classically "advanced" European homes, and more.

This bit makes me want to paint up some eastern woodland natives for some skirmishes:
Armed conflict was frequent but brief and mild by European standards. The catalyst was usually the desire to avenge an insult or gain status, not conquest. Most battles consisted of lightning guerrilla raids in the forest. Attackers slipped away as soon as retribution had been exacted. Losers quickly conceded their loss of status. Women and children were rarely killed, though they were sometimes abducted and forced to join the victors. Captured men were often tortured. Now and then, as a sign of victory, slain foes were scalped, and in especially large clashes, adversaries might meet in the open, as in European battlefields, though the results, Roger Williams, founder of Rhode Island Colony, noted, were “farre less bloudy, and devouring then the cruell Warres of Europe.”

Great article, lots of power struggles and political machinations by the various Native leaders, and fodder for painting up and playing out some conflicts between the two societies.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Black Friday and Holiday Wargame Specials

I've been scouting a few wargame deals popping up this year for Black Friday, and many appear to be running through Christmas. Have you seen any other great holiday game or hobby specials I missed?

Wargame and Miniatures Sales and Deals

Tabletop World's Christmas deal.
"Yes dear, I bought these for our
'Christmas Village'.  I'll just hold on
to them with my wargame things
for the rest of the year."
  • The WarStore is running a 25% off special for a bunch of Flames of War items. Use their 'BlackFriday' coupon for an extra 5% off. Runs through Dec 2.
  • Lone Gunman (15, 28mm fantasy and some modern) is offering 25% with code '5years'
  • Crossover (28mm super heroes) is offering 15% with code 'blackfriday'
  • Legio Heroica (15 and 20mm Ancients, Medieval and Renaissance) is offering 20% orders over 60 Euros, 25% off orders of 120 Euros.
  • Victrix is running a great "buy two boxes, get one free" deal now through Jan. 5.
  • CP Models has a "buy 5, get 6" deal on all of their figures (20mm WWII, 28mm historical, sci fi and horror, and more) now through Dec 31.
  • Tabletop World is offering some awesome free terrain for large orders (starting at 80 Euros). I love the look of their models, and this looks like a great deal if you are looking to invest in some beautiful terrain. Runs through Dec. 31.
  • Architects of War 10% to 30% discounts on many, many miniature lines, free minis with larger orders, free shipping (U.S.A.) on orders over $50 plus more specials popping up every few hours. Ends Dec. 1 
  • The WarStore is running a 25% off special for a bunch of Flames of War items. Use their 'BlackFriday' coupon for an extra 5% off. 
  • Fantasy Flight Holiday Sale  DEEP discounts on Dust, Wings of War ($5 per plane!), board and card games. 
  • Clear Horizon Miniatures  Now through Dec 20, three packs of 15mm sci fi troops for $23USD, a 15% savings.
  • Two Hour Wargames 20% off until midnight on Nov 29 with code 'bf20'
  • Effigy Miniatures 40% off everything until Dec 1 
  • Hydra Miniatures retro sci fi sale starting Friday
  • Indus Miniatures "War in India" figures, 20% off through Dec 5. with code 'black20'
  • Syr Hobbs Wargames Buy four packs, get the 5th free. Plus free fire and smoke counters on order of $50 or more. 
  • Ground Zero Games Free minis with each order, plus a discount voucher for the new year! Offer expires Dec. 20th.
  • GHQ 20% off orders of $100 or more. Be sure to read the details of implementing the coupon code on their forum. 1 day only! Ends at 12:01 AM on Nov 29.
  • Splintered Light (15, 20, 28mm Fantasy) Black Friday only, 20% off with code SLM13
  • Miniature Building Authority  10% off everything, plus some deeper discounts. Black Friday only I believe.
  • Miniature Market  Over 800 items on sale Black Friday, many at liquidation prices.

Wargame Gift Guide

Need to find a great gift for that special wargamer in your life? There are quite a few boxed sets and games just waiting to be discovered under a tree.
Bolt Action Pegasus Bridge boxed set.
Awesome! A laser cut model of the bridge, 30 figures, support weapons, decals, scenario sheet and more. You'll need the Bolt Action core rules to play though.
Fall of the Reich
Just released this fall, Plastic Soldier Company's rules for fighting the desperate defense of Germany. 
Ronin - Skirmish Wargaming
Want a taste of samurai action without committing to painting up armies for a new period? Osprey's 'Ronin' rules along with figures produced by North Star offer an easy way to get the clash of katanas to your tabletop.
Judge Dredd Starter Set.
Boxed sets of the miniatures (like the Cursed Earth Desperadoes and Justice Department Judges ) have been available for a bit, but Warlord has recently released a boxed set containing 18 figures, starter guide and rules.
The Wargaming Compendium
Henry Hyde's Tome. A massive collection of wargaming advice from one of the hobby's experts. I've heard it's great for anyone just entering the hobby, or old hands looking for new tricks. Definitely on my list this year.
Mega Hobby Set (Limited Edition) 
OMG look at this thing! Paints and tools are usually a "necessary evil" purchase for me (I'd rather get a pack of figures) but this is downright drool-worthy. Paints, brushes, sprays, tools, glues... so much stuff to replenish the hobby table.
Warriors & Warlords: The Art of Angus McBride Angus McBride is my favorite illustrator of military and fantasy subjects. This volume is a collection and history of his work. I know that I've picked up a number of Ospreys just to get access to his color plates, and paging through a volume dedicated to his artistry seems like a lovely way to spend Christmas morning.
Edge of the Empire RPG
Just released this year, I know a number of wargamers were indulging in some roleplaying with Fantasy Flight's new Star Wars RPG. I think this would be a great treat for gamers to share an aspect of their hobby with kids who might have a little more familiarity with the Battle of Hoth rather than Pickett's Charge. They also released the Star Wars: The Card Game which looks similar to the Lord of the Rings card game that we enjoyed in our house.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Reaper Goblins in their Fall Collection

I've spent the last few weeks applying my creative skills to my son's Halloween costume rather than figure painting, but I managed to finally polish off these goblins to join my earlier Halloween Reaper Bones figures.

I had some challenges with this group. The milliput I used to extend the flagstone bases didn't dry properly and needed to be replaced, the reposing using the hot water technique failed to set, and the detail and sculpting on these figs was still pretty shallow. Once I got to painting though, things moved rapidly. I have a ton of greenskin goblins in storage, so I opted for a slightly different color scheme for these guys.

In any case, I was happy to get them finished and they turned out well enough for tabletop skirmishes. And with these figures wrapped up I'll likely be going on a brief painting hiatus. Our new home has finally been completed, we have a settlement date, and I expect to be moving out of our temporary residence within the next few weeks. I'm looking forward to unpacking all of the figures, games and terrain currently in storage and getting back to rolling dice soon!