It's about time that I reported on my wargaming goings-on. I've had a busy few weeks around work and trip planning. Unfortunately my painting output has been very low; I hope to remedy that and get at least something done before I head on holiday in two weeks! So what have I been up to?
I've been acquiring the necessary materials for basing my mortar platoon for flames of war. This has meant purchasing various types of basing grit and flock from Waylands, as well as grabbing more mundane items such as PVA glue and Selley's "filla". Now it's just a matter of plucking up my courage and having a go at it; having not used the filla material before I'm a wee bit nervous about how easy it will be to apply and fearful about ruining the miniatures. Probably nothing to worry about!
I made some progress with my read-through of Waterloo over the weekend (though not much). So far I'm finding it very easy to follow. It's got enough of the Warhammer mechanics to make it familiar while at the same time being very reflective of the period. Definitely a bit less of a mouthful than General de Brigade to begin with, and I look forward to trying the rules out. I'll post some more detailed thoughts when I've finished my read through; though my comments won't be of much value in respect of its worth as a ruleset given my relative inexperience!
The courier man has been busy on my behalf over the last two weeks. The Flames of War supplement "Hellfire and Back" for early-mid war Africa/Mediterranean has arrived, and I must say I'm very impressed with the quality of the book. It is beautifully hard bound and not much smaller than the Flames of War core rulebook, which is a bit of a beast in itself. I haven't really taken too much time to look into it yet as it won't be providing the list for my first Flames of War army (I'm going late war Cassino for that). I think the book will provide the list for my second army though - either an adaption of my late war kiwis into early war Div Cav, or a British Armoured Squadron for the desert.
The first of the Commonwealth Infantry platoons I ordered from Wayland Games has arrived, with two more and a sniper blister still on the way. I haven't done anything more than unpack them and arrange them into their stands. I'm very happy with the sculpts; they're very dynamic and characterful, and I'm glad that I decided to go with them over the late war Rifle Company miniatures. I've been playing around a lot with the list on Easyarmy.com, and I'm just not sure what else I'm going to take. This is the difficulty in not having played any games yet (well, no proper games) and not having a firm idea as to the relative strengths of different units. At the moment I'm thinking of keeping things fairly balanced, with some mortars, HMGs, AT guns, artillery, recon (armoured cars or carriers - I'm quite enamoured of the Staghound) and an Armoured Platoon of Shermans. I'm a bit worried that this is spreading things a bit thin though. I think I'll get this army together, run it, and then make changes accordingly. That way I'll have the full range of options right from the get go and so will have plenty of flexibility.
My order of Infinity from Maelstrom Games has also finally arrived! It appears that the parcel was missent to Vancouver. Not sure how Vancouver could have been confused with the Maori name of my home town or with New Zealand; I'm just glad it got here! It'd taken quite some time for the items to get back in stock with Maelstrom, and when they shipped Garth's order of Nomads shipped at the same time. His arrived 2-3 weeks ago, and I've been watching the post anxiously ever since. I've taken a look at the miniatures but little else. Once again I'm impressed with the level of detail and the dynamic poses of the miniatures "in the flesh". I don't think I'll get to painting these in a hurry as I'm trying to prioritise my Flames of War so that I've got something on the table to game with. The temptation might get me over the summer though, we'll see. I've had a private message from a kiwi on the Infinity Community Forums about having Infinity at the next Battlecry. Sadly I'm unlikely to be in the position to play in time for the tournament, but I'd very much like to attend just to take a look at Infinity in action as well as seeing the other games that people play. I've had very little exposure to other gamers yet other than Garth given where I live, so I'd definitely like to take the opportunity to "get out".
I've also been caught out by a 50% off sale at the Warhammer-Historical website! The sale popped up just after I'd bought the Waterloo book for $80.00. Typical! I couldn't really resist though, and picked up Trafalgar, Warmaster Ancients and Warmaster Ancient Battles all for half price. Garth picked up copies of Waterloo and Legends of the Old West (he's since gone and bought some Black Scorpion miniatures - they look cool!). I bought Trafalgar because I'm a sucker for the period and because Garth already has a copy. We're pretty keen to give the game a go in the future, though it will be a while before it makes it's way to the top of our priority list for miniatures. I bought Warmaster Ancients because I'm in love with half a hundred historical periods and I really doubt my ability and attention span as far as painting them all in 28mm goes! Hopefully at some stage in the future Garth and I will be able to branch out into some 6-10mm wargaming. I'd love to do War of the Roses to begin with!
Garth is looking at Legends of the Old West as a campaign skirmish game to replace his old love Mordheim. We played a lot of the game in high school; sadly we let all of our miniatures and the original terrain go. I remember enjoying the system a lot, though we did think that there were some limitations to the rules. I like the idea of getting back into this kind of "progressive campaign" skirmish gaming, though. To this end I went back to the Warhammer-Historical store a few days later to consider purchasing the rules; sadly they were only taking phone orders for them as they'd largely sold out. Oh well. I'm not sure I needed to buy another rule book - I've comprehensively failed in my resolution not to purchase any more!
So what else is on the cards? No more miniature purchases, for a start! Garth and I are planning on picking up a bit of terrain for Flames of War when I get back from holiday in mid-November. I should come home with plenty of change, so I'm going to divert a wee bit of it towards a gaming mat (I'm thinking from theterrainguy.com) and some pre-made terrain. That will give us the foundation of the board, and we can work on making anything else we need from there. Given my slackness with painting over the last 2-3 weeks (I've just been exhausted after work and weekends have been busy) I've decided to set myself a realistic goal for the two weeks before I go away. I'm going to base my mortar platoon and have them finished, as well as clean and prime my Commonwealth Platoon ready for painting when I get back. This is a little bit of work, but shouldn't get in the way of my trip preparations.
Speaking of priming, and as a closing note, I popped into one of Games Workshop's Auckland mall stores a few weekends ago to pick up a spray can of black primer (unfortunately no one will ship these to me, and I don't often get the chance to go wargames shopping in person). While the lovely A stood outside and stared in horror, I negotiated my way through the melee and managed to reach the counter. I sympathise with A, I really can't stand those stores and couldn't even when I used to play Warhammer/40k. I think it's something to do with the concentrated teenage enthusiasm. Anyway, when I was going through the motions of paying $30 for a can of black primer (when did things get this expensive?) I had a yarn to the GW staffer and he was a really nice guy. We talked about the Waterloo book that had just been released (I think I sold it to him, haha!) as well as a wee chat about Warhammer-Historical's Kampfgruppe Normandy rules (he tried to sell these to me as an alternative to Flames of War for the WWII period - failed). It goes to show that while I'm not at all a fan of the company, they do employ some nice people!