It's been a while since the last post; work, energy and distractions have been conspiring against me I think. This post has been developing in draft form over a number of weeks so it is a bit of a ramble. I should really break it up into a number of posts but as I've been writing this on the blogger Android app it's in the too hard basket!
So what's been happening? Work has been pretty manic since I got back from holiday with a lot of report deadlines and presenting to Council, community boards and the local iwi forum. Fun and games really, I managed to avoid public speaking for my first 18 months in the job but recently the floodgates have really opened. Anyway, things aren't likely to quiet down at all in the week before Christmas.
I did manage to have an unexpectedly long weekend though, the lovely A being sent to hospital on last Wednesday afternoon with suspected appendicitis. Two days off work hanging around hospital with a very hurriedly packed bag devoid of wargaming entertainments ensued. Thank heavens for smart phones! Result being a very sore and drugged up A feeling like she's been whacked in the stomach with a bag of apples. The poor thing, very definitely un-fun and not to be recommended. Hooray for Tramadol! (Not the nicest of drugs as it turns out)
Along with this excitement, my adventures in Skyrim and football management heroics in FIFA haven't left me much time for painting. To be honest, around 5-a-side football and late evenings at board meetings I haven't really had the inclination to paint; a few virtual premier league fixtures or an icy dungeon of two being a bit more attractive.
FLAMES OF WAR
I have started to get back into the swing of things, though much of what I've been doing has been in the imagination department without achieving much that's tangible. I picked up a paintbrush last weekend while A was working on a uni assignment, and black primed the bases on my Mortar platoon. I'm learning things as I go, such as why its a good idea to moderate your usage of grit on bases. I went a bit overboard with the consequence that the bases sucked up paint like nobody's business and the process took about 4 times longer than it should have. More surface area and I guess it has the effect of making the surface porous. I hope to finish these bases soon - so hopefully you will get to see photos of my first completed unit! Looking forward to that post, I can tell you.
The terrain that Garth and I ordered a while back has started to arrive. I'm impressed with the ruined Italian monastery; the pre-paint is nice and I'm looking forward to seeing it on the table. We've also had two sets of battlefield in a box rural roads arrive. Equally impressed with the quality, though I fear we may have gone overboard as there are a LOT of roads! Unfortunately Waylands was out of stock for the battlefield in a box rivers set so we were refunded. Will keep an eye on availability as I do intend to purchase them.
The next step for terrain will be trees, walls and probably some home made hills. If anyone could recommend products/brands we'd appreciate it; we're not really sure where to start when it comes to trees. We're also waiting on the release of Italian buildings by www.gamesofwar.net; if their north African range is anything to go by, they look to be good quality and very reasonably priced.
I've been listening to the "what would patton do" podcast during my commute to work and the frequent trips to Auckland to see A. I've been getting through their back catalogue at a fair rate of knots; I'm currently up to episode 20 out of approximately 30 episodes so far. I'm learning a lot from the podcasts, though given my lack of experience in actually gaming flames of war it's mostly been lessons in theory. It has REALLY been getting me amped to play this game, which is certainly at odds with the lack of progress I've made in the painting department.
I'm going to try and use this as motivation to get back on the painting wagon over my three week Christmas break. We've deliberately got little planned for the break; A and I are both a bit worn out from work and our 3 weeks in America at the end of October so we are looking forward to taking it easy and not spending money! We're camping up the top of the coromandel for new years, but apart from that I think it'll be a bit of hiking, relaxation and I'm hoping a bit of painting too. New Years update: despite the forecast I reluctantly succumbed to the others' enthusiasm and pressed ahead with the camping trip. They didn't bring wet weather gear and their tents leaked. Consequence: we left after the first night while we could still get over the ford. Lesson: don't let others' enthusiasm override the weather forecast and your own experience of local conditions!
My pace so far makes me regret somewhat opting for infantry as my starting army - there is so much to get through! I just need to keep my eye on the prize and get to it I guess! Unfortunately Garth won't be making it up over the summer so we won't be able to have a game together for quite some time. He has done a lot of painting and really is in a position where he can start gaming. I'm going to try and encourage him to pick up a game or two down in Wellington - he might as well receive some benefit from the hard work he's put in while he's waiting for me. The happy side of it is that it buys me more time!
One of the advantages of my army selection (NZ rifle company from the Cassino book) is that the miniatures will to a large extent ( subject to varying support options) be interchangeable with the early war source books such as hellfire and back and burning empires. This means that with some additional effort ill be able to play late war Cassino as well as early war Crete and Greece. Crete has got me particularly excited - I'd love to sit down with the hellfire and burning empires books and Anthony Beevor's 'Crete' and work out some historical scenarios. Kiwis vs Fallschirmjager! Perfect!
Lastly, the terrain mat from theterrainguy.com has finally arrived. We ordered it at the start of November and it just happened to arrive at the family business on the Saturday of Christmas Eve. After another attempted delivery after boxing day I went into panic mode a bit and left a note on the door for alternative delivery. At roughly $50 USD shipping wasn't that keen for it to be returned to sender! I must say that I think it's worth every penny it took to get it here. It looks great, appears to be very hardy and should be a much better and in-theme option than the old flimsy GW flocked-paper mat I have already. My only regret is that we didn't opt for a mat bigger than the 6'x4'. Oh, and that we didn't wait with basing so that we could match colours to the board. I definitely think that I'll go to them again for similar products. When we eventually make it to playing north Africa I reckon a large desert mat would be awesome!
Well I haven't got anywhere yet with infinity other than acquiring a starting force of miniatures. I bought human sphere recently and I've barely had the chance to open it! It's a pity really as the mechanics of the game excite me; I just can't quite see myself getting a force painted any time soon with so many flames of war miniatures at the front of the line. I have set myself a small goal for the summer, though, and that's to get the miniatures cleaned, prepped and primed. That way I can even have a go at trying the rules out on the table if the opportunity presents itself! While I haven't played it yet, I do see Infinity as a great game for my circle of friends (none of whom have expressed interest - yet) given its low buy-in cost, aesthetics, flexibility and cinematic mechanics. The sooner I get some form of miniature on the table to demonstrate the better!
Unfortunately, I'm not realistically going to be able to participate in the infinity tournament that's being organised as a part of a larger tournament in Auckland early next year. There has been some discussion of it amongst kiwis on the infinity forums for some time now - in fact (and a bit embarrassingly) I think it was my discussions with community members about starting infinity that partly prompted the discussion that lead to the idea to include an infinity segment in the tournament. Feel bad for not making it, but unless I have a painting epiphany in January I can't see it happening!
In other Infinity news, I read on the interwebs that a campaign/scenario supplement may be released in early 2012. I waxed poetical on the matter in an earlier blog post, and I must say I'm still that enthusiastic. I may not be close to getting infinity on the table, but I'm a sucker for rules books!
Well I'm still waiting on the warhammer historical books I've got on order - Trafalgar, two old west supplements and the two warmaster ancients rulebooks. Bought and paid for might I add. They hadn't arrived after a good 6 weeks, and after a few weeks of not having my emails replied to I sat up late so that I could telephone during UK opening hours. The guy on the phone was apologetic and polite, and arranged for new copies of the books to be sent by priority courier, the tracking code for which he would email to me. Well I haven't yet recieved an email with the tracking code, and three weeks on the books haven't arrived. Understandable perhaps given that it is Christmas time, but I really don't think there is much excuse for the poor customer service. Frustrating! I guess I'll sit up late this week and make another phone call. New Years update: still no sign of the books and no contact from them. Looks like I'll be making another phone call in a week or so. Really, deeply disappointed in their performance. In this day and age it just isn't acceptable.
That's probably enough for one post - I've other things I'd like to post about but this has been languishing in draft long enough! And sorry to ignore your advice re: aesthetics on this one Frontline - I'll make more of an effort when I'm not posting off my phone!
I hope to talk about my historical gaming interests, board games (of the wargame variety), video games and blogs that I've found particularly interesting and inspirational during 2011.
Happy New Year and cheers!