Friday, July 24, 2009

Regarding Historicon Poll vs. Purchases

The results of the Historicon poll were very close. 25mm Martians came in first, followed by Masked Minions and then Germans. All the rest lagged behind a bit.

So, let's compare that to what I bought at Historicon.

As far as Martians go, all I purchased was a box of High Martians (the flying guys) [RAFM]. My son also bought some Mage Knight cannons that will probably be pressed into Martian service, as they are sort of primitive looking and bulky and just look 'right.'

For the Masked Minions, I purchased a 4 figure gun crew [Parroom Station]. I also bought a Smoke Launcher [Parroom Station] for them to crew. The gun may be used by others, of course. And it may not always be a Smoke launcher. Suppose I need rules for the poisonous cloud that it fires off. Maybe a blast template that wanders with the wind? Green-sprayed battening on an old CD base? Bears thinking about.

For our third place contestant, the Germans, I bought infantry and a massive artillery piece. Again, the artillery piece could be used by anyone, really. It is the Steampunk Cannon [JR Miniatures]. Having a stubby, mortar-like appearance, I also want to make a barrel extension for it (removable, of course) so that it can be made to look like a big fortress piece. Shouldn't be too difficult, as the barrel of the original mortar is tapped quite deeply. I'll explain my idea for it when I get around to doing it. The infantry I chose were the Prussian infantry of Parroom Station.

So, that's it for now. I have gotten a few minis primed and hope to get something painted up today or tomorrow so that I can work on those Pledge numbers I can already see I will be needing more bases. But that's going to wait at least a month for my bank account to recover from our show purchases and travel expenses.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Historicon, Day Three

Okay, the last full day of Historicon was Saturday. And this report isn't posting until Tuesday. After yesterday's mammoth purchasing report, I thought it would be better to postpone this post another day. So why didn't I post it Sunday? Too busy traveling home. Anyway, on the the report...

I didn't get in a single game on Saturday. Both my games were cancelled (one a simple no-show). And I wasn't able to squeeze into anything that seemed interesting to me. So, no gaming for J. That made three games in a row cancelled, by the way, although I was able to get into a game Friday night to replace the cancelled one.

The boys played in two games: Destroy all Monsters (another Godzilla movie-monster game) and Ribbit! (GASLIGHT, using Eureka's new frogs and turtles, by Buck Surdu). In short, Destroy all Monsters stunk, and Ribbit! was awesome.

A blurry shot of the South American War Snail

Dane and another boy move the North American troops. Note the Self Propelled Gunturtle in the foreground.

A closeup of Dane's Heavy Frog Cavalry. Slaughtered to a frog by the War Snail!
Painted by Buck Surdu, I think. Minis by Eureka Miniatures.
Greyson and Dane at the start of RIBBIT!
A very cool German Flying contraption at a Pulp game I couldn't get into.
Lots of awesome pulp-y goodness in that one!
Lots more pictures in the new Photobucket Album I created, titled "Historicon 2009". Catchy title, innit? Check the sidebar for it!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Home Again, Home Again

We arrived safely back home last night, but I was too tired from travelling to do much of anything, so I put all of this off until today.

The Haul

15 mm
4 x Scif Fi plants [QRF, SF-10]
1 x Zulu War British Supply Wagon w/ Driver and Oxen (painted) [Flea Market, but I think Old Glory]
6 x Horkuns [Splintered Light Minis]
4 x Lizard dogs [Splintered Light Minis, from the Lizardman Army deal]
8 x Pigs [East Riding Miniatures]
6 x Werewolves [ATH (?) - at Syr Hobbs booth]
1 x Wraith Golgoth [AT-43 Damocles set]
1 x Fire Toad [AT-43]
9 x UNA Steel Troopers [AT-43]
8 x Therian Storm Golems [AT_43]
5 x X-Squad with Jetpacks [Jeff Valent Studios, Great Rail Wars]
10 x Prussian Infantry [Parroom Station]
4 x Masked Minion Crew [Parroom Station]
1 x Smoke Launcher [Parroom Station]
7 x Russo-Turkish War Turks [Outpost Wargames Service]
11 x Colonial Japanese Infantry [Falcon Miniatures]
4 x Colonial Japanese Cavalry [Falcon Miniatures]
20 x Zulu War British (including officers) [Empress Miniatures]
2 x Zulu War British Rocket battery crew (including rocket launcher) [Empress Miniatures]
20 x ECW Pikemen, including command [Foundry]
2 x Owlbears [flea market]
1 x War Ape [Chainmail]
2 x Skeletal Dogs [Chainmail]
5 x Sailors [Paint N Take]
20 x High Martians [RAFM, for GDW Space 1889]
4 x Plastic Romans [Warlord giveaway]
2 x Plastic Napoleonic British Riflemen [Warlord Giveaway]
1 x Plastic ECW Firleock [Warlord giveaway]
1 x Dwarf Gyrocopter
3 x Space Marine [GW]
1 x Chaos Marine
1 x Skink
1 x Dead Sun gladiator
1 x Kzhag Ork
1 x Space pirate [?]
1 x Nepharite
1 x swordsman [Paint N take]
1 x Ork pirate
10 x Turtles (5 2-turtle sniper teams) [Eureka Miniatures]
20 x Frog Infantry, various sorts [Eureka Miniatures]
3 x Frog Cavalry [Eureka Miniatures]
1 x Frog Cannon (with 6 crew) [Eureka Miniatures]
1 x Mage Knight Mortar
1 x Mage knight Cannon
1 x Mage Knight Catapult

Plus a bunch of miscellaneous stuff that I won't detail here, but including terrain, some Napoleonic ships, dice, card games, etc., etc.

By my count, that's about 227 miniatures of various scales, if you include artillery pieces as seperate, but not mounts or vehicles. About 20 are already painted and ready for the table. The rest vary from bare lead/plastic to partially finished. And at least 7 (the Warlord giveaways) are probably not counting against the Pledge, as they were not bought and not planned. So only about 200 minis to add to the Pledge! Plus 60 or so more Old Glory 15mm colonials that arrived in the mail while I was out, a gift from a friend (THANKS DAN! YOU ROCK!). Oh, and all the frogs and turtles are my sons's, as are the Space Marines and some other things. So take another 40 away there, I suppose.

I better get painting...

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Historicon Day Two, in Photos...

As promised, here are a few photos from Day Two. Enjoy.
The boys in the Wild West, early in the morning.

A buzzard alights next to the first victim of hot lead poisoning. What a great idea!

A shot of some of the terrain for the FOW Tournament - very nice! This was Savio River, I think.

My Game at setup... a lot more figures at the beginning than were left at the bloody end.

March to the Sound of a Heatray - Valor Steel and Flesh Rules.
In the center, the Prussians advance, flanked on right by the British and the left by the French.

Historicon, Day Two...

Reports from the front coming in... pictures to follow...

So, it's early (ish) on Saturday morning. Last night was a bit late, so I put off blogging until now. Sorry about that. The Yuengling may have had something to do with it. That's my excuse, anyway.

Day 2 started early with an 0800 game. The boys tried out a new (to them) set of Western rules called "High Noon." The folks putting it on had a HUGE (200+ square feet!!!) table set up, with towns, ranches, deserts, Indian villages and mesas. Unfortunately, the boys lost (they were on a team together), but they did have a couple of very dramatic moments, including one point in which Dane dove a character through a window, came up with guns blazing, and killed one of the cowboys.

Next up was my game, "After the Unobtainite". Happily, I had all six players show up, so I had a full game. I think everyone had a good time, and I made no major mistakes. HMLS Prince Charles burned down about ten Martians before succumbing to multiple hits from the Martian artillery. Another high point of the game was when one of the Soldaten went rogue and charged into the unsuspecting back of a squad of Maton's Masked Minions! The British force was virtually annihilated in the end, and the automatons were plagued with mechanical difficulties, leading the Martians in good position to destroy the pack animals which were carting off their unobtainite for the wetland devils. Colonel Sir Harlan Sanders, KFC, will have a hard time explaining his losses once he returns to the Crown Colony!

The boys hit the painting table while I was running my game, and Dane even got a class in painting for beginners in. They continued to practice painting at the Paint N Take Event. You will see that mentioned again, as they have spent a lot of time there! Thankfully, I have checked with the ladies in charge (Heather is the best!), and I am proud to say they have gotten glowing reports on model behavior. I suspect bribery...

Next up was a trip through the dealer's area, and the flea market. I picked up a couple of things for a friend of mine back in Houston, and the boys found a new copy of a game called AT-43 (science fiction) for half off, and pooled together to buy it. It's nice because the minis are pre-painted and neat looking, so you can pretty much play as soon as you open the box. Dane also bought a few minis at the flea market, while Grey and I went looking (unsuccessfully, so far) for some Reaper brand paints. Those may just have to wait until we get back home to order some for him.

My 1900 game - the one I was probably most looking forward to, Airfleet Battles by GASLIGHT, was cancelled as Chris was very ill. I did manage to get into another game that I had wanted to try which was run using the rules "Valor, Steel and Flesh." That was fun, and the minis (by Parroom Station - the game was run by the sculptor, Bob Charette, incidentally) were fantastic. I wish I had taken a few more closeup shots of the tanks, especially. I played the Prussians in an Earth Alliance attack on a pass held by Martians. The infantry did well for me, but neither of my tanks could hit anything. I think it must have been Oktober, and the tank crews were celebrating a bit much the night before. Hangovers are not good for accurate gunnery. Honestly, I don't know if it was possible for us to take the pass, but we gave it a good solid try, and the sands of Mars are a bit more red as a result!

Grey and Dane had a game at 2000, in which they each took command of a 25mm scale buccaneer ship. They didn't win their game (we have had some rotten luck this weekend!), but did have fun. Dane blamed a couple of his allies for getting in his way so that he couldn't come to grips with the enemy, as he ended up the game essentially unharmed, but frustrated in most of his attempts to blast the British ships he was raiding.

So, once my game was finished I checked in on the boys (who still had an hour to go) and then I hit the free beer line. Yes, you heard me: Free. Beer. Yuengling Lager, no less, which I am rather fond of but have a hard time getting my hands on in Texas! Got my beer, called up my friend Patrick (Gallowglass of TMP fame), and went to hang out for a bit. He was just starting to run a Moderns game (Ambush Alley, I think), so he was busy, but I chatted with a few other players while there.

Anyway, except for the cancelled game, which I luckily replaced with another game I wanted, Day Two was another good day of fun for us all at Historicon.

I'll post Day Two photos later. Promise!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Historicon, Day 1

Actually, it's kind of Day Two, as we got our registration stuff last night after we arrived in Lancaster, PA. But as we had our first full day here, we'll go with it. Speaking of registration, we had one major problem there: the boys' registrations were lost somewhere in the Internet. Mine came through just fine but theirs just went poof. So they sort of lost their pre-registered games. However, the convention staff is trying their best to help get them into their original games and letting them into the usual one sign-up per day as well.

We started the day at 12, with both boys playing in Monster Island II, each of them taking a giant monster and trying to become King of Monsters. Greyson was Godzilla, and Dane was Gamera. Grey was eliminated pretty early, but Dane came in third! Right after that, Dane had another game, this one based loosely on the Lord of the Rings. His side (the Good Guys) lost badly. He had rotten luck with his dice rolls and his allies were not much help either. Oh well...
Greyson, moving Godzilla against the military base!

Dane, planning Gamera's first move...

General Dane preparing to order his subordinates into battle against the Trolls and Uruk-Hai!

We all hit the Paint N Take for about an hour, then off to the Dealer Room, which is HUGE! Greyson got some of the new Eureka Frog Cavalry mounted on giant toads, and some frog infantry as well. Dane hasn't spent anything yet, but I think tomorrow may be his day - he's waiting for the flea market!

After supper, the boys played some Battletech for a little while and I went to my game for the day, a big Spy Game extravaganza hosted by Howard Whitehouse (aka Mexican Jack Squint on TMP). I played John Shaft - you got that right!

Random photo, but check out the dust columns under the choppers!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

300th Issue!

Journal Reaches 300th Article!

Yes, good friends and readers, it is time to break 0ut the champagne (only thing the Froggies have gotten right, what?) and toast the milestone achievement of 300 articles of varying sorts and quality posted into this telephonic differencing engine journal!

Stay with us for the next three hundred or so. Your humble correspondent hopes to continue to entertain and enlighten you all with tales of battle, reports of nefarious intrigues, the mysteries of Venus, and educated articles on the people, places, flora and fauna of the Solar System.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Tomorrow's the Day!

Tomorrow afternoon, my sons and I will board a plane for Philadelphia, PA. We are off to Historicon in Lancaster! We are all very excited about the trip, but I am the only one feeling nervous about it as well. I sure hope my game goes off well.

An update on the Masked Minion minis: they have all been painted (finished that Saturday night). Despite a terrible migraine yesterday (all better now, thanks!), I managed to get them Dipped so that it would have a chance to dry for at least 24 hours before I dullcote and base - which are this evening's projects.

I'm looking forward to seeing the results of the poll I posted a couple of weeks ago. There's been a lot of participation. Thanks for that. Right now, it looks as if I'll be working in 25mm for a bit, either on Martians, Minions, or Germans. The results are very close between those three - so vote quickly if you haven't already, as the poll ends in about 13 hours!

Finally, for today, I want to announce that I should be able to blog FROM the convention. That's right! I should be able to post from Historicon, complete with a few pictures of the various sights and games. This is made possible by the wonders of technology and my wife wanting a new Dell Mini laptop, which I agreed to if I got to take it to Historicon.

Wish me luck!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Masked Minions Unveiled!

These are two prototypes of the masked minions, one of the regular riflemen and an officer/NCO type. They are mercenaries working for Professor Maton, at least next week at Historicon they will be. A month from now, who knows? They are masled mercenaries, after all.

The coat is brown, as are the trousers. Helmet is steel, mask is brass. Leatherwork is reddish brown. Green epaulettes and collar (on the officer)

Obviously, still need to add the Dip and base work. Before Tuesday. Yikes!

The minis, by the way, are Regiment Games' 15mm Prussian Kanaltruppen from the Mars or Die range.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Pre-Historicon Notes

Okay, so we leave for Pennsylvania in a week. Both the boys and myself are pre-registered for the convention. I have reservations for Lancaster hotel room and rental car, and plane tickets to Philly have been purchased.
I've talked with TSA at the airport about the best way to transport my minis. They said carry-on was fine, but it would probably be a good idea to inform the screeners what was in the bag before sending it through the x-ray machine. As far as terrain is concerned, I guess I am going to have to pack it in one of our bags. It's mostly just bulky, not heavy, and I think all the pieces I am bringing will fit conveniently into one bag. So I gotta get that packed up. I was hoping for maybe one more playtest, but that's just not gonna happen at this point I don't think. And I am still not happy with my cheesy felt road, but maybe I can find something affordable to use instead on Thursday in the vendors' hall.
So what am I missing? These first time game-presenter jitters are driving me crazy. I'm glad my game is Friday at 1 PM, so that I will get it out of the way and I can enjoy the rest of the convention. I know I am missing something in my preparations. But I can't think of what it is!
On the blogging front, I should have internet availability during the convention, so I am going to try to post each day. Well, each night, is more likely. And I have a photo of the annoying hunter from Jim's Venusian Tales to post as well. But not right now. Got to give you something to look forward to, after all!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Independence Declared!

Okay, so maybe it was 233 years ago... it still rocks!

Happy Independence Day!

Now go out and shoot off some fireworks, barbecue a nice brisket, and drink a few cold beverages.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

New Month, New Poll...

So, the poll question is this: After Historicon, what VSF project should I concentrate on next?
  • 15mm Germans - I have about twenty or so Aetherbattalion [OG Boxer Seebattalion] to paint up already, plus I need to get some regular line infantry, artillery and probably some cavalry as well.
  • 25/28mm Germans - I have a few (5-6?) Aetherbattalion KFG troops [GW Mordian Iron Guard] left to paint. Need to buy 8 more fliegerjaegers [Eureka Minis], plus a good twenty Seebattalion to turn into Aetherbattalion regulars, and another twenty or thirty line infantry. Plus artillery, vehicles (already have some hulls for that), and again, thinking about cavalry. Yes, I like cavalry. I just hate painting horses. I could put them on my steam horses, which are already painted [Mage Knight].
  • 25/28mm British & Sikhs - Need to finish the R&D Platoon (4-5 left to finish) [GW Praetorians], plus seriously considering the Empress Miniatures to replace my older Minifigs redcoats (20-ish). I have ten or twenty Gurkhas [Ral Partha?] and about 17 Sikhs [Foundry] in bare metal as well. Oh, and 9 more Martian sepoys [RAFM Space 1889]. Get some Bengal Lancers, and mount them on some mechanical cats I already have [Mage Knight], perhaps painted like Bengal tigers?
  • 25/28mm Martians - I have ten shield gunners, ten Gashant riders, and twenty archers [All RAFM Space 1889] in need of paint. Plus the previously mentioned sepoys. I want some sverdlinker fanatics [Parroom Station], maybe 20 or so of them. And some plain sword-toting Martians.
  • 15mm Texicans - I do need to work on them some more. I have some minis already [Freikorps' SAW American Infantry], but will need more if I am going to fight real battles using the Texicans.
  • 15mm Papal Troops - Also not a high priority. I have the lead, but not the focus on them right now. Should I reconsider?
  • 25/28mm Masked Minions - These are human mercenaries, originally for Professor Otto Maton. I have ten of them, making one GASLIGHT unit [Parroom Station minis], all bare metal as of now. I want to get ten more, plus an artillery crew, the machine gun team (maybe 2) and some of the weird artillery, and 8 more Clockwork Soldiers [also Parroom Station]. If I do this, I need to get the Weird Scientist artillery crew as well, so I can use the weird science artillery for other armies. While I'm at it, I ought to get more steam spiders [Wyrd Miniatures] and toolbots [Reaper Miniatures, Chronoscope line] for Maton's mechanical menaces. And a vehicle (or two) of some sort.
  • 2mm Aeronef - I have about 27 of these in totally bare lead. [Brigade Models] I have five painted up for the Papal States, 2 more almost done (just need flags and dullcote).
Give me your opinions please! Or should I concentrate on something totally different?