Friday, January 31, 2014

Top Ten One-Eyed Badasses

   It's been a while since I did a Top Ten, and this one just struck me as odd but fun. Therefore, I present to you all a list of my favorite ten one-eyed tough hombres. And one mujer. I'm also noticing that there is a preponderance of left eye patches. Wonder what that's all about?

10. Comte de Rocheforte

   We start with a classic, Alexander Dumas's Comte de Rocheforte, agent of the Cardinal, who lost his eye to D'Artagnan's father. He's a tough bastard even in all that lace. Which takes a whole 'nother level of badass to pull off.

9. Colonel Clauss von Stauffenberg

  The only way Tom Cruise could make this list would be because he tried to blow up Hitler. He missed, but it is still a badass way to go down. Plus, this guy actually existed (well, sort of).

8. Captain Francesca "Franky" Cook

   The only person on this list who could pull off the leather catsuit uniform look. Yeah, Angelina Jolie is crazy (although it seems to be calming a bit), but she looks badass in this. Plus, the movie is just a lot of pulp action fun.

7. General Chang

   Forget the movie (please - it was awful). This Klingon warmonger had the bloody thing is bolted on. If that doesn't scream "I'm a badass - don't screw with me!" I don't know what does.

6. Odin, the All Father

   Recently portrayed on film by Anthony Hopkins (aka Hannibal Lecter), according to Norse sagas Odin gave up his eye in order to receive wisdom from Mimir's Well. He also hung himself on a tree for nine days. All of that, and he's Thor's daddy. Which is pretty badass.

5. Emilio Largo

   James Bond's adversary in Thunderball. He collects the Golden Grotto shark. The most vicious, the most deadly. He has a badass yacht, complete with underwater lights, a submarine bay, and a breakaway hydrofoil escape pod. Plus, he scored Domino, until Bond came along and swept her away.

4. The Governor

   He's crazy with a capital CRA. But, he lived alone in the zombie-infested wilds of Georgia for the better part of a year after Rick and his friends kicked the crap out of Woodbury's misguided attempt to take the prison. Homicidal, megalomaniacal... he's no Darryl Dixon, but he's still pretty badass.

3. Nick Fury

   That ain't no Sam Jackson - that's the Real Deal. This guy led the Howling Commandos against the Nazis and still looks good 60+ years later. Did he sneak a little of that Super Soldier Serum?

2. Snake Plissken

   Kurt Russell must save the President in the ruins of New York. Even though he doesn't give a *@!# about the President. He's so badass, Chuck Norris would think twice about it. Forget Escape from LA. This was the real Snake Plissken.

1. Rooster Cogburn

"Fill your hands, you son of a bitch!"

   Best character John Wayne ever had. Forget the remake, even though it was closer to the book. This fat old man could serve papers on Snake Plissken.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

1. Luftpanzer Regiment GEVs

   I finished up a full squadron of nine Paneuropean GEVs yesterday, took some snaps this morning. And here they are, the 1.Luftpanzer Regiment's Squadron 1. Equipped with the Paneuropean Galahad-class (the Luftpanzer IIIc in Bundeswehr terminology), the 1.Luftpanzer rides into battle at high speed, guns blazing in a glorious death-ride like the hussars of olden days.

All nine, in road column formation.

National flag symbol on the port side.
Modeled crossing a stream. This one is my favorite.
I think I might add a bit of 'spray' coming from the edges of the skirt.

Of course, I screwed up the Paneuro helmet on this one.
Needs a re-paint on that.

A better depiction of the Paneuropean Federation logo.

The unit and Ogre stats are on the rear label.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

More Arkham Horror...

   My sons and I took advantage of the unexpected day off from school today and played another game of Arkham Horror. Our second attempt to stop That Which Man Was Not Meant To Know was successful! And the game went much more smoothly this time, with one game under our belt.

   This time around, we went up against the Grand Old Thing Itself, Great Cthulhu! He got close to waking up, too. One bad thing about facing this particular Elder God is that everyone playing has both their primary stats (Stamina and Sanity) reduced by one. I played the Researcher, Greyson was the Private Investigator, and Dane reprised his role as the good Doctor.

   I sealed a gate in the Woods, which turned out to be very helpful in keeping the Great One slumbering. Several more cards were drawn that would have poured forth gates or monsters into the sleepy Massachusetts town had that site not been permanently sealed.

   The game went very well until what looked like the last turn. We had five gates sealed, and only needed one more to save the day. My researcher sat poised to re-emerge from the Great City of Ceanos, seal the gate, and win the game. Then, a minor disaster struck: the Mythos card for the turn before I could emerge from the portal created a new environmental condition: no gates could be sealed while it continued. And if I were to leave the location of the gate, then I would have to go back through the gate all over again before I could seal it. All we could do was to wait, and hope, as Cthulhu crept ever closer to wakefulness...

   Luckily, we finally turned over a new environmental condition when the Ancient One was one turn away from arising. That allowed me to close the gate, seal it permanently, and end the game.

   It's a fun game, but it does take a while, especially with only three players. I'm thinking I might want to get an expansion after one or two more games.

Welcome to the Gun Show!


   With the completion of two more guns, I now have a usable battery of 25-pdrs for my 8th Army forces. Considering how good British guns are, it is inexcusable that I have tarried so long in putting together my forces. The Royal Regiment of Artillery has arrived.

A truck. Not very glamorous.

The guns. Much more exciting.

The camouflage overhead netting is an experiment.

Closeup of the 25-pdr.

And from the rear, showing the ammunition trailer.

The rear of the camouflaged gun.
Note the yellow-painted shells. That indicated HE shells.

Side view of the netted gun.

   Let me know what you think about the netted gun. I can go back and add it to the other guns if it proves popular. Maybe that's a poll for next week/month.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Cold and Bored in Austin, Texas

   The memsahib and I drove up to Austin last night so that she could attend a continuing education seminar for windstorm engineering. Almost ran off the road a couple of times thanks to the ice. Did see three cars in the ditch, but everyone already had help from folks with flashing lights on the roof of their cars/trucks, so we kept on. had to stop and break the ice off of the windshield wipers so we could see to drive. Truly, not fun. This is a big part of the reason I would never consider moving to any Northern state, like, say, Oklahoma, Tennessee, etc. Too cold. North of there is right out.

   So it is cold. And at 0845, there is not much to do. So I am sitting in the hotel lobby business area (Hilton Garden Inn Downtown - not a bad place, but pricey), checking out TMP and blog-griping. I think after 10 or 11 I will go over to The Dragon's Lair, or Half-Price Books, or Great Hall Games (or all three - I have until about 1700).

   Blah blah blah. Thanks for listening. We now return you to our regularly scheduled gaming related stuff.

   Don't forget to vote on the Ogre Poll, if you play.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Ogre Poll and Some Painting Pics

   Look at the top of the blog and you should find a new poll about Ogre factions. I'm curious as to which is your favorite, if you have one.

   And some photos of recently completed work. I should have pictures of my first two 8th Army 25-pdr guns and crews for Flames of War sometime early next week, so keep an eye out for those, too. As always, comments welcome!

15mm Naval Brigade

Bases are my Martian Standard.

A rear view.

A Reaper Bones 'Eye Beast'

Rear view
Beauty (and death) are in the eye of the beholder...

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Henry "Hank" Esslinger, 1957 - 2014

  I met Hank (also known as Critter, Security Minister Sholo Crittumbo, and several variations of same) online in the popular gaming forum The Miniatures Page. He was a valued member of that online community, not least because he always stayed out of the sometimes nasty mudslinging that takes place there. He was friendly, kind, humorous and caring. I learned that he was staying nearby a few years ago and invited him over to the house, and we had a great evening. He met my wife and sons, and charmed her. He always kept up with my boys afterwards, and their accomplishments.

  I only saw Hank in person two other times. Once was at a gaming convention held aboard the Battleship Texas. We spent most of that day hanging out and playing games. The other was at the Texas Renaissance Faire, where he worked every fall. Other than that, our contact was through TMP, Facebook, and occasional phone calls and texts.

   Hank died suddenly over night on January 14th/15th. As I write this, I haven't learned the cause of death. He was a great guy, and a good friend. The world was a better, brighter, happier place with his big heart and ready wit in it. He will be missed by many.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Off to A Rousing Start

   Well, I am off to a rousing start this year already. I've even accomplished one of my goals for the year already. That would be Goal #10: Win a game of Ogre.

   I've made two internet purchases already as well. The first was some bases that I will be needing for some 15mm minis that I have almost finished (the 11 British Naval Brigade troops). They just need to be based and clear coated, and that puts me a good little step on the way to my 100 mini goal.

   The second purchase was from WargamesVault. I bought the PDF of the Olde Towne Bundle of Stoelzel's Structures. I need some 25mm Victorian city buildings, and these look as if they will fit the bill. I will print some out this morning and hopefully by this afternoon will have a building or two assembled. Eventually I want to put them on foamcore, but I think I will start with simple card buildings. One thing that I like about them is that I can print out a bunch of cardstock, and take that and some white glue to a convention. Spend the night before a game gluing it together, and just give them away afterwards. Ultra-portable convention terrain - it might get me to bring a game to Historicon again!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

First Comic AAR: OGRE Game

Top Ten Wargaming Goals for 2014

   It is that time of year when everyone looks forward to the new year, all bright and shiny and full of promise. We all commit ourselves to buckling down and finally tackling some big project or problem or whatever "for sure this year." I'm no different, I suppose. So here are my Top Ten Wargaming Goals for 2014 (and in no particular order).

10. Win a game of Ogre.

   I know this sounds petty and miniscule, but I have yet to win a single game of my new 6E Kickstarter Massive 27 Pound Box of Wonder Designer's Edition Ogre. Partly this has been a result of my truly wondrously abysmal dice rolling skills. Never say "anything but a One." I should know this by now.

9. Paint 100 25/28mm miniatures.

   This is how many minis in that scale that I painted in 2013. I would like to match that. I do count cavalry as two figures, because I hate painting horses (and most other mounts as well). Artillery pieces only count as a single mini in my estimation. Vehicles in the bigger scales

8. Paint 100 15/18mm miniatures.

   I have started on this goal already, though nothing is finished yet. It ties into another of my goals, somewhere below...

7. Play at least 10 VSF games.

   This has been my favored genre for the past decade or so, and I am not tiring of it yet. I finally got my second IHMN company painted up, so I am ready to host that. Except for terrain. Looks like a meeting in Regent's Park - I have trees and walkways, even a few benches and lampposts.

6. Paint more minis than I purchase this year.

   Also known as The Pledge. I have set this goal many, many times. I've never achieved it. Even taking minis I received as a gift out of the equation. Not planning on any major convention this year may help somewhat, as it will reduce the purchases, theoretically.

5. Spend less, play more.

   This goal will be, in one respect, much easier than last year, because I am not going to Historicon. That was  a pretty good chunk of my gaming expenditures last year, between airfare, car rental, hotels, and the dealers room and flea market. In another respect, it will be more difficult, because I usually get at least six games out of the convention. I will have to make it up at home somewhere.

4. 'Finish' at least one of my 25/28mm VSF factions.

   I am about 17 or so minis from finishing my 25mm Automatons, so I definitely want to finish them off this year. I would also like to finish either the British or the Germans as well. Neither is as close as the Automatons, unfortunately.

3. Finish my Flames of War 8th Army (Indian) Company

   This army is about 18 months old, and the guys that I play with have moved on from desert war, but I think I can still get some use out of them. I just primed two of my 25-pdrs., and finished the Staff HQ set in December.

2. Publish another issue of The Aethergraph

   For those of you who don't know, I put out a small e-zine called The Aethergraph. I published 3 issues so far, but haven't done a new issue in almost two years. I would like to publish at least one issue this year. If anyone wants to help with some artwork, battle reports, background or rules pieces... I'd be glad to have some article contributions.

1. Enjoy Gaming.

   The whole point of this hobby is to have fun. I want to concentrate on that when I spend precious time on hobby activities.