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Category Archives: General

Off to Crisis and my timetable for the next few months

Now the time has come to hit the road and head off to Antwerp, to actually play the game I have been preparing for ages. Hope to see many of you tomorrow, so to those of you who are going to be there, please drop by and say hello! (I will be at table 4a15.)

floorplan2013

But there is a football (soccer to the American readers) saying here in Germany “nach dem Spiel ist vor dem Spiel” which can literally translated (taking into account the gaming jargon) “once you are done with a game, you need to prepare for the next one”. So what are my plans for the upcoming weeks, months and year?

Well I shall have a lot of free time coming up in November (I will have compensatory time off for the next five weeks), and shall not touch a single Napoleonic mini for the rest of the year, since I feel I need a change of theme. So up next I shall move to something different.

Up first I will paint the Tau for Warhammer 40K. Now this is somewhat bittersweet. As some of the long time readers will know I decided to get into 40K sometime in 2012 and after long deliberations decided to go with Tau. But by now, I have really lost interest in the topic (not Tau per se, but 40K in general). So I actually doubt, I shall ever play with them. So why am I going to paint them anyway? Well looking at the prices one can expect for an unpainted 40K army, I would be loosing a lot of money, so that way I hope to at least break even. Plus I can really use the money in the near future!

Tau XV 25 Shas´vre with fusion blaster

Tau XV 25 Shas´vre with fusion blaster

I really hope to finish them soon, for there is one SciFi project I am really eager to start and that is Warzone Resurrection. Now I played both the first and second editions of the game and loved it. So I was eager to hop on board when Prodos Games launched their Kickstarter this year and pledged big time. So big my pledge will most likely be one of the last to ship (I am on a pledge level where everything will be shipped in one go and there are a few items that are still in production). So I just hope I will finish the Tau before my huge parcel arrives, since I would instantly drop the Tau to get the first faction or two painted!

But with the end of the year approaching, it will also be time for the next installment of the Analogue Hobbies Challange. Now part of the rules, all the entries have to be historical, so I shall shift my painting back to the real world in late December. This should fit in nicely with what I have in mind for Crisis 2014. 2014 being the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings, I want to tackle just that. It will either be the landings themselves, or the battles by the British vs. the SS (Caen area, Carpiquet…). Now my minis for the former consist of about as dozen infantry and the later are rather a nucleous force at best and partially themed for the Ardennes anyway. So that should give me a chance to build those forces. If there is still time left during the Challange (which I doubt) I will also tackle some early war German tanks and 1939 Poles… let’s see!

British WWII Snipers

British WWII Snipers

And afterwards? All of you who have been following this blog for some time now will know that short term plans only are not my thing! Same for next year. Obviously Crisis 2015 looms on the horizon (what are two years right) as well and with it the inevitable bicentennial of Waterloo. Now I shall rather go for something small this time (whatever small means in Napoleonic terms). I will be able to do with less painting this time on account of the minis painted so far, but will still be a lot to do. So I hold no illusions, that I will have to start painting for it sometime in 2014 and for those of you who follow this blog for my Napoleonic minis… well you can expect new ones throughout the year.
And then there is terrain. Except for the river and Napoleonic era buildings for the village of Möckern I did this year (pictures coming in November as well), I really neglected that field. So and I have a nice number of 4Ground buildings, the inner city ruins from the Commision Figurines Kickstarter and Bolt Actions Pegasus bridge lying around, plus I will need to do some hedges / low Bocage (like that found in the Caen area).
In addition I will have to finish those Tau (if I do not do so next month), put some more work into Warzone.
And if there still is some time left I would like to make a dent in the lead pile for my modern minis.

So do I have my work cut out for the next fourteen months? Not really, right! 😛

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Introducing Sami

I know it has been quiet lately, but the reason is, that I had to prioritize. As indicated in the comments to my last post, my better half and I were thinking about adding a new member to our household and on the 3rd of October Sami became a part of it.

Sami

Sami

Sami is a roughly five months old mixed breed. Now he has had a very dramatic start into his life. Both he and his brother, still being small pups, had been found in a trashbin in Greece. Their good luck was they were found by the husband of an animal welfarerist who took care of them until they were big enough to come to Germany. Good thing is that he seems to have absolutely no memory of this and is as sweet and lovely as anyone could hope for.

Over the past one and a half weeks he has quickly managed to become housebroken, learn his first tricks and sleep through the night. But most important he has managed to secure a sound place in our hearts! So in the future you can expect to see some more of him!

Obviously he is taking up time as well and in order to get everything ready for Crisis in Antwerp next month I had to make a choice. So while I am still slaving away painting minis (and making good progress on it), I have decided to post pictures of them in Novemember after Crisis, when I will have more time to get the posts out. So expect a lull for the rest of the month, with a real spade in November!

 
16 Comments

Posted by on October 14, 2013 in General

 

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Why this blog has been so quiet and attention to all Facebook followers

OK, first things first… I know this blog has been awfully quiet lately. Well I did not get much done really. For one I was suffering from a serious case of painters block for a couple of weeks now. So while I painted my French infantry, I did not get enough done to finish the whole unit. So nothing to show on that front.
Instead I resorted to things like cleaning minis and resin buildings or working on my river boards. Most of those boards are done, but the ones with the bridges and with the ford still need some work to be done and I want to show them all at once. So again… Nothing to show on that front either.
Now if you say that this does not sound like much work… Well you are right. Work (this does not refer to the hobby, but rather to the job that pays the bills) has been a nightmare over the past few weeks, too. High tide was last week when I had to work nearly 58 hours plus an aggregate 12 hour commute. That hardly left time for anything really. Yes, I know there are laws against that, but that does not mean my boss cares!

20130718-183302.jpg

Anyway… There was this message to Facebook followers. I know there is a fair number of people who follow this blog via Facebook. While I do not always see big use in Facebook, I know that most of the people on my friends list come from the wargaming community and also that a fair number follow this blog that way. That being said… I do not really like all those new search functions Facebook is implementing these days. I have decided to have my Facebook account deleted by the end of August. Yes deleted, not just hibernated. So if you use Facebook to follow this blog, please make sure that you switch to either subscribing to this blog via eMail (see upper right hand side), through WordPress (if you have and account), via the RSS feed or any other way you can think of. Sorry if this causes you a hassle and thanks if you choose to stay on board anyway!

 
15 Comments

Posted by on July 18, 2013 in Computers, General

 

The bad, the good and help required to make plans for 2015

Delay of service (the bad):

So far June has been slightly disappointing for me. A couple of weeks ago, we decided to have the wooden floor in our flat redone, do some other remodelling work and get some new furniture. So we trashed a lot of the living room furniture, painted the living room, moved the furniture from the bedroom as well as what was left in the living to the kitchen and bathroom (including everything that was stored in those rooms), slept on an old pull-out couch in the attic for about a week while the floor was done, set up the new living room furniture (we still lack a new couch table and rug) and moved all the other furniture back where it belongs. To top everything off we had a second run of “do we really need this or can we throw it away” when putting everything back in place. We took our sweet time here. With the sudden hearing loss earlier this month, we did not want to take any chances of the situation returning (especially since doctors are still not sure yet what caused it) and made sure any stress was avoided. Under these conditions I was unable to put a single drop of paint to a mini for almost the whole of June so far, which naturally pushes my preparations for the Möckern game back from “well ahead of the timetable” to “I should still be able to pull it off”. 😦 I really hope, I can make some progress on the French infantry and push one unit out by the weekend and another before we leave for a long weekend in Edinburgh in the middle of next month.

The good:

The positive thing about this so far? Well previously we had furniture in the living room that took a lot of space, but offered little space to store things. This has now been replaced with library style cupboards. So all the novels we had stored in three rows, one behind the other, in a cupboard in the bedroom have now been moved to the living room, but more importantly… my military history library has moved from my hobby room in the cellar to our living room. Previously I often found myself too lazy to go to the cellar when I wanted to look something up, so this should be a real improvement.

2015 plans:

But with the Möckern project nearing the end, I think it is time to look at the next one… Waterloo or rather the Hundred Days for 2015. Now this has been giving me some headaches for a while now. Obviously a bicentennial is too good to pass, so I have to do something to commemorate it, but what?
The original plan had been to do the French Cavalry charge at Waterloo, but I have given up this idea since I think it would mean too many new minis (and especially cavalry which I hate to paint) and would turn the next two years into a chore instead of fun. So I am still contemplating what to do.

Mercer´s Battery (Series 3, Waterloo Collection) © http://www.waterloo-collection.com/

Mercer´s Battery
(Series 3, Waterloo Collection)
© http://www.waterloo-collection.com/

I am leaning a bit against the Prussians. This game is meant to take place at Crisis in Antwerp, too and I want to avoid the appearance that I just recycled the minis from this years game. So it will most likely be the Anglo-Allied contingent.
So what are the other parameters I am looking at?

It should obviously be an interesting (or decisive) part of either the battle at Quatre Bras or Waterloo. No more than eight to twelve units per side. It could be virtually any Allied unit, since I have enough unpainted minis for British, Dutch-Belgian, Hannover, KGL or Nassau Usingen lying around. British 5th Division (or at least 9th Brigade) would be nice bit not a must. I am also intrigued by the Black Brunswickers and Ompteda´s Brigade.

Ompteda´s Doom (Series 3, Waterloo Collection) © http://www.waterloo-collection.com/

Ompteda´s Doom
(Series 3, Waterloo Collection)
© http://www.waterloo-collection.com/

I think my wish to use the 5th Division / 9th Brigade is complicating matters for me right now. I think at Waterloo they were too much in the thick of things and would feel strange in a game of my scope and going larger would break my timetable. Same applies to Ompteda. Quatre Bras should work out for the former formation, but I feel I am not really getting a feel for that part of the battle.

So… what do you think? Would the 5th Division / 9th Brigade at Quatre Bras fulfil my needs and how could it be done. Any other part of either battle that would make a good game within my scope?

La Haye Sainte (Series 4, Waterloo Collection) © http://www.waterloo-collection.com/

La Haye Sainte
(Series 4, Waterloo Collection)
© http://www.waterloo-collection.com/

In case anyone wonders… the images on this page were used with the kind permission of Stephen Stanton from the Waterloo Collection. I think his paintings are some of the nicest renditions of the battle of Waterloo. So if you are interested go and drop by. All his paintings are available as prints and some even still as originals!

 
 

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Medical interruption of normal service

Well just a short note with some bad news. Over the past few days I have had problems hearing, which found its climax in a sudden hearing loss on both ears yesterday. The doctors say that it is probably due to work stress and related high blood pressure.

With medication and some calm I can already see (or rather hear) minor improvements but I am supposed to take it easy and avoid stress and noise for at least the rest of the week. And they are positive that it should go away since I went to the doctor as soon as possible. Good thing is… I am allowed to paint as long as it calms me down. I shall keep you posted!

ear trumpet

 
14 Comments

Posted by on June 4, 2013 in General

 

Hear, hear… these are the winners!

So for those of you anxiously awaiting the results of the prize give-away… I did the draw a couple of minutes ago and we have the winners.

We have a winner

So in the order the names were drawn out of the hat:

The Battle of the Bulge in Luxembourg, Vol. II, Roland Gaul

Paul Alba from Napoleonics in Miniature

1815, The Waterloo Campaign, The German Victory, Peter Hofschröer

Rosbif from Monsieur le Rosbif & Johnny Frog

 

 

 

 

American Soldier

Ray from Don´t throw a one!

 

 

 

 

All the winners have been notified and I really hope they are happy with what they got.

I would also like to thank everyone for taking part. I have been quiet surprised by the huge interest and I will definitely repeat this in the future (at least with the third anniversary of this blog, but also if some milestones gang up on this blog again).

I would also like to thank everyone who did a little promotion for this on their own blogs and those who came this way due to that. Hope you newcomers like what you saw and will keep on doing so in the future!

 

 
11 Comments

Posted by on May 12, 2013 in General

 

Birthday giveaway

As announced in a recent post, I was going to do a birthday give-away on this blog.

So what are we celebrating? Well, three things actually. For one this blog turned two last month. Second this blog reached 150 followers (actually this figure was actually breached this week, so welcome to the two newest followers). Third we breached 150.000 hits. So with three such benchmarks within 1 1/2 weeks I feel it is time for a giveaway.

Wappen (groß)

So what is up for grabs?

Well as some of you may have noticed this blog is mainly about historical wargaming. You may also have realized that for me, historical wargaming is not just about taking stats out of a rulebook or army book, but about getting a feel for the background and understanding the history behind it. Obviously one needs to do some historic research for that and for me, the best thing to do that are still old-fashioned books. So I am giving away books and in this case from my most played eras. So in historical order:

First up there is “1815, The Waterloo Campaign, The German Victory” by Peter Hofschröer. (Paperback, read once in good condition). I like Hofschröers books. They are off the beaten track when it comes to the Waterloo campaign. since they do not just focus on the view of things based on Wellingtons memoirs, but try a broader approach. Especially taking into account the German perspective of things. I often feel that this makes sense, since the majority of Allied troops actually came from Prussia, Hannover and Brunswick or in other words… what is now Germany. The nice thing about this particular book is, that it also goes into what happened after Waterloo when the Allies marched on Paris.

1815, The Waterloo Campaign, The German Victory, Peter Hofschröer

1815, The Waterloo Campaign,
The German Victory
Peter Hofschröer

Up next is “The Battle of the Bulge in Luxembourg, Volume II: The Americans” by Roland Gaul. (Hardcover, unread [for some reason I bought this one twice, so I am giving away the mint one]). Gaul, a historian from Luxembourg , covers the events from the American perspective, breaking the events down to into small actions. The book is ripe with first person accounts and photographs. I think this offers great ideas for skirmish games set during the Battle of the Bulge.

The Battle of the Bulge in Luxembourg, Vol. II, Roland Gaul

The Battle of the Bulge in Luxembourg, Vol. II
Roland Gaul

Up last is “American Soldiers” (Paperback, unread). This one features excerpts from a number of books outlining the actions of American elite forces during the last two decades. While not a coherent book, this should also give people a good inspiration for small unit actions.

American Soldier

American Soldier
[various authors]

Now what do you have to do to get into the draw?

  1. Comment on this post If you prefer one of the above books above, mention it. If it is still available at the time your name gets drawn, it is yours.
  2. Be a subscriber to this blog. There are essentially four ways to do this. (i) If you have a WordPress account you can follow this blogs, via WordPress. (ii) You can subscribe via eMail (first option from the top on the right). (iii) Or you can be part of my Facebook friends list. (iv) The fourth option is to have this blog on your blogroll on your own blog (I know there are people who follow blogs that way). You need to be a subscriber at the time of the draw obviously, but I would be happy if you remained one after it, too!
  3. You do not need to post about this give-away on your blog. But if you do, you get a second ticket in the draw.

And this is it. The draw will be held on the 12th of this month 0800h CET, so make sure you toss your hat in the ring by that time! Good luck!

 
32 Comments

Posted by on May 1, 2013 in Books, General, Historic research

 

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April, a month of failure, a month of success

You know how sometimes things are hard to judge. So far this month has been no exception. Why well let’s try to sum things up.

As those of you who follow this blog may have realised, I have painted a lot of minis so far this year. But not this month. After painting those Tau earlier on I wanted to begin with my Brandenburg Infantry, but could not get myself motived. So I spend about a week cleaning up my remaining Tau and ever since the Brandenburger have been idling along. So I would count that as the first failure.

What else… well this Saturday, this blog celebrated its first birthday. Over those two years this blog has managed to accumulate 150 followers and nearly 150.000 hits. I would call that a success.

Success.jpg

But as you may realise… today is Tuesday and I have only gotten around to mention it today. Why? Well I had been planning to celebrate this in some way, but did not find the time to organize something in due time. But I do not want to let you go without, so I think I shall organize a little give away over the next few days. So once we hit the 150K I will announce the prices and how to enter the draw. So this miht be somewhere in between.

But what was the biggest failure? Well you might remember my new years resolution, not to buy any new minis year. Well I failed that big time. First up there was a smallish order with Eureka minis. Mostly some additional Marines, some SeALs and some Napoleonic vignettes that Martin is going to pick up for me at Salute this weekend. I could have justified that, since on aggregate these would have been less than those minis I ordered last year but had the order cancelled on me. But then there were the new Tau I bought to expand my cadre with. Those would have ruined my New Years pledge for good already, but I could still top that. Thanks to Kickstarter I discovered that there was one for Warzone, a game I completely loved about a decade ago. All the renders they showed were so good that I ended up pledging for a level where I would get everything shown and released during the Kickstarter (which actually started to feel like stealing the way the Kickstarter became a runaway train yesterday). I think this annihilated my resolution for good.

Otter failure.jpg

But I have to say… that Kickstarter has been phenomenal and I will be receiving some pretty marvellous  come August. At least this can be counted as a failure, since I got a pretty good deal. These here just being some of my favourites.

BTW… the one thing that does nothing for me (I am not the Cyborg type) is Cybertronic. So anyone interested in a complete set, including the Kickstarter exclusives… drop me a line.

So how shall I class April so far… Success or Failure?

success / failure

 
10 Comments

Posted by on April 16, 2013 in General

 

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Kickstarter (of interest)

Over the past year or so hardly a week passes by without some new wargaming related Kickstarter being announced. In all honesty, with a lot of them, I thought that they were vain attempts to get some fringe idea into production and others where I wondered why the companies even went and turned them into a Kickstarter in the first place since I am sure they had the money and that those projects would sell like hot cakes anyway. Consequently, I never felt I should get into any of these. Now this changed this month with two Kickstarters. One of them still needs a few backers to come to life, so I thought, I should point that one out. This one is for laser cut buildings and I think this needs some special attention.

I know what a lot of people are saying… there are laser cut buildings out there by the dozens, but I felt this one is special. A lot of companies offer WWII inner city buildings for 15mm, but so far I have failed to see one that company that actually does them in 28mm and that is what this one is about. So far he is only able to do smaller scales and wants to go for the larger ones as well. Now looking at the 15mm and 20mm pictures he posted, they already look pretty good and I think the finished product should be fine in 28mm as well!

Now if you are playing in 28mm you should go and take a look at this Kickstarter. I think it really deserves some love, especially since there is only roughly 2 weeks to go and it is only about 1/3 funded. It would be a shame it this one did not become reality!

 
2 Comments

Posted by on March 25, 2013 in General

 

Dissapointments or how to find a good online retailer

I guess based on the things you wargame, you are faced with different options when it comes to purchasing. If you are playing Sci-Fi or Fantasy Games as well as the mainstream historical stuff like Flames of War (this is not meant to be derogatory) things can be pretty easy. You walk into your local brick and mortar store, buy what you need and you are done. If you are playing non-mainstream historical games this becomes a different matter. You will either buy direct from the manufacturer or at shows. If there are no stores within your easy driving distance (as is the case for me) this also applies to your paints and brushes.I am not complaining about this per se, after all I have gotten used to this over the past decade. Plus there are people like Nick from Eureka or James from Victory Force, to name just the two with whom I have dealt the longest, with whom it actually is a joy to deal with.But none the less, there are a number of factors that can make it a hassle.

  1. Shipping costs: Obviously this raises the price of what you buy and creates two factors you have to take into account. The further away you order (different country or continent) the higher the costs. The smaller your order, the more expensive every item becomes (after all the costs are spread of over fewer items). In other words this makes it more reasonable to order closer to home and not to place only small orders (in either case unless someone is willing to ship for free over a certain amount).
  2. Taxes and duty: Obviously it is best to order within your own country or your own free trade zone (like the EU). Otherwise you will have to pay import tax and duty which again raises costs. Obviously in our hobby this is not always possible. While you can choose to buy a European car instead of an American or Asian one, it might be hard to find a dozen manufacturers worldwide that do 28mm Napoleonic British Rocket Artillery to choose from. So you will either have to bite that rotten apple or place an order that is below the tax and duty benchmarks, although this might collide with # 1.
  3. Exchange rates: Might sound strange because people are asking the price they ask, but it can make a difference. With all the economic upheaval of recent years exchange rates can change quiet quickly these days (for example the Euro changed about 8% vs. the USD and about 10% vs. the British Pound over the past three month). Local retailers do not change their prices daily based on a change in the exchange rate. So if the exchange rates goes into an unfavourable direction, a retailer in your country might actually offer you a better price than the manufacturer, since they bought their stocks when the exchange rate was still better. So you also have to look around where you get the best rate.

So there is a lot to take into account and as I said… I have gotten used to it.

But obviously with small items like paints and brushes I do not want to go through all this. And with the proliferation of plastic minis and even some historical minis becoming main stream (just to mention Warlord Games minis) over the past five years there seemed to be better options.

For me the prime source was Maelstrom Games in the UK. Low threshold for free shipping, vast inventory, same free trade zone (yes… the UK is part of the EU even though they do not have the Euro) and a favourable exchange rate of GB£ to the Euro. And on top of that a discount of at least 10% over regular retail prices. I know some people seemed to have mixed experiences, but I never did. I received my items reasonably fast (I think the worst was a month for items there were not in stock when I paced the order so I knew this could happen) and they were always helpful if there was a problem with an order. But as some might know… they went bust last year and I had to look for alternatives.

My choice went to Wayland Games (incidentally the people who bought up Maelstroms obligations). I had some limited experience with them in the past and that had been good. And all the other items applied as well (well you have to wait for a free shipping offer, but that is about it). So I placed two orders in December. I have to say… this was where the similarities ended. Turnaround has been longer. But the most annoying thing is… they reduced my orders. They removed the minis ordered from the second order and did so with half the minis of the first order. Now I did get a refund for the money all right, but I can not understand this. Because the minis they removed from my second order showed as in stock only a couple of days later and the others are not what I would call rare items either, so I expect them to be back in stock soon as well. So why not split the order and only send those items available and send the rest later or just wait until the complete order is in stock (after waiting almost two month for the first order this would hardly have mattered)? I have to say this really bleeped me off.

So what are your experiences with them… is this the norm?

And are there other options out there where one can get the mainstream stuff with free shipping and a discount, but without the disappointments?

disappointment-demotivational-poster-1256691519

Oh P.S.: As some of you might have realised… I placed orders containing minis last year, but they were canceled this year. And there is my resolution not to buy any new minis this years. So did I “un-buy” some minis this year? And does this mean that I am allowed to buy said amount of minis in spite of my resolution not to buy new minis this year? Though one! But I guess not. 😦 Oh in case anyone wonders… number of minis bought this year is still zero. One month down, eleven to go! 😛

 

 
6 Comments

Posted by on February 6, 2013 in General