Thursday, January 03, 2013

It's that time of year...

... where we look back over the last year, and look forward to the future...

So what did 2012 do?

Well for me it was quite a bumper year as it turned out!

The stand out game was clearly Flames of War, which dominated the first 2/3rds of the year in term of gaming and painting output, not to mention terrain.



Carrying on from the 'half track horde' from the painting challenge from a year ago, endless Wehrmacht reinforcements  were rushed to the front.
The game itself saw the launch of the V3 rules and this was taken up positively here.
My local group of players also got together to set up a local FoW club, with its own blog presence, over at KapitiFoWGamers, and this blog has grown steadily from humble beginnings.

We also forged connections with the local 'GW' orientated gaming club (Kapiti Wargames Club), introduced them to FoW and WWII, and saw a spark of interest there kindled into life, which bodes well for the future.

With this new interest in FoW gaming I even tried my hand at a couple of tournaments, including FRACAS as Shannon, and CALL TO ARMS at Wellington. I didn't do too bad, and I hope at least didn't disgrace myself!? Plus it was great to meet some of the FoW players from around the country who gathered for these events. It made a fun change back to the 'Tournie-scene' which I had not partaken of for many years, my last outing being WAB at Wello CTA a few years back...

And in simple 'getting a game in' terms, my social hobby life positively exploded into life, often with a couple of games a week, where in previous years it seemed I was lucky to get a game a month...

So thanks to all my gaming buddy's (and their respective 'better-halfs' for permission!) for making yourselves available for gaming!
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In amidst all this FoW gaming and painting, other games and models fought for their own share of my time and interest.

One such project that barely got off the ground, was an idea a few local gaming chums came up with which was to try and ride the current in vogue trend of VSF & Steampunk, and this was hoped to be done with the game of GASLIGHT.

I bought the above shown compendium, but have to say it was not the easiest set of rules to get to grips with, as its about 3-4 versions of the game blended together, with a kind of 'Chinese-menu' of an index... so for the beginner its a complete mind bender.
The other problem is that whist the game is rather 'all encompassing' its also virtually without stats for anything, (you have to make it up yourself), which again makes getting to grips with it and starting off a lengthy and off putting experience...
And finally, its far from being an off the shelf game. Just about everything has to be scratch built by the gamer. Great for the real enthusiast and skilled modeller, but again another off putting point to the beginner.

As a consequence, after more than a year, this game has yet to see action. I managed to assemble and paint about 30 Prussian troopers. Roly made up some 'Mexican French' and used some Japanese Bandai toys for some contraptions. No idea what Greg managed to achieve as he doesn't run a blog and I rarely catch up with him. Only Joe stayed true to course and churned out a bewildering array of goodies, which oddly enough for me, was almost an off putting exhibition as I knew I had no hope of matching his out put...

So this game has languished...

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But I am pleased to say, my 30 odd Prussians will not be without use thanks to...



This is a brilliant little skirmish game, which again rode the in vogue interest in VSF & Steampunk, with a Gothic Horror twist. Any one familiar with LOTR SBG, or indeed its cousins LotHS or LotOW, will adapt to this game like a duck to water....

So my Prussians became Zendarians, and all was well! I have only managed a couple of trial games but they are great fun, though sadly no one else in my gaming group has actively embraced the game. Its only deterrent is the main setting - Victorian Inner City England. Which means terrain of a brick building nature, which is not readily cheaply available, nor the easiest thing to scratch-build...

So I have amassed two basic factions for action plus a whole bunch of 'reinforcements' and back ground figures, and have managed to make a rather nice cemetery as a first piece of themed terrain, but at the moment can only really offer a rural hamlet scene for gaming...

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During all this time, was the saga of Maelstrom Games, an online supplier I had long used and to be fair, thanks to them, probably saved $1000's on hobby purchases over the last few years (had I bought the same goods here in NZ instead). Unfortunately they went tits up in the later third of the year, after grabbing a bunch of cash off people through a last minute (should have realized it was too good to be true) sale. I never fully understood the reasons for their demise, but was frustrated they went under with some of my hard earned...

... and yet, phoenix-like, have they risen from the ashes??? I was told, from an email, to sign over my customer details, to a newly formed company, who would honour my outstanding order.... So say hello to Eye of the Storm / Maunsfeld gaming? After a recent email from the new company I was told my orders should be packed and shipped by the end of the week, so we'll wait and see what transpires...

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Also during this time, the blogging Liebster award did the rounds. This seemed to add a boost to my blog traffic for which I am grateful, and also introduced me to a huge numbers of great blogs out there. I find I am now following so many great blogs, I simply cannot keep up with viewing them all and commenting on every post. So please if I haven't commented on your blog in a while, I'm still interested! Its just difficult keeping up these days!

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And finally for the year, a much longed for return to Middle-Earth, with Tolkien's The Hobbit hitting the silver screen, from director Peter Jackson, ensuring a great continuity with  the existing trilogy of Lord of the Rings.



Knowing this was coming had me grabbing the new Warband army list books, again a newbie for this year, for a return to some LOTR SBG gaming, before the release of the new game, rules and figures.

I had a huge 'falling out' with LOTR gaming a couple of years ago, in part due to my frustrations over what was to me a failed game (War of the Ring). This was compounded by GW's draconian stance, on their ban on online suppliers selling goods outside the EU. This meant I could no longer get my hands of reasonably priced GW goods. In this respect they are and will always remain utter soulless bastards to my mind, simply men in grey suits just caring for the corporate bottom line with no passion for the hobby, nor care or consideration for their customer, new or existing. I wish a thrice fold pox on their soft wobbly bits! 

I can only hope Loki and Bartleby (DOGMA) pay a visit to their boardroom some day... but I digress...

A mate of mine stated recently there was nothing in British Law that can allow GW to 'enforce such a mandate'... but I guess if they found out a supplier was flouting this agreement, they would just stop supply them with product...?

However through a little effort I have tracked down a supplier. It also helps having family and friends in UK willing to help. Even fellow bloggers, so thanks all for your offers of help. 

I will avow again, I'll be damned if I pay NZ prices for GW models again!

So we finally come to, The Hobbit game SBG... a slightly revamped game with a few tweaks, but still fully compliant with the existing game, army/journey books and figures. So that is a huge relief.



Of course GW has found another excuse to rev up their pricing, and this has further frustrated me and many other previously loyal long term GW customers and fans of the game. Some of whom have cried enough is enough, and simply stopped playing or buying new figures. I can certainly empathize.

There are plenty of other great games and miniatures out there for the gamer/hobbyist, GW no longer has the monopoly they did years ago, only their IP, and Tolkien Licence to cling on to...

I have decided to plough on with it as best as I may and can afford. The game remains fun and entertaining, and the on going movie and associated DVD releases will keep me happy in Middle-Earth for several years to come.

I just hope the new movie is enough of a pull to encourage new players to the game, despite the prices, but I doubt it...

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I have noted some bloggers have included their win / loss ratio, for their years gaming in their annual review. Well I must admit, my main failing in this hobby is actually winning games, and little changed there this year, so I will refrain from posting any win / loss ration. Lets just say it would probably read 'must try harder'!

I can paint, I can model and make terrain, but I'll be buggered if I can actually win a game! At least that's what it feels like! Oh well...
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So what does 2013 hold?

Well my Wehrmacht force for FoW is pretty much complete. Its the sort of game you can endlessly add to but I have most bases covered now, and those I haven't are in the painting/assembling queue and as such already purchased (Tigers and Half track conversion kits, and another Hummel), and if my outstanding Maelstrom/Eye of the Storm order shows up, I'll be able to add those too.

My German forces pretty much cover MidWar and LateWar, and I don't really have an interest in playing the Early War setting, so that means there should not be any major FoW purchases this year.

I have a small British force, but as much as I wouldn't mind doing the Tyne and Tees 50th, I cant see my self getting motivated to do so...

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I wouldn't mind trying to make some buildings for EotD, just to try and set the scene and be able to play a few one off fun games here and there.

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I have not forgotten my love of Warlord Games; Black Powder and Hail Caesar, and would love to try and get my WSS/SYW army assembled up and painted (Wargames Factory figures), plus not to mention a few boxes of Perry ACW and Perry Nap. Brits. I'd also like to try out their Pike and Shotte supplement rules, and the fan made stats for LOTR gaming with this rules set, after my disillusionment with the GW WOTR rule book. Whilst skirmish gaming is fun, I still feel to do Lord of the Rings justice, it should be with big armies at an 'epic scale'. I sincerely hope GW may do a revamp of these rules, especially with the big Battle of the Five Armies in the not too distant future in the The Hobbit series of movies. Again time will tell on that one... So two possible options there for LOTR.

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I still wouldn't mind some more Pirate LotHS gaming as that was great fun too, and I still need to finish that Brig...

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And of course, there's simply the Hobbit, and LOTR SBG gaming in general. I have such a backlog of LOTR figures its not funny. There's probably 5-10 years worth of painting stashed away... so some motivation to return to LOTR gaming to get it all painted up will be wonderful!

So I am busy finishing off the figures from the Hobbit starter set. After that I will probably get the set of trolls, though I see these more as a 'collectable', as they are hardly going to feature in any 'armies'.
I do rather fancy some of the new Rivendell cavalry too....

So Middle-Earth fans, stay tuned for more!

All the best to my followers and blog readers for 2013!

----------oo0oo----------



33 comments:

  1. Some great achievements there in 2012, and some wonderful things to look forward to in 2013 - I will watch with interest!

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    1. Thanks you Paul, and likewise I will be watching what you get up to!

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  2. I will be watching to see what you think about the new Hobbit rules. I want to stay positive this year so I will not comment on GW, you said it already. Have a great year gaming.

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    1. Thanks Mate , I know what you mean. You too!

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  3. Looking forward to see how it all goes Scott.

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    1. Thanks Roger, I am looking forward to watching your ACW develop for Gettysburg.

      I am tempted to ask the memsahib for permission to bring my fledgling battalion down to be involved!

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  4. I understand about the commenting on all the blogs Scott. In order to get to everyone, every day it takes me 5 to 6 hours. I have to find a way to cut back on that because I get nothing done on my own blog.

    You're into Middle Earth and loving it, so forge ahead. Looking forward to seeing more of Goblin Town!

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    1. That doesn't surprise me Anne! Some of the big hitting blogs out there like yours, Frans and Rays get so many hits and comments, you must almost need a 'double life' to to keep track of it all!

      I am almost scared my following gets too high to cope with!

      Middle Earth is a truly wonderful place to get lost in and I am fully enjoying it! My son still keeps nagging me to build Minas Tirith...

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  5. Scott, just a hint about buying figures on eBay and similar "auction" sites . . .

    From my own experience often the best prices on figures are not the "unpainted figures" but rather those that are poorly (and especially partially painted figures). I often picked up fairly substantial groups of figures and simply cleaned and repainted them for much less than unpainted figures were selling for.

    So don't ignore those poorly painted/partially painted figure lots . . . but dont' get invested in chasing other bidders AND always keep the shipping cost in mind.


    -- Jeff

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    1. Certainly been there and done that Jeff, and put my faith in SIMPLEGREEN for paint stripping!
      I lost track of the number of snapped uruk-hai pike I had to fix!
      But thanks for the tip anyway! :-)

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  6. Your interesting plans for 2013 promise very entertaining visits to us!!!
    Panagiotis.

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    1. Thanks Panagiotis, I certainly hope to keep things fun for you all here!

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  7. Nice recap. Building for EotD sounds fun. I'm looking forward to what you'll do in 2013.

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    1. Thanks Jerry. I am going to be hitting Atenocities Workshop for materials once they get some windows I like the look of back in stock!

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  8. Indeed good to see your plans for 2013. Bare in mind EotD is not meant to be just set in London it could be anywhere from a vampires castle in the mountains. Fending of Lycaon in the forests or small villages.

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    1. Yes that's very good point, and will make furtile ground for games between my Zendarians and Vampire Factions!

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  9. Phew, I'm exhausted just reading about what you've been up to and what this year holds.
    I take it the faceless grey men in grey suits at GW are off the Xmas card list!
    Interesting comments re the Gaslight Compendium. I still have a borrowed copy of the original Gaslight rules which were pretty straight forward. Maybe you could go back to basics and try these. I've also gamed successfully with Northstar games Pulp Adventures rules. I think the Steampunk genre will be great fun once a good set of rules emerges. I have high hopes for Spartan Game's new 'Dystopian Legions' rules mainly because the 32mm figs are bloody gorgeous and Ive shelled out some hard earned sheckles on some Prussian chaps.
    Press on that man.

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    1. LOL, the only 'card' the grey suits would get from me, would be a letter bomb! ... now there's a thought! ;-)

      Seriously...

      I think GASLIGHT may still get an explore over time, its just in this compendium format its not the easiest read. I think they should have kept the separate sections, well ... separate, within the book. Less confusing that way.

      I am also one to actively paint, what I am currently gaming, and with no games to show, its hard to motivate to make/paint stuff up, when other material is demanding my attention and I am going to get games playing it... eg FoW...

      I might check out Dystopian Legions - I didn't like the scale of the Dystopian Wars thing with all the little ships and planes, but a land based "28mm" scale skirmish game could grab my attention...

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  10. That's some list you achieved a great amount and am looking forward to following your progress through 2013.

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    1. Thanks Andrew. I'll be keeping an eye on what you get up to too!

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  11. Sounds like a full year, and another to follow!
    You could always use historical figures for LOTR? I've seen some do it.
    Best luck for 2013!

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    1. Yes I have sen many folks folks using various historical medieval troops for the Gondor Fiefdoms, and Turks/Saracens for Haradrim, Mongols for Khand... etc

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  12. Phew, you would hardly think we only lived a few kilometres apart, so different have our years been! Mine has been much quieter painting output, partly due to other compelling requirements on my time, and partly due to a lack of motivation at times.

    I have enjoyed the few various games we've managed to play, and hope to carry on into 2013 with more ...

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    1. I always enjoy our games together Roly, and will always make time to accommodate you. Just let me know when you are free, and what you fancy playing...

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  13. Epic Post! Looking forward to seeing what you do with The Hobbit stuff. They must be more authentic when actually painted in Middle earth itself!

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    1. Thanks! Possibly, could be something in the water... ;-)

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  14. Looking forward to seeing every thing that comes out! Great post btw!

    Christopher

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    1. Thanks Chris. Likewise I'll be watching what you get up to!

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  15. Some interesting rulesets you got. I have some RJW Japanese that could possible be used in some those rules. The Gaslight cover art alone is awesome. Best, Dean

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    1. Yeah the GASLIGHT cover art is excellent and really grabs what the rules are capable of handling...

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  16. A little later here but... glad you had such a great gaming year in 2012 and best of luck with everything in 2013 Scott!

    I'd love to do some VSF stuff or even EoD, but I know it would never get off the ground locally. The best I can hope for is paint up a number of warbands and put on a scenario. Even then, all that work and probably still have mixed results... (sigh)

    I normally don't go in for GW complaining as it is what it is, but we haven't had the screw job like you guys. The LotR/Hobbit line is really the last thing I'd like to buy from them in the future. Wonderful minis for the most part sculpted by my favorite sculptors the Perry boys. Still the prices... they don't get me mad necessarily or invoke some crusade, they just cause me to make obvious choices. Let's see, $50 buys 2 eagles or how many Napoleonic minis from the Perrys. Hmmmm...

    The SBG game is fine, but like you I'd rather crank up the "epic" in my LotR games. A few of us had a lot of fun playing WotR a few years back. I guess we didn't have anyone around to ruin or break the game for the rest of us (except maybe that one elf player that went to the Navy...), but still it's now virtually impossible to get anyone to build a WotR force unless they find some great bargain on eBay or something.

    Who knows what the future hold for me with regards to that stuff. For now I'm finally plowing ahead with 28mm Napoleonics and Black Powder! :-)

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    1. Thanks Jason! I know what you mean...

      As much as I love Black Powder as a game, it still terrifies me the time it will take to paint up a half decent size Naps army for it, and that's what seems to make me look around for just about anything else to paint, rather than start that project 'officially' ! ;-)

      I look forward to watching your progres in 2013!

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    2. Thanks Scott. It is kinda scary and exciting at the same time. :-)

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