Life has been pretty much a blur since I got back from ORIGINS. I've been knuckling down on design work for my Sword of Severnia miniatures wargame. Progress is being made in huge chunks of late, which is always a good thing. The rules are nearing completion. I can finally see this darn thing getting done. Don't get me wrong, there's still A LOT of work left to do. But it's doable and I'm beginning to feel the wargame taking on a more concrete shape. Yea!
We had a very interesting playtesting session of SOS this past Sunday. It spurred a bunch of refinements. Miniature wargames, especially big battle games, are notoriously complex, so I keep striving to streamline, refine, streamline, and refine. So far so good. Aside from tweaking and adding to the Racial/Creature Game Stats, writing the detailed rules for magical Spells, and designing the Scenario Deck, there isn't anything that major left to finish rules-wise for Version 1 of the game.
With the help of my friend Barbarian Geoff, we're more than halfway finished with the formulas for the Point Costing system. That will be tied into the Army Builder software that I'm developing for the game (this wargame has some computer assisted components). I need to get cranking on this soon. With all my focus on design & writing these past 6 months, my PowerBuilder skills are starting to get rusty!
Only 8 days left until Historicon 2008! That's just unbelievable to me. It really snuck up on me this year, probably because I was at Origins less than a month ago.
Unlike most HMGS East miniature wargaming conventions, I'm not really dying to buy anything specific this time out. Perhaps it's because I spent $400 bucks buying boardgames at Origins and haven't recovered from the sticker shock of that, which really ate into my wargaming budget. Oh whatever, I find it virtually impossible to go to Historicon and not spend at least $200 (oftentimes much more), so I know I'll be walking away with new toy soldiers and/or terrain.
I need to slowly back-away from all the unpainted tin, because I have too many unpainted minis as it is. That said, damn those Crusader and Artizan vikings look sweet, the Renegade Orcs are way tempting, and I can never resist the Gnome Wars figures. And I gotta get me some Eureka Frogs, and Croc-Men and Ghouls from the WarGods of Aegyptus range! Heck, the new Warlord Games plastic romans even scratch an itch. Down boy!
Mostly, I'll be looking for nicely painted minis that are affordable. That's a real trick. Most inexpensive minis generally look like crap. I'm not going to buy something I can paint 10-times better myself. But the cool stuff that I really like can get pricey fast. I have a difficult time plunking down $175 to $200 for a beautifully painted unit when I can get something just as nice on eBay for 60% of that price. So I'll hunt around and hope I get lucky. I love Stan Johansen's stuff, and Albright's and Evil Bob's are always worth a good look. Everything is else is hit or miss. Barbarian Geoff and I are heading down on Thursday (7/24), so hopefully it will be more HIT in the vendor hall at least.
The flea market at Historicon is always a crapshoot. Last year's Historicon flea market was quite disappointing (I'm a fantasy and ancients/medievals guy, so your mileage may vary). But the flea market at the last two Cold Wars was good. So it will be interesting to see how it turns out this summer. It's always a friggin' zoo in there. The crush of bodies (some of them fat & funky smelling) can be a real turnoff, but it's the price you pay to find miniature wargaming treasures. And we tin-pushers love our treasure! Arrrgh! Anyway, I'll report back here and let you know how it turns out.
I've started to paint miniatures again. Now I just gotta keep it up. Right now I'm repainting a unit of large Troll-bloods that I got off eBay, along with a Cave Troll (Privateer calls it a Dire Troll). They're about 85% finished and just need some final highlights to really make them snap. Then I'll move on to something else -- probably some Gnome Wars minis that are softly cooing to me. Although I've got a nice batch of Front Rank Hundred Years War figures (foot knights, archers, men-at-arms) that are enticing as well. There's also a box of GW lizardmen cavalry that's lurking in the shadows. And I could go on...and on... and on. Tough to make a decision when there's so much to paint and so little time to do it all. Oh well, Rome wasn't built in a day!
My buddies and I are talking about sending a pile of unpainted lead to Fernando Enterprises to get more troops painted. We'll see how that goes. Fernando does great work, it's just that the shipping to Sri Lanka is pricey. But I still think it's worth it, especially for us wargamers who don't have nearly as much time to paint as we'd like.
Soon. Soon. Soon. Soon I will get together with my friends and play some of these new board games that are stuck in my closet, wondering why they haven't been opened and gotten the chance to breathe fresh air. I gotta call Wally... and Kev... and Mayer... and get in touch with a few other folks as well. I mean two gaming session a month isn't too much to ask is it? How do some of those boardgame geeks end up playing 10 or more games per month? I mean c'mon. Don't they have a life? Maybe I have too many competing interests compared to them. Between rotisserie baseball, wargaming, reading, work, going to dinner/movies/plays with my wife, and everything else, there's only so much time available to squeeze in board gaming. I love it, so I need to make the time for it. Nuff said.
ALL STAR GAME
What in the hell was Major League Baseball thinking when the All-Star Game didn't start until 9 PM Eastern Time. I mean crikey, I stayed up until almost 2:00 in the morning to watch my National League squad get beaten yet again. It was a really good game (some spectacular fielding and great pitching), but man this is getting ridiculous. I don't really like the AL, so to get continually beaten by them pisses me off... at least a little.
They need to start the game at 7 PM EST, like a normal baseball game. Are you listening Bud Selig?
Until next time.... BE GOOD!