Sunday, October 23, 2016

Wargame Table Renovation!

In keeping with the theme of house renovation, I just finished completely renovating my wargame table.  My table has a table top a bit over 5' x 9'.  The new table features shaker doors and knobs to match the other new cabinets, as well as eliminating the old caster wheels and replacing them with a sturdy base/toekick.   While I was at it, I also redid the top surface to have it more useful for naval games.

 Original table - note the gold hinges (blch), plain doors (blch) and wheels (blch blch)

Original royal blue tabletop
The project began by stripping off all the original doors and end panels.  The project was fairly depressing at this point!
Table stripped down.
 Structure added to the floor to which the toekick will be attached.

My table is propped up on concrete blocks while the base structure is being completed.  The wheels are gone!  I enjoyed throwing those away...

The toekick structure is completed.

The table is slid up and over onto the toekick structure, and then fastened to the structure with screws.

New cabinet facing, end panels and toekick.  Getting somewhere now!
 The top is repainted in a dark blue.

 Starting to match the idea in my head.

The new tray is attached.

Another shot of the table with the tray attached, as well as the new trim around the tabletop.

Tray with new trim attached.
I went with hidden, soft close hinges.  Sweet!

The new doors, mounted to the table "island".

The shaker effect added with trim to the doors.  The trim was glued and nailed on. 

All the bare boards have been primed.  Note that the ends of the table have faux door panels.

The table complete, with new "water" painted top, finish paint, and new knobs.
Another angle, showing the faux door end panels.

The new top!

The top was done by stippling a mix of medium and lighter blues, some green, some white, etc. with sea sponges.  At this stage in this photo, the top has been sealed with satin polyurethane.  It is still a bit to glossy for my liking, as the top picks up a bit of glare.  I will be putting matte polyurethane on the top at the end of the week.
I'm thrilled with how the table turned out.  It looks like a high end piece of furniture or island.  The new doors are solid and quiet, and the tabletop makes me want to get started painting some ships!   I probably have about 70 hours in the project, which required a tablesaw, power miter saw, drill press, air nailers, plus the odd hand tool here and there.   A lot of work, but I am very glad I did the project.

Friday, October 7, 2016

TobyCon 2016 - First Report!

Well, it actually happened - we finally were able to hold TobyCon.  We tried last year, but consecutive heavy snowfalls kept delaying the event.  Then, I had to get cracking on our home renovation in order to finish off the kitchen and the final details.   I finished all of that work, which took us into spring 2016, when my wife then had knee replacement surgery!   So, after surgery and the rehab and physical therapy work to rebuild strength and range of motion, we are finally here in October 2016!   Almost a year to the day since I was last able to host a game.

TobyCon is named in honor of our Jack Russell terrier, Toby.   He's a ball of fire, and too smart for his own good.   Toby runs herd on everyone when they visit, and I end up holding him through most games as he demands to be up where he can see what is going on.   Jack Russells have an insatiable desire to be involved and in charge.....

The first TobyCon had an ancient theme, with a Roman/Seleucid and a Han/Three Kingdoms Chinese game.  Both games used Pulse of Battle for the rules.

The Han/TKC game was first - a clash between two exotic and colorful armies.   Thanks to Terry Shockey for providing the armies.  Beautifully done, and armies I've never seen in use before.  I'd be lying if I said I remembered the flow of the game, but I believe the Han won the game.

Some photos:

Game 2 as a Seleucid vs. Roman game, planned and created by Eric Miller.  Eric provided the vast majority of the figures (beautifully painted, as usual) while some of mine were pressed into service to flesh out the armies.
 The Roman commander's appear happy....generally.

 While the Seleucid commanders appear confident and jovial

Seleucid commander (all that is left of his command) bravely advancing away from pursuing Roman cavalry.

This was a wild game.  The Romans pounded on the Seleucids for probably 90% of the game, and amassed a huge tally of Army Morale Points as the Seleucids hit 0.  However, the Seleucid right wing finally advanced (opportunity, initiative, and the needed cards!), and started hacking the Roman left wing up in a fierce manner.  Finally, both armies were at 0 AMPS!   Fortunately for the Romans, the Seleucids drew an Army Morale card and failed the test, ending the game.  I don't think I've ever seen a game like this - huge AMP loss swings, with the game ending with both sides at 0 AMPS!

I had great fun, and I'm looking forward to the next game - hopefully in early November.  I'm presently working away on redoing my game table, to get the design aesthetic to more closely match the cabinet style we've used throughout the house (Shaker).  So far so good - but more on that in upcoming posts.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Quick Update

Well, is an update of no game activities still an update?

Real world responsibilities have limited, or more correctly halted, my game and hobby activities for a while, and for probably the next couple of months.

My wife had a total knee replacement surgery 1 week ago, and the first 4 days or so of that "experience" are quite traumatic.  We're smack dab in the middle of the rehab phase now, and she's doing really well.  However, the rehab takes a lot of time, as doing all the things around the house that are needed to keep the household going.

So, I apologize for the lack of posts, but that is currently out of my hands!

Sunday, April 24, 2016

No TobyCon 2016....Again

My first try at TobyCon 2016 failed due to the elements (over 2' of snow on the weekend of the planned event).

TobyCon 2016 was rescheduled to yesterday.

Which didn't happen.

I should be clearer - yesterday did happen.

TobyCon didn't.

Somehow I caught what can only be described as some demonic spawned illness (flu??) that forced me to cancel the games yesterday.  I'm only now "a bit" back on my feet to even type this.

Maybe the name "TobyCon" is cursed.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

TobyCon 2016

TobyCon 2016, named after our Jack Russell Toby, was originally set for last Saturday.  However, over 24" of snow fell last weekend......hence the new date for TobyCon2016 - THIS Saturday!

Toby, Dog of Honor at TobyCon 2016

The inaugural TobyCon will feature a pair of ancients games, played using the Pulse of Battle rules.  First game is a Punic War game, and the second will be a Seleucid - Roman dust up.   The troops for the Punic War game are rated and arrayed - some photos below.

I'll be posting a summary of the games after TobyCon wraps up.

Sunday, February 7, 2016


Broncos are SB50 Champs!   Awesome performance by the #1 defense in the league.

I predicted a Broncos win 26-20.  I was glad to be wrong.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Super Bowl Eve - A Prediction

My official prediction for the Super Bowl tomorrow:

Broncos 26
Panthers 20

Peyton Manning has one more "good enough" game left in him, going 22 of 34 for 274 yards and 2 TDs, earning the Super Bowl MVP award and a ride into the sunset and retirement.

I think it is laughable how little credit is being given to the Broncos, and how few are picking them to win tomorrow.  This is a team that played 7 games without its starting QB, played 5 or so games with its starting QB injured to the point it affected his play, and a team with a defense that lead the league in defensive performance and statistics from the very start of the season through to this point in the playoffs.

I believe the lack of respect is due to the lopsided media love affair with Cam Newton for the Panthers.  While he's a great player, Super Bowl history is full of teams with good to great offenses built around a single player (QB) that gets throttled in the championship game.

I've seen a lot of Super Bowls from the Broncos perspective, and you get a feel for when a team is too tight, too busy telling everyone how the spotlight isn't going to bother them (see the Broncos vs. Seahawks, Broncos vs. Giants, Broncos vs. 49ers.....).   The Panthers look to me to be too concerned with appearing loose.  We'll see when the curtain goes up.

The Broncos played a much tougher schedule, compared to the Panthers (playing their own putrid division teams twice, and the AFC South teams - either the worst or second worst division in the league).   A soft schedule and big wins don't temper a team for a Super Bowl.  In the playoffs the Panthers first played the Seahawks, who were exhausted from an overtime, sub-zero temperature game the week before, and then the Cardinals, who looked like they were just looking for a place to fall down, bickering with each other on the sidelines.  The Broncos?  Beat the Steelers and the Patriots, both games tight and hard fought.

I stand by my prediction:  26-20 Broncos.

I'll be here to enjoy the victory, or take the abuse if I'm horribly wrong!