Monday, July 22, 2013

Historicon - Or "What I Did Instead of Historicon"

I went to Historicon for quite some time, but haven't been for a number of years.   I was one of the few (?) that didn't have a problem with either the Lancaster location, or the Lancaster Host facility.   It had a personality of its own, and I felt comfortable there.

I'm really not a "convention guy".   I don't really enjoy competitive gaming - I don't care if I win or lose, and instead just being with good friends.   I don't even have to play to enjoy myself.  I've never been one that gets much enjoyment out of playing a game with strangers; might as well play solo!

Another reason I don't attend Hcon anymore is that the two reasons I used to enjoy going are no longer necessary - the dealer's room and seeing games for ideas to steal regarding painting and terrain.   With the internet, I can get anything from any manufacturer in the world, including rare or hard to find books, within a matter of days.  Likewise, blogs and newsgroups provide a vast treasure trove of inspiration for painting and terrain ideas.

So what did I do on Historicon weekend instead?

Well, for one we had a great bike (motorcycle) ride.  Open fields and fresh air in our faces, with the deep rumble of HD exhaust in our ears.   SWEET!

In my job, I have the distinct pleasure of managing my company's sponsorship program for professional NHRA teams.   That's given me the chance to work and interact with top teams and drivers - which is VERY cool.

This week we had John Force Racing and their drivers (John, Courtney, Brittany Force, Robert Hight) visit our headquarters for a meet and greet session - as this weekend was the Mile High Nationals here in Denver.   For those of you who don't know who John Force is....he's a legend, and the face of the drag racing sport.   A 15 time Funny Car champion, and a personality bigger than imaginable.  On top of that, I find him to be a genuine, very nice guy.

Oh yeah, and Courtney Force was just in the ESPN body issue.   I'll wait while you Google that and then come back to finish reading this blog post.

My wife grew up drag racing with her Dad.   Drag racing, cars, and speed are in her blood.  For as long as she can remember, she's been a fan of John Force. 

My work gave me a chance to get us back to the more private area of the John Force Racing pits, so she could meet each of the drivers - and John Force (the MAN) in person.  She was so excited she could barely contain herself.   I don't think I've ever had more fun than introducing her to Brittany, Courtney, Robert, and then John.   Of course, photos with each followed!   She's still enjoying that event, and the memories will never leave her.

Here's a photo of my wife with John Force this Saturday at the Mile High Nationals:

All I can say is "thank you" to all the people at John Force Racing.  A legendary, outstanding, organization and team.

A fantastic, stand out, memorable weekend!

Did I miss Historicon?

Not for a second!

Off-Board Assets

A quick post of my first painted off-board assets - a pair of US 105mm artillery pieces (Old Glory/Westwind) and a pair of German 75mm Infantry guns (Blacktree).

I really like the OG/WW guns and crew....and the Blacktree Design, well, less so.   The BTD crew just look a bit odd to me - the helmets aren't quite "right".  But, they look functional for what I need in my games, so there they are!

Today I received 3 German 105mm artillery pieces and crew from Warlord Games.   Great looking castings.   I think I'll be ordering some 120mm mortars for some heavier battalion support weapons from them as well.

Sunday, July 14, 2013



I've finally decided that I have a lot of stuff.

Wargame stuff.

History books, reference works.....stuff.


I've organized, sorted, sifted.

I've given away stuff.   I've thrown stuff away.

And yet, I still have a lot of stuff.

How did I get all this stuff?   Where did it come from?

Do I really think I'll read a book about the South American War of the Pacific?

I think I've reached the point where I'm very likely done buying figures for new periods.  Why?   I don't need any more!   I have, painted and unpainted, listed chronologically:

Republican Romans
Early Germans
Late Romans
War of the Roses
English Civil War
Great Northern War
Seven Years War
American War of Independence
Napoleonics (British, French, Austrian, Prussians, Spanish, Russians, Portuguese)
American Civil War
Franco Prussian
Austro Prussian
Russo Japanese
Mahdist Wars
Zulu Wars
Plains Indian Wars
Early WW1 (British, French, German, Russian)
Late WW1 (British, French, German, US)
Early WW2 (French, German)
Early WW2 Desert
Late WW2 (USA, Soviet, German, UK)

Stuff.   Lots of stuff - all 25mm.  62 plastic shoe boxes of unpainted stuff.  

Oh sure...I'll buy more stuff.   But its fill in stuff - the odd support weapon or unusual troop type needed (yeah right - needed) to fill out an OB.

Books?   My collection in books mirrors the figure collection above.    Sorted, sifted, given away, thrown away.    My books feel like family.   

Where is this blog post going?

I don't know.   I just have a lot of stuff.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

WW2 Rules - Fields of Valor

I've been working away on concepts and cleaning up items from playtesting in the future set of rules "Fields of Valor".  FoV is a low level game, focusing on tactical WW2 actions.  It is NOT a skirmish game, as it is still unit focused.  Infantry units are a squad, weapon units represent 2 or so weapons, vehicles represent 1-2 vehicles.  

The above photo shows the card backs - medals for (left to right) Germany, US, USSR. 

I've been troubled by trying to show moving MG units without an abstract marker cluttering up the table.  I finally realized that the WestWind MG packs included figures moving/carrying the MG components!   Bingo!   Add that marker to the front of the unit, and it is broken down for movement and in movement mode.  Problem solved!

A simple solution, looks good, easy to use.  That's my kind of solution.

I'm busily painting offboard assets - artillery, in particular.   I finished a couple of stands of US 105mm's, and am working on some German 75mm infantry guns.

While they are "offboard", and not a tactical unit in play, I find that seeing the asset makes it much more interesting than just "105mm" scribbled on a notecard or piece of paper.

I'll post photos when they're done.