Thursday, March 12, 2009


My local store gets its copy of War of the Ring tomorrow. I have been very excited about this. In order to get an advance copy a store has to carry certain sets from all three ranges. Collectormania only carried 40K and LOTR up to now. So now I get to see the WOTR book three weeks early, learn the rules, plan my army and mabey even play a game or two. I also get to see more Warhammer in the store. Now I need to get some more people playing/buying so Tim will want to keep stocking it.

I am excited about WOTR for a couple of reasons. First, I love the Tolkien stories and having the ability to play out the larger battles will be awesome. Secondly, it seems like a fun system that will play more quickly than Warhammer but still have a lot of tactical subtelty. One can only hope. Third, it uses LOTR mini's and is, therefore, cheaper to collect for. This game system just does not cost as much as the other two. The collector side of me loves that.

I am anxious to get off work tomorrow so I can check this out. I hope it lives up to the hype.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


Warhammer Fantasy Battles is my first love with minis. This is the game that sucked me into the hobby. I love the background, the fluff. I love the armies, the rules, the community. I love the collecting.

I have been collecting Warhammer since 2002. I have a LOT of models. These games all use points to set up a battle. 2000-2250 is the normal point size for this game. smaller points will go more quickly, larger will last longer.

The biggest game I played at approx 120,000 points on the table. The table was eight feet across and sixteen feet long. For those following along at home, that's 128 square feet of playing room. We had both sides completely full of models with more off the table. It took 16 of us twelve hours to play the game half way through. I wouldn't want to play that way every day, but it was fun that time.

Empire is my main army. I like the idea of ordinary men and women trying to survive in a world full of giant monsters, demons, teaming hordes of rats and green skins and angry gods warping the very structure of the universe. This is an underdog army. Just the way I like it.

I have alot of empire. I probably have around 12,000 points. I will NEED to add some more this summer when new models come out. I am very good with this army. My friends won't play against it any more. I am pulling some of the other armies off the shelf to take them for a drive and see how they go.

My second army is Orcs & Goblins. This army has a huge variety of troop types and some rules that introduce randomness. This is not an army to play if you can't stand to watch your best laid plans go to hell because your troops decided to dust it up with each other in the middle of a battle.

I have a lot of these guys too, though not every unit, the way I do with Empire. I have only played these guys a couple of times. Right now I am trying to suck a buddy into the game and he is learning with these guys. I wish me luck. The hobby needs new blood and I need new oponents.

I also have legal, playable High Elves, Dark Elves and Dwarves. All three of these are limited in unit types, unit strength and heros, but I can put 2000 pt armies of each on the table. I have not played the Dwarfs at all yet. I have a couple of games with the HE's. They are sickeningly good. I just started my first game with Dark Elves, first turn, had to put it on hold due to sickness.

With the purchase of a battalion set and a couple of heros I have enough models to make a Brettonian, Lizard Men and Skaven army. One of these days, when someone expresses an interest in trying them or I don't have anything to buy for any of my other armies I will expand these. Actually I may bring the skaven up this year when the new book comes out.

This game takes way too much of my time, thoughts and money. I wish I got to play more, but at least I have my toy soldiers to stare at, paint and push around on the table.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Current painting

I am currently working on five Rohirrim. One captain, on horse and four riders. Two with bows and two with shields. I am just about done with these five, to table top quality. After that I will paint a whole bunch of horses. I already have quite a few riders done so I need to get the horses caught up.

I am painting these to a very basic level, first go around. My goal is to get them "painted" and on the table. I do play with unpainted models, but it looks SOOOOO much better with painted that it is worth the effort. I especially feel bad putting gray or primer black models on the table when my opponent has painted their army.

Once I have my army painted I will go back and do some more work on them. I am going to go over the browns and greens with a painted on furniture stain. The lighter colors will get a brown wash, as will the armor and weapons. The metal will all get a hightlight. Mithril silver for weapons and armor. Gold of some sort for the bronze.

I will also base the models once they are all painted. I am going to go with a bestial brown base. The top will have sand/gravel PVA'd (elmers) down, then painted bestial, highlighted up to khaki. Stones gray with white highlights. Two colors of static grass will go on, as well as some longer grass if I can find something I like. I always pictured Rohan as endless fields of green grass, not like the New Zealand countryside from the movies.

After that I think this army will be good to go.

Of course I may need to expand it for War of the Ring.

Current project

My current project is Rohirrim for Lord of the Rings Strategy Battle Game (LOTR, SBG). I have had some of the models for years, I picked up the Two Towers starter set from a friend and it was full of Rohan and Isengard.

Recently a fellow moved here from St. Louis. He is a huge fan of LOTR. He has been working with the local store, Collectormania (CM), and its owner Tim, to get a LOTR group going. Getting a gaming group started, and keeping it alive, are tough work. First you have to get people in to play the game, providing models and such. Then you have to organize enough events that you can keep people interested. Open gaming is fun, but from time to time you have to have tournaments or campaigns.

I have collected a few more models and played a few games. I even played in my first tournament ever, GengisCon. The Warhammer Fantasy was packed, and looked like a lot of fun, but I played LOTR, and had a great time. I have now played seven games. Three against Keith while I was learning, three at the tournament and one at an open gaming day at CM.

I like that the game is a skirmish game. Very different from my beloved Warhammer. I like that it is cheap to start an army and that the rules are both elegant and simple. I love the millieu, Tolkien being the catalyst for my love of fantasy. I love that I can actually find someone to play against from time to time. I hate painting.

I have made a deal with myself. I will paint ten models from the army I played for every game I play. Once the army is done, I can paint whatever I want. I have tried many of these deals over the years. Trying to find the perfect formula to get myself to paint. Nothing has worked up to now. This is actually going all right for me at the moment though, so I am still hopeful.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

The history of gaming - my style

I have always loved games. Board games, miniatures even legos. I spent most of my time as a child playing by myself so games were my friends.

When I was young I would save my money up to buy board games. My best friend, Cam, and I loved Axis and Allies. I also bought Shogun, Rome, Fortress America and Broadsides and Boarding Parties. I loved all of these games, though Axis and Allies was always the best to my mind.

Legos were my first miniatures. I got my first set on my sixth birthday, starting a life long love affair. I have hundreds of pounds of legos (how do you measure legos?). In addition to the obvious use of lego people for armies, I wanted to play mass battles. This pre-dated Warhammer and such by a few years, and I was not aware of those games even after they came out.

I did collect the Dungeons & Dragons miniatures game. The cardboard cutouts never thrilled me but they did let me fight out some battles here and there. I also played the rules for armies, making hunrdreds of units out of note cards, playing out battles with the cards representing the units and tracking them through entire campaigns.

There was a period of about seven years, between 1995 when I graduated from college and 2002 when we briefly moved to England, that I did not play any wargames. Then, in 2002 we were in Harrogate. Tracy had gone home for a few weeks and I was wandering down the high street after eating dinner. I walked past the Games Workshop store. I stopped. I stared through the glass at the models. I did not go in. I knew this was a slippery slope. If I went in I was doomed.

For several days I walked past every night and did not go in. Then I crossed the threashold. I looked at the fantasy side of the store. I looked at the Lord of the Rings mini's. I looked at the 40k (Sci-fi) stuff. I walked out. The next night I went in again. The manager asked me which army I was going to play. I didn't know enough to answer him. I fled. The next night I was back. I looked at the books. I was drawn to Empire. I asked the manager questions. He was reasonably helpful.

After a week of going in I bought the starter set. Empire and Orcs. I got it back to the hotel room. I felt that old shiver of anticipation as I got ready to open the box. I pulled off the top and there it was. Sprues of mini's, rule book, quick start rules, templates and dice. I read the whole rule book that night.

I snap fitted the guys I could together. Some of them required glue. The next night I was in the store buying glue, the Empire and Orcs & Goblins army books and a paint set with paints, brush and six Bretonnian archers. (think feudal France). That night I had everything glued and was playing through the rules on the floor of the hotel. It was like I was 12 again. I was hooked.


This is a small blog for me to keep track of my favorite Hobby, Wargamming. I play Games Workshop miniatures games. I own many board games but get to play them even less than my mini's.

This blog will talk about painting, playing and collecting. My hope is that having a blog to maintain will help me to stay motivated to paint. I am always motivated to collect and play.
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