Wednesday, 30 January 2013

These people will be leading my Celtic army

One of my projects this year is the expansion of my Roman and Celtic armies to decent Hail Caesar size (about 10 units of infantry and 5 units of cavalry / chariots, plus various skirmishers per side). The Romans already have a set of commanders, and now the Celts have too:

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These, yet to be named, will become wing / division / mob commanders under great leader Bartolomix himself. Any suggestions for names are welcomed in the comments.

Friday, 25 January 2013

Blast from the Past ...

A couple of years ago I described on this very blog some of my early memories of wargaming (see part5, work back from there ...).

Thanks to the excellent archiving capabilities of fellow early wargamer Eddy S., some documents were unearthed that once formed the basis of a grandiose magazine 'Wargaming' (IIRC).

Our plan for world-domination was to publish a fanzine for the wargaming enthusiast. Because this was the time before the wide availability of computer (I am talking 1981-1982), articles were typed on a classic typewriter, and fancy headers were drawn by hand. I remember that I produced at least 2 issues, but I must have lost them over time. But now, thanks to Eddy who never throws anything away, 2 articles have resurfaced.

Below are 2 photographs, only of the first page of these articles - written in Dutch. At least we were confident enough (as only 16-year old can be) that we were going to change the wargaming world!

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Wet Paint: Celtic Command

Fresh on the painting table, some Celtic command bases:

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These will all be commanders in Hail Caesar, under the able leadership of general Bartolomix. Figures are mostly Foundry, except for the black chariot, which is of course the Warlord Games Boudicca model. And yes, the other one is Foundry's Bouddicca—one can never have enough Boudicca's in a Celtic army :). Finally, the third figure from the left is the Ambiorix figure given away to visitors of the Crisis convention some years ago. Although we attend Crisis as a club and thus do not get the figure, I managed to get my hands on two of them through various devious means :)

This nets me 14 points (4 horses, 2 chariots and 8 figures), bringing my painting total up to 60 for January. Better pics to follow when their bases are completed, as usual.

Sunday, 20 January 2013

1st Battalion of the Livgardet till Fot

Here they are based and all:

Livgadet till Fot

As you can see, they are still quite shiny. I managed to reduce it some by playing around with lighting (I have diffusion and neutral density filters for my lamps now, for those who care about such things), but it still shows up massively. Would you believe that they have 5 coats of matt varnish sprayed over them? Neither would I had I not done it with my own hands. I'm guessing that spraying in an attic that is now close to 0 degrees Celsius in temperature is not a good idea. I tried spraying heavy, light, from afar and from close up. No dice. In fact, when I was looking at this picture at its full resolution I noticed that the ends of the grass tufts and the static grass have shiny droplets of varnish hanging on them, so something did indeed go horribly wrong. I'll stick with brush on next time.

Anyway, I went for a bit of a campaign look with these veterans. Things I did to enhance the campaign look are:
  • Figure selection. The stand on the left (when facing the unit, so on the unit's own right) has four figures wearing karpus instead of tricorn hats. The Livgardet till Fot received the survivors of several regiments that were in involved in the battle of Lesnaja—I selected the one with the most divergent uniform, the Närke–Värmlands Tremannings regiment. Not that there's that much of a difference: the Livgardet and the Tremannings regiments it received have both blue coats, yellow facings and yellow stockings. The difference is in the details, in this case the colour of the breeches and vest (barely visible on the figures) and the karpus.
  • Painting. I painted a few minor uniform items (stockings, vests, breeches) in different colours than the standard uniform. I also broke one of my painting rules and mixed up various shades of blue to paint the main uniforms. The differences are very subtle, but the blues on several of the figures have differing levels of saturation to simulate fading of the uniforms. I also did the five'o'clock shadow look on most of the figures.
  • Flags. The bigger the better, of course. To add to the worn campaign look, I distressed the flags to simulate battle damage.
  • Conversions. Some of the figures have patches green stuffed onto elbows and various other bits (none visible in the photo). I also did some (very) slightly more involved conversions:

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    The chap on the right had his hat cut off and replaced by a greenstuffed bandage (wounded veteran and all), while his hat has been surgically grafted on to the chap on the left. I found out a long time ago that these conversions are a lot less intimidating than they seem at first glance. While the conversions stick out like a sore (green) thumb when unpainted, they sort of blend in with the rest of the unit when painted.

That's it for these guys. Next on the painting table are some Celtic command figures, and I think the first unit of dwarves will be after that.

Thursday, 17 January 2013

On the surface of Polaris VI

Attentive readers of this blog know that we are currently running a science fiction campaign, nicknamed Antares 2401.

The last mission, on Polaris VI, ended a bit dramatically. There were not enough pilots left to fly the shuttles out of the area of operations, so a number of StarMarines are trapped on the surface of Polaris VI. Without doubt, our next game will feature a rescue mission.

This gave me the idea to generate a little story about those left behind. I took inspiration from the excellent blog Campaigns of General William Augustus Pettygree, and decided I was going to try something similar. Using thr Mythic Games Master Emulator, I came up with a small storyline and took some photographs of the miniatures acting out the scenes. Here is the result.

Lt. O'Brien reporting:

After the departure of shuttle Werenfried, carrying Gamma squad and wounded StarMarines from the other squads, the following StarMarines were still present on the surface of Polaris VI: Lt O’Brien, StarMarines McGraw and Nichols from Beta squad; Sgt Moss, StarMarines Cohen and Illnitch from Delta squad; and StarMarines Hayase, Kazima and Hokaido from Epsilon squad. Since I was the highest ranked officer, I took command of this small contingent.

My first task was to check the state of shuttle Wolf, since she had been hit by heavy fire from an Icycle tank during the ambush. I examined the state of the shuttle, while the others were guarding the perimeter. She seemed to be in exceptional condition, all systems were in working order. Alas, we had no pilot available to commandeer her and fly us out of here. Because night was approaching, temperatures were also dropping rapidly.

Next, Sgt Moss from Delta squad, StarMarine Hayase from Epsilon squad and myself had a small exchange of thoughts about what to do next. There was a danger that soon numerous forces of the Icycle Kingdom would arrive at the scene, so we had to get out quickly. A decision was reached to blow up shuttle Wolf to prevent it from falling into enemy hands. I will accept the consequences if the court-martials at Curia II will regard this as a non-permissable act according to the StarMarine code of conduct.
The task for blowing up shuttle Wolf was given to StarMarine Hokaido, who had still two missile shots in his MicroMech suit. With one aimed shot shuttle Wolf was blown to smithereens. She was one fine ship, and served us well during various missions.
We then set out, away from the location of the ambush, in search for a safe area where we can await the rescue mission. StarMarine Kazima was taking the lead. All StarMarines were on close guard and sensitive to any sign of enemy activity StarMarine Hokaido was taking the rearguard in this column, ready to use his one remaining missile shot.
When arriving at a small stream, suddenly a cave bear appeared in our flank. StarMarine Cohen was in immediate danger.
Thanks to the lightning reflexes of Sgt Moss, the cave bear was taken care of rather quickly. However, the resulting noise, smoke and fire might attract some enemy troops. We doubled the pace, and once again started marching away.
We finally reached a place we determined safe enough to wait for the rescue operation. StarMarine Nichols set up a compact Centurion Tent from stashed away in his backpack, while StarMarine Cohen, as the communications specialist, managed to deploy his portable satellite dish. It is through this communications device that this report is sent to SpaceShip Wodan.
Lt. O’Brien signing off.

Schild & Vriend ACW House Rules

In our gaming group, we have been developing our ACW rules for many years. I am a strong proponent of the idea that developing your own rules is an integral part of the hobby, and that it allows you to try out many experimental rules mechanisms that otherwise would probably never be used on the gaming table.

We started with this ACW ruleset somewhere in 2006. Before that, we used very often the Brother against Brother rules by HG Walls. This is a rather simple ruleset, originally designed for fast convention games. The basic unit is designated a squad. Squads were activated by drawing cards, and combat strength for each unit was directly proportional to the number of figures. Our rules are still called "Brother against Brother" - we should probably change that sooner or later.

However, to our tastes, BaB was a bit too simplistic and too much geared towards 'fast effects'. So we started to tweak the rules over the years. One of the first things was to streamline the morale system, and we replaced the morale cards with three different tables depending on the situation in which a unit finds itself. Roll a D20, cross-reference the with the current combat strength, and you see the result.

Another major change was the activation system. Drawing a card every turn to indicate what unit can move is all well for games in open fields, but that mechanic can create choke points during movement, and it is difficult to coordinate multi-unit actions. We experimented with Piquet-like activation systems; with written orders; but finally settled on an activation sequence similar to Black Powder / Warmaster / Blitzkrieg Commander. It has served us for many years, and now really forms the heart of the rules.

Unit sizes are not specified. We still refer to unit as 'squads', but sometimes our scenarios do much more have the feel of skirmish games, sometimes the are closer to big battles. It strongly depends on the scenario setup. In this respect, we are very similar to the philosophy in games like Black Powder or Hail Caesar, two rulesets we also happen to play quite often.

Other changes made over they years are the elimination of many modifiers in the combat resolution engine. I strongly believe in the idea that wargame rules should be as simple as possible (but not simpler :-)). There is no challenge in writing a ruleset with plenty of complicated rules, plenty of die roll modifiers, separate procedures for all sorts of actions. Anyone can do that. It's much more challenging in designing a ruleset that is as simple as possible, but still creates the look-and-feel of the period in question.

Is this ruleset able to recreate ACW actions ina  plausible manner? Honestly, I do not have a good idea. It is probably too simple for connoisseurs of the period. But for all the players in my gaming group, which are well versed in military history (ACW is just not one of our fortes), it is an acceptable, fun, and reliable ruleset. It allows us to finish a game with 10-20 units on each side within a single evening, a VERY important advantage. And we are having fun. In the end, that is what really counts.

So, below are the rules. Please download them, and let us know what you think.

==> (update October 22, 2014): Please refer to the ACW House Rules page where you can find the latest developments.

Wet Paint: Livgardet till Fot

Finished last evening, and photographed straight off (well, actually on to be precise :) ) the painting desk, here are the first battalion of the Livgardet till Fot of the Swedish Royal army of the Great Northern War. If the Swedes are the panzer divisions of the GNW, these guys are the King Tigers:

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Figures are Musketeer for the rank and file and Wargames Foundry for the brass. This is mainly because the Musketeer command figures have just the single pose, and I already have 7 other battalions with them in it.

More detail once they are based and photographed better. I gave myself 20 points for these (19 foot figures plus an extra one for the green stuff work and conversions on a few of them), bringing my total for January to 46.

Friday, 11 January 2013

State of the Tiny Tin Man: future

Before, I talked about my wargaming in 2012. Phil then did the same and plotted out some devious plans for 2013. I shall now do the same.

Existing projects

Wargame projects are of course never completed, just put on the back burner. In my case that means that my main two projects of the last years will still get the occasional unit or two extra:
  • Great Northern War: I'm currently painting a battalion of the Livgardet till Fot for the Swedes, and I expect I'll paint the occasional squadron of cavalry for both sides this year.
  • Napoleonics 1809 Austria: this will get a bit more focus than the GNW. In the painting queue are French Légère battalions, and I'll probably expand the Bavarians further with (the start of) a second infantry brigade.

Both projects will also see regular gaming table time of course.

New projects

If possible, 2013 will see the emergence of two new projects and one oldie that will get more focus:
  • Mass fantasy battle. I seem to have touched a nerve in our gaming group (well, Phil at least) with my Elephant Man, so I'm bumping mass fantasy battle up to project status for this year. I'll paint up Orcs and Dwarves (probably) while we work out a suitable ruleset. It's hard to put any numbers to this, but I'm aiming for about a unit every two months.
  • Thirty Years War. What has been threatening for quite a while has now become reality. I've been reading up on the TYW, and with the purchase of the two excellent books by Guthrie, this has now caught my fancy in a big way. I'm still in the planning stages for this project—I want to keep it fairly small and easy. Sides will be Swedes (of course) and Imperials / Catholic League, but I don't know which period just yet. One option is the heyday of the Swedes, basing the collection on the battle of Breitenfeld and thus emulating wargaming classic Phil Olley who tracked his own Breitenfeld project on 'The Breitenfeld Blog' (now sadly deactivated). The other option is moving it all a bit later, towards the 1634-1635 period and basing the collection on the battle of Nordlingen or Wittstock or thereabouts. Output will be less than the fantasy project, so in all probability not enough to have a viable game by the end of the year without 'stand in' units.
  • Ancients: Romans and Celts. This collection will receive more attention this year (as it has towards the end of 2012), with the aim of bringing them to a decent Hail Caesar playable level.

Small fry

Apart from the above big five, there are many things lying around the various storage spaces of the Command Post which might see table and/or painting time:
  • Check Your Six!: I have the two campaign books on the 1943 battles around Guadalcanal and the Solomons, up to the isolation of Rabaul. I'm toying with the idea of playing these as an actual campaign.
  • Blitzkrieg / Cold War commander. Both collections have seen little use last year.
  • 20mm WWII. Way in the back of my head lives the idea of taking this collection 4 years back in time and building an early war Belgian and German army. Probably not this year though :)
  • Naval: both fantasy (Uncharted Seas) and historical (WWI Dreadnaughts)
  • Lots of stuff I'm probably forgetting :)

Writing and blogging

Last year was a very good year in this regard, and I hope to repeat this in 2013. I'll write up some more articles to try and get in to Battlegames, and will try to keep posting to Tiny Tin Men, at a better frequency than last year. Also, way back in my mind (even further than the 20mm early WWII :) ) live two ideas for longer form writing. One is 'Wargaming the GNW', which might be a book or a series of articles, the other is 'The Grassus Gambit', a narrative campaign for the Romans and Celts in the style of CS Grant's books. Who knows what will come of that :).

That's it for my wild plans for 2013. I'll leave you with a gratuitous picture of my painting desk, with the second unit of the year (the Livgardet) being painted. They're the black blobs:

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Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Bavarian artillery: Regnier's horse battery

The much posted already battery is now finished, based and photographed. Here is Hauptmann Regnier's horse battery (yes, I know I bumped Regnier up a few ranks from captain with my figure selection—wargamers license :) ):

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The guns are Perry Austrian guns, the gunners and Regnier behind them are Foundry (technically, Foundry foot artillery gunners, but as these are not wearing their sword- and other cross belts, only the boots are wrong for horse artillery gunners).

I think I'll have to look into getting some diffuser filters for my lamps, or using the light tent again, as the residual shininess of the gloss varnish (they have one coat of matt over it) shows up much more in this lighting than in normal viewing.

In fact, let me get the light tent out … there, a bit better:

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The above two photos illustrate something which I picked up from a 'Photographing Miniatures' course I bought from (highly recommended, more detail will follow in a later post). While knowing your camera and Photoshop is part of the equation, by far the largest contributing factor to getting good photographs is lighting. Fully three quarters, and this is not an exaggeration, of the time spent in the video is setting up the lighting for the shot. There is no fiddling with camera settings apart from selecting an aperture and corresponding shutter time, and no Photoshopping apart from the basic treatment of raw images (i.e. colour balance and slight sharpening). Everything is done with choosing and positioning lights and filters.

The only difference between the pictures above (apart from a higher camera angle on the second one) is the lighting. The first uses direct lighting, the second uses a light tent (with the same lights as the first). That's literally the only difference. I'm not saying that the second image is better than the first, the point is that with adjusting lighting I could correct a problem in the first. That said, as you'll often find to be the case, by solving one problem I have created another: the second image is less sharp than the first. That's because I had to use a very long shutter time (4s) to get enough light on the camera sensor, and it's virtually impossible to avoid camera shake induced softness in that scenario, especially if you live in an apartment that tends to jump around with each bus driving by on the busy main road outside, like I do :).

So forget about Photoshop, fancy camera settings and blaming your camera. It's all in the lighting. Blame your lights instead :). BTW, an even better option than using a light tent would have been adding diffusion filters to the direct lights, as the light in a light tent tents to 'flatten' the scene in side a bit (something which computer graphics and lighting expert Phil will be able to explain much better than I can), but I don't have diffuser filters, so the light tent had to do.

Monday, 7 January 2013

State of My Hobby

The end of a year is always a good moment to reflect on things that went by during the past 12 months, and to make plans for the next. Inspired by Bart's State of the Tiny Tin Men post, I will do the same ;-)

Games played in 2012

I only keep a record of games played at my premises in my designated Moleskine wargaming notebook. As for 2012, the following games are listed:

January 2012: ACW game using our own time-tested house-rules. "Bridgehead Breakout" was based on scenario #21 from the Scenarios for Wargames book by Charles Grant. The flow of the battle of this game can be seen in the first picture of the wargaming notebook post mentioned above.
I think our gaming group is fairly happy with the rules as they are now. We keep fiddling with them now and then, mostly because of specific scenario requirements, but the framework has been unchanged for the past couple of years. I have been planning of writing them up in a decent booklet, but perfect is always the enemy of good.

February 2012: The kick-off game of our Antares 2401 campaign. The philisophy of the campaign has been outlined in a previous blogpost. This first game was a test game, with lots of killed figures, but also already set the tone for the narrative component of the campaign. Heroic deeds were already witnessed, squad's names were established, and the first mission reports were written.

April 2012: Second game of Antares 2401, action an Kalahari V. The rules were refined, but a nice development at the campaign level was that one player suggested that the captured pirate gang should serve in a penal battalion as part of SpecOps. For me, that really triggered the idea that I should go full-speed ahead with allowing players to develop the storyline.

June 2012: Bart and I played an experimental 6mm Napoleonic game. Game mechanics were based on 'Anything but a 6', a ruleset sent to me by American wargamer Otto Schmidt. Some interesting gaming mechanics, notably trying to keep the iniatitive and thereby increasing your movement distances.

October 2012: Another ACW game with our houserules. We tried some new features: playing on 3" hexes instead of the usual 4" hexes, so our battlefield became larger; and instead of using figure removal we used dials to track unit status. I like this latter option a lot, because you keep al the figures on the table (visual appeal!), and since the dials are not always checked correctly by the opposing player, a certain fog-of-war element is introduced.

November 2012: Third game in the Antares campaign, this time set on the ice planet Polaris VII. Mission was to take out an ortillery station.

December 2012: Fourth game in the Antares campaign -- the game is growing stronger.


Not so much painting done this year, I'm afraid. Several years ago, I made myself a promise not to buy any new unpainted stuff before I worked through my heap of unpainted stuff. Progress is being made, but slowly. My collection of unpainted stuff has for the most part been cleaned out: figures for unwanted projects were either sold or given away. Now it's up to me to paint the things I still want to keep. One of most notably painted set of figures this year were these medieval knights. Nice set for our upcoming fantasy games :-)

The Convention Scene

We set up a game for Crisis based on the battle of Asspern-Esling. Instead of moving troops, you were in control of the currents in the river, trying to navigate boats and debris against the French pontoon-bridges. I think the game went fairly well. Nice touch: Mozart-Kugeln (winners) and Napoleon Bonbons (losers) for all!


Because Schild&Vriend wants to participate in spreading good wargaming practices and ideas, we set ourselves to writing a number of articles for the wargaming press. Bart got 2 scenarios in Battlegames, Eddy got 2 articles as well, and I have an article in the upcoming issue (issue 33, January 2013) dealing with story-driven wargames.

Plans for 2013

Let's set some realistic goals for a change:

Further games for the Antares 2401 campaign: this will without a doubt happen. I think there's enough energy and drive on part of the players and plumpire right now that we can continue this campaign at least for a few more games. As with all campaigns. we'll see when it runs out of steam. One of the ideas I would like to try is to introduce at least 1 6mm Scifi game in the campaign (in which the player's squads are single stands, able to earn advancements), one Full Thrust game, and perhaps a BattleTech game.

ACW campaign: Our ACW games at my place have become a sort of default setup for playing various types of scenarios. This year, I would like to try a campaign based on one of the Charles Grant campaign books. We tried one last year  (Raid on St Michel, action report on another blog here), but it fizzeld out. In hindsight, we know what we should put into the mix, based on our experiences with the Antares campaign: personalization of units, and a clear progression of units from battle to battle.
My idea is to do the Raid on St Michel once more, but set in the ACW setting. Both sides would draw up their list of units beforehand, including commanders and generals, and units would get an additional ability if they survive a battle, or a disadvantgae if the are routed.
Of course, given that commanders and units would be invented, it would make it more of an alternate ACW setting, but so what? It opens the door for interesting units such as the Sour Mash Tennessee Regiment led by Col. Jack Daniels, or the Southern Comfort Regiment led by Col. Martin Wilkes. If you don;t get the references, you should drink more.

Committee Game: I would like to put up at least one committee game next year. We did a few during the past years, using various formats, but I have a few more ideas up my sleeve. The caveat is that we need at least 4-5 players for some of these, and that might be a problem ...

Fantasy:  I would like to start with developing a fantasy campaign, using our own rules. I have a lot of fantasy figures, and they need to be put to good use. The framework for the rules will probably be Black Powder. Magic Powder sounds like a good name. Perhaps hexification is a good idea, since that would deal with the footprint of units. And the focus on a unit as a basic element is a good solution for the single dragon vs. 100 goblins problem when working on a figure-based basis.

Writing: one more article for Battlegames. Perhaps something based on one of our previous CRISIS games? Attack on Fort Stanley, or An Den Schonen Blauen Donau?

Painting: more figures!

Oh yeah, a wargamey 2013 for everyone!!!

Sunday, 6 January 2013

Attracting cannons

As mentioned before, I'm building a Bavarian horse battery. Actually it's finished, crew and all, but not based yet, so pictures will follow later. I'm also going to paint something else before I paint the limber I prepared for this battery just to have some change in 'painting scenery'. But that's not the reason for this post.

I'd just like to show a neat little trick, well beloved of the Warhammer 40K crowd who like to experiment with various weapons for their models while still retaining WYSIWYGedness (so actually representing said weapons on the miniature). They deal with the issue of a single model possibly needing several weapons with strong neodymium magnets, magnetising the weapons and their attachment points so they can easily be switched and are yet still firmly attached during use. I did something similar for the guns and limber:

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As you can see in these pictures, the gun, its base and its limber all have magnets glued to them. The magnets are various shapes and sizes because I want them to be not so noticeable. The magnet under the gun carriage is, well, under the gun carriage so is not visible in normal use and is thus the largest. The magnet on the base is small so I can hide it in the gunk and flock that gets applied to the base, and the magnet on the limber is small and round because that fit it best :). While these magnets are small they are strong enough, particularly because they are attracting each other, to keep the gun in its place whether it is unlimbered (I'll leave it loose on the base) or attached to the limber in limbered mode. In fact, the limber magnet is strong enough to drag the gun along when the limber is moved :). This way, I can have a single cannon for both limbered and unlimbered models.

The only tricky thing with this is that these magnets have, like all magnets until the LHC finds the fabled monopoles, two poles. You have to take the polarity into account when you glue the magnets down or the things repel each other, which is not what you want. The way I do this is glue the first magnet down, in this case it was the one on the carriage, then stick the second magnet to the first (it will automatically 'snick' into the correct polarity) and put a dot on the side of the second magnet that is on the bottom (i.e. away from the first). Then unstick the second magnet and glue it dot–down to the base or limber.

I get my magnets from (that's note a typo—it's a German firm, hence the supermagnete), which I highly recommend for their wide assortment and prompt delivery.

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

State of the Tiny Tin Man: past

Yesterday was New Year's day (i.e. we have arrived at a certain arbitrary point in the orbit of the Earth around the Sun, which is customarily taken as the beginning of a new orbit and thus of a new year—enter party hats, fireworks and falling over on the front lawn hugging a Christmas ornament). This seems as good a point as any to look back to 2012 and forward to 2013 (it being dual faced January, after all) and go over my hobby accomplishments (or lack thereof :) ). This post looks back at 2012, the next will look forward to 2013 and detail the obligatory wildly unrealistic gaming plans for that year.

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Two pages of my wargaming notebook, on the contents of which I based most of this post


2012 was not that good a year for painting. I totalled 210 Olley points, but fully half of them (107) were achieved in the last two months. Here's the breakdown:

January:   16 points
February:  16 points
March:     25 points
April:     12 points
May:       a vast absence of any painting
June:      a vast absence of any painting
July:      a vast ab… no wait - 2 points
August:    18 points
September: 2 points
October:   10 points
November:  50 points
December:  57 points

As a reminder, Olley Points were introduced by wargaming luminary Phil Olley as a means of tracking and predicting painting output. Classically, you assign one point to a painted infantry man, two to cavalry and extrapolate from that. For me, I more or less equate points to time, with one point being about three quarters of an hour of work—the time it takes me to paint a single 28mm infantry figure (The One True Scale) from bare metal to finished paint job.

As you can see, there was a big gap in painting output in spring and early summer. At that time, I was involved in a transition project at work which often meant working at night at home as well. And on those nights where I did not work I was usually too knackered to be bothered to paint. Luckily, Crisis in early November stoked the painting fires again, rescueing some of the year painting wise.

Games played

For wargames played 2012 was another strong year, with 20+ games of various shapes and sizes taking place, both at my place and at Phil's. Highlights include the many games with the Great Northern War and Napoleonic collections and the smash hit Antares 2401 narrative campaign at Phil's (I play Gamma Squad, Rattkopf's Jammers). We also played the first three games of the Raid on St. Michael mini campaign by CS Grant (set in the GNW), but that did not catch on as well as the Antares campaign.

Writing and blogging

I got two articles published in Battlegames Magazine (well, the first was 2011, but it was late enough to count as 2012 :) )—the Command Challenges in issues 27 (Malatitze) and 31 (By any means river crossing) are mine. The Schild en Vriend Plan for World Domination is coming along fine :). On the other hand, this blog was dying a slow death in the first part of the year, so much so that I considered retiring it. In the end, I moved the blog to its current home at Blogger which seems to have revived my post count a bit.


I did not find a blog post detailing which projects I would tackle this year, which is probably a good thing :). In 2012 I did not start a new project but steadily built up my existing ones, with more units for the Great Northern War Swedes and Russians, as well as Bavarians and Austrians for the Napoleonic collection. That last got a big boost due to the Crisis game this year, which focused on the crossing of the Stadtler Arm of the Donau during the battle of Aspern-Essling. The preparations for that game forced me to finish the basing of the existing units and paint up some new stuff. In addition to these horse and musket periods, I also worked on quite a bit of 1:300th WWII and modern scenery. But otherwise, no new projects were started, unless you count the embryonic mass battle fantasy which was kicked off with this trunk headed fellow.

On to 2013 in the next post!