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carcassonneRecently my painting pace has slowed, but with a great reason.  I listen to The D6 Generation while I paint (I highly recommend them for some great entertainment even if you don’t play the games they talk about (which I don’t)).  One of the games they talked about a lot was Carcassonne, and their wives seemed to like it.  I thought I would give it a try, and I’m glad I did.

My wife is a very keen monopoly player (the game bores me to death) and we have played scrabble many times (she kills me) but not for years.  We mostly spend our “quality” time when the kids are in bed watching dvd’s as we have no channel reception on the TV.  I suggested we try the Carcassonne game and she VERY reluctantly said she would give it a try.  Now I knew she was just humoring me and had no interest in trying a “geek game” as she loving refers to them.

Well, I kicked her butt, but she wanted to try again.  In the first week we must have played seven games, all of them suggested by her.  This game is a winner guys, give it a try.  It’s gaming light for us, but you can get your significant other playing and it’s fun.

The game is a tile laying and puzzly type strategy game, but is great fun.  We have since ordered the two player only version, Carcassonne the Castle and are busy trying to get to grips with that.

Give it a try!  Only your painting will suffer.

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Yorkers, Spartans, or Romans?

I was trying out a few different eras/wars to see what sparked my interest in January.  I have usually been doing a lot of painting when this happens, and I start to loose a little interest in the current project.  It’s a month later now and I’m back in the saddle with AWI now, but I wanted to get this out there.

I read a number of Osprey titles on The War of the Roses, Ancient Greece, and Rome.  I did some serious reading on The War of the Roses, but after around 4 books, I still didn’t know who was a Lancastrian or a Yorker?  Still very interested in the period, but knowledge of the subject is important to me.  I enjoyed my reading about Ancient Greece, but sheildwall-esqe type of battles don’t really interest me in the long run.

Finally I found a website, Geektactica, that inspired me to try the Romans.  With a British wife, I decided to work on the Romano-Galic conquest/rebellion type period (that’s a working title, until I know more about the period).

So at this point, I include some Roman Legionnaires, Early Imperial I think, with my last order from Baccus.  They were pretty great as far as quality it goes.  They paint up like a dream!  I really think you could have a great looking mass of these troops in no time.  I used four basic colors on them and that’s it.  You can get shield transfers, but that increases the cost another .5 times and I don’t see the point for 6mm.  I just painted some uniform shapes on them and went with it.

Here are the test models.  I think they are best viewed from a few inches away.  I see that my closeups are not flattering with the metallic paint.

I’m not sure I’ll still be into this period by the time I’m actually ready to start another project.  But I’ll have them on the back burner.  I want to finish this project and see if I need to make any fundamental changes in the way I do things.  IE, I suspect my bases may be too large to allow manoeuvre on a 6ft x 4ft table.  If so, I’ll have some thinking to do.

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Stick with the Red Coats

As I near completion of my Saratoga Campaign project, I have been getting itchy feet for a new period.  I will not abandon AWI, but would like to expand my painting to cover two periods at once.  I don’t really fancy going back to 7YW yet as it still fills the same niche for me that AWI does, but I like AWI more.

My first choice was Colonial British wars in South Africa.  I love the uniforms and the period is dripping with atmosphere and great movies to watch for inspiration.  A quick trip to Amazon for Zulu and Zulu Dawn and some Ospreys later, I was definantaly ready.  Even better was the fact that Baccus was expanding it’s colonial british range at a fantastic pace, the stage could not be more set.

First roadblock: No interesting battles.  The more I read the more I realized British colonial battles are pretty much one sided affairs with the Brits decimating the natives.  So the redcoats stand there and volley at the charging savages until one side breaks.  With the occasional decimation of the Brits to almost break the monotony.   I like a bit of maneuver in my games.

Second roadblock: No rules that I like.  The more I looked at different rules, the more I decided there were no interesting battles.  The rules I did find were simple enough though.  I think this period is more suited to skirmish gaming, but that is a purely personal opinion.

So as I drifted from the Zulu wars, glazed over the Sudan campaign, I read more about the Boer Wars.  This was a fascinating conflict.  Two huge forces duking it out in the wilderness.  Problem is, how do you game Boers?  They were rarely seen by the brits (sometimes for entire battles) and there were a number of night actions and ambushes.  This war seemed to hard to game with any level of real flavor for the period and still be fun.  Worst of all, the British uniform switched from the brilliant red to boring old khacki for almost every unit.  Not much fun to paint.

Well, I realized this sometime between ordering the Baccus figs and their arrival from Blighty.  When they came, I had to paint a few, right, just to see how they looked.  When units arrived in SA, they had nice shiney white helmets that they quickly stained with tea so as not to stand out very much.  I didnt’ really like this look, so I did some test models both ways, white helmets and tea stained helmets.

I also painted my very first 6mm beard and mustache with this group.  I couldn’t pass up the opportunity and the figures are that good that you can see them.

I was quite impressed with them, too bad I won’t be painting more.  Here are the test models in all their glory.

I had my first mishap with an order from Baccus with these troops.  It seems about half of the bayonets were broken off during shipping.  I emailed Pete and he resonded with his usually high standard of customer service.

There was a game called Martian Emprires that I would consider with these troops, but I couldn’t find a suitable martian race in 6mm to even give it a try.  I’m not sure that I’m ready for VSF but if anything would get me into it these figures would.