Friday, January 29, 2010

January in Review

It's unlikely I'll get much more done in the next day or so. I finished a surprising 62 figures. Of those 40 were 28mm figures. Sounds like a lot? Well, not so much. In December I received as Christmas gifts 110 28mm figures. Admittedly I wasn't out buying a big bunch of figs like that every month-but just as an example. Just to be clear, my goals are to finish 40-60 figures per month. I know that's a wide spread, but my overall goals are to finish 500-600 figures over the course of the year, and that should keep me on track.

February my goals are to finish my second unit of 15mm SCW militia and complete or make progress on my 36 figure 2nd Maryland Regiment and a twelve figure unit of Welsh spearmen for the Crusader Rules.

Addendum: One of my goals for the 2010 is game a bit more. I actually managed to play three miniature games in January. My goal is really to make it to two, so I feel like I had a good month. The next game I'm planning is a Maximillian game on February 20th at Game Matrix.

While I resisted the temptation to buy any figures in January-actually I was only tempted one, briefly-I did buy two sets of rules. The first was British Grenadier by Partizan Press. I really like them, but they'll take some playing to get used to them. I also downloaded Rank and File by Crusader. At $6.75 the PDF was a bargain. They are probably the opposite of British Grenadier, pretty generic covering a wide historical period. Perhaps some tweakifying will make them an good set of convention rules for the American Revolution.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Maxmillian in Mexico: A project complete

I'm posting pictures of my Imperial Dragoon unit to show that it is indeed done. But, this unit also ostensibly ends this project. It's done ta da. As you can see there are a lot of figures. I like to play the Sword and the Flame expansion for this period.

How do I know I'm finished? Well, all my figures are painted. That's easy. They are also a combination of Wargames Foundry, Guernsey Foundry, and Richard Houston figures. They aren't available anymore. The Mexican militia is a combination of Old Glory and Guernsey Foundry, so theoretically I could get more, but why?

Alright, in truth I could see myself adding one more gun to each side, but the guns and gunners come from my pile of unpainted ACW figures, so that wouldn't be a big sacrifice.

One thing that is very cool about this project is it grew out of the many conversations we had at Escape Velocity in the late '70's. I originally painted them up for Camerone, and I've been picking at them since the late 90's.

At the top are pictures of the Republican forces, starting with militia on the left, with regular foot and their commander on the right. The two Republican cavalry units include lancers and frontier horse called Regulares.

Faithful blog follower Dean Motoyama pointed out that these are indeed singly mounted. I believe they are my first singly mounted project. I originally played the Warpaint rules with them, and have since gone on to TSATF variant I mentioned earlier. Just for the record, I don't think single figure games are bad, I just think the proliferation of them, especially at conventions, is curious.

At bottom are the French forces I have. The folks in white trousers are Foreign Legionnaires-the sacrifices at Camerone, and on the left are French regulars. I may actually repaint the latter a bit giving them darker complexions as Imperial foot. These would actually be Mexican troops. Finally, a picture of the Imperial dragoons are below. These are Richard Houston figures which used to be cast at The London War Room. Wargames Foundry never actually executed the cavalry for this range, and so I pressed Houston's guys into service. The were cheap and easy to paint. Alas, with the death of TLWR, the figures have passed away as well. The last batch of guys in skirmish order are the Contra-Guerrillas. I only have six, and they were nasty bastards. I'd love to locate at least four more.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Painting-How to Save a Life

I'm living a stressful life. Last month I lost my father-in-law, a good man whom I miss more than I believed I would. I'm smack in the middle of trying to arrange the rest of my mom-in-law's life, which will mean moving her out of her house into assisted living, and making the dollars work. My job is stressful-teaching semi-unmotivated sophomores U.S. history and English. My other class, journalism is wonderful, but demands long hours and fixed deadlines. I suffer from insomnia, and am worried about my finances. Gah! I have a lot going on.

Thank god for painting figures. I've been making a point of painting every night for at least 45-minutes to an hour. Often much more. As you can see, I've managed to finish some figures too. My Mexican Imperial dragoons are done, and now it's on to some more 100 Years War figures that have been sitting on my painting desk for a while.

I know for many folks painting is not relaxing. I usually find it quite so. I usually am watching a movie and painting. Casey got us a wireless access point for our blue-ray players, so we can stream movies on Netflix, so I can always pull up something new. I'm not a super fast painter, or a super good painter, just persistent, so I'm hoping to get a lot done. That I'm not starting any new projects, and that I'm just painting what I have is pretty liberating. Let's see how big a dent I can put in my pile. Anyway I'm just having fun. Unfortunately, I'm on deadline this week, so I may not be able to keep it up.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Rules and the Report From Up North

My British Grenadier rules arrived from WarWeb on Tuesday. It only took a week, which was great, though the postman saw fit to fold them over in their carboard container. Grrr. I gave a long look to them, and I am anxious to try out a friendly game. There is a fair amount to do--not for the faint of heart, but not as busy as Flint and Steel was. I like the disruption points, the mounting and the idea that they are usable at 1:20 and 1:10.

I'm also including some pictures from my Canadian colleague Doug Hamm. His work is beautiful, though I'm not sure I always agree with his taste in projects. The first picture is of Pakenham's British massing for an assault on Jackson's lines at New Orleans in 1815. A nasty slaughter indeed. The two remaining pictures are his remount of his gorgeous French AWI units, Front Rank figures, that he is organizing for an assault on British held Savannah in 1779. Another brutal riverside attack. The figures are pretty, but the battle is not.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Entry 200: MLK Weekend Gaming

I have a couple of topics I'd like to cover in this entry, my 200th. One topic that's been raised is regarding NHMGS participation at multi-genre game conventions such as ConQuest and Dragonflight. I have a connection and a certain attachment to these cons. They are run by good people whose company I truly enjoy, gamers like me who just enjoy different games.

Gabriel Vega is the owner of Avalon games that runs the ConQuest conventions up the west coast. These are for-profit conventions, meaning if there is a profit, he gets it. It's risky, speculative and challenging. I wouldn't want to make my living hosting conventions. He is a kind and generous man and I enjoyed working with him four years ago as a historical miniatures coordinator. Mark Verdeck is the man at ground zero for Gabe, who lives in Southern California. Mark coordinates the coordinators and has his finger on the pulse of Seattle area gaming. Well, some of the gaming.

Which brings me to my next point, and that is the NHMGS connection or lack thereof to ConQuest and Dragonflight. First there is no official NHMGS policy on these two conventions. I can say that as the president. After my term as Enfilade director expired, I agreed to work for both conventions and tried to drum up business in historical miniatures. For one year I had success at each, but not beyond the one year. I can't account for this. It's the same convention, the same location and not many variables between years. For what ever reason, members were reluctant to support. I can offer several examples, excuses, explanations, and I'm not sure any of them are correct, but here goes:

  1. Both conventions are costly--unless folks pre-register months in advance. Our guys just don't do that. At Enfilade folks can pre-register up until about May 10th. The difference for our guys between pre-register and walk-up is five bucks. A much bigger difference for the other two.
  2. Historical miniatures are like round pegs in square holes at multi-genre conventions. Guys can show up with board games, or 40K armies, or to role-play and can expect to find someone to play their game. If I show up with a historical miniature game, unless I have friends coming to play it, the chances my game, which I just paid a sizable admission to host, likely won't get played. I have been to cons hoping to do "missionary" work, trying to draw some interest from those who weren't historical miniaturists. It just didn't work. I have scars from trying.
  3. These conventions have little to draw historical miniaturists beyond a place to play. We don't all have homogeneous interests, use the same set of rules for a historical period beyond, perhaps, DBA or Fields of Glory. There isn't a big promotion or even a guest they could offer us to spur interest. The money isn't there, and the directors don't know our branch of the hobby well enough. That isn't true for the CCG players, the role-players or the GW gamers.
In any case, I write this not to bad-mouth ConQuest or Dragonflight and their practices. I think what they do is great, but we are just not the audience meant for their convention. I would never discourage our members from attending, and, in fact, encourage them to attend if it suits their time or budget. Many of our guys also cross over neatly to board games, and that's another avenue to enjoy the con. It's more problematic as a historical miniatures venue.

Monday was the Martin Luther King holiday, and as a school teacher I had the day off. There were enough of us celebrating the holiday that we agreed to get together for a game at Game Matrix. Mark Waddington offered to run his Isandahlwana game. I'd heard much about it, but never played, so I raised my hand and said I was interested. The game is a simplified version of The Sword and the Flame, so skazillions of units are easily run. The British start the game knowing they will eventually be slaughtered, but they earn points for breaking Zulu units (which are recycled) and the Zulus earn points for killing British, capturing the camp and wagon park, as well as those fleeing Brits that may wear red or bear the regimental standard.

We got there on time and the game was a pretty quick set up. I offered to play Zulus, and ran the right "horn" with Arthur Brooking. The job of the right horn in this battle is to be the blocking force as British resistance to the Zulu onslaught breaks resistance in the encampment apart and refugees begin to flee the camp. The entry of the right horn was delayed until turn 3, so it took some time to get going.

Arthur and I had five ten man units. He launched one of them against one of the 24th Regiment's companies and played a key role in driving them to destruction. I took the other four units and began driving across the Savannah--smack into the Natal Mounted Rifles commanded by Dave Schueler. Dave played it pretty cagey, always withdrawing in front of surging commands and giving us a blast in the face for our troubles. He always got the draw after my leading units, so was able to evade our charges.

That worked until he ran out of real estate. By then I was across the trail leading to the ford over the river, and the few British refugees from the debacle in camp were accounted for by Zulu units. Though our units had no part in the serious fighting, we did finally dispatch Dave's horsemen and were facing no further organized units when the game was called. The right horn had moved into the narrow pass and the block was complete. Mark declared it a victory for the Zulus, though not an overwhelming one. All in all it was much fun.

It was a sort of weird day however. There was major fire in some shops just up the street. Three shops including a thrift shop and tire store were badly damaged and firefighters fought the blaze most of the time we were gaming. The smoke got nasty at times, depending on the way the wind was blowing.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

The Queue

I've put together a painting queue for myself. Kind of an order of jobs that are awaiting painting. It keeps my head in the game and organizes my paint jobs. It isn't inflexible and the order or even the type of jobs waiting can be changed; it just keeps my painting going.

Mostly I expect my painting to be 28mm Hundred Years War and American Revolution, but I'm going to keep some 15mm stuff going too. I'm starting with Spanish Civil War until I run out of stuff. I don't have a lot left. I finished some POUM militia last night, and probably have something less than 100 figures left to paint. I'd like to add more, but I have other 15mm items to work on: 1st Jacobite Rebellion, DBA armies, and 15mm fantasy. I imagine I'll have my fingers in all of these before 2010 is done.

I made my first purchase of the year. No, not any figures. I ordered the British Grenadier rules by Partizan Press, and I am anxiously awaiting them. I also definitely decided on a rules set for the aforementioned Jacobites--King's War by Bruce Bretthauer. The former because everyone seems to play them and they have some elements I like. The latter because they're cheap and easy, and also because everyone seems to play them. King's War is a little representational for me, but I'll just shut up and go for it.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Year's first unit: The 64th Regiment

I've fiddled with these guys for more than a month, and now they're pretty well finished. The 64th Regiment fought at both Hobkirk's Hill and Eutaw Springs, so they are a nice addition to my collection. They are mostly OG southern light infantry, I ran out of command figures so, the command stand is straight British command. I mostly appreciate that I didn't have to paint facing colors on all the figures-not just because I don't like painting facing colors, but the black facings are just so je ne c'est qua-ick!!

The picture at left is the 64th, the picture at right shows them with the South Carolina Loyalists. My painted regiments grow and grow. Since Enfilade I've added the following units:
63rd Regt.
64th Regt.
Volunteers of Ireland
South Carolina Loyalists
3rd De Lancey Battalion

My Drumbeat game with Darin raised the possibility of running my Maxmillian figures again. I haven't dragged them out in quite some time. It also reminded me that I have one French/Imperial cavalry unit left to paint and then that project will be totally completed. So, last night, while watching Episode 7 of last season's Big Love I got all ten of the little fellows ready to paint. After I wrap up the 64th and a unit of 15mm SCW, it will be on to the last dragoons of the project.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Drumbeat 2009

Lots of important annual events began as small, informal affairs that magnify in their impact as time goes on. Bing Crosby used to call his little stop at Pebble Beach on the PGA tour his "clambake." I think Dick Larsen's gathering on Beacon Hill each January similar. It's something special. It has the merit of location in Seattle. It is intimate. Although I ran a game virtually all day, I could still get around to see most of the games, say hello to friends, see what was going on.

Max Vekich and Herbie Fairbanks hosted a pretty substantial Sword and the Flame game in Afghanistan. It was almost as long as my own game, and all the gamers seemed to have a good time. Bill Stewart hosted an American Civil War Game using Black Powder Rules. More about this later. Mitch Berdinka and Mark Waddington hosted a Napoleonic game using La Salle rules. Damond Crump hosted a good looking Patrol game down at the far away end of the room. Dean M. ran some WWI WABishness, and Mark Serafin ran Kampfgruppe Commander, and Gary Williams had some very cool 28mm Jacobites. .

As promised, I ran my St. Jean game, and old friends Darin Howard and Tom Biecker were two of the players, together with friend Joel and Darin's brother George. Darren, Tom and I go way back to the old Fire and Steel Napoleonics days and seeing them is a very pleasant blast from the past.

Joel took the role of Prince Edward/Warwick, while George was Holland. Darin managed the town defenses while Tom was Eu in charge of the fortification. Though the result was pretty similar to last week's game, the process was a lot different. Darin pushed the town defenses into the houses, though the French players also built the barricade defenses. I gave them a barricade to defend on the bridge as well, which made some tough sledding for the English. It was historical, and I thought it made sense. The English assault force of knights took it from light bolt shooters on the towers (which I remembered to pack.)

George's assault on the barricade started off well. He employed his arrowstorm effectively, and made average die rolls to beat up militia on the barricade. He effectively dispatched a small force of town militia that Darin used aggressively to buy time. The militia crossbows were pretty ineffective. More thoughts on this later. George pushed aggressively on to the barricade.

Joel's assault also had considerable initial success. He ran his three knight units right up the bridge and attacking at the barricade. He took a lot of missile fire, but absorbed it, and even though he suffered a lousy exchange at the barricade, held morale until the French defenders withdrew inside the barbican. The arrow exchange with the cogs was no contest, with the defenders swept clear after two turns of sustained fire with the longbowmen. The Welsh slowly, but successfully waded the river and eventually joined the attack on the barricade.

George's assault ground down as he ran out of effective assault troops. His Bretons were snuffed by knights on the barricades and he was forced to use his bowmen as shock troops. The results weren't pretty, but he effectively eliminated Darin's command and wore down Tom's regular troops. The barbican defenders were faced with troops assaulting at the front door, and as Joel was able to move to the flanks. By the end of the game (turn 10) with English on the roof of the gatehouse and the barricade thoroughly breached I declared the game in favor of the English. It was a good, tight game and all players were clever and creative. I thoroughly enjoyed gaming with all four of the guys and look forward to doing it again.

In terms of the scenario, a couple of ideas have crossed my mind. I'd like to move the river a bit closer to the Prince of Wales' side of the board and give Holland a bit more ground to cover. I think the English bow fire works well. I think the crossbow fire is penalized a bit too much. I think giving them half fire works, but eliminate the additional penalty for firing at knights. Still penalize for firing into fortifications and behind cover, but allow for the enhanced penetrating power of the crossbow.

Next game is at Game Matrix on the 18th. All of we public employees, or those not working, will get together for a little Zulu action.

Friday, January 08, 2010

Single Figure Gaming: Reflection

Just in time for our fall Citadel (Official publication of NHMGS) I wrote an article entitled "What's Up With Single Figure Gaming?" It was more a navel contemplation than anything else. However I was disturbed, no I think disturbed is the wrong word, puzzled is probably better at some of the discussion around last year's Enfilade. I had considerable conversation around the Best of Show Award. In the talk about which game should be considered for Best of Show, none of those included games with multiple basing.

As I thought some more I realized that, at least at our annual convention, fewer and fewer massed battle games appeared in our program. As someone who was raised on massed battle games-Napoleonics, ACW, Ancients, I felt something was amiss. However, I conceded that single figure games had considerable appeal, and that I also had many single figure projects-Hundred Years War, Space 1889, Maxmillian in Mexico, and Lewis and Clark. There are also single figure game systems I really like, the most important being one of my two holy grails of rules inspiration The Sword and the Flame (the other being Fire and Fury.)

After the article was included in the Citadel, time passed and there was no real response, I began to believe it was just another article nobody read. I was okay with that. However, my good friend Dave Schueler, god bless him, hung it out there on our yahoogroup and asked for responses. Thankfully all the replies were reasonable and civil. Most offered explanations that I'd already thought of, and even mentioned in my article.

First, it is much easier to get involved in a period if there are only a handful of figures required for entry. Honestly, if there were only ten or twelve required, I'd probably lose them, but this view, espoused by Bruce Meyer and others are perfectly valid. I know when I get involved in a project, I think of a hundred painted figures as being pretty small, but I know that isn't true for everyone.

Another reason suggested is because single figures usually represent smaller bodies of troops, and many miniature gamers simply identify with those smaller bodies. Whether it is fighting Zulus, the Cheka, or Martians, fighting on a smaller scale of command makes the impact more immediate and the consequences for poor choices seem more real. When your squad light machine gun is knocked out and all you have left to fight with are a couple of broom-handled Mausers and a Zippo lighter, you know what I'm talking about. Yes, I exaggerate, that's what I do.

Steve Winter and Pat Condray(!!!???) actually reminded me (and all the readers) that single figure gaming is really nothing very new. The earliest days of miniature wargaming media from Donald Featherstone and others in the early 60's included single figure games, and that multi-figure bases really began with WRG's first commercial sets of rules.

Again, great points, valid ideas all, and I really did learn some things. I guess my question remains: how goes the multi-figure based, massed battle? Are they a thing of the past, a dinosaur that we'll see only in constantly diminishing numbers until they're gone altogether?

I guess I have several responses:

First, Enfilade is a fairly small sample size. I am in contact with several folks who have latched on to some of the most recently released sets of rules. Chris Craft plays Crusader Rules for his Hundred Years War project, and I hope to be joinging him in this soon. Tomorrow at Drumbeat Dick Larsen will be hosting a game using Black Powder Rules, a new and costly set of horse and musket rules. LaSalle, a new set of Napoleonic rules by Sam Mustafa are also available and Mitch Berdinka will run a game tomorrow. I don't know how widespread the interest is and how many folks actually play these rules, but it will be interesting to talk with them.

Second, massed battle games are more likely to be popular if game communities opened themselves up to more club-style gaming. When I played Napoleonics in the 70's and 80's it was a success because there were six or seven of us that each had literally thousands of painted 15mm Napoleonic figures. For some, that was all they played, for me, and others it was one period of many. It was impossible for us to put together the kinds of big games we played if others participate. I remember that as we fell away from our French guy, others of us painted French figures as well in order to continue having a French presence. I simply don't see a very club-like atmosphere in which multiple people contribute to a whole project. There are some exceptions. Mark Waddington and I have worked very hard to put together our Martian projects. Doug and I do the War of 1812. There is the FoG group of guys and the Puyallup Gamers and their WAB projects, but each player is bringing a complete discrete army to the table and competing against one another. The same with the NAGS DBA guys, who I also see as a pretty unique community.

If I have one cause I can point to for the decline of massed battles in the Puget Sound area, it would be the loss of club-style gaming. I might just add that club style gaming seems alive in well in places like White Rock just across the Canadian border, and I'm certain it's happening elsewhere. The White Rock guys regularly host big games of Shako and Fire and Fury. I'd also add that massed battle gaming is almost impossible without club gaming and if there is one aspect of my younger years as a historical miniaturist I miss, it is that. However, I'll also say that I have a view of history and what my figures, my games should look like, and while I doubt I'd exclude anybody interested in combining with me, I know what I want to get done and that is often playing a near re-fight of historical battles.

I want to conclude by repeating that again, this is all a matter of personal preference and a good game is a good game-single figures, multiple figures, it really doesn't matter. However, in terms of the historicity, hmm, no red line it must be a real word, I do think there is something lost in translation. It's difficult for me to imagine a refight of Guagamela, or Agincourt, or Waterloo, or the Somme with single figures. Though my own sites are not set quite so high, there are battles I hope to do: Guilford Courthouse at 1:10, Poitiers (1356) at 1:25, and perhaps others. I can't see managing those with single figures. Will those games be considered irrelevant or unsightly? I guess I can't say.

Monday, January 04, 2010

A New Leaf

I know I've already blathered about my goals for the new year, but I want to share a little bit more about them and some of my reasons for them.

My goal is to buy very little in the way of new figures this year. I have a few important reasons.

First, I have piles of unpainted lead. Here is a perfect example. For the American Revolution I have the figures to paint the following units:
2nd Maryland-32 figures
1st Virginia-40 figures
2nd Virginia-40 figures (well I don't actually have them but they should arrive from the WarStore on Wednesday-A Christmas gift so I don't have to blame myself)
71st Regiment-24 figures
23rd Regiment-24 figures
Von Bose Regiment-32 figures
Converged Grenadier battalion-24 figures

These don't include literally hundreds of less organized miniatures I have for this period. It would be nice if AWI was the only period that was stocked so well. Unfortunately all of my 25mm periods of interest have similar piles o' lead. 15mm projects are a little more scanty, and I can actually see adding to them, but I can simply jump from one 15mm project to another if need be.

2. I simply don't have as much money to spend and I'm embarrassingly in debt. A lot of that "free money" went to pay for my piles of lead that I haven't painted. My goal this year is to reduce my debt and not spend an unnecessary centime on a figure. Any money I do spend on figures will need to be on an as needed basis. In other words, if figures are needed to literally wrap up a unit or even wrap up a project fine, if not, I'm not buyin' it. On the other hand it does cost money to even paint in this hobby, so expenditures for primer, dullcoat, paint as needed and Litko bases are expected.

Finally, I hope to be able to support my mother-in-law if she needs it. Rita has been very good to me over the years-and has gotten me some nice gaming goodies at Christmas and birthday times. I lost my father-in-law a couple of weeks ago which will leave her in challenging straits. It will be tough on the budget, but it's a lot more important than having the latest miniature I may not paint for years. Geez, I may have to wash out my mouth with soap on that one.

There are few purchases I can see myself making:
1. A few more planes from Reviresco for the Spanish Civil War (assuming I paint the three I have first.)
2. A few more 1/600 WWII gunboats for Action Stations from PT Dockyard. I've actually painted all my stock, and would like some more Fairmile B class vessels. At the present time I don't have any unpainted gunboats. I do have three unfinished destroyers, and I have some clean-up to do on LCS-1, but the bulk of my small boats are all done.
3. Last, but not least, I would like to add more units to my Spanish Civil War project, mostly Republican militia and Communist troops, but I also need some Spanish Foreign Legion battalions. Likely I'd purchase Peter Pig figures from Brookhurst Hobbies. But, I'd have to finish what I have first.

I've also reset my painting logs to reflect not only figures painted, but figures purchased. Then readers can see if I'm sticking to my plan. I'll be honest, I promise. My blog is kind of my confessional.

I included a few pics. There are a couple shots of my painting table as of today. The redcoats are Old Glory figures. They'll be the 64th Regiment. I hope to have them done by the end of the week-we'll see. There are also some 15mm SCW figures to work on. The unprimed horsemen are 25mm Hundred Years War figs. They are lightly armored horse who could be hobilars or even free company horse that might make an interesting single figure scenario. I also included a picture of what I like to call my "drawers of shame." I have a pair of four-drawer storage units that are literally full of unpainted figures. The two I have pulled out are my AWI drawer and one of my HYW drawers (I have two.) In addition to these eight drawers I have other little caches of minis in my den and in the garage. It may not be the worst collection of unpainted lead ever seen, but it is ridiculous.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

New Orleans Up North

Doug Hamm sent me some pictures of his pet project. Doug's always wanted to do New Orleans 1815 to complete his War of 1812 project. One of the units he's been interested in is Plauche's New Orleans militia. These troops wore uniforms surprisingly, or maybe not surprisingly, that look like French Napoleonics. There are two pictures of Plauche's battalion and one of the Jean Laffite's Baratarian pirates that manned heavy guns along the American defensive lines. The pictures highlight Doug's brilliant painting, as usual.

Friday, January 01, 2010

Year's End Assessment

Today is the January 1st, and it's time to look back as well as take a look ahead. It's been an odd year. Some good, some not so good.

I took on a new project in 2009--my Lewis and Clark project. I enjoyed painting the figures and running the game. There was a great play-test process that was at times disappointing, but in my final runs of the game, I really enjoyed it. I do think it requires some patience on the part of the players, but, heck, it's based on my vision, not theirs. This project is complete.

After Enfilade I really invested my time in three areas: 100 Years War, American Revolution in the south, and the Spanish Civil War. As I've stated before, HYW is the goofiest of the lot with two separate projects with two separate mountings. Both the singly and multiple mounted projects will be fun. The latter is for use with more serious rules systems, and it's unlikely I'll be ready to play Crusader Rules or Medieval Warfare for some time. My goal, as I've stated before is to play Poitiers. Chris Craft also has figures mounted for these rules systems. I still have many figures to paint for both mountings, so I should be painting for some time.

I've established the goals, and more importantly the limits for my AWI project. I have in mind five battles-Cowpens, Weitzels Mill, Guilford Courthouse, Hobkirk's Hill, and Eutaw Springs. Many of the units on both sides make into more than one battle, so there is a lot of duplication, it's just getting those units painted. I have a lot of the figures to paint up these troops, though some of the battles, such as Guilford are just much larger than what I have at 1:10. One of my big problems is rules. I am likely going to use British Grenadier which allow me to keep my present mountings, hahahahaha. I laugh because I'm in the process of remounting my AWI back to 40mm square bases. I like the use of disorder points in these rules-they remind me of Loose Files-but seem to have a bit more oomph to them. I don't own them, and they will be my first purchase of the new year. I've added figures on both sides this year. Tory units-the Volunteers of Ireland, South Carolina Loyalists, the 63rd Regiment, and a small unit of North Carolina Continentals. I have many unpainted figures for this period, and I expect to continue adding units throughout the year.

In August I hosted a Spanish Civil War game using my 15mm figures and Dick Larsen's Non Pasaran rules. The game went well and it sparked an interest in painting the figures I had. I picked up a few more Peter Pig figures and added some Italians from the Flames of War collection. I'm priming up a couple of battalions as we speak, and will doubtless add at least four more units during the coming year. I'd like to scratch-build some entrenchments to go with them, but the most important thing I need to do is play some games with them.

Last year I painted just over 480 figures. Mostly 25's. My focus will be these three periods, though I suppose some other goodies could sneak into my painting queue. I don't envision many purchases, though I would like to add to my collection of WWII Action Stations vessels. When I finish my smallish collection of SCW figures, I'll choose another batch of 15mm stuff to work on. I have some DBA armies to paint, my 1688 Jacobite Rebellion project still awaits my attention, and I have a whole pile of 15mm fantasy figures to work on. My big hope is that I actually play more games than I have the last year or so. I need the fun in my life. I miss my friends.