Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Blitzkrieg!

I have some new additions to one of collections this time around but first a milestone of sorts. This is my 100th post since beginning the blog in May 2009. By my calculations, that's one post every four days or so. Whodathunkit? I only noticed this because a fellow blogger mentioned the same milestone for his blog on TMP.

So, onto the new additions. Although I'm in the home stretch for painting my Carlist Wars collection (only 30 figures to go), I've been inspired of late to carry on with my 28mm WWII 1940 project (you can see an earlier post here). A couple of weeks ago, as I was preparing to leave for Historicon, I received two separate Crusader figure orders in the post. One contained the figures to finish off my French platoon (one squad plus rifle grenadiers for all the squads) and the other more substantial order brought me an entire German platoon with support weapons. As you can see from the pictures I lifted from the Crusader site, these are the same sculpting style as my French (one of the requirements for my new projects...keeping the style consistent, if possible). The ironic thing about the German batch is that I had made the order several weeks before Historicon when I thought I wasn't going down. By the time I had made the decision to attend the show, Old Glory had already shipped the order. I could have saved the shipping costs...oh well.

I haven't yet put any of these new figures on the painting desk as I've been finishing off some Carlist Wars additions (coming soon to a blog near you) and the WWII vehicles in the photos below. These I've also had packed away for a number of years, unpainted and neglected. As I was waiting for my Crusader figures to arrive and since we've playing more WWII lately, I decided to pull them out and slap some paint on them to add some variety to my future German platoon. All are superb models from Army Group North Miniatures in Toronto.

Sturmgeschutz IIIC.
This guy will provide some close-in HE support for my German platoon.

Some transport for my support weapons teams. The Opel Blitz truck can tow the Pak 36 anti-tank gun and/or carry the mortar teams. The Sdkfz 10 (1 ton) I can see pulling the 75mm infantry gun. In game terms, these will be eye-candy for the most part. Disposable Heroes games tend to be close-in, infantry-centric affairs where support weapons find a safe place to deploy and remain there for the relatively short duration of the action.


And some heavier armour to face off against the French R-35s and S-35s. This is my new medium armour platoon comprised of one Pz IVD and two Pz 38(t)s. This group will add some much-needed weight to my light platoon (see it here). The Pz 38(t) is one of my favourite tanks of the war, mainly because of its look. Something about all those sharp angles and rivets!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Historicon 2010

I was able to make it down to Historicon again this year. The decision was made relatively last-minute to go down and help out Ken at the All the King's Men Toy Soldiers booth. I met up with Ken on Wednesday at the Valley Forge Convention Center to construct the booth. After some pre-show concerns about loading/un-loading concerns, the unload was a breeze and the set-up quick and easy (as was the pack-up on Sunday...dealer hall closed at noon and we were packed up and driving away at 12:35!). There are a number of conversations on TMP about the facility so I won't bore anyone here with details. Suffice to say that the convention center was well-lit, well-air conditioned, and clean. The hotel rooms were a definite step up from the Lancaster Host and the only minor quibble about the place would be the reliability of the elevators. I suspect that, given the obvious superiority of the facility over the Lancaster Host, most of the angst and bad comments I've noticed on-line are rooted more in an aversion to or fear of change than in any real-world negatives.

Ken and I had a great show, of course, and we were able to meet up with old friends and customers. Working a trader booth can be tiring but it's worth it, at the very least, to have an opportunity to talk gaming all day long with willing participants! And the drinks and cigars were pretty good too! My thanks again to Ken for making the trip possible and enjoyable (even if I apparently can't do Beer Math).

We also were able to see number of great looking games, but one in particular caught my eye. This was hosted by Architects of War on their own terrain and run by no less personages than John Stallard of Warlord Games and the Perry brothers. The terrain was spectacular and the figures quite nice (they were all Perry figures, after all). The gun-fire smoke even had blinking LED lights inside and a soundtrack with the sound of cannon and musket fire was playing in the background. You can see the lights in the (admittedly very bad Crackberry) video below:

video

The lovely Spanish village occupying one end of the board. This entire building complex was raffled off at the end of the show. Unfortunately, the right person didn't win!

Spectacular sculpting around the bridge!


Small military encampment. This is a good example of how the little things can bring a game to life, even if they have no direct bearing on the playing of the game.

Village square.

Small garden: again, a good example of how little things can bring character to a game.

I didn't spot this one until a second pass-by. A proposal in action!

A simple haystack/manure pile. This is minimalism at its best!


One last photo of a different game. This one is a Carlist Wars set-up using Black Powder rules. Another nice Spanish town but I found the boards rather drab. I have an issue with all games set in the Iberian Peninsula depicted with brown, drab terrain. But that's a rant for another time!