Friday, 30 December 2011

A new start for 2012

Well, it's exactly 2 years and a day since I last posted anything, and as is clear, I didn't get much done when I started blogging last time. 5 posts in and then the start of a new term hit harder than I had expected and it all fizzled out. I've found my feet at the faculty much better since then and have managed to sort my timetable out, so no excuses this time.

I've decided to give it another go, in the hope that it will motivate me to get more done this year than last. 2011 was a difficult year for most, and especially in the first six months I found myself taking on any work that came my way, just in case. While things got easier in the second half of the year, I had house guests almost perpetually, with a friend who'd been made homeless staying here for the last 4 months. I have got some painting done over the last couple of months, but nowhere near as much as I'd like. Restarting this blog is a way of making me do better, and structuring what I do a bit better.

So, first of all, projects for 2012. I know I suffer from "Oh shiny" syndrome as much if not more than others, so the idea of me sticking to one thing and one thing only is just not going to happen. However, I can't have no plan, for that way madness lies. So I will allow myself 2 major and 2 skirmish projects for 2012, and no more!

Main Periods
1. Napoleonics: My first wargames figures ever were some 25mm Minifigs Napoleonics bought from a shop in Winchester in 1977 when I was all of 8 years old and there is no way I could go a whole year without them. The good thing is I have bought almost all of what I need to get my two starter forces up and running. The first 4 battalions of infantry for Donzelot's 2nd Division at Waterloo are now done, and 2 proxy divisions for the 13eme Legere have been repainted, so I just need to do 2 more battalions (17eme Ligne) and that's done. Captain Cantin's foot battery is painted and based, and the 7th Hussars are primed. All that's needed on the French side is the 3rd Ch. a Cheval, and a couple of units of Cuirassiers - one of which (the 1st), is half painted.

On the British side, everything is bought, apart from the cavalry. I'd been waiting on the Hussars, but I still have so much to do that I think I'll wait some more and see if the Perry twins' British dragoons appear before the end of the year; it's still a long way away after all. I need to get a few of the infantry units and the artillery battery done before the end of March as I am hoping to host a game for Texas Jack from TMP. The rest, the cavalry, the French and British limbers etc etc, can all wait till later in the year.

2. Seven Years War: I've had a lot of Russian SYW troops for a while now, but nobody for them to fight (live in the Czech Republic and you have to provide both sides). Foundry having a 30% sale - making their figures nearly affordable - and my dear ol' Da' flying out from Blighty making the offer to carry stuff out for me meant I decided to take the plunge and buy some of the beautiful Prussian range, and at UK prices. A few days later and another order was placed - hey, it was Xmas! And then when my father arrived, I discovered that two of the regiment packs I had ordered were the wrong ones: Cossacks and Prussian Cuirassiers instead of Musketeers with lapels and Fusiliers without. When I phoned up I discovered that all the packs that were disappearing were being withdrawn for good, so I just reordered them instead, and will keep what they sent me. I can't believe they are removing all the packs just when I am getting into SYW... I guess there will be a lot of trawling of Ebay from now on. This project is where my money will be going this year.

3. SAGA: Like many others I have caught the SAGA bug. I was lucky enough to get in a test game at Salute last summer, and despite the game ending with mutually assured destruction, it was a blast. I've bought quite a lot of scenery and enough figures to do warbands for the Anglo-Danes and Vikings. When the Conquest infantry come out, I'll buy some packs of cavalry and one of infantry (I want shields with bosses and I'm too lazy to bother with converting them) and make up a Norman band too. I already have some Foundry crossbowmen and some BTD Norman bowmen waiting. The only other purchase I envisage here is a pack of the Gripping Beast unarmoured plastics when they come out, but you never know.

4. 15mm Sci-Fi: The final project for 2012. It should have been 2011's skirmish project but it got sidelined. I have found a good set of rules in Gruntz, and the unit cards are easy to use for my son, who is the main reason for me getting into this in the first place. I have bits and pieces from Khurasan, GZG, Rebel Minis and Combat Wombat and am sure that I'll be adding bits and pieces throughout the year. The beauty of this is it is free-form, everything works with everything else and I can pretty much add anything I want (or more properly Seb wants) into the mix. It doesn't hurt that it is so comparatively cheap either!

So, those are the projects. I am going to set myself a target of 50 painting points a month (28mm: infantry -1, cavalry - 2, gun + crew - 5 / 15mm: 1 squad/tank/walker etc - 5 points). It's a high target, but it's better than setting the bar low - and I have to get things ready for Texas Jack come the spring. This blog is primarily going to be a motivational tool for me - but if anyone stumbles on it and finds it interesting then that will be an added bonus. And it's great to have my first follower in DeanM, especially since he is one of my inspirations.

Well, it's been a long post. Next time I hope to get a couple of piccies up as well. That beats a wall of text any day.