Thursday, May 28, 2015

Enfilade! 2015 - There and Back Again... And Again... And Again

Enfilade! 2015 was this weekend. As I have done a few times past now, I drove there and back each day, rather than stay in the hotel. The experience makes me appreciate the wisdom of staying at the hotel. I live 82 miles north of the convention site, so every day was a 164 mile round-trip. Nevertheless, I appreciate being home every night more than I appreciate the convenience of staying onsite.

Day 1, I brought in a car-full of goodies to sell at the bring and buy. Unlike last year, however, I committed to running no games. That made round-tripping each day a little easier because I wasn't attached to a game schedule.

Day 2, I brought Phil Bardsley down with me. He and Kevin Smyth are the only founders of Enfilade! who still make appearances at the convention. This was Phil's first appearance for a few years, but Kevin is still an annual stalwart and ran three games and survived the obligatory drinking bout with the Canadians on Saturday night.

Day 3, I went to early Mass at my parish and then down again to cash out on my bring and buy sales and take home whatever I didn't sell. After lunch in the hotel bar with Kevin Smyth and Dave Schueler, I headed north. (Although I had to stop at Dairy Queen in Fife, WA to wake up, by this time I was getting pretty groggy.) Home by 5:00 PM.


The games looked pretty impressive. The White Rock and North Shore Gamers from Canada put on a couple games in honor of the upcoming 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo (June 18, 1815/2015): the June 16 Battle of Ligny, where "Boney beat the Proo-sians (Way-aye-yah!)," and Waterloo itself.

Waterloo: The Prussians move in
Waterloo: The Frenchies mass
The Ligny/Waterloo games were impressive, but looked a bit crowded for my taste.

Chris Craft put on a game of the Battle of Agincourt (an upcoming 600-year anniversary, October 25, 1415/2015) that won best of period. Unlike the original battle, the English were run over.

Agincourt: The French before the attack
Agincourt: The French press the English line
Kevin Smyth ran the first of his two Lion Rampant games on Friday night, but I didn't stay for it. Dave Scheuler and I had "bangers and baps" (and beer) in the bar and then I headed the long way home for the day. (The title pic for this post, taken by Doug Hamm, is from Kevin's first Lion Rampant game, the raid on Agen.)

On Sunday, Kevin and Dave ran their Raid on St. Nazaire game using David Manley's Action Stations rules, with some special rules of their own for the ground action as the commandos get ashore. They won best theme game for the convention.

St. Nazaire
New Stuff

I didn't buy much. The whole idea of selling things at the bring and buy is to reduce the clutter of stagnant or dead projects. I still have plenty of irons in the fire and I didn't want to just replace new stuff for old. However, I did pick up a few things:

  • More Gripping Beast/Jugula gladiators. The Game Matrix had a boxed set of Famila 1 for sale plus some single figure packs. I got the boxed set and one single-pack scissors gladiator. 
  • Books. Gary Williams was selling off a chunk of books from the estate of a friend of his in the West Sound Warriors gaming group in Bremerton. The friend died with a library of more than 6000 books on military history. I think Gary and his widow sold the more valuable volumes for the best price they could get, but Gary brought several boxes to sell at the price of $2.00 per book. It took me three days to realize that the price was that low, so I gleaned through what was left on Sunday afternoon, which was still enough to make me happy. One of the nicer finds is the book Redcoats and Courtesans: The Birth of the British Army (1660-1690). I've been interested in this subject and in the Restoration period of English history for many years. I started reading the book on Labor Day and so far it's an interesting read. I recall in Churchill's Life of Marlborough that young John Churchill got a good start in life through his dalliance with Barbara Palmer, Duchess of Castlemaine and somewhat neglected mistress of Charles II.
  • Paint 'n' stuff. I got a few Howard's Hues paints from Monday Knight Productions. No local retailers sell them. I can order them online from MKP, but I tend to look forward to Enfilade! as the time I replace and replenish my collection. I also bought a resin command post model for 28mm WW2 gaming. It's a model of the command posts emplaced on Tarawa by the Japanese. I knew MKP had the model and didn't find it last year, so I was happy to see one available.
  • Rules. In addition to the books, Gary Williams had some old rule booklets for sale at $1.00 a piece. I picked up a copy of All for One, which is a sword-fighting game for the Three Musketeers, along with a scenario booklet for All for One. The rules and the scenarios were produced for use with the Redoubt Enterprises Three Musketeers range. I also picked up a copy of Tabletop Games' Sword and Pistol Renaissance skirmish rules. 
  • More rules. Dave Schueler spoke well of Two Hour Wargames' Hell Hath No Fury rules for tank v. tank games, so I bought a copy from Ed Teixeira. Ed ran a game on Saturday morning (while I was driving there), which went well. I have a lot of unpainted 15mm WW2, so I don't have to buy any new figures for it (just paint 'em).
I hoped to find some Warlord Games' Beyond the Gates of Antares figures, but no luck. Not a big problem; John Kennedy carries them at The Panzer Depot.
Other than that, I stayed pretty good. There was nothing tempting me at the bring and buy. I might have picked up some Pulp Figures from Bob Murch on Sunday. He came down from Canada to sell his figures, but he appears to have left Saturday night.

Ex Stuff

I finally sold my 28mm 3rd c. Romans. Thus passes on a project started a decade back. I also sold my unpainted Romans and Sassanids. A lot of what I thought were bits and pieces sold as well. In the end, I did quite well and cleared a lot of shelf and closet space.

I also sold off my Field of Glory Ancients and Renaissance rules and all my army lists. I sold the two painted armies I had last year. They took a lot of shelf space.

Divesting myself of old projects and unwanted toys, books, games is cathartic. So far, no pangs of regret. One thing I didn't manage to sell was my copy of Terry Gore's Medieval Warfare rules. I bought them years ago for a small fortune and never managed to play a game with them. There was another copy for sale at the bring and buy and Kevin mentioned that he almost brought his copy to sell. There is apparently no market for these rules.

Serendipitous Encounters

Ed Teixeira of Two Hour Wargames was at the convention. He used to be one of our stalwarts up here until he moved to Arizona. I have been looking for some betting rules to use with my gladiators and faux Roman coins (the best damn faux Roman coins ever). I was discussing it with Dave Schueler when Ed walks in. He has something. I'll have to email him to get it...

Lost Tribes Update

The fabled lost tribesmen of NHMGS gathered at The Panzer Depot in Kirkland on Saturday. Eschewing Enfilade!, they played an 1814 Napoleonic War scenario instead, using the Black Powder rules. John posted an account of it on his blog.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

And Beyonder...

I finished my first Algoryn AI squad for Beyond the Gates of Antares (BTGOA) last night. I dallied on them for some time, but finished them quickly. A lot of the dallying was really dithering about what colors to paint them, etc. Now, having completed a squad, the color choices are pretty much baked. I hope that productivity will increase.

Body armor Vallejo Game Color Steel Grey (72102)
Chest, Shoulder, Knees Vallejo Model Color Brass (801)
Weapons Vallejo Model Color Gunmetal Grey (70863)
Weapons Detail Vallejo Game Color Hammered Copper (72059)
Body Armor Cables Vallejo Model Color Oily Steel (865)

I dry-brushed two shades of highlight on the body armor and then dry-brushed a slight bit of silver to give the effect of wear. Once the main painting and shading was done, I applied an overall glaze of approximately one part of Vallejo Game Ink Black (72094) mixed with 10 parts of Liquitex Matte Medium and thinned with maybe 3 parts water. (Honestly, I just guessed about the glaze mix and was happy to see it turn out so well.)

The boys in steel gray
The bases are 1 1/4" metal washers. I used plastic sheet cut into 1" diameter pieces to cover the hole in the washer, then glued the figures on that. I applied Elmer's wood putty over that. After it dried, I sanded and smoothed it, then I applied some glue and sprinkled some model railroad ballast on it. I did all this before primering the figures so I'd have the same white substrate. I applied a heavy wash of Vallejo Model Air Mud Brown (71037). The texture of the base is perfect for this kind of thing. There's no highlighting or dry-brushing needed to finish it. I applied some splotchy bits of Woodland Scenics Earth blended turf and finished off with some tufts of Army Painter Battlefields Wasteland Tufts.

Basic bases
The left shoulder plate has a raised symbol thingy on it. I figure this will make for a good squad designation. At first I thought I'd paint the shoulder plates a different color for each squad, but the symbol thingy works as well and is less obtrusive. For this squad, I used the same Hammered Copper as the weapons highlights. Future squads will have silver, gold, metallic blue, metallic green, etc.

First squaddies
The detail on the figures is pretty crisp and rewards a wash technique. The figures looked pretty good before the wash, but the detail really popped afterwards.

Back of Beyond the Gates of Antares
I'm pretty chuffed with how this first squad turned out. The figures are very nice, even though I did have one with some casting flaws, it's hard to tell after it's been painted. The AI squad figures come as solid castings with just the heads separate. Two of them are bare-headed (no helmet) so you can see the genetically mutated heads of the Algoryns. I figure that the race is evolved from a 20th/21st c. politician named Algor.

Progenitor of his race
I stopped by The Panzer Depot after mass and breakfast today and picked up another AI squad, a command team, and a light mag weapon (basically a BTGOA version of a MMG). I hope ("hope" being the operative word here) to get these new figures done quickly. The prep takes a while, but once started, the colors go on pretty fast and furious. As soon as they're done, we'll get a game going at The Panzer Depot.