The Blog of Michael T. Murphy and his lifelong obsession with "little army men" and their imaginary glory, miniature wargaming, and other things...

Friday, January 1, 2016

2015: A Year in Review, and 2016: The Shape of Things To Come....

Good morning dear reader, and Happy 2016!
2015 is behind us now like, well....history, and 2016 awaits us all with whatever surprises it has in store for us.

This little blog o' mine seems to be slowly growing. From 2014 when I had 27 followers and 23K page-views to 33 followers now, and 31K page-views. I appreciate all of the support.  I'll be honest, sometimes after a long week, or weekend, or project, or painting session or just "life in general", sitting down to scribble up an entry into the 21st Century version of "Dear Diary" is one of the last things on my mind.
But enough about me waxing philosophical...lets wrap up 2015 and look towards 2016.

2015 in Review....

Of Cons and Men....

2015 saw me run my first convention game in YEARS...really, almost 10 years I do believe.  Although I had been attending conventions as I always have been...2016 will be the 38th year of my gaming/convention experience, (having started gaming in/about 1978 and cons in 1980), the actual games I run at them are few and far in between. I guess I like being the attendee more than a runner, but I think it's also due to the fact that I see all of the big old beautiful tables and think,,,,"Gawd, I can never get to this level of awesome." and deep down I believe that a lot of us are intimidated by that feeling. We want to be "that guy" that puts on those games where people go "WOW!". It helps our inner Napoleons, and feeds our little ego monster.
I will admit, that when I have people compliment me on games I ran for them 2,3, 5, 10+  years ago, and they are still talking about, well...it does humble me and warms me, because I did something for them that was enjoyable and that they liked so much that they remember it so well.
It's a good feeling.

But anyone can really run a good game. The basic formula is this:
A = Fun for all
B = A chance for everyone to win
C= Simple, easy rules, and judgement calls that won't destroy a persons chances simply "because".
D= Nice figures, and Terrain. (this equals the most time really)....\

So A+B+C*D= Fun and a good game....

I will admit that I was very nervous about Chili Verde but I had played it out and tested it. And when I set it up at Little Wars, it well....went off pretty dang well.....

I also feel sorry for poor El Capitan Empanada as he is the ONLY figure to die in both the test game and the REAL game....

The Little Wars convention had me wanting to do it again this year, and I look forward to it...

Things that happened...and didn't happen....

So 2015 also saw me jump into two new genres....
For the last year or so I have been floundering between the Witchfinder General Rules, and "All Quiet on The Martian Front".  The elements and story-lines of each was what got me going on them.  Friends of mine know like Victorian/Gothic style horror games, or games where I can run stories to give "flavor".
I got a chance to play AQotMF while at Little Wars, and while it was an okay game, it didn't impress me as much as I thought. I think simply because the game was too big to be run by a single game master. Some smaller games would've been nice.  The models are very nice though but are indeed pricey. I do believe also that due to the recent shenanigans of AoW/AD and how they just seemed to implode, that we shall see a lot more of their stuff on ebay.
I'm thinking this year I might take the plunge for the rules-set for WG and start sending men off into yon English countryside to root out witches and what not....

2015 also saw me completely withdraw from Bongolesia.
What's that you say?!?...Did I abandon it?
Heaven's no.
I will admit that I do enjoy my precious 15mm minis and my little third world African hell-hole has become something of a quasi-legend. It's just that for the year 2015 mostly, I focused on my 28mm figs for the convention game, and for other things. In my head I have been playing around with Bongolesia for a bit, but I wanted to take a bit of a break from it. But it wasn't all dust and quiet. I did  paint up some armor for Bongolesia's mysterious neighbor to the South, The Fandango Republic.

Now that my main 28mm purge is behind me, I will be focusing some time on my little African Paradise and get back into the adventures of P'hat Daddee....

2015 also saw me working with more advanced painting techniques, and inks for the first time in any real amounts as to add to anything. I do say that I believe that my painting skills have increased.  

2015 also saw me experimenting with the Reaper Bones plastics. Overall my opinion of them is pretty favorable, and they are more cost effective.

Adding to the lead pile....

2015 saw me make some serious additions to the lead pile. Mostly in the realm of 28mm however my 15's did get some love also, but mostly it was a 28mm frenzy.
Purchases from Bob Murch of Pulp Figures, and Blue Moon, OG, Crusader, Dixon, and Knuckleduster; as well as a score on some ebay figs.
It's a slow steady process but I have been cranking out the painting..but not half as fast as adding onto the amount of lead.
For the final days of 2015 (in fact "the final day" ,  I made my last 2015 purchase from Foundry. I was able to get the following:

(Yeps...picked up the whole lot of them....)



(Just the group of proper gentlemen I need to go hunting in the dark, deep, woods...hellhounds or werewolves be damned!)

Foundry was running their 20% off Christmas sale, and well...I jumped on it....so I got $120.00 in purchases down to $96.00 AND FREE SHIPPING FROM THE UK!!!  Something tells me that Royal Post isn't going to be happy with that.

So in a week or two or three or sixteen, I will have my little packages coming in.


Plans and Schemes for 2016.....
So with 2015 behind me and a ton of paints, and figures patiently awaiting the brush, and terrain to be built, I am looking at what I want to do for the upcoming year.
Now I could go about and make plants and outlines, but I know I will never follow them. 
That being said however, here is what I would like to do...
1: Run a game or two of "Fury of Dracula".  
2: Get a couple of basic Hirst Arts Molds and start to work on my Egyptian Temple/Tomb Complex.
3: Finish the 3rd incarnation of The Bongolesian Presidential Palace.
4: Finish painting up the rest of what is needed for my invasion game....

But most of all, play and run more games with my friends....

Because deep down, that is what it is all..."really about"....

So for all my friends and readers out there, here is hoping that 2016 will be good and bright to you, and that the dice roll in your favor....


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