21 September 2008

Various and Sundry Things. . .

Good morning everyone! Not a lot to report on the painting front, I'm afraid. The Grand Duchess roped me into a 50-mile bicycle ride (round trip) yesterday, which was organized to protest our state governor's plans to cut all funding for state parks and areas of historical interest. This would mean that many recreational areas would close indefinitely due to lack of funds. So, about 200 member of our area bicycling club met up for the ride to Moraine View State Park, where another 800 people or so had gathered to stage a peaceful demonstration. There was newspaper coverage of the half-dozen speakers, which included our stare representative from Bloomington. Voting takes place later this week, and hopefully it will go well. We'll see, but cross your fingers please.

Issue #14 of
Battlegames has been a joy the last couple of days. Lots of great stuff on painting, basing, the Seven Years War, a neat Table-top Teaser, and so forth. At the risk of going overboard, I think the magazine is the best one in the hobby today. Back in the 1990s, Miniature Wargames and Wargames Illustrated just lost something for me. Both were really good as brand new publications, but over time they seemed to become too commercial, or something -- $#@&^*! Blogger now wants to italicize everything I type!. Truthfully, the articles just weren't that great anymore either. Periodically, I have found myself in gaming shops and paged through issues of these publications in the last 15 years or so, just to see what's goin on and what has developed in the hobby since I let my subscriptions slide years ago. And the articles still aren't that interesting. Of course I'm speaking generally here, but what a watershed Battlegames has been since its first issue in early 2006. I hope things continue to go well for Henry Hyde because he's really onto something here.

Now, one of you asked me in the last few days if I might be tempted to try fantasy wargaming given my interest in the well-written fantasy article in this latest issue of BG. Sorry, but it's a resounding, "No, thank you, not really my cup of tea!" Although Dungeons&Dragons is what led me to historical miniatures gaming in the first place all those years ago, my creative needs and imagination are well satisfied by the Grand Duchy of Stollen project these days. And when that is eventually finished, I'll fast forward to the mid-19th century and very likely build up a couple of small imaginary armies wearing Albert shakos and picklehauben. Even if I was interested in building armies of orcs and demons, there is the question of time and money. I feel like I am a fairly slow painter anyway, and its a question of spreading my efforts and abilities too thinly. So, for the forseeable future, I'll stick to what I've been doing.

Hopefully, I can get in some painting for an hour or so most evenings in the next couple of weeks and make some headway on the current unit of hussars. Unfortunately, we have gotten into somewhat of a social obligation overload here at Stollen Central. Every weekend for the last few weeks -- and the next three -- we have been asked to various people's homes for dinner. Now, it's been very nice, by and large, with lots of wonderful food and reasonably interesting conversation. And I'm not one of these husbands who never wants to see anyone or go anywhere. But you do reach your limit after a while. And it does preclude any Friday/Saturday night painting. ;-)

The Grand Duchess and I have yet another engagement coming up next weekend, a conference in Minneapolis-St. Paul the weekend after (with various invitations from friends up there), and another dinner here the weekend after that. It's nice to feel liked, but whew! And this is on the heels of a rather busy August and September, socially speaking. So, I've respectfully asked the Grand Duchess if we can have a few weekends of relative inactivity as of mid-October. It will, by then, be time to put our feet up for a few evenings and simply spend some time enjoying home comforts. To paraphrase Michael Caine in the original Alfie, "Know what I mean?".


Bluebear Jeff said...

Yup, I know what you mean. Try doing Theatre for a while and you will discover that the term "free time" has no meaning . . . *grin* . . . it is a good thing I love doing it.

The contents of Battlegames #14 sound great . . . I wonder if my copy will arrive by month's end. Probably not.

-- Jeff

Frankfurter said...

Ah yes, lovely undisturbed weekends at home ... in October ... just in time for the local Tsarina to come with a huge list of absolutely necessary chores ...

Der Alte Fritz said...

Of course, you and the Duchess could come up to the Chicago area on October 11th and participate in the Big OSW game at the Marriot Lincolnshire Resort.

Per what to do after Stollen - there is no reason that you couldn't build the Stollen armies for the mid 19th Century. I'm thinking of doing a similar thing with 1806 and 1840 (far into the future) for Hesse Seewald.

Conrad Kinch said...

Preach on brother. Mrs. Kinch and I have had an avalanche of weddings in the last few months which have done terrible things to my painting schedule.

Battlegames 14 was a magnificent read, though I must say the fantasy stuff is a bit of a waste for me too. I love roleplaying, I just don't like fantasy as much as I used to.

A J Matthews said...

I agree, Battlegames is *the* magazine for our hobby. The others just lost it for me too.

It would be good to see Stollen preserved and developed into the 19th century. The Pickelhaube has to be one of the coolest designs for military headgear ever.

guy said...

Having just spent what seemed like the whole weekend in the kitchen engaged in mass catering for my wife's extended family who descended on mass, I did not even manage 5 minutes in my soldier room. I was quite productive over the summer but september seems to herald social madness again although it would be churhlish to say I do not enjoy almost all of it. The Windsor festival is on at the moment and there are always 3 or 4 military themed talks usually to promote new books. The question and answer sessions are usually good fun as the retired general contingent try to put the author on the spot.

Snickering Corpses said...

I still await the arrival of my own copy of Battlegames 14 here in Hesse-Engelburg. The perils of buying from a reseller of course is that it has to reach the reseller and then reach me.

I can't say fantasy gaming has much interest for me *unless* I were to get into some Lord of the Rings games. or perhaps, if I were to attempt a Narnian army. Which is actually tempting now that I think about it. I wonder who makes a suitably armored centaur miniature?

Conrad Kinch said...

It's good to hear that Stollen will continue on to the 1840s, my Ruritanians (or whatever they will be called eventually) live there (then?)

It'll be sad to see the Pickelhaube come to Stollen though. It foreshadows the advent of the beastly Hun and all that that entails; Ypres, Verdun, the Marne, et al.


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