Thursday, 5 January 2012

It's gonna be the future soon

So much for 2011, what are the goals for 2012?

Well on New Year's Eve mi hermano prognostico Jonesy came round to my flat to see the new year in, and rather than just do our usual video-watching evening thing, we chatted and amongst other things discussed future gaming plans for 2012.  We each came away with an immediate gaming project (which we'll both co-operate on) and some slightly fuzzier longer term plans.  We both generally agreed on "do more gaming" as a good resolution to start with.  Jonesy's project for 2012... well really he ought to start his own bloody blog to discuss it.  For now let's just say it takes the idea of playing with toy soldiers to the next level.

Now I'd already been thinking about plans for next year.  As I mentioned in the last post I'd been thinking about Tomorrow's War and my old 15mm SF stuff.  On the plus side I have a metric tonne of infantry, and would only want to buy some vehicles to make up a couple of modest fighting forces for it.  On the big down side, it would be another period and scale where I was completely going it alone.  I have a couple of friends (Marvin the ARVN and "t'other Chris" )who gave TW a try using Games Workshop Warhammer 40K armies, while Jonesy and the Other-Other-Chris are planning on going back to their legendary Stargrunt games in 25mm, but using the Tomorrow's War vehicle rules.  As it is, by raiding my lead mountain I can get in on both those actions - I have a fair selection of Alternative Armies Ion Age figures in Heroic 28mm, which fit well with GW figures. Including a half-decent number of Shia Khan figures which are already painted.  In 25mm I have a 3/4 completed UNSC Powersuit platoon, an airmobile unit in VTOLs with gunship support. Plus delving deeper into the lead mountain, I have tons of 25mm Denizen figures (Federation, Ventauran and even K'hiff) and a selection of resin vehicles that could serve either scale.  So if I'm going to be doing any science fiction gaming this year, it makes sense to be planning for 25-28mm

But for the new year project, I took a different approach.  Instead of  asking what period/scale I fancied doing, I looked at what resources I had already got in various states of completion, and what bringing any of them up to a state of full readiness would enable.  In the end I decided that the city terrain project, if brought to completion, could be used not only for the originally planned Victorian steampunk games, but with a couple of updated buildings here and there could also work for pulp, modern or near future games, including  zombie games.

So the short term plan is to push for completion of the Victorian City terrain.  While that's ongoing I'm going to try to paint a decent number of non-period specific zombies, mainly my old Games Workshop plastics and a box of Mantic zeds which I ordered over Xmas.  Once completed, the City would then be ready for both full-on GASLIGHT street battles and steampunk vs Zombies games.  Phase 2 would be a selection of more modern looking buildings that could be swapped in, to adapt the city to use in modern day/near future games.

I've always been fond of non-military skirmish gaming, which is why I've already got a modest collection of Foundry Street Violence/ Copplestone Kill Zone (from EM4) and Future Wars (from Copplestone Castings) figures.  For my Xmas present for this year, I've treated myself to a smorgasbord of new 28mm figures from a variety of source, all suitable for modern day/near future gang wars.  I have yet to see if my current daub n dip technique that works so well with Victorian/Steampunk figures will also be suitable for more modern looking figures.

Thus far the main objective - complete the city terrain ASAP, with a view to using it for both Victorian and Modern games, which may or may not include Zombies.

Other sideprojects I'd like to spend some time on next year...

  • Not so much a sideproject but more a tweak to an existing game.  I'd really like to do some GASLIGHT/VSF games with more of a big battle feel. Although I'm fairly confident that in practice we could manage larger games in GASLIG|HT with experience players, I'm getting some fierce resistance to the idea from the people I play with.  To that end I'd like to do some experiments with multi-figure movement trays for units in close formation and possibly look at some alternative rulesets, maybe even a return to the venerable Soldier's Companion from Space 1889, or Larry Brom's "The Sword And The Flame".
  • I''m still intrigued by the possibilities of The Portable Wargame in conjunction with Heroscape hexed terrain. It's my intention to delve into the old 15mm colonial/VSF figure collection and put together a couple of late 19th century armies for it, with a view to producing a genuinely portable wargame set, as per Bob's original vision.
  • I had a lot of fun dusting off my old 25mm fantasy/medieval figures for Rally Round The King last November.  It might be fun to get them properly rebased into elements and maybe pick up a few character figures as heroes and magic users - I noticed that Mega Minis produce the old Julie Guthrie Grenadier Fantasy figures, which are as beautiful as they ever were, and Denizen are still producing their fantasy range, both of which are excellent sources of 25mm fantasy characters and very cheap by modern 28mm standards.
You'll notice that apart from possibly buying a few bits and pieces, all three of the above sideprojects mainly involve doing something new with stuff I already have, rather than buying too much new stuff.  In some ways I'm going to try to make that a major theme of this year - to make better use of the stuff that I've got rather than adding to the lead and resin mountain for the sake of retail therapy.

Finally, with metal and resin prices still rising, I want to be on the lookout for cheap toys that can be pressed into service for any of the above games.  I'd especially like to find some cheap tanks and military vehicles for 28mm, seeing how a 28mm MBT/APC can set you back £20 a piece in resin.  So I'm going to try to hit the Pound shops a little more often this year, and maybe look for some other sources of bargains (like car boot sales)
So in summary, the plan for 2012...
  1. Complete the City terrain (PRIORITY)
  2. Keep painting Steampunk/VSF figures
  3. Paint Zombies
  4. Paint Gangs & Police for Chain Reaction/Flying Lead "street violence" games.
  5. For Tomorow's War - complete UN Space Command (for 25mm) and/or Ion Age (for 28mm)
  6. Try tweaks to GASLIGHT or other VSF rules for bigger battle feel.
  7. Build 19th century Portable Wargame setup in15mm from existing figures
  8. Rebase and flesh out 25mm fantasy/medievals for Rally round The King/HOTT
  9. Don't buy any new stuff unless it's to complete a particular subproject.
  10. Look for cheap toys that can be repurposed for gaming
  11. Play more games
Heres to 2012 everyone.  May your best in the year just passed, be your worst in the year to come!


  1. You've got a fair bit on your plate there - I wish you the best of luck with it Sir!
    I concur the thought of trying to paint what you already have rather than buying more! But thats the wargamers curse... can't help buy more...

  2. Great plan, I look forward to reading about your progress.