Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Hobby Progress a Little Slow, But Steady

As work has ramped up, my hobby time has decreased greatly, being limited mostly to a little weekend work.  I've been basing and priming the Cold War infantry with, more or less, 48 company sized formations with some additional supporting stuff based, and about 30 of them primed at this point.  They don't look like much, but they take up a lot of space on my table.

Otherwise, I've been slowly painting a few figs for my post apocalypse, but nothing to really show there yet.  I also received a few figs from Black Scorpion.  My first order with them went smoothly and the resin figs are beautiful.  They are 32mm, and stand a little large among my mostly 28mm stuff, but not too bad since most of the 28mm stuff is over-sized a bit anyway.

One post-apoc fig and some old west stuff; they will all serve in my post-apoc gaming.  The old west figs will get a touch of  post-apoc-ness added to them, and will be part of a new faction.  I still need one fig crucial to the the new faction, and once found and finished, look forward to getting in a few post-apoc games.

Saturday, June 13, 2020

Cold War Infantry Arrive

I received my Cold War infantry order from Heroics & Ros a couple of days ago, and here is what 1066 (or there abouts) 6mm infantry look like (plus four aircraft):

I'm still amazed that I needed that many figs to fill out my forces.  These should allow me to complete various infantry formations for France, FRG, UK, US, USSR, and DDR across four decades.

There are a small number of older H&R WWII figs (Bazooka teams and whatnot), and a mix of both old and new H&R Cold War sculpts included.  Each formation will consist of only one type, older or newer figs, as the style and height is a little different between the two.  Most 1950s and 1960s formations will be the older sculpts, with the 1970s formations made of either old or new (not mixed within a given formation though), and 1980s all being the newer sculpts.

I do want to mention that I am particularly appreciative of H&R doing French figures with the MAS49/56 rifles.  I was originally a bit let down at the idea of either using the FAMAS equipped figs or US WWII with M1 rifles for the 1960s and 1970s French.

Along with the infantry, I picked up a couple of Yak-28, an AN-12, and a Jaguar.  I really wish that I could find a source for Mi-4 helicopters, but no luck so far.

These will probably set on the shelf for a few weeks, while I finish up some post apoc stuff that currently covers my work table.

Saturday, June 6, 2020

A Little More Post Apocalypse Junk

I finished another small batch of post-apoc bits.  After changes at work, this is all I've managed in two weeks.

The table of weapons is from Crooked Dice Arm's Dealer set, the barrels are 1/48 scale Tamiya, the blue-gray stacks of boxes are homemade, and the gray crate is from Victoria Miniatures.  At the rate I'm going, I should be done painting this stuff about 2178.

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Lights, Camera, Action... and Dice?

Several years ago, I read what turned out to be a very entertaining biography, written by an actor, producer, and director movies.  The most curious thing about the book was how familiar some parts of it were.  I have never been involved in acting, theater, or movie making, so the familiarity of portions of the book took me quite by surprise.

The first instance of familiarity occurred, when the writer talked about the passion he felt as a child, while seeing his first theater presentation, a musical that captured his soul, and would impact the direction of the rest of his life.  He talked about this passion at some length, about what he felt in relation to the presentation, and his enjoyment of becoming involved in the process a little later in life.

It was curious, not in that I shared the experience related to theater or acting in any way, but that phrases he used to describe his feeling about the experience were nearly quotes of my own thoughts about my hobby.  What I was reading was so familiar to me, that it almost felt violating at times.  At the same time,  felt a particular joy in reading this, and at the thought of sharing these emotions and sensations with another person, even if it was with respect to interests that were so far apart.

As I continued through the book, and he went on about the experiences of his profession, there was a recurrence of this experience with respect to my hobby.  It was inviting, and comforting, and yet in some ways, still almost unnerving at times how familiar his emotional experience seemed to me.

Eventually, he talked about directing movies, about the joy of creating the sets, with attention to the lighting and sound, about trying to create the feel of a place and time, about injecting the sensations of "experiencing" the set, and how the character of the set, was so much a character in the movie.  And, again, I understood everything that he described.  It was sometimes like reading my own words with respect to creating the game.  His movie was my game.  At least in spirit.

When I create my games, create the settings for my game, there is a similar experience, starting with researching the setting, the period, the feel of being there.  I explore not just the military aspects of the environment, but the flora and fauna, the architecture, weather and seasonal patterns, the culture, the daily goings on, the psyche, what are the peoples daily experiences, what is their world view, etc.  And how the goings-on depicted in my games change, or might change, all of these things.

As I create the settings for my games, I try to immerse myself in the environment, feel and smell what it is like.  What are the sounds surrounding me in the environment.  I imagine the stories behind endless details, about the origins of equipment and buildings, or how the families came to be there.  I see the evolution of the land and buildings leading to the time of my game.

I feel the oppressive humidity of the triple canopy jungle, the ocean breeze sweeping into the coats of my island, the taste of the fine dust that permeates everything in the desert of Iraq and wastes of my post apocalypse. 

I feel the energy of the tanks engines rumble,  hear the car tires on the pavement, feel the rush of land racing by under the power of jet engines, and hear the call of the alien beast marking its territory.

There are of course limits to what I can present on my table top.  limits to finance, time, and skill, but in my mind, like in a movie, I see it all, action in living color, I feel the earth under my feet, smell the stink in my nose.  I experience the adventure of the game in every way that my mind permits.  Immersion.

At the same time, I realize that the entire experience is corrupted by my subjectivity.  I don't really know what it was like to live at the time of the Claudian conquest, or to be a native on the island before it was known as Ponape, or know what it is to be an Afghan resisting the Soviets.  

I can only speculate, try to understand, and hope that I don't insult the reality too much through my interpretation.  And while my games may have more similarity to a movie than I initially understood.  I understand too that they are the culmination of infinity less work and skill, than the movies that I now compare them too.

Afterall, as so many gamers say, " Its just a game."

But it feels like so much more.