Sunday, July 4, 2021

ACW Zouaves in 10mm

Painting productivity has slipped precipitously of late.  With good cycling weather and increased gaming opportunities, time spent at the painting desk has all but evaporated.  Just like rainfall out west, painting output in June experienced an especially bad drought.  What is the equivalent of climate change when focus shifts from painting to gaming?  Perhaps this too will be cyclical?

Anyway, off the painting desk are a bunch of 10mm Zouaves for the ACW project. Four regiments to be precise each having 30 figures.  With these regiments mustering out, I pushed five, equivalently-sized regiments of Federal infantry into the painting queue.  As mentioned in an earlier post, I purchased a half-dozen bags of infantry to bring some understrength regiments up to full muster.  More than 500 figures from this tranche remain to be painted.  Figures are Old Glory.   
While I am uncertain if painting productivity will increase significantly in July, I am making an attempt.  On the workbench are two stands of Sumerians and the start of Battle #4 for my young WotR project.  With a fourth Battle on the books, I might even consider running Richard's WotR rules for a remote game.  This would allow Richard a chance to play his own game.  I bet I could learn a lot from watching the author play his own rules.  If the ACW infantry, Sumerians, and WotR units can march off the table by month's ends, I will call it a success.   
On the gaming front, last week's Tuesday remote game saw a return to the Mexican-American War in 15mm.  The Americans were victorious in a hard-fought battle.  Details of the action can be found at: Yet More Mexican Action.

Saturday saw a return to F2F gaming with another local compadre as we fought a WWII armored battle on the Eastern Front.  Rules in use were Combat HQ.
Combat HQ is a set of rules to which I was not familiar (or even heard about) before Saturday's action.  With me in command of the Soviet armor, I am sorry to report that my forces were overpowered by the German counterparts.  Maybe I will have a better grasp of the rules and game mechanisms before I am called up into battle again. Still, great to see some longtime gaming friends for the first time in more two years.

For this week's Tuesday remote game, I will make a second attempt at hosting.  Scheduled for the session is the Battle of Montgomery.  Will history repeat itself?  We will see.  

50 comments:

  1. Cycling and ftf games took up your time? Sounds like......normalcy. Surely you'll get some rainy days and cancelations which will give you more painting time. ;-)

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    1. I should not make it sound like complaining. I am fortunate to have time to devote to hobbies. There is always the long winter for painting.

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  2. I don't think you should be too concerned Jon...the hobby is called wargaming after all, not figure painting! I have been thinking of mentioning a strange phenomenon I have noticed....in general, I seem to get a noticeably higher number of comments, on average, about painted figures than I do about game AAR's....maybe you could analyse your own blog to see if your experience is similar? Given playing games with the toy soldiers is supposed to be the main focus, it struck me as slightly odd.....

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    1. I've noticed that on my Blog too Keith. Funnily enough I prefer AAR's to painting, mainly as as a 10mm gamer, there is little for me to see, with the post an exception of course!

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    2. Keith, comment count by type of post is an interesting question. While I tend to receive similar number of comments on each, my hypothesis is that commenting on a painting post takes less time and effort to read and absorb than a comparable battle report. Carefully reading a BatRep and making a meaningful comment is more work than saying, “nice job.” Sometimes, a BatRep requires one to know the rules to understand the flow of the battle. That may reduce the quantity of comments too.

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    3. I agree that postings about painting receive many more comments or reaction than anything to do with a game. Jon is right that it is easy to give a knee-jerk "nice painting" reactions than make considered remarks on a game.

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  3. I tend to paint and game less in the Summer months, where as with the arrival of September and the onset of Autumn, the reverse is true. Somedays it's simply too hot to paint as the paint seems to dry before I've got it off the palette onto the figure!

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    1. Before COVID and remote gaming, I gamed infrequently. Much of my hobby time was spent sitting at the painting desk. Now, much more time is spent at the gaming table or working on scenarios. I may need to pull out my Painting Seasonality chart again for a refresher but late fall and winter are typically my big painting seasons.

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  4. Nice job on the 10mm, I particularly like the flags and am impressed if they are painted cast on metal flags.

    Good to see your F2F gaming returning, I don’t think any of us thought the road of isolation would feel so long when it first started (mid march 2020 for us in the UK), but it has run long enough for many of us to have actually broken some behaviours - choosing which ones we want to get back in to might be the interesting part.

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    1. Thank you, Norm! The flags are hand painted on the cast metal flags.

      Good point on the impact of isolation on the hobby. I wonder if remote gaming will remain a hobby fixture in a year or two? What about conventions or shows! Will they return with robust attendance?

      Which facets of the hobby have changed for you?

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    2. The chances of remote gaming staying is, I feel, dependent on a small body of people who took the necessary steps to get kitted out and enthused / allowed others to play. I am guessing that much of that same band come from the groups that were very active on the face to face front and ‘real world’ gaming may now take much of their attention. So I think remote gaming has been established as a viable outlet for some and it will stay, but it will become less ‘vogue’.

      I am hoping that conventions / shows will bounce back and feel pretty sure that 18 months of absence will sharpen people senses of what they have lost i.e. they will have greater appreciation …… but I wonder whether lockdown behaviour has pushed many gamers into relying on the internet and they may result in a trend of just supporting the shows closer to home, rather than 200 - 300 mile round trip.

      That would reduce footfall, but spend per person might increase at the fewer shows they attend - that is very much guesswork, as I am quite keen to resume my habits of throwing the net wide.

      For me, lockdown primarily has taken away face-to-face gaming for a persistent period (and it has still not resumed), but I am fine with solo play and so that situation has not been drastic for me (or pushed me towards remote gaming), I am essentially quite a private person, so that also helps.

      Secondly, not doing shows has been a bummer, because I love attending and immersing myself in the day, it is a day of total self indulgment in terms of hobby - I want it back!

      My spend with traders has remained consistent via internet purchase, with that also including purchases from bricks and mortar stores.

      I don’t particularly feel that lockdown has diminished my hobby passion at all - it still consumes far too much time …. Hooray!

      I think post lockdown will simply see me return to all of my pre-lockdown wargaming behaviours.

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    3. I really enjoyed reading your thoughts on this topic, Norm. I hope your gaming world returns to the pre-pandemic state it was in before the Year Lost.

      On the other hand, the possibility of remote gaming has opened up a new world for me. Gaming with people from across the globe would have been very unlikely without the lockdown catalyst. A world I hope does not disappear.

      It will be interesting to see the results of this year's Great Wargaming Survey with respect to spend.

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  5. I think it will be sometime before we feel safe to host FtF games in our house, given how relatively small UK houses are compared to say our American cousins.

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    1. I understand that hesitancy. We had a good discussion on the effect of anti-vaxxers during Saturday’s game. Have you tried your hand at gaming via Zoom yet?

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  6. Outstanding job at this scale Jonathan, superb painting and impressive effet de masse on your Zouaves!

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    1. Thank you, Phil! Lots of 10s en masse look good to me too.

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  7. Nice work as usual Jonathan, and I had forgotten that you had the 10mm ACW project on the go. I think you are correct in your analysis about AAR posts, in that I go to quite a few blogs and start reading some interesting AARs with a view to returning later when I have more time to complete reading the post and then comment, but sometimes forget to do so. Which is a real shame as there is usually much more effort that goes into compiling a decent AAR.

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    1. Thanks, Lawrence. With so many projects, I sometimes forget what I have too.

      Writing a BatRep requires a lot more effort to produce than a painting post. Painting a unit takes a lot of time but the main effort is in the painting. A BatRep is an effort throughout the process. Like you, I will flag a battle report to read later at leisure and then fail to make it back. That is my loss.

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  8. Your Zouaves are numerous and very attractive, Jon. I think 10 mm works especially well for the ACW.

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    1. Thanks, Peter! I agree that 10mm works well for recreating large, ACW battles.

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  9. Excellent looking troops for masses on a table.

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  10. You seem to be trying out quite a few rule sets recently with F2F and virtual games. Do you rely on the rules QRS along with hope and a prayer?

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    1. True, Peter. I rely on QRS and guidance from the GM. “F2F” is my shorthand for “face to face” gaming and not a ruleset.

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  11. Beautifully painted Zouaves, Jonathan. Besides your outdoor activities, you certainly have a lot of gaming hours in too!

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    1. Thanks, Dean! I am getting in a lot of gaming hours, for sure.

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  12. Good looking teeny tiny zouaves! You're going to have to change your tag line soon because it's not rarely that they get into the fight these days!
    Best Iain

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    1. Iain, you are so right about the tagline. I have been wrestling with that of late…Still, MY troops are not often in battle but that situation may be changing as well.

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  13. Good plan as well as miniatures;) but it seems like a difficult choice among better options: cycling, painting or games.

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    1. With resource constraints, our world is full of trade-offs, isn't it?

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  14. Everso well done on some very small sculpts, especially those flags which look hand painted. (?)

    Glad you are getting to play lots more it seems. There is no gaming scene where I live now at all and I have to drive 1 1/2 to 2 hours or more to a mate’s house to be able to ( or them to come to me). A bit much for a day trip with a 4 hour tabletop commitment I fear.

    Am thinking of looking up some solo rules options.

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    1. Yes, flags are my impressionistic hand painting.

      I agree that a commute longer than the gaming session may not be an ideal situation but I have done it. Not recently, though.

      I enjoy solo gaming so you might enjoy it as well. You could also consider taking a stab at remote gaming if there are no locals with whom to game.

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  15. I dunno; it’s just as easy to say “nice looking game” as it is to say “nice looking miniatures.” I think AAR just take longer to read. And longer to write so maybe the effort versus the payback is off.

    Nice looking miniatures! 😀😀
    I do like the look of 10mm ACW.

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    1. You are funny!

      Of course, you are correct. Typing out a terse comment takes no more time regardless of the length or topic of the post. Now, you have me wondering how many actually read these battle reports before commenting. I hope many since as you state, writing battle reports can be a big undertaking.

      I ought to make an attempt to get the 10mm ACW on the gaming table.

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    2. Bloody hell Stew, you have let the cat out of the bag...now I am going to have to read every line of people's AAR's....thanks a bunch!

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    3. I will keep my eye on you two!

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  16. Those look fantastic, Jonathan! I love Old Glory 10mm, even had a boatload of them, then sent them to Steve for some @#$%in' reason...

    I can't wait to see more of yours, which are much better than I could hope to have done.

    V/R,
    Jack

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    1. You are very kind, Jack! I have a few thousand of these Old Glory 10s painted. I need to get them back onto the gaming table. They have been dormant for a very long time.

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    2. A few thousand, painted!!!??? Goodness, I'm green with envy! Yes, get them on the table, please!

      V/R,
      Jack

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  17. Nice looking unit Jon. You need to get that cycling in while the weather is good. There is certainly a direct negative correlation between gaming and painting which is interesting as of course you need to do one before you can do the other.

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    1. Thank you, Matt! For cycling, much better to get the miles in outdoors while the weather is good before winter forces me back onto the trainer. Those trainer sessions are still a long way off.

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  18. Painting those little fellows surely counts has double productivity on the painting front. We have to make the most if any fine weather, here in the UK it seems that it is rather infrequent. I certainly hope to continue remote games with George and Matt. As for shows I am not holding my breath for this year but one can hope.

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    1. I wish! They only count half of a 15mm figure with respect to Painting Paints.

      Good to see that you expect remote gaming to continue. That is encouraging.

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  19. Very smart Zouaves, enjoy the cycling, you can paint all winter ;)

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  20. Splendid little fellows Jonathan…

    What a terrible predicament you are in… Paint toy soldiers?…Play with toy soldiers? Or go cycling in beautiful countryside?…
    I just don’t know how you cope 😂
    All the best. Aly

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    1. Thanks, Aly! I know. Terrible predicament. I will try to manage the stress and uncertainty…

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  21. Good looking troops!

    I am not yet tempted to get back into ACW but 10mm looks like the way.

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