Sensibility was never one of my long suits

I sat down with Mrs. Smyth, my favorite person in the world, and revealed my momentous decision.  I was going to order all the figures I needed for my Aztec project and put them on my credit card.

I’d just paid off my card from all our summer expenses on the Alaska cruise, so this was kind of a big deal.  I promised to pay it off from my fairly generous allowance, but it meant I had to be good. Record purchases at a minimum, and a planned flight to Mexico was out (yes I’m kidding.)

I told Lorri it would be about $150 with orders to Eureka Miniatures USA and Outpost Wargame Services in the U.K. A hundred fifty bucks.

Dreamer

Two Hundred fifty dollars later, the orders are in.

The Eureka order arrived in no time.  I sent it in on Veterans Day, a holiday, and it got here Monday the 14th.  That’s good service. No it’s better than that. I contacted Rob at Eureka USA about my previous order about being shorted some figures in packs, and he sent along up the “make-up” guys together with the Huaxtecs, slingers, Spanish swordsmen, porters and command figures I ordered. Life is good.

I received an e-mail from Outpost on Sunday.  I’ve purchased Tlaxcalans to fill out the last of my Spanish allies. I needed 48 figures, I ended up with 80.  Hardly anything.  But with shipping and insurance it did add up to 99.75 quid. Supposed to mail tomorrow (Tuesday) so I’m looking forward to it. At least a real person named Jeff contacted me as opposed to the goofball non-human at The Assault Group.

In any case, the two orders will keep me painting for a while.

Rule Changes

I was pleased with the changes in the rules at The Museum of Flight game.  The Aztecs were able to hold their own a bit better.  However, they did become a bit too aggressive around the unit of horse and the war dogs.  I think I will require them to be “fearsome: when charging them.  That will likely make life harder for the Aztecs.  May also allow both units to countercharge, so they will fight with their attack factor too.

Music to Paint To

selling-england-by-the-pound

With mounting concern about space for more record looming, I’d kind of taken a bit of a break from record purchases. Sort of. Temporarily. Sigh. Back off the wagon now.

I picked up a copy of Selling England by the Pound by Genesis. This is the 1973 version of the band that would go on to mega-stardom in the late 70’s and 80’s built around singer/drummer Phil Collins. The Selling England version fronts vocalist and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Peter Gabriel, though Collins is there and does take a turn at the mictophone. The lead guitarist is Steve Hackett, though Mike Rutherford (Mike and the Mechanics) also play s 12-string and cello. The terrifically talented Tony Banks is on keyboards It is an interesting mix of the kind of English folk music that band its start, with some solid guitar work, and the synth sounds that would become a hallmark of the band.

This is a concept album.  It’s a collection of stories and fables that blend together to become part of a theme. I confess I’ve listened to it only once, which is probably far less than than it deserves.  The first observation, is that, musically, this is a fantastic record. Unfortunately it didn’t fully grab me. In 1973 it was not uncommon to have  to have seven minute plus songs. On Selling England by the Pound there are eight tracks. Of those, four are over eight minutes, and two are over 11 minutes.  Is that the end of the world? No but it is clearly from a rock era, thankfully, gone by, and to truly appreciate them it requires multiple listenings. On the other hand, though the songs are long, they lack the arrogance and bombast of Emerson, Lake and Palmer or Yes at their worst. There is real story-telling happening here, rather than just showing off.

Selling England By the Pound is unquestionably a solid record, but I hesitate to give it my highest marks.  It seems very much a product of its time, But if long, brilliantl-played story songs are your cup of tea, I can’t recommend it highly enough. .

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So Many Projects, So Little Time

lion rampant cover

I feel pulled in at least five  directions as September wraps up.  Usually I’m pretty good at staying focused on one thing at a time but not this time.

  1. So there is a lot of interest in the SAGA rules at the present time.  David Sullivan reminded me the rules have been around for over two years, and I have yet to actually play them.  As I explained in my last post, it looks like I have enough Vikings to put together a four point “faction.”  I’ve agreed to participate in a November 29th tournament, so somehow I’ll have to get a game or two in before then.  I also have a fistful of figures to paint-about 25 or so, but they should go fairly fast. I’ve completed a five figure command set by Gripping Beast and am in the middle of painting ten archers.
  2. I’ve received the first of my pieces for the Raid on St. Nazaire.  These are mostly tiny 2mm buildings by Brigade Games though Pico Armor.  Very nice stuff. I ordered some residential buildings that would appear in St. Nazaire’s Old Town, some railroad buildings that also seem quite nice, along with some trackage.  Finally I got the industrial building set, but likely will need quite a bit more. I’ve also ordered the eight or so vessels I need from PT Dockyard.  I got a note they shipped yesterday, so they should be here soon.
  3. Last week I received the new medieval small action rules, “Lion Rampant.”  These rules are perfect for my singly mounted Hundred Years War figures. I have enough figures to create many “retinues” as both French and English. I’m trying them out on October 11th with Dave Schueler, a simple one off game prior to hosting a larger multi-player game two weeks later.  The rules seem simple and fun with lots of die rolling and death.  They have the virtue of being cheap without a bunch of add-ons a la SAGA, and honestly they just fit my interests a bit better.
  4. I’ve finally dragged out and assembled all my 40mm Three Musketeers figures from the “And One For All” range by Eureka Miniatures.  I’ve primed them and slapped some flesh paint on faces.  I’ve also purchased additional figures for the period from Chris Hughes excellent ECW range at Sash and Saber.  I’m quite thrilled to get them.  This is for a role-playing game I’ve offered to run, and I’m looking forward to painting the magnificent figures and drawing up the scenarios. Will probably use a combination of GDW’s old “En Garde” rules and Ganesha Games’ “Flashing Blades,” with liberal input from Alexandre Dumas (pere), films by Richard Lester, and maybe a little contribution from the “Musketeers” series on BBC America.
  5. I’ve said no new projects for the last couple of years, and I’ve pretty much stuck to that pledge.  But I am looking at something new and that is 28mm Aztecs and Conquistadors.  I actually have boxes and boxes of 1/72 scale Revell plastics, but they are missing a few key items that I can’t seem to duplicate in 20mm.  Eureka has a gorgeous range for both that is quite complete.  I don’t envision anything gargantuan-probably 200-225 miniatures.  There is a Sword and the Flame version for this period, though I can still see some simplifying too. I’ve ordered a sample pack for each side and they are quite nice.

Lots going on, and lots to do, but it all seems pretty fun.