Thursday, December 29, 2011

Okay gunpowder/miniature folks... this is for you

create an avatar

make a gif

Heh?  Would you like this on your XBOX or maybe iPad, featured in a simple but involved strategy game?

Yeah, you know you would.

Anyway, just a quick throw-together animation to see what it would look like.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

A Little Proof-of-Concept

webcam to gif

making an animated gif

gif animator

This is a first pass (and really rough; it is not a real animation, and the figure isn't animated, and...) at how I would like to indicate combat results mid-combat.  The more explosions the more damage the unit took.  One is min damage.  Two is some damage.  Three would be max damage.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

What's up, Helo insertion?

Yeah, I whupped ass.  That's what three Insertion Teams on an already-worn-down enemy base will do.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Got a good game in!

... of my latest video game!

Here is one particular square with one of my fully leveled units.  When units level up (and only certain types can) they eventually get "named" (in this case the 1st Inf - "The Big Red One") and an extra unit slot... spent here on a medic to keep the squad going!  Add in another NATO infantry unit with a Captain, and a Humvee one square over lending fire support, and you've got a nasty little combo!

The New Video Game: The NATO faction Specials!

Hey all!

Okay, hot on the heels of the NATO unit preview, I thought I'd give folks a look at the NATO special weapons, known ingame as the Operations!

Now, Operations generally come in three flavors; reinforcements, attack, and square upgrades.

All factions have four Operations.  So, let's take a peek at the NATO operations!

First up; Drone Strike!  Drone strike is a high powered attack that can hit enemies anywhere on the board.  While the Drone only hits one target at a time, it is capable of killing anything, including reducing enemy armor to scrap.  Expensive but powerful, the Drone Strike is a long distance killer.

NATO can call on Reinforcements in the form of a Helicopter Insertion team!  A chopper sweeps in and drops off a fully-equipped Insertion Team (see right) capable of taking on any foe.  Unlike the reinforcements of the other factions, the NATO Insertion Team can be deployed anywhere on the map.  They come fully armed and armored, and even feature a Support Sniper armed with a .50 cal sniper rifle capable of taking on light enemy vehicles, an upgrade unavailable to any other unit in the game.  While they cannot level up, the Insertion Team is plenty capable as is.

The NATO faction also has two square upgrades among their Operations.  First up is a Recon Base.  The Recon Base is built in any friendly square, and takes money to run each turn.  However, in exchange it keeps a steady stream of recon drones circling above the square the base is in and all the surrounding squares, and radios the location of enemy units back to headquarters.  This is particularly useful as Resistance units infiltrate your front lines and try to disrupt your supplies... a few Recon Bases will make sure you can keep a close eye on your territory at all time, and will be ready to deploy troops to the rear in a heartbeat!

The last NATO Operation is another square upgrade; the Forward Operation Base.  The FOB is built in any friendly square and gives any friendly unit in the square a bonus to its defense against infantry and vehicles, as they shelter behind the walls and sandbags.  This makes NATO troops especially tough to kill when they are defending their territory.

So... those are the NATO Operations... next time I'll do a quick runthrough of the Resistance Faction!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

The New Video Game: The NATO faction

Hey all!

First off, happy holidays to everyone who reads the blog... I hope everyone has a lovely time celebrating family and eating like crazy!

Now... the blog has been super quiet recently, but a large part of that is because I (and a buddy of mine) have been hard at work on our new video game for the XBOX, Windows Phone, and eventually (fingers crossed) for the iPad.

It will be a tile based wargame in which you control one of three factions (NATO, the Dictator, or the Resistance) and try to take over the Middle East!

Anyway... the game is nearing completion, so I thought I'd take some time and show people a bit about it!

First up... a walkthrough of the NATO faction units!

First up is the lowly Police squad.  They are cheap, they have little equipment to choose from, and they die easy.  But when you cannot afford any of the regular (i.e. expensive!) NATO units, the Police can do a good job holding down territory and even hunting down enemy militias and insurgents when needed.

The Allied Infantry, troops from the home country, are very useful to the NATO faction.  They are cheaper than regular NATO troops (albeit not as effective) but still capable of bringing the fight to militias, insurgents, and a host of other enemy troops.  However, when you want troops that can REALLY roll, you have to go with...

... the NATO soldiers.  These guys are expensive, but they can go toe to toe with almost anyone, even enemy elites.  They have a wide range of gear to pick from (again, expensive, but worth it!) and excellent upgrades.  Plus, they can level up, and you can find yourself commanding The Big Red One or the Black Watch or any number of well known units

The NATO faction can also hire Marines.  The Marines are tough, aggressive troops, able to defeat any foe.  They are not ideal for taking and holding land, and require a large number of resources (including ever-precious oil) to maintain, but when it comes to a fight, they are almost unmatched.  Plus, they can level, and you can find yourself commanding the First of the First, various Commando groups, and even The Royal Gurkha Rifles!

NATO can also hire in Snipers.  Snipers are not great at handling damage (although Ghillie Suits and Claymore upgrades can help) but holy cow they can dish out PUNISHMENT.  Ideal for taking down militias, insurgents, and suicide bombers before they can attack up close.  Give them some big caliber rifles and they can even go after light enemy vehicles.  They also have the Infiltrate skill, which allows them to move past enemies in the same square, which is pretty rare in NATO units, who prefer a stand-up fight.

The cream of the crop when it comes to infantry for the NATO faction is the Special Operations guys.  They hit hard, they are hard to kill, AND they can infiltrate.  They can't wear the heaviest armor, but when it comes to killing enemies the SpecOps guys are the best of the best... and when they level, you can field the DEVGRU teams and SAS troops, among others.

NATO has two vehicle options as well (not counting drones and the helos for the Insertion Teams).  First is the Humvee.  It isn't a heavy duty vehicle, but it is still capable of wrecking enemy Technicals.  Now, it won't stand up to a BMP or, heaven forbid, a tank, but the Humvee is still the absolute workhorse of the NATO faction.

Finally we come to the M1A2 Abrams Main Battle Tank.  The Abrams is a brute, capable of killing anything on the battlefield and capable of sweeping entire squares clear of enemies.  It costs an arm and a leg to maintain, but there is nothing capable of standing up to the Abrams.  Nothing, that is, except maybe a few units of Insurgents bristling with RPGs...

So those are the units in the NATO faction!  Next up I'll share a bit of their Upgrades, as well as the NATO Operations, including Drone Strikes and the ever-popular Helicopter Insertion!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The trailer for "The Hobbit" is out

 Here it is!

And I do want to see it.  Nice to see so many familiar faces.  Not sold on the dwarves though.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

That's it... Games Workshop has gone full retard


Listen... I appreciate Games Workshop.  They've been in the toy soldier biz for a LONG time, and have contributed a lot of the most important bits of toy soldiering to the hobby.  I've been reading White Dwarf since around issue 70 (and have them all in boxes) and have owned a LOT of Games Workshop and Citadel miniatures.

But with the latest edition of White Dwarf, and indeed the recent White Dwarfs (or is it Dwarves?) I feel like they have just gone too far.

So... Storm of Magic.

Holy crap, it is terrible.  Forget the fact that they have these arcane fulcrums, which are so over the top and ridiculous and they are making these instead of, say, more useful battle boards or decent houses and the like.  Forget the fact that the actual soldiers don't matter so much anymore compared to the magicians.  Nope... what kills me is this ridiculous "binding scroll" thing by which you can have all sorts of horrific evil monsters fighting alongside the Empire, Dwarves, and Elves.  Oh god.  It is f'ing ridiculous.  The latest White Dwarf had a photo on the back of an Empire army.  Now, everyone should know I have a weak spot for the Empire (btw, proud to say that when you do a google image search for Middenheim army, mine is the first to show up!)  But what the hell... it has a giant six armed minotaur fighting for it?!  W... T... F?!

So yeah.  I am a bit sick of GW right now.  Warhammer has slowly and surely become more and more over the top and ridiculous, and this latest decision (made, I am sure, so they can sell more of each model... after all, if EVERY army can field a giant six armed minotaur certainly you'll sell more of them!) just does it for me.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Our first XBOX wargame is well underway!

Hey all!

So, I know it has been a while, but I've also gotten back to our first XBOX wargame, which we started some time ago but laid off of for a while...

Thought I would include some screenshots... the game is pretty playable, although it is missing some key functions.  I've been playing a LOT of the Dictator faction recently... while the Dictator doesn't have the infiltrating units of the Resistance faction, or the sheer badass units of the NATO faction, it DOES have a nice assortment of cheaper-but-still-badass units, and the addition of the BMP for long range firepower and the Secret Police to help quickly control area... well, add into that the SUPER cheap Militia units, and you've got a fun little force!  Once we get the Scud missiles ingame and all of that, look out!:)

Here are a few screenies...

Okay, above is a square full of Dictator troops... I brought in a unit of Loyal Infantry with an RPG to help fend off enemy armor.  I then have a unit of Presidential Guard, which are among the best troops the Dictator has at his disposal, with a Foreign Advisor, who really helps all of the other units in the square in all stats.  Then there is a unit of Secret Police being accompanied by the Dictators Son, which makes all of the units in the square fight a lot harder.  A lot of force multipliers here (albeit at a price!)

Okay... another square, with a Loyal Infantry unit (with one spot left for upgrades... I was still waiting to see what sorts of enemy were attacking) a BMP (rock ON... the BMP is the second best piece of armor in the game) and a unit of Secret Police, who are armed with AKs, IEDs (to protect them from attack) and a nice car battery to REALLY convince those squares to come over to my side, right quick!

And here is a shot of my home square... it features a unit of Still Shadow mercenaries... these guys are stealth-capable (which is pretty damn rare... only the secret police can do that, and they are not prime combat units with limited combat upgrades) and are pretty bad-ass.  Keep in mind they can only use the third-world-style weapons, because they blend into the populace... if you manage to hire a Mjolnir team, those guys can carry any weapon available in the game.  This square also has an example of a trick I like for the Dictator... hire up a cheapo militia unit, and then give the a Captain... it is the only chance the Dictator has at getting a defense-oriented leader who can impact all of the friendlies in the square... a nice combo!

So... that is it, so far... hope everyone can give it a try when it comes out, it will only be about a dollar!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Two honest wargamers!

So... I recently had the good fortune of dealing with some SERIOUSLY honest wargamers!

As most of you know, I recently had my first kid, and unfortunately between that and a pay freeze at work thanks to a lack of contract bills have been getting a little intimidating.

So, I decided I'd try to sell some of my older figures that were sitting around not getting played with!

First up, I had someone express an interest in my old Warhammer figures... this particular gent has a blog all about them...

He asked what I would like as a price.  Well, I thought about it, and emailed him back with a price, only to immediately email him again with a slightly lower price... I didn't really know what they were worth and didn't want to seem like a money hog.  So, two emails sent, I waited!

And promptly got back an email saying I was insane, and that the buyer wouldn't give me less than three times what I was asking, and even THAT wasn't necessarily a fair price.

Seriously now?  Who does that?  Well, a very honest chap, that's who!:)

Then it happened again!  I had a bunch of Epic 40k figures that I needed to sell, and a chap named Chris emailed me, interested in buying them.  Again, I give a quote, and again a buyer says I am nuts and insists on paying more!  WTF, people... don't you know to take advantage of folks?

It was funny because I was trying so desperately not to rip anyone off, because the figures weren't getting played with while I had them, and both guys ended up having to guide me through the process.

So... kudos to two VERY fair and honest wargamers!  Thanks from this overworked and underpaid new dad!:D

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Okay wargamers... anyone recommend a Christmas Village?

Hey all!

Well, now that I've got a kid I have an excuse to buy a Christmas village set!

The only thing is... which one?!  They are remarkably hard to find!

Do any of you wargamers out there have a company you can recommend?  I would love to find something ultra-detailed and really neat, and which of course would light up like the one above (taken from this blog... great set there!)   I prefer a smaller-scale sort of model... but anything "neat" is perfect!

Any recommendations guys and gals?

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Ohhh, things are quiet!

Hey all!

Just wanted to say that I'm sorry I haven't gotten much posted recently... we are smack dab in the toughest time of the year with work, and with that, three days of physical therapy a week for a bum shoulder, beginning to push to a finish on my latest video game project, and a six week old, I have just not found time for toy soldiers!

But fear not... I'll be back to posting soon:)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

A revolutionary wargames product... and charity to boot!


Hello all!

Okay... remember how, some months back, I mentioned working on a super secret wargames project?  A unique wargames project that was unlike anything ever done before?

Well... it is here!

I want to extend a hearty wargames welcome to Gordon and Hague Wargaming!

This new company, founded by a wargaming and reenacting enthusiast, was created with the idea of making wargaming accessible and easy to ALL folks, painters and non-painters, those with some free time and the rest of us who don't have much at all!

Not only are they releasing a free set of full-color, filled-with-awesome-photos rules, but more importantly they are releasing what I think is the first EVER line of pre-painted, ready-to-go-out-of-the-box (or blister pack) American Civil War wargames figures!

It is a 10mm line of plastic ACW miniatures.  They come in larger "army deal" boxes that are modeled on Civil War ammunition boxes (you can see the back of the Federal Starter Army box to the left) along with "booster" blister packs that you can use to beef up your forces!  They come painted and based, and ready to roll!

The website also has available a number of "extra" products, including a large range of "Army Painter" products, as well as links to all sorts of scenery manufacturers, as well as an entire section dedicated to newcomers and ANOTHER entire section dedicated to Hobby Projects... in short, everything you need to get to wargaming!

And the cherry on the sundae?  They are donating a part of their proceeds to the Civil War Preservation Trust!  The Trust is dedicated to preserving and maintaining Civil War battlefields across the United States, and to educating our people about the great sacrifices so many Americans had to make in order to make our Nation what it is today.  Come on... you can't get much better than that!

So!  Looking for something to stick under the tree for your son or daughter?  Looking to get a Union or Confederate army on the table without spending the next six months painting?  Looking for a one-stop-shop for everything American Civil War?  Well... head on over to Gordon and Hague and pick up some of maybe the most unique wargames project of some years!

Oh, and check them out on Facebook too!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Some textures and graphics that might be of use to wargamers!

Hey all!

Okay... things are REALLY slow right now because of the new baby, but I thought I would post some of the textures I put together for my chateau.  If people want to steal them and use them, go ahead!

I am also including a link to an AWESOME graphic of 25mm rugs that I found on the blog "Adventures in Lead".  This is a GREAT little treat for ANY wargamers... check it out HERE.

Anyway... here you go!

A stone floor:

Some wallpaper:

A tile floor:

 A wooden floor:

What are these guys worth?

Hey all!

Found a bunch of Epic 40k guys that I am selling... anyone want to hazard a guess at what they might be worth?  I find that I have absolutely no idea!:D  It is a huge mixed box of guys, a bunch of Knights, an Imperator titan, some orc warbuggies, and some half sprues of chaos.

Any advice is welcome!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Doug K at Battlefield Terrain Concepts does me a solid!

Hey all!

Well, while I do love the arrival of the new guy, he HAS made it impossible for me to attend Fall In!  I am sad about that... my buddy and I travel down there and drink and look at toy soldiers and buy stuff and generally it is awesome.  I also love taking photos of the games and dealer hall and then revisiting it when I miss it!  But what can you do.

However, I did get a gift card some time back for Battlefield Terrain Concepts for Christmas!  Talk about a great gift:)  However... now I won't get to use it!  That sort of stinks, because they make pretty cool terrain!  The corn at the top of this post is there, as is the hill to the left (which was actually a housewarming gift from my buddy!)

So, I got in touch with Doug K at BTC and let him know about having a gift certificate that I can't use.

And what did he do?  He agreed to let my buddy "redeem" it for me and pick some scenery up for me!  So I'll just mail it to him, and in return I get some neat scenery even though I cannot make it to Fall In this year!

Anyway... it is always nice when someone takes care of someone in the toy soldier hobby, and I am real thankful to Doug for taking care of me!

And if you need some scenery, be sure to stop by there awesome stand... these Spanish buildings to the right are from BTC as well!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Anyone know the manufacturer of this figure?

He is a bit small, and is wearing a hat of unknown style... it is certainly not a shako.  Anyone know the manufacturer?


Can't wait to paint up his first army of toy soldiers!!  Only bad side?  No trip to Fall In this year:(  Booo!!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

More chateau details being finished

Howdy all!

Working on some more of the "extras"... the well has paint and flock, but is still shiny from a coat of stain.  Did the boxes... got one more thing of barrels to do.  A buddy also has a woodpile that he said he would donate to the cause.

So!  Tonight I might make a few beds and tables and stuff to scatter around.  I started in on the gates, and they look good, except one broke because I was clumsy... and I am out of good glue to repair it.  So, eventually I'll get it done.

Stable walls for the chateau

Howdy folks,

Okay, in the midst of a weekend of relaxing (likely my last one before the baby is born... yikes!) I did five sets of stable walls for the outbuildings.  I left them loose so you can use them in other outbuildings, but for the photo I put them in the long barn.

I also added some straw scattered around the floor... it looks pretty good, even if the flash makes it look a little severe:)

A well for the chateau

Just working on a well for the chateau... never done this much green stuff work before, so I hope it doesn't suck!

Need to find a bucket now... I think I have one somewhere, but not sure where...?

And unfortunately I am out of black spraypaint.  I'll have to see if I can find any hidden away anywhere...