Saturday, December 26, 2015

A peek at Sam Mustafa's "Freejumper"!

Hey all!

One of the advantages of living and gaming in northeast New Jersey is that I often cross paths with Sam Mustafa, writer of such games as "Longstreet," "Maurice," "Blucher," "Aurelian," and of course "Grande Armee."

But right now he is working on a spaceship game, which I got to try out!

"Freejumper" sees the player designing a single ship, outfit with weapons systems and shielding and defense systems and hacking programs and crew and thrusters, which then goes off and fights enemies, all in the name of making some dough!

At a game at nearby Highlander Games and Comics (a FANTASTIC place in Boonton, NJ, with a HUGE gaming space!) I got to try "Freejumper" out!

Now, I got MAULED.  I had outfitted my ship (the star destroyer looking guy with the enemy blasting it from the rear!) with a lot of big, heavy hitting guns, but they took so much to use that I was often left getting picked apart by enemies with smaller, easier-to-use weapons (the more power a system takes to activate, the less often you can use it) and couldn't quite keep my ship repaired and operational AND hammer the enemy efficiently.  One enemy used a very finely-tuned laser (appropriately nicknamed "The Scalpel") to pick my ship apart system by system, and between that and another enemy ship pounding on me with some HUGE short-ranged, "dumb" guns, I just couldn't keep afloat (aflight?) forever.

Overall it is a pretty cool game, although it is still in EARLY development.  The system for determining roughly "who goes when in the turn" is f'ing BRILLIANT.  Without giving anything away, it is a very intuitive way to allow players to do what they want to do, but they have to be very strategic about WHEN they do it, in relation to other players.... but all seamless and in an unobtrusive manner.  It is cool to see how players can customize their ship quite a bit... one player had a ship that was basically dedicated to being a hacking ship, constantly assailing enemy ships with different viruses and worms to disable their systems, which allowed other players to hit them hard; I think it's name was the S.S. Edward Snowden, if I recall correctly.  The game has a lot of potential (although is SCREAMING for a really cool, card-based campaign... which I am not sure is in the cards!) and, while still FAR from being done, seems like a lot of fun, especially with a few friends and some drinks!

Anyway... just a look at what is out there!

Some photos from a 15mm Moderns game

 Hey all!

Thought I would share a few photos of the set-up currently on one of the tables... my 15mm moderns game!  We are three city blocks into the game, but had to take a break... so I thought I would snap a few photos!

Here is the first block of the game... we had a TON of contacts show up at the far corner.

These are the two teams; Humvees with infantry, including a few contractors in the right-most group.

Turns out those contacts had a technical with them... (ignore that Armada die, no idea why that is there...)

But the humvees SLAUGHTERED the enemies there, as well as the technical.

I think I forgot to take photos of the second block... this is the third, as we entered it.

We got down the block in force, using the humvees to cover alleyways.

This is where we ended up, having destroyed the enemies who appeared (I think most of the contacts ended up being civilians... women carrying laundry and kids chasing balls and the rest...)

Another shot down the street.

After we ended, I stuck a few vehicles in there, just for looks... the picture at the top of the post included the Blackhawk!

Friday, December 25, 2015

My son's Christmas gift

Hey all!

Well, my son (who is four) adores my toy soldiers.  So I figured I should paint him up an army for Christmas!

I went with the AWI, because it is a fairly classic conflict, has two distinct colors (blue and red) and features some great flags and great uniforms.  I settled on 40mm because they are big and heavy, which feels right for toy soldiers.  I was originally going to do Sash and Saber, but ended up going with Trident.  Sash and Saber would be what I would use because they are all marching, but I figure for a little kid you want shooting figures.

Anyway... I put it in this tray and gave it to him this morning!

Here is George Washington, leader of the American forces.

Here is the unit of American continentals.

Here is one of the two units of militia.  This unit has a woman in it, because... well, America and diversity and everything:)

Here is the other unit of militia (which includes an African-American... again, America and diversity and everything) and the American rifles, who are skirmishers.

The British are led by Cornwallis (and one of his hounds!)

Here are the jaegers, who serve as the skirmishers for the British force.  Behind them is a unit of British regulars.

And here is the unit of British grenadiers!

Overall it is a cool little force, with plenty of room for expansion (artillery, cavalry, more infantry, etc).  I am not sure how much he will appreciate it at this age (and this Christmas it is competing with some Legos and a bunch of Star Wars, including a vintage AT-ST) but I know it will be a great set of toys for years to come!

Sunday, December 13, 2015

40mm AWI British Regulars and Continentals

Hey all!

Okay, I have a BUNCH of finished stuff sitting that I need to get on the blog, including three units of 40mm AWI!

Here is one of them... a unit of British regulars who I never really took the "finished!" pictures for.

Again, these are for my son for Christmas, so they are VERY simply painted... just about no highlighting, mainly just a basecoat and then a brown wash!

I also finished up a unit of American continentals!

Like with the Brits, these were REALLY simply painted... base colors, and then a wash, and voila!  I have been adding a LITTLE bit of highlighting here and there, because I can't resist, but for the most part...

I am also still REALLY struggling with photographing guys in the new space.  I think I may have to go ahead and build a light box, because I feel like the colors never turn out right.

BTW, here is the drummer boy... I think I got across that he is a kid, no?

So that's it!  More to come, probably today, including some 15mm moderns from a recent game and also a little on a play test of Sam Mustafa's new spaceship game, "Freejumper."

Good times for toy soldiers!

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Next two painted Armada ships... the Hounds Tooth and the HWK

Well, the next two ships are done!  First up, Bossk's "Hounds Tooth."  I think it turned out pretty good.

Next up, the HWK!

And finally, I gave Slave 1 a gloss canopy.  I think it looks much nicer:)

Saturday, December 5, 2015

First two Armada "Rogues and Villains" painted

Hey all!

Sorry, it has been an AGE since I updated, even though I have a LOT of new stuff painted!

Anyway... first up, my first two ships from the Star Wars Armada "Rogues and Villains" expansion!  Slave 1, and the Falcon.  I do sort of wish I had seen how severe the casting lines were on these ships, as I didn't scrape them down, but now they are really, really noticeable to me.

But overall, I am very happy with how they turned out!  Wish I could paint these for a living, the little ships are a LOT of fun!:)

Saturday, November 21, 2015

"Aurelian" is done!

Hey all!

I know things have been SUPER quiet here on the blog... two kids, a big family Disney trip, and a huge month of work have just clobbered me... but that doesn't mean I am not around! 

I DID get an email today with some interesting new though... Sam Mustafa's Ancients game, "Aurelian," is all finished up!

I did have the chance to play the game a bit during development (as well as take some photos) and while I am primarily a gunpowder fellow, I thoroughly enjoyed the game.  The big masses of infantry, unwieldy but tough... the light skirmishers, who you need to manage so carefully and who can be either so fragile or so useful... the large numbers of cavalry, flowing across the fields... it was GREAT fun!  I think the most memorable moment was when we were playing a 2 v 1 game (the poor one, DJ, was a good sport!) and our Roman line was entrenched on a hill... on the rest of the field, things were going poorly, and then just as it seemed we were about to lose we charged the entire line down the hill, CRUSHING the barbarians in front of us!  It was great fun:)

Okay, a few notes about the game itself.

First, and this might sound SHOCKING... but the game will be offered ONLY as a PDF!  Now, it is a nice color PDF, but still, nice and affordable, especially for those of us who aren't primarily Ancients gamers and want to try something new.  It is a card based game, as the last few Honour games have been... while I was originally a skeptic, I have to admit I am a total convert now, as you can inject SO much flavor and so much management into a card system that would require endless charts and special rules to work into a purely-dice system.  Like "Longstreet" and "Blucher" there will be a whole campaign system... Roman players can be crowned Emperor, barbarian players can expand out of their dark forests and rampage through civilizations... I've really come to love the campaigns:)

Anyway... for more info, go ahead over to and check the forums and front page for more info... it seems the game will be out before the new year, so within a month or so!  And if you want a REAL treat, check out the free podcast from Sam, outlining the different features of the game and the thoughts beyond the game design... if you haven't yet downloaded one of his podcasts to listen to in the car, you are missing a treat; it is really really rare to get a game designer who is so thoughtful AND who is a natural teacher of information doing this sort of thing.  Here is the link for it:

Good times!

Sunday, October 18, 2015

15mm Star Wars!

Hey all!

Well, for my son's birthday, I had to get SOMETHING... so I found a bunch of 15mm Star Wars figures from the Micro Machines line!

Of course, the toy soldier collector in me wouldn't leave well enough alone...

So, I added shoulder pads and comms to two of the storm troopers to make them officers, made the rebels a bit more diverse, and then picked out four rebel troopers with black pants and gold helmets as elites.

I also touched up one of the pilots, because they were the exact same and I wanted one to be different.

I am just waiting for the last set, which is the classic characters, and then his birthday present is ready!:)

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Sam Mustafa does a SPACESHIP game?!

Well, this might sound kind of crazy, but it looks like Sam Mustafa, author of games like Longstreet and Grande Armee and Blucher and Lasalle and Maurice... historical games, one and all... is getting into space ship gaming!  In this particular case, Freejumper, a card based game in which you construct a single ship of your own (your "Freejumper") and go into battle with them!  You decide how big your ship will be, what sorts of systems will be installed, and all the rest... And then manage it all in battle.  Good stuff already... And I already have a bunch of space ship models to use!

For more info, head over to the Honour forums at

The Workbench

Hey all!

Well, here is the next group on the workbench... a unit of Continental militia, for my son's upcoming AWI present!

I'll get some paint on them soon, and share a bit more!

Also, coming up, I picked up some GREAT Star Wars figures for my son for his birthday, and of course did a little touching up... I am sure everyone will get a kick out of them!

Saturday, October 10, 2015

40mm George Washington finished

Hey all!

Well, believe it or not, I've been doing a lot at the House of War... just not a lot of photos to show for it!

I've been playing a lot of Armada, but I feel like I've taken SO many Armada photos that there is no need for anything new until Wave 2 shows up:)

But I ALSO finished up George Washington, for my son's Christmas gift!

A great figure from Trident, George was a pleasure to paint up.  Again, I went SUPER simple, with a REAL minimum of highlighting... mainly just a careful base coat and a wash, with a touch more blue on the coat.  I do wish that he was physically a bit larger... wasn't Washington over six feet?  But still, a fantastic figure.  Yes, I know I shouldn't have painted him with white hair, but remember, this is for a four year old:)

So that's it!  Next up is a unit of Continentals, who are just waiting for some sand on the bases and their undercoat before I get started.  Then the end is in sight... a unit of jaegers, a unit of militia, and a unit of rifles left to go!

Saturday, September 19, 2015

40mm AWI British Grenadiers finished

Hey all!

Well, the latest unit for my son's Christmas present is done!  This time it is the unit of British Grenadiers.

I know there might be a mistake or two, but these are my first AWI units and I really am not always sure what I am looking at with these uniforms!

The figures are from Trident Miniatures, and the wonderful flags are from, as usual, The Flag Dude!

Here are the first two British units done.  Next up for them?  The Hessian jaegers!  But I think the next thing I am painting is none other than George Washington himself!

Thanks for coming by!