Category Archives: Rumination

2015: Year in Review

How Did I Do in 2015?

My stated goals for 2015 were to:

Build more Terrain
Mixed results on this account! I did manage to build an enormous cloth-and-caulk terrain mat for the desert, and created a few BUA bases for Spearhead, but that’s about it! I have a half-finished 28mm old west Pony Express station sitting on top of a shelf somewhere, but I can’t really count that, can I?

Projects: 15mm Union ACW, 15mm AWI British, and 28mm Napoleonic
While I’ve made some progress on the Nappy skirmish stuff, I painted not one stroke of Union blue, and only completed one unit of British for the AWI project. Instead, I’ve puttered around with 15mm WWII, 1/285 WWII, and now 15mm Napoleonics! Ridiculous.

Develop a Budget for Wargaming
I didn’t do very well on this score for the first half of 2015, but since fall I’ve been doing much better. I’m trying to keep things to under $40/month, which is about what it costs to buy one 15mm battalion sized unit in most of the 19th and 18th century rules sets I’m interested in. That’s about all I can paint in a month, so it seems a good number. I’ll try to carry this forward into 2016.


Games Played

  • 2 games of Jim Day’s Panzer set in the Western Desert theater of WWII.
  • 1 game of This Very Ground (at Recruits)
  • 5 games of Regimental Fire and Fury
  • 1 game of Neil Thomas’s ACW rules
  • 2 games of Napoleon’s Battles.

Let’s see. That’s 11 games in a year. Almost once a month. Eh. I’d like to be doing more in 2016!


Goals for 2016

My focus will be on getting a playable 15mm Napoleonics force for Sam Mustafa’s Lasalle. I’ve already made some progress on this front, and just need to keep up the momentum.

Keep up the budget. $40/month! I can do it!

Have more fun. I tend to be super competitive, which can get in the way of having fun (especially when losing). I’d like to chillax on this front.

That’s it. Simple goals for a simple man. Below are random pictures from the year’s gaming….



Recruits: There and Back Again

My second Recruits convention in Lee’s Summit is in the books. I had a great time, though next year I’m going to make some changes so that I get to play more than two games!

I saw some old friends and acquaintances, made some new ones, AND all my games were victorious. Difficult to beat that combination. On the downside, I spent waaaay too much money, but we’ll just ignore that part.

I apologize for these photographs-they were all taken on my phone, because I was stupid and forgot my camera at the hotel. Also, I did a poor job as a correspondent, and pretty much only photographed games I was involved in.

Recruits at 8:30 AM

Recruits at 8:30 AM

7-Years War Flats

7-Years War Flats

Beautiful flats

Beautiful flats

Undead mammoths! (Dragon Rampant/Lion Rampant)

Undead mammoths! (Dragon Rampant/Lion Rampant)

Fierce Woodland Indians

Fierce Woodland Indians

Fierce Puritans

Fierce Puritans

Made it to the woods-line.

Made it to the woods-line.

Fantastic terrain.

Beautiful terrain.

Excellent terrain.

Teddy bear fur and sticks.

Brigadier Patterson. A FANTASTIC leader of men.

Played a game of Regimental Fire and Fury, based on a portion of Williamsburg. I sat down behind this guy: Brigadier Patterson. A FANTASTIC leader of men. That’s sarcasm. He was rated poor, and with the exception of one trained unit, all his regiments were green. Conservative defensive play saw us through, though, and Patterson’s boys managed to inflict double the casualties (7 to 3) on the Sesh scum.


Patterson’s brigade covers the right flank of the battle. Fortunately there’s a nice swamp to anchor against.




Soon-to-be-repulsed Rebs charge one of Patterson’s regiments.


Action in the center


Here they come again, boys!

Recruits: Return of the Recruit

Recruits gaming convention in Lee’s Summit (outside of Kansas City, Missouri) is this weekend, and yours truly will be attending. If you’re there and see me, please say “hello!”

I’ll be the devilishly handsome fellow with Arkiegamer hand-printed on his badge. I’m sure to be busy losing a game.

Lee's Summit High School Field House

Lee’s Summit High School Field House

The Best After Action Reports, Ever

Every now and then you run across something on this here great world wide web that is so good, you just have to share. I’m using free WordPress, so I can’t embed videos, but the links I’m going to put below are, I promise, well worth following.

The first two videos are 6mm American Civil War game after action reports played using the Altar of Freedom grand tactical set of rules. They are extremely well done (for gamer videos), the action is easy to follow, and the games are gorgeous.

The third video covers the gaming club’s purchase/lease of a piece of commercial property, which they then remodeled into an absolutely fantastic gaming club room. You will drool. You will be jealous.




Second Manassas

Ultimate Man Cave

A Century!

My first post in quite some time, but I felt I should mark the occasion of the blog having achieved 100 (101, including myself) followers!

It took me four years (Arkiegamer started in November of 2011), but I’m still quite pleased by the big fat round number! I’d better start posting again, or I’ll begin losing followers.

2014 Year’s End Wrap-up

Ye Yearly Blabber

My goals at the end of 2013 were as follows:

  • Finish existing projects.
  • Introduce new players to the hobby.
  • Play more games.

So, how did I do?

On the first point, I’ve learned that you never really finish a project. Still, I did manage to get both of my primary 2014 projects (Regimental Fire and Fury and Chain of Command) into a playable state. I guess what I’m saying is that “playable state” is the new “finished.”

On the second point I haven’t done so well. I have a number of friends who are pretty serious board and RPG gamers, but I haven’t had a tremendous amount of luck sucking them into the historical miniatures hobby. I did get a couple of them to try out Chain of Command, which I think they found a bit overwhelming. We also played a game of The Rules with No Name, and they seemed to enjoy the Old/Wild West genre a bit more. I think it’s not really the rules or miniatures that are the problem, but rather a general lack of interest in history. Not quite sure how to overcome that one!

On the third point, I succeeded in spades (with a lot of help from The Scarlet J and Grady West’s bunch), and it’s been a blast. Especially when there were cannon pointed at me.

I had another, more specific goal of completing a hundred stands of Confederate infantry by the end of the year, but am still languishing at around 80 stands. That’s ok. Don’t cry, Arkiegamer.

In general 2014 was a very good year for miniatures wargaming, if you were me. I went from having played a couple of games in 2013 to having played at least 17 games (I may be forgetting a couple) of various stripes and spots over the course of this year. I have a number of ongoing projects. Probably way too many, to be honest, but a couple of them are already in a playable state, and only require a bit of filler modeling and painting now and then. I met and gamed with some really cool people over the course of the year, and had a lot of fun. I attended my first convention, Recruits, and have been reading a lot of history in conjunction with my gaming. Those two statements probably shouldn’t be joined by a conjunction, as they’re completely unrelated, but I’m a wild man.

My three big projects for 2015 will be 15mm ACW Union forces, 15mm Revolutionary War, and 28mm  Napoleonic skirmish. The AWI and Napoleonic projects have been started here at the end of 2014. For the AWI project, I think that, rather than dribble out random posts as I finish up units, I’ll save up until I have all the forces finished for one battle and present them en masse. I’m shooting for the British/Loyalist side of Cowpens, which is a small battle. Shouldn’t take too long! The 28mm Napoleonic project will move from Song of Drums and Shakos, which a small (dozen figures per side) warband set of rules to Sharp Practice, which can handle a company, or more, per side. This project will take some time, as I am      a      very        slow    28mm     painter. Still, I’m enjoying it tremendously, for now. I think the Union ACW stuff will go quickly, as the uniforms are quite simple. Still, getting the US side up even with my Confederates will involve painting 300-400 figures. Yikes.

Goals for 2015

  • Build more terrain.
  • Get the new projects into a playable state.
  • Get some bluebellies painted up.
  • Develop a budget <shudder> for wargaming.

Ok, there it is. I’m sure I’ll fail on that fourth point, but I thought I’d put it up there, just the same!

Happy New Year’s, everyone.


Games Played

8 games of Regimental Fire and Fury

4 games of Chain of Command

3 games of Napoleon’s Battles

1 game of Turning Point Stalingrad

1 Game of The Rules with No Name

Nominations for the Wargaming Blog Excellence Awards

I was lucky enough to be nominated for a Wargaming Blog Excellence Award by the indomitable Dagger and Brush. Perhaps the inclusion of my blog means he is letting just anyone into the club, but I feel quite honored, nonetheless!

Part of being a nominee, is that I’m to provide a blog tour, highlighting a few of my favorite blogs. It’s extremely difficult to edit my list of favorite blogs down to just a couple, but thankfully Dagger and Brush has already nominated some of my favorites (mainly 40kterminatus for his super clean 15mm AFVs and Mr. TinPotRevolutionary for his beautiful painting and vignettes), and I can leave them off the list. Only the list on electronic paper, though, not the list in my blog-heart!

Ok, enough of that, here’s the list, itself.


Dagger and Brush

Perhaps it’s predictable to re-nominate the person who just nominated you, but, in this case, I am certainly NOT just being polite. Dagger and Brush would have received a nod from me, regardless. I will point out a couple of particular selections in a moment, but I want to say that the most remarkable thing to me about D&B is the consistency of his posts-they are of the absolute highest quality every (and I mean every) time. Whether it’s his super detailed and easy to follow tutorials or delightful, story and character-infused reviews, a Dagger and Brush post in my WordPress reader feed makes me click with particular vigor! I’d mention his terrain, but if you click through, you’ll be suitably amazed without my shilling for it! The highest praise I can give him, though, is that he inspired me to start my own dungeon-crawling project. It’s languishing horribly, at the moment, but I did start it!

Ad Machina Wargaming

Ad Machina Wargaming is, simply put, my favorite WWII wargaming blog out there. Whether it’s his top flight AFV and figure painting, his astoundingly good buildings, or his some-of-the-best-in-the-hobby photography, each of his posts fills me with a jealous rage! Just kidding about the rage part. He’s really very very good. I only wish he wasn’t such a reasonable person, taking off his summers for non-wargaming related activities, in lieu of producing more content for his fans to enjoy. Also, Thomas is notable for being a generous spirit. He sent me a couple hundred ACW figures (the Danish Texans I’m always going on about in my AARs) that he wasn’t using…just because. Transcontinentally! Go check him out. It should be getting cold and dark in Denmark, so I expect he’ll be posting again soon.

War in Black and White

Last, but certainly not least, there is WarPanda’s War in Black and White. There are other terrain makers that manage to evoke a sense of place in their game boards, but none do it on as large of a scale and with as much detail as WarPanda. His tables are a thing of joy to look at. There are scarecrows. SCARECROWS! I mean, that just blows me away. But I’m weird like that.

And as if his incredible terrain weren’t enough, there are the superbly entertaining AARs, done in a comic book style. Usually my eyes glaze over when reading AARs (especially my own), but the ones posted up at War in Black and White are always an exciting read from start to finish. War in Black and White also features some detailed analysis of Crossfire, which has been of great interest to me of late.


Whew! I think I’ve used my quota of superlatives for the rest of the year. Do give these blogs a look, though. They are well worth your time.


What to do if you’re nominated for the Wargaming Blog Excellence Award (and feel like it):

Make a post featuring one, two, or more of your favorite blogs with under 200 followers. Feel free to point out specific examples. Show us your hidden gems! No, not those hidden gems. 

Off to Recruits!

I’m off to attend the Recruits miniatures wargaming convention in Kansas City this weekend. If you’re a reader of this blog, and planning to attend, give me a shout in the comments, and I’ll buy you a beer! Or perhaps a soda, or nice water, since the convention is held at a local school.

This will be my first miniatures convention, so I’m hoping to get into (or at least see) some really cool games. Hopefully the historical side of the hobby is well represented. Even if the gaming should prove abysmal, there are some really cool buildings to look at in Kansas City, and delectable barbecue is readily available. Expect a report, with photos, either way.

2013 in Review

Time keeps going by! 2013 was a good year for miniatures wargaming, at least in my little corner of the world. I graduated from architecture school, which freed up a considerable amount of time, and starting making money again, which freed up a considerable (relatively!) amount of income. Both of these resources are, of course, absolutely essential to getting much of anything done in the world of historical miniatures wargaming.

I photographed the current state of my various projects at this date, and those photos will be shown below, but the REAL point of a post like this is to set goals for 2014. Here is my tripartite scheme for wargaming joy in 2014:

  • Finish existing projects.
  • Introduce new players to the hobby.
  • Play more games.



I have a number of projects in varying scales and from varying periods that could easily be finished up. By finished up, I mean put into a playable state. Reaching that playable state primarily involves painting up the opposing side and a bit of terrain work.

Having these projects completed will allow me to tackle task two.


This may be a quixotic task, but I have quite a few friends who really enjoy board games (including some light wargames, like Axis and Allies or Small World) and/or RPGs, and I feel like there has to be some potential for them to become interested in miniatures wargaming. If I can provide the playing surface and both sides, it should be easy to get them to play, and hopefully THAT will set a hook in someone’s gamer mouth, and they’ll be caught.


I did get to play some historical miniatures wargames this year. I participated in a massive game of Napoleon’s Battles, and just before Christmas the Scarlet J and I put on a small regimental American Civil War game using Regimental Fire and Fury.

I’d like to do more. Thus the finishing of projects, and the introduction of the hobby to potential new players.


So, those are the conceptual goals.

More concretely, I plan to play more Regimental Fire and Fury with TSJ. My friend Frank and I are going to do some Napoleonic gaming using Neil Thomas’s rules (which are very simple, and don’t require massive numbers of figures), with a jump-off date of ‘this summer.’ There shall be some WWII skirmish gaming using Chain of Command by TooFatLardies. I’d also like to finish up a long-outstanding 1/285 WWII project. The elephant in the room is the ~12.3 tons of terrain in various scales that needs to be produced. No problem.

We’ll see how it goes!


Finally, here’s my figure painting output for 2013, minus some fantasy RPG figures that I painted for some friends.

28mm Old/Wild West Skirmish

28mm Old/Wild West Skirmish

This would be an easy project to finish. It only needs terrain and some custom cards for The Rules with No Name.

20mm Panzergrenadiers for Chain of Command

20mm Panzergrenadiers for Chain of Command

My panzergrenadier platoon for Chain of Command. I could make this force more flexible by painting additional riflemen. Then I could also field them as a plain ‘old Wehrmacht platoon. I also need to paint up some scout cars, AT guns, and other fun things like that.

20mm US troops for Chain of Command

20mm US troops for Chain of Command

I have a few more unpainted 20mm US figures that would bring this force up to a full squad. I’m sorely tempted to order the figures needed to finish out the platoon from Eureka miniatures, now that AB figures are available in the USA. Also need scout cars and other fun additional forces.

15mm Confederate brigade for Regimental Fire and Fury

15mm Confederate brigade for Regimental Fire and Fury

15mm Confederate brigade for Regimental Fire and Fury

15mm Confederate brigade for Regimental Fire and Fury

Completing this brigade of Confederate troops (plus a battery of guns) was far and away my major accomplishment of 2013. I look forward to building on them in the future. In the short term, I’d like to add some cavalry, just because they look cool. I realize they’ll likely be next to useless on the battlefield, at least at the scale we’re playing at. I’d like to paint up a Union brigade, too, though that’s quite a way in the future.

TSJ and I plan to play once per month, which should roughly sextuple (it’s not a word, I know) my miniatures wargaming plays over the course of the year.

52nd oxford

Here’s the beginnings of the new project for 2014-15/18mm Napoleonics. Obviously I’m cheating and getting a head start. These guys are painted up as the 52nd Oxfordshire, and only lack a command stand to represent a battalion in Neil Thomas’s Napoleonic Wargaming rules set. Frank and I will be doing a division each. He’s doing a division of all KINDS of interesting (interesting means crazy, in this case*) French and French-allied troops. I’m going to be doing the vaunted Light Division, plus a battalion of Brunswickers and some KGL hussars. Oh, and some horse artillery. First contact should be early this summer.

I may try and get in some Sharp Practice skirmish gaming before our division level games.

I have to say, painting redcoats after 2.5 months of butternut and grey has been a real joy. I’m sure I’ll get sick of them soon enough, though.


There you have it, more than you ever wanted to know about my gaming plans for 2014!


*I’m kidding, of course. Frank really knows his stuff. It will be cool to see all of these obscure troops on the table, and I’m sure the uniforms are going to be awesome.