So I’ve really gotten into the hobby side of miniature wargaming and I’m starting to into some more regular playing of games, so now I’m going to try something different. A couple of years ago, I picked up some hex and counter wargames during a Black Friday sale. They’re quite different beasts from you typical miniatures game like Warhammer. First there are no miniatures. Just little cardboard counters to represent your forces on your board. Second they’re are a whole other level of complexity compared to even the most crunchy editions of Warhammer. Finally they aren’t really fit for pick up games so you’d have to find some one dedicated to playing a long game. Play time listed on these are wide ranges like 1-30 hours or 2-50 hours. So I don’t really have an opponent right off, but they generally quite solo playable and that’s what I plan to do at least until I under stand the game at first. I’m not sure which I’m going to start with, but I’m leaning towards Advanced Squad Leader since it is a game with a community so I’ll have a little bit better luck finding and opponent once I have the game figured out.
I’ve almost got all my Kharadron Overlords painted, but the Frigate is a bit daunting, so I’ve avoided it by painting some of my oldest models that I never got around to painting. I don’t play Warmachine any more and I don’t know if ever will, but I still really like the models, so I’m going to finish painting my Khador army and I even assembled the Menoth half of my starter box and will probably paint it too just for fun.
Pictured here are some Man-o-War Shocktroopers which came in my my Warmachine Two Player Starter Set that was my first ever miniature wargaming purchase. They were also the first unit I started painting, but for some reason never even got much past doing only the red base coat on half of them. Now they’re all done in a quick and dirty fashion. Also painted is War Dog, who really has room for more fine detail but I realistically probably won’t ever get to it, two Kayazy Eliminators, a Man Hunter, and Kovnik Jozef Grigorovich. Not pictured I also touched up my Winterguard Infantry and finished them with a wash. Of my Khador Army I still have my Winterguard Rocketeers, Winterguard Mortar Crew, a unit of Widow Makers, the Widow Maker Marksman solo, an Iron Fang Kovnik and Kovnik Andrei Malakov. They will probably get done after my Kharadron Frigate because that thing needs to get done.
As part of my recent catching up on painting, I’ve finished painting all the guys in my Storm of Sigmar box set that I got a while back. First of all the models in the box are all the same ones sold on the “Easy to Build” boxes. Those boxes are $15 a piece individually, but all 4 sets are in here for $33, so it’s a pretty good deal for the models. Being the the easy to build variety, there’s really no customization for building. You’re going to cut everything off the sprue an they’re going to basically fit together one way. That being said, all the models in the box are unique and their default poses are very nice and dynamic. For those new to wargaming, or at least the hobby side, this is a very easy set to pick up. They’re easy to assemble and pretty easy and fun to paint. The Khorne guys have a few more details to paint, but if you start with the Stormcast they are super simple and you can easily dial the details up or down and they’ll still look pretty good.
Also in the box is a set of dice, some warscroll cards, and a rule book that not only has the rules and some scenarios, but also has a ruler on the back. So other than the hobby supplied to build and paint your models, it has everything you need to actually play the game in the box which is very nice for beginners. As far as the game goes, the scenarios are actually pretty varied and work as sort of an escalation so you can slowly work your way into the game and get comfortable with the mechanics. While the scenarios are good, there’s not a ton or replayability, but for $33 the box does work a nice low barrier entry for Age of Sigmar. The recent release of Age of Sigmar: Skirmish may even make this an even better starter. Once you’ve mastered the scenarios in the box, you can pick up the cheap Skirmish rules($10 paper, $7.99 digital) and a hero for each side and jump into small scale skirmish slowly build up your armies.
For new wargamers, or those new to Age of Sigmar, I’d say this box is a very low risk way to dip your toes into the water, especially with the Skirmish and next step add on. If you find you don’t like it, you’ll only be out $33 instead of $125 for the full starter(though the new upcoming start at $80 might be tempting). Even if you decide not to fully get into miniature wargaming, the box is closer to a typical board game box that a typical GW model box with the top lifting off and all the models fit back into the box when assembled. That combined with everything you need to play also being in the box means that you can still keep it around and essentially a board game.
I’ve now got the ground forces portion of my Kharadron Overlords 1000 point army complete. There’s an Arkanaut Admiral, two Arkanaut Companies and the Grundstock Thunderers and Skywardens are interchangeable at the 1000 point level. I have the Grundstock Gunhauler in the back ground there actually painted but just not pictured and then just the Arkanaut Frigate remaining to paint.
I’ve made a small amount of progress on my Kings of War army. Got a regiment of sheild breakers painted and put on a mutlibase and got my earth elemental painted. He’s my second try of his kind since I wasn’t aware that you can’t spray prime the Reaper plastics and the first version ended up sticky. So I had to paint him the hard way. I’m still not very good at painting, but at least it’s a step up from grey plastic or black primed army.
It’s been over a week of no alcohol, no coffee, and a healthier more plant based diet. The first noticeable effect, that I’m assuming is due to the lack of caffeine and alcohol, is that I’m sleeping better than I have in a long time. The better sleep combined with eating less junk has led to feeling more energetic not feeling so lethargic though out the day. I’m actually surprised at the lack of rebellion by body with these pretty big changes. Maybe now that I don’t necessarily need to shut down when I get him, I’ll finally be able to make room for side projects.
I was really hoping to get some solid Go coding experience under my belt with a new project I’d been working on, but it’s closely tied to some other projects I’ve done that are all in Python and I kept running into instances where I’d have to redo a lot of work I’d already done. But at the end of the day I decided that the experience would be worth it and persevered in Go. As luck would have it, as soon as I made that decision, a bunch of other suddenly needed doing, so I guess I’ll go back to Python. Maybe next time.
Technically it’s the end of the February and well into the new year and these updates only coincidentally are occurring now and aren’t part of some grand New Years resolutions. A big part of what I’ve been doing is decluttering in various different ways.
The first kind of decluttering has been in my Internet life. Twitter is gone for me. It’s just such a time waster and a rather toxic environment. Even when people I agree with are talking about issues, the delivery on Twitter makes me want nothing to do with it. So I flat out deactivated that account.
Facebook went a little differently. I had already unfollowed most of my “friends” and I realized that other than people for local tabletop game meetup stuff everyone else on there was either people I didn’t care to have any meaningful contact with or could contact some other(probably better) way. So I’ve widdled my friends list down to half a dozen and stayed in my gaming groups.
Also in the digital realm, I’ve been de-Googling. I’ve moved to Outlook for my mail with my own domain. Self hosted may be preferred, but I just don’t care to run a mail server again. I’ve also been using DuckDuckGo for search for the past month or so and am starting to feel at home with it.
The Twitter and Facebook decluttering tie in nicely with my second type of decluttering, which is basically how I spend my time. In this space public enemy number one is the Internet. I’m not doing something crazy like cutting the cord and going off the grid, but just trying eliminate the time wasting aspect where I browse Facebook or Reddit trying to find something interesting and the search is what eats up my time where I have nothing to show for it. Twitter and most of Facebook are gone for me and Reddit is up in the air. For Reddit and the rest of the Internet I’m just going to try some good old fashioned personal restraint to try not to waste all my time.
Even outside of the Internet I’m trying to keep my time being spent on things that either make me happy or is some how useful. So even if I do something that is a “waste of time” like binge watching a TV show, if I feel just a bit happier afterwards or that the time was well spent, it’s not a waste.
Finally my last form of decluttering is food. I could stand to be a lot healthier and the biggest factor for me is my diet. Phase one isn’t too crazy, just cut out the obvious junk food, and at first not change basics of what I eat as far as counting calories, fat, etc. Instead I’ll try to replace processed and other shortcuts in meals with more whole food equivalents and generally be more mindful of what I’m eating. Once I’m good with that, I’ll probably start looking at purposely eating healthier leaning towards a more plant based diet, but probably not going full vegan or even vegetarian. Instead of jumping wholly into a new diet like I usually do, this will be a long and incremental process to try to change my habits.
Hopefully with all of this I’ll have a much healthier minds and body this time. Next year.