Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Insanity update

A little over a year ago, I started painting my BL minis. It's been slow going, especially the blue guys. I swear there's a freaking million of them, and I'm still not done...

Anyway, I now have the majority of the humans done, and as you can see it's almost enough to field the first scenario. There's an unpainted blue cavalry unit on the far right hand edge. The blue cavalry have so far escaped the brush, but they're next, then I'll finish those endless blue infantry.

If you look at the larger image (should be click-able), you can see the bases I made for each unit, too. At Steve's suggestion, I glued a steel washer to each figure, and then put a magnetic sheet on each base. At first I cut the bases out of foam core board. Recently, I got out the table saw and cut wooden bases, but I haven't yet gotten around to painting them and cutting the magnetic sheet. Most of the cavalry have the unpainted wooden bases.

The basing has several advantages. First, all the stuff (base+washer+magnet) gives each unit a pleasant heft. Second, I'm able to store the units together, and this dramatically speeds up the set-up process. Third, it makes them a bit easier to move, IMO, since you can grab the base. Fourth, it keeps the figures in "formation" so they look sharp. Finally, the magnetic sheet helps keep them in place inside their Plano-box home, providing a little protection.

Once I get the human army finished, I'm not sure what I'll tackle next. Each expansion is a reasonable chunk, a bit more than a weekend for the smaller expansions at my painting pace. OTOH, I've been mightily impressed with some of the amazing terrain I've seen on-line. I'm considering getting a larger hex mat so that I can make some cool terrain to go w/ the figures.

I've also got my own copy of Hordes of the Things on the way. The BL minis would make a decent looking army, though they might look like hobbits if I ever face off against Steve's 25mm guys. I'll be interested to see the differences between the ways BL and HotT handle different rules situations. I like the attrition from BL (each unit gets worn down slowly), but I like some of the things I'm hearing about in HotT. I might try my hand at Ted's Battle Hordes.

You might notice that I added some marsh terrain to the Agincourt battle. Steve mentioned to me that the ground was hard going for the French, and later research confirmed this. Based on the reading I've done (mostly wikipedia), I'm actually a bit surprised there's not some kind of terrain in the middle, not even in the epic version w/ the 100 years war expansion.

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At 10:21 PM, February 17, 2009, Blogger Ted Kostek said...

Several guys in the SABG periodically threaten to sell their copy of BL. Let me know if you decide to do this.

I might be willing to buy it from you, depending on my cash situation at that exact moment.

I want some more archers and cavalry and terrain.

At 12:39 AM, February 18, 2009, Blogger Schifani said...

Fabulous work, it really ups the presentation factor that most of us enjoy.

If you decide you'd like another copy or one of the expansions, I think I'm near the sell-it-for-half-of-retail and play other people's point.

At 11:58 AM, February 18, 2009, Blogger Ben said...

Me too.

At 4:39 PM, February 18, 2009, Blogger Chris said...

We better be careful--I think we're all going to sell ours and leave Ted with the only copy.

We know how well that worked out with Mare Nostrum.

At 4:42 PM, February 18, 2009, Blogger Chris said...

Oh, BTW, very nice, Ted. I'd have to say your hard work was worth it. They look MUCH better with some color. Modeled terrain on top of that? Wow--keep us updated.

I noticed the bases right away. Looks like it's worked out well. Sometimes Steve has good suggestions. We try not to let it go to his head, though.

At 5:37 PM, February 18, 2009, Blogger Ted Kostek said...

Ben's effusive comment above pretty much sums up the general feeling about BL among the SABG.

I'm sad to say that BL, like MN, has had it's day in the sun among the SABG.

Too bad, but not much to be done.

Luckily it's pretty easy to introduce to new folks, and the painted set should help in that regard.

At 6:48 PM, February 18, 2009, Blogger Ben said...

I'm still holding out slight hope for FFG to ride in to the rescue. Now that the silly Frenchmen are no longer in charge, perhaps we'll see less cows and ostriches and more undead, orcs, and dragons.

At 8:45 PM, February 18, 2009, Blogger Chris said...

There was a post on BGG (that I responded to) that summarized my feelings perfectly about Battlelore:

Yep the setup and cleanup on [Battlelore] killed it for me. Commands & Colors: Ancients and Memoir '44 are just much easier to get ready to play for essentially the same game.

That is exactly it. I just never feel the desire to invest the energy in Battlelore. It's more complex than the other two, and for me, I just don't feel like I get significantly more return in fun out of it than I do with the other two. But I'm glad you enjoy it, Ted, and I would never dissuade you from enjoying it. In fact, I don't think anyone's tastes in the group overlap that much. Everyone has their favorites and they're usually different from everyone else's favorites. I remember the SABG Top 50 list for 2008--most games had two votes. Very few had 3 or more. I like that diversity (as I usually prefer to play NEW games rather than the old tried and true). But it does make it harder to get both bigger games and games requiring time commitment to the table, doesn't it? (Witness our discussions about Starcraft and Here I Stand a few weeks ago).

At 11:16 PM, February 18, 2009, Blogger Ben said...

I actually think Ancients is slightly more complex than BattleLore.

For a good example of what I want(ed) out of BL, just take a look at Battlegrounds: Fantasy Warfare. Something like 10 armies to pick from, including cool stuff like dragons, war elephants, siege engines... even a T-Rex! If you applied this type of wild fun to the BL system, I'd be back in an instant. I think with FFG at the helm, its now much more likely we'll see more variety and excitement.

Bottom line for me is that BL isn't a bad game, but I'm just so spoiled with so many better games I'd rather play that I don't see me ever grabbing for it.

At 11:25 PM, February 20, 2009, Blogger Mark said...

I enjoyed our introductory game of Battlelore enough to actually check prices online. The biggest obstacle for me is painting the figures. Ted's setup is awesome--it's the painted figures and magnetized bases that really make the game shine.


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