Monday, August 8, 2022

Random- Noon of a New Age 2022

The end of July, the High Noon of 2022.  We are half way through the year so it looks like time to look at what has been accomplished so far.  At the beginning of the year, I put out a high level road map of what I want to accomplish.  At this point, I review those goals and make adjustments as needed.  Keep in mind, my roadmap is just a guide.  Nothing is set in stone, and I often jump over the guard rails for various reasons.   However, now is the time to talk about it and take stock of 2022 to date.  

As usual, I have broken the year down into five categories; Purchasing, Painting and Modeling, Playing, Rules Writing, and Miscellaneous stuff.  I find these categories help me stay focused.  


I feel it necessary to start this section of the Goals with a huge "Thank You!".  As I have said many times, you make this section possible!  Every time you purchase a product from the Wargame Vault, buy one of my books from Osprey, or become a patreon; you are helping keep Blood and Spectacles Publishing moving forward.  Without your purchases, I could not get the products for me to review, the artwork for post-production, the models for the painting desk, or the terrain in the featured battle reports.  Your support makes this all possible, and allows me to keep making games.  

Thank you! 

With that said, creating games requires more than just writing rules.  The hardest part is the play-testing, editing, and post-production work.  The purchases I have listed below fall into two main categories.  The first, is items I need to complete or finalize rules and supplements.  The second are research or marketing items to keep me making new content.  95% of purchases are to help expand and grow Blood and Spectacles Publishing and get more games into your hands! 

So, here is what I wanted to purchase for 2022.  This I have completed are in green, in progress in blue, and not started is in regular text.   

  • Dark Age Irish from Wargames Atlantic to help complete my Viking Age project
  • Gripping Beast Dark Age Miniatures to complete my Viking Age project
  • Tumbling Dice Korean War aircraft for White Star/Red Star rules
  • Victrix Persians for an Ionian Revolt supplement for Men of Bronze
  • Stay caught up with the Osprey Wargaming Series
  • Purchase The Silver Bayonet for Review
  • Purchase 1+ Indie wargame rules for review   
  • Miscellaneous miniatures for a few Horror Games I am working on

That leaves my  Dark Age models.  I am debating about skipping more Dark Age models and moving onto some Aztec themed, Assyrians or Late Roman age models instead for other projects.  That is one problem with painting to support the wargames I am working on.  I am always moving onto the next project.  What do you think?    

Painting and Modeling

The last three years I have been super productive on this front.  Therefore, going into 2022, my back log of things to paint is clean.  Last year, I painted 300+ models, and the two years before were closer to 150+ each year.  However, this has cleared my desk so that I can work on the new Purchases.  

  • A Dark Age Irish Army from Wargame Atlantic
  • Victrix Persian Army for Ionian Revolt Supplement
  • Korean Air War aircraft from Tumbling Dice
  • A Unit or Two of Gripping Beast Dark Age troops
  • Two Trireme fleets for Poseidon's Warriors

Two out of five big painting projects done, and a third is half way to completion.  Not a bad start.  I have painted 150+ miniatures this year, and am on track to hit my record for 2021 at 300+.  I hope I can keep up the pace!  The Persians will be another 130 or so models if I finish them off.  If I go with Dark Age Troops and not others, that is another 100+ or so.  


Typically, I get about 12-18 games in a year.  2021, I got 25 games in!  I do not expect to repeat that success.  I have a long running, regular RPG group commitment now as well as my wargaming group too.  That said, I expect to get about 12-18 games in this year, with a lot of Castles in the Sky getting played since it is launching in June of 2022 from the Osprey Wargaming Series.  

  • Play 4-6 games of Castles in the Sky
  • Play 4-6 Ancients games based on one of the Blood and Spectacles systems
  • 2-4 games of White Star/Red Star
  • 2-4 games of other systems either from Blood and Spectacles, Work-in-Progress or other systems
I completed my goals for Castles in the Sky and for White Star/Red StarI am also on track for my overall games played this year with over a dozen all ready!  That is good progress for me.  I also had the book launch for Castles in the Sky.  

Rules Writing
Well, I did have a few games I intended to get finished in 2022, a few to keep tinkering with, and a few to put pen to paper on.  Typically, I am consistent in getting product out, and I will be featuring a lot of my WIP designs, Lines-of-Battle, upgrades, etc on my Patreon as we go through 2022.

Here is what I have finished and put up on the Blood and Spectacles Wargame Vault page so far....

  • White Star/Red Star
  • Blood and Spectacles - 2E
  • Under the Martian Yoke
  • Fury of the Northman 
That's just what I have put out this year all ready!  I have been chugging along on the wargame writing front.  Most of these have been in the works for sometime, but I got off my bum and finished them off and published them to the Vault.  The third rule of wargame design is Finish the Game! 

I have made considerable progress on the following projects, but they are now in Post-Production. That means they need polishing, photos, images, and other work before they are ready for prime time.  
Of course I have also started work on a few other projects as well, including various historical rules sets such as Aztecs and Conquistadors, Late Roman, and Darkest Knights.  That is a lot of rules writing going on!  

Other Miscellany
This year, I have been working hard to help build my local community of wargamers.  It is this base that helped me launch Castles in the Sky with a book launch to help drive support for our local art store, Gestalt Studios.  It is this base that also will help me expand my efforts to other "local" FLGS stores.  

I hoped to get to a gaming Con this year, but various "complications" in my personal schedule and flooding/road damage make this seem unlikely.  Oh well.  There is always next year.  

Once again, thanks for all of your help and support!  You folks are what make Blood and Spectacles what it is today!  Your support, input, interactions, and purchases are what keep me going both financially and creatively.  

This has been a pretty big year for Blood and Spectacles Publishing so far, with a variety of games going live.  Thank you!  

Of course, there is still a lot of year left, so let's all push to get our goal and projects done for the year.  I look forward to seeing you share some of your own goals and progress in comments, the message board, facebook, and instagram!  Onto the second half of the 2022, the Rest of a New Age!  


Become a Patron and get access to all the cool stuff, a peak behind the curtain of Blood and Spectacles, and early-access to playtest games!  

You can follow Blood and Spectacles Facebook page or Instagram for more fun! 

Check out the latest publications and contact me at our Blood and Spectacles website

Or purchase all out games at the Blood and Spectacles Publishing Wargames Vault Page!
As you can see, this has been a pretty busy year so far.  

Monday, August 1, 2022

Battle Report: Castles in the Sky- Book Launch Demo


We had a nice Book Launch party at Gestalt Studios in Powell, Wyoming on 7/23/2022.  Thanks to everyone who was able to make it!  We managed to keep the Demo table full, founds some new recruits for our wargaming group, sold some books, supported a local business, and had an all around blast!  

I did not get to play in the Demo game, as I was busy trying to circulate around, chat up the visitors, and be a good host.  Therefore, I do not have a play-by play of the game.  However, I do have some random photos and I know some of the outcome.  

The battle itself was the British Royal Navy defending a radio station from being bombarded a strange alliance between the French L'Aire National, and the German Empire's navy.  We hade four players each with a Battleship, a cruiser, and an escort.  We had an American Fleet and a second British fleet in reserve if needed, but we were able to keep all the action on one table as people came and went.  

Thanks to the following Painters: 

Marc Harrison of The Painted Dwarf in Powell, WY for this great American Fleet from Brigade Models.  It has made an appearance on this blog a few times, most notably in the Pseudo-War posts.  

The Painted Dwarf

The we also had a great Royal Navy fleet from Brigade Models painted by Michael "Misha" Hansen of Lone Wolf Painting out of Rexburg, Idaho.  

Lone Wolf Painting

We also had a French Fleet from Brigade Models painted by me....

And a very cool and unique German Fleet designed and made by John, the creator of the Warcaste TCG. 

Warcaste TCG YouTube and Website

Again, I was not able to give a word for word description of the game, as I mostly just umpired as needed.  However, I know the results.  The French/German alliance was successful in bombarding and destroying the British Radio Tower.  However, there was a heavy butcher's bill, as the French Battleship and command ship exploded in a fireball high in the sky, and damaged the nearby Gloire cruiser.  In addition, the British also had a Warrior cruiser explode, and a Shah Frigate crippled in the action. 

Here are some photos to wet your appetite.  

 This was the table set-up for the start of the game.  You can see a variety of terrain, including some cloud banks, and some level 1 hills along the river.  Each player had a QRS, a laminated ship stat card, and a ruler.  You can see off to the side we had a side board that held extra dice and such.  I also used a white board to help us track Command ratings, Altitude, Speed, and Damage during play.  Some players opted to use the dice on the table method as we played as well as the white board to track ship status.  

Here the game is well underway, with the British closing in on the target to help defend it.  The French are in the upper left and coming in hot!  The French used their Battleship as a high altitude distraction, while the rest of the German/French fleet went in low.  This worked surprisingly well, as the British got distracted by the high flying French ship, and did not fully concentrate on stopping the lower level attackers.  

At this point, the British Radio Tower has been destroyed, and the Alliance is turning away from the battle to escape.  However, the British are still going to try and exact a heavy toll!  Of note, you can see Air Mines were deployed near the center of the board.  

Here, you can see where the British Warrior-class airship exploded while in pursuit of the German Nassau-class Battleship.  Ka-boom!  Perhaps that was the Warrior trying to punch above its weight class?  The French Courbet class Battleship as all ready been removed at this point of the battle thanks to the fire of a Queen Elizabeth class British dreadnought.  It also went Ka-boom!   

You can see the QRS I used for this battle on the Message Board here.  There are other useful resources and tokens you can use here

Overall, another fun book launch at Gestalt Studios in Powell.  Thanks to everyone who came, and thanks to everyone who has purchased a copy of Castles in the Sky from Osprey all ready!  Happy gaming! 

Become a Patron and get access to all the cool stuff, a peak behind the curtain of Blood and Spectacles, and early-access to playtest games!  

You can follow Blood and Spectacles Facebook page or Instagram for more fun! 

Check out the latest publications and contact me at our Blood and Spectacles website

Or purchase all out games at the Blood and Spectacles Publishing Wargames Vault Page!