Monday, July 3, 2023

Random: Mid-Year through 2023


Well, would you look at the calendar!  Half-way through 2023 all ready!  What do I have to show for it?  We'll see. 

You may recall my incredibly motivating and thorough Goals and Objectives for 2023.  These were to set the guidelines for what I was going to get done and focus on.  As always, they are not hard and fast rules, but more to keep me on the straight and narrow and not get distracted and spend my precious time and budget on side projects and things that I would not get finished.  However, I am a wargamer so side projects pop up and things take my fancy all the time.  

As usual, I will divide this recap into five key areas: 

  • Purchases
  • Painting and Modelling
  • Gaming
  • Rules Writing  
  • Miscellaneous Stuff
Of course, I can not start off this section without giving YOU my loyal customers a big shout out.  Every time you purchase one of my games from Osprey, Wargames Vault, follow me on Patreon or support me in other ways you help make this all possible.  It is your support that allows me to buy the minis, paints, artwork, web domains, and other supplies needed to keep Blood and Spectacles Publishing operational.  Therefore, I try to keep all the money earned in these endeavors going back into the business of Wargaming. Thank you!  

So, going into this year, I had not even settled on a "Big Project" for 2023.  I had a number of open projects that I could have chosen to complete, but I narrowed it down to two for 2023 and the purchases I would need to support it. This was a tough decision.  Ultimately, I decided that my "big project" for 2023 was going to be..... drumroll please......

Yup, I decided I was going to update and complete my Late Bronze Age and Early Iron Age set of rules focusing around Chariot Warfare featuring the Assyrians and their Foes.  Thankfully, Assyrian power rose and fell a few times over the course of the Bronze Age and eventually hit its zenith in the early Iron Age with the Neo-Assyrian Empire.  That means I was able to cover a wide swathe of history, fighting styles, and foes.  

This game will be using the Men of Bronze system as its base, but also incorporates some updates earned from feedback, FAQs, and errata from previous Men of Bronze related systems.  This one has been marinating around for the past 4-5 years or so and I think of 2023's version as version 3.0.  

One of the key Historical Scenarios in this book is the Battle of Kadesh, which is probably one of the most famous battles in history.  It features the forces of the Egyptians vs. the Hittites.  Not an Assyrian in sight!  However, it is an iconic battle from the period and needs to be addressed.  I also decided to make this the focus of my big 2023 project!  

I purchased the forces for both sides of the Battle of Kadesh from Baccus miniatures in 6mm.  I plan on using 60mm by 60mm bases for the units, to match my Heirs of Empire armies.  However, the rules for In Strife and Conflict are scale and model agnostic (as always), but I like the look of the units in this scale as well as the price. My goal is to paint the armies up, host a Launch Party/Game Event centered around the Battle of Kadesh, and use the images from this project and battle to complete the Post-Production on In Strife and Conflict.       

This was a tough decision, as the new Victrix Late Roman forces almost had me prioritize my Barbarians at the Gate Late Roman game instead.  However, I had spent much of 2022 painting up Victrix Persians.  I was looking for something a bit different for this year. 

Painting and Modelling
This segment has been hampered for 2023 by two main concerns: 
  1. I painted my Pile of Shame in 2022, I had nothing left. 
  2. I had not decided on my big 2023 project yet
  3. My 3D printer needed some stuff, so that slowed down progress there
With that being said, I think I have had a respectable result in this department!  First, I finished off my generic adversary minis that I had from the Hellboy Board Game that my friend had given me.  

I also painted some Samurai that I found while re-arranging my miniatures.  I had forgot that I even had these old Foundry sculpts.  However, they have come in handy for a Legend of the 5 Rings campaign I am running for my RPG group.  They are my first historical models painted with Speed Paints. 

Next, I was able to print up some 6mm models for an Imperial force as part of Operation: Hemlock.  I even managed to get them painted up.

Finally, I 3D printed some Objective markers for various games and painted them up.  This included 6 cows that I can use for Fury of the Northman markers, especially the Cattle Raid scenario.     

I also made some generic "Huts" that I could use to give the impression of a village for various games at 28mm too. 

So, despite some "limitations" going into the start of 2023, I managed to get a lot painted and modelled in the first half of 2023. 

Some 3D printed Nemo Subs for various purposes

Here is where I have been surprisingly productive.  Last year I spent a good deal of time playing Castles in the Sky and after its launch. I needed a bit of a break from it.  Instead, my local gaming group transitioned into playing a lot of Kill Team!  Thankfully, I had plenty of old 40K models so I could easily play along as well.  That has been the game I have played the most this year, using a variety of teams.  

In addition to that, My Skumgrod (Ork for favored opponent) and I have managed to play a few games for Operation: Hemlock and get started on playing the Ionian Revolt campaign for Men of Bronze.

On Land and Sea.....

.... and some Operation: Hemlock games in the air! 

Rules Writing
Well, I all ready shared what I was working on for the Big Project in 2023.  However, I have released two other works in 2023 all ready.  The first was.....

Homer's Heroes: Bronze Age Bad Boys is a model-vs-model skirmish game, and my attempt to solve the problem of Melee Yahtzee with a Homeric veneer.  It has a campaign play mode and solo/co-op options.  You can find this one on the Blood and Spectacles Wargame Vault page.   

The second publication is something a bit different and it can be found on the Blood and Spectacles page on Drive Thru RPG

This one is a rule-lite horror Role-playing game.  It includes the rules, character sheets, a quick reference guide, and a starting Tale of Terror to get you playing.  It is a bit of departure for me as I start to explore the world of RPG design as well as Wargame Design.  

A productive year all ready, so I hope I can get something else out into the wild before 2024.  My goal is to eventually get to 50 publications and right now I am at 24!  About half way there! I have a few RPG and Wargame projects close to completion.  

Miscellaneous Stuff
This is assorted stuff I wanted to do, but that did not fit into these nice categories.  

  • Update Trackers on the blog for painting and playing?  Check
  • Get a game group going and expanding?  Check
  • Quarterly Wargaming events?  Ahhhh....... at least the group has been getting together bi-weekly.
  • Weekly RPG Campaign?  Mostly check! 
  • Charity Game?  Ahhhh....... 
  • Game Design content monthly on the blog?  Check
  • Patreon updates on a regular basis?  Check
A good start here, but I just need to keep the momentum up! 

Final Thoughts

Well, for a rather slow and unfocused start to the year things are starting to come together.  I have my "Big Project" determined for 2023 and the minis ordered and rules I need for it all finished up. I have also been gaming regularly, posting regularly to my various platforms, got my Orange30 3D printer humming, and I am seeing more Blood and Spectacles related content on the wider web.  Overall, that makes me smile. 

Hopefully, I can end the year even stronger than I have started the year!  Let me know if you have any comments, thoughts, ideas, or feelings in the comments, the message board, or on the various Blood and Spectacles related platforms. 


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1 comment:

  1. Like you, I try to get all the Osprey Blue Books. I’ve revisited Men of Bronze and I like the look, so after a trip to Wargames Vault, I have a few of your sets and I am looking forward to giving them a run out..
    However, I was going to ask “have you considered pushing the rules back to Assyrians?” So imagine my delight when I saw reference to “In Strife and…”
    Very much looking forward to this book, hopefully it won’t be too long…