Wednesday, January 31, 2024

On The Painting Desk- 5 Day Painting Challenge - Day 3

Day 2 was a bit frustrating as I tried to get White armor AND do Speed Painting to get there.  Overall, that was a stupid idea and a big mistake, at the end of the day the armor was done.  On the down side, it didn't look like I had accomplished anything!  They still mostly looked primed and I had put a lot of coats of paint on the models.  

Therefore, when today started I decided to put the basic scheme together on a couple of the models to see what I thought about it.  

Hmmm, honestly not sure but I am committed now!  Very few paint schemes look good at this stage anyway.  The main colors are just blocked in and there is still a lot of detailing to do.  Here is the plan for the next couple of days: 

  1. Today - Block in Purple and Blue on weapons
  2. Day 4 - Detail up the models
  3. Day 5- Finishing like wash, highlight, basing, and seal
  4. Day 6 - Play some games! 
Aggressive but still do able. 

Traditionally, I was taught to paint from the lowest point and then work up.  So, you paint exposed skin first, then under clothing, then armor, then stuff on the armor and equipment last.  I don't know if that is a winning approach for these models.  The tabards are all very dynamic and run close to the armor at many points.  It may have been better to start with the tabards before the armor, especially since I made the armor white!  

I did manage to get the biggest block colors on, the purple and the dark blue.  That means I am on track for the outline I gave above.  I might need to switch to one or two minis at a time to finish the detailing tomorrow.  

It was a surprisingly and unexpectedly busy day today, so I feel pretty lucky that I got as far as I did.  I also managed to get a start on the Icon for the Icon Bearer.  A surprisingly intricate model and one of the tougher ones to paint so far.  

They still don't look like much thanks to the white armor.  I probably should have gone with Palid Bone, the color I used on my Dark Eldar weapons.  I know how that colors works!  Oh well, too late now.  

Tomorrow it is onto the detail work for the individual models.  They all have little bits of iconography, and I think I will use regular army painter paints for some of that to help it POP just a bit more.  Hopefully, tomorrow I have a bit more time so I can be a bit patient.  I don't think I do though!

Until tomorrow.  Thanks for following along on this journey! 

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!    



Tuesday, January 30, 2024

On The Painting Desk- 5-Day Challenge - Day 2

Day 2 of the challenge, and I had the squad all assembled and ready to go.  I even managed to prime it with Grey Seer.  Not bad for the first day!  

Going into Day 2, I knew I wanted to finish the priming step before speed painting.  That normally means giving the models a dark grey wash and then dry brushing white over the top.  I managed to finish that fairly early in the day. 


Right away I sorted them into a few groups and painted them about 5 different skin tones as a base.  I then used Speedpaint to get a greyish/black hair.  So far, so good.  

Now came the hard part.  I took a look at my Speed Paints and decides I was going to try to make White Armor, Purple Tabards, and Grey-Blue weaponry.  I got to work on a test model, and quickly realized that my plan was not going to work.  The white was just not working.  I tried a few different mixes and styles, and.... well it was not going to happen that way.  It was just coming out grey.  It was about mid-day and I knew I was going to have to go back to the drawing board on this design.  

This is white, huh?  

I really wished I had a test model to play around with, but I didn't really have one available and I didn't have the time.  I had to decide if I was just going to go all out with Mummy Robes, Matte White, or do something totally different.  After looking at it for a bit longer and looking at my Speedpaints, I decided to go with my Mummy Robes color and see what happened.  At least from there, I could maybe give it a wash and dry brush back-up with regular white if I needed to.  

Not great yet, but it never is at this stage of painting.....

After this, I decided to go back over the armor again with a very thin wash of Holy White Speedpaints and then edge the armor with Matte white to see what happened with it.  

They have white armor, honest! 

Well, after all day, the picture looks almost the same as when I started today!  LOL! 

I think I am finally happy with the white armor and it will look much better when the contrast colors go on the minis.  The funny thing is, after all that work, I will probably mess it all up once I start putting the purple on the tabards and sleeves.  However, I have used this purple before and have a pretty good idea of what it will turn out looking like; unlike the Holy White Speedpaint.

Hopefully, I can be more productive tomorrow.  Only three days left to go!  

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!    


Monday, January 29, 2024

On The Painting Desk - 5-Day Challenge - Day 1

 Welcome to day 1 of the 5-day Painting Challenge.  I have given myself five days to paint a box of Sisters of Battle.  This box will form the basis of a Kill Team for the upcoming True Crit Gaming Guilds' narrative campaign.  They will be using the Compendium rules.  

This is day 1!  So, let's take a look at how far I got today.  

The first step was to assemble my Sisters into the list I had planned out.  I assembled my trusty clippers, blades, and Gorilla Glue and got to work.  I knew I needed a Sister Superior, an Icon Bearer, a Melta-gun, a Storm Bolter, and a Heavy Bolter.  I toyed with the idea of going with two Melta-guns but ditched it in favor of the Storm Bolter, partially because it looked cool, and partially because of the Melta-guns limited range.  

I also had to decide how I wanted to do the heads.  Traditionally, I don't like soldiers on the battlefield without helmets.  It made no sense to me.  The Sisters of Battle also have some pretty cool helmets too.  However, I decided to go helmetless for all of them this time for two reasons.  First, I wanted folks to easily be able to tell these were Sisters of Battle and their helmetless heads are pretty iconic.  Secondly, I wanted to use a variety of skin tones on their faces to make them look really diverse.  Not 100% sure how that will work out.

Sisters Assemble! 

Overall, a pretty cool kit with lots of smooth lines and curves.  They went together pretty well with only two minor gripes.  Some of the joins are really thick, and once you clip them are in a position that are not easy to trim.  Too many joins on the shoulder iconography.  The second gripe is that several of the models of single points of contact on the base making them tough to position in place. 

I managed to time the construction so that the models would be assembled and ready for a coat of spray primer at the warmest part of the day, with full sun.  I had brought my spray can in from outside to warm up over night.  I had planned ahead, as spray priming in the middle of winter is not always easy.  However, due to my time constraints I did not want to brush undercoat. It was a balmy 50 degrees and even warmer in the sun.  I managed to give them a quick blast of Grey Seer and then hustled these little ladies back inside to dry at room temperature.         


As I waited for stuff to dry I filled my time painting up some terrain for my DIY terrain.  This was all 3D printed a while ago, but I never really got around to painting it.  Mostly used Big Box Acrylics to paint it them up and based the barrels with my usual methods.  

You did what now?  Inefficient! 

That gets me about where I wanted and expected to be by the end of the day.  Onto day two!  Hopefully I can continue the solid progress.  However, tomorrow is a pretty busy day for me so I might not be able to give it much time.

The plan is to finish priming by giving the Sisters a dark grey wash, and then going back and dry brushing them all white.  After that they are ready for some paint.    

Until tomorrow. 

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!    



On The Painting Desk- 5 Day Challenge- Sisters of Battle


Greetings readers, 

Normally, I post one blog entry a week, and call it a day.  I thought I would do something a bit different this week.  Those of you who are part of the True Grit Gaming Guild know that we are launching our Kill Team Narrative campaign on Saturday, February 3rd.  

This campaign features an Imperial vs. Chaos theme in a besieged city on the Eastern Fringe.  To prepare for this campaign, I got a cool new Cigar Box Battle Matt, made some DIY terrain to fit the theme, and ordered a nice new Corrupted Guard from Only. Games/Stationforge.  

You can find the Campaign document on the True Crit Gaming Guild Facebook page. 

DIY Terrain and Cigar Box Battles Mat

It soon became clear, that my Chaos Guard were not going to get here for the start of the campaign.  Technically, I still had several Eldar Kill Teams, and they can act as mercenaries in the campaign.  However, I wanted something that fit the theme of the campaign a bit better.  Therefore, I went to the FLGS to see what they had.  

One of the main drivers of the conflict that led to the Siege Perilous was religious friction between the elites and their officially sanctioned Theology of St. Augustine, and the general populations worship of the Cult of the Emperor's Hands.  Therefore, when I saw a box of Battle Sisters I figured I could make a nice Compendium Kill Team list that tied nicely into the campaign background.  I picked it up and went home.  

The Order of Saint Augustine Martyred

I took a look at the Compendium rules.  From there I tried to figure out my Kill Team.  If I am reading it right I can choose two Fire Teams of Battle Sisters as my team.  Perfect, as each team is 5 models.  This box looks like it will fit.  

From there, I looks like I can have the following specialists: 

  • 1 Gunner (Special Weapons) per 5 - Melta, Storm Bolter, Flamer
  • 1 Heavy Gunner if I have 10 Sisters - Heavy Bolter, Heavy Flamer
  • 1 Sister Superior to lead - Combi-weapon, or Power weapon/Plasma 
  • 1 Icon Bearer
Therefore, I had to take a look at the box and see what I could make...

If I am reading it right, it looks like I can make what I need!  I think my Kill Team will look like: 
  • 1 Sister Superior with Power Weapon and Plasma Pistol
  • 1 Heavy Gunner with Heavy Bolter
  • 1 Gunner with Melta Gun
  • 1 Gunner with Storm Bolter
  • 1 Icon Bearer
  • 5 Battle Sisters
With it all planned out, now came the hard part.  I gave myself 1-week/5 days to build, prime, paint and  detail this force.  Not a lot of time, especially since I was not sure of the color scheme even! 

Now, here is what I am going to do differently for the blog week.  I plan to "Live Blog" my progress as I try to get this Kill Team ready before Saturday.  I still have all of my normal weekly activities to complete this week like work, chores, social commitments, etc.  This is a big lift, and I don't know if I can do it. 

I will post everyday with my progress from the previous day, all the way until the big day.  Watch this space!  Let's see how far I get.  

Wish me luck, and place your bets now!  

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!  

Monday, January 22, 2024

Wargame Design- What is Fun?

The eternal question.  Spoiler alert for this post.  I don't know the answer to the leading question in the title.  However, as a designer this is the #1 goal players have when they approach your game.  They want to have fun!  Of course, what that means varies a lot!  

I have talked to a lot of different players in my time to try to answer this question, "What is fun?".  Here is a snapshot of answers I have received: 

  • Winning is fun! 
  • Hanging out with my buddies is fun! 
  • The spectacle of a good game is fun! 
  • Getting some insight into the period is fun! 
  • Telling stories on or about the games is fun! 
  • Playing and seeing what happens is fun! 
  • Painting and setting it all up, and seeing it all come together is fun! 
  • Letting my imagination run wild is fun! 
  • Trying to master the game is fun! 
  • Smack talking my friends is fun! 
  • Researching the period is fun! 
  • Being part of a larger community of folks is fun! 
  • Talking about the games is fun! 
  • Having a lot of choices in gameplay is fun!
The list is honestly endless.  There are as many different answers to "What is fun?" as there are players.  Each player comes to the table with their own history, personal preferences, styles, and calibrations for what is FUN and what is NOT FUN!  

If you ask players the flip-side of the coin, what is NOT FUN you also get a variety of different outcomes too.  If you list what is FUN on one side, and what is NOT FUN on the other you will often see the same answers!  

The Futility of It All! 

As designers, we all want to make "FUN" games.  The problem is obvious, no two people find the same thing fun!  In fact, what one person finds fun, another person will find "UNFUN".  How do we bridge this gap?  How is a designer supposed to make FUN games?  

The answer is surprisingly simple.  You don't.  

At first, this seems counter-intuitive.  After all, the most important rules in ALL of my games is this: 
  • The goal of the game is for all players to have fun.  If this does not happen, then the game is a loss for everyone involved.      
Yet, when you look at the Designer's Notes on my games I often put the Design Goals for the game on paper for you to read.  If you have read all of my Designer's Notes you will notice that none of the goals on the sheet are "Have Fun".  

Where is the disconnect between the Most Important Rule and the Design Goals?  There is not one.  It is impossible for a Wargame Designer to design a game for people to "Have Fun".  Therefore, it is not a relevant design goal.  It is an impossible guideline to apply to any wargame.  As I have demonstrated, people find unique and different things fun, and often they are counter to each other so it is impossible to design for Fun. 

What is a Designer to Do? 
No need to abandon all hope, ye who enter here.  Instead of seeing the impossibility of designing for FUN as an exercise in futility, we can see it for what it really is.  The fact that you can not design for FUN is liberating.  Now you can now focus on your own design goals.  You no longer have to be bound by the expectations of others.  You no longer have the pressure of delivering FUN, because you can't deliver FUN for everyone.  

Here is what you can do.  You can have a Point-of-View on what makes a game FUN, and you can try to deliver that.  I previously wrote about how a Wargame Designer has to have a POV of how what you are trying to model on the table, actually worked in the real or fictional world it represented.  Designing a game for FUN is similar.  The Designer needs to have a POV on what is fun and apply it to their own games. 

In this way, you are not designing for a committee, you are not designing for an audience, you are only designing games for one.  You are now designing for yourself and what you consider FUN.  What you consider FUN is not going to match up with any other person in the world 100%, and that is just fine.   

Take the time to ask yourself, "What is FUN?"  Do not stop on the first level of your answer.  Dig in deep.  Ask yourself WHY several times, and note where the answers start to branch off, and could lead to different answers.  At the end of the exercise, you might have 3 to 12 things that you think make a game FUN.  

For me, it came down to a few key elements: 

- Making a decision is fun
- Seeing the stories of the world unfold is fun
- The spectacle of a game is fun
- Seeing "what happens" is fun
- Learning about new things is fun

Now, take this list and reflect on where, when, and how you like to see these in Wargames you all ready play, have read, or have experienced.  This will help you understand what works and doesn't work for you in a game.  If this things come in opposition to each other, which one takes priority?  This process highlights your design preferences.  

These are the things that I find fun.  I like each of these things in various degrees, and expressed differently at different points in a game.  For example, I like decision making on the table more than off-the table.  I like to see "What Happens" more during the post-game than I do during a game.  I like to learn new things prior to the game, more than during or after.  I prioritize seeing stories unfold over the spectacle of the game.  Making an on-table decision is more important to me than learning about new things.   

Now, take a moment and recognize that you are the only person in the world that likes the things you like, when you like them, and the mix that you like them.  That is OK!  

POV ---> Design Goals   
These core principles of what you decide are FUN, naturally lead into your Design Goals
  • POV on Fun + POV on How Thing Work = Design Goals
You probably recall that your Design Goals act as guard rails for decision making on what goes in and what stays in your game.  Therefore, it makes sense that these Design Goals be informed by your POV as a designer on what is FUN and How Things Work.  Now your POV will infuse what your game will end up being.  

Once you have successfully captured your POV in your Design Goals for yourself and made a few games; then you can expand your thinking.  You will have enough self-knowledge and experience to try to think theoretically about what drives fun for people outside of your POV.  This is much harder to do.  I find it much easier to design for an audience of one, myself.  At least you know one person will appreciate the game! 

Final Thoughts
What is fun?  No one knows, because it is different for every single person as their preferences, tolerances, and experiences all vary.  Making FUN as a design goal is futile.

Instead, create your own Point-of-View on the topic and use that to inform your design goals.  I good place to start is by identifying what is fun for you.  Once you have mastered how to capture this into your design goals, you can start expanding outwards and experimenting with what is fun for others.  

The key point is that as a Designer, you must have a clear POV on what kind of FUN your game is catering to, and build your design goals around that.  

Bonus Content! 
It is funny to me that in theory, Kill Team does not have the mechanics that I like in a wargame at all.  I hate hit points.  Firepower overlaps maneuver.  There are tons of special rules.  It is filled with Game as Product gimmicks.  It does not have fire arcs and there is every reason to shoot every time you can shoot.  It is token heavy.  It is not model or scale agnostic at all.  Despite all these elements I do not like; I have fun playing it?  


Simple really, despite all the mechanical things I do not like about it; it still checks the boxes for what I find fun!    

- Making a decision is fun 
  • Are you in shoot mode or stealth mode?  
  • What do you activate when? 
  • How do I secure the objective against opponents with more APL?
  • When do I use my Command Points and how?   
- Seeing the stories of the world unfold is fun
  • I have a soft spot for the 40K universe.  
  • It is evocative and Kill Team let's that world unfold for me. 
  • Each model is a character of their own
- The spectacle of a game is fun
  • My opponents are painting their forces as there are only 12 or less models  
  • We have painted terrain.  
  • We have cool play boards.
- Seeing "what happens" is fun
  • The focus on Objectives over killing allows interesting game outcomes and reasons to interact
  • I have won the game with 0 models left functional
  • Quick games, so we can play 2+ in a club meeting
  • There is a campaign system 
- Learning about new things is fun
  • I have no idea what other Kill Teams do, so they keep surprising me
  • We keep changing up the missions
  • We keep attracting new players by playing it   
The game ends up being more than the sum of its parts for me.  Mechanically, it is not to me taste at all and that doesn't matter.  Instead, it is delivering on the things that I consider fun. 

Corsairs vs Ork Kommandos.  I am pretty sure I won this one on objectives in the end.  However, it was the first time an Ork player successfully used his Bomb Squig to take out one of my guys! 

We also keep attracting new people to the True Crit Gaming Guild who want to play games of Kill Team.  Therefore, we keep getting new players and showing new players the basics of wargaming.  Later this year, I plan on running a few other games like Force-on-Force, Castles in the Sky, and Men of Bronze but right now we are growing and people are painting up their forces for Kill Team! 

Why mess with a good thing.  This is the most games I have played in a long time, so I might as well sit back and enjoy it.  In addition to the game sessions, we also run painting nights and learn to paint sessions too.  This has set the expectation that painted models are key to the game.  I am loving it.  

So, enough photo dumping and bragging about our growing True Crit Gaming Guild.  Until next time!   

Monday, January 15, 2024

On The Painting Desk: The Hand of the Archon - Kill Team


As you all know, I have been playing a lot of Kill Team with my local club; True Crit Gaming Guild.  Normally, I play some faction of Eldar as they were my first miniatures and faction.  I have a Craftworld, Harlequin, and Corsair Kill Team all ready.  Therefore, when my FLGS got in the Hand of the Archon box I went ahead and picked it up.  I figured I might as well be "The Space Elf" guy in our group.  

The box has enough for 10 guys, and 8 of the ten seem to have something special about them.  When I made my Corsairs I skipped some of the specialty dudes in favor of some basic guys.  After reading up on the rules, I didn't skip any of the special dudes this time.  I made them all.  

The other big choice was to go helmetless across the board, mix it up, or all helmed.  Normally, I find going without a helmet in the 41st Millennium to be ridiculous, BUT it does make character models or specialists look good.  This force had a lot of specialists.  However, my aversion to painting skin won and I went with all helmet headed dudes.  I was pretty by the book, but a few mistakes forced me to swap around backpacks on a few guys. 

From there, it was time to undercoat.  Thankfully, I had a bought of nice weather and I was able to spray undercoat them outside with Grey Seer.  It was just in the nick of time as it snowed the next day!  That's living in the mountains for you, the weather changes dramatically and at the drop of a hat. 

Of course, I planned on speed painting these guys so a basic Grey Seer undercoat was not going to cut it.  I then gave them a dark grey wash to get into the recesses and cracks.  Once that was set I dry-brushed the models with white.  I have found that this gives really good contrast for speed paints.  This took me about an afternoon of prep work to get ready for painting.  I figured I could probably speed paint these guys over a weekend.  

Next, I started to do the basic block painting of the models using Speed Paints from Army Painter.  I have V1.  Therefore, I had to be a bit careful with overlapping and the like.  However, I had no real plans to do much painting beyond the speed paints.  

I decided on a Blood Red body suit underlay, then Absolution Green Armor, Crusader Skin tabards, Camo Cloak pouches, and Pallid Bone weapons as the predominant scheme.  Perhaps the Blood Red and the Dark Green was not the best choice.... too Holiday themed.... but I am not going back now! 

However, all of my Eldar have some sort of red and green on them.  Anything not covered at this point was probably getting regular painting attention and not speed paints.    

This stage took me an evening. 

Now it was onto some detail work.  For this, I mostly used traditional Army Painter colors with a mix of  cheap big-box store acrylics. The details included weapon blades, knife sheathes, gems, top-knots (would not be GW without a few top knots!), chains, and other details.  These just served to give the models a bit of "Bling!" to the eye and help them look individual and unique.  This stage probably took the most time due to paint switching, brush cleaning, and adding details.  

After that I went and did just basic bases for these guys.  They are meant to be used!  I used Hardened Leather speed paints and then rimmed them in black.  Once that was dry I brush coated them with a protective coating.  Speed paints are prone to wear if not sealed, and these guys were going to see some table time.  

I called them good and put them away to be gamed with.  10 models done for the year! A nice palette cleanser before I moved back to 6mm Hittites.  

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!  

Monday, January 8, 2024

On The Painting Desk: Battle of Kadesh - So It is Written, so it is done!


For 2023, I decided that my big project was going to be a Battle of Kadesh scenario.  This included rules, a scenario, and two armies of 6mm miniatures from Baccus.  I started the project pretty late in the year, and had a slow start in getting going.  There was a race to the end of 2023 to get at least one of the armies painted up before 2024.  Well, here it is 2024 and I am still posting about the first of the two armies!  However, I actually managed to finish this army at the end of December so I did manage to get it done in 2023.  

When we last left this army, I had finished off 6 bases of archers.  That left only a few units left to complete.  I had some Sherden royal guards, some Auxiliary Soldiers, and some levy none of whom had any bow support.  I also had 3 bases of Chariots to paint up for the Pharaoh and his striking units.  

I decided to start the next phase of the project by finishing off the remaining infantry units.  I followed the same pattern I have so far with all the minis for this project.  A pavement undercoat, then painted on the flesh tones, white clothing, bronze, white for shields, and a dessert brown for bows and hafts. 

The Sherden required a slightly different approach as they used a lot more Bronze armor.  In addition, they had some blue, Lapis Lazuli looking points on their shields that I picked out with a blue.  I also tried to give each unit a "unique" color for their banner and shields to help me differentiate them on the battlefield at arm's length.  

The Pharaoh's Royal Sherden Guard

Of course, once all the 6mm minis were painted, I went on to the basing.  Again, the techniques was the same as all the others.  I used gap filling putty on the bases and put the strips onto the putty.  Once dry, I painted the bases Territorial brown.  I then dry brushed a Khaki color and spot applied some green wash.  The last step was to paint the edges of the bases black.  

 Then, they went and joined the rest of the army marching across the desert.  

The Royal Guard lead out some soldiers and levy towards the Levant

That left me with the last 3 units, the Chariots.  These would be the main striking force and one of the unique units for the army.  I had never really painted chariots at this scale before.  I was unsure how to proceed as they came in some small pieces; an axel, the chariot car, and two horses.  I decided to paint the horses like all the infantry models, and the chariots I assembled the cars and axels before sticking them to my painting stick.  

I then proceeded to follow my normal approach to painting the Egyptians.  The only deviation was with the Pharaoh's chariot.  I decided to give him 4 horses, and painted the chariot crew and car a bit flashier than the others.  

Here they are on the shores of the Red Sea, perhaps recreating a scene from Exodus?  

Here is a full army shot of the Egyptian force heading to Kadesh.  

With the last elements painted, the Egyptian army is complete.  I barely finished it in 2023.  The Egyptians were ready to march to Kadesh!  Now, I just need to paint up the Hittites and we would be ready for a big throw down in the Levant before the end of 2024?  Hopefully.  

So it is written, so it is done!   

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!   

Friday, January 5, 2024

True Crit Gaming Guild Events: January- Northwest Wyoming

Greetings readers,

Here are a couple events that folks in Northwest Wyoming may want to check-out.  These are games related activities.  

A design discussion and play-through for a local game maker! 

 The True Crit Gaming Guild's  Project Social.  Bring what you want to work on from painting, modelling, terrain, assembly, whatever you want to work-on that is gaming related! 

Finally, the True Crit Gaming Guild is also building-up to play a Kill Team narrative campaign.  You can find a link to the booklet here:

Hopefully you can join us? 

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!    

Monday, January 1, 2024

Random: 2024 is Upon Us! What is to Be Done!


And with the blink of an eye; 2023 is done.  2024 is now upon us!  What are we to do?  

Normally this time of year I spend some time putting goals down on paper for 2024.  These act as guidelines for the year and keeps me from going "off-the-rails".  There are a lot of different things going on in the Miniature Gaming space and it is easy to flit around between projects and end the year with nothing accomplished.  

Normally, I like to break my goals down into the following categories: 
  • Purchases
  • Painting and Modelling
  • Playing Games
  • Rules Writing
  • Miscellaneous
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, Drive Thru RPG, 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!  

With that said, it is always hard to determine what purchases I might be making in the coming year.  Do I purchase things for new projects, expand on existing rulesets with further support, or do something completely different?  So, here are some thoughts for where I am right now: 
  • Stay caught up with the Osprey Wargaming Series
  • Purchase one new set of Wargaming rules that are not Osprey
  • A Games Workshop Kill Team from my FLGS
  • A new force from Victrix/Gripping Beast, Tumbling Dice or Wargames Atlantic (Either Ancients, Late Roman, New World, Korean Air War or Viking Age) 
  • A new set of RPG rules
I still have a large 6mm Hittite force to complete painting and I have a Heroquest set to finish painting as well.  Therefore, I can't get too crazy.

Maybe something Naval this year? Nimitz, Victory at Sea, etc. 

Painting and Modelling
So that transitions nicely into what I need to paint for 2024.  I am going into this year with two big projects to finish.  
  1. The Heroquest box of miniatures
  2. 6mm Hittite army
  3. A new Kill Team
  4. Any new miniatures I have picked up from my purchase pile
  5. I am trying to get some 15mm Cold War Gone Hot painted for Force-on-Force

That is a tall order.  However, I have worked out a pretty good system for painting 6mm models, speed paints for my Sci-fi/Fantasy stuff, and base+washes for my historical stuff.  I feel pretty confident I can paint a lot of stuff this year.  

I still have a lot of Hittites

Last year I had the most gaming I have had in a long time thanks to the True Crit Gaming GuildOf course, the most popular game there is Kill Team.  Therefore, I played a lot of that.  However, I also got to indulge in some other games as well.  

So this year, I plan on taking it to the next level by hosting a Kill Team narrative campaign for the club this year.  Plus, I want to playtest my Battle of Kadesh game before I start taking it around to the local libraries and the like.  

I am hoping to get 18 games in this year with a mix of Kill Team, Historicals, Blood and Spectacles games, and non-Blood and Spectacles games.  We will see how it goes.
  • 6+ games of Kill Team
  • 1-3 Ancients games
  • 1-3 Historical game of some type
  • 1-3 Operation: Hemlock games with my Skumgrod
  • 1-3 games from a non-Blood and Spectacles rule set
  • RPG 3 times a month
I will also continue to play 3 RPG session a month (or about a weekly cadence).  I don't think I can expand it any further than that.  I imagine I will get a shot at GMing again at least once this year.  Therefore, I will need to figure out what to run.  I am leaning towards something G.I. Joe, Princes of the Universe, or my own Space Mecha game depending on my groups tolerance for other systems at the time.  

Rules Writing
My big goal this year is to finish off and get In Strife and Conflict up and over to the Wargame Vault this year.  That would get me ever closer to my goal of having 50 or so games and publications out for sale.  I think I am somewhere around 25 but I am losing some steam lately.   

I also would like to finish 1 more Module for Flashlight: Tales of Terror for my RPG lite horror system and maybe a module for a 3rd party system as well.  There is no money to be made from 3rd party systems that do not have an open license, but I do them because I want to not because I will make money.  The best reason to do anything really! 

On Drive Thru RPG

I have also made a ton of progress on my Late Roman rule set Barbarians at the Gate, BUT I doubt I will get the post-production done in time.  The same thing is also holding up my Space Mecha RPG as well.  Sad trombone.  I am not hopefully I will get out a second wargaming book this year.  

Finally, I really need to get off my duff and start shopping more rules systems around.  Maybe an article for a magazine or a mini-game?  Most likely I will do nothing though.  I am pretty happy with my Wargame Vault page at the moment. 

Miscellaneous Stuff   
A lot of this stays the same from year to year, and is added here just to keep me on track. 

1. Update my Played and Painted Trackers for 2024! 
2. Set-up some demo games for Battle of Kadesh as a "Learning Experience"
3. Post 1 Wargame Design post a month
4. Bi-weekly updates on my Patreon
5. Update my Website with my newer products

Honestly, pretty standard stuff.  

Final Thoughts
The goals for the year are getting pretty routine around here.  Nothing earth shattering and they are pretty much a follow-on or continuation from 2023.  The biggest change from 2023 is that I actually have a pretty dedicated Gaming Guild now for miniatures and not just RPGs.  Therefore, I expect some of my energy to go into that.  

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. 

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!