Thursday, December 5, 2019


A cat
My new boss, Hildigard von Katzen

And an 8x5' gaming surface

Sunday, October 6, 2019

Two posts in one year; I feel so smug.

As usual, I have too many projects.

  1. For the Enlightenment lads, I will be sorting out the table-ready figure inventory and start getting games going this month or early next so my retired buddies and I can game without having to accommodate working people.  Nothing need be done except the making of a list.
  2. For WWII, I think I will change rule sets, probably something of my own devising  -- or more accurately something cobbled together out of other systems.  Now, do I want to re-base or not?  Current direction is "not" -- the bases I use are not huge.
  3. Still running Magnifico, now on season two using GURPS.  Season three  will be derived from Cypher System, which is a bit more rules light.  For developing and selling a session they have a far more inviting business model and people I respect like the rules.
  4. I have now acquired a a 10mm Italian Unification army which I plan to use with Fire and Fury,  The draw is ACW kit and tactics without slave owners.  If that works well I will do more periods using it.
  5. I'm getting a cat.  Some nice senior cat from the shelter to drag me out of bed every morning and give me someone to look after.  I seem to need that somehow.
  6. There are 1:3000 pre-dreadnoughts that need my attention.  I have everything I need but time.
If I start listing all my other unpainted or barely started projects I will just be sad; I am planning on staying at home until spring rolls around so  there will be lots of cold winter days to get work done.

Saturday, June 29, 2019

Eternal Project Reset

My last, badly mis-dated, post told of plans for the first few months of industrious post retirement hobbying.  Nothing, of course, works out as planned.

What's worked:

  • I am retired.  I like being retired.
  • I have traveled to London and Florence as well as trips to Toronto and Ottawa.  Lots of traveling to come.
  • I have helped run an actual prize winning game at Cangames in Ottawa! 
  • I have completed Objective One from my last post.  I am indeed running a GURPS campaign set in 15th Century Florence  -- it's called, uncleverly, Magnifico.  Great fun with happy players and lots of laughter.
  • And most important there is a wonderful new person in my life.  Fortunately for my projects, she's a busy writer and artist so I have to keep up my game!
So instead of listing dozens of Objectives lets classify and prioritize:


I want to work from Magnifico as my own campaign to Magnifico as a setting.  This presents some interesting challenges, the most significant being "how do I write about history without writing a history book?".  Most RPGs leverage the common cultural stereotypes  -- a feedback between fantasy books, bad history in movies, and video games endlessly recycled.  I think -- and at least some of the material I see getting YouTube views and the like supports the hypothesis -- is that some RPG players and GMs do care about historical accuracy and at least consistent settings.  

So, a timed, measurable objective:
  • By September  2019, complete a useful draft a setting for an Italian hill town with historical details, characters, and adventure hooks.  The setting will be system-neutral but will have guidance for using at least GURPS, 5e, and probably Savage Worlds or Fate.  If I am satisfied that I have the text I need, I will move on to commission art, produce graphics, produce a book and self publish on a PDF platform such as DriveThruRpg.

I have quite a few unfinished miniatures project.  I have resumed painting so I am no longer completely frozen.  The projects I plan to push ahead with, with no particular deadline
  • 28mm figures for Magnifico play.  I have quite a few painted, and if I can plod on at half a dozen a week I will soon have everything I need for quite elaborate games.  I am considering developing another set of rules, working title "civic violence" for gaming full contact politics in the Italian Renaissance city.  This would be fun at a low level of complexity as a convention game.
  • In connection with that, I have the tools I need to build XPS foam models of building for a miniatures game.  I have been quite inspired by my trip to Florence.  A few test pieces needed followed by a plan for a modular system.
  • 28mm Old School Napoleonics.  I have picked up a reprint of the Charge! rules -- the first mini game I played -- and ordered the figures for a full "regiment" of Austrian infantry.  I am not sure I will ever use them, but they will look lovely in the cabinet.
  • 6mm Italian Renaissance for Impetus.  Fun rules, and 6mm is not that hard to paint.
  • And I will get those 1:3000 navel figures done, because they too are just plain good looking.
  • I have other concepts in 10 and 15mm but they will wait until at least some of the others are on display.

I seem to have ended up with a mishmash of Europa games that need to be sorted, some of which truly belong in the hands of my friend Martin.  Europa players seem to like to put everything in the same box so I have a LOT of sorting to do.

I also want, as part of my non-wargamer life, to spend some time board-gaming with my friends; the "German" style games are good fun and I no longer feel as abashed by hobby as I once did.

And of course...

I have no intention of ceasing to enjoy my "normal life." We have trips planned, I still have my charity and choir to keep me busy, I have an enormous reading list, and life needs to be lived to the full.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Impending retirement

In less than a month I will be done with work.  That means my extra curricular projects, which had depended on my having something resembling energy at the end of a long day, will get a boost.

In that spirit, I am setting some objectives for now to 2019.  This is the hobby list only!  I have lots of other real life things like getting my Italian up to scratch.  Here we go!

By June 2019:

  • Start running regular sessions of a Renaissance Florence GURPS campaign.  This can start purely pen and paper without computer support, but will be platform one for my GURPS software projects.
  • Release version 1 of my GURPS Character Management Tool on a platform that is web-accessible to my players.  Must be able to create and update characters for the Renaissance game.
  • Rebase my 10mm WWII to smaller infantry bases and start gaming with a set of company-level rules.
  • Start regular games used Might and Reason with my 10mm Imagination figures.  No rebasing allowed.
  • Play at least one WWII East Front game all the way through.  It probably won't be FiTE, but the Columbia East Front is a good candidate.
  • Paint my 1:3000 late C19 naval and play at least one game.
By December 2019
  • At least two significant enhancements to the GURPS tools including session-time ref and player features.
  • Prepare a system neutral sourcebook for central Italy in the renaissance.
  • Paint a significant proportion of my 25mm Perry Wars of the Roses and RPG figures for the Renaissance game,
  • Paint my 6mm Wars of the Roses and base for Impetus as Italian armies.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

A resource for refugee sponsorship in Canada

Sorry if this is kind of spam, I don't want to loose track of it

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Well, the sorting and stacking worked out.  No miniatures parted with, but over 60kg of junk to the landfill and the room in a state where the cleaners are able to keep it reasonably dust-free.

I have not since returned to gaming, although I am looking at painting a couple of 28mm figures over the next few weeks as a form of relaxation.  If I do, I will post the results here.

Most of my free time has shifted to work at the church - Saint Vincent de Paul, choir, Alpha - and spending time with friends.  My reading is almost all a slightly more literary fiction (lots of Tracy Chevalier; but all detailed on my goodreads page).  I also spent much of last fall baking bread, and will probably return to baking when the weather cools down here again.  I've also found a great hummus recipe!

I have continued to pursue my studies of Renaissance history and over the next week or so will try using yet another blog page to organize my notes and references.  Not a perfect tool for the purpose, but readily available wherever I am.  The 6sided blog pages seem to has disappeared, but I had little enough there.  The other hobby pages I will leave linked for reference, and because who knows when I might  return to them?

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Boy, its been a long time

As you have probably guessed, my interests have been very differently focused since June of 2013.  I will probably not blog much about that, since really it is from a very different place than the audience of the few folks who do visit these pages.

I am making these notes as an aid-memoir for myself.  It is time to clear out the dead projects.  Not that some might not com eback to life, but so I will have a bit more space for - well, not so much active projects as a saner life. 

The objective:
  • All retained materials in conventional out-of-the-way storage.
  • No new storage furniture or space - I will fit it in the space I have, except for a few things that make sense elsewhere.
  • No under-table storage in the new world order.
The method:
  • Make material to be re-stored evident.  Out from under the tables it comes!
  • Clear easy wins - I am keeping some candidate storage containers surplus to needs, that sort of thing.  Ditch all that.
  • Tools in the garage.  Since I am not actively crafting, they can go in a storage bin elsewhere.
  • Clear expired stock.  Eliminate all but basic supplied of paint, brushes, etc.  When I can take the time to go back to miniatures, I will be able to buy new supplies.
  • Compress.  Get stackable bins and fill them TIGHT with the stuff that should be kept but will not be re-accessed until I go back to miniatures. 
  • To a good home, the projects which will be retired for good.  This includes all 28mm except the one totally painted figure, all the non-Renaissance 15mm, and 10mm besides not-SYW and WWII.  I will keep the 6mm FPW just in case,but clear out the unpainted 10mm FPW.
  • I will ALSO downsize the library; military SF and fantasy are especially vulnerable.  I will need to reorg the large bookcase (it is big enough for boxes) to be storage instead.  There will be double-shelving!
 Lets see how it works.  I'll check back in in a couple of weeks.