Sunday, February 7, 2016

The Competition...

First of, let's be clear - that reads "EROICA" not "EROTICA".  "Eroica" Italian for "heroic" and is a reference to the old Italian bicycle road races - "Strade Bianche" of the 20's and 30's.

For those who are curious... L'Eroica - Inspiration

The Eroica Grognard

This fellow is in his 70's and blew past me on a climb - on a 2-speed antique of  a bike you can see here. To be fair, he was a road racer in his youth, has never stopped riding and seems to be the human equivalent of beef jerky. Whereas I am a middle aged, corporate employee with a slight weight problem. (I'm working on it!)

Why is this here - on a hobby blog?

Well, vintage cycling is also a hobby, albeit not the focus of this blog.  However, I share it to show what competes with my hobby time - besides my kids and adult responsibilities. I see it as a counter-balance to a beloved but, let's be brutally honest, distinctly sedentary hobby. I am training to ride - with my CoC gaming buddy Nick - at the California version of Eroica down state amid wineries and the lovely California coast.  Eroica California

Here's our cycling group at the start of the day last April. I'm the stout chap in the red cap. Compadre Nick is second from the right.

And here are me and Nick at the end of the ride. Smiling that I can finally get off that saddle, sit in the shade and drink a beer.

Today I got on my 1973 Motobecane for the first time in...half a year?  Despite that, I rode 28 miles.
Consequently, I was just a little too pooped to haul out my gaming board, terrain and models for a photo shoot this afternoon. Maybe one night this week after work.

This will be a balance I navigate over the next few months.

And now, back to our regularly scheduled gaming content...

Friday, February 5, 2016

Rising from the ashes

For everything, there is a season...

It's been over 2 years since I lost my hobby mojo.

My old friend's passing started a series of life events...hip replacement surgery, finishing a masters' thesis, training for a vintage cycling race, a separation.

Most of it good, life moving forward stuff.  No complaints. But the creative juices were travelling down other sluices.

And yet, over the last half year I've been slowly getting back into gaming and back to my two main projects:

   1 - Wargaming in Westeros - kitbashing all the wonderful 25mm medieval plastics available.

   2 - Wargaming in Middle Earth - War of the Ring with house rules to refine the v1.0 from GW

But part of my momentum stems from my cycling and reenacting buddy Nick Addison roping me into his own reentry into table top wargaming via Chain of Command.

And part of the momentum comes with the advent of Lion Rampant, and now Dragon Rampant - i.e. adaptable rules that allow for building retinue sized forces that can be combined into large armies using massed battle rules such as Hail Caesar, Medieval Warfare, Impetus or Sword & Spear.

What's to come...

   > Work I've done with my back log of terrain projects to create an attractive table top. A good
       start with plenty left to do.

   > Plans for my multiple Westerosi retinues - Stark, Lannister, Greyjoy, Tully and Arryn (with
      Tyrell, Martell and Baratheon not far behind)

   > Battle reports using Lion/Dragon Rampant and my painted LotR forces until the Westerosi
      retinues come on line.

   >  Plans for my multi-player Battle of the Pelennor Fields project

   >  Irregular reports on games outside these core projects - mostly Chain of Command and,
        hopefully some Dux Britanniarum.

   > Related boardgame forays into War of the Ring, Battle of the Five Armies and Battles of

   >  Showcasing kindred spirits with similar, inspiring projects to build community across our
        little corner of this diverse hobby.  "There are many like it but this one is mine..."

Believe me, after all I've been through, I'm not entirely confident that I won't wander off again. (You did see the name of this blog, right? Truth in advertising.) But I'm having fun with it and feeling the muse upon me.

I welcome your comments, feedback and encouragement.



Postscript though: perhaps this image is more apropos than a phoenix...