Keeping a Paint Inventory

When you’re into the wargaming hobby like I am you end up with a lot of model paint. In fact you end up with two, three, or even four pots of the same color! Hence, and heed closely, because this is very important, keep an inventory of your paint collection.

Now, keeping an inventory can be as simple as creating a list of the paints you have. Now, I use Citadel paints from Games Workshop, so they have all kinds of weird names like Leadbelcher and Mephiston Red. You don’t necessarily have to put down exactly what type of red or green you have, but I like to put down the name of the paint. I’ve found it makes keeping track of exactly which paints I have easier.

There are many ways, with the advent of the internet, to store your list: you can keep it online, in a private file on your computer, or even on your phone!

I hope this was helpful to you wargamers and model builders out there using the internet. It’s critical to keep a paint inventory if you’re seeking to save money.

Finish What You Start

In wargaming it is easy to get sucked into more than one game at once. Now, for some people that’s okay. Some people can get by with playing more than one game at once. But what I’m saying is that some people should choose one game and stick with it until they know the rules and the mechanics at least relatively well. For example, if you’ve decided to play Michael Lovejoy’s Burrows and Badgers from Osprey Games, don’t go over to Mercs when you haven’t even finished reading the rules for the first game. It doesn’t matter if the miniatures are cool. They very well may be. But if you don’t finish learning the game you’ve committed to learn in the first place, you’ll never finish anything! You’ll just be hopping from system to system never truly learning a game.

Now, I got some advice from the YouTube channel Tabletop Minions: learn skirmish games. That way you can save money as well as learn the game a little bit quicker. To begin with, the number of miniatures you need to play a game of Burrows and Badgers, (3-10,) is a lot smaller than the number of miniatures you need to play a big army game like Warlord Games’ Black Powder or Games Workshop’s Warhammer: Age of Sigmar. Another thing is that skirmish games are quicker to play than large battle games, (at least I believe they are.)

So, in closing, play skirmish games, (especially if you’re new to the hobby.) And try to stick with one game in starting out. As time goes on, you may find that you enjoy playing more than one game at once. I’m just saying, don’t start out like that. Start with one game. Trust me, it will be a lot easier on you, and on your wallet!

Painting Wargaming Figures

I’m hoping that soon wargamers will be attracted to my blog. Either that or some of my readers will get into the hobby. Unfortunately for newcomers to the hobby who aren’t artistic by nature, art has to become a skill that’s developed over several years. Take me for example: my first miniatures were all one color: I had some gold foot knights and white Templar infantry from Fireforge Games, and some red Roman legionaries, (along with two centurions,) from Warlord Games.

Not sure I remember when I actually started to paint wargaming figures more than one color. It was a while ago now, and though I’ve been painting miniatures for a long time, I still have areas in which I can improve. All you have to do to see that is look at the English pirates I painted a few months back: I primed them white, and, unfortunately, I didn’t get all the areas of the miniatures covered. Don’t get me wrong, they still look good, but they could look better.

There’s also another skill you often have to learn to get wargaming figures to actually look good: gluing. Now that’s an area where I really struggle. I just got finished painting some Death Korps of Krieg Guardsmen from Games Workshop a few weeks ago. They look good, but many of them are not glued in the right places: there are laser rifles not attached to arms! So that’s an area in which I myself can improve: gluing rifles to their respective owners.

Again, I’m hoping the wargaming community will consider my blog and read it. It would also be great to get some feedback!

Burrows and Badgers: A Skirmish Game of Anthropomorphic Animals

A few years ago, I came across a skirmish game called Burrows and Badgers. It’s a game set in Northymbra, a kingdom populated by mice, badgers, owls and an assortment of other animals.

As a skirmish game, it’s not a massive army/battlefield game like Games Workshop’s Warhammer or Warlord’s Black Powder, but, as I’ve heard, skirmish games can be fun. One thing that is fun about them is that instead of playing with a bunch of, let’s say, “faceless,” miniatures on the table top, (as is the case with a lot of the big battle games,) you actually get to create characters and give them backstory. Of course, you can do that, even with games like Warhammer, but with Warhammer, you can’t name every miniature in your, let’s say Skaven army. But you can do that with a small warband.

Another interesting thing about Burrows and Badgers is that it’s set in a Narnia-like kingdom, where the animals wear armor and wield swords, bows, arrows, and even pistols. And you don’t have to play with the animals specified. Take me for example. I’m going to have a polar bear stand in for a badger in my warband, which may not be allowed at a convention, but is definitely allowed at home.

But, be forewarned if you, like me, live in the United States. I say this because the miniatures that were actually created for the game are only available in Europe. At least, so it seems. But even if that be the case, you can still have a lot of fun with it. Or you can go for one of the many other skirmish games out there, (one interesting-looking one is Mercs from MercsMiniatures.) So, if you’re interested, pick up a good wargame, (I would recommend starting out with a good skirmish game and then if you want to get into the big battlefield games later you can.)


For those of you who have read my wargaming blog, this will be an interesting topic. I’ve decided to use my wargaming hobby to start a business! Now, truth be told, I’m not aiming to be famous or anything, but I’ve been thinking about starting a business for about a year now. Initially the idea was to actually write wargames. Well, that never came to anything. It was really disappointing until my aunt and uncle visited last month. They suggested starting a business, but letting it be about painting wargaming figures, rather than writing wargames, (which I can’t really do, since I haven’t really played any games.)

If I’m honest, the area I really shine in is not playing wargames, but painting wargaming figures. Currently I’m working on Games Workshop’s relatively new Death Korps of Krieg box set, and they’re turning out pretty well. Now, I’m not planning on selling these particular figures, but I’ve come across some pretty cool miniatures that I can paint and sell on Etsy, (I set up an Etsy account last week.) The figures I’m planning on selling initially are push-fit, (meaning they don’t need to be glued together.) Plus, the paint set some of them come with is very basic, so painting them won’t be too much of a hassle. I hope this blog was of interest to those reading it. And if you would like to check out my shop on Etsy, it’s called Warpaint60AD. Fair warning I don’t have any products up yet, but I should have some products in the shop by next month. So check it out! For those of you who would like to play wargames but don’t want to paint the minis, that could be of help to you.

Thanksgiving: 400 Years Ago

In 1620 the Mayflower set sail from Holland carrying a human cargo of 102. These people, whom we today call “the Pilgrims,” had left England to escape religious oppression under the iron fist of King James I and his Anglican bishops. They had found religious freedom, at least relatively, in Holland. But something started to go wrong during their stay: despite their desperate desire to remain English, their children were, slowly but surely, becoming Dutch. This didn’t sit well with William Bradford and his companions. So they chartered two ships, the Mayflower and the less well known Speedwell, and set sail for America.

According to American historian Nathaniel Philbrick, the pilgrims’ target was actually Virginia, the area they had actually secured a colonial charter for. But in the end, the Mayflower dropped anchor in what came to be New England. Contrary to popular belief, there is no such thing as “Plymouth Rock.” The real landing place for the Pilgrims was Long Point.

Another long-held myth is the relationship between the Pilgrims and the Wampanoags, the Native American tribe with whom they celebrated the first Thanksgiving. They didn’t live in constant harmony. In point of fact, Philip, the son of Massassiot, the Wampanoag sachem with whom the Pilgrims had celebrated the first Thanksgiving, initiated one of the bloodiest wars in American history: King Philip’s War, which lasted for only fourteen months, but, amazingly, was one of the bloodiest wars in American history, dwarfing even the American Civil War in lethality. This occurred just a generation after the first Thanksgiving.

This war was the first war to be fought between the English and the Indians. Interestingly, as the years passed and conflict with the Indians started to combine with Anglo-French conflict, the British government got more and more involved, sending troops to aid the colonists against the French and the Indians. This would lead in the long-run to the American Revolution, and in 1783 America would be a free country. So as you celebrate Thanksgiving this year, take some time to remember the heroes, (and some villains,) of the story of our great nation.

Piracy: A Double-Edged Sword

In the 17th and 18th centuries piracy on the high seas, particularly in the Caribbean was a major problem facing the colonial British government. Famed pirates like Henry Morgan, William Kidd and Edward Teach, (the notorious Blackbeard,) terrorized shipping to and from the colonies. But where had this problem come from? Well, in a nutshell, the British government had basically brought this problem on themselves.

See, at least since the 1500s, the British government, (and probably the French and Spanish governments as well,) used pirates against their enemies when they were at war. The problem came when the frequent wars between England, France, and Spain would end. Then, in the words of pirate historian David Cordingly, the pirates would, “trade in their national ensigns for the black flag of piracy.”

Interestingly, but not surprisingly, it was a former pirate who would bring this age of terror to an end. In 1717, Woodes Rogers was appointed governor of the Bahamas. During the War of the Spanish Succession, Rogers had served as a privateer for Queen Anne against the fleets of France and Spain. Thus he knew how pirates operated and thought. Note: it’s interesting how God uses experiences to prepare people for service against a certain enemy: just as Rogers needed to be a pirate in order to defeat pirates, George Washington needed service in the British army in order to defeat it. And, just as Washington was ultimately victorious against the British, Rogers and his allies were victorious against the most notorious pirates the world has ever known.

Learn by Playing, Not Just by Reading

I was just watching a wargame youtuber talking about, “the only way you can fail in your hobby.” It made me realize something: when learning a wargame, whether it be Michael Lovejoy’s Burrows and Badgers, or Games Workshop’s Warhammer: Age of Sigmar, you don’t have to read the entire rulebook before beginning to play! That was a mistake I nearly made with Burrows and Badgers. I have the rule book, don’t actually have any of the models yet. However, that doesn’t mean I should try to wade through the whole rulebook before trying to play. What I should do is make a concerted effort to get my hands on some of the miniatures, (for me and my brother, who is going to play the game with me,) and learn by actually playing the game. If you are a wargamer, I would recommend you do this as well. I tell you, trying to learn a wargame or skirmish game by trying to get through the entire rulebook can be a royal pain in the rear! So, to anyone getting into the hobby of wargaming, especially those who are really enjoying the hobby aspect but are on the fence about getting into the game: don’t try to wade through the rules before playing. Learn by playing! You’ll probably get a lot more enjoyment out of the game that way.

Napoleon Bonaparte and Napoleon III: Who Was the Better Man?

I’m sure you all have heard about the great general and emperor of France, Napoleon Bonaparte. Everybody has at one time or another. But what you may not realize is that, for all Napoleon’s battlefield knowhow, he was a stubborn and arrogant ass. I hope that doesn’t offend anyone, but even if it does, it’s the truth. Did you know that Napoleon Bonaparte literally crowned himself Emperor of France? Well, it’s true. The pope came from Rome all the way to the French capital to honor Napoleon with a coronation. But Napoleon wouldn’t have it. At the most important part of the coronation, he stood, took the crown from the pope and put it on his own head. Then he took his wife’s crown and crowned her also. In so doing, Napoleon, as far as the Catholics are concerned, openly challenged God’s authority. And God accepted his challenge. Eight years later in 1812, in what some might call the twilight years of the First French Empire, Napoleon rashly invaded Russia. His army chased the tsar’s army deeper and deeper into the Russian interior and took Moscow. But a fire started in the city and it burned down. Whether or not the Russians started the fire is a matter of debate. But what matters is that much of Moscow burned to the ground, and Napoleon’s Grande Armee was forced to retreat through the harsh Russian winter, hounded by Russian partisans. All this led to the allied invasion of France in 1814 and the ultimate defeat of Napoleon by Wellington and Blucher at Waterloo in 1815. Hence, the first empire of the French, (or, more like the empire of Napoleon,) came to an end.

Fast forward to 1854. Napoleon’s nephew, Louis Napoleon Bonaparte, crowns himself emperor of France. Then, just as his uncle did, he goes to war with Russia. However, in Louis Napoleon’s case, it was a matter of Catholic honor. The Eastern Orthodox Church was challenging Catholic interests in the Holy Land at the time. In the eyes of the French, French blood had been spilled for the Holy Land during the Crusades, whereas the Russians had never shed a drop of their own for the holy places. So they went to war. In all honesty, the Crimean War was not as disastrous for the French as the invasion of 1812 was, as it was not a full-scale invasion of Russia. Plus the French army was one of the finest in Europe at the time. The Crimean War was hardly a victory for either side, but one has to admit that Napoleon III, unlike his uncle, was defending Catholic interests.

Fast forward once again to 1870. Napoleon III leads France into another war, this time against the newly powerful North German Confederation under the iron leadership of the German chancellor, Otto von Bismarck. Why did they go to war against Germany? Because of what historian Michael Howard calls “the Hohenzollern Candidature.” In so many words, the queen of Spain, Isabella II was deposed from the throne and was replaced by Prince Leopold of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen, who was under the direct influence of Bismarck and Spain’s “de facto leader,” Juan Prim. This alarmed Napoleon III, who feared a combined German-Spanish assault on his country. The French ambassador demanded that the Prussian king, Whilhelm, (William,) I not allow Leopold to be a candidate for the throne of Spain. Not only did Wilhelm and Bismarck refuse, but they published the French ambassador’s message, (the Ems Telegram,) which infuriated the French government. Once again, it would seem, Napoleon III went to war to defend the honor of France. But this time victory was not to be his, as his generals proved to be incompetent and ineffective against the power of Field Marshal Helmuth von Moltke’s army. Defeated at the Battle of Sedan in September 1870, Napoleon III was forced to abdicate the throne, and France became a republic, determined to continue the war against Germany, but doomed to defeat in 1871.

I believe I have made my point quite clear. While I haven’t discussed France’s war against Austria in 1859, I have shown that, at least two times out of four, Napoleon III went to war to defend his honor, and, indeed, the honor of France. Whereas Napoleon I had only his own glory in mind, his nephew at least seems to have had honorable intentions.

The Crusaders: Savage Killers or Cunning Diplomats?

Many people today tend to write off the crusaders of the 11th and 12th centuries as brutal savages: barbarians who just liked killing. Excuse me for saying so, but based on my research of the past few years, that is a bunch of hogwash!

As I said, people write off the crusaders as killers. If that is true, why did the crusader states, (the County of Tripoli, the Principality of Antioch, the Kingdom of Jerusalem, and the County of Edessa,) last as long as they did? If truth be told, collectively they stood for nearly a century, and some of them stood even longer than that!

But why? Why did they survive for so long if the crusaders were just bloodthirsty barbarians? The answer: the crusaders were not savage killers, but cunning diplomats.

You see, when the armies of the First Crusade attacked Jerusalem in 1098, the Muslim rulers of the region were anything but united. There was infighting, I believe between the Fatimids of Egypt and the Seljuq Turks. Hence, the First Crusade sacked Jerusalem. And when the Crusader States were carved out of the barren wastelands of the Middle East, (which is a feat in and of itself,) what did the crusaders do? They negotiated treaties with different Muslim tribes. For example, according to Dan Jones, (who is not himself a proponent of the crusades,) King Baldwin II had Arab allies at his disposal. Likewise, according to historian Barbara Frale, one of the main functions of the Knights Templars in the early years of their existence was to make alliances with Muslim warlords. Hence the idea that the crusaders were just savage killers, in light of this information, couldn’t possibly be true. Were they human, yes, and as such they were capable of savage and brutal deeds. However, when people say that the crusaders were just savages who liked killing, all one needs to do in order to refute this is to look at the history of Outremer and the Knights Templars.