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Friday, September 30, 2011

Listening to the audience

In response to some constructive critiques about the design of this site I've tried making some changes that I hope will make it easier to read.  Let me know how it works out.  Also, I'm waiting with baited Pirate breath (hold your nose and pass a mint) as to whether the new map shows up for you all or not.  If it does and it's just too small I can try making it one step larger.

I'm excited to know at least two of three orders of items for the game are winging there way towards me.  And that's not counting the 6' x 72' canvas I ordered yesterday to create the ground cloths.  That will be cut into three pieces 24' long each and one will be in reserve for some later project and the other two will get painted for this great event.

And if the photo issue is resolved I can really start going to town with posting images as we get them - or I create them.  Now, then I have a date with a jar of acrylic gloss medium...

If at first you don't succeed, cry...I mean try, try again.

Okay, another try at the map, this time using a much smaller image.

I'm hoping this works because I used the same procedure I did with the photograph of the miniatures which I know at least some people can see.

If all is working okay, you should be able to click on the map to make it larger.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

What's not new

Busy this week with overtime at work and other commitments.  Still exploring ways to get the map here.  Even I'm now having trouble seeing a couple images posted here.  I'm assuming everyone can see the photo of the figures below, the unpainted and primed ones?

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Another try at the map...

So, this is still a JPEG image but from an actual photograph of the map printed out.  Not sure how it will work out but I'm sure one of the people following will let me know - and thanks for doing so.  Hope it works out.

Did a preview and it is a Very Large image but I can scroll through the map to see things, not sure how it will work for others.  Again, I'm sure you'll be letting me know.

Monday, September 26, 2011

We stub our toe, we learn, and we hobble forward.

So, I guess you are all having trouble viewing the map which is a shame because it is pretty cool.  I will continue to explore options on how to make it so you can see it.  This morning my order for a bunch of figures from the new Blue Moon Deepest Darkest Africa range was called in by our local hobby shop and I should have the figures in two to three weeks - this should provide all the figures for the two native villages, and maybe a few surprises here and there.  Have two more orders to place to have everything for the game, figures wise.  Terrain will be a big push soon.

It may take until the weekend before I get a chance to photograph the ships and start posting them here.  I know, visuals, visuals, visuals.  Rome wasn't sacked in a day, you know?  Or, was it?

Here is the promised map of The Scrubyward Isles

Below is the map that shows the basic table setup.  While the islands are somewhat stylized - they won't be rectangular but have a more irregular coastline - they are pretty closely to scale.  The ship images, however, are only approximations to scale but do give an idea of the density of ships on the table (as in plenty of room for ships to move around in and not all cluster together); the native boats are definitely over scale.  And, no, the two ships on the reefs are not an error, one is a shipwreck and the other is being careened.

The images around the islands are just for fun; or are they hints of some sort?  I have no intention of revealing anything at this time, maybe not until the day of the game.  Sneaky, ain't I?

Remember, the game is designed for two tables of the same size so the short edges on each table are 5 feet and the long edges 24 feet with an 8 foot space between them.  Yeah, it's a really big game, an Extravaganza.

So, how'd I get the draw program to translate?  I had to save it as a JPEG and then copy it in an e-mail to myself and then come to this computer and do a copy and paste action.  The image did lose some of its crispness and clarity.  I tried doing it as a Quicktime image but that wouldn't show here in the blog- even though I can view it just fine.  Just as well because many people may not have Quicktime capabilities on their computers.

Without further ado:

Sunday, September 25, 2011

What's New - Or Not

Well, I had to work on Saturday and spend time with the wife today (and watch my team win in the NFL!) but did not get much else done on the pirate project, especially not the photos of the ships I want to post here.  But I did get to try out the practice canvas and the Montana 94 paints and they will work out very, very well.  So well, in fact, that I plan to create a photo base and back drop for taking those pictures of the ships.  I also acquired some more mangrove trees yesterday along with a little something to be held back for now - can't have you knowing everything otherwise how can I ruin your carefully laid gaming plans on the Big Day?  Or at least ruffle your parrot's feathers?  Aargh!

I'm thinking the biggest prize in the game should be for the player with the best pirate costume!  What do you think?  Use the comment box to post your reply.  I believe that will work so let's give it a test.

Our painting crew is hard at work on figures and buildings.  Our rules are being constructed.  The terrain is formulating - one of the decisions that has been made is to build all the terrain specific to the game, or most of it, so that it can be matched up with another piece of terrain to be used differently in other games.  I also decided to build at least one extra piece that won't be used in the game but will allow additional options for future scenarios.

I do need to recruit a couple of assistant terrain builders though I think I can do most of it on my own.  More soon.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

A First Photograph to test out how it works

So, here is an experiment with posting a photograph I already have on hand showing some figures that will actually be used in the game - though granted unpainted except for some primed and ready to paint.

The group on the left are Irregular Miniatures African figures from their colonial range, the ones in the middle are from Blue Moon's pirate range, and the ones on the right are from Rebel Minis Pulp range, the last for a different game entirely.

Let's see how this photograph thing works out?  Here we go...

Frustrations and Explorations

I'm working on a simple map that shows the layout of The Scrubyward Isles in scale and will try and post it over the next few days if I can get it to translate to this blog.  We'll see how it goes; it is on a different and older computer but one must always hope.  I suppose if worst comes to worst, I can print it out, photograph it, and publish the photograph - as soon as I learn how to include photos here.

I went by my new favorite art supply source, Utrecht, and bought some cans of spray paint and canvas to start experimenting with creating the "water cloth" for the game.  The brand of paint is Montana, their 94 range, and apparently originally designed for graffiti artists (go figure!) but this range is good for portraiture, low pressure aerosol cans.  What I really like about the range of paints is its color palette, some nice vibrant pastels (is there such a thing?) that look like they will help create in reality what I see in my head.  Only challenge is that it is expensive at almost eight dollars a can.  I tried it out briefly and it does seem to allow strong control - and comes with replaceable tips for even better control.  More experimenting ahead.

In an earlier post I touched on why 15 mm (besides that's what I've been collecting for a dozen years to reach this project) and did a little more calculating of the planned table space in comparison to doing it in 28 mm. [a great link for those who haven't seen it yet:
just awesome work]
What you see at the link is two tables at 8' x 28' each - hopefully, if you look around long enough.  Well, my game (our game) is going to be two tables at 5' x 24'.  By my very approximate calculation, it would take two tables at 9.25' x 44.75' to do that in the larger scale.  So, we have Pirates of the Carob Bean Sea game (unrelated to other things by the same name - I discovered today) which will take up 240 square feet of table space versus 827.875 square feet.  That's almost three and a half times as much table space!

I've also placed two orders for some additional items needed for the game from a couple of suppliers and asked one to include some items for the prizes.  No response yet and may not know until the order arrives on my doorstep or in my mailbox; there's that hope thing going on again.

Pretty soon I'm going to have to create a schedule of what needs to be done when to keep things on track.  This is a Very Large Project.  Good thing there are people helping or I'd need help - the psychological kind!  Did someone out there say it's already too late for that last?  Oh, the nerve.

I hope to provide at least one update a week here but will try and do more if I have the time.  For those involved in the project locally who are following this blog, feel to forward me photographs or other visuals related to our game to share here.  And feel free to give me guidance on how to do things in the "blogosphere" to improve the quality of input and to make it more fun for our followers.  Did you notice?  We have at least one public follower already.  Yee-haw and ravenous fishes.  Is that a hint of some of the game's hazards?  Hmm.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Paying Homage

Since none of us came to miniature gaming without some form of influence, I feel it right to pay homage to those who influenced me.  Two names that will be incorporated into Pirates of the Carob Bean Sea are Jack Scruby's and Peter Gilder's.  You've heard of the windward isles and the leeward isles (or, you should have) but have you heard of the Scrubyward Isles?  Well, now you have and once they're built there will be photos so you can see what they look like.  Make no mistake, the inhabitants of these wistful isles are not always clear on their geography.  Thus we have the local volcanic hazard by the name of Gilderakatoa.  And beware of those rocks known as the Feather Stones.  He might not be as well known as those luminaries, but my late friend Tony Mark must find a place here.  Beware the Tones emanating from the Mark Mangroves!  Oh, stop your groaning, its the best I can shoehorn in.  And, yes, there will be a mangrove swamp on one of the islands - with mangroves.  Doh!

Laughter will be one of the elements used to judge how well the game succeeds.  Lots of laughter from the players and the game will be accounted a great success.  We are supposed to be having fun, aren't we?

Someone remind me and my crew when we're a week away from Game Day and the paint and plaster isn't dry yet that we are having fun.  Hopefully next post or two will have some photos because I know that's what you really want - visuals.

So, What is this huge game, then?

Well, how nice of you to ask because I've just been itching to tell someone all about it.

The game, titled the same as this blog, is designed for two tables at 5' x 24' each and with 5 separate towns plus a couple of native villages and a variety of other eventful places.  There will be over 1600 figures in the game and besides pirates there will be naval vessels of several nations, privateers, merchant ships, native craft, and some surprises to be revealed later.  What there won't be are any ships crewed by skeletons (sorry to disappoint that part of the audience) but there will be the odd skeleton hanging about - literally.  The game is set loosely sometime in the 1700's and no more precise than that; it's not so much a game of historical miniatures as it is an adventure game in miniature or what I like to call HAG Gaming, as in Historical Adventure Gaming with miniatures.

And I've coined a term for this type of game, this large with this many game masters to help keep the flow of the game in motion throughout the event on the Big Day.  And that is, wait for it, Extravaganza Gaming.

One element some people might take issue with is that the game is using 15 mm figures.  Well, while I'm tempted to taunt you with "get over it," I'll just ask you to imagine how big a space it would take to do such a large game with the bigger figures plus the cost and logistics of it.  Pirate games do not have to be a small scale skirmish event.  It can be a true Spectacle; and that's decidedly what we are after here.

Beware of looking into the inky depths, you might fall in and find the water is warm and the local natives friendly.  Who is that lass in the grass skirt and wearing such a bright smile?

Oh, don't you want to know, lad?  Stay tuned.

Monday, September 19, 2011

What this site is about and why it exists.

This site is being created to follow the process of creating a Featured Game for conventions.  The games initial planned outing is at ConQuest Sacramento in March of 2012.  While this is one person's concept it is a group effort under the auspices of MWS, or Miniature Wargamers of Sacramento.  At least eight people, maybe nine, are either already at work on the project or are planning to assist in the near future.  The basic idea of the game will be in another post and eventually there will be photographs of work in progress leading up to the day when the game is ready to play.

The only teaser you'll be left with for now is that the game is intended for 32 players and will have six game masters, at least that is the grand scheme.  Wish us luck and check back from time to time to see how it all progresses.  And thanks for looking and, if the mood strikes you, sharing this site with others.