Sunday, January 11, 2015

Serenity Gulch: Divvying Denizens

Some time ago, a weighty box from England arrived at my door, containing over a hundred finely sculpted Old West miniatures from Wargames Foundry. These then needed to be rationed up betwixt the eight participants (of which, I am one), with the leftovers coming to me as bystanders, set dressing and so forth.

Rather than simply dividing them up by lot, I opted for a far slower and more tedious methodology, but one that was indisputably more fun. Providing pictures of all the available miniatures and a link to a shared Google Docs spreadsheet, we each picked a single miniature in turn, updated the sheet, and alerted the next in line via group email. Sure, it took significantly longer, but it assured that most of the players got at least some of the figures they wanted, as opposed to leaving all of it to blind chance. And, if I'm being honest, there is a certain visceral thrill in hearing someone opine, "aw, man, I wanted that guy!"

Last week we finished our final picks, and at long last the time had come for the sorting. I laid out all 25 packs in numerical order, printed a copy of the spreadsheet, and had the iPad nearby so I could look at the pictures online.

I labelled a zip-lock bag for each player in turn, and added the appropriate number of bases (this is going to make quite the dent in my assortment of bases!). I then proceeded vertically through the spreadsheet, determining which pack held the next selection, pulling up the picture and finding the best match.

This took the better part of an afternoon, but fiddling with toy soldiers is its own reward in such instances, and taking a closer look at the details of some of the miniatures gave me an even greater appreciation for them. Especially the one labelled 'Sneaky Pete', who appears unarmed in his picture, but has a pisto.concealed behind his back, which seems appropriate.

Now that they are all sorted, I need to get busy cleaning off the flashing and mould lines, attaching them to their bases, and adding some sand for texture. So far I have completed one set, and just need to package It and ship it out to B.C. so I can get started on the ones for the locals.

Once that is out of the way, it is either straight into painting them, or perhaps back to building more of the town itself; we'll see how I'm feeling when I get to that point.



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