Tuesday, December 26, 2006

A BattleLore Boxing Day

Today was the first chance I'd had to really sit down and go through the components and rules of BattleLore. You see, Boxing Day in Australia is traditionally the day when large department stores open their doors to hordes of eager shoppers looking for a post-Xmas bargain. My wife and elder daughter left me at home with our younger daughter while they went out shopping. With my wife and elder daughter gone I only had to wait for my younger daughter to fall asleep before I delved into the BattleLore box.

The first thing I did was wash all the miniatures. That's right, after separating the banners from the banner bearers, all the Goblins, Dwarves, Archers, Swordsmen, Cavalry and Creatures went into the kitchen sink where I gave them a good wash with warm, soapy water. This is a procedure I follow for all my other plastic and metal miniatures prior to priming them ready for painting. Various substances are used on miniatures to make them come free of the mold, as well as the fact that hand oils get on the miniature as it's handled, and these will interfere with paint adhesion unless cleaned off. I'm not planning to paint the BattleLore miniatures at this stage but I did want to get rid of the nasty odour they had as well as any potentially toxic residue from the casting process. I'm sure they're perfectly safe but some of the miniatures did have small clumps of fine brown powder on them. Better to be safe than sorry.

The next thing I did was fix the miniatures that had been bent by the packing process. Luckily there weren't that many that were too serious. I grabbed two large bowls. One bowl I filled with water and ice and the other I filled with boiling water. I then dumped all 200+ miniatures into the bowl of hot water. All of them!?! Well, although only a handful of the miniatures were severely bent, most had a slight lean to their stance or a weapon slightly out of alignment. It wasn't really necessary to do them all but I wanted every single figure to be standing up straight with their weapons in good working order. I'm a bit of a perfectionist that way. The miniatures softened in the hot water and after a short wait I then took them out one by one, repositioned them slightly, and then dipped them into the ice water. They immediately froze in the new correct position.

After drying the miniatures I separated and bagged all the components. There's something I find very satisfying when conducting this procedure with a new game. It gives me the opportunity to enjoy a game in other ways than just playing it. There's the visual pleasure I get from looking at the beautiful pieces, the 'new game' smell that emanates from the box, the feel of the cards, miniatures and other components, the sounds of shuffling of cards and rolling the dice. The only one of my five senses I don't use when appreciating a game for the first time is taste. Then again, I wonder what those dice taste like? Should I give the box a lick? Hmmm....

By the time I'd finished bagging and tagging the components the little one was awake from her nap and demanding to be fed. Perfect timing! Here's a pic of my handywork.

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