Tuesday, 20 November 2018

The Ninth Annual Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge

Well, the first day of winter is just a month away, which means snow, spiked eggnog to ward off the snow, some snow, shoveling out the snow, last minute Christmas shopping in the snow, snow, skiing and probably a bit more snow. It also means that we're only four weeks away from the start of the Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge!

This will be our ninth edition of the Challenge. Nine, eh? Wow. Every year I'm always amazed by how this funnly little event still keeps chugging along, allowing us to make new friends, rekindle previous acquaintances and get stuff done.  

A few weeks ago I looked up the symbolic significance of the number nine. Apparently many think of it as a sacred number, a number of spiritual importance, a symbol of fellowship, leadership and wisdom. With this, Tolkien hit it out of the park when he wrote of his 'nine companions'. This is great, as I think we all need a good dose of fellowship to set against these troubled times. So let's spend the season by hanging out with some friends, having a few laughs and painting a load of cool miniatures.

The Rules
The Challenge will extend from the beginning of Winter, 12:01 am December 21st , through to the first day of Spring, 11:59 pm March 20th, Central Standard Time (CST). 
Your miniatures (meaning figures, vehicles, artillery, terrain, etc.) can be cleaned, assembled and primed prior to the start date, but you cannot start painting until December 21st. In order to gain full points the figures should be based and any planned groundwork completed. The figures have to be painted by you. 
The Challenge follows the honour system in the completion and entry of figures. 
Miniatures can be in any scale and in any genre (pulp-adventure, science-fiction, fantasy, etc.).
In order to be scored, photos of your submission along with a short description must be uploaded to the Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge blog. Up-to-date scoring will be maintained on the blog's main page. I will send out an email to all Challengers a few days prior to the event with further details on submitting your entries.
Participants must have an entry submitted within the first month of the event (i.e. January 21st). Failure to do so will result in being dropped from the roster.
The Administrator (me) will participate, but my score will not have any standing in the Challenge (except to keep my brush lashing away with the rest of the mob).

The Scoring

Below is the scoring that will be used for the Challenge. Please note that the points awarded for vehicles in 15/20/28mm scale has been increased. 
6mm foot figure = 0.5 point
6mm mounted figure, artillery piece or crew served weapon = 1 point
6mm vehicle = 2 points
10mm foot figure = 1 point
10mm mounted figure, artillery piece or crew served weapon = 2 points
10mm vehicle = 3 points 
15mm foot figure = 2 points
15mm mounted figure, artillery piece or large crew served weapon = 4 points
15mm vehicle = 6 8 points

20mm foot figure = 4 points
20mm mounted figure, artillery piece or crew served weapon = 8 points
20mm vehicle = 12 15 points

28mm foot figure = 5 points

28mm mounted figure, artillery piece or crew served weapon = 10 points
28mm vehicle = 15 20 points
40mm foot figure = 7 points
40mm mounted figure, artillery piece or crew served weapon = 15 points
40mm vehicle = 20 25 points 
54mm foot figure = 10 points
54mm mounted figures, artillery piece or crew served weapon = 20 points
54mm vehicle, limber, etc. = 30 points 
Other scales, miscellaneous models/figures will be scored on a submission-by-submission basis. 

Terrain Submissions

Similar to last year, I've tried to keep things simple for terrain submissions, so we'll keep our 6" cube format. In short, if your terrain piece (or collected terrain pieces) fills a 6" cube, you get 20 points. If your terrain would 'fill' multiple 6" cubes, then multiply 20 points for each cube of volume. 

Terrain filling the 6" cube on the left would be worth 20 points. The composite group on the right, made up of eight cubes, would be worth 160 points.

Example 1: I've painted three 28mm barrels and six trees. They would roughly fill a single 6" cube. I would get 20 points for this. 

Example 2: I've constructed and painted a large 28mm manor that is approximately 12" wide, 14" long and 10" high. All in all, this would roughly take up 8 cubes worth of volume. This would give me 160 points.

Submissions of terrain should be sent in with a picture illustrating the scale of their work (a ruler laid alongside should do the trick). This will give your hard-working Minion a basis for scoring. Extra points for extra detail, scratch-built insanity, etc. will be left to the Minions to adjudicate as they see fit.  

The Minions

While I will serve as the Master-of-Ceremonies / Tormentor-in-Chief / Dork-Lord, I have also press-ganged a group of 'Minions' to help keep this circus moving in one direction. Here are the hapless gits, er, most excellent chaps I've press-ganged to assist in this year's Challenge:
  • Barks: Monday
  • LeeH: Tuesday
  • EvanH: Wednesday
  • IainW: Thursday
  • RobertH: Friday
  • Curt & Special Guest Minions: Saturday
  • Miles: Stats Statsamagician
  • PaulO'G: Duels Wallah
Sundays will alternate for Theme Rounds and Theme Results (more on this below)

Challenger Personal Targets and Duels

Upon signup, I ask that each Challenger declare his/her points target that they hope to achieve by the March 20th deadline. Many participants have found this a great incentive to help maintain their pace over the three months of the Challenge. I encourage Challengers to pick a target that is just beyond your comfort zone, but still achievable. As a rough benchmark, 300 points is considered a manageable amount for someone who is new to the the event and/or has a busy work/life schedule. Also remember that a significant amount of points can also be secured by participating in the Bonus Rounds (more on this below).

Relating to the points targets, many folks have a lot of fun issuing 'duels' to other participants in order to race to meet a declared target, paint the most figures for a specific period, etc. I leave this to the participants to dream-up and organize, but our Duels Wallah will be happy to log the duels and keep track of their progress.

Point Thresholds & Prizes

There will be six point thresholds set out for the Challenge. Each time a participant reaches a Point Threshold his/her name will be entered for the prize drawn for that level. So, the more points you accumulate the more prizes you will be eligible for. We have many generous prize sponsors who I will introduce in an upcoming post. The Threshold prizes will be drawn at the end of the Challenge.

Threshold I: 500 points

Threshold II: 750 points

Threshold III: 1000 points

Threshold IV: 1500 points

Threshold V: 2000 points

Threshold VI: 2500 points

There will also be prizes for the top three positions in points, Challengers' Choice, Judge's Choice and Sarah's Choice.

The Fortnight Theme Bonus Rounds

Same as previous years, we will have a series of thematic Bonus Rounds. Each Bonus Round asks Challengers to enter a submission that illustrates a particular theme. The Bonus Rounds are not mandatory, they are just a little bit of fun to pace out the the Challenge and allow people to gain some points and fame by wowing us with their imagination.

Those Challengers who submit an entry for a 'Fortnight Theme Bonus Round' will receive an extra 50 points on top of the regular entry tally.

Figure(s) for the Theme Bonus Rounds can be any scale or period, as long as it illustrates the stated theme.

These bonus rounds are interspersed every two weeks over the three months of the Challenge. Below are a listing of this year’s five theme rounds, along with their corresponding submission/display dates:

'Reconnaissance' (submission deadline Saturday, January 5th / displayed January 6th  / voting results January 13th) 
'Sport' (submission deadline Saturday, January 19th / displayed January 20th / voting results 27th) 
'Mercenary' (submission deadline Saturday, Feb 2nd / displayed Feb 3rd / voting results 
Feb 10th) 
'Water Feature' (submission deadline Saturday, Feb 16th / displayed Feb 17th / voting results Feb 24th) 
'Fellowship' (submission deadline Saturday, March 2nd / displayed March 3rd / voting results March 10th)
The theme submissions are to be sent in by 11:59pm (CST) on the specified date above.

For each bonus round I'll post a poll, listing all the round's entries so visitors can vote for their favourites.

The Call

The cap for this edition of the Challenge will be set at 80 participants, with a reserve block of 46 slots being kept aside for those people who have participated in four or more Challenges. For those who are on the reserve list, please RSVP to me by November 30th to confirm your spot. After the 30th the spot will be made available to anyone on the wait list.

Otherwise, there are 34 places available on a first-come-first-serve basis, after that I'll place any further requests on a wait list.

For all those wishing to participate please send me an email, providing:

1) your full name, 
2) country of residence 
3) your blog address (if you have one), and 
3) your points target for the three months of the event.
My email address is:

curtcampbell at mac dot com

I will post a comment below when the roster is complete. 

The Price of Entry

As an entry fee, I ask each Challenger to either make a contribution to a charity of your choice, or, if you feel so inclined, send me an enemy figure from Tolkien's Middle Earth (orcs, trolls and goblins need love too, you know).   

Challenge IX starts at 12:01am December 21st!

See you in a month! Now, sign up and get some miniatures prepped for the start line!