Thursday, December 30, 2010

More ork progress

I've gotten a lot of work done on the orks since the last post about them, two sessions worth in fact.  Yesterday I put down a layer of Dead White on the shirts, horns, and teeth of the models.  Then I tried the Vallejo Game Color Gunmetal, which I assume is equivalent to Boltgun Metal in the GW range.  It went on very dark, almost black, for the first three models before showing the metallic sheen that I expected.  I went back over the first three and they looked better, perhaps I had watered the paint down too much at first.  Then I washed everything I had painted that day with Devlan Mud.  After that I did some metal bits with an ancient pot of Brazen Brass to break up the Gunmetal.

Monday, December 27, 2010

I played a game? I played a game!

I got in my first game in far too long on Thursday, a re-engagement with 40k.  EV fielded a very nice Plague Marine army, while I dusted off the Blood Angels.  I went with the BAs mostly because I've had a hankering for them lately, but also because my Orks are not assembled enough to field a viable army.  I've been poking around the internets trying to get a handle on how 40k plays now.  I'm trying to avoid just copying a list off said internets as I don't think that really helps you learn.  While you might win your game, just following the instructions on the box doesn't really teach you anything, and as a result you don't grow as a player.  So I'm taking what I "learn" from these various sources and trying it out for myself.  At least that's the plan so far.

With that context set, my list was a bit of a mongrel.  Back in 3rd edition I ran mechanized Blood Angels, so I'm both familiar with the concept and wanting to try something different.  I ran mech back then because I couldn't do a jump pack list, so my only real option to do a fast, combat-oriented army was to stock up on tactical squads in rhinos.  In this brave new-to-me world of Blood Angels with assault squads as troops, the paradigm has changed and the door is open to run a different kind of list.  However, I lack the minis to run an all jump pack list, hence the mongrel list that I ended up with.  It's a mix of jumpers, mech, and fire support.  No detailed lists for this because of the nature of wargear in 40k, but also because this isn't a full-on battle report in the manner that I usually do them.  "Army lists" and more after the break.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Have time, will hobby

Had the last final of the last semester of my undergrad on Monday, an event that I've been looking forward to for a while.  Not having to worry about signing up for more classes or wondering what my schedule will be like is nice, but now I'm looking at Finding A Job, which is not so nice.  In the here and now, I have some hobby time and have been putting it to use.  I had lofty goals for the day yesterday: finish my five test orks, then roll into the Blood Angel I started months ago, then hopefully roll into more orks.  Inception got in the way of that, which is a great movie if you haven't seen it, so I didn't get all of that done, but I did make some progress.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

No more waiting

As the title implies, I've had this one on deck for about a week now.  I haven't posted yet because I wanted to have a picture to go with the post, but I don't want to just take some shot of some random thing to fill my own quota.  I have a replacement for the missing picture, but I'll stick it at the end and make you wait.  Or scroll down, whatever suits your style.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Forays into painting orks

I've been clipping along at a good rate on assembling my backlog of orks, down to about 15 boyz now, so it's past time to start painting these buggers.  I may have mentioned that I primed 10 shoota boyz a few days ago, and if I didn't before then I have now.  I grabbed 5 boyz last night and got to trying out some different methods for the skin.  I took some shoddy WIP pics while painting, but I have a bunch of them, so I'm hoping that quantity makes up for quality.  It's the ork way, right?

Friday, November 19, 2010

More about orks

Despite my misgivings about taking up another project (army number 5 if you're counting), I've been making progress with the orks.  I have 2 bikers and about 20 boyz left to assemble, plus a sack of old metal burna boyz that don't figure into my current plans though they may get some love later.  Between transcribing interviews I took some hobby breaks and got all the barrels, both foot troops and vehicles, drilled out, as well as priming 10 shoota boyz.  Inching along, but progress is progress.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Adventures with washes

Fair warning: I started writing this yesterday, so all references are in that context.  I don't want to change all my "this morning"s to "yesterday morning"s.  

As I alluded to last time, at least in the comments section, I've been looking at posts about using washes to 'paint' with over the last few days.  Having picked up "red" and green washes the other day, I dug up a mini that was already primed white and gave it a shot.  The mini in question is an old, old plastic human wizard.  As such, it doesn't have as much detail as more modern sculpts, which I think affected my results, but more on that in time.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Some randomness

How come I can crap out a post of this sort like it's nothing, yet if I had to write a paper of a similar length  it would take the better part of an afternoon?  Mysteries abound.  No pictures or anything in this post, just rambling, but I figure something is better than nothing.  Pictures next time, pinky swear.

Friday, November 5, 2010

What else? A quickie while I do something else

Scheduling has been crazy of late, so no real time for hobby in the last week or two.  It seems like I've had two projects due for every class this week, and more to come next week, but there's light at the end of the tunnel.  I did manage to squeeze in a bit of time last weekend by co-opting other weekend activities.  I had the itch to put some models together, so I brought a couple boxes of Orks along with me and glued some stuff.  I've been trying to sucker this friend into the hobby for a while now, and he's been somewhat receptive to it, so I may ambush him with painting in the near future.  In the present, it's back to the grindstone.  At least I'll be done with school in a little over a month.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Copy Paper Box, Remixed

I stayed up far too late last night finishing off my new photo implement, but it's finished(ish) now and is working well.  I thought my last post was about making the box, but looking back I see that it wasn't, so looks like I need to start earlier in the process than I anticipated and that I'll have less pictures than I thought.  Alas.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Might be a while...again

With personal drama rearing its unwelcome head over the weekend, hobby action is on hold until I can hold a brush steady.  In the meantime I have pictures from my last painting session. 

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Tangible progress

After a dreary past few days I had an opportunity to prime my latest creation.  I used a technique I saw on the interwebs somewhere: taping the mini to a stick.  I wrapped some masking tape around the end of a paint stirrer and then stuck the marine to the tape.  The result was simple and effective.

Gravity is no match for ingenuity.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Quick hitter

Got in some hobby time last night.  I built a space marine for the first time in years which was a nice return to something familiar.  I used a bunch of pieces from the new Death Company box together with a generic marine chest.  I knew the new parts had plenty of detail from looking at the sprues, but I was further surprised when assembling the marine.  In particular, the chainsword arm that I used came off the sprue in a pose that I had created a couple times myself by cutting and repositioning.  I'm eager to use the power fist as well because it looks like it also has a dynamic pose, but I'm holding on to it for a bit while I regain my painting feet as it's destined to be part of a sergeant.  GW must have switched plastic formulas over the last 5+ years because the new pieces are a much darker grey than the parts I already had.  I'll take a pic or two when I get the base done.  I'm considering my options as I want to do something a bit more detailed than just glue and sand.  I had cut up some bits of sprue last night to use as rubble, but they didn't work out quite like I wanted, so when I dropped them on the carpet I didn't bother digging for them between the nap.  I'm still considering the bits of sprue approach as well as making a green stuff rock or two, using some orc bits, digging for some barrels/tank traps, or using some tyranid bits.  I know EV has some Death Guard, and Chaos would fit thematically, but I don't really want to put more marine parts on a marine base.  Maybe something generic to start with so I have time to ponder.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Because it's been a while

There hasn't been a whole lot going on in hobbyland here.  With school in session and hockey season starting up, free time is at a premium.  That doesn't mean that nothing is happening though.  A bit of speculative business first.  Navel-gazing to follow, you've been warned.

Friday, August 27, 2010

News from the ashes

Looks like my eyes were bigger than my mouth here.  I burned out pretty good these past couple weeks, haven't touched a die or a paintbrush since my last post.  I think the biggest part of it was the mega battle report, but I'd been on a gaming rampage for a while.  It'd be dishonest to say that Starcraft 2 had nothing to do with this, but it's not the root of the thing.  Since classes start back up on Monday, this is effectively the end of my break, and so a (depressing) list update is in order.

ID battleship
ID cruisers
Assemble and prime all languishing WM minis
other Khador

WM: Escalation
White Noise
The Maya

Renew Driver's License
Clear the DVR

As you can see, absolutely no painting.  I have read a chunk of Escalation, but it's a tough slog through scenario after scenario.  While there is a narrative to pick out of it, reading through a campaign that I won't play is not the most exciting thing ever.  I also started reading Horus Rising, which is a poorly written book, but it does scratch that Space Marine itch that I've never been able to get rid of.

I'm going to break out the paints in a few minutes and see if I can't finish the frigate I started.  With a fuller than usual class load, gaming time will be slim at best, as will updates.  Hopefully not having time to paint will recharge the batteries and make me eager to get back at it again.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

US Battle Report - Two Games, One Night Part Two

We had 5 people show up on Monday night for US, which meant we had a two 1 on 1 games going, which meant someone was watching.  The spectator was kairaven, who suggested we have a group game after the individual games were finished.  EV had just been violently introduced to the Bone Griffon gunline and understandably didn't want a piece of the action.  The BG player had to go, which left just kairaven, vatank, and myself.  We settled on a starter box game, knocked out some deployment zones and went at it.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Paint on a human ship

It's been a long time coming, but I finally have some non-primer paint on a Human ship.  I picked up some paint last night, notably the GW foundation yellow that was the reason I took on painting yellow in the first place.  I just did the base coat, and not the entire ship at that, but I wanted to get an idea of what my scheme will look like in reality instead of just how I imagine it.  I think it will turn out like I wanted it to.

Behold the base coated beauty.
The brown will lighten up a bit, but I want to keep it dark to contrast the lighter wood of my ID.  The yellow will brighten up as well, but the blue is about what I intend it to be.  I'm not sure what I'm going to do about the railing, and I want to put some squadron/fleet markings on the hull, and then there's the base to do as well, but it's a very nice feeling to make some actual progress.

I should also mention that despite my initial reluctance I've settled on Space Wolf transfers for the sails.  I found a big sheet in my box, and EV had another, that have a bunch of different wolves in roughly the same size.  I plan on using a different design for each class of ship and varying the sail striping to differentiate between squadrons.

US Battle Report - Two Games, One Night Part One

We had a good turnout at the FLGS last night with 5 US and 2 Firestorm Armada players.  I got in two games with the humans, the first an Elves vs Humans battle with vatank.  I hadn't played him 1 on 1 yet, so it was good to get a game in. 

Monday, August 16, 2010

US Battle Report - Piled with Pictures part 4

The tables swung wildly last time.  The Iron Dwarves held a solid advantage at the beginning of turn 5, but by the end of turn 7 the tables were level at best, and more likely in favor of the Shroud Mages.  With the ID battleship far from support, and facing the on-rushing Shroud fleet, things look to go poorly for the good shorties.  But the ID have ships in the rear of the Shroud fleet.  Can the ID support take out the Shroud ships before they demolish the ID battleship?  Or will the now dispersed ID be clobbered by the bricked SM?  All will be revealed in the (hopefully) thrilling conclusion to the most epic battle report I've ever written.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

US Battle Report - Piled with Pictures, part 3

Last time in the super-long 750 point battle report it started to hit the fan.  While the fleets have engaged, the Shrouds are poised to slip around the SE island and put a temporary halt to the violence.  But will the Iron Dwarves let their prey escape?  Are the Shrouds moving to flank, or are their motives more sinister?  Lots, though not all, shall be revealed in this installment.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

US Battle Report - Piled with Pictures, part 2

The first installment covered turns 1 and 2, which saw a lot of maneuvering and a little bit of action.  Now in turn 3, the gaps are smaller than ever and things are about to get hot and heavy.  My ships are poised to take the center of the table.  EV is feeding me a squadron of frigates while sending the rest of his fleet on what looks like a long flanking action

Friday, August 13, 2010

US Battle Report - Piled with Pictures, part 1

EV and I got together on Wednesday morning/early afternoon to try out the proposed Bellows changes.  I thought this would be a good time to do a blow by blow report, complete with a picture for each activation.  Though it made our game much longer than it would have normally been, and will make the reporting process much longer as well, I think it will be interesting and informative.  Whether or not we do anything like this again is up for debate, and the amount of work that goes in to this report will no doubt be considered.  Long as the process will be, getting started is the only way to make it shorter, so here goes.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The new between classes list

The new list looks an awful lot like the old list.  I'm abandoning the ID spreadsheet because tech7 already created a whole program to build fleets with that trumps any crappy spreadsheet I would produce.  I probably mentioned that I finished book 12 of Wheel of Time the other day, so that's the first item crossed off the list before I even write the list.  Speaking of lists, here it is.

US Battle Report - Premiere Night

The turn-out at Game Parlor wasn't so hot tonight, just me and EV.  While it was a shame that we went to the store just to play each other, I think it's important to keep a presence going on Mondays, so chalk this one up to fighting the good fight.  Tonight was the debut for my Imperial Humans.  I must have been extra excited because a lot of pictures are blurry, so I'll do a blanket apology for that upfront.  Since it's late (Starcraft 2 is compelling), I'm going to cut right to the chase.  Lists:

Monday, August 9, 2010

A productive morning

Title says it all, I got some good stuff done this morning.  I sculpted two more frigate bases, which I wanted to get done in time for tonight so I could tell frigate squadrons apart.  I worked on the "case" for my humans, cutting actual holes for the frigates instead of just cramming them between layers.  I'm also in the process of printing out the Martyr rules to have on hand, since they'll be coming up in the near future.

I've been skewing towards terrain-heavy tables of late, so I wanted to go back the other way and have some more open tables.  With 9 islands (and one lonely rock), I have enough terrain to put out two sparseish tables worth of islands.  I only have one table cloth though, and that's EV's to boot, so I set out to Joann's to get some material for another cloth.  I'd take a picture of it, but I'll just wait until gaming tonight and get a picture of it then.  It's a light-ish blue/lighter-ish blue/white wavy pattern that I think looks a lot like a rough sea.  Since my frigate bases are very textured, which I'm going to call storm-tossed, so the wavy print is going to work out well I hope.  It's significantly lighter than EV's cloth so there'll be no getting the two mixed up.  Having the option to setup two tables could be useful tonight, and on Game Parlor nights in general, in case we have an excess of players and a deficit of table dressing.

In non-gaming news, I finally finished the latest Wheel of Time book, not quite a year after I got it.  I'll post up another list of things I hope to accomplish before the fall semester starts sometime, but that would have been the top item on the list and I can cross it off before even making the list, which is nice. 

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Actual progress

Seems like it's been a while since I did any modeling or painting, so it was good to get some done this morning.  Since I started up the New Fleet Challenge on the Spartan boards to provide myself with some helpful pressure to get my new Imperial Humans done, I figured I should actually abide by the guidelines I set down, which means having pictures of progress.  Which requires actual progress.  While I did glue the frigates to their bases and prime the hulls of the larger ships, that doesn't really count as progress in my book.  With my now-open schedule and this "deadline" hanging over my head, it was time to do some work.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Belated weekend recap

Not quite a full week later I finally have time to write-up a run-down on my trip to Fredericksburg.  I chronicled my prep work already, but I left out my route planning.  I had a vague idea of where Fredericksburg is (South), but my grasp of its position was weak enough that I consulted the maps of Google for advice.  It gave me two routes, the one that I had thought to use myself (123 to 95 South), and another that I thought existed but wasn't sure of (out to Manassass, then 234 to 95 South).  The two routes looked similar enough that I went with the one that I was more familiar with, taking 123, though the alternate Manassass route would have dropped me onto 95 a couple miles further south.  This decision would come back to haunt me.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Quick hit as a tiding-over

Being in the midst of the final week of my second summer class, time for gaming (and blogging about gaming) is a rare commodity.  I'll get caught up once class is over, but in the meantime I wanted to put a teeny something up since it's been a while since last time and it'll be a while 'til next time.  The result of this desire?  A little list of 5 things that happened over the weekend.

1 - I finally went to a Sonic.  Twice in fact.

2 - I spent roughly two hours going about 35 miles on an interstate.
3 - I finally laid hands on Strakov, and my Winter Guard Deathstar is now at full power.
4 - I "won" the "tournament" down in Fredericksburg.
5 - I got a second ID battleship which "finishes" my ID fleet. 

A full recap of what all went down is on the way, but now at least whistles have been wetted.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Tournament prep and general housekeeping

While I should have been learning about recent American literature this morning, I was considering what I needed to add to my bag for the tournament this weekend.  I added some smaller dice to my bag to track crew damage, as I only had 2 in the bag previously, some other small dice to mark the odd port/starboard AD reduction, a d8 for wind direction and a scatter die to mark my airship's placement and heading if it ends up on terrain, as it often does.  I found a smaller, keyring-sized tape measure that I'll stick in my bag in case my opponent comes without one, as well as a small bag of glass beads from some TCG that I'll use for activation markers.  I still need to make some wind templates, for my opponents if necessary in the immediate future, but also for my Humans in the not-so-distant future.  I also assembled a second bag of dice thinking that my friend may have been interested in the tournament, though as expected he declined, but I'll bring it along anyway just in case.  It's always better to be over-prepared than get surprised. 

US Battle Report - A Night of Two Games, Part Two

The second half of the night's double-header saw a return to form for me.  I was eager to avenge my loss, but I was a little worried at the same time.  Would my dice come back to me?  Or had I undergone a fundamental paradigm shift?  Could I no longer reasonably expect to beat expected value on nearly every roll?  Would Gorgor's dice continue to make swiss cheese of my ships?  The only way to find out was to get back to it.  I ran the same list, while Gorgor made some changes, which you can find after the break.

Monday, July 26, 2010

US Battle Report - A Night of Two Games, Part One

played two games tonight against Gorgor and his Elves.  They were both 500 points and test run games for the tournament this weekend.  I think VAtank and Kairaven were doing the same, so it was a night to work out some kinks.  I had never played against Elves before, and Gorgor had never played against Dwarves, so it was a learning experience on both sides.  My main aim here was to see how the destroyers worked, as I've been considering swapping them for a heavy cruiser.  EV called off tonight, and I forgot to borrow his smoke and fire markers, so the pictures are not as pretty as usual since I was using scraps of paper as wreck markers.  Lists, pictures, the whole nine, after the break.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Weekend Update

Destroyers are painted and the first coat of varnish is drying.  It's been oppressively hot here for the past couple weeks, but it rained earlier today so it's not quite so bad now.  On the bad side, I may have pushed my "There's no such thing as too much varnish" idea too far.  Things may look different when they've dried a little.

Ready to destroy.  After some varnish, of course.
As the end of the month approaches, so too does the time for the final wave of reinforcements.  While this slow growth experiment hasn't gone exactly like I'd hoped it would, it's been a good experience.  It took a bit of convincing on EV's part to get me to try Uncharted Seas, but having done so I find that I really like the game.  It has, for the most part, simple mechanics that are easy to learn, but still allow for depth in tactics.  The models have grown on me, are quick to paint up, and look pretty good when you're done with them.  Best of all, the models are fairly cheap and you don't need a bunch of them.  I'll do up my total investment when I do the actual reinforcement post, but I'd guess I have maybe $150 invested in the game, including the rule book, which is a low gate to entry as far as war games go.  But I should really save all the reflection for the last post in the 'series.'  In the meantime, a couple lists.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Backlog part 2: Terrain wrap-up

This has taken far too long, considering the terrain has been finished for nearly two weeks now.  My last post about the islands saw them still pink and brown, waiting for some texture and paint.  I wanted to have them finished for the start of gaming at the FLGS on Monday, but my weekend was slammed, so I enlisted EV to help finish them off.  The first step was gathering materials, so we headed out to Walmart for paint and, perhaps, spackle.  It took much longer than I expected to have paint mixed up, with most of the time being Walmart's computer analyzing a paint swatch and coming up with the proper mixture for it.  I could understand if I was bringing in a teddy bear or blade of grass to have color matched, but I just plucked the swatch from the wall of samples there at Walmart, so you'd think they might have already had the formulas for those ready to go.  Such was not the case.  While we waited for the paint, EV and I discussed sealing the islands and how useful spackle would be.  I wanted some sort of reinforcement on the islands, but wasn't sure what kind.  EV had experience with spackle and said it wouldn't be much more durable than the foam itself, so in the end we decided to just go with the glue and paint that would eventually cover the islands.  If things didn't work quite like I expected, I could always make more.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Backlog part 1: Warmachine Battle Report

Played a 35 pointer against EV on Friday, pIrusk vs. eStryker.  I knew a little bit about Stryker going in, and EV is very enthusiastic about him in general, so I figured I'd be in for a tough fight.  I was trying out Irusk for the first time.  He is a different sort of caster than I've used before, more of a lead from the rear type.  While I run Sorscha like that, she poses a very real assassination threat that Irusk doesn't.  I run Sorscha as a support caster because I can, whereas I ran Irusk as a support caster because I had to.  What a support caster though.  His feat is impressive, as is his spell list.  I had been meaning to try him out for a while, but having finally gotten the mini earlier in the week, I figured it was time to see what he was about.  Unfortunately I have yet to assemble this new addition, but fortunately EV has a pIrusk that I was able to use.

US Battle Report - The First Team Battle

I had a couple new experiences tonight at the FLGS.  We had four show up for US action again, and thanks to a bit of pre-planning we got a team game up and running.  It was my Iron Dwarves and EV's Shroud Mages facing off against Kairaven's Orcs and VAtank's Imperial Humans.  This meant it was also the first time I played in a game where the wind actually mattered.  We played 700 per player, so 1400 a side, which was another first for game size.  We nearly didn't finish before the store closed, but managed to scrape under the wire.  With fleets as big as they were, it shouldn't surprise me that I ended up with a lot of pictures, but it surprised me all the same.  Many pictures, plus all the other battle report goodies, after the break.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

More new arrivals

I went by the FLGS today to pick up my destroyers.  They're both smaller and larger than I was expecting.  I'm excited to get painting them, and the cruisers I left in the primer as easily identifiable proxies, but this week is a bit packed so I don't know when I'll get the chance.  While I was there I got pButcher as well to add to my backlog of unopened Warmachine models.  I'm going to have to put a freeze on Warmachine purchases until I get them assembled and primed, and ideally some stuff painted as well.  I've been very good about staying on top of my US ships, but just as bad about getting my Khador painted.  I think it's because I have a large pile of Khador to get through, whereas the ships have come in small batches with plenty of time between additions to get up to date.  Whatever the cause, I need to get some work in on that block of minis.  Maybe when my next mini-summer break comes in a couple weeks.

In other US news, there's a tournament at the end of the month down in Fredericksburg that I plan to attend.  I'll also be able to finally go to Sonic, so it'll be a two for one deal.  I need to work up 500 and 600 point lists, which won't be bad as I have them set already.  The real treat will be a 300 point 'anything goes' list.  Conventional wisdom says to bulk up on big ships and fill from there, which would leave me with something like a flagship, a battleship, and a cruiser.  I think I might go for more flexibility and speed though, maybe battleship, airship, cruiser, destroyer.  I have a bit of time to think about it, and it'll be an interesting exercise.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

A brief update because I'm logged in

EV finished up the islands over the weekend, in plenty of time for our journey to the FLGS yesterday.  I'll take some pictures of them and do a more detailed post about them soonish.  I also picked up two new minis last night, Irusk and another WG Rocketeer.  The FLGS had restocked some stuff, but sadly still no Strakhov, so I'll probably have to get him through the mythical Warstore order.  They did have some mechanics though, which I may have to pick up.  EV and I have a Warmachine game scheduled for Friday, a 35 pointer.  Normally I'd be trying to get Irusk ready to go for then, but EV has already stated his intention to play an eStryker list, which will no doubt be full of "run across the table and engage in melee" type units.  While Irusk would seem to be a great choice to counter that, with his infantry buffs and all my guns, I kinda want to meet EV's charge head-on with pVlad and a DR retinue.  I have a few days to think about it and to look at pIrusk more closely.

Monday, July 12, 2010

US Battle Report - A New Challenger Appears

Headed out to the FLGS tonight for gaming.  Despite patronizing the store since it opened many years ago, I've never actually gamed there.  It was a little odd inhabiting the area with the tables in it, but I got past that quick enough.  There were 4 of us altogether tonight, though staggered arrivals thwarted the multiplayer game I had been considering.  EV faced off against some Dragon Lords first while I took pictures and started making notes.  Then more Dragon Lords showed up, so it was time to throw down.  I had hoped to play a game against a wind using fleet, but such was not the case.  I faced off against Kairaven from the Spartan forums.  We played with 600 points, and lists were as such:

Friday, July 9, 2010

Terrain, part 3

Got the foam work finished up on the islands.  A couple pictures, because they say 1000 words.

I put a clothes pin in there for scale, as much as it helps.  From a different angle:

In trying to get these ready for the upcoming Game Parlor throwdown, I'm farming the finishing of these out to EV.  Sadly reading for class is going to take up most of my limited free time between now and Monday, so EV has graciously agreed to run with the torch from here.  Hopefully I can con him into taking some WIP shots as he goes.  Half-finished though they are, this is still the first terrain I've made, so seeing a table's worth of cover that I've made myself is rather satisfying.  I got a scouring pad from EV a couple days ago the help "sand" the foam.  You can see the difference between the island that wasn't scoured (on the far right) and the rest of them. 

Summer "break" retrospective

I had quite a list of things to do over the 2 weeks I had off between summer classes.  Some things got crossed off that list, most didn't.  A visual representation of what I didn't get done.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

US Battle Report - The Marathon Battle

Today was sorta the first day for the new lists at 900 points.  The FLGS hasn't gotten the destroyer models yet, so I'm proxying them with regular cruisers.  The FLGS also hasn't had Rippers in for a while.  EV ordered some a week ago.  They didn't arrive before we started, but they did call in the middle of the game, so EV will have them for next time.  To make up points (somewhat), he had an extra battleship.  Was this strictly following fleet composition?  No.  Did I mind?  Not at all.  He was playing 30 points down anyway, so it seemed like a fair enough trade.  Plus he was fielding all the ships he had, so we made do as best possible.  You'll also notice the fancy blue cloth and larger playing surface, both new additions.  It was a day of firsts.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

US Battle Report - I Put a Spell on You

Today was the last battle at 650 before we bump up to 900 in July (provided that EV's Rippers show up by then of course).  The last couple games have been a real turkey shoot that haven't been good for either of us, but today's battle was tightly contested and entertaining throughout.  We also only had one or two rules questions, so we're learning the game better as well.  This is also the last battle on a 4'x4' board; we'll be going to 6'x4' for 900 points.  There should also be a new, blue "table" for next time as well.  So much change in the future.  In the present, things stayed the same on the list front.  Next time I'll post updated lists.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Terrain, part 2

After a break for lunch and to let glue dry, I went back at it.  I'm trying to think of a good way to get the corner halves to join up into a single piece.  Dowels seem like a good choice, but I don't want a big hole in the side.  Magnets could work, but that seems like a lot of trouble to go to.  I'll continue to ponder.  In the meantime, I covered the first island in Elmer's to see how it would work out.  Like a lot of these glue pics, the picture doesn't really do a lot to convey what the piece actually looks like, but it's better than nothing I think

First crack at terrain

I scouted out Home Depot with EV yesterday and found they had both reasonably sized pieces of hardboard and pink insulation.  I went back this morning to get some supplies.  I got a 2'x4' piece of hardboard, a 2'x8' piece of pink insulation, some Liquid Nails, and an extendable utility knife.  I had been planning on getting a hot wire foam cutter, but after having watched a couple videos on Youtube I decided to give a knife a shot.  While not going bargain basement on this project, I do want to save money where possible, and a $3 knife instead of a $20 (at least I'd expect) hot wire cutter fits that bill. 

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Pre-F1 update

Been a quiet couple hobby days.  Played Monsterpocalypse and (the non-Xbox Live version of) Settlers of Catan for the first time on Friday.  Also got the next wave of reinforcements, or at least proxies for them.  It's a couple days early, but I was at the FLGS.  Finally got a set of Warmachine templates so I can stop relying on my opponent having them.  Went out today to take a look at hardboard and pink foam insulation to get an idea of what I'd be spending and what I'd be getting if I go in for making some islands.  Lowe's had ginormous sheets of hardboard, but I couldn't find the pink foam.  I'll try Home Depot on Monday and compare.  Looks like costs will be reasonable(ish) and I'll be able to scratch the terrain itch.  In worse news, a week and half is all I have before my next class starts.  Haven't made any progress on the Khador, but I've gotten a bit of reading in.  The new ships will get painted soon enough, then we'll see about WM or terrain.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

US Battle Report - Big Badaboom

In the new light of morning, the airship isn't so bad after all.  I may try and touch it up some, which would be easier and less demoralizing than stripping it and starting over again.  I got in varnished in time to game with as planned.  EV did a random terrain setup again.  He took 7-8 islands and rolled for each of them, including them on a 4+.  He rolled 4d6 for inches and a scarrer die for directiion then placed the island from center accordingly,  Fleets were the same as the last two games.

Disaster strikes

I thought I was pretty clever with the whole "varnish part of my airship so I can hold it and paint the other part" idea.  It was successful enough.  I held the varnished part while I finished painting and the varnish held, keeping the underlying paint safe and intact.  The problem was the overspray on the unfinished areas.  It made basecoating tricky, but nothing too bad.  The real issue came when it was time for the wash.  Instead of behaving like a normal wash, it beaded on the ship like a freshly waxed car.  No running into crevices and away from high areas, just sitting where it hit the model, pooling here and there, no rhyme or reason to it.  I'll stop short of calling it ruined, but I'm not happy.  I'll look into stripping a varnished model and consider doing just that and starting over again on it.  I'll have the problem then of where to hold the thing while I paint it.  I suppose I could use a brush on varnish and paint a wing first, then do the rest.  Or I could try using a flying stand or a dowel to hold, but then there's the issue of painting the underside where the stick wouldn't hold.  Problems for another day.  In the meantime, not pleased.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

A morning of painting

Got cracking on the airship this morning.  I ran into a problem that I had expected, but not to the extent that it manifested.  My big issue with painting US minis is that they don't have a base, so you have no choice but to hold the mini while painting it.  As such, the paint can wear off on areas that get handled too much.  This may be a function of using Vallejo Model Color, which I head is somewhat delicate.  I planned for this with the airship by intending to paint the body first, varnish a holding spot, then finish off the wings.  This has worked to a point.  Despite my best efforts, paint has been wearing away from the body as well, where I put it down when not painting.  The dorsal fin has been hit especially hard.  As such, I've moved up the varnish step to right now.  I finished up the front half of the airship and am in the process of putting a coat of varnish on it.  WIP shots:

Top shot.  I decided on a canvas sort of color for the balloon itself.  I had many thoughts on it, from red to white to black and white checks, but canvas seemed both realistic and it stayed within my established palate, which made it a winner.

I'm torn on the bottom.  I think I should work in a white plate or two, as the only white bits are going to be the nose and the tail fin.  At the same time, I think it looks fine as it is, and I did go a bit overboard on the heavy cruisers.

I also touched up my Krakens.  I had decided to paint the shaft of the ship bronze as I just couldn't justify the planks as wood.  I also painted the ram itself silver, or "iron" if you will, because of the Iron Ram rule the ship has.  The problem was the front of the ship was awfully shiny and metallic, so I wanted to break it up a little.  I ended up painting the arms on the ram black, though it doesn't show so well in this shot, and I think it does well enough. 

I hope to finish the airship tonight, but that's probably wishful thinking.  I have a game with EV tomorrow and as usual I'd rather not bring unsealed models with me, but I may not have a choice in this case.  I guess I could just bring the flying stand as the model itself is essentially just decoration, but that'd be very lame.  I'll put in a good effort tonight and try to make it a non-issue.

Monday, June 21, 2010

WM Battle Report - The Deathjack Cometh

Warmachine content here?  When's the last time that happened?  Played a 35 pointer with EV today, eSorscha vs the Witch Coven.  I had a notion a bit ago to do a 50 point game, and that's on the docket, but since I haven't played WM in a month or three, I thought it'd be a good idea to start with something smaller before jumping to a point size I've never played at before.  My army selection was somewhat influenced by wanting to use that last of the models I haven't used yet, eSorscha and the Devastator.  I wanted to run eSorscha and I would have taken the Devastator with her anyway, so it wasn't too hard fitting them in.  I had made an eSorscha list a while ago but had forgotten about it, so I made a new one up last night.  Turns out they were basically the same, except one had Doom Reavers.  Which list made the cut?  Army lists and the report itself after the break.

Friday, June 18, 2010

A brief ray of sunshine

Class is done, at least for the moment.  I have about 3 weeks now of glorious almost-freedom, where all I have to do is work.  No reading for school, no going to class, no writing papers.  I already have a bunch planned for my free time.  The Iron Dwarves are first on the docket.  I hope to finish the Krakens over the weekend and the airship before the next game.  Then I'm going to roll into Khador.  I'm going to finish the already started models first: pSorscha, Manhuntress, 'jacks, WGI.  After that I'm not sure.  I'll continue on with Khador until the beginning of July, when it'll be time for the next US expansion.  If we go to 900 points, that'll mean a flagship and a pair of destroyers (which I'll probably have to proxy until I can lay hands on the models).  If we do 800, then I'll figure something out.  Putting a 160 point model into a 150 point hole is never easy, but I'll just push until it goes in.  When those are painted, back to Khador until my next class starts up.

Of course, painting is not the only thing on the schedule.  I want to finally finish the latest Wheel of Time book, plus Hemingway's The Snows of Kilimanjaro, and a book on the Maya I read most of for a class last semester.  Not to mention all the other books on the ever-growing pile of books to be read.  Then there's the entire season of Breaking Bad to get off the DVR, plus the Chuck season finale, the summer season of Wipeout, F1 races, and Nats games.  I want to make some US terrain too, and take a stab at working up a spreadsheet for making ID lists.  And then there's WoW and everything that goes with that.

All of this in 3 weeks.  Something is gonna have to give.  I wonder what it'll be.  In the meantime, I'm off to get some reading in.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

US Battle Report - Short Work

Short, because they're dwarves see?  I'm multitasking here by finishing up the varnish on my heavy cruisers while I do up the battle report.  Only two tasks though, as my paper sits idle.  I'm telling myself that ideas are percolating so I can harvest them later.

Fleets are the same as they were last time and the time before.  I'm not going to type up the same list again, so if you're curious just go back a report or two.  As he often does, EV had the table set up before I arrived.  He used a random generator of some sort (4+ and the terrain appeared, then a scatter die for where it was placed I believe), so that's why the islands are clumpy and there's so much open space.  Setup picture after the break.

He's not heavy, he's my cruiser

The humidity broke overnight, down now to a manageable 65% from 90% last night.  It was the kind of gross night where every surface is wet even though it hasn't rained.  Thankfully that's done now and it looks like the humidity will burn off as the day progresses. Implementing my plan to get my heavies varnished, at least partially, before heading out for today's showdown, I got up early-ish to put on the first coat.  I had left the ships outside to dry, in the sun for extra drying speed.  When I went out to shift them a bit so they didn't stick to the box, I rethought my positioning, reasoning that leaving resin models in direct sunlight might not be the best idea ever.  So I brought them inside, stuck them in the bathroom, and turned the fan on.  They'll dry some more while I go get breakfast, then I'll flip them and hit the bottoms.  Hopefully the tops are dry enough by then that they won't stick to the box when I flip them.  In the meantime, I took a super high quality shot while they were in the bathroom.  Pic after the break.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The honeymoon is over

I had been all set to write a post about the joys of a new brush, how there's no job it can't do, how you feel like you can conquer the world with it in your hand.  That was before I finished up the heavy cruisers this morning.  On my second application of new brush to model, it's already started hooking.  I'm fighting the urge to trim the hook off, as that apparently leads to splitting, which is even worse.  While this day comes for all brushes sooner or later, I thought I'd have at least a couple weeks of bliss instead of a bare two days.

In better news, as mentioned the heavies are done.  I think I may have gone overboard with the white accents, but I'll wait and see how they look next to my other ships before I start wringing my hands in earnest.  The trick now is to find a suitable bit of weather so I can get some varnish on them.  The next naval clash is set for roughly 11 am tomorrow.  Forecasts for the time between now and then have 70%+ humidity until 10 am.  I'm torn between putting a coat of gloss on tonight after class and potentially stinking the whole house up and waiting until tomorrow before varnishing and hoping they're dry by the time I head out for combat.  Pictures to come tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

You've got to be kidding

One day I'll do a post about my gaming history, but suffice for now to say that I was a Games Workshop kid for many years.  Over time their pricing scam scheme left me disillusioned with the company.  While I still love 40k, at least the fluff and the minis, Warhammer Fantasy has never really been my cup of tea.  Fast-forward to today, where GW is doing advance orders for the new edition of WFB.  They've gone back to a stand-alone book model, instead of the big box with rules and minis that reigned for a couple editions.  I'm glad, in the schadenfreude sense, to see that the most basic form of the book will run you a cool $75.  We won't even talk about the Collector's Edition or Gamer's Edition.  Granted it looks like a well produced book and it does have a ribbon (I'm a sucker for books with ribbons), but $75?  As the entry into your system?  Before you even get into the minis, which the teaser page promises as "thousands of troops arrayed for war?"  Someone over in GW headquarters is crazy.  I used to steer clear of the smaller companies, but now I find myself heading towards the little guy to avoid this sort of profiteering madness.  One day GW is going to squeeze the ass of their golden goose one time too many.  I can only hope I'm there to see it happen.

update:  Today's "What's New" blog on the GW site provided still more laughs.  First is the description of the Collector's Edition: "It looks and feels like a family air loom."  I guess Americans don't have a monopoly on butchering the language.  Second is the so-called clasp that holds the book together.  I thought it was quite a nice touch, along with the triple ribbon, so you can imagine my dismay when the truth is revealed. Turns out it's not a clasp, or even attached to the covers of the book.  It's just a C-shaped piece of metal that sits on the edges of the book.  I had been impressed by the attention to detail, and to be fair the general quality of, the new books and templates, but now I'm starting to wonder.  $125 for the Collector's is ludicrous, but this new revelation makes it even more so.  Now I wonder if the rest of the releases are of the same quality.  Disillusionment, you are my neighbor.

More painting

Trying out a new posting interface here that claimed to be better with large numbers of pictures, something which interests me.  Unfortunately it's not working out so far, and with only 3 pictures, but maybe I'll get the hang of it in the future.  As mentioned last post, I'm trying out a palette.  I've been using a piece of plasticard to mix my paints on for years.  It's worked well enough, but I always wanted to actually use a palette.  I thought at the very least it'd help with inks as I mix brown and black ink to wash my Dwarves with.  While my experience is limited thus far, having only used the palette for two sessions, I'm already very pleased.  My paints would dry out fairly quickly before.  I'd often find myself constantly adding water just to keep paint from coagulating on the card.  Large scale painting, say of a squad of infantry, would require multiple paint doses as one batch would dry up completely before the job was done.  So far the palette hasn't had that problem.  Colors have stayed moist with a bare minimum of additional water.  I've also been cleaning it after painting sessions, so it doesn't look like mess that is my plasticard palette.  After two uses, it still looks fresh as the day I got it.  And all for a buck.  Trying out a second new function, putting in post breaks.  That in mind, pictures and more rambling after the break.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Brief painting update

Started in on the heavy cruisers last night.  I got the planking ready for washing.  I also gave up hope that my go-to brush would stop hooking and splitting and decided to get a new one.  While I was at the store I got some brush soap and thought I'd try out a palette for the first time.  A brave new world of painting supplies.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Meet the new boss, same as the old boss

Did a bit of wrangling with blog settings so I don't have to juggle accounts to post here. Also tinkering with the look of the thing, as is plain to see. I've always meant to have a red theme here, in keeping with the Khadoran aesthetic as well as the scheme for my Iron Dwarves, so I'm making a start on it. Hopefully nothing breaks, fingers are crossed.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

US Battle Report - The Artist Formerly Known As HMcT

Pre-script:  Having gone through to the backlog here to make all the tags synch up, this first paragraph doesn't make much sense if you're coming here for the first time.  I'm sure you can figure things out.

First things first, HMcT has surfaced online as Etna's Vassal. I've since been informed that Etna is a character from Disgaea, so adjust your knowledge as such. He'll be referred to as EV from here out, at least as long as I remember it myself.

Another US battle today, this morning being my best opening for gaming this week. Class ends next week, so there'll be more opportunities soon enough. There may even be some Khadoran action in the near future. EV was very pleased about finally having a legal fleet for this battle. I made the slight adjustment of running one squadron of frigates instead of two.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Another quickie

Can you tell I should be writing a paper these last couple days? Bluff tokens are finished and sitting outside waiting for varnish even now. I tried taking a picture outside just to see how it'd work and it came out good enough. I may have to try it in a more systematic manner next time.

Painting the water was a nice change of pace. Having just applied the first coat of gloss varnish, I'm considering skipping the dullcoat stage and leaving them glossy. I'll give it a bit to dry to see how it looks, but it might make the water look better and since the tokens are almost all water it'd make sense.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Brief update

Took some time to do a little painting in between school work. I started on the Kraken bluff tokens out of necessity. I need some way to distinguish between the tokens, so I figured I may as well do them first. The water is done here, at least the non-foamy parts. The foam will get a grey base and a lighter grey highlight, and maybe a pure white highlight if I'm feeling saucy. As it is the water is more detailed than most of my work, with a base, highlight, wash, then a final highlight. Not that you can really tell that those extra steps are in there, but I know.

I'm still considering about the subs themselves. On the one hand, I want to paint them red so they keep with the theme of the fleet. On the other hand, black makes a lot of sense and having squadron markings on a ship that is underwater most of the time doesn't make much sense. Something to ponder. I'm also thinking about painting the balloon part of the airship with alternating white and black sections, with a red compartment underneath. I'm not sure how the checkerboard would look and I worry that it'd be garish, but I do like the idea.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

US Battle Report - Reinforcements arrive

Yesterday (Tuesday) was a day I'd been looking forward to for a couple weeks: the first expansion in our US slow growth "league." I put league in quotes because we're down to three people now, or so I hear as I've only played against EV. Still, the possibility is there and I won't complain about getting games in. Having any number of opponents, from 1 to 1000, is better than having none.

Back to the point, we had our first 650 point game today.  EV's hand was somewhat forced as he couldn't lay hands on any submarines, but I think he came off just fine with a flagship and a pair of heavy cruisers. My list is in the last post, but I'll put it back up all the same.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Fleet update

Reinforcement day has arrived, fleets are bolstered, pictures are taken. HMcT added a Flagship and a pair of Heavy Cruisers, while I added an Airship, a pair of Krakens, and a pair of Heavy Cruisers. In keeping with my promise to myself to not buy new ships until everything I already have is painted, I got my Battleship done, finishing it up this morning. Sort of finishing at least. I only got one coat of gloss varnish on before heading out to get the new ships. It's been raining on and off since then, so more varnish will have to wait. The ship itself is painted though, so I say it counts just fine. One day I'll put together a nice setup and get some quality pictures (especially of that mortar), but for now here are some quick shots. First the starter fleet:

Thursday, May 27, 2010

US Battle Report - If At First You Don't Succeed

Another day, another battle.  EV and I were back at it today, battling across the waves with our dual flavors of stunties. In our continuing attempts to get a handle on what ships really cost, EV's list changed one more time. Mine remained the same: everything that comes in the starter fleet box.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

A brief respite

Unsurprisingly, gaming time has approached zero with the advent of summer classes. My ID battleship still languishes in its grey primer. My Khadoran forces haven't seen the light of day in weeks. I'll get a brief change of pace this Memorial Day weekend though, as I won't have class for a week after tonight. As such, I'm planning on getting a US game in tomorrow and possibly some Warmachine on Friday if I'm not working. I'm also going to paint the battleship before the end of the week. Note there's no planning or possibly in there, it will get done. I've made a pact with myself to finish all my US models before the next wave of reinforcements comes in, and since that wave is less than a week off I don't have time to dither. This holiday is a golden opportunity to finish off the last ship, so I'm going to capitalize on it.

That wave of reinforcements means that the fabled Warstore order will be going in soon. I'm been looking over the Khadoran stuff and I'm torn between getting the stuff that's never at my FLGS, like Strakhov or Rocketeers or Battle Mechanics, or going for the bigger-ticket, and therefore deeper discount, things like the Great Bears or a Spriggan. I'm leaning towards the latter at the moment, but I'll probably mix the two options together. It will all depend on whether or not I get the FLGS to order up a Strakhov for me before the Warstore order goes in. I'm trying to keep the Warmachine portion to around $100, which is just enough for a Spriggan, Great Bears and a Kayazy box, which would leave the blisters to order through the FLGS. We'll see how it goes. In the meantime, back to the academic salt mines.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

US Battle Report - How many battleships?!

First off, I co-opted EV's camera after our battle to take some quick shots of my ID ships. First the cruisers, who just need a dull coat.

Another shortie

Still no camera, so still no pictures. Got some work in on the frigates. Not as much as I wanted, which would have meant finishing them, but good progress all the same. I have highlights, metals, washing and some details left to do. That sounds like a lot now that I look at it, but it's not so much. I'd say the squadron(s) are 75% finished. Still no work on the battleship, though I have started to gaze at it and imagine paint schemes.

My big concern is a game tomorrow with EV. Not the game itself, but transporting my fleet. The cruisers just need a dull coat, so they'll be fine, but the frigates are in midstream and I'd hate to have paint rub off. This is an issue with Vallejo that I'm aware of and haven't really gotten burned by yet, one WGI shoulder notwithstanding, but I have a bad feeling all the same.

I'm trying to keep RL natterings out of this blog, but a batch cropped up that have an impact on gaming, and thus this blog. I've had to scramble to fit in classes to be able to graduate on time (ha!) including courses over the summer. Those have also been problematic and through various twisting paths I've ended up in a class that started tonight, which I didn't realize until about an hour before class began. As such I don't have the time off that I thought I did, though I may have a gap between the two summer courses I'll be taking, even if I'm not sure which two they will end up being. The TL;DR for that is I have less time than anticipated for gaming/painting, which will affect how much I get done for Warmachine and Uncharted Seas. I'm still sticking to the "Not adding anything until everything is painted" principle for the stunties, and I don't anticipate that being a problem, but the Khador forces may get moved further back on the burner than I'd like. This will, in turn, affect the eventual War Store order, which will itself be affected by my new lack of time. So much shuffling...

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Short update

Short because it's about dwarves, get it? Cruiser squadron is finished and in the process of being varnished. Frigates are 35% done or so, and the battleship is still just primed. I know what I'll be doing with the frigates, still pondering with the battleship. I would have pictures, but the camera has gone missing on me. Hopefully frigates will be done tomorrow or Tuesday and the battleship by the end of the week. This time I really intend to stick to the "No new purchases until everything is painted" maxim, and the "Tale of X Gamers" format should help with that. That format may be undergoing some changes, but I'll stay with it all the same. I'm looking over stats for the other ships and am torn between Heavy Cruisers (nice models) and some flavor of submarine (for sneaky goodness). More games to come this week, hopefully the camera turns up by then.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Battle Report Backlog part 3: Uncharted Seas starter fleets

Last bit of backlog cleanup here. EV and I had our first full-fledged Uncharted Seas game on Tuesday, his Shroud Mages against my Iron Dwarves. We found that the starter boxes aren't balanced points-wise, even if they are in terms of number of ships, but EV sucked it up and played a couple points down all the same. We played the game right this time, as opposed to our ghetto intro battle, but we did have a couple outstanding questions that I still want to look into. Fleet lists were as such:

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Battle Report Backlog part 2: Uncharted Seas ghetto intro

As noted before, I had a bad experience with Battle Fleet Gothic way back when, so I was hesitant on Uncharted Seas. EV liked the idea of the game, so he got the book and we made some paper slip "ships" to try it out. As you can imagine, those are less than beautiful pictures, so I'm passing on posting most of them. A few notes about the game though.

We played it somewhat wrong, but we knew that at the time. The aim was to get a feel for the system in general, so it didn't really matter that we did ramming wrong or didn't know that firepower decreases as a ship is damaged. One thing I learned was not to get your ships too close together. I managed to get a cruiser stuck on the outside of my battleship while both were trying to wheel around and fire at the same target, which meant the cruiser never really did much and there was always the danger of collision. The game ended in spectacular fashion, with a bunch of Orc Frigates ramming a Dwarven Battleship and Cruiser, as such:

You can see why I'm not posting most of these shots. The Orcs didn't fare too well and broke themselves on the Dwarven prows.

The dice are explosions as I was feeling creative. Those were the last two "models" left of both our fleets. We cut down the starter fleet by a cruiser and 3 frigates for time concerns and limited space. I probably posted thoughts on US previously, but a little recap all the same. It's quick to play, the ships are (mostly) maneuverable, and you can roll buckets of dice. The Iron Dwarf Battleship, for instance, has a 16 dice broadside when close to it's prey. That's a fistful of dice. And it has exploding 6s, so you can just keep going. I'd been skeptical going in, but I've rather enjoyed the first two games.

On the painting front, not much has happened lately. I'd been waiting on priming my ID fleet while considering basing, but I've decided to not base them for the time being. I primed them this morning. Humidity was a bit higher than I would have liked, but hopefully it'll be ok. The ships look fine. In theory I'll be painting them up while I watch some baseball in an hour or so, but we'll see how that pans out. I also seem to be going through the Duplicolor awfully fast. It goes on pretty thin and takes a couple passes to coat properly. The level of detail is good, but at what price? I'll see how it works when I actually paint over it and make a final call, but I'm disappointed in how much I've used so far. Granted it's not terribly expensive, but it seems the other sprays I've used to prime have gone a lot further, though I should probably reserve judgement until the can runs out and not just when it starts to feel lighter. Maybe some pics later. I still need to take one of the finished WG Mortar and hopefully I'll have some ships done too.

Battle Report Backlog part 1: Cygnar vs. Khador

Last Warmachine game was pVlad vs pHaley. My list:

pVlad + 5
Juggernaut - 7
Kodiak - 8
Doom Reavers - 6
UA - 2
Min WGI - 4
UA - 2
Rocketeer - 1

This list came about mostly because I wanted to use the Doomies.  EV had tipped his hand somewhat about the Long Gunners, so I went with Vlad for the extra move on his feat. This didn't work out so well, but more of that later.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Khadoran Sea Machine

Getting kinda backed up on blogging, but given the time of year that's to be expected. Had a game with EV and his Cygnar a couple days ago. I played pVlad with the new Doom Reavers against his pHaley and came out on top, but it was a close thing. A more complete write-up is in the works, I have pictures and everything.

A bit of background before I get to the next bit of news. White Dwarf ran a series of articles, A Tale of Four Gamers, years ago that followed four gamers for a number of months (I want to say six) as they collected a new army. They added to their armies each month, up to a certain dollar amount, and wrote about their experiences along the way. I loved this series. I've looked for similar things in other magazines (hence tracking down the No Quarter I mentioned last time or the time before) and online, but I've never found anything quite like it.

I've always thought it would be nifty to do something similar.  EV leveraged this knowledge into getting me into another game system. After some discussion, we settled on Uncharted Seas, which you can probably figure out is a naval game. I never played Man-O-War, but I did play some Battlefleet Gothic and it was far from my favorite. I was skeptical of US because of this, but EV and I did a ghetto-demo on Thursday and it was a good time. Fast paced, brutal, fistfuls of dice, and ships that could actually turn. I have pictures of that too, via EV, but I have to get them from him and write it up as well.

The endgame of this is that we're starting up on Uncharted Seas. I'm in for the Iron Dwarves with the starter fleet sitting in the other room awaiting my attentions. We're still figuring out how to work this out, but it'll either be a blister per time period (per month I'd guess) or a point amount. However it ends up, I'll be chronicling my fleet progress in addition to my (not forgotten) Khador forces. In fact I intend to paint the boats up in Khador colors with red hulls and brass smoke stacks/metal bits. How obvious the connection will be is up for debate, but I have the colors already so I may as well use them. Which reminds me that I want to do a post about Vallejo paints as well. So many ideas, still so many papers to finish.

If there were anyone reading this, I'd say expect some battle reports once the semester ends on Tuesday, but this is basically an isolated pocket of the internet at this point, so I'm really just talking to myself. I hope to post them all the same though, in case someone in the future stumbles over here.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Opportunity Seized

Weather and schedule combined to allow for some spraying this afternoon, so I jumped on the chance. I tried out the Dullcoat and Duplicolor for the first time a few minutes ago. Here are some initial impressions.

The Dullcoat already looks better than the matte varnish I had. It seems dry right now, but I'll wait until tonight or tomorrow for a final verdict. As is though, thumbs up.

The Duplicolor is going to take more time. I had a hard time getting it to fill in some deeper recesses. There was a bit of a breeze, but nothing excessive. Even when it was still, the spray seemed reluctant to get into the crevices. It wasn't as dark as I had expected, which is good. I'd been worried about a big contrast between the previous grey primer and this one, but they aren't too different. I'll still take a picture or two, but it won't be as noticeable as I had thought. I used a couple coats, in keeping with what I'd read about it. I also heard it covered without obscuring detail which, combined with the trouble getting into the nooks, meant I used a heavier coat than I would have otherwise. With ~10 minutes of drying time, details look great and nothing has been obscured. Like the Dullcoat I'll reserve judgement until later tonight. I'm less enthusiastic about the Duplicolor than the Dullcoat, but I'm curious to see how it does on a fresh, unprimed model. Of course I don't have any of those at the moment, because I've been a good hobbyist and have assembled and primed all the bits I have. Guess I'll have to get some more. For science, of course.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Rain, rain, go away

With papers finished (or enough papers finished to come up for air [or enough papers finished enough to come up for air]) a brief window of modeling opportunity has presented itself. Sadly, a larger window of typical DC weather has presented itself. The dread Triple H has been in town for a few days, and I don't mean a pro wrestler. It's been hot and humid for the past couple days. The hazy is still on winter break apparently, but it's the humid that matters. I picked up some Duplicolor Sandable Primer today from the local Advance Autoparts, but it's just too humid to give it a shot. Judging by the cap, it's also a lot darker than the rather light grey primer I had been using, so the Doomies will look interesting when I get the chance to fill in the cracks in the primer. Pics of the primered product for sure. In the meantime, instead of painting some of the literal army of primered Khadorans awaiting the gentle caress of my brush, I'll be writing some more papers. Good news is that I have about a week left before school is over, if only for a month or so. Bad news is that between humidity, papers, and studying lgaming time will be scarce before school is over, though I hope to get in a game with HMcT later this week. He resolved his computer issues as well, so maybe a link or two for him is in the cards as well. In the meantime, back to the salt mines.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Because it might be a while before next time

With the end of the semester looming hobby time has shrunk to 0. Since I won't get back to this for another week or two, and because I could use a warm-up exercise for the paper I'm writing, a little update. Had a bit of a shopping spree on Saturday, with the main pick ups being:

Doomreavers! When I hit my FLGS they had the UA too, so I got the Doomies. As I was heading home I realized that my "cheaper" option ended up costing me ~$5 more than the Great Bears would have, but such is life. I had a bit of a time putting them together. One pose in particular didn't want to mesh up, so I had to do some green stuff work to bridge some gaps. You can see where it is, if not exactly how it looks, here. There was a sizable gap between the forearm and the elbow that had to be filled.

I probably should have pinned more of them, but after pinning the UA's staff and drilling through his wrist I wasn't in the mood for more patching. I do rather like the models though, so hopefully they turn out well.

Other items on the shopping trip were Elmer's Glue All, which HMcT had mentioned and will hopefully work out better than plain old Elmer's has so far, a No Quarter back issue for what turned out to be a disappointing army collection article, and a pack of cheap brushes (12 for ~$1.25) to do basing with as the brushes I used to use were just horrible.

The Doomies are mostly primed now. I ran out of primer while still needing to finish up the front of the minis, so I plan to look for Duplicolor Sandable Primer which I hear is good stuff. I looked at my local K- and Walmarts, but to no avail. There are a couple auto supply stores nearby which I'll try, and if I still don't have any luck I'll look for plan b. With a week and a half left in the semester I have 3 papers, a portfolio of papers, and at least one final ahead of me, with two papers being due Monday, so sadly hobby time is on the shelf for now. The good news is that after the semester is over I'll have time to sit and work on stuff, which is good because I have a characterful conversion in mind after trolling the PP forums that I'm dying to get a crack at. I plan on trying out the Warstore when school is finished, so Kayazy and Strakhov at least are inbound in the future, and maybe some other goodies too.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

A more deliberate blogging after a paper has been finished

So it turns out it isn't as easy to mill herbs and blog simultaneously as I'd thought it would be. It happens I suppose. If the Khadoran machine rolls on, so too must the glyph making machine.

To expand on the game from Thursday a little more, here are the list I used and the one I'm guessing EV used. I made sure we knew what points total we were playing beforehand. We went with 25 because I wanted to see how a smaller game worked.

A quick blog before bed

Khadoran machine finally hit a snag yesterday. I'll do a fuller write up tomorrow, but the short version is I made a list to use the new bits I haven't used yet, tried running a single jack for the first time, and let my opponent back up when I had him under my heel. I left Sorscha too close to the front lines and got caught by pDenny with full focus, which means that even MAT 5 will hurt. Though I was upset with myself for letting go of the game like I did, I had a good time all the same and I did get to try out my new pieces. The Rocketeer did ok, but the dog and marksman were underwhelming. Tomorrow I plan on getting some quality painting in after I finish a paper. I'll probably polish off the Manhuntress and maybe Sorscha instead of plunging on ahead with the Winter Guard. The Manhuntress in particular is done but for a bit of detail work and painting the base, so I want to finish it off so I can cross another item off the to-be-painted list.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Varnish woes and future lists

Still no pictures of the finished mortar team. I have a can of matte varnish from way back when that I used over top of the gloss varnish, but it didn't cut the shine as much as I think it should. One day I'll end up at the hobby store and get some Testors dullcoat, which I hear is the way to go. Until then my unit remains finished and varnished, but still waiting for that final flat coat.

I'm mostly decided on painting the Winter Guard Infantry next. Having seen how effective they were in my last game I think they'll be seeing plenty of table time, and I'd rather get units painted that will get played than ones that will sit around. Not that I have many that will just sit around at this point, but the WGI are central to at least 3 casters that I have/plan to have in the near future (both Sorschas and pIrusk), I've seen how well they work with pVlad, and pButcher has Iron Flesh so they'll end up in his lists too. Current estimate is that the unit is 20% finished.

I've trolled around for local tournaments and found a 25 point steamroller tourney in not-so-local Fredericksburg next month. This set me off on a mini-frenzy of list writing as I've played battle box games and 35 point games, but no 25 point games. I wanted to get some ideas down so I could prioritize what to paint if I made it down to this tournament. Of course work, school and hockey playoffs will likely conspire to keep me away, and Fredericksburg is much farther away than I'd thought, but even so it's not a bad idea to plan for the future. Most of the lists revolve around a single jack, generally a Kodiak, and a max WGI unit with UA, and Widowmakers. There's still some wiggle room in there that I'm debating putting the Great Bears into, but since I don't have the models that makes me hesitate to do so. I'd like to get a couple scenario games in with EV, not to mention actually getting my models painted, before I really start looking at tournaments, but the itch is definitely there.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

A Little Tease

Caught in a fit of painting frenzy on Friday, I have an all but complete unit. A tiny taste here.

I still have to finish the bases, but they're 95% finished. I had talked with HMcT about my indecision while painting, where I bounce between models constantly. He said he liked to do whole units from start to finish so that when he finished he had a squad done. I don't know that I'll ever take up that viewpoint, but it is nice to finally have a bit of Warmachine in the (nearly) finished column. More, better pictures when they're 100%.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Khador vs Cryx Battle Report

Had my third game this afternoon against EV, again a Cryx vs. Khador match-up. I took some pictures to do up a battle report, so I won't spoil how it goes to entice further reading. I finished green stuffing, basing and priming (mostly) last night, so I had the Winter Guard ready to go along with the Koldun Lord. I had a list ready to go but changed my mind on its composition when I was heading from school to EV's place. I changed from pSorscha to pVlad, mostly for Signs & Portents and his extra focus point, and swapped out the Wardog and Rocketeer for the Koldun Lord. These changes in mind, this was the list I used:

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Where all paper progress stops

I saw it coming, but as usual was powerless to stop it. All work on my papers has halted now that I've figured out how to work the camera. More pics incoming, starting with some Sorscha.

Paper progress provides photographing potential

First things first, just noticed Blogger has a spell checker. Not that I think I've made any glaring errors, being a writer and all, but it's good to have a safety net.

Having made some good progress on my papers, I took a minute to give photographing another shot. This time I thought I'd try zooming in while in macro mode and behold, success! These are poor quality, but I hope they'll get better with time. The camera battery ran out after these two shots, so this is all I have to work with at the moment, but now that I've figured out how to get the camera to focus on miniatures there will be more forthcoming.

Pinning practice

Found the Blood Angels codex at my FLGS this weekend, only took three tries. I enacted my master plan when I saw it was in and picked up a deck box (red of course), a Widowmaker Marksman, and a Koldun Lord. Because I have two papers due this week, I spent about two hours last night and another hour this morning assembling models. The bad result of this is that I haven't gotten a whole lot done on the papers. The good result is I got a lot of pinning experience in, relative to my pinning experience previously. Both the solos have the single-foot tab that PP seems to be going with for new minis, so I reused my Wardog basing tactic by drilling a hole in the tab and cutting a notch in the base, which worked well once again.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

New arrivals, future intentions

I've been working up lists lately as I get a better handle on what units do, at least in theory. Double checking my collection, I found I had 8 Winter Guard Infantry and 10 like I'd thought. Naturally this prompted a trip to my FLGS, which is conveniently and unfortunately located in the same shopping center as the store I work at. They were still sold out of the Blood Angels codex, but they had a blister of WGI that I picked up along with the single Rocketeer they had. Though I'd intended to at least get the last batch of purchases assembled, green stuffed and based, and hopefully primed too, before getting anything else, but that didn't quite work. I rationalize it by telling myself that the WGI I had were in limbo: too many models for a minimum unit, but too few for a maximum unit.

Regardless of how they all arrived, the new Winter Guard models are all assembled now (though the Rocketeer's rocket is as yet unglued). I have 2 bits of drilling and pinning to do, then green stuff and basing can follow. Of course priming is simple after those steps are done, so really I just have to pin and green stuff this batch of minis and they'll be ready to go. The list I would run if those models were done and I were playing right now is as follows.

pSorscha + 5
Destroyer - 9
Kodiak - 8
Wardog - 1
Greylord Ternion - 4
Widowmakers - 4
Full WGI - 6
WGI UA - 2
Rocketeer - 1
Mortar - 3
Kovnik Joe - 2

This doesn't fit into the pSorscha tier, but I like the Ternions so far and I want to use the Wardog, so some compromises had to be made. I've been pondering adding a Koldun Lord in to give the Destroyer a focus point without actually marshaling it. I've also been considering the Widowmaker Marksman and the WG Rifle Corps, which will probably lead to an eSorscha list eventually. I'm going to make a better effort at holding off on new stuff until I get what I have now ready to go, but realistically I'm still on the trail of the BA codex and I need to get a deck box for my army cards now that I have sleeves for them, so another trip to the FLGS is going to happen. I'm hoping to not get anything until the codex comes in, then make one fell swoop of said codex, Koldun Lord, Marksman, deck box and (if they have him) Strakhox, then put the brakes on until I get everything put together, primed and at least somewhat painted.

I had intended to keep going about ideas for what I want to add in the future and what kind of lists I want to try, as well as a bit about Hordes, but I should really just get to modeling, so I'm gonna get on that instead.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

New additions, new processes

I had ordered some deck protectors from my FLGS a week ago that came in yesterday. Of course I couldn't make a trip there without browsing. I ended up with the aforementioned card sleeves, Kovnik Joe and a Winter Guard UA. I would have also left with a Blood Angels codex (you never get over your first love) but they were sold out. My resolve held when confronted with pButcher, pIrusk, Rocketeers and the Koldun Lord, so in total it was a good trip. If I can get them assembled and primed before my next game I may try out the Winter Guard. I've made a pact with myself to not field bare metal models, so priming is the least I can do and still use them. I've also decided to get all my models base coated so they look halfway decent on the table and to then go back and do details. I figure having a full army base coated is going to look better than having two jacks and a few troopers fully detailed while the rest are solid black or grey.

This entry is part of my program to avoid finishing a paper that is due in approximately eight hours. The rest of the program includes reading random blogs and basing my wardog. I assembled the little guy last night and it went together much easier than anticipated. I just glued the pin in place instead of reinforcing it with green stuff, then ran glue around the hollow edges where contact was made. Finally I plugged and smoothed the gaps with more green stuff. Hopefully I didn't already make an entry about pinning the dog to the base, but if I did I'm doing it again. The tab on the wardog is very small, barely as long as the paw that it rests on. With the whole model resting on this single, small point of contact with the base I wanted to pin it in place, but the paw is small enough that I didn't want to try and pin the paw itself. So I ended up drilling a hole in the tab, then cutting a notch in the slot portion of the base to allow the pin to be longer than the tab is wide. This both locked the model in place in the slot and kept it from coming off the base. I glued the tab and pin in place, then came back and crammed green stuff into the assembly after it had dried. I filled the whole slot and most of the underside while I was at it because I can never cut just the sliver of green stuff I need, I always end up with a ton. I'm very pleased with the solution I came up with. It feels solid now and I expect it to improve a bit as the green stuff cures into its ultimate hardness.

The basing of the dog involved using a different material than I have been. I have a little container of sand I got from a local volleyball court many years ago that I use for basing. In my last game with HMcT (who tells me he's also starting a blog, hopefully with a more user-friendly name) I mentioned that just using Elmer's glue wasn't quite cutting it and I was worried that the sand was going to rub off, especially on the models that were already primed since they didn't have the primer to really lock the sand into place. He recommended model railroad ballast, which I'll look into in more detail later, and also gave me a little tub of GW slate from one of their basing kits. I used this slate on the wardog just a few minutes ago and it's a noticeably different texture than the sand, a larger grit. I'm not sure how this will end up looking or if the slate will stick better than the sand did. If it works out I may use both, with the sand being the base and patches of the gravel for a different texture. I also intend to have snow on the bases as well, because what's a Khadoran base without snow? All that is in the future though, and in the present is a paper which I should really stop dodging. Fingers are still crossed to have pictures in the near future.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Future list idea, still no pictures

I want to switch my list up a bit to include more infantry and be less jack reliant. Unfortunately I'm using all the infantry I have except for a unit of Winter Guard Infantry. I was initially underwhelmed by the unit, but after having read around some I'm itching to give them a shot. The only issue is I want to field them with the UA and Kovnik Joe, and perhaps some Rocketeers too. I don't have any of those parts, so I haven't made a list with them yet. I decided to fiddle with Forward Kommander a bit and see what I could come up with. I found that I have most of the makings for a pSorscha tier list, so I figured one up to see what I'd need for it and this is what I came up with.

pSorscha + 5
Kodiak - 8
Destroyer - 9
Wardog - 1
Min Battle Mechanics - 2 *
Widowmakers - 4
Full Winter Guard Infantry - 6
Winter Guard UA - 2
2 Rocketeers - 2 *
2 Winter Guard Mortars - 6
Kovnik Joe - free for tier 2 *

This list gets me to tier 2 and thus a free Kovnik Joe. I'm torn on the last point between what I have now and maxing out either the Rocketeers to 3 or the Battle Mechanics. That will be a decision to come though, as I'll have to get 5 blisters to do this list as it is (the starred entries) and I want to get Strakhov as well. I plan to chip away at it over the coming month or so, especially as I still have plenty of stuff to be painted as it is. I'll also need to order a scope for a Mortar spotter since I'll be running a pair. Or maybe just the one plus a Widowmaker Marksman and either another Rocketeer or full Mechanics. But that option would need more new models still. The UA and Kovnik Joe (and Strakhov) are at the top of the list in any case.

Got a bit of painting done today, but nowhere near what I wanted to. I made some progress on the Widowmakers and have a Mortar unit at about 35%. The wardog is still waiting to be glued together and based. Broke out the camera again today to try out macro mode, but it still wouldn't focus on a mini. I'd rather wait on photos than put up a bunch of blurry ones, so that's on the future list as well.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Khadoran Machine Rolls On

Had another game with EV this afternoon and scored another rousing victory, though this one was much closer than the last. I used the same list as last time with two exceptions: I ran pVlad instead of pSorscha and I marshaled the Destroyer instead of the Kodiak. EV played Cryx and a list that I'll attempt to recreate as best I can. He had a lot more models this time, many of which I was unfamiliar with and/or that died before I got a handle on what they did.

3 of the little bonejacks, not sure which ones but I think one of each
Mechanithralls with Necrosurgeon and 2 Brute Thralls
Bile Thralls
2 Pistol Wraiths
Machine Wraith
Skarlock (I think)

I was surprised at his lack of a heavy jack, though I see now that the Cankerworm filled that role fairly well. One of my biggest concerns about Cryx when I started learning the game (all of a month ago) was Incorporeal models. I hadn't faced any until today, when I was staring down three of them. It turns out that I didn't have to worry so much, mostly thanks to the Ternions. The Greylords were definitely the men of the match for me, taking out both Pistol Wraiths, the majority of the Mechanithralls, the Necrosurgeon, and did a couple wounds on the Brute Thralls. I hadn't had the opportunity to use a spray template before today, despite hearing good things about them. Turns out they are, in fact, worth their weight in gold. There was a smallish building in the middle of the board, which EV filled with the Cankerworm and Pistol Wraiths, leaving them nice and bunched up for the Ternion's magic shotguns of doom. After cleaning house, the next turn saw them swing around the house to hose the Mechanithralls, with one Greylord taking out 4 of them and the Necrosurgeon with a single shot. Brutal.

Attrition was higher this time around. I lost the Juggernaut (again), Ternions, Manhunter (also again) and 3 of 4 Widowmakers. My two remaining 'jacks were at about 50%, one flank had nothing but the Mortar holding it down, and Vlad ended the game well ahead of the rest of his troops. It didn't matter, though, as I got to engage his cruise-missile mode and do an assassination run. Asphyxious got too close to my line, so I dropped a mortar on his head then popped Vlad's feat, Boundless Charge to get over terrain, Blood of Kings and went to town. After playing Sorscha with her modest melee abilities I was very happy with the result.

I was also happy with the Mortar in this game. After it hit exactly nothing in the last game, it managed to kill things with both direct hits and fortunate scatters. The shell to the face of the Lich worked very well as Vlad arrived with less punch than I'd wanted, after having to Boundless Charge over terrain, but I'd forgotten that I'd softened the Lich up a little earlier in the turn. I was amazed that the Mortar managed to hit a caster with no help, just a clutch roll. In the end I think Vlad did enough damage to get the job done on his own, but the margin was too close as it was. Still, a victory is a victory and I have a pair now in as many games. You can't ask for much more than that.

On the painting front, nothing is happening. I got started on assembling the war puppy, but I'm debating how to put it together. The middle is hollow with each side having half the body, in an L shape sort of deal. It's an odd way to make a figure and something I've never really seen before. I ran a pin through the middle to connect the halves, but as of now it's only glued into one side. I think I'll green stuff it around the pin while also gluing around the edges of the body. I'm very worried that it won't hold, but the PP forums tell me it will, so we'll see how it goes. I hope to get assembly on it done tomorrow, or at least advanced more than it is now, along with more general painting. I also hope to get some pictures taken tomorrow. I had previously decided to base coat everything and then go back and do highlights and shading, though now I'm leaning back towards doing a test model where I try and figure out wet blending. I ordered some card sleeves from my FLGS that will hopefully come in tomorrow, and I want to pick up Strakhov while I'm there. Maybe the Winterguard UA and Kovnik Joe. And the Butcher. And and and. Funny how I came back to gaming with the intention of painting first and gaming a distant second, but now I'm right back at painting to game, and painting half-assed at that. Still, I hold out hope that this time I'll actually go back to models and finish them up. Time will tell.