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.