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.