Friday, November 25, 2011

Assassins, Quandries, and Schedules

So ugly, yet so beautiful.
With the (relatively) mammoth Black Friday order placed and on it's way, I was feeling like I buckled and heaped more work on an already high pile.  While it's true that the list is longer than ever, I've actually made some decent progress over the last couple months.  I dug through my email to find past Warstore orders under the assumption that I'd placed half a dozen, with a model count nearing triple digits, and had painted perhaps a ten of the pieces.  Turns out I've only done two other orders and everything from them is primed (except a omnijack kit waiting for me to work up to magnetizing it), and there's even something completed (Ivan).  After finding this out I didn't feel nearly as bad about dropping two units (Kayazy, Mechanics) and a handful of solos (Yuri, Manhunter, Gorman, Sylys) into the painting queue.  I'm not sure how I managed to avoid the Kayazy for this long.  Now that they're on the way I either have my nose buried in the Khador book or inches from iBodger as I cobble together list after list to take advantage of them.  Stealth, Gang, Parry, base DEF 14 (16 in melee), and a mini-feat that lets them walk through other models?  Yes please.  I love the idea of just running them into melee, where they're safer than just hanging out, and then using the mini-feat to walk back into my opponent's second/third wave/caster.  Because the WGI Deathstar does so much, I hate to just run them into melee to tie something down because that keeps them from shooting and spraying.  The Kayazy can quite happily run to engage, then just walk away in future turns to let my second wave pour in.  Roughly a week away from arrival, they've already altered my (tentative) pIrusk tournament list, and the general list building implications are staggering.  Why does such a fun unit have such fugly models?

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

A slightly tardy post

Haste makes poor pictures.
Painting was yesterday, but pictures had to wait until today.  Despite it taking about three times as long as it should have, I got the reds done yesterday.  The problem is I keep painting the same spots over and over.  I start with Heavy Red, then a wash, the Red Gore, then Blood Red, all of it over the same area.  This isn't by design, I just keep doing it despite my intentions.  The results are good enough, so I guess in the end it works out, it just takes far too long.  At least I'm getting the hang of highlighting red without making it too orange.  I also got a base on the browns, which means that every bit of the model is now the color it will end up being, albeit after much washing, shading, and highlighting.  I had thought this batch would be finished the next session, but that was before I spent the whole time doing red.  Hopefully they'll still be finished the next time I sit down to paint, though getting all the basing done might be a stretch.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Caution: Flying Paint

I need to work on lighting for these setups.
In anticipation of only 2-3 days of painting this week, I put some work in today when I had the opportunity.  Painting inside to outside, I got going on the flesh.  About halfway through I realized I had missed an inside-ier part: the eyes.  Me and eyes don't always get along too well, but this time they didn't put up much of a fight and I got them all right the first time.  After finishing the skin I rolled into the green.  Highlighting went better on this batch, perhaps because I did it in two steps instead of one.  Whatever the cause, I didn't end up with the too-bright areas that have cropped up previously.  I considered the reds as a finale, but instead went with the metals.  The Tamiya Smoke I got from EV worked quick and well on Ivan, so I used it again here.  The finish is a bit slick, akin to a varnished area, so it might be fun going back on the officer's blunderbuss to do the wood bits, but it should work out well enough.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

A Post About Nothing

They don't look too Khadoran, but neither do the real ones...
The mega battle report takes up the whole front page when I load the blog and I don't like it.  The answer?  Another (shorter) post. 

In a fit of inspiration I remembered that hidden away somewhere deep in the recesses of my collection was a box of Vespero's Vendettas that I might be able to use as stand-in Kayazys so I could give the unit a shot.  Ten seemed like a reasonable number to come in a box, and even six should be easy enough to come by.  After rooting around for a bit I came up with three assassins and Vespero himself.  Looks like I'll have to wait until I can get the actual models.  Of course the actual models are...unfortunate.  Still, Kayazys seem like a good fit with Irusk (Battle Lust), Strakhov(feat), and any caster with Iron Flesh(tarpit), so I'm curious how they'll work on the table.  A full unit with the Underboss and some support solos are the core of the impending Warstore order, to be joined by other bits and bobs depending on what the Black Friday sale has to offer.  The Holiday bundles at the Privateer store looked interesting at first glance, but all they have to offer is a PP tape measure, dice, and tokens.  I had hoped for some sort of discount, and much as I'd like a gaming tape measure I'll have to be content with whatever the Home Depot has on offer.  Hopefully I can find one with a sturdy, durable lock.

On the hobby front, Black Ivan has arc markings and a coat of varnish.  I'm going to try a new snow basing method: mixing the snow and glue into a paste.  With any luck this will give me mounds of snow instead of the thin covering of the current method, glue then snow.  Irusk and the WGI ephemera got a base black coat on the appropriate areas, so everything on them from here on should be finished work. 

Saturday, November 19, 2011

The (new) battle of Marathon: pButcher vs eGaspy

Lace 'em up Forrest, this is gonna be a long one.
The game that is usually on Thursday got moved up to today (Tuesday) to accommodate my occasionally wonky schedule.  During the list building phase of last night, I decided it was more than time to try out the Shock Troopers.  After trying a few different combinations, the only thing I came up with that accounted for the slow, slow, sloooooooooooooooow nature of the Shock Troopers was more Men-o-War.  Since I'd be embracing the slow slowness, Orsus seemed appropriate.  Plus I think of him as part MoW anyway.  Shield Walled, Iron Fleshed Shock Troopers should form a nice, solid wall that is hard to get through and blocks off whatever is behind it, which is a great idea until you want to attack from behind it.  The answer?  Bombardiers.  Tough and slow, they fit the nascent theme of the list and could bomb away from behind the wall thanks to Arcing Fire.  I toyed with a MoW Kovnik, but in the end I didn't have the points.  Jacks were easy as my list building has calcified to an extent.  Once I settled on Orsus, I knew I'd be taking a Juggernaut and a Kodiak.  I couldn't manage an entirely MoW and jack list, so I had to venture into the small bases.  My Ternion hasn't seen any table time in a shamefully long time, plus I wanted to get some reps in with the Iron Flesh + cloud combo, so in they went.  They'd also add some infantry clearing and accuracy boosting in a pinch.  The Great Bears rounded things out because...well, why not?  My final list was thus:

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Diversions and more freehand adventures

Biscuity tastiness.
Despite having very little left to do on him when I stopped painting yesterday, after today's session Black Ivan is still not finished.  Granted I just have to clean up the lip on the base and do arc markings (plus snow and varnish of course), but I still came up well short of my anticipated finishing line.  I do have an excuse though, a couple of them, and I think they're robust.

Since I realized that Thanksgiving is a week from today I thought it was well past time for me to get some cooking practice in.  We don't really cook in my family, so when I took on the bread portion of the Thanksgiving menu this year I knew I'd have my work cut out for me.  Having squandered weeks and months already I got cracking this morning.  I found a recipe for Cheddar Biscuits and gave it a whirl.  Simple recipe, few ingredients, just my speed.  It took me longer to dig out all the various bowls, cups, spoons, and pans that it did to actually make the biscuits.  The results?  Tasty.  But this is a gaming blog and not a cooking blog, so on with the show.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

More Black Ivan and a freehand adventure

Almost finished.
Had a real good morning at the painting table today.  My theory that Black Ivan would paint up quick is working out.  I more or less finished him today, basing and one particular bit of touch up aside.  I stuck to edge highlighting for the most part and just worked through the colors.  I started with the black, mixing Ultramarine Blue into the Chaos Black in varying degrees.  I wanted to keep all my highlights a bit sparse, but the black in particular to avoid brightening it up too much.  I probably undershot it again, but at least Ivan looks plenty black.  The red got the usual treatment, less the wash.  The fist in particular was nice to work on with its crisp edges and flat planes.  I tried using a light grey to mix in with the olive green (WWII German Army Green or something like that, from the Vallejo Model Color range) for highlighting this time and the result was good enough.  The spare highlighting probably had a bigger hand in it than the color choice, but regardless of why it happened I managed to highlight the green without hating the result this time, so that's a win.  The rivets were fun, but worth it in the end.  They make the model pop a bit more.  Schedule permitting Ivan will be finished (snow and varnish aside) tomorrow, but certainly by Friday.  I'd like to plow on into the Bombardiers, but since my last game with them (report on the way, it's a long one) I'm a bit more reluctant to take them out of action for painting.  I should really be working on the pIrusk list anyway which means WGI UA/WA and Greylords, plus the man himself, all of which I'm loathe to lose from the table.  The sooner I start them the sooner I finish though.

Monday, November 14, 2011

"Terrain," a Plan, and morning progress

Raw materials.
Since my FLGS doesn't do terrain, you have to port it in with you when you go there to game.  While I have a fairly nice setup for Uncharted Seas, a blue base isn't going to work for Warmahordes and the islands are comically undersized for 28mm.  I have plenty of foam and hardboard left over from those islands, but making up new hills and things will take a bit of time.  Since I want to have "terrain" for Thursday I needed a quicker route.  Carrying a minis case and bag of books, dice, etc. as I am, I'm not too keen on adding another box on top of it for terrain, so space saving factored into my plans.  The answer was quick and easy: felt "terrain".  The idea is simple and one you're all no doubt familiar with, cutting out felt shapes to stand in as hills and forests.  There's no 3d element of course, but since Warmahordes runs on standardized shapes and volumes determined by base size it will work well enough.  It's also a quick, cheap, and easy solution that I can roll up and stuff into a bag.  While I intend to get on some real terrain, this will be a good place holder.  As a slight change from the Uncharted Seas setup, I put weights in the bottom cloth to try and hold it in place on the table.  Because fabric comes short of 48" on the bolt, and because the tables at the FLGS are wider than 48", the cloth won't quite be  4' x 4'.  This isn't an entirely bad thing though as there should (hopefully) be less shifting of the cloth due to foot traffic and overhang.  We'll see how it turns out.

New Caster Throwdown: Strakhov vs eCaine

Wrong game, right feel.
Over the past couple weeks my collection, at least the part ready for the table, has expanded and there are lots of pieces that have yet to see the table.  While some of these (Shock Troopers) are relatively new and require some jockeying to find space in my case, there is one piece in particular that has been on the shelf for what feels like an eternity: Strakhov.  I got Strakhov when I went down to Fredericksburg for an Uncharted Seas tournament more than a year ago.  Poor guy sat in the blister for most of that time until I got him painted for a recent Paint the Target.  That was more than a month ago.  I've been hesitant to play Strakhov because I didn't have the pieces to play the kind of fast assassination game Strakhov seems made for, namely Great Bears and a Spriggan/Beast 09.  Fast-forward to now and I've just finished priming the Great Bears, Torch who lacks reach but is Strakhov's jack, eEiryss, and Aiyana & Holt (with Valachev).  If these pieces can't combine to make an assassination list then I have a problem in a logic bank.  With that in mind I got to bodging a list together last night.  At first I made a list that was full of everything I haven't played yet, but I just couldn't get Shock Troopers to play right with Strakhov in my head, plus I came up a bit short on 35 points, so I took out the Shock Troopers and put in some other stuff to come up with the following list: 

Friday, November 11, 2011

It was in my backyard the whole time

I'm throwing a list at the top of this post.  Why?  I do what I want, that's why. 

Things I Wanted to Find at the FLGS
  • Sizable group of opponents playing a variety of factions
  • Tournaments / Leagues
  • People approximately as normal as I am (low bar here)
  • Yuri and/or a Manhunter
I got three of four, and the missing one I can order from any model merchant.  Turns out that there was, in fact, a good-sized community hiding in (more or less) plain sight, right under my nose.  While there's a Foodmachine event on Saturday that I can't make, there's another tournament in December that should mesh well with my schedule.  I'm one very pleased gamer just now.

As if that weren't enough, I got (another) game in tonight as well.  Played against Menoth for the first time.  While I didn't want to bring out the full-on douchehammer for my entry to a new group, when I saw my opponent bringing out the Avatar I didn't feel too bad about fielding the WGI Deathstar.  I ran an infantry-heavy pIrusk list (is there any other kind of Irusk list?), notably including Torch and the Great Bears.  These last two first saw the table this morning against EV (details to come later) and did little more than catch bullets.  Tonight Torch ate a light and almost finished off a heavy as well, while the Great Bears completed the most glorious charge I've had the pleasure of executing.  With Battle Lust, under pIrusk's feat, they combo charged the (untouched) Avatar and eFeora, who was dallying about the front lines in a most careless manner.  One and a half Great Bears later, the Avatar was a smouldering wreck.  Facing the rest of the Bears' attacks, Feora picked discretion over valor.  Can't say I disagree.  The oddest part of the whole game?  I was playing against my boss's grandson.  Small, small world.

Now to bed so my subconscious can work on tournament lists. 

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

It's a small effing world

Games are popping up all over.
It's amazing what you can find at random on the internet.  A few days ago I linked to a Strakhov/Butcher battle report.  As I'm killing time today I head back to that blog, click around a bit to the blog of the opponent, and discover the blogger there is my local PG.

I have a local PG?

Turns out that my occasionally maligned FLGS has a Foodmachine tournament this Saturday.  Naturally I'm working in the morning and have a Caps game that night, but the point is there appears to be a community in my immediate area.  Much as I enjoy my weekly game with EV I'm keen to face some different approaches to the game lest my own tactics evolve in response to one opponent.  Looks like I may have found what I'm looking for. 

It doesn't end there though.  Poking around on the PP events forums showed another Foodmachine tournament, this time on Sunday, in Maryland.  So that's two tournaments this weekend after a nigh-total lack of events (outside the ~2 hour drive down to Fredericksburg) every other time I've looked.  But it gets crazier still.  One of the responders on the thread about this Maryland tournament was the guest on a recent Lost Hemisphere podcast and looks to be based out of DC.

Apparently the DMV has more to offer than I thought.  Now to work on venturing forth from my hobbit hole...

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

One step closer

This is a much worse picture than I thought.
Got the Manhuntress painted up today.  While I didn't go from primer to finished today, it was close enough to call it that.  The fur bits, of which there are plenty I will admit, are the only parts that didn't see a complete reworking.  I'm not 100% pleased with the green as the highlighting is a bit garish to my eye, especially in the bosoms.  This is the same problem I had with the Winter Guard, so it looks like time has not solved this issue.  I've been mixing in Bleached Bone to lighten the green, which has worked for every other color I've tried it with, but perhaps this particular green just doesn't work in that way.  Back to the drawing board I suppose.  Green aside, I'm pleased with how she turned out.  I wanted to give her blue eyes, but they didn't pop in the way I hoped, so I went with blue eye shadow (I think that's what you'd call it.  The upper lid color.  I won't claim to know anything about makeup terminology) and brown eyes, which I think worked out.  I was on the fence about taking more pictures, but with how poorly this one turned out I'll definitely be setting up the lightbox when I'm done with the snow and varnishing.  The first coat of gloss is drying now.  Hopefully I'll get the snow done tonight after the Caps game, then finish varnishing tomorrow so she'll be done done and ready for Thursday.

I read a Strakhov/pButcher battle report yesterday that made me extra eager to run a pButcher theme list.  Somehow I glazed over the t4 effect (AD on melee jacks), but seeing it in action in this report made me realize just how potent that benefit is.  Khador jacks are slow slow slow (even if there are plenty of tricks to speed them up some), so having them an extra 6" forward is quite a boon.  With that bonus, the general turn 1 fun run puts them on the center line, aka all up in your opponent's grill.  With +2 SPD for Men-o-War on the first turn, the army can get up the field with a quickness.  I like the list from the report, though the min MoW units do trouble me a bit.  Not much you can do about it at 35 points though.  I could run a version of it, with a Widowmaker Marksman instead of Yuri and Bombardiers instead of Demo Corp, if I had another Manhunter.  This doesn't mean I don't lust after Yuri and another Manhunter though, and a unit of Demo Corp would round out my MoW collection nicely.  I think this is the list I'd aim for to have fully painted if I had all the pieces.  Perhaps I'll remedy that situation later this month if the Warstore does a nice Black Friday/Cyber Monday sale.  If I can somehow crank out some combination of the rest of the WGI (with Joe), a MoW unit, the Widowmakers, and a jack or two then I might not feel so bad about adding more to the pile.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Ashes in the mouth: pButcher vs pDeneghra

Click for inspiration.
Hot on the heels of messing up my plan to keep things simple, I went back to the well this week resolved, again, to keep my plans simple.  My list was mostly unchanged from last week except that I swapped out the Bombardiers (and Rocketeer) for the Doomies + UA.  After the WGI melee fiasco I was content to let them do their thing: receive Iron Flesh, be annoying to hit, shoot things up real nice.  The Doomies were penciled in for Storm Blade duty.  While I'd have to rely on the so-called "expected value" to kill ARM 20 with a P+S 12 (13?) Weaponmaster attack, thanks to cleave Berserk I'd hopefully get plenty of swings at hitting the average.  Losing the Bombardiers' templates would make hunting Eiryss and the Gun Mages a little trickier, but frankly Eiryss hasn't been much of a problem and the Gun Mages should fold to a volley of sprays or perhaps a nice Trample.  Stryker would bear watching, but most casters do, and having learned my lesson about War Dog positioning last game I was determined not to get caught out by the same brain fart again.  If I was going to lose by making stupid mistakes, at least they'd be new ones.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

The now standard hold you over while I do a battle report post

Pinning all over the place.
Not entirely standard, despite the title, as I've gotten a lot done over the past few days.  Starting with things not pictured, I did a better job of priming Black Ivan.  The high spots were fine, but the undercarriage needed some work.  Black Ivan is now significantly blacker in his hard to reach crevices.  Talking with EV today about Ivan made me think about how quick he should paint up.  He'll be mostly black (shocker) and most of the rest will be metal, with just a few bits of green and red to tie him in with the rest of the army.  I may take a run at getting him painted quickly, but quickly is a relative term around here and I have lots of ideas for this month's Paint the Target.  More on that in a bit.  I also put down a Dullcote on the WGI, Doomies, pButcher, Strakhov, and Harkevich.  This was a bit of a rushed job as I got called away to keep an eye on a sick puppy (my model for the War Dog that you've seen here and there), so there are still lots of shiny parts on the models, but it's nothing another coat won't fix.