Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Painting Progress - 20090526

Thanks to the long weekend, I got a lot done. War of the Ring is going to be a slow slog, I think, but from this point out I think I'm going to start painting minis for it a company at a time, as opposed to half a company at a time. That might make the undertaking a little more tedious, but it should speed it up a bit. We'll see.

I've finished a number of Epic Heroes: Dalamyr, a Nazgul and Suladan (the older model, who's likely to stand in as Amdur at some point down the line).

I also finished a second company of Haradrim Archers. This puts me at four companies of Haradrim, total, so I thought I'd celebrate by taking pictures of them (plus a piece of test terrain):

I've also started painting some Corsairs of Umbar, just to do something a little different. I'm not going to need them for several weeks (whereas I'm using Haradrim in the league right now, but they'll go in eventually).

Monday, May 18, 2009

Painting Progress - 20090518

Progress was slow this week; I'm not sure I can put my finger on exactly why. The Escalation League starts this week, though... so even though I know I'll never be fully painted, I really need to step it up.

I've currently got a couple of figures (the last four Haradrim archers from my first box of Haradrim warriors, a Haradrim hornblower, a hasharin, Dalamyr, and Suladan / "Amdur") that are all nearly done:

My goal is to have all eight of these suckers done and ready for varnish tonight. They're close enough that I don't really have any excuse.

One problem I've run into with painting these guys is applying the GW Badab Black wash over P3 Thamar Black. Look closely at the recesses of these cloaks:

They're brighter than the highlights!

I think my pot of Badab Black wash has gone funky, or it's a reaction to the heat and humidity. These are not the first models I've done this to, but the behavior is only very recent. It's very odd.

The goal for tonight, as I've said, is to finish up the 8 partially painted models. The goal for this week is to assemble the last of the models I have: another 24 Haradrim Warriors, 24 Corsairs of Umbar, and four Half-Trolls. (I've also got lots in the way of Mahud, but they can wait a bit longer, I think.) Although I won't need those models in the first week of the league, I'll need them in the second.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Games Day Baltimore 2009!

I'm still exhausted! And dehydrated!

Rapid Fire

The Iron Fist League ran a variant of the Rapid Fire tournament I ran back in March (and plan to run again next year): 500 point games with some light composition restrictions, play as many games as you can as quickly as you can. We did both a 40K and a Fantasy version.

The Fantasy side of things looked like it went about as smoothly as they could have.

The 40K side (where I spent the bulk of my day) was wildly successful. We should have had more tables set up (and we could have, but we weren't confident that we'd have the turnout to support them), as the line to play got long. One guy complained of waiting over an hour to play! Although that's a good indicator that things were a lot of fun, that's an unreasonable amount of time to expect someone to stand around.

At the end of the day, on the 40K side alone (I've yet to see the Fantasy score sheet), we had 99 players play 98 games. Most games played: 7. Longest Streak: 5. Highest Score: 10.

A large part of our success was the lack of the Open Gaming tables. I lost count of how many people came by asking for them. I think this was a huge mistake, and I hope they fix it for the next Games Day. I know that the beautiful tables that they've had in the past are too expensive and cumbersome to transport, but these people would have been delighted to just have a mat and terrain to play on.

There are some lessons to be learned from the event, I think, but that's for the club forum, really, and not here.

Loot

I spent more than I should have at Games Day. Not more than I could afford, which is good, but certainly this month's hobby budget.

The real treat of the day was in the madness that was their clearance section (which, while awesome, was kind of a problem: only six to eight people could belly up to the table and everyone else was SOL), I was able to get three Bloodthirsters for $10 pop. I hate the Bloodthirster model, and had been thinking about ways to convert up a better looking one but, for $10, I was sold. Even better was that I was able to flip one of them to someone who hadn't been able to fight their way to the table for twice what I'd paid (it's what they offered). So, in the end, I got two Bloodthirsters for $10 total.

I also ordered some of the new Khornate Forgeworld stuff: specifically the Daemon Prince & Herald and two Blood Slaughterers (which will be Soul Grinders). Also, on a strange whim, ordered a Manta. (That's a little disingenuous: it was an Epic/Aeronautica Imperialis-scaled Manta, not the 30 lb, £875.95 40K scaled one.)

In part of my buildup to my Khornate Daemon army, I'd been hoping to pickup a second Be'lakor model... but he doesn't seem to be available any more (certainly not in the store, and I can't find him anywhere on the website). I saw someone who'd bought one, though, so I ran back into the store and grabbed two.

The total list of stuff:
  • Khorne Daemon Prince & Herald (on order)
  • Blood Slaughterer x2 (on order)
  • AI Tau Manta (on order)
  • Aeronautica Imperialis
  • Tactica Aeronautica
  • Bloodthirster x2
  • Be'lakor, the Dark Master x2
  • Herald of Khorne on Juggernaut
The only real problem I had with buying this stuff was actually buying it. The lines were terribly slow. I'm not sure why (the temporary credit card machines were suggested as a possible cause), but a line only twelve people deep should not take over thirty minutes to work through. It just shouldn't.

Golden Daemon

I've never entered anything in the Golden Daemon before, so this year was a first.

I'd decided at the last minute not to enter my Haradrim Troll (because, although it's a clever little conversion, it's really not GD-level amazing), but I convinced myself that I should still enter my Deathwing Techmarine. It's a neat conversion and I think it's one of my better paint jobs. Also, I never get to use it in a game, so what else am I going to do with it?

At about 2:30, I went to collect my mini: I knew I wasn't in any danger of winning anything. They wouldn't let me have it back! "We're not done with it; we'd like to takes some pictures of it," I was told. I made the finals!

Ultimately, I didn't win anything with it, but I never expected to and I can't get over making it to the finals. It's really exciting, and I probably won't stop talking about it for the next few months (apologies in advance).

If I understand things right, they took pictures of it, so it should show up on the Games Workshop website and, possibly, White Dwarf. How cool is that!?

Painting Progress - 20090511

Games Day Baltimore was, of course, this past weekend. That'll get its own post, though.

Progress was slower than I'd have liked but (if I'm honest with myself) better than it has been over the past couple of weeks.

The biggest development wasn't even painting-related: I finally figured out how I'm going to store and transport my War of the Rings minis.

For the past year and a half, I've been gluing washers to the bases of my minis and then setting them in plastic drawers that have business card magnets stuck to them. This has worked great: it both costs wildly less than other options and, more importantly, takes up a fraction of the space. It doesn't protect my minis quite as well as, say, the Sabol Army Transport stuff, but as long as I don't fall down the stairs carrying them, it's good enough.

The problem is: the washers I use won't fit in the War of the Ring movement trays. They just don't. So, for the past month, I've been agonizing over how to fix this: buy expensive and large padded cases (like GW's or more Sabol trays) because the movement trays are neat, or eat the cost of the movement trays I've bought so far, store the minis the way I store my 40K minis, and cut my own movement trays out of plasticard.

Jay found a third way, one I inexplicably hadn't considered: different washers that will fit in the movement trays.

So, I bought 200 1/8" x 1" Fender Washers (they're 8/$1 at Home Depot and 30/$3 at Lowes), and glued them on almost all of my assembled War of the Ring minis.

I also finished my Haradrim Troll in time to take it to Games Day (though I made the mistake of looking at Dave Taylor's blog the morning of it and decided it couldn't be up to snuff for even placing in the Golden Daemon.

I need to take some more pictures of it: it looks even better in the context of the rest of my Haradrim.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Khornate Daemons

I've been thinking about playing a Daemon army in 40K for quite some time, entirely because I want an army that's all about the assault. I've got two armies that are primarily about shooting, and was ready to start up a Tyranid army... until 5th came out and made that army much more about shooting as well. I've settled on doing an all-Khorne Daemon army because there's no way it's not going to be about running at the other guy and stabbing him repeatedly.

I played a game against a friend's Daemonhunters army on Tuesday, using a lot of proxies (Tactical Marines became Bloodletters, Dreadnoughts became Bloodcrushers, etc.). It went very poorly for him, but I think that's more because of his list hasn't really been updated since 4th edition than my tactical superiority.

The list I ran was (going from memory, I'll correct it when I have the printed list handy):
  • Bloodthirster
  • Herald of Khorne - Iron Hide, Fury of Khorne
  • Herald of Khorne - Iron Hide
  • Bloodcrushers x4
  • Bloodletters x7 - Icon
  • Bloodletters x7 - Icon
  • Bloodletters x8 - Icon
  • Bloodletters x8
  • Bloodletters x8
  • Fleshhounds x8
  • Soul Grinder - Tongue
  • Soul Grinder - Tongue
It became immediately clear that I need to play this army very, very differently than the way I'm used to playing. I tend to be a somewhat defensive player, and I simply cannot do that with this list. I need to drop in as close as I can and run towards them as fast as I can. Anything less is asking to failure.

I also got a bit of a feel for some weaknesses in the list. By focusing on Khorne alone, I'm positioned to do very well against Marines... but I expect I might have some trouble with Ork hordes, and I'm very, very weak on the anti-tank that's the new Imperial Guard codex is going to make more essential than ever.

Also, I'm not terribly mobile. Sure, everything comes in via Deep Strike, but that's it. Mechanized anything, especially Tau and Eldar are going to give me fits.

With that in mind, I've shifted things a bit.

The Bloodthirster is a big deal, not because he'll chew through infantry, but because his high strength and Monstrous Creature anti-armor abilities are one of my few anti-armor options and his wings make him much more mobile than the rest of my army. I'd like to include a second, but I expect that would elicit groans... plus, I can get a Winged Daemon Prince for considerably less.

Flesh Hounds are fast, and that's something I'd been overlooking. They're not as good as Bloodletters, but they'll get across the board much more quickly.

The Soul Grinders are essential. They're very hard to kill, extremely effective in combat, and represent some more anti-armor that I need.

I'm likely to try to play this army proxied for a few more games to see if I'm on the right track with it. I'm not in a huge hurry to buy up the minis just yet: I'll be slogging through painting miniatures for War of the Ring for several more months, but I'm pretty confident that this'll be on the buying (then assembling and painting) queue immediately after that.

The list I'll try next time:

Initial Wave
  • Bloodthirster
  • Bloodcrushers x4
  • Bloodletters x8 - Icon
  • Bloodletters x8 - Icon
  • Flesh Hounds x8
  • Soul Grinder - Tongue
Reserves Wave
  • Daemon Prince - Flight, Iron Hide, Unholy Might
  • Bloodletters x8 - Icon
  • Bloodletters x8
  • Flesh Hounds x8
  • Soul Grinder - Tongue

Friday, May 1, 2009

Haradrim Cave Troll WIP

Feedback time:

I've finished my Haradrim Troll. I'm happy with it, but I feel like something's missing.


Specifically, on the left side of its head. I feel like I should have added a flap, for symmetry, but that ship has sailed (I would have had to do it before doing the top, which is well and truly cured by now). I'd debating sculpting a big earring or something.

What do people think?

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