Thursday, October 29, 2009

Hell Pit Abomination, Part 1

Finally got the head for my Hellpit Abomination last night: I had to trade an armored dragon's head for an unarmored one.

That accomplished, I quickly prepped and glued it last night.  This afternoon, I glued it onto the body.

The head is from the Hight Elf Dragon kit; the tongue is a spike from the Chaos Spawn kit.  The body belongs to a Stegadon and the arms are, quite clearly, from Rat Ogres.  The tail is a tentacle from the Lifeleech Otyugh I'd originally planned on using as my Abomination.

As you can tell, I'm going to need a great deal of greenstuff to make this work: to fill gaps and add hair.  I'll also have to do a bit of sculpting: I'll need to extend the rings of the tail up onto the model a bit, lengthen the claws to be wicked and ratty and sculpt some ears.








Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Painting Progress - 20091027

I feel like I should call this post "Painting Progress, At Last!" as with the exception of the Warlock Engineer, I really haven't done much painting in the past while.  I attribute the bulk of the blame for that to an unforgiving month at work.

I finally varnished the 12 Gutter Runners I started at the top of the month.  I suspect there's a detail or two on there that could have seen more attention, but at this point, I'm glad to be done with them.





I also spent the weekend powering through some Skyre troops: repainting two Ratling Guns to match the color scheme I'm using for Skyre rats now (dark red and grey for clothes and a stronger iron and brass scheme for machines) as well as painting up another two Jezzails (which puts me at twelve total, for two groups of six, with ten of the current model).





I've also gotten started on my Hellpit Abomination.  Since Abomination conversions are kind of a big deal right now, I'm going to give mine its own post.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Kroot Hounds

I'm trading off some stuff to help Chris build some neat Kroot Hounds and Fenrisian Wolves.   Talking about it made me think about my Kroot Hound conversions that I've started but never quite finished... and definitely never posted to this blog (since I did them probably over a year and a half ago).  So, here they are!

The bodies are skinks with their heads sawn off.  Kroot heads.  Dinky skink hands have been replaced with huge and menacing genestealer claws.  The end result are kooky and ferocious looking pygmy kroot.  Rar!






Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Number Seven

Neat!  I made the From the Warp Tuesday Top Ten this week with my Warlock Engineer!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Skaven & D&D Minis

Got my eBay orders in today; immediately cracked them open to start fiddling with them.

For starters, I ordered five Rat Swarms from the D&D Minis Unhallowed set.  I have several of the GW Rat Swarms (more than I can field in the current armybook; not sure about the new one), and they're alright.  But the D&D Minis one looks crazy cool.  So, I snagged a few.  They'll repaint easily, and if it ever comes to it I can always fall back on the GW ones.  Here's the one I've pulled off its round base and glued onto a 40x40 (next to the GW one).



More significantly, I've got the Lifeleech Otyugh I mentioned earlier.  And... I'm not sure.  For some reason, I expected it to be bigger.  I mean, it's big, but it's not Large Target, "So big does it go on a 50x50 or a 50x100 base?" big.

Here it is, next to one of the Gutter Runners I've take too long to finish painting.



The other thing is, I'm thinking about using it to make another Rat Ogre-mounted Warlord.  I think I could pull the tentacles off (put one in the place of that third leg as a tail), replace the two feet with hands from a Rat Ogre and work in the legs from a Rat ogre.  I'd have to do a bit of sculpting to get a face on the thing, and there'd be a bunch of hair, but I've got to do that anyway.



Anyway, now I'm kicking this around.  If that's where I go, I'm not sure what to use as my Hellpit Abomination.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Warlock Engineer

I mostly finished this guy earlier in the week, but only put the finishing touches on him yesterday.  I generally like to wait to varnish painted minis before I take pictures of them, but it's incredibly rainy in the nation's capital right now, and I find varnishing doesn't work out quite as well when I spray during the pouring rain.

I actually built him more than six months ago, and just never got around to painting him.  Now that there's paint on him, I can spot enough things that don't look quite right that I kinda want to build him again.  (The only thing that would make it tricky would be tracking down the electrical-looking things on his back.)

Anyway, his legs are from a Plague Monk (or a Packmaster; I forget).  The torso is a Space Marine chest, the left arm a Packmaster's Things-Catcher with the 'Catcher replaced with the blades from a Warlock Engineer, and the right arm is from the same Warlock Engineer.  The head's a Clanrat's.  The lenses of the goggles are the wax stamps from purity seals.  The mess on the back is a barrel from an Ogre Bull with electrical fence bits from MacCragge and some plasticard.  The cable is a pretty crappy greenstuff job.   He's got a scroll because I'll always have a Dispel Scroll (or two) on any given Warlock Engineer.






Thursday, October 15, 2009

Warlord & Rat Ogre

Impatient for the Otyugh to arrive in the mail (I mean, I only bought it today), I went ahead and converted up a model that I had an idea for that will probably actually work out pretty well in the new book.

Skaven can now take mounts.  Chieftains and others can ride on litters, on giant rats, and on rat ogres.  I had a chat with Joey on Tuesday about how one would go about modeling that last one; clanrat crotches and rat ogre shoulders don't mix very well.  To me, the solution was immediate and obvious: a BabyBj√∂rn.

Lots of little things went into this guy.  The weapon is from a Night Runner arm, stuck onto the end of a clanrat spear.  The head and feet are from a Packmaster; I needed feet that would hang down and the head just looks cooler than the clanrat heads.  It's also a little out of proportion, which just fits in better with the whole baby carrier thing.  The torso and legs are clanrat legs.  Carrier is an Ogre Bull's punch dagger hollowed out.  The torso and legs on both the rider and ridee are pinned and worked a little bit to get them more upright and not hunched-over.

I have a special shield I'm going to glue on, I think, after everything that's already there's had a chance to dry/cure.






Dragon Wars

I'm thinking a lot about Dragon Wars; a lot because I'm excited about showing off my Dragon, but mostly because I haven't really played in any tournaments this year: there was the Baltimore Grand Tournament last November and the Fantasy Escalation League tournament in March(?) but that's it.

I'm trying to figure out what I should take.  What you can take seems to be pretty lax: Dogs of War, Regiments of Renown and alternate lists seem to be okay.  The only requirement is that you have to take a dragon (with a generic option for those who can't normally take dragons) and that a Lord has to ride on the dragon.

I've never played in a Dragon Wars before, but I understand the scenarios to be nutty, goofy and not what one expects.  Victory is entirely dependent on wounding/killing your opponent's dragon.

Do I play it safe, and run a list very much like the list I normally run except with the Dragon?  Or do I go all in and put something crazy on the dragon?  For some reason, I'm not altogether interested in sticking a Grey Seer on the Dragon.  The Dragon needs to be stuck in combat, and that's really not where a Grey Seer wants to be.
Dragon Wars #1
2,000 Points - Skaven

Lords & Heroes
Warlord - General, Dragon, Heavy Armor, Cautious ShieldThe Gouger
Warlock Engineer - Accumulator, Condenser, Warp-Blades, Dispel Scroll, Storm Daemon
Warlock Engineer - Accumulator, Condenser, Warp-Blades, Dispel Scroll x2

Core 
Clanrats x24 - Full Command, Ratling Gun
Clanrats x24 - Full Command, Ratling Gun
Slaves x20 - Musician
Slaves x20 - Musician
Night Runners x5 - Throwing Stars
Night Runners x5 - Throwing Stars
Giant Rats x24 - Packmasters x4
Giant Rats x24 - Packmasters x4
Poisoned Wind Globadiers x2
Poisoned Wind Globadiers x2

Special
Gutter Runners x6 - Throwing Stars
Jezzails x5
Jezzails x5

Rare
Warp-Lightning Cannon
This is my "safe" list.  It's the most like the list I currently run.

In fact, it's pretty much my regular list, trading my Chieftan BSB with Storm Banner for the Dragon and a few other tweaks to make the numbers add up.  I could easily swap the second Engineer for the BSB (though not with Storm Banner, which I expect won't be quite as useful, but maybe something like Banner of the Four Black Winds which costs a lot less and could be nearly as annoying with Dragons running around).  I could also swap out The Gouger for Skavenbrew, which could make things more fun: a Frenzied or Hateful (or Frenzied and Hateful) Dragon could be rad.
Dragon Wars #2
2,000 Points - Skaven

Lords & Heroes
Chieftain - General, Great Weapon, Heavy Armor, Cautious Shield
Deathmaster Snikch - Dragon

Core 
Clanrats x24 - Full Command, Ratling Gun
Clanrats x24 - Full Command, Ratling Gun
Slaves x20 - Musician
Slaves x20 - Musician
Night Runners x5 - Throwing Stars
Giant Rats x24 - Packmasters x4
Poisoned Wind Globadiers x2
Poisoned Wind Globadiers x2

Special
Gutter Runners x6 - Throwing Stars
Jezzails x5
Jezzails x5

Rare
Warp-Lightning Cannon
This is my goofy list.  Yes, it's nearly identical to the list above, but it loses nearly all of the heroes (because Snikch consumes both a Lord and a Hero slot, the Dragon consumes a Hero slot, which makes that one model consume 835 points, a Lord slot and two Hero slots) and a lot of the redundancy I'm used to.  I have to take a Ld 6 hero to be the General (because Snikch is too busy stabbing mofos to lead an army), which rules out an Engineer (and any magic defense at all); I can't see it being a Plague Priest or a Master Moulder.  I suppose I could take the Priest, buy him the Liber Bubonicus to make him a wizard just so I can take a Dispel Scroll... but that seems wasteful (and would cost 42 points I don't know where to find).

I normally deploy my army in a pretty symmetrical fashion: the left flank looks a lot like the right flank.  Here, can't really do that because I'm losing half my Night Runners and Giant Rats.

This is probably a bad build, but I'm tempted to take it because Snikch on a Dragon would be insane.  He'd be next to impossible to shoot at and would be a whirling deathmachine in close combat.  It's also just a fun idea.
Dragon Wars #3
2,000 Points - Skaven

Lords & Heroes
Throt the Unclean - General
Warlock Engineer - Accumulator, Condenser, Warp-Blades, Dispel ScrollStorm Daemon

Core 
Clanrats x24 - Full Command, Ratling Gun
Clanrats x23 - Full Command, Ratling Gun
Slaves x20 - Musician
Slaves x20 - Musician
Night Runners x5 - Throwing Stars
Night Runners x5 - Throwing Stars
Giant Rats x24 - Packmasters x4
Giant Rats x24 - Packmasters x4
Poisoned Wind Globadiers x2
Poisoned Wind Globadiers x2

Special
Gutter Runners x6 - Throwing Stars
Jezzails x6
Jezzails x6

Rare
Warp-Lightning Cannon
This is another approach: still using a goofy character... but one that can actually be a General and uses up several hundred points less.  Throt instead of Snikch, which lets me have an actual General and many more points left over for other units.  Ugh.  But only two characters?

I think I'm probably going to run with that first list, since it gives me three characters.  Dumping three slots into a single model is painful.

Hellpit Abomination



Quick!  Someone convince me that I shouldn't try to use a Lifeleech Otyugh as the basis for a Hellpit Abomination conversion!

I picked up a Beast of Nurgle earlier this week, with this intent, but I've since decided that it's probably not going to work out.  (Which is a shame, because I suspect I'm going to have a very, very hard time selling it off to someone else.)  I think I could accomplish the same result, or better, just by sculpting the whole thing from scratch.

EDIT: Too late!  This thing's going to be badass.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Rushputin vs. Army Builder

I sat down to work up my Dragon Wars list for later this month.  The only catch: Skaven don't get a dragon, normally.  Armies that don't have dragons can (and must) take a generic dragon as a mount for a Lord at 320 points.

At first, I set the roster size to 2,000 points (the size of the tournament) with the plan of just, you know, building to 1,680 (leaving 320 for the dragon).  But that's inelegant and kinda crappy.

Then, I set the roster size to 1,680.  Well, that screws everything up because there are things you can take at 2,000 points that you can't at 1,999 or less.  Sure, I can ignore the warnings and errors but if I'm doing that what's the point of using Army Builder?

Maneaters are 80 points each.  So, I built the list with four Maneaters in it; 80x4 = 320 = 1 Generic Dragon.  Ugh, but that's sloppy.  I mean, sure, it's clear that I don't have any Maneaters in my army and that they're a placeholder but... sloppy.

So, I tried messing around with the ArmyBuilder files (after backing them up, of course).  The ABCreator is... nearly impenetrable.

Screw it: I'm a smart guy, and I can rock the XML.  So, I opened up the file, poked around, and got it working. Working with the XML directly is, I think, 1,000 times clearer than using the utility (though now that I have a better of idea of what the moving parts are, I think I'll be more comfortable with ABCreator.

I'd post the markup I inserted, but Blogger seems to be totally against my attempts to display XML in a post. Ugh.  Very annoying.

The point of the story is, editing the XML wasn't hard at all.  Now that I know how to do it (and now that I think I can probably scoot around in ABCreator with more confidence), a tiny part of me wants to build a Dragon Wars AB file, where each army that didn't previously have access to a dragon has the Generic Dragon entry for every appropriately sized Lord choice.  That part of me will probably be smothered by the part of me that's extremely lazy, however.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

20091013 Painting WIPs.

Didn't have much time for hobby-type stuff last week on account of work getting out of hand.  I was able to make up for it over the weekend, kicking it into gear with those Devastators I'd gotten started on a month and half ago.  (Kromac over there's been where he is for over a year, now.)


Then, I decided to come to grips with my motivation to paint some Skaven.  I've got rat-fever, but I can't wait for the new Clanrats to drop to get spun up on them again.  Instead, I started slapping paint on some Gutter Runners and then got distracted by the Warlock Engineer I've been meaning to paint for a long while.


All of these are WIP, of course.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Battle Report Utility

Just wanted to take a moment to link to a neat utility that came up on the IFL forum the other week that I used to generate the map in my last post.

You drag and drop shapes that represent terrain and units onto a field.

I have no idea what it's called, since I don't speak the German, but here it is: http://www.coolmails.de/MBDespliegueEN.swf.



The "Get Picture" function seems to be busted, but it's easy enough to take a screencap.  Also, it's a shame there's no 40K support.

Ratputin Triumphant



The game on Saturday happened, as planned.  As cramped as my schedule's been, lately, I consider that a victory.

Harry ran High Elves, with a list that was something like:
Lords & Heroes
  • Noble - General, Great Eagle, Reaver Bow
  • Noble - BSB, Elven Steed, Battle Banner
  • Mage - Dispel Scroll, Dispel Scroll (Lore of Fire)
  • Mage - Elven Steed, Silver Wand, Starwood Staff (Lore of Death)
Core
  • Archers x10
  • Archers x10
Special
  • Dragon Princes x5 - Full Command
  • Dragon Princes x5 - Full Command
  • Ellyrian Reavers x5 - Full Command
  • Lion Chariot of Chrace
  • Phoenix Guard x12 - Full Command
Rare
  • Great Eagle
  • Repeater Bolt Thrower
  • Repeater Bolt Thrower
I ran the list I discussed here.

It was a full-on battle.  Very, very close with the dice deciding a lot of things.  It was a really good game.

Some notes:

  • The battlefield was different than what I'm used to seeing.  This was great.  I'd just been complaining with some other folks on RPG.net about how WHFB battlefields always look pretty much exactly the same: Forests to the right and left, halfway between deployment zones with one to two hills along the back edge of each deployment zone (for bolt throwers, etc).  Harry started dropping hills in the middle of the board for fear of the Warp-Lightning Cannon.  I put forests in each deployment zone, hoping I could scout my Gutter Runners.



  • He lost his mages immediately.  On his first turn, his scroll caddy miscast with double 1's (kill the Mage).  The other Mage died on my second turn: he'd been in a unit of Dragon Princes... which had lost a member to Storm Daemon, allowing the Warp-Lightning Cannon to snipe him.  To say that this helped is to wildly understate.

  • The Throwing Stars on my Night Runners didn't really do much for me, though it did have a strong psychological impact on my opponent.  He seemed unreasonably concerned that he was going to get shot to pieces; I'm not sure why.  Yes, most of my army had shooting, but so much of it was at a negligible range... and it's not like it was two blocks of archers and two bolt throwers.

  • I did like the larger unit of Night Runners, though.  They were more effective at screening, and tied things up pretty well.  Shame they'll be losing Skirmish in a few months.

  • The Gutter Runners did quite nicely.  They locked down two flanks effectively and, on springing into combat, did me proud.  They were unable to help with warmachines, though.  I probably should try a Tunneling Team, after all.

  • I still like the Warlord with the Cautious Shield and the +5 Ward Save.  He's not a death machine, but he helps keep the unit around very effectively, and is about as hard to kill as I can manage.

  • The Assassin wasn't able to do much of anything, but that's because Harry moved his general halfway across the table.  A flying general is handy to have.  I'd probably be better off with two Warlock Engineers, though, if only to provide Dispel Dice and Scrolls.

  • Ratling Guns didn't get to shoot once.  I don't expect them to, any more.  They're another target, though, and are a threat that must be dealt with, which protects my other units.

  • Likewise, the Giant.  He didn't get the chance to do anything except eat two rounds of shooting... which is pretty much what I thought he'd do.  At 200 points, I probably should have higher expectations, I think.  Maybe next time, I'll try Ironguts or something.

  • The Jezzails kicked ass.  They deployed behind the hills, in the back corner, which meant they were safe from enemy fire (so the only thing that would chase them off the table would be misfires).  They still had a clear line of sight to the middle of the field and, if anything crossed over the hill (which happened several times), they were able to unload on it at short range.

  • The Warp-Lightning Cannon did quite well; threatening the heck out of most of his units.  It paid for itself in frying the Mage.  At one point, it shot down the flank of the unit of Dragon Princes that contained the BSB.  At S10.  I rolled a 1 to wound the BSB, but incinerated the rest of the unit.  That was pretty close, there.

  • The MVPs for the game, I think, were the Globadiers.  Small enough that he didn't want to waste anything on them, those two 20 point units were able to kill hundreds of points of Dragon Princes, as well as opening the door to put down to enemy characters.  They were fantastic.

At the end of the game, he had:

  • General (fleeing)
  • BSB
  • One full unit of Archers
  • 2 Bolt Throwers

I had:

  • Nearly full block of Clanrats (with General)
  • Nearly full block of Slaves
  • Nearly full heap of Jezzails
  • Warp-Lightning Cannon
  • Half a unit of Gutter Runners
  • 1 Globadier

One quarter was contested, one empty, two mine.  I'd captured a banner, as well.  Ultimately, I won by over 800 points, but it could have very easily been a defeat had his Mages not been fried.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Ratputin Returns



I was so unimpressed with the way the Bubonic Court worked last time I played, I think I'm done with it for now.  It sacrifices too much of what it doesn't have in the name of getting too little.  Plus, if I'm going to play in Dragon Wars, it'd be nice to refresh myself as to how the rest of the army I'll be playing is supposed to work.

I'm playing a game against Harry on Saturday.  There's a comp tournament next weekend, so he's prepping for that.  My list unintentionally meets all of the comp tournament's rules, save that I'm including a Dogs of War Giant, but he's okay with that.  (I doubt it will make a difference, anyway).

Ratputin Returns
Skaven - 2,250 points

Lords & Heroes
  • Warlord - General, Heavy Armor, Cautious Shield, Foul Pendant
  • Chieftain - BSB, Heavy Armor, Storm Banner
  • Assassin - Weeping Blade
  • Warlock Engineer - Condenser, Warp-Blades, Dispel Scroll, Storm Daemon
Core
  • Clanrats x27 - Musician, Standard, Ratling Gun
  • Clanrats x26 - Musician, Standard, Ratling Gun
  • Giant Rats x24 - Packmasters x4
  • Giant Rats x24 - Packmasters x4
  • Night Runners x10 - Throwing Stars
  • Night Runners x10 - Throwing Stars
  • Poisoned Wind Globadiers x2
  • Poisoned Wind Globadiers x2
  • Slaves x20 - Musician
  • Slaves x20 - Musician
Special
  • Gutter Runners x7 - Poisoned Hand Weapons, Poisoned Throwing Stars
  • Gutter Runners x7 - Poisoned Hand Weapons, Poisoned Throwing Stars
  • Warplock Jezzails x7
Rare
  • Giant
  • Warp-Lightning Cannon
That's 15 drops with 205 models.

I'm trying a number of different, new things out here.
  • The Giant, for one.  This started out with a decision to include some Ogre Ironguts but transformed into a "A Giant is more likely to suck down (and survive) all of my enemy's fire," decision.  Plus, it looks like it'll be goofy and fun.

  • Gutter Runners.  I'm probably making a mistake here by taking so many of them, and by making them so expensive (those poisoned weapons increase their cost by 50%), but it's something I'm not used to using.  I really need a way to deal with enemy warmachines, and these are it.  Initially one of these was a Tunneling Team, but after rereading the rules on that... no way.

  • Similarly, I'm taking slightly larger than usual Night Runner units of 10.  In a few months, I'll be taking blocks of 25, but for now they skirmish and I'm used to units of 5.  I hope that, with groups of 10, they'll be better at screening.  I've given them Throwing Stars to eat points: this Mainstay Unit stuff makes list construction difficult: if you can't afford to buy another unit of Clanrats, you're sort of stuck trying to find places to spend a few more points.  It will, hopefully, make them a bit more of a threat, though.

  • I'm only taking seven Jezzails for two reasons.  Seven is the magic number for these small units: it keeps them small (and cheap) while maximizing the number of models you need to kill before they break and run away (note that I don't say "test to see if they break and run away").  I'd take two units of them... but I only have ten Jezzails.  I hope we see plastic ones in a few months before I buy up to fourteen (but I'm not holding my breath).

  • As it turns out, I've always done The Cautious Shield wrong, thinking that if I give up my attacks, I can force a model to lose an attack.  What it actually does is automatically force a model to lose an attack and, if I give up all of my attacks, it forces them to lose two attacks.  That's twice as useful!

  • I'm probably going to get my teeth kicked in on Magic.  (Heck, I'm probably going to get my teeth kicked in anyway, since I can't outfight, outshoot, outmagic or outmaneuver any other army right now).  Just one caster, with one scroll probably isn't going to be enough... but I want to play with the Assassin.

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