Monday, March 29, 2010

Painting Progress - 20100329


Spent the bulk of last week and this weekend trying to beat the house into submission: we've got family in town for the next couple of weeks.  Trouble focusing didn't help me get much out of the hobby time I did have, either.

Sternguard Veterans x10

Not much progress here.  I picked out some gap gunk on a couple of models, but at this point I'm really just waiting on the jewelry cleaner to see if that works out.  The replacement arm did show up, however: I've got to pop by GW Fair Oaks to pick it up.  (That was a really fast turnaround: ordered Thursday, in-store Saturday!)

Daemon Princes x3

Nothing here. Not sure why.  Just need to bang out some highlights on the wings and then I'm done.  It's tedious, but requires very little actual thinking... which should make it perfect for lack-of-focus work.

Display Board

Do have progress here.  The tray I'm going to mount this on showed up, as did my Forgeworld order (with some models I'm going to use as objective markers, as well as the brass Khorne icons).  I've cut out the foam for the raised sections, done some plasticard cutting (more than I think I've ever really done).  I'll be stopping by Home Depot on the way home from work to pick up some MDF and quarter-round (for a lip).

At that point, it'll just be a matter of cutting the quarter-round, gluing and nailing the wood parts together, sticking on the raised foam parts, and gluing down the plasticard.  I think painting will be tedious, but will go by quickly.

I'll have a post with some WIP pics, I think, as soon as I've got the wood.

Dark Heresy

Wrapped up the bases for these two minis, but haven't really made much progress painting them.  They're low priority at the moment, though, so that's okay.

Malifaux

There's probably a post about Malifaux rattling around my head: I've read the book, but haven't played the game.  I like some of the minis a lot... but loathe just as many if not more.  The inconsistency of each of the factions is a huge turn-off for me.  Will have to see if the mechanics make up for it.

But, I did prep and base the Sonia Criid starter I picked up a Madicon.

Ecumenical Khorne - Slaanesh


Themes: fast, pinchy, rending.  A successful result should like speedy and deadly, while remaining distinct from the actual Khorne units.

My plan for Daemonettes is either incredibly lazy or incredibly clever. I'm not sure. Basically, I want to just continue to roll with the Bloodletter body and replace the hands with Daemonette claws.


It still looks fast and deadly. It looks a lot like a Bloodletter (clearly) which is good, because 1) the Bloodletters are easily the sharpest looking models in my army and 2) I probably won't take any when I start pulling in Plaguebearers and Daemonettes... but still different enough from a Bloodletter to avoid any confusion.

Fiends, I have got two ideas for.  The easy route (which means the one I'm likely to take) would be to use Dark Elf Cold ones.  I'd have to remove the saddles, which would require some sculpting, and might add bigger horns... but otherwise, that's it.


In fact, I'd been planning on doing just that for my Bloodcrushers (someone else did this, with amazing results, but I cannot find the link) until I started stumbling across some really amazing deals on actual Bloodcrusher models from different people.

Anyway, this is almost certainly the option I'm going to take.  It'll also better facilitate converting up Seekers than anything else I can think of.

The other option, which isn't really one (and I'll come to why in a second) is to use the Mouth of the Abyss model from Hell Dorado.


When I first saw this sucker, I thought, "Man, that would make a badass Juggernaut."  Unfortunately, when time came to start up the Khorne army, I'd forgotten all about him.  I could always come back and use it as a Fiend, instead of a Bloodcrusher (it certainly looks faster than a Juggernaut, at least).

It's a non-starter, though: it's tough to justify $25 a model (vs. $25 for five Cold One models), especially when I'd be looking at a handful as Fiends and a double-handful as Seeker mounts.  Making this even more complicated is the fact that it looks like it's backordered everywhere... so I'm not likely to find a second one (I've had one since it was released), much less eleven more.

Maybe I could have him pull a chariot?  Probably not.

Seekers of Slaanesh will be utterly straightforward: Daemonette conversion sitting on a Fiend conversion.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

New Tau Suits!?

By way of Warhammer Tau:


=

Oh Bother


As I mentioned earlier in the week, my services painting a single squad of models went for a substantial amount in the Battle for the Cure auction.  So, I'm on deck to paint a squad of Salamander Sternguard Veterans (plus an Apothecary because, why not?).

Monday, I sat down to take a look at what I was working with: metal models, primed black.  Not a problem.  Except there was kind of a lot of flash and some mold lines.  I might have let the mold lines slide (they can be easy to miss pre-paint, so I certainly have some on some of my models), but the flash was really bad.  Plus, given how much this job went for, I really need to kick ass with the final product.

So I had to get it.

That left me with the  models ~75% primed.  Priming over the primer's ghetto, so that's not an option.  I maybe could have touched it up with some gesso, but that seemed lazy (and I always end up wiping gesso off), so I decided to just strip them all and re-prime them.

I always manage to forget that I hate stripping minis.  The mess, the sore back from hunching over the sink, the numb fingertips from pinching pointy models and brushing away.

More significantly, I lost an arm down the sink drain.  So, this feels a bit like a complete disaster.  (Fortunately, GW sells the model individually, so I've ordered it.  But, still.)

These guys have also been harder to strip that models I've done in the past.  The primer comes up super-easy, sure (it's the Chaos Black spray paint), but these guys have a lot more nooks and crannies that don't want to give up their primer without having a toothpick scratch it out than giant rats or clanrat slaves do.

I did have the possibly brilliant idea to order an ultrasonic cleaner to deal with this.  I've seen that Les Bursley uses one to clean his airbrushes and they get used to clean jewelry, which also has lots of nooks and crannies to trap gunk... so it could work.  I found a cheap one on Amazon that I've got on order.  I'll give it a spin the moment it shows up.  I'll let you know how it works.

Ecumenical Khorne - Nurgle


Themes: slow, resilient, hard to kill, poisonous.  So, a successful result should look like a Khornate daemon that's hard to kill.  "Poisonous" might be hard to do while feeling Khorne-y.

Plaguebearers are a must.  They specifically address a significant weakness in the mono-Khorne list: survivability.  I'm almost certainly going to build these out of Gors/Ungors/Bestigors.  Exactly what kit, I'm still trying to settle on: I like the Ungor heads for this, but like the burlier Gor and armored Bestigor bodies.  (So it'll likely be Ungor heads on [Besti]Gor bodies.)

Also, in the interests of science: sticking a different head on a Bloodletter body.  I'm planning to use the Bloodletter body with Slaaneshi units, so there's consistency involved... but I don't believe I care for the results at all.  It won't be distinct enough from the Bloodletters, and won't actually accomplish what I want accomplished.

Finally, there's always putting a Bloodletter head on a Gor's body.


In fact, the more I look at it, the more I like the Gor body.  I think the Bestigor body is just... too busy.  Given that they're ~$4 a pop, I think I'm okay with that.  Also, putting a Gor head on an Ungor doesn't look too shabby, either.  I can give them all shields, and maybe carve up some Hellblade-lites for them: swords that are thematically similar to Hellblades... but don't look like they ignore armor saves.  Maybe not.

I also kinda like the 'Letter head (ha!) on the Gor Body (lower left).  I don't think I care for it as much as the Ungor head (which I really like), but it would just fit a lot better with the rest of my units.  This will require a lot of thought.

The point is, they should look resilient.  Bloodletters look deadly, but Plaguebearers need to look like they're hard to kill.

Beasts of Nurgle, I don't see myself ever being called to run.  If I did, I'd probably just use the GW model: it's not particularly Khorne-y, but I think it'd look pretty cool with my paint scheme.

Nurglings just ain't gonna happen.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Ecumenical Khorne - HQ, Heavy Support


I'm grouping these together because either A) I don't know which god I'll be doing anything with or B) the models aren't god-specific.

As soon as I add some more mobile units and/or tank killing units, I can drop one of the Bloodthirsters.  I could probably drop both, but I'd like to keep at least one: what's Khorne without a Bloodthirster?

That means swapping him (or is it her?) out for one or two Heralds.  I haven't done much thinking about what type of Herald I'd take, but... I can't see myself bothering with a Herald of Nurgle, but I can imagine a place for Heralds of Khorne, Slaanesh and/or Tzeench.  

I'm pretty sure that I'd mount them in a chariot, regardless, which means any conversion would be driven by 1) how I convert the Troop-level Daemon (and it him up) and 2) how I convert the Elite-level Daemon pulling the chariot.

Soul Grinders are Soul Grinders.    Done.

Daemon Princes are only a little trickier.  For the time being, I think I can run the ones I'm in the process of painting as whatever type is called for.  Longer-term, if I settle on a build I really like, I can convert up something new: almost certainly based on the Minotaur kit.  I love those models.

Ecumenical Khorne


Something I've been eyeballing for a bit is making my Khornate Daemons list... less Khorne and more competitive.

The monogod thing is fun, but it really is a bit of a paper-rock-scissors list where it generally does pretty well or pretty poorly.  I can't even play against Tyranids, for example.  While I'm okay with that, I expect it will get old after a bit.  I really like my paint scheme, though, and I like screaming "Khornination!" and such... so as I pull in non-Khorne units, I'm going to try very hard to Khornify them while retaining the themes that will make what the models count-as clear.

Over the next week of so will see something of a stream-of-consciousness, thinking out loud thing.  Mostly documenting where I'm looking to go with this.  I think I have a clear idea of what I want, even if I have trouble articulating it.

Feedback is more than welcome!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Short-term Goals

Just because I'm not powering through a painting schedule any more doesn't mean I shouldn't have some sort of direction to what I'm working on.  So, roughly, I plan to work on the following and have it done in a month or so:

Sternguard Veterans x10

This is my commission from the Battle for the Cure Auction, so it's kind of my highest priority thing.  I told Mark I'd have them done in a month or so, and I think that's a reasonable goal.  They came to me primed, but had kind of a lot of flash on them, so I trimmed that off, and am now stripping the primer.  Probably should blow through a spare Black Reach marine with his paint scheme to make sure he's happy with what I'll be doing.

Daemon Princes x3

They were "done" in time for the Battle for the Cure, but they still needed some blood spatters and highlighting on the wings (which is why I've yet to take pictures of them).  I imagine that'll be done before the weekend, but there's no hurry... just a desire to wrap them up.

Display Board

I don't have one for my Daemons, and I need one.  At the very least, I need it in time for the IFL RTT on 4/17, so there's lots of time.  Stealing shamelessly, from Matt Hoell, I've got a tray on order that I'll use as a base: when it gets here, I'll decide if I need a wider surface area and build out from that or if I can leave it as is.  I'll definitely need to track down more of the textured plasticard used on my bases, and I'll need to figure out a good way to break up the seams between them (since it looks like the patterns don't interlock very well).

I'll also be designing it with the intent of reusing that tray from one display board to another: it'll just just be a structure to which the army-specific display board is attached.

Dark Heresy

I'm riding the post-Madicon Dark Heresy wave, so I'm painting up a couple of figures for it... they'll also be able to do double-duty as Inquisitors and Henchmen in my Dark Angels army when I next run them.  Right now, I'm starting off with Solomon Lok and some... dude.  Two bolt pistols, a trench coat, belts and belts of ammo and a buzzcut.

After that, who knows?

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Battle for the Cure!

Saturday was Battle for the Cure... the first of what is bound to be many.

To say that it was successful would be to understate.  Game Vault was, as always, an excellent host.  Turnout was great. (With 24/25? people?)  The scenarios were solid.  We raised an $1,405 for the Race for the Cure.

That's right.  $1,405.


The silent auction did well; there were a lot of things (backpacks, Flames of War sets) donated by Game Vault and Games Workshop, several painted minis (one of which, an Azrael painted by double-Golden Daemon and Forgeworld Best in Show winner Andrew Wylie, went for ~$110!) as well as several folks offering painting services.  My offer to paint a squad of ~10 models ended up going for $130!  (A sum that is as ridiculous as it is flattering.)  Frank did a magnificent job putting it all together.

All three of my games were extremely close.

My list:

MAXIMUM KHORNAGE
Chaos Daemons - 2,000 points

HQ
Bloodthirster - Death Strike, Unholy Might
Bloodthirster - Death Strike, Unholy Might

Elites
Bloodcrushers x4 - Fury of Khorne, Icon of Khorne, Instrument of Khorne

Troops
Bloodletters x16 - Fury of Khorne, Icon of Khorne
Bloodletters x8 - Fury of Khorne, Icon of Khorne

Fast Attack
Flesh Hounds x8 - Karanak, Fury of Khorne
Flesh Hounds x8 - Fury of Khorne

Heavy Support
Daemon Prince - Mark of Khorne, Death Strike, Instrument of Chaos, Iron Hide
Daemon Prince - Mark of Khorne, Death Strike, Instrument of Chaos, Iron Hide
Daemon Prince - Mark of Khorne, Death Strike, Instrument of Chaos, Iron Hide
Game 1

My first game was against fellow IFLer Mike Gatewood's Eldar.  Scenario was built around getting to an objective in the middle of the board and hanging onto it.  Secondary victory condition was modified Kill Points, tertiary was table quarters.

The first half of the game was him charging me, me counter-charging him, him counter-charging me, and so on.  It looked like the bulk of the game was going to be spent in a big furball that sucks up every unit on the board until... :pop: all of his models in the throwdown evaporated.  A lot of back-and-forth.

Other highlights included five Bloodletters pwned the Avatar in one round of combat, as well as an unending battle between a Daemon Prince and a Wraithlord.  (Toughness 8 is tough!).

I ended up losing, but it was close. His third Wraithlord's Move Through Cover roll was responsible for a 17 point swing: had he rolled nothing higher than a 4, I'd have pulled it off.  He rolled a 5, though, and killed the crap out of the scraps of Bloodletters that were holding onto the objective.

A really great, close game.

Game 2

My second game was against another fellow IFLer, Mark Callan, and his Salamanders.  Scenario was built around a "three day battle:" odd numbered turns had Dawn of War.  Five objectives.  Secondary was normal Kill Points, tertiary was table quarters.

This game was hard to judge.  I was unable to get a single wound through a Stormshield.  If you had a Stormshield, you were invincible.  I have to admit that this got a little frustrating.

Again, a lot of back and forth.  I killed the living crap out of anything that didn't have a Stormshield, though.

What was shocking was that we tied in every way: we tied on objectives, we tied on Kill Points, we tied on table quarters.  I won the game with one point: I had a unit in his deployment zone, which good for a single bonus point.

It was a good game.  The Storm Shield thing drove me up a wall, but it was exciting and close despite that.

Game 3

I have to admit that I forgot the name of my third opponent.  He was running Space Wolves.  Scenario was built around a extra "runner" character and having them camp an objective in the center of the table.  Again, Kill Points, quarters.

This game started out a bit frustrating.  It was hard to tell where one squad started and the other ended (because they were a mishmash of marines, space wolves and chaos marines).  His Thunderwolves were on cavalry bases, of all things.  ("Canis Wolfborn being on a big base doesn't mean all Thunderwolves are supposed to be on a big base.  Besides, they don't even sell big bases."  I expressed 1) why that that's pure ridiculosity and 2) that they do sell them.  He spaced them out as a result, though, so I really can't complain.)

It chugged along.  Not a whole lot of back and forth initially: just starting at one end and chewing it up.  Had extremely good luck chasing the Thunderwolves and a full squad of Grey Hunters off the table.

The last three rounds saw everything I had trying to kill his runner and him trying to kill mine.  Ultimately, I was able to wear his runner down and, in the very last round of the game, free my runner from combat.

I'm curious to see the final scores, but I can't complain about three close games (or two wins).

The event was extremely successful, so we're definitely going to see a repeat next year.  Hopefully, with more lead-in, we'll be able to get the extra support we almost got this year (but couldn't, because we didn't have enough lead-in).

Friday, March 19, 2010

New Look!

I've just updated the template for this sucker.  It's not 100% done, but all that's left are wonky little text-formatting little things I expect I'll slowly work my way through.

If something looks especially retarded, please let me know.  I hate, hate working with CSS sometimes.

Also, for the hell of it, I've added a separate Twitter feed where I can dump thoughts that relate to the blog... but aren't big enough to actually merit posts.  Hopefully, it'll be useful.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Painting Progress - 20100318

Spent the weekend at Madicon.  Ultimately decided against playing in the tournament, such as it was, which was a good decision. Still, had a good time.

Did (finally) get to play a game of Dark Heresy, which was a lot of fun.  I think it'll definitely see some action in my gaming group, which should provide me with the motivation to convert up some cool models to use with it.

I tagged the Bloodcrushers with some varnish Friday morning, so I reached that goal (1750/1850 fully painted before Madicon), but just barely.


I still have the three Daemon Princes that need finishing before Battle for the Cure this Saturday, however.  It's going to be close, but I think I can do it.  The flesh, the time consuming part, is pretty much done, so it's just black and brass and blood left.


I love the minotaur models.  These things are great!


When I'm done I'm going to take a little break, because I'm burnt out on painting.  Especially these guys.  I'll probably putter around on some of my (many) half-done projects before returning to some combination of the following:
  • Khornifying and adding non-Khorne units to my Daemons*
  • Converting Dark Hersey / Rogue Trader minis
  • Magnetizing and painting the Cygnar omni-jack
  • Painting a squad for Battle for the Cure auction**
* Post on this to follow soonish
** I hope I win, and have to paint for myself. :)

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Painting Progress - 20100311


I haven't done one of these in kind of while... mostly because painting the Bloodthirsters was unsatisfying.  Haven't been eager to post pictures of them.  Might as well get it over with.



Well, there they are.  I'm not especially happy with them: what worked, I think, quite well with the Bloodletters didn't really come together for this big sucker.  I'm on a schedule, though, so done and imperfect is better than not done.  When I get around to running multi-god, and I don't need two 'Thirsters, I'll probably do up the FW Khorne Daemon Prince as a Bloodthirster and just run that.

I'm slogging through the Bloodcrushers, which I'm somewhat more pleased with.  Progress has been way too slow, however.  I'm going to have to power through them tonight to have them done for tomorrow.  That's a week behind schedule, and only leaves a week for the Daemon Princes before Battle for the Cure.


Still, things could be worse.  I might actually be able to pull this off.


In other news, I've signed up for the NoVA Open.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

40K Skirmishing


I've been thinking a lot about playing skirmish games with 40K lately.

This is, I think, entirely the fault of Battle Missions.  I've yet to get in a game of Kill Team myself (in fact, I won't be able to pick up my copy of the book until this evening), but I'm very excited about giving it a spin.  I expect I'll be able to play a few games at Madicon, for sure.

Sons of Taurus has a pair of KT battle reports that are worth checking out.  (They're also a great example of why I much prefer that format to video battle reports.)

It's also stirred up a lot of interest on RPG.net's Other Games Open forum, my primary gaming forum.  A number of alternative options for playing with skirmish games with 40K figures have come up, and I thought I'd share them here.
I haven't played (or really read all the way through) any of these, but I've flipped through them all.

Thunderhawk Down requires the 5th Ed rules, but Brutal Conflict and Death Squads appear to be stand-alone.  Thunderhawk Down and Brutal Conflict appear to have pretty complete sets of armies, while Death Squads is a little light (with several listed as "Coming Soon!").

For the heck of it, I threw together a chart comparing armies each game supports:

Army
System

BC
DS
TD
13th Company


Y
Black Templars


Y
Blood Angels


Y
Chaos Daemons
Y

Y
Chaos Marines
Y

Y
Daemonhunters


Y
Dark Angels


Y
Dark Eldar
Y

Y
Eldar
Y
Y
Y
Imperial Guard
Y
Y
Y
Kroot Mercs

~

Lost and the Damned

Y
Y
Necrons
Y

Y
Orks
Y
Y
Y
Space Marines
Y
~
Y
Space Wolves
Y

Y
Tau Empire
Y

Y
Tyranids


Y
Witch Hunters


Y

I'm definitely going to give Brutal Conflict and Thunderhawk Down a read-through (Death Squads is a bit too verbose for my tastes, and I don't have any of the armies it supports) and will probably give them a spin when the shiny-newness wears off of Kill Team.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Skaven FAQ


GW has posted a FAQ for the Skaven book.

Some things, as usual, were pretty obvious.  Some things are silly.  (Master Moulders in the front, for example.  I'll give you RAW, but it's silly.)  Some things I like (Unit Strength on a Bonebreaker Rat Ogre is 3(+1).  Vindication!)

War of the Ring


While poking around this mess called The Internet, I stumbled across Fear and Loathing on the Tabletop's collection of understandings his gaming group had come to for War of the Ring.  I though I'd mention them here. 

I find it interesting/satisfying that his group came to pretty much the same understanding re: the extremely controversial (to understate) Epic Strike interaction with Heroic Duels that several of us (though not all of us) came to.  It's been a while, but I seem to recall having a different interpretation of how other Epic actions happen, however.

I can't say that I've done much thinking about War of the Ring in the past nine months or so.  Not since getting disgusted with the contradictory, ambiguous rules or ridiculous balance issues.  There's a neat game there, but those things are just too hard to ignore.

I hope Battlehosts fixes some of that.  If doesn't, in some way, FAQ those issues (or come at the same time as a FAQ), I suspect that will be the death of the game.  'Round my parts, I don't see much WotR action and what I do see often comes in the context of, "They need to FAQ it."  If they let the opportunity pass... who knows?

I'd personally love to see some things rebalanced (sorry GW, but Fight is not the same as Courage, and neither are anywhere nearly as key as Defense)... but some clarifications would be a great start.


Friday, March 5, 2010

Microposts


A few random things, smushed together into a single post:

I'm officially sick of the Soul Grinder model.

On Tuesday, I noticed that some of the leg blades on one of them had broken off when I'd dropped it a few weeks ago.  Uncool!  Especially because I'd vacuumed that area just a few days before having this realization.  Fortunately, I was able to turn up both blades (which means I must not have done as good a job cleaning as I'd thought I had).

Closer examination of the Soul Grinder legs reveals some chipping, both on the blades that had gone AWOL and some that hadn't.  Ugh.  The model's been painted for less than a month, and already it looks like it's been ungently used by years by a middle-schooler.

Finally, on bringing them in from gaming, I stabilized the foam tray I'd bought hours before (specifically to protect these stupid models)... and in doing so snapped off another leg.

This is frustrating.



I've gotten all of two games in in the past month: too busy with work and painting Daemons.  Both games have been against John C.'s Tyranids

I've come to the conclusion that, with my mono-god Khorne list, if I see a Tyranid army on the other side of the table, I should shake hands and thank my opponent for the game before we roll for mission.

I'm hope this is a little different with more diverse daemon lists... I'd be surprised if it weren't.  But with all Khorne, it's too much of an uphill battle.  Against Khorne, Tyranids have:
  • Faster, more mobile units
  • Too many models to kill
  • Too many dice being thrown around for a 5+ invul save to weather
  • Monstrous Creatures that out-Monstrous Creature my Monstrous Creatures, for fewer points
  • A vulnerability to cover that I can't leverage
Tyranids don't really care about Hellblades; their saves aren't all that great, and they have enough wounds or bodies that I can't spit out enough attacks.

I also think that using cover to your advantage is key to defeating Nids... but I can't do that.  No grenades and little-to-no shooting means I can't hunker down in, or assault into or out of, cover.

Bloodthirsters are expensive chumps compared to Tryanid MCs.  Trygons have higher Toughness, more wounds and vomit out more attacks than a Bloodthirster, for 50 fewer points.

The key, I think, is recognizing and resigning myself to this upfront.  Knowing that winning just ain't gonna happen means I can just put that aside and focus completely on having a good time and khorninating what I can.



Due to what is almost certainly a combination of the above two points: I have no energy for painting Daemons.  I've hit burnout point.  I'm hoping to just power through the Bloodcrushers over the weekend but... I'm just tired of painting.

That puts me at:




I'm excited about Battle Missions.

I expect many of them will be... meh, but Kill Team looks like fun.  I have every expectation that, within the next few months, I'll have allowed it to seduce me into building a Kommano team.

I think there's a lot of thinking to be done about Kill Team.  How the format will require different sorts of lists. For example, each of my first cut lists have included something like a Klaw or a Powerfist because, you know, that's just what you do... except there are no hidden Powerfists anymore.  That sort of thing.

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