Friday, April 30, 2010

'Ard Boyz 2010

I thought I'd be missing out on 'Ard Boyz this year because we'll be celebrating the extremely awesome Mrs. Rushputin's birthday on that Saturday.  I was okay with this, because I've never actually played in an 'Ard Boyz; I ran the first one for Game Parlor and... missed the second one for reasons that escape me (probably work).

As it turns out, however, for whatever reason (I'm sure there's a good one, possible that I've missed) my FNVLGS* The Game Vault will be hosting theirs on that Sunday, rather than that Saturday.  Between this extremely convenient scheduling fluke and the slightest bit of prodding from Casey, I've decided to head out to it.

Now, I can't run my Daemons at 2,500.  It just can't happen.  My Tau, I've yet to figure out how to play in 5th... it could happen but, let me assure you, it won't.

That leaves my largest army, and one of my favorites: my Dark Angels.  This is particularly convenient, because during the first 'Ard Boyz, I wrote up a DA list to run at 'Ard Boyz.  All Deathwing.

Two HQs.  Nine Deathwing Terminator Squads.  47 models.

I have no illusion that this is a particular 'ard list or anything, but it should be fun.
Deathwing 'Ard Boyz
2,500 points

HQ
Belial - Sword of Silence, Storm Bolter
Grey Knight Grandmaster - Nemesis Force Weapon, Storm Bolter, Psychic Hood, Ungents of Warding

Elites
Deathwing Terminators x5 - Cyclone Missile Launcher
Deathwing Terminators x5 - Lightning Claws x1, Thunder Hammer, Heavy Flamer
Deathwing Terminators x5 - Lightning Claws x1, Chainfist, Assault Cannon

Troops
Deathwing Terminator Command Squad x5 - Apothecary, Standard, Lightning Claws x3, Thunder Hammer x1, Chainfist,  Heavy Flamer
Deathwing Terminators x5 - Cyclone Missile Launcher
Deathwing Terminators x5 - Cyclone Missile Launcher
Deathwing Terminators x5 - Cyclone Missile Launcher
Deathwing Terminators x5 - Lightning Claws x1, Chainfist, Assault Cannon
Deathwing Terminators x5 - Lightning Claws x1, Chainfist, Assault Cannon
That leaves me with 5 points to throw in an extra chainfist somewhere, I dunno.

They Grey Knight Grandmaster is a new thing for me.  I've never run one before.  He's taking the place of my Terminator Librarian (ironic, because my Terminator Librarian will be taking his place as a model); I think he'll do everything the Librarian does, only better and for marginally fewer points.  For 20 points more, he's got more wounds, more attacks (with the +2 strength of the Nemesis Force Weapon).  No, he doesn't have any psychic powers, but who cares?  I sure as hell never took the Dark Angels Librarian for his psychic powers; he's there to add punch to the assault Deathwing Command Squad and to run psychic defense: he's got the same table-wide Psychic Hood the Dark Angels Librarian has... throw the Ungents of Warding in for a few more points, and things are even better.

Ungents of Warding?  That's freaking how Blessing of the Blood God should work for Khornate Daemons: ignore psychic powers on a 4+.  Period.

Anyway, Belial chills with one of the Cyclone Missile Launcher squads.  The Grandmaster goes with the Command squad.  Given that I've been rocking the Daemons for the past however long, I'll probably just Deep Strike everything in.  Five squads come in on the first turn via Deathwing Assault.

Could I run this with Space Wolves?  Maybe.  Probably.  Who cares?  I'm throwing down for the Lion, not the Wolf.

(Now, I've just got to assemble the last 16 terminators or so.)

* Friendly Not-Very-Local Game Store.  The Game Vault's anywhere between 45 minutes to two hours away from where I live in Manassas, depending on the how generous Northern Virginian traffic feels like being.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Demo Lists

A friend of mine who's been slowly drinking the 40K Kool-Aid by reading Black Library books is starting to consider buying into 40K.

I've had him take a look at the armies, to pick ones that he thinks are Cool (because that's the most important reason to play an army) and, having picked a few, we'd proxy up a few demo lists to get a feel for how they play (because having a playstyle you enjoy is the second most important reason to play an army).

He's settled on Blood Angels and Imperial Guard.  Both are choices I think we can all agree are objectively A-OK.

So, I've thrown together a list for each, both at approximately 1,000 points.  I'm not looking for gimmicky builds or extreme points-efficiency... just lists that capture the overall feel of the army.  It doesn't take a min-maxed list to reveal that Tau like to shoot things and Orks like to krump things, for example.

Here's what we'll put on the table:
Blood Angels

HQ
Captain - Jump Pack, Lightning Claws

Elites
Sanguinary Priest - Powersword

Troops
Assault Squad x10 - Jump Packs, Meltaguns x2, Powerfist
Assault Squad x5 - Meltagun
 - Razorback - TL Heavy Bolters
Tactical Squad x10 - Plasmagun, Missile Launcher, Powerfist
 - Rhino

Fast
Baal Predator - HB Sponsons
Imperial Guard

HQ
Command Squad - Bodyguard, Carapace Armor, Meltagun x2, Powerfist
- Chimera

Troops
Infantry Platoon
- Command Squad - Vox, Meltagun x2, Powerfist
- Infantry Squad - Vox, Flamer
- Infantry Squad - Vox, Grenade Launcher
- Heavy Weapons Squads - Heavy Bolter x3
Veteran Squad - Vox, Meltagun x3, Powerfist
- Chimera

Fast
Hellhound x1 - Smoke Launchers, Heavy Flamer

Heavy
Leman Russ Battle Tank - HB Sponsons
Griffon
I figure we'll put both on the table and take turns with them.  Or maybe I'll work up a 1,000 point Tau list or something... I definitely won't run the Daemons; they're a mite rock-paper-scissors, and therefore would make for lousy examples.

EDIT: Mike Van Brandt suggested an even better IG list:
Imperial Guard

HQ
Company Command Squad - Standard, Meltagun x2, Flamer
- Chimera

Troops
Infantry Platoon
- Command Squad - Flamer x3
-- Chimera
- Infantry Squad - Flamer
- Infantry Squad - Flamer
- Infantry Squad - Flamer
- Heavy Weapons Squad - Autocannon x3
- Heavy Weapons Squad - Autocannon x3
Veteran Squad - Vox, Meltagun x3
- Chimera

Fast Attack
Scout Sentinels x3 - Multilasers

Heavy Support
Leman Russ Demolisher - Heavy Flamer

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Bloodthirster vs. Daemon Prince



More than anything, this is really just a heads-up to people I might play.  I'd like to document what I'm doing and why.

What

For pickup games, or pretty much any game that isn't a tournament (and unless I'm running a Khornate Daemon list that includes both Bloodthirsters and Daemon Princes), I am going to use the Daemon Prince models I've converted as Bloodthirsters.

With a tournament, when I'm lugging around my huge display board and all that other stuff, things'll be different... but on an arbitrary Tuesday, this is how it's going to be.

Why

Although I rather dislike the Bloodthirster model, that's really not why I'm doing this.

Practicality drives this.  Bloodthirsters are big, top-heavy and metal.  While I keep the majority of my army magnetized to plastic drawers, I've got a separate little foam thing I have to pack my Bloodthirsters in.  This isn't crippling or anything, but it is annoying.  (Don't get me started on my Soul Grinders.)

My Daemon Princes are plastic, light, and can be transported in the same drawer as my Bloodcrushers.  By using them instead of the Bloodthirster model, I reduce the amount of space my army consumes during transport by nearly half.

Also, they're converted.  Not heavily converted or anything, but a little.  Enough to make them personal.  I like the models more, and that's worth a lot!

How

I think I can justify this.


The Bloodthirster has enormous wings, yes.  Huge wings.  Its wings account for twice of its height.  The wings on the Daemon Prince aren't very big, but that's okay.  The wings don't count..
Line of sight must be traced from the eyes of the firing model to any part of the body of at least one of the models in the target unit (for ‘body’ we mean its head, torso, legs and arms). Sometimes, all that may be visible of a model is a weapon, an antenna, a banner or some other ornament he is wearing or carrying (including its wings and tail, even though they are technically part of its body). In these cases, the model is not visible. These rules are intended to ensure that models don’t get penalised for having impressive standards, blades, guns, majestic wings, etc.

- Warhammer 40K, pg 16
So, wings and such are to be ignored for the purposes of Line of Sight.  We can ignore them.

Look at the bodies.  They're very close to being the same size.  For game purposes, the Minotaur model and the Bloodthirster model are the same size.  They're on the same size base (60mm) and are very close in terms of height and width.

So, when I put the Minotaur Princes on the table as Bloodthirsters, I do so because they're just about the same size.  It's a hair shorter, but negligibly so.  Besides, I don't think drawing line-of-sight to a Bloodthirster has ever been a problem for my opponents.

(And I'm talking the current Bloodthirster, not the classic Greater Daemon of Khorne who is, I think, about the size of a terminator.)

Conclusion

Like I said, this'll just be for pickup games, and for games that I don't plan on running both Bloodthirsters and Daemon Princes.  And, hell, once I stop agonizing over ordering some Battlefoam, everything'll be packed in together, and it'll be a non-issue.  But, until then...

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Sternguard Veterans - 3/10

Just slapped some varnish on the first three of the Sternguard Veterans I'm painting as part of the Battle for the Cure tournament/auction.  Between stripping the minis, work, in-laws and recovery from surgery it's taken me way too long to make progress on these guys.

Now that I've got a recipe for everything going into this, the rest of them should come through pretty quickly, I think/hope/pray.

I still need to touch base with Mark to find out a couple of details (do I need to go in and paint the flex black, or does he like it green?), but I'd say they's done.

The first battle-brother:


The second battle-brother:


The third battle-brother:

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Painting Progress - 20100425

I've been quiet 'round these parts for the same reason I haven't really done much of a damn thing, hobby-wise, over the past week: I've been resting up post-surgery.

In a perfect world, being around the house for a week would equal immense hobby progress.  Not so; I'm so tuckered out, a stab at some highlighting late last week resulted in exhaustion and vertigo.  I hope that passes quickly this coming week: I've got to finish these f'ing Sternguard, you know?

I did take a pair of WIP photos the other day.  They're a bit farther along than these, but not by much.

This first one is of the guys I've been working on.  The weapons, straps, parchment and purity seals need doing, but that's about it.  Bases, too, of course. Less than a day's work when I'm up to it.

 
These are the guys that still need starting.  They've been basecoated, but that's all.  I need to go back and do a bit of sculpting on one: a shoulder pad has... been messed up.  Other than that, I expect they'll cruise once I get to them.


Using the same color scheme Mark uses on his guys, for obvious reasons, but I'm trying to put a lot of skill into implementing it.  

For example, he basecoats Knarloc Green, dry brushes Camo Green and wraps things up with a Thraka Green wash.  The result is good.  I'm basecoating Knarloc Green, then rocking out an edge highlight of 50/50 Thraka Green and Camo Green thinned with matte medium and a thinner edge highlight of pure Camo Green before washing over things with a Devlan Mud / Thraka Green / Badab Black mix (the proportions of which are written down somewhere around here).  Debating going back and doing a teeny bit or two of Camo Green highlights on the brightest points.

So, should fit in just fine with his guys while, at the same time, standing out.

Monday, April 19, 2010

6/19 - 40K ForgeWorld-Friendly Tournament


Something that came out of the discussion about how to run the IFL RTT this past weekend was an observation that, before 5th Ed. came out, Flyers and other units from Imperial Armour books were par for the course at IFL tournaments.  When 5th ed came out, that vanished.

Now, I've got opinions about the default inclusion of Forgeworld rules that don't necessarily jive, I think, with the wider 40K blogosphere (there's a blog post on that rattling around in my head)... but regardless of what I think should and shouldn't belong in a tournament baseline, there's always room for tournaments that step away from the baseline.

So, I'll be running a tournament with the express purpose of encouraging folks to break out their ForgeWorld models.



When: 6/19
Size: 16 Players

Registration Fee
This is not an IFL Member's only event.  Everybody's welcome!

Preregistration is $5 for IFL Members,  $10 for non-IFL Members.  Registration at the door is $10 for IFL Members, $15 for non-IFL Members.

Pre-registration can be given to any IFL council member (Ben, Chris K, Chris S, Doug or Me) or gifted via PayPal to Treasury@IronFistLeague.com (be sure to note in your payment what you are paying for).

Army Composition
  • 2,000 points
  • Legal GW Codices and Army Lists from Imperial Armour books only.
  • Forge World and GW Datasheet models and units are allowed. However:
    • See the Adepticon 2010 Imperial Armor & Apocalypse Units document to reference what armies can take what, as well as where to find the most recent rules for those models and units.
    • No Superheavies or gargantuan creatures.  On the off chance that doesn't cover everything, no models with structure points, power fields or void shields.  No units identified as "WMD" in the Gladiator document.
    • You must provide rules for anything you put on the table.  If you do not have a hard copy of the rules (the FW book, a photocopy of the rules, etc.) for a model/unit, you may not put it on the table.
    • Be prepared to answer questions about your units.  Be prepared to repeat yourself.
  • The rules for Flyers found in Apocalypse will be used, rather than the rules for Flyers found in the various Imperial Armour books, with the following changes to update them to 5th Edition:
    • Flyers without  Hover Mode must always begin the game in reserve.
    • Blast weapons that do not have the anti-aircraft special rule cannot hit flyers
    • Units embarked in a flying transport that is not in Hover Mode never count as scoring units so long as they are embarked.
  • All models must be painted to, at minimum, the Three Color standard.
Scoring
  • Battle Points - (5-20 points, plus 4 possible bonus points/game) Scenarios will fundamentally be based on the rulebook missions, tweaked with some rules from the Battle Missions book.  VP will be tracked, at the very least, for tie-breaking.
  • Appearance - (0-30 points) Scored using the Army Appearance Checklist found in the Grand Tournament 2008 Packet.  This score will be reduced to 75% (that is, calculated score * .75).
  • Sportsmanship - (0-10 points/game) Scored using the Army Appearance Checklist found in the Grand Tournament 2008 Packet.
  • Favorite Player - (2 points/vote) Each player will note their favorite player.  Criteria for this is up to the player: you like their army the most, their attitude the best, or they paid you $10.
Prizes
100% of entry fee, plus (possibly, waiting on a vote) prize support from the IFL, will be split across the following prizes:
  • Highest Overall (40%)
  • Most Battle Points (30%)
  • Highest Soft Score (30%) (Everything but Battle Points)
Ties for overall will be broken by soft scores, then battle points, then overall VP.  Ties for battle points will be broken by overall VP, then soft scores.  Ties for soft score will be broken by battle points, then overall VP.

Sign up in this thread here, please, or in the comments on this thread.  If we run out of space, I'll fill spaces by timestamp.



I'm pretty confident about the format here.

Sportsmanship and Appearance scores are there, and are objective.  Everyone showing up knows how they'll be calculated.  I think that's key.

The GT Sportsmanship checklist kinda-sorta covers comp the way I think it should be expressed.

Discounting bonus points and favorite player votes, hard and soft scores both roll up to the same maximum point level.  This is either very clever or a big mistake... but it's intentional, regardless.

Shockingly, I've already written up the scenarios.  I think they'll be fun; different enough from standard games to be interesting, but without too many special rules to make them goofy.

If you're in the area, and can make it out to Game Parlor Chantilly, this should hopefully be a really good time!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

IFL 2nd Quarter RTT


We had the IFL 40K RTT yesterday.

The format was... imperfect.  Due to the excessive squeaking of a couple of squeaky wheels, the format was changed at the last minute to something that was pretty clearly put together by a Fantasy player without much familiarity with 40K.  Given that that's what the TO was (non-40K-playing fellow council member Ben was doing the 40K playing council members a solid and running the 40K tournament so they could all play), this isn't enormously surprising.

That's not to say that it was a bad format.  Just not perfect.

All of the games had a special scenario rule.  Victory conditions were based entirely on Victory Points (with a margin of >= 300 points required for a win vs. a draw), and there were a couple of bonus victory points.

The problem with relying on VP is that they remove all of the checks that KP impose on the game.  They might not be perfect, but they really do provide a disincentive to loading up on transports and minimum strength units.

Also, it was at 1,800, which is a weird points level.  I'm quite certain this wasn't intentional: just a non-40K player quickly trying to change tournament rules while 1) annoyed and 2) on vacation.

My List
HQ
Bloodthirster - Unholy Might
Bloodthirster - Unholy Might

Elites
Bloodcrushers x4 - Fury of Khorne, Icon, Musician

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

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

Heavy Support
Soul Grinder - Phlegm
Soul Grinder - Phlegm
In each game, I blew every single Powers of Chaos roll, and ended up with my Reserves Wave coming in at the beginning of each game.  Once is odds.  Three times is just goofy.  The scatter dice made up for it, though, as I nailed an unbelievable number of Deep Strike rolls: I think I don't think I scatter more than twice in a single game.

Game 1

vs. Jeff Payne's Eldar
HQ
Eldrad
Yriel

Elites
Striking Scorpions x10 - Exarch w/ Stalker & Scorpion Claw
- Wave Serpent - TL Shuriken Catapults, TL Shuriken Cannon, Spirit Stones

Troops
Storm Guardians x11 - Warlock w/ Embolden & Singing Spear, Fusion Gun x2
- Wave Serpent - TL Shuriken Catapults, TL Bright Lances, Spirit Stones
Storm Guardians x11 - Warlock w/ Destructor, Flamer x2
- Wave Serpent - TL Shuriken Catapults, TL Bright Lances, Spirit Stones
Guardian Jetbikes x8 - Warlock w/ Embolden, Singing Spear, Shuriken Cannon x2, TL Shuriken Catapults x4

Fast Attack
Vyper - Scatter Laser, TL Shuriken Catapults

Heavy Support 
Fire Prism - Holo-Field, Spirit Stones
Fire Prism - Holo-Field, Spirit Stones
Scenario rules involved a single Night Fight-style roll that affected all units on the table and got progressively worse as the game progressed.  Turn 1 was 6d6+6" on down to Turn 7 as d6+6".

It's weird; every time I have a Disagreement with another IFL member, it turns out that within a couple of weeks, I'm at a tournament at Game Parlor Woodbridge playing them and the game proves theraputic.

Jeff and I had a very good game that, given the circumstances, was much closer than it should have been.

Mechanized is something that gives my army heartburn, and mechanized Eldar is even worse.  Jeff decided to throw caution to the wind and get in my face with the Guardians.  This actually worked quite well: a 5+(i) is still only a 5+ save, after all.

There was a lot more back and forth than there needed to be in that game, and I'm thankful for it.  It certainly made it a fun game.

I lost, of course.

Game 2

vs. Frank Abel's Space Marines
HQ
Shrike
Librarian - Terminator Armor, Epistolary, Avenger, Null Zone, Storm Shield

Elites
Assault Terminators x6 - Lightning Claws x1, Thunder Hammer/Storm Shield x6
Venerable Dreadnought - Multi-Melta, DCCW w/ Heavy Flamer, Extra Armor

Troops
Tactical Squad x10 - Meltagun, Lascannon
- Razorback - TL Assault Cannon, Dozer Blade, Extra Armor
Tactical Squad x10 - Meltagun, Lascannon
- Razorback - TL Assault Cannon, Dozer Blade, Extra Armor
Tactical Squad x10 - Flamer, Plasma Cannon

Heavy Support
Land Raider Crusader
Scenario was especially weird: all movement was cut in half, even fleeing, running, and the assault fall-in.  Also, all line of sight was reduced to 20".  Think about that.

Frank is really my kryptonite.  I don't think I've ever beaten him; it's weird.

The range restriction on shooting didn't handicap him nearly as much as it could have because I was all up in his face as quickly as possible.  The movement penalty was a huge problem for me, though.  Early on his Librarian and the Terminators assaulted the Bloodthirster, who pasted the Librarian as quickly as possible.  (Null Zone bad!)

The terminators, and then Shrike, ended up chewing their way through the small unit of Bloodletters before getting stuck in with the large unit in a combat that lasted the rest of the game.  Bloodthirsters died to massed fire, which is usually what kills them.

In the end, it was a pretty close game.  Had my last Bloodcrusher survived long enough to toss some attacks on Shrike in the last round, we'd probably have drawn.  A very good game, though.

Game 3

vs. Scott Ripley's Blood Angels

(probably going to get this wrong, but we'll try)
HQ
Company Captain - Combi-melta, Power Weapon

Elites
Furioso Dreadnought - Librarian, Blood Lance, Sanguine Sword, Extra Armor, Magna-Grapple
Furioso Dreadnought - Blood Talons, Extra Armor, Magna-Grapple
Sanguinary Priest - Powerfist, Meltabombs
Corbulo

Troops
Scouts x 5 - Sniper Rifle x5
Tactical Squad x10 - Missile Launcher, Power Sword, Plasmagun
- Rhino - Extra Armor
Assault Squad x10 - Hand Flamer, Power Weapon
- Razorback - TL Lascannon, Extra Armor

Fast Attack
Vanguard Veterans x5 - Power Weapon, Meltabombs, Plasma Pistol

Heavy Support
Devastator Squad x5 - Lascannon x2, Missile Launcher x2
Storm Raven - TL Lascannon, TL Multimelta, Extra Armor, Locator Beacon
Scenario involved d3 Strength 6 meteors falling from the sky and hitting non-vehicle units on a 6 and vehicles on a 5 and a 6.  Ultimately, they really didn't cause anything to happen, though.

This game was... not great.  Scott's models weren't even in the neighborhood of WYSIWYG.  I'm down with the occasional, "This Stormbolter is really a Heavy Flamer," sort of thing.  This was altogether different.  Guys had weapons that they didn't have, all sorts of things.

Also, he started his entire army in Reserve.  Now, I get that this sounds a little hypocritical coming from a Daemon player (trust me: I'd love to be able to bring them all in at the beginning of the game), but I've found that keeping your entire army in reserve is a great way to start the game off on the wrong foot.

Finally, his converted Storm Raven was... let's charitably call it enormous.  Built out of a Star Wars shuttle with a Rhino stuck on the front, it was at least 4"x12".  That would probably be okay, except then he stuck Corbulo with his aura effect in it... that aura had a range that covered something like a third of the table!

I wiped out his Devastators with a Soul Grinder in the second turn, which meant he really didn't have anything with which to deal with my Bloodthirsters.  He threw his Dreadnoughts at them.  This was, in a word, awesome.  Khorne created Bloodthirsters with the express purpose of completely bitchifying Dreadnoughts.  The Furioso wouldn't even get the chance to think about swinging before the 'Thirster would vomit five penetrating hits into its face.  The sheer pwnitude involved in 'Thirster-on-Furioso action was enough to really improve my attitude about the game.

Overall, I made it out of the day 1/2/0, which isn't anything to complain about.  I had two good games, plus a third that ended on an up-note.

More significantly, I won the Player's Choice award!  It was supposed to be a conflation of all of the various soft scores, but it looks like it worked out to be mostly an Appearance ranking thing.  I'm very flattered and proud about this.  Honestly, I think the display board is what pushed it over the edge: there were a lot of really awesome armies there (like Doug's and Kevin's, which were my two favorites).

Monday, April 12, 2010

Khornate Daemon Display Board


So, it's done!

Painting happened faster than I expected: as tedious as the edge highlighting on the stones was, it only took a couple of episodes of Deadliest Catch to blow through.

I airbrushed the whole thing brown; craft paints, a tone that was pretty close to Bestial Brown.  I wanted it to look just like the bases on my models, so I hit everything with a very, very heavy drybrush of Shining Gold.  Then, I picked out the edges with Burnished Gold.


I smeared Devlan Mud across the whole thing.  That ended up looking like crap, so I went back and brushed Devlan Mud into the cracks, with better effect.


Faces and the Khorne symbol are Boltgun Metal with Mithril Silver highlights and Badab Black.  I decided at the last minute to paint the area around the symbol red (Scab Red basecoat, several very thin layers of Blood Red); originally, I had planned to leave it brass.  Water Effects make the blood work really well, I think.


Nothing special here.  The obelisk is done the same way, except the stone is black with Coal Black highlights.


Finally, what's the point of a display board if you're not going to put minis on it?


Painting Progress - 201000412


Despite spending a good chunk of the weekend driving down to Williamsburg and back, I feel like this was an incredibly productive weekend.  How do I know this?  I can barely feel my fingertips.

Sternguard Veterans x10

Since I last posted about these guys, I've finished cleaning them (manually, picking out the crud with my seam scraper, which worked well enough), reassembling them, basing them (on some MicroArt Old Factory bases) and finally priming them.

So, they're ready to go.  Tonight, I hope to get started.  They're my #1 priority.

Daemon Princes x3

Nothing here.  I don't expect to make any progress on these guys until I'm done with the Sternguard.

Display Board

Done!  I hope to take some pictures of it tonight.  There are some things about it I think maybe could have come together a bit better, but the finished product is certainly good enough.

Dark Heresy

As with the Daemon Princes, no progress here, and likely there won't be any until I'm done with the Vets.

Malifaux

Earlier last week, I assembled and based a few Guild minis (Governor's Proxy, Purifying Flame and Nino Ortega).

While the primer was trying on the vets, I disassembled, recleaned, reassembed and rebased (on DragonForge round-lip Trench Board bases that, with the right paint job and some water effects will, I think, look appropriately swampy) the Bayou Gremlin starter and then pushed on and did the same for a few more Gremlin minis (Hog Whisperer, Giant Mosquito x2, Piglets x4).

All that's left to do here is find a washer to glue to the bottom of the 50mm Warpig base (and then attach both it and the Warpig to said base).  At that point, everything I have for Malifaux will be ready for play.  I won't buy anything more until I've painted what I've got, and I won't paint anything until I'm done with the Sternguard.

Gaming

I did get a game in at the GW Fair Oaks store with Casey, running his Tyranids, on Wednesday.  Did a random Battle Mission, ended up with the night fight Daemon mission.  It ended up being a surprisingly close game; it was a lot of fun, though I'm glad I don't game at the GW store often.  The lack of seating really kicks my butt.

Also, I broke a leg off of a Soul Grinder.  Again.  I'm officially sick of that, in case anyone was wondering.  I'm scoping out what would be involved (in terms of materials and cost) with moving to Battlefoam to transport these bastards.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Sweeping Generalization

I'm just going to put this out there:

The more stridently you argue to have comp and sportsmanship scores removed from tournaments, the more you convince me that you're a horrible sportsman.

I've yet to see a perfect comp and/or sportsmanship system.  Produce a system, and it'll be easy to find fault with it.  They're all flawed.

But you know what?

Nothing's perfect, and something's better than nothing.  A flawed comp/sportsmanship system that, in some way, encourages good comp and sportsmanship and/or discourages bad comp and sportsmanship is better than none.

I mention this, because there are a couple of people on the IFL Forum who, in my opinion, have reached the point of threadcrapping with their compulsive need to interject their strident opposition to comp scores at any and every opportunity.

While I haven't played all of these people, but I have played some of them... and the reasons for those I have played against to object are crystal-clear.  They're terrible sportsmen!  ("Bad" isn't enough; "terrible" is.)  Of course this-or-that person thinks sports and comp should be dropped: their terrible scores in those categories hurt them!

Now, maybe I'm being unfair to the ones I haven't played.  Maybe they aren't bad guys.  Maybe they just have some other, more legitimate reasons that I just haven't been clued in on.  I can't comprehend what those reasons could be, though, and when you stand next to and agree with the guy who hates sportsmanship because he's a terrible sport with that much vehemence...

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Stripping Minis with a Jewelry Cleaner - Failure

About a week ago, I mentioned that I was stripping some minis that had a lot of gunk in the nooks and crannies, and that I'd ordered a cheap ultrasonic jewelry cleaner to blast that stuff out.

Well, it was a good idea, at least.

Earlier in the week my "Clearmax 800" showed up.


I played around with this the afternoon it showed up, but in the interests of science I'm starting from scratch and taking pictures for this post.

Here's a picture of one of the minis.  It soaked in Simple Green for two days, and has been brushed as thoroughly with a wire brush and toothbrush as my back would allow.  (Hunching over the sink gets old pretty quickly, huh?)


After running the cleaner for 30 minutes...


(The picture's blurry because my camera refused to focus.  You should be able to see some stuff there, though.)

So, clearly, it's loosened something.  That water was clean when I started.  But:


Clearly, there's more gunk still on the mini than in the water.  In fact, it's pretty hard to tell the difference between the two

The cleaner I got is cheap, and annoying.  It runs for 3 minutes before shutting off.  So, to have it run for 30 minutes, I've got to press "On" 10 times.  Clearly, I can't run it overnight or anything.  Maybe that would have better results, but my cats aren't particularly interested in pushing the button for me.

So, overall, I'm going to have to call this a failure.  Maybe a more expensive, higher-end machine would have worked better... but I'm not going to drop $100 to find out.  I've since picked out all the gunk manually.

Maybe, at some point in the future, I'll try filling the thing with simple green and running it just because, but I have no expectations of it working better.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Display Board WIP

I'm just about ready to slap some paint down on the display board I've built for my Khornate Chaos Daemons.  Not a bad idea to snap a few pics before then.


The board is 3/4' MDF, cut to be ~17" x ~26".  I needed a 15" x 24" board, but wanted room for the border (which I knew I needed to help keep things from falling off).  The raised parts are pink insulation foam.

All of the flat surfaces are covered in the same textured plasticard I used to make my bases.

The dais in the center is textured plasticard, plus some extra plasticard cut into an octagon and a Khorne symbol.  Nothing fancy there, I suppose, but I put a lot of work into cutting it out, so I'm proud of it.


I've had an Arcane Ruins set since GW released them that I've done nothing with... I got a lot of use out of it on this.  The skulls and faces on the edges of the raised platforms are from it, as is the obelisk in the back center.  I've tarted up the obelisk with some ForgeWorld etched brass Khorne symbols.


I originally tried gluing the skulls and faces on with E-6000 for some ridiculous reason.  That was a mistake: the glue ate through the foam like a hippo through marbles.  I ended up filling in the holes and gluing on the faces with wood glue.


The board rests on a breakfast tray.  This idea is blatantly stolen from Matt Hoell, who uses one as his display board.  I needed more room than the tray's surface offers, however: hence the MDF.  I need to affix the board to the tray, though: I want to lift the board off the table, but I don't want to make it that much easier to be knocked over.


So, there's a bolt that goes through the board and through the tray.  There's only one, because I wanted it to be removable, and there's really only one spot I can hide a bolt: under the obelisk.  I'll lift and carry the board by the tray, not the by the board.

Because it's removable, 1) I'll be able to reuse the tray with other display boards and 2) be able to store the whole mess more easily.

Also, the bolt is metal, which allowed me to glue a magnet to the inside of the obelisk.  That'll keep it in place... but be easily removed and stored.  (I might even turn it into a fifth objective marker.)

EDIT: I've finished this!  You can find some pictures of the finished product here.

1 Year Old!

I just realized that, yesterday, this blog turned one year old!

Although Warpstone Pile is a far, far cry from Bell of Lost Souls, I'm both surprised and pleased with how successful it's been.

Some stats:
  • 127 posts (not counting this one)
  • ~2,700 pageviews in the past month, 993 Unique Visitors
  • 32 Followers, 39 Google Reader subscribers (plus my friends who get spammed with this thing via Google Buzz)
My most active pages are, easily, the ones about my Hellpit Abomination conversion.  Second to that are my other Skaven conversions.  This only makes sense, when you consider that my conversion is the third result when you Google "Hellpit Abomination," just after Warseer and DakkaDakka.  (Under Google Image Search, it's the third result there, too, and is 9 of the first 36 results.)  I've seen better conversions for it, mind you, but that's pretty neat!

This thing's also horned out my other online outlets: I don't post to LiveJournal (where I keep up with my friends) nearly as much.  The Twitter Feed I set up for the blog (WarpstonePile) has seen more posts in the month or so since I've created it than my personal one ever has.

Anyway, thank you for reading this thing!  (The blog, not the post.)

Got My Game On


I managed to get in several games this week!

Battle Missions

Tuesday, I met up with Jeff to throw down some Battle Missions.  (My first time actually using the book.)

He was running his very cool Gue'vesa IG army: everything's converted up to be Tau-ish, from his Valkyrie converted from Devilfish, Piranha and Valk parts to his robotic Sisters of Battle built from Necron and Tau bits.  Both games were at 2,000.

I was running the same 2,000 point Khornate Daemon list I ran at Battle for the Cure.

Warp Rift

We decided to kick things off with a Chaos Daemon mission: I rolled for it and got Warp Rift.  (12" around "rift" in the center of the board.  Defender deploys anywhere 12" away from the rift.  Daemons can Deep Strike as normal, or can "walk on" the table from the rift.)

I lost, by kind of a lot.  I had trouble getting past the leafblower: something would get to one of his squads, obliterate it and then get blown away by the squad behind the freshly deadified squad.  Still, it was a neat mission, and was a fun game.  I'll definitely have to build a Warp Rift terrain piece to use for this in the future.

War of Attrition

We had time for another game before closing and we'd decided that it was only fair to play an IG mission.  Two of the missions looked... bad for us due to the nature of my army.  We weren't going to get a good game out of Bloodletters slogging a quarter of the way across the board before being blasted away by lasguns, so we settled on War of Attrition: deployment zones that put us near each other and the ability to recycle Troops choices.

I fiddled with my list a bit, as I don't consider my 2K list to be very good: split up the 16 'Letter squad into 2x8 'Letter squads and swapped out two Daemon Princes for two Soul Grinders.

Suprisingly, this game felt closer, though I still got my teeth kicked in.  It ultimately boiled down to one side of the board seeing us trade a Bloodletter squad for two infantry squads each turn (because the Bloodletters would come on close enough to assault that turn and the Guardsmen would come on close enough to rapid fire them into nothingness; rinse and repeat) and big nasty things trashing tanks and being blown away on the other side.

Again, also a lot of fun.

Conclusion

I'm definitely sold on Battle Missions.  They're fun, thematic and don't require custom army lists.

One thing that I noticed is how differently they played from the core missions despite the changes being relatively subtle.   There's a lesson here: a light touch.  There's an inclination in scenario writing to throw a lot of different things in, and I think this does a great job of showing how just a few small changes makes for a significantly different game.

I expect that my default 40K setting for the next several months (at least) will be, "Let's try some Battle Missions."

Malifaux

The next day, I met Thalaric at Game Parlor to have him walk me though how to play Malifaux.  I don't really process or understand rules until I see them in action and, frankly, Malifaux system is so different there's no way I could have grokked them without having someone sit down with me and answer a question every 30 seconds.

I was running the Witch Hunters crew I picked up at Madicon, Chris started out running the Cult of December.

The first game probably doesn't even qualify as a game.  More a matter of going through the motions.  "There's no reason to cast Flaming Bullets on Samael, but I'm going to do it because I need to understand how it works."  That sort of thing.

Second game was a bit more of the same, but it progressed much more smoothly.  Also, it became clear that Sonia Criid vs. Rasputina is not a good matchup, as the former is really pretty much designed to kick the latter in the face, hard.

Third game was more of an actual game.  Chris switched over to his Viktorias crew.  The game was surprisingly close... a very close win for me.

The game was interesting enough for me to decide to buy a few more minis for it, though my opinion of the game remains... complex.  I'd like to get in a few more games before I write up a full post about the game.

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