Thursday, January 28, 2010

Painting Progress - 20100128

I find it interesting: the inverse relationship between how interesting this blog is vs. how much painting I'm doing, particularly given that the point of this blog was to be a place for me to post pictures of painted minis.

Of course, it doesn't help that I haven't been posting many pictures lately: I keep telling myself, "I'll take some pictures, when I'm done painting X," and, by the time I think about it again, I've finished X and started Y... and it becomes, "I'll take some pictures when I'm done painting Y."

Anyway, as predicted, the schedule slipped a bit this past week, though it it didn't slip nearly as much as I though it would... mostly because I finished converting the Bloodcrushers (which was supposed to be done Wednesday) and ended up making extremely good progress on the Flesh Hounds while in a Battlestar Galactica-induced fugue state on Sunday.  I have no excuse not to wrap up the last four Flesh Hounds tonight, which puts me just about a day behind where I thought I'd be.

With the Flesh Hounds done, I'm in the home stretch.  All I have left are Big Models.  No more batches of infantry: just big honkin' models.

  • 4 Bloodcrushers
  • Karanak (Avatars of War Netherhound)
  • 2 Bloodthirsters
  • 2 Soul Grinders
That's 9 models.  1 month.  Either this will go much, much faster than I anticipate, or it's going to be drawn-out slog.

I'm shaking up my schedule a bit; I'd originally planned to paint things in the order I've listed above... but I feel like knocking out the Soul Grinders first, for some reason.  I'm hoping I can blow through them in significantly less than the two weeks I've allotted for them.

I'll take some pictures when I'm done with my Flesh Hounds. :)

Monday, January 25, 2010

Rapid Fire 2010 Results

The Second Annual Rapid Fire tournament went down on Saturday at Game Vault.

Turnout was shockingly low.  We'd had nearly 20 people signed up for it and had 6 at the start of the tournament (with 2 more showing up through the day).  Some folks gave a heads-up (which is fine), but many didn't (which is less so).  You always expect a little of that (because life happens), but the scale (> 50% of signups) of it was pretty disheartening.

Regardless, it really seemed like everyone who showed up had a good time, which means the event was a success.

Results were:
Most Battle Points: John S (Space Wolves)
Best Army: Doug McN (World Eaters)
Longest Streak: (tie) Jay P (Space Marines), Matt M (Orks)

Because we had so few people, Matt H and I played a number of ringer games to ensure that 1) everyone who'd signed up was playing and 2) that people got to play different people.  This unfortunately undercut the point of the format a bit, but nobody seemed to mind.  The person "on deck" would have had to have waited around a very unreasonable amount of time.  (To offset this, we decided that losses to the ringers wouldn't break winning streaks, but it never came up.)

That meant I finally got to use the ringer list I built for last year's Rapid Fire:
Tau Empire
  • Ethereal
  • Fire Warrior Honor Guard x12
  • Crisis Suit x1 - Flamer, Fusion Blaster, Multi-tracker
  • Fire Warrior Team x12
  • Kroot Carnivore Squad x20
It put up a better fight than I thought it would.

I was very excited and interested to see how the opposing scenarios would work out.

In short (because it's detailed in the RF post), each player rolls for scenario.  Each player works towards their scenario and tries to prevent their opponent from succeeding in their scenario.  So, Player 1 could roll Seize Ground and Player 2 could roll Annihilation: Player 1 would try to hold the objectives and lose fewer KP/VP than Player 2, while Player 2 tries to kill more KP/VP than Player 1 while trying to deny them objectives.

Frustratingly, in the vast majority of games, both players rolled the same scenario.  So, there weren't many cases of opposing scenarios... certainly not enough for me to get a feel for how good/bad an idea it is.

Similarly, the change to Annihilation (VP on a per-model basis vs. KP on a per-unit basis) didn't come up often enough for me to get a feel for it.  I'm quite sure that it's wildly impractical in a larger game, but at 500 points, it didn't seem very hard to work out at all.  It also has some odd impacts on rules, like Combat Squadding or blobbing IG squads together, but I'm not sure that's a big deal in the small, small points levels.

Despite the turnout, I had a good time and it looked like everyone else did.  It's always a treat to get down to Game Vault, which is simply a great store.  (I wish it were closer to Manassas.)  We'll be doing it again in 2011 (though likely with preregistration).

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

In case you were wondering?

Yes, please.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Rapid Fire This Weekend!

A reminder that Rapid Fire is this Saturday at the most excellent Game Vault in Fredericksburg, VA.

If you're in the area, you should come!  It'll be fun!

Painting Progress - 20100118

Busy weekend, but I did manage to keep to the schedule... by applying varnish to my last four Bloodletters before climbing into bed last night.

So, I'm done with Bloodletters!  (Well, until I get to the Bloodcrushers, but that's different.)  I'll have to get some pics of all of them up in the next day or two.

This upcoming week's looking a little packed, though, which means I'm going to be hard-pressed to get through half of the Flesh Hounds I need to have done by Sunday, much less all of them to be on schedule.  Best to make peace with that fact now than be frustrated Sunday night.  There's room for slippage in the schedule, though.

Should be getting in my first game of the year this afternoon.  It'll be, effectively, my first game against the new Imperial Guard (remember, I spent most of 2009 fooling about with War of the Ring and Warhammer Fantasy), and it'll be against Jeff L. who is, to understate, a very strong player.  Although I might as well log the game as a loss now, it should still be a good game.

This past Saturday was the IFL's first Swap Meet of the year, and I think I did quite well: managed to sell off the heaps of 5th Ed. Clanrats, my excess Sniper Drones, as well as some gaming books.  Left with a Chaos Lord on Juggernaut (which will eventually pull a Herald of Khorne's chariot) as well as with a box of Cygnar Stormblades, as well as a couple of neat minis and useful bits.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Opinions Wanted!

(Sooner, rather than later, since I'm likely to actually take whatever route tonight.)

I'm trying to figure out how I should designate my third octet of Bloodletters.

My first octet is unmarked: no blood splatters.

My second octet has a bloody left hands.

The question is: where do I place the third octet's blood splatters?

  • I could play it safe, and make their right hands bloody.
  • I could be somewhat more exciting and make their faces bloody... but I'm not quite sure how bloody.
  • Some third option?

Monday, January 11, 2010

Hobby Status

So, I've been planning to use the Lone Pilgrim Points tracker to track my painting progress in 2010.  It might not be perfect, but an imperfect system is better than no system at all.

I'll be tracking this progress in a Google Docs spreadsheet here: 2010 Hobby Status.

(I'm moving the link to the sidebar, as well.)

Because I professionally fetishize large heaps of data, I'm planning to try to expand the data I track: games I play and how much my collection grows and shrinks (stealing the idea from Jay).  Those sections are a dead and nonexistent (respectively) at the moment, but that's because I'm putting off playing and buying stuff until I'm more or less done with the Daemons.

Let me know what y'all think!

Painting Progress - 20100111

So far, I'm pretty much on-schedule.  Maybe a hair behind, maybe a hair ahead... it's difficult to gauge beyond that I'm close.

Over the weekend, I:
  • Wrapped up 6 Flesh Hounds.
  • Wrapped up 1 Bloodletter (because, for some bizarre reason, I decided to do a how-to on my paint scheme).  I needed the extra one, but probably should have done a whole batch of them and just took pictures of that one along the way.
  • Basecoated a number of models: 9 Bloodletters and 8 Flesh Hounds.
  • Made good progress on 5 Bloodletters.  I'm at the highlighting stage.
  • Figured out how to convert the Bloodcrusher Icon and Musician.  Began that work.
  • Finally attached Karanak to his base.

The last two deserve some elaboration, I think:
  • I went a-Googling and came across some conversions; unfortunately, I'm having trouble relocating them to post here.  In them, the modeler had the Bloodletters sitting back, instead of hunching forward.  That hadn't occurred to me.  So, I've started the conversions: basically using the plastic Bloodletter torso glued and greenstuffed to the metal Bloodcrusher Bloodletter legs.  The heads on these will probably be plastic, and the Hellblade arms will probably be metal.  When I'm done with them, I'll post pictures, of course.

  • Because I'm not using the metal Flesh Hound models (though, more recently, I've started to take more of a shine to them), I can't really use the Karanak model.  Instead, I'm using the Avatars of War Netherhound.  The model is not without some issues.  I finally just wrapped some rubber bands around my needlenose pliers and, to the best of my ability, straightened out his legs.  I wasn't able to quite get one of the rear legs where it needed to be, so I cut some plasticard in the shape of one of the stones in the textured plasticard I'm using on my bases (two sheets' thickness) to raise it up a bit.  I don't think it'll be noticeable when the base is painted.

In terms of the schedule:

I do a lot of thinking about the schedule: mostly because I'm 1) excited about the project and 2) at work a lot, and unable to work on the project. :)

I have three weeks left in January, four in February, and one week in March if I'm going to have things ready in time for Madicon (my goal).  In a perfect world, I'm totally done before March hits, but we'll see.

I'm setting aside all of February for the big models: the two Bloodthirsters and two Soul Grinders.  Now, I'm hoping it doesn't take me nearly that much time... but I'd rather be safe than sorry.  That means that, in three remaining weeks of January, I have to:
  • Paint 8 Bloodletters (2 batches of 4)
  • Paint 8 Flesh Hounds (2 batches of 5 and 4)
  • Finish converting/assembling and then paint 4 Bloodcrushers
  • Paint Karanak
Which is a bit optimistic.  I expect these will push my month of big models back a week, which is okay.  (One week is okay; two weeks isn't.)  Plus, again, I'm holding out hope that I can do more than one big model a week.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Bloodless Bloodletter Painting How-To

"Tutorial" is a bit strong, so let's keep it at "How-To." This thing is really for my own reference than anything else.  Y'all just get to watch the sausage (BLOOD SAUSAGE) be made.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Painting Progress - 20100107

Progress over New Year's was slower than I'd originally hoped: I'm going to go ahead and blame the Steam Holiday Sale.  Well, work and the Steam Holiday Sale.

What I hoped to have done Sunday didn't really get finished until last night, plus actually doing the icon slowed things up just a hair.

Since last post:
  • I've squad-marked three of the already painted Bloodletters (each batch of 8 will have some distinguishing splatter of blood, even though I've been running a group of 16 and a group of 8, just in case I change my mind)
  • I've painted five more Bloodletters (rounding out the second octet).*
  • Done the first few stages of six Flesh Hounds.** They're ready for the second wash, highlighting, and brass.
I've also realized that I have 3 octets and 3 models with Fury of Khorne (with the big ol' Khornination symbol on the forehead)... but I'll only be running two squads.  That means I'll need to paint up an extra Bloodletter, putting total needed at 25, not 24.

That puts me at:

If I'm lucky, I'll spend a little time today researching how other people have handled the Bloodcrusher conversion issue.

* This is actually a small lie: I still need to highlight the skulls on the icon with white and then wash them with Devlan Mud before varnishing all five.  It's close enough, though.

** Why six?  Because I already have one done.  I'd primed seven, but dropped one and its damn horn popped off and shot... I have no idea where.  Not just a little frustrating.

Monday, January 4, 2010

2009 -> 2010


In general, 2009 went by far, far too quickly.

I found a set of gaming resolutions I'd written up back in December, 2008:
  • Finish! Finish my Skaven army.  Work on a few Dark Angels.  Return to painting Tau.
  • Paint! Get 2500 points worth of Tyranids painted.
  • Compete!  I'm doing the Baltimore Grand Tournament again this year.  I'll shoot to win three of my games there, instead of the two in 2008.
  • Finish! - HAHAHAHAHAHA.  Not even close
  • Paint! - I abandoned the Tyranid army midyear.  Lost interest, and sold off the minis.
  • Compete! - Again, not even close.  I did two tournaments this year, total: the Fantasy Escalation League early in the year and Dragon Wars.  That's it.  Not getting to the Baltimore GT isn't really my fault, though.
I started out the year playing Fantasy with Skaven.  Slid into War of the Ring with Fallen Realms for a few months then back home to 40K with Chaos Daemons.  Finally, back to Fantasy with the new Skaven book.

Did a lot of painting: Skaven, Harad, Skaven... but never got anything really completed.  That's a shame.

Some notable accomplishments:
  • I was a Golden Daemon Finalist at Baltimore Games Day 2008, with my Deathwing Techmarine.  I'm quite proud of that.
  • I started up this blog.  First post was April 1.  Since then, I've done something like 85 posts, and have some number of readers (19 followers, 23 in Google Reader: not sure what the overlap is).  This has given me a lot of motivation to paint, which is never a bad thing.

You know, last year's goals (in general) are pretty solid.  Let's stick with them!
  • Finish! Finish stuff.  I need to try to close the door on a project before opening the door to a new one.  Let's start this off by finishing off my Khornate Daemons.
  • Paint! Yep, pretty much.  I need to set more tangible goals and work towards them.  Since Bill posted about them, I'm going to check out the Lone Pilgrim points scheme.
  • Compete!  Do some tournaments.  Organize and participate in.  I had a lot more fun a-tournamenting with 40K in 2008 than I did meandering from game to game in 2009.

On a related note: somewhat unexpectedly (the voting made it clear aways out, but I found the votes unexpected), I was elected to the Iron Fist League council for 2010 as one of the two members representing Game Parlor Chantilly.

This is really just further motivation to get out and be more involved with tournaments: locally and regionally.

Video vs. Writing

More and more, I see people turning to video battle reports and reviews.  Bell of Lost Souls has done them for nearly half a year, now, and Jay's gotten really spun up on them.

I gotta say (and, because this is the most appropriate place for saying it, Imma say it here): I don't like 'em.

I mean, I'm not ideologically opposed to them.  I don't think they should be purged with cleansing fire, or anything.

I just can't do anything with them.

Video requires a wholeness of attention and an investment of time that's much greater than written word.  I can quietly scope out a battle report like Salvage's most recent one in a moment or two and, if so inclined, read through it in a few minutes.  Watching a video battle report requires 5-10 minutes, of undivided attention.  And requires audio (which always makes killing a few minutes of work difficult).

I don't think I get any more from video reports than written ones, and it's certainly a lot harder to get anything from them.

Now, I fully admit that I don't have much of a leg to stand on here: it's not like I write much in the way of battle reports (not much there, and what I do have is more "musing" than "report").   But, still.

What do y'all think?

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