Sunday, February 27, 2011

The Other Half...

Continuing on from Monday, game 2 was a Dawn Attack match-up against another Chaos Warrior army played by one of the newer regulars at the club. I played him in his first fantasy game and thought it might be time for a rematch. His army consisted of two massive blocks, some knights, and a ton of characters. And I do mean massive blocks. Forty Khorne Marauders in a horde, with great weapons, is definitely something I’ve seen before, but his other block was 40 Tzeentch Warriors with halberds. It’s very hard and very killy, especially once he dropped his lord and battle standard in there.

I didn’t have anything to deal with it directly, but we were playing with four swamps on the board, so I thought I might be able to restrict and direct his movement with my smaller, more numerous units. It worked for the most part, splitting the board into two individual games on either flank. On my left side, there was a single mass combat between his marauders and my knights and dual wielding warriors. I was able to feed his Exalted Hero in the unit a pair of champions, while mine worked over his Sorcerer and Sorcerer Lord. I took a lot of casualties to the great weapons, but I was doing so many attacks that focused on the softer Marauders, they failed their third break test and ran from my remaining two warriors.

On the right side, I made some mistakes that really could have cost me. Initially, I did a good job of bringing him to me over the swamps. I fed him Scyla the spawn at one edge, then the warshrine on the other. I think, over the course of two or three dangerous terrain checks, he lost about a quarter of his big unit and took a wound on his Lord. Unfortunately, I overestimated the odds of the warshrine holding and took a charge in the back of my halberd unit. On the plus side, this opened up a counter charge by the Daemon Prince which really helped even the odds. My Lord challenged his, each doing two wounds, but with the crucial terrain wound, his went down. My warriors each had four attacks thanks to a blessing from the Eye of the Gods and frenzy, and I was able to put out more damage than he could soak up. In subsequent rounds, my Lord took out his battle standard in a challenge, and my guys did just enough damage to take him to just a front rank so he wouldn’t be steadfast. He failed both leadership checks, and that was that.

So all in all, two really fun games. I didn’t have more than a handful of models left on the table after either, but I squeezed it out.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Hobby Update

After a rough January, it seems my hobby mojo is back. It’s been a couple weeks since the last hobby update, and if I’m not mistaken, every one of my goals has been accomplished. I talked about acquiring A Game of Thrones previously, but that leaves the Daemon Prince, which is a pretty big model, and quartering the remaining Raptors, which meant doing everything twice.

The Raptors did turn out really well though. Because of the highly detailed nature of the upper bodies, the only part that was difficult to get a straight line of color on was the groin. It was encouraging not to have to go back over and over to try and get it right. While I do think the gold is prominent, I don’t think it goes so far over the top on the regular troopers that people will get confused when they look at them next to the rest of the army. The Aspiring Champion is very different, but that was a conscious choice. He bears enough of the common motifs that run through the army.

I really dig how the brown laurels came out on this marine.

It was incredibly simple, just a basecoat, wash, and a couple highlights. However, it emphasizes something I want to start doing to turn my army from tabletop force to special. I feel like adding little details like this one will do a lot. It is one aspect I began implementing with the Raptors, and plan on doing retroactively with the models I have. I want each unit to be unique, but have common features that tie the army together, so I sat down and put together a plan for details, like legion marking on the left, squad marking on the right, and a warhost marking on a knee cap. Beyond that, one squad will get dead laurels, another books, another censers, etc… I think with a fresh set of paint, it’ll look really sharp.

The Daemon Prince is a little different story. I love the model. I’m even planning a post on it once I finish his counterpart. But it was hard to take him too seriously. He’s a model for a secondary army. He’s not a choice that I’d take too often if I had the option. He’s got a lot of skin, which isn’t going to be a natural color. So he probably ended up right around tabletop ready.

It’s sad, but not unexpected when you realize this was my inspiration.

Still, I think he looks pretty solid with the steroid body and beady eyes.

Hobby Accomplishments

- Finished all previous hobby goals!

- Played multiple games!

- Primed the drop pods

- Bought a Land Raider Redeemer, the final piece of the Blood Wing

Hobby Goals

- Get at least one coat of red on each drop pod

- Fully finish the first pod

- Find out where the heck my land raider doors are

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Gaming Update

With Monday off, the weekend was breaking just right to get in some gaming. It did not disappoint.

Game one, on Saturday, was against a club regular. I don’t play nearly enough to say I have regular opponents, but we’ve played a number of times and always have good games.

We played the watchtower scenario with my Khorne Warriors pitted against his Skaven. I run two blocks of 20 Warriors, 2 units of knights, a warshrine, a Daemon Prince and some other things. It’s less optimal than I would like, and the local metagame seems to be pushing higher up the competitive scale.

For example, I was asked what I think about the Prince, and my snap response was, “It’s a really nice model.” Toughness 5, a 5+ ward save, and no real options to make him more survivable means he goes down to any concentrated effort. He’s stubborn but only on leadership 8, and since he can’t keep up with rank bonuses and banners, he’s really only good as a war machine hunter or as a supplement to some other combat unit. At around 350-400 points, he costs way too much on his own, especially for those roles, but he also squeezes the points available for a Chaos Lord, which I need to take for his leadership 9 on frenzy checks. I ought to take a big block of Marauders over the second unit of knights, and I want to throw in a wizard and maybe Ogres instead of the Prince, but currently I have the models for neither. I desperately need the magic defense, with a +0 on dispels currently, and I would love to have some range. Considering how sparingly I play though, what I have is viable enough to finish painting all my other stuff before I set about expanding.

The game turned out to be epic. My opponent garrisoned the watchtower with 20 Stormvermin. I promptly sent my Warriors with Halberds into it, toting my Chaos Lord. It took two turns, but it was over quickly, and pretty brutal. It was at this point that I started feeling pretty good about myself. Then I failed to charge his warp lightning cannon with my Prince, which left him staring down a Doomwheel. Then my dual axe wielding Warrior block with my Battle Standard charged his big block of Plague Monks with a Plague Furnace, whiffed on their attacks, and were promptly run down.

He charged my guys in the watchtower on turn 3 with his Abomination, but my knights had run it down far enough that what was left of my unit killed it in one go before it could attack. It, of course, promptly returned to life. The top of turn 4 saw me with only five guys left in the watchtower and three warhounds running around the table. His bombardment on the bottom of 4 was less than accurate, but still accounted for everyone but the Chaos Lord and the dogs. With only one model of consequence left on the table, I rolled for the end of the game and turned up a six that I desperately needed. You’ve gotta love shady club dice at crucial moments.

To be continued...

Sunday, February 20, 2011

New Camera Test

A box arrived the interwebs bearing a new camera. I snapped a few quick pictures without a whole lot of lighting or setting up, and I was still happy with the results:

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


Despite a setback (no gaming at the FLGS), this weekend turned out to be incredibly enjoyable for my dorky inner self.

It started off with my acquisition of the A Game of Thrones board game. Maybe that wouldn’t be too exciting for some people, but I loved the books and can’t wait for the HBO series. I bought a copy of the game for my brother-in-law and the game play was great. It really straddled the line between military game and political bargaining game, and that yielded a flavor similar to what I would imagine from the books.

And then it went out of print. I’ve been checking Ebay intermittently since then, but there has never been more than one or two copies available, and they have always been driven up to a premium price plus shipping. That got frustrating pretty quickly. So I took a shot and posted a message in a local forum. I got a line on someone with a copy of the game and ended up acquiring it at a discount. So hurray for me.

I also played my first game of Pathfinder on Sunday. Character creation was a lot of fun. I wanted to play something far from an archetype, and I wanted it to be ridiculous, so I went for a Half-orc former pimp using the Inquisitor class. He has a fur coat, a high charisma, and +11 on intimidate checks. In-game he acts as a bit of a jack-of-all-trades, but there was one moment that really got me excited.

One of my favorite podcast hosts talks about the “wow” moment in gaming, and mine happened in an encounter with a bunch of skeletons. We were pretty much on our last legs, due to our GM rolling some ridiculous to hit rolls. Our barbarian and usual tank was on his last hit point and locked in a cell, though he had succeeded in bashing two of the enemy. Our rogue was dragging our Halfling to safety, and my orc was standing in the doorway covering the retreat. The last skeleton came after me, hit me twice, and took me all the way down to zero hit points. Everyone thought our doom was assured, but I used my Orc special ability to play one more turn before collapsing. I connected on my to hit roll, and did just enough damage to waste the skeleton, and since I had pronounced the judgement of healing, I got one hit point back. Needless to say, I did my funky end zone celebration dance.

Finally, I even managed to fit in some of my more typical hobby activities. I put the finishing touches on the last two Raptors. After that, I did custom shoulder pads for the whole unit. I think they look great, and I am planning on fielding them next game, regardless of how less than optimal they are. I’ll post pictures with the next hobby update.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Hobby Update

The last couple of weeks have been interesting to say the least. A freak accident left me with a bad back, so while I was home from work, my models seemed to taunt me and my inability to paint for longer than fifteen minutes at a time. Still, like water over a rock, my squad of Raptors slowly comes together. Since last posting, I finished the first two of the regular troopers for the squad, while the other two are coming together.

This is routine for me if I’m trying anything new. I’ve decided to try and step up my game in terms of painting, so I’m experimenting with my process for crimson. The deep hue is what drew me to the Word Bearers initially, but the technique I used to get stuff on the table left some very drab colors. Now I’m starting with Mechrite Red over a black basecoat before I start in on a Scab Red/Red Gore mix, then Red Gore, a highlight, a wash, and it turns out a lot better.

A trip to the store on Saturday yielded two things. First, a minor curb stomping by one of the nicer guys I play with. I was surprised at how much my game has dropped off after the hiatus. I never really understood how that happens, being for the most part a mental game, but I made enough mistakes to become a believer. It doesn’t hurt that I failed a couple key leadership checks, as well as rolling well to hit, then absolutely abysmally to wound. It was a fun game, and I had some good insights and discussion after.

The second thing was a healthy dose of motivation to think outside the box. The armies at the game store are a mix of painted, primed, and gray plastic. I’m usually a painted guy, though while in the process of expanding my Khorne army, I have some unpainted stuff I game with. Saturday, I met a new player. The guy had some amazing freehand work on his Eldar grav tanks, and now I feel the need to outdo him, or more likely, incrementally step my own game up a little closer to that level. Call it type-A competitiveness, but the beautiful work has me thinking of ways to crank the awesome to ten, and then go up one more. Of course, the issue is finding the time, the money, and the skill to pull it off.

Hobby Progress

Played a game. Need to play more games to regain my form.

Finished the third Drop Pod. This one didn’t come together as easily.

Finished two raptors, multiple coats on two more.

Primed my Chaos Warriors.

Hobby Goals

Finish the Raptors

Paint the Daemon Prince of Khorne

Finish my acquisition of the A Game of Thrones board game