Thursday, September 29, 2011

Emptying the Case: Two More Marines Done.

Over a year ago I got it in my head that I wanted to try and avoid starting too many brand new projects. I have carrying cases full of partially completed models. For the longest time my Angels of Absolution carrying case was full of partially completed marines - Angels of Absolution and a handful of Black Templars. Anyway, the idea I had a year or so ago was to work on the models already started in an effort to clear out these cases. It didn't matter if the model was outdated or obsolete - just find a reason to finish it and get it done. These 2 models are part of that plan. Five years ago I cleaned up some of the early 90's marine plastics with the goal to blend them in with the new plastics by swapping parts around.

Now you wouldn't realize this, but clearing these two models out of the case actually means that I cleared several slots. I painted everything piecemeal so the torsos and legs were in separate slots, as were the arms and backpacks. Not the most efficient system by standards of time or space, but it makes keeping my lines straight a lot easier.
This model is from the 2nd Tactical Squad of the 5th Company. Up until last week I never had a "2nd" Tactical Squad for my 5th Company, but I started reorganizing my squads and felt that it was in my best interest to start one. I'll picture the whole squad next chance I get. The twigs you see sticking out of all my bases now are made from broom bristles.
This model doesn't have the same updated look that the first one has. I used old arms and the less dynamic legs creating a less dynamic model - funny how that works out. He is from the 4th Tactical Squad of the 6th Company. This is also a new squad born out of my reorganization of my squads.
This is a close up of my first attempt at tarnished metal and it came out pretty well. He will eventually have his name added to that plaque.
I've just started adding mud splatter to the legs of my infantry. I'm eventually going to do dirt on all of my models. I still haven't perfected my technique but I get better with each model,

2 more points for Nick. Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Daboyz GT primer

I played in Daboyz GT primer this last Saturday. My buddy bill and I went to Daboyz GT last year. I went undefeated the first day and then my first game day 2 was againgst Greg Sparks, the winner of the GT and member of team USA for the ETC. This year they have a better comp matrix than last year. it can be viewed here I wanted to go into the tourny with the least amount of negatives for comp and as many high armour value vehicles as possible. my blood angel list was:

Reclusiarch+ Sanguinary Priest(goes in crusader with assault squad)
10 Assault marines with thunder hammer and 2 melta guns in a Land Raider Crusader with extra armour and a multi melta
10 Assault Marines with twin lightning claws and 2 flamers in a Land Raider with extra armour and multi melta
10 tactical marines with melta gun, combi melta and lascannon in a twin lascannon razorback
Baal Predator with assault cannon and side heavy bolters
Vindicator with siege shield
predator eith autocannon and side lascannons

This list only gave me minus 10 points for have 3 dedicated transports(razorback and 2 Land Raiders)

My first battle was againgst the Aurora Chapter (never played againgst them before so i was a bit excited) his list was
biker captain with stormshield
assault termies in a land raider
3 tactical squads in rhinos
assault squad with flamers
bike squad with meltas an multi melta attack bike
predator with twin lascannon and side lascannons

We played the ear collecting mission. my opponent got the first turn and TOTALLY wiffed with everything. not even a shaken result. I then proceded to rend and destroy the land raider with my twin linked assault cannons on my crusader and shook his predator and blew off the vindicator cannon. The big turn in this game was when my assault squad with reclusiarch charged 1 biker directly away from his assault termies and tanks moved up to keep them from assaulting. this would be a 6 ear turn. my blood angels kept eating and after my opponent rolled 3 ones when his termies got shot with bolters, it was all just a formality. game was random turn length and it went 7. in my turn seven, I completed the tabling.

Game 2 (dwindling resources)againgst space wolves commanded by 13 year old primarch patrick. patrick won smoking boots last year at the GT, but keeps coming back for more and he ended up winning a tourney this spring.

His army
psyker with lightning
wolf lord in termie armour leading termie wolf guard in a land raider
lone wolf
venerable dread with assault cannon
2 units of grey hunters in rhinos
long fangs with lascannons

I got the first turn and I moved up and blew the long fangs off the board and stunned the land raider. I spent the game stunning vehicles and destroying his army piece by piece. turn 3 we both take an objective (of 5) off the board. I take the one closest to the unit of grey hunters left and he then takes off the next closest(?). I'm able to hold off the termies long enough to win 2-0.

Last game againgst a crusading marine list with modified kill points(depending on cost of unit) and table quaters (most kill point in quater takes the quater)

His list(ish)

captain equipted like shrike
assault squad
thunderfire cannon
ironclad dread
dual twin linked autocannon dread(what bill calls the A%$hole dread)
2 tactical squads
10 man scout sniper squad
10 man scout bolter squad
5 man scout with power fist squad
5 man scout squad in storm

Again an opponent that whiffed(after he stole the initiative). This mission had a rule that starting on turn 4 you pick a unit of opponents that comes back.turn 4 I got stuck picking the ironclad(when i was with 12" of board edge with most of my army). and turn 5 it was the thunderfire. he brought back my 5 man tactical combat squad and then my razorback. this was a fun mechanic and it made you really think what to destroy turns 3 - on. I had him on kill points and held 3 table quaters. one was held by a lascannon marine from the combat squad that made like 6 saves and then hid in a tree for 2 turns!

So after 3 rounds I had max points. along with someone with a perfect comp score(no minus'). but since painting was counted, my 16 points made up for the 10 point comp drop, and I came up with the win! I guess that techically makes me the number 1 seed going into the GT next month.

hopefully now that I figured out how to use this blog, I will post again soon, maybe even my sniper couts I got with my winnings.


Melta-toting Robots and more.....

Hey all, got few new picts to share.. first though, gotta give props to nick and his latest terminator... pat yerself on the back my friend, that thing is beautiful.. If only i cared enough to step up my painting... Your an inspiration nick!
Alright, back to the planet mars and Legio Crimson Mons... Got a few new robots to add to my AdMech IG army, was browsing ebay a while back and found these lovely Rouge Trader era? IG Robots and just had to buy a few for a melta-toting command squad.
self disclaimer here.. my painting is rough around the edges so to speak... so without further ado...

These guys are actually a bit big (scale-wise) but am going to be using this guy as company commander and his hat? makes him fit in a bit better with em...

and this guy will be one of his body guards..

I then got really really excited about finding more old Robots and stumbled across some Epic 40k Knight Titans and the are about the coolest models around, and scale-wise, fit perfectly with regular IG. Some minor conversions and I got another 3 melta-toting dudes for maybe a platoon command squad.

Found these guys on ebay awhile ago too, will probably be using them to man the lascannon batteries seen here

this guys has been on the shelf 90% completed for a while now, so not much was needed to get em tabletop ready.

One of these things is not like the other...

thats it for today.. get back to work people!!! ;)

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Angels of Absolution Terminator Completed!

After pulling this model out of the "in progress" case and working on him on and off for 2 weeks he's finally done!This was the remaining arm that needed to be completed. Nothing too fancy - some script and some painted scratches.This photo is to show off some of the weathering on the feet and some more painted scratches. Scratches were done with a couple of swipes of Badab Black Wash or Devlan Mud Wash on top of each other and then a Skull White highlight below it. The weathering was some stippled Snakebite Leather and Bubonic Brown, followed by some spot washing with Devlan Mud. The sticks coming out of the base are made from broom bristle.
This a WIP shot from the last update just to show the freehand Veteran symbol again.These are some of the projects on my desk right now. I don't realistically believe that I'll cruise through 2 more Terminators. I'll be lucky if I finish one more. I have a hobby article in mind though so that's where Terminators in multiple stages come in. I would like to finish that Assault Marine though. I started the squad around 1995 and am at 7 fully painted models. If I could complete the squad this year that would be stellar - even if they don't fare very will these days in game play.
Finally, completion of this model now adds 2 points to my painting tally for the year - exceeding the 18 points I earned in total last year! Wooohooo. It's all surplus from here on out! Also when I was updating my model purchases for the year I forgot to include a box of 5 Grey Knights.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Angels of Absolution Terminator WIP Pt II

I haven't been as productive as I would have hoped since last week. I've been painting along but have only successfully completed one arm. I'm working on the power fist arm right now but I won't finish it until after the sun goes down tonight at the earliest. My next day off isn't until the middle of next week so I figured I'd take a couple shots of the arm I did finish. I'm really happy with how the veteran marking came out. I labored for a while trying to figure out what to put on that shoulder pad, flipping through countless terminator pics until I settled on this option. Its very time consuming but that's just how I do things.

While I'm at it, and since its such a short post I should probably mention that I've made a couple of other model purchases this year. I also purchased a Caestus Assault Ram and 5 Maximus Pattern Armor Space Marines from Forgeworld. I've managed to keep my purchases to a minimum this year even if Forgeworld keeps tempting me with amazing offerings like the new Boarding Party Space Marines and the Contemptor Dreadnought. I'll probably just save my pennies for those and buy them at Adepticon in April. We'll see.


Thursday, September 1, 2011

Angels of Absolution Terminator WIP

I've been extremely quiet with the blog as of late. I was all hobby all the time for the first few months this year but things slowed down to a halt in May as my band was getting ready to go to Europe for a summer tour. I was gone for most of June and July and came home to Chicago to sweltering heat. We don't have central air here at the Maplewood compound so rather than drip sweat onto my models I waited it out.

Well, it happens that things cooled down enough to sit comfortably once more over the last week so I cracked out the brushes and paints and got to work on this guy:
As you can see, he's got no arms completed yet, and you might notice by the crest on the leg that he is an Assault on Black Reach plastic. I think he's coming along pretty well and looks good for a test model. The key things to note at this stage are that on his hip armor I experimented with painting in false engraved detail. This was my first time doing something like this on a model that wasn't scenery. To create the illusion of depth I merely used Bubonic Brown to put down the pattern I wanted to "engrave" and then I painted/drew Brown Ink along the center of the Bubonic Brown lines. The first time out I went for a simple pattern to see how I liked it and I was very pleased.

The other thing you'll note is the red strip along his head. I've never seen anyone else with Angels of Absolution do this (all 2 of you) but The Siege of Vraks vol III shows Angels of Absolution veteran squads having these markings. It stood to reason that the Terminator Squads would do this too as the whole 1st Company should carry the same markings. I think it helps to make him stand out as not "just another Deathwing Terminator" model too.

I should have the arms finished to post early next week.


Are We Trying to Make GW Games Something That They Aren't? Understanding Games Workshop

(written for BoLS)

There have been a flood of op-ed articles discussing tournament vs narrative play and which is superior. Unfortunately sometimes when people get into intense debates they miss the point that the truth lies somewhere in the middle.

This was inspired by a BoLS' article about the Nova Tournament the other day,EDITORIAL: Nova Open: Lights, Camera, Gripe! , which highlights some inherent flaws in how people are trying to adapt Games Workshop's games in a way they never intended, and that really reinforces many of GW's long standing policies that people have repeatedly railed against.

FAQ's and the Internet

GW used FAQ's and Errata heavily during 3rd Edition and even offered up printable sections of text to cut out and paste directly into your Codexes and Army Books. By 4th Edition they started only FAQing things sporadically and one of their stated reasons was that rapid and repeated FAQ updates resulted in conflicts because everyone was not on the same page. It made more sense to have people all running around with the same information, for better or for worse, than to have people running around with all sorts of different wording and rulings and muddling the gaming environment with additional confusion. The internet has always insisted otherwise, of course. This weekend's NOVA championship perfectly proves GW's assertion. The title bout was decided with complete disregard for a FAQ that no one read or properly interpreted if they had read it. So the question becomes, “do regular FAQ/Errata updates necessarily benefit the gaming public as much as they think they do? And do they even pay attention if they don't radically affect the player base in some way?

Games Workshop Tournaments, Painting, Composition, and Prize Support

I worked for Games Workshop from 1998-2001 our number one concern was with creating committed hobbyists. Tournaments were a way of getting hobbyists together to play, but the focus was always on playing for the joy of playing, and the best hobbyists received the biggest accolades for their achievements. The player with the best composition and painting scores ruled the day, and walking away with the best general award really didn't mean all that much. It was understood that the rules weren't designed for tournament play and there were a multitude of articles on the “Spirit of the Game” in White Dwarf to help reinforce that rolling dice was good fun but it wasn't as much about winning or losing as it was about having a good time, talking about the hobby, and showing off your hobby skills. One of the things they kept highly contained was prize support. This wasn't because they were stingy as many people believed, it was because when you provide a big prize, people become cut throat, and they no longer push their skills for the love of the hobby and a pat on the back, but instead for lust for the big prize. We've seen all of these things whittled away over time. Almost no one in the tournament circuit believes in composition scores anymore, painting has taken a backseat to generalship, and prize support is a much bigger incentive than a being known for having a great looking army and playing it well. As we deregulate the playing environment is it surprising that it has spun out of control and become dictated by the most competitive players? And does the current model for tournament play reward people for buying their way to victory by changing armies every time the metagame changes, and punish those who “work with what they have”? It seemed that the old mind set leveled the playing field by rewarding hobbyists who might not be the best players or have the shiniest new toys, but who have come to make the most of their chosen army and models through years of painting and playing their beloved army.

Are We Really Video Streaming Tournament Games Now?

I'm not sure when miniature wargaming became Wimbeldon, but as was pointed out in Brent's article, Warhammer is an imperfect game and is based upon social interaction. In its current incarnation, it is not a closed system with clearly defined boundaries, simple rules, and a judge overseeing each play and making the call as to whether it is legal or not legal. We're still operating under the idea that wargaming is more of a open “gentleman's agreement” because there are so many variables that affect game play. Do we want it to continue along this path in an attempt to sterilize and hone game play? Or should people who seek that sort of game play find a new hobby instead of trying to force Games Workshop's games into a mold that it does not seem to fit?

Can Games Workshop Meet Everyone's Gaming Demands?

Games Workshop has always been a model company first, and the games were designed to put existing model collections to use and encourage people to buy even more models. On the internet there are thousands of voices all telling GW what to do. Games Workshop keep churning out army books, codexes, and expansions that sell more models. Warhammer Fantasy has been trying to overwhelm and entice us with “Wow!” inducing models, and 40K is coming up on its next revision that could very well try to do the same with true “flyers”. When codex creep is evident, like with Blood Angels and Grey Knights, everyone screams, “FOUL!” When Sisters of Battle or Tyranids are clearly tempered and don't get the same creep, everyone screams “FOUL!” Which voices are they supposed to listen to? Everyone says that balance is the key, but there are too many variables to balance fully and when Jervis tried to balance the system by minimizing wargear and stripping the armies down to their component parts, everyone cried “BORING!” It seems to me that maybe the customer base isn't this all knowing entity people believe it to be, because every time they try to appease the great customer beast it only gets more enraged. Maybe the customer base is trying to make miniature wargaming too many things that it is not?

Square Peg – Round Hole?

The question isn't “are tournaments bad or good?” or is “narrative play superior to tournament play?” because I find both fun, and I don't see why I should have to choose or why the two can't be combined. I know I like both because I love playing games. Though the game was designed with a winner and a loser, it was designed with so much flexibility that there are countless areas for exploration, as well as for confusion and exploitation. I think how much fun you have with it comes from accepting the game for what it is, instead of forcing it to be something it is not. Maybe we'd all get more out of it if we kept that in mind?

Personally, I love tournaments with creative scenarios and unique constraints. The most fun I've had at a tournament in the last 5 years was at a Cities of Death tournament where it felt like game play was turned on its head and top armies were usurped by 3rd tier ones. Do the current competitive tournaments add anything to the hobby? Should Games Workshop focus on appealing entirely to competitive gamers? Is the exodus to other systems necessarily a reaction of disillusionment with Games Workshop's products and philosophy or is it that the customer base has gotten so large and disparate that they are actually disillusioned with each other and are fleeing to systems that are filled with more like minded players or hobbyists? Are you getting the most satisfaction you can from the hobby and what is the secret of your success?