Monday, May 28, 2012

Upcoming 6th Edition Feelings and Some Painted Stuff

Its been a while since I've thrown down an op ed column and honestly, there is a lot I've had on my mind lately. The hobby and gaming world is upside down at the moment and its a pretty exciting time. Today I'm going to focus on the coming 6th Edition 40K, and I apologize for jumping around a lot, but bear with me.

Some people are all up in arms about the rumored changes and scream like the sky is falling. I've been playing Dark Angels since 2nd Edition and this will be my 5th changing of editions and all of their successes and failures. In the early 2000's I lived through the "Intractable" rule for Dark Angels. It was 3rd Edition and sometimes we'd decide that the enemy was too close and we'd refuse to advance, regardless of what the objective of the mission was. I still played 40K and I still played my Dark Angels, never cried or "counts as"'ed them. It was just what I had to deal with as a Dark Angels player even if it could be frustrating at times. Its kind of like real life. I have a bad knee and I play in a punk band where I jump around a lot. Sometimes I land funny and my knee hinges a way it shouldn't and I drop like a sack of potatoes. I get up, have a painful couple of days, and then have to take it easy for the next few weeks. Its frustrating, but its just something I have to deal with. Playing 3rd Edition Dark Angels sort of felt like that and I didn't mind too much. Sometimes I'd get a bad break and things didn't go my way. One of the big worries about the next edition is the rumor of "more randomness" like that and universally people seem to be arguing how it ruins the game for everyone whether they are tournament or campaign players. I disagree. Let me share a memory with you...

Tom Smith* and I were playing a game against John Burke** in John's basement. I don't really remember the mission but John was playing Chaos Marines, and Tom was playing his Sons of Midnight Space Marines. Tom and I needed to get to an objective in John's deployment area. It was the last couple turns of the game. Tom's remaining squads were way too far away to be of assistance and I was the only hope. We measured to see if I had to make a check so I could advance and I was unfortunately too close to the enemy. I promptly failed my Intractable roll and couldn't advance. Why would the Imperium's 1st Legion feel it would be better to stand back and pour fire into the enemy rather than advance on the objective? I cursed the dice and the Emperor - but not too loudly, that would be Heresy - but that was my fate. Maybe they had bad intel, or maybe a commander other than myself gave them orders I could not override. Ultimately, they did not do what I wanted them to do and I had to accept that.

It's over 10 years later and I still remember that moment. Tournament players often spend a lot of their army list building time finding ways to limit randomness. I don't necessarily seek it out, but I am the guy who went on a 6 month or so long Ork kick where playing with two Weirdboy Warpheads for my HQ's seemed like great fun. When I lost, I lost big and when I won, I won big. Sometimes those random elements are the things we remember long after the battle has been fought. It can be too much for sure. Back in 2nd Edition I remember seeing entire Imperial Guard armies wiped out before the 1st turn due to a Virus Outbreak card being played and that sort of sucked, but things like that sometimes made for strong memories. I remember when I worked for GW during the end of 2nd Edition and I attended the Staff Tournament outside Toronto, and this guy deployed his entire army in a building. Buildings then were a bit more dangerous, and on the first turn his opponent shot at and destroyed the building killing his entire army in one go. His last name happened to be Murphy so they coined it the Murphy's Luck award and began giving people a prize for their atrocious luck at every tournament thereafter. It wasn't even my game but it went down in the history books anyway. Few things in 4th or 5th Edition 40K (for better or for worse) conjured those sorts of memories except playing my Orks. Getting lucky and having my Weirdboy teleport onto an objective on the last turn of a game is awesome fun - a shot in the dark surprise win. Some would say it doesn't take any skill but you have to constantly adapt to changing circumstances when you have Warphead's in play - its a skill in itself. Then again, I was always a fan of the early version of the Patrol mission when almost your entire army came on as reserves whether you liked it or not. A lot of people hated it but not me. It sometimes gave me the edge I needed when playing the armies that gave me a really hard time. Other times I came in so piecemeal that I got cut to shreds. So be it I say. Those are the breaks.

Tangent time... Did anyone watch Game of Thrones last night? Between the traps laid, the backstabbing, the secret tunnel used for the surprise flank attack, and everything else that went on, the only thing that could be counted on during last night's battle was unpredictability! And in my mind that's kind of cool and sort of how I see things on the wargaming table.

Back to my Dark Angels though. A few years into their 3rd Edition Codex they released a replacement Codex and FAQed 'Intractable' to make it more playable. I was fine with the change. It was never a good rule, it was just something I had to deal with. Then a few years after that they got a whole new book. Then that got FAQed when the newer Space Marine book made some of the wargear rules obsolete. In all likelihood the Dark Angels will get revisited again in the not too distant future and they might get their moment in the sun. Everything is always in flux in the worlds of Games Workshop's games, and if people aren't stoked on the changes to the game or to their favorite army - give it time, because every 4 years or so you're going to see everything turned on its head again, so you might as well get used to it.

Okay, enough about that. Let's look at some of the things I've painted in the last week.
This is the legs and torso of a 2nd Edition plastic Space Marine with a current grenade throwing arm and a bolt pistol arm with a bolter replacing the bolt pistol. The only conversions are heavy rivets added to the knee armor. The base is decorated with painted sand, slate, and static grass.
The shoulder pads and backpack are also 2nd Edition.  I decided to try my hand at adding some battle damage so I drilled and scraped two rents in the armor. They were painted Adeptus Battlegrey and then  washed with subsequent layers of Badab Black and Devlan Mud. Nothing too fancy but it came out pretty well.
Here is one of two craters I finished this week. I had basecoated these almost a decade ago and then left them to collect dust. I never have enough craters for all the vehicle casualties I sustain and I got tired of these taking up valuable space in my terrain pantry sitting unpainted so I finished them up and put them in the display case. Yeah, I said two and there is only one pictured. I was too lazy to pull out and photograph the other one. Its just another crater.
Here's what's on the paint table at the moment. The robed figure will be the Veteran Sergeant for the 2nd Tactical Squad. He's actually the 1st model I have ever magnetized. The Power Fist is glued in place, but I am thinking ahead to the next edition and I figure they'll get more options than bolters and bolt pistols so I magnetized the right arm. I also placed around a dozen heads on the body and narrowed it down to 3, one of which is the head on the model next to the Sergeant. I may just pop that partially painted head off, finish it up, and glue it to the sergeant. We'll see. Finally, that jump pack in the top left is the last bit needed to complete another Assault Marine. I really need to get that done so I can get that Assault Marine in the display case.

Well that's it for today. Thanks for reading!!

End Notes:
*Tom Smith - Buffalo, NY gamer. Left the GW hobby around the early 2000's. He played Space Wolves and also developed his own Chapter of Astartes called the Sons of Midnight. He was a fantastic hobbyist and I mourned the day I heard he gave up on the hobby.

**John Burke - Buffalo, NY gamer and maniacal collector. He could have walked right into an Apocalypse game and thrown down 10,000 points including a Gargant in 2000 if Apocalypse existed back then. I recall he moved further east for his job and I don't know if he's still involved in the hobby at all.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Adepticon Constructs Part II, plus...

Hey there, so just finished up my other to Adepticon Constructs, aka AdMech Scout Sentinel's. Here is the newest group shot.
Did a couple more mini conversions... ended up buying IG Sentinel weapon bits, 3x of each available ;) added the missile launchers to the exhaust stack. All the weapons are magnetized and swap out easily.
Also, recently painted up a new Leman Russ, 'Vengeance Divinity'
originally painted some battle damage on this guy, but wasn't really feeling it afterwards, so scrapped the bit of code ;) and went for the shiny, right out the STC floor model look, think these guys just take too much pride in the maintenance of their vehicles. Thats it for today. I haven't anything lined up next and it sucks.. Going to be going through some life changes soon, which involve trying to find a smaller camp trailer to live in.. which means i really need to figure out what the hell to do with all my models. cause along with downsizing, i will be moving back to the midwest for a while and most likely living in the woods for a bit... I might be doing some ebay items too... will post if and when i do. Cheers, Brose

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Wreck-Age Mutt

I have no idea what the official name of the Wreck-Age dogs is going to be, they haven't announced these miniatures on their website yet. I do know that this model was sculpted by the same sculptor who sculpted the Pack Boar I presented a few weeks ago. You can order that model from their online store now.

In all honesty, as cool as the idea of Pack Boars is, I liked painting this sculpt way more. Maybe its because I love dogs and have two of my own but I felt like the paws were excellent for the scale and the proportioning of the body and the fur texture were exactly what I'd hope for and expect. This model was a joy to paint.
The actual mold is of a set of 3 models so I have two more to paint but I was really excited with how this silly little model turned out so I wanted to get some pics of it and post them around. I have a couple of other Wreck-Age models on deck so I'm sure you'll see some more of their range on 2ndCityWarzone soon.


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Spring Cleaning Part II - Some Painted Ebay Listings

A week or so ago I started the process of "cleaning house". I'm out of work and money is tight and I have models laying around that I will never get around to painting or that I painted at some point, but I know full well will never be fleshed out into a functional army any time in the foreseeable future. So the cannibalization of my collection has begun.

So far I've sold off a fair number of out of print items but every time I go into the closet I seem to find more stuff that I am willing to part ways with. This means that if you check at what I have up now, its worth while to check back regularly to see what's different. I'm going to keep putting stuff up until I no longer have to and that could take a while.

I have a few fully painted items up right now that I'd like to liquidate. It seems like fully painted armies and individual characters net the best results and instead I'm putting up solitary units. What can you do? I need to liquidate what's not being used.

First up is a very colorful group of Crypt Ghouls, or as they were known in 1994 when I first started collecting Undead - Ghouls. I credit this unit with teaching me how to paint. Skeletons were where I learned dry brushing but they didn't teach me highlighting. As I dry brushed the earliest Ghouls I learned the basics of where the highlights are supposed to go and as time went on I went from the dirty dusty look of dry brushing to experimenting with painting on the layers for smoother tones. When I moved on to 40K the groundwork was then in place for me to be able to look at how Space Marines were highlighted and try and emulate that style. Anyway, back to these Ghouls. In 1994 I thought Ghouls were one of the coolest things in the Undead army even though they sucked on the battlefield. I also loved the little story about the Ghoul King in the original Undead army book so I eventually converted up a champion and a banner bearer even if I couldn't use them in the game as anything special. As you can tell, there's a lot of memories and back story to this unit so its a shame to see it go, but go it must.
 The next unit was from the same era but didn't have the same evolution. Between completing the back ranks of Ghouls and the front ranks I got sidetracked by the release of Necromunda. Though the Cawdor became my true love in Necromunda (and later became my Redemptors of Golinar Imperial Guard army) I originally painted a few Orlocks out of the boxed game. These models are nothing special I guess but they have been used in multiple stores at multiple demo events over the last 15 years. Not being involved at that end of the hobby anymore has left them gathering dust so they should find a nice home where they can skulk around the Underhive once more.
 Finally (for today) I have these Chaos Space Marines. I love the idea of the Iron Warriors and if I ever did a Chaos Legion it would be them. Somewhere in the early to mid 2000's I wanted to try and increase my speed at painting and decided to try Iron Warriors out. These were done with a couple heavy dry brush layers of Boltgun Metal and Mithril Silver, a black wash, and then a straight Mithril Silver highlight. I then did some quick Burnished Gold accents. Wow, things are hauling now right? So that's when my speed painting attack crapped out. One of the coolest things about Iron Warriors is the contrast created by the caution stripes. So then areas were gone over in two coats of white and then Chaos Black and Golden Yellow stripes that were then fully highlighted. Plus, I can't have marines without hand painted Iron Warriors insignia's right? All told, though faster than my Angels of Absolution they were not "quick" and the idea was shelved. Oh well.

It should be noted that the squad uses a mix of the 2nd Edition Chaos multipart plastics and the 3rd Edition Khorne Berserkers. All of the Khorne iconography has been shaved off. I think they look pretty bad ass. Maybe one day if I start playing regularly again I'll revisit the idea of Iron Warriors.
You can check out my current auctions here: NickxBaran Ebay Auctions

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Adepticon Construct AKA AdMech Scout Sentinel

Hey all, So those of you who made it to Adepticon this year hopefully received one of these in yer swag bag. I was totally stoked when i first heard and saw this model, knowing it would be perfect for my Legio Crimson Mons IG AdMech army! I was not disappointed when i first held it in my hands either!!! Ended up buying another one and trading fellow Warzone poster Scott for another, so 3 in total. Not much conversion needed either. I magnetized the right arm so that i can swap out weapons. Here is my first attempt at paint the first guy up. Lighting today was a bit too bright, so it didn't photograph as well i woulda liked. but eh...
Just ordered some more sentinel weapon bits, so when i have the other 2 painted up, might post some more photos when the different options. Thats it! Cheers, Brose

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Spring Cleaning and Moving Forward Part 1

At least once a year I drag everything out of the display cases so that I can dust the inside of the cases, dust the models where needed and take an assessment of where I am and what things I'd like to do with my armies. In my last post I mentioned that my only goal for this year is to get my Angels of Absolution to 2000 points and that if I just painted 4 more "Deathwing" Terminators I would meet that goal. 

Yesterday the models were dragged out and assessed and the dusting began. It was dreary outside yesterday due to rain and clouds so I elected to wait until today to take some quick shots. The one thing I did do yesterday was select some models for sale and create a checklist, or should I say wishlist, of things I'd like to do this year. Think of these like secondary goals or multiple roads to facilitate completing the goal of getting the Angels of Absolution to 2000 points.

1. Complete 3 models for Tactical Squad #1 of the 5th Company. This squad was a complete squad for most of the last 15 years but last year I decided a lot of the models required demotion to the 6th Company and replacement with updated models. I have to complete 3 models to accomplish this. Unfortunately it wouldn't benefit my approximate points total.

2. Complete 5 models for Tactical Squad #2 of the 5th Company. Since this squad is a legal combat squad as it stands there is no hurry to do this and I consider it a low priority.

3. Complete 1 model for Tactical Squad #5 of the 5th Company. Like the 1st company, I believe this model was removed for reassignment and needs to be replaced still.

4. Complete 3 models for Assault Squad #8 of the 5th Company. I have 1 almost completely done and its some of my best work I think. I have 2 other models started but considering the squad performs so horribly I've been planning to replace them with 2 marines with plasma pistols. Regardless, completing this unit would definitely get me closer to the goal of 2000 points. Unfortunately they sort of suck.

5. Complete 4 models for Devastator Squad #9 of the 5th Company. I'd love to bulk this unit out to 10 just because. I had 2 Heavy Bolter guys assembled and in various stages of painting but pulled them apart a couple of years ago and that's how they've stayed. This would also bolster the points for my army but getting through the Heavy Bolter models will be a bear. Their guns and packs will take me as long as the rest of the model in all likelihood. 

6. Complete 1 Razorback as a transport for Devastator Squad #9. As you can see the turret and hatches are already completed. I have a Rhino hull packed away somewhere in some state of completion and an assortment of additional pieces. This is actually a fairly easy source of points.   
Fully painted Razorback parts.

7. Complete 4 "Deathwing" Terminators. I see this as my best route to 2000 points and the highest priority of my army. Far from invincible, I play a "Dark Angels" army that has none of the special characterful units. Last year I completed one lone Terminator and I have 2 others converted and started. Even if I don't complete all 4 I'd still be stoked if I just completed the 2 I have on deck.
This guy has no friends. The models on the shelf behind him are all from the 6th Reserve Company or the 10th Scout Company. As a Terminator of the 1st Company he stands alone.

8. Complete 4 Scouts of the 10th Company. I'm pretty sure I finished my first modern scout in 2010. I have various brave young scouts in various stages of completion in the case waiting for my attention. After reading The Purging of Kadillus it gave me a greater sense of how the 2nd and 10th companies coordinate their roles and this made me want to complete this unit even more. Plus, having a lower point unit to eat up points is really handy to have. You can see an old school Rogue Trader era scout to the left of the Terminator in the picture. I think they're cool but I can't bring myself to use them in my actual Scout unit.

9. Complete 3 "Ravenwing" bikes of the 2nd Company. This is a complete pipe dream. I would love to get them done. I have several bikes started from multiple attempts to get this unit on the table top. As much as I'd love to have them on the table this year, 2013 or 2014 seem way more realistic.

10. Complete 1 Dreadnought. I've had a converted, mostly completed dread in my figure case for the last decade. I finished a new dreadnought before I completed this one. I also have a Black Reach Dread started. I honestly don't care which one I complete. I see either as reasonable easy army points.

11. Complete 1 Librarian. This is really a low priority because they are terrible in the game but considering the relationship between Chaplains and Librarians in the Dark Angels' fluff I feel that I really need to finish this model - possibly as a Crystal Brush entry for next year if I decide to get really crazy.

12. Complete 1 Caestus Assault Ram. There are rumors of Space Marines getting another flyer this year but who knows if they will and if Dark Angels will have access to it. I own and have begun painting a Caestus Assault Ram bought at Adepticon 2011 and I really want to complete this as a centerpiece for this army. My other major hobby goal for this year was to complete something "big". This is one of the likely candidates.
This shelf is entirely composed of models from the 5th Company of the Angels of Absolution. They need their centerpiece!
Now with the top two shelves of the case out of the way, what about the 3rd? The third shelf held my completed Redemptors of Golinar Imperial Guard army and some miscellaneous crap. I pulled some of the crap off of the shelf for sale purposes.
The mighty vehicles of the Redemptors of Golinar with a Priest and a Culexus Assassin. Randomly there is also my Votex Grenade Template and Rogue Daemon painting award that I should consider selling. I'm sure a Chaos player could use it more than me even if it strokes my ego a little.

Here are some of the models that I'm planning to sell. First are a few Orlock Gangers from Necromunda. I need to look to see if I have any others to complete a gang. If not they'll go up as is.

These are some of my oldest models. I re-based them a couple of years ago but these were painted the year Necromunda came out. I have one more not pictured that's been waiting on my table for static grass for a year or so now.

The one Chaos Legion I love are the Iron Warriors. Their story is one of my favorites and I love that they didn't  turn to daemon worship so much as they were just so slighted that it broke their will and they went rogue. Like all my models I didn't use any decals. 
 Alas, I have 10 more of these models in various stages of completion so it makes the most sense to crank them out and get them up on Ebay as a group. We'll see how long that takes me.

My painting table.
I just pulled some marines out yesterday to try and fill some of the holes mentioned about. The Orlock Ganger just needs some static grass. The cuddly rampaging dog is another model from Wreck-Age by Hyacinth Games, and there are some Tomb Kings in the background which will feature heavily in Part 2 of this article. 


Adepticon Photo Stream on Flickr

Hey all, Not much to say except i've finally uploaded my photo's from Adepticon 2012. Here... Enjoy!