Upcoming North Carolina Tournaments

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Black Library Trailer for "A Thousand Sons" and "Prospero Burns"


Although Warhammer 40,000 isn't my main game, I've been a big fan on the Horus Heresy series.  The Heresy is one of the defining features that make 40K's fluff so great.  It's an old story told brilliantly in a new setting, with Horus the fallen son turning on his divine father, changing the course of history forever. 

I'm really excited for A Thousand Sons and Prospero Burns to be released in the Spring, and I hope you can see why from this Black Library trailer for the two books.  The fall of Magnus and The Thousand Sons is one of the great little stories in 40K, of the tragedy and treachery that went on during the Heresy.  The details set out in the Horus Heresy novels, of Magnus doing everything he can to save Horus and then warn his father, with such terrible and unforeseen consequences, makes for a great tale.   

Here's hoping for great things from these two books.  Enjoy the trailer.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Southeast U.S. Blues

So I'm looking at the new WarhammerUSA site at http://www.warhammerusa.com/, and it's pretty darn cool.  I really applaud the effort to create a WFB ranking for the United States, with the acknowledgement that this is an exceptionally difficult task.  I'm also very much enjoying the articles they have up.  One thing that makes me sad is the lack of contributing Independent GT's in the Southeast United States.  I plan on attending Brawler Bash in Raleigh, NC this year, and hopefully Battle on Beale in Memphis, Tennessee as well.  Outside of that, I'd be looking at some serious travel to attend any other GT's.  Sadly, I'm not rich, single, and I don't have large amounts of free time, so I don't think there's much hope for me. 

Having more events in this area would be fantastic.  I know that some folks down in Charlotte, NC are looking to possibly put on an event, and if Grail Quest continues to do well and grow this year, I'm thinking of making it a two day event next year.  Events have to be two days and have 40+ people to submit to WarhammerUSA.

There's also the great work that Dallas (Thunderheart) is doing at http://www.thebigbluewaaagh.com/.  Getting together a more regional North Carolina Master's ranking, with smaller events able to submit results, makes for a fun local community that can grow and develop. 

2010 has a lot of opportunities for players in the area, and if we continue to get bigger and better like in 2009, the sky is the limit. 

Monday, December 28, 2009

I Promise We're Going to Stop Talking About These Spearmen

Alright.  Here we are.

Spearmen, check.  Shields, check.  Everything assembled, painted, and based.  Life was good for the evening yesterday. 

Now, I just need some painted Shades for January 9th and 10th, and to work on getting an Imperial Fist Tactical Squad, Eiryss, a Manhunter, and Viktor Pendrake done for the Tale of Painters Deadline on January 14th.  Oh yeah, and I'd like to paint and magnetize my bases.

Piece of cake.

Sunday, December 27, 2009




Back from vacation, and the Spearmen stared accusingly at me first thing this morning, wondering where their shields were.

Here's the thing with shields.  I kind of wrote off getting the forty-five shields done for these guys as a minor to-do after finishing the bulk of the models.

Turns out that forty-five shields is an all day project.  Four layers of Bronze.  Three layers of red on the snakes.  Putting everything together.  It's eating up some time.  The pictures here are from the shields and snakes after their first coat of paint, and what my fingers looked like at the same time.  Painting tiny objects can be a bit of a mess.

I should have completed pictures first thing tomorrow morning, and considering that January is a whirlwind month for me, I hope to have a ton of painting this week in order to get ahead.  Here's hoping!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

The Madness, Part Three

And here we are, with the weekend finished.  Two trays of Spearmen, forty-five in all, are arranged and painted on my desk.  The mountain is, for the most part, climbed.

It's just that the little buggers still need their shields.

But that's not getting done tonight, nor will it be done any time soon.  I'm going on vacation until Saturday, so while I might update a little from the road, I'll most likely see all of you then.  Cheers, and Happy Holidays!

Friday, December 18, 2009

The Madness Part Deux: Baby Steps

With my goal of finishing these forty-five Spearmen by the 21st ticking away, I had to take some action yesterday, even though I only had about an hour of time at home.  So the red basecoat is now done.  Here's the current plan:

Today - Get the silver painted on (legs and spears).  This is iffy, as I'm working this evening again. 
Saturday - Armor, skin, and boots.  Washes if able.
Sunday - Washes if still necessary and highlights on command. 
Monday - ???
Tuesday - Profit!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Madness

On January 10th, I have a tournament that I already have a list locked in for. It has a twenty-three strong Spearmen unit and seven Shades. I don't have these units painted, and I generally like to take painted models to tournaments....so these need to get done. I'll also be out of town from Tuesday to Saturday next week. Being as I like to overdo things, I suppose, I now present my recipe for going crazy.

Step 1 - Set yourself a deadline, lets say the evening of December 21st, to finish all the Spearmen.

Step 2 - Go ahead and assemble and prime all of your spearmen that you own. Forty-five of them, to be exact, since you might as well do them all at once.

Step 3 - Line them up. Look upon them, and despair. Think about how you have 12 hour work days for the next two days.

Step 4 - Get to work. Crazy incoming!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


Man, these were are much fun to paint as I though they would be. I once again went with gray cloaks over snow, with minimal red trim to match them to the rest of the army. I'll try and get individual shots taken and up as I get used to the new camera.

These guys remain some of my favorite models of all time, especially the Kapitan. They're elegant and fluid, and perfectly visually communicate who they are and their purpose. Models like that paint themselves.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Dire Troll Blitzer

I still haven't worked out this new camera, so forgive the dullness of the photo.

Like the Witch Elves, this was a model that I really didn't like to begin with. The Mauler is the model that sold me on Trollbloods. The Blitzer, on the other hand, is the Mauler's goofy bald cousin.

But hey, you make some changes and with your own paint, these things can really look a lot better. I took off a lot of the extra bits, such as the ammo boxes, that normally go on the model. I felt that they cluttered it up and looked cluttered. I then repositioned the model just a little so it was coming off the base more and lunging forward.

I'm happy with the results. Lots of fun.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Swatting at Bees - The Art of Swarming the Enemy

Hi, my name is Ben, and I play swarm.

Now, a lot of people will define swarming (in terms of wargaming) in what I consider the typical sense; that is, in terms of how you do it. You need a lot of cheap, expendable units, outnumbering your opponent by multiples, and heading accross the board in vast waves designed to drown his or her army by sheer weight of numbers. Typically, this is done by the usual horde army suspects, such as Skaven and Vampire Counts in Warhammer Fantasy, Tyranids and Orks in 40K, and Legion and Cryx in the Privateer Press Games. It's also not how I play. Side note: Why are most of these armies kind of gross and slimy? Weird.

I prefer to define swarming not by the method, but by the objective. A swarm overwhelms its opponent, providing him or her with too many confusing options. If your opponent attacks Units A and B, then he must ignore C, D, and E, which remain threatening. Likewise, if C and E are attacked, then A and B are still around and deadly. Of course, in a typical swarm of, for example, Skaven, there will be far more than five options. In overwhelming your opponent with choices, the idea is to promote bad decisionmaking. Like a man attacked by hundreds of bees, your opponent should swat around in a panic. Maybe you'll lose a bee or two to the swatting, but your opponent's confusion will let you eventually bear him or her to the ground. His guns might be bigger and better, but they're nothing if he can't make proper decisions on how to bring them to bear.

Vast, horde armies are a mainstay of modern wargaming, and they have the aforementioned strengths. They usually have typical weaknesses, such as lower leadership troops and lynchpin units or models that hold the rest of the army together, sometimes literally like with Vampire Counts.

The type of swarm that I prefer might not be as numerous, but it accomplishes the objective the same. In my current Dark Elf army, I like to run plenty of Dark Rider fast cavalry, some harpies, and perhaps a unit of shades or two. Using this setup, I can force an opponent to make multiple decisions in the first and second turns. He or she is generally unable to focus enough attention on the big hitters coming down the table, as they have to protect their weak bits against these fast units that are up in their face.

Like a typical horde, this army forces opponents to make decisions that have negative aspects no matter what, hopefully forcing a panicked "swatting" at my army. Weak spots like warmachines are taken out quickly, assassination runs can be taken at key enemy units, and hard hitting units like Knights can be pulled out of position. Disorganization and panic reigns while my heavy hitters (Cold One Knights, Black Guard, perhaps a Hydra) come in unmolested to finish the army off. I once had an opponent end up turning his two flanks, still on his side of the table, completely sideways to face one another in order to deal with all my little biting units. Realizing what he had done soon thereafter, he conceded the round.

All in all, we look as good generals to make an opponent fight the battle on our terms rather than theirs. Swarming them with confusing decisions, be either method, is a great tactic for doing so.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Widowmaker the First

It's been slow progress lately, but at least things are beginning to move a bit. Big blocks of Dark Elf Spearmen continue to look at me balefully, but some progress begins to stir. Over the weekend, I finished three out of four Widowmakers and put down a bit of green on Eiryss. I also put together a Dire Troll Blitzer and twenty-one more Dark Elf Spearmen, and fixed all the broken Dark Elves that accumulate over multiple tournaments. I won't have any spectacular entries this month for Tale of Painters, but might be able to keep from not having entries this month if I can finish the fourth (female) Widowmaker, Eiryss, the Blitzer, a Dark Elf Sorceress, and Lysander...by this Sunday. We shall see. I'm certainly not going to do a poor job on something just to meet the deadline.

So yeah, with this Widowmaker I thought I'd shoot for a stealthy, shadowy snow look (much like the Vindicare). I already fixed the problems that you can see on the lower hand, where the fingertips were painted metal. I like that I'm getting eyes down a lot better these days, so there's an area of improvement.

My wife's camera was stolen, so I'm working with a new one, and so far haven't really mastered the flash and focusing options. I think I'm going to have to actually build a lighted little paper booth to take pictures in, to improve the quality somewhat with the new camera.