Upcoming North Carolina Tournaments

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Blog Suggestion: Stuck Between Stations

Way back in the Dark Age of Mankind (like two years ago), Simon and I were both pretty frequent posters on the Librarium Online forums.  I moved over to this blog, and was delighted to find that he had done the same.  What's neat about his blog is being able to watch a good player and painter transition from 40K to Warmachine and Hordes in real time.  He posts good battle, articulate battle reports as well, which are always tricky to come by.  Anyway, go check out Stuck Between Stations. 

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

On My Painting Table: The Arachnarok

I'm currently working on a friend's Arachnorok Spider.  I'll have finished pictures up here in the next week, but I thought I'd give some thoughts on the kit, now that it's assembled and mostly done. 

First off, the Arachnarok is a gorgeous model.  It's dynamic, and can be posed in a variety of ways.  The textures are great and lend themselves to a nice paint job.  It makes a fantastic army centerpiece.

The spider half of the kit goes together very well.  I actually had a few pieces "snap" into place, the fitting so snug and perfect that they would have held even without glue.  There are a few gaps, but nothing that can't easily be hidden.

The howdah is not so great to put together, owing to it's flimsy nature.  It honestly could have better, more simply found connection points for some of its parts. I ended up using bits of green stuff to get it all together.  You'll also want to assemble the spider, goblins, and howdah separately and then paint them in order to be able to paint everything well, as assembling everything together first as per the instructions would lead to one heck of a painting puzzle.

All in all, one heck of a model!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Storm of Magic - My Hopes


Like a lot of people, I've been really curious about Storm of Magic.  Although what I would have preferred was another army book this year, I was considering past expansions the other day (in 40K) and thinking about the ones I disliked and liked over the years.  I place them in three categories.

The Bad (Apocalypse) - Bad is a really strong word, maybe.  Uninterested is probably closer to the mark.  I got really excited about the idea of playing Apocalypse, and even had a little fun in my first Apocalypse game (a 70,000 point store wide smashapalooza) until some stinker walked up in turn four, put his Eldar Titan down "from reserve" on my back line, and said "hurr, take yer army off, strength D templates".  The concept is great, and I can understand how the idea of rolling even more buckets of dice can appeal to some 40K players, but I really don't want gigantic templates and a complete lack of army management for Fantasy.

The Ambivalent (Spearhead, Battle Missions) - There might be another book in this category, which was so good I forgot the name.  Honestly, nobody I knew ever played these books more than once or twice.  I think it comes from changing the game in fundamental and poorly executed ways, such as making attacker/defender scenarios where only one side can really win.

The Good (Cities of Death) - Okay, so here's what I want from Storm of Magic:  an expansion that doesn't break the core "balance" of Fantasy as it is, adding objectives and rules that provide a different way of approaching how to win the game, and giving different tools to do so.  Cities of Death was great for 40K.  It actually got several years of play locally, and I still see it being played a good bit despite being from 4th edition.  

My fear is that Storm of Magic will end up being like Apocalypse, but I'm really hoping it will be more like Cities of Death.  I guess we'll find out in less than two weeks!   

Monday, June 27, 2011

Weekend Update: June 27, 2011

I had a pretty great hobby weekend this time around!  Not only did I finish assembling the Arachnorok spider for Lance on Friday afternoon, I then headed out to Heroes Headquarters in Mocksville, NC for a Warhammer Fantasy tournament with my mighty Beastmen.  I went 2-1 and came in third overall in a field of about twenty-two, so not a bad showing.  One of our locals, Collins, managed to take home Best General.

Most importantly, I had three really good games against two people that I've played before and enjoyed playing against and one person who I've known for quite a while and never had the chance to play against.  They were all fun and challenging the whole way through.

On Sunday, I got some heavy work done on the Spider, and put down several layers of base coats, washes, and highlights.  The body is now done, but I still have to work on the trees at the base, the little spiders on the big spider and on the base, and the howdah.

How was your weekend?

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Blog Suggestion: Miniature Wargame Conversions

Let's keep it simple this morning.  Miniature Wargame Conversions is a great blog, full of great hobby ideas, unique models, and contests.  I love contests in the way that Hansel is inspired by Sting in Zoolander;  i.e., I never actually manage to participate, but I find them inspiring. 

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Chaos in the Old World Battle Report

Bart is writing battle reports for our Chaos in the Old World League at Sci Fi Genre.  Here's our first exhibition game.  I was so close with Khorne!

The league begins!

Players this time around:

Todays game (Exhibition Match - not scored):
Gods and Upgrade Choices (in order)

Khorne: Ben - Bloodsworn (attack for cultists), and bloodletters upgrade/+1 power

Nurgle: Collins - Great Unclean One upgrade

Tzeentch: Bart - +1 Power

Slaanesh: Brian - Seductress (+1 defense), +1 Power

Horned Rat: Tom - Cultists (additional cultist for 0 cost), Council of Thirteen (3rd card can be played in regions)

The game began with Khorne taking the center with bloodletters, starting in Brettonia and drifting southwards towards Nurgle who put all his eggs into Kislev. The horned rat took up position in the south west, in the badlands and the border princes. Tzeentch took up the north west with a temporal stasis in Estalia, and expanded some into Telia. In a sneaky (and somewhat sensual) move Slaanesh ignored the noble tokens in Brettonia and Troll Country, taking up residence in the badlands.

The next few turns saw Slaanesh drift towards Bretonnia, with some nicely played Fields of Ecstacy shutting down khorne, allowing the harvesting of sweet dial ticks and netting a quick Seductress upgrade, making his minions much more durable. The Horned Rat burst forward getting double dial ticks early on (although Tzeentch did his best to screw with things with some teleports and the text cancelling changer of ways). Tzeentch was able to move up fast in corruption and VPs as Khorne and Nurgle battled it out in the south, with Khrone either losing or tying on the dial in the first few rounds.

As things shifted to midgame, khorne began to clearly dominate the threat dial (once his cultist upgrade hit), with 4+ dial counters per round. Fate turned against Tzeentch as his fast progression in VPs and large surplus of corruption in Telia forced Khorne to move against him. Coupled with the corruption nuking old world card tzneetch was effectively shut down. A similar fate befell the Horned Rat, as his early game burst died down due to Khornes attention, a fragmented skaven token distribution, and two forced discards for a loss of 4 cards (Tom, did this hurt, or am I imagning that it did?).

Throughout this, due to Field of Ecstacy, Slaanesh was able to get a nasty corruption foothold in Brettonia coupled with dial ticks.

Finally in the endgame, the ruination of Brettonia was followed for an epic struggle for the ruination of the border princes. Slaneesh and Nurgle were both in the high 30s to low 40s in VPs, with Khorne right behind them on the dial. In the final conflict Khorne had to decide whether to stop Slaneesh or Nurgle. Unable to do both and assure a dial victory which was only one tick away, the game was deliverd onto Slaneesh.

1st Brian
2nd Collins
3rd Bart

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Weekend Update: Long Weekend Edition

I went to a wedding on the beach in New Jersey this weekend, which pretty much shuts down any and all hobby activity.  Before I left, I did manage to assemble the spider part of the Arachnorok kit, and now am looking at the howdah part in dismay.  It does not look simple to construct.  

I'll have to make up for this lack of hobby with some games this evening, and a tournament this coming weekend. 

So how was your weekend hobby time?

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Blog Suggestion: From the Jaws of Victory

You know all those tournaments listed up on the top of this blog?  Well, Necron Bob is going to those tournaments, and he's writing about them over on his blog, From the Jaws of Victory.  He's been hanging around these parts for a while now, and is a great guy to have in our tournament group.  Check out his great battle reports!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The Dornian Heresy

 Normally, I'm not a fan of fan fiction, but I am pretty consistently impressed by Aurelius Rex's Dornian Heresy series on Bolter and Chainsword.  From the official description:

"a twisted alternate timeline in which Warmaster Horus was able to cast off the daemonic influences that sought to possess him, and where the Ruinous Powers were instead forced to corrupt Rogal Dorn to overthrow the Emperor. The Dornian Heresy is the tale of an alternate universe where choices, sometimes large, sometimes small, have led to the familiar primarchs and legions meeting very different fates. For instance, how different might things have turned out if Sanguinius had instead been found and raised by the mutant tribes of Baal, or if Angron’s first meeting with the Emperor had been as an honourable ally against the slavers at Fedan Mhor?"

You can download the first issue here.  Go check it out!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

More Podcasts You Should Be Listening To

If you're like me, stuck at work listening to an Ipod, you've got an extensive collection of podcasts to listen to in order to make the time go by just a little faster.  Here's a few more that I can really suggest as top notch.

The Bad Dice Podcast


The Black Sun


They're all available on ITunes as well

Monday, June 13, 2011

Storm of Magic Model Pictures

Especially since the Storm of Magic thread got deleted by the moderators at Warseer for whatever reason, I thought it'd be good to get these up here.   Normally, I'd give credit to the original posters, but I'm not able to do so because of the thread deletion. 

Word on the street is that these are all plastic, not Finecast.  We'll see.  I particularly like the Black Dragon and Sorceress models, and basically all the mages on foot are great!  The other monsters are good, but I'll have to really be wowed in person to pick one up, since they don't really fit in the core game.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Storm of Magic Rumors

Could the above picture be one of the monsters we'll see in Storm of Magic? 

Anyway, here's some rumors from BramGaunt on Warseer.  Take with salt.

Oh, now that everybody posts, I might as well spill my guts.. I intended to wait another week, but ah, swell...

Storm of Magic will be a full-colour hardcover book, about half the thikness of the Core Rulebook, and at the price of, well, apoximatly one Leman Russ Battletank.
It's due for release the second saturday of July. Previews start the saturday befor.

There will be a multitude of kits and gimmicks to acompany them.

Plastic Boxed Sets are:

Chaos Lord on Manticore
Dark Elven Lord on Black Dragon

Both Kits are the same price as a similar High Elven Ridden Monster.

The saddle, Rider and (in case of the Dragon) the armour are completly optional.

There is also a Kit labeled
and one labeled
which are the same price as a 10 man Space Marines Squad.

There are also some Clampack releases:
Chaos Supreme Sorcerer
Supreme Sorcerer of Tzeentch
Vampirecounts Necromancer
Dark Elven High Sorceress

I don't know what these are made of. Since they are clampacked I guessed Finecast, but the price of, ah, well, lets say it in GBP: It's a one-digit-point-something Price lable.
Quiet affordable if it was finecast, but since hasitings said plastic sorceres... well... do the math.

Of course there is a whole bunch of playthings and gimmics aswell, like Vortex Templates (Like the Dark Eldar Wayportal template, only bigger), Dice, Battle Magic Cards (which apearently come in a cool box of sime Lost Arc style... with skulls of course...) and Focus Points (4 different ones).

Which brings us to rules.

Storm of Magic is for any Warhammer Fantasy Battle Army. It supports you with a alternative of Deployment, Magic and Army composition rules.

Game mechanics
While you place terrain, you deploy Magil Focus points. Think of these as landmarks inhibited with strong magics, like towers, magical stairs, Columns of Fire, or what ever. Each army starts with a designated number of Focus points, it depends of the scale of the game. 1 per army per 1000 points is, what I was told, suggested in the book.
You may place 1 Wizard including a mount on top of the Focus point, and one guarding unit within a limited space - enough to place about 30 standard base-sized miniatures, I was told. The rest of your army is deployed as usual.

The game is all about dominating these points, which grant great boni to your wizard while he stands atop of them. The Magic Phase is strongly buffed with 4D6 Power dice. In addition, you determine the ascending wind of magic at the beginning of each magic phase. (It's done randomly by some sort of tool, don't ask me what it is, I don't know, but apperantly it's not a dice.) Army book Lores are associated with Army book rules, for example if the Lore of Light is the Ascendand Lore this turn, High Magic is Ascended aswell (I don't know if High Lore is really associated with Lore of Light - it's simply a example of my understanding of the mechanics).

The Ascended magic gains a +4 bonus on attempts to cast their spells. You cannot change the Ascendend in any way, though it's determined new in every magic phase.

There is also a bunch of new spells which appearently give you the possibility not only to summon Monsters loke the Cockatrice, but also whole units from other armies. I personally didn't by this one. It was a long evening with a LOT of beer.

Take all of this with salt. And enjoy.

Interesting stuff.  I can't say I like or dislike the rumored rules just yet.  It'll take some pondering.

Tournament Report: June 4th, 2011 40K Tournament at Sci Fi Genre

This past Saturday, I attended a 40K tournament at Sci Fi Genre.  Not having played 40K in a good long while (about six months), I didn't know what to expect going in.  Overall, it ended up being a lot of fun.  I don't have any pictures, but I thought I'd give a quick run down of my games. 

I took some Blood Angels, who I have been slowly painting, as I hadn't tried the new book.  I didn't really have an interest in running a tough net list or anything, and wanted to run the more punchy version of the BA, along with some fast vehicles.  It was an 1850 tournament, and I had:

A No Upgrade Librarian with the 5+ Cover Save and Fear of the Darkness Power
Two Sanguinary Priests, one with a Jump Pack
Two Ten Man Tactical Squads with Missile Launcher and Flamer
A Ten Man Assault Squad with Jump Packs, Power Fist, and Two Flamers
A Ten Man Assault Squad with Jump Packs, Power Fist, and Two Plasma Pistols
An Eight Man Assault Squad with No Jump Packs, Power Fist, and Melta Gun
A Vindicator
A Predator with Lascannons on the Sides and an Autocannon up top.
A Whirlwind
Three Rhinos

All the vehicles had extra armor.

Game One

I played Bart and his Eldar in the first game.  He had:

Maugun Ra
Dark Reapers
2 Units of Fire Dragons, both in Transports
2 Units of Dire Avengers in Transports
Striking Scorpions

His tanks all had holofields or the like, which made them hard to kill.  The scenario was kill points, but there were also two objectives to hold.  Bart got first turn and shot forward with Ra and the Fire Dragons.  We had deployed relatively closely on one side of the board.  His first shots all did nothing to me (phew!), and I killed his tanks that had come forward.  He did pop my Vindicator by turn two or three with the Fire Dragons, but the Assault Squad killed Ra, the Fire Dragons, and the Striking Scorpions.  My stuff retreated, and he couldn't get the job done with Eldrad and the Reapers from a distance.  I won the kill points, but he got the secondary objective by contesting one objective and holding the other.  So a pretty good win to me for the start. 

Game Two

My opponent in my second game had a Space Wolf list that I think is a pretty basic internet Razorback spam list.  He had a couple Rune Priests, Long Fangs with Missile Launchers, and Razorbacks with Las/Plas turrets.  Our objectives involved getting things to the middle of the board.  Sadly for my opponent, I made my smoke cover saves and managed to get all my stuff to the ruins in the middle of the table, where there was plenty of cover.  The high point of the game for me was when, in succession, I had an assault Marine's pistol blow up a Land Speeder, which cleared a shot for my Predator to blow up his one Rhino, which contained a Wolf Priest and Wolf Guard.  Fear of the Darkness then made that unit run off the board.  The long and short of the game is that I controlled the middle of the board while he had to shoot ineffectively from a distance, and I ended up taking all the points in the game. 

Game Three

The objectives in my third game involved holding four strategic points.  I played an Imperial Guard player who I think again had a pretty typical internet tank list.  I had let him choose our table, and with a sinking heart noticed that he chose the one table in the store that had zero terrain in the middle of the board.  He had:

A Manticore
3 Valkyrie / Vendetta (the kind with the Twin Linked Lascannons)
Three or Four Lemans
A Couple Chimeras with minimum troops.

The deployment was in opposite corners of the board.  I was in the cover of some buildings, but had absolutely no ability to cross the board and get to him.  Fortunately, I had two objectives in my buildings, and a third was nearby. 

This ended up being a really weird game of 40K.  I'm not sure that my opponent had a grasp on the scenario (grab objectives), or perhaps he was just used to ignoring scenarios and blowing his opponent off the table completely.  Apparently, this is what had happened in his first two games, and in several games before.  He was really surprised that I wasn't dead after the second turn.  Our game was pretty much him sitting still and dropping template after template on me, and my guys hugging cover like crazy and controlling the objectives.  The game had a random length, and could go 5, 6, or 7 turns.  On turn five, I controlled two objectives to his zero, but the game didn't end.  On turn six, I controlled three objectives to his one, and the game didn't end.  On turn seven, I finally failed a bunch of 3+ cover saves and was tabled.  I was happy with the result, as I think I outplayed him in what was a terrible set up for my army, but sometimes the dice give out on you.

Anyway, I had a ton of fun playing some 40K.  I was really impressed by the resilience of the Blood Angels army.  The game as always felt a lot less aggressive than playing Fantasy, but I enjoyed it all the same!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Blog Suggestion: The Painting Corps

What do you mean, you haven't subscribed to The Painting Corps?  Not only is the painting displayed on the website seriously top notch (and it'd have to be by the blog's title), but the author also offers painting tips and tutorials to help you get better.  He also has great open discussions of things like resins, basing, and other projects, as well as linking current contests from around the web.  Go check it out.  It's a great site!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Tavern Talk - Painting; Beginners and Beyond

For Tavern Talk, Kuffy asked:

A new starter to the hobby has approached you, their army has been selected (insert your own preference if needs be) and rather than ask you questions about how to game or army composition they instead ask you about painting.  Your reply is....

Basically, what tips would you give to a new starter in the hobby.  Everything from paints, to basing.  What are your top tips?  

There's a ton of great practical advice that one could give a new painter.  You should always clean your brushes.  Don't prime when it's humid.  Water down your paints.  Don't wear your good clothes while painting.  Even someone who has only been painting for a few months could drown a new painter in a flood of tips, tricks, and techniques.  If I had to give only one piece of advice, however, it would boil down to four simple words.

You will get better.

The first models you paint might be poor, or they might be great, but they won't be as good as the models you paint six months from now if you practice.   Paint a little every day, even if just for a few minutes, and watch as your skills slowly but surely improve.  It might be that your learn new skills and techniques, or that you gain the painting "muscle memory" that you'll hear about, but it all comes down to the fact that your painting will get better and better as time goes on.

It might not seem like you're getting better sometimes, and you may plateau for a bit, but then you'll suddenly see great improvement.  Sometimes you'll have "Ah Ha!" moments or big jumps in your skill, and other times you'll make steady progress.

So don't give up.  Keep on painting, and you will get better.

Oh, and try out a wet palette sometime.  Those are neat.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

What's Going on With This Storm of Magic?

Now that GW has a policy of not revealing any information until a week before release, there seems to be almost zero real information on the upcoming Storm of Magic release.  I know we're getting some monsters and wizards, but I wish I had some sort of information past that.  I have hopes that it will turn out one way, and not the other.

What I'd like to see is more options, such as an extended common magic item list, maybe some alternate lores, and some "allied" wizards and monsters.   Maybe it wouldn't be something that we could use in a competitive environment, but some fun alternate game play would be great.

What I'm hoping that Storm of Magic isn't is Fantasy Apocalypse.  I have no real interest in playing 10,000 point games with giant templates and monsters whose stats go to 11.  It's not that it wouldn't be fun, but it'd be fun once, and then I'd never play it again, just like Apocalypse. 

So here's hoping...and while I'm hoping, I also hope they'll get back to work putting out actual 8th Edition army books as soon as possible as well.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Weekend Update: June 6th, 2011

It's my belief that a great many of us manage to get some hobby and gaming time in over the weekend more than any other time.  Assuming that to be true, I thought I'd start using Mondays to catch up on the blog with the things that I did over the weekend in terms of hobby and gaming, and hopefully hear from a few of you as well.  I figured I'd try this out as a regular Monday fixture, and see how it goes.

So this past weekend, I went to a 40K tournament on Saturday, which was a lot of fun.  I hadn't gotten to go to a 40K event in about six months, so I was a bit rusty, but went 2-1 with the Blood Angels.  I beat an Eldrad Eldar and Razorback spam Space Wolf army, but lost a tight game to an Imperial Guard list.  I also lost my voice! I was pleasantly surprised with my 40K performance, and will hopefully have some battle reports up tomorrow or Wednesday.

On Sunday, I finished up some Chaos Warhounds that I've had kicking around, and came that much closer to finishing up my Beastmen.  I really dislike the Warhound models, and they were slowing me down considerably.  I have ten Centigor and thirteen Minotaur left to do, as well as a Giant and some Character models.

So what'd you crazy kids get up to?

Friday, June 3, 2011

Got my First Finecast Models In (with 100% Less Drama)

Yesterday evening, I came home from work to find a package on my table containing the Finecast models above.  I was a bit wary, having seen all the negatives online...but I kept telling myself that it was the internet, after all, and that people who claimed to have gone to a store and picked out the best model possible for their "reviews" most likely did just the opposite in order to get attention.

Mine were pretty much flawless.  There was a small amount of flash, which took all of a minute to scrape off.  Queek had a tiny piece of pink casting material on his back, which I picked off with my clippers. 

So here's a few positives (I know, I know...now I'm talking crazy!)  The material is crazy light, which means the Queek model, which in metal was a pain in the butt because of the precariously balanced heavy back rack, snapped together easily.  The parts, such as the arms, are socketed with triangles, which allow for really easy and sturdy construction and customization (by rotating the triangle).  Total assembly time for both models was about four-five minutes.

I'll hopefully be borrowing a metal Queek next week in order to really compare details, but the great thing with the new material vs. metal in that department straight off is I can see the details.  I've often been unable to see some of the fine detail on pewter models without priming white and then washing the model.  On the light gray, this isn't a problem.

On Monday, I'll have pictures up of my assembled models, and hopefully be able to compare the details in metal Queek vs. new Queek next week.  For now, the new Finecast is A+ in my book.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Blog Suggestion: Rhellion's Tabletop

Rhellion's Tabletop is a lot of fun to read, and speaks to a variety of topics in gaming, modeling and painting.  Above, you can see a great modeling example- Empire Wizard kits with TK heads to make Liche Priests.  I also enjoyed his article on Warhammer Fantasy Power Rankings.  Go check out the good reads!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

On Painting Scores in Miniature Gaming Tournaments, Part III

Links to Part I and Part II.

.Part III:  Judging Paint Scores

Now that you've settled on the weight you'll give your painting scores, you'll want to find an effective way to judge those scores.  There are several ways to go about doing so, but I believe that some are better than others.  

The first issue to deal with is whether or not to judge your players painting on a "soft" scale, or whether to use a checklist.  A "soft" scale allows the judge to assign a score to each player's army, say from 1-10.  These numbers are not defined, but rather based upon the judge's feelings as to the relative standing of each army at the tournament in terms of painting.  A checklist system is more prevalent, such as the one here for the Colonial GT (scroll to the fifth page).  This provide points for different aspects of painting and modeling, such as shading, highlighting, conversion, and the like.  

The second issue to deal with is whether players will judge their opponents painting scores or your and/or other judges will do so.  Players can do a good job of judging their opponents army, as they spend some time really looking at it, but you'll also run into the problem of players who will mark their opponents down in terms of painting in order to knock the other player down in terms of overall score.  Judging painting yourself and/or with neutral judges is more work, but should reduce the threat of bias and people gaming paint scores.  

I would personally suggest using a checklist to judge paint scores and not having other players do the judging.  This should eliminate the randomness of "soft" paint scores, as well as the bias of having players judge.  I also highly suggest using multiple judges (two or three) rather than using a single judge.  Use the scores that these judges provide in an average to get your paint score.  This will eliminate the problems of a kind of Rashomon effect for painting.  Even with a checklist, two different judges can and will get significantly different results for the same army, and averaging these scores out will allow for better, more accurate scoring.  Recruit a friend, a spouse, or a store owner, and get to judging!

Okay, so hopefully these articles have been fun and informative, and I hope that they have been helpful to any T.O.'s present and future as well!  Thoughts and questions are appreciated!