Wednesday, January 26, 2011

A Kind-Of Battle Report

I intended to do a turn-by-turn battle report, but in ended up with us paying more attention to the game than to taking pictures. Due to this shortcoming, I'm just posting the pics of the most intense action.

My Skaven Army
While a bit small for a Skaven army, this one packs one hell of a punch. Included are:

-A Grey Seer with a Power Scroll (of course!), the Talisman of Preservation, and the Ironcurse Icon
-A Warlock Engineer (level 1 wizard) with a Warp-Energy Condenser
-A Warlock Engineer with a Warplock Pistol and the Doomrocket
-A chieftain Battle Standard Bearer with a shield and the Armour of Destiny
Core Units:
-2x units of 40 Clanrats with shields, full command, and Poisoned Wind Mortars
-2x units of 40 Skavenslaves
Special Units:
-6 Rat Ogres with 4 Packmasters
-7 Gutter Runners with slings and poisoned attacks
Rare Units:
-Warp Lightning Cannon
-Hell Pit Abomination

A.K.'s Lizardmen
When I looked across the table at the Slann, my first question was, "Does he have the Cupped Hands (transfers miscasts to enemy wizards)?" The answer, of course, was "Yes."
Craptacular. My Grey Seer is doomed.

As far as I can tell, his army consisted of:
-Slann with Cupped Hands of the Old Ones
-Skink Shaman with Dispel Magic Scroll
-Sarus Oldblood Battle Standard Bearer
Core Units:
-2x units of 12 skinks with javelins
-12 skinks with blowpipes
-23 Saurus Warriors
Special Units:
-2x Salamander Hunting Packs
-10 Chameleon Skinks with a Stalker
Rare Units:
-Stegadon with Giant Bow
I'm sure there were other Magic Items, but they either never came into play, or I just don't remember them.

I was also not too fond of the fact that his Slann had chosen the Lore of Fire, as this would nuke my Hell Pit Abomination's ability to Regenerate.

Having generated spells (the slann knew the whole bloody Lore of Fire) and the token swapping of Howling Warpgale to Curse of the Horned Rat, the battle lines were drawn.

Ready to Throw Down!
I meant to place the Abomination between the two Clanrat units at the center of my army, but once again he would be expected to roll the right flank along with the Rat Ogres.
Let me tell you- it was a gigantic hassle lining up that Warp Lightning Cannon to get a clean shot on that Stegadon!

I, of course, forget who went first, but the Cannon failed to hit the Stegadon- misfiring on the bounce twice before blowing itself sky-high on the third shot.
On my second turn I had my Hell Pit Abomination rush the Salamander rather than going after the Temple guard (who would have slaughtered the thing. The Rat Ogres charged the flanking Skinks, ignoring the Chameleons who were attempting to get in my backfield. I decided that 10 blowpipers harassing my Poisoned Wind Mortars and Skavenslaves was just fine with me.

That Abomination's flank looks awfully exposed, but he'll off that Salamander with no problems, right?

Then came my Magic Phase. Now, my last two castings of the Dreaded Thirteenth Spell have been less than stellar, causing less than twenty casualties between the two of them. This casting redeemed my dice thoroughly. 24 Temple Guard were converted into Clanrats. Best burning of a Power Scroll so far. Of course, the resulting miscast caused my Warlock Engineer to go *pop* after having shocked himself with his own Warp Lightning spell earlier in the phase. Somehow the Hell Pit Abomination failed to kill the Salamander and its handlers.

The Abomination refocuses its attention after finally offing those Salamander handlers...
So, the Abomination finally freed itself of its combat with the Salamander handlers, and turned to charge the Slann. This should have been a short combat, but I kept rolling a "1" for the abomination's action in combat, and the Slann either passed its initiative test(!) or I failed to wound it, or it made its 4+ save. I was beginning to get a bit annoyed at the thing, especially after the Slann cast Cascading Fire-Cloak and managed to knock the Abomination down to its last wound. The Rat Ogres were too far out of the combat now that there were no longer any Temple Guard to chase after, and the Battle Standard bearer's unit was in deep trouble after getting charged by the Stegadon. Luckily, they were Steadfast to the end and managed to keep the army's standard alive to the end.

With one wound left the HPA finally offs the Slann!

The end of the game
In the end, this was a hard-fought game with both sides taking major blows (the Abomination finally got poisoned to death by the unpainted Skinks)but the Skaven pulled out a minor win. All in all a good game, that was a blast to play!

Monday, January 24, 2011

An Exercise in Painting a Ton of Black

I must say, I do rather appreciate the look of the Azur Alliance. Dark skin, pale hair, black clothes... What's not to like? Having said that, I'm sick to death of painting black and white clothes.
The darkness!
From left to right are Hel, Deadmoon, Reinhold, Harod, High Arbiter Alastor (the armor was a pain), Jerome, Kirsten, and the Colonel. Painting the Colonel's casual flaming backhand was my favorite part. Hel's dress was somewhere between a blast and a nightmare to paint.

Another faction down, now all that remain are The Church and Samael. Plus a few more wanderers. I'm really loving the progress I'm making, now to find an opponent...

Anima Progress: Wissenschaft & Wanderers

So tonight I finished up my Wissenschaft miniatures. I decided on my favorite palette, jade green, purple, and black. So far I own (from left to right) Celia (the limited edition of whom I'm looking into getting pro-painted), Lorenzo, Rayne, Alessa Raincross, Feng Yi, Cordelia Rosalind, and Veronica. I really want the Legacy of Solomon, but it weighs in at $50, so my beautiful suit of power armor will have to wait.
Wissenschaft is worth playing if only for the hotties! (^_^)
I also slapped some paint on a few of the more powerful Wanderer models- Dereck Shezard, Sophia Ilmora, and Faust Orbatos.
You'll note that I stuck to the color schemes presented in their card art rather than assigning them a faction uniform. I did this to represent these characters' mercenary nature. This way they'll stand out as individuals even in an all wanderer party.

Right now I'm in the middle of painting up my Azur Alliance minis, but I'm throwing a few Wanderers in there to break up the monotony of painting brown skin, white hair, and black uniforms, Don't get me wrong- they look really cool, but one can only paint so much of the same thing before going a touch batty.

Friday, January 21, 2011

A Hell Pit Abomination in 24 Hours

Yesterday I finally ran out and grabbed my first of two Abominations. The second I will hold off buying for awhile, but this one I wanted ready for today. Thus began my quest.

My first step, of course, was to run over to G.W. (it's closer than my FLGS, unfortunately) and grab one. I drove home with my new prize and stripped off the cellophane.
After un-boxing the model, I was a bit intimidated by the sheer volume of pieces...
...But, ever the intrepid modeler, I trudged forward. To say that the instructions for this miniature are vague may be a bit of an understatement, but I was finally able to get together the upper torso of the beast.
Next came the legs. Let me tell you, putting together a model which is supposed to sit flat on a certain sized base with multi-part feet is not a joy. Neither was lining up the little wheel the monster is supposed to roll forward into combat on. However, being the consummate expert I am, I figured out the lower torso as well.
Next came the fusion of the upper and lower halves of the beast. The torso went into the lower body fairly smoothly, but then came the ruins and arm on the model's right side. Even getting the part together took several tries, and getting it to fit into place alongside the upper torso arm I had selected made the process frustrating. Finally I had the model together and ready to go on it's base. The ruins hang over the base a bit, but I'm no perfectionist, so I let this minor annoyance slide.
Next it was outside to prime the model, followed by a quick dash into the bathroom to let it dry...
...And then painting could begin in earnest. The first step was to basecoat most of the model in Tallarn Flesh.
Followed by picking out the various other details in Chainmail, Tin Bitz, Chaos Black, Deneb Stone, Mechrite Red, and a bit of Vallejo Dark Yellow and Dark Fleshtone (for rat fur).
After that came a layer of Army Painter's "Strong Tone" Quickshade, and then the process of letting the thing dry overnight.
This morning I got up and did some final touches (a rat I missed next to the engine, putting red dots in all the various heads' eyes) and based the model. For this army I decided to go simple, and paint the whole base Khemri Brown, followed by green flock across the top.
Finally, into the bathroom again for a quick coat of Matt Varnish (Army Painter again), and voila! a fully painted and ready to play Hell Pit Abomination in a day.
Now, I certainly won't win any painting awards with this guy, but as far as a tabletop quality miniature goes, he's well above par compared to most armies out there. I believe in playing with fully painted armies, and now my Skaven army won't have to trudge into battle with a gray blob of plastic at their side. Plus, how many people out there can say, "I have a fully painted Skaven army"? Heck, how many people can say, "I have a fully painted army"? None too many around these parts.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

A Long, Rambling Reply to Demitra

I began this post as a simple reply to Demitra's comment on my last entry. It grew a life of its own, so here it is. If you want the condensed version, skip to the bottom.

I dislike the fact that 40k is basically an exercise in list building. There are armies that you can hand to little Timmy who's never played the game before and will roll over their opponent pretty much no matter what he does (the Ork "Green Tide" army being the foremost example). I understand that everything has it's foil, but I don't want to invest another ~$150 to add the mobility of either Land Raiders or Ravenwing Land Speeders to my army.

I have my Hell Pit Abomination. I don't need a second one, I just want it for if I ever go up against "That Guy". The dude who brings Teclis. The dude who brings nothing but war machines and sets up along the back edge of the board. Etc., etc. Trust me there's a lot of "That Guy" out there.
I can win with just one Abomination. My Rat Ogres cause units to explode in a shower of tiny bits. Warp Lightning Cannons (while requiring a bit more finesse) can make units evaporate. And the look on my opponent's face when I told him my Poisoned Wind Mortars wounded his Toughness 7 (yeah magic) White Lions on a 5+ regardless of their toughness was priceless. I've yet to pull out half the toys in my toolbox- Doomwheels, Warpfire Throwers, Stormvermin, Plague Monks (with or without Plague Furnace) and the infamous Screaming Bell are all on my to-do list. All of these models are viable options. This is where Fantasy tends to differ from 40k.

Yes, in Fantasy there are "Auto Include" units, and those you avoid like the plague, but I've won games using the "stay away from them" models in ways my opponent didn't expect. Snotlings are insanely cheap. Deploy them so that their front is 8" away from your Night Goblins, and on an average roll to release your Fanatics they'll "pop" through both units leading to massive casualties for the enemy, and a few dead snotlings for the goblins.

As you can see on my "On The Workbench" list, I plan on building an Ogre army from two battalions. This will no doubt be the cheapest (and lowest model count) army I've ever built. From memory the army consists of:
-Butcher x 2
-Bruiser Battle Standard Bearer
-Iron Guts x 6
-Bulls x 6
-Bulls x 6
-Leadbelchers x 2
-Leadbelchers x 2

With magic items (and I have some pretty funny combos in there) this comes to 2,000 points. Not too much of an investment in terms of time or money, and with the new Monstrous Infantry rules, it's actually a fairly intimidating army to face.

With a Chaos Warrior army, I can run you through how to build either a fairly competitive or cheeseball army with little effort, but a substantial outlay of money. With empire, just spam artillery (mortars and cannons it seems).

Now as much as I'd like you to get into Fantasy or Flames of War, I'm not going to twist your arm. I will lament it from time to time, and I will continue to play 40k, Warmachine, and Uncharted Seas despite how they each grate on my nerves in their own way. You're not dragging me into these games, so don't get that impression. I play them of my own free will.

What I do lament is how you disliked MalifauX, and how I can bet you'd dislike Anima: Tactics (if you were to ever agree to pick up models for it in the first place). I enjoy those games, and from what I hear Flames of War is a great game. It's just a pity that I'll never get to play any of them.

I get how you feel like you're being buried under a mountain of pewter and plastic. I've been there. It's just now that I'm beginning to trudge through these mountains and mole-hills based on what I feel I can accomplish in a day. For me, I set aside an hour or two of alone time to listen to my various podcasts and crank out a mini or twelve. Today I did my Hell Pit Abomination, and I plan on showing a semi-step-by-step breakdown as to how the ungodly thing goes together, This has to be one of the most frustrating minis ever released- outranking even the Drop Pod. I, however, digress.

I guess what I'm saying is that (as my blog's title implies) I'm a bit ADD when it comes to wargames. My baby, my game that's always there to come back to, is Warhammer. Warmachine used to be that snuggly place, but there's just some disconnect for me between Mk.1 & Mk.2. I get Warhammer. It's a game of patience and out maneuvering your opponent. Warhammer 40,000 it seems is just a game of tooling up your army and dashing across the board hoping your army is more adept at bashing heads in than his is.

Well, I've rambled on long enough. All I really wanted to say is that I wish you'd start playing Warhammer, but I can see why you don't.

The First Abomination

Well, today I'm off to pick up my first of two Hell Pit Abominations. Why two? Isn't that a bit... over the top?

No. A single Abomination will attract every flaming attack on the board. White Lions of Chrace, Dwarf cannons, hydras, you name it. I need a way to deal with these threats.Redundancy is the key.  Now, I do normally run a unit of Rat Ogres to deal with such things, but they lack the pure devastation that a pair of Abominations can dish out. Maybe I'll discover differently, as I do have to drop my Warp-Lightning Cannon for the HPA, which does nerf my firebase quite substantially, but with the Dreaded Thirteenth spell almost guaranteed to go off with a Power Scroll, and a rather sizable unit of Gutter Runners to take out enemy artillery, I think I'm fairly safe.

For now I'll keep experimenting with a single Abomination (I'm hoping to get two games in tomorrow night) and the cannon, but at 2,250 points or more the second Abomination comes out to play along with the planned Screaming Bell.

Too bad I can't get Demitra interested in Fantasy. I think once he got past the background (he doesn't like it as much as 40k) he'd enjoy the more tactical challenge. I think he'll get bored with "run-across-the-board-and-chop-everything-into-tiny-bits" over and over again eventually.

...But I've been wrong before.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Boredom and Games I Will Never Play

So, after listening to my podcasts and finishing Mass Effect 2 I got bored. Searching around my apartment I found my Anima: Tactics miniatures. I pulled out my miniatures and decided to paint up my Empire miniatures.
I decided to go with a regal gold and purple color scheme. I still haven't decided how I want to paint up Samael's black lions.

It's a shame that nobody plays Anima around here. The miniatures are so beautiful! The action point mechanic makes the game really interesting, though the combat is a bit defensive.

Oh, well. I suppose these miniatures will get their own shelf in my next display case just above my MalifauX minis.

Finally, Dark Eldar Pictures!

Well, here they are! I like how the models turned out, even if the escorts are a bit big. All measurements are taken from the stem of the flight base any way, so scale is sort of irrelevant.

My cruisers are made from the new jetbike models. The H.U.D. is turned around so it will look like a bridge.  All three are armed with Phantom Lances.

These are my torpedo armed Corsair class escorts. You'll note that each type of escort has a different "wing" (I know, wings don't work in space...) configuration to make it so that you can identify the type of craft at a glance. The torpedo tubes are accented in green to point out that these are indeed carrying ordnance.

 These Corsairs are, like their big brothers the Torture classes, carrying Phantom Lances.

Finally, my personal favorites. These Corsairs mount Dreadclaw assault boats. These little beauties are absolute nightmares to enemy cruisers.

Well, there you have it. My 1-0 Dark Eldar fleet. Here's hoping my tactic of getting behind enemy craft and boarding them over and over continues to work. It really frustrated my last opponent to the point he concentrated all his fire on the Dreadclaw-carrying Corsairs (after, of course, they had stripped his flagship of it's shields). This left me free to run around to his aft and lance his cruisers into teeny tiny space bits.

I don't mean to gloat, but with my recent losing streak, I need a few in the "win" column.

Damage Done

Well, here's what happened to my poor Deathwing:

I don't know how to turn this picture to face the right way (it's turned 90 degrees in my computer), but you can see the "crinkles" clearly.

...And my freehand Deathwing symbols:

Not the worst ever, but a far sight from the best.

Needless to say, I am not pleased with the final outcome of this army.

By the way, yes, that is every book in the Redwall series in the background. Cluny the Scourge rocks, and these books are the reason I play Skaven.

The promised pictures of my Dark Eldar will be up soon, it's just that these were a bit of a priority.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

A Preview of Doom

Well, I screwed up my Deathwing. Just when I thought I had done the most damage to them possible by free-hand painting the Deathwing broken swords with wings on their shoulders, I decided to varnish them.

Now, I live very near to Washington, D.C. and they had a big ice storm last night. I, in my infinite wisdom, did not check the humidity before applying a nice coat of Krylon Matte Finish to protect my "works of art" from the rigors of gameplay.
Now, to be fair to myself, I had gone back and highlighted all the sharpest edges on all the models before befouling them with my freehand chapter logos, so they had that much going for them.


Now every white bit on my Terminators has at least one little crinkeley (I cannot come up with a better word) bit on them. The tops of their armor, their arms, even the doors of my Drop Pods are all messed up.

Needless to say, I'm not pleased with this.

I know I owe you pictures of my Dark Eldar BFG fleet, but I think I'll start with this disaster. A whole army ruined in a few minutes. I'm so very disappointed with my carelessnes.

Now, I know I could strip them and start all over, but I just don't have it in me to start from square one.

Total bummer, man.

Freehand Fears

Well, it seems that Vallejo's Bloody Red is closer to the old G.W. Blood Angel Red (a red-orange color) than actual red. This means one of three things: either I buy the $15 Dark Angel transfer sheet and a new pot of paint and re-paint everything; buy the $15 transfers and accept that they'll be a different color than every other red on my minis; or freehand every last Deathwing logo on every last mini.

I chose the freehand option. I probably should have re-painted everything and bought the transfers. Too late now as I'm not going to strip and re-paint my whole army. Besides, I don't really care what the minis look like in the end. The army is to goof off with in the end, so whatever.

Friday, January 14, 2011

The Good With the Bad

Well, as I feared, Demitra wiped the floor with my poor Terminators. Looks like if I want to play more competitively I'll have to use my Plague Marines. I heard Deathwing were a challenge to play, and I'm really starting to believe it.

That's a lot of red...

On a brighter note, I got my first game of Battlefleet Gothic in a few years today. It was a learning experience for both my opponent and myself. New rules abound:
-Ordnance no longer runs out
-You can measure at any time
-Torpedoes use the same size template regardless of the size of the salvo
There's probably more, but I just can't think of it right now.

In the end it was less of a crushing victory for the Dark Eldar than it initially appeared it would be. His one remaining Idolator class escort just whomped my crippled cruiser and three escorts before it went down. I was not pleased with the lackluster gunnery of my ships' crews either. On multiple occasions one of my Corsair class escorts should have taken out that Idolator, but instead missed, leaving him in a position to fire up my cruisers' tailpipe.

All in all two very enjoyable games against good opponents. That's what this hobby is supposed to be like, and I really need a refresher from time to time. Consider me refreshed.

Just In The Nick Of Time!

Since Demitra's on his way over, I decided to pull up the Dark Angels FAQ. Imagine my surprise when I found out that they had just updated the file!

Cyclone Missile Launchers are now Heavy 2!
Drop Pods are now BS 4!
Storm Shields give you a 3+ Invulnerable Save everywhere!

Suddenly I'm feeling just a touch better about my chances today. I'm still using an over-costed army, just a little less so now.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Deathwing Retouch

I got around to giving all my Deathwing Terminators their own individual heraldry. I'm terrified to start putting the Deathwing insignias on freehand. I don't trust the steadiness of my hands or the quality of my brushes. The alternative is a ~$15 sheet of decals from Forgeworld.

While looking closely at my models, I noticed that my dip had missed some of the recesses. It's not noticeable on the table, just annoying.

I'm pleased with the look of most of my models, save the Drop pods where the dip pooled on the front of the doors. Again, nit-picking at gaming models, but still a big annoyance.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Plague Carriers

Got a game in with my Plague Marines today.
Against Eldar.
Got crushed.
I may just have to face the fact that I'm not very good at 40k any more. I couldn't get anywhere near his lines, and he just shot me to death. That's why I like Fantasy better than Warhammer 40,000- you've got to fight in melee to win the game. That's where the game gets exciting for me.
People (G. W. staff mostly) are suggesting a Screaming Bell for my Grey Seer to ride on, but in order to take it I've got to drop a Hell Pit Abomination. While the bell is pretty awesome, I'd rather have two sledgehammer models to break up combats as Skaven really aren't all that adept at winning combats. Perhaps in a 2,250+ point game I'll plunk down for one. For right now it's time to save up for two Hell Pit Abominations.

Yeah, I'm becoming That Guy, but so is everybody else. I don't feel so bad about it.

Battlefleet Gothic Dark Elfdar

Today I'll be putting the finishing touches on my Dark Eldar fleet. I'm a bit concerned that my paint scheme (Black with dark purple and jade green accents) won't stand out from the flight stand enough, You see, as the spaceship battles happen in well, space, I've painted the stands black. I'm hoping the highlights on the black areas of the ship and the star field on the base do enough to differentiate the model. Pictures to follow, so stay on the edge of your seat.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Well, here it is- my very own wargaming blog. The first entry will be brief (and likely misspelled) because I am at work and have very little time remaining before I must return home.

Today I had a game against a Red Scorpions army with both the Chapter Master and Chief Librarian. This game was not fun. A quick rundown of the models' abilities if you will.

-Chapter Master: Strength 6, 4+ Invulnerable save, Terminator Armour (I will, for 40k purposes, use the snooty British spelling), Weapon Skill 6, an extra attack for each point his Weapon Skill exceeds his target's, and Eternal Warrior. Wrecked Belial in a single round of hand-to-hand combat. Granted, Belial is not the strongest HQ, but still...

-Cheif Librarian: a psychic ability that gives him a 2+ Invulnerable save (which CANNOT be countered), the ability to use three psychic abilities per turn, and the dude knows almost every psychic ability in the book.

My poor, freshly painted Deathwing army got tabled. I wasn't even able to put up a fight.

...And this on the heels of a crushing loss to Teclis. To be honest, I never should have moved my unit into those woods, but Teclis?

Any way, I'm looking forward to a friendly game against Demitra this week, so win or lose it should at least be an enjoyable game. Also, I may go looking for an unfriendly game with my Plague Marines tomorrow.

I'm beginning to worry that the local gaming scene is re-igniting the Powergamer Gene in me. I really don't want to be the guy who runs two Hellpit Abominations, but c'mon- Teclis? Double HPA suddenly doesn't look so bad in comparison, and I'll save some points over my big block of Rat Ogres...

Food for thought I suppose.