Friday, December 30, 2016

Brainstorm of Sigmar

So, I have been thinking.

"A dangerous passtime."
"I know".

I'm pretty darn good at running my Stormcast army. I win with them more than I lose (provided I'm doing more than goofing off), and I like the way the army plays on the board. The way you can shuffle buffs around as you need them is honestly a joy to use. Throwing Liberators with Sigmarite Shields and a +2 save modifier headlong into my opponent's most dangerous unit and watching them bog down the models that, by all accounts, should be gutting my army effortlessly for 4 turns (or more) is just satisfying.

...But I've been working on a project. Maybe you've seen them? The Sylvaneth? They (not to break my arm patting myself on the back) look great. The Stormcast? Dip & flick. In other words, not so much.

The Sylvaneth are an experienced player's army. You have to be careful. Now that the new FAQ nerfed Sylvaneth Wyldwoods (each has to be within 1" of all others in the feature now) the Sylvaneth Stripe O' Doom down the center of the table is gone. It's a bummer in a way, but that just means we have to adjust our tactics.

I have to do it.

I have to put the Stormcast into mothballs and start running (as well as step up the pace of painting) my tree peeps. I need to start getting in reps with my Sylvaneth.

At least weekly, if not more.

I need to get into a Sakura Sylvaneth State.

Now, why am I thinking this? Simple. I'm aiming for the NoVA Open this year. I intend to get good- not a little good, but intimidatingly so. I intend to hone my list to a razor's edge. I intend to face as many different opponents with as many different armies as possible. I intend to have That Army, but not be That Guy.

I'm going for the win.

Now, I have opted out of tournament play. I hate the people who WAAC (Win At Any Cost), because it seems that unless they are winning at playing with toys (and face facts- that's what we do) they have no self worth. Northern Virginia is rife with those people.

I must not let them get under my skin. I must remember the one Grand Tournament I went to when Games Workshop ran such things. I must remember that not all tournament players are scum, and that those who are should just be ignored.

I must stomp them pleasantly, and with a cheerful demeanor. After the game, I can report their Sportsmanship. During the game...

Well, let's just say I have my fair share of sportsmanship awards.

Now to start honing my gameplay.

I have another box coming.

What's in it? What will end up in my army?

Wouldn't you like to know.


Friday, December 23, 2016

Sakura of Sigmar

Why yes, I do like Asuka.
I've been doing a lot of painting. That painting has been to a level higher than you've seen on this blog in a while, and it has been rewarding to be producing an army painted to this standard.

When GW first started posting pictures of the new Sylvaneth, I knew I would be restraining myself from buying some, rather than just not getting them. They are all works of beauty, and I wanted to build and game with the minis in a way I could taste.

So, a couple of months ago I broke down and got the minis I had longed for.

It was worth it.

As soon as the boxes arrived from Dicehead Games, I tore the boxes open and got down to business.

*A quick aside here, if you buy GW online in the US, go through these guys. They are paragons of customer service!*

My first order of business was research. I had to find out which units were wort building, and which to avoid. It turns out that Treelords are all pretty great, and to my joy it turns out that the only real difference between them is their head & weapon. Both of these components are their own part, and the assemblies don't share any parts, so I had the option to magnetize them. This is a thing I had never done before, but the savings (both in terms of cash and time) made the call a no-brainer.

Best... Hair... Ever!!!
Turns out that if you know how to do it, the process of installing the magnets is nearly mindless. Thus, after assembling the components, I went to work with a pin drill and some rare earth magnets. The final result is just wonderful. I can build any two Treelords I desire, and it's just a matter of gently pulling off the head and hand, and then placing the appropriate replacement part into position.

Then the long slog... I put together 62 Dryads- 58 troops, and 4 leaders so that I can deploy 2 to 4 units as needed. This wasn't so much a nightmare as it was a marathon. Luckily I had a few days off and alone to do the assembly. Those models really hold up, even after over 10 years.

The Tree and Spite Revenants went together quite nicely, and left behind quite a few great bits and bobs to go on other models.

The Kurnoth Hunters, on the other hand, were a bit more trying. Not horribly difficult, just requiring patience.

Drycha, the whole reason I started this army, was a pain. The mini has lots of areas that have to be painted before assembly (the crystal in her leg in particular), so she had to be primed and painted half built, and man did I forget why I hate putting together a painted mini. I sure got one hell of a reminder! Unfortunately I don't have a pic of her readily available. Maybe next post?

I also put together and painted two Branchwraiths. luckily, the ethereal yet rugged look of the minis made it so I didn't have to fill each and every gap. Looking at them again, I well and truly adore this sculpt.

These are the first 21 dryads painted. Eleven more are just entering the third phase of my painting process for this army. In other words, I should be half way through the army very soon.

...And finally, my first ten Tree Revenants. I am particularly pleased with the result of the banner.

I am overjoyed that the hours I spent wandering around my neighborhood comparing paints, washes, and test minis to actual cherry trees paid off with such a great looking army. I'll be posting more pics soon, and hopefully this blog will pick back up as I prepare for a new project tangentially related to this one.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Pokemon: I Came, I Left, I Returned (Sorta)

Shameless Pokemon Cheesecake.
So, I was really obsessive about Pokemon Go, but then tragedy struck and I traded away my best critter with an accidental tap while in a conversation. Oh, also, there is one- let me repeat that, ONE Pokestop, and zero gyms, anywhere near where I live. This means I have to buy supplies in-game, because the construction of the game is stupid, and it rewards those in urban, upper-class environments. I ragequit the game, and swore it off.

Of course, in my usual style, I have returned. Not because the game is great or anything. I think the game is a waste of time. But I have a reason.

I have put on a fair few pounds of late. Now, I'm not "typical 'Murrican Wal-Mart shoppin' Rascal scooter drivin' washin' under the folds" fat, but let's just say I've put on 50% of my initial body weight again over the last few years. That's not good. I may be off the dating market, but I still wand to be okay with looking at myself in the mirror.

To this end, I am going to play the game for at least 30 minutes each day in order to get a walk in and if not lose, maintain, my current weight. This will slow my painting production, and the fact that I'm playing Elder Scrolls Online right now (say "hi" to Mitsune Kanno and her pet fox on the North America server some time), but it will continue to progress. I even have some pics to post- including a fairly huge development.

Oh, also, I have some thoughts on the General's Handbook. That will be addressed in its own post, though. As a preview; the points seem okay, but I have reservations about some of the army selection implementation choices...

Thursday, July 21, 2016

More Stormcast, And At Last, a Win!

Smug sense of satisfaction.
So, my Stormcast got their first big win against Demitra yesterday. I won't say that there weren't bad rolls on his part, but there were bad rolls on my end, too. In particular a Decimator Prime who hit three times in as many rounds of combat.

That said, I think I have found an overall army comp I'm okay with. My Drakesworn Templar could have done better, as all he ate were some weapon crew, an unlucky Engineer, and a Handgunner unit. In WHFB monsters were best employed hunting down squishy targets, so that's what I did.

There is also Very Big News. I have decided to change up how I'm painting my Sigmarines. The Celestial Vindicator scheme I have been using is too dexterity intensive to stick with, so most of the minis I have painted are in a bath of Simple Green right now. I took a close look at my shading and highlights, and upon realizing that they were... terrible, I switched to dip. Yes, I'm dipping minis again. Sue me.

Of course, I'll most likely lose soft score points for painting if I go to a tournament, so I will touch them up with some minor highlights, but with my hand what it is, serious painting is pretty much out of the question. This is why painting, while required, should not be added into a player's score in a tournament. For people like me, who don't have the fine motor control needed for a nice paint job, this may very put us out of the running before an event even begins.

Even sportsmanship (which is what is making me lean toward bowing out of X-Wing- too many players are jerks) is a score which, while it have some bearing on the tournament's outcome, is left up to players to decide, and can lead to dishonest players torpedoing their opponents' scores out of spite, or worse, to make sure their game club wins.

But what would be a solution? There will be jerks everywhere. It's a fact of life. When I ran Monsterpcalypse tournaments I would take a couple of minutes once or twice a round to just mosey through the tables and look in on the games as they were going on. In a really big to event, this just isn't possible.

This is where assistant judges come in. At a particularly large event, the T. O. will have a few extra staff on hand to make rulings when they are not available. Well, in between rulings just mosey from table to table checking in. The bad games are usually pretty easy to spot. Posture, expression, body movement, voice tone. It's all on display. Just quietly jot down the players involved, and keep on moving. If one (or both) players continue have games that appear less than pleasant, you probably have a problem gamer on your hands. Talk to their opponent, and find out what was going on. If the stories match up amongst the player's opponents, you have a problem participant. This is, in my opinion, a less biased way to determine sportsmanship. As far as how to implement it in terms of overall score? Got me there.

Any way, I'll throw up pics of my new Sigmarine color scheme soon. They should be dry enough to retouch the paint on tonight.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Starting To Understand Stormcast

So, I got in another game against Demitra in Age of Sigmar. Needless to say, I lost again, but I am picking up ideas.

First, when it comes to this army, numbers don't count for much. Five Decimators can lay out plenty of hurt against an opponent who still runs 20mm square bases. The tighter packed the enemy is, the quicker they will die. Stormcast are an MSU army. That's just how it is.

Second, when you set your eyes on a unit, kill it. This may seem elementary, but some enemies, once mangled (for instance Stormcast), are nigh useless. Others (the Celestial Hurricanum) are still very dangerous.

Third, don't be afraid of sacrifice. I hurled a unit of Decimators headlong into Demitra's handgunner mob using the Pennant of the Stormbringer turn one, and every ranged weapon on my right flank was instantly silenced. After the monstrous casualties the last three gunners turned tail and fled after only firing a single volley due to their musician.

Fourth, kill the enemy general. This may be a "duh, no joke" to many, but the loss of Command Abilities is a Very Big Deal. Once I had offed his boss, and still had my Lord Celestant trucking around handing out his +1 to hit bonus, the game felt very different.

Fifth, it's all about the characters. Having a pair of Knight-Heraldors hanging back and allowing my units to disengage & run & charge all at once was amazing. Teleporting a unit of Decimators into charge range turn one was stupendous. The Knight-Venator paid for himself impressively.

Bravely run away!
Sixth, don't be afraid to retreat. Seriously. I caught a lot of flak for the tactic, but the death of Demitra's general came at the hands of my Lord Celestant after he broke free of a drawn-out melee, spun around, and charged the foppish noble. Don't feel as though you have to stay in a fight that is less than ideal. You can (with the help of a Knight-Heraldor) pull out of a no-win situation and put your troops in a location they want to occupy. Alternatively, you could swap out mismatched troops for ones more suited to the situation, or even just withdraw and set up a roadblock in order to buy time. Think of Liberators with shields (already basically a speed bump unit) that have taken a charge from an elite enemy (in my last game, Greatswords). They cannot do enough damage to matter this turn, and in fact they may be mauled to the point that your opponent's unit will be able to wipe them out now, and continue toward an objective unmolested. What happens if they fall back a few inches? You can adjust the unit's position so the enemy cannot go where they want to without dealing with the nuisance unit, and they cannot be gotten rid of this turn. You have bought yourself a round to maneuver (and perhaps send help) just by falling back a bit.

I am pleased with myself.
In the end, this game is going to be what you make of it. My tactics are not the end-all be-all by any stretch. I lost my last game, I have not mastered the Stormcast, and I may never. I do, however, feel that I have improved vastly since my last outing. I forced myself to be patient, I was not afraid to leave a tactically sour situation, and I tried to prioritize targets (I was incorrect, but it was a start.

I did, several times, forget some abilities. I think I need to make up some reference cards with what abilities models have and when they trigger, but one thing at a time. First, master the basics, then on to the memorization.

I'm still looking forward to the General's Handbook. It will be a whole new way to play the game. As much as I love the PPC system (and I do), a standardized pick-up-and-play system for anywhere you go will help the game a ton.

Finally, I have some more minis done, and I'll show them off soon!

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Random Repaint & Battlefield Roles

First off, let me start by saying "oops". Turns out the decals on the shoulders of your units do more than simply designate units... The offending minis, pictured to the left, have been fixed. I didn't take a picture yet, but now they have moons where the stars were.

Now, that said, how 'bout some more AoS? Today will be my first time fielding a "pure" Stormcast Eternal army. I have been reading up on Stormcast tactics, and the interwebz seem to agree that the Sigmarines are best in an MSU (multiple small unit) configuration. To that end, I starting putting together a new, more swarmy, version of my old list. PPC comp system, of course, as the General's Handbook won't be out for another few weeks.

I won't go into the gory details, just an overview.

After Demitra's thorough whupping administration laid upon the backsides of my Vindicators, I have not only studied the rules and the FAQ, but also some strategy articles discussing formations, model roles on the battlefield, and weapon loadouts. 5 models seems to be the ideal size for most Stormcast units. Their characters are capable of several roles at a time- buffer, fighter, sniper, etc. Because of that, a Stormcast player can get away with bringing less characters than most armies.

Weapon loadouts are another thing. Decimators should all have axes. All of them, all of the time. with their excellent reach and crazy ability to get an attack for every enemy within 2", they should capitalize on crowd control. Leave the scary things to the other paladins.

Judicators are wonderful. They have good range, and their arrows hit pretty hard. The crossbows... Situational at best. I can see them trailing some Protectors as crowd control, but unless they are shooting into an ongoing combat, they are most likely going to get eaten.

Damn you, Liberators! I know you have SOME function!
I'm positive Liberators have uses, but I'm not seeing them. They're not good bait, they don't crank out a ton of damage, and they're not super durable. I wish I could see their appeal. I guess twin hammers and a Prime with a Great hammer might work as a "swap out" or "temporary tarpit" unit, so I'll keep trying with them.

The heroes are mostly pretty good.

I have some severe hesitancy about the Knight-Azyros. Unless you build your army around his Lightning Strike tweak, he will light up an enemy unit for a very brief period before his swift, brutal death.

The Lord Relictor only really seems to shine in the presence of a Dracoth rider or a Star Drake, both of which will leave him in the dust.

Finally, the Lord Castellant. Oh, how I want to like you! Oh, how the FAQ religated you to the blackest depths of my figure case! Now that you make saves, regenerate wounds, then apply damage, you end up in the "Relictor Zone". Cool on paper, in practice, however, meh or worse.

Everyone else in the books have some great abilities. Personally, with my "go get 'em" style of play, a Lord-Celestant on foot handing out +1 to hit the enemies of the God-King (especially when backed up by an Amber Wizard for OMG levels of brutality) is a no-brainer in terms of being my General.

Knight-Heraldors? If you don't see the amazing control potential for these guys... Well, think hard. Yoinking units out of the wrong fight and sending them running toward a new threat is brilliant. Better yet, a Star Drake moving flat out (fly + run), unleashing its breath weapon (it's an ability, not an attack), and then charging? Squeeeee!!!

Any way, my head is a-swirlin' with thoughts, and I have a game tonight, so time to start narrowing down my options into an army list.

Until next time, when I'll have minis to show off!

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Thoughts of Sigmar

I really believed this.
So, Age of Sigmar is about to get a points system- an official one, where GW has playtested the rules and values associated as well as gotten input from, and changed things based on the input of, tournament organizers. I am thrilled.

Until now I have been trying the game out, and it is a pretty slick system. I've picked up some ideas, some tactics (it matters which models you use and how you deploy / move them). The PPC system seems pretty good. It too is community tested, and seems balanced enough. The games I have lost have been due to poor tactics on my part. I have discovered this by watching tactics articles online that show how to utilize things like the pile-in move to your advantage. I have read articles on which weapons work best on which model, and why (This concerns me a bit, but I see uses for all the kit Stormcast have). The game has some combos, and they all help out, but none are game breaking.

That said, I am worried.

My worry is, of course, about an "official" set of points. While I look forward to (and have ordered) a copy of the General's Handbook, I worry about things slipping through playtesting cracks. Rules don't get truly checked out until they're released "into the wild", where gamers hell-bent on breaking them look for any playtesting "oopsie" they can find, and pounce on it. Power gamers, and I feel I can call them out as I once was one, are going to sit down, grab a calculator, and crunch the numbers to come up with the best bang for the point. While no system is perfect (looking for that is a fool's errand, as I have mentioned before), some systems are better than others. Only a select few people have seen the actual system, so what do I know?

This is... a thing?
...Then a picture got leaked. Supposedly it is a picture of the new points system for Age of Sigmar. Looking at it, which you can do as well if you gaze to the right, there are some questions right off the bat. The "Min" and "Max" columns are pretty straightforward. You can take from (Min) to (Max) models in a unit. No surprise there.

Next you have the point costs themselves. The values seem a bit high for a per-model value. Word is games are still 2,000 point affairs, and High Elf archers are clocking in at a double-digit cost. What that is can't really be determined unfortunately. So, is this a "per grouping" cost? Say, for X points you get Y models?

Finally, the names of things. There are no "Lizardmen" (second purple header), there are "Seraphon". There are no "Elves", there are "Aelves". There are no "Ogres", there are "Ogors". Seems odd to me that GW would miss that. Then again, there are a bunch of legacy unit names there. Teclis, High Elf Archers, The Shadow King... This could be some of the point values for the old lists. The models not in the Grand Alliance books.

If only the picture weren't so blurry! That, however, is the way of hoax postings on the internet. Make something up, take a really bad picture of it, throw it to the drooling masses, and lulz as the masses go wild.

As you can most likely tell from my tone, I don't believe that the above image actually is legit. As a person that loves skepticism, I attempt to use it as often as possible in my life. I have chosen to deploy that tool here, so I shall go with my old mantra; "I'll believe it when I see it". When I'm holding the actual published book, am leafing through it, and find this chart, I will believe. Until then, it's just a blurry picture of...


Nothing other than that.

Blurry thing that doesn't exist plays AoS using blurry point values that are just as fake.

Monday, June 20, 2016

I've Been Pretty Bad at This Blogging Thing Recently...

Etna does not approve of my neglect.
Once again, not dead, busy.

I just moved house from Fairfax to Manassas. For those who don't know, I basically moved further away from Washington, DC down I-66 (renowned as having some of the worst traffic in the United States) in order to save money on rent. Northern Virginia has some of the worst over-inflated rent in the nation, and I had the misfortune to be born there...

That said, I have been playing some Age of Sigmar against Demitra. His blog is dead, so I'm not linking to it any more. I have discovered one thing- swarms in AoS are deadly. Seriously, even the most pathetic Free Peoples units can decimate you with barely a thought.

The fact that he won't re-base his minis (a decision I begrudgingly respect) doesn't help. Those 20mm bases get a lot more spears / halberds in range than you would expect.

After having the "Age of Balance" system accidentally broken over my head (40 Daemonettes wins games) we switched to the PPC system. The fact that it's in Battlescribe certainly helps, as I can fiddle with lists at lunch.

I have, despite myself, fallen in love with the Stormcast Eternals. The "Sigmarines" have kind of cliche' fluff, but they're just fantasy Space Marines, so I find it funny that people will rag on Stormcast fluff, imagery, and rules while they paint up their eight billionth Space Marine. Get a grip, guys. Stormcast are fantasy Space Marines. That's their deal. So, what?

Rant abated, here is my progress.

Lightning hammers go BOOM!

First up, a squad! these are three of the starter set Retributors, with two of the normal boxed minis atted in. Yes, the minis should have tassels on their helmets. I was not paying attention. The Decimators I'm making should have heads that I'll swap out from another kit. In fact, I have a fair few Stormcast on the way.

My sword! It squiggles!!!

Next up, my Lord Celestant. His head is from the Retributor box, and his sword is from the long since discontinued Mordheim weapon frame.The rest is, obviously, a Lord Relictor. He turned out prety OK.

Lastly, the actual Lord Relictor. I decided to go with a more "40k-ish" look to him, painting him up in Chaplain colors. The teal on his shoulders, along with the limited color palette, connect him visually to the rest of the army.

I intend to get some battle reports in soon. My new game room is a bit cramped, but it is mine, and I can do whatever I want with the space. Sometimes moving to a smaller town farther away from the action adds benefits (for instance, more space).

Hobby Nirvana.

Until next time, I leave you with a shot of my new hobby area. new desk, computer readily at hand, baby fan to keep cool, Oh, and also an awesome speaker system (not pictured) for podcasts and music.

Here's hoping I post again in the next month. 2016 has been a rough year for this blog.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Casting The Storm- Epically


As promised, my Knight Venator. I couldn't get the white wings to look right, so I tried purple, which became pink as I highlighted, so now I have the above result. I don't really mind the outcome.

My Canadian mail order arrived as well. Above are the results of the assembly, including a pair of conversions. Unfortunately I forgot to take separate pictures of them, so I'll throw some up ASAP. You may have noticed some little dudes in the top right corner as well...

 Yep, my lazy butt finally got around to starting the process of painting my Epic Dark Eldar. These minis look good as bare metal, but only improve with a lick or two of paint. Links and closeups will be added later.

That's it for now. Hopefully more and better content coming soon.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Vindicating Things... Celestially

So, I found a guy getting rid of two sets of Stormcast Eternal minis from the Age of Sigmar starter online. I kinda broke down and bought them, seeing as they were a great deal and I would like to paint some. Now they are winging their way here from the Great White North, and due to arrive next Wednesday. As you may have gleaned from the above title and picture, I plan on going with the Celestial Vindicators colors. I have already acquired my first mini, a Knight-Venator, which is painted up and in my display case. I'm a real fan of the mini, and he was the determining factor as to weather or not I would get more of them. Turns out I did.

Unfortunately I don't have any pictures yet (I'm posting this on lunch while at work), but I will soon.

Unfortunately the Daemons have entered limbo until I can save up enough dough for an airbrush. There are so many I'm kind of loathe to paint them via bristle brush.

Wait a minute... What's with the Wych up there? Stay tuned to find out!

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

All-Star Ninjas on the Scene!!!

I didn't go as far overboard as I could have.
Another Kickstart error fulfilled by Soda Pop Miniatures! This makes two they've finished in less time than Palladium Books has taken to fulfill Robotech, and it seems as though that will remain to be the case for a long time to come. I wouldn't be surprised if they finish Super Dungeon Legends before the rest of the Robotech minis ship.

Bitterness aside, the first thing to do with miniatures such as these is to paint them. Clan Iga looked to be the coolest to me, what with their red skin and purple outfits, so they were to be first. Much the same as with Super Dungeon Explore, I started with white primer.

 Their red skin was tackled in pretty much the same manner as the kobolds I painted for the first edition of Super Dungeon Explore. If you click the name on the list to the right you should be able to find my technique. The next part will be a bit of an issue. I need to start on the Dark parts of the models after painting the skin in a bright color and without slipping up and getting another color on the vibrant red. Basically everything from here, except for the hair, is dark purple, black, or metallic (and metallic colors work best over a black basecoat). This will require a steady hand, and a fair bit of patience, but it can be done. Albeit rather slowly. I'm probably going to need a new brush with a finer tip to get into the crevices without touching the wrong bits as well.

I decided to start with one of the Iga named characters, Yobuko. Honestly, I don't really care for the character, his rules, or his sculpt. That made him the perfect guinea pig for my tests. He's done now, and while I still dislike the mini, the color scheme will work out okay.

In unrelated news, I tried a game of Age of Sigmar using the "Age of Balance" comp system. It's basically a rough & ready deal, focusing not so much on "perfect" values (they make a rather convincing argument that no such thing exists) but on "fair" games. In other words, yes the system isn't flawless, and yes it's open to abuse, but what system isn't?

I have a few thoughts about the game. as with all battle reports I have read, the game pretty much devolved into a big scrum in the center of the battlefield. This may well have been due to the fact that the game was Daemons vs. Daemons, a pair of armies not really known for their shooting. Perhaps plunking Skaven down across the board will change things? One thing's for sure, much like Lord of the Rings, the game needs scenarios to eliminate repetitive gameplay.

I think I'll see if the Age of Balance comp system and the PPC scenarios mesh. A little tweaking may be needed, but with luck not too much.

I'll be playing X-Wing for a couple weeks while prepping for a store championship, so don't expect too much hobby progress soon. That having been said, I'm painting up objectives for AoS PPC scenarios today, so maybe I'll have something to show off soon after all!

Friday, January 29, 2016

Darkness Beckons

I'm trucking along.

With the help of a blizzard trapping my wife and me in our apartment, lots of daemons have been ripped off their old bases, trimmed to size (removing tabs and cutting down old bases), and glued to their new round and roundish bases. I've also started sanding (by which I mean gluing sand to) some of them.

Yep, those are the old "Diaz Daemonettes". I know they're worth a fortune, but I want them for myself. Even more so those Seekers. They were out for what seemed to be only a couple of minutes, and I own some. Go me! Rebasing the Bloodletters was sort of an issue. I ended up having to chop the base up rather than cut their feet off, which ended up making them look... interesting. Hopefully some clever work with sand will fix that.

Down toward the front are some gnoblars I'm raiding my bits box to make Horrors out of. A few snips here, the gluing of random bits there, and when I'm done I should have what look like impish creatures mocking reality. Once again I had to cut sections of base off before gluing them down to their new rounds.

Another classic oddity comes in the form of this Lord of Change. He's from back when I first started playing 40k, which if you know this model as well dates us both. His base is a GW 50mm from the Centurion kits. I just bought them off of eBay loose. Also, I added the smoke billowing from the Hell Pit Abomination's mace hand in front of the Lord. I'm going to paint it up as some form of blue energy flowing forth to form one of his spells.

Speaking of loose bits from eBay, I went ahead and picked up some High Elf chariots and Steeds of Slaanesh loose as well. All in all, once I added two Daemonettes and some of the old metal wheels from the old Chaos Chariot kit, I was able to build each chariot for around $9 a pop. Not too shabby.

The next mini is a Nurgle Chaos Lord I did a quick head swap to in order to make a Herald. I've always thought that this was a great mini, so I used this project as an excuse to buy him. His new head was cut from the Dark Eldar Venom jetbike trophy racks.

That's it for now. According to UPS I should be getting Ninja All-Stars today, so I'll be taking a quick break from Daemons to try the game out, but after that it's straight back to work!

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

A Stirring in the Warp... Again...

It's been too long since I've been here. I haven't not been gaming. I've rather been playing X-Wing.

A lot.

Still poorly, but a lot.

Since the only real hobby time I've really gotten out of that particular game is painting the engines on the Millennium Falcon, and a pretty poor repaint of Poe's X-Wing, I haven't had a reason to post.

Recently, however, some things have changed in my life, and I have time to fiddle around with toy soldiers again.

Be warned, a mini rant lies ahead.

Long ago, perhaps before you were born, dear reader, I started reading the "Redwall" series of books. I was never really a devout reader of anything, but this world called to me. There were only the first two books at the time, but both Redwall and Mossflower resonated with me in a way no book ever had. I was instantly hooked. I would go on to spend hours pouring through the 22 books in the ever expanding saga, reading about heroes like Matthias, Martin the Warrior, Bella, Mattimeo, and so many, many more.

...But no character ever stood out to me like Cluny the Scourge. The savage, sadistic, and at times outright insane pirate rat captain from Redwall. His brutality, ingenuity, and callous disregard for the lives of his enemies as well as his crew cemented him as one of my all time favorite villains.

I looked for a picture to post here that might do him justice, but none seem to exist that do him justice as described in the books. Also, please don't go watching the awful animated series. I have seen parts of it, and let's just say that it's.... Unfortunate.

A few years later, I wandered into a Games Workshop store (the one located in Fair City Mall- either the first or second store in the States) looking for Battletech miniatures and books. They had lots of miniatures, but no battlemechs. Obviously, this store sucked. After I chatted with the store staff member on duty for a second, I told him I was in a bit of a hurry and had to run (no sense in staying if they didn't have what I wanted). He asked me to hold on for just one bit, and he ran to the display of back issues of White Dwarf on the back wall. He grabbed one of the older issues, and handed it to me saying "here, take this with you and read up a bit on us". I said I would, and headed home.

Later that night I pulled out the magazine, and started leafing through it. There were a fair few sci-fi minis, but meh. They couldn't stand up to the coolness of a battlemech, and the universe just didn'the look nearly as well fleshed out. There were some other articles, none of which stick with me to this day. Finally, as I neared the end of the magazine, I came upon the battle report.

I stopped turning pages right there.

There, laid out before me, was an army of rats. Just like in Redwall! This was the greatest thing ever.

The story goes on from there, but basically I started playing Warhammer Fantasy Battle a bit later, and always loved my skittering, chittering, Skaven. I have some of the very first miniatures sitting in the figure cases and display case right behind me as I type this. I have three of the pins GW was giving out during the End Times when I snatched up the remaining few minis I needed for my collection right before...

Before they destroyed the game I loved. Don'the get me wrong, 8th edition was no masterpiece of game design by any stretch. I think that is what led to its downfall. If you have a game that is that broken, and requires literally hundreds of very expensive miniatures to play, it will just fall flat. That is what that edition of the game did.

Then, Age of Sigmar leaked. The horrible rumors were true. A four page ruleset, no more "rank & flank", and worst of all, no points values. The rules actually called for players to just grab whatever they had lying around toss them down across the table from each other, and go at it. No semblance of balance whatsoever.

I was out. Done with it. No more GW for me. It had been nearly a year since my last game of 40k, and there was Kings of War to fill the void. I could even use my Skaven with one of their platesting lists.

Cut to last month. I was strolling through the forums over at Dakka Dakka, and I came across a link to the PPC project. Lots of the people on the thread were commenting about the system making the game rather balanced. Plus, since the system was being worked on by a worldwide internet community rather that a few guys in England, issues could be addressed and balanced as needed.

...And so, with a sigh, I said "why the hell not?" And went about considering my choices to try the new system out with. It turned out to be a pretty easy choice. The only army I had with no recent rulebook had by far the most broken book in the ruleset I did have that I could use them in. My Daemons.

Into the dip they went. I was going to have to make them uniform across the whole army, so every last bit of paint would have to come off.

More astute viewers of the image above may note that what is in that container is not Simple Green.

It's actually a product you in the States can find over at Dollar Tree called "LA's Totally Awesome!". It runs $1 per bottle, and it took 2 bottles to fill the container pictured. There are two advantages to it over Simple Green. First, it's cheap. Much more so than the alternative. Second, it's faster. This stuff devours most paint in two days. Be warned, wash your hands super well after using this stuff. I missed some under my wedding band, and the results are not too pretty. Once soaked and scrubbed with a toothbrush, most of your minis will look out of the blister new. It seems to have problems getting paint off of plastic though, so stick with Simple Green for that.

One thing to keep in mind- Totally Awesome eats superglue as well, so a lot of your joins will fail. Check all of them before repainting any mini. A lot of my daemonette arms are loose, but because I pinned them in place, you wouldn't know without checking them.

...Well, more than likely you wouldn'the know until it's too late.

As you can see, my Daemons are off their old square bases, and ready to be put onto a new round one. Those are in the mail, and should arrive by tomorrow. Just in time for the blizzard (that may or may not happen, shucks it could be rain). At least if something does indeed happen snow-wise, and I'm stranded indoors, I have something to do while my wife watches Fushigi Yugi. Yes, I bought both seasons for her for Christmas, but I have no interest in watching a single episode.

With any luck, I'll be getting a new toy to play with while refurbishing this army as well, but only time will tell.