Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Dreamforge Wave 2 order came in, and I've been a busy bee...

Well, if you follow my blog, and apparently 30 of you do, you might have seen the above image before. It's my first of the Dreamforge Leviathans I picked up, and it's proudly in the case at Titan Games and Hobbies.

I've had my second Levi just sitting in it's box, and I haven't touched it all. And then these came in:

Since the painted Levi was at the store, I decided to assemble the one that was at home. I pulled out my LED kits and got to work. Sadly, there's just not enough room in the guns or torso for a full 9v to fit into it, so I had to order the mini-ones from the kit maker. Thus, the torso lights are still a work in progress.

But the guns work.

Oh, and there's one of the 15mm Levi's for scale.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Lookit! I bought a neat thing!

Specifically, I bought some Wargames mats from Deep Cut Studios.

I like 'em. My initial impression is one of quality; they easily seem equal to the Zuzzy mat I got, but obviously lack the texture that the Zuzzy has. What these mats have is pretty much unroll it and play ease, as they're pre-printed and colored.

Color me fond. The only problem is making winter themed terrain, but if that's the worst part about it, I'm okay with it.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

WIP Rail Crew

Good enough for the table, but still not finished.

Faced off against Zach again tonight with 'tina at 35ss. Reckoning, Line in the Sand and Vendetta for me, Vendetta and Bodyguard for him (on Killjoy. Ugh.)

We played with huge amounts of cover, which killed my LoS with Raspy, and it really hamstrung me. Most of the schemes flipped were counter to the main strat, and so I felt up against the wall from the get go. Turn three saw Vik of Blood in base contact with 'tina, and only a Golem and the Essence of Power were left.

At that point I conceded rather than waste both our times.

I can't wait for Snow Storm to be official, rules wise. He's superior to the golem in most aspects, and only one point more. January can't come fast enough.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Tried to do some OSL, and also finished a December Acolyte

I was somewhat stumped as how to paint Misaki and her crew, when it occurred to me that they are the midnight assassins of the Oyabun's forces in Malifaux. They strike from the the smoke and shadows, literally. So, I thought about painting them in the in a half lit hard shadowed OSL, something I've never attempted before. And it's obvious from my first attempt that I need some refinement.

It's good for table top quality, but I think I'll need more practice before I'm truly happy with it.

Moving onto firmer ground here, I also whipped up a more standard model, that of the December Acolyte. It's a great model, and I really wish there was an alternate of it, as I'd love to have two in the crew, and I don't want to have clones in my forces. That's why I spent so much time converting my Gaki. The December Acolyte, however, is far too mono-pose for someone of my meager talents to convert. I'll likely proxy the second one until they come out with a new plastic model.

Of course, I also need a Snow Storm model, a Blessed of December, and probably a Silent One, as the rules for those have just recently come out in the Wave 2 beta, and I don't think their models are in the pipe just yet.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Some models done and dusted

Seems I'm on a bit of an Archanist bent recently.

I really like how they all turned out. Thank you, every Hollywood movie poster/Battlefield cover for my color scheme for the Essence of Power. :) It might be tried and true, but it sure does pop.

I'm going to go back and do some more work on the bamboo on the bases of the Gamin/Golem, but for now, they're playable.

Monday, October 14, 2013

For all sins great and small, there will be a reckoning

Jeff and I ended up playing a 50ss game.

My list:

Kirai  (Absorb Spirit,Bloody Sheers, Swirling Aether)
Datsue Ba (Spirit Whispers, Immediate Vegeance)
Izamu the Armor (Aura of Decay)
Grave Spirit
7 Stones

Jeff's List, from what I recall:

Vik of Ash
Vik of Blood, Mark of Your Armor Doesn't Matter
Student of Conflict
Friekorps Librarian

A great game.  It ended during the 5th turn, with me getting approximately 3 points, and Jeff getting 5 due to him actually killing things during a Reckoning Game. Odd that.
An error I made: someone pointed out to be that if I marked my own models with the Feast trigger, that the gaki summoned would be under my **opponent's** control. 

So much for that strategy, then. 

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Vengeance is mine

The 35 Soul Stone Crew

My List:

Kirai  (Absorb Spirit, Immediate Vengeance, Swirling Aether)
Datsue Ba (Spirit Whispers)
Izamu the Armor (Aura of Decay)
Grave Spirit

7 in the cache

Jeff's Guild list (approx)
Lady J (Vendetta?)
2 Death Marshalls
3 Guild Rifleman

My opponent for the evening was Jeff Schmaley. He and I had agreed to a 35ss fight, but we decided at the last minute to go for 50ss. It wasn't a problem for me, as all I needed to do was add in Izamu with Aura of Decay and promote two Gaki to Onryo. We ended up playing Turf War with a standard six inch deployment. I took a revealed Breakthrough and Vendetta on a Death Marshall with one of the Onryo being the bearer of the Vendetta. Jeff revealed Kill Protege and concealed his breakthrough, IIRC

The board was filled with terrain, with an acropolis at the center breaking up line of sight quite well, making his guild riflemen less than useful. 

I ceded choice of sides to Jeff, allowing me to set up second. For a while I was afraid that we would put his riflemen in an elevated position, allowing him to pick me off, but he kept them on ground level, a mistake in my opinion. They weren't much of a factor in the game. Jeff kept his crew to my left, and I chose to respond by advancing right center behind a building. I won initiative, and again ceded first activation to Jeff. As with most first turns, this was less than exciting, as it was mostly maneuver. Jeff advanced straight into the acropolis with his guild rifles, and his melee moved behind it out of sight. I moved straight ahead, bulling a few movement/summoning shenanigans with Datsue Ba and Kirai, enough to get me a Gaki right on the guild master in the first turn. Of course, as Lady J had a full hand and with Gaki only having a ML of 4, that Gaki went nowhere fast, and ended up dying quite quickly (mainly because I forgot Hard to Kill).

The second turn had me in a good position to advance to the center, and start claiming Turf War points. Not a lot happened this turn. I got my one of my spirits in position to drop a scheme marker for Breakthrough, and moved to block Schmaley's advance into midfield. He seemed hesitant to commit, allowing me to claim an unanswered point for the strategy. He did shoot Izamu with a guild rifleman, and ended up flipping the red joker for damage. I had put the grave spirit in base with Izamu the activation prior, however, and so seven damage became three. 

The third round was when it all seemed to come apart for me. I foolishly charged Izamu into Lady J, only to have her easily survive the assault due to a better hand/soulstone use. Her ripose hit Izamu hard, but allowed for me to summon Ikiryo since an undead model had been damaged (Izamu). Lady J activated and took Izamu down, fulfilling the Protege scheme. He then advanced the exorcist, and let me tell you how awful that was. The exorcist shuts down all spirit and undead triggers, so my gaki had no access to feeding frenzy on the Judge or Lady J. I did get off a cast of Sundering on a Death Marshall, with the double crow trigger making him a potential Gaki. I also fulfilled the first part of my vendetta scheme. At this point, the Guild forces were close enough to start gaining turf war points, and so the score was now Guild 4, Ressers 3

From then on it was a scrum in the center, with the Guild slowly gaining the upper hand. That was until I was able to kill the marked Death Marshall with Datsue Ba's Weigh Sins, gaining me two models  for the price of one. It almost made up for the Exorcist paralyzing half of my crew the last two turns with Turn Undead. The problem for Jeff was that he couldn't kill anything I had. Spirit made me too resilient. He kept attempting to kill Kirai, but due to her being living, the Exorcist's Damning Oratory didn't apply to her triggers. Thus Kirai was able to shunt off Lady J's damage to spirits close to her. Somewhere in all this, I was able to drop off a second scheme marker for breakthrough.

As it was, the game ended on turn five, with Jeff only having one point for break through, three points for Kill Protege, and three for Turf War. That left me gaining three points for my announced breakthrough, one point for Vendetta, and 4 points for the Turf War, allowing me to squeak by with a one point win.

Final Score:
Kirai: 8
Guild: 7

An exhausting victory: those glass stones mark the models paralyzed by the Exorcist in the last round.

What won me the game: aggressive movement towards the center in turn two, and focusing on getting whatever scheme points I could. Listening to a few recent Malifools podcasts reminded me that I'm no longer playing 40k. Killing things are secondary to gaining points. I think I was stuck in the mindset of "if you're not killing, you're not winning." The Malifool's advice was simple: most of your points are tied into schemes, and since schemes are relatively unknown or unknowable until they're revealed, denying your opponent their strategy point for a turn is likely the most controllable, obvious way of winning the game. It's
simple advice, but it really saved my bacon in the last two games.

The new Beta is here! The new Beta is here!

And that makes Kirai a real person!
I'm playing my first 2E Kirai game tonight, and I'm keeping it 35 points for simplicity.

Kirai's upgrades are cheap, thankfully, and are pretty useful. The upgrades are needed to bring her back to the power level she enjoyed prior to the 2E change over.

Here's the list:

Kirai  (Absorb Spirit, Immediate Vengeance, Swirling Aether)
Datsue Ba (Spirit Whispers)

Grave Spirit

7 in the cache

For my 50, I'm considering adding Izamu the Armor with Aura of Decay. Should be fun.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Rasputina Thoughts

I've played a few games with my new favorite Master, and here are my thoughts:

  • The more Soulstones the better
  • Essence of Power is more useful than Wendigo in most situations
  • Despite its low Defense, a Golem with Subzero is worth it.
Rasputina is going to be getting most of your kills. And she can start doing that from about 23 inches away. A probable six casts on CA7 (8 if EoP boosts her), plus a positive twist if a soulstone is used (again from EoP) means the first two turns are going to crucial. You're going to have a high model count crew given the low cost of Ice/Metal Gamin and Molemen. Use that to your advantage and out activate your opponent. If you keep an Ice Gamin within six of 'Tina, your zero can boost her damage as well, and given the fact that she already has a respectable 2/4*/5**, you'll be sitting pretty. 'Tina works best when she can wipe a model out in one activation, and that means she usually won't be acting until about the third activation (if not later) because of those EoP and Gamin buffs expiring at the end of every round. Because of that need to activate later, she's vulnerable to fast movers. Bear that in mind and keep blockers handy. 

Don't be afraid to hit your own models in an engagement, especially if they're Ice Gamin. If you hit your own, and it's a large scrum, you can cheat your Gamin's defense number down and (hopefully) get the big numbers on your opponents. And if you run into the hard to kill issue (like I did with Taelor), the subsequent icy explosion of the Gamin will kill them off. I'll trade a 4 point model for Taelor/Vik, etcetera every time.

Metal Gamin are resilient as hell, but have the added bonus of making another model Def 6 for 1 AP. I'm considering having one shepherd the rather ponderous Def 2 Ice Golem so he can retain the Sub Zero upgrade. Once a henchman is released for her crew, Sub Zero is moving over to the hench. At that point, he'll get the generic Archanist upgrade that makes him Def 4.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Malifaux (Avengers) Assemble!

Because what's a miniatures blog post without some images?

I'm mostly finished with the Golem and the Gamin for Rasputina.

This is all that I've painted in the last week or two. I was bored today, so I pulled out my unassembled Malfaux and went to town:

I put together:

Mei Feng
3 RailWorkers
3 Metal Gamin
Viktoria of Ashes
Viktoria of Blood
3 Ronin
The Student of Conflict

I'm debating putting together my Herald of Obliteration Crew, but really, I've get enough stuff to paint. The Good news is that Secret Weapon is releasing a sewer themed  set of bases, and I'm (nominally) building a sewer themed table, so I think the Viks have found their basing style.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Speaking of Frozen Planets...

Yup. I had a plan coming back from Gencon that I was going to focus on getting Mei Feng ready, so I'd have two Ten Thunders crews ready to go. I'd ignore the Viks and Rasputina in order to get Mei ready and out the door.

Yeah, about that...

Heh. I couldn't resist opening up the other boxes. Sadly, the Hired Swords had a mispack, so now I have two Viktorias of the Blood, and no Taelor, so that's a no-go until Wyrd sends the replacement. And I love the new 'Tina models, soooo...

I just have the one Gamin painted, but I have bases for all of them done up. I'm going to be adding the Crushed Glass from Secret Weapon to add an ice feel to the base top.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Monday, August 5, 2013

Mecha Front

So, Paulson Games is making a mecha game called Mecha Front. Unlike umpteen other companies he's not doing a kickstarter, at least not yet. It's in the 15mm range, and he's got one mecha, the Nor-Am Raptor up for sale as a test bed. I picked it up, and here's the finished result.

The torso is magnetized so it can twist, and the arm weapons are as well, so that they can be swapped for alternate variants.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

More terrain just finished

Just a nice little piece I just finished up. 

Plus, I got my Torii Arch basecoated, and my Mecha Front Nor-Am Raptor mostly done (I'll do a seperate post for that one).

Now I just need to get my Garden of Morr assembled and done.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

2nd Crew Ready to Roll

Sorry, no pics, as there's no paint, but I've finished putting together my 2nd Malifaux crew, one that will be compliant with the upcoming 2nd edition.

Sadly, Kirai will not be one of the crew rules sets initially released, so she's in limbo right now. But that did give me impetus to work on my Miasaki crew. I've put together the Thunder box set, plus a set of of those [expurgated] Ten Thunder archers, and Yamaziko. With M2E hitting, both Ototo and Yamaziko can henchmaster, so I can use those in lower points games, but as it is, I've got about 53 Soulstones with of stuff to play with.

I'll try to play a few more games of the beta rules until Gencon, when I can (hopefully) pick up the new rules set.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Bonkers for Bunkers

It seems I've made a few in my day.

Still ugly

My first is one I made from instructions I found in the old 4th edition rulebook, back when hobbying was allowed, perhaps even encouraged!

Given how rough mine looks, perhaps I shouldn't have been encouraged. It may be pug ugly, but it gets the job done. It blocks LoS, and protects models. I made two of the buggers, and both are still with me after 8 years, so I think they've made their $10 I put into them back for me.

And if you want to make your own (hopefully less ugly) bunkers, Miniwargaming shows you how easy it is right here:

I was also excited to see the GW Wall of Martyrs one as well. It looked neat and fit the grimdark. That was, of course, until I got it home. It was tiny, smaller even than my trusty foamcore bunker.

Note which one actually has paint on it.

Interior detail, but still no lavatories in the 41st millenium

At the last Adepticon, I spied the bunker above available as a kit from Tectonic Craft Studios. Two bucks more, and tons more room, plus interior detail and usable roof space.  I will admit, it was more complex to assemble than the GW bunker, but given the sheer size of it, and how well the kit is engineered, I'll work with it. In fact, I bought another one. I'm just waiting to assemble it.

That being said, I did but the firestorm redoubt. Because flyers. The rule are wonky, but I think in the end, it'll be effective.

This one is still WIP, just like the Tectonic Bunker, the Redoubt is just further along.

Now, I just need that table to come in from Secret Weapon, and we'll be set!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Some completed terrain

These, I love. I got them from Warsen.al. The construction of both is solid, and relatively easy with the youtube tutorials Warsenal puts out. As of last time I checked, there's not tutorial for the large shipping container to the right, but you can extrapolate from the tutorial for the small container. Warsenal also makes magnetic stacking wound markers that are pretty nice looking.  When I use dice, I invariably end up picking wound dice up accidentally; this simplifies the process.

I also showed you Tectonic's Gallows last post. I wanted a sun-bleached, derelict look for my wood work, so I ended up priming black, heavily dry-brushing Chardonite Granite from GW's older foundation paints. One of the most versatile colors they ever made, by the way. It's gray or green depending on the highlights, and always looks proper drab after you're done with it. I then did a dry brush of my apple barrel craptastic "I only use these for terrain" paints, and it came out nice. I'm going to add a bit of static grass to the base, and maybe a twine noose, but then I'll be done with it.

A macabre terrain piece for many systems

It's hard to see, but there's just a bit of blood spatter on the gallows.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Terrain being worked on

GW's Firestorm Redoubt

Kitbashed Memorial Garden

Tectonic Game Studio's Gallows

Tectonic Game Studio's Shipment

Warsen.al's Torii Arch

Been a bit busy with it, in fact.

I'm planning ahead for my Secret Weapon Tablescapes table that I got via their Kickstarter. I was orginally slated to get the Ruined Cityscapes, but I'm thinking that the ruined temple would still work with my terrain and allow me to play Malifaux on it. Of course, I could just build a 3x3 for Malifaux on my own, which I'm exploring as an idea (given the dearth of "inside spaces" available for tables). It just doesn't seem right to be playing a steam punk game on a Zone Mortalis board all the time.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

A detour through the Breach

One of Kirai's spooky ghosts, a Shikome in particular

Just as I've been delving in alternate models, I've been exploring games outside the Games Workshop umbrella. The one I've been playing most often is Malifaux, Wyrd Game's skirmish based game that takes steam-punk, the weird west, and Asian horror, and puts it all in a blender.

The pros:
  • Individual models matter (four wounds on a model is somewhat weak)
  • Turns are activation based, as each model moves, fights, and casts until it's done, and then your opponent can respond, giving crewes consisting of weaker models a distinct advantage later in the turn.
  • Dice, the great betrayers that they are, are not used. Instead, a customized version of the standard poker deck is used with a control hand, allowing the player to manipulate fate by legal "cheating."
  • With each model doing 2 standard actions and one zero action (think free action) each turn, you'll feel like each model is getting their points cost worth.
  • How much you succeed by matters; the greater the success of an action, the more hurt it does (generally)
  • The models are pretty darn keen
The cons:
  • the rules for each model is set, with no customization. Every Shikome works just like every other Shikome. Every Gaki, etc..
  • The individual model's rule are all every complex, and model activation timing is crucial. It's easy for a beginner to forget rules or to do things out of order. 
  • Synergies exist, but research and experimental play is crucial for the new player, so they can discover what their models can do, and how far their abilities can be pushed.
  • The rules are not as transparent as some systems, and the learning curve can be steep

The good news is that Malifaux 2nd Edition is coming out, and will likely address a number of those issues. Masters will be simplified, and some of the standard abilities they have will become upgrades. Synergies might suffer a bit from that, but at least you'll be able to be surprised by a model and what it can do instead of knowing all "Kirai"s can Evolve Spirit, cast Chill of Death, Sooth Spirit, etc. And you won't have to pay for abilities you don't use. Since I'm heavily invested in Kirai as a caster, I'm hoping she doesn't change too much, but I'm sure she'll still be the Master of Spirits she has been.

M2E is being released at Gencon, and it's going to be one of my first purchases, so I'll give you my thoughts then. Oh, yeah, I'll be at Gencon.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Dreamforge Games: Progress on the APC

God, I'm kicking myself. I should have ordered a ton of these from the Kickstarter, and I didn't. I should have known better.

These are astounding, as you can see from the following pics.

The larger doors will be hinged, but the smaller ones will not be. That's a problem that magnets can solve. The not stormbolter will have a full traverse, and will be able to shoot anywhere around the vehicle. More pics and a further write-up are here.