Sunday, 8 November 2015

Who knew "building" a post apocalyptic landscape would be work?

Work has begun on the troops to fight over the post apocalyptic wasteland but I realised I need an actual post apocalyptic wasteland for them to fight over.

Plastcraft who have been making the current range of Malifaux scenery for a year or two now just brought out some generic near future ruins for exactly the type of games I want to play!

I picked up one of each set today and I'm hoping to get them all built within the next couple of days.  As they come pre coloured if I can get them built they are table ready at that point.


Tuesday, 3 November 2015

And now for something completely different

Four-ish years ago when I started this blog I was playing in a semi-regular Gamma World game.  It's always struck me as odd that that became one of my jumping off points for documenting my hobby time because as anyone who is a miniature gamer and has played Gamma World knows it is one of the worst systems to try to find miniatures for.

For those of you unfamiliar with Gamma World it is(was?) TSR's and then Wizards Of The Coast's weird post-apocalyptic take on sci-fi.  As a role playing game one of the things that made it great was that it was filled with truly unique settings and creatures that made it feel entirely different than many similar themed games.

As is often the way of things for miniature gamers I searched high and low for good figures to use for the game but didn't find the right stuff until after I had left the campaign and really didn't have an immediate need for them anymore.

Fast forward to now.  I've been looking into a skirmish wargame called This Is Not A Test and have decided that rather than doing a gritty down-and-dirty band of Mad Max or Fallout style survivors I am going to dig out my collection of models for Gamma World and finally get some paint on them.

My first stop is humanoid-chickens called Gallus Gallus in Gamma World.  These could also sub-in as mutants in Judge Dredd or Necromunda if you play with a sense of humour.

These awesome models are the work of Interloper Miniatures and for any fans of the genre I highly encourage you to check out Legion's fantastic and unique models at Interloper Miniatures

The goal is to get theses 6 done tonight so I can move on to some equally silly and fun stuff this weekend.


Thursday, 29 October 2015

Happy (early) Halloween!

Let 'The Night Of The Carver' begin!

One of the things the folks over at Wyrd have added to the second edition of Malifaux is story based encounters.  Some of these encounters come as pre-packaged box sets (The University Of Transmortis being the first one) and some of them revolve around one special character or model who features centrally in a scenario.

The Carver is a Neverborn model that has it's own scenario in Malifaux and has also had a Through The Breach one-shot adventure written around him.  The Carver is one of those new takes on a horror classic that Wyrd seem to do so well.  This time a scarecrow that seems to go one step beyond the stuff of basic nightmares.

I had really hoped to be able to play Night Of The Carver around Halloween but unfortunately it's just not going to work out for me this year.  However on the plus side I've had the good fortune to loan the model out so at least some other players can make use of it and play a cool scenario appropriate to the season.

Best of luck to everyone facing down The Carver this'll need it.


Sunday, 25 October 2015

First Thoughts - Frostgrave

I've now had the opportunity to play 3 games of Frostgrave with 2 different wizards against 3 different opponents and I wanted to share my thoughts.

First up a bit about the game.  Frostgrave is a skirmish level fantasy campaign game set in a ruined city where competing warbands led by a variety of wizards search the ancient ruins looking for treasure and relics of days gone by.
The game is mechanically very straight forward, it uses a D20 to resolve all actions and you are typically rolling off against an opponent where each of you has 1 die plus or minus 1 modifier to get your total (high wins).
The basic game rules are very simple and straight forward, going into it my one concern was that it would be overly simple and might get repetitive quickly.  Based on my limited experience so far that seems unlikely.  although the rules themselves are quite simple the order you activate in really drives you strategy and makes careful planning really important.  The other thing is the variety of spells along with them having varying degrees of difficulty for various casters mean there are a lot of value judgements being made during the game.
On the downside the placement of treasure seems to create a situation where in many scenarios you just won't bother crossing the centre line of the board.

Overall I really like Frostgrave.  Osprey Games has hit on that perfect middle ground of 'easy to learn, difficult to master' and the campaign system seems to do a good job of maintaining balance.

If you like D&D, Pathfinder or Mordheim I highly recommend this game.


Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Do you feel in charge?

About two months later than I thought I'm finally getting into my figures for Batman: The Miniatures Game.

I'm starting off with the Arkham Origins version of Bane and his crew but the plan is eventually to transition into The Suicide Squad.

First up is the man himself; Bane.

Bane has been one of my favourite Batman characters for a long time.  I've always liked the idea that he looks like the typical comic-book brick stereotype while also being a tactical genius.  The Arkham Origins version of the character straddles the line between his traditional luchador-look and a more paramilitary version.

When I get some of goons done you'll get a real sense of how big he is.  It's hard to tell in a single shot but he's standing on a 40mm base.

More on the way soon.....


Wednesday, 30 September 2015

First Thoughts - Through The Breach

I finally ran my first game of Through The Breach tonight and I wanted to share my thoughts on it.

First up I had a strange realisation as I was getting to run the game; this is probably the first completely new RPG I've tried in years.  Every other "new" RPG I've played in at least the last 10 years has more or less been a variation or derivative of D20 Dungeons & Dragons, it was really odd to suddenly find myself doing something completely fresh and new.

For those of you not familiar with the game Through The Breach is the RPG set in the world of Malifaux.  Malifaux has a great backdrop and really well developed art and background so it was super-easy for my players to understand and visualise the world around them.

The big adjustment for gamers who have experience with traditional RPGs is that in Through The Breach none of the Fatemaster's (that's the person running the game) actions outcomes are random.  Basically everything an NPC does has a set value assigned to it and the players actively oppose all the actions of Fatemaster controlled characters.  I found this to be an outstanding mechanic because it meant that every player was actively involved in every action as opposed to sometimes sitting back while the Fatemaster pushed the action.

The one downside is that as new players I didn't feel the game was immediately and automatically intuitive.  There were a couple of occasions where I wasn't 100% sure we were using skills and making flips correctly but I'll figure that out before our next game.  I felt like a few summary charts or cards could have made things a bit simpler but maybe that's what the Fatemaster's Kit is for (I haven't picked that up yet).

I won't go into the details of our adventure as it is part of the ongoing Nythera worldwide event and other groups will still be playing through this adventure for a few more days and I'd hate to spoil anything.

Overall I really enjoyed the game and will definitely play it again.


Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Yep...pretty sure this means I'm an Arcanist player now...

If wrapping up the Oxfordian Mages the other day wasn't enough I finished 3 Fire Gamin tonight.  So that feels like I'm an Arcanist player now.

These were fun (and easy to paint) basically being living fire elementals/imps.  One thing I did differently than I would normally do on figures like this is that I didn't actually use ANY red.  I basically worked through 3 shades of orange and then used yellow to pick out the actual flames.  It's a very basic colour scheme but it looks very tidy and creates a pretty sharp effect, I'm happy with it.

Oddly enough there is a very slim chance I'll actually need these models in the game that I'm playing but I know if I didn't get them painted then I would definitely need them.



Lately for someone who doesn't play mages in RPGs or use a lot of wizards in wargames I feel like I'm suddenly painting a lot of spell-caster models.

Today's addition is for Through The Breach although I'm pretty sure this along with a couple of more projects looming on the horizon means I'm also now becoming an Arcanist player for Malifaux as well.

The Oxfordian Mages are a set of 3 Enforcers for Malifaux who provide some spell-casting in a crew beyond the usual Masters and/or Henchmen.  Their background is really cool, they're basically magical students of minor ability from Earthside (the real world of 1901ish) who find their powers greatly amplified when they cross over through the breach into the world of Malifaux.

Conceptually I like these figures a lot and they really feel unique and not like something you're going to find in other model ranges.  The other thing I hadn't really thought of initially is that a long time ago (a year, maybe two) I mentioned I was looking for young male human wizard figs for fantasy RPGs and I'm actually pretty sure that if I need one now I'll be using the Oxfordian Mage in the running post with the purple flames creeping up his arms.

The paint job ended up being a little rushed as I need these and three other figures for a game I'm playing tomorrow but with the exception of the brown looking a little flat I'm pretty happy with how they turned out.

There should be one more Malifaux/Through The Breach update tomorrow and then back to Frostgrave for a day or two.


Saturday, 26 September 2015

Nythera rolls on....

Another week gone by and a bit of work done on updating my Malifaux collection for Nythera and some work done on adding a few things I need for Through The Breach.

First up I just wanted to highlight one of the great things about campaigns/tournament play.  I've had my last 3 unpainted Resurrectionist models sitting on my desk for months because as I moved through various games and projects I just never really circled back around to them, last night 2 of those figs got painted, it's great sometimes to have that extra little push to get you to do something that you wanted to do anyway but kept putting off.

So we'll start with 1 new figure sitting side by side with a re-based figure.  When I started painting for Nythera I did something I almost never do which is to pick a new basing scheme for an already existing force.  Sybelle and the Dead Rider got the cool textured bases from Secret Weapon miniatures and then became the leaders of my Ressurectionist force.  Fast forward 2 games and all my stuff on my old basing scheme looks a little week next to them so I've decided to go back and re-base some stuff.  I re-based the Nurse with the large syringe and then painted the second Nurse to go with her.  They're pretty basic (and one of them almost single handedly cost my me last game) but they're a great addition and as it turns out I will need them in an upcoming Through The Breach game....more on that later.

Next I still had my 2 Onryo from my Kirai box set unpainted, and once again I needed one of them for Through The Breach.  I had started these figures a couple of months ago and what was funny in the end is it took me less than 20 minutes to finish this one but for some reason I had been putting it off for a long time.

And lastly something that's a bit new for me but I will be doing more of over the next couple of weeks, this is a counter/marker for a game.  I can't say what for just yet but all will be revealed in another week.  Traditionally I have been one of those players who uses bases/coins/glass beads/whatever for counters and markers in games but Frostgrave has really encouraged me to step that up.  I got some treasure chest for that game and now I'm going to start creating some more visually interesting stuff for other games as well.

That's it for today, I have 6 more models that NEED to get done by Wednesday this week and then after that I should be able to talk more specifically about exactly what some of this stuff is/was for.


Sunday, 20 September 2015

Somebody hasn't been updating their blog lately.....

It's been one of those odd breaks again.  The truth is I've been doing a reasonable amount of 'hobbying' but I haven't been blogging much lately.  Same old same old, still struggling with photography issues and clearing workspace....some day...some day....

Lately I've been focusing on getting stuff done for three games; Age Of Sigmar, Frostgrave and Malifaux/Through The Breach.  I'll show you what's gotten done in the last week and then we'll talk about what's next.


Painting Necromancers is nothing new for me, having many different undead and horror themed armies for different games.  What was different this time out is that these figures were assembled and painted for Frostgrave but made it to the table in 2 Age Of Sigmar games before I finally circled back around to Frostgrave.  Both figs are made out of the Empire Wizard kit with a bretonnian archer head thrown in to make the apprentice appear hooded.  These figures are fairly basic but I'm really happy with how they turned out and so far they have been HUGE contributors in the three games they've played in.

Next up: Bretonnians.....I mean Frostgrave soldiers....

I picked up some bretonnian men-at-arms a while back with the intention of using them for Warmachine or Iron Kingdom roleplaying, once I really saw how they scaled with Privateer Press miniatures I abandoned that idea.  I will be using some more of these figs for an upcoming RPG but in the meantime they made great troopers for Frostgrave.  Having painted a bunch of them now though I can't help but wondering if my Vampire Counts should have some men from Mousillon working for them as well........

Last but not least; Nythera campaign for Malifaux

I had to paint up a henchman to lead my forces in the Nythera campaign for Malifaux and having just picked up Seamus' box I decided on Sybelle.  While I was at it I also added the Dead Rider to give me a decent beat-stick for my Resurrectionists.  The bases on these models will be the basing for my Malifaux stuff going forward, now the question is just what to re-base......

That's got me up-to-date on games I've been wanting to play.  My next three projects are:
1.  Nythera Through The Breach.  This is pretty straight forward, I'm committed to running the first scenario for the campaign in 10 days, I need to get a bunch of stuff done by then.  Model selection and deadline is bascially non-negotiable.
2.  Batman.  I've got a bunch of the Batman stuff from Knight Models and I want to get it done and start playing.  The good news is I really only need to paint 5-6 figs so as soon as my current Nythera stuff is done I should be able to crank it out.
3.   A Red And Pleasant Land.  I need to get some fairly odd miniatures done for my next D&D game set is Zak Smith's Red And Pleasant Land.  I'll leave it at that until I start working on stuff but if you think Alice In Wonderland meets Dracula you won't be too far off.


Friday, 28 August 2015

Hello old friend.....

After my latest poll to determine what I should paint next ended in a tie I found myself with Dark Debts and Shadows Of Redchapel in my hands trying to decide which one I would actually paint.

I'm running a little sleep deprived right now and to be perfectly honest I don't even remember putting the Dark Debts box back on the shelf, but Seamus was calling to me and he's been good to me in the past so who am I to argue?

This means I'll be getting back in the Seamus business (that's a pretty dirty business by the way) and in conjunction with the new campaign rules I'll be featuring the lovely Madame Sybelle as my Henchman.  For those of you not familiar Sybelle is the charming lass with the purple mask on the box art.

I'm looking forward to returning where I started in Malifaux, it should feel like I never left.


Sunday, 23 August 2015

First thoughts - Age Of Sigmar

Last week I finally got the chance to play my first 2 games of Age Of Sigmar.

There were things I expected to like about it, things I was concerned about, and things I was curious about how they would work.  Overall I have to say it was a really fun, enjoyable game that I believe is actually a lot more balanced and interesting than it's nay-sayers would have you believe.

The friends I was playing with agreed to a six Warscroll limit but in hindsight even that wasn't really necessary because once you start deploying and you realize all your figures have to fit into your deployment zone the nightmare scenario of the "big" army stomping the "little" army quickly becomes no concern.  The only issue I could see would be if the "little" army was extremely small, but games amongst friends shouldn't have those kinds of issues.

I played two very different games.  The first was against a Skaven army that massively outnumbered my Vampire counts (I don't remember the exact model count but it would have been roughly 2:1).  We were playing a basic pitched battle but due to the disparity in models I was able to choose a sudden death victory condition, I choose to secure a scenery feature on the far side of the table by turn 4 and was able to win the game by accomplishing that.  The game was decided on the final (fourth) turn and a couple of die rolls one way or the other and the outcome could have been completely different.
My second game was against a slightly larger Dwarf force (roughly 60 models for the dwarves vs 48 models for me).  We played a scenario from the new campaign book where the savage marauding Dwarves attacked and massacred my peaceful Vampire village, my forces returned and set to expelling the intruders.  For this game we played in a built up urban area which created far more dynamic movement, I was again narrowly able to eek out a victory by driving off the evil Dwarves, at the time of my win my forces were only 4 more models away from losing the game!

So, I had a lot of fun and will definitely keep playing, but by now most people have either decided they do or don't like the game so rather than a thumbs up/thumbs down point of view I'd like to specifically address some criticisms of the game that I have a different understanding of having now put models on the table and rolled dice with them.

I've already mentioned my first point that your models having to fit into your deployment zone does in fact create a very real practical limit on army size.  Although I could have been more significantly outnumbered in my second game and that could have changed the outcome I don't believe it would have changed any actions in the first 3 turns and both myself and Carmin would have walked away still feeling the game was "fair".
Secondly if you play a scenario or introduce the sudden death victory conditions rather than just lining up and fighting each other you don't end up with the swirling mass of models in the middle of the table just rolling dice off against each other endlessly.
Third the reach of a model's melee attack limits the advantage of a huge unit against a smaller unit.  In one case Darren's Skaven were able to start encircling one of my units and really bring his advantage to bear.  I don't re-call a single fight in either game where an entire unit of 20 or more models was able to attack a single enemy unit.
So my recommendation for anyone who has models but has avoided the game because of how they think it looks on paper, I would highly suggest you actually try a game and follow the rules, you might fins there are actually some filters for the things you think are unbalanced.

Having said all of that there are 2 things that I think could and should be done (not printed in the rules) to enhance your Age Of Sigmar gaming experience and avoid some of the internet's worst fears.
First always play with an objective.  Either a scenario or if you're playing with just the free rules (like me) then consider having both players choose a sudden death victory condition and if a player would normally qualify for one let them choose a second one.  This will keep the game moving around the table and give both armies something to do other than just fight in the middle of the table.  If someone asked me to just play a straight punch up I would probably just pass.
Secondly don't play with unpainted models.  A few people online have proposed some ridiculous forces (all Blood Thirsters for example) if people have to put both money and effort into these ideas I imagine not too many of them will actually make it to the tabletop.

So that's my 2 cents.  I had fun, the game plays just fine as written and as long as you don't plan on playing against dicks you'll have a good time.


Thursday, 20 August 2015

Time once again to tell me what I'm painting next!

Hi all,

Lords Of War Games  in Oakville is running another Malifaux event this fall and I've decided to take another vote on what crew to paint to play in the campaign.

This will be part of a global campaign called Nythera played both as Malifaux and Through The Breach games.

It looks like I'm going to run Through The Breach games but I'm going to use more Malifaux games as an excuse to paint another new crew.  So once again in the spirit of Malifaux I have decided to let the fates (that's you're the fates) decide what I'll be playing painting in the game.  I've narrowed my choices down to three crews, you can vote in the comments section below or through the comments on my Facebook page and same as last time which ever crew gets the most votes wins and I will paint it and use it for the entirety of the campaign.  Voting starts now and closes at noon on Friday August 28th.

The three choices this time out are:

The Relic Hunters-Guild

The Relic Hunters narrowly lost out last time around but they are still awesome looking models that I will get around to painting at some point.  Thematically having a character who reminds us all of Indiana Jones leading an exploration mission would be pretty cool.  The big plus side with The Relic Hunters is that I already own the figures so I wouldn't have to buy anything (so maybe don't vote for this Chris & Jay) and one of them is even already painted!  The downside for me is that I already own the figures so it doesn't give me an excuse to pick up more figures.

Dark Debts-Neverborn

I've started collecting some Neverborn models to play Defence Of Innocence with later on and it occurred to me a few weeks ago that if I just got a master I would also have a workable force.  Jakob Lynch is a degenerate gambler who sells not only his soul but the souls of others for one more chance to come out ahead in Malifaux.  I'll be honest that I know next to nothing about the rules for this crew but they look cool and isn't that what really matters?

Shadows Of Redchapel-Resurrectionists 

The original metals of these figures are what I started with when I originally got into Malifaux.  In a world filled with supernatural monsters and horrors from beyond space and time Seamus stands alone as the thing most citizens of Malifaux are terrified of.  Playing a force led by Seamus would be like coming home for me and I know the mere idea of him strikes fear into some of the opponents I played in first edition.  I had originally decided to stay away from Seamus when 2E came out in the spirit of trying something new but I just can't stay away....

Those are the three choices.
If you follow my blog what do you want to see me paint?
If you're playing in the campaign what do you want to play against?
Do you want me on your side, or do you want my bad luck playing for someone else?

Here we go again!


Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Frostgrave - The adventure begins!

I'm going to be talking about two new games and a new D&D campaign this week so I'll be diverging a bit from "look what I finished" and spending most of the week on "look what I'm working on".

Today's new game is Frostgrave by Osprey Games.  Frostgrave is a game I had recently heard a lot of buzz about and to be quite honest at first I really didn't care.  Historically one of the problems I have had with jumping on board in the early days of a new game system is that I hear a lot of enthusiasm from people and then six months later none of my gaming friends have painted their models and I've spent time and money on a bunch of stuff collecting dust in a corner.
That being my issue going in there were two things about Frostgrave that dispelled that concern instantly.  First up the game is set in a classic medieval fantasy setting with characters who fit generic fantasy tropes.  What this means in practical terms is that anyone who has a collection of; D&D or Warhammer or Mordheim or whatever game make a force out of figures they already own.  My second issue is that typically skirmish games that feature a campaign or warband experience mechanic get old very quickly for me, in Frostgrave every campaign is meant to end, so it doesn't go on forever.

The book itself is fantastic.  Hardcover, 128 pages with terrific art and miniature photography throughout and a simple intuitive game system that seems to offer reasonable depth without becoming bogged down in endless rules.  All this for a price between $25 (US) and $32 (Canadian).

The only requirement for a starting warband in Frostgrave is that it must have a wizard.  There are 10 different schools of magic to theme your wizard around but me being me I'm starting off with a Necromancer.  You also have the option (which the rules directly and highly recommend) to hire an apprentice for your wizard.  There are a lot of neat mechanics around the apprentice, he is statistically similar but slightly inferior to your actual wizard and knows all the same spells but at a slightly lower level of proficiency.   One of the mechanics that should strike an immediate chord with campaign players is that after a certain amount of levelling up your apprentice can take over the warband (becoming a wizard themselves) if the actual wizard is ever killed.  For my wizard and necromancer I build them from the Games Workshop Empire Wizard two-pack, the only extra piece is that the apprentice has a head lifted from a Bretonian archer.  The Empire Wizard pack is GREAT for Frostgrave because a number of the pieces in the package work towards the schools of magic in the game.

The next classification of models in the game are soldiers.  Soldiers refer to any figures hired into the warband that are not the wizard or his apprentice.  For my first three soldiers I assembled some characters from the Games Workshop Bretonian Men-At-Arms box (more of these figures will be featuring in a different game next month!).  They are from left to right; an Infantry Man, a Man-At-Arms and an Apothecary.  There are 15 types of soldiers in the basic game book and they represent most of the character options for D&D and other classic fantasy RPGs so you have quite a lot of options for customisation and modelling.

Last but not least I have a Warhound.  The warhound is from a dwarf sprue from Mantic Miniatures, I'm actually not sure what unit box it comes in because I got this particular sprue from a Dwarf Kings Hold game box.  The warhound is just another type of soldier, but I had the model and was trying as much as possible to keep my warband all plastic so I thought I'd give him a go.

So that's where I'm at so far.  The plan is to start painting this stuff (I'll still need to add another model or two) this week and hopefully get done in time to play a game by next Friday (8 days from now).

That's it for Frostgrave until something gets done, up next Batman!


Thursday, 13 August 2015

Elf Ranger-Druid

"Sure, I'd love to play in a D&D game two months from now."
"Paint a single character model, yeah no prob I'll do that right now"
"What do you mean my flight leaves tomorrow?!?!"

In about 5 hours (from when this was typed) I'm heading out to the airport to spend 4 days with not only one of my bestest gaming buddies but clearly my brother-from-another-mother Darren Bolton in scenic Vancouver BC.  Darren and I haven' t been in the same room together for over 7 years now (living on opposite sides of a country the size of Canada will do that) but a couple of months ago he just said out of the blue "you should come out here to play some games and drink some beers" and now that's what I'm doing.

We decided on how much gaming (and beer, don't forget beer) we could cram into three and a half days and it feels like alot.
Age Of Sigmar
This is what got me off my butt and re-basing my older Vampire Counts stuff all of a sudden.I've re-based about 7 warscrolls worth of stuff and it's all heading out to Vancouver with me so I can FINALLY try the game for myself.  As a follow up, I have no intention of any of the models I'm taking with me making the return trip so I will be fielding an all new Vampire Counts army a few weeks after I get back.
Car Wars
My first true hobby gaming love.  Back in the day I played a ton of Car Wars and most of the group I played with were super-serious about it.  After taking a break from the game for a few years I came back to it with a new less serious attitude about it and it's been like rediscovering the fun I never had.  Love this game and I'm looking forward to sharing how it goes with everybody.
Dungeons & Dragons
As much as Car Wars is my first gaming love D&D is where it really started for me.  It's also where the story of the secret hobby shame I need to confess to tonight started.  

You see when Darren proposed this gaming (and beer, don't forget the beer) based excursion I needed to paint exactly ONE model to be ready to rock; my character for D&D.  I picked a pre-generated character that is an Elf Ranger/Druid, no problem except three of the things I've generally never had an interest in playing in D&D are; Elves, Rangers and Druids so my on-hand selection of figures was pretty weak.  After talking myself in and out of a number of figures I would have had to have gotten off my butt to buy if I was going to paint them I dove into the box of Reaper Bones figures my buddy Mark generously donated to Zoe and I about a year ago.  It took me a surprisingly long time to find a woodsy-looking elf that wasn't female but finally I found one.

So this is my character.  I don't have the sheet in front of me but he's a Elf 6th level Ranger 6th level Druid who primarily fights with a bow (its on his back).  The base coats all went on last night and I did some detail work and washes on my lunch break today.  He's quick and dirty but he's a one-off model for a one-off game so I'm okay with that.

When I get back I expect to have lots of games to talk about and I'm also venturing out into three new miniature games when I get back.  I just got my first pack of miniatures for the Batman miniatures game (they look AMAZING by the way), I'll also be picking up Frostgrave this weekend while I'm out Darren's way, and I've decided to dust off my Fallout themed miniatures from a couple of years ago and give This Is Not A Test a try.

Lots of hobby going on, hopefully I'll end up in front of a computer to tell you about it more regularly!


Sunday, 26 July 2015

Vampire Counts.....I'm going to say.....progress?

Two weeks ago I had grand plans to have an ENTIRELY new Vampire Counts/Death force done to play Age Of Sigmar with in mid-August.  The real world keeps interfering with that plan so I've made some headway on one new unit and I've done some re-basing and touch-ups to re-use one of my oldest Vampire Counts unit.

First up I have re-based my Armoured Skeletons.  These were some of the newest figs for the (then) Undead army for Warhammer when I first started the army roughly 18 years ago.  I did these up and they were effectively both the centre-piece and core of my army for a decade.  I'm not going to have time to get all my new skeletons done in time for August 17th but I have made a decision; at the end of August this unit is retiring permanently.  It's not that I don't still love the figures but continuing to haul them back out continues to be the main reason why I don't "need" to paint a new unit.  They've served me well over the years but they've got a few games left and then they're done.

I also made some decent progress on my Vargheists.  The Vargheists are very cool an uniquely Warhammer-y.  They are flying-ogre-sized-vampire-mutants.  Basically when a vampire gives in fully to their inner beast they become one of these guys.  This is the one unit I had always meant to add to my Warhammer army when the last army book came out but never got around to it, now they can make their debut in the Age Of Sigmar.

That's it for tonight.  If all goes well there will be another cool new (new for me anyway) unit done tomorrow and if not you'll at least see a WIP picture.


Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Age Of Sigmar - "Gently used" character models

Tonight I re-based a few character models for use in my Vampire/Death force for Age Of Sigmar.

It felt funny to already be re-basing these figures because the one thing all  three of them have in common is that they have never actually been used in a game.  In the case of my Jester (who I'm fairly certain I'm going to use as a necromancer) this is because I painted him recently for a game that I never actually got around to playing, no big deal really.  But in the case of the two Von Carstein models this is slightly odder or more embarrassing.  I actually got both of those models and had them painted prior to their initial release in metal, this means I've had them painted for about 8 years now.  In spite of that I haven't played a single game of Warhammer Fantasy since they were released to they've been sitting along on their 20mm square bases waiting for some attention for a while.

Stan told me based on his goofy rules I had to field Konrad Von Carstein in a game at some point and if you've read his rules (I have to talk to him and he has to talk back to me during games) and/or ever played a game against me you probably realise that kind of stuff is right in my wheelhouse.

Hopefully the Ghouls will be done tomorrow and then it's on to the Vargheists!


Monday, 13 July 2015

Age Of Sigmar - Ghouls (WIP)

Every time I think I'm out, they pull me back in!

I shared my thoughts last week on the new Age Of Sigmar rules for Warhammer and one of the things I walked away thinking was; hey great I can use my existing know....

So being a hobbyist I've decided to start up a semi-new Vampire/Death force in earnest.  I had originally been planning on playing Mordheim so I had picked up a few models but now I'm really exploring what I can do with Age Of Sigmar.  I've got to say the warscrolls have really gotten me away from thinking in terms of what a unit should look like (numbers, options, add-ons, etc) and have really sold me on looking at Warhammer box sets the same way I would look at Warmachine or Malifaux box sets, if it comes in a box it's a unit and I can use it that way.

So back to my Mordheim story; I had bought a box of ghouls with the intention of using 5 for Mordheim and keeping the rest aside for conversions, at one point I considered doing all 10 of them and starting a Warhammer Fantasy Battle unit but then I would need another box or two that I honestly wasn't sure I would ever field in a game.  Fast forward to Age Of Sigmar and my 10 Ghouls are a proper unit and can jump to the table once they're painted.

So far I've gotten the skin done and not much else, I'm planning an hour or two on them tonight and again tomorrow and then they should be done.

It's funny sometimes how the circle of your hobby life goes.  18 years ago when I had just started working for Games Workshop I was an avid 40K player who had never played Warhammer Fantasy.  I decided for my first staff tournament to play fantasy to force myself to collect an army and really learn the game.  The first unit I ever painted for my first fantasy army; Ghouls.  Now I've been gone from Games Workshop for 6-7 years and here I am looking at teaching myself a new version of Warhammer Fantasy and I'm painting Ghouls, sometimes it feels like you CAN go home again.


Saturday, 4 July 2015

Up On A Soapbox - Age Of Sigmar

It seems like everybody with an Internet connection is sharing their opinion on Warhammer Age Of Sigmar so I figured I'd take my turn.

Years ago I used to watch an animated TV show called King Of The Hill.  The show followed the adventures of Hank Hill a propane sales manager from Texas where the main source of the comedy was frequently Hank's confusion that some of the people around him didn't share his stereotypical simple conservative American values.  In one episode (I don't remember the main plot) Hank is confronted by a left leaning activist-type who questions the morality of his profession.  The dialogue between the two of them went something like this.
ACTIVIST - Your whole barbecue business glorifies the grilling of meat taken from animals using fossil fuels!
HANK - I used those same words with a more positive attitude to sell three grills this morning.

So here's what the talking heads on the Internet seem to agree on about Age Of Sigmar:
1.  The rules are really stripped down
2.  It's basically a beer and pretzels game
3.   Some of the special rules for characters/units are kind of funny
4.  It's an entirely new game that has nothing in common with previous editions of Warhammer
But what the major disagreement seems to be about is whether or not these things constitute a good thing, or a bad thing.
Personally I don't think good vs bad in this case is something that can be quantified and measured.  I think the real question is; your type of game vs not your type of game.  I don't think a points system and a lot of complex rules necessarily make for a balanced or better game (chess anyone?), but I can completely understand where some people find the lack of familiarity discomforting to the point where it's become a logical jumping off point.

For me, I'm super excited about Age Of Sigmar.  It really seems to put the idea of simple fun back into the game.  I also felt like I was done with Warhammer before this, not out of some sense of rage or old-git syndrome but because I was just bored of it.  This is new and fresh and invites me to use and paint (and yes, buy) small quantities of cool models and play quick fun games with them.

My last thought incidentally for all the competitive and tourney players who think that the game lacks depth; when Warmachine originally launched it was supported by a single page of rules and everyone thought it represented a quantum leap forward in thinking for miniature game design.


Wednesday, 24 June 2015

More Vengeful Spirits!

I finished up the two Seishin the other day but I've been struggling to get better pictures of them.

Basically this is another case (like my Arbites and Judge Dredd models) where I've gone with some really dark colours and when I photograph them they just turn out black.

Can anybody suggest either a reasonably priced camera for macro-photography or an add-on for an iPhone?  I have a light box and it doesn't seem to help so I'm pretty sure what I need is better camera hardware.


Monday, 22 June 2015

Kirai and her spirit....I want to say....friends?

Got my next two Vengeful Spirit models done tonight.  These models represent Ikiryo (a monstrous manifestation of Kirai's soul) and her Lost Love (the ghost of the governor of Malifaux's son).

These are the two figures in the box that are probably the most thematically connected to Kirai.  I painted Ikiryo to match Kirai so they very much appear linked and although the Lost Love is a spirit I painted him up very much like my more traditional undead.

So far that means I've got 3 of the 7 models from the box done so I feel like I'm in good shape to have my new crew done by Friday!


Sunday, 21 June 2015

Kirai; Molly's super-best-friend

Last night I got off to a good start on my new Malifaux crew for Gaining Grounds; Vengeful Spirits.

I choose the crew based on the Assault On The Gray Lord scenario/fiction from the Malifaux Crossroads rulebook.  Basically the story depicts Molly and Kirai  as vengeful forces laying waste to some really bad people in Malifaux.  What's cool about it is that it sticks with the idea that Molly and Kirai are both unhinged and lacking in moral compass but it still lets them be the heroines of the story.  One of the other things I really liked about the Vengeful Spirits box is that although it's still Resurrectionists it really does represent some figures and ideas that are completely different than the rest of that collection.

I started off with Kirai because unlike most of the other crew boxes where you can use 50-75% of the models with another Master there are only 2 figures in the entire box I can use if Kirai is not in play.  So it just makes sense to get her done first.  I'm happy with how Kirai turned out but less happy with how she photographed (that's becoming a theme for me), her dress is a very light green (but looks overly yellow in the picture) and the flowers on her dress and in her hair are a very light purple which contrasts well with the darker colours they are set against but somehow they seem washed out and dark in the photo.

At any rate I'm happy to have gotten started and if all goes to plan (does it ever?) I should have this crew done in time to game with this Friday.

Wish me luck!


Saturday, 20 June 2015

Take Back The Night DONE !!

I finished my last Crooligan in time for my first game with Molly as my Master yesterday.

Unfortunately due to a late start I only got the chance to play about two and a half turns so I didn't get to try out all the fancy rules but I've got to say this is one of the fastest moving crews I've played with so far.

Tomorrow I start on Kirai and hopefully next Friday I'll get to play a full game!


Thursday, 18 June 2015

Creepy, evil children....

One thing Malifaux seems to  do better than any other game I've played is conjure up images of innocence corrupted.  I still remember when I first got into the game facing Baby Kade (yes, an actual baby) and it seemed far more disturbing fighting a demon baby with a knife than any actual giant monsters in the game.

Fast forward to now-ish and I've got two of my three Crooligans done.

The Crooligans as I mentioned before are evil lost souls serving Molly in Malifaux.  Now that I've started painting them I've really warmed up to these figures as they are something unique and give my Resurrectionists something different than the traditional undead war gaming forces.

This leaves me with my last Crooligan and my last Nurse to paint.  Hopefully I'll get those done before the weekend because whether I do or not I'm moving onto my Vengeful Spirits box set once the weekend hits!


Wednesday, 17 June 2015

A blast from the past and a stake in the ground

I've made a decision.
I'm going to paint 8 more Blood Angels models, that will bring me up to 2000 points  and then I'm going to call that army done.

And then I'm going to take a new attitude towards 40K models.  I will only buy and paint things that can be used as Arbites, and everything I buy and paint WILL be painted as Arbites!  I've already got some ideas in mind, and a few started (really excited about Arbites robots and Arbites Ogryns!) but I also wanted to haul out my older Arbites/Enforcer stuff and figure out what I have so far.

In my basic Arbites squads there are a few unpainted Proctors because I had originally gone with different models and then changed my mind back to the 'proper' model.  At some point I'll just sit down and get these done and then re-base the whole force and I should be in pretty good shape.

I had always wanted to do an Arbites army when I got into 40K but the model that in my mind finally made it a real possibility was the multi-part Necromunda Enforcer.  I had tons of models with shotguns and grenade launchers but the Enforcer models gave me what I felt like had really been missing, riot shields.  Years ago at the second to last Canadian Games Day I ran a table with Darren from Strategies Games & Hobbies in Vancouver that featured Arbites vs Zombies.  The shotgun equipped squads roamed the streets laying waste to the horde but it was the Riot Squads that formed the proverbial thin-blue-line in front of the precinct house until help arrived.  These models hold up for me as some of my favourite models in my collection because they feel like they truly represent the look and feel of the army.

I've used an assortment of different rules sets over the years to represent this force and after the Enforcers came out a lot of unofficial rules used the Cyber-Mastiffs as a quick assault unit.  I like the Mastiffs and they are one of the things that for me really makes this feel like a 40K force rather than just another pseudo Judge Dredd thing.

Last but not least a small selection of characters.  Again depending on what rules I've been using these have represented several different types of characters over the years but the one constant has been the Inquisitor Coteaz standing in as my judge.

There's no real urgency for me in terms of when this stuff is going to get done (I'm not actually painting it FOR anything) but my slow steady pace on my Blood Angels really changed how I saw collecting and painting 40K and brought me back to my younger days.  This will be my attempt to catch that same lightning in a bottle again.

Wish me luck!


Monday, 15 June 2015

What the next 2 weeks of Malifaux painting looks like for me

I'm gearing up for another Malifaux campaign starting this Friday night and I have a few things that need to get painted over the next couple of weeks.

For the campaign we need to pick 3 Masters and a pool of 100 Soul Stones worth of figs to draw from over the course of the campaign.

I decided to go with Resurrectionists primarily because I was really excited about having just completed The University Of Transmortis and Take Back The Night box sets.  So based on that decision Molly and McMourning (who I had painted previously) would be my first two Masters.  I needed a third but one of the components of the campaign is that we all also have to paint a new crew box we didn't already have done.  A bunch of my friends suggested Nicodem, who is a cool undertaker looking guy with hordes of zombies at his disposal, and I personally was seriously thinking of picking up the new Seamus box set but neither of those felt genuinely "new" to me because I had painted the previous versions during the first run of the game.  So instead I decided to go with Kirai's Vengeful Spirits crew box.

There they are ready for painting.  The league starts Friday so they will be sitting unpainted until then, hopefully I'll get a chance to at least get started on them this weekend.

In addition I had 4 Resurrectionist models unfinished on my desk and I decided to commit to having them done before I put a brush to the Vengeful Spirits.  It's the 3 Crooligans from Molly's crew and another Nurse for McMourning.

This should keep me busy for the next 2 weeks or so.


Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Take Back The Night - Getting progressively more creepy

I was a lot closer to being done Philip and The Nanny than I realised late last night and I just spent about a half-hour finishing them up.

So at this point I have 3 of the 6 models from the Take Back The Night box done, basically the models that would be traditionally thought of as "characters" in most war games.

Molly is the leader and in-spite of her delicate appearance is incredibly hard to kill.  She has host of interesting abilities like the ability to create Belles out of thin air (glad I painted those models already), and she can also buff her allies and help them move around quickly.  The Necrotic Machine as I mentioned before is her sidekick and is both able to apply negative conditions (like poison) to enemy models and can also help allies move around more quickly.  Last but not least is Philip and The Nanny.  Philip can lead the crew in smaller games if I'm not using Molly and is great at preventing opponents from taking interact actions (which is usually how scenarios are won in games of Malifaux).

The remaining 3 models in the box are the Crooligans who are basically soulless evil this crew isn't going to be getting any less creepy any time soon.


Monday, 8 June 2015

Philip and The Nanny WIP

I've been buying an assortment of horror themed models for years (probably more than 25 years at this point) so it's a significant statement to say; this is the creepiest model I've ever gotten.

Much like Molly Philip Tombers was a big part of the back story in the first Malifaux rulebook but he waited a long time to get an actual model.  For those of you not familiar with the background Philip is actually the severed head in the baby stroller, the Nanny is a minion of Molly's that she uses to get Philip around.  In the first edition of the game Philip was just carried around by Molly...guess she's moving up in the world.

I'm hoping (emphasis really is on hoping) to get Philip done tomorrow but I've got a busy couple of days at work coming up so I may or may not have time to update and check in.

Wish me luck!


Take Back The Night crew box beginning to take shape

Last night I was able to make a decent start on my Take Back The Night crew box.  I usually choose to finish by painting the Master last but this time out I decided to paint Molly first.  The main reason driving this decision is that I have a tendency to not get my new Masters done in time for games that are coming up and then I really just play like I'm adding a model or two to an existing crew.  I have a game on Friday and I'm determined that Molly will lead my forces that day!

I had previously painted the metal version of Molly and although it was a nice miniature looking back I clearly rushed painting it and it came out a bit sloppy.  One of the things that worked out really well for my this time around was that I painted Molly during breaks in odd jobs I was doing around my house.  This meant that every time I sat down and worked on her for 5-10 minutes I was fresh and every thing on the model was dry.  The big challenges with Molly were painting a large yellow area but the texture on the dress really helped with that, and choosing a skin tone.  I wanted to get Molly's skin tone half-way between my zombie skin colour and my normal "healthy" human skin colour.  I think it turned out fairly well, I'm looking forward to how it looks on the tabletop.

Alongside Molly is the Necrotic Machine.  The Necrotic Machine is Molly's totem (sidekick basically for those of you who don't play Malifaux).  The Necrotic Machine was fairly quick and easy to paint being primarily metal.  The one thing I tried that unfortunately didn't photograph very well was painting all the tubes and hoses very lightly and then using Citadel's 'Blood For The Blood God' to convey the sense that blood or some other red chemical was flowing through the machine.

That's it for today, now I'm just trying to decide if the Crooligans are next or Philip and The Nanny?


Sunday, 7 June 2015

NOW I'm playing Malifaux!

As I've mentioned in the past I played a lot of first edition Malifaux and at the time I originally got into the game the only crews I played with were the Resurrectionists.  I played with 3 different masters and but there was always one constant; the Belles.

Since I picked up playing again with second edition I have bounced between Arcanists, Resurrectionists, Guild and Outcasts so I never really got a theme going.  I've got to say, not having zombie harlots at my beck and call always made me feel like I wasn't really playing Malifaux.

Tonight my new Rotten Belles have joined the collection and are ready to entice some unsuspecting opponents into their necrotic embrace!

With the Belles done I have fulfilled my goal of competing my outstanding Resurrectionist painting projects before moving on to the Take Back The Night crew box.

So starting tomorrow I'll be working on Molly and her minions.....

And the Crooligans.....

Stay tuned!


Thursday, 4 June 2015

Re-rise of The Resurrectionists!

One of the promises I made to myself is that I would get my remaining 2 boxes of Resurrectionist models done before I started painting the new Molly box set that came out today.  Technically I haven't broken that promise....yet.

Last night I stayed up an extra hour or two and finished off my University Of Transmortis box set.  I can't say enough about this box.  The models look great, they will be a worthwhile addition to my Resurrectionist collection and the box comes with rules for a solo-play scenario that pits another of the player's crews against the Iron Zombies.

My other outstanding box was the Rotten Belles.  I started working on those today but between a work project and other non-hobby related errands I ended up not finishing them.  I'm hoping to get them done tonight and then start cranking out the Take Back The Night box set this weekend.

Hopefully tomorrow will bring finished Belles and assembled Molly crew!


Sunday, 24 May 2015

Once again the tiny tiny decals represent my last hurdle

I (mostly) finished my next 2 mechs the other day, the anti-air Defender for Robotech and Rifleman for Battletech.

I'm hoping to get the tiny decals done before I go back to work on Monday.


Thursday, 21 May 2015

The Valedictorian

Today's update was driven by 2 things.  First up as I mentioned previously I want to get all the Ressurectionist stuff I've already got for Malifaux done before the Molly box set comes out (which now sounds like 8-9 days from now), secondly the theme of the next round of Wyrd's Iron Painter is "Something Wicked This Way Comes" and the Valedictorian seemed like the perfect fit.

The Valedictorian is one of the iron zombies from the University Of Transmortis set for Malifaux.  She is a henchman which means she can lead small warbands herself without a master.

I'm also now planning to paint a second iron zombie for another painting contest, I just have to decide which one.

I'm super stoked about having her done and getting to use her in some games!


Monday, 18 May 2015

A newer new Flesh Golem for Malifaux

Another quick side-step through the breach!  I have 3 more projects for my Ressurectionist for Malifaux on my desk and I'd like to get them all done before the Molly box set comes out.

Project number one is the smallest (by model count anyway), and was already half-way done; the newest plastic Flesh Golem.

To be honest I had really mixed feelings about this figure.  On one hand it's an excellent sculpt, with great detail and in spite of being a lumbering monster really captures a sense of energy and movement.  On the other hand other than the pose and the 'victim' it's identical to the previous model, so I feel using the two side-by-side will be overly uniform.

Next up for Malifaux will be the Rotten Belles and University Of Transmortis set and then I'm all caught up!

But having said that; tomorrow.....ROBOTECH!