Saturday, October 30, 2010

Plague Zombies WIP

Zombie fever... catch it!

Years ago I built a bunch of these plague zombies for a Lost and the Damned/WH Adversaries army but set them aside for other interests. Just the other day I remembered that I still had a few of these guys long overdue for painting and decided they'd make for a pleasant little Halloween project. It appears I've succumbed to this infectious contagion (I blame the Minions' awesome monthlong zombie fest, congrats on the award guys!) and now have an acute case of zombie fever, for which the only cure is more painting.

Or brains... we'll see. It's almost midnight, time to get back to work. Now where's that shotgun?

Friday, October 29, 2010

AdeptiBlog 2011

It's official, I'm going to AdeptiCon! Five months from now I will once again load up the diceRollamobile and hit the road for charming Lombard, Illinois. I had a great time last year and am very happy to be going back. Three days of rolling dice and hobby seminars, hanging out with old friends and new, and most important of all... celebrities!

"See ya next year, doofus!"

At the last AdeptiCon I filled my schedule entirely with hobby seminars and ended up spending around thirty hours in hotel conference rooms, painting miniatures and learning new tricks. (A lengthy review of these seminars can be found here, many of the same ones are being offered again in 2011.) I therefore initially thought I would only take one or two more of these and focus mainly on the gaming opportunities. Of course this plan did not last long into my review of the pre-registration catalogue as I spotted lots of classes that sounded interesting and helpful. So for 2011 I'm doing close to a fifty-fifty split between hobby seminars and playing games. I also cautioned myself to leave more room for free time but that didn't happen either. Whatever, it's going to be another busy weekend of AdeptiFun.

Each day I'll have one gaming event in the morning going into the afternoon, to then be followed by seminars lasting into the night. I like the idea of unwinding with some classroom time after a few hard-fought hours in the tabletop trenches and feel like I've worked out a good schedule that nicely balances my interests. Also I've heard these shorter tournaments are a bit more relaxed than the big, all-day or even multi-day competitions, so I'm optimistic that the ones I'm playing in will be better suited to my usual gaming disposition.

Friday I start out at 11am with the 1000 point Warhammer Fantasy "It's How You Use It" tournament. I don't have an army picked out and it's been more than four years since I last played Warhammer Fantasy with regularity or gave it any serious attention. I therefore have some significant preparation work to do for this event and I'm psyched about the challenge this presents. Unlike the Privateer Press games, which I did briefly consider for AdeptiCon, I am at least comfortable with Warhammer Fantasy's fundamental game mechanics after years of playing previous editions and think I can get up to speed with the current rules by April. Or it could all go horribly wrong. Either way it should at least be an enjoyable journey.

Saturday morning at 9am I'm registered to play in the first of the day's WH40k: Combat Patrol sessions. Again I haven't decided what type of force I'll use for these games. I have plenty already painted from which I can choose though I would prefer to make something new specifically for the event. It's nice to know that if I get crunched for time I can field something ready to go from one of my usual armies, but I want that to be only as a last resort. I'm leaning toward either mechanized veteran Praetorian IG or scrap huntin' Orks, but I'm really open to anything that seems like fun.

Lastly I'll close out the weekend with Spec Ops: Killzone on Sunday at 11:30 am. I've become quite taken with Big Jim's skirmish rules for 40k and am thus particularly excited to play in this event at AdeptiCon. Thanks to the Killzone Blitz earlier this month my Rogue Trader team isn't far off from being complete and is my top choice to use in these games. I'm going to finish painting them and will then begin field testing to determine which of the Rogue Trader's entourage make the final cut. Playing on the awesome boards b.smoove of A Gentleman's Ones has been assembling for this event should make for a fittingly dramatic finale to my weekend hobby binge.

And so those are the gaming events for which I've registered. There's a lot for me to get done before April, especially since I now might be moving to North Carolina as early as February, which I'm sure would help tremendously with the requisite painting and practice games. Along with the 40k and Fantasy stuff mentioned above I also have plans for display boards, a Blood Bowl team for some possible extracurricular gaming, and even an entry or two for the Rogue Demon painting competition. I'm really happy with the variety of projects which I'll be working on over the coming months in preparation for this and will be sure to post updates on my progress.

Alright, that's it. I hope everyone has a great weekend, bye!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Contest Links Bonanza

To close out the Good Karma Pre-Heresy Celebration I've compiled a list of all the links submitted for the contest. To enter the drawing, I asked people to either post a link to something they've worked on of which they are proud, or to post a link to someone else's work that had provided inspiration or help for their hobby activities. In return I received a tremendous variety of fascinating submissions. Thanks to everyone who participated in this, I learned a lot from you and had a great time checking out so much hobby material. Thank you!

Blood Bowl (bonus b.smoove link)

Alright, lots of awesome stuff contained in those links.... Click, click, click. Click, click. Thanks again to everyone for making this a great celebration of miniatures and gaming glory. Woo-hoo!!


Sunday, October 24, 2010

Good Karma Pre-Heresy Winners

I'm very grateful for all of you who entered this contest, thank you. Your links and proud creations were all fascinating and indeed quite inspirational. I appreciate everyone taking the time to participate and for your continued support of my own hobby endeavors as well. And thanks for making this such a successful celebration, too.

The winners of the Forge World MkIII marines, the pre-heresy weapons, and the Secret Weapon Miniatures display bases are Col. Gravis and Messanger of Death. Congratulations, guys! Send me an email at [+++DELETED FROM IMPERIAL RECORDS+++] so that we can work out the shipping details. Woo-hoo!

I really enjoyed this opportunity to learn more about your hobby experiences and to see so many examples of what keeps everyone motivated. It's been a lot of fun checking out all the cool and inspirational material you contributed to this. In a day or so I'll compile a list of all the links that were submitted and post them here in case anyone else wants to see what keeps us ticking. As a bonus for me there were even a number of tutorials in the mix that answered questions of my own, making this surprisingly helpful as well. I'm so encouraged by how this went that I'm already thinking about what to do for the next contest.

Thanks everyone... happy gaming!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Last Call and Some Links

Just one more reminder about my contest to win some MkIII Iron Armour marines. I'm setting a deadline for entry on October 24th at 9:00pm EST so click here for the details if you are interested and haven't already entered, there's less than a day left to do so. I will then post the winners of the contest one hour later at 10:00pm EST. Good luck!

If you're still in the clicking mood, Rich of the Ineptus Mechanicus blog is asking for people to vote on how he should arm his chaotic squad of Grey Hunters. He's recently returned to the game after a significant time away from it and so I'm sure any advice from the 28mm Generals out there would be appreciated. There's about two days left to vote on the poll question.

Alright, that's it for now. I've studied the AdeptiCon 2011 schedule and have a pretty good idea what my weekend in Lombard will entail. More importantly is that I now have 160 days to get everything prepared and finished. You know what that means... more projects! I'll go over what I have in mind once the contest is over.


Friday, October 22, 2010

Welcome To Your New Home

We arrived home late last night from our trip to Asheville. To my delight I saw that the Copperhead Valkyrie from Col. Hessler had arrived while I was away but I was too worn out and decided I should wait until I had recovered from the trip a little. I unpacked it today while my daughter took her nap and took it for a test flight around the yard. The crew of the Valkyrie seem to be quite happy and look forward to their easy new assignment. They've heard that they'll just be flying around a factory boss and his bodyguard. Sounds simple enough, what could possibly go wrong?

Welcome to your new home, flyboys! Don't worry... it's a quiet, safe neighborhood. Most of the time, at least.

Thanks again to Col. Hessler for this awesome model! If anyone has suggestions for color schemes, I'd love to hear 'em.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Gaming in Asheville, NC?

First I want to start with a quick reminder about the contest I'm running. If you haven't already, please click here to see the details and enter for a chance to win some MkIII Iron Armour marines as well as a display base to go with them made by Secret Weapon Miniatures. So check it out and enter if you wish, I'll select two winners a little more than a week from now on the night of October 24th.

My hobby activities are presently on hold as I am currently in Asheville, NC with the family and will be here for several more days. I did bring some things to work on when time allows but I forgot a few necessary items. I brought along a batch of HORDES models to assemble but forgot my glue, and I also packed a bunch of paints but failed to bring anything that's ready to paint. D'oh! Well, that's what I get for packing at literally the last minute before leaving home.

We're visiting Asheville to begin getting a sense for the area as we'll likely be moving here next summer. Nestled within the Great Smokey Mountains, it is a beautiful place and I've always liked this part of the country. So far everything looks good and I suspect we'd be quite happy living here. While driving around yesterday the wife and I came across an awesome Bavarian restaurant where I tried Das Boot of lager for the first time in my life. Fortunately it was only the single Litre version as I would not have been able to handle any more than that. Overall it was a great dining experience though I was worried enough about falling asleep at the table. : )

Along with all the usual pragmatic concerns involved in moving, like neighborhoods and school districts and such, I'm also quite curious what type of gaming scene I might find here. There is a severe paucity of tabletop gaming where we live now so it's difficult for me to imagine my hobby situation not improving with this move. I have a lead on one game store that I expect to visit tomorrow afternoon which I think is promising. Otherwise I'm still wandering around blindly, listening to the winds for the welcome sounds of rolling dice and gamers' incessant whining.

I have a positive feeling about this place and I believe it could be a good fit for my little family. It seems like a town well suited to weirdos and eccentrics. I'd love to hear from anyone who knows this area or has had any experience playing games in the Asheville region. I'm definitely interested in learning how well represented our hobby is in this part of the state, plus I'd really appreciate any other advice or words of wisdom my Tar Heel readers might have for me. So please let me know what your impressions of this area are like. I would be very grateful for any help in this regard.

Thank you!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Good Karma Pre-Heresy Celebration

I've had a lot of good luck recently. Early last Friday I was overjoyed to see that I had won an awesome "Copperhead" Imperial Guard Valkyrie created by Col. Hessler, author of SADOUKAD 16. I am very grateful to have won such a cool and unique model. Woo-hoo!

Copperhead Valkyrie, currently en route to my corner of the Imperium

My winning streak was then confirmed on Monday when I scored another choice victory, this time in a contest held that morning at The Astral Wolves. Thanks to the fortuitous intersection of Hunter S. Thompson trivia and some adorable kitties, a link back to here is now kindly featured in a place of great prominence on Von Drakin's blog. But that is not all as my winnings also included the promise of a feature article to be written about this very blogging enterprise, diceRolla! (I admit this does make me a little nervous.) Lastly he's going to paint a miniature in my honor... how cool is that?!?

Thank you very much, gentlemen!

With such good fortune on my side I've decided this is the perfect time to kick off another contest of my own. I've actually been thinking about this for a while. More than a month ago I gave in to temptation and clicked on this blog's "Stats" button for the first time. My goodness, I was shocked to say the least. Thank you to everyone for checking out my little world of internet gaming silliness, it amazes me how many people I've been able to reach here with my curious efforts. And in the time since my last contest the number of people following diceRolla has more than quadrupled, for which I am very appreciative, and I feel this is overdue for some celebrating as well.

Therefore, as an expression of my gratitude for your continued support and encouragement, I am offering the two sets of Forge World pre-heresy Space Marine goodness seen below. I understand not everyone plays Marines, or even 40k for that matter, so to hopefully broaden the appeal I'm including for each winner a resin display base from Secret Weapon Miniatures designed to hold the individually based models. That way even if you don't normally do anything with Marines, perhaps you would still enjoy painting them for your display shelf.

(Sorry about the dark, awful photo. You can click the links in the list below to see the primary items at the company websites.)

The two winners of the contest will each receive the following:

- five MkIII Iron Armour Space Marines
- five Umbra Patter X10 Space Marine Bolters
- one pre-Heresy style Flamer
- one pre-Heresy style Meltagun
- one pre-Heresy style Missile Launcher and arms
- five matching resin bases for individual models

So here's how to enter:

1) Join my Esoteric Order if you haven't already (i.e., click the Follow button).

2a) Either leave a comment on this post with a link to something you've written of which you are particularly proud...

2b) Or leave a comment on this post with a link to someone else's work that has inspired you or helped you out with your hobby in some way. It can be a piece of artwork, a tactics article, some army list advice, a painting tutorial... anything really. Just no links to diceRolla, please. (It's probably not necessary for me to specify that last part but I just want to be clear on the matter.)

And that's it. For the links I'm essentially interested in seeing an example of what drew you to bring your hobby to the internet. While more demanding than the terms of my last contest, hopefully it is not so great an obstacle as to discourage anyone from entering. On Sunday, October 24th at 10pm EST I will randomly select two people who've entered this drawing to win one of the prize packages described above. So please pick out a link you'd like to share and enter the contest... good luck!

And thanks again for supporting me in my blogging adventures, you make it a far more fun, interesting, and rewarding experience for me. Thank you.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Killzone WIP: Rogue Trader Crew

One of the things I enjoy the most about Killzone is the amount of customization available when it comes to putting together your Special Ops team. There are so many options that it is really easy to personalize your team and make each member feel like a unique individual. Add to this the strong narrative element found in games of Killzone and your team naturally becomes a characterful cast of either protagonists or antagonists. For today's 10.10.10 blitz I wanted to assemble a new team with as much emphasis on this as I could muster. After much procrastination and dithering I finally settled on making a Rogue Trader accompanied by his closest associates.

I came up short in my push to get everything painted and did not finish in time for today's festivities. It was a fun few days trying to make it and I'm still happy with how much I was able to get done. What follows therefore is a review of my progress and some notes about each team member with details on likely wargear, abilities and such. I made it as WYSIWYG as I could without resorting to any conversion work, though there are a few cases where I deviated from this standard and these are pointed out as well. To represent my Rogue Trader crew I am using the Witch Hunters Codex rules for the Ordo Hereticus Inquisitor and Henchmen.

Rogue Trader Scorpio

Rogue Trader Henri Marcellus Scorpio (Ordo Hereticus Inquisitor): laspistol, power weapon, digital weapons, frag grenades, melta bombs, Psychic Power - Scourging, Refractor Field. 81 points. I wanted my team leader to be armed with something stronger than a laspistol upgraded with either the Twin-Linked or Extra Shot specialist skill as I had initially considered. That's why I gave him the psychic attack Scourging with the WIP fluff explanation that it represents his fancy dueling pistols, perhaps psychically attuned to him or coming from some other exotic alien technology. Of course he sports the mandatory Jokaero digital weaponry as well. : )

Dietrich (left) and Prugg (right)

Arch-Militant Xiomara Dietrich (Acolyte Henchman): bolt pistol, power weapon, frag grenades, General Skill: 6+ invulnerable save. 25 points. Scorpio's dodgy bodyguard, armed with a big pistol and a nasty power spike.

Void Master Gustav Prugg (Acolyte Henchman): plasma pistol, close combat weapon, frag grenades, +1 Toughness. 39 points.

Lovejoy (left) and Sphek (right)

Father Bastian Lovejoy, Imperial Missionary (Warrior Henchman): hell pistol, close combat weapon, frag and krak grenades, Specialist Skill: Twin-Linked. 20 points. In this case I couldn't figure out how to switch out the single hell pistol for something more appropriate based on the model I'm using. I'm therefore going with the fluff explanation that they are a pair of autopistols loaded up with armor piercing rounds.

Senior Armsman Vigo Sphek (Warrior Henchman): shotgun, close combat weapon, frag and krak grenades, +1 Strength. 25 points. I think his bionic arm is a cool little detail and gave him the stat upgrade to go along with it.

Lamont (left) and Sprungfeld (right)

Gun-Servitor Lamont (Warrior Henchman): heavy bolter. 25 points.

Chief Steward Hans Sprungfeld (Acolyte Henchman): laspistol, power weapon, frag and krak grenades. 21 points. Scorpio's personal valet and wielder of a huge sword.

Dauterive (left) and Niku (right)

"Doc" Rolando Dauterive (Chirurgeon Henchman): laspistol, close combat weapon, medipack. 20 points.

Trade Seneschal Serpi Niku (Sage Henchman): laspistol and close combat weapon. 10 points.

Lord Winthrop

Lord Winthrop, Cyber-Mastiff (Death-Cult Assassin): power weapon and additional close combat weapon. 40 points.

Alright, that's what I've got so far for my Rogue Trader crew. If you tally up the points for each model you will see that the total is well above the recommended Killzone ceiling of 250. There are also eight total henchmen but an Ordo Hereticus Inquisitor is limited to a maximum of six. My plan is to select the actual team members from this group with consideration for the point size, story, or type of game I want to play. It should usually then just be a matter of adding or subtracting a piece of wargear or a specialist skill for the final points balancing, thus giving me what I hope will be a very versatile team.

Here are some sample lists based off of the above descriptions. Modifications are noted but otherwise assume everything else is as described for each model.

200 Points: Scorpio, Dietrich, Prugg, Lovejoy, Sphek, Niku.

225 Points: Scorpio w/ +1 Leadership, Dietrich, Prugg, Lovejoy, Sphek, Dauterive.

250 Points: Scorpio, Dietrich, Prugg, Lovejoy, Sphek, Dauterive, Lord Winthrop.

I will post updates as I finish painting these models. I also have plans for a rival team to match up against these guys and will begin working on it after finishing this group. So expect more Killzone to come. Blitz on!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Killzone Painting Blitz

I'm racing to finish in time a new Special Ops team for Big Jim's upcoming Killzone Blitz. I only began work on it yesterday afternoon so I really don't know if I'm going to be able to get everything complete, but it's well worth the attempt. I rarely paint under any sort of deadline which makes this an interesting challenge for me. I've got ten miniatures to paint and at this point I'm probably less than a fifth of the way done. I usually consider myself a slow painter but I am eager to push myself over the next couple of days to see if I can come in under the wire. No matter what, it's going to be fun.

I'm excited to see what everyone has been working on and I'm psyched to have a shot at contributing something of my own. I will be traveling with my family on Saturday to Charlotte for my grandmother's 92nd birthday but otherwise I should be able to get in a fair amount of painting time. Who knows, I might even be able to pull this off. We shall see.

Okay, that's it for now. Happy painting and gaming everyone!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Bad Commerce: Stat Card Piracy

This weekend I bought a Mercenaries MkII Faction Deck only to discover that it is missing all the particular stat cards for which I made this purchase. In place of the expected Talion Charter cards there is instead a surplus of Rhulic duplicates. I assume someone bought two decks and swapped out the unwanted dwarves to gain an extra set of pirate cards, then returned the tampered deck for a refund. Sneaky git.

I try not to be cynical but this seems unlikely to have been due to faulty packaging or a manufacturing error. I didn't realize until much later that the box was closed with two pieces of clear tape which should have tipped me off that something was amiss. I had been in a hurry to get out of there, however, as the store gives me the creeps and therefore I did not look closely at what I had picked out. It was only when I went to open the deck the next day that I first noticed anything wrong. Caveat emptor, indeed.

Despite being on the wrong end of these shenanigans, I am kind of amused that the apparent targets of this scam were the pirate themed stat cards. It seems fitting at least. This experience isn't even that surprising based on the store's history of unmitigated disappointment. Really this just strengthens my resolve to henceforth patronize it as little as possible. The store is more than an hour's drive from home, offers no discount (but sometimes even charges above the MSRP!), and leaves me with an overall icky feeling. So much for buying locally, I'll shop online.

Now I don't want this post to be entirely negative so for some balance I also want to briefly report on some recent positive shopping experiences. First up are these great pith-helmet head swaps from Secret Weapon Miniatures that I received in the mail today. Seeing them in person gives me a whole new appreciation for the awesome sculpting job done by Col.Gravis of Col.Gravis' Praetorian Imperial Guard. I ordered enough heads to make a minimum sized Praetorian platoon but I currently don't have any plans on going beyond that. I just thought it'd be a fun side project to tinker with and add to the painting wait list. Also I think it's great that more people are entering the market sculpting and casting add-on and parts-swap bits like these heads. The world needs more bits, so I really do like supporting commercial endeavors like this. Good work guys!

The other thing I'm happy to report about is the swift arrival of a batch of miniatures ordered from Privateer Press. No surprises here, I simply appreciate being able to purchase bits and individual models otherwise only available in their box sets. I wish Games Workshop had not eliminated their own bits service and continue to hope that someday it will return. Does anyone remember an official GW explanation for why they discontinued bits sales? No matter, I suppose. It doesn't seem to have affected their success too adversely.

Alright, enough of this. Sorry about all the whining and the rather dismal photos. I've been getting in a little hobby time here and there so I should have better things to talk about soon. Also I'm gathering together the last elements needed for the next diceRolla giveaway so I'll have details on that posted soon. Bye!