Wednesday, August 31, 2011

FoW, Take Three

Okay, okay... just one more game to try out. Well, for now. :)

For the third time since this game came out I am once again interested in playing Flames of War, the 15mm WWII wargame from Battlefront Miniatures. The other day when I found my missing Tyranids army I also came across my copy of the Flames of War introductory box set, "Open Fire!" which I purchased almost two years ago. Despite an active FoW scene locally I did not go any further with the game at the time. I've had some reservations about the setting of the game which still linger with me today, but there is enough else about FoW that I like that I've decided to give it another shot. Although I'm going to start with the contents of the Open Fire! box, the Early War period has the most appeal for me and so I have already ordered the Blitzkrieg book. I have a good idea which nationality for this period I would like to collect but I'm going to wait until I've looked through the book before I decide on one.

I really want to like this game and I feel that I need to give it a fair chance. Hopefully the third time around with Flames of War will finally see the game click for me. I'm optimistic about it though and I should be able to play through the intro box fairly soon. Also those little 15mm tanks look like they'll be fun to paint so hey, why not?

Happy gaming!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

CoA Bombers Almost Done

Well it looks like I'm now really close to finishing my Ptolemy Class Bombers, and with a little more time painting I should be able to knock 'em off. This will be the first squadron completed for my Covenant of Antarctica fleet, plus the three squadrons of frigates are not far behind. I'm happy with how the color scheme is working out on these models but I do expect it will need some modification for the other ships in the fleet. For now though I just want to make the orange and green areas on the bombers glow brighter and perhaps give the metal parts a quick highlight. At that point they should be finished and ready for their actual flying stands.

I don't know what I'll paint next for my Covenant fleet once I've completed the squadrons of frigates. I am interested in magnetizing the turrets on the remaining ships but I'm not too sure how I should go about doing that. I have however picked out what I want to include for my first 1000 points which I will use to learn how to play this game. Since I already have the starter box and a fleet carrier, there wasn't a lot of room left to include more units. Conveniently by adding a single blister pack of Icarus Class Medium Flyers, due to be released only a few days from now, I'd reach that 1000 point mark.

So here's the initial list that I'm building towards for my CoA fleet:

Aristotle Class Battleship (185)
Pericles Class Fleet Carrier (130)
3 Plato Class Cruisers with Inventive Scientists (210)
3 Diogenes Class Frigates (75)
3 Diogenes Class Frigates (75)
3 Diogenes Class Frigates (75)
2 Ptolemy Class Bombers (110)
2 Icarus Class Medium Flyers (140)
10 Tiny Flyer Tokens (free)

1000 Total Points

That's the current plan at least for my Covenant of Antarctica fleet. Presently though I am content to relax and work some more on the bombers before calling it a night. Happy painting and gaming!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Dechala the Unassembled One

Oops, I didn't realize how much of the evening had already passed so this will have to be brief. I'm again working on the Chaos Daemons of Slaanesh army that I started at the beginning of the month and am rather focused on it at the moment. Therefore tonight I'm going to forego my normally rambling project update and will instead just take a quick peek at what's on my hobby desk right now.

So far with this Chaos Daemons project I've spent all my time assembling Daemonettes and thus, to change the pace a little, a few minutes ago I decided it was time to put together the army's first Herald of Slaanesh. I'm using the standard Dechala, The Denied One miniature to represent this particular Herald so nothing fancy there. I do however plan on pinning her to the base without using any glue, my intention being that I'll eventually build a Chariot of Slaanesh upon which she can ride. For this army I want to keep my options open as to whether I field the Heralds on foot or mounted on chariots and I think it would be cool to be able to switch them back and forth between the two. It seems to me like a simple way of adding more flexibility to the army I'm collecting and well worth the extra couple minutes of assembly time.

Okay, that's it for now as I am eager to see this Herald of Slaanesh underway. Happy painting and gaming!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Did You Hear Something?

"Hey Bill, did you hear something?"

"Um... yes."

"Oh FETH!"


I've been really busy with my family today and haven't had much time for painting or blogging, hence the random hobby picture this evening. This photograph was taken last Halloween after I celebrated the holiday by painting a set of Plague Zombies which some of you might remember. Even though this picture is one of my favorites, tonight is its diceRolla premier. I know however that at least a few intrepid readers have seen it elsewhere, to whom I apologize for tonight's repeat presentation. :)

Happy painting and gaming!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Ptolemy Class Bombers WIP

This evening I began painting the next batch of models for my Covenant of Antarctica naval group. The last time I worked on this project I painted a squadron of Diogenes Class Frigates as a test of my color scheme, so in this group I have included the remaining six frigates from the starter box. I'm even more excited however to have started painting my two Ptolemy Class Bombers. I believe it was when I first saw the concept art for these weird flying machines that I knew which faction I wanted to collect for this game. Thus I wanted to paint them right away once I had my colors sorted out.

It's still really early in the process but I do like how the split color scheme looks so far on the bombers. Unfortunately I didn't do as good of a job this time creating a gradient between the colors on the set of six frigates. I did not space them out as much as I should have when priming them so that the blue paint would blast sideways onto the ships to either side, almost completely covering over the bone-colored undercoat. I'm fairly sure however that on such small models this will hardly be noticeable except when viewed from close up, if even then. Also I am happy to learn this lesson at this point rather than later on when I'm painting the bigger, more impressive ships. :)

Alright friends, that's all I have to report this time out. I've been waiting for the first round of Gryphonne Sepia wash to dry on these Covenant vessels, and it appears to have now done so. Therefore please excuse me as I go back to work on my fleet. Goodnight!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Requiem for a Termagant

First I have some sad news to report about the passing of a humble Termagant, a steadfast warrior and servant of Hive Fleet Hydra. Yesterday when I was putting away my newly found Tyranids, I must have overlooked this unfortunate 'Nid and left him out in a vulnerable position away from his brood. Somehow the errant model made its way downstairs (I suspect a kitten may have been involved in this stage of the unfolding tragedy), to then be set upon by my awesome xenos-purging dog, Charlie Brown. The results were not pretty.

Upon discovering the dismembered remains of the Termagant this morning, I initially thought that perhaps I could fix him alongside the few other 'Nids that still need repairs. Looking closer though at the damage, I realized that an elbow, a leg, and his entire head were all missing and had been presumably consumed. Thus there will be no more battles for this valiant but woefully outmatched fighter.

Requiescat in pace, little Termangant.

On a happier note, after spending some time with the Codex today I realized that my Tyranids army can potentially field several hundred more points than I had remembered. Instead of the approximately 1500 points of models as I suggested in my previous post, I was very pleased to find out that by loading up on the optional biomorphs my 'Nids can even climb past the 2000 point mark. Although I would prefer to field more models and not have to rely quite so much on the biomorphs to bring up the points total, it is nonetheless an exciting discovery. Hooray!

Hive Fleet Hydra - 2000 points

Hive Tyrant - extra Scything Talons, Old Adversary, Adrenal Glands, Implant Attack, Wings
Hive Tyrant - Twin-Linked Devourers with Brainleech Worms x 2, Hive Commander, Adrenal Glands, Implant Attack, Armoured Shell

2 x Zoanthropes

3 x Tyranid Warriors - Rending Claws
12 x Genestealers
16 x Hormagaunts
16 x Hormagaunts
10 x Termagants
10 x Termagants

3 x Tyranid Shrikes - Rending Claws
4 x Raveners - Rending Claws*

Carnifex - Twin-linked Devourers with Brainleech Worms x 2, Regenerate
Carnifex - Heavy Venom Cannon, Adrenal Glands

2000 Total Points

* This brood of Raveners is the only unit in the army that does not comply with the WYSIWYG standard as it contains two models armed with Rending Claws and two with Scything Talons. I doubt this would ever present a problem as I cannot imagine playing this army outside of a very friendly and relaxed environment. I still think that it's something worth pointing out.

So with this list as a jumping off point it should be really easy for me to expand the army using the remaining models I own but have not yet assembled or painted. I mentioned yesterday that I already have a set of three Hive Guard and a Trygon waiting to join the swarm, and I also remembered today there is a pair of Tyrant Guard hiding somewhere amongst my boxes of minis. Once they're ready for the tabletop, just those six models alone will add close to another 500 points to the maximum size of my Tyranids swarm. I very rarely play games above 2000 points but it certainly would be nice to have the option, not to mention having a wider range of choices in lower point-level games.

Therefore even though this day started out with the grim discovery of my Termagant's demise, overall it feels like it has been a very positive day for my Tyranids. In fact the last two days have really renewed my excitement and interest in this army. I do not anticipate ever trying to fully update my Tyranids so as to include some of the more popular new units like the Swarmlord, Tervigons, or Tyrannofexes. However I am now at least willing to put some more time into working on the models that I have in order to get as much out of my collection of 'Nids as I can.

Well that seems like a decent enough plan I suppose to get me going again with these bugs. I look forward to the next chance I get to play a game using my Tyranids... should be fun times. I've never had much success with this army before but I have always enjoyed the experience leading the swarm. I like fast, aggressive armies and this one suites me quite well in that regard.

Okay, that's it for tonight. I hope everyone has a great weekend ahead... happy painting and gaming!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Missing 'Nids Found, Light Casualties Only

While cleaning out the garage today I came across an army transportation bag that had been missing since we moved into the new house almost three months ago. Along with an assortment of blisters, sprues, and other random miniatures, perhaps most importantly this bag is where I had stuffed most of my collection of Tyranids for the move to North Carolina. Even better is that the 'nids managed to survive the trip sustaining only minor damage to a few models. Woo-hoo! This is surprising to me because of the lack of care with which I packed them. After lifting out the upper layers of hobby detritus, this is what I saw today in my army bag:

Wow... I'd forgotten just how haphazardly I had crammed these minis into the bag. There in the picture you can see the uppermost portion of my Tyranid swarm in a tangled mass of chitin and claws. I knew for quite a while leading up to our departure for the mountains that I would not have enough foam or other safe means of storage for all my miniatures and armies. In particular I had never bothered to work out a good way of transporting my Tyranid army as I rarely ever had a reason to take them anywhere. Rather than come up with a plan to handle this I instead ignored the problem for as long as I could until that last night in our previous home.

Finally with a healthy sense of desperation and growing panic I then set about packing my bugs. There was room left in the foam that I used for my Dark Elf War Hydra in which I was able to fit the Tyranids' winged Hive Tyrant, as well as the winged Warriors and my Zoanthropes, too. The rest of the army however would have to tough it out jammed together in my last army bag, which also served as the receptacle for whatever other remaining loose hobby junk that I came across in my haste. I was worried about the 'Nids but hoped that the minis would be packed tightly together so as to prevent them from shifting around much and crashing into each other. As unlikely as that seemed, at the time it was the best option I could think of in the few hours left to pack.

It was therefore to my great surprise today when discovered that the irrepressible Tyranids did in fact survive and in relatively good condition no less. After unpacking everything and sorting out all the minis, I could find only three damaged models. Of the medium bugs a single diminutive claw arm had popped off of a metal Ravener, and one Warrior's Rending Claw arms broke away, too. The only small bug in need of repair is one of the Hormagaunts who snapped off of his base, something which I expected many more Gaunts to have suffered due to their fragile ankles and minimal contact with their bases. Fortunately none of the large bugs however sustained any damage. Incredibly it looks like it should all be fairly easy to fix... nice!

So here is the entire swarm of Tyranids unpacked and deployed onto my desktop:

Under the previous Codex I could play games comfortably in the 1850-2000 points range with this army, although by maxing out on biomorphs this could be pushed up to around 2200 points. It has been a long time since I looked at the most recent Codex: Tyranids, but I believe the army now comes in right around 1500 points with the current set of rules. Thus it seemed like it would cost more money than I was willing to spend in order to update and expand the army to take advantage of the new strategic options and units now available to the Tyranids.

I've since revisited this and decided earlier this year that I would go ahead and make a few more additions to the army. I now have a unit of Hive Guard and a single Trygon/Mawloc kit waiting to join Hive Fleet Hydra. I would also like to pick up a couple boxes of Gargoyles if for no other reason than to celebrate their transition from plastic to metal. Lastly I think I need to sort out my Raveners as they currently cannot be fielded legally as a WYSIWYG unit, so I'll likely also pick up a box of them eventually. While I was not terribly thrilled with the current Codex: Tyranids upon its release, I'm at least interested in them enough to again put my 'Nids back onto the hobby to-do list. Maybe I'll even provide for them foam or a case of their own, though I doubt that will be happening anytime soon.

Happy painting and gaming!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

For The Khadorland!

Originally I had wanted to begin working on my first Warmachine models today but my plans went a tad haywire. Most of the day was taken up in dealing with our basement that flooded during the night, followed this evening by my little daughter not feeling well. It's now too late for me to start on any of my hobby projects so instead I think I'll just take it easy and read for a while. I've been meaning to go back and reread the Warmachine and Hordes MkII rulebooks so maybe I'll start on them.

Therefore tonight all I have to share with you are just some more photos that I think are pretty cool. These are pictures of a large Privateer Press display that I saw at Adepticon a couple years back. It looked awesome but the only problem was that it was surrounded with plexiglass or something which made taking pictures of the minis rather frustrating. Thus none of the following photos turned out as well as I would have liked which is why I decided against posting them at the time in 2010. I guess my standards are lower now as I reason, "Eh... why not? They're still neat." But if obviously amateurish photography makes you cringe, you at least have been warned. Then again, if that were the case this blog would probably not be to your liking anyway, so why should I worry about catering to you hypothetical photo snobs?

Ah, sorry. This has indeed been a long day. I'll shut up now and get on with the pictures.

The display had been divided into three separate scenes, of which the Khador assault pictured above was one of them. I really like the alternative color scheme used on these models as well as the details of the overrun network of trench works and defenses, too. I've chosen as my initial faction for Warmachine the mighty forces of Khador, and since I wasn't able to actually get started on them today, I thought it would be fun to at least share these pictures of Khador minis. I hope you enjoyed taking a peek even if they were somewhat blurry or crazy looking from the flash. What can I say, it's been one of those days. :)


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Return to Naggaroth

Since my return to blogging and hobbying, so far this month I've focused almost entirely on new projects, and in most cases these have been for new games as well. I did post once or twice almost a year ago about assembling some Skorne models but otherwise this has been all new ground for diceRolla. It was therefore a surprisingly pleasant return to the familiar for me when I unpacked my Dark Elves earlier this evening. They've been stuffed away basically since finishing the tournament at Adepticon so it was nice to take them out of their foam and let them breath the fresh air.

After working so intently on the Dark Elves for much of the start of the year, post-convention I was initially relieved to set them aside and tinker with other interesting miniatures while I prepared to move to North Carolina. Having gone through my hobby hiatus and then having right away started a bunch of new army projects, now that I'm at last getting back to my Dark Elves it seems like I've bridged the gap between my hobby activities from before and then after the move. I feel refreshed and am excited to return to painting my treacherous Druchii friends.

When I left off working on these Dark Elves I had been scrambling to provide everything in my 1000 point army with at least a first coating of paints. It was a close call but with DrGabe's help I made it just under the wire, even receiving a higher painting score than I had expected. A few of the units are somewhat further along but the majority of them have received only that initial round of color. As the general of the army I spent some extra time working on the Sorceress so I suspect finishing her could be done rather quickly. That's likely where I'll start up again, although painting the War Hydra is very tempting to me.

The Cold One Knights pictured above were DrGabe's contribution to my late night paint-a-thon leading up to the tournament. It's impressive what he was able to achieve with just four hours to paint and a little Jack Daniels to keep him motivated. :)

While I finish painting the first 1000 points of my army, I will also plan how I want to expand the army beyond what I already have. Although it was only four games, the tournament I participated in nonetheless was still helpful in giving me a better sense of how my army functions and where it needs to be strengthened. First off I plan on increasing the size of the Black Ark Corsairs unit by the remaining five models that I own, though I can easily envision taking it up to a size of 25 or 30 Corsairs. I also want to add a second unit of Repeater Crossbowmen as the first unit performed well when tested in battle. They were admirably reliable killers.

Another core choice of troops that would be very helpful I think would be just a basic unit of Dark Elf Warriors. They would act as a dedicated bodyguard unit for the Sorceress and likely not be meant for use as one of the primary combat units of the army. In my tournament games I kept the Sorceress deployed with the Corsairs thinking this would help keep her safe from sniping. Instead as the Corsairs were my main combat unit this put her far too much into harm's way and, thanks to a couple of brutal miscasts, proved on occasion disastrous for the Corsairs as well. Therefore having the Sorceress safely tucked into a unit of cheap Warriors, from whence she can cast her spells with reckless abandon, seems like a good way to go. Hmm... a Master to carry the army's Battle Standard should also be another early addition.

So while I consider all these options and decide what to add to the army next, in the meantime it just feels really good to be talking Dark Elves again. I think it was helpful for me to take a little break from the Druchii after Adepticon to avoid burning out, but I am now definitely happy to be returning to them. Having reviewed the army and where I left the project, I am ready to get back to it right away.

Happy painting and gaming!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Imperial Fists Team Display

After months of delay I've finally started writing the story of my experiences playing in the 40k team tournament at Adepticon this past Spring. Yeah, I know... timely as ever, right? It's going to take me a little longer to finish my summary of the tournament but in the meantime I do have something else to share from that day.

While hustling from one side of the main room to the other in search of the correct table for my Round 3 game, I happened to pass by an eye-catching Imperial Fists army that made me stop in my tracks. Imperial Fists armies always get a lot of attention thanks to their not so subtle livery, but in this case it was actually not the army that made me take a second look. Instead it was the team's massive army display board, complete with a beautiful backdrop to help set the scene. One thing this tournament has become known for is the great amount of effort and creativity some teams are willing to invest into every aspect of their army's appearance and how it is displayed, of which this particular Imperial Fists army is an excellent example.

No doubt many other people stopped to take pictures as well so presumably this army display has been previously featured elsewhere on the internet, closer to when the tournament took place and likely in greater detail, too. However since I went to the trouble to take my own photographs amid the hubbub and chaos between rounds of the tournament, I'm now determined to use them here no matter how stale the subject might be for you, my fellow hobbyists. And of course if you haven't seen this before, I think it's worth taking a look.

I was in such a hurry that I was not able to learn anything about the team responsible for bringing this brilliant spectacle to the tournament. If anyone who was involved with the pictured Imperial Fists collection and army display happens to see this, please let me know and I will happily give you the credit that you and your mates deserve. It's a marvelous piece of art and I would really appreciate being able to properly recognize the people who created it.

Seeing this sort of fantastic army and over-the-top display is one of the things I most enjoy about attending big events like Adepticon. I only wish I had more time to take better photos of the display and to meet the people who had built it. Oh well, I hope you had fun taking a look at this one as well. Goodnight!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

QuickPic - Hundred Years Project

I just snapped this photo a few minutes ago of some 15mm Hundred Years War miniatures by Corvus Belli. These guys are for my HYW: English army for the fast-play historical wargame, de Bellis Antiquitatis. I have an element of four billmen almost fully painted and ready for basing, after which I'll have finished all of the support and optional pieces for the army. Not too shabby considering it's only taken me, um... 3+ years to get this far. :)

Next up will be six elements of deadly accurate longbowman who form the core of the army. I then plan on painting the three elements of mounted knights and their dismounted counterparts. Finally I'll wrap things up with a camp and possibly a separate element of camp followers, though I might model them as part of the camp itself. Since I'm saving that for last, however, I have plenty of time to think it over.

Happy painting and gaming... goodnight!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Dystopian Wars - How Many Points?

My wife and I will be heading out shortly to celebrate our wedding anniversary. I therefore have even less time than usual for blogging this evening. I hope you will understand then my haste and will forgive my brevity. To that end, instead of a project update tonight I have a question to pose.

Right then, let's talk for a moment about Dystopian Wars. While working on the starter box for my Covenant of Antarctica fleet I can't help but wonder how I will expand my collection once this first batch is painted. These thoughts have been further spurred on by the pending release of the second wave of CoA miniatures, which will make available a variety of new ships and the Covenant's "special unit" as well. I am curious however with regards to how many points I should look at adding to my fleet.

For those of you who are playing Dystopian Wars, what range of points do you enjoy for your games? I've searched around on the Spartan Games forum but have not able to find much indication at all of games being played beyond the 1000 point mark. This seems surprisingly low to me. I wonder if this is due to the relative newness of the game and the influx of players just starting out, and thus being disproportionately represented among the forum's participants. (I tend to steer clear of forums and have no idea if this is a fair assumption.) Nonetheless I have also seen pictures of obviously much larger games underway, though I have no idea if this is any more typical than playing in the 1000 point range would be.

Hence I am putting my question to those of you who happen to play Dystopian Wars and might be willing to help me out. What is a typical sized game for you? Have you encountered any popular standards for play aside from your personal preference? I greatly appreciate any thoughts you wish to share on this matter, thank you.

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

Friday, August 19, 2011

Sergeant Homer in the Sewers of Malifaux

Today I was able to put in some more time working with my Sewers of Malifaux set from Wyrd Miniatures. So far I have mixed feelings about the TerraClips system and my enthusiasm for it has waned slightly from yesterday. I think it definitely looks a lot better than I had previously worried it might, but there are some more pragmatic issues that I'm initially not too crazy about. I'm sure with more practice I will develop a better understanding of what I can do with this terrain but starting out it has been a bit frustrating. Also it's been slower going that I had expected but again I think with practice the assembly process will not take as long.

By now I've only used about two thirds of the pieces you get in one box of Sewers but already I'm running out TerraClips, especially the I-shaped and L-shaped ones. If you're interested in these kits I recommend you consider getting an extra pack or so of TerraClips. At the rate I've been going through them I think a good ratio would probably be 3 boxes of clips for every 2 boxes of tiles. I'm also noticing a shortage of solid wall sections and an excess of those wall sections with doors and gates for what I had envisioned building. I suppose this is just a matter of personal preference and one of the inherent limitations for this type of approach to terrain making.

While putting together my sewers I took some pictures to help show what these pieces are like close up. Once again to act as my visual reference for scale I have requested the help of Sergeant Homer of the Stonecutters chapter. He's no stranger to such filth and so did not begrudge the assignment.

Pictured above is one of the basic 6" x 6" tiles, of which you get 16 in the Sewers box. The artwork on them is double-sided to give more options and variety when deciding how to assemble your sewers.

You also get 32 of these 3" x 3" double-sided tiles, none of which I've yet used as I'm already running out of TerraClips. Some have narrow sewer canals while others appear as solid flooring. They seem to provide a lot of utility when designing your layout, although they will quickly burn through even more of your clip supply.

Add some walls to the floor tiles and Sergeant Homer is now in the Sewers of Malifaux, or at least a little box resembling the Sewers of Malifaux. At this point everything was still quite simple and straightforward. The more pieces you want to use, however, the worse it gets.

You can assemble your terrain to have multiple levels of elevation. Included are a couple of sheets of handrails, balconies, staircases, and ladders. I've not yet tried this out very much, in this case due to using up all of my wall pieces building the main level of sewers.

One aspect I am very pleased with is the appearance of the sewer effluent as this was something that had not impressed me in the pictures I'd seen previously. The sewer canals have a sense of flow in addition to looking suitably nasty. They remind me of the river of negativity flowing beneath Manhattan in Ghostbusters 2. Ahhh... now that is some lovely effluent.

Half of the wall sections included in the Sewers box are solid while the rest of them have cutout areas to represent doors and gates. I felt like I ran out of solid wall sections very quickly. The doors come as separate pieces and can stand up with the help of a little matching pieces of card. Of course the doors can just be left off entirely to make things simpler. Another option is to attach a TerraClip to the bottom of each door and anchor them to the floor tiles if you'd rather not have your doors be openable at all.

As I mentioned my experience with these so far has been rather frustrating and not as much fun as I had hoped. Since so many clips are involved it can be a little tricky wedging pieces together and you really need to plan at least several steps in advance. It can be annoying if you make a mistake or change your mind along the way as you inevitably have to pull apart many more pieces than just the ones you want to switch around. I therefore think it would be very helpful to layout most if not all of the pieces you intend on using so that you can plan the most sensible order of construction. Also that way you know you won't run out of something deep into the assembly process.

Despite my concerns and gripes I'm still optimistic about making good use of my TerraClips terrain. The problems I've run into so far will I think become less bothersome over time as I become more familiar with these kits and learn how to get the most out of them. I also think there's tremendous potential for using these terrain sets outside of the Malifaux universe. In fact one of things I'm now most eager to try out is playing a game of Space Hulk adapted for use with my Sewers of Malifaux. Hmm... Sewer Hulk, anyone?

Alright, that's all the time I have for tonight. I hope everyone has a great weekend ahead with plenty of painting and gaming fun. Goodbye for now!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Malifaux Bump - TerraClips!

Well, well, well. It looks like Infinity is once again bumped from this week's rotation in favor of Malifaux. This time it's because my set of the new 3D modular terrain from Wyrd Miniatures has arrived and I couldn't wait to begin playing with them. So... TerraClips!

I only started a short while ago punching out some of the larger pieces from the Sewers of Malifaux box to test how these things fit together using the plastic clips. Based on the weight and quality of the card-stock alone I have a good first impression of this terrain. (I just checked and the Wyrd website says it's 1.7mm thick punchboard.) The pieces appear to be more durable than I had expected and the clips slide on smoothy. I therefore suspect this terrain will hold up nicely if not abused since assembling and disassembling your pieces are not likely to damage them. Nonetheless I'm interested in seeing how long it takes for wear and tear from usage to become noticeable.

In all honesty I had not been terribly impressed with the pictures I had seen of these terrain sets over the past year. In all the photos they looked to me too busy and actually sort of ugly. I am therefore relieved to think that they look much better in person. All the little details are much more impressive and do not appear to be as busy or distracting as I had thought they would. There's a lot of potential for Wyrd's terrain and it is a significant step forward from any card terrain that I've used in the past. Beyond just Malifaux these sets are clearly well suited for many other wargames and RPGs, for which no doubt they will come in quite handy.

As I said I have not had much time to play with this terrain but I look forward to experimenting and having fun with them this weekend. I'll revisit this once I've really tested them out and built a few different layouts. Last night I saw posted here at Rhellion's Tabletop an excellent review of Rhellion's experiences working with the Streets of Malifaux and the Buildings of Malifaux box sets. If you're interested in more info I recommend you check out his blog. There's plenty of good stuff there.

One thing Rhellion mentions is that Wyrd already plans on releasing further sets of terrain, including futuristic designs as well. Not only does that sound very exciting (oh... Infinity!), but also explains why my box of TerraClips is labeled as "Translucent Grey." I suppose this means we can expect these clips to eventually come in a variety of colors. Something about designer TerraClips is really amusing to me.

Fun, indeed. :)

Alright, I gotta run. Things should be getting back to normal soon as my visiting relatives will be departing in a day or so. Happy painting and gaming!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

A Lovely Iron Kingdoms Table

I don't have much time tonight for blogging as I continue to be occupied by visiting relatives. So for this week's Warmachine/Hordes post I'd like to show a picture of one of my favorite gaming tables. I saw this one at Adepticon and I have no idea who is responsible for it, although I guess it was made by someone associate with Privateer Press. It was located right next to one of their big display pieces in the ballroom where all their tournaments were held.

Okay, check it out:

Why then do I like it so much? To begin with I think it's just a really attractive table built to a high standard of craftsmanship. I wish at the time I had taken more photos of it so that I could show some closeups as the buildings and train station are all well detailed, beautiful pieces of scenery. Also the train and boxcar apparently received a similar amount of care and attention. I remember them being quite lovely.

Beyond its aesthetic appeal I appreciate that it is still a very functional wargaming table for the system for which it was created. It doesn't appear overly crowded with too many lavish terrain pieces and so it should still allow for an enjoyable, standard type of game, not one in which the table itself dominates how the game is played. While I definitely have a lot of fun playing on those specially designed, narrative-heavy tables, this one comes across to me as a top-notch, "I can play on it everyday" sort of table.

Perhaps what I like the most about the table, however, is how well it fits the background and themes of its game world. It seems to me a perfect expression of the Iron Kingdoms and very representative of that Steampunk-styled setting. Sure it would work fine for a lot of other games, but with even a glance I know where the action on the table is supposed to be taking place. I'm also impressed that this isn't conveyed by means of any overt references to in-game factions, symbols, etc. or other sorts of give-away clues.

Finally, I just think it's really neat that the table has train tracks and a train, too. I've wanted to build a table with train tracks for a long time but have not yet done so. That's a terrain feature I would like to see show up more often. Growing up my dad was into model trains so I've thought for a while it would cool to integrate a little of that into my own hobby. Maybe someday I'll get around to that... seems like it would be fun. By the way, does anyone know what scale or gauge of track works well for 28-30mm miniatures?

So that's why I think this table is so groovy. I hope everyone is having a rockin' week so far. Goodnight!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

250th Post and Some Evil Dead

Unfortunately I am not going to be able to write on either of the topics I had in mind for tonight's Warhammer posting. We had a surprise visit from family today and will now be entertaining house guests for the next few days. This was a very happy surprise for us but it has curtailed somewhat the time I have available for blogging this evening. What I had planned on writing about can certainly wait another week so it doesn't seem sensible to rush through either of them.

This does however happen to be my 250th post for this blog, and I am not above taking the easy way out. Therefore tonight diceRolla is celebrating having reached an entirely arbitrary and meaningless posting milestone. Hooray for blogging! Hooray for me! Woo-hoo! I believe this is the first of these of which I have taken note and mentioned, so please forgive the gratuitous nature of my self-congratulation. It's taken diceRolla some 30 months to arrive at this point and it seems like a long time coming. So… ta da!

It wouldn't feel right, however, to mark such an important accomplishment [snicker, snicker] without anything at all related to our shared interest in the world of gaming. I thus went digging through my photo albums in search of something that would be appropriate. Here then is what I found for such a solemn occasion:

This... is my BOOMSTICK!

This photograph is from one of the team 40k tournament games I played in earlier this year at Adepticon. In the first round our team was matched against a group of guys from Florida called Skull-N-Bonz who had brought to the event an alliance of Imperial Guard and Nurgle-based Chaos Marines. You can probably tell from the picture that what really made their armies outstanding was that they were all themed around one of my favorite movies, Army of Darkness. The miniature version of Ash pictured above was used as a counts-as Colonel 'Iron Hand' Straken for one of their Guard armies. I was playing on the adjacent table and so did not get the chance to go up against Colonel Ash myself, though I did enjoy watching him chew his way through a big group of Space Wolves. I tip my hat to the Skull-N-Bonz crew for bringing such a fun army to the tournament and for being an awesome group of competitors, too. Well done, guys!

Lastly I want to say a big THANK YOU to all the fantastic people who have been reading my blog, however long that happens to have been. It's been a blast getting to share with you my experiences with this hobby and I greatly appreciate you providing me with such an opportunity. Thanks for sticking with me!

Goodnight, everybody. And remember… shop smart, shop S-Mart. :)

Monday, August 15, 2011

Dark Angels Dreadnought

More than a year and a half ago I was working on a Space Marine Dreadnought whom I named Brother Abraxos. He was to be part of a Dark Angels' 6th Company army project that was shelved not too long after I'd finished painting this model. At the time I made a few WIP updates about him but then never got around to posting about the finished model. It's time therefore that I correct this oversight by sharing some pictures of my Dreadnought that I took back in January, 2010. Having patiently waited for such an introduction, I feel it is his due. Here then is Brother Abraxos....

I've had very little experience working with magnets and so even the straightforward task of magnetizing the arms for this Dreadnought was a challenge. I made a few mistakes concerning their polarity but was able to fix them without too much frustration. Reassuringly I have since learned better ways to keep the magnets properly oriented. I'm happy that the arms turned out well enough although the alignment on one or two of them is slightly askew. Not that it really matters though as they are still usable and look fine to me.

I enjoyed painting this Dreadnought but perhaps not as much as I thought I would. Nonetheless I really like how the model turned out and am grateful for the experience, especially in overcoming my hesitancy about using magnets. Overall I think this was a fun and worthwhile project. Unfortunately my interest in continuing with the rest of the Dark Angels army gradually fizzled and I moved on to other things. If I ever do return to those plans, one reason will likely be so that I can make better use of Brother Abraxos, but for now that's not sufficient motivation.

Then again, if the rumors are correct about the Dark Angels receiving some extra attention with the anticipated arrival of 6th Edition, perhaps that will provide the spark needed to reignite my interest in the Unforgiven. I suppose I'll just wait and see what happens, and of course in the meantime there is never a lack of minis that I am eager to paint. Speaking of which, I believe it's time I went back to my brushes for a bit of late evening painting. Goodnight!