Tuesday, July 29, 2008

A loss... Of sorts...

Yeah, so my WARMACHINE game didn't go so hot. It was for Summer Rampage, so I thought I'd be all clever-like and play in Western Cygnar; which many of you Rampagers might know to be a pretty safe bet for Cygnar to play in against the Legion, and also has quite a favorable condition on it (New Recruits: allowing 50 extra points per army). However I rolled what could possibly be the worst scenario I could have rolled: The Curse of Garlghast Island. For those of you who haven't had the pleasure of plying this scenario, it doesn't allow LOS any greater than 8", and it makes all spells and animi +1 Focus/Fury to cast. We both had pretty shooty armies, and so this particularily sucked.

There were a few mistakes I made that I noticed. I should've kept far back from him at all times instead of staying put. I also should have popped Haley's feat one turn sooner, allowing Alten Ashley to shoot the crap out of his Carnivian and whatever's left to be dealt with the Hunter. Alas, it was not to be. I'll have to play someone else before I go back to that Legion player and try my luck again.

Not much of a report, but I really don't have the patience to do full ones. Mine are more like battle summaries.

In other news, I haven't painted much today (read: anything today), but I'm hoping to finish up my Banshees tomorrow. I really need to as I have to get going on this project.



I actually finished something this time! That's right, my new Eldar army (the third incarnation I've done since I started playing oh so long ago - 12 years) is off to a great start. I've finished my Striking Scorpions, and my Howling Banshees have one day's work left in them. I also managed to finish a HORDES minion while I was at it. Let me take you through the magic that was the last three days of painting.

First off, here's some work in progress pictures of the Howling Banshees I'm working on.

Here's a close-up where I showcase my super-awesome talent with the new Citadel washes. This is Baal Red on top of a Mechrite Red base. Not as good as some wash/paint combos but it looks good and does the highlighting and shading for you.

Here's a standard close-up. Again, these aren't finished. If you look closely you can see my finger.

Here's what we came to see, a view of my finished Striking Scorpions.

Little closer this time. That's the Exarch in the middle with the Biting Blade. Pretty darn neat!

Here's a close-up. Watch out, that's a Scorpion Chainsword comin' at cha! For my army (which is mostly Aspect Warriors) I've gone and copied the Rogue Trader era color schemes. That means gold weapons and none of this 'painting your Aspect Warriors Craftworld color' bullcrap!

This is a pretty good shot of the armor, which is just Scorpion Green with Thraka Green wash over top of it. That easy. I tried to highlight but no matter what I mixed Scorpion Green with, it just looked redundant.

The Exarch now. I did the yellow on them using Iyandin Darksun with Sunburst Yellow highlights. I'm not super-happy with it, but I think it does the trick.

Here's a back shot showing off the way the wash really did its thing on the armor.

Here's an unrelated picture of Alten Ashley for HORDES. I painted him in the time it took the first coat of Shining Gold to dry on the Howling Banshees. That's sort of an exaggeration, as the gold was probably dry during the painting of him, but I like to think that I painted him pretty darn quick. I definitely painted him during the D&D/Penny Arcade/PVP podcast.

That's it for that. Glad I actually have something done. I'll put some more work into the Howling Banshees tomorrow, and I'll be back on this blog to talk about the new Summer Rampage put on by Privateer Press for their WARMACHINE and HORDES games (I may even have somewhat of a battle report for you).


Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Yet Another Painting Challenge

So I've gotten myself into another painting challenge. Last time I tackled the mammoth task of painting every model in my WARMACHINE collection. This was not completed...

Here's the list (units in bold were completed)
10x Long Gunners with UA
8x Trenchers with UA
6x Mechanik crew
6x Mechanik crew
1x Eiryss
1x Haley
6x Sword Knights
6x Sword Knights
1X Hunter 'Jack
1x Centurion 'Jack
1x Ironclad 'Jack
1x Journeyman Warcaster

As you can see I actually got pretty close. The unfortunate part is that during all of this I managed to buy, build, and prime a unit of Storm Lances, Alten Ashley, and another Ironclad, so that didn't help. Nevertheless I am one model away from 500 points of painted WARMACHINE (either Alten Ashley, or Eiryss).

Yet now I am embroiled in another three month painting challenge with three details different from the last: 1. I'm doing an Eldar army for Warhammer 40,000; 2. It's many, many more models (see below); 3. I only have six weeks to complete it instead of twelve! This is because I'm leaving to Germany on the 9th of September.

How will I manage such a feat? The Citadel Washes of course. I started my Striking Scorpions today, and they look fantastic. All I did was tank brush them with Scorpion Green, before I washed them with Thraka Green. I'll post pictures when I get access to a digital camera again (weekend?). Now I just have to do the details, which will be mostly black, gold, and yellow. I'm hoping to actually finish the unit tomorrow.

In other news: There's a huge Warhammer tournament in Vancouver this weekend, and though I'm working during it, I'll be able to go out to the afterhours and tear stuff up! I'll be bringing my Dwarfs as they're the only army other than my High Elves that are really close to being painted, and they're fairly competitive. I'll post some reports about that after it happens (Sunday?). My game group, The Fighting Cocks, is going to represent itself there as well (we're named after the halfling regiment in Warhammer, not something vulgar), with four of the members showing up. 'Twill be good!

Anyways, I leave you with my Eldar painting list and an apology that these articles aren't more interesting; but this blog really is just my thoughts on painting and gaming, and those thoughts are often that I wish I painted more.

1 Autarch
6 Striking Scorpions
10 Howling Banshees
10 Dire Avengers
5 Rangers
6 Swooping Hawks
3 War Walkers
1 Falcon
3 Wave Serpents


Wednesday, July 16, 2008

40K 5th Edition Review

I had my first game of Warhammer 40,000 5th edition today, and I got my ass handed back to me by a Nurgly fist.

The game itself is awesome. There’s so much more going on, and so many more tactical maneuverings it was almost confusing, only because I had no idea how to play my army anymore.

One thing I want to say to begin this is that anything you may have looked at in the new rules and said to yourself “Hmm, that looks like it wont work/is too powerful” doesn’t/isn’t. Everything from the true line of sight, to going to ground, to infantry being the only units to hold objectives works.

I also want to say that I wont really go through all the rules step-by-step as that’s pretty boring, and pretty long to write. Also, there are a few podcasts that do a better job of this, thus I’m just going to review everything at once.

What I like most about the new edition is that it’s added some of the interesting bits from the first two editions that they just discarded in the 3rd edition switch because they deemed them cumbersome. Now, it seems they’ve found a way to incorporate them better without sacrificing playability. My favorite being the vehicle ramming rules. Now you can ram opponent’s vehicles just like you could in the old editions. There’s also the inclusion of line of sight being ‘what you can see, you’re able to shoot at’, and the addition of running rules again.

My philosophical interpretation with these changes may differ from that of the games designers but with these changes I feel that they’ve changed purpose from having a streamlined tournament rules set to having a rules set that’s primarily fun to play with casually. Since 3rd edition 40K has always been secondary to me in my gaming pursuits because, while I thought it was a good tournament rules set, I hated playing it one on one, because it seemed so sterile and abstract. Even abstract miniatures games like AT-43 have interesting bits like command points, or orders. 40K 3rd and 4th editions didn’t. They were just abstract sets of rules that weren’t much fun to play other than in Cleanse mission type scenarios. The only 40K games I’ve played in the last two years have been using the Cities of Death and Apocalypse rules. Both of those rules sets deviate from the norm quite heavily, and are amazingly fun.

Now, 40K is fun to play again. There’s more for me to do against your vehicles than just plain ‘ole shoot at them. I can ram them, or I can go into combat with them head on and use your back armor to damage. Hiding out behind that forest, all game bombarding me/casting psychic powers? Not anymore you’re not! I can clearly see you, and though your cover save is quite high (most cover saves have been boosted at least +1), I can still harm you. You might want to hide behind that tree. Shooting at my Eldar Rangers that are sitting on an objective in the woods? Well, I’ll go to ground and get a +1 to my already 4+ cover save (let’s not forget the +1 I have for having the Stealth ability!). If I get shot by a Demolisher Cannon, then with a Go To Ground order I can either increase my cover save by +1 or take a 6+ cover save if I’m out in the open. This increases survivability (though I didn’t make ONE Go To Ground save the entire game). This is good, because with everything else out there that can now see and kill me; it’s good to have even a little insurance.

Combat is also way more deadly. After chargers have moved in the defenders must move their movement in order to get into contact with any chargers that able to be attacked. This guarantees that more models are in combat and also lessens the chance of combats being big slugfests for 6 turns. Combat resolution is also much easier to resolve, being more like the Warhammer Fantasy set of rules. For each kill you score in excess of your opponent, you force your opponent to take a -1 on a leadership test for losing the most casualties. In the event of a failed Leadership Test, you do the 4th edition Initiative roll-off and the winner consolidates (but is unable to engage another enemy unit that turn). Easy! In real game terms this resulted in some pretty decisive combats, as my Banshees destroyed a unit of Chaos Terminators on the charge but were then wiped out by Lesser Daemons the following turn.

Here’s another shocking change, Victory Conditions. Now only TROOPS (infantry, bikes, whatever… Unless it’s a vehicle) can capture objectives. Not only that, but because of the way you choose missions and deployment (that’s right, choosing missions is independent of choosing deployment types) 2/3 of the time you’re going to play a mission that uses NO VICTORY POINTS. It’s all Apocalypse-style: Whoever has the most objectives at the end of the game wins. Other units can contest objectives, but it’s up to the grunts to move in and hold them. After all, Saving Private Ryan has shown us that infantry are way better holders of towns than that sorry tank.

For the most part things were tidied up. Rules were clarified and certain aspects of the rules that may have been there from the beginning were reiterated. Such as the rule that you cannot move through your friendly or enemy models at all! Even in the same squad. The vehicle damage tables were consolidated into one table with modifiers on the roll depending on what weapon you’re using and what type of hit you got.

As much as I love the rules I do have a few complaints. In a few regards I thought they could have gone a step further to bring more detail into the game without sacrificing playability. I think the running rule is cool; but I really wish they’d just bring back Movement Values. I miss having Eldar move 5” and Marines move 4”. They don’t even have to touch the old codices; they can just print a table in the rulebook stating the different movement values for models. This is the most unreasonable of my requests, they get better.

I also wish Tank Shock was deadlier. I’ve always found Tank Shock to be just useless. I want more punishment for failing a Leadership Test when confronted by a tank charging into you. Finally, I’m still waiting for a decent Psychic System. I understand the want to move away from the mini game that was Dark Millennium back in 2nd edition, however I think a Warhammer Fantasy-Style system would be far superior to what they have now. I think the original thought behind scaling down the Psychic System in 3rd edition was because they didn’t feel Psychic Powers should play such a big role, or be too powerful. I just think that in a Space-Fantasy type setting there should be some destructive supernatural powers, and some epic psychic dueling.

Like I said, I love the new system. I was never this excited about 4th edition, and I sure as heck wasn’t as excited about 3rd edition. I’m looking forward to finishing my Eldar army and getting some painted games in. I also need to add more troop choices… With an average of 4 or 5 objectives per mission, what’s a three troop choice army to do?


Friday, July 11, 2008


I hate it when people misspell. Even more when they misspell gaming. Anyways, the new 40K comes out tomorrow, well... Comes out today at Strategies' midnight (10pm) release party (big ole game of Apocalypse). Well... I already have my copy, but that's not the point. The point is that your average plebians will have their copies on the 12th and that makes me happy.

I don't have time for a full-fledged review right now (maybe Sunday?); this is more of a check-in to see what I've been doing/haven't been doing. If the previous posts on this blog are any indication of what's to come next, it'll be madness, frenzy, and other made up words.

First up, I painted some more WARMACHINE stuff. Yay! I doubt I'll finish in time for the competition but I'm getting there. The sad part is that the project was entirely managable. I just got distracted with sunlight, friends, and social spheres, that don't involve pushing around metal soldiers on a tabletop (What?! Are you friends with SATANISTS, and SKINHEADS these days?). I'll try me darndest, but Citadel washes can only speed up painting so much

Second on the platter, I'm changing another painting project of mine. I'll no longer be looking to complete my Chaos Space Marine army, but instead will do my Eldar army which (in all fairness) has been on the docket much, much longer than the Chaos army, and is less redundant in my gaming circle (where we have two, or three, Chaos players). I'm known for my Eldar anyways, and it's time I updated my gaming force to the current models. This will mark my third Eldar army; my first being a Biel-Tan force from 1st/2nd edition, my second was a blue, and purple color-scheme from 3rd/4th edition, and this final one will be purple, and bone made up of all new Eldar models (4th/5th edition models. The ones that were released in 2006).

Third... Um... I bought more Chainmail models. I love those damned things. I really miss that game more than any other, I'd think. Well... The new D&D Minis game is actually quite good, so I guess I just miss the painted models. Oh well, Mike McVey has moved on to bigger and better things (please come back to Privateer Press), and his work on Chainmail shall not be missed.

For all you roleplayers out there, I didn't know that Chris Pramas worked on Chainmail. That's pretty cool. I like his stuff (Green Ronin/True20/Mutants & Masterminds/Song of Fire and Ice RPG (forthcoming)/and most importantly Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay).

Alright, time for me to get to work.