Thursday, December 26, 2013

A Tale of One Gamer: My First Ten Bleakswords

My first ten Dark Elf Bleakswords are finished! It's only taken me three months, too! Well, let's be honest, three months of a bunch of sessions spread out. As we'll see from my time breakdown at the bottom of this article, it actually hasn't taken that long. I managed to do these ten figures in only six sessions (one of which I mostly spent building a Cauldron of Blood, which I have included in today's breakdown but will discuss in a future article in this series).

I'm notoriously bad at blogging regularly (one thing I hope to change in the new year), so I've actually managed to sit down three times since my last post and do some hardcore painting. After I finished the silvery metals last article, I moved onto the purples.


I painted a base of Naggaroth Night, followed by a Druchii Violet wash. After the wash was dry I did a Xereus Purple/Naggaroth Night mix as a first highlight, then a Xereus Purple/Genestealer Purple mix for the final highlight. Though in the picture shown above, I don't think I completed the final highlight at the time.

The skin was done using Reaper's paints. They have a fabulous little line of paints that I like to dip into every now and then. They're especially cool because they make use of what they call "triads," which Citadel borrowed for their current line of paints. The "triads" are three paints that work with one another to create a good shade, base, and highlight combination. This one was the "Dark Elf Triad" which consisted of Dark Elf Shadow, Dark Elf Skin, and Dark Elf Highlight (in that order. Though I did a Druchii Violet wash after I painted on Dark Elf Skin that I won't be repeating further... Too dark). I did this combination in the same sort of format as the purples—that is, mixing them together instead of painting a brighter color overtop. I don't have a hard-and-fast ratio for this; I simply just mix until it looks right, then self-correct if it doesn't.


The golds were next and they were super satisfying to paint as always. They were done with a Balthasar Gold base, then a complete cover-up of Gehenna's Gold. No gold I've used covers too well except for Balthasar Gold which I don't like as a color. That's why I cover it right up again with Gehenna's Gold. I did an Agrax Earthshade wash then an Auric Armour Gold highlight without mixing. I don't like mixing metallic paints.

Now the figures are practically finished (it's what I love about the new Dark Elf kits, they're not overly complex). I did some of the little bits around them such as the black skirts and shoes (Abaddon Black sans any highlights (shh! No one will ever notice)), and the little red trim around their chainmail skirts (Khorne Red base, Carroburg Crimson wash, Khorne Red/Wild Rider Red highlight, then a little bit of Wild Rider Red on the tips and edges).

The fun part is their hair. I like painting hair because it brings these models together and contrasts well with their black skin. Also the hair makes it look like I'm intentionally painting them as drow, and not just leaving the skin deep in their helmets dark to cut corners. The hair was a Fenrisian Grey basecoat, followed by a straight layer of White Scar.

The only thing left was to paint the eyes (White Scar, then Abaddon Black pupils), and the little belt straps that they have hanging (Doombull Brown basecoat, with a straight Tuskgor Fur highlight on the edges of the belts). I also painted the banner pole a Dryad Bark base followed by a Dryad Bark/Steel Legion Drab highlight.

I tidied up the bases, glued some Burnt Grass static grass flock from Woodland Scenics on some parts using P.V.A. glue, and then stuck one of the decals that were included with the box on my standard. I didn't choose the symbol for any particular reason besides the fact that it matches the color of the banner's trim and it was thin and simple, so would look good on the thin banner.


+++
A note on decals: One of the questions I get asked a lot as a hobby shop clerk is regarding the proper application of decals. I begin by cutting out the decal I want with an X-Acto blade and soaking it in water for about thirty seconds to a minute. You don't want to soak it too long, otherwise the decal will just separate and you might as well throw it out (though I'm such a decal pro that I've saved a couple of these). The shape you cut it in should be a square with enough room around the decal itself, so as to allow a pair of tweezers access to the piece without them touching the decal proper.

Just before I take it out of the water, I apply some Humbrol DecalFix to the area I want to apply the decal to. Then I use tweezers to pull the decal out, brush the decal onto the area I want, and gently dab the perimeter of the decal. While I'm doing this, I'm constantly re-adjusting the decal with my brush, as absorbing the water can cause the decal to shift.

At the time the completed regimental photo was taken the decal was still wet and I hadn't applied the second coat of the DecalFix, but after the water has dried off a little, I'll apply the aforementioned second coat of DecalFix. This takes off the edges of the decal, which often show through when everything's said and done. It also deals with some of the shine.
+++

That's about it for this time. My next article will deal with the Cauldron of Blood I received for Christmas, and all the good stuff that came outta that!

Here's the breakdown for this entry:
Naggaroth Night - $5
Druchii Violet - $5
Xereus Purple - $5
Genestealer Purple - $5
Balthasar Gold - $5
Gehenna's Gold - $5
Agrax Earthshade - $5
Auric Armour Gold - $5
Abbadon Black - $5
White Scar - $5
Fenrisian Grey - $5
Dryad Bark - $5
Tuskgor Fur - $5
Steel Legion Drab - $5
Doombull Brown - $5
Khorne Red - $5
Wild Rider Red - $5
Carroburg Crimson - $5
Dark Elf Shadow - $4
Dark Elf Skin - $4
Dark Elf Highlight - $4
Humbrol DecalFix - $6.99
P.V.A. Glue - $10 (which I forgot to add to last entry's breakdown, so I'll add it here)
Burnt Grass Static Grass Flock - $12.99
Cauldron of Blood/Bloodwrack Shrine - $90
Citadel Under-Empire Basing Kit - $40

As always, please patronize your local brick-and-mortar hobby shop before hitting the web for supplies and models.

Time spent since last update: 7h 20min
Total time spent: 9h 57min
Money spent since last update: $130 ($131.98)
Total money spent: $245.49 ($299.93)

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Wednesday, October 23, 2013

A Tale of One Gamer: Initial Steps Both Forwards and Back

Hail readers!

Welcome back to this (hopefully) ongoing series wherein I embark upon the creation of a brand new army. With the Warhammer Armies book limply in my hands, I began to build the dark elf warriors box that I purchased alongside it. Initially, and with a background in spear-exclusive high elves, I began to clip out the Dreadspears from the sprue, intent on them being the vanguard for a mighty spearmen unit. I built, primed, and began painting the armor of these ten Dreadspears only to change tack somewhat.

Sprue for me, sprue for you (no sprue for you).

Close-up of Dreadspears.

Dreadspears.

One of the benefits to working at a games shop is the regular contact I come into with other gamers. I chatted with a few, and asked their opinions on which of the two core dark elf warrior builds were the most effective: the Dreadspears with their extra rank of attacks, or the Bleakswords, with their parry save. I should, at this point, say that there will be some Warhammer lingo thrown in here, and for the sake of brevity I'm not going to describe every special rule as I say it. If you don't know why a Bleaksword should get a parry save when a Dreadspear does not, then ask a friend.

I got about 55/45 opinion on Bleakswords vs. Dreadspears, most of which stemming from the opinion that because elves don't have the best armor save or toughness, an extra rank is nice, but ultimately a parry save is better. Really, it depends on what you want a big unit like that to do. Should they be the big block that rushes into a combat and anchors it while more deadly units slide around to its sides, or should the unit be the spearhead (excuse the pun) and take out as many of the enemy as possible before being taken out themselves? Dark elves have long been thought of as a glass cannon (putting out damage while not being able to take it in return), and the Dreadspears would definitely fit that bill.

So why did I spend a half hour clipping off the already-primed spears and cleaning the mold lines from a bunch of swords I just took from the sprue? Ultimately I decided that the parry save was a nice thing to have, and if I wanted a unit that could put out a ton of attacks I might want to go with the Corsairs, who not only have two hand weapons (thus giving them the same amount of attacks in two ranks as three ranks of Dreadspears) but have a sweet dragonhide cloak which gives them a 5+ scaly skin save (psst! They're also cheaper at $29.75 a box vs. $40 a box).

I talked to a gamer who suggested that I forgo dark elf warriors entirely and use, as my combat blocks, simply Witch Elves, Executioners, and Blackguard. While I no-doubt will include these things in my army, I do have a soft spot for the humble warrior of whatever army I'm playing. I don't think I've ever done an army that didn't include a basic soldier of some sort, even in the chaotic days of 4th/5th edition Warhammer where regiments were simply regiments and they made no distinction between the elites and the rank-and-file in terms of army construction beyond just including them in your percentage breakdown.

So, you'll notice these pictures change. They are now Bleakswords, and thus had to undergo a paint-on priming (which I'm always leery of) of their right arms (no left-handed warriors in MY army apparently) using Imperial Primer. Oh well. This was one of the things I knew would happen as I built this army slowly. I'll have more exposure to a change-of-mind, or outside opinions because of the pace at which I'm taking this project. It also didn't help that I haven't written an army list yet. I hope to get around to doing that today, and I'll write about it in a later post. I also plan on doing a breakdown of all the units in the army and giving my armchair opinions on them.

So, on to the painting:

For this session, I really only managed to get the bases and the silver finished. On my models, I always do the bases first, as it's messy and involves lots of drybrushing. I got a little excited and started with the silvery metals first, but after having to re-do their weaponry, I decided to approach this sensibly and start with the bases. I opened up my Dungeons & Dragons Forgotten Realms Underdark book to get some inspiration for Underdark bases. They all looked like stone (natch), but had this etherial glow to them. Also for inspiration, I used the old D&D: Chainmail book "Shadow of the Drow" wherein Jason Soles gives a painting guide to drow. He just used a black base with some grey and white highlights, which isn't enough for me (no disrespect to Jason Soles).

To begin with, at the suggestion of a friend, I stuck my command figures on scenic bases. This lets them "pop" and stand out (even more than they normally do). I went with the Ruins Bases from Micro Art Studio because they were the rockiest-looking bases at my hobby shop. I plan on doing this with every command section I have in the army. They come five bases to a pack, so I was able to have two left over. To do another command section I'll still have to get another pack, but then the third time I do this, it'll be "free" (in a sense). I'll even be able to stick any lords or heroes on these bases. I had to cut the bases off the command, though, as my friend's suggestion came after I had gone to the trouble of basing the figures normally. I had to hand prime these separately.

Scenic bases.

The command all regal-like.

A note on hand-priming: I dislike it, in general, though it often has its uses. Spray-on primer is initially expensive, but it gets the job done quickly, efficiently, and effortlessly. It's crappy for things like rebasing, or weapon-swaps after you've started painting, however. As I saw here, Imperial Primer got some use out of it. I'm not particularly worried about the quality of the prime-job, as the material I primed was resin and plastic, which are more porous materials, and allow for a better adherence of paint and primer. If this was pewter, I'd be more concerned. Though for pewter, I use paint-on primer to get into the gaps that the spray just wasn't able to get at. It works well-enough for this as the gaps don't see a lot of wear-and-tear the way the higher portions of a model do.

For the bases I went with a Mechanicus Standard Grey followed by a Nuln Oil wash then a drybrush of Dawnstone and Administratum Grey. I didn't bother to mix the paints together, as I also wanted a well-defined tone to the bases (though not as extreme as Jason Soles').

Bases done... For now. I'll end up sticking static grass on 'em and painting the rims black, no doubt. 

For the silvery metals, I began with a basecoat of Leadbelcher followed by my handy-dandy Nuln Oil wash. I then did a bit of a highlight with some Leadbelcher and Ironbreaker mix, followed by some Ironbreaker and Runefang Steel mix. I really like the dry paints for metallics especially, so I drybrushed some Necron Compound around the angular bits like the swords, and the chain mail. The chain mail, by the way, was done almost exclusively by drybrushing instead of painting on the steps above.

View of the metals.

More metals.

The metals finished on the whole regiment.

Another shot.

So here's this entry's breakdown (italics are items already owned):
Warhammer Armies: Dark Elves - $59.50
Battle Magic: Dark Elves - $7
Dark Elf Dreadspears/Darkshards/Bleakswords - $40
P3 Clippers - $15.99
Excel Set of Six Files - $14.99
Chaos Black Primer - $19.50
Excel Hobby Knife - $6.99
"Ruins" Scenic Bases from Micro Art Studios - $8.99
Plastruct Plastic Weld - $6.99
Gale Force 9 Hobby Round Fine Basing Grit - $5.50
Windsor-Newton Series 7 Brush #3 - $18.99
Citadel Fine Detail Brush - $7
Citadel Wash Brush - $10
Citadel Medium Drybrush - $7
Citadel Large Brush - $10
Imperial Primer - $5
Leadbelcher - $5
Ironbreaker - $5
Mechanicus Standard Grey - $5
Nuln Oil - $5
Dawnstone - $5
Administratum Grey - $5
Runefang Steel - $5
Necron Compound - $5

As always, please patronize your local brick-and-mortar hobby shop before hitting the web for supplies and models.

Time spent since last update: 2h 37min
Total time spent: 2h 37min
Money spent since last update: $115.49 ($167.95)
Total money spent: $115.49 ($167.95)

Remember: that the breakdown includes both stuff that I bought specifically for the army (like the Battle Magic cards accessory, and the scenic bases), and the stuff that an experienced hobbyist would already own (such as the paints and tools. I own almost every Citadel Colour paint). If you own nothing, add the number in brackets to the number not in brackets, or look at my breakdown and add the costs of things you don't already own.

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Sunday, September 29, 2013

A Tale of One Gamer: Introduction

Hail readers!

I come bearing news of another one of my grand blog series. About twice a year or so I aim to bite off more than I can chew with some silly series of articles on a tournament, or an army building project, or a wind-up to some tournament or something, and rarely do these things ever come to fruition (and if they do they're often late and erratic to begin with). This time, however, I aim to be different.

That's right! I'm starting another series of articles on this blog. This time it'll be building a Warhammer army from start to finish. A massive undertaking to be sure. Now I've built many armies over the seventeen (or so) years I've been playing Warhammer, but never have I chronicled them. I want this to be special, and as such it has to be an army that I don't own ANY figures for. Again, not an easy task. Throughout all these years there are very few armies that I don't own at least one figure for:
+ Lizardmen
+ Tomb Kings
+ Dark Elves

Well as luck would have it, the dark elves are being released at the end of this week. Now I've always loved elves in fantasy settings (hell, even in sci-fi settings), and I've always been especially drawn to dark elves ever since I began playing Dungeons & Dragons and was introduced to the drow in the Forgotten Realms setting. It's surprising, really, given the facts, that I don't already have a dark elf army. So as I sat at my work looking at the new dark elf releases and wishing that my basic high elf infantry looked as good as these druchii did, the thought popped into my brain: "why not just do a dark elf army?"

There are many reasons, not the least of which is the promise I made to myself as I cleaned up my house and looked at my bank account this past week and declared that I shall never again build an army that required more than fifty figures. But today I sat and thought that maybe there was a strategic way to go about doing this. This way I can not only build a good-looking army that I've been wanting to do for years, and actually contribute something meaningful to this blog, but I can use this experience as an example of how to go about building an effective army efficiently and enthusiastically.

Oh, and I get to paint a drow army. That's right, my dark elves will have black skin and white hair, and worship spiders. "It's been done!" you cry. But really, I've only seen one in person, ever. Sure, there are probably a ton showcased online, but the beautiful thing about the Internet is that it collates data from all around the world. We're going to see everything everyone's done if we really look for it. If I wanted to do something that no one's ever done then I've got a lot more work ahead of me than just figuring out how to build a Warhammer army. Besides, I love drow.

Anyway, let's get to the meat of this project. As you could probably surmise from the title of this series, it's supposed to emulate the original Warhammer army-building article series that ran in White Dwarf Magazine for a brief period during the '90s. Except this time there's just me. As such, I will be following a similar format, except I'm going to be looser on the restrictions and run this more like a project than a contest. Here are the rules:

1. No set monthly budget: Trying to stick to a monthly budget like in the original White Dwarf article is impractical for most gamers, and doesn't take into account my goals. I want to show that building a miniatures wargaming army can be organic, and this way may prove to be the least-stressful method of building a miniatures gaming army. That said, I'm not going to drop a stack of money all at once. Sometimes I'll spend a lot, sometimes I'll spend a little. Sometimes I'll buy an entire unit in one month, sometimes it'll be spread over a couple. I also want to avoid having a mound of unpainted plastic staring me down and psyching me out.

2. The army will be at least 2500 points by the end: Many Warhammer tournaments I see have this points total as standard and I'd like to be able to play in one with this army when it's finished.

3. All-new models only: This just means that I'm not allowed to use any models I already have. This is supposed to be brand new, and while it may use older figures, they can't be any I already own. This shouldn't be a problem, as I don't have any dark elves at the moment.

4. No time limit: Again, this is more of a chronicle or a journal, than a contest. I'm horrendously terrible at contests, and am currently losing one at the moment. I'm aiming for a relaxed and low-stress army. I don't want to have to break plans with friends and family because I have to finish painting a hydra by my deadline or the Internet will be disappointed in me. Likewise, I don't want to have to eat ramen, or shop for X-Mass presents for my family at the dollar store because I needed to spend $200 on a unit of witch elves all at once.

5. Fully-Painted: I'm not bush league here... If it ain't painted, it ain't gettin' played with.

6. Army may be subject to change: How many times have I used the word "organic" in this post? A Warhammer army is supposed to be malleable. It's supposed to change over time as tastes do, or as the meta-game does. I'll be taking a look at the book and making a preliminary list, but because I work at a games shop that sees a lot of Warhammer players, and because I game regularly at a club that has many tournament gamers, I will be open to suggestion and revision (I guarantee you, I will not need to solicit any advice with these two venues being in my life). I'm hoping (like all gamers) that I won't make a "wrong" decision that costs me $150 and 150hrs worth of models I no longer need, but if so then them's the breaks.

7. I'll keep a log of time and money spent: We'll see how well the "time spent" tally goes, but I imagine the "money spent" tally will be pretty precise. "Time spent" will only include time spent modeling or painting the figures, and not planning or thinking about the army (I can do that anytime I want). "Money spent" will include a different section for money spent on supplies such as paint, brushes, and glue. I'm going to keep the "hobby money spent" separate (and in brackets) from the money spent on the models because some people might have all that stuff (I know I do) and only be interested in the army itself. I'm including the "hobby money spent" more for those who are thinking of getting into Warhammer, and because I've never really thought about it before, and it might be cool to figure out how much it would cost if I owned nothing. That way I can show how much it would cost for an experienced gamer to build a new army (ie, ignore the number in the brackets), and how much it would cost for a complete newbie to build an army (ie, add the number in the brackets to the number before the brackets).

So it all begins at the end of this week when I get a copy of Warhammer Armies: Dark Elves in my grubby mitts. I also ordered a box of Dreadspears/Darkshards/Bleakswords because I figure that if I don't get something to put together and paint right away, I'm going to go insane, or flake out (either one). Now, for the sake of ceremony, let's begin the time and dollars tallies (all currencies are in Canadian dollars):

Time spent since last update: 0hrs 0min
Total time spent: 0hrs 0min
Money spent since last update: $0 ($0)
Total money spent: $0 ($0)


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Monday, August 26, 2013

Gen Con Day 4

Editor's Note: So this is late, huh? There are a couple reasons for this: I was tired on the last day, and thought "oh, I'll just post it tomorrow morning." Then, I realized that I probably wouldn't have the Internet on my last day, after all why would I pay for an Internet connection that I'll only use for an hour. Turns out they extended my Internet to the last day. Anyway, work and re-acclimatization to life on the West Coast got in the way of this long-awaited update.

On my last day here at the con I got up early to wait in line at the D&D area in the hopes of getting in on one last RPG. What luck! The line-up was a grand total of twelve people ahead of me. Unfortunately, they want my DCI/WPN/RPGA number. It's been years (pre-4th edition) since I've taken part in an RPGA event and I've, understandably, forgotten my RPGA number. The organizer tells me not to worry, they have a computer on which to look this stuff up. The problem is that the only Carotenuto in the system is some dude from Florida, or something. The lady looked down at me from the podium and shrugged. "You'll just have to sign up for a new number."

A new number? With a new card without the Red Wizard of Thay on it? A new number with a million digits instead of the handsome seven? Oh no, this won't do. Back to the line I went. I sat in that line wracking my brain as to what my number could be. I used to use it twice a month for years when I ran Living Greyhawk events for Strategies. Right before I was called in to go sit at my table (A1), I remembered!

Incorrectly, it turns out.

I was off by 2 digits. My last number should've been 2 not 0. Oh well... I didn't need any points, or perks, or whatever from the event anyway. It was fun without rewards.

So, D&D Next. It's good. Lately I've been drifting further and further towards simpler systems for RPGs. It began with the drift to Pathfinder from D&D4 (which I heartily enjoyed), and continues with my desire to simplify my game more and more.

I played a halfling rogue (Zanzibar), and it was our task to defend Candlekeep (in the Forgotten Realms) from cultists and a dragon. Rad! It was very well run. Each table had six players, and there were four tables that were grouped near each other. The actions of one table would have effects on the other tables as well.

What I liked about D&D Next (I really hope they change that name) was the lack of feats, and the overall power-level of the game. PCs in D&D4 were very survivable. Something I enjoy from Dungeon Crawl Classics is the overhanging mortality that permeates the game. It keeps things interesting and risky, and does get mitigated somewhat in the higher levels.

After D&D, I strolled over to my next event which was a Bolt Action game, which began early and without me. I shook my head and began to leave to find some other game to occupy my last four hours of the con with. I was okay with this, however. The game didn't look that interesting and I've hardly indulged the board game side of the hobby yet.

I meandered over to the  Fantasy Flight Games gaming area and managed to get a game in of Legends of Andor. The game was awesome, the demo person not so much. The guy literally (and yes, I'm using that right) fell asleep at the table. My natural shop clerk instincts took over and I finished us through the demo, which was a smooth and exciting co-operative game (it won the Kennerspiel des Jahres for this year). Man! I should volunteer to run demos for FFG next year, I've been demoing games for almost a decade on no sleep.

So with my last two hours I walked through the dealer's hall looking to see if I'd missed anything previously. I talked with some mid-west retailers about out-of-print gaming supplies, and now I have more lines floating out there in the never-ending quest to build my expansive gaming library.

So that's it! That's my Gen Con experience. I loved it. I couldn't believe how much fun it was to just be around people energized about the same things I was. I'd been to PAX Prime, and smaller conventions, but my passions had always lay in tabletop gaming, rather than video gaming, comics, or fan culture, and for me this was it. I'm definitely going next year (I already put some money aside), and I'm sure I'll manage to get even more games in, now that I understand the whole flow of the convention better. Who knows, I may even decide to run something...


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P.S. Here's a link to the gaming-related photos.
P.P.S. Here's a link to the non-gaming-related photos.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Gen Con Day 3

Whelp, the best four days in gaming are almost over, and boy could I do with a few more days. At least I found out what all the noise outside at night is about... Motorcycle convention.

Today was chock-full of non-gaming-related gaming activities. I started my day off bright and early with Lisa Stevens' seminar where she reminisces about her gaming career. Now I know that there are few people who are into the history of gaming as much as I am, but I still find it incredible that only 18 people were in that room. Anyway, Lisa Stevens has been a part of, and/or helped found, most of your favorite RPG companies. She helped found Lion Rampant and White Wolf, Wizards of the Coast, and Paizo. Needless to say, her stories were really good.

Then I dashed off to see the Onyx Path seminar where they spoke about their upcoming schedule. It wasn't horrendously fascinating but I love White Wolf/Onyx Path (as every soul reading this blog knows) and so it was nice to hear about some new products. Here's a summary:

+ Every setting for nWoD is getting a rules update in the form of a "God-Machine"-style book and campaign.
+ Wraith 20th anniversary is a go!
+ Vampire: Dark Ages (as opposed to Dark Ages: Vampore) is getting a 20th anniversary treatment which will be a stand-alone product.
+ Every goddamn thing is getting at least one supplement. There will even be a book that has nine chapters for all nine nWoD settings (Vampire, Werewolf, Mage, Changeling, Promethian, Hunter, Geist, Mummy, and Demon).

That's all I can remember from that. Sorry if there are any Werewolf fans reading this, I tend to glaze over Werewolf.

Next I ran across the hall to go to Green Ronin's Dragon Age seminar. Now I know nothing about the video game, and I just picked the RPG up yesterday, so a lot of the seminar went over my head, but an interesting bit is that Green Ronin is going to debut their revised Age system next Gen con. Now this will exist independently from Dragon Age, but it will also be a revision of the rules. Pretty much, it gives them a "setting-neutral" system to work with. They'll have their own setting attached to it. I hope they still sell it in boxes.

Next I spent more dangerous (to my wallet) time in the dealer's room. There, I ran into Doug Kovacs and Scott Mathis and they invited me to another DCC game. Unfortunately, and embarrassingly, I forgot which hotel lobby it was to take place in. I ran around looking at all of them, but couldn't find anyone. I thought I saw one of the guys who was supposed to be playing in it just walking around so I assumed it didn't materialize. Oh well...

The night wasn't a total loss, though, I managed to catch "Five Year Mission's" set. They're a Star Trek-themed indie band from Indianapolis, and they're pretty rad! I walked away with a shirt and their sophomore album. I'll link to them when I'm in front of a computer.

Now, I'm in bed, ready to do some reading of Dragon Age and then go to bed. I know it's early, and I feel lame for not getting in some late-night gaming, but I figure I should at least attempt to start my day early enough for breakfast at least once this trip, no?

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Friday, August 16, 2013

Gen Con Day 2

Huzzah! Another awkwardly-typed post from my Nook!

What happened today? Well, to begin, I over-sleept my alarm by a couple hours on account of the delicious flagons of dwarven ale I quaffed at the D&D party the night before. No matter, however, that was just some wiggle room I had before a BROM seminar I attended.

Now the BROM seminar was pretty technical from an art perspective (and an artist I am not), but it was really cool to hear him talk. BROM is one of my favorite artists of all time, and his clever (and amusing) panel was really a treat to hear. He's a big Norman Rockwell fan.

After that I hit the dealer's room again and did some purchasing of vintage D&D books. I bought a couple Mystara gazeteers and a Dark Sun supplement for AD&D (I guess I was all jazzed-up on BROM!) I also stopped by the Green Ronin booth and picked up the 1st Dragon Age boxed set. Holy shit is this a fantastic product! Not only do I approve of the box and the layout, but I gotta run this game

Whilst I was parting with my hard-earned coin, I received a text from Goodman Games. One of the people writing a supplement for Dungeon Crawl Classics was running a game. It was for his forthcoming product: Transylvanian Adventures. It's a "Hammer Horror"- the ed supplement wherein you adventure in the 19th century. Now I read an article about Gen Con saying that an attendee should never say no to any game offers, and so even though it would conflict with my White Wolf panel on the New World of Darkness, I decided to play. I definitely don't regret it.

The GM (or Judge) was the writer Scott Mathis (landofphantoms.blogspot.com) who was a very engaging and flexible GM. I'm glad I'm getting an opportunity to play RPGs with so many different GMs, because it's easy to get stuck in one kind of style, and I'm learning a lot from watching these GMs work and by interacting with them.

Anyway, I had to duck out 10 minutes early so I could make it to my Dark Age tournament, but I had a blast, and anyone reading this should check out Transylvanian Adventures on rpgnow.com when it's released in autumn.

Afterwards I rushed out to sign in for the Dark Age tournament and played in three of the four rounds (I got a bye on the final round). Though I lost every game, I did come close in two of them, and it was great to play some games against people I've only ever known on the Internet.

The Dark Age tournament wrapped up at midnight and for the last little bit of the evening I retired to my hotel room where I poured over today's acquisitions (and listened to what a Friday night in Indianapolis sounds like. Yeesh! I know this is a big racing town, but I guess the weekend's the time when all the civilians can bring out their loudest and fastest...).

Tomorrow is mostly panels with some Block War boardgaming thrown in. I'm hoping to find some more role-playing to get in on, and I bet just loitering around the D&D area will at least give me one opportunity.

Until tomorrow night...

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P. S. If my boss is reading this, I'm already requesting next Gen Con off.

P. P. S. If any interested friends are reading this, I'm definitely not coming alone next year either. Start lookin' at flights.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Gen Con Day 1

Day 1 of Gen Con under my belt as I lay on my hotel bed and awkwardly type out this post on my Nook.

Today I hit the dealer's hall in full-force, blowing through a lot of my "want list." I walked away with some Dungeon Crawl Classics modules, the new Dark Age rulebook and supplement ("Conflagration"), The God-Machine Chronicle from White Wolf/Onyx Path and, after waiting an hour-and-a-half in Catalyst Game Lab's line-up, Battletech: Alpha Strike.

But Gen Con's not only about putting more stress on my bookshelf; it's about playing games and going to events. Today I had a chance to try out the playtest rules for WW/OP's new World of Darkness game, Demon: the Descent. It was pit on by a demo team called "the Wrecking Crew" and was lots of fun. The system and setting really integrates the new "God-Machine" mythos that's at the center of this revision, and the guy running the demo was definitely a pro.

Afterwards, I had some relaxation time which I used to eat and head back to the dealer's room. This time, I was free of many of the lines that plagued the room before. I found it particularly amusing how short the line-up at Privateer Press' booth was. When the doors opened, it wrapped around other booths and out against the wall. This time I was able to casually walk in and grab the item I came there for.

In the evening I went to this beautiful theater across the street to the highest floor where Wizards of the Coast was putting on a dinner for Dungeons & Dragons. There were guests like Scott Kurtz (from the PvP and Table Titans webcomics), Troy Denning (co-creator of Dark Sun), R. A. Salvatore (of Drizzt fame) and all the D&D games designers.

I was going to troll the floor for some after-hours gaming, but instead I'll leave that for tomorrow. Tonight I have to sleep off some of those drinks from the D&D party.

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P. S. Like I said in an earlier post, I can't upload my camera photos and I can only use Instagram when there's wi-fi. As such, my cellphone pictures should be up  (@carminlive on Twitter and 'steelrabbit' on Instagram) but those aren't all of my pictures! I'll maven to wait until I'm back in Vancouver to do my camera photos, unfortunately.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Gen Con Preamble

Tomorrow (August 13th) I leave for Indianapolis, for America's largest tabletop gaming convention. Since I'm notoriously bad at updating this thing, I've determined to post at least one thing a day, even if it means just posting a list of things I've done.

Some hitches, however: I won't have a laptop with me, since my laptop is kaputt. I will have a tablet with me, so I can update this blog with words, but I'll have to find an inventive way to get pictures uploaded onto the blog since I'll be using a digital camera and not my phone (which is kinda so-so). At the very least I'll have some pictures to post on the 19th when I get back.

Also check out my Twitter feed (@carminlive). It should have more updates on it.

Do keep in mind though, that unlike many of my generation, pictures and tweets aren't my primary focus. I'm perfectly content to experience something and move on, keeping nothing but the memories imprinted on my grey matter (I don't really know how the brain works, by the way). I have to go out of my way to share my experiences with others, so don't be disappointed if my tweets amount to a total of two on one day.

See you stateside!

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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

No Bones About It

Finally... It's ARRIVED!


I spent most of last night plumbing the depths of this herculean box. Turns out I ordered a ton of miniatures...



But how do the figures look? Well, let's take a look at one figure that I've decided to paint first, the humble blacksmith.

Not bad. The detail is very soft on these figures, but it is a lower-quality material they're working with. I believe the original intention behind the Bones campaign was to provide an inexpensive miniature to consumers. While I really like what I ordered, and have no qualms about my purchase (a fantastic deal no matter which way you look at it), I hope that Reaper still makes the majority of their figures in pewter.

Here's a picture of the henchman in pewter (the one on the left), and the henchman in Bones form (the one on the right).

The pewter henchman is primed white.
I also found out that this new plastic glue I've been working with lately (plastic weld by Plastruct) works on these figures! Though most of them are pre-built, there are a couple larger figures that require some wings to be glued on.

Overall, I'm very pleased with the Kickstarter, both how it was run, and what its result was. Bones will definitely do the job so far as gaming pieces for D&D are concerned, but it's definitely not a replacement for pewter, or even polystyrene plastics on sprue (à la Citadel Miniatures). I'll post some pictures and thoughts on the painting of the figures once I get around to doing that.

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Monday, June 17, 2013

Lost in the Shuffle

The unspeakable has happened, my friends...

I'm interested in Magic: the Gathering once again. May Cthulhu quickly consume my soul.

It all began with one of my infamously crazy trains of thought:

1) I've been reading a lot of AD&D 2nd Edition, Alternity, and Vampire: the Masquerade books.
2) All those games are from the '90s.
3) I should read some of my old gaming magazines from the '90s.
4) Wizards of the Coast published Duelist magazine in the '90s.
5) I was into Magic in the '90s.
6) I should really organize my old cards that are taking up space at my parent's place.

So I went over to my old bedroom, dug up my boxes and binders of cards, and begin the arduous task of sorting them all:
9-year old Carmin isn't that much different from 27-year old Carmin except that I now roll more dice.
This is the danger I ran into when I started looking through my old Vampire: the Eternal Struggle cards, but unlike that phase, this time I actually have opponents. A couple of my friends work in a liquor distribution warehouse, where some of the employees have been playing Magic during their breaks. This has spilled into our gaming group, and it was this perfect storm that had me looking at my cards as more than just something I can sort in order to further my proficient procrastination.

Now you may object to this statement if you're standing in front of my gaming bookshelves, but I'm not an obsessive person. I don't wring interests dry through excessive overplaying, and this is probably what's allowed me to come back to Magic, periodically, over the 18-years since I first bought a starter pack. I don't expect this will take over my gaming time completely, though. I'll still be working on my new High Elf army, I'll still be running my weekly Pathfinder game, but now I can add something else to the mix.

I've always been a fan of card games, but when I discovered D&D and Warhammer, I quickly grew tired of having to "keep up with the Joneses" through the mass-purchase of randomly packaged bundles of cards. I also never bought into the secondary market of CCGs, which is the compulsive appraisal and flipping of cards like some two-bit realtor with mouths to feed. I always appreciated my cards as gaming pieces, and never as something I'm collecting so that one day, when I'm down-and-out, I can hawk them all and climb out of the gutter. I guess what I'm getting at is that I'd rather play the game with a beer in my hand and a 20-sided life counter than with a cigar in my mouth and a money counter. This is also the reason why I took to Fantasy Flight's Living Card Games (LCGs) so strongly (I never miss a pack of Netrunner or the Lord of the Rings).

I've long expressed, openly, the opinion that Magic is one of the best-designed games out there, and there is a good reason that both Richard Garfield and Magic are in the Origins Hall of Fame.

Anyway, this is all a very long-winded way of me saying that I'm enjoying going through my old cards and I look forward to the next chance I get to play Magic with some of my friends. I'll pepper this blog occasionally with my usual wit and candor regarding this game, though luckily for those of you who are uninterested, I make judicious use of Blogger's labels so that you don't have to read this stuff if you don't want to.

Coming up soon is a rapid-fire review of a couple items I picked up from Free RPG Day, and if you're lucky, some Dark Age tournament stuff. 59 days 'till Gencon, gang!

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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

I Painted a Dwarf


See?


I've been GMing a home-brew Pathfinder campaign for about a year now, and I've run out of ideas. So I ended it, and proposed to the group that I run the Skull & Shackles Adventure Path. I've been jonesing for an epic campaign, à la The Enemy Within, for a while now, and it'll help to run something that I don't have to write. With a pre-written campaign, I can just read and interpret, which will be a breath of fresh air for these tired GM lungs.

Anyway, as a palate-cleanser, one of the guys in my gaming group decided that he'd have us playtest an adventure that he's planning on publishing in a magazine. I got so excited at the prospect of being a PC again that I painted up my dwarf cleric in a day. I haven't ever played a cleric in 3rd edition, so it took some getting used to and I don't think he was as optimized as a character should be, but it was fun to play him. 

Next weekend we don't play, then the following weekend we begin Skull & Shackles. I'll let you know how it goes with regular updates here.

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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The Wargamer's Gaming Timeline

Lately I've been putting a lot of stuff in storage and re-jigging my gaming shelves, 'cause they're huge. I try not to get rid of anything for good, as a couple of regretful sales have made me re-think selling my gaming stuff. All this handling of old gaming stuff has gotten me a bit nostalgic about my gaming past. I don't mean to brag but, with the exception of names, my memory is especially sharp. I can remember everything about where, when, and how I bought all my gaming items (as well as my records, but this ain't a record blog), and it's thrown me down a reminiscing mine-shaft that I'd like to drag you all down as well. So brace yourself for impact and bring a mine-shaft canary 'cause I have a timeline for y'all:

1995 
+ Introduced to Magic: the Gathering by a friend's brother. Bought myself a 4th edition starter and an Ice Age starter for my brother. For all intents and purposes, my gaming life begins.
+ Because of my new-found interest in Magic, I look for strategy guides at my local branch of the Vancouver Public Library (VPL). Some clever librarian sticks all the Magic books above the AD&D 2nd Edition books which are conveniently set at the height of a 9-year-old half-Neapolitan boy.
+ My first AD&D games begin at the lunch tables of my elementary school. We get everything wrong.
+ My interest in Magic and AD&D lead me to discover InQuest and Duelist magazines (for some reason Dragon and Dungeon magazines don't find their way into my hands until the D&D movie). These magazines begin me down the road of the million CCGs I eventually collect (Doom Trooper, Vampire: the Eternal Struggle, Star Wars, Middle Earth, Star Trek, and X-Files)

1996
+ Mom buys me the Introduction to AD&D boxed set for my birthday from a comic shop on Main st.
+ My aunt returns from Scotland with a couple blister packs of Warhammer High Elves and a catalog that lists a Games Workshop in Gastown.
+ Mom gets the Games Workshop confused with a different games shop in Gastown and we go there to get the 4th Edition Warhammer starter, and a Citadel paint set (note: the 5th edition starter was just released a month earlier, but I thought the lizardmen were stupid).
+ Because of Warhammer, the CCGs go into boxes and under the bed.

1997
+ Games Workshop opens me up to miniatures gaming, from which I've never looked back. I play every game Games Workshop releases from that moment onward.

1998
+ Baldur's Gate is released. I play the hell out of this thing, and periodically re-install it all the way up to today. I also play all the other isometric RPG computer games that there are (Diablo series, Icewind Dale, Fallout, etc.)

2000
+ I get the Internet and find out about other miniatures games like Warzone, and Chronopia.
+ I find out that there's a Wizards of the Coast retail store at Northgate mall in North Seattle (a 10-minute drive from my grandmother's house in Shoreline). I spend a summer in Seattle, playing Warhammer at the WotC shop. Find out about D&D Chainmail, and the Alternity RPG.
+ The release of the Dungeons & Dragons movie prompts the comic shop near my favorite theater downtown to display an issue of Dragon magazine. I buy it and begin collecting yet another paper-based thing.

2001
+ Games Workshop begins carrying the Hogshead re-prints of Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay. Though I played AD&D in years previous, WFRP is the first RPG that I actually bother to learn word-for-word and I run the entire Enemy Within campaign for three friends. It takes a year of weekly gaming to get through, but it's still the most fun I've ever had role-playing.

2002
+ Because of other life activities I stop going to my regular weekly game night at Games Workshop (which I had been going to since 1997). I don't stop gaming, though.
+ The combination of the Internet, and my pioneer spirit leads me to the discovery of other miniatures games in earnest, and deepens my love for Warzone. I begin collecting figures for Dark AgeVOID, Confrontation, more D&D Chainmail, Warzone, Chronopia, Warlord, Battletech, Warmachine, etc.

2003-2004
+ I play Axis & Allies with my friends pretty much every weekend.

2004
+ Having not gone for years, I stop by my local Games Workshop to see how things are going. I catch up with the manager who knew me from when I was younger, and he asks if I'd be interested in a job. At the time I was working at the local fair, and thought that this would be vastly better than getting yelled at by parents.
+ My interview consists of finding out when a good start time would be, and what size uniform I wear.

2004-2006
+ I work for Games Workshop as a redshirt, and have the time of my life. My amount of friends doubles, and to this day remain some of the closest friendships I have. Also my painting improves.

2006
+ Games Workshop manager leaves to open up his own game shop, asks me to come work for him.

2006-present
+ I begin playing boardgames that aren't Axis & Allies, and HeroQuest, and begin playing more role-playing games, including the World of Darkness RPGs which are some of my favorites to this day.
+ I start this damned blog.

So there you have it, almost 18 years of gaming at a glance. My gaming career can now vote and go off to war. It's a milestone year: not only does my gaming career turn 18, but the High Elves for Warhammer get a release (my first miniatures army ever), but the Dark Angels got a release this year (my first Warhammer 40,000 army), Wizards of the Coast re-released the AD&D 2nd edition books, and Warzone is getting a second life. Hell, if WotC begins opening stores again, and I get back into Magic it'll be a full regression!

Anyway, nostalgia can be "an empty thing," as R.A. Salvatore said, but he's not in charge of this blog, is he?

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Wednesday, April 3, 2013

I painted a Razide

See?
Just a singe figure for my never-ending Warzone fixation. Note the Dark Age base on it. That's because of the basing for the new miniatures game coming out soon.

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Saturday, March 23, 2013

Update

So my tournament went great. I didn't do so well (18th out of 24th, but I was the only player who had all his opponents vote for him for "favored opponent"), but I had fun, and instead of burning me out on Warhammer, it instead got me wanting to play more. Unfortunately what it appeared to burn me out on was painting large armies.

I got home from the tournament full of resolve to finish my High Elf army I started when 8th edition came out, but I've been picking away at it like a kid with a salad. So what's to be done, huh? Well, I'm going to try and work on some "smaller" projects like my Dark Age Outcasts (who are coming with me to GenCon this year), and my SAGA Vikings. Totalled, these two armies amount to fifty-one figures, which is wholly achievable, and will probably ease me back into bigger projects like my High Elves.

Of course, there will be some Warzone painting in there as I work on some older figures that I've been dying to finish for years. Speaking of Warzone, go here and pledge. Speaking of pledging, go here also and pledge for Drake.

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Saturday, February 16, 2013

Mutant Chronicles RPG


In other news... Have you guys seen this?


Break out yer d20s!

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Warzone Kickstarter

I know, I know, I promised that my next post would be a write-up about my game of Warhammer against my friend's Ogre Kingdoms army, but this is more important.

The Warzone Kickstarter.

Now I don't care how anyone here feels about Kickstarter; this isn't about that. This is about Warzone... And you can say whatever the hell you want about me, but I'll be damned if I'm gonna sit here and let you bad-mouth Warzone. What's that? Still not convinced? Just do it... C'mon... You can afford it. What else were you gonna do with that money? Thought so. You sicken me.

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Thursday, February 7, 2013

Painting Challenge pt.3: the Slowdownening

Slowin' down! No matter how much I try and ignore my social, and creative obligations I found that yesterday and today I had a hard time sittin' down to paint. I did get a 2999pt. game of Warhammer in today (more on that next post), so that might've contributed to the lack of work.

I did the base coat and the shading for the skin, though. Tomorrow I'm gonna do the highlighting, and then work on the bones jutting out of the models and that should be it for the wolves. Here's hoping I can get that done by tomorrow night.
The first five
The second five
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P.S. I was going to post pictures of the contender's progress, but Blogger's being a real bitch right now and keeps tossing all pictures I upload to the top of the post. It also keeps centering all of my text, so I'm just going to let it chill out.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Warzone Returns (long post)


Praise the Cardinal (or Dark Soul—whatever your alignment might be)! Warzone is coming back! Now there hasn't been much word on their website, but if you troll a couple forums, you'll find all sorts of info being leaked. Here's what I've gathered so far:

+ All new models (no Heartbreaker/Target model will get re-used for better or for worse)
+ You can still use your old models
+ A lot of the art is staying
+ Novel(s)
+ The d20 is staying
+ The scale (both miniatures-wise (28mm), and army-wise (platoon-level)) are staying
+ The standard base-size for man-sized models is the 30mm Dark Age bases, not the 25mm Slottabases (apparently the rules will be balanced for 25mm bases, though)
+ Models will be plastic
+ Paradox (which still contains the originators of the Mutant Chronicles universe) have to approve everything before it flies
+ All the factions will be in there (Cybertronic and the Dark Legion have been the subjects of the teaser pictures)
+ New rules that capture the feel of the older games

All good news, methinks.

I should point out that this was brought to my attention by one of my competitors in the current painting challenge I'm engaged in, in a blatant attempt to throw me off my game. Well you know what? It sorta worked! Last night I was up 'till 2:00am re-basing my Capitol heavy infantry to use the new 30mm bases. Today I did the second coat (I also worked on my Chaos Warhounds, okay?!).

+++ASIDE+++
This brings me to a little mini-review right in the middle of all this Warzone glory: The Texture paints from Citadel Miniatures. At first I liked these things. I used them to base my Hobbit: Escape from Goblin Town set, and I thought they were actually pretty nice once they received a drybrush or two (the Dry paints from Citadel I have no complaints with). 

When I woke up this morning (who am I kidding? Afternoon) to look at the bases I so excitingly painted Armageddon Dust I noticed all the bald spots where the grit of the texture didn't hit. I wondered why this wasn't apparent on the Hobbit miniatures until I realized that the 30mm bases I used were the generic kind with smooth tops. If you look at the new Privateer Press-branded 30mm bases they have a texture sculpted on to the top much like the Citadel Slottabases. This works well with the texture paints, especially once you stick some static grass on it. Go ahead, grab a generic 25mm round base (if you have any), and see how the tops don't have any (or as much) texture sculpted onto them in comparison to a 25mm round that has the "Games Workshop" logo on the bottom. 

Anyway, I was less than impressed. I did a second coat this afternoon and once it's dry I'll see how I feel, but regardless I'm almost out of Armageddon Dust and I only painted nine bases! Now I'm actually a Games Workshop fan, and someone more cynical than I might say that this was their plan all along, to have me get hooked on the stuff then charge me $4.45cdn a squad to do bases. I actually chalk this up to GW wanting to do something neat like textured paint, and also wanting it to integrate aesthetically and retail-wise into their existing paint aesthetic. In any event, I'll stick with it for this squad, and then go back to my traditional sand method afterwards. I'll just use a finer sand.
+++END ASIDE+++

Back to Warzone. I love this game. It was the first game I got into that broke the Games Workshop paradigm (one I like very much, but by no means is the end-all for miniatures gaming). As such, it sticks out in my mind. I have a very large collection of Warzone figures (thanks in no small part for people just giving them to me, 'cause they're so damned old and iffy), and can boast an impressive force for any of the corporations except for Mishima. Let's just say that if I were to die or go missing, whoever has the grim task of going through my possessions will know how much I love the Mutant Chronicles universe.

The game and the universe has always appealed to me, even if 50% of the miniatures did not. I always looked past the rushed, and amateurish, look of the early figures (the Brotherhood especially) to see the care and creativity of the studio behind them. In fact, one of my favorite things about Mutant Chronicles were the old Chronicles magazine. An organ like any other, it nonetheless had a fun attitude (a whimsy, if you will) about it that was infectious. Especially when the UK team took over in the late 90s, it mirrored the White Dwarf attitude when the staff were allowed to inject more of their personalities into it. Despite how people may feel about the 2nd edtition of the game, John Robertson, and John Grant, and the rest of the studio were talented and charismatic people who began to churn out great figures.

Here's a comparison:
Original Brotherhood Heavy Troopers from Heartbreaker Hobbies
Re-dos from Target Games UK studio (ca. 1999)
Target Games UK studio Captiol heavy Infantry

Heartbreaker Hobbies' Capitol heavy Infantry

So what happened? Rumors and speculation abound, but from what I figure it went like this:

Target Games (Swedish-based gaming company) bought Heartbreaker Hobbies (US-based miniatures company) à la a reverse Citadel Miniatures/Games Workshop situation. They expand by opening a UK design studio, to better create games for the titanic English-speaking gaming market, and a US branch (from what I understand this was just the old Heartbreaker Hobbies office). The UK studio is the creative branch and is in charge of all the games design and manufacturing. The US studio helps out, but is mainly there for distribution and promotion for that hemisphere. This frees up Target Games AB (Swedish original company) to do other things like launch a video game branch and—rumor has it—a candy company.

It's at this point that you'll hear from a lot of people that Warzone and Chronopia rivaled 40k and Warhammer. As much as I love the Warzone and Chronopia games, I highly doubt this was true. I imagine this is just the rose-colored vision of people who loved a game that was very successful in its own right. I have no doubt that Warzone and Chronopia were big, and I could even see that in many areas of the globe they were played more often than Warhammer and 40k, but based upon my knowledge of games companies and how they work, I doubt this. But you know what? It could be true. I'm sure only Games Workshop and Paradox Entertainment (the successor to Target Games) know for sure, as they don't release that kind of specific information. After all, the mighty TSR was brought low by a poor deal regarding their novels, and as we'll see later on, a similar fate happened to Target. Perhaps Games Workshop just had better management and better luck. Before we move on; my favorite story regarding the tensions between GW and Target has to be that when Target announced bankruptcy, GW celebrated with champagne the same way one might after getting a phone call from the governor. I don't believe this for a second, but I think the idea of the GW board of directors wiping sweat from their brows in a zero-hour situation—akin to the White House during the Cuban Missile Crisis—is cute.

So, I ask again, what happened? This is mostly rumor territory, but from what I understand the branch of Target Games that was aimed at a child market (either the candy branch, or the toy branch. I hear different things from different people) failed, and because Target management invested so heavily into it, they had to do some cutbacks. This came from the miniatures branches, and just ended up cascading through the company until they failed. I believe the Swedish company went first, then the UK studio, then finally (and surreally) the US branch. Rumor has it that the US team was left to their own devices for a couple months after the rest of Target went blank. 

Imagine that. You're a colonist on another world. You receive regular communication from the home planet. You take it for granted that this is how it is. Every day you can check the news and find out what's going on back on Earth. You receive orders, you execute those orders, and you report back. Everything's normal. Then one day the communication stops. Sure there were people who could read the writing on the wall, but the idea was so strange that it seemed unlikely. At the very least, you'd be told the truth and informed as to what's going on. Hell, you might've even thought you'd be the first to go if there was anything wrong, but you weren't. One day the communication stops, and you're left out in the void. Months drag on, and you wonder if it's even worth continuing on as if things will be the same or if you should just go your own way, and break off.

Obviously, I'm attracted to the whole drama of this situation, but in reality the US team supposedly went without pay for a month or so, until the office was just shut down. Paradox Entertainment (the video game branch of Target Games) was the life raft that the owners jumped to when the ship went down. They bought up (or transferred) the licenses from Target to them, and then pushed away. Target Games is now kaputt, and Paradox Entertainment are now, for all intents and purposes, is the current Target Games. Now they exist primarily as a licence-holder, making their money off Robert E. Howard stuff (which they strangely have the licences to), and whatever they thought they could make off the disappointing Mutant Chronicles movie.

I want to re-iterate that this is all rumor I've gathered from various sources. I did my best to cut the wheat from the chaff, and do some investigation of my own, but I am by no means saying that this is the definitive narrative. I also don't mean to slander, or place blame on any one, or part, of this history. I'm sure the decisions that were made were tough ones and were given much thought, and that no one wanted to see Target collapse, or these games go away.

This post is long, huh? 

I'm excited by the news that one of my favorite games is coming back. I've been wanting this for a long time, and a part of me always hoped this would happen. I hope everything goes great and that this new Warzone will be around for as long as I'm able to build, paint, and play in it. I don't care if it can rival Games Workshop or not, I just want to feel like I can take part in the drama that is playing out amongst the corporations and the Dark Legion again. 

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Sunday, February 3, 2013

Painting Challenge pt. 2: The Basening

So during SNL (reeee-ruuuuunnn!) and Almost Live (What? No 206 tonight?) I managed to get the basing done for my figures.

Chaos Warriors
Chaos Warhounds
Knights and Marauders
I think I've settled on a color scheme, and I will be implementing that in the coming weeks. I actually think I'm going to start with my Hounds and then do the marauders. I think I can get those done the quickest (they're also the least interesting).

I'll throw an army list up on this site on Monday-ish, and I have my first game with the new army book on Wednesday. Following that will be my thoughts, and a slim battle report.

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Aannd... GO!

My clock says midnight... Gentlemen, start your brushing!

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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Painting Challenge pt.1: The Introducening

Papa Nurgle has blessed me today, folks. I'm not super-sick, but I'm just sick enough to be a little out of it. This couldn't come at a better time, because I have quite a few project to catch up on, and there was a show that I was supposed to go to tonight, that I now have to think twice about. Oh! Could you not hear the sarcasm there? We, as a digital society should really think about using a font for sarcasm. I'm sure this will alleviate much of the destructive discourse on the Internet these days.

Here are the pictures of my force for the 50-model paint challenge that I'm partaking in:
The Whole Shebang

The Warriors

The Knights and the Marauders

The Wolves
Alright, so that's all I have the energy for right now. You'll see these models progress throughout the month of February (starting this Sunday). Before I go, here's one of the other 50 models that are being painted up:

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P.S. I bought my tickets to Gen Con and I booked my hotel in Indianapolis!