Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Warzone Painting Challenge

I got into a paint challenge with a bunch of randoms on the Mutant Chronicles Subreddit (Reddit? Who am I?), and I pledged to paint the Capitol starter set by the end of May. I'll keep y'all appraised.

Hell I can do it! If I never paint another goddamn thing this
whole damn month, that is!

Why do I do these things? At least it'll contribute to the 1000pt Warzone army I pledged to do in 2016.


Saturday, April 16, 2016

More Chainmail?

So, inspired by my recent article on D&D: Chainmail, and by all the single model painting I've gotten done lately, I thought I'd give myself a little project to work on. Every so often I'll take a Chainmail model out of my case (maybe two in the case of double models I have) and work on it. I seem to be able to do single models pretty quickly—and Chainmail warbands are really small—so this should be a cinch!

I'll start with the two warbands from the starter set. That way if I want to have some games with friends, I'll be able to use the two forces intended to show off the mechanics of the basic game. I'm going to leave the descriptions of the figures for when I actually have them finished, but here's the group shot:

The three white-primed figures and the leftmost black-primed
figure are members of the Thalos faction (the "gnome infiltrator"
has a busted crossbow. I'll fix it when I get to him), while the
four black-primed figures on the right are members of the
evil Naresh faction, made up mostly of gnolls!

I also have a ton of models from the Mordengard faction (dwarves), and the Ravilla faction (elves), as well as one figure from Drazen's Horde (hobgoblins, goblins, orcs, etc.). All-in-all I have forty Chainmail figures, all of which will get their time in the sun.


Friday, April 15, 2016

About a Long-Lost Love

I want to talk about one of my favorite games of all time. It's a game that, if it was still in production, I'd still be playing to this day:

Chainmail (or D&D Chainmail, as it was known to differentiate it from the proto-D&D miniatures game "Chainmail"), was published by Wizards of the Coast in 2001, and contained some notable alumni in its production: Chris Pramas, Skaff Elias, Adrian Smith, Mike McVey, and Jason Soles to name a few—not to mention all the sculptors you'd no doubt recognize.

So what was so cool about Chainmail? It was effectively D&D 3rd edition turned into a miniatures game. You assembled a warband of figures that generally numbered anywhere between three and seven figures, and you maneuvered and spelled the shit out of each other! It had a really innovative command system, where your commanders could issue orders to troops. Your commanders had a number of command points that they could expend to move their basic troops around and maybe even make them fight a little better. 

It had the perfect mix of casual and competitive rules and attitude that I've not seen matched in any miniatures game since. The rules were such that you could assemble a warband of synergistic models and conduct your battles in a strategic manner similar to what you may see at an X-Wing or Warmachine/Hordes tournament. But if you weren't a competitive gamer, then the sheer amount of scenarios they released—combined with the campaign that was contained in their first supplement—meant that you could play thematic games that focussed on a story.

Really, it still amazes me to this day the sheer amount of scenarios that game contained. By my count there were over thirty at the end of its run in 2003. The scenarios weren't like your typical tournament-focussed scenarios which are largely abstract, gamey, set-ups that you may see in an event's "tournament package" (though the game had these too), but they felt like these would be conflicts in a fantasy world. 

These scenarios were contained in the rulebook and over the course of four supplements. These supplements not only contained scenarios and rule updates, but new rules on environments (fighting in the underdark), new spells your models could learn, and the stats for the new wave of models. They also contained more of the ongoing story about these empires and hordes fighting over the sundered essence of the dead god of war Stratis.

Back in 3rd edition D&D, WotC wanted to focus the setting on the world of Greyhawk. In order to make a miniatures game where there were stakes to the storyline and players' victories they set the game in the Sundered Empire in the western part of the main continent on Oerth, and introduced new characters and factions. 

The models were good too. Some of them were pretty typical of the early 2000s, non-Citadel, quality that you saw among the miniatures spectrum, but it had the best range of gnolls I've ever seen. It also had the coolest owlbear

Anyway, that's really all I wanted to say on the subject. The game's long dead, having been replaced by the pre-painted figures and simpler miniatures game in 2003. I enjoyed that one too, but it was no Chainmail.


Thursday, April 14, 2016

Exalted Hero of Slaanesh

More stuff got painted! This time what is now known as the Exalted Hero of Slaanesh, but was once known as Sigvald, the Magnificent.

I've been wanting to paint the model since I got it when it came out for 8th edition WFB, but it wasn't until I decided that I'd assemble a display in my local game shop's cabinet that I got off my ass and finished him. I already have some Slaanesh stuff in a cabinet there, but that's for the Path to Glory campaign (which I'm still workin' on), and I can't very well have them be part of two displays! This hero will be the leader of my non-campaign Slaanesh army.

Not that you'd be able to notice from my terrible photography, but I used Wargames Foundry's Native American Flesh set to paint the skin. I plan on buying a ton of different skin tone paints just to add some diversity to the Mortal Realms. I mean, why should Northern Europeans be the only heroes and maniacs? If the Realms are impossibly large, I'm sure there's going to be a ton of different cultures floating around. No one is safe from the temptations of Slaanesh, apparently.


Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Return to Western Immoren

So, unless you only get your gaming news from my blog (why?) you'll have no doubt heard that Warmachine and Hordes are getting a third edition (Mk3). This is good news, everyone! Lately I've found it hard to justify my constant purchase of every book Privateer Press releases in hardcover, as I haven't played the game in over a year (and before that even longer).

It's not that I ever thought it was a bad game, just that it had gotten too big and complex. At least for me, Warmachine and Hordes expand so lightning fast that if I'm distracted by another game for too long it's hard to come back to it and not be frustrated. Maybe it's just that I was focussing too much on the competitive scene, and not enough on the casual.

Well now I'm looking forward to journeying to the Iron Kingdoms once again. I'm not going to even attempt to summarize all the changes they've announced to the game; suffice it to say they all sound good to me. Here's a list of sources that I've read or listened to:

+ The Announcement
+ Primecast Episode 30
+ Jason Soles' 2¢

Keep your eyes peeled, and your ears pinned back, as there will probably be news coming out daily. I'll most-likely be jumping in on the Hordes end of the pool, and to that effect I've painted a new warlock

I know it's a little dark (that might be my lighting), but I had to paint him to match the rest of my force, which was painted in a drow color scheme, and was originally part of a speed-painting challenge back in 2010. I originally painted an entire 35pt force in seven sessions, and it just involved a lot of washes and drybrushing. I'm going to work on a few more models in the coming months and we'll see if I can't stumble upon some kind of color combination that doesn't look so dark. The only requirement is that the skin is black, the hair is white, and there's purple somewhere on the figure. I'm open to suggestions.