Monday, 22 May 2017

Inquisitor (54mm) at Dark Sphere

This weekend, I'd popped into Dark Sphere to pick up a couple of bits and bobs I'd ordered online a while ago and get a top up of white primer. As I was heading to the till, I noticed a very unusual game going on at the table by the door. I asked nicely, and they were kind enough to let me take a few photos.

Yup, it was Inquisitor - the full 54mm version! I was also quite pleased to see that a lot of the terrain they were using was the MDF stuff Sim had painted up for Dark Sphere recently.

(I believe the scenery is TT Combat, and a mix of their City and Sci Fi ranges.) I was really impressed with how well it managed to fit in with the 54 mm figures when it's intended for 28mm.

There were a lot of impressive figures to look at. I suspect this person is a little bit Radical / Chaos-y.

Then I saw this. At first glance, from this photo, it might not seem like much...

... until you see it next to some scenery and realise it's a 54mm scale scratch built Sentinel. The detail on this is simply breath taking.

And then the players "help" with "Oh, have you seen the Rhino?" And yeah, sure, it's a Razorback, but it's in 54mm scale, with an opening back hatch, interior lighting and headlights. Stuff like this really blows me away. It's an awesome bunch of hobby.

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Painting Miss Ery (Teddy) for Malifaux

With Spring Showdown II coming up, I wanted to get my Teddy painted up to a reasonable standard. I decided I wanted to try and make it look like the example art on the card, which is a challenge I've not tried before.

I painted the Teddy separately to the base because I reckoned it would be much easier and quicker. Unfortunately, once I'd undercoated the model, I realised I'd missed a bunch of gaps. So, on goes the liquid green stuff while I sort the base out...

The base idea was to do the dark green that Malifaux's art background often uses. I used the Vallejo Sea Green as the base. The basic painting plan was a bone drybrush, then a green wash, light green drybrushes of various types, then a little bit of line highlighting. Oh, there was some Duck Egg Vallejo on the vegetation sections. This is the point at which I'd put the wash on.

If you look down at the finished base, you can see the extra detail I'd got from the extra greens to bring some nice subtle variation to the base.

The base coat for the main part of the Teddy was a Rhinox Hide base. It looks oddly gloss for a while.

I then layered on lighter browns and pale green blended in. I dropped some duck egg green into the patches.

The stuffing was an off white with a dark shade. The metal claws were Dark Star Tarnished Steel with a gloss black wash. I also tidied up the blending much more. I'm much happier with the lighter brown blends than the darker brown blends.

This is the finished base, with the black edge added in and the different tones of green blended in, and a little manual line highlighting on the chest bars and a couple of other places.

And finally, a finished Teddy. There's a few things I might go back and detail later, but he's definitely done for now. And ready in time for the Spring Showdown! He's not an exact match for the card art, but close enough that you can see what the intent was, which makes me pretty happy.

Monday, 1 May 2017

Infinity Battle Report: Bakunin vs Combined Army

With some new Infinity models assembled, I realised I had just enough models to put together a Bakunin Sectorial list and start learning about fire teams and all that fun stuff. I threw together a quick list and off I went.

And lo, did I encounter the Avatar. And I'd left a tiny gap where my Lizard TAG was visible.

The space on the right is where the Lizard had parked up. Bugger.

So the intention had been that the Lizard ran around shooting things while a defensive moderator link did it's thing. These are the old Moderator models - I picked them up with the new ones due as I will definitely be wanting to run a double sniper core fire team, and model variation is big and clever.

I needed to get a specialist up to the Combined's HVT, but there was an Umbra Hacker parked right next to it. So, I got to pull one of the great party tricks of Bakunin and fired a Pitcher up field and landed it right in the middle of a group of Remotes and a Hacker. Sadly, Zoe was only able to mildly inconvenience the Umbra, so that dream died pretty badly...

Still, there were comedy moments. My opponent ignored a combi rifle Moderator to make sure he killed the sniper. "So I need 1s, then?" There may have been some slight nerves as he took a double crit to the face. We took the Avatar out from it's position to stand in shame next to the dice. The Zero was not this close to an angry Avatar...

This was the line of fire from the Moderator to get the glorious shot of doom. He was then turned to mush in revenge, but there's a moral victory there, right?

The Avatar then ran away with an important gubbins to score lots of objective points...

While my Zero couldn't quite get the orders to score a single point for activating a console.

So, another thorough drubbing. But I was pretty pleased with how both the Pitcher and the Link Team went. I'm pretty sure that with a bit more practice, I'll be getting better. Which is good, as I've signed my Bakunin up to the HATE Infinity League...

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

How does Malifaux work again? Battle Report

Apologies for the long break - I was at a big LARP last weekend and had fallen behind on blog posts - despite having done a ton of things to blog about, I failed to schedule the time for the actual blogging.

Anyway, as you may have surmised from the title, I've dug out my Malifaux stuff, grabbed a set of Gaining Grounds 2017 and tried to play a game.

Up against McMourning, I dropped Frame for Murder on Teddy, and took Tail 'em as there's swarms of annoying puppets for activation control.

McMourning's crew, while a new crew and still yet to be painted, looked suspiciously more like a well thought out list than "the starter boxes and a couple of extra models".

Teddy was catapulted up the field with the intention of smacking McMourning very hard in the face. I genuinely bodged the charge and he got killed to gain me two points (McMourning didn't quite take the bait). All to plan, if only I'd caused some damage on the way out.

I managed to click up two points for "Tail 'em" on McMourning as the crew really needed to be up in the thick of things. Some Graves were dug and some Heads taken, but things were dying pretty slowly.

Unfortunately, everything had a lot of poison and died. Fortunately, it was direct poison damage and none of them really left head markers.

With the score at 4 all, a Marionette needed to die to be thrown in a grave - but with a good hand to cheat with, it just stayed together to save me into the draw.

All in all - a really good reminder of how Malifaux works. I made some bad mistakes - sending the Personal Puppet out of range was an epic rookie error. Still, holding out to a draw was pretty good going for a first game back. My opponent was lovely and really makes me want to make another Malifaux tournament some time soon.

Monday, 10 April 2017

Fomori Witch finished!

Pottered through some hobby this weekend. I finished up this Fomori Witch. I've probably mentioned that it's done by Krakon Games before. You can also get it from Bad Squiddo Games. It was part of a "clearing the decks" exercise I did over the weekend, for . . . reasons.

This little Starship Generator from the Reaper Bones line got a basic tabletop job for a bit more scatter terrain when I need it.

Remember I was working on a Chaos Spawn? This one now has all it's limbs attached. I just need to add its back tentacles, and then it will be ready for undercoating. I'm feeling really good about the number of things I'm getting ready for undercoat and thus off the painting desk.

Random back-lit photo because I forgot to take a proper one! The other "Made to Order" Inquisitor got based and undercoated. In order to stop the base toppling over, there's a lot of fisherman's shot weighting down the the bottom of the stairs... I also totally forgot to take a photo of a Jokaero I assembled and undercoated, but given that's a stock model, there's nothing interesting or different to see there.

 So, why the effort to clear the desk? Well, it seems Mike Marshall is running another Malifaux event. It's called Spring Showdown III and it's on 7 May. I haven't got a ticket yet, but I'm "moderately tempted" to go...

I'm not confirming yet, as I'm setting myself some targets to do so.

1. Not being completely dead from all the other stuff I'm doing.

2. At least one new Malifaux model assembled and painted for the event.

3. Having actually played some Malifaux this year in a practice game so I remember how these rules things play.

I will keep my loyal readers (both of you) up to date this progresses!

Monday, 27 March 2017

A little bit of weekend painting

I got a little painting done this weekend. I wanted to see if Army Painter spray undercoat worked on Reaper Bones material, to which the answer is "it seems to be OK". The terrain isn't for much in particular - will probably see service as a piece of scatter terrain for Infinity.

I went with a bright colour scheme on the terminal because I'm trying to get out of the habit of painting everything in dull colours. It's a useful practice exercise for when I want to use it in anger.

A late Christmas present finally wound its way to me. I had a good sit down read and got reminded why I love Blood Bowl so much. I should really consider digging out my Skaven team...

I also got the Daemonhunter undercoated. He can now potter off into the "waiting for 40K to catch my interest again" pile.

This was a common problem with some old sculpts - he has quite a strong forward lean, and that can look a bit odd if you're not careful with assembly.

Monday, 20 March 2017

40K - It's not me, it's definitely you

When I started this hobby back in the early 90s, I was far more into to the Fantasy side than the Sci-fi one. My first wargaming book was Warhammer Armies for 3rd edition, and my first full rules set was 4th edition Fantasy.

I got into 40K much later - picking up some Tallarn when they first came out, as I was still pretty obsessed with Frank Herbert's Dune at the time. But I was a few years older then, so while my fantasy interest ambled between Skaven and Empire, and eventually both armies were sold off, my Guard ended up staying in boxes at my parents house.

This meant that when I got back into the hobby because my darling wife was a painter, and we were looking for a joint hobby to do together, it was my Guard that first got caught up. This blog was first started back in 2012 in the aftermath of a Throne of Skulls tournament where my wife and I had rushed to get a 1500 point Guard army painted after I'd not quite remembered how little was actually painted...

But now? I'm not really interested in playing 40K. I'd been telling myself for a while that it was just that I wanted to play "narrative" games, but was that really true? On reflection, it's not that. People refer to the rules set having gotten "bloated", but that's really not it. Army power levels are massively uneven, and shovelling most of your models off before you've got a chance to do anything with them is no fun at all.

So, my Guard are getting packed away into boxes for a bit. I'm not rage quitting or sulking. I've made a rational decision that I can get more fun for less effort with other games for now. Rumour mill indicates a new edition of 40K later this year, and I rather hope it is a pretty massive overhaul on an Age of Sigmar scale to bring things back into a more balanced, fun experience.

In the meantime, I've got plenty to be pottering along with. I've got 1,000 points of Age of Sigmar Chaos to get finished up so I can give that rules set a go. I'm assembling a couple of figures to act as test beds for my planned Infinity colour scheme. I'm even getting a bunch of the Made to Order Inquisition figures all assembled and undercoated for when the enthusiasm returns.

You may also still see some 40K hobby, because I've got a few of those boxed game malarkies that need assembling and painting, and the intent has always been to assemble them to play the games they came with, not just as a cheap way of getting troops for my army. But for that to start, some other part done projects need finishing first.

Really, even with 40K on the back burner, it's hard to know where to start!

Monday, 13 March 2017

40K Casual Tournament at Dark Sphere

On Sunday, I pottered down to Dark Sphere with my darling wife to take part in a casual 40K tournament. The idea was pretty simple - three games of 40K at 1,750 points, with an emphasis on the casual side of things.

The ticket price was £6, which is basically what Dark Sphere charges for 3 table hires for 40K. There weren't any prizes, but we got a couple of thank yous for taking part - some Sisters of Silence art cards, and a pot of paint each.

This was a new thing for Dark Sphere, and they were openly soliciting feedback at the end. I'll certainly be sending them a few thoughts. From my point of view, it was mostly little niggles, and the event was broadly enjoyable and fun.

I was running a "Castellans of the Imperium" detachment from Gathering Storm I. This let me take a mash of Imperial units from lots of different places - Inquisition, Guard and Militarum Tempestus all together.

First up, I came up against a Tau list, beautifully painted with lots and lots of big stompy robots. I was a bit nervous about the firepower it could put out, and this was soon proved right by my big Guard infantry platoon getting wiped out, along with Coteaz, before I could take a turn.

After that, it was mostly just mopping up. There was nowhere I could bring on units without something shooting them to death - even those dropping out of line of sight of any units were blown apart by interceptor units with indirect fire weapons.

In the end, the victory points stood at 18-2 in the Tau's favour. I'd maybe caused two wounds to one of their units, and almost everything was dead. It was just a case of removing models. My opponent was friendly and fun to play against, but it didn't really feel like a game as such.

 Next up, I found myself facing a beautifully painted Imperial Fist army. My opponent was just getting back into 40K after some years away, and was painting up an Imperial Fist force suitable for use in 40K or 30K.

We were playing the Emperor's Will mission, with both of us having a single objective, and we speculated on a few different narratives that could have caused the fight - was it a Heresy era battle putting down rogue psykers, a conflict in the aftermath of the Heresy when Dorn objected to the Tactica Imperialis, or maybe it was the Inquisition trying to suppress some secrets when some warp storm delayed Fists emerged in the 41st millennium?

This was a much closer game, with good back and forth in casualties. The Guard took some hits, but in turn took out a lot of tanks and wiped some key squads of Marines off the board. The Storm Trooper squads did some excellent work trying to capture the Marine objective, but weren't quite able to make it, leaving us both with our own objectives and Line Breaker, but the Marines having gained First Blood for the win.

Finally, I faced a beautifully painted Dark Eldar force who had recently joined the Ynnari. This is the new death aspected Eldar force. I really loved that we got to have a "Gathering Storm I" list face off against a "Gathering Storm II" list.

We were doing the Maelstrom of War mission where you have to hold objective points to get instructions that actually score points.

Sadly, I was unlucky on the cards - I ended up with four cards to capture two each of the objectives held by the Dark Eldar, and failed my reserve rolls twice for my Storm Troopers so they never dropped in.

I did manage to get some things to line up properly, though - I used psychic powers to grant one of the platoons rerolls to hit and Ignore Cover before ordering them to open fire with "First Rank Fire" from an officer - the resulting firestorm took out most of a Reaver Jetbike squad, and an exploding Venom took out the survivor.

So, I ended the event with some complicated feelings - my lists aren't doing well in the current meta at the moment, even at a casual game. I enjoyed the games, but I think if there'd been more than one close fought battle, then I'd certainly have enjoyed them more.

I don't play 40K enough to work out the entire problem. Is it just me not playing enough? Is it that my army selection isn't competive with all the new releases and I need to change up my units? Are the Guard simply not a reliable choice with the current Codex? Is it the terrain choices made on the tournament boards not granting enough cover?

I'm going to ponder this question a bit longer, and work out if the effort I'm putting into this is worth the enjoyment I'm getting out, or if there's things I can put the same effort into and get more enjoyment from.