Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Death Guard Progress

So in an effort to keep my blog alive, filling it with imagery and witty pose (don't laugh...wait maybe you should i'm supposed to be witty) I thought it would be appropriate to post a progress entry.

If you didn't know I'm climbing into Horus Heresy collecting and probably gaming but i'm not rushing into it. I got a Betrayl at Calth box from Origins this year and in looking into what it provides this turns out to be about 1,300 points of army. After strongly considering building the thirteenth legion, Ultramarines (of course), I realized I really needed to challenge myself a bit so instead I went with the fourteenth legion, the Death Guard, and I would be the bad guys!

In an very unusual move for me I've decided to paint each model individually, meaning one at a time, trying to do my best within a reasonable time period. Effectively i'll be working towards making this collection the finest I an make it in my present skill level.

If i'm honest I also like the idea of space marines battling space marines. It seems to me like that will allow for some very interesting war game opportunities where the tactics of your game are a little more important than they are right now in 40k. A lot of the current game is about army special rules, which is in Horus Heresy a little, but not as much.

That aside this is a finish model, the first, with my planned basing...

...for basing I am testing out this Martian Ironearth with some patches of dead grass. I usually either go for classic green or brown dry brushed sand. I'm still experimenting with the techinal paint, it's not as flaky as I expected and I don't know if that is good or bad. I like the way it's looking through but any feedback you might have will be appreciated!

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Out of the Dungeon

So I have been deep in the dungeon of life, hacking away at work, slaying problems, and looting the treasure hordes of my...I don't know this has kind of run out of steam.

I don't blog much anymore because frankly I find difficulty in both motivation and time. I am still working within my chosen hobby though and have been working hard to help with organizing my community into something great and that is going along pretty solid.

I don't write as much now, I feel very defeated there and that makes it hard to try to write.

All that said I've been getting quite a lot of modeling and painting done as well as some really good gaming. Allow me, if you will, to share some pictures with you :)

I've begun slowly working my way into collecting Horus Heresy after obtaining a Betrayal at Calth box set. Originally I was going to go deep into my favorite Ultramarines (or the XIII Legion)  but ultimately decided to challenge myself with a Legion that had white armor and went with the Death Guard. This is the first model I completed and I'm over all pretty happy with him. I am targeting finishing a 10 man tactical squad as a first goal.

My Necrons have climbed back out of storage. I had shoved them aside after selling off choice pieces out of need and began my collecting again starting with some battle against the invading Grey Knights. This is an action scene from that fight and if you ask me it looks like that Purifiers squad is about to get sliced and diced. 

My army for the year, Astra Militarum, is continuing to grow. This is most of the Militarum Tempestus platoon in it along with a couple of Commissars. 

Also I had a chance to play an "all in" game with my brother. He has a considerably large Ork collection and I brought out my entire Ultramarine army (with accompanying Hellhammer) to face them. It was an open fight, no points calculated, and we used everything we had painted. My entire force was able to deploy at the start of the game but his was not. There was no definitive winner except the both of us who thoroughly enjoyed the game.

More to come soon hopefully. I am trying to take more photos of the games and models I do and try to get back into the hang of blogging. Hopefully this is a good re-start :)

Friday, July 1, 2016

Tanks Everywhere!

So in the months since my last post, okay well 40 days since my last post, I have been busy in many ways that are great and many that aren't so great.

As a blog about modeling and painting it is always hard for me to post when I don't have something to show you. I regularly finish models but I rarely take photographs because i'm so busy and usually don't have the time to take good photographs. But today I do have a couple to share.

If you are a 40K player you may be getting tied into the Tank Shock events that GW has promoted. Their first organized play event is pretty...minimal...on their part. You'd think that such a massive company would have some excellent OP support but really it's just some tokens, buttons, and certificates. They are nice and the over all event structure is cool but it's not as good as say Wizkids STAW support, which is very good.

Anyway we have 15 people signed up for the Tank Shock stuff but only about 10 actively participate. The first event was held at the end May, the next at the end of June, and so far i've only been able to get one tank for it. Ironic I know, but life is what life is. Here is my sweet Leman Russ Vanquisher...
...this is actually the first and only Leman Russ model I have ever assembled and painted. I have always felt kind of odd that the LR's haven't been part of my inventory in the past and I have to say it is a fine model that I have enjoyed playing.

There were a lot of really nice models there but I feel a need to share this man's on my blog...
...he has been modeling for decades and I hope one day I can reach this level of awesomeness!

Also I attended Origins again, like always, and had a good time and got some great stuff although I did try to keep my control a bit. I ended up getting into Sails of Glory but am unsure on that. Also picked up the new TANKS game from Galeforce 9, which is like tanker's version of x-wing.

This is Origins...this is what you are missing.

Friday, May 20, 2016

50th Northumbrian Division; 69th Infantry Brigade; 5th Battalion East Yorkshire Regiment

I'm really finding myself getting deep into my Bolt Action army of Great Britain. I chose Great Britain because I was not terribly familiar with the British during WWII and it seemed like a good educational opportunity coupled with a fun way to play the game. As I get further into Bolt Action I struggle with coming to grips with the theater selectors which are very nice but not always clear to me. This is mostly my own limited knowledge coupled with some historians break down of the war. Doesn't matter really, I'm having fun which is what's important.

Needing to find an identity for my forces I researched various divisions and have settled on the...

50th Northumbrian Divsion...

69th Infantry Brigade...

5th Battalion East Yorkshire Regiment...

...which is fantastic because one of the common decals is this:
Which is their badge. I liked that badge from the very beginning of exploring this game and the model lines for Great Britain. The double red T's are representative of two rivers; the Tweed and the Trent, which mark the boundaries where the division was recruited from, and area that is historically known as Northumbria.

Here are the rivers pleasantly (and appropriately) boxed in red...
..so I can, if I so desire, start digging into that area and determine what towns my soldiers  may have come from.

Exciting, right?

Anyway the point of this post is to discuss what have collected so far. I've amassed a fair number of infantry including three full rifle sections and a selection of the many teams; PIAT, Boys, light mortar, sniper, etc. You get the point. Also a couple choices for officers so that I can have a lieutenant and another higher officer to back up the many teams and sections.

Backing that up I have some nice armor; a Cruiser Mk VIII Cromwell and a pair of Sherman V's.

And last but not least I've got a Bren carrier. Mostly I have that because I really wanted a Bren carrier.  I have a lot of teams to haul around but mostly...seriously mostly...I just wanted one of the little bastards. :)

Okay that in mind I'm hoping to get a game in soon and do a battle report. I feel BA lends itself nicely to batreps and I want to be part of that. Until there is is a picture of some Brits kicking ass...
"I wonder if it's tea time yet?"
"Naw. They are still shooting at us."
"Sigh. How rude."

Friday, April 22, 2016

Fantasy Gaming's Bleeding

That is an extreme title isn't it?

But as titles should be succinct I feel like that is the best I got in this case. I don't plan to ramble on but I do want to put this out there to maybe stimulate some conversation. Also I don't know if this issue i'm about to bring up is a localized one or a global one considering our community of hobbyist.

The issue in short is...

 Fantasy gaming has become so branded that we are losing our creativity and the fantasy that made it fun.

I may just be deep in nostalgia so as always take me with a grain of salt. A little history is in order to get where i'm coming from. I started role playing games (Dungeons & Dragons) at around 10 years old with the Keep on the Borderlands module. I started painting miniatures at about 16 years old, my first finished miniature was a Troll by Ral Partha (seen below and formerly posted on this blog). My frist card game was Magic the Gatehring at around 16 asa well. My first war gaming experience was Warhammer Fantasy Battles 5th edition (the lovely set with Lizardmen and Bretonnians) and from that point my gaming entered what I would call the "maturing phase".

So my back ground is pretty solidly grounded in the famous brands. DnD, Games Workshop, Magic, these are the core of gaming in general. All my initial learning was from these companies and my community which was limited to my college friendships and the off and on LGS friendships as the LGS's opened and closed in my area.
I was very proud of this figure then, and still am now :)
But as I have grown as a hobbyist, gamer, what ever you want to call it, I have come to realize there was a wild frontier at one point where fantasy gaming wasn't branded and these brands that are so dominant today were only one of the strange beasts out there.

If you get that then you are on my page, if you think i'm crazy then either i'm crazy or you're not on my page.

I feel like the pioneer spirit has been lost in contemporary fantasy gaming. Where before game masters and players built elaborate or daring fantasy war games with scenarios or orders of battle, now they willingly limit themselves to the branding's structure and therefore limit their creativity.

Age of Sigmar is a good litmus test for this. I've not played AoS so i'm not talking about how it plays. I've read through the 4 page rules set and honestly it was mixed feelings on my part. I'm not a fan of it, not because of the rules being 4 pages but because they sacrificed a fantastic game and model line for it.

The litmus though is the rules of army building. Or more specifically the lack of rules for army building. I liked those aspects as the advent of points system has created a false idea that fantasy gaming is symmetric warfare (which it isn't) and that you can design something to balance something as wildly various as trolls and elves and dwarfs and whatever else with out a referee to impose some situation based common sense (which you can't).

Since that game launched people have been trying to find a way to apply a points system to it. Which is not only unnecessary it also absurd considering the power level of the little plastic men and the designers obvious intent for epic wild battles.

Let it happen people. Just let it happen.

But back to my point. 30 years ago no one would have batted an eye about this. They would have just started collecting models and played with them. Hell they would have played with any models to play the game just to play what they wanted to.

Look. I can go on and on about this. Really. I'm a talker. But I feel like I got the gist of my point across. I have been looking into re-pioneering my own gaming and hope to have some kind of interesting battle report/rpg/war game/thingy to post on here soon.

Until then I hope this generates some thinking and conversing. Also I hope all your dice roll in your favor ;)

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Beyond the Gates of Antares

If you haven't played Beyond the Gates of Antares by Warlord Games (which I will now permanently shorten to "GoA") then you owe it to yourself to find someone with some and play just one game. It's a very good game, very fun, and fresh in a few ways. Some people I've talked with refer to it as the sci-fi Bolt Action but that really isn't true. They share a single mechanic in the form of the order dice but that is really where the similarity ends. Really people are picking up on the tactical style of game play they both exhibit which is less about overwhelming your enemy with super weapons and mega units and instead not screwing up.

Which I am not good at. I excel at screwing up.

It's like a gift.

I have the starter box for GoA (see I did it) and it is a really nice product. A lot of people have reviewed this so feel free to look that up but in general it is worth it's price hands down. I've finished a few units so let us take a look shall we?
 This is a light support drone for the Concord faction. Basically it's a mobile, AI controlled, weapons platform. Kind of like the Eldar heavy weapons platforms but independent. It has a spotter buddy drone with it. The Concord faction has a lot of buddy drones and the spotter basically gives you a re-roll on an dice to hit so that is worth the points.

The box comes with two Ghar units; a battle squad and an assault squad. This is the battle squad with it's less big claws and bigger gun. That gun arm is surprisingly adaptable with three fire modes making an army with limited unit options versatile enough to play well. Also they are nearly impossible to kill without some really heavy weapons. I went with a much darker armor scheme than you'd see in the promotional pictures.

This is a standard Concord unit. Well not standard as the guy holding the head of a Ghar battle suit is a named character but he is equipped the same. They are carrying standard plasma weapons and the guy in the back has an upgraded version of that weapon. Also you see a handy buddy spotter drone over the guy on the right's shoulder.

Also in the back you can see some U.S. GI's getting painted up.

My color schemes are pretty simple, easy to complete, but I think they will come together nicely on the table.

If things go well I should have a small GI force ready to show off soon and a squad of dreadnoughts for my Ultramarines. YES an entire squad!

Monday, March 28, 2016

Soldiers of War: Past and Future

That totally sounds like a title to something doesn't it?

I just googled it, it isn't.

Anyway I have finished (for now) my Bolt Action collection for my army of Great Britain! It is a very exciting event for me. I love to "complete" armies and then set them up and see my beautiful force ready to roll into battle. Please allow me to reveal them to you now!
Gorgeous are they not? It is a mix of Crusader miniatures and Warlord Games miniatures. I got the Crusader British in a trade a while ago and it began my desire to build them into a Bolt Action collection. The Cromwell in the back is obviously a great piece for my army but in a previous post I pointed out it is my first British tank model I've ever done. I was surprised that all this only game to around 650 points though.
If you're interested here is the roster. Basic reinforced platoon but I think it's pretty solid. I'd like to add an artillery piece to it and some Bren carriers with squads. Maybe mix these four sections into two sections with the Brens as support. I'm eager to get them on the table and see how they perform before adding more though.

Also I finished the Germans for a local store's demonstration copy. I mixed them in with my Germans for a big family photograph.
Again this is a mix of Crusader miniatures and World Games. The demonstration consists of two five man squads, a Hanomag half track, and a two man squad for leadership. My two infantry squads and personal command swells it nicely, actually to almost the same points as the British, but they lack the tank and weapons teams.

Finally we will zip to the future. Two friends and myself are participating in the idea of a "new year new army" build and I am doing Astra Militarum. I am buying into the idea of a mega tank being supported by a lot of infantry and my primary goal is two infantry platoons to accompany the mega tank. If I can afford it in points i'm going to also make sure they all have Chimera transports but we'll see what fits. Here is the accumulated infantry thus far...
This photo also includes my inquisitor with his henchmen. Some of the henchmen will find their way into the AM as priests, because they are. I'm pretty happy with how the progress is going. My paint scheme is pretty doable and the idea of fifty plus infantry facing down my foes is exciting. I know the casualties will be horrendous, but this is what the Imperium is made of my friends!

On the board right now is some American GI's for the demo kit and some Gates of Antares. I am hoping to have those done in a few days so that I can move on to some fantasy figures.  Until then I hope your dice favor you, your tactics are well planned, and your model kits are complete!