Thursday, January 31, 2013

Fringe, Chaos, and Deadspace 2.

Unusual for me, this is a non-look-at-what-i-painted post. Let us have an agenda shall we?

  1. Fringe is over :(
  2. Warriors of Chaos models
  3. Deadspace 2 is finished
  4. Almost 400 views of my complaining
So I'm going to miss Fringe.
I loved that show from the first episode. The x-files-ish nature and the extreme weirdness they scifi'd into the whole thing was wunderbar then when they mixed in the Observers it just got so juicy I could have gotten diabetes off the sweetness. But really it was John Noble who made the show for me. Initially his portrayal as Walter Bishop was pure awesome, then when he got to do Walternate at the same time... BEST ACTOR EVAAAAAAR!

The new warriors of chaos models from GW are a mixed bag, they have cool factor, but they also have some high prices attached. The slaughterbrute is getting a lot of flak as an action figure with a heavy price (which is kinda right frankly) but it is still cool looking and definitely fills the role of army trifecta-piece (center piece, butt kicker, and proof you have spare money), and to be fair I have to say the mutalith vortex beast is friggin' awesome!
I'd love to have one just for my model collection, I don't play the army but it would look good in the case. 

I have been putting a concentrated effort into finishing Deadspace 2.
If you've not played the Deadspace games you should do so so long as you don't have night terrors and can keep calm when being assaulted by space chaos zombies. The story of the first one was great, and the second was just as good. I'm looking forward to the third. I will say towards the end there was a point where I was yelling at the game makers though my TV that if they wanted me to buy the third game the second needed to be just a little easier as the game literally (proper use of the word here) swarms you with necromorpohs and your only option is to run by them. You don't have enough resources to kill them all. The ending was great and I got to do that thing where I sit there through the entire credits letting the ending sink in. Great experience.

Also, what the hell? Usually my posts only garner a score or so views, but my "State of the Game" post from a week ago pulled in almost 400 views and two lengthy comments from excellent bloggers. If complaining and game soul searching draws interest maybe I should do it more.

That soap box can get tempting though... oh so so tempting.

Anyway, I am working on a commission for a guy in Canada right now and at the same time working through some scouts to fill out my Ultramarines scout unit. So, pictures coming soon :)

Monday, January 28, 2013

Skaven Project: Finished!

Started on the 1st of January and finished on the 26th of January! I had planned to paint an entire army in just one month and I did it :) It is not the finest painted army but it is a complete army and comes to over 1,000 points without any magic of any kind.
I began with the Island of Blood box contents but then added a box of clanrats I got in trade. When I had started the project sometimes during the second week I got a hold of a new box of rat ogres/giant rats and decided to throw that in. At the end of the trip this is what I had mustered.

This past Saturday was club night and I got to play them through two full games; one against Lizardmen (how appropriate) and the other against Dark Elves. I have to say I'm proud of them for their first time out, they performed amazingly well for such a basic army. I will say that the beefed up units of infantry make a difference i'm sure, 20 clanrats wouldn't do as well as 30, that extra rank saved my bacon a couple times.

The MVP was definitely the warpfire thrower he did 25 casualties against the Dark Elves but was targeted and slaughtered my magic during the first turn by the Lizardmen's skink priest (so he pulled a terribly dangerous spell at least). The weapons teams are great, I love them, I thought the move or fire restriction of the warpfire thrower would limit it's use but it didn't.

Well now that I've got a solid core of troops and a couple special units led by a capable warlord and backed by a wizard of some power I need to turn my thoughts to what might be good to boost the army to 1500 points which isn't that far away I think the army is almost 1,100 right now.

Aside from the finished Skaven I'd like to thank Arabianknight and Guido for their comments. I am still a mixed bag about the situation with PP games. I did get Rorsch and Brine recently as a gift and I approached the forums of PP for advice. In general that advice was "go buy something to add to it that makes it better" which is not such a good piece of advice. That would apply to any of the war games I play. I am going to try an all Trollblood's force though as I have been told by everyone on the forum that mixing the mercs makes the force unplayable : /

EDIT: here's the army list...

  • Warlord- warpstone armor, foul pendant, poison attacks, halberd, hand weapon (165p)
  • Warlock engineer- level 2 wizard upgrade, warpmusket, warp energy condenser (135p)
  • Clanrat regiment of spears with warpfire thrower (240p)
  • Clanrat regimetn of sword and board with poison wind mortar (195.5p)
  • Ratogre pack with master moulder with shock prod (226p)
  • Giant rat pack with master moulder with things catcher (88p)
Not a huge army and for the games this weekend I ditched the giant rat pack to put me below 1,000 for play but very enjoyable!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

State of the Game (long post)

(note: I have not edited this for errors, sorry, i'll do it later)

So, off the Skaven for a minute (they are coming along, don't worry) I want to hit on something I have mixed emotions on.

Warmachine and Hordes... or as I call it Warmahordes.

I started Warmachine when it launched ever so long ago. My account on the forum was so early in the forum's existence it was numbered in double digits. I really liked the first edition of Warmachine the game played well and brutal (true Page 5) and was enjoyable. The models were fresh and heavy and fun to paint and people generally had a good time playing it.

I have a medal from an even at Origins even, I played Cryx then so it's a cool Cryx medal.

BUT (you knew that was coming right?) I'm not experiencing this anymore with this game. In general the models are still nice although I will admit I dislike the plastics over the metal and I seem to be a lone man there. It is the rest of the experience that seems to be lacking and I don't know whether to take a deep breath and try some more or throw in the towel and let them all go and put that resource towards a different game.

In general I feel as if the game is almost requiring me to buy new models to be able to play, and I don't mean competitive play either, I mean game club play. My most recent collection is a small body of Trollbloods and I like the models and the rules but in general I'm not winning. Recently this has changed to "not playing" as in I get to do so little it borders on an actually, literal, was of my time. My last game I put down 25 points (15 models) with light and heavy war beasts, solo, and healthy size unit of infantry and did not kill one enemy. I only got to make 2 attack rolls. I'll admit that part of that was I emotionally threw in the towel about 50% into the game but it was because I found my hands so tied I didn't feel like I was playing a skirmish war game. I felt like I was playing a miniature form of Magic the Gathering and I had cards from 2009.

But booster packs are about 4 bucks, even the cheapest solo is three times that.

There is something else too. I don't have fun and it doesn't look like the people around me are having fun either. With the exception of the individual who is dominating the game everyone else is either bored, depressed, angry, or distracted. I know that in general these happen in any gaming from RPG to board games. In war games it is usually indicative of the game taking too long, or the game being just plain boring. My last game I was detached in turn two, my team mate was ranting pissed, one of the opposing team was so bored he could have fallen asleep, and only his team mate was engaged, and he was literally controlling the field. I was so stopped in my tracks I felt as if I had no point in even playing. My desire to try to over come the tactical challenge was gone. I threw in the towel and stood there while he pummeled me. I didn't want to do anything more. My friend across the table saw this and quickly killed Madrak to release me, but damn that is such a different experience from when I started that game.

Seriously, even when I'm loosing at other games I can have fun. Point in fact, last game of 40k I played it was my Ultramarines against my Chaos Space Marines (my friend forgot his armies). Well my dice rolls really couldn't get much worse and I was slaughtered. The game, someplace around end of turn 4, was my friends by point alone. I couldn't take an objective and I was down to a single squad. I went from trying to win to trying not to be tabled and I had a good time doing that. I took down some more enemy models and survived some wild saving throws. At the end of the game it was four models left on my side facing a full tactical squad, a couple scouts, a dreadnought without his multi-melta, and half a terminator squad with an angry chaplain.

I did not, at any point in my last ten or so games of warmahordes have that feeling of switching gears. I will admit, when my terminator chaos lord when down to THREE LUCKY OVER-WATCH BOLT GUN SHOTS I could have broken things. I wanted to! I wanted to break that terminator lord actually. I'm sure you've been there. But I didn't and then I changed gears. That was insultingly bad luck. At that point I knew I was not going to win but I wanted my lord to get to fight and he didn't because of that foul luck.

My entire game of warmahordes for a long time now has been that feeling the entire game. Seriously that is some terrible way to feel playing a game for an hour plus. Turn one is fine, but then the newest epic caster or war jack does something wild and my heavy warjack is blown to pieces, or my army can't move for a turn, or they have their ability to charge removed, or the enemy surrounds himself with 8" of difficult terrain, or, or, or, or.... seriously it doesn't feel "good" to play warmahordes I think.

I'll get a lot of slack for this, either in print in the comments or people thinking i'm stupid. Fine fine. They'll just say I'm a bad player. Fine also, I'm not a good player. I'm just a player. I don't even have a 50% win ratio of any game. Also I'll get a lot of "GW fan boy" hate, but you'll note I'm not saying GW games are better. I actually really like the warmahordes rules and models, but I feel like you can trace the state of this game to the making of Mk.2. When they changed the rules (every company does it) they seemed to change their objective. All model companies are out to make money, period, i'm not stupid that is how you pay off stock holders. But I will come right out and say that I think PP has embraced the MtG style of power creep to require you to buy new models to be able to play.

I'll give a caveat though. It could all be me. I could not have the mind for warmahordes, or the disposition, and just not "get it" in general. This could be the best game ever and i'm the one who walked away from Omelas.

I will not likely avoid the game though. I have a size-able mercenaries collection, some nice trollbloods, and the start to a Menoth force so there is no reason to let them gather dust. But I suspect I'll be a poor opponent who just doesn't have the fire to provide a challenge.

How sad is that?

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Skaven Project Update 4.5

Okay, so I thought I would have them done by tonight but I am not going to. This weekend turned out to be really busy so I haven't had the opportunity to sit down and finish the Skaven. They are nearly done though, only a few more steps and the entire army will be complete. Pretty excited, it will be nice to add another fantasy army to my collection. It is my favorite game and I was a little embarrassed I had more 40K than fantasy armies finished!

As an aside, through trade and circumstance I have over 3,000 points of Necrons and I just got the Apocalypse rule book ;)

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Skaven Project update 4

So here is the promised picture of the completed spear armed regiment...
...of course with out any basing beyond the solid color. I'm testing a dark brown sand to see how that works. Over all I think this looks like a nice regiment. I will probably go six ranks of five files as that will give them a +5 to their leadership but sacrificing only 3 attacks. I think the further +1 is worth more than 3 attacks.

The rest of the army (hand weapons regiment, more rat ogres, more beast masters, and some giant rats) and primed on the board and I think i'll be able to get this all done fairly quickly. Maybe even by the end of the weekend? 

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Skaven Project Update 3.75 and something unrelated

So I did not get the spear regiment finished over the weekend. I nearly did though and would have last night if I didn't get distracted by Monday and Black Ops 2. I will finish them tonight though, which puts me on a pretty good schedule. Today is the 15th, I have 16 days left, and i'll have the 30 other infantry left... well... and maybe something more. I got a great deal on the rat ogre/giant rat box set and I've added them into the mix. So that is 14 more models. Not hard at all! Right?

That aside I've been perusing the Rogue Trader era 40K rules and I stumbled on this...
...I just love this old diorama. They did these shadow box style ones back in the late 80's and they are something that should be revived I think. I love the way this old Ultramarine dreadnought is just busting in on the fight. I love the old dreadnoughts, the current ones are great but these old suckers just have a feel to them that sits well in my mind.

Well, hopefully tomorrow or day after a picture of the first finished regiment will be up!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Skaven Project Update 3 and a Half

Not a real update because there aren't any finished models. Still, as a work in progress it is cool I think to see these things in the middle so to speak. Anyway... can almost hear them skittering around can't you? It is cold enough here that I'm not risking spray priming so I've had to brush prime them all. Also, I really only meant to jump into 10 instead of the entire spear armed clanrat regiment but there was black paint left and things got out of hand. Anyway, I think i'm going to finish ten to test the way i'm going to finis the other twenty. I think I might actually get this unit done by the end of the weekend as I have a big block of time available tomorrow and that would put me significantly ahead of the game so to speak.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Skaven Project Update 3

As promised some more pictures from the skaven project!

...they aren't the best pictures but they never the less show a finished model right? Still haven't decided on what flocking to use. This wraps up everything but the two large blocks of infantry :) that is where the challenge really lies. 60 figures in 21 days... take a deep breath and jump in!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Skaven Project Inter-update

No finished figs this post. The warlord, warlock engineer, and weapons teams are almost done and they will be done tonight which means i'll probably post a picture of them tomorrow. Then the heavy works begin with painting 60 clan rats.... and I seem to be out of "Snakebite Leather"...which sucks since it's a pot from the 1990's somewhere.

Anyway, this project is going smoothly right now and I'm happy with that. I actually have to stop from taking painting steps to "level up" the work since the objective is to be finished not to painting something for a museum.

Pounding out the army list it looks like it will come in at over 900 points as is. Making the warlock engineer a level 2 wizard drains a lot, but I just don't go in for level 1 wizards usually. I am considering not making him a wizard at all and let him fight at the front lines with his augmented weapon.

My warlord (i.e. me) will be wearing warpstone armor, a foul pendant, and have a poisoned halberd. He is by not means a power house by himself, but that is fine, he is a great skaven general which means he doesn't fight by himself!

I am becoming very eager to get these guys into battle. This is by no means a comprehensive force, I know that, it has glaring weaknesses but to see some action is the only way I'll know how to strap armor on those weaknesses.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Skaven Project Update 2

First unit done...
...completed (sans basing) rat ogre pack with master moulder wielding a wicked looking prod. As I am trying to fit the entire army in 31 days I am sticking with quick and basic paint work. This is how the rest of the army will look. It seemed like a good unit to test out the colors on and I think they have turned out pretty well. I use a lot of bolt gun metal as a color so i'm trying some bronze color this time instead. 

Another update should be coming soon behind this one. The weapons teams, warlock engineer, and warlord are on the paint board right now and about 33% done. The large blocks are going to be the real challenge.

Editorial add on... (1/8) I have been considering the rat ogre unit that comes in the IOB box. It is a small unit that initially I took to be primarily an advertisement ploy to get players to buy more rat ogres to add to the army. After all, you've got some already why not fill it out? But thinking more about it I don't think that is what it is. The master moulder is technically a champion, but he really has the stats of a hero and can take a small amount of magic items. So really, this is a third character in the army with two very large and dangerous body guards. It may lack the ability to join other units but if used right I think there is some great potential to bring the hurt. The shock prod negates armor saves and the master moulder is strength 4 so if a player isn't careful with what he sends at this unit I think he's going to be unpleasantly shocked.

Oh that was terrible!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Skaven Paint Update 1

Okay, everything is assembled and ready to be primed. I'm going to try to prime it either at my friend's garage or my own if it warms up enough. I'm planning a pretty easy paint scheme: brown for the fur, maybe some flesh for the bare spots, metal where metal goes, and a single unifying color, probably red (although I might go green or blue, unsure).

I've also dug through the army book and the bare points of the army will be...

Warlord (heavy armor and halbard)... 93pts
warlock engineer (warplock pistol and warlock-augmented weapon)... 68pts
clanrat spear regiment (30 with full command and poison wind mortar)... 235pts
clanrat hand weapon regiment (30 with full command and warpfire thrower) ... 225pts
rat ogre pack (2) with master moulder (shock prod)... 138pts

...this is bare bones with only what the models are holding, no magic unless it was obviously being held. That brings the army in at a tidy 759 points with room to add another unit later (maybe a doom wheel) and still room to make the warlock engineer a wizard and give the warlord some magic to make him more threatening than he is now.

Edit, a picture of the assembled models...
...appropriately they are all milling about. Left is spear rats, right is those without. The warlord is yelling at everyone in the background. Hard to see the pack master but he is busy keeping the rat ogres in check. The weapons teams are checking out their equipment... as much as they are going to.  Over all I think it is a good start to a daring project!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

January Paint Challenge

If you remember, back in August I put together a GW Chimera model from box to finish in 12 hours. Well, never one to sit on my laurels (total lie I sit on those suckers all the time) I'm throwing up another challenge to myself. This time something a little bigger, and little more insane maybe even.


That seems like a lot, but I don't think it will be too bad. Basically I'm going to build the Skaven half of the IOB box and throw in another 20 clan rats (flushing out the two infantry units to 30 each) so the total set will be...

chief with heavy armor and halberd
warlock with warlock pistol
pack master with 2 rat ogres
30 clanrats with spears and poison wind mortar
30 clanrats with hand weapons and warp flame thrower

...i'm not sure how many points that will add up. I'm sure over 500 and less than 1,000 so it is a nice starting force. I have a metal plague priest but he's not going to be part of this huzzah. It would feel too much like squeezing him into the army but I figure later i'll add a unit of plague monks and he'll be a great leader for them.

I'll try to put some pictures up as the build progresses, and wish me luck, by January 31st, 2013 I should have a nice painted Skaven collection ;)