Friday, July 31, 2009

Bilbo's Birthday Bash

My Grey Company- Gandalf, I am very happy with the way he came out
the base needs some touch up thou..

Bilbo's Birthday Bash (or BBB) is a 350 point Lord of the Rings tourneys for the original game, not War of the Ring. I'm not sure how well received WotR is a singular system...beautiful book I am even coming around to some of the rules now that I have read the book after finding some of the rules I disliked were explained to me incorrectly or the explanations werelacking the input of other rules that countered the things I disliked. (another topic for discussion later) Anyway rules aside I like WotR as mass battle rules for strategy battle game in a campaign setting. IF I want to throw down a causual LotR's game- the Original game is great fun, I wasn't looking for a substitute for WFB but an alternative, the original LotR game is the fix (plus I love all the games based on it as is, High Seas, and Old West)

BBB is brought to us locally by the Adeptus Windy City, Lord of the Rings club, these guys have been working for years to get the game competitive in an enviroment dominated by 40K. There is a small dedicated fanbase here, that could use more local involvement. These guys run great events and have a real passion for the game so given my own interest in it, I wanted to take part. For BBB you'll bring two armies, one good, one evil, both 350 points. I have a ton of Mordor (Cirith Ungol) so that was the easy part (thou figuring a 350 pt list maximizing what I had painted wasn't) for my Good army I settled on Grey Company. I am not really an elf guy (except as heroes) and I wanted try a ranged I thought they'd be a good fit for the hero I wanted to run..Gandalf the Grey.

My GC list is small..Gandalf plus 16 models and I sure it will be challenging to run..I am alot more experienced with my Mordor list coming in at 32 models at 350 points its a mini horde should do alright..4 games total, 2 with each army..The event is coming up on August 22nd. so right around the corner. I have 15 GC models to paint and 14 grunt Orcs and finish 5 warg riders that are about 50% done. I have a week off coming up and if all goes well..I am going to do two mini display boards that will both fit inside my large base I carry everything around in at tourneys. This is all coming right up so should see progress reports soon.

I really need to lose these tiny particles you can see in the close ups, its really holding me
back from being a better painter...but I cant figure away round it without a "clean room" to paint in (not gonna happen) plus I can't even see the stuff until its photographed.

Looking good from 6" away I guess that's all that really matters right?

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Lustria's Finest.

Even thou I've got VC, Dwarfs and Goblins sitting around in Boxes, I went ahead got some Lizardmen..mainly to do a Blood Bowl team..but as I built my BB Lizards I found I really like the models and the bits and I will be doing the full army. They fit my play style well and are different enough from Empire that I can enjoy it I am going to wrap my Empire Army up for the time being adding a few final pieces for the upcoming Core Competency Tournament here in November and then Adepticon 2010. While I've got Daemon's built and most of them painted 3 colors, they are far from done and I'll be working on them at my leisure..honestly I don't have alot of fun playing them..I try to make them as interesting as possible for my opponent I love the FW GUO model I have I am going to go put an 100 x 100 base and display it If I ever use him in a game it'll be for fun so I'll just deal with the additional frontage.

It will take me quite a while to get Lizards built and painted up. So Daemons may make occasional appearances..I just need to find a combination of units I can enjoy playing and not feel abusive. My VC are on the back burner for now and will rear their head one day..but I seriously need to unload the goblin and dwarf stuff I have.

Anyway here are shots of my converted Lizards for Blood Bowl.. My Saurus are new Temple Guard models with some Saurus Warrior bitz, the Kroxigor has had the weapon removed..of which the clubs head is attached to the tail and I add some arm spikes. There are 6 Skinks on the bench still, as I am still messing around with Greenstuff helmets..we will see how they come out.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Chicago Games Day 2009

I went out to Games Day earlier today at the Stephens Convention Center, I couldn't make it last year and it was in a larger ballroom than 2006...which was totally unnecessary, basically an airplane hanger. The room is way to big for the event and makes the event look sparsely crowded (Exception the Forge World store which had a 100 person line when I got there at about 10:20am, more on that in sec) All the usual stuff was there, Speed Painting, Conversions, the Big Game(one for 40K, one for WFB) the Golden Daemons, Golden Daemon painters lounge , Armies on Parade, there was a history of the Space Marines exhibit, a bunch of club run game tables and then plenty of really nice tables for open gaming. That's all she wrote.

I have pretty mixed feelings about Games Day, It was sorely hurt by the lack of tournaments...they make the event much more of what most people expect...given the current cutbacks and some of the issues with past GD tourneys I dont blame them for being on hold or hiatus for the time being, however the tourney's did bring alot of Vet's out and without them if you aren't there for Golden Daemons or to buy Forge just don't have a hell of alot to do, welcome to my world.

Most of my pals wont touch Games Day with a 10 foot pole, they've been there- done that and GD is clearly aimed at kids and 40K kids in particular. I go because I know some folks that work for GW, I get to see people from out of town or just people I dont see that often but I know they will be there. I always want to see the Golden Daemons, and this year I wanted to see the Armies on Parade, which I seriously thought about but didnt feel like lugging my stuff out there all day not to mention the required display area for you army was just way to small...I could never fit my massive Empire Army on an 18 X 18 board and have it look good as it be too jammed together. Anyway despite hearing that all the slots for Armies on Parade were full, I got there and there were 4 armies on Display. Ok I am early I thought...I check back an hour later there were the time I left there were maybe a dozen a far cry from the 40 slots they had out...Armies on Parade was a 75% NO SHOW...I don't know what the hell was up with that.

The Golden Daemons were/are the high point of Games Day, great stuff all around I went thru once and got some pics of the 1st things that caught my eye, and planned on the second trip but the line got too long. so I never got back. The GD painters table had lots of notables chatting and giving tips to folks..I spent some time checking out one the guys using a wet pallette and moved on.

The whole Forge World/ GW store thing is/was kind of a debacle..I thought the GW store was pretty good in 2006, tons of rare stuff, tons of blisters..and last year they were unloading all those brown army boxes at crazy discounts...nothing like that this year. Tons of boxes at full price, barely any blisters, nothing special tiny selection of Specialist stuff. They did have most of the Blood Bowl army boxes and the only swag I got was a free CD with the current rules for all the Specialist Games on it. (pretty cool, but no swag at the door? nothing come on, there even out of laminate hangers for your ticket when I got there at 10:20am?).

Forge World is always a trainwreck...100's of people crawling over there own mothers to buy stuff in order to avoid overseas shipping and FW's notorious shipping F-ups. Well they did it again and apparently barely any of the new releases made it Chicago in time. I was told there was a shipping error and the new product didn't arrive in time So even if I wanted that new swanky Khorne Daemon Prince and Herald..nope not there, Blight Drones, Death Korp Mounted Commissar...they had like a 1/2 Dozen...they were out of tons of popular items. How these guys stay in business despite themselves is more impressive than their products.

The biggest drag is the food have an Airplane hangar with 2500 people in it and you have one Concession stand? of course the line was stupid long..there was another food court area setup but there were two other conventions going on so that was stupid crowded too..I wanted to grab a cup of coffee and some water and couldn't do so without waiting in line for a half and hour. Not cool, I am just too old for that garbage, that contributed to me leaving early.

They seriously need to move Games Day to a hotel like the one Adepticon was at last year that would improve things considerably..Lots of services and food choices and there wouldn't be anything else going on..being mixed in with two different "self empowerment" conventions
definitely didn't help the "Games Day Vibe"

Overall, nothing special this year..." The Mystery Box" everyone's talking about is the new Space Hulk game..there was a product presentation at 1pm..I was going to go to..but after thinking about the crap presentation I saw at Adepticon..I decided I didn't need to hear about what I am going to see in the August White Dwarf and decide to go find some lunch somewhere. Unfortunately that meant getting in the truck and leaving the parking garage...I drove down to the nearest McDonalds and the line of conventioneers was around the block, for Mcdonalds? I just kept on driving.

Jon Cash, Dogs of War/Empire Army.. See my Adepticon 09 posts for more photos. Jonny should have won hands this hands down but I left long before I found out. The protection glass is a neccessary evil..made it very hard to take photos here and of the Golden Daemons..but you got to have it.

Horde of Stompas and Tanks from the 40K big game

Here are some Golden Daemon photos..I tried to grab all the 1st cut Fantasy Stuff I could but I was being rushed through the line and with the protection glass getting good photos was very difficult...I was lucky to get what I least half of what I shot didnt come out.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Vet Night

Chicago Battle Bunker 7/22

Cut out of work early today and headed out to the Chicago Battle Bunker for Veterans Night
pretty good turnout lots of games and tournament regulars in attendance. I got together with my pal Steve who can't make our Tuesday night meetings over on my side of the world so getting together at the Bunker is good place for us to get a game in every so often. Both Steve and I are tweaking our lists for the upcoming Core Competency Tournament in Nov. I'm still toying around with the Steam Tank and how to use it against the various armies. Daemons even with the Core Competency stipulations (must 900 points of Core troops) are still a pain in ass
anyway you slice it.

I'm not going into too much detail here just a brief recap. I owned the first three turns taking out Steves Flankers, The Stank ripped through his fiends, and I had some other minor kills. Once I started hitting his brick wall blocks supported by Heralds things went astray..I had some bad positioning keeping my Greatswords out of where I needed them, The Plague Bearers were the ultimate Tarpit for the Stank..they continually shook off 10+ wounds a turn only taking one or two. When my 12 Knights charged the Herald of Khorne all by his lonesome and I bounced right off..I knew I was in trouble. Granted my dice really went to shit late game (I shouldn't complain I haven't a real bad dice game in awhile and this game I was really hot early) but in the end I think the only Empire Combo that can even deal with Daemons and VC is the Stank. with maybe a Cannon with Infantry back up but with 2 or three priest..(I could of used the Lector here instead of a useless wizard)..not sure how make that all happen under Core Competency restrictions...I went 3 priests and BSB last year may have to do the same. Result- Daemons -Massacre, nice game Steve.

Steve's Bloodletters and Herald note the cool banner. My Swordsmen and two characters
couldn't handle these guys without the Herald in the unit..what the hell I had a static +7 Combat Res..Sigh

Steve Fiends- I know what a pain these guys are I've never faced more than 2, 3!..well the Stank grinded them to dust at the Bottom of turn 1

Despite my Flagellants being in a bad spot there things where looking pretty good for me here, the next turn all went to hell. (the spider bodies are Steves converted Seekers..WIP they are going to be very cool)

I got out to the Bunker at bit early and was hanging around when I remembered this.
with my new addiction for Blood Bowl , This is the custom built pitch for the Chaos Cup.
this table is awesome..I need to get into some Blood Bowl soon and when I do, You know I will building something similar.- Next up Games Day on Saturday.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Steam Tank- WIP II

Just a quick update on my Steam Tank..hard to believe it took me over a month to get this far from when I started on it. I've been busy, plus the Vacation, plus this thing is loaded with lots of little details. I've got tons of detailing still to do to bring out the copper and burned golds.The iconography is pretty much done, and of course I still need to figure out how to base it- I'm sure I'll be messing around with it for awhile. I am taking it to game at Bunker Vet Night tomorrow.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Blood Bowl- Huzzah!

I've recently purchased the new Blood Bowl PC game via download and I am horribly addicted.
I have seen Blood Bowl played lots in my gaming circles, it always looked cool but it was just another game to get in the way of finishing stuff for other games. Forget that- Blood Bowl is awesome and I must play it. Thoroughly enjoying my romp thru the Classic Mode Campaign, that I hope will teach me the basics of the TT version (that's what they claim)...I am playing Lizards (as "Team Stegadon") and am of course planning out how I am going to convert up a bunch of TT models out of the current WFB line. Definitely on my "to do" list for 2009. If you like good turn based PC games this one is for you (there is also a RT mode I will eventually try) . Since you only need 15 models or so I am defintiely going to try out the TT version soon!- Blood Bowl for the win!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Blastscape Firestorm inbound

And not in a good way. It seems GW's last of year of "reorganization" is biting them in the arse full throttle. The new Blastscape terrain pieces are showing up to pre-orderers and the people are none too happy. The previews look great and I love my moon craters from a few years back. Apparently the Blastscape stuff was produced in a similar fashion but by a different manufacturer. The quality is flat out horrible, in fact from the photo's I am seeing- its a joke. Where is the quality control GW?, someone should be losing their job over this one..letting bad product like this go to market is a brand killer. Time for me to wait until I see that new ChaosTemple piece before I order it. IF GW is known for anything its the highest quality in plastics, letting that one slip away is a big no-no. Potentially killing pre orders for all kinds of product. I have to predict they're going to be recalling these as the quality is so poor compared to stock photos, its just not cool. I thought only Hasbro pulled this kind of BS. I first got wind of this earlier today buts its been going for few days and is getting picked by several blogs and now TGN.

Read the original thread here at Dakka Dakka, while the peanut gallery over at Dakka is definitely known for its hyperbole, this ones dead on.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Club Night 7/14

We have 1st meeting in July last night..despite spotty attendance from some of the regulars we are getting a consistent 4 or 5 games happening every meeting last night Bill and I played our 1st VC vs Empire match up in a long time. First time trying out the Steam Tank vs Bill and he brought out the Lv 4 on the Zombie Dragon for the only the second time playing me. Always
a good the unorthdox list we both played. ( I had no other artillery other than the Steam Tank, while Bill played with No BSB, and no mega block of vampire laden troops) work both for an against us. The Steam Tank works very well against VC..and although Blood Knights can on average pop it open like a can of tuna on the charge..Bill didn't want to commit them with letting them wreak their own havoc 1st..The ate up my Greatswords but got held up long enough to get into trouble. The Stank Cannon took down the Dragon.( being able to fire the cannon at other targets while in close combat is crazy powerful ability) The spell "Curse of years" is a personal bane to me..I can never , ever seem to shake it until it get down to 3+/4+ mass extinction level..after numerous dispel attemps (I threw 4 dice at it and came up with 3 "1"'s..I finally shook after it killed my BSB. In the end a last chance attempt by Bill to regroup with Dragonless Vampire General joining the graveguard was thwarted by the Rod of Command While put serious hurt on my almost wiped out swordsmen and General..I wasnt going anywhere allowing Luthor Huss and 9 Inner Circle Knight plus another full detachment to slam into both flanks at the bottom of turn 6. The Vampires were crumbled to dust in a rare Empire Massacre. As always I have some of the best games with Bill.

In other games Nate brought out his Lizards and took on Chris's crazy converted Wood Elves
the Lizards pulled out a Solid Victory there. Then Rich's Beastmen took on Chris's Wood Elves
in a serious all skirmishers which the Beasts pulled out the Victory,

Finally Nate and I played a 600 Lord of the Rings games, Mordor Vs Rohan or more specifically Shagrat and the Tower Guard of Cirith Ungol VS Eomer and the Riders of Rohan Scenario was"High Ground" where we battled over a ruin on top of the huge hill set up I have with my Realm of Battle table. Outnumbered 2 to 1 Nate had his work cut out for him, although with 9 might, and being able to regenerate might he had a good chance..Eowyn and Eomer got a bit too ambitious and tried to take out too much too soon and got mobbed and went down early..while the Rohan captains took down my troll, I still had over half my troops remaining swarming all of the captured hilltop, while Nate was failing courage checks and down to 3 models..Rohan conceded and Mordor won the day...Great Game.

I did take a few photos..I will pop up later.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

What's it take to get you to Paint?

Admittedly, I am a paint snob. I rarely put unpainted models on the table unless it's a new army or a new gaming system I am trying to learn and I expect the same from my gaming pals. I don't play pick up games against people with unpainted models and I don't support or attend tournaments or events without a painting requirement. For me, the fun is playing the game, not winning the in order to have fun playing I want as much eye candy as possible..when your beautiful 3000 pt army gets wiped off the table by another another beautiful 3000 point army, I barely remember the loss- just the glory of the game..when your painted army loses to some unpainted pile of featureless metal and plastic it makes me want to leave my army in a case for the next month.

I'm fortunate that the people I game with are like-minded in that everyone despite work, families, jobs, school and whatever excuse find time to paint their models, slowly but surely..I like watching how peoples armies develop over time, I've run things like our last painting challenge with the single hope of motivating people to paint. Appreciating the finer points of the hobby, i.e- the craft, will inevitable bring you far more satisfaction that every winning any tournament..think of it this way- While winning a GT or your favorite local tournament might be nice, it's soon forgotten after the next year's winner trump's your accomplishment. On the other hand, winning a Golden Daemon stays with you forever as others may join the elite but you're always a member. Figuring out what build trumps the current meta game for the season and having the luck of your dice back you up just doesn't impress me, winning best overall in a properly structured tourney, Battle/Sports/Paint/Comp does.

Games Workshop has recently seemed to lose the enthusiasm that always seemed core to the mission statement. In that "The Hobby" stands above all else in purpose. Recently, standards have dropped for GW sponsored events and demand to sell more product has pushed the creation of game systems designed to sell obscene amounts of models that an employed person could never hope to paint to a good standard in a lifetime. Other companies such a Privateer Press don't push the hobby as part of the core game platform..the result is no one paints their models as the norm..which I can tell you absolutely kills potential sales and interest in their games, either go pre-painted, or promote the hobby portion of the game..leaving it to a bare metal standard despite some wonderful sculpts just doesn't cut it.

My point in bemoaning the demise in the interest in painting is that its sad because its easy to get started and it is such a fundamental aspect of the hobby. Anybody, I mean anybody as long as you have two hands can paint to a three color standard. I've read all the excuses and they just don't hold water, if you have time to play games, you have time to paint. The only excuse that's holds any merit is " I suck at painting, or I can't paint" well everyone starts out that way, so I wanted to talk about a few things that can help you get motivated as well as teach you how to paint.. The focus here is on books as if you're reading this you are already versed on the value of Hobby Blogs.

Foundry Miniatures- Painting and modeling guide.
Hardcover 200 pages, around $30 USD.

I recently purchased the above and have to say it was great buy, I am always on the hunt for painting tips, new ideas..and particularly manufactures own opinions on painting their own models. This book covers it all. from beginner to expert..tons of color photographs, and real tutorials. I find this to be the best of the lot here, especially for the intermediate or the the beginner, but I say that with my current keen interest in Foundry's gigantic line of models out on the table. (I really like all the tips for converting metal miniatures here as well besides the paint.)

Games Workshop-How to paint Citadel Minatures-
Soft Cover 96, $25 USD

The first "how to" Book I bought back in 2003, when I started getting back into the hobby again, light in content..GW books often get crap for being more focused as product advertising more than tutorial..this book is pretty solid and goes over all the basics..they've released alot of awesome models since then..time for an update. find it used somewhere..definitely useful for beginners. Again there isn't much in here your subscription to White Dwarf didn't cover over the years..but you have that you probably already have or don't need this book.
(edit- apparently this book has been updated as its a different cover than my copy, not sure if the content's been updated)

Cool Mini or Not- the Ultimate Miniature Painting guide
download 400 pages, $10 USD

a compilation of articles posted on the CMON website. A great bundled resource but since you can all the content for free by cruising the database its not mandatory, but buy it for easy point of reference. The bar at CMON is extremely high, and many of these articles are very advanced and while they look easy on paper, application requires practiced techniques..but at 400 pages there is plenty for all. definitely worth checking out.

If you can find time to check out these books and still not find motivation to paint..give it up already, case closed- I sending the Great Unclean One to your house to eat you.


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