Ive been pretty remiss in posting "work in progress" shots and since most of my hobby time these days involves things like this, I should probably step it up or be in fear that people think I dont actually do these myself. Here my skirmish board, called "Shipwreck" its a 3 x 3 Skirmish board that if comes according to plan will be the center piece of my Adepticon Legend of the High Seas event next year and will surely see use for a variety of games as fits.
The idea of the board is a rocky beach at low tide, where a wreck has been pushed to shore and broken on the rocks. The surface of this board will be 80% or so water or in this case clear resin. Thin layer of resin will tinted and poured over a painted sandy bottom. There's also a nice section of beach rolling up to a cliff that ends with crumbling lighthouse with water cresting up on the rocks below.
The cliff here is a combination of Foam, plaster rock from molds from Woodland Scenics and of course the lighthouse is from Hirst. Although I already built the majority of the ruin its getting scrapped in favor of a round one. I ordered the 4" round tower mold because I looked at it, it just seemed more and more appropriate. So expect a round crumbling tower in the end instead of square one. The Coral rocks are aquarium pieces that where on closeout from the local Pet Smart and I eyed them while there getting some Cat food and snag them both for $6 each.
I put some figures out here for the sense of scale..as you can see while not a full 4 x 4 the board is quite large with plenty of room for 40-50 model skirmish if need be. The predominate feature here is of course the two piece Shipwreck from Ziterdes in Germany. I have been eyeing this for awhile but buying from the EU was cost prohibitive. Luckily I found someone here in the US on ebay selling alot of Ziterdes stuff at a significant discount...with the product already being here the shipping cost was nominal, So I essentially got both parts for the price of the large section shipped from the EU. Good Deal..that's what made this board happen.
Envirotex Lite is the clear resin of choice..several notable modelers I know used this for their displays at Adepticon this year..and after my last disaster with pourable water, I needed a product that dried rock hard and would not get damaged from play. This seems to fit the bill perfectly but since everything on this board is going to be permanently fixed and painted BEFORE I pour the resin numerous test pouring must be done to ensure it doesnt get screwed up because if not the whole board would be ruined after all the work was essentially done, which would be disastrous. If you notice the water is only going to be 1/8 to 1/4" deep the trim pieces when fixed and chalked on the inside seam will be what holds the resin in place as it dries.
Expect to this get painted this month as the board and its accompanying scenario will be making and appearance in our Legends of the High Seas Campaign that is ongoing with its next meet coming up June 24th , its extremely doubtful that water will be done by then as I going to do as many mock up pours on smaller pieces as I need to make sure its right...so until then expect a few followup updates and even some games played on it before the final reveal of the finished product.
Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Thursday, May 26, 2011
I went to see On Stranger Tides yesterday with my wife and kids and outside the movie being a big "meh" other than the kick ass version of Queen Annes Revenge they've made for this film. The film only illustrated what a great night of Pirates we had Tuesday evening at the second meeting of our Legends of the High Seas Campaign. We are 6 games into the Campaign and many of us have crews around 20 models. While many great games were played, I wanted to talk about my second game of the evening that was about as good as any skirmish game can get.
The game was against Aaron and it was our first meet of the campaign...Aaron's crew of his ship "The Red Devil" or (Diables Rouge as his men are French) is 4-0 at this point, and my Royal Navy Crew of the HMS Delivery, are 2-2 at this point. The Mission was Jungle Run which is a campaign and slightly harder version of the scenario I came up with for my Adepticon event.
A brief synopsis: both crews start on the beach and have to fight there way thru the jungle and each other to grab the Idol sitting on top of the Pyramid, in the back 1/3 of table and bring it back to the boat. the caveat is not only is idol trapped(D6 chart, reaction varies) but once you grab it 10 Natives come on to board (Scatter die board edge, D6 per turn) to take it back killing anyone in their way. The idol is worth 200 doubloons in campaign funds and its 5D6 income roll if you win this scenario, so for my crew this is huge as I am currently bankrupt and could not afford to replace my full crew after round 4's loss. Aaron has plenty of loot..so are motivations to win this surely dictated how we played.
My crew was 14, including 4 veteran marines, My Captain and Lieutenant, Our Indian scout w/ Musket, (Hired Hand, Island Native) and 7 sailors with various weapons. Aaron's crew was 12, including his deadly Quartermaster and the Missionary- Hired Hand.
Aaron got the first turn and wisely ran all his crew into the Jungle as I had lined up on the beach to shoot him down if he had not. It wasn't long until we blasting away at each rarely killing anything with all the "in the way's" and "hit the deck" checks we were making. I had sent my Captain, Scout, and Sailors into the jungle while leaving my Lt and Marines on the beach so they could move to the center of the board and have a clear shooting view of the pyramid. I figured (correctly) that aaron would grab the idol first and I could shoot at him all the way to beach and at least try to get him in melee close to the boat and have him do all the heavy lifting of the idol, while taking it for myself at the last minute ( more a Pirates thinking, than a Navy Captains, but hey!).
We both pushed on toward the Pyramid, He indeed getting his Quartermaster up to the Idol first..setting off the spear trap, and his high defense saving him. A big melee broke out around the base of the Pyramid with the whole Pirate crew and my men. and thats when the Natives showed up. Aaron rolled "5" for Natives for the 1st turn, so 5 of them appeared at the rear of the Pyramid, Natives weapons were WYSIWYG so they had variety of stuff, 3 with shooting and they all missed the quartermaster. In the big melee, the killing is pretty even at this point. we are both only down 3 or 4 models. The second turn that natives arrived...I roll a "3" but they came on the edge of the beach, behind my marines who had been shooting into this mess where they could but not killing a thing. my Lt and Marines now have there attention turned toward 3 natives bearing down on them. The other 5 natives come over the Pyramid after the idol. Aaron pulls his Quartermaster off the idol and this guy is killing machine with 3 attacks moves him into melee. Aaron has his Missionary and another Pirate trying to get the idol toward the beach..but they are caught by the natives and remaining two come on from the closet table edge to where the Idol was not good. meanwhile my Captain and Scout and fighting Aarons Captain and a few other guys in a mutual high defense combat with heroes with multiple fortune points, so its
Aarons Quartermaster is taking out natives, like a human blender..but the rest of his crew isn't so lucky and are dying like flies. Natives kill off his men, recover the idol and start taking it back to the top of the pyramid. My marines and Lt have killed 2 of the natives..but the third wont die and is tying me up..so I surround him with 5 guys to make sure I kill him. Aaron is making rout checks at this point and I am one away, losing 6 of my sailors. I finally gain some ground and Aarons Captain finally succumbs to our attacks. The only model Aaron has on the table is his Quartermaster..who agian makes his courage check and engaged by Natives kills the last of them and recovers the idol. His quartermaster kills 6 natives single handedly. However ,freed of the Natives myself ( my Lt killing two himself) I had moved my Marines up to be in musket range.
On my shooting phase I open up with the muskets and put Aarons heroic quartermaster down as stood alone on the Pyramid steps with idol. his fortune long since burned on the non stop combat. So No Pirates, No Natives, the Navy stands alone on the table and wins the scenario and recovers the idol. A huge win for us, just when I needed it.
The only downside of this game was during the campaign phased Aaron rolled a "12" on the Hero injury chart for his awesome Quartermaster..so he was Dead, killed permanently from the campaign, a glorious death for sure..but sucks for Aaron, on top of that Aaron rolled a whole bunch of (1" and 2's..meaning out of action crew members died and just weren't wounded) so he literally lost at least half his crew and one Hero...I had 4 of my 6 guys out die as well.....so it was a true bloodbath with 10 deaths between the crews. but one of the best and most exciting game of the campaign.
For stats and updates on this Legends of the High Seas campaign see the Campaign Blog, and if you want more photos see my Legends of the High Seas Gallery.
Sunday, May 22, 2011
Felix stopped by Friday afterwork and we got in a couple 35 point games before we both went to eat dinner with our better halves. Currently while I am not griping about Games Workshop, I've either been prepping for our next Pirate Campaign Night (games 3-6, take place this Tuesday, stay tuned for my next post "Shipwrecked!") or playing Warmachine, With some creative trading, and some gift cards from the holidays, I am at about up to 40 models for my Cryx...enough for both my Skarre and Denegrah lists..and staying with the Pirate theme I'm thinkinbg my next caster is going to be Terminus. Getting way ahead of myself here, because I still need to learn how to play. I have alot better handle on Skarre now, and I think once I learn the rules and don't do stupid things that kill me ( like the one that lost me the 1st game this day) I think I can start winning a few.
Pirate Queen Skarre
Black Ogryn Boarding Party (Leader and 2 Grunts)
Blackbanes Ghost Raiders (Leader and 5 Grunts)
Revenant Crew (Leader and 5 Grunts)
Pistol Wraith x 2
Felix's Protecorate of Menoth List
Blessing of Vengeance
Choir of Menoth (Leader and 5 Grunts)
Exemplar Cinerators (Leader and 2 Grunts)
Idrian Skirmishers (Leader and 9 Grunts)
Idrian Skirmishers Chieftain & Guide (attachments)
The Covenant of Menoth
The Wrack (3 wracks)
We just did a standard skirmish and we used my Jungle Terrain on a 4x4 board. Game 1 was a straight forward affair..where Felix brought his Skirmishers with the Pathfinder ability all over the Pyramid. The Choir boosted their Defense considerably and used their "Prey" ability (they selected my Black Ogryn) to put pressure on me to act. I brought the Reaper up to try it out it missed and summarily got Wrecked next turn by a crap load of shooting. I fared better on the left where the Black Orgyn brought some pain to the Cinerators. On the Right Blackbanes Ghost Raiders and my Pistol Wraiths who planned on storming the right flank with their Incorporeal awesomeness but had to divert to take on the Idrians on the Pyramid. Just went it was going to get good..The screwed my charge lanes with my Slayer (due the Reaper Wreck) unnecessarily exposed Skarre, and found my Slayer totally not where I wanted it. Next turn Felix Charged Skarre with the Reckoner and pounded her to dust. Why I defensively use my feat after I screwed up I don't know..at least I would have been Armor 20. anyway lesson Learned.
These guys (Idrian Skirmishers) are a particularly tough unit
I was doing pretty well at this point, Severius feat had not happened yet and all those undead got popped.
Same set up, more of the same except this time Blackbanes Ghost Raiders were all over the Pyramid with Ogryns right behind..I use Dark Ritual and kill 8 of the 12 Idrians.I break my feat out early, Skarre kills the Reckoner (with whom I have casted "backlash" on) Single handed in one melee..putting 5 damage on Severius. Severius' feat is nasty, nasty for undead...POOF he lays waste to most of them during his Feat turn..it goes back and forth like this for another round..I've killed off his "book" (the Covenant) which is a real pain and Felix is down to Choir and Severius, The Blessing of Vengeance about crippled by my Slayer, I dont have much either other than my Slayer (engaged) a Deathripper, and a couple Pirates trying to screen for me. I try to get Skarre and my Deathripper into Melee with Severius but the jack wrecks, and choir in the way make my charge short and Skarre's path was blocked too..If I could have gotten to him on my turn, I think I would have been alright..but on the Following turn Severius unleashed a torrent of Spells on Skarre and some big dice killed her.
I'm getting a handle on things, still haven't won a game yet, but its getting close, learning the rules and figuring out my units is taking some time..and I haven't even started figuring in power attacks yet. There is alot to learn with this game...I forgot how long it took to figure out how to play Warhammer.
A couple of WIP's of my Blackbanes Ghost Raiders..these guys were pretty awesome until Severius wiped them all out...painted stuff should start seeing the light next couple weeks.
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
(I googled "facepalm" and found many amusing images, but this one says it all)
Games Workshop made news again in the last few days, and once again it's not good if you're a loyal customer. GW's new terms and conditions for independent retailers were released and essentially put an end to all bypassing of your home countries standard taxes and tariffs for standard retail purchases by purchasing over the internet. Essentially you poor bastards in Canada, Australia New Zealand, Brazil and a whole host of other places can no longer buy GW products from your favorite internet retailers like the War Store here in the US or Maelstrom games in UK whom normally can sell and ship to you 20% cheaper (or more!) than you can buy it in your local store (if they can even get it). Now you are forced to pay whatever prices that result from not only import duties and bad currency conversions but in some cases whatever juice your regional wholesaler has room to tack on before it hits your retailer and gets passed on to you, in some cases your talking about your standard GW blisters costing 2x as much as I can walk into my local GW shop and buy it for.
This is seriously kick in the pants for hobbyists and collectors who are just trying to get by making a living. I have to seriously wonder if GW thinks their hobby is only for the rich or well off? Yes, we know kids with cash friendly parents and middle aged guys with expendable income are the target market but do they need to make it so annoyingly obvious? Such blatant price gouging on a trade level is really low, and stinks of the worst excesses capitalism allows. Now of course GW and its defenders will claim they are just trying to protect local retailers, but GW's standard bi-annual price increases (of which there is another one coming up end of the month) make that claim extremely hypocritical. All they're doing is shrinking and shrinking the customer base and shooting that independent retailer your trying to protect in foot because eventually people just stop...not being able to buy GW models isnt the same as not being able to put food on the table there inst much choice there. I just happened to find a receipt for my Empire Army book bought in 2007 and it was $20..the same army book will now cost $33 or something, have costs really gone up all the much with the mass gutting of the company that went on 2009? after awhile you just have to laugh.
Adding insult to injury GW also announced its Finecast Range of miniatures. For those that dont know, there's been talk for the last couple of months of GW phasing out metals in favor of a new resin / polymer that was cheaper, held detail better and wasnt as brittle as standard resin. My first reaction to this was, " I'll believe it when I see it" I've never seen a resin model look as good as metal one and I've seen plenty of rapid proto-typed resin polymers that dont look as good either. However since these could be cast in existing molds maybe there's promise- we'll have to see, but if they think the can get away with the crap Forge World does..I think they are nuts.
The sick thing about this is the basis in this change lies in the shortage of (or just price increase) of Tin , the fundamental metal in Pewter, which comes mainly these days from China..with Tin at an all time high as a commodity surely cutting into GW's bottom line, this seems like a great idea, however they're deftly rolling out the "Finecast" range as "special" miniatures and slap as much as a 25% increase on the Finecast models that are just the same damn sculpts in a new cheaper material. PT Barnum said "there is a sucker born every minute" and he wasnt kidding. On alot of blogs we all read, I am seeing guys salivating over this like its some awesome great thing. Its the same damn models and molds guys but in a cheaper material and your paying alot more for it!....nice hoodwink GW has going here. Now caveats must apply here...if somehow these models are stunningly better than there metal counterparts, I'll eat some crow here, and probably even buy a few..but I've had resin models break falling over on the desk let alone dropping one on the floor, getting past the brittle thing and new frequency of miscasts are just a couple of hurdles I see, granted I've become partial to metals...I just like some weight to my solo models, obviously I've got nothing against plastic ("plastic legions", and all)..I'm not opposed to new materials as long as quality is there, but the whole "metal is too expensive we're going to use a cheaper material AND charge you more!", is just flat out bad for business. The runaway train that is Games Workshop continues on down the line......
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
Don't look at my bare metal, check out Steve's Cygnar. I ran out of paint so wont be able to get my guys primed and based until tomorrow
Steve dropped by early Tuesday, it been forever since he'd be over here even thou we see each around at all the events. He picked up Warmachine in back in November when the WFB 8th edition malaise started sinking in. He's still involved in WFB tourney organization and support but has been playing alot more Warmachine than WFB the last 6 months and it shows. He Cygnar force is well on it way to be painted and he has plenty of stuff to run competitive 35-50 lists with alternate casters.
He had originally planned to come by for a couple of games before my 8pm WFB dice drop, but our 4th player WFB (Joe) this night had to do an early afternoon airport run to Ohare and you know how those go..Joe calls me at 7:30 saying he's still at the airport and wont be by until at least 9:30. with a midnight call around here we decided to reschedule Since Aaron and Chris were standing around..they decided to play each other and Steve and kept on playing Warmachine..5 games total, 4-35 point games and 1 -25 point game.
Steve Ran a couple games with Coleman Stryker and then the rest with Captain Haley
he mixed it up during the many games but his Warjacks were:
Units in play over the course of the session:
Stormblades w/ Infantry Storm Gunner
Arcane Tempest Gun Mages
Black 13th Gun Mage Strike Team
Gorman Di Wulfe, Rogue Alchemist
I again was playing Cryx again with my small amount of models.
I ran Pirate Queen Skarre this time for all the games with the same list
except chopped down for the one 25 point game.
Skarre's Battlegroup was
Deathripper x 3
Revenant Crew (6)
Pistol Wraith x 2
Ogrun Bokur (client was Skarre)
I had a couple games were I got just one turn in and Steve showed me how easy you can get assassinated if you arent very careful. First time was Coleman Strykers
"Drop and Pop" the second time was Haley with some shooting that caught me unprepared.
The rest of games were pretty good, and went quite awhile, One of the 35 point Stryker games..I managed to surround Ol'Rowdy with backlash cast on him with Skarre and the Pirate Crew with Rengrave moving in on Stryker. I had popped my Feat a turn early when my Slayer and Skarre went in, the next turn I had the pirate crew in (and I stupidly forgot their gang rules) And I just a bad dice streak and couldnt convert..low damage rolls on rowdy and Rengrave missing saved Stryker only taking 6 or so damage and that was as close as I got. I beat up Rowdy good, but next turn the Slayer died and Skarre got exposed to the Defender cannon and got blown to hell.
Learned alot about the game and what works with Skarre and what doesnt..Bokur was a total waste I bought because he look cool and can take down a Jack in the right situation but he's too slow and Skarre feat doesnt work on him, he died everygame before I could ever get him in combat.( Im sure I wasnt taking advantage of him the best I could, since I dont know what I and doing but it seems I am WAY better off with the Black Ogrun Boarding Party if I want some biguns, comparison also for Deathtoll, Rengrave thing plus Skarre Sacrifice thing I need some more units and the Skarlock- so thats where I am headed next...plus maybe another heavy jack because the bonejacks are more Denegrahs style..I didnt really need all those arc nodes for Skarre and the bonejack just couldnt take all the Cygnar shooting.
I'll probably pick up some more stuff in the coming weeks and work on painting the battlebox and move on from there...Before that thou I have some LotR gaming coming up on the 21st and the next Legends of the High Seas Campaign night is the 24th..I need to start squeaking in some WFB real soon. I have much different Empire List than I have been running and need to practice it a bunch in the 6 weeks..the Tournament is in early July, not that far away..and there's bunch of new models I need to paint (10 greatswords, new command models for my Knights)
As for Warmachine, I like quite a bit so far...you cant really "half ass it" if you want to win, you need to know your stuff, fluky dice rolls wont win you the game alone you really need to work your brain, and that's pretty refreshing. I had alot of fun yesterday, so thanks to Steve on that!
Blurry picture, but here was my one shot at Ol'Rowdy with Backlash putting the hurt on Styker, my Slayer put 15 damage on the big guy right before this and I couldn't convert, it's going to happen.
Saturday, May 7, 2011
First couple games of Warmachine took place last night, Felix my long time gaming compadre and Privateer Press Ganger , which is an official volunteer organizer akin to the old GW outrider program, came over after work to show me the ropes. We played 25 point games which I think is a decent starting level. If you dont have a concept over how these things work I'd recommend 15 points as this game is pretty complicated for the novice as far as skirmish games go, even someone as immersed in miniatures games as myself, had my head swimming in rules 20 mins or so into the first game, my knowledge of the quickstart rules not withstanding.
My force of choice is The Cryx, an Undead nation run by Lichlords melding their dark magic with the stolen technology of the living advanced Human nations my force was the Cryx battlebox plus two solo units.
Deathripper x 2
Pistol Wraith x 2
Game 1 action- "I ghostwalked that Ripper in back through the building
so I could move into contact with that totally annoying choir"
My 25pt force as is...basecoated and ready for paint...which I hope to do in the next few weeks if I can get everything ready for the next campaign night.
Felix ran the Protectorate of Menoth, a faction of Religious Fanatics that are trying to convert the masses.
High Executioner Servath Reznik
Choir of Menoth (Leader and 3 Grunts)
Exemplar Bastions (Leader and 2 Grunts)
Exemplar Errants (Leader and 9 Grunts)
The Wrack (3 wracks)
The first thing I noticed is at 25 points I was outnumbered 3 to 1, not good odds but strangely enough it was not that huge a problem, but I need to consider running some units at 25 pts for sure.
Both games kind of played out the same way but with opposite results
I'll spare you most of my noob details as I stumbled along, but my initial observations:
Both Denegrah and the Pistol Wraiths are very good, my Defiler with its acid cannon
not so much..but I see how it can be useful it could be in the right circumstance,
The Slayer can dish out the pain but not take it.. Deathrippers are pretty good for taking down light Warjacks, but I need the arcnodes for spells...I thinking using the 4 of these i have in bigger games will come in handy.
The Menoth stuff was filled nasty tricks, spell denials, flaming attacks..a lot of stat boosting, I'd be lying If I said I can adequately recall all the stuff felix was throwing at me
As I mentioned both games were similar...the real threats were the heavy Menoth Jack and the warcaster who had killer close combat moves. The three bastions also seemed difficult and hard hitting but I didnt have two much trouble nerfing them and put alot of wounds on them in the 2nd game ..although they took out my Slayer no problem in game 2.
In Game 1, down to just his Warcaster and Heavy jack and maybe 1 other unit...Felix charged his Caster at my Warwitch and handed out just enough damage in one strike (16 pts) to slay her dead. game over.
Game 2, Felix pushed to me hard...with his Errants gone early, my Deathrippers locking down his light jack, his bastions with barely a wound each left of him..he brought his caster up and finished off my defiler, leaving me with only 1 pistol wraith, Denegrah, and 1 Deathripper that wasnt going anywhere, I left all my 7 Focus on Denegrah... moved up right next to the remaining bastions whom with her reach I could get past them to get his caster..unleashing her feat "the withering" I used all my focus to buy extra attacks and boost the dice on each, and got enough damage in my debuffs to hack him down and victory...now having said that, If I had failed, I was getting slaughtered on Felixs next turn ..but I pulled it off.
Anyway that was that, I have some more games set up Tuesday against my pal Steve, before we get into some WFB tuesday...I'll let you know how it goes.
The defiler here is my one finished test model..nothing fancy here, just as close to box shot as I can get it...it will take me sometime to get up to speed painting these warjacks. thinking about doing this battlebox event Felix is hosting in June, I think I can this all painted up by then.