Monday, December 31, 2012

Thoughts on 2012, Part 2- Under Pressure

Preview of my 21 model 600 point Rohan Army, all mounted, Theoden, Eowyn, Legolas and Gimli. This is my Adepticon TT army if you're familar with "The Two Towers", and knowing the Team Tournaments are One player "good", One player "evil" it shouldn't be a stretch to guess what we are doing.
So I looked at 2012 versus my previous years in the hobby and wanted to ascertain why my output as so piss poor this year versus say the last 4 , and it's pretty obvious. No pressure, while no pressure is good thing most of the time, as a serial over committer I find the lack of direction leads to general malise, it why despite our two Hail Caesar campaigns, I haven't been able to paint more than 25 or so figures in my Ancients Saxon army, and with Spartans I have basing issues I haven't taken the time to sort out so those project languish. With Lord of the Rings, I am putting money on the line for events, And events that I have previously set high standards for myself. having to meet that challenge  gives me the kick in the ass I need to get things done.

This is just common sense but I feel the need to say it here and it's basis for what I have been doing this month which getting a ton of models in ship shape for painting the first half of next year.

 I currently assembled based and primed 3 lord of the Rings Armies, (Rohan, Eregion, and the Army of Dead) more of my Spartans, additional Saxons, my Bolt Action Red Devils AND some more generic Fantasy figs I like. I have a ton of stuff ready to paint. Starting tomorrow I am getting back to my 2008-2009 mantra of "painting something everyday" which even if it was one simple thing, lead to getting "alot" done.  Outside of three events at Adepticon this year, in which I am playing three different armies (two of which are already done) I needed another motivator to put me under pressure to help me getting some of these other languishing projects done. when It dawned on me, The Lead Painters League on the Lead Adventure forum.if you were following the blog early last year, you'll recall that most of my posts the first 6 months of the year were a recount of my efforts in what is without a doubt, the coolest, and most challenging of painting contests. I was very pleased with end performance, however I had a great back log of stuff to draw from that only needed photos' touch up or a few figs painted so the weekly deadlines were quite doable.

At Bilbos Birthday Bash this year, a couple people asked me about the LAF LPL and if I was doing it again, and I said doubtful as, I didnt think I could make the weekly commitments from scratch. Thinking about it last month I changed my mind and started with the streamroller of prepping figures for the paint bench, with the need to paint my 40 figure Rohan Army, my Saxons,Spartans Red Devils, and all kinds of else, while the LPL is only 5-10 figures a week I am going to go for it as I have something to immediately do with the results AND its a killer motivator for those no pressure figs... its all working out quite nicely on paper, we will see how it goes. By the end of the LPL I should have painted close to 100 figures plus my Rohan army..That'll clear my monstrous paint bench for sure.

So thats where I am at, planning on painting a ton of stuff, Adepticon, Lead Painters League, etc. outside Hail Caesar, I dont see myself playing anything other than Skirmish type games this  year, The new LotR rules have made smaller model count armies viable which is just great in my opinion and it helps getting all kinds of stuff done and brings new players in easier. I look forward to giving Bolt Action a go, as I have enough guys for 500 points, the models countsat 1000 are higher than I would like..but I'll probably do it as I have more than half of it already, and just need some vehicles, I also recent played some Blood Bowl for the first time in years, again I have had a team (lizards) based up a primed years ago they just need painted. I fancy myself a painter first and  a gamer second, obviously I have been slacking. 2013, time to get back to painting.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Thoughts on 2012 Part 1- The Usual Suspects

I already have 4 so its not out of the question.
So over the years we've gone thru resolutions,predictions and whatever other foresight/hindsight machinations we like to do upon that time of year that the earth marks another trip around the sun. This time around I just want to make few comments on "what kind" of year it was, for myself, the blog and my hobbying in general.

The year of slacking- when it came to blog and hobbying for sure, in my personal life, work and raising two little girls had my back against the wall. I've moved from running my own operation for 13 years to essentially being a "freelance contractor"..if any of you use that word to describe yourself, you know what that means- you are not making blog post and talking about your hobby from your  office, that luxury is gone for me. as a result and my general lack of free time certainly kicked the blog in the shorts (I'll wrap the year with less than 50 posts), The hobby to an extent as well, I did work on a lot of stuff this year, much you havent seen. 
             I am an OCD multitasker, meaning I am complusively always doing several things at once when I am hobbying (or working) and as a result, I end up leaving alot of things undone. WIP projects I havent even began to talk about here include, a couple Hirst projects, another Pirate Ship and a couple of boxes of old school grenadier miniatures I was trying to paint as a wholeset before I unveiled. Notmention spending on lot of time working on my own skirmish game that after a 1/2 dozen playtests is back on the drawing board.  Needless to say this leaves the "accomplishment" meter low, and theblog suffers as a result in content.

The year of Lord of the Rings- While LotR is and has been a primary motivator for me in not just wargaming, but literature, other games and all types of media for me. 2012, with the release of the Hobbit films certainly brought that out front and center. Most of my completed work revolves around the LotR (now Hobbit) SBG,although I dont get to play it too much, I centainly love collecting and painting the models as its the only game I am playing in any kind of organized play setting outside of my home. I am happy that I do very much like (and I know many who do not) the last two rules adjustment presented by Games Workshop, the rules for the game are best out there, that I have found at this point for Skirmish gaming, The new added detail brought to the game was exactly the type of things I have been talking about being missing from the game 6 months ago when I worked on my own rules (although I went several steps further). I have just recently done a quick generic fantasy revision of the current Hobbit SBG rules, with some of the systems and campaign features from Legends of the High Seas and Mordheim. I am looking forward to trying it out in the next couple weeks and after I do I'll post here as its own page as this all based GW IP material my own additions are just classified as a"Fan Mod". 

Besides the new film, models and working on stuff for next year, I also got roped into playing Fantasy Flight Games, The Lord of the Rings: the Card Game. and I loved it. Its one of those "living card games" as the call them. I find the game one ofthe most difficult strategic challenges ever, I consider myself a hardcore strategy gamer for over25 years, and this game is tough!. especially in solitaire form, (it was alot easier in 2 player co-op) Anyway Professor Tolkien's legacy lives long in me, had has since I was first saw the Rankin-Bass Hobbit when I was 10 and it was all over.

The year of Games Workshop- Odd, you might say given my general distaste for the company. But GW is still ever present in my hobby, checking my purchases for the year, I was over $1000 in retail and second hand purchases on Lord of the Rings material from GW in 2012, The new books back in February, the new Book, starter set and models,and used Citadel items on ebay had all got my wallets attention. I did manage to purge myself of lot of Warhammer material that was just basically cash laying around my basement, but still havealot of stuff to go, for instance it took me 4 years to get rid of all my 40K material and I haven't played that since 2007!. In short as much as I complain about it, I am still buying it. I may be forced to the cliffs edge at some point as I have managed to avoid any finecast due to thecost and  it being an inferior product. Eventually I am going to be assimilated or just stop, we will see, I am contastly weighing my interest in the LotR game with my distaste for the company.

Next up, I want to talk about getting back on track with hobbying, making the most of my free time, and what I have in store for 2013, no Resolutions, just some plans I have to make sure I get to do the things I want.

Monday, December 10, 2012

More on Escape from Goblin Town.

Seems like my "review" of the new Hobbit Starter set has generated some interest. with almost 700 views in the last few days, people are interested. Mainly thanks to a link over The Miniatures Page
Based on this I gave the review a bit editing and some clarity based on comments. so feel free to give it another read if you're so inclined.
If you recall I didn't post any pics of Radagast whom I assembled this weekend. I didn't use the included base as I wanted consistently with my other models..but he is clearly the best model in the set. The single character sprue is a great idea by GW..I wish all models where this way instead of this finecast nonsense if they were moving away from metals. For whatever reason the plastic/ detail
seems a different quality than the other sprues..that could rightly be my imagination but for whatever reason it just looks better.
I also thought Gandalf's hat was too short compared to previous sculpts so I extended it with some green stuff to where I think its right compared to my other models. I put him on a wooden plank, "goblin town" style base and he is now definitely the second best model in the set.
go wizards!..I am going to paint these guys up with an older Saurman Model I have very soon.

I am also doing some research on dwarf models, the will scale in with this Gandalf model. we all know there is no shortage of Dwarf Models out there, however finding the proper ones for Thorins company is surprisingly tough..The Old Citadel Imperial Dwarf line is perfect with the exception that the models go for like $20 each and I think they are too large, reaper has a bunch of great dwarfs..but again I a fear they are too big...I'll have to check the Bob Olley sculpts (probably my favorite old school sculptor after the Perry's) as his reapers are sometimes smaller...anyway Any ideas I be obliged.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Unboxing the Hobbit- A Review

 As I previously mentioned I pulled the trigger on the $125.00 USD retail box for Games Workshops The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Box Set. While this is starter set all you really need is the new rule book to accompany the current army books if you are already an SBG player. If you are new to the game this is the replacement intro set to the original Mines of Moria. Here is my review, where you can judge whether its worth it. I'm grading the box on the following categories: Presentation, Contents, Models, Extras, and Rules all on a 1-10 scale. I'll multiply the individual 5 category scores x 2 to give you a generic 100 percentile score.
PRESENTATION:  The box and layout is superb, eye catching with fantastic paint, not much to say here GW knows how to market their stuff, the lengths to make the figures and art look exactly like the upcoming film are second to none. (Whether you think that's a good or bad thing depends on your taste)  SCORE 10
THE MODELS: The box comes with 57 models if you include the limited edition Radagast that comes with the LE, you pay I believe the non LE set which I dont see listed on the GW site is either $10-15 cheaper so keep that in mind if you looking at the LE that is the only difference.

Goblins-  For me they are high point of the set figure wise. Scalewise they are somewhat larger then their original plastic cousins shown here. I really like these for couple different purposes, One I want to do a moria army around my Cave Drake and these guys will be the rank and file, Two the scale is sufficent and they look sinister enough they can proxy all kinds  of other bad guys in X random game, getting 36 of these guys is a bonus...especially at $70 retail for 2 boxes. While I think the Goblin King is kind of dumb looking, he doesnt detract from the usefulness of these. I overall rate the goblins a 9 out of 10.
 Dwarves-  I am not of fan of the artistic license taken with Thorins company for the new film, You know damn well when Warner Brothers found out the main character were Dwarves , some studio exec demanded they be "Sexed Up" in order to be stars of the film, as a result we Fili and Kili looking like Soap Opera cast extras...Thorin looking like Tom Cruise playing Aragorn and the rest looking like Snow Whites sevens dwarfs for comic relief..with the exception of Dwalin who some how gets excluded and looks like a bad ass.  In short I dont like the dwarf models..Scalewise they are ok, see left dwarf (looks like a dwarf)vs "breaking Gimli" vs the guy on the right...Not a dwarf proportionally IMO. Dwarves get a 4 out of 10 for me. not only because of my personal distaste for the style  but I dont really see the models usable in overall SBG as these  Dwarves just dont fit in with the rest of Dwarf models in the current Citadel range. They are Thorin's Company from the movie period. Their overall utility is lax.

Bilbo:-  The Bilbo model is great , and having two different arm option, Walking Stick and Sting is great! However the scale during design was botched. see him versus Frodo and Pippin here- he's smaller scalewise than all my other Hobbits. I dont find this model usable outside the core game here, it does not fit in and it really looks like 20 mm model. Great model, but I cant game with it along side all my other Citadel Hobbits  because its wildly out of scale.  1 out of 10 for Biblo..this is most disappointing thing in the set for me.
The Wizards- Gandalf and Radagast (not pictured) came out great the scale is solid and the detail and sculpts excellent , Gandalfs hat is too small however compared to all other hats he wears in the range I think can use some green stuff and get it where it needs to be but I shouldnt have to. Consistency should be GW's bread and butter after 3 decades of miniature making, the fail at it far too often.

Wizards 8 out of 10.

Models: I rate the models in the box combined an average SCORE of 6 ( if this was not the LE it would be a 5!) 

EXTRAS:  Here we mean the Terrain, the extra figures for game on the Gobin King sprue and a few other extras I see on the sprues.  The Terrain is 2 identical sprues  The sprue shown is one half of the individual retail "Goblin Town Expansion" if you buy the $60 dollar retail box you get one of these sprues and another sprue that is basically all support pieces.  I have in the above pictures some casts from the Hirst Arts wooden plank mold to show you that they are very close to what you a paying alot of money for. I am going to be building a 2 x 2 (maybe bigger) Moria Board....and guess which will see the most use? the plastic at $30 dollars a sprue? or the plaster at $30 for the mold? The spues have some skull details like all GW stuff, but unlike WFB these skulls actually have a place here. Due to cost of the expansion and the unflexibility of the two sprues in the box. I also give the extras a SCORE of 6

 RULES: There is alot of misinformation on the rules out there, I reported some rules details in my last post that turns out to totally incorrect. I dont understand how people with the book, could get things so wrong, but I now have the book and am quite comfortable saying the new rules are GREAT. The mini rulebook is well formatted and clear for new players, although the lack of profiles and points from at least the starter models is disappointing, adding them just would have been good form.
 (note: profiles for play but not points are contained in the starter material. in the original Mine of Moria starter the rulebook contained a host of profiles and points, you get none in the rulebook.)

The best move for players old and new would have been making the included "Your Journey begins here" starter guide an actual "Unexpected Journey" sourcebook that could also have been sold separately. That would have been a very smart business move and would have been maddeningly easy to do. All they would have needed to do was add additional profiles and all the point values and change the art. Then you would have useful product to stand along side the rulebook.

So while the rules themselves are great, GW's wisdom and foresight is not. The way the distribution of new rules material in this set is handled leaves alot to be desired as you still must order the $85 big rulebook to expand play outside this set. As a result as much as I like the new rules, looking at the set contents and what should have been, I must give the included rules a SCORE of 5.

 CONTENTS:  The overall contents of this package, which also include some measuring sticks (why? how about a tape measure?) and Dice. My set for whatever bad luck..DID NOT COME WITH DICE
that is just sloppy on the packing end./ Overall the complete contents of this package are fantastic value for the intro gamer,.I would give it a score of 10 for that. However I am not a into gamer, as a veteran gamer, I rate the contents here a 6 for an overall SCORE of  8.
= 35 X 2 or a 70% Score. when I was in school a 70% was just barely passing and the low end of "C" or Average score, I think that holds true here.

The big take away point I want to make here (and if you've read this blog in the last year or so, you know I am no longer Games Workshop biggest fan, so take this as you will. ) is that Games Workshop's current secrecy policy on product release information is not doing them any favors in terms of veteran customer loyalty. By not clearly telling us about their products what we are actually getting in advance I feel they are doing us a great disservice.
In the end this was not the product for me. As a veteran player of the game, I should have just bought the big book and a box of goblins and the town kit and waited for the new Radagast figure (pictured below, which I did not know was coming.)  Instead I ate their marketing hook line and sinker, got caught up in the release mania and am now somewhat disappointed in my purchase,  While I got my moneys worth, and some cool figures. (I'll model up and play the games a few times).This sets overall usefulness is limited to me. I'll still end up picking up additional items, like the big rulebook anyway, but 6 months from now it will turn out I did not need this set at all. My long term LotR gaming use coming from the new book and a variety of individual models and some terrain.
So they got  more money out of me now, but have just pushed me further to the edge.

In short if you or someone you know is looking to get into LotR (Hobbit) SBG then this is good buy for you. If you are already a veteran of the game stay away from this the big book and pick up what you need. Personally I am tired of the GW merry go round. This is most likely my last direct retail purchase from Games Workshop anything else will be trade, second hand, discount or if I must have something new I will buy it from an Indy distributor.

I should also mention doing GW's Advance Orders is just dumb, they scare you with "the limited edition" get its before it sells out ticking clock so I made sure I got that pre-order in early. Instead of getting mine this Saturday on release day at my local shop, like plenty of other people. I instead got mine Tuesday at 5pm -72 hours later..even thou I ordered mine well within the same as release day window they advertised..There is just no point anymore, its total waste of time.

 New Elven Cavarly looks good.
White Council in Action with Gwaihir, check out mounted Elrond.!!
(correction: It's been pointed out by a reader that's not mounted Elrond but the Captain from the February Elven Cavalry box, I have read there is a new mounted Elrond coming..thou.)

Friday, November 30, 2012

Games Workshop- blowing up the Hobbit!

With less than 24 hours until biggest release of any Lord of the Rings materials since the last update of the source books, Is it really a surprise that Games Workshop is doing everything in their power to piss off and alienate the current die hard fans of the game.????

While there are certainly many of you who put up with Games Workshop shenanigans that only survive the free market due to their niche dominance and because of your love for their IP.  The diehard LotR fans dont have that obligation, as LotR is not their IP, we just love the models and put up with the rest of crap. I mean crap like zero event support or kicking all the hard working Indy TO's in nutz by completely blowing off this years U.S Throne of Skulls and of course the total employee apathy for the game ("too excited about 40K dude!!!") but I didn't really expect this one.

Last night over at the revamped Last Alliance, a fellow from Belgium got  his hands on the starter set and big rule book a bit early and let the cat the cat out of the bag, The mini manual in the starter set doesn't contain the stat profiles or point costs of the new models. The starter set scenario booklet contains the profiles but not the points. In short if you bought the starter set thinking you were getting the new rules. Think again laddie, its GW 2012!!!  you still have to buy the $85 USD big rule book if you want the full package, so the initial buy on the base new models in the US is $210 plus local tax!

Now some of you are saying, "hold on there John-boy" 40K and WFB starters never come with stat profiles you need to buy the army books!. Well sure!- except there is no army book, and while a $25 Unexpected Journey Sourcebook, would have been the right thing to do here, especially for veteran customers, instead you are now expected to buy the expensive big book, and the best part is they dont tell you that until you open the starter box! So if it wasn't for "whistleblowers" letting us know  in advance you are buying the starter set thinking you're getting something you are not. (Based on many years of the previous the LotR Releases that had included this info in both books)

Would knowing this in advance changed my pre orders?? I am not sure, it most certainly would have made me think about it, While I dont need the new profiles, I am not planning on playing any new lists any time soon. Since I don't care about the Dwarves..I wanted the starter set for the Goblins and Terrain and the Wizards...would the Big Book, a box of goblins and the Terrain, at $180 plus tax changed my mind?, No- the starter set is a rare good deal figure wise, although I do want to see all the new profiles, especially of the models I just freaking bought!!!!. so the Big Book is a must have for me eventually, too bad its shoved down my throat.

Now, I dont mind the change of the LotR release format to line up with the other games, that is expected. in a way. It's the "not telling anyone about it in advance" thing. That gets me. For the life of me I dont understand how they get away with treating us all like we are A) freaking idiots and/or B) where are filthy rich 12 year olds getting $500 a week allowance.  While B) is clearly GW's target customer, a little less of A) for the guys who have decades in the hobby might nice once in awhile.

The only reason I'm still around is they have an untouchable IP I love, that they shell out boatloads of cash to hold on to. Believe me the old PT Barnum addage "There is a sucker born every minute" has never been so true for all of us, that participate in the Games Workshop hobby. They suck, they suck rotten, stinking zombie ass, they truly do, and yet we keep on buying-

I'll be back next week, unboxing my gold plated toys for stay tuned..

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Antiquity Campaign- Round 2

The Campaign Map after 2 rounds

Hail Caesar play continues with our ongoing Antiquity Campaign.

Again the participants are :

Rome (Rome)
Persians- Achaemenid
Rome (Byzantium)

My Sparta played Jeff's Romans this week. and it typical Spartan fashion we won the battle but lost the war. In this case I broke his 50% threshold first so the game ended and I won the game however the points tallied up for the campaign scoring in terms of unit losses and objective points Jeff came out on top. Thats what happens when you have a few of expensive units and alot of cheap ones and lose the expensive ones.  Final Score 25 Byzantium, 23 Sparta.  Syracuse, in a or macro campaign, in which moves are based on your game scores- not whom you physically played that week. Took the Spartan Capital, so I had move it. I did take 4 other territories...we will how it goes in Round 3!

Friday, November 23, 2012

The Liebster Award

I've never been one for these chain letter type awards that go around a couple times a year, but they do  often turn up a good blog I have never seen before. Since I was given this from my favorite blog from down under (NZ not AUS)  That'd be the humbly named  Scott's War-Gaming. I would be sorely remiss if I did not reciprocate.  Scott and I despite living worlds apart have near identical interests..and from what I read, I am sure he and I would game regularly if we lived in any kind of proximity to each other. 

The timing here is good, while this year is low point in blogging for me, I havent really been following the gaming scene in the last couple years and my project output had been minimal due other interests, work and my kids taking up more and more of my time. As a result I just don't find the time I had 5 or so years ago to work large armies etc...(I am struggling to get one Ancients Army painted) I find myself painting random fantasy pieces..(as I enjoy the painting) and playing Lord of the Rings...skirmish games are where its at for me these days, with LotR SBG being Rebranded the Hobbit SBG..and playing in all 3 LotR events at Adepticon this year...this will most likely be a Lord of the Rings Blog for the next 6 months. We've still got our Ancients Campaign happening, and I look forward to trying out some Bolt Action when I get a chance, Like anyone as time goes on my Hobbies and direction change. Anyway I guess what I am trying to say is, while the games might change the Hobbies still there for while its been a slow year..I expect to be picking things up bit really soon.

As for the Liebster Award, thanks for the nomination Scott, and I'll reciprocate to some fellow bloggers some who I know quite well and whose own blogs may have fallen off like mine but could come back at anytime, with any and all things gaming related, and they'll be good.

As part of receiving this award I am to pass this on to five other bloggers, (I'll list the criteria at end)
whose blogs I enjoy......(no particular order)

#1 Cursed Treasures-  My pal Tim out of Phoenix, Az. Tim was the author of the Legends of the High Seas book for Warhammer Historical and I met him thru Adepticon and my fandom of the game. Tim is righteous dude and we share similar interests in gaming from Pirates, LotR to WW2 gaming . Tim
is a great painter and gets into some other genres I've only been able to muse about like Old West and Pulp Gaming.

#2. Little Green Monsters  is my friend Aarons blog, Aaron is one of  our club night regulars and could be sculpting professionally if he wanted to and it paid the bills...he is a green stuff master, and while is output is sporadic his sculpting and conversion work on various WFB models is very well known around the scene here and worth a look. He's also has several bad ass FoW armies winning best appearance for his  early Soviet Army at last years Adepticon.

#3 Fist Full of Seamen. Ive spoken to this fellow on the Lead Adventure forum a couple times about our shared love of Pirate Ships. My friend here ( whose name is escaping me)  is the master, period of 28mm Pirate Ship building and converting. His gigantic fleet of ships is awe inspiring. (please go thru his archives to see all his ships.) He runs massive games on giant tables at these unknown Pirate events, that I have never heard off, that lie out the realm of GW organized gaming, and in the straight up Historical gaming camp.  I was invited to one of these events in Kansas City but could not attend, the blog lists the author as being in Wyoming, so I am not sure where the fellow actually is but like a good pirate he keeps his location well guarded.

#4 Belched from the Depths - if you're into old fantasy miniatures, like I am and have been collecting them for 35 years..then you will want to check out "Spooktalker"'s blog. Like me he apparently has lots of what I have sitting around in dusty boxes from a lifetime of collecting, but his stuff is all masterfully converted and painted. Probably one of my top five painters on the Lead Adventure forum (which is saying alot) and he wasnt even in last years Lead Painters League. Give it look , especially if you are into retro D&D, OSR gaming, you will be pleased.

#5. Chicago Terrain Factory- This is Rich's blog which has been around longer than mine. Rich has been the anchor of the Club since it moved into my basement.  Rich is also the guy that got me into Hirst Arts building. His Historical Armies are just great and have grown seeming exponentially over the last 3 years of so...He only works on Historicals these days and it shows...check out his awesome Arab Army, and he's getting fully painted units of alot of the new releases coming out (fireforge, etc) regularly. When he Chris get a chance to play in our current campaign with awesome fully painted Armies...I'll be there to take the pictures. Check out Chicago Terrain Factory for archives going back further than mine or info on his yearly (And now always sold out, Hirst Arts seminar at Adepticon)

Lastly here is the criteria for my nominees should you choose to partake

1. Copy and paste the award on your blog linking it to the blogger who has given it you.

2. Pass the award to your top 5 favourite blogs with less than 200 followers by leaving a comment on one of their posts to notify them that they have won the award and listing them on your own blog.

3. Sit back and bask in the warm fuzzy feeling that comes with knowing you have made someones day!

4. There is no obligation to pass this onto someone else but its nice if you take the time to do so.

I'll be back shortly with our Antiquity Campaigns Round 2 Map and the unboxing for the new LotR release, (err. Hobbit Release!) Escape from Goblin Town.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Bilbos Birthday Bash 2012- The Report!

Bilbos Birthday Bash 2012,  has concluded, another awesome year for what is now the only other Indy GT for LotR SBG left other than Adepticon.  It was a great weekend. I had a great time with some great company.  Final Scores are posted below I did very well for going 3-3 coming in 4th place overall due to high soft scores. I also snagged Best Appearance , Evil Army for my Angmar Army.  Top, top stuff this year, in the appearance department, most notably Jim Wappel who brought his professional touch to the event blowing everyones mind with pretty much the best stuff I've seen for the game ever. Pages of White Dwarf included. My pictures dont do it justice. He got the Best Overall appearance award, while Jeremy Williams  and I split the individual good/evil appearance trophies. In the gameplay department, Kyle Toth blew all the competitiion of the water winning over all by 40 points!..I thought my 18 point lead at the Adepticon Championships was high, well he over doubled it.

Alot of first's this year, alot of new players, new awards, catered lunch. We had seven players (23% of the field) drop out within 48 hours of the tourney, that is was huge number and a bummer the positive note is given who wasnt here, and the new players that were, I dont think 40 players is an unreasonable number next year getting back to 2011's attendance. Despite my fondness for Tim at the Chicago Battle Bunker, and the staff always courtesy and friendly. I think this event has run its course there. With tourney and the game as it stands, some other venue would be much better suited. GW offers no prize support, it was all donated or purchased from entry fees and the Bunker in its new configuration is just too crowded..Having to play a LotR tourney shoulder to shoulder with casual games of 40K wasn't ideal. Minor points of an otherwise great weekend. I'd love to see BBB become along the lines of some the popular WFB tourneys here which a two day affairs in hotel ballrooms with amenities, places to stay for out of towners, etc. The one thing I do miss about WFB, certainly not "The Game" but the quality of the Events. BBB is the cream of the crop for the system by far (now that GitD has rode into the sunset for LotR) but despite the fun time at dinner saturday night, better access to things like coffee, alcohol, food and bathrooms without the GW store restrictions would be nice.

Anyway not to sour the events of the weekend in anyway. again a great time, and everyone went home thinking about what the bringing to Adepticon and what the new hobbit movies are going bring , will know in just a month.!

If you are interested in my games and some analysis..I didnt keep track of enough for proper battle reports but my games went down like this.  Scenarios were Domination , Lords of Battle, and Reconnoiter.

 Grey Company vs Corsairs of Umbar- Minor Defeat
Angmar vs Erebor  Major Defeat 
Angmar vs Rohan  Minor Victory


Grey Company vs Moria- Minor Victory
Angmar vs Rohan- Minor Defeat
Grey Company vs Mordor - Major Victory

My Grey Company performed stellar, I faced a nasty Corsairs army first round, I have played them in years, and hadnt played my Grey Company in this configuration ever, or at all in over a year. It took me awhile to back in the swing, I'll chalk that first game up to being very very rusty, over the GC list in the new books at 30 models is very powerful.  My Angmar list has some good tricks, again learning them under pressure. Hadnt never used any of the new models (witch king, bhurdur or the shade) in a game before  Shade is keeper at 100 points, Bhurdur no way at 110 he's just not worth it.
while he looks awesome, another Orc Captain and 8 Warriors and another tracker would have made a much more formidable force.  Anyway that's all I have on BBB, as always props to Brent and Chris for running it and all the hardwork..I'll close it out with a bunch of pictures of alot of James Wappel's stuff and the final results.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Antiquity Campaign Round 1

The Campaign Map after one round of play. Stars are number of Armies in individual territories.

We started our antiquity campaign using Warlord Games. Hail Caesar rule set a few weeks ago, a sick day today gave me the time to get this map posted.

Again the participants are :

Rome (Rome)

Rome (Byzantium)

Totally quasi historical based on time frame around the Peloponnesian Wars. Syracuse and Macedonia were the big winners on Tuesday scoring close to 30 points a piece while the rest of us scored less than 10 points. My Spartans looks to Syracuse in a game that seem close until it broke open huge for Rich around round 4. it was all downhill from there.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Arnor Vs Angmar- BBB 2012

 Finally got my entries for this years Bilbo's Birthday Bash completed. This year the format is presenting 2 -600 point armies , One good, One Evil in 6 games over two days. I've already shown you my Arnor / Grey Company army awhile back, but here is the whole set up with Angmar half.
I chose one display for both, after racking my brain with alot of ideas that would include time I didn't have, so I've modified this years big Hirst piece I did with the box that used to house the Skirmish Dungeon (which has grown much larger than this)  All in all I didn't paint too many new models for this years Angmar entry, Buhrdur, the Witch King, some more Orc Trackers and some more old metal orcs that's about it. I'm throwing in my Shelob and my 1985 Gollum back into the paint contest this year and see how they do. Looking forward to next weekend as this always a great event. I dont have high personal expectations, in fact I haven't gotten a chance to even play my final version the Angmar Army, just going to roll some dice and have fun and look at all the awesome stuff people bring out.

Adepticon has some event changes for 2013 for LotR, the Team Tourney this year is being restructured as a partnered singles event (which was the original format) which should be pretty cool given the lower model counts with the new rules, I may even squeak out that fiefdoms army I've been talking about for years..its all modeled up and primed (more of less) I'd just have to paint it.

We were all hoping we'd see some of the Hobbit new release this month, no idea how thats going to change the game but as its now Decemeber, I'll guess we will find out soon enough.

On with the picture show, I'll have full BBB write up post event.


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