Thursday, 21 February 2019
My friend James has asked very nicely if I'll mention his new Kickstarter that's running at the moment. As I am a benevolent Responsible One, I thought I'd obliged.
For clarity - I have not received (nor do I expect) any payment or free product for this recommendation, but I do regard at least one of the people behind the project as a friend.
The Kickstarter is for a second series of painter's brushes by Artis Opus. I backed their last Kickstarter, for the "Series S" brushes, and I've been using the Size 1 brush from that quite a lot since the house move. It's a really nice brush and I rather like it.
The new Kickstarter is for a second range of brushes, called the "Series M".
The idea behind the Series M Kickstarter is that some painters prefer shorter bristles, particularly for detail work. Short bristles are really not my cup of tea, but I don't do a lot of display level painting. What I can vouch for is that my stuff turned up within a reasonable time (I'm not sure how reasonable, as my builder accidentally put the parcel in a kitchen cupboard and forgot to tell me for a while), and the quality is really good. They are on the pricey side, but that can be a thing for higher end brushes.
Brushes are definitely a personal thing, but if you are looking for new brushes, go check out the Kickstarter, because you may like them. And if you prefer longer brushes, you can still order those from their website instead.
Monday, 18 February 2019
I'd originally not been planning to go to the Infinity tournament at Beachhead in Bournemouth. However, a club mate had the use of a car for the weekend, and was offering links. And that was how I found myself entering into a small 200 point Infinity tournament last weekend.
Beachhead is a small convention held in Bournemouth. It seemed to have a high historical contingent, a few traders I recognised from Salute, and a handful of tournaments. There was also a union event going on elsewhere in the convention centre on the same day, but the venue was easily big enough for both events and I didn't see any problems with over-crowding or attendee mix ups.
Quite a few clubs had put on demo games of one sort or another. This one particularly impressed me - a large scale ship and harbour game, although sadly I didn't have time to stop and find out more about it.
Frontline vs OSS
It's always a bit of a worry when for the first game you get drawn against the tournament organiser! He was playing the Operational Sub-section, a new Sectorial of the ALEPH faction. I didn't get the first turn so was super worried about the damage that might be caused. I left some flash pulse remotes out to try and hold him up and put out two "bait" pieces that were possible to kill in the first turn, but not easy - the Peacemaker with Boarding Shotgun and the Druze with E/M Light Grenade Launcher.
Epsolon's dice failed him and he wasn't able to dislodge the E/M Grenade Launcher, but I decided to go on the attack with the Peacemaker. It took out the Sophotect and most of the Dakini Link Team, finally getting obliterated by a Heavy Rocket Launcher as I struck the killing blow on the link. In particular, the dual shots of the Heavy Flamethrower and the Heavy Shotgun left no good options for the remotes.
I felt like I was a little lucky here, but not hugely so - I'd planned a good attack run with the remote and
I managed to sneak my Xenotech up the board and plant the tracker down, using the custom marker supplied as part of the tournament pack - a really nice touch. (The admin of the whole tournament was really slick - all the paperwork you needed - which pleased my nerdy heart.)
In the end, I'd done too much damage and I managed to hold the middle and near quadrants to me, which along with securing the HVT and placing the Xenotech marker, earned me a 6-2 win. I was really pleased with my performance, as Epsolon is an excellent player, and while my dice had been a little lucky, it was off a good plan and good decisions that gave me solid odds.
Decapitation vs TAK
I won initiative and tried to blunt the Kazakh violence by taking the first turn . . . but it was not to be. Everything I tried to take out the Line Kazakh Missile Launcher pinning my Data Tracker down away from the Designated Target failed until my very last order...
And then the Veteran Kazakh started killing everything...
The game was super busy and I only managed to get these couple of shots (and this one blurry) of the end game as the Kazakh link came after my poor Lieutenant hiding under some stairs. He didn't make it, leaving me with a 10-2 loss.
I'd run an experimental link without the Druze core link due to a lack of points, but bringing a TAG. Sadly, I didn't have a good answer to a strong ARO game and an open board as a result, so maybe that idea can be shelved.
Heading on to the third game, I was keen to try and get a win, as one of my goals for the season is to try and get two wins in a one day tournament, and I've not quite managed it yet.
Annihilation vs Tohaa
The table requires a little explanation here. Normally, Infinity uses "true line of sight", and a table like this would be quite literally unplayable. However, it used a house rule that all the jungle terrain could be shot into or out of, but never through, and this meant that it was actually quite a dense table with a few tactical challenges.
My opponent debated with himself a little bit, and decided to bring his TAG list. I was very glad to again manage to win the Lieutenant roll and choose to go first, as I have previously been tabled by a Gorgos at a Totally Crit tournament, and I wanted to at least get a few orders in!
I reserve deployed my Peacemaker for a suicide run in the hope of setting all the Tohaa on fire. I was not successful, and spent a single order, failing to cause any damage to the Tohaa. It had been a high risk gamble, but if it had paid off, I might have crippled the Tohaa with a single order, so I felt it was worth the sacrifice.
One of the link couldn't stay with the others without getting gunned down by the Tohaa Sniper, so I moved up a four person link anyway. I managed to speculatively fire an E/M grenade onto the Gorgos and landed a crit, leaving it Isolated and Immobilised. The HMG then managed to take out both the Sniper, and most importantly, the Kumotail Bioengineer, who could have fixed the TAG and got it back up to full working order...
Before my opponent had his first turn, we talked through what E/M ammunition did and what his model could still do. Tohaa's Symbiont Armour is practically the only thing in the game that had a way out at this point - it would already have been as good as game over for any other force! As it was, the Makauls started running up the board, and the Gorgos shrugged off her Symbiont armour and ducked down behind some rocks, keeping most of the points safe.
The game was an absolute massacre, and basically everything died. By the start of my turn 2, I just had my Lieutenant, a Doctor, two Repeater remotes and a WarCor left. The Lieutenant soloed up the field, gunning down Tohaa left and right as he went. With one order left, he tried to kill the Gorgos out of her armour, which would have won me the game . . . and she survived! (I looked up the odds later - just over a 60% chance. Right move, bad luck!)
And that was it. The Tohaa managed to gun down my Lieutenant, and the Doctor was too far back to do anything to change the result as I was in Loss of Lieutenant and had spent most of my Command Tokens. A 5-3 loss (a lot of Tohaa were dead), but if the Gorgos had gone down, it would have been at least 4-0 to me, with a possibility I could have taken it up to 6-0 hunting down the Data Tracker.
But I didn't mind.
This game was one of the best games of Infinity I'd ever played. My opponent, johnny6whiskers, was friendly and a very good player (he was a little rusty on rules due to having not played in a while, but once he knew his options he constantly made the right tactical choices). While I lost, it was down to one dice roll - and that's not to take away from the man across the table from me! He'd taken an awful situation first turn and led a breathtaking fight back to leave me with one last throw of the dice to save the game. Frankly, it's stuff like this that's why I play Infinity.
I'd also like to shout out to Epsolon 921 and dementis (who went on to be third and second in the tournament respectively) for also being great opponents who gave me enjoyable games. It was the players who made the games here. I felt genuinely joyous after the tournament, irrespective of coming 9th out of 10 players.
A final thanks to Riker for the lift and seb for company in the car. HATE represented itself really well at the weekend, and I'm really proud of how we took our club ethos of making sure everyone has fun down to Bournemouth.