Monday, 20 February 2017

Totally Crit 9


So, back at the end of January, I went down to High Brooms to play three games of Infinity at the Totally Crit Open 9. Get used to looking at this jungle board, as random selection ended up with me getting to play all three of my games on it!



The first mission was "Safe Area", and I was up against aphexblue, who was playing the Shock Army of Acontecimento. He kind of apologetically confessed he'd kind of won the UK Infinity Masters this year.

Well, I thought, at least you'll end up on a bottom table next game and have an easier time of it. As it was, I was facing a sniper link with a good field of fire in the centre of the table, and a light tag - Tikbalang, maybe?


With a tournament, there's not really much of an opportunity to take lots of close up shots. So, the game summary - he runs a repeater remote up the flank and nearly brain melts my Interventor Lieutenant with a Killer Hacker. Passing three BTS rolls is all that saves me.

I manage to get rid of the repeater bot and have a TAG in a commanding position and the sniper link to deal with - but positioning means I simply can't slice the pie to get one and not the other - so my Intruder HMG goes down without having taken out either, although he managed to scare the TAG and make it duck back into cover.

Then I get absolutely mauled. The TAG rampages across the field taking out almost everything I have and putting me into retreat. I make a noble effort to take out the TAG with my three surviving figures, but in the end, a lone Alguacile Forward Observer flees the board as the sole survivor. I lose 6-0, avoiding a bigger loss as the total collapse of my army ends the game before aphexblue can get his models into good scoring positions.



After a pie and chips, game 2 comes around with the much dreaded Rescue. I'm up against Riker, who is running a Haqqislam force. This time, I'm paralysed trying to take out a Djanbazan with HMG, and despite judicious use of White Noise, never quite manage to dislodge it.

My spending time on that problem means that a Haqq Total Reaction remote can move up into a good position in the centre, and I can't get any figures into a good spot to discourage Haqq from grabbing a civilian and running off with them.


This is how close my Zero got to one of my civilians, but I ran out of orders!

I'm kicking myself for not getting a picture of the Haqqislam, because they were absolutely gorgeous.


Still, the new hacker "Switch" scored me my only points of the tournament, ambling up the field pretending to be a WarCor, then hacking the enemy HVT for a mighty 2 points. Couldn't protect me from a 7-2 loss, though.


And finally, its Antenna Field, and I'm facing off against some beautifully painted Morat Aggression Force, run by JoeyDoubleDee. Here, a Vanguard link holds down an Antenna until the Lunokhod ambled up and showed them that the Heavy Flamethrower has a bit more reach than you remember...


Once again, I got ruined by MSV2 - this time a link team of Yaogat who walked up the board as a Haris link them dropped the link to go into suppressive fire and stayed there most of the game. I simply couldn't dislodge them and got pretty much murdered in my turn 3 trying to get them off the objectives.

It then became a simple exercise for them to do a couple of clever runs to the right antenna to claim a full 10-0 victory over me.


With such a stellar performance, I was pleased to pick up the Wooden Spoon award, and am now officially one of the worst performing ITS players in the country...

If anyone plays Infinity, I would strongly recommend playing in a Totally Crit Open. They're welcoming, friendly, and well run. They also have a podcast, which is rather good.

Learning points: work out how to deal with MSV2. Get better at working out the odds of doing something before you do it. Get better at taking out models in suppressive fire.

Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Infinity Battle Report: Nomads vs Onyx Contact Force - Rescue

Totally Crit Open 9 has now been and gone, but before I went, I had a last minute opportunity to get a practice game of Rescue in. Rescue is a notoriously difficult mission where your objective is to try and retrieve four civilians from just in front of your opponent's deployment zone while they try and do the same thing - then have more civilians in various zones than your opponent.

It seems that in practice, you spend two turns punching your opponent's army in the face, then grab a civilian if you have enough people left standing...


The Lunokhod gets to hide as far forward as possible with the intention of acting as area denial for the civilians. The Intruder with HMG sits prone in camo in a good firing spot. The WarCor is a lie - it's a new hacker "Switch" using a Holoprojector to pretend to be a passing journalist.


There's nothing much out of the ordinary here, either, but there is a SinEater hidden away in that building on the left covering people's advance onto the civilian, and a Securitate using their Repeater to act as an unpleasant surprise for anyone who gets too close!


My opponent cheerfully drops down a link team of four robots and an alien hacker, with a plasma sniper rifle covering an awful lot of the board. They become a definite priority to do something about. There's a doctor nestled away out of sight.


And a small fireteam of two heavy infantry who are poised to charge down my left flank - which they immediately do.


On my right flank, the Intruder pops out and riddles the sniper full of holes. Once it's gone, I advance a camo token (a hidden Zero Forward Observer) and Lunokhod up to a place where they might have a chance of getting a civilian in a future turn.


Meanwhile, that flash of white you can see up the street is my Prowler with Spitfire, who has handily blown away one of the two Suryats before it can do anything dangerous.


He retaliates with a Fracta drop troop with Spitfire coming on from the board edge. It rampaged down my backfield, and nearly reached my lieutenant before I was able to take it out.


In the centre, a total camo Noctifer comes out of hiding and takes out my Zero. I return the favour by running the Lunokhod up and setting it on fire. Zoe runs up to repair the Lunokhod, succeeding, but being shot down in the process - but I complete my classified objective to test run some new engineering technology repairing the robot.

I reveal my sneaky hacker, but he isn't able to do anything really cool.


I start seriously losing models, and anyone who could get to a civilian on my side is taken out.


Finally, the Suryat on my left, with no-one to really oppose them, runs out and grabs a civilian. They don't get far, but end up controlling their HVT while I don't threaten theirs - leaving the score 3-2 in their favour.

My big learning experience here was to watch out for controlling the HVTs at the end of the game - I had the Prowler free to deny the points without making any dice rolls but didn't remember to do so! If I'd done that, I'd have won 2-1. Not a mistake I'll be making for a while...

Monday, 23 January 2017

Infinity Battle Report: Nomads vs Yu Jing - Safe Area


With the Totally Crit Open 9 coming up, I headed down to HATE to get a little practice in at some of the missions. The mission we were playing was "Safe Area", where you need to control the quartered areas of the board that aren't the deployment areas, and hold as many of four consoles as you can at the end of the game.


My opponent, running a Yu Jing list, started off by running his Shaolin monks up the board - irregular skirmishers with smoke grenades. I haven't taken photos of every part of the game, just particular highlights or learning points for me.


One walked got close enough to my Zero Forward Observer to line up a chain rifle shot, so I reacted by dropping a mine in his path. His Chain Rifle shot took out the Zero, but the mine left him with a problem with his Impetuous Order next turn.


My opponent had run a Rui Shi remote up my right flank - a Spitfire armed remote with a Multi-Spectral Visor, which counters smoke and camouflage. I gently educated my opponent in the mysteries of White Noise fields - a hacker dropped interference field that blocks the sight of anything with a visor - and shot the remote to pieces through the electrical interference.

You can also here see Pi-Well, one of my rightly hated units, holding the centre position with a hacking programme granting him better marksmanship, laying down a curtain of suppressing fire. This was very good and I should have done it more!


Suspicious of drop troops, I left a lot of models in suppressive fire.


The Shaolin impetuously triggered the mine, but successfully dodged it's blast.


A remote with holo-projectors ran across my line of fire, but I only shot one of it's fake holo-echoes.


A Tiger Soldier hacker dropped in behind Pi-Well, but misjudged placement and ended up just within range of Zoe, who helpfully "Stopped" him.


Similarly, a Ninja Hacker came out of hiding to cause mayhem, not realising how close they were to a repeater, and got the same kind of love.


One of my Morlocks ended up in hand to hand with a Shaolin Monk. Lesson: people who are better at Martial Arts than you have a significant edge in hand to hand combat...


Another one of my Impetuous Morlock tries to take out another Martial Artist, and learns the hard way that this sort of shit does not fly.


At this point, I finally revealed one of my key new models - an Intruder HMG with a visor that could see through smoke, and the camouflage of the Ninja. Sadly, I rolled poorly and they ducked back into cover before I could do anything useful.


Having neutralised the drop trooper, I moved a whole bunch of models up the field to start setting myself up for the third turn to score points.


Wait, where did they all go? That's three completely dead models and a further unconscious one!


Life Lesson: Think about where your opponent's models could move to. This heavy infantry Hsien with an HMG had moved from where they'd been ineffective most of the game, using a well placed smoke grenade to cut back on retaliation, shooting down model after model - the only model of mine who could see through the smoke, the Intruder, was facing the wrong way.

At this point, the club was closing up, and I did the quick maths that there was no way I could pull back the game. My opponent was holding down 3 table quarters and I couldn't bring it up to the tie, or get to enough of the consoles to swing it back. By my count, it would either be 6-0 or 6-1, as I might have been able to make a console.

Other than the "think through what your opponent will do" lesson, I'd also highlight the massive importance of not giving up. I was pretty brutally mauling the Yu Jing right up until this point, keeping key models pinned down and setting up for a pretty strong third turn. Until the models started dropping in the third turn, we both thought Yu Jing were on the ropes and were going to lose. He saw a good opportunity to seize the game back and turned it around very solidly indeed.

Monday, 16 January 2017

A busy weekend - Forsaken and lots of figure prep


Well, after aiming to get them done in August, I've finally got five Forsaken painted and table ready in January! This is another unit for my challenge with James at Gonzo History Gaming. These are my first finished models of the year, and it's left me feeling really positive and cheery.


I've also pottered along with assembling one of the Chaos Spawn - it's an astonishingly versatile kit for it's time. I'm looking forward to getting this one fully assembled and painted. It will be serving double duty in both Age of Sigmar and Warhammer 40K.


Here's some old "never released by Citadel" figures that Wargames Foundry have now put out under their Warmonger Miniatures line. They'll be joining a squad of "not GW" Inquisitorial retinue of various figures I've picked up over time of stuff I thought was cool.


The space suited miniature had a bump on his backpack that I recognised as being intended for a Space Marine style backpack. I dug out a Forge World piece from the bitz box (I think it may be from a Legion Recon Squad? I don't know) so he could have one. I thought it was a fun mix of old and new.


I also finished basing up the EM4 Miniatures scavengers I'd started on last weekend. As those around the UK will be aware, it's not exactly been undercoating weather, so there's a big build up of bits and pieces awaiting undercoating.


Well, this takes the biscuit for rubbish progress pics, doesn't it? At least there's some other, real progress above it. This is a Forge World Renegade psyker and an Antenocitis Workshop "egg car" I got as a freebie when I attended the Infinity Winter Challenge down in Exeter.

I washed the resin, as you should, and cleaned up the (minimal) mould lines on both. I'm planning on doing a "cracked earth" style base for the psyker, so I'm keeping him separate to his base until both are painted. This is a bit of a new thing for me. To get the base ready for undercoating, I filled in the little hole the GW bases have with a bit of polyfilla.

So, there you go - 12 figures made ready for undercoating, and the last 2 figures of a set of 5 painted. I'm not sure if we'll keep up the pace, but I'm pleased to be managing to get some time at the hobby desk and not getting distracted and wandering off.

Monday, 9 January 2017

New Year, New Me


To the left of my obviously immaculate and well organised paint desk, lies a small pile of miniatures I simply dropped onto my desk because I thought they would be a "quick win". I'm aware some of them have been there since the start of last year, at least, so perhaps it was time to start pushing through them in the New Year.

I'm aware that the "Tale of Gamers" challenge has nominally finished, and I have missed the deadline, but as far as hobby goes (if not in my work life) I will quote Douglas Adams: "I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they go by."

I'm going to continue on with the project, but at a slightly more (!!!) erratic pace than before, taking a leaf from my co-conspirator's approach and having a little break by painting or assembling whatever takes my fancy.


So, first up on the desk as a result of the "Just get something done! Anything!" policy are these scavengers from EM4 Miniatures I was part way through assembling at the end of 2015, and put to one side as I had too much work in progress at the time.

I've filed down all the flash and glued them to their bases. Just going to fill the basing gaps, add rocks and sand, so they're ready to undercoat. They'll then go on the "wait for the weather to improve" undercoating pile.

In the background, you can see that 3 of the 5 Forsaken are now done, and the last two are inching closer to being finished. There's also a Chaos Spawn with a head attached to a base that I don't recall if I've posted before or not.


One of the reasons that my painting is slowing down a little is that I've realised that clutter is not good for my productivity, so spending more of my free time tidying up around the house. This is the evidence as to why I need to do this more. I cleared the right hand side of my computer desk last weekend. At the bottom of this pile, I found these business cards and ticket stub, helpfully dated to show when the pile started.


Meanwhile, do you recall the blacksmith I did for the Chaos Villager challenge at the Oldhammer Forum? It turns out, I was the lucky winner, so have been sent an amazing collection of creativity and art. Most have not been based, to allow their owner to base them up to match their forces. I'll be getting that sorted some point in the next few months!

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Warhammer World Open Day January 2017

Obligatory Death Roller photo
So, I pottered up to Warhammer World after the New Year for the Open Day. I wasn't particularly diligent with photo taking or anything like that, because Battle Bunnies just put so much effort into it, there'd just be duplication of effort!

So mostly, I just caught up with people I've met at events before and had a bit of a chat.

I did pick up a few bits of Blood Bowl news in the chatting, which I may as well share:

  • Dwarf team should be out by the end of the month
  • Plastic Dwarf team, resin Death Roller
  • Plastic Ogre and Troll, resin Rat Ogre
  • Re-do of the existing Skaven Star Player, and a couple of new ones coming
  • Plastic goblin team coming
  • Goblins will also have resin secret weapons (the ones we know, and maybe some new ones)
  • Deathzone Season 2 will have goblins, Underworld and Chaos Renegade teams


I'm still faffing over Stormcast colour schemes for the few Stormcast I have, so took a photo of this in the miniatures hall to aid my thinking process.


I posted this on twitter and it's been favourited and retweeted no end...


One of the figures from the Pilgrym display. Absolutely stunning piece overall, but I get distracted by faded red, checker board and flame edging.


I was pretty restrained in purchases - a couple of limited figures, the Ironwarp Citadel exclusive book, the music of Warhammer World, and the Rogue Trader re-print.

Saturday, 31 December 2016

Painting review of 2016


2016 hasn't been too bad for me from a painting point of view. I've got a reasonable amount of stuff done.


What doesn't show up on the blog so much is that I've managed to get a whole ton of models assembled and undercoated ready for paint on top of painting about as many models as last year. I was aiming to do that at the start of the year, so that's pretty reassuring.


I didn't set myself strict goals this year, and that's gone pretty well. Some projects, I perhaps thought I'd get further along this year, but these things happen.


I was particularly pleased with how all three of my familiars from Heresy Miniatures came out. They're tabletop quality, but I feel a pretty good one.


Of course, I've not managed to get to a tournament with them all painted before Malifaux managed to release the proper models for the Changelings I was using them as proxies for...


I also won this adorable renegade Inquisitor from Whiskey Priest. The plan was to debut him in a game at Warhammer World against my wife, but then I forgot to pack him, because I'm a moron.

He doesn't really count as a model I finished, as all I did was base him, but I seem to have forgotten to photograph a random mutie I'm going to be using in Inquisitorial Warbands I finished off, so he's here as a much prettier and better painted stand in.


I got my D&D hero Myth painted up.


The last of the Heresy familiars. That robe blending!


Ajjatahr, from the Circle of Chaos Kickstarter.


My first painted goblins. Only a hundred or so to go.


The John Pickford barbarians are the only models I've finished so far for the Tale of Gamers challenge I was doing with Gonzo History Gaming. It was meant to finish today... Still, I've got 30 infantry assembled, and 5 Forsaken are nearly done (they will probably be done today, if not photographed and posted).


And finally, my Oldhammer Forum model for the Chaos Villager challenge project. This is a project where everyone paints a model and then there's a draw held for who wins all the figures. This year - I won! The box arrived today, so another future post will be me going through the assorted miscreants and oddball figures I've received...