Tuesday 31 December 2013

Painting Review of the Year

So, I took a little time to look at what I've managed to achieve this year from a modelling and painting perspective.

Then I got a little sad...

Models completed this year:

Imperial Beastman

3 Sentinels

Imperial Scribe

Dark Angel

Vindicare Assassin

Swamp Critter

That's it. Seriously, that is all I've managed to finish painting in a year. It gets worse, because the Sentinels need a touch up, and have done since their first game.

I have managed a few other bits and bobs, though:

Buildings finished:

Airfix "Afghan House"

Other stuff done:

10 Corpse Tokens completed
(only 5 shown here)

Collodi Crew - Painted, not based

A year. That's a year's progress, basically. I'm not showing pictures of the 15 models I'd painted last year and threw a quick bit of basing sand on this year. That would be too desperate.

However, an honourable mention does go to Squidzilla Ink, who completed more of my models in a week than I had managed to do in an entire year.

I do, however, end the year more or less where I finished, despite the massive purchases and minimal painting progress. This is because I've been ebaying off my massive cancelled Skaven army project, and not buying a whole army at once to replace it. This did somewhat disguise on my tracking systems how little was actually getting painted.

So, what are my plans for next year?

  • Not include models I'm selling in my tracking systems next year
  • Take part in the Independent Characters Hobby Progress Challenge
  • Finish the blasted Collodi crew
  • 500 point Warriors of Chaos Army
  • All of Salute 2012's purchases painted
  • No new systems (Infinity, this means you) until I've fully painted one of my other skirmish games up
So, really, given how much I have to paint, I can really step back on things on my "to buy" list. As far as new models goes, I can really only see me getting:
  • Enough models for the Warriors of Chaos army
  • Some stuff from the new Imperial Guard releases
  • Kits and things for kit bashing
  • Some Goblinaid miniatures
Beyond that, I think I just need to finish off the current round of ebaying things, buy more books (and ebooks, to save space) and try and keep spending down a little more this year. I do need to work out what I am going to do for Salute this year, as I do want to get something, but it needs to be more manageable this year - anything I get in the first half of the year needs to be painted in the second half. This year is about, hopefully, getting in control of spending and hoarding habits, and trying to buy less than I'm painting.

Wish me luck!

Monday 30 December 2013

What have I been doing during the Christmas break?

It is sometimes a good thing that I take photos of all the hobby work I do, because I sat down to write this post and suddenly had absolutely no idea what I've been doing.

I finally finished painting my Collodi crew - all that's left now is to base them up. I may even get in a game of Malifaux 2e at some point!

I purchased some old White Dwarf magazines from ebay (they may at some point be a future article). However, it has been pointed out to me that my sender may be somewhat of a time traveller - the 12½p Christmas stamp from 1982 was suspicious, but not a give-away - until a good friend of mine pointed out that the package was postmarked 27 December 2016.

I've also started learning how to use my wife's new Dremel, and have started the process of pinning the Collodi crew. The end is in sight with them, and I am so pleased. They may not be done in time for the New Year, but if so, that's mostly now because of the time needed to leave them drying in between different processes and jobs.

I haven't gotten back to this chap yet, but I dug him out from a transport case in the hope of actually doing something with him in the coming days as I wait for glue and / or water effects to dry...

The Tzeentch Herald is finally starting to gain some colours and I'm feeling like progress is restarting with him.

There was a break in the weather, so I got my Arbitrator kitbash undercoated.

And lo, did my darling wife ask me very nicely to undercoat some of her figures. This is her Malifaux gang.

There were also some Dark Eldar Kabalite Warriors and a Succubus who needed undercoating, so they've all been done too.

I'm definitely feeling like I'm getting back into the groove of getting things done. I really did need to finish off some existing projects, like the Collodi crew, but some have been so demoralising and troublesome that as they are the thing I should really be doing I have put them off by not doing anything at all rather than doing something else. I am starting to feel like I'm cresting that ridge now, so I'm a lot happier and starting to look at what I managed to do this year, and what I hope to do next year.

Friday 27 December 2013

Hacking 40K: A pretty big vehicles overhaul

This is a bigger hack than I originally intended. It started when I was listening to a podcast, I think The 11th Company, talking about how Dreadnoughts are just not very good in the current edition of Warhammer 40,000.

This got me to wondering why. Some of the context was in relation to the Chaos Space Marine Codex, which had a useful comparison. The Maulerfiend is something that is seen as more usable and a better choice than the Helbrute formerly known as the Chaos Dreadnought, so I had a bit of a think about the reasons. When it comes down to it, the Maulerfield really has three things which distinguish it from the Helbrute:
  • A faster movement rate to allow it to reach assault quicker
  • The demon special rule, and thus an invulnerable save
  • It Will Not Die
These last two both vastly increase its survivability. I've also seen people rate the Ironclad Dreadnought over your common or garden Space Marine Dreadnought. It has an extra point of front armour and some different weapon load outs.

I decided to focus in on survivability first. The proliferation of the Krak Grenade, and its ability to glance a Dreadnought or Helbrute to death (while being unable to scratch the Ironclad as long as it was still fighting) was the sort of thing which mean that the Dreadnought just wasn't as good any more.

The logic chain then went as follows:
  • Well, as the Maulerfiend is better due to its save, how about giving Dreadnoughts a save?
  • A save just for close combat could be fiddly and hard to write in a concise rule.
  • All vehicles suffer from a similar issue.
  • Vehicles, now they have wound equivalents, in hull points, are closer to infantry in survivability now, yet lack a save
  • Why not give an armour save to all vehicles?

This isn't as crazy an idea as it sounds - many of the weapons in the game used to take out vehicles already have a low AP number already, so their odds wouldn't change. It also has the incidental effect of dealing with issues such as AP10 vehicles being gunned down a little too easily by massed bolter fire.

I then broke the armour values down into suitable armour saves:

AV10-11: 4+
AV12-13: 3+
AV14: 2+

What consequences will this have?

AV10 light vehicles get a clear boost, as it simply takes twice as many bolters to blow them to pieces. That's a useful win.

The odds of blowing up a Leman Russ tank with a Krak Grenade in close combat remain unchanged, as do many vehicles with lighter rear armour.

Dreadnoughts become three times as survivable to Krak Grenade armed troops. They probably also need some additional close combat damage output, but that is something for another day.

Land Raiders stop caring, pretty much at all, about Krak Missiles. Does this make AV14 just too good? It would certainly be a worry. Are there any other common ways of dealing with AV14 which don't have AP1 or AP2?

What do people think? It is a pretty big change, so I expect that the law of unintended consequences will hit it quite hard. If anyone decides to give this a go, let me know what happens!

Tuesday 24 December 2013

Bored over Christmas? Some help is at hand.

I'm home for Christmas this year, rather than visiting relatives. This does, at least, make it a little easier to get hobbying done, rather than some sort of portable solution being set up on the dining table...

Anyhow, in the interests of seasonal sharing and goodwill, I thought I'd give people a few ideas for things to do if they are bored at a family Christmas and can't get their modelling and painting stuff out. I mean, seriously, you don't see your family that often, and you should make a bit of an effort to spend some time with them, but there will come a point where you need a little "you" time, so here's a few suggestions for that.

Pretty miniature things to look at

The Ammobunker

Or, more specifically, the Ammobunker's Inq28 Painting and Modelling forum. This is one of the best collections of kit bashed inquisitorial goodness on the web, and one that is often overlooked. If you are missing your modelling and want to look at many pretty miniatures assembled in ways that the designers did not necessarily intend, this is the place for you.

Massive Voodoo

These folk are pretty well known already, but they are worth mentioning again. They have a lot of very pretty models on the blog, but also a lot of tutorials to help you get better. They are definitely worth some time, and you can really get lost browsing through their stuff.

Interesting things to read

The Gonzo History Project
This is a history blog, sure, but not of the sort that you'll have seen before. Its run by a friend of mine, who also paints, models and games - but this is all about the history. You might wonder why I'm linking this, but go look - his series on the archaeological themes in Skyrim, in particular, are worth a look.


Beasts of War
I know that the Beasts of War crew aren't everyone's cup of tea, but you will definitely find some gems in there. I'm particularly fond of their Infinity series (so much so that I shamelessly stole the idea of an Infinity Week). They do run features on games I have no interest in whatsoever, like Dropzone Commander, DUST or Kings of War, but a selective browse will find you videos to while away the time before Christmas dinner.

Templars Crusade
If you are more interested in the painting and modelling side of things, then go have a look at Templars Crusade's channel. He's been particularly interested in Flames of War and Horus Heresy recently, but he does love him his Forge World as a general theme...

This chap builds terrain. He does some pretty big projects, and its worth having a look at for inspiration and ideas.

Computer Games

And if you need something to keep you entertained on your computer?

Tiny Death Star (Android)
Tiny Death Star (iPad/iPhone)

A little tower building game that is horribly addictive, where you help fund the death star with shops, restaurants and toy shops...

Papers Please

Not one to play while you're feeling down, but a fascinating game where you play a border guard at an Eastern European border checkpoint in 1982. Incredibly depressing, but a real work of art that is worth playing over and over, as it gives you some real challenges, both mentally and emotionally.

And a couple of quick ones...

Public Service Announcement

Someone recently made the mistake of letting one of the guys who made Cards Against Humanity know their Youtube password . . . and this was the result.

Blogger won't let me embed this one, so you can go to Youtube. It is work safe...


Drinking White Wine in the Sun

And finally, here's a video of what has recently become one of my favourite songs about Christmas.

Saturday 21 December 2013

A bit more Infinity: Nomads vs Combined Army Battle Report

So, I managed to find the time to fit in another Infinity game at 200 points against the Combined Army.

Nomads  |  8 models

 Interventor Lieutenant (26|0.5)
 Securitate Combi (23|0)
 Securitate Paramedic (27|0)
 Intruder Sniper (52|1.5)
 Reaktion Zond (28|1)
 Zero Minelayer (19|0.5)
 Moderator Spitfire (16|0.5)
 Moderator Combi (9|0)

200/200 points | 4/4 swc
open with Aleph Toolbox   : http://goo.gl/GFOv2G

This time around, I was curious about hacking. So I took an Interventor as my Lieutenant, and two Securitate, as they carry repeaters as standard. Sadly, as it turned out, I never really got a chance to learn about hacking, but it was still an interesting game.

I did play this game a whole long time ago, so I'm not sure I remember what on earth I was doing! I'm still using proxy models, so I have trouble after a long break between playing the battle and writing the battle report remembering what model is what!

The psyker was my hacker, the grenade launcher to the bottom left was the Reaktion Zond and the medic is the paramedic... The rest of the models were Moderators and the other Securitate.

Under camo markers, I put the sniper at the back, a mine by the bunker, and the Zero sneaking about over on the right. I didn't know at this point that you had to put the mine close to the minelayer, so whoops!

Here you see the Combined Army. with a Charontid on their right flank, and Morat on their left flank in a fire team.

I ran a model up the right flank to try and get a good shot at the Morat team, but . . . whoops!

It turned out that one of the Morat had a line of sight and gunned down the flanking chap.

The Spitfire ran up and unleashed a volley of fire on the Charontid, which took a hit - and I then discovered that some models have multiple wounds...

Then some sneaky swine dropped out of total camouflage.

The Reaktion Zond tried to take out the sniper...

But was itself destroyed!

Another wound off the Charontid? Who managed that?

This paramedic, with a critical! Go team!

He survives the blast, but the Lieutenant bites the dust. This was an important learning experience for me as I realised how dangerous blasts were!

The Charontid advanced up, confident in its ability to weather the remaining fire...

And the paramedic is cut down trying to get out of the line of fire trying to get to the Lieutenant.

And the Charontid advances further, taking out the Spitfire armed trooper - he just won't die!

Although the Zero managed to hold his own against a trooper trying to get close to him through smoke...

But at this point, I had so few troops left, it was clear the skirmish was over. I was without a Lieutenant, broken, and with hardly any models left. The bloodied survivors fled the field, leaving the sector to the aliens.