Monday 29 February 2016

Goblins, Snorklings, month and and next month's plans...

So, I'm continuing with trying to get a model a week painted so there's something pretty for people to look at when they come to the blog. Or in this case, ugly. Here's some Snorklings, sculpted by Kev Adams. I got these with the Kev Adams self portrait sculpt I painted a while back that Foundry sold for GoblinAid.

I painted these up to check I was happy with my planned colour scheme for the goblins. Quite happy with that!

The main activity of the weekend was goblin assembly. I spent a bit of time trying to work out how this Goblin Spear Chukka went together before realising that the central piece of it was missing. I bought it cheap, sold as seen, due to a damaged blister. I'm going to have to be creative to sort this one out!

I was hoping to get about twenty or so goblins assembled this weekend. I've managedt complete these four shaman and a squiggly beast familiar. An internet gold star for anyone who can name the company / caster for all of these! (This does really show off the sort of thing I'm looking for with my goblins - a rag tag bunch of greenskins from many different suppliers!)

The plastic GW goblin shaman needs to stay in the pieces he's in for painting, as getting a paint brush into some of the nooks and crannies would be otherwise near impossible! There still needs to be a little work on the mould lines on the staff, but it is super fiddly, and I didn't want to rush it!

So, with the February project having been goblin assembly, I've not been hugely successful. They are at least organised, and I know how much effort assembling and painting them will be. For now, I'm going to keep a handful on the assembly desk as I move through other things, trying to get a few done a week until I've got a couple of units assembled up.

I've also put a little bit of fiction on my goblin project page. As units get assembled and / or painted, I'll get pictures and background put up there.

This is the March target. It does look like a lot when you pile it all together. Not all of it is purchases - due to being away at Christmas, we had a late family Christmas in February, so I have many presents! The idea is to get this lot all assembled in the course of the month.

It can be broadly broken down into:

  • The Chaos models I wanted that went onto Last Chance to Buy
  • An Age of Sigmar force using Bretonnian peasants as survivors of a lost kingdom of the mortal realms (because I was afraid they were going to become Last Chance to Buy)
  • Skitarii (present)
  • Arcane Ruins (present)
  • Arco Flagellants (present)
  • Arcworlde Boglin Bazaar
This is certainly an ambitious target. Some might say "brave". But I'm determined to start dealing with  models as they come in! Hopefully, I'll get a couple of speed paints in as palate cleansers as I slog through the mould line removal and gluing!

Wish me luck...

Monday 22 February 2016

The Infinity Problem

Some of you will remember that this time last year, I got all excited about Infinity. I played (and did rather well) in a slow grow league. I attended Wartrader's Winter Challenge. I also went to the first Totally Crit Open. And then . . . silence. What went wrong?

Well, lets be honest - the first big problem is model assembly. It is an absolute pain and while I can slowly but surely put one or two together over a bunch of time while doing something else, getting a full force together has proved painful!

So, first decision - I still want to paint my Nomads, but they can go off to someone else to assemble. I'm shopping around for quotes at the moment and it looks quite reasonable.

I also keep looking thoughtfully at other armies. I am liking how Nomads play, but it does feel like a lot of people play Nomads and as most of us got into Nomads through Icestorm, there's a lot of similarities between forces.

Still, I could keep them and keep growing the force. There's plenty of models I've not tried yet, and ways I could expand the force. I kind of feel paralysed a bit by the incoming Human Sphere as part of me would like to do a Sectorial, but with potential rules changes and a bunch of figures already bought that cross all the potential Sectorials, I have put work and money into stuff I then wouldn't be using. Jumping between vanilla and sectorial is still a valid option, though!

Then, because I bought Icestorm, I do still have PanOceania models. They don't seem as popular as Nomads, and despite being the 'generic' faction, don't seem to get much love. I certainly wouldn't pick them as a first faction, as they are not my usual play style at all, but I am rather interested in giving them a run at some point to try and understand them better.

The other problem is that I'm a contrary person who likes playing factions no-one else is playing. When Corvus Belli published the 2015 ITS statistics about who plays what, among other things, I started looking at the forces that hardly anyone plays. I ignored the lack of USAriadna as they're a new faction, and steered clear of the massively in need of a re-write Shasvastii, but started browsing the Imperial Service, Acontecimento and Haqqislam in particular. I even had a glance at the Merovingians!

I am definitely not going to dive into a new faction now, but it occurred to me that this could be a good use for the Anvil Industry Afterlife figures I picked up in their Kickstarter. A few proxy games will let me work out if I love to death one of these factions more than the Nomads, without investing years of my life in collecting and assembling!

Thursday 18 February 2016

Learning to paint Reaper Bones

So, I mentioned last time I'd painted a Reaper Bones Medusa. The material is a bit different to what I'm used to, so I had a quick google and read through some threads on the Reaper forums looking for advice. This is more about confirming what worked for me than trying to supplant the advice there - it's really quite thorough!

(If you want to buy this figure yourself, you can get it here if you're in the US. In the UK, the Dice Bag Lady stocks sensible female figures, but will order in other models on request. Miniature Heroes stock a wide range of Reaper, but I can't for the life of me find this one!)

I cleaned mine up using a scalpel blade because that's what I have. I really should get some better files for clean up...

Anyhow, I was then an idiot.

 Not fancying paying a bunch for a different undercoat spray to the one I usually use, and skim reading the advice, I went and bought this medium and tried to use it as an undercoat. Of course, medium's job is to evaporate, so unbeknownst to me at the time, this will have done precisely nothing useful.

Fortunately suspicious, I didn't wash down my base coats - they had a little trouble going on, but it was usually fine on a second pass. Once the first coat of paint is on, the next one does just fine because it's sticking to the paint and not the water repelling plastic...

Anyway, next ones I paint will probably use a different undercoating method that actually works, but this at least covers my somewhat foolish experiences. Good news! It's not that unforgiving! You can mess up and still turn out an OK paint job.

As a note - the details on these are not great, and clean up is a pain. Their merit is in the fact that they are cheap, doubly so with the bigger monsters. However, I don't look down on them for that - they have picked a particular market and they're very good for that. I would definitely recommend them for the gamer on a budget, but advise at least being a little cautious with them and trying out what works and what doesn't.

Monday 15 February 2016

Shamelessly painting models for clicks

The problem with an assembly blitz / focus is that it turns out that lots of pictures of well cleaned up part assembled models really doesn't drive blog traffic. So, to shamelessly pander to what gets clicks, here's a Reaper Bones Medusa I painted up this weekend. It's just a basic paint job, but I had mostly bought her at Salute as a model to learn how to paint Bones on.

I also think she might be the first ever model that I bought at Salute that I've painted myself. That's probably bad, right? I should probably fix that.

I also got in some solid progress on Myth, who is my Tiefling Bard. He's a Heroforge 3D print. I want to get more detail done on him, and some of the base coats are quite rough. I'm also really not sure about the colour I've done on the gloves. Anyone got any ideas?

I've previously mentioned my . . . somewhat crowded 'painting table'. It's the dining room table, and half of it should belong to my beloved wife. This is not a source of harmony in my life. So, time to make a bit of a dent in it!

The mess, not the table. The landlord would get grumpy.

Those of you who remember my Goblin Accident at Salute last year will see some familiar suspects on the right of this shot. So... Lets get that sorted out.

 First, I cleared a space and put some stuff away so I actually had enough room to do some organising. I should probably do some more of that clearing and putting away thing in the future, too!

Then I grabbed some foam trays and started sorting the goblins out into sections. I now have a good idea of how many goblins I have, groups they can be sensibly assembled and painted in, and so on. The foam trays take up much less space than the piles of poorly piled up blister packs, so they can go away and take up far less space.

I didn't quite have enough bases, so I put in a small base order with Heresy Miniatures, who, it turns out, stock a good number of different types of bases as well as awesome models and stuff.

I'm feeling really good about my hobby progress this weekend. I've got a finished painted model, another model up to tabletop quality and ready for details and faffing about, and the Goblin Problem is now a Manageable Goblin Problem With a Plan.

It turns out that doing hobby stuff and getting successes in turn makes you feel more enthused, so you end up wanting to do more hobby. This feels like a good positive re-inforcement circle I should continue...

Monday 8 February 2016

Malifaux Tournament Report: Wayland Games "Welcome to Malifaux"

So, back in January, I pottered down to Wayland Games for "Welcome to Malifaux", a 3 round tournament intended for beginners. It was 40SS (the game size) with a you only allowed to declare a single Master over the games, and you could only take models, either in your list or summoned, from a 60SS pool.

Game 1
Flank Deployment
Strategy: Reconnoitre
Scheme Pool: A Line in the Sand, Assassinate, Protect Territory, Plant Explosives, Spring Trap

My opponent, a fellow new player, declares that he's playing Guild. I discount Assassinate and Spring Trap as unnecessarily hard. I select a list of swarms of little puppets and changelings to hopefully run around and get lots of markers so he can't shoot everyone.

It turns out I'm facing Sonia, which means I'm at risk of having everything set on fire. I sent out a couple of sacrificial minions to stall her and clog up her table quarter, while solidly claiming two of my own.

In the end, I lure a couple of models to stand by scheme markers for plant explosives, have solidly protected my territory, and scored every available round for Reconnoitre. An 8-0 win and I'm now worried about wandering up the tables to get a thorough kicking by someone experienced...

Moment of the game
Having Collodi zap a poisoned Witchling Handler so it was slow and would use its action for him, and getting it so it was on it's last wound - it treacherously shot up it's colleague and an Executioner before expiring from poison!

Game 2
Corner Deployment
Strategy: Turf War
Scheme Pool: A Line in the Sand, Bodyguard, Distract, Power Ritual, Entourage

An experienced player. Playing Gremlins. And he has a magnificent hat. I'm proper for it. Turf War is a serious knock down fight in the middle, so I pick out Teddy and the Emissary. I'm pretty set on declaring Power Ritual (both easy and obvious) and going for Distract on the other one as I'm not convinced I'm not going to be beaten to tar and at least this way they'll have to spend actions un-Distracting themselves...

So, it's Mah, with Trixiebelle and two Rooster Riders. This is going to Proper Suck. He runs a Rooster Rider out to each corner for points - I send out some sacrificial puppets in the hope that one set make it (they do). The Emissary just won't die for a while with a mix of Collodi's healing and sitting in it's own dangerous terrain. Mah goes down after the Emissary gives her a surprise "lose all your conditions", but Trixie is an absolute pain. I manage to hold on pretty well in the centre for a while, getting three points there and the full allowance for Power Ritual after a Rooster Rider rushes back to help in a fight leaving some puppets unobserved. Nothing for distract - just nothing left to score it! Meanwhile, the Gremlins knock out full points so I go down to a 10-6 loss.

Moment of the game
Teddy jumps the Gremlin wrestler Mancha Roja and eats him "in one gulp". The badly wounded Teddy is then charged by a berserk Rooster Rider and is pecked to death by a chicken. At least with Gremlins you're always laughing...

Game 3
Corner Deployment
Strategy: Reckoning
Scheme Pool: A Line in the Sand, Bodyguard, Protect Territory, Frame for Murder, Plant Evidence

So, a fellow Neverborn opponent and a scheme that involves you killing your opponents models... This is going to be bloody! I go with Teddy and the Emissary again, and decide that setting Frame for Murder on Teddy will be an excellent idea, because if Teddy is in your face you'll be busy panicking about the killer teddybear and not thinking about giving up points. Protect Territory because I've done it before and I've got enough to worry about.

The survivors. It's pretty bloody. Turns out Lilith is really good at murdering stuff dead! Double that when she brought Nekima! The sole survivor scores a point for Protect Territory, I got a couple of points through Reckoning, and I get the full points for Frame for Murder... Final score ends up being 6-3 to me.

Moment of the game
The Frame for Murder. Nekima is up on a building because she can fly, and I sneak a Changeling off and drop a Scheme marker, apparently intent on getting markers and not paying her any attention despite the fact I just saw her move some massive amount the previous turn. Teddy is nearby, but not all that close...
Nekima takes the bait and swoops down - the Changeling dies a messy death. And then a Marionette helpfully pushes Teddy just a little bit closer... A brutal series of attacks follow, with Teddy Peek-a-boo-ing Nekima over hazardous terrain to get the kill, conveniently scraping the odd wound off him while I'm at it - and leaves him remarkably close to Lilith. After the brutal demonstration, she charges in and cuts him down to discover she's been set up!

Overall results

I was really pleased to come in overall fifth as someone who was only playing their third, fourth and fifth games at the event! There was a little mix up and I was included in with the veterans so I didn't get a certificate for placing as a newcomer, but I got a 'make up' certificate later.

So, I did well at the games, but its important to note that the community (many of whom I sort of know from twitter) were lovely and friendly, and very welcoming. It was pretty much the perfect tournament experience, and I'm keen to get more models assembled and painted up so I can make more tournaments!

Monday 1 February 2016

Malifaux Battle Report: Collodi vs Ten Thunders Lynch

 With a "starter tournament" due at Wayland Games, I decided to head down to my local store to get a practice game in so I'd played more than one game of Malifaux before the tournament...

I was playing Collodi, because that's the Master I own and have painted and assembled. For a strategy, we drew "Squatters Rights" (claim two of five objectives) and from the available schemes I chose "Protect Territory" and "Line in the Sand" (place a bunch of markers all over the place).

 Crew wise, I was running with a Mysterious Emissary, a Teddy, and a Changeling on top of Collodi and his Marionettes. This was mostly to learn the rules of these things before I played them at the tournament!

I was facing Jacob Lynch working for Ten Thunders, with a Beckoner, a couple of Illuminated, Mr Graves and the Crossroads Seven member known as Lust.

I started off by running the Mysterious Emissary up the flank to drop a Hungry Land marker into the Ten Thunders lines so their advance would be disrupted.

Ah. It turns out Lust and the Beckoner are both masters of movement shenanigans, and the Mysterious Emissary is  dragged out into the open...

And then the Hungering Darkness potters over to have a polite word...

 I'm trying to run models up as quickly as possible to get someone in place to heal the Emissary before it's too late...

 ... but it's too late!

Teddy claims a Claim marker to start trying to get to the point of scoring...

The Changeling tries to do something super clever involving teleporting and stealing Teddy's attack to take out the Illuminated, but it doesn't go so well...

I do manage to grab two Claimer markers to grab some points, but it's looking like I'm in trouble...

Teddy goes down to Mr Graves, leaving only a bunch of doll parts.

Things move around, trying to get some control back with both of my heavy hitters down.

The Changeling copies Mr Graves ability to throw people around to smack the Beckoner miles away from everyone else, and the Hungering Darkness is brought down...

But it's immortal at the moment, and with the dead of one of my Brilliance infected puppets, he's back at full pelt.

More and more models turn to scrap, and soon it's all over!

Some hindsight

I was in trouble in this one from the beginning - my opponent's crew had an excellent movement shenanigans based list (Graves, Lust and the Beckoner all throwing people around), while mine was relatively straightforward. I left things a bit piecemeal and was picked apart by the more mobile crew. The Emissary should not have been so bold early on - it allowed an entire crew to focus on it unbothered while I was in early moves with the rest of the crew. I probably should have committed more to one side and stuck with that.

Still, lessons are learned, and on to the tournament!