Tuesday 29 March 2016

Infinity Battle Report: Nomads vs PanO

In which the author has trouble booking a table at his usual venue, attends a gaming club for the first time, and roundly gets his teeth kicked in because he hasn't played Infinity for a year...

With my Infinity figures conveniently assembled and undercoated by someone else, it was time to remind myself how this blasted game works. I laid down a challenge on my local gaming store board, received acceptance and arranged a nice 300 point Annihilation mission just to remind myself how all this stuff works. Sadly, my local gaming store is doing really well and is getting all its tables booked out in plenty of time, so I couldn't get a booking. Then HATE (Hackney Area Tabletop Enthusiasts) had venue issues of their own causing them to move to a Tuesday, and my opponent and I changed venues.

HATE is held at Bethnal Green Working Men's Club. It was very welcoming, and a little less busy than usual due to the late change of date.

We set up a pretty typical battlefield - with a mix of my scenery, my opponent's scenery and the club's scenery. My opponent won the initial willpower roll and chose his table side and that I would deploy first, and I in turn chose to go first. My side was the side at the bottom of the photo.

I deployed an invisible Spektr Forward Observer on the walkways in the middle of the battlefield. For those who don't play Infinity, I took this photo to prove to my opponent where the model was, but he didn't get to know where the model was!

On my right flank, a Vertigo Zond, Grenzer Sniper and Reverend Healer on the roof (with the healer lying down so she didn't get shot). An Interventor hid behind the shipping crate and an Alguacile by the remote.

Meanwhile on the left flank, Zoe and Pi-Well hid down the side of a building, behind the Lunokhod Sputnik. A Warcor stood openly on the roof, while my lieutenant, an Alguacile, hid behind the building by the stairwell.

My opponent had an Aquila HMG on the building at the bottom of the picture, with a doctor hiding around the corner. With a mechanised deployment, a Peacemaker Armbot deployed forward behind  the green silo with its companion robot. Further back was a baggage bot, an engineer and some other bits and pieces.

 So, the first thing I needed to do something about was the Aquila Guard HMG. I started off by having my Interventor drop White Noise - the plan was to then use my sniper rifle to take him out, but I totally forgot that the Grenzr has a visor himself, so was also blinded.

The waste of orders was annoying! I also left my Interventor standing out in the open as I forgot about her, causing her to get cut down the following turn, along with the sniper. I revealed my Spektr, who successfully targetted the Aquila Guard, but at the cost of being shot to pieces. I wounded the Guard with a guided missile, but didn't manage to get further - I used a free order to take out the Peacemaker, which I'd also managed to target before it got blown up.

The Peacemaker was then repaired by an engineering bot. My Zero Forward Observer then took speculative fire from a flamethrower. It went badly.

In my turn, I healed up my Grenzr sniper and shot down the Aquila Guard. He was healed up, then finally shot down and killed by the end of the game.

However, my game fell apart as a Cutter TAG revealed itself and rampaged up the field. My best chance was to get the Lunokhod to disrupt it's advance, but it managed to work its way around the Crazy Koalas, shoot them to bits, and storm down the field taking out everything.

In the end, the Warcor and the Lieutenant were the only survivors. The final score was a 9-1 loss. Hopefully a few reports of "unnecessary PanO aggression" might help morale in the face of this awful defeat!

Post Mortem

I was lacking in heavy hitters. I need something with a bit more punch to deal with threats like serious stuff like heavy infantry and TAGs. For now, I'm going to hold off and wait on Human Sphere to come out before I make any purchasing decisions...

Monday 21 March 2016

Setting acheivable goals

This blog is probably a great monument to how terrible I am at setting achievable goals for myself. Here's my progress so far as to the stuff I'm meant to be getting assembled this month.

This is what the target is - finishing everything else in the Easter weekend is just not going to happen! So the good news is that I'm not down about this. I was full of optimism and believed I could do this, but the amount of focus and time I have after work and over the weekends is severely limited.

Probably part of the problem is that I've mostly focussed on little 'quick wins' for so long I haven't done a regiment in forever. Last month I tried to sort out the goblins, and while the sorting out happened, not many got assembled! Hiding behind my paint pots are an assortment of half finished sins...

So, lets recalibrate our expectations a little bit, shall we? Timed goals aren't great, as the real world getting in the way seriously messes up plans - it's not like work where it's your top priority for a certain number of hours a day!

So, first real goal - prep a goblin! This is a gorgeous Bob Olley sculpt that was done for GoblinAid. Most of my goblins are single piece sculpts so are pretty easy to do in isolation. It's just there's a lot of them! There's a bunch of half finished ones sitting on the desk, so they'll be the first targets. It's a nice thing to do around bigger projects and gets adorable little sneaky murderers ready for paint - which will start stocking up on similarly easy to paint things ready to go when I'm in the mood for it!

So there's actually a reasonable amount of stuff sitting in the 'ready to paint' pile. Most that weren't commission assembled are small single figure pieces, but the good news is that there's a nice backlog set up there.

The key thing, I think, is to plug on through the big unit of Forsaken, get them assembled, then split them into slightly smaller groups for painting. Meanwhile, keep knocking through individual figures to keep the progress going. Clear out the backlog of half finished things to start off with, then move on to other bits and bobs.

The Infinity stuff is basically done now - sadly, I've not been able to get a table at Dark Sphere this week - their gaming hall is thriving and you need to get in early! Current plan with Infinity is to wait for Human Sphere to come out, play some games with my current models and some proxies, then start thinking about what to get next - and definitely keep paying someone else to assemble all my stuff!

Meanwhile, getting these two little dudes painted will bring my Malifaux crew up to a full 50 soulstone painted crew. Teddy will need to come through, and the Coryphee and Performer are currently waiting for smaller drill bits to arrive from Hong Kong...

I am getting more stuff done than before - but I'm still not at a steady pace that I'm happy with. It feels like an engine trying to stutter into life.

Thursday 17 March 2016


 I want to tell a bit of a story, but it doesn't have a start, middle or end. The words are a jumble in my head, the sentences could come in any order.

I'm sitting at my computer desk, in an uncomfortable dining chair because my wife is using the one office chair in the study for Actual Work. I'm drinking peppermint tea and recently finished a cupcake with a flower design on, and the middle of the flower was a smartie.

So, currently scoring around 'moderate adult'.

Sometimes, I walk home from work. My job can be pretty stressful at times, and it's a good way of clearing my head. It takes about an hour and a half or so, and I usually end up listening to some podcast or other.

I'd been listening to the Independent Characters latest podcast, which talks about oil washes and different paint brands, so I was feeling a little bit in an artistic mood. I'd also chatted a little to a couple of people at work about miniature painting and very much in my head was feeling like the painting I do is art (irrespective or not of whether it's any good).

Then I started taking photos of things. It started with a parked up post office van which had some interested sun fading on it in the yellow street lights. You don't see 'faded red' as a paint job very often - I suspect because it's really quite difficult to do. Perhaps it's something I'd like to try one day. The dust pattern along the bottom of the van was also pretty interesting from a weathering point of view as well.

Then the Independent Characters podcast finished up, so I decided to listen to the Radio Free Burrito for the first time. In it, Wil Wheaton talked a bit about some art he was thinking about involving old film, projection and so on.

This got me thinking a whole bunch about the art projects I've never gotten around to doing. When I was at school, I was one of those kids who constantly had grandiose plans I never followed through on. One of my teachers did push me over a cliff on that once by then signing me up to direct and produce a play on my own. That was good for my soul. I need pushing into things, I think. I'm inherently pretty lazy.

I took a bunch of photos with light and shadow and machinery and things. I've put some up on a Tumblr account I created a while back I've never been quite sure what to do with. I don't really know if anyone reads it. I don't like the interface. I'm not sure really why I have it other than for posting photos I want to be able to find later but don't want to leave on the blog because I think that they'd be filler that would kill traffic.

But tonight, I'm thinking about art and writing stream of conscious and I don't care about my traffic stats. Which is weird. I usually do. I mean, I don't, but treat it as a kind of score for how well I'm blogging and how good my content is. Rubbish view scores are a motivation to up the quality of my content. Competing with my past self, really.

Oh. Things I mean to do that never have. Write a blog about fiction and books I read. Write actual fiction myself. Do that painting project where I follow all the painting tutorials in the old GW Masterclass book.

Everything is a bit of a muddle. I think the weekend will be focussed in on sorting out little things I've not finished. Making things more ordered. Tidying. My mind is stressed and having trouble focussing and little successes are needed to give that little happy bump of 'done' and 'organised', rather than the big project of doom which takes a lot of effort to get done. Remember the lazy thing? But I need some success about now.

What I do is art. Be that writing on the blog, photos I take or painting miniatures or telling stories. Is it good art? That doesn't matter. It's art, and I did it.

Tuesday 15 March 2016

Changeling Proxy finished, and a bit of a dilemma

So, this little trouble maker is why the blog wasn't up on Monday. I'd taken the original photo to display him, and suddenly spotted a horrible splodge of purple on the orb he's holding! I couldn't cope with this, so had to take some time to fix him, by which point it was too late to finish the blog post.

He's a demonic familiar from Heresy Miniatures. I'm using him as a proxy for a Changeling in Malifaux until the correct model comes out. The base is a Scibor "rocky" base. I spent a bit of time on the base experimenting with washing and stippling, and enjoyed learning a few new tricks I might be able to use.

I also learned a little bit about going the extra mile. Here's an earlier version of our creepy little friend, back when I spotted that splodge of purple on the band of the metallic gubbins he's holding. When I patched it up, I also did a teeny bit of edge highlighting in Runefang Steel to bring up the metal, and I think it really worked. Before I even did this, I'd asked my wife for feedback, and she felt the face was too dark. That resulted in the highlight on the lips, and the yellow edge highlights on the bottom lines of the hood side flaps, and over the joint of the nose and eyes - again, adding stronger, better highlights to a tiny extent really improving a model!

My weekend productivity was helped by, when I finally did get down to some serious Forsaken assembly, setting up my iPad to watch the Beasts of War 2015 Gaming Awards, then their latest Infinity battle report for Operation Flamestrike.

I found this particularly helpful as it meant I had a second thing to focus on while I scraped mould lines clean, but also it meant I didn't get tempted to read blogs, Twitter, Facebook and G+. I suspect that if I was actually manage to focus for longer, I'd get a lot more done. I'm hoping that the watching videos plan improves productivity.

Meanwhile, my most productive avenue for Getting Stuff Done, the ever reliable Paying Someone Else To Do It has continued with a bit of assembly. I decided to give Peachey Models a go to start clearing some assembly work. I started out with these desert insurgents by Miniatures of the North. They came back well assembled for the price - a tiny bit of clean up missed (less than I'd usually miss and have to fix halfway through painting) and one gun knocked off by my particularly brutal local post office.

But this leaves me with a problem. I'd originally planned to use these as chaos cultists . . . but they just don't feel right for that. There's nine of them, so they don't suit as Imperial Guard veterans. I think they might work as a "Renegade Marauders" squad from either the Lost and the Damned or Tyrant's Legion list - but I don't know off hand how many models that needs.

I really like the models and want to paint them and think they deserve to see some table use - I'm just hard pressed to work out what to use them for...

Anyone got any suggestions?

Monday 7 March 2016

A new basing experiment

Long term followers of the blog will know that I've previously experimented with Agrellan Earth with varied degrees of success. The Bloodletter experiment mostly lead me to swear that all crackle bases would be done separately to the model...

So, with a big unit of Forsaken needing assembling for my Warriors of Chaos, I decided to dig out the pot that had been languishing in a bag for over a year and give it another go.

My old pot seemed to have separated out a bunch. So I used a clay shaper to ladle the stuff onto the bases in random blobs to see how it turned out.

An experiment with pouring it ended . . . poorly. As I was trying to catch up on TV at the coffee table at the time, a sweet wrapper was swiftly used to avoid getting paint everywhere. I did have to be rescued. It was a little embarrassing.

I put some new lumps on the two failed experiments and then left them to dry overnight.

In the morning, it was looking pretty positive! The separation you want from Agrellan Earth had happened, and it was time to do the rest of the work.

Here they are ready for models - I used a few rocks from a Games Workshop basing kit, Vallejo Coarse Pumice and Vallejo Sandy Paste.

The next step will be to pin the assembled models to them, then undercoat the lot before painting.