Monday 30 September 2019

Planning for hobby in last quarter 2019

Managed to get some painting and assembly done this weekend! First up, I finished up the Bones "Ti'ik Warrior" I'd previously started. He's a quick paint job with Contrast Paints. I undercoated with Army Painter white, as I've found that sticks to Bones Plastic better than GW Primers. I then used Wraithbone and Grey Seer Base paints over the top of that to be certain the Contrast paints had something to stick to.

After that, they worked like a dream. It was a nice quick paint job and I'm pretty happy with it.

Also, when packing to go on holiday the other week, I found the Chaos Warrior from the paint and take at the Age of Sigmar Open Day in January. I'd not based him, so got that done for a cheeky finished model.

I also varnished my previously painted Bones minis . . . and then dropped the poor wizard onto a concrete floor. Here's a pic of the damage (it's not too bad) and I've now tidied it up.

I've assembled and undercoated three Reaper Bones Black "Dreadmere Mercenaries". I'm definitely impressed with the new Bones Black material. It's kind of the quality of the mid quality board game pieces, and definitely worthwhile for rank and file troops or D&D monsters. I'll be posting a separate review of the stuff later.

I'm also painting these following the method "El Soldado Tranquilo" describes on his blog. My idea, with the new Cities of Sigmar being up for pre-order at the moment, is to paint them as three residents of different cities, now available to hire by those who need a cheap sell sword.

I've also finished assembling my first Malifaux figure for 3e. This is "Viktoria of Blood", one of the mercenary Viktoria twins. I've got about ten models lined up to assemble to have a playable crew with a couple of options, so I better get cracking.

Which neatly brings me on to future plans...

As I haven't finished off the Skaven test paints, I've managed to get 4 models finished in the past two months. I'm pretty sure I can get more than that done, but lets set some sensible goals.

Operation "Paint 2, Buy 1" can be safely written off on the grounds of being over 250 miniatures down at this point, and at current pace I might get 10 models painted this year myself? So lets be realistic.

Minimum Q4 2019 goal
  • Paint 6 figures
Given that's very achievable, lets set myself a nice list of stretch goals...

I've got two things that have "ticked over" to being "late" - one year after I got them towards the end of last year. Those are some terrain crates I picked up from a club member's estate I want to paint for the club, and the Die Hard Miniatures Undead Kickstarter figures. Those definitely go on the list.

I've also got an Antenociti's Workshop order organiser I need to magnetise, and an Infinity MDF case I bought ages ago I'm yet to glue. I should do that.

Oh goodness, I nearly forgot! I'm planning on taking part in Purge the Pit, a 40K campaign being organised at Warhammer World in December. I could use existing models, but it would be excellent to use newly painted ones. That's a definite additional stretch goal!

Q4 stretch goals
  • Finish Skaven test paints
  • Assemble 10 Malifaux models
  • Paint 10 Malifaux Models
  • Clean and paint club terrain crates
  • Assemble and Paint Diehard Miniatures Undead
  • Paint Purge the Pit force
That's definitely plenty to be getting on with. I'll check back in on progress at the end of October.

Thursday 26 September 2019

Finally trying Warhammer 40,000 8th edition

So, before I went on holiday I headed over to Dark Sphere Waterloo to try out the 8th edition of 40K. My opponent was bringing his newly painted Salamanders, while I dug out my old Tallarn. We went with 100 power level each so there was plenty to do. Unit wise, I just picked a wide selection of different units to see what they were like.

It's been so long since I played 40K that I am hard pressed to remember what's new and a change and what's really different. I know that tanks having wounds is new, but is alternating deployment a new thing? I've only really been deploying troops for Infinity for so long...

While we were both still trying to get the hang of the game, we were both using nearly completely painted armies, on painted terrain on a nice board. It's certainly something that adds to the whole experience.

I didn't get much of a chance to see what Leman Russ can do, as the Salamander Predators were deathly afraid of it and shot it an awful lot.

The Salamander bikes made the mistake of getting a little too close to the Hellhound, which shot up the table and burnt most of them to a crisp. Hellhounds still good, then.

An angry Space Marine with a Thunder Hammer took revenge, though, and soon the Hellhound was no more.

The Land Speeder and the Hydra had a disagreement, but the Land Speeder definitely came off worse.

Ratlings remain a useful, fun unit, but probably shouldn't get into quite as much of a stand up gun fight as I put them into...

The bikes then charged into my guard squads.

I was pleased to discover that while the Commissar's execution ability is . . . not great, the bestowed leadership is incredibly useful and helped hold the squads together.

Rather than try anything clever with pulling back and shooting, I counter-charged with a priest and a Commissar Lord and pulled them down with weight of numbers.

My Scout Sentinels on the left flank got 'jumped' by an assault squad. I've retroactively made that pun intentional, and I'm not sorry.

A hail of anti tank fire caused one of the Salamander predators to back the hell up behind a bunker to get better cover.

Overwatch fire and big stompy robot legs started making a difference in the assault squad / sentinel fight.

I finally remembered I had a bunch of Storm Troopers in reserve and air dropped them all in.

Inconveniently, many of them were then set on fire by some big robot suit Marines with big flame throwers. Aggressors?

I finally looked up with Tallarn's special rules are and started moving forward quickly.

I also got in a cheeky use of the "Grenadiers" tactic as the surviving conscripts all lobbed frag grenades at a nearby tactical squad.

The Commissar Lord managed to use his power sword to cause a bit of damage on the dreadnought...

While the Scout Sentinel - Assault Squad match ground on, and on, and on . . .

Initial Thoughts

I'd been thinking about giving up on my Guard army and starting something new. But I enjoyed this game with my guard so much that I am absolutely going to rejuvenate them and get them back into play for 8th edition.

40K is still a big tabletop game that takes a bunch of time, so I won't be playing it as often as my skirmish games, but I definitely love the new edition. The stratagems are characterful, the rules work pretty smoothly, and it all seems to hold together well. I am definitely very impressed.

Monday 23 September 2019

Wot I did on my holidays

We got back last night from a short holiday with my lovely wife, which included a few bits of gaming related stuff which I thought my readers might be interested in.

We dropped into Warhammer World a couple of times. Bugmans remains a reliable place to meet up with other nerds and chat nonsense. As is the way of things, various people we know from Twitter were present and we all only worked this out after we'd all left.

While I don't have any blog suitable photos, we also went to Cave Escape Nottingham with some friends to do their new Monuments escape room. We've previously done their other room, Carfax, and both are excellent. Monuments is a tough one, though - we were only the third team to ever escape, while it's been open two weeks.

Meanwhile, back at Warhammer World, Sim and I gave the 8th edition of Warhammer 40,000 a go. I've got a separate blog post coming up about my experiences with it. We decided to sort out the learning experience in two stages. The first was simply running a unit of Wychs into an unfortunate Guard infantry squad so Sim could get the differences from the last edition in terms of charges, attacks and so on. This, unsurprisingly, did not take long.

We then had a quick 25 power level game with Sim picking one of each of units she likes and me lining up some Guard to shoot back and be shot. It meant Sim got an idea of how a few different units performed in comparison to each other.

We avoided Command Points, Strategems and so on, and I didn't bother using Guard orders or anything like that. Sadly, as we were doing it in the evening at Warhammer World, we didn't quite get as far as we liked as they needed to close so their staff could sleep.

We also gave Warcry a quick demo on the other day we were in the store. I absolutely fell in love with it, but it didn't grab Sim sufficiently to justify her taking it up. I've definitely added a Warcry warband to my "to buy" list.

We popped into Chillcon on the Sunday for about twenty minutes before it closed. Didn't manage to do much other than buy a blister of Bones Black to see what it's like, and say hello to Annie from Bad Squiddo.

I've now got a week at home on holiday. I mostly plan on clearing down more of the massive eBay pile we've developed during the unpacking at the new flat. Lots of old abandoned projects need to move on to stop cluttering up the flat.

I'll also be aiming to get some painting done - I want to finish off my half finished bits and bobs and crack on with the next things in my painting pile. I'll report back next week!

Monday 9 September 2019

Infinity: Dahshat Company vs Spiral Corps - Supplies

With a new season of ITS coming up, I pottered down to HATE to get a practice game in with Dahshat company, the faction I'm planning on playing for at least the first part of the next season. They're the faction I took to the Firestorm Satellite tournament back in April when I was getting frustrated with Druze, and I had a brilliant time.

The faction background is that they're a mercenary company owned by a successful Uyghur businessman, so as a result include troops from both the Yu Jing and Haqqislam factions (with a few support troops from Ariadna as well for other background reasons). They're perceived as being very strong in the current tournament meta, due to good mixed fireteams, a variety of cheap order options and some very strong assault pieces.

I didn't want to rock the boat to start out so generated a pretty typical list:

 Supplies Dahshat

GROUP 1 7  / 2  / 1
 GHULAM Lieutenant Rifle + Light Shotgun / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 12)
 ZÚYŎNG (Tactical Awareness) HMG / 2 Breaker Pistols, Knife. (1.5 | 38)
 ZÚYǑNG Missile Launcher, Light Shotgun / 2 Breaker Pistols, Knife. (2 | 36)
 VALERYA GROMOZ Hacker (Hacking Device UPGRADE: Expel) Combi Rifle + Pitcher / Pistol, Knife. (0.5 | 21)
 BOUNTY HUNTER Submachine Gun, Akrylat-Kanone / Breaker Pistol, Knife. (0 | 12)
 BOUNTY HUNTER Submachine Gun, Akrylat-Kanone / Breaker Pistol, Knife. (0 | 12)
 RUI SHI Spitfire / Electric Pulse. (1.5 | 20)
 McMURROUGH 2 Chain Rifles, Grenades, Smoke Grenades / Templar CCW (AP + DA). (0 | 32)
 WARCOR (360º Visor) Flash Pulse / Stun Pistol, Knife. (0 | 3)

 GHULAM Doctor Plus (MediKit) Rifle + Light Shotgun / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 16)
 DOZER (Traktor Mul Control Device) Rifle, D-Charges / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 14)
 NASMAT Electric Pulse. (0 | 3)
 KAMEEL (Minesweeper, Repeater) Electric Pulse. (0 | 8)
 FANOUS REMOTE Flash Pulse, Sniffer / Electric Pulse. (0 | 8)
 FANOUS REMOTE Flash Pulse, Sniffer / Electric Pulse. (0 | 8)
 RAFIQ REMOTE Rifle + Light Shotgun, Sniffer / Electric Pulse. (0 | 16)
 TRAKTOR MUL (Minesweeper) Electric Pulse. (0 | 5)
 KUM Chain Rifle, Smoke Grenades / Pistol, AP CCW. (0 | 10)
 LIBERTO (CH: Mimetism) Submachine Gun, Chain-colt, D.E.P. / Pistol, Knife. (0 | 9)
 BASHI BAZOUK (Specialist Operative) Rifle + Light Shotgun / Pistol, CC Weapon. (0 | 17)

 5.5 SWC | 300 Points

Open in Infinity Army

The idea with this list is that McMurrough runs around for a bit until he invariably dies, then the big link moves up and consolidates. The second order group utilises whichever of the Kum Biker, Libertos or Bashi has an opening to exploit and open up, but doesn't worry too much if one or other of them fails and dies.

I deployed with my big Zuyong link on my right and left an opening on the left for McMurrough to advance down as my reserve, with the idea that the Bashi would come on behind that and loot the crates. Spiral Corps had taken first turn.

In the opening turn, Spiral Corps ran infiltrators up to two of the three boxes, opened them, and ran away with them.

They hid away behind a network of mines and other models and their mobile saturation zone with the intent that they would be quite hard to root out.

A Tohaa infiltrator revealed and took out one of the ARO bots, but couldn't quite capitalise on the situation. Instead, he settled down in suppression fire to make my life as difficult as possible.

The Kum biker tried to brute force the situation by charging into the Tohaa and cutting him in half in close combat, but was shot down as he tried. I then brute forced the situation by running the Rui Shi back and blowing the troublesome Tohaa apart.

With my remaining orders I rocketed McMurrough up into the midfield, and charged into the new Tohaa large heavy infantry model - not realising he's also pretty good in close combat as well. The idea here was that the best thing to do in this situation is not to charge after the well defended supply boxes, but target the Spiral Corps order generators - but they were well defended and entrenched as well. So I was taking the next best option of setting up for a devastating turn two strike with enough different threats that it would take a disproportionate number of orders to deal with any one of them.

In a similar vein, I brought my Bashi Bazouk on to snipe at a couple of pieces and spread out some holo echoes to cause confusion and waste orders.

In the end, that tactic worked. My opponent spent a whole ton of orders on trying (and failing) to deal with McMurrough, and wasn't able to really get the supply boxes much further away with the remaining orders.

He did, however, cause me some 'discomfort' in managing to use Pheroware to neutralise the Zuyong big gun and shot down a couple of the Bounty Hunters who were padding the link out. In retrospect, I'm not happy with how I placed the link and I think in future I need to have a clearer idea of what I'm trying to do with it, and what the role of each model in the link is.

Fortunately, the link wasn't what saved the day. McMurrough butchered his way through most of the Tohaa centre, picked up one box and left another for my Bashi Bazouk to pick up and run away with.

The Zuyong had a bit of an up and down, as I managed to engineer him back out of being isolated, only for him to be isolated a second time. This wasn't the end of the world, though, as despite being isolated he was able to move up under his own steam and block off an approach to one of my models with the supply boxes. He eventually went down, I think, but took enough orders in the process that there weren't enough to save the day.


So, an interesting win for Dahshat in a fun practice game.

I think that McMurrough and the Scary Link being in different groups didn't serve them well and I could have done more with them being in different groups. I'll try that build again in future.

I do need to remember the weaknesses of the Zuyong link - it's not great against hackers and those fragile Bounty Hunters making up numbers are vulnerable to being picked off to limit the link.

I'm going to be careful and not fall into the mistake I made with Nomads and jumping into super different list builds and having to learn lots at once. I'm going to iterate on this list a bit at a time and build on that a bit at a time.

Writing this game up a little while later has reminded me how much fun the list is and how many different options I have to play around with and learn. I'm already looking forward to my next tournament!

Thursday 5 September 2019

Infinity League: Druze vs Yu Jing - Comms Centre

So, back down to HATE for the last but one League game with my Druze. This time, it was Comms Centre against Yu Jing. I lost the Lieutenant roll and my opponent chose to go second. I made them deploy first to make them suffer as much as possible for that decision...

Saito hid by the centre console just outside my deployment zone  (because of an exclusion zone in the centre preventing him infiltrating there), waiting to ruin they day of anyone who got too close. My opponent placed a Total Reaction HMG covering right down the middle of the board, and it was going to be a pain to get rid of.

I pushed up the right hand side of the board with my main link, getting set up to Sabotage the delivery van (one of my Classified) the following turn. I left the Brawler Heavy Rocket Launcher out to cause some pain.

With the other order group I ran a Fugazi up to find all the camo tokens. I was just not quite able to get all the camo tokens, but got a happy bonus as I found a TO Hacker instead.

I then got counter attacked by a blasted Shaolin Monk with a chain rifle and hadn't got enough ARO pieces out to stop it putting templates all over my lovely link team. The HRL had left a couple as nothing but ash and smoking boots before someone put and end to him.

An AROing E/M grenade launcher made one of a Kanren trying to sneak up and cause them more woe exceptionally sad.

My Brawler Doctor then had to run along and pick everyone up. It cost a couple of command tokens but I have a 4 person link again. I detonated a demo charge on the truck, and also had the E/M Grenade Launcher complete Net-Undermine . . . oh, and I had Experimental Drug...

With all three of the Classifieds scored, I was feeling a bit better about how the game was going.

On the other flank, Yu Jing skirmishers quickly took control of as many consoles as possible.

The Brawler Assault Hacker did some serious work and gained a couple of consoles for me.

Mid game, it was anyone's game to play for - but what's that on my right flank?

The Tiger Soldier is threatening a dangerous run up the flank, but the grenade launcher Druze again does sterling work and fills him full of holes.

With as many consoles flipped as possible, I set up as many defences as I can over the consoles for my opponent's last turn...

But while Saito manages to Engage his Lieutenant as he runs past, he gets a single roll to flip the centre console to him - succeeds, and swings the game to an 8-4 win for Yu Jing.