Thursday 30 January 2020

Dark Sphere Malifaux Slow Grow League Round 1: Mercenary vs Foundry

I've been putting together a Mercenary Outcast crew for Malifaux 3rd edition for a bit now. When the local Henchman announced a short six week slow grow league, I was definitely in. Conveniently, I even had just enough models already assembled.

For the first round we designed a crew as if for "Henchman Hardcore" which requires you to have only 4 models at 30 soul stones. (Soul stones are the points for buying models and the leftover points become an in game resource.) There is usually a standard mission set for Henchman Hardcore but the league organiser wrote an alternative format as well, and we flipped a card to see which we got.

As it was, we got the standard rules, so we deployed in a wedge shaped deployment zone. We could score up to 4 victory points by placing explosives in the opponent's deployment zone, up to 2 for injuring then assassinating the opponent's leader, and up to 2 for fulfilling a vendetta between a model we selected and a model on the opposing crew who wasn't the leader and was worth more points than yours.

My crew was led by Taelor, and with the rest of the crew being Bishop, Johanna and the Student of Conflict. I was up against Kang, the Metal Golem, a Rail Worker and a Metal Gamin. I set Bishop as having a Vendetta against the Metal Golem, and started off.

Johanna is notoriously slow, so I used Student of Conflict to grant her fast, then had Bishop push her further up the field with Chain Gang before having her charge into the Rail Worker and punch it back  further into the Foundry deployment zone.

Bishop then ran over and punched out the Metal Gamin, with me hoping to charge into the Golem the following round.

The Metal Golem then used Rail Walk to jump to another scrap marker to get further away from Bishop and place a bomb.

As the Student of Conflict has Armour Piercing, I had her charge in and stab up the Golem, although her low attack and it's high defence meant a few attacks bounced off. Meanwhile, Taelor and Kang got into a scrap, and it turned out Taelor's hammer (and my cards) were better than Kang's hammer (and cards) . . . picking me up a couple of points over a couple of turns.

Meanwhile, I was able to get some bombs down in various parts of the table to keep scoring Plant Explosives.

Bishop then charged in, pulling the Student out of the way and landing enough of a blow to score the first point of Vendetta.

With the Rail Worker turned to mush by Johanna and more bombs down, I was up to maximum points on Plant Explosives and the Metal Golem made a break for it with a final rail walk, getting another bomb down for a second point for Foundry.

But Bishop and Taelor were able to charge in and finally take him down, scoring the final Vendetta point, leaving the total score at the end of the game 8-2.

Huge thanks to my opponent, who was very gracious, particularly at an obscene run of luck on my part, with several card duels won by a single point as I drew a lucky card. My first impressions of Malifaux 3rd edition are very positive, with plenty of thinking to do and lots of interesting interactions between models like the tricks I used to catapult the normally slow Johanna up the board. I'm definitely looking forward to getting more games in.

Sunday 26 January 2020

Hobby weekend - Bad Things Happen

I've been away from the blog a little while as I had a couple of weekends away LARPing. But this weekend was a good opportunity to catch up with both housework and a little bit of hobby. I focused my time on getting three more figures for Malifaux assembled - Big Jake and 2 Desperate Mercenaries.

As with most Malifaux plastics, the builds are a bit of a pain, with multiple fiddly parts. But once put together they look absolutely excellent.

The reason behind the assembly rush is that I've signed up to a short, 3 round slow grow league for Malifaux at Dark Sphere. I had a "Henchman Hardcore" game - my first game of 3rd edition Malifaux - earlier in the week, and for the second round I needed a few more models!

I got a little distracted starting to assemble some Wargames Atlantic Halflings. I just got to a point in the evening where I didn't want anything complicated, and the fit the bill.

I've also finished painting my first miniature of 2020 - the Undead Spaceman by Diehard Miniatures. I experimented a bit with a light drybrush of light blue over the entire miniature to provide a different kind of highlight, and make him seem a little dusty. Definitely something to play around with again.

That's almost all of the Diehard Kickstarter done - just the Undead Centaur left to go, but I'll need to get him assembled.

I also started picking up the paint jobs on my Shasvastii again, starting with the Nox Troopers.

I picked up the White Dwarf Tech Priest model in a trade, and while I was in to Dark Sphere I grabbed the Hulang Skirmisher and Libertos with Light Shotgun for my Dahshat. I'm sending them off to my commission painter alongside the Qapu Khalqi I've had hanging around for ages.

As far as painting goals go - 16 models painted, 3 purchased. Currently on track to not buy more than I've painted.

Monday 6 January 2020

Starting the year as I don't intend to go on

I spent a good deal of time last week day dreaming about how much painting I was going to get done last weekend. My wife is away at a wedding all weekend so I was confident that without having to worry about being inconsidering I could knuckle down and blitz ahead with the painting. Especially as I'm away for the next two weekends at various LARP events.

As it was, I wasn't hugely in the mood, I really needed to catch up on a bunch of housework and chores, and also managed to catch a bug that knocked me out for most of a day.

Still, Sunday mid afternoon I dragged myself to the painting desk, determined to get something done.

In between other jobs, I assembled Bishop for my Outcasts Viktoria crew. He's got a really weird gap on his arm that will need a little Green Stuff, and I wanted to be certain the glue was dry before messing about with that. So one little job for the the future.

Two previously assembled metal miniatures I hadn't undercoated got their relevant undercoats. The Shasvastii Caliban is the last of my Operation Wildfire Shasvastii. Meanwhile, the Queek Headtaker model is going to be a Claw Lord in my Skaven army. He was picked up when the Skaven book came out as a Made to Order.

I promise I'll move on to the rank and file once I've finished faffing about with the Malifaux crew and I've done a quick mould line removal job on those overdue scatter terrain crates...

In an effort to put some paint on something, I grabbed the Diehard Miniatures Space Skeleton. He's 2 of 3 of the models from their Undead Kickstarter on my Shelf of Shame, so I thought it worth getting him done.

The red on his overalls was an attempt to play around with possible Nomad colour schemes for Infinity. Broadly - green washes are excellent for desaturating colour and I really like the effect, but Vallejo paints seem to really not agree with dry brushing at all.

So . . . no models painted, but no models bought, either. Sadly, another item has crept onto the Shelf of Shame. However, I have managed to get through a week without buying any models, so I'm at least on track, six days into the New Year, on that resolution to not buy more minis than I've painted.

Feel free, future reader, to laugh at how badly I failed at this. But I'm at least optimistic right now...

Wednesday 1 January 2020

2019 In Review

Painting wise, I set myself the goal of having painted twice as much as I bought (both commission painting and personally painting). I gave up on this goal part way through the year, but how bad was it?

Miniatures Purchased: 453
Miniatures Painted: 25
Miniatures Commissioned: 74


I definitely need to slow the purchasing over the coming year. I simply don't have enough time to paint and play everything coming in, and my flat isn't very big.

At the start of October, I took stock and realised I needed to set myself some more achievable goals rather than chasing after an unachievable one. I set myself the reasonable goal of painting six figures. In the end, I managed 21, which is good going.

I only managed one of my "stretch" goals, as I ended up picking up little bits and bobs to keep my momentum going rather than focus on an individual project.

That's a really important lesson, I think. Making sure I have plenty of small things to keep me entertained as I work on any particular large project will mean I get more done overall.

To keep things simple, the headline goal needs to be "paint more than I buy". I need to stem the tide of stuff coming into my flat.

The second goal can be a simple headline number. I got 25 models painted myself over 5 months, so it should be achievable to get 60 done over a year. The key thing will be to make sure I'm getting stuff done on a regular basis.

The third and final painting goal is to make sure that at the start of 2021, I don't have any models on the "Shelf of Shame". That means making sure that anything I bought in 2018 or 2019 is painted or sold by the end of this year.

Given the totals of how much I bought last year . . . I suspect I'll be selling a few things!

I'm also determined not to feel overwhelmed by the painting queue this year. If any "rules" are stressing me out, they can go.

All in all, I'm happy that I've got 25 models painted. It's been really good to get back into painting things, and the joy and relaxation I get from painting stuff is vastly disproportionate to the effort I put in. So I really need to do more of it!