Monday, 3 October 2022

HONK!

 
I lost track of what I hadn't blogged yet in the run up to Empire, and it turns out I hadn't shown off these two. They're made by Northumbrian Tin Soldier, and when I saw them I felt I had to pick them up. They're sold under the wonderful names of "Sergeant Honks and Norbert Billington".

I have no doubt that they are going to cause problems on purpose.

Thursday, 29 September 2022

White Company - Sort of but not quite the last bits to start playing

 
I got another batch of White Company back from That Mr Shy. When I ordered these, the intention was that they'd be the last bits I needed to start playing. However, unexpectedly, the EIC announced a tournament for the end of October, and included Unmasking, which requires three civilian models when I only have two - I've sent a small painting batch away to make up that gap.


First up in this batch are the Dronbots. Remotes are such a key utility piece in any force, I felt it was best to get one of each of the four profiles ready to play to give me much more flexibility in my list building. I may want a second of some of the options, so I need to have a bit of a think about which ones to double up on first, but this is good for now.


I also made sure the batch included the last two "named characters". Not proxying a named character is much clearer for opponents, and both have good uses. Valerya is a good but fragile Hacker, but by joining a link with a Tinbot, she ends up being much more survivable. Meanwhile, Tao Wu is a fringe "sometimes" model that I don't think I'll use often, which is a shame as the model and paint job are absolutely stunning.


On the heavier side, there were two Heavy Infantry I felt are key to White Company that I was missing. First up is the Haidao Hacker. Given one of the significant risks to Heavy Infantry are Hackers, having a model who specialises in taking out Hackers in a Heavy Infantry fireteam seems like a good call. Meanwhile, the ORC Feuerbach is an amazing gun platform and I want to try both that and the HMG to see which I prefer.


A second Varangian Guard won't be something I take every time, but it will be common enough that she was worth picking up. Taking a WarCor to make up points and be the fifteenth order is super common, so that was a no-brainer.


And finally, I had a limited edition HVT model I wanted to use for White Company so included it, bringing me up to two for now. The most I might need is five (for Rescue) so I will need to get a few more, but the priority at the moment is getting the third for Unmasking at EIC.

I'm pretty pleased with how the force is coming along - the next stage is already with Mr Shy to get painted up ahead of EIC, while I get some practice games on, whether in person or on Tabletop Simulator.

Monday, 26 September 2022

New toys to cheer myself up

 

Unfortunately, after Empire LRP, I came down with the 'rona. I'm now testing negative again, but it sucked. I got very little done for a couple of weeks, and it'll take me a while to get caught up on housework and other things that need doing around the house.

Still, as part of that getting caught up was putting away all the parcels that came while I wasn't well or recovering, I've taken some photos to share what has shown up recently. First, we have these two Warhammer Plus subscription models, which have come much faster this year.


I noticed the UK stores were getting Urbanmechs in, which were previously a Kickstarter exclusive. I grabbed a couple, one for my Lyran Guards, and one for my general militia force.


A small Kickstarter of Fantasy Adventurers by Black Scorpion also arrived. I've not taken photos of all the models that came, picking just the single piece ones. The halfling knight on a dodo is particularly delightful, but I also really like the understated elegance of the elf.


The Frozen Wilds Monster Fight Club Kickstarter also arrived. While the Kickstarter was mostly focused on scenery, I decided to pick up some of the add-ons that included an assortment of arctic wildlife, including a dire penguin. They default to coming pre-painted, but I wanted them unpainted, hence the unflattering white material they come in.


There's a good assortment of bears, wolves, penguins and seals that should be nice simple paint jobs.


There were also a wizard and "barbarian" type, both well outfitted for the cold weather. The sculpt and casting quality is really nice, although there are some really obvious mould lines. Hopefully they'll come off easily.

I'm not sure when I'll have the energy to get back to painting - I need to prioritise my Actual Job and making the flat not a disaster zone. Hopefully it won't be too long!

Wednesday, 7 September 2022

Red Star Blues Infinity Tournament

 
Last weekend was Red Star Blues, an Infinity Tournament held at Hackney Area Tabletop Enthusiasts (or HATE). It was a small event with ten players, though it's intended the next one will be bigger now the first has been a success.

I decided to bring Vanilla Combined to push some models around and shoot some things. I haven't played Vanilla at all before, so I wasn't confident with how I was going to do, but was happy to just roll some dice and have fun.


First up was Supplies, against TomxJ who was running US Ariadna. I took deployment and and was facing off against a strong Grunt link team with two Snipers and a Minuteman Missile Launcher in ARO.


Under the smoke from the Devil Dog, a Foxtrot opened the Supply box and handed the box off to the Devil Dog who ran away with the box. In the centre, again under smoke, they grabbed another box and ran away.

My attacks on the US reaction pieces took ages to take them down, and even at the end of the game, all the reaction pieces weren't down and I still couldn't move around enough.


My Malignos Hacker ran out and grabbed a box, but wasn't able to stay up to hold the box. I managed to get a Classified, meaning I lost 6-1.


Game 2 was Frontline, and I was up against Chappers playing Invincible Army. I was expecting it to be a very bloody game given two very punchy armies.


My Shrouded Killer Hacker held up the Hulang for a while, but couldn't take him down...


While the Libertos snuck past Krit Kokram and shot him in the back to take him down. He was then able to score the Extreme Prejudice Classified.


The Invincible Army were having trouble taking out the Avatar, but I was running out of other models. I needed to push up to the furthest board area to score points, which meant the Avatar was over-extended. A Zhencha was able to get behind it and crit with a Panzerfaust, taking him out, leaving me with a 9-2 loss.

My last game was against zenithed, who was also running Combined Army. He was bringing a Charontid, while I brought the Avatar again. It was a simple game of Firefight to finish the day off.


I managed to get my Killer Hacker up to his Charontid to score a Classified . . . 


A Caliban Spitfire (we couldn't find the model so used a Speculo) tried to take out the Avatar in close combat, but was unlucky with their dice, and got taken out.

In the end, zenithed couldn't hold the Avatar off, and I was able to score a comfortable 10-2 win for my last game, leaving me 9th out of 10 players. It was a great day, I had a ton of fun, and I'll absolutely be going to the next Infinity tournament H.A.T.E. puts on.

Monday, 5 September 2022

A busy week

 
It's been a busy week hobby wise. I got a bunch more Infinity models that I had assembled based and undercoated. I still need to check I didn't miss any spots and get the zenithal done.


I also went down to Bethnal Green for the first Hackney Area Tabletop Enthusiasts Infinity tournament. It was just a small one to work things out, but was good fun. I'll hopefully post a write up later.


I've finished a couple of Northumbrian Tin Soldier minis, which I haven't had time to take fancy photos of them just yet. I'll get them up soon.

It's preparation time for Empire at the moment, I may be quite for a little. But the hobby wagon is careening along at a reasonable rate now, so there's plenty to come.

Monday, 29 August 2022

Warhammer Underworlds Beastgrave Scenery Pack


My regular readers will have been spotting different pieces of this scenery pack for Underworlds in the background of various other work in progress shots of my painting table, but after more time than I can remember, they're all finished!

The paint job is a simple one - zenithal undercoat, then contrast, then a drybrush of Karak Stone. This has kept them relatively consistent colours and looking like part of the same landscape.

With a couple of Stormcast Underworlds warbands that have been painted up by Squiggle's Studio as part of my wider Stormcast army commission, as soon as I dig out the cards, I should be able to get some games in...

Thursday, 25 August 2022

St Albans Smackdown IX

 
Last weekend I was up in St Albans for the Smackdown Infinity Tournament. It was a three round tournament and I took my Shasvastii. The first mission was Power Pack, which I took one list for, and the other list was to cover the other two missions - Quadrant Control and Firefight.


First up, I was drawn against Murkage who was running vanilla Yu Jing. He won the priority roll and chose Deployment, forcing me to deploy first. While Power Pack rewards going second I felt I couldn't risk deploying first and going second against such a good player, so took the first turn and hoped to cause enough damage to swing the game.


I got a solid first turn in, clearing off two significant big guns with my Speculo, and using a Taigha to clear the Motorised Bounty Hunter. I felt like it was a good first turn, and my opponent was definitely looking nervous.


Unfortunately, the remaining big gun was a Hac Tao and despite an early success Immobilising it, it was able to break out. I managed to push two of the three Antennaes, and we both got a classified objective. Unfortunately, I didn't have enough firepower to stop the Hac Tao from pushing onto the Console and winning the game. The final score was 5-3 to Murkage.


The second game was Quadrant Control, and I was playing littlespoon's vanilla Combined Army. Again, I lost the Lieutenant roll and was given the choice of turn again.


With my opponent aiming for a 17 on his WIP roll, I realised I was up against an Avatar and realised my plan mostly needed to be circling around it and controlling the wider board.


I managed to score well on the first turn, killing a lot of the order providing models. My Caliban Engineer managed to get into close combat with the Avatar and caused it two wounds before an unlucky roll meant its head got punched off.


At this point, the Avatar came for my Sphinx, and I had little chance of defeating it. He was able to score the second and third rounds, leaving the final score 7-4 to vanilla Combined over my Shasvastii.


For the third game, I was up against AndyGower's Invincible Army. The final mission was Firefight, and this time I was going second. Up against a large heavy infantry link team, the plan was to stall it and take out as much support as possible before working it pick it apart.


In the end, the plan came together, and I was able to use the tools of my list well to dismantle the challenge of my opponent's. In the end, it was a 7-2 win to me, letting me finish 12th out of 16 players in the tournament.

It was good to get out and play some games, and I'm feeling a bit more confident about being out and about in a managed fashion.

Monday, 22 August 2022

A few different things

 
I've been pottering along with the painting, getting started on these two geese watchmen from Northumbrian Tin Soldier. They're fun little models and not too complicated, so should get done soon.


I'm also nearly finished on the Beastgrave Scenery Pack, and you can also catch in the background that I'm getting much closer to done on three Nox Troopers and a Cadmus I've had half done for a while. I'm going to be glad when these ones are all finished, and its feeling like I'm into the home stretch.


I've also fitted in a practice game of Infinity for St Albans Smackdown, an Infinity tournament which you may be able to guess is held in St Albans. I also attended St Albans Smackdown, and will put a report of how I did up a little later.

All in all, it's been a good week. With a long weekend coming up next weekend I'm hoping to finish off a couple of painting projects to leave me in a good place as we enter into September and the autumn...

Friday, 19 August 2022

Product Review First Impressions - Gamers Grass Dry Bracken

 
I decided to try out the Gamer's Grass Dry Bracken on my Frostgrave Hyena model, as she has a pretty big base to work with. The bracket comes on these flat sheets that you need to push the bracken shape out of.


Fitting the bracken onto the base, I learn two things. Firstly, it's really quite big indeed and is probably too big even for this large creature base. It looks like it's only really going to see use on scenery pieces or huge monster bases. Secondly, the point where it connects to the base is not very realistic at all, and will need masking with more tufts. All the illustrative photos do this, so I should have worked it out, but I didn't realise quite how shoddy it would look without any masking...


So, with a flower tuft added to hide the base of the bracken, and another tuff added on the other side to balance the bracken a bit, we're done.

What do I think so far? Well, I really like the idea and like how it looks when used right, but there's a few flaws to it. It's only really usable on the largest of bases or scenery. It looks pretty fragile and I'm not sure how it's going to last with a lot of play. I'm still undecided on it myself. I was excited when it came out but I feel like it's limited uses will mean I'm not going to find much use for it all that often...

Wednesday, 17 August 2022

Work in Progress Wednesday: Assorted Combined Army

 
I've been pottering along getting a bunch of my Combined Army ready for the table, so here's a bit of a work in progress to update you on what I'm up to. First up is a Motorised Bounty Hunter and accompanying Bounty Hunter on foot for when they dismount.


Next up are the Libertos - I've got both the limited edition one and the production one so I've got both weapon load outs.


I've also got two named characters ready for paint. Ko Dali's MULTI Rifle profile is joined by the Nourkias, the Umbra special character who a lot of people are claiming is the new hotness for the Combined Army.


There's also a couple of Shasvastii to expand that force out a little bit - I'm still to use a Malignos, but the Hacker is going to be a serious contender when I do. And the Shrouded with Boarding Shotgun isn't my favourite profile, but again, is worth some consideration.


We then get a couple of Morats. The older Krakot Renegade, and the newer Tyrok Hunter. I'm not sure which are any good at the moment, but it will be interesting to find out when I get to playing Vanilla Combined or Morats.


And finally, the Avatar's detachable remote is ready to be painted alongside the Avatar when I get him done...