Monday 31 July 2023

Let there be (painting) light!

The replacement part for the broken hobby room light turned up quicker than expected, and I managed to be productive! First up is this Dwarf Shieldmaiden from Oathsworn Miniatures, though I believe she's now out of production.

I'd started painting her with Contrast, but decided to finish her up with normal acrylic highlights. I suspect I could go in and spend another hour on tweaking her a little more, but she's fine for RPG purposes, so I'm calling her done.

I deliberately went with brighter highlights than I'm used to, sometimes blending, sometimes not depending on the materials I was highlighting. This is all stuff I'm doing more of following the Roman Lappat beginner's course, which has really changed how I think about painting.

The cloak was a particular problem as the Contrast hadn't done a great job there. I got it OK in the end, but I think I'd definitely start it differently in future.

Then I realised that the battery for the flexible light I use for front lighting photos had also started to die, possibly just to mess with me. I ended up having to charge it and retake the photo of these Reaper Bones wolves for D&D as the first ones were way too dark...

I've got one last Oathsworn dwarf to finish, and have been getting a few more O-12 models ready for paint too. I'm also starting to get paint on these Mutant Marshes scatter terrain pieces for creepy horror games.

Wednesday 26 July 2023

Work in Progress Wednesday - More Onyx Contact Force

Yes, I have too many factions for Infinity.

Here we have three Umbra (at the back), and a Greif Operator and the special character Kerr-Nau. The Umbra are sufficient to form a Haris fireteam, which I am at least tempted to try. The Greif Operator is named for a WWII German infiltrator operation, given it's an alien saboteur and impersonator. I'm not thrilled about that naming choice. And finally, the Kerr-Nau is a special character hacker who has a couple of neat tricks.

With the news that the upcoming Caskuda model will be available for Onyx Contact Force I am having a small degree of temptation, once that model is out, to find a tournament with some simple fighty missions to take an Onyx Contact Force list to as a bit of variation from my Nomads. I still need a handful of models to make Onyx lists work, though, so I would probably need to get that done first.

Monday 24 July 2023

A little hobby update...

My "hobby progress" has been a teensy bit derailed by the lights in the hobby room dying with a "known fault". The manufacturer is apparently out of replacement bits due to how many they're having to send out, so currently painting can only really happen in daylight.

As such, I decided to do a bit of assembly at my study desk instead, getting started on the Vostok for my Nomads.

I've got it assembled and I was disproportionately excited about having finished it. I am pretty stoked about trying Nomads out next in Infinity, which is probably contributing to the problem. I may have some mild analysis paralysis about what lists to put together first, though...

My data cards for the new edition of 40K arrived a little late due to some supply issues at the GW end, but I forgot to mention it at the time. I've been restrained and just picked up the card I need for my Deathwatch, my Guard, and the assorted Assassins, Inquisitors and other nonsense I have that can support either of them.

I had an outing to Troll Trader in Bromley for an Infinity tournament. Due to some last minute drop outs, there were only three of us who made it, so we each got two games with each other in a pretty relaxed environment. I'll put a write up of my two games with White Company on the blog in a little while.

The advantage of small tournaments is that you can end up with a bit more stuff than usual. I managed to get the tournament edition Bixie for my Starmada force, and the tournament set of supply crates too. I'm pretty pleased with this given I'm still searching for last season's tournament Fiddler model, even if I'm not planning on running Starmada particularly soon.

Friday 21 July 2023

Brushchewer Inc: Mantic Terrain Crate Dwarven Mine

The delightful Brushchewer Inc has finished the last of the Mantic Terrain Crates I bought ages ago in some sale or other. This is the Dwarven Mine set, which I left until last as I'm not sure how much use I'm actually going to get out of it in practice.

Still, there's some useful small scatter terrain, strange crystals and so on, which will definitely be of use.

Part of it is that I generally think of mine rails as being much "later period" than D&D, but a lot of the newer settings are moving to a much later historical period, so they'll probably see use...

Wednesday 19 July 2023

Work in Progress Wednesday - 3D Printed Cyberpunk Minis

I finished undercoating the 3D printed cyberpunk style minis that were a free gift from the Steel City Insurrection tournament. The base undercoat is Colour Forge Desert Sand (which I got free in my tournament goodie bag), and a quick zenithal of GW White primer.

I know that the character on the left is a reference to Aramaki from Ghost in the Shell, but does anyone know if any of the others are pop culture references as well?

Monday 17 July 2023

A Sunday of Painting

The weekend before last I finally got one of the Urbanmechs painted up in the militia colours I've been using. Again, the intention is for nice simple tabletop quality paint jobs, and I needed a quick win.

Here's the Urbanmech alongside the Wolverine I'd already painted. The paint jobs mostly match. It doesn't matter if they're not quite the same.

I still need to do a few bits and bobs of detail on this Oathsworn Miniatures dwarf. It's mostly there, but I'm keen to add a few more details before I call her done.

With the Battlemech done, I spent a little time dropping in the base colours onto the Reaper Bones wolves for D&D. A quick wash and a drybrush should get them 90% done, and then I'll just need to sort out details like their teeth and mouths.

Friday 14 July 2023

Infinity Satellite - Games Table Nanosatellite

At the start of July I travelled up to The Games Table in Norwich for a small satellite tournament for Infinity. I was taking White Company again, with three missions over the course of the day.

First up was a custom mission called Extrication, which was similar to Supplies. I was up against RunningBlade who was running Aleph. I lost first turn and set up a strong defensive presence, expecting a big hit piece. I was worried about Achilles, but it turned out to be a Marut.

After a terrifying first turn of utter terror, I managed to find a spot to get my Tiger Soldier Hacker on, fight past a Digger guarding the corner, and Isolated the Marut. I managed to get some scoring done while Aleph were behind, but on turn 3 he managed to get the Marut repaired and moved across to score, leaving us tying at 4-4 and the Marut covering the last objective. I managed to get a Repeater onto the Marut to try and hack it, but simply couldn't get past it's hacking protections. On the last order, my Remote made a run for the box with a single unopposed shot from the Marut, needing an 18 . . . and my opponent rolled a 19, giving me a 5-4 win.

Next up was Highly Classified, against Morat Aggression Force run by Caliper. Brutal violence swiftly ensued, leaving me with an 8-1 loss and 10 points left alive. I was one passed armour save off accidentally winning the game with a single classified by going into retreat having scored when my opponent didn't because my army had been hit so hard...

Morats are a bit of a nemesis right now. I really need to work out how to survive them long enough to win!

I was hoping to win two games at the event, but my third game was against Copper, who was running his Combined Army. As Copper had won the satellite tournament the weekend before, I knew it was going to be a tough fight. The mission was Frontline, so I needed units to survive to the end of the game, which was going to be a tough ask.

It was a tough Combined Army list with a Charontid and an Anathematic. This is one of the current known "strong" builds in the game. I had a push at trying to clear the Charontid, and managed to cause it some damage, but not enough to swing things, and my list was very quickly getting eroded.

I managed to score 3 points through classifieds, but the game ended with a 10-3 win to Combined Army. I ended up pretty low down the tournament rankings as a result. Sometimes the pairings land that way, and I was definitely outplayed.

I had an amazing time at the event. The Games Table is a lovely venue I kind of wish was more local. I caught up with some old friends, too. I've had two weekends of excellent gaming which really reminded me of what I enjoy about gaming events.

Wednesday 12 July 2023

Work in Progress Wednesday - Onyx Contact Force

I got a few bits and pieces of Combined Army to the point of being ready for paint, so they could get packed away for now. Oddly enough, all these models here are also usable in Onyx Contact Force. From left to right, we have a Nexus Operative, a Maakrep Tracker, an Umbra Legate and a Fraacta Drop Unit.

Most of these models are in a weird spot in the current edition. Combined Army in Vanilla seems to mostly built around either their TAGs or their EI Aspect Heavy Infantry, supported by brutal hackers and cheap warbands. As moderate cost utility pieces most Vanilla Combined lists don't end up having space for them.

Within Onyx Contact Force the Nexus seems like a key piece, with the cheap Lieutenant option, and also several important utility pieces which can link. The other pieces all seem a bit niche - you might take one or two to flavour a link or a build, but you're generally building around a Unidron Core link and adding attack pieces to taste. Onyx look like a really weird and interesting list building space I'm trying really hard not to get distracted into as I start prepping Nomads...

Monday 10 July 2023

Because housework doesn't make a good blog post

I've been plugging away at various bits and pieces on the hobby desk over the week, but it's mostly been assembly and so on. I managed to varnish and put away a whole bunch of projects, but as you've already seen those, that's not exactly photogenic...

I'll schedule in the handful of "ready for paint" models into a few posts over the coming weeks. As of Friday evening, when these photos were taken, I haven't finished painting a single model over my week off. I'll report back at the weekend whether or not I managed to remedy that.

A good part of the problem is the sheer volume of "unfinished" things I'm letting build up for myself. I ended up taking seven bin bags of packing material and flattened cardboard boxes to the recycling from a pile of "possibly useful in the future" boxes at one point. That was a pile of things that were in the way of me getting into and out of the hobby room, and of getting out or putting away any of my models. It made things slower every single time. Now they're gone, that's one less obstacle for doing things.

While I was in Dark Sphere this week picking up new undercoat spray, I grabbed a Reaper Bones camel with a pack, and some Wizkids Thri-Kreen. The former because that's what the City of Absalom has in the Pathfinder setting as the local centaurs get aggressive at horse riders, and the latter because I spotted a blister without any bent weapons and that was one less stage of faff for these models sufficient that I bought them immediately...

Friday 7 July 2023

Free RPG Day

While I was at Patriot Games for the Steel City Insurrection Infinity event, I realised that it was Free RPG Day, and that there was a table of free stuff in the shop. I didn't grab everything available, but I picked up anything that looked interesting to me...

First up is an example adventure for a game called Mazes. It seems to run by having different classes roll different types of dice, but succeeding at different things requires set numbers no matter the class. It comes in a notepad form with tear out pages for player handouts and character sheets.

It's goal seems to be an easy to understand, simple dungeon crawl with quite a bit of peril, and I think it's done quite well at that. If Free RPG day's purpose is to get me to try a new thing and then buy the full product, this is a pretty solid success.

With Critical Role having announced their Darrington Press imprint, they're promoting it with a one page RPG that they've played on channel. "A Familiar Problem" is a collaboration between Marisha Ray and Grant Howitt. It's mostly letting people know that Darrington Press exists, and is a handy card production of something that's previously been released as a free PDF.

Paizo's offering for Pathfinder are a couple of Pathfinder adventures. I think that "A Fistful of Flowers" is last year's, and "A Few Flowers More" is this year's. Conveniently, the shop had both year's stock so you could run both the original and the sequel without a bother. To highlight Pathfinder's flexibility, you all play pre-generated plant people called Leshy in these adventures. Having had a flick through these look like fun romps that might be a good introduction to Pathfinder.

For Starfinder, Paizo has two quite different adventures. In one, you're Skittermanders, who are small, cute alien types, investigating a weird planar thing that happened. In the other, you're a bunch of elite operatives fighting through a park against evil aliens. They're both . . . fine, I guess, but simply aren't calling to me the way Pathfinder is.

Meanwhile, Dungeon Crawl Classics has one of their "Level 0" adventures, where you play a bunch of yokels and peasants and die in droves while you try and reach level 1. Effectively, you roll up 3 or 4 PCs each, and the surviving characters become your PCs...

The premise for this adventure is a giant floating creature / ship thing that's potentially full of treasure, so you climb up its trailing tentacles to get inside it and loot it. I really love the weirdness in this one and makes clear that while it has the aesthetics of early D&D, some of early D&D was deeply odd.

Wednesday 5 July 2023

Infinity Satellite - Steel City Insurrection, Day 2

Before we return to day 2 of Steel City Insurrection, I realised I forgot to mention in my post on day 1 that the tournament organiser had kindly supplied four 3D printed cyberpunk style figures for every player to use as NPCs in the Rescue mission on day 1.

Day 2 dawned with Unmasking, and I was up against Ironclad's Acontecimento force. Unluckily for Ironclad, one of my most regular practice opponents is Yashar, who is currently consistently playing Acontecimento as practice for taking them to the Interplanetario in Spain.

The Karhu Feuerbach was able to go on quite a rampage, taking out a lot of key pieces on the PanO side, although a counter attack took out my ORC Feuerbach. The Montesa Knight made a break for the console to identify my real target, but was unable to clear Valerya Gromoz off the objective without getting hacked. The Karhu deleted the knight, my Haidao killed both decoys in a single order, and after my Tiger Soldier managed to get stopped in his tracks, Valerya made the trek across the field to kill the real target, leaving me with a solid 10-0 win.

It's worth noting that everyone was pretty tired at this point. At one point I managed to drop one of my dice into my water glass, and wasn't awake enough to retrieve it until after the game finished.

Next up was Looting and Sabotaging, where I was facing off against theclaw of Fast Panda Gaming fame, who was running his Military Orders from their recent tale of four gamers series.

I had a pretty embarrassing run of failing to remember how the rules for the mission worked - removing Liang Kai when he failed to hit the box rather than stunning him, and nearly counting Shona Carano's Martial Arts against the box when you don't get to use that skill before a friendly passing player spotted my mistake. Despite that, theclaw's dice being Absolutely Cursed and me rolling a ridiculous number of crits in ARO meant I managed to gain the win with a solid 8-2.

The final game of the event, I was matched against Guerillajam's Morat Aggression Force, which left me pretty nervous to start off with given the absolute kicking I'd received from Morats in my first game.

This worry was not assuaged by him winning first turn, dropping a Rasyat into my backline, throwing Eclipse Smoke and taking out my doctor and my Karhu.

Another smoke run meant my ORC Feuerbach got taken out under smoke as well, along with other nearby models. I lost five models to close combat in the first turn, which is very unusual in a game of Infinity, but if the opportunity occurs, it's worth taking.

I was swiftly beaten into retreat, having salvaged a couple of classified missions along the way for an 8-2 loss.

Overall, I'm pretty happy with how I did. I finished overall with a 3-3 record and a 15th place finish out of 34 players. While I'm moving onto Nomads soon, I feel like I now have a pretty good handle on some solid White Company list options, and am pretty comfortable playing them.

The venue, Patriot Games, was really friendly and welcoming. They had a café on site along with an assortment of hobby stock, seeming to cater for Games Workshop, D&D and other RPGs, and Magic and the other collectible card games. There were tons of comfy chairs and I would absolutely go there to simply hang out if I was local. They are well worth a visit if you're in the area, and come highly recommended.

Monday 3 July 2023

A week of food for the soul

I didn't get any painting done this week, but I did start on restoring the hobby room to some semblance of normality by starting to put a bunch of figures away for the first time. I have the coming week off for a mix of making the flat nicer and doing some hobby, so hopefully next week's blog will have a little more hobby content.

Last weekend I went to the Games Table in Norwich for their mini-satellite event. I'll be doing a write up of the event, but it probably won't be this week as I still need to finish writing up Steel City Insurrection. That said, if you are in the Norwich area, I can definitely recommend the Games Table - the local players are lovely, and it's a nice venue with a board game café set up alongside the wargaming stuff. Well worth a visit.