Wednesday 29 November 2023

Infinity Qapu Khalqi Reinforcements

I've had Thunderbrush Studio paint up a few models for my Qapu Khalqi force. I had one model lying around, a box of minis that I'd grabbed as they were going out of production, and a box that are used in the new Reinforcements rules.

First up is Rahman Rouhani, a special character that first turned up in Defiance. He's slightly tougher than a Ghulam Doctor for a few more points. That does make him a sometimes choice, but the times he takes a wound and stays up when the Ghulam Doctor would be down, he'll be absolutely worth those points.

The Hakims aren't usable in Qapu Khalqi in normal games, but are one of the Haqqislam Reinforcement options. They're all doctors, with short range weapons. They can either join a reinforcement fireteam or have a Nasmat help them out. They can also sometimes self heal when injured. All in all, a pretty useful thing to pick up.

Corvus Belli recently announced they were discontinuing the Alguacile Support Box, and they're a valid pick in Qapu Khalqi. They're currently not a particularly optimal choice, but I'm a bit of completionist, and if they suddenly become a really good pick, it would be very annoying trying to hunt down the old models.

Qapu Khalqi got a bit of an overhaul when the Reinforcement rules came out. Once the Reinforcement pack comes out, I may look at giving them a bit of an outing... In the meantime, I've got plenty to learn with the Nomads.

Monday 27 November 2023

Infinity Battle Report: Cutthroat - Nomads vs Ariadna

I was down at the club the other week, trying to get a few more reps in with my Nomads. My opponent, running Ariadna, rolled for a random mission and we got Cutthroat. With the Lieutenant public, I went with an Interventor Lieutenant, and took a Taskmaster HMG to act as the Key Ops.

I also brought a Vertigo Zond - a Guided Missile Remote - for the first time. These are a controversial piece that some folk feel might be over-powered, or a negative play experience. Personally, I reckon that they're a useful tool (and one that's quite key in Nomads), but the orders you need to make them work balance out their strengths.

I was slightly caught out by an infiltrating Grunt who ended up deploying within Heavy Flamethrower range of my Reaktion Zond.

I sent a Morlock over to take out the Grunt, and managed to get the E/M Close Combat rules wrong. We only Isolated the Grunt - however the way it should work is that you make two BTS saves, and any failure causes an injury and isolation. Whoops!

Bran do Castro bounced over a building to get the first Lieutenant kill, using his breaker rifle to put down Voronin.

I was then on the wrong end of an aggressive bear attack. The Zondnautica got incredibly lucky holding it up, but didn't last very long.

I'd considered using my Interventor to put down a White Noise Zone, but then decided against it. But as a result, I'd forgotten to spend her Lieutenant order to put her into Cybermask to hide, and she ended up falling victim to a tragic bear attack.

My Hellcat dropped in and successfully took out a second Lieutenant. Things were going well...

I pulled off a pretty classic Nomad play - a Heckler managed to get close to Knauf, the Ariadnan Key Ops and fired off a Fast Panda. Jazz then spotlit him, allowing the Guided Missile Launcher to drop a targeted missile on him, critting and turning him to mist.

The Unknown Ranger then went on a rampage, taking out quite a few ARO pieces and tanking a pair of mines. 

He managed to put down the Vertigo, and Jazz, who was the new Lieutenant, tying us for Lieutenant kills.

Uxia then went after the Taskmaster Key Ops, who I'd played very conservatively after getting two kills to keep alive. Unfortunately, I'd totally forgotten three of Knauf's four kills and was convinced in my head I was ahead on key ops kills. This was not smart, as even through Uxia failed to kill the Taskmaster, I didn't have enough points left on the table, and ended up losing the game with more points lost and fewer key ops killed. Tied Lieutenant kills and being up on the key op kill wasn't enough to bring the game back.

Still, this was a solid learning game. I still need to work out how to stop bears, and position ARO pieces better to not be so vulnerable to getting murdered by snipers...I'm very pleased with the guided missile play, though, and am comfortable I know how to use that tool if I need to.

Friday 24 November 2023

Wizkids Classic Monster Collection: G-J

I decided to pick up the next box in the Classic Monster Collection series. These are Wizkids boxes of pre-painted miniatures based on illustrations from the original Monster Manual. This set wasn't one that was high on my priority list, but a couple of solidly useful miniatures and my completionist nature won out.

First up is the Gorgon, a weirdly named monster that's a weird monstrosity with iron skin that breaths gas that turns people to stone. I'm not sure where I'd fit it into a traditional fantasy campaign, but in Eberron there's a specific Daelkyr who is all about petrification, so it could easily be a monster involved with one of its cults.

I've already got a griffon model or two, but they're low enough power you could do quite a fun medium level encounter of a straight up flock of them.

Hippocamps in 5e were published in Mythic Odysseys of Theros rather than a core book. At some point I'm going to look at all the aquatic monsters I've slowly picked up over the years and realise I really need to run an aquatic campaign to use them all...

Team Undead in this box are a ghoul and a ghost. I have a bunch of ghost models already, but spooky hooded figure with a lantern is a lovely traditional look. The ghoul, meanwhile, is rarely met alone, so will need to be combined with a few buddies from other collections or ranges.

The imp miniature is full of character, acting up and being troublesome. Meanwhile the hellhound breathing fire means it's clear that it is, in fact, a hellhound and not just a dog of some kind. Both will be excellent minions for a wrong-un villain and add some character to an encounter.

A nice traditional harpy is something that makes a good travel encounter that's a bit higher threat than bandits. I will need a few more harpies for a full sized encounter, so will need to dig through the stash to work out what I already have.

This is definitely one for the collectors, or of use for DMs who have the basics already and want to add some interesting extras.

Wednesday 22 November 2023

Brushchewer: Otherworld Miniatures - The Death Knight and the Thief

I normally want to paint my own Otherworld Miniatures figures, but these couple got damaged in postage from an assembly person I don't use any more, and they sat around for literally years because fixing that was so demoralising.

So, this meant the delightful Brushchewer Inc got to make them be painted models that weren't making me sad any more.

First up is this elf thief, complete with grappling hook and rope. I quite like the idea that he's dressed like a "stereotypical elf" rather than like an obvious sneaky person in dark colours. The greens and browns still blend into the terrain easily enough, but if someone sees them wandering around at night, they don't automatically jump out as someone up to no good...

The Death Knight has a cloak that's billowing out behind them. Is it moved by the cold death energies animating the vile monster? Or is it a "Cloak of Billowing" owned in life by a petty and vain warlord whose early death led to them rising again out of spite and disbelief?

I just looked up a Death Knight's stats in D&D. Goodness, they are absolutely monstrous! A challenge rating of 17 that's richly deserved, it's a good example of a stat line that will provide a some measure of threat to a higher level party.

The thing is with a nice undead character model like this is that it can easily be given an assortment of differing profiles at different power levels - whether a lead minion of a more powerful threat or a villain in their own right.

I had a nose through Pathfinder, and similarly, there's a huge array of different monsters who fall into the description of "armoured skeleton with sword" - whether a Skeleton Champion, Gravenknight or a more powerful Wight that uses weapons. This sort of flexibility means that you can make good use of Pathfinder's "Recall Knowledge" so the players can determine the level of threat...

Monday 20 November 2023

Steady Painting Progress - Lyran Urbanmech and Fantasy RP Figures

I got this Urbanmech about 80% done last weekend, and settled down to finish him up on Sunday afternoon. I tried drybrushing the majority of the paint on, but it hasn't resulted in a great line between the white and the blue. I'll go back to my previous technique for future 'mechs, but this one is fine.

I now have a couple of painted Battlemechs for my planetary militia force, and a couple for my Lyran Guards. I've got the "Game of Armored Combat" box where I've started scraping the mould lines ages ago but paused on that given I hadn't finished painting the ones that were ready to go. With all the ready to paint 'mechs now fully painted, I'll likely get back to them soon.

I've paused a little on the Dungeon Fiend set because I'm using new painting techniques for those, and that needs a little more brain power than I have. So I'm plugging through a few smaller, simpler jobs that are sitting about that I can just knock out. First up is this skeleton ogre I bought on Facebook many years ago.

I was a bit dubious of the undercoat spray for this one, so I decided to build up from darker colours. I've started by throwing black onto all the areas that will be metal, and a dark brown onto all the bone. I might block in another couple of colours, or just throw on the metal drybrush for all the chainmail sooner rather than later.

Joining the ogre in "dubious undercoat club" is this dwarf watchman from Bears Head Minis, who now sadly don't sell to the public and instead just sculpt for mini companies. It was very restful to just drop in some simple basecoat colours while the wash was drying on the Urbanmech's base, and he's not got much to do before he'll be tabletop ready.

I've got these giant centipedes from Otherworld Miniatures up next, as they don't have many colours and will be another quick and simple job. I am off LARPing next weekend so I'm not sure how many more things I'm going to finish in November.

The D&D paint jobs are pretty common at the moment because I'm aiming for tabletop quality, I don't have a particular scheme in mind, and they don't require much brain power. I do want to start hitting a few more forces for wargaming - my Combined Army, more Battletech, and eventually my Nomads and Malifaux Outcasts.

Friday 17 November 2023

Wizkids Deep Dragon

I'd been meaning to get a pre-painted Wizkids Deep Dragon for a while. It came out in the Mordenkainen's Monsters of the Multiverse lucky dip set, which released a while ago. Then, one day, I went to the online store I get my individual blind box minis from to discover it was out of stock.


After a bit of searching, I paid a chunk more than I would have if I'd bought it when I first wanted it, and got it from an eBay seller abroad. This isn't helping my "impulse buying" instincts in any way.

The Deep Dragon is a nice weird non-standard dragon profile for a dragon that lives deep underground. Their profile is in Fizban's Treasury of Dragons, which has a whole bunch of ideas for personalities and plots a dragon might be involved in.

Currently it feels like D&D 5e is currently best placed to use a homebrew setting to fit in all the good character and culture elements Wizards have published around dragons and giants. My favourite setting, Eberron, doesn't use either of those settings elements. Wizards has really not done very well at all with its any of its other setting books, although the Planescape book might be a bit better, I've not had a chance to read through it and find out.

The miniature itself is nicely detailed, but is far too big to be the "Young" Deep Dragon it's marketed as. It's clearly the right size to be an Adult Deep Dragon, an older and more powerful profile. It does include a marker ring for what the base size of the Young Deep Dragon should be, but it's so small under the model you can barely make out where it is.

Here the dragon is alongside a brave knight trying to put an end to its vile schemes, but I really don't rate his chances...

Wednesday 15 November 2023

Deathwatch Vanguard Veterans

A got a few more Deathwatch Vanguard Veterans painted by Squiggle's Studio. I still haven't got a game of 10th edition in yet, but hopefully I'll find the time some point soon...

Monday 13 November 2023

Infinity ITS 15 - Resilience Operations with Nomads

One of the new game modes for the new season of ITS (the Infinity Tournament System) is "Resilience Operations". This is a 'random mission' system that uses the new "Operations Deck". There's been a bit of delay in people trying it out as not everyone's been able to pick up the new deck, but both me and Yashar had ours, so it was time to try the new nonsense.

I was continuing to learn Nomads while Yashar was running their beloved Merovingia. You draw four objective cards, then discard one. You also pick a pair of battlefield conditions and discard one. I discarded a mission to have surviving points, and picked "Urban Combat" so everyone got a bonus move over "CQB" which would have limited shooting over 32". In retrospect, Ariadna's Sniper game is strong and I should have taken CQB...

Chilling out behind the orange objective widget are some Puppetbots, which I decided to take for this game to see how they play.

I was also giving the Sin Eater with Heavy Machine Gun a run, but I accidentally picked up this old Intruder model instead...

Knauf caused me quite a bit of grief in early shooting, and between him and a linked Viral Sniper, both my Total Reaction Remote and the Sin Eater died completely in the first turn. I managed to get rid of him with my Intruder HMG in my own first turn, but my ARO presence was seriously depleted compared to my opponent's

My Sombra Hacker had to reveal to stop an Apache absolutely wiping my Puppetbots and getting into my cheap fragile pieces that were fuelling my orders. This left her visible and she ended up getting taken out, meaning I had lost a whole ton of points that I was no longer going to be able to use for N Domination.

Fortunately, it meant that I still had two Puppetbots still up. They were able to take out two or three pieces and push up the table.

A Chasseur had scored 3 points passing a WIP roll with an objective in my deployment zone, and was standing on a console, so my Moran Maasai turned back to take him out and deny Yashar the objective point. I was in real trouble if I failed this, as it would cost me a point for scoring the near zone that I desperately needed.

In the end, two Puppetbots cleared the far zone, scoring me two points. They'd taken out one of the three Priority Targets, and the Moran still held the near zone for a fourth point. With the Chasseur off the console, they had only scored three from the scenery in my deployment zone objective, giving me the bonus point for having scored more, for a final mission score of 5-3.

All in all, Resilience Operations are a fascinating and weird set of objectives and scenarios that present very different list building challenges to more static traditional ITS games. It feels like an excellent addition to the available options, and one I'm keen to play again.

Thursday 9 November 2023

Brushchewer: Salute Promotional Figure and Bad Squiddo Horror

My commission painter Brushchewer Inc got another batch back to me last month. First up, we have a handful of miniatures from Bad Squiddo, plus an old promotional figure from a previous Salute.

First up is the Salute promotional figure, from the year they were Steampunk themed. While I don't really play Steampunk games, Pathfinder's world of Golarion has an area where firearms are relatively common - Alkenstar and the Mana Wastes, and in particular, the rich of the area commonly have firearms as a status symbol. This model works excellently as a rich noble with a tricked out custom firearm, ready to see off some pesky bandits and other miscreants.

Here we have Margaret the vampire hunter and Clara the witch from Bad Squiddo. A sensible lady with a crossbow, and a slightly creepy lady holding a scorpion will definitely both be figures who can see some use in an assortment of roleplaying games and skirmish games, depending on what I'm running at the time.

Continuing the Bad Squiddo minis, we have a pair of vampire thralls, who really look ready to wreck some absolute fool. I love these as they're very clearly capable in a fight and a definite threat, rather than floating around in a night dress. They look significantly more dangerous than many other vampire figures who are just lounging around doing nothing much in particular. These look grubbier and more low fantasy, and I really love how they've turned out. 

Monday 6 November 2023

What I got up to in October

It's been a busy October, although not one with much in the way of my getting my paint brushes out. I did manage to get the Gator TAG assembled to get some games in with it.

I've also had a ton of painted models back from commission painters. Between that and unpacking TAG Raid, a bunch of hobby time ended up being used in sorting those out. I've still not finished photoing all the different minis I've got in, and they'll be going up on the blog over the next few weeks.

I did make it over to SELWG Show and got in a demo game of Warcrow. I was very impressed and it's definitely something I'll be looking into in future.

I've also played quite a few games with my Nomads. I'm still learning them at this stage, but I'm having fun working out how they play and which of their unit combinations work well for my play style.

So, a productive hobby month all told, even if I myself didn't end up finishing painting any figures. It's definitely a priority for November to bring that balance back a bit, I think!