Sunday, November 24, 2013

Hobby update

I've been up to a lot lately in the hobby, both gaming and painting.  While that feels like a great step forward, I've also encountered a stumbling block in terms of sharing my hobby on-line. 

I learned that the last two battle reports that I linked to -- from the blog, from Google+, from WAMP, from Dragonpainting forum -- were a bust, in that the viewers cannot see the Comments alongside the photos.  I write Comments to provide the commentary of the battle report, so without being able to read them, the battle report is just a story-less photo album.  That's a big disappointment, since most of the work goes into writing the commentary, and it provides a large part of the entertainment value.
I've  checked the settings in Google+, and I can't figure out what needs to be adjusted that I haven't already tried.  Irksome, because the audience could see the comments before.  If anyone has any insight, please share!

In any case, here are some of the things I've been up to.

First off, Malifaux Monday is now underway, and it seems like it's going to stick.  The more I play it, the more I'm a fan of the new rules release.  I think it's a step forward for the industry in rules design.  It sets a strong example in how to take an overly complex ruleset and streamline it by layering the complexity.  The complexity is definitely still there, but it can be peeled like an onion. 

Here is my Ramos crew in action.  Howard Langston, the Steamborg Executioner, is farting a steam cloud to hide the crew, while they claim the objective center-ground.

This past weekend, I played another game, this one with a friend who played the Ortega Gang, which I had purchased from Scott Radom, the gentleman who I challenged in the WAMP Ladder painting competition.  The painting challenge featured my Ramos Malifaux crew versus Scott's Ortega Malifaux crew, and we used those same exact crews in the game this weekend!  So the game looked really good, in terms of fully painted miniatures.  But I forgot to take pictures!  Looks like I'll need a rematch.

That Malifaux game was Friday evening.  On Saturday, my friend, Rafael, and I played our rematch of the Storm of Magic expansion for Warhammer Fantasy.  I have photos for a battle report, but until I can figure out a new way to post battle reports, I'll just show a couple of highlight photos.

Here's a good action shot of the Frostheart Phoenix swooping in to wreak havoc on my Spearmen unit.

A view of the overall battlefield.  It's only the top of Turn 1, and the armies are already locked in brutal combat, with the very mobile High Elf army launching forward on the offensive.

This game was a blast.  Literally, actually -- since the Wizard's Tower in the lower-right, was utterly destroyed and left a big, smoking crater, taking out the Supreme Sorceress in the process.  As a matter of fact, before we called time, three Wizards had been utterly vanquished, leaving one Wizard on each side.  It was anyone's game, when we called it.  Lots of fun.

So speaking of the Supreme Sorceress, she's pushed her way to the top of the painting queue.  Here are photos of the Work-In-Progress.  I'm using her as an exercise for painting female skin.  As you can see, she's showing a lot of it!

Jen Haley painted the studio version, and, I have to say, I've gained a lot of respect for Ms. Haley as I've attempted my amateur paintjob on this model.  Jen's blends are smooth as silk, and her definitions are crisp.  Using her version as a guide is a great way to push my own technique and ability.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Storm of Magic

My newly-painted Vermin Fiend made a debut appearance in a Storm of Magic game this past weekend.  He didn't do a damn thing, but at least he looked ominous doing it!

Here's a link to the Pictorial battle report.

Storm of Magic is an expansion to Warhammer Fantasy.  The Magic Phase is amped with super-powerful spells.  You also have the option to introduce more Monsters to the game, which is probably more of what attracted me to the game.  I wanted an excuse to field some models that won't see regular game-play for quite a few years, until their faction or army catches up with them from the depths of the paint-queue.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Regiments of Renown

I forgot to post this.  I managed to put those Squig Hoppers on the table, after all.  After seeing my prospects for playing Regiments of Renown diminish to practically zero, an opportunity came out of the blue.  This was over a week ago.

The game was a blast.  I played against Erik's Lizardmen.  It was so nice to put my old Orc & Goblin models on the table again.  This game is basically what I was trying to do, when I restarted the hobby back in 2006.  It's taken awhile just to come full circle!

Here's a link to the quick battle report.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Getting what I asked for

I've been quiet on the blog recently.  Ironically, it's because I've been busier in my hobby.  I've been squeezing in more painting and more playing, leaving less time to talk about it!

The odd thing is that the ebb and flow of game-choice has been totally unpredictable.  The Squig Hopper project was intended for imminent games of Regiments of Renown.  Almost as soon as I finished painting the models, the most promising candidate to play Regiments of Renown with me had to back out (and understandably so, given the choices of his game-time budget against real life).  That was a couple of weeks ago.  Just today, though, another gamer buddy contacted me to arrange a game.  After some back-and-forth among our choices, we settled on Regiments of Renown!  To play tomorrow!  Irony.

The two games that have emerged to the forefront in recent weeks have been Warhammer 40K (another irony, given my previous lukewarm regard for the game) and the new Second Edition (2E) for Malifaux.  40K gained some legs, since a local game store, Victory Comics in Falls Church, started hosting an escalation league.

An escalation league is an ideal opportunity for me to dip my toe back into 40K.  I've always enjoyed smaller games anyway.  The league is starting at 500 points and slowly inching up only 250 points every two weeks.  My kinda pace.  This is a great opportunity to put my head into list-building, which I decided is necessary for me to truly enjoy the game for what it is.  Indeed, I've been having a fun time rediscovering the game.  And it gives me great motivation to work on painting my 40K collection.

Here is the 750-point game I played this past weekend.  Naturally, I brought a knife to a gunfight, as you can see my all-infantry army huddled in the corner, trying to figure out what to do against an armored company....   That happened because, up until that game, I developed my list against an opponent who was likewise developing an infantry-heavy list.  I really didn't expect to face off against two tanks and two armored transport carriers at 750 points.  So, yeah, I'm learning a lot.... (the hard way, as usual!)

After this game, I was motivated to paint up more Fire Warriors, to replace the AT-43 proxies that I was using for two out of three of my units.  I decided I would try out an oil wash on the Fire Warriors.  Here is the result, applied on zenithal black and gray primer.

This is my second try at an oil wash.  I've had high expectations that oil washes would be near-perfect for my style.  Not so much.  I think it's best for very specific applications, not as a general wash.  It would have been a lot less trouble and just as effective if I had mixed my own acrylic wash, like I usually do.

On a related note, I tried out GW and Secret Weapon washes on a few models here, as well.  Same conclusion.  I can actually do it better.  GW and Secret Weapon washes are very handy for many applications, but for general-purpose, assembly line painting, I'm going to return to mixing my own.

A quick note about Malifaux 2E.  I'm very satisfied with the direction they took the game.  It met my high hopes, to streamline of the rules and manage the complexity of the profiles.  Great job, Wyrd Miniatures.

I am now participating in a group that has started a weekly Malifaux Monday event.  We've had two meetups so far, and I'm learning my Ramos crew.  It's still challenging to figure out all the options, combinations, and sequencing.  Malifaux is still more brain-burning than Freebooter's Fate or Alkemy (still my preference), but it's a tremendous improvement over 1st Edition Malifaux.  Like 8th Edition Warhammer Fantasy and 6th Edition Warhammer 40K, the improvements make the difference between me playing the game and not playing the game.  Fun times ahead!

Oh, and one last thing, for 40K, I have begun working on the mysterious Project K.....