Monday, January 31, 2011

So much for 'The Dying Race'


Locally we've only had two Eldar Armies over the past few years, and collectively they've only made spartan appearances. One army was sold to a new owner, and it shows up a bit more frequently. Recently I started my little Exodite army, and while that has yet to acquire the numbers for a table top appearance, the guys know that they're coming (eventually). On top of that one of the newer players in the group got his financial aid check from ETSU and (naturally) used a portion of it to buy the Eldar codex along with a battle force box. So it would seem that the space elves are on the come back!

Speaking of my Exodites, as you can see below I've managed that rare feat in the mini-wargaming world of actually painting everything I have for an army before buying anything else. Feels kinda wrong really...

Left to Right: Newly painted Warlock; Group shot (everything I have thus far); The 'Doom bug' marker for a not yet purchased Farseer

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Odds & Ends...


Not much happening on the hobby front. This year (like last year) i will not be able to go to Vegas to meet up with some friends & family. :-( So I'll treat myself to about $100 of toys (funds for which will come from the income tax return). As such I've just been pondering what to buy next for the Exodites. Also as I build up that army, my loyalist IG will continue on their way out via ebay. I'll still be able to field a combat patrol sized penal legion using the Pig Iron minis (whom are primarily set aside for VOR), So that idea hasn't been totally scrapped.

Also, in our ongoing Dark Heresy campaign, my Adept (click on the transfer form at the end of that post) has taken a bit of a turn for the worst in the opinions of most. There was an 'incident' in our prior adventure where he tried to call in an orbital strike for no other reason than he suddenly realized he could. His plans were thwarted, and the Inquisition seems to take issue with such actions. For this adventure he was fitted with an explosive collar (ala a penal legionnaire) in an attempt to keep him in check.

The following are some excerpts from his latest report to our inquisitorial handler. It shows just how poorly that idea worked. Suffering from delusions and grandeur (such machinations are the result of his twisted mind manipulating the realization of his impending doom to his own precieved benefit) Boris now sees himself 'on the cusp of divinity' (yes, that's how I explained it to the DM & party). He has also taken a career turn towards that of a cleric, though the rest of the party refuses to acknowledge this (and he acquired both an insanity & corruption point as a penalty for such madness).

One thing of note is that his 'halo' is the explosive collar worn about his neck. He has painted it gold, hence the name.

Personal note: In past missives I’ve addressed you in my usual respectful terms (i.e.: Honored Sir, Milord, etc.). However in the time between my last missive and the present, I was granted a vision from the Almighty Emperor of Mankind. He has requested my assistance at an approaching time of his choosing, whence I shall be martyred and then transform into the divine state. Once said transformation has occurred, I shall then be able to assist the almighty Emperor through the Imperium’s future perils. While I now obviously hold a superior rank to those in the mortal realm, I have decided to continue the use of our previous terminology, even though it should now be clear as to who is regarded as the superior.

...and a few pages later...

The market seemed a bit more agreeable than most places we had so far visited, and doubly so when in one stall, my halo was discovered by the proprietor. Our conversation went something like this:

‘What’s that?”

My Halo, for I am a living Saint.’

‘Uh huh, and what’s a halo do?’

‘When the Almighty Emperor needs my assistance, he will enact my martyrdom so that I may join him to offer my guidance.’

‘Martyrdom meaning?’

‘It’ll explode. (this seemed to cause him and all present quite some consternation)

‘Could it kill me?’

“Everyone in the room I would imagine, though such concerns are beneath my concern.’

Indeed the other patrons quickly left the premises, and the stall owner was quite accommodating in meeting whatever my provisional requests were with exceptional urgency...


Monday, January 24, 2011

Exodite Dragon Knight


Well, as you can see I painted up the Dragon knight test model yesterday, and I think it came out pretty well. These will work as my 'counts as' Wraithguard. I really like the detail that GW put on the cold one models. I haven't had a cold one since my first Dark Elf army from so many years ago (and they were metal back then). This really just screamed for a wash, and two layers of Ogyrn Flesh really did the trick.

Of course like the actual Wraithguard models, these cost a fortune as the DE blaster bits are in high demand currently, which means that they cost a fortune (the rest of the needed bits are rather reasonable). As such this will probably be my only Dragon Knight for a while as the battery in my truck died this morning (happy Monday!). I live close enough to work, that my boss was able to come & give me a jump, but even then it died a few times enroute, and I coasted across the parking lot this morning. Yeah, its really dead (no warning either, it was just fine last night). Hopefully I can get someone in maintenance to charge it enough to get me across town to buy another this afternoon. Unfortunately though, that'll mean no new toys this week (and probably the next, if not the next few). :-(
After painting the museum's dinosaur brown for the past 7-8 months, when I got one of my own, I painted it brown too.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Furioso dreads for Nurgle?


So, looking at this new dread I had an idea, lemme know whatcha think.

What if you were to file off the BA symbols & aquilas, glue some chaos plates over the left & right sides of the front hull, then put two skull bits on the two magna grapples (or whatever those things are on top). That would be three skulls in an inverted triangle much like the Nurgle icon. Add in a few random chaos bits where they look needed, etc...

How would that work for a Nurgle dread?

The above photo is the property/copyright of Games Workshop and used without permission.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Grandfather Nurgle strikes!

I'm calling in sick on my usual early week post. I woke up feeling as if I'd stood in the street and had been repeatedly run down and then over by my old pickup (feels sorta like the flu, but is missing most of the symptoms aside from fatigue). While I'm anything but better now, it does seem that my steadily rising fever took a fortunate turn in the other direction about an hour ago. So tonight I plan to go home, let the dog out to do her her business, and then go to bed.

All that was painted this weekend were my Heavy Gear FLAILs, and as small as they are, there's not too much effort needed per mini. Maybe I'll post pics later in the week.


Thursday, January 13, 2011

Rhinos & Dinos & Exodites, oh my!


Just some random updates this time around.

First off, after playing with George Lupus' Rebel Alliance last weekend (the George Lupus name stuck to my CSM sorcerer, so I resurrected the army name, much to b.smoove's delight I'm sure) I realized that my Blood Eagles rhino was very close to being finished, and so this week I made that happen.
I tried to keep this one kinda clean, which is rare for my tanks. However given the dry brushing combo I used for the base color scheme, what grime I did add along the hull bottom is really only visible on the rough terrain modification, and tracks. I glued the top hatch on this one at some point for some odd reason (perhaps because the chaos star goes beyond the roof hatch?) so the interior is kinda hard to see. There also seems to have been some conflict in regards to whom has priority in my painting queue, as a Dark hands' SM helmet has ended up on a roof spike.

Next up, a bit of progress has been made on the Exodite front:
The center & left should appease the fluff bunnies out there who's ire I may have roused when I decided to use a High Elf Griffin as a jet bike. This is my Dragon Knight that will be used as a 'counts as' Wraithguard. Its the usual/simple Dire Avenger upper torso conversion on a cold one & cold one knight's legs. For the arms & weapon, i got an idea from an anonymous poster's comment some time back (suggesting I use DE heavy weaponry for the Exodite guardians instead of a platform). The DE blaster is visually pretty close to the wraithcannon, just proportionally smaller. Its also expensive as hell for two small bits! Whatever a blaster does, it must be good as it is in high demand it seems. I will probably run these as a squad of five. I'm not sure what to do about a warlock as having one walk with a squad of (slow) cavalry seems odd to me. I may just have these hang near the guardians & give their Warlock spirit seer.

Speaking of the guardian's warlock... On the original test mini, as well as the autarch, I had yellow added into their helmet crests as a symbol of status. So I painted the warlock's helm yellow, but with the blue started to look like an Iyanden warlock.

He's currently in some simple green contemplating a new path of coloration.

The minis on the right are going to be Exodite Dire Avengers. I was looking @ an Eldar codex @ the FLGS Saturday, and saw that guardians come in blobs of 10-20, with a platform for each 10. so the 3 extras were effectively worthless, and i didn't want my original test mini to be removed from the line up, or marginalized as a guardian with a cloak & fancy hat. So a few bit orders & he will be the exarch to a 5 strong squad of dire avengers (his to accomplices were guardians with a simple head swap). I'm still waiting for my dark elf leg bits to arrive (delayed by the near constant snow I'm sure) to assemble two more.

Lastly, the triceratops cast skeleton is nearing the end of the painting portion. However they did an inventory and no surprise we are missing a few pieces. The missing parts are being sculpted out of foam, and while not as good as the cast pieces, will be a reasonable facsimile. The exhibit officially opens this weekend, but due to the museum being closed all week due to the weather, that may be delayed some. I'm not sure but I may be painting the remaining pieces in the exhibit hall (more or less adding me to the 'display' (scary thought that that is) instead of 'hiding behind glass' as I normally do. I'll find out today I suppose, I need to go for an interview regarding a video narration/welcome/thing today that will be playing on a continuous loop in the exhibit (assuming the snow doesn't keep the museum closed again).

Monday, January 10, 2011

Hey look, new guys.


Now there have been many posts in regards to gamer etiquette in regards to tourneys & such, but one thing that I don't recall seeing is anything in regards to your first time going to play @ a new (to you) game shop. We had two new players (apparently Freshmen @ the local university) show up to play this last weekend @ the FLGS and things got off to a slow start due to a lack of prep on their part (and lets face it, not too much is really required).

I moved here a eleven years ago, and before coming to play, I first scouted out the 'local' (assuming 20+ miles away is local) game shop to see when people played, what sized armies, what game was most common, etc., and then with that info in hand, I showed up the next week to play. Pretty simple really, could be why I haven't seen any posts on the subject. Presumably these two guys did that to some extent as they showed up @ game time, though they were kinda ill prepared.

First of all, try to be outgoing. We're all geeks here, no need to be totally introverted. True, around unfamiliar people I tend to clam up (something Murl has scolded at me for a time or two when new guys show up), and one of the two was fairly outgoing. However there are only so many awkward silences to be endured before I go back to talking to my buddies.

Second, don't talk yourself up too high. Chest thumping & bragging about past exploits is all part of the game, but going overboard isn't necessary, it strikes me as kindova defensive attitude when trying to break into a new group. The two on Saturday didn't do that, but about a year or so back a Necron player showed up and did. No matter what anyone said he'd done better (I started playing 40k about the time he was entering kindergarten), his (not present) army was painted better, etc., etc. The next week when he showed up to play, somebody phased his badly painted army out on turn three and we never saw him again. We presume from self inflicted embarrassment. Had he shown up & not tried to one up everyone one in the room he might still be around (indeed he was welcome to return, he just never did).

In another aspect of that, one of the new guys this weekend was taking pride in showing off his 'old' minis (like all gamers showing off their toys), but I think he was equating the mini's age with experience. Not so as the Tin Boy that is used for my profile avatar was acquired via ebay years after it was rendered obsolete in the rules. Indeed, Cyborg Trucker sold a Tin Boy via ebay just last week.

Third, whether or not you scouted out local gaming group, come prepared to play. Bring an army list that's both legible & ready to go. If you don't know what army size is played, then bring several. Make a 1k, 1250, 1500, 1750 & 2k lists, and odds are you're pretty safe to walk into any gameshop in the country & find a quick & ready pick up game.

This is what slowed things down last Saturday. They didn't have lists made, and the process of making them was arduous. Nor should new players ask for unreasonable alterations to their list when building them. For example, the guy I played:

'I don't have that many points of Necrons, unless you don't mind me using my Grey Knight Terminators.'
'Proxied as what?'

'No, not proxied, as an unholy alliance.'

'In the same list? Grey Knights side by side with C'tan? I can take things out of my list to match yours.'

Really? Does anybody allow that kind of thing? I can see Grey Knights fighting side-by-side with Necrons in a team game, but in the same army list?

Whereas the other guy played my buddy Screech, who had a 2k list.

'ok cool, I'll make a list (...30 minutes later...) That makes 735 points. How much did you say you had again?'

'Oh, umm, well let's see, I can use these other guys I guess.'
(and turns to the guy I was about to play and asks) 'Can I use your landraider crusader? Looks like I'll need both of them.'

Wow, he already had one in the 735pt. list? Mind you he had almost a fully painted Ultramarine battle company with him.

Then of course comes the inevitable:

'Does anyone have any paper? Does anyone have a pen?'

...and eventually they have totally illegible lists written on scraps of paper. Rarely do we ever ask to see each other's lists, but it would be nice to be able to understand what the other player brought if we did ask. Columns of numbers with little to no info on it, tell me how does one know who has what wargear? Anyways, the Necron player made up a list and turns to me saying:

'I have 1308.'


If you're going to make a list, try to at least hit an even number (we have a few other players with low mini counts who fail/refuse to acknowledge this concept). Anyways, I just cut mine down to 1300pts, and all was pretty much fine from there.

So, after failing to not make this sound like a rant, all I can really ask of anyone reading this is to just take a little time & effort and you'll create a much better impression on your first time playing at a new game shop, rather than if you just half-ass it.

Also, so to save this from being a complete wall of text, here's my newly painted Rhino for The Purge.

Friday, January 7, 2011

I suck at learning new games.


So, Murl & I have been trying to wrap our heads around the rules to Heavy Gear Blitz with mixed results. The rules for the game itself are only about 20-30 pages in the rule book, with the rest of the book, being devoted to army lists, fluff, pretty photos, etc. However the way that its worded is very...cumbersome? Unclear, confusing, non-user friendly, I don't know its just not sinking in with me. Murl is connecting the dots better than I am.

Now admittedly I'm not good at learning a game by just reading the rulebook. I do much better if I can watch something get played several times, and then read the rulebook & it all kinda clicks, however it's just the two of us starting the game cold so that's not an option. That's always been one of my quirks, like learning to find my way around when driving. Dad drove me from my house to grandma's countless times as a kid, but until I actually made that drive myself, I never really knew how to get there, I just kinda recognized stuff along the way.

Primarily (though by no means exclusively) over the years I've played GW created games, and I've gotten used to their writing style. The online gamer community loves to scream about GW's ambiguities, but after trying & failing repeatedly to figure out Heavy Gear, I've really been given a proper appreciation of the care that GW puts into writing its rules. Murl describes it as reading like a technical manual in some ways, and we all know how much fun those are to read...

The game does have its merits though. I like the fluff (I have most of their RPG books which are in the same setting & provides an inordinate amount of background material), I like the minis (like my hover tanks above), its relatively small scale needing only a handful of units to build an army, and it strikes me as much more realistic (at least as much as hover tanks & piloted walkers can be).

For example:

What does a recon unit do in 40k? Well, it probably has some cool fluff & in-game gets to infiltrate, or a scout move and/or outflanking, regardless of race/faction. In Heavy Gear recon units (usually Gears) are smaller, lighter, faster, and have primarily just defensive weaponry that are only used in desperate situations. Instead they're primary use is to act as forward observers and/or provide target designators for rearguard fire support units, as well as providing ECM/ECCM (electronic warfare) support friendly units while disrupting the enemy's efforts. Those abilities/qualities also vary greatly by which particular recon vehicles in a unit are used, of which there is a bedazzeling array of variant vehicles (just as there are for the other battlefield units).

Yeah, that kinda sounds kinda like the modern battlefield. Hell, the option of electronic warfare is probably one of the best variations from 40k, which doesn't even mention it. Best you can hope for in a 40k parallel to Heavy Gear's recon units is a Tau marker light.

Another problem I'm having with the game is the endless array of acronyms. ABM, AGM, MRP, LGPL, LLC, HGM, list seems endless. They are listed out as full words in the back of the rule book with their stats, but to quote a rebel pilot from Star Wars 'There's too many of them!' The listing of the weapons stats are pretty simple to use, but the perks & flaws of equipment, not so much. Everything has a stat card, and these acronyms are used to make everything fit onto said card. Now I know one day it'll all make sense when we get used to the game, but combined with the clunky writing style of the rules, it makes for a frustrating nightmare scenario for a new player.

Okay enough ranting, on a different note... Below you can see my new game room which just a week ago was my almost never used spare bedroom (it was used on average about once a year).
My grandparents gave me the tables that are under my game board for Christmas. Not only do they fully support the board (which is foam & had about a 6" overhang all the way around on my dining room table) but there's room on either side to set up the army off of the table, or put drinks, or casualties, etc. This was taken after last night's bout of Heavy Gear. My hover tanks are scattered about, along with my paper terrain.

Its so nice to finally have a proper game room, it's geekdom at its finest!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011



Happy new year folks! (is that getting old yet? If so deal with it, every blogger has to say it, it's written down somewhere as a rule I'm sure...)

Anyways, this past weekend was spent relaxing at my grandparent's house, which means that there was a lot of time to paint. I brought my little band of Exodites just to paint something different. First off is my Autarch on his (counts as) jet bike:

I've been drooling over the Island of Blood Elf on a griffin since it was first spotted, BUT I can't stand the High Elves, so couldn't justify getting one. Then I had an idea (what you see above) and bit-ordered it on ebay for a mere $17. That's equal if not better than the average IC blister! He's equipped with a jet bike with twin shuriken catapults, power weapon & mandi-blasters (represented by the griffin's big fucking claws!) and has the option of a laser lance. I've no idea what that would cost point wise as I have no Eldar codex. Then again, I don't have a viable army either so the point is moot.

I've looked around online, googling Exodite images and whatnot, and I haven't seen anyone take this approach for an Exodite jet bike. I find it hard to believe that I thought of this first. I presume Exodite fans are hung up on the name 'Dragon Knights' (and before the 'Fluff Nazis' start screaming, I have an idea for Dragon Knights, just not as jet bikes). I've always wondered how cold ones could work as jet bikes as they don't fly. In the end there will be so many 'counts as' models, that your opponent has to agree too that in the end the point is probably moot.

After finishing the Autarch I moved onto my squad of Guardians.

My original 'bitz' mini is in front, and blends in nicely I think.

I painted them more or less assembly line style in batches of four. There's a bit of variation, but nothing major. I decided after some debate to just paint the missile platform to match. As Exodites, their manufacturing base is minimal but I'm sure that they trade with their craftworld cousins. I was tempted to paint it in Biel-Tan colors for fluff reasons, then Ulthwe as our local Eldar army is from that faction, but I figured that as soon as the Spinifex (my Exodite clan) got a hold of it, they would have re-colored (do Eldar use paint?) it to match.

I know I started these guys under the pretense of a Kill-Zone warband, but no offense to Big Jim & b.smoove (among so many others) there is no interest in that variation of 40k locally and truth be told its not too high on my list either. Kill Team is also ignored locally as is combat patrol. As stated in previous posts and only excepting two opponents, everyone else whines when having to play 'only' 1500 points ('can't you add something else in? you need to borrow something?' etc., etc...). So that means this will probably end up as an army way, waaaay down the road.

The problem with that is that it would result in me making another 'Foot-Dar' army without vehicles & as a result, a limited amount of anti-tank (I just can't see Exodite Dark Reapers). I've had those armies before and have never fared well with them and that was well before the prevalence of the 'stationary mech IG' (and with that pot shot out of the way...). Whereas vs. the static gun line IG, or marines in general (much less the newer over the top varieties) I've fared no better. Indeed, they really ARE a dying race... The Eldar require finesse and I don't have that. Period. So the best solution (I think) is a hybrid list of Craftworld (probably Biel-Tan) and Exodites. Of course all of that will take months to build (I'm not the type to buy an army on a whim like some people do, mainly do due financial reasons) and that's also assuming my enthusiasm for the project doesn't die off prior to being able to actually field an army like it did with the last incarnation of the Tau, or the Aurora scout/tank company, etc.