Saturday, September 28, 2013

New Years Resolution Updates - September

Only 3 months left in my 2013 Resolutions hopes and I’m probably coming up to the final count for points.  Frankly it looks like I'm going to be getting a pretty mediocre grade at best with the finals here.

1. Finish painting my Warhammer Quest set.
Last year I made the final movement into getting the rest of the Warhammer Quest collection.  That isn't to say that I own every model you could possibly run into in the game, but I do own nearly every piece that was specifically made for Quest itself.  In fact last year I managed to completely finish painting the entire base set and now I'm left with Lair of the Orc Lord and Catacombs of Terror along with the rest of the independent characters.  I'd really like to finish this bad boy up and get some good foam for it from Battlefoam maybe, but let's just work on the painting right now.  This shouldn't be too bad.  I think total this is only about 20 models.  There will be no half points for this.  It either does or does not get done.

Failed (The year isn’t over, but I guarantee I will not be getting to this.)
0 Points!   
2. Finish Bretonnian Army
Ah, what good hobbyist doesn't have this specific goal?  Considering last year I nearly completed two armies (Skaven and Empire) I see absolutely no reason that I can't complete the Bretonnian army by year’s end.  I started this army just near the end of last year so it hasn't even been shelved off of the table yet since I've procured it.  I have a specific set of models for this army right now and the goal is to completely finish what I have and buy nothing extra.  This may of course be overridden by GW bringing out a new Army Book. I think this is unlikely, but possible.  The original purchase of this army was for the Adepticon Team Tournament of 1,200 points.  Half credit for the 1,200, full for everything I have.

Complete (Not only did I finish every model I had but I recently sold it!  I just didn’t enjoy the play style enough.)
10 Points

3. Finish 2 Unfinished Projects
Yet another resolution every hobbyist has for themselves.  I guess really the Quest set kind of falls into this category but I'm speaking of everything in general.  I actually did finish my Dwarf army years ago, but I still have about 30 models for the Empire army and probably 50-60 for my Skaven army.  I'd really like to finish them up.  I also need to construct a display board for both the Bretonnian and Empire armies.  So these will be my projects.  Note I designated (2) projects, and not every one of them because let’s face it; you'll never manage that!  1 Project for 1/2 credit.

Complete (Finished Bretonnia Army, Display Boards for Empire and Bretonnia)
10 Points 

4. No More Board Games
I own too many games.  I've known this for years, but I keep a pretty accurate count due to insurance reasons.  I have just a hair under $10k worth of Games Workshop product of some kind and a couple of hundred dollars under $3k in Board Games.  I know better than to think that I won’t be buying more GW stuff, but considering how rarely I actually get the Board Games to the tables I've decided to put a moratorium on Board Games for the year.  This means avoiding garage sales, online excitement, etc...  So I'll be dovetailing my activity on Board Game Geek and everything else.  Its going to be rough because I'm a very flighty person who always wants what I see when I get excited about it.  I've bought many a game through quick impulse.  Full or none!  I either avoid buying or fail and purchase.

Failed (110% Failure!  I think I’ve only purchased 3 or 4, but still a failure.)
0 Points  
5. Play Every Board Game (And sell them!)
This is a two part...  Having gone through my collection I find that I own just over 175 board games.  Now, not all of these are mine specifically; I've gotten plenty of games that are just for my sons (age 4 and 10).  I keep my games quite separate from there's and my goal is to play every one of my games at least once this year.  I'm going to buy a sticker sheet of little orange dots from the store and every game that gets played will get a dot.  At the end of the year any game without a dot will go onto the chopping block and be sold off.  I'm the kind of person who is loathe to part with things and accept change that said there is no real tangible 1/2 way for this, so again with all or nothing.

Failed (Foregone conclusion here.)
0 Points  0

6. Run a Tournament
Some of you know that between me and many people in Bloomington that I already run tournaments.  These are small tournaments though that tend to draw anywhere from 8-16 people.  The most we've had at that.  I want to not only run a better tournament; but I want to run 20 people minimum and have a nice set of tables and terrain there.  I'm looking at emulating Invasion Kenosha basically.  Hopefully I'll see this idea come to fruition.  I've already been working on it and maybe we'll see it happen.  I'm a busy man with two kids, tournaments I already run, etc...  If I manage to at least complete the terrain for 10 tables worth I'll consider this 1/2 credit.

Failed (I know the year isn't up, but I haven’t built the terrain I wanted to and I know it isn’t going to happen.)
0 Points 

7. Get My Son to Play Miniatures
My oldest boy is 10 years old (11 in July) and while he has shown mild interest in Warhammer he's never really been 'for' it.  A casualty of the 'video game' era is the only thing I can come up with.  I have absolutely no idea if I'll ever succeed; but my plan is to get him and some of his friends started as easy as I can and throw them into some games of HeroQuest.  I ran across a box of HeroQuest some time ago completely un-punched and still on sprue and while I'd planned mostly to sell the thing I'm thinking more now about using it as an entry point for the kid.  While the ultimate goal is to get him into Warhammer if I can at least get him and his Friends to play this game a minimum of (5) times I'll throw 1/2 credit.  If it actually leads to a game of Warhammer full points!

Half Credit/Modified? (Well, I haven't gotten my son to play Warhammer yet, and no more games of Heroquest than at the last update (so 1 game) but we have at this point gotten into Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures Game.  Even more importantly we've played the crap out of it and gotten involved in a local league at our FLGS.  I can only say that I had intended this to be Warhammer, but he is playing miniatures and were way past 5 games.  As such I feel I deserve at least some credit, but since it isn't Warhammer I'm only going 1/2 credit here.)
5 Points

8. Play 52 Miniature Games
This is a yearly goal and has been for the last 4 years.  Every year I come quite close but 2012 was the first time I'd achieved it!  I run the Blood Bowl on-line league which I didn't count in 2011 (which means I probably would've made it that year too).  This time I'm counting it though.  It may seem like a bit of a cheat since it’s on the PC, but screw it, considering the time and effort I put into the league.  If I can breach 45 games I'll go 1/2 points.

Half Credit (As with the previous goal with some modification.  Including games of X-wing I’ll smash this.  I figured at this point if I’m counting Bloodbowl leagues I may as well count X-wings too, it is a miniature game, just not Warhammer.  Currently with X-wing included I'm at 52.  I’d say since it isn’t Warhammer or even related I should only count every 2 games as 1 which would actually put me at 43.  I believe I’m going to crack this one.
5 Points 

9. Crack a Top 20 or Podium Award
I've been playing in tournaments now for 4 years.  Competitively I've never been a super solid player and I always go more for the fun and drunken shenanigans.  That said I've never been in the top 20 of any tournament.  My tournaments this year will be Adepticon Team Tournament, and Blood in The Sun at the minimum.  I'm on the wait list for the Adepticon How You Use It Tournaments and hopefully they'll either expand or enough people will drop that I can get in.  I must either crack a top 20 somewhere or god bless make a podium of some kind which is to say win an award.  The two need not be connected.  So if I were to get Sports or Players Choice or an award of some kind it would count.  Barring an award at least one tournament with a top 20 placing would be good.  Hell if I manage both I'll throw in the bonus of extra credit and give me an extra 10 points for the effort.
10 Points

10. Lose Weight
So I know that I said up top that this was BS and a cop out.  Fact is I'm going to use it anyway.  Garagehammer and crew have been hosting #Fathammer in which a boatload of Warhammer players have been trying to drop weight.  While the competition began before Christmas I didn't take it seriously and consistently floated and even gained weight before 2012's end.  So in 2013 with renewed vigor I shall drive forth and take it off!  I currently weight in at the time of writing this 221.8lbs.  My goal weight is 200lbs.  If I can hit my mark at some point this year and end 2013 under 210lbs, I will consider this half credit.  If I can hit that mark and end the year under 205lbs. we'll go for full.

Half Credit (Since my last update I have gained some weight back.  A significant portion actually, I'm at about 208-9 fluctuating.  Still doing good though and I feel I should be able to with some effort put myself back under 205 before year’s end.)
5 Points

So the current final score is 45 of 100.  If I end the year under 205, get myself to 52 miniature games and make an award at Merry Mayhem which I plan on attending in early December it is still possible for me to get a D grade using the American grade system.  Eek… I’ll have to consider my resolutions next year much more carefully.  

Monday, September 16, 2013

Rise of Legends - Da Burna Boy'z (Pt. 7)

Basing Schemes – Cork Work

So I’ve begun the basing work on the Regiment.  First job was to pick some cork.  Believe it or not there are actually a lot of options for cork.  Some have bigger grain, some are smaller.  Then you have to choose the thickness which can range from anything a couple 1/8’s of an inch to usually about 1/2” at the larger end.   I wanted the models to be a little taller because of the look I really wanted to go for with these and so I went with 3/16” cork.  (I wanted ¼” but couldn’t find any while I was looking.)  I ended up going for medium grain since a large grain would fall apart in larger chunks and the fine seemed like it was unnecessary.
Speaking of the look that I want to go for, let’s go over that.  I wanted to have these guys on open grass type terrain.  However with the cork, I want that to look like the earth under the grass which means I wanted it to be thick enough that the grass on top wouldn’t obscure it to where you can’t see it.  The final decision on cork was made because nearly 99% of the army is plastic and this means it won’t be hard to pin or glue to the cork itself whereas an all metal army would be terrible try this with.

Here is the first experimented base work for one of the Orc Boyz.

So now you see what I’m going for.  Except imagine of course that everything gets painted and flocked at some point along with models attached.  You’ll see what I’m going for soon enough if you keep an eye on the blog in a couple weeks when I drop the next post.  Hopefully I'll have begun the painting process by then.  I'm getting excited to keep working!

Da Burna Boy'z!
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures Game - Board Game Review

Wow, it seems likes it’s been forever since I’ve bothered writing a Board Game Review.  Looking back, it really is.  The last review I wrote up was (CHECK IT) on (DATE IT).  Damn.  Well, we’re not here to dwell on that thought; but to review yet another great game!

The game is great.  It comes with 3 plastic pre-painted ships to use and all the pieces for a simple two player game.  The game doesn’t actually come with a board but the rules define a specific amount of playing space/area that you’ll need to section off on a kitchen table or some such space.  The box comes with some card token asteroids and a satellite which can be used as terrain during games.

I want to go over the game; but Fantasy Flight is actually a company who handles that very well on their own so I've decided simply to link to their video tutorial and use this post to discuss my thoughts on the game as a whole.

Fantasy Flight Video Tutorial Link

The game plays pretty quickly when you learn the rules.  Usually the games are under 30 minutes and my son and I really enjoy it.  It’s a lot of fun trying to out-guess your opponent on how they are going to move so you can try to get in the most advantageous position to kill them and building your own squads with combos that feed off each other is a big chunk of the fun.  It’s always nice to see a combo plan come together and work well.

Star Wars: A New post...

Well it’s finally happened.  I've been sucked into another miniatures game.  Not that I haven't played dozens of miniature games in the past; but when I started the show I managed to get rid of everything that wasn't Warhammer Fantasy related.  I had Blood Bowl, Warhammer Quest; I even owned and played a game or two of Man 'O War for the podcast at one point.  Beyond these things though I'd chucked every other miniature game I had and had stalwartly refused to pick any up.  Then my eldest sons 11th birthday came in July.

My sons birthday and my nephews birthday are only days apart so it happens that every couple years it seems through convenience for his parents and my wife and I that they end up sharing a birthday party.  This year was one of those years and a couple of friends that his father and I have in common decided for their birthdays to buy them both a starter set of Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures.  I had been quite interested in this game when it came out last year since I was also a fan of Wings of War, but I'd managed to ignore it... Until now.

Yes it was a miniature game that my son actually showed interest in.  Probably because he was playing with his cousin more than anything but like a rabid dog I latched onto this with reckless abandoned and charged full steam ahead into the game.  After 3 games we bought our first extra ship, a Tie Interceptor.  Then our FLGS informed us that a number of people just now decided to get into the game and that they would be running a weekly league night with the FFG game night packs which provide special tokens, alternate artwork cards and medals for the league winners.  Now we’re running!

However we only owned 1 core set and good ole’ Fantasy Flight seemed to be unaware of how popular this stuff was and Wave 1 has been out of print for a while now.  So began the scavenger hunt for the wave 1 ships which were the single X-Wing, Tie Fighter, Y-Wing and Tie Advance.  Neither of our FLGS had any in stock, Target only carries the core game and then I found Barnes & Noble.  I dug around on a shelf and managed to find a Tie Fighter.  After some inquisitional tactics on an employee and forcing him to not only search the backroom but also the stock carts he managed to produce an X-Wing and a Y-Wing.

With extra ships in hand my son and I played the missions from the rulebook as well as about 5 more games to ensure that he knew the rules as I refused to take him into a league against adults if he wasn’t going to put forth the fullest effort on his part.  With that in mind he also spend 2 evenings before bed reading the rulebook.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Rise of Legends - Da Burna Boy'z (Pt. 6)

Basing Schemes

So here I stand on the brink of basing.  Having completed the modeling portion of my group I now have to figure out a basing scheme.  One of the things I wanted to do is make them really scenic and dynamic so that they add a lot to the models.  However, I have to remember that I will eventually incorporate these into a larger Orc & Goblin army later this year and I don’t want to make something so overly complicated that I can’t recreate it months from now or so complicated I don’t want to recreate it 150 more times before eventually finishing my army.

I’ve done a number of different basing schemes on my armies that I already own.  To help me think about I’ve charted what I’ve done and some pro’s/con’s of them.  I’ve also taking a picture of some models from each army below for examples.

Dwarfs - Painted Sand with Static Grass
  • Pro: Paint to whatever color wanted, points for dual textures
  • Con: Time Consuming, pretty standard or common
Skaven - Painted Cobblestone Bases
  • Pro: Matched a theme I wanted, looked different
  • Con: Lost points for no texture, very time consuming
Empire - Stained wood planks, Painted Sand with Static Grass
  • Pro: Unique and different, matched the them I wanted, looked cool
  • Con: Lost points for mismatching bases, very time consuming, must pin all models to planking
Bretonnia - Single Powder Flock with Static Grass
  • Pro: Quick and easy
  • Con: Personally disappointed with look in the end

So looking through here there’s a couple I can easily toss out.  I really was disappointed in the powder flock on the Bretonnia army.  I’ve seen people use this flock before and make it look good; but I just didn’t like it so I will very likely not be using it ever again.  Also, the bases of my Skaven which I painted cobblestone to match the theme I wanted took a long time to paint all the lines for the stones and even though I think it took just as long as any other form of basing I actually often lose out on paint points for having bases without texture so I won’t be duplicating that.

That leaves me down to painted sand with statics and something overly unique like stained wood, etc…  I’ve seen some very nice bases done by many people that combine either of these techniques.  Honestly I’d like to try some Jim Wappel type basing with carved bases from Sculpy and cork (pictured below) but that’s a bit overmuch for me.
Not only does it take a lot of effort; but a fair amount of investment in extra stuff.  I generally don’t like the look of bare/painted cork either.
Still, I think that cork is probably the direction I’ll be going with this army.  My plans for this Regiment (and eventual army) is to take everything I’ve been learning and have learned over the last 4 armies I’ve done is to make an army that will maximize my painting score regardless of the tournament I take them to.  This means, plenty of conversion work, repositioning, highlighting/shading, blending, intricate and unique basing.  This will make the army my opus I suppose but I’m looking forward to doing it and this Regiment is really pumping me up for it.  Look forward to see the future of my plans.

Da Burna Boy'z!
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Episode #68: The Grudge of Drong Pt. 3

Howdy Everybody,

Once more into the breach!  Ryan and I cover our 3rd scenario in The Grudge of Drong series and all that occurred during it.  I think that to date this was probably the best scenario we've played out of that book as far as tactics and fun gameplay are concerned.  Afterwards we talk about a recent tournament and some upcoming ones if your going to be in the area of Bloomington, so be sure to give us a listen!  Continue reading more to see the pictures from the battle report!