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Friday, April 29, 2016

My friends and I played some Star Wars Imperial Assault this past weekend.  The game has section of impassable terrain as well as little tokens to represent crates, terminals and other things.  For fun, and to jazz up the boards a little, I made a couple of "Sith Temple Columns" that fit perfectly in the one inch squares.

I also made up a couple of quick terminals that I felt like fit the Star Wars aesthetic.  I'm not sold on the bases, but such is life.

Below, you can see the terrain in action of two of the maps.  I was the Imperial player in both missions and had by rump thoroughly handed to me.  The top picture was taken shortly before the Rebel scum pulled two Shock Grenades in a row, basically stun locking me for long enough to make it statistically impossible for me to win.  Without the stun locks, I probably would have taken the mission.

This mission was a little more frustrating.  The Imperial figures never really improve throughout the campaign.  You might get a couple of small buffs here and there, but a Stormtrooper is, for the most par, a Stormtrooper.  The Rebels are so mobile, that in any mission requiring them to interact with tokens scattered across the map, they can simply ignore my dudes and run to the tokens.  There is very little I can do to stop them as it takes about 2-3 rounds of concentrated firepower to take out one Rebel.  In that time, the other three are all over the place.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Well Done Marvel

I'm not sure if these pics are legit or not, but it sure looks like one of Marvel's artists is a 40k player.  Looks to be from a Venom or Spider-Man comic.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Weekly Weight Update

Throughout the week, I was able to say no to things I would normally have eaten because I knew I had committed to publicly posting my weight progress.  The guilt/shame is working!  Haha.

End of Week 1
Down 1.6 lbs.  They say around 2 lbs per week is a sustainable loss.  I'm close.  I'm 4.68% of the way to my goal of 200 lbs.  It's nice to see the arrow pointed down.

Iron Warriors - MOAR Progress!

So, I got motivated and knocked out four more of the Tactical Marines for my slowly expanding Iron Warriors army.  And by slowly expanding, I mean that it's up to five Marines total!

I decided that the previous version...

...needed a little something more.  I wasn't necessarily unhappy with the result, but it didn't pop for me.  I decided that the hazard stripes on the Boltgun were a little too much.  funny aside.  I actually type "Bolter" in that last sentence and my browser was kind enough to underline it with a red squiggle, letting me know that it's not a real word.  I automatically erased it and typed "Boltgun"...  which is also not a real word.  Sigh.  My browser's machine spirit needs to get up to speed.

ANYWAYS, I decided to scrap the hazard stripes on the weapons, paint the one shoulder pad black (which is more in keeping with the official scheme) and swap out the tan grass for some swampy, green colored grass.  I also painted the eye lenses red.  I feel that it makes them a little more menacing.  I'm much more happy with the results.

The grass I used is from  I picked it up at my local FLGS.  I like it better than the GW equivalent.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Weight Loss Update

Morning, Day 7...
I am at 240.0 lbs. I am down 1.2 lbs since Day 1.

I think I'm going to start posting just once a week, but I'll keep tracking daily.  I read an article about how you really need to wait a bit between weighing, otherwise you fall into a trap of waffling being excited and being depressed as your weight fluctuates daily.

Still, not a bad first week.  If this is sustainable, I'll be where I want by the end of the year.

Star Wars Armada - Fleet Ambush Tactica

Fleet Ambush

Before I dive into rant, everyone remember when choosing this objective, that the ambush zone is a one foot by two foot block in the center of the board. You measure in from each edge of the setup area, which means two full ruler lengths in from the short sides and three plus five in from each of the long edges (remember that one is larger than two through five when measuring). And your opponent can ONLY PUT ODD DEPLOYMENTS INTO THE AMBUSH AREA. 

Also, this area is measured and marked before obstacles are placed. So, when you place your obstacle make sure you have a plan. I generally like to cluster them together to make getting out of the area a painful experience for my opponent. This is one of the only times, I might not take the space station for my first obstacle deployment, but that choice is dependent on my opponent’s list. 

I find the best choices are a “L” shape or a line on the edge of the ambush area closest to my deployment zone. The line is a good choice against non-swarm lists. Any list with three or fewer ships will find the awkward deployment and obstacle placement difficult without a good amount of practice. The line is will make getting out of the ambush zone painful or prolonged. The goal with that obstacle placement is to help your opening turn or two of shooting. It’s strongest with fighter heavy lists or front firing ISDs. The line can help Ackbar lists as well, but you have to maneuver carefully. The usual swirl pattern can easily lead to a overlap or flying into an trap set by your opponent. 

The L placement makes using that corner problematic because the ship in the ambush zone will most likely have to go over at least one obstacle. This placement offers the added benefit of helping to block ships deployed normally from aiding the strained comrades. 

Either way, your goal by putting this objective into your list is to force your opponent to split his/her forces, and then exploit that split. You need to have a plan that suits your play style ready to go for any list you might encounter. Don’t go into the game assuming you’ll face two Gups or a pair of Raiders. You might end up facing a wave of bombers or pair of ISDs. Likewise, be ready against a small ship swarm. Mothma might dump four ships into the ambush zone with eight fighters and you’ll need to be ready for that eventuality. 

The best plan from a player two perspective relies on threat identification after deployment to gain an activation advantage. Look to make the first kill and then build on the momentum. Ultimately, don’t let yourself get hung up on smaller details, pick the ship you feel is easiest to slaughter without risking one of your ships.

Once the kill is made, you’re opponent will most likely be a little off balance. Losing an activation in Armada is brutal and difficult to recover from. Now, you need to choose your next kill based upon what’s at hand with margin of victory in mind. Sometimes this means throwing dice into your opponent’s fighter ball, sometimes it means chasing down an ISD, and sometimes it means trying to kill two raiders a turn. Regardless, don’t let yourself get cocky. This objective forces your opponent to be vulnerable, and there is no point in taking it if you’re going to overexpose your fleet to similar risks. 

In terms of commanders Ozzel can help with maneuvering. Tarkin and Iblis lend flexibility. But I prefer the murderous approaches of Screed and Ackbar. This objective begs you to run a ship killer list, and you should take this objective with a list that wants to get into the fight fast and hard. That said, fighter balls can do an amazing amount of damage, because your opponent is so close. At speed four, you don’t necessarily need Major Rhymer to put your opponent in firing distance. 

I hope this was somewhat helpful and informative. Until next time—She’s Got Admiral Ackbar Eyes.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Weight Loss Update

Morning, Day 6...
I am at 239.2 lbs. I am down 2.0 lbs since Day 1.

It's getting easier to say no to things.

Star Wars Armada 3-4 Player Mission

OMG...  this is amazing.  Fantasy Flight Games just released a mission called "Take The Station" intended for 3-4 players.

Per the designers, they were looking for a way to let groups of friends play a "mega battle".  To accomplish this, they made a couple of changes to the way you'd normally play.

The first thing that was changed is the way initiative works.  In a normal game, one player is designated the first player and remains so for the entire game.  In this mission, the initiative token is passed to the left at the end of each turn.  Whoever has the initiative token becomes first player.

The second change is that the objective cards aren't used.  The mission has the station in the center of the board, with each player starting at a corner.  Whoever gets their "objective ship" to the station first gets 50 victory points, with the next getting 40, then 30, etc.  Otherwise, scoring is done as normal.

The final change is that fleet size has been decreased.  Normally, a game is 400 points.  In this mission, each player builds a 150 point fleet without a flagship.  In other words, no Commander upgrades allowed!

I'm really looking forward to this.

Check it out at the below link...

Star Wars Armada - "Take The Station" Multiplayer Mission

Friday, April 22, 2016

Rail Raiders Almost Over

The Rail Raiders Kickstarter has about three hours to go.  They've just unlocked their last stretch goal, so I went ahead and bought in at the $50 level.  Seems like a great deal for everything you get...

Works out to a total of 16 hero minis and 38 bad guy minis.  That's a pretty good haul for $50.

The core game:

Plus all the add-ons:

Weight Progress Day 3

Took a step backwards and made some poor decisions yesterday.  Met my buddy at a chinese buffet for dinner and ate too much, albeit more vegetable dishes than I normally would have, so the meal was at least more balanced.  Also, rehydrated significantly more than normal.  I think I'm always close to dehydrated.

Morning, Day 3...
I am at 241.8 lbs. I am up 1.4 lbs since yesterday and up 0.6 lbs since Day 1.

It's amazing how much weight can fluctuate from day to day.

Iron Warriors - Progress!

Super quick post because I'm TIRED and need sleep.  I did a little painting today to try to get a sample Iron Warrior done.  I'm pretty happy with the color scheme.  All I need to do is paint the leather straps holding the combat blade to his backpack and paint his eyes.  I think I'm going to go for a red glow effect.  I'm not entirely sure yet.  I also need to work out what I'm going to do for the should pad legion mark.  I'll probably do either wet transfers (hate these) or freehand (harder).

Here he is...  Iron Warrior Bob, next to one of his lonely, primed black brothers.  The glue on the grass bit hasn't dried yet, so it's still white.  It'll dry clear.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Spartacus + First Day Success

Yesterday was a looooooong day, but a good one.  I closed out the day by playing a couple of rounds of the Spartacus board game.

What a great game!  It has intrigue, betting, backstabbing, lots of dice and miniature combat.  What's not to like.  The last round saw me and my mediocre gladiator being invited to the arena to face off against one of the strongest and fastest gladiators in the game.  Some decent placement, lucky dice rolls and my opponent taking damage in the wrong places saw me through to victory.  Literally everyone in the game had placed max bets against me and lost everything.  It was actually pretty fun.  Nobody was angry, but I can see this game breaking friendships!

The other positive thing that happened is that I got a little bit of extra exercise in that I wouldn't normally have and avoided garbage food on at least three occasions due to trying to eat healthier.

Morning, Day 2...
I am at 240.4lbs.  I am down 0.8lbs since yesterday and 0.8lbs since Day 1.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Personal Accountability

So, this post is a little bit different, but is something that many gamers struggle with.  I'm going to talk about my weight, my lack of exercise and want I'm going to try to do about it.

First off, I'm not a fat guy.  At least, I don't think I am.  I'm definitely BECOMING a fat guy.  I work in a cubicle, mostly inert, from when I wake up until about 5PM each day.  On a good day, I then go and stand next to a gaming table.  Realistically speaking, and left to my own devices, I don't exercise at all in an average week.  All of this contributes to constant weight creep.

I've been thinking about this a lot.  I want to be in better shape, but I just don't seem to have the motivation.  It's like it's always in the back of my mind.  I eat something unhealthy and only THEN think to myself that I shouldn't have eaten it.  The only times I've been successful were times when I made weight loss either into a competition or public via something like an old blog I once updated or Weight Watchers.  I've never eaten healthy for longer than a week though.

So, I've decided to make my struggle somewhat public.  In addition to the four plus hobby posts per week, you'll start to see additional posts about my journey to becoming a better me.  I would say something corny like I'm hoping that I motivate some of you to do the same, but really I'm trying to create a scenario where I feel obligated to post and stop doing unhealthy things because I'm ashamed of myself and don't want to have to write about it.  Once a week, I'll post a summary of my progress, but I'm going to try to write a short post every single day about my eating and exercise.

So...  here goes.

Today I am 6'1" and 241.2 lbs.  The medical community would classify me as Obese.  I need to lose 13.9 lbs to bump down to the Overweight category.  It's going to be a hard day, but I can do this.

So tired...

It's pretty late as I type this up.  I'm just wrapping up an 18 hour day.  Doesn't sound like much, but being mentally engaged for 18 hours straight is exhausting.

My Imperial Assault group met for a couple of missions today.  We had decided to reboot the campaign and let everyone pick new heroes.  I'll definitely say that the Rebels have a serious advantage when they know the mission AND have four very combat oriented heroes.  I was playing the Imperial side and felt almost like conceding a couple of times.  You know it's bad when you still have three or four turns to go and see no path forward whatsoever.  Generating only two threat per turn is barely enough to summon a single Stormtrooper...  and that's assuming that you the heroes leave you with at least one to reinforce.  I'm hoping that the next couple of missions are a little more balanced.

In other news, my Iron Warriors are coming along nicely.  I did some serious sanding and priming and have the army at a stage where I can begin painting soon.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Star Wars Armada - Fire Lane Tactica

Fire Lanes

I feel like this is the easiest objective to deal with in the current meta. This is the best objective in the world, if you’re playing Admiral Ackbar. If you’re not playing Ackbar, it’s a death trap. If you’re choosing your opponent’s objectives, don’t take this one unless you know exactly what you’re doing. And, honestly, even then it might not be enough.

This objective embodies everything good in a mission for Ackbar, ISD lists, or even a VSD and nothing bad. The second player controls the tone and location of the battle. The second player will have a significant points advantage from turn one on. On top of that, the mission is restrictive, so players have to fly extra carefully lest they land on an objective and give the victory token to their opponent.

That said, if you are going to take this objective, Fire Lanes comes in three flavors:

The Ackbar Stack

Literally a stack of three tokens positioned by the second player so his broadsiding Rebel fleet can cruise passed soaking up 45 points a turn. The exact position of the stack shifts a bit depending on the placement of the obstacles and the type of ships in the Rebel fleet, but really it’s the safest bet in the world. The only downside is that most opponents won’t choose the objective because losing 90 to 0 on turn two sucks.

The 1-2 Punch

You set the tokens up with two on one side of the board and the third as far away as possible. This is a risky idea, but I’ve had it really help me in a few games. This configuration is favorable if you’re running two bruisers and one small ship like a Raider and twin ISDs.

The idea is to spread out your opponent’s fleet and hit them in waves. The same issues apply and the savvy Ackbar player will most likely cruise over to collect two tokens a turn, which leaves you free to dedicate a cheap ship to collecting the third token. I find this works best if you’re hoping to kill your opponent’s ships and you’re less concerned about scoring the other two tokens. This objective will let you play a piloting game and hopefully offer up the victory. 

The Spread

The idea is similar to the 1-2 Punch but favors small ship spam lists. The tokens are spread out across the board in a pattern that your ships would normally fly over the course of the game. It’s a tough gamble because Ackbar and ISDs can slash through hitting these targets at range, and you’re giving away at least some of your strategy.
Still, if you’re flying 5 or more ships (like a CR90 SW7 Spam), then you can drive your opponent crazy while they try to simultaneously nail down your ships and shoot the tokens. Meanwhile, you zip around pounding their ships and collecting 45 points a turn.

In terms of upgrades there isn’t much to talk about here. Expanded Munitions can give you the edge for the objective, but I feel like centering your plan around a ten point upgrade is questionable. Besides, your turbo laser spot is better spent on X17, Heavy Turbolaser Turrets, or Turbolaser Reroute Circuits.

If you’re looking to play a particular attack pattern and want to mess with your opponent’s movement, then Pylon Q7 Tractor Beam is a good choice. It can keep ships out of range, force them onto an objective, or simply help keep them in arc. Likewise, the Navigation Officer can help with a yaw or changing speeds at the right moment. Though, again, I feel like a well deployed plan will make these upgrades unnecessary.

In terms of commanders, Ackbar for the dice, and Ozzel for the movement are both good choices. Beyond that this objective doesn’t receive a direct benefit, even from my man Tarkin.

I hope this was somewhat helpful and informative. Until next time... She’s Got Admiral Ackbar Eyes.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Warhammer 30k - Iron Warriors Progress...

I've made pretty good progress on assembling my 30k army.  As I said, I'm going with the Iron Warriors.

I know assembly isn't super exciting stuff, but I just don't seem the have the same amount of time I used to.  Putting together 15 Tactical Marines feels like the most time consuming task in the world.  I honestly feel like the painting is going to go much quicker.

This is the army list for what I have assembled so far.  For those of you who don't know, Erasmus Golg is an Iron Warriors named character who happens to be equipped exactly like the plastic Terminator dude from Betrayal at Calth.  I'll be using the Iron Warriors Rite of War "The Hammer of Olympia".

HQ - Erasmus Golg (175)
HQ - Centurion w/Chaplain Consul and Plasma Pistol (100)

Troops - 15 man Legion Tactical Squad w/additional combat blades and a Power Sword and Artificer Armour for the Sergeant (220)

Non-Compulsory Troops - 5 man Legion Tactical Support Squad w/Meltaguns and an Augury Scanner,  Plasma Pistol, Power Fist and Artificer Armour for the Sergeant (200)

Elites - Contemptor Dreadnought Talon w/either Multi-Melta or Kheres Pattern Assault Cannon and Extra Armour (175 or 190)

Elites - 5 man Tyrant Siege Terminator Squad (295)

Assuming I give the Contemptor the Kheres Pattern Assault Cannon, this comes out to 1,180 points.  I'll probably also give the Contemptor a Carapace-mounted Havoc Launcher, which puts me at 1,195.

I still have 20 basic Marine bodies remaining to assemble.  I'll probably be doing a 5 man Iron Havoc Support Squad, which is an Iron Warriors exclusive heavy weapons team.  I'll also be doing a 10 man Legion Tactical Squad with the last 5 dudes up in the air.  I'll probably make at least two Apothecaries...  one for each Legion Tactical Squad.  I might do a couple of Techmarines too.  It seems like doing Iron Warriors without Techmarines is crazy.

After that, I'll have to plan out my purchases.  I really like the idea of a Legion Medusa or Basilisk, but I don't like the Forgeworld price tag.  Oh well.  Nothing in life is free.

More to come...

Friday, April 15, 2016

Tyrant Siege Terminators Fully Assembled

My Anvil Industry order finally came in!  I'm pretty excited.  I didn't have much hobby time this week, but I definitely wanted to get my Tyrant Siege Terminators fully assembled.  These Iron Warriors dudes are brutal.  All of them have Cyclone Missile Launchers.  The Anvil Industry bits fit perfectly!

I'll be sanding the bases hopefully later tonight and then getting them primed up soon.  I'd like to have at least one fully painted unit done before the end of April.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

WTF Microsoft?!?

So, I come home today to find my computer screen looking like this...

Instant panic.  I'm assuming that I've gotten some kind of ransom virus and I'm now boned.  I immediately kill the network and start researching on my phone.


It's a Microsoft software update.  Totally legit.  Dammit Microsoft.  Whoever thought this was a good idea should lose their job.  Seriously.  Much panic happened tonight and now I can't remember what I was going to post.  I'm so irritated.


Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Star Wars Armada - Contested Outpost Tactica

Contested Outpost

This can be the best objective in the game, because it offers you a plan from the outset, especially if you’re playing Rebels. The major restriction is in ship selection, you really need to make sure you have at least two ships with a command value of three. But that’s more of a boon than a burden depending on the construction of your list.

By selecting this objective you know that you need to center your deployment and at least the first three turns around claiming those points. You should know if you can hold the station, how long you can hold the station, and what your opponent would have to do to take control of the station before the station is on the board.

The major mistake made by players is a lack of three command ships to control the outpost. Two ISDs sounds like enough until Ackbar is on top of you like a feral animal, and you’re coming up short on both dice and command values. When I pick this objective, I typically have a total of nine command in my list (generally as a part of an Ackbar broadside offensive). For the Empire, think of this objective as something specialized to the VSD as it rewards both moving slowly and staying a confined distance. That isn’t to say you won’t have to issue a lot navigation orders to make sure you keep your enemy in your fire arc, but your opponent will have to contend with both superior firepower and a mounting 20 points per turn, which should be enough to force a tactical misstep and give you the upper hand.

This objective is much more effective if you setup in a pattern that forces your opponent to fly through a few obstacles are their way to the party, but it can’t be so crowded that you’re forced out of position. You want to practice your approach distances and speeds so you can deploy at least two setups incase your opponent decides to plunk an obstacle in the same spot you wanted put the space station. While tricky it is an achievable goal. If you look closely some of the obstacles don’t change position between versions of this setup, which affords you a chance to drop the first obstacle without giving away your the overall strategy.

To this end I recommend one of the below setups: 


The preferred setup for the Rebel Swirl (or the Corellian C), and very easy to setup as your opponent only has two obstacles to block your positioning. The ideas is the position of the station matches the natural angle of the conga line. This setup lets you slide along a clear and easy path while pushing your opponent to do some tricky maneuvers simply to get into range alive.


The idea is to create a line of obstacles to block a convenient route to the station. It’s surprisingly easy to do with three obstacles. I tend to try to build off of one of my opponent’s placements. Done correctly, their ships will only have clean access to the station for two turns.

If you’re Imperials defend one of your two sides. The goal here is not to create a flawless trap to imprison your opponent and render them impotent, but rather to make things slightly more difficult thereby guaranteeing an extra victory token or kill.

In terms of upgrades, the major hero here is the Phylon Q7 Tractor Beams. It’s a somewhat useful grade for slower moving lists, but in this objective it can keep your opponent in a constant state of frustration. At minimum, it’ll force them to set all their command dials to navigate.

The tractor beam gives the added benefit of confounding flankers and rear attacks from CR90s, Raiders, Gladiators, or even MC30c Frigates.

If you’re ship’s top speed is two, you want to consider Engine Techs. They can help make a crucial turn to keep you in range. Honestly, you can save the points by playing with the distances on your dining room table until you’re comfortable eyeballing things.


Motti is probably the best choice for the Empire as the classic wave one strategy still holds here. The VSD is a tank piece of equipment and giving them Motti can be close to cruel in a defensive strategy. If you put enough VSDs in range of the station and hunker down your opponent will spend a lot of time grinding into you, hoping all the while they can kill your list before the six turn limit runs out and they suffer a tournament run ending defeat. 

Ackbar likes to use Contested Outpost as a territorial draw against his opponents, similar to Fire Lanes. In a game where a lot of tournaments are decided by one or two points, most players will rush into an Ackbar gunline to stop the second player from soaking up 120 points. As a Rebel player with this objective your goal is to win by an 8 to 2 margin, at least. That works out to 120 points from the objective plus one more dead ship (or ace squadron) than your opponent.

I hope this was fun to read as well as somewhat helpful and informative. Until next time—She’s Got Admiral Ackbar Eyes.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Imperial Assault - Return to Hoth Night One

Sunday night was an Imperial Assault night.  I'd called it a success, with a few caveats.

We decided to play the Return to Hoth Campaign despite none of us having played Imperial Assault before.  This isn't really a big deal though.  From what I can tell, this expansion is just "more of the same" but with different art, monsters and missions.  There are three new heroes and thirteen new bad guys.  The game also comes with tokens to represent bad guys whose models weren't included.  A good example is Dengar.  FFG sells little expansion packs for around 10-15 USD that include those models (so you don't have to use the tokens) as well as some additional upgrade cards and a side mission.  It's a pretty solid deal and I don't really mind that FFG is effectively selling "Day 1 DLC".

Here's an example of what are initial mission looked like.  As you can see, this isn't an enormous map.  I think this shot is from a couple of turns into the game.  The mission represents the player's initial flight from Hoth.

So, onto the caveats...

The first caveat is that the game seems balanced for four rebel players.  We had only three.  With three heroes, each hero gets three extra hit points (moving one guy from 12 to 15 as an example) and they collectively get an extra activation each round to share between them.  This means that for every round, each Imperial unit gets to activate and the three heroes collectively activate four times, with one hero activating twice.  Now, the hit point bump might seem nice until you realize that the average hero has around 12 or so and you're trading that potential 12 for 9.  In that sense, the extra three each is almost a penalty.  Four each might be more balanced.  The second major issue is that with one hero activating twice each round, they "tire out" quicker.  Activating twice as often also means you're resting twice as often.  That allows the Imperial player to capitalize on the down time and deal damage without fear of repercussion.

The second caveat might be wrong, but here it is.  The heroes don't know what they need to do to win at the start of the mission.  They're just told how to progress the mission.  Generally, once they progress the mission, they're told what to do.  It seems that if they don't actively progress the mission, they won't be in a good position to go for a win once they uncover the win condition.  In the second mission we played, the heroes needed to first open a door.  Once the door was opened, they needed to deal four damage to a "Force Vision" version of Darth Vader, similar to what Luke fought on Dagobah.  Unfortunately, the party took long enough opening the door that they were only able to deal three of the four needed points of damage to Vader before the clock ran out.

Given these caveats, we did a midstream correction.  The Rebels picked a fourth party member that they'll collectively pilot and we just gave that character enough XP and credits to catch up.  I'm also hoping that they play to the mission going forward.  The missions tend to have Bad Things(tm) that will happen either as the rounds progress or when certain events trigger.  Trying to achieve the mission objectives quickly means that fewer bad things will happen.

All told, it was a fun night (for me).  I think everyone else left feeling a little frustrated.  I feel like a bit of a jerk since I won both missions and three other people lost, but I'm pretty confident that future missions will be more balanced.  I'll post more as we progress through the campaign.  I really want to see the Rebel scum win so that everybody has more fun.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Rail Raiders Infinite Kickstarter

I'm not generally a fan of the games that Soda Pop Miniatures puts out.  On the surface, they sometimes look amazing, but then the actual game play falls short.  I bought Super Dungeon Explorer and just ended up disappointed.

Hence, I'm a little hesitant about their current Kickstarter offering.  The game is called Rail Raiders Infinite and is about a group of outlaws from the future trying to loot a space train.  It actually looks pretty solid.  I'm a big fan of the chibi mini style.  If nothing else, I might be able to make some custom cards and use these minis with Arcadia Quest.

The game itself is only 50 USD.  Of course, you'll end up paying a little more when shipping is included, but that's really not a bad price for a game like this.  Currently, you're getting 10 heroes and 14 bad guy "Lawbots".  Chances are pretty good that by the time you're reading this, the number of bad guys has doubled through a stretch goal.

There is also a single add-on right now for a 5th player expansion.  The game normally only plays 2-4 players.  I might end up getting this expansion, but haven't decided yet.  This company doesn't tend to do Kickstarter Exclusives.  The exansion will be available via retail later, but might cost a little more.

There are about two weeks until this campaign is done, so I'm expecting to see quite a few stretch goals come and go.  I'll probably post another update in a couple of weeks showing what I end up getting.

You can check out the campaign here...

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Miike Snow - Genghis Khan (Official Video)

I'm going to start posting some of the music I listen to when I paint.  I usually need something a little lighthearted and fun to put me in the proper mood.  I ran across the below via someone else's blog post.  Not only is the song good, but the music video is hilarious!

Also, the astute among you will realize this means I'm painting.  More to come!

Star Wars: Rogue One Trailer... YESSSSSS!

This look absolutely amazing.  The klaxon sound is going to be my new alarm clock sound.  This is amazing.

Incidentally, this totally counts as hobby material because this time next year, I'll be showing off the paint job on my new Rogue One Armada or X-Wing minis.  Consider this early research on how the scheme should be done. :D

Dark Souls

It's funny because it's true...

Star Wars Imperial Assault - Hired Guns Done!

I ended up getting some free time this week and knocked out the two Hired Guns for Star Wars Imperial Assault.  I went with the purple shirt scheme from the box art.  At least, I think it was purple.  My wife said they ended up looking like Joker's goons.  Oh well.  I think they turned out pretty well.

Next up is either Dengar or the General.  We'll see.  Chances are pretty good that I'll knock both of them out at the same time.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Waiting... Always Waiting...

While I'm waiting for my Cyclone Missile Launchers and Servo Harness to come in from Anvil Industry, I decided to work on a couple of the miniatures from Star Wars Imperial Assault.  I'm running a campaign for a couple of my friends, so I have a solid reason to do some painting.  They're not as detailed as an average GW miniature, but they're pretty decent.  Fantasy Flight Games may not make the best models, but they're consistent and the casting quality is generally pretty solid.

As you can see, I have Dengar, General Sorin and the two Rodians from the Hired Guns kit.  Dengar and General Sorin have a more or less fixed color palette based on the movies.  I'm going to try to stick to that.  The two Rodians will likely get brown pants with shirts to match whichever of the colored tokens I decide to go with.  The skin will obviously be green.

More to come as I intend to have these all ready for a game next week.  Right now I'm waiting for the paint to dry.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Star Wars Armada - Hyperspace Assault Tactica

Hyperspace Assault aka A Fool’s Errand 

Too often when I’m player one for this mission, I watch my opponent spread three tokens over the entire 6x3 play area. I deploy my fleet so I can shoot the closest token with two ships and then speed out of there. My opponent feels pressured to get something out of his ship before it’s too late and deploys into my waiting turbolasers. Womp Womp.

It sounds far fetched, but that exact scenario happens pretty frequently. Most players who use this objective get it wrong, and what should be the hammer of their fleet ends up being a sacrifice to their opponent. This is largely because of the objective’s strategic nature. Unlike most other objectives in Armada, you have to have a plan for this mission while you’re building your fleet. And not in a “I can pull it off” way. Your list has to have a completely defined six turn plan should your opponent take this mission.

Most players take this objective using the following logic: “I wouldn’t want an unknown ship and whatever squadrons coming out of nowhere at me.” Fair enough, but your forces aren’t coming out of nowhere. Really all this thought process does is leave you short a ship for a turn or two or six while you fight your opponent’s full list.

Then things only get worse when you deploy your reserve ship while your opponent has first activation. Your ship is hanging in the wind and getting pummeled by a huge fleet that’s already given them fits by using the activation and points imbalances to gain a significant tactical advantage. Afterall, all they have to do is keep the entry points in arc.
If you’re thinking about using this in a tournament, make sure you practice your plan at your FLGS until you feel sick from repetition. Make sure your fleet can do without the 42-100 points for however long it takes. And DO NOT under any circumstances let your opponent bully you into deploying before your ready.

The second mistake players make when they deploy their reserve ship is putting directly into their enemy’s primary firing arc. Wait an extra turn or two until the threat has passes and the conditions are favorable. After all, there is no point in deploying a ship for your opponent to use as target practice.

With all the draw backs, this objective might be one you leave at home. However, all hope is not lost. A disciplined player can make this mission a nightmare for their opponent.

Lets start with list building. The best three ships to use with this objective are: Gladiator, Raider, CR90, MC30c and Nebulon B Frigate with title. The Victory can do a good job too, but it’s low speed makes it a bit riskier. If those ships don’t interest you, then neither does this objective.

Four Solid Plans for This Objective:

1) Bumper Cars

Using one of your ships usually some form of Corvette to pop out of hyperspace and survive long enough to stop one or more of your opponent’s ships from moving. This move can be a bit telling when you’ve got one bumping ship and hold it back for the mission, but the beautiful thing about a speed three or four ship is there isn’t much your opponent can do about it.

2) Coup de Gras

You’re going to hold a ship back until it can slaughter a damaged opponent. Great idea! But everyone tries to do this by deploying into their target’s rear arc, which makes it easy to counter. Instead whittle down your target’s shields and deploy the ship so it only has to crush one hull zone. You want to place your tokens to create a kill zone. My preferred deployment is a triangle roughly one stick apart. By doing this, you create a large amount of dangerous space. Then force the engagement to move in that direction.

The Gladiator with Demolisher and a few bombers can accomplish this with no problem. My favorite is a titled Nebulon B Frigate with Luke Skywalker and Nym. However, any ship will do so long as you deploy it with your opponent duel firing arcs. Don’t forget you set your dials when you deploy, so you can make a call about squadron commands or not at the time of deployment.

3) Deterrent and Board Control:

This is a bit of a sacrifice play, but positioning the tokens so your opponent can’t move comfortably. Your goal is to make him squirm as he tries to keep all your tokens in a ship’s main fire arc. Wait for an opportunity to harass, block, or kill a ship presents itself and deploy your ship.

The idea is to counter the traditional movement patterns used by specific lists. For example, the Rebel Towel Swirl is very weak to this attack. I like to place all three tokens as far into my opponent’s path as possible (3 off their board edge) outside the deployment zone, which is legal according to the card. But ensuring I will land in a manner uncomfortable for them with a significant threat. If you get good you can drive an Ackbar player nuts as they try to keep your tokens in arc, deal with your fleet, and not fly off the board or into their other ships.

4) Fighter Ball Harassment

This counter was built for the Raider with one its title upgrades. Nothing messes with a Rhymer ball like having a Raider dumped on top of it engaging everything in site. Yes, you’ll lose the ship, but not for a turn or two while you pour black dice into all his squadrons. It’s a nice bonus to an Imperial list, but you shouldn’t plan on your opponent having a fighter ball.

All of these ideas come down to placement and your movement. No one wants to spend a game where no one fires a shot and both players dance around in a circle, after all it’s your mission so you’d win out anyway. Setup your tokens in a reasonable area of the board, generally speaking 12-18 inches apart and try to give yourself at least two good deployment options.

I hope this was fun to read as well as somewhat helpful and informative. Until next time—She’s Got Admiral Ackbar Eyes.

Monday, April 4, 2016

More Betrayal at Calth Assembly

I ended up getting a bit of free time over the weekend and decided to stick the models that I've assembled thus far onto bases.  I'm going to use cork painted a sort of grey rocky color with some of the reddish crackle paint on the flat areas.  The goal is to make them look like they're on an alien planet.  I have some red, yellow and orange grass to decorate the bases with.

In all fairness, the Terminators aren't done yet.  I'm using them as the Iron Warriors signature Terminator Squad.  All five of the non-HQ Terminators will have Cyclone Missile Launchers.  I just ordered the ones below from Anvil Industry.  They make amazing stuff.  This will be my second order from them.  Hopefully it won't take too long for the package to arrive.

I also ordered a Techmarine style backpack.  If I'm playing Iron Warriors, I'll definitely need to have a Master of the Forge looking dude.  I might even be able to stick this on a Terminator armored guy.  I'm still not 100% on their rules.

The arms all come separate and there's actually a nice little Power Weapon included.  I didn't realize that until AFTER I made the purchase, when I was grabbing the photo for this post.  Bonus!

More to come soon!  Tactical Marines next.