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Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Stormcast Eternals WIP

I know these aren't Stormcast Eternals, but they're totally part of the army.  I used a jeweler's saw to remove them from the old, square cavalry bases and then put them on the appropriately sized oval bases.  I think it really makes them look nicer.  The old squared off bases were great for ranking up models, but crap for skirmish.

I should have more pictures soon.  The intention is still to have the army fully assembled and primed before I go to sleep Wednesday night.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Stormcast Eternals, First Batch

I had 4 basic Liberators and the Lord-Relictor primed from a prior effort that never really went anywhere.  I decided to give them a shot last night as a test scheme.  I'm really happy with how it turned out.

In the fluff, Stormcast Eternals are resurrected over and over by Sigmar to continue fighting.  However, each time they're brought back, a small fragment of their soul is used up in the process.  My idea is that these guys are traditional, shiny gold warriors who have been resurrected so many times that their souls are almost gone.  I wanted them to have the same basic scheme, but a faded and dirty look.  I'm pretty happy with how it turned out.

I'm pretty happy with how the ribbons on the Lord-Relictor's back turned out.

Here are the paints used.  The only non obvious bit might be that the gold is really Leadbelcher covered in Sepia Wash.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Age of Sigmar Opening Salvo Tournament

On September 17th, I'll be participating in a 1,000 point, three round tournament using the relatively new General's Handbook Matched Play system.  It'll be taking place at Showcase Comics in Swarthmore, PA.  If you're local and interested, here is the link to the Facebook event...

I don't own all that many Fantasy models, having been somewhat put off by  the original Age of Sigmar release and how unplayable it felt with only the "try to be nice to each other" balancing mechanism.  I did buy one of the starter boxes and swap the Khorne half for more Stormcast Eternals, but never did much in the way of assembly or painting.  I also have some High Elf stuff left over, but it's in about the same shape.

Hence, this is my army...

Looks pretty, right?  I have a little over two weeks to get this box of random crap into fighting shape.  The intention is to have everything assembled and primed by Wednesday the 31st.  That will get me 16 days before the 17th.  Stormcast Eternals are mostly flat armor, so if I can come up with a dark color scheme, I should be in pretty good shape.  Dark schemes are easy to paint quickly as they don't show the same sorts of issues as light schemes.

I predict you'll be seeing more of this army over the next two weeks.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Mansions of Madness - Deep Ones Painted

I sat down and knocked out another monster group for Mansions of Madness.  These are so easy to work with because the detail is so light.  It's literally just a series of dry brush layers in various places.  It sure beats grey plastic and improves the game.  Again, I changed out the bases.

These are the colors I used.  Rhinox Hide and Deathclaw Brown for the bases.  The "skin" is a seris of the two greens and the yellow sing dry brushes only.  The white and red are for teeth and eyes.  Seriously, nothing fancy here.  Anyone can do this.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Mansions of Madness - Cultists Painted

Quick update...  I got the Cultists done from Mansions of Madness 2nd Edition.

These models felt like super old and crappy sculpts.  I'm seriously considering just replacing them with the Reaper Bones Cultist models.  They're pretty cheap and realistically, I'd only need a handful.  It seems rare to have more than two or three cultists on the board at a time.  The Reaper models are also nice because there are two different sculpts.  I think they cost about $5 for what is pictured below.

These are the colors I used, in the order I used them.  Should be pretty self-explanatory.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Star Wars X-Wing - First Games Played

Full disclosure...  I tried starting X-Wing at one point in the past and hated it.  I hated it mainly because at that time, I needed to buy an $80 model to get a single upgrade card I needed.  FFG is much better about making upgrades available in a variety of places.  Spending $15 on an expansion you might use is far better than spending $80 on one you know you won't use.

Anyways, I decided to give it another go and bought a couple of things to play with.  I'm a fan of the various TIE starfighter aesthetics, so I just bought a random assortment of Imperial stuff to see what I liked.

I bought a Force Awakens Starter, Imperial Aces, Imperial Veterans, an extra Interceptor, a Bomber and a Punisher.  I had a bit of credit to use, so that wasn't nearly as expensive as it sounds.

I loved it.  Seriously.  I ended up playing two games.  I lost the first overwhelmingly.  I won the second by a landslide.  I loved both.  I think the Interceptor is my favorite to work with so far.  Normally, a ship can take only one action after a movement, but the Push the Limit card allows any Pilot with an Elite upgrade slot to take a second free action.  I was able to barrel roll and boost to pull off maneuvers like the below over and over.

Rolling out of an opponent's firing arc and lining up a perfect shot when they thought they had you cold is extremely satisfying.

I think I'm going to end up using Soontir Fel, one of the unique Interceptor Pilots, kitted out as below in my next battle.

I'll take some pictures once I have the new list set up and all worked out.  Soontir's ship above is only 35 points.  I need to come up with another 65 points as 100 is the standard size for this game.  I'm debating on just throwing in another two Interceptors with a few upgrades each and calling it a day.  Alternatively, I could go for something more fun like Phantoms or even have Soontir and one other Interceptor escorting a Bomber or Punisher.

So many options!!!

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Mansions of Madness - Hunting Horrors Painted

I had some additional free time and knocked out another couple of Mansions of Madness monsters.  The nice thing about painting board game minis is that nobody really expects you to, so literally anything you do is an improvement.  I re-did the bases using cork, and then did some really basic dry brushing before picking out eyes, tongue and fangs.  It's effective, but not even remotely complicated.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Product Review - Storm of Sigmar

I know I said I'd be playing some Age of Sigmar over the weekend, but it didn't happen.  I played X-Wing instead for basically the first time.  It was loads of fun and I'll be posting more about it later.  I DO have some Age of Sigmar new though.

Knowing that I needed two extra Retributors and needing a few models himself to fill in a squad, my buddy picked this up.  Priced at $33, it seemed like a good deal for the models and I fully expected that we'd be throwing everything else in the box away.  BUT...

This thing is actually pretty awesome!  Upon opening the box, you'll see that it's just packed with stuff.  Sprues, bases, dice, rules, etc.

The sprues are clearly recut versions of the models from the big starter box.  You get a total of four mini sprues.  In total, you're getting the following...
  • 1x Retributor-Prime armed with a Lighning Hammer
  • 1x Retributor armed with a Lightning Hammer
  • 1x Liberator-Prime armed with a Wahammer and Sigmarite Shield
  • 2x Liberators armed with Warhammers and Sigmarite Shields
  • 1x Blood Warrior Chaos Champion armed with a Goreaxe and a Gorefist
  • 2x Blood Warriors armed with Goreaxes and Gorefists
  • 1x Bloodreaver Chieftain armed with Reaver Blades
  • 4x Bloodreavers armed with Reaver Blades

It's not a lot of any one model, but it's a total of 13 models.  That's really not bad for $33, ignoring everything else in the box.

The box also comes with a small assembly guide, a nice pack of dice, four very convenient Warscrolls and a rule book.  Also included, but not pictured is the small Stormcast Eternals transfer sheet that you'd get in a Liberators box.

The reverse of the Warscrolls has some pretty cool looking artwork.  Given that he doesn't really need the Warscrolls, my buddy is planning on putting these up on the wall in his gaming room.  I really like that they included these little pieces of artwork.  It really adds to the value of the kit.

The rule book itself is pretty decently sized.  I was expecting a small pamphlet, but this is actually a pretty decent introduction to the game.  Everything you'd expect to see is here.  A short introduction to the game and hobby, a series of four Battleplans designed to be fought with the models in the kit, the full "4 page" Age of Sigmar rules and a section on how to proceed if it seems like this is something you're interested in.  Oh, and a Rangefinder.  More on that in a second, because I laughed when I saw it.

This is the first Battleplan.  I know you can't read the text, but essentially, the three Blood Warriors are deployed at the three black dots on the map.   The map is a 2' x 2' square, for scale.  The Stormcast Eternal player gets to go first and starts by placing the Retributor-Prime anywhere on the map...  even dead center if he wants.  The game then goes for four rounds.  Whoever has the model closest to the center of the board at the end of round 4 OR wipes out their opponent wins.  It actually sounds really cool.  The other three Battleplans are similar and use more of the models until the fourth where you'll use everything in the box.

Oh, and the Rangefinder.  It's printed on the back of the rule book.  I laughed at this.  It's a smart move as it reduces the number of components needed and also eliminates a piece of trash for when you inevitably get a measuring tape.  Also give you a good idea of the size of the rule book.  It's a little smaller than the normal GW "small rule books".

Overall, I rate this product a major win.  I would recommend this for people interested in the game in a heart beat.  In fact, this is probably a better starter set for people who don't know anything about table top gaming than the much larger (and much more expensive) Age of Sigmar "big box" starter.  

My ONLY complaint is that the box isn't fully self contained.  You need glue to assemble the models.  If they were snap-fit, anyone could grab some wire snips out of the family tool box and be good to go.  This is ALMOST ready for sale at a big box store like Target or Wal-Mart.  In any case, this is a really good step in the right direction towards lowering the barrier to entry of playing these games.

Friday, August 19, 2016

First General's Handbook Game Tonight

I'll be playing my first Matched Play game of Age of Sigmar today.  I'm pretty hopeful.  I'm taking the pretty basic list that I listed earlier in the week.  I have no ranged attacks, no magic and no fast units.  It's literally a big group of dudes who walk slowly across the board and hit things with hammers.  I doubt it's going to be a wildly successful army, but I'm really looking forward to the points based play.

Here's the army I'll be using.  Obviously, not much in the way of painting has occurred.

Stormcast Eternals 1000pts
  • Lord-Celestant on Dracoth
  • Lord-Relictor
  • Lord-Relictor
  • 10 Liberators
  • 10 Liberators
  • 5 Retributors

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Mansions of Madness - Ghosts Painted

Fun with dry brushing!  I primed the models black and then dry brushed the three colors below.  It's a super simple scheme, but then again these Ghost models are pretty simple models.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Arcadia Quest Inferno Update #61

Arcadia Quest Inferno was supposed to arrive in June.  CMON grossly overestimated their ability to deliver on time for such a well funded Kickstarter and more or less immediately let the backers know that we should expect more of an October delivery date.  Now, today, I get this...

"As things stand, it does not seem delivery will happen in October as previously announced. It's looking more like backers will be getting their boxes of Arcadian goodies towards the end of the year."

Ten bucks says I don't see this package in 2016.  This was originally supposed to be a big 2016 summer time waster for me.  Sigh.

At least they're making tons of progress...

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Age of Sigmar - General's Handbook

I picked up a copy of the General's Handbook for Warhammer Age of Sigmar last week.  I think this book is, without a doubt, a direct response to community outcry about the lack of points, and subsequently, balance in Age of Sigmar.  This looks like a pretty solid fix.

The book provides three different styles of play.  The first is Open Play, which is basically the same old Age of Sigmar that lots of people don't like.  The second is Narrative Play.  Narrative Play requires that you build a warband and play a series of games with your warband growing and becoming stronger over time.  It seems like a pretty solid way to play with regular friends, but a horrible way to play random games in a gaming store.  The last way is Matched Play.

Matched Play is Age of Sigmar with points and a few modification to fix some of the more glaring issues.  Spell casting has changed so that you may only attempt one casting of each spell per turn, regardless of the number of Wizards you have.  Summoning was nerfed hard, but that was needed.  Lastly, a roll of 1 always fails.  In the core rules, it's possible to stack effects and get guaranteed successes where the roll doesn't really matter.

My friends and I decided to give this a shot.  We'll be starting with a 1,000 point level, which requires 2+ Battleline units (basically Core choices) and allows 1-4 Leader models.  There are also limits on Behemoths and Artiller units. I'll be playing Stormcast Eternals since that's pretty much all I own right now.  I purged a bunch of my stuff when it seemed that Age of Sigmar would never be playable.

The list I'll be going with is as follows, to give you an idea of what a 1,000 point list looks like...

1x Lord-Celestant on Dracolith
2x Lord-Relictors
2x 10-man Liberator units
1x 5-man Retributor units

That's a total of 28 models.  Granted, the Stormcast Eternals are all 2 or more wound models, but I think this gives a good indication that Matched Play isn't necessarily going to involve hundreds of models.  Well, unless you play Grots.  This is a 980 point Grot list...

1x Grot Shaman
3x 60-man Grot units

That's still "only" 181 models.

Monday, August 15, 2016

New Maelstrom's Edge

I'm pretty psyched about this.  Should be available today.  I haven't been able to play a lot of Maelstrom's Edge, namely because there are a very limited number of players out there.  I'm basically maintaining all of the rules and models and talk people into playing every so often.  It's a fun game and it's nice to see new things coming out.

From Spiral Arms Studios directly...

"This sprue is packed with parts to allow you to build Epirian Contractor Suppression Teams, Karist Praetorians equipped with Cybel Glaives, Cybel Mine equipped Shadow Walkers, Karist Trooper Assault Squads, and loads of new detailing elements like new arm poses, grenades, and more. Here's a sneak preview of the contents of the sprue, broken down by faction (Pink=Karist, Blue=Epirian):"

Here is the full story:

Friday, August 12, 2016

Kickstarter Woes...

OMG...  I need to stay away from Kickstarter.  I'm debating on getting the new Vampire Hunters game.  It's "only" $90 for the core pledge.  But...  I have all these outstanding right now.  I might have a problem with Kickstarter...

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Mansions of Madness Monsters

It's happening!

I promise that you will see some painted models tomorrow.  The rebasing has worked out really well.  The models take up so much less space on the table now.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Mansions of Madness 2nd Edition First Playthough

A friend came over and we gave Mansions of Madness 2nd Edition a try.  As my hopefully not too subtle hint to the left indicates, this new edition is controlled by an app.  It's available in a number of formats, but we decided to use my laptop to control the game.  In the prior edition, a human player would have controlled the monsters and the various bad things that happen to the investigators.
It was a resounding success.  This app controlled board game is something I've tried before with the Descent 2nd Edition game.  In that instance, the app was sort of added after the fact and isn't integrated 100%.  There are a ton of components that never get used and it's not nearly as polished as it could be.  This game is fully integrated and it shows.  It's a much better presentation than Descent.

After you choose a scenario, the game randomly generates a mansion for you to explore.  The map is revealed gradually as you open doors and search rooms for clues.  It was a pretty solid mechanic and really add to the mystery.  More complex scenarios will have much larger maps.

The one thing I didn't like are the monsters.  Well, more specifically, I didn't like the bases.  Each monster has a square monster token.  This token slots into a ridiculously cumbersome base which simultaneously covers up the token artwork AND a pretty large amount of mansion real estate.  I will be doing something about this.  You'll likely be seeing what tomorrow or Friday.

This game gets a solid A+.