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Thursday, September 29, 2016

New York City

I'll be in New York City all day Thursday and working on some job related nonsense Friday that might keep me from posting anything.  If I don't post anything, rest assured that you'll see something exciting on Monday.

I have ideas.  Skyre ideas.  Skyre fyre ideas.

Be afraid.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Possible Alliance with Clan Skyre

I'm pretty happy with the state of my Clans Pestilens army at 1000 points, but am not quite sure where to go from there.  I had originally thought about just adding more Plague Monks as they seem to be pretty effective, but I think I want to branch out a little.  Adding anything other than Clans Pestilens breaks my Battleline choices, so I'll need to add three units of something that is Battleline regardless of Allegiance.  If I stick with the Skaven theme, that pretty much means Clanrats.  Fortunately, I already own Clanrats and they're relatively cheap at 10 for 60 points.  That means I only have to pay a 120 point "Battleline Tax" to be able to break out.

But what to go with?

I'm thinking these guys...

They are amazing in game.  One of the builds you can do is to give them an 8" range missile weapon.  The weapon doesn't roll to hit or wound and has no rend or damage stats.  You simply point at a unit in range and deal 2D3 mortal wounds per shooting Stormfiend.  I think this is going to be my Durthu/Terrorgeist assassination squad.  They're pricey at 300 points for 3 models, but have 6 wounds each and a 4+ save.  I think they'll be sticking around long enough to do their jobs.

They'll need a suitable leader.  The old metal Ikit Claw model is still available and looks amazing.  I've seen some great conversions, but this model still stands tall despite being somewhat old.

I'm thinking that my list would look something like this...

  • General - Verminlord Corruptor (240 points)
  • Battalion - Pestilent Clawpack (80 points) (800 points total)
    • Plague Furnace (220 points)
    • Plague Priest (80 points)
    • Plague Monks x20 (140 points)
    • Plague Monks x20 (140 points)
    • Plague Monks x20 (140 points)
  • Meatshield, err...  Verminus Division
    • Clanrats x10 (60 points)
    • Clanrats x10 (60 points)
    • Clanrats x10 (60 points)
  • Skyre Crew
    • Arch-Warlock (140 points)
    • Stormfiends x3 (300 points)
  • Moulder Muscle Twins
    • Brood Horror (120 points)
    • Brood Horror (120 points)
    • Wolf Rats x5 (100 points)
That's a tidy 2000 points exactly.  The Pestilent Clawpack gives me these two abilities in addition to giving me an extra relic...

  • Enthusiastic Vectors of the Foulest Contagions: Whenever you make a wound roll of 6 or more for a model in a Pestilent Clawpack, that wound immediately begins to fester and rot – it inflicts double the damage it normally would.
  • Filth-sodden Pack-nest: After you have set up your force, pick a terrain feature within 13" of at least two units from the Pestilent Clawpack. That terrain feature is befouled. Units from this battalion automatically pass battleshock tests if they are in or on any such terrain. Roll a dice for all other units that start the hero phase in or on befouled terrain; on a 1, that unit suffers D3 mortal wounds (Nurgle units never suffer mortal wounds as the result of this ability).
The first ability will really help my Plague Monks deal more damage.  The second will help with this...  

That's right...  a Sylvaneth Wyldwood is a single terrain feature, regardless of how many bases it's made from AND it doesn't specify MY hero phase.  It's just any hero phase.  So, this could happen twice per game turn.  Mwahahahahaha.  

Suck it, Spirit of Durthu.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Which Warband?

As we're about to start our new warband campaign, I need to figure out which army to go with.  The obvious sane person answer is to stick with my rats.  The obvious hobby answer is to pick something brand new that requires assembly and other fun times.


So many possibilities...

I'm seriously considering a Skink Warband.  I think it would be awesome.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Path to Glory Review... A for Effort, D- for Implementation

As you might know, the General's Handbook describes three different ways to play Warhammer Age of Sigmar.  The first is Open Play.  It's basically standard, free for all AoS with very few guidelines on how to build an army other than "bring what you want and try not to be a jerk".  The third is Matched Play, or AoS with points.  It's a lot more structured and we've been having fun with it.  The second option, Narrative Play, is what I'll be talking about.

Narrative Play has several options, one of which being the Path to Glory.  In the Path to Glory, you pick a Champion from several options and then roll (or choose) to see which followers you get.  Everytime you win (or lose), you get to roll on a table to see how your war band grows.  On the surface, this seems like a good idea.  There are issues though.

The main issue is that there is no real balance.  What I mean by this is that the options you can select aren't even remotely similar in power levels.  I was playing Skaven, so decided to choose a Skaven Warlord as my General.  This then gave me 6 follower units.  We had decided to roll randomly and I ended up with 10 Clanrats, 10 Stormvermin, 2 Rat Swarms, 5 Plague Monks, 5 Plague Censor Bearers and a Warlock Engineer.  So far so good.  That seems like a solid list that would compete OK against similar lists, right?

If only I was going up against similar lists.  My one buddy plays Flesh-Eater Courts.  In Matched Play, his army is strong, but not close to unbeatable.  In our Path to Glory inaugural fight, he dominated.  Between his General being an Abhorrent Ghoul King on Terrorgeist and all of his randomized units being measurably more powerful than, say, 5 Plague Monks, he started out with a much more powerful army.  We assigned points to the randomized rolls based on the Matched Play numbers only to find that his starting war band BEFORE summoning was 900 points.  Mine was 575.  That's a pretty huge power divide.  By the time I'd been tabled on turn 4, he'd summoned another 680 points worth of models.

Let me say this...  mainly because I think he'll read this and I don't want him to think I'm pissed or anything.  I had a good time.  I don't blame the way he played his army.  I think I would have played it the same time.  I'm just...  utterly perplexed as to what I was supposed to do.  Matched Play points aren't always the most balanced, but are pretty decent.  This was just too one sided.  I think if we'd played the scenario 100 times, my buddy would have won 99.  I have faith in the dice gods to give myself at least one scenario of lucky dice rolls.

It was actually a three player game.  You'll note that I didn't mention the other player.  That's because he deployed in the corner and couldn't compete with the Terrorgeist's movement.  We did the math.  The game would have been long over by the time his Spirit of Durthu and Treelord were able to get close enough to engage.

So...  what to do?

We talked about it afterwards and came up with a couple of ideas.  I'm not going to go into everything in detail, but I will say that we came up with something that we're going to try.  I wrote everything down and created a rule set to govern Age of Sigmar War Bands with an eye towards narrative play, building a connection to your models and slowly growing your force.  We'll be trying it out over the coming weeks and I'm sure I'll be uploading new versions on a pretty regular basis.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Skaven Plague Monks... Step 1

Or maybe Step 2?  I don't know.  I think Step 1 was doing the bases.

I decided I wanted to do something a little different with the Plague Monks given that I'm going to have so many of them to paint.  I primed the models white and then mixed up 50/25/25 Water/Abaddon Black/Death World Forest.  The idea was sort of to make a sickly dark green wash that would go right over the white and do most of the inital shading for me.  I think it turned out pretty well.  I treated this just like a wash...  slopped it on and then used the brush to make sure there weren't that many pools anywhere.  The watery paints almost stains the white primer.  It's a cool and easy effect.

I'll be painting the blades a rusty silver and the tail a nice rat tail pink.  The skin will probably be Codex Grey with the brown wash on top of it.  The rope belt will be tan.  That should be enough color that I don't really have to highlight the robes any more than they're already highlighted.  Time will tell.

Now the waiting game begins.  These things take forever to dry.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Hobbying with a Movie

I've been an on again, off again World of Warcraft player for about a decade now.  I'll go months without playing and then I'll play for a week or two a bit here and a bit there.  When the recent Warcraft movie came out, I didn't bother seeing it.

I got a copy and thought it would be the nice sort of thing to have in the background as I hobby, so I went over to a friend's house with the intention of doing some hobby work on my Skaven.

I got cork glued down to twenty bases and then got lost in the movie.  It was surprisingly good.  The CG was spot on and the actual story was pretty solid.  It definitely helps to have a grounding in the game, so I'm wondering how good it would have been without being a gamer.

Definitely check it out.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Lazy Susan!

I went to IKEA over the weekend and picked up a new lazy susan for a project.  I got the exact same one I bought years ago for priming.  It's insane what a kajillion layers of primer coat will do to a smooth wooden surface!

Monday, September 19, 2016

First Age of Sigmar Tournament

On Saturday, I participated in a 1000 point Age of Sigmar tournament at Showcase Comics in Swarthmore, PA.  It was the first such event there since the General's Handbook was released.  The rules were Matched Play, 1000 points, with traits and relics randomly selected.  Terrain was preset and we weren't using mysterious terrain or sudden death rules.

It was a ton of fun.

My list was as follows...

  • Verminlord Corruptor
  • Congregation of Filth
    • Plague Furnace
    • 20 Plague Monks
    • 20 Plague Monks
  • Plagueclaw

The first round, I went up against an absolutely beautifully painted Stormcast Eternals army.  If I recall correctly, he had 2x 5-man Liberators, 2x 3-man Prosecutors, a 5-man Judicators, 5 of whatever the Retributors with the long glaives are called, a Lord-Celestant and a Lord-Castellant.  My Plague Monks rolled into his front line and laid waste to the army.  I had gotten the trait that gives +1 to hit against order, so with my buffs, the Plague Monks had 4 attacks each with re-rollable 3s to hit and re-rollable 4s to wound.  It was a brutal battle, with the rats swarming over the Stormcast.  The game ended in a Major Victory as two lone Judicators watched my army claim both objectives.

The second round wasn't nearly as good.  I played against a Sylvaneth army.  I'm pretty sure the army was a Spirit of Durthu, 3x 10-man Dryads and 2x Branch Wyches.  My Plagueclaw completely wiped out 20 Dryads over the first two turns.  The rats then killed the other 10 plus the Branch Wyches.  Durthu then proceeded to dismantle my army, killing every last model.  If I recall corrrectly, I lost one rat to the Dryads and 3 rats to a charge into a Wyldwood.  Every other last model was killed by Durthu.  Around mid game, I would have won, but Durthu saved 27 of 28 wounds in one combat.  He has a 3+ native, but had +1 for being in a Wyldwood and also had a 6+ "ward save".  It was insane.  The game was close enough that it came down to a single dice roll (or two).  The Plagueclaw and Durthu were the last two models on the board.  The Plagueclaw took a shot and Durthu saved it with a 4+.  If he'd rolled a 3, I would have rolled damage.  A 4+ would have killed Durthu.  He scored a major victory, but I could easily have done so.

The last round was also pretty close.  My opponent was playing Nurgle Daemons.  He had a Great Unclean One, 2x 10-man Nurgle Daemon Troop guys and 2x 3-man flying nurgle fly rider daemon guys.  I totally don't know their names.  Since both of us were Nurgle, half of our abilities didn't work.  My rats stayed true to form and were brutal on the charge.  My issue is that the subsequent rounds of combat aren't as effective.  All (I think) of his models had 5+ "ward saves", so making wounds stick was hard.  We ended up running out of time with him claiming a minor victory.

All told, it was a ton of fun.  The store will be hosting a 1500 point tournament sometime in November.  As a "prize" or thanks for participating, we were all allowed to purchase anything Age of Sigmar related for 20% off.  I picked up a Start Collecting Clans Pestilens box for the 500 point expansion.  Hopefully I'll be able to get everything painted this time.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Clans Pestilens... BUILD COMPLETE!

OMG.  I am so tired.  Work was brutal this week and I insanely committed to assembling a whole army in what amounted to very little free time.  But I did it.  I am going to bed now.

I barely super glued the unprimed models to their bases so that I can pull them off later and prime them properly.  I'm painting the bases separate from the models as I want the bases primed black and the models primed white.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

More Rats!

This thing was actually pretty fun to assemble.  Also, I feel like I have no free time right now.  Work has exploded, but I committed to this tournament on Saturday.  If I hadn't committed, I might have cancelled.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

This is cool...

Found this online.  I'm considering using a similar format and having some cards printed up.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Skaven Pestilens Work in Progress

Oh man.  I do NOT have much time left between now and the tournament on Saturday.  Like, literally a matter of hours.  I have one of those safe, yet somewhat boring cubicle jobs where I wake up, sit in a box for 8 hours and then come home.  My personal life, therefore, starts at about 5:30PM each day.  I have to do adult things like laundry and making dinner.  What this means is that I realistically have about three hours per night on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.  That's about 12 hours of hobby time remaining to prep an army for Saturday.

Anybody want to take bets on whether or not it'll happen?

I was able to get a little work done today.  In what I'm sure will be a spectacularly terrible idea, I've decided I'm going to prime the rats white, but the bases black.  I want to do a sort of slime effect.  Long time readers will recognize the effect from the Ork Dread Mob models I did.  The picture doesn't do the effect justice.  I'm using puffy, glow in the dark fabric paint.  It goes on like PVA and dries a little darker then in the picture and glossy.

I got the Plagueclaw and 20 Plague Monks assembled.  No pictures because I'm super lazy and don't feel like going to get a camera.  Seriously...  my phone is maybe 20 feet away from me right now.  Not gonna lie.  That 20 feet sounds exhausting.  Hopefully tomorrow I can assemble the other 20 Plague Rats and get the other bases painted up.  That leaves only the Plague Furnace and Verminlord to assemble and prime.

This is totally doable.


Monday, September 12, 2016

Stormcast Eternals... SUCK

...or at least the army I put together for the tournament on the 17th does.

My army was as follows.

Lord Relictor (80)

Liberators x 10 (200)
- Warhammer & Shield
Liberators x 10 (200)
- Warhammer & Shield
Prosecutors with Celestial Hammers x 3 (100)
Prosecutors with Celestial Hammers x 3 (100)
Ellyrian Reavers x 5 (160)
Ellyrian Reavers x 5 (160)

Total: 1000/1000

My friends and I got together over the weekend and did a mock tournament with four players and three rounds.  My friends were playing Nurgle Daemons, Sylvaneth and Flesh-Eater Courts.  All of their armies performed well.  Mine was terrible.  It's very likely my build, but I just felt as though I had no fun abilities and couldn't generate any sort of reliable damage.  It just felt like I was going through the motions so that my opponent could win a game.  Not awesome.

So...  this happened.  My local gaming store loves me.

I've put together a new list and picked up the items I'll need to make it work.  There is now a zero percent chance that I'll have a painted army in time for the tournament, but I should be able to have it all assembled and based.  I MIGHT even get some of it primed, but probably not.

The new list should be a lot more fun to play.  Even if I lose every game, at least I'll be casting spells, using Hero abilities and generally taking action.  The Stormcast Eternals were just so...  vanilla.

Here's the new list...

Verminlord Corruptor (240)
Plague Furnace (220)

Plague Monks x 20 (140)
- Foetid Blades
Plague Monks x 20 (140)
- Foetid Blades

War Machines
Plagueclaw (180)

Congregation of Filth (60)

Total: 980/1000

Friday, September 9, 2016

Grombrindal, The White Dwarf...

I've been stewing about this all week.  This might come off as a little rambling, but here goes.

I'll be talking about this guy...

The model pictured above is Grombrindal, The White Dwarf.  For those of you who don't know, Games Workshop has put out numerous models over the years to represent Grombrindal.  He's an iconic character from the lore.  The model above is pretty cool, right?  To bad it's just this model with a different paint scheme...

Seriously, they used an existing model and just painted the hair white.  Super lame.  Historically, the White Dwarf model has been a unique and fancy looking sculpt that tried to tell a story.  It was not a generic Dwarf slayer making an attack.  Here are some examples of prior sculpts.  One defining feature of Grombrindal, missing in he new model, is the beard with three braids.  The above just doesn't look like the same character.

ALSO, the first issue of the newly relaunched White Dwarf magazine was billed as including "Full rules for using Grombrindal, The White Dwarf in both Warhammer Age of Sigmar and Warhammer Quest Silver Tower can be found exclusively in September’s issue of White Dwarf!"  It doesn't have full rules.  It has partial rules.  The included Warscroll is very cool, but doesn't include Matched Play points, so the model is useless to me.  I emailed GW and got a curt response telling me that they had no plans to add a points value.

So, to summarize, a historically awesome mini is now a recycled generic Dwarf with rules that I'm not even able to use.  Grrrrrrr.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Liberator Conversion Ideas

I have five more Stormcast Eternals Liberators that I need to assemble, but I want to make these special.  I've been googling conversions and it looks like most people just turn them into Space Marines or Inquisitor models.  I did find a cool clockwork look that I really like.  I have no idea where the hands come from though.

It's amazing what something as simple as a head and weapon swap can do for a model.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

X-Wing Alternate Art Cards

Super quick post...

I'm working on some alternate artwork X-Wing and Armada cards.  I'll be using them as giveaways for every game I play.  Should be fun.  Lots of the local communities do that here.

I'll post some as soon as I'm finished.  Here's a sample...

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Zombicide: Black Plague

Once upon a time, in the long long ago, I backed a game called Zombicide on Kickstarter.  It was a lot of fun and centered around a group of survivors in the modern world trying to escape from a zombie apocalypse.

Since then, I've backed a bunch of other games on Kickstarter.  One recent one that I won't receive until mid 2017 is called Massive Darkness.  One of the Kickstarter Exclusive add-ons I chose was a compatibility pack for Zombicide: Black Plague.  This add-on allows all of the Massive Darkness heroes to be used in Black Plague and vice versa.  I knew it would be a matter of time before this caused me to pick up Black Plague...  which totally happened today.

Zombicide: Black Plague is a medieval version of Zombicide where you're still a group of survivors, but you're fighting plague zombies that are a side effect of the black death.  Instead of guns and bats you have fireball spells and swords.  It evidently has a tighter rule set as well.

The game comes with an absolute ton of components...

...including 6 heroes and 65 assorted zombie miniatures.  It also has really nice plastic "dashboards" that you can slot your hero card and equipment cards into.  This eliminates the need for tons of additional health, mana and experience tokens.

The miniatures seem to be pretty high quality.  One reason I wanted to get this is that I wanted to see what quality I could expect from Massive Darkness when it arrives.  I have to say I'm pretty happy.  The pic below is almost certainly a render, but its pretty darn close to what was in the box.

The game supports between 1-6 players, so I'll be able to run through the tutorial mission by myself.  I'm optimistic that this is something my wife will play with me.  She likes cooperative games and I'm pretty sure she played the original Zombicide back in the day.

Oh, and I got a pretty solid discount.  I wasn't actively planning on buying this, but it was one of Amazon's daily "lightning deal" specials.  I ended up getting what is normally a 100 USD box for about 47 USD.

More to come!

Monday, September 5, 2016

Star Wars X-Wing - Wave X Additions

Fantasy Flight Games just announced that they'd be adding two new ships to the tenth Wave of Star Wars X-Wing releases.  These two ships are based on the upcoming Rogue One movie.  In a shockingly original naming convention, the Rebel ship is called a U-Wing.  I'm assuming that the Rebellion can only field 26 different types of ships.  We have A-Wings, B-Wings, E-Wings, K-Wings, X-Wings, etc.  I supposed we could have accents.  Maybe an Ä-Wing is better engineered than an A-Wing?  It would be nice to have more variety.  The Imperial ship is yet another TIE variant.  This one is called the Striker.

The U-Wing looks pretty cool.  It has these giant swept back wings that actually sweep forward also and form the U shape the ship is named for.  I'm really hoping that the model has the ability for the wings to move.  X-Wing ships are usually pretty static, but the Lamba-class has moving wing, so it's possible.

I was a little surprised to see that the ship is mounted on a large ship base.  It looks like a star fighter.  It looks like it could easily fit on a smaller base.  Then again, it has better than average stats for a fighter.  It has 4 hull points as well as 4 shields.  The single agility won't keep this around forever though.

The ship does have two crew slots, presumably to accommodate the two new crew cards included in the set.

I think Jyn Erso is the main character for Rogue One.  At least, that's what the trailer makes us think.  Cassian is the dude standing in the background of most of the scenes Jyn is is, so he's probably the side kick.  Jyn can load ships up with focus tokens while Cassian is going to be great if you're good at guessing what your opponent is going to do.  Honestly, if Cassian was on the field, I'd probably pick my second best move every time to make his guessing game harder.

The Imperial ship is the Tie Striker.  Billed as a predominantly atmosphere based fighter, the Striker has a silhouette that makes you think it might understand the concept of aerodynamic, while still remaining firmly in the TIE family.

The TIE Striker has 4 hull points and no shields, making it somewhat durable...  for a TIE.  This ship has a Striker only Title available called Adaptive Ailerons.  If you take this Title, you are able to perform what is essentially a boost action immediately before revealing your maneuver dial.  At least two of the pilot cards have a skill of 6 or better, allowing an Elite upgrade.  I'm thinking this ship would be insane in terms of maneuverability with Push The Limit and Engine Upgrade.

Think about it.  The pilot skill 8 card...  a unique pilot named "Duchess"...  can boost, maneuver, and then barrel roll and boost again, in either order.  Of course, the Adaptive Ailerons title only works if you're not stressed, so you wouldn't be able to do this every turn.  I'm sure there are better combinations, but I can't think of another ship that could literally cover have the board in one movement phase.  You can see below an example of this ship arc dodging its way out of the X-Wing's path and into a perfect firing arc.

Overall, I'm pretty excited about the new ships.  I've never really been into Star Wars video or computer games, so I simply don't recognize the majority of the ships that are released for this game.  TIE Fighters...  sure.  TIE Punishers?  TIE Defenders?  TIE Phantoms?  Not so much.  They look cool, but don't have the same impact as a ship you've seen dog fighting on the big screen.

Depending on its upgrade cards (I see 14 in the picture above!), I might pick up a U-Wing.  I WILL be picking up one or two Strikers.  They're just too cool looking and I'm a predominantly Imperial player.

Friday, September 2, 2016

ACTUAL Stormcast Eternals (Unlike Yesterday)

I'm digging this color scheme.  I wasn't sure at first, because I thought it would be a little too dark.  Now that I have two 5 man units plus the Lord-Relictor done, I'm getting a better picture of how it's going to look on the battle field.  I think it's going to work out just fine.

Plus, I technically have a full, Matched Play legal army at this point.  It's only 280 points so far, but it has two Battleline units and one Leader.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

3D Transformers Matrix of Leadership

THIS IS INCREDIBLE.  This is why I need a 3D printer.  I would do stuff like this all the time.  Seriously.  Watch this.  He's making the Transformers Matrix of Leadership.