Monday, September 26, 2016

Abyssals Part Two

Sorry for the delay on this. I still haven't sat down and taking close ups of the rest of the figs. So sorry for that. I'll see about getting those this week and putting them up. Currently I have assembled the following abyssal models:

Lower Abyssals
Flame Bearers
Abyssal Champion

I talked about the lower abyssals and the flamer bearers last time. Nice models, the LA are a bit hard to rank up. Makes me want to take out a column for a little extra spacing. Kings of War is nice like that.

The Molochs are metal minis and went together just fine. I liked the options they gave with them. I need to buy another set though so I can regiment them in my army. I will say I'm not a fan of the 50x50mm base size for them though. Not sure what the motivation was for that decision, but it made my movement trays useless for them as I didn't build any for that size.

The Harpy/Gargoyle models. First off, they look nice. They use the old plastic material though that Mantic they have a weird flash on them and just a different texture. I have two problems with the models. The first isn't horrid. But all the bodies have boobs on them. Now being a red blooded male, I have no problem with boobs generally. But when you are trying to make gargoyle models with gargoyle heads on them...they look really weird when they all have boobs. So basically I made Harpies since those looked more correct. Not really a problem, just an observation. Problem 2 though is thus, what freaking universe did they think those models would rank up in?? You have to put in some serious planning and engineering up front if you want any hope of those things ranking up on a base. Ugh. And I don't mind holding their feet to the fire on this. If you are going to have rank and file, then you need to design models to fit rank and file.

That brings us to the succubi. These are the new plastic and very nice. But there are issues. Ranking is not one of them though. But again, they decided to have even smaller feet now touching a base and only having part of one foot touching the base!?!? Seriously...what is next, attaching the model to the base using the weapon point? I get the whole "we want dynamic poses". But you know what we really want? We want models that can be assembled and based with only a reasonable amount of effort required. Not as easy to assemble as the lower abyssals, but overall not bad...just the whole "attaching them to a base" part was not great.

Better yet even, I got to play with them this weekend. Got a small group of us that are going to try to get together at least once a month to play kings of war. So this past weekend we did 1000pts and I brought my abyssals.

They grey and purple guys at the bottom of the pic are mine. I went up against a nice fellow that had a Night Stalker army. His models were a hodge podge of models from various systems and other games, but overall looked really good and appropriate. We did a Loot! game and by the end, both armies were pretty well trashed. However, the abyssals were able to snag all three objectives and keep them out of the Night Stalker's hands.

My second game was against the Army of Dust. We used the Idol mission from the campaign book. Not my favorite scenario. I was down a third of my army, and my opponent got to bring back dead units. All the while I had to babysit an Idol that did nothing for me at all. That scenario needs some serious adjustments before I run it again. Suffice to say, my opponent easily destroyed the Idol...I did wipe out a few units though.

Until next time.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Forces of the Abyss

Oh my Stars and Garters, I touched models this weekend! And not just to move them out of the way! Nope, this weekend I packed up the whole abyssal kickstarter army and took it with me as I went to my church's Labor Day retreat. Yeah sure, it was a little weird to be assembling demons and minions from hell basically while at a church function, but its all good, we're very progressive. :)

In a few weeks I'm going to a Kings of War learn to play event, and I have promised to bring a 1000pts of abyssals. So my goal is to have a completely assembled force ready. Clearly I'm a bit limited in my army selection due to just having the KS army. However, I think it will be good for me to play with such a limited selection so that I can learn all the units I own, not just the ones that look good on paper.

Also, this was my first run at putting together Mantic models. All of my other armies for KoW are GW models. And I've pretty much sold off or traded all of my Deadzone models before I did anything with them. I think I did try to put together some enforcer models before...but they didn't impress me. Well, here was a chance for Mantic to redeem themselves. Quite honestly, the models were pretty good. I started off with the lower abyssal models. I knew these would make up the bulk of my army, so I wanted to get going on doing them. The models themselves looked pretty good. Also, they actually assembled quite easily as well. I was even using just normal superglue for this as well as I'm running really low on my gel stuff. So see for yourself:

My first five.

By the way, despite the large bottle of zapp you see in the background, I wasn't using it. I was actually using Loctite super glue (you can see the black cap to the right). As to the models, they were pretty decent. You had to put the arms on, and the head. Other than that, you just glued them to the base. Now here is where I'm going to get a little pissy with Mantic. While the photos don't show it, those bases have the circle indent on the flip side. But for some reason, Mantic did not choose to add the round insert to the bodies. Three of the five bodies only have one foot attached to the base. We know the hassle of gluing a model to its base with only one foot. Thankfully, these weren't bad at all. But I think Mantic could have added the round insert to the bodies to take advantage of their previous system.

To the models themselves, I was pretty happy with them. I am concerned as to how well they are going to rank up though. The tails and arms are all quite a good distance away from the bodies. And the bodies are all single pieces that are basically pointing directly forward. So if you angle the bodies diagonally across the base, then they are all facing a corner instead of forward. If you line them up forward with the base, then their arms are bumping into each other. You'd think that after 30 some years of ranked up mini games being out there, they would have worked this shit out. Oh, and there are no instructions anywhere either. That isn't cool Mantic. Every model you make sure come with instructions...and have them available online at the very least.

All bitching aside, for the most part, things went well. The models were nice, they didn't take forever to build, and they didn't leave me cursing up a storm. So overall, thumbs up to Mantic. I assembled close to 50 models over the course of the weekend (it was a rough weekend) and more pics will be forthcoming as soon as I take them. Next post, abyssal molochs, flame bearers, and heroes.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

The Path of Kings

So as tempting as playing AoS or 9th Age was, I have decided to stick with my guns and play the game I already know that I like, Kings of War. To that end, I'm just going to have to put in more effort to finding opponents and playing games. Also, since I do have armies out of the wazoo, I could work on them for the next few years and still not be done.

Locally, I've already sent out the call to find more players, and I've got a play date already set up next month. Now, that may seem like a long time to wait to play, but actually it works out really well for me. You see I got an Abyssal army from Mantic back during the KoW2 kickstarter. It has been sitting in its plastic bags ever since. My play date is the perfect opportunity for me to bust out that army, and get it ready.

So I'll be blogging my progress in the next month on getting the army ready. Now as much as I'd like to say that it would include painting, well.... Lets just say we'll keep our expectations low. There is a small possibility that I could find a color scheme that I like and could get started on it. But, as the whole army is not even assembled yet, we'll take it a day at a time.

Now I've also talked to my friend Robert about joining me. He's got an Abyssal Dwarf army that still needs assembly. So I'm going to put the pressure on him to join me in this quest to get a new army built and ready for next month. I may even sucker him into recording his progress so that I can share here.

First stop, build a list. So next time I'll post up what I'm considering with some thoughts behind the design choices.

Monday, August 15, 2016

The Fantasy Crossroads

Hello all,

So today we are going to talk Fantasy. While my wargaming all started with sci-fi, my real love is fantasy. My whole gaming life really started with D&D. Swords, wizards, magic, and monsters...yeah, that is my first love. I didn't dip my toes though into fantasy wargaming until '94ish? In college, wargaming meant either 40K Rogue Trader, or Battletech. Both excellent and fun games. Warhammer Fantasy battles did exist, but there wasn't a player base around me. Also, being a college student with a tight budget, buying blocks of models didn't appeal to me. However, after college, a few of my buddies did get into it...and of course wanted to draw me in as well. Somewhere in another post I talk about that, but the point is, once I did get into WFB, I was hooked.

Flash forward some twenty years. I own several WFB armies. Heck, I even own a Kings of War army by Mantic. But am I doing anything with them? Nope. Why is that? Well, mostly its because AoS (Age of Sigmar) blew the crap out of the local WFB scene. Basically, fantasy is on complete life support in my area. So here I sit, with a whole office filled with fantasy armies, but no clear direction in which to take them.

There are three paths in front of me, and I can't figure out which one to take. And yes, I do kind of need to take one of them. I simply don't have the time to walk multiple paths, and I need to do something with my models.

Path number one, Kings of War. I really enjoy KoW. It is a good solid game. I think all of my armies have corresponding forces in KoW. Seems like a no brainer. The problem is, it has gotten no traction at all where I'm at. I've tried to get something going, but it looks like the people have all moved on. I think its biggest problem is that it just doesn't have the variety that WFB had in terms of rules. Sure, I could field my Phoenix Guard and Swordmaster models in a KoW army...but in KoW, they are the same unit with the same rules. People get hung up on that loss and can't seem to get around it. So as much as I want to do KoW, I can't seem to find people willing to play it.

Path number two is 9th Age. There is a small group currently trying to attract people to it. So far the reviews from local players is fairly positive. So why am I not jumping on that wagon? Well, mostly because I have to learn a whole system that is as complicated as WFB, but with all new terms. Granted, the two won't be all that different when it comes down to it. But it seems daunting to try to wrap my brain around similar rules with all new terminology. And, lets face it, I'm going to find rule changes from WFB that I don't like or agree with. And since the game is player made, that makes it harder to accept that if GW had made the exact same change. Odd I know. This path just seems like too much work. Probably isn't...just need to convince my head of that.

The last path is Age of Sigmar. That path seems to go down into some fiery depths fairly quickly. What hurts this one the most is that it is GW's game. It is the herald that killed WFB. So you can see, it is hard to embrace the enemy. However, there are people around that are playing it. Also, the fact that it is a skirmish game means I don't need to lug around as many minis. So I can get into it as small or large as I want. Also, the General's Handbook has finally given it point values. Not that I'm looking for a competitive game here, but instead a fun beer and pretzels game. The points just give it structure.

So there I sit. One path I really want to take, but it has no traffic. The one to the left looks like a lot of work, and the one to the right eats away at my soul. I suppose the smart thing would be to try and find more KoW players. If not that, as much as I hate to admit it, AoS is next in line. I get the flavor of WFB, I just need to forget the silly nonsense that is the fluff of AoS and ignore the round bases. Or, I could find someone to teach me 9th Age so I can ignore the new terms or at least link them up correctly through actual play instead of reading.

Feel free to comment with your own opinions and to present possible trails I haven't considered. Until next time folks...

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Adrift once more

So quick note. I'm still completely uninspired with my hobbies. I could drone on and on, but what's the point? Hopefully I'll post something better in a few days.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Droldrums in the Warp

So apparently the SS BrotherG is just kind of wafting around the warp aimlessly of late. But that's okay. This isn't called "The Long Crusade" for nothing. There are just going to be times when either your hobby momentum has hit a snag, or life just comes barging in. For me, the calm is due to PC games for the most part. I've got a glut of options for me when I get home. Couple that with the fact that I'm currently not in any sort of hobby gaming event, and the figs get to sit pretty on the shelf.

So lets talk about how to deal with the doldrums. I think the first solution to feeling aimless about your hobby is to actually find an aim. Create an achievable goal for yourself. It could be as little as "paint a test model" for a given army or faction. This can typically be done in just a few hours. Low time commitment, and you actually produce something. If it comes out well, then you can expand it further. For something like Warhammer or Kings of War, I'd suggest doing a command group. That's three models typically and can still be done in a few hours. From there it shouldn't be too hard to finish out a front rank. After that, try keeping a goal of doing another rank until the whole unit is done. This kind of approach does a couple of things. First, it keeps the scope of work fairly small and manageable. Nothing kills a goal like the feeling that its too much work. This kind of slow progress lets you work on only a few models at a time until you are comfortable with the paint scheme. Once that is done, doing a whole rank is fairly easy as no thought is required. Its sort of paint by numbers. And, within a few weeks or so (varies on how much time you have to give on a daily basis), you'll have a whole unit finished. Heck, just having the front rank done makes the unit look better on the table for play.

As I've touched on before, painting apparently is not my favorite thing to do. But something like the above makes it more attractive. Especially if I can sucker someone else into it with me. Nothing like setting up a painting challenge or group to help keep the momentum up. Keeping something like that to about three weeks sounds about right as well. Unless people are really committed, anything longer than a month is going to peter out.

I'm also a big fan of escalation leagues. Especially when it comes to a new game. But they also work great when doing a new army too. Now of course, I will admit that I'm not good at restricting my purchases when it comes to this type of thing. I once had this whole plan of painting stuff before I bought more stuff. Never happened. I ended up getting so caught up in owning the army, I purchased the whole thing before ever finishing a single model. While that is fun, it can turn a nice gradual plan into an insurmountable heap of minis and you find your interests swinging to greener pastures.

And finally, I do find that having a blog helps. Simply putting thoughts down on web page can keep the embers warm. Hopefully you'll see some movement on my undead army in the next few weeks. They are my first love when it comes to fantasy. I once had a fully painted army, but then got lured by better looking models and as such, have traded or sold most of the older stuff away. So now I have great models, but little paint. Lets see how well I can do to fix that.

Until next time.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Lazy Summer Update

Hello Gentle Readers,

Hope everyone is having a fine Summer. Mine is going okay, but not especially productive. My gaming recently has been pretty much 100% electronic. Most of it playing DDO with friends, however the occasional MechWarriorOnline game has also snuck in there. I have to admit I also bought Overwatch from Blizzard. It is a fine game, but I am a complete newb. I think I play maybe two characters right now and am slowly trying to learn the others. I played some support character this morning who had a very short ranged gun, or could charge up a longer ranged shot (like that ever hit), and could drop little drones all over the place. Ugh...that was not a fun experience. I could only kill something if a cool breeze could knock it over first.

I did expand my bolt action armies, both German and British. I bought the Heer Army expansion and a PIII. So that now gives me a PIV, a PIII, a hanomag, and a command unit to add to my German army. For the British I only picked up an MMG set. I'll work on building them possibly this weekend. Depends on how crazy things get.

I did toss out an idea to my local gaming group about trying a Kings of War escalation league of some sort. I want to use it to motivate me to paint my models, plus I enjoy playing KoW. However, the community here is basically on life support. I think there are just so many game now that the old WFB community is just fractured all over the place.

I've not done anything with my Warmachine, but am waiting for the two player boxes to come out. I might pick one up for the new rules and such and expand one of my armies. Not quite sure which way to go just yet though, or if I even should.

Oh, I did purchase a Firestorm Armada fleet. Already painted and everything...though I'll probably strip it and start over again. But honestly, Spartan games have fallen to the background of my current interest. Its a cycle, so sue me.

Okay, yes, I have also been sucked into Pokemon Go. I'm not going crazy or anything...I mean I am only level 7...but yeah...its fun.

Till next time.