Tuesday, December 13, 2016

The signal's weak, but its a signal

A December post! It's a Christmas miracle! Well sports fans, apparently I still do indeed game. In fact, I think I gamed a bit too much this weekend. I actually found a D&D group to join. Well Pathfinder actually, but lets face it, its D&D. Had our first game Saturday night and it went pretty well. It is still a bit unbelievable that I have gotten back into a weekly game and I don't have to DM! woot

Furthermore, I also played some Kings of War on Sunday. Just a small game as one of our players bailed, but a game none the less. I brought out dwarfs this time and faced off against some Kingdom of Dusk undead. Did fairly well, but some good rolling by my opponent in the end led to a tie game. Had it gone on for one more turn I would have had it...maybe. But all in all, a fun game and another reason I keep enjoying Kings.

I really need to settle down on an army for kings though. I keep hopping about trying to find one that really grabs me. I'm sorely tempted to start a goblin army. I may even have enough models for it already. However, that means reorganizing my office and that seems a bit like too much work at the moment. But I have some time off coming up and who knows?

In gaming news, Spartan Games launched a kickstarter for Dystopian Wars. You'd think I would have been all over that. And I almost was. However, I don't currently own either of the factions in the new starter, and some unexpected rational restraint has appeared in my head. I've bought into DW quite a bit and just can't bring myself to dive in more at this point. I am looking at getting the new rules though. So we'll see. My friend did pick up the DW-lite set and those rules look promising. Have to see if there's time to fit in a game soon.

In general geekery, the new Rogue One movie is almost upon us. So excited for this and already have two showings lined up. I love Star Wars. Squee! (yes I understand, grown men should squee, but its Star Wars...)

Next time, I'll delve deeper into the Pathfinder game and maybe have a decision on which Kings army to focus on.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Herd vs Kingdom of Men

As foretold, I got to play some Kings of War on Sunday. I was supposed to build some more abyssals but I was lazy and decided to bring a Herd army instead. Which turned out fairly well for me in the end.

We played 1500 points. My list was the following:
2x longhorn regiments
1x hunter troop
1x chariot regiment w/ scrying gem
1x brute horde
2x brutox
1x shaman with heal(5)
1x great chieftain with armor

I played vs Robert's KoM army. I think this is what he had:
1x halbedier horde
1x heavy inf regiment
1x warbeast
1x handgunner troop
1x spearman regiment
2x knight regiments
1x cannon
1x mortar
1x bannerman
1x wizard with lightning bolt(3)
1x wizard on horse with banchant(2)

The table was setup by a third party and the very center of the river was normal terrain. So my pathfinder really helped me charging across.

My herd all lined up.

The evil Kingdom of Men....coming to take my trees!

I don't  have a play by play, but can give you some highlights. For the herd, the left side longhorns were amazing. They wiped out the handgunners, then the spearmen, and then put a pretty big hit on the halberdiers before being wiped out. They did an average of 9 hits per charge. My brutoxes carried the battle though by taking out the two knight units, the warbeast, the bannerman, and the spearmen.

The KoM had their moments too. The mortar got three hits in a row on my brutes and sent them packing, even while inspired. The warbeast crushed my chariots in a single charge as well. One unit of his knights took out my other longhorn unit.

Top of the 4th, the knights would remove the longhorns.

We were playing a tournament scenario where you wanted to hold table 6ths. That actually played very prominently in the tactics of the game. He chose to have his warbeast take my center zone (worth 2 pts) instead of joining the combats which actually gave me a surprise rear charge with my brutox. Very back and forth game.

He ended with his mortar and two wizards left on the table, while I had my two brutoxes, my hunters, and my heroes. He had a shot on his last turn (7) to take out my brutoxes, but missed with the mortar.

Love the fact that this game is so close pretty much every game. Plus, I don't need to spend a week optimizing my list.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Are there ruts in the Warp?

So no major update this time either. I've got a Kings of War play date coming up soon that I still need to assemble some models for. Should work on it this week...although most of this week is already gone....so maybe Saturday?

I have been looking through my Bolt Action collection as well. Hoping to fan the sparks of interest into at least a small flame so I can start playing. I don't really have much for any of the forces...but probably enough for some small games. I have to admit that my time playing Company of Heroes is helping me get excited about BA.

I did have a minor tragedy this week as my PC's hard drive decided to go out. My PC is my current escape from the norm. Having it out is not my favorite thing. Although it did help to put some perspective on my life. For the most part, I have nothing to complain about. But those First World problems do creep up on me from time to time.

Hence the 'rut' title. In order for my life to go smoothly, I have to be consistent. I have to conform to a schedule. That is how everything goes well. But it also eventually makes things go by really fast...because there is no change. Definitely one of those "be careful of what you wish for" scenarios right?

Years ago, I used to look forward to things. Especially when it came to my hobbies. Now? there really isn't anything. I don't play regularly, I don't do events anymore. About all I do is buy stuff I want and then store it. Its not that I'm unhappy...I think I'm just being unappreciative of what I do have.

I definitely see how people turn that into a mid-life crisis. We don't like being bored. Even when we create the boredom because we know its what we need. What this means is that I need to find a way to enjoy the lane I'm in...because its a good lane. Might not be fast or exciting...but it's safe and gets me to where I want to go. Man I sound old.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Quick update

So nothing major is really going on. My local shop had the new KoW movement trays. $20 for a decent number of trays in either 20mm or 25mm sizes. I'm thinking about picking them up to base the rest of my abyssals in....and maybe even rebase my abyssals in. Some of those darn units are just really hard to get to rank up...so why not just do a complete tray of them at once? I've never been a big fan of that idea, but since it doesn't seem like I'll ever use this army for other games, then why not?

Other than that, I picked up Monty's Hounds for Flames of War. I get a bunch of cool Comet tanks and plastic brit infantry, plus another rulebook and the sourcebook! Very nice that BF did those starter deals. I already have quite a bit of LW Brits and these fit in very nicely with them. I'm almost tempted to get Rommel's Wolves...but I'd make mostly jagdpanthers with them instead of panthers.

Oh, and I gave Star Wars, Knights of the Old Republic MMO a go. Haven't grouped up with my friends yet, but perhaps that will happen tonight. I don't want to spend any money on it since I'm still paying for DDO. But it really annoys me that if you don't subscribe, you don't get certain rewards. That is just bollocks. Just one more coin on DDO's tray in my mind.

So the plan is that I'll assembled more Abyssals so that I can field 1500pts. If I'm feeling really frisky, I'll try painting up a model or two...if I can remember how.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Geek Out

Just a quick post today. This weekend, during the Harvest Race in Portland, the 501st, which is a professional Star Wars cosplay group, showed up to help Magic Wheelchair reveal a new costume. You can check out the story here.

My family was invited to come with our costume to help promote Magic Wheelchair. Anyways, to the point, I got to see the super cool costumes of the 501st. For a big Star Wars nerd like myself, it was a huge treat. Chewbacca stole the show.

These guys never broke character and were just awesome about taking pictures.

The Tie Advanced is the Magic Wheelchair costume.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Transmissions from the Warp

So I don't know if I got Nurgle Rot or some form of the Sorylian flu. Anyways, I've been a bit out of commission for a while. Our Kings of War group did try to get together this month, but I missed it. Life in general kicked into high gear and the poor blog has suffered.

There are quite a few things going on though in the Outer Rim. Quite a bit of my free time has been playing Overwatch on the PC. There was some rough going with it for a while, that even included an uninstall. However, it did find its way back onto my PC and I think I've found a better middle ground on my expectations of it. It has become much more enjoyable. The Halloween event they have going for it is also pretty sweet. The skins are top notch and I'm trying to level just to get more loot boxes.

I've also jumped back into the saddle of Company of Heroes, Operation Market Garden. If you are a fan of RTS's then I can't recommend anything better than CoH. This really is the gold standard of RTS games. And yes, I'm talking about the original, not CoH2. The only better thing than CoH is the mod, Operation Market Garden. The community goes up and down at times, but currently the mod has people working on it again, and you can find games being played daily. Most of the players are in Europe though, so being a West Coaster has some issues finding games. However, CoH can generally be bought for $5 or so on steam, and the mod is free. If you like WWII and RTS games, then this is one to check out.

Spartan Games briefly announced a new Kickstarter campaign that they were planning to launch. They want to release a 15mm game set in Dystopian Wars. Now on the surface, I'm all for it. However, the fact that so many of their games are struggling, and in dire need of attention, launching yet another game is just not a good idea. The masses rose up and informed Spartan of this, and to their credit, they released a poll, and have put the KS on hold. I love Spartan models...I do not love Spartan rules. Planetfall is the best system I have seen from them. I have heard some good things about the Halo game, but I haven't looked into it. Hopefully Spartan will return to supporting their existing games, get them to a good state, and then I'll get to see a cool 15mm game from them.

Battlefront has released four new Late War starter boxes for Flames of War. Flames is one of my all time favorite miniature games. I can't really say anything bad about it. I really should be playing it. But for some reason it just isn't sparking the motivation. Anyways, the new boxes are all plastic minis, the force sizes range from 1200ish to 2000ish points. They have one for US, UK, USSR, and GER. Each box comes with a legal tank company, a full sourcebook that works with the company, and a small rulebook. Plus, there is a $ savings for each one. I know I'll be picking up the Monty's Hounds box eventually as it fits in very well with the LW Brits I already have. First Battlefront release I've been excited about for some time.

"But Brother, what about the Abyssals?"

They are still on my plate. In fact I need to do more assembly as I have to get 1500pts of them ready for our next game day. For the most part, I'm digging the models. Not digging how hard they are to rank up though. Also, I need to get some more Molochs, but my LGS does not have them. I will try to bust out the camera though and snap some pics. I may even try to paint one fully up too.

Oh, and as to painting, there is a pretty cool kickstarter going on right now for MDF paint station. I'm very tempted to go and get the super mega one or whatever it is called. Looks pretty sweet.

Okay, until next time.

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 used...so 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.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Gaming Momentum

What makes a player stick with a game? And I'm not just talking about playing, as the context here contains the collection and hobby aspect of the various wargames I play. What keeps a player interested in a game/hobby where they continue to expend time and energy into it?

As you may have guessed, I'm currently having another crisis of hobby focus. The last few months I have been trying to stay focused and enthused about Planetfall. I've even invested a good chunk of change into the game again. That being said, my movement recently has completely stalled. I've got this great Relthoza army all assembled. I have a good portion of it primed and ready for painting. And yet the motivation to continue that painting has faded away.

In fact, what is currently on my kitchen table is a flames of war army that I've had for years. I have the 78th Sturmdivision army that battlefront released eons ago. Its a great infantry company that has stugs and armored rocket trucks, infantry guns, and paks. Plus, I bought extra stuff for it way back when as well. So once I finish the army, I'll be able to immediately expand it.

And yet, I have to ask myself, why am I dropping away from Planetfall, and suddenly switching gears to Flames of War? I mean, the model count is pretty close. The scale is similar. Planetfall is already built and some of it primed. But what I'm looking at is assembling a whole army, and then what? Will it get primed, and then left behind for another project?

Is it painting that is my kryptonite? I can get an army all set and ready for painting...and then the floor falls out?

I will admit, that tournaments were the main factor for me painting any of my models. I painted undead for tournaments....and my dwarfs....and my necrons....and my Germans and Italians...all to get them ready for tournaments. In fact, all of my painted armies have been for tournaments. My wood elves were my first army and they were done for a Seattle GT back in the day. The vampire counts were done because I was trying to win a local Rogue Trader event. The dwarfs and necrons were for the OFCC. And my Germans and Italians were for local events and the grand WCP FoW tournaments.

I don't play tournaments anymore. I get too stressed. I'm far too competitive for my own good. The last ones I've played in were for the OFCC, which really isn't a tournament, but pretty darn close.

Now I apparently need to find a new reason to paint. A new form of motivation. Otherwise, I'm going to end up with an entire office filled with assembled minis. :)

Friday, June 17, 2016

Warpstorms block all forms of communication....

Well obviously there were Warpstorms, otherwise, there would have been more updates. :D

I have been gaming. Just not a whole lot of miniature gaming. I've been playing quite a bit of Dungeons and Dragons Online with some college friends and our kids. The game is solid. It is free, and it is the best computer representation of D&D that I have seen. It has true 3D movement (although they have kept true flight from the game). There are super cool traps and such that can be avoided or disarmed. And it has a great class and race selection so that everyone can find something they like. It has just been fun. The built in voice over IP is a must have. It is amazing how 20 years have gone by, and yet my friends and I are still on the same wavelength. If you have never given the game a try, I whole heartily recommend it.

I've also been playing MechWarriorOnline. Battletech was my first table top wargame. I was playing it back when I was a teenager. MWO is a fairly decent sim version of the game. Plus, you can typically get in, and play a match in under 15 minutes. That may not seem important, but when you have a family, finding 15 minutes can be hard, let alone more time. So this is a great way for me to "blow stuff up" as the wife likes to call it and still be there when needed.

My 21" monitor died the other day, and the wonderful wife unit gave me the go ahead to replace it. Having Father's Day just around the corner didn't hurt. So I was able to snag a beautiful 27" ASUS monitor for a very fair price. It is lovely:

Oh this is a thing of beauty. I highly recommend one if you are into PC gaming.

As to mini gaming, I'm still on the path for doing more Planetfall. My gamer ADD though is starting to kick in. Lately thoughts of Bolt Action and Flames of War.....and lets not forget Kings of War, have been bouncing around my head. Oh what a problem to have, so many cool games! There just isn't enough time.

So what should I do next week? Perhaps some painting? I really do need to do a test model for my relthozans. Also, Warlord was nice enough to send me a 20% off coupon for June. So I may have to pick up some British weapon teams for my Bolt Action force. My Germans are fairly well covered.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Way late recap of Planetfall game

Hello Gentle Readers,

Been a crazy couple of weeks (EDIT: holy crap..its been a month!), and lets see if I can remember where we left off. So I was hip deep in Relthoza minis for Planetfall and had a game setup. Well as it played out, we did a 2 on 1 game so that my friend Robert could join in. The game basically was a Relthoza core plus a Directorate core (both only half), vs a multi helix Terran force.

I wish I had taken pics...I believe I had even mentioned in my last post that I should take pics...but as the night was a little off the hip...well I had other things on my mind. The game was a little wonky. I thought it would have been easy to simply stick to the normal Planetfall rules of turn order for this game. However, in light that Robert was a newbie, our opponent Tim suggested something off the cuff and play it more like a three player game. That had some pretty major impact to the gameplay because our side got two activations to his one, but it also meant that at the end of the turn, he got to run rampant. So pros and cons for doing it like that. But as it was really just a learning game...all was good.

All in all, things went smoothly. We didn't use the cards and didn't really play with specific terrain rules. Buildings and the like were in play, but movement restrictions and such were all pretty basic.

It has been too long for me to give a round by round recap, so I'll just try to hit upon the highlights. For me, the main highlight was my spires. For some reason Tim decided not to try to shoot them after they landed. I got pretty good rolls for my scatter and each spire hit a good spot. By not shooting the spire with his next activation, it disgorged my troops and cost him a heavy tank, and then put some serious damage to a battle tank squadron (2nd spire group).

Robert's highlight was probably his Trojan tanks doing some serious disruption with the cyber attacks. Very nice to discount shields with those and just muss things up for poor Tim. They were destroyed in the end, but saved high priority targets with their sacrifice.

There were two rules disputes and unfortunately this is going to happen when you have a 1.5 version on the web, and a 1.0 version in physical form. The first and most hotly contested rules dispute was concerning Forlorn Hope. By my reading, as soon as a unit gets enough disorder markers to mean that they will be removed in the end phase, that unit then earns Forlorn Hope, and all the benefits. However, they are still removed in the end phase. Tim seemed to think that the unit gets the Forlorn Hope in the end phase, and then sticks around for another whole turn. The wording between the two versions was significantly changed, but also still not crystal clear.

The second issue was the process of boarding a building. Tim seemed to think it has to be assaulted, even if there were no enemy in it. The rules seem pretty clear that an empty building can simply be moved into by infantry during the move phase. This was an odd one to have come up. Tim has been playing a while and both Robert and I are newbies. However, I am a huge rule nazi. Therefore, I do my best to know the rules as well as I can. So you had Tim's experience vs my rules nazi-ism. Seems like this one should have been easy to resolve, but it wasn't. I'm going to read the rules again and simply make sure of how it is supposed to be.

By the way, Spartan has done some bad practices in rules disputes on their forum. They will actually change the rules as written in a forum post, but then not publish it in an offical FAQ or update. I hate that. FAQs should never change rules to begin with...they are for clarification only. If you are going to make a rules change, then you need to update the actual rules. Hiding them in forum posts is super bad.

All in all though, it was a fun night, the forces of the Zenian League won the day.

Since then, I have primed a core helix for my relthozans. Also, Robert has agreed to purchase the Directorate core helix from me. So full steam ahead with the bugs. I will hopefully get some painting done this upcoming weekend and will post pics of the progress. I'm going with a brown/bronze color scheme so hopefully it will all turn out well.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Corporations and you

So looks like I'm going to throw down with some planetfall on Thursday. I've got a 2500pt Relthoza game scheduled, and I've also invited my buddy down to give the Directorate a go. I've only got a half core for it (same with my Aquans) and have only done a little bit of painting on it.

Last night though, I busted out the minis to make sure they were ready for the field. Thankfully, the Directorate doesn't actually have much to put together. I stuck the few infantry models on their bases. I really like the mix of pewter and cast infantry on those bases. They really pop.

Also, I decided to try to magnetize the turrets on the tanks. While Spartan does not cast ready made holes for the magnets, they are really nice to add a divot so that your drill bit finds the center easily. So after rummaging through my magnets, I found some nice small ones that should work. Then I found a drill bit that was just about the perfect size. I used a pin vise to do the drilling...no need for power tools. I could have probably just done it with the drill bit to be honest, but the pin vise makes things easy.

A few turns, then clear the scraps (is there a word for the material a drill displaces? you'd think there would be...) a few turns more, and viol la, a perfect hole for a magnet. A little super glue later and the first magnet is all set. By the way, those tiny rare earth magnets come in nice little columns. So what I did to make sure they all aligned correctly, was that I would take a black marker and color the end pieces of both ends of the column. That way, I knew to glue the magnet black side down into the holes for each pair. Was an easy way to keep track of which way to insert the little buggers.

All said and done, took me about 30 minutes to assemble and magnetize the Directorate core helix. Just one more reason I love Planetfall. It doesn't take long to get them ready to play. And honestly, doesn't take long to get them painted either. I'll try to remember to take pics and notes during my game on Thursday. Till next time.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Planetfall! (as sung by a squeeky voiced rocker)

A tad over a week ago (or possibly two, my sense of time is failing) I got to play Planetfall again. I really love that game. Exploding 6's for the win....cool Epic style combat....super sweet models. What's not to love? I own the two player starter...and as previously blogged, I've even painted a few models. However, that is about as far as I got. I did, over the holidays, pick up a Relthoza starter helix, because those bugs be awesome.

So I went home and build those little guys. How cute are they? I love those towers. So anyways, I then went online to start seeing what people were playing in terms of size. Apparently, 3k-4k games are the norm :o

Well I only own three half helixes...helixi? so that was a problem. So I might have gone over to evilbay and taken a look around. Fast forward several business shipping days....

* insert wild cackling laugh here of the muwhahaha variety *

* go ahead, you know you want to do it again *

I haven't actually figured out how many points this is just yet, but it should get me close to 3K at the very least. That right there, is a full core, a recon, an assault, and a heavy helix. Basically what I could find the best deals on. No complaints as it gives me lots of lovely towers to drop down. Sure, they aren't as good as they used to be, in fact, recent reading of the forums says they got a bit crushed by the nerf bat this time around, but its all good. Having never played them before, I haven't really lost anything.

Next up, I need to paint one up and see if I like my proposed color scheme. You'll just have to wait and see what I come up with. :)

Oh...I also go to go shooting this weekend. We were hitting the 100 and 200yrd range so I brought out my M39 Mosin. I really should take a picture of it...it is quite the lovely rifle. Also, it shoots really well over iron sights.

I forgot to take a pic of my 200yrd target. Shooting was going so well at 100 yards, I didn't want to waste much ammo.

The big holes are from my rifle. :)

Monday, May 9, 2016

Weekend hobby retreat

Close to a year ago, I tried to see if people in my gaming club would be interested in going to a hobby retreat. Basically, going away for a weekend to a retreat center to hang out and enjoy our hobby. While some said they were interested, once I tried to actually set one up, the board went silent.

Well my wife has been doing scrapbooking retreats for quite a while now. And this past weekend, she was going to go to a combined retreat for scrappers and quilters. Well she invited me to come along too. The retreat is at Menucha (you can google it), and it is an amazing place that I have been lucky to be involved with for many years.

My wife even payed for me to go, so I got a weekend getaway with my wife, and got to work on my models for the entire weekend. Yeah..she's pretty amazing.

We got there Friday night and was provided supper. Menucha does family style dining, so tables sit 6-7 and everyone takes from a variety of dishes. Friday's meal was roasted turkey, mashed potatoes, salad, and corn bread. Very tasty, and neither my wife or I had to cook it. After that, it was off to my table to get to work.

Originally, I was going to just work on my Ad Mech models...but then I realized that I can already play with my Ad Mech army...one army I couldn't play with is my Space Wolf army...mostly because I don't have many marines put together. So first up, grey wolves. I was able to get five of them done and that pretty much was it for the night. The next morning, breakfast was at 8am. The day was simply perfect outside and Menucha is in the gorge, you couldn't ask for a better view. Kind of a shame to be indoors doing modeling. But alas, it was back to work. Since this was the long day of the retreat, I decided to tackle bigger projects. First up was an Ad Mech dunewalker, and then an Imperial Knight.

I got the walker fully assembled except for the weapon systems. I decided I wanted to magnetize them as much as possible, but since I left my magnets at home, that was going to have to wait until later. So then I started in on the Knight. I have to say, that is one beautiful model. I had the walker done by lunch at noon, and then after that I worked on the knight. It lasted me all the way until dinner. I need to magnetize the shoulder pads so that I can swap arms. Plus I'll probably do the same for the torso. Makes it a lot easier to transport.

My wife had done a half marathon that morning and had stopped by the house before coming back to Menucha. So I asked her to bring some more models for me to work on as I was making such good progress I thought I might run out of stuff to do. So after dinner, I got to put together some electro priests.

Thank god for Loctite. That gel glue was a life saver for these guys. I can't imagine trying to build them with normal super glue. As the evening rolled on, I did another five grey wolves as well.

I was the only guy there for the Scrap and Sew retreat. Most the ladies there were quite impressed with the models and showed actually interest in them. Most had kids or family that they could see getting into the hobby. So that was nice that I could share this with them. They never made me feel like the odd man out.

Sunday morning was the last day with breakfast and lunch being provided, and we had to be out by 4pm. My glue was running really low, but I started on some Casteleans (sp?). No pics, but I got them mostly assembled, and need to do some magnet work on them as well.

What a great weekend. I got to hang out with my wife most of the weekend (she was sitting beside me at the table). I got to work on models the whole time, and put together 15 infantry, a vehicle, a super heavy, and two MCs. Six great meals were provided, and two nights stay, all for under $200 a person. And we only had to drive 20 minutes to get there.

I may try again to set up a retreat for my fellow wargamers. I had a great time and got a lot of work done. Next time I'll probably just bring models and paints.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Transport lost in the Warp

Dang it, no game for me this week. My schedule got super busy and I wasn't able to make it to game night. Still though, things are looking up for the Ad Mech. I have an entire weekend coming up to work on nothing but my army. I will be spending most of the time assembling, but I will also do a test model for my paint scheme. My wife and I are going to a "hobby" retreat this weekend. She'll be doing scrap booking stuff, and I'll be building and painting models. I'm pretty sure I'm going to be the only guy there, but that doesn't matter to me.

About a year ago I tried to organize a hobby retreat for my game club. A few people said they were interested, so I started to organize the whole thing. But then when it came down to picking a date and signing up, everyone went quiet. Typical. Ah well, I get to go away for the weekend with my wife and spend all the time doing model stuff that I want. How cool is that??

I might even try to build the Imperial Knight model that I have. Dun dun dunnnnnnnnn! Scary.

It has been a pretty cool week for me actually. I've been organizing a reunion with some college friends of mine for next year. I have a few of them committed to going. In the mean time though, I decided to see if any of them wanted to get together and play a game online together. These are gamers after all. So we settled on DDO (Dungeons and Dragons Online) and have actually met up a couple of times. Now some of these guys I haven't seen or gamed with in over 20 years. So that has been really cool. DDO is just a great game and being able to hang out with them and get in gaming....just priceless. And the best part? No one has to be a DM! :) Yeah...I'm a nerd....sue me.

Oooooo and tonight? Captain America: Civil War!!! whoooo hooooo! I love the CA series. I have a serious man crush on Cap. I mean how can you not? Chris Evans was just the perfect casting for the character. Yeah, I know...its a little weird...but if I'm going to have a man crush, then who better than Captain America?

Oh, and I'm keeping my eye on Warmachine v3 due out in June. Looking good so far.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Ad Mech rolls on

So we are in week five of the 40K old school league, and last night I faced off against an armored cav Dark Eldar army. There were three raiders, three vemons, two ravagers, and a bomber thing, plus a squad of jet bikes. Kalabite warriors were the troops inside most of the vehicles. One contained some grotesques and his Succubus. Now my opponent had challenged me after last week's game. I had battled against a blood angel army stuffed in drop pods. So I knew I was facing DE. So out went anything with high toughness, as his poison was going to make short work of that. Instead, I tried to bulk up on numbers. Grav weapons wouldn't be any good against his low armor, so in came the breachers. My list was the following:

Dominous with upgraded weapons, and cognis armor with conversion field.
10 rangers with long rifle thingies and -1 cover gear
10 rangers with three arc rifles
10 vanguard with three plasma (Dominous went here)
8 vanguard with one arc rifle
5 stock breachers
3 ironstriders with autocannons
2 dunecrawlers, one neutron, one icarus array

So I will admit I loaded up on haywire and weapons that could take down light vehicles. But almost everything was modeled that way...so it wasn't a huge stretch. I just made sure I didn't take stuff that wouldn't do well vs the DE.

And it worked. He had one guy left on the table by the end of turn 5. He conceded instead of having a turn 6. I will say that my dice did well for me most of the time, which was a huge turn around from last week. But my opponent also made some pretty big mistakes. He didn't really use his speed to get to me when he had the chance. Also, he concentrated almost all of his fire on my breachers and dunecrawlers. Those were the two units that had the highest survival rates of my whole army. Had he spent only half of the shots at the breachers and put them towards my rangers or vanguard, I would have actually lost some units. As it was, I lost one dunecrawler and my breachers were down to one model. One of my ranger squads was down to two, and a few guys were off a vanguard squad...but that was it. I didn't lose a single unit.

I think the game could have been a lot closer had he been more aggressive. Instead, he hung back, and tried to out shoot me. My stuff was just tougher and I was rolling more dice.

There are at least three opponents I haven't faced yet, a nid player, a nurgle deamon player, and a sisters player. So I'll most likely be going up against one of them next week. I have three wins so far and one loss. Not doing that badly which is a big surprise for me. The format is helping to keep the game simpler. I've also expanded my Ad Mech collection a bit too. I just got some electro priests and will be adding more elites and a strider. I need to stop buying this army! :)

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Warmachine V3

So the news has just dropped that Warmachine/Hordes is getting a new version of the rules, 3.0. I have to say I'm a little excited about this. A while back I had tried my third hand at warmachine. I even blogged about it. Since that blog ended, I haven't done too much with the old steam powered game. I did buy the Cryx All in One box. I am currently sitting on a decent Cryx collection and a starter for Menoth. I've actually been trying to sell my Menoth stuff, but so far no biters. However, with a new edition on the horizon, I'll have to come up with the tricky decision to keep it or sell it.

You know, because the Menoth faction might be super cool in V3 and then I'd want to keep it... :)

Actually, I've always like Menoth and wanted it as my first faction. But, most of my friends also wanted to run Menoth, so I chose Cryx instead (being the resident undead player).

I really dig the original infantry and rocket guys. If only the All in One box had had more of the stuff I liked, I probably would have picked that one up too.

The new battle boxes seem pretty cool. More figs than the previous ones, extra stuff tossed in, and cheaper! That is a great way to suck more players in. Plus I've heard the game will be faster and a bit more balanced as well. I'll be keeping my eye on the new release.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Ad Mech = Dwarves

So I've now played my second game with my Ad Mech forces. I didn't change the list at all and this time I faced a nurgle deamon army. The setup used opposite corners with a large night fight area in the middle of the board. We kind of forgot about it because it really didn't come into play for the most part. My opponent was rocking two GDs with Iron Arm for each of them (even his DP had Iron Arm). So my shooting just wasn't doing jack to them. That and he couldn't seem to fail a freaking 5+ ward save most of the night. When his softer stuff got in range, they were evaporated fairly quickly. And truth be told, by the end of the game, I had killed one of his GD, and his DP, as well as most everything else. However, my forces were equally bloodied.

What tipped the scales into his favor though was that the scenario was an objective grab. And that is when we discovered that the Ad Mech army on its own is like playing Dwarves. I simply didn't have mobility at all with my units.

Okay, so that really isn't a true statement due to the fact that my whole army is relentless and can move and shoot without issue. But that list simply didn't have any speed to it. The farthest I could go on a turn was 6" and only a handful of my units could run. The fact that he was running nasty CC units also kept me pinned into my corner. It is clearly something that I am now going to have to keep in mind while I'm playing. With limited turns, I'll need to make runs for locations fairly early.

Also, I'm adjusting my list a bit to give me some more speed. I've dropped the breachers and the kastelons in favor of some ruststalkers and ironstriders. I've also added a small unit of vanguard plainly equipped. Those Rad Carbines are just super nasty. They can toss out the wounds. I actually went out and got a Starter box for Ad Mech just so I could make another squad of vanguard. Plus, it gives me my third dunecrawler.

And don't worry, I got it second hand from someone getting out of Ad Mech, so no paying GW's prices. Which brings me to my opinion section of the day. I have seen the initial images of GW's Orruks for AoS. Holy Crap, they have finally ruined an army. I just can't believe how bad the models were. The orcs were always one of the best and most characterful armies that GW produced. It truly saddens the heart to see them now morphed into....this:

Look at me! I'm an angry green ape in a crab shell!

I am so glad I have a large orc army and that I did not sell off my extra models. Till next time.

Friday, April 1, 2016

All Hail the Machine God!

So I got my first game of 7th ed 40K in last night, and I got to play with my brand new Ad Mech army. My club is doing an old school league as described in my last post. I get to mash up the two Ad Mech codexes into one army list.

We played 1500pts last night as I warned my opponent that this would be a learning game for me. We had to use the standard org chart, so I had the following:

vanilla Dominus
5 breachers with arc rifles
4 destroyers with grav cannons
10 rangers with 3x snipers and ominspex
10 vanguard with 3x plasma
2 kastelans with power fists & tech dude
2 onager dunecrawlers with Neutron lasers

My opponent was running a chaos marine list with 10 levels of psykers. However, all of his units were fairly small, and he had no long range shooting.

I didn't record or take notes for a full battle report. Sorry. It was a long game with all the pauses for me having to look up rules and stuff. The forces of the machine god won the day, nearly tabling the chaos forces. Basically, the chaos guys came in too piecemeal to have any effective shooting, and when they did shoot, they went after the dunecrawlers. They were successful in killing one of them off, but they just didn't have the numbers to survive the massed fire that was returned. The grav cannons were a huge deterrent for my opponent. They really only ever shined by wiping out a 3 man termie squad. However, the sheer amount of firepower (24 shots each turn) was enough to constantly plink away wounds even when the target had a 2+ cover save. Really, that was the lesson learned last night. Ad Mech will put wounds on you, and you will roll ones. Since I never really had to split my fire, it was always enough to decimate whatever target had presented itself.

I was really concerned about the psychic superiority that my opponent had. First turn was 14 dice vs my 4. And it was only on the last turn when he was tossing one die at a power did he finally start to fail any. But he was too timid with Ahriman and always limited his targets due to LOS or range. He did nearly kill my dominus with three castings of psychic shriek, but between the 5+ refractor field and Feel No Pain, the Dominus only took one wound. That guy is a beast. (plus lots of 5+ rolls on my part).

It was a fun game and it definitely helped me figure out my army a bit more. Hopefully by the end of the league I'll be able to figure out some actual strategies for them other than "shoot", "shoot" and "shoot again".

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Cogs from Mars

So my cohort for DW has to take a break, which leaves me without an opponent for a while. An open invite went out to the club, but so far no takers. Therefore, Dystopian Wars learning games will be on hold until Robert is back in action.

Never fear though, I'm rolling right into my latest army, Adeptus Mechanicus! I have to say I was pretty impressed with the models from this army when they were first released. However, GW's silly pricing and general assness kept me from getting them. Luckily for me, a local player decided to get rid of his army and I was fortunate enough to be in a position to buy it at a price I did not mind.

Better yet, the whole army is already assembled. Sure, I didn't get the say as to what they were armed with and such, but basically the guy did a good job and I really didn't care that much. I didn't have to build a darn thing...whoo hooo! And, he had pretty much the entire army from both books. I'm only missing one kit. I added up the points for the various units and weapons that were on them and it makes an army over 2000pts. So all I really need to do is paint this sucker.

Anyways, enough on the sweet deal I got, the good part is that my club is running a new 40K league and I hopped in with my Ad Mech. Now this isn't a typical 40K league...in fact, it is called the Old School League because it restricts the armies quite a bit. No formations, no super heavies, no allies, no fliers. Standard force org for everyone. Armies like the Ad mech have some special consideration for them since the Skitarii doesn't have a full org chart. But pretty much, its 40K the way we used to play it...just using 7th ed rules.

Also, truth be told, these guys had come up with it before BoLSs had released their document. But it is refreshing to see that others feel the same way we do.

I'm sure my army is going to be the underdog in most match ups, but I'm not too worried. I love the models and I think I should be able to just go out, roll some dice, and have fun. And with the weather turning nicer, I may even get inspired to start painting on some of the models. I'm liking the Metalica faction for the army look. I don't have a white army and I think it can really stand out over a gun metal underbody. Should be interesting. Keep an eye out for updates.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Dystopian Wars, game 2

Hello gentle readers,

Last night, my friend Robert and I engaged in game two of our Dystopian Wars learning series. This time we upped the game size to 700 points and added in local air support. This time Robert brought his own fleet in the form of the Covenant. I stuck with my Chinese Federation.

I didn't take pictures last night, and I'm just going to give a brief recap of events. Robert had not made an army ahead of time, but just brought his naval models, so he was a little short on points. We played with far too much terrain on the board, but it did make for an interesting game.

I'm still getting flamethrower rules wrong. I had a chance to roast his BB a little, but I thought they linked fire instead of combined fire. Would have been nice to put some corrosive and fire tokens on that beast.

Robert rolls like crap. I've never seen anyone roll 3d6 and get less than 10 on almost every roll. His light cruisers did almost nothing the whole game, despite having energy weapons.

My dice were still hot. I was popping his frigates all over the place and was taking out a light cruiser a turn.

Energy weapons are just sick. His BB finally got in a good firing position and he laid out the hurt. Honestly, what was Spartan thinking? 6d6 to determine your AD, which then ignores shields and armor MARs?? At all four range bands???

It won't be so bad when we are playing mixed forces, but right now, since we are only doing naval, those energy weapons are just sick.

So the game had ended with me having a lightly damaged BB and battlecruiser. My destroyers were missing one of their number, and my last cruiser was waiting for the killing blow to land. Robert lost all of his light cruisers, and was down to a single frigate in all three of his squadrons. His BB though was only lightly damaged from a bombing run.

The SAS rules were still confusing, but we muddled through them. I have to give a huge shout out to Element 270...not only do they have great podcasts, but their download section has fantastic reference sheets. I wish I had found them prior to yesterday's game. Now I do have them and expect the games to go much smoother with my new mini rulebook. :)


Check them out.

On somewhat related news, last night at the gamestore, there was a pair of gamers playing Planetfall. So that was great to see another game I'm really interested in being played. More opponents! Plus, one of those guys was interested in DW. And another DW player swung by our table as we played. So for some reason, in the PACNW, there are DW players...they just don't come out often.

Until next time!

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Dystopian Wars Battle Report v2.0

As promised, I will try my best to chronicle my learning of DW 2.0. I had my first real learning game. We kept things very simple to make sure we had a firm grasp of the basic rules. We had 500pt fleets that just adhered to the first rule of list building. So we each had one large squadron, a medium squadron, and a small squadron.

I fielded my Chinese Federation (CF) models for the very first time. I took Jian mark I battleship, three Dao cruisers, and four Nu frigates. My friend Robert fielded my Federated States of America (FSA) models, and had a Liberty heavy battleship, three Georgetown cruisers, and three Augusta frigates. I will have to say, after looking at the stats of the two fleets, I was pretty sure the CF were going to be fighting an uphill battle. Both Robert and I had played DW 1.2 a few times, but were by no means experts.

I ran out and bought a new blue table cloth just for the game. :) We rolled for terrain as in the book and only got one item, which I got to put down. So I plopped the largest island from the starter set. That is the FSA on the left, and the CF on the right. I won the roll off for init and went first.

I'll apologize now for not taking activation by activation pictures. Since this was such a small game, I tried to take when something major happened. I started off with moving my frigates around the north side of the island to get some shots off at his cruiser. However, the boats didn't have enough speed to get everyone in range, so no damage was done. Robert then swung his frigates over to shoot at mine, and blew one up with a crit. I passed the motivation test.

I then moved my cruisers forward and linked their fore guns at the battleship. Five sixes later, a nice crit was placed on the FSA BB (I have no idea why battleships are abbreviated as BB). He then activated his kinetic generator to speed his BB an extra 5" forward and launched everything he had at the CF BB, but only succeeded in putting on a single hit. The CF BB then moved forward and fired its broadsides at the FSA BB and put on another critical. Due to the special rules on the CF weapons, I had stripped of several crew and put on raging fire tokens as well. Finally, his cruisers moved up and unleashed on the CF BB, but only succeeded in adding another point of damage.

In the end phase, the FSA BB failed to put out the fire or remove the chaos critical.

Turn 2: (above pic shows status after two activations)
On my first activation, my cruisers moved up to fire upon the BB and the cruisers. The BB was unscathed, but I critted a cruiser and knocked out its engine. He then advanced his BB before it got damaged further and fired upon my battleship. The dice were going well for me, and not so much for him.
Seeing how my BB was screened by my cruisers, I activated my frigates and was able to take out one of his frigates, and damage another. The FSA frigates, now down to two, were still potent enough to take out one of mine in return. All motivation tests were passed.

I then advanced my BB slowly, I was just short of ramming distance, and I didn't want to risk one. Why put damage on my ship when his was hurting so much?

The heavy flamethrowers roasted his BB and put on a crit (this is where I goofed in the rules. Apparently flamethrowers don't put on crit damage, but just add on heaps of fire tokens) So now his BB had fires, corrosive markers, and other damage while it drifted ahead. The broadsides were able to finish off one of the FSA cruisers as well. Those cruisers were still very lethal though, taking down one of mine and damaging another, in fact, he triple critted one of them. Thankfully though the first crit was enough to destroy it (I think his BB had put damage one of the cruisers as well).

In the command phase, his BB was able to stop one of the fires, and one of the corrosive markers, but was slowly burning and melting apart. I think my cruisers had failed their disorder test, but we missed doing its effects in the end phase.

Turn 3:
Here is where things went sideways. I finished off his BB with my BB after carefully avoiding the ram. His cruisers then fired at mine, and destroyed another one...but not only destroying it...teleporting it 16", right over the island, and smack dab on top of his two frigates. No lie. We checked the lines and distance over and over again to make sure we were doing it right. The two little boats got crushed by the CF cruiser and sank.

He almost took out the last cruiser as well. Those FSA cruisers are simply nasty. However, now the rest of my fleet was able to turn their attention on them and very quickly the crits started to roll in. At this point we called the game due to time. Had we gone one more turn, I'm sure he would have finished off my last cruiser, but would have been wiped out in turn.

All in all, very unexpected turn of events. I was sure the FSA was going to mop up. As this was a learning game, we knew mistakes were going to be made. However, at every turn, we discussed what the best firing options were for each player. So in those regards, no errors were made. The only tactical error in the game (other than my small ships going too far to get that first turn shot off which didn't do anything but make them a target) was when he used his kinetic generator to catapult his BB ahead. The FSA had the range advantage, and by putting his BB so close to my lines, it let me concentrate my cruisers and BB on it, leaving his cruisers to catch up.

Still, I think the game went reasonable quick for a learning game. We did play for about three hours. I'm sure that repeated play will cut our time down for turns. We are going to slowly introduce other aspects of the game each week. I think we are going to try out the SAS tokens for our next game, and maybe up the points a little.

The weather here in the PACNW is dismal, and not conducive to priming. So you might be seeing a lot of bare ships for a while. However, I do think Robert is going to bust out his Covenant for next week. Lets see if the Chinese Federation can handle them.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Dystopian Wars v2.0

So tonight marks my return to Dystopian Wars. This should not surprise anyone as I have a recorded history of jumping from one game to another. I used to have an entire blog for Dystopian Wars...you can see it over there to the right. However, due to my game jumping habits, I closed it down to have a single blog that encompassed all the games I play.

Anyways, I decided to give the rules another look and the game another try. The sort of sad part about why I hopped back to it, was due to the fact that no one locally has managed to ruin the game for me. I just can't stand competitive meta. And that is almost all you see when you look at the really popular games. Well the one nice thing about Dystopian Wars, is that it isn't popular, and hence, no one is really breaking it. And I'm not going out and looking for it either. I do love the background and design of the game. The models are great.

So tonight, I'll be taking it slow and learning the game with a buddy of mine. Hopefully we might draw in a few more, but if not, then that is okay too. I have three fleets, so I have lots of variety to play with already. One of the great parts of the game is that you don't need to lug around a huge case of minis. It does seem to be a bit "counter" heavy with all the various chits they have. Hopefully though it won't slow the game down.

Tonight we have the Chinese facing off against the FSA. Both are my fleets as my friend's stuff is all packed up after a recent move. Both forces are 500pts exactly and consist of a Battleship, a few Cruisers, and then some Frigates. I think the FSA will probably have the advantage here, but we'll see. If the Chinese can close the distance, those flamethrowers can be pretty nasty. I'll try to remember to document the whole thing so that I can post up a battle report tomorrow or over the weekend.

Friday, February 19, 2016

I'm done! Well....kinda.....sorta.....maybe....

So my office is finally back together. My wife is very happy. However, I only met about half of my goal. My armies and models are better organized. For the most part, if I want to find something for my Orks, then I can find right where all the models are. I even organized my shelving so that all my 40K is on one shelf. My fantasy armies are all in those bins I have talked about previously.

Where I failed was that I didn't catalog everything. Basically, only the high elves and dwarves of my fantasy armies were cataloged. I didn't get to the undead, orc and gobs, wood elves and beastmen. Also, I didn't catalog my Warmachine or Spartan models either.

However, I did toss away quite a bit of trash, and I have a nice pile of stuff I want to get rid of completely. My office now feels a bit roomy actually. One of my shelves is mostly empty, which is good because there are plenty of unassembled models that need to go somewhere.

Oh, and one of my desks is now ready to be setup as a paint station once again. I just need to organize it a bit more.

My quest for playing in a real D&D campaign has yet to be fulfilled. I actually met with two different groups looking for a player. One collapsed at the last second due to a friend finally being able to join them (poor timing). The second was looking good. A test session had been done and plans of getting together again were mentioned. But upon further reflection, the DM considered it a poor fit. I tell you, finding a D&D group is hard. No hard feelings to either group. I left a group as well of my own accord because I realized it didn't fit what I wanted. Recognizing that is not always the easiest thing. Ah well. There is a glimmer of hope with some friends in the near future. I'm not going to hold my breath though. :)

Thursday, February 11, 2016

March of the Eldar

Man, this is taking a lot longer than I had hoped....perhaps if I wasn't so lazy about it, it might actually go faster. So yes, boys and girls, I'm still plugging away ever so slowly on my collection. Recently cataloged was my eldar collection.

I've always liked the Eldar. I wish I had collected more of the rogue trader models back in the day. As it stands, I really only have a handful. I do have the original aspect warriors that were released, well most of them. I just really like the old models. So much character in them. The new ones are nice of course, in fact I think the Eldar are one of the best lines that GW has ever done.

You'd also think that maybe I would have some models painted. Unfortunately, I only have a handful done. A couple of years ago I started on them once again, with perhaps the hopes of doing a whole army's worth of models. As usual, my gamer ADD put and end to that. But you never know, perhaps I'll wonder back to them again.

Not as large as my orks, but a fairly sizable army I think. I also really need to start assembling more. Somewhere in the middle of that is a nice number of original harlequin models.

I think this finally wraps up my 40K armies. Next up should be the rest of my fantasy armies. Or...I may just pack everything away and come back later to cataloging. The wife unit wants her basement back. Until next time...

Monday, January 25, 2016

Quick update

The office is slowly getting repacked. The armies continue to roll through:

The Necrons - one of my few mostly painted armies.


One of the last armies I collected, the Chaos Marines. Most are unassembled.

My imperials, made up of mostly Space Wolves, a couple of Knights, and some Scions. Most of the infantry is still unbuilt.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Warhammer 40,000

So those that have been reading my blog should know that I am no great fan of Games Workshop. I used to be, mind you, I used to be a huge GW fanboi. I went from a small rogue trader force of beaky marines and a handful of eldar and squats, to owning 10+ armies going across every GW miniature game they made. In face I still own forces for necromunda, warmaster, battlefleet gothic, epic, and mordheim. That is besides the armies I own for 40K and WFB.

And then in the last few years, GW went from being a great game company, to being a delusional miniature company. Oh, they make (for the most part) amazing miniatures, but their heads are so far up their bums that they are pretty close to seeing their own tonsils.

All that being said, they did manage to create two amazing IPs. I absolutely love the world of warhammer fantasy, and the 40K universe. I simply do. That is why I still own so many miniatures. Going back to the beginning, 40K really was my gateway drug. There was nothing out there like it and it evoked this amazing imagery. It really has only gotten better as time has gone on. It is why I haven't kicked GW completely to the curb so far.

Case in point, I recently played Relic's Dawn of War II game. I have to say, for the most part, the PC games for GW's IPs have been pretty good. Relic does RTS's right, and the original Dawn of War was fantastic..and actually still going due to modders and the like. Well for some reason I just wanted to hop back into that world and I unexpectedly found that DoW2 was still going strong. I got in a half dozen games of Last Stand and had a ball playing.

That just feeds right into my love of 40K, so pretty soon I was looking over my models and reading the 7th edition rulebook in the hopes of playing soon. I'm actually going to be reaching out to friends soon who have either given up on wargaming, or who perhaps have never given it a try, and see if they wouldn't mind learning the game. They don't need to invest anything because I have plenty of armies. But I've found I just want to play. I want to put myself back into that universe.

Specifically, I've been really drawn to my orks. How can you not love orks. The 3rd edition book they got was brilliant. It was the first time GW had actually gotten my interest in orks. In rogue trader and 2nd edition, they were just too silly. Here was this dark universe and you had these clowns running around. But then in 3rd edition, the red noses and fuzzy wigs were tossed away and out came these brutal killers that loved to fight. It was fantastic. I've been smitten with them ever since. Sure, they still have their comical side, but now it is combined with a stone cold raging brute which makes them so appealing. And finally we have some great vehicle kits as well. The whole visual theme for them is amazing.

So here we are, stuck between not wanting to support a company that turned to the dark side, and yet wanting to romp around in the universe they created.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Do you even Waaaagh! Bro?

So the giant task of cataloging my collection continues into its second month. My wife's patience is waning. :)

I have about a third of it replaced into my office. I'm also not cataloging everything, just the mini collections really. Although I'm not sure if I'll do the D&D stuff or not. I have so many minis for that, dating all the way back to 70's grenadier sets to the first two Bonez kickstarter minis from Reaper. God help me if there is ever a fire in my house.

Anyways, I did recently tackle my ork horde. All said and done, it gets pretty close to 400 minis for my orks. I should really get to assembling the rest of them. Here they are:

Of course the poor boarboyz have no actual place in the army now. Boooooo. And I don't actually own any kommandos...so that will probably need to be fixed at some point. But every other unit that currently exists, I have. I do have a friend that has a small ork force, mostly made up of Mantic marauder minis...so he'll probably get some of the extras from this list.

So with the orks down, they get added to the high elves, the dwarfs, and my Brits and Germans for Bolt Action that are cataloged. Next up is the Space Wolf army. Shouldn't be as big, and I'll probably be able to get in the Necrons the same day.

I do need to start looking into a nice paint organizer for my desk. I want a nice tiered one so that it is easier to find what I want.

So no playing anything unfortunately. I have been working on my D&D 5th ed campaign, you know, just in case I find people to actually play one day. This would probably all go faster if I just unplugged my computer until it was done. :)

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

New Year, same gamer

Wow, I missed a whole month. And really, no excuse for it. That said, I've been busy.....busy reorganizing my office. I had a goal. I was going to catalog my GW armies....everything I had for each one, built, unbuilt, whatever. And then my wife said, "Why don't you just clean out your whole office?"

Silly me, I tried. Just to give you a sense of scale, my office resides in my basement. It roughly is about 1/6th of the total size of my basement. It has two full sized desks, a 5 shelf book rack, two wall shelving units, a built in closet, and then a side closet.

The contents of my office were able to cover over half of my remaining basement space. It really is quite something to see. While models did present a large portion, apparently I have been hording RPGs for even longer. Five editions of D&D material makes quite the stack (or stacks). Plenty of trash is also moving out, which will help. Also, there will be a good portion of models and games that are going into the "for sale" or "for free" bins.

I also found floppies and disks for games over 20 years ago. Doom anyone?

I had two weeks off for the holidays and I was able to empty and clean about 98% of the space. I still have a little left to do (and hope to finish tonight). Then I get the great task of organizing and putting back everything...while recording it all.

So then what? Well, I've got a few new priorities, or shifts in priorities as the case may be. Part of my focus will be working on a D&D campaign and forming a group to play it. If I am lucky, my search for players will turn into the finding of a group and I can just play instead of DM. But I'm not lucky.

Then, I have three games I'm going to focus on. Spartan's Planetfall will get the starter set finished and ready for play. Warlord's bolt action will hopefully get some progress as well. And then Kings of War will be played. I have armies ready to go for that one and the local community needs to keep growing. Gotta play publicly if that is going to happen.

Oh, and I need to reach out to some friends and reconnect. As you get older, it gets harder and harder to maintain friendships. Life gets pretty full and you can't expect everyone else to do the work. So I'm going to make the effort and build back that area of my life.

Hopefully, my next update will contain the words "I'm done with my office!" It will also be interesting to have an actual total to the number of GW models I own. Maybe I could open up a store....