Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Tiny Tales

Scarily I've had a thought .....but just a little one!

A few of us have been playing a fair bit of SAGA converted for a Samurai campaign in 15mm and there's now talk of up-scaling to the intended 28mm Dark Ages, possibly as everyone likes to paint a bushy beard.

As documented Skyrim has been eating into my painting progress.

IDEA: Skyrim SAGA in 15mm

WHY: Relatively cheap and easy with plenty of figure options about the place. SAGA dice effects effectively work as spells and magic items. Blinding!

WHY NOT: Little bit too much / sad / worrying etc

And I'm done!

Monday, 30 January 2012

Playing Nicely??

Hello all, very busy at work including this weekend so no brushtime, though the odd hour of Skyrim to keep me sane(ish).

Following that vein of escapism Stewart dropped round Friday night for another evening of Warhammer Invasion. I put myself together a Chaos deck which also featured some Skaven, Undead units and some Neutral Buildings / resource cards.

Some of this was necessity rather than design, given the cards I currently have, but being a mixed deck I was interested to see how it might affect the resource curve and if the potential lack of loyalty would be a problem especially against Stewart's more experienced decks. In short I expected a wooping.

Game 1 was exactly that as his Dark Elf denial deck pinned me down and slowly pulled my legs off as if I was a spider. Eventually he put me out of my misery. After that, bar one other game, it was all one way traffic in my direction.

An undoubted bits and pieces deck I stuck to building my resources first and with Chaos having access to a number of cheap multiple power, minimal hit point units the curve was steep. I kept on pulling Marauder Chieftain and Warpstone Excavation in my opening hand which meant that on turn two I was pulling 2 cards on 4 resource whilst doing 1 indirect damage to his capital per turn. For the uninitiated it was AWESOME!!
Knowing Stewart well enough to give some friendly "banter" I did so until through the laughs the retort came back "So when are you going to stop being a c*ck?". Taken as meant we fell about and carried on as before before eventually calling the night slightly before Saturday.

All good clean fun but it did make me think how with different opponents the line is drawn differently. Plenty of advice / stories etc are written and given in terms of how to play at tournament but that's not the same as playing with your mates or at your local club......but, especially with the latter, should it be?

At the Enfield Gamers most of us have been playing together for a VERY long time. The social element is very strong and as a result there's often plenty of banter about. We're aware that it can be daunting and even off putting for someone new to walk into, especially given the social skills of many of our ilk. I've visited clubs that I've been put off for a number of reasons, normally the members, but each to their own. We want to be welcoming and inclusive but people need to fit with us to. A balance thing then.

Elsewhere I've got Wednesday off work and have it earmarked for painting Orcs, especially as I've just ordered my latest cycle of WI cards. I intend to be in front of the paint station by mid-day and then crack on. No skyrim until I'm finished, if I get finished.....honest!

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Front Row Union

Just a quick post as I've finally made some, minor, progress on the Orc Boyz unit as part of the remains of the army to be painted and sold to fund / subsidise my previous and ongoing investment into Warhammer Invasion.

More specifically I've finished off the front rank who, as their status befits, have likely received a little more TLC than their rank bonus colleagues (do Orcs have colleagues?) are likely to receive. I'm happy enough with the furs and though the skintone looked rather too dark for a while detailing has provided a better balance.

Another 10 PPs in the bag to clear target for the month, not that I'm taking that as an excuse to disappear into Skyrim for he rest of the week.

There's also the oblique reference to the upcoming Six Nations during which I expect to paint a bit more with the non England games in the background. Somehow appropriate really.

Club tonight and Rich's Samurai SAGA campaign. As a gaming night isn't strictly a hobby night, at least in my head,  and given that I painted last night does that mean the Wednesday is a 'Rim night??

Answers on a post should you so wish :)

Monday, 23 January 2012

It's a SIZE thing!!

 So, Thursday night's roleplay saw our return to Jon's D&D campaign and the welcome return of Aaron to the group. Having previously preferred just to play Star Wars Mr T hooped across the genre divide to add a Pirate, Warrior sub-class to the group.

That means that both GM's have six players to contend with which I'm aware is considered pretty BIG by most players. With introductions, recap and re-introduction we spent most of the session talking (debating / arguing) various courses of action to take in view of the scene laid before us.

This scene involved the laying to waste of a small highland town, with whose burgers we had lodged 30,000 gold in the form of a solid gold idol's head. The intent was to "invest" (acquire / enslave) said town BUT, strangely, after the marauder's attack it was not to be found!

Cue great debate as to our purpose, motivation and proposed actions. With six of us we cover a wide range of options boasting as we do a Human Paladin, Teifling Warlock, Dwarven Cleric, Elven Ranger (plus wolf), Halfing Rogue and now a Human Pirate. There's very little eventuality that we can't have a go at. Problem is we all want to have a got at them in our own way!

Eventually we did STUFF. Myself, Rogue, and the Ranger went out and tracked the Vampire led marauder band to a rock amphitheatre where thei tracks disappeared (planal transportation spell). The Cleric spoke to the dead for clues and the Warlock researched various magical glyphs. The Paladin healed people and touseled hair while the Pirate dug graves,.......it's a plunder thing apparently.

Stopping relatively early, at a convenient point, Aaron was slightly put out that he hadn't got to hit anyone. This was often the case with Star Wars, lots of planing the action often go in the way of the action!

Meanwhile I spent a bit more time on Skyrim last night, this time with my Steel Clad Orc Brute rather than my more delicate Khajit Rogue. Running through a relatively well known Vampiric hold I actively had a go at sneaking about and taking a number of pot-shots from the shadows realising that he was somewhat deficient in this respect and the practice would improve him significantly.
That's right, a hulking beast of a hack and smash specialist, in the making, sneaking around in full plate! He did rather well at it and then had the superior cleave and clear ability to back it up as required. The head Vamp chap died SO much easier this time, though not before applying a certain little kiss on the cheek.

A couple of hours later I was sufficiently impressed to cough up for a particularly keen magical Orc Bow to go with the Greatsword of Frost and the Orc Sword of Stamina eating / Mace of Shock combo that I'd tried out dual wielding (not as easy as I'd hoped). With good Heavy Armour and reasonable block, I learn!, he's quite the fearsome prospect in most situations and running a reasonable favourite.

I do however realise that picking either locks or a pocket is likely to end up with any number of breaks, locks, pockets......arms!

Tangenting to another part of my, eventual, point SIZE is such an issue with the hobby and not only just scale. BIG games become BIGGER with small figures and similar budgets. There does seem to be more of  a trend for skirmish over the more recent years but even skirmish games go BIG when played with action men. Bigger still seems to be perceived as better.

Thought: isn't it more a question of PROPORTION???

Friday, 20 January 2012

The Unusual Suspects

Tuesday night Lewis' Necromunda campaign kicked off at Enfield Gamers and I for one had been looking forward to this one as Necromunda gives me a direct link back to when GW was COOL!!

I wanted to use my Copplestone / Rogue Trooper figures and reviewing what I had it quickly became clear that close combat was the far lesser option and as such it was a toss up between going for Van Saar or Delaque. With the Genetic Infantry being high end bio-technology in themselves Van Saar tipped the balance.

As such greet the gang, Rogue's Rejects;
Alpha Team: Gunnar (Ganger w Lasgun); Rogue (Leader w Plasma Gun); Bagman (Ganger w Lasgun);
Bravo Team: Venus (Ganger w Lasgun); Eight-Ball (Ganger w Lasgun); Lulu (Ganger w Lasgun)
Charlie Team: Bo (Juve w A Pistol); Franky (Heavy w Flamer); Luke (Juve w A Pistol)
Delta Team: Jym (Juve w A Pistol); Benny (Heavy w Flamer); Bexley (Juve w A Pistol)

So two games on the night, each with a bonus campaign territory on offer, plenty to play for.

Despite best intentions I hadn't managed any practice games and so was a bit rusty when facing Stewart's Escher. Based on Dark Eldar Wyches his gang looks very dynamic and soon launched a concerted frontal assault against my slightly skewed deployment.
To be honest he totally got the drop on me and it was only luck that saved me, his being significantly worse than mine. Somehow coming out of this mis-match with only one fighter downed I countered up the left flank with a flamer and the Juves flooring three.

Stewart duly failed the very first bottle-roll of both the game and his campaign to leave me with the win. To rub in salt one of his girls was killed while I didn't have to make a single injury roll. Karma then settled things with me as I got greedy with my Archeotech Horde and ruined it, literally! Fair enough really.

Second game was against Lewis' Goliaths. We were both toting a pair of flamer heavies which saw some serious cat and mouse. Reacting to Lewis' two sets of tunnels I set up on either flank but quickly realised that I had OVER-reacted.
As Lewis shifted his focus to my right flank I raced across the high ground, losing one of my GI's to a fall, until Lewis made the early campaign Death or Glory charge which left me with a third of the gang down or out of action.

Faced with stacking odds I decided to concentrate on another day and gave up the game along with the bonus territory. Karma once again rode in as I had 4 serious injury rolls to make......a full recovery and various scarring resulting in a LD 9 heavy and two Juves that cause fear.

Post game was even better with an Isotropic Fuel Rod to convert my new Ruin into a Homestead and a Hot-shot Power Pack for one of my couple of gangers who picked up BS advances. Three Juves all picked up Techno skills. Not too shabby despite mis-deploying twice.

NEVER split the party! :)

Monday, 16 January 2012


So tearing myself away from forging a matching set of of Nordic Steel Plate for my Orc beserker type, he's level 11 now don't you know and getting rather tasty with has magic greatsword, I've finished off the Star Wars Gunship.

As well as accidentally breaking off the laser cannons I also managed to break the flying stand. In repairing it I unavoidably adjusted the Gunship's positioning, slightly pitched forwards and nose down. To me it looks like it's just making dust-off, much like a helicopter. Two happy accidents then.

I do just need to gloss varnish the canopies and sight lenses, didn't realise I didn't have any until I looked for it, but I'm claiming the PPs now, all 10 of them. So that's 15 for the month and 5 more required with 15 days to go..........maybe just forge a dagger or two first :)

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Flights of Fantasy

Continuing my, unpaid and unofficial, promotional drive for Fantasy Flight games I ran Shaun and a couple of the boys through Warhammer Invasion at the club Tuesday night.

In response Shaun then ran us through a four way game of Blood Bowl Team Manager. Generally speaking it was good fun and learning as we went quickly ate a couple of entertaining hours. Given the game time length I did at one point find myself wondering why we weren't just playing a four-way game of Blood Bowl but that was missing the point!

Basically, we played five rounds of upto five games. Within each game you only play the Highlights, one-on-one with a variety of different spoils and resources available to the winner of each game. As such you resource manage to build your team, both players, coaching and support staff, in the chase for as much Fan Factor as possible, which decides who wins.
So what I didn't cotton onto immediately is that you're playing through a five round league in an evening, rather than a single game! Probably best that I don't take anymore bangs to the head then :)

I think I still prefer Warhammer Invasion as it replaces a game that I don't want to play anymore with one that I do. I still WANT to play Blood Bowl, not that I dislike or wouldn't play BBTM again.

What it has made me think it that you could play your classic Warhammer Fantasy Campaign, be it league, map, Mighty Empires or whatever you fancy, just replacing the tabletop battles with Warhammer Invasion. Maybe best of three hands to win the battle? Something I could see me and people / gamers like me (the disenchanted whinger ones) going for. Just a thought??
Meanwhile I am struggling not to let Skyrim dominate my hobby time. Currently running two characters, a Khajit Rogue (a transfer of my D&D Halfling) and an Orc Warrior (another Warhammer replacement) I'm just enjoying myself far too much.

The plan was to try and limit myself to every other hobby evening. I managed an early finish yesterday and needed to get various domestics done so ear-marked it as a Skyrim night. I made the mistake of turning the X-Box on first and suddenly it was bedtime before I'd done a stroke of flat-work. Domestics tonight then which means I'm unlikely to get more than an hour or two with the brushes.......
I'll just play a bit more Skyrim then, especially as I'm halfway through clearing out a Vampiric keep! Friday night for brushes whilst I watch the rugby :)

As I've never been more than a casual gamer I can't really manage to feel too guilty for the distraction, especially as I'm running anything for the foreseeable, .......at least not for a while yet anyway. To keep me honest I'll keep my previous monthly Painting Point target of 20 and see where I get to!

January.........15 PPs to find :)

Sunday, 8 January 2012

Horde of Things

So as threatened / promised I've picked up my first tranche of Warhammer Invasion cards, being the Core, Legends and Iron Rock sets, along with the necessary sleeves, deck boxes and storage.

Working through the cards placing them in sleeves and sorting them by race / type was useful, rather than just necessary, as I ended up reading through them all as I was doing so and made note of a few that caught my interest.
Running across the top l-r: Orcs, Elves, Empire, Dwarves, Dark Elves and Chaos, the main 6 races in the game. I've got more Orcs than anything else, by design, along with plenty of Empire, Dwarf and Chaos. Orcs will be my primary deck for a while, Empire secondary and Chaos sometime later.

Second row l-r: Buildings (neutral), Skaven, Undead, Lizardmen, Wood Elves and Bretonnian (Neutral) as the support races. Lovely way of including more of the races and expanding the options, especially as you start out.

Bottom row: some neutral tactic cards and Alliance resource / loyalty cards.

Stewart did me the favour of turning me onto the Deckbox website which allows you to set up an online inventory and decklists. I've also had a browse around the forums to find my feet a little. As mentioned, this is my initial tranche, I'm very sure that I'll be picking up a few extra packs with each pay-day, or maybe even a bit more regularly than that!

So a good solid start that we'll keep me plenty entertained for some time to come and all for less the the average GW Battalion! Deal me in :)

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Camping it up!

First result of 2012 and not proper figure in sight :)

More plastics from Renedra for The Camp With No Name, located just to the north of St Peytersburg for the miners, navvies, soldiers or any other vaguely undesirable working class types to be exploited by the local gentry. With a few modern crates, barrels and maybe a jalopy or two it's fit for Rick Grimes and his compadres.

The Renedra sprue is another high quality production. Nothing to flash but very well done and highly effective.

To keep its various inhabitants company and / or fed I've also painted up a pack of Gripping Beast's sheep. A little flashy but very nice sculpts and casts. Its a pack of six, though only five feature below as one made a brief break for freedom from the photo shoot.

A nice easy little project to kick off the year, 15 small pieces totalling 5 Painting Points, a starter for 5 if you will :)

Sunday, 1 January 2012

End of the year SHOW

Merry New Year to you all and I hope that you all got plenty of Toys gifts a week ago.

This was one of my better ones, or at least one of those that I didn't buy myself. Being 3+ assembly shouldn't be too terrible but planking and detailing it up looks formidable time-wise. A slow burner then though I'm keen to get this done for St Peytersburg which will be a priority for 2012.

Doing the typical end of year stuff I managed 362 Painting Points last year against a barely registered target of 240 (150%). That's an equivalent of 181 28mm figures at 15 a month. Hopefully that equals at least one decent army, depending on what anyone might play.

I've documented this for "posterity", apparently, with with 128 post at 10.6666667 a month, which maybe doubly evil, with 5847 pageviews whilst doubling my followers.

As referred to in my most personally satifying post HERE none of the above means a thing!

Moving into 2012 I wish to concentrate on the following over the next six months;

1. Get St Peytersburg / Zom-Heim somewhere decent. For this I need to get back to painting figures rather than scenery.....just once I've done a bit more scenery.

2. Sell off the last of the Orcs & Goblins and trade them in for Warhammer Invasion, which I hope to introduce to my wider gaming group. For this I need to get back to painting figures, spot the theme! I'm also going to reinvest prior to sale but then we've ALL done that!

3. Just play games and campaigns for a bit without running one, which I've always enjoyed, but need to do to focus elsewhere.

Hardly life-changing stuff, or is it? Probably more accurate to say life-enhancing as surely that's why we all bother in the first place. Hopefully so!

The main threat to the above is Skyrim, which I may have problems dominating my spare time once I'm back to work on Tuesday! Just a quick half hour eh?