Sunday, 30 November 2014

Light or Dark?

Hello people,

Whole week of not a lot to post about really, not even too much Farcry 4 either, though it is highly entertaining :)

Hobby wise I got in a game of X-Wing Tuesday night against Dave, who took Boba and Kath with plenty of stress inducing upgrades which took me by surprise. Add a dash of flying Echo poorly and I was soon left with just my own Boba who was eventually forced off the board by a combination of Stress and Critical Damage. Good fun :)
Wednesday night's EotE session fell pray to injury, sickness and overtime leaving myslef Big Rob and Mr C dusting off Martians, the extra-terrestrial version of Zombies, for a couple of unusually co-operative games. It took the first game to remember how to play and the second to put the lessons into practice....until next time!
Rounding out the week with something a touch more productive I sorted myself out some double sided asteroid tokens. Nice and simple 3 layers of scrap card double-sided taped together and sprayed up. Black and then a very light bit of white one side and a fair bit more white on the other so they'll stand out on whatever backdrop they're on! No painting points but a feeling of accomplishment :)

Now if you'll excuse me I'm back off to Kyrat before bedtime :)

Thursday, 20 November 2014

From Despair to where?

Hello people,

Wednesday night was another dose of Edge of the Empire hilarity with an awful lot happening to, seemingly, not get very far at all. All good fun though so no worries!

Picking up from last time out the lads found themselves stood in Gonk's Covert Emporium of Smuggling with several live issues outstanding;
1. The escape of Mr Cloak
2. The four dozing Men in Black
3. The two no longer breathing Men in Grey
4. The remote link back to Gonk's office at Grey 17

So the main priority instantly became thieving everything of value in sight, including the YT-2400.....OBVIOUSLY!!

Tanner went back through the cargo bay inventory sending Perit and Sin a list of crates to go and find. He then brushed Agenai, and his continuing failure to open up the YT, and sliced open a maintenance hatch for him. Climbing inside Agenai quickly felt at home establishing that she had been converted into a full on smuggling craft. Most of the crew quarters had been converted over to extra storage, including a strongroom, with the escape pod chute converted into a well used cargo-cannon.
Rough and ready the crew quarters that were left resembled a Romanian squat with bunks and robustly basic facilities. Moving through to the cockpit the innards showed plenty of wear and quick patch repairs with even the secondary escape out of order. Settling into the well worn pilots seat even the cockpit was a mash-up of various different system upgraded piecemeal. Most importantly....NO HYPERDRIVE!

Meanwhile Perit and Sin had been loading crates from the cargo bay onto a hover palette whilst having a random dig around for whatever caught their eye. Perit came up with some survivalist gear and a pair of top end pressure suits. Sin stumbled across a cranky Mynock which did a reasonable job of beating him around the head before it's head vaporised courtesy of Sin's blaster rifle.

Picking up a big lump of Threat while he was at it I jokingly fanned my recently acquired Adversary Deck asking him to "pick a card". Mr C jumped in and did so for him drawing a Pirate Crew Minion, which fitted the bill and suddenly stirred from his sleep behind his crate, ragged pressure suit and half face helm leaving him looking like a wracked man. Instantly naming the vaped Mynock Polly Sin got the jump on Pirate Pete who soon joined his pet leaving Sin to poke around his shack of crates complete with remote terminal, primus stove and Mynock snacks!
7s meanwhile had been "helping" around the place to minimal effect and then checked the cargo bay inventory instantly jubilant as he discovered a crate of medical supplies. Trotting across the hanger bay he happened to passing the back of the YT as Agenai started her up.......with a the engines at full power with a huge back-blast and threatening to rip the ship from its legs currently locked to the hanger floor!

 While 7s entered the cargo bay airborne Agenai produced a Triumph to realise that he had to either launch or dump the engines. Messing up either would be BAD!! A Triumph later saw disaster averted but a number of klaxon arms kicking off along with the Pirate Pete's screen flickering into life filled with a large piggy face!

Legging it into the YT Agenai took this opportunity to repeatedly stalling it giving Gonk the opportunity to remote into the Traffic Control system and shoot them with the reverse-polarity disruptor to polarise the hull thus tracking their flight-path! Oh the delicious irony :)
Parking up behind a vaguely orbiting asteroid Tanner had a decent go at de-polarising the hull and then set to work on the strongroom. Popping that it was clearly the only decent bit of tech on the boat given its quasi stasis capabilities and moody lighting. Held within were two stasis crates, a fascinating challenge for Tanner, which a few Triumphs later gave up its secrets.

The first contained half a dozen IV bags containing a greenish sparkly liquid and a number of shrink wrapped organs. Between Perit and 7s they established that the IV liquids are synthetic while the organs were unidentified and either very cleanly extracted or grown. The second crate held two fairly emaciated limbs. an arm and a leg, both heavily integrated with advanced bionics.

At this point all the conspiracy theories came out as various incidents and bits of partial knowledge were offered up to each other. 7s repeatedly asked what they were going to tell Chung when they reported back to HI-HI, which was roundly challenged by Sin.

So a relative trail of destruction in their wake and a number of options before. Plenty of both Triumphs and Despairs had made for a very interesting evening! Next week looks good already! :)

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Flight of the Boba-Gator

Hello people,

Last night I joyously mainlined some X-Wing hobby crack as myself and Jon did battle down at Enfield Gamers ahead of the Charity X-Wing event we're running on Sat Dec 13th.
Having trawled the net and swapped a few posts on A Few Manoeuvres I had a further refined Boba list to try out;

Boba: Predator - Seismic Charges - Engine Upgrade - Navigator
Echo: Veteran Instincts - Fire Control System - Advanced Cloaking Device
Acadamy TIE 

The whole idea was to max out manoeuvrability to reduce the fire received and use the rear fire arc whenever possible. It turns out that I could also run away pretty quickly when required!

Like anything it's all well and good having plenty of manoeuvre options unless you know how to use them. As such Game 1 was a "learning experience" which also featured the good grace of my opponent, Jon, as I bumbled my way through to victory curtousy of our respective dice.
Game 2 I put my learning into practice and guilt winced my way through as the dice Gods continued thier one sided benevolence :{ The ablative Acadamy chap even did his job AND survived!

So a fair bit learnt and a list I rather like, though only on the evidence of two dice decided games. Navigator felt like a bit of a safety net and could well find itself redundant with experience but for the moment the  training wheels stay on.
 I think Jon might like to play someone else's dice next week!

Monday, 17 November 2014

Here Endeth the SAGA

Hello people,

A bits and pieces weekend with the brush as I initiated my campaign on the Current Projects Tray (CPT). Sidestepping the 40 odd bare shouldered Commandos I went after the weaker members of the herd.

First up were the remaining SAGA Fatigue counters. I'd finished a few of the skull piles some time ago so sorted out the dropped shields with some generic Dark Age designs and stuck on a bit of flock. As is so often the case I moved back and forth between these and the Cave Troll, who has always been one of my favourite figures. Just highlights required I took my time with the soft flesh, as compared to the hide, which has never been one of my strengths!

Anyway, that's everything for SAGA finished up....must pick up the rules and dice at some point!
Floating around the edged of the painting station has also been a K'Tinga (OP Prize) and an accidentally purchased Kraxon (I actually meant to pick up a Gor Portas for the Breen Aide). Kraxon #3 got a standard paintjob while I decided to go with something different for K'Tinga / D7 #5. Taking inspiration from recent TIE Phantom repaints I had a go at doing a cloaked variant! Happy enough with both.
Couldn't get a clear shot of the Kraxon for some but you've seen it before! So 2 PPs for the Fatigue markers, 5 for the Cave Troll and 1 each for the K'Tinga and Kraxon makes 9 more on the month! As a reward it's more X-Wing at the club tomorrow night and then EotE Wednesday so the itch will be scratched.

Progress! :)

Friday, 14 November 2014

What next?


With the recent X-Wing repaints snuggled in thier recently acquired KR case I've reached something of a hobby crossroads as I decide "What next?"

It's fair to say that X-Wing is spooling up big time for me and is likely to be my main focus for some time to come. However I'm happy to leave my wishlist for Santa while I wait for Scum & Villainy, which may be a while! So as much as I have a current projects list at the top right of this blog it seems fitting to get back to them and not just for the sake of completion!

Indulging in a rare pre-order of Farcry 4 I'm sure Amazon originally advertised delivery today, and was going to be a major focus of the weekend, but now it's Tuesday. Not the end of the world really,  even if I am sulking slightly!
So back to the WIP tray I go and it occurs that this should be the opportunity to sort out the shoulder patch transfers for the Commandos. I also need to finish the pin markers and sort out some smoke templates. For further housekeeping there's some SAGA  Fatigue markers and more entertainingly the Cave Troll to finish off.

In summary it's that post project blues syndrome with the expectation of Dreadball, Heroquest and my ravening X-Wing crack habit (I can be honest about it at least!). To keep the jitters at bay I've been researching and playing around with a number of Firespray lists finding some useful threads HERE, HERE and HERE.
With the KR case I actually had to really work out what trays I wanted rather than get strong armed into an uncustomisable "custom set". For those who might find it useful the fighter trays (XW3) are great, and half case depth, as well as the lesser known dials tray (N2H), half case depth, which are far more flexible for anyone with even basic scissor skills.

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Rat Run

Hello people,

A bit of double bubble as I combine the last couple of sessions of EotE given that, to be honest, not too much happened first time round session before before, the chaps were left at the scene of their firefight with two Men in Black still standing with Mr Cloak having exited stage left throwing the remaining Man in Grey through the bulkhead door before him.
The Men in Black were looking spooked and continuing to give cease and desist instructions before a combination of stun darts, bolts and grenade had them dozing like babes.

At this point 7s rushed in to realise that he couldn't do much for the slumbering Perit so set about trying to loot the various unconscious forms, failing baldy though it's okay as he's a doctor! Tanner meanwhile checked over the tracker that had been is 7s medkit while Sin and Agenai chased Mr Cloak, with varying degrees of enthusiasm!
Rat Run prt I - the session before
Poking round one corner in the darkness Sin spotted the last Man in shot him, not to stun, to the floor and chased on after Mr Cloak with Agenai covering his rear....tripping over the bodies along the way! Catching up with Mr Cloak as he was stopped at a heavy bulkhead door Sin had the better of an exchange of fire as Cloaky stepped through. Establishing that the door was freshly locked even Sin felt the need for discretion and called up the rest of the boys.

With Perit now conscious the boys lined up while Tanner did his thing with the bulkhead door which bent over backwards to be helpful letting him know of the far lower air pressure behind it. Popping the door everyone sealed up their pressure suits and ventured in to a set of rough tunnels crudely braced with a vague bit of deck plating. 

Tracking a number of recent boot-prints across the frosty floor left the lads to a couple more bulkhead doors..........and the end of that evening's entertainments!
Re-assembling last week part II kicked off as Tanner hacked the first door they'd come to and identifying the blinking lights of a computer bank hurried in to find a high end double workstation with a pair of excellent wheely chairs only missing a massage function and beer fridge. Happily settling in Tanner identified a number of separate systems including traffic control surmising that there was likely to be some form of hanger the other side of his electronically tinted windows.
Lost in his banks of flashing lights Tanner eventually opened what turned out to be a mini airlock, with a hint of further decompression, to reveal a stack of ubiquitous cargo crates stacked in a poorly lit area. Sin took the hint and stealthed his way in to reveal a good sized hanger cut from the rock inhabited by a bashed up YT-2400 and a further, sleeker lump at the far end of the hanger.

Perit and Agenai followed in with Perit making our the sleeker lump as a modified Firespray, that sent his eyes funny looking at it, with a number of bi-pedal shapes moving around. Tanner meanwhile had found the controls for the overhead gantry crane and the rather shonky forcefield controls, keeping the rather thin atmosphere in place, with attendant docking assist tractor beam and disruptor pod. 7s decided it was best to guard the other side of the airlock!
Creeping forward the lads identified three individuals moving back and forth from the Firespray. Perit got a good look through his scope to identify Mr Cloak and a pair of rather chunky cyborgs rolling just enough Threat to kick a can of wingnuts across the hanger floor, simultaneously setting his comm-link to loud-hailer! A fire-fight ensued :)

Mr Cloak was, quite rightly, Public Enemy #1 though in return he returned Perit to unconsciousness and swirled off toward the Firespray with Sindori in hot pursuit. The cyborb brothers made a stomp down the hanger into fire from Agenai and 7s, who suddenly came over all Rambo with his pair of recently acquired blaster carbines. Tanner simply crushed them with the overhead crane!

Sin meanwhile went after Mr Cloak with something of a vengeance, as is his habit, liberally tossing grenades around the place as Cloaky lept into the Firespray and fired up the engines. Once again Sin's dice continued to let him down as the blasts failed to find his man directly despite applying plenty of Stress.
Net 2 success with 3 advantage and a despair......WTF??

Meanwhile Agenai attempted to bypass the locks on the YT-2400 boarding ramp with zero success, even despite 7's incredibly detailed advice. Trying the "old smugglers trick" of popping a maintenance hatch was similarly effective while Agenai noticed that the old girl's escape pods had been somehow modified and reguarly fired!

Elsewhere Tanner was having marginally more success firing up the hanger bay tractor beam / disruptor pod. Making a quick Next Gen cameo he set the tractor beam to stall Mr Cloak's exit and reversing the polarity of the disruptor set it to polarise the Firespray's hull so that it could be tracked via the traffic control system.

And so thusly all of the above came to pass at which point Tanner established the presence of the data-link back to Grey-19 and Gonk. Further research of the flight logs revealed the scope of his covert import/export business and the cargo lift to the rather well stocked cargo bay just below.

Just as the chaps were considering thier various options for theft, double-dealing, betrayal and even just playing it straight, WTF???, the evening drew to a close. I wonder the air supply in those suits are doing?? :)

Monday, 10 November 2014

Long Weekend - Completion

Hello people,

I did actually get the last few brush-strokes on last night but it was getting late so I left it until this evening to sort out the photos and even cracked out the portable light-box!

In honesty I've probably put more work into the Firespray than I needed to, it's taken a lot of work to get straight but it was good fun doing it and well worth the effort. Well pleased with the end result :) In contrast the TIEs and HWK were no trouble at all; White Spray, Agrax Earthshade, Celestra Grey highlight with Mephiston Red and Drakenhof Nightshade for the wing panels. Simples!

So, 5 Painting Points for the Firespray and 1 each for the TIEs, HWK and Dominion Patrol Ship, Battlecrusiser, Battleship lot making 12 in total.

Reach for the Skies :)

How to Train your Dragon

Hello people,

Before reaching the weekend proper I dropped round to Rich's Friday night to try out his latest acquisition D&D Attack Wing. I'd seen a bit of blurb come up on the Wizkids site but hadn't paid too much attention other than wondering how different it would or wouldn't be to STAW.
In answer it's the same mechanic applied appropriately,  by which I mean that any necessary tweeks have been made. You still get a movement dial and an action but there are a number of necessary tweeks. 

- There are 3 flight levels and the ability to land with ground movement being a separate dial.
- Each dragon has a ranged Bite and Tail attack.
- Bumping doesn't loose you your action.
- Upgrades are primarily physical abilities, magic items and spells.
- Shields convert to Armour which isn't removed by damage but critical and breath attack damage ignores armour.

In the starter set you get one Red, Blue and Copper dragons. Reds are brawlers, Coppers agile tricksters and Blues mid level mages. 

We played through three games, the first being the tutorial and then a couple of 100 pointers, which is two beasties with various levels of upgrades. Rich's pair of Reds,  named and unnamed, didn't leave much spare and beasted my Copper and Blue souped up named pair first time out. Second time round with a better game plan they were the ones limping home.

After one evening's gaming my impression was solid if unspectacular with some nice, appropriate, twists on the mechanics that I know so well. 

What will be really interesting is when ground troops come into the mix. From the page count dedicated to them in the fair sized rule pamphlet their an integral part of the game rather than dragon feed on legs. It would also seem that scenario play will be just as integral.

Apprehension....up in smoke ;)

Long Weekend Update #2

Another day, another update ;]

As is always the way I didn't achieve as much as I might have liked to yesterday but I achieved enough to be happy about! The Firespray has come on a treat with hatching complete and some impromptu dags adding a slightly more feral element that I'm very pleased with. Engine colour went from blue to yellow for a bit more contrast and I've even added some light effect around them and the canopy. Just transfers, weather and highlight for the score!

Additional bonus of the day was discovering the Celestra Grey is a direct placement for my beloved Dheneb Stone and is a natural highlight for the washed TIEs which have had wings and cockpits blocked in with the Fighter additionally Celestra'd. Highlight, wash, highlight...done!

No work on the HWK but I know which paint is going where.....mainly!

Thursday, 6 November 2014

Long Weekend Update #1

Hello people,

Once I finally managed to crawl out of my pit yesterday I did actually get round to some time with the brushes.

First up were my STAW Dominion Battleship, Battle-Cruiser and Patrol Ship basically because they were half done and giving me sideways looks from the painting station so I felt the "need" to clear the decks before moving on! Going for mean and moody I kept the palette limited with bright contrast "nacelle" areas which will get a bit of gloss varnish to finish. Blues with a wash of Drakenhof Nightshade seemed appropriate.

Moving onto the main event I unleashed my cunning plan, i.e. a quick way to paint my fighters into the bone and crimson scheme I've decided upon. I want to have them as a co-ordinated force along with the Firespray as splinter faction under an Independent Moff turned to near piracy in his local space-lanes. All of this feeds into the theory of having a limited Imperial faction against my major Scum "investment" but we'll see how that one goes.

Having spent a lot of time and effort painting the Firespray upto Dheneb Stone from a black undercoat it occurred that I could undercoat white, wash mid-brown and work from there. Agrax Earthshade did the job particularly well and really brought out the impressive level of detail of the sculpts which I'm sure will help as I go providing a level of pre-shading to work from.

The Firespray also got a little bit of love as I brought the red panels up a touch and started laying out the hatching. I'd been a bit nervous about that as freehanding isn't my strongest suit but it all came along very nicely and now that all the lines are in I'm feeling much happier about it :)

So today is poised for the back of the project to be broken. I know what I'm painting in what schemes and how!

Meanwhile, as a further distraction, I've recently noticed the upcoming Fallen Frontiers KickStarter. Flicking through the photos on their Facebook Page this is definitely how I like my Sci-Fi, I can't tell you just how much I LUST over these figures......oh dear ;]

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

The Weekend Starts Here

Hello people,

In short I have the rest of the week off work and intend to engage in a glut of Star Wars nerdism :)

It's EotE tonight and I've set myself the goal of having my fledgling fleet of Firespray, TIEs (Fighter, Defender and Phantom) and HWK 290 repainted by the time I return to the grindstone. Work on the Firespray has been relatively slow but I have a cunning plan.....
Meanwhile that Friday feeling was delivered three days early with the help of Jon down at Enfield Gamers last night as we pitched our recent W-Wing purchases at each other. I went with an elite Heavy Laser Cannon list featuring Bobba and Rexler Brath while Jon showed me how useful a pair of Ion Turreted HWKs could be.

Between us we took our time and made plenty of mistakes, none of which were a problem. Jon has a reputation for notoriously poor dice but I soon claimed that crown as I couldn't roll evades, especially against Ion fire, to save my life. I did however finish off the A-Wing with a particuarly cinematic Seismic Charge :)

I did manage to claim a very close game as the final HWK, with one Hull remaining, faced down Bobba, with two Hull remaining, for my dice to finally come to life on the final pass. Plenty learnt on both sides and lists to be tweaked.

As I await Scum & Villainy to appear Santa's list is likely to include some Interceptors, Imperial Aces and a Decimator....... ;)

Sunday, 2 November 2014

A Mixed Bag

Evening people,

Despite a busy week I've still managed plenty of HOBBY with an evening of Halloween Zombie-Hulk Tuesday night down at Enfield Gamers and another EotE session on Wednesday, combined write up next week.

This afternoon myself and Mr C went upto Marquee Models in Harlow for their STAW First Contact OP event. We've been before, a few months ago, when the turn-out was a bit low and there was a player of an ilk diametrically opposed to mine i.e. Mr Power-Git.

Game 1 was a decent enough with a relative Noob. Game 2 was Mr Power-Git, 90 point Borg cube, who I managed to beat after he misread one of his many upgrade cards. Despite fleeting heartfelt satisfaction, he didn't react very well, it was still a tetchy 20 minute game so not my preference. Game 3 I got hosed by the Tournament Organiser, 90 point Borg sphere, who had earlier given Mr Power-Git a bye so he could play......and win the event!

After all that I placed 3rd of 9, three places above Mr C if you needed to know, somehow missing out on one of the three prize ships in the pack......ermmm...???

Big bonus of the day was bumping into a bunch of guys who used to be my regulars during my time with GW. It was really good to catch up with them and chat NERD, which had all always been a big perk of the job. They play every other Sunday in Cheshunt so I'll drop in next week.

Whilst there I also took the "opportunity" to pre-order my Scum and Villany "investment". I also picked up a HWK-290.....and also a TIE Defender and TIE Phantom. They're fine because they'll let me cross-over with some Imperial Slave based lists. Maybe I could do with a TIE Interceptor??

I also picked up the EotE Imperial and Rebels and Scum and Villany Adversary Decks which are definitely made for my "freeform" GM style.
Having stocked up for the month it's brushes at the ready,..... at least until Farcry 4 hits the doormat!

Happy days :)