Sunday, January 27, 2013

Hobby: Display Board - Part 1

Since every army needs a display board, I wanted to make one.  Being cheap, I wanted to make one that I could use for all of my armies (or at least most) without needing to change much.  I also wanted one that I could take with me without needing to send it FedEx for trips where I need to travel.

I started with a cabinet door that I got from my uncle.  He uses them for his dioramas. They make the perfect framed display boards.

I went with this one because I needed the real estate. 


Then I need to figure out what I want to do with it.  This case I wanted to go it with four intersecting streets.

This white blob is plasticard with a stone pattern on it.
I did this so I can do multiple things with it.  I want to use it for a few armies until I decide to tackle a bigger project.  Since my primary army is Chaos this week, I want to drop the Chaos shrine in the center.


It won't stay there but it does fit.  The HQs will go there for the Chaos Space Marine Army.  

As you can see from the shots, there are some gaps.  The shrine hides it but what if I don't have a center piece for my other armies.  That's why I took some Elmer's glue and some small gravel.  



It looks good but there are a lot of open areas.  I want to give it a muddy/torn up ground look. 
Enter textured paint.  For the same price as GW textured paint, you get this mess.  Don't worry about the color because your going to prime it. This is "Icy White".




As you can see from the pics above, I didn't cover the entire space.  I am going to primer it and then see if I need to add more.

The next part we start to prime and add some colors to it.  

Blog Exchange!

It's simple and fun.  You have a blog and I have a blog.  Let's exchange links.  Just post your link in the comments and I will add you.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Heldrakes: Turning the tide since 2012

Played a game to start tuning my 1850 list.  I played Cyto (one of the BWG) and his Blood Angels with Dark Angels allies.  I ran this list to see how it would work.  I ran a similar earlier against Todd (SincaiN40k) with his BA/IG and it did well.

Cyto dropped two pods with flakk and flamers dreads in front of the IG.  The IG were wiped out in a about a turn.  Turn 1 and 2 looked like I was going to be tabled.  The Oblitz were doing a good job hurting things but then the drakes started coming in.  Turn 2 I had one and the DP.  First thing is I really need to learn how to assault.  The DP had a series of bad rolls and wouldn't make it through turn three.  He never claimed his points back.

Back to the drakes.  They turned the game around.  Dropping hate where ever they went. I was able to infiltrate my rhino squads into his deployment zone and with the Oblitz closing in.  The drakes were killing marines over and over again.  FnP was the only thing saving them.

I have another configuration I am working on.  Dropping the IG and going straight Chaos with Huron.  At 2k, I will be running three drakes.  The changes in the FAQ makes them essential.  I can't see having three at 1850 but I can see the utility.

I may have a game this Thursday and a rematch the week before the BWG tournament.  I will post the list and how it works after I get the tests done.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Games Workshop: Death of the Paper Codex?

Since I started to get serious about war gaming, I started buying every Codex that comes out starting with Dark Eldar.  Mainly because I wanted to play every Codex but it has become more of a way to learn about the other armies.  With the release of 6th, it became a way to recruit allies.  The main thing was still purchasing a paper Codex.

A paper Codex had many advantages.  The first was the fact that I could get a discount off the retail price.  Many places on the internet and several of the hobby shops I frequent have sales with releases.  The second was having the book in my bag with my army.  It was the easy way for me to not forget it. 

Then GW released Necrons and Space Marines in iBooks format.  I had an iPad and thought it was a nice idea.  What didn't sell me was the price tag.  Retail for old a Codex?  WTF?  One of the Beltway Gamers bought the Marine Codex and talked about how cool it was when they FAQ and the book updated. I decided to give it a go for NOVA.

The inital run worked well and having it handy was great.  Then came CSM.  I bought it the morning it was released.  Downloaded it and loved the ability to touch a item and see it's rules.  I was sold. Well sort of.

This is what brings me to the meet of this article.  Is it the death nail or is it just another option?  To look at this we have to look at the Pros and Cons.

Pros

Everything at your fingers

Everything is at your fingers when you need it.  Now, I say everything but I mean most things.  I would say that 90%+ of the BRB rules are accessible from the app.  There were a few exceptions the individual weapons for Oblitz weren't easily accessible but they at least list them.  I haven't found a USR that wasn't though.

It is super easy to just find data.  Bookmark a section you keep going to.  Use the glossary.  It's all there.

It's pretty

If you like pretty pictures from the books but wish you could see more.  You can with the iBook.  Some pics (not all) let you zoom and spin and all manner of stuff. 

Updates

Of course, as I started writing this, GW released FAQ updates.  I was able to download the CSM ones to my iPad.  I was not able to download and update my paper copy unless you count printing out the new FAQ.   This is a nice addition. 

Cons

Price

This should be a Pro but GW dropped the ball on this.   If you look at the digital White Dwarf, you get a nice discount compared to the paper version.  Here not so much.  You could argue you don't pay tax but when I paid 20% off retail to pick it up from a local store I paid much less than retail.  If I didn't want it ASAP, I could have just ordered it online and got 25% and paid little or no shipping.

Price should be the big sell and they decided they want to charge a premium.  Is the extras worth it?  Maybe but not to everyone.

Platform

It only runs on iBooks for the iPad.  No Kindle, Nook, or Android.  Not even Mac or PC.  Why?  I have no clue other than maybe anti-piracy and formatting.  If you don't have an iPad, don't bother.

I have had this bite me in the arse when I left my iPad at home before leaving for work on game night.  If I could have used it on my iPhone, I could have suffered through it but survived.  No joy.

Verdict

Depends. If you don't own or want to buy an iPad, then this isn't for you.  If you prefer paper, then this isn't for you.  If you are into wiz-bang neat stuff and like some of the new functionality, this could be for you.

Personally, I will be moving exclusively to the iPad versions starting next Codex (Daemons)?  I like it enough even though I am now married to an iPad.  I am sure I am missing lots of stuff but hopefully this helps some people decide whether or not to move to the iBook Codex.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Blog Exchange?!



It's simple and fun.  You have a blog and I have a blog.  Let's exchange links.  Just post your link in the comments and I will add you. 

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Customer Service? It Still Exists?

Over a week ago, I placed an order for a new airbrush to replace my Renegade.  Let's just say I was rather rough with the brush and damaged it.  I have been relying on my generic ebay special, a Badger Anthem and my Paasche Talon for a number of months.  I like the Talon as my detail brush but I have had my eye on Renegade Chrome.

Searching the interwebs, I saw a special from http://www.webairbrushes.com/ on The Wargamers Consortium.  It got me a decent discount on the brush and I picked up some of Badger's new line of paint, Minitaire.  After I put the order in, I started hearing of shortages on the paint.  A week goes by and I email and get a response apologizing but stating that the demand has outstripped the supply.

Two days later, I receive a nice form email from Ken over at Badger apologizing for their delay in supplying paints and brushes.  I have heard of Badger being very proactive with reaching out but this something new. Considering I spend a good part of my day at work yelling at vendors for not supplying me the service I paid for.

While I am still without my new brush and paints, I can at least know that they took the time to cover their retailer (if it is a retailer and not really a Badger front..hmmm) and to at least tell the customer that something is happening.  Thank you.  Now get the hell back to filling those bottles of paint.

Hobby: Getting Old Sucks Plus DA Release and Some Daemon Prince Pics

I am approaching my 39th birthday in just a little over 7 months.  I have gained plenty of weight (although I am fighting back against that) and I have lost most of my hair (I blame my kids for that).  The one thing I have been able to retain is my 20/16 vision.  Every few years I go to the docs and they tell me how great my vision is.

When I started painting about two years ago, I would take pics of my models.  I would be proud of each one no matter how bad it was because it would be better than the last.  The one thing I would notice is that the pictures always took me by surprise.  How could I miss that?  The pic would show a great big mistake.  Either I would miss something or painted over too much.

At Games Day, I member of the gaming club at the Columbia GW was talking about the model he entered into the Golden Daemon.  He held up a pair of glasses and said he bought magnifying glasses to make sure it would look good when photo'd by an HD camera.  His model did look good.  Much better than the bronze winner.  In fact, I had him and Todd fighting it out for that spot but it didn't come to pass.  His words kept ringing in the back of my mind.

Monday, January 07, 2013

Hobby: I am Alpharius

I managed to get a big chunk of the base work done on the Chaos army.  The weather was great Sunday and I managed to prime my Oblitz and about 30 CSM.  The weather this weekend is supposed to be even better.  I plan to get the IG I need primed done.  

I got another game in this weekend with Todd over at Sincain40k.  It was brutal for him in the beginning and the middle but he pulled it out in the end.  Mainly due to some last minutes heroics  We did have a ruke issue in the last fight but we decided to table a rules issue and handle it later.  Would the rule have won me the game?  Maybe or Maybe not.  I tend to believe it would have been not.  I had a Sorcerer going up against Mephiston and I would have needed a nice roll for Warp Speed, then a nice too hit roll, wounds and he would have needed to fail his saves.  

The rule issue was could I even cast Warp Speed in CC.  He was willing to let me but in the interest of time I skipped it.  He beat the Warlord and then killed the squad.  We tied on objectives and he had 2 bonus to my 1.  The next day we both agreed that the Blessings and Maledictions are both legal in CC.  

The big thing I got from the match was what changes I need to make for the BWG tournament.  Todd is a great opponent and makes some kick ass lists.  This was one of many tune-up matches.  The guys at BWG gave me some ideas and I ran with them.  This helped solidify some things and change others.  I think I will have a nice list going into that event.  

Abaddon looks on.

I couldn't get the right shoulder done properly so I plan on turning it into battle damage.

Huron Blackheart part of Alpha Legion?  Or maybe a brilliant disguise.  I bought the model and decided to make it a Champ.
Daemon Prince of Khorne.  I have some touch up I need to do but  I think doing the actual detail work will ease the clash of colors.  




Thursday, January 03, 2013

Local Tournament: 3rd Annual BWG First Blood

Beltway Gamers is having their 3rd Annual First Blood Tournament. This is the group I normally game with and are a pretty cool group. Details below and sign up thread is here:

3rd Annual BWG First Blood

When: Sat Feb 9th, 2013 - Registration starts at 10:30am

Where: Dream Wizards - 11772 Parklawn Drive, Rockville, MD 20852

What: Warhammer 40K 6th Edition Tournament. 24 Players. 1850 Points (allies, fortifications, and 40k approved forge world allowed) 3 Rounds, 2.5 Hours per round. Prizes are Best General (1st and 2nd), Best Painted (1st and 2nd), Best Sportsman, and the infamous CYBO SKULL!!!!!!!!, Also, back by popular demand.... LOSERS RAFFLES between each round!!!

Cost: $10 Per Player (to go towards prizes and raffles)

Crazy BWG Twist: If you bring a piece of painted terrain to be donated to the club (no bigger than 12x12 but no smaller than 4x4) you will get 10 Extra Victory Points towards your Best General Score OR 5 Extra Points towards your Paint Score. Please see a T.O. at sign in the day of to document this.

Details:
-40K 6th Edition rules will be in play (minus the mysterious terrain and objectives).
-All currently released 40k codex's may be used. DA may be used if it receives a FAQ prior to the tournament.
-40k approved is allowed if you have the model or a conversion as well as a copy of the rules (actually 5 copies are needed on paper to be given to opponents and the T.O.'s).
-Allies are in.
-Fortifications are in (minus Fortress of redemption).
-Tables will be pre set with terrain and all fortifications must be arranged and/or fit completely outside of any terrain set on table (or it cannot be used and you will forfeit the points for it).
-Models DO NOT need to be painted to play(though you will not be eligible for Best Painted awards). Conversion are good, "counts as" is okay but please check with T.O. if you have a question.

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

WIP: Abaddon

A guy was selling his CSM and he had a conversion he made in the set for Abaddon.  I started painting him up just in case I needed to use him and to give me a break from the other Heldrake.  The blade is the wrong color but I like the green.






Your List Sucks or Casual versus Competitive

First...I mean my list sucks not yours.  Your list is just fine or, at least, better than mine.

I ran two lists over the weekend.  One list was a Kharn The Betrayer list and the other was an Abaddon The Despoiler.  I played Todd from SincaiN40K and his Duskwolves (SW/BA) army.  The Kharn list was crushed by Mephiston.  When I say by Mephiston, I mean just him.  It was a one man show of red hate and not the way I wanted it.

Todd suggested I make a list using Abaddon.  I did just that and played a friend and his GK army.  I made a Chosen spam list.  With the exception of Abaddon becoming a spawn, the list had a minor issue.  I fixed the minor issue and then went to start writing a post on the two lists.

I thought I would then post my Abaddon masterpiece on my gaming group's forum (Baltway Gamers).  Like tacticians from hell, they began to name the reasons why it was flawed.  It started with model count.  Went on to how would it handle hordes.  By the end of it their suggestions completely destroyed the list and brought it back to reality.

They didn't do this to be butt heads. They did this to help.  Being relatively new to competitive gaming, I haven't let go of the casual gaming tendencies.  They saw how bad it would do in a tournament and went to point out the issues and offer suggestions.  They gave me options to fix my Abaddon list and things to fix my Kharn list.

I think making the shift from casual to competitive is one of the hardest part of the hobby to me.  I see the cool minis and lust after them.  Then I wonder why the list failed and I look for the new shiny.  The reasons why I looked for a gaming club was to get more games in and get better by seeing armies.  The thing I didn't look at was list building.  There are all kinds of lists on the internet and I have stolen a few but the think I didn't realize was why they worked and why they didn't.

In a tournament, your probably not going to see Mephiston charging forward lobbing heads off every few feet.  Your also not going to see Abaddon doing it either.  They can work very well in the casual setting and will probably give people pause in a tournament but when those 20 Chosen are looking at a horde of Nids and Orks things will be a little different.

That Black Templar list I used worked great at Chuck's RTT but was basically useless at the Dream Wizards RTT (It went 1-1-1).  Ditto with the SM/IG list at NOVA (2-4).  I just didn't understand the subtle differences in why a list basically failed when it should have done great.

I have wasted enough space rambling.  What I hope to start doing is delving a little bit more in my list building learning process.  Maybe write an article a week on what I am think about in regards to each category.  I will use my new Chaos list I am building as the example.