GW Shades

I have always approached GW’s paint range with a bit of a sceptical mindset. The company has had a poor track record of delivering on their marketing hype and their paints, in the past, have been pretty much standard paint but at a higher price. And in those horrible pots.

I recently stumbled over a tutorial on how to quickly and easily paint Horus Heresy Imperial Fists and part of the process they describe requires the GW shade Agrax Earthshade. I picked up some of the paints I need but I thought that I had already purchased a pot of Agrax Earthshade. Sadly I did not and I decided to use some Army Painter Soft Tone in its place. The Soft Tone worked but it was quite difficult to keep the wash in the recesses and it tended to cover more of the miniature than I wanted. Especially when the next step involved using a shade over top of the pre-shading. I did two models and then put them aside.

Luckily I was at work the next day and picked up the required Agrax Earthshade. What a difference it made. The shade flowed into the recesses of the model quite easily and appears to have a higher surface tension than Soft Tone and so it also stays there. With a good brush it was much easier to do the pre-shading and even I was able to make it look quite good. I can’t speak for the rest of the paints but the shades appear to be an excellent product and quite worth checking out.

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Warhammer 30K

What I have really begun to dive into lately are the Horus Heresy rules from Forge World. Previously the game was wildly expensive as every single model was only available from FW in resin. Add the exchange and shipping and it made assembling even a small force a pipe dream. Or at least a pipe dream for me. I’ve seen plenty of blogs posts and battle reports replete with FW vehicles and models so clearly someone has the coin to pick those kits up.

With the release of the Betrayal at Calth and the Burning of Prospero boxed sets the entry price for the game has plummeted (again compared to Forge World prices). I have picked up enough plastic Marines (MKIV and MKIII armour), Terminators and other models to easily assemble a 1500pt force. Forge World has also changed the timeline for the current 40K vehicles to allow many of them to be used in Horus Heresy games. Which means that you can use current plastic Rhinos in your force even thought the Deimos Pattern Rhino is a delightful mix of old-school design and modern manufacturing. Continue reading

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Well that was a long wait

So it has been a while since I have posted on the blog. A large part of that has to do with not really having a lot of time for any games or hobby related activity. I have been trying to do more in the past month but compared to June I have not really done much except assemble a lot of figures. Building minis has been something that has been easy to slip into my schedule and I also find it quite relaxing. So my gaming table is covered with assembled but unpainted Chaos, Deathwatch and Genestealer Cult figures. While I might not think that 40K is a very good game GW does make some excellent minis and their recent boxed games have proved an exceptional value (at least compared to buying the figures in boxed sets). And certainly if all you want to do is build figures, you can’t go wrong with GW plastics.

I assembled enough minis to build up some decent forces for Kill Team using either the GW rules or the Heralds of Ruin rules. Even if I don’t get in a single game I have enough between assembly and painting to keep me busy for quite a while. That said, the store I work at will be having a Kill Team event on the 19th so I am going to madly try to paint a Deathwatch force for the event. I suspect that I won’t be able to get them fully painted but I am going to try my best.

I have also been up some other hobby related activities but I will save those for a subsequent post.

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6mm(ish) painting madness

So its been a while since I posted anything new on the blog. Part of the reason for that has been that I have been painting a lot of miniatures as part of a 6mm/10mm sci-fi gaming project. The miniatures are all Dystopian Wars figures from various factions. There are British, Antartican, French, Belgian and others in the army. I just picked the vehicles and aircraft that I liked the most, and which fit a particular roll, and then painted them up.

These are going to be used for Horizon Wars as well as LaserStorm. I haven’t figured out which minis will be used for each game, and there are a lot more than I need for Horizon Wars, but I have a pretty good idea of what role each miniature will be used in.

I painted up the infantry here because Horizon Wars has some particular expectations about the roles infantry play and how they are deployed in the field. Primarily, transports aren’t considered a distinct part of an infantry unit so if you want mobile infantry that are in vehicles then they need to be modelled on the same base. Which makes it odd to have them deploy into buildings. Its easier to build infantry stands to fit into those expectations than it is to try to bend the rules to fit something like an Epic: Armageddon concept of infantry deployment.

The next step will be to paint up some of the Imperial Guard figures I have and then use them as an opposing force. The first step will be to paint up some figures to use in Horizon Wars which will mean a few Titans as well as a range of vehicles. I will have a few stands of infantry as well but I won’t have them in Chimeras just to keep things simple.

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Impact of Armor on results in Guild Ball

One of the more important aspects of Guild Ball is determining how many hits you can expect to get based on the number of dice, TN and Armour. I took a few minutes to put together some tables that determined the average number of hits and then factored in Armour. I have taken some liberties with the values and determined that anything less than 0.5 hits is a zero result. Results have been rounded up by the software to have no decimal points.

No Armour

What was really interesting, from my perspective, was the significant shift that Armour gave to the results.

Armour 1

Its clear why most high DEF players usually don’t have access to Armour. A DEF 6 player with Armour 1 is almost untouchable. In odd circumstances some players can get Armour 2 and this helps even average DEF players to stop most Hits.

Armour 2

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Guild Ball Game Day

Today was the Guild Ball Game Day at The Sentry Box. We managed to have three tables running with eight people playing games and about the same number watching, asking questions and checking the game out.

I had my Engineer team (Ballista, Ratchet, Salvo, Mainspring, Hoist and Colossus) as well as the Union Starter set in case anyone wanted to use it as a minimum team for a demo. My game was against Orrin with his Alchemist team (Midas, Katalyst, Compound, Flask, Vitriol and Calculus). This was the first time I was able to get in an actual game as was the case for Orrin.

The first few turns of our game were a bit of a mess as neither of us really had a clue what we needed to do in order to maximise the impact of each team member. The best way to use each player’s Playbook was also something that was much different in a game than while reading stat cards and theorising about the game.

Continue reading

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Shroud Mage Stats

I put together some stat cards for the four fleets that we will be using for the Faire Winds and Foule Tides participation event tomorrow. Every fleet except for the Dwarves has a Mage and I am using the Hydromancer and the Mindbender so that we can test those Mages for Nic. I created a quick scenario for the game and I also had to make some stats for the Shroud Mage ships. I did a guesstimate for the cost for the Medium Broadsides ability. The idea is that the Shroud Mage ships have medium ranged broadsides that fire a fiery chemical attack and also have normal cannons on the bow. It requires a bit of a ‘gentleman’s agreement’ on the stats as technically they don’t actually restrict fire in the way I want them to.

So here are the stats for the 396 point Shroud Mage fleet.

Shroud Flagship
Points:100 Quality:3+ Combat:4
Fiery Attack, Flagship, Heavy Bow Chaser Guns, Lucky, Medium Broadsides

Shroud Cruiser w/Mage
Points:76 Quality:3+ Combat:4
Fiery Attack, Heavy Bow Chaser Guns, Magical: Hydromancer, Medium Broadsides

Shroud Cruiser
Points:56 Quality:3+ Combat:4
Fiery Attack, Heavy Bow Chaser Guns, Medium Broadsides

Shroud Bile Ship
Points:36 Quality:3+ Combat:3
Bilious Cloud, Indirect Fire, Unarmed

Shroud Bile Ship
Points:36 Quality:3+ Combat:3
Bilious Cloud, Indirect Fire, Unarmed

Shroud Light Cruiser
Points:46 Quality:3+ Combat:2
Fiery Attack, Gun Turrets

Shroud Light Cruiser
Points:46 Quality:3+ Combat:2
Fiery Attack, Gun Turrets

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Shroud Mages done

So I finally finished the final fleet for the Fayre Winds & Foul Tides demo game. These are a mix of first and second generation Shroud Mage vessels from the Uncharted Seas range from Spartan Games. The difference between the sculpts is really shocking. The second generation were computer designed and look significantly better than the original versions. I actually have a second fleet of the first generation ships but I really doubt if they will ever be painted. I dislike them enough that I may give them away to anyone at the demo who is interested in them. I am eagerly trying to find some more of the second generation ships though.

Shroud Mages

Shroud Mages

I am still trying to determine how to stat them out for Fayre Winds & Foul Tides. I may need to do some house rules for them as I want the vessels to have broadside firing medium range flame weapons and then normal ranged Heavy Chaser guns in the bow.

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Guild Ball

After much debating (with myself oddly) I decided to take the plunge and pick up a team for Guild Ball. I originally wanted to play the Fisherman’s Guild but the sculpt for the Captain is really oddly posed and it killed the idea of playing them for me. Next up was the Butcher’s Guild but the store didn’t have their Mascot in stock and I wanted to pick up a full team in one swoop. Finally I settled on the Engineer’s Guild. Its not really a bad choice for me as the team has a lot of interesting combos and some interesting minis.

The figures are all metal and clearly 3D designed. The models have cuts between the various pieces that don’t look man-made and are more akin to GW plastic figures. The minis are also gorgeous with crisp details and almost no mould lines. I was actually surprised by how well they looked as most of the painted samples I have seen have not really done the figures justice and made them all look a bit plain.

Guild Ball figures

Guild Ball figures

Everything went together quite well with the exception of Hoist. The tab on the miniature was so small that I needed to put green stuff into the slot before gluing it to make sure that it held properly. I also did the same on the left lower leg of hoist which had no connection point so required some green stuff to ensure a solid bond. Most of the figures had very well defined, and large, connection points but the female figures are much smaller and are more akin to the old Confrontation metal figures.

I picked up enough figures to do a full team (Ratchet, Mainspring, Hoist and Colossus) and also picked up the Union starter so I could do some demos and also use Cutter and Decimate in my team as they will both play for the Engineers. I’ll be adding them to the painting schedule and try to get to them as soon as I finish the Shroud Mage ships I am currently working on.

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Painting more fantasy ships

I am hoping to put on a multi-player game of the Galleys & Galleons fantasy rules and I realised that I only have three painted fleets. So the Shroud Mages have hit the painting table and I am going to try to plow through a fairly significant fleet of them. I am also hoping to finish an Uncharted Seas tower and have it as an objective for the game. Two fleets are hoping to destroy it and two are wanting to protect it.

I’ve just primed a few extra ships that were still bare resin and I will begin furiously drybrushing the base coats this evening. I am going to have them use a copper base with some iron metal accents. I want to also have them use a bright primary colour that I can then corrode with some paint to make them look particularly rotten.

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