January 31, 2011

Weathering and airbrushing - part two tutorial

So this is how my Vanquisher looked before the weathering begun. He wold change quite a lot. First though I would need to test the techniques I had previously just seen online. There are a lot of resources for tutorials already but I haven't found a good one. To be fair they are all excellent examples of these techniques but none of them really explain it enough to satisfy me. They are good enough to get me started and experimenting first. I decided to base coat the 'jack and while that was drying I would test some rusting on an Ork Truk I have lying around.

PhotobucketI had painted the Truk with a view to weathering it before. I had applied my standard 40k vehicle weathering techniques. These basically consisted of using bestial brown to achieve some form of a rust stain. I hadn't applied any hairspray so I couldn't chip the model. Instead I used a sponge and some scorched brown to chip the edges of the plates. This worked out fine. I didn't do this on the sides just to test the differences I achieved.PhotobucketI first put the powder on while holding hte vehicle vertical. As there is nothing for it to really grip onto a sharp intake of breath is enough to cover the desk with powder rather than your models. I am not sure if this is really how it should be applied but I don't see another way yet. Once this was done I added turpentine to the entire region letting it flow everywhere.PhotobucketOn this side plate you can see that it is wet still. The turpentine will quickly enough evaporate. It does stink a little so I recommend buying an odourless version is you can. Als be careful not to buy a turpentine substitute. I don't know if it is good for this but it is really prevalent on the shelves of my hobby store and I almost left with a bottle. At this point I was following Forge Worlds guide for using pigments. Its fairly basic but explains some of what to do.PhotobucketI allowed all this to dry and then took a stiff brush and simplky swept it down wards over the clumps of dry powder. This had the effect of making the streaks too big. I guess I have used too much powder here. I also added some black streaks to represent a dust run off. So for my first foray into the weathering world I can't say I have made a complete success. Still it is a beginning and hopefully with the Menoth Vanquisher I can make a better attempt.

I will be attempting to chip the basecoat and add the rust to the chips. Fingers crossed it works!If someone could tell me what exactly is meant by the word stumping in this guide I would appreciate it! The rust streaks this guy achieves are masterful and I would really love to manage something like that.

Tutorial Part One

January 30, 2011

Weathering and airbrushing - a beginners tutorial

So I finally got my airbrush out to try. I have been wanting to weather some vehicles for a long time and I felt now is a good time to start as I am almost solely collecting 'jacks. I have a lot of Menoth 'jacks already but they are back in Ireland. So that means a flight home or buying some more. I rally wanted to try out the hairspray technique and with that in mind I got started. Firstly the airbrush is a GW one. Nothing expensive or fancy. Very much an entry level tool but good to test the basics. I fixed it up and filled the bottle with paint. Here is where I learned the first lesson. If you squeeze a vajello paint bottle and the nozzle is a little but not completely blocked it will shoot off like a bullet. Thankfully I had the paint bottle pointed at the airbrush bottle and as such the mess was contained. Ifished the nozzle out of the bottle eventually. I then added some water not much and proceeded to spray! The result is what you see above. Not great eh? However with another pass of the brush I managed an even coat and it worked out fine.

Photobucket Here is what I used, the glass bottle hangs under the airbrush probably not the best place for it. I can't see how a gravity fed design wouldn't have been a better idea from GW. The only thing to note is that the bottle lid came lose and almost caused a catastrophe. Luckily I noticed in time and tightened it. I don't know if this was my fault or a problem with the bottle. Just be careful whe doing this yourself. A spilled bottle of paint will ruin your day!Photobucket This is the muddy mixture I sprayed on. I didn't pick a perfect colour. I used Dark Flesh which was too similar to the scab red I use on my newer 'jacks. As I shot the paint into this I ended up mixing far more than I needed! This wasn't too much of a problem as I could always pour it back into the bottle. I guess after a few uses the paint in the bottle becomes overly dilluted. I have looked at the Vajello air paints but I am not sure how much more superior they are so for now I will stick with the standard colours. They have a good description of the product on their site but I would prefer a more independent description and review. So far I haven't turned up much online.PhotobucketThis is the set up for the airbrush. Pretty simple! I have been wondering if the propellant could be a generic brand rather than GW only. I assume they have somehow made sure that the connecting pipe will only fit their cans. They wouldn't have missed something like that! The brief look I had in the nearby hobby shop proved this with the propellant having to large of a connector to fit the GW airbrush. I will search further afield though before I give up hope.

PhotobucketThis is the spray box I made up. Thankfully the fumes from the propellant are not very strong at all. This means I don't need to hang out the window to spray. Instead I can do it in comfort at my desk. The box was good enough to catch all the spray and it overhangs in such a way that it should catch a lot of the rising paint. I am not sure if this really presents a problem but it may.

PhotobucketEventually this is what I ended up with. A nice even coat of Dark Flesh. This was perfect and I am really happy with the airbrush. It won't be able to do very advanced techniques I would have to invest more for that. However for doing this type of work it is fine. The one thing to note is that the paint stays fluid much much longer than normal. I had to use a hair dryer between coats to really dry it within an acceptable time frame. The next step is the hairspray. If you haven't heard of this technique before it is used by WWII tank modellers. It is used to chip paint and gives a very realistic effect. I liberally sprayed the hairspray over the model. I probably shouldn't have used diamond effect! PhotobucketIt thankfully does not cover in thick coats. It was a nice fine even coat that didn't clog any detail. It was hellishly shiny. The third step of this technique is putting on the base coat. The base coat is the colour you want to see at the end. I sprayed white over the hairspray and made sure I got a good coverage again. I watered the paint down more than I had the Dark Flesh and this meant I got better coverage. It was similar to milk in consistency and I thought that it was probably too thin. I was quickly provde wrong. The hair dryer was still essential but a few seconds of that and the paint was dry enough to touch.Photobucket I needed to make sure and get under the model and cover everything 100%. This is the base to work all the other techniques on and it has to be good. Thankfully the airbrush made this pretty easy. I wasn't sure how long I needed to let this dry for but I thought I had read somewhere that it needed twenty four hours. So I left it over night. Once I get the next few stages done I will be posting them up here so stay tuned to see how the chipping and weathering turn out. I am hopeful that this Vanquisher turns out to be the best 'jack I have so far manage. These techniques should also be applicable to 40k vehicles and some Warhammer Fantasy stuff especially painted armour plates. Black Orcs come straight to mind.

Here is a great blog that shows how all the effects I intend to use come out when done by a true master!

Part One
Part Two
Part Three
Part Four

January 27, 2011

Stabbed in the back!

Last night I once again had a nice game via Vassal. This was the second of the Annihalation battles that form our short campaign. Just before I begin to describe the battle here is a nice Blog I have found. It has a lot of terrain articles and these are applicable for all games. They are pretty easy to follow and I guess to copy. I have finally thought of how I can construct a games table for my house so hopefully soon I will get to make some more terrain! I am looking forward to that. I do have to make some more house renovations first but the promise of having a good gaming set up is inspiration to get me through it I hope!

PhotobucketThis is the deployment for the game. All the images here are thumbnails so you can click on them to enlarge. I finally figured out how to code that. It was of course really easy to do! Anyway the Butcher was lined up against Epic Severius. I had expected Irusk to take the field so I was a little annoyed to see the Butcher instead. I was pretty worried going into this. Especially when I saw that I was facing off against very little infantry. That limited my feat and the spell influence. I also had no access to an arc-node as my campaign list was designed by an idiot (me!) and he only took one. He also then had it wrecked beyond repair in the first battle. I deployed first and went first. In my mind I was assuming that the Khadorans had 'jacks with nasty ranged weapons. So I set up accordingly. However as I started my first turn I realised my mistake. Well done me! We both pushed forward in the first turn, me much less aggresively.

Photobucket I wanted to make the best use of my ranged weapons so I held back a little. The Butcher was a tiered list however and the Men O' War were able to get further up the field than usual. Infact they got a lot further up the field than I expected. I began the slow process of bunching the Zealots up. The Khadorans were attempting to refuse their flanks. They hadn't the numbers to contest the outer objectives and so they advanced towards the centre. This really didn't suit me as I was going to lose if it ended up in a big melee in the centre. I also didn't have the numbers to delay long enough and win the scenario.

PhotobucketThis was much less of a decisive turn than I expected and hoped it would be. I popped my feat and got ready to destroy the Khadorans. This was the time I felt I could get the most use from the feat. However my control zone was a little bit too small and while I was able to roll a six for taking control of the enemy I only had five grunts within range. I promptly charged the Butcher with two of them!

PhotobucketThis picture shows how things were at the end of my turn and before the Khadorans could respond. I had charged at the Butcher who was on armour 22 with the focus he had camped. Thankfully my opponent had forgotten to cast Iron Flesh. With some nice rolling I managed eight damage from the two charging attacks. I only managed to anger the Butcher but still it all adds up... I ran the three other Men O' War infront of the Khadorans to block up some charge lanes and to present some nice targets for my shooting! The rest of my turn involved getting everything in nice and close. Anything that could shoot did and I set fire to the Butcher, Destroyer and surviving Men' O War in the area. My final act was to charge the Templar in. He was able, thanks to Beat Back, to prevent the Butcher charging thereby limiting his damage threat. I left a focus on him also which would negate one damage roll against him thanks to the bond he shares with Severius.

Photobucket I managed some more damage on teh Butcher with Fire this turn. A nice roll managed two more pips of damage. The Butcher made a massive mistake in not feating earlier this turn. He engaged the Templar on full focus. However the high armour of the Templar prevented a lot of damage and the Butcher feated with his last attack to try to get some more damage on the Templar. Again he rolled very low. The Juggernaut charged in and did a lot of damage. However the Templar was still, barely, standing and the Men' O war had to close in also to try to inflict some damage. In doing that they gave me a great opening. The Templar was wrecked and this let the Destroyer move up to my lines and engage the Vanquisher.

PhotobucketAt this point in the game I had three chances to kill the Butcher. The first was with Severius, the second was a blast from the Deliverer Sunburst and the third was the zealots who were now close enough to advance an rain down some holy hand grenades! Severius extricated himself from the mess of the Destroyer and advanced to see the Man' O War beside the Butcher. I then proceeded to cast Influence six times. Four of these hit and due to the fact that the Butcher had no focus to boost his armour I killed him. A nice victory for the Protectorate! There will be some harsh questions for the Man O'War that stabbed the Butcher in the back once he is brought back to the barracks.

I do have to say that after the battle we realised we forgot the War Dogs special rules throughout the whole battle. Actually I had no idea what it could do. So things may have gone differently at the end as the Butcher would have had a boosted defence and I surely would not have hit as easily. I did have enough attacks from other sources though so I still think I would have gotten him in the end. So losses for me consisted of only a Templar. That leaves me with two 'jacks for the next two battles. The Khadorans also got off light with only two Men O' War dead. That evens out the casualties over the long run sadly but at least the campaign result still hangs in the balance!

January 25, 2011

It only takes a few years...

This unit was started years ago. I can't really be sure why I never finished them. I think the fact that they were worth so little points was a contributing factor. I really hate painting miniatures that are just fodder. The worst ever was my chaos hounds. Their only task is to run in front of something and then run away. If they managed that then they were points well spent. At least these Zealots pack some punch. Its just hard to find that sweetspot where they can use their weapons (holy hand grenades) without being engaged first. I really like the models even though they are not perfect. Some of the sculpting decisions were not great. However the models are simple which is good. Normally all miniatures are cluttered with far to much detail. These are not and that makes them nice and easy to paint effectively. I do have to finish some of the bases off with reeds and water but as I can't find a good gloss varnish here in Hamburg I can't do that just yet. Its a pretty boring task and is better to do in a huge batch. I just need to get a monolith bearer done to accompany them and I will be happy. I am not sure if it is worth bring the second unit I have up to a full ten man unit. The problem being matching that paint scheme will be far harder as they were done when the zealots first became available.... back in the depths of time! My painting is quite different now. Using that many in one game would be fun but I don't know if my opponent would think the same thing!

Tomorrow will be my second game in the annihalation campaign. I am eagerly looking forward to it despite my loss in the first round. At least I feel like I caused enough casualties to cause my opponent to worry. Now if I can do that in the second game I am going to be set for the third and fourth! The full eighty point list is as follows, it exludes bonus points for 'jacks:

Feora, Priestess of the Flame
Hierarch Severius
2 x Repenter
2 x Choir of Menoth (Leader and 5 Grunts)
2 x Deliverer Sunburst Crew (Leader and 2 Grunts)
2 x Holy Zealots (Leader and 9 Grunts)
Holy Zealot Monolith Bearer
2 x Temple Flameguard (Leader and 9 Grunts)
Temple Flameguard Officer & Standard
The Wrack (3 wracks)
3x Vassal Mechaniks

My casualties were not to heavy amongst the infantry but my 'jacks suffered badly with only a repenter surviving from the three 'jacks fielded. I will still be able to field a decent amount of shooting this time and I intend to make good use of it in whittling down the remaining infantry the Khadorans can call upon. Taking out enough of the Iron Fang Pikemen from the final unit would cripple the Khadorans. The interesting thing about the campaign is that you need to protect your resources but you are forced to commit them making combats so risky. So bad rolls and bad decisions really mean you can be crippled in the upcoming games.

January 21, 2011

Warhammer, Warhammer, where for art thou Warhammer?

One of the biggest reasons I am annoyed with Warhammer at the moment is all the waiting. I really think, as many others online do, feel that Games Workshop have dropped the ball. Something is going on (wrong?) with Warhammer and nobody has a clue what. Its going to be likely that three army books will be updated within fifteen months of the new editions release. Assuming a constant three books per year we are again looking at books not being updated within an entire edition. This is going to be bad for Warhammer in general. Eighth has been such a complete change,in my opinion not a bad one, that the books need to be coming out within a decent timeframe to have everyone able to play fairly and enjoy the game.

The strange thing is we are only seeing models from the previous edition being released now. The second wave of skaven are nice but really we could do with seeing something new! My eagerness to play and hence to buy are waning inexonerably to nothing. Without the newness of something coming I just can't be bothered to paint anymore. Now this shouldn't be a problem right? The game is there and is a good edition. Well yes and no as with the horrible balancing issues the game has we need new books. Over the Christmas period I had the chance to get a game in. I didn't take it. Why? Well that was simple, my regular opponent in my hometown uses lizardmen. I knew that if I lined out my Orcs I would simply have been awaiting either of us getting a big spell through to gain some dominance and then wiping the rest of the forces out. At this point with the really good rules in Warhammer the magic phase just kills it for me. I feel that everything else bar the magic phase is pretty balanced.

Privateer Press have been able to release a new edition of Warmachine and essentially update each of its factions within eight weeks. While they have less factions they have a similar if not larger number of units and characters within the factions. They managed to do this and release some new models at the time. So we know it is possible. At that scedule Games Workshop, if they devoted some resources, could easily have the entire warhammer range updated within two years. I really would like to know what is taking so long. I have a hope that it could be something awesome but thats becoming more forlorn as the time goes on.

Cartoon link

January 20, 2011

Let the annihalation commence

Feora versus the Butcher. Suprisingly I started the Annihalation campaign I have been talking about recently last night. It is suprising as I was instead supposed to start it today. Due to this there had to be a few lists hastily constructed before I could get down to play. All in all ten minutes to plan and make out my lists for the campaign wasn't bad at all. Thanks to Forward Commander making lists is really easy now. I will post the eighty point campaign list in another post where I will also chat about my feelings on the campaign balance. Here is what I came up with for the twenty five point initial list:

Feora, Priestess of the Flame
Choir of Menoth (Leader and 5 Grunts
Deliverer Sunburst Crew (Leader and 2 Grunts)
Temple Flameguard (Leader and 9 Grunts)
Temple Flameguard Officer & Standard
The Wrack (3 wracks)
Vassal Mechanik
Vassal Mechanik

Deployment was a pretty standard affair. I deployed and went first. My initial idea was to compete for two of the objectives and to ignore the third in the forest on the right flank. At least this way I could concentrate my forces rather than spread to far apart. Also it would help keep a clear field of fire open for my Sunburst. Having seen the Khador deployment I was a little disappointed to see that the Juggernaut was most likely going to be too far away to deal with via shooting! Turn one just saw me advance and put up Hexhammer on Feora. Pretty much everything shuffled forward to put the objectives within threat range. I was hopeing that grabbing and easy three points would tempt the Khadorans to rush forward recklessly!

PhotobucketTurn two saw the first few deaths. I managed to land a Sunburst in the centre of the Iron Fang Pikemen. This killed four of them. My Repenter on the right advanced for a spray but didn't manage to kill anyone due to the fact that I forgot to activate the Choir first. The rest of the army shuffled again up the field with the Templeguard going into shield wall. I put up Wall of Fire to prevent the Pikemen from moving directly towards me in their turn.

PhotobucketThe Khadorans thankfully couldn't get any worthwhile charges off. The Iron Fang Pikemen took the centre objective and then with their special order they went into a shieldwall formation. The Men of war also fell into shieldwall. The Manhunter charged my Temple Guard but fell short. Finally the Widowmaker Marksman then took the right objective and killed a crew member on the Sunburst. My Wall of Fire worked out prefectly here meaning that the Pikemen had been forced to accept charges from me in the next turn. The chain weapons on my jacks meant that I could ignore their shieldwall.

PhotobucketThis picture is a where the battle turned against me a little. The first thing I did was to fire the Sunburst into the Iron Fang Pikemen formation. I missed, narrowly, and it then proceeded to scatter into my forces. Thankfully it only damaged the Revenger despite hitting a lot more targets. Feora kept most of her focus this turn only giving the repenter on the right one. The repenter moved up to the forest edge and sprayed the Marksman with a boosted roll. He missed! The 'jacks in the centre under the influence of the Choir managed to move up and kill quite a few of the Iron Fang Pikemen.The threat of the Temple Guard on the left kept the Juggernaut and the Men o' War in place. Committing one of them would have given a good oppurtunity to me. Sadly the combination of the Butchers feat and the fact he managed to reach between the two Iron Fang Pikemen meant that the Revenger was smashed! I had run the Mekaniks forward in the hope they would have had something to repair... well sadly you can't repair a wreck marker. Agin the widowmaker marksman killed a crew member on the Sunburst. This meant that I no longer benefitted from having a rangefinder. The shot taken there doesn't have all the action shown. The Warhound moved up behind the Butcher and the Juggernaut was forced to get back towards the Butcher to stay in control.

PhotobucketWith the game in its final phase I needed something to happen. So I took a few more risks. I kept all Feora's focus on her. She moved forward and killed the last four Iron fang Pikemen via her Flame Throwers and some spells. Despite the fact I hit the Butcher twice his armour was enough to stop most of the damage. At least I managed to set him on fire! Feora then popped her feat, probably a turn late, to help take down the Men O' War. I then charged with the Templeguard hoping to get some on range with on of the Men O' War. I was only able to get one guy in contact but the charge at least assured that I did some minor damage. I popped Iron Zeal to try to ensure that there would be some guys left by the time my turn rolled back around. The repenter on the right again attempted to spray the Widowmaker to no avail. The repenter now free to move towards the Butcher engaged him but without any focus he didn't even scratch the armour. At least he was in position for next turn. The Mekaniks had at the start of the turn repaired almost all of the damage he had suffered so I was confident he would be still there after the Butchers return attacks. Well I was wrong. I am not sure if it was two or three hits but the Butcher smashed the Repenter. The Men O' War then spread out to engage both the Templeguard and to get a charge on my Mekaniks and more importantly on Feora due to their reach. Thankfully some of them were not within range and the one who was missed with his attack. The Widowmaker finally managed to kill off the Sunburst, which was very annoying.

PhotobucketAt this point I knew I had lost. While it is difficult to account for luck I could see some possible assassination routes to Feora and I know the Khadorans did too. I needed to take out some of the Men' O War and that meant I had to commit Feora. If I didn't take them out I would be whittled down in this battle too much and it would have a bad effect on the overall campaign. It was also getting pretty late and I needed to go to bed! So I kept all of Feora's focus on her. I then moved her up to kill another Man O' War. I needed to boost the damage roll but That was fine. I forgot that she has two weapons at this point so I didn't kill a second one. That would have been nice. I considered taking some focus from the Wracks again but I declined as I didn't want to risk them. If there was a next turn I would really need it. The Templeguard killed via some combined melee attacks the two they were in contact with. My repenter finally found its mark on the Widowmaker with double sixes! I fried him. I charged the Warhound with the Choir. It was a vain attempt to kill the dog but worth it. Sadly I didn't do enough damage.

PhotobucketThis is how the battle looked when it ended. It was a bloody affair. The Butcher managed with his last attack to kill Feora. He missed when he charged and if I had just one more point of focus I would have been able to survive and maybe kill the Butcher. Sadly that wasn't to be. The remnants of my forces are:

Choir of Menoth (Leader and 4 Grunts)
Temple Flameguard (Leader and 7 Grunts)
Temple Flameguard Officer & Standard
The Wrack (3 wracks)

This means I am doing okay in the Campaign over all. I managed to inflict some costly casualties in that battle leaving the Khadorans some hard choices in the games ahead. All in all that was a tough game. It is the first time I used Feora so I think I acquitted myself well. Sadly I can't use her in the next battle due to her recovery time.

January 18, 2011

One store, two suprises!

Well I am back from Finland and somewhat recovered! I did make one awesome find on Monday. I firstly found a wargames store in Hamburg with a good Warmachine stock. Secondly I found a store that had discount Warmachine stock. I am not sure which find was better. Of course it was the same store but two suprises! I managed to pick up a full unit of Cleansers for €20 and a Vanquisher for €10, thats easily half the price of the games store back in Dublin. I had to strongly resist checking out the Hordes range as then I could really have gone crazy. After the weekend in the frozen north my wallet had enough of a beating.

I also got the details of a tournament for Warmachine happening this weekend. Sadly my 'jacks are all sitting on a shelf in Ireland which means I have one night due to distractions this week to get a single Vanquisher ready. While it is a decent ranged 'jack it would mean I have a pretty weak force! I might just head on over to the venue to spectate. At least there is no pre sign up so if I somehow manage to clean up and glue the 'jack together I am fine to play (and probably lose).

I do have another game this week. I will be starting the Annihalation campaign on Thursday evening. I have a few concerns about the balance of the forces in the way the campaign rules work out. The campaign is based upon the building of an eighty point list which is used to fight through a series of four battles. The lists for the four battles are selected from the eighty points. In this case we will be fielding four twenty five point lists over the course of the campaign. Any casualties are subtracted from the original eighty points making it harder to field a full twenty five points towards the end of the campaign, as the casualties mount. 'Jack points for casters are also not included in the total eight points meaning that the balance is not as easy as it seems. The premise is fine but I suspect there is a subtle list design flaw that can tip the odds in your favour.

Shooting inflicts as many casualties as combat, there is no distinction. However inflicting casualties via shooting, especially at longer ranges, is very safe as it generally does not leave you in a position where you can be attacked back. Combat however forces you to close with the enemy and leaves you open to the threat of a counter strike and hence heavy casualties. Keeping this in mind units with ranged weapons should be a lot more powerful in the campaign structure than purely combat units. A cagey opponent with a ranged force can afford to lose the initial scenario if he is able to cause enough casualties in the first game. This then enables them to dominate the last battles with a sheer weight of numbers. Of course he needs to be cagey enough to avoid direct conflicts but in Warmachine that is possible especially with a sudden death scenario win which can be easily committed deliberately in general. I will be bearing this in mind as I create my list over the next two nights, both to attempt to do it and to attempt to counter it.

You will find more information on the campaign here.

January 13, 2011

We don't sell that kinda stuff here

Another small victory versus the lead pile! Well thats not 100% true. I have had this guy started a long time ago but never finished. He had gotten as far as the base coat stage and then I must have become bored. He has been rescued from that stage and quickly finished. In my Warmachine filled 2011 he is mysecond model to get done. He is of course a Hierophant of Menoth. I have no clue what he does in MKII other than follow my Warcaster around. I haven't been able to source a book to read up on him as Hamburg is a Warmachine desert. I went searching yesterday for some Warmachine stuff and the store closest to my home has none. Thats a little weird as it has to be a popular game... well I would assume so at least. Asking behind the counter about it in my terrible german turned up the fact that it really doesn't sell well in Hamburg and no shops stock it, except for one thats not really close to my house. So next weeks mission is the visit Atlantis Games and to check out their stock. I have made some tentative contact with a few local groups so hopefully I can get a few games in soon.

This weekend I won't be posting much as I am off to Finland for a party. A nice cabin has been rented in the forest and stocked with a special beer from a good friends brewery there. While there will be some gaming taking place it will be of a more jovial sort and definitely not a Wargame. You are allowed to be jealous...

January 11, 2011

I can't believe I lost!

I am still recovering from my last game. By the last few turns of the game I was almost shaking with the tension! I have explored Vassal a little more and found that Memoir '44 is on there. This is a fantastic board game that utilises the Command and Colours system. It is generally not a very tense or technical game but wow! I have been blown away by the last scenario. As the Axis I had to blow some dams before the British managed to stop me. Every dice roll was important and some of the best tactical moves I have ever seen in the game were shown on both sides. I managed to inflict three of four wounds on the dam before the british could stop me. Eventually they managed to and they took control of the bridge. Control then swung back to the Axis side two more times without any damage inflicted on the dam. Finally I had to give up hope of blowing that dam and concentrate on the dam on my other flank. Well that gave the British enough room to defeat the final defenders I had and win the game.

It was interesting to see the amount of terrain on this board. At first we were both a little intimidated by the fact there is almost no open ground. It made moving the Allied armour almost impossible before I blew the dams. That means that the Allied player had to go head first into the fray with his infantry. It also prevented a lot of retreats that are a staple of the game meaning that the defenders on the dams took more hits than would be normal. I have to say the huge amount of terrain really made the game fun!

Anyone thinking of some light WWII refreshment should check this game out. It may be a good introduction to historical wargaming. While it strictly is a board game it straddles the line between that and a wargame quite well. It has enough of both to be pleasing. Normally it is played with models and not on vassal and while you are always playing scenarios that are imbalanced it is fun. Generally I swap sides with my opponent and refight the scenario just for fairness.

Okay I have calmed down now...

January 9, 2011

First one down for 2011

So my first model of 2011 is done. I have had this Exemplar Seneschal for a few years I think at this stage. It is nice to finally have him done so I don't need to proxy him in future games. He isn't a masterpiece by a long shot but he is done. I could have spent a few more hours to really perfect him but then he wouldn't really fit the rest of the force. Now he matches the few Exemplars I have done for the army which is what I will be aiming for over the next few pieces of the army. The Senechal is really one of the best anti 'jack pieces in the army. If both of his attacks hit he can then slam the model away. Putting a Khador 'jack on its ass is great fun! I wish there was a variant model available as that would allow me to field two that are easily identifiable. I left off the back banners as with their weight and small contact area they never would have stayed on the model.

So I reduced my lead pile by one... with a little bit of luck I will continue the trend. I resisted... barely Maelstrom Games recent sale. That would have seen me with a whole new Khador force which when thinking about it would also have languished as a 'to do' project along with all the rest. Now I will concentrate on finishing the various half done Menoth units I have hopefully making some decent progress this month. I will also start researching some tournaments around my local area. Hopefully there are a few other Warmachinists around.

January 7, 2011

A return to Prime

As promised I got down to some gaming last night. I pulled Prime off my shelf and blew off the considerable covering of dust! It had been too long since I gazed through the wonderful Warmachine MkII rulebook. Privateer Press really outdid themselves in making that book. It packed with wonderful artwork and is clear and concise. The only fault I have was that there are not enough pictures of painted miniatures and the exploration of alternative colour schemes. I am guessing that the army books take care of that. I haven't picked any up as I wasn't playing. I will be visiting some of the online stores today to price the expansions!

The picture above is the aftermath of last nights battle. We played via Vassal, which if you don't know it can be found here. Its free which is great. There is no logic in the game itself so you need to know the rules. You also need to keep a clear line of communication open with your opponent as the game pretty much demands it. I used skype, finally without a hitch. I would have played more over the last year except that my opponents skype connection would constantly drop and this lead to us just not bothering to organise games. We got the problem solved and so let the games commence!

Last nights game was pretty much a warm up. I was really rusty with the rules especially considering that I haven't really played MkII. My opponents report can be found here. The game was great and although I lost rather badly it was fun. Warmachine really demands a different set of skills than warhammer, especially as their is almost no premeasuring. Judging distances on the screen is proving really tough for me. I think it lead to a few mistakes last night though I can't blame my loss on them as I pretty much forced to make them. Anyway I had better improve as we will hopefully be starting an Annihalation campaign soon...

January 5, 2011

New Year... New Game?

So I took out my Warmachine stuff finally. They have languished at the back of my gaming cabinet in Ireland happily forgotten about for well over a year. I blame it all on a conversation on New Years Eve. I was chatting about how I was annoyed with Warhammer. Eventually the conversation strayed to Warmachine and it stayed there for a while. Warmachine is a great game, one I have enjoyed a lot in the past. I never really considered bringing it to Germany as it is very language depedent. Even with the new edition I pretty much ignored my Warmachine stuff. Well now it is out on the desk and getting an update. My plan is to finish off a 25pt Menoth force and then paint a 25pt Khador force. This will allow me to teach some friends here how to play and if that goes to plan find some more people to play with. I start tomorrow though with a game via Vassal so I don't have to worry too much about the models!

What you see here are my zealots. I collected and painted most of my Warmachine stuff over many years. Strangely I got into Warmachine the second it became available. How we managed that in Ireland is strange as we wouldn't normally be on the forefront of game releases. The community is small and we really just concentrate on Warhammer and 40k, or at least we did back then. The first picture above shows my first unit of zealots and the the second shows my most recent. I have put some effort into matching them this week. I repainted the coats so that they are the same or similar. The main problem with these models is that I never really gave my Menites that much attention. I pretty much just painted to have them done. So they are sloppy, really sloppy. Anyway I will be tring to bring them all up to standard and hopefully I can. A start with standardising the bases would be great.

The entire force needs a uniform basing scheme. When I first saw the style of Privateer Press bases I knew that these would be great for swamps. They have a slight lip, just enough to hold some resin or varnish to act as water. I didn't really plan what I was doing though and it shows. The 'jacks with their much larger bases aren't so bad but with the standard infantry achieving a realistic swamp effect is tough. At least I don't need to take much remedial action with the water as it came out fine. The main thing I need to do is repaint the brown as I have about three different colours across the army. Then gluing more static flock over the various shades I applied should have everything looking the same.

So you can look forward to a few guides soon as I will be buying and painting all new 'jacks. I didn't dare transport my old ones from Ireland as I doubt I would have ever managed to keep them together! I also look forward to seeing the new plastic ones.

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