Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Battle Report (the app and an actual report!)

This is both a review of the Battle Report app for iOS, as well as an actual battle report!

Review first: The app is solid, and easy to use. It took me all of ten minutes of futzing with it in my spare time to figure out how to work it, it automatically catalogues whose turn the picture represents (assuming to make the setting correct) which makes for a vastly easier situation when it comes to looking back over it later. However, when I went to email the pictures to myself the file was slightly too big to send through Gmail (with only 10 pictures!), so I had to get the pictures off the phone in a more roundabout way. Slightly obnoxious, but overall the app does what it's supposed to, even if that's just basically taking pictures with the camera on your phone. 3/5

Battle Report!

First off: I hate Cryx vs. Cryx matches. The game becomes weird when none of your faction's tricks work, and models you expected to do certain things can't because of the lack of souls, living models, or both. Anyway, I went first, running a Skarre1 list I whipped up to try as a tournament-level list.
Points: 50/50
Pirate Queen Skarre (*6pts)
* Defiler (5pts)
* Kraken (19pts)
* Skarlock Thrall (2pts)
Bane Knights (Leader and 9 Grunts) (10pts)
Blackbane's Ghost Raiders (Leader and 5 Grunts) (6pts)
Mechanithralls (Leader and 9 Grunts) (5pts)
Mechanithralls (Leader and 9 Grunts) (5pts)
Necrosurgeon & 3 Stitch Thralls (2pts)
Necrotech & 1 Scrap Thrall (1pts)
3 Scrap Thrall (1pts)

In case you're wondering, the descriptions will be describing the picture below them.

My friend was running an Epic Deneghra list that I TOTALLY underestimated.
Points: 50/50
Wraith Witch Deneghra (*6pts)
* Nightwretch (4pts)
* Deathjack (12pts)
* Kraken (19pts)
* Nightmare (10pts)
* Skarlock Thrall (2pts)
Necrotech & 1 Scrap Thrall (1pts)
Pistol Wraith (3pts)
Pistol Wraith (3pts)
Warwitch Siren (2pts)

Seems like he's pretty low on models, right? Like he's going to get swarmed by my zillions of infantry? Well, as you see below, turn 1 for me was just running forward. Between Ghostly and Incorporeal my flanks had no trouble with terrain, and I just jammed forward with Mechanithralls and the Kraken, hoping to get some goodies in range.

He also moved up, but stayed cautiously outside of charge ranges.

Without anything to charge, I opted to just jam forward with Mechanithralls and try to keep him held back long enough for my second wave heavy hitters to get there and for me to score some scenario points. The Kraken tried to kill the Skarlock with its big canon, but a bad die roll (one of many, many such rolls this game) meant the little bugger survived.

Wait, what happened to all my models? Why are they all at the corner of the board, where dead models usually g...oh no. Now I understand how his list works. In one turn he killed over 30 of my models by casting Hellmouth twice, having the Kraken forfeit its movement to become a gun turret for a turn, and 4 pistol wraith shots, all while under the tender mercy of Denny's feat. Without any defense to help me my army disintegrated.

My turn was depressing. Since I couldn't move anything, I took some shots in place (Denny was incorporeal that turn, so I couldn't even shoot at her) and feated defensively (something I hate doing). I killed something to the order of 1 Pistol Wraith the whole turn.

Next Nightmare came in for the kill of the Kraken, barely breaking armor (ARM 24! Get bent!) while the Deathjack moved in and scrapped my 'node. The Kraken couldn't make his charge, so he just moved into position. Denny ran her full 14" away up onto the hill - which meant she was safe from my retaliation, but also didn't have Nightmare in her control area.

A series of more bad rolls left Nightmare standing, even though I was able to finish off Deathjack. Skarre was basically just hiding out, and I was running out of models fast.

Nightmare and the Kraken both rolled absurdly over average (something like 5 rolls of over 10 on 2d6 for damage in sequence) to scrap my Kraken. Denny went incorporeal and ran forward to hide behind the wreck marker. By dominating the flag he had 3 points, while I had none. It was looking real bad. If I didn't win next turn he would win on scenario.

I had exactly one chance! Skarre had a pile of focus (from the Skarlock casting sacrificial lamb last turn - and every turn), and she moved forward, her 7 SPD enough to clear the cover guarding Denny. Def 16 meant I needed 10 to hit. I cast Hellfire, boosting to hit, and...rolled a 9. Shit. Well, I might as well go for the second one I had planned! Cast, boost to hit...another 9. At this point we just called it, because Nightmare was right next to Skarre, Denny and the Kraken were deliciously nearby, and Skarre was hanging in the wind.

I learned a valuable lesson about eDenny, though - she's nigh impossible to pin down if a good player is fielding her. I haven't really run her ever (I can't bring myself to be That Guy), and I can see why she's absolutely top tier in competitive play. We agreed that since both of our casters were the pawns of liches that there was a dispute between Asphyxious and Terminus, and since they are "busy liches" they sent their underlings to hash things out. Asphyxious' interests clearly have won out. 

I want to run this list another time or two to see if I can improve it, or if I need to scrap it entirely. It seems good, and I think I just had a particularly bad matchup. We'll see!

IKRPG Commissions

I painted up some minis for a friend's IKRPG campaign. The Narn mini and the Kovnik Joe mini are for specific NPCs, while the Kossites are just to be used for general enemies to be fought. There are a pile of Winterguard and Kayazy as part of this commission as well, but I haven't gotten to those yet. I plan to paint the Khadoran troops as if they were part of an army (specifically an army I'd want to paint/play), that way if the client wants to pick up a warcaster and a handful of warjacks it's a short step to playing with an actual army.

Nyss Hunter Commission

All right, just a short post here to show off some Nyss Hunters I did for a commission for a friend. The super-close-up camera shot picks out all the problems, but they look pretty damn good at tabletop distance. The client was rightly pleased! I think one of my favorite touches was the purple hair on Cylena, making her easily visible at a glance.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Tyranid Commission 1

The first 20 Termagaunts are done. I'm rather pleased with how good they turned out, for how simple they were. When speedpainting this many matching models, a certain amount of not-give-a-shit has to set in. There's a lot of details, but I simply can't spend time painting every crevasse.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Freshly Married and some Commissions

I'm married, honeymooned, and back into miniatures! You know, the important thing in my life, right?

Anyway, I painted Aiyana and Holt for myself while waiting for some info to start commissions:

I'm pretty pleased with how they turned out. Nothing super fancy, but should look pretty nice on the table. And mainly...now I can use them! Playing fully painted armies is a pain sometimes. :-/

I have taken on a number of commission, including the current monster project, painting roughly one zillion Tyranids.

Ugh, what have I agreed to? That's not even kind of all of them (some are already done, some are giant Hive Tyrants that are on the main painting desk. Some of them were previously painted, but I will be painting the others and re-painting them all to match.

The color scheme on the right was painted on some of the 'Nids in the box of partially assembled and broken models I was given, and the customer decided that he wanted to go with it. My version is on the left, including some gloss varnish on the armor. I really like the effect, and will be posting up more pictures as I complete things. I'm hoping to have 20 Termagaunts finished today, out of about 40 I have to paint. The Hormagaunts will probably be last, since they are at least painted in the inferior scheme (and I'd have to strip them down to repaint them anyway). Next might be the Genestealers, or even some of the bigger things like the Tyrant Guards.

In any case, it's an exciting prospect to be making money painting, even if it's at a cut-rate so as to build a portfolio. With any small amount of luck, word of mouth and a few postings of finished armies will expand the business and I can actually make a living doing this!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

X-Wing Miniatures Game

While I'm thinking about it, over the weekend I had a chance to play the new X-Wing Miniatures game, and I wanted to give a quick summary and my impressions.
 First of all, the game's pretty slick in its box. It comes with 1 X-Wing and 2 TIE Fighters, which is pretty basic but more than enough to learn the game. I'll skip going over all the rules, but basically there are special 8-sided dice for attack and defense, cool templates for turns, banks, and all the other maneuvers. I love the movement mechanic, where you assign your orders in secret, then everyone moves and depending where you end up will determine where you can shoot. The first couple turns you can easily shoot anything in front of you, but after the first pass it gets...tricky.
Anyway, I learned the whole game in 20 minutes and was ready to try a 100-point game, which is "regular size" for a decent game. I was Imperials (because they're obviously the best) and had Darth Vader in his TIE Advanced, with 4 additional TIE Fighters at his side, while the Rebels had 2 X-Wings and a Y-Wing with Wedge Antilles, Luke Skywalker, some other random pilot, astromech droids on each fighter, and maybe other stuff. It was a fun game, and while I had an early advantage it came down to Wedge and Vader dogfighting with few hull boxes left - basically the next hit would end the game. He got a bead on Vader and that was that, but it was a hell of a game.

All in all, I had a great time. The game is easy to learn, quick to play, easy to customize, and rewarding in your tactics. There's a surprising amount of tactical depth in the maneuvers, while not being so convoluted that new players are intimidated. I'm really excited about playing again, and I look forward to eventually getting a few minis myself. They're pre-painted, you have quite a bit of army customization (X-Wing, X-Wing with Luke or Wedge or Biggs, TIE Advanced, TIE Advanced with Vader, etc), and it's just plain fun.

Additionally, there are mods that people have made where you can play through the assault on the Death Star Trench or the Battle of Hoth, and I'm sure other notable battles from the movies and the extended universe will make an appearance. The game felt like everything I want space combat to be, and really made me nostalgic for the old TIE Fighter flight simulator game like no other game since.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Wedding Cake Toppers

Been a few weeks, but wedding stuff has made me put all miniatures on the back burner...well, almost all of them! My fiance and I decided we wanted unique cake toppers, but didn't want to pay out the nose for super unique custom ones. As a result, we got two cool ones that were high-fiving, then I did some modifications and painting to get them to look more or less like us. 

When they're both facing forward they totally look like the Argonath. But I'd say that compared with how they started they look pretty good. They're in the wedding colors, including the flowers, I have sideburns and glasses, Jackie has brown hair and a ribbon on the back of her dress. The rings are picked out pretty well, too. With any luck we'll get a comment or two at the wedding from people excited that they look like us.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Cygnaran Marines 8

I'm a madman! A Madman I tell you! I have painted so many units! Here are the Trencher Infantry, arguably my favorite unit in Cygnar, at least theme-wise:

This is 10 Trencher Infantry, the Lieutenant and Sniper, and one Grenade Porter. This means that my Magnus Mercenary lists are suddenly significantly better, at least options-wise, and I can run a Bad Seeds Tier list as I intended. I also feel like the combination of Snipe and Deadeye with these models and pCaine will be pretty solid, but that remains to be seen through playtesting.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Cygnaran Marines 7

All right, cranked out a unit of Field Mechaniks real quick. Yes, I know that they're a model short for a full unit, but I was having so much fun painting gobbers I decided to just do the ones I had and paint the inevitable next one eventually.

Yeah, they're standing in front of the newly based Sword Knights, but whatevs. Everyone who plays Cygnar seems to think they're terrible, so I look forward to giving them a try.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Cygnaran Marines 6

All right, haven't had a ton of time this week, but I managed to crank out a unit of Sword Knights today in 4 hours. Not too shabby, but considering they're all metal with a couple washes, it's not unusual.

The bases will get finished later, but the models themselves are all done and sealed, so I'm counting it finished (as of this posting the sand is drying on the bases). Derpy greenstuff armed guy is on the back left (can't see him great), and sure enough once some paint went on him it's really not noticeable. Up close it's noticeably enough, but especially from tabletop distance it's just another Knight.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Cygnaran Marines 5

Man, here I was expecting units to be the worst part of this - but they've been the fastest to paint up so far! I'm really excited, I painted these both up in about 4-5 hours total. So without further ado, here is a group shot of the Arcane Tempest Gun Mages and Rangers. I particularly like the gillie suits on the Rangers.

In preparation for my Sword Knights (the next unit, I think) I was checking them, and I noticed that one of them was missing an arm. I looked all over and couldn't find it, so rather than dealing with the PP parts store I decided to use the Insta-Mold I have to make a Green Stuff cast of another Sword Knight's arm. After trimming it up it looks pretty passable from the front.

The picture isn't great, but the back is pretty derpy. My hope is that between the positioning I did and some paint it won't really be noticeable. At least not among 9 of his buddies.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Cygnaran 3rd Marines Update 4

 All right, in the interest of keeping this brief, here is a group shot of all my Cygnaran Marines since the last update.

Left to Right: Black 13th (Ryan, Lynch, Watts), Gun Mage Captain Adept (GMCA), Allister Caine, Big Bertha the Defender, Journeyman Warcaster (Jr.), Captain Maxwell Finn, Jonas Murdoch, Trencher Chain Gun, Captain Arlan Strangeways, and Trencher Master Gunner. 

Next batch is already in progress: Gun Mages with the UA and Rangers! 

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Mercs: The painted collection so far.

When I agreed to play an Unbound game with some friends, I realized that I had well over 150 points of painted Mercs. Closer to 200, in point of fact. This seemed like an excellent opportunity to take a group shot and show off how far I've come. I've still got plenty of unpainted mercs, but it seems a lot more manageable when I look back and see what I've accomplished.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Mercenaries for the Play it Painted challenge

I'm not REALLY doing the Play it Painted challenge, but I AM interested in having my mercs fully painted, so for Ossrum and MacBains tier lists tomorrow I needed to do some work. I painted 5 models in about 5-6 hours or so. Speedpainting ftw!

Cygnaran 3rd Marines Update 3

All right! Like a boss I've gotten a flurry of painting done this week! First up is the Cygnar Battlebox plus a Sentinel, for an even 15 points. Should be enough 'jacks to last me for a while. I forgot to take an all-together shot, but whatever.

This army will feature relatively few heavy warjacks, the idea being that the Marines don't have much heavy armor, but rely on light, mobile 'jacks. The Roman numeral IIIs have been recolored to represent the role they fill in the army - Light blue (the Ironclad) for infantry, yellow (the Lancer) for cavalry, red (Sentinel and Charger) for artillery. The color scheme is as follows:

Sharpshooters/scouts: Gnarls Green/Ordic Olive
General Infantry: Frostbite
Cavalry: Cygnus Yellow
Artillery: Khador Red Base
Engineers: Hammerfell Khaki
Dragoons: Ember Orange
Medical: Iosan Green (With a Red Morrowan Starburst on White background)

This color scheme will be consistant throughout the army, with individual elements like the Trencher Sniper being part of the sharpshooters and the Trencher Rifle Grenadiers part of the artillery. Should be interesting!