Apoxie Sculpt – Wrath of Kings bases

Some weird bug motivated me to put together the Wrath of Kings Goritsi I picked up at a Huzzah swap meet a few months back.

Of course, I quickly ran into the same problem Shaefer ran into*: what the hell were they thinking when they chose those bases?  The MicroArt Studios insert idea is Clever, but when they’re not available, it’s not a viable.  (As far as I know they’ve all shipped to backers but if, say, you wanted a type you didn’t select in the pledge manager or didn’t back it, you’re SOL.)  It’s a decision that boggles the mind the point of actively aggravating me.

Anyway: just buying a back of round-lipped bases is Too Easy, and I’m not enthused enough about these minis to want to put them on resin bases. So I took my advice to Mike: I filled the bases with Apoxie Sculpt.  To prevent it from looking lumpy and mushy, I scraped over the top with a spackle knife.

Apoxie Sculpt Wrath of Kings Base

It’s a tacky material, so it stuck to the blade… which meant I got a neat texture out out of the process.  I’m not sure what I’ll do with it: just drybrush over it and call it ground or maybe fill the gaps with a color and, with a little gloss, call it marble.

Anyway, I thought it was neat-looking.

  • That might not be the right link; I know I suggested Apoxie Sculpt and that seems to be on a different post.

What to do at NoVA?

NoVA Open 2011 Logo

Dang, I need to figure out what the hell to do at NoVA this year. I’m running out of time in which to put that decision off.

I mean, I’m definitely going (I bought my pass when they went up, as well as the Capital Palette entry), but I have no idea what I’m going to do there:

  • 40K is, I’m quite sure, not going to be it.  Through a combination of the shittiest game of 40K I’ve ever played* at last year’s NoVA, house stuff, and simply being more interested in other games: I literally haven’t played 40K since last year’s NoVA.  The idea of subjecting myself to another eight game marathon without having event spoken to the game since is deeply unappealing.
  • 40K Narrative – I’ve enjoyed playing narrative games with TGS comrade Steve, but I can’t get my head around what they’re doing here.  It doesn’t sound unfun: it just doesn’t sound interesting to me.
  • Infinity is something I’d actually hoped to maybe play in this year, but that’s not going to happen.  We never quite got to full games with it, and haven’t touched it in months. It’s not a good use of my time.  Plus, if I have anything to enter into the Palette, my Infinity models are it.  Tough to play with them in a glass case.
  • Blood Bowl, Dark AgeDropzone, Lord of the Rings, Malifaux, Magic, X-Wing – I don’t play any of these.
  • Wrath of Kings – I don’t play this either.  I guess I have minis for it, but I haven’t even put them together. I guess I’m a step further than that with Warmachine (picked up the Cryx starter a few months ago, and assembled it), but I have less than no desire to actually play it in a tournament setting right now.
  • Seminars – Is maybe my best bet, but in my experience they can be hit-and-miss: some presenters you have to catch at the right time (jet lag and hangovers can make a poorly scheduled seminar a waste of both your time and money), and I think you get the most out of them going in with questions and specific things to learn (not just showing up to see what you can see).  Also, they add up to very expensive pretty quickly.

On top of that: I’ve got less than a month and no free weekends between now and then in which to paint.  I’ve painted precious little this year, and quite a bit of what I have painted has been 15mm (and not suitable for a competition).  So, whatever I’m doing, I have no time to prep for it.

EDIT: Completely forgot about Age of Sigmar.  I’ve yet to play a single game of this thing, but at least I’ve got a painted army for it?

* I just went to dig up a link to last year’s AAR – not there!  I was so non-plussed by last year’s 40K tournament I didn’t even post about it.  That says a lot.  Like, I got a Bronze in the painting competition last year: I’ve got to be feeling pretty not good to fail to crow about something like that.

Nomads

Infinity Nomads

Nomads

The great showing at Historicon reminded me that I had a stack of photos I’d taken a while back hadn’t had the chance to get around to sorting and posting.

So, here are my painted Operation: Icestorm Nomads (+ the recommended expansion units). I’ve since painted a handful more units, but the lightbox is packed up so who knows when I’ll photograph (or post) the rest.

Also: last Christmas’ big gift from Mrs. Rushputin were some Hangar 18 backdrops.  These were my first test run with them.  I’m pleased with how they came out.

Photodump!

Alguacile 1

Alguacile 2

Alguacile 3

Alguacile Group

Fast Panda 1

Fast Panda 2

Interventor 1

Interventor 2

Interventor Group

Mobile Brigada

Spektr

Salamander Pilot

Salamander

Salamander Group

Grenzer

Reverend Healer

HistoriconClose-Up

Historicon 2015

HistoriconClose-Up

Historicon was, of course, a blast.

(Forgive me: I hardly too any pictures)

This was my first year going down for more than just the day: normally I head down Saturday morning and come back Saturday night.  This time, I’d planned on playing in the Bolt Action Escalation tournament on Friday and By Fire & Sword tournament Saturday.  Then, I started going stir-crazy in the house and work decided to not trample over my time off, so I headed down for Thursday afternoon.  So, like, triple the Historicon and it I could have easily gone down for another day. Or week.

Thursday was, basically, a shopping day.  The advantage of doing this Thursday is that, even though folks are still working out their systems and processes, the crowds aren’t too bad and you don’t have to worry about vendors selling out of anything (which was definitely an issue by COB Saturday).  Picked up a couple of things (a Dragoon regiment, mostly) from the BF&S folks, and some odds and ends from Brigade (some more Partisans and a long-sought-for LVTA1. Then I basically spend the rest of the day chatting with people.  Like, five hours just wandering around, shooting the shit.

2015-07-17 10.34.11

Friday was the Bolt Action Escalation Tournament.  I wasn’t hungry to play the escalation format, but I wanted to play some organized BA games and Friday was the day I had free.  I had a good time overall: two very enjoyable butt kickings sandwiching a butt kicking that was less enjoyable (but if I’m honest with myself, it wasn’t that bad, just more like a mediocre game of 40K than I’ve come to expect from Bolt Action).  Ended up going 0/2/1 and getting the Smoking Boots/Biggest Loser award (which was surprising because, like, I drew once) and, more pleasingly, the second-place for Player’s Choice.  Some of the prizes were from Warlord (some dice, a Sherman), and some were from Trenchworx (a BT-42 and an FT-17).  Bopped around for the rest of the day, chatting and watching games.

2015-07-17 11.25.11

Saturday was supposed to be a later morning than Friday (noon start, aiming for some time to wander the vendor room a bit vs. 9AM start), but 95 is a sonuvabitch.  The day had two goals: painting contest and By Fire & Sword.

I’d expected to not do so well in the painting contest, because it just keeps getting bigger (which means more and better competition) and because the past year has not been a great one for hobbying for me (as evidenced by the silence ’round these parts), so it was a delightful surprise to not only place again, but twice, and both in 1st place:

2015-07-21 05.17.57

I’m particularly pleased with MacReady’s showing, since I’m incredibly proud of how he came out.

2015-07-18 12.51.29

The By Fire & Sword tournament was fun, but I really should be calling it “The By Fire & Sword ‘Tournament'”, since only a quarter or so of the people there really knew how to play.  The rest of us were there to iterate through some games and learn the game.  I did not do well (1/2/0), but had a good time and learned a lot about the game.

I don’t do a lot of gaming conventions: I do NoVA, which is a collection of tournaments, and Madicon, which is as much of a SFFG homecoming as it is a convention, and this one.  I think Historicon is probably the most enjoyable of the three: I was there for three days and would have been content for it to go on for three weeks. The time flew.  There is an unimaginable amount of stuff to do there; I didn’t even have the chance to play a club game this go-round. It’s cheap: $25; free for kids and (non-playing) spouses.  I love that: “Thank you for being patient and understanding with your significant other’s stupid nerdgames.”

If you’re around these parts, you really owe it to yourself to drive down for the Saturday, at least.

Age of Sigmar art

Age of Sigmar – Initial Response

Age of Sigmar Logo

So, I finally got around to reading the Age of Sigmar rules (yes, it’s only four pages long but, as silence ’round these parts might indicate, I’ve been busy) and the Skaven and Empire warscrolls.

I’ve tried to remain objective about it all.  I got into this hobby painting Skaven over twenty years ago, and I’ve liked each new edition of Fantasy better than the last… so I’ve got a lot of love tied up in Fantasy.  But, I also recognize that it’s been known for quite some time that Fantasy hasn’t been doing as well as GW wants it to.  We’ve known that GW had to and was going to do something drastic.

It’s a scary, really.  That company was built on Warhammer Fantasy, and it’s such a mainstay that the idea it could just go away is more than a little terrifying. I saw (and am unable to relocate) a great post that threw down about the Age of Sigmar response in the context of the five stages of grief.

So, like I said: I’ve tried to stay objective about it and try to take the game for what it is and not try to smother it with expectations for it fueled by WHFB.

Anyway: I’m not sure.

The rules don’t look awful.  They look a little simpler than I’d like.  I have a feeling that they’re missing a thing or two, but I need to actually roll dice around them before I can really have an opinion.  It’s the only way I can really learn rules.

The warscrolls like they more or less captured the flavor of the units they were converting. I’m nonplussed that every unit has a couple of special rules.  I’ve grown to dislike that sort of them.  They’re not so involved that they seem exhausting (which was my response to Malifaux, 1E at least), so that’s a point in their favor… but the same rule works differently for different units.  Musicians let this unit Stand and Shoot, that unit counter-charge, and this other unit shoot or charge if it runs.  That bugs me.

People have cherry-picked goofy rules out of them.  Congratulations: you can read!  Things like that are definitely the exception and not the rule: there’s 1 or 2 of them in the Empire doc, out of over 30.  They’re not a thing worth getting het up over.

Army construction is a topic that’s been done to death.   I have nothing to add beyond that I’m looking forward to at least little more structure.  In theory, we’ll be getting that.  I’d like more guidance around options.  The Description sections bug me.  Some of them read like they were optimized for running through Google Translate.  Others are verbose to the point of being a challenge to make sense of.  Look at the Stormfiends section: that all could be expressed with “each may be equipped with one of the following: – Ratling Cannon and Clubbing Blows, – Warpfire Projector and Clubbing Blows, – Doom-flayer Gauntlets and Warp-laced Armor” etc. That’d be a heck of a lot more clear and succinct than “some guys take X and others take Y and maybe if they feel like it, they could take Z but we’re not going to really opine whether or not you can take X and Z or Y and Z or only Y and Z or maybe just Z alone but that’d be silly.”

Also, it seems pretty clear to me that multiple models in a[n infantry] unit may be Standard Bearers and [Musicians].  “Models in this unit may be Standard Bearers.  If the unit includes any Standard Bearers, it can retreat and still charge in the same turn.”  (Clanrats)  Now, one thing we do know about the game at this point is that it relies on as little assholery as possible, and the idea of taking multiple standard bearers in a unit seems like a move contrary to that “don’t be a dick” spirit the game calls for… but there’s an unambiguous plural there, and “there may only be one standard bearer per unit” is, fundamentally, a WHFB concept and may not be appropriate to W:AoS.  What I’m trying to get at is: I’d like there to be more guidance around what should be taken and when: one standard bearer per unit? Per 10 models? Per 20? for example.

So: it doesn’t look bad, but a few things seem rougher than I’d like.  I need to get a few games in with it before I can have a truly informed opinion… but that’s going to be tricky with Historicon this week (so pumped!) and our first move in a decade(!) going down immediately afterwards.  Hopefully I’ll get the chance to play it a couple of times before everyone else has had the chance to play it, the newness has worn off, and they’ve moved on.

Fluff around the setting is a completely different subject: I haven’t read what comes with the box yet, and the book obviously isn’t out yet. What little we’ve heard feels incredibly designed-by-committee and is boring as heck, but that amounts to so little: that might mean nothing.

Anyway, those are my initial thoughts.  Shades has a reaction that is, I think, more negative but more cogent that’s worth a read.

symbol_of_chaos_by_schunki-d4rljxh

All Stars are Lawful

A couple of weeks back, Zak reposted an idea that Zzarchov had tossed out about “Each star is a sun in its own right.”

This sounded really cool to me… some ideas were tossed around about it, but none of them really clicked for me.  Last week, stuck on a plane, I noodled out my take on that gem and, since things have been pretty dead around here, I figured I’d regurgitate them here.

symbol_of_chaos_by_schunki-d4rljxh

ALL STARS ARE LAWFUL

  • Lawfulness varies from star to star; no two stars are the same.  Lawfulness is harmony with the natural order of a star.
  • Chaoticness is disharmony with a star, because it is an expression of harmony with a different star.
  • What is natural to Sol, our sun, is unnatural to all other stars, and vice versa.
  • Chaos of one star is different from that of every other. Every star’s law is unique.
  • Chaos is common. Specific types of Chaos is rare.
  • Places, people, and creatures can be Chaotic.
  • The more divergent a type of Chaos is from the Law, the more extremely different a place, person, or creature obeying it will be.  A Chaotic human: subtly different. A demonic, seven-headed Gnoll, unsubtly different.
  • Although this means that monsters and such are Chaotic, it also means that, by the light of a different sun, Lawful characters and creatures are the monsters. Perhaps subtly, perhaps not.
  • Stars are not conscious of this. Chaos is the radiation of another star’s rules, not an active, deliberate incursion.
  • This is why the Chaos symbol is the 8-pointed star.
  • Laws of nature behave differently around Chaotic places, people, and creatures, as they’re beholden to their own laws. This differs from one to another. Gravity works wrong, colors shift, synthesia occurrs, etc. as their Chaos subverts local Law.

I don’t know that that results in anything especially gameable, beyond maybe insisting that strange things be strange and have strange things happen around them. Maybe there’s something going with the idea of PCs getting dumped on a different world and radiating their own strangeness on an unwitting far-flung land.

four-humors-granger

WFRP: Temperamental XP

four-humors-granger

Back when, I started running a game set during the Thirty Years War using WFRP 2E. I love WFRP 2E: it’s such a straightforward system, and I figured it’d be negligible to pull stuff in from any of the 40K RPG books to help make things Weird without any real effort.

The one place where it’s emphatically not held up is the career system. I mean, clearly it works great for what it’s supposed to do, but for a band of misfits on the run, it doesn’t offer much past “Okay, you can transition into the Vagabond career; don’t expect many opportunities to get out of it.”

I took a run at removing it without breaking the system too much a while back, messing around with Aptitudes, a la Only War (and now Dark Heresy), but it felt like a whole lot of mess for not enough payoff.  A couple of weeks ago, I took another stab at it: working off of Black Crusade this time.

Black Crusade (if’n you don’t know), is a precursor to the OW/DH Aptitude-based system: each advance is associated with one of the Chaos Gods: load up on too many in one category and similar advances get cheaper and dissimilar advances get more expensive.  So: a Veteran of the Long War who’s loaded up on talents related to stabbing will end up dedicated to Khorne… and will have a hard time buying talents favored by Slaanesh.

I’m doing a similar thing here, with the four temperaments.

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