Monthly Archives: May 2010

Malifaux Card – Lamination

One of the other Malifaux players in the area, Dan, has had all his stat cards laminated.

This is, in a word, genius.

Malifaux stat cards suck.  You use them to track damage so, like Warmachine cards, they need to live in plastic card sleeves.  Unlike Warmachine cards, though, they’re not single cards: they’re two cards wide and fold in half… with all of the special rules and things that get referenced on the inside.

After three sessions of Malifaux, the sleeve I’d been keeping Sonnia Criid’s card in has torn open… something that’s never happened to me with Warmachine (where I use the same card sleeves).

So, lamination is (again) genius.

I stopped by Kinko’s last night to laminate my cards.  Not too many Guild cards, but there are kind of a ton of Gremlin cards.  Although I could have maybe laid out my cards more efficiently, I don’t think I could have reduced the number of lamination sheets I ultimately needed to use.  The whole thing cost me < $12 and the frustration reduction will totally be worth it. Chris suggested that you’d get four cards per 8.5″x11″ sheet.  Necessity drove me to fit five on one sheet, with the pattern:

I did most of my cards in 11″x17″ sheets (8 per sheet in pretty lose formation).  What I couldn’t fit in those (5), I did in the single 8.5″x11″ sheet.   That means I probably could have 10 cards per 11″x17″ sheet (but would have been left with one I couldn’t fit).

The 11″x17″ sheets were just a hair over $4 each and the 8.5″x11″ was $2.50.  So, on a big sheet, you’re looking at 50¢ a card if you’re lazy and do 8, 40¢ if you fit 10.  On the smaller sheets, it’s 63¢ if you only do 4 cards, 50¢ if you do 5.  So, try to do as many as possible at a time and cram them onto the big sheets.

Miniature Transport and Storage

A friend of Chris’ asked me about how I go about magnetizing my miniatures for transport.  Rather than just e-mail it to him, I figured I’d dump it here.  You never know who might find this helpful.

A lot of people I know store and transport their minis this way, which is why I started doing it.  At first, I kept my minis in Sabol trays, but they’re 1) not inexpensive, 2) inflexible once you’ve plucked out the foam and, most significantly (for me, at least) 3) they take up waaay too much space.  Now, I store almost all of my minis this way.  There are some drawbacks, however, that I’ll get into.

What I’m Talking About

Basically, I take cheap plastic drawers, glue magnetic sheets to the bottom of it.  Then, I glue washers to the bases of my minis.

The magnetic sheet holds the washer pretty well.  Then, instead of carrying around bags of foam trays, I just carry around a small stack of drawers.

What I Use

Drawers

Right now, I’ve got two kinds of drawers: Office Depot drawers and Sterilite drawers.

I started with the Sterilite drawers.  I like them, because they’re wide (something like 14″x14″) and they’ve got lids, which keeps dust off of whatever’s inside and provides a little piece of mind.  If things go horribly wrong, the lids will keep everything inside, right?

I moved to the Office Depot drawers for a few reasons.  They’re cheaper, for one.  You can buy just a few or a lot, depending on your needs.  More significantly, they’re variable height: there are shallow drawers and deep drawers.  This is key.  I had a great deal of difficulty storing anything taller than a regular infantry model in the Sterilite drawers, as they’re only a few inches deep.  The shallow Office Depot drawers are significantly deeper, and the deep ones provide enough height for damn near anything.  I can fit all of my non-Bloodthirster, non-Soul Grinder daemon models  (pushing up against 2,000 points’ worth) in one shallow and one deep drawer.

What specific brand drawers you use doesn’t matter in the slightest.  The key is to make sure you have enough vertical space for your minis.  It’s annoying to have to figure out another way to store your dreadnoughts ’cause they’re too tall for the drawers all your other Dark Angels live in.

Magnets

I cannot stress this enough: unless you want your minis to be too busy humping each others’ legs to visit destruction on your foes, you need to magnetize the drawers and not the minis.  Rare Earth magnets are strong, people.

I buy packs of business card magnets from the office supply store.  One side is adhesive, the other magnetic.  I stick ’em to the bottom of the drawer.  It’s that simple.

I will note that Wargame Accessories, the company that cuts the steel rectangular and square bits for gluing to the bottom of your Fantasy minis sells magnetic sheets.  I’m too lazy this morning to figure out which is more cost-effective (buying business card magnets vs. magnetic sheets), but the magnetic pull of the sheets is much stronger than that of the business card magnets.  Harry, another IFL member, has convinced me of this.

Metal Bits

To get the minis to stick to the magnets, you’ve got to glue metal stuff to the bottom of them.

For square/rectangular bases, you need either square/rectangular bits like the ones Wargame Accessories sell or actual magnetic bases like the ones Gale Force 9 sells.  I (and, as far as I can tell, everyone else locally) use the former.

For round bases, life is easier: washers.  1″ washers for 25mm bases, 1.5″ washers for 40mm bases.

At first, I used just plain ol’ whatever washers from Home Depot but, when I started playing War of the Ring, I moved to fender washers in hopes of actually fitting them in the movement trays.  That didn’t follow through, but I still prefer the fender washers: they’ve got more surface area (which I think makes for a better hold against the magnet), are thinner (so they’re less noticable) and are more precise (as in, they’re more likely to be the size they say they are).

Here’s a comparison: the Haradrim is on a fender washer, the Dark Angel is on a whatever washer.

What’s nice is that the washer also provides some weight at the bottom of the base.  That gives plastic minis a better heft and makes everything more stable.

For larger models, with 60mm bases, you’re going to have trouble finding a big enough washer.  So, for these, I use Gale Force 9’s rubber steel.  I just glue the base to the steel, and cut it to shape.

Issues

This isn’t a perfect system, and I really need to call out where it fails.

It does a poor job with vehicles, or really anything that doesn’t have a base you can glue a metal thing to.  I always end up keeping and transporting my vehicles in Sabol foam trays.  You could do rare earth magnets business card magnets on the bottom of the vehicles, but I’ve been pretty unimpressed with the results.  It’s just easier to keep them in the foam.

It can’t handle top-heavy models.  I transport my Bloodcrushers this way, and it works fine.  They’re heavy as hell, but have a low center of gravity.  My Bloodthirsters… not so much.  Those enormous metal wings.  Ugh. This wouldn’t work for them, so I have to store and transport them in foam, too.

I’m also not sure that I’d transport Warjacks or Warbeasts this way.  Privateer Press infantry, for sure, but not sure if I’d feel safe doing it with the big hunks of metal with the weedy legs.

If something goes wrong, this doesn’t do much for you.  It’s cheaper, and takes up less space, yes, but it doesn’t protect your models as well as foam if you get in a car accident or fall down the stairs.  Foam will only do so much, but this does less.

I also have to provide the disclaimer that I’m currently eyeballing Battlefoam.  This system does just fine for me, but it completely fails my Soul Grinders.  I can’t store them in drawers, so I keep them in foam.  They’re so large, though, that they don’t fit well in the foam at all.  I’ve had a number of accidents with them, and I’m disinclined to glue them back together ever again, so it’s my hope Battlefoam will fix that.  And, if I’m putting some of my daemons in a Battlefoam case, I might as well put all of them in.  I won’t be moving all of my minis to foam, though, that’s for sure.

Blogger and Picasa

Last week, I was chatting with Bill and Jay (those guys) about stuff, and the issues Bill had a few months back with getting images to show up in the From the Warp Blogrolls came up.  (I’d post a link to it, but damned if I can find it.  Hook a brother up, Bill?)  From that conversation, I learned that not everyone knows how uploading images to Blogger works.  I thought I’d explain it.

What’s Going On

When you upload an image into Blogger (using the Insert Image button at the top of the post window), “Blogger” isn’t actually hosting the image: it’s Picasa Web Albums.  Blogger automagically creates an album for each Blogger blog you create in your Picasa Web Album account and, when you upload an image through Blogger, it stores your image in that web album.

You can see here that I’ve got three albums in Picasa: one for uploaded Blogger Pictures (these are the user icons that show up in blogger, in the About me section of you blog, the Followers tool and any Blogger comments), one for pictures uploaded to this blog (Warpstone Pile), and one for the test template I created to try out the new look I went to back in March).  Of those three, only one (the Warpstone Pile one) is actually public.

What This Means

Depending on what you want to do, it could mean nothing.  Upload your pictures through Blogger, blog away, live your life.  It doesn’t matter where the images are hosted, so long as they’re hosted, right?

Well, at some level, it’s probably useful to know that there’s a cap on how much you can post to Picasa without having to upgrade your account (an undertaking that involves money).  This isn’t any different than any other image hosting service, though, and the likelihood of hitting that cap is extremely low.

I’ve been uploading kind of a lot of large pictures for over a year, now, and I’m only at ~50MB out of 1GB.  But, hey, knowledge is power.

Speaking of power, if you know that you can find your images in Picasa, then you can get to them and use them.

If you’re into Google Buzz (I’m not exactly; my posts here spam my friends, but I don’t actively do much with it), you can configure your Picasa account to post activity to Buzz.  That means your friends will automatically get notified and see pictures you take and post of your minis.

More significantly, though, you can label your images.  I get a lot of mileage out of this.  Although I generally don’t bother labeling throwaway images (like the ones in this post), I label all of my mini pictures: system, army, status (“WIP” or “Final”), content.  So, a photo of some Bloodletters gets labeled: “‘Warhammer 40K’ ‘Khornate Daemons’ Bloodletter Final”.

This in and of itself isn’t incredibly useful… until you start leveraging those labels.  Take a moment to click on the “Khornate Daemons” link on the right side of the page.  (Or the link I just inserted.)  The link is to a search  against that web album.  I don’t have to manually maintain sorted albums (as I did with my old, self-hosted, gallery service): anything with the labels “Final” and “Khornate Daemons” will show up in those results.

If you’re technically inclined, working out how to build these URLs is pretty obvious.  If you’re not… that’s okay; I’m here to help.

The URL of the Khornate Daemon link is:
http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/view?uname=rushputin&tags=Final+%22Khornate%20Daemons%22#

The %22 thing might throw you off: those are really HTML encoded stand-ins for double quotes.  They’re necessary because I an ass and like to put spaces in my labels; the quotes tell Picasa that “Khornate Daemons” is one label and not two labels (“Khornate” and “Daemons”).  I could just as easily have called the Label Khornate_Daemons, which would make the URL a more legible:

http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/view?uname=rushputin&tags=Final+Khornate_Daemons#

If I wanted to just show Khornate_Daemon images, but didn’t care about whether or not they were of finished models(“Final”), I could omit the Final part, which would make the URL:

http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/view?uname=rushputin&tags=Khornate_Daemons#

So, to build your own URL, just replace “rushputin” with your blogger/Picasa username and replace the tags I’m using (“Khornate_Daemons” in the above example) with whatever tags you want to filter down on, delimited by plus signs (“+”).

I’m using this with a couple of my army links (Skaven, Daemons, Harad), but not all of them: at some point, I’ll move a bunch of images from where I’d been hosting them before to Picasa, label them, and then I’ll swap the old links for new filter URLs.

I’ve met with limited success interacting with the Blogger-generated web albums via the downloadable Picasa client.  It seems to generate a second copy of the album for the client to interact with, rather than the blogger web album, which isn’t particularly helpful.  I haven’t worked very hard with it, however, so it’s entirely likely there’s something I’ve missed.

I really hope this helps someone!

Weekend Accomplishments

I got to do something on Saturday I haven’t been able to do in kind of a while: nothing.  My wife and I puttered around all day, sleeping in and catching up on the new Doctor Who.  That meant I had a lot of time to sit at my desk and get some things done.

I haven’t really accomplished much of anything, hobby-wise, since I wrapped up the Sternguard, so this was nice.

First off, I finished painting the mini for my Dark Heresy character: Caleb Plex, Scum.

The base is a Micro Art Studio Temple base, and it’s pretty swank.

I’m unhappy with the stubble effect, though.  I’ve done it before, successfully, but here it comes across more like a beard than stubble.  I probably needed to mix a bit of brown in there.

Additionally, I managed to assemble a second quartet of Bloodcrushers.

Nothing fancy, here.  Pretty much just the same thing I had before.  The other unpainted guys are Forgeworld Renegade Psykers, which I’m going to use as objective markers.  I need to paint them, as well.

Finally, because I had to wait on greenstuff to cure and because it was on my mind, I started painting a few Malifaux minis.  Specifically, three Witchling Stalkers.

They’re actually pretty close to being done: just need to do the bases, the swords and the boots.  I experimented with them a bit, and I’ll probably get into a little more detail  about how when they’re done.

New Daemon Models Spotted!

Taken from this article on the GW website (by way of Cultist of Sooty on RPG.net).



Tuesday Gaming

I got to play a pair of games on Tuesday:

I started out the afternoon running through a game of Malifaux with Chris.

By the end of the game, most everything had come back to me, which was nice.  At some point, I might actually feel comfortable with the game.  I screwed up in a number of ways, though: paying for my Master (so I played 4 Soulstones down) and only drawing five cards (six is a weird number!).

I really appreciate that Chris keeps putting Rasputina up against my Sonia Criid: it’s a really bad matchup for him / good matchup for me.  I’m sure he’s doing it because he likes running Rasputina, but I have a hard time believing he’s not, in some way, intentionally throwing me some easy (well, easier) games.

Then, I got in a game of 40K with Jay.

Jay ran his Howling Griffons (Space Marines w/ White Scars build), I ran my Khornate Daemons.

As usual, my army has kind of a hard time dealing with other armies that pull the same “We’ll all come in turn one” or “We’ll all come in from reserves” trick that they have to.  So much of the army’s “mobility” comes from that initial Deep Strike.  Also, I blew my “Daemonic Assault” roll (which is usual for me).

Jay kept everything off the table, and rolled a Land Raider (with Assault Termies and a Librarian0 and a Rhino (with a generic Tactical Squad) on the table turn one.  Speeders with Heavy Flamers came in from Reserve and everything else Outflanked.

The game was… I won’t say it was close, but I definitely had him on the ropes.  If I’d been able to knock out a Speeder, it’d have gone differently, I think… but I was unable to hit once with something like 10 charging Bloodletters.  Those Heavy Flamers really fried my Troops.

In the end, he won with three objectives to my none; if we’d had more time to see if we could get in more rounds (we stopped at Round 5 since the store was closing), I probably could have done something about a couple of his Troops… but probably not enough to turn it into a win.

I did take a couple of pictures, since I had my new camera with me and everything was painted.  Here are the rest of them:

‘Ard Boyz 2010 – Preliminaries

So… I’d typed up a fairly lengthy post about ‘Ard Boyz at Game Vault on Sunday and, in a first, Blogger ate it.

I am… displeased.

Because I don’t have the energy to rewrite everything, I’ll summarize.  Fortunately, I typed up the army lists in notepad so I can salvage them, at least.

  • Got stomped, hard: Minor Loss, Minor Victory, Massacred.
  • Had a great time: three good games against three great opponents, despite the stomping.
  • Didn’t play any MEQs, which is a shame, as I’d have done better against them.
  • Did poorly against IG, Chaos Daemons.
  • Game Vault was, as always, great.
  • The guy running the tournament did a lousy job.

My list:

Deathwing ‘Ard Boyz
2,500 points

HQ
Belial – Sword of Silence, Storm Bolter
Grey Knight Grandmaster – Nemesis Force Weapon, Storm Bolter, Psychic Hood, Ungents of Warding

Elites
Deathwing Terminators x5 – Cyclone Missile Launcher
Deathwing Terminators x5 – Lightning Claws x1, Thunder Hammer, Heavy Flamer
Deathwing Terminators x5 – Lightning Claws x1, Chainfist, Assault Cannon

Troops
Deathwing Terminator Command Squad x5 – Apothecary, Standard, Lightning Claws x3, Thunder Hammer x1, Chainfist,  Heavy Flamer
Deathwing Terminators x5 – Cyclone Missile Launcher
Deathwing Terminators x5 – Cyclone Missile Launcher
Deathwing Terminators x5 – Cyclone Missile Launcher
Deathwing Terminators x5 – Lightning Claws x1, Chainfist, Assault Cannon
Deathwing Terminators x5 – Lightning Claws x1, Chainfist, Assault Cannon

Game 1:
Got a Minor Loss against Hunter’s Imperial Guard; four models left on the table, contesting three objectives.

HQ
Company Command Squad x5 – Straken, Meltagun x3, Medic
– Chimera
Company Command Squad x5 – Plasmagun x3, Bolt Pistol x1, Medic
– Chimera

Elite
Marbo
Stormtroopers x7 – Meltagun x2

Troops
Veterans x10 – Grenade Launchers x3, Autocannon x1
– Chimera
Veterans x10 – Meltagun x3
– Chimera
Veterans x10 – Plasmagun x1, Flamer x1, Grenade Launcher x1
– Chimera
Veterans x10 – Flamer x1

Fast Attack
Hellhounds x2
Hellhounds x2 – Multimelta x1
Vendetta

Heavy Support
Leman Russ Demolisher- Lascannon, Plasma Cannon Sponsons
Leman Russ Demolisher- Lascannon, Plasma Cannon Sponsons
Leman Russ Demolisher- Lascannon, Multimelta Sponsons

Game 2:
I pulled out a Minor Victory against Beau’s Imperial Guard. It’d have been a Major Victory had my ninth squad come in before we ran out of time.

HQ
Company Command Squad x5 – Straken, Medic, Regimental Standard, Voxcaster
– Chimera
Commissar Yarrick

Elite
Stormtroopers x10 – Flamer x1, Grenade Launcher x1, Plasma Pistol
Stormtroopers x10 – Flamer x1, Grenade Launcher x1, Plasma Pistol

Troops
Infantry Platoon
– Command Squad x10 – Meltagun x3, Voxcaster
– Infantry Squad x10 – Flamer x1, Grenade Launcher x1, Plasma Pistol
– Infantry Squad x10 – Flamer x1, Grenade Launcher x1, Plasma Pistol
– Infantry Squad x10 – Commissar, Power Weapon, Voxcaster
– Infantry Squad x10 – Commissar, Power Weapon
– Infantry Squad x10 – Commissar, Power Weapon
– Infantry Squad x10 – Commissar, Power Weapon
– Special Weapons Squad x10 – Grenade Launcher x1, Plasmagun x2
Veteran Squad x10 – Heavy Bolter, Plasmagun x3, Voxcaster
– Chimera
Veteran Squad x10 – Meltagun x3, Plasma Pistol, Voxcaster
– Chimera
Veteran Squad x10 – Flamer x3, Grenade Launcher x2, Plasma Pistol, Voxcaster
– Chimera

Fast Attack
Hellhound x1

Heavy Support
Leman Russ Battle Tank – Lascannon
Leman Russ Battle Tank – Heavy Bolter Sponsons
Leman Russ Demolisher – Lascannon, Multi-melta Sponsons

Game 3:
Dan’s Chaos Daemons Massacred me.

HQ
Fateweaver
Bloodthirster – Blessings, Death Strike, Unholy Might

Elites
Bloodcrushers x4 – Fury, Icon, Musician
Bloodcrushers x4 – Fury, Icon, Musician
Flamers x5 – Bolt

Troops
Bloodletters x20 – Icon, Musician
Horrors x5 – Bolt, Changeling
Horrors x5 – Bolt
Horrors x5 – Bolt

Heavy Support
Daemon Prince – Mark of Tzeentch, Bolt, Daemonic Gaze, Unholy Might
Daemon Prince – Mark of Tzeentch, Bolt, Daemonic Gaze, Unholy Might
Daemon Prince – Mark of Slaanesh, Flight, Iron Hide, Unholy Might, Pavane