Monthly Archives: October 2010

Chariots of Khorne

Finally finished off the Chariots of Khorne.  They’ve sat around mostly assembled for a couple of months, but only took about two weeks to paint.

The model itself combines a lot of kits:

  • The Heralds are from the Forgeworld Khorne Daemon Prince and Herald kit.
  • The left arm on each of the Heralds is from the plastic Bloodletter kit.  The resin Herald is holding a corpse, and there isn’t really room for that in the chariot.
  • The juggernauts are from the Khorne Chaos Lord on Juggnaut kit.  I wanted it to look different and more awesome than the juggernauts being ridden by my Bloodcrushers.
  • The Chariots are, for the most part, scratch-built.  The bulk of them are spare knuckles from the Soul Grinder kits with some plasticard providing the floors, sides and axles.  
  • The wheels are from the Chaos Chariot.  This is the most annoying thing about the model; it’s kind of a waste.
There’s kind of a lot of brass, so I decided to break it up a bit by painting blood splatters on the juggernauts to match the splatters on the Heralds.

Chariot of Khorne WIP

Today’s been the blissful, low-key day that I’ve needed for a bit.  So, it was only natural that I spent the bulk of it painting.

I’d been taking step-by-step pictures until I hit a point where I just… stopped.  So, there’s not much point in sharing those.  However, since we’re about to call it a night here, I figure I might as well document where I’m at.

I’d say I’m more than halfway done.  I need to highlight/wash the base and do the little hair tuft on the juggernaut’s chin and I can call the chariot part of this thing finished*.  Then, the Heralds themselves will be pretty quick work.

Not bad for a day’s work!

* Aside from whatever bloodsplatters I decide I need to do.  I can’t really start on those until what’s underneath is painted.

Tracking Hobby Data

My first real professional software development gig was as a research assistant with the Texas Coastal Ocean Observation Network, a system of meteorological tracking stations up and down the Texas Gulf Coast that’s been collecting data since, in some places, 1989.  The system’s literally tracked how much water is under the Corpus Christi Harbor Bridge, every six minutes, for 20 years.  That’s a lot of detailed data.

TCOON’s done some really interesting stuff with that data.  They’ve got some incredibly accurate forecasting tools, for example.  The system’s greatest strength is its volume.

This is definitely a lesson that’s stuck with me over the years: heaps of information can tell you things.  Of course, the only way you get heaps of data is to start collecting it.


Tracking My Hobby Data

At the beginning of the year, I said that I’d be using the Lone Pilgrim Points Tracker to track my painting progress through the year… and I have.  However, rather than just keeping a running number in a sidebar that I increment occasionally, I dump all of that stuff in a spreadsheet.  There’s a link to it in the sidebar, but it’s certainly easy to miss.  So, allow me to direct your attention to:

The spreadsheet was negligibly easy to set up, and takes little to no effort to keep up to date.  (Zealot had suggested that the maintenance would be onerous.  So far, it has not been.)  If anything, I’ve found that logging work in the spreadsheet really communicates an immediate sense of accomplishment.  This was especially true with the way I tracked progress on my Daemon army.  I could literally see progress bars filling up.

It also helps me keep things in persepective.  I brought this up just about a month ago, when I had the same sort of moment Bill just had: “I feel like I’ve accomplished nothing.  Oh, wait… I’ve gotten a lot done!”

(I’m going to post some charts.  These are all driven by the Google Spreadsheet!)

Of course, even though I painted a ton of Skaven in July and August, it’s obvious that 2010 has been the Year of Khorne:

I’ve done a bit more than track my painting progress, though.  Since it was easy, I started tracking my performance in games.  Given my W/L/D record… I’d probably have a higher opinion of my ability if I hadn’t!

Ouch!

It also gives me some perspective on what I’m really playing:

I’m sure to revisit / repost these charts at the end of the year: I’ve only been tracking this stuff for about 10.5 months.


Room for Improvement

It’s not perfect, though.

One thing my Skaven have definitely shown me is that I like to convert some models. This system doesn’t account for any of that effort. If I convert a model and fail to get around to painting it (which is usually the case with me), it’s as if it never happened… never mind how much hobby time it actually consumed.

Assembling things isn’t a small undertaking, either. Sure, snapping together a Black Reach marine isn’t hard: but 30 of them add up. A more complete hobby system would reflect this sort of thing, as well.

Next year, I’ll have to account for this sort of thing.

Exactly how, though, I’m not sure: building a Stompa is somewhat more involved than building a Guardsman, though, and scratch-building a Khornate Daemonette (Khornette?) would be more involved than doing a weapon-swap on a Deathwing Terminator.  These differences are something I should track.

The Lone Pilgrim system only measures painting, and it does so in terms of size: a tank is more points than a marine.  The axis is different with conversion and assembly.  Maybe it makes sense to track conversion separate from assembly.  Maybe it doesn’t.  This is something I need to noodle on a bit.

Also, Lone Pilgrim isn’t perfect: it attaches the same value to dudes I paint in batches of 10 as it does to a single character who’s a centerpiece to my army.  Maybe that’s okay, maybe it isn’t.

Finally, I’ll need to add a field to scope hobby records to year.  Gaming records already include the date, but it’d be nice to see what months are my hobby-fertile ones and what months are dry.


Sharing is Caring

Once I’ve settled these things, I’m going to create an updated Hobby Tracker spreadsheet.  Clearly, I’m doing this for myself… but there’s no reason y’all can’t benefit from it, too.  I’ll post a blank copy of it and make it available for any and all to copy to their Google Docs accounts.

What do y’all think?  Do I fetishize information a little too much, or is this a healthy way to gain perspective about how I spent most of my leisure time?

Escalation League!

As I’ve mentioned, we’re starting up an escalation league at the top of November.

I’ve been noodling about what I’ll be running through the league.  Plans will, no doubt, evolve as the league proceeds… but it’s nice to have a rough plan to have around to evolve.

Roughly, I don’t see a lot of painting work to do.  Just:

  • Heralds of Khorne w/ Chariot x2
  • Bloodletter x2
  • Bloodletter w/ Icon x1

That’ll cover pretty much everything I could potentially run in a mono-Khorne list.  Not really angling for fully-painted points or anything… it’s just I’m so close, there’s no excuse to be anything less.

It can be tricky throwing these things together: I’m sticking with Khornate units and Khornate numbers (powers of 2: 1, 2, 4, 8, 16).  That basically ensures there’s no clean progression from list to list: they can’t “grow” from one to another, which is a shame.

(At least not until Bloodthirsters start sounding reasonable: they come in convenient 250 point packages.)

I’m not entirely happy with them but, as I said, stitching these things together while such awkward numbers are involved can be tricky.  Lots of Monstrous Creatures: given that it looks like there are going to be a lot of Guard players in the league… that’s an unfortunate necessity.  Armor’s such a problem for the army.

If it looks like there’s a strong Dark Eldar presence, that’ll have to change.  I’ve yet to flip through the preview copy of the book, yet, but I’m pretty sure they’ll just tear through high T models.

Anyway, here we go:

500 Points

Elite
Bloodcrushers x4 – Fury, Icon, Instrument

Troops
Bloodletters x8 – Fury

Fast Attack
Flesh Hounds x8 – Karanak

750 Points

HQ
Herald of Khorne – Chariot
Herald of Khorne – Chariot

Troops
Bloodletters x8 – Fury
Bloodletters x8 – Fury

Fast Attack
Flesh Hounds x8 – Fury

Heavy Support
Daemon Prince – Flight, Iron Hide

1,000 Points

HQ
Bloodthirster

Troops
Bloodletters x8 – Fury
Bloodletters x8 – Fury

Fast Attack
Flesh Hounds x8 – Fury

Heavy Support
Daemon Prince – Flight, Iron Hide
Daemon Prince – Flight, Iron Hide

1,250 Points

HQ
Bloodthirster
Bloodthirster

Troops
Bloodletters x8 – Fury
Bloodletters x8 – Fury

Fast Attack
Flesh Hounds x8 – Fury

Heavy Support
Daemon Prince – Flight, Iron Hide
Daemon Prince – Flight, Iron Hide

1,500 Points

HQ
Bloodthirster
Herald of Khorne – Chariot
Herald of Khorne – Chariot

Troops
Bloodletters x8 – Fury, Icon
Bloodletters x8 – Fury

Fast Attack
Flesh Hounds x8 – Fury
Flesh Hounds x8 – Fury

Heavy Support
Daemon Prince – Flight, Iron Hide
Daemon Prince – Flight, Iron Hide
Daemon Prince – Flight, Iron Hide

1,750 Points

HQ
Bloodthirster – Unholy Might
Herald of Khorne – Chariot
Herald of Khorne – Chariot

Elite
Bloodcrushers x4 – Fury, Icon, Instrument

Troops
Bloodletters x8 – Fury
Bloodletters x8 – Fury

Fast Attack
Flesh Hounds x8 – Fury
Flesh Hounds x8 – Fury

Heavy Support
Daemon Prince – Flight, Iron Hide, Mark of Khorne
Daemon Prince – Flight, Iron Hide, Mark of Khorne

Thoughts?

Painting Progress – 20101013

Finally finished off those 10 Clanrats that have been totally jamming me up.

So, that’s an enormous relief.  That puts the unit of Clanrats at:
So, 11 plus the standard and it’s done.  I’m not doing it, though!  I’m refocusing on Daemons.
Next up on the painting table:  Heralds of Khorne in Chariots.

What I’m Running with Skaven

For the past month or so, I’ve been running a Skaven list that looks (or at least feels) pretty different from the list s I’ve been running since 8th came out.  I like to think that it’s inspired by what Rhellion‘s been rocking… but given that Rhellion wins, and I generally don’t, that might not be entirely accurate. :)

Lords
Warlord – General, Biting Blade, Enchanted Shield, Foul Pendant
Grey Seer – Dispel Scroll, Talisman of Preservation

Heroes
Chieftain – BSB, Shield, Armor of Destiny
Plague Priest – Lvl 1, Flail, Talisman of Endurance
– Plague Furnace
Warlock Engineer – Lvl 1, Doomrocket, Warp-Energy Condenser

Core
Clanrats x29 – Full Command, Shields
– Poisoned Wind Mortar
Skavenslaves x41 – Musician, Shields
Stormvermin x29 – Full Command, Storm Banner
– Poisoned Wind Mortar

Special
Plague Monks x35 – Full Command, Plague Banner
Gutter Runners x5 – Poison, Slings
Gutter Runners x5 – Poison, Slings

Rare
Doomwheel
Doomwheel
Warp-Lightning Cannon

More than anything, I wish I had another 85 points so I could shift one of the Doomwheels to Abomination-dom.

The Warlord goes into the Stormvermin, the Engineer with the Clanrats, the Seer with the Slaves, the Priest with the Monks (obviously) and the BSB in whatever unit seems most appropriate. This is, generally, the Stormvermin. The Seer goes with the Slaves because he spams The 13th as much as possible; if he miscasts in the Slave unit… I don’t really mind. The rest, I think, is pretty straightforward.

The Stormvermin remain a reliable unit, as do the Clanrats.

I’ve been relatively happy with the horde of Slaves… though I think I’d like to see them beefed out to 50. 40 cuts it closer than I’d like. Overall, though, they’re resilient and are, surprisingly enough, more dangerous than they appear. If I had the points, I’d double-down on them.

If I didn’t have concerns about Fortitude, and if the thought of painting more slaves didn’t make me want to saw at my wrists with a dull hobby saw, I’d consider swapping out one of them for more slaves. That’ll never happen, though.

The Plague Monks are… well, they’re in a horde because there’s no reason for them not to be with the Furnace. They kill the living crap out of whatever they catch (that Plague Banner, especially, makes them ridiculous; thanks to whoever tipped me off to that)… but the Furnace and their size makes them intimidating enough that that’s kind of hard.

The Furnace itself is a bit of a letdown. It’s neat, but I’ve yet to walk away from the table feeling like I’ve gotten 150 points’ use out of it. Having a 760 point unit is also something that skeeves me out. It’s gone when I actually get around to updating my list.

Gutter Runners, as we know, are good. Same with the ‘Wheel and Cannon.

It’s all a bit moot: once November hits (maybe before), I’ll be switching back to 40K for some months.

Hobby Status – 20101007

Thought I’d spin back up on blogging by catching people up on where I’m at.

Hobby

Currently, I’m still slogging through my fifth batch of 10 clanrat/slaves.  This is… frustrating.  Through the entire month of September, I only managed to paint a single batch of 10 (which stands in stark contrast to August, where I was able to paint 30+ loathsome ratment, plus a table’s worth of terrain).  So, I think I’m ready for a break.

Once I’m done with this batch (I will finish these guys), I’ve got my Chariots of Khorne ready to go: assembled, primed, and waiting for a break in Skaven.  I expect they’ll truck along pretty quickly.

After that: I don’t know.  I love the Skaven models, but it’s clear I need to leave them be for just a little bit.  That my list is somewhat in flux doesn’t help.  I’ve needed to read the Killzone rules for several months, now: I have no doubt that’ll give me the ability vent some creativity on new minis without committing to 2,000 points of them.

I think the new Dark Eldar minis look very nice.  What’s interesting is that they very, very much make me want to do Necrons.  I look at them and I know, in my soul, that when they update Necrons I’ll be buying in.

Gaming

My buddy Mike is in town from sunny California this week, so we’ll throw down the Skaven vs. Druchii matchup we’ve been rocking since the mid-90’s this weekend.

In November, one of our members (Scott) will be running a 40K Escalation League.  I’m pretty excited about this: I love escalation leagues.  They’re a fantastic opportunity to start a new army, and they do a magnificent job of illustrating how the game plays at different point levels.  It’s going to give two of my non-wargaming, close friends who’ve been sloooooowly ramping up to play 40K over the past year a solid motivation to actually finish assembling dudes and putting them on the table to die for the Emperor.

I won’t be starting a new army.  I don’t feel it.  I’m still waffling over whether I’ll update my Dark Angels to be green Space Marines or if I’ll continue using my Khornate Daemons.  (I’m leaning heavily towards the Daemons, because I don’t feel like I’m “done” with them yet.)  It’s a little sad: one of the local stores is running a 20% off everything in stock sale (more on that in a later post), so I feel like I should pick up a new army… but I just can’t bring myself to do it.

The escalation league also means I’ll be tabling Fantasy for a few months.  I’m okay with that, because I still feel like I just don’t know what I’m doing when I play it… and I love me some 40K.