Monthly Archives: September 2011

Buy My Stuff!

Or not, as pleases you.  I’m listing the last of my Warmachine / Hordes stuff.  If you’re into that, go nuts.

The only notable thing is that I’m also unloading what little painted Malifaux stuff I have: three Witchling Stalkers and a painted Gremlins list.  I’m curious to see how well the Gremlins do, because I’m selling them as a lot and starting it at what feels a bit high ($90), but it is $75 worth of stuff and they’re seriously painted really, really well.

If you’re into this stuff, please take a look at my listings!  Thanks!

Commencing picture dump… now!

Battle of Blob’s Park Blow-by-Blow

My List

As I’d mentioned, the 2,800 point size was problematic enough for me to not bother trying to bring a Good 2,800 point list; just as good of a “2,500 point list that I have, plus 300 points” as I could manage.

Ratputin Rampages – Blob’s Park
2,800 points

Warlord – General, War-Litter, Sword of Might, Enchanted Shield
Grey Seer – Lvl 4 (Plague 2, Ruin 2), Talisman of Protection

Chieftain – BSB, Shield, Armor of Destiny
Plague Priest – Lvl 1 (Plague), Plague Furnace, Flail, Dispel Scroll, Ironcurse Icon
Warlock Engineer – Doomrocket
Warlock Engineer – Ruby Ring of Ruin

Clanrats x30 – Full Command, Shields
– Poisoned Wind Mortar
Skavenslaves x50 – Champion, Musician, Shields
Stormvermin x30 – Full Command, Storm Banner
– Poisoned Wind Mortar

Gutter Runners x6 – Poison, Slings
Gutter Runners x6 – Poison, Slings
Plague Monks x31 – Full Command, Plague Banner

Hellpit Abomination – Warpstone Spikes
Plagueclaw Catapult
Warp-Lightning Cannon
Warp-Lightning Cannon

Changes between this and my NoVA list boil down to:

  • Sword of s/Anti-Heroes/Might/
  • + Ironcurse Icon
  • + 10 Stormvermin
  • + Warlock w/ Ruby Ring of Ruin
  • + Warp-Lightning Cannon
  • + Plagueclaw Catapult

Dropping the Sword of Anti-Heroes was something I’d meant to do for NoVA.  No problem there.  Ironcurse Icon… did nothing, but cost next to nothing, and could have been useful.  The Warlock was useless.  Clever idea, a waste of points.  The Catapult, similarly, was useless.  It never delivered anything, but cost 10 points more than the Cannon… which was actually a good pick.  If I could have taken three more of them, I would have.

Really, I don’t think it’s possible to overstate my disappointment with the Plagueclaw Catapult.  Blech.

Game 1 vs. Warriors of Chaos
Josh A.

This was probably my best game of the day.  We were both in great moods and there was a lot of back-and-forth through the game.

Really, I think I was only able to pull out any sort of win due to two seriously bullshit rolls:

– I popped his Manticore on the first turn with the WLC.  It was a weak (S 2) bounce that just barely clipped him due to the blast template.  That S 2 hit wounded the Manticore on a 6 and then did 4 wounds.  Yowza.

– We had a big old scrum between my Monks, a horde of his Marauders and a unit of his Chaos Warriors.  He chomped through the Furnace and killed a bajillion Monks.  They were sure to break… but instead rolled double ones: holding everyone in place for a flank charges from the Doomwheel and the Clanrats.

It was a really good game that I feel I easily could have (and probably should have) lost.

Game 2 vs. Daemons of Chaos
Quentin B.

This game was rough.  He seemed convinced that I was going to steamroll over him and take his lunch money… things very much didn’t work out that way.

I probably deployed badly: I probably should have just kept all of my warmachines in the middle of my deployment zone, protected by everything I had, rather than leaving them on the corners where their protectors could be Siren Song’d into oblivion.

He killed the crap out of me, but it wasn’t a bad game.  Things got a little frustrating because of noise (we had trouble hearing each other over the din) and, near the end, his margaritas started catching up with him.. but otherwise, it really was a fun game.  Definitely makes me consider trying to conflate a visit to Manly with an appearance at the Quake City Rumble.

Game 3 vs. Chaos Dwarves
Eric. McK.

Between losing a game and playing a fellow club member, I was able to relax and just focus on enjoying the game.  This was a brutal, ugly fight.  We probably killed something like 50%-75% of each other’s models… but neither of us were really able to seal the deal on that many units.  In the end, we had something like 500VP (him) and 300VP (me); a lot of noise but not much payoff for either of us.

Anyway, yeah, it was a good game that took forever.  I don’t think we made it to Turn 4.

Game 4 vs. Empire
Thomas J.

This was probably the worst game I’ve played in a very, very long time.  It was kind of a dick list (~30x Knights, ~30x Outriders, 3x Cannons, 2x Steam Tanks), but that really wasn’t the problem.  His attitude at the table was terrible.  I could enumerate all of the shitty little things but: he apologized after the game for being a jerk (probably because I lost my temper over something).  So, I won’t.  (I’ll probably revisit some of them outside of the context of my opponent in a Miss Manners-style post at some point, though.)

It was a rough game that I think I played about as well as I could have, given what I was going up against.  I ended up losing by 50VP.

One great game, two good games, and one lousy game isn’t that bad for a tournament.

Warlock Engineer – Ruby Ring of Ruin

The last mini I had to get ready for this past weekend was a Warlock Engineer with the Ruby Ring of Ruin.

He’s a bit more armored than I’d have liked him, but he’s not too armored.  With Clanrats being so less modular (not complaining), the only base I had to use for a conversion was a Stormvermin.  Fortunately, that kit had the perfect arm: a pointing finger with a big ring.
The head’s a spare from the Doomwheel.  The backpack, obviously, is from the Island of Blood Warlock Engineer.  The arm’s an Ork power klaw; the finished product looks better than I thought it would.  For the heck of it, I stuck a plague censer bearer on there, just to add a bit to the model.

I figure that, if I feel like it, I can run him as a Warlord with a Warlock-Augmented Weapon or something.

Here are the WIPs:

And the final product:

Battle at Blob’s Park – Overview

Overall, the day was okay.  Of four games, I had two good ones, one okay one, and one really terrible one.  That’s… not bad for a GT, really.

I’m not in love with the venue.  I know it’s something other people like, but the fact that they sold beer didn’t compensate for the temperature, the humidity, or the concrete.  I brought the chef’s mat to stand on (and I’m glad I did; I wouldn’t have been able to finish the day without it) and a folding chair (but it was rarely practical to sit in it.), but they weren’t enough to keep me from hurting at the end of it.

It was a long, long, long day… but that’s because they allowed for very long rounds.  That’s great.

The acoustics of the pavilion were terrible.  It was loud.  So loud, I’m still hoarse, days later, from shouting so the person across the table could hear me.

I think the venue’s going to keep me from coming back next year, but I get that it’s something a lot of other folks enjoy.

The only thing that I found unacceptable was the paint judging.  It pissed me off and, as I said, was unacceptable.  Mike Clarke has a checklist that he uses; it’s more subjective that it might originally look, but it’s still fairly objective.  He didn’t recognize me, so he gave me a breakdown & disclaimer about how he scores things.  That’s good: context never hurts.  My score wasn’t bad (16/20), and the places where he dinged me were, for the most part, reasonable*.

What’s got me pissed is that he did the paint judged me while I was playing a game.  I asked him if he could wait and do it when I’d put things on my board and he said, no, this was how he was doing everybody’s.  He was processing game results and that meant that he couldn’t do that and paint judge at the same time. (Wait for it.)

Now, I’m skeptical that everybody’s army was evaluated mid-game, and that he didn’t look at any armies when they were on their boards… but I’ll take him at his word, because that’s not the critical problem here.

If he can’t process results and paint judge at the same time: he shouldn’t be doing both.  Micromanage less, or pick the support activity you prefer more, whatever.  I don’t care.  I didn’t lug that enormous, awkward thing to and fro just to have it ignored.  (Yes, he asked “Do you have a display board” and then looked at it, but it’s very much different.)  People who put a lot of effort into their army appearance deserve to have it evaluated as a whole, the way they want to present it… not over the shoulder, while they’re shoved together into casualty piles or hiding behind terrain.

Really: if I learn he’s involved in a tournament I’m planning to attend, I’m going to find out if they plan on judging this way again**.  If they are: I will pass on it.  If they aren’t, and they end up doing it anyway, I’m going to pitch a fit.

I’ll try to touch on my games in the next couple of days.

* I’ll pop out here and say that his checklist is biased towards small armies.  When items speak to heavily customized bases throughout an army, or every miniature in an army being customized: an army with fewer minis is always going to do better than an army with more minis.  An Ogre army will always score better than a Skaven army on his checklist.

Furthermore, it makes the poor assumption that a good conversion is an obvious one.  I very much disagree.  An obvious conversion is a less skillful one: little of Ron‘s work leaps out as having been converted, though it quite thoroughly has.

** If this sounds like hatin’ on Clarke; it’s not.  He’s a nice enough guy: I just find his in media res approach to paint judging unacceptable.

EDIT:  It looks like I’m being unfair to Mike here.  I’m sorry about that.  The mid-game judging isn’t standard procedure for his tournaments; it was just something that was driven by a lack of staff.

I’m leaving the original post as-is ’cause I dislike making phantom edits, but although I remain frustrated by the judging, I understand it’s not something Mike could control. I apologize for singling him out for it.

Flinging Poo

Managed to wrap up a Plagueclaw Catapult last night.

This kit is simultaneously GW’s most ingenious kit and most frustrating.  That you can make both a cannon or a catapult out of it (or, if you’re Squeek Vermintide, both at the same time) is really impressive.  That you can make either in so many different combinations is brilliant.

But, holy crap, do I hate putting together this kit.  Last time, I really learned that you do not mess around with the sprues: don’t start clipping until you’re ready to start assembling and don’t start assembling it until it’s painted!  (The need to paint then assemble is something that really frustrates me.)  Also, painting all of those little metal bits can get pretty tedious.

Anyway, it’s together, painted, done.  Took me the bulk of the weekend to do, but I really needed to stay focused to have it ready in time for Blob’s.

I can’t stand seeing this kit with a giant piece of warpstone as the counterbalance.  It just doesn’t make any sense!  So, instead the rock’s painted like… rock.

I’m pretty pleased with how the ammunition came out: like a ball of really unhealthy poo, people parts and dead rats.

Also, in other news: USPS wildly overestimated how long it would take for those bitz to make it out… they showed up today!  The conversion’s done, so I’ll have all afternoon tomorrow and Friday to paint it up!

Blob’s Park!

I’m going to be playing Fantasy at Blob’s Park this weekend!

I’m mostly ready for the tournament: I need another Warlock Engineer, and have an exciting conversion for him mostly done… but it looks like the last few bitz I need to finish him aren’t going to show up until Friday afternoon, which isn’t going to give me enough time to paint the thing.  Instead, I’ll just use this guy and call him a Warlock Engineer.  I don’t think anyone will complain.  The larger undertaking, a Plagueclaw Catapult, is done: I’ll be varnishing and photographing it this afternoon.

This’ll be my first year there: I’m a little apprehensive about the site.  I know it’s outside and at a biergarten and, while that sounds cool on paper, all I can do is worry about logistics: will I be able to sit, will there be enough water, etc.  So, just to be safe, I’ll be loading up a folding chair and several liters of water.  It’s probably a safe bet that I won’t need (or be able to) bring a cooler of beer.

Anyway, I’m looking forward to it!

Blood Horrors!

I never did get around to posting pics of the second Octet of Blood Horrors I wrapped up for the tournament the other weekend.  Well, I had the lightbox out for the Wizarding Warlord, so I figured I might as well knock these guys out, too.

Wizarding Hat!

Blob’s Park is giving me a bit of heartburn.  I’ve got a 2,500 point list that I’m happy with, that I’m comfortable with, that I’ve done pretty well with.  Most importantly, it’s painted.

Blob’s Park, woefully, is 2,800 points.  I’m not entirely sure why the bump, except that there must be some nonsense you can drop with 700 points of Lords or Rare or something that they want to see.  For me, though, it’s another 300 points that I’ve got to get painted.

This is unfortunate, because just throwing more points at something always ends badly.  C’est la vie.

Anyway, my goal was to get up to 2,800 with adding as few models as possible.  I had a plan that involved 6 Globadiers and a Doom Flayer, but then inspiration hit and I decided to bridge the gap by throwing down a Warlord with a Wizarding Hat.

One model?  Room for a clever conversion?  Ability to use one of those sweet, sweet book lores?  Yes, please!

After some noodling and doodling and digging around for parts, I considered and then had to dismiss, modeling it as a brain jar.  That’d have killed… but it wasn’t to be.

So, I went with my initial plan: a big ol’ hat made out of paper hardened by superglue.

I had Warlord Spinetail sitting in the bits box: I used his sword and arm in my War-Litter, so I might as well do something fun and goofy with the remainder.

I used a Stormvermin arm and an Ungor hand.  I was shooting for a cool, “Behold, I am a master of the arcane arts!” pose… instead, I ended up with a pose that’s a bit more of a rude gesture.  I guess I’m okay with that.

Also: I kind of hate the Spinetail model.  The sword is awesome, but what in heck is up with his right eye?  I don’t even know what’s up with that.  I just. don’t. know.  Ugh.

Here it is, finished.

I gave it the Lore of Shadow symbol, since I was considering using that on the Warlord.  It’s way more purple than is appropriate for Shadow (I guess that makes it Death), but at least it stands out in a way a grey hat couldn’t.  That’s probably more important.

Uuuunfortunately, while pinging the CGL for advice on what Lore I should give this sucker (Shadow?  Beasts?  Metal?), I found out the item’d been FAQ’d… and FAQ’d hard and in an uncomfortable place.

Reference Section – Enchanted Items, Wizarding Hat
Change “[…]randomly chosen spell[…]” to “[…]randomly chosen Battle Magic[…]

Sooo… I don’t get to choose the Lore.  I’ve got a 13% chance of getting the Lore I want.  Maybe a 50% chance of getting a Lore I can really use?  Blech. That’s not nearly as useful.  In fact, it’s pretty dang terrible.  At that point, it could be a fun item, but it sure as all get-out isn’t worth 100 points.  Booo.

Possibly the worst common magic item?

Well, it’s done.  The mini’s built and painted.  

I’ll get around to how I’m padding out the list later.  (Probably after the tournament, since it looks like it’s closed-list.)  Do you guys think I could call him a Warlock Engineer? I’m not as crazy about this guy any more.

Hell Dorado – Painted Minis

As promised, here are the photos of my painted Hell Dorado minis: these are almost the entire (French) Démon starter (minus the Succubus), plus the Golem.  I painted them three years ago, so it hurts a little for me to look at them: I know I could do a much better job on some of them now (I’m looking at you Infernal Ambassador), though I remain satisfied with the Golem and the Lemure.

(I’ve definitely figured out that the trick to actually following through on my occasional “Tomorrow, I’ll…” posts is to actually write the dang post immediately afterwards.  Otherwise, I get distracted and it never happens.)

Hell Dorado

It was with some disappointment that I picked up the Hell Dorado rulebook a few weeks ago.

See, back in mid-’08, I was all about Hell Dorado.  The minis are gorgeous.  Between Google Translate and a guy we knew on’s OGO forum (a Finn who’d gotten the French rulebook and helped us out with some rules), we were able to fumble through a fistful of games and it was fun.  We threw together cheat sheets and even set up a freaking Google Group.  I’ve got a nearly complete set of Démons Demons and Égarés Lost and a good fistful of Mercenaires Mercenaries.

All we needed was for the game to, you know, be printed in English.  It’d have been nice to know whether or not we were playing the game correctly (not that translations of French games tend to be particularly intelligible; I’m looking at you, Rackham), and there were a handful of folks local who were very interested in the game… but unwilling to commit without some sort of English language support.  Until there was an English rulebook, the game wasn’t exactly real.

Then Asmodee said they weren’t publishing it in the US.  Then they dropped it altogether.  I moved on, but was pleased to learn that the game was licensed about a year after things cooled off for us.

At the time of licensing, there was a full line of minis and an unpublished English translation of the rules (the translator’s active on OGO).  You’d think it’d be just a matter of logistics to get production up and running in the US and the game out the door.  I don’t do this sort of thing for a living, so I couldn’t say what a reasonable period would be: three months?  six months?  I don’t know.

I do know that a hair short of two years is too damn long.  Not only was it long enough to let any interest in the game cool off, it completely left the door open for Malifaux, which very much fills the same sort of niche in terms of play, style, and size, to scoot in and take any sort of place Hell Dorado could have had.

When Malifaux came out and I saw folks’ response to it… I pretty much knew Hell Dorado would be DOA. Then, like, a whole extra year came and went.  Sheesh.

Anyway, I picked up the book when it came out.  I haven’t really read it yet.  Tomorrow, since I’ve never posted pictures of them here before (and because I took new pictures of them with the light box), I’ll post pictures of my painted Hell Dorado figures.