Yearly Archives: 2015

Wrath of Kings


Got in a game of Kings of War with Bill on Thursday.  Shades asked for a bat-rep; I suck at those (I’m generally too engaged in the game to think about taking pictures, never mind turn-by-turn notes or pictures) so, instead, thought-dump.

It’s also worth noting that I think I’m pretty late to the party on WoK: after the shitshow that was Sedition Wars, I gave CMoN Kickstarters a pass for a good, long while.  It’s only by way of a couple of impulse buys on some good deals that I ended up with minis for it,  So, some of my rambling is probably old-hat to anyone who’s been playing it.

We played a Skirmish: my Hadross (Fish Dudes) vs. Bill’s Shael Han (Steampunk Wuxia Dudes).

List Building

One of the things I like a lot about Wrath of Kings is the list-building: it’s very close to the way Saga does it.  Which is to say: it’s a middle path between points-based systems, where this guy being 41 points and that guy being 42 points is Significant, and the-hands-off-and-shrug method regrettably found in Age of Sigmar, where anything and everything is equal.  It looks a little more involved than Saga, it’s effectively the same.

Models are Leaders, Specialists, or Infantry: depending on the game you’re playing, you get X Infantry, Y Specialists, and some limited ability to chose some quantity of either 3 Infantry or 1 Specialist.  Models also have Ranks: 1 or 2.  Want a Rank 2 model? Swap out two Rank 1s for it.  That’s it.  “Rank” might as well be “Point.”

So, at Skirmish, I get

  • 3 Ranks of Leaders
  • 18 Ranks of Infantry
  • 2 Ranks of Specialists
  • 3 Ranks of Infantry or 1 of Specialist
  • 3 Ranks of Infantry or 1 of Specialist

That became

  • 3 Ranks of Leaders
    • Deepman Kaxes (Rank 1)
    • Deepman Kaxes (Rank 1)
    • Gutter Friar (Rank 1)
  • 18 Ranks of Infantry
    • 12x Deepman Guardian (Rank 1)
    • 3x Sevridan Gutter (Rank 2, so this is 6 Ranks)
  • 2 Ranks of Specialists
    • Deep Caller
      • Deep Caller
  • 3 Ranks of Infantry or 1 of Specialist
    • Calith Reaver (Rank 1 Specialist)
  • 3 Ranks of Infantry or 1 of Specialist
    • Calith Reaver (Rank 1 Specialist)

So it’s basically counting models, with some models counting double.  I like this a lot; it’s simple enough that you can build a list right before rolling dice without being a bullshit, “I dunno, man, points are dumb; you make the decisions!” cop-out.

  • Leaders
    • Madam Mui (2)
    • Dragon Legion Keeper (1)
  • Infantry
    • 9x Dragon Legionnaire (1)
    • 9x Iron Lotus Warrior (1)
  • Specialists
    • 2x Shield of Taelfon (1)
    • The Red Willow (2)

The 9 of each infantry’s important.  At the Skirmish level, each Leader can activate (or activate along with) at least 5 related models.  So he can effectively (and, in the case of the Legionnaires) deploy and move models in blocks of 10: 5 infantry, then 4 infantry and the leader.  This stands in contrast to my big messy mish-mosh of guys interleaved with each other, causing a traffic jam.


We had different Motivations.  I’m still trying to get my head around these.  Basically, there are five categories of themed goals, and each faction gets access to two of them: the idea being that each faction has different ways to approach winning a game.  Each theme has three goals, so there are six different ways to supplement the common goal of “murder all of the other guy’s guys.”  It’s an interesting concept but, at this stage, it feels like it’s maybe more fiddly than it needs to be: I’m especially annoyed that some motivations refer to 30mm objectives, some to 40mm objectives, and some 50mm. I guess the first stands for people, the second for loot, and the third for structures but still.  I do think it’s interesting that, in the tournament rules, you can’t choose the same motivation twice.

Bill’s was (ultimately) to have his Leaders/Specialists decapitate my Infantry and then taunt my Leaders with them (kill models, get tokens, use an action instead of an attack to spend the token while within 6″/8″ of my Leaders).  Mine was to overrun his force and push into his land (have single Infantry kill models, get tokens, carry tokens to near his side of table).

I think if I play the game some more, I’m going to try to get the Motivations printed up on cards (shame on them for not thinking of and doing this).  That’ll help me keep track of what I’m trying to do and what the other guy is trying to do.

2015-09-17 17.49.25

The Game

Anyway, I don’t know that the game was especially notable: I mostly mobbed around and got in my own way while Bill moved forward in formation. He won, of course, with me… actually closer than I’d have guessed to winning.  If the game had gone one more turn, I could maybe have even turned things around.

I did get a much more practical understanding of how the different models work (pushing them around and trying to do things with their cards and rolling dice around them is the only way I can internalize this stuff).  Which was really the whole point of the exercise.

Our game took about two hours.  According to the tournament rules, a Skirmish game should last about half that… given that I spent the whole time asking Bill questions and saying, “Okay, let me get my head around this,” and narrating every single thing I was doing… I actually think that’s spot on.

Assorted Thoughts

Not sure what Warmachine game sizes are nowadays, but it feels like it fits in the same space as Warmachine: it takes more models than Malifaux, but considerably less than, say, Fantasy.  It takes fewer models than Saga (assuming you’re not looking at an all-Hearthguard army): 15-29 vs. 25-73.  And I think it fits that spot a lot better than Warmachine does: I liked WM when it was about juggling Focus/Fury across a couple of models and thought it broke down when you started running a lot of small bodies, simply because “Roll 2d6, add, compare, then Roll 2d6 add, compare” once per model falls apart when you do it a lot. Here, it’s roll some number of dice: compare the roll to a chart. That the chart varies from target to target add some complexity, but it still moves a lot faster and smoother.

As far as I can tell, each faction follows a pattern: three subspecies of the faction each get a Infantry, a Leader, and a Leader Character, and each subspecies wants to be run with an appropriate Leader.  There are some pretty explicit synergies here.  I like that it’s straightforward because, in my dotage, I don’t have the mental bandwidth to keep up with the combo-based approach a lot of skirmish games favor.  It’s here, too, but it’s simple enough for even me to keep up with.

The setting is… okay.  It’s dumb as dirt that every person in the setting is human who was changed into a non-human somehow, and that (with the exception of Shael Han) there are so few humans left.  It’s weird.  This is fantasy, guys! You can have fishmen! You have have pigmen!  It’s okay!  It’s weird.

If you look at the photo above, you’ll note there’s effectively no terrain.  Four pieces, pretty much evenly spaced out across the table.  It was fine for what we were doing, but is sort of awful.  Doing more and more historical gaming has ruined me for half-hearted terrain: Huzzah’s Chris always sets up beautiful tables for his games, and the TGS games are notably gorgeous.  I need to get my head around what a game like this should look like, table-wise, because it needs more.

Anyway, I liked the game. A lot.  I hope to play it more, because it plays fast while remaining satisfying. Also, I’m looking forward to painting some of those models, and it’s always a shame to paint models for a game and then never play it.

Workbench Wednesday – Hobby Room

Near the top of my list of wants for our new home was a space I could dedicate to hobby stuff.  For the past decade, my hobby space was my work space, which made clocking out very difficult.  (It’s why I started doing ‘Workbench Wednesday’ posts: I work from home on most Wednesdays, so I’d turn 90% to the left, take a picture, and then get back to work.) It’s tough to focus on nerd work with work work hanging out in my peripheral vision, so I wanted to segregate the two spaces.

Old Workspace

The old space

The new home is perfect, and has accommodated this: there’s a bedroom in the basement just waiting to be used as hobby space.

The space, before.  I’ve got a lot (too much) hobby crap, have someone else’s hobby crap that I’m getting to A Good Home, and the movers just started dumping stuff in there.

Hobby Room - Before


So, it was a bit of work over the past month or so to get it shaped up.  Furniture to buy & build, unpacking and organizing to do.

The last, big step this past weekend was painting and lighting the display case.  I’m pretty pumped about that: we got the case from a closing Borders years ago, and I’ve never been satisfied with it.  It’s simply too dark; the lights solve that.  (I’d prefer a less yellow light, and that might come later.  For now, any light in there is a huge improvement.)

It’s not 100% done, of course: at some point I’d like to replace the folding tables with something constructed (which will buy me a little space and, hopefully, give me some place to store terrain) and I’ve got a pile of stuff that needs to go on the walls (posters and there’ll be an I-Love-Me area somewhere). All of that’ll wait, though; the short-term stuff is done.

Hobby Room - After


This is the new space:

Hobby Room - Desk

Space to do airbrushing (which will hopefully help me get some sort of facility with it).  A clock (which was really helpful with working on those Maquisards; every time I’d look up, the time was right in my face… back to work!).  No computer with which to distract myself.  Space for the iPad, if I feel like watching something while I work, but the space is fiddly enough that if I set it up to do that, that’s pretty much all I’m doing with it.

So far, it’s been pretty successful.  If I’m down there, I’m painting. End of story.

(Plus, there’s a catbed in the window for Diesel and two dogbeds for Cricket to bounce between: one beneath the desk and one on the other side of the room.)

Semi-random Gaming

Skirmish with Tatars

Some ~random gaming going on:

  • Thursday, Huzzah’s Chris ran me through a Flames of War – Great War teaching/demo game.  I liked it well enough, but dang, it feels like a persnickety game.  The mini rulebook is something like 3x the length of the 7E 40K rulebook (yes, it has a ton of excellent diagrams, but that can only account for so much), and a handful of the rules feel weird (but I’m 99% sure that’s because I’m used to the way Warhammer does things and this isn’t Warhammer/40K/Bolt Action).  Still, I expect it’ll paint up lightning-fast, and, given the new wave of stuff coming out for it soonish, it sounds like it might see more play at the store, so I expect I’ll give it some more play.


  • Saturday was Frank‘s By Fire & Sword Tournament; at 12 people, it was nearly as big as the one ran at Historicon.  It’s a good game, but I think I need to 1) play it a lot more to internalize the rules (the only way I can actually get my head around a game) and 2) read the rulebook(s), each of which is the size of Gdansk and weigh as much as a Winged Hussar.  I ran the Imperial Outpost, so I brought pike & shot to a predominantly cavalry fight, and went 1/1/1. In each case, though, I could point to something I did wrong or a mistake I’d made, which is pretty much all one can ask for, right?  Anyway, it was a good time, and it sounds like Casey‘s (FINALLY) gotten his Swedes, so I expect I’ll be playing it more soon.
  • This coming Thursday, I’ll be playing Wrath of Kings with Bill, who I haven’t played with in years.  A confluence of events have conspired to put a couple of Kings of War armies (Goritsi and Hadross or, as I prefer, “werewolf dudes” and “fish dudes”), and I played a quick demo of it at NOVA.

Capital Palette 2015

Capital Palette Logo

The Capital Palette was good to me this year, with a Silver and a Bronze.

In the couple of weeks leading up, I sunk a lot of time and effort into painting up 1652’s Zurraigo from Tercio Creativo*.  I’m quite pleased with how he turned out.  He won Silver in the Historical Single Figure category

Zurraigo - Plinth

Zurraigo - Front (1)

Zurraigo - Back (2)

More and more I’ve been wanting to work with more desaturated, “realistic” colors, and this was right there.  I’m happy with how I got colors in there that are bright without being technicolor.  I see myself working in this area for the next however long.

I got a lot of comments along the lines of “the one with the smoke coming out of the musket,” which says to me the smoke was too prominent and should have been darker.  I painted it to look like musket smoke which is, of course, stupid, because it’s a burning match.

On the first day of NOVA, I scramble-painted a handful of Maquisards.  I’d built them before the big move and primed them the night before… and then pretty much just painted them all day Thursday, finishing them just in time to hop in the car and drive to Crystal City for a seminar. They got Bronze in Historical Collection.


I don’t have any illusions: the only reason they won Bronze is because, to my knowledge, there were three entries in that category.  They’re not bad: they’re what I’d consider tabletop quality**, but they’re not even close to great.

I’ve got another 67 of these suckers to paint at some point hopefully not too far in the future.

My Iguana (which I keep erroneously insisting is a Salamander) bears mention, having made first cut.  First cut is a far cry from placing, but it’s not worth nothing.  In a tight field like Sci-Fi Large, to my mind it’s as big an achievement as placing with Historical Collection (if not moreso).


I entered more than these three, of course: I entered my Nomad Spektr, my Nomad Hellcats (who I seem to not have photographed yet), and a D&D character (who is similarly undocumented).  None of these made first cut, but that’s a right and just thing: there were so many spectacular other entries and I don’t have any illusions about their level.  Really: that’s why I’m so pleased with the Iguana making the cut.

I was frustrated in my attempts to get feedback on my entries (really just looking for it for Zurraigo) from the judges.  There’s simply no bandwidth after judging and it’s weird to do before it.  I need to figure out the right way to get that advice: this weekend’s seminars were hugely helpful, but I know I’d benefit from some targeted critique, especially from the specific folks I’m trying to impact.

I was also pretty frustrated by the way the awards ceremony went.  Basically, they announced the Golds, the end.  Then, word went out that if you got a finalist pin, you should gather over by where pictures were being done to find out if you placed in Silver or Bronze.  So, we milled about there for a bit before being told to sit down.  Then they found the list and rattled off names.  I seem to recall that something similar-ish happened last year.

I know the awards ceremony runs long: but this is the second time in a row where it’s felt like they’re just trying to get this part over and done with so they can get on to rambling about how great X-Wing or Malifaux is.  And that’s not ego talking (well, maybe 5% ego): in many of cases I have no idea what placed.  I know Rhodes’ German officer got Historical Single Gold, but I don’t know who, or what got Bronze.   John’s Zugs got Historical Collection Gold, but I have no clue what got Silver; I didn’t even know there was a third entry (I’m not kidding).  I don’t know what got Silver in Sci-Fi or Fantasy Single, etc. People names are nice, but when we’re looking in the display cabinet: we’re not seeing those, and it’s kind of tough to guess who painted what (John’s easy, Mike’s I recognized, and I was able to spot Dave’s by way of the Fury Road model, but that was about it).  They do this for Gold, but I think they fall short in skipping it for Silver and Bronze.  Would it be so difficult to do two slides per category, one with the Gold and then a second one with Silver and Bronze on it?

Also, I’d love the opportunity to go back and give the winners a closer, second/third/thirtieth look.  This can’t happen for any number of reasons (not the least of which is that, by the time the ceremony’s over, it’s like 9PM and people need to have collected their entries so they can go home), but I’m allowed to dream, right?

Update: Did the NOVA Survey yesterday, and one of the questions is (basically), “Would you like the ability to meet with judges after the award to discuss entries?”  Hell, yeah.  This is basically what I really, really want.  I never fail to be surprised and impressed by NOVA’s ability and willingness to adapt for the better.

Brief photodump.  I’m shocked and appalled that these were all the pictures I took; I suck.  Shame on me.

2015 Capital Palette Entry (1)

2015 Capital Palette Entry (2)

2015 Capital Palette Entry (3)

2015 Capital Palette Entry (4)

2015 Capital Palette Entry (5)

2015 Capital Palette Entry (6)

2015 Capital Palette Entry (7)

2015 Capital Palette Entry (16)

(This was my pick for Fan Favorite.)

2015 Capital Palette Entry (8)

2015 Capital Palette Entry (9)

2015 Capital Palette Entry (10)

2015 Capital Palette Entry (11)

2015 Capital Palette Entry (12)

2015 Capital Palette Entry (13)

2015 Capital Palette Entry (14)

2015 Capital Palette Entry (15)

* Who sucked ass on fulfilling a Kickstarter and still, two and a half years later, owe me stuff.  Screw those jackwagons.

** It’s worth mentioning that, with notably few exceptions (last year’s MacReady and Zurraigo above) every mini I’ve entered has been intended for play.  This is probably both why I don’t win first place that often and also why it takes me forever and a half to finish projects.

Age of Sigmar – Thoughts & Tournament Results


It’s entirely possible that that ‘Sigmar’ is Reikspiel for ‘Poor Stewardship.’

(Gonna give my now-informed thoughts about Age of Sigmar first, then talk about the event itself afterwards, since I expect the former is more interesting to the rest of y’all.)

I got in five games of Age of Sigmar at NOVA, which means that I’ve now played five games of Age of Sigmar total.

I’ve tried pretty hard to keep an open mind about it: actively avoiding the crushing negativity about it around CGL and reserving any and all judgement about it until I actually got the chance to play several games.  Now, I think I have an informed opinion about the game.

It is not a bad game, nor is it a good game.  It’s an exceedingly bland game.

The analogy I kept coming back to whenever someone would ask me what I thought of it was: it’s a rice cake.  You can eat a rice cake.  If you have nothing else to eat, it’s better than eating nothing.  But it’s not very filling or satisfying, and there are thousands of other things out there that one would rather eat.

There’s maybe a useful engine for resolving or organizing a game in there somewhere, but it’s insufficiently baked. If you look at it and think, “That is entirely too simplistic a game,” you are correct.  GW’s actually packed a lot of complexity into the warscrolls, however: and that’s not a good thing.  It means that the game is ultimately overly-complex while resting on a jellied, unset foundation.

Standard bearers don’t work the same.  A Standard in this unit does A, and a Standard in that unit does B.  On one hand, this is a mechanism by which they communicate flavor… on the other hand, it’s confusing.  I had two units of troops on Saturday, and my opponents kept getting turned around on how each one worked.  It drives me up a wall that shields don’t work the same from army to army.  That just doesn’t make any sense.

Some units are even worse: Plague Monks have full command, but none of them work close to what the other Skaven units’ command does.  Instead, each (Champion, Standard Bearer, Musician) gets to choose one of two options, each of which involves more rolling and more rolling and… doesn’t really change anything.  It’s a lot of extra effort for next to no payoff.

A lot has been said about the lack of points: it is indeed the problem it appears to be.  Friday’s event was “Six Warscrolls.”  Saturday’s was “95-100 wounds.”   Most of the players had more models on the table Saturday than Friday.  I had nearly 50% less.

There are fixes for the lack of points: counting wounds is the most common.  It’s crap.  There is no planet on which a Pegasus Knight is equivalent to 4 Clanrats. At the Clanrats’ optimum numbers, 30, there’s no planet on which 8 Pegasus Knights are equivalent to 32 Clanrats. It took one game with both Stormvermin and Plague Monks to know that the former is 1,000,000,000 times better than the latter.

Ultimately the closer you get to some way to make the game playably balanced, the farther you get from what’s their unambiguously clear design goal… which, increasingly, convinces me that it’s a shit design goal.

Every game I played ended in a tabling or would have had it not ended to time (the game plays fast, but pretty much everyone there was learning it).  There were scenarios, and they were generally interesting enough… but didn’t come up often because someone was too busy choking on their opponent’s block of troops to be able to worry about them.

That said: it was such a limp, loosey-goosey game system that we all had a good time.  It was impossible to take it seriously, so there was an excellent mood around the games.

My prediction: AoS is gone and dead within two years.  This thing is too baroque and top-heavy with too-skinny legs and knees of jelly to survive.  Hopefully, we’ll see a Warhammer 9E shortly afterwards; the alternative is tragic.  (There’s a discussion to be had, somewhere, about GW’s stewardship of Warhammer and 40K.)

Wow, that ran long.  Longer than I’d planned, for sure.

The tournaments themselves were a good time.  Like I said: it’s such a weak system, it’s impossible to take it seriously.  Getting competitive about Age of Sigmar would be like attempting to write a critical dissertation on Mighty Max.

Friday was two games: six warscrolls.

I ran:

  • Warlord – Warpforged Blade & Shield
  • Grey Seer
  • Clanrats x30 – Sword & Shield
  • Stormvermin x30
  • Plague Monks x31 – Book of Woes, Contagion Banner, Bale Chime
  • Plague Furnace

Game 1 was against Sean, who’d come down from New York, running Dwarves.  I believe I won that game, but it was long enough ago (three days!), I’m less than certain.  It was also my first game of AoS, so it hardly counts.

Game 2 was against Tim, who’s local, running Bretonnians. Bretonnians, as it turns out, really did get a lot better.  I was tabled very, very quickly.


No really: I actually did have a very good time.  I’m entirely confident that everyone there did.

Saturday was three games – some more complex comp rules but basically 95-100 wounds per player.

I ran:

  • Warlord – Warpforged Blade & Shield
  • Ikit Claw
  • Warlock Engineer
  • Clanrats x30 – Sword & Shield
  • Stormvermin x30 – Shields
  • Hellpit Abomination – Warpstone Spikes
  • Warp Lightning Cannon
  • Warp Lightning Cannon
  • Plagueclaw Catapult
  • Warpfire Thrower
  • Warpfire Thrower
  • Poisoned Wind Mortar
  • Poisoned Wind Mortar

Plague Monks are gone because they’re trash.  I don’t care how limp and noncompetitive the game might be, when you’re as well off taking them as you are just playing 30 wounds down: you don’t.

War Machines & Weapon Teams with ‘Warp’ in the name are very good.  The mortar & catapult are trash.  If I took 33 Warpfire Throwers and placed them all 3.5″ apart, I would probably win every game ever.


Game 1 was against Tim again.  He’d loaded up on more Knights.  I still lost, but less badly than the night before.  We ran out of time, though: it’s possible he’d have tabled me if we’d kept going.

Game 2 was against fellow CGL’r Eric, with his spectacular Dwarves. He went all in: he rebased his Dwarves on round bases.  He also had more bodies on the table than I did.  I managed to table him, but I’m not sure how.

Game 3 was against Sean again.  Despite an enormous blunder early on, incautiously shoving my block of Stormvermin down his throat in such a way that almost his entire army was pulled in, I managed to table him.

Like I said above: there was a lot of tabling going on.

In the end, I won Best General – One massive win, one solid win, and one moderate loss was apparently enough to put me in the lead on battle points. Eric won Best Appearance, and Norbert (who I did not play) won Best Overall.

It’s also important to point out that Aaron (local-ish) and Brian (from Boston) did an excellent job given the circumstances.  It went smoothly, and everyone had a great time playing: I would be surprised if the same thing could be said of any other event there.  Given the system is what it is, I think that’s especially notable.

So: do give Age of Sigmar a try so you can have an informed opinion about it.  Do expect to be disappointed.  Do give anything Aaron or Brian run consideration.  Don’t ever take Plague Monks.

NOVA 2015

NoVA Open 2011 Logo

NOVA has come and gone and, as I always do, I had an excellent time.

(If I skip around here a bit, that’s because I’m trying to touch on a bunch of different things that don’t necessarily need a lot of focus.  Also, I plan to swing back and give a couple of topics more focus in their own post(s).)

I think this might have been the strongest NOVA so far.  There was more going on and more things to do; it’s starting to feel like an actual convention as opposed to a tournament with some vendors camped outside.  (That’s uncharitable; it hasn’t felt like that in a bit… but you can definitely track a progression from that to what it was this year and, hopefully, to what it will be next year.)

Thursday I drove out for the afternoon to check in before the crowd and to do a seminar.

Friday was pretty much all-day seminars.  I got in a Wrath of Kings demo, too.  In the evening, there was a small Age of Sigmar meetup, then a small two-game Age of Sigmar event.

Saturday was the Age of Sigmar tournament: at 3 2.5 hour rounds, it took up most of the day.  I bopped around a bit afterwards, and ended up going to bed (relatively) early.

Sunday was an early morning – the first of several seminars was scheduled for an optimistic 7:30.  That kept me busy through the day until what was easily the fastest awards ceremony NOVA’s ever managed.  Endless high-fives are owed to Owen for pulling that off.

The Seminars were excellent; I had two each from Caleb Wissenback, Raffa Picca, and Roman Lappat; I took away something useful from each of them and have come out hugely inspired to up my game… and frustrated that it looks like I’ll be painting 15mm jerkwads until January.  Massive Voodoo, at least, will be coming back next year, so if you have the opportunity to attend: you really should.

40K looked like it was kind of dead.  I’d heard numbers were down less-than-but-closer-to 100 from last year, and that doesn’t surprise me.  Chatting with folks gave me the clear impression that I’m far from alone in feeling overwhelmed and unenthused about 40K.  Which is a shame.

It very much looked like X-Wing had a better turnout.  I’ve been told that that’s not possible (it was capped at 100, and 40K had, at least, over 100), but I would be surprised if that were not the case next year.

Lord of the Rings (a game I have tried and do not care for) had the best looking tables in the building.  Malifaux had some great ones, too, but Middle-Earth was universally amazing looking.

The vendor room felt like it was as solid as it’s been previously.  One vendor (Island games?) was kind of off and around the corner: they were nearer the events that their product was geared towards, but it was kind of weird.  I do think they’ve hit (or are starting to hit) an upper limit to the vendor space, which is a shame.

I should have taken a stab at the airbrush speedpainting competition.  I didn’t get the chance to watch John work like I wanted to, so it’d have been better than nothing.  Next year, I think that’s going on the to-do list.

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.

Infinity 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.


Alguacile 1

Alguacile 2

Alguacile 3

Alguacile Group

Fast Panda 1

Fast Panda 2

Interventor 1

Interventor 2

Interventor Group

Mobile Brigada


Salamander Pilot


Salamander Group


Reverend Healer

Historicon 2015


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.