Monthly Archives: August 2016

Frostgrave – Campaign!

Frostgrave Logo

I pretty much immediately got pumped about running a Frostgrave GameDay after my first game. I envisioned a couple of simultaneous 1v1 games, culminating in a larger melee with everyone on the table.

We’ll be running this at Huzzah Hobbies on 10/23 and, I’m sure, as a TGS weekend event.  If you’re interested in playing in the 10/23 game day: let me know!  There’s room for 8 and that’s it.

You can get the campaign here: Frostgrave – The Confluence Game Day

Frostgravin’ It Up

Frostgrave Logo

Casey and I have gotten a few games of Frostgrave in and I’m definitely a fan.  Expect a handful of Frostgrave-related posts in the near-term.

It’s not the tightest game system, but it hums along pretty well.  It’s easy to build for, easy to play, and with all of the rolling on tables (a thing I am known to love), there’s a lot room for emergent gameplay.  The campaign system is interesting: detailed enough to make it worth the hassle, but simple enough to keep it from being a hassle.

The game plays pretty quickly: most things are resolved in a single die roll: two, max. The swinginess of the d20 goes a long way towards mitigating any disparity between warbands.

The setting is evocative, but there’s also there’s an immense room for flexibility and creativity in terms of warbands.  Take a look at the FrostGrave FB group: the variety of models and themes in play is bewildering. Basically, if you have about 10 models and can map those models to the types of hirelings used in Frostgrave, you’re set.

You should give it a shot.

(See also: Just What the Hell is Frostgrave Anyway?)

Wrath of Kings – Goritsi

WoK - Zeti War Dancers

I’m progressively less pleased with my Wrath of Kings models.

I was very satisfied with the Ravenscar Mercenaries, am not entirely satisfied with the Zeti War Dancers, ambivalent about the Skorza, and I just damn hate the specialists. That’s the order they were painted in, too.

Where the Ravenscar are actually some of my favorite WoK models, the Zeti are actually my least favorite ones.  I hate their stupid hair, most of all.

I was shooting for a dead, pale fleshtone.  I think I swung too far to the blue, but it holds up okay.  It looks even better standing next to the Ravenscar; it makes them look even more dead and unnatural.

Instead of doing the usual eye thing, I simply painted their eyes black.  It looks less skillful but, again, they’re goddamn vampires.

WoK - Zeti War Dancers 2

WoK - Zeti War Dancers 1

WoK - Zeti Dance Master

WoK - Skorza Skirmishers

The Skorza Skirmishers turned out okay, but not the way I wanted them to. In my mind’s eye, I wanted them to have a more natural, realistic coloring but in the end it didn’t come together.  If I weren’t on a deadline, I’d have sunk more time into them to get them where I wanted, but it just wasn’t in the cards.

WoK - Skorza Alpha

The Skorza Alpha is in the same boat.  He’s alright, but nothing to write home about.

WoK - Scourge Hounds

Fuck these Scourge Hounds. They came out so bad, almost certainly because of the too-light fur.  There’s not enough contrast between the shadow and highlights, and something about it just makes the eyes look awful.  I’m better than these models.  These are beneath me.

WoK - Blood Engine 1

The Blood Engine turned out… okay.  The head is out of sync with the rest of the body: I tried doing a thing where I differentiated parts of the body from each other with different glazes but it didn’t work.  Something about the way I rolled that back with its head didn’t quite work. I think I’ve covered for it, but it’s obvious enough to bug me.

WoK - Blood Engine 2

It’s done.  I painted a Wrath of Kings Skirmish force in about 3 weeks, which is fast for me.  Given that I wasn’t sure I’d be able to do it in time for NOVA, I’ll count it a victory, no matter how ass the Scourge Hounds look. It’s all of the Wave 1 models, save for a few named characters and the Shield Breakers, though it’s about a third of the Zeti and half of the Skorza and Ravenscar I actually have.

Disaster Strikes!

Well, I tried.

I made tracks wrapping up the Wrath of Kings Goritisi Saturday morning, so I decided to push ahead and try to paint up this 28mm Trenchworx A7V for NOVA.  I ordered it a while back, after having such a good time painting those 15mm A7Vs a few months ago.  I quickly basecoated it but then got sidelined with other stuff.

I wanted to paint it up like 563 – Wotan or 561 – Nixe: I like the way the cool grey tones of the armor contrast with the warm brown of the weathering (which is fun, especially since the armor itself is actually painted with some greenish browns, highlighting up to khaki).

I made speedy progress on it, getting pretty much done by bedtime on Saturday. There are definitely some problems with it: had I been a little more deliberate, I’d have been able to fix the skirts: they’re the wrong make for 561 (compare this to this to see what I mean).  I also had a lot of trouble with the decals I’d gotten; they were quite a bit more fragile than I’m used to and broke apart: those side crosses had backups but the ones that go on the front of the tank didn’t… just as well, since I don’t think it would have handled the rivets well, but I didn’t think I had time to fight with free-handing them on.  So I left them off.

Would you notice either of those things if hadn’t mentioned it? Maybe not… but what’s the point of it if you’re not going to try to get it right?

Failures, but acceptable ones. This thing wasn’t going to win any awards, literal or metaphorical, but then disaster struck: Continue reading

Wednesday Workbench

I’d be lying if I said I was happy with how these are coming out.  They are not good.  Just need to power through them and then: whatever I might do to put in the CP next weekend will get started and finished this weekend.

Aug 2016 me is very disappointed in how August 2015 me “cleaned” the mold lines on these models.

Ravenscar Mercenaries

I’m banging away at painting for Wrath of Kings at NOVA, and finally wrapped up the first batch of models yesterday: Ravenscar Mercenaries.

WoK - Ravenscar Mercenaries Group 2

These guys are actually one of my favorite WoK sculpts, despite the decision to give them capri pants, which doesn’t exactly strike terror into the hearts of one’s enemies.

WoK - Ravenscar Mercenaries Group 1

WoK - Lord Hob

WoK - Ravenscar Mercenary 4

WoK - Ravenscar Mercenary 3

WoK - Ravenscar Mercenary 2

WoK - Ravenscar Mercenary 1

Now that I’m actually posting them, I think they look not so good. I think I need to make peace with that: they’re kinda-sorta speed painted for me.  I’m pleased with their faces, if little else.

The Sergeant is just about done, but needed a few more details, so he’ll get varnished with the Zeti.

This is the finalized painting list.

Ravenscar Mercenary Infantry 6
Ravenscar Sergeant Leader 1
Lord Hob Leader 1
Zeti War Dancer Infantry 6
Zeti Dancing Master Leader 1
Skorza Skirmisher Infantry 5
Skorza Alpha Leader 1
Scourge Hound Specialist 2
Blood Engine Specialist 1


Lord Hob shouldn’t be in there, but he is, and he’s done.

I’m doing 6 each of the Rank 1 Infantry (so I can make a Zeti/Ravenscar leader and do 6/4/4) and 5 of the Rank 2 Infantry (so I can make a Skorza leader and do 5/5/5/).  My list isn’t in that much flux, but by painting 1-2 extra minis in a batch, I buy myself a lot more flexibility.

I’m working on the Zeti now: I might get pretty close to having them done tonight, which gives me most of the weekend to work on werewolves.

Frostgrave Cultists

Frostgrave - Cultists Group 2

I painted up a batch of Frostgrave Cultists to use as henchmen last week and was pretty pleased with them.  Pleased enough that I had to do more!

Frostgrave - Cultists 1

This is the original batch of 7.  2 crossbowmen, 2 two-handed weapon guys (infantrymen), 1 scarier two-handed weapon guy (templar), 1 dual-wielding guy (treasure hunter), 1 jackass with a stick with nails in it (thug).

On Thursday, I ran them with some painted Bones wizards as Wizard & Apprentice, which was okay except the scale and style was all wrong.  So: new wizards:

Frostgrave - Cultists Wizards

The Apprentice is just a Cultist model; the staff is brass rod and a Skaven skull. The Wizard is an Empire Battle Wizard (still one of my favorite kits) with a head and staff top swap.  Nothing fancy, but it doesn’t have to be, does it?  The Skaven stuff is incidental: I needed spooky evil looking bits and as it turns out I have a lot of Skaven bits.

I’d planned on making their hoods and mantles purple, to make them stand out from the henchmen, but decided that would make them too cartoonish.  I think the brown is almost as effective without being stupid looking.

Frostgrave - Cultists 2

I’ve built another seven henchmen, but just painted these three with the wizard: a sword-wielding guy (thief), a sword and bowman (marksman or ranger), and a spear and dagger guy (treasure hunter).  I’ve got two archers and two men-at-arms that will have to wait until after the big NOVA push to get painted.

I’ve definitely started to prefer the face’d heads over the hooded heads.  It’s a shame that the models with faces are in that next, tbd batch.

Observation: there are no right-handed dagger hands on any of these Frostgrave kits.  It seems like there’s a strong motivation to take a lot of thieves, but you kind of can’t build them with the kits.  Lots of off-hand daggers, but then even worse left-hand options.

Here’s another group shot.

Frostgrave - Cultists Group 1

NOVA Open 2016 Approaching

NoVA Open 2011 Logo

I’ve finally settled on what I’m doing at NOVA this year.

This is the second year I’ve hit this point: Register early, Knowing that I’ll want to go but not really knowing what I’ll want to do there. Months pass as I enjoy gaming… just not games that happen at NOVA.  The convention approaches and I realize I’ve got nothing to do there.

I’m registered for a couple of seminars, most on Thursday, one on Saturday. I’ve signed up for the Capital Palette, of course, but this year I might not enter anything: the change in format (something I’m less than enthused about but remain open to) adds a layer of stress over the whole thing, and stress is not something I need more of in 2016.

I have one model that I might enter, if I can finish it in the next three weeks, which might or might not happen.

40K is still not something I want to go anywhere near.  30K’s not an option (somewhat more than a partially assembled copy of Betrayal at Calth is likely required).  Age of Sigmar is not for me. Most of the round-lip skirmish games are not for me.  I’m so offended by the Infinity painting expectations that I can’t bring myself to play it.

Now that they’ve posted some non-build-and-play events, though, I think I can get behind giving Wrath of Kings a run.  I like the game okay, they’re single-day events, and I think I can get things painted in time for it.

(Yes, it’s not lost on me that, offended as I am about Infinity and painting, I can expect to see some unpainted minis playing Wrath of Kings.  I could elaborate on why it’s less of a problem for me with Wrath of Kings, but it’d mostly be bitching about the Infinity approach to painting, and that’d be less than fully constructive.)

WoK to Paint

I think I can paint this up well enough in the 25 days or so until the tournament.  25 models.  I’d rather play Hadross, but I know I can paint people faster than I can trippy fishmen, so Goritsi it is.

There’s a Skirmish tournament on Friday and a Battle tournament on Saturday.  I have no illusions about being able to be fully painted for the Battle tournament.  My plan is to do the Skirmish tournament on Friday and decide: is it a non-event? Are people even there? If people are there, how painted are they? If the Friday Skirmish tournament goes okay, and if there’s a lot of bare PVC, I might do the Saturday Battle tournament.  Otherwise, I’ll sleep in and show up in time to learn how to paint sheer fabric.

This is my last year, I think, of registering for NOVA in January. It costs too much to have to find something to do.  In 2017, I’ll have to think about it and decide over the summer.

Green! – Frostgrave Cultists, Veer-myn

I’ve been painting the Deadzone starter Strike Teams; I’m most of the way through the Veer-myn models.

DZ - Veer-myn - Group

I was very excited when Mantic first announced these things, and ended up getting a box of them around the time the first Deadzone started shipping.  Restic, though, so they’ve sat around in the hobby closet ever since, however.

As I’ve noted, a lot of the Mantic hard plastic sprues are enough to make one yearn for the good ol’ days of restic.  The Veer-myn sprues are a good example of this: not great contact points, with weirdly balanced models that are kind of a pain to glue to the base, and so-so detail.  I haven’t been super-impressed.  (I’ll have a couple of them done by the end of the week, I hope.)

DZ - Veer-myn - Nightstalkers

The restic Veer-myn, though: swing the other way in terms to detail: a lot, probably too much, detail for what should be a rank-and-file model. Also, the ones with Pistols? Blech. Whoever decided to make the arms metal but the pistol + hand and the arm itself as separate pieces is someone with exceedingly poor judgement: I can’t see how it adds anything beyond a super convenient place to have your model break.

DZ - Veer-myn - Broodmother

The Broodmother is a sufficiently impressive model.  It’s big enough that I ended up screwing around with oils on it a bit.  Not very well, mind you, but a bit. I like it… but the detail around the head is not very good

Frostgrave Cultists

I scheduled a game of Frostgrave for later this week, which is funny because I was just fussing at Shades about how Frostgrave was DOA at Huzzah.  Because I’ve been happy painting this green, and because I’ve sort of Needed to shut myself in the basement for a day over the weekend, I went ahead and painted up a bunch of the Frostgrave Cultist models for the game.

I blew through them over the weekend. I’m very happy with them; I’m not sure how well the faces (the few you can see) show up in the photo, but I’m extremely pleased with them.