Yearly Archives: 2017

40K 8E – First Game

It’s been out for a couple of months now, at this point, but I’ve only just now gotten to playing a game of 8E.

Scott (who has a blog, but I can’t remember the name) was kind enough to run  me through a quick game to help me see how it plays.


It seemed alright.  The mechanics of it kind of hummed along, but referencing the rules was a fucking goddamned nightmare.  Flip flip flip flip flip flip flip flip flip flip flip flip flip.  I hate the Warscroll format.

Otherwise, it was OK.  I’m not afire with a need to build a new army for it, and I’m not likely to update anything especially for 8E (especially given that Dark Angels and Khornate Daemons are still in Index-mod), but I won’t turn down a casual game of it.

NOVA Open 2017

Another NOVA has come and gone and, of course, I had a great time.

I had what felt like a pretty aggressive schedule laid out (and man did I drop the ball on taking pictures).

Wednesday was a swing-by after work to check in, and attend the GW preview event. I could have skipped this, and ended up cutting out about 45 minutes into it. The acoustics were awful, and the presenters don’t know that during a Q&A you need to repeat the questions you’re being asked. The result was that I couldn’t hear most of the questions and couldn’t understand most of the answers. The answers I could hear tended strongly to smug noncommittal; I’m sure these guys get a lot of the same, stupid questions at these events, but I don’t have any patience for it from 45’s press briefings so I don’t know why I should have patience for it when only toy soldiers are on the line.

Necromunda looks cool, but Wednesday has nothing to do with that opinion.

Thursday was mostly open: I dropped off my entries for Capital Palette, did a little shopping, and had a Color Theory class with Roman.

This was a challenging class: the theory of mixing those base colors to achieve the spectrum wasn’t new to me, but the focus on it and approach was and was helpful. Unfortunately, the new technique + the limited time made it a real challenge to get the last assignment done. It’s something I’m going to have to practice more (obviously). Hopefully, I can get into more of his classes next year.

Afterwards, Bryant from Grex offered to let me do the airbrush speedpainting class, which I really appreciated. I had a blast doing it last year, and had been disappointed that scheduling kept me from being able to this year. Had a great time doing it again this year.

Friday was a three-round Infinity tournament. Saturday and Sunday were a five-round Infinity tournament. I’d committed to doing both… and then commenced kicking myself over signing up for just as many games as I’d be playing if I were doing 40K. But, honestly: I had a great time and it wasn’t that bad. Maybe this is some serious Dunning-Kruger effect at work, here, but those games of Infinity weren’t nearly as draining as an equivalent amount of time playing 40K would have been. I don’t know if it was the fact that I was constantly engaged in the play, or that the people were better, or what… but I’m pretty sure I could have done more. I’m pretty sure I’m going to do more next year. Hell, I’ve already signed up for the Baltimore Brawl.

My tournament weekend did start off very much on the wrong foot, though.  I got down to the room early on Friday, opened up my bag to start unpacking my things an found this:

this bottle was full when I put it in the bag.  Sitting in the car on Thursday, I think, the cork popped, and my bag was full of most of a bottle of whiskey.  I had to run to the bathroom, bag all a-slosh with booze, to pour down the sink.  Nothing was damaged (the cardboard KR case shows it, but is okay), but damn the bag stank all weekend.  Only now, after washing it a couple of times and febreezing the heck out of it, does it smell OK.

I won’t get into the round-by round of the tournaments: I didn’t really take the necessary notes. I lost most of my games: one blowout win, one draw that was so hard-fought it felt like a win… but most were losses. All were really good games. All of them. Hell, I started the weekend playing Nick P. (an excellent player, an even better painter, and a great dude) and ended playing Jordan M. (one of my favorite local Infinity people). In every game, I walked away thinking about mistakes I could tell I’d made (as well as when the dice had clearly gone off the reservation). Infinity is a great fucking game, with a great fucking scene.

One sidebar: even though everyone I played was really cool… I did play against three unpainted armies. That, frankly, is bullshit. If you play at a big tournament like NOVA, your models should be painted. Period. If 40K players can do it, there is no excuse when it comes to Infinity: there are 15-20 models max. The lack of a painting requirement kept me from playing Infinity last year. I’m glad I didn’t let it keep me from playing it this year, but I remain deeply disappointed by it. Seriously: paint your shit. Paint your shit. Please paint your shit.  Painted minis look great.  Do it.

In a first, I didn’t stick around on Sunday for the closing ceremony. Even though I think I could have powered through more games of Infinity, as soon as I started thinking about going home, that was all I wanted to do. I think that, if I’d skipped Wednesday, I’d have been up to staying around. So, next year: that’ll definitely be my plan.

I’m glad they did the Capital Palette ceremony as its own thing again this year. I think that was a huge innovation in the overall convention and I’m glad they’re keeping it up. I’d have liked to see the models on a projector, as they did last year, though: every entry has a kind of arty name so I have no clue what’s winning what, just who won.

I did better than I’d hoped: I entered everything I entered at Historicon (save for the A7V, which was entered last year) and prefaced to my friends, “Look, yes, this model won Best in Show at Historicon, but it is not going to place here,” and was proven right: Rodrigo de Silva did not place… but he did make Final Cut, which is farther than I thought he’d do. I made Final Cut with my Frostgrave Barbarians, as well, and my Anaconda got a bronze (which is actually what I’d hoped it would get). It’s a great competition, but it’s also a tough competition. It’s also tough to admit to myself that this is probably as high as I will go in it: I like painting models I intend to play with, and don’t really do pure display pieces… and in this competition, “hope for a bronze” is probably about as far as my efforts will take me.

(Don’t read that as me being down on it; this is just me working on some self-knowledge and acceptance.)

This, BTW, is the Anaconda I painted.  I’m very proud of it.

Other random thoughts:

  • I absolutely did not get to spend as much time as I’d have liked with anyone.  This is pretty disappointing, and possibly inevitable.  I assure you: I didn’t get to hang out enough with you at NOVA.
  • I’d hoped to play some 40K with John: even knocked together a 4E-style Dark Angels army, but the stars failed to align for it.
  • I picked up some Dark Age models, to play with Mike. I’m assembling them now, but am not in love with them. I could kvetch about the models at length, I think, but I don’t know that that would be productive. There was a huge Dark Age turnout at NOVA, which surprised me: last year, it was even smaller than Wrath of Kings.
  • Speaking of Wrath of Kings, Mike did a couple of events for it and did pretty well, and had a great time. I’m crabby on his behalf, though, because he played in a scenario game one night… and although the table was gorgeous, half the models in it were unpainted. That’s just incomprehensible to me.  At this point: build-and-plays get a pass: nothing else.
  • The loot haul was pretty modest: the aforementioned Dark Age, the Rogue Trader reprint (I’ve had a copy about 20 years, now, but softcover is softcover), keeping up with the Goritsi, some Mechanicus models because I have a project in mind, and a Su Jian because I hope to play some Yu Jing after I’ve figured out my Nomads.

PHOTO DUMP, because even though I sucked at taking pictures and notes, I did take some.



Capital Palette Entries:

Slow posting

It always takes me forever to post about NOVA: in the moment, I’m in the moment. The next day, I’m physically recovering. After that, I’m recovering from being offline for a few days at work.

NOVA Open 2017 Inbound

The NOVA Open is this weekend, and unlike the past two years, I’ve got some pretty clear direction about what I’ll be doing.

It’ll be mostly Infinity, for me, as I take on a load comparable to doing the 40K tournament: 8 games over 3 days.  It’ll be 2 events, though: the Friday Joint Ops 3 game tournament and the Saturday/Sunday Dire States 5 game tournament.

I’m squeezing in a couple of seminars, too: I was able to get into one of Roman‘s seminars (Color Theory) and I’ll be checking out the 3D printing presentations.

I’m disappointed that I won’t be able to do the speedpainting competition this year: it was a blast, and I was looking forward to it… but there are simply no sessions not in conflict with something else. It’s a bummer.

I’ll be bringing Infinity (obviously), but I’ll also have Wrath of Kings with me (since Mike and I have yet to have the chance to play it since he moved back to the East Coast) and I’ll bring stuff for Shadow War: Armageddon, since I’ve yet to actually touch that game (and it will take very little space).

I did manage to jack up my back over the weekend doing yardwork, so I might be a little pokey, but hopefully I’ll be close to 100% by the time the convention hits.

I’ll be sticking around the hotel Friday & Saturday night, so I should have a good amount of time to hang out and such.

Infinity at NOVA Notes

I’m super-duper new to all of this (I’ve only done one Infinity Tournament), but have… over-committed to Infinity at NOVA (3 days, 8 games… you think I’d learn my lesson).
I’ve been working through the missions to try to get handle on what they mean, what they need, and how I should plan my lists. I’m sure I’ve turned up nothing new, but Robert P. suggested I share my notes on their useful to someone else.

To that end:

  • Missions: These are just the missions for the two tournaments in a single file
  • Notes: Just a distillation, for me, of how each are scored and other things that were buried in paragraphs about how Shasvasti impact ZO scoring.

These are just for the two events I’m doing, and I doubt there are any revelations (though I’m sure there are mistakes).  Sharing is caring, though, so here you go.

Weekend Workbench

Wrapped up some Frostgrave Gnolls earlier this week. Just about done with some Skeletons…

… so I'm about to start on some more Infinity figs for NOVA.

DCC Dark Sun Magic

Someone asked about doing Dark Sun with DCC on G+, earlier today – this is a thing that’s comes up before and will come up again.  From it, though, I noodled through what I think might be an alright mechanic to model the Preserver / Defiler casting mode Dark Sun is known for.


Wizards – Preserving / Defiling

When a wizard casts a spell, they must determine if they’re Preserving or Defiling.

Spell checks are 1d10 + (Caster level) + (Int modifier) + (Spellburning). Luck cannot modify this roll.


When Preserving, a roll of a 1 is “Lost. Failure.” Spellburn functions normally per the book.


When Defiling, a roll of a 1 is “Lost, failure, and worse!”  Spellburn does not function as normal.

Instead, the caster spellburns from lifeforms around them: they first determine how many points they wish to spellburn. 1d3 * that number is drained from any nearby creatures, evenly distributed (and randomly allocated as necessary). If an insufficient number of ability points are “available” to be spellburned, 1 square meter of earth will be killed and rendered unable to sustain plant life for each ability point shortfall (these will be the closest square meters to the caster that have not yet been killed).

DCC Neogi & Umber Hulk

I felt like converting Neogi to DCC this morning, so I converted Neogi to DCC this morning.

Neogi (d8): Init +3; Atk claw +5 melee (1d2+3) or bite +4 melee (1d4+3 plus slowing poison) or dominate missile fire (special, 30′); AC 16; HD 5d8; hp 23; MV walk or climb 30′; Act 2d20; SP slowing poison, immune to illusions; SV Fort -1, Ref +3, Will +3; AL L.

Slowing poison – The bite of a neogi confers a slowing poison. The target of a successful bite attack must succeed at a DC 15 Fort save or lose 1d4 Personality, regained as if spellburned. Adjust Will save accordingly.

Dominate – 3 times a day, a Neogi may attempt to impose its subjugate another creature to its will. The target must succeed at a DC 15 Will save or be dominated by the neogi for 24 hours. Refer to Charm Person: depending on Judge’s preference for allowing PC’s to be controlled, “dominated” is either equal to a failure on the 12-13 result (dazed for 1d4 rounds) or a failure on the 14-17 (complete control, no suicidal actions, etc).

Neogi, Great Old Master: Init +0; Atk swallow +0 melee (1d12); AC 14; HD 20d8; hp 90; MV walk 15′; Act 1d20; SP swallow, full of young, immune to illusions; SV Fort +3, Ref -3, Will +6; AL L.

Swallow – If the Great Old Master Neogi is able to swallow or is fed another creature, it will do 1d12 damage to that creature every round until it is dead or that creature is able to cut itself out by doing 20 points of damage (damage caused by other creatures do not count for this).

Full of young – Great Old Masters are full of writhing young neogi; if it takes damage from a piercing, slashing, or burning attack, 2d4 neogi will crawl out of the wound and attack.

Umber Hulk (d4): Init +0; Atk claw +8 melee (3d4) or bite +7 (1d10); AC 18; HD 8d8+8; hp 44; MV walk or burrow 20′; Act 2d10′; SP confuse; SV Fort +6; Ref +0; Will -3; AL C.

Umber Hulk, Dominated (1/Neogi): Init +0; Atk claw +6 melee (3d4) or bite +5 (1d10); AC 18; HD 8d8+8; hp 44; MV walk or burrow 20′; Act 2d10′; SP confuse; SV Fort +4; Ref -2; Will -3; AL C.

Confuse – Anyone gazing into the eyes of an Umber Hulk must make a DC 13 Will Save or become confused, unable to tell friend from foe. Roll 1d8, modified by Luck: (2 or less) melee attack the nearest party member; (3-5) take no action this turn; (6+) melee attack the nearest enemy.  At the beginning of a character’s turn, a character can avert their eyes to avoid needing to make the Will Save, but count as blinded (suffering a -4 penalty) for any rolls involving the Umber Hulk.

Historicon 2017

Historicon came and went a week or so ago, as I’m sure you might have heard.

I went down for the day Thursday, then was around Friday through Saturday; I’d planned on sticking around through Sunday, but by dinner time on Saturday I was ready to be home.

Thursday, I got to play in Miles’ SOCOM & Sorcery game. It was pretty perfect as a convention game, I think: the rules kept things moving fast and were easy to pick up. He was a machine running it (or the WWII variant, DAK & Dragons) something like 6 times over the weekend. The scenario was simple: good guys at one end of the table, bad guys at the other. Both needed to get to the pyramid in the middle to get a hold of a professor within it. Monsters and random things happened along the way.

Friday morning, I got there just in time for Graham’s Muskets & Tomahawks game: I’ve wanted to play M&T a try for a long time. His game used a few minor tweaks to make it more appropriate for King Phillip’s war (IIRC: making black powder weapons less accurate and distributing pikes to the Europeans). The table was gorgeous, the minis were great, the rules were excellent. The only problem with the game were the other players. PROTIP: joking about genocide isn’t funny. I had an excellent time, despite the other folks: Graham clearly has a deep interest in and love of the period.


I did make it out to the Firelock Games “tournament.” It was a huge disappointment. I was actually pretty disappointed by the Firelock presence, but I think that was mostly due to peculiar expectations. Basically, I expected them to be just like the By Fire & Sword guys, and they weren’t. More’s the pity. They’ve got a lot in common: their game was funded by KS, laser-focused on a specific place & period, their first Historicon. The BF&S guys are 1000% enthusiasm, and one thing that’s stuck with me was _their_ Historicon tournament: they had tables a plenty and armies to go around… it wasn’t actually a tournament, just organized play to expose people to the game. The Blood & Plunder thing was clearly an afterthought. (Which was a shame, because my models for it look great, and I’d been looking forward to pushing them around.)

Is it reasonable to hold them to the Polish standard? Probably not, but that’s how I ended the weekend feeling.

Saturday was the Painting Contest: my fifth. The Painting Contest is actually why I started going to Historicon: Dave Taylor was organizing the first ever contest, and had asked people to come out and enter things.  Historicon was just down the road, so it was super-easy for me to drop off models.  It’s also probably the only reason I’ll brave the drive up to Lancaster for Historicon in 2018.

I did well: of six entries, five placed.

Tercio Creativo/1650 – Rodrigo de Silva – A Tercio Creativo model won me First for Historical Single and Best of Show for a second year in a row.  I was really surprised by this: I feel that what I’ve got here isn’t as good as I could do, and there are some aspects of the model I kinda hate (the dumb dagger on the cape, the papers where the sword touches the ground).  Also, I’m still super-bitter about my Kickstarter experience with Tercio Creativo, regardless of how great their models look.

Trenchworx – A7V – My A7V placed third.  I love this model and am extremely proud of it… but I’m totally content with third, as there were some great entries in this category. This includes my buddy John E.‘s M-10, which came in first, won Best in Theme, and Best of Warlord.  (Between the two of us, I feel like we really cleaned up this year, like John S. and I did last year. ☺)

Asmodee/Hell Dorado – Angelo Casaviecchi – I was going to enter my Demogorgon, but the night before the convention I decided that wasn’t good enough and that I needed do something else.

Seriously. I painted this guy in a few hours; probably about 5 hours or so, tops (break to watch some TV with my blessedly tolerant wife, a walk with the dog, some breaks for varnish to cure and oils to dry).  So, yes: I’m very surprised and pleased with how well this guy did.

Also, a moment of silence for Hell Dorado?

Red Box Games – Tradkarl, Northstar Games/Frostgrave – Barbarians – I entered these guys to have something to enter. I love ’em, but was surprised to see them place so highly.  They’re my tabletop quality.

(I seriously love the Northstar Frostgrave plastic kits, and if you’re doing something Norse or barbarianish not going to Tre Manor for your wizard, you’re doing it wrong.)

Hasslefree – Immortant Drumpf – Not surprised he didn’t place. Was surprised that I only got positive feedback on this guy.

Corvus Belli/Infinity – Anaconda – She got first place in his category, but I’m not going to show photos of this one ’cause I’m going to enter her at NOVA and actually hope he’ll do well.  But I’m very pleased with her and had been planning to paint her since last NOVA.

I had a great time, but going down on Thursday meant I was toast by end of the day Saturday.

Despite my earlier protests, I will probably go back to Historicon in 2018, despite it being in Lancaster (but I’m not going to be happy about it).

It came from the Lightbox: More Nomads

I painted up a few more minis while waiting for some terrain to show up in the mail.

Between that terrain being delivered and a last couple of weeks to see if I can get anything together for Historicon, this’ll probably be the last painting post I make for a bit. (Which is a shame, ’cause I’d just started getting some momentum back up here.)


Bandits are rad.  They just are.  I don’t know why I think 90’s urban camo is the dumbest thing but also the coolest thing, but I do, so I was happy to have an excuse to use it on the Bandit figures.

I’m still struggling with non-Caucasian skin.  This came out… okay, but not the way I imagined it would.  Carlota’s a Tomcat and Tomcats are great; I only got her because I really needed a second Zondcat.

Two Midnight Sun Analysts: the one on the left is the standard one, and the one on the right is the Infinity RPG variant.  In space, you can have purple muttonchops. =