Sunday, February 28, 2010

Running a Tournament

Well, yesterday was a loooong day. First of all, I stayed up until about 2AM Friday night to finish editing the scenarious for yesterday. Then, after my printer ran out of ink midway through printing up the tourney documents, I had to make a Staples run during Round One to get everything copied. Other than that, though, the day went really well. We had a fair turnout, eight participants, but given the fact that we didn't promote it nearly as hard as we could, I'm satisfied with that. On the bright side, no one brought a fully unpainted army, and the only two armies that didn't get "fully painted" were off by seven models in the one case, and one in the other.

Anyway, I'm happy to report that there were no major rules disputes, though a few quirky things did come up that needed to be interpreted (by the way, when I first wrote that, I wrote "interpretated"). I didn't have to toss on the TO hat and crack the whip or anything. It makes it difficult to want a large tournament with lots of different people when smaller tournaments with people that know each other run so well.

All in all, it was a good day. And on the bright side, I managed to get more detailing on my Hammerers (pics to follow). Well, guess it's time to start getting geared up for our Fantasy tourney in May. Be there!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Termie Librarian

Another project that I started earlier this week was a Terminator Librarian. This was essentially to diversify my current Space Marine army for the rest of a winter campaign I'm running, so I haven't put any effort into adding bits, purity seals, etc., nevermind painting him. Anyway, here he is, Master Librarian Leandros, the Seer of Mount Thanatos.

I may eventually replace the Assault Termie Sarge shield with a large, round Hoplon shield. The theme for my BA army will be a blend of Ancient Roman and Ancient Greek. The Angels of Purity recruit from the planet Antiquitas, which consists of two major, similar cultures (you guessed it. . .one Greek and one Roman). Even after they're recruited into the chapter, they're allowed to retain their culture through their name, and if they attain Veteran status, are allowed to customize their armor in a more greek or roman fashion (so a Hoplon shield or Scutum, xiphos or gladius, etc.). Anyway, as Leandros is (obviously) from a more Greek tradition, and I wanted him to have a Storm Shield (3+ Invuln FTW!), a large shield and gigantic spear just seemed to fit. Oh, and for a size comparison on that bad boy. . .

So, with one point on the ground, the spear is almost twice as long as a terminator and base. It was a simple conversion too. I simply clipped the head and pommel off of a thunder hammer, cut up a Chaos Knight lance, and blammo -- gigantic force weapon.

The model itself hasn't seen any combat yet, though a proxy did in his stead (and died in one of two games). But he shall cut his teeth this coming Wednesday!

The Throng of Zanzuhf Kazad

Alright, I finally managed to get some pictures of my painted and unpainted Dwarf army, and finally have time to blog about them. Oh, and the name, Zanzuhf Kazad, it's kazalid (that's Dwarf tongue) for "Bloodriver Fortress." Yes, there's a backstory there. If you have an hour, I'll tell you about it sometime. Anyway, here it is, the Throng of Zanzuhf Kazad!

Not overly impressive, is it? Well, not yet. I have a batallion and a few odd dwarf kits here and there sitting unassembled in my nerdery that will expand this force greatly. And yes, with the exception of the Hammerers, Battle Standard Bearer and Lord on Shieldbearers, these are the models I've had for seven years. They were once fully painted, but I stripped them all in Simple Green (a horrendous project which still gives me nightmares) about two years ago to start anew. The only survivor from the original paint job is this bad boy right here. . .

That's right, almost no highlighting, one coat of paint not watered down. . .ah, early painting projects. I was totally stoked back in the day just to have stuff painted. Of course, I didn't have the luxury of starting in the old RT days, when everything was one thick coat with no highlights. Anyway, compare this to my latest project, my unit of Hammerers.

The front rank is, for the most part, finished, although I have to go back and paint the musician's horns, and the Hammerer second from the left has a gem on his helmet that also needs to be done. Oh, and you might have noticed that these aren't the standard, one-pose, metal hammerers. I'm not a huge fan of those models, and also not a huge fan of spending that much money on one unit. So, instead of shelling out about $6 a model, my cost was closer to $2. Of course, it would not have been possible without a LOT of extra hammers. The main difficult lies in the fact that the new warrior/longbeard kit comes with only two-handed axes as great weapons. Since I had already assembled a full dwarf army (with great weapons), and had a lot of spare warrior sprues kicking around, I had plenty of hammer heads. Then it's a simple matter of clipping off the axehead and replacing it with a hammer and voila! Cheap hammerers that don't weigh eighty pounds. Also, here's a look at the cloaks on the command section.

I still have a little bit of touchup work to do, primarily a wash of Thrakka Green, which will help redarken the recesses where my less-than-steady hand could be seen with it's messiness. It also helps to smooth out sharper highlights, which I think will really help. I should have a chance to take care of that tonight and get a new picture up this weekend.

Moving away from my latest project, here are some pictures of other units I have painted, in order from oldest to newest.

Some quarrlers, about two years old. These guys are two of the first units I re-painted after the great army stripping of 2008. They need a coat of Matte Varnish, which should kill the gloss, and to have their bases cleaned up, but the lion's share of the work is done.

Some last-edition Dwarf Warriors. These guys are pretty much done. I'll have to paint the base edges black to match the rest of my army, but then these baddies are done. This, by the way,is the first unit I ever assembled.

Lastly, the Gnollengrom, my last-edition metal longbeards. I love the look of the old, metal 'beards. . .but I never want to paint a unit of them again! There's so much detail for a rank and file unit of, in this case, nineteen.

Anyway, that's the portion of the army I have painted. As a last item to include, here's my general, Lord Dargrimm Hammerfist, The Beardling King.

And that's about it. I'll definitely get a picture of the Hammerer cloaks after a Thrakka wash. And as I still have five primed black Hammerers, so I'll be able to get some step-by-step painting shots of them, hopefully this weekend. I have a 40k tourney to run, and those long rounds should afford me some time to paint. Oh, and if you want to see full-size versions of these pictures, head to my photobucket album.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Something I've Never Considered (40k advice)

So I was bumming around on BoLS a little while ago, and I stumbled across this article. This is an aspect of the game that I had never considered before. As primarily a Warhammer player, I've come to understand that games can be won or lost through the art of deployment, and the outcomes of many games (especially fantasy) can be determined just by looking at two fully deployed armies. But using objective placement to throw off my opponent's army never crossed my mind.

Having a shooty marine list, I tend to place objectives toward board edges and in cover, so I can plop a combat squad with a heavy weapon right on them and hold, while my other combat squads rush forward to threaten my enemy. But perhaps it would be more effective to place them in the open. After all, most armies lack in a large amount of AP3 or better weapons, and I could always hide my marines in cover nearby until the end of the game, when they rush out and grab the objective. This would have the double benefit of giving me clear lines of fire to enemy units attempting to snap up objectives, as well as denying cover saves to said enemy units. As most of my opponents are Orks, Tyranids and Daemons, cover saves tend to be vital for them.

Once I switch over to my assault-heavy Blood Angels list (two months!), I definitely like the concept of lots of objectives at the center, as it forces my opponent to advance forward and meet me in open combat.

This is something I'm definitely going to have to consider in future games.

My Sites

It always saddens me when I'm stuck away from my personal computer, Sheldon (named after the super awkward character on Big Bang Theory), but I'll make do. I thought I should post up my commonly used nerd websites, as I have a few extra minutes. For starters, there's my gaming club, The 131, based out of Hadley, Massachusetts.


We've been running for almost three years now (it'll be three next month), and we're going pretty strong. Our Wednesday meeting nights tend to be pretty packed, except for these last three weeks when the weather was horrendous, we have over forty members and we run a decent number of events. Needless to say, I spend a LOT of time on those forums over there. If you're in the northeastern U.S., definitely check us out.

Next up is the site that helps fuel my plastic crack addiction, This is a great trading website that has the distinct advantage over most other forums in the fact that it's dedicated entirely to trading. It also has a solid feedback system, and the regulars and forum mods can be bloodhounds when it comes to tracking down people who try to rip traders off, which is always a comfort when you're sending expensive minis all over the place. I've managed some ridiculously good trades over there, including my entire BFG fleet and my entire Epic army (which includes in Imperator Titan. . .huzzah!). So yeah, definitely check it out.

Lastly, there's the site many of us GW nerds look to for the latest juicy tidbits, Bell of Lost Souls.

It has, perhaps, the most reliable rumors for upcoming GW releases, and lots of good articles to boot. Search through the archives, and you can also see things like great army conversions, tactica and painting guides, etc. It's definitely a good time waster.

So those are my three main nerd sites. Definitely check them out, although, if you're not from Western Mass, you might not be overly interested in The 131. Tonight, I photograph my stunties and I'll see if I can't post up my lazy man's painting guide.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

It's a Trap!

Alright, this is possibly the greatest news story of our time. I'm one for giving props to my main calamari, Admiral Akbar, but I want to give a huge high five out to those awesome students at Ol' Miss who came up with this idea.

My vote would definitely go out for ol' Akkie. Those higher-ups at Old Miss need to retire or die off or something, so some young blood can get in there and make perhaps the greatest scholarly decision since they decided to start teaching Galileo's heliocentric model of the solar system. But just think of what could come next. . .

Battle Report

So, I lied. I got home from my FLGS a bit late tonight, and was too drained to take any pictures. I had two hard fought battles, one against Dark Eldar, the other against Orks. Yes, I play 40k as well. The Angels of Purity Space Marines, a Blood Angels successor (well, technically I use the vanilla 'dex right now, but one month and they shall be BA again!). Both games were very close. The first, against Dark Eldar, was an annihilation game, and I won it by the narrow margin of two Kill Points (10 to 8). The second, a Capture and Control mission, was a Draw.

I have to say, even lacking an update in over ten years, the Dark Eldar can still be pretty rough. My opponent, Kevin, is a very capable player and has been playing the army for years. . .plus he managed to pack it with about thirteen Dark Lances. Needless to say I lost my Land Raider and all but one of my Rhinos by game's end. I do have to say, though, I have a new favorite addition to my army. . .

Yep, terminator librarians. I've recently discovered that Null Zone is perhaps the greatest power if you're ever facing daemons, and as one of our regulars has a nasty daemon list, well, it's pretty much the best insurance you can have without tailoring your list to your opponent. They're not overly impressive in combat, and during this match against the Dark Eldar he never got close enough to be of much use, but stick him in a Land Raider with a five-man Assault Terminator squad, hop out, use Null Zone if appropriate, blast your opponent with Vortex of Doom (S10 AP1 Blast), and then assault their faces off. Again, this didn't really work in this particular battle, as they died after fighting only one combat, but termie librarians definitely earned a few points in my eyes.

For the second match, those terminators and that librarian were indispensable. That one squad killed off a twelve-strong unit of ork bikes and a unit of trukk boyz, and the librarian blasted a warboss into the Warp. Outside of that, though, none of my units were that impressive. I was playing Dawn of War against an ork list with 24 bikers (counting as Troops, thanks to Wazdakka), six or so nob bikers, Wazdakka, a warboss on bike, and three trukks filled with boys. My bike squad managed to annihilate one unit of bikers with some support fire from a razorback, and the terminators did an excellent job as mentioned above. I lost a tac squad to one of the bike squads, and all of my vehicles were destroyed or weaponless by turn three (including the land raider). I did, however, have one tactical squad get assaulted by two nob bikers, each with one wound, and kill them before they attacked, which set up my standing on one objective to contest it at game's end.

I do have to tip my hat to my second opponent, Dez, as he had one heck of a worrisome list. Six units, all counting as Troops. The trukk boyz have an effective assault range of 22"without calling a Waaagh, and all of the bikers have a range of 18". It's the fastest-moving ork army I've ever seen. And it's pretty ingenious, as well. Obviously, the bikers are going to take the lion's share of the fire, but at T5 with a 4+ armor and 4+ cover save, they're a tough nut to crack. Your only hope is to fire all of your guns at one squad, get the unit down to half strength, and hope he fails his Morale test so they can't regroup. If I had the money (and wasn't already swamped with three major and one minor army paintjob), I'd even consider a modern speed freaks list.

Where it all begins. . .

Howdy folks, and welcome to my blog. As the name suggests, I'm a complete nerd. But since that's a fairly broad category, I suppose the first thing I should do is to introduce myself and narrow down that catch-all title. My name's Dan, but most people call me "Kinne," mainly because when I met my current group of friends, well, there were about five Dans. I dabble in all sorts of gaming, from video games to book and dice roleplaying games to tabletop games. That last one is why I started this blog. I've been playing tabletop games ever since the aforementioned friends sucked me into Warhammer about seven years ago. Hopefully this blog will do two things: one, share my love of the Hobby and wargaming in general, and two, help me finally finish an army by posting up work in progress posts as I go along. Yes, that's right. Seven years. About ten different forces. None ever painted.

Anyhow, my current project, the only army that's truly been mine for all six years, are my Stunties. Yes, I'm talking about Dwarfs.

Unfortunately, my lovely wife has our camera, and as she only had a delay instead of a full-on snowday, pictures of everything I have finished will have to wait for post number two. In the meantime, here is the one photographed unit that I do have finished, The Gnollengrom, my last-edition metal Longbeards.

The Gnollengrom

In my next post, I'll talk a little bit about my army, and my lazy man's technique to get nice-looking minis.