donderdag 29 maart 2012

The Library of Blue... part two

Which actually rhymes... but that was completely unintentional hehehe

Anyways, as some might know, I`m a collector of the Blue colour of Magic the Gathering, more then a player, and after updating all my checklists today, it turns out that bar things like constructed starter decks, promo cards and the likes, so `normal` Magic, I am down to missing only 6% of all the cards ever printed.

I have some serious binders in other words, or a `Library of Blue` as I tend to call them (being 4 of the large binders, double siding ultrapro 9-card sheets).

But that means 208 of the buggers are still escaping my grasp, namely:

New Phyrexia: Jin-Gitaxias, Core Augur

Magic 2012: Phantasmal Image

Lorwyn: Cryptic Command / Jace Beleren / Merrow Reejerey / Scion of Oona / Sower of Temptation

Morningtide: Grimoire Thief / Vendillon Clique

Shadowmoor: Cursecatcher

Eventide: Glen Elendra Archmage / Sanity Grinding / Wake Trasher

Shards of Alara: Memory Erosion / Tezzeret the Seeker

Magic 2010: Jace Beleren / Merfolk Sovereign / Sphinx Ambassador / Time Warp / Traumatize / Twincast

Zendikar: Archive Trap / Mindbreak Trap / Rite of Replication

Rise of the Eldrazi: Coralhelm Commander / Training Grounds

Magic 2011: Frost Titan / Jace Beleren / Leyline of Anticipation / Merfolk Sovereign / Preordain / Stormtide Leviathan / Time Reversal / Traumatize

Odyssey: Extract / Patron Wizard / Standstill / Time Stretch / Traumatize / Upheaval

Torment: Breakthrough / Circular Logic / Llawan, Cephalid Empress

Judgement: Cunning Wish / Spelljack

Onslaught: Blatant Thievery / Future Sight / Wheel and Deal

Legions: Shifting Sliver / Synapse Sliver

Scourge: Brain Freeze / Day of the Dragons / Raven Guild Master / Stifle

Eight Edition: Archivist / Bribery / Coastal Piracy / Concentrate / Daring Apprentice / Evacuation / Giant Octopus / Sage of Lat-Nam / Sea Eagle / Temporal Adept / Tidal kraken / Vizzerdrix

Mirrodin: Fatespinner / Vedalkan Archmage

Fifth Dawn: Beacon of Tomorrows / Bringer of the Blue Dawn

Champions of Kamigawa: Time Stop

Betrayers of Kamigawa: Disrupting Shoal / Kira, the Great Glass-spinner / Threads of Disloyalty

Saviors of Kamigawa: Erayo, Soratamo Ascendant / Eternal Dominion / Sakashima the Imposter / Twincast

Ninth Edition: Battle of Wits / Cowardice / Evacuation / Levitation / Plagiarize / Rewind / Tidal Kraken / Trade Routes / Traumatize / Vizzerdrix

Ravnica: City of Guilds: Followed Footsteps / Remand

Dissension: Cytoplast Manipulator / Spell Snare

Time Spiral: Ancestral Vision / Deep Sea Kraken / Teferi, mage of Zhalfir / Trickbind

Time Spiral Timeshifted: Lord of Atlantis

Planar Chaos: Aeon Chronicler / Body Double / Serra Sphinx

Future Sight: Magus of the Future / Mystic Speculation / Pact of Negation / Venser, Shaper's savant

Tenth Edition: Ambassador Laquatus / Arcanis the Omnipotent / Evacuation / Hurkyl`s Recall / Sky Weaver / Time Stop / Time Stretch / Traumatize / Wall of Air
Seventh Edition: Counterspell / Equilibrium / Evacuation / Lord of Atlantis / Mahamoti Djinn / Mana Short / Opportunity / Opposition / Sleight of Hand

Invasion: Collective Restraint / Fact or Fiction

Nemesis: Rootwater Thief / Submerge

Mercadian Masques: Bribery / Misdirection

Urza`s destiny: Aura Thief / Donate / Treachery

Urza`s Legacy: Tinker

Urza`s Saga: Back to Basics / Energy Field / Fog Bank / Gilded Drake / Great Whale / Morphling / Show and tell / Stroke of Genius / Sunder / Time Spiral / Turnabout / Veiled Sentry

Exodus: Dominating Licid / Ertai, Wizard Adept / Mind over Matter

Stronghold: Dream Halls

Sixth Edition: Counterspell / Desertion / Flash / Lord of Atlantis / Mana Short / Mystical Tutor

Tempest: Chill / Counterspell / Intuition / Meditate / Propaganda / Time Warp / Tradewind Rider

Weatherlight: Paradigm Shift

Visions: Chronatog / Desertion

Fifth Edition: Aether Storm / Air Elemental / Anti-Magic Aura / Brainstorm / Counterspell / Dance of many / Deflection / Drain Power / Forget / Hurkyl`s recall / Juxtapose / Leviathan / Lifetap / Magical Hack / Magus of the Unseen / Mind Bomb / Pirate Ship / Sea Spirit / Sleight of Mind / Stasis / Steal Artifact / Time Elemental / Zur`s Weirding

Mirage: Dissipate / Flash / Mystical Tutor / Polymorph

Coldsnap: Arcum Dagsson / Commandeer / Counterbalance / Rune Snag

Alliances: Force of Will

Ice Age: Illusions of Grandeur

Fourth Edition: Control magic / Counterspell / Hurkyl`s recall / Lord of Atlantis / Magical Hack / Mana Short / Pirate Ship / Relic Bind / Stasis / Thoughtlace / Volcanic Eruption

So should you have something of those and are willing to depart with them, drop me a post down here and we`ll certainly arrange something.

Oh, and since I only play mono-blue in whatever format or style (well, bar drafts and sealed, as you don`t `build` a deck from ones own cards in those), if you got a heap of blues lying around, I might be tempted (easily, I`m weak-willed in all things hobby, it`s called the Wargamer Syndrome) to liberate you off all those as well. I can always use blues to build (or attempt to at least) yet another deck hehehe.

woensdag 28 maart 2012

Villers Bocage: assembling the 7th Armoured Division tank squadron

Just like the Carthaginians earlier today, I finally (they only been lying in my closet for about 4 years now) assembled my Cromwell tank squadron for use in Flames of War. Better late then never I guess?

This way, I also have a view on what is going onto the Salute shopping list, namely Sextons, TD`s and some more Cromwell`s.

Now, I know that the new edition of the rules makes this Reluctant bunch not to happy with the idea of assaulting infantry, but under the new tank rules, no tank comapny is happy to do that job. Just like I ain`t happy to do the job of painting infantry for FoW anymore, did enough of that with my Italians thank you very much.

But why this list? Simple: Cromwell`s. Not because they are the uber tank of all killiness, as they are outfought by their counterpart on the german side, the Panzer IV, but because like it`s predecessor the Crusader, I just love the look and style of the tank.

Okay, so we have to haul those fat Firefly`s around to make dents in enemy armour, but we`ll at least be able to outrace most tanks and semi-indirect is a good friend of mine.

So in this 1000 points, I have two Cromwell platoons, an HQ with AA support and a recovery vehicle (you`ll never bog when you have those, but be sure Murphy will get you when you don`t), and a Stuart V recce platoon.

And I know my Nemesis is gonna love me for seeing this post appear >:D

Over the Alps: assembling the 15mm Carthagians

My Fields of Glory `Rise of Rome` and an Osprey on the Carthage Warrior fell in the mailbox today, and feeling not in the mood to do serious brushstroking, I`m dedicating the better part of the day to prepare and assemble some of my forces, first up the carthage deal I bought last week.

Now that I know what consists of what, needs whoch base and stuff like that, All are glued and cleaned now and ready for undercoat and paintworks.

It also gives me an idea of roughly what I need to get at Salute to round the force out, mainly the heavy foot and enough cavalry to fill out the regiments. I have the Elephants and the light troops (slingers, javelins, archers etc) covered it seems, so it`s mainly the `core regiments` that need a lot of expanding to do still.

They`re comming out of the God damn walls...

Aliens... God I LOVE that movie, even though it is already over 25 years of age (yes, we`re getting that old, it was released in 1986...)

And now I painted up a set of the Khurassan beasties to go with my Colonial Marines (more on them comming sunday, they`re getting wiped atm in the Lead Painter`s League).

But, this also means I finally have to tell the world one of my biggest griefs I have with the movie...


As w all know and learned, the process of making the beasties is that a Facehugger plants a parasite in your lungs, those grow to become a Chestburster and that becomes the Xenomorph.

Roight, so one hugger -> one chest -> one alien per humanoid.

The planet where Hadley`s Hope is located is a barren rock, apart from the terraforming there was no other indiginious lifeform (stated beginning of the Aliens movie).

Hadley`s Hope, population 128 (stated in the extended version, as we see the counter on the name plate)

One colonist we know is not inseminated (Newt), and one died after the hugger was surgically removed (Bishop says so when they found two in the testtubes of HH`s lab).

That leaves us with, and that is if not one colonist was ripped apart by the aliens attack, which is highly unlikely but we`ll give it the benefit of the doubt, 126 potential victims to become brooding cells.

One queen, 126 aliens... and one was already killed of by the colonists (the acid hole in the beginning as the Marines entered HH), so that leaves us with 125 of the beasties.

Enter the Marines under the station and the aliens attack. They encounter a colonist who just gives birth to a chestburster as they torch it. Since it wasn`t born, it couldn`t have been in the initial attack and was finished off immediatly, so that gets us down to 124.

Vazquez and Drake loosen up with their guns, and we see 3 exploding. Down to 121 now, Hicks shoots one through the head with his shotgun back in the APC after Drake before dying torched one, and Ripley drives over another melitng the APC`s drive axle. 118 of the beasts left at this point...
Anither one had died in the meantime with the crashing of the dropship...

Apone and Dietrich appear to be still alive, and Ripley suspects they are being cocooned, so up two for the beasts, 119 should be available for the meatgrinder...

... and a grinder it is when the beasts attack the survivors. The remote controlled sentry guns (extended edition) fire more then 1200 (!!!!!!!) shells into the beasts (4 guns at 300+ shells each, and one stops with only 10 on the counter, the other three depleted) and we see beasts explode on impact. Considering the guns are tracking movement and infrared (again, extended AND the Marines technical manual) it seems hard to believe they only blew apart a dozen or so.

Yet still, LOTS of beasts come crawling between the roof, and a firefight erupts in which at least another dozen are shot apart before Vazquez and Gorman blow up another three with the handgrenade in their final sacrifice. By now, the beasts should all have been exterminated, by a factor of 3 or 4 even but no...

As Ripley goes off to save Newt, she encounters yet again about a dozen guarding the hatchery, so I ask you, where DO these beasts keep comming from before the nuclear explosion seemingly wiped them all out?

And don`t get me started where that Queen ever found time to 1. Lay an egg on the Sulaco and 2. even managed to lay an egg without her `eggsac` which she left behind in the hatchery...

dinsdag 27 maart 2012

YES, going to make it to Salute after all

It took some networking, heaven and earth where moved and blood, sweat and tears shed, but I managed it...

... I WILL be able to attend Salute this year after all! Decided like, this morning, to `screw it all, I`m going`, and after some truddling and gubbling I found a hotel after all at a decent price of 155 euros incl. breakfast for a night. The Hilton hotel near the Tower Bridge to boot, 5 stars here we come.

Tip for non regular business travellers: Business hotels are actually cheaper then most normal hotels in weekends, and if you take the time to look around about a month before you go, you can get even greater rates as they have unfilled rooms, and every stayover in a weekend is actually bonus venue for them on their monthly revenue.

Okay, so i`ll have to travel by Eurostar, arriving in London around 16hrs local on the friday and leaving again saturday at 19hrs local, not the usual 5-day trip I prefer but it was that or nothing.

I might even meet my idol there ;)

With Bow and Blade: Council of Wizards

Okay, so I gave my 15mm HOTT force project to be a name, With Bow and Blade after some RP book I have lying around detailing the society and race of, you guessed it, the Wood Elves.

I painted up the second element of the force, the Wizard, which consists of a Maiden on a Unicorn, a Wizard by foot and their heroic bodyguard. After all, a single 15mm figure on a 4 by 4 cm base would look really empty, but I decided to stick to the basing conventions mentioned in the rulebook. Models are from Splintered Light, the maiden is sold seperatly whilst the other two come from the heroes pack.

My Magister Militum bases arrived today as well, I ordered enough of the black plastic bases to not only accomodate this force, but also the next project(s) like the Cathaginians. And after all, one can never have to much bases now does he.

And here is the force all based up (minus the stronghold, still not decided to go for a `Tree of Life` or for a `Stonehenge` style glade), I`ll post the picture of this one each time the force gets expanded more and more, but first I still have to finish about two rounds of LPL entries before I can get in full swing to this army.

Which brings me to conclude that I need a...

Change of Plans

Instead of painting hotspotch things, I guess that starting after the League I`m going to have to `prioritise` some projects.

I`m going to try to paint up each month at least one of the following EACH:

* 1 regiment of American Civil War in 28mm
* 1 regiment of Chaos Dwarfs
* About minimum 20 models in 15mm from whatever I`m working on that month

Only after each time those are done will I endeavour in other models

That`s a lot of painting to do each month I realise, but it will make a massacre of the Lead Painter`s Vow counter for sure and it should get my armies primed and ready in a decent amount of time.

maandag 26 maart 2012

TSA Annual ACW weekend 2012: Epilogue

As written by `Concrete Wall` Murrath, general of the Union and not stunting this year but obediently sticking to the plan...

And so another year has passed and all that is left is to look back and conclude the weekend was once more a great fun affair and heaps of fun.

Even though we are all winners in ventures like this, game wise the Union took the victory due to being better prepared and having a more rigid battle plan, sticking through it all the way no matter what opportunities arose druing the two days of battle, and now bringing perfect balance to the `roll of honour`

2008: Gettysburg - Confederate Victory - I did not participate
2009: Antietam - Confederate Victory - joined in on day 2 as Col Hofmann
2010: Second Bull Run - Draw - General J. P. Hatch
2011: First Bull Run - Union Victory - Colonel A. E. Burnside
2012: Stone`s River - Union Victory - Brigade General J. S. Negley

The great benefit where that there where hardly any rules discussions, only at the end of the second day some arose, but no-one smacked someone in the head at the end so I think we can say it all went well on that part.

So here we have it, the final positions on the table as seen from all four corners of the battlefield.

This is all possible thanks to the following people, from left to right:

Top row: Erwin (GM), Andre (organiser), Dirk (GM) and Christophe (GM)
Bottom row: Patrick R. (photographer), Patrick S. (provided ALL the miniatures), Johan (bartender) and Ronnie (cook).

Yes, COOK, we wehere well provided during the weekend:

But let us not forget the valiant, yet delussional Southern generals who tried to fight for their independance:

Top row: Çois, Richard, Ian, Erik and Paul
Bottom row: Eddy (CiC), Jozef, Willie and Kevin

And the losses they suffered during this campaign:

But as you all know, in the end they all had to leave the battlefield robbed of their dreams, as the coherent chain of command and well executed plan of the Union swung over the table, led by these gallant officers.

Top row: George, Wim, Bart, Liam, Guido and Peter
Bottom row: Eddy, Willem (CiC), Dirk and myself (the only politically appointed general present)

And the losses they suffered:

And now the road to 2013 has begun, the year of 150 years of Gettysburg and the idea our organisers are working with is to refight the second day of the battle, with both flank actions going on. The table should become expanded with an extra fourth one of the one used this year, and the miniature count would go up from 3000+ to 9000+... that`s trippling forces.

Understandably, that means we all are going to have to chip in a bit, so expect over the comming moths to see at least one regiment of blue coats appear on this blog on a monthly basis. It`s the smallest I can do to help out in this ultimatly great, fun and epic battle.

Though for the organisers sake, he better make sure I have 2nd Brigade of II Coprs during gettysburg then or I`ll be starting my own `Troubles`.

And for the Confederacy, not all is lost as they still hold some land...

zondag 25 maart 2012

Twilight Wildlife - Lead Painter`s League Round 3

Another week, and a hatrick. Three trashings in a row, and once more nothing to really contest the judges. I *might* have scored way better this time with a picture, but in the end I`m pretty sure I`d still would have fallen short.

At least it was an acceptable loss, with about 30% of votes still collected as seen here, but I`m starting to prepare myself to attack the last place. The current round once again looks like it is going to become a fiasco (and once more, well deserved).

I really should try to consider starting `a bit` earlier on the next League me thinks, and learn to build scenery and a `story` for my entries. fat chance though, I`ve probably all forgotten about those things two days after the league ends teeheeheee.

Next year, with the 150 years of Gettysburg, I AM going to try and enter 10 rounds of American Civil War troops though (for other reasons as well, but those will be revealed over the course of the comming year, but think ACW weekend at TSA needing 9000+ figures opposed to the 3000+ you`ve seen passing on the past blogposts...).

Finally, for Leon, here are some slightly better and improved pictures of the various critters themselves:

TSA Annual ACW weekend 2012: Day 2

And so we arrive at the second day of the Battle of Stone`s River. It is New years Day and the Emancipation Proclamation has gone into effect, eliminating all possible interference of Great Britain on the side of the Confederacy.

As the day draws first light (a very early one to boot, bloody daylight savings time) the forces start their advances. Today the Union has planned to make the push to go from the stalemate draw they had secured yesterday, to a victory now that reinforcements have arrived.

The South still hasn`t moved through the centre, leaving two divisions sitting idly and not taking part in the battle. The bit they would start to do during the day would turn out to be to little, far to late.

In the meantime, Second Corps is racing to the right flank, my commander Negley collecting each and every battery along the way to recreate one of Napoleon Bonaparte`s `Grande Batteries` and relieve the hard pressed divisions there. However, by the time the battery was formed (no less then 11 batteries numbering 31 sections in total) the enemy had withdrawn and yielded the fords, to withdraw into the nearby forest and take up a strong defensive position to secure the hill.

On the other flank, the Third Corp has decimated the Confederate resistance there and secured White House, and starts to file towards the centre, leaving a small but still numerical superior force to face the remaining confederate troops.

In the centre, there is no breakthrough as the two lines consolidate towards each other, and the battle comes to a halt as lines are drawn. This resulted in a victory for the Union (albiet only just), with the knowledge that if more time would pass by, the confederate losses would start to outweigh the Union`s even more and the balance would keep swinging further and further in the Union`s favour.

Join me again tomorrow morning for the final part with the credentials et all... but I`m totally knackered know and going to make it a very early night.