woensdag 31 januari 2018

What I Painted in January 2018

A new year... and as such a new charge on the numbers of painted models!

The goal of course trying to beat those 600+ figures of last year, which should be doable considering I only got back to painting in april last year...

And with the AHPC in full swing, that means I'm doing more of batch painting and aiming for consistent unit entries (all Emperor's Children, all 10mm ECW, that sort of thing) instead of mix and matching things in my usually chaotic ways.

But the first thing I completed this year wasn't entered in the challenge; the gloriuos Lucius the Eternal, who will be making appearances in every 40k game up to and including the big battle at the end of may, where he will be the supreme commander.

The actual first AHPC entry for 2018 was a modest one, in the form of this Empire Noble, painted in the colours of Ostermark to lead that contignent of my army.

The next one was a 15mm model I had lying around for about 7 years, to enter the Flight bonus theme.  Somewhere down the line I'll paint up his cultist followers to go with him.

Reiksguard Knights with their command where the next lot of figures painted, to further flesh out my regiment.  These are actually the old plastic Battlemasters boardgame by MB models.  And a sigmarite mounted priest to cheer them onwards...

A whole heap of 10mm ECW where painted up, from the Lancer Miniatures Kickstarter.  I still have the force I painted so far (minus the cannon) to go once again, so I might try to get them in either this challenge, or shortly afterwards...

I also did the Curtsey's Shang Chariot at last after a decennium, and it isnpired me to slowly collect a Shang dynasty force for Mortem et Gloria.  But this is far off future music, as I plan on buying the models now and then to save them up for the Challenge next year as the main project.  At least they will all be glued and primed before the start then :-)

The next bonus theme was Big Guns, and I painted an old Chaos Dwarf Earthshaker for this.

The first "big" points grabber for myself in the challenge came with this whole lot of Emperor's Children, a playable force in itself, to expand my Legion ever more.  February will see some more of those bigger points entries for sure, as I will have reached my mark the coming weekend with the bonus round, and will try and reach the next treshold of 1.000 as such, maybe even getting uberambitious and go for the 1500 points, though I doubt that will be managable.

And that's it for this month, a nice and varied selection due to the challenge, which is a great motivational for working away bits and bobs in the Lead Mountain.  I hope to do a lot of ACW in the coming month, paint up the Crisis limited edition set of the past edition, some more Dark Age and Ancients models (like those Victrix Romans I won at the TSA charity event), and start on the Kickstarter of Tombstone, though that and my Blood Bowl team might be shifted to the final weeks of the challenge.  And I still have a heap of pink and purples to go... but we did paint a solid 80 models this first month of the year!

So many potential entries, so few weeks to go as we reach the halfway mark of the challenge...

maandag 29 januari 2018

Gundam Build Fighters: GM's Counterattack

This OVA, set between the Build Fighters and the Build Fighters Try series, ties up a few ends as our antagonists go to battle once more.

And it brings a promise to fruition...

When Yajima stadion is to be reopened with a large GunPla event, the GM, or GunPla Maffia, steal Sei's latest machine and challenge our heroes to battle for possession of it.  Together with Sei, Mao, Nils, Fellini and the Meijin go into the game with their newest machines, fighting their way towards the "end boss", who is no-one else then the twin of the Build Fighters big evil bobo.

While our heroes get picked off one by one into duels (including Nenene doing a boobie show for Mao, causing him to lose all focus on the battle and focus on... yeah well, you get the idea), Sei confronts the boss who pilots a huge Psycho GM.  Together with manipulating particles, the heroes are almost defeated when suddenly Reiji reappears and takes control of Sei's machine, defeating the boss.

It was a nice movie to watch, with some great machines in it (the bike transforming Fenice Liberta in particular) and some nice action, while the finale realises the promise Sei and Reiji made each other, to duel in GunPla.

Great little flick in an amusing series!

Gundam Build Fighters: Battlogue

Finally, some "fresh" Gundam for me to watch, even though it's a YouTube released 5 episode series.

This series was made in the Build Fighters universe, and serves as both an infomercial for new released kits by BanDai, as well as a promotional for the GunPla hobby.

Where Build Fighters and Build Fighters Try recreated the dream of us builders of actually fighting in virtual reality with the models, this one takes it even further as characters can be added as well.  For example, episode 1 sees Char take on Ribbons... a Gundam fan's dream.

While rather short at 11 minutes per episode, the short stories are highly amusable and very varied in theme, as they tackle all sorts of different dream battle set ups.

Fun to watch for sure...

The older you get... the further back you game?

It`s monday morning, and I slept like hell, my brain churning out various things, amongst them a line I heard about wargaming, I believe it was on this weekend's Beasts of War YouTube show.

"The older you get, the further back in time you wargame."

And this put me thinking.  Is it true?  For myself or for those around me at the local club?  Does one start as a youngling playing Warhammer and end up as an old grey beard peering over his Egyptians?  And is it happening to me, now that I`m about "halfway" in years averaged on the life counter?

Like so many, I did indeed, at the snotnosed age of 14, start out in this hobby with the Warhammer game, which was back then just coming out in his 3rd edition incarnation.  Truth to be told, we thought we where buying an expansion for MB's Heroquest, boy was I wrong - in a good way-.  After years of basement gaming (well, attic to be precise), I moved on to a club, the Tin Soldiers of Antwerp, as my gaming group was falling apart. 

Those luring creatures called girlfriends had infiltrated our bastion of puberal masculinity and many fell by the wayside.

There, I continued playing Warhammer fantasy, but discovered the whole world of historical gaming as well.  Mind you, we are talking the 1997 - 98 era here, so the internet was still in it's fledgling shoes, and GW mail orders where still done by sending in a printed paper with a cheque.  It was also there that I set my first steps into this realms, with someone I still play with in the current Dux campaign.  I was introduced to playing dark ages with a set of home brewn rules.

Now, it didn`t glue to me back then, but the first seeds had been planted and ever since then, I have been maintaining an intrest in the period and playing the Irish on occassion ofter the decennia.  But I kept focussing on my Warhammer (and by then, 40k iteration as well), storming the tournament scene and being to often on the road to some event left or right in the lowlands.

Fast forward to about 7 years ago, and about 2 years before my "break".  I was growing tired of playing always the same people, with the same armies, a few years before that.  We had a created a good gaming group within the club, famous inside the clubdoors for always playing space games like Babylon 5 from Mongoose Publishing, but also a year long Flames of War campaign (avanti Savoia!).  The historical fires had been poked up a little more back then. 
Soon after those ended, the 6mm era in our group came along, with Future War Commander being the weekly game.  But also it's historical variant Blitzkrieg Commander.  Now, while being historical, world war 2 gaming for me is a lot like gaming 40k.  You got your killer tanks and infantry that must grab and hold objectives.

But there was something else during all those years: the annual mega battle ACW.  This period or war has always been my cup of tea, and once per year I got to play it in earnest.  There, it actually all began with, as I tried (and failed) to convert my buddies to play the period.  But it did slowly happen that I started hovering towards other groups and occasionally picked up a game left or right in various periods.

The break of 5 years then took place, due to influences that trashed my original gaming group a decade and a half before.

But the fire re-awakened after the rather sour-ending LEGO adventure, and the first thing I turned to was... historicals.  SAGA Irish to be precise, being both dark ages and it looked like something to get quick games in with.  Back at the club, I then immediatly dropped in the Dux campaign that was about to start and be on the path to gaming again.

I also at that time started restoring (and re-buying) my warhammer and 40k forces, because well, those are ideal to get yourself playdates most of the weeks anyways.  But compared to years before, I tend to play them now when I don`t have an historical game on the line somewhere.

Another very appealing fact to historical gaming is the painting.  Compared to most fantasy and sci-fi figures, our ancestors ran around rather bland.  That is not saying the models aren`t detailed or so, but they are just not covered in skulls, chains and other bits and bobs like the imagined brethren, making the paintjobs a lot more basic.  Scrutiny amongst other players is also far less in the historical gaming middles I've found, but harder on another level.

For example, a Union trooper MUST be blue and a british AWI soldier shall be red.  You loose the creative liberty of coming up with flashy or unique colourschemes, because, well, it was recorded they dressed like that.  Same goes for proxy troops etc, the historical community tends to be more WYSIWYG the the fantasy one.

Which might be a good thing, though with the limited weapon options in any given pre-1900 era, most armies where quite identical in material and it where the generals and the quality of the soldier that made the difference.  Either side generally had the same technology level, compared to the widely variants in sci-fi gaming, but where the what you see.. rule is barely implemented these days it seems.

So while limiting perhaps in a way creativity (I am not saying elaborate painting, look at the Napoleonic wars for example), it does help out with ease of play in recognising what is facing you.

The final aspect perhaps is money.  While I keep saying to all those that state that GW is expensive... try becoming a LEGO moc'cer and then you will see your wallet really cry, fact is historical are way cheaper. 
For my 25 euro, I either have a box of 5 GW models, or 40 Perry infantry for the ACW, the latter as such coming to a measly 0.5 euro per figure.  That is not expensive at all in my book, considering the time in life you will be spending together with your purchase while painting and gaming them.

This might sound like an odd point, but once you start to have bills to pay and mouths to feed, this can become a big factor in your hobby budget, to get more bang for your buck.  For the price of a big GW kit these days, you can buy an actual complete historical army at for example Warlord Games.

So with these three points in mind:
* availability to play games
* ease of painting
* models for your money
is it true that the older you get, the more you tend to turn to historical gaming?

Yes and no if I look back at myself.  On the one hand, the first point is the most important.  Your Roman army isn`t going to get you anywhere if all the historical players in the area only play French Indian Wars.  But if you have access to a club and can get games in of any period (I`m not talking rules, that's a bigger cl*sterf*ck then in fantasy) they become very appaling. 
Add to that perhaps budgetary restraints as you get older, and dwindling eyesight (something we all will be faced with eventually) and those all in grey uniform armies come mightily attractive for sure.

Well, those are my thoughts on the subject, I think in conclusion that it isn`t so per se (my Nemesis comes to mind as a prime example of someone who has barely any intrest in historics as years go by) but the lure to start dabbling in that aspect of the wargaming is definitly out there for the most of us as the years tick by.


zondag 28 januari 2018

The Haul Report 118

Hello everyone to another haul report of stuff added to the collection.

Now, this time it has been a small purchase... and then a suprise arrival on saturday right before I made the cut.

The only thing I actually bought from a clubmate, was a set of poxwalkers from the base box.  These guys are going to be the base to convert on for my Mutant Rabble squad in my Heretics and Renegades part of the Legion.  Nothing fancy, just 500 points to add some variety in the form of another detachment to the army, and having the chance to paint a pink Leman Russ tank.

The suprise arrival was the second part of my Wayland (yeah, THAT order) order, in the form of my boxed set of Rokitas bikes.  Together with the regular GW ones , they will form my bike squad for my Emperor's Children in the end, but it adds some much needed sexyness to the army as such.

Well, that`s it for this week.  Still have some small orders in the mail which I expect to drop in next week, but after that it's going to be liquidating time first before I start a whole new force with models I still have lying around. 

Let`s say it will be a very special looking army for 40k...

Taboo Tattoo

Painting night, so I benched another anime series while painting (understanding japanese helps a great deal in this) and today it was Taboo Tattoo, a 12 episode series.

It was a bit of a weird experience to be honest, as the show drastically changes tone midseason...

After saving a homeless man from some thugs, Seigi receives a strange tattoo from the man as a gift. This act leads to a series of events that will pull Seigi into the middle of a conflict between a special U.S. Army unit and the Kingdom of Selinistan, as both are scrambling to collect powerful "spell crests" called Power Crests, weaponized ancient artifacts of great power which can shift the balance of power in the world.

This makes that the show starts out as a regular hero vs villain punch up show, like so many.  But halfway through, the greater cause comes to the fore and it becomes a hero tries to save the world show from gigantic monsters.

Odd, not bad, but odd...

And now I`m going to rewatch some Gundam shows, as the current anime seasons are still lacking any decent mecha shows, before I get a total withdrawal...

zaterdag 27 januari 2018

The Boxtrolls

Another movie I watched with Noshi the past week, neither of us had seen this animated film from 2014 before.

Yeah, we tend to miss out on some from time to time it seems... not often, but it happens.

Eggs is a baby taken away by Boxtrolls, a race of underground scavengers, when his father is threatened by the exterminator Archibald Snatcher.  This last one uses the story to set up a ploy that if he is to exterminate all the trolls, he can join the city council and join in their cheese-eating parties (to which, ironically, he is very allergic).

When eggs best friend Fish gets captured, he sets out to save him and discovers not only the truth about his own past, but also Snatcher's plan.  This spurs him into motion to avoid this coming to fruition...

It was a great and fun film (we laughed like hell when Eggs has to blend in at a high society party), though the sideways animation at times bothered me, my eye kept drawn to the way the mouths moved in this way.  But this is greatly compensated by strong voice acting by Ben Kingsley, Simon Pegg, Nick Frost and others.

But that was just a minor remark in a very enjoyable lazy evening, watch from the bed Netflix film.

On the Painting Desk 31

The one with the nearly empty desk!!!

Well, at the time when I taped this earlier today at least... I`ll be putting together a heap of models tonight for the coming AHPC weeks.

So by this time next week, it`ll probably be overcrowded once again x-D

Albion the Enchanted Stallion

A fantasy movie from 2016 starring some great names (John Cleese!!!) Noshi and I sat down thursday and had a look at this flick.

It`s the sort of family style movies, not heavy and intense fantasy, but that you just sit back and let come over you with not to high expectations.

The story is basically that a 12 year old girl, Evie, is transported to a fantasy world by a black stallion.  Now, truth to be told, it's a Kelpie, and not a horse, so no stallions where actually involved... false advertising ;-) .  Here she learns that there is a war going on between the good Danaan and the evil general and his forces, and the farmer like Danaan are losing badly.

However, over the course of the adventure to find a way and overthrown the general by amassing four mystical artifacts, it turns out she is actually the daughter of the Danaan queen, and her father who is the fled son of the general.  And as such she becomes the most valuable person in the land of Albion, as her half blood nature makes her the person who can single handidly end the curse that entraps the Danaan underground.

It`s a nice made film on the visual part, and Cleese is, well, Cleese.  While the story is a bit predictable (hey, it`s a kid's movie), its one of those things you can just sit back with and enjoy without cracking up your brain.

Good to watch if you have children or one of those I don`t want to think to much TV evenings.

Emperor's Children vs Necrons: 750pts Battle Report

The first 40k game of 2018, and while I debuted Lucius (I`m going to field him in every game I play until the big battle in may), it was also the first time I played Necrons.  Like, ever...

I didn`t study the rules or such, so had no idea what to expect from them nor knew any rule apart from a vague "they stand back up".  As a true general, I let it all come over me...

Playing on a 4x4 table, we went for a straight fight without to much shannanigans, as my opponent Patrick played his first game of 8th edition.

My army consisted of Lucius and a Sorcerer, a 10 man Cultist group with autoguns and a heavy stubber, 10 marines with plasma gun and heavy bolter, a squad of Raptors with a meltagun and plasma pistol, a Quad Heavy bolter and a havoc squad of 3 plasmaguns and 1 lascannon.

On the opposing side a Cryptek led a force consisting of 11 and 12 warriors, 3 wraiths, an annihilation barge and a squad of 5 immortals.

While I deployed around a central building with a solid firebase, the Necrons spread over the width of the table and grabbed the first turn.

And boy did I get a scare right away when that barge started firing a gazillion dice, knocking out two of my Havocs in one volley.  The warriors concentrated all their fire on my Marine squad, but bad dice rolling caused only two to fall.

In my turn I knew one thing: that barge had to go.  So I poured plasma and lascannon fire into it... and got my second scare with it`s damage ignoring ability.  I had dropped the raptors in, and luckily the combined fire in the end took out it's wounds.
The other squads had been firing on the bigger of the two Warrior squads, causing 7 casualties.  The raptors charged in and killed another 3, and in the resulting morale phase the final two legged it, resulting in the rest not being able to rise. 
Okay, that went well...

His second turn made short work of my raptors, as his lord and two squads lined up and fireplatooned them.  The wraiths raced towards the havocs to close the gap and hopefully assault them in turn 3.

My line moved forward in the next turn, while Lucius went to protect the Havocs.  In the resulting shooting phase, I managed to down two of the wraiths and leave one on a single wound.  The rest of the army managed to, thanks to Prescience, stratagems and bad saving throws, to decimate the second warrior squad.

In his third turn, the Wraith assaulted... and Lucius heroically intercepted... but failing to cause a wound sigh.  But all the rest didn`t fare any better though.

In my third turn, Lucius took out the at last, while the Immortals now fell to my combined firepower.  That left only his character on the table now, who failed to do anything.

And then I did something totally and uber in character, or arrogant depending how you see it.  It was Lucius time!  Even though the Cryptek was on his last wound and totally surrounded by my army, I refused to psychic power him, OR shoot at him.  I charged Lucius in combat, and he made short work of the Lord, for the glory of Slaanesh.

So my first ever game against Necrons was a win, and I picked up a healthy respect for some of their units.  Also, the -1 AP on their basic gun is nothing to laugh with, as most of my force was saved by his abysmal dice rolls.  I do know that from now on, those Barges are going to be nr 1 targets for Heavy Bolters and Rapiers with their low damage to hit output, and punch them out asap.

A fun game, and Lucius didn`t make a total idiot of himself in the end...

vrijdag 26 januari 2018

The Pink Phalanx

Well, when it came to be known Ray would be my Minion in this challenge, he said he looked forward to rate my pink paintjobs... so who am I to deny him that pleasure.

In order to indulge him with lots and lots of pink, this weeks entry is a whole expansion for my Emperor's Children force.  And looking at them afterwards, they are actually enough to play a game with these alone for about 750 points or the likes.

Leading this band of excess seeking lunatics is a Lord in power armour, armed with the mandatory plasma pistol and powersword.

To accompany him, a sorcerer in terminator armour joins the fray.  I got no idea where the little naked elf in front of him is from, but she was an excellent representation for the Chaos Familiar stratagem.

Three raptors got painted in between (I mix loyalists and traitors in my force for visual diversity) to boost my unit a little as well.

Cultists are present as well of course, because everyone needs cultists galore to serve as cannon fo... loyal and important frontline shock(ed) troops.  I also used them in a way as a testbed for the Blood Bowl team I`m painting up with all the pastelly and girly colours.  So the Bronnie Brigade will march off in a quest for glory sporting their heavy stubber and flamer to bring the words of pleasure to the unbelievers.

The final part of the entry are the Chosen.  This 10 man squad of champions are the elite forces of a chaos army (though in the current rules, their roles can be better performed by more specialised troops) and a happy mix and match of all sorts of weapon load-outs.  I did some weapon swaps on them to make them fully fieldable in the current game.

Well, that`s the power of the pink for this week, 35 figures for 5 points each, netting me a nice 175 points in total...