vrijdag 30 november 2018

On the Painting Desk 71

Time to do some sorting and preparing the painting desk for the AHPC.

In the coming week(s), I`ll be trying to get some stuff finished on the desk, before emptying it and replacing figures with all MESBG material.

Because I`ll be sticking together and undercoating a LOT of Middle Earth denizens to prepare for the Hobby Challenge that kicks off at the end of the month!

donderdag 29 november 2018

40k... not all is great

Okay, so during the past year and a half, Warhammer 40.000, or 40k for short, has been the game I've been playing and painting the most.

This had mainly to do with the new edition coming out around the moment I got back in the hobby, and my clubmates embrased it to the fullest.

And while I enjoyed the game a lot so far, I have my gripes with the current edition...

First off, there is of course the whole Primaris thing.  Bigger, better, stronger posterboys, and more wounds each for not that big a price increase points wise.  And now the old characters are being upgraded to them as sell, making marine armies even more prelevalent.

While the Astartes have always been the most popular army, this edition seems to be ruled by 3+ power armour forces when I look around.  Heck, in all this time, I still have to "meet" about half the armies out there it seems...

And then getting one of the two main Marine forces becoming all two wounds troop, makes one wonder how Chaos can be winning in the fluff...

A second issue: it's a simplified gunfight system.  That they dropped the penetration charts for plain wounds is fine, but the removal of fire arcs and armour facings killed a lot of tactical thinking and movement planning.

Just put that tank down and it fires all way round with that big front fixed gun.  And don't get me started on overwatching earthshakers...

The game is degenerating in just bringing along a lot of basic weapons, or anti infantry AP-1 guns, which by volume of fire can even lay down a Land Raider in a concentrated volley.  Because 6 always wounds anyways... and 50/50 saves basic marines are fast casualties to lasguns...

Yes, even as a gunline player myself, I often had games I actually gotten bored during the game, as no real thinking was required, just pour in fire.

Third in my gripe list is a classic, Codex Creeping... it's been an issue since days of old, every new codex is a little better then the previous one, and after half the edition is thorugh the first ones zre hopelessly outmatched, unless you are a Space Marine and you get an all fresh one.  Oh, guess what's coming early 2019... *sigh*.

Of course, as a result competitive "nova lists" are often popping up in friendly clubnights, especially with newer players.  Like in Magic, they seek and copy the wining lists of tournaments and field the same, requiring no thinking on the part of army building, tactics as they can read the how to's... and drain a lot of fun out of games.

Let alone that within a week of a codex release, there is a faq as well... really?  Together with two half year big faq's and a chapter approved book, you need a trolley just to carry all the paperwork for your own force along!!!!  That is not listening to a community, that is spit and prayer leakfilling as you go in my opinion.

That is perhaps the better thing about more classical historical games, and even GW's Middle Earth: either forces of all just humans with a spear, or very unevenly matched scenarios that require working braincells.  And with MESBG, all forces are nicely in two books.

Now, this might be a bit of a vinegar post, but it isn't all bad of course.  This is just a post about the not likey likey things for me in the current game.  The fact it is easy to get a game in for example.

They only should stop saying everywhere that this is the ultimate finetuned edition... because like with age of sigmare, they went to far down the easy road... resulting in MESBG being the most brain chalkenging of their games now...

But enough rambling, time to go forward, man up and make more noiseeeeeee...

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

Tududu du duu, tududu du duuuuu ROOOOOAAAR....

Yep, time for sitting back and watching 2 hours of raging dinosaurs again!

After a couple of years of the events of the first movie, Owen and Claire find themselves on route back to Isla Nublar.  Due to a volcano becoming active, the dinosaurs there are marked for death, and together with a team send by Hammond's former partner Lockwood, they ar eout to try and evacuate some of the animals, Blue in particular.

However, they soon learn the beasties aren't taken to be relocated in peace, but that Lockwood's aide, Eli, is planning on auctioning them off instead in order to weaponize them.  Including the Indoraptor, a new species made by Henry Wu based on the DNA of the Indominus and Velociraptors, which I'm certain sounded as a great idea at the time of it's creation...

Needless to say, this auction goes wrong and the killing starts.  Well, sort off, because for a Jurassic movie, there are rather few people being eaten this time.  It seems it is more of a movie on the right of existence instead... and that doesn't make it better per se.

But it was a laid back film for some evening entertainment, but it certainly isn't one of the highlights of the series, even with Dr Malcolm's (sort off) return...

Ah well, at least we got Daniella Pineda in the film ;-)

woensdag 28 november 2018

What I painted in November 2018

The penultimate month of the year, and the last month I have straight night paint sessions.

This is due to my Dolly changing careers, and saying bye bye to night shifts, so we are going to be toggling our free time around a bit as this brings some changes along of course.

Now, this did mean I went in a bit of an overdrive for the painting as a result, trying to get as much done as possible in that very last weekend of her shifts, in an effort to clear the desk a bit more.

The first target as such was to round out and finish the works on some more Emperor's Children troops, the "berserker" unit being the first and foremost to that end.

But also another 'regular' armed squad, as 9 Tactical Marines joined the ranks in their pre-heresy colours, to round out the unit of which I had only completed a champion so far.

The Renegade compartment of the force also got a fresh shiny unit, in the form of a Chimera to transport the squads around.

For my Dux army, some more Wicca joined my force in the form of this little vignette.  Poor horsey...

For the Middle Earth game, I painted up some additional models as well.  Minas Tirith warriors joined the fray in 4 each or sword, spear and bow, and led by Faramir in his armour and a Banner Bearer.  As did merry old Tom.

On a scenery level, I finished 8 sections of walls to put on the gaming table.

I also painted some figures purely to sell off, from lost projects.  Like this Dark Angel commander for one.

To that end, november clocks out at a hefty 58 models for this month.  No idea though what the end of the year will bring just yet... but I won't be reaching the paint totals of last year I'm afraid.

Now to prepare figs for that special period of the year again... and I don't mean christmas!

Let this by the day we draw swords...

Okay, it's decided.

After pondering on the idea for some time now, I have decided that in 2019 I will be returning to playing wargame tournaments.

At first, I was tinkering with the idea of doing it in 40k, the game I've been playing the most at TSA the past 1.5 years.  But reading and watching on Nova "horror stories", in which I mean the very heavy min / max'ing that this edition seems to cause, I decided against that in the end.  The same goes for the fact I don't want to / are able to to invest a heap of time in studying every tactic and unit of every book like in the old days.  My Emperor's Children would be a ping pong ball in an extreme bowling alley as a result.

While attending Crisis this year however, I learned about the existance of the Flemish Hobbit League, and their tournaments.  While I returned to MESBG anyways, and looked into the system that I loved ever since 2001 again, I made the decision.  They run about 5 to 6 tournaments a year, and of those 1 is around the corner, and one rather close by with the train anyways, so that is where my pick went out to.

Surely, I don't have to learn that many forces, as all are going to be in just two books (armies for Lord of the Rings in one book, and for The Hobbit in the other).  That makes not only the study part, but also the carry along part a lot more atractive.

Seeemingly these days, you don't need a force for either side anymore aswell.  In the old days, you went to events carrying both a good and an evil force, but for the FHL events, one force of seemingly 700 points is enough.  So enter my beloved Rohirrim!

While never truly the best force in the MESBG's previous incarnations, I always adored the mighty Horse Lords, and that makes it no more then normal to take them as an army, even though I'll be painting "double" for them.  Because if they kill your horse, you must run along on foot, and I'm going to opt to exchange the figures instead of putting down tokens.  I have heaps of warriors anyways to go alongside my Riders.  Oh, and apparantly you have to provide 3 objective markers, but I have enough historical bits to knock together the three required 25mm round bases of stuff for that anyways...

My "target tournament" is still quite a way off, as the one in Antwerp traditionally takes place on the 11th of november in Outpost Antwerp, organised by The Puppeteers wargame club.  So that is the one the force MUST be ready for next year, but if I finish them sooner, I might jump on the bandwagon that bit earlier.

Now to draft Noshi to become my testing partner of refreshing the game :-)

dinsdag 27 november 2018

Torchwood: Long Time Dead - Sarah Pinborough

A prequel to Miracle Day, the Torchwood series was a great show to watch in my opinion.

I still find it a shame I couldn`t get to FACTS autumn 2018 though to grab an autograph with John Barrowman as such...

Also, this is the first instalment of returning to my old format of reviews of series, movies and books.  I will no longer be doing the what I like / dislike points to be honest, as at times it was hard wording in short points about those.
Instead I`m returning back to just taking a look at the books and such, with some plot and synopsis pieces included, but then inserting any opinions into them as I go along.  Because for me, it is simpler to write up stuff that way to be honest, and it is not like this is a professional review site or such anyways x-D.

Now, with her memory and mind unlcoked, it was as if she could truly see it.  The zwfulness inside.  The pain that waited.  The horror that lived there.  It was coming.  The screaming of millions.

Cardiff Bay.  The government has ordered the excavation of the wreckage of a secret underground base.  DCI Tom Cutler is watching from a distance, fascinated by the process.  There are people in his dreams.  People he feels he should know.
The disbanded Torchwood Institute spent a century accumulating non-terrestial artefacts and catching aliens.  Who knows what - or who- might still intact down there.
By the time they find the first body, Suwie Costello is long gone...

Based on the Torchwood series, the highly enjoyable spin-off from Doctor Who, this book gives a good go-in for the Miracle Day arc.

Altar of Slaanesh update November 2018

So, two times the Emperor's Children went to battle this month, and while one ended in disaster, the other yielded another trophy to the godess of Pleasure.

Massacred by the Custodes, the Pink Phalanx took it's vengeance on a bunch of Bad Moon Orks and Grots the week after.

To that end, a small piece of a choppa, as the battle was decided in melee, has been added to the pile of defeated enemies.

maandag 26 november 2018

The Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge 9

The AHPC is back, and I`m in again this year!

The theme is "Fellowship", and as you can see on the logo of this year's challenge, it`s right up my painting alley.

Curt also did a great job creating 5 different bonus rounds, in the form of Reconnaisance, Sport, Mercenaries, Water Feature and Fellowship.  While I have a pretty good idea what I will be doing in rounds 1, 3 and especially 5, I have no clue yet for the other two.

This will also mean that all my Lord of the Rings unpainted and undercoated models on my paint desk have been removed for now, as I will start painting on them from the 21st of december onwards.  This time, I`m not planning the way I did last year, by trying to toss something out every week.

Instead I`m going for "forces" of the MESBG every time, like 20+ Orcs in one go, an eored of Riders of Rohan, that sort of things.  I don`t know if it`ll work out that way, or that I`ll be returning to weekly or two weekly entries, but for now that`s the tactical plan.  Keeps the deadlines more fluent as well, as long as I finish something in the first month, and in addition for the bonus rounds where able.

To that end, I only went for a modest 750 points goal again.  Last year that was because I had no idea how the challenge worked, this year this is mainly due to work obligations.  And 750 points still means 150 infantry figures in scale 28mm, or 50 each month.  Quite a bunch actually, even if I could snatch some extra points with cavalry and bonus rounds.

But I HOPE to have finished by the end of the challenge a nice videoclip containing a LOT of Orcs, Moria Goblins, Army of the Dead, Rohirrim, Uruk Hai and Men of Minas Tirith at least, smathered with a variety of characters and smaller groups...

Let it be the 21st soon!

zondag 25 november 2018

Faramir and Banner Bearer

The last models I`m painting before the AHPC begins for Lord of the Rings, these are to boost my already painted Men of Minas Tirith.

Youngest and least favorite son of Denethor, Faramir was charged with the hopeless defence of Osigiliath against the tide of Mordor.

While usually out with his rangers, in the heaviest fighting he donned his armour to lead his men from the front.  Accompanying him for the game is a Gondor banner bearer, which grants some nifty bonusses to a force.

A force which will be seriously expanded upon once the AHPC is upon us, but for now this is a good little warband to build the force around.

Haul Report 157: more after-Crisis catch up's

And another week has gone by, as christmas keeps crawling ever closer upon us...

... but that doesn`t mean I got some more Crisis fogetfullnesses in the mailbox!

The first one of these being the LOTR dice cubes, who weren`t available at the show but now are finally in my possession.

Another thing that came with that order, and because me and Noshi enjoy the game, is the second season of Warhammer Underworlds: Nightvault.

The final parcel is something I did forget indeed to buy, a carry bag for my Pworks gaming mat.  Bit steep on shipping, but serves me right for being all cheese for brains when making my purchases.

The final purchase came at the club, 12 tubes of glue for 3 euro is a fine deal in my book, thats what I usually pay for a single one...

So a nice little stack of loot again this time round, see you next week!

zaterdag 24 november 2018

Emperor's Children vs Grots 1500 points battle report

Okay, so "grots" is just a fancy name for Tom DG's excellent Ork army list, featuring as many grot units as possible alongside a trainload of conversions.

And he issued a challenge to see how it will perform, and Fulgrim answered the call.

Now, I took along exactly the same army list as versus the Custodes last week.  Not because they have to redeem themselves, but because I didn't get along unpacking my force anyways the past days, so it is the same composition for me as seen HERE.

The Grot horde consisted of all of the following... (mind you, a lot of the units are actually Orks, but are converted to be Gretchin models).
A Warlord, 2 Runtherdz, a Weirdboy, a Big Mek, 2 blocks of Gretchin, a unit of Choppa Boyz, a unit of shoota boyz, a unit of loota boyz, a unit of burna boyz, 4 grot tanks, a grot battle wagon, a dreadnought and a big cannon.

After the forces deployed over the table, we where ready for the Tactical Escalation scenario, in which I had chosen "Purge" and my opponent "Take and Hold".

The Emperor's Children took the first turn and quickly blew away the cannon, taking the first blood victory point as a result, and doing enough causalties on the shoota boyz to have two more run off and wipe out the loota boyz.

The green tide then started moving towards my line, but at a rather slow and unorcfull pace.  His shooting didn`t do that much, and as a result there where no charges.

Turn one ended as a 1-0 score.

In turn two, my forces caused casualties all over his battle line, and destroyed some of his armoured support in the form of one of the grot tanks and the battlewagon, but I didn`t score any points as a result as I had drawn the "destory units in melee" purge card.

The advancing Orc tide didn`t shoot down to much on my side again, and as a result still didn`t get any victory points because his two objectives where at my deployment zone or there about, and had a lot of my troops camped on it.

And so the result of 1-0 remained.

With half the orc force already decimated, my third turn was the one where the points needed to be scored, and onwards we went.  The Dark Apostle and Cultist moved forward to try and take out the gretchin unit, while the rest of the line started focussing fire.  As a result of that, his troops in the center where blown apart by the horrendous amount of sonic shots, while his dreadnought was taken down by mine and his krak missiles.  Mass fire took down the Burna boyz, before they could become a real problem in my flank... but I ended up destroying only two units while I had the Overwhelming Firepower card in hand.

In the melee phase, the cultists and the apostle charged the grots, but his force field saved a single one, not giving me the points gashdarnit.

In the orc turn, the warlord threw himself in the melee as well and took down some cultists, but he couldn`t save the poor gretchin being swamped, and I also gained a point as such for the Blood and Guts card.  His shoota boyz had returned as well with a stratagem, and shot down some havocs earlier but wouldn.t do much more.

Both yielded an extra point each as being my chosen type, so the score went to 5 - 0 this turn.

And so we entered turn 4, what would probably become the final one.  My Noise Marines and warlord moved forward, ready to assault the orc survivors in the center.  After decimating that group with all their shots, they charged in on the surviving two characters, being the runthert and the weirdboy, and took them down smoothly.

In the big melee on the other side, the orc warboss was taken down by the Apostle and the cultists, making it so that the Kingslayer was scored (of course, I ran a 1), but together with the Slay the Warlord would add 2 more points to my tally, bringing me to 7.

At this point, the Orcs conceded, being left with a few shoota boyz, a runtherder on 2 wounds and a single Grot tank.  The priority missions from the scenario granted me another point, ending the battle at 8-0

More ork junk for the altar of Slaanesh after a fun battle against a gorgeous army!