A blog about tabletop hobby and or strategy games, with a side order of electronic turn based goodness here and there. Now with tons of retro gaming content both electronic and tabletop. Also with 20% more self loathing douchebaggery!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Argh Painting Takes TOO LONG (Plus Game Organization Tips from Me to You)

Yeah. This took me about SIX FREAKING HOURS:

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The process I used:

1: Spray both sides of the model using Krylon Fusion (Dark Brown I think).
2: Paint arms and face using Citadel Foundation Tallarn Flesh.
3: Paint helmet and torso armor using mid 90s era Citadel Colour Brazen Brass.
4: Paint spear tips using mid 90s era Citadel Colour Chainmail.
5: Paint helmet plume with Citadel Foundation Mordian Blue.
6: Paint grey rocks with Valejo Game Color Cold Grey.
7: Cover flat part of model base with mid 90s era Citadel Colour Vomit Brown.
8: Dip wet base paint into Tupperwear style tub of Woodland Scenics ballast. (Forget exact name.)
9: Use Vomit Brown around edge of model base.
10: Paint gloves black. Paint back of shields black. Paint Tail and Hooves Black.
11: Use new Citadel Washes Ogryn Flesh on the fleshy bits and the grey rocks. (Should have used Badab Black wash on the rocks looking back. I might go do that if I go back and drybrush the tails sometime.)
12: Drybrush mid 90s era Citadel Colour (man do those old paints store well or WHAT?) Snakebite Leather on the brown horsey bits.
13: Glue shield on.
14: Tape up pegs on the formation trays.
15: Spraypaint with Krylon Fusion tan(or light brown.. I dunno) over the trays. Once dry pull off masking tape or regular old clear tape.
16: Wonder why it took so damned long for such little models and feel bad because there is more detail to the minis I just skipped painting because I am lazy.

I need to learn how to paint faster and nicer because this whole box of nearly 200 minis needs some painting done to it:
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15 Roman Spearmen/Shieldwall and 15 Egyptian Archers not shown due to Krylon Fusion/primer drying

Luckily the rares and uncommons mostly just need a nice Badab Black Citadel Wash and my favorite quickie base flocking method as I described.

But notice that Plano case? That's a great way to store your Arcane Legions minis, as well as many other minis. In Arcane Legion's case especially since I want to paint and flock the bases we need a quick way of determining the model's ID codes. Thus I size the models with some room to breathe/grow, and put a piece of semitransparent tape on the spot above the model's new home and write down the code. (If I had a label writer I could really get fancy!) If I buy more boosters I have room for extras, and the tape lets me remove it and resize in the future if I choose to spread things out a bit more and go to 2 cases.

The things are a pretty good deal for under 5 bucks for this sized one, and the variable slot setup lets me fit things better.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Arcane Legions Battle Report 1!

I got to play MagicDrew last week as our other regular was MIA again. (Well we knew where he was, but you get the drift!)

Thus here is the first of my actual Arcane Legions Battle Reports. Uploaded and created on a windy, rainy, freezing Saturday night where I have a cold. On one hand I could go to work and become sicker, but get money. On the other, not get sicker and be in better condition in the long run.

Oh well, I really didn't want Rock Band 1 with instruments and Rock Band 2 game for 79 with free shipping THAT badly anyhow. I guess.

What am I saying? I am a horribly spending addicted consumer! OF COURSE I WANT IT!

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And wow. Almost a whole week left of October and I have given yall 6 updates instead of just my personal minimum of 4. I am positively SPOILING yall this month!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

How I do my Comics..

There has been many questions on how I do my photocomics over the years so it is time for me to answer all your burning questions.

Well, its a Mac program called Comic Life Deluxe by Freeverse Software. It rules. (www.freeverse.com)

I take pictures with my Kodak Easyshare 7.1 mp camera. I hook the camera's USB cable up to my iMac. I turn on the camera once more. iPhoto pops up. I upload the pictures by clicking a button, and another one to clear off the camera's SD card.

I can then do light editing in iPhoto. (crop, redeye correction, color saturation, ect.) Sadly I do not have Photoshop or something similar so I cannot do really neato effects which would make my stuff look really keen. This is butt. However I could spend 100 bucks on Photoshop Elements.. or 79 bucks to get Rockband 1 complete AND Rockband 2 the game for 79 with free shipping. Or the Korean rerelease of the GaoGaiGar combining figure for 56 and 4 bucks shipping. Or 70 for Demon's Souls Collector's Edition on the PS3. Or 42 for an online retailer selling that Warhammer Fantasy Chaos in the Old World boardgame. Or more funnybooks. Or more RPGs. Or more of the existing games I love.

Yeah, Photoshop Elements is not a must buy for me.

Then I boot up Comic Life which is normally set to use any pictures I may have in my iPhoto library. Then I begin to play. I can make and resize photos, image boxes, text boxes, dialogue bubbles, and sound effects. I can change color of the page background and the style of the various boxes and bubbles. I can use a variety of fonts and colors as well.

I then give it a quick look over and any noticeable edits that need to happen. I then save it in its normal Comic Life format, and as a JPG to my desktop. I then load up Flickr and upload the pictures.

If you have a Mac and like me want to save image space (I mostly use Flickr for my pictures) its MUCH easier to make a Comic Life comic instead of just throwing up some pictures and then writing captions in one's blog. Plus if Blogger ever dies while my text might get lost to the Ether, my comics will still be saved to my hard drive in an easily editable form.

Lots of people seem to like my comics, and I find its a fun and highly useful way to impart information without getting overly wordy.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Friday, October 16, 2009

Arcane Legions Playtest Review

I've played a game of it using 2 of the 3 factions in the starter set. Here is an explanation of the rules from an actual played game done to the best of my knowledge.

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And as usual, I find a spelling error AFTER I post the thing. Phoenix not Pheonix. Oh well. It'll keep.
Another error found: You get TWO Victory Points for killing a formation unit, and 1 for a skirmish. (Though in our situation's cases both skirmish units have a general figure which provide an extra VP when taken down. And the Han general has a special bonus when his unit takes out a unit on an objective terrain.)

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Arcane Legions First Look Review

The comic says it all, so why don't I just let it do the talking for me?

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Within a week or so I hope to have a follow up with an in play report full of my normal fluff and an explanation of the game's mechanics. Its not that complicated of a game, but its a good way to see things in action I think!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Legend of the Five Rings is Entrancing Me!

As I might have mentioned thanks to a thread I read on Something Awful a day or two before going to Connecticon I bought a ton of the Way of series for half price or even less. (I already had bought Lion back in the ultra terrible Clan War game days, and got Crane a couple months back for 3.33 at a clearance.)

So now I have all the main Clans Way ofs, plus Naga, and Way of Shadow (though not a Way of book proper is still a cool thing to have!).

Man, these books ROCK. I've only mostly read through chapter 1 and the opening story sections in them all and they make me fall in love with almost every Clan, even those bastard Cranes.

The Scorpion tale was the best one though. Not only was it damn effective in showing how Scorpions do things, but it was a bit sexy too. (Plus the little sidebar "Scorpion and Other Clan Animal" stories were great too.)

It really makes me want to buy L5R 1st edition and try to get every book for that line. (Not really interested in anything past Toturi I's crowning as Emperor though. Which storyline wise puts me how many years behind the current fluff? Like 50 or so now? My L5R knowledge is so far Clan Wars Daimyo ed, Way of Clans series, D20 Oriental Adventures, D20 Rokugan, and 3 D20/2nd L5R dual stat softcovers.)

Man.. its really Warhammer Fantasy's style of world/universe done RIGHT with far less grimdark and way more heroism, while still being incredibly tragic and depressing.

I'm not sure who has the worse end of the stick in Rokugan. The Peasant or the Samurai. Both are basically screwed by their culture.

I dunno if I want to use the L5R system though. Houseruled Basic D&D with the OA book, or the Swords and Wizardry (itself a houseruled Original D&D OGL project) Ruins and Ronin book, or cobble together something using Tunnels & Trolls.

Either way L5R is just such an amazing and interesting world.

The books so make me want to run or play in a campaign there.

For those who don't know, Legend of the Five Rings is a fantasy land mixture of Warhammer Fantasy, Hong Kong cinema, and Kurosawa Samurai movies.

See divine beings came to the land of Rokugan and founded clans with the humans, with one of these divine siblings founding the Imperial ruling line, and the other his vassals. Except for one brother, Fu Leng who went to the dark foul swamps of the south and created a realm of horror known as the Shadowlands. (Sort of like Warhammer/40K's Chaos realms except less "metal".) He was defeated and the families who followed the divine beings founding the great Clans and their ruling families.

Like feudal Japan the Samurai ruling caste have laws and codes that restrict and oppress them as much as the peasantry they both rule and enslave/protect. Unlike actual Japan women can be rulers and do fight nobly on the battlefield, but can still be put in arranged marriages within their Clan if not to an enemy Clan. As can their sons.

Duty and Honor mean more than one's life or desire or love in Rokugan. Not only do you have to follow the rules and laws to keep the foul denizens of the Shadowlands from destroying and corrupting all, but the Clans come into conflict for various reasons, not to mention the Clan families may have infighting and power struggles.

The challenge of not only following the right path of goodness and justice while not dishonoring the code of Bushido, your family line, your Clan, the Empire as a whole, and your loved ones, much less your own heart is a tightrope walk doomed to sorrow and tragedy, yet one where the greatest heroism can shine forth, even if one is left with no other option than writing one's death haiku, then committing ritual suicide to prevent a greater evil, or to atone for one's sins committed in following the code.

Its like Warhammer, White Wolf, and Kurosawa movies all got together and had a beautiful baby.

Its got 2 different RPG lines both D20 and its home system (currently in a revised 3rd edition with a 4th due next year), a long running CCG (the flagship of the line) whose tournaments actually influence the gameworld's storyline and metaplot, a series of novels, and it had a long cancelled miniatures wargame which had wonderful models even if the game was horribly flawed.
(There are a few other products as well. I think it even had a Diskwars game at one point!)

As my final bit of overview of Rokugan and L5R I will bring up the basics of the Clans:

Dragon: Enigmatic, the Dragon clan have Tattooed monks, and try to largely avoid the other Clans as much as possible.

Unicorn: Returning from a long trip through other lands, they are known for their horsemanship and their strange ways they learned from the Gaijin peoples they met.

Crab: Brutish and blunt, the Crab guard a great wall on the edge of the border between Rokugan and the Shadowlands. They have little time for the political games the rest of the Clans partake in.

Crane: Diplomats and merchants, with a penchant for one on one duels.

Scorpion: The most hated Clan, they wear masks hiding their true face as they deal with intrigues and the darker things that must be done to keep the Empire safe.

Lion: Proud, boastful, and the most like what one would think of when the word Samurai is spoken, they have the largest standing army in the Empire.

Phoenix: Their Shugenja (a mixture of wizard and priest) are quite possibly the most powerful of all the Clans.

There are also the Nezumi Ratpeople, the Naga Snakemen, and the lesser minor Clans as well, but everything revolves around the great Clans and the Imperial Court and their battle against the Shadowlands and each other.

I hope this post sheds a little light on Legend of the Five Rings and maybe helps people see what is so great about it!

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