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!

Monday, May 24, 2010

[Epic System] Preparing for Battle! Six Days To War Part 4

My status:  Currently battling DOS floppy disks that all seem to be dying in spite of not being used for 15 years yet being kept in excellent condition.  AD&D Dungeon Hack's Disk 4 is dead, and Warlords 2 Disk 1 has been unpacking the same file for 30 minutes.  I am scared for my babies.

But my continuing goal of course has been to build and paint my Chaos Epic forces for this week's introductory battle.

Everything assembled, the Thousand Sons were taken downstairs for their Krylon Fusion basecoating.   Magnus and the Tzeentch Disk Riders got a slightly odd light blue, and the rest a standard blue.

While doing this I also chose to attempt to fix Angron's doofy looking face that was killed by my shoddy attempts to paint his eyes yellow.  A dab of paint didn't hurt any, but I was still not happy.  I used some Citadel Foundation paints on Magnus' wings and hair, Mithril Silver for his loincloth, bronze for his metal bits (as I am out of gold brushpaint), an off white grey for the orb, Bleached Bone for the horns & toes plus the talons of the orb's claw, and  the same grey as a center for his eye.

(The early attempt at fixing Angron's messed up eyes.  I tried just filling it in with a red Gundam Marker, but it still looks doofy.  Note how his tootsies are unpainted.  He looks angry about that.)

(Magnus Saturday Morning)

More during the weekend involved Foundation Iyanden Darksun Yellow on the cloaks of the Disk Riders followed up by THREE coats of regular Sunburst Yellow.  They all get a nice drybrush of Lightning Bolt Blue , and I add in some details to Magnus.  Im not totally sold on his face (and the extra blue I needed to use to hide red & black splotches) or the simple magic effect I tried to put in the orb, but its better than a blank orb.  I may give it a silver paint application which should let the colors show through like a magical effect.
(Not everything I had painted last night on the Thousand Sons unit, but most of it.)

I give the Khornate vehicles a barely noticeable red drybrush, and pretty much repaint his face red, then using Iyanden Darksun to redo his eyes.  Its not perfect but its no longer god awful.  

(And my Khorne unit as it currently is.  Starring Angron in "LEARN TO FOCUS DIP*&^%^!"  Now with somewhat better yellow eyes, and a basic bright red face, the ears left dark washed.)

Between the pictures and now I have done a little bit of gold paint pen on the Thousand Son Rhinos, and flocked up the Disk Riders.  I will probably just use the gold paint on the vehicles, flock the bases of the Thousand Son Legion, and call it a day for painting.  Maybe I will paint more up after the fact, but those are the only things I seriously want to have done.  

Still, they are looking better and better.  Even a simple paint job helps.  By having them out in the open, sometimes I will crack open a bottle and do a color.  I also had run out of Goblin Green, but had accidentally picked up a replacement bottle that was instead Camo Green.  I actually think I like it better than my usual flocking paint.  Its subtler, less vivid.  It just looks a bit nicer really.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Battletech Session Report and Operation Don't Buy So Much Dammit Part 5

Its kind of a repeat of last time, except in this case 20 dollars from an ebay seller who was local (and not even a seller I was getting RPG bits from, it was something for the mighty Amiga 500!) netted me decent condition RPG books.

I got the first 2 Dragonlance modules (covering the first half or so of "Dragons of Autumn Twilight"), both Red Book Basic D&D rulesbooks, AD&D Adventure Pack 1, Basic D&D B11 King's Festival, and GDQ 1-7 Queen of the Spiders collected version with map booklet.  The stuff isnt mint or anything, but usable complete editions.  I gave my DL loving friend the 2 DL books since I already have the late 80s-early 90s 3 book collected version.  I called it an early birthday gift.  I could have gotten T1-4 Temple of Elemental Evil too, but I already have it, and its sought after enough he deserves to get more money for it than I would for a poorer condition version of a module I already own.  He says he has more stuff.  I so hope he has the Dragonlance Wargame module especially.  Loved playing the computer wargame version SSI made for the old 8 bit era computers back in the day.

So between that and the Cthulhu Dice quickie game I picked up last week another 25 bucks has been spent, bringing the year's gaming expenditures to 274, putting me in the Silver category, 226 bucks from being in the Bronze.

And of course the Battletech game we played today at Arkham.  Cool bit?  The seller used to play the game and showed some interest in possibly joining us sometime!

(Edit. And it was an Enforcer not a Vindicator as Lepus' ride. I think I have Dsylexia when it comes to those two mediums.)

[Epic System] Preparing for Battle! Six Days To War Part 3

Aka: "Let us try this again!"

Last time didn't go so well.  So what to do?  Instead of 2 3,000 point armies, each with their own special rules, I decided Saturday morning to try a pair of 1,500 point forces, each from the same army list.  Using the same or similar rules and units, it will be easier to teach the game and not overwhelm anyone, including myself.

Chaos being much simpler and easier to learn seemed like the best choice, plus I have the most models for it.  And of course, I have always been a servant of Chaos since 93 or 94 when I first read the 2nd edition Warhammer 40K rulesbooks.  (Chaos wasn't really even mentioned in Rogue Trader's core book.)

So my first goal was to take that pile of inventory on top of the stove and figure out what I could do easiest.

I noticed I mostly had a detachment of Khorne lead by Angron of the World Eaters all set to go.  I did some tweaking and hopefully followed the rules correctly and quickly had a 1500 list.  Its already mostly painted, only some detailing on the infantry stand models, and some cleanup and painting for the transports.

I then chose the opposing force.  Given it will be in a public place Slaanesh and its tentacles of "fun" and exposed breasts might not be the best choice and I really don't feel like mutilating all of my Slaaneshi demons to no longer have nipples.  As I didn't want to mess with the detachment used in the previous game  and I wanted similar forces, Nurgle was out as thanks to ChaosOrc's online store being a shyster incapable of replying to emails when they fail to send you the correct army book or in Epic's case, my Fulgrim model at all, my other Primarch choice was left as Magnus.  My least favorite of the 4 actual Primarch models.

Oh well, I have always wanted to paint up some Thousand Sons marines.

See in Epic's case, the 4 Chaos Primarchs are the only units allowed to have a Space Marine Legion of Chaos officially.  (Though there are some changes in Netepic and in old White Dwarf magazine articles.)  These Legion cards give you 3 detachments of Chaos Marines plus a Champion stand for a nice points cost.  And if I am reading the Renegades rulebook correctly, it doesn't even count as one of the 3-5 detachment cards one must or can attach up to on a Greater Demon.

And since its me running it and both sides are mostly equal it doesn't matter anyhow.

So Angron and his World Eaters get some Land Raider and Rhino transports, 2 detachments of Dreadnoughts, and a unit of Chaos Squats.  Nice and simple, almost no special rules whatsoever.

Magnus and his Thousand Sons get the same Raider and Rhino units, plus a unit of Tzeentch Disk Riders.  Again, really simple.

From Saturday afternoon till now when I have had a few minutes I have cleaned models of their flash, mold lines, and sprue bits, and assembled what I could.    As next Tuesday is the game day, I have a week to take this motley band and turn them pretty.

(The forces as they are so far.  The vehicles all cleaned of their non model bits, most of the Marines assembled, a scanned card of each force with their models on top of the correct card, and the Khorne transports base coated.  The Squats, World Eaters Legion, and Dreadnoughts were painted along with Angron a good 5-6 years ago.   Magnus and his Thousand Sons need the full deal.  The base coating and the flocking and the detail painting.  I may skip yet another 40K day in order to get some of this work done.)

So my task is clear and obvious.  At the LEAST I need to glue 25 more Marines to their infantry stands and give 1500 points worth of models a nice blue base coat of Krylon Fusion, flock the bases, and write up a nice easy to understand cheat sheet for each side which will largely be cut and paste anyhow.

Ideally I will get a second color on all the basecoated models and possibly have Magnus painted up to my 4/10 lazy arse standards.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

[Epic System] Preparing for Battle! Six Days To War Part 2

Part 2 aka: Where I get 1 actual turn of Epic played and that's it for all the hours of work I put in.

(The armies all set up.  I am so excited!  Finally!  The horror of 14 years of owning but not getting to play Titan Legions rules Epic are about to be put to rest!  The dreams of glorious mass scale combat are to be made real!)

(Oops!  It looks like my rules instructions have been ignored!  The Gargoyles are out of Synapse range and thus will go on Advance Orders to the closest enemy unit.  And they aren't in proper 6cm coherency.)

(Thankfully Eli takes over and picks it up quickly, with a little positioning advice from me to keep the Nids from being blown out of the water by the guns of Chaos.  Even though I told him how much he probably could have gotten for the minis on Ebay.)

(Hello Mr. Hive Tyrant!  We see you!  And as we are Slaaneshi we are in fact happy to see you.  Sadly, the Tyrant only took a single wound as the cover helped it out from the bursts of white "light" coming from the throbbing cannons of the Knight class machines.  Slaanesh:  Like a GWAR concert only deadlier.)

(And we had to call for time, with only a brood of Gargoyles killed, and 3 Chaos Land Raiders, 2 from 1 detachment, 1 from another.)

While I thought I had made the starting armies small and simple enough, I clearly did not.  If my original opponent is actually willing to try Epic again I would probably make the armies half as big (these were 3K point forces, the smallest recommended army size), and most likely just use Chaos with a single force each, possibly not even any Titans.  Just a Chaos Greater Demon required to be a unit commander, and the 3-5 detachment cards, mostly just Space Marines and probably some Land Raiders with perhaps a single special rules unit.

Oh well, it takes time to learn more complex games.  

On the upside I now have more Epic assembled, and some new purchases, plus the store clerk REALLY wants to try the game out now.

I just need to put together all my Chaos stuff and get a proper idea what I could field first...

OH SWEET CTHULHU.  How many Land Raiders and Rhinos are in that baggie anyhow?

My initial thoughts though are positive about the game itself.  I found it to be relatively smooth and fast, though the special rules for many units are something that needs to be learned.

Yes, even with only a single turn of play and my opponent effectively hating the game before the movement phase was done, I still think the game is awesome, and LIGHT YEARS more fun than Epic 40,000, the follow up Epic scale game that effectively killed the line.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

[Epic System] Preparing for Battle! Six Days To War Part 1

With getting those Epic Tyranids from Eli last week, my desire to play Epic has once again risen to the point I want to play it.

As we saw last week, I had piles of counters and minis and unassembled, disorganized minis that all needed my love and care.  Well the counters are all organized, and the pieces are where they ought to be.

The Tyranid models aren't all assembled yet, but they are mostly put together, with most having their base coat of Testor's "Competition Orange" spraypaint applied, with a few of the dark blue enamel paint pen apps on a few of the models.  I even brought one of the only fully painted models brought more into line with my paint scheme, which is also on my regular 40K Tyranids.

   (My regular scale 40K 2nd edition Hive Tyrant in all his 3/10 but looks worse in a 7.1MP cam glory!)

Well if I wasn't lazy (and as stated, the camera makes it look a bit worse than it really is!) a couple highlights and some dark blue paintbrush work around the blue edges where my paint pen won't reach and some extra drybrushing and its not a bad little scheme for Tyranids.  Its a bit bright, but its darker in person.

This same scheme will be used on my Epic Tyranids.  This is what I have done so far:

(Om.  Nom.  Nom.)

Everything metal is assembled, and with a lookup for what weapons were what for my Bio Titans ( since the Epic Hive War rulesbook I read cover to cover doesn't have any pictures of the Bio Titans OR their weapons.  Heck the Bio Titan boxes didn't have any instructions telling you what weapon was what!) thanks to The Epic Collector website I knew what guns I wanted to use on my big nasty bugs.  

Next step has also been while priming and using spraypaint base coats to dry has been to read all the parts of the Titan Legions rulebook that matter (meaning ignoring things like Titan Weapon lists, optional campaign rules, and anything to do with the Imperator Titan and Mega Gargants) and even loaning out my Netepic 4.1 ruleset printout to MagicDrew to read since Netepic is basically slightly revised Titan Legions Epic and there are VERY few rules changes.  I figure if we have both read the rules it will be MUCH easier to play.  

Given that 3000 points is considered to be the smallest recommended game with Epic, I selected my Tyranid army based on that.  Sadly some figures I have assembled and begun painting aren't being used for our introductory game.  The bottom models with the hex cards are my actual selections.  49 Tyranid models/bases are being used, and I tried to keep things nice and simple for the intro game.  Only a small Bio Titan, and most of the units selected have been bought twice to keep the rules easier to remember.

My selections were: Dominatrix, Hive Tyrant, Hierodule, 2 broods each of Lictors, Genestealers, Gargoyles, and Exocrines.

Now I pulled out my Chaos, and did the same.  Chaos has an almost trickier force selection setup than the Tyranids do, not aided by the less than optimal model count you got in the old plastic boxes.   In Chaos' case, you are REQUIRED to take Greater Demons of one form or another.  Those Demons then have a minimum of 3 and a maximum of 5 attachment cards based on their patron god you can attach to them.

(In the Grim Darkness of models mostly bought in the mid 90s, there is ONLY procrastination.)

I had done some painting in the early 00s that I was chronicling on RPGnet, but as is my wont, I eventually got tired of it, and the person I was going to play Titan Legions era Epic with switched hours shortly after I did, and the game went back to the wayside.

But I pulled out some of my sprues of unassembled Space Marines I seem to have tons of, and using the old generic marines and some of the Epic 40K/Epic Armageddon sprues I can make 3000 points with some of my Chaos units as well.  Again, its an intro game, so its smaller, simpler units wherever possible.  Many will be using the new style lineup bases instead of the square ones, but that's alright by me.  (Also I need the square bases for things like Cavalry and similar units that never came with bases even though they damned well SHOULD HAVE.)  The Slaaneshi Scout Titan Squad is going to be 2 different Titans both "Counts As" the same type.  Yay OOP models and the way Games Workshop sold them back in the day!

My two detachments are: 
Khorne unit:  Greater Demon: Lord of Battles.  Attachments: 2 Land Raider Squads, Cultist Squad (Models from the Epic 40K Imperial Guard box.), Chaos Marine Squad, Juggernaut Squad.  

Chaos Slaanesh Unit:  Greater Demon: Keeper of Secrets.  Attachments: Chaos Marine Squad, Daemonette Squad, Scout Titan Squad, Slaanesh Beast Riders, Hell Knight Squad.

(Squads being 5-10 bases of infantry with 3-5 models per base, or 2-10 vehicles.)

Now I have my forces selected, and my task clear.  I even passed on going to play Warhammer 40K today just so I could have more time to do all the stuff I will need to do.  (And have time to play some videogames, write these blog entries, and just zen a bit.  I have been a very busy beaver!)

But this all has to be ready by Tuesday at 5PM or so.  But with a smaller set of miniatures it will be easier to take care of things than just willy nilly assemble and paint like I did back in the day.

My plan of attack:
Today:  Finish assembling all models.  (Done!)  Prime all unprimed models being used.  (Done!)
Thursday: Spraypaint base color all models.  (Done!) Flock and paint all bases.  (Done!)
Friday-Sunday: Work.  Try to get some paint on the models.
Monday: Make sure at least one if not 2 of the other main colors for all the models have been painted on.  Possibly give the Tyranid models their paint wash.  Hopefully play out 1-3 turns as a practice game, and take some teaser pictures for the battle.  Type up the special abilities of the units in play so the army books wont really need to be referred to in play.

This is a decent amount of work to do in what really is only 3 days time since I rarely have much time on work days.  I should at least get the first 2 days of work completed in time as I do want to enjoy some DVDs and videogames as well as run the odd errand I need to do.

Let's see what I can accomplish!

Update:  Well, the minis are all assembled, primed, basecoated, and flocked bases!

(Not exactly painted, but good enough for the first game.  This is a LOT of work!)

A Quick Site Update

Given how I am now constantly getting spammers using my comments to post whatever foreign scams they are trying to pull, I have changed commenting to allow me to moderate the commentary before it gets posted.   I have now allowed OpenIDs to comment though.

Not that I get a lot of commentary at all, but it really sucks to get a notification someone replied to one of my posts, and its some effing non English speaking spammer trying their scummy nonsense that probably wouldn't even confuse a 90 year old grannie at this point.  (A Glenn Beck fan?  Probably.  But normal decent people?  Nope!)

So that's a change for now.  Maybe later if I somehow get enough active readers commenting on stuff I will go back to non approval comments as to allow interesting discussions, but for the time being I have to stand up against spammer scum.

Expect an actual gaming related post sometime in the next 10 hours.  I didn't even go play Warhammer 40K today to prepare for my next gaming project.

Battletech Session Report and Operation Don't Buy So Much Dammit Part 4

Today I shall be lazy and just link to the Battletech game report mini comic.  Its not too detailed, but its some nice pictures of our new gaggle of young players fighting it out with their Battlemechs.  MagicDrew said we should try running some demo games on Tuesdays and it seems to be working.  Plus he actively recruits almost anyone who comes over to look at the games while I am more a passive recruiter, using the Internet and just talking to folks without saying "HAY GUYS DO YOU WANT TO PLAY WITH US?!"

(This lack of outgoingness could also be the reasons for my poor volume of dating as well.  I am who I am I suppose.)

The Battle Report !

I gotta say that battlefield they made on the final panel looked AMAZING.  I just brought along some of my Heroscape trees to add a little extra to the field.  Heroscape terrain just looks SO GOOD for hex map miniature game combats.

In the last few weeks I have actually bought a little bit.  I grabbed one of the old series sets of D&D Dungeon Tiles for a little under 7 bucks thanks to a Borders coupon I had nothing else to spend it on, 2 packs of metal Melta Guns with free shipping from Games Workshop, and a set of the new D&D Heroscape figures for 13, adding 33 dollars to my spending total, bringing our big board to 249, 1 dollar away from taking me out of the running for a Gold in not being a consumer whore.

Outside of the 10 Melta Guns my Pre Heresy World Eaters army needs, neither item is OMG IT MUST BE MINE, but things I would like that were cheap.  Laziness kept me from going back to Borders last week with a 40% off coupon.  Which is probably the best way to get me to buy those overpriced but oh so sweet Warhammer 40K RPG books.  50 dollars for Dark Heresy Ascension is too much.  30 dollars?  Now we are getting someplace!

I did end up selling both of my Lock N Load Publishing wargames thanks to the oh so classy responses I got from the game's original developer and its fans over at the Boardgamegeek forums when I posted a link to my review there, so I do have a good 80 dollars of extra gaming cash to burn.  I have already used a few bucks to get some more Epic Tyranid models.  Another Hive Tyrant, and another squad of Carnifexes.  Sadly my offers for a Harridan and more Zoanthropes were declined.

If you want to see what sort of classy responses my review caused, here you go: Responses of suck.

I got quite a few private messages supporting me, and plenty of whatever virtual kudo things BGG has, so clearly folks understood and respected my opinion, even if they all didn't agree with it.  However a bunch of mouthbreathing fanboys who apparently take it personal when you insult a boardgame THEY HAVE NO FINANCIAL STAKE IN WHATSOEVER (except I didn't actually insult the thing.  I still gave it an ok rating overall.  Its not god awful, but it sure as hell isn't good!) and a developer who hadn't even gotten his own copy of the game, and then stated massive changes to his submitted work had happened to the rules when he did giving me smack?

Yeah.  I'm not buying SQUAT from a company like that.  In fact it pleases me that selling off my two Lock N Load published games may in fact cost them sales.  Apparently for some folks the thread itself did.  I am also curious about the 2 other game developers who responded like major douchebags to me as well.  I want to avoid anything they make too.  I've had some of the #tinypewtermen IRC crowd tell me they were pretty impressed how I handled myself in the thread and how they too don't want anything those tools make either.   And MAN were there some comments I wanted to respond to childishly.  So very, very badly.

So in getting pissy over little old me's review of the game, the fanboys and one of the developers pretty much COST THEMSELVES LOTS OF CUSTOMERS.  Yeah.  Great job defending.  Its like a Goalie who jumps out to get the Soccer ball and kicks it in himself trying to be a hero.  Wargaming isn't a big market, and annoying even a dozen people could be a big hit, especially if they spread their opinions around.  In this case the review is seen by 100s of people on BGG, and probably way more in the long run.

There is a way to handle less positive reviews.  They did not.


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