Friday, January 28, 2011

Testing mobile posting

This is a test. I have been searching for a while for a solid piece of blogging software for my iPad. This just may be it.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Monday, January 24, 2011

An Interesting look back

Wow, January 2, 2008 I started this blog. its a little over 3 years old now and I was doing some looking back at how things started. First off, to the left is one of the first pictures posted. It was not posted as a lead in to the article as it is now, but as part of the initial post.

Another thing struck me as pretty interesting, damn cool actually. So I recently put up a very long post that included a look at what I "Had NOT" accomplished for the Dead Tau Project. Well, on reflection I should also look at what I have accomplished compared to my goals 3 years ago. Lets see, back in the first post here is the list of what the entire Dead Tau Project would look like:

Quoted from my first post:

So the list I have so far is going to look something like this:

1 Avatar (Forgeworld)
1 Autarch with jump pack, mandi-blasters, fusion gun, Power weapon
1 Farseer with swords
3 Warlocks with swords

5 Firedragons plus 1 Exarch
4 Harliquins with Kisses plus 1 Shadow Seer plus 1 Troupe Master
9 Howling Banshees plus 1 Exarch with mirror swords
9 Striking Scorpions plus 1 Exarch with Scorpion claw
5 Wraithguard

9 Dire Avengers plus Exarch with Twin-Catapults
9 Dire Avengers plus Exarch with Twin-Catapults
5 Pathfinders

Fast Attack
9 Swooping Hawks plus 1 Exarch with sunrifle
9 Warp Spiders plus 1 exarch with twin Spinners and Power blades

4 Dark Reapers plus 1 Exarch with Tempest Launcher plus 1 Exarch with Shurican Cannon
2 Falcon Grav Tanks
1 Wraithlord with Sword and Bright Lance
3 War Walkers with Shurican Cannon and Scatter Laser

3 Wave Serpent Grav Transports with Twin-linked Missile Launchers

Holy wow Batman! So from my original list the only thing I am missing currently are the Swooping Hawk Squad, 4 Harliquins, and 4 Striking Scorpions. Ok, color me surprised.

I guess the nice thing about this is this is really why I started the blog in the first place. While it has grown to more than my original hopes and goals, this is a great reminder of the fact I started the blog to track progress. Based on my initial humble goals, I think I have knocked this project way out of the park!

Friday, January 21, 2011

I give you, Max the Dreamer

I am not sure if I mentioned this before, or if I saved it for this post. If I did, skim ahead to the new information.

At the end of last year I decided to treat myself a bit and commission a project I had thought about for a while. After reading the story of the Dreamer and Lord Chompy Bits in the Malifaux book, I thought it would be very cool to have a model that looked like Max from Where the Wild Things Are to stand in as my Dreamer. I did some searching around, emailed with a couple commission sculptors out there, and settled on one I was happy with. I came to an agreement with Drew from Garden Ninja Studios for the sculpt, and after some discussion he set-off to work. Shortly after Thanksgiving my custom sculpted Max showed up on my door-step.

For those who are not familiar, The Dreamer and Lord Chompy bits are two models that function as a single master in Malifaux. To the right are pictures of what the released Wyrd Miniature of the Dreamer looks like, along with a picture of Lord Chompy Bits. As you can see, the Dreamer is a fairly straight forward little boy, and I think Max provides a very characterful replacement for him. I also think that Max will look great alongside the fairly monstrous (in so many ways along with size) LCB.

So that bourhgt me into the holiday season. As I have mentioned, my holiday plans did not gel as I had wished, and I did not get Max onto my painting table until just prior to the new year. I decided that he would be a priority, and chose his crew as my crew to be painted for the club Malifools monthly painting contest. I just completed painting him up yesterday, and am finally ready to show him off a bit. Here are some solo shots of Max.

Now, in his crew the Dreamer also has 3 totems he can link, called Day Dreams. On the same day I painted up Max I completed painting his totems as well. Although the whole group is posted as the lead-in picture to this post, here is a close-up of the Day Dreams.

These were all a whole lot of fun to paint, and the twins fit well into their crew. Now to get LCB painted up, along with some of the other nightmare models and I can start practicing playing with the crew.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Statistics, Hobby Tracking, Blog Updates

Things are a changing with the Dead Tau Project. For those who have been following the blog for a while, this is not a surprise. You saw last year that I developed a fair addiction to Malifaux and started talking about that on the blog. I have also, in the past, talked sparingly about my forays into WHFB.

Well, those will continue to happen on the blog, along with some discussion about Privateer Press Hoards as I begin to learn that game as well. Basically, I am broadening my mini-wargaming horizons and that is reflected in the changing topics on the DTP. To that end, I made a couple changes to the blog that many of you probably missed, since they are so minor. Primarily, I adjusted the description at the top of the blog to better reflect the blog topics. I am also going to be shifting the Army list in the column to the left, probably adding in multiple sections for multiple armies and game systems. I have some thoughts on this, and if they work out it will be pretty cool.

So, not too scary so far, right? What else?

Lets add some actual tracking of my overall hobby? My friend Rich over at the Warpstone Pile has done some incredible work on his hobby tracker using Google Doc's to create a wonderfully complex spreadsheet. He has a great post explaining his project and how to get your own copy of the spreadsheet here.

What does this mean to the DTP? Well, I have grabbed a copy of his spreadsheet and loaded it into my own Google Docs account to perform some of my own tracking. The nice thing about this is the spreadsheet creates some graphics that I can use to depict my hobby activity. These work out well, and will let me do some more granular tracking, especially when it comes to my playing.

So, one of the initial changes is the new tracking I am using for my paint progress. I am still based on the Lone Pilgrim paint points, but with some slight shifts to the points. Here is the rubric I am using for points:

I also have some tracking on there for assembling models that I may not have gotten to paint yet. I thought that would be something interesting to track, although I usually assemble just prior to painting as I try not to play with unpainted models.

The second piece, and the one I am really interested in, is the play tracking. Using the spreadsheet I will be able to publish charts like the following:

These will become very interesting, along with the raw data that will let me see how I do vs certain opponents and also against specific armies. These are linked on the side of the blog, tracking my overall progress.

So, there we go! The big changes here and coming shortly to the DTP for 2011.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Getting caught up and started with 2011

Wow, 2011 is here and its been at least 3 weeks since my last blog update. A lot has happened over that time, and a little has gotten painted, so lets jump right in and get caught up.

I had the goal to use my holiday time to knock out the remaining models to "complete" my Eldar army, The Dead Tau Project. Unfortunately, life will often conspire to destroy any plans we make. Over the entirety of the holiday I was able to get approximately zero work done on my Eldar. For that matter, I got almost nothing done from a hobby aspect at all, due to some issues that cropped up with Family and such. Bleh. That basically brings me into the new year with still a fair amount to go for a "complete" army. So whats left you ask?

Hobby to Do
So I have a "queue" of sorts where I have a load of models and such that I have to build. Over time those models make it into my Queue on this blog, tracking what I am currently building and painting. The larger collection of to-do is stacked neatly in boxes on my hobby table, waiting to be pulled out to the small collection of 2-4 projects I have sitting on my hobby-tray. There is also a hobby closet that store assorted future projects and extra bits and such. So, for the Eldar, here is what is in the queue waiting to wander into the assembly mode, or in the assembly/painting queue already.
  • Titan - I still need to do a fair amount of touch-up on my Titan
  • Phoenix Base - I want to make a base for my Phoenix
  • Storm Guardians - I have a great box to do some kit-bashing for my guardian squad.
  • Dire Avengers - 9 more plus another exarch. This will bring me to 3 squads of DA
  • "Seer Council" - This is my winged council
  • 2x Replace Pulse Cannon - Funny enough, these are built but need to be primed and painted
  • 5x Fire Dragons - I want to bring the squad to full size
  • Fire Dragon Exarch - Need one with a Fire Pike
  • 5x Scorpions - Bringing the squad to full size
  • Scorpion Exarch - Need one with a scorpions claw.
  • 9x Swooping Hawks
  • 2x Swooping Hawk Exarch - Playing around with weapon load-outs
  • 3x Shining Spears - I have a mod in mind using the DE Jetbikes, just need to knock it out and see how it looks
  • Harliquins - These are still grey on my painting table.
Thats not even the whole of it. I also have a fair amount of Malifaux in the queue as well. For example:
I am currently working on:
  • Dreamer and Lord Chompy Bits
  • Coppelius
  • 3x Day Dreams
  • 2x Stitched Togethers
  • 6x Alps
Although, I did get some of this crew already completed. As a quick break to the wall of text, here is a look at the "Twins", Lilu and Lilitu.

I will put up a closer look at them later. They work in multiple Neverborn crews, although I primarily picked them up for my Dreamer crew. I also have my splurge from last year, which is a custom sculpted Dreamer model. I have not painted him up yet, but he is on the table with my Nightmare version of Lord Chompy Bits.

So to continue on with my mildly overwhelming list of to-do, I also have a Kiria crew to paint up including:
  • Kiria
  • Ikiryo
  • 2x Onroyo
  • Datsu-Ba
  • 5x Seishin
  • 3x Gaki
  • Lost Love proxy
And then I have my Lucius crew to round out the full Malifaux crews in the queue:
  • Lucius
  • Ryle
  • Guild Guard Captain
  • Lawyer
  • 5x Guild Guards
So, on the positive side, I at least know what I have to work on and it should be plenty to keep me occupied during 2011. This is not even contemplating my High Elves that are sitting in a box in my hobby-storage.

Ok, here is a little irony for you, dear reader. On a recent episode of Gamers Lounge, I actually made the declaration that 2011 was going to be a year of gaming focus for me. This means that even with the fair amount of hobby I have outstanding and planned, I want to actually focus on playing more this year than in the past. I have already made some strides toward this, getting a couple games in since the beginning of the year. I am going to try and get better at remember my games and writing up some bat-reps for the games I play to put on the blog. I also have some distant hopes of writing some tactica, specifically for Malifaux, at some point. That last might be a bit of a stretch, but we will see.


I have already gotten 3 games of Malifaux in this year, which is impressive as my normal gaming night (Tuesday) and my work travel schedule tend to conflict on a regular basis. I got two good hobby games in with my Cult of December crew, using the newly released Silent Ones with the crew. I wanted to try these out, as they add some interesting dynamics to Raputina. First off, they are the same cost as the December Acolyte, but are already Frozen Heart. This is fantastic as they have 2 additional abilities that really help the crew out. Primary is an ability called "Perfect Mirror" that allows Rasputina to bounce spells through them with only a -1ca opposed to the normal -3ca. Second is a spell called North Wind, which extends the range of ranged strikes and spells by 3 inches. My two games were both losses, but not horribly. I found that the Silent Ones add an interesting dynamic to my Tina crew, forcing additional thought on my activation order.

My third game was against a new crew, the Freikorps headed up by Von Schill. This is an interesting Outcast crew headed by the Viktorias and buying Von Schill as a henchman for them, played very well by one of my regular opponents, Dixon. I brought out Lilith and my Neverborn. I am trying to get some experience with my Neverborn to make a decision between them and Guild for the Adepticon tournament. In this game I rolled out with the Lilith starter box, plus the twins. This was a fairly overwhelming victory to me, with the game pretty one sided with the Terror Tots running around grabbing my objectives and my Mature, Twins, and Lilith causing mayhem in his crew. Dixon just did not have the tools to deal with all the parts of my crew.

I played my first game vs Dark Eldar using the new codex, and it was a good deal of fun. I was at the St. Thomas Games Workshop with some friends for the stores 1 year birthday, and had dragged out my bag that was pre-packed with 1850 points of Eldar. This is not my normal Eldar list, but something a bit more tournament focused, as I packed it with an eye toward helping my friend James practice his Tau list. I had Eldrad, a Seer Council in a Wave Serpent, Fire Dragons, Dire Avengers, a Fire Prism, and a Night Spinner. When my opponent set-up he put down a whole mess of Raiders. I am not sure what his exact list was, but I know he had 2 flyers (the bomber I think), several squads of witches, two squads of True Born, some incubi, the popular Archon (husk-blade, soul trap, etc), and 9 jet bikes. I know there were 9 jet bikes because I learned an important lesson. Apparently blade-storming Dire Avengers will delete a unit of 9 reavers without blinking. I mean delete. I did not realize this prior to shooting at them, but the AP on the Shuricats beats the save the reavers have, and a blade storm is enough to put 9 wounds out there. Ugly. Overall the game was fun, with me looking to be up going into turn 5. Unfortunately, my opponent (who had the bottom of the turn) kept his mind on the objectives and I did not make my last turn swoop for them like I normally would have. In the end, this was a 4 objective mission, ending with him holding 2 objectives, me contesting 2, and me holding 0. Ouch, win to him.

Last on the list of games played are two WHFB 8th edition games I played as part of an escalation league I am participating in. Huzzah Hobbies is trying to get their WHFB scene up and going, and started up an escalation league to kick-start it. I decided to drag out my Dwarfs to take part, which is nice because I am getting to learn 8th edition slowly. The way the league is setup is good for me as well, especially considering my work schedule. Basically, it started at 500 points and adds 250 points every two weeks. Then, players are required to get 1 game in at each point level and record thier points for that game. If you miss a game at a point level, you can play a make-up game later in the league and count that toward your points. With this in mind, I have been able to make it out for games twice, knocking out 2 games each of the times I was able to make it. The first two were during the holiday (500 and 750) and this year I was able to get in my 1000 and 1250 games. 

My 1000 point game was against Brettonians, running 1 knight lance, 2 tr├ębuchet, 2 units of archers, and 1 block of peasants led by a Knight on foot. We played the "Battle for the Pass" scenario, which sets up the table long-ways and makes the long edges impassable terrain. I brought Dwarf Lord on Shield bearers, a Thane BSB, a block of Long beards, a block of hammerers, and an Organ gun. The Organ gun is still ugly in 8th edition, primarily due to no to-hit requirement for the shots. We ended our game a bit early (the end of turn 4) but it had already turned in my direction. The Hamerers and Lord were in a forest (which we played wrong and I lost half the squad to moving through dangerous terrain), the organ gun had just held to a charge of Knights, and my longbeards plus BSB had swept the footmen and both archer squads from the table.

My 1250 game was a fortitude game vs Warriors of Chaos. This is the mission where you count up banners and your general to determine the number of "fortitude points" your army has. For our game, when one side was reduced to 2 fortitude points the game was over and that person lost. I brought a Lord on Shield bearers, BSB Thane, Runesmith, block of Long beards, block of hammerers, block of warriors, and the organ gun. I had a total of 6 fortitude for the game. My opponent brought a Nurgle wizard, block of khorne warriors, block of undivided warriors, block of marauders, and 3 dragon-ogres. I believe he had 5 fortitude. In this game we played the forests correctly, but still had a Venom Forest which counted as dangerous terrain to move through. Once again I lost a fair number of hammerers to the forest. I also lost my Lord to the nurgle spell that picked him out and put a wound on him. I was able to wipe out the marauders, force the Khorne warriors to break from combat (after tearing down several of them), and knock down 2 remaining dragon ogres with my 15 warriors on the turn the dragon-ogres charged. The Organ Gun then tore apart the wizard when he stuck his head out and the game ended with me winning.

That brings us to the end of a long post. I have some thoughts on next posts, specifically talking about my initial thoughts on WHFB 8th edition. I am now 4 games in and learning the changes. Thats another post though.

So lets wrap up with a closer look at the Malifaux twins. First up I have the boy, Lilu. I am a little disturbed that even with the light-box, his eyes were washed out to a white instead of the pink I painted them.

Then we have my girl, Lilitu. I tried a new technique on this model, painting "transparent" material for her dress. I really liked the way it looked in the example pictures from Wyrd, so tried out a quick technique. Overall, I think its a good first try, although I will be trying to perfect it moving forward.