Archive for September, 2010

September 14, 2010

More Hairless

by Nate Birkholz

I finished basing Baldur, then ran around everywhere in and outside the building trying to find decent lighting; the outdoor light in NorCal is really bright these days and I couldn’t find indirect light that worked. I think I need to invest in a light tent from Ebay. Next I will have to take the sealing plunge, I am considering using brush on matte varnish from Liquitex.

Under the hood? Cue ball. But don't tease, he's sensitive. And has a 5 foot stone sword.

No updates from me for a couple weeks, probably. I am getting married Saturday. Insert Sustained Attack joke here, but I’m pleased as punch.

September 11, 2010

Has He Considered Minoxidil?

by Nate Birkholz

I finished primary painting on Baldur today. I mainly have a small amount of cleanup to do, and have to base the model, and then figure out what to do about sealing him.

Reach or no reach, he's compensating.

I painted the sword separately: the paint had some adhesion issues, as you can see in the hilt, and I had a hard time getting the peg into the slot, even though it had dry fit fine before I painted the model (but after priming). I drybrushed it pretty heavily, but enough primer shows through that I probably would never qualify for hardcore with this model. As I noted before, the green of the cloth isn’t quite what I was looking for, but it works. The shoulders are drybrushed as recommended in the Hordes Primal MkII rulebook, and that went very smoothly, thanks PP! That’s as close as I’ll ever get to those amazing studio paint jobs.

The tunic is the same color as the upper leather kilt, and at first I had tried too hard to highlight it with a lightened base color. I re-basecoated it, washed with Citadel Devlan Mud, and added highlights with some of the basecoat color thinned 2:1, and it worked much better. It isn’t quite as good as the result I got on the kilt, for an unknpwn reason to me, but I am pleased overall.

His left hand didn’t quite work as intended, but his right hand was perfect. I basecoated with VMC Brown Rose, painted three glazes of 4:1 thinned VMC Sunny Skin Tone, highlighted with slightly thinned VMC Pale Flesh, washed with Citadel Ogryn Flesh, then highlighted with a drybrush of the thinned Pale Flesh. I liked the result so much that I tried painting all the flesh on one of my Tharn Bloodtrackers with the formula, and it’s not working at that scope of skin showing.

I really need to make or find a lightbox, because I have nowhere with quality light to take a photo.

I was expecting a deer in my headlights, not this.

Probably about 7 hours in the model so far.

September 8, 2010

Baldur Than Whom?

by Nate Birkholz

After losing handily with Baldur last night, I decided to get him painted. I’m not going too crazy with painting him–for one thing the model is pretty straightforward, especially after finishing The Old Witch of Khador. It’s a decent model, don’t get me wrong, just not from the advanced class. I like the studio paint job but I wanted some more contrast on the model.

The stone sporran makes running painful.

I started with the green under-robes, then did the leathern kilts. If I had it to do again, I’d do the under-robes starting with a darker forest green basecoat, but it’s fine the way it is. I did a lot of layer blending with very thin coats of lighter green, then did some very careful highlighting with only-slightly-thinned paint of the highlight color mixed with white. Then I washed all over–twice–with GW Thraka Green wash and added touches of the highlight on top. It’s much more obvious on the back:

Maybe he should consider a ultilikilt.

The effect is luminescent in person, in fact it almost looks opalescent, which is why I am wishing it was darker.

The leather was pretty simple, I used two shades of brown–highlighted lightly with the base colors mixed with white–and a pale sand color for the stitching. Then I washed the leather heavily with Devlan Mud. I like the effect: it’s more table-ready than show-ready, but it works for me.

I also have been working on the face, but it’s a tough face to paint and I think I’m about done, except for trying to get eyes in under the hood. Similarly, the fingers were really not working the way I want, so I am going to move on. I’ll be using copper for the metal on my Circle army, so I’ll do the shoulders in green and copper. I’ll be adding the sword after the rest is painted: I decided not to pin it, too much that can go wrong working on such a thin piece, I feel.

I also assembled a bunch of pieces from my army, including a few of my Druids of Orboros, and basecoated the flesh of one of my Tharn Bloodtrackers. I primered her in black, which was inattention on my part, but I’m rolling with it.

September 7, 2010

Charge Lanes are Important

by Nate Birkholz

Played 15 points tonight, Baldur versus Borka:

Borka + Kegger
Kriel Warriors

Wold Guardian
Shifting Stones + UA

We got a variety of terrain, and I chose to go second so I could observe his approach. Neither of us knew our Warlocks since we were both playing them for the first time, but my opponent was the local PG and as such knows the game much better.

He went first. He ran up, parked the Earthborne in some woods, and everything else was on the other side of an obstructing rock.

I shifted one of the Stones up, inverting the triangle, and moved up the Stone Keeper UA to the center of the triangle and cast stone form. I walked the Warden and Guardian up, popped the forest around the Warden. Moved Baldur up and fired off all three upkeeps, putting Stone Skin on the Stones+UA.

He had screened Borka with the Kriels, so he ran them up to my leftmost Shifting Stone. The Axer charged the Stone Keeper, but only managed to do 4 out of 5 points of damage, thanks to Stone Form and Stone Skin. The Earthborne tried to charge the Guardian but ran into the Kriels and stopped short. Borka moved up and tossed a grenade but it deviated into the barrier.

The guardian rammed the axer three times, knocking him away on the last hit. The Warden Geomancied Earth Spikes on the Kriels, killing the target but missing his three adjoining buddies. I decided I couldn’t charge through the gap between Axer and Obstruction to the Earthborne so I stepped the Warden up to the Axer, where I discovered I could have easily fit through the gap. I put the final smack on the Axer and my opponent reaved. Then I dropped a forest template near the Shifting Stone and Baldur Forest Walked, keeping the shifting stone between himself and the Earthborne.

Then I did the first really dumb thing. I killed the nearest Kriel Warrior, who made his Tough roll, and I bought a second attack and pasted the other Kriel warrior in Reach. Who was blocking a charge lane.

I feated.

Next turn he stepped in a second Kriel Warrior and took a good swing at Baldur. I made mistake two: I spent my one remaining fury to transfer 6 damage to the Gaurdian (hooray, Empathic Transference). Next the Earthborne charged the Shifting Stone, removing it from the table. Then the Earthborne one-shotted Baldur.

He's coming right at us!

I should have left the Kriel Warrior in place, I thought the Earthborne couldn’t make it to Baldur through the feat, and removing the Warrior made it all the easier.

We set Baldur to 1 health point and played it out until a fully loaded Borka chewed through the Warden and pasted Baldur with a big ‘ol mace, one turn later.

I had a blast, many thanks to my opponent. I should have put Stone Skin on Baldur once he was in harm’s way, but also should have been more aware of the charge lanes and range of the Earthborne, even under my Feat. Also, Borka is a bruiser, and Earthbornes are tough with a lower case t.

September 6, 2010

You’re Gonna Need a Bigger Umbrella

by Nate Birkholz

The Blackhide Wrastler model has been spoiled in No Quarter 32, which I was fortunate enough to pick up at PAX. Some clever lads on the forums have figured out a way to use the Wrastler’s animus to send Molik “Already Awesome Without Flight” Karn all the way across the board on turn one by throwing him and then using the Wrastler to stand him up. In another thoughtful post, some questions are raised about a perceived creep towards Mk 1 shenanigans with overpowered set combos resulting in early-game victories, especially since this exact combo is a return to some similar throwing combos from before the reboot.

It's all fake, you know.

At the heart of the issue with the Wrastler is that the animus allows a Friendly model to stand up with no penalty for 2 Fury. Since Wrongeye and Snapjaw can be taken with six factions, and Wrongeye can also include the Wrastler with Snapjaw, this means you can have large flying models–like Molik Karn–which can then go on to activate later in the turn and use various pointy things to raise grievances with your opponent. Similarly, there appear to be complaints regarding the Fennblades UA (about whom I know nothing) and the Satyxis Blood Raiders UA (whom I have seen being very naughty on Vassal), as well as perceived rules bloat with models like Janissa Stonetide, the back of whose card admittedly does look like 19th-century Russian Literature in length due to the number of unique rules.

I do feel that the Wrastler animus could be brought in line by making it Friendly Faction, though of course as an inexperienced player I was surprised by the Wrongeye bit, here, and may be missing all sorts of broken. I think the Lessers could get specified as only allowed to be associated with their named companion–or at least I can’t think of any real reason not to do that since they always have a named companion with them; they aren’t supposed to be the same as a Jack Marshall, as far as I can tell. I am sure there are other approaches to resolving this specific issue (and I can’t imagine this is intentional).

Breaking intended play with new flavors is risky in the short-term, rules stagnation is risky in the long-term. PP have put out an absurd amount of content in a year. Kudos to them for it. Ambition often results in progress fulfilled at the cost of details, which is in part why organizations get more conservative and less nimble as they grow, due to institutional memory of past mistakes. And sometimes a designer’s vision is different from mine or yours or his or hers. I hope Privateer resist the drag towards the middle of the envelope.

As far as many combos perceived as broken, my suspicion is that someone will find a way to make people pay for what their opponents choose to do on the field. That’s not a shout out to Page 5, that’s just tactics dating from the first time someone used a pointed stick to make an opponent pay for throwing a rock and suddenly finding himself weaponless. What are the answers to the Wrastler tactic? To the Fennblades? To the Satyxis Raiders? I feel like there are going to be many opportunities to make someone regret overextending themselves.

September 5, 2010

More from PAX

by Nate Birkholz

I was fortunate enough to get to spend some more time at the Privateer Press booth today. I got to chat yet again with Jen Ikuta (BobaFerret), and chatted with a couple of very friendly Press Gangers. I also had a great conversation with Doug Seacat, whose work I admire. My appreciation for Doug’s work is both as a player for the excellent stories he creates, but also a professional appreciation for the knotted skein he has to thread through the fiction to cover the goals of supporting the models and game rules they are introducing,  drive a multitude of individual stories through compelling character arcs without invalidating the game rules of the models, give the players insights into the world, provide a sandbox for the IK Roleplaying game, and entertain the reader, all the while providing opportunities for future expansion and not closing off the world to player stories or game rules. Nice job, Doug.

The other day I focused most on the models that interest me, but I wanted to fill in the blanks of what was for sale at the show. There are a random assortment of long-established models for sale, but these are the new or upcoming models I have seen (note that I don’t follow every faction as closely as I do Khador and Circle, so some of these may be not as new I thought):

  • The Plastic Warmachine Battleboxes
  • The metal versions of the plastic Battlebox warcaster sculpts (all with a 2010 suffix on the model name)
  • The new character ‘Jack kits and the plastic kits for them
  • Lord Carver, BMMD
  • Gun Boar
  • War Hog
  • Croak Hunter
  • Thrullg
  • Trollkin Skinner
  • Gunnbjorn
  • Paingiver Taskmaster
  • Aptimus Marketh
  • Nephilim Bolt Thrower
  • Spell Martyrs
  • Stinger
  • Druid Wilder
  • Stone Keeper
  • Reeves of Orboros Chieftain and Standard Bearer
  • No Quarter 32
  • Trollbloods Book

The color blending has sustained atttack, also.

I totally just got the Gun Bore pun.

Sigh, impeccable shading on the fingernails? I surrrender.

Blah blah Star Wars Joke blah

There is potentially new product for Monsterpocalypse, but I wouldn’t recognize it.

I also got a chance to stop by the invitational tournament, where two Circle Orboros players were in evidence, but I didn’t want to disturb anyone with my observation so I just looked around for a couple minutes before I left.

All in all, I hope it has been a deservedly successful show for Privateer. Their booth has certainly been busy.