Archive for October, 2010

October 31, 2010

Maybe He Should Get a Sandwich or Something

by Nate Birkholz

The other night the FLGS, we were discussing eHaley. I noted that every faction seems to have at least one caster that leads everyone else to call cheese, like eHaley, eSkarre, etc. I said I didn’t think Circle had one, and everyone immediately replied, “Kromac.”

Hungry Man?

When I started looking at the Circle Orboros faction, I largely ignored Kromac the Ravenous. To be honest, I was never thrilled with Circle casters in general until I understood the fluff, but ol’ Hungry really didn’t grab me much at all. Somewhat arbitrarily I decided to avoid him and focus on the other Circle casters. After enjoying my first tournament a few weeks ago, however, I realize that the ability to be competitive is valuable, even if I doubt I’ll be a top tier player.

Looking over Angry Goatface, we find that with a six-inch move, five-inch leap, and two-inch reach, he has a thirteen-inch threat range. On feat turn he can refill his fury in exchange for causing himself seven damage, which allows him to buy sixteen unboosted attacks. This obviously makes him dangerous, but a thirteen-inch threat range is also supremely avoidable. You might surprise any given opponent once with it, and after that will have to hope for inattention or hubris. Though I am sure you can also make use of it to remove a few beasts from the board or to spam Rift if you just double your FURY and don’t choose to switch to beast form; in fact, the feat makes Rift actually seem worth the cost, for once.

Because of this, the Internet advises that Kromac the Supremely Peckish is not actually an assassination caster, but rather a support caster with some denial via his Bestial spell — preventing magic and upkeep in his CTRL radius — as well as denial via the threat of assassination. This makes his Feat perhaps as valuable as a possibility as an actuality, it seems to me.

I have to say he doesn’t seem like he would really bring the same level of moldy milk as someone like eSkarre does, however: for heaven’s sake, her breasts knock targets down, now that is cheese. Kromac does indeed have a good stable of spells that support both man and beast, and also makes troops and beasts synergize well with one another via Warpath, which is a great trick in an upkeep spell. Yet while there’s no denying the…denial capabilities of Bestial, he doesn’t have that “extra” ability or spell that the broken-seeming casters have.

I note that he doesn’t eat hearts like the other male Tharn do — no wonder he is ravenous!

I will definitely be picking up the model soon; Kromac may not look as broken as some other casters to my oh-so-inexperienced eye, but I know other people hate dealing with him, and I am sure he plays very strongly on the tabletop. I am also looking forward to Cassius and the Tree of Fate — another two-model caster, which seems to be a Circle Orboros trend — even though we have absolutely zero idea what he will do. (I’d love to have the first painted Cassius on the forums, we’ll see if I can make that happen.)

I seem to be investing more in casters than may be best. Instead I should likely be taking the time to learn a couple of warlocks well, but Circle has a broad range of solid warlock choices instead of one or two dominant ones, and I like seeing how my other models change in response.

Problem Solved!

October 28, 2010

Stab, Stab, Whoosh

by Nate Birkholz

I pretty much finished the Eladrin Swordmage for our new D&D campaign the other day (his sash is going to get one more detail pass and a more careful final wash, I think). He turned out pretty well, the iPhone photo is not as good as the Sony took, but there you go. This is why we can’t have nice things. After I created the character I was struck by the fact that the character concept is rather Circle Orboros–he teleports around, uses lightning powers,  and has a vaguely unsavory secret agenda.

Wait here. I'll be back. I promise.


The DM told me he liked that he can only see one or two splashes of color whichever way he looks at him, and when you turn him around the red scabbard is a nice surprise. I thought that was pretty gratifying. I only have four or five hours into him, too, so it went pretty smoothly.

I primed the Druid Wilder, eKrueger, and a Reaper human fighter/undead hunter model that I really have liked for a long time, today. It’s amazing how priming the models will show you all the little bits of flash you missed, the Wilder has lots of little tags around her that I need to clean up. The weather is turning to the Autumn/Winter day temps in the sixties in NorCal, so I am going to need to keep the proverbial weather eye out for good priming days for the next five or six months.

I’d like for eKrueger to be painted for the next tournament, at least. I’m not sure I want him to be cloaked in plain ol’ green. I might use the midnight (“Prussian”) blue for all of my Druids, and the storm theme of Krueger seems to demand a color like that. The olive greens of the studio pKrueger scheme also appeal to me, however.

October 25, 2010

Camera Fail

by Nate Birkholz

My camera has died, sadly. This morning someone in front of me slammed on their brakes for Lord knows what reason, and my camera flew into the footboards. Ever since, I cannot successfully start the camera, the lens assembly seems unable to open. Sad times. I’ll have to use my iPhone, which is not the optimal way to take photos for a miniatures blog.

October 23, 2010

Assembly School

by Nate Birkholz

In the last few weeks since my honeymoon, I have assembled and pinned a ridiculous number of models, especially considering how much work I have to do these days. I had to prepare for a 15-point Tooth-n-Claw/Mangled Metal tournament the week I got back, so I assembled the Feral and the Pureblood (and eKaya and Laris, whom I did not pin). I had endless difficulty getting the pin holes to match on these models, in fact one of the Feral arms was drilled three times to get it to align, and the tails were an anatomically-appropriate pain.

The Pureblood came together somehow in a way that the front arm doesn’t reach the ground, so I will have to re-base him, but I just wanted to finish by that point so I could play in the tournament.

His legs don't go all the way to the ground.

After that I discovered that next month’s tournament will be a 25-point Steamroller event, and I wanted to try eKrueger since I have had some trouble with ranged forces. I assembled and pinned eKrueger, the Gnarlhorn (drilled through the left arm socket into the kneck hole, so I’ll have to Miliput that), the Ravager Whitemane, an Argus, and the Druids of Orboros–all of the druids are pinned except the designated leader model, since I didn’t think I could drill deep enough into the hands to matter. Krueger required me to drill the right arm twice to get an aligned pin, and the arm came loose going in and out of the foam on a single round trip to the FLGS; I hope the latest glue holds, not sure where to go from there if it doesn’t.

After this I wanted to assemble one set of my Warpborn Skinwalkers. I got one hand pinned, tried and failed to pin another, and couldn’t figure out how to pin the bodies. After some investigation into cementing with Miliput in the bodies, I got impatient and just scored the metal and superglued the bodies, arms, and heads. I am sure I will pay for my impatience, so I will wait to see how they hold up going in and out of the foam as well as on the table before I basecoat them.

Have you seen our pitchforks and torches?

Finally, after two weeks of sticking my fingers together with glue, developing a significantly intimate relationship with my pin vise, and several trips to the Internets to learn new swear words, I felt the need to paint. On Monday we are starting a new D&D campaign, and I am resurrecting my Swordmage character from my old San Diego gaming group. I had a basecoated model for this since March or so, and the clock was ticking, so I am going quickly and am not doing him as a real “showcase” paint job. I painted the cloth parts first, and then did a first coat of various browns.

Eladrin Dance Team Swordmage.


Next I applied a liberal coat of Devlan Mud to the various browns.

Talk to the hand.

Tomorrow I will highlight the browns, wash again, add a final highlight, then finish of the detailing. A technique I discovered while painting Baldur is to highlight brown leather only with the base color of the leather, instead of with a lighter color. That reads more as leather to my eye than making a lightened version of the base color. I found a tutorial on painting leather online, but it didn’t help me, I’m afraid.