Tuesday, May 12, 2015

May Check-in


Seems like the blog has taken a back seat since coming out to the east coast.  I'm still not sure if this is a product of burnout, winter blahs, the loss of a regular mini-gaming outlet or what.  That said, there's still some geek about.

The Cub and I have been playing various things on a fairly regular basis, especially 40k and Magic.  He got some stuff for both for his birthday, and we had the trial run of his Ironclad dreadnaught the other day - it came in on a drop-pod, gutted a unit of orks, and then went down before the mighty charge of the Warboss and a pack of tank-bustas ;)

 photo orks.jpg

He also picked up the Millennium Falcon for X-Wing, via a local shop, Strange Adventures, who ordered it in for us a while back.  The inaugural game with it (vs. Slave 1) started out well for the Cub, but the wiley Boba Fett came back to win a squeaker.

 photo duel.jpg

The Beloved got wind of a local geek convention, which we hit up as a family a few weeks back.  Lots of mini-games, cosplay, comics, etc., in evidence.  Pretty much everybody had a blast.  Puddin' was rather impressed by the balloon people in Frozen costume, who presented her with an Elsa balloon girl, and Cub pretty much blew one guy's mind when he immediately identified the guy's costume as a Deathwatch marine.

 photo Deathwatch Cub.jpg

I've been getting out Wednesday nights since classes ended, playing commander at the local card shop, Games People Play, but I have to admit, the historical itch is there.  While I definitely went through something of a doldrum, I've started paying attention to historical blogs again, and have been thinking about picking up a brush.  The absence of a regular game seems inhibiting though.  Ive been thinking about digging out my Spartans, or maybe the Russian AB figs that've been moldering in the drawers of shame for the last several years.  Something . . . .


Sunday, April 5, 2015

Alive, honest!

Hi all,

A tragic absence of pictures, today, I'm afraid, as the Beloved has misplaced the camera.  A wee bit of painting done, a few games against the Cub, including some 40k and X-wing, and I got myself out to at least part of a pre-release for Magic, which was great fun.  I figured I should at least post a place-holder, as the blog's not dead, just resting.  I'll see if I can find the camera ;)


Sunday, February 22, 2015

Tanks, it was fun.

Hi all,

The Cub and I got down to the local GW yesterday for their Tank Battle event.  Basically, a set of rolling scenarios over the course of the day, which involved only armoured units (and Monstrous Creatures, because Tyranids).  You could bring as many tanks as you wanted, but Cub and I stuck to one apiece for simplicity's sake; he took his Redeemer "The Wrath of War", and I took my Battlewagon "Binky's Pride".

We arrived part-way through an earlier session.

The scenario rules were fairly straightforward, with points gained for controlling objectives and killing stuff.  Neither Cub nor I did especially well on points (we both were running what amounted to anti-infantry platforms), but we both got to do some fun stuff, and got to see what other factions' armour could pull off.

Lots and lots of Landraiders

Game one saw the Cub and I teamed up with a young fellow running three Land Raiders, and facing down a table full of Tyranid Monstrous creatures.  I've been consistently surprised by the quality of the new kits GW turns out.  There's no arguing it's expensive stuff, but the do make some pretty intensely detailed plastic.

Cub was impressed by the servo-skull tape-measure

You can see Cub's LR at the end.

On the left, CubRaider and the other three worked together to try and take down an encroaching wave of Carnifexes plus, I think, a Tervigon..  On the right, my battlewagon faced down a Flying Hive Tyrant, Old One Eye, and some kind of super-Ravener.

LR's concentrate fire, hoping to bring down the bugs.

But those are some BIG bugs.

The kids did pretty well, but came up short, bringing the Carnifexes down to a wound apiece, but the weren't able to stop them getting in to close combat.  Land Raiders quickly began popping across the table.

Cub's Redeemer takes the brunt of the Carnifex charge.

Super-Ravener and Old One-Eye were doing something similar to the battle-wagon, but not before I managed to not only use my wrecking ball, but actually wound Old One-Eye with it ;)

The Wreckin' Ball, wreckin'.

Game Two saw Cub and I teamed up with Tau vs a combined Imperial force.  He and I deployed centre-left, while the Tau spread across the table (there were lots of them).  Across the table, my opponents decided that the Battlewagon was looking a tad threatening (Binky's Pride is a mighty beast), and I ended up staring across the table at a Lascannon Randraider, a Lascannon Predetor, and a Lascannon Razorback.  I'd be trusting to Orky luck in this game ;)

Game 2, turn 1.  That's a lot of lascannons.

On the upside, that's a really BIG railgun.

As it worked out, Cub and I spent the game soaking fire while the Tau zipped about blowing stuff up.  I fully expected my battlewagon to get wiped off the table, but it soaked three full turns of concentrated twin-linked lascannon fire from three vehicles without dying.  Grot riggers helped keep it on the table, but at the end of the day, armour 14, plus the new damage table, just meant that it was a tough vehicle.  Cub's landraider prowled around, pinging things with it's multi-melta, and more or less ignoring return fire.

Cub's Redeemer, "The Wrath of War" shrugs off Leman Russ fire.  Only down one hull point.

The Tau, for the record, have some seriously scary vehicles.  I'm already familiar with what their bit railguns can do, but their new (to me) super-dread, the Riptide, just blew up everything at which it shot, including a couple of Leman Russ, which are fairly tough in their own right.  Not sure how good the Riptide is at soaking fire, but man, they're nasty on offence.

Riptide drops in.  The lamentation of the women soon to follow.

Note to our opponents;  you should have shot the Tau first.

On the left, "Binky's Pride", still not dead

Still not dead some more.

It was a fun day.  While the event was part of a store campaign, it had a very casual feel.  The Halifax GW is remarkably kid-friendly, patrons included, and the staff are fantastic (Big thanks to Dave, Chris and Dan).  Cub's still talking about how  game 2 is the first game his Redeemer didn't get blown up (probably 'cause it wasn't up against his dad's Orky power-klaws ;).  He's at his mom's next weekend, but we've joined the campaign, and are planning to be in two weeks from now for a game.


Friday, February 13, 2015

Still not dead


I am, slowly, digging out from the Month of Hell, and aside from some kind of viral relay between the kids, life is slowly returning to semi-normal levels of busy-ness.  This was the first morning in several weeks I didn't wake up feeling like a zombie, so I figured it was time for a little catch-up.

Painting's been almost at a standstill, but there's been at least a little geek activity.  The Cub and I got in a game of 40k last weekend, I've been tweaking my MtG Commander decks with the new cards from Khans of Tarkir / Fate reforged, and I even got out one night to play Magic, getting in both a Commander game and playing in a draft for the first time.

The game I played with Cub was 1000 points.  He went unbound, with a mix of assault marines, tacticals, devastators, and his redeemer.  I went infantry heavy, lots of shootas, tankbustas, and sluggas.  It was a bit of a learning experience for him, as he sent his units in piecemeal and found out the hard way what happens when you deploy a shooting unit like Devs in a spot where their line of sight is blocked. That said, it was a fun game, with some rather cinematic moments (notably the challenge between his Librarian and my Warboss), and he's learning how to take defeat, like victory, with some grace.

Orks face off against Marines.  His Devs are behind the "terrain" top right.

The Orks surge forward, overwhelming the lone tac squad, and risking death by Redeemer flamer.

Cub drop-strikes his assault marines, and the orks pile in.

The tanbustas that make it past the Redeemer's flame templates charge in.  2 Powerklaws make short work of the tank.  Net turn, the Librarian and Warboss will face off.

With the new MtG releases, I've been durdling away with my commander decks.  My zombies have gone through the biggest change, as I swapped out Commanders, and am now running them as Red-Black with Tymaret the Murder King at the helm.  I've made a few swaps to the plants deck too, and was delighted when I was able to trade in some cards I picked up at the draft for a Nyssa, Worldwaker, a card I'd not normally be able to justify buying.  I even got to try her out in the one game I played, and she was both crazy fun, and a nice thematic addition.

I really enjoyed the draft.  It was at one of the local geek shops here in Halifax, Games People Play, and both the staff and the regulars made a new guy feel welcome. I did pretty well, considering, going 1-1-1 over three rounds, and in addition to the cards I swapped for Nyssa. picked up some other usable cards as well.  The selection process involved in drafting, with the constant need to evaluate signals and the process of selecting cards that work together, on the fly, is both challenging and fun.  I don't know how often I'll get to do it, but I definitely want to do it again.

That's pretty much all she wrote.  The Cub has been asking to go down to the GW to play, so we might get that in this weekend, weather and health permitting.  I'm hoping to get some painting in this week, as I've been getting the itch.  Posting will likely continue to be a little sporadic, but there's life left in the blog yet.


Sunday, January 18, 2015

Provincial Pleasures

Hi all,

In what seems to be becoming something of a litany, wow, have the last couple of weeks been busy.  I suspect it's about time I recognize that the new level of activity is less an anomaly, and more status quo, and just roll with it.

That said, I've managed to do a little painting, I've made some progress on both my ork Warboss and a Lord for my Bretonnians, but mainly managed to knock out some test figures for the Acadian project.

 photo IMG_5458.jpg

These are Blue Moon 18mm American Provincials, done up as Massachusetts provincials.  They're in the pre-1750s uniform, with red trousers, which makes them appropriate for Le Loutre's war and the Expulsion.  Apparently, once the 7YW got going in earnest, they switched to blue trousers instead.  No idea why.

 photo 9e99f821-75fc-4000-a8b1-dd11524b7d17.jpg

I tried something a little different with these guys, using a wash for shading rather than just working up highlight layers.  Not 100% sold on the effect, but one thing I'm going to try and do with this project is experiment a little with techniques.

Next couple of weeks are liable to be equally short on time and progress, but I'll try to get in at least one post over the period, even if it's just a WiP.


Wednesday, December 31, 2014

IG Conflict 2: The Sprog Strikes Back


Hard back at work, but thought I'd take a minute to post an AAR of the second game vs. the Cub, this one down at the local GW.  This one was bigger, 1000 points a side.  I took my warboss, a painboy, a couple units of 20 shootas, a couple of units of grots, a maxed-out unit of tankbustas, and a unit of deff koptas.  The Cub had a full tac squad, split, a 5-man tac squad, maxed assault marines, a razorback, 3 bikes, and a landraider redeemer, aka, priority one.

A few more boys painted up this time.  The horde grows.

For simplicity's sake, we used the same scenario as last game, rolling 4 objectives this time around.  I won the roll to set up / go first, and spread the boys out.  The plan was to concentrate fire on the Redeemer with the Deffcoptas and Tankbustas, and hope to smoke it before it could bring it's very scary (twin flame templates that wound on re-rollable 2s, and ignore all cover and armour saves in my army) to bear.

The Cub, not being anybody's fool, opted for a "shove the big scary thing down Dad's throat" approach, piling the redeemer straight forward, with the bikes and jump squad trailing in support.  Oh, and he had a combat squad with his Very Scary Chaplain inside.

Twin uberflamers, twin-linked Asscannon, twin-linked multi-melta.  What was I thinking when I got him this thing?
I moved into rokkit range, and unloaded everything on the Redeemer, hoping to remove the threat before it could become a real problem.  18 rokkit shots later, 5 of them twin-linked, I had removed one (yes, one) hull-point from the beastie.

On his next turn, Cub jammed the beast forward again.  This is where the game started to shift a bit from our last one.  I pointed out to Cub that the terrain right in front of the Redeemer allowed a more direct route, but posed a risk; it was possible his Redeemer might get stuck on it, and be unable to move.  Cub thought it out, and decided he wanted to take the risk to bring his flame weapons to bear.

It simply will not die.  Not the Chaplain, though, he died easy.

At which point, he inevitably rolled the "1", and immobilized his Redeemer ;)

We then had another conversation about what to do with his squad inside.  I told him he could deploy them, and either shoot or assault, but not both (as they were packing rapid-fire weapons.  He opted to assault, but was promptly blasted by overwatch fire, and then I think failed the assault roll.  At any rate, he was left with a sole veteran sergeant who opted for the better part of valour.

On my turn, I unloaded the coptas and tank-bustas on the Redeemer again, doing 2 more hull points (not enough to kill it!), and sent one of the two shoota squads after the razorback.  The Nob was packing a Big Choppa, and S7 on the charge was enough to pop it.

No more Asscannon for you!
On his turn, the Cub unleashed the destructive power of his fully armed and operational Redeemer on my poor shootaboys, killing 11 with one flamey salvo.

No cream can deal with this itching, burning sensation.
On the right, Cub sent in his Assault marines against the un-toasted shootas, but not before we had a little conversation about overwatch.  I reminded him of what had happened to the Chaplain's squad earlier.  I also pointed out that I could only shoot overwatch once, and that he had a perfectly disposable, *cough*, I meant, serviceable veteran sergeant just hanging about.

Cub used the Vet to soak my overwatch fire, and THEN sent in the marines, who performed quite credibly.

They fight almost as good as orks.
On my turn, I sent the rest of my toasted orks over to help out their buddies, and the whole thing turned into one of those multi-round grind-fests.  The orks eventually won, of course (of course!), but it did take a few rounds.

Just keep swinging, just keep swinging . . . 
In the center, my tankbustas, who'd also taken a hit from the flame templates, managed to rally, and finished off the Redeemer.  They were, however, now faced with a choice.  We had 4 objectives on the board, and the game could end in the next turn.  I talked to Cub about what I was doing and why, reminding him that it was the objectives that would most likely win either of us the game.  I opted to go for one of the further objectives with the remains of the tankbustas, and redeploy my grots, in the hopes that the game would stretch out and I could eke out a win.  On his turn,Cub also redeployed his two "shooting squads" to make a play for the objectives as well.

Tac squad on the objective, grots just out of range.

Tac squad 2 on the objective as well.
We rolled for another turn, but the dice came up short.  I had an objective, first blood, and the warlord bonus, Cub had 2 objectives and line-breaker.  Win to the Sprog.

Warboss Binky is evidently more Brutal than Cunnin'.  That dead Redeemer was pretty sweet, though.

What impressed me this game was a) how much Cub had learned from the last one, and b) that he thought through what he needed to do in order to win.  He used his Redeemer as a perfect distraction unit, took the necessary steps to secure objectives, and even tried to use units in support of one another.  Didn't always work out for him, but given this is only his third or fourth game, it shows some significant growth.  Well, done, kiddo.

Cub insisted on the glam shot.
Next post will probably be painting / modelling related, and then we're likely back to the once-a-week-I-hope schedule as normalcy and the associated busyness assert themselves.

Have yourselves a terrific end of 2014, and a not-too-hungover start to 2015.


Monday, December 29, 2014


Hi all,

With the new year fast approaching, it's time for one of my traditional "dear God, where has the last year gone?" posts.  I was just looking over my comments from this time last year, and it seems I was reasonably prescient.  The Quest for Work did indeed involve a fair bit of upheaval, in that we ended up moving half way across the country.  While there's still no word about whether this will last longer than the year's contract for which I was hired, we're making the most of the time that we're out here, especially in terms of spending time with the Cub.

Not to scale.  Quite.

As we slowly dig out from Christmas, I've had a chance to assess my "loot" for the year.  Against usual practise, I actually got some models this year (albeit with a bit of guidance), in the form of an Ork codex, some orky aircraft and several Deffkoptas.  I'm particularly partial to the orky air force (and have become rather fond of Deff Skwadron), so I'm looking forward to painting those up.  Books were absent this year, but I did get a rather nice collection of the first (and only) season of the Dresden files.  I'm a rabid fan of the books, but the series seems to have died a-borning, I think in part because it was rather divergent from the aforementioned books, which alienated the fan base.  I'm taking a leaf from the Beloved, who's a fan of both the Sookie Stackhouse books and series, and approaching the TV show on its own terms.  So far, it's been quite fun

You are now flying Ork air.  You poor bugger, you.

Of the list of geeky projects I set for myself back at the start of the year, I ended up making only limited progress on everything but Muskets and Tomahawks, where I did manage to finish my 400 point force.  Un-anticipated projects included getting a few points finished up for SAGA, rounding out a 1000 points of Bretonnians, and making a start on 40k orks.  In general hobby terms, however, it's been a bit of a slow year.  Some of that came of getting into pre-painted games like X-Wing, some came from getting right hooked on the Commander format of MtG, but honestly, a lot of it came from a year that was busy enough to put a real crimp on my time and energy.

That about sums it up.

I still feel the magpie nipping at me, and Lord knows I've got enough half-finished projects hanging about.  Unfortunately, the next four to six months are likely to be even more busy than the last six, as I'm taking on an even heavier work-load, as well as looking for alternatives should a permanent position not develop here.  While I'm definitely going to go with the "paint what you feel like painting" approach, there are two main things I'd like to make progress on over the following year:

1. Muskets and Tomahawks Acadie

While I've yet to put brush to mini on this project, I have been reading up a storm on it.  One of the advantages of living in a town that was founded to counter-balance Louisburg is that the local universities have a ton of resources on the subject.  I want to get something done on this in the next little while.  Terrain for this project is also something I'd like to work on.  In addition to the Christmas gifts I mentioned above, my Secret Santa send me a generous gift certificate to OG / Blue Moon, and I'm currently torn between some more minis (canoes, highlanders, guns) and buildings.  Both are rather appealing.  Nice to have these sorts of problems ;)

As opposed, say, to these types of problems.

2. Games Workshop (Brets and Orks)

My Bretonnians are what they've always been; my go-to when I want to do some fun painting.  The advent of the End Times in WFB has also blown the game wide open, and left loads of room for fun characters and army builds.  I finished up prepping the Bret lord I posted a while back, and have been waiting for the mood to strike to tackle him.  There's plenty of room in the army for small conversions as well, and the prospect of painting up a Bret Prophetess of the Lore of Undeath is giving me the giggles.

I tried explaining to the Beloved this was strictly for research purposes.

The Orks, as well as being one of the things I love about GW, are emerging as a real bonding point with the Cub, as he takes his first plunge down the rabbit hole.  As I write this, he's priming up a space marine bike ;)  While I may fit in some historical painting, I suspect the bulk of the gaming I do will be fantasy / sci-fi related.  I'm finding the orks to also be something of a change from the last time I did them, oddly enough, around the time of Cub's birth.  The last time I did them, it was primarily a footslogger force.  While that's where I've started them again, I'm having a ton of fun scratch-building and kit-bashing vehicles this time around, and may make this one a little more speed freaky.

I have no idea who Majestic Chicken is, but I like their style.

There's other stuff I might pick at to mix things up.  I still like ancients, still would like to add to my SAGA vikings and WWII stuff (even thinking about a scale shift on the latter).  I still lurk on TMP, God help me ;)  The thing is, I'm now working late at least two nights a week, weekends are for family, and it's harder and harder to shoe-horn in as much time for painting and playing as I once had.  This year, I think I'll cut myself some slack, and enjoy what I can, when I can.  If I don't post again before the turn, you've all got my best wishes for the new year,