Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
So many of the things I learned last time I played apocalypse were reinforced and I learned some new things.
First, I'll revisit some points from last time:
1. You need to build an Apocalypse Army One again, my army is not "apocalypse-ised". In fact, I played an army that I basically stopped playing two years ago. Fortunately, the Ork players knew this and went easy on us. While Brian brought his infamous stompa, we simply used it as a piece of scenery that represented an objective.
If I were playing my chaos, this may have been different. But then, I would have been using CSM allied with Daemons. Which would be much bigger and badder.
2. You need to use Datasheets. This is true for more reasons than I previously thought. We played this game on a 8' x 12' board, and with 9,000 points, we were still very cramped. However, if we would have sunk some points into super-heavies, would whould have had some breathing room.
3. Know your ally. No problems with this one this time around.
4. Play fast as possible. We timed our turns which I think helped things move along at a steady pace. We only made it to turn 4 after 7 hours. Still, not bad for the first game with this group.
5. Know what you're fighting for. Having Brian's Stompa on the board as an objective gave us something to shoot for (not shoot at). It was a vital objective (which we didn't know until the end of the game). Still, it was nice to have a unified Ork force against a unified (more or less) Imperial force.
6. Apocalypse is about planning as much as it is about playing. Hats off to Eric and Nick. The game went off very smoothly.
Some new things I'd like to add:
7. Don't get hung up on strategic assets. Eric handed out strategic assets randomly to both sides. He also limited what strategic assets were allowed in the game. I first, I thought this was a terrible idea (sorry). However, it turned out to be a lot of fun to work with assets I might not have tried otherwise. I received some kind of force field (I can't remember the name) and supreme headquarters. Both were extremely useful. I would actually suggest randomizing assets for your first time out. Or at the very least, try ones you might not usually try.
8. You can play faster than you think. This goes along with #4. We instituted a 30 minute per turn time limit. I was afraid that this would be tough for the Ork, but for the first few turns, both sides were finishing with time left on the clock. The later turns took longer, especially with assaults. We agreed that if the timer ran out while rolling for assault was in progress, we'd finish it. I suppose this system could be tweaked a little, and I say, set the bar high.
Without further ado, here are the rest of the pictures...
A perfect illustration of not having enough room. My Space Wolves got stuck in this corner after after destroying Brian's battle wagon. It became a wreck that blocked my way out.
Anton's three (3!) penitent engins take to the street.
The Orks make an orbital strike at our supreme head quarters. Luckily, our force shield (or whatever) held strong.
A lot of the fighting centered on the line of barricades. I kept yelling, "HOLD THE LINE!" at the top of my lungs. This apparently annoyed people.
Matt's version of Ragnar Blackmane (a much older, wiser version) holds an objective against a couple killer kans and a deff dread.
On Sunday, November 2nd, I took part in a 9,000 point Apocalypse battle organized by Eric and hosted by Nick. Despite what some people say about Apocalypse (I'm never going to let you live that down, John, ;) ),it was great fun.
The battle was between Orks (The Maplewaaaagh) and an Imperial coalition of Space Wolves and Witch Hunters (The Wolf Punks).
For now, I'm just going to post these pictures. Tune in tomorrow for more in-depth coverage. I'll also follow up on my previous post about Apocalypse.
The calm before the storm.
The entire table was bisected by barricades since both sides had the "Obstacles" Strategic asset.
Dawn breaks over the green tide.
Yep, that's a lotta orks!
Wolf Punks Anton and Matt mull over the battle plan.
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
I've been a part of two 40k campaigns(one of which I "ran"). I've run a map-based Necromunda campaign. I've also watched some campaigns from afar (notably Brian's Ahon Project).
I've spent a lot of time trying to figure out how to make a good campaign that adds another dimension to people's games.
These are what I see as the challenges to a good campaign:
Time commitment - It seems to me that campaigns fall apart because most people have real lives that interrupt their gaming lives. This is natural. Still, a campaign system must be robust enough that it doesn't fall apart when people drop out.
Consistency of Attendance - There are some people who can play every week. Some, like me, can only two every-other week. Some people will play three weeks in a row and then disappear for a month and a half. No matter how much people play, it should disrupt the flow of the campaign.
Simplicity/ Complexity - There is a very tenuous balance between making rules simple enough that it doesn't bog down the actually playing of games but complex enough to make it worth doing in the first place.
Amount of work for the organizer - If all the work for doing everything falls on one person, that person is going to get burned out really fast. I think the trick for an organizer is to make a system that runs itself.
Commitment to the story - The way I look at it, campaign is just a way to bring role playing into war gaming. It's more fun to say, "My chaos sorcerer, Rhum Dutt, is going to slay your warboss, Snagal Teef!" than, "I'm totally going to win tonight's game, dude." However, not everyone "gets into character" with their army. That's fine, but how do you make it fun for those of us that do?
I have solutions for some of these and some I do not. I'll go into those in greater detail in future posts.
Before I get to those, I ask you, what do you see as the challenges to running a good campaign?
Friday, October 24, 2008
Here are two more simple Assault on Black Reach/ Space Wolf conversions. The first was a simple case of clipping off the old head and then drilling out the neck with a large drill bit.
In the second, I glued a wolf tail on to the marine's belt before I glued the bolter on.
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
My over-all plan is very bare-bones right now, but there is one aspect I've been struggling with.
My idea is to make up an entire galactic sector. The sector would be the setting for all the games in the campaign. All planets would be under the control of different factions. There would be imperial planets and Ork planets, for example. A good example is this from Dark Heresy.
Before each game, the players would decide what planet they are playing on or for. Then, the results for that game would be applied to that planet. In this way, the factions could take control of various planets.
Recently in my Mighty Empires-based campaign, a lot of the players have been wanting to play new armies. This has happened for several reasons. Mostly it was because people wanted to start a new army or re-start an old army when the new codex came out. Sometimes, I think people just got bored with playing one army.
For the campaign I have in mind, people would be able to play whatever army they wanted on a given week.
So for example, let's say a player (we'll call him Bob) started the campaign playing space marines. Two months in, Bob is getting ready for a tournament where he wants to play his Eldar. He wants to play some practice games so he asks the GM if he can switch.
This leads to many questions. Should Bob get to keep the territory/ points he's earned? How does this affect the story background? If he can do it, why can't other people do it?
So I say, let's make a campaign that's so broad in scale that players can play any army they want. It still affects the story of the campaign, but gives all the players a lot more freedom.
To use the above example again, Bob would simply play a game with his Eldar army and apply the results to a planet where Eldar had a presence. If he wants to switch back to Marines, he'll apply the game results to plant that the Imperium is contesting. If he's smart, he won't apply the points to the same planet thus negating his own progress.
Assuming the mechanics of the game actually work, what do you think? Is this crazy? stupid? Keep in mind that this really isn't meant for super-competitive players. I'm just looking for a framework to make games more characterful.
Monday, October 20, 2008
This is an insanely easy conversion. All I did was sand off that weird skull/ star thing on the Assault on Black Reach Dread and glue on the space wolves vehicle symbol.
Word to the wise, if you try to do this, don't bother trying to save the rivets that are on that panel. I tried to cram my hobby knife and my files between them, but ended up just cutting them right off. I wish I had just done that right from the start. It would have saved me a lot of aggravation. I'll go back later and green-stuff some rivets back on.
There are a couple more things I want to do to do with it to make it a little more Space Wolf, but even if I left it at this stage I don't think it would be too bad (Besides the fact that I haven't cleaned off the mold lines yet).
Friday, October 17, 2008
These pictures didn't come out as well as I hoped. I'm going to post them anyway because I'm trying to get back in the habit of posting. Cut me some slack, OK?!
Anyway, above you'll see my daemon army as it stands. I also have some partly-painted screamers, but they couldn't make the photo shoot.
My horror unit is the one that is closest to being done. Pretty much every model in the unit is at a different stage of completion, however. When I originally built them for my Thousand sons army, I was doing a lot of experimenting to get the pink to look right. I think I've finally figured it out, but now I'm faced with the difficult job of unifying the look of the unit. I'm not too worried. They are horrors after all. Cohesion isn't their strong suit.
Here is what list of the models I have and their respective stages:
Horrors - 10
Flamers - 10 (Maybe two units of five?)
Daemonettes - 6 w/ standard bearer
screamers - 5 (these have to be stripped, more on that later)
Bloodletters - 8 w/ standard bearer
Lord of Change
Keeper of Secrets
Herald of Tzeentch (the warhammer tzeentch sorcerer model)
Heralds of Khorne and Slaanesh (these will be made from left over parts form the Daemnoette and Bloodletter kits. I've already started some conversion work on both)
My daemon army is my main focus at the moment. However, I will soon report on the status of my Chaos Space Marine army. Stay tuned.
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Kids + Warhammer
Santa Cruz Warhammer has written a couple articles about introducing kids to warhammer. I have a lot to say on this subject. I happen to be starting to teach my son warhammer 40k. We just bought Assault on Black Reach, so we've been working on that together. Which brings me to the next thing...
Assault on Black Reach
Yes, it is as awesome as everyone says. Pick one up if you haven't already. I'm in the process right now of making all the marines look more Space Wolf-ish.
The New Space Marine Codex
It just makes me so mad! I hate loyalist!!
Campaigns Rules and Narrative Campaigns
These seem to be coming up a lot in the blog-o-sphere, and again, I have a lot to say about them. I've also had a lot of requests for my adaptation of the mighty empire rules to 40K. However, 5th edition made a few parts of the rules obsolete, so I'm in the process of updating them. Also, I've had a lot of ideas lately about some narrative campaigns and would like to share them with you.
I've become a big fan of the project logs on Warseer. lately I've been reading them and saying, "These are great, I should start one." Then I realize, duh, I already have one, this blog. Point is, I've a lot of newly painted stuff I'd like to share. It's time to get back to my roots, so to speak.
Monday, September 8, 2008
Anyway, I've decided to put my meager blogging efforts into the background for the campaign I'm playing right now. If you want to follow that blog it's here: http://alphecaiiicampaign.blogspot.com/
If I feel inspired, I'll post here. Just don't expect too much until this campaign wraps up.
Bit of Follow-up
I visited Chicago's newest and only games store, Black Sun Games last week. It's everything you'd want in a game store: ample stock, friendly staff, good lighting, etc. Plus, there was a distinct lack of "gamer stink".
Check out the website and check out the store. I highly recomnd it.
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Finally! A games store actually in Chicago! Not Evanston, not Oak park, but good-ole Chi-town. The store is called Black Sun Games and they open their doors this Friday, August 22nd. Check out the Website:
It may be a bit before I can make a trip, but as soon as I do, I'll report back.
Friday, August 8, 2008
I can't wait until Tzeentch day! One more year! Well, happy Khorne day anyway. Go spill some blood and take some skulls.
Wait, It's Khorne's day and they're starting the Olympics?! That's got to be a bad sign.
While I'm at it, I'll say that I'm not dead, I'm just really busy. More updates soon, promise.
Saturday, July 12, 2008
Thursday, July 10, 2008
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
Anyway, these are some early WIP Chaos Space Marines which will have and icon of Slaanesh.
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Behold! My first Daemonette:
Sunday, June 15, 2008
Thursday, May 22, 2008
First off, I’ve almost completed the map for our upcoming campaign. I have to tell you, painting Mighty Empire maps is tedious! I still have to paint all those little flags, too. Ugh.
Anyway, it was fun adapting it to 40K. I built 3 hives cites and added as you can see. I also made some counters to represent airfields (to be featured in a future installment). More on this to come.
I also started to teach my son to paint.
Not bad for a first time by a seven year old. It’s 100 times better then how I started (which is to say: In my mother’s basement and using Testor’s high-gloss enamel straight out of the bottle onto lead figures. They were made of lead for crying out loud!)
That’s all for now. Everyone have a safe Memorial day weekend.
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Anyway, I wanted to post a few of the pictures that I took at Adepticon. For some reason this year, I had a real hard time getting decent pictures. I'm sure it had something to do with the high prices at the hotel canteen or possibly theme score judging. Whatever was the cause, I didn't walk away with as many pictures as in years past.
Here's a shot of the massive 1st edition space hulk game I played in. This, for me, was one of the most fun games I played at Adepticon. I had forgotten how much fun 1st edition was.
The Chicago Way demo. Awesome game with some awesome miniatures. Hats off to Dave for running this one.
John from Plastic Legions calculating his scores in the Warhammer tournament. For his coverage of the event, check here.
You know, I was totally entranced by the pattern of this carpet. I have to figure out a way to work this pattern into a miniature somehow.
Well, that's it for this year, kids. A huge Thank You to all the wonderful people who organize this every year.
My plans for next year have already been put in motion. Watch this space.
Thursday, April 24, 2008
First up is the blog of nine-time Golden Demon winner, Dave Pauwels:
Rabid Bat Studio
There are some great miniatures on this site. Everyone should go over there and pressure Dave to paint even more.
Secondly, here is a new blog by Nick Barran:
Redemptors of Golinar
Nick is in the the same gaming group as me, a former game store co-owner, and former GW employee. Nick has already posted some great articles and I'm sure there will be more to come.
I've made some changes to links. I've removed a couple of blogs that have ceased activity. I also removed the Warseer link because I figure most people know how to get there themselves. Plus, blogs are better than forums any day!
Stay positive, people!
Monday, April 14, 2008
I said in my last post that stuff was not the most important part of Adepticon. What is? People, that's what (I warned you).
Seriously, it was very cool to hang out with so many awesome people. Most of the people I already knew, and it was great to see all the people I don't get to regularly see. It's funny, many of the people I got to hang out with I talk to via the Internet regularly, but the last time I saw them face-to-face was Adepticon last year!
The people who taught the seminars were also very cool. It's great when you can talk to people who have so much skill but are will to share they're knowledge with everyone.
Anyway, shout out to everyone who made this year so great.
Still, I want to report on as much of my Adepticon experience as possible. Over the next week, I'll post short articles about various aspects of this, the king of all GW conventions.
I want to start off with what is definitely not the most important part of Adepticon, but certainly the easiest to write about. I'm talkin' about swag!
Every year, it seems like Adepticon gives you more and more for your money. Here is a list of free stuff I got with my general admission:
-Three Black library books:
-The Ambassador Chronicles, by Graham McNeil
-The Bloodquest Trilogy graphic novel
-Warhammer 40,000 Quiz Book
-A Dwarf Lord miniature from Avatars of War
-The Adepticon Miniature "Baegor the one-horned"
-A little bag of bits from the Warstore
About that last item, I have to say, I got more useful bits in that 2"x3" little baggy than I got in my entire BattleWagon Bits going out of business grab bag. How did they do that?
Some of the seminars had stuff included in the price. For example, the Chris Borer class came with three types of putty, four sculpting tools, a full-color booklet and a tiny piece of Plexiglas (for rolling out putty). The James Wapple glazing class came with a cool metal black orc mini with which we practiced the techniques of the class. However, since his and Cathy's basing class had so much material left over, he gave us two scenic bases and enough material to make about five more.
I've never really taken advantage of Adepticon's deal-finding potential and honestly, I was on a pretty tight budget this year (same as every year). However there were a few buys I simply could not pass up.
Black library was offering their books at deep discounts. I'm a big fan of their art books but usually the price prevents me from purchasing them. At Adepticon, Black Library was offering them at 50% off! I bought the last copy of Xenology they had and the Sabbat Worlds Crusade book. Nice find.
I found some awesome stuff at Saturday night's bit swap. I bought six old White Dwarf issues for 50 cents a pop. Most of them are numbered under 200. One is a copy of issue 84! Old school, yo! From the same vendor, I was able to pick up two more of the Mighty Empires tiles that came with White Dwarf last year.
I got two old style sprues, one CSM and On Ork, for $2 each.
I bought some resin-cast bits from Rich at the Chicago Terrain Factory and a handful of bits from some other folks.
Over all, a nice haul and I stayed under budget. Thanks Adepticon!
Thursday, April 10, 2008
(For the record, I don't own a dog. I don't even really like dogs. I just don't seem to have any decent pictures of myself on this computer.)
For those of you who are not attending Adepticon, let me know what you'd like me to report back on. I suspect I'll be taking a lot of pictures.
Tuesday, April 8, 2008
This is the first member of the CSM contingent of my army. As I've mentioned before, I want them to look like Space marines that have just recently turned to chaos. That's why I've use both loyalist and chaos parts.
The gold parts are just the first layer. I was more concerned about the color of grey for the armor. Honestly, I think I need to go a lot lighter. The base coat of this one was Charadon Granite, which is very dark. Over that, I painted a layer of a 1:1 mix of Charadon Granite and Skull white. I shaded that with another layer of Charadon Granite. It looks better, but I think I'll go a shade or two lighter. I have a bottle of Vallejo medium grey that I might try.
I also tried a little painted-on battle damage. You can see a couple chips out of the figure's right fore arm and elbow guard. I think if decide to do that, I need to do more of it so that the over-all effect of damage comes through. At this point, it just looks like I made a couple mistakes with the paint brush.
I would really appreciate people's input on this one. Keep in mind, it's a work in progress and I'll be adding a lot more detail later.
Friday, April 4, 2008
Why do you do things like this? Are you trying to get our attention? Forge World, you know you don't need to do things like this for us. We would love you if only made rhino doors for the rest of your life. We just want you to be happy Forge World. You don't have to buy our affection with big extravagant displays. You'll get burned out, Forge World. How about we go get some ice cream now?
Thursday, April 3, 2008
My wife bought me a subscription to White Dwarf for my birthday last year. I've really enjoyed it, but this month, it annoyed me. I received issue 338 about February 6th. I was feverishly anticipating issue 339 because I knew that it was going have a bunch of Chaos Apocalypse datasheets in it.When I didn't get it by about the 25th of March, I called GW Mail order.
Say what you will about GW in general, their customer service it great. They sent out my issue and I got it this Tuesday.
Unfortunately, by that time, they had already posted the datasheets online.
Still, it's a decent issue. I really like when they write articles about the history of their various games. Since this issue marks the anniversary of WHFB, they had a lot of articles detailing it's history.
The oddest part about this whole fiasco is that I'm not the only person who hasn't gotten his issue 339. Everyone I know that lives in Chicago failed to receive their issue. I have friends who live in the suburbs that got their issues on time.
What happened to Chicago's issues? I suspect Privateer press is somehow behind this.
Wednesday, April 2, 2008
After I had broken several of these plates, I decided it was time to invest in something nicer. I headed over to my local Blick art store and picked up a set of stacking porcelain bowls with a lid. The set is shown on the left in the picture below.
The set had five bowls at one time, but I broke one. I'm embarrassed to say that I paid in the area of $30 for this set of bowls. I thought that was awful high, but I really liked the set.
Fast forward to about two weeks ago. My wife and I were in Crate and Barrel trying to spend a gift card we had received as a wedding gift. I had never shopped at this store, but they carry a lot of plates, dishes, flatware, etc. I specifically noticed that they carried a lot of little porcelain dishes.
I really liked these little square ones pictured on the right. The best part is that they were only a buck a piece. I found them at Crate and Barrel's hipper "urban" incarnation CB2.
Granted, this made me feel like a yokel for having paid so much for a stack of pallets. Especially since these new ones were not only cheaper but actually easier to use.
I'd like to eventually get this, but right now it'd take up too much space on my tiny desk.
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
(The album isn't public at this point, so don't go looking)
Anyway, I was organizing pictures today and noticed that I had taken a few very similar ones of my Thousand Sons in progress. I wanted to see what they would look like together, so here goes.
Admittedly, that second to last photo is kinda crappy. I guess that's what I get for being lazy.
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
Also, my picture taking skills seem to have gotten rusty. OK, I'll stop complaining here are the pictures...
Here's the whole squad. I have to put a layer of highlights on the gold and yellow, then pick out the details and I'm done.
Here's the front of my sorcerer. You may notice from the last time I posted a picture of this miniature, that some of the highlights on the tip of his cowl have warn off. This is because while I've been painting his mini, I've been using it in games. When I realized that routine game usage was wearing the paint off, I decided to stop using it in games until it was finished.
Here's the rear of the sorcerer. The robe came out a lot darker than I wanted, but oh well. It was the first time I used Foundation paints (Charadon Granite, specifically) and I didn't realize how dark it would come out.
This was a stab at taking a better picture of that Tzeentch Horror I featured recently. I think this picture may be worse. Also featured here is a work-in-progress Tzeentch flamer. Yes, I'm very, very excited about the demon codex.
Thursday, March 13, 2008
I know it's been more than a week since Gary Gygax's passing, but I was on a Caribbean beach at the time, drinking Pina Colatas. I made up for it by crafting this Beholder out of felt at the MCA's family day this past Saturday (and yes I know I probably shouldn't have put tentacles on the bottom).
Anyway, I think I'd be remiss to not say something about such an important person (I mean NPR ran a story about it for crying out loud!).
I first played D&D way back in 1987. It was that red box edition that came with the dice set and a crayon for coloring in the numbers. I convinced my friend Art to play and fun time were had by all. My D&D interest pretty much died after I discovered 40K (Oddly enough, from an ad in the back of Dungeon Magazine).
I didn't play again until damn near 10 years later when I was invited to join my friend Chris's Forgotten Realms AD&D campaign. I played a monk who's true name has been lost to time. Since his chosen weapon was a Jo Staff (somehow different from bo staff?), he became known simply as "Joe".
I played consistently for about 9 months. I gained enough levels to be able to talk to animals (like druids). Unfortunately, animals never knew jack. Still, I felt a sense of accomplishment.
The party was a strange mix of chaotic/neutral/unlawful (sorry, I'm super rusty on my alignment types), so most games involved a lot of hack, slash and ask questions later. Chris was a great DM and threw a lot of puzzles at us to keep us on our toes.
The most memorable part of those games (besides the post-session craps games) was an NPC called "Larry the Drunk". Our party picked him up at some tavern brawl and he became our mascot/ pack animal. Unfortunately, he also became human bate. If we suspected a trap or an ambush, Larry went first and flushed out the perpetrator. Larry was our faithful companion for at least 8 sessions.
I can still remember how sad we all were when Larry met his end beneath the foot of a (frost?) giant. His body was crushed beyond any hope of resurrection. Chris beratted us for using Larry that way and made us all feel very ashamed of ourselves.
Aaahh, good times!
Anyway, I posted my felt finger puppet creation, so I'd also like to share my wife's and son's puppets.
On the left is Max's snowman with ice-axe (rules for which can be found in White Dwarf). Clare made a "fire hippie" with bonfire. There pictured here with the stage we made for them.
To tie them into my D&D theme, simply consider Max's a Ice Elemental and Clare's a fire elemental.