Thursday, July 5, 2012

Black Knight

 Here's another addition to my army, and an important one at that... the first of my unit of Black Knights from the new boxed set. They may eventually find their parts mixed with the old metal set I have stashed around somewhere, but I certainly appreciate the ease and stability that comes with an all-plastic model. Trying to keep the metal spear arms attached was a royal pain. Trying out a new addition to the color scheme, which up until this point has been purely black and orange... a bit of bluish highlighting to the black cloth areas, to differentiate them from the metal. Right now I think it may be a bit too bright and abrupt... it'll need some tweaking. What do you think?

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Age of Sigmar Thoughts

I had to express my feelings on Age of Sigmar, and they're mostly relief. Maybe I should've just waited for everything to come out and THEN weighed in, rather than obsessively reading Warseer and joining in on all the "End of the World!" speculation. But with rules in hand, I can honestly say that I don't think it's as bad as some people are making it out to be, at least from my perspective.

The biggest relief for me is that my Undead Legions models are in no way invalidated. In retrospect, I think I was probably worried for no reason. Of COURSE GW is still going to be selling all those huge plastic kits we've come to know and love recently. But the fact that with the warscrolls, it looks like just about everything they've ever made still has a place in AoS is a huge relief for me. I recently bought Nagash and the Mortarch kit in a sudden case of "Get it now before it's gone forever," which turns out to be untrue. But GW thrives on this kind of marketing ploy, and I can admit it... they got me. But they're great kits, and I'm very happy that I can still use them should I choose to play AoS. If they're going to a more "limited-time release, and then it disappears" model in the future, then sure, the warscrolls system makes perfect sense. And I really like that GW is making rules available for free. It's a huge departure for them as a company, and quite surprising. And looking at the HUGE new Sigmarine models, on their HUGE bases... it's obvious that GW has been moving in this direction behind the scenes for a while now. Even with the advances in plastic in the past few years, the industry had reached a point of diminishing returns on how much detail you could put into a model. Even if you managed to somehow get more detail into them, it would be so small that you couldn't paint it. Models like the chaos warriors, Forge World Empire command, etc, were practically BURSTING off their bases, to the point where people were forced to put them on slabs of cork just to get them to rank up. I'm okay with GW scaling everything up a bit, and since base sizes no longer matter, I think that's sensible. I'm still REALLY hoping that they finally get around to making horses that are a bit more in-scale with the humans, and really do our equine friends justice. I think the new basing system is a great excuse to do that.

But NO, I'm absolutely NOT rebasing my whole frickin' army, I JUST got 'em all magnetized!

As far as the other aspect goes, the gameplay... I have to admit that looking at the first warscroll, I was actually surprised by how LITTLE had changed. For all the talk about how the game was going to be "vastly simplified" for "little children," we've still got a profile with ten stats, half of which are specific to the weapon, and with a model like Nagash he's got FOUR weapons... for a total of 28 stats in his profile. Uh... this doesn't look in any way "simplified" to me. Keep in mind, I own the rulebooks to no less than FOUR different versions of Warhammer, and I've probably played ten games in my lifetime. I've always been a modeller first and a gamer second, so I am in no way an authority where game mechanics are concerned. But since I usually get about two units painted every two years, and then when I finally get around to playing a game, I've got to learn the rules all over again... I'm not really sweating Age of Sigmar. It's just another rules change, albeit a significant one. I hope that once I've managed to process it, it'll be just like any other new edition of Warhammer, with the sweeping changes to the meta game that everyone has to deal with.

Some of the rumblings I've heard sound pretty neat, though... keep a line of skeletons in front of Nagash to keep him out of combat, and he can fight back through them? Sweet! I still can't help but feel like there is either going to be a HUGE amount of errata coming in the next year, or that some sort of points system is in the works... I just can't imagine how victory points or levelling will make games fair going forward. I hope that GW has done a lot of playtesting behind the scenes and that they know what they're doing. I'm not willing to write them off just yet. We'll see.

For now, I'm going back to assembling Nagash. Happy gaming!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Retro Update: Battle Masters Ogre

 So my California vacation is over, and I'm back in Manchester, New Hampshire. The weather has been great lately so I've been back at it. This time we have the Ogre from Battle Masters. The paintjob is roughly 10-15 years old, like most of my HeroQuest stuff, but I rebased him recently. My first attempt at using rocks on a base, made from shreds of cork drybrushed from black to light gray. I haven't done much basing work yet but the experiment went well so I can see myself putting more effort into my bases in the future. I battled (pun intended!) with myself over whether to update the paintjob: adding some shading to the flesh tones, filling mold lines and the like. Ultimately I decided that I'd keep him as-is. I don't think I'll ever be able to replicate the flesh tone I stumbled onto here, which I assume was a yellow basecoat and some sort of soupy green wash. I like the bubbles it left, they look like warts. Very "Shrek"-esque.

Here he is with my Warploque Miniatures Zombie Pirate Ogre, because A) I wanted to get a scale comparison, and B) Because it looks so damn cool, and I never miss a chance to plug the Ol' Talented Git himself!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Retro Update: HeroQuest Chaos Sorcerer

He's been painted for a while, but other than some tiny pictures in my army shots from the previous post, I don't think he's really been featured. I thought the mighty Skeletor I MEAN CHAOS SORCERER deserved better than that, so here he is in all his glory.

I'm spacing on where the sword arm came from but I know that the skulls glued to the sword hilt and other hand are from the previous skeleton sprue. I guess I just wasn't impressed with the empty hands and wanted to give him a way to defend himself. He'll count as a necromancer in my vampire counts army.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Retro Update: Army Shots

Thought it was about time I dug up these old army shots. From humble beginnings... 

You might recognize the old 5th (I think?) edition Chaos Warrior sprue mixed in with the skeletons to make my grave guard. No, they're not on legal bases, so they're gonna need some work to get 'em ready before I can use them in a game.

Monday, May 7, 2012

SimCity (2013) is AMAZING!!!

(Copied and pasted from a post I made on EA's SimCity forums for your viewing pleasure.)

Wasn't sure where my feedback would be best seen by the developers, but hopefully this gets through.

I'm definitely what you'd call a "hardcore SimCity veteran." Been playing since the first MS-DOS iteration, which changed my little life at the time. I probably played SimCity 4 the most... after getting all I could out of the vanilla game in about six months I set it aside until I stumbled onto SimTropolis and the wealth of mods available online. I probably got a good ten years (!!!) out of that game. It survived three different generations of computers in my family. It was amazing.

I'll admit I was turned off by all the bad press when SimCity (2013) was released. I let it unfairly cloud my intentions. I made up my mind that I wouldn't get wrapped up in a "subpar" SimCity game again, based on the reviews. I couldn't afford to spend another ten years of my life playing and ignoring my other responsibilities. But there was a sale recently, and I bit.

A week later, I COULDN'T BE HAPPIER. Seriously, best $40 I ever spent in my life. What an incredible game. I'm really, REALLY enjoying it. And I felt I should come on here so I could offer just a little bit of positive reinforcement to the game developers who put so much time and effort into this thing. I'm sorry that the gaming press was so harsh in their reviews. Coming from someone who spent so much time with SC4, I can really feel how much love went into this version. You folks seem to have spent a lot of time with SC4, especially with the fan-made-mods, trying out what worked and what didn't, and putting in effort to make SC(5?) so much better. And I'm really, REALLY greatful. I hope that you feel at least a little bit appreciated, because I can't imagine how hard you must've worked.

Some of the things I really LOVE:

Modular buildings! What a great concept. I was really hoping someone would do something like this in SC4, because it seems like such a great idea and very realistic. Adding a new wing onto a school because it's overcrowded seems so natural to me.

School bus stops! Not having a "radius area of effect" for all the city services is a great improvement. It seemed very unrealistic in the last version.

OH MY GOD, THE CITY SPECIALIZATION. I happened onto a few youtube videos detailing how the "guide me" feature works. I had no idea this was there. I love it up and down.

GLOBAL MARKETPLACE. I will admit that having played so very MUCH of SC4, I was absolutely NOT sold on the idea of the new version being all about social play. I couldn't have been more wrong. I love the idea of being able to sell and buy ore and oil on the marketplace, and being able to band six players together to create enough resources to build an arcology is just, I mean... wow, man. Wow.

There's much, much more to love, but I just wanted to jot down a few thoughts about how much I appreciate Maxis and the developers who put so much love into this game. I'm sorry the gaming media chewed you guys out so bad. Playing it now, when the servers work just fine and I have the option to play offline if I so choose, I can't see a single thing you guys did wrong.

I'm very excited to see where the fan community takes things from here. Hopefully the criticism dies down a bit now, so we can all get down to the very important business of making awesome cities. Thanks for reading.


Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Retro Update: HeroQuest Warriors

What self-respecting HeroQuest blog would be complete without the requisite Warriors images? As I look at these old pics, I can't help but wonder why my wizard is missing, and there seems to be a treasure chest in his place. Perhaps it's a mimic, or monster chest, that ate him right before the photo was taken? Hmm. Anyway, I originally attempted to mimic (no pun intended!) the warrior card paint jobs at least for the dwarf, but the barbarian looked a bit cold so I figured I'd help him out with a cloak from the empire free company kit. I believe the treasure chest also came from the same kit.

The Elf's color scheme, however, seemed a bit odd on the card artwork to me. Figuring he was probably a Wood Elf from Athel Loren, I did him up in a green scheme, which now that I look back on it could probably use some other colors for variation. For some reason the matt varnish I applied to these figures came out a bit chalky and white, so at some point I'm going to have to go over 'em again.

Retro Update: Skellies

Here's my first unit of skeletons, taken at the old DakkaDakka warehouse store at the mills in Manchester, NH. The unpainted unit commander is a Reaper mini, I believe. Maybe someone can identify him for me.

Retro Update: Braaaaiiiinnnnsss!!!

To go along with the Rob Zombie unit leader from the previous post, here's my first regiment of zombies. I mixed a batch of empire free company troops in with the Games Workshop zombie sprue to get a bit of variety.

Astute observers will recognize this zombie as the one from HeroQuest. He'll probably show up again with a different weapon.Of course I had to refurbish a HeroQuest zombie and get him in there...