Sunday, June 28, 2009

The Rev'd Hargraves Cleanses Assumption

When we last looked in on the Assumption Defenders, Sheriff Tom Gunne had just hired a travelling preacher to minister to the needs of the townsfolk. It wasn't long before Hargraves started noticing spiritual matters that needed dealin' with. A posse of Southerners had taken up in the Full House troublin' the locals, drinkin' too much whisky, and generally making asses of themselves. The good reverend swiftly went to the sheriff's office looking to have the heathens driven off.

The majority of the lawmen advanced up the street with Preacher holding the Good Book aloft.

Jake Hackett and Ep snuck through the corral and stumbled upon the leader of the southerners preparing to make a quick escape. Shots were fired, but to no end.

The lawmen and Hargraves came in sight of the southerners. The report of pistols filled the afternoon air.

The preacher spotted the captain and quoted the prophet Ezekiel as he approached; "Again, when the wicked man turneth away from his wickedness that he hath committed, and doeth that which is lawful and right, he shall save his soul alive!"

Meanwhile, Sam Blake and Gabe MacIntyre gave their own bible lesson (minus the bible).

Sam has the skill Trigger-Happy, which means he can shoot out of turn at anyone who charges him. He took one southerner down before the drunken fool reached him.

The captain had doubled back, charging into Sam when he saw his man go down. The captain took one of Sam's bullets in the arm for his trouble.

Although beset upon all sides, the captain couldn't resist going after the sheriff. The sheriff and his men tried to surround the captain, but the coward bolted out of town with his surviving men when he realized the fight was lost.

The Assumption Defenders watched the defeated men ride out of town. Gunne muttered to himself, "Ventually, I'll see that southern fool hangin' from the galla's"

"Amen," replied the Preacher.

Chris and I had another great game of Legends of the Old West. We both had high numbers of our posse taken out of action during the game, but we were lucky in that none actually died during the post-game sequence.

Marc and I had played a game before this one, but I was on the poorly-lit side of the table and couldn't get any good photos. It's only right that I mention my defeat. Marc's outlaws caused my lawmen to head for the hills and killed one of my upstanding citizens.

Marc also bought along this new token - a miniature cowboy hat. We use it to keep track of who has the Drop during each turn.

Hopefully we'll have some more old west action in the near future. Chris has committed to painting three more miniatures for his posse. If he follows through, I told him I would play LOTOW again next week. Keep your fingers crossed and send all of your positive painting energy in Chris's direction.

Thanks for reading,

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

You Won't Believe It 'Til You See It!

"Jason, those aren't Warhammer Fantasy Battle Chaos Warriors, are they?"

They certainly are. And, if I may be frank, if someone had told me a month ago that I would be painting models for WFB, I would have laughed heartily in that deluded person's face. But it just goes to show, you never know which way the winds will blow, especially when you are a geek.

Here's the thing - I admit that there's been a good run of games in our group that I am passionate about for the last 6 months or so - Old West, BFG, and to a lesser extent, Impetus. Although I was fairly hesitant to get involved in this one, a certain person (you know who you are) guilted/convinced me that it was time to "support" the group in their newest endeavor, even if it wasn't something I was particularly pumped about.

And here we are. The plan - each have 1000 points of a Fantasy army painted by October. From there, we'll see how it goes. Ken had long decided he was doing Dark Elves, and Marc had set on High Elves around 15 years ago. I decided with all of the pansy armies on the rise that it was up to me to do something manly. The Warrior of Chaos army has two primary advantages for me. It has a relatively low model-count and I love many of the models from a painting perspective.

Furthermore, Marc gave me this completely random Christmas gift - a Chaos Spawn model. Maybe he just knew which way the winds would blow.

So, I will be gradually collecting, constructing, and painting a Warriors of Chaos army for WFB; there I said it. Fear not - this project won't stop me from painting Cygnar models, 15mm Impetus, Persians, or Old West. As usual, I'll keep mixing it up as I go.

I should also mention that I'll probably be doing something rather nifty as I build the Chaos force. I may try something slightly unorthodox as I collect. In fact..., actually, let's leave that one there. A little bit of suspense never hurt anyone ;)

Thanks for reading,

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Geek Day Diary Entry #3: "Sector 10034.07.998 Secured!"

Dear Diary,

Before I knew it, that time was here again - the monthly Geek Day. For those unaware, our small group has recently started getting out into a rented space about once a month. It allows us to play all day long in an environment devoid of interruptions.

Our first two geek days were primarily Warmachine tournaments, so we had vowed to shake things up this time. A Battlefleet Gothic tournament was the order of the day. BFG is an epic-scale spaceship battle game from Games Workshop Specialist Games. Very few models are required and all of the rules and resources are free for download from GW's BFG Resource page, so you really can't go wrong.

We had originally planned for four tables with eight players. However, we had two guys decline at the last minute, so we dropped one table and plunged forward with six players. Each player brought 1000-point fleets from the faction of their choosing.

Last minute preparations.

The tables set-up and ready for the first of three matches.

Play Schedule

I created a play schedule which specified who fought who and on what table for each game. However, the players on the chart were simply identified as A, B, C, D, E, and F. After everyone had arrived, an envelope containing the six letters was passed around and players randomly chose their positions. The players were:

  • player A - Martin - Space Marines
  • player B - Chris H. - Tau
  • player C - Marc - Imperium
  • player D - Chris E. - Eldar
  • player E - Ken - Chaos
  • player F - Jason (i.e. me) - Imperium
And the schedule of play proceeded as follows:

*Table 1Table 2Table 3
Game 1A vs. BC vs. DE vs. F
Game 2D vs. FA vs. EB vs. C
Game 3E vs. CB vs. FA vs. D

Game One: Battling the Chaos Fleet in High Orbit

Ken's Chaos fleet was matched up against my Imperials for the first game. We were on table one, which was set up as an area of space near the orbit of a large planet which encompassed a large asteroid belt. By the time the games were called, Ken and I had done a relatively small amount of damage to each other's fleets. However, Ken more than doubled the amount of damage that I caused (in points) and was declared the victor.

Even as I started approaching the chaos fleet, I was reminded of their horrifying range.

I tried to use the asteroid field to cover my advance.

Ken's fleet unleased waves of bombers...

...and they took their toll on my fleet.

Towards the end, I tried to cross the T.

The chaos cruisers used weapons batteries to punish the Imperial flag ship.

When the game ended, my fleet was standing up to serious ordnance fire. If the game
had continued on, I think it would have been more of a crushing victory for Ken.

Game Two: Black Hole Ambush

For my second game, I got to fight Chris E's Eldar pirates on Marc's fancy new nebula gaming mat. This little number was created my the lovely Angie (a talented seamstress, as well as a baker. What the hell she's doing with Marc is anybody's guess ;) )

For this table, the black hole caused an additional 5cm movement when moving towards it and a -5cm adjustment when moving away. More importantly, there were no real places for Chris to run and hide (the classic Eldar tactic). When all was said and done, I had annihilated the Eldar fleet, scoring a full 1000 points.

The Imperial fleet advanced towards the black hole.

After a swift attack, the Eldar fleet fled from the Imperial cruisers.

Eldar cruisers made another attack run...

...and took out three Sword class escorts. Ouch!

With nowhere to hide, an Eldar cruiser fled behind my fleet.

The swords unleashed their batteries and crippled one of the cruisers.

Meanwhile, the Imperial fleet closed in and took out four out of five Eldar escorts.

The fleet closed in on the Eldar from all sides, leaving no escape route.

Chris made one last attack run.

In the end, the Imperial fleet destroyed the entire pirate fleet.

Game Three: For the Greater Good!

The final match pitted my Imperial fleet against the cruiser-heavy (and ordnance-heavy) Tau fleet of Chris H. Chris was on a time limit and left before the full game duration. However, the Imperial fleet seemed to be standing up to the majority of the combined torpedo-bomber assault and was getting in position to cause some major damage (I think). When all was said and done, Chris had crippled one of my light cruisers, but I had done more damage to one of his and scored almost double points. This match was my second victory of the day.

I send the Sword escorts sling-shotting around the planet in preparation for an attack to the rear.

The Tau fleet unleashed massive amounts of ordnance.

As the game ended, I had just started dishing it out. If I survived
one more turn, I think I would have caused massive damage.

The Rest of the Day

Although it's difficult to concentrate on what others are doing when you're in the process of playing your own games, I did stick my nose in here and there and grab some shots of the action.

Marc's Imperials vs. Chris's Eldar

The Imperial Battleship Intolerance

Martin's Space Marine fleet

The Eldar lay the smack-down on the Space Marines

Marc's Imperial vs. Ken's Chaos

Absolute interstellar mayhem

A whale chewing on Martin's head

Geeks in action

The damaged Eldar leave the Space Marine fleet noticeably down-sized

Apparantly, the Sunday-school children were aware of the impending space battles

A freakish Eldar outcast presents me with my prize.

At the end of the day, the final ranking was...
  • 1st: Imperium (Jason) - wins x 2, loss x 1, 1310 pts
  • 2nd: Space Marine (Martin) - wins x 2, loss x 1, 1135 pts
  • 3rd: Imperium (Marc) - wins x 1, draws x 2, 457 pts
  • 4th: Eldar (Chris E.) - win x 1, draw x 1, loss x 1, 815 pts
  • 5th: Chaos (Ken) - win x 1, losses x 2, 663 points
  • 6th: Tau (Chris H.) - draw x 1, losses x 2, 265 pts
Since the top three spots were held by the Imperial forces, I think we can assume that the sector was cleansed and secured.

All in all, yet another successful geek day. We got to meet another fine geek from the area, and I think he (as well as everybody else) thoroughly enjoyed themselves. This event encouraged all of us to finish our fleets and to build some deep space terrain. In fact, one of the great side effects of these geek days is how they light the fire of productivity as they give concrete goals for painting and modelling projects. Continuing in our space gaming theme, the next Geek Day will be a full day of the boardgame Twilight Imperium.

Until then, thanks for reading,

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

And on the 7th Day He Rested...

The Battlefleet Gothic Game Day draws near, and I have essentially done nothing to prepare. Luckily, I painted my fleet last year, so I was charged with contributing some terrain to the cause. Specifically, Ken and I were in charge of making a planet each.

I bought one of these green styrofoam half-spheres, the kind that flower arrangers use to stick big arrangements in. I forgot to measure it, but the footprint is the same size as the large cardboard planet template that came with the original boxed game. I started off by making a base out of thin cardboard and gluing the planet in place.

Next, I grabbed a large brush and coated it with slightly watered-down white glue. The purpose of this step was two-fold. First of all, I wanted to seal the surface, as lots of tiny green bits come off each time the styrofoam is handled. Also, I wanted to strengthen the surface so it would stand up to transport and handling.

This was left to dry for the night.

Next, I coated the entire planet with a base coat of craft paint. I applied a dark shade of red (much darker than this photo would suggest) using the same large brush pictured above. This was left to dry when I went to bed.

...and through the magic of the internet, 24 hours has passed, the dark red coat has dried, and it was time to turn it into a steaming, lava world. I have a large-ish collection of craft paint that I inherited when my mother decided tole-painting wasn't for her. The left-most colour was the basecoat. The other three were applied with the same large brush, one after the other, without letting the paint dry.

To achieve the effect below, I simply stippled my way around the planet, trying my best to keep it random. This is not model-painting, and my advice is, wack the paint on and don't be shy. Don't water down the paint, and don't wet the brush. The bristles need to be stiff so that the paint goes on in uneven patches. If you look at the palette above, you'll see that I let the colours bleed into each other as I went. I made no effort to keep them separate from each other.

The final product with an Imperial cruiser for scale. I painted the base of the planet black before calling it a night.

I also experimented with making gas clouds from cotton-batting, but the whole proceeding failed miserably. I tried soaking it in watered-down paint and attempted to ink it with a brush. I guess that spray paint is the only sure-fire method. If I have the time between now and the tournament I'll see what I can do. If not, we'll make due. In any event, when all of the pieces are brought together, I think we'll have four very serviceable deep space tables.

Come on Saturday, and as always...

Thanks for reading,