Monday, September 21, 2015

Step 42: Spread thinly and unevenly for mixed results

It's only been a month!  That's not so bad.  Right?  Time goes by so quickly for me that it doesn't feel long at all, at least.

So accurate.
That said, I've mired myself deep in new projects (because the incomplete projects I was already mired in weren't enough), both in an effort to complete some things I should have wrapped up a long ass time ago and because buying new toys is fun.  I'm also in somewhat of a mad dash to finish a handful of the bigger, terrain-based projects so that I can store them appropriately during the impending construction in our basement at home coming up all-too-swiftly.

So... where to start?

GORKAMORKA


Nope, I haven't forgotten or abandoned my Diggas, I've just been focused on other projects.  GorkaMorka is a game that I play with people who have a passion for it that isn't "flavor of the week", so I know that I can easily play with any member the dedicated handful of players so long as we plan on it a few days ahead.  That said, my only model painted so far is my Digganob, but I've made a couple of acquisitions to accompany my mob.  I'll also be switching out the ork driving Cassandra to a digga; I intend to focus on them completely.

My diggas will have a van-themed fleet (as much as I can maintain, anyway... van models aren't common, surprisingly).  I managed to snag this sweet model made sometime back in the late 70's for my main trukk, and may just have to search for more of this exact one because it's a good size:

Stickers are optional... but I'm leaning towards keeping them.
I also picked up some cool cardstock terrain on the cheap in order to get working on a more custom fort for the diggas.  I'm not sure what the final shape of it will be, as I tend to incorporate ideas as I build rather than make a strict plan and stick to it, but I'm excited to get working on it.






ARENA REX



Arena Rex is a 32mm gladiator combat game.  Literally 1 to 5 models, maximum, per side.  And it has probably the most intriguing hand-to-hand combat system I've ever seen in a game... This game has the potential to be my favorite tabletop game, ever, if it pans out like it appears it will.

Now, that said, go look at this shit:  http://arenarex.com/

Did you go look?  No?  Well, you're crazy.

Arena Rex has the best resin models I've ever seen produced for a game (so discounting strictly display-quality statues).  And by that I mean both the best sculpts AND the best quality of miniatures.

More traditional style gladiators of the Ludus Magnus, with my favorite model in the game Micon the brawler on the right.


The Legio XIII, a military sponsored group of combatants.

Essentially Arena Rex is an alternate history type of setting, where Rome never lost.  Like, ever.  At anything.  Also, mythical creatures are a thing.  This allows for multiple "factions" of models, like those shown above as well as the Morituri (Egyptians, more or less) and the Zephyri (Native/Viking-esque), plus monsters like a wendigo or the gorgons.  There are no points when building forces, simply number of models.  

I've made a bit more progress since these pictures, but you'll see these again along with more when I do a whole post about this, but... without further ado, I present Ludus Bellicosorum Pugnax.

Yup, those are Playmobile toys.  Wait for it...
It has begun!
Look forward to much more about this; it's going to be my best piece of terrain to date, I'm confident.  The board is 4' on the long side, so it's a very usable piece.



INFINITY


Our local club, the 423rd OverMountain Guard. 


Man oh man, prepare for some pictures. 

Infinity has taken a hold on the local group, and it's been interesting to be a part of overall.  Infinity is one of those games I eyeballed  and picked up a few things on the cheap for years, and then when I first met up with Hoss in the local group sometime over a year ago, I actually got to start playing it.  It's one of those games that can be obscenely complicated, yet is built around a simple framework, and works best if played out with each player having objectives and scenarios they need to complete that are different than "kill moar dudes".  We managed to bring in a few others (though I'll give all the credit to Hoss, being the local fanboy for the game, as I often am whoring myself out to a different game system week to week if I'm able), and learned that some folks like Da Masta Cheef had already had forces in the past and might be convinced to dust them off and play.  Fast forward to present and we're currently in the middle of a "grow league", which is a league designed around bringing in new people and having them build up to a typical-sized 300 point army over the course of 5 rounds.  In theory (and mostly in practice) this is a great idea.  It's gotten a lot of people playing, and it will hopefully mean that a game of Infinity will be easy to schedule for the immediate future.

That said, there are elements that wear on me.

I'm not an overtly competitive guy.  My wife would contend otherwise, and she honestly wouldn't be wrong when it comes to real-life applications, but when I'm gaming I'm playing to have a good time and create cool stories.  I'm playing toys.  I mean sure, it's fun to win, but it's only fun to win if both players had a good time.  Building a ridiculous army list and stomping someone who doesn't have a chance to win isn't fun, for instance.

Now, like I said, the Infinity league has 5 rounds.  The first 4 of those rounds, however, are the mission type "Annihilation", where the only goals are to kill as much of the enemy as possible while keeping as much of your force alive as you can.  Sure, starting in round 3 you get to start using Classified Objective cards (basically 2 randomly selected side objectives your specialist troops can complete), but the main point of the game is still the same.  And frankly I'm bored of it.  Infinity is setting up crazy terrain and making interesting objectives involving hackers and engineers and dropships and d-charge explosives and... well it's a lot more than just setting up in a fortified position and rolling dice, hoping your rolls are better than the other player's.  And because of that, I'm not feeling excited to go play as much because it's lacking in unexpected elements. 

I'm also not as excited because the league is somewhat competitive.  What I mean by that is there are points allotted to each player based on the events of a game, and those points are tallied in a spreadsheet, and certain players in the league like to bring it up constantly.  "I scored this many, and now I'm in contention for the lead, and I got these achievements, blah blah blah."  And no, to stop your train of thought, I'm not losing and thus don't like it because I'm whining.  I'm actually very close to the top and could really have a chance to win if I gamed for it... but ugh.  That's exactly my problem with it.  Instead of everyone building cool armies around a theme or aesthetic that they like, some people are trying hard to game the system in order to get points.  I know most people don't care, but to me that shit is annoying.  We're not playing in a tournament, we're playing in a league designed to get interested gamers more invested in the game and to get the interest of completely new players.

ANYWAY!  Minor rant aside, I've been playing a lot of Infinity lately.  Lol.

Typical game table set up at the group.
Fear the Fiday!  Perspective shot from the enemy Nomads' POV, where the Fiday had been laying down some shotgun blasts.  The Nomads got him back, though, giving him probably the most glorious death of any of the league games so far!

The majority of my Haqqislam stuff... I need to get painting.

I think this is all of the rest of it, minus a couple of Nomad Alguaciles that I can use in one of my sectorial forces.

Work-in-progress on my Janissary Fireteam, based on a pretty obvious theme.  ;)  The green one is actually a Nomad Mobile Brigada that can be included in the sectorial, so it made sense that he be the green "outsider" to the main team, but is still basically equivalent in capability.

My first finish Haqqislam model... the sneaky hassassin Fiday.
  


Infinity is a game that requires a veritable shitload of terrain, as well, so I've been trying to get pieces together to make the game boards a little more interesting.  Primarily, though, I've been working on a set of corridors to allow for the interiors of spaceships or bases that will work well for more interesting games.

The corridors I picked up from a company named Fantasy Arc originally through their kickstarter, though they now have everything for sale on their website here: Fantasy Arc - Bug Hunt Corridors

When you put the different pieces together, you can make a pretty good variety of shapes depending on what you're trying to achieve.  This is a stock photo from the website.
Here is one of the regular corridor sections I just painted this past weekend.
A more up-close view of some work in progress.

These should also work nicely in my next topic...

GRUNTZ





So after great effort and much convincing (or, you know, like passively mentioning its existence in conversation) Da Masta Cheef has gotten me into 15mm gaming.  15mm has always been something I've looked at and found interesting because of just how many cool vehicles there are for it (being so small, the little dudes need vehicles to get around the table), and now that I have a friend to play it with it seemed as good a time as any to jump in.

Also, dropships.

Because they're the coolest.

My centerpiece.

My main troopers, decked out with exo-armor very similar to that cool Tom Cruise movie from last year "Live. Die. Repeat."

OKAY!

With all of that, I guess I'll call it closed, even though I actually have a few more pictures of various things I've been working on.  Enjoy!



A cool archway that was really fun to paint.  A typical 28mm model is about as tall as the brick course running around the bottoms of the columns.

My character in an ongoing Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay campaign, Karyle the Pit Fighter (now Veteran).

Some scatter terrain.

This SICK temple from Antimatter Games that I picked up on clearance a few years ago (seriously this thing is normally like $200, I snagged it for around $40).  Those Dark Age models are on 50mm bases, for reference.

A Dark Age Outcasts (Salt Nomads, specifically) army!  I'm a crazy person!

My OCD spreadsheet that I designed in order to track my painted models as well as schedule deadlines for myself to finish them so I can keep all of my projects balanced and get things completed.

Yup.



Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Consistency is Key

Work has been slammed lately, so I've not had much time to churn out an update... I have managed to get some games played, though!

First, let's start with Wrath of Kings.

If you haven't heard of this game, go check it out at http://www.wrathofkings.com and look over some of the models.  It's an army-size 28mm war game with alternating activations and using a D10 system.  It's probably the best new game I've played in a looooong time, and the most I've been excited about a game since playing Warmachine back in '04.  The game is simple to play but has some great strategy in controlling leader models to inspire the troopers, and has stunning models all around.  You don't necessarily play scenarios (unless you want to set one up special), but you always use a mechanic when playing where each army has a Morale based on the number of models you're fielding, and the goal is deplete the enemy morale to 0.  You have missions/objectives you can select for your particular army that allow you to do a wide variety of special actions on the field of battle other than just kill everything that will drop the enemy morale as well, such as capturing placed objectives, escorting civilians to safety, having a trooper battle a leader 1v1 and survive for more than a turn, etc. etc.  It's a really fantastic and dynamic system that makes pretty much every engagement in a game meaningful and exciting.

I'm a Nasier player myself because I love their aesthetic and playstyle (aggression!), with my alternate army being Hadross (because damn if they aren't the coolest models in the game).

My buddy Andy came over to the house last weekend with his Goritsi (he plays it all werewolves, all the time, though there are options for vampires in that army as well) and proceeded to murder all of my mask-wearing warriors.  It was a close game, though!  If I'd just picked a better mission for myself I think I could have pulled it out, but we're still learning the nuances of the game and how best to play against different armies.  Lesson learned:  do not pick the mission for an honorable foot soldier to stand valiantly against an enemy werewolf leader alone for more than 1 round!  Werewolves will eat you, man.  Eat you dead.

The initial set-up:  Hold the lines!  Werewolves are coming!

You can see towards the bottom of the picture 1 of Andy's 3 objectives on my side of the board that I needed to stop him from getting.  I did not succeed.  Werewolves are excellent rock climbers, it turns out.

Just before the forces clash!

Damned werewolves.  All up in our base, killing all the things.

And now... on to da Gorkamorka!

Played one last big, multi-person game of Gorkamorka before the start of the league, and it didn't go so well for me.  I mean, it was hilarious, and a wonderful time... but my poor orks just hadn't had a hearty breakfast or something and were struggling hard.

What became very interesting, though, was having Cassandra take an early hit that disabled her ability to move... yet taking 3 more rams during the game, with the result each time on the chart of having the rokkit boostas fire and send the trukk careening d6 in a random direction!

The participants! (shot taken after the game) Oddly enough, Scott pointing inappropriately at the rock formation was an accident.  I started in the closest corner where the papers are sitting, and Cassandra ended up on the other side of table like that after being disabled somewhere close to the arched rock!
Scott's Battlewagon-that's-now-a-trukk ramming on the left, Skyler's trakk ramming on the right. 

Here you can just barely see Andy's trukk in the top middle wisely watching the other idiots crash into each other from a distance, while driving around and scooping up scrap piles.

Random movement placed the trukk there.  And then it ended up moving 6 more inches forward!  It did, however, run over one of my own guys during this move.  So that was cool.  :(



All in all, I'm really having a blast with Gorkamorka and can't wait to play more.  However, I don't believe my orks are going to make it to the field after a recent find on Bartertown...

After assembling and basing...

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Analysis Paralysis

Is "analysis paralysis" a term you're familiar with, by chance?

If not, assuming you're someone who identifies themselves at least partially as a "gamer", I would wager you've experienced it before without knowing the name for the phenomenon.

Essentially, it's the notion that when presented with too many choices, a person just kind of freezes up and manages to get less accomplished than if they had been presented with fewer choices.  It's not even the concept of multi-tasking, really, because a person isn't necessarily required to actually complete ALL of the available options; it's just the fact that having so many options exist makes choosing difficult, and then second-guessing any decisions a near certainty.



 


Right now, as a tabletop gamer, I'm glutted with choices.  Within the last 5 years, the industry has exploded, with beautifully rad miniatures popping up all over the damned place, typically accompanying a fun game system that I need to play.  

For a gamer like me... a moderately OCD, attention-craving maniac who wants to play everything and be friends with everyone (until they piss me off too badly, and then I will watch them burn to the ground if I'm able), and who has a somewhat collect-them-all attitude because I'm horrible at choosing just one faction/element/whatever of a game and sticking with it... This creates a three-fold problematic situation.

 - Problem #1: The money and storage issue.  These games/miniatures/terrain/etc. are not cheap.  No, they're not as expensive as many other prominent hobbies (seen how much a nice tennis racket costs lately?) but in a world where new things are constantly being pumped out, both for games you've already committed to and new games, it adds up.  Then, once you've succumbed to your personal demons and bought ALL THE TOYS you've got to put them somewhere!  If you paint, you probably want to display them, but you're likely purchasing them at a rate where you have plenty of stuff sitting around basically brand new in packaging taking up space, and then you've got your travel bag with foam for the minis, and the rulebooks, maybe even a table and terrain at your place... it starts to add up.

 - Problem #2:  If you're someone who cares about the games as much as I do, the consumable media and level of justice done in the hobbying aspect becomes important.  If I'm going to buy all of these wonderful models and big badass terrain structures... I have to build and paint them.  And not just to a "good enough, put it on the table" quality, either.  I genuinely enjoy building and painting these things, mind you, but I'm particular about it.  And what's worse is that it's a skill that evolves with practice; that means that those models I did 4-5 years ago and was happy with?  Yeah, those are ugly now.  They need to be re-done.  And the consumable media?  That's things like novels, the storylines in the rulebooks, video games, animes, so on and so forth.  When I buy into a game, I want to delve in deep and get to know the how's and why's of the world, who the characters are, what everyone is fighting over.  But those things take away from the monies and storage space needed as mentioned in #1, and leading into #3...

- Problem #3:  Time.  This hobby takes patience.  First, you have to work to get the money to buy the toys.  Now at this point, you could be like me and just buy the cool stuff that you like the most.  Not very tactically savvy but oh well.  Usually, however, the smart thing to do is research a bit on how the game works, what models interact the best for how you want to play it, yadda yadda yadda.  THEN, it's time to buy the toys.  Might be you can pick them up at a local shop and have them right away, but with good shops being fewer and further between, plus their typical need to order in whatever it is you want, it's likely you're waiting at least a few days at this step.  But then, once you've bought the toys... you can't even play with them right away!  Oh no!  (obvious exclusion of games like Clix or X-Wing because they're not really what I'm talking about here)  You have to assemble them.  You have to base them.  You have to paint them.  Okay, so maybe you don't have to paint them; but I definitely do.  And now, with this cycle of new-purchase-time complete (which happens over and over and over, with multiple projects overlapping), you've got to find an evening where you can meet up with like-minded individuals to actually get to use the toys and play some games.  When I was 20, this wasn't so difficult... but at 30 with a myriad of other obligations, it's honestly kind of stressful and work-like.

Yeah.  Pathetic, I know.

So sometimes, you end up looking around your work desk for a good 10 minutes, unable to decide which project to work on, and you say fuck it and turn on the Playstation.

  




Friday, July 31, 2015

Gorkamorka!!!

Da Swedish Chef!
For some reason, every time I say or think the word "gorkamorka", the Swedish Chef voice is in my head saying "GORK DE MORK A".

Yeah, I know.

Okay, let's try this again.

Datz betta

Right now at the local game club, we're in the final stages of playing toss away Gorkamorka games to get a good handle on the rules before starting an actual campaign.  So that means, of course, that everything is in a "work-in-progress" state at the moment.

There always needs to be a centerpiece, so allow me to introduce you to Cassandra:

Junk armor plating and ram?  Check.
Stylish interior with Ork driver?  Check.
Dem rokkit boostas!?  Check and check.
Dem passengers?  Yeah sure okay, check.


Now clearly she's a WIP, but she's just a Revell Snap-Tite 1:35 scale fire engine, some bits, some plasticard, and a bit of spray paint all-told.  I've not decided yet if I'm going to try to keep it red, or if I'll go with a completely different theme.  Being the crazy person I am, I've already got plans for 3 different groups to play with... Haha!

Now obviously the campaign won't start out with me having this many models, but this is all that I've gotten so far in general (minus a few grotz that didn't make it into the picture):




And the last piece I'll show off today is the WIP gunner chair for the trukk.  I've taken a seating bit I had from a different game, put an Ork on it, and have rigged it up with a magnet to fit on the top of the trukk.  My intention is to work up a mount on the front of it where I can change out weapons to equip the trukk differently, which is why the Ork doesn't actually have a weapon attached yet.




I'll be sure to post up more pics as I get them painted, so that's all for today!  Now to the spray primer, and then the brushes!