Saturday, July 23, 2011

Friday, July 22, 2011

Finally, a Friday

After re-reading my last post I realized that I was precariously close to some sort of emotional slump and could easily succumb to the temptation of spending all my free time watching old episodes of Silk Stalkings on Netflix or something.  Therefore something had to be done.  Thankfully, fortune favored me by arranging for me to have a day off and the house to myself: no kids, wife, or work commitments.  I know from long experience that disorder in my environment can be a distraction and a drag, so I began there.  Here's what my worktable (and for that matter, my gaming table) looked like:

After a good hour of straightening up, here's what I had:


I even gave the old girl a good round of polish after taking the photograph.  For good measure I tidied up the worksink also present in the Daddy/Daughter Cave, and even went so far as to tackling the shelves and shelves of random miniatures that make up "The Lead Pile."  I had, as perhaps evident in the previous picture, been tossing about several different projects at once, and most of those got shelved, like the zombie strippers and the Space Marine land speeder.  I find it so much better if I just tackle one project at a time, rather than get ahead on about three or four at once and then feel overwhelmed.  My own schedule said I should be working on the second unit of tactical marines, and I began painting five of them, rather than the one ten at one go.

I also started casting a little plaster with my Hirst Arts molds.  This is a fine thing to do while painting.  You can mix up and pour the plaster, do a little painting, and scrape five minutes later.  After another half hour of painting you demold the bricks, and repeat the process.  After two or three hours of this you will find yourself having painted quite a bit, and by the same token have made five or so casts, which can form the basis of a nice bit of terrain.

Hopefully by this time next week I'll have some nice finished pieces to show you.  I think I've successfully flushed out my ennui.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Once again in the rough patch

My task of painting the Brazen Claws has once again slowed down quite a bit, although it is worth noting that I'm almost done with my annual painting goal for the year and it is only July.  The reasons for the slowdown are all the usual suspects:

  1. Work.  Despite it being the slow time of year for work, I'm racking up a lot of evening meetings with committees, evening appointments, etc.  What's more, the one thing the job would really, really like to have happen requires my committing to another regular evening (I already work at least two evenings at week at work).
  2. Family.  We're out of the routine, a routine that usually has my being in the hobby room a few evenings a week to paint while the wife and kids do their thing.  This isn't so much a complaint, really--the summer just brings a different schedule to the household.
  3. Frustration.  I bought a ton of used SM stuff from a friend, and have been piecing together what I can for my own use.  There's some good stuff in there, including a whole tactical unit and lots of bits to make marines with assault weapons, etc.  Unfortunately every once in a while I will be unable to find a missing piece, usually after I've already started.  Since this is something I'm supposed to be enjoying, frustration tends to be a quick energy-sapper.
  4. Frustration, pt. 2.  I played WHFB for eight years and got pretty good at it.  Now I'm playing 40K and I'm doing lousy at it.  I'm unfamiliar with the rules, and I don't own the strong units.  That's one thing that sticks in my craw about 40K--there is a sense, especially when you go online to look at tactical analysis, that there are units that you must take because they are so good, and units that you should never take because they are over-priced or under-powered.  This, I think, is the bane of GW's existence as a hobby community.  There are so many people who have dedicated so much time and mental energy into scrutinizing this game that every time a codex or an army book comes out, the various rules are processed and re-processed so that within days you can find detailed analysis about what the optimal army builds are.  It's like eighteen months of playtesting gets done within hours.  And if you play in a fairly competitive group (and I do) then if you're not optimizing your options you're at a disadvantage.  So now I'm buying stuff that doesn't really interest me, but I need in order to field a competitive army.  Bleah.
  5. Boredom.  There's a lot of red and blue in a Brazen Claws army.  I break it up with the occasional zombie-related figure, but I'm really thinking of just setting it aside for a while and doing something different for a while.  I think once I get a couple of the SM transports and the predator built I'll have a decent army assembled, if not painted.  That'll give me something to work with on Tuesdays until the mood to get everything painted hits me again.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Brother Phoghallen, Brazen Claws Dreadnought


This is the other dreadnought, which I got in the Warhammer 40K box set. He's outfitted with a multi-melta and dreadnought close combat weapon.  He's been through a lot the past month, so I told him that I would paint him next, plus it is five more points towards my total for the year.

If you didn't get the connection between the other Brazen Claws names, hopefully this one will finally help you out.

Weekly club report, the second week of July 2011

Space Marines vs. Space Marines, 1300 pts.

I fielded my usual lot of Brazen Claws (i.e. what I own): librarian, captain with SS/RB, tactical squad, scout squad, sniper scout squad, two dreads, terminator squad, three bikes, and a devastator unit.

My opponent fielded a Master of the Forge, two sniper scout squads, five dreads of various configurations, and one ironclad dread in a drop pod.

So once again, it didn't go well.  We played where we each controlled a single objective.  He dropped his drop pod with the ironclad practically on top of my objective and wiped out my sniper scouts while he other dreads chipped away at my two dreads.
What did work well for me was my devastators, who took out the ironclad and at least two other dreads with their shooting.  My bikes and the tac squad made their way across the board towards his objective.  My termies landed near his objective, but took so much abuse from the snipers and the Master of the Forge and his death cannon of doom that they couldn't hold it.
By the time it was done I was down to the devastators but no one held my objective.  He had three dreads, and the two scout units (I got the Master of the Forge) and still held his objective.  Victory for him.

This hammered home for me the need for speed.  My three troop choices were legging it across the board getting shot up by dreads.  I've added a rhino, a predator, and a land speeder to the work table.  That'll be a much better addition that the point sink of having two HQ units.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Weekly club report, the first week of July 2011

This week at the regular club gathering I ended up facing off once more against Black Templars, but this time I was a little wiser and while still getting pounded pretty solidly I gave back quite a bit better.  One thing I've noticed is that it is not necessarily bad to lose the deploy first/go first roll.  I have two dreads, an anti-mech one and an anti-infantry one.  My opponent placed his tanks on the anti-infantry one and his large blocks of bikes and assault marines on the anti-tank one.  I'm also really sick of not being able to damage Land Raiders, and my current strategy is just to ignore them and wait for them to run aground on difficult terrain.

Here's a pic, not of my game but of an interesting Daemons vs. Tyranids game featuring the rare occurrence of two fully painted armies battling it out.
Nature red of tooth and claw...

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Minotaur Lord

The DM of my D&D game asked me to paint up a batch of miniatures for him.  This one is the first, apparently some giant minotaur that we will eventually face.

I have no idea who manufactured this beast, but he's a great miniature with a ton of detail.  You can't see it, but behind his back he has three skulls hanging from his belt, not to mention scars across his back from some earlier but less fortunate adventuring party.  There are some other miniatures that I will paint as the mood strikes me and time allows, but this fellow was so great I had get right to it.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Brazen Claws Librarian


As much as I hate to admit it, this guy is becoming a regular HQ choice for me, especially in low-point games.  Between the wargear, the psychic powers, and the relatively low point cost, he's just too good to pass up.  I've actually had this figure for many years, when I was first getting into 40K.  My brother-in-law gave me this figure and a chaplain, on account of my having been both a librarian and a chaplain at some point in my life.  I painted up the chaplain (he looks pretty hideous--I was just learning to paint) but never bothered with this guy.  Now he's done and ready to lead my troops to battle.  After his sufferings last game, I figured he was due.

In other news, over at SoloNexus they are telling me that November is Solo Tabletop Gaming Appreciation month and they are doing this push to get people do something new or something big in the month of 11/11.  These sorts of things always appeal to me because of my irrational need to try to meet goals related to my free time.  And while I have some serious interest in getting a solo campaign going, if for no other reason than because my hometown appears to be in the grips of Irrational Loyalty to Warhammer (or "ILOW" for short), I think I will be taking a pass on this one.  I already shackled myself to the painting goal which is almost four-fifths done even though it is only July.  Six months to paint thirty miniatures means five miniatures a month, which is practically cruising speed.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

A small cottage


Over the long weekend I decided to finish up this terrain project that had been sitting around for a couple of months.  It is made with Hirst Arts molds.  I think when I started it I was thinking I could use it in a Chaos in Carpathia, Very British Civil War, or even an All Things Zombie game.  Anyways, I'm pleased with how it turned out, so much so that I may do another similar one.

The holiday weekend isn't shaping up all that well.  My children returned from a long trip with their grandparents on a flight that was delayed to the point where it futzed with my D&D game, and now today the weather is acting up.  I might just go hide from the in-laws in the Daddy/Daughter Cave casting plaster.

Finally, if you haven't been following my RPG blog, http://graphpapergames.blogspot.com , you should check it out.  I'm slowly going through a sealed box of RPG's that I bought sight unseen from the local bookstore. It's a random bit of RPG history in there.

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