Monday, August 31, 2009

Lylyth, Shadow of Everblight

This closes out my unpainted Legion models! I'm sure it won't remain this way for long, but it's nice to reach this point. This wasn't my favorite model by any stretch, mostly because of the pose, but I managed to make the best of it. It was a fast paint job which I have to admit was a nice change of pace from Kade and all the other stuff I'd been doing recently. I stuck with my general strategy of balancing speed and quality, perhaps erring more on the side of speed this time. I have to admit, I'm not sure how often I'll actually field eLylyth, but at least she's an option and this gives me 100% painted epic Legion warlocks!

What went well:
* Placing the rock in front of her, although blocking a portion of the model, helps make a bit more sense of the pose.
* Runes on the bow worked out better than I expected.
* Speedy paint job. I managed to knock this one out pretty quick.
* Hair weave. Although not amazingly painted, I like the way that it turned out.

What could have been better:
* Positioning of the rock could have been a little better, but I'm not super picky.
* Feathers lack good shading or definition. I had primed this model in black and just had a lot of trouble working the feathers back up without losing detail.
* Armor lacks shading. I went for a faster technique. It has good definition of the details, but not very good shading of the different surface angles.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

How To: Obsidian Rune Bases

Recently a created a new basing theme for my Neverborn Malifaux models and figured I'd write up a tutorial for it. As is often my strategy, I like to have a basing scheme where the base is relatively efficient to produce multiples of, echos the right ambiance for the group of models, and creates a unique style for the models. My goal here was to create something that evoked an ancient and magical feel. After kicking around a number of ideas, I arrived at the concept of rune-carved short obsidian pillars.

What I used:
* Super Sculpy - Available at craft stores. It's a bakeable clay that I find is durable and yet can be carved.
* Hose Clamps - Various sizes that match your bases.
* Parchment Paper - Standard baking paper.
* Gloss Coat - I used Testors spray on gloss coat.
* Craft Knives - Duh... when do you not need these?
* Hobby Cutters - The standard kind that they sell for miniature modeling.
* Paints - I used the following P3 paints: Morrow White, Cygnus Yellow, Necrotite Green, Iosan Green, Gnarls Green, Coal Black, Underbelly Blue, Thamar Black, Armor Wash

The Process:
Before I start the process, I want to quickly note about hose clamps. If you've never seen these before, they are automotive hose clamps, available at any automotive parts store. To "operate" them you use a screwdriver to tighten and loosen them. When you turn the screw it increases/decreases the circumference of the clamp. These aren't perfect circles but close enough for my purposes and the advantage of the hose clamp is that it can be loosed to release the formed putty without any sort of pressing.
The first step is to create the pillar shapes. To do this I first measure the base so that I know how big I need to create it. In this case (and for the rest of this tutorial) I'll be using a small 30mm base. The same process applies to any other size base.
Then I adjust the hose clamp until it matches the size measured. It's important to leave just a little bit of wiggle room if the base has a lip to it (as these 30mm bases have).
Next I cut out a strip of parchment paper in order to line the inside of the clamp, and 2 more to put on top and bottom. Then I fill in the clamp with Super Sculpy and press in the clay and make sure it's flattened flush to the edges of clamp.
Then loosen the clamp to let the molded piece slip out, put it on a piece of parchment paper, and pop it in the toaster oven for baking (following the Super Sculpy instructions). When you finish, you'll have disks like this...
Next I carved runes into the side of the base. A note on "runes": For all of the runes I did on these, I tended to use mostly straight lines and dots for two reasons. First I like it stylistically. Second is that on smaller Super Sculpy surfaces it is easier to do straight lines rather than curves. Curves tend to cause the material to carve chucks out and it requires a bit more care. However, any shape is possible with enough patience.
Next I painted in the runes with white (just to make them easier to see for the next step). Then I added some roughing to the edges and surfaces to make it look like aged and weathered rock. To do this I mostly use the Craft Cutter and just make small choppings into the edges randomly. I've found this makes a nice random effect to the Super Sculpy to simulate rock.
At this point I begin painting in the runes. First I fill in the runes with Cygnus Yellow, and then the surrounding surface with Gnarls Green. The end goal is to create just a slight green glow effect on the surface surrounding the carved rune, but not too much.
At this point I go ahead and paint the surfaces with Coal Black, mostly because I find that painting the rune against such a light background makes it more difficult to get the right level of contrast. I also hit the bulk of that Coal Black surface with slightly thinned Armor Wash.
Next I painted the runes. My technique here is to add to the rune, near the edges, build around the core yellow. I start by shading in some Necrotite Green and then Iosan Green. Then I go back and add some white spots at key points in the runes (usually where two lines intersect). Finally I re-add some yellow as necessary to clean things up and then use some Gnarls Green to tighten up the edges of the runes to the surfaces.
At this point it's just surface finishing. I do a little 2BB work with Coal Black to smooth the transitions between the Gnarls Green and the very black portions from the Armor Wash. Then I use Underbelly Blue to highlight the edges. Then one last step of using Morrow White to create some point highlights on the edges on top of the Underbelly Blue.
Finally, gloss coat it fairly heavily. Obsidian is essentially glass so it needs to look slightly transparent near the surface to create a somewhat shiny effect. I did two coats of Testors Gloss on these. When I did the initial one for Baby Kade I used Testors High Gloss, which has the distinct disadvantage of always feeling a bit sticky when touched but has the advantage of being shiny after a single coat.
Finally, just stick it to a base using a little green stuff and glue and you're all done. Here is the completed one I did during the course of this tutorial along with a second one done as 2 tiers. For the second one, I used the same process but created a smaller step that I attached with green stuff before starting to carve and paint. Hopefully you've found this useful.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Comparing Malifaux and Warmachine/Hordes

For those tracking me through IABN, I've been a bit out of the loop as I've been trying out Malifaux the last couple weeks and painting non-Privateer stuff since I finished eThagrosh. Painting other model lines is not really a big change for me, but playing a different game is definitely a change. I've been playing Warmachine/Hordes exclusively (in terms of miniatures games) for about 5 years now. I've debated picking up other games over that time (Confrontation and Flames of War most notably), but never did take the plunge. Malifaux however lured me in. So I wanted to take some time to share my experience of Malifaux so far in the context of having been a Warmachine/Hordes player.

This is my own personal view. I'm not a hardcore gamer. I'm not trying to promote one game over the other. I plan to keep playing both games.

What I like about Warmachine and Hordes (herein refereced as WM/H):
* Excellent models - Overall the models are high quality. Painting is an important aspect of the hobby to me, so if a game has lame models, I'm unlikely to play it.
* Focus/Fury mechanics - I really like these mechanics, particularly the Fury mechanic. I think they create an interesting resource management aspect to the game.
* Giant Robots! - Warjacks and Warbeasts are a very cool feature of the game. I like the idea that these huge hulking critters are intimately tied to the leader of the army.
* Cards for models - Yah, I know, but I'm listing it anyway. I love having the cards for the models during the game. Makes things easier.

What I like about Malifaux so far:
* Skirmish scale - It really is skirmish scale. Each model is a character unto itself. There are no units in this game. To give a point of comparison, it's like having an army of all solos. Even the simplest model has a comparable number of rules to it as Aiyana from WM/H.
* Cards instead of dice - The card mechanic is pretty intriguing. It brings a new form of strategy to the game in the form of resource management of your control hand, and it allows you to bend probabilities to make sure a plan works instead of relying on averages.
* Models are majestic - Seriously, I really like the majority of the models. They are characterful and every one of them is unique. No soul-crushing unit painting weeks.
* Slim simplified rules - Ok, I'll admit that there are rules questions and a FAQ is definitely needed, however overall the rules are pretty sleek. LOS, movement, actions, duels... they all move swiftly during gameplay and don't require as many of the "I need a neutral decision here" moments.

Some key differences:
* Turn order - Malifaux turn order is different, with each player takes turns activating models. This is contrasted with WM/H's complete army activation turns.
* Dice vs Cards - This isn't so much the substantive difference as how the "resource management" aspect plays out. In WM/H you manage Focus/Fury as a resource to boost rolls. In Malifaux you use the Control Hand as a resource to "cheat" card flips and improve success rates.
* Missions - Malifaux focuses a wide variety of missions and in fact the game is meant to be played using their random mission chooser. Typically when I play WM/H, every mission is basically assassination. This causes the game balancing to work differently between the two.
* Terrain - Malifaux is best played with dense terrain, whereas WM/H is best played with moderate to sparse terrain.
* Army size - A typical WM/H battle of 500pts is usually going to be around 20 to 25 models on average. That could easily vary from 5 to 50+ though depending on the faction and the focus on the army. A Malifaux "scrap" which would be the equivelent smaller-sized game would typically be around 7 to 12 models.

Summary: If I like Warmachine and Hordes, will I like Malifaux?
* If you like the larger scale battles and engaging in strategy at that larger force level, then no, you won't. Malifaux is more about a smaller scale skirmish and the playing out of troop formations is absent from the gameplay.
* If you like forming the "No Quarter" set of actions on your turn and playing it out by moving all your forces in a particular order to unravel the puzzle, then no, you won't. Malifaux's turn sequence creates a more fluid game in terms of how to plan your turn.
* If you like rolling lots of dice, then no, you won't. Nuff said.
* If you like emergent interactions between multiple complex models in your army, then yes, you'll like it. Every model is complex and many of them are unique characters that there an only be 1 fielded of. It makes for many interesting combinations.
* If you like missions over pure assassination, then yes, you'll like it. Malifaux puts more emphasis on the mission, allowing you to win even if you end up losing all of your mission objectives in the game.
* If you like games with more turns, then yes, you'll like it. Every game I've played has gone at least 6 rounds. The game actually has a minimum of 6 rounds.
* If you like spending more time painting fewer models for an army, then yes, you'll like it.

Overall, I'd suggest giving it a try. The base sizes are all the same as WM/H, so worst case you pick up the main book, proxy models for a couple battles, and you've ended up spending $35 bucks and a few hours on the chance of finding a new game. Hopefully this has been helpful, and if there are questions feel free to post a comment here.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Baby Kade

This is my first Malifaux model completed! This was a rather challenging model, mostly due to the size. The model itself (not counting the base) is less than 3/4" tall. However I've decided that all my Malifaux models are going to get premium treatment. Mostly this is due to my desire to get better and really pour lots of time into some models, but also since Malifaux requires fewer models it is easier to justify the additional time.

What went well:
* Spending lots of time was nice. Not just because I feel like I did a decent job, but it felt nice to really obsess over little details.
* Color variation worked well for me. I tried out combinations of using more hue variation for Kade's skin, and less variation for the bear. In the end I feel like it created the effects I was aiming for.

What could have been better:
* Blending on small surfaces is hard. I totally need more practice at that. These models will help a lot.
* NMM was ok, but could have been better. The knife blade and handle especially could use more work. On the other hand the clothes pin worked out well.

One last note before I fall asleep, the basing worked out pretty well. I'll write up a tutorial on them later. I wanted to create a basing theme for all of the Neverborn models and this was what I came up with. It doesn't look exactly like obsidian, but it's close enough. I'll probably refine the process further.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Malifaux Round 3: Pandora vs Zoraida

Game 3 panned out to be very entertaining! This time Henry brought the Zoraida box set. We decided to play with scenarios this time as well. Admittedly, this 3+ hour game turned into another huge rules question session, but this time we did manage to play a full and legit game. I haven't decided on a good battle report format for Malifaux yet, especially since I'm still learning the game, so this will be a bunch of random notes.

Zoraida is pretty nasty. The whole voodoo doll thing is pretty crazy since once created it bypasses LOS and range requirements. It became sort of obvious that more terrain is good. That being said, I didn't really feel like Zoraida was completely outrageous. On the first round she took control of Kade from across the table and assassinated one of my Woes, but after that things got much better. I managed to position carefully and avoid further pain.

After playing 3 games now, I'm really enjoying the card mechanic in place of dice. It very much reminds me of the possibility mechanic in the old Torg rpg. It provides a nice opportunity to ensure you can pull off a strategy, or keep something alive. The soulstones are similar in that respect. Last night even though my card draws were not amazing, I found that I was still able to plan effectively.

I'm starting to feel like I'm really getting the hang of Pandora. At first I was a little confused how to really hurt my opponent, but now it's starting to come together. She's really slippery and slowly wears things down, but in combination with Candy and Kade, the whole train can pick up speed quite quickly.

One thing I really like about Malifaux is that terrain and missions are NOT an afterthought. They are an integral part of the game, and it really shows. Most of the time terrain is just there to work around, or let specific model's features shine. And don't get me started on missions. Let me just say that I'm sick of every mission defaulting to Assassinate. Not the case with Malifaux. There's rules for all kinds of extra terrain, and a rich set of missions. Even if your master dies, you can still with the game by mission.

For my own amusement, I'm going to keep track of my cost per game ration for Malifaux, given that my recent foyer into MonPoc came to a screeching halt pretty fast. So far...
Games played: 3
Dollars spent: $106.50
Cost per game: $35.50

Sunday, August 16, 2009

More Malifaux

Henry and I played our second game of Malifaux today. Again it was the Pandora vs Ramos box sets. This time we were building upon an already fairly solid understanding of the basic rules, so it was more a matter of working out details and understanding all the features of our models. I have to say, I still like the game. There's some pretty ridiculous things that can happen during the course of the game, and many models have a pile of abilities.

We ended up with 15 questions as a result of our game. Many of these have to do with wording questions and ordering, more than about actual problems or vagueness in the rules. Fortunately they have a rules forum, so I'm going to find out what the protocol is and post there. However, so that I don't lose my list (since it's written on a scratch piece of paper, I'm going to include them at the bottom of this post. [Note: I'm posting the answers here as well]

The battle itself ended in a draw. Things went back and forth, and at one point I was sure that I was on the ropes and would be dead, but then I managed to rally back. Some of the highlights of the battle were having Ramos' Arachnid swarms split into singles and then threaten to self destruct all over my entire crew. Baby Kade managed to get a backstab run in on Ramos but unfortunately didn't pull out much damage. In the end, it was down to just Pandora and Ramos, chasing each other around the board. Ramos is a great tank and Pandora is really slippery to actually get to attack, so in the end we decided to call it a draw.

Although my desire to paint this models is climbing sharply, I'm still determined to get at least my Allegiant and eLylyth models painted before working on the Wyrd stuff. We'll see what actually happens. As for the Malifaux game itself, it's going to be interesting to balance playing both Hordes and Malifaux, as I am very much enjoying this new distraction.

Outstanding rules questions:
* Does Pacify trump Companion for when to activate?
* Can other models move through Spirits? - Yes
* Do Spirits block LOS? - Yes
* When you cheat fate, does the replaced card go into your hand, or is it just discarded? - Discarded
* If Pandora triggers Mental Anguish on a model with Terrifying, does that model still fall back? - Yes
* If a model moves toward a Terrifying model and fails the morale check, does it immediately move to fall back immediately? - Yes
* When an Arachnid Swarm splits into individual Arachnids, the text says "summon XXX to Arachnid Swarm". Does this follow the standard summoning rules for location (i.e. within 6" of the summoner)? - Arachnids must be placed as close as possible to the original Swarm
* What is the order of resolving damage from pulses? Specific example: Baby Kade and a Woe both have 2 damage remaining and are in B2B with each other in the area of effect of an Arachnid Self Destruct. The order becomes important as to whether Baby Kade can Martyr the damage to the Woe before it is destroyed.
* Does a Push need to follow a straight line? - No
* More detailed explanation of placing Blast markers? - Basically measure edge-to-edge unless otherwise specified
* If Pandora succeeds with a (0) Pacify, can she keep chaining them until she fails one? - Yes
* If 2 friendly models and 1 enemy model are all in melee with each other, and one of the friendly models wants to cast a spell at the enemy model, does it follow all the standard in-melee rules given that there is another friendly model in melee with the target? - Yes
* When a model is charged by a Terrifying model, when is the Terrifying check made? - Immediately, but they dont' Fall Back until their next activation
* Which takes precedence between "ignore" and "lose immunity"? Specific example: Raputina's Frozen Heart vs Pandora's "The Box Opens". In this case they aren't specifically in conflict, but awaiting an answer on the wording conflict in general
* Does Armor stack? Specific example: Ramos (Ability: Armor 2) standing behind cover (grants Armor 1). - Yes

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Malifaux - And So It Begins...

Today I picked up the Malifaux main rule book from my LGS. Their line of miniatures is majestic and when I found out they were going to be releasing a skirmish game for their miniatures I was quite excited. So of course, after picking up the book, I swung by Henry's and we got in an initial test of the game. This post will be more review than battle report, but I'm going to count this game anyway.

The Book: The rule book itself is quite nice. The artwork carries the Malifaux style through the whole book, and where released, they have pictures of the actual miniatures next to each models' stats. It's fairly well, with fiction interspersed between sections for rules. The rules themselves are organized fairly well, and within an hour of flipping through the book we were ready to try it out.

The Rules: I'm not going to outline the rules here obviously. It's a miniatures skirmish game so there's plenty of obvious things that are a given (miniatures, tape measure, model stats, etc). I'll just note some of the key features of Malifaux itself.
* Diceless! - The game uses a standard deck of cards instead of dice. I really like this feature, but admittedly it will make the strategy more challenging to pick up. On the plus side, the mechanism for doing action checks is fairly simple, making it quick to learn.
* Alternating turn sequence - Models activate in an alternating fashion, with each player activating one model at a time. Once everything has been activated, then the turn ends and a new one begins. This is different than most games I've played, so it will take a while to get used to.
* Character based - Everything in the game has its own stat card. I'd estimate that over 50% of the models in the game are unique characters. Every model is bought individually. There are no "units" in this game which is quite refreshing.
* Over the top - This game feels a lot like Warmachine did when I first started playing back when Escalation had just come out. Everything has multiple features and its card is full of text.
* Simplicity - Despite the small skirmish feel (4-6 models on a side) and complex character cards, the core game rules are fairly streamlined simple. LOS is any straight line from anywhere on both bases. Models don't have a facing. No units means no formations. It's pretty refreshing.

The Sample: The game we played was relatively short (2 turns). Henry was playing the Ramos Arcanist box and I was playing the Pandora Neverborn box. He squashed me since we were purposefully not trying to "win" the game in order to try out various rules. It plays pretty fast with each player interacting all the time due to the activation sequence. The rules for melee and ranged attacks is uniform and the rules for casting is very similar. I really like the card mechanic as it tends to reduce the "random" element of the game to something you can plan around. Instead of orchestrating a plan that tries to overcome dice odds with more attacks, this system allows for buffering good cards into your hand to support that plan. Of course, this works defensively as well.

The Faction: Pandora of the Neverborn faction is sort of a denial shutdown group. Not much damage output, but a lot of abilities to slow down and stymie opponents. Ramos of the Arcanist faction was more of a hard hitting melee and spellcasting group. The Steamborg Executioner laid out a pile of damage on Pandora in our test game.

The Reflection: I'm very much looking forward to trying out a serious game of this. I'm not sure Pandora will be my favorite choice rules-wise, but it's hard to tell at this point. We're planning another game tomorrow and by then I should have read through the majority of the rules. I'm confident this new game will be making appearances on this blog in the future, especially as I start to paint the models.

Thagrosh the Messiah

Well it took me much longer than expected, but epic Thagrosh is finally finished. Just when I was down to detail work I got the flu, and then shortly after that work slammed me. However, he's all finished up at this point and ready for action. I'm just sad that I missed the 750 tournament last weekend. Anyway, this will be a quick post.

What went well:
* Model is awesome. It really was quite fun to paint.
* Basing turned out ok. Despite his legs and arm not coming together into a flat plane (due to my own challenges in assembly), I managed to form a base underneath him that matched.
* Small details turned out ok, and don't cause major distractions to the overall model.

What could have been better:
* I had some problems with the primer, for the first time in ages. I think it was because I rushed too quickly to start painting. The primer may not have been completely dry. Anyway, some areas tended to rough up a bit (like his left shoulder) and caused some problems.
* Just not enough time spent. I could have done a much better job, but I really wanted to just get him done. I don't regret the situation since I'm trying to strike a balance between painting time and quality with all my Legion, however this was one that I could have easily spent more time on.

Well, now I'm down to 3 Privateer models left! The only threat to not reaching fully painted is that Malifaux is coming out very soon, and those models are majestic. However I really am enjoying Legion so I think there will be some sort of careful balance struck between the two.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

eGoreshade vs eThagrosh

I've been playing a lot lately it seems. Last night was another practice game towards the tournament this weekend.

The Lists:
Me: eThagrosh, Typhon, Carnivean, 3 Shredders, Striders+UA, Deathstalker, War Chief, Forsaken, Totem Hunter, Swamp Gobbers
Henry: eGoreshade, Deathjack, 3 Deathrippers, Bane Thralls (10), Bile Thralls (10), Withershadow Combine, Skarlock, Pistol Wraith, Bane Lord Tartarus, Gudrun

The Mission:
Break the Line - This is the 6 zones mission, and one that both Henry and I wanted more practice at.

The Throwdown:
This battle was pretty vicious. Sudden Death on the Bane Thralls is a pretty nasty combo, especially since they create additional BTs when they kill stuff. This caught me off-guard more than once. However the Striders and Incubii made for a decent counter to this. The Carnivean got an assault charge in on Tartarus but then got cut to ribbons by BTs the next round. The Striders managed to get a good charge in on them (since shooting them was simply not an option) and took out half of them. From there the battle started to sway in my direction. Typhon walked in and killed a couple more, putting himself in a dangerous position, but I wanted to test his resiliance. There were a couple of key missed dice rolls on Henry's part that made a big difference as well. The Deathjack missed Typhon on a slam attempt (needing an 8 on a boosted dice roll). At that point Thagrosh and Typhon took him apart, using him as a bowling ball for Withershadow at the same time.

The Endgame:
Henry nearly pulled out a victory on scenario. On the right side I only had the Deathstalker engaged with Gudrun on his side of the board. He walked Gudrun around but failed to kill the Deathstalker. Then he attempted to blast her with a spell from an arcnode, but I had one Incubii remaining which popped out to maintain dispute of the zone. At that point is was merely a matter of rolling in with Thagrosh to cut Goreshade down.

The Highlights:
* The Incubii are excellent for scenarios and ruining plans. Not only did they hold the zone, but when Bile Thralls purged they got to walk on up and mess up the remaining purges.
* Typhon continues to perform like the badass he is. With Dragon's Blood and Excessive Healing he can stand up to a fair amount of punishment (pretty much blowing off Bile purges.
* Being conservative with Thagrosh is clearly a better plan. He does a great job of boosting Shredders especially.
* The Carnivean continues to please me with his assault charges.
* eGoreshade is pretty awesome. He's got a really cool spell list. Overall I loved playing against him (as opposed to regular Goreshade).

The Reflection:
I'm loving this list. It's huge fun to play and gives me the flexibility I need to respond to a variety of armies. Even in this battle with a lot of stealth I was able to leverage my strengths and get the job done. Swapping out the Shepherd for an additional Shredder was definitely a good choice. I think swapping out the War Chief for Gudrun will definitely be a good choice for scenario play as well. I'm really looking forward to the tournament on Saturday. Hopefully I remember to bring the camera!

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Mordikaar vs eThagrosh

Another game last night! This time against my long-time arch nemesis Lance. I should note that we played this game with "tool tips enabled" so to speak. We made sure to point out features of the things we were playing as we went along since I'd never played against Mordikaar or Karn, and half of my Legion list was new for Lance.

The Lists:
Me: eThagrosh, Carnivean, Typhon, 3 Shredders, Incubii, Striders+UA, Deathstalker, Forsaken, Totem Hunter, War Chief, Gobbers
Lance: Mordikaar, Karn, Gladiator, Krea, Agonizer, Arcuarii (6), Paingivers (5), Ferox (3), Saxon, Gobbers, Tyrant Commander, Void Spirit

The Mission:
Mosh Pit, although we did a pretty pitiful job of paying attention to it. There was a forest in the middle of the table over part of the mosh pit as well which made for a real tar pit itself.

The Throwdown:
Talk about a battle between the irresistible force and immovable object. The combination of Karn's Fate Ward, Mordikaar's feat, and then that nasty Manifest Void, it was a righteous pain in the butt to get an attack in. Even with Glory of Everblight running, I was having a difficult time getting proper attacks in. The Striders' CRA was a huge bonus in this battle since it allowed me to reliably take out Ferox and Arcuarii. The Deathstalker was a good luck charm, going up the middle and taking out the Tyrant standard, which then led to a failed mass casualties command check. Later she dodged a trample from Karn and continued to cause amusement in the middle. The Totem Hunter got to collect Saxon's skull, but was quickly flattened by a very angry elephant. The Void Spirit got to charge Thagrosh, causing 8 damage but also generating a Shredder. In general though, all 4 heavy beasts spent much of their time trying to maneuver for a good charge and never ending up with one. Perhaps the most amusing part was when the Carnivean did an assault charge lining up Mordikaar, the Tyrant, the Agonizer and a Paingiver, but despite Glory of Everblight, missed all 4 attacks, and then the feat round kicked in pushing him back 4d3"!

The Endgame:
In the end, I was getting tired and decided to go for the kill. I charged in with Thagrosh, nearly leveled the Krea, and then tried to drop Black Chasm on Karn and Mordikaar. Unfortunately I missed the attack roll which then deviated away from Mordikaar. I continued to execute my plan, but at this point all the attack rolls were failing due Mordikaar not being knocked down. 2 Shredders went rabid and charged in on Karn, but Fate Ward trumps rabid, so they did minimal damage. Typhon charged the Forsaken, killing it and producing an Incubii, then sprayed at Mordikaar twice by targetting the Shredder I had lined up. I got 2 hits, but those got transferred to the Gladiator. The Carnivean walked in but was out of control area to assault charge and thus didn't have range to reach Mordikaar but did finish the Gladiator. The Incubii walked around and smacked Mordikaar, but then I was out of juice, and Thagrosh was out of Fury. At that point it was a trivial matter for Karn to walk around and snuff him.

The Highlights:
* The Deathstalker and War Chief both killed things!
* eThagrosh continues to amuse. I think being more conservative with him in terms of when to take the damage to spawn a Shredder is a good plan.
* Mordikaar and Karn are a painful combo. Karn especially is difficult to dig out with the whole Fate Ward thing.
* Positioning is key. The Striders got to serve the dual purpose of CRA'ing key things and blocking charge/trample lanes. Without that careful positioning, I would have gotten snuffed.

The Reflection:
The Skorne list I faced was pretty challenging in the denial department. It was really difficult to find an opening so I had to pick away at it. In hindsight our late evening start resulted in having to just go for the kill and making a mistake. As it turns out, I forgot to use my feat and that would have probably won the game at that point. Swapping out the Shepherd for an additional Shredder was totally worthwhile though, and in general I like the way this list plays. It has plenty of punch, plenty of speed, and plenty of anti-infantry if the occasion calls for it.

Sunday, August 02, 2009


Now this was a beast. Overall it was a pretty enjoyable model. I did some minor conversion work on the tail since I thought the original pose of Typhon holding his tail made him look more like a cowering kitten than a fearsome beast. Getting the model together overall took a fair amount of pinning and green stuff work but I have to admit that it wasn't as bad as I might have expected. The big problem was the bad alignment between his feet. I had to build up a bit of the rock base under him to even things out.

What went well:
* The skin worked out good. I really do like the lighter shade of skin than I did on the earlier beasts (unfortunately).
* Chitin was good as well, using a similar mix of colors as on the Raek. I used some dark green to shade the recesses and it shows much more on this model.
* This was a relatively fast model to paint. Again, like the Forsaken, it has relatively few different areas to paint, making things pretty fast.
* Using a mix of washes, 2BB, and traditional layered blending worked great on this model. The larger surfaces certainly help in that area.

What could have been better:
* The overall color balance seems a bit off. There's bright read near the heads, which helps to draw the eyes upwards, but there isn't as much to draw the eyes back.
* The spots are ok, but I still feel like they could have been better. I like the character they add, but there's something just not "right" about them.
* Claws and spines didn't get great treatment, and although I don't regret the shortcut, it is somewhat unfortunate that I didn't tackle them in a different way. Mostly it was a hindsight issue.

I'm seriously looking forward to getting this bad boy on the table. The two times that I proxied him I was quite pleased. Typhon, like the Raek, was one of the small handful of Legion models that really lured me into starting another faction. This guy will definitely be seeing tournament time next week.