The Four Strands Modeling, Painting, Gaming and Storytelling

25Aug/150

Blood Bowl time at Highland!

Highland Gaming Club got a good taste of Blood Bowl today!  To demo Blood Bowl I follow three rules:

1. The first person to say "yes" gets to pick their team.

2. Only one half is played, and the team that kicks off gets 1/2 of a point, so that they win ties.

3. Both players have me tell them what to do for the first turn, and from then on, have me only make general suggestions.

Let's take a look at the highlights!

Here, Paul (left, Monitors) contemplates how to set up to receive a kick from Ian (right, Scrappaz).  Paul brought a strong first drive, scoring quickly, but Ian pushed hard and got a lucky Throw Team-Mate touchdown, despite three turns of turnovers stopping him.  In the end, Ian was victorious.

Justin, playing the Scrappaz here, got a turn 1 touchdown thanks to some good rolls!  Sadly, his luck did not hold as Bill, a newcomer to Highland, smashed his early lead and scored two touchdowns to Justin's one!

It's interesting to note that both players that lost these demo games are veteran players of the Blood Bowl video game, which (barring a couple botched skills that don't work right) is the same game!

Time for a slightly off topic rant!  The current Blood Bowl video game does not capture the whole feeling of the original.  Here's what you miss out on with the PC version:

1. No face-to-face interaction with an actual human being.

2. Cannot build a team from scratch using 1,000,000 gold pieces.

3. No option for special play cards (even though no one uses them)

4. Cannot customize players to the extent you can with real minis.  Want purple skeletons?  Too bad!

5. Some skills don't work right.

6. To really get a handle on the rules, you have to read the pdf anyway, so you might as well read the regular board game rules.

7. Not all Star Players are present.

Blood Bowl II will be coming out soon, so hopefully some of these issues are addressed.  However, from the promotional material, it seems that some races are in-game purchases.  Want to play Lizardmen?  That'll be an extra fee, get out your credit card.

The point is: the board game is fun and gives you a lot more freedom!  Give it a try!

Next: more Gothic?  Perhaps Space Marines?

 

Filed under: Blood Bowl, Gaming No Comments
24Aug/150

Grimfang Scrappaz Support Staff

Two posts in one day?  Of course!  I need to get ready to show Blood Bowl to the Highland Gaming Club!  The Yella Runts (Cheerleaders) yell at the crowd to get them pumped!  The Coach Runts (Assistant Coaches) communicate with the players via a system of glyphs on banners or metal signs.

Next: Blood Bowl at Highland!

24Aug/150

Blood Bowl Custom End Zones by Lexington

A long time ago I met a wonderful man.  He's not important; what's important is I met Lexington a little less than 15 years ago.  He's been my constant companion through model wargaming, and occasional rival.  Friendval?  (Editors note: think of something more clever later)  Regardless, Lexington just gave me my Xmas present and if you think that it's four months early, you'd be wrong.  Marvel in their awesomeness:

BLOOD BOWL CUSTOM END ZONES!  These end zones are designed for the 2nd edition Astrogranite board.  I designed the basic concepts for the logos for the Konquata Monitors and the Grimfang Scrappaz, but Lexington brought them to life, and formatted them for the correct size of the end zone. (Blood Bowl fans take note: these end zones are two squares deep, unlike the ones on a modern Blood Bowl board)

These custom end zones were then printed in full color on a laser printer and laminated with 10 mil laminate.  They were then cut to size.  This breaks the seal and eventually they will need to be replaced, but it looks better without a margin.  Incidentally, you can find the files here:

Konquata Monitors Custom End Zone by Lexington

Grimfang Scrappaz Custom End Zone by Lexington

Of course, these are useless to anyone but me.  However, if you want to make your own, use these as templates.  The final size of the Astrogranite 2nd edition end zone is 14.5" wide by 1.75" deep.  These files are larger than that in order to give you bleed to cut off.  Print them, laminate them, and trim carefully to size.  Make your own!

Next: Grimfang Scrappaz support staff!

22Aug/150

Battlefleet Gothic batrep: Surprise Attack 1000 pts: Space Marines vs. Imperial Navy

Stephen and I finally got our work schedules to sync up, and we got some long-awaited Gothic action at AFK Games in Holt!

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Mission: Surprise Attack (1000 pts)

Region: Inner Biosphere

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Attacker: Stephen - Imperial Navy Segmentum Obscurus Bastion Fleet

  • Solar Admiral (Ld 10), 2 additional re-rolls (aboard the Enif)
  • Avenger class Grand Cruiser Enif
  • Dauntless class Light Cruiser Cursa (Lances)
  • Dauntless class Light Cruiser Stevo (Torpedoes)
  • Squadron of 4 Firestorm class Frigates
  • Squadron of 3 Sword class Frigates
  • Squadron of 2 Cobra class Destroyers

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Defender: Bozeman - Azure Flames Space Marine Dominion Fleet

  • Master of the Fleet Ranidan Piers (Ld 10), 2 re-rolls (aboard His Hammer II)
  • Battle Barge His Hammer II
  • Strike Cruiser Vigilance, Extra Shield
  • Strike Cruiser Courage, Extra Shield
  • Wrath Squadron, 5x Hunter class Destroyers
  • Minefield
  • Minefield
  • Orbital Mine
  • Orbital Mine

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Setup

Shown above, the two Strike Cruisers are squadroned together.  Battle Barge His Hammer II is on standby; all other ships are on full alert.

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Turn 1 - Imperial Navy

The entire fleet arrives via the sunward edge (far edge in pictures below).  The Stevo, the Cursa, and the Firestorm squadron arrive to the left and go after the Strike Cruisers.  The Enif, the Cobra squadron and the Sword squadron come in nearer the center.

The Stevo fires torpedoes to limit the Strike Cruiser's options, as the rest of the fleet advances.

The rest of the fleet menaces the center.

Turn 1 - Space Marines

Wrath Squadron goes around the large minefield.  The large minefield rolls two 6s to launch 2 mines at the Swords.  His Hammer II uses the gravity well of the planet to turn twice and fires normal torpedoes and Thunderhawk Gunships at the Enif.  The Strike Cruiser squadron fires torpedoes and Thunderhawks at the Cursa, which fails to brace for impact and is crippled.  Bombardment Cannons fire on the Firestorms and destroy one.

Wrath Squadron outflanks the enemy.

Thunderhawk flights away.

Bad torpedo roll is augmented by the Cursa failing to brace for impact.  A Thunderhawk causes an Engine Room effect, leaving two damage remaining.

Turn 2 - Imperial Navy

The left side of the fleet closes in, and fires on the Strike Cruisers, doing one damage to the Courage.  Torpedoes from the Cobras are stymied by resilient Thunderhawks.  The torpedoes and Thunderhawks hit the Enif, which takes two damage.  An orbital mine kills one of the Swords.

The only actual damage was caused by a torpedo fired by the Stevo.

Ordnance hits home, doing serious damage to the Enif.

Turn 2 - Space Marines

A daring double-boarding action by the Strike Cruisers yields mixed results.  The Space Marines win both actions.  The Cursa is reduced to a drifting hulk.  The Stevo takes one damage, but in return causes a critical effect to the Courage, causing a hull breach and doing 3 damage, crippling it!  His Hammer II reloads, and launches more ordnance.  Wrath Squadron also fires, with boarding torpedoes.  All of this ordnance does four more damage to the Enif, crippling it and causing a Fire.

Boarding actions are where Space Marines shine, but they are always a gamble!

Space Marines can really pump out a lot of high quality ordnance.

Turn 3 - Imperial Navy

Enif disengages.  The Firestorms and Swords go after His Hammer II, but do no damage.  The Stevo fires on the Vigilance.

The escorts pour it on to His Hammer II, but they don't have enough gun.

Dauntless Light Cruisers can't put out a lot of firepower in their side arcs.

Turn 3 - Space Marines

Abysmal leadership rolls by His Hammer II fails an Ld 10 check, TWICE!  Courage disengages.  Vigilance does two damage to the Stevo.  The rest of the fleet kills one more Sword, but the last one barely survives with some fantastic Brace rolls.

It's become a one-on-one duel between the Vigilance and the Stevo.

Lucky Sword manages to hold on, preventing the destruction of the squadron!

Turn 4 - Imperial Navy

Stevo disengages.  Sword disengages.  Firestorms, however, fail to disengage even on a modified Ld 10!  They advance and kill one Hunter.

Stevo gets out of here.

Desperate and unable to flee, the Firestorms put the hurt on the Hunters!

Turn 4 - Space Marines

The Vigilance goes on Come to a New Heading to go after the last Firestorms.  The rest of the fleet pour it on, but one Firestorm survives.

Once again, one survives to save the squadron.

Turn 5 - Imperial Navy

Last Firestorm disengages.  Game ends.

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Final Score

Azure Flames: 329.75

Imperial Navy: 50

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Final Thoughts: After the game, I convinced Stephen to re-make his Avenger class Grand Cruiser into a Vengeance class because the Avenger has been completely useless for him.  The Vengeance has much longer range and a good variety of guns, as opposed to the Avenger which is all short range batteries.  Hopefully it does better for him in the future.

Next: Blood Bowl and 40K in Highland!

20Aug/150

Blood Bowl Coach – Warboss Grimfang da Lotz

Warboss Grimfang da Lotz slouched in his scrap iron throne, in the bowels of Mount Grimfang's deepest cavern.  Bio-luminescent fungus barely gave off enough light to outline the silhouette of Nugget, Grimfang's lucky snotling.  None of the other ladz were around, so Grimfang didn't feel the need to hold in his disappointment.

"Nugget, wot we gonna do today?" he sighed.  Nugget, hearing his name, perked up.

"Dat's right, we's gonna fight Stunties.  Jus' like yeserday an' da day before an' da day before dat."  Grimfang sighed.  "Ceptin' da Stunties barely ever fight anymore.  We ain't seen a proppa battle fer a long time."

Nugget pounced on an errant squig, ignoring Grimfang.

"Ever since dat Stunty tol' us dat dere's no more war cuz of dat new fing, wot wuz it again, Nugget?"

"Ang ang ang ang ang." Nugget replied as he chewed the squig.

"Yer, Blood Bowl, dat's wot it was.  Somefing about runnin' up an' down a field, muckin' about.  Don't sound like a proppa WAAAAGH, do it?"

Nugget toddled over and offered Grimfang the remains of the squig.  Grimfang rubbed Nugget's head because it was lucky, everyone knew that.

"On da uvver 'and, it sounds like the only way to get a proppa scrap anymore." Grimfangs voice rose, with renewed optimism.  "Yer, plus since everybody's playin', ya get to fight lots of fings, not just Stunties.  You's right, Nugget!  Dat sounds like da best idea!"

Nugget collapsed under the noogie barrage he was receiving.

"GURSHAK!" Grimfang bellowed.  "GET YER WURFLESS 'IDE IN 'ERE!"  Moments later, Gurshak Ripgrot, one of Grimfang's biggest Nobs arrived.

"Yer... wot is it, boss?" Gurshak stammered, making sure not to make direct eye contact.

"Get all da ladz workin!  Ain't no time fer a nap!  Get all da loot, an' all da stuff wot da Stunties lef' fer minin' silver."

Gurshak smiled. "We gettin' ready fer a fight?"

"BETTER!" Grimfang yelled.  "WE GETTIN' READY FER A SCRAP!"

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Warboss Grimfang da Lotz is the latest Warboss in a long line of Orcs to hold the title.  The original Warboss Grimfang conquered the Mount Silverspire silver mine from Dwarfs, long ago.  The Orcs renamed the mountain after Warboss Grimfang.  However, constant fighting with Dwarfs (and among themselves) led to a high turnover rate on Warbosses.  Each new Warboss renames themselves Grimfang, so that they are seen as the rightful ruler of Mount Grimfang.  Orks can only count to five, so each Warboss after the fifth is Grimfang da Lotz.

However, with the introduction of Blood Bowl, there's just no fighting anymore.  At least, not enough to satisfy the current Grimfang da Lotz.  So, he has led his ladz out of the mountains, and onto the Blood Bowl pitch.  Calling themselves the Grimfang Scrappaz, they are ready to smash any team in their way!

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Warboss Grimfang da Lotz is a Games Day exclusive Warboss, in pewter.  I added a putty baseball cap, just like my other coach, Lord Kroak.  Grimfang's colors are blue and silver, like the Scrappaz.  All jewelry is painted Mithril Silver to represent the wealth of the Grimfang silver mine.

Next: Cheerleaders and Assistant Coaches!

11Aug/150

Blood Bowl Weather Flip Display

Tired of trying to remember what the weather is during your Blood Bowl games?  Well, worry no more!

With this handy flip display, both players can see what the weather is, and the effects that weather has on the game.  The display shows on both sides so both players can see it easily.  The base is made to be slim, so that the display stands up and takes up little space on the tabletop.  It's easy to change and stands up well.

Find the file and instructions for printing in the Blood Bowl Compendium page!

Next: Ork Blood Bowl coach, and support staff!

Filed under: Blood Bowl, Gaming No Comments
2Aug/150

Sculpting Tuorial: Goblin Cheerleader Pom-Pom

Sat down to do some work on some models that have been neglected for a while, and I thought I'd do a short modelling tutorial on how to create Cheerleader Pom-Poms.  To a lesser extent, this same technique works on straight hair.

You need:

  • A model with a closed fist for the pom-pom (or a bald headed mini if you're doing hair)
  • 2 part epoxy putty (green stuff, kneadatite, brown stuff, etc.)
  • Sculpting needle tool

Step 1

Mix enough putty to cover the hand/head generously.  Use your fingers to smooth it down to cover the fist. (don't worry about fingerprints, you will remove them in a bit)

Step 2

Wet the surface of your putty (lick it if you're lazy) and use your needle tool to make a small circular dent at the top center.

Step 3

Place the tip of the needle tool in the hole at the top and carefully drag it down the side all the way to create a trench.  Push the needle into the bottom of the trench to make it so that the trench has no rounded end.  (Refrain from making penis jokes if you can.  I couldn't.)

Step 4

Repeat step 3 about 30 to 45 degrees away from your first trench.

Step 5

Starting from just below where the two trenches meet, make another small trench that does not go all the way to the bottom.  Make more trenches that are staggered in between these all the way to the bottom to fill the area with small trenches.

Step 6

Repeat steps 4-5 to fill the entire area.

Now you can sculpt Pom-Poms, and to a lesser extent hair!  Be sure to keep your putty workable area wet to prevent your sculpting tool from sticking.  Happy Sculpting!

28Jul/151

Highland Library Golden Rhino Tournament 7-28-15

It's TOURNAMENT TIME!  All the prep I've been doing will either pay off or fail dismally.  How did I do?  Read on to find out!

Spoiler alert: due to an overly long lunch and other factors, we only played three 2 hour games instead of 4.  Sadly, this means we did not get to play mission 4 which was my favorite of the 4.

Before we begin, here's the goodie bag I got for entering:

Included in the bag: a bunch of White Dwarf magazines, some Age of Sigmar promo stuff, and two balls of fluff, painted and embedded with a tea light to make it look like smoldering wreckage!  Also, six sculpey-clay numbered objectives that hold a die to mark Mysterious Objectives and another objective that looks like a brain!  NEAT!

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Here is the list I took in all three games.  Remember, I am trying to win in an anything goes tournament with a Combined Arms detachment Highlander list.

Bozeman - Azure Flames Space Marines (Salamanders) - 2000 pts

-Leonidas, captain of the 1st company (counts as Vulkan He'stan)

-Librarian, Level 2, Space Marine Bike, Melta Bombs

-Dreadnought, Extra Armour, 2x Twin Linked Autocannons

-Ironclad Dreadnought, Ironclad Launchers, Chainfist, upgrade Storm Bolter to Heavy Flamer
---Drop Pod

-Bike Squad x8 with Attack Bike, Veteran Sergeant, Power Fist, Melta Bombs, 2x Meltaguns, Multi-Melta

-Tactical Squad x10, Veteran Sergeant, Power Fist, Combi-Melta, Meltagun, Multi-Melta
---Rhino, Extra Armour

-Tactical Squad x10, Veteran Sergeant, Power Fist, Combi-Flamer, Flamer, Multi-Melta
---Rhino, Extra Armour

-Scouts x5
---Land Speeder Storm, Multi-Melta

-Assault Squad x5, 2x Flamer
---Drop Pod

-Land Speeder Squadron x3, 3x Multi-Melta

-Predator Destructor, Heavy Bolter sponsons

-Thunderfire Cannon

All missions have: 2 ruins, 2 craters, 1 impassable LOS blocking terrain, 1 river or water feature, 2 forests, and 1 armor 14 building.  Each mission also has the special rule At Any Cost: You may target the building, even if it is friendly.

Wins give 3 tournament points, ties 2 and losses 1.  Ties at the end of the tournament are settled via # of victory points total for all 3 games.

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Mission 1 - Command and Conquer

Dawn of War Deployment, 3 objectives in neither player's deployment worth 3VPs and 1 in each deployment zone worth 5 VPs.

Opponent: Chris - Eldar Harlequins with Craftworld Eldar allies.

Quick Breakdown:  Chris started with a brutal Alpha Strike.  I was unable to do much at first.  The lead Harlequin charged the bikes with the Librarian, killing everyone but the Librarian.  The Librarian cast Sunburst in a brutal Nova, killing a large amount of the Eldar force that had bunched up.  Leonidas and the Assault Squad deep struck out of position and did little damage.  A Solitaire killed most of the Assault Squad and dashed away.  Most of my remaining forces on the left side of the board died, but Leonidas and the surviving Sergeant ran on turn 4 to deny objectives.  Due to time limits the game ended after 4 turns.  Final score: Azure Flames 7, Eldar 5.

Our setup

Alpha Strike kills the bikes and land speeders!

The Librarian survives against the odds, and pulls off a devastating Sunburst.

The left side of the board goes poorly for me.

The Solitaire leaves combat after wounding Leonidas and killing 4/5 of the assault squad.

On the right side, Chris killed everything except this Rhino with a Tactical Squad inside, who dutifully sat on the objective all game.

Endgame: Leonidas scores objecive 3 while the Assault Sergeant contests objective 1, snatching victory from the jaws of defeat!

Postgame: I should not have won, but the time limit saved me.  Chris was less than pleased.  On to the next game!

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Mission 2 - Recover the Standard Template Construct!

Hammer and Anvil Deployment, carryable objective similar to the Eternal War mission 6: The Relic.

Opponent: Stephen - Chaos Daemons of Nurgle with Death Guard Chaos Space Marine allies.

Quick Breakdown:  Stephen's army moved forward in a wave on turn 1.  His Daemon Prince of Nurgle summons some Nurglings... and Perils of the Warp removes the Daemon Prince as a Caualty!  Amazingly, the Daemon did this in Stephen's previous game.  Leonidas deep struck and with him and the Thunderfire Cannon, half of the Zombies are removed.  Stephen bolsters the remaining zombies by enfeebling Leonidas and his squad with a Great Unclean one... AND PERILS REMOVES THE GREAT UNCLEAN ONE AS WELL!  This is the most unlikely thing I've seen in a game, and I've played against Lexington.  A Helldrake arrived and killed half the bikes and half a Tactical squad before re-rolling Melta brought it down.  Leonidas and the Assault Marines whittle down the zombies until another Great Unclean One finishes them.  The objective, held by Nurglings, is dropped as a Tactical Squad charges them.  Both sides throw everything they have at each other.  In the end, no one holds the objective.  Final score: Azure Flames 9, Chaos 7.

Stephen's setup

My setup, with the objective circled.

Centered in this picture: the empty hole where a Daemon Prince was sucked back into the warp.  Papa Nurgle ANGRY.

Not pictured: 15 zombies that burned or exploded.

Upper left: a Great Unclean One is killed by Perils, while on the bottom a Helldrake incinerates four bikes.

A last-ditch charge dislodges the objective and confounds the Nurglings!

Typhus and his Terminators arrive... a bit too late to salvage the objective.

Postgame: In baseball you win 1/3 and you lose 1/3, it's what you do with the other 1/3 that counts.  This game was a gimme.  Stephen lost around 600-700 points from Perils of the Warp, and amazingly lost the same Daemon Prince twice in two games!  Other than that, I just tried to win by Kill Points which worked pretty well.

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Interlude

Lunch was catered by a fancy Hamburger joint and was worth all the money the Highland Library paid AND MORE!  After lunch, the Painting Competition was scored.  Franklin, who was not participating in the tournament, won first.  I won second, but when you see Franklin's Necrons you will see why:

Absolutely stunning.

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Mission 3 - The Deadline

Vanguard Strike Deployment, Maelstrom of War objectives.  All tables generate the same Objectives, and objectives 11-16 are from the main book, not from your codex.  Each round, any objective that is not scored or discarded is COUNTED NEGATIVE to your score!  At the end of the game, your total cannot be less than zero.

Opponent: Ian, event co-ordinator - Sisters of Battle with Inquisitorial and Knight allies and Legion of the Damned, in addition to a giant Plasma Obliterator.

Quick Breakdown:  Ian stole the initiative!  I went 2nd in all three games this tournament.  Ian pinned down my forces with some heavy firepower.  Sadly for him, his objectives were un-scorable while mine were easy.  I got off to an early lead, as a good round of shooting killed Ian's Warlord: Uriah Jacobson.  Ian's Knight Titan stomped all over the left side of the board, wrecking unit after unit.  The Legion of the Damned arrive, kill the Predator, and hold Objective 1 which Ian had to secure several times in the game.  Land Speeders and Bikes remove Ian's tanks one by one.  Outflanking Sisters botch a Meltagun wave, sparing the Thunderfire, who cuts them down in return.  An overheat in the Plasma Obliterator kills the Inquisitor manning it!  Objectives go back and forth in a frenzy.  Final Score: Azure Flames 19, Sisters and Allies 9.

The Azure Flames advance slowly on the right side of the board.

The Ironclad removes Uriah Jacobson's Immolator, and the rest of the army blows the squad inside away.

Nothing can stop the Knight Titan!

The Sororitas recieve Aid Unlooked For...

The Sisters fail to remove the Thunderfire Cannon, and the Thunderfire and Dreadnought cut them down, while the Tactical Squad removes their Immolator.

To score a point, Ian blows up the bunker.  Why?  Because Maelstrom.

The Plasma Obliterator overheats, killing the poor Inquisitor inside!

Postgame: This was the most fun game of the three I played.  Although I took an early lead, Ian got some good turns later and I was on the edge of my seat thinking that I could have a bad turn to screw it up.  Luckily that didn't happen.  Knight Titans are still such a big problem.  I have no idea how to kill one without buying a whole new Sternguard squad full of meltaguns.

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Conclusion:

I tied with Loki (see previous posts for prep game against Guard), but because I got more VPs total over all 3 games, I WON THE TOURNAMENT!  WITH A HIGHLANDER COMBINED ARMS!  WOOOOOOO!  Oh man, I feel great!  40K has problems, as it always has, but IT IS OFFICIALLY STILL FUN!

I also won this absolutely sweet book bag:

In the end winning and painting got you raffle tickets.  Here's what I won with mine:

A 6th edition Dark Angels codex (cost me one ticket!)  A tile with Lord of the Rings models superimposed on it.  Games Workshop dice cube.  Finally, a custom made Doctor Who dice bag, made by the significant other of Event Organizer, Ian!  My fiancee, who sews and is openly critical of bad sewing, declared it to be of very high quality.  Her exact words were: "She's got sewing game!"

Finally, we all took a picture:

This was the best time I've had playing 40k in a LONG TIME.  Second best to Big Game V.  Truly awesome.  The Highland Library 40K club is a wonderful group, and if you are even REMOTELY close, check them out on the last Tuesday of every month at the Highland Library.  Finally I'd like to say thanks to Dawn, who let me into the Library before it was open to use the restroom.  Seriously, thank you.

Next: I don't know!  I'm pretty tired.  Perhaps Tau Battlefleet Gothic, Blood Bowl Ork helper models, or Necromunda Escher?  Stay tuned!

Filed under: Azure Flames, Gaming 1 Comment
27Jul/151

3rd Drop Pod – Just in time for the tournament!

First, big thanks to Lexington who gave me this Drop Pod after he decided to sell his Aurora Chapter.  *sniff*

Like my other drop pods, I did three layers of weathering to make it look like it had re-entered an atmosphere and made the weapons modular (which isn't hard).

UNLIKE my other Drop Pods, I did not install the central console or gravity harnesses.  Guess who's riding in this?  Seriously.  Guess.  Do it.  Really imagine it.

Next: THE TOURNAMENT!  YEAH!

22Jul/150

7th Assault Squad, 4th Company and Final Tournament WYSIWYG

It's done!

My final 5 man assault squad is done.  I really like how it turned out.

The Sergeant was an old pewter Space Marine Sergeant.  I picked him up at a Gen Con long ago for a dollar.  He had no right hand, just a pin sticking out as if someone was going to pin a new gun there.  I added a Bolt Pistol and a left arm.  This model actually has an earring and a ponytail!  That's OK, it fits right into Azure Flames fluff, as they recruit from all over the galaxy.

Also, see a close up of one of the flamers, as his face came out pretty well.

Finally, there's a shot of the finished Display Board for the tournament with all models painted, based, and WYSIWYG.  I hope to get a perfect score in the painting competition!  The painting categories are graded from 1-5, and the categories are as follows:

1: Overall Synergy: Does the army look uniform?  As I have a list drawn only from one chapter, the only standout is Leonidas, and that is because of his fluff.  He still fits in with the same basing format.

2: Quality of Painting: is it detailed?  I try to follow the "every model a character" ideal.  I fall a bit short, but every helmeted model has jeweled eyes and little details stick out, like the pistol holster for the new Assault Marine sergeant.  I made sure to ink the cracks to get them to pop.

3: Basing: is the army based and on proper bases?  All my bases are GW standard, and are based, except the flying bases which are an exception.

4: Unique Conversions: are there any?  Here is where I am a bit lacking.  Although the Ironclad and Predator are fully magnetized to be any version, the judge told me that they were looking for visual conversions.  In this case, only Leonidas and the Librarian on the Bike are "converted."  Leonidas is a standard Space Marine plastic torso with a head from the Space Marine Captain box.  The hammer is from the old Salamanders Chaplain Xavier, and the Heavy Flamer is a Dreadnought piece.  Finally, the backpack is the Chaplain Xavier backpack, converted to have a flame in the back.  The Librarian is a pewter Librarian with a Force Axe, sawed in half and put on Biker legs.  I added a putty tabard at the crotch, and the cape is Malus Darkblade's cape, in pewter.  The old pewter book from the Master of the Ravenwing in Land Speeder is on the front, while the side has a shotgun from the old Scout Biker pewter pack.  He doesn't use it; it just looks cool!

5: Display Board: do you have it?  I do.  It looks great!

I hope to get a 25 in the painting competition, and I hope that this list is competitive in the Tournament, despite all the cheese in 40K.  We shall see!  Next, the Tournament itself, and possibly a new Drop Pod courtesy of Lexington!  Stay Tuned!