Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Hobby WIP: New Ballistae

Well, yesterday I came home from work, finished tidying up a bit, hobbied, posted here, and then jumped right back into hobbying. These aren't completely done yet (I want to add some gravel to make the base more interesting, and then add a big bundle of bolts next to each one), but these are table ready, and worthy of sharing.

Hopefully, now, with operators, they'll hit more often.
These are from the scorpion sprue in the Legionary Boxed Set, a pretty nice deal from Warlord Games. Each scorpion comes with two operators, but I knocked it down to one-per-machine since I have need of the minis elsewhere.

In the background is the old ballista from Eccentric Miniatures. It's larger and more sturdy looking, so I'll be upgrading those to Siege Artillery at some point (also with a Roman operator and some other bits to differentiate the war machines). Haven't run any Artillery yet... so we'll see how those go... sometime.

I doubt I will ever run 4 Ballistae in a given list... but you never know. I might just have to try it now. At least two of these will see the field next game. Hopefully the operators will make a difference!

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Lots of WIP

The game last week reinvigorated my hobbying mojo for Kings of War. …Perhaps a bit too much.

Progress on the Herd stalled because several paint tubs went bad and I’ve been slow to acquire replacements, and so just left them there and moved onto other things. That was probably a bad call. Over the last few weeks, my apartment has been overrun with hobby projects. Prior to the game it was just the Herd. After the game… out came a bunch of additional plastic.

After a nice weekend getaway, I came home, and just shook my head.

I live in a smaller apartment, and don’t have the luxury of a basement hobby zone or spare bedroom in which to contain my nerdy pursuits. Any hobby project actively intrudes on my available living space. Realizing that I should probably get back to using my little kitchen table for cooking and eating and my little couch for sitting and reading, I started cleaning up when I returned home.

The surprising number of current projects were separated into little containers and stacked on a bookshelf near my desk. Hopefully with everything now neatly delineated, I can start chipping away at them, and not start on any new projects. Currently in process are:

3 Troops of Tribal Hunters
3 Troops of Beast Packs
2 Regiments of Guardian Brutes
Centaur Chieftain

Pile of old GW Flagellants to touchup and use as Berserkers
2 Siege Artillery, to be converted from my current Ballista models
4 new Ballistae models, now with Roman minis acting as gunners
Warbeast (and howdah)
General on a Winged Beast
3 Troops of Scouts w/ Bows (started months ago, stalled out due to lack of painting inspiration)
1 Regiment of Pikemen (also started months ago, still only half-done due to loss of interest and a few missing bits)

So yeah… lots of hobby irons in the proverbial fire.

After finishing up today the cleaning I started last night, I got some hobby in, so there will be some WIP posts over the next few days, and if all goes according to plan, another battle report up next week!

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Battle 5: Slaughter in the Specter's Shadow

In a wonderful break from the ordinary, I got to play a game of Kings of War! My buddy had the whole "new dad" thing under control this week and agreed to toss some dice. We agreed to kick our lists up to a nice and proper 2000 points.

This is our first game at this level. Not sure where to begin, I decided I wanted to test out Knight Regiments more, Spear Phalanxes for the first time and see if anti-chaff Fireball Wizard is worth anything, since I have this flaming guy all done up already. Since it was their first outing, I took three regiments of Spears, and a second regiment of the Knights, in case I did something stupid with the first one. It then eventually snowballed into a list.
Behold! A poorly staged photo of the army.
TastyBagel's List
3 Regiment of Spear Phalanx (one with Crepogon's Scrying Gem of Zellak)
2 Regiment of Knights
3 Troops Mounted Sergeants
3 Troops Crossbowmen
3 Troops Pole-Arms
1 Troop Mounted Scout w/ Carbine
2 Ballista
1 Army Standard Bearer w/ War-Bow
1 Wizard (Fireball and Bane-Chant)
1 Wizard (Lightning Bolt, Bane-Chant, Inspiring Talisman)

Pictorial Proof. Ha! Plenty of room to spare!
It's a ton of units... but a lot of repetition. Spamming, I guess would be the name for it. It's less of a toolbox approach, and more of a pig-pile approach. Hopefully just having "moar doods" would help my carry the day, or at least get some good testing in. And, fortunately, they all fit in my storage bin.

My general plan was to sit back, and hope for a kind of a bad Roman triple line. Crossbows would be deployed up furthest, with Spears and Pole-Arms behind to start engaging once the shooters were wiped out. Cavalry would probably be more on the flanks and back a bit? Hopefully kept away from the action until the enemy had closed. The Knights in particular are expensive units, and I'd like to go for a conservative combined arms/anvil & hammer approach with them rather than a charge of the light brigade approach. (That was the general plan anyways.)

The list is pretty light on magic items. At 5 points, the War Bow is a nice little plus for the Standard Bearer, though I don't believe that it has hit yet in-game. The Inspiring Talisman is a great item for wizards. I also took the Scrying Gem, figuring one of my advantages would be a ton of drops. Perhaps getting my opponent to commit more to the field before me would help me figure out my own deployment.

My opponent brought:

Regiment of Kindred Archers
Regiment of Palace Guard
Regiment of Palace Guard w/ Brew of Strength
Regiment of Drakon Riders

2x Troops Hunters of the Wild
2x Troops Stormwind Cavalry

Drakon Kindred Lord
Tree Herder
Elven Mage w/  Bane Chant
Elven Mage w/ Lightning Bolt and Inspiring Talisman

I probably should have guessed there'd be proxied Drakon Riders, and the Dragon Kindred Lord from the last game, but I was definitely not expecting a Tree Herder as well (he stopped by a mutual friends house on the way to pick up that model and more proper models for the Hunters of the Wild to run). The Riders, Kindred Lord, and Herder are the biggest threats, but with so many other regiments... everything is going to take some effort and luck to deal with.

For better or for worse, we rolled up the Kill Scenario. Probably for the better, as neither of use had played a game in in months, and Kill is delightfully straightforward. Onto the battle!

The confident elves lined up against the eager men, the deployment of the pointy ears complete before even half of the human troops could organize themselves. Between the adversaries stood a monument, a grim statue of the specter of death looming as a silent testament to some long-forgotten battle. These armies would trade blows under its unbroken gaze until one army stood no more...

Some woods, hills, fences, even a little house. And a very grim statue, though it's hard to tell from this distance.
I won the roll for sides, and chose the nearer one in the picture. It was pretty symmetrical. In retrospect, the far side might have been slightly better for me with the nearby building to help hold a flank, and give me more of a hill in my deployment zone to occupy. Oh well.

Mid-deplotment. All of my opponents units are on the table, thanks to Scrying Gem. I'm at 11/20 deployed or something silly. It took me a while to deploy. I would pull out a unit from my case, then think better of deploying it at that moment and set it aside. Props to my opponent for being patient.
Deployment was largely uneventful, though we each surprised one another. We revealed our lists as we deployed, and I was surprised to see the Tree Herder. I in turn, continued to pull unit after unit out of my case to the bewilderment of my opponent.

I rolled the max amount for Scrying Gem, so a ton of units came in for my opponent. Unfortunately, it didn't really give me any insight as to how I wanted to deploy. A few units of Hunters of the Wild and Cavalry came down... but with all of my units being just the same things over and over... my drop advantage wasn't properly leveraged with this pig-pile list.

I had more far models on the table, but would it be enough extra units? The elves have a good 1000 years experience on me.
Left-to-right for my opponent: a Troop of Stormwind Cavalry, Troop of Hunters of the Wild that would wisely choose to not vanguard this game, proxied Regiment of Drakon Riders in front of a Wizard with Lightning Bolt and Bane-Chant (to support the Archers), a regiment of Archers, A Regiment of Palace Guard, the Tree Herder, a Regiment of Palace Guard with the Brew of Strength, another Troop of Stormwind Cavalry, Drakon Kindred Lord, and a second Troop of Hunters of the Wild, that would vanguard into the forest.

Left-to-right for me: Regiment of Spear Phalanx, Troop of Mounted Scouts, Regiment of Spear Phalanx w/ Scrying Gem. Troop of Crossbows, ASB, Mounted Scouts, more Crossbowmen, Troop of Pole Arms, Troop of Mounted Scouts in front of a Regiment of Knights.. on the hill a Ballista, Inspiring Wizard w/ Lightning Bolt and Bane-Chant (and Inspiring Talisman), Troop of Crossbows in front of a Troop Pole-Arms, Ballista, then another Troop of Mounted Scouts in front of another Regiment of Knights, a Regiment of Spear Phalanx, a Fireball/Bane-Chant Wizard, and lastly, a final Troop of Pole-Arms.

Turn 1: Elves
The Elves won the roll-off for first turn, and elected to go first, moving everything up, but unfortunately not in a reckless fashion. It is at this point that I start to get worried. (Yep, that's right, the start of T1 is when I start to get worried this game...) The Drakon Kindred Lord has a huge move speed and his attention is zeroed in on "Artillery Hill". He will get there (or even behind it) next turn. Those wings are not for show.

Additionally, his Drakon Riders are moving around to support their Kindred Lord, instead of staying on the flank. Stupid tricky fliers!

The elves didn't have much for shooting, but the Archers reliably began to put out damage; this turn they were Bane-Chanted and slipped a few wounds onto a some Crossbowmen. The Drakon Kindred Lord also did a breath attack against the Ballista, who was juuuust in range. Fortunately, my stuff decided to stick around this turn.

Oh noes. They are so much faster that we remembered.
Turn 2: KoM
I'm a little giddy from playing after a 5ish month hiatus, and also quite scared of that there Drakon Kindred Lord. Artillery Hill is not where I want him to be. Additionally, my opponent is playing more conservatively than in the past. The forces against my left flank have barely moved (aside from the Drakon Riders), and the ones on against right flank  have held back too (I expected the Hunters of the Wild to vanguard up and come crashing in against my Pole Arms at T1... they did not).

Lots of shooting, some combat.... and nothing changes on the board at all.
So, I start moving things around.

On the left, the Mounted Scouts move up to bait a hindered charge. One Crossbow troop fires into the Hunters of the Wild; the other fires into the Archers, with a volley from the carbines of the Mounted Scouts as well. One Ballista missed; and the other, in conjunction with a Lightning Bolt hits the Tree Herder for some damage (4 I think.).

On the far right, I try to bait out his Hunters of the Wild. I hide my fireball-chucking wizard (think I'll call him Chuck from now on) behind the Pole-Arms, with the Spear Phalanx waiting to support, and then from 11 1/2 inches away, lightly toast the Hunters (1 wound).

On the nearer right, I commit what is maybe an error in retrospect. I measured, and decided to charge both the Drakon Lord and the Cavalry, in an attempt to slow the enemy's advance. The knights flub their admittedly hindered attacks, and slip a single wound through on the Kindred Lord, but are now sitting ducks. The Mounted Sergeants slip a few through as well, but nothing on the Elf-side come close to wavering this turn; I think I rolled under 6 for every test.

I could have maybe charged the Sergeants into the Lord (though they may not have wounded him).. and the Knights into his cavalry and likely obliterated it. Hard to say whether the Drakon would have been tied town by the Sergeants though, or would have just flown away. What if's aside, at the end of the turn I'm feeling a little exposed.

Turn 3: Elves
It turns out I end up forgetting a lot of things, the become apparent this turn. Taking pictures for one.

The units facing off against my left flank decide they're bored, apparently. The Cavalry pivots and canters away, as do the Hunters of the Wild, ending up on just the other side of the fence. Bane-Chanted Archers score more wounds on the Crossbowmen, and waver them, and the other mage Heals the Tree Herder a little.

I find out that it's far worse than I thought for my knights. You see, the second thing I forgot was how speedy normal elves are, so the ones on the flank were in charge range. The third thing I forgot is that his Palace Guard have some innate Crushing Strength, so they can hit pretty hard actually. 

The Knights are doomed, doomed I say!
The two units of Palace Guard and the Drakon Lord come crashing into my knights, while the disordered Stormwind Cavalry retaliate against the Mounted Sergeants, dealing a single wound. The Sergeants are then wavered. Ugh. There's not much I can do to help them.

On Artillery hill, the Drakon Riders come crashing in, and obliterate the Crossbowmen.

Post-combat Turn 3.
On the right, the Hunters of the Wild massacre the Pole-Arms Troop, as expected. My positioning here was an error. I kept Chuck in the shadow of the Pole-Arms, allowing for Line of Sight for Fireball, but no direct charge. I forgot about individuals and overrun. Fortunately, my opponent missed the magic overrun number.
Mixed bag on the right flank. A very close call for Chuck.
At the end of Turn 3, I feel like I'm on the back foot. Drakon Riders are mixing it up near my war machines, things are unexpectedly wavering, my first Regiment of Knights are gone with little to show for it, and on my stacked left flank... the enemy is backing up, meaning a lot of my units are not doing anything.

Turn 4: KoM
The Wavered Crossbowmen and the other Crossbowmen change their facing to look at the center field. No shooting for them this turn. The two Regiments of Spear Phalanxes on the left reorient themselves. The Pole-Arms on the left hill charges into the Hunters of the Wild, and are joined by a very enthusiastic group of Mounted Sergeants slamming into their flank. The Mounted Scouts advance up onto the hill and take some pot shots at the Archers, but despite accruing a few wounds a turn... they stick around due to repeatedly low Nerve rolls.
Turn 4, combat. Lots going on!
In the center, another troop of Mounted Sergeants attacks a Regiment of Palace Guard, attempting to stall their line of battle up a bit. Hopefully I get lucky, and I'll have time to get my left flank re-positioned.  The Inspiring Wizard attempts a Bane-Chant for Sergeants ... but fails. 

On Artillery Hill, I talk things out with my opponent, and we determine that war machines can move. So the left ballista trudges forward.. exposing the flank of the Drakon Riders to my tall regiment of Knights. They come crashing into the flank of the Drakon Rider, joined by the reserve Troop of Pole-Arms Troop in their front. The stationary Ballista on the right fires at the Stormwind Cavalry threatening those wimpy Mounted Sergeants, and unfortunately misses. Those Sergeants are doomed.

On the right, the Mounted Sergeants cower, the single wound and subsequent wavering sealing their inevitable doom.

The Spear Phalanx smash into the flank of the Hunters of the Wild, and Chuck's Bane-Chant also also fails.
And the reforms.
Post combat, the Spear Phalanx on the right regroups.

On Artillery Hill, the victorious Pole-Arms attempt to overrun, in order to put themselves between the Drakon Kindred Lord and my Knights, who were going to reform. Should they get in the way, the available charges of the Kindred Lord would be much reduced. The Pole-Arms rolled a brave 1" leaving the Drakon Kindred Lord with his choice of targets.
...And this doesn't look good for Artillery hill.
Over on the enemy hill, now known as Archer's Ridge, the Pole-Arms pivot and regroup and the Mounted Sergeants overrun and get up into the face of the Archers. With the Stormwind out of position... I think this should go well. 

Turn 5: Elves
The elves retaliate with an statistically unbelievable vengeance, and have the Dice Gods grinning ear to ear as Turn 5 unfolds...

On Archer's Ridge, the Stormwind pivot. Archers shoot the Pole-Arms, and rout them. That's ok, and not unexpected. The Pole-Arms were wounded already. Then the mage casts a Lightning Bolt on the frantic Mounted Sergeants and slips a single wound through. ...And then routs them too. 

.....And there goes any pressure I hoped to exert on the left.
One elf mage heals the Tree Herder back up to full health.

Midfield, the one unit of Palace Guard hacks its way through another unit of Mounted Sergeants and the other advances slightly. The Stormwind Cavalry deal another 7 wounds to the wavered Sergeants, and easily rout them.

The Drakon Lord decides to charge my poor, Inspiring Wizard (though only dealing like.. 6 wounds) and overrun the 3-4" into my Knights, according to the picture, 9 wounds are dealt from his 10 attacks, and the Knights are then seen off with a with a high roll for the Nerve check.

.......and for my next trick, I'll make my Knights disappear.
I lost well over 600 points this turn. My opponent made some good calls, and the dice greatly rewarded his decisions. It was impressive to watch, though it left my chances for victory in absolute shambles.

The sad state of affairs at the end of Turn 5.
Turn 6: KoM
I'm uh... I'm in a bad spot.

On the left, my Mounted Scouts move over, and blast away again at the Archer Regiment... and don't roll anywhere near enough to give them second thoughts. Rolling very low Nerve checks was a theme for me this game. I don't think a single roll broke a total roll of '6' until Turn 8. Lastly, still on the left, a regiment of Spear Phalanx move up onto the Archer's Ridge to assist the Scouts.

The Pole-Arms charge the Drakon Kindred Lord and actually do some wounds to it. The Crossbowmen take aim at the leftmost Palace Guard, along with the Ballista on the left. The Ballista misses, but a few wounds are slipped through, though they easily stick around. The right Ballista hits the Stormwind Cavalry on the right, and wavers them. Small victories!

Turn 7: Elves
On my right, the Stormwind Cavalry cover, afraid of all my pointy sticks heading their way.

Artillery hill is cleared out. The Drakon Kindred Lord eviscerates the Pole-Arms Troop; and a unit of Palace Guard each goes into a Ballistae, and one receives a Heal.

Artillery Hill is a terrible vacation spot this time of year.
On Archer's Ridge, the Stormwind Cavalry change facing again again. (I believe) Bane-Chant fails on the Archers, but they still manage to rout the wounded Crossbowmen (expected). Still... I am quickly running out of units. The Tree Herder saunters up to Archer's Ridge. The game is now really going quite badly for me, but I will say that I was fortunate that this Herder guy hasn't done anything. With Pathfinder and Vanguard... I think my opponent should have been way more aggressive with him, putting him on a flank, and having him explode out from the treeline T1 into my lines. That quick assault, with impending fliers would have been impossible to deal with. Thankfully my opponent under-utilized him... but this is kind of a silly tangent.

I can't see a way to win after T5; even less so after T7, but we're both still enjoying the game, so we press on.

Turn 8: KoM
On the right, Chuck sneaks into the forest, and fails to cast Bane-Chant on the Spear Phalanx. Still, thanks to the Ballista shot from my last turn, they manage to poke their way through the unit, and rout them.

On the left, the Spear Phalanx charge into the Cavalry, disordering them. It may or may not have been a good call, but I decided to charge my Mounted Scouts into the flank of the regiment of Archers, and finally rout them. 

Well... there is still a Regiment of Spear Phalanx and the ASB on the left.

There was an argument to be made for having the Scouts continue trotting around and shooting stuff... but against that Tree Herder (whom we erroneously thought had Shambling himself), I figured their days were numbered. We realized that that the Herder did not have Shambling, and victorious, the Scouts attempt to overrun out of its LOS... but I roll terribly for their overrun, and their momentum carries them a whole 1".

Turn 9: Elves
On the right, the Palace Guard crash into my Spear Phalanx, the Brew allowing them to hack easily and savagely though my unit. Survival wasn't even close. Chuck is now all alone holding that right flank.

On Archer's Ridge, the Mounted Scouts are seen off the field by the Tree Herder, and the Spear Phalanx take the hit from the disordered Stormwind Cavalry. The mage scampers about, and takes (and misses) a Lightning Bolt shot against my ASB.

The elves start mopping up the last of my units...
Turn 10: KoM
The Spear Phalanx give a big 'ol "no thank you, sir!" to the Drakon Kindred Lord, and charge past, attacking the Palace Guard. The Guard has taken damage... but have also been healed a bit this game. They easily stick around with another low Nerve roll.

With something finally in range and line of sight, the ASB strings the fabled War Bow of Kaba, and looses a mighty shot at the pesky mage on Archer Ridge. It hits! But merely rips through the caster's robe.

The Spear Phalanx stab ineffectually again at the Stormwind on Archer's Ridge... as that's all they really can do.

On the right, Chuck exits the forest, and hurls another fireball against the menacing regiment of Palace Guard... also to no effect.

... nothing more I can do.
We decide to end the game here. We don't recall how many turns have passed (we never seem to do a good job of that), and I don't even have 400 points of units on the field at this point. The only thing that could have possibly survived my opponent's next turn was Chuck, and that is assuming the mage in the center field didn't simply pivot and blast at him with lightning. So... a resounding victory for the elves!

The statue loomed stoically, observing the carnage as it unfolded. The Regnum Aeternum still has much to learn in the ways of war...

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Hobby Basics: Repainting Minis

Eventually, you will probably want to repaint a model. Maybe it was one of your early efforts and has a terrible paint job by your current standards; or maybe you found a nice buy second-hand, and it needs some work to jive with your current standards or current models. Either way, it has paint that you don't like and you want to do something about it.

Well, you totally can! Lucky you.

Strip, Reprime, Repaint.

In cases where you can't just paint over the bad paint job, you'll need a clean slate. This involves more work, but is still pretty easily to accomplish.

First up, is prepping the models. I'm using some old Chaos Warhounds from Games Workshop. They were decently painted up previously (missing only washing/shading), but need a new paint job for their inclusion in my Herd Contingent.

I want to re-do these guys completely, so first I used an exacto knife to remove the sand/gravel basing work previously completed, and then I used it remove the models from the bases. The model on the right split into its separate kit components as a result of old glue and the raw power of my hobby knife. If that happens to you, don't worry about it - it's not a big deal.

Once your models are ready, you can get the rest of your materials together. For now, I'm using Super Clean, though there are products and techniques out there. You'll need your stripping solution of choice, and a little tub that is able to be sealed (I use old tupper ware). Put your minis in the container, and then pour the solution into the container until the models have enough liquid in which to be submerged. If the need arises, you can weigh your models down with other things, like old sprue, as was done here.

Let it all sit in the tub for a while. I usually give it around 24-48 hours. That seems to be enough time for the solution to have done its work.

Once you're done waiting, grab a toothbrush and some rubber gloves (the Super Clean can cause chemical burns apparently, though I have never had any problems). Use a stopper to stop up your sink (to prevent any stray bits from breaking off and swirling towards the piped abyss). Remove your minis from the tub one at a time, and rinse them off while scrubbing with the toothbrush.

The paint should come right off. In the pic on the left, no brushing has yet been done. The greenish paint on the model's body has rubbed off just while I was handling the model for the shot.

As you work, rinse the models off to get rid on any residue. Being lazy, as well as lacking pets or kids, I leave mine out to air dry for a few hours. 

While scrubbing, you may break off bits. That's not a big deal. In this instance, lots of tails and chaos deely boppers broke off. It happens

Once everything is nice and dry, you are basically back at square one for hobbying. You can glue back on anything that you want that broke off while you were scrubbing. You can add additional brand new bits to the mini. Or you could even add green stuff putty if you were so inclined.

I did all of the above here. The scorpion tails and such on the chaos hounds were removed, and replaced with other bits, or green stuff, to make more normal-looking tails. A lot of deely boppers were removed or altered to again make them look a little more natural. These guys have been stripped, altered, and are ready for priming and a fancy new paint job.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Hobby Update: Tracker

At least I think. The helmet makes it difficult.
Behold, the test model! He looks excited to be here!

As mentioned in another post, this lucky hunter was selected to be my Herd's test model. He got a little conversion work done over the weekend, and is now all primed and ready to receive some glorious paint, and boldly blaze a hobby trail for the rest of the Herd to follow. Go Tracker go!

I don't have a great backstory or overall plan for my Herd. I knew I wanted to play them with some MSU flair and use a ton of troops. That's the way I play, and it seemed like lots of troops and thereby having lots of charge potential was the best way to take advantage of all the units with Pathfinder and Thunderous Charge. I also knew I wanted to avoid the usual pink flesh/brown fur colors that nearly all beastmen I have ever seen have, and so I eventually settled on "tundra" for my overall theme. This Herd will be traversing frigid lands.

I used the Vallejo White Pumice Paste again, sloshing it around the base of the Reaper fig. The model was primed black, per my usual approach.

The paints I ordered were from Reaper Miniatures. I've been ordering characters and stuff from them for a while. They do great things that can be used for Dungeons and Dragons. When you order through them, occasionally they drop in a free sample, usually just a complimentary paint. (I even got one teal-like color free in this order), which is a nice touch. I've been wanting to try other paint lines for a while, and figured the Herd would let me explore a bit.

If you click on the link above, you can see how they bottle their paints. Namely, in bottles, not pots. As someone who paints on canvases as well as on minis... this was great. Acrylic paints come in similar squirt bottles or tubes.. and even raiding my grandpa's stash of old paints (years and years old), they were still usable. Bottles help the longevity of your paints.

To properly use a bottle, you need a palette, but you can pick up little plastic ones for $1-$2. Avery minor additional cost. This gives you so much more control than the Citadel paints I was using for Warhammer Fantasy. Citadel pots go fetid all the time. Here, I squirt only what I needed (just a few drops) and the rest should stay nice and safe.

So far... damp, but good.
So, before I was side-tracked by a tangent on bottles, you may recall that this mini was spray painted black.

Black is my usual priming color. Generally it works well, but in this instance, black is not a color one thinks of when one thinks about tundra.

The first thing I did was paint the ground white. I did not want the paste to be sand this time around. I'm going for snow! Once that dried, I took a tiny bit of Frost Blue from the MSP paint line, and with a wet brush, spread it thinly around the base, resulting in a light blue tone which you can see to the left. Once that dried, another round of white was lightly brushed along the bumps with a dry brush.

The paints were really runny. Eventually, I ended up with about the look I was going for, but it took several coasts to get there. You can sort of see what I mean on the left. The picture was taken moments after applying the gray color (Snow Shadow). That was at least two layers of the blue color (Glacier Blue)... so yeah, runny paints. Much more so that I was expecting. I will need to get some more practice with these paints. I might not have shaken the bottle well enough, or had an overly wet brush.... I don't know what the issue was, or if the paints were working as expected. I will have to experiment a bit.

After about hour or so (I wasn't really paying close attention to the time), I ended up with this paint job on the right. 

The model still needs a little work though (like a wash for the flesh; probably a wash on the bow; a touch up on the strap; and probably a highlight on the helmet eye slits to set them off). Still, setting aside those little imperfections, I think this was a successful test. I think this scheme will look good on an army and look really striking all together on the table.

I can't wait to put more paint onto these minis. I've got a busy few days coming up, but I'm glad that I got to work on this tonight, and doubly glad it went well. I will hopefully get some hobbying in this weekend at least, and have some more painting progress posted soon!

I think I'll tackle some Tribal Hunters next....

Monday, September 12, 2016

Hobby WIP: Herd Beginnings

The MDF bases and paints I had ordered did not arrive in time for weekend hobbying. Still, progress was made on my little Herd project!

Everything involved currently has now been de-sprued and had the mold lines addressed. The larger satyr models I picked up back in the day (Games Workshop Gor and Bestigor) will still need some conversion and green stuff work, so I’ve pushed them aside for now.

This weekend I focused on the low-hanging fruit: the models on hand that required the least work to get going, namely the troops of Beast Packs and Tribal Hunters, as well as a character. The latter will serve as a tester for my paint scheme before starting on the larger units.

Beast Packs
The models are from GW’s Chaos Warhounds, left over from multiple purchases of Chaos Warrior Battalions over the years. I kept finding them on sale! The Warriors and Knights were conscripted into larger and larger units (in hope of having huuuuge sprawling games)… but the hounds were largely left out in the cold. Despite their utility in Warhammer, I didn’t really need endless ranks of warhounds.

So many doggies!
Many bits in the kit are “chaosy,” showcasing things like mutated crab-claw tails and weird deely boppers. While fluffy for Chaos and Warhammer… it’s not as great for the Herd. So, as I assembled these models, they also got some conversion treatment (adding more normal green stuff tails and the like) before I primed them over the weekend. I think they’ll look fine all painted up. I’m eager to give my highlighting painting skills a test, and I think hair/fur will work great for working on those skills.

Tribal Hunters
These are also GW models, their old Ungor. I picked them up (mostly complete, bits-wise, only missing a few heads) from a bits website years ago. Six were conscripted into a D&D campaign as mooks, and those few are getting my funky multi-base treatment to continue to pull double duty. The other 14 will be part of a proper multibasing attempt, and run in two Troops of 7.

Ready for paint!
Not much to these really. All the bits website had at the time were bows… so that’s what I ordered. Some of the arms joins were a little awkward, so these also got some green stuff fur before priming. The goofy unit of 6 will be the first unit I paint up.

I picked this guy up about year ago from Reaper Mini... and did not end up using him for his original intended purpose. He seems tailor-made for this role in the Herd though! 

I liked the kind of looming menace evoked by the original model (reminded me of a more aggressive Boba Fett, lurking in the shadows of Jabba’s Palace in Return of the Jedi), but thought it could use some additional work. I rotated the bow arm, did a quick head swap for my favorite Chaos Warrior head, and added a pauldron to the mini when I couldn’t clean up the plastic mold line on the shoulder satisfactorily.

I also really like his cost and his stats… and am curious to see in game how he would compare to say, a Troop of the Tribal Hunters. The Hunters have more shots.... but the Tracker is more survivable (has Stealthy, higher Nerve) and has Individual/Nimble and Piercing... 

I'll paint the Tribal Hunters up, but I wouldn't be surprised if I pick up a few more of these heroes in the future to use as the shooting component of my lists. They seem like they could be very annoying for my opponent... I'll need to get some games in and explore a bit.

I’m really pleased with the new look of this guy. As soon as my new paints arrive in the mail. I’ll test them out on him.

Friday, September 9, 2016

And the Herd comes stampeding in...

It's uh... been a while since I posted. With a lack of games, both my hobby attention, and general nerdy attention has been focused elsewhere (namely Dungeons and Dragons, because... nerd.) I'll try to swing it back to Kings of War for a little bit.

In late 2014, I started branching out with some of my Warhammer purchases. I had an eye to expand my chaos collection with some Beastmen and Daemons and...... well, long story short, those plans really never came to fruition. 

More recently, hobbying on my Kingdoms of Men stuff has stalled out. Without games... it's hard to get motivated to paint up so many (mostly) identical Romans. I have been lured away by one-off paint jobs for liches, beholders and imps...

I have asked around, and there is still some local interest in KoW (stymied by everyone being adults with adult priorities, adult problems and adult schedules). Even with expressed interest, there is a little push-back to having to learn a whole new wargame. My circle of nerds all learned Warhammer around the same time, and it was a struggle getting through all those rules. I'm talking like almost a year before we finished a game of Warhammer Fantasy. 

On the flip-side, here in Mantica, even with my tiny sample size, I have yet to have a KoW game "time out". Every game has been short (under 2 hours) and decisive. 

In the hope of generating some interest in the upcoming months, I've decided that I'm going to break into some of my old stockpiled plastic and build a small Herd army. I think that me having two unique armies will make demoing games and introducing players to KoW easier. No need for the newbie to figure out their own list or anything, simply have them answer something like "do you want humans or beasts?" and away we go, learning the basics.

So my goal is to build up a 1000 point “starter” list, and pair it with a complimentary Kingdoms of Men list in order for me to host easy demos. I should easily have enough Herd-like models to pull off 1000 points. I just need to figure out what units I want to run…

The Herd’s special rule is Pathfinder. A lot of units have Thunderous Charge as well… those abilities pair nicely. Additionally, I think they pair well with the general concepts of MSU-style play. While lacking Nerve, the units are generally cheap, maneuverable, and hit hard. That's a recipe for success for this playstyle. I think my Herd contingent will be overall speedier and more aggressive than my Kingdoms of Men lists. They aren’t too durable though, so I expect battles to be pretty bloody. Should be fun!

Bitz separated for my convenience. Now to mix, match, and augment with green stuff for the optimal results....

I’ve spent about a week working on this project so far. Models have been freed from the sprues and are ready for assembly; MDF bases have shipped (for a real attempt at multibasing!) and should arrive in a few days; and a tundra-themed basing and painting scheme is mostly worked out in my head, and ready to test once things have been assembled and primed.

I will post more as progress as it is made. Expect more soon!