Archive for the ‘Gaming’ Category

MtC 7: Varbhor Antrix

Friday, August 18th, 2017

Varbhor Antrix never knew when to shut up. Even after taking a vow of silence he broke it in just over an hour, so he “volunteered” for a more permanent solution. Of course not being able to talk sometimes left him not being taken seriously so he picked up literally the biggest gun in the armory. While technically it is a hand held weapon that fires a projectile, it’s actually more of a man portable mortar launcher than a gun. Varbhor’s motto is “Walk softly and carry a big pipe and a bigger gun.”

It’s pretty obvious he’s practically dying to go on the next raiding party, probably because he hasn’t had a chance to fires his big ass gun yet. Any time there’s a hint of action he’s suited up and ready to go.

This is one of my first converted cultists. Blake had this big ass gun/missile launcher thing (I think it was from an Empire unit maybe?) and I knew some crazy ass cultist would have to haul this monster around.

MtC 6: Mobus Ordelax

Sunday, August 13th, 2017

Mobus Ordelax is one of the few cult  members who shows any sign of psychic ability. He attributes it to a combination of his faith in Slaanesh as well as following Seanan’s colloidal silver regimen. Unfortunately for him, his ability are rather lack luster compared to an actual sorcerer. At best he can do some impressive tricks, which really isn’t the best way to risk your eternal soul, but it does tend to be quite effective at recruiting new members into the cult and winnowing out inquisitors and undesirable rabble as well as finding folk who might be sympathetic to the cause, often before they themselves realize it.

Mobus is also responsible for the consecration of the Eye of Chaos rings. These small orange amulets have 8 spikes and are guaranteed to make great deeds more likely to be noticed by Slaanesh and her minions. Or at least so Mobus claims, regardless their popularity has skyrocketed after the last sortie and Mobus is starting to get sick of making them, complaining frequently that it’s “all he’s good for anymore.”

MtC 5: Vermora Guermayra

Friday, August 11th, 2017

Vermora’s unhealthy obsession with fire has been nothing if not fanned by the rest of the cult. Really though, is their reasoning that bad? She’s already fairly expert on the subject, so who better to haul around a huge tank of Promethium to lay waste to Khaslillie and Rheatrivix’s enemies?

When she’s not cleansing the world with fire, Vermora likes long walks in the underhive, worship Slaanesh, play cards and get drunk, however her favorite pastime is training her pet Chaos Spawn Cuddles. At this time a picture of Cuddles is not available, but we are given to understand it’s about knee high, and shaped mostly like a large cat, except with soft purple cilia instead of fur, and two pairs of tentacles on it’s shoulders that can meld together into rudimentary wings. It’s face is like that of a bull, but more flattened.

Cuddles is generally consider a sign of Slaanesh’s favor towards Vermora even though it’s not particularly good in combat the rest of the cult tends to consider it kind of like a mascot, and since Vermora is the only one who Cuddles is friendly with she is generally afforded higher status in the cult than she would other wise be granted.

Ancient Kickstarter Burning Suns

Tuesday, August 8th, 2017

Besides giant Slaaneshii Daemons another of my passions is humongous space battles, or as they’re commonly known by the more boring name 4x. If you’re not familiar with 4x games it stands for eXplore, eXpand, eXploit and eXterminate. In general you’ll fly around a galaxy, expanding your territory, fighting other players, and researching cool technology. Not all 4x games are space based, Civilization is one of the classics, both on the computer and table top. In my collection there is also Space Empires 4x (uncharitably called The Spreadsheet Game by some), Eclipse, EVE, Empires of the Void, Star Trek Frontiers, and Hegemonic. Plus, the not space themed, Mage Knight, Scythe (maybe only a 3x?!), and Tiny Epic Kingdoms (certainly the quickest of all of these).

Well, to these hallowed ranks is added Burning Suns. This is also one of the oldest games I’ve kickstarted, with a projected delivery date of September 2013! That’s right, the game arrived almost exactly 4 years late. That said the components are pretty decent quality. The cardstock is nice and thick, everything punched out super easy. The space ships aren’t the most beautiful but they’ll do, and the game seems pretty simple for also being fairly complex. I got in a two player game, and it was definitely very back and forth near the end, however I’m sure a lot of that was just due to neither of us really knowing what we were doing yet.

Each player gets a Race, Ideology and Framework. Actually you get two of each and pick your favorite until you have one of each, but the neat thing here is that since there are 10 of each there are literally a thousand different combinations, meaning every time you play the game will be a little different. Ideology determines whether you are Light, Neutral or Dark which affects a bunch of cards in the game. It will also give you some choices as your get closer to winning the game, and those choices again affect whether you are Light, Dark or Neutral. Your Race determines the cost and effectiveness of your ships and troops, plus how many technology upgrades you can get and where. Finally your framework affects a lot of your “limits”, eg how far your ships can jump, or diplomats can Diplomasize, how things you can construct in a turn, or how many of various rerolls you get.

There are peaceful and military based ways of taking over planets, though some are easier than others for various techniques. There’s a lot of stuff going on in the game, and I definitely think it’ll be more interesting to play with 3-5 players, or possibly even with 6 or more… I can sub in pieces pretty easy and the major issue will be the increased downtime (the creator has said as much).

MtC 4: The Kyphus triplets

Friday, August 4th, 2017

The Kyphus Triplets are inseparable. They dress alike, fight alike, and talk alike. No one knows for sure if they are identical twins or not, as even during the most debauched orgies they refuse to take off their masks. Ostensibly Arxus is the oldest of the three by a few minutes and Kurron is the youngest. While they don’t claim to be telepathically linked, they frequently do that annoying twin thing where one of them (usually Kurron) starts a sentence and another (usually Arxus) finishes it. Still, the middle born Rurlan usually does the bulk of the talking even if the other two start and end the thoughts.

Recently they’ve been hoping to do a better job of garnering Slaanesh’s favor and so are eager to volunteer for any raiding party or warband which might afford them the chance to earn glory.

Keeper of Secrets Round up

Wednesday, August 2nd, 2017

Well, the Avatar of Shaah is assembled. Here you can see her with 3 others of my Keepers, the two Creature Caster ones on the left, and the Mierce Miniatures one which I’ve just started painting on the right. As well as the beginnings of her base made of plasticard and a yogurt lid. I’ve uploaded a small gallery of better pictures of the Avatar, as well as her completed base. For many of my more daemonic miniatures I’ve gone for a Giant’s Causeway effect on the base, and I went a little overboard on this one, adding a dozen tentacles as well. Turns out I only had 11 of them though so one I had to construct out of greenstuff. Overall I’m pleased with the base and very excited to start painting this model, as well as the other three.

Terraforming Mars

Tuesday, August 1st, 2017

This is now one of my favorite games. In some ways it almost feels like a cooperative game, in that you’re all working to (surprise) Terraform Mars and make it habitable for colonists. Of course it’s not really coop at all… Yes you all are working together to improve the oxygen content, heat up the atmosphere and seed oceans to turn Mars green. However whenever you accomplish one of these tasks it improves your Terraforming Rating which leads to higher profits, and of course the accolades over everyone who wants to move to your section of Mars.

One of the things I particularly love about this game is that there are a wide variety of routes to winning. Doing a thing better than someone else will likely lead to you contributing the most to that factor which leads both directly and indirectly to more victory points. Want to build cities? Cover the planet in greenery? Fund Science? Achieve milestones? Just be the richest? All of these things can contribute to victory. There are two decks of cards, the regular one (about 150 cards) and the Corporate Era expansion (about 80) and every card is unique.

 

Now rather than try and explain the rules I think it might be better to talk about some optional rules. One of them is actually in the rule book, and that’s draft the research every turn. If you’ve got anyone who has not played before you’ll definitely want to skip this… drafting requires a bit of knowledge about the game, and will give just way too big of an advantage to someone who knows how all the mechanisms interact. On the other hand once everyone has a game or two under their belt, it only adds a little time to the game, but improves the game greatly. For starters you have much less chance of getting straight up hosed by a bad draw (instead you get hosed by your neighbors hate drafting when there’s nothing they want) and second it makes it a lot easier to build towards the strategy you want instead of just having to take what the deck gives you.

However an additional optional rule I made up is drafting the initial cards. Again, don’t do this if anyone has never played before, but my suggestion is for the initial 10 cards do two 6 card drafts, discarding the last card of each. One draft left, and one right. Then you buy from those 10 cards as usual, except it’ll be a much more agonizing choice of what to buy because you’ll have had much greater choice in what to take. This also vastly decreases the chance that someone will get a terrible start. And when a game takes 2-3 hours to play you really don’t want to start the game hosed.

I understand the game has finally been reprinted, so if you can get a hold of copy for retail definitely pick this up. You might also want to look into some kind of third party player boards… There are some nice 3D printer files out there if you’ve got access, but you can also get some CNC acrylic or wooden boards. There are also a few DIY projects posted on Board Game Geek using magnets which works pretty well. I made some boards out of drywall corner (flattened) and thick cardstock with a printout glued on top and it works pretty well. Definitely you’ll want some kind of improved player board unless you have a very sturdy table and are careful not to bump things.

MtC 3: Arals Thatira

Friday, July 28th, 2017

Arals Thatira

While many in the cult have become enraptured with Seanan‘s silver supplements, Arals instead opted for the healing Power of the Atom. It’s more likely that it is the beneficence of Slaanesh that has kept him alive than a misreading of some Dark Age lore books. Arals isn’t concerned with other’s doubt, and not being the brightest he sees no issues with worshiping both Slaanesh and the Atom. It is a little unfortunate that the hideous orange tan, and slight glow makes him a bit of a target, but it is a testament to some ruinous power that despite this he still has not been struck down.

Arals claims is knife was licked clean by a Keeper of Secrets in the aftermath of a raid, but everyone who was at that battle was otherwise occupied in the post battle orgy to corroborate his story.

Keeper of Secrets #6

Wednesday, July 26th, 2017

So last week’s keeper (from Creature Caster) is assembled:

And my Keeper problem might be worse than I thought. I complete forgot I’d backed Toughest Girls in the Galaxy 2. Well it came today, in addition to a ton of other beautiful miniatures is The Avatar of Shaah. Over 40 pieces of finely detailed resin. I spent about two hours working on it and only got a little over halfway through trimming the flash off (admittedly I was watching Game of Thrones so was a little distracted) but still, this is definitely one of the more complex kits I’ve assembled. Aside from on the legs the mold lines are nearly invisible… And the most obvious offenders are on the back of the legs, so I might paint them like stockings with a seam at the back…  Once I get them painted I’ll have to start giving them names as well. Eldritch emissaries of Slaanesh are people too right?

In addition to the Avatar of Shaah I also picked up some harpies to possibly use as

Slaaneshii Furies. That said I’m also thinking about converting them to be more Raptors or Warp Talons… I think they’d be pretty good Warp Talon stand-ins. That said there is also any hope that Emperor’s Children and Slaanesh Daemons will be getting some love soon. GW is just releasing a Start Collecting Slaaneshii Daemon’s box for Age of Sigmar and there’ve been rumours of a revised Fulgrim for quite a while now. And basically all three other ruinous powers have received love; it’s certainly Slaanesh’s turn if anyone’s.

Hobby advice: Before you paint

Tuesday, July 25th, 2017

Before painting a model, there are a few things you can do to increase the durability of your paint job and ensure your masterpiece isn’t ruined by banging around in a box with other minis or being dropped on the floor or mishandled by an opponent with greasy hands (and some things to do afterwards). However by far the most important aspect is priming your model. You’ll have folks tell you it’s not important, or to just brush on your base coat. If you’re going to always handle your models with utmost care and only keep them on the shelf that’s fine. If on the other hand, you plan to actually play your game of choice then your models are going to see use and abuse. They’ll tip over, get dropped, get stuff dropped on them, get handled, and bump into things. A good start can ensure your terrific or terrible paint job will last for years!

The first step is to wash your models… now with most GW plastic you can pretty safely skip this step. However it doesn’t hurt (aside from taking a bit of time to dry) and many other models, especially resin (including Forge World resin) this step is essential. Most of the time warm soapy water and a very light scrubbing with an old toothbrush is sufficient. Rinse and let dry, and you’re good to go.

The second step is to prime your models. If you’re painting a display model, then aside from basing coating it, this step isn’t that important… I’m going to assume you don’t want your models to chip, and you want your base coat to be able to go on in just one or two thin coats. There are a wide variety of paint on primers, and those all you really have to do is stick to the “multiple thin coats” adage and you’ll be fine. Another option is using an airbrush, which can work better than rattle cans, but for most of Spray primer is both economical and efficient, so I’m going to go into detail on how to get the best result when spray priming.

  • Never spray (primer OR varnish) if the humidity is over 55%. You might be able to get away with it as high as 65% but do a single test model (or a piece of sprue) and make sure… 50% or less and you should be safe. If it’s raining or snowing, don’t even bother. If you have access to a climate controlled area (garage w/ AC for example) you have a lot more leeway since Air Conditioning will draw a lot of the moisture out of the air. If you’re not positive, test on some sprue to make sure.
  • If the temperature outside (or where ever you are spraying) is warmer than inside, soak your spray can in warm water for about 5-10 minutes beforehand. Also if you haven’t used the can in a while, shake, soak, shake can make a big difference. I generally soak then spray every time.
  • Shake that can! Shake it good. For about 1-2 minutes. I’m serious, you think you’ve shaken the can enough, you haven’t. Shake it up and down. Swirl the can so the agitator rolls around the bottom. Hold the can upside and do the same thing. Any shaking that you do before the agitator starts rattling doesn’t count. If you are going to soak the can in warm water, shake before AND after the soak.
  • Start and stop spraying NOT aimed at your models. The initial and final bit of spray can clump up. I also usually do a test spray into the air to make sure it’s coming out smooth. If the spray seems clumpy or stringy or weird go check the weather, or if it’s a new can check your return policy.
  • Spray from about 8-16″ away. You might have to get a bit closer if it’s windy, but better to be too far away and have to do two coats.
  • Speaking of which go for light coats…. Always better to do 2-3 coats then one way too thick coat that you can’t undo without stripping.