Finally, a win

Up until this weekend, I had been winless when playing Malifaux.  According to my recorded plays on BoardGameGeek, that means I was going into Saturday at 0-11.  So, it’s been a long time coming.

Saturday, my record improved to 1-11.  I’ve got a ways to go before I’m close to even, but, its nice to have finally broken the goose egg.

So, for my win, we played a game at 35 soulstones.  I was using Rasputina of the Arcanists as my master (as I typically do) and she brought a the Essence of Power, Silent One, Gunsmith, Kaeris, Iggy and a Fire Gamin as her crew.  This left a pool of 6 soulstones.  My strategy was “Line in the Sand” and I had selected Bodyguard(Rasputina) and Hold Out as my schemes.

I was playing against Zoraida with Collodi and a whole pile of wicked dolls and marionettes and a pair of terror tots.  My opponent had “Escape and Survive” as his strategy and had selected Hold Out and Bodyguard(Zoradia) as schemes.

I spread my forces across my deployment zone (which was on the table diagonal), putting Kaeris, Iggy and the Fire Gamin together at one end, the Gunsmith on her own at the other.  Rasputina, the Essence of Power and the Silent One were in the middle.  My opponent deployed as a large group in the middle of his deployment zone.

As he had more models, his plan was to out activate me.  He did what he could to hold off on Collodi’s activation.  I did what I could to block the lanes as much as possible to prevent Collodi from moving too far (or, if you prefer – making him move where I wanted him to move).  When Collodi finally activated, he took the route I did not expect – he went after Kaeris.

Kaeris isn’t that strong defensively – she’s just pretty average.  But, when you consider Collodi’s marionettes and wicked dolls are only 2 and 3 wound models, that must fight in melee, I’ll let that mob fight her every day of the week.  Why?  Flaming Armor.  To deal melee damage on Kaeris, you take a wound (and gain a burning token).  Plus, as most everyone else in my crew deals at least 2 points of blast damage on moderate damage flips and above, that means dolls are going to die.  Add that fact that Kaeris can ignore blast damage (and heal a wound), and my opponent was in for a bad time.

After turn three, my opponent threw in the towel.  I had eliminated Collodi and all the dolls on the board, preventing him from achieving his strategy.  I felt he was a little premature in calling the game, as I only had activated one dynamite marker by turn 3 and he could have moved a unit into my deployment zone, preventing me from achieving my scheme (which, was unannounced, so only worth 1 VP).  I don’t know that I would have eliminated Zoradia, but I had the right units to ensure I could reach his deployment zone to prevent him from getting his Hold Out scheme.

It was a good game and I was happy with the outcome.  I think I had a good chance of winning even with my opponent’s error and I’m starting to be real comfortable with how I need to work my crew.  I think after a few more wins, I’ll be moving to a new faction for a change of pace, since I have Neverborn in my case (Lilith in particular) and Resurrectionists on the way (McMourning and Seamus).

Malifaux painting update

It’s been a little while since I’ve updated with photos of how my painting is going, so today, I update you!

Here’s a photo of a bunch of stuff in varying states of being painted.

This is a close up of one of my Gunsmiths.  I’m really happy with how the duster is looking on the back side.

And finally, here is one of my Union Miners.  I’m pretty happy with how he’s turning out – still have some work to do and some touch ups here and there, but he looks good on the table.

And on top of all that, I also picked up a Battlefoam Malifaux bag, which is FANTASTIC.  I really recommend them for anyone looking for a storage solution.

 

Thinking about strategy and army building

From my latest posts, it should be no surprise that right now, I’m very excited about my Space Wolves army and the game of Warhammer 40,000 as a whole.

I’ve had the opportunity to play two games, which both were a blast, but I’ve realized that for how I want to play my army, I made some poor choices!  Now, for clarity, they aren’t bad choices overall.  They’re just bad for how I want to play my army.  Certainly, someone else would make a different choice and be just as effective.

So, what did I do wrong?  Well, the way I see my army – I’m all about the close combat.  None of this shooting from a distance thing.  I want to walk up and rip your head off.  So, with this in mind – Plasmaguns and Combi-weapons aren’t exactly the best for a group that is looking to assault as often as possible.

What else?  I don’t have much in the way of tank-busting.

So, what am I to to?  Bust up a bunch of models, of course!  Thankfully, I used super glue, so it was relatively easy to break my models apart.  I tore off several arms and prepared them for re-assignment.  Meltaguns will be added to bolster tank-busting abililty (in addition to a unit of Long Fangs) and a Wolf Standard will be added to each squad of Grey Hunters.

My next game, I will have a force that is a much greater threat, methinks.

 

Not just miniatures…

So, miniatures gaming would be pretty boring without terrain.  I had some foam core sitting around the house, so, I pulled a few templates off the web and started cutting.

This is a pretty impressive terrain piece that adds quite a bit to the battlefield.  Imagine a squad of snipers in the windows.  Pretty much negates any cover saves another unit might get for cover because of the height.  Could be terrifying.

Alright, so these aren’t exactly great looking, but they’re suitable for small pieces to add a little cover around the battlefield.

These need work, particularly lots and lots of flocking.  But, that’s ok!  So far, I’ve spent about $2 on materials and no more than 2 hours of my time.  I’ve got one great piece and a few little ok pieces.  Not bad!

More painting…

So, I’ve been keeping up with my painting, trying different techniques and things here and there and just working on my skills.

First up, here’s a model after the application of the first layer color, which basically covers all stained areas from the wash.  Definitely looks a lot more like a Space Wolf suit of armor now.

Then I applied some highlights and gave the model some drybrushing.  It looks pretty decent.

Now, the backside of the model, again, it looks decent.  You’ll see on the right leg some area that was drybrushed – definitely not happy with that area of the model, BUT, it isn’t noticeable from a distance, so it’s ok.  And ultimately, this model is about me trying out different techniques.

So, with lessons learned from the model above, I just applied highlights to some key areas of the armor.  This model is looking pretty good, aside from sloppy work on the first layer.  Again, on the tabletop, it’s going to look pretty decent.

Overall, I need to work on my brush strokes.  I’ve often had too much paint on my brush, or overshot the area I’m trying to paint and I’ve covered area of wash that I shouldn’t have.

I have a smaller brush now and I need to work on just using the point to get the nice, tight lines.  I need to steady my hand a bit.

I also have a number of models that were washed poorly, so there isn’t the nice ‘pools’ of paint in the crevices, but rather just a big pile of ‘dark’ all over.  Definitely need to revisit those models and work on that.

It’s enjoyable to paint the models.  It’s a learning experience and I know I’m not perfect.  Overall, I like the look of what I’ve produced – and that’s the important thing.

If not writing…

So, I’ve not been a complete vegetable in the few weeks I took off from the blog.  In fact, I finished building all of my Space Wolf models.

On top of that, I picked up some paints to start down that path – and I’m really pleased with the results thus far.  Especially since this is my first foray into painting minis.

So, here comes the image heavy post of my army.

So, this is my complete army.  It’s a little more than 1000 points.  On the left, I have a Wolf Lord on a Thunderwolf joined by two other Thunderwolf Calvary.  In the back is a drop pod with a squad of 10 Grey Hunters.  To the right is a squad of 5 Grey Hunters.  The right is 5 Wolf Scouts.  And the middle has 5 Wolf Guard, a Wolf Lord and Razorback.

A close-up of the marines.  See the difference between the plain (left), primed (right), and armor basecoated (middle).

And I bought some more paints and added basecoat colors to fur, weapons, faces and shoulder pads.  Everything is starting to look pretty darn good.

Here is a bit of a close-up of one of the models to show some detail.  Obviously, some touch ups are needed!

And finally, to test out the technique, I used a wash on this model to add definition to the small recesses of the model.  It looks really quite good in person.

I’m really excited to keep painting.  It’s enjoyable and things are really starting to come together nicely.  I was worried about this part of the hobby, especially given the small details of many of the models.

Yes, I absolutely have a lot of detail work to do, but as first group of models – I’m really happy with how things are looking.

Fortune and Glory – redux

So, quite by accident, I discovered the board game Fortune and Glory.  The game is meant to provide the excitement and suspense of old pulp.  Heroes rush around the world, trying to recover artifacts from ancient tombs.  And, of course…Nazis!

I enjoyed the game the first time I played it, however, with two players, it was missing something and seemed a little too simple.  A two weekends back, I played again, but this time, with six players, and damn, the game was miles more enjoyable.

The core of the game is the retrieval of the artifacts, which requires heroes to accomplish several different tasks (challenges that a tomb might put in front of you) before they can claim the artifact.  If they fail a challenge, there is a ‘cliffhanger’ challenge that must be attempted on the following turn.  Now, if two players are trying to get the same artifact, they race to it, each player getting to do a task before the other.  This is what was missing from my first game – there were more artifacts than players, so there was no reason to interfere with each other.

The game is random, and some won’t like that.  I can get past it – the challenges don’t need to make sense to me, in the context of where the artifact is and the like.  It’s pulp.  Weird stuff pops up from time to time, like an ice cave in the desert, or pygmies in the Alps.  There’s also zombies, so, really, these weird encounters don’t bug me.

In the first game I played, it ended rather fast, ie, once someone was in front, it was pretty much over.  In the second, it was a much different game.  We had three players that looked like they would win at the end of any given turn, only to have them suffer a major setback either due to bad dice rolls or card effects that others played against them.  So, that was pretty exciting.

There’s some neat mechanics, great components and well, I have fun, and that’s the point.

 

When you play a Game of Thrones…

You win, or you die.

I was very late to the Song of Ice and Fire party.  I didn’t find out about the series until almost the release of A Dance With Dragons.  This may have been due to my near-automatic rejection of anything “fantasy” out of hand, due to my own notion that I was not a reader of “fantasy” novels.

First off, I shouldn’t judge books by their covers (though, I still do).

Secondly, Martin’s books while they are obviously set in a medieval period, the story could just as easily could be set in space-opera like setting.  The story is compelling, the characters are (generally) interesting and Martin makes you care for them (even if “caring” means you hope they get what’s coming to them).

I’m about 40% done A Dance With Dragons, and I’m going to be caught up on the story.  I am already anxiously anticipating the next book in the series.

Now, this post wasn’t really supposed to be about my discovery of the novels.  But, I felt the information was good background, as I meander my way to the true topic of this post, which is the A Game of Thrones board game (second edition).

I have been wanting to play the AGoT board game since I started reading the novels.  I was aware of the board game prior to reading the books and I had heard good things.  The thing in particular that I liked about what I was hearing was that it had many aspects that gave the game a Diplomacy feel.

This weekend, I finally got the opportunity to play the game.  I enjoyed myself.

I could get to the gathering of friends for their intended start time.  As they had six players, they started the game without me (the max players is 6).  I arrived around turn 3.  Tyrell and Martell were at odds in the deep South; Baratheon, Lannister, Greyjoy and Stark were all battling over the rest of the territory.

What I noticed right away was that there was much less negotiation than I would have expected.  Each House was just doing it’s own thing – with very little alliance building going on.  This may be due to several new players at the table, or just something that nobody really considered engaging in.

At around turn 5, Martell’s player had to leave.  I stepped in, but I was in a bad spot.  Tyrell was at Sunspear’s doorstep and I had little resources to push him back.  Additionally, with Baratheon focused north, there was no support for me in the Stormlands.  I tried to convince Tyrell that I could help him with a northern push, but he was not interested (I can’t blame him…).

I kept Tyrell at bay long enough to prevent him from claiming a seven-castle victory.  He was still the top of the heap at the end of turn 10, but without my push-back, the game would have been over much sooner.

I want to play again, preferably, with the ability to lead my own house from the get-go.  In fact, if I can scrape together enough people, I’d love to try and get a game going on Saturday mid-day.  If you’re interested, let me know!