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.

Free RPG Day – Great Success!

This post is a bit late, but, better late than never.

On June 16th, Wizard’s Comics and Collectibles hosted Free RPG Day.  Throughout the day, we had games running for people to try out and a number of freebies that were available for people to pick up.

Here’s an image capturing the action:

We had a number of first-time RPGers and a bunch of folks who hadn’t played in many years and used the event as a way to get back into the hobby.  While it wasn’t as busy as I had hoped, the fact that we had a number of new people join us made it a success in my mind.

Thanks to John, Brandon , Toby and all the rest of the Wizard’s staff for making the event possible and the RPG community would definitely like to see this event happen again next year!

I’m Back…

And now I’ve got the Eric Bischoff WWE entrance in my head, but at least it’s driven out the Special Agent Oso special assignment codename “Snapfinger” song out.

But seriously.  I’m already digressing.

It’s been a few weeks since my last update.  Finding time for writing has been difficult.  Work has been really busy (which, is good, but it’s a little more on my plate than I’d like right now).  On top of that, I’ve been having problems – which, I’m sure is not much of a surprise to anyone that reads the blog.

After consultation with my doctor, I’ve started anti-depressants.  My moods have been too ‘swingy’ and I’ve not been feeling right for a while.  It was time to do something about it, since what I was doing myself wasn’t working.  It’s been about a week now and aside from the initial lightheadedness as my brain chemistry readjusted, I’ve been doing much better.

So, that’s that.  I’m feeling better and I’m glad I decided to seek help when I needed it.

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.


Not knowing where to go…

I’ve been a bit of a loner for a good portion of my life.  Meeting people has always been hard for me and letting them in has been harder.  I always assume it has something to do with being ill as a child and being hurt because of the things that came out of that.  Maybe it is, maybe it isn’t.  I don’t know.

What I do know is that my base isn’t as solid as maybe it should be.  Or, more appropriately, I don’t know where my base is, outside of my family.  I may have people that would gladly help when needed, but either, I’m too proud to ask them, or I don’t know they’re willing to be there – and damnit, its hard to ask people to be a pillar of stability if you don’t know that they are willing to be there.

Yes, I have my wife, and yes, she is someone I know I can turn to.  But, you can’t load everything on one person (or take the load for one person, on top of your own things).  I think that leads down a path that may result in resentment or whatnot, and simply, that’s not something I want to test.

Yes, this is me asking for help.  But let’s not make it just about me.  Here’s my challenge to everyone.  Let at least one person you care about know that you are there for them for whatever they need, even if you think they know, because maybe they don’t.

Free RPG Day!

On June 16, Wizard’s Comics and Collectibles is hosting Free RPG Day.  You should come out, ESPECIALLY if you’ve never played.  The demos at Wizard’s are going to be 2 hours in length with some really fantastic gamemasters, who are looking to bring new individuals into the hobby!

There are a variety of games being played and what is being offered barely scratches the surface of all the variety there is in the world of RPGs.  Demos will start at 11am, 1:30pm, and 4pm.  The full schedule is available on the Free RPG Day Event Page.

What is being offered?  I’m glad you asked.


In Pathfinder, you are a brave adventurer in a fantasy world beset by magic and evil.  Will you adventure into deep caverns filled with treasure?  Will you save a village from an Orc invasion?  Pathfinder has many resources that will allow for countless adventures for your merry band of explorers.

Savage Worlds

Savage Worlds provides a rules system that can be used for any genre of game.  There are many official setting books and a large number of fan-made conversions and creations.  The core design philosophy of Savage Worlds is FAST! FURIOUS! and FUN!

Necessary Evil

When the world’s heroes are eliminated by an invading alien army, the only ones left to save Earth are the super-villains!  In this Savage Worlds setting, you take on the role of a super-villain who must save the inhabitants of Earth!

Deadlands: Reloaded

The year is 1879.  Mysterious beings called the Reckoners have given life to monsters and magic, causing history to shift.  In this Savage Worlds setting, the Wild West is mixed with Lovecraftian inspired horror and steampunk trappings.

Warhammer 40,000

In the Grim Darkness of the Far Future there is only War.  The WH40k line of RPGs takes the setting of the popular miniatures battle game and provides a multitude of options for exploring the universe in the far future. The WH40K line of RPGs use the same underlying game mechanics and each game has suggestions on how to incorporate characters from the different games into another.

Only War

In Only War, you take on the role of a soldier in the Imperial Guard, the backbone of the armies of the God-Emperor.


In Deathwatch, you become of the Adeptus Astartes, or as they are more commonly known, the Space Marines.  Singled out as an exceptional soldier, you have been seconded to the Deathwatch, who protects the Imperium of Man from the threat of the Xenos (aliens).

Now, don’t see something that interests you?  Well, here’s a deal for you, my blog-readers!  Since I had such a fantastic response to my call for volunteers, I am not scheduled to run any demos, but there is space for me to do so.  As such, if you can bring 2-5 people with you, I’ll run a game using Savage Worlds in a setting/genre more to your liking.  There are a few ‘rules’ to this offer though.

  1. I need time to prepare.  If you want to take me up on this offer, please let me know before June 8.  Let me know when you’d like to have your 2 hour session.
  2. I may have to decline your desired setting if I don’t have the knowledge to capture the world for you.

So, that’s that.  I hope I can share my favorite hobby with some of you.