Sunday, May 3, 2009

Following Along with Flames of War

Every since my days of playing SSI's incredible computer game, Steel Panthers, I've been interested in WWII battle games. I continued with Talonsoft's excellent West Front, East Front, and Pacific Front series after SSI went under. All these games played exactly like tabletop mini games. So you would think that once I went into minis that I'd start with a WWII game. However, I wasn't able to find any WWII rules that people I played with were using consistently.

These days, however, the local gaming group has decided to go into Flames of War. I'm totally thrilled with this. From what I've seen right now, it plays just like Steel Panthers and the Talonsoft series! The small 15mm size is actually pretty cool, too. The models remind me of the soldiers I played with as a kid. And anything I can do to make me feel like a kid again is OK in my book!

When I played my computer games, I used to play Germans all the time. But for the tabletop game I've went with a US Army rifle platoon. I've got about 600 points worth of stuff right now. I'm still figuring out how the game works and what else I should get to up my army size. I guess that will all come with time. For now, here's the current state of my army. I'm excited to get these guys painted and on the table!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Far Harad and Corsairs

I took some pictures of my Corsair and Far Harad forces together as they will be on the table. While I know the Mahud are great fighters, they look pretty weak with just a few models out there. So Corsairs come to the rescue with cheap spear support! I would've done them all as spears, but would've had to buy another box of Corsairs to do so. It's not worth it, so a few sword and shield guys made it into the mix. There are also some crossbowmen who might help taking out a troll or two on its way in. I could drop them for Reavers, but I haven't decided yet. The Mahud are hitty enough on their own!

Here are the Corsairs alone. I never did a blog update of my whole Corsair force. There are more than what's pictured here. But this is what's allied with Far Harad. I was not impressed with Corsairs as a stand-alone army. They had some early success, but eventually their weakness overcame them. They are very much an ally army, capable of filling in as strong fighters. Just don't ask them to do the whole mission themselves. I guess that's sort of what you'd expect from real pirates!

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Far Harad Completed

At last I have completed my Far Harad force. It's about 350 points worth of warriors, plus two half trolls and a mounted King. It's not a large force on it's own, but I intend to ally this force with my Corsairs to make a solid 600 point list.

I went with the native look for the Mahud. I think GW and the guys who made the LotR movies wimped out and made a "PC" bad guy out of them. But honestly, to me they look like brave, fierce warriors from a fantasy version of Africa. So that's how I painted them. The color scheme is a little blah. But for the most part all they're wearing is some sort of wicker armor and a robe. There's not much to fiddle with, though I'm sure more talented painters have figured out how to add pizzaz to these guys. Here are the pictures. Check out the King, as I thought he come out pretty nice.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Gathering in the Desert T-Shirt Art

Another year of the Gathering in the Desert is upon us. It is an independent grand tournament for Lord of the Rings, which is run here in Phoenix. The esteemed Mr. Kulinski helps organize it, and you can read more about it on his blog.

He asked me to create a painting for the GitD t-shirts he created for the event. I think the shirts are going to look great. The colors were changed from the original to accommodate the capabilities of the silk screen shop doing the work. They could've done full color, but that would've driven up the cost beyond what's reasonable. So here's a look at the original painting.

It was done digitally, using Painter 9 and a Wacom Intuous 3 pen tablet. You can see how the painting looks on the t-shirt by following this link to Tim's blog.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Starting Again

So, it's no mystery that I abandoned my blog for the last six months! In fact, I was not unproductive during this period. I painted a Lord of the Rings Corsair force, added Rangers to my Gondor list, painted dismounts for all my cavalry, and probably a few miscellaneous things I forgot to mention as well. But I just didn't document any of it.

Well, it's a new year obviously, and I'm inspired to start again.

I want to blog a little bit more about other things that I'm doing as well. But I'm afraid that too many unrelated topics will make for a lousy blog. (For example, my Japanese and Chinese language study and reading won't interest many people who are linked here for the gaming aspect.) So I'll just do a different blog for that stuff, and keep this one for miniatures and related gaming. Recently, I've been into World of Warcraft. That might be something to blog about.... or not. I guess it depends.

OK, so on the miniatures front for 2009, I am planning a different type of year than the prior three. For the last three years, I've been going gang-busters on getting an entire army ready for this or that event. I don't want to do that anymore. I want to paint figures that interest me for no other reason than that. I'm tired of racing to an event deadline, completing an army, and never playing it again after that event. So I expect to paint things that might not be part of an existing force. For example, Reaper miniatures have always interested me, but as they're not part of a game system I play I don't do them. Warmachine and Hordes are in the same boat, though I do occasionally play those systems.

So, I started the year off by getting back to Warhammer 40K. I haven't played a 40K game in about a year! I don't even know the 5th ed rules! It's a shame, since I enjoyed this game. Of course, Lord of the Rings has been my main game for 2008 and will remain that way for a while. Still 40K was my first game, and I still enjoy it.

Rather than adding to my Ultramarines (not that interested in them) or beefing up my Tyranids (love 'em, but recently can't "empathize" with playing a hyped up hornet with guns), I've gone over to an army I've wanted to do but never followed up on: The Tau Empire!

I only have a unit of Fire Warriors and an Ethereal. So, basically I'm just doing an Ethereal with his Honor Guard. What I'll add later, who knows! I'm in no hurry, and I'm not actively playing 40K -- yet. I'll get up to a legal list of at least 500 pts, so I could do some small games. But after that, I'm not sure what my plans are. I'll have to see how I like the Tau. At least I know I'll enjoy collecting them. The above picture shows the three that I've painted so far. I think they look pretty good, and just need some flocking on the base to finish them.