Sunday, November 25, 2012

40K Ork Boyz

With GW cranking up prices, it's an odd time to be posting my 40K stuff.  I'm not really playing traditional 40K with these models anyway. But I still enjoy the 40K universe and I think their models (when not in "failcast" or "finecrap", anyway) are excellent.  So I've found other ways to enjoy the game.

Last Christmas I got the Black Reach boxed set and a box of Ork Boyz. It has been long in getting to these models, but I finally tackled the Orks. Despite being "push together" models, they are well-done and highly detailed. It took two weeks of my painting time to complete 20 Boyz and one Nob that I assembled from extra box of Orks.  I concentrated primarily on their flesh tones, which took the most time.  I think they came out looking good, and hopefully the pictures show it.

Here's the group shot, 18 Boyz with slugga and choppas, 2 big shootas and a Nob to lead them.

I wanted a more natural looking green, or at least something more subdued then the regular Ork paint jobs. I used Reaper Master paints Olive Drab triad and some washes to get the look I wanted. So there's several layers to build up to the highlights. Here are some close ups on a few of the boyz.

The picture of the Nob was out of focus, so I didn't post it. He's not too much different from the others anyway. I wanted to do something new with my basing colors too. So I have them on an "alien planet" on what is either red stone or clay. The colors went well with the models.

If I were painting a massive army of Orks (are they ever not massive?) I doubt I'd spend the time on the flesh tones like I did for these.  At 21 models, this is still not even a full squad. I have neither the inclination nor the money to do a full Ork army with 30 boyz per squad!

Outside of these, I have the warboss and five nobs to complete my Ork force. I'll hold off on the helicopter things until later. This is good enough for what I want to do.

So what do I want to do? Basically, I've created a solid adaptation of the Flying Lead rules by Ganesha Games. I bring in some special rules from their other games (I have all of them) and I've got myself a skirmish level game that plays fast. All Ganesha Games are easily solo friendly, and only require a few models per side. I think my "40K" adaptations only ever get to 8-10 models per side.

I've played this adaptation solo and with others, and it plays nicely. It's NOT 40K, but Flying Lead with a 40K inspired background and model abilities. So Orks act like Orks, Tau like Tau, etc. I've run the game with Tau, Necrons, Sisters of Battle, Tyranids, and Space Marines. The Nids need some work and I've yet to test the Orks. But otherwise, it's solid.

But beyond adapting other games, 40K is still playable and affordable at the lower points levels. I don't know why people who say they love the game but hate the price of it struggle with this. You don't have to play at 2000 points. You don't have to stick to the force organization chart. All of that is for competitive play or pick up games. If you're playing with friends, just play what you want. If morale gets tricky at small sizes, cook up a simple house rule or adapt from another game. It's not that hard. I think back to the Battle for MaCragge set and the scenarios they provided in the intro rules. That's what hooked me on the game, but I've hardly played that kind of game since.

Well, I bet no one read that rant. I don't blame you, actually. I'll shut up now and get on with painting the next project on my table:

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Alkemy: Khaliman Republic

Several months ago I saw Miniature Market was having a clearance sale on all its Alkemy models. To be honest, I'd never heard of the game and didn't have too much interest in it. However, they had two factions that looked really cool and I wanted to get right away. One of the factions is presented here, the "cat people" of the Khaliman Republic.  I'm not into the fluff, but these look like Arab derived fantasy models.  The other faction, which I've yet to complete, is the Jade Triad (or something like that).  They're the standard fantasy Asians.

I did actually get to play the game, and I'll offer my opinions on that in a moment. First, here are the models I have for the "cat people."  I just wanted these because they were based on cats, and thought I could use them in other games.  Here's the group and some close ups.

These ten models came in three packs, each about $7 on clearance. So even if I didn't want the game, the models were cheap enough.  These models are all from Kraken Games, which I guess is out of business. They are nice sculpts, light on details but still nice.  I also picked up a pack of the new models from Studio 38, which took over the Alkemy line.

I hate the resin models from Studio 38.  Hate. Hate. Hate. I've made a voodoo circle in my backyard and sacrificed those models to the dark gods.

The new resin models break into bits at a glance. In each Studio 38 pack they should include a sound track of shattering glass, because that's what you will be hearing as you work with their models. Really working with these models is a bit like walking on eggshells with lead boots.  I got a three model pack which now looks like a 100 model battle box, with all the broken bits and stuff.  Stay away from these.  One drop on a hard surface, like a carpeted floor or pillow, and they're going to shatter.

As for the game itself, I did play once. I discovered these cats are a finesse army, which is not my style at all. Also, I was not at my best that night, being very tired and out of sorts. I couldn't even read my model cards correctly.  I know, excuses, excuses.  Let's hear about the game.

Well, it has some interesting mechanics. I'm told it plays a lot like the old Confrontation, being designed by some of those people. Combat is fun.  You and your opponent pick different cards in secret, and depending how they match up you could get bonuses on your rolls. The combat is done on special dice, which include the type of damage you do. The dice are also color coded, so as your model takes wounds they move to different colored dice which basically degrade combat effectiveness.

The magic system is so screwed up I can't make sense of it. You have to gather shit for your alchemical recipes and then you can cast. It's all a bit too much like "Cooking Mama" for me. I'm here to play a miniature wargame, not simulate Home Economics class from sixth grade. I think I'll pass on casters.

All in all it was an okay game. I might try it again.  I've got to paint up my Asian faction and see how they play.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Bolt Action: US Army Part Two

I finished up my vehicles for Bolt Action last week, but haven't got around to taking pictures until today. I picked up a few vehicles and an extra MG team.  This will complete my US Army force, as now I have more than enough troops and extra choices to round out a good sized army.

These are all West Wind models from the Berlin or Bust range. The size is fairly comparable to the Warlord sizes, but much cheaper when purchased through Old Glory's army deal. 

Up first is the obligatory M4A3 Sherman tank. You can't play US without one.

I threw in a West Wind model for size comparison. It works close enough for gaming. In fact, anything significantly larger is going to start to look clunky on the table.  I don't know what's up with paint discoloration by the serial number of the first picture. It's not visible under regular lighting.  Hmmm.

Next is the M10 Tank Destroyer. Given I'll be facing Germans, this is probably what I should take to the fight rather than the Sherman.

The crew figures came with the model.  Again, I placed  a figure next to it for scale.  This model is bigger than the Sherman tank. I don't know if that was true in real life, but on the make-believe battlefield it works out.

I'd be remiss if I didn't give the boys a ride, or give them something to tow their howitzer. Here's an M3 Halftrack.

This model came without crew or passengers. I had to buy them as a separate pack. The M3 was rather finicky to put together. The front wheel assembly kept falling off until I bombed it with superglue.  I have some leftover riders for the halftrack. I didn't want to overcrowd the interior, just suggest riders and crew so the M3 doesn't look "haunted" on the battlefield.

Finally, no great shakes, but here's a water cooled MG team. The US can take three MG teams for one force slot. So why not take advantage of that?

 So that's it!  I will probably pick up some jeeps and crews, as well as the M8 motor carriage. That will complete the West Wind line of US vehicles. But I'm in no great rush for them.

I'll need to round out my German forces next, as maybe my friends will want to play other Allied forces rather than Germans.  I think I have enough troops, since German squads were small. I just need a few more vehicles to bring them up to speed.

But for now, I'm going to shift gears into other projects for a little while. I have a list of 14 active projects of various sizes. I've got a lot to work on yet!