Saturday, January 26, 2013

Bolt Action Painting Challenge, Part One

OK, first 250 points of Soviets for Bolt Action are complete. As I mentioned in my last post, I had to break up the second squad to keep under the points for the month. Here's the first group.

So that's a Second Lieutenant and an extra rifleman.
The main body of this batch was an infantry squad of 11 men w/ LMG, SMG, and 8 anti-tank grenades.

And since I only had infantry models for this go around, I put together the start of another squad to round out the 250 points.

  So that's it for January. Next month I will continue painting infantry to complete the second squad and add in some support weapons to fill out the points. I'm wondering where my other two challengers are in their monthly quota. I haven't heard or seen anything, but there are six days left. So maybe they're waiting for a last minute reveal. 

Ok, I'll be back with more Bolt Action Soviets in February!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Warhammer Invasion: Calm, Cool, and ..... COLLECTED!

I've become a real fan of the Living Card Games from Fantasy Flight Games. What started out as a small foray into something different last summer turned into a major focus for me recently.  I've tried just about all of them, and so far they've been great.  My favorite of all the games right now is Warhammer: Invasion.

The game plays similar to other competitive card games. You have a card pool from which to build decks. You have "unit type" cards to attack your opponent and other cards to interrupt or interfere with their plans. Resources must be managed to pay for cards.

WH:I has really taken this model and done some interesting things. It's based on the Warhammer universe. There are six races represented: Chaos, Dwarfs, Dark Elves, The Empire, High Elves, and Orcs. Many of the other Warhammer races, such as Lizardmen or Undead, serve as neutrals. Just about everything is represented. Each player has a capitol with three zones. The goal is to destroy two of your opponent's zones first.

I've been playing this a lot and have collected all the "battle packs." The living card game means that there are no collectible cards in the game. Everyone who buys a pack gets the same cards. So you can actually complete the collection of all the cards in the game. FFG releases new packs regularly, working in "Cycles" that change the game in some ways.

With so many cards to accumulate, it has taken a while to get here. But this week I got my last order of cards, which brings me to the most recent packs of the current cycle. I don't know how many cards I have, but I have a lot!

You don't need this many cards to play. The starter box gives everything you need for two players to have fun and can last a while. Frankly, I just like collecting this stuff and love the art.  I now have a bit of a problem, in that there's so many cards to choose from that I'm in "analysis paralysis." 

I haven't lost sight of my minis, but LCGs have been big on my horizon recently. I'll spotlight a few more games as my collections grow. But I'll be right back to the miniatures in my next post.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Reaper Bones Video

I'm stoked about the Reaper Bones Kickstarter, It looks like things have been progressing on that front, and I should  have my models in March as promised.  The graphic I posted previously doesn't do justice to everything the $100 pledge receives. Here's a three minute video from Reaper that showcases the models in the Vampire pledge.

I'm getting all that plus the options I purchased, which includes a bunch of giants, dragons, demons, and other large models. I can't wait for March!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Strippers with Swords!

A while back I bought a package of Blood Vestals and their leader figure from Raging Heroes. My intention was to use them for my Twilight Kin army. Well, they're a little too pricey to make a 20 model unit. I put them in my box of unpainted models and left them there until recently.

So here they are in all their stripper with swords glory.

The poses on some are somewhat wacky and impractical. One looks like she wrenched her back out of place. But on the whole these models are exquisitely sculpted. In fact, my paint job probably ruins some of the detail and beauty of the faces. But I guess it's not as bad as some paint jobs.

I digress. I'll probably end up working these into a fantasy game at some point as "evil elves." I gave them glowing green eyes to make them look suitably sinister. Due to the gratuitous flesh the models themselves lacked much opportunity to bring in color. So I used their hair to create variation.  Also I was a little miffed that the leader model doesn't scale correctly to the other models.

I mean, come on. The difference isn't too bad, but it's a little ridiculous that models from the same company that are meant to form a group don't scale together. I matched them up to my GW Witch Elves, which is what I assume these models are supposed to represent. The leader came closer to the scale of GW, but overall they were a fairly good match. The Raging Heroes models are a little smaller. I hesitate to say "realistic" as their waist size probably would not allow for any internal organs. But this is fantasy.

Overall I'm happy with the way these came out. I don't have an immediate use for these models, but I enjoyed painting them. It was a good lesson in painting smoothly highlighted flesh.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Bolt Action 1,000 Point Painting Challenge

I've griped a little in my last few posts about all the unpainted models I've accumulated. Well, what better way to fix this problem than with a painting challenge!

My friend, Tim, enjoys organizing challenges like these, and he floated the idea to several of us in December. I joined on, and am now part of the great Bolt Action painting challenge, The Tale of Three. You can follow that last link to Tim's post on the rules for the challenge. Basically, I've got to do 250pts of models for Bolt Action each month until we hit 1,000 points.

Sounds easy, right? But I chose Russians. Oops. Talk about setting myself a challenge.

Well, it's not really all that bad compared to the model counts of other games. The 1,000 points of Russians I'm planning centers around a core of infantry. Bolt Action really is focused on infantry, so this is unsurprising. But with a free 11 man squad, I'll have 44 "foot-sloggers" (or whatever the Russian equivalent term is for it) to paint.

I don't have all the models for my final list yet. I need all the support teams plus the one tank I plan to run (when I think Russians, I think tons of guys and tanks). About a year ago Crusader stopped selling their WW2 minis in the US. So I bought up as much as I could afford at the time.  Here's a picture of where I'm starting today:

I've got "two boxes" (the large bags) of infantry which actually provide the core force. I've got some SMG troops and a blister of leaders. There's plenty to start with while I gather the remainder of the force.

Here's how my total for this first month will break down. All my troops are regular quality.
  •  2nd Lieutenant and one man @ 60pts
  • Infantry squad of 11 men w/ LMG, SMG, and 8 ATG @ 149pts
  • NCO & 3 riflemen of the second squad @ 40pts
I had to fudge the second squad a bit to keep under the points total for the month. I only have 17 models to paint, which should be fine. However, the following months will be harder without these more expensive units to fill up the total. I don't have anti-tank grenades on the other units, which puffs up the unit cost. So I'll be doing a lot more painting in February!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Putting Some Focus on 2013

In my year end post I reviewed what I had planned for 2012, but I failed to comment on where I think my gaming is heading this year. Without that to look back on, I'll have no material for a similar type of post. Let's fix this deficiency!

Giving Myself A Break
I'm not even going to try to catch up on unpainted lead, like I promised last year. In fact, this year I'm giving myself a clean slate. I'm scratching unpainted stuff off my "must complete list" if it's not something I'm currently prioritizing.

This gives me a little more breathing room by putting aside some of my more "greedy purchases" of last year. I have a ton of 15mm WW2 that I'm not likely to get on the table. I can safely put aside all 40K models. Not sure if Kings of War is coming back, and can probably relax on my Dark Elf project. I'll be going through my list of painting projects to prune it to essentials.

Where I Think 2013 Will Take Me
OK, so enough about what I'm not going to consider! Here's what I'm planning this year.

US Rangers lead the way in Bolt Action!
  • Bolt Action and 28mm WW2. I'm loving Bolt Action and loving that scale and historical period. So WW2 is going to be big on my horizon. I already have three armies more or less done (US, German, Japanese), and another in the works. More on that in another post.
  • Fantasy Skirmish / Dungeon Crawls  The Reaper Bones Kickstarter is going to send me over the cliff. I see myself playing a lot of Song of Blades and Heroes or similar games. I'll have a full gamut of fantasy models to use in dungeon crawlers... now just need a good rules set.
  • A Sci-Fi Game replacement for 40K. This could be Gruntz or Warpath or a game I haven't discovered yet. I want something that allows me use of my current model collection (Warpath) or has a low entry cost (Gruntz). We'll see.
  • Card Games! Oh how I love the Living Card Game systems put out by Fantasy Flight Games. I've got a large collection of Warhammer: Invasion, Lord of the Rings, Call of Cthulhu, and soon to add Netrunner to this. With the collectible factor removed, these games are economical and fun to play. Since these aren't mini games, I won't blog much about them, except for occasional stuff.
  • More Board Games: Again not strictly miniatures, but they're fun for a change of pace. I got Super Dungeon Explore for Christmas, which has a strong minis component. I'd like to look at a few others, but am not entirely sure which ones. 
 Other Expectations for 2013
Just a few things I'm looking forward to in the upcoming year.
  • Relic Knights I got the Kickstarter and am hoping this game plays as good as it looks!
  • Malifaux I got a starter box and the rules. The game looks easy.... just like differential calculus and parabolic geometry.  I'm hoping I'll like it to justify buying more of the models.
  • Dreadball / Blood Bowl: I didn't think I'd like sports games. In fact, the one game of Blood Bowl I played was exciting though confusing. Dreadball looks like it's going to be great. So new and old games to explore here.
There you have it. A long and self-indulgent list of what's on my mind. For the blog, I'd like it to be more than "I painted a mini and here's a picture." I'm sure that's where it'll end up by December. For now, however, I'm going to try to do a bit more. I need to get back to battle reports, maybe dare a step-by-step of my painting process, and cover other games I play. We'll see.

Happy New Year to all!