Saturday, 26 July 2014

How to... Display Base

This morning I had a Eureka moment and I thought I'd share it. I have been thinking on and off about making display bases for mine and Jen's Arcworlde stuff, which is a fantasy skirmish game that we backed on Kickstarter. The models are not the best sculpts but are cool and full of character, they remind me a lot of the fable series of games (but with more not humans) and are really enjoyable to paint.



 Anyway, so what of this Eureka moment? Well I realized what I could do for the base... an ice cream tub lid. I generally save ice cream tubs because they are really good for storing large mixes of paint I make for terrain and boards.


 Next I got some DAS air drying clay and filled it up. I then got a rolling pin, use some water to try and make sure the clay didn't stick, and rolled it flat, using a knife to cut off any excess.


Next I added some of the texture. I backed a stamping kit from Happy Suppuku which I used to base the models which I then used on this. It didn't work perfectly because the stamp wasn't large enough, but it was good to get a general idea so I could then define it better with a knife.


After that was done I then used the base of the models to stamp the clay so I could see where to cut. Cut slightly larger than the base though so the models will fit. The depth of the clay was a bit deep, so I cut the excess circle of clay and cut it in half and put it back in. In the end you should get something like this:


Well that's it from me! I won't do anymore until I know that this one works, I need to wait for it to dry and paint it. One of the things I am worried about it whether the tub itself will take paint. If I have any problems I will let you know. Hope this was useful.


Response to Joel's "42"

Today Joel Henry, UK no. 1 on the Malifaux rankings posted up a little blog post on about making lists. I think it's focused around making a pool of models. It's something a few tournaments do, admittedly not ones I have ever been to, where you have to make a list of so many (normally 100) stones worth of models and that's what you're restricted to across the entire event. It makes sense and also makes new challenges which is cool.

 So what does the lovely Mr. Henry have to say. Well you might aswell read his words here but I will try and summarize. Ignoring upgrades etc. you generally have 42 stones to spend on models, divide this by 7 (not sure really why) and you will have 6 stones which should thus be your average "go to" model. Anytime you spend more on a model you should then spend less on another.

 Personally I find that a very strange way of thinking. I don't try and make sure I have 8 models in a crew, I try and make sure I have models to get the job done. When I look at models I also don't tend to think about whether it can kill or hold ground or go fast, I think about how it's going to score me VP (or stop my opponent). I can understand you can extrapolate those abilities to do that, but just because something is generally good at one job doesn't mean it will be suited to the job at hand.

 For example, if I had to pick a model to "Hold Ground" I'd be hard pressed with Gremlins, but I'd think of Wild Boar. 8 wounds and the multiple abilities that heal is pretty nifty so that makes them "Hard to Kill"... for a 6 stone minion at any case, but because they have to charge "Hard to Kill" is not the same as "Hold Ground".

 Also I tend to find the named character Gremlins are the models that shine. If I wanted a model that could hold ground I'd name Burt. 7 stones but much better at it, in my opinion, than a wild boar. I can't take multiple of him so it doesn't really help much.

So if I had to make a list for any strat what would it include? That's a difficult one, but I'd guess I'd have to go through and tick all of Joel's boxes. Kill, Survive and Speed.
 
O.K. this is really basic, but I haven't got many stones to work with so bare with me! Trying to work with Joel's framework I will try and look for good 6 stone models. For Speed the model that stands out is the rooster rider. WK 7 and the ability to reckless gives it masses of speed! Excellent. Survive is a difficult one but for that I am going to pick the slop hauler. A bit cheaper at 5 stones but with access to mass heal it makes other things survivable, kind of. Surviving isn't what gremlins are good at! For 6 and kill stones it would either have to be the Lightening bug for it's ability to ignore armour and incorporeal or, controversially, the Moon Shinobi, because drunken kung fu will generally give them positive to damage flips.

So if I went for a list of 2 Rooster Riders, 2 Slop Hauler a Lightening Bug and a Moon Shinobi what have I got left? that comes to 33 stones and that gives me 9 left. What else? Well for me it would have to be 3 Bayou Gremlins. The Bayou Gremlin is simply just excellent. It won't be killing anything, unless you are jammy, because of it's terrible stats, but because there are lots of them they will take some AP to kill (helped also by Bayou two card) they are swift, aided by drunk and reckless. It also gives the slop haulers plenty of models to heal!

I don't think I'd ever use that list. Goblin characters are too good. It was fun to give it a go though.

Thursday, 24 July 2014

New Iron Quill

So, as you might have guess from the title of the blog post, a new Iron Quill has begun! This is a monthly Malifaux fan fiction competition on the Wyrd website. This month is slightly different in that there is also a challenge you can get involved in. You can find the challenge here and the main topic here. Anyway, here is what I have written:


Brookes took his battered flask from inside his dusty trencher and took a swig of the fire whiskey inside. Meticulously, he took out a small silver box from another pocket and slipped out a cigarette and a match from another compartment, his cold grey eyes never leaving the body. As the whisps of smokes swirled around his gaunt weather beaten features, he thought about how he had always done this. At the start it was to try and burn the stench of death from his nostrils. He didn’t even notice it anymore. He’d been at this so long maybe he stank of death.

It was a few minutes until Brookes finally responded to his partner, by that time he had already filled a few pages of notes in his scruffy pocket book. There was so many torn out pieces of paper in that book now that you would never be able to find anything reading back on it. They had stopped asking him to fill out reports long ago, but Brookes was nothing if not a man of habit. Besides, he felt like it helped him think.

“Humans do monsterous things”, Brookes barely opened his lips to let the coarse whisper escape. Mal clearly had thought about what to say to this inevitable response.

“Don’ play stupid with me, ya know no ‘uman could’ve done ‘dis.” It was hard to argue with him. Brookes crouched down and looked closely at what was left at the woman’s face. Bloody, empty sockets store accusingly back at him. A twisted scream would now be forever moulded onto her face, dislocated and horrifying. Blood soaked her hair as it had poured from her ears and a crusted river showed where the torrent had ran from her nostrils. Though nauseating, these injuries were just the syptom of the true cause of death. Her brain had been liquefied whilst her skull was still intact. If Brookes had been a younger man he would he would have probably wretched.

“I’m an investigator, I catch murderers” Brookes growled.

“Ya know 'dat’s not ‘ow it works. I’m writing a report tonight and then it’s up to those half-mad Ortega’s to handle.” After the rant Mal relaxed a little. He undid a button on his sweat stained shirt and loosened his tie. “Listen, I know what ‘dis about. Pauline wouldn’t wanna’ see ya’ ‘dis way. Ya haven’t slept in days. Ya look a state. Listen, me an’ ‘da lads are ‘ittin da town an’ I t’ink ya should come. Ya should see the girl’s at the Qi and Gong…”

“That’s illegal and you know it Mal”

“Don’ ya go throwing ya' 'ate at me! Listen, if ya was gonna’ find dis t’ing and ya did kill it or arrest it like da mad basta’d ya is, what’s gonna’ ‘appen den? Nuffin’. Pauline still be dead. If ya god a deff’ wish, sow be it, but don’ ‘spect me ta’ help!” Mal stormed out and slammed the door, leaving Brookes with the corpse and his thoughts. Carefully and methodically Brookes reviewed every inch of the corpse. Then he saw it, just a tiny thing caught between her fingers which somehow hadn’t been drowned by the gore of what her fingers had torn out. A tiny tuft of candy floss. No-one had sold Candy floss in Malifaux in years and this stuff was clearly old.  He store at it a while wondering what it meant. Sure, he knew of the old abandoned circus, but how did the corpse get hold of it? The killer could have had it on them but it seemed too much of a coincidence, besides Pauline’s body had nothing on her. He knew, he’d checked over a hundred times. Someone was trying to tell him something.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Brookes lift his collar and pulled his hat down to protect for the freezing midnight wind. He stood in the open expanse of the carnival, the garish bright colours worn to grey age and silver moonlight. Large teddies turned to monsters in the shadows, it was as if he was merely 5 years old again, apart from the fact that he felt bone tired.

“Curiosity killed the cat, you know” The silken voice taunted from the darkness. A woman emerged, coalescing from shadow, silken hair glimmering in the moonlight and a seductive lilt to her step. “Normally men like you love showing me their weapon at this point.”

“I have come, tell me why?” The woman giggled, but the sound was chilling. She circled him, like a beast stalking their prey.

“You know, silly. You chase what you always chase. What you have been hunting all your life.”

“The truth.” He whispered. She tapped her nose and smiled capriciously.

“Why was your darling wife so far from home when she died? Where had she been? She had no reason to go where she did.” Step by step she approached him. As she got close he realised she was taller than him by at least a head. Her eyes were nought but darkness.

“What you really want to know is whether you had lost her already. You fought. You try to drown the memory in whiskey but your last words to her were sheathed in anger. The answers are all here, you just need to reach up and take it.” She stroked the box in her hands.

He store at the box. He had no idea how he had not seen it before, but now he could not take his eyes off it. It was as if his vision was trapped in the complex grooves of the ruins that scarred its surface. Completely entranced he had not noticed the woman place the box on the ground and slink away once again into darkness.

He could not help himself. One step at a time he approached the box. When he picked it up, the cold burned his hands but he could not release it. It was time to stop running from his loss, time to embrace the truth.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Mal stumbled into his apartment stinking of alcohol. It was several moments before he saw what the open door had illuminated. Framed in cold hard light, Brookes sat with a hat shadowing his face and a revolver pointed at Brookes. “Weren’ ‘specting ta see ya’ ‘ere, Fancy a drink?” His smiled was strained and painful and his grasping hand knocked the glass bottle to the floor and smashed it.

“Wasn’t expecting to be here”

The Following silence grew heavier as the seconds piled on. As minutes built up Mal’s breathing became heavier. Eventually Brookes lifted his left hand and placed some of Pauline’s underwear on the table. When he saw them Mal started to physically shake.

“Listen, I, I, I, wanted ta’ tell ya’. She came ta’ me. It weren’t my fault!”

“She was out late that night because of you. You killed her” Brookes’ rasp was drowned in sadness and hate. When Mal heard that his shaking turned into a bristle.

“No! Do not lay ‘dat at ma’ feet! Ya’ drove ‘er away! Ya’ always workin’, livin’ death. I gave ‘er somefin ya’ couldn’. Ya’ made her come ta’ my place and get killed on da’ way. Ya’ killed ‘er!”

Brookes lowered his pistol and bought his hand to his face. Mal almost collapsed in relief as Brookes began to sob. Brookes felt as if his chest was going to explode, his face felt like a cracking damn that could not let the water out quick enough. All of his strength, all of the barriers he had erected to shield himself came crumbling down. He needed air. He needed to scream. He needed someway out. As the truth struck him his sobbing stopped, clarity providing strength. The bark of the gunshot seemed dull to his ears, like an echo, something that had already happened. Mal died quietly, there was no begging or screaming or pain, mocking Brookes’ present torment. He lost his wife and his best friend, he only had one more thing left to lose.

Brookes could have sworn he had heard a young girl giggling just as he pulled the trigger for the last time.

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Gremlin Plans

So I did it! I am now number 1 Gremlin in Britain! If you don't know what I am talking about you can check out the Malifaux Rankings here. I never thought I'd manage this, I was amazed in my first event that I managed to get first place! So it appears I am far better with Gremlins than with Neverborn.

 My initial plan for this year was to get into the top 3 Gremlins, hoping for second place, but now I have managed it what next? I like having a target. It makes me more excited about events and enjoy them more. Unfortunately the target can only get harder and harder at this point. The next one can only be getting into the masters! It's tough competition up there though and I don't expect to manage it. Still, a Gremlin can dream.

 All this being said what I really want to do from now on is get Ulix down. I am certain that I can make things work for him and despite some savage defeats I have also had some major victories. I intend to use him for every game for a little while now, regardless of scheme or strategy, so I can really nail down what I am doing. It means I will lose games, undoubtedly, but I think it will make me a better player if I can have more options when a tournament comes round. I think the same thing will eventually be true of Wong, but I will try and focus on one master at a time.

The reason I am thinking about doing this is I am not sure I learnt anything from this last tournament. I used, mainly, tried and tested strategies to get the job done. Obviously it was effective, I did come first, but I really enjoy learning new things from events and I don't want to end up playing the same game every time.

So that's it. I will cry and moan when I miss my Som'er but it will be worth it in the long run. I will master the pigs, stay tuned.

Monday, 21 July 2014

WAAC plans

Since I last sent out a plea for sponsors for my 'Wargamers All Against Cancer', or WAAC, paintathon I have received masses of support. It's absolutely fantastic. thanks to each and every one of you for helping. It really means a lot to me and I am sure it will mean the world to MacMillan and those poor people who have to suffer with cancer. To see how much I have raised so far and possibly help support the cause yourself, please visit my just giving page. Remember, although some people have been extremely generous so far and I really appreciate it, I am only asking for 1p per miniature. That's £1 for all 100 miniatures I intend to paint in 24 hours.

 So the name of this blog post is plans, so what plans? Well I haven't been exactly clear as of yet when I will actually being doing the deed. I have been going to interviews and stuff so I couldn't say when I would be free. I think, however, that I can start to nail a date down now. I'll be starting on Sunday the 24th of August at 09:00 and finish the same time on the bank holiday Monday. With any luck this will give me decent chance of staying awake for long enough to complete the task, be part of the rest of the WAAC movement, but still give those who are going to support me through it (and another big thankyou to you guys aswell) a chance to collapse on the bank holiday Monday and recover for work on the Tuesday.

It's not a long blog post from me today, just an update. If you want to contact me for more info or if you want to get involved you can find me on twitter @proximocoal, facebook under the name Connor Barker, or email connorbarker520829@gmail.com.

Toy Soldiers Report

This weekend I attended yet another Malifaux event, I know I'm an addict, which was part of the multi-system event Toy Soldiers. I attended the same event last year for fantasy and found it absolute chaos. It plays Fantasy, 40k, flames of war, bolt action and Warhammer Historical Battles. This event was far more subdued however. Many in the Malifaux community will know that the date clashed with MCC, but it must have been more than that because other systems were much quieter than before also. This, however, meant that it was a really relaxed environment. Games were 2.5 hours, which is the longest I think I have ever done tournament games, but it meant we had time to think. Everyone was really friendly, there were a few familiar faces and it is always great to catch up with people, but the people I didn't know were great.

Matt's Reckoning Crew
 My first game was the game I was least looking forward to. Reckoning. Anyone who regularly reads my blog will probably be fed up with me moaning about it so I will just get on with my report. I took Som'er, not Ulix and Matt, who was a local playing his first Malifaux tournament was using Nicodem. We both took frame for murder and I took breakthrough compared to his protect territory. To begin with things were quite cagey because we didn't want to kill people pre-reckoning points. Turn 2 saw me take down Toshiro in the first activation, but then Burt was taken down by a punk zombie. Fran was then later killed who was my framed for murder. The game the revolved around Sammy stopping people walking and charging and then trixxie Gremlin luring them and finally Som'er pumping mass damage. It was a really good game, but that combo worked insanely well. Final score 8-4 to me and very well played by Matt, it must be said.

My Reckoning Crew
 My second game was then against Aidan using Shen Long. I have not previously played Aidan, but I new he was a strong player and only vaguely knew what his crew did. It was the match up I was least looking forward to and the one I though I was most likely to lose. The match up was recconnoiter though and Aidan was saying that he would have been happy with any other strat! We both took deliver a message and I took plant evidence and Aidan Breakthrough. This was my first chance to play a crew I have been wanting to for a while. The Piggapult. It was fantastic. Firing Gremlins into my opponents quarter to deny points or score. They were also fired into engagement range with Shenlong in order to deliver a message in the next turn. It took some very high cards to keep the gremlins alive, but eventually they managed it. The Piggapult then picked off models by being a super sniper. Eventually Toshiro and Sensei Yu waded through to my side of the board and killed everything, also managing to catch Som'er for deliver a message, but by that time it was too late for Aidan to catch up. Game finished 7-4.

End game me and Aidan only had 3 or 4 models each!
 Final game of the day was against a regular of the Northern Tournament Scene, Paul. He's a really nice guy and it was quite adorable having his daughters offering somewhat flippant support. I think was the first time that Paul had played Gremlins. We both took protect territory and plant explosives. Paul took Lucius, a master who I always felt when I played neverborn was very good at this strategy, however Paul played very differently to me. I summoned masses of Gremlins so I out activated Paul and dragged loads of models to his side of the board, apart from a skeeter which held up his pathfinder. Paul was on the backfoot from there. He killed Gracie before she could get involved, but it took all of his resources. I thus scored plant explosives and stripped him of his lawyer and austringer with Som'er. In the next turn he failed to kill Som'er, just, who then took down one of his riflemen and wounded Lucius. At that point he called it. He was running out of models fast and was fighting an uphill struggle. Without any models near my side of the board he couldn't stake or protect territory and I would simply walk away from his scheme markers. Also his daughters were getting a tad impatient. We called the game 10-0

My Gremlin crew turn one are already closing in on the Guild's deployment zone. Paul gets sound tactical advice from his daughter.
 That night me and a North East lad, Dave Golden, went out and had a few drinks in Manchester. Nothing too wild but we did end up staying up until 2 in the morning just chatting! Needless to say we were both shattered for the next day.

Unfortunately Paul had to drop out of the running because of family health issues which meant the event trimmed down in size on the next day. Best wishes to him and all of his family.

Part way through turn 1 in my game against Dave.
 My next game was against the man Golden himself! Unfortunately the tension for this game was building all through the evening and playing on my mind so I got really stressed in this game. It was squatters rights. I took Assasinate and, foolishly, murder protege. Dave took murder protege and distract. Mass gremlins meant I once again dominated activation control and led to a first turn combo charge on Hoffman. I sent trixxie up who jynxed him so that he could not declare triggers, so he no longer had armour, and reckless to attack. Unfortunately a flurry of jokers meant the attack did nothing. Even claiming the initiative and doing the same in the following turn because of companion meant I couldn't cause a decent scratch on Hoffman. With my main strategy for dragging down Hoffman down the pan things following this were tight. The rest of the game was basically all fought out in a 6" box on the right flank as Hoffman desperately clung to life as I threw everything at him. Joss killed Gracie for Murder Prot. On the final turn Trixxie was able to get luck and get rams on her gun for a lady to kill the man and score me 2 for assassinate. On the left flank the 4 Bayou Gremlins and Slop Hauler successfully controlled the squat markers against a Soulstone Miner and Large Steam Punk Arachnid. David managed to get distract off on turn 4, but on the last turn I killed all my own models with a severe dumb luck to kill all models on my left flank! Final score 6-3 to me.
The tiny 6" box where the real meat of the game was fought. Francois fails to drag down the Hoff.
Although I was the only player on 4 wins at this point, everything was still to play for. Aidan had a better differential than me, so if he won and I lost he would win the event. However I had already played Aidan not too long ago. Unfortunately, due to numbers, someone would play against someone again. In the end we flipped to see who would do the re-fight and it turns out it was bottom table, so my final game was against 4th place Neil. The game was turf war and I was tempted to try out Ulix in this game. However the flipped schemes were deliver a message, which is far too easy on the bearded wonder so I kept with Som'er. I, rather foolishly as it was flank deployment, announced protect territory rather than Breakthrough. My opponent, however, rather interestingly declared Line in the sand. We both picked deliver a message and declared. The game started off pretty normally. Neil was not overly cautious however and Gracie promtly delivered Burt who then delivered the message. The rest of the game saw Trixxie, once again, demonstrate how amazing she is, Gremlin luring Howard and Joss away for most of the game. There was a bit of a dance on the far flanks with my Bayou Gremlins against his scheme runners (and Langston because he kept getting pushed that way) but he was able to overcome them to secure his full points for Line in the Sand. I was not able to rid the centre of enough spiders ever because Ramos was giving out positive to defence flips and without his heavy hitters he didn't stand a chance of removing me. Deliver a message proved to be the decisive element because he simply couldn't get to Som'er. Final score 10-7 to me and really well fought game.

End of the tournament and there were still loads of spiders!
So at the end of the event I was the only player on 5 wins and took the gold! Aidan lost to David in their final game, but both were on 3 wins at that point and Aidan had the better differential so he took second to David's third. It was a great event and I really enjoyed it. All my opponents were superb and I had 5 fantastic games. Winning the event also got me a free ticket to next years so I should definitely be going again! Thanks for everyone for taking part and I hope to see you all soon.

Friday, 18 July 2014

Ulix Wibble

So as previously mentioned, I have been trying to use the Gremlin Master of Pigs recently, Ulix. Last night I played against local player Johnathan Smith. He doesn't go to tournaments and puts himself down for getting some of the rules wrong but does well in his games and is really enjoyable to play against. He did, however, put me down like some sort of rabid dog.

 His list contained the following:

Rail Golem
Ice Golem
Joss
Howard Langston
Ramos
Metal Gamin

I had:

Ulix
Old Major
Trixxiebelle
Gracie
Lenny
Slop Hauler

 He took breakthrough and Deliver a Message. I took Deliver a Message and Murder Protege (Langston). I won't go through all the details but he won 8(3 for breakthrough, 3 for deliver a message, 2 for strat)-4 (1 for strat, 3 for murder protege) but it highlighted several weaknesses I feel I have at the moment.

 I feel I can't catch people who just slink round the edges of the board. The whole crew spends it's time dancing around Ulix for a number of reasons and I don't have to the reach to catch those small models.

 I feel I am also very dependent on flips. I often can't afford for a few bad flips because I am reliant on a very few models. If Gracie dies, for example, I am on the backfoot for the rest of the game.

 One of the problems might be, however, that I am very focused on the charge. With Old Major giving positive flips to charge actions of pigs (only when they activate until the end of their activation), war pigs charging as 1 ap and Ulix being able to make a pig within 6" charge for 1 ap and then pulling them back with sooey for another go, it seems reasonable for charges to be something I try and make the most of. However the problem with that is that I am sacrificing alot. Models can easily become strung out and vulnerable, ingorning the fact that models not in range of Lenny lose their protection and I might be able to get loads of attacks of using triggers from Trixxie and Ulix. Should I be less stand-offish and try and get all my models in the mix or is my crew selection the problem? Admittedly I'd rather take a wild boar over the slop hauler but I'm just waiting for my proxies to turn up for those, but should I scratch my current list? One of the things I am worried about is that I am taking 2 large support models. Lenny and Old Major. Both do decent damage (Ml 6 min 3 damage) and are sort of hard to kill (10+Wounds +hard to wound) but their main role seems to be giving others buffs. Is there anything better to take? Do I just need more practice with it?

 That leads onto the next question. Should I use him at the tournament on the weekend, Toy Soldiers? It would be first game of the event if I do use him because that one is reckoning. I guess it's basically whether I want to treat the tournament as practice itself or try and be on top form for the event.

 There is of course another option, I could use him for every game! Personally I don't think his strength are in all of them but it would be an intense learning experience and would set me up better for later events.

 So I will summarize with a single question. What quantity of beard should I field at Toy Soldiers?

Monday, 14 July 2014

Bolt Action Campaign

BOLT ACTION CAMPAIGN

TODAY IS THE DAY OF DAYS

I have been thinking about writing a set of campaign rules for Bolt Action for some time. It’s one of those games that I feel really benefits adding a bit more depth to it and generating some stories. Whenever I begin to write campaigns, I tend to give myself a specification, what do I want it to achieve? Here is the one I came up with:

·        Involvement: It needs to be able to get as many people involved as possible:
o   All different nations should be useable
o   Always feel like you have a chance to win
o   Casual play, you don’t have to turn up every week and play every week

·        Story Driven

·        Easy to keep track of, see what’s going on

Thus the rules I have come up with really are just based on two different concepts. Ranks and Secondary Missions.

Ranks
 All players who take part will have a certain rank, beginning with second lieutenant. This will go up and down (though never lower than Second Lieutenant) as the campaign goes on.
SECOND LIEUTENANT
LIEUTENANT
CAPTAIN
MAJOR
LIEUTENANT COLONEL
COLONEL
BRIGADIER
MAJOR GENERAL
LIEUTENANT GENERAL
GENERAL

 The aim of the campaign is simple, the first person to become ‘General’ wins!
 Your rank may change after every game you play
WIN?
SECRET MISSION SUCCESS?
PLAYED SOMEONE OF LOWER RANK
RANK CHANGE
Y
Y
N
+2
Y
Y
Y
+1
Y
N
N
+1
N
Y
N
+1
Y
N
Y
NONE
N
Y
Y
NONE
N
N
N
-1
N
N
Y
-2

So pretty basic. All you need to do is remember what rank you are, I was imagining using badges or something on a table, and look at this chart at the end of every game. But wait, what are these secret missions?

Secret Missions
At the start of each game you will be given a piece of paper with your secret mission on, hopefully in a brown envelope with TOP SECRET and FOR YOUR EYES ONLY printed all over it. These are your secret missions and as you can see from the above table, they are pretty important for your rank! I have come up with a few that I thought I’d post as tasters, but I am hoping to do a few more for each faction. I’m thinking about writing a little spiel to go on the letters aswell…

SOVIETS
·        PURGE – Your commanding officer has had a falling out with comrade Stalin, he must not be allowed to survive the battle… but he also can’t die in combat (lest he betray our noble cause)
·        NOT ON STEP BACK – Comrade Stalin has decreed that we will not fall back another step, no enemy unit may finish the game in your deployment zone.
·        QUANTITY HAS A QUALITY ALL OF ITS OWN – You must have more models than your opponent left on the board at the end of the game, only then will they realise the unstoppable avalanche that is a Soviet advance
·        HERO OF THE SOVIET UNION – Give the people something to inspire them! Have a single unit kill 3 or more officers or squad leaders in one game.

AMERICANS

·        NO MAN LEFT BEHIND – Have one of your units take no casualties in the game
·        STAR SPANGLED MAN – Give the folks back home something to cheer about. Have one unit end the game in the enemies deployment zone
·        REPLACEMENTS – You may be distrustful of them at first, but we need them to win the war! Have an inexperienced squad survive a game
·        RESCUE MISSION – The enemy have captured some of our boys, it’s up to you to get them out. Destroy a unit in close quarters combat

GERMANS
  • BLITZKRIEG – Strike hard and fast into enemy lines. Finish the game with a unit in the enemies deployment zone.
  • FALSE INTELLIGENCE – You have been tasked with having the enemy capture on of our false informants. Have the enemy destroy one of your units in combat.
  • SUPERIOR RACE – Show these weaklings what the Aryan Race is made of! Take less casualties than your opponent
  • DISCIPLINED – The key to victory lies in well drilled soldiers. Have no unit fail an order test in the game.


BRITISH
  •  COMBINED ARMS – Upper Command want a report on this newly developed fighting concept. Kill a unit that has been struck by a supporting bombardment.
  • STIFF UPPER LIP – Show the blighters what Tommy is made of! Have more units on your side of the table than your opponent at the end of the game.
  • FRIENDS UP HIGH – Upper command have sent someone to take the lead of the platoon and want him kept alive. Your commanding officer may not die in this game.
  • DO YOU HAVE A FLAG? – Claim land for the Commonwealth and the Empire! Secretly declare a piece of terrain in neither deployment zone at the beginning of the game, you must occupy this piece of terrain and have no enemies occupy it at the end of the game.
CHINEESE

·        HOLY GROUND – The Westerners seek to defile your holy places, do not let them! No enemy may be within 6” of the middle of the table at the end of the game.
·        NOBLE DEATH – Previous defeats have shamed your ancestors, it is time to seek honour for your family again. Your officer must be killed in combat.
·        BURN THEM OUT – Inch by Inch, Step by Step, make the Westerners pay. Finish the game with more units in terrain than your opponent.

·        TAKE PRISONERS – Information on enemy movement is needed. Destroy an enemy unit in close combat.

Saturday, 12 July 2014

Progress and Pictures

So The Outpost very kindly sent my camera back so I can now put some pictures of what I have been doing recently.



 Today I had my first ever go at using a airbrush. It's more difficult than it looks! Above you can see where I have used a stencil on the stage. Below is where I have tried to highlight with it.


Whilst waiting for the compressor to cool down I also did the finishing touches on my Bayou Gremlins.


A few days ago I made my Ulix Proxy from the plastic Som'er.


Finally here's a bunch of pictures from the Sheffield tournament 'Cojo Dojo'


I asked Brookes if it was alright to take pictures, wasn't expecting this were you!


His very tanky Raspy crew


End of the game sees not much left from the Gremlins, but keeping the ice folk at bay


All my painted Gremlins out for painting competition






 Unfortunately I forgot about getting pictures of all the crews until it was too late.


My pig crew for reckoning


Most of the Hoff crew that faced me in reckoning and that's all I got. I really suck at this taking pictures thing!

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Gremlins is Awesome: Ulix

 Last night I put my Ulix proxy on the table for the first time, fielding him against the mighty John Wharton. Before that I tried one go at Vassal with him against Chasing Bacon presenter Chris King. I thought what I'd do, rather than go through the games themselves, is go over what I think I have learnt.

 First off, I thought I'd cover things that went well. Lenny is awesome. Just as expected he worked amazingly with the crew. With such a high number of wounds on the models in the crew, being able to reduce damage within 3" is great. Adding rams to bring up the triggers is fantastic, essential for the crew I think. I did find that he was somewhat stuck with what to do with his ap sometimes, but thinking about it I should have been dropping scheme markers to pave the way for another warpig. I am thinking about giving him the upgrade which allows him to heal other models, but it is very expensive.

 I have also had some good fun with the pig slingshot. This works by shooting in the rear (rams built in because of Lenny) to make a pig charge and then using Sooey (rams to heal built in because of Lenny) to make them come back again! There are some issues with this, the compulsory triggers on the Warpig make it susceptible to leaving Sooey's range! It is effective, however.

 John got pretty frustrated by how much I can heal. Combining Ulix with a slop hauler meant I was able to heal masses of damage on the pigs, which is pretty tasty in Reckoning.

 In both games I have played, however, I have run out of pigs. My list only includes 2 to begin with, Gracie and Old Major, and turn 1 I summon another. I am starting to think that is not enough. Once Ulix has no pigs he is a fish out of water, all of his abilities revolve around pigs. What do we lose then? My current list is:

Ulix
Old Major
Gracie
Lenny
Slop Hauler
Hog Whisperer

 The one model that seems to not live up to expectation is the Hog Whisperer. I have already mentioned that Lenny has been bad ass and healing fantastic, it just leaves the man who I thought would be awesome. On paper reactivating pigs is great, but it often leaves much to answer for. Taking wounds is pretty savage, Gracie can already give it to herself and needing a mask is pretty brutal. I have found the same in a Som'er crew, I thought giving out masks to summon would mean it would be easy to reactivate pigs, but getting both to work at the same time is not possible in an effective crew. I was also hoping that dropping scheme markers on dead pigs would be handy, but this leads to the not enough pig issue and needing to be in the right place, which is difficult to make work.

 So what's the solution? Well piglets, though adorable, don't have much place in Reckoning. The Sow summons 1 wound piglets when she dies, which just leads to easy reckoning points. War Pigs are a bit expensive and I can summon them (tbh I only have one and won't be buying more until plastics). What does that leave. Wild Boar.

 As far as I can tell the Wild Board could be pretty effective. Positive to flips outside of activation works well with Ulix and he has decent damage and wounds (enough for Reckoning anyway). It has the same damage spread as a War Pig, with one less melee, and less triggers it has to declare which could mess things up. It's 0 to push and discard scheme markers is also mint. Doesn't charge for one ap, but for 6 stones I can't complain. The one major disadvantage is that I can't interact on the first turn, which makes it slightly harder to summon a warpig, but not impossible. I still think it's worth swapping out the Hog Whisperer for, at least to give it a go.

 All this being said and done, however, I am still feeling he is simply not as good as Som'er. I might try messing around with a Gremlin Reckoning list at some point again, to see what I can work out. I won't have as many large hard models, but it will give me more flexibility with schemes. I can also dig Wong out at some point and give him a run, but I don't want to try too many things at once.

 Anyway, that's enough from me. I hope it was vaguely interesting. No doubt I will continue to report my learnings soon. Chat later.

Malifaux Mercenaries

 Sitting on my painting table at the moment is the lovely Johanna, who is, by the way, a fantastic model. Johanna is one of the models who is a 'go to' mercenary. A decent attack with a good trigger, access to flurry supporting the powerful ability to remove conditions makes her useful with almost anyone. However, despite the access to Johanna and many other brilliant mercenary models I have only used mercenaries once despite over a year of playing loads of Malifaux.

 I think part of the reason for this is fluff. Johanna is not green and at the moment that's where my head is at. I don't know why any of the mercenaries would fight for the Gremlins, who I doubt are wealthy enough to pay for their services anyway. Previously I used Neverborn and Pandora and I could see no way she would feel the need to hire someone. The one time I have used them is Lucius hiring performers, but that in my head just works thematically and looks right on the table.

 The solution to this could be making models that fit the style of the models. I could, for example, make Gremlin versions of mercenaries. There are of course issues with this. First, most mercenaries are height 2 which is taller than your average Gremlin. Secondly, they still wouldn't have the Gremlin characteristic which not only makes their model misleading but also leads onto my next reason for not taking mercenaries, lack of synergy.

 There are many things within the Gremlin faction which work so well together that they are often competing for space in my lists, introducing something that doesn't add anything to anyone else in the crew just feels like I am shooting myself in the foot. Yes, they are usually good on their own but I just don't feel that is enough.

 All this being said and done, however, I do have plans to field Johanna on the table. I want to try her out with the Piggapult so I can launch people and then remove paralyse and with Lenny to do the same but removing the insignificant. I am also wondering whether it is worth taking some against specific factions, Neverborn, for example, to seem to rely on conditions. I guess we will have to see.

 That's enough about mercs for today. Tonight I have been challenged to a game of 'Faux at Worhamma in Sunderland, duelling across the swamp board no-less! I'll probably use Ulix regardless, unless a very specific strategy and scheme pool comes up they I want to try, so my next post is likely to be about the pig master himself.  Chat soon.

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

WAAC Spend a Penny

 We are rapidly closing on the month of August and the day where I will battle insomnia and churn out as many miniatures as I possibly can with my Paintathon. For those of you who don't know what I am talking about, there is charity campaign 'Wargamers All Against Cancer' or WAAC for short which is raising money for Macmillan so that they can continue to provide essential support to those suffering from cancer. In order to try and raise money for this campaign, I have pledge to stay up 24 hours and paint 100 figures. 

 I am not 100% sure what day/s this is going to cover. I am currently applying for jobs, some of which have said that no holidays are available in the first few months and you need to work bank holidays. If I get them then I would need to do the marathon on the weekend and not the bank holiday like the rest of the WAAC events. Also, a few people have pledged their support: Aidan Connor has said he'll visit for a bit, Chris King has said he will link up on skype and participate in the madness, Dan Johnson and Chris Hay have also said they will be in contact on skype; I need to make sure any times I organize are good for them aswell, particularly as Dan is in 'Merica. 

 A really big thank you to those guys, I was getting a bit worried that this was going to be an exercise in futility but their support has made all the difference. Particularly thanks goes to Chris Hay who is my second sponsor. Really, it means loads to me. Thanks.

 This post focus is not meant to be on the logistics of the event, however, but on a new way of donating I have thought of. Personally I never really know how much to give to charity. I don't have a decent job or lots of money, it's my partner that is supporting me financially, so I never feel I can give much. However, I also feel that people might think I am insulting them and their cause if I don't give very much. If you give to this charity then why not to another? If you give a decent amount to all you'll become a miser in no time. I'll be honest and say that this uncertainty has often led to me not donating at all. I was thinking that if I am not alone in this mentality then I want a way round it.

 My solution is simple, I'm going to ask for a very small specific amount. 1p per figure I paint in the 24 hours. 100 models painted means £1. I think almost everyone can manage £1 and if everyone does find it in their hearts to donate then it combine to make a very big difference. If you feel you can help those who provide such a valuable service to those suffering from Cancer then please visit my justgiving page to donate. 

Thank you for taking the time to read this.