Thursday, May 31, 2018

Death In The Dark

Hello patient friends and people who have stumbled onto my page for the first time by accident or from some link I posted somewhere!

It has been a long time since the last post but I figured since I played an actual game of Deep Dark Dungeons that I should use this conveniently named page to share my session. I sort of threw something together kind of slap-dash, but a few encounter tables and carefully selected miniatures later I was off!

I ran a low-level adventure of around 160 points and I'm finding I'm enjoying these sort of adventures immensely. They are very much more tense, and require smaller numbers of figures which fit better into small dungeon rooms. I'm toying with the idea of making it the default setting, but I worry that for one-offs that you miss out on some of the crazier encounters.

Using my dungeon terrain I constructed a 6 room dungeon to explore.

I went with a classic party of dwarf fighter, elf rogue, human wizard and human cleric. The first door was opened and right away I got a challenging encounter, a medusa! Or not so challenging as the elf rogue dashed in and shanked her, killing her dead in one blow. Go us!

Of course as we moved further in, a random encounter had some goblins return home and immediately swarm the elf. A few sharp knives later and I was down one party member in room one. Go us?

The next room yields a weapon rack, and the cleric needing to pick up some slack left by the loss of the elf decides to search it. He ends up with a masterwork weapon and a curse for his troubles, lowering his quality and combat by one. I beginning to see a pattern develop here.

The next room has a lizardman guarding a chest! Huzzah, loot! The lizardman gets brained with an axe pretty quickly. The dwarf moves in to open the chest...

Annnnd it's a mimic. Of course it's a mimic. It hopped around and got chopped up and the party moved on.

Room number 4 contains nothing but an ordinary table. Or is it? The curious cleric decides to search it and...gets cursed again, this time getting turned into a frog. Sadly a frog miniature was not available for this picture.

The curse didn't last long, but it was long enough to distract the heroes while some random bandits ambushed them! Two were cut down quickly but a third almost made it to the wizard before the dwarf caught up with him. Close call!

The party again attempted to move on, but another wandering band of goblins showed up. Two rushed the wizard while the archer hopped up on that damn table and fired a crossbow bolt into the poor cleric's back, killing him instantly. His god must have been really angry with him! The dwarf and wizard finished off the runts, but now there were only two...

Trudging on to the fifth room, the dwarf opens the door and gets a spray of acid for his troubles. He is unharmed but soon finds himself charged by another lizardman! Blows and spells are traded but the mighty dwarf is finally felled by beefy scaled sinews.

Finding himself suddenly alone, the wizard decides to leg it and the quest is at an end. Sadly, adventure failed.

Even though my party died horribly and didn't even make it to the final challenge, I still had a great time. I've blown through adventures this size before easily, but this time luck was just not on my side. Lots of wandering monsters, unlucky combat rolls and an inordinate amount of traps just made this brutal.

But that's how life goes in the Deep Dark.

Happy gaming!

Friday, October 20, 2017

Custom Space Marine Chapter: The Swordbreakers

Greetings fellow gamers! It has been a long, long hiatus and I finally have something I feel like posting about!

With the new edition of 40k, I decided to start my own custom chapter, which is really a chapter I started building a decade ago, but suffered some setbacks and ultimately abandoned. The new primaris space marines have given me the inspiration to push forward and I've assembled the force. Of course in my usual fashion, I've painted very little since I started collecting them in June.

But before I get to the pics, though I want to share a little background. The army started as a Crimson Fists stand-in and was originally planned as an almost pure drop-pods and veterans force. With the advent of the primaris, things have shifted but the ear-marks are still there: stubborn veterans who strike deep into the heart of the enemy to crush it's most vital armaments. Incidentally, even though they are sons of Dorn, I use the Iron Hands chapter tactics. Hopefully you can see why below. Anyway, I'll let my little chapter blurb do the talking.

The Swordbreakers

Parent Chapter: Imperial Fists
Symbol: Sword with broken blade (white on purple).
Heraldry: Purple and black.
War Cry: "We are the shield of the Emperor! We are the hammer of Dorn!"

The Swordbreakers take the legendary stubbornness of Dorn and weaponize it. When the enemy makes siege, the Swordbreakers bring the siege to the enemy. Each marine is a walking fortress, shrugging off grievous injuries through indomitable will while laying down hails of withering firepower from which there is no escape. The Swordbreakers strike deep into the heart of enemy lines, seeking to carve out their artillery and elite troops. Each mission is near suicidal, and Swordbreakers have earned a reputation for iron-willed tenacity. Each warrior emerges from these baptisms of fire a battle-hardened veteran, thrust into the midst of dangerous combat even few other astartes see.

The heavy losses and injuries sustained by the chapter give rise to a large number of dreadnoughts, further epitomizing the impregnable fortitude of the chapter. If each marine is a walking fortress, Swordbreaker dreadnoughts are lumbering bastions of death, crashing into the foe and breaking them upon their heavily armored bodies.  

Severely depleted prior to the division of the galaxy, the Primaris marines were a welcome addition to the chapter’s ranks. Merely 300 of the original chapter’s marines remain, now comprising most of the upper leadership. In addition, the chapter’s entire 1st company is entirely comprised of the chapter’s original astartes. The 10th company is also trained by original Swordbreakers, maintaining the traditions of the chapter. The rest of the battle companies are almost pure Primaris, with non-Primaris marines serving in mentorship roles at a leadership level. The Swordbreakers see the Primaris as the inheritors and future of the chapter, and as such strives to put them at the forefront of their operations.

Notable Swordbreakers:

Chapter Master Alaric Bane (non-Primaris)
Captain Ramirez Holt, 1st Company (non-Primaris)
Captain Fenral Brandt, 4th Company
Chief Librarian Heinrich Voss
Chaplain Balus Richter, 4th Company
Lieutenant Kurgos Vaughn, 4th Company
Lieutenant Godric Lang, 4th Company
Ancient Danais, 1st Company Venerable Dreadnought
Eigon the Elder, 1st Company Contemptor Dreadnought
Brogan the Honored , 4th Company Redemptor Dreadnought

So you have the background, now on to the pretty pictures. First we have Lieutenant Kurgos Vaughn, of the 4th company. Vaughn is an accomplished veteran and carries an honor-mark over his right eye to attest to his valor.

As you can see I went with a semi-half black/purple scheme. I used bright green as the highlight to make it really pop, and white for markings so they would be highly visible.

Next up we have Chief Librarian Heinrich Voss. Even though Voss is one of the less seasoned primaris marines, his prodigious abilities and deep wisdom earned him a rightful selection to head the chapter's librarius.

Specialist characters can be hard to keep the chapter identity with the alternate armor colors, so I tried to convey the purple/black with the robes. I also tried to keep the blue dark as a semi-nod to the chapter's Crimson Fists inspiration. I tried to replicate the same burning sword look from my Dark Angels librarian, but the color shift to green left it looking a little odd. I think it still works though.

So that's two models down of about 60. I wouldn't expect too much movement on this project, but if I get anything else done, I'll be sure to post. It feels good to post again.

Anyways, happy gaming!

Monday, March 13, 2017


(Note: All references to SLAMBO! in this post will be in all caps and punctuated with an exclamation point. This is because his name must always be shouted at the top of your lungs while making an angry war-face. You should imagine that every time you read SLAMBO!)

In the ancient times at the beginning of Warhammer, Citadel put out a number of metal chaos warrior figures that for some reason or another they decided to name:

They were filled with character and in may ways set the tone for all chaos warriors to come after. They embodied the art of heavily armored murder, and none more so than SLAMBO!

You can see SLAMBO! in all his glory there in the upper left corner. The horns, the axes, the slitted great helm and giant pauldrons, SLAMBO! probably created the chaos warrior look we know and love. He was a real trend-setter from the get go. In fact, it is probably safe to say he was the inspiration for the equally-famous-if-not-more-so chaos warriors from HeroQuest:

They all joined his fan club. They got membership cards and everything.
Over the years, SLAMBO!'s simple approach to horned, armored, double-bladed mayhem has made him somewhat of a legend among the Warhammer community at large. Which meant of course that when Games Workshop released a new, bigger, meaner resin version of him, the internet was buzzing with excitement.

As a fan of old-school miniatures in general and a lover of all things even tangentially HeroQuest related, I had to pick up SLAMBO! and paint him up. I am incredibly proud of the results:

The main technique used on the armor was to prime black and drybrush the model in layers of silver. In this case, Boltgun Metal>Ironbreaker>Mithril Silver. Then I washed the armor with Thraka Green and Gryphonne Sepia in the appropriate areas, giving it color but leaving it metallic.

As you can see, I picked up a pot of GW's Blood For The Blood God and just went to town. This stuff is amazing and it is crazy how much it looks like real blood. I used a toothbrush dipped in BFTBG and ran my finger over the bristles, flicking the paint on to create spatter in the appropriate areas.

I really love how the severed head came out. It is an old Empire head, I think from some knights. I cut the neck area flat and painted in some flesh and bone then just gooped BFTBG all over it. It was only appropriate to show SLAMBO! in his natural element of blood-soaked glory.

He's surprisingly bigger than his original version. While SLAMBO! the elder was 28mm scale and we would expect his new version to be 32mm heroic or some-such, new SLAMBO! is well into the 40mm scale territory, almost completely filling his 40mm base. He makes for an imposing figure on the tabletop.

Speaking of which, while he has rules for both Age of Simar and the new version of Warhammer Quest, I think SLAMBO! will be a display model for some time. If you want to see him in person, you can pop down to Black Moon Games, where he will be menacing people from the display case.

That's all for now! Happy gaming!

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Here I Stand And Here I'll Stay

In a post almost exactly a year ago, I made it well known that I'm a ridiculous Frozen fan. Yes, I'm weird, whatever. Let's move on.

Anyway, I was never really happy with those miniatures. The sculpting was a little basic and kinda goofy, even for figures based off of Disney characters. On top of that they were a little out of scale and tiny.

However, Hasslefree Miniatures have once again saved the day with a couple of beautiful sculpts that really knocked it out of the park. This Christmas I was lucky enough to receive both their Raisa and Cara resin masters as a present. I've been eyeing these two for a while now and I've put it off mostly due to the price. But if you have never picked up one of Hasslefree's resin masters, do so immediately. They are incredibly clean and crisp. I don't think I could go back to their metal stuff unless I didn't have the option. Totally worth the extra money.

Raisa is the Elsa look-a-like and she hits the nail on the head:

I used the same basic color scheme as I used on the original Northstar sculpts, although this time around the skin came out much whiter looking, so I just washed it back down with Ogryn Flesh and left it. It came out surprisingly good, and I can see the benefits of the monochrome/wash methods some people use. I may practice more with the technique in the future.

Cara differs quite a bit from Anna in many respects, but still looks great. I was also happy to see that she was not portrayed as a spellcaster but instead a warrior/explorer type. Much more fitting:

Once again I opted not to do the embroidery on the bodice and skirt, but this time for very different reasons. I didn't rush through this one, but the sheer amount of folds in the skirt would have made things very difficult. On top of that, Cara is VERY busty in a way that Anna is not. So instead of having a nice flat surface to work on, it would have been challenging to try and freehand while compensating for the curves. I like to think of it as being a more no-nonsense, less fancy adventuring outfit.

One of the nice things about this model is that the way the hair is sculpted makes it very easy to pick out a single white shock of hair. There are no braids, but the pigtails get the point across. 

Oh and for those of you who like the snow effect on the base, it's Games Workshop's Valhallan Blizzard. This stuff is essentially the same as the pumice gel I use for my bases, but a finer grit and with white paint mixed in. It creates a fantastic effect and when it eventually goes out of production I will be very sad.

So there we have it. Frozen Project: Redux is a success. They will definitely replace the Northstar minis on display and on the tabletop, especially since they are actual 28mm scale and not dwarfed buy the other miniatures around them. I am extremely happy with how these came out all around.

That's all for now! Happy gaming!

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Bloody Buccaneer Skarre and some updates

Hello there, readers. Long time, no see. Nobody probably noticed, but the blog has been on kind of a hiatus for the last six months or so. There are a number of reasons for this. A big part of it has been time. My schedule has been tighter and I've had things other than gaming taking up my time.

Another part of it is that I work in a game store. This isn't a new thing. It's been over a year since I started there and I still used to update. But as time goes on and I get more comfortable with the game community, I find I have more social outlets for my gaming. When I started the blog, you will find I was almost exclusively a solo gamer. Now I have a whole community of people to discuss and interact with, so the blog is less necessary than it used to be. This is a positive thing but it means the blog has gone unused.

On a slightly less positive note, this year has been a little hard on me physically and mentally. It is amazing how much chronic pain, depression and anxiety can sap your will to do the things you love. Playing a game seems like a chore and the paintbrush moves a little slower. These are things I'm dealing with and have always dealt with. I'm hoping in the new year that I can get a better handle on things.

So what does that all mean? Well it means I'm not going to try and force myself into a scheduled posting regime. No longer will I try to get a monthly post up, fail, feel bad, then forget to do it again. I'm going to just post when I feel like I have something to say. That might be a painting project I'm particularly proud of. It might be a game review or description. I might just pop in to say hi. I'm not sure exactly how it will go. It might end up I never post anything again. I hope that's not the case, because I've loved writing everything I have so far.

Ok, tired of listening to me ramble? Want to see the one thing I've gotten painted in the last six months? OK!

Back in August, Privateer Press put up a number of con exclusive models . Not only did I get to snag the Brute Thrall Femme Fatale I've been wanting for a while, but I also picked up the Bloody Buccaneer Brew version of Skarre.

Most of the BBB style models are pin-up types and for most of the Warmachine range that ends up looking rather ridiculous. For Skarre though, that sort of medium works. She's already a dangerous lady in skimpy clothing. In fact, they didn't even have to change her outfit much. And it's perfectly sculpted. The whole model just encapsulates the pirate queen in her natural element outside of battle, casually drinking a good brew (or maybe the blood of her enemies). She looks mischievous, yet relaxed. It just fits her whole character so well.

So without further rambling:

There are a couple of things I'm pretty proud of. First, I sculpted the floor with greenstuff so she would be standing on a tavern floor. Second, the cup of blood with the dribble down the side, just a little bit of red wash at the right angle. Finally, I did some jeweling on the dagger handle. It's a little hard to see because it's so small but I think it adds just a little extra touch to the whole.

I stuck pretty close to the original color scheme, since my Cryx are purple anyway and I like purple. This miniature didn't literally take me four and a half months to finish. I just took a long time between paint sessions on her. She languished untouched for all of October. But I finally got it done and I'm very happy with the result. She's now on display in the case at work for all to see.

That's all for now. With any luck, you will hear from me again soon. I have a couple of projects I'm excited about so I'm sure you will.

Until then happy new year and happy gaming!

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Warmahordes MKIII Ahoy! Bane Witch Agathia Appears!

Just last month Warmachine and Hordes released their new MKIII edition rulesets. Even though I re-entered the game only 2 years ago, I was super excited for this for a number of reasons:

  • More 'jacks/beasts.
  • Rebalanced Cryx faction so I don't have to feel like a complete ass every time I plop down my army.
  • More focus for 'jacks
  • Premeasuring.
  • Not feeling like I'm a decade behind everyone else
  • A bane warcaster!
While this has turned out to be sort of a mixed bag since the release, that last point was what had me most excited. You can tell by the exclamation point.

Banes have been my favorite models in Cryx since MKI and having a badass bane chick to lead my ghosty dead axe guys makes me happy to no end. The battlegroup is a great deal for the price so I had to pick it up just for this new caster, plus the mini rulebook. Getting an extra body to build Malice out of was gravy.

Delicious, evil gravy,
Without further images of food, allow me to introduce Bane Witch Agathia:

I will say the plastic in the battlegroup boxes is not any better quality than Privateer's normal offerings. I found her details a little soft and there were multiple mold lines in bad places. Being bad at removing mold lines and not wanting to ruin her, I erred on the side of caution and left them intact.

Since my banes are ghostly green, I decided she should be green too, if in a paler fashion. It leaves her looking like an otherworldly creature which fits her perfectly. I also carried the purple and gold of my other miniatures over to her as well. I'm not entirely happy with the skirt. The picture kills the highlights and even in person they don't exactly pop. I may revisit it at some point.

And of course we have a family shot with her super happy fun bane-time friends and 2/3 of her battlegroup culled from previously painted models. The reaper is still a work in progress and should join her soon.

I look forward to getting some play time with Agathia. I'm used to using the amazingly powerful debuffs of Denghra and Agathea is more of a toolbox/assassination-y caster. The reaper is new to me too so I definitely want to get that in too before upgrading to the superior Malice.

Anyway, that's all for now. Happy gaming!

Saturday, May 28, 2016

A Giant Among Angels

About a year ago, I celebrated getting a pretty good job by buying an Imperial Knight titan. That job turned out to not be so good in the long run but hey, at least I ended up with a Knight. About a week ago, at my current job with Black Moon Games hosted a big 40k mega battle. We had 9 players with 1500+ points each. It looked a little something like this:

Of course, knowing this was coming up, I felt I had to bring something big to the table. You can see a preview of that big thing in the picture above on the left. If you haven't guessed already, that thing is my Knight titan. Seriously, if you didn't guess I am ashamed of you.

But before I get to the actual pictures, a little background...

House Feihn

Heraldry of House Feihn
House Feihn is the ruling house on the Knight World of Cullough. Only recently returned to the Imperial fold a scant 500 years ago, Cullough was rediscovered by the Dark Angels chapter of the Adeptus Astartes. Despite having lived outside of Imperial rule for so long, Cullough has become a staunchly loyal world and provides food and supplies to the Dark Angels, as well as occasional recruits. The Knight World's harsh, feudal society creates fierce warriors with unquestionable loyalty to their houses. As the ruling house, Feihn provides a fair number of these recruits as well as support from its knight titans when requested.

Most recently, Cullough found itself under attack by an ork Waaagh! that threatened to overrun the planet. Though their knights were able to defend the great bastions of the houses, aid was required to break the ork sieges. The Dark Angels' 3rd company responded, obliterating the ork forces in precise sweeps of bolter fire, driving the beasts up against the very walls they were trying to tear down. Seeing the orks boxed in, the knights sallied forth to slaughter the remnants.

Following the successful cleansing and rebuilding of the world, House Lord Kieran Feihn honored their rescuers by providing his youngest son, Aldric, and his knight titan to the chapter for permanent support attachment. Aldric is currently attached to the Dark Angels 3rd company.

The Nephilim

Aldric Feihn pilots an Imperial Knight Warden named The Nephilim, after the giants born of angels in ancient Terran legends. He is well know in his house for his combat skills and the Dark Angels are glad of the firepower and ferocity he brings to each combat. Though never possessing the necessary attributes to be recruited for Astartes training, Aldric grew up with stories of the chapter's glory in battle and aspires to the same principles as the Emperor's finest.

Attached to the Dark Angels' 3rd battle company, The Nephilim bears the company's banner on its carapace, as well as the chapter's winged sword badge on Aldric's own banner. Of course, Aldric proudly displays House Feihn's heraldry on The Nephilim's shield.

Ok, enough of that drivel, on to the pictures!

As you can see, he's covered with the requisite abundance of swords and wings, along with some Gothic numerals to spice things up. I am not super happy with the house heraldry, since I discovered it was a much harder design for me to paint than it looked at first. I am apparently terrible with U

I am most proud of the wings on the rear of the shoulders, since when viewed from the top they sort of connect with the swords and when viewed from the rear it looks like the titan has a set of its own wings. I also really like the lettering on the scroll, even if it looks kinda crappy in close up photos.

The base was a real pain. It is a resin base from a company whose name escapes me at the moment that I found cheap on eBay. The knight has already been mounted on the base it came with and the feet didn't quite rest properly on the new texture. Of course the feet are hollow, so in order to pin it, I had to fill a couple toes with green stuff. It is held in place with wood glue around the pins, but it still feels fragile to me. Hopefully I can find a good system in the future but for now it does the job.

That's all for now and thanks for reading. Happy gaming!