Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Scenario Ideas

Once for a narrative campaign I looked into my 4th edition book and it's wealth of scenarios to see how well they would assimilate into 5th edition. Listening to a lot of podcast talk about tournaments and a few other things prompted me to look in there again but this time just use them as inspiration and to throw my own look into a few objective scenarios. All of the missions use the normal deployment zone/first player selection, objective rules, random game length etc. I'm merely looking to spice up the objectives. Here are a few of my ideas, feel free to critique:

Hard Point Attack
Deployment: Pitched Battle
Objectives: Side A - Place two objectives 12 inches up from the long board edge, each in contact with a different short table edge.
Side B - Place two objectives, both on the center line of the long board edge, one in contact with the long edge of side B and the other 12" forward from side B.
Idea: This scenario would create an attacker and defender situation with concentrated objectives on one side that will be hard for the attacker to take and hard for the defender to hold with the objectives in the attackers deployment zone being easy to hold but easy to take for outflankers, representing the attackers leaving themselves open on the flanks. An improvement I can see for this scenario is to allow the the "defender" to move each of his objectives up to 6" to the left or right. This way the objectives have more distance between them and they can take advantage of terrain better which is the point of the concept.

Deployment: Pitched Battle
Objectives: First player places an objective in the very corner of either the left or right of his deployment zone. The second player places his objective in far opposite corner.
Idea: I hate scenarios that involve moving units off of the board so I don't like most traditional recon scenarios. I figure this creates a massive distance between objectives and the attack lines on the objectives don't meet which would hopefully create more of a probing battle. Try to take the enemy objective without leaving yours open. Granted this set up could happen in any Pitched Battle/Capture and Control but it's very rare since people will more often attempt to use a piece of terrain near the center of the deployment zone and the second player will always close up the attack lines if they have a strong aggressive army.

Deployment: Spearhead
Objectives: The objective appears using reserves and arrives using deepstrike with the center of the board as it's target point. The objective scatters 6 D6 inches and always scatters. Roll for the objective reserve and place the objective before the first player rolls for his reserves. If the objective reaches a table edge it stops.
Idea: Players need to canvas the board and secure as much area as they can, otherwise they need a rapid response. Hopefully this fulfills the idea of a rescue mission. Something or someone important seems to be falling out of the sky. Other ideas are to have this mission in night fight since only the most pressing missions are held at night, battles rarely would and maybe using Dawn of War deployment. I like Spearhead here though because reserves can help canvas the area when using the long board edge for reserves. Another thing could be to have the objective come in later on a set turn but I like the random effect to keep people on their toes.

Deployment: Spearhead
Objectives: One objective is placed at the center of each short board edge, touching the board edge.
Idea: Simple, huh. Once again it could easily be accomplished with a Spearhead/Capture and Control but the extreme objective placement creates more of a feel to the battle. This feel being two opposing patrols meeting in an engagement.

Test the Lines
Deployment: Pitched Battle
Objectives: Each side gets three objectives placed 12 inches forward from their long board edge. One objective touching each short board edge and the third objective is in the center of the long board edge.
Idea: Six objectives on the table, one more than we've ever played with but that one can be very important. The first player to place an objective in normal Sieze Ground scenarios can place three advantageous objectives while the second player may only place 2. This way each player has 3 advantageous objectives but that isn't enough to win, you have to find that weak link in your opponents line while holding your own.

Gain a Foothold
Deployment: Pitched Battle
Objectives: At the end of the battle measure the distance between your long board edge and the lead figure of each of your units. Add the inches of ground gained by each unit and the player with the most inches gained wins.
Idea: This is my first step outside of normal objective rules which are far easier to balance. This scenario benefits MSU armies far too much and I think I'd have to write some rules to balance it. I think that maybe Dedicated Transports would not count and units must be disembarked to count for the objective. This would stop armies from gunning flat out in their transports and not putting their units at risk in any way during the mission. It is called a foot hold after all, probably have to put your feet on the ground and dig in. I'm interested in people's thoughts on this one.

Scorched Earth
Deployment: Random
Objective: Count the amount of units of each unit type in your opponent's army, Independent Characters and Dedicated Transports, etc. included. Your objective is to garner kill points from your opponents highest count category, you may choose in the case of an equal amount. The player with the most kill points of the determined unit type wins with a player winning automatically at the end of the game if they eliminate all units of that type. If both players eliminate all units of the type or if the kill points are equal then it is a draw.
Idea: Resource denial is the idea. In a campaign you can shorten the length of the war if you can cripple an opponents strength, much easier than slowly breaking down his weaknesses. I'm much more confident in this scenario and I think it will create some fun games. I'm even now imagining a Space Wolf player whose highest count unit type is his character choices.

Well that was a fun couple of hours of brain storming. I wish I could put the pictures I have in my booklet up easily.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Warmachine: A New Experience For An Old Painter

These are some figures from my very first Warmachine figures. Even though they were a commission it was fun to do them because I haven't had the capital to start up my own Mercenaries group thanks to my friend and I being in an arms race in Flames of War.

Before I put the pics up here are some observations about painting my first warjacks and the Khador color scheme. First of all I love metal figures and I think Warmachine will be a great place to throw all of my serious painting hobby love. I love steampunk, love warjacks, love metal and painting it so I'm getting excited now for my Mercs. Only down side to the metal was trying to hold up a Behemoth warjack for extended paint sessions with a minor tear in my labrum (shoulder).

Now a downside, the Khador color scheme is grossly under developed. Perhaps they are trying to show the dour nature of the country but all of the red warjacks in the gallery seemed very bland. The color scheme was tooled up in a boring way in that they used battle damage to cover up the very limited color pallet. There is no contrasting color in the scheme and they just seem very bland. That being said throw in that cream/khaki color and you have a really nice contrasting color which made me have a lot of fun painting the Beast-09. That is once I found out after painting it red that it had that color. Communicate with your painters people and painters try to make sure you know everything about every color scheme in every army so that you don't get caught out I guess. So on to the pictures.



Frost Axe Detail
The best thing that I've learned over the last year is how to have fun with thin paints. That's the whole secret behind the frost on the axe. One light coat of white over the blade then I stippled a little more white to shot the crystallization. Finally I added some wisps up from the frost so that it seemed more aesthetically pleasing to me.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Tervigon Finished

I'm just going to put this out there as a series of pictures. There isn't much to teach or talk about with this paint scheme since it's all easy techniques. Black carapace with Dark Angel, Snot, Scorpion striations and Regal, Mordian, Ice layering for the body parts with the Claws being another simple striation paint job of Shadow, Space Wolves, Skull. It's been really strange having to show everyone the pictures so that they understand it was much more of a conversion that I'm proud of rather than a color scheme that I'm on the fence about. So here we go. I wish I got a comparison picture next to a tiny little Carnifex.

Front Close-up

Full View Side
Aww, She's Hugging
Back Carapace
Birthing Vents

Well it was a fun trip but I'm unfortunately too lazy to do the birthed sack of adrenal gland bugs like I wanted to. I wouldn't say I have hobby ADD, I'm more of a hobby realist and I can't keep working on this project. My idea for the sack of bugs would have involved painting between a half dozen and a dozen little adrenal bugs and make a sack like mold. I'd then put the bugs into the mold and pour in a clear resin so that you could see the bugs in the sack on the floor next to the left birthing vents. More ideas involved me converting the tiny adrenal bugs to have legs and have them walk around like on the Codex cover. Hell maybe next time. I'm proud of how she turned out overall and I'm really surprised that the back looks as smooth as it does after looking at those big gaps when I first sandwiched the two Carnifex bodies together.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Tervigon Tutorial

I hadn't seen nearly enough Tervigons with the three capillary towers on their back and I really like to create models that look like illustrations. As works in progress would have it, things had to change a little on the fly and she isn't perfectly like the illustration and I could have kept the energy going a little better towards the end but still not bad for a first try.

This involves cutting two Carnifex kits up, one carapace gets cut with a razor saw down the inside of each side of the capillary towers and another carapace gets cut straight down the center. Clip the capillary towers from one side of the discarded capillary towers and glue them together. I have to say razor saws are fun to work with.

Dremmel three holes into the center carapace piece and grind the bases three loose capillaries so that they fit into the holes. Make sure to bore the hold for the the center capillaries so that they match aesthetically with the outside capillaries. Which is right on the tips of the joining plates.
Now it's time to get the body together so that you can measure up the covering carapaces and begin filling in the gaps. I started out test fitting the model with copious amounts of blue-tac so that the body would hold shape. The blue-tac ended up becoming part of the model and some superglue hardened it up properly.

I dry fit my covering carapaces before boring the top most capillary hole so that I could have a proper and close fit to the Thornback cover carapace. The Thornback carapace has two layers to make it look like the illustration. The under layer is assembled much like the body carapace by using two Thornback carapaces and sawing out a center piece and then sawing the second carapace in half and attaching it to the sides of the center piece. For the overlapping Thornback, saw it straight down the middle just so that you can flatten it out a little.

Be smart, unlike me and be more careful about how you cut the carapace. I made a huge mistake here and had to re-sculpt the entire left hand side of the overlapping Thornback.

This is the overall initial look at how the full model would turn out. I like Tervigons with Crushing Claws so that they can actually contribute to a battle instead of being unproductively productive but this isn't a tactics article it's a modeling tutorial. On an aesthetic appeal the Claws look very supportive and give a good knuckle dragging feel.

I tried to bore holes in the chest and create the birthing vents that you see in the illustration but I found that the area of chest that I had to work with was too small. Oh well, a minor abortion, just a little extra sculpting to do which I'm getting pretty used to at this point.

I decided that the model looked too hyper-combat looking and so I made sure to flatten out the pose before hardening the blue-tac. Also since I felt that the slim waist made it look somewhere in between combat monster and the impossible proportions of a Barbie doll combined with just needing more girth to reasonably contain enough Termagants I decided to go with a pregnant stomach look. The Termagants are birthed out of three vents on each side of the flank which makes it reasonable in my mind for so many Gants to be birthed at once.

So here is the model in a few primed pics and I hope to start working on her a bit soon so that I can post the painted pics.

I wanted to and tried to get an active birth segment to this model but couldn't manage it quiet with the energy I had left. What I do intend to do is place a slimy birth sac of adrenal gland bugs slumped on the floor near one of the vents with lots of gross liquid. I can't get a Gant head or body onto this model though without upsetting my concept of volume.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Long Lost Eldar 2 - Wraithguard

Here is a squad of Wraithguard with Spirit Seer and a few extra models done in the scheme of this craftworld's night field and stars. I added some Scorched Brown to Bleached Bone to make the color for the wraithbone. Past experience had given me the knowledge that Bleached Bone and Scorched Brown create a purple undertone and I thought that it would give it a good organic look. I started to run out of ideas for the star patterns, I really should have put more thought into it but I just needed to get things done.

Here are the last two models that I've done for this army. Warp Spider Exarch and Maugan Ra because they are both just too awesome.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Background Notes: Farseer Novel

Farseer by William King is a pretty deceptive book when you look at the title and compare the content. Maybe the story was supposed to be more about the Farseer or maybe at the time they thought a book titled A Rogue Trader and a Navigator wouldn't sell. I loved the details in the book and the plot was alright but had a bit of a stretch at the end.

1) Different farseers will view and pursue different futures and to farseers could come to blows if their visions are conflicting. It's highly unlikely that visions of powerful farseers would diverge on paths dire enough for two craftworlds to go to open war but since they are Eldar you can only imagine the pomp and politics.

1) Some daemon princes of Slaanesh are older in the physical realm than Slaanesh himself. Remember that in the Immaterium Slaanesh has always existed but there were daemons at work in the Eldar civilisation during the fall and at the time they were entities of Chaos Glory.

2) Daemon Princes require vessels to remain on the material plane for long and they destroy their vessels quickly but there are very rare vessels that are able to retain their human form for long periods of time while possessed
by a prince. These powerful infiltrators will be dangerous for hundreds of years even before the vessel gives way and they take their true form.

1) House Belisarius of the Navis Nobilite made a pact to serve Ulthwe a certain amount of favors
in exchange for help when the house needed to increase it's political sway around the times of the Great Crusade. Illustrates how the Navis Nobilite can use they services to stand head and shoulders above the rest of humanity.

2) Warp navigation charts on paper are given their 3rd and 4th dimensions with multicolored threads and secret symbols that are impossible for a non-navigator to

3) Less of a note than just a recommendation. Very decent depiction of warp travel from the Navigator's eye in this book.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Rules Transparency

I left an over excited voicemail, well two, to the D6 Generation a second ago and while I hope they play it I had way too many thoughts going on in my brain and the voicemail was so much better in my head before I picked up the phone. I want to put my thoughts more clearly here, and then talk a little bit about rules transparency. So what I wanted to convey:

Attacking Russ:
1) All in good fun.
2) The craziest thing about his comment on rules transparency was that I can't even remember when he said it the first time I heard it or the last time. It could have been 2 years ago but it just hit me recently and it hit me hard.
3) I intended to say something cool like "the words slowly, insidiously crept into my psyche" but oh well. At least I got my Lovecraft reference in. I play Arkham Horror because of those guys.

About Dakka Dakka:
1) I much less meant to talk about my degree in Linguistics seriously and meant more to talk about how I'm qualified to comment on imaginary onomatopoeic words.
2) This is something that despite the poll on the Dakka Dakka forums saying that it should be pronounced Russ' way I'll never accept defeat.
3) /æ/ really is a vowel less likely to be used in Cockney and most British English accents. Also while it's impossible to determine the actual ability of an Ork to produce certain vowels, it is my belief that an Ork would not be able to pronounce this vowel and would likely produce an /a/ as in Waaagh!.

Ok so enough of my silly poorly spoken voicemails, I love D6G and my collection of boardgames can attest to it, boardgames that I didn't have before I started watching the show.

Rules Transparency

For those who haven't heard Russ talk about rules transparency, it is the understanding of the rules of a given game such that all players of the game have an equal grasp of the rules. A game such as checkers or chess has a very easy set of rules and so after a quick read of the rules and maybe a game or two you and your opponent both understand the game equally so chess could be said to have great rules transparency. More complicated games like miniature war games and many board games have low rules transparency and elements such as experience with the game and aptitude for learning rules can really make a difference between two opponent's ability to win the game.

That being said, I'm the friend that you look to when you get a new game, the friend that you look to in a rules dispute, the friend that practically knows the page numbers of the rules. I've always been this way and I do not have photographic memory just good memory and a good grasp on language. Especially now that I've been gaming for years the mnemonic devices and ability to compare rules I know to other rules lets me devour new rulebooks pretty easily. So enough petting my own head because this seemingly good thing has led to a pretty heavy mental melt down recently. It stacked in there with a lot of other problems that I've had with enjoying the game but this one hit hard because there were no external problems to blame. My problem became if people can lose because they forget a rule here or there, what if I've only been winning because I remember rules here or there? What if I never had any skill at all in these games and I've just been really good reading?

So I was talking about these feelings with my friend at a club, not a game club mind you but a night club with a band that was using power sanders to shoot sparks into the crowd. Really can't tell if that makes me kind of cool or supremely lame but he gave me the old pat on the back and since he is a long time opponent of mine that I am indeed a good gamer based on my skill. I just don't know though, since he would want to consider me a good gamer because I'm able to beat him and he is a really good gamer himself. That's where paranoid-schizogamer comes into play.

It's easy to tell me that knowing the rules is part of the skill of being a good gamer but think right down to the core of the idea. If the a guy's tactics are incredibly sound and his maneuvering is on point but he gets caught on something that is a small rule, easily overlooked and that move turns the game in your favor after what looked like a solid loss did you really out play him or just call him on something. So while I still work out if I've ever had a fair win in my entire life that's my little rant.

To put somethings clearly, I almost always talk through important moves with important rules with my opponents when I see them doing something to their disadvantage. Maybe not in very competitive tournament play but I like to try and help people understand the game more than anything. I'm also exaggerating a bit because I do have a number of opponents who do know the rules to my level and I get to have great argusations with them so my thanks to them for keeping me slightly sane. It's just those games against more casual players where I know there must have been so many games where rules played a major factor.

Once again....Thanks Russ....