Friday, February 17, 2017

Censers & Tocsins - Harbinger of Decay WIP

This is Gagnus the Ratcatcher, my Harbinger of Decay. Gagnus was a Nurgle lord who displeased his god in a defeat (to Stormcast Eternals no less), and as punishment his quest it to collect rat (particularly Skaven) corpses for Grandfather Nurgle to use in his garden, to pack around trees for fertilizer. A humiliating punishment for what was once a great Lord of Chaos. 
Some of you may be thinking: "What do you have against Dracoths?"

I just find the model interesting, and an interesting challenge for conversions. This is my Harbinger of Decay, but instead of a plague ridden horse, he rides what I call a Gluttdragon. The story here would be Nurgle was able to corrupt a Dracoth with a disease that causes insatiable hunger. It mutates this child of Dracothion into a mockery of its former self. No better mount for a Lord of Nurgle.

The Gluttdragon's head you may recognize from the Maggoth Lord model, Bloab Rotspawned. I just got the bit from one of my other orders, and it was a decent price. I already had the starter set Lord-Celestant on Dracoth for some other bits. The rider is a Putrid Blightking model. The rest is various other bits from my collection, and lots of green stuff. I really am pushing myself with greenstuff sculpting. The challenge was getting the monster head to blend with the clean Dracoth armor. I wanted to make it look like it was some sort of creeping mold or parasite encroaching the Dracoth. Perhaps if this creature were cured of the malady, its original head would still be underneath that grotesque growth? Also the molds and pus pockets mimicking the logo of Nurgle allover, particularly on the flanks. Tentacles greedily searching around its hosts body. The clean armor parts of course get the common rusting treatment from my dremel tool.

My little Nurgle force is coming together. I have a few more things coming for it before I hit that 1000pts sweet spot. Including this thing.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Censers & Tocsins - Rotbringers Sorcerer WIP

I caught the conversion bug again recently and decided to take a crack at an older project. I started this Nurgle army wanting to branch away from Order. Well back then I had purchase some other spare bits with a few visions in mind for some other nurgle characters, and I still had some useful Putrid Blightkings bits leftover (such a great kit with all the spare bits).
This is my Rotbringers Sorcerer kitbash. The base model is the Khorne Bloodbound Slaughterpriest with Hackblade that came free in an earlier issue of White Dwarf. Then various bits from my blightkings leftovers and other fantasy bits. I know the hat is from the Collegiate Arcane Battlemage kit. A couple interesting things about this model, his pose is a fairly wide stance and he stands kind of tall. Well the original slaughterpriest model is a very tall and imposing figure, and stands on a 40mm base. The original nurgle sorcerer model is shorter (but is tall with his staff) and comes with a 32mm base. So to remedy this I cut off the skull the slaughterpriest stood on, and made a little rock outcropping for him to step on. This allowed him to stand on a smaller base than what he was designed for. Overall I am pretty proud of this model. I am having to improve my sculpting lately to fill in all the gaps from the incompatible bits, like mixing the muscular khorne arms and body with the bloated grotesque belly, head, and arms. What we get is this interesting combination of muscular and fat build. I think it works. Also like the Chaos Warriors I made from the Blood Warriors, I managed to rot up and nurglefy his armor bits using my dremel drill.
Here is my next exhaustive project for this nurgle force I am working on. More on that when I get it done. Some of the parts pictured should be obvious where they came from, but I'll get into the detail next time.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Back from the LVO, a write-up of my time in it

Just got back from the LVO, and it really was a blast. The whole event was great. Everyone had an awesome energy about them. All my games were a lot of fun, even my losses. GW was there running the tournament, and they were very cool people.

I met some followers of my blog, and those who have seen my work on the Age of Sigmar Fans Facebook group, and on /tg/. It was nice to meet all of you!
Me (right) with Reece (left), the guy who runs Frontline Gaming and the ITC. It was an honor to meet and talk with him.
The event was 6 games over 2 days, and competition was tough. I ended up losing my first 2 games, but the remaining 4 were all major victories. I ended up placing 14th of 74 players, which I find pretty good, and 6th of the Order players, which there was a lot of Order in this tournament.

My first game was against Stormcast Eternals. He brought a Warrior Brotherhood, which pretty much meant most of his army could drop in during gameplay whenever and wherever he wanted. I had something similar with my Retributors, but his was army wide. I felt it was a close enough game, but he got it because I didn't play the objectives wisely. So it was a loss where I recognized my fault in playing.

Second game was against Bill of the Rolling Bad podcast. He played Death. True to the title on his shirt, he had a lot of bad rolls. However he was able to take the win because I foolishly ignored a key objective, and with a summoning he held off until the end, he took it from me. It was well played and the game was a lot of fun. He gave me a couple dice with the Rolling Bad logo, which I appreciated. I'm am going to start giving his podcast a listen from now on, because he and his group seemed like a bunch of cool dudes.

Third, and final game of day 1, was against a fellow Dwarfs aficionado. He ran pure dwarfs though, using the Grudebound Throng battalion. His army was painted well and we both geeked out about how cool dwarfs are during the entire game, which was fun. I took the major victory on this one because my Forgesworn Eternals brought an edge to the fight.

Next day I started my fourth game against another Death player. What was interesting about this is the first time he played AoS was at this tournament, and he was learning so much about it. The beauty of AoS is you can quickly pick it up and learn the nuances as you go. He played it pretty well, and I enjoyed the game. I think he could have used some summoning, which would have helped him with the objectives. It is understandable, because among death players, most appear to be discouraged with summoning altogether. However, with my 2nd game, he only summoned 1 unit, and it won him the game. You just have to think about what summoning brings other than just reinforcements.

My fifth game was against Arturo from Ordofanaticus.com. A gaming club in portland. He ran Beastclaw Raiders. Lot's of Thundertusks/Stonehorns, Mournfang Cavalry, and Yhettis. The list was very intimidating, as it could deal A LOT of damage and was blazingly fast. I gave him first turn, in which he was charging into my back line during that, causing me to sweat a lot. It was one of the most bloody and brutal games I have ever played of AoS. By the end of the game he was down to like 3 models, and I had maybe 4 left. I took the win because he decided to completely ignore objectives, knowing it would mean a loss, and go for kill-points. This took my vote for favorite game because it was just a nail-biting brutal encounter, with terrible losses and awesome victories on both sides. The mission played was Three Places of Power. It was the mission where the objectives could only be held by Heroes, and all his Heroes were the really big heavy hitters. If he held objectives, they would have been sitting ducks for my shooting and not done their jobs. Again, he knew this and decided to ignore objectives for a fun game. I used a sideboard and swapped some things for more Heroes, meaning I had easier time taking the objectives.

The sixth and final game was against another Stormcast Eternals player. A lot of Retributors, Liberators, and a Stardrake. This was a game that I really had to fight hard for the win. He wouldn't let me have it easy. Actually, for most of the game, it wasn't looking like I would win it, but I pulled out just at the last turn and took it. Ironically what gave me the most trouble wasn't the Stardrake, like I initially thought. I was able to kill it by turn 2 because of my deep striking Retributors and some lucky rolls. My opponent said that was the only game where the Stardrake did very little for the battle. It was a hard fought won and a great note to end the tournament.

During the tournament, I was approached by the TO from GW, giving me a lot of praise over my army and conversions. He asked about my Lord-Celestant on Dire Bear conversion, and I admitted the head was from Reaper Miniatures. He understood there was no suitable bear mini by GW, and let me play with it. He said for the most part, as long as the base mini is GW, it's playable. However it did disqualify me from being put in nomination for best army voting. That and he said I could have used a little more time in painting. It stung a tiny bit, but I sort of knew that going in with a 3rd party bit. I was too proud of it to leave it home, though. But again, he really liked my work.
Me (left), and John the TO from GW (center), and Rob (right, taking a photo)
However, as consolation they did do individual painting competitions. One for hero models, artillery, behemoths, and units. I submitted my Warden King in Steamsuit for the hero, my Organ Gun for the artillery, and my Prosecutors for the unit. I won the unit competition and got a Start Collecting Seraphon box. I never had a plan to start a Seraphon army, but I may now. I have a few ideas floating in my head of what to do with them.
Her Grot she painted in class, as instructed by Lyn Stahl of Metalhead Minis. Not bad for her first mini!
My wife, Beth, got something from the LVO as well. She attended a painting class for beginners. Forgeworld also had a booth at the event. They were selling art prints and their minis. I bought a print and a Daemonsmith mini. This mini attracted me because I noticed the funny signature chaos dwarf hat is a separate bit, and it actually looks good without it. Possibly a future conversion for something.
I got a print of this, one of my favorite pieces of AoS artwork. Art credit to GW of course.
Legion of Azgorh Daemonsmith. Picture from google search.

Friday, January 20, 2017

LVO Army - Completely based and ready!

And that's it! My whole army is completely ready. I am so excited to take this there and play some games!
Lord Dunhill Behrunsson, Lord of the Forthammer Clan Throng. Warden King in Steamsuit
Drake Dunsson (master cogsmith), Norri Behrunsson (battle standard bearer), and the Unforged
Longbeards
Irondrakes
Organ Gun
Cannon
Lord-Celestant Hanzbur Anvilhelm, Lord of the Anvilhelms host, of the Forgesworn Eternals
Lord-Relictor Volstrad Runeseer, and Knight-Questor Quillon Stoneshield
Liberators
Retributors
Prosecutors
If any of you are attending the LVO for whatever, please swing by and say hi. I will be participating in the AoS grand tournament on Saturday and Sunday only, let me know you follow my blog, I would really appreciate it!

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

LVO Army Transportation

I have to take my army on a plane. And there is no way I am checking that piece of luggage! So I found for cheap a piece of carry-on luggage, with the sole purpose of being my army carrier.
With some cardboard cutting and hotglue-ing, I have made a couple sectioned model trays. I may line some of them with some thin foam material for extra safety, but this should ensure my models fit securely in the overhead compartment! Hopefully.
Only 2 trays deep. The Prosecutors are turning out to be very problematic for space, but definitely more manageable with the wings conversion I did to them.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Gamer A.D.D - Rogue Stars

I am a fan of the Song of Blades and Heroes game system. I've done a few posts on it before. It's a great little fantasy skirmish game that can be easily taught, picked up, and provides a dynamic gaming experience. When I head the creator, Andrea Sfiligoi, built a scifi ruleset that was published by Osprey Wargames (who also published Frostgrave), I knew I wanted to check it out. Also I learned the art within was illustrated by Johan Egerkrans who also runs one of my favorite blogs that I follow. So with some of my Christmas money I ordered a copy and read through it.

The game is advanced. It has a lot of rules and a lot of conditions. Your characters can have 3 different types of condition tokens on them at any one time, including pin tokens, stress tokens, and wound tokens. These tokens represent penalties for different types of rolls and bonuses for your opponent depending on the rolls. The amount of special rules available to making characters isn't as much of an issue as I am used to it with SoBaH, but the sheer amount of tables needed for referencing is pretty high. Attacking and damage alone has you go through about 5 different tables in a sequence. It's a little daunting, but you can quickly remember common roll modifiers and table look-ups to speed-up play. But a cheat sheet would sure help as I was flipping through the book quite a bit on our initial playthrough.
We were excited to play this game using my Zone Mortalis tiles, and it worked quite well on them.
However there were some aspects about it I really enjoyed. It borrowed a few key things from SoBaH which I thought were best about that system. It's still a bring-whatever-minis-and-stat-them-up type games. So I could use whatever scifi figures I wanted, and make their profiles to match the miniature. This is especially friendly to conversions as a lot of options in the book will cover most creative ideas I can think of for miniatures. The other aspect it took is the activations and initiative. Where you rolled on each figure to activate your minis, and your opponent got to react to them based on bad rolls and even attempt to steal initiative away from you, switching to your opponent's turn. The game experience can be active for both players, and that is very cool.

Some people are calling this a scifi Frostgrave, which I don't think it is at all. The model count per side is only about 4-6 models, and really can't go much higher with how activations and initiative is handled. It doesn't even feel like Necromunda. To me it feels closer to each player is bringing a team of  RPG Player Characters that face off against each other. Perhaps another good comparison is to GW's old Inquisitor game.

We didn't get through a single game as my brother, Jarom, and I played. We were both learning to play and things went really slow. We could tell though that it did start to speed up near the end as we learned about the common target number rolls and table conditions. But this game does take a lot of practice, so it's not as friendly to new players as SoBaH is, especially those new to wargaming. We do want to give it another chance. There may be a lot of rules to go through for actions, but it provides a lot of detail to them, like damage locations and weapon ranges.

My brother and I have had our own scifi setting homebrewing in our heads for quite some time. We had already adapted it to a simple RPG that I outlined on my other blog (which I don't do much with anymore). We were looking for a miniatures game that could do it justice, and this might be it. Our initial thoughts were for Deadzone, but that game is not as adaptable as this.
After a couple read-throughs, I made some useful reference cards for recording your characters. These are meant to be 3"x5" so they can fit into large card sleeves.
And here are a few examples of the cards in use. This is my 200xp team. The Oathbound. In our setting is a massive heavy world rich with minerals, and generations of Fairin (the common human-like race of the galaxy) have been working on the world of Urachbach. They formed the Urachbach Mining Guild. A people of hard work ethics and very dwarven policies when it comes to grudges and righting wrongs. One of the things they have are the Oathbound. When a group has wronged or shorted the Urachbach mining guild, the Oathbound are set out to track them down and get reparations, under threat of death. They can only seek this justice in neutral space, so a lot of it has to do with timing and investigation.
Obviously this is my little Deadzone Forge Fathers collection, which I am looking forward to painting soon. I like this game because it encourages you to give each model its own style and personality, while keeping with a theme for your force as a whole. There is no 'generic footsoldier', they are all named characters. Undoubtedly you will be seeing more about this game sometime in the future.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Tau Plans and New Stuff

Of course with a new year, I am already thinking about what I plan to bring to the next Harvester of Souls in October. I need time to prep for these things. And I feel the pull of the Tau again, after taking a break from them for so long.

Now I will be using the latest Codex edition, which will be allowing me to run a type of list I have dreamed about for a very long time. A list consisting entirely of battlesuits and drones, thanks to using 3 formations. It consists of a Commander, 9 Crisis Suits, 3 Broadsides, Riptide, Ghostkeel, 6 Stealthsuits, and a whole bunch of drones.

As I always want to feature my conversions whenever I can, I will be building some new suits and well as using some old favorites. I will be using my XV86 conversions for 3 of the crisis suits, and my XV9's for 3 more. In that case I will be magnetizing their twin-linked burst cannons and replace them with missile pods. I will also need to re-base them onto 50mm bases to make them legal as XV8's, as the new XV8 kit (which is one of my favorite model kits now, btw) comes with 50mm bases.
On top of this, with my lovely wife gifting me the new Crisis kit for Christmas, I made 3 more suits. This is a conversion I have been wanting to do for a long time now. The idea is give them a more tacti-cool 2-handed rifle hold pose. Each fusion blaster is long-barreled which will count as a twin-linked fusion blaster, to account for accuracy and precision. I also went for a different head style, using a support system bit (commonly represents Target Lock) with some other bits.
Also with some of my winnings from the last Harvester, I bought the Commander kit. I have some semi-radical plans with it. I have thought about what if an Ethereal piloted a battlesuit, and that will be the focus of the conversion. More on it in a later post.

My brother, Jarom, got me a small gift for Christmas, which I appreciate. He has been working on a Gue'vesa themed Tau force lately, and gave me the DS8 Tactical Support Turrets from his Fire Team kits he had. I built one normally (right), and a one to represent how I believe it would look like while hovering (left). The story with these turrets is they follow the strike team around in hovering, and the team can plant theirs to deploy the weapon. Only when it is planted the weapon can be used. In this case I prefer the Smart Missile System.
And finally, this may have nothing to do with my Harvester list, but I have always wanted to add Tetras to my army. I faced them in one of my games at this last Harvester, and they were effective and looked like a lot of fun. My opponent also used the official models for them, where I commonly saw people use stripped down Piranhas as proxies, which are generally much bigger. The Tetra is deceptively small, more close to the size of jetbike models. So that gave me an idea. How would I go about making a Tau Jetbike? So with a bits order I got the core parts of the Reaver Jetbikes, and tried on the drone and Coldstar Commander thrusters (which I will not be using on my Ethereal Commander). This is just a preliminary stick-together concept of course, so things will likely change, but I think with these core components I can make a decent Tau jetbike Tetra counts-as.