Wednesday, 27 June 2012

BT Thunder Stomp

Started my adventure fixing the imperfections on my first Fine Cast model. I've been told by a few people that they have had good experiences with the smaller models, but I'm not convinced just yet. After spending at least a couple of days fixing the bubbles and hollow mould spots on the Blood Thirster model and there is more to do, I got a bit bored so entertained myself by sculpting a scenic base with some bits from my bitz box. Stompy BT shatters some earth and on the way he displays some dance moves on an unfortunate Whitelion. I'm undecided on having a Elven Ax embedded on the ground nearby and figure that with a planned glowing lava theme on the base it should be enough detail.

 The Fine Cast does do the sculpt some justice with it's detail

Monster Thunderstomping and that's why you take em.

Looks like a few more weeks before I can get an undercoat on this bad boy but I'm liking how he's turning out. I think with the hobby every challenge is a opportunity to develop your skills and in this case it's definitely giving my limited green stuff experience a work out.

Board Game of the week: Ninjato

Very cleverly designed VP based board game. It has exquisite graphics and wooden shurikens to mark your moves. The combat dynamics are unique and enthralling as you take your Ninja on raids against enemy castles to elevate your house into dominance. Also recruit advisor's and prominent figure heads to gain added VP's. This was my first game of Ninjato but I have no doubt it won't be my last.

Very graceful design and once you get started it's easily learnt on your first game.

Highly recommend this game 4 out of 5 stars.

Friday, 22 June 2012

Guardsman Trophy 2012 Batreps

It's the warm up for GuardCon at The Auckland City guard and that means a Winter league with 6 games to determine the Champion for the Guardsman Trophy. I've got the Trophy at present and will be sending out and testing a multitude of High Elf armies to defend the title. It's actually really cool since you are not required to have the same list for the games. It makes it very interesting to test potential tournament armies amongst a great bunch of fellow wargamers.

I took my NiCon list with some adjustments to face some VC for the first game. With my magic heavy combat defensive army it was going to be interesting facing a Stragoi led army with Vargheist (6 of them), Terrorgheist and a horde of VC abominations. The HE list did what it was designed to pitting the huge Strigoi Bunker down to size so str3 bows could finish off the unit, yup pointy sticks who would have thunk. The Flaming banner on the Whitelions was lethal and they chopped through some devolved Vampires on the charge and pretty much anything you put in front of them. Withering combined with the last remaining 10 Elf bowmen was the highlight of Elven archery for the year and I directed it on the Terrorgheist. Big Monsters don't like being T3, and even with ten shots it was enough to bring down the wounded flappy hellbat with three wounds. Pointy sticks to the skull of the hulking beast. Top game and really hit a chord when the theory hammer actually plays out in a game.
20-nil Win.

Second Game and 1st Game against my opponent, who was fielding a beaut painted army of WoC, so was really amped. Needed to play at GW in town and I had to take my ready packed army in a box for the game to make it easier for the travel. My opponent was kind enough to let me use my Tin Soldier army cut down to 2400pts (upcoming tournament list). I broke out the Lord on Star Dragon ( Betsy) and used a very 7th edition meta list. It's a very enjoyable army to play and relies on a fully combat and attack strategy which isn't what most people expect from the High Elf army book. So a quick batrep, after surviving gateway twice and two wayward Hellcannon shots The Dragon was into his Hellcannon and combat was a bit iffy and had to rely on the breath attack to take it's last wound. On the other end of the table Combined charge with Sword Masters, Dragon Princes and a Chariot  onto one unit saw off one of the three Warrior blocks in the enemy army. This made his Lord's unit run even with a re-rolled panic test on a 9. End of the game after mopping up left his Chosen block with extra attack, 3+ward, Chicken Mcnuggets and fries untouched and me with a sizable win.
17-3 Win.

Found some extra time, shock so I picked up a copy of Bernard Cornwell's latest in his series of Saxon stories about the end of the ninth century. I like his quick frank pulp historical fiction type of writing style, well worth a read. I recommend Whitcoulls for their pricing and because they are a good NZ company.

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Mid-June Hobby Round Up

Lots of armies to work on and a moment to reflect. Gone are the old Range of GW paints and in ushers another set but I have a huge range of the Black flip top lid paints and wanted to just complete the set with a Goblin Green and possibly a Blood Red. So a mate said he could help and handed me a bottle of Goblin green... from another era. If anyone has an exact idea how old they are that would be great. I've been told these are circa 1998 or there abouts so that makes em about 25years old and because the caps are almost air tight they are like new paint when I opened them. Really like the nostalgia and the collector in me will have to hunt down the whole set now me thinks.

 Back when commercialism didn't matter and things were made to last forever indefinitely.

Feeling brave I ventured out and broke my Finecast cherry and it wouldn't be right unless I got myself a righteous massive Blood Thirster model. So I went to my local hobby shop and made my purchase of over 100 clams (NZ dollero's). I made sure I opened it at the store and under the not so good fluorescents the model didn't look that bad. It had it's usual mould lines and a few minor deformities but at first glance it looked good (buyer beware!). The detail on some of the model was spectacular and the reduced weight was a real boon, which meant gone were the days of carry a block of lead around.

 At first Glance in low shop lights the pieces looked good, but buyer beware and check again!

Upon getting home and ready with the trusty clippers and craft knife a closer inspection revealed all I feared about the "Fail Cast" range. So to save having to write a two page rant here is the summary of What I found disappointing and just plain terrible about the experience.

1. Paying $100+ for a miniature I expect quality and a product with little or no defects in its manufacture. Granted that as a hobby we have the skills and ability to fix minor mishaps and tidy up mould lines so a certain amount of leeway is given. The figure I got was moulded with little or no care and the mould lines were deep and interferred with alot of the detail.

2. Details interrupted by not only mould lines it most disturbingly had bubbles at crucial detail points.

3. The resin is brittle/fragile more than malleable so any attempt to fix with warm water or a hair dryer will be a intense test of patience and skills.

 Extreme and deep mould lines coupled with brittle resin has meant the tip of the horn has disintegrated.

4. The most worrying thing is that the wings are distorted out of it's original shape straight out of the box. It's probably because of the fact that the bad mould job has produce almost a paper thin surface at some of the places on the wings.
Wings are distorted like a limp old soggy leaf left to dry.

5. I persevered and went back to the shop to get a replacement. The best they could do was get me one with a less deformed wing with all the previous problems unsolved. I really want this model so will soldier on but I expect that the clean up job on the mould lines and the reshaping with warm water will take me at least a mountain of hours.

Rating of Fine Cast :  2.5 out of 10 no more "Fail Cast" for me.

**Why don't you just use plastic as you've proved that you can maintain a heap of detail on all the new plastic miniatures.**

It only get's good points as some of the model has amazing detail and the reduction in weight gets a big thumbs up. The use of low quality replacement resin and the fact the moulding engineers clearly didn't know what they were doing heaps huge disgrace on the company who chose to use them. Shame on you for increasing your prices to sell a inferior product, perhaps a better quality assurance could have been introduced some where before it got out to your customers.

Board Game of the Week: Nexus Ops

Action filled fast paced game where you pit yourself against your fellow players in a miniature packed title from Fantasy flight. With the huge amount of game pieces, tokens and cards you get from this game it means it's value straight up. With a fast and easy to understand dynamic of mine trillium and grow your numbers of troops and then conquer, it relies on some tried and tested familiars. Great for all ages and sure to be a good addition to your collection. Only thing that has me a little hesitant is that it may not be as replayable or has a broad enough appeal for some.

A mountain of plastic tokens and goodies, makes it great value.

 Rating out of 5: 3 out of 5.

Saturday, 9 June 2012

Kitchen Bitch at Nicon

Nicon was hosted by my club over the past three day weekend. I was rearing to go and had my Elven host all geared up to take on Skaven. The number one player in the country was shuffle dancing about taking Ogres but I was onto his Tsung Tzu (Sun Wu) tactics and knew he would be taking his other army Skaven. So was designed the suicide Elves ready to take on the six dice shenanigans but ultimately weak to shooting armies. This was Ironic as the reverse meta meant that 7 Wood Elf armies strolled outta the forest to take part and that meant if I faced them my T3 force would have been shunted off the park.

With Nicon's multiple tournaments and ultimately the council who hired the hall out to us not cooperating as well as we had thought I had to sacrifice the weekend to drum the logistics out so the tournament went as planned. Having the council fall short by giving us 34 trestles and promising 40, it meant that it was play Macgyver with the very last broken trestle to make the juggle around work. So after a dozen times around with the thousand mile tape it meant the tournament was go and I had to give up my gaming weekend for a stint at being the Kitchen Bitch for the weekend. It didn't help that we had players pulling out to muck the draw up some thing wicked. Oh well I'll get my ranking points from the other tournaments left in the year I suppose.

Pizza for 50... not a problemo.

Thanks to the TO's out there who came to Nicon and showed the wargaming community a good time. We had the usual big three and even though it was a smaller tournament due to the holiday weekend Warhammer and Flames of War had good turn outs. The Warmachine teams tournament was a great tournament from the Local Press Ganger Haydn welcoming the troops to the middle of the Hall to showcase some Privateer Press action. The Tournament had 6 teams of three and each team had Trophies and medals a plenty to celebrate their win.

Come to more events Warmachiners as the more in attendance means more prizes and a great opportunity to meet the growing community. Our prizes at our tournaments are all down to numbers and once hall hire and expenses are paid the rest of the money goes into prizes and support. Suffice it to say once we reach that mark any additional entries into the tournament instantly means a logarithmic jump in the prize pool. There are Umpires out there that try and bribe you out of their own pocket with prizes but we do honest work and try to encourage players out because they enjoy their gaming.

So with a great support from the Ancients wargaming community Nicon was for me a enriching experience. Not only did I get to meet a whole bunch of new and avid hobbyists it also introduced me to some new wargaming genres that you wouldn't commonly see much of at your local club.

So last but not least for NiCon and what I was there to compete for but by passed is the final results of WFB. Reaffirming his dominance in the country with a puritanical cleansing of all before him Pete has retained his Number 1 ranking in here parts. It was by no means an easy feat as there was studded top ranked players in the field in the tournament and I'll be the first to congratulate him on his achievements. It's also fantastic to see that he will be there for all to challenge at GuardCon later this year as well.  

Interesting to note the half dozen or so chasing the top position. All those names will feature highly in upcoming tournaments in my books and they will be the guys to watch for booking themselves a place in Masters if they continue to come to tournaments no doubt. It also brings a tear to my eyes as Graeme relieves me of my much coveted High Elf icon. Congrats brother you are utterly deserving, look after it well foe I will of cause challenge you on the field of a nearby table top for the honours soon. You can check out his awesome army Here

Board Game of the week:
Ankh - Morpork : Anything with more Pork has to be good and lashings of crackling nom nom. True to form it's got heaps of Terry Pratchett humour and good fun. For all those fans of his books this will harken you back with numerous references and visuals. For those not as familiar with the books like me it's still a wonderment of a game and easy to pick up. Very fast and re-playable so 2-4 players and 40-60 minutes at a skip.  3.5 out of 5 stars.

The winner of the raffle for the board game invited me around to take it for a test drive and it was definitely enjoyable.