Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Blog Will Be Quiet: Moving to a New House

My apologies, but the blog will be rather quiet for the next two weeks. I am going to be moving to a new house over Labor Day Weekend. As you can imagine, packing and unpacking a family of six is a monumental task to say the least.  

The new house is perfect for our family; I will even have a hobby room and a large basement that can accommodate 8 gaming tables if I want to have a mini-tournament at my home.
I am hopeful that I will have the house and my gaming area unpacked by September the 6th.  I am also hopeful that I will have the blog up and running by September the 8th. However, there could be a delay of a few days. 
On the 15th of September, I will have some exciting news to share as Table Top War is adding a new set of articles that will have a new co-blogger. I think many miniature games will really like the articles.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Quickly Painting Skorne with Army Painter Quickshade

I am pretty sure that in the 6 months since I have come back to blogging one of the things you have never seen me do is share a painted model. The simple reason is I haven't painted since 2013; even that was only a few models to get them done in time for a painting required tournament. I am really busy and I tend to use my limited gaming time to play games instead of painting. 

However, I really don't mind painting. Now, I am not going to say that I enjoy it, but I do not hate it either. No, I am more in the camp of I want to have painted models, I will not play with unpainted models category. I have painted an entire 2000 point army for a painting challenge and I have painted more than a few crew box sets from Malifaux.

The problem is that even those small painting tasks took up a lot of time; time that I do not have available right now. You see, I am a slow painter; a problem that is exasperated by the fact that I have nerve damage to my hands which causes them to shake mildly. Add in painting of layers, dry brushing, highlights, shading and you have a serious amount of time invested in a model or models.

So, I have been using commissioned painters for much of the last year and I have used them off and on for the past several years. However, I have models that are starting to pile up, so I decided to see if I could find a faster way to paint models. I actually knew of a way, but I just had not done it in a long time. You see....

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Skorne: Focusing on Rasheth

I am pretty sure that I have said it before, but this time, I am sticking to my guns and focusing on a very, very narrow pool of Skorne casters. I have been rather flighty the past year of playing Skorne (August 15th is one year of Skorne - my first faction); I have tried to stick with a caster, but the shiny new stuff (all new to me) keeps drawing away my attention and I have ended up bouncing from caster to caster with the exception of Xerxis: Double Gator that I played for about five months. However, even that was broken up by playing new casters, I just came back to him again and again when facing heavy shooting lists.

Now though, I am going to make a concerted effort to focus on just three (or four) casters and play them until I have a better grasp of both the game and just what weakness and strengths they and the models in their list have against a host of opponents. I honestly think that much of my problem comes from the fact that I have relied on community knowledge without actually testing out my lists and models for myself. However, starting this past week, I have picked three/four casters and have decided to play them game after game until I learn them. This past week, I picked Rasheth and played all four of my games with him. The list is one that I have had in mind for awhile, I just....

Monday, August 11, 2014

Serious Contemplating: Skirmisher Games

Perhaps it is Nostalgia, but I have been thinking about Skirmish size games lately. Actually, I have been doing a whole lot of thinking about them; thinking that has led to looking at a host of different skirmish level games. I think that for good or bad, I was forever tainted/effected by my time playing Malifaux. Do not take this the wrong way, I love Warmachine and Hordes, but it is not a Skirmish level game; as most armies have more than a dozen models. 

No, I am looking for a game reminiscent of Malifaux 1.5e: 8-20 models, dense terrain, interactive interactions. I have found a few that I like and I have actually been seriously looking at picking one or two of them up. The first one that I have looked at is.....

...Warzone: Resurrection (WZR).

Maybe it is because I am currently playing a Steampunk Fantasy game in Warmachine and Hordes, but I am really interested in playing a Sci-Fi game. However, I do not want to play a Sci-Fi game that requires me to invest in a large quantity of models. Looking around, I saw Warzone:Resurrection (WZR) and it appears to be a game that meets most of my requirements.

First off, the model count is just about right at 12-30 models with a few "big" centerpiece models. Secondly, it is played on a 4x4 table; due to the fact that Warmachine is played on a 4x4 table I have the playing surface and terrain covered. The game can scale up to 6x4 and as I used to play 40K, I have that playing surface and terrain covered as well.

In addition, the game is new and getting in on the ground floor means I can keep up with my given faction or factions as the game progresses. I also liked the setting as a younger man when I enjoyed reading the Mutant Chronicles. In particular, I like the Cybertronic Faction. I like the concept of a group who uses artificial augments to compete against their enemies
While I am not sure of their leaders, I do like the cyborg look to the army. I like the fact that their troops can be augmented differently by their implants. If I play this game, this is the faction I will play. I really like the concept of them attacking Mishima on Mercury for control of that planets, underground desert/wasteland environment.
Okay this one is a game that I played previously, in its 1.5 incarnation. I have since sold all of my old metal models, so it is basically a new game for me. Last time I played this game I went for Neverborn because I wanted to play a faction based solely on its mechanics. This time, if I was to play this game I would play it with the Ten Thunders as I really like their aesthetics. Maybe it is the fact that I like Skorne in Hordes, but the Asian/Ancient Mediterranean aesthetic is really appealing to me. In particular I like:

Misaki is the traditional Asian fighter and I really like her crew, but the crew I like even more is Mei Feng, I like the concept of someone rising above their station and incorporating the materials they work with into their fighting styles.
This miniature game is a relative new one to the scene and I have not really seen a lot of people playing it in my area; however, the more I look at it the more I really like the concept of it. I am not a huge fan of the initial two forces that were released, but I am a fan of both the two new ones, although I would prefer the Asterians and Veer-Myn. I like this game because it is basically a much better designed version of Necromunda. Necromunda was a game I like conceptually, but hated the rules and campaign system for....terrible!

This game truly is a skirmish game as it is played at 70 points. This means you will have 7-15 models and that is all. I really like the small investment that is necessary and if you haven't checked out their army box you will be amazed, it comes with mousepad play mat, plastic terrain and two starter armies for $80 dollars U.S.
Speaking of the terrain, the above picture is the terrain you get in the starter box. I do not have the game, but I have ordered two of the starter terrain sets as they are really, really good for the value. You get everything pictured above for approximately $30 dollars. The scenery is designed for a 32mm game, so it would be easy to use it for a game like Warzone: Resurrection or Mercs...
Speaking of MERCS, I have been looking at this game because it has a low entry cost and it has that Sci-Fi vibe I have been looking for in a game. It seems to be in direct competition with Infinity, which is another game I am mildly interested in. MERCS seems to have simpler rules that Infinity and it also uses a lot less terrain.
 Speaking of Infinity, it is a game that I have also been looking at, but the sheer amount of terrain is a drawback. Now, don't get me wrong, I love terrain, but having to carry that amount of terrain around to get in a game is a drawback for me. Now, I will admit that the game looks amazing and I really, really like Tohaa and my son PanOceania. I have actually had a demo and it was fun, but it does require a more heavy investment that the other games; although, they do have an excellent new starter box for there soon to be released 3rd edition.
Well, that is it for now. I have actually made a few forays into a few of the above Skirmisher games and I will be putting up some articles on those starting in September with my soon to be new Blogging Partner. Up next however, is some discussion on my Skorne.

Till Then, Mags Out!

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Local Gaming Community: A Frustrating Quandary

Table Top Miniature games by their very nature have a social element inherent to them. In other words, you could theoretically play them by yourself; however, they are designed to be played between two or more people. As such, you need to at least have a friend to play them with; however, it is usually more fun when you have a local gaming community, as this gives you a variety of opponents and usually armies/forces to play against on any given game day.

My local gaming community has a solid amount of players, playing a decent assortment of games. On any given Warmachine/Hordes game day I can play against 5-8 different opponents, playing a wide variety of Warmachine and Hordes armies. In addition, my local community while competitive, is for the most part very amicable and willing to help each other out as we learn new casters and/or armies. 

As fun and enjoyable as a gaming community can be, it can also be extremely frustrating and irritating. The reasons for this frustration are both many and varied and they can leave particular players (like yours truly) in a quandary. You see...

Even in a gaming community, you need someone to take the lead, someone to take charge and make sure things are organized. Someone needs to make sure the group has a place to play, tables to play on, terrain, and the list goes on. If your group or store is going to have organized competitive events, they need to have someone to organize and then run the event. 

Depending on the game system, this can mean different things. Some game system provide a minor reimbursement system for individuals who run events for their particular system, two examples are Privateer Press and Pressgangers and Wyrd/Malifaux and Henchmen. Other game systems like Warhammer 40K, just leave it up to the community to figure things out for themselves.
While I am sure there are other issue faced with gaming communities, these are the ones that are getting on my last nerve in my own gaming community. To the point that I have contemplated driving an hour out of my way to get in games at another store/community. Why you ask, well, let me tell you why I am in a frustrating quandary.
The first thing frustrating me is the fact that our store has two "local" Pressgangers for my current game of choice Warmachine/Hordes. We have not one, but two players that are more or less local to our store and play there on a regular basis. Despite this, I had to go and find another Pressganger to come to our store and run events; this other Pressganger would drive more than an hour to our store to run events for us. Now, we no longer have that luxury as she has moved to the opposite coast. Since her departure, we have not had a single organized gaming event and currently, there are none on the horizon.

It is frustrating to me that I am not the Pressganger and it falls to me to make sure that our local gamers have a tournament to play in. I mean it falls on me, because I am the one that receives messages from both local players and the store staff about what events are coming up and what days I would like to reserve for game play. 

As a player this puts me in a quandary; either I do not organize any events and then I will not have them to play in myself or I organize them and continue to do the work our Pressgangers should be doing. In addition, by not having events and not promoting our local gaming night, I risk our community withering down as interest wanes. The past month I have not done anything and it appears that the latter is happening and our community is withering as interest wanes. 

This frustrates me as I have had to be the organizer for the past year; which uses my limited free time to do something our Pressgangers should be doing. At least for the next month to month and a half, I am going to continue to do nothing as I am busy planning our families move into our new house and preparing for the start of the new school year.
However, that is not the only thing putting me in a frustrating quandary. If you look at the pictures below, all taken at our local store, you will see one similar thing...

...it is played on the same terrain. Terrain that was either made by me or commissioned by me. No one else has brought in any terrain to the store, no one else has donated any terrain to the store or to our gaming group. Then to top it off.....
...someone or someones stole a bunch of the terrain, objectives, flags, and scenario markers. No one else replaced the terrain or offered to help replace it, so again I assembled more terrain for the group to play on. This time however, I made a box for five tables and left it with one of our more regular gamers who I have known for close to 8 years. The rest of the terrain I took home.

I took it because in addition to stealing most of the terrain, they also managed to break a whole bunch of it by tossing it around and not placing it in the bins that I provided for it.
I was and am so pissed off about this; still pissed even though it is weeks later. Once again, I am frustrated by the fact the other players did not offer to contribute terrain or financial support to replace the terrain that was destroyed, broken, or stolen. In particular, neither of our Pressganger offered any help to replace the terrain.

Again, I am placed in the quandary of being a player and having no terrain or using my own time and resources to replace the terrain. I did replace the terrain, but most of it is at my house now and I only have a box of 5 that is with a friend and a box of 5 tables worth with me.
I am not sure what I am going to do, but due to moving at the end of the month and the kids starting school, I am not going to make a decision until middle of September. By then I am hopeful that someone else will have stepped up to run and organize our gaming group/community and maybe even stepped forward with some terrain. 
Well, I have pontificated enough for one day, next time I will be talking about my interest in skirmish style games due to time commitments and economic commitments.

Till Then, Mags Out!