Sunday, April 28, 2013

MayDay 2013 Steamroller Prize Pool

Edmonton's MayDay convention is coming up next weekend (May 4th) and I'll be running the 20-man Steamroller event there. I've collected together all the prizes for this tournament. I thought I'd post them, mostly for the benefit of those who will be there and want to know what the stakes are.

Here are the prize positions and what the guys will be playing for.

1st place: Trophy, coin, certificate and 1st choice from the model pool*.
2nd place: Trophy, coin, certificate and 2nd choice from the model pool*.
3rd place: Trophy, coin, certificate and 3rd choice from the model pool*.
Best Painted Army: 4th choice from the model pool*.
Best Painted Battlegroup: Aztek A470 Airbrush kit.
Best Sportsman: $50 Thunderground gift certificate**.
Perseverance Award (worst record after playing all rounds): $25 Thunderground gift certificate**.

* The model pool consists of: Mammoth, Woldwrath, Throne of Everblight and Hordes 2-Player Battle Box.

** Thanks to Roy Kim for sponsoring the gift certificate prizes for Sportsman and Perseverance.

There are still a couple of slots open in the tournament, so if you can make it and you're interested in playing, head on over to the MayDay Registration page.

'Til next time.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

eFeora vs Maelok

Got together with Elliot at the Edmonton Wargame Group last Tuesday night for our weekly game of Warmachine. In preparation for the MayDay Steamroller, Elliot wanted a 35-point battle, and I obliged. 

The scenario was Close Quarters (#3). In the setup shot below, you can see the two flag markers at either end of the building ruins.

Here is Elliot's setup (with nice over-exposure from the sun that was pouring into the game room). He has Maelok, two units of Gators, the Wrastler, Bone Swarm, Swamp Horror and a Witch Doctor.

At 35 points, I'm playing eFeora with the Vessel, Blood of Martyrs, Sanctifier, min Flameguard and UA, Choir, the Book, two Mechaniks and a Vassal.

Turn 1. Elliot had the first move and ran his gators forward. He has Death Pact on one unit of Gators, and has turned the other unit undead with the Witch Doctor. Malediction goes up on Maelok. Elliot needs to engage with the Gators to get his armor up, and he is happy to move into the building area because his feat will make him incorporeal.

I went second and also moved up. Flameguard in shieldwall, No Spells on the 'jacks, Escort on eFeora and Ignite on Blood of Martyrs. I keep the 'jacks central to go either way around the building. Vessel moves up the left flank with eFeora to threaten the far flag. Flameguard take the right to contest the near flag in case Elliot makes a play for points.

Elliot turn 2. Gators pour into the ruins.

My turn 2. My right flank. Flameguard shieldwall and mini-feat to get to armor 21. They contest the flag. Behind them is Blood of Martyrs with Ignite, No Spells and Enliven.

My left flank. Vessel moves up and causes fire within 2" catching 2 Gators on the other side of the wall. eFeora moves up and sprays through the Vessel, catching 4 more Gators on fire. Sanctifier is with eFeora to provide the Escort armor bonus and stop incorporeal shenanigans. Like a dope, I've killboxed myself from the side of the table. 2 victory points to Elliot. Damn!

Elliot's turn 3. Sun is starting to go better lighting for pics. Elliot feats. The Bone Swarm and Wrastler make short work of the Vessel, clearing the way to eFeora. His first Gators charge through the wall as incorporeal, but Exorcist from Sanctifier turns the first two corporeal, blocking line of sight and further charges on eFeora. Nevertheless, the first two Gators knock eFeora down to 1 hit point. They have chanted for re-rolls and land a ton of damage. In order to finish the job, the following Gators hit their own fellows in the back (kill, tough both, knockdown) and then get follow up reach attacks on eFeora. Even with rerolls, most of the extra attacks miss (needing 8s), and when they do land, Elliot can't roll over a 6 to get the 'caster kill.

On my right flank, Elliot has managed to kill one Flameguard with a Gator. This triggers Hand of Vengeance on Blood of Martyrs.

My turn 3. Sun is down and photo lighting is now bad. Bonded Sanctifier hits Bone Swarm and Wrastler setting both on fire. eFeora feats and loads up on focus, and also transfers fire to Maelok. After a Fire Step to get back into the killbox, she is camping at armor 26. The Gators are getting worn down. Fire damage and various attacks mean most Gators are down to just a couple of hit points.

On my right flank, Blood of Martyrs is Ignited with Hand of Vengeance and Battle Hymn. That makes him MAT 10, POW 22. He wades in and quickly kills three Gators and gets very close to Maelok. Oh, I do miss Thyra's sidestep affinity at this point!

Elliot's turn 4. Elliot throws everything at eFeora, but can't bust through ARM 26. However, she is only sitting at 1 hit point. Maelok backs up to his flag and casts Venom to get corrosion on eFeora. He sticks it. Dang.

My turn 4. Maelok is exposed and camping no Fury. If I can roll a 1 or a 2 and shake the corrosion on eFeora, I'll have the game. I roll a 6. eFeora takes one point of corrosion damage from Venom and the game is over.

Fun and well played Elliot!

'Til next time.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Gothic City Ruins

A few years back I picked up a city ruin kit from Pegasus. This is a hard injection molded plastic kit that allows you to make two ruin sections. Not surprisingly, the two sections are identical. That's OK...there is enough detail in the model to distract the eye from the simple symmetry of the final built pieces.

This turned out to be a quick two-day project. Day cleaning and assembly, and a black primer.

Day two...some airbrush work to get the grey stone color, and then some brushwork to paint the tile flooring and drybrush the final surfaces.

Quicker than some of the projects I've been taking on lately! Anyway, happy with the final result. I'm running the MayDay Steamroller tournament in a couple of weeks, and this is the last bit of terrain I had planned to build for the ten tables being set up. Away next week, so I think the next post will be from MayDay (unless I squeeze something else in).

'Til next time!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Step-by-Step: Building and Painting Tabletop World's Merchant's House

Hello fellow model makers and painters. Over the past year, I've been acquiring and painting the line of medieval village buildings put out by Tabletop World. These are all very spiffy models that make for interesting and challenging hobby projects.

I thought it was time to do a building and painting tutorial for one of these. This time around, I've put together the Merchant's House. Now, Tabletop World has just announced that this model is being discontinued soon and will be replaced with a new mold. That's cool. More (and improved) buildings in the line are certainly welcome.

So, here's the finished project, and what follows are the steps used to put it all together.

Here's what comes out of the bag. As I've said in the past, Tabletop World does a first rate job at casting their sculpts. All resin. No bubbles. No mold lines. Amazing. But, lots of parts.

First black.

OK, there a few main types of surfaces to paint in this kit. Stone walls, wood, plaster. I started with the stone.

First overspray is dark grey.

Second layer is a light blue-grey.

Final highlighting layer is a downspray of white. All the rock walls, interior and exterior got this treatment.

Now, there are plenty of wooden pieces in this kit. And I find convincing wood to be one of the most challenging painting subjects. Here's the method I used for this kit. I had a little grey left over in the airbrush cup from the stone walls, so I did a little pre-highlighting. Not that it mattered...I wound up using so many layers of paint to do the wood, this highlighting pass quickly got lost.

First main overspray was Vallejo Model Air Wood. It's important that this not be a thick coat of paint. You want lots of the undercoat to show through in the recesses. Fortunately, this wood colored paint is very thin and doesn't cover well. That aids the multi-layered process.

Next up was a quick overspray of light grey to give the wood a weathered, bleached-out base.

Next I sprayed on some burnt umber ink. Not to much, but just enough to get tonal variations into different areas. After that was a highlighting spray of Vallejo Sand.

To finish off, I used random strokes of Devlin Mud wash, and a final drybrush of Bleached Bone...the old standby!

All of the wood bits in the kit got this same sequence of sprays, washes and highlighting. That went for the timber portions of the building interiors and exteriors as well. Wood took a long time to get done.

Next I moved on to the plaster. For this, I did a simple spray of light yellow. Nothing fancy. I let the black undercoat show through near the edges of each surface to aid in the aged look of the final structure.

Next came wall surface details. In this case, the building has exposed brick under the plaster, and it also has big brass plate details.

I started with the brick. I simply used three shades of lightened red from Foundry's paint system, and just alternated painting the different bricks one at a time.

For the brass face, which appears on two external wall surfaces, I used the following progression. Based with Reaper Old Bronze. First highlight was Reaper Tarnished Brass. Second highlight was Foundry Shiny, and the final drybrush was with P3 Radiant Platinum. Weathering was done with a mix of green and blue washes from Vallejo.

Next up I did the windows. These were painted (inside and out) with a base of Foundry Sky Blue shade, with highlighted dots of Sky Blue base and highlight. The ironwork between the panes was painted with Reaper Adamantium Black.

Then it was time for the roof sections. Each section had several areas of exposed wood, overlaid with shingles. As I've done with all the Tabletop World models up to this point, I went with blue shingles. So, here's the start of a roof section with the exposed wood areas painted.

Next came a brushed-on coat of Foundry Deep Blue.

The shingles were then highlighted with progressively lighter shades of Deep Blue.

To finish off, I drybrushed with Bleached Bone and then hit the numerous nail heads with GW Chainmail.

Finally...assembly. I put together the bottom floor first. This snaps together easily, and at the tops of the walls are locating pins that allow you to align and place the second storey floor.

The second storey living quarters came next. There's a fancy little fireplace area, and a couple of box windows. Now, I can't say the fit was perfect here. A little cursing and epoxy glue was necessary to coax everything into position.

At this point I also glued the roof sections together. Far and away, this stage proved to be the most problematic. As I mentioned, Tabletop World has announced that they are retiring this mold and doing a new Merchant's House. My guess it's because of the problematic roof on this model. No picture to illustrate the issues...let's just say the fit of the parts leaves something to be desired. Regardless...stuff got wedged into place with an appropriate volume of cussing.

I then finished off the painting of all the little accessories that come with the kit. Here's the ground floor filled with provisions.

 And the living quarters, with bed, desk, fruit-filled table and so on.

And of course there's the cat by the fireplace.

In the end, when you force everything together, you come out with another pretty cool model from Tabletop's medieval village. Nice.

I still have a number of buildings to get through to complete this fancy collection, but the end result is worth the time investment. Great models for RPGs and wargames... Warmachine!

Hope you found this tutorial useful.

'Til next time.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Testament vs Rask

Elliot and I met at the Edmonton Wargame Group club on Tuesday night for our weekly Warmachine fix. This night, Elliot decided to bring out his Minions once again, led by Rask, while I tried a new 'caster and few units I was pretty unfamiliar with (experimentation time!). I brought the Testament of Menoth infantry horde army out for a spin.

The scenario was Into The Breach, Steamroller #9. Here you can see the setup. The control zone is in the foreground (and most of the game's action would take place here), while the flag can be seen in the background.

Elliot rolled to go first (even through I had a +1 tier benefit to the roll with my force). Here you can see Rask's lined up and ready for action. He had two units of Gators, a Witch Doctor, a Spitter, the Wrastler, Swamp Horror, a Bull Snapper, Feralgiest, the little goblin unit that makes smoke (damn them!) and a unit of ambushing Bog Trogs.

I set up second with all of my infantry in advanced deployment position. I've got Testament, the Idrians, Zealots, two min units of Errants, two Reckoners and two Vassals. Unit attachments for just about everything.

Minion turn 1. Elliot shambles forward.

Menoth turn 1. I run from advanced deployment position and gain board position. My strategy is to draw Elliot into a close range fight, feat, and get as many Errants and/or 'jacks directly onto Rask as possible and go for the assassination victory. The Zealots mini-feat for Greater Destiny. The Idrians (which I've never played before, and played incorrectly this game) did a run/charge to move up and use Go To Ground. Testament puts Hallowed Avenger on one 'jack and Ashen Veil on the Idrians. I also used a 'jack and one unit of Errants to screen Testament from the Bog Trogs I knew were on their way in from my left flank.

Minion turn 2. The Bog Trogs ambush and take down a couple of Errants. Elliot engages my line of invulnerable Zealots. He also sends Cold Blooded 'gators into the Idrians. In melee, they are only DEF 15, so my front line went down quickly. Rask puts up rough terrain and feats to stave off some nasty charges from my 'jacks.

Menoth turn 2. A turn of waiting and close combat. The Errants go to work on the Bog Trogs. Remaining Idrians do some damage to a couple of gators. Zealots prepare to die. Testament moves up to collect souls and get ready for his own feat turn coming next round.

Minion turn 3. Zealots and Idrians vaporize. Testament collects over a dozen souls. One 'jack gets damaged. Rask moves up to shoot and disrupt the other. "I have him" I think to myself. Rask is close enough for a feat assassination. I'm happy. the end of Elliot's turn, a frikin' goblin moves up and lays down a smoke cloud in front of Rask. Damn it! Now the assassination run gets hard.

Menoth turn 4. Testament uses Urcaen's Gate to move up 3". He Revives three Errants in Elliot's backfield and feats. Errant's activate and run/charge. After the second Errant moves into contact with Rask, Elliot triggers Admonition. What!?! Damn, I'd forgotten that Admonition was up. Elliot backs away out of contact. I charge with the 3rd and final Errant that has line of sight past the cloud effect. The rest of the unit runs and surrounds Rask for next turn (if I last that long). The single Errant that gets the charge off rolls a 3 to hit and misses.

The rest of my turn is completely stupid and loses me the game. I decided to dedicate effort to kill the Wrastler. There was no good tactical reason to do this other than to kill a heavy warbeast. If I had laid off, hunkered down, and just tried to survive the next turn, I probably would have won. As it was, I exposed myself unnecessarily. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

Minion turn 5. Though I had killed the Wrastler and a number of gators, the Testament was hanging out in the wind. Elliot brought in a couple of gators and did a chunk of damage to my 'caster. Then he moved up his Swamp Horror and with his 4th and final fury point finally landed a killing blow onto the Testament. Dang, second game in a row where that damn Swamp Horror has killed my 'caster. Elliot ended the game with 48 seconds left on his death clock. Well timed!

Good game (despite the brain fart that had me leave Testament exposed).

'Til next time.