Monday, June 27, 2011

Blog Suggestion: Lead n Paint

My good friend Caius just started a blog up.  His focus is collecting and painting really old miniatures.  The pre-slotta kind and beyond.  Bit of a nut for that kind of thing but there are some really fun figures to look at in his collection.

Lead N Paint

Head on over and check it out.  Only 2 posts so far but some interesting antiquities to look at.


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Fighting off a cold!

Came down with a cold over the weekend and I've spent the last couple of days taking it easy and fighting it off.  I spent the bulk of yesterday working on my fathers day present!

I got it to work on with my son but he went and spent the day in a pool at his friends.  We agreed to each build 1 tower.  So I built 3/4 of mine and now have to wait for him to catch up so we can build the walks across the tops and join both towers together to move on.

Fun stuff and a great fun project.  Sorting out those 4300 pieces was quite the chore though.


Friday, June 17, 2011

Short Vacation and early Happy Fathers Day!

Here's hoping all you gaming dads out there have an AWESOME Fathers Day this Sunday.  Here's a pic from my new favorite website to get your weekend mood set!

I'll be off for a few days on a short vacation (not that I post everyday regularly yet anyways...).
I expect to be back in full force on Monday.


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Rule of the Day - Basic Versus Advanced

Rule of the Day 06/14/2011

Basic Versus Advanced - pg 11
Where rules apply to a specific model, they always override any contradicting basic rules.  For example, the basic rules state that a model must take Panic test under certain situations.  If, however, that model has a rule that makes it immune to Panic, then it does not test for Panic - the advanced rule takes precedence.

 The end of the basic rules can be found in a little "blurb box" in the bottom right hand corner of page 63 labeled THE FOUNDATION IS COMPLETE!

Basic Rules         Pages 1 - 63
Advanced Rules  Pages 64+

There was recently some discussion which prompted this on The Warhammer Forum about reforming a unit from victory, which was still in combat on 1 side, and turning a unit to face an impending flank charge - thus giving the current enemy a flank.  The question was "I had thought it wouldn't work because you can't move a model out of contact with the enemy, so if the command models are in contact they have to stay there and can't form the new front."

The command groups rules which force command models to always be in the front are on pg 92.

Combat Reform rules are on pg 55.

Combat reform would happen and the command would move to the front under the Advanced > Basic principle.


Friday, June 10, 2011

Rule of the Day - Ambushers

Rule of the Day - 06/10/2011
*Lewis - the Original Nerd Ambusher

Indirectly suggested by my good friend Jim Emerick, TO for the Midwest Rampage.

Ambushers - pg 79
A unit with the Ambushers rule does not deploy at the start of the battle.  Instead, from Turn 2 onwards, the controlling player rolls a dice at the start of the turn for each unit of his Ambushers that have yet to arrive.  On a 1 or 2, the Ambushers have been delayed - but you'll be able to roll for them again next turn.  On a 3 or more, the unit of Ambushers arrives, and will enter the board during the Remaining Moves sub-phase.  If the Ambushers do not turn up for the entire game, they are assumed to have got lost, and are treated as having fled the battle for the purposes of determing the victor.

Arriving Ambushers enter the battlefield from any point on any battlefield edge, and move on using the rules for reinforcements (see page 27).

*Note - Beastmen have their own special version of ambush in their book

This will apply though to any of the TK models with the "Entombed Beneath the Sands" special rule.

The big change for them from the previous book is that Ambushing is no longer optional.


Thursday, June 9, 2011

Rule of the Day - Sequencing

Rule of the Day - 06/09/2011

*The Fibonacci Sequence at work!

Sequencing - pg 10
Whilst every effort has been made to make sure that the sequencing of rules is utterly clear, occasionally you'll find that two or more rules are to be resolved at the same time - normally 'at the start of the Movement phase' or similar.  When this happens, and the wording is not explicit as to which rule is resolved first, then the player whose turn it is chooses the order.

There are numerous situations which can trigger these types of conflicts which would invoke sequencing.  My buddy Joe, of Pointhammered fame, recently asked me a question on this and a few other items.

Joe writes;
Hey Domus, I see your latest Rule of the Day is about challenges.

Our situation was Johnny's Gor Horde w/ Beastlord vs Treeman Ancient w/ Annoyance. Fear, Primal Fury, and Challenges always happen at the start of combat and we were dicing each turn whether the challenge happened first or the other two rolls, since it could make a difference if he could not use the General's Ld.

Now that I think about it, I think when the order is not clear the player's whose turn it is decides the order so on my turn his general slinks to the back then takes the unit Ld checks, on his turn he does the Ld checks and then slinks the general. Do you agree? Or do you think there is a strict hierarchy to the order?

If the General is in the back, I would argue that no units can use his Inspiring Presence for the rest of the turn according to the wording of the Refusal paragraph in the Challenges section. What do you think?

(This would be a good way to bust skavenslave blocks or other shit units that rely on the General's Ld)

My reply

Challenges, Fear, Primal Fury all happen at the start of the combat means "Sequencing" kicks in.

So on Johnnys turn, he would do all tests first (as that benefits him) and then refuse.
On joes turn - challenge first and put the dude in the back.

Pg 102 says his Ld. may not be used for ANY leadership tests that turn if he gets dropped in the back rank. (*though don't Skaven have 'lead from the rear' or was that the previous book only)


Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Rule of the Day - Monsters and Handlers

Rule of the Day - 06/08/2011

Maybe not that kind of monster that needs handling...  :-)

These rules are a bit unlcear, so I'm hoping to peel the onion a bit.

Monsters and Handlers - pg 73

The handlers aren't really a combat unit per se, so we ignore them for most gaming purposes, treating the monster itself as the extent of the unit.  {*this is THE MOST important sentence, and one I'll come back to}.  When a monster suffers an unsaved wound, roll a D6.  On a roll of 1-4 the monster suffers the wound as normal, but on a roll of 5-6 a handler model is removed instead.  Once all the handlers have been removed, the monster must take a Monster Reaction test just like a ridden monster that loses its rider.

In close combat, the handlers can direct their attacks against any enemy in base contact with their monster.  The handlers are otherwise assumed to have their hands too full controlling the monster to carry out any actions like shooting, or casting spells, etc.  In addition the handlers cannot be charged, attacked or otherwise affected separately from their monster - if they are found to be blocking movement or line of sight, the controlling player simply alters their position, just as you would for any other battlefield marker or counter.  If the monster is removed, so are its handlers.

Any wound is potentially transferred to a handler on a 5+.  {*only shooting wounds transferred in 7th}

Handlers are mostly ignored, they are not in the following cases
     -Close Combat.  They can't be attack but they can ALL attack.
     -When the monster is wounded, remove a handler instead on a 5+   

This leaves quite a few scenarios where handlers would otherwise affect the game but that first sentence will prevent them from having any effect on the following.
     -Panic Tests
     -Template Hits
     -Characteristic Tests - Excepting Leadership tests {*explicitly stated in the FAQ-which contradicts itself a bit}
     -Charges / Being charged
     -Line of Sight


Finecast Myth 1 Debunked!

So I checked on the Mandrake Torso & Weapon I left on my porch (but not in the sun) last night before bed (roughly 11:50 - A little over 12 hours later). 

The thermometer on the porch read 90F yesterday around 6:00 PM.

Amazingly enough, I did NOT find pools of melted miniatures.

Even the bendy weapon seemed to be in the same exact state (that of a bendy weapon).

How can this be? 

I'm leaving em out now all day today (still not in the sun) for the next test - temps are supposed to reach 90F-95F today here in central Illinois.


Tuesday, June 7, 2011

A Positive, yet Honest, Finecast Experience

So, I got sick to death of hearing all of the finecast hysteria and decided to place an order.

I've been looking forward to finecast mainly because I like conversions, lots of which involve cutting models in half.  Finecast models will make this chore so much easier on my life.  Based on the gravitational pull towards the negative that has spun about the internet, I also knew somewhat what to expect.

Note that these models are intended for a high end army but I'm not a golden demon level painter.  I'm looking for different things from my models. 

Price with GW is ALWAYS an issue so I'm not really going to talk about that.  It costs what it costs.  We don't have to like it.  Nuff said.

I placed an order for a box of Dark Eldar Mandrakes.  40k!  What?  No, no, no.  I'm not switching to the dark side.  I just simply have a conversion in mind for my dark elves that these torsos will be perfect for (much better than the Gor Torso's I was going to initially use).  When I got home yesterday, I found the box from GW sitting on my porch.

I immediately popped it open to start checking out this 'space-age polymer'.

Upon opening the box, I found it contained 3 sprues within the typical GW plastic components boxes they've long used for metals.  I did a lot of quick inspection looking for the 'bubble holes' in bad places.  They were all over the skirts!  I kid.  The skirts have holes in em and I don't have the metals to compare to so all of the 'holes' in the skirts looked like they belonged.  I was also doing a lot of pulling / twisting, etc on the models just to gauge their durability.  Later that night, when I went to take the picture, I noticed that one models' foot had been separated from his skirt.  Not sure if this was due to my actions of twisting em or if it came like that.  (*See the circled red portion) Either way it wasn't a huge deal as a) I wasn't using the lower portion anyway and b) It could have been very easily repaired.  It IS worth noting this is a VERY thin joint.

There is alot of flash that needs cleaned off.  However, this cleans right off with a pass of the knife.  In fact, be very gentle or you may cut / scratch your model.

I also noticed one other slight problem with only one of the models.  The chin didn't come down to the point that the other model (in the same pose) did.  It looks like a miscast.  Hard to tell from the pic but the chin has no point - it is the hair you see sticking out past the chin.  Clicking on it to see the bigger pic will also help.    

After getting all of my pictures taken and models inspected I was itching to get to work so I sat down to cut all the models in half right at the top of the skirt.  Previously, I tended to use a dremmel tool for this kind of work as it made the chore quicker than using a jewelers saw but it resulted in less than a perfect cut which almost always rendered the unused portion unusable.  I simply put a new blade in the exacto knife and set out to cut a model.  A little pressure and done.  WOW!  Less than a minute taken to cut a model in half.  This is exactly what I was hoping for.  I got all 5 models cut in half in roughly 5 minutes.  All of the cuts are very clean and the lower halves of the models are very usable for another project.  This, to me, is everything I was looking for from finecast.

The next step for me was then to do a test fit with one of my Drider bodies I had sculpted previously.  It did require a bit of work to remove the Gor torso and scrape off the Green Stuff work I had previously completed but it was well worth the effort.  Here is the rough test fit - I am using pins in some of the torso's - not for strength but simply to allow me more positioning opportunities.  I also really like that weapon and it will be the only weapon I don't replace with handmade spears.  Stay tuned for more on these guys in the coming weeks, I'm totally inspired and VERY pleased with the way he looks now.

Also - the model bonded very well with just superglue.  I fully believe you won't be required to pin and superglue alone will be sufficient.

In the end, I had an overall positive experience with Finecast.  I know there are some bad experiences out there and I have no doubt more will crop up.  It is upsetting that a company the size of GW didn't do more research / implement harsher QC checks, etc.. to prevent some of the stuff from getting out.  In the end I know they weren't experts when they started casting in metal but got great at it.  I expect the same from finecast.  Combine that with the conversion opportunities and the sculpting opportunities for NEW models I'm a bit excited to see what the future holds.

I'm not rushing out to buy a bunch of finecast but I won't be deterred to buy what I need in finecast after this experience.

I've taken a torso and a weapon (which was already 'flimsy' to begin with) that I cut off and put them on my porch, out of direct sunlight.  It was 85 deg. Farenheit at 11:30 AM today when I put them out there.  I will check on them in roughly 12 hours and see how they have held up.

To Summarize;
Easy to Clean Flash / Mold Lines
Easier for Conversions (*especially big conversions)
Pinning not required (*but very easy to drill if you do)
Future Opportunity for even more detailed Models

GW Quality Issues - Miscasts  - Bubbles (*I'm hoping these go away)
Small Weapons (like the ones on these guys) are a bit too bendy - May need a tweak to the formula.  *NOTE - the spindly little arms were fine only the weapons were bendy.
Really weak joints very susceptible to breakage

One last note.  Something to think about - They are casting models in 'resin' that were designed to be cast in metal.  I'm interested to see what models designed for finecast look like and how they come out at the end.  Not sure if it is a factor or not but I can't help but wonder.


Thursday, June 2, 2011

Rule of the Day - Flame Template (20mm / 40mm)

Rule of the Day 06/02/2011

A follow up to a previous post.  I have already created Gaming Aids for use with the 3" & 5 " templates.  See this previous blog entry.

I've long been meaning to finish up this flame template entry and finally made time last night.

I have tested these using the flame template I got from the Island of Blood plus a sheet from a GW customizable movement tray (20mm on 1 side, 25mm on the other). They are 99.5% accurate using that sheet as a 'template' under the template (if that makes any sense at all). There are a couple of close calls on the which are indicated with a range.  I would probably default to the lower value to be safe.


A Gigantic Classic

I've been working off and on on getting this guy ready for paint over the last week.  I've always loved this model, this Marauder Giant.  One of the classics - so few of which I actually enjoy.

I've wanted to paint him and always saw him as a great fit in my Sigmar Ogre army.  I've decided not to convert him at all and leave this classic beast as a classic.

I started painting last night, while chatting with some friends over teamspeak.  I managed to get the skin basecoated, washed, tidied up and then 2 layers applied.  Slowly but surely I will get this beast done!  I love painting and I am glad to be back painting anything but this model definitely is a favorite.

I will update with more pics (& hopefully much better pics - these are all from the iPhone) as I progress.


Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Rule of the Day - Refusing a Challenge

Rule of the Day - 06/01/2011

Bravely bold Sir Robin
Rode forth from Camelot.
He was not afraid to die,
Oh brave Sir Robin.
He was not at all afraid
To be killed in nasty ways.
Brave, brave, brave, brave Sir Robin.

Refusing a Challenge (BOO! HISS!) - pg 102

If no enemy character steps forward to meet the challenge, one of them must retire in ignominy.  This character is nominated by the challenger - though he may not nominate a character that could not have accepted the challenge, or a unit champion - champions can accept challenges, they do not have to.  The retiring character slinks off to the back ranks and is not allowed to attack that round - move the model into a rank where he's not in base contact with the enemy.  Another model will step up and fight in his place, just as if he'd been slain.  Furthermore, the model's Leadership cannot be used for any Leadership tests that take place that turn.

Once a challenge has been refused, the issuer can fight normally in that round of combat.

Nowhere to Run, Nowhere to Hide
A character cannot refuse a challenge if his model cannot be placed so that he is not in base contact with an enemy model - he can't evade his opponent and so must fight for his life.  This most commonly happens if a lone character is the subject of challenge, or if his unit is small and engaged on all fronts, so that every model in the unit is in base contact with an enemy.

Note - There is a huge change from 7th edition buried up above.  Champions can never be forced into the back ranks for declining a challenge.  Nice to keep that typical extra champion attack in the combat.