Friday, October 14, 2016

Silver Tower Finished!

I finished up the last of the models for Warhammer Quest Silver Tower this week and am ready to actually play the game this weekend. In fact, I managed to get the last model done with a couple of days to spare! I figured I would be painting furiously until my friends were knocking at the door, ready to play; but somehow I did it. The last three models were all kits that I'd waited to tackle till the last minute because of their complexity, which was a foolish way to do it. I should have broken up some of the simpler models to do with a couple of these peppered in.

Hey, hey! The Gang's all here!
First up was the Tenebrael Shard - master assassin and huge fan of White Snake with that hairdo and those pants. Yikes! This model was everything that has turned me off from Dark Elves for years - thin parts, 80's hair metal aesthetics and self-indulgent silliness. He turned out fine, but I was really glad to be done with him.

He travels down the only road he has known.
Like a drifter, he was born to roam alone.
The Mistweaver Saih was the next model that I tackled. This is probably my favorite model of the set - the whole sculpt has a really nice sense of motion and flow and the design feels fresh to me. I know there has been a ton of hand-wringing that Slaanesh has been written out of Fantasy, but I'm hoping that the Mistweaver is the model for the direction Games Workshop takes the Aelfs, because she has a ton of Slaaneshi iconography on her. She, the Shard and the Darkoath Chieftain make fully half of the Heroes baddies and I think it would be interesting to have the forces of the Aelfs teetering on the edge of turning to Chaos.

Miiiiiiist Weaver, I believe you can get me through
the niiiiiiight...
I saved the biggest model for last - the Ogroid Thamaturge.  Again, he looked like an intimidating model to paint, but I managed to get him done in two evenings of work. I opted to ape the studio paint scheme to save some time - I didn't want to end up with something that just wasn't working with a hard deadline.

I've never heard a fart rock song that uses the words "Ogroid" or "Thamaturge".
Let me know if I've missed something somewhere.
So that's the second Games Workshop boxed set I've finished up this year. I'm now eyeing that new Horus Heresy boxed game "Burning of Prospero" so that may be in my future. I can't wait to play Warhammer Quest Silver Tower and I'll share my thoughts on the game next week.


Saturday, October 8, 2016

More Heroes for Silver Tower and The Gaunt Summoner!

I'm in the home stretch of finishing all the models in Warhammer Quest Silver Tower! Now that these three heroes and the Gaunt Summoner finished, I've only got a handful of models left to paint. Unfortunately, they are probably the most complicated models in the set - the Mistweaver Saih, the Tenebrael Shard and the Ogroid Thamaturge. Next weekend I'm hosting a get together to play the game, so it'll be a race against the Devil to get everything finished. I find that a hard deadline really motivates to keep working on a project and I need it at this point. I've got some projects lined up that I really want to get cracking on, but I need to finish Silver Tower first.

It's like Charlie's Angels, but with less hair and more Chaos.
First up is the Darkoath Chieftain. This guy is your quintessential Conan-type barbarian and was one of the models that really got me excited about the new editon. He's a huge step up from the old barbarians in Heroquest and the original Warhammer Quest. He painted up fairly quickly and is ready to cut a bloody swath through the Gaunt Summoner's minions.

"What is best in life?!?!"
Next on deck is the Excelsior Warpriest. "Excelsior" makes me want to say it in a Stan Lee impersonation, but I'll try not too do it too often for this True Believer. It is nice to see Games Workshop broadening the ethnicities of models rather than just scifi and fantasy worlds inhabited by English white people. It also gives me the opportunity to paint a variety of flesh tones and was a nice change up.

"Stop! Hammer -time."
I then grabbed the Excelsior War Priest's Demigryph side-kick to work on. For all the changes in Warhammer over the years, for some reason I've never been able to warm to the idea of the Demigryphs - I can't really articulate what makes me rebel against the idea, I just do. But the Warpriest's little bird-dog has me opening up to the concept. It was a fun little model to paint.

Talk about a Bird Dog.
The Fyreslayer Doomseeker is my first foray into Games Workshop's new Dwarf aesthetic, and I have to say that I like them a lot. The Fyreslayers have a kind of Aztec-meets-Norse feel to me that I find new and interesting.  This is a color palette that I don't usually use and it was fun to flex my painting muscles on something new. I'm not sure about how successful the protruding "brands" across the flesh of the model are - I like the idea, but it makes them a little busier visually than I think I like.

He's so hot.
Finally, I managed to get the game's main villain done - The Gaunt Summoner. He was a really interesting model to assemble from a technical standpoint. He went together super easily and logically. I was more concerned with how frail the model is and worried about breakage as I separated him from the sprue. In the end, I just took my time and it went more smoothly than I had anticipated. He was a ton of fun to paint and I'm really happy with the results.

"I must crush these mortal champions in time to star in Pan's Labyrinth Part 2!"
Wish me luck in finishing the last three models over the course of the next week.


Saturday, October 1, 2016

Enter the Tzaangors and a Knight Questor!

The last 2 weeks have been a little slow for me, painting-wise. The final group of minions from the Silver Tower I had to finish up were the Tzeentch Beastmen, the Tzaangors. I knew these models were going to take me longer than all the others and boy howdy was that true. When I first saw the Tzaangors previewed, my inner 13-year old fat kid squealed with delight and it came out of my 43-year old fat guy mouth. The Tzaangors are just a super unique set of sculpts for a concept that's deserved it for long, long time and I was slightly intimidated about making sure that I did them justice.

Family shot! Or just 3 and you've had too much whiskey.
The wacky tentacle dreadlocks were a nice way to bring in some extra color.
I think the two-handed weapon guys were my favorite sculpts of the set.
Not making chicken noises when these guys are on the board is going to be practically impossible.

The Tzaangor are very intricate sculpts and were time-consuming to paint. I ended up painting each model on its own rather than as an assembly line and it slowed me down considerably. Each pair was unique enough that I did a test model and by that point I was half done the group. As a final thought, I will say that the assembly breakdowns of the Tzaangors felt a little needlessly complex and frail at a points. A friend who breaks models down for sprue casting described them as "GW just showing off at this point". They were much less "plug and play" than the rest of the set for only a slight gain in sculpting in my opinion.

I also finished up the first Hero from the Silver Tower - the Knight Questor. I will say one thing for the Stormcast Eternals - they are super fun and fast to paint. I wanted to continue momentum on the project so I chose the Hero that I knew would be quickest to finish.

He has the Power!
I am aiming to host a game of Silver Tower in Mid-October, so I'm trying to plan out what kind of time I need to budget to accomplish the goal of a fully painted set by then. On deck I have the Darkoath Chieftain, the Exemplar Warpriest and the Fyreslayer. Hopefully I can grind those fellas out quick so I have more time on the Aelf models, the Ogroid Thamaturge and of course, The Gaunt Summoner. Wish me luck!


Saturday, September 24, 2016

Along The Black and Blue Danube

In late April of 1809, Feldmarshal Lieutenant Ludwig VonSourkraut finally began moving his division across the border of Bavaria despite delays caused by confused orders, poor roads and his own personal battles with the gout. On a crisp Sunday morning, his forces stood ready to cross one of the smaller tributaries of the Danube but a reinforced French garrison under the command of his old nemesis, Marshall Pierre Camembert, stood in his way. The Frenchman's resolve was the only thing stronger than his body-odor, and Ludwig knew he would be in for a grueling fight.

The view from the Austrian controlled South.
The Austrian objective was to push north across the river and secure the small town of Wasserhaus. Doing so would give them a minor victory. If able to push on to and occupy the town of Brunnenburg, the Austrian army would claim a major victory in the opening stages of the War of the Fifth Coalition. This past week, three friends and I got together to recreate this important fictional battle.

The French deployed in strength in the two northern towns.
For Napoleonics, we us a homebrew set of rules that is really easy to teach and learn and gives good results in a reasonable amount of time. We played a game with over 1000 figures on the board in about 3 hours - with plenty of time for drinking and conversations along the way. It was a great time and really fun battle.

Each player is responsible for commanding a brigade of troops, and our generals' personalities and abilities were randomly generated. My buddy Stu and I commanded the French side and these were our generals:

Men of refined culture and taste, obviously.
Our Austrian opponents, commanded by Ron and Alfonso, were ably led by Sir Connery and Sir Murray. With two knighted Generals, how could they fail?

The Austrians should never have let non-Germans lead their men!
The first several turns involved the Austrians jockeying for position. They concentrated their assault on the bridge at Wasserhaus and the Western flank, even going so far as attempting a sweeping cavalry assault by no less than eight squadrons of hussars.  The battle was incredibly bloody as Austrian infantry attempted to press towards the bridge and a wall of horses forded the river into a nest of waiting French Grenadiers.

Austrian Hussars begin their turn towards the Western flank.
French Carbiniers race foward to reinforce the bridge.
General Trejo leads the Grenadiers toward the Western bank.
Bavarians defend the Eastern flank of Wasserhaus.
French Carbiniers cross the river to push back the Austrian advance!
French Skirmishers desperately defend the watchtower at the bridge.
The Austrians attempted to bypass the bridge entirely and just ford the river.
The French Grenadiers held firm against the onslaught of the Austrian Hussars.
After several hours of fighting, the battlefield was littered with the tiny corpses of toy soldiers, empty beer bottles and the air hung heavy with cotton wool smoke markers. The Austrians just couldn't fully breach the river and were held at Wasserhaus. The French had won the day! It was an awesome afternoon and a great chance to get all my toy soldiers out on the table. I look forward to the next battle.

As a bonus (and because everyone always asks) here are all the rules and cards for my home-brew system. It plays really well and assumes that everyone involved behaves like an adult and has played a war-game before. And how many blogs offer you free rules?! (Don't answer that.)


Page 1
Page 2

Page 3

General Sheet 1 - print once and cut out.
General Sheet 2 - print once and cut out.
Special Event Cards 1 - Print once and cut out.
Special Event Card 2 - print once and cut out.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

More Work On The Silver Tower!

My hobby time this week was taken up entirely with working on models from Warhammer Quest The Silver Tower. So far I've been focusing on the smaller guys - its almost like painting 15mm or 20mm stuff - and everything is painting up nice an quick. At this point I've got over half of the set done. I expect a slight slow down on the project as I tackle the more detailed hero and villain pieces. Even before those I need to work on the Tanzigors, which are the last of the minions.

First up are the Tzeentch horrors. These models assembled and painted up really quickly. Having a model be 90% one color makes painting them really fast - its just a matter of basecoating and shading and I was almost done.

Warrblegarrbleboo! These models have a lot of energy in the sculpts.
A burble of Blue Horrors! 
Towards the end of the week I worked on the Grot Scuttlings. These are fun little models and an interesting re-imagining of classic GW gobbos. I'm not sure I'd want these to be a permanent aesthetic for goblins in Age of Sigmar, but as a one off or a unique unit in an army they appeal to me.

Eight legged freaks!
The last of the familiars got done as well. These are adorable little models that remind me of some of the classic GW familiar models and it's really nice to see this kind of stuff included on a frame.

Have you heard the Word of the Good Book?
This brings the total models I've painted up for Silver Tower to 36 out of 50 in the set. Not too shabby for about 3 weeks worth of work. I hope to get the whole box done and play some games in the next month.


Thursday, September 8, 2016

Mixed Bag 4 - More Silver Tower, Shipping Containers and Kill Team!

This week saw me grinding through a little bit more of my Silver Tower box. I managed to finish up the two Skaven models and a handful of the Familiar models. So far, the amount of models in the set is perfect for me - not so many that I get bored painting the same model over and over and not so few that I have to labor over each one for a couple hours. At this point I've got 20 some odd models done which is almost half the set. If I can maintain that level of momentum I'm confident that I should be done the whole shebang in a couple weeks.

Yep. That's two models. Not just one photo bashed together.
I put these guys on special bases since last week.
Insert your own Mac-the-Knife jokes here.
A discussion on FB emerged that you didn't need two of each familiar models. Luckily, this occurred AFTER I had painted them all. And it turned out, you do need two of each model. I THINK.
I don't care what this cat's name is supposed to be. He will always be called Fishy Joe Gillman in my home.

I also painted up some great scratch built shipping container models from my buddy Alfonso. He put up a video a while ago on how he built them - check out his Shipping Container tutorial - but I was lucky enough to get them from him since he felt he wasn't using them. I love these models because they painted up great and from a gaming perspective they really eat up some tabletop real estate and block Line of Sight nicely.

Now with 100% less skulls. I like that I can use these across multiple game genres.
Varying up the colors really adds to the character of the table.
4 of these will really break up the tabletop.
Finally, I got a chance to play some of the new Kill Team rules for 40K against my buddy Marky's Tau army. My Orks continued their tradition of getting their asses kicked by the Tau on this blog. It all started out so well - I had a lot of models, Marky was rolling very poorly, I was advancing quickly - but then Overwatch occurred and it turned out I had actually just been feeding my Orks into a blender.

The Orks advance on the dug in Tau forces. Probably not the best battle plan.
The Orks made cunning use of cover. Unfortunately, I had to poke my head out at some point...
Marky's Tau were more than ready. He laid down a lot of initially disappointing fire, but in the end the gun line did its job.
I spent several turns executing a clever flanking maneuver! Only to be gunned down moments before I could launch my attack.
Killing the Battlesuit was probably the most satisfying moment of the game.
I had a lot of fun playing Marky because we usually always have a fun time playing any game system, but I wasn't too impressed with Kill Team as a rule set. I've always looked at these versions of 40K as "Hey, do you wanna play 40K but not use all the cool robots and tank models?" and the latest iteration of Kill Team didn't do much to change my opinion. The game just needs something more - more narrative or evocative scenarios, a campaign system, SOMETHING. Otherwise, its the same old clunky 40K rules, just with less models. As a veteran player it doesn't really offer me much I can't get from a full game of Warhammer and if I was a novice I'm not really learning much about the tactics of the larger game. I'd certainly play again, but I'm not champing at the bit to get in more games of Kill Team. I dunno, your own mileage may vary but its not the game for me. I like stompy Dreads and clanky tanks in my games too much I guess.