2010-10-28

Fall-In 2010 Plans

Fall-In is this weekend! JM and I are driving out tomorrow.  It's in Lancaster, and we got a room in the Lancaster Host where the convention is, so we don't have to leave the building all weekend except to go to the dealer hall (if it's still out back).

Although I feel a bit burned out on DBA, it's the main plan for this weekend.  I've basically packed the weekend with events; hopefully I can sneak out to the flea market once or twice.

We want to register on Thursday so probably won't play in Larry's Auxilirama game.  I won't be bringing an eligible army for this.

Friday morning until 6pm is BBDBA doubles, and Team Red Meat has a plan.  Basically I'm going to lose and say "I hate you, Milkman Dan!" a lot like a whiny little girl.

JM and I are bringing Warring States: Chao (II/4c).  Two of the armies are mine and JM's providing the third.  We aren't likely to do particularly well, since we can count the combined number of BBDBA games we've played on one hand and some of those were against each other.  But we did think ahead enough that we hopefully won't slow everyone else down too much.  I'll post more on that after it's done.

Friday evening is 1491: New World Dominance, an American army pyramid tournament.  I really enjoyed the pyramid format at Battle at the Crossroads earlier this year. However, with at least two Mound Builders in the Northern bracket, I'm very likely to face them, and they provide a formidable opponent to most other eligible armies.  I'll be fielding my Tlingit (IV/11) with their newly completed camp, without a totem pole for now.

Finally, Midnight Madness starts at... well, 11pm.  I guess they call it "Almost Midnight Madness" now.  I'll choose an army based on whatever I feel like at the time, but most likely Later Carthaginians (II/32) with warbands but no elephants.

Hopefully I'll wake up in time for Armies of the Americas at 9am on Saturday.  This is a non-pyramid format tournament with the same eligible armies as the pyramid tournament.  I'll be playing my Tlingit (IV/11) again.

At 1pm is an Open Scramble.  You play 4 rounds, but don't use your own army until the last round.  In the first round you use your enemy's army and after that the winningest players use the losingest armies until the last round when you use the one you brought.  I was planning on using Later Carthaginians (II/32) again, but come to think of it... maybe Gauls (II/11) would be better.  Or worse.  It's not clear which is preferrable.  In any case, JM will use the army I'm not using.  They're both beater armies, made up mostly from the quadruple Carthaginian army I got at the Historicon flea market. I won't mind if they get a bit beat up by strangers.

5pm starts the Two Davids campaign: Gallic Wars. I'm playing Gauls (II/11) just like everyone else... but I'm using a modified list.  Oh! I'd better go bring figures for the unmodified version to use in the Open.

That's "it."  I've managed to pack 5 armies for 6 events, including 2/3 of a BBDBA triple army.  That's not necesarily a good thing, though, since I'll probably be sick of playing all of them by the end of the weekend.

Despite having a weekend full of DBA, there are other events I'm missing that I'd enjoy.  There are several Hordes of the Things themed events, and some 25mm events I don't have an army for.

2010-10-27

Malifaux: Samael Hopkins

Samael Hopkins
I finished Samael Hopkins, another Guild figure I started along with Perdita and her crew.  I was disturbed by his superfluity of straps and decided to set him aside for a while.

He was a bit easier to paint than I expected, but I totally cheesed out on his boots and knee pads.  I decided that the sculpt has enough detail as it is, I don't need to try to ruin it with too much fancy paint.  So I just used black with a bit of grey highlighting.

This time, my Army Painter dull varnish was really really dull.  It's not as dusty looking in real life, but it still doesn't photograph well.  I picked out the metallics with gloss varnish. 

I got this figure on discount without a card, and I'm unwilling to pay Wyrd's shipping price for a single $.50 card, so I may have to make my own.

2010-10-20

Malifaux Terrain

Here are a few shacks I painted up for Malifaux.

These are from an O-scale model railroad plastic kit.  It's the Hobo Jungle from Bachmann's Plasticville USA series.   Despite its horrifyingly bad name, there are a few good models in the Plasticville range.

According to the TMP All About Scales page, O-scale is supposed to be 1/43.5 scale or equivalent to 37mm miniatures.  In practice, these are great with the 32mm Malifaux figures and fit well alongside Mordheim terrain (intended for 28mm).  They're quite small overall, and most of our 32mm figures won't fit through the doorways.

I'm not sure how brown can be described as "bright," but I think some of these turned out brighter than I intended. The rusted metal turned out well enough, though the rust may be a bit too "fresh" looking... or just too bright.

I also have a Plasticville sniper water tower to put together, and I haven't finished the outhouse from the Hobo Village.  I think I'll put the outhouse on the edge of a swamp terrain piece.

DBA: Gallic Cavalry

I wanted to play in the Two Davids campaign at Fall-In, and this time the theme is Gallic Wars. Almost all of the armies are Gauls, with a few Romans to kick around and maybe a few others who aren't even as civilized as the Gauls.  I had most of a Gallic army in the form of Carthaginian allies; I just needed some cavalry to round out the list.

In this campaign, I chose the Remi.  These guys are allowed more cavalry and less warband, so I painted 4 elements (the maximum).  None of the cavalry are allowed to be chariots.

These are Black Hat miniatures that I added to one of JM's orders.  I really don't like the rest of my Gallic figures, they're very "old school."  These are also fairly old school sculpts, and they aren't my favorite figures, but I'm happy with how they came out considering how much effort I put into them.  I painted them as quickly as possible, by blocking out the solid colors and then using more of my Army Painter Strong Tone quickshade dip.  That's the only shading done on them, but this stuff works really well.  The figures had enough sharp detail to catch the dip.

I'm a lot happier with these than I thought I'd be before I painted them.  I don't like Gauls, don't like the rest of the army, and don't really like these sculpts.  They may be a bit too bright, but I skimped and didn't paint any plaid.

Malifaux: Nino and Santiago

 I finished painting Nino and Santiago Ortega, for my Malifaux Perdita crew.

Nino's repeating rifle is excellent at long range, and his Hunter ability lets him shoot into cover more effectively.  Nino reminds me a bit of Badger from Firefly, mostly because of his bowler hat.  I'm afraid he's going to break off at the ankle, but I'll just try not to drop him.
I looked a others' interpretations of santiago online, and there is a clear consensus: he wears blue pants (jeans) with an offwhite shirt (dirty t-shirt) and a brown duster.

The figures are displayed here on the second floor of one of Frank's ruined houses. 

2010-10-19

Malifaux: Cowboys versus Samurai


Frank and I played a 25 stone game of Malifaux on Saturday. We had a surprisingly balanced outcome compared to most past games, and we played through 5 turns before the end.

I chose my Perdita crew, set up straight out of the box: Perdita, Santiago, Francesco, Nino, and Papa Loco. Frank didn't actually have any samurai, he chose his Viktoria crew: 2 Viktorias, 3 Ronin, and Misaki. I had the advantage in ranged combat, but Frank's crew had high mobility and great melee.

Andy was around to watch and learn, so he set up terrain. We flipped on the extended encounter chart and wound up with a Shared Deliver a Message strategy: both of us had to take a (2) interact action within 2" of the enemy Master, to deliver a message and gain victory points. This ended up having a large effect on the way we played, which means that as a game strategy, "it worked."

We announced all our schemes.  I chose to Bodyguard Perdita, and to Kill the Protege: Misaki.  I chose Bodyguard since Deliver a Message required Frank to keep Perdita alive; but in retrospect it wasn't the best choice, as it gave Frank more incentive to kill Perdita as a contingency plan.  Frank chose Steal Relic, which also required him to take an action near Perdita, and Gather Soulstones: end the game with more stones than me.  He started with only 3 stones and I had 2; but he had the option of sacrificing Ronin to get more stones.

For the first few turns, I did the most important thing possible: get Papa Loco as far away from me as possible, and close to Frank; so when he dies, the explosion doesn't hurt me.  We got surprisingly close to each other on the first turn, and had a bit of a shootout.  Papa didn't survive, I'm sorry to say, and his final explosion had no effect.  One of Frank's Ronin died soon after: Perdita shot her for failing to Obey her orders to run down Misaki.

In the mean time, the Viktorias were approaching Nino and Santiago around a building, while Misaki hid behind it.   The two remaining Ronin were on the other flank, seemingly out of the action for now.  The Viktorias hit Santiago in melee, and in response he took 2 actions to Deliver the Message.  Since I completed the scheme first, I got 3VP.

At this point, Santiago survived long odds for longer than I expected. All my remaining guys emptied their guns at the Viktorias in rapid succession, in one huge Companion activation for the whole crew.  Since I was shooting into combat, all of the shots required me to randomly determine which model was the target, but Santiago avoided all but one of the attacks.  Unfortunately, the only luck I had was used up missing Santiago; I also did almost no damage to the Viktorias.

On their turn, Viktoria (no, the other one) killed Santiago, and Frank's remaining Ronin closed in on Perdita, locking her in combat.  He Delivered the Message for only 1 VP, and then Stole my Relic (so we thought) and started running away.  I killed Misaki.  By now we were both out of soulstones, and the score was at 7VP for me (completing the strategy and both schemes) and 4 for Frank.

But the game wasn't over yet.  Frank killed Perdita, knocking me down to 5VP.  For him to win, he needed to keep one Ronin alive (giving him 2 of his current 5VP) and sacrifice the other to gain soulstones (for another 2VP).  For me to win, I needed to kill either of his Ronin.

In the final turn (turn 5), my shooting was ineffective but Frank's was not.  He got initiative, allowing him to get one Ronin out of the way. I wasn't able to kill the other because it was Hard to Kill, and Frank cleaned out all of my remaining crew with the Viktorias.

So in the end, it seemed like Frank won with 6 VP, and I had 5VP.  But wait! He realized he was supposed to make a Willpower duel in order to steal my relic, but we forgot to do it. The result is unclear; but I think with the cards I had, I wouldn't have been able to beat him.

I made some mistakes: I spent too much time shooting with Perdita to remember to keep her out of harm's way.  I expected more from my guns based on their past performance, and Perdita was frustrated that no one would Obey her.

The strategies and schemes definitely affected gameplay and our play motivations.  I put Perdita into danger, counting on Frank not to harm her until he got his strategy and scheme VP's... unfortunately I wasn't able to get her out of trouble quickly enough once that happened.  In the end, I could've won the game with all my models lost, if I had only killed one more model.  I still really like the Malifaux encounter system, and we haven't repeated any strategies yet.

I like this crew, especially how different it is from Ramos. I also the opportunity to demonstrate that it was in fact possible to beat them; maybe now I'll hear fewer complaints about how broken they are.

2010-10-01

When all you have is a hammer...

"When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a cat."

Johann, facing off two groups of Hoar Cats, a Cerberus Sabertooth, and a Ronin, is sure to die. It's been a long time since Johann has gotten a hit off with his giant hammer, but I think my spiders saved the day, this time...