Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Playing the game, not the system

One of the questions facing Rob and me these last few weeks is: Is it actually possible for either side to win Battle for Armageddon?

QUICK!  Adopt White Dwarf poses

No matter which variant you play the drawing bracket is pretty wide. The Imperial player has to control every single Hive, have them intact AND kill the enemy commander (Ghazghkull/Angron). If people were playing with a hardcore 40K tournament mentality it'd be very easy for the Orks/Chaos to just keep the commander on a supply line and deny the Imperials victory.

The main reason we enjoy the game so much is the background. The whole game is grounded in some of 40K's richest fluff. Indeed, the rulebook itself is actually a story of the entire campaign penned by the mighty Bill King with a few pages of rules slipped in. The point of the game (as far as we're concerned) is to take on the role of the army commanders rather than actually try and win.

Huh?

Well, the Ork player has just punched a hole in the Imperial defensive line. He decides to pour two whole clans through the gap, and avoid further causalities swamping the rest of the line.

It's very unOrky. (Well, unless you're playing with the Chaos Attacks Blood Axes). In fact, with our gaming philosophies it's almost cheating as that's not what the Orks would do (or "did" if you take the fluff as seriously as us).

This is the roleplay element that is present in wargames I love. Deciding what your pewter captain model will do, and not the omniscient player towering far above his miniature legions.

The 6th Imperial Army prevail!

It's lovely when you play games where both players have this attitude. They're fun, and you have cool discussions over which Hive Yarrick should be in based in. This is in great contrast to tournaments, where the WAAC attitudes mean the games are decided by who's able to fudge their inches the most get the petty rules anomalies rules in their favour.

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Posted by Curis at 6:52 am

Monday, 20 October 2008

Smiling at strangers on trains

I make a lot of journeys on trains. And as well as having several good (comic) books in my bag, I also entertain myself by taking my paints. Here they are somewhere approaching Didcot.

It was the strangest thing today

Here they are somewhere in Birmingham, further along in their paintjobs.

Argh!

It's a great use of time. I got a good four hour run at them today, four hours that I would normally have had to have put an evening aside for, or stayed up extra late to do. It's magic time from nowhere.

It's also perhaps the only interesting picture of someone's painting area you'll ever see...

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Posted by Curis at 12:57 am

Thursday, 16 October 2008

2p or not 2p

Since the basing restrictions in Epic are so loose, I've opted for basing infantry on 2 pence pieces rather than the standard 40x10mm bases, or the less common 20mmx20mm Space Marine era bases. The game mechanics don't hinge around base size or shape (like they do with, say, Warmaster), so as long as you're not being a nobber you can do what you like.

Not mince pies.

The regimented 5-in-a-row look of the standard Epic bases doesn't work for Orks visually. Marines and Guard suit it, where they look like they're advancing in awe-inspiring formation, in their neatly-arranged squads. Orks just swarm, with very little in the way of force organisation. Clumps of infantry just look right, not lines.

On top of that, my vehicles are all on round bases, and so it keeps the army looking consistent. I can't stand mixing round and square bases.

Hey look, if you squint that picture looks like a plate of pies.

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Posted by Curis at 10:39 am

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

Q. What's yellow and dangerous?

A.  A canary with a machine gun.

Look at that. Led by a vintage Mekboy Speedsta with Bubbla Chukka, and accompanied by a converted Flakwagon. Looking good.

Of course, red's the traditional colour for Kults, as they're typically Evil Sunz. But Bad Moonz would have a lot of teef to spend on flash vehicles, so I feel I'm still adhering to the background.

These guys took to the field again last night against Si's Shadow Scorpions - and won 3-0. Si made the mistake of tackling my Gargant head-on, where its awesome firepower and big stompy boots made short work of the beakies. With my first win under my belt I feel justified modelling on some trophies using all the spare Marines I've got knocking about.

I've chosen to base every model in the army, mostly 2 pence pieces. It makes them look a lot more imposing on the table, and so much easier to handle. Tiny metal models just roll around and get their bottoms scratched chipped and generally mangled by gaming. And, I hate it when some models in an army are on bases, and others aren't. I can overlook it in 40K where basing large vehcile models is impractical. But in Epic, the baseless vehicle models can be based, and what's more, the bigger models (titans, gargants...) are based anyway. It brings out my OCD side.

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Posted by Curis at 9:33 am

I won't have to pay

I love picking holes in print advertisements. I get told off because I stand really close to airbrushed movie posters and scream, "THEY HAVE NO PORES". But this advert, that I see every morning on my way to work, has really been bugging me.

For those not living in Manchester, we're having a big vote later this year on the Manchester congestion charge. One approach they're taking to selling the idea making you pay to drive your car to work is saying that you won't always have to pay the congestion charge. To me, this is like persuading someone to play russian roulette with the reasoning it's not suicide most of the time.

Anyway, I see this one on my way into work every day.

Please tell me I'm not the only one thinking this.

Does anyone else read this as "I won't have to pay the congestion charge, BECAUSE I AM GAY"?

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Posted by Curis at 12:17 am

Saturday, 11 October 2008

Feel the air under our wings

Two late-night Epic games at Rob's - Bad Moon Orks vee Nevi'im Eldar. Have the close-up shot of the only painted models against the board, and let me mislead you into thinking everything in the game was fully-painted...

Upon wishes or demands, it's time to fly.

Rob took his brand new Epic Eldar. They müllered me, twice. All those dratted pulse weapons chewed through my lovely big Stompa Mob with sustained fire. Ouch. Luckily, he's not quite got the hang of the Eldar's unique move-shot-move tactic. I fear that day.

Here's what he has to say about them:

I have even named the craftworld now (Nevi'im: Hebrew for Prophets). They were one of the first of the craftworlds to leave Eldar society and isolated themselves even after the Fall from other Eldar believing them to be totally corrupted.

Eventually the Nevi'im decided that the Craftworld society was slowing them down and left them vulnerable. This feeling was only compounded when they heard of the attack on the Iyanden craftworld. The Nevi'im used the most powerful Bonesingers to create an armada of ships out of the original Craftworld and they split themselves into Marauder fleets.

The Nevi'im society became one of nomadic sensibility, much like those of the Saim Hann Craftworld.


And as if yo rub salt into the wounds of my twin defeats, he did it whilst showing off his new Bret McKenzie jumper.

I think I need a 1983 Casio DG20 electric guitar set to electric mandolin, and drums.

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Posted by Curis at 11:30 am

Friday, 10 October 2008

Just one cage

More copying the standard studio schemes. This time, it's Deneghra, the most diminutive of the Cryx casters. She was bought as a present, and so she went straight to the front of the Cryx painting queue.

Champion rack.

This was my second attempt at painting the girl. The first time I used the Vallejo Game Color (eurgh american spelling) silvers, and it came out truly awful. They had that glittery finish that put me in mind of fairground bumper cars. I got sulky, and threw her in my undersink Nitromors jar. For my second attempt I wet out and bought some of the GW metals - I must say, (price aside) they're the best metals on the market, and produce a gorgeously even finish.

Only problem with Deneghra is she's, well, 'meh'. She's not a 10-foot tall steampunk skellington, or a zombie pirate dragon - she's just an unimposing little girl with very straightforward colours. Maybe in time I'll do another in a more striking scheme, with marble green armour plates, and lots of runic tattoos.

I do like the way her skin came out. I wanted her to stand out from all the green/grey Thralls, and look healthy and alive, but still eeeeevil.

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Posted by Curis at 1:14 am

Thursday, 9 October 2008

Don't matter which way we're facing

One of the many true joys of my Squat army, is that they're tiny models. They double up beautifully in the standard GW cases, rather than struggling one-to-a-space like my 40k Orks.

Pairing off, like teenage emos.

Means a whole 1750 point army can fit in a case, with a layer spare for my Cryx, and then some. Means games don't entail logistics problems, or lugging cumbersome bags on train stations. It means they can be surreptitiously slid under my desk without attracting quizzical glances.

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Posted by Curis at 6:06 am

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

I see a Bad Moon rising

Cute Bad Moon Fighta Bombas. Wooo, they're the tiny Epic 40K era ones, not Forge World's ginormous Aeronautca Imperialis ones. I love them.

Let's all sing Creedence Clearwater Revival.

They might get some snow on their bases to match my other Epic army, and (as-yet-unmade) personal gaming board. And they're not varnished yet. I'll give them nice matt finishes, and then high-gloss cockpits.

I've always favoured brash, bright schemes for miniatures. They should be colourful and vibrant, not drab. If you carefully paint a miniature in a subtle came scheme and place it on the table, then it disappears. No-one can see them, and the visual spectacle of the army is gone. Doubly so with 6mm scale - the infantry models are the size of clumps of basing material, and get lost.

This Bad Moon army will stand out a mile.

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Posted by Curis at 6:32 am


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