Friday, January 30, 2009

The Three MMOs for which I'm waiting

Yes, if you've been paying attention, but I figure I'll go ahead and note them here in case you wish to catch up with me. Whatever I end up playing will end up being talked about here.
  • Champions Online - Slated for Release in Spring 2009. The spiritual successor to City of Heroes/City of Villains.
  • Star Trek Online - The release date has not yet been announced for this, but the engine is the same one for Champions so really it's universe building, not engine building. Boldly go where no one has gone before!
  • Star Wars: The Old Republic - Again, the release date has not yet been announced for this, but I think we can expect it sometime in 2010.
Now, I did try Warhammer Online, and it didn't grab me. I've heard WoW is better with Wrath of the Lich King, so we shall see.

Today I fly back to Austin...

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Second and Third Eldar Battles

On Sunday,I faced up against Chris A and the Imperial Lancers. This was the first time he'd played with the new Space Marine Codex and not running as Blood Angels. Like me, he found love for Vulkan Hestan and his magical twin linking of Flamers and Meltas. He ran 2 tactical squads, 2 speeders with dual meltas and Vulkan. I put together a similar list (because I still have the few painted Eldar) but padded it out to 750 points. It wasn't the most efficient use of points, but I learned a few things by loading up with options.

This was a 750 point game, and my list came in right around 747.

First of all, Elrond was loaded up with Runes of Warding, Runes of Witnessing and Spirit Stones. this makes him nasty against other Psychers (which I didn't face) but also makes him a more powerful Psycher. He can avoid Perils of the Warp by rolling 3 dice for his psychic test and discarding the highest and fire off 2 psychic powers per turn. Furthermore, I gave him Doom, Eldritch Storm, Fortune and Guide. I only used the last 2 during the battle. Guide is wonderful to help hit the opponent harder. Alternatively, Fortune didn't play out quite as well, but I think it'd work well in the long term.

Again, I attached him to the Fire Dragons mounted in the Wave Serpent. Note that the Wave Serpent wasn't remotely tricked out like it could be. Personally, I think that if you do that, it makes the Eldar tanks too powerful (because the three upgrades on the tanks are what give Eldar a bad name).

That being said, if I was building a harder core list, I would have dropped Eldritch Storm and Doom from Elrond and gave the Spirit Stones, Star Engins and Vectored Engines to the thing. This would not have altered the total points for the army. Holofields are not an option for Wave Serpents which is the MAIN nastiness for Eldar Tanks, especially when stuck on Falcons which can carry troops. Of course, considering my performance on Sunday, perhaps tricking out the Wave Serpent would be a good choice.

Again, I'm not going to do a battle report, but just a few highlights.

1. In the first game, I had ended up placing the troops all near the Wave Serpent. This took a penetrating shot from the Space Marine Speeder. One roll of a 6 later, and not only did I no longer have a Wave Serpent, but half of my army was dead from the fireball. I had to stop for a minute because I was laughing so hard.

2. Chris's brother had given him a bunch of resin cast Terrain pieces. So, we used these for terrain. Interestingly, the shape lends itself nicely to 5th ed. They are tall enough in placed to block line of sight to a few figs, but a whole squad can't necessarily hide.

3. This reminds me, being a fan of International Coffee's Suisse Mocha, I end up going through about 1 can a week. Instead of throwing them away, I'm setting them aside to use as terrain. I'm going to paint them up to look like Imperial cargo containers.

4. Because we were running with a smaller force, we decided not to use the big 4x8 table, but just played on a small area of the dinner table since it was for fun and we are both rusty on the rules.

Anyway, I lost both games and I think that was due to poor generalship on my part. However, as always, we had a fun afternoon and THAT is why I play 40k.

Today I'm in Portland....

Monday, January 26, 2009

The funniest musician you aren't listening to...

Jonathan Coulton is living my dream - a computer programmer turned musician.

Check him out, his music is available for purchase from iTunes and from his website.

Here are a few choice pieces:

Re: Your Brains

Skullcrusher Mountain

Code Monkey

Baby Got Back

Anyway, enjoy this while I'm in Portland this week. I'll try to post while I'm away.

And here is hoping I have better news on my return from Portland than I did last year....

Friday, January 23, 2009

Marine Status

The "Blueberry" marines are pretty much finished. They are still a tad bluer than I'd like, but I think when they are mixed in the huge number of marines I'll have when I'm done, no one will notice.

Now, usually I paint the edge of the base with a colour to indicate which unit the model is with. I've not done it yet for this first batch. I won't do this until I've enough MORE painted troops to assign troops to different squads.

Anyway, here is a low-rez picture of the figure, so you can get an idea. I don't have a good digital camera though so this is the best I have for now.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Disney Star Guitarist

You may remember when I previously posted about "Guitar Rising". Sadly, this software has yet to materialize. My reading indicates that it has to do with problems in interference between strings.


So, it seems that Disney has picked up the guantlet with "Disney Star Guitarist". Yes, I'm worried. The thing I can say about Disney is I don't think they'd release an unpolished product.

Now, sadly because it's Disney with "High School Musical" and "Hanna Montana" links, I think I'd probably rather claw my eyes out than use this (maybe they'll cut a deal with Sony for rights to SRV songs or Elektra for some Metallica?). Hope springs eternal.

Here are some links...

Monday, January 19, 2009

First painted Eldar!

No, I didn't paint these, but they are mine nonetheless!

Here is the painter!

Friday, January 16, 2009

I can't play Space Hulk anymore

WAY back when, when I started playing 40k, I bought the game Space Hulk as it was cheaper to get Terminators THERE than to buy a box of Termies. At the time, Space Hulk was $45, and a box of 5 Terminators was $40 (iirc). No brainer, right? I've always been pleased with my purchase.

Space Hulk ALSO came with a bunch of Genestealers. Well, last weekend, I did some MAJOR cleaning out of my possessions, I had to think, "What am I going to do with all these Genestealers?" The decision...I gave them away.

So, now, I have a bunch of non-blood angel painted Terminators AND no genestealers plus my Space Hulk set. So, if you come by and want to play Space Hulk, better bring a bunch of genestealers.

Incidentally, now I got a TON of books to take to Half-Price books.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

First Eldar Game

After a year, I finally had my first battle with some of my Eldar. This was the FIRST 40k game I've played where I did NOT play Space Marines.

I primarily used the models I have which consisted of 20 Dire Avengers, 6 Fire Dragons with a basic Wave Serpent, and 1 Wave Serpent. Elrond from the LotR line kindly stepped up to pull "Farseer" service with the "Guide" psychic power. This came to about 532 points.

Cliff brought his Orks and constructed a group of Boyz, 'Ard Boyz, Storm Boyz, a Deff Copta, and a Warp Head. We set up on a half-table and did a basic Annihilation scenario.

I have to say, I like the feel of Eldar. They seem rather fragile compared to Space Marines (obviously - Eldar have a Toughness of 3 and a Save of 4, whereass Space Marines have a Toughness of 4 and a Save of 3). BUT, they throw down a LOT of damage. The Dire Avengers get 2 shots at 18".

Sadly, I didn't take notes to make a real battle report for my readers. However, I did get a chance to get a feel for how Eldar play. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and the contrast of performance to my Space Marines.

However, I did make note of a few fun/funny turns.

1. One of my Dire Avenger squads moved in and killed 3 of the Storm Boyz. They blew their Leadership test and fled. "Da Boss didn tell us dey 'ad gunz!!!!"

2. The Warp Head's head exploded (it always cracks me up with this happens).

3. The Fire Dragons and Elrond stepped out of the Wave Serpent and killed about 70% of the 'Ard Boyz, only to have the other squad of Boyz come around the corner and blast them to hell. This was followed by the 'Ard Boyz assaulting Elrond and the remaining Exarch and taking them down.

The result of this game is in dispute. At the end of the game, there were 2 regular Boyz and the Nob with powerfist vs. 2 Dire Avengers and 1 Exarch (plus a Wave Serpent with no weapons). Cliff conceded, but I maintain it was a draw.

However, we had a fun game. So as far as I'm concerned we BOTH won!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Veruca Salt of the Anger Sharks

I've been back on the painting wagon, as previously mentioned. My plan is to try to paint about 30-45 minutes a day (the time after work until my Trophy Fiancee gets home). A key that is pointed out in other painting faqs, as little as 5 minutes a day is worth it.

I've started with "finishing" some of my tactical marines. This basically means shading so that they aren't solid white and look realistic. Way back in '07, I figured out that the best shading was using a thin blue wash and then heavily drybrushing white.

Sadly, I forgot a few things when I started this most recent time. The main thing I forgot was that the blue wash needs to be VERY thin. I didn't make it thin enough, and so my marines look like they've rolled around in the blueberry patch. Whiel they are salvageable, it's taking a LOT of work to make them look OK. Now, there is an upside to this, in the intermediate stages make the figs look like statues.

Anyway, when I'm done though, my "75% complete" stack will have 15 less figures.

Anyway, remember, if you are shading "white" with a "blue wash" make that wash really, really thin!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Hot Rodding

I love my beautiful pony (car). Of course, I'd really love to customize it. Sadly, I spend too much on Warhammer minis and computer parts to do anything like that. So for the other car nuts out there, I'll post a few things I'd like to do Miss Sally - but sadly probably never will....
  • Something like the Kenwood DNX5120. I love the idea of built in navigation and the ability to watch a movie if I'm sitting in my car waiting. Now, I'm not saying this brand or this specific item, just this feature set.
  • I think that the functionality of the Hypertech Hyperpac Engine Controller 84009 should be incorporated into the stereo package so that it's all nicely integrated. Furthermore, they should have had the forthought to have Majel Barret (Rest in Peace) record the computer voice so I could have my car TELL me "Warning - Engine Temperature High" or "Warning - Fuel Level Critical". But then again, I see my car like a Federation Starship.
  • Some type of Cell Phone extender would be cool too. I have all that electricity, I should be able to use it.
  • Of course, all of these digital packages are just gravy. The main course would be something like a Shelby Cobra or Roush conversion. Of course, I don't want the body kits, I want the thing to be dressed DOWN to look like the V6 version (I love "sleepers"). Supercharger isn't actually necessary, I don't need THAT much power (but it'd be nice).
  • Now, while I would never intentionally speed, a little reminder to slow down would probably be helpful. Roush has nice radar detectors as does Cobra.
This should be enough to turn my car into a nice home away from home. Now, I may need an improved security system above what it has, but that is easy.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Getting the Space Marines organized

Well step one of trying to get started finishing (heh) the Space Marines is massive organization and planning. To that end I've divided my army into 4 groups:
  1. Ones to strip paint off
  2. Unpainted/unassembled
  3. 75% done (I tend to get to this point and it's hard to make myself finish them)
  4. Completely complete
It turns out that, as expected #2 is the smallest group of figs at a count of less than 10. After that I have about 10 to 20 that are completely complete. Then I have about 40-50 that are 75% done. The largest group are the ones sporting old paint (probably about a company worth of marines). I've also collected together all of my various bits and organized them so that I can actually FIND the bits I have.

In order to save my sanity, I'm going to start with the ones in group #3. Finishing the marines shouldn't be too taxing. It mainly involves adding a thin blue wash, dry-brushing white back over it, picking out the details, and then clear coating it. This also works out because it means I am focusing on the ones in the current army list I have.

The trick to this, of course, is to work out a specific time to do this. I'm thinking of reserving about an hour a day immediately after work until the Trophy Fiancee gets home. I just need to rebuild my work area next so I can get underway.

The other thing I've realized in all of this reorganization is that I don't have everything nicely set up to make the army transportable. The foam inserts I have don't necessarily fit everything just the way I want (especially with the new terminators I've acquired that have the big bases as opposed to my old ones. However, that can wait until later I think.

Wow, I've got a lot of work in front of me on these. I think I made the right decision in farming out the Eldar to Fish-N-Chips painting (see the link on the right, he does great work!)

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Whether Fantasy?

Well the results are in. I'm going to be building a Chaos army for Warhammer Fantasy I think.

Here are the themes for the army:
  1. Mounted Army - I like horsies, so I want to have the entire army mounted. I like armies with a "Shock and Awe" motif, so I try to create lists that work that way. I also like very fast moving armies, and so mounted in Fantasy makes sense.
  2. Khorne - I love dark red. In this case, I should be able to easily paint the army with a red base coat, dark wash, red dry brush, and then a bunch of detailing. I should be able to build and paint this fairly quickly (which is good, since I don't like painting).
  3. Molly Hatchet - Look at covers of Molly Hatchet album covers and then look at Chaos Lords. It makes sense. Furthermore, listen to the lyrics of "Beatin the Odds". There is both Chaos imagery and gaming imagery. It fits well.
If I get in a REALLY silly mood, I'll take a Bloodthirster and greenstuff a tee-shirt so I can have "Khorn-holio". Then if anyone issues a challenge, I can respond with "Are you threatening me?!?!?"

Seriously, here is the list I'm thinking of, so far, its about 2251 pts.
LordChaos Lord1210

Axe of Khorne

Chaos Runeshield

Juggernaut of Khorne

Mark of Khorne
HeroChaos Sorcerer185

Level 2

Barded Chaos Steed

Fury of the Blood God

2 - Dispel Scrolls
CoreMarauder Horsemen10130



Throwing Axes

Light Armor

Mark of Khorne
CoreMarauder Horsemen10130



Throwing Axes

Light Armor

Mark of Khorne
CoreMarauder Horsemen10130



Throwing Axes

Light Armor

Mark of Khorne
CoreChaos Warhounds530
CoreChaos Warhounds530
CoreChaos Warhounds530
CoreChaos Warhounds530
SpecialChaos Knights5200


Mark of Khorne
SpecialChaos Knights5200


Mark of Khorne
RareDragon Ogre Shaggoth1265

Additional Hand Weapon

The idea here, is that the Chaos Hounds will block line of sight to protect my mounted troops until they can close to hand to hand. The light armor, gives a basic save to the marauders of 5+ (yeah, not much, but it's something - armour+mount). Eventually, I'd like to work Valkia into the list...


(*Edited to add recommendations @ 10:16*)

Monday, January 5, 2009

Take it off, Take it ALL OFF!!!!

About 90% of my Space Marine army I purchased from other players instead of getting them new. The drawback to this, of course, is removing the paint so that I can turn them into true Imperial Stormtroopers (aka The Anger Sharks). When dealing with GW paints, this normally isn't an issue. Just soak 'em a while in Simple Green and then pull out your handy toothbrush (or Sonic Scrubber) and they get nice and clean!

However, shortly before Thor's Hammer in Austin closed, I purchased a batch of marines that were painted tan. I don't know WHAT paint this guy used, but DAMN, that stuff does NOT want to come off. They are plastic, so I don't want to risk Acetone (which I know will work) and my experiments way back when with Pine Sol proved damaging to plastics, so I need to find a better paint remover for these guys.

So, I'm experimenting with DOT 3 brake fluid. I'd heard that you don't need much, but in THIS case, I'm actually needing to soak them a bit to try to get this paint to come off. I'll be sure to post on this.

One other thing...Crusher Joe noted on his blog that black Gesso was good for when weather doesn't permit spray painting. Well, I gave it a shot (since I have very little luck with spray). He is right, Gesso = AWESOME! I don't think I'm going to go back to spray.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Welcome 2009! Looking forward...

As with most people, I use Jan 1st is a time to consider how to best improve oneself. I'm talking about New Year's Resolutions. My 2008 resolution worked very well actually. I used the vaguely worded "Better Living through Technology". Basically, the idea was to use tech to better manage the minutia of my life. It worked! I take my daily meds, I exercise regularly, I don't forget things as much.

What of 2009? Well, this year, I'm going to do some more concrete things.
  1. Read more - As I tend to wake up and be more alert in the morning, I'm going to spend at least 30 minutes a day reading.
  2. Try to post HERE at least once a week - and have it be gaming related. I like writing, and even if only 3-4 people read this, I like having a place to have stuff written down for general consumption because it "makes it more real".
  3. Try to paint either 5 rank and file troops or 1 special character a week. I want to have all my marines look cool - and I've got a TON.
  4. Drop 25 lbs of fat. Sounds easy? Perhaps it is, but it's all I really feel I need to do. In doing this, I'm going to follow some of the advice of Tim Ferris: Lose 20 lbs of Fat, Gain Muscle, Weight Training. I'm not going for "athlete"; I'm not going for "ripped", just not dumpy.
  5. Trim possessions. I've already started this, but I have a bit to go. I want to dump some of the excessive crap in my life. As the Buddha said, "Suffering is caused by craving or attachments to worldly pleasures of all kinds". Now, I'm not intending to completely renounce all of my worldly possessions, but there is much I don't need that is merely trappings that are unneeded, "when I became a man, I put away childish things." Who knows, I might be closer to escaping the cycle of Samsara.
Anyway...Here is hoping that 2009 rocks!