Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Parasite of Mortrex

I think that's how you spell it. Here's mine.

I tried to use a lot of negative space in this composition. The metal wings were a pain to work with and make the model very top heavy but aesthetics win in this case. The painting of the carapace is a lot sloppier than I would like but I was in a hurry. I used parts from a Ravener, a coat hanger, bits from a Genestealer, Winged Nightmare wings and a bit from the monstrous creature sprue.

As for the ovipositor I looked at the ichneumon wasp and other creatures that have similar reproductive habits to the Parasite. I wanted something powerful and slim. I know that he technically has rending claws but the scything talons were an aesthetic choice. I just didn't think it looked good with the rending claws.

Also, the Rippers are magnetic and are wound counters.

Friday, March 26, 2010

A New and Improved Mycetic Spore

This update comes from my new computer! Here's another Mycetic Spore that I built last week.

This one looks kind of like the Saarlac. It's a bit big, I thought it would shrink more in the kiln but I was wrong.

It took me a bit longer to build this one compared to the first one. I still was really rough with the lines. I consider this one a rough draft, but I think this is the direction I want to take my spores. It's actually lighter than my first one and less fragile. I just have to figure out the sizing issues now. The next one shouldn't take too long to build as I know what I'm doing now.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Pardon Our Dust and Some Updates

I'm currently in the process of upgrading computers, thus my updates have been sparse. Everything should be straightened out by Friday. My Tervigon is finished, I built another Mycetic Spore and I'm hard at work on the Parasite of Mortrex.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Let's Talk Boardgames: Agricola

image from www.amazon.com

Agricola is a strategy game that I rank as one of the more challenging games in my collection. What makes this game so challenging is that there is no player-dependent random chance in the game (until you introduce the occupation and improvement cards, but more on that later). The game is entirely about choices that you and others make.

The objective is to expand your 17th century farm to attain victory points, all the while making sure your family is fed. You start the game with two actions (representing your farmer and his/her spouse). Later you can expand your family to get more actions, but now you've got more mouths to feed. Actions include gathering wood, clay or stone. With those resources you can expand and renovate your house and fields. With other actions you can raise animals, plow, sow, and bake your hard-earned grain into bread.

None of the actions are better than any other. The rest of the game is determined by the choices you and your friends make. There's no "attack" actions, the only way to stop a player is to simply take the action they wanted. This can get annoying if it's clear what you want, but a good player will have several possible courses of action.

Now I said that there's no random chance; that's not entirely true. When the game begins you set up 14 action cards for the 14 rounds. Every round there's a new card. These vary in order so that no two games are the same, but since the setup is the same for every player that doesn't really count as chance. It can affect your strategy, however.

The second aspect of random chance is in the improvement and occupation cards. These cards are fully optional. In fact, I'd recommend that new players hold off on the cards until they grasp the rules completely. Each player is dealt 7 from each deck at the beginning of the game. These cards can improve your efficiency in key areas. While these cards are random, you only get them at the beginning and none of them (well, hardly any) are game-breaking. Even the ones that are a bit more powerful still require a series of choices in order to claim them. I have seen players spend several turns trying to meet the conditions of certain cards, only to neglect other aspects of their farms. I have also won games with no cards, while others had far more useful cards simply because I made better choices. In my opinion, the cards add another layer of depth to the game. It's a bad strategy to try and use every card in your hand. I usually pick one or two that coincide with my plan.

Agricola is not a terribly casual-friendly game. It has complex rules and the choices can be completely overwhelming to new players, especially when you add in the cards. However, those looking for a deep strategy game without the luck factor will enjoy this game. It is a bit pricey but you'll be getting years of enjoyment out of this game.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

A Shout Out to Akers

Back in December, I won a model from a contest by Akers Minis.  I chose Baharroth, the Phoenix Lord.  I received the model in January and have been meaning to post it, but it's been a busy month.  My apologies.  Anyway, it's quite the beauty.

I especially like the sword, and the highlighting on the wings. When they stop sucking, I'll get around to painting my Swooping Hawks and I'll probably take a few cues from this model.

Akers also wanted me to let you know that he's hosting a tournament, called the Boston Brawl.

Excellent work all around!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Some Blood Angels Hilarity

When I heard about the Magna-Grapple thing I thought of two things: the first is illustrated below and the second was, "hey, they stole that ability from the old-school Tyranids!"

Secondly, here's a closeup of some new Blood Angels artwork! I hear they're also getting a "sparkle" ability, where you have to roll a leadership test to not swoon at their carefully tousled hair. Perhaps they're trying to reach out to more female gamers.

Here's the full codex cover.

There were whispers of Space Wolves getting a minor update to give them the "No-Shirt" option but wasn't able to hear what in-game effect it had.

*My apologies to those from whom I appropriated the images, Games Workshop, Stephanie Meyer and lastly myself for having to comb through many pictures of Robert Pattinson to find one that would work.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

How To Chin-Mount a Shuriken Cannon on Vypers

The chin mounted S-Cannon is a great option for your Vypers. To keep my Vypers cheap I usually run dual cannons. Here's my solution for how to mount them without having to use expensive pewter Jetbike bitz, which I'm not even sure will work.  Plus, these are removable. 

The Vyper frame comes with two cannons, one on the weapons sprue and one on the Vyper sprue. The one we're going to use is the one on the Vyper sprue. It would probably work with the other, but it is built differently and I haven't tried using it.

Here you can see in this terribly blurry photo (I took it on my phone, I was too lazy to get out my tripod and camera) what I've done. First thing you need to do is clip or saw off the ammo feed belt. Next thing to do is to saw off the back bulbous thing. Next, glue the bulbous thing at approximately a 20˚ angle on the rounded part. If you just leave it normal it won't fit underneath the Vyper.  Finally, glue the ammo feed belt underneath it all.  Lastly, fill in the circular hole with some greenstuff, and magnetize it for removal.  Not too difficult!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Towards a Better Mycetic Spore

So I've seen all the plasmid hatchers and shredded nerf balls (which was actually not a bad idea). None of those really seemed to me like what I imagine a Mycetic Spore to be. In the Apocalypse book, it describes them as "gory flowers." All the other ones I've seen just look like big eggs. So here's what I came up with.
This is built out of clay. It took me about half an hour to build, which is why it looks terrible. I built it to be a proof-of-concept piece, as an ersatz pod until I can build some better ones out of proper wargaming materials. Clay is simply too heavy and too fragile for game pieces, though it makes excellent terrain.
None of the other spore models I've seen have the proper tentacles or bio-weapons. Two of mine broke off during transportation, but they're easily re-glued.
It did come out a bit big, so I'm only going to use the top fold to measure deployment distance. I think I'll make the petals a bit smaller next time, but I wanted it to clearly look like it could hold 20 models or one Carnifex. This model is only a step in the direction I'm going with this.

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