Thursday, July 29, 2010

Planetary Empires Completed

I finished up another commission here with Planetary Empires. The client wanted it about 1/3 ashen waste, 1/3 desert and 1/3 agriworld. The ashen waste and the desert were quite simple, but the desert was a pain and a half. I still don't think I got it right. The tiles are double-sided so I was painting twice what you see here. The worst part about this project wasn't the painting (besides the desert areas) but the fact that even the thinnest layer of paint causes the tiles to no longer fit together. So I had to shave off that thickness either with a file or a knife. Then, I had to redrill all the holes so that the pegs would fit. The second worst part was painting 96 flags.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Terrain From Junk Giveaway!

Terrain From Junk is having a giveaway of a $40 gift certificate to CSN stores. Head on down and enter!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Let's Talk Boardgames: Ticket To Ride

For today's installment, I'll be talking about the most recent addition to my collection, Ticket To Ride. I own the Europe version, but I've also played the American one. There is a Märklin and Nordic Countries version as well, but I haven't played those.

The objective is to earn the most points by the end of the game. You earn points by completing destination tickets (a route from one city to another, there's a deck of cards so they're like quests) and by building lines from city to city. The longer the route/line the more points it is worth. Once a line is filled, no one else can take it so the strategy comes in choosing which routes to build and getting the priority lines first. There's also bonus points for whoever has the longest total route.

You build routes by using train cards, which you can draw. The Europe version has ferries and tunnels which make building lines rather tricky in some areas, especially around Switzerland. That's pretty much all there is to it. The game is about making choices with a bit of luck thrown in which cards you draw, though five are always face up so you do have some choice in the matter.

As for the American version versus the European version, it's really a matter of personal preference. The American map is more open and the gameplay is more simple while the Europe version gets rather crowded in western Europe, and the tunnels and ferries can make building a bit difficult at times. I like looking at the European map and seeing the names in their original languages, as they were in 1910 (the year the game takes place). I also like the added challenge of the tunnels and ferries, and if you want you can ignore those extra rules. The game plays just fine without them. There's also rules for Stations, which help you connect your routes so you don't lose points on them, especially when western Europe gets crowded.

This game is great for your non-gamer friends and family. While games like Dominion and Agricola are off-putting to my wife she loves to play Ticket To Ride. The gameplay is simple to learn but with enough challenge for seasoned veterans.

Finally, here's my ultimate strategy tip. Look at the destination tickets you are dealt, and find which ones you can complete together with the least amount of effort. Don't try and make your line like a snake, make it like a hydra, a long body to connect distant routes but with many heads to get as many cities as possible for your route cards.

Friday, July 23, 2010

New Fantasy FAQs Are Up

Normally I don't post about news that anyone can get from the GW blog, but this time I've got something to say. They've put up a Warhammer Fantasy FAQ as well as updating all the armies. Furthermore, the updated questions have been highlighted in magenta.

I read some of the Fantasy FAQ but stopped after the first page because I haven't read the whole book yet so most of the changes were lost on me. It sure seems like a lot of mistakes in the first place, but we're used to that by now. What I'm really excited about though is the FAQ changes. This is an indicator that GW has mended its ways. Gone are the days where a FAQ wouldn't show up for years, and when it finally did it was missing half the important questions. At least for fantasy, they're updating FAQs. I really hope they do this for 40k as well and fix the Tyranids back. We got an indicator of this with the Space Wolf FAQ update, so let's hope!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Completed Wave Serpent

I've had this guy sitting on my desk for ages. You can see it in this post from over a year ago. I based it off this Wave Serpent. To be fair, I didn't just base it, I pretty much copied it. But look, mine is green!

That's my craftworld symbol on the back door.

The hardest part about it was the highlighting. The green was easy, and the black was easy, but the midtone in the fade was very difficult. I still don't think I got it right. I also should have made my highlights more intense. In some areas you can barely see them.

It doesn't show up very well in the pictures, but I tinted the canopy purple using Akenseth's tutorial on the subject. I think I still need to either add more layers or add more dye to my mixture.

The lightning is all freehand, I did it without tape. The hardest part about that was edging the black. I started with a codex gray and then went over it with white, though in retrospect I should have used a lighter gray after, and then a white as I had to do several layers of white.

Also notice there's no guns. They're all magnetic and aren't painted yet.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

The Ultimate Scale Model

Something I saw on the news, a man spent thirty years making a scale model of Herod's temple. As wargamers we can all appreciate the skill involved.

Picture obtained from above link

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Blog Chain Giveaway Moves On!

The Blog Chain Giveaway continues! Magiler won the giveaway last and is now hosting his own. You can find his blog and the contest here. He is giving away either 5 terminators or 5 Forgeworld Plague Marines. Sounds nice!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Tutorial: Magnetizing the Trygon

The body is pretty straight forward, so I won't go into too much detail, but here's how I did the head and Mawloc spines. I used 3/16" magnets for the weight bearing joins, and 1/8" for the non-weight bearing.

Note that this is not the best way to do this. I glued two magnets into the bottom part of the head. You can see some drill scars from previous attempts. I then glued a paperclip bit to the front and back of the top part of the head. I carefully bent and cut the paperclip until it touched the magnets. The best way to do this is like the way I did on the Night Spinner, making a greenstuff setting and fitting the magnets that way. My way works, but it could have been better. I magnetized the jaw in this way, and the mandibles were really easy.

The body is pretty straightforward. Be sure to check your polarities. Each side needs to have the same polarity. The left and right can have different polarities or the same, it's up to you. I make them different.

Here's how I magnetized the Mawloc spines. I glued some 1/8" magnets into the inside of the body, and sealed them with epoxy. You don't want these to come undone and rattle around the inside. The magnets are powerful enough they'll hold the spines on even through the plastic. While the body is apart, drill and glue the arm sockets. You can reinforce the insides with epoxy in case you drilled too greedily and too deep.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Guest Appearance on Life After the Cover Save!

Wednesday night I had the pleasure of being a guest on the podcast Life After the Cover Save. You can get the episode from the previous link or find it on iTunes. Be aware that there is strong language, and possibly one of the greatest podcast comedy moments I've ever heard.

It was a lot of fun. I've never been on a podcast before. Normally I write so I can get my thoughts out there, but speaking it I'm afraid I sound like a pompous oaf. I'm really not. I make it sound like I never lose Warhammer games. That's not true. I've just never lost an Apocalypse game and not because of any tactical acumen, but because I have more D weapons.

I accidentally called Noise Marines "Pleasure Marines" because I couldn't remember their name off the top of my head. Oops!

The podcast itself is not a SIRIUS BIZNESS podcast. It's just a couple of guys kicking back and talking 40k. The approach is more of a comedic one. We didn't really talk tactics at all, just a lot of joking around and having fun.

Anyway, check it out!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Finally Got To Look At the Fantasy Rulebook

I got a chance the other day to have a good look at my store's preview copy of the new WHFB rulebook. I didn't get to read the whole thing but I read the movement and magic rules in depth. I have to say, I really like what I saw.

I especially liked the Magic phase. It seems so unpredictably fun. I also like the random charge distance. While some despise it, there's more of an opportunity for risk-taking. Of course I haven't played Fantasy since 5th edition or so, but from what I remember it looks so much better.

I'm now thinking about playing Tomb Kings. I will have to wait though until the new army book comes out and see what happens to them. I want to play something totally different than what I normally play. Wood Elves are pretty much Eldar, except they run around and try and pew pew enemies to death with S3. Lizardmen have some of the best models in the range, but I used to play them so I kind of have that "been there, done that" feeling. Not to mention, they seem like the fantasy equivalent to Tyranids.

Let me explain that. Both have reptilian features (why does everyone call Nids bugs? They look more reptilian to me), both have cheap expendable foot troops (skinks and termagants), hard-hitting midrange creatures (warriors, saurus, kroxigors), flying things, and bone-breaking monstrous creatures. Both tend to ignore leadership (synapse and coldblooded).

Of course, dinosaurs riding dinosaurs is still awesome. I'm looking at Tomb Kings because I want to do something totally different to anything else I've ever played. Plus they'd be easy to paint. I would just have to use an Army Painter bone primer, pick out the details, and then wash it in quickshade. What it really comes down to though, is if they get some new models. The VC skeletons look much better than the TK ones, and I hope they fix that.

I still have time to think about it, I'd appreciate anyone who's big into Fantasy to give me some advice.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

The Completed Ravenwing

I've been working hard these past two weeks. This completes the Ravenwing commission I've been working on for a bit. At the bottom you can see a group shot, including the bikes.

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