Fair winds and following seas

May 22, 2010

I’m not sure what to say about the loss of a friend, an individual who was an enthusiastic volunteer I wanted to emulate when I joined the Press Gang. Or what to say about a man whose joy and passion about Warmachine and Hordes made me happy I accepted the job as Quartermaster.

We shared two common factions — Protectorate of Menoth and Trollbloods. Last year, we played Trolls together at the Invitational, the first time I met Matt Randy and got to know the beard behind the avatar. He rattled off tricks with Trolls I had never thought of, and couldn’t remember by the time I made it back to Boise after Theater of War Live. Both of us ran detachments — warlock-less forces led by a solo — and both of us had a blast. We told each other throughout the day that we didn’t need a warlock to run our armies, and we were right. We fought off a Cryxian invasion, made nice with Skorne and did what we could to keep our territories safe.

This year, we both brought Protectorate to the Invitational — the main difference being I was now on staff instead of flying in for the weekend. I got to met Larb’s Brother, a.k.a. Mike. I learned that despite having less facial hair, Mike was the elder of the two. And I liked him, despite the fact he played Cryx. 😉 We had exchanged several emails after he became a PG and I was looking forward to meeting him. I really liked the idea of two brothers being PGs having a good time at the Invitational. Matt was a return visitor, whereas last weekend’s festivities were the first for Mike.

I’m sad I didn’t spend more time with Matt, or get to see his converted Cleansers for his Reznik force. He had emailed me about getting his PG order early so he could put the models together and get them painted. I wrote back I wasn’t sure if the warehouse would have everything packed in time. But they did, and he got his models Thursday afternoon. He was excited about playing against Doug Seacat’s Circle force on a scenario table and I checked in on them a few times to see how the battle was going. Laughs and smiles on both sides of the table…

There’s so much more to say, but I can’t find the words. Matt will be greatly missed as a friend. I will miss his posts and insights and emails. I will miss his smile and his great big bushy beard — the beard so epic we decided it was the character and he was the attachment…

Now they’ve both gone epic.

Fair winds and followings seas and long may your big jib draw. Godspeed, Matt.

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What’s that do?? Trollbloods and Cygnar

March 10, 2010

As mentioned at Lost Hemisphere, MenothJohn came up with the idea of letting his 6-year-old son pick out an army for him to play. The members of our emailing group grabbed the idea and ran with it like a Dire Troll Mauler running home for dinner.

The idea of having non-gamers pick out an army to play with is novel and challenging; it’s been suggested I have my mom pick out a list for me. I’ve got some friends on Facebook who will get asked, not the least of which is one-eyed cat named Grommitt (totally serious about this :)). There’s also Brotherscott’s soon-to-be 7-year-old niece, who has known about our “models” and “toys” since we’ve been playing.

Here are the rules, and the goodies:

  • The list must total 25 pts.
  • The list must have one leader model. Leader models are actually worth negative points, so will add to the total value. These points, if spent, must be spent on robots.
  • The list should have (but is not required to have) at least one or two robot dudes.
  • Some units have a split cost (eg, 6/10). These units can come in one of two size; the smaller group costs the lower amount, the larger group costs the higher amount.

Trollbloods

Noble Savages, the Trollbloods are a species of large, noseless humanoids that combine a significant splash of Celtic flavour, a sprinkle of Native American and just a hint of  Nordic seasoning. A tragic people forced out of their own lands by expanding “civilisation” and under assault on all sides by things even wilder than they are, the Trollbloods hit back with the raw unchecked power of full-blood Trolls and the united strength of their clans (kriels) as they struggle to reclaim their lands in the face of the treachery of mankind.

Leaders:
-5 Borka Kegslayer – A wintery shaman devoted to beer and the love of battle
-5 Calandra Truthsayer, Oracle of Glimmerwood – Gypsy queen with more booty than a pirate fleet
-6 Grim Angus – Hunter, tracker, sniper. If you spot him, chances are you’re already in his sights.
-5 Grissel Bloodsong, Fell Caller – Xena: Warrior Princess meets Celine Dion and adds a dirty great hammer.
-7 Hoarluk Doomshaper, Shaman of the Gnarls – Grumpy old human-hating shaman who thwarts magic
-6 Hoarluk Doomshaper, Rage of Dhunia – Grumpy old human-hating shaman who really likes dire trolls
-6  Madrak Ironhide, Thornwood Chieftain – Unifying leader of the kriels with a cursed axe
-5 Madrak Ironhide, World Ender – Unifying leader of the kriels destined to either save his people or end the world

Big beasts:
9  Dire Troll Blitzer – Hulking monstrosity with a midget and a machine gun on its back
9  Dire Troll Mauler – Hulking monstrosity that pulls arms off and eats them
10 Earthborn Dire Troll – Hulking monstrosity that takes on properties of the surrounding terrain
12 Mulg the Ancient – A walking rune-carved mountain with a tree as a club

Small beasts:
4  Pyre Troll – A troll with burning fists that spits napalm
6  Slag Troll – A troll with corrodes (and eats) metals it comes into contact with
6  Troll Axer – A troll swinging a huge axe
5  Troll Bouncer – An armoured troll that shoves things around
5  Troll Impaler – A troll lobbing 10′ long spears
5  Winter Troll – A troll that freezes opponents with its breath

Units:
4/6 Kriel Warriors – The grunts of the kriels
1  – Caber Thrower – A grunt holding a 9′ tall stone collumn to drop on foes
2  – Piper & Standard – Make the Kriel Warriors better
3/4 Krielstone Bearer & Stone Scribes – One guy carrying a magic rock, and his attendants
1  – Stone Scribe Elder – A veteran attendant who’s worked out how to get more out of the rock
4/6 Pyg Burrowers – Midgets with shovels who dig under the battlefield, pop up and yell “Surprise!”
5/8 Pyg Bushwhackers – Midgets with rifles
3  Thumper Crew – A cannon that slams targets away
6/10    Trollkin Champions – Veteran warriors with thick armour and two weapons each
5/8 Trollkin Fellblades – Specialised anti-cavalry warriors with really long swords
7/11    Trollkin Long Riders – Trollblood warriors riding bison
4  Trollkin Runeshapers – Earth shamans slinging rocks everywhere
5/8 Trollkin Scattergunners – Warriors with blunderbusses

Solos:
3  Fell Caller Hero – Tom Jones with a pair of swords
5  Horthol, Long Rider Champion – A veteran bison rider who inspires his pals
2  Stone Scribe Chronicler – Reads stories in the battlefield to inspire the troops
2  Troll Whelps – Chopped-off bits of fullblood Troll that have regenerated into autonomous minitrolls
3  Trollkin Champion Hero – An even more veteran veteran warrior

Cygnar

This faction is Cygnar, the crown jewel of the Iron Kingdoms. They’re technologically advanced and their army fights with a combination of magic and science. They can harness the power of lightning to zap their foes and they try to be just and right — Cygnar is what passes for “good guys” in the game world, but they’re bastards just like everyone else. Just with official army ranks and such.

Leaders:
-5 Maj. Markus “Siege” Brisbane – He’s got a big hammer. He’s the Samuel L. Jackson of the Iron Kingdoms.
-6 Lt. Allister Caine – Gunslinging wizard with a bad attitude and a love of fine drink.
-5 Capt. Allister Caine – Gunslinging wizard with a bad attitude and a love of fine drink — recently promoted.
-5 Capt. E. Dominic Darius – Master mechanic in a big metal suit.
-5 Capt. Vicoria Haley – Young up-and-coming wizard with powerful magic.
-5 Maj. Victoria Haley – More powerful and seasoned wizard.
-6 Capt. Jeremiah Kraye – Wizard on horseback who likes his robots.
-6 Commander Adept Nemo – Inventive wizard who likes electricity.
-6 General Adept Nemo – Grizzled and inventive wizard who likes electricity.
-6 Capt. Kara Sloan – Annie Oakley in wizard form.
-6 Commander Coleman Stryker – Arrogant army commander who likes to knock things down.
-6 Lord Commander Coleman Stryker – Arrogant army commander who inspires his dudes.

Smaller robots:
4 Charger – Smaller robot with a hammer and gun that can shoot twice.
5 Firefly – Smaller robot with a poky stick and gun that shoots lightning.
5 Grenadier – Smaller robot with a pick axe and grenade launcher.
6 Hunter – Smaller robot with armor-piercing gun.
6 Lancer – Smaller robot with poky stick and shield that leaders can cast spells through.
4 Sentinel – Smaller robot with big shield and gatling gun.
8 Thorn – A character Lancer with bigger spear and shield.

Big robots: (much bigger than humans)
9 Centurion – Big robot with large poky stick and shield that keeps enemies away.
9 Cyclone – Big robot with a gatling gun on each arm.
9 Defender –  Big robot with a cannon on one arm and big hammer on the other.
8 Hammersmith – Big robot with two smashy hammers.
7 Ironclad – Big robot with a smashy hammer.
10 Stormclad – Big robot with an electrical sword, makes Stormblades better.
9 Ol’ Rowdy – Character Ironclad that can attack its foes first.
12 Thunderhead – Special robot that zaps lightning at everything.

Units:
6 Arcane Tempest Gun Mages – Six gun-toting wizards with magic bullets.
2 Arcane Tempest Gun Mage Officer – Helps gun-toting wizards shoot better.
6/10 Long Gunner Infantry – Basic troops with long rifles, groups of 6 or 10.
2 Long Gunner Infantry Officer & Standard – Makes Long Gunners better.
5/8 Precursor Knights – Holy knights who can’t be attacked with magic, groups of 6 0r 10.
2 Precursor Knight Officer & Standard – Makes Precusor Knights betteer.
5 Rangers – Group of 6 dudes who can scout the enemy.
7/11 Storm Lances – Cavalry with electrical lances. Groups of 3 or 5.
5 Stormblade Infantry – Heavily armored dudes with big electrical swords. Group of 6.
3 Stormblade Infantry Officer & Standard – Makes Stormblades better.
1 Stormblade Infantry Gunner – Stormblade with a big electrical cannon.
6/9 Stormguard – Heavily armored dudes with electrical pole arms, group of 6 or 10.
4/6 Sword Knights – Knights who are good at attacking robots, group of 6 or 10.
2 Sword Knight Officer & Standard – Makes Sword Knights better.
6/10 Trencher Infantry – Soldiers who can dig fox holes and shoot, group of 6 or 10.
3 Trencher Infantry Officer & Sniper – Makes Trenchers better.
3 Trencher Cannon Crew – Cannon that blasts enemies from afar.
2 Trencher Chain Gun Crew – Big gatling gun manned by Trenchers.
6/10 Trencher Commandos – Stealthy dudes with guns, knives and grenades, group of 6 or 10
1 Trencher Commander Scattergunner – Hangs out with Trencher Commandos, has a shotgun.
1 Trencher Infantry Rifle Grenadier – Hangs out with Trenchers, has grenade launcher.
2/3 Field Mechaniks – Mechanic and his helpers fix robots, group of 4 or 6.
4 Black 13th Gun Mage Strike Team – Group of three character gun-toting wizards.

Solos:
2 Gun Mage Captain Adept – Gun-toting wizard who runs off on his own.
3 Journeyman Warcaster – Leader in training, can also control robots; accident prone.
1 Stormsmith Stormcaller – Wizard who calls down lightning to zap enemies.
2 Stormsmith Storm Tower – Wizard with a helper who shoots lightning at his foes.
2 Squire – Brave Little Toaster that helps leaders.
2 Trencher Master Gunner – Helps Trenchers.
3 Capt. Maxwell Finn – Inspires Trenchers and makes them better.
5 Maj. Katherine Laddermore – Cavalry leader, makes Storm Lances better, can fight if she gets knocked off her horse.
2 Capt. Arlan Strangeways – Master mechanik, can make robots better.


June painting challenge

June 2, 2009
We hope to avoid these sorts of entanglements while painting this month.

We hope to avoid these sorts of entanglements while painting this month.

OK, here begins the first month of a “motivational” challenge between gdaybloke and myself.

We’ve sent each other lists of eligible models and here’s what was selected for me:

  • Troll Impaler (Commission)
  • Repenter (For Prima Chroma)
  • Great Bears of Gallowswood (For Project: Paint Pink)
  • Dire Troll Mauler (for Band of Bodgers)

Here’s hoping I get these done at the very least. I’ve got a ton of stuff I want to get done this month, not the least of which are my entries for Formula P3 Grandmaster Painting Competition. Not that I have a chance in hell of winning, but because I want to see what I can do. I can’t go to Gencon and *not* enter, at least to my way of thinking.

The only thing with the Grandmasters is I won’t be posting pics until after I return from Gencon. I’ve gotten some great suggestions and hope to implement them with some measure of success.

Anyway, I want to be painting again. I hope my motivation doesn’t desert me again. 😛


Metamorphosis releases

May 5, 2009

I don’t usually do a whole lot related to upcoming releases since people usually find them in other places, but I hadn’t seen all of these posted in my usual spots (TGN and the forums) so I figured what the heck?

I have to say, I’m impressed with all of the sculpts except one. I’ll get to paint up the Skorne stuff for commission, and I hate to admit it, I’m looking forward to it. Mostly because of the color scheme my client picked.

Anyway, off we go.

July releases:

Calandra Truthsayer

Calandra

This is a badass model that's full of character. Love the sculpt, can't wait to paint her.

Mohsar the Desertwalker

Yes, this model is full of win. Then again, I kinda have a thing for models with cloaks right now.

Yes, this model is full of win. Then again, I kinda have a thing for models with cloaks right now.

Absylonia, the Terror of Everblight

I'm not sure about this one. I know she does mean stuff, but seriously, she looks like she wants to go for a swim. Sorry.

I'm not sure about this one. I know she does mean stuff, but seriously, she looks like she wants to go for a swim. Sorry.

Void Seer Mordikaar

I'm actually impressed with this model. I might try OSL when I paint him on commission. He's such a d-bag in the story, though.

I'm actually impressed with this model. I might try OSL when I paint him on commission. He's such a d-bag in the story, though.

Wrong Eye & Snapjaw

I know we've seen pics of these guys before, but I love the sculpts. Chris Walton's concept sketches of these two are awesome and the models really reflect that.

I know we've seen pics of these guys before, but I love the sculpts. Chris Walton's concept sketches of these two are awesome and the models really reflect that.

August releases:

Troll Whelps

I will field three units of Whelps. I will buy another two for modeling. Or more.

I will field three units of Whelps. I will buy another two for modeling. Or more.

Nephilim Protector

I know some people were "meh" about his abilities, but I really like the look of this model. All that armor will paint fast.

I know some people were "meh" about his abilities, but I really like the look of this model. All that armor will paint fast.

Bloodrunner Master Tormentor

Another Skorne model I'm surprisingly happy about. Must be that silly cloak.

Another Skorne model I'm surprisingly happy about. Must be that silly cloak.

Skorne Bloodrunners

Decent variety, nice sense of movement with these. Can't wait to have more stuff I've painted come kill my army.

Decent variety, nice sense of movement with these. Can't wait to have more stuff I've painted come kill my army.

Skorne Tyrant Commander & Standard Bearer

OK. The Tyrant is wearing a bad-ass helmet. Why the hell can't more Skorne models wear cool helmets like this? Seriously.

OK. The Tyrant is wearing a bad-ass helmet. Why the hell can't more Skorne models wear cool helmets like this? Seriously.

Overall, I think these models look great. I’m not sure when I’ll find time to paint the commissions, but when do I ever? Out of all of those, I think Calandra and Mohsar are my favorites. I can’t wait to paint Calandra — she’ll look stunning in bright pink and there’s so much character in that model (another great concept sketch by Chris Walton).

I’m a lot more excited about Metamorphosis now that we’ve finally been able to see some of the sculpts. Now to just get my hands on them…


Citadel Wash: Gryphonne Sepia

March 19, 2009

There have been a number of questions on the Privateer forums about the effectiveness of the Citadel washes and how they differ from inks. 

I really didn’t care for anything from the Citadel or GW line until recently. I was given a ton of old Citadel and GW paints and inks and washes when a friend moved to New York. Being curious, I tried out the old Citadel Armour Wash. It quickly became one of my favorites on the painting table. I added Future Floor Wax to it and I was in love.

The Citadel Washes have been out for a few months now. They smell horrible, taste even worse but provide some of the best results of any product I’ve used recently. Straight out of the pot, it’s essentially “Shading for Dummies.” They save me time, they work, you can layer them and they’re very, very easy to work with. Aside from the smell. But take a look for yourselves.

For the way I paint, the washes eliminate a stage in the process. The way I used to paint cloth this color was:

  1. Menoth White Base
  2. Ink wash
  3. Menoth White Base
  4. Menoth White Highlight 
  5. Morrow White

By using the washes, the process is now:

  1. Menoth White Highlight
  2. Gryphonne Sepia
  3. Menoth White Highlight
  4. (Morrow White) 

I don’t always add the final highlight, but Grissel is a warlock, so they get a little bit extra. Eventually, I’ll go through all of the Citadel Washes and post similar progressions.

Hope that helps!

~ Jen


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