Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Ho Ho Ho, Merry Commercialismas; a bit of festive Deadzone cheer

Merry Christmas (eve) all, hope you're having a good time celebrating the most important holiday of the Capitalist religion ;) I'm not a big Christmas person myself, but I do enjoy overindulging on glazed ham and other delicacies. And I received a pretty awesome book (the world of Thedas) as a gift, so hey, maybe it was worth the tinsel, lights and terrible christmas advertising.

Anyway, I've managed to get a bit more Deadzone stuff done, including some more terrain and the start of painting my Plague. I also had a small game on the weekend, just trying to learn the rules. The biggest thing I learnt was that I need way, way more cover. Anyone who ventures into the open just gets railed.

Enjoy some pics while I go and enjoy tiramisu and mead.

The colour scheme for my plague is more or less the official one, purple and bone, with lots of added blood. I picked up a couple of the new GW technical paints from Tabletop Empires, just to see what they're like. So far I'm pretty happy with the blood.
Paintjobs are just rushjobs, no need for anything fancy. I must say, the Stage 1 is a truly amazing model. I haven't settled on what to do with the bases yet, which it why they're unpainted.

Cheers all,

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

The Two Towers; Deadzone terrain

Just a quick update tonight - I spent a fair bit of time today continuing to work on my Deadzone. Assembled a bunch more figures, with an eye to maybe playing a game this weekend.
In view of that, I figured I'd better have a look at the terrain. First of all, the new Mantic Battlezones - just awesome. Incredibly flexible and fun to play with, like lego for wargaming! These are an awesome product, and I'll definitely be picking up a few more sets in the second wave.
I was initially unsure what terrain to build. The sheer variety of options made me leery of building something only to later regret using those pieces. In the end, I've more or less settled on building military/industrial compound style pieces, perhaps a garrison on a small colony, or a lightly fortified industrial plant. While the terrain is great, I don't think it's too well suited for residential style terrain. I already have plans to get some Mass Effect style colony pods for use in Mass Effect, Infinity, MERCS and now Deadzone.
Anyway, I figured I'd start learning my way around the terrain with some simple pieces to start with, namely a pair of towers. These were a good way to learn, since they used a variety of pieces and taught me a few dos and don'ts. One thing I'm really trying to do with this terrain is ensure it makes architectural sense. A lot of the suggested terrain for Deadzone just looks silly to me, too many small, partially enclosed buildings that serve no logical purpose (prefab market stalls, maybe?). It just serves to make the board look like a construction site I think. In an effort to avoid that, I've tried to be thorough about small things, like making sure every level has access by a ladder, either on the outside or via a floor hatch. I'm pretty happy with how these two came out, complete with a walkway linking them (detachable) that will have a couple floodlights attached and serve as a kind of gateway.
One feature of the Deadzone terrain I'm not taking advantage of is the theoretical 'modularity' afforded by the clip system. In theory, you couple disassemble and remake the terrain between games. In practice, I don't think this would work, the clips are incredibly tight fits, and very hard to remove. My solution was to file each one to ensure it smoothly clipped into place, while using a small amount of plastic glue to keep it solid once assembled.

Ok, so maybe not such a quick update after all...


Monday, 16 December 2013

A Zone, A Zone of Death, a Deadzone; Deadzone arrives

Slowly easing back in the hobbying hard mentality. Still hoping to finish the last 20 models I need to reach 250 for the year. We'll see how much time I have in the coming weeks...

Anyway, this post is mainly about one thing. One very, very big thing.

My Deadzone pledge (wave 1, at least) arrived today! Exciting stuff. I've been getting more hyped for this game with every update, as everything about it looks to be even better than I'd hoped when I dropped a sizeable chunk of my year's hobby budget on it back in May.
I backed for the double Strike Team pledge, but I've arranged to sell most of the models from the second lot, which more than pays for all the extras in the second set I'll keep.
I've only just started thinking about what exactly to do with it all... lots of terrain and models to build and paint! I assembled about 15 models this afternoon, and have to say, they are the best restic models I've dealt with yet. I'm still not a fan of the material, but Mantic are really stepping things up when it comes to the quality and detail of their models. They run Kickstarters better than anyone, based on the 20+ I've backed, and it's nice when the product they deliver is top notch.

Anyway, there'll be plenty more in future posts, but for now I'll finish with a few quick shots of (part of) the total...


Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Best in Show, Worst on Field; Massivebowl, the wrap-up

I'm back! Wow, sorry about that extended interlude, three weeks without a post is way longer than I intended.

So, what have I been up to in all that time? Well, um, a busy week at work, then watched a lot of Counterstrike during Dreamhack... then a bit over a week ago I realised I had committed to attending Massivebowl in Melbourne on Sunday. Hmm, didn't leave that until the last second, did I?
So last week I finally returned to the hobby and set about finishing my team. The first few days were spent assembling/converting the remaining seven or eight figures I needed for the team. The most effort went into my deathroller conversion - I've never liked to steamroller style of the official models, to me, they just look ugly. The concept I came up with was somewhat inspired by the Trollkin caber thrower from Hordes - basically a dwarf carrying a massive stone column onto the pitch. I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out, given my limited sculpting ability.
WIP pic:

 I lost a day on Tuesday when I went to Canberra for the day (got to see the cartography exhibition at the National Library, was pretty awesome). On Wednesday and Thursday I got stuck into painting the ten models I had left to do, then on Friday I finished the team, packed, booked tickets, tried to make last minute arrangements to meet up with people on Saturday, and got next to no sleep before getting up at 1am to catch my train.
Phew, by that stage I was feeling pretty exhausted.
Anyway, the weekend was a whole bunch of fun. I got to meet up with a bunch of people I'd previously only known online and everyone was friendly and accommodating. Particular thanks to Penny, for keeping me company while I tried to stay awake on Saturday, and Chris and Roy for giving me a place to sleep on Sat/Sun respectively. While wandering the CBD on Sat I also found this beauty in a store full of geeky collectibles. While I might not devote as much time to my Mass Effect project as I'd like, I'm still a huge ME fan, so couldn't resist...

Anyway, Sunday was the big day, and it was as much fun as I'd hoped. In reality, the weekend was more about coming down to Melbourne and hanging out than actually playing seriously. On that account, it was a total success.
The actual games... well... I might have finished my team in time, but the problem with leaving that until the last minute was that I ran out of time to actually, you know, learn to play. So the tournament represented my first four games of Bloodbowl. Suffice to say, it was a steep learning curve, but all my opponents were great and very helpful, and by the end I was starting to get a grip on at least the basics.
In the end, I lost all four matches. To give a brief rundown -
Game 1: I played Chris' pro elf team, featuring Morg'n'thorg. I very quickly went down a point, before getting a bunch of KO's that left his team badly outnumbered in the first half (I had some pretty good luck). Unfortunately, come the second half, with my two heavy hitters sent off and most of Chris' players recovering, I found myself outnumbered and overrun. Result - loss, 0-3
Game 2: I played James' halfling list, featuring three treemen and Morg. It's fair to say not much went my way this game, and James actually felt a bit guilty for how badly he beat me. It was all good fun though, and produced some moments of hilarity. Basically, I couldn't break the halfling's armour. Seriously. By the end of the match I had just 5(!) players left, while he had four reserves remaining. The only player James lost was a halfling sent off for fouling (and killing!) my deathroller on turn two. Clearly halflings are an overpowered bash team and need nerfing! I did manage to cause a casualty on one of his treemen with Flint's chainsaw (so apropos), but he had an apothecary, so not even that made a difference. The other highlight of the match was Grim failing a dodge roll, tripping and killing himself. Yeah. Result - loss, 0-5
Game 3: I played Brett's humans. Brett was fairly new to the game himself, and this was the closest game for me, as I almost scored on two occasions, only to fall just short, running out of turns in both halves thanks to some great, desperate defence. The most noteworthy moment of the game came when I used Grim's multiple block rule for the first and only time (such a terribad rule...). It nearly worked... except I failed my dauntless roll on the ogre and Grim proceeded to get killed on his own turn. Again. Grim really didn't have a great tournament actually... Also amusing was rolling on the kick-off table, and having one of my fans throw a stone, killing one of Brett's blitzers. I like to imagine it was my deathroller after being sent off... Result - loss, 0-2
Game 4: I played Liam's wood elves, led by Jordell. This was a great game, Liam was a super friendly guy and made a real effort to show me how to play better (since by that stage he'd basically won...). His ultra fast team more or less toyed with me for the first half, during which my deathroller blitzed four times rolling nothing by pushes and skulls *sigh* In the second half, I landed some hits and KO'd a bunch of his team. He wound up with just three players left, while I had the ball, and showed me how to form the infamous 'cage' dwarf teams are known for using to grind out games. Result - loss, 1-2

So there we go, my tournament in a nutshell. If you're interested in reading more, check the thread on WAU which has the winners and such. I came, surprisingly, not last. Apparently there was someone else who also lost every game. I did, however, manage to win best painted. The TO Scott described it as something of a landslide, and throughout the day almost everyone complimented me on the team, which was pretty gratifying since it's been four years since I had a chance to play games with other people. It also made me feel kind of bad for describing the team as a rush job... which they really were to be honest. Anyway, I was very happy to win best painted, and thanks to everyone who voted, there were plenty of other great looking teams there.

So, that more or less wraps up this mammoth post, which hopefully somewhat makes up for my recent silence. I'll finish things with some photos of my finished (mostly) team:


Slayers and blitzers



Thanks for reading,