Tuesday, 28 February 2012

The Limits of the Imagination

This morning I woke up, climbed out of bed, checked on the little one and then popped into the bathroom to freshen up ready for the day ahead.

To most people this is probably a really usual start to a usual day. That was sadly not the case for me, oh no.

When I got into the bathroom I looked into the mirror and was met by something very unsettling. It appears that the morning prior, when I had trimmed my beard, I appear to have shaved off a massive chunk from the beard itself straight down to the skin and had spent all day walking around with a completely stupid and mis balanced beard!

This would have been fine if not for 1 major factor: I don't remember doing it!

Now I do have a history of sleep walking and all manner of other REM Sleep Disorder activities, and so I wouldn't be surprised if I did in fact sleep-shave!

Anyway, this wouldn't do, and so I spent the next 5mins trying my best to make the other side of my face match this side so I can grow the beard back out. I'm not happy with the results, it's not what I want for a beard, but it looks better than it did, and so for now until it grows back it will just have to do.

"What does this have to do with your blog!?!" I hear you cry! Well let me tell you:

About 3-4 weeks ago I was finishing off my Dreamer crew, this included Coppellious. The paint scheme I was going for was a slimy green skin with white hair and a dark purple jacket.

It should have been pretty easy, nothing adventurous, but for some reason I just couldn't get the skin tones right.

Eventually I gave in and gave him regular flesh colours and it worked infinitely better:

Am I happy with this paint scheme? No I'm not! But it's better than what it looked before hand.

This got me thinking, why did I let it get so bad in the first place? It wasn't my painting ability, I can paint better than that every day of the week, and twice on Wednesdays!

No the reason was because the painting scheme was uninspired, it was a bland choice instead of an inspiration from my imagination. For some reason that I can not explain, whenever I tried to imagine Coppellious and what he would look like, I always drew a blank.

And here my friends is where I really started to worry:

You see, it's one thing to have your paint jobs limited by your own talent, I deal with that every time I pick up a brush, and it can be overcome with practice, tutorials and more practice. But how are you supposed to overcome your limitations, when it's your own imagination that is holding you back?

So far the only problem I've had this with us Coppellious, and who knows, maybe I just struggle to imagine a squid faced German boogy man, but in about a months time I'll be picking up some more models, and in the back of my mind I can see ol' squid face laughing in anticipation.

I guess we'll have to wait and see...

- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley

Monday, 27 February 2012

Weekend WIP: Write Up Part 1

Monday all! Yes I would normally say "Good Monday" to you all, but I have yet to see anything good about it- Grumph!

Anywho, over the weekend I got started on a new project:

Chapel Hill

The aim was to create a three tier piece to house my chapel and take up a large part of my board while being scenic and themed.

So first things first a cut out the three different 'bluffs' out of hardboard.

-well, I say "I", I really mean my wife did. Super massive props to her for that!

Once this had been done I attempted to build up the structure using balls of scrunched up newspaper held together with tape.

The end result was pretty 'interesting:

Then, I added the main pathways:

For perspective's sake I attached the chapel temporarily to the top bluff.

Next up was the paper masche:

After a few hours, this was where I has gotten to. The main shape was taking form, however the bottom could not be completed as I needed a base to fix it to, and the boards I had left were too small. This would need to wait until Sunday when I could pick up more hardboard.

So, come Sunday, after a quick trip to B&Q I had the hardboard and then cut it to shape.

This left us once again with the following:

As you can see, it is far from complete, quite the opposite in fact, but later on when I get the opportunity I'll glue the base to the structure, and then finish off the paper masche.

Then I'll add some extra details, such as lips to the edge of the bluffs and walkways (this is more of a functional reason and less aesthetic) then glue cat litter to the base, and basalt to the paths and walkways.

Next up is the painting, brown spray with lighter sand coloured drybrush, followed by the finer details:

This is what I have been holding onto my remaining trees and lichen for, add some of them, some scenic and static grass and badda bing badda boom, we should be all set.

I'll keep you all posted!

- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley

Friday, 24 February 2012

Weekend Project: A Plea for Ideas

Good Friday all!

I know I was due a Friday Review today, but what I would like to review was only released on Wednesday and I haven't really gotten to grips with it yet.

Instead I would like to share with you a future project I hope to begin this weekend.

First a little background:

As you may know, the setting for my friendly Malifaux games is a small little town on the other side of the Breach called New Fairbank.

I was looking for a venue where my undead Guild members could live, and I wanted to name it after a real place. New Tombstone seemed the obvious choice, but the name didn't really work for me.

A short google later and I found Fairbank, a town that existed at the time Malifaux is set and was the last coach stop before Tombstone (or so the internet told me, please correct me if I am wrong) and so New Fairbank was born.

One of the focal points of interest out of all the terrain I have is the Sarrissa chapel:

This Is a great model, but I want to make it even more prominent and also give it it's own graveyard. I mean what ghost town would be complete without its own graveyard?

And so I have a plan:

The Three Tiered Hill:

The aim is to make a tall hill with three bluffs, each bluff at a different height:

( ) ( ) ( )
\ \| | / /

This is a rough plan of the layout.

The left bluff will be the lowest, the right one the middle and the middle one the highest and largest. This will hold the chapel.
I plan to build this out of my good old friend Paper Masche!

So the intent is to build up the hill in the same manner as my mine was built:

And before it is paper masched I will lay down the road over the paper rocks using card, and then paper masche the whole thing.
Then once that is dry glue ballast to the paths, base it on hardboard with kitty litter, spray and paint the whole thing, apply a few little details like static grass etc and then over time add little features, like I would love to add some signs and graves and also build some modular features for the bluffs, like a mausoleum and a hanging tree!

But here comes the plea:

I need to make sure that all three bluffs can support weight, the middle and tallest being the chapel, which at any point could be housing any number of minis, just think of the combined weight of the building itself, with Killjoy and Chompy!

So does anyone have any suggestions of weight support?

Or do you think the paper masche will support it? (it is surprisingly strong).

- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley

Thursday, 23 February 2012

The Adventures of Geek Dad - Part Three

Morning all,

As I write this I am awaiting some minor testing at my local hospital after attending a consultation about having my gall bladder cut out - fun fun fun!

Anyway, yesterday was interesting. As regular readers may remember, Wednesday night is my wife's night to relax and do what ever she wants while I baby sit the Mini Moo that is my daughter.

Last night was no different, and as my wife relaxed in the tub and my daughter slept on a squiggle mat, I dug out my rocky out crops I had made before:

Well after making these before I have had huge problems with warping of the bases, and so I am attempting to rebase them, this time on hardboard:

I'm starting out with just 2 of my pieces as I want to see how they take to the hardboard.

Shortly after cutting the board to size and placing the rocks as desired, the youngling awoke and started demanding some attention, so out comes the changing material, on goes the kettle and on goes a copy of Mystery Men on DVD.

After a short change and feeding break, we were back to modelling!

This was simple, cover the hardboard in PVA (hence the previous warping when using card) place the rocks as desired and cover in cat litter:

As you can see these are now ready to set/dry and be repainted.

I hope to do this tonight.

And there we have it, another Wednesday done and another night with my girl. As a hint to others, I have found that my girl tends to get a bit irritable if I just push on with my project all the while ignoring her - makes sense, she's bored! So all the while I talk her through what I am doing and why I am doing it. It keeps her calm and I like to think its sinking into her subconscious for use at a later date.

- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Gaming: is winning all that great?

Well, I've been wondering something ever since Sunday (well actually for a while longer but Sunday brought it to a head)

Is winning all it's cracked up to be?

When it comes to war games, I've never been a winner. Right from day one I've always lost my games.

I can't say why, maybe it's to do with my preplan game and not picking the right units to take in the first place, maybe it's because of my mid game tactics (or lack there of) or maybe it's just that i don't think things through.

Because of this, rather than get upset I learnt to make losing into a game:

Take Malifaux for instance. Very regularly I can play a game and get 0 VPs, this was especially true in the first few games I played.

Because of this I made my own personal ruling of competing not against the opponent, but against myself.

Not literally you understand, but I would play a game and see what % VPs I would earn. If I earned more % than I did before than that was progression and a personal win.

Currently I aim for about 75% out of the potential VPs.

So now this leads onto the other side of the coin: Winning all the time.

It stands to reason that if I am constantly losing, there must be others who constantly win.

What do these players do? How do they define a game as well played or not?

No one likes to obliterate the opponent while they bend over and squeal like a piggy (well, some do, but that's a different matter). To them is a good game where the opponent puts up more of a fight before being beaten?

If the answer to that is YES, than it means you can only enjoy the thrill of winning, if losing is a looming possibility.

Taking this idea and running with it, I see only one possibility. To always win and to know from the first move that you WILL win, it's no fun.

So by proxy, always being a winner, never tasting defeat and vowing to avoid those mistakes again, and never having to go over your own actions and trying to fine tune your game...

If winning is all about fun, does that not mean an "always winner" is actually a looser when it comes to fun?

Yes, i think that thought will keep me warm at night after loosing my next game :p

- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

The Partner Factor

Morning all,

So the theme for today? Does your partner play Malifaux with you?

So I've been playing geek games for years and years.

I started with my dad's Commodore 128, moved onto the Mega Drive (Sega Genesis for the Americans) and the Mega CD and even the 32X before migrating over to the Sega Saturn. Yes we were a Sega family.

It was around then I moved into Games Workshop games before playing PC games and leading an AvP clan.

This was followed by RPGs such as Vampire: The Masquerade and Paranoia and TCGs such as Magic and then back to PC with MMOs and now back to Minis with Malifaux.

What I find interesting is how my partner has been present for so much of this (obviously not before I met her but ever since).

This was the woman who first taught me what it meant to "collect 'em all" and that pulling off an Über Trick can be tricky (tricky, tricky tricky).

She was never that into Magic however. I played her once, and she whipped my ass, and like wise she refuses to play Malifaux.

But what I find strange is that she loved the game Zombies, so clearly it isn't minis that put her off.

I semi brought this up over the weekend and asked if she would let me demo a game for her, her response that she didn't want to play a game where 3 hours into your only on turn 2...

Now this was an interesting point to make, the weekend before I was playing my usual sparring player and just as she said, three hours in we were only 2 turns into the game.

Now this leads me onto my next thought. Why does this game take so long to play?

On Sunday's #mfauxtitans tourney there were 2 sessions going on side by side, 1 being Warhammer/40k the other Malifaux. In the time available the whammer players fitted in 4 complete games, where as we only managed 3 and most of those were called due to over running.

So here we have a game with a tiny fraction of the models taking longer than the competition!

I wouldn't say that is necessarily a bad thing, I mean other than GorkaMorka, Malifaux is my favourite Miniatures game so it must be doing something right.

But with this in mind i am still determined to get her to play the game. So far there is no luck, even the Showgirls doesn't generate the desired effect or the Spirits, and she loves all things Japanese.

I do however have another plan, Pandora! My wife has told me on many occasions that Teddy is her favourite of my models, so I'm thinking that a woman who drives people insane, is followed by evil children, can use Teddy and summons tentacles could be the deciding vote!

Wish me luck!

- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley

Monday, 20 February 2012

My First Tourney (Conclusion)

Afternoon all, grabbing some lunch and finishing up my write up.

So when it came to the results, I actually ranked as BOTTOM of the ladder as the only player with 3 losses, but I got to take home this shiny certificate:

So I think back to how the games went, the fun I had and the new people I met, and considering I really enjoyed myself, I count myself as a winner (I know, that's what losers say, right?)

But possibly the most important thing, I learnt something new:

It turns out for these games, I wasn't properly performing The Dreamer Hop. This was for 2 reasons:
1).when you bring out Chompy, if you unbury him from a spell, you can trigger to pull out more than 1 nightmare, so if I start with at least 1 Daydream buried, I can then unbury the daydream with Chompy, companion him to Chompy and use THAT daydream to rebury Chompy afterwards. This negates the problems I was having of leaving him exposed in the middle of the board.

2). How I handled Chompy's activation was all wrong.

The card states with One Master that whenever Chompy or Dreamer is unburied, that model must activate immediately. I took this to mean (as did my regular duelling partner) that it means any current activations are put on hold until after the unburied model has resolved their actions.

It turns out this is wrong and it is impossible for another model to fully interrupt another's action.

What the card should say instead of IMMEDIATELY is 'at the next available activation'. This means that a daydream can unbury Chompy and turn him into the Dreamer, whereas my way was that Chompy gets unburied, activates straight away, but has to sacrifice his activation if I want him to turn back into Dreamer.

With all of this on mind I am very glad I didn't win, as winning with the use of an incorrect rule is no fun to anyone, however one thing that's for sure, I know now what to do, and you others better watch out...

One, two Chompy's coming for you!..

- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley

My First Tourney (Part 2)

So where we left off, Hoffman was burying himself all around the table and through some clever abilities and card draws was able to shrug off Chompy's attacks.

All the while Hoffman's Guardian was marching around the table smacking my nightmares upside the head and grabbing him much needed Slaughter points, I was not doing well at all here.

So even through I had to try and kill the Guardian with a non master to get a VP, I just wanted that thing dead, it was causing all sorts of trouble, so out came Chompy again, who teared and clawed away into its metal form, each attack being dulled by its armour.

Thankfully this is Chompy we're talking about and thanks to some great cards and me having a lot of Rams, 12 Onslaughts later the Guardian was down and the game drawn to a close:

This resulted in Hoffman having 5 VPs and me having 0. This was not my finest hour and I was seriously feeling fatigued.


This third and final game began: me vs The Victorias.

Now I had fought this crew in a friendly before hand, so I knew how ranged they would be with Hans sniping from cover, and to top it off I was on the same table as vs Hoffman, this had lots of wide open space, great for the Viks, but bad for me.

Long story short, I spent my first turn faffing around. I was tired, and I was really struggling to get my head around The Dreamer's hop, two false starts later I finally made my move, which was clumsy and left Chompy exposed (again).

The Viks played well, the Convict Gunslinger put down covering fire while the meleers closed in on me.

Sending teddy after Taylor resulted in 1 dead Teddy (he was not fairing well today) and my daydreams and The Dreamer were quickly getting picked off.

Through some nice positioning I managed to get Chompy into melee with Taylor who again managed to pull off 8 Onslaughts so a dead Taylor and with it 1 VP to me.

However there was a trade off for this attack and the Viks responded by killing Chompy and my remaining nightmares. With no models left on the table, I had no one to stop him from gabbing his objectives and totting up another loss to me.

This left me with 3 losses.

And so we draw to our conclusion. I shall explain my thoughts and how the tourney placing ended up, but I'm nearing the end of my commute.

To be continued...


- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley

My First Tourney

Good Monday all!

So as most of you will remember, yesterday I attended my first ever tournament ever. How'd it go?

Well I loved it!

So to start us off there were 12 players split over 6 tables:

Terrain was set up in a pretty liberal manner with a greater focus on being interesting and fun rather than 100% balanced:

At this point I would like to apologise for my photos, I thought more came out than did, as it stands I only got a few photos from 1 game.

So let's get down to brass tacs here:


This was me, Dreamer vs

Our strat was shared Destroy the Evidence.

In turn one, after winning the initiative I sent Dreamer out to grab a piece of evidence, which after shifting to Chompy and having 2 available AP he did with ease.

I had made a dumb move however, I had started the game with all 3 day dreams unburied and now had Chompy out in an exposed position. This forced me through companion to then try and get all the other daydreams to try and pull Chompy back to a safe position and turn him into the Dreamer again.

As such my activation left me with The Dreamer out, but unprotected and exposed and my daydreams in less than ideal places (apart from 1 who I had just managed to squeeze into the legal 3" radius of Shadowy Figure).

Sonnia retaliated by moving into a building and using a spell against the Dreamer. This spell I had never heard of and is a definite Dreamer killer as my high casting caused extra wounds to me and Sonnia was able to ignore LOS abilities and talents.

So here we were, turn 1 and the Dreamer was dead. However this did cause Chompy and a number of other nightmares to unbury all around him, with Chompy in Melee range of Sonnia.

With my stitched placed right on top of the neutral evidence marker, I quickly nabbed that guaranteeing me 1 Victory Point (VP).

Turn 2 began, and after winning the initiative again I released Chompy on Sonnia. With relative ease he teared up her face killed her. I like to think of that as vengeance.

I now had another problem. I had 2 hounds to kill for schemes and had planned to send Teddy in to do that, and for that reason Teddy was still buried, but without the dreamer in the game my daydreams couldn't unbury him, so with a smile on my face I sent out a daydream to attack the 2 hounds. As I predicted the hounds attacked the daydream and killed him, this allowed Teddy to unbury and attack one of the hounds and kill it.

The second hound made a run for it, but was gunned down by another daydream who drew a red joker! Sure it was overkill, but it was fun.

As we got to the final turn we played I had a few choices available to me. I picked the stupidest one and sent a stitched to try and nab another bit of evidence.

This lead to the opponent to kill my Coppellious and get some VPs from his schemes and me to lose the game.

This was not the smoothest of ideas I had ever had.


Next up I was paired against Hoffman.

Again this was a new master to me and I had no idea what to expect.

When it came to deployment I made the same mistake as before and put out all my Daydreams (this is a reoccurring mistake of mine).

This game was very fast, with Hoffman ability nabbing from a soul stone miner and tunnelling all over the board.

Frankly I had no idea how to counter this and so just charged up field sending Teddy to try and take out his 2 austringers.

Rather than kill them, teddy thought it would be a good idea to die himself, BAD TEDDY!

After swooping some melee blows between Hoffman and Chompy I found myself unable to scratch him and instead in a venerable position myself, so I pulled Chompy away to the other side of the board. This allowed me a little respite.

And with that, I am running out of space, please tune in for part two shortly!

Part Two

- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley

Friday, 17 February 2012

Friday Review is MIA

Good Friday all,

I am sorry to say that for 2 reasons there shall be no Friday Review today. This is mostly because I'm spending my commute reading up on further Dreamer strats for Sunday, but also because I can't think of anything worth reviewing :p

- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Random Thoughts on the Upcoming Releases

Evening all, so I've been sitting on this thought since I saw that April's releases have already been announced.
Now I know I don't own any of these models, and I'm sure in person they look very different, but I just can't hold it in.
So as you all know my current crew of focus is my Nightmares, so with that in mind, let's look at the Neverborn releases for 2012 so far:

So here we have 2 sculpts for The Hag. They're great, if you play her.
In March (note there were no Neverborn in February) we have the following:

The Spawn Mother and Gupps, great sculpts, but they have a real Zoraida theme to them in my opinion. That's 4 sculpts to the Hag.
Now we have April:

That's 2 sculpts to Lilith, great models but still no nightmares.
Finally we have:

Now this dude's look is so specific, if you are going for a certain theme it will be really hard to fit him in.
Now come on, where's the Nightmare love?
- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxleyww

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Prepping for Sunday

Morning all, it's Wednesday, that's halfway through the week and I have made plans to take part in The Titans' Malifaux tourney.

I'll be there with The Dreamer, however I am concerned that I may find out just how OP that dude really is, this has me a little concerned, but I'm also taking my undead guild. I'm sure if I start killing everyone without any effort on my part that they'll let me shift to Lady J.

One thing that I am looking forward to is that someone is taking Gremmies, I am hoping that they kick my ass and that I can take note and use it myself in future.

Anyway, I'll be spending the next day prepping for this, so don't expect any updates from me until then, I may try and get a Friday review out, but I know I should spend my time going over my roster and plan things accordingly.

In the meantime, here's a little picture I ruffled up yesterday with some iOS apps:

- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

The Adventures of Geek Dad: Part 2

Good morning all!

So I posted yesterdayabout my first game with The Dreamer, however I forgot to post about one of the more important aspects of the evening turned out:

How the Mini Moo took having someone new in the house, along with a table set up for Malifaux.

Now as I mentioned in part 1 it is my malevolent goal to raise her to be the next generation of geek with a thorough grounding in wargaming , painting/modelling and video games.

With this in mind, Saturday evening was an interesting experiment to observe, rather than being put off by all the strange new sights and sounds, instead she seemed intrigued.

On more than one occasion I would hold up a model to her and watch her expression change to that of intense concentration. It was clear that she recognised the shapes, but could not figure out the context.

- Either that or she was trying to find a way of getting the models away from me so she could gum them in peace.

And so bringing this inane ramble to an end, if you have kids or if you are planning on having them, and hope to coach them to be a future gaming partner, don't be afraid to expose them to it ASAP.

I don't know how the future will go for me and my youngling, but so far things are looking up, whether she will want to play when she is older however...

- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley

Monday, 13 February 2012

Dreaming Experiences

Good Monday everyone, it's cold, it's early and it's Monday and your dearest Doctor Loxley is feeling very grumpy indeed.

But anyway, time for a bit of feedback from the week end:

On saturday I played my first game with my dreamer crew.

It was 30 SS comprising of the following:
The Dreamer / Lord Chompy Bits
Stitched Together

As you can see this left me with 1 SS making a pool of 6.

My friend played Ressers, McMourning infact, complete with some doggies, a belle, a convict gunslinger and some punk zombies.

We were playing shared treasure hunt, which I knew straight away would put me at an advantage, all I had to do was get to grips with The Dreamer's mobility.

So turn 1, after deploying just the Deamer and his Daydreams, I was lucky to win the initiative, The Dreamer gained flying, flew out onto the table, unburied a stitched in base to base contact with the treasure, transformed into LCB and walked back. Then his first companions Daydream activated, pulled back LCB, turned him back into The Dreamer and then moved into a defensive pose in front of The Dreamer. I then proceeded to manuver my remaining daydreams through companion further up the board in a spread out motion. All of this within 1 activation.

Next up, my friend pulled out McM, who after chopping up some friendly pups managed to get enough body parts to summon a Rogue Necromancy, ran up the board and summoned this beasty right next to my stitched.

Now I don't play Ressers, so I'm unfamiliar with the Rogue Necro, but I've faced it once before and it literally ate everything I had.

Next up was my stitched's go to activate, and after gambling with his life, winning and flipping a Red Joker for damage followed by another severe (that's 14 points of damage!) the rogue Necro fell.

The rest of the turn was pretty quiet, just moving into position by the Ressers, while I sat back and wished I had unburied more of my crew. In the end however I would be glad I didn't.

Turn 2, after losing the initiative M cM summoned a flesh construct, something I had a feeling would prove a problem later on, he also nabbed the treasure right from under my stitcged's feet. I knew I had to eat his face, however Chompy was still untested and I knew how nasty McM can be up close.

So it was my activation, activated Dreamer with a Day Dream, gained flying, flew up the board, transformed into Chompy and was about 3" away, which was perfect for my claws. Chompy then proceeded to make his 2 General Actions tearing away at McM's flesh, followed by a third Melee Expert attack. Now McM was still alive, but with only a few wounds left.

And so the companioned daydream activated, pulled back LCB and turned him into The Dreamer again before taking up a defensive position.

This was followed by a hound charging up, because of The Dreamer's shadowy form he was forced to attack the Daydream and not his intended target of The Dreamer himself, but he did kill the daydream, thus taking me down to 2, and after the SS heavy fight against McM I only had 3 left, that meant I could only later summon 1 more, I had to be careful with my other daydreams.

Next up I knew I was in a bit of a pickle, the dreamer undefended and next to an undead snarling mutt, but I still had 2x daydreams left, so 1 daydream proceeded to unbury LCB next to him, turn him into the dreamer and then unburying Coppelius further up board.

This simple action allowed me to pull The Dreamer out of harm's way. I was amazed how quickly I could pull the dreamer out of trouble and across the board, next up a few other things happened, teddy was dumped on the bell, Coppelius pulled out an eye of the punk zombie and ensured his poison would kill him next turn, and then we moved onto turn 3!

Luckily I won the initiative, and I knew there was only one thing to do. At the end of the last turn, the flesh construct had moved into Melee range with the daydream and The Dreamer, this guy could pose a problem if he got off a disengaging strike. So The Dreamer flew right to the edge of the Construct's range (1AP), turned to LCB and in doing so became out of his range, LCB then summoned a Day Dream before moving up into McM's face again, all the while ensuring he was within range of the new day dream's convert back power, just in case.

He then proceeded to munch munch munch on McM's face until he was nothing more than a pile of corpse counters and a treasure token.

Long story short, it was not long after this that my opponent knew that there was nothing he could do and so surrended to my crew.

It was a good game, and I have tried and tried to figure out why things went the way they did:

How pivotal was the red joker in dealing with the rogue necromancy on turn 1?

What would have happened if the Rogue Necro hadn't died like that?

Was there anything else the McM crew could have done to stop me?

Was my victory caused through me playing a good game?
Is McM actually not a very good crew to take against The Dreamer?
Is The Dreamer as truly OP as everyone says?
Or (and this is what I hope)
Did I just 'get' the dreamer? Was it his play style and me just merged as one allowing us to make every road lead to victory?

I like to think it was the latter.

I intend to play more with him, and against different masters and with hope will be able to shed more light on the matter.

In the meantime here are some pictures from the game:

Saturday, 11 February 2012

Malifaux: How did you learn to play?

A bit of a short one today. I promised a post and I always keep my promises.

I was reading a friend's blog yesterday: Into the Breach and it got me thinking about the game and just how different it is compared to other table top games.

I was reminded how I learnt to play the game, an idea i would like to share with you this afternoon.

Malifaux: Stripped!

Now to play Malifaux Stripped you need about 6 SS worth of models for each team, about a 1x1 or 2x2 size board and some basic LOS scenery.

The rules are the same as standard Malifaux except the object is to kill all the opposing units models and you are not allowed to use triggers or spells to do it.

So the only options are: Move, Charge, Strike.

Oh and i should probably say, no Masters., instead any model can use SSs

Also everyone gets 3 SS.

Now while this may be missing most of the point of Malifaux, and a lot of other models will become insanely over/under powered without triggers and spells, one thing it does is encourage short high action turns and gets you used to using the cards and the most important part of the game;, card duels.

From my experience i found getting my head around card duels was the hardest part, and playing M:Stripped really helped with this.

And there we have it. A simple version of the game that is a wonderful way of introducing someone to what is initially a very daunting game.

I am also slowly working on another version of M:Stripped which i hope to teach to my youngling. I really do believe a game where the focus is less on remembering stat cards and abilities (the true strategy of Malifaux) but retains the duels could be a great introduction to wargaming for a child.

Friday, 10 February 2012

Friday Review: Hero Academy

So apparently because of the slight dusting of snow last night both BT and First Capital Connect are incapable of maintaining an acceptable standard of service.

As such with all the trains delayed by 20+ mins I am taking that time to write this week's review.

Hero Academy: www.robotentertainment.com/games/heroacademy

What is it?
Hero Academy(HA) is a turn based strategy game for the iOS.

What is it about?
HA is squad based game where you control a group of heroes. Your aim is to either destroy the other team's heroes' crystals or wipe out the other team all together.

As you can see from the above screenshot, HA is bright and colourful, just what you would expect from any modern iOS game.

Game Modes?
Sadly HA doesn't have any single player, instead the whole thing is multiplayer played in a similar way to to the 'with friends' games.

How much fun is this game?
Well unlike the With Friends games, this game alerts you almost the moment your opponent has made a move, so providing you don't take your time the games are very fast and can be quite involving.

For a game with an apparently very basic system (5 Action Points and you can spend them however you want) there is actually a tremendous amount of depth and as Robot Entertainment release more teams this should only increase said depth.

The standard game is free from the iStore, however for small transactions you can purchase additions such as unlock able colour themes and new teams. None of these are required to play, but I can tell you, the Dark Elves are worth the price, plus buying them also removes advertising! Win/Win!

What problems are there with this game?
Well because of its multiplayer only requirement, this means you need an internet connection to play. So therefore if your iOS decide is an iTouch and your nowhere near a hotspot most of the time, then expect to only play this at home.

Should I buy this game?
You mean should you download the basic pack for free? Hell yeah! It's free! And you can make up your own mind then if you want the added premium extras afterwards.

So go on, treat yourself to a free game, I'll see you in the arena!

Thursday, 9 February 2012

The Adventures of Geek Dad: Part 1

Good Thursday everyone,

So tomorrow my youngling will be 3 months old and so I thought it might be interesting to start an irregular feature all about my experiences trying to raise her while staying true to my geek roots.

See when my wife told me we were having a child, being honest my first thought (other than OMGWTF) was all about how my hobbies were going to be affected. Selfish I know, but I challenge you to find any dad who honestly thought different.

The funny thing was, it took that announcement to get me back into modelling and wargaming. Before then I was exclusively playing video games.

I suppose my reasoning at the time was I wanted to get back into a hobby that I could do in the same room as my wife instead of hiding away in my study, plus I was raised with wargaming and role playing when I was a kid and I'd love to do the same with my youngling.

Well the past few months have been interesting. And just as I originally feared my hobbies have taken a hit. But it's ok.

I'm not going to spout some nonsense about my youngling making everything worthwhile and wonderful, as truth be told there are occasions where all I want to do is turn on my PC and loose myself in a world of evisceration and gunfire, however because of one reason or another that is not a valid option.

One thing I did discover, something they never told me about: men actually can multi-task! Rewind about 2-3 weeks ago, it's a Saturday night, my wife is having a well deserved bath, and I've got a sleeping baby in her basket, while I am trying to rebase my paper masche.

After about 5 mins, just long enough for my hands to be fully covered in wall paper paste, guess who wakes up demanding a feed? So off I run to the sink to clean off my hands, switch on the kettle to boil the water, while that us boiling, cover the lid of the wall paper paste, grab a premade bottle for the feed, all the while keeping my two cats away from my paste/models (the love to eat paste it seems) holding the baby to stop her from crying and then finally giving a feed!

I don't know about you, but I call doing all that at once pretty good multi tasking.

Anywho, let's look at last night. For weeks I've been meaning to finish off my Dreamer crew, and last night I decided that it was time. So while the little one napped, I picked up my models and got my brush wet, all the while to the sound of Kubrik's Full Metal Jacket.

Sure a couple of times Mini Moo would wake, need a feed or a change, so I'd put down my materials, give what was needed, wait for her to go back to sleep and then carry on. It may not have been a marathon painting session of 4-6 hours that I used to enjoy before, but I still enjoyed myself and got the job done.

And I guess that's the point of today's post, yeah I've had to sacrifice a little from my past times as of late, but I'm still doing what I love, it just takes a bit of a compromise.

I'm just looking forward to the day when I can do this with Mini Moo, and maybe with hope actually win a game!

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

A (False) Sense of Entitlement?

Morning all,

So it turns out my 'local' games club is running a Malifaux tourney on Sunday 19th - local in the way that it takes 20 mins on the train, 30 mins by foot and another 20 mins by tube to get there.

You can read about it Here

What I have found interesting is a common response to the pricing and prizes offered for the tourney.

Now don't get me wrong, I am not looking to black ball anyone here, but I noticed something, a trend if you will that I would describe as a sense of entitlement.

It is my opinion that when someone has something of a certain standard, (let's call that standard, X+1) then they assume that everything of the same type should be like that.

I discussed this briefly with a friend of mine today, who compared it to her love of wine. Once you've had good wine, you can't drink the cheap stuff, which I'll refer to as plain old X grade.

Clearly this is what has happened here. My local club is offering a small tourney with low priced rewards and a high entrance fee because that is all they can manage.

They can't make the entrance fee cheaper because then they wouldn't have the funds to open for the day, likewise they can't offer expensive prizes for the same reason.

However, because there are other clubs with much higher attendance, and in turn an actual profit, those clubs can afford to take a hit on entrance fee and prizes but still break even.

So what are we looking at here? Are people being unreasonable and expecting great things for nothing? Are the organisers not taking a big enough punt with the arrangement? Maybe to both of those, I can't really say either way.

But something I am sure is going on: person Y is used to receiving X+1 grade tournaments, but all the club can offer is grade X. Will it be any less fun? I doubt it, I guess we'll just have to see.

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

A tutorial on cracked earth bases

Evening all, I love my bases I've been making for my Guild crew:

But I am afraid I can not claim ownership of the technique.

So please, whenever you get the chance, read
http://www.40kforums.com/vb/content.php/142-Making-Cracked-Earth-Desert-Bases and see for yoursel

Mega props to this author!

The Lies We Tell Ourselves...

... And The Broken Promises It Leaves.

Just prior to Christmas I made a promise to myself to keep practicing new things, to keep pushing the boundaries of my own painting and modelling skill.

When I first got into Malifaux and back into the hobby, my first crew were Gremlins. I painted these us in my usual style, with nothing experimental at all.

My second crew was the Dead Justice NE box. I wanted to try something new with them and so made my own bases using a great how to guide i found online (i still need to link to that guide).

After this i started trying new things, from mixing models together as with my austringer, using putty to add features as with my executioner and using a combo of putty and a modelling drill to make new features and gouge out others, as with my hounds.

But prior to Christmas I knew I was going to start work on my Dreamer crew and that I was actually quite happy with the stock models.

So I spoke with a friend of mine and he told me of a technique he uses quite a lot to paint his models, I think he called it 'wet shading' or something similar, where you soak a washed model in water and then use this water to create gradients of highlights.

I promised myself that this would be my experimentation for this crew. And so shortly after Xmas day I started painting my Dreamer crew, but despite my earlier promise I did my usual technique.

Now this got me thinking, 'why do we do this to ourselves?' as a gamer and modeller I am always telling myself similar things, about pushing new ideas, expanding from my comfort zone, trying new techniques.

But it appears that this only applies if these new ideas are 1 step further/away from what I am comfortable with.

And so I present you with my latest model, Lord Chompy Bits / Nytemare...

Painted in my usual style, with a purely home made putty base. I am quite happy with him, but I can't help but look at him and wonder what he would look like if I had been brave and tried that new technique.

Monday, 6 February 2012

The future of Hobby Minis

Afternoon all,
So i was thinking all weekend about todays post and just what to do, and then it struck me:

The Future of Hobby Miniatures and Wargaming!

So prior to pickimg up the hobby last year with Malifaux, i had been out of The Hobby since i was 16, thats a good 11 years.

And i got to thinking: "Why did i quit in the first place?"

The answer was simple. I didn't like the direction the hobby was heading.

Now I know I'm not alone here, that there were many people who around the same time decided to bail and never look back, but what was the reason for this?

Well let me first tell you about some of my first ever models I owned/painted...

They were Ral Pather AD&D, my favourite of them being the Golden Dragon:

But what did I love about these models? Part was the size, they were so much bigger than the others I had seen through games like Heroquest, but more so than anything it was that the mini was a multi part with an amazing amount of detail.

And so we get to the turning point for me. Things were going one way or the other: on one hand GW started making multi-part boxed sets, however these were all plastic, and i am sorry but i think when you pick up a model the size of your fist, it is supposed to feel meaty, not like a delicate kit-model.

On the other hand, virtually all their metal models were single piece sculpts, this caused awkward poses and a lack of detail to become even more apparent (just look at the metal GorkaMorka Orks with shootas sculpts).

Anyway, fastforward 11 years, it's April/May 2011 and I randomly stumble across a website advertising Malifaux. A couple of things strike me, 1). metal models, 2).Incredible detail and character that i had never seen in a model range before. I just had to get involved.

And so, a quick purchase of the Gremlin crew later and a long painful wait for it to arrive via the post, i was then privvy to see for myself how beautiful the sculpts were.

the attention to detail was obvious, as was the intent to make each model a little scenic story in itself.

About a month or two later i aquired the Le'Croix boxed set, and i noticed a change, the models contained less 'thin' bits. Gone were the intricate components, like the Grem holding the gun to his head, or the telescope, and in came big chunky components.

Looking at other book 2 models, I can see the same almost across the board: What should be fine detailed models are less so. Multi part kits replaced with single sculpts, and this has partially broken my heart.

Is this the future for wargaming? Are companies forced to abandon the quest for amazing multi part models in the search for a greater profit margin?

Currently Wyrd Miniatures have yet to move imto plastic models, and with the high detailed Avatars coming out, i do hope that Book 2 was a one off.

Fingers Crossed

Friday, 3 February 2012

New Feature: Friday Review - Sarissa Precision

Good Friday everybody!

So here's a new feature: Review Friday!

I'd like to start the first review with Sarissa Precision's Heroic Scale Old West buildings: www.sarissa-precision.co.uk

Over Christmas my lovely wife bought me a 5 pack selection of stores and their chapel.


I can't account for this myself, as like i said these were presents ordered on my behalf, but from what I understand even during the Xmas rush the lead time on our order was no more than a few days.

The items arrived in one order and well packaged without a single dent or bit of damage to them, which considering how soft the wood they are made from is, says a lot about them.


Now assembly for these items really was quite easy, especially the small stores, they require little more than snapping together and a tiny dot of glue.

The chapel however requires constant glueing, but with a bit of patience and a fast drying super glue i managed to attach everything in no time with little overspill.

Overall look and feel:

I must admit, I am in love with these buildings. I have yet to play a game with them, but they look the part. At some point in the near future i should be giving them some paint for the store fronts etc however what I love about them is that they don't need it!

Straight out of the box post assembly, thanks to the laser cut technique they were made with they are already textured and near perfect. To be honest I think all that is 'needed' is a slight weathering on the walls.


If like me you have always wanted an Old West themed game board, truth be told I cant fault these buildings. They would possibly look infinatly better with a few props and internal set pieces, some pews and an alter for the chapel to fill is massivly empty insides, however it is my belief that Sarissa leave them empty so you can fill them as much or as little as suits your needs (let's not forget that these are for miniature wargaming with bases often far larger than the models, when you start cluttering them up with random props, chairs and tables it makes manuvering a lot harder.

Thursday, 2 February 2012

How To: Rocks and Boulders

Good Thursday everyone!

Today I am covering the basics on how to make your own rocks and boulders.
Now these are things which I would say are a necessity for any old west setting.

First things first, you need a good base. In my first attempt I used cereal box card, this proved far too thin and warped beyond belief. My second attempt was using pizza box card. This was better, but still partially warped. When I try my next lot of rocks either next week or the week after, ill try using hardboard.

- if anyone has any hints on other good materials to use, please shout out!

Next up, you need newspaper,

Now you can pay for this, or like me just use a free paper from whatever available source.

After Newspaper you also need wallpaper paste:

If you have the means you can buy this ready made, or if like me you don't drive, then you can pick this up at your local D&Y shop in granule form.

Ok so you have your bits, next is to cut your base to size. Personally I like to do this using circles and curves, but some people prefer straight right angle lines.

Next up, you cut part of your newspaper into strips, I would say 5"x2" long. Out of the uncut newspaper, scrunch this into a ball as tight as you can, dunk a strip into your pre prepared wallpaper paste, and wrap it around the newspaper ball.

Ok, so now make as many of these as you want, as many different sizes and shapes as you want and then place them against your base.

The next trick is to apply more strips of pasted paper to connect the would be rocks with the base. I like to do this so that the entire base is covered (this is why my card bases warped as the card soaked up the water from the paste).

Once that is done set the units aside to dry. Now this can take anything from a few hours to a few days, so it's not ideal if you need terrain that day.

Once dried, you want to cover the bases in a glue, I use PVA and then sprinkle the base with a texture of your choice. Personally I love cat litter (unused) for this, cheap clumping cat litter. The granules tend to have a variety of sizes and make for an uneaven surface.

Again once dried (I'd leave it again for about 12-24 hours) take the whole thing outside to a well ventilated area and spray it head to toe in the colour of your choice. You can use a brush and do it by hand, but spray paint is so much faster and easier.

Again once dry, you then want to dry brush the model a lighter shade of the undercoat. I would recommend dry brushing both the car litter and the rocks themselves, this helps to create a unified feel to the model, suggesting the rocks are part of the ground instead of from a foreign material.

And if everything goes well, you can then apply any small details you want, static grass, little detals here and there, and with hope you have terrain features as good as, or hopefully better, than I have below:

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

How To: Trees

Morning, Over the next couple of days I'll be showing my WIP town itself. First off, my favourite part, the autominal forest. To make this I used the following:
Model railway tree kit
Lichen By shaping the tree skeleton as I wanted, I then glued the lichen to the branches. This was done in an almost random and non uniform manner. Then I made my tried and tested 'desert wasteland' scenic bases and mounted the trees. (I'll put up a tutorial on the bases soon, but as an example:
Anyway, put two and two together and you get:
And there we have it. I hope you like my "how to" on trees, I think they make a nice addition to any gaming table.