Sunday, December 13, 2009

Back In the Saddle

Since I posted last, this summer, I've gotten married, moved across the country and started graduate school. Obviously, I've had very little time to model or paint, much less play.

However, my first quarter of graduate school is under my belt, and I have three weeks of free time before getting back into the swing of things. I think I'm going to work on my Cygnar army!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Mage Hunter Strike Force - GO!

PP has posted the next Retribution reveal - the Mage Hunter Strike Force. By their very definition, mage hunter are 'caster assassins. And how!

Mage hunters are expected to function in extreme circumstances, such as surviving hand-to-mouth deep in enemy territory while isolated from friendly support. At home in any environment, they learn to scavenge and improvise, and to kill without hesitation. Their first priority is always the elimination of enemy arcanists and mechanikal constructs—which they believe harm Scyrah.

I think the look awesome, particularly the the crouching model. Then again, I am biased toward awesome female models. Furthermore - out of a team of six, only one model is a repeat!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The Retribution Marches to War!

Privateer Press has posted an in medias res photo of a fight between the Retribution of Scyrah and Khador. Be careful, it's pretty big! A few of my thoughts on the matter:
- We finally get to see what the Dawnguard Sentinel models look like! They're the ones cresting over the hill running the length of the picture. I think they look really sharp, especially the running model. Also, it looks as if they're on medium bases - interesting!
- I also think that the Sentinels are led by an as-yet unannounced female warcaster - or at least a solo, given that Vryos is front-and-center in the photo. She's on the right half of the picture, standing by the ruined Iosan column, carrying some sort of two-headed axe weapon. From what I can tell, it's a really badass model.
- In action, the myrmidons look pretty neat.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Retribution: Fluff and 360° views posted

Privateer Press has updated with fluff descriptions of the Retribution of Scyrah models - as well as the very awesome 360°! Hurrah!

Out of this, two things strike me:
- The 360° view betrays just how stiffly the PP crew modeled their showcase Myrmidons. I'm not complaining about the models, persay - dynamic posing is always possible, and the plastic Heavy Myrmidons makes me even more hopeful. However, I think it would have been better for everyone if the new units didn't look so... arthritic.
- The fluff pieces have explained that the Retribution does have ranged warjacks - those ranged weapons just aren't the obvious cannons and guns and mortars of the other army, but I guess some sort of particle beam or laser coming from their glaives and gloves. Honestly, up till this information was posted I thought the Retribution might have only melee-oriented 'jacks. I'm a little disappointed - I wish the army had more obvious guns.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Retribution: I guess I'll jump in with them there opinions

Now that's what I'm talking about.

I've been reading alot of peoples' opinions about the Retribution (in order, that's GS, LS, and LH). I've been on the fence about how I feel.

I agree with Jen of Ghettokore Studios about how they fit into the universe: the Retribution springs from the minds who have delivered us years of rock-solid Immoren content. I grant that there are instances where creators screw up their own universe (GEORGE LUCAS, seriously, just let BioWare handle Star Wars from here on out, ok?), but I have faith in Privateer Press. I mean, I think that Ironclads fighting trolls looks weird, but hey, it actually works. Once we start seeing dirty Myrmidon, and artwork of Myrmidons locked in life-and-death struggles with human 'jacks, I think the Retribution will seem more "realistic."

A few other points that others have made, or at least alluded to, and that I agree with are: the models we've seen are just a fraction of the total army; that plastic models rock; and that it's actually a good thing that not everyone likes the Retribution, because it would be boring if everyone started playing the new army.

Granted, there are really valid points made by dissenters. For starters, the models are really smooth! For me, that's a little annoying: I'm enjoying painting my Cygnar army because the model construction, in collaboration with the details, lets me paint with some really nice metallics. One of the reasons I'm turned off to the Retribution is because their sleek builds are more akin to my Tau army, in terms of the painting style necessary. I can't paint my futuristic, plastine skimmers with metal colors, and it looks like it'll be hard to do that with the Retribution (those power lines excepted).

And, well, the Retribution's style is really different from the armies that are out there. And honestly, some of these elves look really odd - I look at Narn, and and that bald Invictor (sorry, LH, for the pic steal!), and I think... Remans. Just me, I know, but... still!

Anyways, that gets me to today: damn, dudes, that Houseguard Rifleman concept art is sweet. It's a combination of Long Gunner and Trencher - what's not to love?!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

That Blighted Feeling

So I've not even finished assembling and painting - much less playing! - my small Cygnar force, but I (foolishly) have an eye pointed toward Hordes. The whole "big monsters" thing isn't really the first thing to float my boat, but it has a certain charm all its own.

That said, I've got a question for those of my readers who do play Hordes: why is it that people seem to dislike the Legion of Everblight? Is that a wrong impression?

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Privateer Press' New Website

Just yesterday, bobaferret alerted me to the brand-spanking-new Privateer Press website.

Color me impressed. The new site is a bit more resource intensive than the old one, but it is well-laid out, and pretty to boot! I like that each part of the website has a slightly different theme, and I'm glad that the IK stories are still there! I'm a little uncertain about the galleries - I liked the light blue/white backgrounds that were there before, but the darker backgrounds really do make the models pop off the webpage.

I know, I know, I know I shouldn't make this a "Privateer Press vs. Games Workshop" thing. It's just a (really well done) new website, not necessarily a corporate announcement of any sort. And I'm the guy that owns armies from both companies, and thinks that they could get along.

But... Games Workshop redid their website, and turned it into a steaming pile of crap. They turned it into a crappy, slow-running online catalog, gutting all of the fluff and most of the modeling articles in favor of.... showing off the price of their kits.

GW turned their website into one big store, and it;s the less for it. I'm really glad that Privateer Press didn't do the same thing. Keep up the good work, PP.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Bizarre Bazaar: May 30th - 31st

For those readers of the Warhammer disposition, this weekend marks the annual "Bizarre Bazaar" - what amounts to a Games Workshops-supported flea market for players wanting to sell and buy other players' Citadel models. It's a good way to try to get some crappy old models off your hands - or better yet, to buy some projects that are going to need Tender Loving Care.

Click here for GW's list of participating stores.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Warmachine Funny

I found this hunting around the PP forums. It took me the longest time to figure out what it meant, but when I did - hilarious.

Hint: see Caine's comment on the Sentinel, in the Prime rulebook.

Monday, May 11, 2009

The Retribution of Scyrah

If you haven't seen it yet, there's an expanding Retribution art teaser on the PP website. It looks like that every day, they add one more box of art work, slowly filling out the entire image. It'll be exciting to see some close-up shots of these new-fangled elves.

Monday, April 27, 2009

My First Model: Journeyman Warcaster (alt)

My experience with wargaming is Tau-centric, and the Tau - contrary to most of the armies in 40K - have very few special characters, meaning that I could envision my commander as an alien version of me. On the other hand, Warmachine is very character-centric, and I was worried that there wouldn't be a way to "personalize" my army. In response, I started off with the variant JW because I envisioned her as my avatar on the battlefield. And now she's done - my first completed Warmachine model!

Journeyman Warcaster - SideJourneyman Warcaster - FrontJourneyman Warcaster - Back

I apologize for the darkness - I didn't have enough lamps to light the picture very well. The model is brighter in person than in these pictures. I'm particularly proud of the Cygnar crest (Cygnus Yellow over black looked green, so I put down a coat of Rucksack Brown first), and the face/lips. I never thought I could pull off a face that well!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

And now for something completely different...

Before my fascination with Cygnar, I was enthralled by 40K's Tau Empire. Though not painted - or even completely assembled - I have at least an 1000 point Hunter Cadre, including a Forge World Great Knarloc and a pair of Remora Drones. In fact, I'm a moderator over on Advanced Tau Tactica, pretty much the paramount source for Tau tactics and strategies on intarweb.

Another moderator, SpartanTau, and I were promoted from the ranks at the same time. We've always had a "brothers in arms" approach toward the forums, especially because we're both college students. As this school year started to come to a close, ST suggested we do a Crisis Suit swap, in which our battlefield avatars entered an officer exchange program and temporarily joined the other moderator's cadre, à la TNG's "A Matter of Honor."

He immediately set about making a heavily converted, up-armored Crisis Suit, which is going to look freakin' awesome. I've always been a little more conservative in my model building, but I wanted to do conversion that was worthy of such an exchange. So, behold Shas'vre Lyi'ot:

Shas'vre Lyi'ot

The plan is to make several magnetized heads, allowing ST to switch out the Space Marine helmet for an army-specific trophy - all the better to taunt opponents with!

All thing said, the conversion was rather simple. I still need to greenstuff the left hand, to obscure the magnets, but that shouldn't be a problem. I had to cut apart both the the left arm and left leg, right at the knee/elbow joint. Tamiya Extra Thin Cement made the conversion possible because it melted the plastic, nicely glueing the parts together and obscuring any terrible plastic gashes I had created. And yep, that's a real Texan rock beneath his foot!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Links of Interest

I've recently come across a few really cool Warmachine resources/sites I thought I'd share.

1) Front Arc Template!
I'm painting front arc markers on one of my models, and my intarweb searches kept turning up references to the work of one Dan "YoungWolf7" Smith. Unfortunately, I couldn't find the PDFs on the Privateer Press forums, and any links that directed to his work didn't work; it seems "YoungWolf7's Warmachine Lair" is no longer a website. :(

But! I finally found a thread on DakkaDakka that did provide a working link to YW7's PDFs - the front arc template in question is available here. Enjoy!

EDIT: After a little looking into it, I found YW7's new blog. He's no longer involved with the tokens he made for Warmachine, but they are all being hosted over at GuruDojo.

2) Awesome Warmachine Comics/Illustrations!
Ahknas of "Paint It Blue" fame alerted me to a thread full of shear awesomeness over in the PP Fan Art forum. A poster by the name of Sponson has started making incredibly funny Warmachine comics and pics - check it out!

3) MKII Color Cards!
Alright, I'm totally stealing this from Ahknas, too - seriously, go check out his blog, it's great! A poster by the name of Sybermancer has started to created color versions of the Cygnar's MKII cards - including illustrations! Check out his website here.

Later, I'll be posting pictures of my first ever totally completed Warmachine model, as well as a WIP Tau Crisis Suit that has been especially converted for a trade!

Monday, April 13, 2009

She Got Me Into This Mess

If I were to give the one reason I eventually chose Cygnar over Khador, it would be Katherine Laddermore. Or, more specifically - Katherine Laddermore, dismounted. But I didn't immediately buy the model - I was afraid (dare I say intimidated?) and so I admired from a distance. I told myself I was waiting for my hobby skills to improve.

But yesterday was my birthday, so I said screw waiting, and I went ahead and bought Laddermore. She's (It's?) even cooler than I thought she'd be, but I did encounter a few problems. Right off the bat, her mounted lance fell apart in my hands - I picked it up, and it broke right behind the modeled fist. urk And then I noticed that the pieces weren't dry fighting all that well - the two hemispheres of the horse body had large gaps between them. double urk

But I didn't despair, and I think both problems are surmountable. In the first case, I was able to pin the two lance pieces back together - since it broke right behind Laddermore's fist, I was able to drill the fist out and put a small pin in. Unfortunately, my drill was just a little too large, and so I ended up chipping away some of the lance's side. urk But the whole thing is hidden from the viewer, and I think I'll model the lance flush against the horse's body, making it less exposed and (perhaps) offering more places to glue the joint.

In the second case - poor fitting - I was pleasantly surprised. As I continued to play with the model, I realized Privateer Press and created the model such that the worst joints were either covered or craftily obscured. The joint line running down the horse's chest? Covered by a piece of armor. The joint behind the saddle? Hard to see, thanks to Laddermore's impressive cloak. I think that, with just a little bit of green stuff, I'll be able to make the model hold up to inspection.

But, my fearless readers: have any of you assembled Katherine Laddermore? When assembling and painting the model, any tips or tricks I should know?

Monday, April 6, 2009

Whoa, whoa

The times, they are a'changin'. I've only had a the briefest of opportunities to look at the Field Test rules, but the point changes look exciting and interesting; my first impression is that they've done away with the seemingly-arbitrary point costs.

If you can't get into the main site/haven't gotten your password yet, a kind soul uploaded the rules here.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

The Future of War

Here's the Lancer conversion I talked about previously:

Lancer - WIPLancer - WIP

That's right! I switched out the Lancer's chassis for the Charger's! By way of comparison, here and here are pictures of the original builds.

The idea first came to me when I noticed the Arc Node fit equally well on both chassises. I also didn't feel that the Charger's more fluid, dynamic pose suited the model - it looked like he was side-stepping, not lining up the shot he should be taking! Furthermore, I liked the image of my Lancer shouldering into another warjack, bludgeoning it with his shield.

Thus was born this very simple conversion. The biggest thing I did was pin the head, making it so that the warjack was looking over the shield at his target. I drilled the pin into the head at an angle, then filed a little down on both sides - on the left side, to make the head more flush with the body, and on the right, to make the back corner of the head less obtrusive where it stuck out. 

I'm really pleased with how the whole thing turned out - the simple conversion proved to me that with the right amount of creativity and thought, unique takes on "unmodifiable" metal models were possible. On top of that, pinning the arms and head was much less difficult - and dare I say, more fun - than I thought it would be.

Also: sorry about the color of the photos! I forgot to turn on the white balance of my digital camera. The photo quality turned out well enough that I don't feel like retaking such simplistic WIP shots, but the pics of my Journeyman Warcaster will need to be redone. -_-;

On the note of "taking pictures of your models," here is a really great guide to just that! The same site provides some seriously sweet background gradient jpegs, so that your photos can look professional, too!

Friday, March 27, 2009

The Story So Far

My current Cygnar holdings are as follows:
    • Commander Coleman Stryker
    • Captain Victoria Haley
    • Ironclad
    • Charger
    • Lancer
    • Hunter
    • Journeyman Warcaster (alt.)

I also have two Iron Kingdoms models - Valeria Alvaro, Ordic Pistoller and Taryn di la Rovissi, Llaelese Gun Mage - that I plan on using as substitutes for a Gun Mage Captain Adept. I'll probably paint them both up, but I'm leaning toward using the Ordic Pistoller - she looks more badass and less like a skank!

Right now, my focus is on building (and trying to paint) a respectable 350 pt. Cygnar force:

Cygnar Starting Force
Army Points: 350/350
Victory Points: 13
    Captain Victoria Haley
    • Ironclad
    • Lancer
    Journeyman Warcaster
    • Hunter
All things said, I think it'd make a pretty good Mangled Metal list (well, except for that there solo). I know that many (most?) Warmachine armies aren't painted, and that I shouldn't wait to play till every single model is painted. But I'd like to play with something I'm proud of, ya know? I'm almost done with my Journeyman Warcaster, and I've pinned and assembled the Hunter and Lancer. I'll get pics of the JW up soon enough, as well as the Lancer - the latter has an easy but interesting conversion I'd like to show off.

Till then, if any of my readers have any tips or tricks they'd like to share - either with the army or the models - I'd love to hear them! Over at ATT, it's been pointed out that everything is about to change - which is completely true! - and that I should carve my own path. I agree... but friendly feedback is always fun!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

My Experience So Far

To date, I have little true experience with Warmachine: my Cygnar battlegroup is growing, slowly but surely, but I've played only two duel-sized games with the store's starting Cygnar army (won the first with a caster assassination, surrendered the second). I recognize that, with such little field experience, I should not rush to comparisons between Warhammer and Warmachine - but I just can't help it! Since I have so little experience with the game proper, I'm going to limit my comments to a comparison between the Privateer Press and Games Workshop models:

1) I feel I get more bang for my buck. This is derived from two disparate, but complementary, facts. First, it seems that I need less models to field a good-sized battle group in Warmachine. For what I've seen, most Warmachine matches are held at the 500 or 750 point level - and each faction's starting set already provides roughly 350 points. While you get alot more models out of them, 40K battle forces are rarely balanced ("Here's a tank/transport, and a few squads of guys! Go!"), are much more expensive ($70-$90), and provide a fraction of the forces you'll need for a 1000 point, and especially 1750 point, game. Secondly, I can find Warmachine models for really cheap on the internet, more consistently than I can Warhammer models. I know this is a one-off experience, but I was able to get my Cygnar starting force on eBay for $35, including shipping.

2) I'm more invested in my models. The Cyngar starter kit has four models, a warcaster and three 'jacks, and that makes up the lion-share of a 500 point force. All of the models are impressively cast, really giving you the sense that they're lumbering war machines, and you only have a few of them. It's really easy for me to justify spending time and effort making these (awesome looking) models live up to their full potential. Contrast this with my experience with Tau Fire Warriors: well, if you're lucky, they spend the entire game off map, hiding in their Devilfish - thanks to 5th edition rules, they don't even need to disembark to claim an objective! And if they are disembarked - well, either an autocannon has disintegrated them into a fine blue mist, or they've been ripped limb-from-limb in close combat.

3) Heavy metal? I don't really care about this difference. I've read Matt Wilson's enlightening post, and I realize why Privateer Press went with metal models. Compared to the Fire Warriors and Crisis Suits I'm used to, PP models are riddled with amazing charm and detail. Granted, detailing is coming into its own, so we'll probably see more than just Bastions in plastic. I really like these high-quality metal models (I'd be lying if I said the weight didn't factor into that feeling), but if they can be done in plastic - well, alright. Anyways, in my book it's a moot point: for the far-foreseeable future, my Cygnar army is going to be all metal.

Last but not least, and the reason for this blog's title:
4) Privateer Press' models have more sex appeal. While working on my Tau, I said many, many, many times that, if new plastic models were released for the Witch Hunters, I'd change armies in a heartbeat. I don't intrinsically crave T&A, I don't want to field an army of daemonettes. But I would like some cool looking warrior women in my army! Games Workshop, you have let me down in this regard! Privateer Press, you know my heart's desire! So, I'm backing a "boys in blue" Cygnar army... except they're chicks.

A Tale of Two Games

I started with the Tau a little over two years ago. I have roughly 1000 points of Tau, more if I equip my hunter cadre just right. But in all the time I've had them, I've only played a handful of games, the majority under the (incredibly awesome) 4th Edition Combat Patrol rules. I've constructed plenty, but have only one Piranha, two XV-15s, one Crisis Suit commander, and half a squad of Fire Warriors painted.

I guess my experience is really not that different from most peoples - walk into your local game store, and there's a good chance most of the armies won't be painted (white or black base-coating excluded), and may only be partially constructed. I could just suck it up and play... but the oppressive weight of so many unfinished models gets to you.

I think I lost my momentum early one, when I carefully and meticulously crafted my very first Fire Warrior team. So much effort and detail went into making that squad unique - a different pose here, a pointing hand there. And then I realized the squad made up just a fraction - and a small fraction! - of my total fighting force. There's just so much work to do to have a fully-functioning 1000-point cadre, and each little building block requires a (seemingly) disproportionate modeling effort compared to its point-cost and usefulness on the battlefield.

Last summer, about nine months back, I got introduced to Warmachine. I bought the rulebook and two blisters - the alternate Sorscha and the variant Journeyman Warcaster. I couldn't make up my mind between Khador and Cygnar, nor could I even bring myself to invest in a Warmachine army: I had a massive and unfinished Tau cadre, and the "local" Warmachine hangout was twenty minutes down the highway.

This all changed at the beginning of this year, when I discovered Asgard Games had just opened up. The location was right, and I knew the owners - Will and DJ - from the Rice Village Games Workshop. Warmachine is really popular at Asgard, so I went ahead and took the plunge.