Friday, 30 November 2012

Local Malifaux campaign - Rolling Thunder

Awesome news today from our local henchman in the form of a summer campaign or Rolling Thunder as he's called it.

At three rounds, with fixed master at 30ss but all from the same 50ss cache. It's short, sweet and a little tailored towards us newbies. Mr Neverborn has already grumbled because its fixed master and will mean he has to stick with one crew for the duration. I'm not so worried, I debated using Kirai but with Cancon around the corner I think it's safer to stick with what I've got.

There are no restrictions this time on what schemes can be used, so I'm expecting to go up against a lot more faction schemes and without the duplicates restriction, everyone will pick and play to their favourite schemes.

I think my 50ss cache is going to have to focus on what I know:

Seamus, The Mad-Hatter -- 2 Pool
Seamus, Avatar of Dread [2ss]
Grave Spirit [1ss]
Madame Sybelle [6ss]
Bête Noire [9ss]
Canine Remains [2ss]
Canine Remains [2ss]
Crooked Man [4ss]
Crooked Man [4ss]
Dead Rider [10ss]
Night Terror [3ss]
Night Terror [3ss]
Rotten Belles [4ss]

Summoned models don't count so there was little point bulking out this list with belles or doxies. I really wanted to get drowned into the list and Onryo would have been fun but a 50 soulstone cache is smaller than it sounds.

Round 1 starts in January.

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Ultra Combo - Night Terrors Flock Hopping

I've been hearing a lot about night terror flocks at tournaments recently, and in particular how they are winning Ressers the objective based games, so I sat down with Mr Neverborn recently and theory hammered out their benefits. Straight after, I decided I needed to up my flock to four strong and here's why.

Keep in mind I'm the 'Aspiring' Ressurrectionist for a reason folks....

When it comes to maneuverability, the greater your flock, the further you can move. In a standard deployment you're looking at 24" of open ground between you and your opponent, assuming both of you setup on the 6" line.

With objective based missions you want to get a minion with the action points into contact with the objective, so you need to transport or push a minion around. Several methods have come to light for me over the last few months. There's the belle slingshot and the dead rider two step, but both are relatively short ranged transports. They'll get you to the centre of the board, but what happens when you want to get into your opponents deployment zone in turn 1? Exactly how can night terrors help and how many do you need?

The night terror flock seems to work on the guiding principles that they are fast moving at 6" per walk, they're spirits and have flight so they don't really have to worry about terrain, and they can flock together as a zero action. Flock together is a 6" pulse zero action that pushes all friendly night terrors into base contact with the active model. It requires multiple activations to pull off, and you have to ensure the active member of that flock doesn't get beyond the pulse's range. Here's how it works.

Activation 1 - activate Night Terror, move 6, flock together then move a further 6.

Activation 2 - activate a second Night Terror, move 6 and if there are more Night Terrors to activate, then flock together, or move 12 and flock the original model into contact.

With two Night Terrors you can move 18" in two activations
With three you can move 18" and have a single ap available.
With four you can move 24" and have a single ap available.
With five you can move 30" and have a single ap available.

The larger your flock, the further you can move, but the more activations it'll take to get you where you're going. The more activations, the more obvious your strategy. And that does seem to be the downside.

The upsides seem to be that it's all happening in turn 1. If you can score objectives in turn 1 then you can turn your attention to other purposes in turn 2. The relative strength seems to be in the flocks survivability. With hard to kill and spirit, your Night Terrors are going to be harder than average to kill, and as your opponent shoots or casts near you, you can always move closer using the 'Attracted to Noise' ability.

Lastly, and often in conjunction with attracted to noise come a trio of actions that can render your opponent unable to retaliate. These come in the form of the spell 'night falls', which will debuff their ranged attacks and the triggers 'cold darkness' and 'blind' which buff a terror attack or temporarily blind them.

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Malifaux terrain - A little barnyard of horrors

A funny thing happened to me today. I was generally being an arse because after working all day yesterday, my other half wanted to drag me out to a DIY store to buy flowers for our garden. If you combine shopping and flowers then my enthusiasm for any project is going to plummet to an all time low, and it was only because she promised me lunch that I went along. I tend to get cranky when I don't get any hobby time and whilst the extra money that working the weekend is good, I wasn't really listening as my wife tried to talk me into buying a 1500 litre rain tank.

As we went to walk away on the long drudge to the flower section (seriously who puts rains tanks and the gardening section at two different ends of a DIY store the size of Texas) I got called back by my misses. "These are good, would they be any good for Malifaux?"

Wait - what just happened? Is this some kind of trick... Be strong.

I turned around avoiding the eager gaze of some old boy who'd setup a second hand book and video stall in front of the store. Instead my eyes looked to my misses and then to the owner of a stall who I had completely missed, registering only the smell of trashy paperbacks and hideous colours the kids clothes someone else was trying to pedal on the stall the other side. Sandwiched between these two stalls sat Neil an elderly guy with a glue gun, an assortment of lolly sticks and coffee stirrers and clearly far, far too much time on his hands.

Neil might have said g'day, he might have told me his life's story, I wasn't listening for my eyes has settled on his wares and I knew in that instant two things. Firstly this man was some sort of lolly stick artisan and secondly my wallet was about to spontaneously leap into my hand and pay whatever this man wanted, for here right in front of me, was a selection of Wild West style buildings that were the perfect look, size and style for Malifaux.

Ok so maybe not completely to scale but they looked better than putting 35mm minis against 28mm buildings do most of the time, and Seamus and Miss Peaches look pretty happy on that porch.

I left with Neil's phone number, a lighter wallet and a million ideas what I could get him and his collection of wooden sticks to do next.

Now to make space on my pile of shame and come up with some twist to make that innocent farmyard a place where the masters of Malifaux might have reason to duke it out. A little barnyard of horrors if you will.

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Malifaux Battle Report - Seamus vs Mei Feng

Making up for my dismal and rather surreal weekend of work, I decided to sneak in a game at one my local clubs last night. This wasn't to well received by the Misses, but brownie points are meant to be squandered and she knows, from my track record, that I need the practice to get ready for Cancon and the GT next year.

Pre Game Amble
This was my third game against Mei Feng, so I had some idea of her tactics and I wanted to try out some different models that should give me some advantage in the fight.

This was Chris's first outing with Mei Feng, that said he's a very experienced player, and so I figured the odds were at best 50/50.

I think Mei Feng's greatest weakness is she doesn't have any magical weapons and only she and Kang really have any real attack spells. Most of her minions work on the basis of gimping up their defense or normal attacks. You're also generally facing a 50/50 split between living and construct models, allowing for some terror raising possibilities right off the bat.

It struck me that Kirai should do well against this crew, but I'm still getting my head around how she plays. I decided instead to test the water by taking a spirit in my Seamus crew and seeing how things went. I wanted to try a drowned specifically to see if it did any better against a Rail Gamin, but when I got there Chris put down a crew completely devoid of them. Doh!

Strategies and Schemes
Encounter Size : 25ss
Deployment : Standard
Strategies : Shared Treasure Hunt
Opponents Schemes : Stake a Claim, Bodyguard
My Schemes : Framed for Murder (Drowned), Bodyguard

Crew Selections
Graveyard Spirit
Madame Sybelle
Crooked Man
Rotten belle

8 SS cache

My Opponent
Mei Feng
3 x Rail Workers

5 SS Cache

Pre-Game Theory Hammer
Avoid rail walker movement schinanigans by snipping any rail worker or gamin that looks like its being pushed forward for that purpose. Try and cut off Mei Feng so she can't retreat, if she sticks her head out.

Link up Seamus for some extra protection from the graveyard spirit.

Try the drowned out against anything.

Try out some terror tactics with Seamus.

Use the Belle lure to net me that treasure in turn 1.

The Game
Turn 1
Chris won initiative and double walked up a rail worker. I activated Sybelle and a belle with the intention of luring a belle onto that treasure. Sybelle doubled walked but then choked the call belle spell with a black joker. The belle walked and the cast lure on Sybelle to pull her back in a little and avoid getting her killed in turn 1.

Chris moved up the Emberling and blew steam before rail walking Mei Feng up to do 2 wounds on Madame Sybelle and then hightailing it back behind Kang.

The rest of our crews just doubled walked to close the gap. I linked the graveyard spirit to Seamus for some protection.

Turn 2
I won initiative and with an Emberling blocking my path I figured Id kill that and try to alpha onto that treasure again. I flurried Sybelle but only managed to take the Emberling down two wounds. I then called my belle up but decided to place her for some protection on Sybelle rather than place on the treasure. Seamus shot a rail worker and when that failed charged him, killing him with a bag of tools strike. As a zero action I tried for arise but failed to get it off.

Mei Feng and Kang retaliated killing the foremost belle, and injuring Sybelle again. Seamus took 3 wounds from Mei Feng's trigger attack before retreating again using rail walker. With little to target the crooked man tried but missed a second rail worker and the drowned got two wounds off against Kang.

I burnt a soulstone increasing Seamus defence against a parting steam burst from Mei Feng.

Turn 3
Chris wins the initiative despite me burning a soulstone and heals Kang before shoving coals in Sybelles face. He then punches her for good measure, reducing her to 2 wounds. In retailiation a belle tries twice to get Kang to undress but fails, which means Sybelle has her work cut out for her and can't do more than score a couple of wounds on Kang.

Mei Feng in her most aggressive moves of the game goes hard at Seamus doing 8 wounds despite burning two more soulstones. Crucially she doesn't retreat because her crew are out of position. Seamus in return smacks her for 3 before getting slit jugular off and forcing Chris to discard his last two soulstones.

The crooked man is able to get a severe cave in off and kill another rail worker, which helps Seamus with his dwindling wounds.

Turn 4
Chris again wins initiative and blows steam on Feng to deposit burning tokens on almost all of my crew. She bounces away leaving Seamus on 1 wound. She gets into contact with the treasure and sends Kang and the last rail worker forward to block the limited alley I have to the objective.

With Sybelle and my belle bouncing off and then being eradicated by Kang in hand to hand, Seamus summons another belle, and focus shoots the rail worker, taking him out but leaving Seamus relatively weak and undefended, with no soulstones left.

Turn 5
Chris wins a critical initiative flip.

Kang goes toe to toe with Seamus and kills him. Mei Feng picks up the treasure and tries to stumble off. A belle lures her into dropping the treasure and my crooked man and drowned again bounce off of Kang.

Turn 6
With Mei Feng uninjured but unable to pickup the treasure Chris high tails it over to the cemetery he'd called for his stake a claim and nets himself a total of 4 VP'S. I bounce again off of Kang doing some damage but with Seamus dead and my drowned still very much live, I've scored zero. I tried to make it to the treasure but I simply didn't have the AP's to pick it up.

The Result
4-0 loss to me. Chris got off both his schemes but my lure made Mei Feng drop the treasure, stopping it being a 8-0 defeat for me!

Sum up & Lessons Learnt
In hindsight the graveyard spirit is a waste against Mei Feng, most of her abilities bypass the protection that the spirit provides.

Kang is a tank! He needs to be taken down early as he can heal wounds automatically up to the turn number, so in turn 5 he can heal 5 wounds!

Watch out for rail worker slow to die actions, their retailitory kick can kill a wounded minion.

I've got to stop announcing bodyguard on Seamus, it makes him a bullet magnet!

Maybe I shouldn't of announced frame for murder and I should have chosen a weaker minion, a 5 wound spirit was a dumb selection.

That's why I'm the Aspiring Ressurrectionist I suppose!

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Product Review - Gale Force 9 Badlands Terrain

After reviewing GF9's crystals recently I wanted to offer a different insight into their products, in case I left you with the impression all of their goods are poor quality.

So to finish out my crystal canyons board I was looking to create some rock pillars and spires, my homage to badlands national park. I was researching hot wire cutters and expanded insulation foam when up came these beauties in flipboard.

I debated for a while but in the end decided to take the plunge, despite my experiences with the crystal terrain, reasoning that at the least I could sell it on if it was really bad.

The day arrived when they finally delivered and I tore open the boxes like a kid under a Christmas tree.

The results were surprisingly good. I'd seen a you tube video and the rock colours looked very washed out. I'd resigned myself to giving the rocks a couple dry brushes to add definition, but as I pulled the rocks out they didn't appear to need any. Better still the sand around the bases had been picked out neatly in a complimentary and contrasting colour. There didn't appear to be anything to do, this truly was a battlefield in a box.

I looked over the bigger pieces first which appear to be made of a semi hollow resin, they're pretty solid and well based. They have some good shading and a few highlights, generally on the edges of the plateaus.

Next came the smaller rock formations, you get 7 in a box. Again there was that same level of detail, everything was good, everything was as I had hoped.

To cover a 3x3 board with just this type of terrain, you'd probably want both the big boxes and a couple of the smaller rock formations. With the mix of terrain I have planned for crystal canyons, maybe a little less but having those three or four sets would give you some variety.

My only gripe is the packaging, the sort of polystyrene that crumbles and cracks the minute you look at it, this was never going to be suitable for long term storage and is going to need to be replaced if its going to be making journeys to and from my local club.

All up this product gets 4.8 out of 5, loosing only a few points because you'll have to insider storage and transportability and because a little dried grass applied near the base would have left me with nothing to do.

If you ever wanted a desert board, this terrain is a great place to start.

Friday, 16 November 2012

Might Minion - Graveyard Spirit

Next up in the mighty minion series is the humble graveyard spirit totem. At a cost of a single soulstone, you'd be forgiven for thinking this little guy was just to be used as chaff, but the reality is he's one of the strongest supporting totems in the Resser arsenal and he's able to support any master.

- Cheapest Resser totem
- Not master aligned, so can be taken by any master
- 3 wound spirit
- Grants Armour 2 to linked model
- Whilst linked can't be directly targeted by ranged weapons or magic
- Respectable 5 wounds on a severe damage for his Chill Touch melee weapon
- Companion with Master
- 6" charge
- Reasonable WP 5
- Undead grants Seamus a control card and heals 2 wounds when killed (Necrotic Ministrations trigger on Seamus)
- Spirit grants Kirai a Seishin if killed within 8" of her ability Spirit Anchor or can be sacrificed using Absorb Spirit spell to gain two control cards, heal two wounds and gain fast.

- Low CB of 2, will mean you have to bolster with a high card to hit, probably cheating, you want charge if you can.
- Defence is 3
- He's a bullet magnet, your opponent will want him dead.

Play Style
A lot of people including me, have fallen into the belief that the Graveyard Spirit needs to be in base contact with the linked mini in order to grant the armour 2 benefit. This tends to affect how people play this totem, just shuffling it around, keeping the benefit until it inevitably dies.

A more careful inspection of his rules highlights that he grants armour 2 to the linked model and he doesn't have to be in contact to afford the benefit, he simply has to be in contact at the start of the closing phase.

Therefore there are some situations where companioning the spirit with a master and activating the totem first can be advantageous. Providing your intended target doesn't have any retaliatory attacks, the graveyard spirit could charge a weaker minion or soften up the target for a masters charge. The charge will grant the positive flips the spirit needs to hopefully get a severe damage off, then the master activates and walks or does his thing, and it'll push the spirit out of the combat and back into contact with the master. The trick is remembering to do it, because if they're not in contact at the end of the activation, the link is broken.

- Any Resser master for a bit of protection
- Most 6+SS minions and in particular Madame Sybelle for an über minion

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Photoshopping - Rotten Belles

One of my few gripes with the game is that there's not enough variety in the sculpts and that at some point you're going to end up with duplicates.

I've seen players handle this in a few ways, either by accepting the situation, coming up with alternative colour or sculpts, or by simply numbering their bases.

When I first got into Seamus I went Belle mad, buying two clamshells of belles giving me duplicate sculpts. Armed with these I really had no choice but to look at alternative colour schemes but in my mind there was no point changing the colours of my mini, if the card didn't correspond as well and so I asked Mr Neverborn, with his significant photoshop experience, to do me up some replacement cards. Since then I've gone on to learn art packages myself, which will turn out to be something of a mixed blessing. I have a few duplicates sculpts in my Kirai crew that I want to come up with alternative colour schemes for, and I also want to turn 2 beckoners into dead doxies for Brawls.

What follows then are some scans of the photoshopped cards so that you might use them yourselves if you find yourself with some duplicate sculpts, or maybe you're looking for some inspiration.

It's funny as these took to the board they developed personalities and are now affectionately known as Miss Peaches, Miss Bluebell and Miss Lemons (or Bananas as Mr Neverborn will insist on calling her)

Miss Bluebell

Miss Lemon - notice how she gets picked on....

Miss Peaches

More to follow in the coming weeks as Kirai and crew get some photoshop love and I'll share the files next time, I just don't have the files Mr Neverborn did for me.

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Strategies Dissected - Treasure Hunt

Strategies dissected is my analysis on a particular strategy and which selections I use to optimise my chances. It's based on what I've tried, rather than any sort of web list analysis and isn't necessarily going to net you a win, the best I can suggest is you give it a try and see how it works out for you.

Treasure Hunt

The two points I think you really have to look at with this strategy are the differences in how this plays between the individual and shared versions, and the restrictions on movement it places on the mini once they pickup the treasure.

Between individual and shared modes the number of action points used to pick up that treasure goes from 1 to 2, meaning anything that doesn't have fast is going to spend two turns out in the open just trying to lay claim to that treasure (one activation getting into contact and another picking it up). As an individual scheme it's not nearly as bad because you can pick up that treasure in one turn and be off and walking in turn 2, or better if you can be moved into contact by a push or some other action.

To that end, my personal strategy relies on getting one thing with the 2 AP's remaining to the treasure in turn 1, so it can be picking it up and making its escape in turn 2. Better yet, if you can get a fast something into contact with its 3 aps then you can be making a beeline for you deployment zone in one activation, assuming there's no terrain in the way.

For me right now I have only two models with Fast in my Resser crew, Seamus and the Dead Rider. More on a combo with those two later, as its a riskier proposition, for now let's focus on Seamus and his companion ability.

On a 3x3 board with the treasure smack bang in the centre, your carrier has to cover 12" of terrain on foot before they're in contact.

Sybelle Slingshot
The Sybelle Slingshot, as I've heard it called, relies on a single activation using Seamus, Sybelle and a Rotten Belle. Sybelle is lined up on your deployment line, 6 inches in and directly in line with that treasure. A Belle should be placed directly next to her and Seamus should be setup within 6" of Sybelle. You'll also need a nine of masks or greater in your hand.

In your first activation you activate Sybelle and companion the Belle. Using Seamus's ability 'Belles of the Ball' to give Sybelle +2" walk, you then use both of her normal actions to walk into contact or within 3" of that treasure. For her zero action, now cast 'Call Belle', needing a nine of masks to cast. Now push the Belle into contact with the treasure.

Now Sybelle is done, activate the Belle and pick up that treasure and back up 4" if your on the individual version, or give your opponent some other targets by moving up your crew to support and protect that Belle in the shared version.

This in game shot was taken after my first activation in turn 1. The planned failed only because snowstorm retaliated slaughtering Sybelle and pinning my slingshot belle.

Dead Rider Two-Step
The approach requires Seamus and the Dead Rider and requires two activations and several low cards.

Seamus should be setup 6" in and directly opposite that treasure. The dead rider is setup up to 6" away from Seamus, but also 6" in, straddling that deployment zone.

Activate Dead Rider and use his 0 action to cast adjust purpose, you need a five of anything to get it off. Give him two wounds and it'll adjust his purpose to give him Fast and Terrifying 13. Use his first action to walk in front of Seamus and within 3". Now use his two remaining actions to perform a Mounted Strike on Seamus.

A mounted strike is a 10" push with a scythe strike at any point along the way. As you're in melee range of Seamus, strike him immediately then push 10" towards the treasure (its a push, not a push direct). Seamus is Hard to Wound 2 but the Mounted Strike is a positive flip. Seamus needs to loose the dual but cheat down the damage to only do 3 wounds.

After the dual push the dead rider 10", which should put him just beyond the treasure and use his automatic trigger (Drag Along) to place Seamus within base contact of the dead rider and the treasure.

You now have Seamus on the treasure counter with 3 aps. Activate him next and pick it up and walk, or double walk backwards, depending on if this is the shared or individual version of the strategy.

Use his 0 action to either activate trail of fear, resulting in anything coming to close to either having -2 wp against their respective terrifying roles OR womaniser to activate a belle or Sybelle within 6". This could be used with Sybelle to launch a belle companion chain to act as a shield wall.

Wrap Up
Both of these suggestions rely on wining the initiative and can come unstuck if you're up against a particularly fast crew (Collodi) but they both have the ability to launch a retaliatory strike if you're beaten to the treasure.

Anyway, that's what I've used that's worked but I'm sure as I expand and become more familiar with my Ressers more options might open up. I'll revisit this article if something new comes to light.

Good luck to those Aspiring Ressers who try these out in their games.

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Some Construction Required - Kirai and Crew

Some construction required continues this month with the low down on assembly points if you're looking at putting together a Kirai crew.

First up, here's my Kirai crew as it stands. I'd found some bamboo bases care of Malcontent's effort that looked just perfect. Bamboo as I found out however if fairly difficult to drill into. You tend to find your drill bit slipping until it finds a recess between two bamboo sections. It's just a little fiddlier.

Kirai isn't really an issue to assemble but her avatar form was a different story. I fumbled with the join between Kirai and her spirit form for hours before deciding that there wasn't a good join and a whole lot of green stuff was going to be required.

I had to enlist the help of a friend with significant experience with green stuff shaping to extend the spirits dress, rework the shoulder and he even extended kirai's hair to make it more natural in its position on the bamboo.

Next up were the Shikome with their ridicoulsy long upper arms. I tried to give them two different poses, because I hate duplicate sculpts but both needed strong pinning to achieve.

It goes without saying that you'll need to bend and dry fit until you have a good pose before pinning. I had to pin almost all the way through the chest cavity before I was happy with the strength of the join.

Last up were the Gaki and I'm glad I only opted to do two of these. The shoulder joints were quite fiddly and had to be gently drilled out. You have to drill into the shoulder, not the chest, meaning you don't have a lot of space to work with. It was as I was doing this and dry fitting the arms that I realised how unnatural the pose of the fitted arms would be. A quick bit of web research showed most accept this and I even began to think of this as the natural pose, until I finally looked at the Wyrd web store. There the poses looked a lot more natural and I came to the conclusion that the arms needed to be bent and repositioned to get the same, or at the least, a more natural pose. Some tweaking later and here they are with a little liquid green stuff to fill out the join at the upper bicep.

Well now Kirai and her minions are all assembled its time to turn my attention to Nicodem and his crew of lackeys. Hopefully I'll be able to smash them out before Xmas, in which case I'll share a similar article soon.

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Product Review - Gale Force 9 Crystals

So as some readers may have already glistened I'm in the process of building the second in my themed Malifaux boards, this time a Neverborn board, which I'm calling Crystal Canyons.

Whereas the first board had a heavy emphasis on GW terrain, and say what you will about that company, they do make some awesome terrain, this time around I'm using Gale Force 9 almost exclusively.

Crystal Canyons wouldn't be the same without some crystals and I'd bought 4 sets of the green crystals for a 40k board concept some time ago that were languishing in my pile of shame.

Since I bought these the company has started to offer red and blue colour crystals, which might suit a snow or mars board better.

The set contains 10 crystals of varying sizes and disposition. There are smaller clumps and some bigger standalone crystals. There is one crystal that's obviously designed to sit on its side and another where there's a stump, which could all be crafted into a diorama implying some pretty strong weapons were used on these crystal formations.

The smaller crystals are anywhere between 25 and 35mm in height, whereas the larger crystals are approximately two inches in height.

The models themselves appear to be made from an acrylic or coloured resin, with the colours themselves leaning towards the luminescent end of the colour spectrum. Don't get me wrong, they're not 80's luminescent but I think most games would probably be tempted to repaint these in darker colours. Certainly a straw pole of the product amongst our gaming club committee came to the conclusion these needed painting.

The models also exhibited a lot of air holes and were badly cleaned up. Even if you intended to use these out of the box, there is a mould release agent on most surfaces that would be best washed off before play.

If you're intending to paint these, then prepare for the model to drink your paint. You'll want to use a heavy undercoat and lots of layers or an airbrush. Consider using much darker colours for the first few coats and have lots of it.

In particular, the crystal designed to lay down will need a lot of tidying up and filing down if you intend to stand it up. The surface it lays on as standard is really badly defined and needed a lot of work.

After undercoating you might want to go at these with some liquid green stuff to fill all the air holes, a prospect I think I'm going to have to do if I'm ever going to be satisfied and use these on a board.

All up, this product isn't entirely of the quality I've come to expect from GF9. I can't speak for the newer blue and red crystals, maybe because they were released almost 6 months apart, GF9 has had a chance to improve on the production process, but these earlier edition green crystals disappointed me and members of my local club.

Rating 2.0 out of 5

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

In for a penny, in for a pound - Cancon 2013

Last week as I reminisced over my appalling luck at my first tournament, I turned my attention to the tournament calendar in an effort to give myself a new challenge and a shot at redemption. The problem is, there simply aren't that many Malifaux tournaments in the WA calendar. There's too many other games vying for control and our poor henchmen is swamped at the best of times.

I've been considering running an event myself, but at the moment work is crazy, and I really don't feel I have the time to dedicate to the task.

I turned my attention to the national scene to see if there was anything big coming up. I knew the GT was in August but was there a chance to get at least one more tournament in before that grand outing?

It was as I spied the tournament pages that Cancon leapt out as a contender. Based in our nations capital, some 3700 kilometres from where I live (Perth is the most isolated city in the world), Cancon was offering 2 unbridled days of gaming goodness. Day 1 offers a 4 round 30ss fixed faction tournament and day 2 is offering a brawl and two 35ss games. My heart lifted and I started to daydream about the crowds going wild with applause as I took the top podium spot, spraying myself and the crowd with over priced champagne and being handed a tournament cup the size of a hippo. (A mans gotta have dreams, but my slightly more achievable dream is not to come last)

I was snapped back to reality by the sinking feeling I'd forgotten something very important. As my addled brain came up to speed I realised there were several something's and they all clawed at my podium finish fantasy like a freshly raised zombie at his masters leg.

First was the issue of the distance, national flights vary wildly in price, was it going to be affordable? As I googled flights, my brain finally latched onto the other big something's, the facts that would undoubtedly mean my fantasy would have to remain exactly that. Firstly, the tournament was taking place on Australia Day and secondly it'd be a cold day in hell before I'd get a weekend of gaming goodness, on a public holiday, at the other end of the country, past my misses.

Never let it be said that adversity can't be overcome, all you need to do is sweeten the deal. I looked up Canberra and quickly found info on the national museum, zoo and library. Armed with a multitude of options I then popped the million dollar question... "Honey, how would you like to spend Australia Day watching the fireworks and lapping up the culture in Canberra?

"What's the catch" was the guarded response. Oh how she knows me...

"Well you know how boring I find culture., I thought you could go out and visit the museums, perhaps do a tour, maybe go to the zoo and I'd be at a tournament..." That last bit was said very quietly.

If pregnant pauses could be measured then what followed could easily have had octuplets before breakfast and been up the duff again by elevenses.

"As long as you're free in the evening to take me to dinner and watch the fireworks."

Wait - had hell opened an ice rink? Had Satan opened a winter lodge and was he currently manning the free eggnog stand?

Hell had indeed frozen over.

And as I pen this missive, hopefully I made you laugh along the way, but maybe I helped you appreciate your local gaming scene a little more as well. The next time you think a twenty minute drive to your local club or a mates house is too far, then maybe you'll spare a thought for how far some of us have to go for a game. At the very least it should give you some ideas on how to sweeten the deal with your other halves.

Monday, 5 November 2012

Hobby Project - Crystal Canyons - Part 1

Crystal Canyons is my Neverborn board, a small piece of the badlands life brought together using the following:

- 2 x gale force 9 crystal sets
- 2 x gale force 9 badlands rocks set
- 1 x gale force 9 badlands bluff
- 1 x gale force 9 badlands rocky outcrop
- 1 x Desert settlement from CNC Miniature Scenery
- 9 x MDF coasters from any hobby craft store

Crystal canyons really shaped itself in my mind when I spent an afternoon clearing up my gaming room and then spent some time on flipboard looking at what's new in the hobby. Maybe subconsciously I was thinking about my next project, maybe I just had an urge to add to my pile of shame, maybe the Neverborn seed was sown because suddenly there were the new badlands sets staring me in the face. Before I knew it they'd found their way in to a shopping cart and were mine! More for my pile of shame, well I guess that depends on if the pre painted scheme grabs me...

I wanted to re-paint the crystals to a more Neverborn colour scheme but I really didn't appreciate how much hard work the GF9 crystals were going to be. They are resin so I went at them with a particularly thick undercoat, knowing they'd soak up the paint. This was after filling back the resin and giving them a good soak and scrub in warm soapy water to get rid of any leftover injection mould chemicals.

The crystal bases are made from MDF coasters I found in a craft store. I applied basing sand to these before gluing on the crystals using a hot glue gun and then undercoated all with a thick black undercoat.

Working up from black undercoat each crystal got the following:
- base coat of warlock purple
- first coat of liche purple
- second coat using a 75/25 mix of liche purple and bleached bone

As the first couple of layers went on, the paint continued to soak in, and worse still, taking the crystal back to black exposed lots of previously hidden air holes. It also looked really streaky, so I thinking may have to dig out my airbrush and go at these crystals that way.

I'm hesitant to do anything with bases until my badlands terrain turns up. That should be here next week giving me the opportunity to check it over and work out a paint scheme for the board and the crystal bases.

I also want to find something to represent tumbleweed and cactus on this board. Time to get my Google-Foo on!

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Hobby Update - Kirai and Crew Assembled

The bad weather this weekend has finally given me an opportunity to finish assembling my Kirai crew. I bought the foundation of this crew late last year including the excellent bamboo bases that Malcontent was making and selling back then. It's just taken me almost a year to get the crew to this stage, in fairness, my pile of shame was pretty big back then!
Anyway, here's my crew, now ready to go off to Blue Table Painting. I'm just debating whether to send this lot off or wait until my Nicodem crew is assembled and send it off in one batch early next year. Part of me thinks it'd be good to get it in the post now and take advantage of BTP's kick starter, the other part of me thinks that sending it off now might have issues because it'll mean its being sent back over Xmas. I try to avoid buying or getting anything shipped over the Xmas period as at best it'll be delayed and at worst it'll be lost or damaged.
But anyway here they are:

The crew is made up of Kirai, Avatar Kirai, Lost Love, 5 seisin, 4 Onryo, Datsu-Ba, Ikiyro, Jakume, 2 Gaki and 2 Shikome.
There were a few challenges during assembly, but I'll save that for another article.
I'll also be photoshopping some alternative colour schemes for the Onryo, Seisin and Shikome as there are a few duplicates in this crew and I like to make it very obvious when the crew is fielded, what is what and what's taken what damage.