Monday, July 11, 2011


Strakhov's best friend...

I meant to get this guy finished up for the Lost Hemisphere Blog "Paint the target" in June, but it just didn't happen. Actually, it kinda did happen but I didn't submit the entry, nor finish the base. Anyway, I did snap a few pics finally, and figured I'd post him up here. He's 99% done with painting, and 25% done with the basing. Basically, one solid hour of work and he'll be ready to coat with a protective Matte coating. Hope you like him.

I have played with him once. I really like how well he jive's with Strakhov, espeically his immunities to corrision, fire, and his ability to see through clouds. I'm not sure how competative my list is, but with Strakov, assault kommandos, Grey lord Tenerian, and Gorman, I am pumping out tons of clouds and gas, and him seeing through it is sweet!!!

As a quick aside, I really like PP's idea to create these Jack kits for their existing plastic warjack kits. It's a really cool idea, and while maybe not always as unique as a Drago or Thunderhead, it certainly allows them to pump out more character jacks, which I think is a good thing. What do you think? Would you rather have more character jacks by using a small upgrade kit on the existing plastic jack frame like Torch, or would you rather have fewer 'Jack upgrades, but have them be totally original sculpts like the Avatar of Menoth?

Friday, July 8, 2011


It's been a while, which is ironic since I'm suppose to have more free time in the summer. Funny how that works.

Anyway, I should have a couple posts up over the next week, as unlike my blogging, my gaming has been quite active. The first thing I wanted to share with you was my new Deathwatch mini. I've been playing in a small Deathwatch campaign with Maniple (you can now find his blog here: ) since blogger apparently deleted the old one, his two brothers, fellow blogger FJC, and there buddy Thom. This is really my first foray into RPG's, and I'm enjoying playing it in the 40k universe.

When selecting the team, I was hoping to play a Raven Guard Assault Marine, but one of our group had already rolled up an Assault Marine, so I went with my second choice, which had the 2 advantages of being a) completely unique in our group and b) probably as close to my personality as a Space Marine can get. I rolled up a Tactical Marine, and chose to have him go down the leadership path. We spent an afternoon busting out a ton of Space Marine bits and building our men. I then began painting him, and I'd say he's about 80% complete. Special thanks to FJC for making up the sweet base he's on. It definatly takes the model to the next level, or at least it will once I get it fully painted up. To date, my Tactical Marine Brother Octavian has laid waste to Orks, 'Nids, and some nasty Bloodletters. All in a day's work.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Rubber meets the road

Well, here are the fruits of the faction selection tournament. It's a couple boxes of Hordes: Circle stuff. As you may have picked up, my plan for Circle is twofold. First, I'm going to play Kromac since I think that's the greatest model in the whole Privateer Press stable. Second, I'm going to play models I like, which means plenty of Tharn Barbarians. Here's my opening foray. Newly arrived.:

Hello ladies... and Sir.

This should present a nice start. I plan to sort of slow grow this faction, and in fact, there may be a nice challange going forth on this blog, and a couple others. Stay tuned for details. Coming soon.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Khadorian update

Just a quick, post tournament update to show you whats on my painting table. I've been slowly plugging away at my Khadorian army. I am really enjoying painting these guys, and it's really nice to be out from under the yoke of trying to get a warhammer fantasy army done. Don't get me wrong, nothing looks better than a Warhammer game of fully painted minitures, but man that's rough to paint at times. That being said, I still find myself having to, at some point, decide that table top standard is good enough. I am seeing some improvement in my painting, but it's still tough going with no local store. Hope you enjoy them

a Completed Strakhov, ready to rock

I like these guys better painted than I thought I would

Friday, May 20, 2011

And the winner is

First, the obilgatory Blog apology for not being around lately. Life has been busy... blah blah blah.

(1) Crxy vs. (3) Circle

With that said, let's kick off the championship round. To recap, we have had a defacto champion of both Hordes and Warmachine arise. For the Hordes range, the Circle have beat off all comers to rise to the top of the pack. In warmachine land, the mighty Cryx have run roughshod over all opponents to defend their number one status, going into the match-up. Let's look at how they break down.


This is interesting. I love the cryx warcasters. In fact, of that range, there are maybe two I don't like the look of: Mortenebra and the Coven. Other than that, they are all models I like and would be happy to play. Some of them, PSkarre, P/E Goreshade, and Terminus are some of my favorite caster sculpts in the whole game. I would love to collect and play all those warcasters, which is a huge draw.

On the other hand, the Circle is warlock's are a study in extremes. On one hand, you have my favorite model(s) of any models in the whole PP universe, Kromac. I love this guy. The human sculpt is so sweet, I must at some point own it. There are 2.5 other Warlcoks, I really enjoy. I think Baulder is sweet and I also like Mohsar. The .5 is my anticipated enjoyment of EBaulder. The problem is, I really don't like the sculpts of any of the other locks. I'm interested in Kaya and Krueger, but the sculpts are ugly IMO. I can't stand Cassius, nor do I like the look of Morhvahna. So, their isn't a lot of variety lock-wise. That being said, one could question how many warlock options you need from your second faction. As sweet as Kromac is, there are 6 Cryx Caster's I'd rather own,paint, and play before any one else in the cicle, so i have to give them the edge

Advantage: Cryx


Lot's of goodness on both sides. I consider the models crucial b/c although I like winning, and having a competative army, I much perfer to have an army I love the look of. This is mostly due to the fact that I spend considerable more time painting and modeling than I get to game. Also, I suffer from some misguided desire to not use the most powerful and dominate force, unless it's actually my favorite. Model wise, both have strong options. For the Cryx, I love the look of most of their non-deathchicken jacks. Notible credit for the Skorpian themed Reaper.

The units are solid, with my personal favorites being the bane knights and thralls, as well as the Withershade. Cryx solos are pretty solid as well, with special mention to Tartarus and the Skarlock. I really do like undead pirate theme of the army overall. The one draw back to the force is I'm getting a bit sick of painting armor plated jacks, especially b/c I feel like I don't really hav the skill set to do it as well as I'd like. It's daunting to start a new faction of that.

For the Circle, I really like some of the beasts. The Gnarlhorn and Feral Warpwolf are amoung my favorites. I think the constructs are just fine, especially the Wold Guardian, who I constantly confuse with Megalith, b/c in my mind If I was going to call someone MEGAlith, it'd be the Wold Guardian model. The units are sweet. Of particular interest to me are the Tharn. Sticking to my love affair with Kromac, I'm a huge fan of the Tharn Ravengers and Blood Trackers. Solowise, Lord of the Feast is super cool as is the Ravenger Whitmane. I like the nature feel of the Circle. I'm not a huge fan of the wood elf-esque portions of the faction, but I like that they have expanded to all aspects of nature. I also feel like a few models are sort of outdated for PP's standards and show their age, and I really look forward to some of the new releases for the faction. Overall, it's really tough to call. I'm very tempted to call this a draw, but I think the cryx armor plats mixed with the sweet Tharn models force me to pick Circle

Advantage: Circle

Cost Effectiviness

Confession time, I own some Cryx. I had originally, well before this tourny, bought some to use as a second force for teaching the game. I bought a battle box, Skarre, and a pistol wrath. So, from a cost effectiveness standpoint, there's a point for Cryx. It's unlikely I could convert those models to an equivalent set of Circle models. That aside, the Cryx seem much cheaper to me. First, they have a plastic jack. Next, I can use their battle box models. Based on the lists I've made with Circle, the battle box doesn't fit into that. Additionally, the models I want for Circle are all super expensive. Starting with the caster ($30) and an infantry unit that goes for around $50. Compare that to my favorite Cryx caster, Skarre at less than $10. One other factor, is the way PP does expansions. They put out one book, with new stuff for all factions of Warmachine or Hordes. If I collect Cryx, I only have to pick up the Warmachine expansions (like Wrath) to have the new stuff for my Khador and Cryx army. Now, will I probably pick up new Hordes expansions anyway, yeah, probably, but I don't have too, and certainly won't feel the need to get it as soon as it release. Where as, if I have a Hordes faction, I'll want it right away. As an aside, I know this is an expensive hobby. I've been doing this long enough to accept that, however, resources are finite, so I think I'd be lying if I didn't mentino this consideration, b/c it is one. Clearly, cost effectiviness goes Cryx.

Advantage: Cryx


Both armies have playstyles that are quite different from Khador's big armor, big axes, big trouble for you style. I love the souls, incoporeal, and undead aspects of Cryx. I also enjoy the movement shinnanigans and tricks of the circle force. I dont' really have enough experence with playing with or against either, so I can't really call which I would enjoy better. The crucial thing is that both seem to be much different from Khador, which is something I'm looking for in a second army. Dang you Skorne!

Advantage: Draw


This is basically a catch-all for things about the faction that really want to make me play them. I'll discuss a bit for both.

Cryx has a lot of cool fluff. That sounds lame, but I do like the idea of the 13 pirate kings and the all powerful Dragon (Turok) trying to take over the world. I can totally get into that. I also love the undead theme. I've always wanted to have an undead army, and this is the first one in a game system to play in a style that I think woudl be really fun. I also like to challange the norms a lot, and Cryx is a great faction, but I'd love to use them and play some of the less obvious units and casters. I think that's fun and challanging. I also think PSkarre is a great model, and I'd love to build a force around her. On the downside, I've heard some of the Cryx models are a terror to assemble, and I will confess that assembling models is my least favorite thing to do.

Circle is a hordes faction. I can't stress enough the alure of getting into that game. I have some buddies playing Hordes, and as a facilitator of our group (we have no store locally) I'd like to learn the aspects of that game that make it different so I can help those guys out. Further, a big part of me starting a second force now (instead of building up Khador a bit more) is so I can demo the game, and grow the hobby locally. While many woudl argue it makes sense to have two of the same faction, I know Warmachine and its models won't appeal to everyone, so I want a hordes faction to showcase that side. Also, Kromac and the Ravengers are sort of the Barbarian army I've always wanted to play, but never really seen in another system. To be fair, I get the GW Chaos mortal thing, but I hate Chaos and won't play it. I also feel like my painting skills will look much better on Circle beasts, and that's a huge draw as well. On the down side, I do feel that some circle models really show their age, and I would defiantly stay away from them. Also, do people really like the Extreme Feral Warwolf? I wouldn't buy it for $5 honestly. Gotta go with the desire to play Hordes though

Advantage: Circle

overall, it's a close and tough call. I could literally see myself going with either faction and being happy. In fact, if/when I expand to a third faction, I fully expect myself to choose the loser of this match-up. In the end, aesthetically, it's too close to call. Circle has a few models that are my absolute favorites in any range, but Cryx has so many great models, their quantity more than makes up for it, especially since I find some Circle models to be real dogs (no pun intended, though it's a good one). Cost is a factor, but at the end of the day, it's an expensive hobby, so can I really quibble over an extra $40? Probably not. I think what this really comes down to is my desire to go with a Hordes faction. This is such a close thing, that I almost ought to pick it randomly. However, I won't do that. I have to make a decision. So, that being said, the winner is....


again, both are great factions. Both bring a lot to the table, in the end it was my desire to play a Hordes faction that pulled it out for the boys in green. This will lead conviently to some future posts that are upcoming, with an exciting new feature here on combat resolution.

ps - anybody whose interested in swapping for a nicely assembled but completed unpainted Cryx battlebox, PSkarre, and a pistol wraith, let me know.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Tournment - end in sight

Ok, this is cheap, but I'm a busy guy, so let's cut to the fat. I have four factions left. In their current contests, it might be fairly close, b/c each one of them has strengths I like, and versus each other, they are an equal match. So like in Cryx v Trolls, Trolls have a shot b/c of my strong desire to play a Hordes Faction vs my love of the Cryx models. In the Circle v Mercs, my love of the interchangability of the Mercs is up against the desire to play a Hordes faction, especially one with my favorite caster. These are semi-tough, but honestly, I probably know the winners.

However, when you compare the warmachine factions together, and the Hordes against each other, a curious thing happens. It becomes very clear who the winners would be. In fact, it's not even close. Both winners are clear run aways, so I figured instead of laborious going through each faction, I'd rather just tell you and put the top two into the final. Then I can spend my time and focus debating them. b/c honestly, it's a real toss up. So here's the other match-ups

Cryx v Mercs - easy win for Cryx
Trolls v Circle - easy win for Circle

Thus the true, hard to call final looks like this (1) Crxy vs (3) Circle see ya soon with hopefully a good post!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Final 4

Here we are with the next installment of the New Faction Tournament. It's time to finish up our final 4, and set those match-ups. Let's begin...

(3) Circle Orboros vs (11) Cygnar

Classic match-up here of the Cinderella darling versus the highly-ranked powerhouse. Certainly the Cygnarians have to feel fortunate to find themselves into the elite 8, being much maligned coming into the tournament. The Circle on the other hand has cruised to an easy first round victory and is looking to do so again. I hate to cheat you, the avid reader, of the drama, but this isn't going to go well for the men in blue. Coming into the tourny I really wasn't a big fan of Cygnar, probably owing to my alligence to Khador, my preference for up close combat versus ranged attacks, and my disdain for most of the lanky Cygnarian 'Jacks. I was suprised as I dug deeper into the faction though to learn about the variety of play styles they have, as I really, really dig the lightning aspect (Thor FTW) of the faction, and the models that go with them. I'm still not a fan of the jacks, although I'll admit I find the Thunderhead to be really cool. It was upon closer inspection that I also realized how many of the Cygnar casters that I think are generally cool models. So, some cool casters, some fun with lightning, and the fact that I love the concept of the trenchers makes Cygnar a strong contender, but they aren't going to win.

There are really 3 factors that really make this a run-away for Circle. First off, one of my local buddies picked up a pretty serious Cygnar force, and in a small community, variety is key. Second, as much as I like some of the Cygnar models, Circle has a model that outclasses it in ever respect, including my favorite model in the game (TBA later). Finally, I have a strong desire to get a Hordes faction, so a Warmachine army really has to out class a Hordes army to advance by them. Cygnar fails to do this.
Things end for Finn just like they did for Tony Montoya

Winner (3) Circle Orboros

(4) Skorne vs (5) Trolls

This is by far the tightest match of the tournament thus far. Let me give you a little insight into each faction first.

Skorne, visually is probably my second favorite faction from head to toe behind only Khador. there are a few models I don't like, such as the Agoniser, Makeda, and the Basalisks. But overall, it's an army that I think is just super, super cool looking. Their casters are awesome, their warbeasts (Titans and Cyclops) are fantastic, and the units are super cool: who doesn't like them mix of vampires, roman legions, and samauri. It's so great. They also have a heavy close combat lean, which I also like. However, I quickly realized that Skorne, while certainly have a few differences, felt a heck of a lot like the Khador of Hordes, right down to the predominatly red color scheme. The whole purpose of a second faction is to have a little diversity, so this is a huge strike against skorne. Another issue is one of best friends just picked up Skorne for his faction, so again, in a small community like ours, that's a negative for the Skorne.

Trolls... hmm. Where to begin. I started off hating the trolls. I just don't care that much for the giant chins/jowls, and I especially hate the female models. However, much the Ogre Kingdom for GW, as I started to read the fluff, and thought of alternate paint schemes, I began to come around. From what I can read, they are a very fun faction to play, and they are seen as the protaganist in most of the fluff, which is definatly something I can get behind. Furthermore, after looking a little closer on battle college, I discovered how much I aboslutely love their warbeasts. Their are big, they are cool, and they have awesome sculpts. The blitzer and bomber are almost worth owning regardless of whether or not you even play trolls. I don't love a lot of the casters (issue) but I will say that Hoarluk and Madrak are pretty sweet, and I'd put the new sculpt of Madrak on par with the Butchers new scuplt, which to me is just sick. I also enjoy their light warbeats, and while they are close combat oriented, they seem to rely on buffs which provides enough difference from Khador to make it feel like a different style of faction. Consequently, they've been steadily rising in my mind since then, and this catapulted them to their #5 seed.

So in the end, the fact that my buddy has Skorne and that it seems like Skorne is Khador with Fury, are going to tip the scales for Trolls. It's shocking really. At first blush, a few months ago, I would have said Skorne would have been my number 1 choice for a second faction, and Trolls would have been almost dead last (still ahead of the horrible elves of course), but I suppose that's why I'm doing this, to force myself to go in depth a bit, and really look at all the aspecsts of the faction. That being said:
Winner (5) Trolls

so here is the brackets as they sit now. We have our Final Four established, as well as the match-ups. With the 1, 2, 3, and 5 seeds still left, the next rounds promise to be very hard fought. As such, the final three match-ups will each get their own post, and be much more in depth. See you then!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Painting Table update

Thought I'd throw a couple of my models on here that I've been putting the finishing touches on. The first shot is my battle group. I'm not a huge Skorsha fan so I've replaced her with Strakhov, who with the Butcher, are my two favorite casters in Khador. Strakhov is a fantastic sculpt, and I've had a lot of fun putting him together and painting him. I apoloize for the pic quality on all these, as a) I'm a poor photographer, b) I have no light box and c) I took these with my Droid camera b/c I was short on time and it's the easiest way to post them. I really wanted to capture the bases, as that's pretty much what I've touched up and finished since last time.

Next up is a close-up of Strakhov's base. I'm going for a Tundra feel. I don't love them, but i'm fairly happy overall. Any thoughts or suggestions are definatly open.

finally, one of my goals with Warmachine, since it's so many fewer models than Warhammer is to take the time to model up effects for the table top. I don't just want to put a 4" circle on the table to represent rough terrain for the spell "Rift" or put a 3" pringles lid down to represent smoke from Gorman di Wulfe. I want to model that stuff up. I've started out by modeling the effect for rift and a couple wrecked Jack markers. The markers are still pretty rough, but I'm almost done with the rift marker. I was going to paint in between the rocks to look like lave, but I think it's a little more hassle than I want, and I kinda like black, as it looks like deep crevaces. I'm not totally done yet, I want to hit one more highlight, but I'm pretty happy with it so far. Comments welcome
On my table right now is a unit of assualt Kommandos with Flame Thrower UA. Also Gorman is fairly close to being done. I'll hopefully have some pics of those units soon, then it's on to the butcher 2010, which is an absolute beast model! Can't wait.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

A newbie's guide to starting Warmachine

Let me preface this post by saying that I am no expert on this subject. I have been gaming for 15 years in minitures games, but most of that was spent in GW products. Recently I've become fed up for a variety of reasons, and currently find myself getting very excited about and into Warmachine and Hordes. As any good gamer should, I have convinced some of my buddies around here to get into the game with me. These guys ARE NOT miniture war gamers, and previous to now, have not ever owned any minitures or miniture games. I tried to create a sort of checklist primer for them, for how to get into miniture wargames, and Warmachine/Hordes
specifically. I fully realize there are a lot of ways to do this, and a lot of techniques. I'm simply suggesting this as one way for someone totally new to the hobby to get involved. With some small modifications, this is also how I'd get into Warhammer, 40K, Malifaux, or even Dystopian Wars. Read it and let me know what you think.

The idea is the following info is a check list. You can plug yourself in, wherever you are on the list. There are various ways to do this, but this is how I would do it, assuming the following things are true.

You desire to collect a playable force in Warmachine
You want to paint and assemble your own force
You want to learn the ins and outs of the game
You are new to miniature war games

(1) The first step is to pick a faction that interests you. Warmachine is completely compatible with the game Hordes. Between the two, there are 11 different factions as well as a few sub-factions within those. That means that there is a force that's playable for everyone. There are lots of factors that go into selecting a force such as looks, theme, background story, power level, and play style, but I think the most important ones, especially when starting the hobby are the look of the models. You are going to spend a ton of time painting them, and if you don't like the models, that's not good. The second key aspect is play style. Is it a melee "beat face" army, is an army full of tricks and gimmicks, is it a long range shooter army, if you can figure these out, you can pick one that plays your style. A great resource for seeing the models and learning about play style is Battle College

(2) The next step, once you've decided on a force is to purchase some models. Most armies have a battlebox or Warpack, which are basically a Warcaster (mandatory for all games) and a couple warjacks/warbeasts. This is a great deal b/c it gives you a relatively balanced force to play with at a reduced price. It may not have all the high powered models, and it may not be the exact warcaster you want, but it's such a great starting point, it's hard to pass up. If there is not battle box, you've got to do some buying on your own. As a short aside, I am assuming you know someone with the rulebook. If not, you should buy it. Also, the rulebook is very affordable, and every Warmachine player should have a rule book (Warmachine or Hordes depending on your faction) at some point. You may substitute it at any point in the following list I provide. I've done some discussion of this subject elsewhere, but let me give a short synopsis of what I'd purchase and in what order. Battle box, alternate caster (if you don't love the battle box one, otherwise skip this), the Force book (which details background and all model rules for your force), a unit of your choice, a solo or two, if you have money to spend another unit or warjack/warbeast, and go on from there. Shoot for 20 points to start, if you have the funds. Remember, if you get the Faction book, you can learn more about the units, solos, and extra warjacks/warbeasts available before you spend money on them. That's really, really smart.

(3) Next is purchasing modeling supplies. All these models will be provided unassembled. There are some basic supplies you need to get started. I highly recommend buying these supplies at a Wal-mart or hobby shop like Hobby Lobby. That will save you tons of cash. The basics you need are super glue (Gorilla glue from Wal-Mart is great), an exact-o knife, plastic glue (testers model glue works great) and some files for filing off mold lines and extra metal flashing. Remember, this is an initial start up cost that stinks, but you'll be able to use this stuff for a long time.

(4) Buying paint supplies. If you want to paint the models, and believe me, you do, you need to have the painting supplies. There is tons of painting advice out there, and lots of people better than me, but here's how I'd start. First, you need a primer to prime the models. Black works awesome. It can have some issues if you plan to have lots of white on your model, but for beginning painters, nothing is better than a black primer. It will make your painting look 5x better. I recommend going to Wal-mart and getting Krylon black primer. Cheap and good to use. Next, you need colors. Do not skimp on this and do not try to use Testers model paints. It will be a disaster. Beginners need to use miniature paint produced by miniature companies. For Warmachine/Hordes, I think it's easiest to buy the privateer press starter sets they offer for each faction. It's a collection of 6 paints that should help you do a basic color scheme of your faction, which will be outlined in your force book. I have seen this used to great effect by a first time painter. From there, you add additional colors you need as you go along. For brushes, I would recommend getting 2 hobby brushes from the same place you get your miniatures and miniature paint. The are expensive, but well worth it. I would also get a pack of small, cheap brushes from a hobby lobby or Michael's as well

(5) Assembling models. It’s not time to put your models together. Plastic on plastic can use the tester’s plastic glue. Metal on metal, or metal on plastic needs to use super glue. Before you glue stuff together, use your knife and files to file off any flashing (excess metal) or mold lines you see on the model. This is the most frustrating and time consuming process for new people to the hobby, and its super tempting to skip right to gluing and painting. Don't, b/c those lines and flashing will really look bad once paint goes on. Once it's cleaned, you can glue together. Really complex or heavy parts may need to be pinned. If you can't get a piece to stay glued, Google "pinning". Most models don’t' have to have this done. Models can be glued to their base at this time, which helps in a lot of ways for beginners.

(6) Play some small games. Now, this step can occur at any point once you've assembled your figures. And ideally, it should continue during the next few steps. I've simply put it here b/c as soon as your models are assembled, you are good to go on playing. I absolutely think it is best to play with painted models, but I do not think it's best to wait to play until you've painted your models, so play away. To play, what you will need is a copy of the rulebook and/or an experienced player to show you the ropes. Both are the best. You also need your models, duh. You need some tokens to represent fury or focus. These can be anything from scraps of paper to glass beads you see on wedding reception tables to official (read expensive) game markers. You need a few 6 sided dice (standard dice). 6 seems to be more than enough, with two working in a pinch. You need the cards that come with the game models, which should be placed in clear card sleeves. You then need a dry erase marker to mark on the cards, which you have in sleeves so you can wipe the cards off, and play with them again. Finally, you will probably need a copy of the templates, but you can shell out the cash for this or simply photocopy them from the back of the rule book. I recommend this for people already outlaying a lot of money. Terrain is important of the game, but to start with, this could be some soup cans and boxes of dry food. Not nearly as impressive, but you're learning. When playing games, I strongly suggest starting off with some battle box games. This means, even if you bought some extra stuff (which if you had the money you did) just play with what comes in the battle box. That usually means you have your caster and 1-4 jacks/beasts. That’s a great size to learn the game, and not get too overwhelmed. Especially if you are brand new to miniature games. If you start too big, your brain will fry and your experience will be poo.

(7) Priming is the next step. This is very intimidating, and while your initial paint job may not be the best, the best way to become a better painter is to paint. Cliché' but true. The first step is to prime your models black. The whole model should be coated, but be careful to not spray so long and thick that you obscure detail. Again, countless videos on how to do this, but common sense should be fine. Don't be afraid to give it a quick spray, and come back for a second coat.

(8) Painting. I've already outlined what you need to paint. Don't forget to have a old cup with water so you can wash out your brush between colors or when it's going dry. I suggest having a water cup for both regular paints and metallic paints, as the metallic have shiny stuff in them that you don't want in your regular paint. Having a paper towel to wipe excess paint on is good too. The biggest thing with painting is just start. I've been painting for 15 years, and I'm not very good, however, my stuff looks fine on the table top, and I now really, really enjoy the process. It's very enjoyable and therapeutic for me to paint. It seems daunting, but just start. As an aside, I really like listening to podcasts while I paint. I listen to nerd podcasts about gaming and warmachine, as well as ones about soccer and NFL football. If podcasts aren't your thing, you might try digital books or even movies you know by heart. It makes the process even more enjoyable.

(9) Basing. The last step is to add a basing material to your model's base. It's amazing how much this little step can add to your model and make your paint job pop. Below average painted models can look 5x's better with a base. Basing is the process of adding a flock (like they use for train sets) to the base. I usually apply a while Elmer’s glue, glue some flock down and let dry. Then I water the Elmer’s down, apply a very wet, milk like coat, and let that dry. Once that's done, you'll be impressed. Basing can be a very involved and complex process, but you'll learn that as you go. For your first models, keep it simple.

(10) Varnish. The last step is to spray a varnish on the models. The varnish dries clear, and protects the paint job you've done. I prefer a matte varnish, as a glossy makes the model too... umm... glossy. This process is still one I'm struggling with, and sometimes the matte varnish can turn your models a bit cloudy, which sucks. This is an important step, and protects your paint job (from wear and tear while playing) as well as your basing. I suggest just using a krylon matte varnish, and if you want more details, Google it and learn from those much wiser than I.

(11) Buy more crap. As you go, you will want to increase the size of your force, as well as buy stuff that is more effective for your play style. That is normal. I suggest getting some games in, reading some fluff, and trolling the internet a bit to figure out what you want. If you are like me, and on a limited budget, early on you need to strike a balance between getting a decent size force and not buying a bunch of stuff you will end up not using or wanting. That's why, even if I had a bunch of money to spend, I'd buy the battle box, a unit, a solo, and my favorite faction caster model. That's it. Save the rest of the money once you know what you want. Plus, if you've never painted before, the more models you buy, the more daunting getting it all painted will seem. Trust me, less is more!!! Besides models, this is the time to start pimping your other stuff. Maybe pick up the real warmachine/hordes templates. Expand your paint collection from 6 pots to 10. Get another brush. Buy some extra basing material. Get some special dice. Make terrain or you own gaming board, etc. Just remember, this hobby will gobble up as much cash as you will give it. Be smart, and be patient. Don't expect to have everything a guy like me, who’s been in the miniature gaming hobby for 15 years, has.

Ok, that's it. If you follow these steps, you will be on your way to playing warmachine. A couple points. The internet is your best and worst friend. It has amazing tutorials, great pictures, and lots of strategy. It also has a lot of idiots who profess to know all there is to know on everything. Take stuff with a grain of salt, especially tactics stuff. If you want to collect a unit, and people say they are crap, get the unit. Play what you want. Learn the game with the stuff you want. Remember too, this is a community hobby. If you have questions, ask. There are tons of people, including myself, that would be happy and flattered to answer any questions you might have.

Plug yourself in on this chart and have at it. Remember what I said, I'm no expert. I'm not saying this is the best way to do this, but it's a way. Give it a shot, and modify it to taste by all means.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Narrowing the Field

Hello, and welcome to the next installment of my pick-a-faction tournament. It's taken me long enough that we've actually, ironically, gotten into the real March Madness, which reminded me I needed to get my next post up. I've got two match-ups for you today.

(1) Cryx vs (9) Pirates

The first match-up in the round of 8 is a pretty lopsided. I don’t want to focus on the Cryx too much, as they’ll be getting their due later, so let’s look at why the Pirates aren’t going to survive this round.

Pirates are cool, but I’m not a pirate guy per say. I like many of the models in here, but overall It’s obviously a fairly limited range. Captain Phineaus Shae is a decent model, but for pirates, he’s all you have. Another big draw is the cannon, which in game mechanic terms is pretty beast, but to be honest I don’t love the model and I’m not that keen to put artillery into play in the game anyway. I do enjoy the idea that all the various solos and pirate characters synergize welll with each other, and create some really cool and amazing combos. That’s a

definite plus. Ultimately the biggest nail in the pirates coffin the is the fact they are part of the Mercs faction, and the Mercs are still in play. Why confine myself to a very specific part of the faction, when I can take a more expanding look at the faction. So, It’s a little cheesy, but I can eliminate the pirates without totally eliminating them, so they are out. Let me also say though, there is a reason the Cryx are a #1 seed. I love this faction, so it was always going to be an uphill battle for the Pirates.

Decent pirate leader

Fantastic Pirate leader

Winner (1) Cryx

(2) Mercs vs (7) Gators

The Mercs and Gators are an interesting match-up. The Gators are a fairly new faction having just been codified in the new Minion book. They’ve got a limited selection of troops and casters due to that newness. The Mercs, for a long time, enjoyed or perhaps suffered a similar status as the Gators. They were seen as a not-quite-a-faction faction. Now, with the release of their new book, they seem to have enough casters, fluff, and troops to be considered a true faction.

Both factions have excellent models. The Gators warcasters are limited to two, but I’d be happy to own either or both. They are great sculpts with lots of character. The Mercs on the other hand, have a good selection of warcasters, and they are really great too. In fact, 2 in particular are very intriguing to me. I love Captain “Broadsides” Bartello. It’s a great sculpt, and defiantly the kind of Captain I love seeing. I’m also a fan of the Magnus sculpts, both his prime and epic form, and I’m alos intrigued by his fluff. I’d give a nod to the Mercs here. As for Jacks and Beasts, it’s a draw. The Gators have some cool beasts, but they don’t have a lot of them. The mercs have a few cool Jacks like the Nomad and the Mule, but there are also a lot lemons as far as my tastes go. The troops is a clear advantage For the Mercs. I don’t rate the Gatormen Posse sculpts, and a lot of their allies are models I don’t like. On the Merc side, I love the steel heads, many of the solos, and pirate troops.

For the X factor, I see a drawback for the Gators and a plus for the Mercs. For the Gators I have to knock them down a bit, b/c although I think they look fantastic on the website, I’ve got a lot of concerns about being able to paint the gator skin in a manner that I will be happy with. For the Mercs, the X factor is defiantly how well they synergize with my Khadorian forces. What’s great about having a Merc force is if you have a warmachine army, many of the units and solos will work for you other army, given me great cross over compatability and utility. This is even more prevenlent with the new Warmachine releases from Wrath. The Mercs are a great value and a cool faction. The Gators are cool, but just a little too unfinished to be my back up faction. Gotta go with the Mercs here

Get him a bit more support and I'd love to own him!

Winner: (2) Mercs

Well, with those 2 match-ups in the book, we need to take a look at the latest brackets. These match-ups were on opposite sides, so despite having 2 of the Final Four set, we don't have a confirmed match-up for the next round yet. Tune in soon for the next two match-ups which promise to be much closer run affairs I assure you.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The Elite 8

well, this tournament has been pretty enjoyable for me to think about, but I do realize I haven't given the early rounds as much coverage as I want. The demands of a certain 8 week old little girl have seen to that. That being said, I'm enjoying it, and even if I do a bit of a fast forward through some matches, I think that will be ok. Hopefully it won't disappoint the 2 people reading this. haha.

(6) Everblight vs (11) Cygnar

It's cinderella time. When I first started this thinking about this, I found myself thinking two interesting things. First, I disliked Cygnar enough that I almost ranked them last. Second, I considered Legion an early dark horse because back in Warhammer Fantasy I'm a dark elf player, and I love the contrast in play styles between Legion and my base faction, Khador. In retrospect, I was wrong. First off, what I didn't realize about Cygnar is they have some awesome models. I love 5 of their warcasters, including Siege Brisbane and the Han Solo-esque Allister Caine. Addititionally, I love the Thunderhead, trenchers and attatchments, and the strom blades. All are great models. On the legion side, I can find 3 casters whose looks I can stomach, including both Thragoshes, and really only E Thaggy is a model I really love. I do like the Nyss, but overall, I'm just not too keen on the Beasts, for much the same reason I never fancied the 40K Tyranids. It's just not a really good visual range, to me. Furthermore, I love the trencher theme and the lightening theme of Cygnar. Either would definatly be a theme I would try to build around. Overall, not a huge fan of Cygnar's long armed jacks, they look a little too weak to me, but I'd take them over the Legion Beasts. I do like the Legion Fluff though, and the play style definatly has appeal. However, in the end Cygnar just has too many more cool models, and the playstyle is different enough from Khador that I think it could be very Fresh.
Stop: Hammer time

Winner: (11) Cygnar

(8) Pirates vs (9) Pigs (Thornfall Alliance)

I'm not really a big pirate vs ninja guy. Pirates are ok. I liked the Johnny Depp movies, but I've always been much more of a Master and Commander guy rather than a Jolly Rodger guy. Still, I will confess an affinity for the Privateer Press models. They have a lot of character, and some of them are pretty cool looking to boot. I like Phinneus Shae, and it sounds like bringing the Commodore Cannon would be a ton of fun. I'm not counting Bartolo Montador amoung these guys, but if I did, that'd be another huge bonus. I love that model a ton, as you'll hear about once the Mercs have their first match-up. on the otherside, I'm not a huge fan of the piggies. They don't have a lot of models yet, and the ones they do have are, eh... The two notable exceptions are Lord Carver and the War Hog which are both AMAZING models and almost enough to bring me into the faction, if there weren't so many other great choices. Also, I must admit, I'm a sucker for humans. I always choose humans when I can for things b.c I feel like I can get into the character of them, as opposed to playing the role of Bacon. In the end, the pirates have been around slightly longer, have a better theme (to me), and more choice.
This Model is almost BA enough to buy a faction for...

Winner (8) Pirates

and with that, we have advanced to the elite 8. The pretenders are gone. I will probably speed through the next round a bit too, and save the real detailed match-ups for the final four. See ya soon, and be sure to look below for the next round match-ups.

Monday, February 28, 2011

more painting

Still working on my Cygnar v Legion results. In the meantime, I've been doing some painting. The following is a test model for my Assault Kommando Unit. I don't necessarily love the models mostly due to their weird helmets and some of the poses, but I wanted to have some, since they are Strakhov's unit, and necessary for any Tier force I might do. However, I'm finding that in painting them, I'm at least getting to a place where I can live with them. Let me know what you think, or any suggestions you might have. This guy is about 75% done.

A little dark, but you get the idea

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Moving right along

In looking over the brackets, it dawned on me that a couple of the next match-ups were pretty one-sided. Additionally, I didn't want to spend a ton of time highlighting all the benefits of some of the winning factions, only to repeat myself later when they were in a real dog fight. So what I thought I'd do is run through three lopsided match-ups with this post, and explain more why the faction that lost, lost, rather than why the winner won.

Match-up 2: (4) Skorne vs (13) Retribution of Scyrah
I absolutely can't stand the Retribution. I like the idea, and in truth I applaud PP for such a radical departure, conceptually, from all their other stuff. The problem is, it has a very anime type feel, and I can't stand anime. I would go so far as to say I loathe it with every fiber of my being. That being said, these models are an absolute wash for me. I can't even begin to get into the fluff or play style b/c I know I wouldn't paint a single model in this range. No cinderella story this time.
I hate you Anime
Winner: (4) Skorne

Match-up 3: (5) Trollbloods vs (12) Rhulic Dwarves
I just don't like the Dwarves jacks to be honest. I'm ususally not a fan of dwarves/hobbits in general, but sometimes I can enjoy the right models, and PP has some nice Dwarf infantry. In addition, it's not the most cost effective faction given that there is not battlebox. But honestly, Dwarf sized jacks just aren't doing it for me. This is even more potent when compared to the sweet Troll warbeasts like Mauler and Bomber. Also, it's a very limited faction since really, it's a part of a faction that many people, until recently, didn't even consider a faction. All in all, too limited.
I'm digging the British Hats!
Winner (5) Trollbloods

Match-up 4: (7) Blindwater Congregation vs (10) Protectorate of Menoth
Well, this probably is a bit closer than I'm letting on, but I simply can't pick Menoth. There are a couple reasons. First, our fledgling Warmachine community already has 3 guys who have bought Menoth stuff. I don't want to add to that type of gluttany. Second, I'm not a big fan of the models. They have a few models that are amazing such as Amon Ad'Raza, the Paladin of the Wall, the Alligiant, and the Knights Exemplar. But many of them, I just don't rate. Also, the fluff just doesn't do much for me. I just can't get into the religious fanatic mindset. Third, I just don't get a sense of excitment from the faction and it's play style.

Too bad Menoth doesn't have more of these guys!

Winner (7) Blindwater Congregation

So, the current Bracket looks like this:

Now that we have all the "gimme's" out of the way, next time we'll have our first real match-up: (6) Everblight vs (11) Cygnar.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Modelling updates

well, I've been a bit slammed lately so I'm still putting the finishing touches on the next round in my warmachine "pick a new faction" Tourney. Until I get that up later this week, I thought I'd throw up a few pics of my fledgling Khador Force. I've got 2 'Jacks completely painted, although they still need based. I don't know what I want to do "base-wise" yet, so if you have a thought, drop it in the comments!

Here is an inside and outside shot of the 'Jacks. I am doing a bit of an alternate Khador scheme obviously. Let me know what you think.

Next up is the maneater. He's probably 95% done. Just a couple straps left to do here and there. This was a really, really fun model to paint. Sorry for the poor lighting, but in person, I really think the skin looks very nice on this model.
here is a couple real works in progress. My 2 favorite Khadoran casters, as mentioned previously are Strakhov and the Butcher. So I've been painting up Strakhov, with the Butcher waiting in the wings. Also, I had to make an early purchase on one of my favorite models in the whole range, the Merc Gorman di Wolfe. Not only does he look sweet, he synergizes well with Strakhov. As a side note, I love the model but hate the breathing aparatus, so I cut it off. I like it much better that way.

And a close up of the just the main man himself.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Match 1 - Khador v Circle

Time for the first match-up in my choosing a new faction tournament. If you're not sure whats going on, see my previous post. The first match-up features the #3 seed Circle Orboros versus the #14 seed, Khador.

Now, if you read my first post, you know th
is isn't really a fair fight. My primary faction is Khador, so obviously, my second faction isn't going to be Khador (thus they got the lowest seed). However, I thought it was important to include them for two reasons. First, some of my friends might be reading this blog to learn a little bit more about Warmachine, and so for completion's sake, I'd like to make sure I address my favorite faction. Second, I felt I could use this match-up as a demonstration of how I will look at each faction when determining a winner for each round. So for this match-up, I will save my thoughts on Circle until the next round, and just concentrate on explaining each criteria I'll use, and how Khador stacks up to that criteria.

I should point out, as a veteran miniture
s player, I will be placing a fair amount of weight on the modeling aspect of the factions. Play style is big, value for a buck is big, background is important, but I've learned over the years I spend a heck of a lot of time modeling and painting, so you'll see a bit more weight applied to those aspects as I go through. If you don't like what your painting, it's a project that's not going to get done.

Warcasters/Warlocks: Its the meat of th
e game. Every game must involve one one of these guys, if not more. Additionally, in this system, swapping out your warcaster can make a huge difference in how the army plays. I'm not sure there is another game around where a $7 to $20 purchase can make such a drastic change in how your army plays. For this reason, it's critical to have not just one, but a few casters you're excited to play. Obviously, the more casters I like, the more incentive there is to play that faction. Additionally, since a caster is the life of the army, having an caster who I like the look and fluff of can dramatically "make" the army.

Khador has a ton of casters I love. My favorites by far are Strakhov and The Butcher. As soon as I decided on Khador I knew I needed to pick up Strakhov. He's a great model with a super cool background. I love that he's an assault kommando leader, and he gun and trench knife are too cool. Fro theom a gaming standpoint, I was really intrigued by his ability to ignore cloud effects, and the fact that he was a new model when I got into the game let me feel like I was getting in on the ground floor of at least one part of the army. The Butcher is one of the coolest models I've ever seen. His play style seems a bit too straight forward to me, but he's got such a great model and fluff, how could you not like him. Additionally, I love Irusk, Vlad, and Karchev as well. I'm not as interested in the Khador ladies, but to fair I'd not be oppossed to playing any of them either. The only warcaster model Khador has that I don't immediatly love or at least like, is the Old Witch, and to be fair, I've not given her much of a look over.

Cost Effectiveness: This category looks at the cost effectiveness of collecting a faction. It's never cheap getting into a miniatures game, but it's always nice if you can save a few bucks. The most relevant factor in this category would be the usefulness of the battle boxes. While I don't pretend to know enough to speak totally to the power levels of each box, certainly choosing a faction with a battle box caster and/or models I want to use is cost effective, since they are a discounted buy. Also, playing a faction that has models that can be used across various armies (Mercs and minions) is a bonus, as is access to free or reduced priced models for a faction. This could be models I already own or that a buddy will sell me for a good price. Finally, access to useful plastic kits is cheaper than the metal versions.

For Khador, as I said, I don't love Skorsha, but she's certainly a caster I'd be willing to try occasionally. Also, with a small investment in her Epic Cards, I get two casters for the price of one with her. I do love the two Jacks that come in the box set however. I'm not sure how good they are, but they look cool, and seem at least serviceable in most games. They also seem to be great Jacks to learn with as one is close combat and can do throws and other can shoot, with an AOE no less.

Models: This category is where I look at the best models, medium models, and worst models in the range. As I said, given my hectic schedule and lack of local gaming store, I tend to spend a lot more time painting and modeling than I do playing, so the look of the faction is crucial. If I don't like the models, especially the really good ones gamewise, I'm not going to want to paint them, and I'm going to lose interest in the faction.

For Khador, I love most the models. Jacks like the Kodiak and Drago are AMAZING. additionally, their troops and solos are generally amazing. The Iron Fang Pikemen are great, as are the widowmakers. For solos, the manhunter is absolutly BA looking, as are the Great Bears. The only models I really don't love are the assault Kommandos, the Man o' Wars, and the regular Kayazy. I will say though, having bought some Assault Kommandos they are growing on me a bit, and the UA flamethrower is awesome, and gives me hope if the do a Kommando resculpt in the future.

Other Players Locally: Pretty self explanitory. Varity is the spice of life, so if another faction is played locally, or by someone I know, that’s going to downgrade it. Not as big of deal for me, given the few players I know, but if you decide to do this, something to think about. Another thought here is if you hope to get people involved locally, are their certain factions you can assume they will play or will want to play. Not always applicable, but sometimes you know…

Nobody plays Khador that I know, so green light there.

Playstyle: How does the army play. Is it in your face close combat, is it long range shooty, or is it a fast glass cannon. Finding an army that plays the way you like is crucial. Additioanlly, It’s important to consider in a second army creating some gaming variety for yourself. If you have a long range shooty army, are you really going to be excited to play another long range shooty army with different models? Perhaps, but for me, I want to find some variety in my games. If I don’t feel like shooting at long range, I’d like to have a close combat army.

For Khador, they are slow, powerful, and great at close combat. I don’t love how slow they are, but there are ways in the army to mitigate that. Also, I defiantly do like the in your face close combat feel, and their ability to shrug off damage and keep coming at you. Very cool. As for the second thought, it’s my first army so no variety issues here.

Fluff Bonus: – it’s always more fun if you can get into the ethos of your army. The look , feel, and history of your force can be crucial in bringing you into the game. Relating to your army can really be a great way to get maximum fun out of the game. It seems like at tournaments the guys having the most fun are the guys who seem to really, really dig their army and know the fluff.

Khador is great. I love the Russian/Eastern European feel. I love the fact that they are humans. I always want to play humans in any game I play (I was always a human in WoW for example). I also love the fact have they have this storied, military tradition, and that they feel they have to right the wrongs that have been perpetrated on them in the past. I have loved reading all the fluff I’ve had on them, and I can really get into the fluff. Huge win here for me.

“X” Factor: - This is sort of a catch all category for anything special that might be a tipping point for an army. For example, if I have an awesome idea for a theme or paint scheme, that can be a difference maker. Maybe a faction has a warcaster or model that is just so awesome, I absolutely want to include it in my collection. Maybe it’s a story or visual I’ve come across that really fires me up about a faction. Another example might be my desire to keep things simple by staying in Warmachine, or conversely, I want to really get a Hordes force to learn the rules differences and nuances . There are a large diversity of things that might give an army bonus points, and this is a great spot to make

mention of that.

For Khador, it was just the whole look and feel. There was very little I didn’t love about this force. This force was just head and shoulders above anything else I saw in the Iron Kingdoms, and in many other game systems for that matter. I just loved it all, so I had to go with them.

Hope that helps explain the process I will be going through in these matchups. So for this round, Circle moves on by default. See ya soon.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Choosing an new faction

I love choosing armies, factions, gangs, crews, etc.

In fact, it might be one of my favorite aspects of playing miniature board games. Is there anything better than exploring all the possibilities of each faction and deciding which group you're going to cast your lot with? I love pouring over the rule books, model ranges, and forums to figure out which army I want to play. Lots of factors go into the decision, and it's fun to dream and think about all the possibilities before making that first major financial commitment. When picking a new army for Warhammer Fantasy after finishing an old one, I always liked to create a tournament bracket of all the armies, and make one v one decisions as I whittled it down to my next army. Usually I do this process with my buddies in a car ride home from a tournament. It was pretty quick and dirty, and had a lot of gut reaction built in, but it was fun, and I, as well as my buddies, enjoyed the tournament format.

Now, I've just recently started getting into Warmachine. It's a fun game, and I've really grown to love the rules, models, and of course the way Privateer Press does business. It's been very refreshing to get into a new rule set and system for a variety of reasons. So, with a new game I had to choose a faction to play. This I did, and actually it wasn't that hard. One faction, Khador, stood out head and shoulders above the others and so I began collecting them. I am not even close to being done collecting Khador but it's time to pick a new faction. The reason for the second faction is that I need a faction to demo the game with. We don't have a a local gaming store, nor do we really have a local community, so if I want to grow the game, I've got to have the resources to play and show someone else how to play.

To that end, I need to pick up at least the basics of a second force. I don't want to drop a ton of cash into it, but i'd like to have at least a small force to demo the game with. In my mind, if I'm going to invest $60-$90 in a demo force, I'd like it to be a faction I can later expand into a full force, and to do that, it needs to be a faction I can love. That leads me to engaging in one of my favorite aspects of the hobby, picking a new force.

I will lay out how I go about this, so that if you want to do the same process, in Warmachine or another game, you can. I highly recommend giving it a try, it's a lot of fun.

First, I needed to figure out how many factions I had to choose from. Since I'm open to playing Warmachine or Hordes, I put the count at possible factions at 14. Let me explain. First, there are the obvious 9 factions: Cygnar, Khador, Retribution, Cryx, Menoth, Trollbloods, Everblight, Skorne, and Circle. For Mercs, I felt I could break them into 3 seperate factions: Dwarves, Pirates, and general Mercs. For Minions, they could be easily split into 2 factions: Gators and Farrow, so there is my 14 factions.

Next, I needed to drop the teams into a bracket. It's always best to use brackets that are in multiples of four. So for 14 teams, I used a 16 team bracket with 2 first round byes. Also, to try to prevent getting a great faction knocked out too early, I wanted to seed the factions just like the NCAA basketball tourny does. At first this may seem crazy, as ranking them would seem to to negate the need for the bracket, however, the ranks a simple gut feeling ranking without much insight. When I've done this in the past, I've found that rarely do my initial rankings pan out exactly as I ranked them. So, I quickly ranked the fourteen factions, and then placed them in the brackets. You can see the brackets below.

From this point, I will take each match-up, and compare the factions in various pre-determined categories . I will discuss those categories in my first match-up post. After looking at all the categories, I will use the information gained to declare a winner in each round.

Next time the first match-up. 3) Circle of Orboris vs. 14) Khador

Saturday, January 15, 2011

coming soon

coming soon