December 19, 2013

Star Trek: Attack Wing - Wave 2 Thoughts

We had brutal, brutal weather here yesterday. The temperature dropped throughout the day while we got hammered with even more snow starting about nine in the morning. By supper time several of the main routes around the city were closed due to accidents. My trip to the shop was uneventful, but took longer than I'd expected. I was also the only person to show up.

I can certainly understand not wanting to brave the weather and road conditions to go out and play a game. I'd have encouraged folks not to come for their own safety, had I known what I was getting into before I got in my own car. On the plus side however, I did pick up wave 2, and had a quick look over the OP4 kit.

When I finally arrived home I sat down to open up my new toys. Sitting next to my little Christmas tree it felt a little like an early Christmas present. A present I had to pay for, but still fun nonetheless!

The first ship I opened was the USS Excelsior. On first glance I don't think that Captain Sulu has a very good ability, and I'll likely opt for Captain Styles over Sulu. Being able to drop a bit of tech on any ship he captains just seems much better. The ship sculpt itself and a lot of the other upgrades look pretty solid, but the standout in my opinion is Transwarp Drive. I'd be tempted to buy another expansion just for a second copy of that card but since the rest of the pack is almost all unique cards it'd be a waste of cash.

The Excelsior will definitely give the Federation some more options, and it's fun to see Sulu get his own ship, even if the ability is a little disappointing.

Next up was the Koraga. This expansion was simply loaded with tokens and cards. The ship looks identical to the B'Rel class Ch'Tang prize ship from OP2, but is listed as a different kind of Bird of Prey. I find that a little strange, but the model in this pack is sort of secondary. There are a lot of great cards in this pack. I especially like having another copy of Advanced Weapons Systems (from the core set). Worf as a Klingon-aligned Captain has a pretty good ability, as do several of the other cards.

I've got a couple of ideas for how to use this one. I think it will make it into more than one list for tournament games.

The third pack I opened was the RIS Vo. Coming after the Koraga this pack was a huge letdown. A re-use of the RIS Apnex sculpt from Wave 0. We get a small ship (the ability is actually pretty good), a captain with a useless ability and an elite talent he can't use if he uses his ability. There are only a few other cards included so compared to the Koraga this thing is hardly worth the price. I can find uses for the ship, but as a standalone expansion this is shit. Wizkids gets an "F" on this one on all counts.

Duplicated sculpt, cards that don't gel together or have synergy with the ship, only one non-generic captain where most other expansions come with two. If you're going to skip an expansion, this is the one to save your money on.

Finally we get to the Dominion's Koranak. The Dominion finally has something to be proud of. This ship has great stats and comes with some excellent upgrades: a cloaking device, another way to attack in 360 degrees, a cloak-light, and Gul Dukat. I'm glad I bought two of these. There are enough non-unique upgrades that can help bolster the Dominion ships that it was a worthy purchase. While I haven't tried it yet, I'm very excited about what this expansion provides to Dominion players.

The Koranak is the standout of Wave 2 in my opinion. You should buy this ship.

I also picked up a second Valdore, which I'm sure will see far more play than anything in the Vo pack. It's hard to believe that product was packaged and shipped, let alone retailing at the same price point as the other ships. Shame on you WizKids.

I'll touch on the OP4 prize kit next month after I've had a chance to play in an event and get my hands on it. Players should be very excited for the flagship participation prize cards. They look extremely useful, and there's one to fit almost any player strategy. Oh yeah, and the USS Sutherland. Wow that prize ship has some exciting stuff included with it. I can't wait!

December 16, 2013

Operation Squad WW2 - Russian Infantry

Several months ago I mentioned having bought a set of rules for World War II era skirmish gaming called Operation Squad WW2. Shortly after I picked up a set of 1:48 scale German Panzer Grenadier figures by Tamiya. Happy with the scale once I'd put a few together I headed off to pick up some more sets so that I could field squads from several different nations for the game. The second batch that I decided to put together was their Russian Infantry box.

HMG and assistants

The Tamiya figure sets are very price effective, costing anywhere between $12 and $16 Canadian. I put together 12 figures from the Russian set, and I believe there are still three figures left that can be constructed if I buy vehicles or want to add variety.

sergeant and lieutenant

Something to keep in mind is that these are not necessarily great gaming figures because they're a little fragile. They're models intended for display, not play. The construction time can be a little high due to the high number of pieces for each figure; consisting of one or two leg pieces, torso, one or both arms, head, helmet and a minimum of two accessories plus a weapon. They're not for folks with shaky hands or sausage fingers. That said, they are in similar scale with normal 28mm but more realistic in proportion (ie: a touch skinny). The detail is a little soft, especially on the faces, but they turned out well enough for table-top gaming.

medic and machine gunner

The lazy writer's painting breakdown:

- Vallejo grey primer
- GW Elf Flesh for flesh base coat
- mix of GW Desert Yellow and Bleached Bone for the uniforms
- mix of GW Black and Codex Grey for the boots
- Vallejo Model Air Khaki Brown for the greatcoats and cloaks
- P3 Hammerfall Khaki for the backpacks, pouches and
- P3 Bloodtracker Brown for something I can't remember at the moment
- GW Gorthor Brown for the straps and belts
- GW Shadow Grey for the canteens
- GW Boltgun covered with P3 Armour Wash for the rifles
- VMA Russian Green on the helmets, shovels and large machine gun
- GW Devlan Mud wash over everything except the guns
- GW Khaki dry brush all the cloth
- GW Foundations Flesh to even out the skin colour

I used Army Painter Wasteland Tufts, with standard static grass on top of my regular basing technique and finally painted the edges of the bases black. Something to add briefly is that I wasn't aiming for strict accuracy with the colours; I just wanted something that would look good on the table.


The Devlan Mud wash was a little stronger than I'd intended (should have used sepia) and it darkened the yellow/tan of the uniforms a little more than I would have liked, but did give the figures a nice weathered effect that works well enough for soldiers on the battlefield. I also made sure to muddy up their boots and the knees of some, as well as the lower parts of the cloaks. I didn't want them to look like they'd just come off the parade grounds.

The full squad

I had considered using dip instead of the ink to give them one more layer of solidity and protection. However I was concerned that it would cover up too much of the detail, which is fairly soft. The next batch I have ready to go are the aforementioned Panzer Grenadiers, which I think I will try the dip on, just to see how it works.

Full squad at a slightly different angle

If you want to see a few more photos or the gear on their backs take a look at my WW2 figure gallery.

December 04, 2013

Star Trek: Attack Wing - OP4 Lull

After playing in two tournaments for the Star Trek: Attack Wing OP3 last week, this week feels like a bit of a letdown. All the wave 2 previews have been released. The OP4 prizes have been spoiled. Now most of the players are simply awaiting the arrival of wave 2 in their local stores or in their mailboxes if they ordered online. And the next tournament seems far, far away.

Wizkids Dominion War tournaments have been a lot of fun through the first three months. With the various winter holidays and new year coming up OP4 is slated to run through Dec/Jan, which means fewer events. I know of one shop that is running theirs in December but it's on a day I can't attend. Another has scheduled theirs for mid-January. The shop I'll be running at hasn't gotten back to be to confirm if my suggested date is acceptable. December is a busy time for most folks, so I can understand.

I'm quite looking forward to wave 2, which is sort of ironic actually because I've not used some of the ships from wave 1. Come to think of it, I have only used the Klingon ship personally in an official event. The Defiant made an appearance in a test run a few weeks ago to see if a list would work, and some of the cards from the Praetus have been used, but neither of those ships, or the two 5th Wing Jem'Hadar ships have been played by me. Soon I'll be adding four more ships to my collection and they'll be begging for use too.

Oh, and I've also not had a chance to try out my OP3 prize ship, the Aj'rmr. That's a lot of unused kit.

I've suggested that we run an open event in December to allow folks to bring in a mission they'd like to play from one of the expansion packs. I think that would give people a fun way to try out some of the ships they have bought and not used as much as they'd like, as well as providing a little more variety in games than the organized tournaments. I know I'd like to try out any number of the missions myself.

With the downtime in my Attack Wing gaming I decided it had been a while since I painted anything and finally completed construction of a WW2 Russian infantry squad. I'll be painting those and likely a previously-built set of German Panzer grenadiers in the next week or two. They're intended for use with Operation Squad WW2 rules, and I'm looking forward to getting that game on the table before Christmas.

Next time I check in I hope to have some thoughts on the wave 2 expansion ships!

November 28, 2013

Star Trek: Attack Wing (OP3) - Klingons, The Sequel

Just a quick follow-up to my post earlier this week after playing in my second OP3 event of the "Dominion War."

With my Klingon fleet not performing as well as I'd hoped I decided to make some modifications for my second event by shuffling captains around to get access to another action. I replaced the 9-skill Martok with the 8-skill one, and swapped Nu'Daq out for Gowron. Not a surprise to anyone who plays Klingons, and also fairly reminiscent of the fleet I used in OP2.

The first game was against our resident Romulan player with two Valdores and two science vessels packing cloaked mines. I was much more careful about my ships flying in formation in this event and was largely able to avoid the mines he dropped on either side of the planet. We fought over the planet but I was again hampered by my dice, although it was much closer.

Martok's barrage of fire damaged Donatra's Valdore down to no shields and one hull, but her return volley punched through his cloak and vaporized him. Gowron and Krell were now outnumbered and I misplayed a maneuver in the last turn of the game. If I'd been able to kill one of the Valdores I might have won this game, but I just couldn't land the last hit I needed so I lost on points. It was a really good game though, very close!

Game two was against some new players, father and son just getting into the game. They were sharing a Federation fleet of Enterprise D w/ Picard and Defiant w/ Sisko. I was helping them with the rules and nuance of selecting various actions over others and when. Their lower manueverability coupled with lack of experience was against them though and I successfully pulled off an 11-die attack on the Enterprise with barrage of fire. They really enjoyed the game despite the defeat and I sent them home with lots of goodies for coming out. I'm hopeful that they'll return for OP4.

The last game was against a two ship Dominion fleet built with a 5th Wing and the Gor Portas. Like in game two I was able to take the planet but didn't use an action to my advantage near the end to actually take control. However, my formation flying, cloaking and high attack netted me a lot of unanswered attacks. I was able to destroy his entire fleet without suffering much damage.

After three rounds our Romulan player was undefeated taking first place with TEN battle points! I was tied for second on battle points, but had far more fleet points under my hat to take second. One of the three Federation players placed third.

I think I'll try out some Federation or Dominion builds in the next event. I've enjoyed playing Klingon ships, but I'm ready for a change. I've still not used my two 5th wings ships, or the Defiant and I'm sure there is a lot of stuff there to explore. I can't wait for the second wave release next week as well because the Dominion and Federation both get some great new ships and cards.

The prizes for OP4 also look excellent. If you haven't seen the spoilers online for the flagship cards and USS Sutherland you owe it to yourself to go have a look!

November 26, 2013

Star Trek: Attack Wing - Dominion War Month 3 Klingon Squad

The Plan

So far in most of my games of Star Trek: Attack Wing I've stuck to in-faction builds wherever possible because I find that to be more fun than min-maxing across factions. So far I'd have to say that it's working out fairly well, as I've been able to come in second and take home a prize ship in the three organized play events; even giving away my second Ch'tang to a fellow player.

Admittedly I have mixed Dominion and Ferengi ships just so I could use my month 1 prize Krayton in a game, but it didn't prove very successful in my first test attempt. I haven't given up on the Ferengi yet though! Otherwise I've played faction-pure squads in all my other games. Ok, ok you caught me. I did sneak one Federation talent into my Romulan build last time, but in my defence I didn't use it in any of my games.

I really enjoyed playing my Klingon list from last month. Cloaking ships with high attack values were very useful in the Month 2 event of the Dominion War campaign. In that scenario I found sensor echo actions to be extremely good for that last bit of maneuvering! Playing Klingons netted me a prize ship to add to my collection, so I spent some time building a 100 point fleet around my new "IKS Ch'tang" B'rel class cruiser:

- IKS Ch'tang w/ Martok (skill 9), Defense Condition One, Barrage of Fire
- K'T'Inga w/ Nu'Daq and Drex
- Vor'Cha w/ Krell
- Elite Attack Die

The Ch'tang gets 4 base attack dice and can re-roll any or all of them when attacking while cloaked. This saves me from needing to spend an action to acquire a target lock. I essentially get it for free, when cloaked. I can thus use Martok's action to target all my friendlies and give them an extra die and 1 re-roll. Barrage of Fire lets me steal one of the other two ship's attack dice. When lining up Martok's target I cloak then trigger Barrage of Fire (preferably adding the K'T'Inga's attack) for 9 attack dice...maybe 10 if I'm in range 1. These dice are added to the Ch'tang's attack, so the ship's re-roll ability should apply. Very likely immediate death to my target.

As a follow up on the next round I would use Defense Condition One. Coupled with my other two captain's abilities I can get some use of all those Battle Station tokens. Similar to Barrage of Fire, I'd like Defense Condition One a lot better if it were a disable instead of a discard. Nu'Daq's ability to convert a Battle Stations into damage is useful on its own, but having more than one token could prove handy if I also have to defend.

Martok uses Defense Condition One, and Nu'Daq uses his action to activate Drex for a little insurance. Piling up the Battle Stations tokens should be a powerful follow up to Barrage of Fire. Krell only re-rolls one of his Battle Stations when attacking, so he won't be using the token for his attack, but if for some reason he does take fire during this round, it might be the difference between him surviving to fire himself or not, so it certainly won't be wasted. Krell's role is really to use his attack to activate the ground troops on the planet. Finally I added the Elite Attack Die to give me the best chance to hit, and hit hard. It essentially is a guaranteed hit with all those battle stations tokens lying around!

Unlike the last scenario where cloaking at the start of the game was fairly obvious, this time we are gunning for the planet first to drop off some ground troops. From there I want to maneuver into position so that I can attack with all three ships, the cheaper two acquiring target locks or using their sensor echoes to stay behind the enemy. Martok uses his actions to coordinate the fleet as described above. If I can gain control of the planet early then harry my opponent's ships for a few rounds victory should be mine in a matter of minutes.

The Execution

My plan was a good one. Sadly the dice weren't with me. In my first game I was able to get most of my mines and troops on the planet early. My attack rolls were less than stellar and I was outgunned, losing control of the planet after only a few rounds. Conceding that I went on the offensive, destroying my opponent's Reliant. We went to time and the Defiant and Enterprise were both damaged but still operational. A win for me, but only 21 fleet points and I lost the planet.

Game 2 was up against a Dominion fleet. The early turns played out almost the same way; troops and mines on the planet, shit dice rolls in attack and defense there. Having to concede control of the planet I lined up for a Barrage of Fire run, then mopped up without losing any of my ships.

The final game and I was the only player with a natural 2-0 record. The other players that had the same were decided by dice rolls. I was up against a four ship Klingon fleet: three 1-skill captains and Gowron. During the first round I put some troops on the planet and feinted to see if I could line Gowron's ship up for Barrage of Fire. With four ships to my three I was again outgunned on the surface and lost all my troops. I landed some really good hits on two enemy ships but extremely lucky evasions kept them both in the fight for several rounds longer than they should have. Three enemy ships concentrated fire on the Ch'Tang and wiped it out. I was able to take out the two damaged ships with my remaining two, but it took far longer than it should and my fleet was quickly destroyed.

My opponent in game 3 won the tourney, and I ended up with just the participation prize. Two players were also 2-0 but each had taken the planet it two games, giving them 7 battle points to my 6. I had more fleet points than both of them combined, but the planet control won it here. The organizer gave each of them the other two ships, he being the organizer taking the third. Quite honestly I was a little disappointed at having the best record, but losing out because of the battle points. As I said, my strategy was sound, I just didn't have the dice on my side. It was still good fun though and it was great to see a full complement of eight players come out for the event!

November 19, 2013

Tannhauser custom character: Rasputin

Jeremiah over at Front Toward Enemy has a ton of great content for Tannhauser. If you've ever had any interest in the game itself, check out the extensive video collection he's put together. If you're looking for custom content for the game the most notable creation of theirs is, in my opinion, the excellent Mercenaries team and accompanying mummies put together using the figures from The Adventurers: Pyramid of Horus board game. However, I noticed that he used all of the Adventurers figures except for Rasputin! So I set about trying to create some statistics, objects and a scenario.

Thanks to Jeremiah for the help and feedback. Please feel free to give the profile and scenario a try and let me know if you have any feedback. I'll be putting together proper tokens and card images for download as soon as I paint my figure.

Aleksandr Rasputin

Aleksandr is the disgraced son of the Matriarch and her husband Grigory Rasputin. When it was found out that the young man was dabbling in the occult the Matriarch disowned him, removing all of his ranks and privileges. His father did not feel as strongly and occasionally communicates with his son in secret, even going so far as to hire Aleksandr as a ‘specialist’ in operations for the Matriarchy forces.

After being cast out by his mother Aleksandr continued his work with the occult, and it has cost him dearly. Following a particularly dangerous summoning ritual he appeared to have aged twenty years in mere moments! Since then he is frequently ill, which has only increased his lust for knowledge in the dark arts, with the hope that he will some day discover a means to eternal life.

Rasputin is a Matriarchy character who may also be hired as a Mercenary by the Reich or a pure Mercenary squad.


4 - 4 - 7 - 7
4 - 4 - 7 - 6
4 - 4 - 6 - 6
6 - 3 - 3 - 3


Ceremonial Dagger (Weapon, Hand-to-Hand) - Once per turn, when attacked by a Hand-to-Hand weapon or an unarmed attack, Rasputin may make a counter attack without spending a command point.

Commanding Presence (Rank) - Add +4 to your Initiative Roll.

First Aid Kit (Hardware) - As an action discard this token to dial up your health indicator token, or an adjacent character’s health indicator token, by up to two rows.

Mad Prophet (Ability) - Once per turn, if Rasputin has not activated he may re-roll any roll made by any player. The new result must be used and cannot be modified by any game effect or ability.

Turn this token face down when used, then turn it face up during the Refresh Tokens step.

Mauser C95 (Weapon, Pistol)

Power of Suggestion (Special Object, Ability) - Enemy characters must win a mental duel against Rasputin to enter a circle on his path, or attack Rasputin while on his path. If Rasputin wins he may move the enemy character one circle.

Prayer to the Ogdru Jahad (Occult, Ability) - As an action discard this token and roll 5 dice using your mental statistic. Each figure that shares your path must complete a mental duel against that roll. If they fail the duel they suffer one wound.

Weak Constitution (Penalty) - At the end of his activation, if Rasputin has moved a total of 5 or more circles and taken an action, dial his health indicator token down one row. If this would cause him to die, instead he can not take an action during his next activation.

Equipment Packs

Combat Pack: Weak Constitution, Mad Prophet, Ceremonial Dagger
Command Pack: Weak Constitution, Mauser C95, Commanding Presence
Stamina Pack: Weak Constitution, First Aid Kit, Ceremonial Dagger
Bonus Pack: Weak Constitution, Mad Prophet, Prayer to the Ogdru Jahad

Operation: Fallen Son

Competing factions have been courting the Matriarch’s son to use his occult knowledge to their advantage. Unbeknownst to each other, the young Rasputin has arranged to meet them all at the same place and time. Whoever can offer the most gold will gain his loyalty...for now.


Required Materials:

Use the Castle Ksiaz or Tesla Priory map.

This scenario pits the Reich against the Matriarchy. Players may choose their squad from Reich, Matriarchy or Mercenary factions. If playing the Reich or Matriarchy you may not add any mercenaries to your squad. If playing a Mercenary squad you may only field mercenary characters and troopers.
Each squad must bring three characters and two troopers. Each player receives 2 Command Points.

Reinforcements may not be used.

Give each squad a set of gold tokens (one each of 1, 2, and 3 gold). Each character in the squad is given one gold token placed face down on their card. Gold tokens do not occupy an inventory slot.
Characters may only carry one gold token at a time. If a character is killed while carrying their gold, place the token face down on the circle they died in; it may be picked up by a friendly or enemy character. Troopers may not be given or pick up gold tokens.

Rasputin is placed on the center of the West board edge, equal distance from the two squad’s entry points on the North and South board edges. He is equipped with Mauser C95 and Ceremonial Dagger.

A third faction can be added to allow the scenario to be played as a three-player game. In a three-player game, squads only bring 3 characters each and no troopers may be included in any squad. The third player will enter the board on the East side, opposite Rasputin’s starting area.

Finally shuffle all available crate tokes and place them on each empty Action circle and Objective circle.

Special Rules

After initiative is rolled each turn the loser may move Rasputin up to half his movement value if he has not yet joined a squad.

Characters carrying a gold token may pay Rasputin by spending an action while in a circle adjacent to him. Place that character’s gold token face down on Rasputin’s character card.
The first player to pay Rasputin 4 or more gold gains his loyalty and he will join their squad. He may then be activated and given actions by that player.

Victory Conditions

The squad that recruits Rasputin must move him safely off the board through their entry circle. The other squad(s) can win by killing Rasputin, or recruit him through force by killing all of the other figures in his squad.

If no player is able to pay Rasputin at least 4 gold, the squad who eliminates all other opponents without killing Rasputin wins.

November 15, 2013

Addicted to Attack Wing

Since the release of Star Trek: Attack Wing, any regular visitors to my blog has probably noticed a rather high frequency of posts by me about the game. If anything, that should tell you simply that I think it's a good game. A very good game in fact.

There are several things that I think it has going for it:

1. The universe - Star Trek has been around for decades and has a rich history to pull from, which makes it extremely good for gaming. With new releases every two months, it would still take YEARS to cover off all the ships we've seen on screen, let alone ships like Riker's USS Titan.

2. The engine - WizKids decision to license a proven system for the game was a good one. I feel that this has allowed them to concentrate on building on a good system by truly embracing the subject matter when making changes.

3. The factions - Directly linked to the universe, Star Trek offers numerous factions to explore. Mixing and matching factions is allowable (which I think is not true of X-Wing?). Playing mixed faction or pure, the gamer is provided with near infinite options to customize their experience. Sure it's sort of odd to have Kirk, Khan and Sisko captaining ships together, or Gul Dukat commanding the original Enterprise, but let's face it...stranger things have actually happened in the show.

4. The customizability - As I've touched on above, the sheer number of options available to players is already high, even though we've only seen a single expansion wave following initial release. This will only continue with the release of each wave.

5. Organized Play - The scope of the organized play program for Attack Wing is epic. I've never seen a six-month long plan that offers not only excellent winner prizes, but fantastic participation goodies. In some cases I could and would argue that the participation pieces far outshine the prize ships in terms of utility.

I could go on, but really I think you get the picture.

I'm off now to go troll the internet for more people's strategy, thoughts on fleet builds and custom paint jobs while I wait for the next Wave 2 preview to get posted!

November 14, 2013

Painting Dreadball - Female Corporation team #1

I already wrote this article once and lost it due to some very odd incident where an article I had edited just before coming back to this one overwrote all my text with its own and then saved itself. Hitting undo did...nothing. So here I am writing it again, in a much briefer form.

Here's the brief painting step-by-step:

First I primed the figure with Vallejo airbrush grey primer, then the faces were painted with GW Elf Flesh.

The rest of the figures painted grey with a mix of 6:6:2:1 of GW Skull White, water, AP Ash Grey and AP Deep Blue. I then added AP Dark Tone ink to the above paint until it was a slightly darker colour than the ash grey and used it as a wash on all of the grey base coat.

The metallic pink base colour is a 2:2:3:3:4 mix of GW Skull White, AP Alien Purple, Vallejo Metal Medium, water and AP Pure Red. Not only was this team an experiment with white, but also creating metallics out of regular colours and some more aggressive mixes to obtain unique colours.

On top of the washed grey base coat I added a first highlight of 6:3:2:.5 mix of white, water, grey and blue. At this point I had a very nice three-colour gradient to work for shadows and depth to the white armour. I finished this off with a pure highlight of white.

The pink armour looked good, but I felt it could use some more depth as it looked rather flat against the white. First off I started with a purplish colour for shadows by mixing 2:1:2:1:2 of purple / AP Dragon Red / water / black and / metal medium. At first this didn't look very good, but I was patient and didn't freak out.

Finally I added a highlight to the pink with a 3:1:1:1 mix of white, purple, pure red and metal medium.

Once all of that was done I painted the visors with some P3 blue, and a highlight of P3 Frostbite. I touched up their lips with a coat of a P3 red/purple colour I can't remember. The skin got hit with a quick GW wash of Devlan Mud.

At this point I realized I had a problem. I'd painted half of the back plates pink and the other half white. That wouldn't work with my white number transfers, so I had to paint the yellow stars on their backs so that the numbers would show up. (Note: the pictures are crap. The foam I used as a backdrop picked up most of the camera's focus.)

This is the only team so far that doesn't fit my Masters of the Universe theme. Laarni wanted a pink team, but since I already had plans for my female corporation and had a second female team pack, this is what we did. She watched a lot of Jem as a kid, so I thought I might as well keep the animated references going and present to you: the Synergy City Holograms!

November 12, 2013

Star Trek Attack Wing - I'll Take the Federation for 100 Alex

With this squad I'm thinking about a few changes. First being that I'm looking at taking two ships instead of the normal three. The second change is actually trying to load up most of the available ship slots without wasting too many actions. That's much easier to do at 100 points with three ships because the load outs are much more minimalistic.

With the release of the Defiant, I've only played against it once and it didn't fare so well. I came up with the following 100 point TNG/DS9-era Federation squad to see if I could do better:

- Enterprise D w/ Picard and Engage, Photon Torpedoes, Data, Geordi and Worf (core set)
- Defiant w/ Sisko and Attack Pattern Omega, Cloaking Device, Quantum Torpedoes and O'Brien (core set)
- Elite Attack Die

Not having to be concerned about those evil orbital weapons platforms from month two's event, high defence values (such as those provided by cloaking) aren't nearly as important. That's not to say good defence is secondary; I'm full aware that with two ships I'll likely be heavily outnumbered as it sounds like a lot of folks are opting for a FOUR ship build for Month 3's "The Siege of AR-558." Since we are dealing with retrieving Federation crewmen from the planet in this event a squad made up of two stronger ships, even if those ships have more utility, might not be feasible. Losing that third ship / action may be imposing too much of a handicap on my squad.

I've struggled with interesting builds using the Enterprise D simply because having Picard, Engage, and Data appears like a no-brainer. It's even better if you swap in Spock and Sulu for Data, but that would break my TNG-era theme! After that it was a toss-up between including Jadzia Dax or Geordi. Using Dax is pretty good, but Engage gives almost the same movement utility without negating my attack for the round. With the Enterprise rolling higher attack dice more often than the Defiant (unless using their 360 degree attack ability), Worf makes more sense there. Picard's extra action also means Worf can be used more often during the game.

I haven't used the Defiant yet. I'm not particularly thrilled with Sisko's ability though it seems to have more utility than Riker's for the same captain skill. Attack Pattern Omega feels like the best talent to use, especially when my squad is very likely to be out-numbered.

With the Federation cloaking device I gain more defence dice, perhaps enticing opponents to go after the Enterprise instead. This might expose them to an attack from the Defiant while chasing the Enterprise. The cloak isn't strictly necessary and I could certainly spend the points on something else; it just feels thematic to include it. I'd say the same about O'Brien. I like both versions, but can't afford the DS9 card so opted for the single-use, but still very good, O'Brien from the core set.

As the Defiant's captain only has a single action available to him each turn I didn't want to include many upgrades requiring an action to use them. Sadly the best ones (like the cloaking device) seem to need them. In order to maximum my attack I like the Quantum Torpedoes. They're slightly better than Photons so one could argue including them on the Enterprise instead but I wanted to even out the firepower so that both ships feel like they could be your primary target. If my opponent can't decide which one to focus on, or decides a round or two too late, I may have a chance.

November 07, 2013

The Zombie Apocalypse is Truly my house

On Tuesday I arrived home to find two parcel cards in my mailbox. Having forgotten that I'd received tracking numbers from Cool Mini Or Not a little over a week earlier, I wasn't expecting these massive things. I missed out on the first Zombicide campaign on Kickstarter, so for their second one I went all in, not realizing quite what I was getting into.

"What did you order THIS time?"

"Ok, let's see what's in box number one..."

"Cool artwork. Gross, but cool."

"Wow, that's a LOT of zombies."

"So that's everything in box 1. What's in the other one?"

Oddly enough, the second package was exactly the same as the first. Even down to the zombie dogs and dog companions boxes being slightly squashed. As far as I can tell I was only charged for one set... Double the zombies double the fun? Not sure what happened, but I'll not complain too loudly about it.

Star Trek: Attack Wing - OP2 Romulan Follow Up

If you stopped by yesterday you read my plans to try out a Romulan build in my second month 2 Dominion War event. We played that tonight so here's the quick run down.

Round 1 was against another Romulan build, two Valdore-class and an Apnex. He had cloaked mines which really did a number on me. I took out the Apnex and the named Valdore in turn 4, but was utterly unable to avoid the combined firepower of the weapons platforms, mines and the lone enemy ship and be able to maneuver myself into decent position after the initial fly-by. I lost this game due to those damned mines!

Round 2 pitted me against a two-ship Enterprise build of the Defiant and the Reliant. My opponent's rolls were not good, and we both suffered from loss of action due to poor planning. I was able to take out the Reliant quickly. The Defiant was destroyed the next turn with a well-placed Muon token but Cheat Death, O'Brien and Scotty kept it alive a little longer. My three ships gave chase and mopped up fairly quickly after that. I have to say that I haven't seen anyone roll dice more poorly over the course of an entire event than our poor Federation player!

Round 3 was against a pure Dominion fleet. I flew slowly up the side as did my opponent, allowing all my ships chance to cloak and try to see what he would do. Initial hits against the Gor Portas were transferred off to the Kraxon, so I gambled a bit and ran the Apnex up right in front of his ships and dropped the Muon token on it.

A few rounds later my opponent had largely forgotten about the token and planned a 5-ahead maneuver. With no shields and some prior hull damage the muon ripped the ship apart. Some concentrated fire from Toreth and Donatra took out his 5th Wing. The Gor Portas destroyed my Apnex (but not after suffering from the ship's ability), and after several turns of tiresome maneuvering I was finally able to kill the last Dominion vessel.

The second victory put me in second place with a 2-1 record, so once again I won a Ch'Tang. However, since one of the players seemed uncomfortable voting for fellowship (we had a total of four tonight), I gave him my prize ship and let the Federation player take the last one.  While I would have liked a second copy of the prize ship, it seemed like the best way to send everyone home relatively happy.

Personally I'm glad that month 2 is over. The scenario wasn't particularly fun to play. It would have been nice if the weapon platforms were destroyable, of if there had been some kind of objective on the planet that would allow the players to take control of, or disable them. I'm looking forward to month 3.

As to my fleet, I had some wasted equipment. I never used either of my elite talents, nor the tactical officer. That's not to say the option to wasn't good, it just never seemed the best choice. I'll have to give Romulan builds some more thought before I try them again.

November 05, 2013

Star Trek: Attack Wing - Romulan 100pt Build For OP2

Tomorrow is another Star Trek: Attack Wing Dominion War Month 2 event at one of the local shops. In OP2 event a few weeks ago I played a pure Klingon build. For this event I wanted to use something different. Here we have a pretty bare-bones 100pt Romulan squad with one out-of-faction upgrade:

- IRW Valdore w/ Toreth, Counter Attack and Tactical Officer
- IRW Khazara w/ Donatra, Attack Pattern Delta and Polarized Hull Plating
- RIS Apnex w/ Mirok and Muon Feedback Wave

The Valdore will always be firing 4 or 5 attack dice (sometime even 6!) and Toreth can convert one normal damage into a critical hit. Her tactical officer will be allowing extra re-rolls when spending a target lock, so the strategy for the Valdore is essentially: cloak, target lock, fire...repeat. I expect this ship to be my opponent's primary target if they want to take out my heaviest hitter.

If I'm in a position where I feel the Valdore is going to come under fire, opting to use Counter Attack can come in handy especially if I can manage to make her the only target in the opposing ship's firing arc. Do they attack anyway and risk the counter attack, or waste their attack completely for fear of taking a hit with a minimum of four attack dice? Tough choice.

Most players are well aware of what Donatra brings to any fleet, boosting other ship's attacks up by +1 when in range 1. It's been suggested that I swap she and Mirok around, but I actually want Mirok on the Apnex so that I can use his low skill to use the Muon Feedback Wave.

With Donatra boosting Mirok's attack, and him repairing his shields after moving within 1 of a friendly, the Apnex moves up from minor annoyance to potential threat. Not a large one, but enough of one that ignoring it could bite you in the ass. There's still the chance that the Apnex will be destroyed in a single volley, but that means my opponent is wasting an attack to remove a ship that might not get to fire anyway with its skill 3 captain. Admittedly the muon feedback wave isn't great in OP2, but the ship and tech choices for Romulans are quite limited if you're looking for variety.

Finally I decided to put Donatra on the Khazara. The Polarized Hull plating protects her a little bit if she takes a critical damage while cloaked. While I do prefer to keep everything faction-pure most of the time, in the case of the talents it doesn't feel as bad to bend the rules a little bit. Perhaps "Attack Pattern Delta" is a little trick she learned from the Federation while fighting together in another battle. However, being able to use it to make up for a bad defence roll seems like a good utility to have.

I'll report back after tomorrow's games and let you know how it goes. Maybe I can pick up a second Ch'tang to add to my Klingon fleet!

Dead Games and New(ish) Games

Part 1: More New Stuff

Two more packages showed up last week. Both unassuming little parcels shipping via Royal Mail. With all the Kickstarter campaigns I've supported lately they could have been any number of things. It turns out these are the shipments for season 3 of Dreadball and the one and only package for Empire of the Dead: Requiem.

I've had a chance to go through the Dreadball stuff in detail and everything I ordered was included minus a few extras. The packing manifest and included note explained why they were missing and I'm fine with it. I know they'll be sent out to me as soon as possible. Besides, I have so much Dreadball stuff to work on now the extra few missing bits won't even be noticed for a few months at the very least!

The very next day another box was waiting. Once again I was stumped as to what it could be...there didn't seem to be a return address on it anywhere. I did find the little sticker on the side after I'd cut into the packing tape, now excited to look through all of my new Empire of the Dead figures.

At first glance everything seems in order, although I'll need to open up all the packages to ensure everything's inside. It's nice to get a package that actually has some retail-looking packaging for a change. As cool as it is to receive buckets of figures, sometimes a little logo here or there makes it feel more special. I guess all those marketing folks who create logos and packaging designs are onto something after all! In the end though, I know I'm more interested in the contents than the packaging, so whatever!

I was going to take photos of this stuff, but who wants to see pics of unmarked baggies full of model parts?!

Part 2: The Old-But-New-To-Me-Stuff

Less than a month after my dive off the deep end into Tannhauser I've apparently proven myself wrong about not needing to buy more stuff. Need isn't correct, it's definitely WANT. I should just admit the fact that I'm totally addicted to collecting tiny little people & vehicle toys and lock myself in a room with no internet access, no phone and no windows. At least if I did that I wouldn't keep finding more useless shit that I want, but totally don't need.

I got into miniature games with Warhammer 40k, just before 5th edition came out. I bought the starter box and some paints, learned that my one tactical squad was about 10% of a required army and waited until the Black Reach box was released to buy more. With those added Space Marines I actually had almost enough toys to play small battles with my Obsidian Fists.

Around the same time as this was happening Rackham Entertainment was releasing their two new pre-painted games AT-43 and Confrontation: Age of Ragnarok. I'd seen some of the Confrontation figures on clearance but not AT-43, until last week.

Some of gamers on a board for local events had been discussing AT-43 so I looked it up and really thought the figures looked good. They were amenable to showing me the game and I really dug it. The figures and books are excellent looking and the fluff and artwork are really nicely done. At first glance, the game rules are also quite solid.

Back in 2009 and 2010, both of these games were essentially on clearance and could be had for cheap. Sadly now that I'm interested in acquiring some they've become more difficult to find seem to cost retail prices again. That doesn't mean I won't go questing after some, it will just temper how much I buy and how quickly. I can see how a lot of folks would have been priced out of the game when it was originally released as it can be very pricey to build a good size army.

One of the aforementioned local folks was super kind and gave me an excellent starter UNA army. I'm pretty sure the base points for them would be around 2000AP, and with added weapons and commanders I'm pretty sure could scale up to 3000 no problem. So a huge thanks to Rick for those spiffy toys!

With a very nice UNA army I needed someone for them to fight. Sentry Box had a few Cogs items available (for around 30% discount). I picked up the Army box and three hero boxes, as well as the Operation: Frostbite campaign box, and a large addition for the UNA. It was fairly pricey even with the discount. However, I've got another new game to play with some good sized armies, and will continue looking for Therian, Red Blok and Karman armies to add to my newest collection.

November 04, 2013

Strange Aeons: The Tournament?

I'll keep this one pretty brief.

On Saturday we played a day-long tournament of Strange Aeons at Imaginary Wars hosted by Uncle Mike. It was a three-round custom Black Dossier set up. Each player started a new Threshold list at the standard 15BP. Each round was composed of two games where you played once as Lurkers and once as Threshold.

Due to the random pairings I only played one game against a new opponent. It would have been nice to play against some new people.

I was not one of the folks who took home a prize. I'll blame it on the dice for at least one game, but I really wasn't fully engaged in the games. Snowy Saturday weather, not a great night sleep etc etc. All that said, it was pretty good fun and very nice to see so many players come out for the event. We did finish early which was a nice bonus. I generally don't do well playing the same game for a full day, but with a break for lunch after the first two rounds I managed to survive.

I forgot to take any photos of my last game, but here are two from the first and second rounds. Each of the six tables available to play on were excellent looking.

Round 1

Round 2

October 29, 2013

Star Trek Attack Wing - Dominion War months 1 and 2

Star Trek: Attack Wing is the first game I've bought into in quite some time that has any kind of tournament or organized play program. With each expansion ship coming with an included scenario to play, I'd probably be happy playing the game without the OP, but I do have to admit that I've enjoyed having an event to go to for the game. Not only does it allow me to get use out of the game components I've purchased but I also get to play against other interested folks, rather than me foisting the game onto my friends. I'll sadly admit however that I have not actually played any of the ~16 scenarios that I have from the booster packages...

The current play program is a six month long campaign recreating the Dominion War which took place during the Deep Space Nine television show. I'll admit to having not watched all of that series, so my knowledge of the actual story is rather limited. However, I have had the chance to play in an event for each of the first two months.

In the first month event I played a Next Generation pure Federation 100 point build. The fleet was comprised of:

- Enterprise D w/ Capt. Picard & Engage, Data and Photon Torpedoes
- a Miranda class ship captained by Riker w/ Worf and Anti-Matter Mines
- a Constituion class ship w/ Capt. Jellicho (generic captain) and Photon Torpedoes.

We had four players but due to some late arrivals we were only able to play two games. I ended up coming in second place and was able to take home a LE Ferengi Marauder ship, the "Krayton." I've since tried using the Krayton in a Dominion build...with no success yet. I've only played that list once and want to try it again before I write it off as not being very good.

In my month 2 event I decided to try out a Klingon fleet. In all the games up until now I had only used one Klingon ship. It had previously filled the slot in the Dominion fleet above. Wanting to stick with a TNG-era fleet was a little hard this time and I had to squint a little bit to make it work. For month 2 I ended up with this 100pt pure Klingon fleet:

- IKS Negh'var w/ Martok & Once More Unto the Breach and Advanced Weapons Systems
- IKS Maht-h'a w/ Gowron and Klag, and
- a K't'inga Class starhip w/ generic captain.

This time I was able to play three full games. The layout of the scenario meant that everyone was sticking to the outer edge of the map to avoid the orbital weapon platforms, and in the first two games I played the entire game took place in a quarter of the map along one edge.

Game one pitted me against a Romulan fleet of two ships, shored up with some Federation crew members. The Romulans took heavy fire from the weapons platforms and I was able to take advantage of my extra ship to destroy all of the enemy ships.

The second game put me against another pure Klingon fleet. The same ships and two of the same captains. Some minor load out differences in captains and tech upgrades, but very similar. It came down to my Negh-Var against his K't'inga, and I was in place to use "Once More Unto the Breach" but was downed by fire from the weapons platform to lose the game. A tough pill to swallow, but a good match nonetheless.

My final match was against a two-ship Federation build...sort of. It was the Enterprise D w/ Picard and the Reliant captained by Khan and some tribbles. We started out on opposite sides of the board and I ended up flying my K't'inga close to the planet in hopes of catching up enough to get some damage in before the enemy ships could turn around. I took substantial damage, surviving a warp core breach for several rounds and taking down the Reliant's shields.

Both Federation ships kept tight to the board edge, but my other ships were closing the gap. A navigational miscalculation put my K't'inga off the map edge, which was really quite a disappointment. The Maht'h'a closed the gap and downed the Reliant while the Enterprise floundered in the corner. As time was called I rolled I had the Enterprise down to two hull. In points I was ahead, having lost 22 to my opponent's 43. Gowron's ship had two shields and one hull left, uncloaked. I had an evasive token but was within range 1 of a weapon platform which landed two hits. I rolled my one defense die and...rolled nothing. Shield down but not destroyed I won the match!

I came in second place, but since first was taken by the organizer I won the prize B'rel class Klingon ship, along with everyone getting the participation prizes. I'm really looking forward to playing again soon, it was good fun.

October 27, 2013

Painting Dreadball - The Royal Eternian Rams

Even though I've been playing a lot of Star Trek: Attack Wing in the past few weeks, I have also been painting. With Fallcon fast approaching and me slated to be running a tournament / demos for Dreadball, I wanted to get another team finished up. To my disappointment, I wasn't able to conjure up the energy to get them completely done.

After almost a week of required rest following Fallcon (required because I caught a brutal cold during the event), I finally mustered up the fortitude to finish another season 1 team: The Royal Eternian Rams!

When I played in my first league early this year (January thru March) I decided to play with this team so that the Forge Fathers would be represented. We had one player drop out and I took up the slack by also playing a human team as well. (The Avion Warriors have already been showcased on my blog, you can read about them here.)

Like most of the other players in that league, none of us had fully painted teams. A few were primed in different colours, but none finished. My team was primed with Army Painter plate mail metal, and had some brown and white on them. Continuing with my "Masters of the Universe" theming I knew they needed a lot more work. Upon inspection these guys totally reminded me of Ram Man. See for yourself and tell me I'm wrong.

After looking over several source images again, and taking a look at the 2002 toy, I realized that the white tabard and brown pants I had started with weren't right. Digging through all of my green paints I decided that GW Knarloc Green was the one I wanted for the pants.

Next I painted their shirts with GW Mephiston Red. I felt that I missed the brown so I went for something softer and chose P3 Hammerfall Khaki on the tabards. They could easily have been red, but I think it might have proved too "Santa Claus." I thought that all the silver armour could use some help and even though Ram Man doesn't have any on him, decided to add some GW Shining Gold for a touch of variety.

At this point I felt like they were almost done, but something was missing. Just...that little extra. Casting my eyes over my paint racks again I found it, Vallejo Model Air Panzer Dark Grey. It looks almost black and has a touch of green in it, and worked perfectly on the boots, gloves and belts to tie everything together.

Finally I painted the eyes white, and also did the electronic 'eyes' on their gloves white as well. The gloves got a wash of GW Thraka Green to get a slight glowing effect. They'd need a further touch up after shading.

Now here's where I went off the deep end and took a huge leap. To date I've tried two different varnishes for shading / dipping. This time I wasn't going to try it on a crappy test figure; I was going to use the brush on method with some MinWax Tudor gloss! This stuff is supposed to be comparable to AP's Dark Tone. Well I'm pleased, and relieved, to say that it worked brilliantly. I ended up with a little too much varnish pooling on the tabards, but otherwise I'm very happy with the results.

After the varnish I applied some AP Matt Varnish and then finally the player number decals. The final result looks good to me and I'm very happy with my MinWax choice. It's $8 a can rather than $33 for the Army Painter alternative. While I won't need to buy it very often, that's almost a 75% savings which you'd be crazy not to go for. AP's paint and primer is awesome, but I'll be going to MinWax for my quick shade varnish.

October 25, 2013

Initial Thoughts on Sedition Wars wave 2

So far I've only had time to put together a few of the wave 2 items. The Hurley drones are very nice. I'm not sure why they're the only ones done in that blue plastic, but they are excellent. There was almost no clean up needed on them. They're a little large compared to the Hurley model itself...I don't see any way he could store more than one of them!

I've also cleaned up and put together all of the bone crabs. These things have pretty prevalent mould lines, made worse by the fact that they have lots of legs. After being cleaned up they look good. Over the top disgusting, but good. I do wish the tails were a little heavier, because they're quite fragile to bending and having stress marks. I might prime these using gesso instead of spray primer just to give them a little extra protection.

The last items I tackled were Ramirez and her necroform model. My casting of the necroform was almost flash-free and has good detail. I'm not thrilled with the necroform pose as it's rather static. The Ramirez figure herself is a nice casting, only a little flash on the one side of her neck and on her leg armour. The contact points between her body and gun piece were much easier to deal with than the original Samaritans.

I'm planning on painting my Samaritans in squads of ten. With Ramirez added in with the figures from my Biohazard pledge I have a total of thirty Samaritans. Each squad has three special weapons troopers; one of each type. Two squads have seven troopers, and the final has six plus Ramirez to round it out to an even ten. In my opinion she looks fine mixed in with a squad. She's a bit thinner for sure, but doesn't look out of place to me.

Sorry I don't have any pictures to share with this post. Once I get some painting started I'll try to get a series of progress posts going.

October 18, 2013

Tannhauser - Zombie Survival Scenario

Since getting into Tannhauser earlier this month I have been casting my net far and wide across the internet trying to find fan-made materials to add to my games. With Halloween fast approaching I happened upon a fun sounding "Zombie Survival" scenario created by Miah999 over at Front Toward Enemy.

If you want to have a look at the scenario rules for yourself you can find it here. I downloaded the zombie card and glued it to a piece of cardboard off the back of one of my notepads. When I cut the backing cardboard piece, I cut it a little larger to allow for a border around the card. Once it was glued down I finished the edges of it with black electrical tape. I didn't think to take a photo of my card, but you can see it in the photos below, on the left hand side of the game board.

I decided to set up the scenario on the crypt map from the core game set, and grabbed some of my painted zombies that I showed off earlier this year.  With the board set up, zombies and crate tokens placed, and Union equipped with their wonderful toys I was all ready to get my solo game started.

Commando Alpha was the first to enter the crypt, and was immediately set upon by the undead. He died before anyone else could come to his rescue. Realizing that the situation was far more desperate than originally thought, the remaining squad members needed to be careful!

After the first turn the Union had thinned out the zombie ranks by half and started spreading out to search the area under cover of Commando Delta's smoke grenade.

The zombies kept on coming! Barry, Tala and Commando Delta are all under threat of attack.

Tala and John head towards the centre of the crypt while Barry and Delta search the southwest area. More undead are rapidly dispatched, one of them lightly wounding Tala. They seem endless!

Barry radios that his section is all clear and Commando Delta moves in to support Tala. It's looking like she might be in some trouble in that narrow passageway.

John and Commando Delta help break Tala free and then head up to secure the northeast section of the crypt. Barry tries to make his way to the summoning circle but is set upon by an undead child! Unable to fire until too late, he takes some nasty bites from the little monster.

The northeast area was unsafe. Commando Delta is dragged down by the ravening ghouls. John rushes to his aid and falls victim to rending teeth and jagged, clutching fingers. Trying to shut out the echoing screams of their comrades, Tala and Barry take up a defensive position in the centre of the crypt.

"There's no stopping them Barry. We have to get out of here," says Tala.

"You go, I'll cover you. Get word back to command that things are bad. Really bad! Now go!"

With the sounds of Barry's gun trailing off, to be followed by sickening wet sounds Tala runs for the exit. It's only a few meters away, just up ahead...but so are "they". The hope of escape quickly fades as she realizes she's surrounded. She'll fight to the end, but knows in her heart that there's no escape. 

Final thoughts: 

Overall I thought the zombie survival scenario was pretty fun! The death of Commando Alpha on my first activation of the game set a pretty somber tone, but I turned things around and by mid-game it was looking like the Union was going to make it.

A few really solid zombie attacks late in the game caused substantial wounds and my characters were starting to feel the pain. Once I was down to Barry and Tala I knew it'd be a matter of just surviving, but with only two command points per turn and both characters down on their last or second last stat was a matter of avoiding the zombies as much as possible. With movement values of 4s and 5s however, that simply didn't happen.

I'd love to play this scenario with another player! I think it'd work really well as an introduction to the game system, where they can control the zombies and focus on some really basic moving, attacking and using CPs to counter-attack, while seeing what the Union's equipment can do before having to manage it all for themselves.

The scenario is set up for zombies against the Union, but I don't see any reason it couldn't be played with any faction facing off against the zombies. Next time maybe I'll try it with the Reich.

October 16, 2013

Tannhauser Frenzy, Collection Contemplation

Not too long ago I mentioned that I picked up a copy of the Tannhauser core game, a set of equipment cards and the revised rule book. It was pretty much a "hey that box looks spiffy" kind of purchase. I had never to my knowledge heard of the game, so before I bought it I watched some videos online and read a few reviews. It sounded like with the revised core rules, a game I could enjoy.

If you look at the tags I classified this post with, you might ask why it's marked as "Weird WWII" instead of WWI. Based on the fluff, I think it sort of falls into being the same thing in this case. In the story line the great war (WWI) ended up continuing all the way into the late 1940s and early 1950s. It's just the Reich instead of Nazis playing the role of bad guys, so the WWWII label seemed close enough.

During my web travels, I happened upon an online US retailer with a huge amount of Tannhauser stuff on discount. Miniature Market's sale was pretty comprehensive, so I spent approximately $195 to buy all but four figure expansions. Shipping it all to Canada would have negated most of my savings, but having family in the US can be helpful sometimes. I'm not sure when I'll arrange to have it sent up or pick it up, but it should arrive at its destination by Monday next week.

The remaining few expansions I was able to find locally. Frankenstahl, Edison, and the Matriarchy and Shogunate trooper packs were all out there. So in exactly a week from getting started and I've acquired a full collection for the game. Yep, for a game I hadn't even played yet. Kinda goofy that I suppose. We played a game over the long weekend and I have to say I loved it! I can't wait to play it again, and want to try out all the scenario and campaign rules in the expansion packs and books.

Between this and my purchase of the re-released version of Incursion during their Kickstarter campaign, I think I've got my weird war board gaming all covered. In fact, with this last round of stuff, I've really started to think that there might not be much point in buying many more board games or miniature games. My collection of both has swelled a lot over the past two years, while my number of players has dwindled.

Of course there are a few games outstanding still on my wish list, and some further expansions available for games I already own. Unless new games coming out really look amazing, or fill a niche in my collection that I feel is missing, it's likely that I don't have much more to add to it. The largest difficulty there will lie in controlling my own impulses to buy the 'new and shiny' when I really don't need any of it.

October 10, 2013

Something a Little Different: 3D Printing

A few months back my boss purchased himself a 3D printer. He's brought in some samples of things he's printed: a coffee mug, a pill bottle, and most interestingly...some geographic layered tiles based on 3D models from our CAD department. Those were pretty neat.

This week he brought in something quite a bit different. Can you guess what it is from this printing-in-progress shot?

I wouldn't be surprised if you had a hard time guessing. The shape is there, but it's hidden underneath several support structures that had to be removed after the printing was complete. After removing all of those,and spending a little time with my airbrush and paints, we ended up with this.

You might be able to tell that it's not full scale by comparing it to the size of my hand. The texture of the print is a little rough, and I certainly could have cleaned it up some more with a little sanding and filing. However since we're planning on implanting it inside a pumpkin and properly lighting up his eyes, all that work would have gone unnoticed.

I'll post up some photos once we get him wired up (possibly with some sound too), and dress him in his gourdy best. Come back in a few weeks for that update!

Post Script: Unfortunately I wasn't able to get any photos of our final product, which is a shame. The lights in the eyes and the pumpkin all sculpted around the skull turned out really well. I'll keep asking around, but it looks like we may have failed to capture photographic evidence.