July 17, 2015

BMG 250 Rep Game - Arrow vs Law

Played another 250 rep game of Batman Miniature Game yesterday. I wanted to use something other than my Bane crew, even though I have an unplayed 250 list ready to go. As I’ve been building my figures I’m keeping my eyes open for groups that I can paint together, which is how I came up with this:

- Loeb
- Ron w/ radio and undercover
- O’Connell w/ ammo, radio and badge
- Policeman
- Policewoman
- Batwoman

All the cops I can paint as a unit, and Batwoman fills out the roster nicely. The colours probably won’t deviate much from the studio paint job. They’re police officers, so why make my life more difficult than it needs to be choosing colours?

My opponent played another variation of his Arrow crew. I don’t recall all the equipment taken but the list looked like this:

- Arrow
- Huntress
- Ron
- O’Connell w/ ammo
- Policeman
- Policewoman

The table set up had some elevated areas around the edges and corners, but was largely flat terrain. (As an aside I thought this was one of the better looking tables I’ve put together in a while. I really want to get those Tablescapes street tiles painted up!) Thematically it doesn’t make much sense to have a bunch of cargo containers lying around a cemetery, nor having a cemetery next to the police station but it looked good.

We rolled chance encounter and deployed our sewers, lamps and objectives. This is the same scenario we played last time but had totally missed the random deployment at the bottom of the page! Not this time though. I won’t give a round-by-round recap because I simply can’t remember all the details. Here are some highlights of the game.

- My O’Connell and Arrow rolled 1s and didn’t enter the board on the first turn.
- Huntress and Ron popped up behind my policeman and slaughtered him in the first round.
- On the opposite side of the board my Ron popped behind Arrow’s policeman and gunned him down.
- Batwoman fired off her batarangs trying to slow down Ron and Huntress with little success, she took a fair amount of damage in melee, even though her Bat-Armour mk1 staved off a bunch of hits.
- Loeb used “Kill Them” and “Inspire” to beef up Ron and O’Connell a few times. Having only Move 1 makes him a little tough to use. He can’t move AND manipulate, and sticking around his henchmen can be tough with his base move only.
- Ron nearly killed Arrow in a single shot from his gun. A second attack knocked Arrow down, but he was eventually arrested by O’Connell.
- Policewoman and a Titan-enraged O’Connell took out Huntress, while Loeb gunned down Arrow’s officer Ron.

This was a tough game for the Arrow crew, ending up in a 26 - 8 victory for the Law forces. Despite drawing first blood, I was able to turn the tide fairly quickly. I had thought my Law list would be relatively weak and thought Batwoman would be the big story here. Both of those predictions proved incorrect. I pulled Batwoman back from combat with Huntress and Ron after a few missed attacks (I just couldn’t roll successful damage), but she tied them up for several rounds while I dealt with the other cops and Arrow. I didn’t want to give Arrow’s crew the VP for taking her out, and by that point I figured my officers could handle the mop up.

I’m really not sold on the Arrow/Huntress combo. I think they’re both good characters but they don’t seem to have much synergy and they a are fairly pricey duo. We talked about some different options for Arrow, even discussed a Batman list with Green Arrow and Nightwing, but didn’t come up with anything specific to try. I don’t own either Arrow or Nightwing yet, so I can’t put together a list for myself to try out. It’s possible that the lack of raised areas in the middle of the board hurt Arrow’s effectiveness, but I suffered from the same problem as Batwoman had to stay on the ground too.

I will be painting up this crew first. Perhaps before month’s end I can finally show off some painted BMG figures.

July 10, 2015

The Never-Ending Hobby To-Do List

If you're like me, you have a huge pile of boxes, models and various other figures and terrain bits awaiting construction, painting and (hopefully) time on the gaming table. Kickstarter may or may not have affected the size of your pile. If you've been able to resist some of the games providing masses of models on KS in the past few years I commend you.

I keep a big wish list / to-do list related to my miniature hobby. It serves a few different purposes:
  1. GOOD: Reminds me of what project(s) I'm working on and keeps me on track (sometimes).
  2. GOOD: Give me ideas about stuff I could do next.
  3. GOOD: Is a place to put things I need to buy or do for specific projects.
  4. BAD: Reminds me how much stuff I have spent money on.
  5. BAD: Makes it pretty apparent I'll never finish all this stuff, or play all of these games.
In May I started posting up monthly progress reports to keep myself motivated and serve as a reminder that building and priming models is progress too. As much as I love showing off photos of painted figures and games in progress, there is a lot of work that goes into getting a game ready to be played.

One of the challenges I face is finding opponents who want to play the game(s) I'm interested in. Due to the time and money investment required of most miniature games that is a tall order. So more often than not I will buy two or more factions for a particular game, in hopes that I can entice a friend into at least playing the game with me, if not starting on it as a hobby of their own.

Another challenge is the number of games. Through a combination of Kickstarter and my new-shiny-syndrome, it's difficult to focus. This is compounded by more and more skirmish games being released, as well as my love of board games. Buying, building and painting materials for a game isn't enough, you need to have time to play it. The more games you want to play, the less time you will have for any particular game.

Cost is a challenge for a lot of folks, myself included. At this point however, I own far more stuff than I can ever paint and play with. That leads me to the final challenge I want to address: FOCUS.

I need to focus. I have dozens if not hundreds of figures for games I used to play, or will never play. As hard as it is to admit, these things need to go. With that in mind I'll be clearing out some games and models so that I will be able to focus (even if in some small way) more on fewer games. My gaming spending will be largely restricted to the Batman Miniature Game for the foreseeable future. Funds that I apply to that will be garnered by thinning out my current backlog of stuff.

This doesn't mean I'll not continue working on and playing other games. It will mean that adding new games to my collection (ie: stuff I don't own already) is going to be clamped down on as best I can.

Wish me luck!

July 09, 2015

Badger Minitaire Set - Test Drive on DreadBall Pitch

First off, I hate UPS. They're thieves who charge an insane amount of 'brokerage fees' to pay my GST for me. In this case I shouldn't even have had to pay GST, since the Badger Minitaire line of paints are made in the USA. Anyway, they're here, and UPS still sucks balls. The paints however, do not. Here is a wonky-angled shot of the contents after I started sorting them out.

I've had my airbrush for almost two years now but don't use it often. Occasional priming duty in the dead of winter is about the extent of the work my Badger Patriot had put in, until now.

One of the biggest troubles with airbrushing is thinning the paints. I have paints from Army Painter, Games Workshop, P3, Tamiya, Vallejo and even some Testors acrylics. I've experimented a bit with mixing them and thinning them down and getting a consistent result is nigh impossible, and made me think that airbrushing wasn't for me.

I picked up some Vallejo Model Air last summer and even those got used primarily for brushing. When I found out about the Minitaire range it was a no brainer for me. Airbrush-ready paints designed for miniature paints...I had to get the whole set!

I needed something relatively forgiving to work on first. As much as I wanted to dive right in and paint some figures, I reigned myself in and opted for my HDF pitch for DreadBall. The "Azure Forest" tournament pack had sparked my imagination when it was released and I had wanted an outdoor-themed pitch ever since.

Ironically I didn't start painting with my new paints; I grabbed a few of my Vallejo colours. After several coats of base grey primer I started with Khaki Brown on the strike zones, centre line and a little dab of colour here and there. The rest of the pitch was given a patchy coat of Russian Green. Visual interest was added by filling in the rest with bright Green Zinc.

Pleased so far I grabbed the Brown Ghost Tint from the Minitaire set. I'd heard that they were difficult to use and often caused clogging of the airbrush, but this was the colour I needed. No time for cowardice now! I outlined the strike zones with the ghost tint. In a few spots I sprayed a little too much at once and got some pooling. That is an issue with my brush control and not the ghost tint.

The colour gradation and patterns looked great, albeit rather one-dimensional. In order to give the pitch more texture I tore a sponge into several pieces and broke out my cheap craft paints. A few layers of stippling (two browns and two greens) gave me just the textured effect I was looking for!

I was in the home stretch now. I picked out each of the hexes in the strike zones and starting line, barring the launch areas and bonus hexes. The numbers in the sin bins, scoring track and rush track were also highlighted so they would stand out. A few other spots on the pitch like the subs benches got a light dusting of this as well.

The final bit of airbrushing was done on the bonus, strike and launch hexes with Skull White. The way the laser cut lines stay dark while surrounded by the white made things jump out in a pleasing way.

After a little bit of brushwork by hand to add some minor touches of colour  the pitch was all finished. I'm very happy with how it turned out. I still need to blast it with a coat of matte varnish, but that'll happen over the weekend.

Total time: 4.5 hrs.

July 02, 2015

June 2015 Progress Report

My second progress report post, which feels like a bit of a mixed bag in terms of work accomplished. The month started off really strong with a bunch of stuff getting hobby and paint attention. Work, nice weather and a bit of vacation closed out the month and really put a dent in things at the end.

June Progress Report

- Painted sewer markers for Batman Miniature Game (7)
- Built Walking Dead prison tower set (1 of 2)
- Painted 3 sets of lamp posts for BMG (7)
- Painted second objective pack for BMG (4)
- Built and painted set of custom riddle objectives for BMG (2)
- Painted SuperFigs Emerald Alien (1)
- Built Catwoman, Origins Deathstroke, Huntress and Origins Batman for BMG (4)
- Built miniatures for Terminator Genisys starter box (32)

There were several other things that I had were very near completion that intended to knock off in June. After returning from my trip and getting settled back into my work schedule I couldn't find the motivation for in the last few days of the month.

"Old, not obsolete."

Looking back however I have to say I'm not too terribly disappointed with my progress. I'd have liked to finish a few of the items I was working on painting...soon, soon.