Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Tourney Style: Presence and Present-ability of a Judge

One of the major roles of a tourney judge is to simply be available to answer questions and arbitrate rules discussions. However, there is often a sense of reservation that players seem to have when deciding whether and when to grab a judge. I completely understand this mentality as oftentimes a judge may not be close at hand and you as the player have to decide whether your rules question is worth stopping the game and taking the time out to grab a judge.

Clearly access to tournament staff in this situation is crucial. The easiest response is to make sure there is enough staff on the floor that players have easy access to them. However, this does bring up several critical issues of protocol (read: present-ability) that tournament staff must be aware of in order to best support their players.

Visibility - judging staff should be clearly demarcated as such. Typically this means wearing some recognizable article of clothing (bright shirt, silly hat, trained monkey, etc.) that enables players to know who to approach. At the NOVA this year, we had the problem of the staff wearing black t-shirts (due to a situation outside of our control). BLACK T-SHIRTS!! Really... black is absolutely de rigeur for gamer geeks - I personally own at least twenty black t-shirts (various bands, other gaming events and so on). Black shirts for tournament staff guarantees a level of anonymity amongst any niche gamer crowd. Next year NOVA tourney judges will be rocking some brighter colors - perhaps a pleasant plum or a rosy red that should help players track us down.
Next Years NOVA Staff Outfit
Accessibility - more important even than visibility is how accessible tournament staff is during games. Gaming is a social hobby and many gamers are either too polite or too shy to actively disrupt a game by taking ten minutes to track down a judge. To that end, tourney judges have got to be constantly circulating throughout the crowd - letting people know they are there and are actively interested in dealing with rules issues. Many times someone would simply tap my arm to ask a quick question just because I happened to be walking by and I was able to quickly resolve the issue. This is exactly how it should be. I want players to feel comfortable enough that they can grab me for a brief confab rather than feeling like something unfair is happening in the game but not being comfortable enough to stop the whole thing for a clarification.

Ultimately, in a tournament of larger size (say 100+ people), judges are mostly forced into a more passive role of monitoring tournament play. However, by making an active effort to circulate amongst the game tables, to see and be seen by players, and by affecting an approachable demeanor, judges can help make even the biggest tournaments a fair and enjoyable experience - even for those players who are not fully comfortable with the rules or lack the fuller understanding of opposing armies that veteran players often have.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Tourney Style: Slow Play versus Playing Slow in 40k

As a tournament judge at the 2011 NOVA Open, I had the nearly unique opportunity to observe upwards of 800 games of 40k being played across 2 days with 200 players. The NOVA format this year was 2000  point lists playing 4 games per day over the course of two days. Granted, as one of five judges I was not able to dig too deeply into any specific game. Rather, the goal of a tournament judge is to passively monitor all games being played and (more importantly) to be a visible presence available to adjudicate any issues that should arise.

Having said all of that, here are a few of my observations regarding slow play and the notion of using a 2000 point list: 
  • There isn't a huge difference in model counts from 1750 to 2000 points; a horde army is still a horde army at 1750 points
  • Playing slow (as opposed to deliberate slowplay) seemed to be more of an issue with folks who didn't know their armies well
  • Having to refer to a rulebook frequently slows everybody down; this includes pulling a judge into a pedestrian rules question that is part of the core game mechanics
We did actively monitor any tables that we considered deliberate slowplay to be a potential issue. We did have some complaints of playing slow that really did just turn out to be inadvertent (see above for reasons). However, I don't recall a single instance that we decided a player to be slow playing on purpose. We even went so far as to discuss this with a players' opponents after the game ended and still did not come away with a verdict of slowplay.

This issue really seems to be one of learning how your army works and getting your playing time down to 2 hours per game. As a foot guard player, I struggle even at the 1750 point level to get a 2 hour game in and have had to practice that aspect accordingly. At 1750, the core of my army does not change. It still consists of a 45 man infantry platoon, backed up by tanks and a company command squad on foot. Going to the 2000 point level just lets me add in a chimera mounted vet squad and take an additional tank in one of my squadrons.

I have seen very few instances where the composition of a horde/foot slogging army radically changes from 2000 to 1750 points. The same problems of having to move many little figures around the board are still present. If you can't get your play time down to 2 hours (and be sure to try with both 2k and 1750 lists - you'll find its almost the same time) then you may want to take a different army to a tournament.

My personal experience from the NOVA was not that the number of models on the board dictated speed of play, but rather the facility with which a player was able to decide movement and move those figures into position. Ability to use your army and play within the constraints of a tournament window is all part of tournament play. Like everything else in this hobby, there is a social contract that exists and if both players hold up their end, then tournament play can be competitive and fun for both sides.

Monday, August 29, 2011

NOVA Open 2011 Recovery Phase

What an amazing weekend! We had over 350 people attend the Open. I met a lot of great folks, worked hard running a small tournament and judging at the big one, and found the whole thing to be a very rewarding experience.

The team tournament on Friday went very well. Players were happy and seemed to enjoy getting in some laid back games in a slightly different format. I don't recall hearing anyone complain about their games.

Also a big shout-out to the 11th Company guys for letting me jump on their live stream webcast at random intervals and respond to questions and comments coming in over the chat feed. Jump in one hour, ten minutes (1:10) on this video to see and hear Mike and I pontificating. We are both pretty nuked at this point so it's kind of funny listening to us try to be kind of funny:


Also, I promised Jawaballs that I would start some sort of internet flame war between he and I so here it goes:

Friday, August 26, 2011

Exemplum: NOVA Open 2011 Team Tournament

For your viewing pleasure some pics from the NOVA Open Team Tournament:

NOVA Team Tournament Photo Album

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Indicium: NOVA Open Live Video Feed

Be sure to check out the very latest in voyeuristic gaming with the NOVA Open live, streaming, videographic feed:

You'll be right in the middle of all the gamey goodness as the high-tech hardware of the 11th Company swoops in for play-by-play, throw-by-throw coverage of all the 40k action!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Indicium: Hobby in Perspective

I stumbled across this amusing and informative article over at Cracked.com and wanted to share it with my wargaming crew:


It is an interesting, quick look at some of the big questions that we should all likely be asking ourselves as life continues it's inexorable advance. For me, the biggest question deals with what it means to "be" an adult in our society, absent the rituals and traditions of our forebears. Considering that society at large sees wargaming as playing with toys, I have often asked myself what the hobby reflects about me as an individual and my role in a larger, social perspective.

Answers to that question will vary widely and all are highly individual, but I do like John Cheese's notion that a large part of adulthood is becoming the person that others can rely on and not the reverse. Once you have become unconsciously that go-to person for others, then things like hobby and how we spend free time seem to fall naturally into perspective.

Let me know what you think of John's article. Did any of it resonate with how you are moving this this lifetime?

Friday, July 22, 2011

Indicium: NOVA Open FAQ - Grey Knights

I've been updating the FAQ for the NOVA Open and have generally got things finalized. But I realized that I don't have too many major unanswered questions for the Grey Knights. Games Workshop did a pretty good job of getting out a complete FAQ and errata making my life just that much easier.

Let me know if you feel otherwise, or if you have any burning questions that you want addressed. I am also open to any questions regarding the Dark Eldar that were not answered in the last GW FAQ.

Mike will be releasing a draft version of the NOVA FAQ soon and we will do out best to address outstanding rules issues.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Indicium: Review of Tech Deck's Street Tour Set

Someone over on the Infinity forums pointed out that Tech Deck skateboard park pieces would make good Infinity terrain. Seeing as how I had to hit Target today for kitteh supplies, I dropped by their toy section. Lo and behold a bunch of their Tech Deck stuff is on clearance! I am not surprised given how expensive this stuff is MSRP and I really can't see kids getting too much into this. However, as Infinity terrain its perfect.
I picked up this set for $15 on clearance. It consists of two sections that connect underneath with plastic pins. The construction is solid, befitting a toy designed for use, and the paint job is subtle but sufficient for gaming purposes. It is nicely weathered and has two graffiti graphics that look cool and suit the nature of the terrain. Honestly, there is little I would do in the way of additional painting except perhaps to add some additional detritus in the corners.

I found the curves of this specific piece to mirror my vision of the Infinity architecture. Moreover, the piece looks good setup next to the Topo Solitario IKUBE series of containers. In fact the back of the Tech Deck piece is exactly the height of the IKUBE containers, so you line some containers up and use them to climb over the back of it. Overall dimensions are 22" long by about 8" wide and its about 2" tall at its tallest point.

Exemplum: Hospitaller Knight

A Knight Hostpitaller from the Infinity PanOceania line. He was a test miniature used to help me figure out how I wanted to paint the knights' armor. I am not 100% happy with the way he came out, specifically the interstitial joints on the arms. I will probably go back over the arms with a Vallejo light grey and some watered down black washes.

Exemplum: Order Sergeant

The picture is a little dark, but here is the first Infinity mini that I have painted. She is an Order Sergeant and comes strapped with a combi-rifle.

This model exemplifies the Infinity line viz female models. She is clearly a "she" but does not have the overly-endowed fan service that many other lines seem dedicated to, at least for their female miniatures.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Annuntio: Old Shatter Hands' Shameless Plug

Old Shatter Hands was interviewed for this week's 11th Company podcast (a most excellent podcast BTW). And in said podcast, Tim gives a shout-out to 23LINES (completely unsolicited, I swear)... hence the shameless plug!

Seriously, OSH and Jawa are plugging (pun fully intended) the Heroes of Armageddon charity army that they and a group of other painters are rabidly working on.

So check out the HoA link and drop a donation if you haven't already.

Indicium: Head Asplode - You, Me and Kuang Shi

Lo Pan's Yu Jing list includes a bunch of re-educated political prisoners known collectively as the Kuang Shi. These are the poor bastards that the great and benevolent Yu Jing empire has taken a slight disliking to and decided that they have a better use within the greater good - namely as that of living explosives.

Leave it to Infinity to have a mechanic worked out for how models involuntarily Explode should they fall into an unconscious state. Furthermore, this model can voluntarily choose to Explode by making a Willpower test - you would think he'd need a Willpower test just so that he wouldn't explode. Really?! You want to explode... is life really that bad off? Apparently, prisoners of the Yu Jing seem to think so.

In Infinity, if you have a Doctor or medic on the board and one of your miniatures loses its last Wound, the mini is left on the board and your Doctor can use his Willpower to possibly revive his fallen comrade. However, for a model with the Explode characteristic, unconsciousness turns out to be the final solution - no chance to recover someone whose limbs are littering the battlefield.

But of course, the Yu Jing have to take it one step further and equip all the Kuang Shi with a remote detonator. So Lo Pan is required to field another model with a Kuang Shi Control Device to keep these mindless zombies in check - oh and to be able to explode them at a moment's notice. Using a Long Order, with no dice roll required, the controller can choose to immediately detonate all Kuang Shi on the field of battle. That's, like, just really mean, man!

So there you have it... how to explode your mindless, re-educated, wrongfully imprisoned minis in the brave new world that is the Human Sphere - enjoy!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Exemplum: Lo Pan's Yu Jing Imperial Service Army

As a way to inspire myself to get painting (and a way to keep the pressure on Lo Pan), I have posted some WIP images sent to be by Lo Pan of his burgeoning Yu Jing army.

So far he has all the makings of a strong Imperial Service sectorial army. The Imperial Service lets him field Celestial Guard and Kuang Shi to his little heart's content. The latter of course being the enemies of the state who come strapped with explosives and ready to rumble (literally) the battlefield.
Here is the complete set, based and primered. The models in the initial image have been basecoated and built up to some highlighting and are now just waiting for a wash. To get started, LP picked up the Infinity box sets for the Yu Jing Imperial Sevice and the Kuang Shi.(4 kuang shi in the set). This is a good way to start a small, strong list and keep costs down until he gets a better feel for what he wants to play in Yu Jing.

If you want to see more of Lo Pan's stuff check out his webzone Cinema Fictions.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Annuntio: Support your Local Armageddon

In the ongoing fight to encourage and support the benefits of Armageddon (Negative Population Growth, less competition for resources, fodder for 24/7 cable news, etc.), 23LINES figured we'd drum up a little good will in the community and donate a Storm Raven to Old Shatter Hands over at Tau of War so that he could paint the thing pretty and provide it as part of the Heroes of Armageddon campaign to raise money for Doctors Without Borders.

Granted, the grin on Shatter Hands' face is really saying, "Oh great something else I have to paint.. when does this have to be done by?!" Meanwhile my wife caught me mid-sentence saying, "I'd never run Blood Angels gear in my Grey Knight list so get this thing off my hands right now!"

Seriously, this is a good cause. Check out Shatter's blog for a donation link.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Annuntio: New Order Sergeant with Spitfire

Beasts of War managed to snag some sneak peek images of the Corvus Belli release of a PanOceania Order Sergeant with spitfire. The model looks absolutely amazing and even seems to push the limits of what CB is capable in terms of dynamic posing and sculpting.

At at guess, I would say the model consists of a leg/torso piece, a separate leg/tabard piece and a single piece for the spitfire arm. Should be great for anyone just looking for a single spitfire arm to convert with.

Also, the head looks a little different because it is a multispectral L2 visor. In game terms, this means that the sergeant suffers no negative modifiers to shooting at models in any form of camouflage. This is a huge boon to a line troop that already has a decent BS of 12.

Thanks again to the BoW guys for this awesome sneak peek.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Exemplum: Painting Infinity Knights

This post is more just a reminder to myself where to find the color palette that was used to paint the knights in Corvus Belli's Military Order starter set.

Studio Giraldez has done some amazing work for CB (and other miniature companies). The direct link to the knights color palette is here.

A big Thanks to Angel Giraldez for making this valuable information available through his blog!

By the way, this is what he considers to be fast painting... I can only hope to get as good as his "fast" painting.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Indicium: Confessions of a Metal Junkie

With Games Workshop's announcement and launch of their Finecast line of miniatures, gaming blogs have been ablaze with pundits opining about the move to resin. The general opinion seems to be that metal models bad, resin models good, with sundry well-meaning rationales following in an orgy of TL;DR. Well I am here to say (write) that all those pundits and talking heads are wrong... so very, sadly, maddeningly, pathetically... well, uh, wrong (just kidding, you guys are totally rad - no, really, rad, I mean it).

Where are the posts espousing the virtues of metal models?! Their ineffable pointiness, bendiness coated in a fine film of mold release cracked fresh from a blister pack, slotta base just waiting to be... uh, well slotted. In the vein of a true metal junkie, I was driven to post in defense of our old friend!

A single pose, two (maybe three - madness!) piece metal model let me obscure the lack of talent required to clip out and assemble the multitude of tiny, plastic parts required to construct even the most basic mini. Look at our friendly, neighborhood space marine - requiring no fewer than eight separate parts to complete the simplest model, he is an exercise in sliced, sticky fingers resulting in the ultimately futile adhesion of manifold parts that never line up quite like the box cover depicts. Why would I ever want to subject myself to the misery of incessantly cleaning sprue cuts and mold lines when I could simply grip the heft of a metal model and scrape a Husky straight edge, razorblade across any raised points guaranteeing a reduction in overall detail and clarity of the model? Why would I ever not want to even consider not doing that?

And now I have to suffer with brittle, resin models, sold to me in bulletproof, clamshell, slice-your-fingers, plastic blister along with a collectible trading card! Clearly resin is infinitely inferior to metal when it comes to chucking a model across the room at the annoying, unchaperoned ten year old screaming his head off at the cashier for not letting him fondle the Golden Daemon quality models hidden so tantalizingly close behind fingerprint-stained glass.

I realize that resin allows simple conversions by dipping the model in boiling hot water then gently twisting it into whatever pretzel shaped customization that your little heart might desire. Straightening metal models was always so difficult given that you had to do it using room temperature air and your naked fingers. Recounting the number of times I strained my delicate digits in this process is both a shaming and unspeakable exercise in humbling, debilitating, humiliation! I mean... room temperature air - the horror, the horror!

Speaking of customization, why would I ever want to improve on the perfection of modeling that is the Games Workshop sculptors? What level of hubris and ego would dare to tarnish the amazing grace and perfectly poised dynamism of the original sculpts? Just look at how these new "fine"cast resin sculpts lend themselves to whatever conversion your little heart might desire. With single piece bodies and separate arms, you can point the arms up or down or even parallel to the ground! And don't get me started on the innumerable positions made possible by a separate head...

So don't meddle with my metal, don't aggravate my alloys, don't piddle on my pewter... these are my static, mono-pose, multi-stripped, toy soldiers and they will quite physically crush your finecasts into a highly toxic, finely granulated, resiny grit of... resin right before your horrified, tear sheened, gamer-doe eyes!

Oh yeah and the photo is of my friend's former band, Durga Temple, rocking the Fairfax, Virginia metal scene for a goodly chunk of the 00's.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Indicium: The Path to Infinity - Getting Started

Are you tired of supporting a game company that makes you pay a premium for an insanely protected, poorly supported, infrequently updated ruleset all the while claiming to just be interested in selling toy soldiers? Do you have fully painted models gathering dust because you can't "make them work" in a newly competitive environment? Are you tired of painting endless squads of the same miniature over and over again only to be forced to keep them protected in metal boxes until they are ready to pop out and die?

If you answered yes to one or more of these questions, have I got a miniature, table-top, war game for you!

I present for your reading pleasure a brief introduction and a set of links designed to get you and your gaming group up and running on Infinity. Infinity is a 28mm, skirmish level game set in the near-future where high-tech is the norm and humanity has only recently spread itself across the stars.

The appeal that Infinity has for me is the science fiction setting, the 28mm scale, and the ability to use miniatures from other companies almost seamlessly. Specifically, miniatures from the 40k universe work very nicely in Infinity and have allowed me to enjoy my painted soldiers in a different venue.

Getting started with Infinity is as simple as grabbing their quick start rules and setting up a small table:

Of course, as an experienced war gamer, you are ready to dig into the main rules which can be found here:

Corvus Belli (CB - the maker of Infinity) has also released an expansion called the Human sphere:

CB provides some basic video tutorials that give you a good sense of how the basic game mechanics work:

Now that you have the essentials of the game down, it's time to choose an army. CB makes this incredibly simple by providing an online army generator here (be patient, it loads a little slowly):

Selecting one of the factions' icons launches the army generator for that specific faction. Each faction has its own units, with respective abilities and points values. Click a model from the list selection and it is automatically added to the army list. Infinity games are typically played between 200 - 300 points, but can be readily played at the 150 point left.

Another amazing facet of Infinity is the searchable wiki available with the complete set of rules. In fact, clicking one of the attributes at the header level of the unit entry in the army generator launches a new window with the wiki entry for the selected attribute.

The Infinity wiki is found here:

On a final note for getting started you will need terrain... and lots of it! Fortunately, there is another awesome resource out there for getting quality terrain set up very quickly. The IKUBE series from Topo Solitario offers beautifully crafted, printable, foldable terrain that doesn't even require glue - and it's all free! Of course Topo provides more complex terrain elements but for getting started with Infinity the IKUBE series is second to none.

I hope I have provided you some insight into getting started quickly with Infinity. Stay tuned as I will continue to post Infinity articles related to army selection, gameplay, and tactics within this very cool universe.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Annuntio: 23Lines - A Former 40k Blogging Site

Given the current confluence of trends and events in the world of Warhammer 40k, I have decided to retire the 40k moniker from my blog and come up with a more generic name related to miniature wargaming.

Games Workshop's recent price hikes combined with their OZ embargo started me strongly questioning my loyalty to the company. In addition to that the player community seems to be heading in an a diametrically opposed direction to a hobby focus (razorspam, wolf wannabes, etc.).All of that adds up to a shift in my focus away from 40k to other miniature wargames.

Don't get me wrong, I will keep playing 40k with the armies I have, but I am no longer buying Games Workshop  product. I have enough Vostroyans, Grey Knight, and Necromunda gangers to keep me painting for quite some time.

What would bring me back into the GW fold (even with the price increases) is if the company would a) release all army books and rules as PDFs, b) provide frequent, consistent, and effective FAQs and erratas and c) offer an online army builder similar to that which is available for Infinity. In fact, the army builder could be readily built by one or more hobby enthusiasts at no cost to GW, if GW would only loosen some of the IP around their rules.

On a final note, I am entertaining new names for my little hobby blog. Ideally, the new name would include 23lines but it doesn't have to. I will also be redesigning the main graphic as it has frankly gotten a bit dusted and dated in the three or so years that this blog has been kicking around.

So please, post comments with suggestions of the new name or just feel free to rail against or defend GW in specific or 40k gamers in general!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Indicium: Color Palate for Infinity's Military Orders

I snagged this off the Infinity website and figured I post as a reminder to myself. I am putting together a PanOceana Military Order list comprised of Knights from each order.

Any suggestions as to color choices (Vallejo for preference) would be most appreciated in the comments.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Exemplum: Journey to Infinity

After demoing Infinity at Adepticon, I knew I was hooked.  Shatter Hands and I started playing a couple of weeks ago and he is pimping the game over here. First off, you need terrain and a fair amount of it. So to start things off, here is a link to Toposolitario for some amazing printable terrain. Seen above is his Industrial Complex battlemat and his series of IKUBE containers. The latter require no glue and can be assembled in only a few minutes.
It looks like the Ash Waste nomads have invaded the universe of Infinity. I should be getting some of the Teutonic knights from Infinity soon, but until then some Necromunda minis will have to do.

Here is another shot of Topo's amazing terrain. A few more containers and I will be able to set up corridors and fire lanes cross the entire board.

For more information on Infinity click here.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Commutatus: Knight Titan gets his Head Shrunk

This will likely be the last blog entry of the unpainted Knight titan conversion. I finally decided to seriously cut down the sentinel cockpit head and recess the head further back into the torso.

I carved out part of the torso using a dremel and removed the entire upper "eye" section of the sentinel cockpit. These pictures don't really do it justice, but the head is much further recessed and doesn't have nearly the same hulking stance that the original model did.

Likewise, I added a green-stuff banner/tabard. My hope is that after doing some free hand paint work it will look like a banner and not a loincloth!

As a comparison, here is the original full cockpit model:

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Indicium: Grey Knights - What Not to Run

I got in a game last night over at a friends house using the new Grey Knights codex. I had a list planned out, tweaked from the last game I played, and was ready to try out some new units. Upon arriving, however, I realized that I had forgotten the tray containing my dreadnoughts and land raider. D'oh.

Undaunted, I updated the list with some units that I wanted to try out. What I ultimately came up with is THE WORST LIST EVER! Okay, so not really but it sure wasn't good. For your reading pleasure:

Librarian w/various powers
Xenos inquisitor with conversion beamer

inq. warband w/8 psykers, 1 jokaero, 2 multimelta servitors

9 Purifiers w/2 psycannons, halberds, and a MC hammer; rhino
1 techmarine with rad and psychotroke grenades
1 callidus assassin

10 x terminators with 2 psycannons and a MC hammer
10 x grey knights (strike squad), 2 psycannons and a MC hammer; rhino

1 x dreadknight; naked
5 x purgation w/incinerator and rhino

That was it... let me tell you that list did not work. My friend played a strongly themed ultramarine list (Sicarius, 2 x tac squads, assault terms, etc.)

Needless to say I got crushed! The callidus waited until turn 4 to show up, the conversion beamer did absolutely nothing, and eight out of ten terminators were dead by turn two.

Needless to say, that is not a list I will be running again. Obviously, there were too many shiny toys in there to make it work right, but there were also some lessons. Callidus needs to have a GKGM to bring her in with psychic communion. The inquisitor with beamer is a cool concept but not worth the practical limitations of a small blast and range/strength mechanics. The purgation squad should have just been another GKSS squad and hunkered down on an objective for scoring. The techmarine is probably good... when you remember to actual bolster a piece of terrain!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Commutatus: Knight Titan - Conversion Tertia

Another thrilling update in the ongoing saga of the dreadknight titan conversion. I removed the hydraulics on the shoulders and added covering plates. I also bulked out the chainsword arms slightly by adding the ammo boxes from an assault cannon.
Just to break up the monotony of these titan posts, here is a pic of some robed marines sporting parts from the new PAGK kit. The knight on the left has a new storm bolter arm while the other marine has a new psycannon. These guys are part of the core of my GK strike force squads and are meant to be quick to convert and quick to paint. Ultimately, I am targeting four squads of ten, so to keep my attention span from flagging too much I went with the robed marines as being far simpler to paint. These guys will get a little more detail in terms of touch-up and shading but they don't get the same TLC that my metal GKT and PAGK (Purifiers) get.
And finally, a quick size comparison between the marines and the knight titan. As you can see, it is feasible that a grey knight without power armor could be piloting the titan... although he would be a bit cramped!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Commutatus: Knight Titan - Now with Chainsword Arms

First off, thanks for all the great comments yesterday. For today's installment, the model's torso has been lifted a 1/2" and I have roughed in the chainsword arms. The arms have also been re-reversed so they are facing correctly (not that it matter as the fists are no longer an issue). One modeling issue I am on the fence about is whether to greenstuff over the words inscribed on the arms and shoulder pads. Granted they are some of the less goofy words (none of this victor, titan, or terra nonsense) and could be reflective of titan iconography. Any thoughts on this are more than welcome.

As to the head issue, I would definitely entertain any suggestions as to alternate heads. The sentinel cockpit can be popped off the model (even though it was the original inspiration for the piece) and replaced with something more scale to the body. Again, any suggestions would be great.

Next up will be looking at whether and how much to armor the legs. I actually like the exposed struts of the current incarnation, but am considering bulking out the ankles/shins to get it closer to the epic version.

Finally, here is a pic of an unreleased Epicast knight titan. I have been using this guy as a point of reference, as well.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Commutatus: Knight Titan - A Dreadknight Conversion

Here is a very raw version of the mini knight titan I am doing for my dreadknight. The arms are not permanently attached and I still haven't figured out how I want to do the chainsword style arms similar to the knight titans in epic.
Basically, I am trying to build this guy out of the dreadknight kit. Pretty close so far, but I may get rid of the hydraulics that stick out of the DK's shoulders... or maybe not as they look kind of cool. Any thoughts as to how to do chainsword arms would be most appreciated.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Indicium: 40k Whippersnappers

In honor of Tony's win of the Adepticon 40k Championships, I present something only he can appreciate:

The Teenager Audio Test - Can you hear this sound?

Created by Oatmeal

Enjoy, Tony, enjoy!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Indicium: 40k is Pure Child's Play

So completely off topic from 40k, I just found a video of myself on a game show as a kid:

Preserved for posterity on YouTube!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Indicium: Forgeworld Grey Knight Updates

In case you didn't know, Forgeworld has released updated rules for the Inquisition and Grey Knights here.

Nothing too exciting but at least they are staying current as quickly as possible. The surprise here is how little they seem to understand their own actual ruleset. I own a Grey Knight Redeemer and plan to play with the psybolt upgrade as psycannons. Per the FW rules, I would end up paying 15 points more for the same stat line and the simple privilege of calling it a psycannon rather than an assault cannon with psybolts.

Same thing goes for the dreadnought upgrade. Basically a 5 point premium for the privilege of calling it a "psycannon"!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Indicium: Games Workshop UK Sweet Spot

Not directly related to the game, but I noticed recently that there is a sweet spot when ordering from the UK GW site and shipping to the United States.

The discovery came about when I realized that the US GW site no longer stocked the Grey Knight terminator psycannon arms. Considering that I had recently purchased six metal terminator bodies from ApocaBitz for use with those arms, I was justifiably upset. Calling US GW customer service rendered no satisfaction, only the statement that the bits had been discontinued in favor of the plastic terminators soon to be released.

In a state of desperation, I ended up at the UK GW site and found that they still carried the bits. I added these to my shopping cart, clicked Check Out, and found that shipping to the US was in the neighborhood of 8GBP (pound sterling) which is roughly $14! All that for something like five total ounces of metal.

I decided to see what else I could order so I added a few more things to my shopping cart. In doing so I noticed several things:

  • Every item added to my cart showed up at a 17% discount from the list price
  • As long as the total cart value stayed under 50GBP, the shipping remained 8GBP
  • As soon as the value went over 50GBP shipping jumped to 24GBP (about $40)
The 17% discount is the VAT that gets taken off when the shipping address is in the US. This alone is more than enough to offset the cost of shipping on an order that is just under 50GBP.

Moreover, ALL Necromunda models are discounted about 20% on the UK GW site from their US counterparts. 

In all, I ended up ordering two arbites gang boxes, one escher booster, and the aforementioned psycannons. After all the dust had settled (VAT, US vs UK price differences, etc.), the shipping and the psycannons were essentially FREE.

So if you are considering picking up any Necromunda product and shipping to the US, do it from the UK GW site (just keep it under 50GBP per order). For anything else, you are still getting a discount especially when the UK site has product no longer available elsewhere.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Exemplum: Calling down the Nightmare

The new Grey Knight codex presents a new spin on a very old concept - the orbital bombardment. The legacy Daemonhunters book presented these attacks as a separate Heavy support choice that essentially bombed one piece of terrain for almost the entire game. Great concept; poor execution.

The new book provides a great new way to deliver this payload in the form of the orbital strike relay. Offered as a 50 point option on the grand master, brother captain, and the techmarine as well as included in Karamazov's cost. Giving the relay to either the grand master or brother captain is frankly a waste as these guys will always be moving and the relay requires a stationary model to use.

However, the techmarine offers the most affordable choice and he doesn't eat up a valuable HQ choice. Karamazov effectively becomes 150 points and is a perfect choice for a firebase, regardless.

The simplest way to run this list is to take Karamazov with a bunch of monkeys parked in a piece of terrain bolstered by the relay techmarine. The techmarine literally hides out of line of sight, picking out a separate target, while the man in the yellow hat and his curious monkeys target their armor of choice.

At the end of the day this is not a "competitive" choice (little on my blog really is) but I think this would be a fun and effective way to bring a little mini-exterminatus to a tabletop near you!