Thursday, May 30, 2013

Storage Solutions Part 1

We all love our toys, and we all need a way to store them. I thought I would share my solutions to this great dilemma.

Image used without permission
I have been a gamer and collector of metal soldiers for over 30 years. My first storage solution was the box the figures came in! Back in the day, a boxed set of figures came in a foam tray... look familiar? Maybe someone from Grenadier Miniatures should sue!!

In this post, I will focus on how I store my HeroClix figures. The bags are Totes brand that I found at a bargain store. Sadly, I was only able to acquire 9 of them before they stopped getting more in, and have not found a suitable replacement.

Inside the bag are a mix of Plano, Isis, and Rubbermaid Storage Trays. The trays can fit either on their "spines" as pictures, or flat. If I were store my 40K/D&D minis in these cases I would place the trays in flat. But the HeroClix pieces are light and durable--any minor shifting does not cause any wear.

Here is one bag unpacked. All large figures go in the big shoe box clam-shell trays while the regular sied figures are sorted by team in the divider trays.

All four bags opened.
You can see that one of the bags has one less tray to accommodate books, papers, rules, army lists, etc. I forgot to take a picture of it, but one of the side pouches does not have a storage tray. It has 2 trading card boxes storing all the game cards.

Here are the bags in their resting place. I have 4 other bags storing various collectible miniatures games (CMG). This system is essentially functions like a Battlefoam carrying cases at a lower cost. The CMG figures are much more scratch resistant and can withstand the foam-less housing.

Unfortunately, the cost of this storage solution likely has little relevance to anyone else as this will be hard to replicate. Also, I had the advantage of buying these over the coarse of 3 years about 15 years ago. But for the curious, the cost per bag is $13 for the bag + about $35 for the trays, totaling roughly $384 for all 8 bags.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Dark Heresy Encounters - Showcase

I am posting these images on behalf of Adeptus-B. 


Below is a quick photobomb of some minis Adeptus-B did for our Dark Heresy campaign.

Religious toys from a gumball machine
These four figures were originally little toys that Adeptus-B added Imperial bitz to turning them into statues. He did a great job--These look impressive in person!

Warp Spawn
A big warp beastie we had to fight--Don't recall if we ever figured out what it was. I believe all the bitz are from the Chaos Spawn sprue.

Warp Spiders
No conversions here, just repurposed Goblin Spider Riders. We had to fight a number of these things, but never more than two at a time!! :D

Flying Face Eaters
These warp creatures were made from paper and bitz from a craft store. It was a shock when he pulled these things out! They all have the underside "mouth" detail.

Zombified IG/Ship Crew

Finally, here is a small horde of zombies... with some IG bitz here and there.

Thanks for looking. More to come soon!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Nine is Devine

Games of Zorcon turns 9!

Nine years ago today, I started an online adventure. My humble beginnings were to simply share ideas and creations plus offer resources to my favorite games. But alas, it has been left adrift in the warp for the last 4 years while my attention has been on this blog. I had always intended of going back to the website, but after such a long "hiatus" I am now left with a feeling it is time to let it go.

Home Page
I will spend this next week mulling over what will be the fate of Games of Zorcon:

  • Simply keep it as is
  • Keep it and begin adding new material
  • Redesign it, making it easier to update
  • Fold the material in to this blog

There is a ton of stuff on this site! Here is a breakdown of the major categories...

Resources for my favorite games

The Gamography section is a depository of links, resources, images, product indexes, and (my) fan art. I became very prolific making wallpapers and virtual trading cards plus other fan art for the video game Bikini Karate Babes. I designed over 150 images!

A list of sites selling game accessories
Back in the day, I was obsessed with game accessories! I suppose I still am, but at the time, this was all that was out there (that I could find) that sold unique items. Most are still around!!

Image Library for Battle Planner
Probably the second largest resource project on the site is an extensive image library of the most popular miniature games. The images were to be used in Battle Planner--A collection manager and army builder. I have complete image galleries for almost 100 sets/expansions, spanning 7 different collectible miniature games, totaling thousands of images.

I still use Battle Planner to this day as it is a great resource for CMG (and CCG too)!

A living project cataloging D&D 3.x
The big daddy of projects was a project I dubbed the d20 Directory. This Excel file covered over 200 books, over 33,000 indexed rules, in over 21 categories such as: Race, Class, Spells, Weapons, Magic Items, Monsters, Locations, and many more.  I found this tool to be invaluable while running by D&D campaigns.

A similar project that predates the d20 Directory is my gaming magazine index. Its aim was to categorize and index articles. There are over 1000 entries to date. The periodicals that I started with were: White Dwarf, Dragon, and Inquest Gamer, among a few others.

More recently I began work on a another indexing project for the WH40K Roleplay system.

The beginnings of an image gallery
The rest of Games of Zorcon is a collection of images, mostly miniatures and fan art, focused on D&D and Iron Man. Overall I am very proud of the site and the material I created. But unfortunately the site eventually became too unwieldy to update and add material.

What do you think I should do?

Friday, May 24, 2013

Ork Boar Riders WIP

Here is a project I started probably about 6-8 years ago. No big surprise--Typical around here!! These are counts-as Orc Boar Riders. While my first foray into the world of GW was WHFB 1st edition, the game never took off with our group. There were a few of us that played on the rare occasion, but that became less and less over the years. I like FB, but my group's gaming time is limited and falls to about 90% RPGs and 9% board/card games. The one percent typically would be Blood Bowl or Necromunda. So not much chance of a FB game!! Directly because of that, the most current FB books I only own the 6th edition Core Rules and the 4th edition Orc Armies book!

Because I rarely play FB, any models I build/paint *must* pull double duty in an RPG function--Weather PC, NPC, Mob, or Boss. Because I have a ton of orcs from other sources, the orcs in the Orc Warriors Regiment box could be put to alternate uses. So, they were used in this project.

The "boars" are a Marvel Heroclix Lockjaw. For awhile I ran an eBay store selling Heroclix, D&D, Star Wars, and Axis and Allies Miniatures. I ended up with a ton of these guys in inventory!  

I believe I have used a mix of Space Ork and Orc Warrior parts. In hind sight I wish I new about magnetizing when I started building these models--Maybe I could have also made alt bodies for counts-as Warbikes? Eh, it would have required different bases too.

Most of the legs were cut apart and then I added greenstuff to fill in the gaps and missing areas. I chose not to sculpt saddles as I was not confidant with my sculpting skills, but in hind sight this would have been a perfect project to build those skills up!

I think this unit will look great when completed!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The Snow Elves

Laertes sent me this op-ed in response to an article he read.


It all began (perhaps as such things do) with Rick Priestley’s column in issue 65 of Wargames, Soldiers, and Strategy magazine.  They graciously pulled the article out of the magazine and posted it in PDF form on their website.

At first it would not necessarily seem that controversial, although it did spark a fair bit of comment, such as on blogs like this.

And what might be the big deal?  Rick is merely chronicling the rising standard, and how armies went from paint jobs that were “good enough” (note that this does not read “bad”) to the more modern standards found in glossy magazines, catalogs, and websites throughout the world.  He gives the genesis of perhaps how this came about and how even his own standards really don’t measure up against what they are putting out now.  At that point I had a moment of clarity:

Perhaps this is how the snow elves came to be.

Let me back up a moment and say that I do understand that this is a hobby and, as such is always about allocating resources (time and money).  The average gamer only has so much time to devote to both painting and gaming, and how they choose to split that time might largely determine where along the game spectrum their interests may lay.  At one end of the spectrum are those gamers who likely are more akin to static modelers, in that for them the enjoyment of the hobby is in painting and converting miniatures, with the gaming as a distant second (or lower) priority.  At the other end are those who are primarily interested in gaming, and view the miniatures employed therein as simply gaming pieces – they might be as happy simply using cardboard mock-ups or small chits to represent figures or units.  But I would say most gamers fall somewhere between the two extremes, somewhere along the bell curve:  the enjoy gaming but also enjoy the modeling aspect inherent in playing a miniatures-based wargame.

So then, do we play with painted miniatures or not?

Something that had been pointed out in a number of articles, sometimes mentioned on podcasts, and something you will see in battle reports scattered about the Internet, in particular.  Historical games, by and large, seemed to be played with painted miniatures, while fantasy games (including WH40K) featured a large variety of armies that were simply only assembled, and perhaps only wearing a primer coat.  That is why we originally called them the “snow elves” – they were High Elf units in the white basecoat that was popular at the time.  But why does this seem to be the case?

It did not seem logical to think that historical gamers had more time (or necessarily more money) than those WH40K players, for example.  While they tend to be older, it could mean that they have invested more time in painting their armies over the years so the net effect is that they simply have more figures laying about that simply are painted.  But after reading the article and having that little moment of clarity I think perhaps there might be a different explanation.

As Rick mentioned, the standards for painting have gone up and up and up over the years.  The high color images and professional art departments now dominate.  But I think the side effect of raising the bar higher and higher has a profound effect upon the newer gamer:  the new game does not have a definition of “tabletop quality” that the historical gamer likely does.

Think about it:  if all you’ve seen are the professionally painted miniatures in White Dwarf, or on the box art, or in other magazines, that becomes your idea of the standard, does it not?  You know you may not with the Golden Daemon award, but your goal is to shoot for something like that, isn’t it?  And that’s where the new game runs smack up against that issue of limited resources:  if the standard of the day is that each figure requires 20 man hours to paint, and you need to paint 200 figures, that is a fairly daunting task.  And let us not kid ourselves:  painting to a higher standard *is* time consuming.  There is no way around that.  Yes with practice in your technique and a certain amount of natural ability you can accomplish things faster and faster, but paint only dries so quickly and those 6 layers of blended highlights per cloak do not take 30 seconds.  So what do you do?

Well you put them in primer until such time as you do have the 20 hours to devote per figure.  One at a time, figure by figure, unit by unit.

Seems fairly daunting, does it not?  The new games do not have the idea of a “tabletop standard” unless they’re playing in a group that somehow recommends it.  Unless they’ve seen it done, or lived through the times where it was the norm, how are they to know it is even necessarily an option?

Part of the complication is the scale.  Nearly all of the Warhammer games are in 28mm, as are those by other popular publishers (like Privateer Press).  Historical gamers often started in 10mm or 15mm scale, and no one was aspiring to works of art on figures that small.  In a similar vein, the historical gamers were using 15mm (for example) because someone wanting to game the battle of Borodino using 28mm figures was unlikely to be successful.  Skirmish games lended themselves to the larger 28mm scale, and that is indeed where WH40K began, but the unit and battle sizes have crept up over the years.  A high quality 28mm figure lends itself well to a high quality paint job much more so than does a lower quality or a figure in a smaller scale, so what’s perfectly acceptable at 10mm from 3 feet away looks rather plain in 28mm scale from the same distance.

We have raised the standard over the years, but it is also a barrier to entry and forestalls progress.  We want more gamers, not less, and playing with painted miniatures is what this can be all about.  But by constantly promoting the modeling standard we push gamers out of that middle “zone” and force them to make a hard decision:  they need to take the time to paint up the figures “correctly” (leaving little time for gaming) or they need to abandon the idea of really painting their figures and spend more time gaming.

And thus the snow elves move onward.

It is kind of natural – I find myself doing it too.  I see the beautifully painted miniatures, I know how long they take to look that good . . . and I want them for my own armies any way.  Then the resource issue simply becomes not one of time, but of money – and note all of the painting services that spring up just so that you too can have your miniatures painted to that (ever higher) new standard.  Pretty expensive to do an entire army that way but hey, who has the time?

So Rick’s article was inspiring for me in a way too.  I recognized what I was doing and identified with what he was saying.  No I cannot paint that well .  . . but I can paint it so that it is “good enough” on the table top.  I have seen, and read, articles that promote just such abilities and techniques.  The snow elves don’t have to remain in the snow forever.  Let us dispense with the notions that everything needs to be that quality, and field the armies painted, ready for winning battles and not winning awards.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

RPG Mobs - Genestealers

This is the first installment of a new series entitled RPG Mobs. On occasiona, I bang out some baddies for our PC's to fight. They usually aren't anything spectacular as I aim for low table top quality. However, I think there will be something of interest, weather it be older models, creative mods/techniques, ore something else. Enjoy!

L: Cut in purple detail and washed
R: Primed

These are Genestealers from the 1st and 2nd edition Space Hulk sets, and from Advanced Space Crusade. I love the original paint scheme and set out to try and quickly replicate the look. We are using these for a series of Deathwatch missions (clearing out a Space Hulk... WOO HOO!!!)

I started with a can of spray paint from the local hardware store. I wanted a light blue-grey and what I found is perfect! After the primer dried, I added in the purple areas. Unfortunately, the spray paint was semi-gloss and I had issues with painting over it. The next time I will try hitting it with a clear matte-cote before painting.

Next, I washed the entire figure with a 4:1 mix of black to blue wash (I used GW's Badab and Asurmen). When that was dry I hit all the claws and teeth with a tan--Eventually, I will highlight that with Ivory. Lastly, the tongue.

The entire brood

Overall, this went very quick. As for basing, I will probably use "granny grid" and plasitcard to create a simple tech-deck.

That's about all I have to say about these guys. Although, I may not be able to prevent myself from adding a little bit of highlighting to the blue and purple before I call this project done.

Hope you enjoy this series!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

10... The Magic Number

My son Marcus turns 10 today. He recently got a hold of my camera when I wasn't looking and had a little fun. Following are a few select shots!

This is our cat Onyx sitting in the middle of an epic battle of my son's creation. We had Tau, Dark Eldar, and Genesteelers trying to take over an Imperial City. The Deathwatch were sent in to rescue the citizens. Marcus created the scenario and was also the "GM". I could see the influence of his video game exposure--He had power and level ups throughout the board and specific characters to talk to that gave out mini missions!! It was a blast watching him build this world and take me through it. So proud he is enjoying my hobby.

Marcus also got another chance to sit at the "big kids" table with my crew on game night. He played in the last session 2 weeks ago and did very well--He is now a permanent member of our Deathwatch campaign!

Over the last few weeks my son and I also got in his first games of Axis and Allies and Samurai Swords (both 80's MB games). He really enjoyed them,s and I look forward to future games! Maybe we will get some gaming in this weekend!!

Lastly, for his birthday, Marcus asked me if he could sing with our band! My mates loved the idea! We will throw a BBQ in my backyard to showcase the event! I can't wait to brag, er, I mean post about it at a later time!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Retro Models - Khorne

I am starting (another) new series showcasing my vintage figures. These are from my Khorne army. All were purchased during WH40K 2ed era except for the unpainted Juggernaut which was a "more recent" eBay find. Some of them are painted, some are not. Of the painted ones, most have more than one coat of paint on them. One hurdle I have for painting full armies (besides continuously jumping to new projects) is repainting already painted figures to current standards. 

I can't tell you how many times I'd get 20 models into an army before going to something else. Then 5 years later when I get back to the project, my style and technique is improved. More often than not, I would repaint the 20 before working on other models...

Old Skool Juggernaughts

I never glued down the riders on these juggers, so they could pull double duty in 40K and FB. In fact two of them originally came with FB riders while the other two came with a 40K rider. Back in the day I mostly used them as steeds for commanders and heroes. But now, they are so much smaller than the modern juggernaut  I'm not sure. One thought is to use one as the steed for a Chaos Knight champion, but I also thought they would look cool pulling a chaos chariot! Maybe in a 40K army, they could be counts as bikers?

Repainted to be part of the same unit and brighter colors.
Another 4 Havocs

These eight Devastator, er Havocs are some of my ancient metal chaos marines. I used to indicate different squads by painting the backpacks differently.

L: Original Chaos Dreadnought; R: From Space Crusade 
L: One of my "newer" Chaos Marines; R The Original (?)
Some newer arms added to older models

Back in the day, I thought Terminators were pretty cool. I don't have as many of the chaos variety (you will see my ridiculous pile of Aquamarine Terminators in an upcoming post), but I do have one more so I can make two 8-man units like all good and obedient Khorne generals should field!

The inset in the upper right is to better show off the hand painted World Eaters symbol on about half of the termies.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Blood Bowl League Batrep Day 4 - Necromantics vs Amazons

Another game completed in our Blood Bowl League. These two teams are currently leading the league--The Playoff slots are slipping away from me! The points are close, and anyone could make the post season, but only if there is an upset.

Here is Lord Grimskull's Batrep for his second game vs Laertes' Necromantics...


This was a game set for disaster from the start and I guess for everyone involved. To paint the picture, Laertes has been work'n hard to actually get our game together and it was all working out, but yesterday at 3 when we played the game it was anything but. Basically I've been spending the entire bit of last week trying to get my internet fixed after (while helping a buddy) I contracted a mighty virus. This thing by itself didn't do much, nothing my anti-virus couldn't take, but somehow someway... it managed to send our public IP from our router to what I assume is a remote server that could both monitor when I was online, but also hammer the ever loving blood out of our router. To the point that no matter what we did locally (at the time) could fix it. I was two reformats in and several attempts (including an IP change from the ISP) when Laertes and I played our first game. 

This thing was tragic, the lag and hiccups were so bad I couldn't reliably control my guys, including finishing setting up my line. It seemed to come and go in play-ability and I was ready to forfeit the match but Laertes urged me on to stick it out. To be fair it was a pretty exciting match if you could ignore the lag. Sadly however on turn 13 or 14 my net finally crapped out and DCed me with no hope of re-establishing a link to the game so we could finish. At that time we were 1-1 (like we were in the current game) but the ball was in Laertes's hands and he didn't have such terrible injuries.

So to fix our net we traded out the router and Bam, everything is fine. We'd been reading (though some wouldn't care to admit) that there was a chance that the somehow the router itself had been compromised and was the center of the problem. I don't know networking or anything like that well enough to comment, I'm just happy I can use my net and not be afraid that I'm going to loose everything.


The replacement game was today, still 1-1, but now Laertes had serious injuries. The honest truth though is the dice seemed to rule out player skill or tactic almost completely this game. I'm not afraid to admit I got out played, and at first out diced. A lot of Defender Down rolls put me at an 8v11 early in the first. Only through complete luck did I manage a blitz that also put the ball in my hands and it turned into a game of lock down. It seemed like at every move Laertes had a counter, and while I'm getting a little better of expecting ball movement, it was very little of what I was doing this game.

The second half didn't start off any better to be honest. He punched up a good kick off and drove it far right for me. looking at my setup I could either grab the ball with my catcher (surviving a dodge roll and the pickup) or a GFI with my thrower. I had a feeling in my bones that the dodge roll wouldn't make it, I hadn't been making many of them all game, so I went with the GFI and boom down. I'd already used my reroll earlier in the turn to stop an attacker down so I was Kapoot. Before I knew it Laertes was swarming, picked up the ball with a WW and was well on his way. I needed a very specific set of circumstances to happen to even try to stop it, which was to push a guy off a blitzer so she could blitz. Even then, she was only throwing 1 dice, sure I had a reroll but you know. I get a defender down, plus an injury on the WW and I pickup the ball... complete luck. It didn't take Laertes long to grab the ball off her again and I was stuck in yet another do-or-die situation, this time my only chance required a successful dodge roll, and before it even went off I called a fail (it did). That was the first touchdown and it was like turn 12 or 13.

At the start of the next round I count my players, 10, okay so I'm not doin too bad, glad I picked up that spare. but I've never been a 2 turn scoring type so this is going to be rough. I take my chances with a pass play and it works, get a linewoman deep and Laertes' only chance is to get his super ghoul next to her in a GFI, he fails and it breaks his collarbone. Holy cow super luck again. by the next set I think I'm back to 11 and he's down to 8? I don't remember right off hand. But we're so close to the end of the game he'll need to 2 turn it and gets unlucky with a blitz pretty much ending it in 1-1.

The gist of this game.... luck, no strategy just luck. It seemed like Laertes could throw Defender Downs all day long till it was clutch then it was all pushes, you'd have to see the first half to understand that. Then he gets both of the worst injuries this game completely by luck. I know it's the name of the game but yiesh. x_X

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Props - Viking Helmet

I have mentioned before that I am in a band (one month shy of a year ago!). But I don't think I ever said that in March I made a Viking helmet to wear on stage.

I was initially trepidatious about sporting this at our gigs. But to my amazement (and the band's), I get approached constantly before, during, and after our shows with people asking me for a photograph, to try on the helmet, and all around positive comments! I have even had a line of people to see me!!! What an experience!!

Front of the helmet

Before I joined, the band started out as playing Celtic/Punk covers. At the time (and still) the lead singer, and founder, wore his clan's kilt while the rest of the band was in street clothes. As we added members, and started writing our own songs, we were also adding global folk influences.

It was around that time we decided that each member should adopt a character--A pseudo-version of their ancestry! I am half Norwegian and chose to add Viking elements to my stage outfit. Since we have a strong Punk edge, I decided to not dress in traditional garb.

Back view

I thought long and hard about buying a metal helmet. There were about 5 styles I looked at on Amazon that were under $100. I had been given gift cards and cash for Birthday/Christmas specifically for band needs. However, I eventually decided that fit and weight were going to be issues while I performed, and eventually chose to make my own helmet instead! (Thanks Dave!!)

Toy Helmet (Image taken from interwebs without permission

Never making anything like this before, I bought an adult toy helmet, thinking I could simply paint it (I do have those skills). Unfortunately thy toy helmet barely fits my soon-to-be-10-year-old son, let alone my big ol' noggin! At that point, I had a string of gigs in 2 days looming ahead and had to make it from scratch or else do without for the next 5 gig's.

First Attempt frame-work

I started out scavenging the horns, top spike and fur rings from the toy helmet. Then I went to Michael's and bought craft foam sheets (ala scrap-booking), textured felt, and googly eyes. I didn't really have a plan, I just started cutting and gluing. All was OK until I started gluing in the felt inserts. The second insert was a little off center and it completely warped the helmet... I had to start over!

The bad news was I ran out of craft foam, but the good news was I found these half round "beads that worked out much better as the rivets.

Inside the helm is tac "welded" with hot glue

The second go around was a breeze! I now had a template to follow, and was able to tweak the design in a few places, making it a more durable item. Once everything was assembled, and the glue cooled, I sprayed the inside with 3 coats of liquid rubber. After that dried, I primed everything in black.

I wanted to go simple on the paint, applying a base coat, ink wash, and a simple dry brush. Then I coated the silver with and horns with a brush on gloss coat. Finally, when everything was dry, I slid on the furry rings.

Photo by Digital Style Photography
This is a pic taken at one of our recent shows. He caught me in a strange expression, as if I was deep in thought.

I hope you like it! As always, questions and comments always welcome!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Blood Bowl League Batrep Day 4 - Orcs vs Dark Elves

Orcs vs Dark Elves II

The rematch of my Orcs vs Wintervoid's Dark Elves was played today. I was confidant going into this game as the first go around was a 4-0 blow out--Although I did sustain 2 deaths in that match. For this game my goal was to:

  • Punch, punch hard, and punch often (as all Orc teams should). 
  • Keep in mind the speed of the Dark Elves--While they aren't the fastest team out there, they are the fastest team in our league and much faster then the computer opponents the Orcs always seem to face.
  • Start on defense (If I have the choice) as I am usually better at it, and it gives me time to widdle down the opponent for a second half player advantage.
  • I chose not to buy a 12th player. I had 60k in the bank saving for my 3rd re-roll.

With that, on to the game...

First Half:

I set up with the troll and 2 black orcs on the line of scrimmage and everyone else deep, double covering TZs as tightly as possible. I rolled Perfect Defense on the kick-off and moved the three on the center line to my right in order to square up against his elves. The kick went deep and bodies crashed. I easily knocked down the elves, but none were going off the pitch. I lost my +1 MA Blitzer and was quickly down a player. Wintervoid moved to my right which is now the week side and after knocking down most of his guys I made a throw away 1 die block and failed. This unexpectedly left a bigger whole on my right.

The elves poured down the right side of the pitch, but I managed to crash in and knock down ball carrier (a Runner) and knocked down the deep Line-elf. But I was not able to get to the ball. I was in position to out number Wintervoid on my next turn and start my drive down the pitch.... However he made a beautiful (and lucky) play! His Runner dodged out of a TZ, dodged into the space where the ball was, pick it up, dodge out, dodge again and throw the ball to the Line-Elf, who ran it is for a TD!

OK, not what I expected, but I still have 4 turns to tie the game before half. I set up and realized I was still down a player. So I set up strong to my left and as expected, Wintervoid kicks right. I throw a few blocks and position defensively before running my Thrower up (with a GFI) to get the ball (which requires my last re-roll). He is a little more out in the open than I would like, so I throw 3 squares to my +1 AG Blitzer... Failed Catch! Wintervoid failed to get the ball and I manage to get the ball and my guys to the left of the field and march down. We spend a couple of turns ramming into each other and I suddenly find myself down to 9 players!  On my turn 7, my ball carrier is 13 squares away from the endzone. I block hard and manage to get almost every elf down that is near the ball. My Blitzer needs to blitz the last standing elf to make a run down field. He makes it and I figure it would be better to GFI now as it will put me farther away from the Dark Elves. The bad news is I failed the roll, the good news is Wintervoid couldn't get to me, the bad news is now I can't reach the endzone. I tried a far fetched play to have the troll throw the goblin near the ball and then pick up to score, but that plan ended on the first attempt to block an Dark Elf. End of the half, 0-1.

Second Half:

None of my orcs recovered from KOs, and I am lining up 9 orcs vs a full team. I set up strong to the left again, leaving a Blitzer and a Thrower to cover the weak side. The kickoff result was Blitz! Wintervoid went deep getting at least 2-on-1 coverage on both my weak side players. He blitzed and KOd another Blitzer leaving me with 8 players before I even started the second half! Luckily it was a touchback, so I placed the ball in the hands of my last Blitzer with 4 Black Orcs as a running wall.

I decided to push it hard and go for a quick point, hoping to get my KOd guys back and set me up for a second pont opportunity. I had an opening that required a dodge and a GFI to win... The dodge worked but I splatted in the endzone!

On Wintervoid's turn he capitalized on my poor positioning (I was banking on a score) and pushed a Black Orc off the field and KOd another Ork! The Dark Elves picked up the ball and moved it about 5 squares down field. I had a shot at the ball carrier but got a Pushed result. Then my Troll tried to shore up my dwindling defense with a 2 die block, but rolled double skull (my third or fourth of the game).

To make matters worse, two elves ganged up on a Black Orc (one die block) and KO'd my 5th player! Everyone else on my team was knocked over on that same turn. I started my 16th turn with 6 players on the field, all prone. I didn't have a chance to stop the ball, so I passed my turn. Game ends 2-0, Dark Elves.

Post Game:

I felt like I had a good game, and honestly Wintervoid did to, but this could have been easily a 2-1 win for me. I can not think of any glaring mistakes, but my opponent didn't make any either. Its dice that did me in this game. The Coup de gras was the KOs... I got ZERO KOs or Injuries against the Dark Elves and they got 5 KOs on me?!?

I rolled well for winning being on the loosing side, but am still short 10k for a re-roll. It is hard not to buy 1-2 more players with what happened in tonight's game.

Next Up:

Back to Back games vs Amazons. They are currently leading the league, plus Lord Grimskull has played one less game--If he looses, I will still be in third place, but he will drop to second. No matter the outcome of his next game, it will not effect my game plan.

Amazons are the slowest team (besides me) and the weakest AV. My plan is to grab as many girls as I can while I march up the field!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Miniature Companies Index

I have been collecting links to every miniature and accessory manufacturers I have found over the years. It started out as simply bookmarking them, but after awhile the list became too long. I was unfamiliar with most of the companies--It became completely non-functional.

About 2 years ago, I transferred all the links to a spreadsheet and noted the company, link, and roughly what they produced. I still found that I could not easily find what I was looking for.

That has lead me to this: A Miniature Company Index in development.

I expanded the categories for each company. They are separated into 5 major groups: Model Type, Scale, Range (Genre), Material, and Other.

Take a look and let me know what you think.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Blood Bowl League Batrep Day 3 - Dark Elves vs Amazons

Lord Grimskull has written a Batrep for his recent Blood Bowl game...


Elves vs Ladies Part Duex

So I entered this game a little wizened by my experience with [Draxar], most notably that while I love to play the Zons bashy they are still pretty frail and that I need to take this into account.

We flipped and [Wintervoid] won the toss and opted for me to kick off. I setup in a standard array, blitzers on the sides, linewomen setup for optimum 2 roll blocks, and my catcher deep just in case. [Wintervoid] setup accordingly, putting some space on his left (my right) and putting a blitzer and his witch there (I'd have to try to blitz that, forget it) and a good spacing to combat my lineup.

So boom, the kick! I get a chance to reset my line up, and not paying attention to where the ball is going I send my catcher up to the line to help begin my elf bashing wall.  Well, I should have paid some attention, because the ball sailed right into the hands of his receiver  maybe 3 squares from the line on the left side, no need to pickup and in good position... crap.

Next his first block he throws in the game dumps one of my left side blitzers, not just down but an injury first block of the game, and now there's a growing hole on my left side. Not a particularly good looking start for me but it's still early.

There's some fighting as we maneuver to the left that ends in catastrophe for me when one of my blitzer throws a double skull block, rerolls, and double skulls again opening up my left side completely uncontested as his witch strides down field and eventually for a touchdown. All this in the first two or maybe three turns of play.. I could tell it was gonna be a rough game.

The rest of the first half is a slow, slow crawl for me to score, getting it finally on the last turn in the half. It was a sludge fight with players on both sides getting hit hard and me finally having to push portions of his team off the pitch entirely to actually gain any maneuvering space. [Wintervoid] on 3 occasions had knocked the ball out of my hands and I think by turn 4 or 5 I had burned all 4 of my rerolls just to try to stay in the game.

The second half started and as the dust cleared though it was evident that of the two teams mine had taken a significantly less bashing than [Wintervoid]s as I'm able to field a full 11 and he's down to 8. Initially as I setup to kick off I throw all my meat on his right side, a ploy I hoped would drain most of his resource and distract him as I clicked to kick deep left. While he did adequately prepare for a bull rush on the right side of the field he still manage to field enough coverage to have men in the right places.

The kick! another doozie, I'm seeing a pattern with zon kicking! he gets to move 1 square on the kick and adjust accordingly, now there's a lineman on the line with my women, with only 1 tackle zone. the ball flies waaaay out of bounds, and is thus given to the nearest dude, the darned lineman. Panicked as now I see he has a straight line to my endzone on a MV7 vs my team of MV6s and he has 4 ag.... As he moved his guy nearly to the edge of his running distance I freaked and began monitoring the movements of every zon on my team. I could see that with just enough Oomph I had 4 or 5 zons who could both position and give one a chance to 2 dice blitz (but none in ranger were blitzers x-X) I could tell [Wintervoid] knew this, as with his limited resources he began tackle zoning all my options. I got a lucky break when he couldn't get away from a tackle zone which limited the number of zons he could lock up.

So after gauging who was the best choice I setup for the blitz, the first linewoman made it safely, but the blitzer... I don't know I click blitz but it must have been a "go for it" move or something because the moment she hit him she just dropped, turn over. My heart sank, I knew there was nothing I could do to stop this elf who was mere squares away from my endzone.

Suddenly! before I was even really aware I heard the buzz of a turn over. Somehow the ball handler had taken a spill and turned over the ball! I was flummoxed but quickly moved folks into position, the shear number of zons giving me plenty of wiggle space to setup a box around the ball and pick it up. The rest of the game was a slow crawl back up field. At this point the Elves were down to just 7 and even with some amazing placement which stalled out my ability to drive up field I just had too many zons for him to do anything to get the ball back.

The take away: I don't know what happened tonight, it seemed like even with AV8 my zons were really putting some hurt on his elves. I did some more passing this game because I didn't feel safe just running the ball up field, and especially with how well [Wintervoid] was positioning and blitzing. I think he had one blitzer actually get dodges through 3 tackle zones in 1 turn.


The final score was 1-2 in favor of the Amazons. I looked over the match record and noticed that the Dark Elves sustained 6 Stuns, 8 KOs, and 1 casualty while the Amazons only sustained 1 KO--These are some tough ladies! I am really looking forward to playing them... My Orcs play the 'Zons in back to back games on the last two games of the regular season.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Blood Bowl League BatRep Day 3 - Necromantics vs Orcs

Here is another Blood Bowl BatRep written by Laertes!


Pre-game thoughts:

The preliminary scouting reports did not look promising. Since our opening game the Orcs had now doubled our Star Player Points and picked up key skills. They now had 4 players at level 2 versus only 1 on our team. That they had to replace two players was likely the only mitigating factor. That and fact that at least we were seeing them in game three of the season, rather in game six! While the Orcs were riding high, our team was somewhat the worse for wear. After having only rolled a “2” (twice) for the last game's winnings we had only 90,000 in the treasury, which was well short of the 140,000 we needed for another re-roll (again boys and girls, buy them early when they are cheap!). That and, in the last game, continuing our trend of not being able to make regeneration rolls a Zombie was going to have to miss this game, leaving us with only 10 – so I bought a replacement Zombie to bring us up to 11 for the start of the game. That being done, we resolved to do what we could to get this over with. Here is what I thought were our keys to the game:

  1. Home COOKING. Playing at home we were going to need to get some luck, either in the form of us getting some good rolls or John making some bad ones. Either way we would very likely need it. Bad luck by the opponent would mean that if they blew through their re-rolls early then things would be relatively even – having everyone with no re-rolls makes it easier.
  2. Stay UNHEALTHY. Always playing with fewer players on the pitch makes things unnecessarily challenging. Yes we don't have Armor Values that are that bad, nor do the Orcs all come with Mighty Blow, but this just seems to be a particular issue that we have.
  3. Be CAUTIOUS. Playing with one re-roll we needed to take as few chances as we could so as to both maximize our luck and to hopefully minimize our chances of getting clobbered early. While we did not need to play full out defense we knew we were going to have to watch things very closely.

Grimly we walked out on to the pitch to start the game.

First Half:

My initial mistake was in the pre-game inducements phase. I quickly skipped through it, only realizing later that by kicking in 10,000 from the treasury we would have the 100,000 necessary or an extra team re-roll, as our team rating was 90 lower than the Orcs. Having 90,000 meant I couldn't buy much: I bought a Bloodweiser Babe for 50,000 and then forgot that I could have at least bought an extra player instead. This was not starting off that well.

John lost the coin toss and I elected to kick the ball to the Orcs. The kick-off roll was favorable, giving me an extra turn (for those not in a tackle zone). I used it to get one Ghoul deep downfield to perhaps harass the ball pick up on John's turn. However the Orcs turn did not start how I wanted it to: one of the Zombies was an immediate casualty (another failed regeneration roll) and I'd be playing the next 15 turns of the game with only 10 players. That wasn't how we wanted to start.

The Orcs picked up the ball and had a pretty good block formed up at about mid-field. Still I was an opening to rush in and Blitz the ball carrier . . . well it certainly seemed like a good idea at the time. The ball carrier went down but the ball couldn't be picked up by any of the Black Orcs, and it ended the turn 3 squares closer to my end zone than it had started the turn, and now right next to two Black Orcs!

Things looked grim. The Orc Blitzer who had been blessed with +1 AG calmly picked himself up from the turf, dodged out of my tackle zones (not hard when you are AG4!), picked up the ball, and threw it to an Orc who was deep downfield. The throw was good, but the catch was not, and the Orcs turn ended. Still I thought it was a great play –the majority of my faster players were now on the wrong side of the field, and with too many Orcs near them.

Now what?

There was only one possibility, and that seemed slim: a lone Zombie. If he were to “go for it” twice he would at least be able to pick up the ball. I hardly thought it would matter – the Orc could blitz him off of the ball, pick it up and walk in to the end zone. But it was worth a shot – even with an AG2 Zombie. I had a re-roll right? If it didn't work he was going to score. He went for it, made it, and went to pick up the ball . . . and failed. And re-rolled . . . and failed again. The ball was still in his tackle zone but my turn was over and then the Orcs would simply have to knock him down, pick up the ball, and score easily.

That is when things got . . . odd for the Orcs.

They only needed to knock down a Zombie with no skills. Even on a 1 die block, that is 50% of the time if you have the “Block” skill. But the Orcs started a string of 3 straight “Attacker Down” rolls on 1 die blocks. We were both out of re-rolls this late in the second half, and these turnovers cost the Orcs. I was able to get a Wight downfield, pick the ball up and start heading up my left sideline. I was able to have the Ghouls dodge out of their engagements, cross the field and form a little bit of a cordon. But I still found myself next to two Orc players, on my [8]th turn, with a Ghoul and a Werewolf for support. Should I make a block to free the Wight? The Wight was 8 squares from the end zone so would have to “Go For It” twice to reach it. But that would mean not rolling a Dodge roll. Throw a Block with which player? If the Werewolf doesn't knock him down, Frenzy will mean he will have to throw another block, but this time at 1 die because of the position.

Doing the math in my head it seemed like the better idea to dodge out and head for the end zone. I held my breath and double-clicked on the square of the end zone I wanted him to reach. The dodge worked! The first square worked . . . and then the second! Touchdown on the last turn of the first half! Orcs had lucked out, and we had “lucked in”. We'd take it!

Second Half:

Okay now I felt a little bit better. But strangely so: this was entirely unexpected. Up 1-0 on the Orcs and having them kick off to me? Now what to do? Lining up short a player, I figured I had two objectives: either score as quickly as I could or hold on to the ball until at least turn 14. My thought was that if I managed to hold on that long and have the ball on their side of the field, they would be hard pressed to score in two turns.

The Orcs kicked off to me and the kick-off result was “rock throwing” which resulted in one of my players being stunned. Okay not a great start being down 11-10 players and already have a player taken down until my next turn. I picked up the ball with a Ghoul and began to push up the right side of the field. A few more KO's later and I'm looking at playing 11-8 and that side looks completely untenable . . . so I decide to reverse the field as best I can. This is tricky as one of the Orc blitzers has +1 MA and so moves faster than I might think. Finally the Troll is really stupid a couple of times and is doing less than clogging up the middle of the field. But in reversing the field I have not been able to push the ball up field successfully. So it comes down to this: my Ghoul still has the ball, it's our turn 14, but he is still 5-6 squares short of the center field stripe. He's covered on two sides by an Orc and the Troll. Even though he has Dodge and Block, I don't think his chances are great. If I can break free and sprint up the left sideline, I will not have much protection but force the Orcs to Blitz me on their turn 14 and they won't be able to pick up the ball: it will be on their side of the field. I figure even if they Blitz they will first have to knock him down (likely on a 1 die block, which isn't easy). The Ghoul might easily survive to turn 15 and make a further run. Now all I had to do was make a Dodge roll out of their tackle zones. Ghouls aren't AG4 (rather they are AG3) so it is not automatic, but it's still a 3+ roll: a 4 is needed for AG3 but you get a +1 for an empty square. So basically a 66% chance – and the Ghoul has Dodge, so if I fail it the first time I get another 66% chance to make it. Meaning essentially there's only a 1 in 6 chance the Ghoul will fail . . .

And fail he does.

That leaves the ball very close to our own end zone with very few players able to come back to play any kind of defense. We've only 8 players left at this point so being down 3 it's really hard to generate much pressure or coverage. The Orc Blitzer with the AG of 4 easily stands up, goes in to pick up the ball and heads towards the end zone. Now the only way to catch him is have a Ghoul make a Blitz move that involves not one but two Dodge rolls within Orc tackle zones and then make a one die block to knock down the Orc . . . needless to say that doesn't happen. Orcs score on their turn 15 to tie the game. The 8 remaining players line up for the kick off but it's really a moot point – we can't score in a single turn (nor can the Orcs) so the game is effectively over.


The locker room after this game was very subdued. If you had told us before the game that we could take another 1-1 draw, we likely would have been rather elated and relieved. Instead the atmosphere was more somber – this felt like a loss. We had kept the lead for 6 of the 8 turns in the second half, only to squander it at the end.
Still, luck has a way of evening out. We had ended up scoring on a fairly lucky play (in that it required a sequence of rolls we HAD to make without a re-roll) and it was fairly unlucky that the Ghoul could not make that Dodge roll when he needed to make it. Still overall the Orcs were far unluckier in their blocks – they tended to burn their 2 re-rolls fairly early in both halves of the game so it was really not much of an advantage.

Casualties continue to plague us – it's simply too hard to be competitive on the pitch when you're down 3-4 players. If that doesn't happen perhaps there's no need for the Ghoul to make that Dodge roll, or perhaps there is more coverage available downfield.

We gained a bit of money back and our injured Zombie brings us up to 12 players. The Wight who scored the lucky touchdown went up a level and, perhaps appropriately, gained +1 of Movement Allowance. That was our only player to advance though so the Orcs now feature a level 3 player and 3 level 2 players while we still have just two level 2 players. I'm glad we got this done when we could.

Up next is Dustin who has doubtless learned a great deal since facing us the last time. We've only managed 1 touchdown per game so I hate to have it such that the only way we can win is to keep the game a 1-0 affair: that's a lot of pressure on our defense. We need to work on that scoring.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

May the Fourth be with You!!!

Happy May Fourth!! In honor of one of my favorite movies, and in celebration of the day, I am sharing some chibi-style artwork I created a number of years ago.

Something has changed for me recently, I don't know what it is yet, but I have taken a new approach with this blog. Over the last two plus weeks, I have been posting every three days. This pace has been easy to keep--Because I already have about 30 posts written or in progress!! I am simply scheduling out about a week at a time to allow for additions or changes.

The number three has always been an important number through out my life, least of which I am a third (named after my father and great grandfather). When I came up with this idea a few weeks ago, it just clicked and I immediately had the drive to do it. It certainly doesn't hurt that I also have been getting content from friends!! I don't mind if an important date or topic hits an off post day, I just want to post at least every three days.

That's about it for now and I just want to close with... Fun may have you today!!

Friday, May 3, 2013

Buildings WIP (pic heavy)

Here is a rundown of some buildings that I have in progress and nearing completion. 

First up is a medium sized (3x3) church. All of the walls (and some of the exterior elements) are from the Pegasus Gothic City Building sets. I have one of each set and made this building another building below, and a large (3x5) ruin that I will discuss in another post.

Here is a rundown of the primary components used in the build:
  1. The roof "cap" is made from cedar doll house roof shingles.
  2. A Cornice Piece from Litko Game Accessories.
  3. The column toppers are pen needle caps.
  4. The roof framing is made from balsa wood and styrene strips.
  5. The roof is sheet styrene with ridges.
  6. The top adornment are fencing from the Chaos Vehicle Upgrade sprue.

I built a framework for the roof panels to allow them to be easily removed. The roof panels have a lip at the bottom and straddle the lower ridge and then fit snugly into the framing.

This building turned out great--especially the roof. I still have some detail bits to add to the exterior and I have a rough plan to detail the interior, but want it to be modular.

Next up is another building made primarily of Pegasus Gothic City Building sets. This small (2x2) building can be used as a church or almost any gothic building.

The roof railings on both levels are from one of the GW building kits as are the small buttresses surrounding the building. I only needed to do some minor filing for the buttresses to fit, but there was a fair amount of sawing and filing to get the railings to perfectly span the distance without any posts.

I designed the building to be modular. The large buttresses are easily removed from the top level, and the two floors can be used separately.

The roofs are also removable allowing interior action to commence!

This building was a complete afterthought! I originally made the top floor to be used as a mausoleum in my huge graveyard project and needed a last minute larger building for a Dark Heresy encounter. 

Now this piece is a little strange, and it falls into found objects category! It isn't really a building either--It's a base to put a building on. I found this at a local thrift store. It is one half of the case for the movie version of the game Battleship (a game based on a movie based on a game... hrm!)

Taken from interwebs without permission

I removed a large panel that was cardboard and replaced it with a floor made from Pegasus Hobbies Syberclicks Set. There were some areas that had to be covered with plasticard where the handle was removed.

This was a really quick and simple piece that has a variety of uses. Up first, this will be used as an island in our Dark Heresy campaign. We are in a Imperial City that has more canals than roads!

Here is another building/mausoleum for use in my graveyard project. I used GW Imperial Building components as the core of this model. On two sides I skimped and only used one wall tile, filling the remaining wall with plasticard. The roof railing is from Pegasus Hobbies Hexagon Construction Set

That's about all I have to show for now, hope you like these!