wh39kSalNidsBuildings (16)

Batrep: Hive Fleet Proteus vs. Salamanders (1765 pts)

My general goal is to try to get in one game per month, and to date I’ve only gotten in 9 so far this year (wow, how can I possibly justify spending so much time and money on this game when I play it so infrequently?).  Anywho, if I’m going to hit that goal, I’m going to have to get some more games in.  Besides, I’ve been a bit productive as of late with painting, and it’d be nice to see some new units on the tabletop, so Brandon came over, and we threw down on a table full of buildings.

Ironically, I didn’t use a single newly painted unit.

Hive Fleet Proteus:

  • wh39kSalNidsBuildings (29)HQ:
    • Flyrant w/ Brainleech Worms (Catalyst & Warp Blast)
    • Tervigon w/ Crushing Claws & Cluster Spines (Psychic Scream)
  • Elites:
    • Hauraspex
    • Hauraspex
    • Malanthrope
    • Malanthrope
  • Troops:
    • 20x Hormagaunts
    • 20x Hormagaunts
    • 20x Hormagaunts
    • 1x Mucolid
    • 1x Mucolid
    • 1x Mucolid
  • Heavy Support:
    • 1x Carnifex w/ Adrenal Glands
    • 1x Carnifex w/ Adrenal Glands
    • Exocrine

This list really spawned from the aftermath of a game I played against Cole’s Necrons.  After that game, he said he was confused about the point of our list and how/why we played it the way we did.  He envisioned bugs being better if we ran them across with lots of little bugs and lots of big bugs behind them.  Sort of the small/medium/large wave thing.  We also complained that Tyranids had no way to deal with vehicles really, at which point Cole dug out the Crushing Claws rule.

So, to test the theory, I tried to make that list.  I started with 60 Hormagaunts (thinking that was all I owned, though I actually have 80), and then threw in big bugs after that.  Since we wanted crushing claws, I used 2x Hauraspexes (units I’ve never used before) and, since I didn’t want to be completely spammy, I threw in an Exocrine for good measure.  I was lacking in synapse with just the Flyrant, so I wound up taking the Malanthropes as well, which meant I had to have another HQ (or play unbound–which still hasn’t happened… but it will!).  The carnies were natural inclusions as cheap monstrous creatures and the mucolids were just throw-ins. Continue reading

Relic Banner

Relic & Talisman: The Board Games

Right around Black Friday, Talisman (the board game) went on sale for IOS (read: ipad) for $.99.  One of my friends (who ironically has absolutely no interest in WHFB or 40k) fell in love with this game and insists on playing it every chance he gets.  I don’t get to play games with him very often and, as a result, I’ve never played Talisman before.  But since it came so highly recommended, I figured I could blow $1 on it.

I should also mention that I got to play Relic recently as well, and I’ve been told that it very closely resembles Talisman.  After playing both, I can agree with that statement whole-heartedly.

Some of the few differences I noticed (beyond a thinly veiled skin are), in Relic:

  1.   RelicYou have multiple decks of bad guy cards that are thematic.  I only played it the one time though, so I can’t say whether they’re functionally all that different, or if it’s just a skin.
  2. There is an “exploding dice” mechanic (when you roll a 6, you can keep rolling).
  3. There are more stats (I think there were five in 40k, but only 4 in Talisman)
  4. There are fewer different classes/races, but they generally fall into the same archtypes.

Keep in mind that I’ve played Relic all of one time now, and Talisman a grand total of three times through (and another two times part-way through).  Despite not playing them much, I think I can reasonably say that I don’t like either of them.  I’m going to put forth some sweeping generalizations here, that may not fully apply to one or the other game, but since they seem so similar (and I have such extensive knowledge of both), I’m going to assume I know everything.

Now they’re not all bad.  Some of the things that I did like include:

  1. Talisman(Relic) The sculpts of the models are fantastic.  They’re easily on par with the rest of the 40k line, and I’d love to see a set painted up.
  2. (Both) The theme of the game is pretty spot-on with the table-top game.
  3. (Talisman) The amount of options available are just crazy.  Granted, the game has been out for MORE THAN 30 YEARS, but it’s still impressive.

Some of the things I don’t care for–that seem to be inherent in both games are:

  1. They both have a time commitment.  This is probably more of a neutral comment, since games of 40k often take 4+ hours, but a four player game of either of these is not going to finish in under 2+ hours–and learning games take much longer.
  2. There is an inherent grind built-into them that is akin to most MMO’s.  In part, this is part of the charm, but in both the process seems to take too long.  Every time I play, I seem to bounce around between squares that give me little to no benefit (or perhaps even hurt me).  It takes a while to get to the point where I can “farm xp.”
  3. Luck plays a big part.  I’d say too big a part.  From the start, there’s very little strategy involved, aside from “rolling good,” and “hoping you get a good encounter card.”  The next level of complexity involves deciding which items to keep and which to discard–though that doesn’t happen quickly.
  4. There is an inherent imbalance between the characters.  I guess this is true with any game where players aren’t carbon copies of each other.  Perhaps they are balanced, but luck plays too big of a roll between them?  I tend to think that some are just plain better than others though, and part of the luck is getting the right piece before the game starts.

Both do have elements of fun, and I found myself drawn to play Talisman again, even though I look back with disdain upon the hours I spent playing them (yes, hours, as the fastest I managed to finish even a 2-player game with the AI set to full speed was 45 minutes–and that was with the house-rule set that just reaching the center wins the game).  The fact is that they take a long time and have a moderate level of fun–in the same way that World of Warcraft was fun when I got sent on a quest to kill 10,000 spiderlings.    Conceptually it sounds cool, but after a while, you realize that you’re just wasting time.  That’s why I don’t play MMO’s anymore.  They’re work that tricks me into thinking it’s fun–but when I take an objective look at it, it’s not really.

Of course, mileage may vary.  You may love one or both of the games, and I won’t begrudge you that.  Hell, if you had one and wanted to play it with me (one time), I could see myself playing either again.  Both have an allure of fun, but (at least for me) they miss the mark.  I haven’t played it 10,000 times yet though, so maybe I’m not smart enough to walk away…


WH39kPaintedBuildings (5) (Medium)

A Table Full of Buildings

WH39kPaintedBuildings (1) (Medium)I had made quite an extensive series of posts on buildings over the last few months.  They covered everything from purchasing, to assembly, to painting, and more.  Without a doubt, the most frequent question/comment I get was when was I going to take a picture of all of the buildings on one table?

WH39kPaintedBuildings (2) (Medium)Honestly, I thought I was done with the whole series, but I’ve gotten so many people asking (read: upwards of two, but that’s huge on this blog), that I thought I’d cave to the hysterical masses and follow through with one of their requests.  So, I wound up accomplishing just what they asked: put all of the buildings on the table and take a picture.

WH39kPaintedBuildings (3) (Medium)Dammit, no, I didn’t.  I just realized that I did put the rusted out building on the table.

I also didn’t put all of the statues and other miscellaneous terrain on the board, but I did manage to sneak in most of those statues.  We had some space where we could’ve jammed in some more terrain, but we were actually setting up for a game, and wanted to have some place to maneuver.

WH39kPaintedBuildings (4) (Medium)Anywho, throughout this post are thumbnails of the table as it was setup before that game.  I tried to take pictures from basically every possible angle to get you whatever view it was you wanted.  I’m a little sad that we used the grass mat, and not the dirty one, as it seems to be the better choice for playing with buildings.

WH39kPaintedBuildings (5) (Medium)Oh well.  Hopefully this helps to show people the general look and feel of the terrain and get an idea of the total size of all of the buildings combined.  As always, please feel free to click on any of the thumbnails to view larger pictures.

WH39kPaintedBuildings (7) (Medium)By the way, since I’ve written so many posts on the subject, I took the liberty to go back and make a tag for Building Progress.  You can click on that link to go back and see all of the posts covering every stage of the process.


WH39kPaintedBuildings (6) (Medium)    WH39kPaintedBuildings (8) (Medium)

WH39kTrygonTunnels (6) (Medium)

An Unofficial Terrain Piece for a Horrible Rule that Only Applies to a Bad Unit

WH39kTrygonTunnels (4) (Medium)Man, I’m really getting into these multi-part blog posts as of late, aren’t I?  First there was the buildings series, and then the Fortress of Redemption and now this.  I should’ve been a farmer with the way I’m milking things.

Anywho, this particular post is a continuation of my first one, where I set out to make a piece of terrain to act as the tunnel/hole to represent my Trygons’ “Subterranean Swarm” rule.  When I last left off, I had assembled them and primed them, so this post will cover painting and giving them a little “depth.”

I’ll start off with the paint because there’s really nothing special here.  I had basecoated them with rusty-metal color so that they’d match the craters I’d worked up previously (though I don’t think they ever got a blog post of their own), and the rocks I did with my typical mix of paints starting from a “Charcoal” mixed with whatever light gray I have laying around.  These two paints are some that I picked up at Walmart many moons ago specifically to do terrain with, and I don’t think Walmart even carries that brand anymore.

The other bits (the “electrical cable”–aka. guitar string) got a silver coat and a light blue airbrush on the end to make it seem like it has a little live electricity still running through it.  The skeletons and gravestones got a pretty basic splash of color (I did toy with the idea of using a marbling effect on the gravestones).

I didn’t spend all that much time painting these because, as I stated to others:

“It’s an unofficial terrain piece for a horrible rule that only applies to a bad unit.”

Not exactly the sort of thing I want to spend a lot of time on.  So, with a little flock and an occasional leaf here and there, I called these “done.”

Oh wait, I forgot the part that I was actually happy about… Continue reading

WH39kTrygonTunnels (1) (Medium)

(Suitable) Trygon Tunnels

For a while now, I’ve been contemplating making some suitable crater markers to use with my Trygons. It’s a little odd now that I’m thinking about it because the Trygon got completely neutered in 7th edition, but the idea came long before then. Still, I really stopped deep-striking with my Trygons early on, and generally use them only to run across the board. Come to think of it, I’m not sure I’ve deep struck a Trygon (outside of an Apocalypse game) since 2010.

It must be the completionist in me.  Whatever the reason, I’ve been mulling over how to make a “suitable marker” for my Trygons for years now.  The idea that finally inspired me to do something about it was based upon a Quaker Oats container (which is just a large cardboard cylinder).  I found that the opening, if pressed into an oval was just about the perfect size for positioning a Trygon into, and luckily my kids eat their fair share of oatmeal.  So, after a few months of breakfasts, I had saved up three containers and then wound up cutting them at an angle so that they’d fit onto a base–as if to appear as a tunnel coming from underground.  I just needed to figure out a solution for building up rocks/dirt/debris on the outside, and a base.

The base was an easy next step: I had some extra plywood laying around from when I made my buildings (keep in mind that while I just finished painting those up recently, those were a work in progress since 2010–boy can I procrastinate).  Anywho, I just traced the oat containers on the board and then allowed enough room around them to build up rocks and dirt nearby.

I think I got that far in my modeling about a year ago?  Something like that.  The plywood sat, rough-cut, in my garage for about that long before I finally dusted it off and started to make progress on it.  I only pulled them out because I wanted an easy project to do one week when an odd number of people showed up, so I wound up sitting out to let others play.  So, I reached for the dremel and the wood bases and sanded them down.  After that, I moved onto the other problem: how do I build up rocks and debris?

My first thought was to use some sort of filler (perhaps balled up tin foil) with a covering of some sort (paper mache?) over the top.  I bounced he ideas off the guests I had at the time, and Brandon suggested that I would likely have problems with the parts moving over time and suggested I use foam.  I had some blue foam laying around, but he strongly urged me to use pink foam instead as it would be “more durable” (I think).  I didn’t have any, so that idea was out the window to me, but as luck would have it, Brandon works in construction and they had a job winding down so he was able to obtain some scraps for me.

WH39kTrygonTunnels (1) (Medium)With the scraps in hand, I set to cutting them to size.  At first, I just traced the bases on the foam and cut those out, then I went to town with an old foam cutter that I’ve had for ages (that has seen absolutely no use).  After a while, I wound up breaking the wire, but luckily I had a pack of guitar strings that seemed to fill in nicely.

I cut the first one out in such a form that I could get the Quaker oats container inside it, and then fidgeted with the top layer to make it line up.  It eventually worked out, but then I found myself wondering how I was going to break up that perfect circle in the front of the tunnel (formed by the plastic ring around the edge of the oats container).  So I asked myself: why do I need a container at all?

Since I couldn’t come up with a good answer to that, I pulled it from the plan and just crafted the other two without it (which is why the hole in one of them looks far bigger than it does in the other two).

When I got them to be the general size and shape I wanted, I worked on trimming the edges down to be more sloped in the back and lower in the front.  Originally, they were much larger, but I wanted to allow for units to fire over the walls to hit those targets inside (if not, I figured it might be called “modelling for advantage” since I could just drop some genestealers in there and leave them well protected against shooting to survive to assault the next turn).    I’m not making these because I think they’re good, rather because I think they’re cool.

Anywho, while cutting the foam, a couple of things I noticed that worked out good/bad:

  • When cutting into the area, it was quite easy to make the impression of large rocks in the foam (smaller rocks proved quite difficult, due to the size and angles caused by the foam cutter–so I wound up gluing some to the outside later).
  • Wood glue worked very well for gluing the foam to the plywood (and eventually gluing layers of foam to each other).  I also found that if I just held the foam firmly as I cut around it, the heat from the hot-wire did a reasonable job of holding them together after a while (not enough for a permanent solution, but enough that I didn’t have to worry about them slipping apart as I finished the cutting).
  • As stated in the first bullet point, the angles of the foam and the fact that I don’t have any way to adjust the length of the hot wire made it difficult to cut the foam into the shape that I wanted.  I really wanted to have some areas of the hill (in the back) be parallel to the ground, to show that clumps of it broke up at odd angles, but that just wasn’t going to happen.
  • I also tried using an industrial grade hot knife foam cutter, but that only ever seem to make caustic smoke (though it does cut REALLY well).  I really should just toss this or give it to someone who doesn’t have an aversion to lung cancer…

The next step was to paint them up.  From the little research I did, I saw that you should give them a coat of wood or PVA glue to protect them from spray paint, so I mixed the two with a little water and some sand (in this case, the sort of sand you throw on driveways, as it was what I had on hand) and painted two coats on each.  I went a little thin on the “rocks” because I wanted them to have a smoother overall finish–but that apparently burned me later, because one of the rocks started to fall apart.  It seems that was where I superglued another rock to the same area, and we surmised that the glue ate through the underside of the “rock” and through the Styrofoam and out the face.

I also wound up throwing a few embellishments into these models.  Not that I spent a huge amount of time on them, but I wanted them to be more than just dirt hills.  So, for one of them, I took a leftover “low E” guitar string and made an electrical wire coming out of the back of the hill and through the center (with a break in the middle to allow the Trygon to sit inside).  In hindsight, I don’t think I’d do that again.  It’s a subtle effect, and the bending/stretching of that guitar string created a far bigger hole than I would’ve liked.  I’m a little worried that with a little abuse from the table, the hole will just get out of hand.

On another hill, I made a simple graveyard theme by adding in a few tombstones I had in my “undead bits box” (yes, I have separate bits boxes for most of my armies–even for armies that I don’t play: in the case of undead, because they work great as scenery pieces for other forces).  Anywho, I added a few hills, a severed hand, foot, and a torso hanging out.

From there, I base-coated them with Rustoleum’s rusty metal primer.

As this post is getting pretty long, I’m going to wrap this up here, and do a follow-up later on how I finished these up.  There’s a special twist inside that I’ve purposefully omitted from this post that I’m kind of proud of.  More to come on that next time…