Tuesday, 12 February 2019

Productive Afternoon

Well the Missus was away earlier this week so I had a whole day to myself. No work, no interruptions, no muckin' about then!

 I decided to throw everything I had into getting as many small projects finished as possible, so once the house work was out of the way it was down to some paint stripping in the shed and then on to varnishing the completed parts of the Stompa.

The big fella is coming along beautifully if I do say so. All that's left to paint is the smoke stacks and the chainsaw arm. Then I need to find a way to get him to the shop.

After melting a few brain cells with paint stripping and varnish work, I felt it was for a cuppa and some light reading. A quick brouse through the Kill Team book has me eyeing up my Night Lords army again. That particular project has been in painting limbo for a while so with new Chaos Marine stuff in the near future I think it's time to get some more paint on the gang of late night murderers. More on that another day.

After a break it was time have a chat with Kev from Deadstar about the upcoming events and releases for the year ahead. Plenty of good work from various creators in 2018 and 2019 looks to be more of the same. We're hoping to get out and visit some stores for signings (both myself and other creators involved with Deadstar) as well as our usual appearances at Cons across the country. Kev will be at CFCC in March, but I won't be about until Swansea Comic & Gaming Con in April. Keep an eye on Deadstar's events page to see where we'll be throughout the year. The main reason Kev and I had this meeting was to talk about the next step for Age of Savagery. The first call for submissions was a success and a proved a great example of Indy talent brought together. So naturally we always intended to do a second volume. Stay tuned to Deadstar's website as anyone interested in getting involved as an illustrator or a writer will have a chance to submit their ideas early next month.

Once Kev had left, it was time to get back to the painting board. I admit I've been dragging my feet with New Wasteland Fairy Tales the last few months. I could blame my hectic work schedule or real life concerns, but the truth is I've been procrastinating on other things (see giant stompy robot above). Well it would be mad to miss out on this continued bout of productivity and with that, two more pages coloured and finished and two more taped up ready to start. Finally looking at the first black & white pages against the coloured updates really shows how much better this comic would have been released in colour first time round. The reason it wasn't at the time was purely due to cost. Now, it's time.

To say nothing of fixing all of my spelling mistakes XD

Tuesday, 5 February 2019

A Good Mek Always Blames His Tools

Continuing work on the Stompa this week with Getting the crew and some of the extra parts finished. I think the big fella is coming along nicely.

A model this big provides lots of opportunities to have some fun with the details. For me that ill always mean Grots.

Here's a few close ups of the Kaptain.

And finally the BIG guns. I still need to paint the rockets before the arm is finished, but the Grot crew really make this whole thing come alive for me.

Sunday, 3 February 2019

Witch Hunt

Been working on this for a while in between other projects (Stompa, LOTR, actual job). Thought I'd share something different to the run of miniature related posts for a change. I've an update on the Stompa coming soon, but for now I have some Mordheim in watercolours. C&C always welcome.

Thursday, 31 January 2019

Into The West 2019 part2

Second day and with only one win to my name I was eager to at least get a few more points. Back into it then....

Game 5 -Andy
A Contest of Champions you say? With Elrond as my champion for the match I was pretty confident. Andy was already waiting at the table when I got in (pays to be early folks) and had his Rohan army ready to go.
It was obvius to both Andy and I, that who ever got initiative in this first turn was going to take a massive lead. That said Elrond's Foresight ability was only good enough to force re-roll before Andy declared his Heroic Move. I countered and the Dice God's smiled on me to take the first turn.
Once more Elrond proved to be the deciding factor in the opening turn as he through out Nature's Wrath to put Eomer and his Riders to the ground. I had learned my lessons about cavalry hard and was not going to get steam rolled a third time if I could help it.
 Whilst Elrond and Eomer began their epic duel, Isildur and the Numenorians took the remaining Rohan army on the opposite flank. I knew this was going to come down to how quickly I could thin the Rohan numbers, but I at least had some time to play with.

 Andy got a lucky break against the Numenorians and managed to thin there numbers. Meanwhile the Elves and the dismounted Rohirrim continued with handbags. Niether side causing much damage. only Elrond and Eomer seemed to be causing any grief with Elrond seriously injuring Eomer, but using all his might to do it.

 Again the Numenorians took the brunt of the casualties against the cavalry, but it was the kill counts from our champions that would decide victory and it wasn't by much.
In the end Elrond had killed a single Rider of Rohan and put two wounds on Eomer, who in return had done nothing. Andy had been fighting his poor luck since the first dice roll it seemed, but it didn't stop him smiling and it was a lot of fun to play him. I think if the game had continued, Andy would have been able to bring more cavalry around to deal with Elrond, but with my force broken, the game ended.

Game 6 -Mike
I had not played Mike before, but his army was very similar to Scott's Moria army from the previous day. I did not see this as bad thing, far from it. It meant I had been given a second chance to go Drake hunting!
 The Bat Swarm quickly took the objective away from me. Whilst Mike and I guessed it would take around two or three for the Bats to clear the board, that left me all the time I needed to bag me a Drake's head for my wall.... or die honorably like last time.
 Once again I needed the rank & file to hold up the Goblins long enough for my would-be Dragon slayers to at least cripple the beast.

 With the Numenorians and Elven archers running interference, Elrond took the lead against the Drake and Isildur put on The Ring. Up to now The Ring had yet to give me anything but grief so I wasn't expecting too much from it, but through shear numbers I was able to trap the Drake against a rock side and caused a few wounds.

 Slowly, but surely the Goblin's superior numbers were telling against the Men and Elves, but there was a small glimmer of hope to be had. Despite Isildur getting bogged down by Goblin's, Elrond and the surviving Elves was able to keep the Drake pinned for one last round of combat.

 As the lines of Good finally collapsed, so to did the Drake, I got my monster kill for the tournament and Mike took his victory for the mission.
It was a great Game and a lot of fun to play Mike. Though I discovered his secret mission was actually get the Drake killed, I still claim a moral victory in my own mind. Mike's army was a joy to play against as well. So many cool and unique conversions, especially his tripped out Groblog with all of the bling.

Game 7 -Alfie
Final game and I was given another chance to correct passed failures. Game 6 awarded me my Drake's head trophy and now Alfie was stepping up to defend his victory from Day 1. I was happy to let him try as I'm always up for a rematch.
 For this Game we had to roll randomly to find out where our armies would arrive on the board. Luckily my forces all turned up in roughly the same area near a hill over looking the object at the center of the board. Though Alfies cavalry and chariots all turned up in the same place he was unlucky enough to have me choose the area. As a result his Army began to get in it's own way for the first couple of turns. Once clear of the woods though Alfie made straight for the center of the board, looking to get a repeat of our previous encounter.

 This time I had more luck with Elrond's magic and Alfie's heavy Cavalry dissolved into nothing without their horses. Soon only Amdur was left to face the vengeful Numenorians and Elrond.
 Isildur again sought to dismount the Khandish King from his chariot as Khandish reinforcements arrived to try and tip the balance...

 ...but it was not to be. In the closing stages, my luck had gone nuclear and I could not be stopped. Elrond and Isidur almost single handedly cleared up the rest of Alfie's army. The game ended Alfie was cleared off the board, but he didn't give up until it was truely over.

Whilst it was great to get my own back, Alfie made every attempt to take it back and never gave up. It just wasn't in the dice for him this time. With a win each, I'm looking forward to next year where I hope we'll meet again to see who wins our best of three.

And with the Games all rapped up, it was time to hand out the prizes and pick up some recruits for my next army. I'll not list all the winners as it's late, but everyone's well deserved moment of glory can be seen HERE far better than I could ramble about it. Thanks again to Matt for running the event and thanks to all of my opponents for 7 great games. Can't wait for more Middle-Earth goodness next year.

Tuesday, 29 January 2019

Into The West 2019

Once again, folks, I was fortunate enough to get the time off work to attend my local LOTR tournament third year running. I've always had fun at Into The West, previous years have allowed me to meet some new friends that I don't usually see else where and also a chance to play some Lord of the Rings games against a variety of armies and play styles. This year was no different with the welcome return of friends from previous events and a MANY others! This year was a huge event compared to the last two years, boasting over 50 players from all over the country. With that in mind I think I'll start my run down for this tourny with a massive "Thank you" to everyone involved in organising and to my opponents. To see a yearly event like this double it's attendance in such a short time is a staggering feat in my opinion and to have it as a regular fixture on doorstep will know doubt keep me and many other coming back year after year.

Now that's out of the way, onto the games and lack luster attempts to conquer Middle-earth.

Game1 - Ed Ball
My first game was against a name that sounded familiar to me. At first I thought this was because I may have met ed before, turns out it was just his ETC and tournament ranking Rep that had preceded him. Armed with the knowledge I was going into my first game against a tournament regular, I prepared for a savage beating, it was now up to me to try and limit how many points I'd would concede.

Going into the Tournament I was well aware of what my army could handle and the list of missions I could reliably cover. So when Ed rocked up with all the heavy elven cavalry he could carry, backed up with Elrond and playing a recon mission, the writing was on the wall.

After being shot at for a few turns, I decided my best chances were to try and bait Ed into charging me. It was a fools hope as Ed had no reason to rise to my challenge. He had the speed to take the objectives and the armour to hold me at bay. As the game wore on it also became apparent that my dice were still sleeping. Every hit bounced off and every low roll from Ed was bested by a lower roll from me.

By the end I was left with only Isildur and two other models to hold anything close to a defence (pitiful last stand).
Though it was a sound thrashing at the hands of a tournament regular, it was a great learning curve to start me off, certainly to blow away the cobwebs and get me focused. Ed was great opponent and was good enough to give me a few pointers going forward. Hopefully my next game would give me more luck.

Game2 -Alfie
Second Game and I'm feel ing a bit more optimistic. First match was a perfect storm of difficult mission, hard army and an even harder opponent. This time around would be different, right?

Or not....

 The mission was announced (Reconnoiter) and I once again dreaded the slog of infantry. I was going to have to play safe with my army for a few turns and then try and run as many models as possible off the opposite board edge. One problem, my next opponent, Alfie, was having none of it and he brought all the heavy cavalry and chariots to prove it.

 I was hoping to whittle down a few of Alfie's Easterlings before they had a chance to charge, but again my dice had other ideas and left me to fend for myself. That said, this was by no means going to be easy for Alfie, not if I could help it. I through everything I had at him; Elrond, Isildur, The Ring and every act of petty vengeance I could muster.
 In the end my best efforts allowed me to destroy the Khandish Kings chariot in an act of petulant spite only to have Isildur wander off with The Ring controlling his head leaving Elrond surrounded and doomed. It seemed like a fitting end all things considered. I had made an attempt to run my Elf archers up the board to at least try and complete the mission, but in the end it was too little too late.

Alfie played the round well and didn't give me an inch to work with. Despite my abysmal luck, it was an enjoyable match and Alfie was great to play against.

Game 3 -Paul
Round Three and still looking for a win, I was eager for blood. Having been knock down to the bottom tables I was feeling confident. The next mission was announced and it was much more my speed. A good ol' fashioned punch up with only the kill count scoring any points, just my sort of thing. Enter Paul with his Numenorian Army led Elendil.

 This time around I decided to use Isildur's higher armour to my advantage and ended up using him as a bit of blunt object. sending him through some ruins to out flank Paul's army as they advanced into my own infantry. Meanwhile, I was looking to avoid fighting Elendil for as long as I could. I took a little luck, but I was able to draw the King into the woods for a few turns of combat with the Elven archers.

 Elendil made his presence felt on the board, but by the time he was out of the woods, Elrond was mid-rampage. Isildur was the far side of the board so it would be a few turns before he would get back to the main combat so that just left the rank and file troops to brawl amongst themselves while Elendil and Elrond squared off for some 2nd Age epic dual.

 By now my dice had stopped being mad at me, but had cursed Paul's in return. Paul tried everything to pull back the fight in the woods and even tried to force my own models to fight amongst themselves. (We got confused as to who's Numenorian's were who's). It was a pretty brutal end to the game as Isildur stepped into the fray just in time to see Elrond cut down his Father in cold blood.
Paul was a great laugh and good sport about the game. I just hope his luck improved throughout the rest of the event.

Game 4 - Scott
I had my first winfor the weekend and I was looking to carry on the good fortune. Then I met Scott and his Moria army featuring Cave Drake and I had a new goal in mind. Dragon hunting!
 I was confident that even out-numbered I could stand a good chance against Scott. My plan was to try to delay his Goblins as long as possible in the hopes of crippling the Drake with Elrond and Isildur. After all, how tough could be against two heroes of such renown?

 Well, it turned out that the Drake was indeed pretty tough. Elrond initially held the line with the troops, relying on Isildur to handle the Drake on the other flank for a turn. In that time how ever, the rest of the Goblin's were allowed to rampage around my flank without stopping.

With both flanks being forced back by shear weight of numbers, Scott and I could both see the end was in sight. I was never one to leave a game without at least attempting to leave a mark and in the end there was a dirty great Cave Drake just asking for a kicking.
 Alas, this was one such saga that ended in failure. The Goblin's overran the Numenorian lines and the Drake's reluctance to even take a wound provided a decisive victory to Scott.
Again, another wonderfully friendly opponent and a good fun game. Scott's army went on to win best painted at the end of the event and I hope form these photos you'll be able to see why.

This marks the end of day 1 of Into The West and incidentally the end of part 1 of my write-up. Hope this sufficiently keeps you excited for part 2 which will be posted later in the week.