Sunday, January 29, 2012

Infinity AAR

This weekend saw me get a quick game of Infinity in against my regular opponent for that game. In reality, I should probably say that I got a small game in - 250 points - because we're both still developing our incompetence with these rules, so the game was any thing but fast.

To the left you can see our table set-up - plenty of terrain comprised of multi-story buildings giving us both tons of cover as well as all sorts of interesting fire lanes.  It was those firing lanes that ended up quickly turning the battle in my favor, though my opponent made it a much closer margin of victory in a devastating round of shooting.

In the lower picture you can, barely, make out my Djanbazan sniper in all of his unpainted silver glory crouched at the window of the second floor of the building on the left side of the table.  From here he was able to quickly cut down a Ninja after it appeared from TO: Camouflage to fell two Ghulam Infantry, as well as drop a Celestial Guard and an Imperial Agent.  The impact one well-placed model can have on a game, potentially accounting for far more points worth of enemy models than it cost, is still something I'm getting used to, but which I rather like.  Sound tactical decisions are not only rewarded in Infinity, they are absolutely required.

The other thing I learned quickly was that heavy automatic weapons - HMGs, Spitfires, etc. - are absolutely deadly.  That Djanbazan sniper was positively bullet-riddled the turn after these pictures were taken, as a Spitfire-armed Celestial Guard decided he had enough of him.  Even at extreme range at a target in cover, a four shot weapon, with an additional shot from the linked team rules, is eventually going to find its target.

Monday, January 23, 2012

High Elf Speed Painting 2

To follow up on my last post, here is the completed Mordheim Shadow Elf warband as they stood at the start of the campaign.  All were finished with the quick painting method mentioned earlier, of neatly base-coating the figures completely, and then using various GW washes to provide some quick shading.

While I think this method generally worked, I'm not sure how much I like it on very light, or white, colors.  The robes on the archer henchmen, for instance, came out slightly splotchier than I would have liked.  No doubt this is probably more pronounced as they are the figures with the most robe showing, but they required some quick touch-up nonetheless to even get them to the point you see here.

Once the warband is complete - it's already expanded by one member since the start, thus requiring that I paint another archer henchman - I'll likely go back and neaten things up further.  Paint the eyes, push the red up to some higher highlights, pick out a few high points on the various metal areas, etc.

In terms of gaming, the warband has performed barely adequately so far.  Considering their individual high costs, and thus low model count, I've been outnumbered in every game so far, including one against a severely depleted beastman warband.  This has left me not only facing overwhelming odds, but up against several scenarios that immediately handicap an outmanned warband - I'm looking at you "Defend the Claim!"  But when this warband is firing on all cylinders, meaning I'm actually hitting with my firing, they're a beast, having already bottled out one enemy group in only two rounds of shooting.

Next in the painting queue is the newest member of this warband as well as a start on a Ramos warband for Malifaux.

Monday, January 16, 2012

High Elf Speed Painting

Given all of the years I have been painting miniatures, the actual number of finished pieces is surprisingly few.  Though this often stemmed from wavering motivation, I think I can properly attribute much of this to the nature of my painting style.  For the most part I'm a slow, deliberate painter, striving for perfection within my limited skill set.  In terms of quality final pieces, this has served me well - I was quite happy with both of the miniatures that I painted in 2011.

However, when you're looking to game with a painted force, two painted figures a year is simply unacceptable.  So, starting with my Mordheim warband, I've decided to tinker with some quick painting techniques.  While I've made a few false starts at this in the past, those efforts mostly revolved around me trying to apply paint quickly, and as a result, somewhat haphazardly.  The explosion in popularity of the "dip method," whether using wood varnish or the tailored Army Painter product, has given a reliable alternative though.  Enhancing this style of painting are the current Games Workshop washes, which behave very similarly to the various dips, but give you the benefit of a much broader range of colors, thereby preventing your figure from having a single, overall muddy tone.  I've opted for the GW route, and the two figures shown here have been basecoated and await their washes.

The problem I've encountered with this technique - though I suppose the same would be true with any quick painting technique - is that I need to force myself to not abide by my normal, obsessive approach.  Slightly painting out of the lines will be covered up by the washes and a figure that is effectively just basecoated and shaded is fine for a gaming figure - at least that's what I tell myself.  :)

Thursday, January 05, 2012

2012 Plans

Though tardy as usual (at least when it comes to me any my blog), I'd like to engage in the end of the year retrospection and new year resolution-making that all hobby bloggers seem to engage in.

From a hobby perspective, 2011 was a bit of a mixed bag for me. In terms of actual gaming, 2011 was a far more successful year than most in recent memory. Referencing the ever handy BoardGameGeek, I see that I played 51 games this year. That averages to nearly one a week, even if many of those occurred in single sessions in which several games were played. What is particularly interesting is the obvious trend in the nature of my gaming that is revealed in this look back. No doubt influenced by the interests of my wife and family, board games occupy a majority of the list, with 7 Wonders and Settlers of Catan sitting squarely on top. Miniatures games, which have long been my primary interest, account for only 14 games played this year (though hybrids such as Wings of War, Gears of War, Battlelore, Memoir '44, and Battleship Galaxies account for another 9).