Sunday, 28 June 2015

What's been happening this week.

It's been a jack of all trades this week. I am nearing completion of the 'Lego sorting' so that means more spare time for getting back into modelling. In light of that I have started looking at what I should begin working on though have not started anything yet per se.

First of all I have to say that I am so very glad this sorting is almost over. This is currently the state of our kitchen table:


And it is a similar story for the study and the coffee table in the lounge. The study is in fact worse but is at least becoming full of dismantled and packed Lego. This is what I've packed away so far:





All the Castle Lego. Yes I know things got out of hand.










All the other Lego. Retail therapy is always such a good idea at the time but never in hindsight.





Still a little more to do which I will finish off over the next couple of days, but at least with the light at the end of the tunnel looming ever closer I have begun thinking about what I need to get done in terms of modelling and painting.

Before leaving Christchurch a guy asked me to do some commission work for him. I told him that I would make no promises on how long it would take me due to all the work required for the move and he was quite ok with that. So until now his models have sat in a plastic bag on the pile of 'One day maybe' projects. Now that it's looking like I will have a bit of spare time the guilt is beginning to build and I feel I should get stuck into painting these models.


Two of the models are just for repair and colour reference, the other two are for painting. The Horse Archer in a way is also to be a model for colour reference but for the client to send to a painting company in Sri Lanka to churn out units of this type for sweat shop prices. The banner bearer he asked me to do because he'd like someone to take the time to paint it well. Nothing against the Sri Lankan company he's using which are quite good (I believe the painted archer in the middle is one of theirs) but at the end of the day they are a company looking to make a profit and hence churn through as many models as possible in the shortest timeframe they can which means the attention to detail is a little lacking.

In other news my recent foray into Mordheim has got me thinking about how to make some of my models look a little more individual now that they are developing different skills and stat increases. One of the things I really enjoy but don't do nearly enough is kit-bashing and I thought this would be a great opportunity for just that. So I had a bit of a rummage through my bits box and managed to find a few old broken or beaten Dwarf models:


The one on the far left (a little hard to see with a white background) is destined to become a Beardling while the other two will become Thunderers or Clansmen I think.

I did also manage to fit in another game of Mordheim last week and it was yet another ridiculous affair of mishaps and mayhem. Same residence so no photos due to lighting issues but here is the gist of it:

Four players this time but only one table so another free-for-all. I deployed in one corner with the Protectorate warband to my left and the Skaven to my right. Across the table from me were the Kislevites with the Undead noticeably absent this week. Wyrdstone was strewn across the table with two pieces relatively close to me and the rest being a bit too far for me to reach with my stubby little Dwarf legs. I picked up the two I could before being ambushed by 5 wandering hounds. Once I had taken care of them I was about to be abducted by a lone Skaven Warlord (just want to point out that this may not sound like much but the Skaven player's warband was so advanced he was quite happily beating all of us into submission and his Warlord was more than capable of taking out my entire gang if he could reach combat) however a few lucky Crossbow shots managed to put him out of action and I could turn my attention to gathering more Wyrdstone. By this time a thick fog dropped over the battlefield and I couldn't see anything to shoot so was well out of the fight. The Skaven player finished off the Protectorate and Kislevite warband on his own then came after me. Thankfully the other two warbands had done enough damage that I only needed one more rat out of action to force a bottle test on him. As he came charging through the fog one of my Thunderers managed to pick off a member of his warband and the Skaven fled the scene...with about 5 Wyrdstone shards mind you.

Another hilarious game and it was kind of cool to win one. In the defence of the Skaven player however I did only win because he was such a good sport. Charging headlong into a Dwarf Warband even in the fog is asking for a few casualties. We both knew it came down to that one bottle test; if he failed he was gone, if he passed he was in combat next turn and I would likely be fleeing the battlefield in the following two turns. A big thanks to Greg the Skaven player for his fantastic sporstmanship, and also for his incredibly high warband rating which gave me a huge underdog bonus! Here's how my warband looks after two games:



So that's another week of geeking done and dusted for me. On a closing note if you are interested in decluttering any of your stuff (because I know us geeks are all hoarders to a degree) I found Leo Babauta's zenhabits blog to be quite helpful. He's a bit of a quasi/neo-Buddhist but the way he writes is quite removed from the mystical, spiritual side of things in order to appeal to laymen and plebs such as myself. Well worth checking out if you have a bit of down-time.

Thanks for reading, we'll see you next week.    : )

Sunday, 21 June 2015

Mordheim!

Not much has been happening for me in terms of modelling. My life is still consumed with sorting Lego in a futile attempt to reduce my accumulated 'stuff' after the move. Thankfully however an old friend from Dunedin who is now living here suggested I get involved in a Mordheim campaign he is mixed up in. I've always had a stronger love for skirmish team/gang/warband development games like Mordheim, Necromunda or Blood Bowl than I have for the bigger games such as 40k or Fantasy so I jumped at the opportunity to get involved.

Getting a game in has been difficult given how busy life has been lately but last Tuesday I finally managed to get my Dwarf Treasure Hunters onto the gaming table.

We had an odd number of players so we simply played a 5-way match to make sure everyone got a game. The protagonists were:

Kislevites
Protectorate of Sigmar (unofficial warband you can find here)
Undead
Skaven
Dwarf Treasure Hunters

For my starting warband I decided to take a Lord (Noggin), an Engineer (Bjorg), 2 Troll Slayers (Gnutjob and Krakpot), 3 Thunderers armed with Crossbows (Butlug, Bjornagin and Corky) and a solitary Beardling (Guppy).

And here is my starting warband in all their purpley gloriousness:


Unfortunately I have no photos of the game as it was a little too dark to take pictures on my phone. Here's a quick run down of what happened though: I was deployed next to the Kislevites with the Protectorate and Skaven also relatively close. My entire warband started in the second floor of a ruined building and in my first turn I set about moving my Thunderers up to the windows while my characters climbed downstairs to grab the wyrdstone nearby. The Protectorate's hounds strayed into the open near my Thunderers and so I took some pot shots at them (taking one out of action from memory). The Protectorate player took offense at this and sent his whole warband after me pincushioning Gnutjob in the process with his archers. Random effects during the game meant Krakpot became possessed by a daemon and decided to run off on his own in a berserk attempt to kill one of the Protectorate's heroes. In doing so he managed to get himself gangbanged which then forced me to take my first bottle test which I promptly failed.

Game Over!!!

A bizarre game but I was happy how it turned out in the end given I was playing a new warband against some very developed warbands. My only two casualties were Gnutjob and Krakpot; Gnutjob suffered a hand injury (-1 Weapon Skill) from trying to catch all those arrows fired at him, Krakpot on the other hand 'Survived against the odds' and picked up an extra experience point!

Because all the other warbands were so developed I got a good underdog bonus out of this game which helped a lot of my guys level up:

Bjorg Bjorgsonsonsen gained a skill so I gave him 'Quick Shot'.

Krakpot gained +1 Attack.

Butlug got 'That lad's got talent' and become a hero. He also gained +1 Ballistic Skill.

Bjornagin Kristian gained +1 Ballistic Skill.

Corky gained +1 Strength.

Guppy gained +1 Initiative.

With the money I earned out of this game I also bought two more Beardlings to beef up my cannon fodder a little. This is how my warband looks now:



So after this foray I am feeling a whole lot better. Not having time for gaming recently has been a bit of a downer but getting back into Mordheim has given me a huge boost. Even just one game has reminded me of everything I love about this style of gaming; the narrative that evolves over the course of a game always makes for humorous and interesting stories, the development of your warband members means you become far more emotionally invested in your 'army' than with bigger games, and if you're gaming away from home all you have to bring are a dozen odd models and a handful of dice.

Modelling time is still looking very scarce in the foreseeable future so Mordheim will have to fill my gaming gap for now. I am at least getting some reading time in now that I'm catching the bus to work so I have been getting my 40k fix through Horus Heresy novels as of late. I also bought the Skitarius and Tech-Priest novels today so I'll get into them soon and post some reviews up here when I've finished them.



In more promising news: Wellington on a Plate is coming in August and as part of that they are doing the Burger Wellington contest again so you can guarantee there will be burger updates coming in a month or two.

For now I best get back to sorting Lego. If you have any recommendations for burgers to try during Burger Wellington then please let me know as Sam and I are compiling our list this week!

Sunday, 14 June 2015

Lego, Lego everywhere!

Again a long time between posts and below is the reason why...



As anyone who has moved house would know it provides a great excuse to declutter and clear out all that stuff you have never really used. Unfortunately for me I found that I had accumulated a lot more clutter than most. This is not really surprising as wargamers tend to be hoarders to a greater or lesser extent but it's one thing to just be aware of this and another to see it in a tangible form smacking you in the face.

The pictures display the current state of my study as I sort through all the various things I need to post on Trade Me. I'm proud to say that I have overcome the first hurdle and sold most of my Space Marines. As painful as it was at the time I am now much happier for it. Having one less project on my mind has improved my focus no end and I have jumped into the next decluttering task with gusto. I fear however that I have seriously underestimated the amount of work in this next task; for this month I decided to dedicate myself to sorting and selling my Lego...


It's safe to say that over the past 6 years mistakes have been made in relation to Lego purchases, especially when Sam and I visited Legoland in San Diego. I originally bought the clear plastic tub in the bottom photo to store my Lego thinking I would never fill it. But when the tub began to overflow and unopened boxes piled up in the garage with years of dust accumulating on them, I realised what had started as a single innocent purchase to kill time on a rainy day had somehow expanded into a serious addiction.

My goal at the moment is simply to get it all sorted by the end of the month, this is why you can see piles of similar colours sorted into various trays. Once I get through the sorting I am going to have to face the harsh task of selling it. Despite the pain of working towards this inevitable conclusion I have really enjoyed being able to build and play with Lego again. I've always found there is something magic about Lego that seems to be able to bring out a fun, creative and playful nature in people no matter what their age. And after spending the last couple of weeks clicking and clacking Lego bricks together I've come to the realisation that, while the vast majority will be purged, there will still be a few sets that have to stay...