Saturday, October 12, 2019

Random Updates: The Mass Is Effecting Me!

Just kind of place holder post here as Mass Effect 2 ate up a chunk of my free time this past week.  I'd forgotten it was on my laptop until last week and I just wound up diving right into it.  Going heavier on the paragon path than I did the first time I played the game just too see the difference.

I also watched season one and two of One Hit Die on Amazon Prime... which apparently are actually seasons two and three?  Hmmm...  Apparently there is more to watch this week.  Well, the two that I watched were Legend of the Lich Lord and the Devouring Dungeon.

They describe themselves as Lord of the Rings meets the Office which I guess I can see though I have pretty limited experience with the Office (I might have to give it another try).  I found foth of the One Hit Die movies/series were pretty amusing and if you like things like the Gamers series, I'd definitely recommend checking it out.

This doesn't mean that there was no hobby this week, just much less than I had expected.  More progress was made on my hills plus I brought down more forest material that I'm going to redo.  The original pieces are from years ago and had a tree hot glued in the center of a CD. I'd done this to create small woodland area terrain but I prefer the newer style I've been doing with the tree being on its own base.  This makes it a bit easier to play around as you can move the tree on the woodland base so that it's out of the way or even just remove it if need be.  This also lets me make denser terrain pieces since the terrain elements themselves are removable and don't limit game play.

I'm also still organizing things as far as storage and it's slowly getting there.  Since I'm effectively living out of a hotel right now, it does create some interesting new challenges but overall I think that things are coming together slowly but surely.  The next step is getting out and exploring locally to check out the local game stores in the Boston area... which means suffering through afternoon traffic.  I've seen worse (I'm looking at you Ohio!) but it can get pretty tedious.  "Wow, it's only two miles away!  I should be there in about 30 minutes."

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Workbench: The World Is Taking Shape

My plans for more painting have been temporarily put on hold (It's all your fault Shepard!) but the terrain has been coming along very well. Here is a shot of the 4' x 4' board with a variety of terrain laid out to give you an idea.

I even played another solo game to try this mix out.  Algoryn vs Concord in a 500 point skirmish game.  Algoryn won again thanks to their dirty x launcher.  "You get a pin and you get a pin and you get a pin!"  Still fun and good to keep the rules fresh in my mind.  It also inspired me to make more hills.  How many more?  Well...

About this many.  As you can see a good chunk of these are still in progress but I should be able to get them finished up next week.  I'm also going to grab some of my old forest terrain from home over the weekend and re-base it so that it matches up with what I'm currently using.  Slowly but surely making progress... as long as I can keep from playing too much Mass Effect 2.  Until next time...

Friday, September 27, 2019

Workbench: The Hills Are Alive With The Sound Of Mag Guns...

Last week was almost a bust thanks to the changing seasons.  Gotta love allergies.  Thankfully things are slowly getting back on track this week and I decided to dive into expanding my terrain options.  I've been brainstorming some ideas for buildings constructed from foam core but need to grab a couple of white pens before I can really push forward with those.  Why white?  Instead of using the plain white boards, I decided to use black boards instead.  This should make the painting process a bit since there is no base coating required; it's already black!  It'll be interesting to see how it actually plays out but fingers crossed.

In the meantime, I dug out a utility knife and started cutting up some of the spare insulation board to make some hills.  Inspiration for the technique is straight from the Tabletop Warlords, specifically the Modular Hills episode from their Antares Build playlist.  Currently it's the only episode in that playlist but that's because of all the other Gates of Antares content they've been churning out which I definitely recommend checking out.

For my hills, I followed most of Kevin's suggestions and so far I'm really happy with the end result.  I did "flock" mine slightly differently (aka not at all) because I glued cut fabric to the tops instead of going whole hog with more traditional basing material.  This keeps them in line with my other terrain pieces though and I think that will help pull them all together visually.

Just a quick shot for this week but I think they look pretty good.
In addition to the hills, I've also started shaping some of the off cuts into boulders so I can put together some rocky outcroppings.  This will mix up my terrain options a bit more and add more variety to the mix.  So far I'm sticking with my more verdant board but eventually I'll start working on putting together my desert world as well.  As I already had a head start with the green board, it only makes sense to finish that one first and then move on.  This also works well for other gaming options as the green board can be used for other systems a bit easier than my shocking yellow desert.

I'm also going to try to do something to kick start my painting.  With my three armies nearly complete, I've been having a heck of a time sitting down to finish the few models that I have left.  I've tried painting other genres to try to kick the painters block to the curb but there's been enough of a break that I'm really frustrated with the quality that I'm producing.  Only I get the current projects situated, I'm going to try to work out a painting routine doing just one figure a day to keep my hand in practice.  Most of these will be just quick paint jobs but that seems like the perfect thing for this time of year.  After all, it's almost Zomtober.  Normally I'm not a big zombie fan but I did pick up some of the Zombicide Black Plague game.  These will fit into any fantasy setting quite nicely and this will be the perfect excuse to get some paint on them.  Until next time...

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Workbench: Civil War - It's Not Just For Marvel Anymore!

Back when I first started picking up miniatures for Antares, I decided right away that I didn't want to field any of my armies with the studio paint schemes.  This wasn't because I didn't like them, but because I really liked the open sandbox approach that Warlord and the Antares community have as a whole.  It's your army, paint them anyway you like!

As time has gone by and the story has started to advance, I must admit that I am going to start collecting figures using schemes inspired by the studio paint jobs.  It only seems fitting as I start working two new Algoryn forces inspired by the recent talk of potential civil war.

On one side, you have the disgraced Tar Es Janar.  After his treasonous behavior at Xilos, Tar Es Janar was exiled from the Protectorate but not all felt that this was justified.  While he did break normal protocols, his actions helped deny the Ghar a foothold on Xilos.  Forced out into the wilds of the Determinate, there are those still loyal who have been quietly gathering their strength in anticipation of the day of his return.

Meanwhile, the vacuum left by his exile created the ideal opening for Ess Ma Rahq to ascend to what she feels is her rightful place.  Already the commander of the Special Division, the success of the hazard armor has brought her even more favor with the Council.

So my plan for this is to build a small force for both sides of this conflict.  For the exiled legions of Tar Es Janar, I want to focus on assault squads supported by standard AI squads.  Meanwhile, Ess Ma Rahq has been able to tap into the power her position in the Special Division so her force would consist of mostly hazard squads and infiltrator squads, possibly with some standard AI squads to fill things out.  Of course since they are all Algoryn, the color scheme will be the big difference here; the traditional Algoryn red for the exiles while the ominous forces of the Special Division will be black.

This is still just in the concept stages right now but it's something I want to work towards.  Still, the journey of a hundred minis begins with a single brushstroke.  Until next time...

Monday, September 9, 2019

Workbench: Making A Better "Tabletop"

As I've mentioned, I am currently traveling for work which makes gaming a challenge to say the least.  Thankfully it an extended stay so I have the same hotel room which does make things easier, but there is still the overall space issue.  A two room suite is not even close to the amount of space in a typical home or apartment.

To try to work around this, I had brought down four 2' x 2' boards that I had attached some cloth to so I could use them as terrain board as is.  Unfortunately the one and only table in the hotel room is pretty thin so putting the boards on it can be a little nerve wracking.  During the game I played last week with Concord vs Algoryn, there were a couple of times that I nearly flipped one of the sections when I leaned on it.

Functional but mildly stress inducing
To get around this, I went out and picked up an 8' x 4' inch thick insulation board.  My original plan was to chop off a 2' section from the end so I could have a 6' x 4' topper.  After some thought, I decided to cut it down to a 4' x 4' topper instead due to the size of the room.

This still left the issue of the overall size.  4' x 4' is a good size for gaming but its still tricky to store it away in a hotel room.  The solution for this was to split it into two 4' x 2' tables and add a "hinge".

The "new and improved" table top
In this case the "hinge" is made with duct tape.  I laid out the two boards next to each other and ran a line of tape along the seam.  Then I folded the "table" in half and ran another piece of tape along the two edges along the seam.  This lets me fold the topper in half and the extra tape should make it a little sturdier.

It's so shiny...
Of course I'll have to see how it works in application but I thinking it should work out nicely.  And as an added plus, I also have all of the extra foamboard to start making some vertical terrain.  That's right, it's time to get some hills!  Huzzah!  I really like how all of my vegetation has been turning out but I'm really excited to add the third dimension to the board.  More on that soon.  Until next time...