Thursday, June 30, 2011

Blood Bowl NCDL Spring Championship Match

The Chernobyl Knights, my underworld team, made it to the championship game.
How I still don't know.  Underworld is a pretty underdog team, and while I have figured out how to run them on defense, offense still leaves me head-scratching a bit. They are fast, but not fast enough to be a fast team. Without a lot of skills the passers aren't really going to be playing a dedicated passing game, and they don't have the durability to maintain a grind-game. They're opportunists at heart I think... which is why I feel I've been better at defense than offense.  And probably explains why I managed to do well in this game.

My opponent was Mark, of the Southland Snakemen: a fierce coach and the only team to give me a loss this season, so my team was not going to underestimate them, but they were also seeking some payback.

The Lizardmen had 11 players: 4 skinks & full strength crew. 3 Saurus have block and 2 Skinks have sidestep.

The Knights had a couple goblin bench-warmers to pad their ranks, and induced Fezglitch to play for them.
My thrower has extra arms & leader, one blitzer has dodge and the other has the dreaded claw/mighty blow combo. I also have a rat kicker.
What do you call a Goblin with a skill?  A theory.

Mark won the coin toss and elected to receive. I left Fez on the bench, knowing how fast skinks can be, and kicked shallow and got a blitz! Beautiful start.  I badly hurt a skillless Saurus on my way to recover the ball, which I got. He marked up the thrower with the ball, but I dodged out, go for it and score.

It worked well the first time, so I kicked shallow to the other side of the field and rolled blitz again! Wow. Once is awesome.  Twice is equal parts awesome and pained empathy for the opponent. I got the ball and scored in short order- he had too much strength and slippery skinks to run the clock. But I did manage to injure a skink and get a couple other knock outs.  I also got my thrower knocked out.

I kicked again- he got his knockouts returned, I didn't. Skinks are fast.  I tried to contain them, but couldn't prevent him from scoring. I had one last turn to do some hurt, but didn't get my thrower back and didn't hurt anyone.
The Half ended 2-1 Knights.

I got my thrower back, and put Fez on the field. Fez took center, facing the Krox & a block-Saurus and an empty square, the Troll angled off another Saurus. The ball is kicked deep and the fans cheer for the Snakemen. Ungrateful louts.  ;)  The troll pushes the Saurus into the empty square in front of Fez, who now can't miss.. in his moves he knocks down 2 saurus & stuns the krox, earning him a big target from the lizards! I managed to knock out 2 more players, but could see my chance to run out the clock wasn't secure, but halfway through the 2nd half if I have a 3-1 lead I should have the game so I just scored early.  Plus, he'd just knocked out Fez, so my lizard magnet was gone!  ;) I had an injured goblin too.. but that's easy to accept. He injured my star Blitzer, which isn't easy to accept, so I apotho'd him and he took the bench.

He made his knock out return rolls: that's 4 for 4. Might not have had good luck everywhere, but his players weren't willing to sit on the bench and watch, and for a team with just 11 players, that's good luck.

I kicked off to the Snakemen and it scattered mid-field. In short order 2 more goblins were injured. My lines were getting thin. I tried to hold him, but he's real good with those skinks. One skink had the ball and I dodged with my dodging blitzer and blitzed him... a dodging blitzer dodges and blitzes? As advertised, so no complaints there. He knocked the skink out but I couldn't get the ball.  His next skink managed to get the ball and score.  Game ended 3-2.

Hard fought and if I hadn't have had a couple blitzes to exploit early on it could have been very different!

Notice how only my troll is completely painted?
3 months in and my team is only about 1/3 finished.
As a friend reminded me with an old saying recently: "The cobblers children go unshod."
How true. 

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Relevant Information

So I'm about to head out for the championship match for the Blood Bowl league -I don't know how my team got lucky enough to make it to the cup match, but I'm wishing my Chernobyl Knights luck- and I decide to check traffic online to make sure I shouldn't just delay leaving for awhile, if there is bad traffic.

Well, Sigalert's site has a few photos you can click for up to the moment information.
What a technological wondrous age we live in. So here it is:

Oh modern technology, what would I do without you?

Twilight: Clash of Cultures: Fubarnii Knight & Delgon Strider

A Brave Fellow...

So I finished painting the Delgon Derak-Strider conversion for the contest over at the World of Twilight forum, and even got a rival for him painted up.  I wish I had more time to paint more Twilight minis- they are a real joy to paint, but all I've had time to do is these two this month, adding a little bit of paint here and there in between the several concurrent commissions I've got on the bench: when I need to let some glazes dry or think about a color choice I've added a bit to these to fill the time or cleanse the creative pallet.

I'm liking the interaction between them.

I'm just now realizing this is not just the first Delgon I've painted but also the first Fubarnii!
Looking forward to painting the forces.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Man's Best Friend...From Hell

Who's a good boy? Yes, you're a good boy!
What is that? O.K...drop the head... drop it.. drop it.
Good Boy!

I painted a couple Hellhounds for Darkson Designs recently.  Very fun minis!
The sculpting is delicate with nice detail yet a lot of room still to have fun painting various tones which I enjoy.

Many soldiers throughout time have used attack dogs, but using dogs from hell is a serious jump in canine weapon technology.  These are for the AE WWII game, but I could see them being useful in fantasy, science fiction & horror genres too. They'd even make great large monsters for a 15mm scale.  

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Roller Derby Girls

So a few weeks ago I painted the first released team of Roller Derby Girls from Impact! Miniatures.

I'll be the first to admit I didn't know the first thing about Roller Derby.  Well, not the first thing after the obvious: it's roller skates, women, there is some smashing involved, and it's a Derby.. which I believe is a hat of some kind ;)

I know it's typical for many of the women to have tattoos and punk or rock-a-billy style, which is awesome, but for the first set I wanted to paint them in a more clean-cut style, so it'd be easier to see the miniatures themselves and establish a 'base' from which the next two teams can build upon, to explore painting in some of those style choices. Which should be great fun, and should be done soon too!  So watch this space if you're curiosity is piqued!

I haven't had a chance to try out the rules to the game yet, but look forward to doing so.

For the miniatures I was very impressed with the sculpts.  Anatomically well done, without the things common in a lot of fantasy sculpting, like hands the size of heads. The bodies are single cast, with separate heads.  There is not a lot of extraneous detail, which is ideal. These minis give you a lot of possibilities to paint them in any colors and patterns you'd like. I can imagine many different teams looking unique just from this one team release, and that's without considering the two others coming up.

It's also a nice size project: just 5 miniatures for a team! Well, on to more pictures..

if interested, you can get the team at Impact! Miniatures

It's a different kind of Rolling, but enjoy it nonetheless!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Draniki Scouting Party Sighted

The Draniki arrive! Well, a scouting force of them at any rate.

This is a project over 4 years in the making. I'm such a procrastinator.

How it started:

Long long ago I started making a Lizardmen army for WHFB. I liked the models. But when the saurus get all tightly ranked I didn't like them as much. The minis are very characterful, but when they're all in the same pose, same facing, packed in tight together it just doesn't look like much. I wanted something different.

Fast forward several years finds me revisiting a pulpy-sci fi fluff background I had in mind, I was calling 'Planets in Peril'.  I played 40k long ago, and still keep an eye on what is going on with it, but it isn't a great fit for me: the fluff is a bit too dour and the rules a bit too *cough* simplistic? (Though I love Orks!) But I am addicted to creating armies. I grew up reading Edgar Rice Burroughs, so that explains a lot of what I am drawn to in gaming genres. So I came up with the Planets in Peril background with the intention of having many races that could be represented by easy to obtain miniatures from various companies. The one I was most excited about was the Draniki.

The Draniki weren't called that then, they were just called by their earth-name, "The Lizardmen of Venus". "Draniki" would come later after hearing it and knowing it must be their name. Any phonetic similarity between their word and an earth-language name for a potato-based food is purely coincidental.

I'm a big proponent of 'double dip' miniatures: minis that you can use as more than one army, or in more than one game system. Get more for your effort! So I intended to have the Draniki be usable as a 'counts-as' 40k army of some type: first trying necrons, then later deciding orks would be more likely.

I started building them. What a joy! Freed from the tight confines of ranked square bases, it allowed for angling heads and giving more movement to the miniatures.  I've also made cavalry, shock-troops and komodos (commandos), a couple small fliers and a couple 'tanks'. All in all I have over 120 miniatures to paint. A year later I scraped off the basing material and redid the bases with light texture & small geysers.

4 Years later I finally found some time to begin painting. In my defense I should say that this isn't a showcase-level project. This is a 'fast paint' project, or with the time I have for hobby it would never get done. A mass army like this I'll just be relying on the conversions and overall impression to carry it. The only way I found time to start it was using them as Askari allies for my Quar in the Venus campaign!  Starting a project as a portion of a different one is a great way to make a new project happen.

So, that's more than you ever wanted to know I'm sure, so on to more pictures!

These are Draniki warriors. Or, if I ever play 40k these would count as shoota boyz.

Draniki warriors take a tooth from the first thunder-lord they kill. Many have it mounted in their rifle, making it a formidable weapon in hand to hand fighting.

Here are some with double barreled radium rifles (angle of the picture makes it hard to see, but they are double barreled) These would count as 'big shootas' for orks.

A Draniki alongside a Quar. The Quar are grateful for both the great strength of their allies as well as the knowledge of Venus they can share.

The Draniki so far:

A small start to a big project.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

World of the Draniki

Amtor.  Cytheria.  Venus.

Many names. Many myths. Many mysteries.

For those brave enough to penetrate the clouds and traverse the jungles of Venus there await many lifetimes worth of adventures.  Venus is home to many dangers and wonders that the men of Earth are only beginning to unveil.

One of the dominant races of Venus, and one of the least like the men of Earth, is the Draniki.
The Draniki (pronounced with a rolling R "Drrrahh-neekee") are reptilians, possessing intelligence and craft that rivals that of Man with a history and civilization that is far older.  Physically imposing, with an average height of seven feet and the sharp teeth of carnivores, they are however slow to anger and generally lack the cruel pleasure derived from violence which is too common in the worst of men. It would be a mistake to think of them as gentle giants however, for they are formidable hunters and think little of bringing death to outsiders when in doubt of their intentions.

"Of their past I am just beginning to uncover the secrets," stated Professor Nigel Hawthorne, acclaimed historian and anthropologist of Cambridge, "their history,which is backed up by archaeological evidence suggests they have had a similar history as our own, with its risings and falls, though on a far greater scale of time.  If they are to be believed, in their past they have traveled to the Jovian moons, and their ancestors had colonies upon Earth itself.  The last few hundred years they have been reemerging from their last dark age, which was heralded by 'the great death brought upon by the great unnamed.' It is unclear if this refers to a supernatural myth of some kind."

What is known is that the nation of the Draniki is vast, with many cities and a sophisticated culture steeped in rituals. They are a space faring race in their own right, though rarely do they venture beyond Venus. Tensions mount as more and more expeditions from the various nations of Earth encroach upon their borders.  They have had trade in the past with the Phobosians, and have sealed a formal alliance with the Phobosians on expedition to Venus. 

Monday, June 13, 2011

10,000 Visits!

10,000 Visits as of earlier today!
More this month than in May, even more than April, and we're not even halfway through the month!
I'm pleasantly shocked.
I haven't been putting up as many posts as I did in April with the once per day challenge, so if you're new here there's plenty more to see from the previous months.  But I do plan to have many more updates coming soon.

What explains the big increase in visits recently?
It could be that Dr.Moreau left the door unlocked to his computer lab again:

Or it could be just more gamers with more downtime .. either way I'll try to give you some more things to entertain.

It's odd how we mark milestones and set significance in what feel like must be important numbers...

A person who lives to be 100... not that 99 isn't pretty impressive already.
One billion customers buying burgers.
The year 2,000 where surely the world will end. .. wrong again.  sorry(?)
The Mayan calender hitting 60,000.. the next big number that is supposed to be important... why? 60,000 years? What do people think will happen? So their calender ends, so what? 60,000 years is nothing. Our species has seen that roll over what, 20 times? And the planet would consider 60,000 years a heartbeat.

But it's probably hardwired in us to find a way to pause and say "this is a good spot to look back and say 'I've been doing something for awhile now, and it hasn't ended.'"  And I'm no different in that.

So with recently passing 50 followers and 10,000 visits I say Thank You for visiting and coming back.
I'm having fun, hope you are too and there will be more of this in the future.

Aside from the constant commission projects, my own that I hope to get to in the near future:
-More Quar
-More Twilight
-15mm Sci-Fi
-Gator War Party for fantasy skirmish
-Old West gang

Back Burner projects I'd like to have reason to get to:
finish the Bayou Elves
Blood Bowl teams
15mm Fantasy
VSF Ottomans

we'll see how it goes.

And on the subject of counting, here is a good reminder on the importance of proper counting:

Thursday, June 9, 2011

The Draniki are coming...

The Draniki are coming... 

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

50 Followers? Thank You!

Wow, the blog hit 50 followers today!
I'm pleased & flattered!

There could be many other regular visitors who don't show up as 'following' and I appreciate all those visitors as well!

I know I followed many blogs, like Geektactica & Four Color Figures for a couple years before finally getting around to making an account that could 'follow' blogs- which is an awesome feature- the Dashboard is great: an easy way to scroll through the recent blog updates of many blogs, rather than going through them all from a favorites folder. Pretty handy feature even if you don't make a blog of your own, I definitely recommend it.

I've only been at this blog since very late February, and have been enjoying it quite a bit.

I've been particularly interested in the far flung geographical locations of visitors. I love to travel, but I will never get to travel as much as I'd wish to. I've had some frequent visits from some places I haven't had a chance to visit yet, like Japan (though I did have a lay-over there on the way to China) and Estonia (which I saw from the ferry boat on the way to Helsinki) and many other places I'd like to see someday: South Africa, Brazil, Andorra.. and many more. The international nature of this is just very cool, so feel free to leave a comment even if it's just to say hi and where you're from.

I was curious about the international visits and found that the most visits from a single country is from the US at just under 2,500: a bit under 1/3 of all total visits. The UK is at a bit over 1,800, making the UK (with about 1/5 the population of the US) at first glance the most frequent visitor based on population... though with a little under 600 visits, Australia is close to the UK % considering their population.

So that puts the UK in first place & Australia a close 2nd for visits per capita. (and 2nd & 3rd place in total visits). But wait! The next most frequent visits come from France, Germany and Canada, and I know they all have larger populations than Australia, but the 7th place is Denmark.  I've been to Denmark.. actually got to live there for a summer several years ago- loved it.

Denmark is a small country, not many people.. how many? Looking the info up, doing the math, Denmark ends up having the highest amount of visits per capita!

Placing the top 3 nation visits per capita as:

1. Denmark
2. United Kingdom
3. Australia

So Thank You Denmark,
The flag of Denmark.

And everyone else as well!

So enjoy the movie & music of one of my all-time favorite bands, if you can get past the truely odd show host ;)

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Twilight Conversion: Derak Strider

World of Twilight announced a painting competition last month, and I haven't had any time to do anything for it until today when I squeezed in time to make a conversion I've had in my mind for a long time now.

I'm really not big on competitions actually, at least not competition for the sake of competition, but a small casual one that is friendly and an excuse to motivate people to paint more is definitely something I can appreciate and get behind. It runs to the end of June, so if it strikes your fancy head over to the World of Twilight Forum.
There is a link on the left column under 'Places to Go'.

I'll be trying to find time to get this conversion painted by the deadline.
I wanted to make a Delgon Strider who's armed with a Derak weapon (think: primitive flame thrower!)

From the first I saw of the Striders I thought "Oh, that is cool!"
A steam-powered enhanced mechanical set of legs.
Wallace would be proud!

Striders come armed with a glave, but since the derak is more common in Delgon lands than the Fubarnii empire, I thought it made a lot of sense to have a powerful missle fire weapon to back up a strider scout patrol.

I began with a Delgon Strider, which I purchased from Hasslefree Miniatures, pictured from their site here:
Strider #1
I snipped his weapon & head off, added a Derak weapon and Derak user's goggled helmet head, and green stuffed a parka hood for him.
Fairly simple but I'm happy with the result.

A few other angles:

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Circus Arrives

The Circus is finished.

I really do enjoy making theme teams & armies.
This was great fun to plan, convert & paint.

So let's peek into the Big Tent..

Ring Master calls out to the crowd while Maggy the Magnificent entertains them.

The Blitzers (wights) of the team have side-shows of their own..
Pit your strength against Butcher Bill and watch the throwing knife skills of Jack Knife.

No Circus is a circus without animals, especially Monkeys! These simians will steal the ball, or your pocketbook... so be careful!

The big cats are always a popular attraction.  Werewolves? why bother when you can have the king of the jungle!

Misha the Dancing Bear and Jumbo!

Clowns... "Can't sleep... clowns will eat me..."

The team ready to entertain...

Thanks for looking!

And enjoy the music & movie:

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