Monday, December 21, 2015

Aimless Meanderings

Hi all.  I'm rather flattered that despite my lack of activity it appears there are still people finding this blog, more than I would expect after so long a hiatus.  Welcome one and all.  I have no real new answers here, just the aimless meanderings of a wanderer through several games and game systems that really just orbit around my hobby center - 40k.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Love and Tyranids

Love is an action - it's a verb - it's what you do.  Not some fickle feeling that flickers in a thousand shades and is replaced each and every moment with a new one.  It's not the nervousness, the infatuation, the giddiness, or the goose bumps, or even the total oneness of complete non-judgmental acceptance.  What in the world does this have to do with 40k?  Or Tyranids?

Well, last Friday a friend of mine got married.  Not just anyone, but someone whose love for 40k and all it's supposed to represent changed the community narrative surrounding the game, and brought together warring gamer factions that had previously never really had a common ground.  The NOVA Open brought together the 'hardcore gamer' and the 'hardcore painter'.  An outsider would say this was more through force of will than anything else, but I know better.  It was done out of love.  Love of friendship, camaraderie, and the spirit of the game.  It hasn't been easy, and at times it hasn't even been that fun.  Hard choices, hard words, hard decisions, sacrifice and stubbornness have all had their time.  But the purpose of bringing people together where they can enjoy each others' company, enjoy the game, and drink deeply of the rich creative culture of this amazing hobby has remained the rock-solid foundation.  Altogether - every action, every argument, every sacrifice of time - has been about love.  From a backyard barbecue to the Crystal City Hyatt, love has achieved a pretty amazing thing - and the best part is it's really just getting started.  I have to say, I'm pretty intrigued to see where this marriage goes.  I've seen firsthand what happens when Mike loves something.  So for Mike and Britney - congratulations.  Getting this far is an achievement, but it's really just getting started.

Tyranids is a bit harder to wrap (or is it warp?) in the love angle.  Not sure what it is about slavering gribblies and razor sharp claws by the dozens and hundreds.  Maybe it's a subtle form of mind control and I'm secretly beaconing out to the hive fleet.  Whatever it is, I'll be bringing my nids to NOVA again.  Trying to understand how the hell to build a list given the drunken Jenga game that GW has constructed is less than fun.  After a few days with Battlescribe I ponied up for the Pro version (worthwhile cause right there).  I'm not bringing a lictorshame or flyrant-filled list - I just don't have the models or time to start over.  I have some plans to be mobile, flexible, and unfortunately squishy.  I may even try out pyrovores, just because no one will expect them.  But it'll be fun.  Cuz I love my 'nids.  And the game.  And I'm thirsty for that rich, creative culture.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Goal Set: NOVA Open 2015

After a long hiatus of accomplishing nothing except adding to my unpainted plastic and metal collection it was time to move forward.  Still busy as ever working to help troubled marriages, and that's still the priority, but I do need some me time too for sanity.  Over this past year my me time consisted entirely of wasting time watching nothing worthwhile on TV and pining over my unpainted stash.  I barely even read anything worthwhile.  All in all, for the most part a wasted hobby year.  My bright spot was getting away for a single day on a NOVA Open terrain build.  Looking forward to more this year.

So - big step forward is of course, signing up for the NOVA Open 2015.  I had a great time in 2013's narrative playing my nids as the Virtue.  Naturally, I went for the big kahuna:  the Narrative Warlord track for the Virtue.  This is somewhere between a narrative campaign and an ETC-style team-based matchup with 10 games over four days.  Now to figure out what to bring and get painting!

Friday, January 31, 2014

The Compass, The Clock, and A Terrible Codex

How GW Sees Tyranid Players
     No reason to sugar coat it:  I pretty much can't stand the new Tyranid codex.  Let's just forget all the wasted potential that it could have been, lest I get really bitter.  The rules aren't worth the paper they're printed on and there's better fluff in the fanfic section of every 40k blog out there.  It's also pretty clear dataslates aren't going to help.  I've reserved judgment for as long as I can, but it's time to tell it like it is.  Despite a pretty major event in my life that will occupy the lion's share of my spare time for the next couple years, I've managed to squeeze roughly 20 hours on Battlescribe on my mobile phone and tablet trying to build a list - any list - that would meet any of the following criteria:  able to take and hold objectives, able to take and hold table quarters, able to win battle points, able to win KP, able to have a shot at the asymmetrical missions being bandied about, and the big one:  is it fun to play?  Add in another 10 hours of practice deployments and 1-2 turn tests - I can't come up with a list that I either enjoy or would consider competitive.  The codex is absolutely hamstrung by the fact that synapse has no synergy within the codex - literally nothing with synapse works well with anything that needs it.  I even tried several no-synapse lists which were even more painful.  Double FOC helps a little, but that's generally not an option anywhere I would play.  Killzone at least isn't an entirely lost cause...

Monday, January 6, 2014

Khurasan Miniatures 28mm Caiman Unboxing

I've wanted the APC from Aliens as a miniature for oh... since I first saw it when the movie came out.  Although Khurasan's 28mm Caiman (also available in 15mm) is necessarily not a replica, it makes a fine replacement and more than stands on its own.  I'd first seen the Caiman when they were released back in 2012, but they are nearly always sold out.  They became available again just about Black Friday time this year and I ordered two, for my long-brewing Inquisition/Sisters/Arbites/Grey Knights collection.  Here's a close look at my unboxing.  Excellent sculpt, well-cast with only a few, normal issues commonly found with bigger resin casts.
Well wrapped and packaged.

 Some minor issues with the vent here, not sure if I can fix with greenstuff or will just make it weathering/battle damage.

 Second APC also had an issue on the vent but looks fixable.

 Very minor bubbles.
 Bubble fixed in pre-ship QC, back bumper a bit off true.

 Minor issue on flat layer of little turret, but I don't much care for these little ones and will be looking for an alternative.

 Assembled, everything but the little turrets fit snugly.  The exit hatch rails were flawless.

 Small quirk here, fixable.

 Hard to see in other photos, but there are two raised hull areas just in front of the turret that break up the outline nicely and add a neat detail to highlight.
Overall I'm extremely pleased with these.  Now how to make these either Arbites or Inquisition rides...  
 Apologies for the terrible lighting.. but here's some 'typical' 40k figures for scale reference, as requested.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Tyranid Codex Pre-Release Rant

     As ever it's been a busy month with far fewer posts than intended - but real life > hobbies.  Most of the time.  At any rate - I've been watching the spin-up of the rumor threads and leaks for the new Tyranid codex and models and as more info becomes available, also watching my hopes dwindle into a termagant toenail-sized sliver.
     With the information available to date, GW appears to pull off a rather petty dick move - removing the mycetic spore as a model altogether.  With at least 4 different alternate model variants for sale from other companies, they just decided to remove that model altogether.  Interesting choice to just willfully concede an opportunity for profit - tyranid players have come up with hundreds if not thousands of scratch-built variants of spore pods, and instead of capitalizing on it (literally) GW decides to give the other companies and the players the finger.  How many scratch-built and alternate mycetic spore models will simply become 'tyranid terrain'?  Stay classy, GW, stay classy.  At least that removes a source of easy KPs in a codex that already has KP issues - but that only matters if you care about winning a game based on KPs.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

NOVA Open 2013 - Narrative Batrep 2

Big Trouble in Little Capitol 
A more cinematic way to end the tournament would be hard to find - the raging Hive Tyrant screaming its challenge at the Lamenters' Librarian dreadnought, rising on the Wings of Sanguinius for a duel to the death on the roof of the Capitol.  The NOVA Open 2013 Narrative was a fantastic event - exactly the sort of games I most enjoy.  With no next round looming, it was far easier to relax and get to know the other player a bit better, to banter back and forth, and create storylines within the battle as we went.  I'm very much looking forward to next year.  But the above is just a taster for the final batrep. Here's the batrep for my first battle. This is the batrep for battle #2.

  For simplicity, here's my list:  
Hive Tyrant: Wings, Hive Commander, TL Devs.  Biomancy 2:
Parasite of Mortrex:  Warlord, with chosen ability: Coordinated Assault (+1" assault range to all friendly w/in 12")
Doom in a SPod
Tervigon: AG, TS, ScyTals. Biomancy 3:
Tervigon: AG, TS, ScyTals. Biomancy 3:
Tervigon: AG, TS, ScyTals. Biomancy 2:
Termagant x10 (x3)
Ravener x9, Rending
Gargoyles x27, TS 
My second battle was vs. a gentleman named Harley who had come down with a small contingent from New York , playing IG/CSM (the 42nd Infantry Division).  Overall a very entertaining game - the surprise mission was definitely a shocker.  List after the jump: