Monday, October 3, 2016

FallCon 2016

Over the last weekend, I went to Calgary again for this year's FallCon gaming convention. It looks like the Calgary DBA group has become more active, and they're trying to recruit more into the fold. Overall, the convention still seems quite popular despite some bad economic times.

On Friday night, the Calgary DBA group ran a tutorial event for several potential new players, and I joined in on some of the games. Hopefully this means there will be more players in Calgary.
Don and Mark from Calgary were instructing new players on the mechanics of the game.

 Here, I guided new player Wayne in a game with Medieval French against my Komnenans.

On Saturday morning, we played a number of games with the theme of ancient Greeks and Romans versus Asians. Various Asian armies were pitted against ancient Mediterraneans in several separate tables. I was glad to see some of the new players from the previous night's event joining in.

In this picture, I had a game against Dennis' Qin dynasty army with my Celtiberian army.

There were a few other miniature games running at the same time.

There was a superheroes miniature game. I saw this board with the Batmobile coming in against some dastardly criminals. No doubt there was plenty of "Kapow!" in the game.

There was also a demo game of Fireball Forward, which looked quite intense with a bombed-out urban WWII setup.

In the afternoon, Dave P. ran a series of walk up and play WWII naval games. I watched the first one, but ultimately didn't have time to join in. I had played the same scenario before on club nights, so I was fine with that.

Instead I joined an introductory game of Steampunk Rally, an interesting boardgame. You had to build racing contraptions with cards representing components of your machine, propellers, boilers, etc., and those components provided you with power and motion to allow you to win the race. The picture above is one of my rickety contraptions.

This is a shot of the racing board, marking where the characters are in the course and some of the hazards on the track. Overall it was quite a fun game and I had a blast.

Sunday morning, I played in the Alberta Open DBA tournament. Things didn't go that well when I kept rolling 1s. Fortunately in the last game I ran into another player who did the same thing, so I managed a 1-2 W/L ratio.

Since I already have so many things to paint, I avoided getting too many extra minis this time. At the flea market, I grabbed a copy of Smallworld Underground, a variant of Smallworld which I used to play at work. It's quite a fun game.

Once again, I had a great time at FallCon, and I'm looking forward to next year. Also, the Calgary guys promised they'll come for DBA next Mayday, so I'm looking forward to that too.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Poor Attention Span

Sorry that I haven't been posting more about my epic Tyranids, but I've been distracted by some other projects such as my Kings of War dwarf army. However, I did work on some more epic, Eldar this time. I always liked the look of the newer epic Eldar revenant titans, the ones that look like giant thin Eldar with pulsar lasers for arms. They were so much more graceful than the old "walking eggs."

This is a well-painted example from CoolMiniOrNot. To make something like this, out of old 40k bits of course, I had to think about it a bit. I took some inspiration from examples on Tactical Wargames forum and came up with the following.

This is made from various guardian, dire avenger, and wraithguard bits. I tried to maintain a similar build and style to the metal epic version, with a bit of action to  the model.

Another shot from the front.

The side and back, showing the back fins and the jump jet.
This is a size comparison with a first generation epic phantom titan. It's a bit shorter than the metal epic revenant, and is up to around half the height of the phantom to the head.

I have several more on the work table with my available bits, so this can probably form of the basis of an Eldar titan army?

This does show though that my attention span is quite poor, and I really need to concentrate on finishing something before taking on other projects.

Monday, May 23, 2016

New Acquisition

It just goes to show that you never know what you're going to get. Just this Sunday, I went to a bits swap at a local game shop where I tried to sell my old Warhammer 40k Tyranid army. Possible deals for the Tyranids fell through, but I noticed something interesting among one of the bits piles being sold...

Yes, I found one of those elusive epic scale Tau Mantas! The little gun turrets were all missing, but otherwise the ship was assembled and in great shape. Those things are always broken off Forgeworld models anyways, being incredibly brittle, so it wasn't that big of a deal. On top of all that, the model ended up costing just $15 Cdn. Considering that last time I saw it on eBay, it was $100 US and being bid on...

Here's a comparison with an Orca dropship (right) and a Devilfish APC (middle). This is a pretty big model. I'll have to think about how to paint it properly - there are lots of panel lines. Anyhow, this will be a great centerpiece for my upcoming Tau army.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Mayday 2016

Yet another year has come and gone, and I went to Mayday 2016 over the weekend. Even though this year had somewhat lower attendance than usual, Mayday has become enough of a fixture that most of the usual suspects were there.

I ran my typical Strange Aeons: X-Com game, with the boards mixed up a little bit from usual to provide some variety. I hosted Wiley and Andy in a couple of introductory games - Andy had been interested in Strange Aeons for a while but had never played my game, whereas Wiley had played once before.

The rural board, which I modified to add a farm house.

The urban board, which is now a UFO crash site.

Here Wiley and Andy were trying to figure out the rules on the urban board.
They ended up winning one game each and had a good time. We talked about possibly running a campaign on normal game nights, which is where the base system really shines.

In the afternoon, I played in a series of DBA games with Dennis. Due to low turnout, we were the only ones in the DBA time slot, originally meant for a British-themed tournament. We went through three games, with me playing an ancient British army and Dennis using a sub-Roman Briton army.

We played through slightly different terrain set-ups using the same armies. Dennis ended up winning 2 to 1 and won the "tournament".

In the evening, Terry hosted several players in a Frostgrave game. Frostgrave seems to be the new thing around here, being a fairly simple skirmish campaign game. A lot of people are building their own warbands, and I'll probably modify my Mordheim warband to add some wizards.

The scenario we played had each of us trying to get our wizard to a fountain in the center of the board, to drink its magical waters. Of course, we had to kill each other (and random monsters) along the way.

We played quite late into the evening, and I ended up winning after killing another wizard, which gave a lot of experience. I really liked the rules, since they're both simple and quite flavourful, with everything you'd want in a fantasy system. Time to dust off my Mordheim stuff!

So another enjoyable Mayday has come and gone, and I can't wait until the next one. Maybe I'll run something other than X-Com...

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Still Alive and Some Bones

Sorry that I haven't been updating this blog, but I've been busy early this year. However, I am still slowly chipping away at my Epic Tyranids.

I promised to take pictures of some Reaper Bones miniatures for someone and do a comparison with 1/72 scale miniatures, so I guess I'm back to the proper subject of the blog.

There are some very nice looking Bones (soft plastic) miniatures that can double for 1/72 scale aliens, and I have a few that I plan on using in games. Sorry about the funny colours and lighting in the photos. Bones miniatures don't do so well with lights.

These are Reaper Bones "Kulathi Invaders". They are alternatively armed with one large weapon or a couple of small weapons. I think they're perfect for larger-than-human basic alien foot soldiers. They are next to a couple of Elhiem 1/72 scale metal "federal troopers".

This is a "Bathalian Centurion", a large creature with giant talons. Creatures of this size can probably be used as light vehicles versus human-sized soldiers. This one looks assault-oriented.

This one is a "Bathalian Exarch", slightly slimmer with smaller "hands". Maybe it can be used as a leader of some kind?

The largest of the creatures is the "Bathalian Primarch", with extended head armour. Maybe this is good for an alien supreme leader with psychic powers?

All of these aliens have cthulhuloid face tentacles, and their styles fit together well as different castes of an alien army. I can probably use them in a custom background with the FUBAR ruleset, a good way back into 1/72 scale sci-fi gaming.

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Year End and Some Tyranids

As this year ends, I'm finally able to catch up on some painting over the holidays. Overall, this year I didn't get as much opportunity to paint as I'd liked. The last couple of weeks gave me a chance to finish at least some of my plans.

I finished some of my long-running Epic Tyranid projects, but it only reminded me of how much more I have to go.

These are the flying component of the army, 12 stands of gargoyles and 2 harridans.

These are the harridans from previous posts that I built out of 40k bits. The colour scheme is based on my old 40k Tyranid army.

These are the command/synapse stands I have so far, 10 stands of warriors and 4 zoanthropes, again converted from 40k bits.

These zoanthropes are made from rippers and Tyranid warrior heads, to give an impression of giant floating brains. They're quite a bit larger proportionally that what they should be compared to the other Epic miniatures, but they're around the same size as the original GW Epic zoanthropes with legs.

Some of the cannon fodder, 20 bases of termagants. The zoanthrope shows the size of my converted miniature.

I don't have nearly enough original GW termagants for a proper Tyranid army, but I do have some of Onslaught Miniatures' proxy bugs that can be used as a substitute. This is a comparison with GW plastic termagants on the left and Onslaught stalkers on the right. The Onslaught minis are quite a bit smaller, but they should fill the need in separate units.

This is my Epic Tyranid kanban board as it stands at the end of the year. With the above units near completion, I still have a ways to go for the rest of the army, mostly larger models.

To everyone reading this, have a great New Year! Happy painting!

Monday, November 9, 2015

More Epic Tyranids

As a part of the work on my Epic Tyranid army, I've been putting together some custom resin models of vehicle-sized creatures. There is a miniature maker in France named "Winterman" who makes incredibly detailed resin miniatures of "ground bugs", perfectly suitable for Epic scale Tyranid creatures.
I have three of these "big gun" creatures, which are around the size of vehicles in Epic. They are good proxies for exocrines. In fact, they look lean and mean, a lot better than the "slug" design of the original Epic miniatures.

Here is a comparison of the exocrine proxy versus a Forge World Tau Devifish APC. It's the perfect size for a medium vehicle.

A size comparison with classic Tyranid warriors. These "exocrines" will provide much needed armoured fire support for an Epic Tyranid army.

I also have some bigger creatures with large scything talons and lobster-like claws. These are good for Haruspexes, large close-combat monsters. Again, they fit the current Tyranid design much better than the old Epic "slugs".

A comparison with the exocrine proxy showing the slightly larger size.

Don't worry, soon I'll be showing more pictures of painted Tyranid units. I'm just still working on getting a playable army ready.