Tuesday, March 14, 2017

First Dropfleet Game

I finally managed to paint around 500 points worth of Dropfleet Commander ships, just in time for a game organized in St. Albert on Sunday.

I painted four of the magnetized frigates from the previous post.
Here are a couple of Djinns armed with plasma weapons and a Gargoyle, a troop carrier. I decided on a fairly simple colour scheme of purple outlines with some green tinges over a metallic surface.

This is the second Gargoyle, painted to the same scheme.

I also figured out how to magnetize the cruisers so the wings, cheek weapons, and the "crown" of the heavy cruiser are all removable. Here are the two I painted for the game, an Ifrit on top, and a Shenlong on the bottom. These are all convertible to other ship classes.

I also kit-bashed some Nickar corvettes, which don't have released models yet. These are just made from left-over weapons wings and painted in the same scheme. They are quite useful as troop carrier killers in the game.
Trevor from St. Albert organized the game on Sunday, and it was a blast. He brought out orbital gaming mats that really provided the proper atmosphere (pun intended) for the game. There were quite a few tables, mostly new players learning the game. This was my first time playing and I got hooked!

Carrying on, I'm building the next batch of ships right now. Here is a Basilisk battlecruiser, which I hear is quite good in the game. It's assembled with magnetized cheek weapons, and ready to be painted.

I also got hold of a battleship, which is quite a big hunk of resin. Again, I magnetized the head weapons so they can be swapped. This is the Daemon configuration with beam weapons.

This is the Dragon configuration with launch bays on the sides of the head instead.

I can't wait for next month's game, and I'll be bringing some new ships to it.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Dropfleet Kickstarter!

Last year, I bought into the Dropfleet Commander kickstarter created by Hawk Wargames. This is a starship combat game based on their Dropzone Commander universe. I ordered a basic starter set from both the UCM and Scourge, two of the main factions, along with a bunch of freebies (mainly extra ships) given as a part of the kickstarter.

Last Friday, I finally received my package.

Even though it's a relatively low level pledge, it still has a ton of stuff packed in there, with all the basics needed to play, along with extra ships from all existing faction.

I started building the Scourge faction right away, since I like their bio-mechanical design.
Both types of ships in the starter set, frigates and cruisers, have a variety of build options. This just begs for magnetization. The Scourge frigate is fairly straight-forward, with a common central body and several optional pairs of wings. I built up three types of wings (there are a couple more I haven't built) for four frigates, as seen in the picture above.

Here's the same frigate with the three options I have so far. The Djinn, a close-range attack craft, the Gargoyle, a troop carrier, and the Harpy, the basic ranged frigate.

Here are all four frigates with a typical fleet configuration - two Harpies and two Gargoyles. Unfortunately each sprue of four frigates only allows you to build two copies of each option.

I've built up the base of a cruiser (I have four total), but the cruiser's options are much more complex, and some of the places, like the mouth, are hard to magnetize for all the options. I'll have to think about how to do this properly.

All the factions also have resin-only battleships. I don't have any yet, but here is a size comparison of a Desolator from Dropzone Commander with the Scourge cruiser. It fits the description of Scourge battleships as being around the same length as cruisers but much wider and thicker. I may proxy the Desolator as a battleship in games before deciding on whether to splurge on battleships.

I can't wait to start painting these!

Friday, December 30, 2016

Finally, More Tyranids

I haven't been doing much painting recently, but over the holidays I managed to get some more Epic scale Tyranids done.
To get some tougher command units I painted these old-fashioned hive tyrants. They've always looked kind of goofy to me, but they actually have a lot of detail.

I converted these biovores from Warhammer 40k rippers and fleshborers. They are around the same size as the original Epic scale biovores. In Epic rules, these are a very handy artillery unit.

I also used 40k rippers straight up as raveners. They certainly look the part.

This is a closer-up view of the rippers.

I also painted my original trygons. I'm not convinced about these conversions, but they'll do for gaming.

The same trygons from the back.

My painted Epic Tyranid collection is getting pretty big now. I'm working up the courage to paint the excellent French exocrine and haruspex proxies...

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...