Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Maintaining Motivation

If you read blogs on the hobby of war gaming you are probably keenly interested in some aspect of it. Whether it is painting, playing, background fluff, conversions, etc. etc. there is something that grabs you most of all. The issue is for a lot of people maintaining motivation to do it all. It is definitely a point of contention for me, and I have blogging to add onto it (which I have been slack of of late).

For me I love building and converting, I love the fluff, and I really like to game. But to truly reap the rewards of all that, I have to get my army painted. This is where I fall. I enjoy it, and I am a perfectionist when I do it, but it takes me forever and it can get old fast, so I just walk away, and this compromises my hobby efforts as a whole.

How, when this is my list of projects, do I keep going???

Painting my Blood Angels Army (~2 companies worth)
Airbrushing Vehicles
Finish my Thunderbolt
Paint my Imperial Knight
Paint Napoleonic French Line Infantry 
Building a Hobby Table
Building/Painting Terrain
Paint my Blood Bowl Team
Paint my Necromunda Gang
Developing BFG-R vessels
40+ Imperial Navy Vessels
30+ Chaos Vessels
Convert DE/Tyranid Vessels
Convert a Necromunda Gang

This is on top of being in the Navy, being a Husband and a Father and trying to get time with my family, maintaining my house, my car, my finances etc. etc.

Well of late I have tried to do several things

1- More attainable goals. 1-2 Marines a week is more doable for me than a squad. And then when I can't get it done, I just leave it for the next week. It is still a goal to be achieved, whether I did it or not. 

2- To do list- I put my little attainable goals on a to do list. This I make ambitious. I know it is counter intuitive to what I just said, but the little goals are something I can knock out in an afternoon, but the to do list is full of these for the week, so I try and have as many little things that I can accomplish as often as possible and overall I get more done this way. I know I am not likely to get everything done, but if I get half of it done as a direct result of the list, then I have at least made progress.

3- When you are bored with what you were doing, do something else. So instead of just brutally crushing through assault marine after assault marine, because it is overall more beneficial to accomplishing my list of projects and getting an army on the table, I have recently just been picking up random models I want to paint and painting them. It actually keeps me more excited and more focused for longer periods of time. They may not play into the immediate picture of finishing that assault squad, it plays into the grander picture of finishing my blood angels.

4- Rewards- Hey if I finish these 2 tactical marines, I will paint that techmarine. If there is something I am eager to work on, I can dangle that in front of my face like a carrot. Now the danger here is to let this interfere with number 3. If the criteria for your reward is just to unsavory to make it worth it, just default to number 3.

5- Deceive yourself- What? Well you see how many projects I have. I used to have all those marines on my desk waiting to be painted. It was so depressing to me. So what did I do? I put them all away. Now I only have like 15 marines out, and it doesn't keep me away from my hobby desk. I can pick one up and work on it and tell myself "I accomplished something" without being reminded that there is a mountain of work still to be done.

I hope these tricks can help you on finishing your projects as well. How do you maintain motivation yourself?

Monday, June 16, 2014

There can be such a thing as "Too Much" when it comes to Imperial Vehicles (humor)

So while FW keeps putting bigger and badder guns on vehicles, one enthusiastic hobbyist may have taken it a step too far...

Proof you can overdo overkill

Sunday, June 1, 2014

7th Edition- Owning the Psychic Phase

SO I will do a full review of 7th soon, but I wanted to discuss the biggest change yet first. The psychic phase. Specifically how to own (read BREAK) it...
By introducing the phase to the game, GW has done a few things that will ripple through the meta for eternity. Every phase of the game has players vying for control of it in some way or form. Psychic powers used to be a method to attempt this. Now it is a phase of its own that players will either do what they can to dominate it OR what mitigate the effects the opponent has on them during it. Think back to the introduction of flyers. Pretty much the same thing in that regard.

Because of this effect Psykers are obligatory in virtually ALL armies now. Until codices start coming out with ways to give you warp charge during your opponents psychic phase or to give bonuses to deny the witch rolls without having psykers, the only reliable defense in this phase is to posses psykers of your own.
This really all boils down to the primary driving factor to the psychic phase is warp charge. Warp Charge, for those without 7th yet, is determined by adding up the mastery levels of the psykers you do have and then the player who's turn it is rolling a d6 and adding the result. This really means it is random turn to turn how many dice you have to cast and dispel. Which means to make the phase reliable and predictable for yourself, the best thing to do is take a lot of psykers, and high mastery level at that. This gives you a core of warp charge you can rely on to cast (or deny) devastating powers, the d6 roll being just gravy if it is high, but not truly detrimental if it is low. Plus the more psykers you have, the more squads you can embed them in to improve deny the witch rolls.

So now to get to the point of the post. Breaking the psychic phase. Really this is for all the imperial armies, however since nothing in the allies matrix prevents sharing of Warp Charge, it is usable to an extent by all factions.
Nobody Expects Them
Since you can have unlimited numbers of detachments of any type now OR take unbound armies, your are able to take as many INQUISITORS as you'd like. This mini-codex is really a game changer now with an independent psychic phase. This is because the minimum requirement for an Inquisition detachment is one HQ and the basic HQ in the Inquisition codex is a single Inquisitor. This means that you can take as many one model detachments as you'd like. If you really wanted to mess with some one, you could just take 20+ inquisitors in a game.

Now the basic inquisitor is 25 points, and another 30 to be a Mastery Level 1 psyker with 2 powers. Now these powers don't really matter, because if you are doing this you should take a Mastery Level 4 psyker as your primary detachment HQ and pick powers you want.  So what you are buying with the Inquisitor is a 55 point warp charge. Basically a capacitor.
To make this deal even sweeter, since ALL Imperial Armies are Battle Brothers (so this part is unusable with all other factions) with themselves. Independent Characters can join Battle Brother squads, and as such these inquisitors can attach to your squads in your primary detachment and give them +1 to all Deny the Witch rolls. This takes you from a 1 in 6 chance to a 1 in 3 chance to deny a Warp Charge 1 power. This is possibly worth 55 points on its own.

So taking 5 Psychic Inquisitors with nothing extra would cost 275 points, which isn't cheap, but it brings valuable defense to likely all your Troops and then some, and stabilizes your warp charge pool to at least 6 (5+1 on d6 roll of a 1). Add on any other psykers in your primary list and you are looking at a really good pool for both Offense and Defense. This is not even mentioning any of the specialized wargear that Inquisitors can take.
When it comes down to it, Inquisitors are the Power and Dispell scrolls of 40k. And I am sure you will be seeing a lot more of them in the months ahead.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Last of the Genswick Conversions: Officers, Sergeants and Lord Commissar Creed

For those who don't follow me regularly, I am selling off my Genswick (less than a day left in this Auction) Imperial Guard Astra Militarum and before I get rid of them I wanted to post a few more conversions in the army that I had done. One last hurrah if you will.

First off the Officers

These are all really easy yet effective conversions to evoke the Genswick imagery, especially that of an aristocratic officer corps/ The left is simply a WHFB Empire Duelist with a Bretonnian Men-At-Arms helmet and is a platoon commander. The right is the Imperial Guard Fleet Officer, once more with a helmet. Not really seen is the Bretonnian sheathed sword on the back hanging from his belt to represent a power sword. This too was a platoon commander. The center model is the company commander and is just a Forge World DKK Command HQ Squad Officer with the head removed and a full Bretonnian Men-At-Arms head put in place. Fits right in, perfectly ages him and makes him seem bitter IMO.

Next are Genswick Power Axes
Once more easy conversions that clearly establish what the model is, fit with the Genswick look and are minimal in effort. The one on the left is just a normal Men-at-Arms pike with the part above the hand removed and the majority of a Space Wolf Axe from the SW upgrade sprue added. The one on the right is the Men-at-Arms religious icon banner staff with the top leveled off and the head of a regular SM assault marine power axe attached. These conversions fit perfectly with the long pole weapons I used for CCW and fit with the feel of Genswick, yet clearly are power axes and nothing else.

Finally Lord Commissar Creed Conversion
This one I realized I should've done a little differently after I was already half way through it and I couldn't let the cap go to waste (and I forgot I had the other bit). Hopefully this is inspiration though. To me the Creed model just evoked Imperial Presence and calm, brooding oversight, which is perfect for a Commissar. So this is just the regular Creed model (if you can get Finecast vice metal for this conversion, the old head was nearly impossible to remove). I took the lower half of a Men-at-Arms head and added a peaked cap from the Hellhound kit (unfortunately ruining such an awesome head). I used some green stuff in between and had to sculpt eyes and the bridge of the nose back in, but ultimately got it to read Commissar IMO. An easier way to do this would simply be to use a Leman Russ Tank commander head. Then he is yelling too and the cigar fits a little better IMO.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

What I'd Like To See In Blood Angels 40k 7th Edition 2014

So having played Blood Angels since 3rd Edition going through a minidex that stretched over two Space Marine, a White Dwarf Codex, and the current codex, I have a lot of hope for the next edition of Blood Angels.

First of all, I want them to be a stellar Close Combat Army. And really, they are now. The issue is that 6th ed isn't good for that. I think the upcoming 7th edition will address that more so than any codex ever would, or even could. So I won't go on and on about that, because the scope of that topic is too large for this post, and frankly I think the upcoming edition change will largely help...

The hardest thing to predict and anticipate for is making them divergent enough from the current SM codex as to make it worth it that they aren't just better off as a supplement to the main SM codex, though that would be horrible I guess. I would just be worried of them being too much like vanilla marines. While grav weapons and centurions would be nice, I already have hand flamers, inferno pistols and Sanguinary Guard... do I need, or in fact deserve to have those weapons/units...

1- Inclusion of the Storm Talon or some proprietary flyer. Talking about needing/deserving, this one is BIG to me. The BA were the first with the Storm Raven (they had it before the model was even designed!!!). I was okay with the Grey Knights getting it, but then every Space Marine chapter (Sorry DA and SW) got access to it? What the heck? They stole it, just because everyone wanted it and SM deserve everything (okay, to sell more...) And the other Chapter's also get the Storm Talon, which as I have discussed before makes most sense in the Blood Angels as rapid fire support and goes with their "Refuse to cede their mastery of the heavens to any foe, even for a moment" (pg 38 BA Codex). This closed lid on Fliers has even continued into FW fliers, with BA pretty much only getting the new Fire Raptor gunship, but no Storm Eagles (which make most sense for BA and were introduced for all other SM as on offset to Ravens... then they all got Ravens!) Raven's are nice, but no longer proprietary. I would like some of the individuality back please.

One of mine, before he was based. CHS jump pack.
2- Viable Jump Troop Armies. Jump Packs are COOL. BA have the greatest amount to access to them. Their delivery and effectiveness needs to be really effective as opposed to the game now in 6th. A big part of this has to do with how assault works in the game right now. Hopefully 7th is a fix to that issue another way to make Jump Troops viable would be...

3- Viable Descent of Angel Army. Basically a way around the 1/2 reserves rule would be nice. Drop Pods armies can get around this since the pods HAVE TO DS. Well since DS is a BA preferred method, they should be able to get around this nuisance too. The problem is they can't. I shouldn't have to take Drop Pods when I have the most capable Jump Troops because of DoA. As well, since Ravens aren't dedicated transports, the squad inside of them has to adhere to the 1/2 deploy 1/2 reserve restriction, so it's not like I can put everyone in Ravens. 5th ed may have been a little too extreme in this manner, but 6th swang way to far in the other direction.

Dante and Astorath at a Nerfed Anonymous Meeting 
4- CHARACTERS WITH AXES THAT AREN'T I1!!!! Really this is Dante and Astrorath. The 2 Greatest heroes from the chapter known for it's combat prowess. They should be combat beasts, but apparently Sergeant McNobody of the Imperial Guard... uh I mean Astra Militarum (that is still so wrong to me) is just as handy with an Axe as them. With the abundance of AP2 weapons that aren't I1, these guys can get a break.

5- Moriar the Chosen- There are so few character vehicles in the game, I just feel this would be cool to bring back. He is an awesome part of BA lore (same with Veteran Sergeant Cluetin if you know back that far). Plus dreadnoughts are AWESOME.

6- A kit that includes a grail bit- This is just a simple wish for ease of conversions.

7- A Sanguinary Priest model that isn't a character. (This could satisfy #8) Really the Apothecary models GW offers are such old sculpts. The FW ones are nice, but kinda static infantry and, well, FW. It would be nice to get a new Apothecary sculpt and I feel that BA are the correct place and time to do this. \

8- Tech Adepts back in Honour Guards. A nod to the old fluff. I still model them this way, though it is just a veteran per the rules. I would just like to see the option brought back, especially since BA don't get (or at least currently) Masters of the Forge or Thunderfire Cannons, and I really don't want or need those. It brings them too much in line with Codex SM. Tech Adepts in Honour Guards is a great way to work the role into the army without it treading on other codices WHILE going back to BA roots.

9- Come up with something better for the Glaive Encarmine. It is just a mastercrafted weapon. Good and cool I guess, but not really taken since it is 2 handed. It is funny how in the Sanguinary Guard kit, only 2 of the two handed weapons are posed in such a way that they are being handled by two hands...

10- More background fluff on Iconography and such. Since this will be a full colour, hardback codex dedicated to a single marine chapter, I am expecting pretty expansive art and background. It has become more and more developed, but the current SM codex goes over several different chapters and still manages to show all 10 of the Ultramarine's company banners. I would like to see mine.

11- A Flesh Tearer or 3rd Company Supplement. Either Or. Being a BA player, I'd rather see Tycho's company at Armageddon, however I understand that Flesh Tearers would likely be more popular and successful, especially if an upgrade sprue or kit were released alongside it. An all DC force supplement would be cool, but this can kinda already be done and Unbound armies will allow for this anyways...

So there you go, my wish list for BA. Not too much to ask for IMO. Really just want the feel of my 5th Ed BA back (what the codex was designed around) and some little hobby additions. What do you think? Is it too much... did I just fall short of asking them to throw in the kitchen sink...
Its a deep sink with a really wide faucet.