Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Go Sports!

Yeah Sports.  Go sport those sports.  Because our team is great and yours sucks.  Weird Al agrees

While there are some geeks out there that actually are sports fans (yeah sports team!) I definitely am NOT one of them.  The entire concept of getting excited about watching somebody else play a game was just one I never got.  And getting all excited because a bunch of millionaires who happen to work near you beat another bunch of millionaires at a game - just not one for me.  Or to go and riot because your college team won - so lets get drunk, destroy some property, burn some couches in the street and generally make asses out of ourselves due to a victory.

Which is why I play games instead (ok, I have also hugely sucked every time I've actually tried to sports at anything (seriously, in Junior High (yes, I'm so old that they didn't have "Middle Schools" yet when I was carving my glyphs in stone tablets) I did do a season of Basketball.  They split us up into the "Tournament" and "Non-Tournament" teams.  I was second string of the non-tournament team - so I was the suckiest of the suck.  I actually managed to go the entire season without being able to score a single basket in a game.  I also was going to try out for track (I had long legs, and thought I might make a good sprinter) but I wasn't able to do the mile warm-up run (like sprinters need to be able to run a mile?) so that only lasted a week or so (plus it amazed me that even at the junior high level you were expected to already know your specialty and have your cleats and other specialized equipment.  What ever happened to coaching and finding out what you might be able to do?)).  I actually enjoyed bicycling until I took a header and broke my face (literally - I when over the handlebars and landed on my face - broke my nose and needed 23 stitches in my face, road rash on the backs of my hands) - never much enjoyed riding a bike after that.)

So when Dreadball came around - I passed.  I didn't like sports games.  I tried reading what rules they posted (now the full rules are available here) and they were incomplete and didn't make sense (what was a rush? (I now know it is a turn)).  It started to grow a little, and I got a copy when I became a pathfinder.  Walking through the example and it clicked, and was kind of fun.

So right now I am running a Dreadball League for the Monday Mantic nights at The Hobby Shop.  I've had people worry that by running things I never get to play games - well the monday night events I run are when I get to play plenty.

When I got my set, I painted up the Corporation
and Orx & Goblins teams that came in the set
In the games I played (mostly teaching people) I did quickly decided that, in general, I HATED Jacks - because there were simply so many times that if I did not double picking up the ball, then I could not do anything more because of the restrictions.  So I picked a team without jacks, and painted up (and I'm playing them in our league) a Nameless team;
Then for no reason at all except I liked they way they looked, I painted up a Z'Zor team
And in order to bribe a friend of mine to play in our league, I painted up a full Dreadball game for him, and a Martian team :
Since I had found that this was indeed a fun game (go Sports!), I made sure I got in the Dreadball Xtreme kickstarter - this adds things like exploding terrain
Sponsors and free agents
as well as two base teams, the convicts
and the Asterian Kalyshi Pirates
I'll get four more DBX teams when they are released later.

So while I still don't like 'normal' sporting events, at least on the tabletop I'm sportsing it up.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

US Clash of Kings Ohio Regional 2015

So today was the US Clash of Kings Ohio Regional Kings of War tournament (if you couldn't figure that out already from the title of this post).

Turnout for this was a bit disappointing.  Unfortunately, the weather decided to throw a S3+ 6D slam at us in the form of 6.5 inches of snow today.  That kept at least one person from Indianapolis from coming over (and I definitely told everyone to use their best discretion - no game is worth getting in an accident over), though we did have two from Columbus and one from Pittsburgh!

We had six people (and an extra as the ringer, who didn't need to play.  I felt a little bad - as I didn't bring an army or he could have played and I would have been the ringer, but he said he didn't mind).  Three rounds, 1500 pt armies with up to 375 pts of a single ally.  I found it interesting that all the local people used allies, but the none of the people from out of town did.

Everything went very smoothly.  Of course I used warscore to run the tournament - and it made doing so very easy and simple.  I really can't imagine trying to run any kind of tournament without this great software.  (Full disclosure - Bill Robertson, who wrote warscore, is a friend of mine.  But I would use this even if he wasn't).  You can check out the full results on the warscore.net web site : http://www.warscore.net/event/88/view.html

This time I did remember to take pictures of not just one game, but all of them and the players.  I posted them on facebook - you can check them out here : https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10152768138959163.1073741833.506574162&type=1&l=49c3eab3fe

People have asked me if I wouldn't rather have someone else run some of these so I can play in a few.  Honestly, I enjoy running these events as much as playing in them, if not more.  One thing I have discovered about myself is that the more competitive I get, the less fun I have.  If I play in a tournament and I don't get utterly crushed in the first round so theoretically I have a chance to win, I start wanting to win, and have less fun than just playing.  When I bring one of my full competition armies I want to win Best Appearance or Players Choice, and thinking about it makes me enjoy the tournament less.  Running it I have no chance of winning anything by definition, even if I have to play a ringer army, so there is no pressure and I can just enjoy it.

Now this doesn't mean that I don't want anyone else to run a tournament - I would really like to get more people running more events, growing the hobby and the player base.   I want to encourage more people to play, and that means running more events.  I would like to have more pathfinders so that I can dial back the size of my 'region' eventually - preferable keeping it to under 2 hours to get anywhere (Charlotte WV and Nashville TN are probably a bit far.  Chicago is out except for Adepticon - and the biggest miniature gaming convention in the US is worth a six hour drive to get there (just like Gencon and Origins, though they are both within my acceptable drive time)).  However until we can get more people running events that are local to them, I'll continue to run what I can.  I only have 8 Kings of War tournaments this year so far, with 2 more planned but not firmed up (plus three Dreadball tournaments as well).  And those are just through August!

I don't do this for the stuff I get (though it is nice), and it doesn't come close to making up for the cost for both travel and providing the terrain (and sometimes models, especially to do demos) that I've made for these.  I really want to help people to enjoy this hobby, and find a fun game that is both supported by its manufacturer and is not unreasonably expensive.

One last note - I bought a new 9 cell battery for my laptop - and it lasted for the entire tournament with no issues!  This makes me feel a bit better for doing this at the big conventions - where I may not be able to get power.  One less thing to worry about.

Because Adepticon is coming really fast - and that is enough to worry about for now.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Martians, Martians, Martians

It is always about Martians and never about me!  (2 points if you know where that comes from, and a bonus 2 if you know the original (not the more recent parody)).

In my other blog, which I at one time said I was going to convert to gaming and modelling, but never really did, I wrote a post explaining why I liked Mars Attacks! ( blog post ).   In truth, this was motivated by Mantic asking us to post about their kickstart.  But it is still honest.

Well the kickstarter is finally complete.  The last bit, the hardback compendium consisting of all four of the rule books for the game, has arrived.

So I've started painting some martians.  First I started small - painting up the martian dreadball team.  Then for Christmas I decided to get a friend a Dreadball set and paint it up for him, as well as any other team he wanted - which he then picks martians!  So I have 'borrowed' my son's team and got them all painted and ready for him to play (more on the Dreadball League to come).

When I did the first half, I used my airbrush (which the previously mentioned friend got me for Christmas in 2013, and I had only used a tiny bit so far) to do the base coat.  When I started the second half, it occurred to me that the dreadball team was basically grunts, marines and stealth martians.  Now I didn't want to paint the strikers as stealth martians, but all the rest would be very similar.

So I pulled out all the grunts, marines, and other 'base' martians (still have the stealth, science division ones to go - but I didn't want to confuse them).  So I airbrushed them all, teaching myself a bit more about how to use the airbrush (and realizing that yes, I have 3 brushes, and they are different.  It is amazing how much faster it went once I switched from the detail brush to the larger one :-) ).

So these aren't finished - they still need the metal painted on them, shading and highlighting as well as some of the details for the special ones (like the zombie and Martian Judge Dredd), but it is a work in progress.  A bit of a task doing 37 at once, but at least I'm finally getting some paint on these.

Ack ack ack.  Ack ack.  Ack ack ack ack.  ACK!

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Because I don't have enough to work on lately

It seems common to me that gamers have ADD.  We just can't seem to stick to any single thing for any length of time - especially when a new game or model comes out.  Of course the game and model companies love this and keep feeding our addiction by bringing out new stuff for us to play with all the time.  (And don't get me started on Kickstarter - that is for another post).

So I've got several projects to finish before Adepticon next month.  Still left is to fix some trees, cut out felt to mark the forests, cut the large felt for the four new tables, and then make sure I have one more terrain piece for each of them.

However, with absolutely no respect for the stuff I have to do with a hard deadline coming up, Reaper finally starts shipping their Bones II Kickstarter.  Talk about plastic crack - the base pledge is over 150 miniatures.  I managed to get in wave I, so mine arrived last week.  Plus it included the fantastic new diorama Dragons Don't Share II.  I actually saw the first one at a local game store (now gone) years ago.  I wanted it then, but there was no way I could justify a model that was almost three pounds of metal (I wasn't wargaming or modeling at that time either).  It was limited edition, only 2500 pieces were produced.  Well in their Bones II kickstarter Reaper made a new one in the plastic bones material - and with the kickstarter you could (and I did) pick it up for $35!  A dragon, 4 adventurers, and a ruined tower (that can make at least two separate terrain pieces easily - and still be able to assemble it for the diorama).

Ok, I need to quit salivating about this and quit digressing.  See, it wasn't that beautiful (stop it) piece that distracted me so badly, but another, smaller one as part of the regular package.  One of the new models was a fairly nice chimera converted to bones material (a soft plastic, very easy to work with).

Let me back up.  (Hey, if you thought I could actually tell a straight story, then boy are you reading the wrong blog!).  I have a friend (stop that - I actually have lots of friends) and we were going to get together to play Kings of War yesterday so that he can get a few practice games in for the tournament I'm running Friday at OHCon.  This tournament allows for special characters, so it game me an excuse to paint up the Arhak Soulbinder miniature that I had gotten last summer.

Arhak Soulbinder

Arhak Soulbinder

Arhak Soulbinder
Well, we ended up playing Dreadball, but painting him up did give me an idea (and yes, the point of this, though we won't get there just quite yet).

One of the options he can take is to ride his Manticore - Martaxwar.  Well Mantic does not make a model for Martaxwar.  I have thought that I'd like this option, but the GW manticore is way too big and expensive (and I don't want to give them any more of my money right now), as is the only other one I've seen on-line by Raging Heroes.  It was then that the light bulb went off in my head.  See, a manticore is basically a lion with dragon wings and a scorpion tail.  Well, I had just gotten in a Chimera, which had dragon wings and a scorpion tail.  It had three heads however, and was actually a little small for my liking.

While Mantic does not make a manticore (and it just occurred to me with the company name of Mantic that they should make a Manticore) they do make a pretty awesome lion sculpture for their Basilean army - Grand Master Gnaeus Sallustis on Nakir.  I got this two years ago from their first kickstarter and while I really liked the model, I had no real use for it.  BAM - combine the tail and wings from the Reaper chimera with the Nakir lion model - and then add in the body of Arhak Soulbinder (he doesn't have the spider legs when riding his manticore) and I have that model.

So I started the conversion - again because I don't have a bunch of other stuff to actually work on - so I'm making a conversion for a character than I will probably never play :-).

I figure I'll pick up a second Arhak Soulbinder at The Hobby Shop tomorrow night during our weekly gaming night (we are doing Dreadball this month and next on Mondays from 6 - 8 (or so), feel free to drop by if you want to play or just talk games) and figure out how to mount him next.  Then to start painting it up.  Watch this space for new updates.

An idea

Yes, sometimes I get them.  We all remember the saying from our mothers  "Its all fun and games until somebody loses an eye!".  I've been thinking that I needed to consolidate all my various blogs about modeling, painting and gaming in a single place.  I've also come to realize that I really don't post on my personal blog (http://puggimer.blogspot.com/) much anymore - because I don't seem to have a whole lot to write about when I'm happy.  It has pretty much been me complaining and reposting our annual christmas letter.

So I figured that it was time for me to set up a 'happy' blog - talking about modeling, painting and gaming.  Now I don't claim to be an expert at any of these, but I do enjoy them a lot.

Full disclosure: for the past year I have been a pathfinder for Mantic Games.  This means I volunteer to run events, tournaments and demos of their games - in exchange for some free product.  So kind of like asking an drug addict to show others how to do drugs, and getting free drugs in return.  Honestly, it is why in this community we jokingly call it "plastic crack".  I'm not addicted - I can stop buying miniatures any time.  I just choose not to! :-)

This is NOT an exclusively Mantic blog - though currently that is what I'm most involved in.  But I'll also try to talk about other games and other models as well.

My goal is to consolidate my hobby posts here, instead of them in various places on facebook, other forums etc.

So welcome, let's all have a good time.  Because it is all fun and games . . .

Monday, February 9, 2015

February 2015 Newsletter

So it is February and as usual, spring can't come soon enough for me.  So what do we do when the wind is blowing and the frozen white death is falling from the sky?  Paint miniatures and play games of course!!!

The big news today from Mantic is - Hobby Time!  (cue MC Hammer and your 80's parachute pants).  This is a new initiative to fully support all of their product lines with a new website for each.  Check out their blog and YouTube video here: http://manticblog.com/2015/02/06/its-hobby-time/.

Mantic has already announced that 2015 is the year of Dreadball - and Season 4 is here!  If you backed Dreadball Extreme (which will start shipping to retailers next month) then you should be getting your Season 4 goodness very soon, including 5 new teams.  Check out the book, new teams, cheerleaders and fans (yes, fans now have rules are part of the game) at http://www.manticgames.com/mantic-shop/pre-order/dreadball-the-futuristic-sports-game.html, or ask your FLGS to order them for you.  If this sounds like fun to you, come on by our Dreadball League every Monday night at the Hobby Shop.  Bring a team and your dice and get some games in.  Full details are here: http://www.puggimer.net/dreadball.htm

If you are more of a Kings of War fan, well don't worry as there is plenty of that coming up as well.  First up is the Class of Kings Regional Tournament in two short weeks (2/21) at The Hobby Shop.  Cost is $10 and is limited to 16 people.  Originally an Adepticon primer to warm up for the big event, now the winner actually wins admission to the Clash of Kings Tournament in March at Adepticon!  Adepticon has been growing every year, and is the largest miniature wargaming convention in the US.  Pre-registration closes 2/22, and it looks like some spots are opening up for the Clash of Kings.  Plus Mantic will be having their first Open Night on Saturday evening with food, prizes, a cash bar and lots of fun games.  Check it out at http://www.adepticon.org/, and the Clash of Kings tournament details are here: http://www.puggimer.net/KowAdepticon.htm
If Chicago is too far for you - OH Con is in April in Toledo.  Or how about CincyCon down in Cincinnati in May (moved to a bigger, better venue).  Nashcon comes up at the end of May, followed quickly by Origins in Columbus in June, and of course the big one - GenCon in August.  Of course information for all of these is where else but on my website!

If you aren’t interested (or can’t attend) any of the tournaments, there is still news for you.  The survey for Dungeon Sagas is currently open, and will close March 1st.

If you were one of the people who backed the Dungeon Sagas: Dwarf Kings Quest Kickstarter back in August - the survey is out and must be completed by March 2nd!  In addition, the beta rules are due out any time now if you want to try to playtest the game itself (and if your FLMP ever finds time to actually read them, he might even be running some playtest sessions on Monday nights).  Some people have seen the new dragon miniature for this – it appears like it will be on a 75mm x 75mm base, and is simply huge.

And speaking of Beta Tests - Kings of War 2 Beta should be coming out very soon as well.  Many people saw the cheat sheet that was used in November at the Open Day and are excited about the changes (and even what is on the sheet is going to change).  I have heard that the rules will be pretty much finalized for the Beta, but the point costs and balancing of the forces will still need to be done.  Does anybody know if there is anyone that might have at least small versions of almost all the armies?  We just may have to set up a beta playtest some Saturday once the rules are out!  And with the recent rumored changes to a certain other fantasy war game, they are also looking more closely at the fan generated lists for non-mantic races such as lizardfolk and ratmen.  The plans are to make sure these are as thoroughly tested and balanced as the official lists (and I’ve been recently told to never say never when it comes to making them official).

For all the Mars Attacks! Kickstarter backers, the World War and Compendium books have shipped and should be arriving soon.  Finally, go beyond the board game and get the point values to turn this fast, fun game into a full scale invasion.  No longer do you have to be confined to the scenarios in the books - you can make your own or just face your friend in a battle for Greenville!  If I can ever get mine painted I want to do a bug invasion against the marines some Saturday that anyone can come and play.

Have you checked out the plastic enforcers for Deadzone on the Mantic website?  If you always wanted affordable models of basically Marines in Space then take a look.  Plus they also have Enforcers in Peacekeeper armor (and I can't say these can Terminate another companies models, they are pretty nice).  Check out the preorder for these at http://www.manticgames.com/mantic-shop/pre-order/deadzone.html

Just to keep things in one place, here is a list of the confirmed events coming up in the area.  All the events should (or will have soon) pages up on my web site at http://puggimer.net
- 2/2/15 - 3/30/15 - Dayton Dreadball League
- 2/21/15 - Adepticon Regional Championship (1500 pt Kings of War)
- 3/19/15 - 3/23/15 - Adepticon - (Chicago IL) 1500 pt Kings of War, 12,000 + point big battle, a fun campaign event (1000 pts + 500 pt allied force). Plus lots of Deadzone and Dreadball, and the Mantic Open Night.
- 4/11/15?? - Dayton Dreadball Tournament
- 4/17/15 - OHCon (Toledo OH)- 1500 pts Kings of War - allowing special characters!.
- 5/1-3/15 - Cincycon (Cincinnati OH).  Dreadball and Kings of War.
- 5/23/15 – Nashcon (Nashville TN) – Dreadball and Kings of War
- 6/5/15 - 6/8/15 - Origins (Columbus OH)
- 7/30/15 - 8/3/15 - GenCon (Indianapolis IN)

Feedback is ALWAYS welcome and appreciated, and if you ever have any questions, drops me at line at puggimer@gmail.com

Keep Painting and Playing

Mike Carter
Your Friendly Local Mantic Pathfinder