Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Modeling and Painting is Still Addicitive

I had a lot of fun painting the other five printed ships I had to add to the Seeker of Truth:

Not the cleanest models to paint but the cruisers turned out well so I was inspired to do more. I had an old set of dice from ~20 years ago that were speckled white, red, and blue with yellow numbers. They were impossible to read from any distance over 2 inches. I painted them to a simple black and red scheme.

Then there is the story of two chaos ships I ordered from China back in April. I waited months for them to arrive, but the tracking showed them getting to British Columbia and then disappearing into the Canada Post system. I finally submitted a refund request as I was running out of time to dispute the order and I got my money back. Then a week later the models arrived after all!

Nice resin models of forgeworld quality. If I didn't know better, I would have said they were from Forgeworld! Here is the chaos cruiser with all the bits to make it any of the variants.

And the battleship which turned out to be a Nurgle Despoiler much to my disappointment! Oh well, I'm sure I can make it work.

Having all the spare bits for the cruiser led me to think, "Wouldn't it be nice if I did not have to pick one configuration?" Followed quickly by, "Hey, don't I have a ton of tiny rare earth magnets?"

So yeah, I'm setting up the cruiser to be fully modular before I paint it. I do kind of hate myself for the extra effort required (such as trying to keep track of what side is north versus south on those itty bitty magents when I'm going to glue them) but it might be worth it to be able to fool around with a Murder versus a Hades versus a Devastation class cruiser.

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

The Quarantine Spring and Summer of Axis & Allies

The Twins turned 12 this spring and there has been a lot of interest in World War II. The boys have been reading youth novels about the war, the Holocaust, and what the world was like back during that time period and the conversation turned to the war as a strategic event in history and I broke out some books and eventually my copy of first edition Axis & Allies.

Boom. They were sold. This led to us picking up an updated version of Axis &Allies which was a simplified version of the original and they enjoyed it.

We borrowed Axis & Allies: Pacific (1st ed) from my best friend and that went over well, so one of  my sons used his birthday to ask for Axis & Allies: Europe (2nd ed):
This version was a lot more complicated then what we previously had played and took some false starts to learn all the rules (for example, the US cannot build a factory in Sicily :P ) but we enjoyed it and its on the top of our list. 

With his birthday money my son then bought Axis & Allies: D-Day, a very different version but still enjoyable and smaller scale to finish in a smaller amount of time.
But wait! There is more.

My son, completely obsessed at this point, decided to use more of his birthday money to buy the latest version of the whole world version, Axis & Allies: 1942:

It like a cross between the 2nd edition Europe version with more pieces and complex rules and the World 1941 with the full map. He's very excited to try it out. 

Thursday, June 11, 2020

One Last Run for Rakdos Sacrifice

One of my favourite decks to come from Throne of Eldraine standard was the Cat-Oven Rakdos sacrifice deck. I wrote about it back in November:
I decided to try something else on Nov 13, switching from the mono-black deck centered around Ayara and Liliana to a Rakdos Sacrifice deck that leaned heavily into the Cauldron Familiar/Witch's Oven combo.

As the new month started I needed a RB deck for a daily quest and grabbed this and just started playing ranked and ... oh yeah... unchanged its still a solid deck. There is probably some improvements to be made from cards in Theros or Ikoria but the deck is still so powerful in the current meta I'm loath to change it.

Why is it so good? Lots of sac outlets: oven, Priest, Rankle, Cavalier of night. Lots of payoffs. And low mana costs. This deck can hum along with just 3 or 4 mana.

With the Core M21 coming next month I've decided to not bother trying a new deck for grinding and just ride this old favourite one last time.Save the wildcards for the next big thing.

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

The Seeker of Truth

I'm happier with the paint job than I am with the pictures, but my first Battlefleet Gothic cruiser is complete. This Lunar class cruiser has been christened the Seeker of Truth.

The model had a lot of burrs and defects not noticeable until the paint was going on and I was not going back to remove them all. They don't jump out too much until I take photos of course. 

I'm happy enough with the result for getting back into the saddle for the first time in 12 years. I'm going to finish the two sister ships and see what we have from there.

Monday, May 25, 2020

Cycling Through Standard

I needed a new deck for grinding in Standard on Arena this month and with Ikoria released there was a plethora of choice (even in some flavour of Fires of Invention or Wilderness Reclamation are still the meta to beat). I looked at my options and decided to go with an aggressive RWB cycling deck with a Lurrus as companion. 

The idea is, you get the Valiant Rescuer, Flourishing Fox, Dranith Stinger, and/or Improbably Alliace on the field in some combination and then cycle yourself to board stalemate until you can cast a Zenith Flare (or two, or three) to win the game. If you so happen to win with going wide soldiers and fairies or going tall with Flourishing Fox, so much the better. Lurrus is really just a trick to recur a few things from the graveyard if needed.

Its not the greatest deck in the format but its solid and has the advantage of lending itself to quick games; you either win early or you know its over.

With a 56% win rate over 57 matches I got to Platinum 4 last week which was nice for a deck I was just playing around with and didn't require a ton of wildcards to craft. I'm still replenishing my stockpile after crafting the Temur Reclamation deck that I struggled with. Might have another go at that now that aggro decks are shifting out of the meta some.

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Painting the Fleet

Its been over a decade since I picked up a paint brush and tried to paint a miniature. And because I left off at a point where I felt my skills were developing nicely for a casual gamer, I am going back in with a certain degree of expectations. Expectations which I need to temper since my eyes have gotten worse with age and my hands have not gotten steadier.

Fortunately, Battlefleet Gothic ships have an advantage over say Space Marines or Eldar: they are generally big hunks of metal all the say colour except for a few highlights and contrasts. It makes them a good place to begin.

There is one problem though. Most of my paints have not been opened in a decade and a few of them have dried up into solid masses of pigment. I find myself with a more limited palette than I expected, and with the quarantine in full effect no easy way to replenish my stock. Nevertheless, I persevered. 
I have an air brush I got a rarely used years ago, so I broke it out for the base coat of the "chaos" ships, but the imperial cruisers I did not have the right colour for the air brush so it was back to the regular brush for them. I went with a dark green for the imperial cruisers, planning on bringing out the details with lighter drybrushing. The Chaos cruisers I planned to do a dark wash over bright red. I'm trying to remember all the tips and techniques I used to use and its harder than I remember. I forgot how much experimentation there is.

After a couple of coats of the green, I did a dark black wash for the crevasses and than the base green as a drybrush layer followed by a light grey drybrush very gently for the really raised edges.
Now on to the details.

The prow was hardest, getting white to look right without losing the silver contrast.

The engines I tried to make look like a blue to white glow without blending.

I'm now at the point where I need to decide "Am In happy with the result?" Or "Continue on!". I've heard it say that a painted never considers a painting finished and I really know what that means right now. I think I might attempt a bit more before I call this one done.

Wednesday, May 06, 2020

Getting Back In the Painting Saddle

I talked recently about the Warhammer Itch that has sprouted up under my skin:
Combine all of those alone with playing Armada II and it reminds me of the fun of the tabletop version of the game and has got me asking around about buy a handful of models to try out some games with the kids.

I swear, Mrs Kodachi, its gonna stop at just a couple models! I swear!
Well, my inquiries reached an old Warhammer club friend from back in the day and he offered to print a handful of Battlefleet Gothic models out for me and they arrived this past weekend.

I've got three Imperial cruisers whose prints come in 4 very detailed pieces (Port side, Starboard side, Prow, and Engines) and three light cruisers. I've also got a chaos cruiser and battleship coming in the mail (the Ninveah will live again!). 

Now I just have to remember how to paint miniatures. 

Its funny how this blog is coming full circle back to its Warhammer modelling roots.

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