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.

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Beyond Theros and Into Ikoria

My main love of Magic the Gathering is the Limited Draft format. I like the excitement of opening a pack and seeing what cards are there, passing them around and trying to build a deck, and then the excitement when a deck comes together. But the best part is that everyone is on the same level playing field, with ~45 cards to build a deck and play each other.

With that said, I did not have fun drafting Theros Beyond Death. I ended up at 55 wins and 60 losses after the many drafts I did, and only once got to 6 wins out of 7 before losing three times. I had many 0-3 results and generally felt flummoxed even when I thought I had a deck that could compete. it really killed my joy in March.

But along comes Ikoria Lair of Behemoths and the joy has returned! I'm at 28 wins and 18 losses, I've trophied twice (i.e. got 7 wins before 3 losses) in just seven drafts, and really feel like I've got the meta of drafting this set understood.

My best deck was a Sultai deck (Black, Green, Blue) based around Gyruda as companion with a couple cards that also fetched things from the graveyard. It went 7-1 and the only loss was close. Companions are busted.

I think part of my success is owed to drafting against real humans instead of bots. Somehow the open lanes are more obvious when drafting against humans, and it seems more likely that humans will try and force lanes that are already contested if the meta suggests its the best deck, leaving other colours super open and that just does not happen with bots. For example, twice I've drafted powerful Sultai decks because everyone seems to be trying to force Red White cycling decks. That' fine, those are powerful decks, but it means that I'm picking up relevant rares and uncommons deep into the packs.

Hey, I'll take it.

Another thing I like about Ikoria is that the mechanics are super fun. Mutate is a blast, companions are wicked when they work out, cycling is powerful. Theros' mechanics of Enchantments matter and escape were not exciting... escape was ok, but it did not grab me like Mutate does.

Overall, having lots of fun and I look forward to getting some more craziness in the next draft.

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

The Rising Popularity of EVE

It’s no longer a mystery that online games are the most popular pastime nowadays. The reason why online games are so popular is that they are widely available on the online platform. It doesn’t take more than two clicks to choose one from the variety of games available online. Various online games offer a different gaming experience. Action, adventure, puzzles, cards, just to name a few of the games available at your fingertips, thanks to the internet platform.

The leader in the online gaming world is the online casino games. Thanks to online casino games, people who enjoy gambling can now play online casino games in the comfort of their own homes. Poker, roulette, and blackjack remain the top casino games in the online gaming world. The advantage of online casino games is the possibility to earn some cash prizes. Some online casino games that you can find at this website have big payout prizes that will satisfy all high rollers.

EVE

Some games are considered a classic in the online gaming world. Such game is Eve, the online game provided by CCP Games. The first release of this game was back in 2003 and since then the game has undergone major changes. This is why many gamer reviewers are looking back at this game. EVE is one of the most popular sci-fi strategy games of all time. EVE will take you on a trip to a virtual galaxy that creates some unforgettable memories. Players even write stories about their gaming experiences.

First Release

The first release of the game in 2003, it was still unpopular among players. They didn’t know what to expect, which has made the game a largely empty universe. Back in the time, the first reviews of the game have described it as a wilderness where the unexpected happens. The game was an empty book where players have written their own gaming stories. Only the first players of the game could realize how much the game has grown and has reached its potential.

Experience

The main goal in the game is to help the NPC corporations to fight against pirates and the competition. Trying to do this, players face many obstacles while searching the space around them. Everything is happening very slowly that it takes a lot of time before the players experience something bigger. Once the unexpected happens, players get a little boost of energy from the adrenaline rush. All people who have played EVE at least once have stories to share about their battles in the game.

Characters

No matter how many times you’ve player EVE, every new gameplay is practically a brand new experience. The player has the choice to create and modify the look of the game characters, as well as choose one out of the four playable races. The voice tutorials throughout the game are well-acted that keep the players engaged all of the time. Players need to dedicate a lot of their time to make progress in the game.

The Warhammer Itch

This blog started as a Warhammer 40K blog. I haven't played a tabletop miniature quite game like that since the twins were born and they turn 12 this week, Friday in fact. X-Wing is close to Battlefleet Gothic in a way, I'll give you that.

A few years back, 2016 to be exact, I played BattleFleet Gothic Armada on Steam and I liked it at first:
OVERALL: I don't know how deep this game will go as the tech trees such as they are can be run through quickly (unlike World of Warships) and there will be constant balancing issues to address just like the board game, but I'm having fun right now and I'm looking forward to trying out the campaign mode and Eldar fleets.
I ended up playing the game for 101 hours, mostly just free play. The campaign failed to catch my attention.

Then late last year when Gattlefleet Gothic Armada II was announced, I was intrigued. When it went on sale during this quarantine, of course I picked it up. I'm currently at 105 hours and that's just campaign play. Its definitely an upgrade over the first game, a lot of controls are improved, only the flagships can get the overpowered upgrades (Void Shields for everyone! only you), and the game is beautiful. I'm almost done the Imperial campaign but unfortunately the Chaos campaign is a paid for DLC add on so I'm debating if I want to invest more money in it.... ah heck, I probably will.

But the big problem, the serious problem, is that I'm getting the table top itch again. It has come about because of a series of concurrent events.

Event 1: Twins are getting old enough for serious strategy games
I mean, who wouldn't want to wipe that shit eating grin of that punk?!
X-Wing, Axis and Allies, Terraforming Mars, Mothership, Dungeons & Dragons, the twins are ready to play the fun deep games that take time but have the big payoff. One of the reasons I had to quit my tabletop hobby was finding time and opponents and now I live with them!

Event 2: I really really really regret selling all my Warhammer Minis.

But especially the Battlefleet Gothic fleet. Man, I wish I had kept that one. It took up hardly any space in comparison, is fairly easy to learn and play, and was my favourite. I miss my Ninveah Despoiler class battleship.

Event 3: Painting Rocks

I know they are just stupid rocks I painted while wasting time with the kids, but it brings back the nostalgia of painting models and the absolute joy I got from a model that turns out right. I miss that hobby.

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!

Monday, April 20, 2020

Still Alive

I'm still alive!

I've been working from home during the Coronavirus Quarantine and its left me with less slack time to blog as a result. I think I've found a way to slip in some extra writing though so we'll see if we can get back to posting about games I've been playing.

In the meantime, enjoy some rocks I painted.


Friday, March 06, 2020

February Arena Progress Update

At the beginning of February I talked about how I was trying two new decks, the UW Dream Trawler control and the mono Red Embercleave decks. I also decided to tip my toe into Best of Three ladder climbing instead of Best of One. Here is my report.

First off, by the end of the month I made Platinum again. Considering I was not trying to aggressively climb I was happy with that result.

Secondly, Best of Three is exhausting! I found it a lot more stressful trying to figure out what to swap in and out for matches two and three, and the time commitment against a slow control deck could be as much as 30 -50 minutes! Also, I discovered that there were a lot more control decks in Bo3 compared to Bo1 where aggressive decks seemed more prominent. Over time I found myself drifting back to Bo1.

Thirdly, my early success rate for both decks was not great. My mono-Red was 59% (23-16) and my Trawler deck was an abysmal 42% (11-15). This might have been compounded by being in Bo3 and not being experienced at sideboarding for the UW deck. Halfway through the month I switched to another version of the mono-Red embercleave deck and focused on Bo1 and was much more successful, going 23-9 for a 72% win rate.

Deck
4 Runaway Steam-Kin (GRN) 115
4 Light Up the Stage (RNA) 107
4 Scorch Spitter (M20) 159
4 Bonecrusher Giant (ELD) 115
3 Embercleave (ELD) 120
4 Fervent Champion (ELD) 124
4 Rimrock Knight (ELD) 137
4 Robber of the Rich (ELD) 138
3 Torbran, Thane of Red Fell (ELD) 147
4 Castle Embereth (ELD) 239
4 Anax, Hardened in the Forge (THB) 125
18 Mountain (THB) 285
Sideboard
1 Experimental Frenzy (GRN) 99
3 Lava Coil (GRN) 108
1 Tibalt, Rakish Instigator (WAR) 146
2 Chandra, Acolyte of Flame (M20) 126
4 Unchained Berserker (M20) 164
3 Redcap Melee (ELD) 135 
It felt competitive in every match when I was not mana-flooded and could steal the occasional match with a surprise Embercleave. If I was solely interested in climbing the ranks I would probably use this deck in Best of One matches.

But we're in March and I wanted to try something new. I wanted to really push into Best of Three and mean in and I wanted a deck that could go toe to toe with the control decks there. One of the latest hotness around is Temur Clover and since it uses a few cards I have and I needed to craft only a handful of rares, I decided to try it out.

The basic idea is run them over with Lovestruck Beast, Bonecrusher Giant, and Beanstalk Giant and everything else is support to get you there. Lucky Clover is a force multiplier for the spells on the Eldraine cards, Escape to the Wilds is surprisingly a "don't always need it" card to search for things you need. Fae of Wishes is the big value even by themselves but really is game winning when combined with 1-2 Lucky Clovers. Excuse me while I get from the sideboard two cards I need to dismantle you.

Eight matches in and I'm only 50% win rate but I'm still getting the hang of this deck so I'm not worried yet. A good thing about this deck is I don't really need to sideboard between games as they are better off in the sideboard where the Fae can fetch them.

I'm really liking this deck as I learn it. Will report on my progress with it in a couple weeks.

Monday, March 02, 2020

Board Games With the Spawns

I haven't talked about The Boys much but they are a very large part of my life, both regularly and especially in gaming. The twins are turning 12 this coming April, and the younger brother is 10 next week, so they are getting to the age where more complicated games are not only intriguing for them but also possible.

This past week I started to introduce them to one of the big influences of my childhood love of board games, Axis and Allies. After doing some small scenarios and rules introduction, we broke out the latest version I purchased, Axis and Allies 1941.
It includes Destroyers but not Artillery pieces, comes with fewer bits overall, and the setup has fewer pieces per player and the economy is such that you buy fewer pieces every turn. But the general idea is the same: Japan and Germany have bigger starting forces and must win before the larger buying power of the Allies overwhelm them.

Since this is a shorter and simpler game then other versions its perfect intro for The Boys. And it went well!
Wilmick and Terjoe were the Axis, while Aarjay and I were the Allies. I went easy on them, helping them with strategy and ideas, and in the end I left a path open for victory before lunch.

Another evening Wilmick and I had a skirmish in Mothership.


Next up, Axis and Allies Pacific!

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