Thursday, August 06, 2020

Remembering the Paintbrush

After having a good time painting my 3D printed imperial fleet, I decided to get a small Chaos fleet to have something to play against if the twins want to learn to play. I purchased a resin cruiser and battleship from Aliexpress that was a little more expensive but the quality is close or better to Games Workshop orginals, and I went back to my friend Chris for 4 cruisers. 

I then put together the resin cruiser and got to work on a paint scheme. I decided to go with classic dark red and black and since I had all the parts to make any of the cruisers or heavy cruisers, I went hogwild and used small rare earth magnets to make it configurable.

Pictures! First up we have the completed hull of the cruiser beside one of the 3D printed ones (the files from Thingaverse). You can see the launch bays on the table getting ready.

And here we have the completed launch bays and dorsal lances on the hull, held by magnets (which, to be honest, was a pain in the royal ass to get right).

While its not 100% the best work I've ever done and I made some rookie mistake (like spraying the finish on too thick on the launch bays grrr) it still looks fine for what I've got planned. Now to finish all the other weapons platforms so I can make any of the seven base cruisers and heavy cruisers with it!

Then on to the four printed crusiers (no magnets this time thank god).

Friday, July 17, 2020

Revisiting Dragonlance

When I was a teenager I got into fantasy novels in a big way and the gateway drug for me was the Dragonlance Chronicles.

Its not writing that will get people to hail it as a literary classic for all time a la the Lord of the Rings or Dune (the latter of which is overrated by the way) but it was amazing to teenage me at the time. Magic, swords, sorcery, dragons, Good, Evil... and characters that were more than one dimensional tropes (eventually).

Its been a long time since I read those book, but I remember them so fondly I proposed that I would read them to my almost teenage sons, a chapter a night before bed when we have time. Yeah, they are strong readers and could read them for themselves but I wanted to relive the experience again through their eyes and enjoy the story together.

And its been amazing. They are hooked on the story and characters (one twin wants to create a Kender D&D character as he loves Tasselhoff) and I am loving reading a story that I have mostly forgotten. We are halfway though the first novel and I hope they continue to want to hear the story as I definitely want to finish the trilogy again.

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.

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