Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Game Table: Status Update

I've been so very absent from the Round Square lately, and I'm afraid with the holidays around the corner the trend will only continue.

My birthday was this month and I received some very cool stuff.
  • Black Templar Upgrade Kit
  • Space Marine Tactical Squad
  • Black Templar Sword Brethren
  • Uncharted Seas: Imperial Navy Starter Box
Hopefully the holidays will give me some time to put some of this cool stuff together! More on Black Templar and why I was given some kits later!

The subject heading for this post sure was "Game Table" so let's get to it. After a good 40-50 hours of work between myself, my brother and my father (who is an accomplished carpenter) we managed to assemble this:

Honestly, the photo doesn't do this table justice. The entire table is made of Red Oak with a plywood Birch table top, and a shelf underneath. The table top is exactly 6' x 4'. While the table is far from finished, I couldn't help showing off the work that has been done!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Game Table: In the begining...

...there was only wood, Red Oak to be exact...

...and some Birch, Fir and Ash.

...but then there was a leg! From that leg there would be a game table, and it would be good. More on this project later!

40K: Killzone Impressions

I'm a big fan of Kotaku's review system so I'll try to employ a similar system.

What is it?

In short, Killzone is 40K Skirmish Rule set being written by Jim and his team over at his blog Galaxy in Flames. What do I mean by skirmish? Skirmish seems to boil down to two parts, every model is essentially an independent character, and the model count is generally low (a maximum of 20).

The longer version is that Killzone seeks to create SOGs (Special Operation Groups) whose members are a cut above the regular trooper, marine, or xeno. Each members veterancy is represented by special skills or heightened stat line etc. This idea is furthered by the promise that there will be campaign rule support coming from the gu

Who should care about it?
People who want to reduce their games to under an hour, or want their Guardsmen to be akin to the heroes Dan Abnett writes about (more about that later). With campaign support not far behind this ruleset promises a way to create a stable campaign that is made up of less than 1 hour long games. I happen to be that kind of person, someone who always seems to be looking for a way to take advantage of limited gaming time.

This rule set is also for the people who love heavy terrain on their game tables. From our play testing we really found that 75% terrain coverage really added flavor to the tactics of Killzone.

It can't all be bad/good?

The rule set is clearly in development. There seemed to be a couple of holes here and there, and as a group we were house ruling this and that as it came up. I wouldn't suggest playing the current rules in an unforgiving setting. Call this garage gaming at its finest for the time being. Though there really seems to be some tournament potential here.

Even with the "in development" rules, Killzone is was a well composed .PDF! Scenarios, an entire errata for all current armies, and a basic rule set. Not too shabby! No I take that back, very excellent. When I think of the reality of making a rule set a... well a reality, I am floored at the dedication! These guys love 40k, and they just might be giving others more of a reason to play.

How about that certain "Je ne sais quoi?"

Well in this case it's cinema! Yes I have gone on and on about the quality of cinema in these little war games we all play, and Killzone delivers cinema in loads! My SOG (again that's Special Operations Group) is composed of ghosts, Gaunt's Ghosts to be precise, and as such they are some truly stealthy guardsmen.

I won't go on about how much that theme added to the games I played, but suffice to say that it added a sense of story just by having characters. There's nothing like Larkin putting a long-las round through an enemy snipers eyes after that enemy sniper wounded old Ibrahm Gaunt!

Now I might have taken already created characters and used them for my SOG, but there is no reason I couldn't have created my own elite group. There's just enough of that possibility of adding persistent character mixed with a potential campaign that makes Killzone very attractive to me. In other words, Killzone has the potential to add a little personality to plastic.

Final Thoughts
If you are a hardcore non-garage gamer this rule set just isn't for you. Not yet anyway, the rules just aren't tight enough. If you dream of campaigns, character and story just as much as your tactics then download Killzone today! You won't be disappointed!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

40K: Killzone

I was listening to the Imperial Vox Cast last week, and caught a section about a fan made rule set for 40K Skirmish style games called Killzone. The more I listened to the interview, the more Jim (the designer, err.. adapter w/e keeps him from the IPuillotine) had me interested.

Essentially Jim has combined the old Kill Team, with the new Kill Team, but stopping there does a disservice to his work. When I downloaded the PDFs I was surprised to find an entire Errata for each 40K Army along with two full scenarios, each comprised of 6 missions!

I'm theme-ing out a Gaunt's Ghosts SOG (that's Special Operations Group), and getting it ready for some play testing this Saturday.

Check out the rules on Jim's blog Galaxy in Flames.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Moving: In the Meantime...

Still moving in, no time for hobby. Friend of mine snapped this pic of his wife's Rohirrim...

What a great pic!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Blood Bowl: Orcs!

Ok so if I move forward with a Bloodbowl Team I can't go wrong with these guys: http://www.neomics.de/shop/fantasy-football-orcs


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Moving: LOTR Strategy Battle Game.

So my hobby time has come to almost a complete stop. I'm waiting to move into our new house. However I am staying with a buddy of mine who picked up the Lord of the Rings Strategy Battle Game hobby a couple of months ago. He and his wife are huge fans of Tolkien, and it didn't take me long to grab 500 points of Isengard units. Guess I'll have to add another army list...

...did I mention I have a Malifaux gang, and may or may not be interested in Uncharted Seas a little. Not to mention Blood Bowl?

What am I doing?!?

Monday, August 23, 2010

Vampires: Black Coach now with 100% More Flying!!

A cowardly Bretonnian peasant deserts his Lord and keeper. Night falls as he stumbles along the road alone (use your imagination on this one, cameras work better with lots of light...).

Suddenly, he hears the braying of horses, but not the familiar clip-clopping of hooves. Terrified, he raises his longbow, and looses an arrow at a ghastly vision in front of him.

...but he already knows....

...that his arrows will not save him....

...let this be a lesson to peasants who stray from their Lords.

How could I not write a little fluff for the awesomeness of a flying ethereal Black Coach. I might have to paint this one...

Vampires: Greenstuffing

After writing the pinning guidelines I thought I might share the basics of green stuffing. What's greenstuff? It's a two part epoxy that you can use to fill gaps or sculpt entire models. The stuff is fantastic. I'm no expert, but a little greenstuff goes a long way.

Step 1: Have the appropriate tools. You'll need the basics. Gale Force 9 makes an excellent 3 piece set that I can't recommend enough! Check them out: http://www.gf9.com/store/product_info.php?cPath=37&products_id=256

Step 2: Fill a cup for water. This might be one of the most important steps. You will see why shortly.

Step 3: Mix your greenstuff. Remember a lot goes a long way, and patience is a virtue. Mix even amounts until the Blue and Yellow turn, you guessed it, Green!

Step 4: This step varies a bit, but lets start with filling a undesirable gap. Notice the gap in this Vargulf's shoulder. You can even see the pin!

(Step 4 continued) Apply a bit of greenstuff to the shoulder area.

Step 5: Dip your tool in the cup of water! The water prevents the greenstuff from sticking to the tool!

Step 6: Using the spoon headed tool work the greenstuff along the joint. Don't smooth the greenstuff flush with the two joined pieces. You will want the greenstuff slightly raised to do the texturing.

Step 7: Using the variety of tools texture the gap to match the surrounding areas. Flat areas are easy! Just follow the contours of the model.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Vampires: Assembly Line in Full Swing (Part 4)

I made some major headway this weekend on my VC commision. I assembled the Zombie Dragon, Black Knights, Black Coach, and primed/based 20 x Grave Guard, 20 x Skeletons, 20 x Ghouls, and the Black Knights.

Here are some shots of progress over th weekend:



Ghouls! (the classic Ghoul models really mix in well)

Grave Guard!

Black Knights!

Black Coach!

I'm going to make that Black Coach fly if that is the last thing I do!

I have been using Army Painter Color Primers and they have worked great.

I did notice that there seem to be at least two different types of nozzles on some of the different Army Painter Primer colors. If you have a Black Nozzle on your Army Painter Primer expect a slower less powerful spray, and if you have a White Nozzle (these look more like the GW Chaos Black nozzle) then expect some power behind the spray of your primer can. Make sure those models hold fast when you go to priming!

Vampires: Zacharias on Zombie Dragon

A great follow up to the pinning post is my tackling the "Zacharias on Zombie Dragon" model. This model was a beastly pinning job.

Zacharias atop his dragon required 6 pins alone, but it was worth it! The Zombie Dragon though? An unlucky 13 pins! The result though? I'll let these pictures speak for themselves:

Vampires: Pinning

Ah pinning...

Love it or hate it, pinning is a vital step in the assembly process of metal models. Over time I realized that I had developed a my own approach to pinning (mostly because I was tired of injuring myself), and I thought I might share it.

Step 1: Clean the model! Nothing fancy, just some suds and a brush.

Step 2: Line up the two pieces to pin. Usually I do this by blobbing a dot of paint where I think the hole will be drilled for the pin. Then I dry fit the pieces I am planning to pin together, the paint transfers to the other piece and now I know where to drill on both pieces.

Step 3: Prime the drilling point. Be very careful when taking this step. Again, this step is the first risk of injury. Take a push pin or something of the sort and slow push it into the spot where you intend to drill. You don't need a deep mark, just something that will allow the drill to catch.

Step 4: Get that Pin Vise out, you have plenty of drilling ahead. Or... check out step 4b.

Step 4b: After briefly using the Pin Vise, just enough to get a defined hole, pull out your Dremel Stylus. The Dremel Stylus is the hobbyists multi-tool! Look how small of a bit you can use:

Step 5: Repeat steps 3 through 4b on the other piece that you are hoping to pin.

Step 6: Drop a bit of super glue on the end of the pin and insert the pin into the hole.

Step 7: Clip the excess pin length.

Step 8: Drop a bit of super glue on the bare surface area of the pieces that you are pinning.

Step 9: Fit the pieces together, and finished!:

Well maybe you are finished. The two piece Fel Bat is as simple as it gets. Nice big surface area for priming, drilling and then gluing. Check out this Black Knight, keeping in mind that the pins in him are 1/32 of an Inch wide:

Remember to exercise caution when pinning, particularly when involving a Dremel Stylus. While burning the midnight oil don't let an injury be the signal to call it quits for the night:

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Vampires: Assembly Line in Full Swing (Part 3)

Alrighty, if it's new plastic it is built. Above is 20 Skeletons...

...and then 20 Grave Guard...

...and then the Corpse Cart with the Driver up front (I think he looks awesome!)

Of the new plastics I've assembled:

10x Dire Wolves
1x Corpse Cart
20x Grave Guard (Great Weapons)
20x Skeletons
10x Ghouls (not pictured

Of the old plastics skeletons I have either mounted on base or assembled (or repaired):

128x Skeletons
20+ Dire Wolves

Of the new metals I've assembled:

1x Vargulf

Of the old Metals I've mounted on base:

20x Ghouls
20x Grave Guard (Sword and Shield)

The army is growing in size and I might have to begin basing and magnetizing. Transporting options are going to have to be decided on soon as well.

So many Skeletons...

Next post is going to have the full army list.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Vampires: Blood Knights!

Ok. Cracked open a box of the infamous $90 Blood Knights set. Quite possibly the smallest and yet priciest boxes available for any army in the WHFB universe. The models are impressive, very cool stuff. With metal models comes cleaning lines like the one below (look at the raised reflective area on the horses leg).

... and the models don't quite fit together nice and neat like plastics:

...and sometimes you end up with two halves of a whole that clearly don't match. Look at the reins and how low they are to the horse's mouth. The really unfortunate part of this is that the reins are completely attached to the leg.

... as you can see in this image. I tried a little separation with a dull hobby knife, but no luck. The two are solidly attached.


Sunday, August 15, 2010

Empire: Greatswords

I realized while I was writing my last post that I never posted any pictures of my Greatswords! I have fallen in love with the way bronze and blue lay together. Might be the beginning of an army color scheme... Maybe Von Steger is from Middenland? Perhaps.

Vampires: Assembly Line in Full Swing (Part 2)

I can't say that I was a fan of the Grave Guard models until I started building them. Call me a hypocrite for not liking the massive headdresses the GGuard have when I own a Bretonnian army... I'd rate these guys as a 6/10 difficulty to assemble, only if you are assembling them with the great weapon option. Just like the Empire Great Swords, the GGuard have the positioning issue when considering how the weapon arm is angled so that the second supporting arm can be positioned to receive the weapon arm.

If you were giving them a sword and shield then they're still a 5/10, as there are a several bits involved in putting these guys together.

Next I did a first pass assembly of the Corpse Cart without any instructions. Tricky business, I looked at a lot of images and dry fit several pieces before assembly.

Instead of the usual placement of the cart driver in the rear I put him up front wading amongst the corpses. I'm going to either assemble him with the long pike with the corpse at the end or with the long lash. I prefer the cart driver up front, there is more of a sense of action from the model.

Here is an updated photo of my overall progress:

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Vampires: Assembly Line in Full Swing (Part 1)

Now that the clipping and organizing is done I have moved on to assembly. I'll say this, the Vampire Count Army sure has a lot of models with oddly angled contact points of assembly. The Ghouls don't really fit together properly at the torso and the Dire Wolf sprue doesn't have all of the matching halves of heads to other halves of heads. Skeletons are another nightmare, but do they look sweet...

There is just something so undeniably cool about hordes of skeletons shambling towards their enemy.

Also on my mind... a flying ethereal black coach. More on that later. Think this...

...except more of a greenish white color all over, angled up into the air with a tree in the middle of it... eh eh?

Hobby: Scoring? Do you do it?

I'm wondering if anyone else out there takes the time to score the areas where you plan to use adhesive.

I score almost every time on any surface. I hope that the extra effort strengthen the bond between the two surfaces.

The picture above is of the base of Dire Wolf from the VC army I am working on.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Vampires: Them Bones

97 of 135ish Skeletons Assembled. The goal is to have the Skeletons based by the weekend and ready for priming by the weekend.

A few of the models were already assembled, and someone gave a shot a priming these guys already. Unfortunately the primer was very rough, and the assembly was done using blobbed on superglue. The Skeleton's are a little brittle at the joints. I suppose that fits with the fluff? I stress tested several models and they easily came apart.

Vampires: Clipped and Organized

Another post already! I've clipped all of the models, remember that pile of sprue and boxes? Gone! All of the models, save the Zombie Dragon and Black Coach are tucked away nicely and neatly in these plastic organizers.