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Monday, 5 June 2017

ITC: Abnormalifaux Rises!

I haven’t had much time to write lately, but I really wanted to cover ITC because it was an amazing event and has really reignited my interest in Malifaux (even if it felt like there was a NB support group there about how crap out waves 3 and 4 were… but I digress). Before I get into the actual games I would just like to thank Mike Marshall for running yet another amazing event. Mike has now run two of my three favourite events I’ve ever been to (Daffcon 2016 and ITC 2017). The third one was in Canada, though I’m sure Mike would’ve run it even better. Also thanks to all the judges and other volunteers who were great and looked like they were having a blast. I’m still unsure if we will get a team together for next year or not, but if not I definitely plan to volunteers as a helper/judge. Finally thanks to everyone at Element games. Wow, what a venue. So far the only other venue I’ve been to that compares is Firestorm in Cardiff. Also it was lovely that they noticed me eating a salad I bought elsewhere on the Saturday as I couldn’t eat the provided sandwiches (which I am totally okay with) and offered to get me a salad for the next lunch, which they did. So props on that, they really went over and beyond my expectations. Finally, having an on site bar is fantastic and the late hours were great too. Honestly one of my favourite parts of the weekend was drunkenly playing Dom Westerland and James Reeves in Guildball (borrowing James’ Masons team) and trying to explain to some of the Finnish team how the game worked. 3 Games of Malifaux (and several pints) during the day and still was up for some Werewolf (Paul Butler is always a werewolf…) and Guildball (and more pints) at night. What an awesome time. Other big highlight was just chatting with a bunch of new players. Was great seeing Elinore, Martin and the rest of their team again as I had met them at Nationals 2015 and had faced Martin in Daffcon Frostgrave event. Also was great chatting with the Americans who were just excellent blokes. Also props to Team Trump Card for winning the event and for embracing their role as the heels of Malifaux by dressing up in super American gear. Loved it. Anyway, enough gushing let’s get on to the actual games.

Arran (Metalhed), Francois, Pippa, Me, Brad (Mechanical Dove)
So I lied… before we get on to the games I want to talk about my team. Abnormalifaux brought a team! That’s right we were repping the blog. Though only 4 of the 5 of us have actually written for the blog, but still, we are a true team and I was really excited to see how we would do. Also nervous though as I think we had played a combined 4 games or fewer of malifaux in the previous 1-2 months (I’ve been playing a lot of Guildball and a few other guys have been as well or were just generally busy) and one team member Brad (Mechanical Dove) was forced to play a different faction and ended up using a Master he had never won a game with (hamelin) for the whole weekend. For simplicities sake Brad went fixed master Hamelin, Francois went fixed Nellie, Philippa went fixed Ironsides except one round where she dropped Raspy, so it was really only Arran and I that were swapping Masters, and both of us only ended up using 2 of the 3 we brought (Sorry Tara/Pandora).

Thursday, 25 May 2017

Busted!



A while ago I wrote a post about my attempt at painting a bust. It was something I'd wanted to try for a while and as it turned out something that I really enjoyed too.

Image may contain: 2 peopleWith my first busts finished I now I'm keen to carry on and do more, (unfortunately this is at the expense of the rest of my painting queue)

Image may contain: 1 personWhile I'm pleased with these busts they did help me pick out a few (many) gap in my skills. As with most things the key to improvement is research and practice.

The research I could do, the only benefit of going to work is time and access to trawl the web for tutorials, videos, diagrams, and inspiration. This is also a time where social media is brilliant. Various painting groups on facebook plus following other painters on twitter and instagram is a gold mine of information. I've also found figure painter magazine to be really good for all things painting.

Practice was looking to me a bit more difficult, unlike painting models for gaming where I seem to have a never ending supply, bust feel like a bit more of a luxury purchase. Thankfully Salute is a thing that exists. While at the show along side my many other (much needed) model purchases I treated myself to a selection of busts.


Firstly there was the Wonderland set from Broken Toad which my daughter insisted I buy. ( she's also insisting that she gets to paint one of them but I'm skimming over that).

These other than just being gorgeous sculpts are also aimed at painters looking to make the jump from models to bust. The scale is big enough to try out new skills without completely rethinking how you paint. Which was an issue I found with the flower girl bust.

I'm hoping to really push myself on this set, which while its a great goal does restrict the practice element slightly. So my final purchase at Salute was ideal, spotted completely by chance on a stall that sold random boardgame bits and bobs. (If anyone remembers the name please let me know). Here I found a box of loose bust which looked like pieces from a game. They were ideal, bold simple sculpts with enough character to really have fun with. And at £1 each (If I had had any cash left I would have got the whole box for that price).
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So now I have a selection of busts to try techniques and ideas on. The first of which I grabbed out of the pile of shame the other night and started on.

This happy fella was the first out the bag, And the things to try were bolder colours, dappling to blend skintones and also better shading of hair.

I decided to go a bit random with the colours, as I usually have a predecided scheme for gaming minis this would make a nice change.

Image may contain: outdoorI started off with the skin, I've wanted to try something greenskin for a while so that seemed like a good excuse. I painted all the shadows in first with a purple, most of it ended up covered but it helped with the tone. I then built up from dark to light green in layers which I then tried to blend together by building up multiple areas of spots in various shades all overlapping. I also added in spots of browns and yellow to help.

I then moved onto the hair using something closer to NMM gold than the highlighting I'd do on a 32mm models hair. I think the idea was right but seeing it finished I probably should have increased the contrast between the light and dark areas (similar issue I have with NMM)

The glasses where next and it was another excuse to try something I'd been wanting to for a while. Reflective surface. I think the term is Sky Earth Non Metallic Metal or SENMM (or shiny).
No automatic alt text available.This took quite a light touch as too heavy or bold on the colours and it would look closer to just mutlicoloured glasses not a reflection. I think it worked but it'll definatly take a few more tries before I'm happy with the theory of it.

The clothes were a bit simpler, bold colours and attempt some texture. The shirts is supposed to be slightly silky which will need a rethink to get right (but the colour is great) The tie has a more woven texture used by criss crossing lines along the length.

I'm rather pleased with the results and it has given me some new things to go away and read up on before I start my next project.

Thanks for reading, and hopefully there won't be such a wait before the next post.


Monday, 8 May 2017

Spring Showdown (insert clever pun here)

It was time for the second showdown of 2017, Spring Showdown. You know it's spring because the clouds are a slightly brighter shade of grey and there's a younger looking range of road kill lining the countryside.

Truth be told I wasn't exactly in a social mood on the Sunday morning and it did cross my mind to drive straight past Hockley, head down to Southend and spend the day eating fish and chips on the "beach". But decided against it and parked up in the usual spot at Wayland instead.

The traditional pre event routine of handshakes, hugs, and insults took place while we were setting up and registering. There was a great turnout for the event, the showdown series has consistently grown in popularity and there was a good mix of players of different abilities.

Once registered and a quick intro from TO Mike "The Bunny" Marshall we were off. Thanks to bag o' tools we could just check our phones to see what tables we were at which really speeds things up.

Game one

Image result for dead snowmanI faced fellow Dark Sphere local Tim, who was running Molly versus my Raspi. The strat was collect the bounty.
Now this will be a fairly short run down as I didn't actually do anything much all game. I should have known better having played Molly for so long but I got punk zombied to bits by turn three after that it was just a case of him mopping up. The game finished with me having zero models left on the table and a massive 10-1 for Tim. It was a fun game but not a great start to the day.

Next up was lunch and the painting competition. Lunch was the Wayland usual of meat in bread with drink and snacks. The painting entries put out were amazing and I have to say that in the few years I've been playing Malifaux the level of painting has consistently improved. Where as before you had one or two stand out crews now there's always plenty of real contenders.

Game two

Related imageThis round I faced the brute squad, Mr Harris. It was a Arc off with me sticking to Raspi and Ben taking Colette. As we attempted to fight over squatters rights.
The game was slightly less of a pummelling than game one, Raspi was holding back from killing too much as frame for murder was in the pool. So without the worry of friendly blast damage we ended up in a bit of a melee fest in the middle of the board while various ice dancers ran around doing stuff.
Ben consistently scored his VP while I lucked into a few points here and there. Closest I got to a plan coming off was when Colette to a pot shot at the Emissary, killing it and scoring me frame for murder. Finished up 9-5 to Ben, which is about 5 more points than I scored last time I played him.

Going into the last round I was on for the spoon, which although familiar territory for me it was something I'd rather avoid. So a large tea and a breath of fresh air and it was onto game three

Game three

Time for the second arcanist off of the day (so many Arc players now). This time it was versus a newer player James who was running Ironsides. I was sticking to Raspi again. The Strat was Stake a Claim.
The game started as a bit of a beat down as we all rushed into the centre of the table, Raspi took out Willie and put a fair chunk of hurt on the captain. Then the Captain replied by taking Lola (Cassi) down to two wounds. Then Snowstorm ate what was left of the Cap.
After than I did the smartest thing, I run and hid. The rest of the game became all about dropping markers with the odd fight between scheme runners. 
The game ended 10-6 to me. Meaning no spoon '17 is still a thing.

Well done to all the people who won (including fellow High Fauxdelity host Ritch, who got best Resser) As always I don't remember these things so check the rankings or just guess.

I managed to win a crew box in the raffle (second event in a row) which will go in to my ever growing pile of shame.

Big thanks to Mike for running things and Wayland for hosting. Thanks again to all of my opponents for the fun games. Oh and thanks to Eless for the cookie.

There are still tickets available for the next two Showdowns of this year, and the the Autumn one Falldown has just been bumped up to a two dayer so and ideal time to practice for nationals.

Thanks for reading. 

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Thursday, 27 April 2017

Salute 2017: 3rd time's the charm!

Hello beloved readers! My apologies for not posting very often recently, but to be honest I've been quite busy at the new job and most of my free time has been spent being exhausted and/or painting. Have a lot less free time to blog than I used to, but should have been posting a bit more. I've been playing a balance of Guildball and Malifaux lately but haven't had a ton of gaming time either, especially events-wise. Though I did win the one Guildball event I've been to this year, so that was cool. I do have quite a few more events coming up in the next month as well :D

Anyway, this past weekend I went to Salute for the third year in a row. It's only about 75 min to get there from my flat so seems silly NOT to go. This year I went in with less of a plan on what to buy than in previous years (like last year where I knew I wanted one of the lovely bendyboards terrain deals). I knew I was going to pick up the new steamforged/muse on minis Guildball tokens for my Fishermen and Union and some more basing supplies (grass tufts flowers etc), but mostly just wanted to do some shopping.

Showed up around 1130 AM as wanted to miss the rush so we walked right in. Didn't seem like it was as busy as previous years, but that could be just my mind. The free miniature was much better than two years ago (didn't see last years) and the fact that it was Russian revolution themed was cool as that is definitely my area of interest.

First off we went straight to steamforged and had to wait in line for about 10-15 min to get my stuff as it was still quite busy. Picked up the tokens and Philippa and I each got a chibi pin of our captains. Chibi salt is adorable. Also took some pictures of the really well painted farmers models.




Thursday, 20 April 2017

Eggs to be hauled

Last minute change of plans left me with a spare Saturday to find some trouble, thankfully with a fully booked tournament calendar I could grab a ticket and head North to join the fun a Haul of eggs.

Finally my ongoing car issues were sorted so Saturday morning I hopped in the car, picked up Claire (partly out of the kindness of my heart and partly as we were heading so far from the safety of the M25 it was in case I needed someone to throw to the reavers)

Image result for were otterA smooth run up the M1 and we were at Battlefield Hobbies. A great venue that you'll remember from my Nationals write up. (Yeah like anyone suffers reading this twice)
Best way to describe BH is it's a warehouse with unlimited tea. (In truth the place could be full of rabid wereotters and I'd be happy spend the day there as long as my mug was full).

Usual registration fun, plenty of chat, a bit of well meaning abuse, and a chance to top up my tea.

Image result for malifaux dark carnival artGame one. A Cooper off! Extraction versus Stef. A mirror match always has the potential to be a bit of a grind but we both took different set ups and schemes. We both got an early kill with Purple Coops blessed killing my Envy and the Red Coops Emissary killing the blessed. Shockingly neither of these scored for frame. After that the game changed gear and become more about dropping markers and weathering the storm around the extraction marker.
Last turn my Coop and Lola were paralysed and I had (thought I did) the markers down I needed so the mannequin took a pointless swing at a performer... Scoring a point for Purple Coop in frame. My idiot move was countered by an unlucky one from Stef leaving a marker just out to score end of game. The game ended in a well earned draw.

Image result for malifaux nicodem artGame two. This time we had Guard the Stash. Cooper was back in the case as I'd decide to run a different Master each game. This time it was Raspi. I was up against Andy with Nico.
Because the deployment was flank I was lucky enough to secure a good position early to really unleash the filth of Raspi. Frozen heart was a life saver this game as the scary models Nico sent forward had terrifying as their main defence. One of the few times a pair hanged aren't scary is when they're sitting in the open ten inches from Raspi.
The game ended in a solid win for me (everyone was in almost as much shock as me)

Lunch. Food was provided by the venue a nice buffet the while tasty wouldn't have looked out of place at a great aunts funeral.
Painting was put out for judgement. There was two painting competitions, best three minions which have a huge amount of entries. And best painted egg, which has fewer than hoped but all of them were amazing.
I entered both and had a good nose at the other more impressive entries.

A quick walk in the sunshine to stretch my legs (I know who knew there there was sun up t'north)

Image result for malifaux luciusOn to game three, now I was sitting precariously high on a draw and a win, so I was likely in for a tough match to finish the day.
I got this in the form of fellow Dark Sphere player, captain of the fauxmads, and Angeleye's only fan. Marcus.
It had been ages since we'd played so it was cool to see how we'd both progressed. The game was recon Lucius v Marcus and considering neither of us were playing ressers the was a shocking amount of undead on the table. (Most of my available beasts are from my time playing ressers).

As expected the game was controlled by Marcus from the start but I did manage to put a few speed bumps in the road making good use of a charging emissary and a super quick Marcus.
The game ended in a win for Marcus but left me for I think the first time ever on a positive VP diff to finish a tournament, +1 is a lot better than the previous weeks -18.

As always people won things and there was clapping and raffles and all that fun. Check the rankings if you want to see the standings and things by this point in the day my brain has shut down so I just join in when other people clap. I did win some chocolate eggs and a trans Daw crew which was a pleasant surprise.

One last cuppa, a fair bit of hand shaking and working who'll be a what event next then it was back in the car, remembering to get Claire (no reavers so far but better to be safe).

All in all a great day. Lots of chat, almost enough tea, and I didn't embarrass myself (on the table anyway). Big thanks to my opponents, and to Mr Brown for running things.

Thanks for reading next up for me should be Spring Showdown (tickets still available I believe)
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Monday, 17 April 2017

Seamus and friends visit Croydon

So I have been testing a new Resser master finally. And it is the fearsome Seamus. And I figured what better way to test him out than to take him to an event. Prior to this event I had managed three games with him, so figured this would be a good chance to see how he held up.

Connor and the Too Much Infaux guys were running April Faux and that was perfect. Grant turned up to collect me nice and early. We arrived at the venue way before kick off and had breakfast next door with Connor.

Then off to the venue, the Croydon Conference centre. This is a great venue with plenty of space, a load of good quality terrain (many of it supplied by the TMI gang) and a bar.

We were due to discover the S&S as the games were to kick off so not too much I could prepare for...

Monday, 10 April 2017

No joke its April Fauxs Day

Don your Croy, for April Fauxs Day

Last week I got my shots, invoked the various rituals of protection, and updated my will before heading of to Croydon for a days gaming.

Car, tube, tube, train, walk saw me arrive at the Croydon conference centre for April Fauxs Day. A four round, 50ss event. First things first the venue was a pleasant surprise. A bar, decent loos, and praise Almighty December air con. There were two events on, Faux in one half of the room and AOS in the other side. Worries I had that it would be hideously loud soon passed as no one seemed in the mood to shout.
Also it was cool to see a few people I used to play fantasy against in my brief pre-Faux era.

Usual pre tournament routine of registration, get tea, and talk shit I can't back up on the table went well and soon it was time to kick off.

Image result for malifaux som'er teeth jonesRound one I was up against Dom and his gremlin horde. It was squatters and I took claim jump and inspection. It didn't take long to realise I was out matched so I decided to just throw everything towards Somer and hope I could do enough damage early on to give me an edge. It didn't quite work, Dom weathered the storm then ran off to score VP while I left my crew stranded in the middle of the table. It was a really fun game despite my lack of points. I lost game one but had high hopes for game two.

The game did have one interruption which was TO Conor coming around taking drinks orders. This went on all day and it's safe to say that anyone who brings me that much tea automatically gets add to my list of favourite people.

Image result for malifaux opheliaGame two was a bit of deja vu I faced off against Jay using Ophelia in extraction I once again run Raspi. Which was the exact set up in round two of my last event when I also faced Jay. It was a great game we both went on the offensive early despite frame being in the pool. Jay won the early smack down taking out a few of my key minions while I only put a few dents in his, but Ophelia did take a few shots a my acolyte killing her to score me frame.
After that it became a bit of a brawl around the extraction marker while a model from each crew tried to score claim jump.
The game ended in a slight win for me but mainly down to a few lucky flips on my side and it could have easily gone to the green skins had the luck turned.

Image result for croydon burger and beerLunch! I popped my crew out for best painted which was judges choice today. As usual I didn't hope to win but I always enter to see how I stack up against better painters and there were a few great ones on show.
Down stairs from the venue was a slightly hipster burger place, which I highly recommend to any heading that way as the food was great and in truth I ate enough that I probably should have had a nap instead of heading back to the event.

Image result for malifaux revaRound three. Interference against Reva. I played Toby who I always bump into but never get to play. Turn one I tried to be clever and take a few pot shots at Reva with an over keen December acolyte, Reva shrugged it off and then squished the acolyte in return and that pretty much sums up the game. The left side of the table was a bundle with Lola and a mannequin not really doing much other than being swamped in models and fluffing hits, the right side of the table was my crew dying while Cooper ran and hid repeatedly. The MVP for me was a raptor dropping to deny claim jump the flying off again next turn... until it got squished too.
Game ended  with a well deserved win for Toby and the Pony rider, another fun game, another crushing defeat.

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Game four. I was facing off against the second best member of High Fauxdelity at that table (for those that haven't heard it High Fauxdelity is a podcast which stars Ritch, puts up with me and let's a couple of other fellas on to do the heavy lifting) We were playing reckoning and it was Raspi vs the Viks. Carnage doesn't even begin to cover it. I pushed forward early looking to start throwing ice around, the Viks charged an insanely long way and started whirl winding everything in range. Snowstorm exploded with enough force to kill a vik and end of turn two I had two minions left neither of us had a master and I had run out of tea. It was a dark time. The game continued in this chaotic style until the end when Ritch scored all the points and I gave his snipers dirty looks. Solid win for Ritch and a great game to end the day on.

Cup of tea while things we finished up, people won things as always check the rankings page as I don't remember stuff like that but congratulations to those that left with shiny things.

I then took the long lonely train ride home while trying to work out how to lessen the many mistakes I made. (which, I got a chance to do the following Saturday and I'll write up next)

Big thanks to all my opponents, next time I'll try and give you more of a challenge. Thanks and well done to Conor for running a fun and smooth event.

Image result for malifaux arcanists