Laserburn: Scenery

My mate Byakhee JP, made me some terrain pieces for Laserburn and delivered them today whilst we had a conflab about our planned AVBCW Big Game.

A total surprise for me.
And a welcome one. 🙂

He pushed out all the stops.

A broken pin tack.
Some bases I’d given him.
Scavenged pieces from bins at work.
All the high end stuff.

😉

Just as any wargamer would want their scenery pieces made !!!! 😀

How much time do I spend on writing this blog ?

Well that was one commentators question late last week.

So with 9 months experience, I thought I’d comment on that. And the question did get me thinking how much time did I actually spend on this blog. As ever, its the “How long is a piece of string ?” question.

Writing this post, will probably take me no more than 30 minutes in total – WordPress does most of the html coding/CSS for me with only a bit of formating of text in html that I do, the rest is just typing.

I mull over the posts I make when I’m driving/in the shower/feeding the cats so 1 have most of the ideas ready to roll before the computer is up and running even.

The more time consuming issue is the taking of, manipulation and editing of photos. For the Xmashammer 2012 game, I edited the number of photos down to 70, but I probably took twice that number. As my old cameras only holds about 35 pictures on its memory card, I have to download it several times to the computer into a new folder. I then have to:

  • Wade through the pictures and keep only those that are in focus and relevant
  • Deleting duplicate/out of focus pictures
  • Then with what is left I have to change the colour and light levels, and in many cases crop the images.
  • Then upload them to my photobucket account, the speed of this is variable.

This takes quite some time. To get the four photos of the Arcane Fulcrum, took at least 30 minutes for instance. if nothing else, in running this blog I’ve learnt a lot of photograpy skills – and yes I have a long way to go on them still !

Further, as regular readers will have noticed, I also have to seize the chance to take photos when light levels are good (though I did indulge in buying another light lamp for the photobox, so that should make it easier).

This issue of photo editting is one reason why I have not posted much for 4 days – I have loads of photos from Monday’s WHFB Storm of Magic game but have not had time to edit them a yet – too much real world work.

If a post is containing lots of links to either images, or to other websites, that adds to the time taken. You have to open up multiple browser windows, locate websites and add the html link codes to the post itself, and then check they all work ok.

So in total today, in publishing the Arcane Fulcrums post, and this one, I’ll have spent about 45 minutes typing away, but there is an additional 30 minutes or so for the photos and uploading them.

But wait, that’s not all !

On top of the actual postings, I also have to approve comments, and sort through any spam that WordPress is not sure about. I typically get 3 spam messages today that get through the automatic spam filters (1,335 got stopped by the auto filters). Often they take a few seconds to delete, others might be plausible enough to take a bit longer over, and even on occasions some are ok and get approved. So there is an admin time of probably 5 minutes a day, and if I’m in a particularly sad mood, I look at the site stats.

I’m not blogging for the sake of getting a big audience, the original idea was to host photos of my gaming groups’ efforts, but it is interesting as a (professional) webmaster to see who is looking at what and how they get here. (Current average of ~100 views per day, ~2 views per unique visitor)

Now, I’d best go and edit the photos from Monday’s game, and see if I can photo One Armed Sutton and his creations…

WHFB: Arcane Fulcrum

Byakhee Jim and I had our first game using the WHFB supplement Storm of Magic on Monday – battle report to follow shortly.

In preparation, I had to get four arcane fulcrums ready, now I have enough scenery to do three, but had to locate and complete one of the actual GW models that was located in the geological strata of the Playroom floor:

I got all the GW plastic kits when the produced them for Storm of Magic. This was the easiest to put together.

Some of the others when I tried fitting them together showed a lot of gaps/warpage and will need a lot of filling and greenstuff. I’ll get round to them eventually as they are very nice models.

Continuing on from the discussion of my “figure equivalent” discussion, this is a 5 point item, due to its size and complexity.

All those flipping Skulz…

Scenery: A Monument to The Hounds of Tindalos

This item was one that I bought years ago again from Monolith Designs but is no longer listed/available apparently (I can only see a flat bas relief version of it).
When I was oding the Lustrian scenery I rememebred it, found it and did it up quickly.

The Hounds of Tindalos, are supernatural creatures that inhabit the angles of space, and hunt their prey that lives in the curves of space mentioned by H P Lovecraft and Frank Belknap Long:

A large resin piece, I baed on the usual CD to add some cover including some ferns and other stuff. I painted the fern (aquarium plants) yellow and grey where it faced the object (monolith?) to portray its baleful influence.

I used Foundry Granite as the main colour but then painted the Hounds in the reliefs gold and blue to make them stand out.

Aside:- This is the scenery piece I mentioned in the comments on my Paint Log posting, and count it as worth 3 figures due to its size rather than complexity, plus I stuck some scenery on the CD base.

Paint Log 2012

In order to remind myself how much I have done and taking a leaf out of Roughage’s blog, I have been keeping a log (spreadsheet) of all my painting (sad git).

Last year I painted the equivalent of more than 900 figures which is pretty good going. Since I started the log (2010), I have painted 2200 figures:

Figure Equivalents

Year

Total

Scenery

15mm

AVBCW

BoB

Warhammer

2010

749

116

121

512

2011

581

163

43

349

26

2012

912

262

20

196

226

208

2013

49

8

0

0

26

15

2014

0

2015

0

Total

2291

549

184

545

252

761

%

24

8

24

46

33

I am doing this to keep myself motivated and remind myself just how much I have done, as I grind my way through the endless unpainted, unassembled desolation that the Playroom seems to hold in a TARDIS like style.

So when I commented about the Lustrian scenery, I remembered that I had a terrain piece by that company featuring The Hounds of Tindalos. So that is one of today’s easy wins for painting – hopefully photographed shortly.

In rummaging to find that, I came across another piece of scenery I dimly remember buying, and now needs some attention, for quite what purpose I have no idea but it’ll come to me in time and should be an easy paint, after I’ve watched some more DVDs to remind me of colour schemes. 😉

The current hiatus on AVBCW is due to me having an artistic block on the BUF Cavalry, the diea of painting more black, and more horses both at the same time has really dented my enthusiasm to paint them. Maybe after my current WHFB binge over the w/e I’ll get back to them.

NB: Not all my painting gets a posting – sometimes the latest batch of 10 DE Spearmen aren’t worth it.

BoB: White Russian Command

Here’s a collection of Copplestone (BC25), Brigade Games (BG-SIER002) and Artizan models that I have used as the first infantry command unit for my normal/ragged White Russian army.

I’ve included an officer with blue breeches to represent the plastuns and the general nature of White Russian armies being top heavy with Officers who often aspired to be from the cavalry regiments that had prestige.

I have added an Artizan figure as the feisty Terek female commander/officer that can goad her male brethren into action against the rapacious Reds (nice alliteration I think).

And of course another couple to round the unit out including the cigar smoking type that helped the Whites loose the RCW due to overweening arrogance and ineptitude.

As you can see whilst the style of Artizan and Copplestone are similar, both the Artizan and Brigade Games figures are more slender/delicate and a bit smaller. I guess this represents Mark’s influence on Mike (the sculptor for both ranges) whilst they were at Foundry. They’re all compatable which is the most important thing for us wargamers however.

BoB: White Russian Cossack Plastuns

Say what ? Plastuns ?

A Plastun or plastoon (Ukrainian, Russian: пластун) was a Cossack foot scouting and sentry military unit. Originally they were part of the Black Sea Cossack Host and then later in the 19th and 20th centuries Kuban Cossack Host.

Another ten of the Copplestone White Guard (the remodelled BU34, the originals turned up minus rolled up greatcoats – see my Colourful White Russian Infantry for examples and I don’t think these are available anymore) turned up and so I pondered how to paint them anything other than khaki. So at least using the idea of the plastuns gave me some blue breeches.

There was a lack of horses during the RCW due to all the privations of the preceeding WW1 and ongoing hardship, so it is only natural that there would be more plastuns than usual.

So this unit, should be a nice variant on ordinary infantry, and maybe conferred with some sort of ferocious rule as their members try to prove their worth and get some cash to buy a Cossack pony to return them to their proper status.

WHFB: Xmashammer 2012 Rich’s view

Byakhee Rich is a very active member on many Warhammer forums, has his own internet stalker, but still managed to surprise us with his Fozzrik’s Folding Fortress made out of brass tape (?) (Hmm I feel another Special Guest Superstar DJ posting coming this way). His Luminark was not ready for the battle but he fielded his demi-Gryphs for the first time. Here’s his take on the two days:

So, a couple of days since Xmashammer 2012 and I’ve finally got my breath back and my thoughts together…

The first thing we all learnt is that you CAN deploy 8000 points of army in a 6’ by 1’ deployment zone, but you SHOULDN’T! Both sides started off with a vague plan, about half way through deployment both realised that there would be a unit in every space on the table – in fact, we waived the 1” apart rule and the Orc / Skaven alliance still hardly fitted on the table.

Smaller armies? No, simply the King in Yellow needs a bigger room and table! [New Kickstarter project, fund my purchase of a bigger house, only £100k needed, and in return you get errr….]

Going first had pros and cons for the forces of Good. Ultimately, taking the initiative and pressing the enemy back into a confined space was crucial. In the short term, any shooting advantage was lost in the swirling dawn mists of Lustria (half range, bah!) and the initial Imperial flank attack was seen off with minimal effort – a crowded table has no place for fast cavalry and scouts to hide!

Despite Evil artillery exploding, missing and generally entertaining rather than functioning, Jim’s Skaven punched through the middle of our armies in short order, and after two turns things looked bleak for the good guys. Especially after the epic duel between the High Elf and Skaven generals ending in victory for the (heavily wounded) Queek Headtaker. With the cream of the Good armies bogged down in difficult terrain and enormous Orc units on one flank, it was a massive relief when the ratmen fled the battlefield at the end of Day One.

Day Two dawned, and suddenly the log jam on the left flank looked like a stroke of genius! The steam tank “Ekaterina” and 20 Phoenix Guard had, with the aid of the ruined temple and jungle, held up about two thirds of the Orc army on their own, with the massed greenskins unable to push past their fellows to get at the enemy. The tank alone held up a gang of trolls and the Orc general for most of the battle! The fleeing Skaven left a huge space in the central plain, and the arrival of the Dragon Princes and Reiksguard Knights allowed the Good allies to reform a battle line beyond the half way point of the field. Conversely the massed Evil artillery made it very hard for the newly arrived Dark Elves and Orc reserves to join the battle in good order. Even on the weak right flank, the arrival of the mighty Eltharion and his Giant Eagles allowed Good to gain ground and secure their objectives.

Key to the eventual good victory was the performance of their Elite troops. The Phoenix Guard eventually destroyed twice their number of orcs and swept into the trolls with their fiery halberds, seeing them off and dispatching the Orc General at last. The flanking SIlver Helms crashed into the Dark Elf Silver Talon regiment, fighting a prolonged battle which helped secure the flank. And then the Talons of the Ulricsberg, just six Empire Knights on their mighty Demigryph mounts, tore into the heart of the Orc and Goblin army, accounting for 120 or more greenskins on their own!

The final acts of the battle saw Emperor Karl Franz enter the fray on the Imperial Dragon. Although he fought in just one combat, crushing a Dark Elf Champion and putting an end to the Silver Talons, his influence was massive as he helped rally the leaderless High Elves (in game terms, covering half the battlefield with Leadership 10 cannot be underestimated!) His dragon also scorched 15 elite Black Orcs, reducing a potent threat to a nuisance level. And in a final desperate bid to salvage the battle, the Orc Great Shaman blew his escort to pieces as the Winds of Magic escaped his control.

After being on their knees after Day One, Good had taken the opportunity to triumph! In secure possession of the ruins of Copalotaothat and the battlefield as a whole, and despite heavy casualties amongst the Empire forces especially, a final score of 5500 to 3000 was estimated!

My….

Humans of the Match: despite other acts of heroism, like the archers who took a flank charge from wolf riders and held, it has to be the Demigryph Knights, who caused carnage!

High Elves of the Match: The Phoenix Guard were good, but you’d expect that. Mention must be made of the High Elf Archmagi who carried the burden of magical support for the forces of good. But the stars of the army were the Silver Helms, who we really never expected to hold up against the Dark Elf Spearmen for so long.

Skaven of the Match: the whole Skaven army was fierce, swamping the enemy with superior numbers and an apparent disregard for amour (does the whole army ignore armour saves and / or make strength 5 attacks? It seemed like it!). Special character Queek Headtaker was certainly special, taking down the High Elf Prince with only a tiny squeak of good luck.

Orcs of the Match: Notlob and his bolt thrower crews. A woeful previous record of 1s to hit and wound was laid aside as Notlob’s boys mowed down Empire White Wolf Knights and High Elf White Lions and put a bolt through all 6 ranks of the famous Weisspanther Spearmen! Hmmm, maybe he likes white targets???

Dark Elves of the Match: There was a rare lack of Dark Elf glory to go around, perhaps the most distinguished was Samaertik the captain of the Silver Talons – at least until he shoved their champion into the path of the onrushing Emperor!
[hey we’re Dark Elves, just what you’d expect]

Dice rolls of the Match:
1 – the Orc General makes 4 consecutive 5+ armour saves to preserve his last wound
2 – Notlob scores a 6 to snipe my Heaven’s Wizard, who is hiding behind an Eldritch Statue
3 – Empire archers roll a 2 and 1 needing a total of 3 or less to stand against the Orc Wolf riders

Player of the Match: Jim for giving us another hard lesson in Warhammer! Well done for taking this one just seriously enough Jim!

All in all it was an epic game, 25 hours of game time from starting unpacking on Day One to finishing packing up on Day Two. It had chaos and confusion and drama and glory, and five people having a good time, which is the main thing. Roll on Xmashammer 2013!

I’m working on extracting commentaries by Jim and Anthony.

WHFB: Xmashammer 2012 Scenery

Just a few comments on the Lustrian themed scenery I used.

The step pyramid is by Ziterades, made of foam comes pre coloured and flocked. Good value for money and I picked it up at Colours a few years back.

The other two objectives, the head and the fallen image are by Monolith Designs, picked up at Partizan several years ago. These were unpainted, so I used Foundry Granite as their base colour.

Vegetation was the usual aquarium plants, chopped/cut off the mats to make things more interesting.

The rock arch was also an aquarium piece I bought from a local Pets at Home.

Of course with such a piece on Day One I teased the players and dared them to go through the arch hinting that there might be yet another surprise for them all. Needless to say there wasn’t. Maybe next time. 😉

I have several pieces of random rocks and jungle terrain picked up at various shows, manufacturers unknown. You can see them either side of the head, and another by the swamp section which is a scratch build with a GW plastic tree.

WHFB: Xmashammer 2012: Gavin’s View

Here is Byakhee Gavin’s thoughts on the game – he doesn’t get out much as he should do but he’s played several games recently and is slowly mastering the latest rule book for his beloved Orcs & Goblins:

This was probably the most enjoyable game I’ve had yet.

With the exception of a couple of minor errrors (no more than anyone else makes) I think I played as well as a I possibly could have done.

All credit to Richard and Anthony, for a strategy that eventually paid off. Even though that didn’t become obvious until the last turn.

Major lessons learnt from this one:
– having enough room to breath
– lack of space forced us to sub optimum deployment options.

We were forced into decisions we wouldn’t have made due to lack of space. Particularly as on the side of the Orc/Skaven/DE who accentuated the problem by claiming the high ground for the artillery which then blocked a huge chunk of our side of the board on day one and more importantly day two.

I enjoyed the Lustria scenery and the mist in the first round was a nice idea. Triffids were just fun despite us being on the wrong end !

Spider riders are not unique in being able to climb terrain (demi-gryphs) but this was the first time I’d used them so…

Next time I’ll keep an eye out for his Goblin Fanatics and make sure they are triggered properly ! 😉