Top Tip: Test Models

I'm a big fan of test models, which I'll use to sort out an army's paint scheme as well as just fiddle with a technique.

Yes, you have to be careful when you're fiddlin' - you could go blind.

It's also fun just to paint something different to break the monotony of whatever you're working on.  My rule is I never spend more than an hour on a test model... and I usually spend much less.  I'm a fan of speed-painting techniques; I'd rather have an army that's painted to a decent standard than 10 great models in a primer-tastic army.

I hit a stall when painting my Codex Chapter, the Silver Skulls, so I took one and repurposed it.  I loved the Storm Wardens project a bunch of internet notables were involved in, but frankly I always thought the silver should be on the inside to draw the eye in.  So, as you can see, I reversed it.  This test model is different from most, in that I'll actually be finishing an army based on it...


Top Tip: Simple Flocking

I recently chatted with a hobbyist whose army's appearance suffered as the bases weren't touched.  He was a good painter, but I think he thought flocking some great mystery.

I was surprised, since flocking a miniature is the work of moments - it's the simplest thing in the world to do.  I've based entire armies in the half-hour before a tournament.

A few times, actually: back in the day it was fashionable to pull all-nighters to finish painting an army before an RTT.  Nowadays I need my sleep.  I'll finish an army no later than the week before.

Here's a simple flocking technique.  Let's not pretend you need instructions!  The pictures tell all.


I'm Thankful.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Sam-I-Am and I played a Fun-N-Fluffy game earlier this week, where I took an Eldar Warhost against his Chaos Space Marines.  Frankly, it was nice to play a game where the result didn't matter.  


Da Boyz, Game V

So, here we are, final game of the weekend!  Feel free to scroll through and check out the others, all except the loss in Round III - which I'll get to in due course.

As you'll see, I was paired with fellow Bell of Lost Souls writer Rob Baer, otherwise known as Man Boy Genius.  I reintroduced myself, whereupon he got a quizzical look on his face.  "I've met you before, man."  "Yup," I said, "except at Wargames Con you were feeling no pain!  I wasn't sure you'd remember."

A semi-legendary story!  Here's a dude that placed at an event even though he missed the early part of day two due to... well, you get the idea!  His army is well-known, but I assure you it's even better in person.

I won't spend too much time on this game, since it was fairly straightforward.  We have an objective each, and the first HQ to die will drop an objective.  My plan was to hold mine and sack a Herald, then hold that.  It would be enough to win the Primary.  The Secondary was Kill Points... and I wasn't confident I'd do well there.  It depended on his Hydra Battery.


A Generic Example

Here are some example, generic pics illustrating the scenario in today's Bell of Lost Souls article.  I made the decision to use the actual example from my game at Da Boyz because I thought it illustrated the emotional impact something like this could actually have.

Top of 2: Opponent shoots and charges, destroying the Daemon and the 'Bearers.

After combat is resolved, it becomes apparent he intended to launch the Thunder...hoof at the 2nd Daemon.
I intended for the 2nd picture to be ambiguous, like it was in the game.  I have no idea if the unit was in or out - and I still maintain that's not the point.  Assume in the picture above that it's close.

I took these shots this morning to replace the pics in the Bell article.  After talking with Larry, we determined it might do more harm than good.  Suffice it to say, I never for a moment had reason to doubt my opponent's motivation and sportsmanship.


Da Boyz GT, Game IV (And a Bit of Controversy)

"What?" I hear you say.  "Where is Game III?  Did I miss something?"

Nope.  It's just Game III was my devastating loss to the ultimate event winner, Greg Sparks.  That game is so loaded with lessons it's worth giving it its proper due.

Anyway, my game was against a Space Wolves player, a fine fellow whose name I can't remember.  I thought it was printed on his army list, but no dice.  I just checked.  A few things happened in this game which soured an otherwise hard-fought affair... we'll get to them in due course.  I didn't say this at the time, but I actually greatly admired his bearing and continued cheerfulness, even though I know he wasn't happy after the game.


Game II: Brother Captain James

Okay, here's the Battle Report for Game II of the Da Boyz GT in Rochester, New York.

As an aside, I got an email from Kris, the Blood Angels player from Game I.  I'm going to reply more specifically in a blog post, probably tomorrow, but I wanted to mention one thing.  I referred twice to his inexperience but I wasn't more specific than that.  I alluded to it, but here it is straight out: I meant his inexperience playing in GT's.  The dude knew how to rock his army, but nobody I know does as well as they want in their first major Indy.  It's a different scene.

I got both my preferred drop and my preferred turn choice.  Here's BCJ's setup, and on Turn 1 he shoots across the board, spreading out his army to make the drops difficult for me.  The Mission is Lost Artifact, so we had to locate the objective before fighting over it.

Here I am playing Brother Captain James from the Battle for Salvation.  I wanted to ask him Jawaballs-specific questions, but there wasn't much time...


Da Boyz GT, Game 1

So, it's time to get to Da Boyz content... more specifically, the content most of you are interested in: the Battle Reports.

Lucky for you, I ALWAYS take my camera!

I went 2nd, but I didn't get my preferred drop, which was definitely the stronger of the two.  My plan changed at that point from 'attack' to 'hold him off.'  What was most important was the Horror unit with the Icon - I HAD to have that Icon, since the mission required your units to move to the opponent's deployment zone for the win.  Kris' zone is the left edge of the table, so you'll see later in the game my units shift left. 
Game 1 was against a new tournament player... my notes aren't here but unless I'm mistaken his name is Kris.  Obviously he's playing Blood Angels.  He's got a Furioso in a Pod, a Tac in Pod, two Tacs in Rhinos, a Predator, and a Land Raider Crusader with a Terminator Squad including a Reclusiarch and a Sanguinary Priest.  It's a fairly balanced rock to the head, but I like it a lot better than most Blood Angels armies out there.  He played it well but I think his inexperience played against him.


Da Boyz... Random Army Pics

I'm actually sitting in class, waiting for my neurobiology teacher to show up and drop some knowledge on me, but I thought I would take a few minutes to update the old blog.

For the astute - heck, for the dense - it's obvious I wasn't able to update the way I wanted over the weekend.  Reason?  No internet.  El sucko, I tell you!  So I'm a bit behind, but have no fear 'cause I've got a lot to say and I'm ready to say it!

Just not right now.


Da Boyz GT Update

Okay, this is a quick one.  I'm sitting in the first floor of the hotel, banging away on some ancient keyboard attached to a steam-powered computer... this is what they call the professional office.

They advertised it.  Lame.  Also, the internet is either slow or nonexistent - either way, it made bringing my laptop so I could write and post updates from the event pointless.

So you'll just have to wait!  I'll get to writing... and there is a lot to talk about.

Since you're curious, I'll go ahead and tell you I won all but one of my games, and the loss I took was to the eventual tournament winner.

Who played Footdar.  It was a clinic, and probably the worst beating I've taken in 5 years.

You'll hear all about it you will.


PS: I didn't get to meet Chumby.  I'm bitterly disappointed.


Video: Daemons Vs Space Wolves

Well, I'm leaving for Da Boyz tomorrow (Friday), so wish me luck. I'm taking the laptop and camera, so tune in for updates. Until then, here's the last test game...

A Conversation...

...with the Mighty Mighty Carlos.  How many toys does one person need?


Pictures, For No Apparent Reason

These are from the Mighty Mighty Carlos' vast collection of Imperial Fist.  Obviously these aren't finished, but this picture is from an RTT ages ago - 4 years, maybe - and he won something for it.


Da Boyz Daemons!

Da Boyz!  Daemons!  I'm already getting excited.  Here they are.  Not like you don't already know.

Da Boyz Daemons!


Old, Old School Dreadnoughts

I've got Space Crusade and my old Homage army on the mind, for reasons which shall soon be obvious!

I've got some lead-up Da Boyz material coming up tomorrow, then I guess I'd better have something in the pipe in case I can't blog from the event this weekend.  Except you know I'm going to blog from the event this weekend!

Anyway, I painted these forever ago for my Harbingers Space Marines.  They've since gone away, and these will too.  Into the bath!

Sharing the Pain: Tactica

Having the actual Dark Eldar Codex makes it much easier to read than the...

...er, um... other option.

The... er, um... 'other option' I've had access to for weeks now.  Which I unwittingly failed to share with the locals, assuming in one case that I'd sent it and in others that they had it already.

I faced an icy reception at the FLGS on Friday!

I figured it out when I asked Gauthic, the resident Dark Eldar player, why he was acting like he'd never read the rules before.  Well, because he hadn't.

Uh, oh.  In my defense, I'm thoughtless, not mean.

Anyway, getting a good read-through today allowed me to solidify the build I'm planning - a Urien Rakarth Wrack and Grotesque build, if you're curious - but it also clued me in to some dirty tricks we should expect to see.

For example, the Share the Pain rule.  Basically, an IC joins a unit and they pool the pain tokens.  If both have one, then the combined unit has two.

Feel No Pain and Furious Charge are nothing to sniff at.

If the IC leaves, the pain tokens are split as evenly as possible, with the odd tokens going to the unit the Dark Eldar player chooses.  Obviously, this has it's uses.

An IC can steal Pain Tokens outright.

You're smart: you see the potential, don't you?

A Warrior Unit has a Token; the IC joins in one round and takes off in another, with the Token.

A Warrior Unit has two Tokens; the IC joins in one round and takes of with one Token in the next.  It has to be split evenly.

A Warrior Unit has two Tokens; an IC with one joins the unit in one round and takes the extra Token in the next, leaving the Warrior Unit with one token but making off with two to Join a group of Incubi.

It goes on and on.  Why would you make use of this?  Two reasons I can think of.

1)  The unit with the extra Token can't make best use of it.  For example, it's a dedicated shooting unit so the 2nd 'Furious Charge' Pain Token is wasted.
2)  The unit is almost destroyed, so the Dark Eldar plays the double-knuckle shuffle (heh) to safeguard the valuable Pain Token.

Advanced Uses

An IC with a Token joins a unit with none, leaving it behind in the next round to 'borrow' the Pain Token of another unit.  The reasoning here is the IC divests himself of the Pain Token first, freeing himself to steal the second unit's Token... otherwise he'd leave with an equal split.

A unit with an IC has 3 Pain Tokens.  The IC leaves with one prior to a suicidal, softening-up combat, so the unit won't be Fearless.  If the unit does well, it will probably stick around; if not, fleeing combat might preserve it for use later.

In Closing

There are only so many rounds in a game and there are only so many Independent Characters available to utilize these tricks.  They are tactics, not strategies.  Even accomplishing this tactic once or twice in a game could prove useful.

I see this happening more often in Haemonculus-lead armies, simply because of the number of IC's.

I'm planning on building that... coincidence?

Lastly, I haven't seen Sharing the Pain discussed elsewhere in this fashion, but there are a lot of sharp talking-heads out there, so it may well have been.  I say this because I rarely choose to write Tactics articles since inevitably someone has done it before, or because most people pay lip service to improving their game but rarely do so.

And no, the pictures aren't Dark Eldar, but I hate posting without giving you something to look at!


Video: Daemons Vs Space Marines

This is Brent Vs the Mighty Mighty Carlos, Daemons Vs Imperial Fist in the Lost Artifact scenario of Da Boyz.


Brotherhood Update... Again

Ah, Friday!  How I adore me some Fridays.

Here's a work-in-progress shot of my latest Brotherhood model.  For some reason I've been enjoying painting them individually; hopefully I'll come to my senses and batch paint them soon.

For the record, these are table-top quality models, and as has been pointed out previously, I use an underutilized technique.  That is, I dip my models in chocolate and roll them in poo.  You've been warned!

I've found that taking pictures and giving them a go-over is a good way of finding faults you're missing at the painting station.  I wasn't quite done with this model anyway, but I can already tell I need to blend the purplish-pink horns better.

The skull on the horn needs a dividing tone of some sort.  The horns become more obvious.  Most of all, the face around the nose is no good at all.  I can see a few random paint smears to clean up.  All in all, not too much to do.
I've got the video battle report with the Mighty Mighty Carlos coming up later today.  Fun stuff!


A Few Odds and Ends...

 I had the game against the Mighty Mighty Carlos last night and it was as epic as I'd hoped.  Today is school, so I'll just show you a collection of pics I shot.  They speak for themselves, but I love the Vulcan and the Pimp-Mobile.


Video Battle Report: Daemons Vs Necrons

I'm pretty excited about this Video Battle Report, though I'll admit I'm concerned about it's length.  I got it under 10 minutes, but there wasn't much else I could cut to get it there.

Oh, yea - go check out my article on Bell of Lost Souls: An Argument for Kill Points.

In other battle report news, I've got a game against the Mighty Mighty Carlos and his amazing Imperial Fists tonight... it may be the best video I'll do, I'm that stoked!  Both armies are painted, is to a very high standard.  You'll dig it.

AND I still have two more videos to work!  That's content, baby!

Top Tip: Pin Your Model

Here's my Daemon Prince of Nurgle... and no, I don't typically use him!  Do you see the problem?

There are magnets on his shoulders for the wings - I know it's a strange look without the wings in place, but that's not it.


Top Tip: Write Your Recipe!

I'm in a state of shock right now.  I happily took a break from Neurobiology classwork to slap some paint on my Brotherhood Wolf Guard models... only to realize halfway through Step 3 that I couldn't remember the washes to use!

EDIT:  I'm thread-jacking this thing to let you know my article dropped over on the House of Paincakes: check it out.

I ended up having to experiment to recreate it, and luckily I ended up remembering it was a combination of washes in a specific order.  Still, I'd already base-washed 3 models, so I'm hoping I can correct it without issue.  WRITE YOUR RECIPE!

EDIT:  The Master Manipulator (every store needs one) just mentioned in a comment that he keeps a small, black composition book next to his painting desk to write his recipes down in.  I decided to edit this post and add that, since it's a great suggestion.  I commonly keep a digital recorder handy to document ideas (stories, articles, Off Topical jokes - that kind of thing) but it never occurred to me to keep track of recipes with it.  Worth a try though.

EDIT EDIT:  It turns out Dethtron has already posted about his painting journal - obviously the Master Manipulator (every store needs one) is a big idea thief!  Plus, the thinks I dip my models in poo.

My Brotherhood Dreadnought, Bjorn the Claw-Handed.  What can I say?  I love the model, so Ebay'd it!
My mess.  That's a Root Beer, the only real substitute for Shiner Bock before noon.  No, I don't actually drink as much as I imply.  I'm a beer a day dude, unless I'm on vacation.
My mess, again.  I need to clean my station but that takes time away from painting.
Brotherhood models sharing space with Chaos Space Marines.  Maybe they're sharing spikey bitz.


Army in a Box

Finally, finally, finally I've figured out what's wrong with iMovie, and Gauthic referenced it in a comment: the Sony Cybershot format wasn't compatible.

Damn.  That was a bunch of time wasted.  After tonight's game, I've now got 3 video battle reports in the can, ready to work and publish.  Keep an eye out.

Speaking of, the game tonight was off the charts fun, and it was - get this - Daemons Vs Necrons.  I should have lost but I'm happy with the draw - that kind of game.

Yea, I know.  Necrons.  Who knew?

For the tournament, I've made sure everything I need will fit in one box, which will be a carry-on.  I'm not checking an army and risk losing it in baggage.

The top layer.  I use a combination of GW army cases and el-cheapo gun cases.  This is the latter, of course.  It works well enough.

It's Like a Movie Theater...

I finally figured out how to workaround the iMovie issue, so I'll finish up the video battle reports and get one up later today.  Until then, here's a bit of nothing.

(A new favorite!) Anon: I haven’t even bothered playing a game of 6th yet, cause I have read the rules, and actually understand how they interact with units. I know my armies no longer function how they should, and so I need to change them.

Strictly Average: 'cause 6-inches is all you get.

Stalking Jawaballs since 2009.

Jawaballs: "My butt just tightened up."

Brent, preferred 2-to-1 over Not Brent in a recent, scientific poll.

Brent: emptied the Kool Aid and DRINKING YOUR MILKSHAKE with an extra-long straw.

Unicorns don't exist.

Home of the Stormbuster, the Dyson Pattern Storm Raven.

I'm a comment whore and this whore is getting no play.

Not Brent hurts Brent's feelings.

I think, therefore I blog.

"You should stop writing for everyone else and worry about your crappy blog." - Anon.

Not Brent has been spotted lurking around with a green marker.

He's not like a bad guy from a cartoon, all devious but never quite evil, Not Brent is bad beans, man, bad beans.

Dethtron: "Again I feel obliged to remind you that trying to sound smart only works if you are."

MVB: "I am not one to join the unwashed masses of self-titled 40k experts out there distributing advice from their blogs about exactly how your list should be built..."

Shiner Bock on tap: that's how I choose hotels.

Strictly Average: The Home of Hugs and Gropings.

Don't feed the trolls!

MoD: "Welcome to Brent's head."

Competitive is Consistent.

Dethtron: "...you could use that extra time to figure out a way to get your panties unbunched and perform a sandectomy on your vagina."

Dethtron: “When calling someone an idiot, it's generally best to avoid making grammatical mistakes.”

Warboss Stalin: "You know, if it actually WAS funny, maybe I wouldn't mind."

Mike Brandt: "It's not a successful bachelor party if you don't misplace someone".

"The Master Manipulator (every store needs one): "...now, enough stroking."

Kirby: "I don't know about gropings. Seriously, Brent, keep it in the pants, please."

Loquacious: "No matter how hard I tried, I couldn't get Hugs & Gropings or Stalks Jawaballs into Brent's little tribute."

Captain Kellen: "I rate this article a Brent on the Faith Hill to Nancy Pelosi scale!"

Drathmere: "Come for the balls, stay for the Brent? Kind of disturbing, man."

Go no further, lest thee see something thine eyes would fain look past!

Isabelle: "So, thank you for supporting your local and not so local unicorns. A noble gesture like that can show some scared kids out there that they don't have to hide from everyone and it's ok to be who they really are."

There is nothing more interesting than We The People... in all our beautiful, ugly glory!

On Internet Advice: You see, I have an almost religious belief that's it's a huge, colossal waste of time.

...I think I'll call it the Gun Shy Pattern Stormbuster, because after the Internet destroyed my first humble effort, I find I'm a bit worried about the reaction to this one.

Lauby: "Is it left over from that time you thought that you could just complete step one 12 times to meet the mandates of that court order?"

Not Brent: "I guess we'll have to read on and find out. Signed, Not Brent. Especially today."

Cynthia Davis: "I think the scrolling text is from Glen Beck's new book."

Grimaldi: "Spamming certain units creates interesting possibilities but also fatal weaknesses."

Purgatus: "Math can inform decisions. It cannot make decisions."

Thoughts? Comments? Hugs and gropings?

You'd be that much quicker to figure out what I mean when I refer to a Unicorn if I covered it in a rainbow flag.

SinSynn: (To Brent) "Curse you and your insidious influence on the internets..."

Dave G (N++): "You know you're an internet celebrity when your following is more akin to tabloids."

I prefer the term Internet Personality (or IP) myself, seeing as how I coined it.

Lauby: "Your attempt to humanize him as failed. I feel nothing but scorn for his beard - it's like a warcrime or something."

BBF: "I've always thought you are a good player but I finally figured out that you are a great player. It's hard to see sometimes because your personality is engaging, sincere and quite charming - to me that is kind of a rare combination."

'Clearly cheating?' I didn't misspeak: you jumped to conclusions. If you'd like to apologize I'll be happy to send you an autographed picture of my ass.


I thought I was doing alright before I realized I was losing.

Age and treachery beats youth and vigor every time.

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