Dankelblarg Just the blarg

4Nov/102

Word of Everblight vs. Spirit of Everblight

The word of the law vs. the spirit of the law.  Whenever people get together to play a game of any type they have to decide where on that spectrum their game play experience will lie.  Most cooperative and/or casual games will lean towards the latter, but most competitive games sit bunched around the former.

Each gamer has their own opinions on the philosophy of game design, and I'm no different.  In my mind, if a game is designed to be played in a competitive format, then it should be designed to abide by the letter of the law.  By designing for the more strict guideline, those who prefer the more casual and/or want to tweak their experience - to make the rules feel more fluffy or appropriate to their own vision of the game - can do so.  Designing from the opposite standpoint results in a game that works for those on the spirit end of the spectrum but will likely negatively affect the word end of the spectrum, as the rules will either fail to accommodate certain interactions or maybe even resolve them in a manner the game designers didn't desire.

Privateer Press seems to take the word-emphasized view of design, which I certainly appreciate.  Each incarnation of their Steamroller tournament system has had its flaws, but for the most part they design their game and format so that it can be played in a highly competitive venue and not break down to dicing-off rules interpretations.  In the past they've even made rulings that seem to go counter to how a rule was meant to be played when it preserved the word of the rule.  For example, the ruling on MkI Vilmon that allowed him to run and still use his Impervious Wall ability.  The rules supported the tactic, so whether or not it was intended it was supported (until the rule was reworded in MkII).

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8Oct/104

Everyone’s Favorite WM/H Mini-game

Guess...

the...

LEADER!!!!

Legion of Everblight Hex Hunters

The studio picture of the Legion of Everblight Hex Hunters unit has just been released, showing the full unit of these sorcerous elves, minus UA whose existence was spoiled earlier last month. I'm not a vest man myself, but the biker mages aren't bad overall.

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6Sep/100

MkII Hordes Cards’ Improved Aesthetics

The Hordes MkII cards were previewed a while back but now that I have mine in hand I'm noticing something I glossed over before.  The Warmachine MkII cards seemed to receive a negative reaction on the forums, but it looks like PP took some of the feedback and made a change that I much prefer.

Spirals aside, I definitely think that the Hordes cards came out looking better than their Warmachine counterparts. The contributor is the card backgrounds themselves. Where the Warmachine card backgrounds are gear-filled and busy, the Hordes cards have more organic and subtle designs without light-effects. They encourage the eye to look past them instead of jarring the eye to stare at them like the Warmachine cards do. The cards just feel less busy overall, and as a result also feel more spacious and less cluttered.

The spiral issues is just a personal gripe of mine that isn't going to change one way or the other. Spirals aren't going to change (unfortunately) so it's just something I have to accept. Although I will say the MkII Spirals are definitely better than their MkI counterparts. The spirals are larger and each aspect has a different colored background, making it easier to follow them around the spiral.

So overall the MkII Hordes cards are definitely a step in the right direction. There are a few areas of design that could be improved but overall it will definitely service for the next couple years.

30Aug/100

Wall of Fire, MkII Style

When MkII was released Privateer Press resized the "wall template" used by some spells, making the fold-up cards that came with models like Feora and Gorten obsolete.  Although I liked the fold-up wall for ease of handling, I decided to make a new flat set so models could be placed directly on them if necessary.

Buh-bye now

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23Aug/104

Different Strokes: Technique and Painting Speed

Recently I've been experimenting with a few of the techniques that the Privateer Press painting staff talk about in their recent books.  It's taken a while to adapt to a new way of doing things but after getting used to it I've been able to increase the speed I can paint a figure pretty significantly.

Vice Scrutator Vindictus

Vice Scrutator Vindictus

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20Jul/100

Switching it Up, Keeping it Fresh

To help keep motivated after spending a fair bit of time on my exemplars' armor, I switched up things a bit and started working on some side projects.  I found a couple Hordes figures I had started to work on and forgotten about, and started work  on some figures for a new RPG campaign.

The change of pace has helped me keep productive, but the subject matter isn't really helping the problem I mentioned previously of not pushing my skill.  It seems like a lot of my RPG figures tend to get rush jobs - especially the plastic ones.  But at least it's still painting; I'm building momentum. 🙂

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8Jul/100

Glutton for Punishment

I've noted a few things before on my blog: I hate painting Exemplar and I'm suffering from brush burnout.  You'd think I'd pick different a different model type for my newest project.   But alas, I just started my Exemplar Errant Seneschals and Unit Attachment instead.  Sometimes I wonder if something's seriously wrong with me.

I spent a few evenings with Hulu on the laptop near my painting desk working on the models' armor and made some decent progress.  I'm still working on some more detailed shading at the moment, but I'm going back and forth between wanting to take the time to do some really detailed shading and getting burnt out working on them.

This has me thinking - I wonder if army painting is causing my abilities to stagnate.  It seems like there's less motivation to push my skill to the next step when in the back of my head I can always fall back to "Well, this just has to look as good as the rest of my models."  Might be time to shake things up a bit.

3Jun/103

Hardcore: Down to the Wire

With just a couple days left before Privateer Press Weekend at DieCon X here in St. Louis, I'm still scrambling to finish a few last minute figures before Saturday's Hardcore event.  Surprise surprise, it's down to the wire with me scrambling to finish a everything up in time.  It really shouldn't be a surprise, though.  🙂

I also have to clean up a few models and finish assembling my Exemplar Errant Seneschals in case I want to use them later in the weekend.  They definitely won't be painted for Hardcore but I might toss 'em in another list to give them a go in one of the other formats.

Despite being behind, I'm looking forward to the event.  Last two years have been fantastic, and this year promises to be no exception.

24May/100

Basic Basing

In a previous post I mentioned that I use concrete patch as a basing material.  It's an alternative to sand that's a rock solid way to model dirt to-scale on a base.  It requires a bit more effort than the traditional glue and sand but I think the end result is worth the extra work.

Base WIPs

Base WIPs

The most difficult aspect of working with the concrete patch is that in order to attach models, you have to clip the pewter tab from the base of the figure, give it a quick filing, and pin it to the base.  I've always preferred that method anyway, so it's no big deal. But if you're used to just gluing and slotting the figure, then switching to concrete patch is going to involve some extra steps.

Usually I'll glue the pin to the miniature and drill a hole on the base, cover the base in concrete patch, and before it sets, press the miniature down where it'll ultimately stand, and remove it.  Once the concrete patch dries, the indentions left by the miniatures feet will cup them in place securely.

If you want add accessories to a base - things like small rocks, gears, or the like - the patch itself will hold them in place if you press them in before it dries.  For the most part this has been all I'll need to do, but occasionally if a piece is loose I'll pop it up after the patch dries and glue it back down into the same divot, making it very secure.  For tiny rocks made from cork I'll just put a drop of glue over it while attached, and that is usually sufficient. I prefer superglue over craft glue for these steps.

As for painting my bases, I picked up a recipe for craft colors a few years ago that I use for all of my bases.  I can't remember the source anymore, but the combination works great.  One note though, before going into painting - make sure you have an extra old brush.  Drybrushing over concrete patch will ruin a brush like nothing else.

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17May/102

Protectorate of Menoth Tokens, Take 2

I've never been a big fan of GF9's tokens, and Privateer Press' don't work for me either.  Both companies' designs have some shortcomings that caused me to stay away from their products.  At first I used Youngwolf7's tokens, but by the time I picked up the Legion of Everblight I had started making my own.

Samples, Pre- and Post-assembly

Samples, Pre- and Post-assembly

Now that the Forces of Warmachine: Protectorate of Menoth book has been released I finally sat down between applying coats of primer to some miniatures to put together some tokens for my Protectorate force.  I still had my set from MkI but enough abilities were renamed for me to decide to redesign a new set instead of using Youngwolf7's design.

I did a little editing to the graphic used on the Privateer Press gallery page to create the background for my tokens, and added some text layers to create what's pictured above.  I used .75" cubes or .75" faux scrabble tiles I picked up at the local craft store to give the tokens some width and heft.  They can usually be found in the woodworking and scrapbooking departments respectively.  Mosaic tiles are another option, but those are concave and/or have an irregular surface, making these better surfaces for gluing.

Since I started this post talking about the issues I have with the PP and GF9's offerings, I suppose I should go into a little more detail on what I think makes good tokens.

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