Inquisitor

I’m selling some models. I went to put these guys into a box to ship them across the world, but while doing so I discovered I was feeling a little nostalgic.

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I worked at GW when Inquisitor was released, and it was an exciting time. This brand new game, fresh out of Specialist after a long many years. 54mm models, continuation of the 40k storyline, some super crunchy rules, it was all amazing. I wrote a 6-scenario campaign while I waited for the game to be released – I have no idea what happened to those stories and ideas.

In the end, I played a single game.

“Crunchy” meant “way to bloody complicated to follow”. Shooting a gun was an exercise in accounting. My story was cool, but not cool enough to draw people to it. I remember one of the staff members (or maybe a particularly excited customer) built up a giant castle in the store with an inner courtyard and ladders and levels and it was all 54mm scale and huge and it was amazing.

I was still in love with Necromunda at the time, so my little band had to have a converted wyrd. I took the daemonhost torso and I think the guardsman legs and carefully cut and green stuffed them together. I gave him a punk rock look (because I loved punk as much as Necromunda) and a book of spells and claimed he was being trained by the Eisenhorn look-alike.

I don’t remember how it happened, but I ended up with these 4 models and I think 3 others in the end which I was less attached to and have sold a while back. Staff members did a draft pick of the models to see who got what, and I think I got a couple extra because I said I was totally willing to paint a million models to get more. I think I bought one or two as well, I had to have.

The nice thing about having a blog is that I can reminisce about the past like this. 🙂 Bye models, enjoy your new life!

 

 

P.S. While I have a tournament coming up, in a few weeks where I’m playing Antares, things got immeasurably slower and faster around here, as my wife unexpectedly gave birth last Wednesday! I mean, we knew we were having a baby, but baby is about 2 months early. >.> So while you may have come to expect a leisurely pace of posting around here, I’m afraid it may get even more leisurely from here on in!

Antares – Strike on Kar’a Nine Rulebook

I promised a number of reviews of the Strike on Kar’a Nine box set, and have yet to make good on those promises. 🙁 Most of my promises are out to seed, hopefully growing into full-bloom promises, but a bunch of them aren’t in my hands. 2-3 of them I still control.

  • I wanted to review the demo scenarios, but each time I offer a demo game the other person declines. I don’t …think I’m scary. But Blood Bowl takes up so much of my clubs mind frame that it’s hard to unseat it sometimes.
  • I wanted to paint and review the new Algoryn plastics. They’ve been primed on my desk for a while, but I keep buying new Concord models! We have a tournament in July and I’m trying to prep!
  • This review.

This is not as positive a review as the last one. The K9 box is amazing, but the mini rulebook has some flaws. We’ll go into detail shortly, but the flaws can be overcome. Here’s some photos first.

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Here it is, compared to the big hard cover rulebook. It is smaller, which is everything you want in a mini rulebook!

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It also contains an index, which the big rulebook does not. There was a PDF published online of this index, so while you didn’t get the benefit of it directly in your book, you could always print it out and stick the paper in it somewhere.

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This is the last numbered page. Page 63. The good news, is that the book contains every single page from the main rulebook up to page 63. Even better, the page numbers are identical! This is great, because unlike in Malifaux where you had to say “pg 12 mini, page 20 big”, with this book you can just refer to the page and not worry about it.

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The last pages and back of the book are also a reference sheet for weapons and for various game charts, also very nice.

What Isn’t Good?

So here’s the thing. While this book is great for the price you paid for it (remember, I calculated the box at about a $112 discount!), it can’t replace the big rulebook. Which is what you want from a mini-book, you want to not have to carry the big-book. If you have the big-book handy, pick it up and flip to page 63. Now observe all of the things in that big rulebook that are after page 63. Here’s an itemized list:

  • 73 pages of rules for ammo, equipment, vehicles, drones, weapons, armour. This is the really important one.
  • 19 pages of scenarios. You can get by without these, but I would argue that you shouldn’t. The basic scenarios should be included, really.
  • 38 pages of army lists. After the release of this book, Warlord put up the army lists as free PDFs online, which is amazing and means missing these 38 pages isn’t as important. Also, we always had ArmyBuilder and BattleScribe as options. Less important to lose.
  • 55 pages of fluff. Missing the fluff isn’t great, since I think fluff helps draw people into the game. But to me, it’s less critical to have lost. If you want to read it, buy the big-book or buy the PDF for the big-book.

 

Those first 73 pages really hurt. I went to look up the rules for jump packs and couldn’t find them. I recently started a project to add some of these rules to the BattleScribe lists. Things like the rules for Scoot Ammo, and AG Chutes can be put onto printable army lists no problem. The special rules for every weapon, however, is going to be a real pain since there are a lot of them. By the time I’m done, Antares army lists will be 3-4 pages even when summarized.

This is a huge project, and I’m sure to miss things. My plan is to only add the things I notice are missing (ie, Concord), and the things people ask for. I can’t do a full pass, it’s to much.

What Else Isn’t Good?

There’s another big gap here that won’t be covered by army lists — the rules for things like Disruptors, Grenades, the basic rules for vehicles and the basic rules for probes are included in those 73 pages.

My club has said that the rules of this game are good, but that the rulebook is poorly laid out and this is a great example. Rules like the the basic rules for vehicles and probes should not be in with the detailed and specific rules for the individual tanks and probes. The first main section should contain every basic rule you need to play the game. If they’d done this, these rules would be in the mini rulebook! The second main section of the big rulebook should contain every special rule, and while I wouldn’t agree to leave them out of this book, at least the main rules would be complete.

 

There’s More?

There’s another small issue. I had heard this on Facebook, so it might not actually be a real problem — more like a theorycrafted problem than one that’s been witnessed. But someone buying this box could imagine they had a complete and useful rulebook, only to have the experience I had of building a list with X-Launchers in it, and finding they didn’t have the rules for any of the special ammo for it. I would imagine that would be frustrating.

I would point that person at the paragraph below this one, to try to make them feel better.

But There’s Some Good Right?

I have to end on a good note. Because despite my issues with this book, the box itself with all of the stuff that’s inside it is such a phenomenal deal that you can’t pass it up. However, I would re-calculate the discount I added up at the end of that last article, to remove the rulebook because this book is not a drop in replacement for it. Making the Kar’a Nine box a mere $63 off the total contents. Bonkers, because then you get most of a rulebook as a bonus.

 

Antares – X-Howitzer and Airbrushing

A friend was doing some airbrushing of 40k tanks recently and after he showed me his work I was inspired to think about airbrushing again. It was 4 years ago the last time I wrote about airbrushing, and these articles remind me a bit of how I was feeling — rather like I should sell the damn thing. I had no skill with it and keep messing up. My friend said his was a breeze – start ‘er up, do your thing and BOOM, nice looking shading. I bought some new things to help — a new Golden High Flow Acrylic in fluorescent blue, and a Wicked Colour airbrush colour in light blue. In the earlier of those two articles, I appear to have also bought new toys to help, and they appear not to have helped.

What did help a lot this time…is having a deck. I pulled all my stuff onto my deck, plugged it in and relaxed. Previously my outdoor space was shared space — a parking lot or shared rooftop — and I had no ability to just sit and play, I had to constantly be worried about whether someone would come along and ask what I was doing there, painting the parking lot floor.

I had planned on doing the lighter colour, then ringing it with the darker colour. Which, it turns out, is not the correct way to do this. 😛 So this first photo is that. I had the PSI set to 15 and held the brush relatively close, to get more intense colour with a thinner line.

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I went back afterwards and re-did the lighter colour and ended up here. This I did at about 30 PSI and further away, which diffused the paint.

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My next plan is to follow my C3 steps, and wash into the recesses some watered down blue wash, then nuln oil the shadows. Then clear up mistakes with Ulthuan Grey and whatever the GW white is called these days. I think this guy will be done pretty soon!

There is an airbrushing course happening in Vancouver on June 17th. Unfortunately, I’m busy that day with another hobby — I’m in a circus show. 😛

Antares – A Game

Unfortunately, not a campaign game. Or maybe it was fortunate, since I lost. 😛 We played a 2000 point game, the largest I’ve ever seen played, and we used a modified “Maelstrom mission” scenario which was inspired by the 40k scenarios of that name. Really liked it, although I think it needs more playtesting from people who aren’t myself. 🙂

I think the camera on my phone is going to shit – these photos look like they’ve had a glamour filter or something put on them?

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The “Atlas”, also known as “Objective 1” came up a few times for me, along with objective 4 which is behind the temple on the left-middle of the photo, so I spent a lot of time trying to hold these guys.

 

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In our mission, you generated 6 objectives at the start of the game. Each turn, you had one less “maximum” to work with, so first turn you either scored one or you dropped one. Greg got an early 2+1 point lead because he scored twice in the first turn, while I had to drop one of mine. Which meant he was up by 2 points, plus 1 for “opportunity”. Every objective you don’t score is a lost opportunity! This gap increased and then shrunk as the game continued, and then in turn 5 I scored 3 points to his 0 to tie it up!

The last ones generated — he had to rally 4 times and I had to take objective 2. Here’s where objective 2 was:

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It’s inside the rock cluster on the right. Greg had it to score a few times over the game, so he had been holding it no problem. Rallying 4 times is a hard objective mid-game because you have to lose the use of 4 units for that turn. At this point it was less of a problem since he just had to hold and he knew exactly where I needed to go – he could just rally those units that weren’t near my objective.

At the end, a well placed Grip ammo right in the middle of the only 2 squads that could take it, sealed my fate.

Speaking of Grip, we both made good use of special ammo. I was dropping Scoot like it was going out of style! I made that Plasma Bombard move a lot, and he did an early disrupt of my planned X-Launcher firebase.

I think the Nuhu won’t be making an appearance in many lists. He’s to fragile even with the shield drones. My opponent only needing a 1 to remove most of his power.

 

Lastly, here’s a photo of Clark winning the Blood Bowl championships, which happened while we were playing. Damn him! But at least he was the guy who took me out of the play-offs entirely!

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Antares – Concord Interceptor Bikes All Done

I finished some bikes! I bought these guys a while ago, and decided to prioritize them over the rest of the assembled things I have for Antares. These are going to be in a lot of lists, I think, in particular for Wet Coast GT in July.

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I did them similarly to the last drop squad. I used Nuln Oil in a very light layer after the middle layers, around the exhaust ports. I was trying to darken the area, so that when I drybrushed up it would look brighter because it was darker to start with. I did a couple layers of drybrushing here, trying to make it a little more …OSL? The bases make me happy. White does not make me happy. >.> but it’s to late to change that up.

Antares – First Campaign Game

Unfortunately, I didn’t get to play in it. My opponent got stuck in traffic, so I watched two others play and occasionally answered rules questions wrong.

It was 1000 points, Freeborn vs Boromites. The Freeborn guy has played a few games (but not a lot), the Boromite guy had played…a couple games (maybe 1-2). He had a brand spanking new Brood Mother he wanted to put on the table, and after handling this model I totally agree!

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The Freeborn firebase hides in the woods.

Unfortunately, on turn 2 the Brood Mother took enough pins to be removed from the table, even after her general did a rally order. Only so many x-launchers even a Boromite model can handle. Here she is, with her 10 pins and 2 down orders and looking a little bit like a dead spider.

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Here’s the map after this game. The teal and yellow sections are the Salt Excavation Union, Local 50 and Antares Brine Commission, our two factions. I’m on the SEU. This game was fought over #18, the teal piece nearest the bottom of the map. After the Brood Mother died it was a fairly quick game after that, since they were played scenario #1 from the main book and 2 of his 9 dice had just disappeared.

Campaign

The yellow cross-hatching is places were the Brine Commission are attacking. The teal cross-hatching is where the SEU is attacking. The red cross-hatching is where someone is attacking, and the attack has a defender scheduled already. So red — all good. Not red — needs someone to help out. Players can defend any attack that is adjacent to one of their factions territories. So that little teal section in #11 is, right now, totally open for the SEU to break out of their little corner and start taking other parts of the galaxy over.

The campaign system has gone through a lot of change this week. I had previously given my club mates access to it, so they could poke around and make suggestions. One fellow did, but one person is not 14 people. 14 people find all the problems in your system, very quickly. My to-do list went from empty* to zomfg-I-don’t-have-this-much-time.

(*it was never empty. It just ran out of high priority things to do. I have lots of plans, but I wanted to get this piece test-driven before I started working on anything more).

Antares Bases

It turns out I don’t have a post for Antares bases. I noticed this because I went to paint a bunch of bases and clicked the tag “bases” and couldn’t find anything for Antares. Usually I pick one of the post where I paint bases and tack the tag onto that so I can refer back to it.

This post is just about bases!!

So exciting.

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I almost got the bikes in the photo, which are almost done, but due to some fancy angling managed to ensure that this post was entirely devoid of anything interesting.

Here’s the bases recipe:

  • Snakebite Leather
  • 1-2 layers of Seraphim Sepia
  • Drakenhof blue shade as a shadow
  • drybrush up with Tallarn Sand and then Ushapti Bone.

Raspberry Pi – Stupid Beginner Electronics

I’ve been doing all the drone stuff, which is a lot of electronics. I have some knowledge, like really basic stuff, but I’ve never really played with hobby electronics stuff in the past. My dad and I built a computer from parts, and from there my interest has always been in software. I like typing, and I’ve always felt like I could make a computer do anything. With hardware, I’ve let the magic smoke out more times than my wallet is happy with!

I bought a Raspberry Pi a month ago, because we’re looking at building some race timers for the drones, because…why not. But now that I have this thing, I started looking at other fun things I could do.

One of the things in my head has been to try to teach electronics to some of my wife’s little-cousins and nephews and nieces (she has a few). So I’ve been thinking about how to do that, and it starts with an easy project like…

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Attach some wires to a breadboard, put a resistor (180Ohm) and an LED in. Write some code to turn the light on and off, because I want to show both sides – hardware and software. Here’s the code, in Python, which I’ve never written anything in before yesterday:

import RPi.GPIO as gpio
import sys
gpio.setmode(gpio.BCM)
gpio.setwarnings(False)
gpio.setup(18, gpio.OUT)
if sys.argv[1] == “on”:
gpio.output(18, gpio.HIGH)
else:
gpio.output(18, gpio.LOW)

I started doing some reading on how to explain electricity and electronics to kids. It’s not an easy concept, and analogies can help. Some people think of it like a water-pipe – it all has to be connected in a loop to work, water flows through the pipes. But resistance is weird, and voltage as an analogy to the force of the water is weird.

I wondered if using “force” as a starting point was a better idea: hold out your hand, and I press against it. This is voltage. When I press harder, that’s more voltage. When you try to stop me, that’s resistance. Amperage gets lost here though, but I was thinking about moving to objects-in-hands – this brick (cause I’ll totally have a brick handy) is more amperage than this feather?

One article I read suggested not trying to teach the concepts until you’ve done through the examples, and lots of different examples. Probably a better idea, since you don’t need to know how many amps are running from the Pi to know that it will power that light. You do need to know to put a resistor in the circuit with an LED though, I’ve read you can blow out your Pi that way!

Skaven – All done!

Because of the vague mysteries of scheduled posting, I appear to have done a lot of progress on this team in a short span of days. Truthfully, I did that work a week ago and then spent a week on the campaign app, and then a day ago got upstairs to take some photos. 😛

Super happy with how this rat ogre turned out. Particularly as I’m painting some more Concord right now, and the more I paint them the more I wish I hadn’t decided to try a white colour scheme, why not, it couldn’t be that hard. baaaaaaaaah. Give me nice clean colours, well rounded muscles and a clear set of focal points any day!

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And lastly, here’s the whole team!

 

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Those of you with advanced counting and memory skills will note that there are only 15 models in this photo, but Blood Bowl teams go up to 16. The box set doesn’t have enough linerats in it to fill out as many as you need for a full team. And I didn’t want to buy a second box just for 3 models, particularly since I got these sculpts done. And then, there’s the “issue” with skaven, which is that you’re very unlikely to not lose a model every single game. 

My team has been on life-support this entire season. I was down to 10 actual members on the team at one point mid-season, and have slowly built my way back up to a mostly full roster. Then I lost two more linerats. >.>

They look so good with the pink and green and blue-ish silver! And I’m stoked they’re finally done!

Blood Bowl – Skaven Rat Ogre and Thrower

This was a super productive night! I made dinner (plus lunches for a few days), watched a movie with my wife, did some work on my top-secret coding project and got a bunch of shading done on these guys!

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Once again I tried one of the Secret Weapon washes, and once again I was disappointed. I was only planning to use a little, but the dropped bottle had clogged and ended up spewing Red Black all over my palette. At which point I figured I’d use it, since it was there. But it again left a glossy sheen over my model. >.< Luckily it was an early step after basecoating, so there will be lots more pigments to go over it.

Really happy with the big guy! It’s a really nice model, with nice big muscles to shade and good composition for my colour choices. He’s going to look super awesome on the table! I want to drop some green onto his base to keep it in line with the rest of the team, but the more I paint it the more I think it just looks great as-is.

My defensive thrower is looking less awesome, but still pretty good. I think he needs a nice black rim on his base…