Thursday, 31 May 2012

General Housekeeping Returns!



I can and will take ANY opportunity to bring out the Tyranid Warrior Maid. Got it?

Anyway, observant observery types may notice a new page up top, with a weird paragraphy of fluff and three seperate bullet point lists. This will serve as the links portal for Kill Team Four, which is a sort of mini-skirmishy thing on my part.

Remember how I was going to make small mini-lists for a Kill-Team style game? Well, I've expanded the list size a bit to about 8-10 units, and combined it with another thing I'd like to do. I really like heavy re-writes of the 40k canon (search for the Dornian Heresy or The Shape of the Nightmare To Come/Age of Dusk for good examples), and have wanted to do one myself for a while. To that end, I'm putting Kill Team Four in a version of 40k set entirely on Terra in the year 4000, which is a weird mish-mash of fantasy and sci-fi elements.

Anyway, I'm halfway through the Necron list, so expect that soon-ish.

Oh, and if the Warrior Maid is the housekeeping troop, what is General Housekeeping? I'm thinking a Hive Tyrant in a ridiculous maid dress. Equipped with a pair of Bonedusters, obviously.

Monday, 28 May 2012

Bryss' Musings #1

Fuzz Pattern Stormtalon


I just realised something. Because of my moral standards, I have neglected to create an actual opinion piece on this blog that isn't me being annoyed at someone else. My worry is that writing such a thing will debauch my mind and make me no better than the rest of them. But then, that's arrogance. Can't have that. Therefore, this is my musings.

#1: Bricks, Planes and Kwassons: Am I the only person in the universe who actually likes the Storm Talon. The net is awash with people saying it couldn't actually fly and this makes it bad. Also, it looks like a bullet hell enemy, and this is also bad. Naah, not to me. Look at the thing. It's so cute. If you don't adopt one, you're heartless. Oh, and as for the 'engineer's nightmare' point, may I remind you you play a wargame where:

  • A plain ol' shotgun and rocket-propelled slugs both wound Marines on 4+.
  • Jump Infantry cannot be bothered to activate their jump packs to gain more charge distance.
  • Kaldor Draigo is still alive.
In other words, pipe down about realism, there never was any to start with. As for the Ork and Necron craft, I'm a fan of the Ork one, but the Necron one reminds me of a frisbee that's been bitten into by a dog and has obtained weapons to start a campaign of revenge. But because it's the Necron equivalent of the Wave Serpent, it's been critically acclaimed. Proof, if anything, that uber-competitive players have no sense of style.

#2: Doing Actual RulesMan Stuff: I haven't done any in a while. This bothers me. I also need to finish the RIFU primer. I need some sort of inspiration, but so far I'm drawing blanks. Meh, I'll think of something eventually.

#3: Memorial Day: I would like to take this opportunity to wish my American readers a happy Memorial Day. But I can't. I utterly disagree with the glorification of the entire military system because it goes against the idea of an individualistic praise and blame system. For the love of frak you do not immediately become a 'hero' just by taking a job that involves shooting people in other countries. Therefore, my Memorial Day message goes as follows:

Thanks to all those who made/are making an actual significant contribution towards the protection of whatever nation you are. But stop exaggerating how great you are.

Sunday, 27 May 2012

Weekend Let's Play: The Metal Mayhem Finale



Here's the last part of the Metal Mayhem Let's Play.

Tomorrow or Tuesday I'll buy into the 'in thing' and diss the Storm Talon. Or will I? Here's the LP.


Friday, 25 May 2012

Massive Hobby Update Week #3: The Magnet Ark

Five months ago, it was primed. But now, paint has been applied. I feel a great sense of accomplishment. Honestly, I haven't felt this satisfied completing a project since the Daemon Prince a few years ago.

Anyway, at the start of this week I planned to do this post:

To conclude Hobby Update Week, I finished the section of the Magnet Ark with the most sub-assemblies and stuck it all together. Here it is.



This is pretty much my new TT standard, and I'm satisfied with the result. Well, I say that, but, err.... there IS one small problem.

Now that I've stuck on all the armour, the back section is too heavy, and THIS happens when I join it to the main body to make a Ghost Ark.



That is some serious lean right there. This doesn't happen when it's a Doomsday Ark though...

I think I know how to fix it, but we'll have to wait and see. After some weekend Lets Play action of course.

Now then, I said that WAS going to be the Friday post. It still is, of course. But now, I can add some happy news. I've finished it! And I've fixed the problem, too. Hold on, let me switch off the lime green...

There we are. Now, here's the fixed, completed Ark.




Mmm-hmm, I've gone for the double-base strategy. I drilled a hole in the bottom spine of the... cockpit, I guess... to insert a second flying stand. It is literally the only place to put it considering the lack of flat surfaces on the crescent.


 Anyway, as a Doomsday Ark a mono-base strategy still works.



It's a bit leany, but it's my Magnet Ark. Finished. At last! I'm so happy...

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Massive Hobby Update Week #2: Death Cultists Round 2



Well now, the first round of Death Cultists went rather well, I reckon, becoming my second post featured on a Top X list of sorts and my first post to be featured on two such lists, here and here. Even if I am none the wiser as to what a 'cult of the university' is. Anyways, here is the rest of the squad:



The hoods and cowls were a mixed bag, but they came out better than the test model so I can be happy with that. It'll all look more uniform once they've been painted in Exercitus Red.



Group 2. The central left figure is the second 'minimalist' DCA.  Central right is my first attempt at a reverse grip.

In the first post, I mentioned my gunblade-wielding leader. In the end, I opted to give the DE power sword to Brother Minimalist, and went for this setup:


And no, the knife isn't representing Lightning's survival knife. I've seen a converted Lightning before though, and may try my hand myself one day. The scarfcape is mainly me covering up the odd crater in the centre of the Hekatrix back plate.

Friday's update is my progress on the Magnet Ark. Remember it? The last time you saw it was December 2011. I've finally painted some of it. That's on Friday, same channel, here at RulesMan-Bryssling.

Monday, 21 May 2012

Massive Hobby Update Week #1: Ordo Xenos Inquisitor



I have been literally BOMBING through hobby this weekend, so I've got loads of good stuff for you this week. Now then, once you get over the shock of Bryss actually doing something, here's what I spent my weekend on:


I decided to make another Inquisitor to accompany Oclis. This is Inquisitor Reinin Steele (that is a pune, or play on words), a radical Ordo Xenos Inquisitor who met Oclis on the trail of an Eldar Farseer and got caught up in his delusions, along with his Jokaero companion, known as the Librarian (hence explaning the Exercitus' team mascot).

I need to set it down in stone, but the basic fluff of the Exercitus is that the entire army is a hallucination of Varan Oclis, a Radical Inquisitor driven mad enough to believe that the army of savages that follows him is a real Inquisitorial warband. We, the players, play along with Oclis' delusions and 'see' the savages as henchmen and Grey Knights. The only 'real and civilised' people in the army are Oclis, Steele, the Librarian and Baldrick the Clean-Shaven (an Imperial Guard sniper who thinks he is a Vindicare). The psykers are also real, but may or may not be in on it. I haven't decided whether Chaos or a powerful Deceiver shard is the cause of all this.

Gameplay wise, Steele is an Ordo Xenos Inquisitor with Awesome Grenades, a shuriken (bolt) pistol, power armour and Mastery Level 1. Now, I'll talk you through the conversion.



Both shoulder pads are Chaos ones filed down, leaving only the central skulls. The legs are Dark Angel Veteran ones 'Scape gave me. The front torso is Grey Knight, the arms are from the Assault Marines kit. The shuriken pistol....no idea. Dire Avengers?


The force sword is from the Empire Battle Wizard kit, as is the back collar. The minute I saw that sword, I was like 'I NEED this in the Exercitus,' and here it is, as a Force Sword.



I think this is my best converted model to date. The hood is easy-ish for me to do by now. The real challenge was the cape. It's made from the two side robe parts I had left over from the Battle Wizard kit. It looked weird at the top, so I covered it up with an attempt at a fur pelt. I think it's alright for a first attempt, no?

Next update will be the rest of the Death Cultists on Wednesday. See you then.

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Let's Play #2: Pokemon Vietnamese Crystal



The traditional non-40k post for this week is the beginning of my second Lets Play, a collaboration with Cyberscape7. It's not going to be updated too regularly, but the first three parts are in the can, with the first part already released.

Pokemon Vietnamese Crystal is a game where you go to the Elf's World to grasp monaters and try to become excellent monster coach. It's a triumph of bad translation, and I love it. Enjoy.

Saturday, 19 May 2012

The Exercitus Sucks At Fighting Tanks



I've been getting in a few games with my Exercitus Hereticus Inquisition army, now that I have finished the assembly of all ten Death Cultists, which you will see soon. Yesterday Cyberscape7 and I had a game, Inquisition V Necrons, where both of us tried out our latest purchases, marking the debut of my planned Henchman setup, whereas before I only had Crusaders and Countsyas' shooty unit. It was a 750 point game, and I deployed the following:

Varan Oclis (Inquisitor Countsyas)
Squad Oclis- 1x Servitor with plasma cannon, 1x Psyker, 2x Warrior with storm bolter
Chimera with searchlight
Combat Unit 001- 5x Crusader, 4x Death Cultist, 1x Psyker
Rhino
Combat Unit 002- 5x Crusader, 4x Death Cultist, 1x Psyker
Rhino
5 Grey Knight Purgators with 2 psycannons
Rhino

This was also the first time my GK Magnet Force didn't deploy as Interceptors. Anyway, the combat Henchmen. There are enough Crusaders for adequate shielding and if I can protect all 4 Assassins they throw out 16 S4 attacks on the charge. The Psyker is there to boost my range support (large blasts are never a bad thing), and in an ideal world would be interchangable with a Banisher. It's a fun little squad that can deal real damage to the right unit.

Unfortunately, I had forgotten what 'Scape's latest purchases were. He deployed:

Overlord with warscythe
5 Immortals with gauss blasters
5 Warriors
5 Warriors
Triarch Stalker with heat-ray
3 Wraiths
Annihalation Barge
Annihalation Barge

If you're looking at that and thinking 'The Inquisition is frakked,' you'd be right. I didn't even have my Jokaero Weaponsmith, known as the Librarian for semi-obvious reasons (ook!), and only 3 of my weapons were S7, with nothing higher (2 of which were the Rending Psycannons in the Purgator unit).

Admittedly, we played for Victory Points, giving me some sort of chance, as more than 50% of his points were in infantry. However, that would involve not losing many men and transports. By about Turn 2 my Purgator Rhino was gone, my Chimera was gone, Countsyas and his squad were gone due to a Rending S6 hit and blasted lack of Eternal Warrior, and the Wraiths that killed him were now locked with the Purgators, leaving me with no AT weapons, and I hadn't done any damage to his vehicles. I was willing to throw the game, but 'Scape instead suggested we switch sides as he believed there was some sort of hope for the Exercitus even though I did not.

So I switched over to being the Necron player, and did the obvious thing of trying to stop the advance of the Rhinos containing the combat squads. I blew up one Rhino in time and locked that unit in combat with the Stalker, neutralising it utterly. To 'Scape's credit, the other unit managed to wipe one of the Warrior squads and the Immortals (although the Over survived the game due to Ever-Living), but that wasn't enough. The Exercitus still lost by hundreds of Victory Points.

Now, some of the more hard-headed of you will point out that I really shouldn't have taken that list. I would advise you to shut up. In all seriousness, that was the best list the Exercitus has ever put out. At 1000 I could have had my Vindy and my Conversion Beamer back, which levels the playing field a bit, but at 750, that's not as viable. Plus, I wanted to try the DCAs out. They were excellent in 'Scape's hands, and their maiden combat was all I could have wanted. If I was still the Exercitus player.

So, the Exercitus can't fight properly. They're my best converted, best painted , most fun to play in theory army but they are unlucky as frak and can't fight tanks. What's a Bryss to do?

  1. Banishers: Replacing the Psyker in each combat unit with a Banisher grants me an S6 chainfist. This levels the playing field in the up-close game against pesky lockers like Dreadnoughts.
  2. More ranged units: Countsyas' unit is traditionally my long-range firebase, with some cheap mid-range and the psyber-eagle thrown in. A midfield shooting squad consisting of Warriors gives me an opportunity to use melta and give support. Another viable option is a Stormraven Gunship, and a Psyfleman Dread made from the Venerable kit for extra pizazz.
  3. Sighcannons: I need GKs to make the Exercitus bigger, no getting around that. Having 20 magnetised men gives me enough in the way of options, I reckon. I'll be investing in Terminators too, possibly Thawn because he's too awesome as a concept to pass up.
That isn't the most optimal thing I can do, but it's what I'd like to do, keeping in the 'ruthless casual' style. But at the same time, the Exercitus began as a fun modelling project, and I like those roots. So with that in mind, I'm off to convert a Malleus Inquisitor with a Daemonblade. More Let's Play action tomorrow.

Monday, 14 May 2012

Death Cultists WIP #1


No Metal Mayhem this weekend as I'm still working on the last part. But then, maybe you're happy about that. Because I used the time I'd normally spend on Let's Plays to work on my Death Cult Assassins. This is what I've done so far:



Power Swords

 


This is a very simple tack-on, using the hand normally containing a Splinter Pistol and some GK Falchions. The internet's of two minds as to whether they're the wrong size, but for an amateur converter like me, this works really well.



The First Two





The one on the left was the first victim. As such, she has two falchions, which looks a bit unwieldy but I'll keep them, and a worse mask. Hopefully no-one will notice after the red paint goes on and the power weapon attacks start flying...

The second one is one of two minimalists that use a normal unmodded head. To make it look like I've made an effort, I've taken a chain-flail hand and made the chain into wiring and attached the falchion there, while the other blade is the sword-form Razorflail made shorter and with only one serrated edge.




WIPS




I think the masks on these came out better. As is tradition, all my Henchman types have a distinct leader, which is the hooded gal on the left. She will have a slightly different weapon type...


A Gunblade!



What? Oh come on, yes it's Final Fantasy-esque, but it's also the logical extension of a bayonette. I just cut the splinter pistol at a different place and trimmed the splinter barrel to accomodate it on top of the falchion. I quite like it. The only dilemna now is how to pose my fearless leader (who is NOT called Lightning, I assure you).


Do I go for....


Option A: Guard Stance



A little blurry, but you get the idea about the angles.


Option B: Open Stance



A more open, commandery pose.



Option C: Guard Stance Mk.2



An attack stance? With those legs? Never. Anyway, I'd need to GS the left arm to get it to a more relaxed, 'come at me!' position, and the gunblade is about the same level as Option A.


I could also scrap the second sword and take a smaller weapon. Choices...

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Randomness In 6th Is A Terrible Idea



First and foremost, this is a response to this article from Galaxy In Flames. In aforementioned article, Big Jim, a man as firmly entrenched in the 'fun' side of 40k as I am, perhaps more, gives his opinion on more randomness in 6th edition. I shall now give you mine.

Despite the article title, this is NOT a rant. I DO NOT DO RANTS. I do hyperbole, which is more fun and professional. Now, let us begin with a diagram showing the sliding scale of randomness.


Random As Frak                              Somewhere In Between                           What's Randomness?
<_________________________________________________________________________________>
Snakes And Ladders                                   Most TCGs                                                      Chess


Chess is a good game. It has to be really, otherwise it wouldn't have survived, along with the Odyssey, the Amores and all my favourite classical literature. People like it. But it doesn't really work as a pick-up game, as for a pick-up game to work properly, both players must have a similar chance of winning.

On the other hand, both or more players have an identical chance of winning Snakes And Ladders. If you buy the game in a box, it might even say on it "Fun for all the family" or something similarly false. In my oh-so-frank opinion, S&L is a stupid game and we should encourage our children to play something that doesn't really annoy children who despise losing as I did. I can accept losing when I know I could improve my game in some way. Unfortunately, neither my five-year old self nor I know how to bribe Lady Luck, so this is impossible. Therefore, as a pick-up game, S&L, which is one letter away from a naughty catalogue when I say it like that, is arguably worse than Chess.

I have a fair bit of TCG experience, mostly Yu-Gi-Oh! and the lesser known Duel Masters. You have a carefully prepared strategy or several, but the luck of the draw is still important. That said, there is usually some kind of card that allows you to manipulate the luck of the draw and give you better odds. I like this power.

Anyway, the point of this is things like random psyker powers and random charge range fall squarely into the Snakes And Ladders school of luck. If you're going to insist on this, I suggest you give me some method of Lady-bribing as a countermeasure. If not, you're ruining my nice pick-up game.

Now, I wrote this as a response, didn't I? I suppose that means I have some actual responding to do. I shall do this in the usual manner of quote-pinching.

"Dealing with randomness like this really gives you many more opportunities in the risk verses reward type of game play on the tabletop and in my opinion 40k has lacked this kind of depth for too long."

Agreed, so long as your opponent falls under the same traps as you do. Which isn't going to happen, because whoever heard of uniform randomness? Risk versus reward works when the risk is genuine. Under chance, the risk is hypothetical, therefore the reward must also be hypothetical. I don't like putting my resources into a ghost of a goal. On the other hand, if I can definitely charge Unit X and possibly contest, the reward is more realistic. If I might fail to reach Unit X I don't even get the chance to try for that reward. I hope this makes sense to me a few hours after writing...

"Well implemented randomness changes the focus of the game from worrying about winning; it brings the focus back the process of playing and having fun. You become more interested in seeing how things will play out on the tabletop, and less interested in who actually won."

I agree with the preceding paragraph to this regarding Terrain. I suppose Jim would argue that S&L is not well implemented randomness, which I would also agree with. Mind you, he never states that random charge and suchlike is well-implemented randomness. I don't know what to make of this paragraph. I could take "Random Charge Length Is Well Implemented" as a hidden premise I suppose. But that makes no sense to me. Because it isn't. Overall, I agree with this point so long as that hidden premise isn't meant to be there.

"Randomness can really help generate some unpredictability that lends itself to great story telling."

Hmm. I'm pretty sure losing all your money at roulette and being homeless is a really sad story. I dislike sad stories. In fact, a lot of sad stories involve bad luck. On the other hand, lots of happy ones involve good luck. But sometimes good luck is a badly-implemented Deus Ex Machina, which is bad storytelling. This could go both ways. However, here's a story that might swing it for me.

"My Tau Fire Warriors charged the Avatar of Khaine. Miraculously, one survived and held up the Avatar for a crucial turn, allowing my Kroot to retain a vital objective."

What would have happened if those Fire Warriors couldn't charge the Avatar because of randomness. Well A) we wouldn't have this unlikely fun story and B) the odds of this story happening decreases. For random miracles to work, the chances need to be just realistic enough. Think the Discworld million-to-one chance. Too much more randomness, and these stories may not come as often.

Oh grief, this article is too long. Anyway, I'll end with a quotation from the American philosopher Richard Taylor (whom I incorrectly named as Roger Taylor, Queen's drummer, in my Higher Philosophy final exam. D'oh!) on libertarianism, which holds that determinism (cause and effect controls your whole life, basically) doesn't exist:

"While libertarianism avoids the puppetlike man of the determinist, man is replaced with an even less human like image; an erratic, jerking phantom who behaves without without rhyme or reason."

I don't know about you, but I don't imagine my armies as such phantoms.

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

WIP Wizards! Wait, Sorry, No, Psykers!


Never let it be said that Bryss goes back on promises. I picked up a box of Battle Wizards the other week, plus the plastic Necromancer (as I've been promising myself one of those plastic character kits for ages). And now, I'm well on the way to 3 Sanctioned Psykers. Let's look at each one individually:

Necromancer


 The fluff behind him is that he's Oclis' longest serving psyker and therefore is the most insane and withered, hence his bedraggled look. The staff was done with IG and Dark Angel bitz, and the thing he's standing on to offset his wonky feet is Dark Eldar. The Servo Skull I've had lying around for ages and now I'm actually using it for something.


Battle Wizard 1


Not much going on at the back that isn't stock Wizard, so no pics of that. The head is the Bright Wizard one with a significant haircut, the laspistol and aquila are IG again. Conveniently, the aquila had tab thingies at the back that made it a perfect fit for the Wizard pole. He's probably got the gravitas to pass as a Primaris Psyker, unlike the other two, should I pick up IG again.


Battle Wizard 2


This guy has had the most work done I think. I had no clue what to do with the orb, so drilled holes and made a sort of dual incense-holdy thingy. Staff is the same as the last one. Head is the Gold Wizard head with no pointlessly long chin. The robe's stock join made the hand go at a weird angle, so I had a go at lengthening it with GS to get a better pose. I think it's OK for a first attempt.

That's all for now, I made a practice Death Cultist as well so you may see some of them soon.

Useless fact: all through writing this post, I can't get that one Discworld song out of my head.

"A wizard's staff has a knob on the end...."

Sunday, 6 May 2012

Let's Play Robot Wars: Metal Mayhem Part 2



Are you ready for some substantial Weekend Silliness? I bleeding well hope so, it took me ages to do this. Anyway, this week I play the challenges that don't directly involve robot combat, to varying degrees of success. I have also re-released the first video in a less blurry format. Enjoy!


Oh, on the 40k front I have some nice Inquisition-based WIPs for you soon. Midweek, possibly. I'm officially on study leave now, which could mean anything for the post count.

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

End of April Hobby Updates

First off, some news. I'm 18. Woot! This is the end of the news. Have some updates.

Barge 


I hadn't a clue how to go about this one, so I went for metal. Well, I had to, I spilled a blob of Boltgun Metal on my workstation and so had to make the most of it. I think it turned out OK even if it seems a bit samey. Here it is as a Scoringmobile for Trazyn:




You'd hardly ever do this in-game, of course. But it's nice to see something other than a normal Overlord in one of these.



Trazyn the Infinite


As workmanlike as the regular Over I did last month, except the chest is blue for no reason. This is my second ever Finecast model, and he turned out at about a similar quality to the Death Jester. It's also a huge plus that he does NOT have a slotta base.


Immortals


This is the test Immortal. I'm fairly satisfied by the outcome. The smaller spine and legs don't matter too much, having compared it to stock plastic Immortals.

Things I don't have pictures of...the Ark is primed and ready, as are the Deathmarks and the other four Immortals. I have acquired Wyches and Wizards (plus the plastic Necromancer) to make into Death Cultists and Psykers. Onwards and upwards!