Necromunda 17 – Amanda the Raven
As long as I was on a roll, I finished up another member of my Escher gang this week… my gang leader, Amanda the Raven.
I got impatient with this one, and didn’t really give the shades enough time to really set. Unfortunately this led to some messy drybrushing that I’m not entirely happy with. Instead of a highlighting effect, it’s more of a shoddy mush, but I can’t be bothered to redo it all. Good enough for the tabletop, anyway…
In case anybody’s curious, the miniature is from Bombshell, I think (it’s been a while, haha).
Necromunda 17 – Jane the Whirlwind
Well, I have made good on my promise and finished painting Jane in recognition of her Pitfight win on the 8th.
We’re mostly just talking about some drybrushing and base work at this stage; most of the primary painting effort was done when I posted last week.
I like a lot of things about these Raging Heroes miniatures, but I do have a couple minor complaints. There a lot of low-relief detail that’s hard to pick out until after it’s been painted, and that sword, oof. Super crooked and twisty on arrival. It’s resin, so that’s sorta expected and it was pretty easy to reshape with hot water, but I never really felt like I got it perfect. Even after straightening, it feels a bit shifty.
Necromunda 17 – Jane the Whirlwind and ‘Mittens’ WIP 1
I recently fielded a long-primed but as-yet-unpainted Raging Heroes miniature in a multiplayer Necromunda scenario. I told my friends/opponents that if she came through and won the event, that Jane the Whirlwind would get painted before the next session in a couple weeks. I haven’t painted in a while, so this was a good opportunity to put myself on the hook, and sure enough she triumphed.
So here I am painting her up. I feel super out of practice (I haven’t really painted anything since my Saga vikings a while back) but it feels good.
Evening #1 was mostly just a few base colours, trying to get a feel for where I’d be heading, plus I put some grit down on the base. That particular jar of gritty stuff is getting a bit dry, but I’ve got a fresh one waiting in the wings. At this point I’m already noticing I didn’t clean this miniature up much, but I don’t want to start over. I’ll just have to pay better attention in the future. It would have been easy to get these mold lines off, but I’ve been picking away at this mini over so long that I think I just missed that step.
Evening #2. I’m not entirely sure I like the hair, but again, I don’t dislike it enough to set myself back. At least hree variations on brownish added, plus I blacked the parts I’d potentially be putting metallics on.
Evening #3. Washes, details, metallics, and a nice crackly power sword blade. Hopefully tomorrow I can finish her up and get started painting Mittens.
Right, Mittens. I put an Ambot in my necromunda gang, so that will probably be the next thing to get painted. For now, I spent a couple evenings putting him together before painting up Jane the Whirlwind.
There are a ridiculous number of nooks and crannies in this fellow so I’m sure parts of him won’t get much paint, but hopefully I can make him look pretty cool. Thinking I’ll mix a few colour schemes to suggest some donor parts, and maybe some rust effects. Nothing so intense as my Gaslands cars, just enough to make it look like it’s done some time in the bowels of the underhive.
Mittens feels like a pet’s name while referencing his ‘hands’; it was just a funny idea at first but it’s grown on me significantly. I’ll keep you posted!
Necromunda 17 – some very late initial thoughts
After preordering the box, and buying all the Gang War books, and the hardcover rewrites (with slipcase!), and some extra Escher cards, I have *finally* played a couple actual games of the new Necromunda.
I like it.
That said, let’s get the worst out of the way. The rulebooks. The Gang War supplements are a tire fire (tyre fire?) of retcon design, full of ‘Replace pages 17-24 from your first supplement with the following…’, etc. The fact that they parceled out the rules in this manner angers me to no end. It’s like the hardcopy version of offensively designed DLC; imagine you paid $90 for a videogame only to find out when you got home that it was episode 1 of 5 (providing only 4 hours of gameplay) and that each additional episode would be $35. Oh, and a year later $99 would get you the whole thing, with all the bugs worked out.
The hardcover rewrites are a definite improvement, but still manage to kind of fail all over the place, in glorious Games Workshop style. The rules are of course split (rather arbitrarily it sometimes seems) between two books, and constantly reference other rules in other parts of the book (or the other book) while rarely providing page numbers or anything else. It’s like everything is cross – referenced but with no actual references. Oh, and there’s no index. Just a minimal table of contents that’s pretty much limited to what are essentially chapter titles. Kind of reminds me of the second edition of Infinity; it reads okay, but looking anything up is a nightmare. Except that Infinity provided an amazing online wiki that pretty much negated any need to look anything up in their rulebook, and also *fixed* those shortcomings when it came time to release 3rd edition. The Necromunda hardcovers are literally the clearer *rewrite* of the new Necromunda rules and the only real improvement they seem to have bothered to make over the Gang War supplements is that they reduced the number of books from 5 to 2, and deleted the paragraphs that were retconned out of the rules. Grr. I like this game, but GW has pretty much hung themselves out to dry as far as my hobby cash is concerned.
K, just needed to get that out the old system, thanks. Moving on.
Necromunda 2017. First off, the game uses an alternating activation system that feels like they ripped it directly out of the Frostgrave rulebook, right down to Leaders and Champions having the option of activating additional models alongside themselves (models within 3″, even, haha). I’m fine with this – it’s a great system that keeps everybody more engaged and provides additional tactical depth – but I totally find myself mixing up the details with the Frostgrave method. Good thing they’re so darn similar, haha!
Close combat is *not* a face to face roll of any kind, which threw me off in my first game. Unlike Frostgrave, Infinity, or even the old Necromunda, being the one that charges in and attacks is a pretty big deal. If you can take somebody out fast enough, they won’t even get to strike back. I’m still up in the air about this, but I don’t hate it. I think I just need to get used to it. Might make armour more useful in this iteration. If they release a ‘slow’ gang at any point (I’m thinking of Mordheim’s dwarves right now), I expect they’ll be pretty much boned.
Shooting is pretty much what you’d expect, although they’ve tried to ‘simplify’ the stats as they’ve done with so many games recently. So your ballistic skill will be 4+ instead of 3; means the same but fewer charts. Makes some of the modifiers actually feel *less* intuitive, but that’s quite possibly just because I’ve used so many variations of the old system for so long that it feels more natural than it is. A lot of the heavy weapons are cheaper than they were in the old Necromunda, but on trying to use them in game, I think it balances out. ‘Unwieldy’ (N17’s trait for move-or-shoot) is pretty brutal. By making heavy weapons a double action instead of single (rather than just requiring no movement), one is prevented from aiming carefully, or even from using most of the sights and other upgrades. A suspensor modification negates this, but effectively increases the weapon costs by 60 each. Like I said, seems to balance them out okay, but it also means that some of the basic and special weapons seem a bit undercosted. Hopefully nobody tries to play this competitively, or you’d probably see a lot of lists spamming a lot of identically outfitted minis.
I think that’s all I’ve got to say at the moment. I like the new Necromunda, and hopefully will continue to.
Infinity – Quadrant Control
Last weekend we ran our monthly casual day for Infinity. We only played one game, but we took our time with it; Steve and I were both playing some unfamiliar stuff so there were a lot of things to look up. Steve was running Varuna; for me, it was Ikari Company. We fielded 150pts each against Aaron’s 300pt Nomad crew.
When the Non-Aligned armies came out, I was excited by a couple of them. Both StarCo and Ikari included some models I already owned, and when I managed to get some old Wu Ming and a Yojimbo for cheap, my decision was made (while I was certainly interested in many of the Nomad models in StarCo, the idea of Yojimbo leading a pair of Desperadoes was too good to ignore). Casual day is the perfect opportunity to try something new, especially because I have a pretty bad track record with bikes in this game (they show up, they blow up). I brought:
Keisotsu x2 (1 paramedic)
Al Fasid (HMG)
Bounty Hunter (Spitfire)
No lieutenant for me, as my crew were paired with Varuna, and Steve had the better lieutenant.
The Keisotsus performed admirably. They missed a lot of shots but managed not to get killed themselves. The paramedic attempted to save some folks but without success; all of his patients failed their PH rolls and died. The Brawler accomplished very little beyond taking a bullet that might have killed somebody else, the very first shot to hit him was the DA round that killed him. I definitely underused the Al Fasid. He made some good advances and claimed a Quadrant in the final turn, but the first two turns I barely touched him. He was a little too buried in cover to be especially useful in AROs, and those pesky Nomads kept landing repeaters next to him, which had me playing a little more hesitantly than was probably really necessary.
The bikes, though! This was quite possibly my first game in which I had bikes last beyond the first turn. Both were killed, but they both went down in admirably violent outbursts, which my friend Peter (who fields many a Haqq bike) assures me is what bikes are for. Yojimbo took out a couple of threats with his CrazyKoalas. I was a little surprised to see he had no rifle/long gun (since there is clearly one strapped to his bike) but he still took out a pair of serious threats; next time maybe I can get him into close combat…
With the way cleared, my Desperado sped up the left side of the board unopposed and took used his shotgun to do a bit of damage.
Kablam. He managed to take out a trio, and it would have been 4 had the last fellow not had No Wound Incapacitation. This was probably the crux of the game; it left Aaron with neither the points nor the orders to claim sufficient quadrants in the third turn (we were tied after the first two, 2-2), and I still had the Al Fasid to advance into his quadrant to claim a couple points for our coalition.
Final Score: 4-2 for Varuna and Ikari Company.
Saga: I painted an army!
Yes, with the second Bondi unit that I posted a couple weeks ago, I finished painting a full army. Not something I can say very often. Let’s take another look at those final 8 warriors:
What follows is pretty much going to be a bunch of photos, because I’m feeling pretty good about these guys. Sharing time!
I feel like this guy’s got some tricky moves… Watch the feet!
And there we go. Thanks for checking them out. I am in fact working on those Gall Gaedhil I mentioned last time, but I interrupted that painting task with some shieldmaiden assembly.
So lots more Saga still coming. I picked up Njal, too. Also, Dave’s Normans arrived, so once he’s got them assembled and on bases, I’m actually going to get to play!
Saga – Viking Bondi unit 2
Tonight I put the finishing touches on my last 8 Viking Bondi (warriors). That’s right, I am now the proud owner of a fully painted 4 points of Saga. I’ll have to get a group photo at some point.
When we left off, I’d put in a couple evenings of paint, and the Bondi were looking like this:
Day 4: more paint, plus some dirt on the ground!
Day 5: finished up any still unpainted spots, but mostly a bunch of shades and washes. I don’t think I snapped a picture of that.
Day 6: some detail work (including shieldwork), and some light drybrushing to give the hair, fur, and dirt some depth.
They’re starting to really look like something at this point.
Although they can’t look at anything themselves. No eyes just yet.
Day 7: Day the last! Eyes and blood! Here’s a few of them before and after the finishing touches:
And one final group shot:
Up next: the Gal Gaedhil (Sons of Death)?
Saga – Viking Bondi unit 2 WIP I
K, this is it! I’m only 8 miniatures away from having a fully painted 4 point Saga warband, so I’m painting all 8 at the same time.
Day 1: Prime the last few that were still bare metal…
Day 2: Some blues, some greens, some browns. Moving right along…
Day 3: A few different skin tones and wood colours, and most of the clothing complete.
Until next time!
Frostgrave – Enemies Without Number
Well, we continued our Forgotten Pacts campaign last week, and it was *insane*.
Three of us again (Chris and I, plus Alex joined us for his first game of Frostgrave!), so we settled from the corners.
Three of us meant 9 treasures, so the board started with 9 barbarian berserkers. Every dead berserker spawned two more, and they started to add up fast. My warband killed about 10, and while Chris and Alex were less overwhelmed by barbarians than I was, they still took out a few each. Never mind appropriately armed miniatures, I had to use almost the entire bestiary I’d brought with me (we had boars and dogs counting as barbarian berserkers by the end).
Katie the Wolf was trying to get into this watchtower (there was a treasure on the top floor) when fresh barbarians started spawning on the nearby board edge. It was probably the most ‘popular’ spawning edge by a significant margin, and it meant she never made it to the tower door. She did manage to stem the tide for a few turns, though, and was responsible for about half the berserkers taken out by my warband.
My early game is often about sending a few fast soldiers to grab the treasures nearest my opponents. Playing this scenario again, I’d probably worry less about grabbing those treasures and instead focus on getting to those in the middle of the board. I definitely underestimated how quickly the berserkers would pile up (9 to start plus 16-18 double respawns means over 40 barbarian berserkers even *without* random occurrences), and I’d be pretty wary of those board edges in the future; every barbarian you take out near a spawn edge has basically a 50/50 chance of putting another one right on you.
Oh, and I lost another dog.
Infinity – Yojimbo WIP 1
I must really like Infinity, because I don’t usually buy into multiple factions for the games I play, but here I am.
The arrival of Uprising brought a variety of new factions/sectorials, and since they include a mix of regular units and mercenaries, I already had a bunch of appropriate miniatures. My old Yu Jing demo list has been given a new purpose, as the Keisotsus, the Wu Ming, and the Ninja all have homes in the new Ikari Company, along with my Desperadoes and a few others. I probably had more models for StarCo, but the pull of Ikari was strong, especially because it gave me an excuse to track down Yojimbo.
No shortage of finicky bits on this thing. The baggage is suspended off the back of the seat, which is in turn pretty much suspended in midair. It looks cool as it comes together, but at first glance, the parts don’t even clearly indicate which end will be the front, haha. He also came with a pair of CrazyKoalas, which are significantly less finicky. Just a head to glue onto a body, and I feel like even that was probably not especially necessary. These guys probably could have been one-piece minis.
The most brutal bit of multi-part cruelty is the right handlebar, which is this super tiny piece that you’re supposed to glue on and then (I guess) hope never brushes against anything? Can you say Further Adventures in Pinning? For this little project, I broke out the 0.6mm bit and a staple.
The fact that I used a staple should give you some sense of scale where these pictures are concerned. The left handlebar is actually a part of the torso, and is molded into Yojimbo’s hand, but of course the right had to stand alone.
It has to stand alone because it needs to hold an insanely long sword, which I fully expect to cause problems forever. I’m tempted to leave the blade unpainted so that there’s no paint to chip when the blade inevitably bends.
But dang, it’s pretty.