Thursday, 29 May 2014

With kid gloves on

 Recently there has been an explosion of people getting started in Malifaux in the North East. I have previously mentioned the numerous beginners attending Worhamma in Sunderland, but there is also a beginners tournament being run in Middlesborough and a new league being run in Bishop Aukland. This, however, seems to have caused some worrying about disparity in player level. The beginners tournament has changed their rules so that you can only have two pre-decided lists to chose from in all of your games in order to try and stop people with larger collections gaining an unfair advantage. I thought today it would be interesting to discuss what goes through my mind when I play and how I don't change the way I play against beginners.

 I think one of the important things when you play a game is that your opponent must know what is going on. It is particularly difficult in Malifaux because every model has many special rules, but you should always let your opponent know what's happening. This does mean when playing a beginner the game will always be slower, because they don't know as much, but I do try and inform my opponent of what is on my side. It's not much of a game if you beat your opponent by 'rules lawyering' them.

 In a similar vain, I always allow take backs, as long as it pretty immediate (i.e. multiple cards haven't been flipped and other models moved). If people were unaware of what I had then I feel it is my error for not giving them enough information rather than theirs for no knowing. Winning would feel cheap if it was because of me exploiting a moment of forgetfulness. Again this might happen more against a less experienced player, because it would be much easier to get confused, but I haven't changed the way I play.

 The one thing I say do when playing beginners is offer advice on what they can do, but I do only try and do this when they are looking thoroughly confused. I also try and explain why I made a specific move, after the game if not during. I try and keep this to a minimum, however, because if you make too many suggestions then they are not really playing the game. I always feel it is best to learn by doing and even if it is a major mistake it just means it will stick in their mind all the better.

 You might be thinking, this guy's a dick. He doesn't pull his punches at all when playing new guys? Guy just gets off on thinking he's better than people. I think that 'kid gloves', however, are patronising. You owe to your opponent to assume they are a reasonably intelligent human being who have as much of a chance at winning as you do. This works better in Malifaux than it does in other games because Malifaux isn't about killing all of your enemy... though killing stuff is still important. Also, if you play how you normally do and explain what you are doing and why, beginners are then able to actually see what to do. Otherwise, what are you teaching them? How to avoid winning?

So in conclusion, I think you owe beginners a decent game, played as you would normally, and not to patronize them. However, for this to work, you should always explain how things are done and why and also allow people to take a move back if they have forgotten something or got confused. These things should be done, however, no matter the level of opponent. 

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

How to... Paint Pigs

I have been painting pigs recently and I thought today I would go over how I painted them. Before I go onto it, it needs a little introduction.

My parents live on a small holding and they keep pigs. At the moment they have three, if you are interested they are called Haribo, Sweetheart and Moriati. They are Oxford Sandy and Blacks and I thought it would be cool if I painted my pigs like them.

So the first step of trying to get pigs these colours is to give them a basecoat of Mournfang brown. Despite being a base colour, I still find that I need to multiple layers for this.

Next, I made a 50:50 Skrag brown and Mournfang brown.
The next layer is an equal mix of Skrag, Mournfang and Deathclaw brown. The reasoning for mixing them all is because I think going to skrag is too orange, deathclaw helps soften it.
 Finally, I do a highlight of Deathclaw brown.
For the black patches I made a mix of The Fang and Abbadon Black. I think going straight to black would have been to severe to be natural.
Then to highlight this, just gradually add more of The Fang.
Well hopefully that is handy for some people. I am chuffed I have some painted piggies anyway. Catch you soon.

Monday, 26 May 2014

Campaign Ideas: Achievement League

 With the dust beginning to settle after both 'The Good, The Bad and The Fated' and the escalation league running up to it, some of the guys at Worhamma have been thinking about how we can keep the momentum going with Malifaux at the club.

There have been loads of new players starting at the club, which has provided a great atmosphere. If you live locally and haven't had the chance to pop down, I really suggest you do. It's a great friendly atmosphere, I'm sure you'll have a great time. For me info follow the link to Worhamma's facebook page above or follow them on twitter @worhamma.

 There is always a dangerous balance with events, I find. Too little and people start to disperse and look at other rules sets; too much and they get bored and disinterested. Ideally, straight after the events we have just run, I think we want something casual and not too involved. Something that doesn't punish people for not coming or not playing Malifaux every so often, but also something that provides a little incentive. There is talk of another 'The Good, The Bad and the Fated' running in September and I think running a league or campaign 'proper' on the build up to that would then help generate a higher level of enthusiasm, but for now we are best keeping it chilled out.

 A while back I wrote some quick and dirty rules for a set of linked story games, these are just there to provide people with a little bit more inspiration. On the suggestion of Nate Zettle, no doubt inspired by what happened at last years 'Malifools: Campaign of Carnage' I have also thrown out some quick ideas of an 'achievement league' challenges. The basic concept is that, during any game of Malifaux, if you are able to complete any of the things on the list, you simply cross them off. The first person to cross of the entire list wins. Simple.

I am not sure how well some of these will work, but as I said these are just some ideas to help get the ball rolling on this. I'd be interested to here what you guys have to say:

Achievement League ideas

Earn 10 VP in one game
Earn 0 VP in one game
Win a game with no models left on the table
Win a game having killed no enemy models
Gain maximum points with ‘take prisoner’ on the enemy leader
Gain maximum points with ‘Frame for Murder’ with your leader as the ‘sucker’
Gain maximum points with ‘Vendetta’ with the cheapest of your models against the enemies most expensive
Kill an enemy model and have one of your models die as part of the same action
Have one enemy model keep the ‘distracted’ condition for every turn of one game
Have one enemy model keep the ‘cursed object’ condition for every turn of one game
Have one of your models not leave your deployment zones for the entire game
Have an enemy kill one of your models in turn one
Play 8 turns in one game
Get 4 victory points for Reckoning
Get 4 victory points for Turf War
Get 4 victory points for Reconoiter
Get 4 victory points for Stake a Claim
Get 4 victory points for Squatter’s Rights
Get full points from Power Ritual without using one of your own quarters
Kill your own leader and still win the game
Kill the enemy leader and lose the game
Stop the enemy claiming any VP in one game
Kill a rare 1 enemy model twice in one game  
Take a crew with at least one model from every faction (including Gremlins :p)
Take an entirely female crew
Have one of your models killed by terrain

Sunday, 25 May 2014

Gremlins is Awesome: Part 4: Learnings

 I find playing in tournaments one of the best ways to learn more about the game. A large number of games back to back means that you can make your mistakes in the first game and then react to them in the next. Hence, although I realize I have been pretty Gremlin-centric recently, I thought now was a good time to go over what I think I have learned.

 For a little while I have been toying with the using the focus action more with the Gremlins. There are a couple of reasons for this but the main two are: firstly, gremlins tend to cause lots of blasts if they do decent damage. Secondly, If you are going to kill yourself with dumb luck you want to make sure it is doing as much damage as possible!
 In the #goodbadfated tournament I tried using focus most of the time. What I found, however, is that there are a few issues. Gremlins don't tend to have particularly high attack stats and if you don't have decent cards in your hand then it's not worth risking that either your opponent does or flips high. You'll be losing loads of AP that way. I think focus is also a massive card drain. If you are doing it you have to have a high card to hit and a high card to cheat for damage, which I am not sure is worth it either, or at least not all of the time.
 The reason I had been toying with the idea was because I thought 'encouragement' was a bit expensive and maybe I was better of focusing, but I have come to the conclusion that it is a life saver in certain situations, so it is most likely going to make a regular occurance.

 I also used Trixxiebelle in almost every game I played at the tournament. For certain schemes she is absolutely amazing, spring the trap is great with her, and the ability to cheat the initiative is fantastic. I have not, however, managed to use Gremlin lure once! I keep trying to get her to use her 'gun for a lady', which because Som'er has been dishing out rams, gets double positive to damage flips. I think I have not been making the most of her. The other thing is that I find her quite weak defensively. I guess she has some tough things to compare to for me at the moment, Gracie and Som'er, but having a weak melee attack and no squeal makes her quite vulnerable. I think I should try using her with Burt rather than Francois (who I have been using because cheating the initiative means he can get the drop on people, which is very important for the little guy) because then her melee attack can get Burt to make some free attacks. Francois normally doesn't last past the first half of turn two. Having said this I have been playing small soulstone games, I think she will get better in larger games. 

 One of things I have realized with Som'er is that I need some decent combat units in the crew, which is one of the reasons I think I have been struggling with Trixxie who needs the same and takes the stones I'd spend on them. I have been using Gracie and Francois to great effect. Being able to get the drop on a key powerful piece and take it our before it has a chance to react. It doesn't always work like all that, but it does tend to put my opponent on the back foot. Usually they are shocked by such a bold move and react to try and deal with the threat. Gracie can be a pain to deal with so it takes a decent portion of the crew to take her down. This means that Som'er has more of a chance to get some shots in with his, frankly, insane gun without getting tied up in combat. It also gives me some space to claim schemes and strategy. The things is, as said before, this tactic doesn't always work. Gracie can be vulnerable to a few things. Anything that can stop her healing will ruin her day. Also, if you can ignore her armour you will most likely take her down. What I really need is a way of causing trouble for my opponent on their half without Gracie and this is where I am hoping Lenny will eventually come in. If I can chuck some hard Gremlins at the enemy, I can hopefully have the same effect. We will have to see when he eventually arrives.

 My final thoughts are that I always struggle with reckoning. Gremlins are too suicidal which means that my opponent can pinch a point or two whilst I will struggle. It's not impossible, but at the moment I just don't feel I have the crew for it. This is where I am hoping that pigs will come in. Having to charge all over the place I am concerned will make them struggle in most normal games. All you need to do is kill a couple of key Gremlins and I will lose control of the crew. However in Reckoning that is less of an issue and they tend to have a large number of wounds and plenty of options for healing. We will have to see, but I quite look forward to fielding some squealing leviathans.

So that's it from me. Hopefully some people are interested in my thought progress with the green menace, but I will try and return to some more generic matters shortly. Until then.

Good Bad Fated Report

 After my previous lack of keen, I am full of enthusiasm this morning as I return from 'The Good, The Bad and The Fated'. I had an absolutely fantastic time and it seems many other people did aswell. A big thank you for @bigned or Nate Zettle for running the event, I don't think I could make a single criticism. Worhamma also proved excellent hosts. The Hall was large enough, we even had a dining space, so much so that there are plans for a larger event in September. Tea and Coffee on tap. Bacon in the morning. Fine quality stodge for lunch. A very big thank you to Andy and Victor for hosting it. 

 So how did my games go? Well my first game was against Paul Campbell, so I knew from that point it was going to be hard. Ranked top ten thunders and for good reason, it was a tough first game to play. Having said that Paul is a lovely guy and despite pasting me I still had a smile on my face... just about :p. The game was reckoning, I fielded Som'er against Yan Lo. I found the scheme pool a tough one. Plant explosives for me is now an auto take, but also in the pool were Assassinate and Murder Protege. I had never faced Yan Lo, but I had a vague idea and looking at his card I quickly decided that was a no-go. I had to hope I could drag down Izamu before he could get healed. The last scheme was breakthrough, but I couldn't afford to take bayou gremlins in reckoning and with corner deployment that was hard. Paul Campbell played well and took a solid list, I don't want to detract from that, but I just want to say that I feel I let myself down. I had the option of shooting Yin the Pangalan (sp?) or Izamu and I decided to shoot Yin because I was hoping that Francois could tackle the armour single handed. Big mistake. Ultimately I gambled for reckoning points with my murder protege and lost. I lost big. After Gracie and Fran bounced off the armoured behemoth I had lost the game, best chance I had was scraping some points. Delivering Trixxie with some scheme markers I thought would grab me some points for plant explosive, but she died and he simply walked over and removed the scheme markers. In hindsight I realized I should have gone reckless to drop extra markers, I am not sure if I would have got it still but I am kicking myself for not trying. So at the end I lost my first game 8-0.
Just before my fatal mistake...
   It was a big loss and one I felt brought me back to earth, which is admittedly what I needed. After winning Heartfaux, despite my protest, peoples compliments and congratulations had gone to my head. I was over confident and I paid for it. I just hope that Paul wasn't dissapointed I didn't put up more of a fight and enjoyed the game as much as I did.
Some of Paul's models
Falling down to the heady heights of bottom table for my second game, I faced against the loveable Vince 'rummed-up' Usher from my local gaming group. Vince, though new to gaming group, has taken to Malifaux, particularly the rotting variety, with a passion and fields a giggle that matches perfectly my image of his chosen Master, McMorning. The game was Turf War and I took Vendetta and Spring the Trap, while Vince took protect territory and line in the sand. It was looking bad for me when I delivered Francois into the face of Sebastian for my Vendetta, only to fail to kill him after 6ap. Francois was promptly devoured by the flesh construct for his efforts. Part of my success in this game was from knowing my opponent. Vince hates Gracie, with a Passion, and I could tell by his chosen upgrades that McMorning was after himself a side of pork. Meals on wheels thus made her way directly infront of the mad scientist and grabbed himself a slice of bacon. This gave me the confidence to use Trixxie to grab spring the trap, who is absolutely excellent at it with her ability to pile up scheme markers. It was still looking dire for me because Sebastian staying alive meant and some cover meant I was struggling to get some clean shots at the undead massive. A Jammy shot from one of the Bayou Gremlins, my favourite banjo bill in fact, killed Sebastian, a nurse and a guild guard (and himself of course) with a severe with dumb luck. After that the tables had turned and Vince found it very difficult to score anything with his schemes. Final score 9-6 to me.

James Doxey's crew looking as beautiful as ever.

 After lunch, some good banter we did the best painted competition. There were some excellent crews, I must say, I am continually impressed by the high quality of miniatures that Malifaux players bring to the table, but my best painted vote went to Chris Holloway and his beautiful Marcus crew. Second I gave to Scott Parkin, who despite being another local for me, I had never seen any of his nicely painted miniatures. Third I gave to the ever excellent, James Doxey.

Chris Holloway's crew, a well deserved best painted

 The third game rolled round and I found myself against Brian, though unfortunately I didn't catch his last name, fielding Kirai. Fortunately, I had some experience with Kirai because my fellow 'Tea-Maker and Wound-Taker' Anne-Marie uses her. The game was reconnoiter and I took Breakthrough and Make them Suffer. I was fairly confident with Make Them Suffer because I new he needed to summon Seishin in order to summon with Kirai so I just waited with Somer until the snake things showed their head. I was tempted by cursed object, but thought better of it because I didn't want my Gremlins engaged in combat, so took the lovely Trixxie with hidden breakthrough to deliver a nice pile of scheme markers. Unfortunately, my knowledge of Kirai combined with my opponents lack of familiarity with Gremlins took the day in this one. He didn't summon Ikiryo once in the entire game, I made sure of it. Gracie pinned down Izamu on the one flank which made sure I was able to Gremlin rush one of his own quarters and deny him recon. He had taken bodyguard on Izamu, who survived the entire game so the final score 6-1.

The gorgeous commission painted crew of Brian
  Earlier in the day I had chatted to Chris Holloway, who I have dubbed my Mali-nemesis, that my Heartfaux win meant that he had to win this event, so the scores were even. He had said that when I'd meet him later in the event when he fell down the table and I went up. This actually happened. My last game of the day was on the Dreamer board, against the Dreamer, against my Mali-nemesis. Despite the antagonistic name, I must say Chris makes an excellent opponent and is a lovely guy, I always enjoy my games with him and it was a great way to finish a really fantastic event for me. The game was Squatter's rights, but again the schemes were tough. We both announced Power Ritual, because it's such an easy scheme when announced, but the rest were hard. Outflank is a big gamble, I think. I don't like protect territory with Gremlins because they are too squishy and generally don't want to move forward too far. My only option was Assassinate and dropping Francois on the Dreamer. On my right flank a freikorps trapper repeatedly tried to kill my slop hauler, but I gamble he had spent all of his high cards to summon with the Dreamer and cheated big to keep him alive. This let me obliterate him with Som'er and take that flank, bagging me strat points and power ritual. On my left Fracois took a detour on his way to the Dreamer to jump the doppleganger, who I new would be a massive thorn in my side unless I dropped her while she wasn't manipulative. Next turn the widdow weaver tried to take him down, but careful positioning meant she could only use willpower based attacks which he is actually pretty robust against. My drop on the Dreamer, however, bounced. After charging and leaving myself on a mere 4 wounds there was not a scratch on the small boy. It did, however, cause him to pull copelius back to deal with the Gremlin Missile and the Pig tank, which due to timely red joker, he did in short order. This, however, meant his crew was far away from the squat markers and my side of the board. Keeping the mission in mind, Chris did manage to summon a teddy and stampede him into my now unprotected flank and grab his own power ritual and grab a single point from protect territory. Final score 6-4 to me.
The Dreamer is unleashed on his mind-melting playground

 So when things were counted up, first place went to Ant Holt, Second to Paul Campbell and Third to John Wharton. Best painted was claimed by Chris Holloway. Wooden spoon (war hammer) went to Liam Dodsworth. I managed to grab 7th place, which I am really chuffed about considering my dismal start. This puts me at 23rd on the Malifaux rankings and gives me 167 points with the Gremlins. Unfortunately, I can't be on the top 3 Gremlin list at the moment because I have only attended two events but considering number 3 has 138.5 I am secretly calling that a win. You can see more of the ranking details here, along with pics of the tables we played on. This might be tooting my own horn, but I am really chuffed with how the terrain turned out. Nate Zettle even gave me the base board for the swamp that he made to go with the terrain I made. Thank you so much.

 Finally, to finish off a fantastic day, we had a raffle. Part of the the raffle were 6 cakes, one for each faction, and a Gremlin cup cake. The last raffle ticket, leaving only the gremlin cup cake, had my name on it. I couldn't have been more happy with claiming that raffle prize.
A real cake for a real faction
 Sorry for the very long post but, as I said before, I am full of enthusiasm once more. Tomorrow I will resume posting, thought whether it will be daily really depends on what I have to say. Until then.

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

How to... Paint Gremlin Skin

Sorry for not putting up a blog post yesterday. I had no motivation for hobby and it didn't feel right trying to force out some garbage to put on here. It's a shame after over a month of consecutive posts, but it had to happen at some point.

 I am continuing with the gremlins and I thought it would be cool to do a quick guide on how I paint the skin. First of all I do a base coat of Death World Forest. It will need multiple thin coats to come out smooth.

Next I do a wash of Bugman's glow. Approximately 4 parts water to 1 part paint. Sorry I changed model, I forget to take a picture!
Next up is a highlight of Straken green.
next a 50:50 mix of nurgling green and straken green.
Finally a highlight of karak stone.

I also tried to work on another mat for Malifaux. Unfortunately, the agrellan earth didn't crack properly and I am not happy with the lack of texture on the base brown. Also flock gets everywhere.

O.K. Today's blog post was just a list of WIP. I am suffering at the moment with a lull in motivation. I may not post again for a couple of days. I will definitely write up a report of #goodbadfated though, it should be great.

Sunday, 18 May 2014

Gremlin Proxies continued

I was informed yesterday that my pre-ordered Gremlins will be delayed yet again. With still very Malifaux Gremlins available, I am being forced to make do. I have pretty successful with the Gremlins recently and with many players at Worhamma being pretty new I figured it was worth trying to play with things that are a bit more friendly.

First off, I have tried to convert myself a Merris LaCroix. This was done mainly because it was a Gremlin with a rocket pack more than any other consideration.

I also started trying to build a piggapult. Who could say no to a contraption designed to launch pigs? I have wanted try Lenny with it for a while, seeing as he can 'summon' piglets, but I also think it will be usefull for things like 'entourage'. Unfortunately, with the Gremlin box sets delayed even further, it is unlikely this will see any table time for a while. I am also not happy with my attempt. Considering the model is wave 1, I hope we see a plastic model shortly.
Having built Merris LaCroix, I figured I might aswell have a look at her rules and see what sort of synergy I can get going on. This is where I noticed Sammy LaCroix. Her card drawing thing will be cool combined with Merris. The other thing was that, with Somer, I often myself wishing I had a way of getting positive flips, to ignore cover etc. Giving 'Encouragement' to Sammy means that I can take wounds with Somer to give him positive flips. I had decided to try and make her this morning, but I thought I could go with this model and take the sword away in place of voodo pins?

 That's everything from me today. Hope your Monday isn't too rough!

Saturday, 17 May 2014

Proxies and Mats continued

 So today, as promised, I have some more progress pictures for my textured mat. I'd also like to talk about Proxies.
 First off, the mat. Last time I admitted that there was some unwanted wrinkling on the paper, despite having tried to stretch the paper on the table using masking tape. I had concluded that the masking tape simply was not strong enough, so I used parcel tape instead. Unfortunately it still wrinkled. However, I do now have a 3' square snow Malifaux Mat, putting me up to 3 Mats in total. I am considering making more. Jen, as mentioned previously, got her TT Combat terrain stuff (still not built, she got absorbed with a book) and I thought it might be good to try an make a Badlands board. Jen's a bit concerned about getting enough texture on that, I thought I might try and use some agrellan earth in patches to make the cracked earth and then maybe add some dead grass to break things up, but I'll see how I get on.

 In a completely unrelated matter, I also played against Chris King in Malifaux on Vassal. For those of you who don't know, he is @lemonconstruct on twitter and is one of the hosts of 'Chasing Bacon' (he is the one who sounds like he is about 12, this is a good way to see if he actually reads the blog ;) ). For this game it was some Gremlin on Gremlin action, or more accurately, a re-enactment of the Bayou food cycle, Pig on Gremlin action.  It was a really fun game of much silliness and despite winning, I was most pleased about seeing Ulix, the gremlin pig master, in action.

 I have always been a fan of the pigs in Gremlins, it was a major contributing factor on why I started with the Gremlins. Ulix, being the master of pigs, seems an obvious choice. This is further emphasized when I found out 'Old Major' is a henchpig and thus I could field a crew made entirely of pigs. The only thing holding me back is the lack of models.
 I have posted my thoughts up before about metal and plastic models, and in honesty a major reason for not bothering looking for proxies is because I know the Malifaux models will be in plastic whilst the alternatives are not likely to be, however it is more than that. I am worried about fielding proxies. I personally don't have an issue with using them or playing against them, within reason. For me, a decent proxy is readily identifiable and fits the theme of the rules and crew. I am most worried about other people not liking proxies. I don't want to attend events and have people say I can't use models I want to. (I just got a sneaking feeling that I have gone over this before, but couldn't find it, so sorry if I am repeating myself). If I attend a tournament and I am told I can't use certain figures then I will feel a little cheated. On the other hand, if my opponent can't recognize a model and thus makes a mistake they will feel cheated. Proxies can be a bit of a minefield.

 This being said, I am becoming more and more interested in Proxies. I have found that the Malifaux community in the UK has had no problems with Proxies, so I have not much to fear there. Also, it enables people to truly make some individual crews. Joel Henry's Goldilocks crew is a fantastic example (see the picture in my Heartfaux report). There are also some fantastic miniatures that do not have a rules set to go with them, the guild of harmony figures immediately spring to mind, and it would be a shame not to put such things to use.

 So on this note, I thought I'd provide some links to some Gremlins that people have come up with on twitter for various Gremlins. If people don't think they would like to play against them, I'd really appreciate you shouting out. First off, the model I am most excited about, Old Major.

 Next up, one of the models who I think will be the most useful for rules in game, is Trixxiebell.

This next one is really on the table because the model is really cool and works very well, it's Mah Tucket.
 Working perfectly alongside this is the proxy I would use for Mah Tucket's totem, Little Lass.
Right, that's everything from me. I'm off to Worhamma tonight to get some games in with my Gremlins. Depending on how well it goes, I might talk about it tomorrow. Have a good day.

Friday, 16 May 2014

Gremlins is Awesome: Part 3: All good things come to an end

So recently I won Heartfaux, mentioned previously in a blog, which many others and I are shocked by. Despite me constantly saying this, because of the many compliments and prizes I have received, I couldn't help but have a confident boost. This was dangerous.

 I have also mentioned my local club Worhamma, a fantastic community and a brilliant place to play games. The Malifaux community here as exploded and I am regularly getting some really good games. Rather than go over the games, however, I think I will go over what I have learnt.

 First off, and this is where the title of this post comes from, Gracie. Last time I was worried how good she was, enough to note take her so often in games. I think my vision my have been skewed by the fact that my games were small in size. In my last 4 games she has died quite early on. Partly this is because I don't know what other people are capable of, I hadn't realized that Schill ignores armour with his shank, for example. Ultimately the size makes a difference, ooo er. People have enough of a punch with enough people that they can drag her down, despite hard to kill, before she has a chance to chew something up. Partly this makes me happy, I don't feel guilty using her so much now. I also think I will not be taking her against anyone who announces Outcasts, simply because there are so many people who ignore armour. Leviticus, Schill and the Viks are the ones I know of.

 The reason I have been using Gracie is because I don't really have enough Gremlins to use anything else. I have been looking forward to the new plastic box sets coming out because then I get much more options. Obviously, I am then left with some choices. One of things I am concerned with is Lenny. When I first read his rules I was obsessed, he seems lots of fun, but looking back and having tried him on Vassal, I am not so sure. He seems very soft for 9 stones. Def 4, Wp1 is awful. This might because Gracie is nails, though, and it might be because he fought against Neverborn who thrive on WP. Confronting Lenny with something Terrifying is going to neutralize him. Having said that, 'toss' is brilliant. I look forward to using him, but I think with Gremlins I am going to have to pay attention to what faction my opponent is taking more than with any of my previous crews.  I am developing a 'core' of Some'r, upgrades, Slope Hauler and some Bayou's (also Skeeter when I get one). After this I will have a couple of 'characters' who I will swap between depending on my opponent. I have been relying on Saddle loads, let's see how I do without it.

 I also began to streamline my list with Some'r to try and make the most of his summoning ability. I was taking 2 Bayou Gremlins and assuming I would jump to 4 and healing with them with the slop hauler. I have not drawn a single mask in my first turns so many times now that I have decided this is a bad idea. I need a buffer, a couple more Bayou's, to cope if things go wrong.

I also can't wait to get skeeters. In two of my last games I suffered from a Freikorps trapper. If I had a skeeter I would simply have engaged him. He wouldn't have lasted, my pet bug, but a turn of safety would have been a breath of fresh air. My previous point of having enough Bayou's come in here aswell, because they could have possibly done this.

So that's it from me. Sorry this is a bit haphazard, but it helps to codify my thoughts on the green menace. I'd love to hear what people thought.

How to... Malifaux Mat: Part 2: Texture

 Hello again. Sorry today's post is a bit later, work problems. Today I thought continue talking about Malifaux Mats because I have made a start on another one. This one is a little different because I have used textured paint. I wouldn't treat this much as a 'How to' because it hasn't gone perfectly, but it might give you ideas of your own (plus you can help me if you know how to solve the problem!) First of all, because I said I would, here is a picture of the entire tiled map I made:
 Anyway, onto making stuff! First of all you need to make your textured paint. For this I used 'Soft Black', which I have mentioned a couple of times now so I thought I would add that it's from the B&Q colours range and that it is roughly equivalent to chadron granite/ skavenblight dinge. Added to the paint I put in kiln dried sand, which is the same stuff you put on your figures and you are much better off buying from a DIY store, and PVA, the same stands for this aswell. Proportions are approximate I'm afraid, but I'd guess around equal of all parts, edging towards more paint. Basically it should look like this.

Next up, same as last time you need to cut out your wallpaper and then tape it down. Once that's done you just need to paint on your textured paint. Immediately after you have applied your paint you should go back over the surface and essentially stipple, this will help avoid leaving brush strokes visible on your mat. Now this is where my issue arose, my mat, despite being taped down, still 'warped' (if that's the right term). I think it's because my tape was not strong enough. Once again, I will provide more info when I have it.

Once this is dry, it will take a long time, you want to break up the colour a bit. To do this I sponged Calthan Brown, in patches across the board the reason I keep using this colour is because I have vast quantities from the Ctiadel Board making set.
After that was dry, I then dry brushed some light grey (I still had loads of my previous base coat mix for the graveyard board, so I used that) all over. When drybrushing it is best to use small circular motions, again to avoid getting obvious paintbrush strokes.

Dragging the mat outside, I then gave it a quick dusting with white spray paint, with a very slight emphasis on patches.

Finally I made some snow mix. I made this runnier than I normally do, because I don't want my battlefield to be too 3d, but it was made with PVA, White paint and snow flock (I used the GW stuff, haven't tried alternatives) and a tiny touch of water. This was applied in patches and then once again stippled, to try and make the break bettwen colour patches less severe.
This is what I have so far! I know it's not close to finishing, but give me time! Again, more updates in the future.

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Fan Fiction: Business

 Like many geeks, it seems, I have a penchant for writing. I have not done anything for a while, but the background of Malifaux had definitely inspired me to create something, though I often get grandiose ideas of what I can do which never reach fruition. However, recently, I discovered, through the facebook group Wyrd Place,  a competition known as Iron Quill. I have had a quick attempt at a very short story and I would like to know what you guys thought. Here goes nothing:


 Krahkov paced impatiently across the well-worn floor, seemingly unaware of the groaning worm-eaten floorboard’s fragility. Dimitri did not flinch as his master spat incoherent frustration at damp ridden walls. Dimitri had known Krahkov for a long time. He was used to his angry outbursts.

 Dimitri himself was not, however, one for anger. Though a head taller than his companion, he did not exude menace. For him life was simple, which was good because the same accusation had been made of him; the most recent accusation made when he had refused to abandon his current employer.  They called Krakhov a sinking ship. Dimitri didn’t understand, as far as he saw it if a ship was sinking better to stay on board than dive in the sea. Besides, he knew better than to look for opportunity elsewhere. In Malifaux, you do not try your luck.

“That useless Dolbo yeb. If he has been caught by that sooka excuse for …’

 Krakhov often slipped into the mother-tongue when he was stressed and angry. He was rarely one without the other and, recently, he had much cause for both. When they had first come to Malifaux their particular talents had meant they quickly had become powerful men. Protection rackets, smuggling and arms dealing; it felt like people just wanted to throw money at them… or they did after a little persuasion. However, their fortunes had turned and now they were almost destitute.

“Honest to the Maker if I get my hands on that…”

“’Onest!?!” The voice questioned from the darkness on the far side of the abandoned warehouse. A regular hard tap accompanied by the moaning of floorboards told them that the origin of the exclamation was approaching. Krakhov had paused. Dimitri had never started.

 “’Onest day’s work, ‘dey say. Dat’s where people grind down ‘dere bones work for ‘da Guild. S’not for me. ‘Onest gets ya’ dead.” The few gas lights that the brother’s had managed to get working started to illuminate the figure. The first thing seen were the shoes, shining brighter than the sun ever did in the wretched city. A well pressed grey suit followed, complete with golden cufflinks and tie. The ensemble was complimented by a single golden tooth bedecking a mirthless grin.  Everyone in the district knew this figure from whispers ushered from the bottom of dirty glasses. This was Shanks, head of the Gremlin Mafia.

“You should go back where you came from” Krakhov spat, irony lost under seething rage.

“Now dat’s not ‘da way you should start neg-osh-ee-ate-shuns.” Krakhov's blustering exploded into incoherent spit and visceral language. Dimtri couldn’t remember seeing Krakhov so mad.

“You killed my man?”

“Let’s not dwell on the past,” Shanks pulled a small knife from his pocket and started prying bits of food from between his teeth, “I am ‘ere to neg-osh-ee-ate ‘da terms for buying your bis-ee-ness in-ter-ests.” Shanks voice was nasal and he clearly struggled with words of multiple syllables, but he appeared to enjoy using them, as if they empowered him. Krahkov laughed, this was bad. Dimitri grip on his large wood-cutting axe, his trademark weapon, tightened until his knuckes were white.

“And what, exactly, do you think that will cost”

“’Dis.” In one smooth motion Shanks plucked something out of another pocket and flicked it over to the gangster. Catching it in one hand, Krakhov stared at the small object in his hand. He visibly began to shake. Dimitri relaxed.

“You think you can buy my assets with this!?! This!?! One single soulstone!” Krakhov had now closed the gap between the two ‘businessmen’. His broken nose pressed close against the Gremlin’s face and spittle leapt from bruised lips behind a big black beard. “One INACTIVE soulstone!’ He pressed the unassuming rock into the gremlins face.

 Suddenly, the stone began to glow.

 It was faint at first, barely visible in fact, but eerie green glow grew rapidly until you could see it through Krakhov’s hand. He took one step back and began staring at the power cupped in his hand. He lifted his other hand to inches before his face and studied the thick red liquid there. Drool dripped down his beard as he attempted to locate the origin of this strange phenomenon that seemed to coincide with a sharp pain in his stomach.

Shank plucked the newly powered soulstone from Krakhov’s hand before the giant mobster crumpled on the floor.

“’Waste not, want not’ as me Moma used ta’ say” Dimitri took one step forward, but then stopped when he felt something press against his leg. He looked down to see another gremlin, this one with a pair of trousers pulled up to just below his arm-pits. Despite this compensation, it was clear that the bottom of the trousers had been rolled up many times to prevent tripping. This might have proved amusing if the same Gremlin did not have a .45 calibre pistol aimed directly at his groin. Dimitri did not know what unnerved him more: The size of the gun, the fact that the Gremlins arm shook with the exertion needed to lift such a mighty firearm or the barely contained excitement painted all over the little green face.

“Ape-parent-lee it is called a Still-ate-oh” Shanks was wiping the long thin blade clean on his golden hankerchief, which he then carefully folded and placed neatly back in his breast pocket. He approached the gargantuan man casually and then, with a single finger, pushed the weapon aimed at him away. The other gremlin made no attempt to hid the fact he was heartbroken.

“I ‘ere ‘dat you ‘ave ree-sent-lee found yoo’self out ‘ta work. I bee-leaf I can ‘elp you wid’ dat.”

Dimitri relaxed. You do not try your luck in Malifaux.


 Yesterday some cool toys made their way through the post. Jen had backed the TT Combat Kickstarter to get hold of a bunch of laser cut terrain. It's pretty stuff, we didn't dive straight in an build the lot because we were doing other projects, but Jen stuck together a windmill to see what some of it was like. Inspired by this I thought today I would review my thoughts on Kickstarters.

Personally, I am a big fan of Kickstarter. It allows smaller gaming companies to expand their produce lines and inspires some fantastic creativity. There have been many criticisms voiced, however, by some of the people I know and these revolve around the following points. The companies don't really need the money. It's a risk. Delays.

The Companies Don't Really Need the Money:
This was first raised to me when the AVP miniature project began. Lots of people were excited, but a few people claimed that because they had to have bought the liscencing they had to have the funds to continue onto the main product. It's true that in order to establish almost any Kickstarter you will need to have made significant investment already. People will need to have commissioned sculptors, artisits etc. in order to make a product that would work on Kickstarter. That is very different to having enough money, however, to create a finished product. The response to this is would people really risk that money? The answer to this is yes, business is, to some extent, risk. However, what Kickstarter also provides is a reduction in risk. If you want to make a figure you need to make a mold. If you intend to make many models you need to make many molds. Kickstarter not only provides you funds to make a mold, but also information to extrapolate on how popular you product is likely to be and thus how many molds are worth making.
 I must admit there are some companies who likely do not need this money, Mantic is the one that springs to mind, but I don't think they are the norm, nor is it unreasonable to assume that even these companies can expand further than they originally thought with additional funding.

It's a Risk:

A Contradiction when you consider the above is the point that Kickstarters are a risk. You have no idea how the finished product is going to turn out, or whether you are going to get a finished product at all. This is true, you are effectively investing in a new project, but the point of Kickstarter is not to back someone from the point go, but allow them to overcome the last hurdle into production. Miniature Kickstarter pages often have sculpts, prototypes, artwork and background. I personally don't back something if it doesn't give me enough information about what I will get. Yes, sometimes things go wrong. Companies go bust before they can finish, for example, but that is why companies provide discounts for people who back the product. You are essentially being rewarded for your faith. If you don't want to take a risk, fair enough, but no risk, no reward as the say.


I am personally shocked that people are so concerned with this. Again, it sort of contradicts the first point made, but some people get very bothered by the fact that Kickstarters often have delays. It's not as good as buying something in a store and being able to use it straight away. If that bothers you, I believe you have a very strange way of looking at Kickstarter. For me it allows me to help create something new, it is not simply an online store. Often there are problems with production and you can wait for years past the original suggested delivery date. You don't get that in a store because they are not making something new. The counter point to that is that the companies on Kickstarter should have a better idea of production times, but for me the whole point is that they do not have the experience and funds for manafacture. Yes, they should do some more research, let people know that their stretch goals will delay production, but it doesn't make me even blink. My thoughts are that if there were no delays, they probably didn't need Kickstarter.

Having said all this, however, I do have two main problems with Kickstarter. First of all, I don't like not knowing whether there will be people keen on playing the game in the area. I also don't like the fact you are not supporting your local hobby centre.

 Although being involved in something new is exciting, you have no idea how well it's going to take with local gamers. As I have said before, I'm a gamer; if I don't play, I don't paint. You could suggest that having the forums and twitter you can keep in contact with people who are keen. you could also team together with your club to back a Kickstarter together, which also generally works better financially. This is where the problem of delays kicks in, however. Gamers are notoriously fickle and by the time something is delivered people may no longer be interested. It's not going to stop me, I guess I'm just an optimist, but it's a worry.

 The big gripe for me is not being able to support your local store. For example, The guys at my local Worhamma are really nice. They put on gaming sessions on Thursday and Sunday evenings, they are more than helpful with your orders and make a massive effort to keep the gaming community in the area exciting. The local league has now had over 100 games and that kicked off in no small part because of the support of Worhamma. (seriously, if you are in the Sunderland area come along, it's well worth it). They can only keep doing that if people buy things from them. If they can't support themselves financially they will close down and then a brilliant place to game and meet new gamers will be lost. Any money spent on Kickstarter is not spent on toys from them and that bothers me. There is a new purely gaming Kickstarter called GamingFunder that apparently can be paid for through your LGS, but honestly it's not something I have looked too much into.

At the end of all this nitpicking with this new gaming phenomenon I still find myself entranced. I guess after all I am just a big kid and I really like the idea of getting brand new toys.

Well that's it from me today. I will try and get some pictures of finished MDF stuff when it's built, but it's not mine but Jen's so I can't make promises on when that will be. Until tomorrow.