Saturday, June 21, 2014

Greetings again from the silent hours between dusk and dawn. 

Silent for some I imagine, but hardly for myself tonight.  As a relatively new father I'm still not greatly experienced with many of the negatives that come with having babies.  Tonight my son has decided to be rather vocal in his discomfort or maybe he just can't sleep.  My wife is convinced he's doing it on purpose as a test though.  I guess we'll see.  In truth I don't feel too bad in the whole thing because I can't help but look forward to the times we'll be having in the future.  My little wargamer I hope one day.  Not so much in any major way but at least we can have fun together in a hobby, or that's my hope.  I guess we'll see.

So I'm writing this even later than the other days just because of my unwinding routines, chatting with community members and entrepreneurs, and visiting sites like the Warmaster.  I found myself chatting everyone's ear off so after a few lines with nitrodavid and him asking about the blog I realized,'I really do need to get over there and write something!'  But this is a great thing actually because truthfully I am having a lot of fun with his and I haven't even scratched the surface yet.  I'm definitely in need of some advice when it comes to formatting this project so ideas and feedback are certainly welcome.  I can't imagine many people are reading my posts at this time but those that are, please join in!

Tonight I'm going to talk briefly about my Infinity army.  This army is for another game, namely Infinity, which is far newer than Warhammer 40k, and also far less popular at the moment.  It is a very up-and-coming game though and has some innovations to it's rules set that many have found very fun and addictive.  One of the main features is that players get reactions to their opponents movements and actions on the table during the opponent's turn.  The rules call this an A-R-O.  40k is more traditional in that mostly you only react on your own turn.  Of course many players are aware of or have experienced this.  Personally I love Infinity and have played it more often recently than 40k.  That's not really a trend towards diminishing Warhammer though because I plan to get more serious about it as well in the near future.

Infinity is truly impressive though.  It's produced by a Spanish company named Corvus Belli.  They do make other products and games but Infinity seems to be the hit in their line.  Relatively new to the market it has grown exceptionally fast and is spreading in the American market.  In my own area though I only know one other player and it does seem like this is a common problem for many wargamers at the moment.  Luckily the game is so good most of us aren't worried we'll be waiting too long.  The minis are all metal at the moment but are cast in a 28mm-ish True Scale as opposed to the Heroic Scale that Warhammer is produced in.  This means more realistic proportions for the models mainly.  As for getting a little more practical and in-depth info on Infinity and how it works, check out many of the larger wargaming businesses like Blue Table Painting, Beasts of War, and Miniwargaming for batreps, news, releases and more.  Or, you can check out Corvus Belli's own Infinity Official website.

I'll finish up today with my very first Infinity model ever.  I play an army called the Nomads which are exactly what their name implies but also much more complicated.  It's a Sci-Fi game and the Nomads make their home in giant traveling city sized space ships.  I'll probably go into some more details in the future but for now I'll show off my Zero Hacker from the Bakunin Sectorial.  I'll also try to explain all that more later as well.  Let's just say for now that he's a very sneaky Hacker soldier and quite sick looking too.  You will probably notice a couple of his fingers are too short and unfortunately this was how my model was cast.  When I put him together I was a little bit disappointed but really it's hard to notice on a table.  I should also mention that I have used resin bases from Secret Weapon Miniatures on my Nomads.  They're the Tau Ceti set and I really like them.  Enjoy!

I only have the one pic of this guy currently but I'll get some more.  The rest of the army numbers around 20 models at the moment, a very good sized force, and I plan to show them all off in time.  

To be continued...

Friday, June 20, 2014

I'm noticing that my blog entries are a late night affair for me.  I have now consistently began after midnight, but luckily the online clock is being lenient.  It still thinks it's the 19th so I'm not going to correct it.

The goal is to keep up posting everyday.  I think that's definitely the best goal for my writing to improve and most certainly my audience.  But today, we're getting to the point a bit earlier.

I spend a lot of time on the Warmaster forum lately, and I'm chatting with some great gamers and hobbyists.  The current buzz on that site is the Warmaster Painting Challenge.  It seems like it might be in a growth period and the contest is gaining momentum.  I like it.  Not sure I'm entering though.  Painting contests can be hit or miss with me even though, or perhaps because of the fact that I'm competitive by nature.  But the Warmaster itself has been a great forum so far.  I've stuck with it much more easily than some of the larger, well known forums like The Bolter and Chainsword, or The Farseer.  I recommend checking it out to any 40k fan.

Going to keep this one a bit shorter today as I'm near the end of my energy and the night has continued to pass me by.  I do want to share a bit of hobby in the blog today though.  A while back I entered a painting contest as part of  a gaming community for a video game strangely enough.  The game was for 40k though.  It was called Space Marine and is actually very fun.  I had purchased it on release for my PS3 and was instantly hooked.  The campaign was really great and then I turned my attention to the multiplayer mode and found a whole new realm.  I won't go into great detail here, not yet anyway, but it's a fact that with others I joined up into a competition association and fought in a Chapter of sorts, kind of like a clan in Call of Duty or Battlefield.

I met a great group of friends and we were the Dark Angels in the association for several years.  Eventually the community there had many types of activites and not even that long ago one was the contest I mentioned.  The leader of my group at the time was a good friend I had made who went by the name Dr-Pepper81.  For the contest we were asked to build and paint a mini of one player in the community, so  I chose my good friend.  Using the in-game graphics I copied his armor pattern and motif and the result I will share with you now.  Totally inspired by the game this model is one of my favorites and marks an advancement in my ability to sculpt on the figures.  See what you think.

I'll add in another setup for it as well because his weapon is magnetized with three options.  I believe the Plasma Gun didn't make it into a photo however.

This image includes photos of the actual in-game armor.

Well, I hope that you like my model and if there are any questions or comments I always welcome them.  

To be continued...

Thursday, June 19, 2014

And so where were we?

Reminiscing on my gaming past and how I got to this page.  Well, a small shock for you is that I'm not going to finish that story just yet.  I like a bit of the cliffhanger style myself.  So, if you're patient with me we'll get  a little bit more of story time in soon.

One of the things I do love is writing in general.  I might ramble on here or there.  I might use language that seems a little silly.  Perhaps my time in roleplaying and narrative gaming has made me more eccentric than the average bear.  But I find that writing is as much art as the pencil sketches or pastel induced chaos I have put to plaster since I was younger.  As I get used to blogging, find my way, I suppose there might be a bit of the chaos mixed in.

So the real meat of this blog is supposed to be wargaming and the hobby around it from my own experiences.  I often turn my mind on the hobby, the games, the community.  I watch YouTube and look at the forums.  One thing I don't get to do nearly enough is actually play. Sometimes life is getting in the way and sometimes it's where I live.  I'm a little too far away from town and trying to change that for a lot of reasons but one small reason I have to say is that it would get me closer to a gaming community.  I'm sure my struggles to get a solid group together will feature here as I continue.

I can't keep going with this blog without more clearly getting to the point though.  Let's start where I started now some years past.  The game that truly brought me into the wargaming community specifically.  Warhammer 40,000.  What can I say that hasn't been said?  It's the biggest game, made by the biggest company.  It has the sheer gravitas to be number one in an industry that is now exploding with new content and ideas.  It's the game that is largely responsible for making that explosion possible.  In an era that sees computer and console gaming as an intrinsic part of life for so many.  Where virtual games, not physical ones, are the truly dominant style.  Warhammer 40,000 or just 40k has cut out a firm place for people who still value a real experience that must be seen, touched, and developed on a table rather than on a screen.

I began with an army that will always be first, at least for me.  The First Legion.  Dark Angels. Space Marines to be sure but not exactly like any other.  The lore of this army is perhaps the greatest of all.  Anyone can choose to argue the virtues of their own favorite army of course, but they won't convince me it trumps that of the true Angels of Death.  Before other armies rose in popularity the Dark Angels were built on the idea of the Knights Templar.  A monastic knightly order steeped in the traditions of feudalism, esoterica, and combat prowess.  Every line of text and every brush stroke of depicting artwork brought their mystery to life.  I remember I saw an older piece of artwork that showcased their massive power armored forms cloaked in heavy robes and hoods and brandishing wicked medieval swords and I was hooked.  And really, what's not to like?

So, in order to get a little hobby put in here I'm adding a link to the very first well known Dark Angels figure that I finished.  In fact he's one of their villains, perhaps, but one of the best as well, and so I had to make this model.  A very great Dark Angel website called The Dark Fortress and it's Chronicler Isiah were kind enough to host my photos of none other than Cypher, The Fallen Angel.  Rather than embedding this I'm going to leave it as a proper link so you can actually enjoy The Dark Fortress if you haven't before.  It's a great site and many thanks to them.

To be continued...

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

A new beginning

Welcome everyone to my first ever blog.  A bit scary right?

I've never done anything like this before and I guess you might call me a late bloomer to some of the Internet's most common features but it's never too late to start, or so they say.  This blog is primarily focused around my love for gaming and model hobby.  I have some specific games and armies I'm working on most often which are Dark Angels, Codex Space Marines, and Tyranids in Warhammer 40,000 as well as the Nomads faction in Infinity.  I'm sure there are going to be some other ramblings from time to time but that goes with the territory.  You will be able to expect entries, pictures, ideas, etc. as pertains to Wargaming and related topics.  

So, let's start with my specific interests in gaming.

I've been involved in different types of gaming since I was a child but was introduced to roleplaying and some table top wargaming when I was about 14.  We're talking 1994.  The very first game I ever played in the RPG genre was Call of Cthulhu.  The storyteller(that's the title of the game master or narrator if you like in CoC) was a buddy of mine and he wasn't a master at this type of thing but back then it was a magical experience.  We would meet at a FLGS or Friendly Local Gaming Store that was a bit unorthodox in that it was a lot more like a gaming club with rooms for rent that were all set up for different gaming options.  Most often we'd end up in the attic space of this place at the long formal dinner style table and spend long hours going through our scenarios.  
This time was an excellent one for me.  With my friends and a small rotating circle of different players and game masters we expanded to other games.  I played AD&D, Vampire the Masquerade, Shadowrun, Gamma World, and lots of Magic the Gathering.  On the edge of our group there was always this other genre of gaming that was Miniature Wargames or scenario based games in some cases.  Since I could hold a crayon I had been heavily into art and the idea of painting and playing with these figures was always in the back of my mind.
Fast forward a little bit and I had been hired by a small local Game Distribution company.  This was great for me even though it meant I put my own paychecks nearly entirely back into the stores.  Even better though was the exposure it gave me to miniatures.  When the store received a new shipment of the original Warzone: The Mutant Chronicles, I was asked to paint up many of the store's own figures for display and demo games.  I went to town on this and I still have a few of those figures from 1998.
There was another, much more powerful company making miniatures back then, and truthfully for much longer.  I had always known about them but never had the opportunity to learn more.  This company was Games Workshop.  The local company that I worked for actually refused to purchase from them because the costs and business practices they upheld apparently didn't sit well with the owner.  As a consequence my town rarely saw any Games Workshop product at all.  Somewhere along the way though I was able to find some artwork from the company for their Sci-Fi/Fantasy wargame epic title Warhammer 40,000.  I was inspired.  Driving about 40 minutes away I found a general hobby store that happened to carry a very mismatched grouping of the product and I immediately bought a box of Assault Space Marines, having no idea what to do with them.  This was effectively where I hit a dead spot though because I didn't know anyone that was involved with the game.  So, somewhere among my belongings my original package of Assault Marines sat collecting dust while my own life caused my interests to drift and took me further away from my old gaming circles.  Years would pass and life would go on.

To be continued...