27 May 2009

Cavalry Comparison

Just a few shots comparing some ancient cavalry: Renegade and Wargames Factory Celts, Crusader Numdian, and Foundry German. As always, clicking enlarges the image.

These are the first of the Celt cavalry I've painted. I've got a unit of each. They really couldn't be at more opposite ends of the spectrum in terms of size and scale of objects/details on the figure.

My concern with the Renegade figures is that they look out of scale with everything else. It's a shame, as they've pretty nice. In regard to my previous comments about them, I was mistaken, there are actually two horse poses, but they're so similar it's difficult to notice. The essential difference is just the position of the head. The legs & body seem the same. As far as the difficulties mounting the riders on the horse, I ended up snipping the back end of the saddle off, then filing it down. If you look very carefully, it does look like he's sitting far back on the saddle, but you really have to be looking for it. The cloaks cover the back of the saddle anyway.

The Wargames Factory figure was easy to assemble. I like the riders a little better than the Celtic infantry (which I was a bit underwhelmed by -- see previous entry), and they give you two riders per horse -- one armoured, one unarmoured. The sprue is filled out with some more heads, shields & other equipment. The horse has a bit of a squat look to it, but when put next to the Foundy German it's not too far off. The neck suffers from the same problem as some of the GW plastic horses (especially the older ones) -- the separate head leaves an obvious joint at the neck. The solution, presumably, will be the same as the GW figures as well, try to fill with a bit of greenstuff.

Scattered Painting, Splattered Priming

With the clock ticking down to Historicon, I'm still working on figures to finish off a non-medieval army to use in the Doubles. I'm part way through the huge pile of Germans & Gauls and have just started to consider changing my mind and wrapping up enough Romans to go with them instead.

No focus.

Part of it is that the Romans will be easier to paint, and that I won't get to all the little details on the "barbarians" like patterns on the clothing, shield designs, etc.

The other half if it is something I bitched about on Warseer -- just to let off some steam because I was so pissed. I recently switched to Armory primer. All went well for the first two cans, then part way into the third can I get the wookie fur coated army. The worst were some figures I'm doing on commission, which were immediately stripped.

However, many of my Germans & Gauls got a lesser degree of "fuzzy primer." I thought I would just live with it, but as I'm painting them it's really bugging me. However, stripping, reassembling (as required), repriming andrebasing a good 70 figures will just be time consuming and annoy me further. It's days later and I'm still serously on fire over this.

So tonight I have some time for painting. I need to decide whether to continue or make the switch. :/

25 May 2009

Crusader Numidian Cav

A finished pic of the small unit of Numidian skirmishing cav from Crusader.

The figures are very nice and clean. I posted previous comparison pics to some other cavalry figures, and will include them in a new "line up" soon.

23 May 2009

WF Ancient Germans

I got one of the two sprues that will comprise the Wargames Factory ancient German set. It only had one body on it,but I was able to build two different options by borrowing a spear arm from the Numidian set. All of their sets seem to be modular, and with some mixing & matching should provide a lot of variety. The Celts & Germans, in particular, should mingle pretty well.

So I made one guy with a horn (because I need a few of those) and then one tossing a spear. I used what I thought was the best looking head on the horn guy, and my least favorite on the spear guy, just to see how they turned out.

And as I've been trying to do, here's a comparison shot between the three manufacturers' Germans that I own.

21 May 2009

WF Numidians

Finished the first five WF Numidians, so below are some pics of them, and some pics with other figures for comparison. As always, click to enlarge.

From left to right: Warlord Games Celt, Wargames Factory Numidian, Crusader Spanish, WF Numidian, Foundry German.

In response to Rob's reply to my previous entry, you can see some of the differences in skin tone between the different ethnicities above. I tried to make the Numidians darker skinned than the others. I had attempted to make the Spanish slinger a slight bit darker skinned than his northern neighbors, but it's a bit hard to tell.

Below is the imitation legion from two angles, and below is a comparison shot between him and one of the WF Romans. The color of the shields looks really close, but I thought I did a better job dulling-down the imitator. The colors are off, anyway, at least on my computer, since the Roman scutum looks more red than the orangy color in the photo.

Overall I think that these figures are a really nice improvement over the previous sets. The detail is more crisp and stands out more, I like the pile of extra arms & weapons, and it seems like it's going to be very flexible set. Consider me impressed.

20 May 2009

More Numidians WIP

Since the cat is out of the bag, I may as well post my WIP photo of the new Wargames Factory Numidians here. I will post more comments and a full review when I'm done. Tonight (Wed.) is game night, so probably not til Thursday.

Click for larger pic (as usual):

17 May 2009

Some Assembly Required

I've continued prepping more figures. Usually this is the stage I hate, so while I've been in some sort of mood for it, I'm just going to take advantage. So I prepped up a unit of 10 Renegade Celtic cavalry to round out my previous list of figures I require for Historicon.

I've also prepped 1/2 of the Spanish scutarii I have. I picked up a cheap back of Old Glory figures in the flea market at Cold Wars, so figured I would round that out with a pack of Crusader scutarii and two commend packs. This will give me two units of 24 figures. I've got to admit, the OG figures actually look pretty decent. I'm impressed. Sadly, these shouldn't really be high on my list of painting priorities at the moment. But I'm anxious to see how they'll turn out when they're done.

I'm going to prep some figures I'm doing for someone else (on commission) and then I should be done for a moment and getting down to some serious painting.

I may have a few surprise figures appearing sometime soon, as well...

13 May 2009

The "WFB metagame"

Someone recently started a thread at Warseer regarding collecting army lists to counter Daemon armies. On of the first responses stated:

"Well, what you are describing is known as the metagame, and is very influential. In MagictG, it´s the usual game: Someone comes up with an unbeatable new deck. Everyone copies the deck, and suddenly the tournaments are full with these which always win. As a result, people develop an anti-deck that is specifically tailored to beat this one deck but doesn´t stand a chance against anything else. In the end, a tournament list looks like this:

45% Killer Decks
45% Anti-Killer Decks
10% Bystanders
(Okay, maybe I exaggerate a bit here...)

I´m surprised this concept seems to be new to Warhammer players? If an army list dominates the tournaments, then take something with you that helps against it!"


"Learn to play the game properly, most armies are effective when used right."

Which trailed off into the topic of list tailoring and I completely lost any enthusiasm for reading further.

But I think those points above nail it. WFB has become a "metagame" of list writing, where what's actually going on down on the tabletop is far far less important than the list you make. Lists have always made a difference to a certain extent, but with the system's increased reliance on special rules and "killer combos," the game has effectively become Warhammer Fantasy Listwriting, rather than Warhammer Fantasy Battles.

I haven't been to the local WFB night in a while. Today I'm free and will be heading up there. I figure I've lost enough with the same balanced, "combined arms" Empire army, and figured I would write a new list that may actually stand a chance. It started with the brace of steam tanks, the arch lector and three mages. I initially added some infantry, but then realized that having actual rank and file guys was more of a liability than anything else, and removed them...

...and that's when I felt any and all will to play the game drain from me...

So I will be heading to the local game store to socialize a bit, and maybe bring some figures up to clean & assemble for the next modeling/painting project while I BS with the guys a bit.

The only gaming I've done in the past two months +/- were two fairly fun games of WAB and FoG. I should be itching for a WFB game. In fact, I am . Just not WFB in its current incarnation. I'm dying to play some tabletop games. But as I stated above, I can't get past that engineering involved in writing an army list. And if I don't optimize my list to the one or two "builds" that's most efficient, there's almost no point in putting the figures on the table.

So I'm going to continue painting, and getting in games of WAB when I can, and maybe give FoG another shot. Also thinking about trying to dig up some interest (teach non-miniature-gaming people?) some DBA or MoW. But for now -- and I don't know how long -- WFB just generates far too little enthusiasm for me.

I like pushing little toy soldiers around on the table and rolling some dice -- not accounting.

11 May 2009

Law of the Instrument

Gauls and Germans: "When all you've got is a hammer, everything looks like a nail."


Our first WAB day didn't really get off the ground. Of about six people we were trying to get together, there were just two of us that actually showed. We talked gaming stuff for a while, and played our 1000 point battle pretty quickly. It was my Gauls vs. his Romans. My cav was almost immediately swept away by two small units of Roman cav. My infantry rushed forward as fast as possible, trying to engage & sweep away the legions before the cav had a chance to turn around. The legions kept backing off, and after I made contact I learned why: they were all raw recruits. The big (heh heh) surprise was facing an elephant, though -- but I suppose that explains the cheap infantry. I managed to not only survive the elephant, but he stampeded back into some redeploying legion.

I was using the Gallic list from Hannibal and the Punic Wars. I'm actually painting/playing mixed Gauls & Germans from a bit later, but I like the Punic list better than the one in the rulebook. I'm really only taking three troop types anyway. But the big difference in this game was the mixed weapon rule. I've previously used the older list, and getting the benefit of throwing spears really helps the barbarians. This is good, IMHO, as it decreases the reliace on characters to help win combats.

Painting Plan

My plan is to bring the Gauls & Germans ("The Hammer") to Historicon. I'll use them in the doubles. If there's a medieval division (and it's bigger than Cold Wars) I'll also bring the Burgundians. I'm hoping John runs the medieval division again this year, as last year's multiple point value event was a really good time. If the medievals don't happen, then I may just bring The Hammer.

Over the weekend I assembled & primed about 70 German (Foundry and BTD) infantry. Normally I'm a 2-part epoxy guy. I hate having to repair painted figures, and CAsuperglue has never worked too well for me. But I've heard rumors that the new Gorilla Super Glue. So I tried it out on their shields and spears. I hope it holds up. I just didn't have the patience required for the slow cure time on 60 figures using epoxy.

I also cleaned pieces for 9 Wargames Factory figures to use as slingers. I haven't assembled them yet, but at least the plastic aleviates the epoxy vs. superglue dilemma.

Next all I need is 10 more cav. My choices are more Foundry Germans, Renegade Gauls, or order & try out a box of the Wargames Factory plastics. I'm still undecided.

So that's my goal for the next 2 months +/-
  • 70 Infantry
  • 9 Slingers
  • 10 cavalry
No problem, right?

03 May 2009

Numidian WIP

Other things came up today and I didn't spend the time I thought I would on the Numidian cavalry, but here's a shot of where they're at now. I need to do their tunics, shields & weapons, and the bases.

I've also tried out some new (to me) image editing software. I've been used to Phnotoshop from school and work, but I'm not going to spend that much on something for casual home use. I've been struggling with the GIMP, which is a freeware alternative. But the interface and some of the functions are just really horrible.

On the advice of a friend, I just installed Paint.net:


So far I'm pretty happy with it, as far as a basic image editor goes. It seems very intuitive, especially for someone used to Phnotoshop, but easy enough for someone who's never used an editor before.

One More Day


Tomorrow I may have some photos to post. I've mostly been painting other people's figures lately, but I've managed to squeeze in some Numidian cavalry for myself that I'd like to finish tomorrow. I've also had quite a few other things (out of town visitors, non-miniature projects) going on lately. And the weather is starting to warm up here, so I've been off on a few bike rides.


Next week a few friends are getting together for a small WAB day. Just 1000 point armies, but we should get in a few games against different opponents. I usually prefer larger games, but we're hoping to get some new players into the game. I was contemplating Romans, but I think it looks like I'll do Gauls with some German allies this time.

Game Night?

Back when I was still in school, before moving back to Cleveland (Ohio) a friend and I used to drive to Cleveland (about 45 minutes away from where I went to school) on Friday nights for a game night at another friend's house. There were usually about 4-6 of us playing a big game of 40k at the time. It was usually a long night of toy soldiers, laughs, beer and pizza. I think we all got sick of 40k, but it was still time well spent with friends.

So I've (unfortunately) lost touch with them, but I'm thinking of trying to start a Friday game night at my place. Maybe just once a month to start. We have a regular WFB night at the semi-local store, so I'd like to try some different games. I'm thinking of maybe WAB, Man-o-War and possibly DBA. Also beer and pizza. And laughs and good times.

I don't know of much gaming going on in Cleveland east of the Crooked River (the Cuyahoga.) There are no game stores on this side of town (in fact, all of the Cleveland game stores seem to be huddled within a few miles of each other!) and West Siders are notoriously fearful of coming to the East Side. This could be a challenge, but who knows...

First, I need people. Otherwise, it's just me sitting around on a Friday night playing with myself. o_O