Monday, December 12, 2011

Ol' Seth is at it again

I'll be honest, I'm too lazy to figure out how to tie these new pictures back to their original posts, but Ol' Seth has finished up (I think) his flying rhino and Dreadnought as well as teased us with a heavy weapon trooper.  Enjoy the eye candy!

Now with sculpted wind shield!
On base, left side.

On base, right side.

A neat idea, I too would like a push button missile launcher.

He carries the shield because he was bullied.

It may be the Salamander in me, but I prefer the heavy flamer over the storm bolter.

Looking good!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Ol' Seth's Pre-Heresy Anti-Grav Rhino Conversion! (WIP)

Seriously, this is getting ridiculous.  These pics just hit my inbox this morning, and I had to share.  This Iron Hands army that Ol' Seth is putting together is going to look amazing.  These will, likely, be mounted on flying bases, and count as regular Rhinos.  Flesh is most certainly weak!  Anyway, Ol' Seth is a little uncertain if he likes the design, so please feel free to chime in and tell him what you think!



Ol' Seth's previous Iron Hands Conversion can be found here.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Road to Adepticon 2012, Part 1: Getting the Band Back Together

If you are reading this blog, chances are pretty good that you’ve heard of Adepticon, and their team tournament.  As you might imagine, the Team Snake Eyes blog was created to document the process of preparing for that august event.  Over the course of the next few weeks I’ll be throwing up some posts documenting our efforts in that regard over the years, but most importantly, for the upcoming 2012 tournament.

Broken down to its simplest components, to play in the Team Tourney you need 4000 points of models, and 4 guys willing to play them.  Today I’m going to be talking about the “team” aspect of this event.

Depending upon who you know, or where you live, it can sometimes be a challenge to find 4 players willing to take this journey together.  Do they all have the financial means?  I would love to work out how much money I’ve spent on this tournament over the years (essentially my entire Salamanders army + other sundry bits), but if my wife ever saw those figures I’d likely get heavily ‘sanctioned’.  Do they have the actual time to work on pre-tournament preparations or to actually make the trip?  Many of my 40k friends are shift workers or full time students.  Sometimes they can’t arrange the vacation, or have other priorities that prevent them from participation.  My crew is also heavily involved in Paizo’s Pathfinder game or other role-playing platforms.  Married gamers know that there is often a limit to the number of events one can attend or afford.  Can anyone paint or lose without throwing a tantrum?  Say what you will about soft scores, but this team tournament has them.  Your army needs to look like it belongs together and you won’t get far if you score well in battle points but go all “West Side Story” on your opponents or team mates.
So, as you can imagine, there are a lot of things to consider in picking your team.  I have seen good friends not get chosen because they were too competitive.  I’ve been “fired” from teams before we even completed planning because of personality differences.  Better to sort it out early than not have an enjoyable time in Chicago. 

So, that brings me to the most boring part of this piece, introducing you to the Team Snake Eyes contingent for Adepticon 2012:

That prime rib BEGGED me to eat it.
Chosen1 (Team Captain, army owner, and spiritual leader) – To put it bluntly, I’m awesomely amazing at everything I do.  Any failures in my life can be safely attributed to those around me interfering with my aura of greatness.  I’ve been around the world 31 times, visited every semi autonomous nation state within the Mid-west, and received honorary awards such as “Most Magnificent Man of the Last Five Minutes”, “Creator of the Twinkie”, and who could forget the “Most Cherry Coke Zeroes Drank in a Night” award.  Yeah, it looks intimidating doesn’t it?  Shhh, shhh, shhhhh.  Hush now, don’t be scared.  It’s just better this way.  You’ll know it too; you just have to be one of the lucky few that make it past my entourage.

He's so far beyond you all spiritually, it defies reason.
Chaplain Aerion (Art Director) – Aerion is one of my oldest friends.  Not precisely on his merits, but his wife pays me a healthy stipend to say that publicly from time to time.  Known fondly as “the cabbage boy” by the roughnecks he grew up with, he has an amazing knack for feng shui, competition napping, and interpretive dance.  Additionally, I like to refer to him as the “dice whisperer” for his uncanny ability to accurately state the outcome of every throw of dice he’s ever made.  It’s brilliant, you should see it.  I’ve leaned heavily on Aerion’s talents over the years and that may be why we’ve never finished higher in the standings than we have.

Do NOT ask to pet the elephant.
Zephyr  (Rules Guy & Strongest Player) – Zephyr is both a charity case, and living proof that there is life after a career of brutal Burmese pit fighting.  Raised by feral cats and captured early by mercenaries, he was forced into blood sport at an early age.  Recently recovered on one of my many humanitarian missions, I set his vicious mind at ease by making him play with toy soldiers.  His keen warrior’s mind and my masterful tutelage granted him quick grasp of the game and he longs for the day he can take revenge on his former masters by returning to Burma and challenging the mercenary leader to a game of 40k Apocalypse.  Zephyr enjoys butterflies, coconut milk smoothies, funny hats and Pok√©mon when not yearning for the settlement of blood fueds.

That look means he's hungry
Da Goffer  – (Chapter Menial) Da Goffer’s mom pleaded that I take him out of her basement and give him something productive to do.  She’s such a sweet lady; I had no defense against her desperate pleas.  Turns out, he’s not that bad to have around.  He carries things quite well with his stunted frame, and with supervision manages not to break too many models.  He has a strange love of fungus, often yells incoherently for no good reason, and loves to smash stuff to pieces and then rebuild them into something less suitable than the original.  I have found him to have quite a temper, and I must encourage any of his opponents to just: “let the wookie win”.  It’ll be better for all of us if you do.

His hair is simply average.
Chambers (self proclaimed Dice Monkey & strategist, our “5th man”) – Chambers has spent his life in other’s shadows.  After failing to get into command school due to low test scores on warp drive theory and a certain indiscretion with a Klingon Commandant’s daughter, he was relegated to a Red Shirt for his perennial “so-so” performance reviews and total lack of meaningful achievements.  What is such a master of mediocrity doing on TSE?  Simply put, we needed someone to get us coffee and snacks.  Chambers fit the bill…sort of.  He’ll likely not survive his first mission anyway.  Lazy bum couldn’t even get me a picture when I asked him to.

EDIT: Chambers finally responded to the picture request.  It seems he has "obligations" that take up his valuable time.  Although I did get a pic, it was only of his remedial arithmetic homework.  Because you all still won't know his face, Aerion believes we can use him as an enforcer at Adepticon.  If any of you run afoul of TSE up in out, we know a guy.

Now you can all see for yourselves what sort of "priorities" our Redshirt has

Thursday, December 1, 2011

The Indy Open: March 3-4, 2012

I am just passing along word of, what looks to be, a great tournament going on over in Indianapolis, IN.  The guys over at The Back 40k are putting this on, and I strongly recommend that you consider going if you've got the opportunity.

I have shamelessly purloined the information below from their site:

The format will be a Win-loss style (like NOVA Open) with prizes for the top person in each of the W/L brackets (5-1, 4-2, 3-3, 2-4, 1-5) as well as other door prizes. March 3rd we will have 4 games, followed by two games on March 4th.

Registration fees will be as follows:
$40 Pre-registration (Nov. 1st through Jan. 7th)
(all pre-registered entrants will be put in 2 drawings for a free Adepticon ticket)
$50 Early Registration (Jan. 1st through Feb. 24th)
$60 At the Door Registration (if slots are available)

Location will be:
The American Legion located at 601 S. Holt Rd, Indianapolis, In  46241

 Prize Support:
 Best General will win a $250 visa gift card and an entry spot in the 2012 Nova Invitational Tournament. (Player still has to pay for event) 
Renaissance Man will win a $250 visa gift card and an entry spot in the 2012 Nova Invitational Tournament (Player still has to pay for event) 
The Indy Open will give out approximately another $1500 in prize support to: (Based upon a full 64 person tournament) 
Some of the many prize categories will include:
Best painted army
Second best painted army
Best sportsman
Bracket Winners (These will be the top players from each bracket)
Random Door Prizes and drawings

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Lusty Loganwing vs. Salamanders Rematch!

"Logan" vs. Vulkan...the outcome of this assault determined the result of the entire game.
Some of you may remember Chambers from The Back40k's blog.  He resides in the St. Louis area and plays at my store when he has the time.  Our first game was a 1500 point game where he pitted his gorgeously converted (by Ron Saikowski of +From the Warp+) Lustwing army utilized as Space Wolves against my Salamanders.  Before you purists go crazy, he uses the Space Wolf list instead of the Chaos list because the terminator army can't be faithfully done using the Chaos Space Marine Codex.  Honestly?  An army that looks this good gets all sorts of allowances when it plays against me.  Paint your models kids, it's part of the hobby.  :-)

I had played Chambers only twice prior to this game.  Game #1 = Severe beat-down against his Lusty Loganwing.  Game #2 = Severe beat-down against his Lamenters during the final round of the Ard Boyz prelims.  While I love playing with Chambers, I don't exactly love getting my teeth kicked in.  I was a bit nervous about this game.  We stuck with 1500 points, got capture & control with 5 objectives, and spearhead deployment.

While Chamber's limited number of models limited his selection, he had three squads.  Two six man squads with various weapon load outs including missile launchers, one giant squad with a truck load of guys, Logan Grimnar and a Rune Priest, and a Lone Wolf to wrap it up.  I hate to have guys play the same list of mine twice if we can help it, so I played with Vulkan, a Land Raider Crusader, Land Speeder, two Dakka Preds, two assault terminator squads, and two tactical squads with Rhinos, Multi-meltas and flamers.  Objectives were placed in the middle of the board as well as in the middle of each table quarter.

End of Round 1
Chambers won the initiative and proceeded to take "hail Mary" shots with his missile launchers.  Seriously, that's what he called them.  He averages about 4 Str 8, AP 3 shots a round and reaps a disproportionate bounty of wrecked vehicles and my tears.  My Land Speeder (behind cover) was wrecked, and one Pred was immobilized and stunned.  He also dropped a few of my dismounted terminators and moved his lone wolf forward while his other two squads controlled one of his objectives, and moved towards another on my side of the board.  I only managed to kill a single terminator out of the large squad.

End of Round 2
Round two saw Chambers holding two objectives on his left of the board, as well as the center.  I killed off his Lone Wolf (man I hate those guys) and he wiped out my unmounted terminators.  I was not please with myself at this point.  I was moving a combat squad towards an objective with terminators on it in a vain attempt to contest an objective while my other combat squads were hunkered down for late game shenanigans.  I had five terminators in their tank, and my Preds hadn't had a full turns worth of shooting due to "stun-locking" from the missile launchers.  I had no desire to charge my boys into that mess with a dozen or so terminators in the middle, but that's where they had to go.

Wonder of Wonders!
My third round saw me throw every bullet I had at his large terminator squad.  It wasn't as small as I wanted it to be (1 or 2 left would have been nice...) but I managed a favorable assault since his squad was so spread out.  His Rune Priest wasn't able to join the assault this round.

This is getting better and better, but there's no way I can pull this off...

The next round left us with the epic match up you see at the top of the blog post, so you see, I was quite surprised when I saw this:

Last man standing!

This was classic!  After I took out that squad, he only had two remaining, thus he could only ever hold two objectives.  I moved one Rhino mounted combat squad to the middle of the board, the other went to an open objective, and my final combat squad stayed home to claim that one.  Final tally:  Salamanders 3 objectives to Lusty Loganwing's two.  It was an awesome game, but I can't fault Chambers' gameplay or anyone's dice rolls.  While winning the assault in the middle of the board was clutch, only having three expensive scoring units to my four cheap ones backed up with a Land Raider, Dakka Preds, Assault Terminators, get the idea.  The extra boots on the ground were the difference for me in a game with 5 objectives.

End Game

Friday, November 18, 2011

Ol'Seth's Iron Hands Conversions

Want to know who's got game when it comes to 40k conversions? It's not hard to figure out. Just looking across the web at some of the beautiful models out there can be downright depressing for those of us with mediocre skills. Ever sit next to an awesome painter/converter and think to yourself "why bother?" Well don't. Every one of those guys started out just like you and me. Practice makes perfect they say. What's perfect look like? Take a look at what Ol'Seth's been up to lately.

Awesome Dread conversion coming to a table near you...
Awesome Cog-Axe thingy of destruction

What's better than a cool converted Dread?  A magnetized Dread of course.

Lascannon/Twin-Linked Plasma Gun Razorback conversion

Plasticard/Brass Etching Rhino front plate

Side view of a Razorback almost too cool looking to be shot at...almost.

Front view.  Don't ask me about the creepy color, I have the photo editing skills of a small brained rodent.

Brand of plasticard used by Ol'Seth

From the mouth of Ol'Seth:  The Razorback as you can see is a Lascannon/TL plasma gun variant because well, I like the looks of a single extended large barrel on a turret.  The white plasticard is all from Evergreen models which I picked up at a local hobby shop and can be ordered online.  The etched brass is from Forgeworld.  There was no special hard to do conversions here as you can see.  The barrel on the lascannon was extended with the plastic tubing from Evergreen models and was accomplished with the use of drill bit attachment on a dremel.  Remember to mark the center of where you want the hole with a center punch or cutting knife which is what I do.  Then drill a pilot hole with a small hand drill before going in with the dremel otherwise you may slip and damage your conversion work. The glacis plate on the front of the Razorback was plasticard simply cut to size by measuring the dimensions of the one that comes with the model.  Scoring the plasticard and then breaking along those score marks is the best way to use the plasticard as some of it is too thick to cut thru with an X-acto knife in a single pass.  The dreadnought's legs I can not take credit for.  That was an idea I borrowed from here:

As far as the left arm goes I also borrowed that idea from there.  However, I thought a cog  axe would be more Iron Hands appropriate and also would work well since I ultimately want to use it as a Librarian Furioso Dreadnought.  The axe will be its force weapon.  I need to brainstorm and think further on the right arm although I am currently leaning towards a shield being equipped in that arm. 

Ol'Seth is also the creator of the Slaaneshi Baneblade, so you know his skills have pedigree.  Give it up for Ol'Seth and let him know what you think of his work (so that he gets inspired to send me more pictures!)

Monday, October 31, 2011

Adepticon 2012: T.S.E. is on the march!

I signed up the team at 5:15 pm CST and I was the 25th person in line to do so.  As of 7:30 pm CST, there were 61 of 110 slots filled.  You want a chance to kick the crap out of us or witness some spectacularly bad tactics/dice rolling?  You better get a move on folks.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Flesh is Weak!

I know I haven't been Mr. Johny on the Spot when it comes to updating this blog, but I would like to take this time to introduce a new Team Snake Eyes Member.  "Bannus" and I played a game at Castle Perilous in Carbondale, IL.  He has since moved up north and continued building his collection of Iron Hands.  Welcome to the team Bannus!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Lead Poisoning: How Painting Miniatures Became a Passion.

"Land Dragon w/ Lancer" by Ral Partha, ca. 1978

 The dragon's eyes bored into mine. They were yellow, slitted vertically with a black line. They glistened with illusory wetness, glaring above an open pink maw which was filled with ivory fangs. Ropey strands of saliva hung perpetually from those savage jaws, and the beast reared back on clawed feet forming a threatening, scaly S. Brown wings tinted with gold flecks sprouted from the dragon's ridged back, ready to launch it into the air to rain fire down upon anyone foolish enough to covet its heaping horde.
                I gazed upon this tiny beast of legend with the eyes of an eleven year old boy, and when I looked down into the display case at all the grey, unpainted lead figurines for sale I felt a surge of creative hunger. So many forms were echoes of the beasts and heroes I had worshipped as a youngster. There lay a skeleton that conjured the sounds of a battle brought to life by the immortal Ray Harryhausen in the Sinbad films. In the next tray over, a knight upon an armored horse, looking like he had just left the tourney in Ivanhoe. Orcs, goblins, elves, dwarves, vikings, and things which I could not readily name, called to me with the voice of a Mediterranean siren.
                The man behind the counter answered my questions. They were simple enough. "How much do these cost?" "What kind of paint do you use?"  I chose a dragon, naturally. But not one with wings to threaten the countryside. I chose a wingless dragon. It had a long, lean form and a tail which ended in a large, flat, diamond-shaped spade. It sported a saddle as well as a bit and bridle. These accessories were to accommodate the knight sitting astride the beast. He wore a breast plate and chainmail armor, as well as a conical helmet. A metal rod topped with a sculpted bit of feathers and a pointy tip served as the warrior's lance. I took it home, intent on bringing it to life with the application of some paint.
                Looking back, I am forced to smile at my utter incompetence. To be fair, I had discovered an extremely young hobby. I wasn't inept. I was simply uneducated. But then, so was everyone else. The gentleman who owned the small hobby store from whence I had purchased my new obsession had a truly awe-inspiring collection of heroes and monsters. The gold and brown rampant dragon that first caught my eye was only one of dozens that he had painted. I'm not entirely positive that he was self-taught, but the likelihood is high since published material on the subject was limited to discussions of classic toy soldiers and military modeling. The companies that produced these curios of fantasy were in their infancy, and their creations were sculpted by artists that were the best in their day, which is to say they could convincingly render a tiny shape that was recognizable as whatever they happened to be sculpting. 
                I sat at the desk in my bedroom at home and studied the model. The saddle would need to be brown, as would the reins and the boots on the knight. His little face was the only human skin showing, but the bulk of the dragon was smooth reptilian flesh unadorned by scales or bony ridges. The dragon's mouth was set in a leering grin, showing rows of tightly packed pointed teeth. The bit protruded from the back corners of the beast's maw. The underside of the dragon's neck and belly were parallel bands of skin separated from each other and from the upper portion of the body. They would need to be a different color.
                I had learned about the color wheel in art class, but the whole concept of color theory was an arcana reserved for "real" artists. I reached under my bed and produced an old shoe box that was filled with small glass jars of Testor's model paints. My grandfather had purchased the box at an auction and I had used its contents to decorate everything from World War II fighters to hotrod cars. I removed a few colors I thought might work, a larger jar of paint thinner, and a couple of truly horrid brushes. I placed some paper towels on my desk, strained to twist the lid of some of the more venerable paints, and set to work.
                When it was done I saw my little dragon knight. He glimmered in metallic silver and gold. His face was the color of a peach crayon, and his triangle of a beard was the same brown as his boots (and the saddle, and the ground the dragon strode across). The dragon's skin had an interesting look to it; a pale, jade green with a silvery tint. This, I would later learn, was due to the fact that I had painted a transparent gloss paint over bare, un-primed metal. The beast's belly was a flat, dull yellow, and his claws and teeth were a shining white.
                I was thrilled! Afterward, as I returned home with more and more pieces, I began to try different things. I mixed paint to create new colors. I thinned it so that it would run down into recessed areas, shading them. I learned that all paint is not created equal, nor are all brushes. I discovered the joy of painting with acrylic, water soluble paints.
                It has been thirty-two years since I first held a white metal miniature in my hand. In August of this year, for the third year in a row,  I entered a national-level competition. The first year I got nothing. Last year I won a silver medal. This year, a bronze. Next year... well, we shall see. I have some really cool ideas.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

And now for something completely different...

The assignment for my Advanced Composition class was titled "Your Journey to Literacy". Since half of the two-part assignment was to be a visual component, I opted to chronicle my development as a painter of all things fantastically small. I offer my efforts here for your perusal and, hopefully, enjoyment. Please feel free to offer feedback as this assignment isn't due until Friday the 30th.

Also, please ask any questions this presentation might inspire. I'm always thrilled to talk about the hobby.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Ard Boyz Aftermath

Because my day was a Dinosaur fighting a Whale fighting a Squid kind of day.
Well I'm clearly behind the curve in posting up my results (such as they are), but things happen.  First of all, while I didn't place in the top three for the tournament, this was one of the better times I've had at a tournament.  We had 14 players overall, and I ended up placing 6th, finishing the highest out of the Codex: Space Marines participants.  Here's the list of attendees and how they performed:

1st: Blood Angels w/63 pts (Chambers)
2nd: Tyranids w/60 pts (Nidzilla)
3rd: Chaos Marines w/55 pts (Nurgle/Khorne)
4th: Imperial Guard w/54 pts (mech)
5th: Eldar w/45 pts
6th: Space Marines w/41 pts (your's truly)
7th: Space Marines w/34 pts
8th: Space Wolves w/34 pts
9th: Orks w/27 pts
10th: Orks w/23 pts
11th: Space Marines w/17 pts
12th: Black Templars w/12 pts
13th: Space Marines w/11 pts
14th: Chaos Daemons w/10 pts

Games were against the Chaos Daemons in the first round, Chaos Marines in the second, and Blood Angels in the last.  Here's a brief breakdown:

Game 1

I won the roll and had the Daemon player go first.  I castled up in the middle of my deployment zone and waited for the deep strikes.  He rolled for his second wave to come in first and then had two units destroyed via mishaps, landing only a Greater Daemon, a Daemon Prince, and some plague bearers directly in front of my guns.  I killed the Daemon Prince & Greater Daemon with shooting and finished off the Plague Bearers in assault.  He had seven units to roll for reserves on turn two and got none of them.  I had 10 kill points at the end of turn two (I had killed the traitor as well), and he had 1 (the Vindicator in the ruins).  This is where the game turned sour.  I had killed all of his units on the table when his turn three came up.  He said that I had one since I tabled him.  He apparently thought that if he didn't have any more units on the board that he couldn't bring on the rest of his reserves.  I had never experienced a situation like that, and asked him if he was sure because it didn't sound right.  He said that he was, and we ended the game.  Afterwards, we obviously found out that shouldn't have been the case.  I would have felt bad winning that way if it were true, so winning that way when it wasn't was particularly bitter.  This player and I are friends, and there's no hard feelings, but I just wish he wasn't so confident about that bogus rule.  While I accumulated max points for this turn I, in no way, earned them.  On the plus side, he does have a super-sweet Cthulhu Daemon:

I am painted now for extra mind shattering goodness...Cthulhu fhtagn!!!
My second game was the best technical game I played on the weekend (meaning I didn't get tabled or win by either player not knowing the correct rules).  He had a Khorne/Nurgle list with terminators, a land raider, some obliterators and Havocs.  I don't often play with five objectives, so I used max combat squads and waited for him to come to me.  It was a fun, close game, that ended up with me claiming my home objective and one "away" objective.  He claimed his home objective.  All other objectives were contested.  Great guy.  Great game.
I really need to come up with a better tactic than "march forward and die" for my dreads/speeders
None of those models could touch my Ironclad.  I thought I was clever.  A havoc w/Lascannon off screen killed him.
before he could kill more than one berserker.  Pathetic.
My last game was against Chambers' Blood Angels.  Ah Chambers, why do you beat me like I owe you cash every time we play?  I love Chambers like a brother.  Our games generally devolve into us tearing up with laughter (as I'm removing my casualties of course), but they all end the same way.  All two of them that is.  First time out, he beat my face in with his Lusty Loganwing.  Now, his Lamenter themed Blood Angels had a go at me.  I managed to last until turn five or six (they were all sort of one blood streaked haze at that point) before getting tabled.  Victory points?  I killed or damaged just over 300 points of his army.  Amazingly bad performance on my part.  At this point in the tournament, Chambers was in third, and I was in 4th.  A solid showing from one of us and they would have taken home first.  Well, Chambers won.  :)
Note the super awesome suicide death tactic of my Ironclad...again.
I pushed forward my speeders in a feeble attempt to slow the Blood Angels down.  They were destroyed with casual ease, aided and abetted by my pathological aversion to successful cover saves.  As he approached, I thought it would be more sporting if my Vulkan enhanced Multi-Meltas took the night off and I relied on harsh words and stern looks to send off my foes.  Understandably, that tactic was less than successful as well.

At the end of the day, it was a fun time and a so-so tournament.  I enjoyed playing all of my opponents, but the outcome of my first game, and my performance in my last really dampened my experience overall.  My rolling was so bad that Chambers offered me the chance of re-rolling some of my dice.  Run that through your mind a few times.  It's Ard Boyz, we're playing for a win, and my rolls are so appalling that my opponent offers to let me re-roll a few of them because he feels so badly watching this disaster unfold.  Team Snake Eyes, I'm not only the founder, I'm also the President.  :)