Monday, June 27, 2011

Speed Painting- TSE Style

This past weekend I attended Cape Comic Con in my home town of Cape Girardeau, MO. As this was a work weekend for the lion's share of Team Snake Eyes (and also the celebration of our own Chosen1's arrival upon the Earth), there wasn't much point in organizing one of our fabulous 40K events. For that you'll have to wait til October (7-9) and Brewfest.

Can you find the miniature painter?

Instead I was offered the opportunity to set up a table and demo my miniature painting skills. I basically got to sit in the hall, ogle girls in skintight and revealing superhero and anime costumes, visit with passers-by, and paint. But wait! Don't hate me yet!

While there I acquired a couple of new commissions. One of the Team's friends came by on Friday and asked me what I would charge him to build and paint a Stormraven for his Blood Angels. I gave it a bit of thought, asked him what level of detail he'd want, and shot him a price. He stood quietly for a moment looking at the ceiling. Then looked down at me. Then back up, thinking. After a fairly uncomfortable couple of minutes like this, he said he felt I was undercutting myself. I mumbled something about probably and the economy sucks, yadda yadda. Then he countered by doubling the price I'd shot him and stating, "I want to see what you can do."


I have the 'Raven in hand and my lovely and talented sprue monkey (i.e. Wife) has already begun prepping the model. A bit premature, maybe, since the customer doesn't really need the model before our big Apocalypse game at Brewfest in October, but spirits were high after a great start to the weekend and the con, so we went with it.

On Saturday a couple more moments of pure awesome (tempered by a bit of sad panda) revealed themselves. Our FLGS, Championship Games, had a booth set up. One of the owners walked over to my table with a cardboard box of sturdy build and median capacity. Inside was the store's entire stock of unopened P3 paint (around 50 pots of paint with few duplicates and several bottles of inks and washes in all). I was told the box was mine for fifty bucks.

Ever seen a fat man leap? I'm sure it's not pretty, but....

This was also how I found out the store was closing. After three years, I'm truly sad to see it go. But I'm also friends with the owners and I know this is the right decision for them and their families. Rumor has it that someone else intends to open a new store so the future isn't completely bleak. Thanks Shane and Trace for facilitating our habits. And for keeping Febreeze handy.

Also on Saturday I was approached by one of our Pathfinder Society-playing friends. She handed me a gnomish druid mini (by Reaper), and asked me to paint her (the mini. Painting Wendy might be fun, but...). It was bare metal on a plain square plastic base, but the mini had been cleaned so prep-time was minimal. I shot her a very reasonable price (friend discount and a bonus discount because I know her husband HATES gnomes) and took custody. Upon arriving at home that night (Saturday) I flocked the base and primed the mini.

Sunday morning I woke up (a tad late), packed up the few things I hadn't left at the Con, and arrived and got set up by 11:15. At 3:15 I handed over Ginger.

The customer squealed, her husband shook my hand profusely (I'm sure the extra hard grip was simple exuberance), and everyone oohed and ahhhed. The payment was by that point simply a formality. I haven't had this much fun painting a mini in a while. I pushed myself to get it done before they had to leave at 6 pm (they aren't local), and I think I did okay. Maybe there's hope for me as a speed painter after all.

OH! P.S. If anyone is on Facebook and is interested, I have set up a fan page for my painting studio. Feel free to "Like" Tiny Heroes Miniature Painting, and if you want to add me (Larry Snodgrass), that would be cool too.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Gateway Grand Tournament Thoughts and Results (sort of)

Well the weekend is over, and I managed to survive my first Grand Tournament.  It was a 5 round tournament held over two days, and  while I didn't perform nearly as well as I liked, after an objective analysis of my games, I performed much better than I originally thought I did.  All of my opponents were fantastic to play against and I wouldn't hesitate to play any of them again.  I did hear of a few individuals that had personality conflicts, but the judges were called over to settle disputes and nothing got too hairy.

What does that mean exactly?  The missions included Primary (15/7/3 pts), Secondary (10/5/2 pts), and Tertiary objectives (5/3/1) with two additional battle point modifiers worth one point each.  Most secondary objectives were table quarters while tertiary were typically old school victory points.  While I only earned a "win" on the primary objective on one game, I managed to win out on battle points on a few games and get soundly beaten twice for a final record of 3 wins and 2 losses.

My 2000 pt GT list
My list wasn't too special.  I brought Vulkan, 5 TH/SS Assault Terminators, 2 HF/MM Dreads, 2 Vindicators, 2 MM/HF Landspeeders, 2 Tactical Squads with Flamers, Lascannons, & TL LC Razorbacks, and 1 Tactical Squad in a Rhino with Flamer, Multi-Melta, Rhino, Powerfist, & Combi-melta.


...and after.
Game 1 was Capture & Control with Spearhead deployment.  My opponent played an Air Cavalry Imperial Guard list with 9 Vendettas loaded with melta vets and plasma command squads.  Seriously.  I had heard of speculation or theory-hammer, but this cat actually put nine of those bad boys down on the table...or at least 6.  He literally didn't have the room to deploy them all on the first turn so they came in on reserve.  With 27 twin linked lascannons, scout moves and all those extra plasma/melta weapons I thought I was doomed.  While I included a bit of long range shooting (4 total lascannons) in my list, I didn't have enough for this list.  I hunkered down like a scared little boy and wonder of wonders, my opponent came after me!  He brought his skimmers to within melta range and Vulkan was an absolute rock star, slinging guardsmen around like it was his job.  After the dust settled, I had downed all his Vendettas and most of their contents.  While we each controlled our own objective, I won on points 18 to 13.  I had killed 1900 points of his army to 730 of mine.  Take home lesson?  Do not get intimidated by the Vendetta swarm.  Yes, they would have been much, much more effective if he shot the snot out of me at range, but they are still guardsmen on the inside.  This guy finished 27th out of 37.

Ravenwing Assault!

I don't believe I need much more than this picture to describe my first loss of the weekend.  What you see is my opponent's Ravenguard force after his scout moves and first turn movement phase.  This mission was pitched battle deployment with a primary objective of killing your opponent's HQ choice.  His army contained a good deal of melta on bikes, and attack bikes.  After his first turn of shooting the left side of my army simply didn't exist anymore.  He used his superior movement to great advantage and his target selection was inspired.  He was rolling out of his mind for this game, and most of my destroyed vehicles were killed with a 7 on the vehicle damage chart.  While I wasn't tabled, this guy killed more of my army (1575 pts) than any other opponent on the day.  This game tied for my favorite of the tournament, and I had more fun with this one than I did with the win in the previous round.  This guy finished 22nd out of 37.

Eldar Seer Council on Jetbikes?  No thank you.
My final game on Saturday was against a buddy from Carbondale.  While I had known him (he's a member of the Lords of Egypt gaming club that plays out of Castle Perilous) for a few years, I had never gotten the chance to play him.  That was probably for the best.  This guy handed me my worst beating of the tournament.  He earned the maximum points (32) while I got the consolation amount (6) given to guys who just show up and let the other guys beat on them.  The mission was Annihilation with Dawn of War deployment.  Objectively, this was a great game.  He knew his rules, he knew his mission, and the game flowed very smoothly.  I got a bit emotional (something I aspire not to do...the other players don't deserve that sort of thing) because I just couldn't do anything against a 10 man Eldar Seer Council.  I don't care to hear calls about how big of a point sink that unit is.  700 some odd points?  Big deal, it easily had a bigger impact on my list.  The rest of his list included 3 fire prisms and some other transports.  There were some 5 man squads of Dire Avengers (who never fired a shot) and Fire Dragons (who blew up all sorts of stuff).  No two ways about it, I got crushed by a better list, and very likely a better player.  This guy finished 18th out of 37.


I looked at my first game on Saturday as a fresh start.  It was against an ultramarine list with a dakka pred, heavy bolter speeder, auto-cannon/missile launcher dread, vindicator, sniper scout squad, missile launcher/lascannon dev squad, two tac squads, and a command squad.  He had a squad of terminators and an assault squad in reserve.  The mission was to capture a flag at midfield and control it with an infantry squad for the remainder of the game.  The scouts infiltrated near the objective, took their scout move to control it, and used their turn one movement to move it to his deployment zone.  In essence, I was fighting for a draw the entire game.  I pummeled this guy's army (1710 victory points to 715) but he controlled the objective till the very end of the game.  Only Vulkan going on a rampage through his troops and killing the last scout in assault earned me a draw on the primary object and a win on battle points.  The frustration of the previous day reared its ugly head in this game as well.  I was more disappointed in my behavior (amounted to pouting essentially) during this game than at any other moment  during the tournament.  It really bothers me to act this way, especially during what amounts to a weak win, but I suppose it's my dirty secret.  I apologized to him about it, and I hope it didn't color my opponent's experience of the tournament.  This guy finished 29th out of 37.

My final game was against a gorgeous Ork army and a player who came into town from Lincoln, Nebraska.  He had a tricked out warboss, weirdboy, a mob of burna boyz on foot, some nobs in a battle wagon, two mobs of boys in trukks, some flash gits, and two Deff dreads.  The mission gave us the opportunity to secretly pick our mission objectives and we both picked kill points.  I figured he'd come at me like...well, like an Ork, so I turtled up and waited for him.  Turns out that I didn't have to wait too long as his weirdboy teleported his flashgits behind my lines.  This was a fun game for the both of us with some good shooting (got my first AV 14 kill with a rending assault cannon shot) and his nob unit assaulted its way across the field before falling to Vulkan.  I beat him on kill points in the end, because there was just too many templates in my army for his to withstand.  This game was the other winner of my "favorite game" award, and it's just too bad this guy lives so far away, but I am glad he made it to the St. Louis metro area for the tournament.  This guy finished 25th out of 37 and earned Best Sportsman.

I came away with a load of experiences, some positive some not so much, at my inaugural Grand Tournament.  My first negative is the fact that more of my club wasn't able to attend.  This event was a big deal for our area and we should have been able to support it with more players.  Overall, the tournament was a success in my mind.  The organization was there, the tables were beautiful, and the judges attentive and available.  I had a minor issue with the soft scoring (I didn't get points for conversions...yeah, not much to say about that one), but nothing earth shattering, and nothing that would prevent me from returning.  The final tally sheets can be found here.  Overall winner played a Deathwing Dark Angels list with 36 Terminators and three Land Speeders.  Imperial Guard, Space Wolves, and Chaos Space Marines rounded out the top 4.  A beautifully converted and painted Ork army won Best Appearance.  We had a pretty good mix of armies with the following attendees:(1) Tau, (1) Dark Eldar, (2) Eldar, (6) Space Marines, (2) Dark Angels, (5) Imperial Guard, (5) Space Wolves, (1) Chaos Space Marines, (3) Grey Knights, (3) Blood Angels, (5) Orks, (1) Tyranid, and (2) Black Templar.

Battle Points = 80 / 160 (not good here, not good at all and a main reason for my frustration)
Victory Points = 7071 / 10000 (not bad, but does it really matter if you let this trump your missions?)

The army got 47 points (Best Painted earned 52) for painting, and I somehow (in spite of my pouting) earned 51 sportsmanship points (Best Sportsman earned 53).  My overall score was 183 (Overall winner earned 224).  Those results were good enough to get me 13th place out of 37, which was the highest finish for a Codex: Space Marines army on the weekend.

I also apologize for the blurry pictures.  Here is a link to some photos of the event.  Apparently the iPhone 4 is not that great a platform for 40k tournament pictures...that or I don't know what I'm doing with it AND my army.  :)