Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Misc: NOT An Apology

As happens from even the most prolific of bloggers, sometimes real life asserts itself and the time between posts grows longer and longer. So I have decided to list out everything I am, have been, and plan to be working on. Such a list, it is my hope, will help me to get my goals and priorities organized so I can get around to actually wrapping some of this stuff up. Many of these will eventually find their way onto this blog - when I find the time, of course.

Recently finished
  • Freelance work: building a website for Rebuild Sudan a non-profit organization aimed at improving the quality of life for children and families who have suffered through war.
  • DnD: Three articles for a future Nevermet Press villain
  • 40k: Doing some modeling work on my Dark Eldar Ravagers & taking pictures for a post
Currently working on (to one degree or other)
  • DnD/Art: My first-ever campaign-style map for Nevermet Press' first-ever PDF release.
  • Dnd/Art: Another digital painting for one of my Nevermet Press villains: The Automated Antagonist
  • 40k: Doing an experiment in painting the door bases from Space Hulk
    while slowly painting the Marines and prepping the Genestealers for primer
  • Misc/DnD: Getting a Google Wave account (finally caved - I want in)
To Do
Back Burner (forsaken, but not forgotten)
  • Art: My super-ultra-top-secret graphic novel (1/2 way written; but I'm thinking of a rewrite)
  • 40k: Warhammer 40k Flash Game
  • 40k: Renovating some of my 40k terrain
  • 40k: Finish modeling/painting Ork, Blood Angel, and Tyranid armies
And all this on top of trying to get a house built and giving my family the time and attention they need and deserve from me. Of course, things like work, Twitter, movies and books, video games, and sleep get in the way of my productivity, but I keep plugging away in the hopes that I will one day actually not feel like I'm somehow perpetually behind in what it is I should have accomplished thus far in life.

It's not likely, but one can hope . . .

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

40K: Battle Report - 1500 pt Dark Eldar vs Dark Eldar

I have often encountered players who, upon learning that I play DE, say something along the lines of "Yeah, I used to play them." I was surprised to find that someone at my LGS actually show up with his DE, looking for a game. I was more than happy to oblige.

We rolled for a mission and wound up competing for four objectives - one located in each quadrant of the table.

Kabal of the Guilded Talon (my list)
1 Archon (HQ)
- Punisher; Shadow Field; Drugs; P.Grenades; Animus Vitae; Tormentor Helm
6 Incubi Retinue
- Torm. Hl. & Punisher (x5); Blaster (x1); Plasma Grenades
1 Raider
- Dark Lance

9 Wyches (Elites)
- Splinter P. & CCW (x8); Blaster (x1); P.Grenades; Wych Weapons
1 Succubus
- Agoniser (x1); Splinter Pistol (x1); P.Grenades; Wych Weapons
1 Raider
- Dark Lance

1 Raider Squad (Troops)
5 Warriors:
- Splinter Rifle (x3); Splinter Cannon (x1); Blaster (x1)
1 Raider
- Dark Lance; Horrorfex

14 Warriors (Troops)
- Splinter Rifle (x10); Splinter Cannon (x2); Blaster (x2)

10 Warriors (Troops)
- Splinter Rifle (x8); Dark Lance (x2)

10 Warriors (Troops)
- Splinter Rifle (x8); Dark Lance (x2)

3 Reaver Jetbikes (Fast Attack)
- Splinter Rifle (x1); Blaster (x2)

3 Ravagers (Heavy Support)
- Dark Lance (x1); Disintegrator (x2)

Models in Army: 65
Total Army Cost: 1500

My opponent's list, as near as I remember:
1 Archon (HQ)
- Agonizer; Shadow Field; Drugs; P.Grenades; H.Grenades
10 Incubi Retinue
- Torm. Hl. & Punisher (x10); P.Grenades
1 Raider
- Dark Lance; Horrorfex

1 Dracon (HQ)
Combat Drugs
Plasma Grenades
Haywire Grenades
10 Incubi Retinue
Torm. Hl. & Punisher (x10); Plasma Grenades
1 Raider
Dark Lance; Horrorfex

3 Raider Squads (Troops)
- Splinter Rifle (x3); Splinter Cannon (x1); Blaster (x1)
1 Raider
- Dark Lance; Horrorfex

1 Ravager (Heavy Support)
- Disintegrator (x3)

2 Talos (Heavy Support)

I won the roll for deployment and opted to go first, I deployed towards the middle of my DZ, placing Sniper Squad 1 near an objective in a forested hill on my left and Sniper Squad 2 near an objective on a large plateau on the right. Between them sat the Warrior Squad. The Archon and RJB unit were deployed behind Sniper Squad 1's hill. Ravager 1 was at the rearward base of the hill, between Sniper Squad 1 and the Warrior Squad, while Ravager 2 was located behind the large hill that Sniper Squad 2 occupied, along with the Wych Raider and the Raider Squad. The last Ravager was placed on my right flank, behind a building

My opponent placed his entire force behind a forested hill in the center of his DZ, flanked by the Talos with 2 Raider Squads blocking line of sight to the other Raiders and Ravager packed in behind them.

My Turn 1
The RJB's boosted along the extreme left flank, ending their move behind a forested hill. The Warrior Squad moved forward cautiously, backed up by Ravager 1 which moved up 12". Ravager 2 moved forward 12" to hover in front of Sniper Squad 2 on their hill, while Ravager 3 moved forward 6" out from behind the building. The Raider Squad moved up 12", heading for the nearest objective, located in front of my opponent's DZ. Both Sniper Squads sat still, as did the Archon and Wych Raiders.
Despite the full complement of Dark Lance, Heavy and Light Disentegrator fire poured into the mass of enemy Raiders, I only managed to down a single Raider; The Dracon Raider was shaken, his lone Ravager was stunned, and a single wound was taken off the Talos that was lined up against my left flank. The Warriors waited until the Raider was downed to open up on the pinned enemy Warriors, killing several with their Splinter Cannons.
No assaults this turn, but the RJB adjusted their position along the left flank.

Opponent's Turn 1
The foremost Raider on his right side moved across his deployment to provide cover for the pinned Warriors. The other vehicles that could still move inched forward, but seemed hesitant. A second Raiders on [his right, my left] was destroyed by a scattering blast from a Disentegrator, killing almost half the Warrior squad on board. The two Taloi surged forward, but rolled poorly in their attempts to fleet/run.
The enemy's return fire downed my Raider Squad with a lance shot (note the flaming wreckage template in front of Sniper Squad 2's hill), and the survivors were quickly picked off. Another lance to Ravager 1 (Between Warrior Squad and Sniper Squad 1) disabled its dark lance. The rest of his shooting was largely ineffectual.
No assaults

My Turn 2
The RJB's move to the small hill near the objective and leftmost enemy Talos. Ravager 1 and the Warrior squad stay put, having plenty of targets in range. The other two Ravagers move forward 6". The Archon's Raider moves 12" over Sniper Squad 1's hill and sit on the objective just outside my DZ. The Wych Raider shifts out from behind cover to draw a bead on the rightmost Talos with its lance. The Sniper Squads maintain their positions.
Not a great round of shooting, due in large part to my opponent's ability to make a ridiculous number of cover saves. The RJB's are somehow just outside of Blaster range and can't fire on the nearby Talos. Additionally, only one of the many lance shots in its direction managed to score a second wound - proving it's worth a fire magnet. Some other shooting from on the opposite side of the field managed to stun a Raider while the Warrior Squad picked off a few more of the downed Warriors from the first turn. Talos 2 takes a wound.
No assaults, but the RJB's advanced upon the Talos, putting them within the threat of assault - depending on my opponent's fleet/run roll.

Opponent's Turn 2
The Talos takes the bait and moves over difficult terrain, headed for the RJB's. The Warriors move up to support it, taking them closer to the objective in that quadrant. The Archon's Red Raider zooms forward 12" with the Ravager following close by. The second Talos moves up on the my right flank Ravager. The Dracon's Raider finally decides to move up opposite the Archon, while the remaining Raider continues to meander around the wreckage of the Raider from turn 1, as the survivors move into cover around the nearby objective.
His Ravager manages to immobilize Ravager 1 beside the Warrior Squad, leaving it with two functional Disentegrators. A volley of lances annihilates Ravager 3 along my right flank. A few more Warriors are picked off from the middle.
Talos 1 reaches assault with and kills two of the RJB's, leaving the lone survivor to flees back towards his table edge as it consolidates towards the downed Ravager 1. Talos 2 assaults Ravager 2, but only succeeds in shaking it.

My Turn 3
The Archon's Raider moves up behind Talos 1, roughly where the RJB's made their stand. The Wych Raider moves up to the edge of the hill where the enemy Warriors are holding an objective and disembarks. Ravager 2 retreats from Talos 2, taking up a position behind the Warrior squad.
Talos 1 is largely ignored, while shots are poured into Talos 2, only managing to score a second wound on it. The Wyches thin out the Warrior squad holding the objective with their Splinter Pistols and Blaster. Fortunately, the Archon's Raider is taken down and a few casualties a taken in the unit. Unfortunately, my opponent continues to make the majority of his cover and armor saves.
The Wyches assault the remainder of the Warrior squad, using their Plasma Grenades to negate their cover. The Warriors are slaughtered and the Wyches consolidate into cover around the objective.

Opponent's Turn 3
The remaining Raider with its squad of Warriors move up to unleash splintery heck on the Wyches. Talos 1 creeps 6" towards the downed Ravager 1. The Dracon's Raider dashes across the center of the table, as the Archon and his retinue slog across on foot. Talos 2 remains in contact with the shaken Ravager 3. The enemy Ravager falls back to cover the Warriors who are holding an objective and staring down the Archon's Raider.
My Warrior squad is nearly cut in half by shooting, mainly from the Ravager. The Raider Squad pours fire into the Wyches, but cover saves prevent them from being wiped out entirely. My Archon's Raider is stunned, but otherwise unharmed.
The opposing Archon and Incubi charge the remnant of the Warrior squad and crush it - leaving a lone survivor scrambling for a table edge. They consolidate towards the forest where Sniper Squad 1 is hiding. Talos 2 attempts to destroyRavager 2, but can't seem to connect.

My Turn 4
Sniper Squad 1 surges forward to claim the objective sitting just forward of the forested hill they've been hiding in while Sniper Squad 2 rushes forward to surround the objective in front of them. The Archon's Raider slides on to the small hill beside it before disembarking. Ravager 2 continues to make a tactical withdrawl, ending up in nearly the same position it started the game. The Wyches shift around in the cover, anticipating that they will either charge this turn or be wiped out by shooting shortly after, while their Raider maneuvers deep into enemy territory and flanks the Ravager. The fleeing RJB and Warrior continue their headlong flight off the table.
Finally getting our targeting matrices aligned, Talos 2 is taken down by lance fire. The Wyches also manage to take down the Raider closest to them with a Blaster, taking some Warriors out in the ensuing wreck (and pinning them, I think) - My opponent attempts to deploys them on the opposite side of the wreckage from the Wyches. The Wych Raider sends a beam of dark matter into the rear of the enemy Ravager, stunning it. Ravager 2 lays waste to the Archon and his Incubi with its Disentegrators, but can't quite wipe them out.
My Archon and his Incubi charge and make short work of the Warriors holding an objective. They consolidate around the objective.

Opponent's Turn 4
The Dracon and his Incubi disembark at the foot of the hill by Sniper Squad 2. The Archon and a surviving Incubi (or two), attempt to move into the forest towards Sniper Squad 1, but poor difficult terrain tests frustrate their movement. Talos 1 casually floats up to the immobilized Ravager 1, claws twitching greedily.
The Dracon and her retinue take pot shots at Sniper Squad 2 while her Raider blows Ravager 2 out of the sky.
The Dracon and Incubi charge Sniper Squad 2, slaughtering most of the them, but the survivors refuse to back down. Talos 1 wails on the Ravager 1, but can't seem to do anything to it that hasn't already been done.

End of Turn 4.
Somewhere around this point, another player made the smart alec comment:
"Hey the DE are finally going to win a game!"
I gave him the stink eye.

My Turn 5
The Wyches move out of cover to face the Warriors hiding behind their downed Raider.
Sniper Squad 1 finally FINALLY takes down Talos 1. The Splinter Pistols and a Blaster of the Wyches trim the ranks of the Warriors. A couple shots aimed at the Ravager keep it unable to fire, IIRC - that or the Archon's Raider blew up the Dracon's Raider (I really need to remember to get the end game pics)
The Wyches charge and overrun the Warriors contesting the objective - they consolidate towards the Dracon and Incubi, who finishes off Sniper Squad 2 and consolidates around the objective.

Opponent's Turn 5
The Archon and Incubi try to move through the forest, but can't get within striking distance of Sniper Squad 1 - the only scoring unit left on the table.

At this point, my opponent rolled to see if the game would continue and got a 1. I was firmly in possession of 1 objective, and contesting 2 others. My opponent was contesting 1 objective. I win!

Sorry, no pic for Turn 5

Thursday, October 15, 2009

40K: Wrecked Vehicle Tokens

First off, all credit for this goes to John from Santa Cruz Warhammer for coming up with this.

Take some flicker LED tealights, some cotton balls, and a hot glue gun mix them together and add a little black spray paint and - voila! - you've got something every Dark Eldar player needs a fair amount of: flaming wrecked vehicle tokens!

I was a little stingy with the final coat of spraypaint on the smoke, fearing that it would block out the light. As you can see below, plenty of light still makes it through, even in a well lit room:

I think I'm going to hit them with another pass . . . if it ever stops raining.

One thing I learned in making these: If, like me, you are using a low-temp hot glue gun, pre-fluff your cotton balls and put the glue on only one half of the light at a time, immediately applying the cotton right after. This helps to get the cotton on the light while the glue is still warm and tacky. Taking time to apply it to the whole light lets a lot of the heat dissipate and you loose some of the adhesion.

I'm hoping to break them out tonight in a game. I'm excited to see how other players react.

Monday, October 12, 2009

DnD: Encounter Quick Reference - First Draft

Here is my first stab at an Encounter Quick Reference Sheet done in the same vein as the editable & printer-friendly Skill Challenge Tracker. The intent is to make this into an editable pdf file, but before I start adding input fields, I need to finalize exactly what's going to show up and where.

I envision this as an aid to building encounters, but also helping streamline their execution when the PC's are wailing on the monsters - the DM can just glance down at the various defenses and tell if it was hit or not instead of having to look each one up.

Feedback is not only welcome, but encouraged for this one!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

40K: Aborted 40K Flash Game

Several years ago, as I was getting back into Warhammer 40,000 after an extended hiatus, I encountered a flash-animated battle report that I thought was so cool - I just had to try doing something like it.

As I began playing around with Flash and learning more about it, I thought 'Why stop at a battle report? Why not just make a game?' So I started working on a 40k Flash game during the abundance of downtime I had at my job at the time. The story was about a Dark Eldar Talos that had been captured and deactivated by Space Marines, only to be remotely reactivated by a Haemonculus to fight its way past the Marines and even, due to classic True Kin backstabbing, Dark Eldar forces.

I didn't get too far into it before I changed jobs twice within two or three years and could no longer focus on it. I still think about it from time-to-time.

So, having dug it up and dusted it off, here are the animations for the Talos:

As you can see, I never quite perfected getting the shooting and assault animations to run at the last position & heading of the figure.

I also have animations for a Dark Eldar Warrior w/Splinter Rifle, Tactical Space Marine w/Bolter, and a Space Marine Sergeant w/Bolt Pistol and Chainsword - maybe I'll put them up, provided anyone is interested in seeing them.