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Vom-Krieg

Republications of my board game related materials from my blog at http://vom-krieg.blogspot.com/

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Mansions of madness - Complete Painted set

J Vom-krieg
New Zealand
Wellington
Wellington
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You don't have to labor over models for ages to make them look "reasonable"

Boardgames look so much better with painted figures, even if those figures have only very simple paint schemes.

Case in point is these characters from the Arkham series of game, specifically, the ones from Mansions of Madness.

Now the cool thing about this is that these characters are usable in all four Arkham games. Arkam Horror, Elder Sign, Mansions and Eldritch Horror. Also, i purchased the pre-painted figures for all the characters no included in Mansions. So I have painted figures for all 48 odd characters in that family of games.

Which is pretty sweet

My usual "basic approach" of doing models quickly is repeated here. A solid base coat that is done in 2 layers normally to ensure coverage. An ink wash, so highlighting or dry-brushing, and a tiny amount of detail work.



The one tricky thing on these guys here, is the pin stripe suit. Now that is a basic job, it is literally some grey lines painted over the black undercoat. Nothing more complicated than that, but it looks surprisingly good.




The Harvey model on the left is a great example of the deception in my painting.

It looks like i meticulously highlighted the suit and did some fine detail work. The truth is that this is a two layer base coat + ink + drybrushing. Nothing more, and it took way less than 30 minutes to do. I was painting these guys in batches of 4, just to allow for drying time.

GW has some fabulous inks and you can see the "agrx earthshade" at work across the different browns i employed on these models. It is literally doing all the work for me.





I am also lazy enough to not remove the mold lines....... and it's really noticeable on Jenny on the far right.

Oh, and check out the "camoshade" ink on the green dress. That turned out really well.




So, i get back to the original point. Models for boardgames are pieces for the game first, and works of art second. They will suffer a lot of "wear and tear" so you don't need to be a Michelangelo for every paint job.

There is a lot to say about amazingly well painted models. But don't let expert painting put you off the notion that you can have "good" looking models with a small amount of time and practice. And good is great once they are on the board.


Part two, the monsters


Mansions of madness is a unique game. Its mix of dungeon crawling, horror themes, exploration and unique scenarios, make it a really different experience to other games, and I feel it is the Arkham series game that best captures the feeling of the short stories. Usually, you cannot win by fighting the monsters and the game is best played when the investigators hurriedly run around in a panic to desperatly stop the horror before it overwhelms them.

And as you know, I paint my boardgames just to make the gaming experience cooler. My mantra with boardgames is to paint them well enough that they look ok on the table, but simple enough that it doesn't take a lifetime to paint. After all, they are paying pieces first and foremost.

However, for this project I had an extra set of criteria. Monsters in mansions have little data cards that you are mean't to slide in and out when you deploy a new one, as each card has different stats and specials on it. I find sliding those cards a pain in the butt, so I wanted every single monster in a group to be virtually indistinguishable from the others.

Note, I left the Mansions monsters box open and they got dusty. I'll sort that out at some point.




Take these maniacs as the first example. Yep, they are in a slightly different body position. But I did my absolute best effort to make sure the models looked as close as possible, right down to the blood spatter.

Also, another plug for GW's "blood for the blood god", it's simply the best "blood" material i've worked with in painting by miles. I love how it looks on the denim jeans, as that is how blood looks on jeans.



The cultists were painted as identically as possible. Normally I mix up race in my models, as I don't like seeing a swarm of white dudes only in all my games. But the setting, and the concept of "matching" didn't really work this time around.



The Shoggoth's got fully covered in a glossy sheen, but asides from that, they are basic black with a tiny bit of highlighting. The eyes are only real "painting" on the figures. It goes to show that even minimal effort can yeild fine looking models for table top play. You don't need a golden daemon sword quality figure for a boardgame to look a lot better.



I'm so so on these guys, but i'm really happy with how the human heads turned out. The key idea for the monsters, along with "matching" was to make them colourful and easily differentiated from other monsters. This is why I went with quite a vibrant colour palette over the whole series.



Of course, to balance out those bright colours, other figures got more homely looking schemes. The nightgaunt's in particular, are mentioned in the stories as being featureless. So i thought painting them a dull grey would work.



The zombies were another large batch that needed to match. I used some of the GW corrosion technical paint to give them a dirty look as well. A hate how they are all waving like gormless fans though. It's not a pose I would have chosen for them.



The wizard was my least favourite model in the range. He's just a bearded dude standing with his mouth open. I wanted him to be a little bit cooler, so I custom made some tentacles and put them growing out of his mouth. This way, instead of standing there gormlessly, he looks like he's about to explode and become a Dark Young.



Finally, my favourite models in the set, The Dark Young and the Crawling ones. The Dunwich Horror itself is an odd figure, the face and the tentacles are kinda cool. But the Dark young is such a nice figure, it feels very solid, as the plastic they use is a bit floppy on thinner parts like arms and weapons. He's just a big ball of awesome.

The crawling ones had more effort put into them than many of the other figures, because i like them so much. I used wet-blending on the torso to tentacle section, so it looks like the humanoid torso is organically growing out of the sludge at the bottom.

Total paint time for these figures was low, and the key was making them functionally good, rather than works of art. Virtually anyone can paint to this level with a small amount of practice. So I say again, don't be dissuaded from painting your games, even an average to mediocre paintjob is 100 times better than bare plastic.
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Sun Jul 19, 2015 2:28 am
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Battlestar Galactica - Review and Conversions

J Vom-krieg
New Zealand
Wellington
Wellington
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This is a repost from my blog http://vom-krieg.blogspot.com/

On that blog I talk about gaming, modeling and painting. I am only reposting the board game specific stuff on here and nothing to do with Warhammer 40k or Warmachine. if you want to check out that stuff, just go to the blog.



Battlestar Galactica is a great game.

Well… review done, on to talking about the paint jobs!

Oh…wait. So you’re saying a review of a game has to include more than one sentence of approval?

Man, who makes these rules up?

Right… so why is BSG a great game? Well, for me it comes down to a few things. Theme, Production Values, Interactivity and IMCOMPUTREACH! (more on that word later on in the review)

THEME!




A lot of ideas that are great in one media suck terribly when ported over to another. Just because X was a great PC game, doesn't mean it will be a good film (Doom anyone?) and just because something was a popular comic book doesn't mean the film wont suck (Screw you Stallone).

This is especially true in the Boardgame world. A lot of boardgames based on other successful films, game, books etc suck terribly. There are some exceptions (Game of Thrones, Dune and War of the Ring are great games), but for every one of those classics there are 100 versions of monopoly.

The game captures the theme of battlestar perfectly, not only do the game mechanics represent what happens in the show (Space battles, intrigue, resource struggles) they also capture the emotions as well. You always feel tense and like something horrible is about to happen.



Production Values



Its fantasy flight games, so you know it’s going to be shiny. Battlestar is a high water mark even for FFG though. The board is great and introduced the “wheel” concept that they have repeated in many games since. The cards are all high quality and have rich flavour text and photos from the series. The cardboard tokens are all high quality and the figures are pretty good. My only gripe with the original game was the cardboard basestars, but they fixed that in the expansions.

Interactivity



A lot of games fall down on the “it’s someone else turn, guess ill just sit here and watch” factor. BSG has very little of this. Someone actual draw cards, move, take an action takes very little time in comparison to the crisis phase which involves all players interacting. Card plat, politicking, accusations and mockery form a solid part of every turn.

Even a players move can be an interactive experience as people will be saying “so….. why did you do that? Are you trying to make us lose YOU CYLON SCUM”. Which brings us to…..

INCOMPUTREACH!

This is what makes the game golden. Because at least one player is actively trying to sabotage the fleet you get paranoid about peoples actions. Sometime, people just make dumb moves in a game. It’s not because they are the Cylon it’s because they just made a dumb move. This is why we coined the term INCOMPUTREACH!

INCOMPUTREACH

Definition – An action that seems treacherous but could have simply resulted from incompetence. This action leaves you confused and suspicious at the same time.



This feeling alone can make games a memorable experience. Many a time someone has said “I thought you were the Cylon when you did X” only for it to be revealed that the player just didn't think it through.

I love incomputreach, loves it.


And Painting


As shown I did two things with this game; paint the models and create flying bases. The paint jobs are very simple with the Cylon ships being given a simple black undercoat and silver highlight (with red eyes). The vipers are white, which is a pain to paint, with a fine red strip (which was repainted multiple times to get it right on some vipers). The Raptors are the old Scorched Brown from the citadel range.

The flying stands are very simple. I drilled a small hole in each spacecraft and glued modelling wire into them. I then got old bolts and filled them with milliput, once they started to dry a little I pushed the modelling wire into the bolt and ensured it did not come out the bottom. I let them dry (some required more superglue later on to ensure they stayed in the base) and then trimmed the bottom of the base with a modelling knife to ensure they were flat.

Overall

A solid 9 Cylon Andys out of 10.

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Mon Dec 10, 2012 8:17 am
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What makes a great games store

J Vom-krieg
New Zealand
Wellington
Wellington
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This is a repost from my blog http://vom-krieg.blogspot.com/

On that blog I talk about gaming, modeling and painting. I am only reposting the board game specific stuff on here and nothing to do with Warhammer 40k or Warmachine. if you want to check out that stuff, just go to the blog.


*Just a preamble, most of this deals with stores in new Zealand, but im sure a lot of what i'm saying applies elsewhere*

A few days back, Chris from Mark One comics and games posted this to the stores facebook page

“I think I've mentioned before my pet hate of visitors walking in to Mk1 in a brief moment of calm and quiet and declaring the whole day must be like this ... The chap who just departed seemed to take an inordinate amount of glee in observing my beloved shop's end of days so I picked at his thought processes further. (I don't know why - a masochistic streak?) I told him about our very busy morning and that the shop was in fact a healthy and spry 20 something year old business with many a plan for the future. I was told I am delusional and wasting my time and that retail in general and book stores in particular were a thing of the past. (especially in Victoria street he emphasized!).. Whilst telling him all evidence pointed me to a different conclusion, I asked him why this seemed to provide him such joy? Was he in fact the bad news fairy delivery messages of woe, crushing optimism where ever he would find it?

He didn't like being called a fairy.”


My first reaction was this



I thought, you go Chris!

Then I thought “Why is Mark One successful?, what makes it such a successful store with great longevity when so many games stores crash and burn”. Mark One, along with Jambo in Napier, are very good local friendly gaming stores. They do a lot of things right, but they do it differently. So now I’m thinking, “what do I like in a game store”

Leadership!

A good store, like any enterprise needs leadership



Several horror stories from game shops revolve around absentee owners and staff with limited authority and accountability. For a store to succeed it either needs the owner onsite, and emotionally invested in its success, or it needs an empowered and accountable manager.

The person making the orders needs to be dealing with customers, they need to understand what their customer base is interested in purchasing as well as forecasting and preparing for emerging trends. A bad store is one that gets on the band wagon way too late.


Good people, skilled people, Informed people (Not dirty students)


Too many stores employ cheap labour from students who hang around in the store too much. I like the staff at a store to be professional and to demonstrate care about the store.

If the staff don’t care about the store, pretty soon the customers won’t. If the staff are playing Magic the gathering or painting all day…. Well…. That just looks awful to a customer.

I would also like to know who the store staff are, even a simple shirt or badge to designate who the staff are and who the dregs hanging out in the store to play Magic with their friend who works there would be nice.
I want game store staff to do two things, provide good customer service and have good product knowledge…. Especially about release dates and when items are arriving. A lot of the time, when I want something, I want it on release, and I want to know when that is.

What we don’t want to hear is “Um, I don’t know?”

This all reminds me of one of the worst game store experiences I’ve ever had. Out of morbid curiosity I decided to check out Vagabond in Hamilton. First off, the staff member was painting with 3 of his friends, not a good start. It took a while for him to show interest in someone entering the store (I got in the way of his painting you see).


We laugh at him, but if he ran my local store I would probably punch him


I asked if they had a copy of “Android” the boardgame, as it had just been released and I was interested in obtaining a copy. The “dirty gamer student employee mouth breathing space filler” responded with…. And I quote

“I haven’t heard of that, we only stock more hardcore gamer games here, perhaps you should try Toyworld”
I may have lost my cool at that point and told him precisely what I thought of his product knowledge and the state of the store. Never again will I go into a vagabond.

So in summary; don’t hire gaming muppets for minimum wage as they will stink up your store and make the place feel amateurish.

Selection… and the magic words!


For me, the magic words for a gaming store are

“I can get that in for you”

That’s all I want to hear if I’m looking for something and it’s out of stock. A store should have a good range, but stocking every item from every game range is impossible and impractical. The selection should be good, and it should be responsive to customer demand. But as a shopper I have reasonable expectations of what a store will carry.

A great store has good supply lines, can order at competitive prices, and contacts you when something arrives. Mark One goes one better.

I’m a 2000AD fan, and whenever a new trade paperback is scheduled to come out I get an email notifying me if I’m interested in ordering it. Not that my order is in stock, but that there is something I’ve said I want, and tis due out in 6 weeks and would I like it then.

I think this is great customer service and great business. (It also makes me buy more as the prompt gets me thinking “yeah, that one sounds good”)

Openness


I don’t like dingy cramped stores, I like well lit open stores with some air circulation. Just because I smell like a ball of grease dipped in cheeseballs doesn’t mean I want my gaming store to smell that way.

Openness in a store is also about its staff and general atmosphere. If a store has a gaming table right in the entranceway that is a turn off. You have to shimmey past people to get to the product and it must be intimidating as all heck to new customers.

A store should be welcoming and you shouldn’t feel like you are intruding on some secret club house.


When non gamers walk into bad game stores, they are feeling what you feel after seeing this pic


My partner loved going into Mark One. She has expressed before how awkward some stores make her feel with the cliqueishness of the staff and, sometimes, with the patronising nature of the staff to female customers. Her comments on Mark one were “It felt like a family store, they had a great range from mainstream comics to indy comics, hardcore game to family games, but most importantly I didn’t feel like when I walked in everyone stared at me and thought “it’s got boobs, whats it doing here”

She does not rate Games Workshop Wellington the same way and feels incredibly uncomfortable going into that shop for any reason.


Gaming Tables/Loitering with intent


I’m torn on gaming tables at the store. From one point of view it’s a great way to demo games and grow the community. From another point of view its an obstacle in the store and fills your store with sweaty gamers that can turn off casual visitors.

Mark One has no tables, Jambo has a bazillion and they both work.

Jambo has the tables behind the main shop area, so the gaming is occurring in the background. It’s like a backdrop of activity and isn’t blocking the retail aspects of the store. I like their approach. Mark One however, would have to sacrifice a good amount of space to accommodate a gaming table and I really don’t think it would work in that store.


The worst example is GW Wellington, big gaming tables completely crowding the store that are frequently surrounded by mewling children and sweaty male adult gamers. Having the tables front and centre is an eyesore but that store is a cupboard and lives off demos of games and store activities. It works for them…. But it really doesn’t work for me.


This is my personal hell

I’m leaning towards the Jambo approach, have some tables but put them at the back, away from the main store and with a nice barrier. It gives the store a gaming atmosphere without making it a roadblock to visitors.

Thoughts?


So peeps, what do you think of gaming stores, what do you want, and what drives you up the wall.
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Sun Oct 14, 2012 5:31 am
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What should I do next?

J Vom-krieg
New Zealand
Wellington
Wellington
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This is a repost from my blog http://vom-krieg.blogspot.com/

On that blog I talk about gaming, modeling and painting. I am only reposting the board game specific stuff on here and nothing to do with Warhammer 40k or Warmachine. if you want to check out that stuff, just go to the blog.


Well, I have a bunch of ideas for projects to do, so many in fact i may be suffering from bucket syndrome (So many things to do that i cant figure it out, its best just to put a bucket on my head to calm down).

I have a lot to paint/customise with my boardgames. If you haven't checked out my Descent, Chaos in the Old World, War of the Ring or Axis and Allies custom games please do.... i think they are neato

Here are the options, in alphabetical order. Interested in your feedback

Arkham Horror



This wont require much effort, in fact next to no effort. All it requires is cash moneys (A lot of it) and some minor time and effort

What I want to do is pimp out my game and make it a bit more special. I've already bought a custom monster cup and made elder sign symbols.

To take it to the next level I want to buy the fully painted Arkham Investigator models ($200... ouch), get a little Cthulhu statue for a first player marker, and make some custom inlays and storage solutions for the game.

Not an epic job, but does require me making my lunches for a month so I can afford it.

Battlestar Gallactica




I started this project a long time back, and quite frankly it does the job. The models are reasonably well painted and look 100% on the table than unpainted plastic.

However, there are two things I would like to do to finish this off. One is to paint the extra fighters that came with the Exodus expansion. The second is to base the fighters and basestars on stands.

This isn't a big job and is currently a front runner for something to do that's easy to deliver and will make me feel good for doing so.


Chaos in the Old World



I love Chaos in the Old World, it's one of my many games I wish I could play more often. This is especially true as I have a fully painted set.... until now.

I just got the Horned rat expansion. And I can't bring myself to play the game with the Horned Rat if his models are unpainted.

Its only about 15 odd very small models. they are pretty mediocre quality and made of pretty ordinary plastic however. It's another short job but one that could be really rewarding when complete.

I'd also like to get some custom dice for this game with the relevant chaos symbols on them.


Descent?



No seriously... I have an unpainted Descent model.

Only ONE of them

Nara the fang was a bonus model that came in my copy of Sea of Blood. It's only one model to do, but after that epic Descent campaign I dont want to go near the game for a while.

Competing interests here, my sense of completionism versus my complete burn out on Descent. Its a tricky one to resolve!


Horus Heresy


Love the setting, but probably wont get to play this head-to-head game anytime soon.



That being said, it looks HORRIBLE unpainted. The game screams "HEY PAINT ME, I'M A BLOOD ANGEL I SHOULD BE RED NOT GREY"

I've had a go at this and painted a bit of it but there is still so much to do.


Rex- Final days of an Empire

This one is tempting, but I feel I have some time up my sleeve to get it done. It's one model (well, 5 i suppose) and it does look very very cool.

I will certainly have to paint this before it hits the table, which i hope is in a month or two.





Shadows over Camelot

This is a dark horse and quite likely to get to the back of the line.

It's not the hardest game to paint up as it has only 31 models (and most of those are little catapults)

It would also benefit immensely from being painted and the models aren't the worst on the market by any means.

I do like the game, unfortunately I do like Battlestar a lot more.

Still undecided on this, I would love to own a painted copy of this however




Space Hulk


I have half painted my set, those models I have finished I am exceedingly proud of. As far as i'm concerned they are the best paint jobs I have ever done.... period.

However, they take roughly the same time to do as Uranium 238 takes to become non radioactive.

It's another classic conflict, my desire to have AWESOME SPACE HULK vs the effort required to get the models up to this standard.

Torn on this one as well

ARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGHHH





Twilight Imperium




One of the grandest boardgames ever made and the biggest unpainted eye-sore in my collection.

Hundreds of space ships, all raw plastic. I've not even looked at this as a painting mission.

If I did, it would be on a similiar scale to my epic Axis and Allies paint job.

Big commitment with a massive pay off, another hard call

Oh, I also want to get perspex fleet movement markers.




Warmachine


I still have some painting to do for my Cygnar army, even if I dont buy another model in the foreseeable future.

The annoying this is its a really small amount to do.

2 casters, 2 solos, some basing and detail work on a unit or two and some wreck markers. It's just enough to take some effort as well.


Conclusion

So any advice, anything anyone really want to see from this list?
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Tue Sep 18, 2012 11:31 am
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Painting Battles of the Third Age

J Vom-krieg
New Zealand
Wellington
Wellington
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This is a repost from my blog http://vom-krieg.blogspot.com/

On that blog I talk about gaming, modeling and painting. I am only reposting the board game specific stuff on here and nothing to do with Warhammer 40k or Warmachine. if you want to check out that stuff, just go to the blog.


I took a break from painting Warmachine after I did my War of the ring retrospective. I remembered I still had a fair bit to do to finish off battles of the third age.

First up, let me say that I think Battles of the Third Age is a truly mediocre expansion that doesn't do a lot for me.

Why you ask? Because I only use 10% of the expansion and the other 90% sits on a shelf being neglected. I tried the scenario games and I really don't enjoy them. Not gonna comment much more on them asides to say I would have preferred to have paid half price for the expansion and only got the stuff used in the core game.

That being said, the stuff you do get for the main game is all pretty cool. Siege engines, trebuchet, Dunlendings, Corsairs, Ents, the Witch King on a Wyvern, Galadriel and the goddam BALROG.

Its 5/10 as a full expansion, 9/10 if I could have just got the stuff for the main game.



Ok, I normally paint these models in a very short amount of time, but I spend a bit of effort on the Balrog. He's a suitable epic character to spend time on and painting red is easy and fun. This was a fair few stages of highlighting up from black to yellow as i really wanted to capture the "Fire and Shadow" look. I think he looks pretty cool and look forward to bringing him out next time we play. Something about a colossal fire breathing monster rampaging over the shire and eating hobbits fills me with glee.

Next up is Galadriel, the model the good guys get to balance out the Balrog. She doesn't leave lothlorien but can do an awful lot to help the free peoples with her magic, shes very good when you are focussed on getting the ring to Mordor. I painted her blue and white to make her nice a crisp, also gave her flowing blond hair. the pool in front has the eye of Sauron in it as well for a bonus.

Finally, the hunting Witch King on a Wyvern. This is a variant Witch King and you can only have one, this guy focusses in on the hunt for the one ring and makes getting that thing to Mordor a right pain. It doesn't show up too well in this pic but the Myvern is a deep scaly green colour, the beak was done in bone to give the model a nice contrast and make it more threatening. Just point the beak at the fellowship and your opponent will get the idea.



Ents are awesome. The last march of the Ents was my favourite scene in the books and the films. Something about angry trees smashing stuff up makes me smile. Simple paint jobs on these guys, deep brown and brown ink with a touch of green. Treebeard gets the special character base and a grey beard.

The new rules for Ents are far better than the abstractions in the core game. Still menacing and a real threat to Isengard. It's just more visceral when you actually place Ent markers on the board.



Next up, Siege engines. I had taken some photos of the Trebuchets as well but they seem to have gotten corrupted and .... well.... they are very simple models. Brown and tin/bronze are the main colour employed here. Very simple jobs, but anything more than this is a waste for a model that's essentially a giant blob.

I like Siege engines and Trebuchets as they add an extra dynamic to sieges, which are a major factor in this game.



The Dunlendings join the Isengard faction and are cheap fodder infantry. They seem quite useful but I'm still not 100% sure why I would take them over regular troops. Something I'm missing I guess. These guys suffer from bendy plastic syndrome and the pitchforks are all over the place.

To break up the tedium I did 3 different colour outfits and 4 different colour beards. No two Dunlendings have the same outfit and beard colours. Fiddling and annoying to paint.



Next up are the Corsair Ships joining the Harradrim and Easterlings faction (aka everyone bad asides from Sauron and Saruman). I've played a few games with the expansion and so far these guys haven't made a big impression. It's a pity as I like the Corsairs as a concept.

Very simple paint job, bone on the sale and some flesh ink in the recesses. The bases are the result of picking up a water effects bottle for half price at a "going out of business sale". I think its a nice effect and was pretty painless to do. Just get water effects from your local store (GW stocks some) pour on the base.... and leave to dry.



Finally I'll look at some custom work I did. My strider model has a chunk out of the back of his head, I also had some damaged components in my core game (The tokens to select which member of the fellowship dies) I sent of to FFG to ask for a new Strider, some new components and ..... and extra north elite.

I made a crown to cover the head hole and BAMM! Aragorn the King figure. I also took the north elite and sculpted a beard on to him and BAMM! Gandalf the white.

This will be so much better than the cruddy little tokens you get in game when these two upgrade.

Anyways, that's all for War of the Ring (And I mean all, i'm not painting up the rest of the models in 3rd age)


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Sun Apr 29, 2012 4:44 am
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Painting War of the ring - Part 2

J Vom-krieg
New Zealand
Wellington
Wellington
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This is a repost from my blog http://vom-krieg.blogspot.com/

On that blog I talk about gaming, modeling and painting. I am only reposting the board game specific stuff on here and nothing to do with Warhammer 40k or Warmachine. if you want to check out that stuff, just go to the blog.


Well, I started off showing you the bad guys armies, so it makes logical sense for me to show you the good guys next..... well duh?

Anyway, 5 factions, and the fellowship make up the free peoples faction for War of the Ring. A curious thing about the game is how you don't have to play "by the book"

What I mean by this is that you don't have to start in Rohan by attacking with Isengard and then follow up with Mordor attacking Gondor. The key battles in War of the Ring can happen all over the board, and whil it is logical to go for Gondor with all of Saurons might. Sometimes its better to head north to smash the dwarfs, or sack Rivendell.

The different strategies that can work are what makes this game a great one for me. My fondest victory ever came when I by passed Gondor and Marched an Easterling army through Rohan and into the Shire.

So armies!



Lets start with the biggest and baddest faction of good guys, Gondor. The models are mediocre sculpts again and the spears suffer from being low quality soft plastic.... so they get a bit of the droopskis. I used the movies colour scheme as a base for these guys and really like the simple black/white/steel look.



Rohan was also based on the movies look and feel. I think these guys turned out alright. The infantry sculpts have better detail than Gondor and the colour palette was nice and simple. The blond beards help these guys stand out nicely on the table, as do the white horses on the shields.



Tra-la-la its the Elves.I tried making these guys stand out from the Rohan units despite both having a predominately green and white palette. The elven infantry sculpts are pretty awful and suffer from "the leans" as you can see from the soldier on the left. Still, I thought the white charger look for the commanders was a nice touch, makes them look all regal and stuff.



THE NORTH! You remember these guys from the films right? right? Well, you do see some of them in a pub in Bree getting murdered by nazgul.... and Strider is technically a ranger from the north. The North represents the other human nations asides from Gondor and Rohan. So that's the Beorlings, men of Arnor, Carrock, the Dale etc.

More droopskis here but I do like the infantry sculpts. Beardy men with bows does capture the essence of the north, as does rangers on horseback.



I do lament that the Dwarves are a comparatively minor race in the game. It's their location one half of the Dwarven forces are in the far left of the map where they can't really get stuck in very easily. They also have less troops and fewer recruiting cards. That being said the Dwarves near the lonely mountain in the east have saved the day for the free peoples numerous times when I have played.

As far as the models go, I love these guys. Very stocky and I really like the leaders and Elites.



Sorry, not the best photo. On to the fellowship! Legolas - Painted elven styles! Aragorn.... well the model is kinda meh, so I painted him up like a ranger. Boromir is a far nicer figure and I used the red palette inspired by the films.

Gandalf however is great. A nice cloak with some good detail, I actually bothered to highlight this guy and it shows!



I think Gimli is pretty cool, but would liked to have seen him standing on a rock like the Dwarf leadership. Merry and Pippin I painted using the Gondor and Rohan schemes.... they look quite good considering how tiny they are. Sam and Frodo look very cool and the gold trim helps you locate the fellowship easily on the table.

And for bonus points I got a limited edition Gollum figure thanks to a friend of mine. Doctor Doctorman, you know who you are.

Well that's almost it.... for now. I have battles of the third ages (even though its a terrible cost seeing I dont like the minigames). At some point I will finish off the bonus materials (Balrog! etc) from that box and post them up here.

Until then.
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Tue Apr 10, 2012 7:37 am
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Painting War of the ring

J Vom-krieg
New Zealand
Wellington
Wellington
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This is a repost from my blog http://vom-krieg.blogspot.com/

On that blog I talk about gaming, modeling and painting. I am only reposting the board game specific stuff on here and nothing to do with Warhammer 40k or Warmachine. if you want to check out that stuff, just go to the blog.


War of the Ring is about as good as a board game gets. It's deep, asymmetric, plays differently nearly every time, does not have "one tactic to rule them all" and is dripping in theme.

I really cannot say enough positives about War of the Ring.

It's so awesome that Fantasy Flight games put out a hyper expensive limited edition painted version. For roughly A BILLION ZILLION dollars to buy new. Sad thing is, the paint jobs were quite garish and a bit poo in all honesty. Thankfully I had saved all that money by buying an unpainted set and painting it myself (until someone points out that 100 hours painting if I had paid myself $4 an hour I would have lost money)

*SIGH*

I PAINT BECAUSE I LIKE TO!

Ahem! Anyways. I painted my War of the Ring to a "Looks good on the table" standard. The models are pretty poor quality in all honesty. The plastic is soft and droopy and the detail is not so good. Not to mention the Nazgul who overbalance very easily. But a painted set looks 1000 times better than an unpainted set, it also makes it a lot easier to play as you can tell which guy is Rohan and which is Gondor.




Saurons units are the Nazgul for leaders (Only evil faction with leader units), Orcs for regular troops and Olog-Hai for Elite troops.

This is a pretty mediocre photo, but you can see i went for a dead flesh look for the Orcs and Nazgul and a very deep scaly green/black mix for the Olog Hai.




Isengard (That's the forces of Saruman) have Uruk-Hai for regular troops and Warg riders for elites.

The Uruk-Hai are the worst models in the game. Big silly mouths and a weird pose, its hard to make them look even passable. the Wargs on the other hand are great, a nice dynamic pose and some simple brown with brown ink on the Wargs and the look quite good.



I'm not gonna lie, the Haradrim are by far my favorite models in the game. The Infantry units are a nice simple sculpt with enough detail to work with and the Elephants (or Olliphants ain't it?) are a great unit on the table. Extremely characterful and decidedly chunky compared to everyone else in the game.



Finally, we come to the Character models for the bad guys team.

On the left we have Saruman the white wizard.... who i believe was the first model I white spray painted to undercoat in 10 years. I hate painting white, especially guys in white robes with white beards. I think he turned out ok, just enough grey to darken the shadows and give some definition.

The dude in the middle is the Witch King of Angmar and is a totally badass model by the games standards. I painting him, and the Mouth of Sauron (Phwoarr... dirty) in much the same style, dark, metallic, menacing.

I think the key to painting boardgames is to know the limits of the models. They tend to be far worse quality than your GW/PP wargaming models.... so don' paint them the same way. Just get them to a nice respectable level, dont spend hours on them.

Spray, base coat, ink, simple highlight, detail, base colour ring to show faction.... THAT'S IT

After that you have ever diminishing returns on your time.

I'll continue this series with part two, the good guys from the core game...... at some point I really should paint the expansion.
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Tue Apr 3, 2012 10:53 am
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Descent - Painting the Tomb of Ice

J Vom-krieg
New Zealand
Wellington
Wellington
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This is a repost from my blog http://vom-krieg.blogspot.com/

On that blog I talk about gaming, modeling and painting. I am only reposting the board game specific stuff on here and nothing to do with Warhammer 40k or Warmachine. if you want to check out that stuff, just go to the blog.




The Tomb of Ice is the last expansion with models for Descent (At least until Descent 2.... the REVENGE comes out)

Tomb did a good job of handing some power back to the players. After Altar and Well, the players were getting hammered by evil curses, tough missions, a good variety of beasts and treachery. In order to claw some of that back Tomb of Ice introduced feats for players, and they are a real help.

The Monsters are a real mixed bag, but the big problem is they just don't hit the table enough. We are playing a road to legend campaign, and these guys rarely see the light of day, which is a pity.



First up is the Shades. A simple paint job as they are all black ghostly things. A little dark gray dry brushing and they were mostly done. Probably the best monster in the expansion, they are fast, hard to hit and have piercing magical attacks. Shades are also a classic fantasy monster and a welcome addition to any army of the undead.



The lava beetles were fun to paint, I did a very quick colour highlight from dark red to yellow and it worked out all right. The faces were done with a leather base coat followed up with bleached bone.

In game, these guys are a bit annoying. So very very slow and blast is great on certain levels, but mostly they haven't been too effective.



The Medusas are pretty cool models and the first time I pulled one out and placed it on the board I got a solid "What the F is that" from my players.

Painting was real simple, base coat dark green, dark green ink, and then a light green drybrush.

The medusa stun in combat, and the master has quick shot. With a rage card you could conceivably stun the whole hero party with one model, I must try that.



On to the Wendigo. Honestly, i'm yet to use these guys in anger which is a bit of a waste as they are both amusing and scary at the same time. Scary if you contemplate them chewing on your legs, funny if you imagine them singing back up for a mo-town act.

Easiest paint job in the land. Spray white, use dark ink, then paint the mouth.Ok, the mouth was a little tricky.



Finally, the Ice Wyrm. It annoys me they haven't hit the table for one very good reason. THE STOMACH TILE! Yes, Fantasy flight games added in a separate location tile for people who get swallowed alive by these things.... how over the top is that? Anyways, this paint job probably looks a lot more complicated than it was. The blue and blue gray scales are just base coats of enchanted blue and space wolf gray washed with blue ink. Nothing more than that.


The moral of the story is this. You don't need to paint like a games workshop studio member to have models that look ok and are fun to play with. Just use the following steps

1.) Spray black
2.) Paint big areas with slightly watered down acrylic paint the colour you want them.
3.) Use an ink to fill in the shadows on the model.
4.) Use drybrushing to create some highlights.

These are very easy techniques and don't require you to be artistically gifted (Cause I am not... I can barely draw a stick figure). But I know how to cheat at painting.
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Sun Mar 4, 2012 10:40 am
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Descent - Painting the Altar of Despair!

J Vom-krieg
New Zealand
Wellington
Wellington
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This is a repost from my blog http://vom-krieg.blogspot.com/

On that blog I talk about gaming, modeling and painting. I am only reposting the board game specific stuff on here and nothing to do with Warhammer 40k or Warmachine. if you want to check out that stuff, just go to the blog.




First off, I must say that the Altar of Despair has some excellent new rules for the game. More treachery, crushing walls and Invulnerability potions are my favorites. but i'm here to talk about the monsters, and you get a good range here, far better than well of darkness.

Blood Apes



First up are the blood apes. I took a simple approach with theses guys, perhaps too simple as I think the red looks a bit mediocre. I'm also not a fan of the narrow oval bases.

In game these guys are devastating. Very tough for how many you can bring in with a spawn card and the leap ability can cause players massive headaches if they a not ready. They also hit very hard and are solid melee monsters. The masters are signified by having a darker and bigger red stripe on their backs.

Dark Priests!



Now we are cooking with gas (or unholy power). I can't help but do a Darth Sidious impression when I attack with these guys. Something about rolling all those power dice makes me want to scream "UNLIMITED POWER!"

A nice simple base coat and ink wash effect with these guys works wonders. red robes = Bad ass powers!

Deep Elves



Not dark elves.... nope. Deep elves... must be into transcendental meditation or something.

These guys rock and my players hate them. Something about the master having more piercing damage than any character has armour just makes them shudder.... that and you cant stand back and shoot them from range. A great unit for game supported griefing of players. Master is wearing a red robe of course.

Chaos Beasts



These guys are tough, and a little odd to use. Its a case of pick whatever dice you want to use at any given time.... although invariable this leads to using the green heavy damage dice.

The models are rather nasty to look at and I painted them in flesh tones. Flesh colour just adds to the "WHAT AM I LOOKING AT" factor. The master is designated by its little pink primary tentacles. Subtle, but you very rarely have more than one on the table.


Trolls



I love classic monsters, and trolls are a quintessential bad guy in dungeon crawlers. I'm slightly surprised they don't regenerate,which would have been nice. They do, however, hit as hard as anything in the game. I've had one kill a character even though he took an invulnerability potion (something like 17 damage on one roll.... obscene!)

Paint job was simple, these guys respond really well to inks and dry brushing. Master has a red hair do!

Right, only one more post to go for Descent and I'm done!
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Tue Feb 21, 2012 10:23 am
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Descent - Well of darkness

J Vom-krieg
New Zealand
Wellington
Wellington
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This is a repost from my blog http://vom-krieg.blogspot.com/

On that blog I talk about gaming, modeling and painting. I am only reposting the board game specific stuff on here and nothing to do with Warhammer 40k or Warmachine. if you want to check out that stuff, just go to the blog.



Well of darkness was a pretty cool expansion in a lot of ways. 6 pretty good heroes, treachery for the overlord, loads of new traps like rolling boulders and dart fields, and many little extras.

The only let down, compared to the other expansions was with the selection of new monsters. Kobolds, while amusing, aren't really very effective. The best they can do is act as a delaying tactic, but one heroes with breath or blast can clear them out very quickly.



The ferrox's are an effective creature, a good middle sized hard hitter. I suppose the issue with them is they don't have any real resonance. They don't invoke an classic feelings of D&D dungeon crawling, in the same way Ogres and Trolls do.



Finally, the best monster of the set, and one of my favorites in the whole game is the Golem. Hard as nails, and a classic dungeon monster, these things give players fits as the usual tactics don't work very well against them. They need to be taken down slowly, with lots of hard hits, but sniping them will rarely work as they are immune to pierce. they were also super fun to paint, undercoat, codex grey, black wash and then some detail work. All done in a very short amount of time.

Descent: Journeys in the Dark
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Tue Feb 14, 2012 5:14 am
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