Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Stress management

Just about every miniature painter finds themselves in situations where they are distracted by stress and other craziness, whether you are just doing it once in a while for fun or a million hours a day. :-)

I have seen lots of people become completely paralyzed by these distractions... sometimes whatever you try to do with the brush is not much more than poo, or the figure you are trying to work on has some difficult area to work through, etc.

You already know that I have lots of things going on at once, at many different stages, for a variety of reasons.  Usually, it is all about efficiency.  There are also those times where one has to extract one's head from one's posterior to move on to bigger and better things.

I try to have lots of 'easy' stuff sitting around just in case.  It might be pieces of terrain, or some bases that need paint, or even simple figures that have been sitting around for those times where I need to just toss paint at something.

The Reaper Bone minis have been ideal for this.

Low impact, low stress, and so on.

No plan here... just grab whatever colors were around on the palette, and spend a few minutes trying to work away stress.

The Shaded basecoat is normally liberating enough to jolt one out of any jam, but being able to slap just about anything on this did the trick.

I had no idea what colors this would be.  Whatever came to mind is what happened.  Even then, it still changed.

Had this been a 'normal' figure, there would have been the innate urge to do something more fancy, or get crazier about doing something exotic with colors, etc.

The point, however, it to step away from the painting table without stepping away from the painting table.  I think I might have messed around with this for an hour...

By doing a quick little exercise such as this, I could see some instant results, forget (for the moment) all the stuff that was making me want to crumple up the Universe and toss it in the corner of the room, and focus strictly on a brush and some paint... and a plastic fig.

For those times when whatever you are trying to do is not working out, throwing some easy short passes for completions will give you the little nudge that you need.  Making you feel in control once again.

Once you have gotten to that place, you can once again return to smashing your face into a wall of broken glass :-)

Three Amigos ?

Red Box Games Warriors one more time :-)

Each one of these has a little bit of variety to the poses... some more than others, but still a nice way to keep a unit looking more interesting!

There are still some more of these guys that are painted... yet to appear here.

Eventually there will be some much larger group shots, along with some terrain I have been working on!

Monday, September 29, 2014

You can shoot the Sheriff, but you cannot shoot this Deputy.

Now this guy has already made quite an impact on my Lawmen faction.  There are many useful aspects to his abilities... offering some longer ranged heavy duty firepower, coupled with the ability to survive.

I was quite pleased that his very first action was to blow up a giant water tower with a couple of unsuspecting Outlaws hiding underneath it!  Yes, we took pictures :-)

He will be featured in the next Wild West Exodus battle report!  Stay tuned!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Penny for your thoughts

Yes, these tanks are pretty tiny!  The penny in the shot above should give you a good idea of that. :-)

More finished shots for you.

And a comparison to the desert scheme.

Next up, a set of tanks with some foliage camo on them.

I am also working on some flame thrower versions.

Who shall lead them?

Back to Red Box Games!

The armor was fun to paint on this guy.  Very interesting shapes, which allowed me to do some fun things with shading.

And with some of his buddies!

Sitting down on the job

One more Hired hand from the Lawmen faction.

When you get the set of ten Hired Hands, you get ten unique poses... five of the long range riflemen, and five pistol packing baddies.  That is very nice when you get down to painting them!

This was certainly unique pose!  I remember using this shooting position when I was going through my various sharpshooting levels at scout camp.  Definitely more stable than the kneeling position.

The view from above.  Obviously I couldn't resist putting him on the log base. :-)

Speaking of the other poses, here are three more joining him.

More to come!

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Another History lesson... and the Monument Run

After the last game of History of the World, where victory was achieved by me (while Cathy was out of town), there was a desire to rematch this particular game.

Cathy would be playing this time around.  The standard saying is that "Team Wappel" always wins.  It's usually more like "a" Wappel wins.  Not usually due to helpful actions of the other :-)

Right off the bat, Cathy's blue guys start beating up on the forces of black... or moi.

Tina (red) had a nasty event card that allowed her to take more territories with free armies.  Those event cards can be very nasty, or horribly inconsequential. You only get so many of them, and some are also "epoc specific".  So, you must use them wisely.

They can be particularly effective in this instance, where you don't have many armies to begin.  

Hank (in orange) would end up being master of India for quite a while.

That is unusual, since normally what you build on a given turn is wiped out in the next.  You never know which Civilization you might get from turn to turn.  It might be the Romans... it might be the Guptas.  Or the Cholas.

Some civs are far superior to others, but the order in which they are played can, at times, be more important.

For instance, the ideal positioning is to be the last to play your civ... and then first to play on the next turn.  If you play first and last, that is horrible, since almost everything gets wiped out by the time you play again.  This can cut your score on a given turn 30-60%.  Ouch!

Here the civs are more spread out.  It's not unusual (especially with less than 6 players), that civs arise right on top of each other.  

As this follows the history of the world, civs arise in the Tigris valley first, and move out from there.  The chart on the left side of the board shows how the value of various areas change over time.

There are seven epocs.  By the final epoc, civs are trying to fight over the New World.

Three 1's.  Gee, who rolled those?  It couldn't possibly be me.  Yes, it was.  Particularly painful, because those ones destroyed territories via another event card.

By the way, I called those 3 ones in advance.  Then I rolled more.

Hank and Tina struggled over India for a good chunk of the game.  This was another event card result.  One of the things you are fighting over are those spaces with the axe and shovel.  Those resource centers allow you to build monuments, which boost your score.

To win, you don't necessarily have to have the most territories.  The value of those territories is more important.  This means you can do a lot with very little.

However, this puts a big target on those resource centers, as well as monuments and cities.

India would be the site of an unusual amount of monuments in a very small area.  Lots of bloodshed over those!

In this view, you see that civs are emerging in Europe, as well as those monuments and cities I mentioned.  The target grows!

Cathy uses a Palestine revolt card to blast my Euphrates empire.  This would happen quite often.

Not a lot of black pieces on the board.  Yes, that equates to a low score.  I can only hope that I end up with either a major civ such as the Romans, or a number of mid-size civs such as the Byzantines.  These middle of the road civs are handy, since they don't put as big of a target on your back, and they have just enough punch to do some damage.

I believe this was the first of those Monument Runs.  Notice how I have taken over that string of monuments in the Middle East (the triangle pieces).  I attempted to use a special event card that would make it easier for me to do even more damage with this middle of the road civ.

Unfortunately, the card only works if you don't roll like me.  I should have gotten 2-3 more territories with it.  This would prove costly later on.

Did I mention the Romans?  And how one Wappel usually wins?  That would be Cathy marching through Europe with the Romans, one of the most powerful civs in the game.

Not only does she do tremendous damage with them in Europe, but she also has holdings in India.  This resulted in a huge score.  Also a big target.

Remember, you rarely, if ever get to choose your own civ on a given turn.  If you are way out front, you will be dealt a very weak civ.  It's the biggest balancing mechanic in the game.

You can see the civ cards out on the board.  These show you the relative strength of each one, where they arise, and the order in which they are played.  Never forget how important that order of play is!  It's how I won the last game.

I went first on the final turn, and that made all the difference as I cam from behind to win.

Dave did a lot of damage in Europe this turn (purple), and would even take a lead in the game.  I had the Vikings, which was not a lot of points, but did allow me to establish things in the New World.

Five epocs played out of seven, with Tina way out in front.  She was able to establish a large empire in China, and hang onto it for a while.  Again, with fewer players, there are some civs that never arise.

As an example, the last two games saw no Mongol empire!  Had they shown up, Tina and I would have been wiped out.  However, they need to "Get over the wall", so to speak.  Just ask Jeff how that went for him. :-)

Epoc six is played, and my only hope rests with the New World.  I wanted to get out there early, since it's even harder to fight out there.

You can see that my Spaniards are rulers of the New World!  Sadly, it just wasn't enough, as I fell short of the victory by 5 points.

Who was the ultimate victor?  That would be Cathy, of course!

There is no "team" in Team Wappel... just a Cathy. ;-)