Saturday, December 31, 2016

Progress Report 12/31/16 - Smell you later 2016.

I got in a few more games this year! Actually played a bit of both Blood Bowl and some Age of Sigmar. On top of that I did get a bit of painting done as well. 

First up here are a couple things I painted up for TNT. I've since finished these bloat flies with some additional details and basing but I didn't grab a photo of them yet. 

Buzzz buzzz this is our trash buzz buzz

Also built this Steam Bike from Max Mini which I can't wait to paint up and use on the table!

Furry stopped by during a nice little snow storm earlier this week and we played 3 games of a Path To Glory campaign. We went with Death Rattle (Death) vs Bloodbound (Khorne Chaos) because that is what I had the best minis for right now and we wanted to learn the rules for their respective units. 

We made a couple small alterations in the rules as we went and overall it was fast and furious fun! I started with a Wight King and 10 Skeletons while Furry brought the Mighty Lord of Khorne and 5 Blood Warriors. 

First scenario we played was a "Find The Treasure" scenario with three searchable objectives on the board. First Hero to find the treasure and leave off the table edge or kill all the enemy units won a Major Victory. 

Ragnar the Blackhearted and his small but tenacious horde of Skeledudes 
Blood Warriors lined up and ready to spill... bits of bone!?
After moving toward the near by objective Ragnar spots Blood Warriors sneaking around a wall!
Skulls and bones for the Skulls and bones god!
The Skeledudes managed to get the charge and chop down the warriors.
Meanwhile.... this sneaky guy is trying to come kill Ragnar!
Ragnar tries a tactical retreat but it ultimately charged by the MLoK and slain by his damned axe.
But then the Skeletons come to save the day! Chop chop down goes the MLoK.
After the first game Ragnar gained enough fame to lure in another.... 10 Skeletons! Oh boy. Meanwhile the Bloodbound brought the big guns with some Wrathmongers (played by half built Nurgle Knights this time around). 

The second scenario was to kill the monster in the center of the table and claim his magical weapon stash. It was a very short game with Ragnar's forces taking the initiative and the Chaos Gargant charging at the nearby Bloodbound. In the process it killed almost all of the Blood Warriors and left just one wound on the MLoK who proceeded to slay the monster with his damned axe in one round of combat. Game, set, match!

Giant toilet or crumbling tower? You be the judge. 
For the third and final scenario of the day we completed a "take and hold" type scenario where two comets fell to the battlefield and our warbands had to control them to gain points. It was a close fought and strategic battle but ultimately Ragnar's forces were able to hold out against the Bloodbound and secure a Major Victory. 

Staring down the Wrathmongers on the flank. 
These guys are nasty! 
With freshly devoted followers the MLoK hopes to crush his skeletal nemesis.
With some fancy footwork the Skeletons get the charge and contest the objective!
"It's just Skeletons you dimwits!!"
Meanwhile... the Wrathmongers fall to the Skeleton Warriors. Thanks for the extra attacks!
And Ragnar gets a bit broody.
Path To Glory is not balanced. If you can get over that and are playing with someone who can see the silly it is actually pretty darn fun and a good way to learn the basics of Age of Sigmar. I'm looking forward to painting up these minis and finishing up this campaign with another 2 or 3 games. Not a bad way to wrap up the year - a few more games under our belts with excitement for gaming in our blood! See you in 2017!

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Beer Review - New Glarus Fat Squirrel Ale

New Glarus Brewing Co. - Fat Squirrel Ale

Beer Type: English Brown Ale - 5.80% ABV

Appearance: 12oz brown bottle with a fat squirrel on the label in the middle of a bunch of text. Favorite part of this label is the story on the side - "There are some seriously fat squirrels out there. They are running all over the neighborhood. I think I should brew a Fat Squirrel Nut Brown Ale." Beer poured red/brown/amber color with a good sized off-white head that left lacing.

 Malt and just a touch of something nutty. Pretty subtle.

First Drink:
 Kind of chocolate malt flavors up front and something a bit metallic/alcoholic a bit like a winter warmer style. Mellows out to a nice toasty malt flavor.

 Medium bodied and maybe a bit on the dry side?

Last Drink:
 A little more sugar and bread flavors coming through now.

 A mighty fine brown ale good for drinking in cool fall weather.  

 Can't get this regularly as there is a big lake (Michigan) in between me and WI but its not bad at all!

3.75 out of 5. Nice toasty brown ale and no squirrels were harmed in the making.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

...on to the next - 2017 Gaming/Hobby Resolutions.


This year will be a year that goes down as a fairly bleak one overall. In stark contrast my personal life has been quite good! While I managed very (very) little gaming and hobby time I did accomplish quite a lot in my first year in a new job, made time for creating and playing music, started pursuing a degree in art/illustration, and the bit of gaming and hobby time I did manage to squeeze in was quite fun.

I didn't make any specific resolutions last year though I did have a few I kept to myself. They were:
  • Make time for games and have fun while you are doing it:
    Seems obvious but sometimes even doing the thing you like can seem like a chore or a bother if you are not in the appropriate frame of mind. This happens to me more often with RPG games.
  • Paint as many minis as you can and don't buy more:
    Well that was a fail. It is truly a disease. I have quite the collection of unpainted but assembled minis now and I intend to start cranking through them in 2017. I'm hoping my new painting setup will help.
  • Attend all three Blood Bowl majors:
    Done! I did average/bad at Zlurpee and Chaos Cup but quite respectable at Underworld with Ogres. Looking forward to next year with new players and teams/rules coming from GW!
This year I  have a couple goals/resolutions I would like to achieve:
  • Play games more regularly:
    I don't have a group of regulars I can pester into playing so getting games in requires a bit more arm twisting of friends and family. Hoping to get at least one solid game in each month of 2017. This seems achievable.
  • Paint at least one miniature to tabletop standard each week:
    Worst case I end up with 52 painted minis at the end of the year. I am leaving this open as I tend to bounce around on projects and I want to allow myself the freedom to paint what looks like the most fun and fulfilling project at any given time.

  • Don't buy more miniatures than you paint:
    Best case I won't buy any miniatures but I know that isn't likely to happen. If I can paint quickly I can buy more otherwise... no way. 

Also have plenty of school work, band time, work, and general life stuff to accomplish during the year but these three goals seem reasonable. Here's to the end of 2016 and the beginning of 2017! 

Monday, December 26, 2016

Progress Report 12/26/16 - Last tabletop games of the year?

Happy holidaze are upon us! I spent the last week off from work but got very little accomplished on the modeling or painting fronts. I did go a bit nutty and decided to rearrange my whole first two floors starting with painting setup. Previously it lived in our sun room but I wanted to be able to use that room for my non-mini painting as well as hanging out in (cozy in the fall and winter and fresh in the spring and winter). After many hours of packing up and taking things up and down our treacherous basement stairs I managed this:

New basement dwelling for the basement dweller
Painting table (desk) all set up and ready to go again after carefully moving my entire miniatures collection. New set up has less (basically zero) natural light but I have a combination of about 6 other lights which keep it from being too dank. 


  • No dogs in my painting area (so hopefully no dog hair stuck in my paint)
  • Nice and cool year round (not too hot or too cold like the previous set up)
  • Right next to my 4x4 gaming table (hopefully netting me more painted terrain!)
  • I can talk to myself and not seem to crazy
  • Less human and animal interaction (see last pro)
  • A little basement-troll like
  • No natural light

Painting with sunlights and plants
My current sun room painting setup is pretty modular (read temporary) with a folding chair and table though overall I am quite pleased with the change. I also rearranged my living and dining rooms to make things more open and easier to have guest over for entertainment (like hopefully playing games!). Speaking of having guest over - earlier last week Furry and I got in a quick Vanguard game of Age of Sigmar. It was his first game of Warhammer (of any kind?) and he did great! 

Table set up - Khorne Bloodbound vs Skaven Pestilence 
Plague Monks and Skrolk hanging out with the Plague Furnace
So many followers of Khorne! The wolves were stand in minis for Flesh Hounds
More rats equals more fun for the Plague Furnace! Shove off!
Line of topless barbarians is not impressed.
Cute little Korgorath wants a hug?
Plague Furnace managed to chew through topless men but got stopped by one with a whip.
This is all going according to plan...
I wanted to give us both a chance to try out some fun synergies with the two lists. Since I had not played either force there was a bit of guessing as to what would work well and what might just be for laughs. Big winners for Khorne and Furry were the Flesh Hounds. Two units of 5 each managed to chew through almost all of my foot slogging Skaven (Plague Monks and Censer Bearers). Add on their ability to shut down a magic phase and I really can't see why you wouldn't make room for them in any Khorne themed list!

For the forces of Pestilence the big winner was (literally) the Great Unclean One. He single handily managed to kill the most units between his magic, shooting, and close combat phases. Of course the Mighty Lord of Khorne probably could have killed him in one turn but Furry realized that a bit too late in the game (and yes I did tell him about his general's fighting skills!). 

Game ended as a draw on objectives but a win for points taken out (with just my Hero units left on the table and running away). It was a lot of fun and I can't wait to get these minis all painted up and more games going! 

Meanwhile in a galaxy far far away... 

Spent one afternoon at the FLGS getting a demo of X-wing from a player who has literally everything that has been released for the game. It was a bit daunting to be honest but I stuck it out and played through a quick tutorial and then short 35 pt game. Ended up just barely winning by taking out the Rebel scum in a desperate strafing run from my star pilot (the either Tie Fighter having been blown away quickly in the game). The game seems like a good time and I can see why it has such a following. The dog fighting and maneuvers are quite cool and the key gameplay of action economy and synergy between ships, pilots, and abilities is well done. Overall I am just not that excited by Star Wars in general and not in love with all the spaceships. A fun game but one I don't intend to dive in to. 

Now that we are living in a post-XMASSSS 2016 world it's time to dive into my basement painting den and get cranking on some minis!

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Beer Review - Anchor Brewing Our Special Ale 2016

Anchor Brewing Co. - Our Special Ale 2016

Beer Type: Winter Warmer - 6.50% ABV

Appearance: Squat Anchor style bottle with a festive tree on the label. Beer pours a dark brown/red color with not much head.

 Roasted walnuts and slight banana?

First Drink:
 First up are dark malt flavors. Something a bit spiced as well.

 Medium bodied and crisp carbonation on the tongue.

Last Drink:
 Bitter finish is coming out more now. A bit like coffee. Still plenty of malt and nutty banana flavors.

 Different from previous years? Or my taste is all over? Who's to say for sure?

 I reviewed this beer 3 years ago after I moved into this house I live in! A lot has changed in 3 years but I was surprised by how different this beer is from the 2013 version.

4 out of 5. It's seasonal without being too in your face with the CHRISTMAS flavors. 

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Beer Review - Alaskan Heritage Coffee Brown Ale

Alaskan Brewing Co. - Heritage Coffee Brown Ale

Beer Type: American Brown Ale - 7.00% ABV

Appearance: 12oz brown bottle labeled in the normal Alaskan style. Man I really dislike their font logo. Beer pours a dark amber/brown color with a thin head that didn't hang around.

 Mostly I am getting a lot of malt as you would typically expect of a brown ale. Maybe just a bit of coffee in there too.

First Drink:
 Malt and sweetness followed by a slight coffee bitterness.

 Thin but smooth and a bit sticky.  

Last Drink:
 More sweet malt flavors with very little coffee.    

 Reminds me of another popular brown ale out there... *coughNEWCASTLEcough*  

 First time I had this was on draft and I have to say I liked it much better. It had a bit more creamy body. Bottled it seems a bit thin and bland. Easy drinking though. 

3.75 out of 5. If you enjoy brown or coffee ales give it a try. 

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Progress Report 12/11/16 - Rats Ahoy!

You want rats? I'll give you rats....

First up we have the Plague Catapult. What could make a catapult better? How about slinging some rotting remains and plague goo at your enemies! Fun for all ages and historically horrifying to boot!  

This plague goo ain't gonna shovel itself!
Old ratty half skull knows a thing or two about contagion. 
But why be content with just standing back and slinging plague and contagion at your enemies when you can roll right up and start slinging it around on a giant rusty death trap full of crazed plague addled fanatics?! Get the latest and greatest in putrescence with this thing!

Clever rat-like viewers will notice the Plague Priest is missing from the front of this engine of war and that is intentional. I put him on a base so he can run around with his other half dead friends while having a grand old time. Speaking or grand times... who doesn't like bits and leftovers for conversions?

I wanted a menacing and slightly goofy Rat Ogre to throw in the mix. Gave him a big censer to swing around and a comically sized gong/banner so he feels important and powerful among the smaller rat folks he is surrounded by. Will probably use him as a counts-as Plague Censer Bearer. 

More leftover bits! These mostly come from the Screaming Bell things left on sprue with a few other Skaven and Nurgle additions. I wanted a crazed Plague Priest surfing on a flaming pit of contagion and warp stone and by golly now I have one! 

And last but certainly not least we have the Plague Priest from the cart. He's too cool looking to simply stay glued to any one warmachine/mount so here he is stuck to a base for painting. Him and all of his buddies from this post (and the previous one) are primed and awaiting paint. And paint they will get! As soon as I determine how I want my rats to look... more on that soon! 

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Beer Review - New Belgium Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ale

New Belgium - Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ale

Beer Type: American Brown Ale - 6.00% ABV

Appearance: 12oz brown bottle a Ben & Jerry looking bit of art (makes sense as this is a collaboration brew). Art does NOT make me want to try this beer. Beer poured a golden yellow color with a white thin head that left lacing.

 Nothing cookie about the smell. Maybe a bit of "dough" in yeast and malt. Sort of smells like a protein bar.

First Drink:
 Very sweet and slightly tangy at first quickly followed by a sort of sickly raw cookie dough flavor. Mostly I get vanilla. Not much chocolate.

 Thin and a little watery but it has some carbonation.  

Last Drink:
 More vanilla and I guess what tastes like stale chocolate chip cookies.      

 Not going out of my way for this one. Bought it because it was a one time brew and the price was right (cheap).      

 This is probably a good beer for those people who don't really like drinking beer. Not for me.       
Verdict: 2.5 out of 5. Drink a crummy macro brew and eat a fistful of preservative riddled chocolate chip cookies and you will likely get the same flavor.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Progress Report 12/4/16 - Pestilence spreading

Picked up a large base for my new GUO and decided to purchase the Start Collecting box of Skaven Pestilence as well. Why? Probably some form of illness I have that has me buying and building and priming miniatures instead of painting or playing with the ones I already own. Also I have always wanted to collect and paint them and have been waiting for a reason. That reason is here with my AoS Nurgle force! What better allies could a pox spewing rat man ask for??

Plague Monks with some Nurgle bits added.
Plague Monks with more normal (and a few other) bits.
And the rest of the staff wielding Plague Monks. 
I haven't touched the Plague Furnace or Plague Claw Catapult yet but I look forward to seeing what comes of building those. I'll likely magnetize the rats to use off of the warmachines as well. After I built these 20 Plague Monks I remembered I had a treasure hidden away in an old blister pack...

Plague Lord Skrolk 
The lovely Plague Lord Skrolk! No idea when or where I got him but I love the look of this mini. It's all ratty, nurgl(itch)y, and just oozes character. Looking forward to painting him up! Next purchase will be some Censor Bearers which I also really want to paint. This time around I purchased the last Nurgle named hero I didn't currently own:

Based him on a bigger base so I could use him as a Blight King or Nurgle Lord/etc. Pretty creepy sculpt! I'll have to be in a particular state of mind to paint this one up. Speaking of creepy things to paint I managed to get the big boss man put on a base as well:

Who you GUO call?
I was thinking of adding some more loud "NURGLE" bits to him but decided I liked the gross simplicity of this Max Mini sculpt. You can see he is quite the big boy (Plague Monk added for scale) and he is a solid chunk of resin as well. Good for self defense if you need to knock someone on the head during or after a game I guess. Speaking of knocking heads check out these bad ass ladies I also got from Max Mini for use in TNT:

Do what the say and nobody will get hurt (much).
I  may still add a few bits and details to make them more "Wasteland" looking but overall I am very please with their look. Thinking about using them for an all female Raider warband with a few others from my collection.

That's it for now! Hoping to get paint on a few minis this week in between classes and working but if not this week I have a bit of time coming up for the holidays and plan on getting a lot of productive painting completed on my many projects.