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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Hump Day Heroes: Lizardmen vs Empire Battle Report (1000 points)

Recently, Andrew and I gathered to play some games at my place and test out some of my theories about using lizardmen in the Adepticon Team Tournament. In particular, I wanted to get comfortable with using the ripperdactyls as I admit that I don’t typically use units with the frenzy special rule. I also wanted to try out various units using the old models I own before investing in any of the new kits.

John’s Lizardmen List 
Skink Priest with Lore of Heavens (level 2)
15 Saurus Warriors w/ Full Command
20 Skink Warriors w/ Full Command and 2 Kroxigors Stegadon
3 Ripperdactyls (proxied with screamers)
2 units of Salamanders

Andrew's List 
Captain w/ 2+ armour save
BSB w/ 2+ armour save
Unit of Statesmen (w/ Halberds) and detachment of Handgunners
Unit of Knights
2 Cannons

 The set-up of the table was similar to what we used in the game we played earlier and involved a couple of forest, some impassible terrain and a few hills. The scenario for the game was a basic pitch-battle with no special modifiers or objectives. When it came to deploying our armies, Andrew gathered the bulk of his forces in the center of his deployment zone. I decided to spread things out and placed my stegadon on one side of the impassible rock, my salamanders, saurus and skink units towards the center and my ripperdactyls to my far left.

Outside of playing lizardmen in 8th, another first for me in this game was selecting the Lore of Heavens for my skink chief. At the last Adepticon, I watched my partner in the Team Tournament use the lore to great effect and wanted to see what I could do with it. I was also interested in trying the lore as I am considering ‘Ekko as my general for next year’s TT with Andrew. When it came to spells, I ended up with Chain Lightning and Iceshard Blizzard.

With armies deployed and spells chosen, we proceeded to play out the game. My main strategy was to move the bulk of my army to engage Andrew’s forces while my stegadon and ripperdactyls came in on the flanks of his army. Knowing that Andrew had cannons, I expected the stegadon to be the early focus of their attention. To this end, they made quick work of the big beastie, dropping it by the second turn.

With the cannons focusing on the stegadon, my skink priest and salamanders were given an opportunity to unleash some ranged attacks on the Empire. In this situation, the real winner for me was the two turns of chain lightning that I was able to get off with the skink priest. In both turns, I gambled big and got irresistible force off both times. Unfortunately, the second time spelled the end of my magic phase as my priest lost his wizard levels from the miscast. Regardless, the spell bounced its way through Andrew’s units, dropping knights, handgunners, and even a crewman from one of the cannons.

Moving into the middle of the game, the ripperdactyls finally made contact with one of the cannons. They made quick work of it before being double assaulted by Andrew’s general and BSB. This became the tarpit of the game as my rippers kept failing to get past the 2+ saves. Finally, as the game was reaching its conclusion, I was able to score a killing blow and finish his general.

With a final roll of the dice, the game was over and victory points were tallied. I had lost the stegadon and both salamanders. Andrew had lost everything but the single cannon that I was unable to reach before the game concluded. It was a good game and not an easy win against such a skilled opponent. Most of the units performed well, with the skink priest over-performing and the stegadon under-performing. I really liked the saurus warriors and how they did against Andrew’s knights and statesmen. The ripperdactyls showed potential, but I felt like they would have done better if I had more of them on the table. In the end, the game gave me a lot to consider and a victory against Andrew. Not a bad way to spend a Saturday night.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

A Gathering of Might (AGOM) XII - The Unstable Dice Army Contest

During an upcoming episode, we will be talking about my preparation for AGOM XII. As part of the discussion, I would love to get a sense of what people are planning for the event, especially which books are being considered. To motivate folks that are attending in February to share their plans, we are hosting a new contest.

The Rules: 
1. You must be attending A Gathering of Might XII on Feb 22nd & 23rd, 2014.
2. You need to post what army or armies you are considering on The Unstable Dice Podcast Facebook page.
3. You must post on or before Dec 14th, 2013.

After Dec 14th, we will randomly select one post from all of those that were submitted to win a cool Unstable Dice Podcast prize pack. The prize pack will include an Unstable Dice t-shirt and a cool miniature from one of our 2014 sponsors. The winner will be announced during a future episode and contacted afterwards to get a shirt size. Actual prizes will be delivered in person at AGOM XII.

Monday, November 25, 2013

On the Bench: Veteran Guardsmen with Shotguns - Part One

At the moment, I am juggling a couple of different projects in an effort to keep myself motivated. To this end, as I find myself becoming frustrated or bored with one project, I can jump over to another one that can be done more quickly. The good thing about doing this is that I keep getting stuff painted. The bad piece is that I need to jump around too much; otherwise I will never finish an actual squad or regiment.

The color scheme used for this model is similar to ones that I have used in the past for my guardsmen, but with a few noteworthy changes. The first major difference between this guardsman and the ones from the prior squad is that I focused more on adding “hard” highlights to the model. Another difference was that I included the Vallejo Magic Blue to the mixture when working on the blue areas. Finally, I decided to go with brown boots that matched the belts instead of the dark grey ones on the first squad.

The ultimate goal with this squad is to have a 10 man unit of veterans armed with shotguns and flamers. I also plan on painting a chimera for this unit that is armed with heavy flamers on the turret and in the hull. Whether or not that actually happens is a matter of time and dedication, but for now I feel it is a strong possibility.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

2014 Army Project Half-Humans: Halflings Army Project

Half-Humans: The Halfling Army Project

With several years of collecting halflings and meddling with army project ideas I am finally pursuing the halflings as a feasible project.  With some ideas behind the scenes on order I am going to try and make cohesive units.  Basic units such as sword and board, archer units, and cavalry units will be worked on.  However, as a humanoid, the halflings, I will use bits and inspiration from empire, Bretonnians, and dwarfs.  The hopeful in me will be to try and use the army as a potential for all three races depending on conversions, base sizes, and themes I incorporate into the army.  These are links and some inspirational pics that I have put below as a starter.  I think as a theme similar to below I will either make each unit its own thematic scene or be themed around farming/food.  As with the other armies I have worked on I will try and add a bit of skulls and raised bases to the little guys to.  Check back at least monthly or I'll post updates at least bi monthly, some progress could be slow depending on how much conversion needs to be done with the models.

This image is taken from the chaos dwarf link below.

Miniature inspiration:




GW Citadel Classics:
This image is taken from a miniatures website, only for example.

Inspirational blogs:

If you know me, I love the giants and ogres integrated with the units, it adds depth and character.

Monstrous cavalry idea maybe, not mine on chaos dwarf site.

Great hand painted banners.

I will have to do a steamtank for the halflings for sure!
I love the 5 sheep riders, hurricanum, and 5 pony riders in the left half of the picture here.

From HH: Halfling Manufacturers

From HH: Good Halfling Resources(browse and look)

Friday, November 22, 2013

On the Bench: Eagle Warriors Space Marine - Part 5

One of the reasons I decided to use the new Sternguard kit was that I really like the look of space marines accented with robes, cloaks, and loin clothes. Maybe it is because I also love the imagery of super heroes that I find myself wanting the same with my marines (after all, space marines are the super heroes of the 40k universe). The challenge in the past was that the only models that really had such a look were in metal or finecrap. Thankfully that has changed with the new kit and I can now expand my army to fit the idea I have had for years.

When it came to painting the loincloth, I wanted to use the scheme provided in the GW painting guide, but I did not want to use GW paints again. To this end, I needed to match-up my Vallejo paints with the ones being suggested by GW. Thankfully, DAKKDAKKA has a great conversion chart that allowed me to identify close matches in the Vallejo range. To begin the process, I painted the cloth areas with Vallejo Game Color Khaki (061). Once the paint was dry, I applied a wash of GW Seraphim Sepia. While I generally dislike the GW paint line, I do admit that their washes are superior to any other ones I have tried. When applying the washes, I apply two or three coats. The first one is a general coat over all of the khaki areas. Once the first coat has dried, I do another layer into the deeper portions of the model.

Once the washes have dried (usually a couple of hours or the next day), I begin the process of layering the highlights. I begin with a layer of thinned khaki (4:1:1) and slowly add Vallejo Bleached Bone to each new layer of the mix. As the layers become lighter, I also add Vallejo Glaze Medium and thinner to the paint to better blend the layers.

In the end, I get a nicely blended looking loin cloth. I may try to add a little white into the mix with the next one as I feel this one could use some stronger highlights. I may also experiment with starting darker (Khaki/Brown mixture) and using more layers instead of the wash.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Episode 22 - Building a New Army

This episode is more of a casual affair about tournaments and army building.  The Warriors Three discuss trends in the tournament scene and how prizes can influence games.  As they transition into Marshaling the Host, they discuss their original plans for the Adepticon Team Tournament in 2014 and how each of them approaches building a new army.  The show concludes with a discussion about the new sponsorship program and how listeners can help out the show in 2014.

Download: Direct Download | iTunes | RSS

Episode Timeline
00:00:17 - Tournaments, Cash Prizes, and Atmosphere
00:41:25 - Marshaling the Host (Building a New Army)
01:08:38 - Sponsor the Show

Army Lists, Feedback, Topic Ideas - Andrew@unstabledice.com
Upcoming Tournaments - Chuck@unstabledice.com
John - equinox@unstabledice.com

Show Links

Big Mek’s Garage 

Rare Choice Games: Facebook | Youtube

Friday, November 15, 2013

On the Bench: Dragon Forge Broken Wasteland Bases

One of the first things that I noticed about the bases was the quality of the casting and the type of resin used for them. There are a lot of companies that are doing resin bases, and not all of them are of the same level of quality as what Dragon Forge provided. I like that they use a higher quality resin and this goes a long way to justify the $1.00 per base cost.

When looking at the selection of bases available, I decided to go with the Broken Wasteland series. The reason I selected these was that I liked the look of the grainy desert areas when contrasted with the cracked tile sections of each base. I also selected them as I am painting the bases first and deciding what to mount on them later. I do like the Lost Empires series, but may save them for a future project. Also, the selection of square bases is much smaller and the ones available just are not as interesting or impressive as those offered by Back-2-Base-IX or Microart Studios.


I began the process of preparing the base by cleaning the small amount of flash on the bases. After I cleaned them, I gave each base a wash with warm water and a drop of dish soap. Once the bases were dry, I gave them a coat of white primer (Army Painter brand) and allowed them to dry overnight.

To start the process of painting them, I applied a diluted coat of Snakebite Brown to the gravel areas of the bases. After the layer dried, I applied another layer to the same areas to assure that I had a reasonable amount of coverage. While the one section was drying, I also applied a coat of Desert Brown to the skull on the one base.

The next layer was to the cracked tile. I used a thinned layer of Desert Sand which was applied in two coats to make sure I had covered all of the white primer.

With the base coating finished, I applied a thinned wash of GW Sepia to the bases (excluding the skull on the one base). Once the wash dried, I went back with a slightly thicker wash of Sepia that was applied to the deeper sections of each base and to spots that were bleeding the base coat.

Once the washes were dry, I applied the first layer of paint to the cracked tile sections of the base. I used a 50/50 mix of Desert Sand and Bleached Bone that was thinned. Next, I applied a layer another layer of the same mix with a little more Bleach Bone added to it. This was followed by another layer that was an additional thinning of prior mix with Bleached Bone.

I continued the process of highlighting the cracked areas by using a thinned layer of Bleached Bone. With each additional layer, I added Dead White and thinner to the mix.

When it came to the sandy sections of each base, I started with a drybrush of Snakebite Brown. This was followed by a drybrush of Vomit Brown. I finished with a soft drybrush of Bleached Bone.

The skull on the one base was painted using a modified version of the approach I use for my skeletons. I gave the model a thinned wash of Sepia, followed by a wash of Devan Mud in the deeper sections of the skull. Once the washes were dry, I layered it with Desert Brown that was mixed with Bleached Bone and Skull White.

When it came to the rim of the base, I used a couple of thinned layers of Khemri Brown.

The last step was to add a small clump of static grass to each base. I decided to do this to add a little contrast to the painted colors.

In conclusion, my overall opinion of Dragon Forge’s Broken Wasteland series of resin bases is very high. The quality of resin in casting is well worth the $1.00 per base price. I also found the assortment of bases diverse enough to make each base feel unique while still keeping with the overall theme of the series. I also liked that the bases were designed such that I could add a little bit of static grass to make the bases standout a bit more.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Emptying the Store Room (i.e. Stuff for Sale)

In the process of selling off stuff in an effort to gather funds for the projects I am focusing on at the moment. Everything is NIB (New in Box) unless specified. I can ship or meet up if local.

Eldar Spiritseer= $15.00
Eldar Bonesinger Limited Edition Model = $60.00
Eldar Wraithguard/Wraithblade = $40.00
Eldar Wraithlord = $40.00
Necron Immortals/Deathmarks = $27.50
Necron Doom Scythe/Night Scythe = $40.00
Necron Lychguard/Praetorians (Box open, models new on sprue) = $27.50
Tyranid Carnifex = $42.50
Tyranid Warriors = $37.50
Dark Eldar Ravager = $42.50
Tau Empire Cadre Fireblade = $14.00
Tau XV9 w/ Twin-linked Burst Cannon = $40.00
High Elf Shadow Warriors / Sisters of Avelorn (8 models new on sprue) = $30.00
Ogre Kingdoms Stonehorn (Head Assembled, everything else on sprue) = $37.50
Ogre Kingdoms Mournfangs (Open Box, may be missing a few minor bits but all core pieces on sprue) = $30.00
Tomb Kings War Sphinx Kit (Open Box, missing two spears for crew) = $40.00
Warriors of Chaos Army Book (8th Ed Hardback) = $35.00
Orcs & Goblins Army Book (8th Ed Hardback | Used) = $20.00
Vampire Counts Army Book (8th Ed Hardback | Excellent) = $35.00
Circle Orboros Battlegroup Start = $35.00

Please email me at equinox@unstabledice.com

Monday, November 11, 2013

On the Bench: Eagle Warriors Space Marine - Part 4

In part 4 of this On the Bench series, I summarize how I painted the lens on the bolter's scope. Lens are one of the things that I enjoy painting as they can be challenging, but when done well, really add something to a model. I was particularly excited by the lens on this model as the bolter reminds me of the ones that were available for Deathwatch conversion kits that GW produced at one time. Overall, I was happy with the results, though I feel I could have added a few more layers to smooth the blending better.

1. Vallejo Dark Blue (4:1 | Dark Blue:Thinner)
2. Vallejo Dark Blue/Skull White (8:1:2 | Dark Blue:Skull White:Thinner)
3. Add 2 drops of Skull White and 1 drop Vallejo Glaze Medium
4. Add 2 drops of Skull White, 1 drop Vallejo Glaze Medium, and 1 drop thinner
5. Wet Blend Skull White with mixture from prior step
6. Carefully apply a thinned wash of Asurman Blue Wash to the darkest sections of the lens
7. Apply two small dots in the darkest section

Friday, November 8, 2013

On the Bench: Eagle Warriors Space Marine - Part 3

In this article, I review the test scheme I used to achieve the white sections of the model. This part of the model was a bit more challenging than I expected because I decided to use GW paints instead of the usual Vallejo bottles. The GW paints are thicker and didn't agree with my eye dropper, so thinning the paints was a bit of a hassle. I also found that the color scheme I was using from the GW painting guide was very vague on how the colors should be layered.

1. I applied a layer of GW Celestra Grey (~4:1)

2. Next, I applied Agrax Earthshade as a wash to the white sections.

3. Once the wash was dry, I began the process of layering on a mixture of Celestra Grey and Ulthuan Grey.

4. As the process continued, I started to add more Valejo Skull White to the mixture. I also began to include a little Vallejo Glaze Medium.

5. The last layer was a small amount of Vallejo Skull White to give the model some sharp highlights.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

The Roaming Gamer: Battleground Gaming and Hobbies

One of the pleasures of my job is that I get to travel all over the United States. During my travels, I get to visit various game stores and get a chance to see how folks approach the hobby in different parts of the world. I also get to find those gems that are worth checking out just to pick-up something new or have a fun chat. This month I review Battleground Gaming and Hobbies.

During a recent trip to Boston, I had a chance to visit the Attleboro store During a recent trip to Boston, I had a chance to visit the Battlegrounds store located in Attleboro, MA. The store was a bit difficult to locate, must being from the midwest, most of the Boston area can be a pain at time. When I arrived at the store, there were a few guys playing card games and a single clerk helping a customer at the desk. The clerk was courteous and greeted me upon arrival, but didn't really get a chance to interact with me as he was working with another customer.
Strolling through the store, I found it to be well stocked with GW products. Everything was neatly organized and priced at the standard MSRP. The store also stocked many different non-GW products, including Privateer Press and Magic. There was also a board gaming and role-playing section.

The majority of the space in the store was dedicated to gaming. There were a handful of miniature gaming tables, each covered in very nice looking terrain. There was also tables dedicated to the playing of card and role-playing games. Overall, the gaming space was decent, but I could see it becoming easily packed on days when a decent crowd shows up.

Overall, I thought Battleground was a nice gaming store, but not a memorable one. As a non-local, I need something to motivate me to visit a store while in town, and I did not find it with this place. The gaming tables were nice, but may feel crowded during peek hours. Also with GW products at MSRP, there are many other options available to me when I am looking to add something new to my collection.

Roaming Gamer Score: 3 (5 - Outstanding, 1 - Crapfest)

Monday, November 4, 2013

On the Bench: Eagle Warriors Space Marine - Part 2

When it came to painting up this marine, I wanted the model to share colors with the Imperial Guard models that I had completed a few years ago. This meant using Vallejo Dark Blue as a base for the first layer of paint.

After applying the first layer of paint and touching up spots where the primer bleed through, I gave the blue sections a wash of GW Asurmen Blue.

Once the wash was dry, I applied layers of Dark Blue mixed with Electric Blue.

As I continued to layer the model, Vallejo Skull White was added to the mix.

With each layer, I would alternate between adding more thinner and/or Vallejo Glaze Medium. The reason I do this is to better blend the layers together and create a smooth transition across the blue sections.

As the layers became whiter, I applied them only along the edges and at the sharp corners of the model.