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Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Steamroller 1/3 and further thoughts/WIP

So, post of the new year and it's already late...

Well I will begin with my first hobby related incident of 2015. I participated in a 50 point Steamroller at the wonderful Empire store with my Highborn Covenant on 1/3/15.

I... did... terribly...

It's humbling to go from a win to all losses. I attribute my performance solely to my Ashlynn list. I know that in terms of list building it's weak and lacks cohesion, but mostly in all honestly I'm not nearly as comfortable with her as I am with Gorten and have hardly any real practice with her.

So far I'm used to either super tanky casters such as Gorten or Madrak or super fragile ones like Doomshaper or Kaelyssa. Both extremes warrant easily dictated use, such as jumping into the fray or staying away from the fight. But Ashlynn requires a deft hand and delicate use, and to not throw her in can be a waste at times.

Firstly, let me post some pics of the disaster:

So the first game I was going against Legion. He had two lists that I could hard counter with mine, but it was essential that I choose right. Well, I didn't. I had taken my Ashlynn list thinking he wouldn't take the AOE spam list of his which he did. I was going against eLylyth for the first time and got assassinated at the top of turn 2 which took a total of 3 minutes of game time. I was stunned, but it happens to everyone once. Game two was a bye for me.

Game three was against Cryx using pDenny. I discovered on Feat turn that his feat essentially negates Ashlynn's feat and essentially my list. Some better choices could have been made, but it was disheartening to find that the list I specifically designed to counter Cryx (being a strong meta army) was ineffective.

My last game I went with Gorten, being that it was against Butcher3 and had a kill box. I had it all in control at first. I was throwing things with the Mules (including the butcher and his THREE dogs), I was sniping models with the ATGM, I had funneled Doom Reavers through difficult terrain, I D-Bolted the caster and had Thor and his Basher holding the weak side well. I still don't know what happened.

Well, let me try to figure it out. I guess it all started on my feat turn. I got over confident and thought of dragging his army back into the kill box, thus negating any real chance I had of killing models but going for Control Point victory. I had to do a lot of trickery to get Gorten in the most efficient placement and slid everyone back. The problem was that now my Caster was alone in the woods with no way of gaining Pathfinder and no way of assassinating Butcher. Well, the wizards on horsies took out my main killing unit - the Hammers - and I thought CP was the only way to go. I didn't remember that he has energize and the next turn moved out of the kill box. It was all downhill from there.

Well, hard lessons learned. It wasn't very much of a fun day for me (game wise). Bright side: I got a lot of useful tips from the friendly players about how to utilize Ashlynn better. They gave me great ideas and with only a few tweaks to my list I can have a more powerful Ashlynn. I only need one more model to make it complete and hopefully have more success with a much more invincible Ashlynn.

In other news...

... I've been more consistent on the hobby front. This week I've been working on two projects. One is my recently obtained 4x4 Zuzzy Mat:

I cannot recommend this product enough. Although I got it secondhand the retail price is more than affordable. It takes very little space when rolled up and does not weigh a ton. The textures are amazing considering the small width of the rubber. It's great for keeping models safe from chipping and doesn't slide around.

Here are a few things I discovered while painting it so far: airbrush is not the way to go, at least for the base coat. I tried to airbrush and it proved time consuming and inconsistent. I ended up getting cheap acrylic paint at Michael's and used the stippling/scumbling technique for coverage and it ended up being much more effective. As always, build your color up in layers of thin paint (although I actually ended up using thicker paint by the end of it, it may bite me later).

The rock patches are going to end up grey. I should have basecoats done this week and then I will drybrush. I originally planned on doing a wash first, but I think it may be more work than it's worth. Maybe I'll try it out on the sample patch, but I am a lazy person.

Overall it looks great and I can't way to play on it. I may do a picture battle report like I started on for Malifaux way back (before my laptop got stolen) in a comic panel style.

The other project I'm working on are my Gremlins for Malifaux:

I'm having a blast painting these guys. I decided not to get bogged down with making every model I own up to my highest possible standard. Sometimes it's just nice to have a complete model that I didn't put 120% of my effort into. Holding myself to these standards is the reason why I don't have a lot of completed armies or even crews. So I did a paint scheme consisting of almost 100% wash finishes to do the shading and it turned out a much faster paint job. In the end the paint job wasn't bad at all and although it's not my best it definitely looks good. Once they're all painted I will be using Envirotex Lite to create a murky swamp at their feet.

This kind of leads me to new year's thoughts. In 2013 I resolved to have a fully painted Troll list, which I successfully accomplished. Last year I tackled a monstrosity of a list for goals, and I pretty much set myself up for failure. I thought I could handle having a fully painted crew, but I kept juggling around as to what my goal really was and kept adding more and more. Toward the end I felt like I had failed at the hobby and keeping to my internal promises.

But then I realized, what the hell kind of fun is that if my hobby pisses me off?

So in December I scrapped any ounce of care I had into fulfilling my resolution of 2014 and decided this: I am just going to do what I think is fun whenever I want.

Once I fully held to this Mantra rather than a schedule I actually saw I was getting more work done. It's quite liberating to approach my hobby this way. Adhering to a schedule made my fun seem like work and I ended up not doing anything due to the stress it was adding to my life.

So now if I feel like painting Infinity, I'll do it. Then I'll stop if I want to do something else. Eventually it will get done. Who cares when? If I feel like painting my stuff before an event or meet up, then I'll do it. But I don't need to hold myself to these arbitrary goals so rigidly. I just need to have fun.

So my hobby resolution this year? Have fun, and celebrate if and when I finish a project.