So over the weekend I got a few games of Warmachine in along with a few model builds. I brainstormed over a few ideas on how to base my Leveticus models and finally came up with this yesterday:
I've always wanted to try this out and was going to save it for Shenlong, but decided since I'm concentrating on my Outcasts I may never get to him and used it for Levi. My original thought was to have some undead/construct bursting out of the ground but figured with a small base there may not be room for it, and it seemed a bit elementary for such a cool model and master. So with the floating rubble you get a much more subtle, elegant and impressive display of power without detracting from the model. Placing these pieces was no picnic, however, and took me a long time and scrapping of a few arrangements to get it how I'd like it. Some of my first attempts didn't have a good "flow" to it and seemed like a bit much, along with a lot of pieces just jumping out of my fingers and tweezers. It's a bit difficult to see the effect when they're unpainted and kind of blend in.
Next I'll fill in a few gaps with green stuff and get to painting! I plan on keeping the model very dark and sinister, along with a new trick or two to display the magical aura surrounding the model that makes the stones float.
So last year my resolution was to paint what I want, when I want, and it did not fail me. I felt no pressure to paint an army or crew and it was very liberating. In fact, due to this mentality, I feel my best work has come out.
My absolute favorite Malifaux piece thus far
I got to exercise a lot of new, fun techniques on this piece for MERCS
I came very close to having a fully painted Viktoria Crew. Considering that none of these models were painted at the start of the year and that I kept changing the composition of the crew with experience this isn't so bad at all.
I've also gotten a bit of Warmachine/Hordes done, as I painted some of my Highborn Covenant and a Troll beast or model here or there. I didn't update it much on the blog mostly because it didn't seem much of note to me, and some are works in progress too boring to update with.
One of my main accomplishments of the last year was my real jump into the non-metallic metal technique. I feel I've really improved on this and practiced it a lot more than mostly any other technique.
My Infinity Oniwaban painted in February, still a WIP!
Viktoria of Ashes, my absolute favorite face I've painted
These two were my first real dive into NMM without much guidance. With the Oniwaban I simple mimicked previous paint jobs done to identify where the contrasts were placed and experience it first hand. With the Viktoria model I just winged it to see if what I knew could cut it on my own, and it didn't look bad. But knowing what I know now I can see major improvement, especially with the blade and hilt. The knee pads and shoulder were a bit more successful, but I love the way she turned out. I also attempted to airbrush purple into the contrast of the blade, which I feel isn't the effect of what I wanted but is passable.
With my foray into NMM I also jumped further into learning glazes. I've done this before but not with the intent I have now. This is quite an interesting technique that I'm still learning currently, as it's not as subtle as I'd like it to be.
In the airbrush department I feel I'm finally getting my stride. I can control it much better and understand the properties that come along with using it. It is now a standard tool in my arsenal, and I think every model I've painted last year had at least one step of involvement with the airbrush. Also, primer through an airbrush is a godsend, and I recommend it for every painter out there. It has made painting so much easier, as now I no longer have to wager on the spray can's mood or drudge through hand painting primer.
Last year I felt my painting take leaps and bounds ahead.
In gaming I'd have to say the game I concentrated most on was Malifaux. I was able to get at least one weekly game consistently during the second half of the year, and I definitely increased my skill dramatically. I went from absolute noob to being able to hold my own with the group, although there are definitely some players I've yet to really pose a challenge to. There are some tough matchups, notably one player's Lylith list that is nationally renowned and another player's Ressers.
My Warmachine/Hordes experience felt stagnant, although my Trolls got much better and I feel my love of my Mercs diminished. My Retribution are absolutely horrid, although they do well enough on the table top I just don't feel like I have fun with them as much. I did win a steam roller with them at the beginning of the year however. The tournament scenarios for 2015 were much more forgiving to my armies, and I definitely felt like the Arcane Reservoir objective became a crutch for me. I hope they keep it this year!
The new game I dove into in 2015 was MERCS. I absolutely love the system and have only gotten a handful of games in, but I definitely treated it as one of my main games. I've probably gotten enough stuff for the game to field 3 tables for it and have a total of 4 factions for the game. I painted two models for it, but it's okay since that's 40% of a squad right there, and I really want to make them a shining example of my skills.
So what are my plans for this year?
Well for starters my next game that I'm getting into is this:
It's an awesome Gladiatorial combat game, set in a small arena with cohorts of small model counts - they can be played as 1v1 up to 8v8 or more. It scales very well no matter the model count, and more notably even with more players. This is a huge feat considering that not a lot of games play well with 3 players and sometimes more, as rules are generally designed with 2 players in mind. The fluidity of the rules make a 3 player game no different than 2 players which is awesome since my group of friends from Huntsville usually consist of 3 of us, meaning one player sits out while the other two play. It's a simple game mechanically, with a very unique damage system and cool resource management with fatigue and favor (a cool mechanic representing the crowd!). Malifaux taught me that resource management in a game can create a cool dynamic that alters your choices throughout the game in subtle ways, and this seems no different. For a system with a 20 page rulebook (that's free online, along with all the stats!) there are so many layers, and to me that represents as close to perfect as a rules set can ever be. Warhammer has been known for their rulebooks that consist of hundreds of pages and several different books all needed to play, but games like this show that the same depth and choice can be achieve without caving in on itself with bloated rules. It also seems to achieve a nice balance between models, as there are no points or composition rules. So far I haven't seen any broken combinations, as this game tends to have streamlined abilities and damages, and victories are usually determined by tactical placement over individual abilities or statistics. Everyone has access to the core abilities that cause most damage or advantage.
Plus I get to say various quotes from Gladiator and Spartacus. There will be many "Are you not entertained?!" screams.
Also for this game I have the lofty idea of building my own arena. We'll see how that goes... probably the same way all my ideas for terrain go... nowhere!
In terms of personal painting goals for the year I'd like to get closer to having two full crews painted for Malifaux. Most of my Viktoria crew is painted short of a model or two, it's just my Leveticus crew that has no painted models short of Hannah who is double dipping in both. I am definitely motivated to paint Leve himself, so at least he'll be done relatively soon! I don't see many models in his crew being a challenge other than The Mechanical Rider, but mostly because she's a large model. She's very similar to Hannah's model so it's ground I've tread before.
I'd also like to have my House 9 force painted for MERCS, and when I do get into Arena Rex I'd like at least 6 to 9 models painted for 3v3 gaming.
However, I am once again adhering to my previous resolution and only painting what I am motivated to paint with no pressure as to completion of any force or timetable, save those timetables I'm motivated to finish! I will however put my best efforts toward finishing the Dreamer crew for a friend as it's been a long time since I took that commission on.
In terms of increasing skill in gameplay my main focus will probably be Malifaux, as it's the game I'm most enthusiastic for right now. All my other games are mostly casual as there aren't too many local supporters for them, but I can also work on improving my WM/H game. One day I may purchase the items needed for my other Retribution list, or perhaps start working on my Legion army that I haven't even assembled yet! It really is in the back of my priorities, though, as I'm not nearly as motivated to play that game as I am for others. The models are definitely my least favorite when compared to everything else in my collection. I may even start painting some Wu Ming from Infinity as I really want to try a cool scheme with them.
I also have an awesome idea on a huge conversion project for my third Malifaux crew, so I may post up pics for that if I ever start to work on it.
Anyway, that is my year in review and project goals. Let me know what you think!