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Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Euro review!


Alright.. so life is beginning to get back to normal for non-review posts.. sort of.. Figured it might be a good time to do a data dump of how Euro was this time around.

I had attended it for the first time with Burak last year, and had great success. Both in purchases, and in the competition. But mostly in meeting up with new people and expanding my knowledge on who does what and how the show works a bit more.

This year, no Burak. He bailed out to go to Greece or something with his girlfriend.. So I took the family with me instead this time around!


And we had a slightly better room this year by staying at the Carlton. I say slightly as although there was no 5am fire drill to wake us up on the Saturday morning, the room itself was such that it was slanted. Yes.. the entire room had a slant to the left when looking out the window. Enough to give anyone with a bit of drink in them nausea if you try to stand still for too long :)

As for the show itself, it was great to be able to go around and meet up with all the people one has either met previously, or met online, or just stalked quietly from the depths of Facebook. Thankfully it all went well though, and no restraining orders were issued.. thus far ;)



It was great to meet up with some fellow Canadians.. to which there seemed to be quite a few! First up was Jeff Burns and Rick Taylor from the Prairies. Rick with his Geisha piece, and Rick with his Elizabeth I flat painting both taking medals at the competition! Which is not surprising when you consider how much work went into both pieces by these Canadian Masters :)

We also saw the boys from The Bent Bristle show up. Alex and Anthony from Toronto were over to show off their new model ( review to come as I was able to get an early copy! ) and to rub elbows with Europes elite for painters. Not me of course, but people like Fernando were in hot demand by these boys I was informed ;)

It was also good to meet up with a lot of the local UK painting crowd, and to see many of their pieces throughout the show as well. Too many to name really, but a pleasure to chat with them all. And more chats to come as we meet up again in shows like Scale Model Challenge or Monte San Savino that is yet to come!






To name a few, and in order of photos, Mario, Scott, John, Fet and Luke. All great pieces in the end, with some doing better than others for one reason or another. But to me all fantastic pieces in the end that each should be really proud of!

The quality at the show was way higher than it was last year though, and this I can only put down to the huge Asian Invasion we had! And this is a great thing as it will really push the community to go bigger and higher in their painting for future years as well!

People like MJ Miniatures, Nuts Planet, Young Miniatures, and others all showed up with their top artists works. And it really blew the show away to see some of it up close and personal!










They have such a unique and clean style. Even when the diorama is to depict something a bit older or worn, it still comes out very cleanly painted. Something that is a bit opposite to some of the Europe painting when we try to age things up. It can get real dark and dirty, but still great. Just a different style.

The last photo I found out after the show was all scratch built! I shared the SBS photos on facebook, but it is just too much to behold there.







As always I really appreciate what everyone brought. Unfortunately this year I did not take photos of all pieces that were on display. Half because I was lazy, half because it felt like there were more people and it was already difficult to get to the point of taking photos. What I was surprised is that although I did take photos, and in my normal click, shoot, move along style, I have received a lot of kind remarks saying that they were well done photos overall! And the 300+ likes, 200 shares, and 10k or so views of the album help support that! So thanks to all that shared and liked it on Facebook, and helped to crash my FB account for the last week. Literally making my phone rumble whenever I turn the wifi on from notifications.

With regards to my own accolades at the show.. the best awards I received were the comments on Jack as a figure. The people who bought one from me while there ( thank you all so kindly for supporting us! ) and the comments we received for improving the next piece in the series! I did get a few awards at the show as well, but they come secondary to the above. Plus I am not in agreement that some of my pieces should have received as high of a score as they did when looking at the competition ( mostly in Fantasy Busts! ). So am not looking at it as heavily as I would have liked, but know where to focus my efforts on for next year :)

Hopefully you liked the above, and below is the loot from the show as well. I may have gone a bit overboard on the books this year, but I think it was well worth it. To the point that I had to purchase another book shelf ( or 2 ) to fit them on! :D A photo of that is required at some point once they are assembled!




More goodies for the resin pile, that I hope to begin to dive into soon after this season of miniature show madness comes to a close :) 

So expect a lot of product reviews in the near future as I get through this backlog, and get back into the blogging scene as well. But for now.. enjoy the above photos, and hope to see you at a future show at some point!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Review Tuesday: Shinsengumi - From MJ Miniatures


Euro Militaire is over. A weekend has past since. And life is beginning to get back to normal ( aside from the weekend at UKGK.. to come later! ).

And with life returning to normal, we can begin to get back to reviewing some of the goodies that I have picked up from the various events once more!

For this one, we have Shinsengumi, Wolves of Mibu 1864. A Samurai with quite a history it seems, but quite a colorful character that has just taken out something or someone based on the blood splatter shown on his sleeves!

I had the chance to chat with the sculptor at Euro about it. Dae Hyeong has quite a passion for history and military pieces, and we can expect many more of these from him in the future. I was hoping to chat with Man Jin about the paint job, but that will have to wait until Scale Model Challenge in Eindhoven when he appears there instead :) Should be an interesting discussion to understand more about how he worked on this, and got some of the texture into it.

You can really be pulled in from the artwork of a piece though. Really impressive there and makes you just wish to jump into painting it. Let's see if the resin copy still pulls you in when looking at it directly.


Opening the box, there is no foam, but you can see the pieces packed within the bubble wrap here. Separated into many pieces here due to the complexity of the piece it seems as well!


We can see a lot of aspects of it here. The mass of the body is a single piece, which is good, and it is well cast. Very little mold lines, and no flash on it.

Hands, arms, head, and even some of the ribbons are all separate! Having a quick look at the arms, we see it is a perfect fit. So with a bit of cleaning up of the resin vent overflow sections we can see that this will piece together quite nicely.

The only point that was bad was that the sword itself was bent.


Like seriously bent. At least it was not snapped off, I would see this as being much worse. With it being so bent, it can tell me that the resin is more flexible ( a good thing ) and should be a bit more durable for shows when people accidentally bump into things.

So this will get some hairdryer, hot water treatment to bring it back into shape. And I suspect that I will give the entire things a massive soapy bath as it is a bit oily in spots.

Overall I am quite happy with the pieces, and the minor things to fix above should be easy for intermediate to expert painters. I say this because I see this piece being for higher end painters. Beginners might struggle with it a bit more than they would like to admit.

All I do know is that I will need to raise my freehand-fu for this piece as it is required with all those flat sections available. And the history of the piece being one that was ripe with floral patterns and such elaborate designs on their high end clothing. Lots of swearing in my future for that, but let's see how I get on with it :D

More to come.. but a good buy for me in the end, even without the nice discount that was available at Euro :) Until the next one :)

Friday, September 25, 2015

Ridend vs Vaettir battle rep 2!


So game 2 from yesterdays post about my encounters of playing Relics with their new beta force Ridend.

We can tell it was game 2 cause I made the international sign for the second game.. also for some reason I was asking for peace.. but the Vaettir were not having it! Apparently they were out for blood after the massacre of their forces in the first game. :)

My list for Ridend was:

- Baron with Retinue
- Baron with Retinue
- 5 Foot Knights
- 5 Foot Knights
- Dragon Tower

Quite an easy to use list, going with pieces that worked well the first time around, but taking more of them! Giving the Baron 2 extra wounds there is critical to keep him alive longer, and the strong foot knights being smashy smashy to the face of Vaettir also helping muchly!

For the Vaettir his list consisted of the following:

- Huntuwala
- 6 Varrier
- 2 Sol
- 2 Broken

Bit more of a monster list with many being on 40mm bases. And hopefully now that we knew what the Ridend could do, they would be a bit more sneaky and deadly to play with.


Deployment. For ease of set up, we took the same sides, and left the table as it were. Mostly cause we were planning on seeing how the changes made by both players would work, and how we can play our armies better.

I grouped up my forces to the middle to get the most out of the command bubble, with the other Baron to run distraction on the other side. Should make it a bit more interesting, now that I am aware of how deadly he can be in close combat!

My opponent decided to run the Sol models to his far flank in something of a similar fashion, with the mains in the middle.


Turn 1.. again we used Bolt Action dice to show who has moved to make our lives easier. No pulling out of the bag to see who goes next, but that could really throw a spanner in the works for such a game!

I still outnumbered him, and went second, but it was mostly us moving our troops forward, and getting into position. He did move his Hero up quite far.. gave me some serious concerns especially when looking at his spells and conditions he can toss out!


Turn 2 we see again everyone getting all set up here. My center was getting quite full, and his hero dropped Horror and Blindness on my central knight unit. I dropped a spot token on his Hero in return. Everyone else was waiting to see what happens next turn... especially on the right where the Knights and the Sol were looking to square off!


Turn 3.. and I somehow got first move, and the Foot Knights took off against the Sol immediately! Smacked them around a bit, and left nothing but ashes in the end.

We had played it as their (C) ability to shoot could be done when I was charging at him, but he failed. We did learn afterwards via Gavin that this should not have been the case, and now we have to rethink how the Sol should be used. But definitely not so aggressively.

Actually.. Vaettir in general should not be used so aggressively, and/or in a straight on head smash style. Because my Baron with retinue charged into his Hero and smacked him around something fierce. So within the the same turn 2 of his 4 units are now gone. I did not take photos of the rolling for both combats as they were quite sad how often I got doubles again...

Oh and the other Baron was having problems taking out the smaller fairies.. so good rolling to my right, but bad to my left..


Turn 4.. Also ignore the turn dice there I was taking the photos after my opponent was flipping to the next turn.

The broken were now in combat with my Knights, and they were not faring well. Horror, Blindness, and then knocked down.. yet they survived.. barely, and were able to remove all the statuses. While the rest of my forces prepped to do a nice gang up attack against them next turn.

And the other Baron fails to do much again!


Turn 5.. the Broken did not fair so well against the Baron, and 2 units of Foot Knights! It was a valiant attempt to stay up, but when you stack a couple of good tokens against them, they will not last. They were able to take out a retinue model, but not much else there.

The other Baron was not doing so well against the Varrier though. Losing one of his retinue as well.



By turn 6 it was all about cleaning up that Varrier unit. In the end it seems that although I took casualties, I did not lose a single unit. With there being a full knight unit on the table still as well.

Major points I learned for the Ridend was to focus as much as possible. The lone Baron was a good distraction to be used, but not so great solo. I could have helped him more with spot buffs from the Dragon Tower, but that was focused on the units that could take more hits ( such as the Broken who had a 4+ harden save ).

But again the Fight from the Front, Spot, and Charge bonuses were deadly combos to put together. And with the Foot Knight's ability to re-roll a dice in combat, it can become pretty deadly. Now knowing this, I think I need to figure out how to use the birds better then, cause I think they can be uber deadly then in combat even if I can only take 4 to a unit.

More games are needed obviously, and against the other factions. I am curious now how they will fare against the Orcnar or Neum who are a bit more resilient to being hit. Or against the Brits who can lay down some serious magic and shooting if they choose to.

I still think that Archers don't have a place in the army atm, and that the skills and stats of them for how much they cost are not worth it. Considering that within 300 pts I still had a significant number on the table, and some serious hitting power. I will need to look into how the archers might work, and where they would be best situated as well.

Have a look at the links ( on the images below ) to check out the full range of models from Tor Gaming for both factions. I have to say that the new pre-order of Ridend damsels is looking hawt.. and some added magic to the army could really spice things up! Let's see what the future brings for them!


Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Ridend vs Vaettir Battle Report


So last night I got a chance to get in not 1, but 2 games of Relics down at the club.

It was hoped that I would get destroyed or at the very least lose ;) Seems the Ridend had other plans as we worked on how they played out nicely.

So the lists of the first game were the following:

Ridend:

Vaettir:
Thoughts were to try out 300 pts so we could try out more troops each. 

Just a straight up pitched battle with some basic terrain set up inside. 


I forgot to take photos at the beginning of the game but you can see my forces attempting to make it across the table from the bottom of the photos. Iain was trying to move his troops forward as well into the center ( but were proxing his Vaettir troops from Ridend models ). 

I really had no idea what I was doing here, and I was setting up the Kapolop Knights to charge his troops when they came into range. Considering that this was the first time I have played with the Ridend, and has been a while since I played last it was interesting to see how they worked while playing them :)


Turn 3 here.. and I had attempted to charge the Sol troops with the Kapolop Knights. I did not fare well for me here. Though we played the fire attack wrong for the Sol, and they took more damage than they probably should have :) 

The archers were able to do a bit of damage to the Vicieros, but nothing major there. 

The dragon tower was starting to do well even without moving by just putting spot tokens on things. But I was not really working on synchronizing the units so well in this game, so he put the spot on the Vicieros instead of the Sols. And the Kapolop troops suffered from that and their lack of extra dice to hit. 


Turn 4 we see the Vicieros fail a charge against the Baron ( thank you spot token to remove charge bonus ), and the Baron was able to slip behind them. The Broken had tried to charge but were blocked by their own troops, so moved forward instead. The second Baron with Retinue charged in, and used the Fight from the Front skill to give them a bit of assistance, but it did not really help too much. The 5 knights were slowly making their way towards the Sol to get revenge for the dead comrades on chickens!


Turn 5.. the foot knights charge into the Sol. And they lay one heck of a smack down! Having the ability to get 3 dice, plus 1 on the charge, and be able to re-roll one due to furiousity skill. They were quite deadly... 


 
Quite the smack down indeed here! ( Oh and the Bolt Action dice was used to track which unit had already moved or taken their turns :) How can you tell we play a lot of Bolt Action in the club :) ). 

The Baron and Retinue would still hold firm against the Broken, but do nothing in return either. 


Turn 6 and I lose a little drummer chicken, but also squish his hero in the process. And kill more Viciero with the Baron in close combat. Dragon tower has not had to move, still within the 10 inch command range of the Baron ( who is knocked down ) but putting out Spot tokens. At this point I am beginning to better understand where they should be and where they should go. 


Turn 7.. yeah.. we just kept going. We never really picked a total of turns or something.. just decided to keep going. The foot knights turning around to face the Broken, while the Viciero died at the hands of the Baron. 

The Broken would finally get put down by the foot knights with some more spectacular dice rolling once more!


The broken have a 4+ hardened which makes them terrible to put down, but it seems the Foot Knights are ready for the task and put a nice 6 hit combo on them to finally take them down :) It was basically at this point I was beginning to understand the combos better within the army. 

Learning points from the game and this army. Everything needs to work together. Just one type of troops do not work with this army at all, but when working together, in a small space they are quite deadly. Having the buffs stack up in a round of combat were brutal near the end there. 

An example was.. Foot knight with 3 combat, charging +1 combat, against a spotted unit +1 combat, and if the fight from the front was added to them, thats another +1 combat to add to them. Giving the knights 6 dice a piece on a charge! Even with defense 1, they are getting 5 dice and with 5 in the unit they were dealing out some mega hurt to the Vaettir!

The Kapolop Knights should not have attacked head on though. They should have been used as a supporting unit to get into a unit that is a bit more squishy ( 1 wound ) and without defense if possible. Though looking back, there are some deadly combos with them as well to get them to dish out 7 dice in combat! Base of 3 combat, +1 for Impetious ( though -1 defense for it also ), +1 for charge, +1 for FftF, and +1 for Spotted troop. But no re-roll available, which honestly I think is what gives the Foot Knights an edge. 

Barons are good solo, but excel with their Retinue alongside them. And after seeing the conversation on FB about the troops, they can only take advantage of the FftF skill if they have them ( otherwise they are considering Independents ).

Dragon tower.. well.. best tactic is to keep it away from enemies, and within command range. So that they can keep on spotting to give the bonuses. 

Archers.. well their tactics and uses are quite limited. And I think that unless they can be made into units of 9, I do not think they will be very effective. Their special skill of re-roll only coming into effect when you gang up, and having low numbers don't make them too useful. 

I have another bat rep to put up, but will post it up for tomorrow then! Where I take out the Kapolops and Archers and focus on just Foot knights, barons with retinue and a dragon tower!
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