More charity!

I just can't get enough, only this time, I have nothing to do with it other than to donate and hope I win!

A long time reader/commenter/contributor IDICBeer posted up a link to this charity army project on his blog.  HERE IT IS

A bunch of Youtube personalities have gotten together and painted up a HUGE Salamanders army for charity.  Do take a look! I love these projects.

HERE is the link again. My money is in. Get yours in too!

To see pictures of all of the models in the army so far VISIT HERE.

Good luck!


The Zombie Axiom

The Walking Dead is just weeks away! So it is time to start gearing up for all things zombie!  To do so I wanted to take a moment to present again The Zombie Axiom by my good friend David Monette. You can find his Kickstarter HERE.  David is a writer and illustrator who has had his work published all over the place like on Magic cards and magazine covers.

David has written his own zombie horror novel, set in upstate NY. This one however takes a unique spin by doing away with the usual super virus that illogically allows dead tissue to live again. That never did make sense!  Dave adds a bit of Science Fiction and a bit of Fantasy to the genre and makes it all work in an interesting and believable way. His book is easily one of the best zombie books I have read!

The mayhem starts off in Montreal, Quebec and works it's way down to New York where a band of survivors do their best to hold out against the horde.

David's kickstarter ends in just a few days. He is attempting to self publish the novel. In the kickstarter he has a tier where you can get a PDF, Ebook and paper back version of the book, but also some great rewards such as a tier where you can send Dave a picture of yourself, and he will do a drawing of you as a zombie!  Who doesn't want to see themselves as a zombie?? He also has tiers where you can get original oil paintings and other great works of his.

So don't miss out on your chance to get this great book, and a chance to help a good dude get a leg up.

Again, HERE is his Kickstarter. Take a look and get in on this project!


X-Wing gaming table!

Here is a work in progress shot of a side project I have going on. This is my X-Wing gaming table!  Fritz got me into the game and of course I can't just do something like this part way.

I'm  all in baby!

This table is 36x48 inches. From what I could tell, the standard tournament size for an X wing game is 36x36 however some guys play on a bigger 48" table.  So I created this 48" long but left a foot unpainted, creating a divider at 36".

I was playing around with finish, and put an X wing logo in the right and used some Mod Podge gloss over the top to seal it in.  That is why it is so shiney there.  I'm going to finish the entire board with the mod podge, then give it a Matte finish.

The painting itself is not really what I was hoping for.  I think I should have done the galaxy much thicker at the center. I do sorta like the little nebula effects, especially the one on the bottom right.  I need to add more color as well...

The board was made on 1/2" thick particle board, and framed with 1.5" x 3/4" wooden molding.

I will hopefully get a chance to break in this table on Monday against Fritz for my first full game of X wing!

What do I have?

I went imperial. I have a swarm of Ties, Tie Interceptors, Bombers, a Lamda Shuttle, Fett, and Vaders fighter.  I always like the images from the movies of the massive swarms of Tie Fighters flying at the Rebel ships.  Speaking of which, I hope in the future they put out some more movies that cover the dog fights better, maybe even from the imperial point of view!

Are you guys into X wing?  What are you playing? What is a winning tournament list?


The stall of The Lamenters (and a rebirth)

Remember my Lamenters?

Yah this thing!  The project I started last summer, right about the same time 6th Ed dropped.

Well they have sadly been sitting on a shelf because 6th Edition pretty much left my beloved Blood Angels at or near the bottom of the competitive 40k rankings.

I lost the desire to work on the army because I didn't want to spend the months to paint it only to get my nipples kicked in every time I played.  I think the kicker was when I played my Blood Angels around this time at a tournament in Rhode Island and got "Smoking Boots".  (dead last)

Well, a couple things have happened recently to renew my desire to paint the yellow.

First, I went to The Nova.  I hung around with John Stiening a lot who was playing in the Narrative. It looked fun! So I decided to play in that next year too.  But also in talking with John it was refreshing to see his almost indifferent approach to getting blasted off the table.  He had fun!  He actually enjoyed making a game out of NOT losing every single one of his marines.

Granted, The Narrative is NOT the 40k GT.  It is not meant to be uber competitive.  But this was a good experience for me to see.  I don't know if I will ever be able to embrace getting tabled though...  I am just too damn competitive.

Luckily for me, something else happened. The new Space Marine codex came out!

I have decided to renew the project using the new SM codex, Black Templars in particular.

First, the army was designed to showcase an array of models. I wanted armor, a Storm Raven, a dread, assault marines, bikers, scouts and white painted Death company. That all holds true.  But the Black Templars gives me a great solution to the problem I had before in that Blood Angels sucked.

First, why did they suck?  The BA codex has almost zero long range shooting while focusing on assault as their strength. But assault is dead!  And of course there are always exceptions and builds that are still good in assault, but it AINT the Blood Angels.

Why is the new codex now good?  Well it fills some of the holes I had. Now I can play Thunder Fire cannons, and Centurian Devastator squads and all I really lose is a 5+ feel no pain bubble!  But also I can put a captain on a bike and turn bikes into troops.  Hell, I can put a captain on the table that is not a glorified sergeant!  Etc etc.  It may not be the best choice, but it is far better than what I had.

Here is loosely what I am thinking about building.

New Sm Codex 2k list.

Captain on a Bike
Emps Champion

Command Squad
all on bikes
apothecary with fist
a grav gun or two

A crusade squad with 10 initiates and 5 neophytes
You see, I get to play my combat scouts!

A bike squad

A vanguard vet squad with jump packs

Another Vanguard vet squad with JP, only painted white posing as Death Co.

Storm Raven

Thunderfire Cannon x2

IG Allies:
Command squad
x2 vet squads
x2 Thudd Guns

Why the guard allies?  Because I found those awesome Eizenkern storm trooper models and I want to use them!  Plus I want the Vendetta and I maybe will even go for a Storm Talon.

So there you go!

No, this is not an uber competitive list and no I won't win any GT with it. BUT at least it is a legal list playable with what I wanted. Minus the dread of course. I cant bring myself to field any dread that is not a furioso.

Now I only hope Army Builder updates soon so I can finalize the points!  Hate writing stuff down.

What options?  Well Blood Angels allies of course.  I can play Mephiston, an assault squad and a furioso.  Can I put the Blood Angels dread in the Space Marine storm raven?  That would seal the deal!


Tournament Watch: Battle For Salvation

Fall is here... Sorta... (it was 97 degrees in CT two days ago)

But that means Battle for Salvation is around the corner!

BATTLE FOR SALVATION is one of the biggest and most successful GTs on the east coast.  It is run by a club who's namesake is used for the title. It originated from the club's original gaming location, in the rec room of a Salvation Army.  The club has moved on to bigger and more convenient halls, but the name persists!

When is BFS?  Columbus Day Weekend!  October 11-13.

Why is BFS so successful!  Well to begin, it is a GT created for the players.  As far as I know, all of the fees come right back to the players in the form of prize support.  (With the exception of fees used to cover the costs of the venue of course.) This is supplemented by huge donations from local businesses.  It is a prize fest!

Last years "Best Painted" won a GW paint mega set!  If I am not mistaken, that is about a 400 dollar retail item...  Yah, I would say prize fest. Wish I was there!  My little sister got married that weekend last year, stopping me from being able to go and compete with my friend Joe Johnson for the painting honors.

But loot is not the only reason why BFS is a great GT.  The TO, Bob Sinnot is a man wise beyond his years and is genuinely one of the best people I know, right up there with Ted Nagel.  The BFS crew, including some industry heavy hitters like Danny Internets are on hand to smash face, and of course there is Fritz who is there to test his latest sneaky tactics and run an event or two. Last year he ran a Kill Team tournament.

BFS also attracts some of the best players in the game.  I would dare say the East Coast has some of the fiercest competitors in the world including Alex Fennel, Ben Holy Moly, Young Tony and his Brother, (as if I need to mention his last name. He is like Pele)  Nick Nanavati, Neil Gilstrap, Mike Brandt and gobs and gobs of other dudes.  Sorry if I didn't mention you!  So if you fancy yourself a power player, here is your chance to test yourself against the best.

The Venue?  It is held at The Palisades Mall, in Rockland County NY. One of the biggest malls in the state if not the country.  The venue is massive and never feels crowded, but that is not the best part. It has huge bathrooms that are serviced by the mall all day long.  For those of us who have waited in line to drop a deuce in a less than great rest room at a GT, you know how important that is.  But also, there is a top of the line food court for those of you who need a quick bite, and all sorts of sit down joints like TGIF if you have the time.  All inside the mall and a short walk from the gaming room!  The hotels are less than five miles away too, which means they are a short jump from the mall. Or if you are lucky you can grab a room at the shady motel right across the street...

Any, BFS is one of my favorite events tied for second with Nova behind my all time favorite Mechanicon. That is saying a LOT!  They use Nova rules but a 2k point limit.

Bill McFadden and his beloved.

Sadly and Happily for me, I am in a pickle. My good 40k friend Bill McFadden and his Fiance have decided to get married that weekend and did me the honor of inviting me to their happy day.  Sorry 40k, but real life comes first, and there is no way I would skip Bill's day to play games.  So while I wish I could make it, yet another wedding is going to keep me away from BFS this year.  He is worth it though. Look at the picture! He is a true gamer.  I believe that is a framed picture of a Transformer, also an xbox controller, battle foam, 40k box sets and some sort of board game.  If this picture was to pan out we can only wonder at what other nerdliness we would find in his apartment. Looking forward to your big day man and I will get the RSVP out today.

There you have it!  Another year, another October and another Battle for Salvation. Check out THEIR WEBSITE for information on buying a ticket and making accommodations and I wish you all the best of luck!

My next action will be at Mechanicon.  I am still considering DaBoyz again this year as I had a great time last year, but at 8 hours plus, it is quite the trip and the funds are very low.  We shall see.

Keep on gaming.


Under the Dumb?

Fall TV is here again!  The Walking Dead starts in a month and it is time to start flexing the fingers.

Bur for now, lets finish off the summer shall we?

I don't watch much summer TV, I oddly don't watch much TV at all.  But that doesn't mean I don't like to talk about it!  The issue is that no one I see on a daily basis watches the shows I watch so I have no one to talk to about them. Will you be my friends?

Lets start with Breaking Bad.  I don't have much to say about it.  I have been watching it since it launched, I forget how I stumbled across it, but I happened to catch the pilot.  The show is coming to a screeching end and this week, is the first time I have really had a problem with any thing.

Here goes:

 The White Neo Nazis had the DEA agents in their sights.  There were 6 or 7 of them.  There were two agents.  Walter was in the SUV and Jesse was in the car.  All of the nazis were pointing, nay, AIMING their guns, a combination of assault rifles, hunting rifles, pistols and one badass automatic shot gun at the DEA agents.

SO there is a lot of "Drop IT" and "Show me your badges" going back and forth, until finally the leader of the nazis just gives the signal to open fire.  Each of the nazis gets off at least 4 or 5 shots before the agents even move.

How the hell did neither of them get hit?

Breaking Bad is full of outrageous situations and narrow, implausible escapes. But for the most part they were absurd situations. There was nothing to pick at because what was going on was so out of the ordinary that there was never any sort of logical solution.  That is what makes the show great.

But this case?  Those guys were not a bunch of first time shooters. They were hardened killers, that efficiently wiped out an entire drug ring just a couple episodes prior.  Now when they have two lightly armed DEA agents dead to rights, they roll 1s and pull the big whiff?  It just bugs me.  Thoughts?

A striking image that makes Breaking Bad great.
On with the real reason I am typing today.

Under the Dome.

Here is another absurd situation. A mysterious dome/sphere appears around an entire town and the surrounding country side, woods and lake.  Hi jinks ensue.

How can I really nit pick about any thing that goes on under the dome?

Well that is why I am here!

First, it was originally envisioned as a 13 episode show. However, it feels like they shot the first couple not expecting it to last on TV more than a month, then realized they had a small hit on their hands and threw the rest of the episodes together.

For example, when Jr. had the girl tied up in the bomb shelter.  He was saying "The dome is making you sick" in regards to his perception that the dome has caused her to stop loving him. But really, she just stopped loving, or never did love the creep.  Chicks do that.  Any way, after more or less writing him off as a minor character, they bring him back in as a major player by making him the fourth member of the fellowship of the dome.  They they have to explain away his weirdness and he explains what he REALLY meant when he told her the dome was making her sick.  Get it?  I know the show was written for 13 episodes but this just seems like klunky writing. Like in lost when three years later they finally tried to explain why there was a polar bear in the pilot episode, and the smoke monster. They were strange and cool in the pilot, but really had no meaning or purpose.  Later in the series, (after it became a huge hit) they "wrote in" reasons why they were there.

Now for the last 10 weeks or so, the show has had ups and downs. Strangely, "Ye old cement factory" is the place to be. It has doubled as a MOAB shelter and as a fight club.  I guess I have to scope out local cement factories to add to my zombie survival plan!

But there are other silly things. Like the relative size of the dome.  At first it did not seem all that huge. But last night, Big Jim took a boat out to a house on an island in the water that was trapped Under the Dome.  It looked pretty damn far! Speaking of the lake, I don't remember what the plot twist was that stopped them from drinking the lake water... but why not drink the lake water?  There was almost two episodes dealing with the need for water and the destruction of the water tower.  People died for a well.  WHY?  That massive amount of water that Jim was boating across to get to a secluded island with a house on it was surely enough water for them to drink!  It was definitely not time to start killing farmers for their well... Make sense!

Then there is the issue of what happened on that island.  Small point, but why on earth would the lady there be using an M1 Carbine?  Wouldn't there be something else available other than an 80 year old rifle that I can't even imagine there is still ammo for?  (don't bother googling the gauge of the gun or its ammo availability, it is not really the point and doesn't really matter.)  The point is that if they were going to go old, why not go really old and give her a Colt Peacemaker.  Even if the old guy was a WWII veteran and he maintained his old Carbine over the years. I can't imagine many WWII vets bouncing around their various properties as her story says.  I suppose the gun was also used in Korea and even Nam, so that may explain it a bit, but still. It bugs me that they would have given her such a dated fire arm.  Why not just a simple hunting rifle or shotgun?

Then in exact opposition to that, when Big Jim and Barbie are going out to relieve a stubbon citizen of his weapons, Barbie picks a sweet AR-15 (or clone) off the pile.  It had a scope and laser dot sight.  That thing was easily a 2-3 thousand dollar gun. I could be wrong, but from what I know of guys who own AR-15s, they are pretty much intended for home defense and survival situations. You know, like if you were living some place where there was limited resources being burned by the minute and a population of people getting edgier and edgier, scavenging for food and killing each other with no end to the crisis in sight...  I find it hard to swallow that any one with a weapon like that, UNDER THE DOME, would voluntarily give it up just to make the streets safer.

That doesn't make sense!  How is my voluntarily giving up my AR-15, when others are NOT giving up their guns, making me safer?  None the less, some one coughed it up and it was in a pile of guns.  Maybe the guy needed some toilet paper and traded it.  Whatever.  In the end it was just an easy plant so that they could have the following scene where Barbie bounced the glowing red ball back and forth between Big Jim's and the other guys head.  They wanted the image on TV to add drama to the scene.  Nothing more. I hate that.

Last point before I get to work today.

The stand off between Barbie, Lady Cop and Big Jim.  If you looked in the background, the car she seemingly came out of was there BEFORE Jim shot those two people. And mere seconds after he shot, she was there telling Barbie to freeze.  How could she possibly have missed Jim shooting them?  And what the hell was Barbie thinking?  First, he had no idea that Jim had manipulated her.  He wasn't there.  As far as he knew, the girl was still trusting of him, as was established by their relationship in the first 10 episodes.  Why would he think that she would not listen to her and backhand her instead of getting her to listen to reason?  But then there are the circumstances of the whole thing.  You don't need to be Gil Grissom to piece together the scene.  Jim's gun fired the shots and it was a different model and I think caliber from Barbies.  The shots were fired from the direction of Jim.  Jim's gun is missing two bullets.  Etc etc.  All Barbie had to say was:

Hey lady friend cop who I have saved, and has witnessed me saving at least a dozen people. I know I have my gun pointed at the shady town assemblyman, but hear me out.  He shot them. His gun is on the ground. It matches the bullets in their heads. Mine has a full magazine. His is missing two rounds. His hand has gun shot residue that you can test with the kit in your trunk.  I have not fired a gun in days.  They were killed from his angle while I was walking away.  He then threatened and attempted to kill me so I disarmed him. I am making a citizens arrest...

You get the point.

Instead he inexplicably backhands her and runs off. Only the guilty run.

Doh, there goes the bell

More later.



Look what I just found in the mail box...

His name is Strawberry. He just consumed a small child.

Now, I know all of you have probably seen much bigger in the dunes near Baghdad, or under a rock in Arizona, and maybe I am being a huge pussy, but this is Connecticut.  The most ferocious monster around here should be that soccer mom driving an Escalade in front of me and the largest man eaters should be Deer Ticks in the back yard.

But no, I just encountered Strawberry, in my mailbox.

He met his fate via mail box door.

Observe his abdomen. It is the size of George Washington's head.  (After crushing)

He has as much hair as I do on my back.

He had so much mass that when the door slammed shut, wedging him into the rim, it was difficult to open again.

I don't think spiders have muscles, but if he did, I think he could press more than me.

I don't know what kind of spider this is and you are welcome to speculate, please let me know, but his total body was close to the size of this quarter, and with his legspan, could easily attach himself to my face like the impregnator from Alien and suck the life out of my head.

I think I heard him scream NOOOOOO as the door slammed shut.  In a little, but deep spider voice.

I am off to Home Depot to pick up a HUGE bottle of bug killer.


Nova! Complete with Cosplay...

What a great weekend!

For the first time, I went to a con with no aspirations to really play any games at all. I did play in the trios tournament with my new Tau army, but that is more of a late night addon than any serious game.  Instead I set up a vendor table, put my armies on display there, and chatted with more people than I could count as they made their way through the isles!

Oh and there was even some one dressed up in a costume!

Sadly this was not her.

Oh well, bring on Templecon!

I went to Nova as a sponsor intending on promoting and selling my new DVD set which did very well. I donated a bunch of DVDs to be given away as prizes, I painted models for the Charity Army Give Away which in total raised over 10 grand, and I did seminars.  Most of my weekend though was spent at my table, talking about my armies with curious visitors, and sharing my love for creating and playing the game with many, many people.

Curiously, one of the largest demographics of people I spoke to were families. Parents with middle school age children.  There must have been something going on in the hotel, or they just wanted to pop in and see what was up. But however they rrived, they came.  I spent hours talking with parents about how to get into the game with their kids, drawing upon my own experience teaching an after school warhammer game at my own school.  There were so many curious parents who wanted to give into their kids desires, but also not break the bank! It is always entertaining to see a parents face when I show them a painted model, and how it looks when you open a box and see them all on sprue. That is probably the biggest hinderance and annoyance to parents when they get their kid their first 40k set for Christmas then realize what they are getting into after they open the box. So I got to show them what to do and what to expect and the proper way to start.  All of them appreciated the advice.

 It was fun to talk about the game with new people, and let the kids touch and examine the models.  Had I known there would be so many kids and parents, I would have brought more variety!

Part of it, I suppose, was the fact that aside from the charity army, and the painting contest that was going on, I was the only one with painted models on display and definitely the only source of models you could get close to and touch.  I sorta had the market on eye candy I guess.  Such that it was, my Tau are far from complete.

I arrived at around 8pm on Thursday.  My first Trios game was organizing as I was bringing in my stuff.  I drove down after work, and would have made it in great time but I got lost in DC. GPS does not like all of the closely spaced off ramps!

I rushed to the tables, and pulled my Tau and threw some dice, and started slamming beers.  Not long after I found myself in the VIP lounge with Mike Brandt and company, sipping scotch and feeling good. Then we went down to see some of the Narrative games going on, and I watched my friend John Stiening play for a bit, and that was it. It was about 3am, and I was wobbly and staggered up to my room knowing that 7am came all too early.

My first seminar was set for 7:30 am. I was doing a class teaching how to make my display boards.  A dozen or so equally hung over folks showed up and off we went. It was a flurry of cutting, shaving, and flocking. We sprayed so much paint that the hotel security came in and yelled at us. But in the end, every one there created an awesome display and was leaving proudly with what was essentially a new army since a good display should drastically improve the aesthetic without competitng with the models.  Some of these guys had never seen their armies on a proper display!  A few hours later, I was left standing in a room of foam shavings and spray paint haze while the guys ran off to play their games.  The seminar was a fantastic success!

So then I spent the majority of the day sucking down water at my vendor table and talking to great folks like Sean Parker. We talked about or love for Robotech from the 80s and how we got sucked into the Kickstarter for the new model game.  We also discussed other stuff like Transformers and you name it.  Oh and we talked 40k.  He bought my set of DVDs and sent me this generous and flattering testimonial after previewing them:

 This is Sean Parker, we met at the NOVA Open this past weekend. I purchased your 6 DVDs, and we spent a lot of time chatting at your Booth on Sunday.  I just wanted to say it was very nice meeting you, and thanks again for your Videos. I’ve learned more from these videos than I did from any of the seminars I attended during my time at the Con. These were exactly what I was looking for and its gone a long way to improving my painting! Thanks!
 I especially like your video on painting Dark Angels. It was exactly how I was going to do them, and it just reaffirmed that my method was going to work before I really invested the time into doing the entire army thusly. It’s gotten me excited to start work on them again, and I can’t wait to get to the project. I need to finish what I have on my Table already first however. And since I am painting a Crimson Slaughter Chaos Marine army, I’ll be watching your videos on Red next.
 Sorry if I sound like a fanboy, but I’m just feeling excited about the painting aspect of the hobby again. Something I’ve not felt in a long time. I’ll be nice to have painted armies again, something I’ve not had since before 2e 40k.
 Again thanks!

Those are as kind words as I have ever heard man, and it was an honor to have met and inspired you to get back in the saddle.  If you would like to see what inspired him, LOOK HERE.  Thanks to YOU Sean for inspiring me.  You are why I write this blog and make my videos.  
Friday blew bye in a rush.  I spent so much time chatting with folks that time got away from me.  Before I knew it, it was time for my second trios game, which I played with Simon Lean as a partner and we won.  Friday night I went to bed early.  I knew I would have a long Saturday and then would have to drive home on Sunday.  
Saturday started with more of the same. This was when most of the parents came in. At 2 I did a seminar on Hand Painting with about 10 people. It was much more laid back than the display board one as we could relax and take our time. I demonstrated, badly, how to do angel wings and scrolls. It had been a while since I had done any and I should have practiced a bit to dust off the rust! Then the guys and gals tried themselves.  I wished immediately that I had asked to have them all reminded to bring models as we painted on some primed cardboard which was not a great surface, but still they were pleased with the results.  
I did some paint judging for the 40k events. Sadly I was unable to commit to being a full judge because of my vendor table, but I did get to consult with Mike on some tough decisions.  I felt honored that he trusted me to ask my advice.  
I got in a demo with some Flames of War, and proceeded to purchase a starter kit.  Yet another game to play...  
At night I got stomped by a sisters army in my third trios game, and had a great time chilling with Justin from Secret Weapon Miniatures, who by the way puts on a very good seminar himself. He did a masterclass painting seminar, talking about color theory and model focus.  I walked out of there with not just more knowledge, but a nice example for my own teaching style.  
So that about ran the weekend.  Having a few beverages while talking to good peeps is what I like to do, and I did it a lot.  The best part of these things is getting to catch up with friends. I had a good chat with Neil Gilstrap from 11th company, always a pleasure, and I saw guys I don't normally see like Nick Rose and even some of you blog readers.  It was a glut of hand shaking and laughs.  
The only problem was that I didn't get a chance to mingle much.  There were so many guys up in the gaming room that I wanted to get to talk to, but I didn't want to spend too much time away from my table.  Next year I will be bringing Jim the Stout Smurf and with him manning the table, should be able to slip away more.  
Oh and I will be playing in the Narrative event I decided.  It looked like a lot of fun!  I was also pretty jealous of the GT guys. At the end I was a little sad knowing that I was not in consideration for Best Painted. John Stiening actually won with his "Contemptor" dread Ultramarines for the Narrative best painted.  It was beautiful, but next year I will give him some competition I hope. I will probably finally debut my Lamenters by then, using the new Space Marine codex of course. ;)
That is about it, I walked out of there having spent half the cash I made on models and using the rest to pay my Hotel bill.  I got some Flames of War, Warmachine, X-Wing and some AWESOME "stormtrooper" models I can use as guard allies.  from Dreamforge Games.  I am planning on doing Lamenters with some guard for Mechanicon and beyond.  Time will tell!
Sorry, I have no pics for you.  I packed my camera, but didn't notice the wife had pulled out the battery and put it in the charger.  That sucks. But I am sure the Nova guys will post some soon and I will respost them here to share.