RRRRumble!

(Note: Pictures to come later, as I’m not able to get those right now)

As I may have mentioned before, I’ve played miniature wargames for a goodly number of years. I believe, off and on, it’s been over 25 years. The results have been the same almost each time. I paint miniatures, using my fairly expensive paints based on what I come up with in my imagination, and then I set my miniatures up across the table from someone and it all falls apart. I spend my time removing painted miniatures from the table while the guy across the table from me usually has some unpainted “deathstar” that he’s cobbled together with fully unpainted figures. It usually felt over by the second turn and was most assuredly over by the third or fourth.

I went to the ‘Rumble on Route 66′ with mixed feelings. Mixed because I really enjoy this game, but tournaments and I don’t usually get along well. I don’t usually enjoy myself, because I usually run into “that guy”. The one who thinks he’s entitled to win the entire thing, but complains about this rule or that rule or this thing is “OP”, but the deathstar he’s brought is totally legit and fair and then has a meltdown worthy of a two year old because he came somewhere in the middle. I just kept reminding myself, I did enjoy the last Infinity tournament at my LFGS, so I thought it’d be alright.

Originally, I planned to drive out to Amarillo by myself, but one of the guys in my group said that there was an extra seat in his car and he’d be glad to let me ride with. I, happily, accepted. There would be a few trade-offs, but I thought it would be better than driving alone to a town that I’ve only ever driven through from the highway.

We got to the hotel by mid-afternoon and stowed our gear. I had brought a table’s worth of terrain, so that stayed in the car, but clothes went to the various rooms that we were using.

After that, we grabbed our miniatures and were off to the Table’s Edge to check out the venue and see what we were up against. I’m not a local, so I don’t know what the store looks like normally, but the store was very nice. The staff were smiling and friendly. The people there were clearly excited and everyone was talking Infinity. It was amazing. I put my terrain box on top of the table space that I wanted to put it on, which was really far away from the super awesome tables that were brought by other people.

If you’re reading this, and you were on my table, I feel like I should apologize. I saw the table density of most of the tables and felt like my table was a bit sparse. But, I was going for a decidedly more “European” table. Partially due to finances, but mostly because I don’t believe that every building needs to be 4-ish inches from the other, nor does it have to be a labrynth of corridors in order to be a fun game. Those games are fun, to be sure, but I wanted to make sure that there were open areas (with cover) to fight over, etc. I only talked to one pairing that played on my table and they said they had fun, but offered that it was “very open”, which I took as a compliment, though I’m not sure if it was intended that way. Apparently, it was great for bikes, though.

After checking out the tables that had been brought, we gathered at the Big Texan and had a great time eating. I like to eat and I enjoy a good steak. While mine wasn’t quite done the way I wanted (Medium should have some pink in the center, I think), it tasted great and the company was awesome. I got to meet a lot of people that are movers and shakers in the Dire States and Infinity community. I got to meet Darren, who apparently used to own the Table’s Edge (current venue for the Rumble on Route 66) and I got to meet Dexter (of ‘The Krug’ Podcast and Shark Mounted Lasers). Later I met Tom (from ‘MayaCast’) and Carlos “Bostria” Llagur (from Corvus Belli). It was great to meet these people, put faces to forum monikers, shake their hands and talk about this game we all enjoy.

Then, back to The Table’s Edge, for Beerfinity! There was more general wandering about, as more tables had shown up. There was beer about, but I didn’t bring any, so I didn’t ask for any, though I was graciously offered a raspberry beer that wasn’t bad. I played a guy from New Mexico. He was pretty cool to play. I learned a lot from that game. He played Nomads and I realized that they have a lot of tricks in their lists. That game taught me that I need to put more deception in my lists and figure out how to get enough figures on the board to lull my opponent into thinking that everything is deployed. As has happened to me, every time I’ve played Nomads.

After Beerfinity, it was back to the hotel and sleep. Sleep came easy for me that night and I was up by 6:00. I went downstairs and had breakfast with the Truckers and an elderly couple. I had a nice relaxing morning. I lounged about and was ready to go when we decided that it was time to go. We showed up a little before 8:00 and we were under way by 8:30-ish.

My first game was one that I asked for. The first round of the Rumble on Route 66 is open for challenges. You certainly don’t have to challenge, but it’s fun and I wanted the entire Rumble experience, so I challenged a guy from the forums. He is a Warcor (someone who’s supposed to promote the game and understand it well), so I figured there would be a high chance that I’d lose the game, but I thought I might have a fun time doing it and I thought that I’d avoid meeting “that guy” on the first round. My predictions were correct. I lost the first game and I was OK with it. The guy I played offered a little bit of advice, which I took to my next game. I thanked him for the game after shaking hands with him.

My next game was, by and large, a remix of the Beerfinity game, with slightly different models. Needless to say, I lost, but I had fun moving miniatures around the board and this game was closer than the score ended up being, but I got my classified objective, which was a small (yet pyrrhic) victory as was the fact that I kept him from getting max points. Afterwards, I shook his hand and thanked him for the game.

Had an awesome BBQ lunch from someplace local in Amarillo. The smoke was good. I enjoyed the ribs and the brisket. The sides were fair, and very edible. To be fair, the flavor was there, but they had a texture like they had sat out for a bit too long (preparation, buffet line, etc). But it was very good. Some unsweetened iced tea to go with it and a slice of bread.

During lunch, Bostria (Carlos Llauger Lorenzo) himself gave a small presentation about the coming items and answered a lot of questions. The news was really cool and there are some really nifty things that we learned that are coming for Infinity. Though I can’t say anything about the really cool stuff or Bryant dies. True story. I’m not sure how that will work all the way from Spain, but I’m not going to push it. A good majority of his presentation was already released stuff anyway.

After lunch it was time for round 3. Not so surprisingly, it didn’t go well for my little band of metal army dudes. It was a good game, but there were a few things that just didn’t go my way. Had a lot of fun with my Shaolin Monks, though. They rolled up and almost took out an entire NeoTerran Link team. 5 Medium Infantry with decent weaponry. They took out mines (drop bears) and generally ground his flank run to a halt. They were great fun to play that game. But, yet again, the score didn’t go my way. I didn’t get the objectives that I wanted and didn’t get to keep the objectives that I got. I shook hands and thanked him for the game.

I’ll be honest, by the last round, I had pretty much decided that I was just going to play like I was out of my mind. I was concerned that I was going to come in last place. To be clear, it wasn’t that I wasn’t having fun, but there’s a point where losing every game you play (as has happened so far in N3), gets a little old. I was doing my best to keep it together. I think my pat answer when someone in my group would ask me how I did after the round was, “I had fun”. Which was true, as I did have fun. I just wasn’t enjoying the loss at that exact second in time, which was usually the exact moment they asked me how I did. But, yet again, I digress.

The fourth round pairings were announced and I played a guy I believe was from New Mexico. He was awesome to play. The game was fun. There were a few things that happened that turned the whole game on its head, though. He attacked me with his lieutenant, which was bold move, but at the same time it was fairly safe because he’s attacking a 5 point Shaolin monk which should’ve been a no-brainer and I think, in any other game system, would’ve been a quick “murdalation” of one 5 point model, by a 47 point model and that would’ve been that. But, as most of you readers know, there’s always room for crits. I don’t know how, but all of my monks rolled crits in their fight. The first was with Shinobu (best MA skill in the game and one of the best CC numbers too) and then there were 2 or three other fights that, basically, took out the majority of his army. He was awesome to play and gave me my first really cinematic game. The monks doing something other than taking a model out and dying really made it exciting for me and, as I look back on it, if I lost that game it would’ve been worth it to see that 5 point Shaolin take out a 47 point named oniwaban (my absolute favorite oniwaban, to be frank). I shook hands with him and thanked him for the game.

After that, we all gathered for the awards. I started to tear down my table as quietly as possible, while they announced the winners and a little bit of question and answer from Bostria. Most of the people I came to the Rumble with placed in the top 25 and one of us came in first place! That was pretty cool. The prize support was amazing. I’ve never been to something so large before. Even though I came in 41st, I somehow contributed to our group winning an entire table of awesome stuff from impudentmortal.com. The guy’s stuff looks amazing and I’m probably going to get something of his very soon. I just need to decide.

At any rate, after that, we went to a place called “I don’t know” Sports Bar. The IDK was really good. I don’t know if it’s because of the very fresh cattle in Amarillo, or if it was because I was, essentially, on my feet for 12 hours, but the burger was awesome. I found out later that the burgers we had, awesome though they were, paled in comparison to whatever it is they normally make at the IDK.

Many thanks to the venue ‘The Table’s Edge’, all of the companies that gave prize support to this thing, the guys who ran it and all the great people I got to meet. Overall, I had a really great time. I can’t wait to do it again next year.

 

(Note: Pictures to come later, as I’m not able to get those right now)

Hobby Stuff!

This will be a short-ish update. So, some very awesome guy made a page that you can print your own versions of the tokens at any size you like. This is awesome on many levels, but I figured that if I keep them in the same basic size that I’m already used to (25mm or 1″), I can do some pretty nifty things with other information that I found out. Bear with me, I’m trying to put this together and formulate it as I go, so it may be a little fractured, but the end result should be something pretty nifty and, though I’ve already shared it in the  book of face, I’m putting it down again here for a more official “blogged” version.

A web based hobby site that I follow had an idea of “plasticizing” the Operation:Icestorm tokens with some plastic epoxy disks made by “Beadaholique”. I found them for about $0.10 a piece (when ordered in large enough quantities and so I ordered some so that my lieutenant tokens could be plastic and I had an idea of making order tokens for Woody (as he doesn’t yet have any of his own). I got as far as my lieutenant tokens after the disks came in, when the site was revealed.

The site in question is this: http://inf-dice.ghostlords.com/markers/ The possibilities are not exactly endless, but are fairly vast and cheap. If you do a full set of tokens (about 50 or less), I think the over all cost is around $15. I also used a 1″ hole punch, and didn’t include that in my estimate, purchased at a local hobby store. I think these are usually back in the scrapbooking area of most stores. Makes cutting them out easier than trying to cut circles with scissors, at least in my opinion. Your cost may vary, of course and that’s only a ball park estimate, but I genuinely like the results.

 

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I wasn’t too keen on the bubble effect when putting the disks on both sides of the token, but the more I think of it, the more it dawns on me that could be really awesome. Using the shape, you can push on one side so that it kind of flips up, slow motion tiddly-winks style. :)

Hope this works for you as it has for me. Lots of new tokens coming out and there’s no sense breaking the bank for just a few tokens.

 

Now I just need to figure out if I can do square ones for my Command tokens, or 40mm ones for the objective tokens you see in the background of the pic.

 

Jake out.

New Lessons…

So, I’ve had a few days since our last  play session to mull over my games. One was a basic mission that was, essentially, annihilation with an added goal of an antennae in the middle that if a specialist linked with, got the player 9 points and we had 1 classified mission each. The second was a “from the book” ITS mission (Emergency Transmission) that was a blast to play. Both games were very challenging and both of my opponents were very cool and easy to play with.

So, lessons first! I learned all about Classified Missions. There’s a chart at the back of the ITS “pamphlet”. Well, 4 charts, actually. And you choose the chart you’re going to use (without telling your opponent) and roll 2 dice per Classified Objective. Your opponent should be able to see the dice, but shouldn’t be told what chart (or charts) you rolled on. Also, I learned that Deployable Repeaters are not camouflaged when they are deployed. While this is good info, I do find it flies in the face of the tactics that I wanted to try.

Tactic that I wanted to try: “Russian” Roulette  with deployable markers. A kind of shell game so that when my Guilang dropped a marker, it would be questioned as to whether it’s a mine or a repeater. Would’ve worked if it wasn’t for those meddling rules! *shakes fist* No big loss, but a slight embarrassment to learn it, mid-game, when your opponent is trying to figure out how to dispose of the “mine” that isn’t. Also, “forward observing” into melee combat, is apparently hard. And, in the case of my Guilang, caused him to miss and “look at” his own guy… Nothing happened adversely, really, but it was funny. I’ll get to it in my battle report, if I get time to do another set for the latest two games I played.

I learned, for the second time, that Morats (Combined Army) are really hard to beat… and mean. At least, for me anyway. I’m not sure what it is about those guys, and maybe it’s just my rolls sucked that game, but I really didn’t feel like I did as well on that game as I did on the PanO game. (BatReps coming soon, hopefully).

So, objectively speaking…

See what I did there? Well, of course you didn’t. I haven’t even… So, yeah, this is about various objectives for the ITS system things. I’m on a bit of a budget, so I’ve tried to get stuff when I could. I picked up the Customeeple ITS set, but it seemed (to me) to be a bit light, so I picked up a Warsenal Comm Array, Tracking Beacon (6 pack) and Access Terminal (6 pack).

I’ll try to break them down, but really they were all fairly straight forward. I will not be showcasing any sort of painting talent in this (or probably any) post, just for clarity. There are dudes with Airbrushes who do much better jobs with their scenery, bases, figures and probably their lives in general, but that may have gone a bit further than perhaps, you, the reader, wanted to. So, I’ll move on awkwardly…

 

First up, the Comm Array:

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There’s a good bit going on here. But, it’s a bunch of interlocking pieces of mdf and some pretty good pieces of acrylic. I figure it’ll be good for Beacon Race and Campaign Paradiso (among other missions). I’ll use less grey next time as only one of the pieces of orange acrylic are actually glued in. Over spray for the win! It’s not very “spendy” for one piece, it makes a great center piece for any table top mission. Looks super cool too! I’m considering getting 3 or 4 more, eventually.

Next up, the Tracking Beacons:

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These look great (when done correctly), but were a bit fiddly as they’re done with very thin acrylic pieces. Amazing work done by Warsenal on these, I just felt like my sausage fingers were crushing the tiny delicate pieces of plastic. Couple that with the fact that there is an incorrect way to put these together (look closely at beacons B through E. That’s right I only got 2 put together “correctly”), makes for a very disappointing modeling experience for this new-person-who-should-have-paid-more-attention. sigh

To be fair though, my results are my own and not the fault of Warsenal. I just got going fast and wasn’t paying attention to how things were fitting together. It wasn’t until I started attaching the blue acrylic pieces that I realized my error. Which was well after painting them and well after any real way to fix them. As the price for 6 is relatively low, it won’t take me much convincing to buy 6 more and do them all correctly. Though these are definitely doable as antennae and beacon pieces.

My favorite objective pieces are next, the Access Terminals:

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These are really cool to put together, look really “structure-y” and they painted up nicely. A word of warning when you go to put these together, Since you’ll paint the majority of it before attaching the acrylic piece, make sure you sand the back of the terminal cover (the little “cage-looking” thing on top of the acrylic), otherwise, you may run into what I did on my first one. It’s a very snug fit, so modelers do your modelling. No, I have no idea what that means, but I’m keeping it, because it’s silly. Basically, it’s just going to be a tight fit, I broke the first one and had to do some crazy stuff with “stupid glue” and my snips, to get it to look like the other 5 terminals. Again, my fault, there’s a lip on the back that I didn’t sand down (see earlier statements about sanding down the back), and so I got impatient and snap went the plastic pieces. Life goes on.

 

The ITS pack from Customeeple was next, it was very straightforward, but very odd for me. While overall Warsenal has very sturdy, very interlocking pieces, Customeeple’s pieces tended to be built upon a structure by gluing pieces to a main strut and then gluing that to the top of another piece and so on. Led to some fairly frustrating times trying to get things to dry straight.

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The  taller things in the back of the picture are, what Customeeple call Antennae and the thing in the front is a Console. The console’s base was 3 interlocking pieces of mdf and two pieces of acrylic. If there is an easier multi-piece model to build, I haven’t found it yet. The antenna was a bit different and was more of the “build up and stack” method of model building. Not very stable, but looked great when finished (again, correctly). These don’t look bad, but I think shouldn’t have been my first real foray into objective building. All 6 pieces come with 40mm bases that once attached to their piece make them nigh impossible to tip over without malicious intent. The white effect on the console and “screens” on the antennae was achieved by using a white crayon on the surface. Old school gamer skills! I remember when we had to do that to all of our dice too (while walking uphill both ways, in the snow no less!).

The kit also includes 6 boxes which can be used for at least two ITS scenarios, that I know of. But, they’re branded with an in-game corporation, which is cool. I just painted them a base green and then used a bit of aging and chipping techniques to try to make them look used.

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There are a few things that, if I were more experienced, I’d have done a bit differently. But, all in all, I’m fairly proud of this serviceable set of ITS and objective terrain. I left it grey for three reasons, one I’m a lazy bum who really just wants to get back to gaming, two I think if I have some time I can throw some paint dabs on there to make them look better and more like well used higher tech pieces of equipment and 3 I think grey works as a neutral “that’s a thing to roll dice at, not conduct a firefight around”… But that visual cue really only works when the other terrain is painted more “realistically”.

 

Jake out.