Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Apocalypse @ Legends




This Sunday July 20th Legends Gaming will be kicking off its first major campaign “The Battle for Periphery” by staging a massive 14,000 point apocalypse game! The fall of hive Regrax will be a showcase battle between Tyranids and the Imperial guard (Astra Militarum) who are desperately trying to hold off the Tyranid invasion while the civilian population tries to evacuate the doomed city. This Sunday will also be the official start of the campaign, so players who have signed up or sign up at the event will be able to start playing through the first tier of kill team games (500 points) 
 It's shaping up to be a pretty epic throw down between some pretty awesome armies (Chucks nids always a visual treat when deployed en force) So if your free this Sunday, swing by the store, we'll be set up in the overflow space next to the game side, we will also have plenty of tables set up for anyone wanting to play campaign missions, or get in a pickup game or just hang out and hobby. 



One last blurb. The latest episode of “The Stuff of Legends” is up, this week we talk about the upcoming campaign (I know, shocker right) hobby progress and games played for the week and general news for the gaming group.


 

Cheers
-Scott
BH Senior Sauceror 

P.S.
If you want to know what the gaming group is up to on a regular basis check out the Facebook group.

Monday, July 7, 2014

TSoL Episode 22 and Wednesday Workshop


Episode 22 of 'The Stuff of Legends'  podcast is now live. This episode we go over some hobby progress  and follow up on the new Orks codex in the games played. To cap it off, Chuck goes over the rules for the upcoming campaign at Legends. As always you can find and subscribe to TSoL through iTunes at the link below, or download the show from the direct link.




But wait there's more! This Wednesday 7/9/14 Ian Mccarson of inked eyes studio will be hosting a workshop on miniature basing techniques at Legends Comics and games in Cupertino CA. There is no fee to attend but you will need to bring your own paints and brushes if you want to participate in the workshop tutorials. Things kick off at 6PM and we expect to go till at least 8PM. Some come on by if your interested in making your minis a little more dynamic.


iTunes Link
https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-stuff-of-legends/id832274658?mt=2&ign-mpt=uo%3D4

Direct Download
http://stuffoflegends.libsyn.com/

Cheers

-Scott
BH SeniorWeirdboy



Wednesday, July 2, 2014

The Stuff of Legends Episode 21



Episode 21 of "The Stuff of Legends" is now live. We talked about the new Ork codex release and some initial impressions of the book and the new models. Bill makes a guest appearance as our live studio audience as well. On a side note, its amazing what you can do with two hours and a box cutter and a can of primer.


Check it out here
http://traffic.libsyn.com/stuffoflegends/sol_21.mp3



Cheers

-Scott
BH Senior Waagh master.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Review: Games and Gears Pro Series 7


Image property of Games and Gears
 
Two reviews in a row, this is madness! Or maybe just convenient timing. This time I will be reviewing the Pro Series 7S set of brushes from Games and Gears, for those of you unfamiliar with this company they are the same people behind the recent and highly successful studio ichiban line of brushes that launched on kick starter a few months back. I’ll provide a link at the end of the article so you can check out their full range of products if you’re interested (they make other stuff as well) Please keep in mind I have only had these brushes for a week, so I am writing the article on a daily basis and recording my impressions as I go along to try to provide a more accurate review.

Unboxing:
This experience was not optimal, now this is not to say I had any issues with the quality of the product, but when I opened the shipping bag and unwrapped the bubble sheet that the brushes came in I noticed that a number of the protective plastic tubes that cap the ends of the brushes had been bent. Again I will state that this is not a reflection on G&G’s product, I am well aware the horrors of shipping things and sometimes even the most carefully packed items suffer battle damage in transit, but I did find it a little surprising that they did not pack the brushes in a small box to prevent this sort of thing from happening. As you can see below, the tubing bent a little and forced the brush tip at an angle during its long trip across the pond, my heart almost stopped when I saw this but after a little TLC I managed to coax the bristles back into line, but there is still a little slant. After the initial shock passed everything set up nicely, and assembling the stand (yes you will need a screw driver) was a snap, and I didn’t find any cracks or blemishes on any of the brushes, so no complaints there.
 
 
Quality:
The most obvious thing to note about these brushes is that they are sable air (read Chinese mink) awesome mustelidae hairs aside, there were some quirks. Right off the bat I had a kinked hair in one of the larger brushes, sadly I think this was related to the bending in the plastic tubing that occurred during shipping, after a rather tense moment with a pair of surgical shears the problem was resolved, I did not see any other brushes in the set with this defect thankfully, now back to the brush heads. As I mentioned above these are sable hair brushes, they performed exactly as one would expect a good sable brush to preform, I was able to consistently draw a nice fine point each time I loaded the brush and there is a good “snap" to the bristles and no foxing in any of the tips. Time will be the real test here though and I am no slouch when it comes to brush maintenance, so I do plan on a follow up review after a few months of use. No complaints about quality at this point though
 
The feel of these brushes in hand cannot be understated. That being said the weight and balance on the brushes (even the larger ones) feels just right, they have a nice light core, probably cedar or maybe pine or another non hardwood that provides a light center. The focus of the weight of each brush is split pretty evenly at both ends and doesn't feel like either side is setting the other off balance. The subtle bulge that runs through the middle of each handle has been tooled evenly between each ferule and even on the smallest brush the PSST1 it does not feel stunted or off center. However, if there were one concern I had about the design it would have to be those dual brush ends, I have to admit I have yet to try to do the dual blending technique, or for that matter taken the plastic cap off of the other end for fear of accidentally smacking, stabbing, fwapping or otherwise damaging the opposite tip in some absent minded manner, this may not be a major concern for everyone, my painting method tends to combine the best elements of flair bartending and miniature painting, my brushes tend to find themselves partially airborne now and then (or just get away from me after a long painting binge) For now the back ends stay capped unless I am doing any blending work. For normal people though I don’t see this being an issue so 10/10 on build quality and feel.


Flow & Control:
 Flow control is something I rarely see talked about in brush reviews when it comes to miniature painting, which is a little odd, but hey, I figure I might as well include it in mine. Ok so what is flow control, easy, it’s the way a brush absorbs and distributes paint, some brushes are over absorbent and some are less so or not very good at wicking paint at all. My experience has been above average to excellent so far. The larger brushes (I used the 3XL in this case) held a decent amount of paint per load and I found myself going to the pallet a lot less than I do with my other generic brushes of similar size. The smaller brushes were a little trickier, I had to clear and thin a couple of times with the GW paints to keep them from getting over saturated, the Vallejo’s were a little more forgiving though. Moral of the story if you’re not already thinning down your paints you might want to hold off investing in high end brushes. Over all they performed quite well, nice even coats and keeping a nice fine tip in between clearing and loading, I actually got a bit adventurous with the 3XL brush and tried some highlighting with my Ork boy which you can see above, the results were pretty promising, almost no run overs on the edges and it didn’t take much pressure to get the paint where it needed to be in some of the tighter areas on the arms, this is in contrast to using the GW or generic brushes that I have used that tend to have a rather below average endurance when it comes to holding a point, I have also noticed that the cheaper brushes tend to be a little to absorbent and you have to pay more attention when loading and clearing them. This is not the case with G&G’s pro series, the bristles are tightly bound and they wick at a nice even rate and I never felt like I was fighting with the brush to get the paint where it needed to go, easily a 10/10 experience.  
starting on the first highlight layer on a irk boy.
For this these brushes worked fantastically.

Cost:
Wait that’s not on the list, but I know you probably want to know how this stacks up to the Newton’s and Raphael’s on the market. The pro series set that I got would set you back $85 USD (not counting shipping) You get 16 brushes in the set (two for each brush) which breaks down to about $5.50 per brush which is about $2 cheaper than the cheapest GW brush if you are talking msrp. How does that compare to the big dogs? Well your most basic set of Windsor Newton’s will set you back roughly $100 for six brushes that would offer you the same range as the G&G’s, that’s an average cost of $16 per brush for one third the amount of brush’s, now the tradeoff here is that those series 7’s are practically guaranteed to last you for life if you treat them right, I can’t say yet weather that is true of G&G’s, but I don’t see why these wouldn’t last me a good while with proper care. Bottom line you are getting plenty of bang for your buck with G&G.
 
Final Thoughts:
What's good:
-Affordable.
-High quality.
-Double the amount of brushes for the price.
-Good feel in hand and in use.
-Unique design.
-Comes with awesome stand (seriously I love the sword rack style)
The less good:
-Not that portable out of the box
I didn't touch on this in the article, but that dual end design and a slight tendency for the plastic caps to slip off some of the smaller brushes makes it a tad nerve wracking to put in my hobby kit, this set of brushes really begs for a nice custom clip in hard case to transport them safely.
-Shipping packaging.
Not totally their fault, but worth noting.
 
My final impression after a week or so with these brushes is a positive one, I can see myself using these brushes well into the future and would recommend them to anyone who is looking to upgrade to Kolinsky on a budget, they have some minor but ultimately forgivable quirks, but over all they performed solidly. Over all score 9.5/10.
Go Check out Games and Gears full line up.
Wait, there's more! How about some finished pics of those Orks I kept showing up top, naturally painted using G&G brushes :)


 
Cheers
-Scott
BH Senior WaaaaGGGHH

 

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Quick Review: Ahriman Exile


 
As you may have gleaned from the title, this novel follows the story of the Chaos sorcerer supreme Ahriman. The story setting takes place in the 41st millennium and primarily focuses on Ahriman’s rise or descent to power as a renegade sorcerer. The book itself is not super weighty, its about  416 pages that are not densely packed with text (it’s not a Dan Abnett tome to be sure) which makes it a fairly easy book to pick up and read when you have a spare moment I actually stopped and started reading it about three times over the course of two months, but the story is written well enough that I didn’t find myself helplessly lost or having to go back to certain parts to refresh myself. So in that way it makes a great summer reader or travel/vacation book.

The story itself is well written and is a good reflection on the author John French who is a rather recent addition to BL’s stable. While I have not read any of his other works, French does a great job of keeping the reader interested in the plot, weaving long and detailed combat scenes with subtle plots that feed into the main story and reveal more about who Ahriman really is or was. Over all I felt more like I was reading someone's personal Journal rather than watching a story unfold from some imaginary corner of the room, French’s style of describing battle scenes is also quite refreshing, there were multiple times where I would read a couple paragraphs that described a fight that in reality only lasted a couple seconds, but the action flows very well in these scenes and it never felt repetitive or gratuitous. There is also a decent supporting cast of characters that provide a decent B story to help the main plot move along, again not a lot of dense details, just a good light background on the supporting cast to help break up some of the longer bits.

The over all narrative of the story is mostly focused on the power of choice, and you definitely see the results of the ones that each character makes as the book progresses, again this is an area that French does a fantastic job in. Over all it felt like I was reading several mini-sodes out of the larger story, I don’t want to get to into the plot but I will say that there is the usual amount of grimdark splashed over everything, but it doesn't feel as overbearing as it does in some of the other BL series. I would say even if your not a fan of Chaos this book is still a solid read, on the other side of the coin if your really into thousand sons this is almost a required read.

I feel I am starting to ramble on a bit so I'll wrap it up. This book basically follows Ahriman around the universe whilst he solves groovy mysteries with his gang of scrappy renegades and outcasts as they track down the mysterious source of the hunters that have been sent to kill him, things get dicey when Ahriman realizes the truth has been with him all along and has to go on a  journey of rediscovery and personal development that will allow him the face down the demons that pursue him and unlock his true potential. The story was good but it definitely feels like its meant to be part of a series rather than a standalone novel, but its pretty easy to get into the plot and it’s a fairly quick read for anyone who enjoys BL novels. So if you like Thousand suns, or you just want to learn a bit more about Ahriman I can definitely recommend this book, same goes if your looking for a quick 40k fluff fix in your down time.

Check it out here


Cheers

-Scott

Monday, June 2, 2014

The Stuff of Legends: Episode 17



Episode 17 of "The Stuff of Legends" is out now on iTunes and direct download. This week Chuck, Ian and I talk about our first impressions on 7th edition and the psychic phase and the upcoming Valedor campaign at the shop. There's also a bit of hobby progress and the boys dish a bit on the new Orkanought kit coming out this week. You can grab the episode off iTunes, or direct download from the links below.

iTunes
Direct download



Cheers

-Scott

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Warhammer Wednesday/More dakka

Not sure if everyone was aware, but we are all stilt basking in the radiant heat of a new edition release of 40k, you know for the three of you who don't have internet connections or eyeballs that may still be un aware. To be honest I have not been diving head first into the rules and I have yet to get a game in, I have been letting the internet handle picking out the minutiae rules wise and use the time I save doing that by reading up on the fluff and painting. That being said its been a busy week, both hobby wise and at work, so I don't really have much to offer in the way of an in death look at 7th other than the book set is quite well done and doesn't feel flimsy and I love the fact that I only have to carry two books in my bag now (rules, codex) There's a lot of crunch in this new edition, so I don't expect to be seeing any substantial reports for at least a month or two when everyone has had time to really play it out.

Hobby stuff:
Like I said, this week was a busy week for me hobby wise and a slightly expensive on, s you can see below I decided to round out my armor and throw an extra Baneblade into my collection (I have two now plus a shadow sword) being a guard player you can never have enough tanks, this was especially true when I played an apocalypse game with Chuck (also pictured below) and fellow commander Bill (not pictured) That game made me realize two things, one; I didn't have all my armor painted to match my over all theme and two; I needed more tanks on the table. So I went over to Legends and picked up the Hammer.


Last Wednesday was also the first official Warhammer Wednesday over at Legends, which I initially thought I would have to head up myself to drum up some interest but as it turned out I didn't have to do much, by the time I showed up, there were already several people getting ready to play, unfortunately one group didn't get their rule book order in in time to get a copy before they all sold out, but two fine gents Rick and Mike stopped by to get an unbound game they both looked like they were enjoying the new rule set and getting a chance to play unbound.


 

Unfortunately I didn't get to spend much time next door, but we had some 40k action going on in the overflow space as well, next time I will try to have some more tables set up in the main store for Warhammer Wednesday (which will be on the 11th) Feel free to come and play anytime, the table in the main shop is usually open and if need be the overflow/table top room can be opened if there is a large group that wants to play.

Ok confession time, this article was supposed to come out/be written last Thursday, that obviously didn't happen, but it did give me a chance to finish up assembling and priming most of the Russ's and the bane blade I have been stripping, sniping and assembling and priming since Wednesday night, the end result was totally worth it though, I am also going to try to batch these guys with my airbrush  and give my new spray booth a whirl sometime next week.




That's all I have for now, going to be at Legends today/tonight. The escalation league has re-set to 500pts now that 7th ed is out. We will be recording the podcast tonight as well, so keep an eye out for the episode to drop tonight or tomorrow.

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-stuff-of-legends/id832274658?mt=2&ign-mpt=uo%3D4

Cheers

-Scott
BH Senior Batter Fluffer

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Hobby Night: The Deuce

 
Before I get to into it, episode 15 (a Farwell to 6th) of "The Stuff of Legends" is up on iTunes and available for download, his episode Chuck Ian and I talk a bit about the new psychic table and some of the confirmed tidbits for 7th edition and league news in general. Hit up the links below and have a listen.

iTunes
Direct download

This one is a little late, but it's been a crazy busy/ productive last couple of days for me so I don't feel to broken up about it. Last Thursday found me in the good company of my cohorts Chuck and Ian, we gathered yet again for a night of beer, wieners and 40k (or in Chucks case 30k) It was another fantastic evening of hobby and entertainment, a few snapshots of which I have included below. This time there should be significant less dramatic glare.

 
Ian with his big manly man hands and puma scars cuts his first decal ever (was surprised to learn this) from a dark elder transfer sheet.
 
 
Remember this guy from last time? This is the final piece, I introduced Ian to "blood for the blood god" and I think it added a nice touch of slick gore to the final piece, over all a great scene.

 


Chucks resin graveyard of mechanicum bits, these guys (I don't remember exactly what he was working on) have an insane level of detail on every piece. 
 
There was beer, and there was high powered lasers burning initials into various walls and pieces of furniture "lasers, like how do they work man, its like magic."


Oh wait, I actually got some stuff done to, if those sentinels look familiar its because they are the same ones I brought previously (the beer choice was particularly good that evening)


Ian finishing up the base on a wraithlord.

I did manage to get a fair bit done that night, mostly just getting a few stray projects done and ready for our upcoming apoc game. 
 
 
Chuck and I are knight buddies now! He actually finished painting the thing a few days ago, un surprisingly he picked one of the mechanicum schemes.
 
 
Another great night spent hobbying with friends, a big thanks to Ian for hosting yet again, as always it was a fun experience. Lately these hobby nights have been getting pretty regular, so this week I am having chuck over to play a nice 1250 game, I'll do my best to get some good pics up of that since its going to be my last true game of 6th (not counting Apoc next Sunday)



Monday, May 12, 2014

TSoL Episode 14 & X-Wing adventure

 

We see beyond the veil of time
 
Episode 14 of “The Stuff of Legends” gaming podcast is now live, you can check us out on iTunes here, or grab the direct download here. This we Chuck, Ian and I talk about 7th edition and the new rules (allegedly) regarding unbound army lists and the new psychic tables and a little bit about rumors in general, we also go over our hobby progress for the week, what’s going on at the shop and the escalation league news. Give us a listen and if you like what you hear, please let us know by rating us on iTunes and you can check out the gaming group on Facebook here.
 
Everything else:
Last Sunday was mother’s day, it was an understandably slow day for gaming, but we had a few of the usual suspects show up and we kicked off the first weekend of the bitz bazaar (we finally moved the pile off of Ian’s bed) Unfortunately my camera bag has been temporarily lost in the warp (Ian’s trunk) so this week’s escalation league pics will be a little light I did however manage to grab a few quick pics of my first game of X-wing.

So on the last episode of TSoL I mentioned that I wanted to try X-wing (made by Fantasy Flight) and Bill, one of our long time regulars showed up with a massive set of toys and took the time to teach me how to play.
 
This won’t be a super long review, just my experience with one game, and I should probably clarify I am not the biggest Star Wars fan. That being said it was a fun game and I could see myself playing again, everything about the game system is fairly straight forward, and they do a good job of making all of the visual mechanics of the system fairly accessible and very well laid out. What really got me was the movement system, getting to make your movement choice in secret and running the risk of over shooting your target, or flying straight into them and having to make a quick maneuver the following turn to get out of the action, or turnabout and try and gun down your opponents ship adds a certain level of depth to the game and helps make it feel like you are actually maneuvering through a dogfight, rather than just playing with static models on a 2d game board.

As I said before, I am not the biggest Star Wars fan, but this is a game I could see myself picking up in the near future (the starter sets only $40) It plays relatively quick and I can see why the system is catching on at a lot of stores and conventions and this may be a bit of wishful thinking, but I really wish FF would give Battle Fleet Gothic this treatment, the mechanics are somewhat similar and if you scale up slightly it could be an amazing re-launch of a great classic 40k game. That aside though, if you like dogfights in space, or you like quick tabletop games that can be played on a 4x4 over a lunch break then check out x-wing, it’s not crazy expensive, it may not be 40k, but it is pretty fun.
 
Cheers
-Scott
BH Senior Veil Skimmer

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Hobby Night & Bitz Baazar


Thursday night found me in the company of long time co conspirators Ian and Chuck, there was sausage (not pictured but delicious) there was beer (pictured and also delicious) and there were bitz (pictured and apparently delicious as well according to Ian) Below are some quick shots from last nights hobby jam, sorry about the lighting but I require being back lit at all times to accentuate my glowing visage, if you don’t buy that, it was a bit dark in Ian’s office so we grabbed every table lamp in the house.
This Sunday Legends will be holding a bitz bazaar, come and trade your bits, build something fun out of your own bits box and show off your kit bashing skills. The bazaar opens at 11am but will probably run until close. You can get more info on Legends here.


 
Ian’s new nick name is lightning fingers, I swear I looked away for like five minutes and when I looked back he had banged out this awesome objective marker/diorama from his bed of bitz (which is now a table of bitz) Chuck and I also gave a quick tutorial on bounce lighting and focus, and I learned that there is indeed a minimum requirement hardware wise for taking cellphone pics. Ian’s phone did not meet this requirement, and I was subsequently humbled by my previous claims of skill using any device, in the end we just used mine, but I learned Ian was gifted a Nokia 800 some time back, so he should be seeing a marked increase in his photo quality shortly.

 
 
 


Ian rocking the brush on another storm trooper, I am still kicking myself for forgetting to get a pic of his Tempestor in a Hawaiian shirt.


It’s easy to pick out the difference of technique between Ian and I, its tight brush control and edging detail vs broad strokes and blending, interesting contrast.
Chuck started base coating his new wraithguard, I have yet to actually assemble mine, maybe next week.
 
Wraithguard awaiting wraithing.

Kahuna Yarrick makes a brief appearance along with a sack of rogue trader rhinos (no literally, Ian had a sack full of them)

 
Not a shocker here, I managed to get the base coat on a few more sentinels over the course of the evening, I love to say I got more done, but I was distracted by ale and sausage and the occasional jokes of varying degrees of taste.
 
 

We attempted to teach him to use tools and we are pleased to announce that things are progressing well in our study.

The following are my attempts to salvage my reputation of being a” guy who knows things about cameras” and who totally doesn’t forget four years’ worth of photography courses and basic lighting after two (albeit large) beers.

 
 
 
 I would like to thank I an for inviting me out to his hobby bunker, and for a treating evening of plastic dolls and drinks (and turning me on to what is possibly the best sausage place in San Jose) Its mothers day this Sunday, so don't forget to put down your brushes and give it up for mom (sorry couldn't think of anything creative, brain running on fumes)
 
Cheers
 
-Scott
BH Senior Brewmaster  

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Thoughts on Unbound

 

 
Everyone seems to have their own two cents to put in on the latest edition of the 40k rule set and with the confirmation of one aspect of it I decided it was safe enough to take a stab at providing some perspective on the matter.
 
To be clear, this is not a rant nor is it a speculative piece I am simply providing some observations based on what we know (which is still very little) about the new ‘unbound’ lists option. There has been a lot of talk about percentages and side boards, but nothing has actually surfaced to confirm either of those rumors, so I will only focus on unbound for the moment.

Apocalypse now?

Yes and at less than 2000 points, on demand whenever you please. The initial heming and hawing about the prospect of your opponent being able to field impossibly brutal lists was tempered by the fact that not everyone is going to play unbound all day every day. Much like apocalypse, this is just another aspect of the game that could allow for a greater range of freedom when making a list, I have been using this example a lot lately but as you may be aware I am the owner of a 26 sentinel strong army that has no practical or competitive purpose other than to feed my varied and eccentric tastes in this hobby. Previously there was no way in hell I could feasibly squeeze more than six into a 1750 list, with 7th I could actually field a decent and possibly balanced mobile infantry force (in theory anyways) I have seen quite a bit of negativity towards this aspect of the new rule set, but really this won’t change much day to day play, unbound is just another way to work more models, or use the models you have in a game without having to invest much or worry about making to perfect list. In that regard I think that unbound also targets new and younger players who are not quite used to the math hammer side of the game, or just want to play a game with “cool” models.

Unbound also solved another mystery that I had been pondering on regarding supplements. For awhile a lot of people were wondering why there has been such a deluge of extra army books as of late, my theory is that this all falls in line with GW’s plans for 7th and the new list building structure. Want to take an allied force? Double down on your profits by releasing two books under one codex, Demons and CSM or CRS, IG and MT + INQ and so on. Again this is just me postulating on why this may have been structured as it is, I know GW is a publicly traded company, but not every aspect of the rules is geared towards sales so there’s still a fair amount of grey area with my theory.

Is this going to be a WAAC paradise, I don’t think so. Echoing what a lot of the older community has been trying to drive home for the last 20 years, it’s about talking to the guy/gal across the table and deciding what and how you are going to play, I have walked away from plenty of games because they just didn’t sound like fun and I don’t see why this would be an issue everywhere else. At tournaments, at least for the first year anyways I can see this as being doubly true, it sounds like GW has also introduced a check and balance system to even things out, but with no further details I really don’t care to delve too much into that area.

All in all I think its shapeing up to be a fun edition, hopefully GW got over their Vista moment with 6th (sorry it was fun but there were issues) and are back on track with 7th, are people going to complain, yes, are people going to leave, yes. That’s fine if you don’t enjoy the game anymore you certainly should find something else to play that you do, but please don’t read a bunch of speculative articles on the internet and declare that you’ll never play again before actually getting a few games in, it makes us all look quite silly.

 

Cheers


-Scott

BH Senior Funksmith