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Via James Nicoll:



Not shopped.
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Dear Princess CelestiaImmortal God-Emperor of the Imperium,

Today I learned that using cryo-grenades to prevent suicide bombers from detonating in the middle of a crowd is only an effective tactic if the lethal radius of the bomb is noticeably greater than the lethal radius of the cryo-grenade. - Deathwatch Battle-Brother Trippetta

PS - also, it helps if the grenade actually does stop the bomb exploding. Oh well. At least I tried.
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"Six specialties in a Deathwatch Kill-Team. Six central characters in My Little Pony. Coincidence?"

"...so, the Emperor would be Princess Celestia, obviously."

"And Luna would be Horus... hey, Horus' original chapter was called the Luna Wolves!"

Hmmm. This would probably make an awesome one-shot for a RPG con. Are they ponies dreaming they're Astartes, or Astartes dreaming they're ponies?
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Also from last night's DW game:

"You are summoned to the Librarium."

"Oh, OK."

[later]

"The Chief Apothecary would like to see you."

"Where is he?"

"In the Apothecarium."

"You made that word up."

"No I didn't."

"Fine. I'm going to go repair my armour and clean my weapons at the Repairarium."

I suspect we haven't heard the last of the -arium jokes.

(Yes, I did study Latin in school, but it's still funny.)
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"My brother was on that mission with you! The one where only you came back!"

"You're going to have to be more specific."

- Battle-Brother "Jinx" Trippetta fails to make a new friend in tonight's Deathwatch game.

I successfully picked the monster-of-the-week (hint: the briefing mentions "ancient ruins"). So far we haven't met any xenos, but the Inquisitor we were working for is in a coma after being poisoned in front of us, the information we were looking for was stolen by Black Templars a week earlier, and we're now being attacked by cultists with explosive vests.

Um, success!
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"Dear GM, I just noticed a weapon that would work really well for my character. Um, so well that I'd like you to check it for game balance in case you think it's broken."

Hmm.

Power fist: costs 30 requisition points, requires Distinguished level Renown, 2d10+17 damage and ignores 9 points of armour.

Breaching augur: costs 18 req points, no Renown requirement, 4d10+15 damage and ignores 7 points of armour, doubles criticals. Also, special weapon ability means you actually roll 5d10 and discard the lowest.

Counting crits, average damage + armour pen = 38 vs 53, which seems impressive, but in practice either of them is enough to one-shot most opponents; it's more the cost and accessibility that seems odd.

OTOH, maybe it's just that the power fist is woefully under-powered/overpriced compared to ranged weapons. For the same cost as a power fist and lower Renown, you can buy a honking big lascannon that does comparable damage to the augur from a comfortable distance.

(It does annoy me a bit that the basic rule book has NO weapon upgrade options for a melee specialist until you've accumulated several missions' worth of reputation.)
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Our Deathwatch team finally finished our mission last night. After clearing out the village of Genestealers (but not finding a Patriarch), we expected to find the city on fire when we got back. But instead the locals staged a victory feast for us!

ALL OF US: Any time now.

GM: [sets up a map of the feasting hall]

ALL OF US: Gosh I wonder why we would need a map for what is CLEARLY just going to be lots of victory speeches.

NPCs: [victory speeches, showering us with praise]

GM: [sets up a couple of dozen miniatures for the locals and Guard troops].

ALL OF US: GOSH THIS IS A LOVELY PARTY I GUESS IT'S A SHAME WE NEVER FOUND THOSE OTHER GENESTEALERS THEY HAVE A WHOLE PLANET TO HIDE ON THEY COULD BE ANYWHERE.

GM: "And then suddenly Genestealers burst through all the doors and attack!" [places figures] "They get a surprise attack."

An epic battle followed. None of us were killed (although Fearless Leader lost an ear, and then got mind-controlled, but fortunately he couldn't manage to hit any of us even while spraying full-auto at point-blank range) and none of the more important NPCs died. Well, except for the Ecclesiarch, but he was a prat anyway and I doubt he'll be missed. Yet again the Rune-Priest pushed his psychic powers; he still hasn't managed the "accidentally summon a Greater Demon" result he keeps angling for, but he did manage a rather impressive accidental rain of blood.

I'd been hoping to strike a blow against the Patriarch, but I couldn't move for fighting off miscellaneous Genestealers. Most of the others were just bouncing off his armour, but eventually the Long Fang lined up a clear shot and emptied a heavy bolter into him, and that was that. Yay us!

Now to call in the Ordo Xenos screening team, and probably the Ordo Hereticus, to look for anything we might have missed - but we're off to the stars again to wrestle with an even more abominable foe: the Deathwatch XP system.
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"Remember, this is a stealth mission. Space Wolves, please use your quietest battle-cry. Inside voices only."

- Battle-Brother Trippetta, about five minutes before everything went ploin-shaped DAKKA DAKKA DAKKA!
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Finished my latest 40K project, a Raven Guard Predator with magnets for interchangeable options.

Raven Guard Predator 'Montresor'

(click for more pics)

This one took me quite a while - it's the first vehicle I've built, and the first one I've magnetised, so there was a bit of trial and error involved. The biggest lesson was that rare-earth magnets can pull hard enough to break the glue I was using to attach them... much re-gluing involved there. The camouflage pattern also took a while to paint, although it reduced the need for highlighting etc.

As always, Rey acted as my Painting Beta, and caught a couple of things that needed fixing. My unfavourite part of painting is anything requiring neat shapes (insignia, lettering), so I tried to keep the lettering as simple as possible, but it still looked a bit amateurish. She suggested adding serifs, and it looked MUCH better afterwards. Lesson learned: sometimes more is easier. It also took a couple of tries to get the mud right.

Now to figure out how to transport it safely. And buy some new brushes, because several of mine gave up the ghost while I was painting this one.
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Decided that with the time I spend painting Warhammer 40K figures, I might as well learn to play the game some time, so I headed down to the local Games Workshop after work. Since there were several others looking for a game, the staff set us up all together with three players a side.

I ended up on a team with a girl of about ten years old (she was deeply offended that her Orcs would have to fight on the same side as my Space Marines, because "That Makes No Sense!") and her younger brother. On the other team were two people I forget, and...

...okay, you know the Cat Piss Man stereotype? Not a myth. He ticked pretty much all the boxes, up to and including "gaming figures STUCK IN HIS BEARD". I think he was the only experienced player there, give or take Orc Girl, and we ended up facing one another while the other players fought on the other side of the board.

He spent a lot of the set-up time and the first half of the game gloating about how foolish I was to set up opposite him, because his Necrons would "barbecue" my assault squad and "destroy the very MOLECULES of their bodies" with their great big energy guns. "Just wait until it's my turn to shoot and I will OBLITERATE YOU!"

Meanwhile, I spent the first half of the game moving my guys towards him, using cover to make sure he didn't get a clear shot. When I got close enough to charge, it turned into a Halloween episode of "Will It Blend?"

Final tally: seven Necrons dispatched (about half the total force, and things weren't looking good for the other half) with zero Marine casualties. I was kinda glad when the staff called time; he looked like he was about to throw a tantrum. From what one of the staff said later, he'd been banned before and only recently allowed back in.

So, I had fun and I'll probably go back, but not in a hurry to play with that particular guy again. I guess I've just been spoiled by all the lovely gamers I know who have social skills AND know what soap is for.

Pics

Oct. 9th, 2011 11:53 am
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My father-in-law got a new camera and gave us his old one, so at last I have something with a decent macro mode. I've created a new Flickr account (since I got locked out of the old one) and have posted up some pics of gaming miniatures.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/68417429@N02/

Unfortunately many of them are still blurry in close-up (not the camera's fault - more to do with lighting and absence of tripod + my shaky hands). But some turned out better than I'd expected.

Squigs, dryads, Genestealers, and Sir Stephen )
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Three moments of self-discovery while painting wargaming stuff:

- I always feel guilty about drybrushing. It's a useful Lazy Painter technique (probably my second favourite, after inking, and it looks good) but I can't quite forget that the brush I'm destroying used to be a good one. It's sort of a "the crack-voiced lush begging in the street used to be the leading lady of her day" vibe, only with paintbrushes. Erm.
- As much as I fear trying to draw symbols freehand, I dislike using waterslide decals even more. They wrinkle something awful when applied to a curved surface (which it almost always is), and they fall off at the slightest touch.
- When forced to draw freehand, I'm not actually as awful as I think I am. It's not perfect, but I think the not-quite-flatness of the decals looks worse than the imperfections in my freehand.

And, miracle of miracles, in the last month-ish I've actually painted ten more figures than I've bought. (OK, discounting a bunch I bought to use for parts, since I don't intend to paint them as-is.)
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After several rounds of "that would look lovely *paint paint paint* NO IT'S RUBBISH" I finally seem to have hit on a colour scheme for my Tyranids. Posting this mostly for my own benefit:

So I can remember how to replicate it. )

*In theory, I'd like to actually use these guys for a game of 40K one day. In practice, it takes longer for me to assemble a small portion of a 40K army than it does for Games Workshop to put out a new edition of the rules. By the time I have either my Tyranids or my Raven Guard anywhere near complete, it'll probably be Warhammer 45K or so.

**Canonically, the 'nids have both. I like this idea, so I emphasise it by making the two look very different - chitin for the exoskeleton, more of a bone look for the endo-.

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