Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Games Workshop - Quality Comments about Citadel Finecast and Miscasts

I normally "write" horrible attempts at humor detailing my constant collecting urges, painting, or otherwise misdirected hobby attempts.  I've been a bit frustrated lately with the launch of the new Citadel Finecast, though not for the reasons you'd think.  This post is going to ramble a bit, and I apologize up front.

A prior post details my thoughts and initial experiences picking up a Finecast model.  I've had some time to digest and I am way frustrated for a different reason then I though.  I like the finecast model, the material is easy to work with and way lighter then metal.  After struggling to put together heavy metal models (I'm looking at you Hive Tyrant) I can see this is a no brainer. 

What I am frustrated with is the quality, or lack of quality efforts at GW.  I work in a manufacturing field, so I understand the importance (and difficulty) of maintaining consistent quality in your products.  I've also spent some of my professional career working with the public in a very high contact industry (like GW) so I understand product launches and how they work (or don't) so I have some thoughts on the matter.  Doing it right the first time out of the gate is key for two reasons.  One, the old saying that you only have one chance to make a good first impression is just as key in dating as it is in new products in the market.   Two, you have some very vocal critics of this new product.  This means that if you screw up some of your models (and GW of course, did) then you are giving these critics ammunition.

I don't understand why GW, even though they want to sell a lot of models day one, would let all of these miscasts out the door.   They shouldn't allow this type of thing to happen as it frustrates customers and gives the internet loud mouths (I'm looking at myself here) things to write about.  If you don't have enough pride in your product to demand that you really are producing the world's best miniatures (and not just giving it lip service) at least realize the damage it does to your brand.

Sometimes I wish I didn't like this hobby so much, as any other product I buy I never tolerate this type of behavior.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Pulling the Trigger

As the previous blog post might indicate I decided to move forward with some Grey Knights.  What really pushed me over the edge was going to Black Diamond Games (in Concord, California) flea market event.  It was mostly a board game sale, where they sell damaged games for really cheap.  It is a combination of their damaged items and customer owned games as well.  I'm not sure why, but they were selling some overstocked GW items.  Some of them were some Grey Knights, and the prices were so low I couldn't pass.  $30 Dreadknight? Yes please.

I stared at the box for about an ten minutes all of last week and decided eventually to put it together on Friday.  A half day at work (and fiance at the hairdresser) meant that I the entire afternoon to play with putting it together.  I took my time, as I wasn't sure exactly how I wanted to paint it, I wanted to ensure that I could paint some parts separately so that took some time.  I wasted too much time magnetizing the weapons (which you really can't do, thanks GW).  I'm leaning towards not even using the arm weapons and saving some points for more terminators.

I placed an order for the rest of the models from Miniature Market.  It's my first time using them, I've ordered mostly from The War Store in the past.  I have been 100% happy with the experience, but my professional life has taught me to never have only one supplier for a product so I've been looking for another seller to try out. 

I decided to splurge and pick up some nice bases.  I'd wanted for a while to try out Dragonforge's bases and as this army only has ~25 models this would be a very cost effective experience. 
I picked up their Lost Empires line and I think it will really pop with the dark models.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Citadel Finecast Review / First Model

I picked up a Draigo model from Games Workshop Citadel Finecast line that launched today. Overall I was impressed with the new material, it takes very little superglue to mate up parts and it is just as flexible as advertised.  It's a bit odd to get used too, but I think it will be a change will appreciate after GW works out the kinks in casting.

I had seen the threads on Dakka of miscasts in the first models so I decided to document my first Finecast model as well.


 The pull tab to open it up didn't quite work.....
 Sprue #1
 Sprue #2
 The bits off the sprue.
 The shield arm.  You can see the miscast shoulder pad, the resin is too thin and there is a part missing.  The Heraldry shield is way misformed as well.
 This model had the brown bits of unknown origin seen in other threads. The came right off.
The stormbolter has a minor miscast.  You can see in the vents on the side, the last two vents have a big bubble and form one big chunk.
The feet had some bad moldlines/flashing that were a pain to trim off.  
 The finished model.  I am going to call Games Workshop after the holiday about getting replacement bits.  All in all I am happy with the product, but very disappointed about the QA department that let such poor castings off the factory floor.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Next Move

The below blog post is going to be even more self absorbed then usual.  I've been mulling over a few projects for my next hobby effort.  I've narrowed it down somewhat, but its still a bit of a diverse field.

I've got two types of choices, that of expanding an army I already have or picking up a new one.  I tend to plan my armies very carefully and for the most part I don't really have any urge to collect more then 2k of any given army.  My opinion, typically, is that I would rather try something new and different then continue on something I already have.

Along that path I have had an urge to update my Chaos force (my oldest army, and the only army to survive all of my eBay purges) into a proper Khorne army.  I also have been wanting for a while now to get some more Orks as they just don't work well at 1850.  I need to dump my deff dread/killa kans and and add some bikes and another (or two) truck boyz to the list to make it work.  I've also been considering getting some more IG, specifically some Russ' to play a slightly different IG force.  I have a rather typical IG army and I think spamming armor 14 could be somewhat effective, simply because it's not seen that often.  With the spread of missile spam it may be quite effective.

I've flirted a few times with Tau, and with the upcoming GW price increase Tau are being hit pretty hard so it may be a smart choice.  I've also written about my desire to pick up an 1850 GK force.  It would be pretty cheap (~$300) and easy to transport.  20 terminators and 3 dreadknights would be a fun force to play. 

So in summary my choices are.

Expand an army. 
  1. Orks - Add some bikes and truck boyz.
  2. IG - Leman Russ' five or six
  3. Chaos - Turn the army Khorne
Pick up another army
  1. Tau - Battlesuit and Broadside army
  2. GK - Terminators and Dreadknights
I'm leaning towards the IG, since I have been playing them a lot.  I also saw an Executioner in person over the weekend, and while I have been rather negative towards them (everything gets cover so easily) I really, really liked the model.   My second choice would most likely be the Khorne upgrade, as my chaos has been very, very neglected over the years.

Sometimes I wish I didn't like this hobby as much as a I do.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Alamo Games Workshop Tournament 1850 May 15, 2011

 With May 15th coming quickly I put in a lot more hours then I had planned too and I was about to get my army 95% done.  The only details I had left were some decals on the infantry, highlighting some metal bits, boot lining and some matte spray.

I brought the army for its painted debut (I had brought it to this store in November of 2010 as an unpainted mess for a test run before painting).  The tournament was a bit different, being run by a local gamer and having some unique missions.  The first game I played was against a GK player.  I made a few mistakes and let the deep striking terminators intimidate me.  I deployed my army from reserve and doing this meant I just didn't get all the time I needed to shoot.  In hindsight I should have just taken my lumps and tried to trash the termies when they came in. 
As you can see in the above the termies came in and I ran into a traffic jam trying to get all my guns on them.  I did manage to wipe one of the two squads out, but the other one I just couldn't get it done. I lost a lot of KPs in the first few turns and even though by the end I had almost tabled him (3 squads left) he had killed enough in the first few rounds, it didn't matter.  The game ended 12-14 with a loss.  I made some mistakes but I learned a lot playing against GKs.  

My second game was against a friend who was playing IG as well.  The mission was pretty much a night fight with blind deployment.  We didn't really do this as our table was missing the boards, we just put our stuff down and tried not to look.  The tourney didn't have enough boards/foam parts for all of the tables to use it, and we got left out.  As neither of us was in it as we had both lost a game it wasn't a big deal to either of us. 
 This game was exactly what you would think it was, with both of us blasting away.  His Leman Russ' trashed my whole right flank and my Manticores and Valkyries chipped away at his troops.  The game was really close, ending with a win for me 7-6 KPs.
A picture of the Tournament itself (during my first game).  I have only been to the Alamo Games Workshop to play one other time, but everyone was saying how crazy it was to have twenty players.  I usually play my tournaments at Black Diamond Games, in Concord, and even though they have regular tournaments there is rarely more then sixteen.

My last game was against a Blood Angels opponent.  The mission was a modified Dawn of War (extra points for killing elites and HQs).  I won the roll to go first, so I lined up a few squads of guardsmen as far forward as I could to keep his deployment far away from me.  
He deployed a tac squad and Mephiston.  This was the first game I played against him, having heard he was brutal, I didn't realize how nutty he can be until I had to play against him.
 When I took the first turn, I fell back with my squads and his dreadnought dropped right into my lines.  I wasn't too worried, as my army (included a squad of melta vets) was going to come on the next turn.  This went exactly as I though it would with the dreadnought and drop pod being destroyed when my guardsmen came on. 
 The rest of his army came in and we started the slug fest in earnest.  He destroyed my whole right flank, and managed to get Mephiston near where his dreadnought was.  Mephiston suffered from he could only kill one thing and then my guns turned on him.  The melta vets finished him off with some lucky melta and one lasgun wound. 

I ended up winning the game with  9 KPs and he had 4.  I finished the tournament with 2 wins and 1 loss.  I was pretty happy with this as I've only used this army for about ten games and I've managed 5-1 in the two tournaments I've used it in. I need to play some more with it, I was still having to check my codex a lot. I've got a lot to learn about guard.

I thought the tournament was over at this point, but the organizer had some kind of death pit event to decide third as seven people had gotten 2 wins and a loss. There were no battle points, just straight record.  A friend of mine had mentioned this and we both laughed about the chances of a guard command squad, as the death pit event was just everyone tossed their HQ down and fought it out.  There were some tokens on the board, though I figured out real quick it was playing Russian roulette. Some tokens gave you a weapon, some blew up, or made it so you couldn't control your fig anymore (squig i think).
I got lucky and won the second deployment so I deployed as far into the corner as I could.  I used my first turn to get into the corner, as the only chance in hell I had was my command squad (with four plasma guns) shooting whatever it could.  No way was I going to engage anyone if I didn't have too.  There was a demon prince, a thunder wolf lord, and others that were just as nasty.  Everyone laughed as I sat there, but as the field got whittled down to only two I stood a pretty good chance.  It may have not been the most heroic thing to do, but when you play guard you don't get to be heroic.

The above picture was almost at the end. My squad watched as the demon prince and space wolf lord fought it out.  The wolf lord came out on top.  At this point I didn't get any more pictures, but I'm sure you can figure out what happened.....or not.  The wolf lord came at me, I got 4 shots at extreme range and did no wounds.  He got closer, not close enough to charge (Whew) but close enough that I moved forward to get within rapid fire range.  I hit with 7 shots, wounded with 6 and he failed two and he died.  The lowly guardsmen came out on top of the HQ death match.  To be honest I got lucky with getting a hill to camp, the lord having a wound on him, and everyone else being bloodthirsty and killing each other.   

All in all it was a fun tournament, I got to play three fun games and it had a killer finale.  Hats off the store and especially the organizer for putting on a fun event.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Home Stretch

I've been making a lot of progress, even though I haven't been posting it.  I'm about to finish up the main chunk of the infantry in the next few days and I thought I'd post some pics.

On Friday a good friend came over and we painted until the wee hours.  It turned out to be a great motivator and I painted way more then I ever would have on my own.  I'm actually taking a break from basing the heavy weapon trooper to write this.  I can't recommend group painting enough.  It keeps you on track. 

My living room converted for the evening.

Well into the evening.
My painting is not that detailed, but it is a good, simple table ready effort in my humble opinion.  There is much detail work to do, but at least they are starting to look like something.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Weekend Update

I made a lot of progress in the last week.  Finished up the first two steps in getting my guardsmen painted.  The brown base coat and devlin mud wash is done. I started painting the green (armor and weapons) and I finished about 75% of them.  This phase I thought would go much quicker, but has taken a way long time. I'm hoping to finish up this phase and move on to painting boots tomorrow but I may need more time.