March!

Rather than risk boring everyone with my non-stop Heavy Gear updates, I thought I’d take the time to bore people in other ways –namely by highlighting the in-store gaming for this month!

Regular In-Store Gaming?

Over all my years in hobby retail, I’ve worked at stores that were role-playing games focused, comic-books focused, Warhammer Focused and board-games focused; over all this time, I’ve learned it’s the warm bodies in the store –the ones that aren’t employed there– that makes a store feel like it’s thriving …or at least like it’s not in its death throes. Hence, every games store that isn’t blessed with being a high foot-traffic location tries to have in-store gaming as much as possible just to feel like the place is a busy hub …and also to keep away the oppressive crushing silence that dominates an empty store during business hours.

March events 4 blog

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Gaming This Month

I was first going to give a synopsis of how gaming’s been going and then follow through with a run-down of what games are being played on which days. However, at the starting point of writing that, I realised I being fairly redundant …and then I looked at the games-nights flyer and saw that if I continued on that course I’d be triply redundant. Triple redundancy is a great thing in passenger planes …and the space program. For a blog: not so much. I’ve decided to simply scribe a few thoughts with each day’s gaming (the format of the flyer we hand out and display really limits how much we can say / advertise for each gaming night; some of the gaming days could stand some fleshing out).

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Infinity Mondays
Infinity has really surprised me: I’m of the view that any game where the one of the first things players say about it is “and you’ll never need more than a dozen models” is a game that is likely living on borrowed time. Infinity sure seems to be bucking that trend! My hobby plate is more than a little full, so I’ve side-stepped this sci-fi skirmish game, but it sure seems to scratch enough itches that the players who buy multiple factions are more the norm than the exception. For an upstart game, our nights are well attended; we do get some slow nights, but we get some quite busy ones too.

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Tuesday’s Warhammer Fantasy Battles
Warhammer nights for us are up and down. That said, we have a few regulars, one of which has been posting battle reports on Youtube regularly (quite a few of them done at Imaginary Wars too!). What’s interesting is that on more than a couple of occasions, we’ve some guys (relatively) new to Warhammer 40,000 show up on Tuesday evenings –mainly because their schedules can’t accommodate Thursday or Sunday gaming. Say what you will about Games Workshop, but the pervasiveness of 40k in the gaming world easily rivals Coca-Cola’s in the world abroad.

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Wednesday: Canadian Minis Night becomes Strange Aeons & Paint Club Night
With the Heavy Gear slow-grow league in full force …and being regularly attended on Fridays and (some) Saturdays, I felt having a Heavy Gear night in the middle of the week was risking players showing up to play on several days during the week without ever actually meeting other players.

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So for now, gaming on Wednesdays will focus specifically on Strange Aeons. As has become tradition, Uncle Mike (the creator of Strange Aeons) shows up at the store on the first Wednesday of each month to run introductory games, show off new rules etc; and though our Wednesdays are attended by a smaller crowd, our Strange Aeons players show up every week …almost religiously. They are one of the store’s most solid groups, and anyone hoping to get into this more casual skirmish game (it’s almost a mash-up of X-Files, Call of  Cthulhu and Mordheim) could do no better than to come down to the store on Wednesdays.
(In other Strange Aeons news, it should be pointed out that a new scenario was just released for free on the Strange Aeons website!)

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Warhammer 40,000 OWNS Thursday Evenings
Once, we had this one disastrously slow Thursday evening (I think there was a blizzard or something to that effect) and only six people showed up to play 40k.  Not all nights are crazy-busy, but Thursday is one of the best nights of the week for guaranteeing players an opponent.

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Eclectic Fridays: More than FNM!
Where Thursdays are dominated by 40k, Fridays usually sees double the amount of players engaged in a broad assortment of different games. The tent-pole games are really Magic the Gathering’s Friday Night Magic and Flames of War, but we’ve added Heavy Gear to the repertoire (which is seeing success; I think we have 12 people active in the league right now!). That said, Friday Nights at Imaginary Wars have been no strangers most recently to Victory at Sea and previously Dystopian Wars, Black Powder and Firestorm Armada.

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Saturdays: Open Gaming and Events
Saturdays remain the domain of open, unscheduled gaming and special events. We’ve run more than a couple very successful tournaments on Saturdays; non-tournament events tend to fall on Saturdays as well and they’ve all been well received. I’ve been pondering making Saturdays our board game day…

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Sunday: 40k in the Afternoon
Proving that Warhammer 40,000 is the game ’round these parts, we have it running on Sundays as well –though on Sundays we also tend to see one or more Firestorm Armada games hit the tables as well. For me, Firestorm Armada scratches the itch that GW’s Battlefleet Gothic stopped being able to take care of years ago. Though games regularly take longer than standard 40k games, the rules are elegant enough that players rarely notice the time going by. Easy to learn, difficult to master, great game play and awesome models: all reasons to get into the game!

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Paint Club?
Paint club is our effort to provide space (and supplies) for players to meet up and paint their models. This is all done under the auspice that when people do creative work in concert with others, their productivity flourishes. Sometimes that productivity is evidenced by how much work is done, other times it’s in skills learned or ideas that would never have been struck  upon had others not been around to help germinate the initial thoughts and ideas.

Anyways, this is what I experienced in university …and (oddly enough) while working at Games Workshop. In fact, ask any ex-Red shirt who worked for GW –back when the Hobby Centres painted store armies– about how their painting improved during their tenure with the company. This is my hope with our painting club night (right now being directed towards Wednesday evenings).

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So there you have it:
that’s what a week of gaming at Imaginary Wars tends to look like. In the coming days, I’m hoping to do an update about our Heavy Gear Slow-Grow League, as well as announce some exciting events on the horizon for the store concerning Flames of War, Firestorm Armada …and possibly Warhammer 40,000 (and maybe Heavy Gear also).

Also, Imaginary Wars Gaming and Hobbies: the store hits its first anniversary next month, and we’re going to do something special for that!

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Same Problem, Different Details

Posted by Kyle.
Kyle avatar - fixed

The store’s Dream Pod 9 order arrived early!

In it, a pleasant surprise: the new Heavy Gear Southern Field Guide, “Forged in Fire” …which was both good and bad.

Forged in Fire cover

It’s funny: in my last Heavy-Gear post I mentioned how I was awaiting the print version of the new source book (as well as the updated order form for the store: it seemed silly to be doing orders at the end of January with an order form last updated in October). It would seem I tempted fate enough so that both my complaints were taken care of; the fates also served me up a plate of “be careful what you wish for.” 

The Fates definitely were channeling a lot of bitch goddess: what they gave with one hand, they took with the other: I now have my Southern Field Guide in hand …but it looks like the list I made using the Gear Garage application is completely not doable with the updated way the field guide builds squads: Long Fang Nagas no longer get the severe points drop I was taking advantage of in my previous list, I’m unsure how to include Sidewinders into my force now without presumably making my army a Southern Milicia army (the Milicia uses outdated ‘gears …which the Sidewinder counts as in the game) and it looks like my ability to take a Black Mamba in a GP squad has evapourated as well.

This is what I was scared of happening: getting started in a new army list only to have an update show up that requires me to stop using the models I have started on and begin all over again …that’s how I’ve felt about my Empire army back when they got their 7th Edition book (I haven’t even given them a serious look-over with the Warhammer 8th Edition Army books).

So it’s back to the drawing board for me.

I think making a Strike squad will solve all of my issues, save the Strider–but that’s okay, seeing as how I still haven’t finished the models I started last week; the Naga would just be another thing waiting on my plate. So with only a couple of gears to paint up instead of a full squad and a strider, I think I’ll be trying to make it out for the first night of the Imaginary Wars “Slow Grow” Heavy Gear league this Friday.

Because players’ armies only grow by 300 points (of fully painted models) every two weeks, I should be able to get my gears to a good point for Friday…hopefully. I’m not too stressed about that though; because I knew I wasn’t going to get the Naga and Iguana models I planned on fielding until two days before the first night’s gaming, it was never my intention to show up on the first night. And now I’ll be doing my best to be there on Friday …tomorrow.

Anyways, below is some work-in-progress shots of what I have so far.

My favourite 'Gear: the Sidewinder!

My favourite ‘Gear: the Sidewinder!

The Sidewinder seen from its left side.

The Sidewinder seen from its left side.

Black Mamba with Paratroop Rifle Upgrade

Black Mamba with Paratroop Rifle Upgrade

Strike Jager from front (with Lt. Bazooka not glued on).

Strike Jager from front (the Lt. Bazooka isn’t glued on yet).

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Strike Jager from right side (weapon still missing).

Starting the Camouflage

I also just got started working on the camo layer and am using the Black Mamba as my guinea pig for it.

Black Mamba from the side before camo pattern started.

Black Mamba from the side before starting any camo colour.

Sandy-coloured camo on left leg.

Sandy-coloured camo on left leg.

I’m not sure how much I like it so far–yes, yes I’m aware what little camo that’s there is far too subtle.

To be fair, this is just the start of the camo pattern (and only on one leg at that), but I already know if I don’t make some colour changes, I’ll be disappointed in the end paint job. I suspect my main problem right now stems from basing the model in Vallejo’s “Middlestone” colour–which is a very greeny ochre / ochre-y green–and then deciding to go with Vallejo’s “Green Ochre” for the lighter colour layer; it’s what’s making it so hard to see a definite camo pattern right now.

Perhaps I’ll go to a whiter sandy colour…and then add some dark brown bits. I’m trying to emulate a camouflage pattern designed for arid areas that still retain hardy vegetation: what I basically picture most of the Heavy Gear planet, Terra Nova, as having (until one gets closer to its poles, that is). 

Anyways, that’s where I’m at so far. Here’s hoping I progress in leaps and bounds before Friday!

….Which is, y’know, tomorrow.

Work in Progress: Demons! The Second.

Hello folks! Scott here again. I’ve been diligently trucking away at getting my Tzeentch Demon army painted up, and figured it was about time for another post.

Here’s the army in its current state of paintitude:

1500 points of deepstriking, flamethrowing pain.

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Work in Progress: Demons! All Tzeentch, All the Time!

Hello folks! Scott here, and there’s a tournament on the horizon, so that means it’s time for me to put my brushes to work on an army that has spent far too long languishing unpainted in my case: my much beloved Tzeentch demons! Here’s the rundown on the 1500 point list:

The full 1500pt force. Horrors and Lord of Change basecoated, Demon Prince finished, rest of the lads primed.

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When it Sucks Taking a Long Time to Paint Your Stuff

Slowly but surely (with extra emphasis on the slowly part of that equation), I’ve been plugging away at more of my Space Marine army. A few weeks ago, I got around to my shading wash on my now-yellow terminators—or rather, I did my shading wash on five of them.

As I progressed on the first one I realised the brown wash I was doing was WAY too dark: building up to a vivid yellow was going to be more work than I had planned with the kind of dark wash I just put down on the yellow termie. So I switched things up and remembered—after the fact—that I wasn’t using a brown to shade the yellow of my army; I was using the old Flesh Wash ink. So I proceeded to wash the yellow terminators with the Flesh Wash ink wash. Continue reading

I Blame World War II

It was just two days ago that I was so filled with hope and thought getting two miniatures painted up (possibly three) was going to be but minimal effort.

Sigh.

I barely touched the miniatures I planned on getting done for Strange Aeons’ Brushoff 2011 competition. What’s worse: they weren’t even ambitious entries. They only required that I put some paint to models that were to have a two-colour paint scheme (plus some detail colours on things like their weapons). Had there been any real stakes riding on this entry, I’d be more disappointed with myself.

The two models are on different bases because the entry had to be the contents of 1 pack, and the sitting model I''ll be having based on piece from another Strange Aeons pack.

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Last Look at Angmar’s Defeat

I was going through my photos from the War of the Ring battle I played earlier this month–the one that spurred a battle report post (not to mention two slightly-over-the- top opinion write ups!); I found a couple decent pictures of some of my painted models that haven’t appeared in any of my other posts (well, close up, anyways).

So I thought I’d post the extra pictures I had of my Angmar army today for posterity’ sake!

Wild Wargs of the Misty Mountains

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