30 November 2006

I was going to post my Orcs and Goblins army list tonight, but the Blogger formatting tools weren't working and I had to stop working on it due to the blind rage I was feeling. I don't think anything makes me more angry than a document that won't do what I want it to, except maybe the sound of a vacuum cleaner.

29 November 2006

The Orc and Gobbo List Will Have to Wait

I am too tired tonight to post the Orc and Goblin list. I can talk about the concept of the army a little, though. The army is based around Savage Orcs, as I think their more primitive weapons look better and I want to mess around with the concept of warpaint. Their barbarian tribe vibe also seems to work well with the idea of shamanistic magic and the loose Native-American theme of the Forest Goblin Spider Riders. In addition, I added a bunch of models I think will be fun to paint, such as a unit of Squig Hoppers led by a Great Cave Squig-riding Night Goblin Warboss who is a huge waste of points especially when you figure in the random movement of his mount. But how could I pass up on the opportunity to mount an insane Goblin on a wildly-bouncing mount wielding such fearsome armaments as Porko's Pigstikka and the Spiteful Shield? At the very least it will be a fun army to model and paint. Anything aside from that will just be extra.
I did write up a couple of 1500-point Warlord armies, one for the Razig's Revenge faction and one for the Necropolis faction. As soon as my Crusaders army book arrives in the mail I will write up a list for them as well. I'm not sure when I'll get around to purchasing and painting those armies, though. My current priorities are:
  1. Finishing the Skaven army to the 2000-point level, as well as painting the Giant and perhaps a Unit of Clanrat Slaves to bring the list to 2250.
  2. Building a Pirate Tavern for use with the Blood and Swash rules. I need to paint about 8 more pirates, a barkeeper and some serving wenches, some of the local Town Guard, and maybe a civilian or two (perhaps the Governer's Daughter, a crochety old man, and some sort of Frenchman who feels the need to duel everyone). Hopefully I can use these props to run a tavern brawl for my wife, sister, and brother-in-law. My little brother could also be included, as well as any other family who wishes to try it out.
  3. Orcs and Goblins
  4. Maybe Warlord armies, maybe skirmish-level WWII Eastern Front in Micro Armour scale, maybe completing my 40K Witch Hunter army. I do have a 40K Ork list written up, but I don't think I'll get around to it. If I do another 40K list it will probably be an all-infantry Space Marine force. I'd also like to pick up a Foundry Pirate Horde and really have a lot of pirates to choose from when running tavern brawls. I suppose I'd also need to pick up a lot of various townsfolk and other bar patrons.

Skaven Army List

I have not posted my army list yet, so I guess now would be a good time to do it. I have a couple of issues with the list as it stands now. First, I don't really have any set place to put the Warlord and Battle Standard Bearer. As far as I know, it is customary to have the spellcasters move independently. From what I've read recently, the new edition of Warhammer makes it easier to shoot at characters in the open, so most characters are now attached to units. I could designate units for the Warlord and Standard Bearer to join, cut one model from those units to make room and then make the points up elsewhere, but that would mostly be for vanity purposes so I don't have a one-model rear rank on the unit. I think I'll just stick with the list as-is and attach the characters to whatever units need the extra manpower. My other issue lies with the legality of the Warlock Engineer carrying Dispel Scrolls. Theoretically, he is a spellcaster and can use the scrolls, but I've never seen a list using a Warlock Engineer in that way. Usually people take a Plague Priest or Grey Seer to fill that role. On to the list. One thing to keep in mind is that I built this list for flavor as well as to include the models I wanted to paint. It may or may not be competitive, as I have yet to play any games of Warhammer. Also, I'm not sure if I'll be finding any games locally to play with my Skaven, as the moderator of the Boise Warhammer Yahoo! Group recently posted this to the Skavenlair Yahoo! Group:
If anyone is interested in picking up my Skaven army let me know. I have to many armies (4) and people locally do not like playing my Skaven. PM me I will send you a list.
Not exactly a good sign for a new player to the group to have an army that everyone hates to play. I have noticed several posts lately that say in essence, "Looking for a game on [date] at [place], no Skaven!" I'm not exactly sure what is so bad about playing against Skaven, but maybe this guy has a really cheesy army or something. I guess I'll burn that bridge when I get to it.
The List
Warlord - Weeping Blade, Warpstone Armour, Great Weapon, Heavy Armour
182 pts.
Chieftain - Battle Standard Bearer, Umbranner
105 pts.
Warlock Engineer - Warp-Blades, Upgraded Warp-Energy Condenser, Super- Charged Warp-Power Accumulator, Dispel Scroll x2
135 pts.
25 Clanrats - Spears, Full Command, Warpfire Thrower
250 pts.
25 Clanrats - Spears, Full Command, Ratling Gun
235 pts.
25 Clanrats - Full Command
150 pts.
20 Stormvermin - Full Command, Shields
205 pts.
10 Night Runners - Additional Hand Weapon, Nightleader
80 pts.
9 Night Runners - Throwing Stars, Nightleader
73 pts.
20 Clanrat Slaves
40 pts.
20 Clanrat Slaves
40 pts.
2 Poisoned Wind Globadiers
20 pts.
5 Warplock Jezzails
100 pts.
2 Rat Ogres - Packmasters
100 pts.
20 Plague Monks - Additional Hand Weapon, Full Command
185 pts.
Warp-Lightning Cannon
100 pts.
The list comes out to exactly 2000 points, with 422 points spent on Characters, 1093 points of Core Units, 385 points of Special units, and 100 points of Rare units. One alternate list is to swap out a Dogs of War Giant with the Stormvermin unit. I still have not worked out any additions to the list to bring it to 2250 or 3000 points, although for the 2250 list I think I just have to add the Giant and a unit of 20 Clanrat Slaves to bring it to 2245.

28 November 2006

Mission Accomplished

About an hour after I set the glue traps down I heard some movement in the kitchen cupboard (my painting desk is right next to the kitchen). The mouse must have been emboldened by his previous raids on the regular mousetraps and got himself stuck in the new trap. Since he was still alive, I tried to extract him from the trap with the intention of maybe setting him free near the annoying neighbor's house, but he was extremely well-set in the trap and I had to just put him out of his misery. At least my wife will be able to go back into the kitchen and I will not starve to death.

27 November 2006

Yay! Car Trouble!

We went over to the family farm again on Friday for the birthday party. I also had to change the brakes on my wife's car. Unfortunately I found a leak on the driver's side, so I had to go back out there on Saturday after work and change out the caliper. It was pretty sweet. I guess I should be glad we didn't wreck and die in a fiery crash. And at least I have a general idea about how to do the brakes on a car now, as this was the first time I'd done it.
I got some good birthday presents. My wife got me a Denver Broncos jacket. My sister got me seven blisters of Reaper Miniatures' undead pirates for my Razig's Revenge army. My mom got me a box of Warhammer Forest Goblin Spider Riders for my Orcs and Goblins army. And I got a bunch of candy as well.
I also found out that the Reaper website has a wish list feature that allows you to load up your wish list and e-mail it to other people. The Warhammer site has one as well, so now it should be easy to make lists for birthdays and Christmas. The interweb has sure made my life a lot easier.
I finally wrote out a 3000-point Orcs and Goblins army list. I still have to write up the additions to my Skaven army that will take it to 2250 points and then to 3000 points. I'm not sure if I should add a Grey Seer or use those points on another big block of infantry. I'll have to think about it some more. I did start painting up my last unit of Clanrats for the 2000-point army. I hope to make a lot of progress on them tomorrow while my wife is at work.
It doesn't look like the '51 Ford project is going to go anywhere, as it needs a little too much money put into it for my budget. I was pretty down about it for a little while, but I have a new top-secret project in mind that should be a little more within my means. It'll be a little while before I have some money saved up to get it going, though.
The mouse in our kitchen has been making a mockery of the mousetraps we set out, eating the peanut butter off of them every night. Today we went out and got some glue traps, so maybe it won't have such an easy time bypassing those. My wife is to the point where she won't even go into the kitchen anymore, so this mouse is affecting my ability to obtain home-cooked meals and thus s/he has to go.
This week's Fantasy Football was a little more exciting than most weeks, as every one of my games came down to the wire during tonight's Seattle-Green Bay game. I could easily have gone 4-0 or o-4 for the week, but I ended up getting about half of the breaks to go my way and had a 2-2 record for the week, bringing me to 29-19 (10-2 1st/14; 8-4 3rd/10; 6-6 10th/16; 5-7 8th/10) for the year. With two weeks left before the playoffs, I've got two teams that should make it in, one team that could make it in if I at least win one more game, and a team that may be out entirely but could potentially slip in if it wins both games and the teams above it lose some games. My Fantasy Basketball teams are doing okay, but with the football season in full swing I've mostly just been setting the rosters at the start of the week and checking in on them at the end of the week.

24 November 2006

We went to the family farm for Thanksgiving today. The food was good as usual. We actually had all of the siblings there and it was nice to see everyone, especially my two nieces. As it was also my birthday, my sister and brother-in-law gave me a couple of Reaper miniatures from my list. My other brother-in-law has a birthday this Sunday, so I think we're going back over tomorrow to have some sort of get-together.
I may rework my Orc and Goblin list tonight and try to get it sorted out at a higher point level. I should also work out my 1000-point addition to the Skaven army.

23 November 2006

I Am Now the Proud Owner of a Butterball Turkey, At No Cost to Me.

The other day my boss handed me an envelope which contained a coupon good for a Butterball turkey of up to $15 in value. I mentioned it to my wife in passing and she finally made me dig the coupon out of my car and exchange it for a turkey. So now we have a turkey.
We also have a mouse loose in the house. We had one earlier in the year and were able to trap it. I set out the mousetraps tonight and hopefully by morning we will no longer have it rustling around under the fridge. I keep hoping it will find it's way into the snake's cage and solve two problems at once. I have my doubts that this will happen, though.
I worked on my unit of Slaves a little more today. They are almost done, but I didn't quite have the stamina to push through and finish them up. I think part of my reluctance to finish them is that I have relatively few options to choose from for my next unit to paint. I could do the Clanrats, but they are a big unit that will be quite mind-numbing to work through. I could do the Jezzail teams, but they are awfully fiddly. Just their gun barrels look like a nightmare with all sorts of runes and whatnot that I'll have to figure out. I also want to wait until I have the fifth team assembled and based, but to do that I need one more cavalry base and I'm too cheap to spend $5 on a whole bag of bases when I only need one. Or I could paint the Warp-Lightning Cannon, which has enough issues to make me scrap it and use the 100 points on another five Jezzail teams or a couple big units of Slaves, or even 5 more Globadiers. I think I may paint up a pirate or two to break the monotony of the Skaven army.
I never really know what to do when someone posts a comment on my blog. It would appear that I am just as awkward in internet society as I am in face-to-face society. I feel a need to acknowledge and respond in kind to people's comments, but I feel somewhat incapable of doing so. So, if you have posted a comment on my blog and I have not given you an adequate response, I did read your comment and appreciate the feedback, but I may think that I have nothing of real value to respond with. And no, I don't have anything against people named Greg. I just think that the idea of an elf named Gregolas is hilarious.

21 November 2006

The Ford Trucks forum is open again, so I got a picture of that truck I was talking about earlier. The image is property of Ford-Trucks.com and you probably shouldn't copy it and use it for commercial purposes.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Does She Have Big Boobs?

My wife has been telling me that I should write a book about my experiences in Iraq. I am somewhat reluctant as my memory is awful, especially when it comes to chronology. I could probably tell a lot of stories, but putting them in order would be impossible. Also, we didn't see a lot of action over there, so it would mostly be about the other 98% of Army life, namely waiting around for something to happen. The only reason I would be tempted to undertake a project like that would be because there are so many books out there right now written by people who went to war and lost their faith in the government or had their lives ruined or whatever. I think that has a lot to do with the media and publishers controlling what gets put out and what gets the hype, but it would be nice to get some more positive stuff out there, as I think a lot more positive things go on over there that people have no idea about. For example, one day I was in my dad's office (we were based in buildings about two blocks apart for the majority of the deployment) and saw a huge list of projects in progress or completed to build up the infrastructure of the city. Part of my unit's mission was to go out and talk to community leaders and the general population about problems that the engineers (my dad's unit) could work with them on. And I even went on a couple of escort missions to guard the engineers while they worked. That's the sort of thing I tell people about that they've never heard mentioned in the press. But my real purpose here is to share a story.
On one mission we were going through a neighborhood searching houses and gathering information. I was in a three-man team covering one side of the street. We had a Sergeant in charge of our team (Sgt. H), my friend (Spc. B), myself, and an interpreter. We went into one house with Spc. B in front with the interpreter. I went to a room on one side of the hall and Sgt. H went into the other. Spc. B went down the hall, stepped through the doorway, and then came back out a few seconds later. Sgt. H asked what was going on.
Spc. B said, "We're just waiting a couple of seconds. The guy's wife has to finish getting dressed."
Sgt. H asked, "Does she have big boobs?"
Spc. B answered, "Yeah, they're huge," holding his hands way out in front of his chest. "They're like this big."
Sgt. H got all excited and said, "You guys stay here and watch the exit. I'm gonna go check out that room." He went into the back room and a little while later yelled, "You guys suck!" The lady did have huge boobs, but she was about 60 years old, very overweight, and her boobs sagged down to her waist.
When we got back outside Sgt. H was mad, so he sent me around the back to search the apartment that was there. Of course, the lady who answered was one of the most attractive women I saw during my year there. I made sure to tell him all about it when I got back to the street. That just made him more angry, so he wouldn't talk to us for the rest of the day. The Lt. asked us what was wrong with Sgt. H, so we told him the story, and he told everyone else. For the next couple of days the whole platoon kept asking Sgt. H to tell them about the woman with the big boobs. Every time his face would go bright red and he'd yell, "Shut up! Those stupid Specialists tricked me!"
I've been thinking about my upcoming Orcs and Goblins army. There's no way I'll be able to fit everything I want into 2,000 points, so I'm thinking about making it a 3,000-point army instead. It also wouldn't be too difficult to bump my Skaven army up to 3,000 points. To hit 2,250 I'd just put the giant in full-time and add another unit of Slaves. And for 3,000 points I'd add maybe a Gray Seer and a couple more units of regular Clanrats.
I've also been extremely crabby about the holidays, which is not that surprising. I hate the holidays. I don't really know why. In my family we all draw names and exchange presents. I enjoy picking out gifts for other people, but I hate making my list and asking for things. Mostly I think I just feel selfish making a list of things for people to buy me. I know that people need a list because my interests are so narrow that I'm hard to buy for. I think it might make for a better holiday if the focus was more on family and the religious aspect of Christmas than on the commercial side of things. People who know me will laugh because I'm usually the least sociable person at family gatherings, but ideally, we would spend less time and money on presents and more time making memories and doing things together. And on the subject of Christmas, one part of Christmas I can get excited about is a film called The Muppet Christmas Carol. My wife and I watched it this weekend. I think everyone should watch it every year.
I've also been thinking about the things I want to accomplish in the next year. I think I would like to go ahead and finish the 2000-point Skaven army and start on the Orc and Goblin army. Then later on I could add the extra 1000 points to the Skaven. I'd like to finish up my two 750-point Warlord forces. And it would be nice to finish out a few more of my Foundry pirates so I'd have enough for four 4-pirate teams. Along with that, I'd need to build a tavern in a box for the Pirates to brawl in, as well as painting some tavern workers (I think Reaper sells a pack with a barkeeper and a couple of serving wenches), civilians, and maybe some of the Governer's Guardsmen. That's a lot of painting, but if I keep my nose to the grindstone I should be able to do a lot of it. There were several long periods of time this year in which I did no painting at all, so if I am a little more consistent next year I should be able to get a lot done. If, and this is a big if, I get all of that done I'd like to start building a terrain board for my first World War II scenario and gather the forces for it. There are only a few infantry and vehicles needed for each side, and at 6mm scale they won't take long to paint. Those are my current wargaming plans for the next year.
I'd like to gain a few pounds as well. I'm holding fairly steady at a few hairs under 160, and I'd like to put on five or ten pounds by the end of next year. That means eating a lot and hitting the weights. Of course, it's not as simple as that. Our trailer and storage shed are stuffed full of stuff. We want to rearrange things so we can use our back bedroom, so we have to move a couch out of the living room to somewhere else, clear out the shed, clear out the back room, move the weight bench to the shed, move the bed into the back room, move the desks, computers, and hobby stuff to the current bedroom, and find a place for the dogs' kennels. I did the first couple steps to that progression this weekend, but there is plenty of work to be done. We have boxes and boxes of things we haven't used for over a year, so we have plenty to get rid of.
And of course, there's a car (or truck) project to get started on. I think that even if my dad doesn't want to make a deal for the '51 Ford I need to find a car to work on, take apart, and put back together. It's a self-improvement thing. At my workplace and in my National Guard unit there are so many people who "plan on [insert project] someday, but never do anything but go home after work to watch TV and drink. I don't drink or watch much TV, but I spend a lot of time doing nothing. I don't want to hit 30 or 35 and have nothing to show for my life. So I'm laying out projects and activities that I can do now while I've got some time and some expendable income so when I have a few more years on me I can say I built a sweet car and can wargame several rule systems with miniatures that I painted and got all huge and pumped up so people are always mistaking me for Arnold Schwarzenegger. And maybe even if I fall short of those marks, maybe I'll be able to say that I built a car that can usually beat Ford Pintos off the line and I can wargame one rule system adequately with miniatures that are mostly painted and got all pumped up so that people are always mistaking me for Richard Simmons. The sky's the limit.

Deep Thought of the Day

Today I was thinking about naming game characters and I thought it would be funny if your name was Greg and you made an elf named Gregolas. I've been chuckling about it for a good ten minutes now with no signs of it slowing up.
I had an okay week in Fantasy Football. Two of my teams are doing very well, and two of my teams are doing horribly, including one that has lost five games in a row, dropping it from 5-1 to 5-6. I had a 2-2 record for the week, bringing me to 27-17 overall. My teams are 9-2 (1st/14), 8-3 (1st/10), 5-6 (12th/16), 5-6 (6th/10). One team is guaranteed a playoff spot, another should make it in with one more win, and the other two are 4 spots and 2 spots out of the playoffs right now.
I found another Ford Truck forum, but it's all about Hot Rods and Lowriders, which is not my bag, so I probably won't spend much time there. I found a few nice pictures of a red and black '51, but the Ford Truck Enthusiasts forum is down at the moments and I can't access the pictures.
I started on a unit of Clanrat Slaves, but I got distracted by some house and yard projects and they've been sitting on my desk for a couple of days now with no progress made. I may do some work on them this afternoon or evening.

18 November 2006

Google Earth

I just downloaded Google Earth. It's pretty awesome. It's basically a satellite photo search engine that you can use to look at pretty much anywhere in the world. I found my trailer in our trailer park, and I looked at the house my family lived in when my dad was stationed in Alaska, with the shop across the street where our famous family car chase ended. You can even see the blue roofs on the sheds at my parent's farm. I'm not sure how often the photos update, as the ones of my trailer appeared to have my wife's car in the driveway, but the ones of the family farm seem to be missing a couple of outbuildings that were put up in the last two or three years.
I took most of the unpainted miniatures for my Skaven army out to the shed today and primed them. I also made two more movement trays for the Slave unit and the Clanrat unit. The Clanrat standard bearer kept falling over, so I filled his base with steel shot and glued it in to make him a little less top-heavy. Then I lined the whole army up for this picture. All that's missing is one Jezzail team and the Warp-Lightning Cannon. I am excited to be this close to finishing the project, as I'd really like to have it done by the end of the year. The only trouuble is that by painting so rapidly I may be jeapordizing my lifespan. They say that a wargamer cannot die as long as he has miniatures left to paint, so most wargamers accumulate enough lead to ensure their survival. I'm running on slim pickings right now and will have to make a large purchase soon to ensure that I will live through 2007.

Our ball python has graduated to eating small rats, which is somewhat exciting to watch. We had been feeding her three mice at a time, but now it appears she can kill a rat without being harmed, and that is good news. Rats may be vile, smelly creatures, but they are not nearly as vile or smelly as mice.

I have recently become obsessed with a magazine called Keith Martin's Sports Car Market, which features high-end collector cars, especially older cars. The most interesting section for me is their auction reviews, in which they go to major car auctions and review each sale to see if the buyer got a good deal. It's sort of like watching Antiques Roadshow or something to see if the people who bring stuff in have a hidden treasure or a piece of junk. Most of the cars in the magazine are worth more than my life, but it sure is fun to read about them. One interesting article this month analyzed the costs of owning a Ferrari. The car in question ended up costing something like $10.40 in maintenance for every mile driven over the course of several years and 36,000 miles.

And finally, to address the elephant in the room, my dad has plans to take me down to Chinatown. I'm not sure what that means, and I'm not sure what his plans are regarding the truck. I could just call him up, but the cat and mouse on the internet is interesting enough to keep me busy until Thanksgiving. It seems that the man who sold the truck to my dad has found my blog. I'm not sure if he is one of the people who my dad enlisted to help take me down to Chinatown or if he just stumbled onto my blog by accident (highly improbable), but when two officer-types get together, anything can happen. I did pick up a Hot Rod Magazine special issue on body and paint work, just to see what it's all about, as I think I've mentioned before that my automotive knowledge is quite limited. It looks like I can do a lot of the work myself, which is good, since I probably have more time and energy than I do money to pay someone else to do it. Besides, what's the point of doing a big project if you have someone else do all the work? It's like paying someone in China to level up your World of Warcraft character so you don't have to put in the time to have your level 60. But the main point of all this is that I have no idea what my dad is planning.

16 November 2006

I finished the Warlock Engineer today. It turned out pretty nice. I admit to being somewhat lazy with the metallics on the backpack because I just wanted to get the blasted thing done.

15 November 2006

I was going to work on my Warlock Engineer today as I only have about 20 more minutes of painting to do on him, but I got lazy and didn't finish him up. Maybe I will do it tomorrow. I am actually progressing at a fairly rapid rate on my Skaven army and it shouldn;t take too much to get it done by the end of the year. Once the Engineer is finished, I only have to paint 5 Warplock Jezzails, the Warp-Lightning Cannon, a unit of Slaves, and one more unit of Clanrats. The Clanrats and Slaves should paint up pretty fast, as I already have a fairly set color scheme for them. The Jezzail teams shouldn't take too long, as they are just Clanrats with guns. The Cannon worries me, as it is difficult to assemble. The parts don't really match up all that well, and I don't want to have to sculpt huge areas out of green stuff.

I was going to build a Dwarf army next, but Dwarfs are mostly just beards and metal. It doesn't really sound like a fun army to paint, so I've been thinking about doing an Orcs & Goblins army instead. There seems to be a lot more variety as far as units, and the fluff has lots of room for different color schemes and whatnot. It is quite possible to do an Orc & Goblin army list and not have any of the units be the same. They also have a Warboss box set, which allows you to build your army general however you want him, while the Dwarfs only have two or three solid sculpts to choose from.

My dad knows that I'm interested in his '51 Ford truck, but as of yet we haven't talked about it. I will probably make some sort of formal proposition when we go over to the farm for Thanksgiving. Or at least discuss it a little. The project would probably take several years, both due to time and money issues. I'm not entirely sure what level I would want to clean it up to, but it would be awesome to go all-out on it. Maybe I wouldn't take it to the point where I was only putting original parts into it, but to the point where it would be a clean, convincing-looking old truck. I wouldn't want to lower it or make a street rod out of it, but I wuldn't be opposed to putting a modern stereo in or working with the interior a little. I think there's a lot I could do while I save up some money for the project, like go through and inventory what's there, what needs work, and then taking things apart and cleaning them up. It's an exciting project to think about, and I think that if I got a good start to it I'd be able to see it through and have a very good-looking truck in 3-5 years. I'd also have a lot of learning experiences, however good or bad those may be.

12 November 2006

Ratling Gun!!!

I painted up this Ratling Gun. I'm not too proud of the actual gun, but I really like the clothing on the rats. I tried something a little different, using a much lighter color than the base color to outline the areas rather than drybrushing. It turned out especially nice on the rat with the gun, probably because his clothes are so light anyway that drybrushing would not have looked good.