Thursday, July 21, 2011

Space Marines vs. Grey Knights

Bryce and I played two scenarios last weekend between his Grey Knights and my Space Marines. In the first I attempted to defend one quarter of the board while he set up on the opposite corner. I was allowed 30% more troops while he was allowed to set up after I did while also making the first move (usually the one who sets up first is the one who goes first). I made the mistake of setting up too close to his position, which allowed his Knights to charge directly into my forces. The Grey Knights are good in a shooting fight but are excellent in close combat. Since my forces outnumbered his Grey Knights, I had the advantage of having significantly more guns on the board. Unfortunately, I couldn't benefit from this because he was able to charge into close combat almost immediately.

In the second scenario we played a quick 400 point game Bryce called a "soul grinder". This time I was smarter and used my scouts to their fullest extent while taking advantage of the number of guns I had. This game turned out a lot different.

Monday, July 4, 2011

My Parents Laughed at Me

Saturday night we made a video call to my parents. As usual they asked how things were going with each of us. When they asked how I was doing, I showed off my recently completed 40K squad. I guess I was a little too enthusiastic about them because it didn't take long for my mother to start laughing. She said that it was the cutest I'd been since I was 12.

My parents are great people (saintly, actually, since they tolerated me for 18+ years). Unfortunately, they're also fairly normal. You know the kind: they watch sports, they read popular novels, they watch a wide variety of movies, my dad likes to work in the yard, they enjoy going to the beach, etc. My mother's only deviation is that she likes to watch Mystery Science Theater 3000 with me. Although my general personality and physical features indicate that I wasn't switched at birth, my parents still can't figure out where I came from.

My squad understands me

My parents know me pretty well, and they know I have a tendency to obsess about things. Of course my wife has been telling them about my latest hobby/unhealthy fixation, so my parents couldn't help but to tease me about it. They asked me how I liked the game, how it's played, how I do against my friend, etc. And every time I said that I needed to add an assault squad, or a tank, or any other model to my army they would emphasize the word "need". "Oh, so you need a tactical squad," or "you need a Land Raider," they would say.

I know that Fate will play a cruel joke on me and make my children normal too. Then both my parents and my kids will look at me with a mix of amusement and perplexity.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

First Warhammer 40K Figures

Obviously I've been neglecting my blogging recently. Under other circumstances I would have blogged extensively since my wife and kids met with my parents in St. George a few weeks ago while I had a b-movie and Mythbusters marathon at home. And the seven hours of Warhammer 40,000 that I played with Bryce (6:30 PM to 1:30 AM) while the wife and kids were on vacation would normally have merited at least a few words (as it happened, Bryce absolutely killed me in the first game; I won the second game by a small margin). However, I've simply not been online a whole lot ever since I started working on my 40K army in earnest.

Up until recently all my hobbies were computer related (e.g., blogging). However, as I've mentioned before, I've recently gotten into 40K and have been playing it almost weekly. Until now I've been playing with Bryce's space marine figures while intending to build up my own army. For someone whose longest-lasting hobby was building model airplanes and the occasional ship, much of the appeal of 40K is the fact that you build and paint your own playing pieces. Most of these pieces are about an inch tall, although monsters like the Tyranid Hive Tyrant can be several inches tall. The models are highly customizable and the game's "fluff" (i.e., the extra background story that helps to make the game so much fun) says that the space marines' power armor is highly customized and personalized such that no suit of armor is identical to another. Thus, a squad of ten marines will have ten figures that are all somewhat unique, making them particularly fun to build.

Last Sunday, after weeks of preparation and practice, I finished my first space marine figure. This particular figure was part of a five man squad that came in a 40K beginner's paint set. While it's not nearly as impressive as the professionally painted figures in Games Workshop's catalogs, I'm still fairly proud of it. I was bound and determined to have the rest of the squad finished in time for Friday night's game so I had a marathon painting session from 6:30 PM Thursday evening to 2:00 AM Friday morning with an additional few hours of work before lunchtime. That night I faced Bryce's Tyranid army in a four hour slog (our longest game yet). Of course my new squad was wiped out during the game, which I lost. However, it was one of our best yet and I managed to kill all but about 200 points of his 1250 point army. The fact that my newly finished figures were wiped out in their first game reminds me of this comic.

The first of five

My poor marine was dismembered by a Tyranid Hormagaunt

I keep all my painting materials in a single box that I can put out of reach of little hands. This box has since come to be known as the "Warhammer Happy Fun Box".

The Warhammer Happy Fun Box
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