Saturday, 27 May 2017

Mid-winter Cthulhu-mas [Onslaught 2 Unboxing]

So, a couple of days back I got my Onslaught 2 kickstarter for Cthulhu Wars, rounding out my collection (no, it's not *everything* in the range, but it's close). So, without further ado, some pictures.

This is the Tcho-Tcho faction, who play quite differently to the others: They only have a single monster type, but they get 3 High Priests (which the faction abilities revolve around). Their Great Old One, Ubbo-Sathla, is actually free to summon—if you do so in the Doom phase. The faction as a whole is very powerful in the early game, but loses steam in the late game due to reliance on those High Priests for so many abilities.

This is Byatis, the Toad of Berkely. It can't move, but it's got good combat dice.

Byatis's unique spellbook allows it to sucker in nearby enemy cultists to capture or kill, so not moving isn't so terrible then.
Tzulscha, the great leveler. Tzulscha's signature ability is to grant you a bonus Doom, Power, and Elder sign if anyone has more than you.

Tzulscha's unique spellbook turns the normally costly Ritual of Annihilation into a source of power instead—but the ritual grants you no score as a result.

These two are the Great Old One Nyogtha, the serpent twins. Even while separated across the board they can still act in concert—whenever one takes action, the other may perform the same action for free; and if one is engaged in battle, the other gets to declare a battle for free.

Nyogtha's unique spellbook allows the second 'head' to be reawakened on the cheap if it gets killed.

This is Gobogeg, a complete unique Great Old One. He can only be summoned late game, but is incredibly powerful both in battle and outside of it. In battle he can cause all units involved to suffer damage if they haven't already got a damage result. Outside of battle, any time a Great Old One is awakened, the owning player gets a 6 power refund.

Gobogeg's unique spellbook is very meta: Whoever controls him at the end of the game gets to choose all factions, expansions, and so forth for the next game.

These are the Dreamlands surface monsters. Shantaks (the winged dragon-esque things) are super mobile—they can move anywhere on the board(s) in a single action, and carry a cultist with them for free.

Gnorri's (snake demons) are Doom generators. More of them in play, more bonus Doom points.

Moonbeasts (toads?) are disruptive little buggers, and when first summoned are placed on an enemy spellbook, negating it for a turn, or until they pay a Doom to remove it.

Underworld monsters for the Dreamlands. Leng Spiders are not major dice, but they convert 2 Pains to a Kill in battle, which has some interesting uses.

Gugs (the gorrilla-esque monsters) are cheap, major combat dice—but they're clumsy, and cannot capture Cultists.

Ghasts are horde monsters, good only for capturing Cultists or soaking damage. That said, when summoned, you always summon all 4 at once.

 The Yuggoth map. Like Earth, it's a contiguous map with wraparound left and right edges. On the left board is the slime sea, where Slime Molds can be summoned. One the right board is the Green Pyramid, where the Watcher slumbers. The gameplay dynamic seems like it will be quite different from both the Earth and the Dreamlands maps.
Yuggoth monsters. The six Slime Molds are only minor combat dice, but they can change allegiance depending on who controls the slime sea overlook.

The Watcher is much like the Bhole from the Dreamlands—just much scarier. If the Watcher is awoken, he attacks the Green Pyramid area, once per player in the game, and cannot be permanently killed.
A size comparison between map types (something I'd not thought to photograph last time I did an unboxing). On the left is a 6-8 player board for Yuggoth's Green Pyramid. On the right is the 3-5 player board for the same region.

The 3-5 player board is 20" x 20", the 6-8 player board is 24" x 24", it might not sound like much, but it increases the play area per board from 400 sq in to 576 sq in.

 Next we have the final part of the Onslaught 2 Kickstarter: The Omega Rulebook. This has all the rules, FAQs, parts lists, and so forth for every expansion. It also includes a free bonus expansion for having unique High Priests (just ability cards, no models).

The book itself is an excellent resource (as it should be), the rules layout is clear and easy to understand, while there are also lavish illustrations and artworks throughout, along with pictures of all the shinies. (Sadly no gallery of painted sets—but hey, can't have everything).
 One of the artwork spreads, showing both line and final painting of a 3D gate model.

Art/summary page for The Sleeper faction, showing Tsathoggua, tips on stopping Sleeper, and their victory/epilogue brief.

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Progress Update #7

So, some more painting progress to round out the week. Wendigos all have their fur done, and the first layer of their skin.
 Gnoph Kehs, the sculpts have much thicker fur than the Wendigos, so even though the same techniques were used, they have more of the base colours showing, which I actually like.
Rhan Tegoth, with some more progress. The colour scheme (or start thereof) is inspired by the electric blue crayfish. The tentacles hanging from his—its?—sides will be white/off-white.

Ithaqua is in the background, his breath painted like an aurora, and his eyes glowing a baleful orange. Not actually 100% happy with the OSL for the eyes, but we'll see what a glaze or two can do.
And some Infinity progress too, all camo base colours done on the Spitfire Asura and the Mk 12 armed Proxy Mk5. Next up, black-lining.

Monday, 17 April 2017

Weekly… well, Progress Update #6

 So, the smaller monsters and cultists for Windwalker. Not really anything yet, just basecoated. Wendigo on the far left has been drybrushed two stages.

In the front rank are some Infinity minis, still untouched from a fortnight ago. I need to rectify that.
 Power markers, trying to do an ice effect, yet to add power glow/OSL to it. Might try and show a translucent core effect.
Ice Age marker, Ithaqua, and the icy base of Rhan-Tegoth. Particularly proud of the ice effect, taking about a dozen stages each. Disappointed it won't work as well on the heavily textured regular bases for everything else.

Did some two brush blending on the ectoplasm/breath Ithaqua is exhaling. Still needs a lot more work.
A closer look at the Ice Age marker. I'm thinking it'll benefit most from a satin/semi-gloss varnish.

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Sacrifices were made — Black Goat complete

So, finally finished painting up the last of the Cthulhu Wars core set, with Black Goat now done.

 Faction shot, everyone(-thing) in all their glory. There is much redness. I chose black as the contrast due to most shub-niggurath imagery being very dark in tone.
 Ghouls, eaters of the dead. These guys turn up after everyone else's battles, giving them essentially free movement.

Yes, they are holding severed arms.
From behind, a darker red on their backs, and black/grey pelts around their waists.
 Cultists, all with bloodied hands. Sacrifice is a large part of Black Goat's shtick in the game, so I though I'd give the cultists a touch of that 'personality'.
Black Goat faction symbol, painted on all banners. Annoyingly it looks almost as ant-like as it does goat-like. Still, fairly please with how well it came out against the black.
 The six spellbooks. As usual, all of them are different, and each of them relates to either a core mechanic, or a faction spellbook.
Fungi, wasn't really sure how to go about these guys, decided to go insectile in the end, with human brains. What they're carrying is up for debate, but I tried to paint it like decaying brain matter.
 Rear carapace on the fungi. Sort of a pearlescent effect. Similar for the wings, to be like certain beetle elytra. The mottling was attempting to blend the wing surface into the 'arm' it sprouts from.
 Dark Young, from the front? At least, I think it's the front… two legs and the biggest mouth.

Dark Young from the other side (and the other, other side, above). As you can probably tell by now, it's hard to tell which way is forward with these guys. A mix of varnishes was used to get various effects, Satin+Matte for the hooves, Gloss for the teeth, and realistic water (feathered out via two brush blending) for the tentacles.
 The great gribbly herself, Shub-Niggurath. Glorious 3/4 view.
 Shubby from the other side. The same varnish effects from the Dark Young are used here.
A close up of Shub-Niggurath's face. She doesn't have eyes, and I wanted to do something a little different, so each of those dark 'swirls' is supposed to be an embryonic predator of some kind, held in her egg-sacs. It is, after all, a fertility cult dedicated to monsters…

Thursday, 8 December 2016

CA BatRep, or: How dirty TO hackers can cost you a game.

So, I played against two of Jed's armies on Tuesday; an almost full camo Shasvastii force, and a very aggressive Limited Insertion Tohaa army (that still had close to 20 models). First up will be the game against the Shas, on moderately open table made using store terrain (yay, the store has Infinity terrain now).

 Jed won the lieutenant roll off, and elected to take deployment. I chose to go first. I was playing a Maruts list, as I haven't taken that monster out recently.

The mission is Seize the Antennas.
 So. Much. Camo.
Asura hacker takes the closest antenna, then moves to the ladder on the nearest building—a fact Jed hadn't taken into account when deploying his Speculo.
A Speculo that of course declares Engage as an ARO.

Which fails spectacularly as my Asura's BS 17 leavings some telling holes in the alien.
Proxy mk. 5 moves up towards the central antenna.

Maruts fires at the TR bot, for no real effect.
 Asura turns back, remembering the Speculo has an auto-medikit, and finishes the alien off for good.
The Maruts enters suppression fire after the proxy mk 5 takes the central antenna.
 Unfortunately, said proxy is now stranded in the open, with the only cover being the antenna she just captured.
 The Q-drone attempts some shots, but fails to do anything useful.

There is, in fact, a lot of ineffectual fire from Jed's Shas at this point, the best being the Proxy mk 5 shrugging off a missile.

 And here we have a plucky Lamedh repeater bot blinding a Shas minelayer…
 …and then attempting to trample him in CC. Sadly this does not work.
 Feuer-kitai risks a very long range shot at the TR bot. He misses, but tanks the return fire like a boss.

The Maruts then breaks suppression to show how it's done, blasting the TR bot to scrap—or at least Unconscious-2.
 Then the Feuer-kitai finishes the job with a single explosive round, shattering the TR bot into so much scrap metal.

In the meantime, the Maruts moves to the building where my Lamedh is…
 …and jumps the Lamedh, only to be engaged by the malignos.

Nearby, the Asura enters suppression fire. Sure, only a combi, but with BS 14 and MSV 3 vs a Shas force… should work.
 Whom the TAG then stabs to death with her BFS.
 The missile launcher Noctifer finally takes out the Proxy mk 5.
 Another Malignos on top of the fuel tanks lays all his mines to detonate down at any passing troops. This takes several orders, and after re-camo-ing both the Maligno and the Noctifer, Jed is suddenly out of orders.
 The Asura starts by tanking a mine, then blasting the other apart.
 The Myrmidon officer tries a speedrun past the final mine, but sadly fails both her dodge and her armour save. NWI is useless vs Shock ammo.
 The frenzied Feuer-kitai, along with the Proxy mk 1, moves into a defensive position near my HVT.
 The Maruts moves to capture Jed's HVT.
 There is a furious exchange of fire between the shrouded at the rear of the large building, and the Asura. The Asura wins.

The Asura takes a wound from a missile. Things are looking a little sketchy now.

 The Noctifier manages to kill the Asura with another missile. No crits, just failing a 3:1 face-to-face roll when I had the higher target number.

With that done, a TO killer hacker shows up right on the central Antenna and captures it with his first roll.

Then the sneaky bastard moves up to be just inside my HVT's zone of control, meaning I don't get that bonus point either.
 I get the feeling I might need to use such dirty tricks myself in the future… ALEPH does, after all, have a TO trooper that doesn't betray its presence with a missing order…