Sunday 21 June 2015

Making progress

Friday is battle-night, and we had our 3th Bushido game.
Luckily it went a little better and I actually had fun playing the game.
Getting butchered isn't really good for my morale and despite what everyone says about playing a game: 'it isn't fun'.

The photos were taken by Bram, and it was funny to see how the battle went from his perspective :).

We rolled out a scenario and ended up with 'the idols'.
It was a fun game, even though the outcome all came down to 2 die rolls.
The final result was a draw (1VP vs 1VP).
But the miniature of the match was no doubt my Gaki, who is able to cross the terrain quickly end get right where I needed him, his forg protecting him a few times or making sure he can do a surprise attack.

I won the Tactical roll for deployment and decided Bram should go first, so I could place my Wraith as far away from Miduro as possible.
The first turn saw a lot of movement and the first dice roll which determined the game, as Miduro shot Kato down with a single shot. Suddenly it was 38 vs 50 rice, this was going to be hard.


Before the end of turn 2, my Wraith was in combat with Hiro, it failed to dispose of him but also denied the Prefecture the idol with its large base.
My Gaki scored the first VP as I had turned the idol in the middle of the field, which was on top of the hill and hard to reach without light footed as the hills were considered difficult terrain.
The left side of the field was in big trouble, with only an armoured kairai and Shichiro to hold the position against Miduro, Hanzo and Akio.

Luckily my armoured kairai did hold out (going on full defense) for a long time against Akio, even Hanzo had to help Akio out to dispose of him :).
At the right side, my Wraith, Wrath and the Gaki stormed Matsu and Jin, with Hiro falling after a scuccesful strike of the Wraith.
When turn four ended, both Matsu and Jin had fallen too under the combined strikes of the trio and Taka turned the idol, neither of us scoring a VP as we both had turned a single remaining idol to friendly.
It was then the second determining die roll came. We both had turned an idol, and one should be removed. So we decided to roll it out. Bram won and picked of course the uncontested idol at the right side of the field. Leaving only the idol controlled by him on the left. We both knew the game was actually over as there was no way I could get there by the end of turn four and turn the idol.

This proved a right assumption when Miduro shot Shichiro in turn five and Akio positioning himself for a charge against the Wraith. My 'instill Wrath' failed two times in a row against Hanzo, so things were going wrong very fast.
In turn 6, when everything was lost anyway, I charged Akio with my Wraith to see how that would turn out. But despite strong, charge and sharp I only managed to cause a single wound and got struck down in return.

In the aftermath we discussed the game and I was perplexed by the fact Miduro only costs 5 rice.
I would have given him at least 6 or 7.
If I compare him to what I got for 5 rice this seems very, very cheap. Especially seeing how he shot down more than a triple (actually almost a quadruple) of his own rice with ease.
I had little choice but to cross that open field with Kato and poor Shichiro was even in cover when he was shot down. It was only the fog which denied him a 3th kill.
Reminds me on how I fared against Space Marines back in our WH40k days, they always seemed to have more options and be fairly cheap for what they got, like the second edition 'Graviton Gun' for example :).

Overall I think my warband handled itself well. Many of them had some kind of way to ignore difficult terrain, though Shichiro had to cut himself for it very single time, giving me an unexpected level of mobility.
Shichiro was more of an annoying factor with his knives being mostly ineffective, but still didn't do too badly in turning the left idol ;) and then making it onto the overgrown hill again.

The Wraith and Wrath tag team sure can hold itself and performed above my expectations.
If only my dice rolls would improve, ... 5 being the average roll for damage isn't funny after a while.
I'm still wondering if 'instill Wrath' is actually worth the ki or if Taka should just camp on it to release Wrath again when needed.
Perhaps I should have used the 'Breath of Yurei' at the start of the first round. It would have saved Kato but also made a lot of my force slow (together with the Prefecture).
Resulting in the fact I wouldn't have scored in the second round at all and created an entirely different game, depending on how long the Breath would have lasted.

We did some things wrong though, as light footed isn't helping against impassable terrain (it wouldn't have matter much though) and the kami don't count when outnumbering an opponent.
I also realize Jin could simply have walked away from the Wraith without problem (as he has no ZoC) and strike him from a distance with Matsu when she wasn't engaged yet.

Thank you for reading!


Friday 19 June 2015

Something wicked this ways comes

I just noticed my previous post was actually my 50th one. Perhaps I should have done something special :-). But in the end, it is just a number.
Although I have kind off treated myself with a present.

After many years depending on natural daylight and my painting LED light, I decided to invest in a foldable light box.
Nothing special or expensive, but I hope it will help me to take better pictures.
The next step is a better camera, as I still depend on my smartphone to do the job, but a macro lens will probably yield much better results. But this is something which will hurt my wallet a lot for the moment.
My Wraith below is actually the first miniature to visit the box. But I still need to find the optimal placement for the lights and all. Perhaps I need to place an overhead lamp as well to reduce the shadows more.

Earlier this week, it became clear I wasn't going to finish Araka on time, meaning before Friday.
The main reason I chose too many colours to paint him with.
So I shifted my focus to my partially painted Wraith.
As I don't really like the official paintjob on him, I started searching for alternate colour schemes.
My first idea was to either do him in blood red or bright green with black armour.
A bit like this:
But looking at the rest of my Cult, both colour schemes would look out of place between my other gloomy miniatures. 
In the end, I decided to go a bit more ghostly, ... and I'm happy that I did as I think he is my best painted Bushido miniature so far.

What do you think?
The light box sure helped a lot with taking the pictures, but as you can see there are still some disturbing shadows.

Thanks for reading!


Tuesday 16 June 2015

When it rains ...

Painting wise it has been a terrible week, and on top of that I'm late with my post.

Real life has kept me extremely busy the previous week, with me applying for a new job, doing a job interview and getting turned down almost immediately; Having to prepare a training course all on my own because my colleague got sick and in the end hearing next week’s Bushido tourney got cancelled because there are too few participants.

Last Friday was also my eldest son's 5th birthday, and while this isn't a bad thing it did take a lot of my painting time this weekend.

I actually finished Gengo last Thursday, but didn't have the time to take any pictures yes.
He was very straightforward and easy to paint, otherwise I wouldn't have finished him yet :-(.

I can only hope to finish Araka by the end of this week, as he's a large figure and I'm having another hectic week.
Thank you for reading!

Saturday 6 June 2015

A bitter defeat and some more painting.

Another miniature was finished just in the nick of time before my battle last night.
I actually wanted to do either my Wraith or Araka, but as they both are large miniatures I was almost sure I wouldn't be able to finish them in time.
Tadao was high on my list anyway and brought me nicely up to 50 rice, so i thought: "Why not?"
Most of the time a miniature is finished only after I touched everything up and corrected mistakes or splashes, I didn't have time for that this time though, ... The painting rate is going up, despite losing my focus sometimes (Heavy Gear and World of Twilight looking very persuasive), but quality is going down, sigh ...
Sorry for the bad photo's, because of a storm the lighting wasn't really that good (I work a lot with natural daylight).

Last evening me and a friend had another tussle, with him finally being able to play with his Prefecture (thank you Firestorm games) and at 50 rice.
We decided to roll out a scenario and ended up playing 'Envoy'.
He choose my Armoured Kairai as a VIM, as he knew the kairai would be at the front and had the rise trait, and I choose Takashi as I had problems with damaging the samurai before and wanted a juicier target.
Here's our setup:

Looking back at it, it already went wrong at this very point.
The corner deployment meant I was stuck with the riverbed, which counted as rough terrain.
As I'm slow to begin with, it took me two turns to get past it, resulting in the fact I arrived at the bottleneck between the two bushes in the middle as a block.
Instead of being able to fan out and tak advantage of the terrain.
It also meant i had to use my Gaki to shield the whole force against the two ranged Prefecture characters. This proofed fatal, as he acted like an anchor point this way for the two samurai: Takashi Hiro and Akio.

At the start of turn three, I decided to use  'The Breath of Yurei', as I knew he would separate his samurai from Takashi because of this.
The idea was to create a lane for some characters to get to her.
I think I made the mistake here of not asking my opponents cards to see what he could do.
At the end of round three I called it quits, he had just struck down 18 points with relative ease (Gaki, Tadao, Kairai Militia, Wrath) and my doll had also failed miserably.
On top of that I was very low on ki, while Bram had plenty of ki left and had only suffered one wound in return.
As I knew he would strike down another 18 points the next round (Kato and my Armoured Kairai) I knew it was all over by then.
The defeat felt very bitter and I started wondering if I should participate in the tournament at all, I even had lost my will to paint more Bushido last night.
There was so little I could do, ... True, my dice rolls were horrible as I kept on rolling very low with a lot of ones and the terrain was also not in my advantage.
I made some tactical mistakes and could perhaps have done a little better, but a win seems like on the top of a mountain, almost unreachable.
Better luck next time I guess.
Thank you for reading!


Friday 5 June 2015

Assassin on the prowl

It took me a while, but here's the first post for my challenge.
I had actually hoped to finish him sooner, as I'm now in trouble to get Tadao painted in time.

The skintone is a bit better this time, but too yellow to be called good.



As a side note: Sam pointed out a new game in his blog he was interested in after visiting the Expo.
While the setting isn't really Original or unique (Hellgate London), I like the fact there are some real nightmare creatures instead of the usual horned demons.
I couldn't resist and pledged, and as such I'm going to burn a joker to do so.
Shame on me, I know it is only the first week of the challenge.

Hopefully there will be second update this week after I finished Tadao and had my Friday evening battle against my regular opponent Bram.

Thank you for reading!