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All of My Videos from Adepticon 2012

All of the Adepticon 2012 videos I did for Beasts of War are now finished editing and up on the site. It was a hectic weekend and a long week-and-a-half afterwards of editing and uploading more than a dozen videos, but the work has been well-received and I figured I’d link to the videos here. More exposure for these kinds of things is always good.

We shot thirteen videos over two-and-a-half days

Here they are in chronological order (as they were published, not the order they were shot):

Now to do some more videos from the Nerd Bunker (so many unboxings to do) and “rest” until it’s time for Gen Con in mid-August.

The Real 2011 in Review, and a Look Towards 2012

2011 was a great year for me in many ways, and I feel blessed for my friends and family and my life in general. 2011 was a pretty good year for my hobby gaming, and since that’s what this blog is about, I’m going to go over it here.

GAMING
I played a good deal of Warhammer 40,000 this year. By my best count, I played 31 games of 40k this year. Most of them were Combat Patrol, and some of them were in tournaments but it’s still a decent amount of games. Over all of the games this year, my average was certainly under .500, but I figure I’m still learning, so that’s not too bad. In 2012, I’d like to play even more, and I’m pretty sure I can accomplish that, especially now that the Nerd Bunker is at least partially set up and ready for play.

I also played some Dwarf King’s Hold (mostly with Lee) and enjoyed that. I wish I would have played some Space Hulk this year, but that game stayed packed away in the weird annex off of the Nerd Bunker. I also didn’t get a chance to play any Song of Blades and Heroes or Flying Lead this year, other than running a bit of SoBH at Fire and Ice last February.

GAMING – HOPES FOR 2012
I’m planning to play more Warhammer 40,000 this year, at home in the Nerd Bunker, at other people’s houses, and at game shops / tournaments. I know Chimera Hobby Shops (both Appleton and Fond du Lac) is planning to run a 40k Combat Patrol or Kill Team (an event smaller point game, just 200 points with special rules) tournament at each shop each month during 2012, on separate weekends, so if I can’t make it to Appleton one weekend, I can still maybe make it to Fond du Lac the next weekend. Or maybe both!

I also really want to play some different games, as well. I want to get back into Song of Blades and Heroes and Flying Lead from Ganesha Games. I want to play more Dwarf King’s Hold and Space Hulk because they’re fun to play – yet, as board/miniature game hybrids, don’t take as much setup and time as some full-blown ‘real’ miniatures games.

I’m also working towards some other skirmish-type miniatures games, like Warmachine and Infinity and MERCS and Hell Dorado and Mordheim. What’s great about these games is that I can frequently put together two forces (as they’re small) and then invite someone over to play and teach them the game and have figures for them to use. That’s a bit more difficult with the bigger army-style games.

PAINTING / MODELING
I got a good deal more work done on this front this year than I did in 2010. As far as miniatures are concerned, I built and modeled more this year versus last, and even painted a little more than I did in 2010. I started a new Warhammer 40k army (Chaos Space Marines) and built quite a few troops and a few vehicles. I was able to get 10 of the standard Chaos Marines painted and six of the Plague Marines, enough for a fully-painted Combat Patrol army at a tournament in September. I finished painting a unit of Kroot for my Tau army, and I started a small army of Black Templar for Combat Patrol. The Black Templar force is now about 20 troopers strong, and a couple of vehicles (out of four) have been started. So, over all – I did okay on the painting and modeling front, quantity-wise. But how was my quality?

I like to think that my painting is currently the best it’s ever been, and I’d like to make sure I progress from here. Three main things have helped my painting this year: I started using a wet palette to thin and mix my paints, I started attaching my models to old pill bottles when painting so I had a nice handle to hold the miniature for painting without actually touching the model, and I started using my airbrush.

Nurgle Chaos Lord conversion

I wanted to start using an airbrush last year to help with priming my miniatures (specifically in winter, when it’s too cold to prime models outside with a rattlecan) and using it for basecoats, shading, highlighting, and painting terrain. I’m happy to say that I was able to use it for all of these things this year, and it’s really made a difference. Once I finally got the room cleaned out and a decent work surface and some good lighting, things came together pretty quickly. It’s great for priming, as it uses very little paint and you don’t feel wasteful just priming one model. Basecoating, shading, and highlighting are great with it, too. Colors can be laid down and blended very easily with an airbrush, which gives the models more depth and really improves their look. Overall, I’ve painted some of the best figures I’ve ever painted this year.

PAINTING / MODELING – HOPES FOR 2012
My main hope is simply to get more done and to improve more in my speed and quality. I have a lot of figures built right now, so there’s no reason I won’t start priming and basecoating them in smaller batches and then just get to work. I have a group of 10 figures built for a Combat Patrol tourney near the end of the month, so they’ll be my next big project. You’ll see more about them here in the coming weeks.

CREATING
I talked about starting some sort of podcast or PDF e-zine or something this year, and none of that has really happened. Mainly this was due to other projects taking up my time, one big one being the work I’m doing at Beasts of War. I did a dozen or so interviews at Adepticon this year (a great, minis-only convention outsid of Chicago) and about 18 different pieces at Gen Con, and I finally started making some videos at the end of the year from the studio I built in the basement, the Nerd Bunker. I’m doing the ‘writing’ (such as it is) and the shooting and the presenting and even the editing, and I’m really enjoying it and the response has been really good. I’m looking forward to doing more Nerd Bunker videos in the future (as of this writing, there’s one that just went live, I have one nearly finished editing here, and two more to shoot planned for this weekend and the next week) and I’ll be returning to Adepticon and Gen Con this year, so you can expect more interviews and news from me.

I also shot a simple video for our gaming club (and our friend Ted who is in Afganistan) of a bunch of us competing in a Combat Patrol tournament at Chimera in September. That was also a lot of fun to shoot and edit, and got a decent number of views, especially thanks to a link from the guys at Beasts of War.

CREATING – HOPES FOR 2012
Again, it’s just more: we’re planning for more interviews and segments from Adepticon and Gen Con again this year, and I’m planning on doing a lot of videos from the Nerd Bunker. I’m also hoping to do more gaming club videos and probably revamp the gaming club website, trying to offer some articles about how to do some beginner things in the hobby to help newer people out. We’ll see how it all falls together.

BASEMENTING
The Nerd Bunker got a lot of work this year. Two of the three main walls were completely primed, painted, and detailed. One wall (the longest) is 3/4 prepared, scraped, and primed. However, there’s been a Herculean cleaning effort and there are now three tables (two 4x4s and one 4×6) set up for gaming and the studio for the Nerd Bunker videos is ready, so I feel pretty good about the progress.

Speaking of tables, this summer my good friend Eric and I built a 4×6-foot gaming table outside in the driveway. A few weeks later, my lovely wife helped me bring the pieces in and we put it all together. It’s a monster, and very sturdy. It makes me very happy and I’m glad for all the help. It has been gamed on a few times already in 2011, but I think it’s going to get much more of a workout in the coming year.

BASEMENTING – HOPES FOR 2012
I need to finish up the final wall, and then do a little wiring so I can bring my computer downstairs and get that whole deal all set up. I also need to set up my painting table so I get my painting supplies off of the workbench. It will be a good idea to get some shelves set up, as well. Then it’ll just be putting stuff up on the walls and getting an old couch and maybe a chair, and I’ll have a cozy little bunker to call my own. I’m looking forward to it.

IN CONCLUSION
It was, as I said in the beginning of this post, a great year and I am thankful for it. I got a lot of things done that I wanted to, I
learned new things and progressed my skills in the hobby (at least in painting if not in gaming and winning). I got somewhere around 80,000 views on YouTube (50,000 on just Gen Con videos alone) and started working in earnest with the Beasts of War lads. I look forward to what 2012 brings and hope to be able to progress and do more. I also hope you can do more this year and that everyone has a successful 2012. Thanks for reading!

My First Beasts of War Videos from the Nerd Bunker

I’ve mentioned them on Facebook and Twitter and Google+ and lord-knows-where, but I neglected to link to them here, so I’m fixing that right now. If you don’t know: I have been doing video reports for gaming site Beasts of War for two years now, mainly from Gen Con and Adepticon. Now, I have built a video set in my basement (known as the Nerd Bunker) and I’ll be doing videos for the website on a semi-regular basis, hopefully.

A screenshot from the MERCS CCC Faction unboxing episode of "What's in the Box"

It’ll start mainly with unboxing videos (“What’s in the Box” is the segment name) as that’s currently the intro graphic assets that I have access to. I’m doing all the editing myself, to help take the pressure off of Lloyd at headquarters. I enjoy doing it, and I’ll get better at working within their template as it goes along. Hopefully I’ll be doing some other spotlight videos, maybe some tips and reviews as well.

Anyway, here are a few links:

Check out the Nerd Bunker! Our new set in the USA – This is a short intro video for the Nerd Bunker set. Just explaining who I am and what’s going on.

Mercs CCC Faction Unboxed – This is the first full-blown video from the Nerd Bunker. I show off the six models from the CCC faction for the skirmish miniatures game MERCS. I take them out of the packages and show off the parts, then do a quick commercial and come back and show them all put together. This video is just under 15 minutes long.

There will be more to come, I’ll be shooting two more episodes this upcoming week. I’d tell you to stay tuned, but that metaphor no longer works in the day and age of web video. Hmm. I’ll have to work on that.

Adepticon Videos (Including Dan Abnett) and Two Combat Patrol Wins

The last of my Adepticon 2011 videos was posted at Beasts of War on Sunday. We filmed an even dozen of them over three days. It was a great convention and I got to interview vendors with cool new products, a couple of great authors, and some interesting characters. I’m already looking forward to next year.

My interview with Dan Abnett

Here are the links to the videos from this year in chronological order:

Adepticon is a great convention for a bunch of reasons, but I really like it because of the focus of purpose: It’s all about miniatures, and pretty much nothing else. In a world of gaming conventions having to try to appeal to all kinds of gamers, it’s great to attend an event this big where we’re all on the same page.

Two games of Combat Patrol played on each of two Sundays in a row? And two wins for me in a single day? Either I hit my head and imagined it all or I actually pulled off two wins on this past Sunday. I tweaked my Chaos Space Marine list a little bit after asking for advice and thinking and scheming:

9 Chaos Space Marines, 1 x Meltagun, 1 x Flamer
Aspiring Champion w/ Power Weapon
Rhino
w/ Havoc Launcher
245 points

6 Chosen Chaos Space Marines, 3 x Plasmaguns
153 points

398 points total

I first played John’s Space Fists. They had littered the battlefield with my bones the last time we played, and he had tweaked his army list a bit to take out some unnecessary fluff. We played with a single objective marker this time, and used modified scatter rules to see where it would end up. Luckily for me, it ended up pretty close to my deployment zone, so after John went first (as he always does), I rushed out my Rhino full of marines and had them deploy in cover near the objective. I had used my unit of Chosen to Infiltrate before the start of play and though they were a bit beat up in John’s first phase, they still did a bit to annoy one of his rear echelon gunline units. The rest is a bit of a blur: My Rhino exploded and the troops that had jumped out started taking fire. They eventually got into assault with a group of John’s Fists and my Aspiring Champion with his Power Weapon started finally doing his job. He and the rest of his unit took out one group and then met up with another group right by the objective. When the smoke cleared, my Black Legion were still standing. Well, two or three of them were. Unfortunately, they were the only troops I still had on the board, while John still had a couple of gunline units with many big guns still mostly untouched. However, they were pretty far away from the objective, and my measly survivors were within the needed three inches to hold the objective… and it was the end of turn five. That meant that we had to roll a die to see if the game ended now or moved on to turn six, and as it turned out the game ended right then, which made me the winner winner, chicken dinner.

I’ll be very honest here: If the game had gone on to a sixth turn, I would have absolutely lost in the first shots of John’s shooting phase, and I would have left nothing but a wet stain on the landscape. Luckily for me, the game ended at the end of turn five and I had played the objective and stayed in the three inch radius required to keep it and John didn’t have enough guys forward to contest the objective. Otherwise, the game would have gone to him; he’s a better player (I have less than ten games of WH40k under my belt) and his Space Fist list is pretty damn brutal. But overall, it taught me something important: Play the Objectives.

In the second game, I played Ted’s Imperial Guard again. His list was identical to last time, except he’d swapped out the lasguns the majority of his veteran troopers carried with shotguns. Again, the objective scattered over to my side. I got to go first and placed my Rhino and declared my Chosen would be Outflanking instead of Infiltrating this time. My Rhino ran up, popped smoke, my Chaos Space Marines hopped out, his snipers got shot at a bunch (but they took it much better this time), his Chimeras rolled up on his turn, the usual stuff. There were a few stand out moments: When my Chosen got to come in on turn two (as I hoped) on the side of the board that I had hoped and got into a big battle with one of his Chimeras, destroying its weapons and messing up its troopers. When his other Chimera exploded, killing outright a few of the troopers inside. When my Aspiring Champion waded through his troopers, splitting them in twain with his Power Weapon. And finally, when Ted’s last scoring unit (the empty Chimera with no remaining weapons) tried to Tank Shock my last few forces sitting on the objective at the end of turn six, and my meltagunner responded with a Death or Glory attack that ended up destroying the Chimera and killing him in the process. That was a good game. I’ll have to make sure to remember to paint up the meltagunner extra nice to honor his achievements.

So, all in all, I won two games that day and learned some important lessons. I’m looking forward to making a few small tweaks to my list and playing again. I know I won’t be playing in any tournaments at Adepticon next year, but I might try my hand at a tourney at a local shop some time soon, if I can get some more games under my belt.

2010 in review

Hey everybody:

Sorry for the radio silence. The holidays and a bunch of basement work have slowed me down on the blogging front, but I’m working on a post of about what I’ve been doing and accomplishing during the holidays. I’ll post that soon, but the great people at WordPress.com sent me this cool automated ‘2010 in Review’ thingy, so I’m posting it here. It’s short, but sweet. I’ll post more soon with more Nerd Bunker progress and nearly finished Kroots!

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 5,000 times in 2010. That’s about 12 full 747s.

In 2010, there were 30 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 46 posts. There were 44 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 5mb. That’s about 4 pictures per month.

The busiest day of the year was March 3rd with 238 views. The most popular post that day was Fire & Ice 2010.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were abraxis40k.blogspot.com, blogs.tabletopgamingnews.com, tabletopgamingnews.com, foxvalleybynight.com, and plasticlegions.blogspot.com.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for blood bowl, golem, bloodbowl, steam golem, and khador.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

1

Fire & Ice 2010 March 2010
1 comment

2

Painting Test – Oxidized Metal May 2009
4 comments

3

Wargames Factory Shock Troops FINISHED October 2010
1 comment

4

Sci-fi Greatcoat Infantry February 2010
1 comment

5

Gen Con Booty Report August 2010
2 comments

Secret Project REVEALED

Now, I’ve been a fan of Games Workshop’s Warhammer 40,000 universe since I was first exposed to it through first edition Space Hulk circa 1991 or so. We played the hell out of Space Hulk and I would pour through the booklets that came in the box and read all of the fluff that they used to fill out the pages. It was dark and weird and gothic and I really dug it.

As I may have mentioned here before, I got some friends to teach me 40k a few years later and I really didn’t like the rules for several reasons. Mainly, my problem was that the number of figures needed on each side to play a simple game was way too many. I was a poor college student and didn’t have the money for that many figures for my army. Also, I was an extremely slow painter and it would take forever for me to paint that many figures. And anyway, I had videogames to spend stupid amounts of time and money on. So that, as they say, was that.

Luckily for me, our friends at Games Workshop were able to keep me interested with Warhammer 40k videogames like Chaos Gate and Dawn of War, both of which I enjoyed immensely. And luckily for them, I did finally start to play some tabletop sci-fi skirmish games, and found that I could buy some groups of  GW figures (usually on eBay) for cheap and use them in my skirmish games. Therefore, through the mixture of these two things and the 40k novels of Mister Dan Abnett, I stayed interested.

Fast forward to my late thirties, and I now can save up a bit of money and purchase a 1500-1750 army without eating ramen noodles for six months. Also, I’m a (slightly) faster painter than I used to be and I don’t spend nearly as much time playing videogames as I used to (a big help) so the stars were aligned, to be sure. When a friend started trying to convince me to build an army so his Blood Angels army had someone to destroy and defile, I finally tipped over the edge and purchased an army for the glorious Tau Empire.

For the Greater Good, indeed.

Why the Tau, you ask? I generally like shooty armies, the Tau look cool and paint up quickly, and since I’m not a competitive player, I’m okay with the fact that the Tau aren’t the new hotness, tearing up the tournaments from coast to coast. Plus, I just always thought they were cool.

So, what’s the plan? We’ll the army has been purchased. I constructed torsos, legs and feet for all of the Crisis battlesuits (except the Broadsides, they showed up last) and trimmed flash and mold lines off of them, too. Now I’m starting to work on magnetizing the Crisis battlesuits so I can swap the guns really easily. However, I’m now thinking that I want to build a 500-point list and then build and paint that  so I can start playing small games sooner, therefore I have to nail down what that list will be so I know what to paint.

There’s one small monkeywrench in my plans: five weeks from today, I’m going to have to collect every single thing that my wife and I own and put it in a rented truck, drive it across town, and then unload it out of that truck and into a (mostly) empty house. As you may guess, this may slow down my plans for tiny, plastic world domination, but I’m going to try really hard to keep at it and play 40k with a painted army before the end of the year. That’s my goal, but my measure of success will depend on how many points that army is going to be. Is it possible to play a 50-point game?

More Fancy News

Even though Gen Con was a hectic time for me this year (and it can be hectic for anyone, depending on the type of convention-goer you are), I’m finding myself missing it already and looking forward to next year, or at least the next convention I’m attending. It was a good year for me, not only because of all the demos I got to try and the stuff I got to buy, but because of the interviews I got to shoot during the convention.

Several more videos have been released on the Beasts of War site, including interviews I did below:

Mercs Minis New Stuff at Gen Con | Soda Pop Miniatures Meets BoW – Pop! | Pulp City Gen Con Announcements | We chat with Romeo from Battlefoam at Gen Con 2010 | Privateer Press Talk About Upgrade Kits & Their Video Game

I’ve got a few more interviews that the lads across the pond will be putting up in the coming days, including an interview with Catalyst Studios about Classic Battletech and their upcoming game, Leviathans. I’m looking forward to Leviathans and hope I can do an review of it for Beasts of War when the game is released.

In the coming days on this blog, I’ll go through some of the sweet purchases I made while at Gen Con, so check back for that. Also, I’ll be finally prepared to reveal my top secret project I’ve been teasing you with, so you’ll be able to finally go on with your lives. Thank goodness for that.


atom smashing

A gaming blog talking about miniatures games, miniatures painting and collecting, game design and other nerdly delights.


The Statistics – 2013

Minis games played:
• WH40k (1850 pts):
   BT/GK vs Kevin (Eldar/DE) LOST
• WH40k (1500 pts):
   BT vs Jason (D.E.) LOST
• WH40k (1500 pts):
   BT vs Kevin (S.W.) LOST
Minis finished:
 none yet
Terrain finished:
 none yet
Cons attended:
 Fire & Ice
updated 28FEB2013

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